Monday, May 25, 2015

Solar Cooking At It's Best

I had an amazing opportunity this Memorial Day weekend through Tryazon to host a Tryazon Sun Oven Memorial Day Party.  I signed up with Tryazon, applied to host a Tryazon Sun Oven Memorial Day Party and was super exciting to be selected to host the party.  Growing up and into adulthood, I had never seen or heard of a solar oven until I had seen it on Tryazon.  I applied to host this party because I had heard so much about how my husband's father had made and used a solar oven during their childhood and had heard about some of their stories using a solar oven. #tryazon #sunoven

Memorial Day is also known as the unofficial start to summer.  With that being said, it was a good time for our family to come and spend our day together filled with lots of fun and excitement.  We started our day with finishing up a family project we had started the day before (life size Jenga).  Did I mention that Jenga is one of my favorite games?  Yes, it is.  Yesterday we marked, cut each piece and played a few rounds just to make sure it worked.  Today we hand sanded and spray painted each piece before we played a few games with our brightly painted set of life size Jenga game.  #oneilfamilyfun

After life size Jenga, it was time to get dinner in the sun oven to ensure that it would be ready by dinner time.   The chicken and dumplings were place in the sun oven on the handing rack at around 1:00pm and checked frequently.  There was some direct and but mostly indirect sunlight this afternoon.  It got up to 325 degrees fahrenheit in the sun oven at the highest point and at the lowest point it was about 150 degrees fahrenheit.  The chicken and dumplings cooked for about 4 hours because of the amount of indirect sunlight to that took over our skies this afternoon.  After it was perfectly cooked, dinner was served at 5:15pm with garlic bread.  Most everyone had one serving and they were so full.  They could not stop talking about how perfect dinner was and how amazing the food turned out.  We love chicken and dumplings and I found the recipe on Pinterest.  I love the fact that you can cook whatever you can both in the oven and on the stove in the sun oven!

Besides cooking chicken and dumplings, I also baked banana bread, baked a crescent ring sandwich and dehydrated beef to make my own beef jerky.

 (laid on our pizza pan to take photos and cut to serve up)

To finish out our afternoon, we set up and played Bollo.  This was some of our first time playing it and it was a blast!  #oneilfamilyfun

I would like to thank everyone who came out to join us this Memorial Day weekend!  It was truly fun sharing the coolest solar oven The All American Sun Oven with you while playing some super fun games.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ralphs Friday Freebie

If you have a Ralphs Savings Card, have you checked out Friday Freebies?  This week you can load a free 1.1 oz. caramel milk chocolate bar onto your card that is valid until June 7, 2015.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Decluttering and Living a Simpler Life

One of my goals is to declutter and live a simpler life.  In my decision to live a simpler life, I will start by decluttering our home, then moving on to downsizing my electronic footprint and finally simplifying my goals, commitments and relationships.  Obviously this will not happen overnight, however I am setting a realistic time frame for me to start living my simpler life.

Many families, like my own, declutter their homes before the holiday season arrives to make room for ohana to spend quality time together.  Walking into the holiday season completely decluttered feels amazing and it is my preference every year.

Where shall I start?  What room shall I start in?  These were a few questions that ran through my mind before I finally settled on starting in our laundry room.  Our laundry room cabinets are filled with our linens and overflow pantry items while on the opposite side we have our laundry area.  Our overflow pantry was first up, I combed through every single item and first removed any expired items before I proceeded to clean and reorganize the area into sections.  Second up was our linen closet, the very top holds our blankets/comforters, the middle houses our towels and the bottom houses our bedding.  Once I removed the items that we rarely/do not use, I sorted those items into three piles ~ sell, donate and trash.  The items that we regularly use were neatly organized and placed onto the shelves.  Our laundry area is the last area in this space to be cleaned.  All items on shelves have been cleaned and organized.  All laundry detergent making supplies are picked up off the floor and placed onto empty shelves.  Recently we cleaned behind the washer and dryer and organized items between them.  I wiped down the washer and dryer and reorganized the inside of our drawers plus I swept and mopped the area.  One room down and many more to go, looking forward to my next room.

By the time I am done, we will have more then enough to send another box off to, sell locally, help those in need and hopefully very little will end up in the trash.  I am all about selling our gently used items in good condition and upcycling items that can we used in other projects.  The white sheets from today will be donated and put to good use in one of the special projects that I am happy to be a part of this holiday season.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Buy One, Get One Free Holiday Cards, Wrap and Stationery

Hallmark is holding their Pre-Season Stock Up Event from October 11-26, 2014 where you can get buy one, get one free holiday cards, wrap and stationery.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Our Shopping Trip

April 14th was our first shopping trip to Target using Target coupons, cartwheel coupons and manufacturer coupons as well as Ibotta cash back site.

Tic Tacs $1.04
Froot Loops $2.59
Corn Pops 2 @ $2.99
2 Mini Wheats 50% off $2.50=$1.25 each
3 Frosted Flakes @ $2.99=$8.97
2 Cocoa Krispies 25% off $2.59=$1.94 each
2 Special K @ $2.99=$5.98
1 Starbucks saved $9.50 off of $12.99=$3.49 each
1 C&H Sugar @ $2.19 - .40 manufacturer coupon=$1.79
4 12pks of Coca Cola Products @ 4/$12 (.99 off of $4.99)
2 PowerAde @ $4.99-$1 manufacturer coupon=$3.99 each
1 Hybrid Advance Razor $6.39-$3 manufacturer coupon=$3.39
1 Colgate Regular Twin Pack $2.50-.50=$2.00
1 Colgate Toothpaste .99-.75=.24
Subtotal before coupons and Cartwheel: $72.00
Used $10/$50 Target coupon for food and beverage purchase
Used 4 $3 off $3 Kellogg's printable coupons
Total after Target coupons, cartwheel coupons and manufacturer coupons: $44.57
The bottom of my receipt said my total savings this trip was $50.79.

When we got home, I redeemed .75 on the Kellogg's Special with Strawberries.

We also went to Albertson's where we purchased two cans of spam for $5.00 and we received a free dozen of eggs ($2.59 value).  We used a $1 off 2 spam manufacturer coupon.  Spam and eggs anyone?  My receipt said total savings $6.17 and 61% of my bill.  These items are definitely favorites in our house!

American Greetings $2/3 Printable Coupon

American Greetings is currently offering a $2/3 printable coupon redeemable in store at your local CVS Pharmacy.

Some Amazing Walgreens Photo Deals

Walgreens Photo is currently offering
  • a 99 cent Brag Book when you use coupon code BRAG2ALL, valid until April 26, 2014.
  • 40% off photo cards when you use coupon code TOGIVE40, valid until April 26, 2014.
  • 33% off all photo gifts when you use coupon code CUSTOMGIFT, valid until April 26, 2014.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Free 2014 FIFA World Cup Collectible Tin

Get your free FIFA World Cup Collectible Tin when you purchase three BAND AID brand product between April 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014.

Back into Couponing

I have rediscovered my love for coupons and with the help of my fellow coupon friends, I am clipping coupons and organizing them like crazy today.  After all coupons are clipped, it will be time to get them into my coupon organizer that I still have from way back when I first started couponing.  When I took my coupon binder out this week for the first time since 2012, it was a really nice surprise to see some that some of my coupons had no expiration dates.  It was like finding the gems in the pile of expired coupons from years past.  It is a great start to the wonderful world of couponing.

To state it simply, I had taken a break from the coupon bargain hunter but not from using coupons altogether.  Coupons have and will always be my best friend!  I had taken a long break from searching for amazing deals and getting items we use at a heavily discounted prices because the stockpile I had built up was still in existence.  We are starting couponing with no stock piles on hand and I am certain that this will change with time. 

I absolutely love learning about coupon deals where you are able to obtain usable items that either your family will consume or that will be donated.  Investing time in organization will save you time later on down the line when you are in search of the coupons you need.

Over time, I have accumulated coupons and finally had a chance to go through them all this week.  I still have a large pile of coupons to clip, so I will make that my project this week to get through.  The quicker I get organized the less time the investment will be in the future.

Where do I get my coupons you may wonder?  I receive coupons in the mail, online couponing sites (,,, in publications that are picked up at local stores (commissaries, local grocery stores), on the shelves in grocery stores, sticker coupons on products, in manufacturer emails, direct from companies when you write to them, they deliver the coupons to our homes once a week, from friends and family and so on.

Today, I picked up coupons from a couponing friend of mine Karen for .75 off Colgate toothpaste and .50 off Colgate toothbrushes.  She shared with me that Ralph's had both on sale for one dollar until Tuesday, so we headed straight over to check it out and she was right.  The coupons said only four of each could be used in one transaction, so we purchased four of each making the total out of pocket (oop) $3.00.  Yes, my first real couponing transaction!  Thank you Karen, you rock for sharing this deal with me!  What's more is Karen shared the couponing sites she trusts with me that are completely different then the ones I use.

I am back to clipping coupons and blogging about the best deals!

Happy Couponing,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Free Fishing Day in California

The next free fishing day in California is September 7, 2013.  

This will be the perfect time for us to see if we should get a California fishing license this year!

Information on fishing fees and licenses can be found here:

Here is what their website ( states.

Free Fishing days for 2013 are  

July 6 and September 7

Have you ever felt the excitement of watching your bobber suddenly jiggle, then dive out of sight? Or feeling the tap-tap-tap of a bass as it tastes the worm on the end of your line? Or having a salmon practically tear the rod out of your hands as it smashes your lure? What's that? You say you never learned to fish?
If you are new to the sport of fishing, and not sure if you will enjoy it, a great opportunity awaits you. CDFW offers two Free Fishing Days each year. On these days, you can fish without a sport fishing license. Free Fishing Days provide a great, low-cost way to give fishing a try. Some CDFW Regions offer a Fishing in the City program where you can go fishing in the middle of major metropolitan areas perhaps just a few blocks from your home. Fishing in the City and free fishing day clinics are designed to educate novice anglers about fishing ethics, fish habits, effective methods for catching fish, and fishing tackle. You can even learn how to clean and prepare your catch so you can enjoy it for dinner that night.
While all fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect, there are two days each year when anyone can fish without purchasing a fishing license.
On Free Fishing Days, every angler must have the appropriate report card if they are fishing for (if applicable):
  • abalone
  • steelhead
  • sturgeon
  • spiny lobster
  • or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River Systems..

Saturday, January 26, 2013

San Diego Museum Month: Half Off Admission February 1-28, 2013

February 2013 is San Diego Museum Month offering half-price admission.

Museum Month Passes may be picked up starting February 1, 2013 at any of Macy’s fourteen locations in the San Diego Area, Temecula and Imperial Valley. The passes are free to obtain while supplies last. With a pass, up to four visitors can gain admission to any of the 40 participating museums for half-price. Plus, you can use the pass all month long!
Museum admission prices vary. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Oakley Military and Government Sales

One way that military and government personnel can save money is by purchasing their shades through  Oakley's Military & Government Sales website.

Here is what the fine print states:
The Program
Oakley takes great pride in offering the highest quality products at a direct rate for military and government personnel.  The program is for active duty military, reserve, federal and local law enforcement, fire, EMS and those holding military retiree credentials. We have developed a strong program over the past 20 years and we want to ensure that the integrity of the program is held high.
For State and Local Customers: Please select the Option 1 or 2 on the Online Application ID Submission screen.
For Federal and Military Customers: The .gov or .mil email address entered during registration will be used to confirm your approval.
How to Participate in this Exclusive Government Program
For State and Local Customers: After your ID has been verified, you will be able to place your order.
For Federal and Military Customers: After your .mil or .gov email address has been verified you will be able to place your order.
Account verification takes about 48 hours or less. For a listing of eligible agencies please visit our Customer Service page.
You cannot place an order until you have been approved. Once we have reviewed your submission you will be sent an email confirmation and are considered an approved member. Approval of your submission is valid for one year. Your account is authorized for your use only; it is not transferable to any other individual.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Endorse - My New Favorite App

Recently I found out about Endorse, a cash back phone app.

Endorse offers cash back offers to earn anywhere from 10%-100% cash back on items you already purchase.  There is a free mobile app for android and iphone users.  It offers personalized offers by suggesting to them what kinds of products you already normally purchase.

To start redeeming offers, download the Endorse app to your phone.  Each week, they offer a select amount of cash back offers.  You can upgrade some of the offers to a higher percentage cash back rate when you share the deal with friends.  Please read the fine print for each offer - some offer a dollar amount limit, some offer a quantity limit and still some offer a combination of the two.  When you are ready to redeem an offer, simple click on upload receipt, take a picture of your receipt (if you have a long receipt you will need to take pictures by adding segments to your receipt making sure that you include the top and bottom corners of the receipts and that the amounts are readable), then select the offers you are redeeming on that receipt (you can only redeem the offers once, so make sure you have the same items on one receipt), when you are finished click done and your receipt will upload and will be processed and that is it.  In a few days you will notice that your cash back offer was either approved of there denied.  Please remember that you need to upload your receipt no later then six days after you make your purchases or your receipt will be denied.

The first day I learned about the Endorse app on December 19, 2012, I made a purchase to try it out.  I purchase two Pop Chips 3 oz. bags for $2.79 each.  I believe the offer was for 20% cash back with a limit of 10.  I made my purchase, uploaded my receipt that day and a few days later received a confirmation that I had earned $1.00 cash back and 5 points in my account.

The second offer I redeemed was from our shopping for our Christmas dinner on December 24, 2012.  I redeemed the 50% cash back your holiday ham, 50% cash back on Mountain Dew and 10% cash back on any ice cream.  I made my purchase, uploaded my receipt the same day and a few days later received a confirmation that I had earned $12.00 cash back and 5 points.

The third offer I redeemed yesterday was for 10% cash back on any brand toothpaste and 50% cash back on any champagne or beer.  I made my purchase, uploaded my receipt the same day and today my cash back says that it is processing with status pending.
My purchases:
2 Lay's Salt & Vinegar Chips $3.00 x 2 = $6.00 (in-store special)
1 Cough Medicine $3.49
2 Crest Tarter Gel toothpaste $2.50 x 2 = $5.00 (in-store special)
2 Kit Kat & 1 Watchamacallit $1.98 (in-store special)
1 Sour Punch Blue $.79
1 5-pk Cushioned Envelopes $2.59
2 Corona Extra 6-pk Beer $8.49 x 2 = $16.98
Total: $37.46
Projected Endorse Cash Back: $8.99
Total after projected Endorse cash back: $28.47 ($8.49 for a 12-pk Corona Extra long neck bottles which is better then the sale that is going on for $10.99 for a 12-pk Corona Extra long neck bottles.)

The fourth offer I redeemed today was for 10% cash back on any fast food ($2.00 limit).  I uploaded our receipt from Taco Bell for $26.29 (10% military discount already included) the other night.  Right now, my transaction says converting picture to receipt, processing and status pending.

One of my 2013 New Years Resolutions is to utilize my Endorse app on my phone to help us save even more money on things we already purchase.  I already use traditional paper coupons, ecoupons on the deca commissary savings card and other grocery store loyalty cards, cash back websites when I shop online and now this Endorse app will help us to save even more money.  I love saving money on things we already buy because it puts more money back in our pockets.  Endorse will definitely be able to help us achieve our savings goals for the rest of this year and moving forward into 2013.  I recommend Endorse to my any of our friends who wants to put money back in their pockets.

Friday, November 9, 2012