Thursday, January 28, 2010

$10, 10 minute Caribean Chicken recipe

1. 4 chicken breasts ($6)
2. 1 tomato ($1)
3. ¼ c cilantro (approx) ($1)
4. 2 T lime juice (approx) ($1)
5. 2 T green onion, about 1 T of green and 1 T of white (approx) ($1)

1. Lightly grease a frying pan with oil. I used pam
2. Add 4 thawed boneless chicken breasts and brown on both sides
3. Add green onion and fry a little
4. Add clean, stem-less tomato to pan and mash it into chunks
5. Add half a cup water (approx) and cover
6. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the water is mostly reduced
7. Remove from heat and add lime juice and cilantro

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away

I have been friends with my neighbors, Jenny and Andrew, for some time. Their 3 girls play with Austin and Logan while Jenny and I chat about our lives. Jenny inspires me with her words of wisdom and her role as a Christian and a mother. I aspire to be like her in many ways.

I sort of ‘hole up for the winter’ so my conversations with Jenny are limited to mostly email until it gets warm enough to stand around outside. Andrew is having surgery today and in response to my offer of help, Jenny sent me an email with such inspiring words, I felt like she helped me instead of me helping her. I want to share an excerpt because it will be a reminder to me when I am feeling despondent and having a pity party.

***********************excerpt of Jennys email*************************
Thank you for your thought and prayers. God is good - even when life is hard. Our desire is to praise him through everything - no matter what! As Job said after he lost everything (daughters, sons, livestock, wealth) except his snarky wife, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21) I love that attitude.

Andrew will be recovering for a few weeks and if you read this between now and say the end of the January, please pray for him to have a quick and easy recovery.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cheap Family Vacation Alert – Wisconsin Dells 2 people, mid week, $199 All Inclusive

Do you like waterparks?

Do you like to eat and drink and not worry about the cost while you are on vacation?

Plus its in Wisconsin Dells so if you are in the Twin Cities, its about a 4 hour car ride.

The Chula Vista resort in Wisconsin Dells has an all inclusive package for 2 people/2 nights for $199 from now through January 27. This fabulous deal includes;
· 2 nights in a standard room
· All you can eat
· All you can drink (frozen drinks, mixed drinks, beer, and wine)
· Waterpark passes

This has been very fun and affordable for our family and we are planning to go again in a few weeks which will be our third time in the last 12 months. Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly.

1. The food is pretty good and the buffet has all you can eat crab legs
2. The waterpark is enormous. It has 6 big slides and multiple areas for babies, toddlers, and bigger kids plus it has a lazy river.
3. The 2 room family suite, which is huge, is the same price as the standard room. It has a balcony which overlooks the river and the board walk. It has a separate bedroom, livingroom with sofabed, table/chairs, and a frig and microwave.
4. Free beverages include pop, wine, beer, frozen drinks, and mixed drinks. Bottled beverages are not included.
5. You can upgrade to a theme room or a Jacuzzi suite for only $50 more a night
6. You can stay an additional night or 2 for $99/night per 2 people

1. Some of the rooms are a ways from the waterpark. The theme rooms are the furthest and are a good 10 minutes. The family suites are closest to the restaurants and are about 5 minutes. I have not stayed in a regular room but I think they are similar in location to the family suites. I have heard that the Condos are the closest but I don’t think these are in the all inclusive deal.
2. Some of the rooms are not connected to the waterpark so I guess you have to walk outside. The theme rooms and the family suites are connected.
3. This probably goes without saying but because its all inclusive, you cant take food with you back to your room.
4. I think the service staff are used to getting stiffed because some of them have attitudes.
5. The frozen drinks are quite weak
6. Not all restaurants are included

1. The lines can be long to wait for food or drinks at the waterpark grill and you can only order 2 drinks at a time. We eat dinner early at the buffet but I think the lines are long there too if you wait much past 6 to eat dinner.
2. The rates are only inclusive for 2 people so if you have kids, each kid is an extra $50 per night.
3. The deal is only good for mid-week, during pre-established dates. You can get an all-inclusive package at other times of the year but its several hundred dollars for 2 nights.

Go check out

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stampin Up: Whats New?

Stampin Up has a bunch of new stuff. Check out the links below or check out my website

Simply Adorned jewelry -
Simple, tasteful jewelry in styles that most people will like.

Un-mounted stamps -
These will take up a less space and are more ‘transportable’.

New Punch Styles -
These are slimmer and will also take up less space.

Sale-A-Bration -
1 free item with every $50 purchased, excluding tax and shipping and this year you can now select from a bunch of sets in the current catty.

Digital Scrapbooking -

Build A Bear -

Monday, January 4, 2010

Shipping Costs on eBay

I know most of you wont care about this but if even one person agrees with me, my rant is worth it.

Here’s the scoop. There are a pair of shoes on eBay that I want to bid on but the shipping is $45. That’s domestic, priority shipping folks. Not overseas, not overnight, just regular USPS priority shipping for a pair of shoes that would fit in a flat rate box and mailed for $9. Even if you incorporate ebay fees, shipping *materials, and $5 for their *time, we are talking at most $20. This really chaps me because even if I don’t bid, someone else will and the seller will just keep on doing what they are doing.

Now you may ask how much are the shoes worth and what is the starting price? The starting bid is $1 and these are brand new Doc Martins and they are selling for over $100 at Zappos so if you could get them for $10 bucks plus $45 shipping is it worth it? Yeeee…..NO!!!!!!! No it is not!!!!!! Because you are allowing this immoral and unscrupulous seller to continue to gouge buyers on shipping and to go against eBay policy. Yes, eBay has a policy against this and they even have a tool where you can report the item and note that the seller has inflated shipping but the fact is, eBay doesn’t really care unless the (I have heard) shipping is inflated by $100 or more.

Why do sellers do this? Because the amount the seller is required to pay eBay is based on the final selling price of the item, excusing shipping costs. So lets say ebay charges (for ease of description) 5% and a seller has a pair of shoes he wants to sell. If he sells them for $40 and charges actual shipping of $10, the seller will keep around $38 of the $50. If the seller sells the same shoes for $10 and charges $40 for shipping (and ships first class for $6), the seller will keep $43.50.

Wow 2 days in a row on the soap box. Sheesh, I hope I dont start to like it up here.

*Note – The time and cost that a seller would incur to mail a pair of shoes domestically is next to nothing. After they get free boxes mailed to them free from the USPS, they can print the postage on line and schedule a free pick up from the USPS. You can literally run an eBay store right from your house and never have to leave if you don’t ship overseas.