Archive for March, 2011

March 28, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This recipe starts off as a pretty standard white bread recipe with a bit of extra sugar and then you add the swirls of cinnamon. Adding the cinnamon swirls is pretty easy with you simply rolling the dough out, sprinkling on the cinnamon and then rolling it up to form a log. The hardest part about this recipe is all all of the waiting, especially when the bread is in the oven filling your place with the those amazing fresh baked bread aromas.


Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Buttered
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
A light, fluffy and moist bread with swirls of cinnamon.

Servings: makes 1 large loaf

Prep Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, salted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins and/or walnuts, optional
  • 1 egg and milk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Directions
  1. Heat the milk in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter into it without boiling, remove from heat and let cool until it is luke warm
  2. Mix in the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix the eggs and sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Mix in the milk.
  5. Mix the flour and salt and beat half of it into the milk mixture until combined.
  6. Beat in the remaining flour until combined.
  7. Knead the dough until smooth, adding more flour if it is too sticky.
  8. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover and let it rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. (Tip: Warm the bowl first by filling it with hot water and drying it out just before use.)
  9. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out so that it is as wide as your baking pan and about 18 to 24 inches long.
  10. Spread the butter over the dough.
  11. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the dough.
  12. Roll the dough up into a log.
  13. Place the dough into a grease loaf pan, cover and let it rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  14. Mix the egg and milk and brush it over the top of the loaf.
  15. Bake the loaf in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top, about 30-40 minutes.


I have never baked bread before, but this recipe definitely looks do-able and delicious. 
I can’t wait to try this one out!
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March 25, 2011

Restaurant Coupon Roundup

Jamba JuiceClick here to print a coupon to buy any 2 smoothies for only $5.00.  Redeem through March 30th.
T.G.I. Friday’sClick here to print a coupon to buy 1 entree and get 1 free with your purchase of 2 beverages. Redeem through March 31st.
Denny’sClick here to print a coupon to get 2 Maple Bacon Sundaes for the price of 1.  Sounds interesting?  Redeem through April 9th.
Little CaesarsClick here to print a coupon to get a Crazy Combo including Crazy Bread and Crazy Sauce for $1.99.  Redeem through March 31st.
These deals are still available:
QuiznosThere are two new coupons for Quiznos.  Click here to “like” them on Facebook and print a coupon to receive $1 off a regular sub or $2 of a large sub.  Redeem through March 25th.Click here to print a coupon to get a prime rib sub for $2.99.  Redeem through March 26th.
A&WClick here to print a coupon to receive $1 off their Original Bacon Double Combo.  Redeem through April 23rd.
Romano’s Macaroni GrillClick here to print a coupon to receive $5 off your next visit.  Redeem through April 10th.
KFCClick here to print several coupons including one for a 3 piece Chicken Strips Meal for $4.49.  Redeem through March 31st.
Chuck E. CheeseClick here to print several coupons including one for a large one topping pizza and 75 game tokens for $25.  Redeem through April 3rd.
March 19, 2011

Lindsey’s Living Room

My very good friend Lindsey just bought her first house.. Congratulations Linz!! 
Like any first time homebuyer, she is beginning to realize that there are a lot of decisions to be made.  And what is a more important decision then how to decorate your new home!? 🙂 


Lindsey has been hard at work painting the interior of her house.  Currently, she is working on painting her living room, but stopped after painting one of her walls a “russet” orange. She came to me stumped.. not knowing what color to paint the rest of her living room.  She told me that she wanted a tan color, but just couldn’t pick “the one”.


I asked Linz to send me pictures of the items that she has already bought for the room.  She recently purchased a couch and, most importantly, a painting that she wants to hang in the living room (which we will use to base the rest of the room off of) 

Here’s what Lindsey gave me to work with: 




I used Sherwin William’s Color Visualizer to test out different colors for Lindsey’s Living Room.  


Below are some examples of the different shades of beige that Lindsey can use in her room: 

Fresco Cream


Patience
To launch the color visualizer, upload your photo, and pick your own paint colors visit: 

Decorating
I’m not sure how far along Lindsey is with decorating, but I just couldn’t resist (this is the fun part after all!) 🙂  
Kirklands
Poppy Fields Metal Bouquet
$ 24.99 
Kirklands
Floral sunburst charger 
$39.99
Kirklands
Poppy Fields Hurricane
$
14.99


Kirklands
Poppy Fields photo frame
$9.99

Kirklands  Mosaic night light  $5.99


Kirklands
Floral buffet table lamps, set of 2 
$34.99
Pier One Imports
Ginkgo Leaf Lamp 
Clearance: $49.98
Kirklands
Mercury Glass Charisma, set of 3 
$24.99
Kirklands
Bronze Vine Sconce, set of 2 
$19.99


Pier one Imports
Clay Plush Pillow
$15.96

Pier One Imports
Rust Ruffles Pillow
$29.95


Pier One Imports
Oversized Red Damask Pillow
$34.95
This pillow pulls the damask pattern out of her “inspiration” painting 
Pier One Imports  Chocolate Plush Pillow  $15.96






You can never have enough pillows! 


Overstock 
Tufted chocolate brown microfiber storage ottoman
$56.99 
This ottoman is great for storage.. put extra blankets, movies, even the remote control in here to hide away extra clutter
Overstock 
Wrought iron handpainted and embossed decorative tray 
$39.99

(Decorating tip: I would put the tray on top of the ottoman, and then place the candle votives on top of the tray) 

Putting it all together:



Don’t forget your coupons when you head to the store Linz! 
click on the link to print the coupons or use the codes

Pier One Imports







March 15, 2011

Coupon Adventure

I always joke about how much I love coupons.. well a month or so ago my good friend sent me a video on extreme couponing…the video featured consumers with stock piles of products purchased at unbelievably low prices (or even for free) with coupons.  The obsessive-compulsive like behaviors of the couponers was certainly entertaining to watch.. but curiosity did set in for me and I just had to know how they managed to purchase those items at such low prices!  So I started doing a little bit of research.. I love coupons.. but I’m typically purchase-specific… I’ve never went on a shopping spree with coupons.. at least not until today (well a mini shopping spree just to get my toes wet with this idea) 


Today was my first “extreme-coupon” adventure. I decided to start small and slow in order to ease my way into this new, uncharted coupon territory. 

Living in the city has made me appreciative to the weekly deals at drug stores like Rite Aid and Walgreen’s.. I would wait for the ads each week before heading out to do my shopping.. Items like mascara and cereal had unbeatable prices when on sale.. “Extreme couponing” takes these sale prices to the next level.

Let me give you an example.. Honey Nut Cheerios are on sale at Walgreen’s this week for $1.99. Already a great price, right?  Now add a $1.00 off coupon to that sale price. Your total is $0.99 for a box of Honey Nut Cheerios. Absolutely ingenious. Why didn’t I think of this before? For some reason I was under the impression that coupons can not be used in addition to an item that is already on sale. This may be true in the case of adding a 50% off coupon to a clearance item at Joann fabrics or Micheal’s, but according to websites like thekrazycouponlady.com this is not the case at your local drug and grocery stores.

To conduct my own little experiment I ventured to Walgreen’s.
The lady in front of me spent $43 on 5 items… My hands were shaking as I walked up to the cash register.. I felt as if I was stealing or knew a secret that no one else had figured out.. 

“Hi. How are you?”
“Good. How are you? I have a bunch of coupons!” I shouted before the cashier could answer back.
“Your total is $5.98”
I swiped my debit card.. 
“Is this total correct?” the machine asked. 
YES! I thought in my head as I pushed the green button and confirmed my total.

Let’s review my purchases and savings…


Item
Regular price
Sale price
Coupon savings
Total price

Truvia Sweetener
$4.99
$ 2.49
– $1.00
$1.49
Fiber One Bars
$3.59
$ 1.99
– $0.50
$1.49
Blue Diamond Almonds (2 cans)
$3.49 x 2
2 for $3.49   
– $0.50
$3.00
Dial Nurtriskin Lotion
$0.99
$ 0.99
– $1.00
Free

TOTAL
$16.55
$8.98
$ 3.00
$5.98

I did realize after purchasing the two cans of almonds that I in fact didn’t have to buy 2 cans… I would have saved more by only buying one can for a total of $1.25.  But as you see what would have cost me $16.55 only cost me $5.98.. and this was only my first try with coupons! Imagine the possibilities 🙂

http://www.thekrazycouponlady.com has a great beginner’s guide to coupons.  The website also helps take the time out of coupon-cutting and sale searching by listing new deals each week and providing websites to print coupons. I know other websites are out there, but I will be starting with this site until I get the hang of this. Wouldn’t want to overwhelm myself with too many savings! 

Give it a try and let me know how the coupons work for you!