Thursday, June 30, 2011

Coconut Macaroons

My parents came to visit and my dad LOVES coconut. Since my kids wanted to bake something, I decided to make these coconut macaroons. They turned out so delicious.


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional for chocolate macaroons)


Preheat oven 325°F. Set parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Mix all ingredients together by in a large bowl. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Using a teaspoon and your fingers, form macaroons into 1 1/4-inch mounds about 1 inch apart. Bake 16-17 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 8 minutes, until golden brown. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

You can also make chocolate macaroons by adding semi-sweet chocolate to the mix.

Once you eat one, you won't be able to stop.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fabric Shopping

I went fabric shopping with my sister this past weekend and she decided upon these two fabric choices.

living room

dining room

Pkaufmann Uzbek Jewel

We left empty handed because the living room fabric was only 30% off in the store (if I waited for it to not be on sale, I could use a higher percentage coupon on it) and the dining room fabric was a special order with no discount (which I would have to pay shipping for). That could get really expensive at $12.99/yd x 31 yards and $39.99/yd x 13 yards plus the shipping charges. I knew I could probably find the fabrics cheaper online and if not, we'd return to order the fabrics with my coupons I had.

I did find both fabrics online and what was even better was that the living room fabric was 60% off while the dining room fabric was 50% off!!!! Whoo-hoo. I googled for more discount codes and found a free shipping code and a 15% off total purchase code. I can only use one code so since the 15% off code was twice the discount, I decided to redeem that one. By doing a little research, I was able to save nearly $500!

If I had ordered the fabric at the store with the store price and my printable coupons, I would have spent $910.74, but by buying the fabric online and using an additional online code, I was able to purchase all my fabric for $416.28 which is still pretty high, BUT it did save $494.46! I'll be making 12 curtain panels with the fabric so in the end each panel would be roughly $34. That's a fraction of the cost at PB for 12 foot curtains. Can't wait for them to come in and it isn't even my fabric, but since I volunteered to make them, I'm excited nonetheless!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cars 2

We saw Cars 2 last week and I must say that this is a great movie to take the kids to. Both my kids and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. If you like Mission Impossible type movies, this is definitely a movie you will enjoy. As a bonus, there is a short Toy Story film right before the movie starts. The kids loved that.

Buy various products from Kimberly-Clark (like diapers and paper towels) and you could score free tickets to see this movie. Plus, if you purchased specially marked boxes of Kellogg's products, you could score money vouchers to use at the theater concession stands. We did this last year and it ended up saving us $104 (for eight 3-D tickets). This year, I was fortunate to win a gift card so it was free once again :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Couponing is no foreign concept in my family. It's thrilling to be able to get things for virtually free and if you look hard enough, you are bound to find a coupon or discount for any item that you want to buy. I, however, am not a full-time stay at home mom. I have a job so I try to spend as much time with my kiddos as possible. Ever since the show, extreme couponing has aired, I have been asked by many if I extreme coupon. I've seen the show, but can't see myself devoting that much time to saving money. I say its great if you have the 30+ hours to spend a week to coupon (like those that are on the show), but my philosophy is 30 minutes a week. Any extra time I have, I'd rather spend with my kids.

In my 30 minutes, I let other people do the work for me. I read coupon and discount blogs that tell me what is on sale, what coupons are out there and how I could save the most for my buck. My favorite coupon blog I like to read lately is coupon geek. If there is a great deal out there, it's bound to show up on this blog for me to read.

Every couple of weeks, I visit my coupon sites to print out coupons that I need. If it is a great coupon, I'll print several out. My favorite sites are:
I'll also load coupons to my store savings card at I'm pretty bad about storing my coupons. All of them end up in an envelope. When the weekly ads come out, I'll see what is on sale and try to match up the items that are on sale with the coupons that I have on hand.

Here's my scenario for this week. We are low on cereal so I was thrilled to see Albertson's advertising cereal for $2.00 each. That's already over a $1.00 savings on each box. It's hard to stomach spending $3.29 or even $4.28 on a box of cereal. I have no problem with buying cereal at Albertson's, BUT it would save me more money if I went to Target for several reasons. Target has their own coupons which you could use on top of manufacturer coupons AND I could use my Target Visa for an extra 5% off, not to mention getting 5 cents off each bag I bring in to use. I try not to grocery store match at Target because it is such a hassle (you have to go to the customer service counter), but I couldn't resist the extra savings this week.

Here's the best scenario for getting cereal this week.

Price match at Target with Albertson's ad

2 boxes of Pops for $4.00
2 boxes of Rice Krispies for $4.00
Use 2 mfg Pops coupon for 70 cents each ($1.40 total discount)
Use 1 mfg coupon for $1.00 off of 2 Rice Krispies
Use 1 Target coupon for $1.00 off of 3 Kelloggs cereal
Use Target Visa Card for 5% off total purchase
Bring 2 Recycle bags for 10cents off

Without coupons and sales ad, I would have spent, $3.29 for each box of cereal for a total cost of $13.16. Printing my coupons, my purchase price for those four boxes was only $4.28 which is a huge difference. However, my savings didn't stop there. I found this coupon on my rice krispy cereal box for a free bag of M&M's.

I also found this coupon for a $1.00 off fruit with cereal purchase.

AND on top of that, on special marked boxes of cereal, there is a code to get free things like a $5.00 gas card or $5.00 concession stand cash at the theaters. What does that mean? For these 4 boxes of cereal I bought, I received a bag of M&M's ($3.00 value), $1.00 worth of fruit, AND a $5.00 gas card for only $4.28. I was paid basically 72 cents to take away the cereal, M&M's and fruit.

Of course, 4 boxes of cereal really doesn't last long in a family with 4 boys, so I did walk away with a cart of cereal, several bags of M&M's, and will get several gas cards. I used other cereal coupons on the kellogg's and website to get the most variety for my family. This week's find took me less than 30 minutes to find, but it was a huge savings nonetheless. It is a rarity that I purchase this much of any item, but the deal was too good to pass up and we will definitely consume it all in no time.

If you are needing cereal, start doesn't end until Tuesday :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Banh Tieu

Have I stumped you with the title? Banh Tieu is a Vietnamese type of pastry. It is hallow on the inside and resembles bread or a doughnut. It is very similar to beignet. Banh tieu is my all time favorite Vietnamese snack to munch on so when I discovered a Vietnamese cooking show posted on youtube that showed you how to make it, I just had to give it a shot. Here is the video, but I'll have to warn you, it isn't in English.

The chef in the video reminded me of my mother. She would say things like, "Use 5 soup spoons of sugar and two coffee spoons of melted butter." I had the exact soup spoon she used to measure the sugar, but had to consult with my mother what a "coffee" spoon really was. Surprisingly, the recipe was a cinch so I am sharing it. Here is my modified version using our metric measuring system, just in case you don't have the same soup spoon as me :) I was able to make 24 per batch so invite your friends over!


5 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cups of sugar
2 tbsp of melted butter
1 package of alsa brand baking powder
sesame seeds
2cups water

Start out placing 5 cups of self-rising flour into a mixer fixed with a bread paddle.

Into the flour mixture, add 2 tbsp melted butter, 3/4 cups of sugar and 2 pinches of salt. Once mixed, add the 2 cups of water and the package of baking powder. Continue to mix until a dough ball is formed.

Align Center

I don't exactly know the difference between this french brand baking powder and the clabber girl brand that I usually use, other than I am told it is better for this recipe. The baking powder comes in packages of seven for 99 cents at my local asian grocery store.

Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand until a dough ball can be formed. Place it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 3 hours.

After 3 hours, the dough should nearly double in size. Remove the dough and separate into smaller portions (roughly the size of an egg).

Dip the dough into sesame seeds for a cruncher pastry or roll the dough out first and then sprinkling some sesame seeds on top.

Roll the dough flat, making sure you dust the surface with some flour so that it doesn' t stick.

Place the flattened dough into hot oil (medium-high heat) and watch it puff up, giving its hallowness.

It will brown rather quickly so you must watch it. Once it browns on one side, flip it to brown the other. Remove from oil and let it drain on a paper towel.

Serve it hot while it is crisp on the outside.

It brings back such memories of my childhood.


Friday, June 17, 2011

New Paint!

My sister's house is slowly coming along. Two more rooms are painted now. The dining and formal living room have been changed from this dark army green color... a cool shade of gray.

Along with the color change, the draperies and chandelier will also change. The windows will be dressed with probably vibrant colors and the chandelier will be along the lines of this:

The capiz shells add a little romance while the rectangle shape allows the space to remain modern. As far as the dining table, it will more than likely be built with a bench on one side.

Changing the ceiling color to white definitely makes the room bigger, cheerier and cleaner than the dark khaki ceiling color. I know, I should have waited until the room was clear before nabbing a quick snap shot of the new color.

They decided to not paint all the walls in the room. I wish I snapped a before picture of the adjoining formal living room. Do you see that triangle of white on the top corner of the picture. Originally, it was painted green. Instead of painting it gray to match the color scheme of the original owner, they decided to paint it white. To me, this makes the window more symmetrical. I love the way it turned out. The formal living room will be turned into a more casual place for both the kids and adults to play.

Their Karlstad couch will sit in front of the windows. Their couch is a lighter gray with chrome legs.

A large orange frieze rug like this will adorn the floors to make the space more casual and colorful.

They also decided to paint all the columns the hallway color so that it would disappear. Originally, it was painted green as well. Instead of closing off the space by painting it gray, the decided to have it blend it with the rest, making it feel more open. I know I should waited until the floor was clean to take a snapshot.

Now that the spaces are painted, it's time to shop and put the rooms together. It may be a while before the rooms will be complete since the couch they want for the family room is out of stock so the couch that is supposed to be in this space is being used in the family room for seating. Stay tuned to find out how the rooms turn out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's Day Ideas

I was perusing the internet for some cute hand made gifts for father's day and several things caught my eye on the martha stewart website:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Going Bowling

My kids love bowling so it is great that the program, kidsbowlfree allows them to bowl all summer long for free. I did have to pay for the shoe rentals. I contemplated ordering some bowling shoes online, but wanted to make sure they enjoyed it enough to keep going back. Our first trip this summer to the bowling alley was a blast! Can you feel the love?

Everyone participated, even my little 3 year old. I love this picture. It depicts how heavy the ball is for him.

..but don't worry, that didn't stop A. from giving all that he had.

"Oh, yeah, I did it."

Up next was R sporting an actual bowling shirt he got as a favor at a bowling birthday party. Great idea or what? I just may have to nab that idea.

Finally, E. is next to bowl.

"I got a spare! I'm pretty strong!"

It was fun so much fun! I have requests to go next week so I guess this activity was definitely a hit!
Related Posts with Thumbnails