Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am going to share my adapted recipe for chocolate chip cookies and how we store them so we don't eat too many cookies at one time. This saves us time, money, and from expanding waist lines. The original recipe comes from my pink Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
12 ounces mini chocolate chips
1- In large bowl, beat coconut oil and butter together. Add sugars and baking soda and mix again. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Mix in all of the flour and then the chocolate chips. (I can do this whole process with my hand mixer but if you cannot you can finish up with a spoon or fork)
2- To bake you are going to preheat your oven to 375 degrees and drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. (I use a pampered chef small scoop to spoon mine out). Bake raw dough for about 8 minutes and frozen dough for just a minute or two more. They are done cooking when lightly browned.
We love fresh warm home baked cookies at our house but I find that a single recipe makes too many cookies for us to eat. I personally don't need that much temptation laying around. What I do is mix up the whole recipe above and then I put 12 on a small cookie sheet and bake right away. The rest of the dough gets put on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper like this picture above. I then slide the cookie sheet with all the dough balls into the top of my freezer. After about an hour or two I can remove the cookies sheet and put the dough balls into a freezer bag to use for later.
This is my bag that I store our dough balls in for later use. I have the simple baking instructions on the outside so nobody has to dig the cookbook off the shelf. This bag is then kept in the freezer until we need a few cookies. We take out our few and put them on the cookie sheet while the oven is preheating and then bake them. I find it takes only 1-2 minutes longer to bake from frozen than it does the fresh dough.
This simple recipe saves us time when we would like to have a treat but nothing readily available. It saves money because home making cookies are much cheaper and serve a lot more than ready to bake or already baked store bought cookies. The idea of storing the premade dough in the freezer til ready to use saves me many, many calories as well. I don't eat raw dough due to raw eggs so that isn't a problem for me. :)
Have you ever frozen cookie dough for later use? What other kinds of cookies have you done this for?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

School and New Clothes

Wow, it has been a week already since I last posted. I would never make it as a paid blogger. Time just gets away from me way too often. In my defense, I have been busy trying to get ready for school to start for children.

This year we have two children going to school instead of just one. S started 7th grade Yesterday. I started thinking about it really hard yesterday and realized that it has been 20 years since I went to 7th grade. It has also been 20 years since I met one of my friends. I met Brandy the first day of 7th grade when she asked if she could sit by me. We hit it off and were hooked at the hip through all of junior high and high school. We have much different lives now but we still talk occasionally and love the opportunity to get together. I hope S will have the chance to meet someone and have them as a long term friend. It is hard to do when you are in a military family as people move all the time.

T is going to be starting kindergarten in a week. He is super excited. He has been begging to go to school like S for a few years now. We went to the school this past week to get a walk around tour and wow it looks like it will be really fun for him. They have a brand new playground to play on during recess. The classrooms have all kinds of learning tools. He is excited to get to learn to use a computer and play with dress up clothes. The gym has a rock climbing wall. I know my school didn't have all those cool things when I was starting kindergarten. I just hope that he will be able to sit still long enough to learn. We get to meet his teacher today. She is coming to our house to meet us and T. I have never heard of teachers coming to the homes before so it is odd to me.

Up til this year, with S, I have bought all his new school clothes before the start of the school year. Last year that bit me in the bum. I let him pick out the clothes and shoes he wanted before school started. My mom even bought him an expensive pair of design your own converse. He ended up not liking the clothes and shoes he picked out because they weren't in style. I felt terrible for my mom since she paid for those shoes and he ended up not wearing them much. This year I talked to him about clothes and shoes before school started and offered him the option to buy his new clothes either before or after school started. He was smart and decided that he would pick his new clothes after school started. This way he can look and see what might be in style and then go from there. I feel funny not buying him all his new clothes before school began but I am glad that he has decided to be a bit more resourceful and wait so that he doesn't have clothes or shoes that he wont end up wearing.

Did you always get a whole new wardrobe before school started? Am I weird for allowing him to wait and see what is in style? (The Man thinks I am :))

Monday, August 20, 2012

School Again :)

Here in a couple weeks 2 of our 4 kids will be off to school. S will be going into 7th grade. I am so happy for him as he has done well in school up to this point and should continue to do well this next school year. He has been an A and B student all the way through. He is friendly and outgoing which helps him to meet and get to know lots of people as well.

 T is going to be starting kindergarten. I am a bit nervous for him. He has not been in any kind of structured care since he was born. He has been home with me and his siblings. I am a bit nervous that he will get in trouble for speaking out, or walking around, or not being polite enough. I have worked with him up to this point but he doesn't have much real world experience in this. He is a smart kid, though, so he should pick it up pretty quickly.

I will be home with just the two little ones during the days while the older two are at school. I am not sure what I will do all day since those two don't seem to fight like the bigger ones do. They are also the two who like to help me when I am trying to do laundry, dishes, or other housework. They are much quieter and like to play by themselves a bit more than the bigger ones do too.

The best thing about the school year is the structure. I like when we have a routine and while I do try to keep one up during the summer, it seems everybody else works against me having a set routine. It does make adding some extra things in a bit harder but I do better when things are more structured.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm A BzzAgent - Nerf Firevision

I am a BzzAgent and am going to be recieving a product to try for free and give my honest opinion. You, too, can join BzzAgent and get free things and discounts to do honest reviews on. You take surveys to let them know what kinds of campaigns you would fit best in and then get invitations to do these reviews every so often.

I am going to be getting the Nerf Firevision Football to test. I am super excited as all the boys love to play football in the back yard and this one is supposed to be different.

Energize your football play with the bright blazing light of this awesome Firevision Sports Football. Includes Firevision Frames to activate ball. The ball's unique Microprism Technology lets you play for hours with blazing energy and a bright glow with no charging. Whether you're slamming through a hardcore game or scrimmaging with a friend, you'll be at the top of your game with the Firevision Sports Football and activation frames. (Info from Amazon)

Have you seen this game? Have you played with this football? How does it compare to other footballs? I will get my kit in about 6 weeks and then I will play with the kids and we will write a review. I have high hopes from it because we like the Nerf company to begin with.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Quilted Northern Deal

For a limited time has the 30 pk Quilted Northern on sale for $13.99 shipped to US addresses. This works out to about $.47 per roll and cheaper than I can get at the commissary locally.
Limit 1.

Also if you use you can get 3% cash back. If you are not a member you can use my referral link below to sign up.

ShopAtHome Banner

Saturday, August 11, 2012


The kids and I planted these flower bulbs in an area outside under our kitchen window.

I don't remember what they are called but they are super tall and nice to look at while doing the dishes.

Do you know what these are called?

Thursday, August 9, 2012


The kids wanted to plant sunflowers this year. We tried to plant them last year but a dog managed to eat up our tiny plants shortly after they emerged from the ground. This year we were successful. They are beautiful.

I love the fact they make me want to smile. So bright and sunny even on cloudy England days.

I'd like a whole field of them.

Have you ever grown sunflowers in your garden?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Where to live?

For the past 7+ years I have been married to The Man and his career. The military has moved us where they needed us to be and it wasn't much of a choice to us. We have lived in military housing for most of this as well. We are faced with the real possibility that his career could end as early as next year. It could also extend out for about 5 more years if things fall into place and he is able to retire. Retirement from the military has always our plan. That was our plan til they changed the rules.

We are now in the discussions of where to live. He has been in the military almost 15 years and prior to that always lived in California. I on the other hand was raised a in a military family and moved every couple years til I was going into junior high school when my dad retired and we moved to Washington. When I as a senior in high school my mom's job moved her to Arizona. I never wanted to live in Arizona. It was hot most of the year and nothing to do. I did end up living in Arizona for almost 10 years. That is where The Man and I met and married.

We keep looking at our possibilities. Almost anything is possible but we don't really want to pick something and make a huge mistake. I would love to be able to have a house on several acres so that we can have a large garden and raise a few chickens and possibly goats or a cow. The Man seems to like this idea. We know that depending on where we choose to live this will not be a possibility due to finances. We would ideally like to be close to some friends or family as living here in the UK for three years so far with no friends or family around has been very hard on me. The problem is that when we look at places near family and friends there are a lot of negatives about the places except for the people themselves. We have looked at more ideal places that would be a day or two drive from these people and some of these places seem to be more in the ideal of costs and options that we would like.

How do you pick a place to live and settle down? Do you live near family? Do you like where you live? I really wish I had a magic crystal ball right now. We are both so confused as what to do and will have to make some concrete decisions sooner or later.

Monday, August 6, 2012 - Raw Honey, Pasta, and Tea

If you are new to Vitacost and sign up through a referral link you will get a $10 off $10+ purchase coupon code in your email. I found a way to get a great deal on a few items.

Here is how one deal can work out today:
1 - Sign up for Vitacost as a new member using a referral link
2 - Check your email for your coupon code
3 - Add items to cart (any close to $10 will work but this is one with things I would like to get)
          YS Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey -- 22 oz normally over $7 on sale for $5.91
          Annie's Homegrown Gluten Free Rice Pasta and Cheddar -- 6 oz on sale for $2.19
          St. Dalfour Organic Vanilla Tea -- 25 Tea Bags on sale for $2.12
          Any 2 Free Samples

The above works out to $10.22 total.
4 - Add the coupon code for your $10 off during the check out.
5 - Shipping is a flat $4.99 unless you spend over $49 which then it is free.
6 - Your total on the above order is $5.21  (less than just the raw honey would cost at the sale price)

Have you ordered from before? I do regularly and love it. I love the fact that the shipping cost is the same to my APO address as it is for any US address. I also like that I can get things from there that I cannot find locally.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cancelling Cable TV

One thing The Man and I do not agree on is how much tv should be watched in the house. I hate the tv on except for in small doses, I would much rather listen to the radio. He, on the other hand, thinks that the tv should be on 24/7. It is kinda funny to me as he turns off every light in the house when he sees them on but he leaves that darn tv running if we are home and awake. I believe that the tv makes my kids more crazy. I swear the days I do not turn the tv on they behave much better than the days I do. I don't believe that depriving them of tv is ok either though.

I finally convinced The Man that almost $100 a month of cable tv was ridiculous when we have a fabulous movie collection and that none of us really need that much tv time anyway. I had also told him that we would get Netflix which is less than $10 a month if he really couldn't deal with no cable. He reluctantly agreed and called to have the cable tv shut off. The company tried to keep him but he told them no and scheduled to have it turned off. We had it scheduled to be shut of after our paid bill time was up. It was due to be shut off in about a week.

GUESS WHAT? Today they called and offered him 6 months cable tv free of charge. I am really torn on this idea. Of course he accepted it, and I probably would have too since the biggest reason I wanted the cable gone was the cost of it. I guess they didn't like the idea we were cancelling and are trying to rope us back in. I am still going to make sure that it is cancelled before that 6 months is up as I do not have any desire to pay $100 a month for tv ever again when there are so many other cheaper options.

Do you think their offer is a good deal or a pain in the rump?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Badger Sunscreen Deal

This weekend only has Badger sunscreen on sale for $3.00 for a single unit. This is a great natural sunscreen and a great price.

If you have never ordered from before you can use my referral code JIJ590 in the coupon area when you checkout to save $5.00 on your first order.

You can also add a free sample to your order here.

A couple other good deals that I was able to get in on:
BeeCeuticals Organics, Hand Salve, Orange & Honey, 2 oz - $0.90

St. Dalfour, Organic, Vanilla Tea, 25 Tea Bags, 1.75 oz - Buy the tea get a tea cup for free - $3.99
other flavors available but I LOVED this flavor

Shipping to the lower 48 states is free if your order is over $20 and weighs under 10 lbs.

After you sign up and place an order you can also sign up for the rewards and get your own code to pass out to others. For your first order I would be grateful if you would use my code JIJ590 which helps me out and also gives you a discount.