Day 30 CHALLENGE My final day for my month long posting Challenge is over! I DID IT!!! Here's what I learned...

To begin with I wanted to just thank all of you for following along as I went through my daily post challenges. The challenge was to just post everyday for 1 month and see what happens. I didn't plan this, I just posted it one day and that was it, I had to do it. I kept myself accountable everyday. I did take off for vacation though, and because of that I started right back up as if I never stopped. I only missed one day due to the chaos of my household.

 Here are the things that I learned along the way.   I honestly didn't know where this would take me, but since I started this is what happened.
  1. Sometimes the road veers off a little bit, but you get it straightened out eventually.
  2. When you set a goal, you keep at it till you get there.
  3. When you put your mind to it, you can accomplish the things you want and Great things come from that.
  4. I went from only 5 followers (thanks so much for hanging in there, by the way) to 43 followers. That is what really impressed me.
  5. Being diligent pays off, because I have my readers that come and visit me everyday, you know who you are. ; )
  6. I can't back down from a CHALLENGE no matter what.
  7. I surprised myself with what I could accomplish and when I look back over the month, I have a ton of posts that I can lookover for inspiration later on.
  8. I learned to find my Blog Voice, am still tweeking it, but I am loosening up a bit with my writing, letting the personality out more and more.
  9. I have a Facebook Fan Page and I am on Twitter. This is just for my blog too. You can click to the right and there is a like box. My Twitter name is @creativetizzy
  10. People who visit me seem to love my recipes and my tips.
  11. I took my blog design to a whole new level with pics I had from posting, to make my banner. I love it.
  12. I am learning how to manage my time, when it comes to preparing and scheduling my posts.
  13. The ideas, I just let them come. Somedays I was prepared far in advance. Some came to me just hours before. I let the creative process happen organically, if you will. Although I put pressure on myself to post I laid off the pressure to be creative and let it just flow out. And it did, each and every time.
  14. What I love the most is that so many people from all over the world have visited me and I am blown away by how far they are.
  15. I have learned all kinds of skills to get my blog out there. Blog marketing, posting on anothers blog, my signature, by following others blogs & my favorite, and tweeting and facebooking.
  16. I have become a better cook.
  17. I have become a better photographer.
  18. I have become a better version of myself, because of this self expression.
  19. I treated this almost like a part time job, but something I got to do, not something I had to do. Attitude is everything.
In conclusion, I am loving this. It keeps me sane and my mind alert and in constant thought about what I am going to do next. Since I am always coming up with ideas anyways this is the best outlet for that. I hope that if you followed along and you also did the posting challenges that you 1. Had fun, and 2. Accomplished some of your own goals 3. And learned somethings about me and you along the way. Till the next post, I bid you happy blogging. ~Christina

Day 29 CHALLENGE Change is good and blog gadgets!

If you have visited my blog lately you have noticed some changes. PINK...sorry pepto has nothing on me. Lol, I love change and get bored quickly. So I decided to work on my blog header since the other logo was huge and not centered. Blogger design can sometimes be challenging, especially with posting pictures, there is a learning curve. As with my old header it just wouldn't budge to the right. Now onto smaller and better. Thankfully now I have a pretty header that shows off some of my projects and pictures from my posts. I have alot of pictures from my posting CHALLENGES this month and was able to smack them together to make a collage. I love it and the new colors too! Hope you like it now too. I also have added some gadgets on the side like facebook and twitter [need to schedule these in to make sure I make the time to post to them properly]…I also have my poll for you to vote on and my communities I have in blogfrog. Please visit me when you get a chance to. I also need facebook followers 25 at least for it to have a landing page if you could hit the like button to the right and visit me there. Give me a wave and sign on my wall. Thanks in advance and I'll follow you back as well. Well that's it till tomorrow, but you know what tomorrow is, my last day for my posting Challenge. Can't wait to tell you the results of my experiment, meaning how I rose to a challenge just to prove it to myself that I could...ok no more tune in tomorrow!!!!!

Day 28 CHALLENGE 31 Tips to Couponing the Organized & Fun Way!

So I’ll start off by saying I was a great coupon clipper about 3 years ago. When the economy was hitting I had to hit the coupons religiously. I would spend 3 hours every Sunday perusing online and circulars to get the best bargains and with some work, I did! I had gotten really good at it and even got my husband in on it too. We’d even have savings competitions going to the store, those were fun. I think when it comes to couponing, to each his own, but I would err on the side of caution that if you do start couponing that you do it for the right reasons and that it doesn’t get to an unhealthy point. ie; hoarding, buying things just because you have a coupon or going to 10 different places all in one day just to get the maximum deals, which would waste time and gas (we all know how expensive that is now).
Anyways, the following are the ways that I have saved and since I am starting to see a buzz on facebook and messageboards about the show extreme couponing on TLC, I thought that I would post what I have done, to save you some time, and with work, some money.
When you set up the basics you will then be able to sit down, sort and cut out your coupons then file them accordingly. It will get easier and you’ll get faster, as you go.
  1. Buy a 1 1/2 “ binder and baseball card page protectors to hold your coupons that you are stocking up on.
  2. Buy printable labels for labeling your page protectors, each coupon slot is a different item. ie, canned goods, boxed goods, milk, diapers, etc…according to whatever the coupon is for.
  3. Get a small accordion coupon holder that will just hold the coupons you will be taking to the store for easy access, and filing. Usually they will have a band on them and I attach that to the part of the cart and slip it through attaching back to the the coupon filer to be hands free.  This will have tabs for labeling your aisles (I label by aisles of the store I usually go to). I felt if I labeled by what the items were that I was fumbling with what aisle is this or that in. Organization is key!!
  4. Make a spreadsheet Grocery List of what store you go to, what aisles you’ll need to hit, for what items and what coupon amounts you’ll be using. This can then be printed out and streamlines the process. When you save it, you’ll instantly have a template for the next time.
  5. Buy “ALL YOU” magazine, you can clip alot of coupons out of this.
  6. Go buy several copies of your local paper and bring them home, During certain times of the year they don’t have coupon circulars. Google this online or look it up through the links I posted below.
  7. Make sure you buy an Entertainment Book, these you can get at Walgreens for about $20 or usually a school is selling them. or Keep this in your car for when your out and about.
  8. Make sure you have a store key fob card for every store that hands one out. Take the time to fill out the application for each. Alot of times they not only send you coupons in the mail but they give you coupons printed out at their actual store.
  9. Join facebook and twitter for deals. Usually you can print out a coupon after you’ve LIKEd a stores fan page.
  10. Sign up for email at restaurants and local places online and they usually will have a bday club, and coupons sent to you in your email. Just print them off and go.
  11. Krogers has a service that you can go to their site and pick out your coupon deals then add them to your Kroger card online. Check your local store to see if they offer that service.
  12. Go to sites that let you download and print coupons, you can pick what you want for the week and alot of times they generally coincide with your local deals in the store so it really pays off at the checkout.
  13. Shop on double and triple coupon days if applicable.
  14. Use rainchecks if a store is out of an item and you still want to get the sale the next time the item is in.
  15. Send in your rebate checks if you purchase something save the receipt and instantly send in the info. to get your money back instantly or within the time they allot, which I think is up to 8 weeks depending on the manufacturer.
  16. Call up manufacturers directly and have them send you some coupons just for remarking about their products.
  17. Use your manufacturers coupons with the deals in the store that are on sale to get your items for pennies on the dollar or free.
  18. Read your coupons for specific item (if it’s any size, pick the trial, usually it’ll be for free), quantity, expiration and any small details that may flub up the order when you go to check out.
  19. You will find out what goes on sale and when. When to stock up and save at certain times of the year. When not to buy and hold out even if you wanted a certain item. Sometimes deals are worth the wait.
  20. When you go to checkout pick out the nicest or most knowledgeable cashier, as this will help with any problems you may encounter in your couponing.
  21. Make sure you keep an eye on your deals as they ring up and don’t give your card to them till the end when you can see what your true subtotal is then they scan your card. That will apply all of the in stores deals, then add your coupons after that and you start to see the savings. At the end of your receipt should say your total savings.
  22. Shop when your store tends to stock up their items. I usually shop at off times, after they stock up, because, like the movies I like going when there are not alot of crowds.
  23. Don’t forget to use coupons at places like, dept. stores, makeup stores, for haircuts, pet stores, fast food, movies, hotels, rental cars, etc….
  24. Almost forget Always keep a pen and calculator handy for adding up your cost and savings as you go.
  25. Have fun!
Here are some online things I have done that have helped me save.
  1. Ebates, make sure you join and you can go to Groupon in ebates and find local deals.
  2. I go to for local restaurant deals and usually you can get them for 1/2 price for dinners. Print out a coupon.
  3. Online coupon codes, especially at I have used them on so many occasions I can’t even count. For pizza and for dept. store purchases. I have saved alot with this.
  4. Read email or even answer a survey to get some coupon deals.
Well I hope that I have done my due diligence in helping some of you save on shopping. I am going to start serious couponing again, since watching the savings others have had can be inspiring and fun! I have attempted to track down as much as I can here. I also have a couple of links that helped me out in the beginning.
These sites can help you with everything and they even have databases for coupons.
I have also googled coupon sites before and alot comes up. See what you come up with and Happy Savings!~

Day 27 CHALLENGE You inspire me!!!!

I wanted to take the time out to tell each and everyone of my readers and followers just how much I appreciate you. Your following me means so much to me and I hope no matter where you are or what you do that you live each day being inspired to do your best no matter what that is. To be encouraged to live life to the fullest and to be motivated to reach for your dreams. We're all meant for a purpose and for greatness! As I look at all of the wonderful blogs out there that I follow I am inspired daily to give of myself through my blog to pay it forward, whatever "IT" should happen to be that day. Give and it will come back ten fold! Be inspiring this week I challenge you!

Day 26 CHALLENGE Homemade Chocolate Frosting & Have a Happy Easter!!!

Today was a bit crazy, not only is it the day before Easter (wink, wink for you parents), but for our family today is my husbands 39th birthday. I was running around so much and cooking and baking that it felt like Christmas time with everything going on. Well since I had forgotten to grab some frosting at the store when I bought his box cake, I wondered, hmmm could I make my own frosting, turns out on the back of a Hershey’s cocoa container (an absolute staple in my home and should be in yours too) they have a recipe for Perfect Frosting. I needed butter so went to get some, hence part of the running around today. I never knew I could make my own. I have made glazes in the past but was under the impression that bakers knew some deep dark secret not privy to the rest of us on how to make decadent chocolate frosting. WELL MY DEARS I HAVE MADE IT and is it YUMMY!!!! Let’s just say there was no talking when the cake was eaten tonight. ; )
Here’s what you’ll need for your frosting~
Here’s the directions~
It was so easy to make, it was a piece of cake, punny I know! Here’s the end result, talk about licking the spoon, licking your fingers, I think I got it on stuff just TOO lick it off it was so darn good. I will never buy the cartons of frosting ever again. Everyone agreed, it was just the right sweetness, ever so chocolatey and Mmm gooood!! Enjoy~
Oh and by the way Have a Happy Easter!!!

Day 25 CHALLENGE 10 Tips when going to the Movies. Especially when you have Kids

Going to the movies? Well you'll need these tips..Okay so my hubby, kids and I are professed movie buffs. We love at home DVD movies, Online movies and Theater movies. We go to kids movies, action movies and funny movies. My kids and I especially like 3D movies.

10 Movie Tips~
  1. Look through your Entertainment book for deals on movie tickets or freebies they usually have. Or if you can find any other coupons then use 'em. Entertainment can be found at your local Walgreens and they are $20 or you can pay for them online and get a discount I believe.
  2. Use plug in your zip code then it takes you to whatever cinemas are in your area. I have paid ahead of time before online if its a movie like the last Twilight movie I saw, to reserve my spots. They charge you for it though, so I only recommend that if it’s a premiere. If you are trying to save, like me then don’t order online. More for me to buy Charming Charlie stuff.
  3. Check out your time, lately I have been going on~off times, like 3:00 pm, on weekends near me the cost is $6.50-$6.75 on Saturdays or $5.00 per person on a Sunday, that is at a Carmike theater. They also have free movies for kids during the summer and they did have recession Tuesdays (not sure if they still do), where their food and drinks were dirt cheap. Call ahead to find out deals in your area. Saves time and money.
  4. A note on timing, I leave 40 minutes before my movies start time, leaving me 5 minutes driving time, 7 minutes for Walgreens trip for candy (explain that one later), 5 minutes to get tickets and 5 more minutes for food/drinks, then I am able to get a good seat wherever I want and get situated.
  5. Make sure the kids hit the bathroom before you go then you don’t have to take a potty break when your in the theater when there’s a good part on. Doesn’t it always figure too?!
  6. Find a parking spot near one of the exit doors on either side of the building and then you can hit the bathrooms on the way out and then exit and your parked right outside, bypassing the next crowd of people walking in.
  7. When you get there, make an initial purchase of $15.00 for a bucket of popcorn and when you bring it back the next time the refill is $2.50. This is at Carmike, not sure what deals are at your local theater, but I would call them up to ask, or fish around online. I saw alot of movies last year and spent $2.50 each time for a big bucket o' popcorn, lifesaver.
  8. Okay some will bawlk at this, but I do it and will continue too. I hit up the local Walgreens and I get my $1.00 Goobers/Whoppers/Junior Mints/ and Snowcaps. You could go to Walmart too, they have the same candy. Sorry folks I am a smuggler, I really refuse to pay, especially since I had had a conversation with one of the ushers at the food stand asking him why the outrageous prices and he literally told me, we don't make anything on the actual movies that's why we charge so much for sodas and snacks. That's dishonest in and of itself...I could get 4~2 Liters of coke for the price they charge for a large soda with ice. So I refuse, yes I have smuggled in sodas before. I am not dishonest just cheap!! lol. They can charge an arm and a leg, so I get rebellious, shhhh, don't tell...
  9. When you enter the theater and if you’re like me and don’t want anyone sitting right in back of you, (let’s face it sometimes you pick seats and it’s pretty empty and you sit down only to have another family sit down right behind you (could they possibly pick another spot, so that I don’t have to overhear their whole conversation, you know the type, hehe)), then sit in the first section all the way down but the absolute last row that separates the upper section. Your near the exit, for potty breaks and no one will be directly behind you. I always pick the middle for optimal viewing.
  10. Make sure you turn off you phone, or put it on vibrate, sit down, add the junior mints to your popcorn and have a great time watching your movie. Oh and don’t forget your big handful of napkins. Have fun.
5 stars and 2 thumbs up!!

Day 24 CHALLENGE Ebates and my new Droid X Smartphone

Hope everyone is doing well. I know I am!! Today was a great day I received my Package at my doorstep, yeah, and have been playing with the contents since 2:00 p.m. today.
SAM_0336 SAM_0338 Sneakin’ a peek
Droid X (My phone) & Droid 2 Global (my teenagers phone)
I had been a Verizon Wireless customer for 2 years now, and although I love their service I was not using it like I should’ve been. Now I have an upgraded phone that will give me my monies worth. So I extended my contract and got the phone for free. Yes, free!! Here’s what I did. I signed up with Ebates because there was a promotion that came up on my blog frog community about Ebates, so I clicked it and Registered. I was in the market for a new phone anyways and my new for 2 eligiblity was up on the 17th, so my son and I were eyeballing the new Droids out there. I had originally wanted an iphone, since I already have an ipod touch, but I got a deal in my email for the Thunderbolt and the Droid X you could get them if you are a current Verizon subscriber or a new customer. So I clicked and it brought me to the deal and then to wirefly, but still under ebates. Here’s what I got all together. $5 for new account, 12.50 per phone (2) rebates= $25    $30 total. I have $30 in my ebates account. Isn’t that cool. This is one case where it does certainly pay to shop. Here’s what I paid $0 for Droid X $6.99 for insurance, $49.99 for Droid 2 Global and $6.99 for insurance. The insurance is a monthly cost and is billed as a separate charge on my wireless bill. I then kept on top of wirefly to make sure of when they were sending my phones, I am obsessive about buying online and when I will get my products. Now onto the goodies, here’s what came in the phone box~
SAM_0345 SAM_0353 SAM_0358
The Phone, USB cable, this breaks away into a charging plug for wall and disconnect to plug into the computer. The battery, the back of the phone. I didn’t get any accessories but I did get insurance, just in case. Here’s what it looks like turned on~
SAM_0368 SAM_0372
I just want to encourage you, if you are in the market for a new phone and your eligible to get a new phone, then click on my Ebates link and check out their deals, this was way better than what Verizon had going. I had shopped around too, at Walmart and various online stores and this was the best deal since I got cash back. So I paid $71.00 with everything plus shipping, but if you subtract the $30 in my Ebates account I only paid $41 for 2 new smartphones!! Happy Shopping, ; )

Day 23 CHALLENGE Easy Microwave Ranch Pretzel Pieces

I know that I have been on a recipe kick here lately, but I can’t help it. It’s not good for the waist but, my family is eatin’ good. When I am done on my posting CHALLENGES at the end of the month, I am going on a fitness challenge next month, lol! Here is a Recipe for Easy Microwave Ranch Pretzel Pieces, 3X as much as you would get in those little premade bags. So if your saving money this is not a bad way to go and they are homemade.
Well here’s what you’ll need~
  1. 3/4 Cup of Oil
  2. 1~Hidden Valley Ranch Dip or Dressing in the packet, some use Buttermilk. I don’t know the difference really, one might be a little richer.
  3. 1~Tsp. Garlic Salt, you can use 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder to substitute.
  4. 1/4~Tsp. Dill Weed
  5. WEGE of Hanover Sourdough Broken Pretzel pieces, (Hanover was near where I used to live in PA) or you could use the Sturgis Pretzels (in the box) and break them up yourself.
  6. Bowl/Pyrex Measuring cup and a Spatula to mix
I don’t show the dill weed, I only had 1/4 of a teaspoon left and that’s what I needed.SAM_0298

Add your oil to Pyrex cup.SAM_0302Add the rest of the ingredients except Pretzels


Stir everything in the Pyrex cup til thoroughly mixed
Transfer the mixture to a big bowl, or you could use a big gallon sized baggy to mix.
Add pretzels pieces and mix well till every pretzel piece is well coated.
Microwave for 1~1/2 minutes/ 3X stirring mixture in between
Serve them warm and toasty and you and you’re kids will love ‘em! I had to stop eating them or my Vampire friends wouldn’t be able to visit, hehe!! It’s okay to have garlic once in a while, right?? A great snack….Till tomorrow!

Day 22 CHALLENGE Philly’s Chicken Primavera with Pasta

I love Philly Cooking Cream sauces, yum! I have tried the Original and Italian Cheese & Herb (shown) and they make life so easy in my chaotic household. I try to make recipes that are “Fairly” homemade as I love to cook, but alot of ingredients is 1. too expensive and 2. too complex, I like to make things easy. I decided to try the Recipe on the back of the container and it turned out really good, the hubs loved it! Here’s what you’ll need~
I used their recipe on the back, easy ingredients and easy making. I added more pasta, but you can add as much or as little as you want. SAM_0224
I brought water to a boil and added my Fettucine noodles~
SAM_0251 SAM_0243
I cooked my chicken in a pan and added the Asparagus Stir Fry Veggies per directions. Put the lid on and let it cook.

When it was time I added in the Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Cream, Yummmmy!!
Mixed it well~
Drained my Fettucine~ Then I added the noodles to my pan~
Mixed well again and cooked a couple of minutes then added to my bowl for serving~
Here’s the finished product. I made Garlic Bread and it went well with the meal. Bon Appetite’

Day 21 CHALLENGE LookyLoo Animal photos!

In case you were wondering: 1. In all my years when I was in Pennsylvania, I never came across this. Four Turkeys making a getaway and using my back yard to get there. 2. Notice the date, they knew something was up, November 25th was right around the corner!! 3. A swarm of blackbirds, I thought I was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. 4. My bird Baxy, she happened to land on the shower while it was on, crazy bird. 5. My buddy, the squirrel, he kept going up this tree and sitting on the littlest branch then he’d check out the pond next to our home and he stayed like this for a long time. 6. Our Beagle Chloe’ her nose was always buttin’ into something. 7. Kitten and her FurReal Kitten. 8. Sassy and Sophie doing there usual mid-afternoon, love/hate dance. 9. Sassy as a kitten in her favorite basket/bed. 10. The Salamander that crossed our back patio. See you tomorrow, leave me some comments!! Adios

Day 20 CHALLENGE Chris’s Easy Pasta Salad with Bacon Pieces

  1. Garden Rotini 1 Box
  2. Mediterranean Italian Dressing (I usually use a dressing of Olive Oil Salt Pepper Oregano) has lemon and feta cheese. 1/2 bottle.
  3. Medium Pitted Olives 3/4 of can/ olives cut in half. The rest you eat!!
  4. Real Bacon Pieces whole pouch
  5. 1 Cucumber peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  6. 9 Cherry tomatoes okay I snacked on some, but I left enough for my Pasta Salad, cut those in half.
  7. 1 Pepper cut up into bite sized pieces
  1. Boil Pasta
  2. While Pasta is boiling cut up your veggies and put into big dish SAM_0192and add bacon pieces. Mix with a spoon.
  3. Add in your dressing, like I said this can be olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Or use what I did (something new and to liven it up). Mediterranean Italian dressing adds lemon and feta with vinegar. So depending on what you like go for but I tend to like my olive oil dressing.  SAM_0198
  4. Put in fridge and let marinate.
  5. Next strain your pasta and run cold water over it in the sink until it is cold. Being careful while folding it over in the strainer as you cool it. This is so you can eat it right away.SAM_0200
  6. Add  Pasta to your bowl of marinated veggies and bacon and stir. Refrigerate after sampling the goods! Enjoy, I did, it was yummy!! I invite your comments, let me know what you think!!SAM_0202

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