Friday, January 22, 2010

E-Mealz Review Continued

My goodness! I thought I had posted this a long time ago. Sigh. Chalk it up to one of those things that sifts to the bottom of the list...

We are enjoying the E-Mealz grocery list service enough to keep with it after about 2 months. The first month, my grocery bill was cut almost IN HALF. Half. Do you really want to know the numbers? I'm embarrassed to say but in October I spent close to $900 on groceries. That is what no list, no coupons, and relying on the little "sale" signs will get you.

But in Novemeber spent about $500! That's just a little more than half. With just downloading and printing the list from E-Mealz. Since we eat almost every meal at home, 6 people, that is pretty amazing right?

When I compared this to the same month at the height of my coupon clipping days: Same exact same. Back in the day, when I was clipping coupons, printing coupons, saving the sale papers, and planning lists just like the professionals (i.e. suggest, I would spend about $500 a month on groceries!

Except none of the work. Just sign on to E-Mealz, print the list and go shop.

Now December was a different story, with the rain and baking, I could not make myself go to Aldi's. However, after the second week in a row of shopping at the other stores and spending $200 and still not having enough food in the house for a complete meal, I am back to the E-Mealz Aldi's plan again.

Went last Saturday, and was happy to wake up today, Friday and realize that we still had food in the house for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hooray! All for $140 for the whole week.

There's a link on the side to the website, check it out if you are interested!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What do you do when it doesn't snow?

The forecast predicated snow last week, they were sure we would get "something". But alas, nothing fell in our county. Anna and I did the next best thing: baked! We didn't even have cupcake liners, but since this was for fun and friends, we plowed on. All the while wistful for the snow that wasn't. I'll keep hoping for snow. "Hey, it could happen."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


What happened? I'm not sure. But sometime recently, Holly got a new-not-better attitude regarding her friend Cecilia.

Just after Cici's birthday, I asked Holly about Cici:

Me: "Holly is Cici your friend?"

Holly: "Cici. Noying."

I was shocked! Up till now Cici has been a much discussed "baby. crawling." I can only guess, that since Holly began singing "Happy Birthday to Holly" again, that she was less than pleased with Cici being the center of attention at the party.

Hope Holly forgets about this soon!

It would be a Blue Christmas

without any Christmas cookies! I thought long and hard about Martha Stewart and her gift box of just 4 perfect gingerbread cookies. (Can't find the link on her page, but saw the gift idea on a show last year.)

Well, I just couldn't do it. 4 cookies, even perfect ones seems so grinchy. Here's what I did do this season, once the serious baking began:

Yum! The Poinsetta cookies are my favorite for this year. I used icing sheets, a rubber stamp, and food colorings to paint in the flowers. Love that! and found really neat sprinkles at Aldi's this year, can you see the teeny-tiny gingerbread people on the hand of the giant gingerbread boys?

Here's to a whole New Year of baking!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Screaming

Sounds like a B movie horror flick, doesn't it? There is no other way to describe the volume that Holly communicates at. I am so grateful for her words, and how well she speaks them. It is just the screaming, all the time, that is wearing me out.

As soon as she wakes up till bedtime. Today she was in time out 3 times for screaming before 7 am. No joke. Holly can say "Baby screaming. Time out." That is a little sad for me, but important to break this awful habit now. Part of our problem, I think, is that she can speak now, but doesn't always remember. So she screams first, sometimes stopping if I can get her to "use your words."

Of course the other part is that she is 2. However, when people chalk it all up to Terrible Twos, I have to resist pointing out my other three children. Three older children. I know the Terrible Twos. I have been there before. Holly really does take this to another level.

As a comparison consider little boys described as "Danger Boys". You know them. All little boys seek out some type of trouble, but there is another level for some. Those "Danger Boys" boys. Holly is like that, except with screaming. Another level.

So far my strategy is three parts:
  1. the schedule, to help her adjust to routines around our home,
  2. trying really hard to answer her the first time she speaks, not hesitating. Hesitating leads to lots of screaming.
  3. time out chair, for when she is just screaming.
  4. Reminding myself of all the wonderful beautiful things about Holly and how well she will do as an adult. She will take on the world one day...and win.
If you are dealing with your own two year old, know that I am offering up a little suffering over here for you :-)

Holly Hair

I didn't even wish you all a Merry Christmas...Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! The holiday season has been good, really good. Even with a stomach virus hitting the whole family after Christmas Day. Much better than last year (aka The Christmas With a Leaf in Holly's Nose).

However with all the celebrating and occasions to look really nice, it has been Holly's wild-life-of-its-own hair that has occupied too much of my thoughts :-)

First let me say this is what Holly's hair looks like most of the time:

Then when Anna and I both try really hard to tame the tresses, for a special occasion, say Christmas, Holly can look like this:

Hence, the hair cut. On Christmas morning. She was in my lap, the scissors were near by. I just had to do it. And now after a week of snipping a little bit here and there while Holly was distracted, I think we have hit upon a New Look.

New Year, New You works for toddlers too! Now if we can just cut out the screaming....