Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tennessee Tax Free Holiday 12:01 a.m on Friday, August 3 and ends Sunday, August 5 at 11:59 p.m.


For a complete list of exempt items please click:  http://tn.gov/revenue/salestaxholiday/One%20Pager%20Overview.pdf





The State of Tennessee's Annual Sales Tax Holiday is held every year on the first Friday in August and ends the following Sunday night. This year's tax-free holiday weekend begins at 12:01 a.m on Friday, August 3 and ends Sunday, August 5 at 11:59 p.m.

Receive Rewards for Ink and toner cartridge recycling, up to $20 per month


Photo Credit Staples Advantage

Want a simple way to keep your desk area clean, help the environment, and get some bucks back, "Recycle your empty ink and toner cartridges at  Your Local Staples Store  and get $2 back in Staples Rewards® for each one. So not only will you save on future purchases, but you can also feel good about reducing waste in our landfills."  That is up to $20 free rewards per month, not bad!  Sign up for your staples reward card at the front counter today.
"Limit 10 cartridges per customer per month."

"15 Clutter Busting Routines For Any Family"



Photo Credit Home Creat

I found this handy list on Joshua Becker's Becoming A Minimalist Blog.  It is handy and worthy of refrigerator pinning until everyone in the family gets the hang of the routines:



Almost three years ago, my family and I decided to start living a minimalist life. Since then, we have tried to remove all of the possessions from our home that are not essential. In doing so, we have found new opportunity to spend our time, energy, and finances on the things that are most important to us.
Also, we became far more observant about how our things rob us of our precious freedom. We have learned that just like most families, no matter how hard we try to stop it, stuff inevitably continues to enter our home… nearly every single day. And so we work hard to remove any clutter that begins to accumulate in our home. Along the way, we have picked up (and try to practice) some helpful clutter busting routines.
Here are 15 Clutter Busting Routines that we have found particularly helpful in our home:1. Place junk mail immediately into a recycling bin. Take note of the natural flow of mail into your home. Placing a recycling container prior to your “mail drop-off zone” can catch most of that junk mail before it even reaches your counter. And as an added bonus, you’ll begin to look through less of it too (think advertisements).
2. Store kitchen appliances out of sight. Toasters, can openers, coffee makers… they all take up space. And while it may not seem like much space by looking at them, the first time you prepare dinner on a counter without them present, you’ll quickly notice the difference. If you think it’s going to be a hassle putting them away every morning, don’t. It takes less than 6 seconds to put each appliance away… once you’ve found a home for it that is.
3. Remove 10 articles of clothing from your closet today. Go ahead. If you are typical, it’ll take you roughly 5 minutes to grab 10 articles of clothing that you no longer wear and throw them in a box. Your remaining clothes will fit better in your closet. Your closet will be able to breathe again. And if you write “Goodwill” on the box when you are done, you’ll feel better about yourself as soon as you drop it off. Most likely, you’ll find yourself inspired to do it again.
4. Fold clean clothes / Remove dirty clothes immediately. The way I handle clothes these days is one of the biggest clutter changes I have made in my life. Unfortunately, I used to be a “throw-them-on-the-floor” guy. But now I handle each one right when I take it off. Dirty clothes down the clothes chute. Clean clothes back to the hanger or drawer. That’s it. It’s really that simple. How do the dirty ones magically appear clean and folded in my closet you ask… I’m not sure. You’ll need to ask my wife.
5. Kids’ bedroom toys live in the closet. Not on the floor. Not on the dresser. But in the closet. And when the closet gets too full of toys, it’s time to make some room. Hint, it’s usually safe to remove the toys at the bottom of the pile.
6. Kids pick up their toys each evening. This has countless benefits: 1) It teaches responsibility. 2) It helps kids realize that more isn’t always better. 3) The home is clean for mom and dad when the kids are in bed. 4) It’s a clear indication that the day has come to an end. Gosh, you’d think with all these benefits it would be easier for us to get the kids to do it…
7. Fill your containers for the garbage man. Use every trash pick-up day as an excuse to fill your recycling containers and/or garbage cans. Grab a box of old junk from the attic… old toys from the toy room… old food from the pantry… old paperwork from the office. If once a week is too often, do this exercise every other week. You’ll get the hang of it. And may even begin to enjoy trash morning… okay, I won’t go that far.
8. Halve decorations. No seriously, I mean it. Grab a box and walk through your living room. Remove decorations from shelves, tables, and walls that aren’t absolutely beautiful or meaningful. You may like it better than you think. If not, you can always put them back. But I’d bet my wife’s old high school yearbooks that you won’t return all of them.
9. Wash dishes right away. Hand washing some dishes takes less time than putting them in the dishwasher. This applies to cups, breakfast bowls, dinner plates, and silverware. If hand washed right after eating, it takes hardly any time at all. If however, hand washing is just not an option for you, be sure to put used dishes in the dishwasher right away. Nobody likes walking into a kitchen with dishes piled up in the sink or on the counter… and it’s even less fun eating in there.
10. Unmix and match cups, bowls, plates, and silverware. Uniformity makes for better stacking, storing, and accessing. If there is a souvenir cup or mug that is so important to you that you can’t live without it, that’s perfectly fine. Just don’t keep 5 of them. Mom, any chance you are reading this?
11. Keep your desk clear and clean. Drawers can adequately house most of the things needed to keep your desk functional. And a simple filing system should keep it clear of paper clutter. The next person who sits down to use the desk will thank you.
12. Store your media out of sight. Make a home for dvd’s, cd’s, video games, and remote controls. They don’t need to be in eyesight, you use them less than you think. And if you remove them from your eyesight… maybe you’ll use them even less.
13. Always leave room in your coat closet. There are two reasons why coats, shoes, and outerwear keep ending up scattered throughout your home rather than in your closet. The first reason is because your coat closet is so full, it’s a hassle to put things away and retrieve them quickly. Leave room on the floor, on the hangers, and on the shelves for used items to be quickly put away and retrieved. The second reason is because you have kids… but you’re on your own with that one.
14. Keep flat surfaces clear. Kitchen counters, bathroom counters, bedroom dressers, tabletops… After you clear them the first time, keeping them clean takes daily effort. Receipts, coins, and paper clutter just keep coming and coming… it’s just easier the second time around.
15. Finish a magazine or newspaper. Process or recycle immediately. If you’ve finished the paper product, process it and rid yourself of its clutter immediately. Good recipe in there? Put it in your recipe box and recycle the rest. Good article that your husband will enjoy? Clip it and recycle.  Article that your friend will enjoy? Clip it, mail it, and recycle (or better yet, search for it online and send it that way). Coupon too good to pass up? Cut it out and recycle. Stacks of magazines and newspapers serve little purpose in life but to clutter a room.

Thank you Joshua Becker

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crème Brulée: (serves 6)





Photo Credit:  Thank you Riley Madel

Ingredients
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water

DIRECTIONS


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. 

Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the Crème brûlée is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.  Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
Remove the Crème brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. 

Allow the Crème brûlée to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

May top with fruit, pistachio 

Credit:  Thank you Riley Madel

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

50 Questions to Ask your Spouse on a Date Night

I found this awesome list on Pastor Zack Terry's website Date Night Questions Compiled by Pastor Zack Terry   He suggests regular date nights for married couples and going over a few
of these questions during each date.


1.  What are your 5 favorite foods, with the most favorite first?

2.  What are your 5 favorite kinds of meals, with the most favorite first?
3.  What are your 5 favorite desserts, with the most favorite first?
4.  What are your 5 favorite restaurants, with the most favorite first?
5.  What is your favorite color?
6.  What are your 5 favorite hobbies, with the most favorite  first?
7.  What are your 5 favorite recreations, with the most favorite  first?
8.  What are your 5 favorite sources of reading, with the most favorite  first?
9.  What gifts do you like?
10.  What is your favorite books(s) of the Bible? Why?
11.  What is your favorite verse(s) of the Bible?  Why?
12.  What is your favorite song?
13.  What makes you the most fulfilled or happiest as a woman/man?
14.  What makes you the most fulfilled or happiest as a wife/husband?
15.  What makes you the most fulfilled or happiest as a mother/father?
16.  What makes you saddest as a woman/man?
17.  What makes you saddest as a wife/husband?
18.  What makes you saddest as a mother/father?
19.  What do you fear the most?
20.  What other fears do you have?
21.  What do you look forward to the most?
22.  How much sleep do you need?
23.  What do you consider to be your skills?
24.  What do you believe to be your spiritual gifts?
25.  What are your weaknesses?
26.  To ask wife:  What things (personal, home, car, etc.) need repairing?
       To ask husband:  What things around the home need to be cleaned?
27.  To ask wife:  With what chores and responsibilities do you like my help?
       To ask husband:  How can I make it easier for you to lead our family?
28.  What caresses do you enjoy the most?
29.  What caresses do you enjoy the least?
30.  What action of mine provides you the greatest sexual pleasure? 
31.  What other things stimulate you sexually?
32.  At what times do you need assurance of my love the most?
33.  How can that love be shown?
34.  What can I do that will make it easier to discuss and work on areas or problems that are uncomfortable to you?
35.  What concerns do you have that I do not seem interested in?
36.  What things do I do that irritate you?
37.  What desires do you have that we haven’t discussed?
38.  What do you enjoy doing with me, with the most enjoyable  first?
39.  What things can I do that show my appreciation of you?
40.  What varying desires (spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, social, worth, 
            appreciations, recreational, security, etc.) would you like me to provide? 
41.  To ask wife:  In what ways would you like me to protect you (physically, spiritually, socially, emotionally)?
       To ask husband:  In what ways would you like me to respect and reverence you?
42.  In what ways would you like me to sacrifice for you?
43.  What things do you see by my actions that I place first in my life?
44.  What implied or unspoken desires and wishes of yours would you like for me to
            fulfill?
45.  What concerns and interests of yours would you like me to support?
46.  How much time would be good for us to spend together each day?
47.  In helping family members to use their skills and develop their abilities, what
            motivating factors would be helpful for me to use?
48.  What can I do that provides the greatest comfort and encouragement for you when   
            you are hurt, fearful, anxious or worried?
49.  What personal habits do I have that you would like changed?
50.  What ways demonstrate to you that you are a very important person who is as important or more important than I am?

Source:  zach terry

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough and "Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks {just like in restaurants!}"




 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 2-¼ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Or Canola Oil
  • 3 cups Bread Flour (Not All-purpose!)

    Preparation Instructions

    In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into the warm water. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix. Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour, bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it, it doesn’t stick to your hands.
    Once you reach this stage, turn the mixer on high to knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away! Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes! That seems to be the magical number. The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be clean at the end of the 6 minutes. If the bowl still has flour in it, add a few drops of water. If the dough is still sticking to the sides, add a little more flour.
    Then, lightly grease the bowl and the dough so it doesn’t dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours.
    Then top it and prepare it according to your favorite pizza recipe.
    Yield: 2-12 inch pizzas or 1 large 18-20 inch pizza.

    Source:  Tasty Kitchen


Monday, July 16, 2012

1-2-3 Cake, DIY & Gifts w/ Mason Jars



You could even make this up and give a Christmas gifts; either the whole recipe or in a small glass jelly or Mason with the directions to make more and how to mix up and bake.

 As a quick and lightly laden (calorie wise) desert it is a find.

 Ingredients:

 1 box Angel Food cake mix
 1 box any flavor cake mix
2 T. water

 Directions: Using a large plastic bowl with a tightly fitting lid or a large zip lock bag, combine the two boxes of cake mix stirring or shaking well. For each individual serving, take out 3 T. of the cake mixture and mix it with 2 T. of water in a small microwave safe container. I used a small coffee mug. Microwave on high for 1 minute. You now have your own instant individual cake and it is warm and inviting. You can top with a dollop of fruit or whipped topping if you like. Try various flavors of cake mix but it must always be combined with an Angel Food mix. Keep the mix tightly sealed in an airtight container until used and remember: This recipe is called 1-2-3 Cake because all you need to remember is 3 T.mix, 2 T. water, and 1 minute in the microwave.

Source:  The Hidden Pantry


Friday, July 13, 2012

Black Friday All Year Long


Photo Credit BackFriday.com


Sign up now to receive updates to be ready for Back Friday deals far ahead of time  http://blackfriday.com/

From their website:

BlackFriday.com is a one-stop destination for everything shoppers need for Black Friday 2012. From early access to Black Friday ads to bargain-hunting tips to the best deals from top retailers, BlackFriday.com is the ultimate resource for the nation's biggest shopping day.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Candy Cane Fudge




Photo Credit:  All Recipes


Ingredients

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages vanilla baking chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes
  • 1 dash red or green food coloring

Directions

  1. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease the foil.
  2. Combine the vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. When chips are completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and candy canes.
  3. Spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill for 2 hours, then cut into squares.  Source:  AllRecipes.com 

Casa Di Amore






"Casa Di Amore is Vegas, the way it used to be! Your dining experience is sure to be delightful. Wonderful old school atmosphere with traditional Italian fare, live entertainment nightly and friendly, knowledgeable service. Menu selections include Osso Bucco, Cioppino, Steak Sinatra, and Pork Chops with Vinegar and Peppers. Everything is house made with attention to quality and taste." Recommended by Trip Advisor.  Source:http://www.casadiamore.com/

Great wine selection and full bar, plus a hip, yet old school comfy lounge. Call ahead & make a reservation and ask for complimentary limo pickup.  Approximately 5 minutes from the strip. Phone: (702) 433-4967  

Five-Minute Fudge Wreath


Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 9 ounces (3/4 of a 12-ounce bag) butterscotch morsels
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup (a couple of handfuls) currants
  • 8-inch cake pan, lightly greased with softened butter
  • Candied cherries, red and green, for garnish, optional

Directions

Place a heavy pot on the stove and preheat it over low heat. Add chips and milk and stir until chips are melted and milk combined. Save the empty condensed milk can. Stir in vanilla and remove fudge from heat. Add nuts and currants and stir in immediately.
Cover empty condensed milk can with plastic food wrap and center it in the greased cake pan. Spoon fudge into pan around can, making sure to recenter can if it drifts.
The fudge will set up almost immediately. Garnish can only be added in the first minute or 2 the fudge is in the pan, so work quickly. Decorate your wreath with "holly" made from cut candied red and green cherries. A wreath left plain can be garnished with a pretty fabric bow when serving. Chill covered in the refrigerator and slice fudge very thin when ready to serve, a little goes a long way.  
Source:  Rachel Ray

Blogger's note:  I use my own homemade vanilla, makes all the difference in taste and aroma.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Princess Diana’s Wedding Cake Recipe





Princess Diana’s Wedding Cake Recipe

Disclaimer:  I can not attest to the authenticity as I found this recipe on the blog
of another, however, looks good so I'm going to try it out.

1 1/4 cup oil
3 eggs, beaten with mixer

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

8 ounces crushed pineapple, with juice

1 1/2 cup chopped bananas

1 cup chopped apples

3/4 cup coconut

3/4 cup chopped nuts



Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese

1 Stick of Butter
  (Many say 1/4  cup of oil????)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups powdered sugar


PREPARATION:
Grease and flour the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan. 

Mix together the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Sift the dry ingredients; add to mixture. Add remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 48 minutes. 















Source:  Miss Spencer's Blog


Frosting: 

Mix butter and vanilla extract into cream cheese. Add powdered sugar. Mix well.
1 1/4 cup oil


Mason Jar Center Piece Made Easy




All you need is flowers, Jars, and ribbon,  Simple yet elegant appearance!

Source:  tiffany lane handmade

Mason Jars Candle Center Piece





Quick & easy centerpiece

Materials:
Mason Jars
Ribbon or String
Marbles
Floating Candles
Water


"You will need mason jars, ribbon or string, marbles, floating candles, and water. To begin, tie the ribbon or string you chose around the neck of the mason jar. Next, fill the bottom of the mason jar with marbles; get creative and feel free to add colored marbles. Once the marbles are in the jar pour water into the jar filling it about ¾ full. Finally, add the floating candle and light the wick. They can also make great favors to send home with guests!"  Source:  DIY Mason Jars - Eventup


Friday, July 6, 2012

Groupon Zeo Mobile Sleep Manager – Online Deal $39 for Zeo Mobile Smartphone-Compatible Sleep Manager ($99 List Price)

$39 for Zeo Mobile Smartphone-Compatible Sleep Manager ($99 List Price)

Click Below For this deal

Click For Groupon Deals




Types of School Choice

Okay this post is not about coupons, not exactly...  However, it is economic in nature.  The monies paid though taxation, particularly property tax used to maintain an inefficient school system could be better utilized as vouchers.  In a voucher system parents are "given" the option of sending children to the school of their choice whether non-religious, religious, public or private.  Funds expended by school districts would be allocated to families in the form of vouchers to pay full or partial tuition costs for the child's education. 

Vouchers not only "give" choice to the family, it saves tax payer monies as better educated adults are less of a tax burden throughout their lives  Fiscal Consequences of Dropouts , in our state (Tennessee) dropouts costs on an average of $750 yearly in lost tax revenue, $1,100 Medicaid, $950 incarnation, "Tennessee has a population of more than 750,000 high school dropouts. At a cost of nearly $3,000 per individual annually, dropouts cost the state more than $2 billion a year"

For further information, please see Educational Choice: Resources For Tennessee,  For other states please see drop down menu School Choice In Your State .     




Monday, July 2, 2012

Fly Away Airport Parking Services Nashville Airport 50% off

This is a great deal, we have used this service for many years, no complaints. Quick, easy, convenient!

Choose Between Two Options

  • $24 for four days of valet parking plus airport shuttle service (a $48.80 value)
  • $42 for seven days of valet parking plus airport shuttle service (an $84.65 value)

Fly Away Airport Parking Services

Open 24 hours a day with free shuttles departing every five to six minutes, Fly Away Airport Parking Services efficiently whisks travelers to the Nashville International Airport. At the fenced-in parking lot just five minutes from the terminal, valet attendants load customers' luggage onto the shuttles and keep watchful eyes on the parked cars at all hours. In addition to their eyes, strategically placed surveillance cameras oversee the entire facility and encourage vehicles to write postcards to their owners. Assuring overall security, the fence stays locked when the airport is closed and extra-bright lights illuminate the complex. Through Fly Away's car-wash and detailing services, staffers also attend to vehicles with hand washes, waxing, and vacuuming.






To purchase this deal please click Groupon Nashville Parking Deal; save 50% park an go
I've been off of the blog for quite some time dealing with a family illness.  Hope to be back to daily blogging soon.