Friday, August 29, 2014

Buckeye Blossoms

We are starting the my favorite season...College Football season!!  

In honor of that I have reworked one of our favorite family snacks to be alittle more Buckeye friendly.  I follow the Hershey's recipe for these, here is the link, and the recipe is below.  

Here is What you Need:

48 Hershey's Kisses
1/2 cup shortening, I use butter
3/4 cup peanut butter (use crunchy for alittle kick)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 TBSP of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
red and silver colored decorative sugars

Here is How to do it:

Start by preheating the oven to 375.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  

In another large bowl.  Cream together the shortening, peanut butter, white sugar, and the brown sugar.  Next add the egg, milk and vanilla, mix well.  Gradually add the flour mixture until well mixed.  

Mix together the red and silver colored sugars.

Roll the batter into one inch balls, roll the balls in the colored sugars, and place on a cookie sheet.  Place in the oven for 8 to 10 mins.

While the cookies are in the oven, unwrap the kisses.

Once the cookies come out of the oven, place a kiss in the middle of each.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Get the Reception Started!

Well, the hard part (the ceremony) is over, now it is time for the fun part!  Get your reception off to a great start.

First, you want to pick a really good song to play as the bridal party and parents are introduced.  It should be something meaningful (and clean) and something that is just too fast to be your first dance.  Introduction order should happen in this order.

Parents of the Groom
Parents of the Bride
Flower Girls and Ring Bearers
Bridesmaids and Ushers (paired off)
Maid (Matron) of Honor and Best Man
Bride and Groom

All the members of the Bridal Party should go directly to their seats, so that the toasts can begin.  Please make sure with your coordinator that everyone has a glass of champagne prior to the introduction of the Bridal Party.  The suggested toast order is.

Father (Parents) of the Bride
Father (Parents) of the Groom
Best Man
Maid (Matron) of Honor  
Siblings - Other Bridal Party Members (if they wish to speak)
Others (Grandparents, Aunts/Uncles)
Bride and Groom

The Father of the Bride should welcome and thank the guests and the Bride and Groom should also end with thanking the guests.  After the toasts the Bride and Groom should move right to cutting the cake so that it can be served with dinner.  The cake should be wheeled (if possible) to the middle of the dance floor so that all the guests can view.  Right after the cake cutting, dinner should be served, starting with the Bride and Groom, Bridal Party, and then the families.

After dinner, the coordinator will let you know when, it's time to dance!!  The suggested order is.

Bride and Groom
Bride and Father - Groom with Mother
Bridal Party (including parents)
Couples Dance
Something fast to get everyone moving!

I love the idea of the couples dance, because it will bring a large number of guests to the dance floor.  If you then move into something fast more people are likely to stick around and really get things going.  I would wait for about an hour before doing the garter and bouquet toss, just to give alittle break.


Happy Planning!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Save $$$ at the Grocery Store without Coupons!

The news was very depressing this morning, filled with rising gas and grocery prices without any relief in sight.  As CFO of my family it is important to literally squeeze the pennies as far as they go.  When I started really getting into couponing, I kept thinking how can I save on items that don't ever have coupons.  Below are some of the tips I use to help us get the best price on the items we use the most.

Shop the Clearance Section

My favorite section in the grocery store.  Typically, each department within a grocery store has alittle clearance area.  I save alot of money looking through the clearance area of the meat department, the key is get that meat into the freezer the same day.  I've also had alot of luck with baked goods, and produce - if you plan is to use them the same day why not save alittle cash.

Understand the Sales Cycle

Every grocery store or discount store runs on a cycle, offer the same items on sale every 6-8 weeks.  The trick is understand the what is the lowest price and how often your store will offer that price.  I suggest making a list (I call mine a price book) of all the items that you buy on a regular basis and are important to your family (I have swiss cake rolls on mine!) and track the price week to week.  It seems like alot of work, but you are going to the store and it will pay off in the meantime.

Once you have noticed the lowest price (and the span between that price and regular price) buy what your family will need to get you to the next sale.

Buy your Staples in Bulk

I consider staples to be things like flour, sugar, chicken breasts... I buy the in the largest package available, when they are at their lowest price, and then I break them down to into smaller one use packs for the freezer or into containers for the counter top.

Frozen Foods

The best value at the grocery store can often be found in the frozen food section.  Especially the vegetables (which will also save you time), my other favorites are bread products (frozen pizza dough, etc)

What are the ways that you save money at the grocery store?