Deals of the Week – 4/27

Here are today’s deals – check them out before they are gone! Don’t forget that Kroger has a huge 5x coupon sale, where you can stock up on some good deals.

April 16-30 – 15% Off Mother’s Day Gifts with GIFT4MOM at Crayola.com

Sophie17 Womens Braidy2 Flat Sandal Shoes – $14.99 Shipped!

Buy One Get One 50% Off select Sandals at Academy.com!

Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set – $8.87 Shipped!

12 months of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine for $5.00

LIMITED TIME ONLY! Buy 5 Oils Get 1 Free [10mL] + FREE Bonus Box at Plant Therapy! Use Code MYOWNSET Today and Save!

Unbranded* Women’s Sleeveless Dress Pockets Casual Swing T-Shirt Dresses $14.81 Shipped

CobraCo Evening Sky Campfire Ring – $24.99 Shipped Today ONLY


4×4 PrintBook
or 4×6 only $1.75 when you use coupon code BOOK75 – Ends May 1st!

4x4 PrintBook

Banana Bread

I mentioned yesterday that I have been trying to save a little money on my groceries lately. I was inspired by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom to go to the store and look for the clearance deals. I have been getting some great deals on meats, bread, yogurt, and milk. Yesterday morning I happened upon some clearance out bananas, and I decided that it would be really fun to make some banana bread.

I haven’t been able to bake in a while because I’ve been so busy. But I really enjoy baking, it’s one of my favorite things to do. There’s something fun about making something from scratch and feeding it to your family. I also occasionally try new things (and fail) and torture my family by making them eat them, so there’s also that.

When I got home from the store, I went looking for a recipe for banana bread. Over the years I have tried a lot of recipes for banana bread. Some of them have been awesome, especially the ones that contain cream cheese. Because cream cheese makes everything better. I found this recipe on the Kitchn. I have used many recipes from here before when I was making dinner or cooking something from scratch. The recipes on this site are always really reliable.

Something that I really liked about this recipe is that you were able to sub out some of the ingredients for more healthy options. I decided that instead of using white sugar that I would try to use my coconut sugar. It has  been sitting in my pantry for a while and I really needed to use it.

That was the only substitution that I made yesterday but I was thinking that you could also say about coconut oil for the butter if you wanted to. You could also use brown sugar instead of coconut or white sugar. I really think that the coconut sugar gave it a lot of flavor. I also didn’t completely mash my bananas so there are some chunks of banana in the bread. I personally think the big chunks make the bread even better .

Some ideas for using your banana bread :

Send it to lunch with your kids.

Have a slice for breakfast with your coffee or tea.

Use it as a dessert or serve it with ice cream.

Add some chocolate chips and make muffins for the kids breakfast or lunches.

Serve it as a side at dinner.

You can find the original recipe here.

Banana Bread
Rate this recipe

Yield: 8

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Coconut sugar
  • A little bit of sugar to sprinkle on top
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium bananas, very ripe
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line an 8x5-inch loafpan
  2. with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling. Spray the inside with cooking spray.
  3. If using nuts, toast them in the oven for 10 minutes as the oven is pre-heating.
  4. Melt the butter in the microwave or you can substitute coconut oil.
  5. Combine the butter and sugar. Place the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until combined. (You can also use a stand mixer)
  6. Add the eggs. Mix until completely combined and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Add the milk and vanilla, mix in.
  8. Mash in the bananas. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl. Using the end of the whisk or a dinner fork, mash them into the batter. Leave the bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer. If you prefer an entirely smooth banana bread, mash the bananas.
  9. Fold in the nuts or chocolate, if using.
  10. Scatter the nuts or chocolate over the batter and gently fold them in. separately until no more lumps remain, and then whisk them into the batter.
  11. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/banana-bread/

Enjoy!!

Pantry Boy

This week has been extra busy and fun for me. I was able to get a really cool deal to share with my blog readers. Pantry Boy agreed to send me a their weekly meals and let me try them out for free, so I could share it with you. So let me start by saying that this is the first time I have ever used a fresh meal delivery service.

First, I went to their site www.pantryboy.com and chose a meal plan. There are 3 to choose from Carnivore, Omnivore, and Vegetarian. Carnivore is $62.34 per week for 2, Omnivore is $58.14 per week for 2 and Vegetarian is $53.94 per week for 2. Now, if you need meals for 4, you would double those prices. For that you get 3 fresh, fully prepped, ready to cook meals delivered to your door.

I will say that some of the salad options have been a little different this week, but the food has been really good. The Garlic Lemon Chicken and Mashed Potatoes was so delicious, and it took me about 30 minutes to make that. Most of the time was spent letting the potatoes boil, but the mashing part was so easy. The only thing we didn’t love was the celery in the salad, but I don’t like celery unless it is cooked, so I wasn’t too disappointed. (Side note: The kids really liked this meal)

The next meal was Baked Harissa Chicken. I looked it up and harissa is a Moroccan “condiment”, that is used there like ketchup, mustard, and mayo here. This dish used chicken thighs that were also premarinated, red potatoes, and a Morroccan salad mix. I thought it was all delicious, but my husband wasn’t a huge fan of the salad. (Side note : Kids liked all but the salad.)

Tonight we are having Slow Cooker Coconut Beef Stew. It has been cooking all day and smells absolutely delicious! I taste tested it and I think it is really good. I was honestly a little worried about the coconut part, because the taste can be a little strong, but there is a good bit of other flavor mixed in. The meat was really tender and the potatoes had so much flavor. We mixed the rice pilaf in with the stew and it was really good. I would not have personally paired those things together, so I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

All in all, I have really liked Pantry Boy. The meals have been easy, convenient, and delicious. I don’t know that I would do this every week, but I love it for busy days and nights. My son with Autism didn’t try any of the food that I made, but that is normal no matter what I make. My daughter, Kate did try and like most of what they sent, so for me that makes it a success.

 

Check it out here : www.pantryboy.com

If you try it out, let me know in the comments how you liked it!

 

#pantryboyeats

 

 

Weekly Deals – April 14

 

Hello Friends! I am late with weekly deals! What a busy week this has been! I had my sweet, 3-year-old nephew for a couple of days and I barely got anything done! How did I ever have a 3 and 1-year-old at the same time? Somehow we all made it through!

So all of that to say this weeks Friday post, is now a Saturday post!

One of the ways I stay sane is by filling up my soul.

About 9 years ago, when my son Caleb was born, I rediscovered my love of reading. I spent so much time breastfeeding and I would start to feel a little antsy during those long nursing sessions. I had been taking my older daughter to the library to keep her busy, and one day decided that I would check a book out for myself.

 

I still remember reading the first few pages of that book, I was sucked in immediately. The words playing a movie in my mind, as I read page after page. I would later realize that this book was part of a series, so I went back and read them all. If you have time for a series, I highly recommend it. Naked in Death  is the first book in the series. If you like mystery/crime novels, you will love this. Trust me!

These days I don’t have nearly as much time to read, but I have plenty of time to listen. So, I use Audible and listen to audiobooks. I just finished Shauna Niequist’s Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living. I listened while I drove, folded laundry, cooked dinner, and cleaned out closets. You can try it out for free, and each month your membership fee gives you a credit.

Right now I am “reading” Jen Hatmaker’s Of Mess and Moxie. She reads the book herself, and she sometimes deviates from the script to tell the listener a story, which is a bonus. She is absolutely hilarious, and her story telling ability is phenomenal. Click on the picture below to get signed up!

 

I was able to scan through Amazon and find a few more deals as well.

If your child has braces, they are running a deal right now on the Waterpik Water Flosser.

I am a stripes kind of girl and I found this YunJey short sleeve round neck triple color block stripe T-shirt casual blouse on sale for $15.99 with free Prime shipping.

These cute sandals:The Children’s Place Girls’ Braided SS Flat Sandal, Silver for $12.75 shipped!

Also right now Crazy 8 has  20% Off + Free Shipping with code SPRINGSPREE. Click Here to go to their website.

Ezpz is a company that makes mess free mealtime mats for children.

My son’s therapist uses one in feeding therapy and has been able to get him to touch foods and engage in therapy with one of them. They are offering free shipping on all U.S. orders when you use the promo code EZPZFREESHIPPING. You can also get a FREE Bib with an ezpz Mat or Bowl Purchase with code SILLYBIB – While supplies last! (Minimum $18.49 Mat or Bowl Purchase to Qualify for Free Bib) Check out their site Here. 

Finally, I wanted to tell you about a product that I am really excited about.

Want shortcuts and tools to help you create a home and life you love?
Then let me tell you about something over 100,000 women have already discovered.
It’s called The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle .

This wildly popular bundle comes around just once a year (this is its 6th year!) and it’s only available until Monday night. If you’re ready to organize and declutter your home, learn to balance your many roles, be a more intentional mom, and put delicious meals on the table faster and easier, then you will definitely want to pick up this bundle for just $29.97 (pssst? it’s worth over $3,680!).

But you have to act fast, at a price like this, they can only offer it for six days! Go get yours here: Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

So let me tell you why I am so excited about this. This bundle is packed full of really valuable items, and even if you won’t use all of it, the price is still worth it.

So far, I have downloaded/used :

  • 2018 Budget Binder by kaitlin stearns
  • REAL LIFE ON A BUDGET PLANNER by jessi fearon
  • SUZANNE BOWEN FITNESS 3 MONTH SUBSCRIPTION by suzanne bowen
  • HEALTHY LUNCHBOX IDEAS FOR KIDS by erin myers
  • FOUR WAYS TO STUDY THE BIBLE by sarah e. frazer
  • 4 WEEKS TO A MORE PRODUCTIVE LIFE by crystal paine
  • BLOG BOSS! PROFITABLE BLOG FROM THE START by chelsea clarke

In my season of life, I am very interested in learning everything I can about running my own business. There are 10 resources in this bundle dedicated to just this subject.

There are also 8 bonuses included from Scribd, Bloom Naturals, Strawsome, Kiwi Co., Cultivate What Matters Shop, Hope Ink (which I loved!!), Orglamix, and Bookroo.

It is definitely worth looking at and seeing if this is something you want!

 

 

Summer Strawberry Pie

When I was growing up, my mom used to make the best strawberry pie in the spring and summer. Now, I haven’t been blessed with a great memory, but I do remember helping her make these pies. If I remember something, it must have been meaningful to me. There is something about cooking with my mom that brings back several great memories from when I was growing up.

These strawberry pies are delicious, and they get eaten very quickly. It got to where she had to make two because we would eat them so fast. You better get a piece before it’s gone!

 

When I got married and had children, I carried on the tradition of making strawberry pie for my family too. They are such a big deal in my house that there may or may not have been some arguments over who ate all the pie. I mean, this is serious business around here folks! In fact, when preparing to share this recipe, I considered making an extra and finding a way to ship it to my oldest daughter. She is going to be mad that I made it without her here!

These are great to let your kids help with!

You only need four ingredients. Pie shells, strawberries, glaze, and Coolwhip.

 

Summer Strawberry Pie
Rate this recipe

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Strawberries
  • 1 package Strawberry Glaze
  • 1 frozen pie crust
  • Cool Whip (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Prick the pie crust with a fork. All over.
  3. Follow instructions on pie crust package to cook an empty pie shell.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Cut the tops off all strawberries, then cut in half or fourths, depending on the size of the berry.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, combine strawberries and glaze, mix well.
  7. Pour the mix into the cooled pie shell.
  8. Serve or refrigerate for later.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/summer-strawberry-pie/

These pies are so easy to make and they are very kid friendly. (Unless you have a son like mine who has a very limited diet, but that is a story for another time) They are also great for the summer time, because they are served cold. You only have to turn your oven on for about 20 minutes, so it shouldn’t make the house too hot either.

I hope your family enjoys them as much as ours does! 

 

Stepping Out in Faith and Letting Go of Fear

Life and aging have been on my mind quite a bit lately. I’m not sure exactly what has sparked this, but I suspect that the fact that I am turning 37 soon may have something to do with it. I have found myself feeling like I wish I could have another baby.

In my sane, rational mind, I know that this is not something that I actually want. It has more to do with the children I have than fictional babies that I don’t. They are all growing up, and a chapter of my life is beginning to close.

Since last  year when Kate started Kindergarten, I have loved having all my children in school. Until recently, I haven’t missed them at all. I enjoyed the quiet house, and the ability to get things done in peace. All of a sudden, it has crept up on me that I miss them. A lot.

I think what I dislike the most is the fast, frantic pace at which our days go. Mornings can get really crazy at our house. I am tired. They are tired. They are grumpy. I am trying to get a child with Autism to take his medication and feeling the frustration that we go through this same song and dance every day.

“Bud, we both know this only ends one way. You take the medication, and then we all go to school. So why are you making me want to scream like a mad woman at you for being so ridiculous?” 

Literally. Every Morning.

The last thing I want is to have to yell at my kids in the morning before school. That is not how I want to start my day, and not how I want to start theirs either. Can you imagine if I tried to add a baby to the mix? Please. You would have to cart me off to a mental hospital. I’m not even kidding.

So what is it that has me feeling this way? I think 40 is creeping up on me and I am realizing that my life is finally to a point that I can actually start doing some of the things I have put off for so long. And that is really scary, because I have only done for others for such a long time.

I know I can raise a baby. I have managed through four, so I have got that down! The things that I have dreamed of doing for so long, are things that I don’t know if I can do. They are scary things. As long as I keep them in a little box labeled dreams, they are safe. But if I open the box, what happens next?

I don’t know, and that is the thing! It is so much easier to stick to what you know, but how will you ever know what you can accomplish if you don’t open that box?

So if you are holding on to the things you know, like me, and afraid to move toward the dreams that God has put on your heart. Stop.

Step out in faith, and say Okay, God. Here I am.

And see what he does.

 

I find that when I read, it gives me so much inspiration. If you are someone who struggles with fear like me, here are some great books to read. These are all books that I have read, and I very highly recommend them!

Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life

Love Warrior: A Memoir

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Weekly Deals

I am really excited to be trying something new this week on the blog. I have shared grocery deals before, but I have never shared shopping deals before. Mostly because these posts take up a lot of time! But I love to shop for bargains! We have four kids, so if isn’t on sale, it probably is being bought by me!!

So this week, I put together some deals from stores I love and some Amazon items that have free prime shipping. One local deal to share is that Sprouts has Strawberries on sale for .98 this week! Can you say strawberry pie!? (hint: that might be next weeks recipe)

I also talked about essential oils in my Autism post earlier this week, so I wanted to share with you my favorite brand. We have used them for several years now, and I love that they have free shipping and reasonable prices. The Humbled Homemaker wrote an Honest Review if you would like more information.

Here are all of this weeks deals:

$5 Tees, Mix/Match, and Dealbuster Shorts at Crazy8

40% Off Regular Price Items at Gymboree

Up to 70% off daily boutique deals at Groopdealz!

Through 4/16 – 20% Off Adult Coloring items with code COLOR20

Cleaning Set

 

 

 

Get FREE Shipping & FREE Returns on Every Order at Plant Therapy!  

 

 

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

 

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Women’s Daily Beauty Sample Box (get equal credit for future purchase of select beauty products) $7.99

Nutrition & Wellness Sample Box (get an equal credit toward future purchase of select Nutrition & Wellness products) $7.99

Puracy Natural Enzyme Stain Remover [3-Pack], BEST Travel Size Clothing Cleaner, Nontoxic Laundry Spot and Odor Eliminator, Safe for All Fabrics, Free & Clear, 4 Ounce Spray Bottle [Set of 3] $9.99

 

Salt Water Sandals by Hoy Shoe Girls’ Salt Water Original Flat Sandal, Rose Gold $9.99

 

I hope that this post was useful for you, and I would love some feedback on whether or not you liked it!

*This post contains affiliate links, and we will get a small commission on any sales. Please see my disclosure policy here. *

 

Autism Awareness Month:Our Journey

Some days are good, and some days are not so good. I think that is what many of us mothers who have a child with Autism would say.

I don’t talk much publicly about Autism because I want to respect my son’s privacy. But what if by not talking about it, I am doing him a disservice? What if talking about it makes his life easier because more people understand it?

What if his friends knew that they needed to ask him more questions and start more conversations with him, because he may not always talk to them? What kind of world would we live in if we didn’t sweep these things under the rug like they are a taboo topic?

Don’t be ashamed to tell your story.

In our family, we don’t run and hide from the hard things, that is not what we teach our kids. So why should Caleb need to keep his autism a secret? It’s not his fault that you don’t understand it, or him.

We tend to make fun of or just simply not talk about things that make us uncomfortable, but why should we continue to do that with all of the information you could ever need at your finger tips?

This morning, I met a mom at my daughter’s pre-k and we started talking about where our kids will be next year. The subject came up about the services at my son’s school, and we started to have a conversation about Caleb. She was curious about what it’s like to be a parent with an Autistic child.

She asked if I minded talking about it, and I realized that no, I don’t mind talking about it. I would love to help others understand.

In fact, I crave being able to be open with other’s about what our lives are like. It’s not something that only affects him, it affects our whole family. I need to be able to talk about it.

Autism has helped me to stretch and grow as a human and parent in ways that I can’t even count.

I have had to learn all over again how to parent, because I can’t deal with him the exact same way as I do my other children.I have had to learn to be creative, patient, empathetic, and many more adjectives that haven’t always come naturally to me.

Some days are good. Some days are not so good. Some days are both, but it is always worth it.

 

*I wrote this post a few years ago, and I wanted to share it again in honor of Autism Awareness Month. *

If you think your child may be on the spectrum, I wrote a post about Early Intervention that you should read.

If you would like to know more about Autism, visit Autism Speaks. This site is full of a wealth of information!

Show your support: Shop Deep Discounts and New Deals Added Daily. Every Purchase Funds Research & Therapy For Children With Autism. Show Your Support Today!

National Autism Resources Corp – This site has many items and resources available for children with Autism.

I have used essential oils since my son was little. One of my favorites is Calming the Child. This even worked wonders with our typicals!

*This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy here.

Why Working as a Substitute Teacher is Totally Worth It

Since 2008, I have been a stay at home mom, but last year my youngest started Kindergarten. It was really weird for me because all of a sudden there was nothing to do but clean the house all day. I thought a lot about going back to work full-time, but because of the costs of childcare it just wasn’t really worth it. Because my son has Autism, we also have therapy after school, so who was going to take him if I was working?

I looked at lots of options, but my hours were so restricted, most things just didn’t make sense. Then, I got a message from the school principal that they really needed substitutes. It took a little time for me to come around to that option, because I wasn’t sure if working with children was for me.

I needed to get out of the house and we really needed the money! 

In the middle of the school year, I decided to make the leap, because we really needed the extra income. I signed up to sub only at  my children’s school, because that was just what worked best for our family. When I first started, I didn’t have enough college credits yet to sub as a teacher, so I worked in a support role. This meant that I mostly would work with kids who had special needs or had an IEP and needed extra support in the classroom. This school year, I had enough college credits to sub as a teacher, (which pays more), so I switched into that role.

You decide when you work.

The great thing about substitute teaching is that you really make your own schedule. The great thing about subbing at your children’s school is that you are completely on their schedule. This means you plan your work schedule around appointments and field trips!

Here is an example of a day working as a substitute teacher:

We leave the house a little earlier than we normally would, so I can get signed in and to my classroom. My kids come with me into the class I am subbing in, and wait until the bell rings. They head to class and my daughter who is in middle school heads outside to catch the bus who takes all the staff kids to their school. The students come in and we get started with our day.

At some point during the day, there is an hour-long planning period while the class goes to specials. This is a great time to pay some bills or make some phone calls, and recharge for a few minutes. You take your lunch when you drop your class at the cafeteria for their lunch. Then, you finish up your day. (There is also a 30 minute recess period for the kids to get some energy out).

Some days you will help with the bus riders or car riders at the end of the school day, and my children always wait in the classroom that I was in that day for me to finish. Then, we all go home together.

It’s not too late to sign up!

Even though it is April, I would almost guarantee that most school districts are still in need of substitute teachers. So it is very likely that it is not too late to sign up, and it’s never too early to start planning for next year!

The process is going to be different everywhere, but I had to take an online class to work as a teacher substitute. This was very helpful for learning classroom management skills, and learning tips and tricks to teaching students.

Don’t worry though, your teacher will leave you all of the items you need with a very detailed sub plan. You will know exactly what to do all day long! They even leave extra work, just in case!

But you should still be prepared with your own bag of tricks just in case! Here are some items you should keep in a bag to take with you when you are subbing:

Name Tags

Erasers or Stickers  or PENCILS to give out as rewards at the end of the day.

Assorted Holiday Stamps – These are great to keep for all year. If you are in a classroom in March, stamp their paper with a holiday stamp if they are working quietly. Kids love holiday theme stuff.

Create your own Business Cards to pass out to teachers. This will put you on the teachers radar and they can call you when they need you. (You can ask the office secretary to put them in the teachers box) If you are willing to work as a teacher assistant, occasionally the school systems will allow a teacher sub to work in those positions. So let administration know that they can call you if a spot like that comes up.

Art Buddy Pack – this pack has markers, crayons, mini stamps and sidewalk chalk.

Post-it Super Sticky Notes

Pens

I hope this has got you thinking! 

Check in your area how you can become a substitute teacher!

 

*This post contains affiliate links, and I get a small commission from any purchases made. See my disclosure policy here.