Saturday, May 28, 2022

Celebrate National Doughnut Day This Week!

On Friday, June 3rd, you can celebrate National Doughnut Day with some sweet deals:

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Dunkin' Donuts is offering a FREE classic donut with the purchase of any beverage.

glazed Dunkin Donuts

 

 

At Krispy Kreme, you can get a FREE doughnut of your choice (no purchase required).  If you want lots of doughnuts, you can buy a dozen original glazed donuts for $1 when you buy a dozen regular donuts or 16 mini donuts at regular price.  And at select Krispy Kreme locations, you'll also get a coupon to return on June 10 for a FREE new mystery glazed doughnut that the company teases is "berry sweet."

a dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts

 

 

At 7-Eleven, you can get B1G1F doughnuts through Sunday at participating stores.  You have to be a 7Rewards member to participate.  Check the app for your special offer.

 

At Duck Donuts, you can get a FREE cinnamon sugar donut, no purchase required.

a Duck Donuts donut

 

 

From 5 a.m. to noon at Shipley Do-Nuts, you can get a FREE signature glazed donut with any purchase.

a box of Shipley glazed donuts

 

So make your Friday just a little sweeter with one of these special deals for National Doughnut Day!

Saturday, May 14, 2022

My Daughter’s First Car!

My daughter is 17 and is planning to get her license after her 18th birthday this summer.  She’s graduating June 1st.  I have to cart her around several times a day every day, so of course, I’m all on board with her getting a license and her own car! 

The licensing process for minors in TX is pretty intense, and she just hasn’t had that kind of free time while in school.  Between school, work, and sports, she has stayed pretty busy.  It’s also much cheaper and significantly faster if you wait until you’re 18, which is what influenced her decision to wait.

She saved up a little money and wanted to go ahead and start car shopping now so she can fix something up and have it ready to go when she does get her license.  Being the kind of person who “gets it done” once I’m tasked with something, I set right to work hunting for a car.  I sent her some photos and links for a few days to give her an idea of what’s out there and what they cost, and then I found something I thought was worthy of going to see.

So we rushed out immediately after school on Wednesday but before she had to be at work.  We had to drive out to Arlington in busy afternoon traffic and still make it back in time for her to go to work.  The guy met us at his little office/car lot, and we took it for a test drive.  It looked great on the outside, but the inside was not good, and when we drove it, the steering made a loud whine like it needed power steering fluid.  It didn’t feel right.  Also, the air conditioning didn’t blow cool air…that was something she requires here in hot TX.  I told her we should pass.

When we got out and said we weren’t interested, the guy said he had a couple of other cars on the lot that were priced a little bit higher, but he would be willing to give us the same price as the one we came to see since we were already there.  So he showed us two other vehicles.  One was in terrible shape inside…just terrible.  That was definitely a no-go.  The other one, though, was a 2010 Pontiac G6 in really good shape other than a hole in the front bumper and peeling/fading paint.  No major issues, though.  The inside was perfect.  So we decided to take it for a test drive.  Wow!  We were so surprised!  It started instantly…didn’t even hear it turn over.  It ran so smoothly and was very comfortable to drive.  It was actually in pretty good shape.  I took it to another parking lot during our test drive and got out to check it out without the guy hovering over us.  I did notice a bent rim, but it held air fine.  It looked like someone hit a curb and scraped the side of the tire, but definitely replaceable.  Also, the air bag light is on, so we’ll have to get that checked out.

 

Honestly, I was so impressed with how well it ran!  Haylee decided this was the car she wanted, and with getting it at the same price as the other one, it worked out perfectly for her, as that was the limit of what she wanted to spend.  So we sat down in his office to do the deal, only to find out that it did not have a current state inspection!  The guy said he could give us a 60-day temp tag, and we could get it inspected during that time frame so we could go get full registration, but I said no…we needed to know it passed inspection before we went any further.  I didn’t want her to run into immediate repairs that she wasn’t inspecting.  So we waited 2 days for it to get inspected, and all was well!  I got my son to drive me back up there on Friday, and he waited with me since a cash transaction was required.  I don’t generally walk around with $3,330 in cash ($2,950 plus title and registration fees of $330), so I was uncomfortable being there with this guy unescorted carrying all that cash.  But it went off without a hitch, and I paid for it so Haylee can make bi-weekly payments to me for it and pay it off in 7.5 months.  She was so excited!

I didn’t have any issues with it on the highway driving home, and it already had more than half a tank of gas, which was a nice bonus.  Haylee plans to spend Sunday afternoon hand-washing it and cleaning it up with her boyfriend while she has the day off, so I told her I’d give her my Meguiar’s complete car care set to use.  I already got insurance set up, so we’ll be able to take it to get any repairs, cleaning, etc. done.  It came with only 1 key and no remote, so I told her for graduation or her birthday, I’d order a 2nd transponder key and remote fob and get a locksmith to program them for her.  I’d hate to see her lock the key in it one day and not be able to get in when she’s trying to go to work or something! 

She’s dying to drive it.  I let her drive it in a parking lot when we were test driving it.  That’s all she can legally do in TX until she gets at least a permit, but she’s gonna try to go straight for a license.  She’ll just have to do a 6-hour online course with a 50-question multiple choice test at the end, then a 1-hour TX Driver Impact Course, and then go to DPS to take her behind-the-wheel test.  If she passes that and is 18, she can get a temporary license that day and get the permanent one in the mail.  Yay!  Then it will be no more chauffeurring for me!  I’ve got her younger brother starting public high school in August, so I’ll be trading off one for the other…I’ll have to start getting him to and from school the same month she gets her own license!  Good thing…I don’t think I have enough hours in the day to get them BOTH everywhere they need to go with all they’ve got going on.

Anyway, it’s such an exciting time for her!  Another kid growing up to adulthood very shortly.  Time flies.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Lovely Mother’s Day Weekend

For us, Mother’s Day was celebrated today instead of tomorrow.  All of my kids were off work, so we had the opportunity to get out and do some fun things.  We started off this morning with an impromptu breakfast…me, my husband, and both of our sons (Hayden and Holden).  That was so nice!  Steve game me a bouquet of flowers that were just about to bloom (irises and little mini daisies like wildflowers).  We had a great breakfast at Rise & Shine, and it was completely unplanned!

Afterwards, Hayden and I headed out my requested Mother’s Day outing…we went to Trinity College Irish Pub to share some bread pudding with some hot Irish breakfast tea!  There was a graduation downtown, so traffic and parking were really difficult.  It took us an hour to get down there and finally get a parking spot.  But we made it, only to find out that they discontinued all desserts and no longer offer bread pudding!  After everything we went through to get there, we were a bit shocked, but we decided to just share an appetizer instead.  Scottish eggs!  Hayden had never had them before, so that was a nice treat…he really liked them.

Then we rushed back so he and Holden could get ready to go to the playoff hockey game between the Dallas Stars and Calgary in Dallas. We originally thought all of us were going, but it turned out we only got 2 free tickets to the game, so we sent the boys for a special night.  Steve and I stayed home and watched it on tv.  It was the best game ever!  It’s so late now, but I’m glad I stayed up to see the game.  It was amazing, and the Stars won!  The boys said they had a great time, and Hayden said he lost his voice from cheering!  I was screaming and jumping up and down when they won!  I”m so glad they go to go.  What a great weekend already!

Tomorrow, Steve and I are going to see the Fort Worth Symphony concert with Troupe Vertigo.  They’ll be doing a show with acrobats, a contortionist, and ballet dancers!  And our church is having a Mother’s Day breakfast before services, so I’m looking forward to another great day.  It’s shaping up to be such a lovely weekend!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Cinco de Mayo Meal Ideas

Are you staying home to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  My family loves Mexican food, and we’ve accumulated some favorite recipes.  I’m going to share some of them here so you can have your own celebration at home.

This first recipe is absolutely fabulous and comes from eMeals.  I’ve found that the success of this recipe comes from using the right kind of tortilla and a good quality white queso dip.  The recipe calls for a corn/flour tortilla blend, and that truly is necessary to get that nice, crispy texture you want in a taquito.  The best ones I’ve used are the ones they make in-store at HEB. 

Enchilada Dippers with Queso

 

The next recipe comes from the back of the can of Market Pantry red enchilada sauce from Target.  Sometimes, you can get a really stellar recipe from a product’s packaging, and this one proves that to be true!  This is the only way I like to make chicken enchiladas, and although I don’t shop at Target any more, I make a special trip once in a while just to stock up on this sauce for this very recipe!  It’s always so good.

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Once I started making fajitas this way in the oven, I knew I was never going to make them any other way again!  This recipe is so very easy, and it comes out great every single time.  It’s a real time saver!

Baked Chicken Fajitas

 

This last recipe comes from the Fixate Cookbook at Beachbody, which I used when following the 21 Day Fix meal plans.  This is super healthy and well worth the extra effort, because it’s absolutely delicious!

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

So there are a few recipes to get you started in planning your Cinco de Mayo celebration at home this year.

Enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Our Nespresso Adventure

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I’ve mentioned before that our son works in a distribution warehouse.  They get all kinds of products from dinner kit boxes to baby equipment to prescription eyeglasses and coffee.  Their latest client is Nespresso.  Whenever any of this shipments are damaged or misdelivered and can’t be returned, they become discards.  So every so often, the employees to get bring these discards home.  He recently got to bring us Nespresso coffee pods on a couple of different occasions.  Now we didn’t have a Nespresso machine the first time he brought a box home.  There were 2 different kinds of pods and capsules, and after some research, we found out Nespresso has 2 product lines:  Original (pods) and Vertuo (capsules).  So judging by the number of pods and capsules we received, we decided we would get at least one used machine so we could give these a try.  So I started researching each model of these machines and looking at what was available on Facebook Marketplace.

In the meantime, I made my weekly trip to Crazy Cazboys in Arlington, and I really hit the jackpot!  Low and behold, they had LOTS of boxes of Nespresso original pods for $1/box! That works out to 10 cents a cup, which is pretty darn cheap for espresso.  Most of it was Starbucks brand, a few Nespresso brand, and a couple of other random companies.  I got whatever I could find complete boxes of, and I ended up with 24 boxes for $24!  Can’t beat it.  These run $10-$12/box, so it was quite a deal, and that gave us another 240 coffee pods to work with!

At the end of the week, I was able to secure our first Nespresso machine…the Vertuo Plus, for just $30.  This is a machine that costs $159, so this was a small investment.  Plus, I now had 120 capsules for this machine!  And right after I got it, our son brought home another box of capsules…200 more!  This machine makes 4 cups sizes, and the machine digitally reads the bar code on the lip of the capsule and knows how to brew it and in what amount based on the blend that it detects.  Amazing!  So you could make an espresso shot, a double espresso shot, or a 5 or 8 oz. cup of coffee.  Steve was highly impressed with how incredibly strong all of the coffee was, even the 8 oz. cup.  And it comes out so creamy!  He was super fond of the espresso shot and raved about how good it was.  For me, I can’t drink coffee unless it’s mostly milk.  It has to be a latte for me.  That leads me to machine #2.

The Nespresso original line uses the pods.  We had 70 of those pods, and then on Wednesday, I went for my weekly shopping trip to Crazy Cazboys and found another 24 boxes of pods for $1/box!  Now these run $8-$10/box, so that was quite a savings, and that gave us another 240 pods!  So we definitely needed to find an original line machine.  I started looking and was able to get the Lattissima One for just $90!  This machine costs $399, so that was again quite a deal!  I had to drive out to Dallas to get it, but it was worth the trip.  I’m amazed at how compact it is for all that it does…both machines are dwarfed by my giant Keurig Cafe machine.  I love that they take up so little counter space.  But anyway, this machine is the bomb!  It heats up milk and froths it, shoots it into your cup, and then brews your espresso shot and adds it to the cup…all in a matter of seconds!  It heats up so very fast…it takes all the hassle out of making a latte.  Now the only thing I’ll be using my Keurig for is tea to go!  I highly recommend the Lattissima One machine…it makes espresso, coffee, and cappuccino or latte macchiato, all with the touch of a button!  Truly impressive.  It even froths my cashew milk, which my Keurig Cafe could never do!

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That last box our son brought home even had a pod holder and 2 boxes of the most amazing biscotti!  What a treat!  I went to the thrift store and bought a glass vase to double as a capsule holder, so now everything has a spot.  I set up a great little coffee bar at the wet bar in our rec room, and we have a sink and mini fridge there, too.  It’s the perfect setup!  I have all my skinny coffee syrups with pumps lined up and my cashew milk and whipped cream in the mini fridge.  It’s the ultimate indulgent beverage spot!  We both love it so much.

The bottom line is that Nespresso is THE BOMB!  The Keurig coffee pales in comparison…there IS no comparison!  And it’s at least as good as any fancy coffee I have ever ordered from Starbucks with the convenience of home, so I’ll probably never set foot in Starbucks ever again! 

Thank you for a top notch product line, Nespresso!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

My Snowbits Sweet Treats Review

I kept seeing ads on Facebook for a company called Snowbits Sweet, and it got my curiosity.  I did a little research and saw so many rave reviews!  I was impressed that they are handmade and contain no preservatives.  Plus, there are lots of flavors to choose from.  I was even more impressed at the amazing sale price and free shipping offer for first orders, too!  The free shipping is what finally made me take the plunge and try them.

I received my first order of Snowbits today, and they are SO good! So far, I've tried the Cookies & Cream, Strawberry, and Coffee. The coffee was AMAZING! The coffee flavor was strong and delicious! My husband and I both loved it.

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My son was having the Cookies & Cream and the Strawberry, so I nibbled those, too. The Cookies & Cream was very, very good. The strawberry was okay. I love that you can taste all of the ingredients distinctly, and I love that they are only lightly sweet and very buttery. Nice, chewy, airy texture, too. It reminds me of a cross between a Rice Krispy treat and a chewy trail mix bar. They are great! I can't wait to try all of the other flavors I got. I bought 5 original variety packs with 8 flavors and 1 add-on variety pack with dates.

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The shipping was fast, and they were neatly packaged in individually sealed wrappers inside resealable bags.  The flavors I received are:

  • Tropical
  • Coffee
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Strawberry
  • Matcha
  • Chocolate
  • Mint
  • Original
  • 2 types of dates

I am very impressed!  I love the simple list of ingredients, too.

Snowbits Treat Main Ingredients
UNSALTED BUTTER, MARSHMALLOW, MILK BISCUIT, MILK POWDER, CASHEWS, ALMONDS, PISTACHIOS, PECANS, WALNUTS, DRIED CRANBERRY, (MATCHA POWDER, COFFEE POWDER, COCOA POWDER)

Snowbits Jujube Dates Ingredients (Gluten-Free)
JUJUBE RED DATES, MARSHMALLOW, ALMOND, UNSALTED BUTTER, MILK POWDER.

And, they’re hand made in the USA and have just 30-50 calories each!

So if you like natural snacks with wholesome ingredients and you’re not looking for something super sweet, then give these a try!  I could definitely see ordering them again.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Taco Bell $5 My Cravings Box Deal

TB Cravings

Taco Bell is currently offering a $5 My Cravings Box.  You can build your own combo meal consisting of 4 items by choosing one each from the following items:

 

Choose one SPECIALTY:

TB specialty

 

Choose one CLASSIC:

TB Classic

 

Choose one SIDE:

TB Side

 

Choose one DRINK:

TB Drink

 

So make it your way at Taco Bell for just $5!