Sunday, October 30, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday: Sugar-free Homemade Applesauce, Hummus and Triscuits,

Monday: Boston Baked Beans, Grapefruit

Tuesday: Vegan Pear Spice Cake for the boy and Pear Oven Pancake for the adults, Scrambled Eggs with Onions

Wednesday: Mushroom and White Bean Stew,                    Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts, Sliced Pears
Thursday: Whole Wheat Pasta With Spinach and Vegan White sauce, Sliced Apples

Friday: Bunless Chickpea Burgers,Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes With Feta,

Saturday: Tamarind Lentils from the Veganomicon, Aloo Mattar, Brown Rice

Breakfasts: Nonfat yogurt, homemade granola, clementine oranges
                    Leftover Pear Cakes

Lunches: Leftover beans, Hummus and crackers, nuts and raisins, peanut butter and jelly, fresh fruit, romaine salad, carrot sticks

Hundreds more menu plans here!

Weekly Shopping Trips

Whole Foods trip: $113. $5 was an organic basil plant, which my husband was kind enough to pot.I did get some good deals, Muir Glen organic tomatoes for $1 a can, Earth's Best Waffles for $2 each, and 2 cartons of free Imagine Low Sodium Vegetable Broth. The Soy Dream's are $3.29 for a 64 oz container, which is the cheapest I can find it. We added a few things we wouldn't normally buy, like Tamarind Paste, Garam Masala, salt-free Veggie Boullion, and Agave Nectar, as I am eating more vegan and sugar-less dishes. Next week will be a Kroger trip as usual.

My CVS trip: I had $15 in ECBs to use. I paid $13 out of pocket for the above and got $7 in ECBs back.

My mother found this package at Costco for $15. 90 tablets at Sam's is $12. The only time I have paid less is when I got 14 boxes for free last year with a high value coupon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday: Homemade Guacamole and Black beans over Cilantro Rice

Monday: Husband on his own- heading to Michigan

Tuesday: husband on his own- I'm at a Funeral

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans (I have some cooked beans waiting in the freezer)

Thursday: Easy Spaghetti, Jarred Sauce Tossed With Kidney Beans and Onions, Parmesan

Friday: Turkey Sausage, Perfect Eggs, Toast, Romaine Salad, Grapefruit

Saturday: Chicken Piccata, Broccoli, Vegan Baking Powder Biscuits, Plums

Extra goodies: Granola

Shopping Trip

Kroger trip for the week: $60

Nothing too interesting! Waiting for some good deals on free toothpaste and floss....

Blogger Beware: Do You really Want To Connect Yourself With My Memories Scrapbooking Software?

A couple nights ago, I received an email from a "Liz P. Gardner" asking if I wanted a free copy of My Memories scrapbooking software to both review and give away to a reader.

This sounded like a phishing email to me, so, along with my husband, who has expertise in PC security, I did some research.

The software is owned by a Storyrock Publishing in Utah, and  the publisher does have an excellent rating with the local Better Business Bureau.

Here is what I found, a blog post written by a young, male, college student:

"In Touch with the Feminine Side

I have been working in the technology department at Storyrock Publishing for several months.  In the past, my responsibilities were to prepare products to be sold online for web download.  When I left for school, I planned on doing the same type of work from home.  Because of issues with internet connections, I had to change jobs within the company.  This has allowed me to get in touch with my feminine side!

One of Storyrock's products is called My Memories Suite.  It is digital scrapbooking software.  My new job is to help with the marketing of the product.  The first rule of marketing is to think like your target market, which means I get to think like a mid-30's stay-at-home mom!  I now spend my work hours contacting bloggers under the alias Liz P. Gardner.  We have conversations ranging from photo layouts of scrapbook pages to cute banners and blinkies they can put on their walls.  In the process, I have learned about cooking, homeschooling children, arts and crafts, yoga, and all sorts of other things I never knew moms did.  Who knew you could spend hours making greeting cards or paper shoes for infants!

All of these new experiences have filled me with gratitude that my wife and my mom do not spend their entire days writing about their lives instead of living them!  It has been entertaining to get a glimpse into the life of the modern house wife.  How grateful I am to be a guy!

I wonder how many 21-year-old male readers this blog has!
  Don't forget about the Bewitchin' Kitchen. How do these ladies find the time to do all this?"

I don't know about you, but I find it rather insulting for some young pup to be pretending to be a 30-something SAHM, and publicly insulting  the women whose business he is trying to obtain. Obviously this kid has no idea how difficult and time-consuming it is to care for small children all day, homeschool, and cook. And he obviously has no idea that the moments we take to blog, stolen when children are napping or in bed at night, help fill that need for adult communication.

I do wish to caution my fellow bloggers not to accept every email offering something at face value, but to take the time to research and explore before jumping at a freebie- especially when that freebie is something that requires clicking on an unverified link or piece of software. Malware can be hidden in just about anything. A trojan program could be built into software you download that allows someone to remotely record every keystroke you make, thereby obtaining your passwords, banking information, and credit cards. Just clicking on a link in an email sent to you, my husband warns, can infect your computer.

Bloggers are excellent targets for such malware, as we seem like trusted sources to our readers, and can have a wide audience for exploitation. I caution all of you to carefully do your research before agreeing to a giveaway that has not been initiated by you, as both your family and your readers can suffer as victims of identity theft.

I do want to note, that I am not accusing this publisher of being malware. I haven't seen anything about this software in tech forums, and it is sold on Amazon. One thing to try and verify is if it truly is the legitimate company contacting you and not a spoof. I would do this by finding a contact for the company and checking to see if they truly are marketing with bloggers.

I frequently get requests for giveaways on my blog, but, as you can see, I rarely do them. Most recently, I declined an offer for shoddy children's furniture made of plywood that has garnered poor ratings on the 'Net, and herbs that tout a miraculous cure for infertility.

And no, I will NOT be running a giveaway for Storyrock. I don't take kindly to deceit.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weekly Shopping Trips

Nothing too exciting at the store this week, except a CVS deal that let me get 5 bottles of Tide Free HE for $1.97 each, and 2 bottles of Dawn for $0.47. I also got 2 huge bags of Halloween candy for $10 after ECBs.  (You only see 4 bottles here, since I had to do it via two transactions, and alas, I was too lazy to take a second picture!)

I have $15 in ECBs to use up, but see nothing in this coming week's deals that we need. Wait til next week!

Kroger trip: $74.86. $12 of that was marked down ground beef that is now in my freezer. Never mind that Kentucky Bourbon Ale my husband wanted that was $12 all by itself.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday: Pioneer Woman Beer-Braised Beef (I'm throwing in the slow cooker), Colcannon Mashed Potatoes, Kale Chips, Pumpkin Gingerbread (made with butternut squash puree)

Monday: Fruit Berry Smoothies with Hemp Protein

Tuesday: Black Bean Chili

Wednesday: Fruit Berry Smoothies with Hemp Protein

Thursday: Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza with Peppers and Onions

Friday: Turkey Sausage, Toast, Tuscan Baked Eggs, Fruit

Saturday: Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowel

Other goodies for this week: Homemade Granola, need to Roast Peppers and freeze them, Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookies, Homemade Whole Wheat Bread (trying new recipe this week), Red Bell Pepper Relish