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Frugal Recipe no. 2 - Apples

Posted by Felicia Sunday, February 28, 2010, under | 6 comments

Need to use up those leftover apples? Here is a bundle of recipes to eat them up!

Save money and eat healthier by making your own applesauce for your kids. This way you know EXACTLY what you are feeding your kids and you will feel better about making it yourself-I know I do!

Homemade Applesauce

What you will need:
  • 8 apples - peeled, cored and chopped into pieces( organic would be great if you can afford them!)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar( you may need more or less depending on how sweet your apples are-go by your taste)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon(optional)
In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

Storage and freezing:

You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or two but after that you may want to freeze it so that none goes to waste!

Suitable Packaging: Applesauce can be frozen in plastic freezer bags and rigid plastic or glass containers that are airtight and provide a moisture/vapor barrier. Leave at least 1/2 of headroom for pints and 1 inch for quarts.

Maximum Storage Time: 1 year at 0ºF.

Thawing: Applesauce can be thawed in the refrigerator or, if you're in a hurry, use the microwave.

Caramelized Apple Rings

A sweet side dish, snack or delicious dessert, these apple rings are wonderful!

What you will need:
  • 2 large tart apples, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick rings
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
In a skillet, cook apples in butter until tender. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cook until apples are golden brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Serve with a bit of Cool Whip if desired. Yum!

Yield: 4 servings

Quick and easy Apple dips:

What better way to eat those apples but to eat them fresh!

Cream cheese Dip

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Stir(or beat) together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is smooth. Serve with apple slices or other fruits.

Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup whipped topping
In a bowl, combine the yogurt, peanut butter and cinnamon; mix well. Fold in the whipped topping. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with apples and other fruits.

Grandma Ople's Apple Pie Recipe- can be found on

What you need:
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
  3. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes.

Apple Squares

You will need:
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped apple
  • 1-1/3 cups and 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and 3/4 cup of white sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture until just combined, then stir in the apples and walnuts. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the top of the bars.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven; finished bars should spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan, and cut into squares. DO NOT over cook!

Enjoy! After all.. "An apple a day...." Well, you know.... :)

And the winner is...

Posted by Felicia , under | 1 comments

Renee L.
from post # 32
"Posted a Tweet about your giveaway!"

Congratulations Renee!

You won the KIWI Shoe Protector Kit!
I hope you come back to let us know what you thought of the KIWI products after you have given them a try!

KIWI Shoe Protector Product Kit Review and Giveaway!

Posted by Felicia Sunday, February 21, 2010, under | 58 comments
Digg my article

UPDATE: This giveaway has ended, congrats to post #32, Renee L.

First off, before I can even start my review, I have to say "WOW"! I have to admit that I was very surprised by the results from this product!

When I was first contacted by Meredith on behalf of KIWI I was excited to be invited to not only review their products, but to also host my very first giveaway. I have used the KIWI cleaning products before, but it has been a long time and probably back when I was a teen, over 10 yrs ago. I had no opinion of them, either good or bad, which was nice going into this review.

Here is a list of the items in the KIWI Shoe Protector Kit and their descriptions on the KIWI website that were included in the kit:

KIWI Suede & Nubuck Cleaner: A gentle and effective cleaner for your delicate suede or nubuck footwear. KIWI Suede & Nubuck Cleaner cleans and restores the appearance of suede and nubuck shoes and is suitable for any color.

KIWI Suede & Nubuck Protector: KIWI Suede & Protector Cleaner gives your shoes the care they deserve. It provides your suede or nubuck shoes with maximum protection against water and stains, without darkening or discoloring.

Express Cream Polish: KIWI Express No Buff Cream Polish cares and shines instantly. Nourishing creamy formula. Convenient, no buff shine. It only takes a minute to give your shoes a great shine, cover scuffs and restore colors-with no buffing required. Available in Black, Brown, and Clear.

KIWI Express Shine Sponge: Too busy for the traditional shoe polish routine? KIWI Express is a handy, quick use sponge that restores shine in an instant. The silicone is contained in an easy to see bubble, so you know when it is time to replace your sponge.

KIWI Fast Acting Cleaner: This powerful aerosol cleans your sport footwear on contact. With the scrubber top you can easily clean tough stains.

Last week I received the KIWI Shoe Protector Kit to review so I decided to spend this past weekend cleaning my shoes. That is exactly what I thought I was doing, cleaning them. Little did I know it would be much, MUCH more!

I grabbed a towel to spread out on the floor, a couple clean rags and 3 pairs of shoes. One pair of my hubby's dress work shoes, a pair of my dressy boots and a pair of my everyday nasty old tennis shoes(wait till you see these puppies! lol)

I started with hubby's dress work shoes:
(click to zoom in)

Check out the before pictures and be sure to note that giant scuff on the front of his left shoe. Yuck right?

Well, I took the KIWI Suede & Nubuck Cleaner out of the basket they arrived in and I sprayed it all over these shoes. I then took out one of my clean rags and wiped all the cleaner away. They looked great! It really made them shine again and they looked so clean. The scuff was still there and so were some stains that I had hoped might disappear, but I figured those were pretty much permanent.

I went ahead and followed up with two coats of the KIWI Suede & Nubuk Protector. It took just a minute or two to dry in between coats. The whole time to clean and protect took me less than 10 minutes. So easy and perfect for a busy mom to work into her schedule( or a hubby who wants clean shoes :) I could tell the coat of protection was there and it made me feel good about those shoes.

Here is the after shot:

Pretty great, huh?

Next, I tried the KIWI Express Cream Polish. I was going to try this on my pair of boots, but then I realized I had the perfect shoe to test this on-that nasty scuff on hubby's dress shoes!

Here is a reminder:

I opened the Polish, squeezed a little of it out, and lightly smoothed it over the scuff mark. It covered it very easy and took just a tiny bit of polish. The KIWI Express Cream Polish comes with a built in sponge to help you smooth it over the shoe. That is seriously ALL I did and check out the results in the after picture!

This is the product I was most amazed by. You truly could not tell there was ever a scuff on that shoe. I was just plain shocked! Hubby was surprised too. He couldn't believe it was just gone after being on his shoe for so long. This is my favorite product- a miracle worker! LOL

Now I was on to my boots:

Nothing real exciting about these shoes, but they could use a little pick-me-up, so I decided to try out the KIWI Express Shine Sponge. I grabbed a shoe and just lightly smoothed the sponge over the entire surface. It was not messy and very easy to use. It took me about a minute to rub the sponge over one of the shoes entirely and then move on to the next. After I was done, I couldn't believe the shine. The black color on them was brilliant. My shoes were gorgeous! I think they even looked better than when I bought them new a couple years ago!

After using the Kiwi Express Shine Sponge:

I am starting to really feel like I am making a difference in these shoes...and then I realize it...the dreaded tennis shoes are next. Before you see this picture just remember, I wear these almost day in and day out. I am a mom who LIVES in her tennis shoes. They are about 3 yrs old and still have a lot of wear in them by my standards. That said, here they are:

This time I used the KIWI Fast Acting Cleaner. You just shake, spray and let it foam on your shoe for about 10 seconds, then you rub it away with a cloth. Easy enough, right? As soon as I wiped the foam away I could see that my shoes were whiter and brighter. The can also has a built in scrubber right on top, to help get the caked in dirt out. My shoes are cracked in some areas and the cleaner did really well to get into those tiny nooks and crannies. I wished it could have cleaned the rubber around the bottom edges a little better, or at least made them whiter, but it did well with as much filth as there was on my shoes. They were pretty bad.
So, without further ado, here they are!
The after shot-note the whiteness of them:

As my shoe-cleaning adventure came to an end, I was pretty happy with the results. My total cleaning time did not exceed 30 minutes, and I have to say it was time well spent. I think this kit would be a great item for every family to have-especially those on a budget. These products are made to help our shoes last. I know my hubby's shoes were looking worn before, but now they are shiny and you would never even know he had a huge scuff mark on them. My boots are a brilliant black color and they look brand new again, better than brand new! My tennis shoes are going to have to last me a lot longer and I am happy with the way they look now. A lot of that dirt is gone and they look a lot newer than they did before. It doesn't look like I was recently playing in mud! These products really WILL save you money if you use them as needed and even the shoe protector I used at the beginning will help defend your shoes against the weather elements. These are truly wonderful products!

Now, one lucky reader will be able to give them a test of their own and see just how much money they can save with these products! I am hosting a giveaway for a gift basket of ALL of these products!! Here is a picture of what you can win:

Enter to win!

You must do the first and mandatory entry and then you can choose any or all of the following options and enter by commenting at the bottom of this post.
Please do not post duplicate entries. I will not accept them and if I find anyone is doing that, they will be banned from this and any future giveaways.

Mandatory entry! Visit , check out all of the products they offer and leave a comment telling me which product would be most beneficial to your family and why. Please leave your first name and e-mail address you wish to be contacted at in each entry. ( Write it out like this: Bob AT bobsville DOT com to avoid spammers)

Optional extra entries-leave a separate comment for each one:

1. Become a follower of my blog(on the right sidebar here)

2. Follow me on Twitter

3. Tweet about the giveaway- only one tweet will go towards the giveaway:
" RT @tigpooh1516 Enter to win a KIWI Shoe Protector Kit from SAHM Frugal Finds and Reviews! ends 2/27"

4. Become an e-mail subscriber of my blog-be sure to tell me the e-mail you use to subscribe with.

5. Leave a comment on any of my blog posts-be sure to mention which one you commented on-max. of 3 entries

Good luck everyone!

Contest ends Saturday, February 27th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will use to choose the winner. Winner will be contacted on February 28th and will have 48 hrs to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Product was provided in exchange for review, but all of the opinions and experiences are all my own. I only do honest reviews on my blog.

Frugal recipe No. 1

Posted by Felicia Friday, February 19, 2010, under | 6 comments

Ever wonder what you are going to do with those over-ripened bananas? Here is a great recipe to finish them off!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or flavoring
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas(2 med. to lg.)
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mix together the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened-it will be thick like cookie dough. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Tip: If you have over ripened bananas, but none of the above ingredients, just throw your bananas, peel and all, into the freezer. They will freeze for months and be perfect for your muffins or bread! You can also peel them and freeze in an air-tight container. They WILL be mushy when they thaw so use a container to thaw them in and make sure you have a recipe that calls for mushiness! :)

Upcoming reviews and giveaways!

Posted by Felicia , under | 0 comments

I have a couple of reviews and giveaways coming up so be sure to check back here over the next couple of weeks. You won't want to miss out! Both of these products are going to be so much fun to review, and you know I will always share my HONEST opinions and experiences with you. After all, no one wants to buy something that isn't useful, right?

These will be my first giveaways and I am SO excited to share them with you all!! So stay tuned! :)

Disney on a Budget-is it possible?

Posted by Felicia Wednesday, February 17, 2010, under | 3 comments

Money is tight--there is no denying it. But even with money being tight, it doesn't stop my husband and I, along with our kids, from wanting to enjoy the "highlights" of life. With summer only a few months away I have been thinking about taking a trip to Disney while out little ones are still "little". As I am researching more and more, I can just tell it isn't going to be feasible to us right now. There is just no way to justify the thousands of dollars it would cost for the trip. The hotel, parks, food and souvenirs would just leave us broke. Sure, we would walk away with the memories to last a lifetime, but that money could be used in so many other ways right now.

Both of my kids are Disney fans, from Minnie and Mickey to Buzz and Woody, they have it all down. My husband and I grew up with Disney as well and both argue which movie was the best of our time, The Little Mermaid or The Lion King. Although we both have come to agree that Aladdin is our collective favorite. My husband had been to Disney when he was younger, but I had not. He took me a couple years after we got married, and I will tell you I may as well have been a kid again! It was so wonderful and exciting and I did not want to leave. I felt as though I could just live down there and be happy the rest of my life.

A trip to Disney is not only a dream come true to our kids, but a fantasy world for us as adults. To go and be in that magical place is just a wonderland. Sure, we have tried to scrimp and save, but something always comes up. Isn't it always that way? Whether it be an air conditioner going out, a refrigerator on the fritz or a car deciding to call it quits, it's always something. While I suppose we will get there again someday, our kids are growing up so fast. How wonderful would it be to be able to plan a trip every year, so your kids could practically grow up in that magical place? This year would have just been so wonderful for our kids to go. Disney would be so big to them and just so magical. I know I have used that word so many times, but there is just no better way to describe Disney. An enchanting world where dreams come true for little hearts and wishes.

We have tried to find ways to put money back, to plan a trip, but it just doesn't seem to be a dream come true for us. At least not this year. I will keep hoping though and keep planning my "frugal" trip, if you can call it that. If frugal means not staying in the best hotel they have to offer, I can deal with that. It just doesn't seem like you can avoid eating there unless you want to spend most of your time on the buses and traveling, and if you have to eat there...well you may as well plan on spending just about all your money on food. They really have a great dining plan, but again, it is going to cost you a lot of money. Great idea if you can afford it.

It can't hurt to be prepared if it ever does happen and who knows, maybe there is a way to go to Disney for cheap. I am open to ideas if anyone wants to share! My best one right now it to enter contests and WIN a trip! :)

Skin MD Natural Review

Posted by Felicia , under | 3 comments

I was so excited when I was contacted by Amber from Skin MD. She asked if I would like to review the Skin MD Shielding Lotion on my blog and I JUMPED at the chance! I have been interested in their products for a while, but I had never tried any of them.

As you all know I am a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers. Needless to say I am constantly washing my hands. They get so dry and cracked through the winter, no matter how much lotion I put on them or how much I try to take care of them. All of my skin is this way,from head to toe. My skin is like a desert of moisture. I just soak it up and then dry out again like I had never even tried anything.

The first thing I noticed about the Skin MD lotion was the cooling feel it gives on my skin. It has aloe in it and feels absolutely wonderful on my dry skin. I started using it on my hands, but I also used it all over my body and I am in love with it. My skin really seems to soak up every last drop, but it also stays moisturized until my next application. I try to lotion-up both morning and night, to stay on top of my dryness needs. It does not have a strong smell, and actually I would say to me it has a "natural" smell about it. No worries about those bugs in the summer! It is not waxy or greasy feeling on my skin and it absorbs very fast. It takes a very small amount of the lotion to provide skin relief. The Shielding lotion is paraben free, so I feel very comfortable using it all the time.

The SkinMD website lets you know exactly what is in their lotion so you don't have to worry about any hidden ingredients. They also give descriptions of each of the ingredients so you know what you are putting on your body. They also offer more user reviews to read on their website and some before and after photos. Some of the photos are of severe eczema and it is amazing how good the results are!

As with anything, this is my own opinion and how my body has reacted to this lotion. Everyone is different, but I hope your body loves this lotion as much as mine does! A big thank you to Amber and Skin MD for providing me with a bottle of SkinMD Natural Shielding Lotion for my review.