Financial Life Change

Coupon Mom before going to Target so that I make sure I don’t miss something. The database Coupon Mom has on her site is something that most couponers rely on very much since she takes the work out of it for you basically by telling you how much each item is marked down.  I also tend to like these ladies and in the beginning watched a lot of their videos on YouTube. They also have a book out that I sort of have my eye on however I’m not sure if I have kinda made it to that point where I learned everything I need to know to succeed and therefore don’t need the book but it looks great for someone just starting out:

This is the book I read that led me to the website that helped me find that $250 I was owed: Totally made reading the book worth it. The book also helps you put things into perspective when you learn what other people are doing across the country. The author is funny too so it is an enjoyable read.

This book also had a lot of great tips:

I hope you too are able to make some major life changes in your financial life and that they work for you. Personally I find financial strife to be one of the most stressful things about trying to raise a family. If you can remove that stress and not have to worry about the grocery bill every time you trek off to the store, you can begin to relax and enjoy your family a little more. Good luck!

Orange Marmalade

Recently I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to stay at home with my children once again and not have to worry about going to a job. I find this lifestyle more rewarding than any type of career I have worked in my professional life. Staying home allows me the time to do things like baking, gardening and canning which I did today. I love canning in the winter. It gets the house nice and warm and the jewel tones preserved in little glass jars are hints of summer days to come. Canning these oranges into orange marmalade today was a cheerful chore, reminiscent of sunshine and happy days.

The last few days I have been going through my cookbooks and bookmarking recipes that I want to try in the near future. My goal is to do at least one per week. The marmalade recipe comes from Put’em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton. I’ve blogged some of her recipes before and find the book to be quite useful. I go through a lot of cookbooks and pass on many but this one is a keeper. Making marmalade is easy even though it is a 3 day process. My one suggestion would be to make sure you slice your oranges very thin or you will have big chunks of mushy orange peel in your marmalade. A sharp knife helps. My daughter loved the marmalade. I made 5 jars worth with just 6 oranges so this is a very good “thrifty” recipe if you already have the jars.

Orange Marmalade

  • 6 large oranges
  • cups water
  • About 3 cups sugar

  • 3 whole cloves or 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (optional)


  1. Scrub the oranges and remove and discard a small slice from each end. Cut the oranges into quarters and remove any seeds, and then slice very thinly and place in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Pour the water over the orange slices and press down on the fruit to release some of its juice. Cover the pan with a tea towel and set aside on your counter overnight.
  2. The next day, bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer until the rinds are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool, cover, and set aside at room temperature again.
  3. On the third day, measure the cooled mixture and return it to the saucepan with an equal amount of sugar and the cloves, if using. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until the marmalade gels, about 30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to release air bubbles. Skim off any foam and discard cloves.


 Ladle into clean, hot 4-ounce or half-pint canning jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Homemade Holiday Crackers

This is a simple yet fun craft activity to do for the holiday. Simply fill toilet paper rolls with confetti, candy, toys etc and wrap them in tissue paper with a little decorative paper wrapped around the outside.

What I like most about this craft is that it looks like you put a lot of work into them when they are actually very inexpensive and can be assembled quickly.

From a design perspective, opportunities are endless as far as how you might create your little work of art. I hope you try some out! Kids and adults alike will enjoy busting these open. If you are hosting a holiday meal, these would also make really cool place settings.