Saturday, November 14, 2009

Did You Hear About the 99 Cent Weddings? Now That's a Bargain!


I love this story! I'm part of the population that didn't feel the need to spend alot of money when we got married.

9 Couples Paid 99 cents to Wed at 99 cent Store News story courtesy of KTLA TV-Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- Nine lucky couples said "I do" today at a local 99 Cents Only store, giving them the quirky wedding date of September 9, 2009 or 09/09/09.

The couples were among 2,999 applicants hoping to score a 99-cent wedding as part of a promotion for the store.

With nine family members and friends on-hand, the nine couples exchanged vows near check out #9 in the store, located at 5270 Sunset Boulevard.

They were then sent off in a limousine with $99.99 in cash to celebrate at an undisclosed "famous romantic Los Angeles" spot.

The brides won wedding gowns made out of T-shirts, table cloths and other items sold at 99 Cent stores. They also had the option of wearing their own gown.

Emily, one of the lucky brides, told KTLA that she wishes her dress cost $99, but it was a bit more expensive. "At least my veil was 99 dollars," she said.

Brad Pye and Adrienne Rounds say they feel lucky not just for their wedding date but also for their new lease at life. The two met a few years ago while living on the streets and addicted to crack. Adrienne convinced Brad to enter a drug treatment program, and he later helped her get clean.

Both have been drug-free for a year and are grateful to be where they are today.

"This is not possible without God," the new bride told KTLA.

"I try to keep it (emotions) stuffed but sometimes I'm just numb," Pye said. "Why me, why are you blessing me? I'm just thankful."

In addition, the couples will enjoy a free night's stay, including dinner, at the Hotel Angeleno in Brentwood. They also received a prize package of $2,599.

As part of the promotion, a 9-pound, 9-ounce baby born somewhere in the chain's region -- California, Arizona, Texas and Nevada -- will get $999.99.

In Las Vegas, wedding officials are preparing for the busiest day of the year.

Nine couples are scheduled to marry at the Madame Tussauds wax museum on the Las Vegas Strip at 9:09 a.m., while 99 more are waiting until 9:09 p.m. for a shared ceremony in the observation deck at the Stratosphere Tower. Each paid $99 for their wedding package.

Still, officials don't think 09-09-09 will be as lucrative as July 7 two years ago or Aug. 8 last year.

Small Apartment Living


Our dining area - I'm still adding photos to the wall. I would like to put up some inexpensive shelves too

Our bedroom - I need to pull our curtains from storage. I want to put some valances over the window.

Our living room - I want to bring the other Pottery Barn calendar from storage.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Take It Easy Cookbook - The Dean Brothers


Available at your public library and Amazon.com

I picked up "Take It Easy - The Deen Bros." cookbook at our local public library a few weeks ago. You may or may not know that they are Paula Deen's sons. They've appeared several times on her TV show, as well as their own show, Road Tasted, so I figured there would be lots of yummy recipes.

What I found was a pleasant surprise of economic, simple and heathly recipes! The book contains salads, seafood and kid loving recipes. And lots of colorful photos to tempt your tastebuds.

We're looking forward to making some of these delicious recipes like Balsamic-Glazed London Broil, Tilapia Po'boys with Homemade Tartar Sauce and Sausage and Potato Salad with Tomatoes and Greens.

The BerryMorins definitely recommend you checking out this book!

Our Beef Stew - Angel Food Ministries Roast Beef Hash



Marcus and I made some changes to Angel Food Ministries Roast Beef Hash recipe. We added fresh chopped garlic, omitted the sweet potatoes and added an extra potato and some diced celery. My husband loved it and took the leftovers to work, for lunch!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch dice
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch dice
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch dice
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth, heated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pot roast or 4 Angel Food sirloin steaks
1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped sage

Preheat the oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium high heat. Add potatoes and cook until slightly tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onion, carrots and mushrooms; stir to combine. Cook until the flour is slightly browned, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Add the warmed stock and increase the heat to high; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is thickend, the ingredients are well-blended and the vegetable are tender, an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Christmas Giveaway at 5 Minutes for Mom


5 Minutes for Mom is having their annual Christmas Giveaway! There's lots of terrific prizes to win. Just click here to join in the fun.

Come Join In the Fun at "Love the Pie" Party - TidyMom



This linky party sounds like fun and this gives me the opportunity to include a sugar-free pie recipe.

Just click here to read more about TidyMom's "Love the Pie" Party. It starts 9 pm CT, November 15, 2009, Sunday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What's For Dinner ?


Photo courtesy of Kraft Foods

I decided to purchase some ground beef from Fresh & Easy yesterday. Ground beef was on sale for $1.47 a pound. So, today we're having meatloaf. I almost forgot the seasoning that my two guys love when I was about to check out.

Lawry's Meatloaf Seasoning makes my day. Just add it to the beef and water. And all I have to do is roast some potatoes and vegetables and dinner is done.

Yes, I do menu plan every week but if something's on sale or clearance we'll have that for dinner.

Wordless Wednesday - USS Samuel B. Roberts



This is a view of damage to the hull of the USS Samuel B. Roberts.



This is my husband's former ship, USS Samuel B. Roberts, it hit a mine while escorting an oil tanker through the Persian Gulf on April 14, 1988. In October 1988, I met my husband while his ship was being repaired at Bath Iron Works, Portland, Maine.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia

It's Veteran's Day - Thank You

My husband, father-in-law and many others who have and currently serving in the armed forces, today is your day.

We thank you for your unselfish service and dedication.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

God Loves Fools and Babies - Guess Which One I Met Today?

God loves fools too and I met one today at my church. She was complaining that the Blessfest should occur on another day than Thanksgiving. It seems since she's having Thanksgiving dinner with her family she's not able to volunteer.

To add more shame to herself she asked "Do 'those people' even care what day they get free food?" How horrible.

I hope she never experiences financial lost that puts her on the street. I'll still pray for her.

Blended Nation: Portraits and Interviews of Mixed Race America



"Blended Nation: Portaits and Interviews of Mixed Race America" by Mike Tauber and Pamela Singh

I just finished reading an article about this book and am very excited to read it. I will definitely be stopping by our local public library to check it out!

Here's a previous BerryMorins Bits and Tips post from December 2008, titled "Mom, I'm a Mutt" Recognizing Diversity

In a press conference, Obama announced that he's a Mutt. I actually have heard that term used before. See, our son, Marcus, refers to himself as a Mutt too. Marcus says that this incorporates all of his ethnic and cultural background without explanation.

There are many children who have a diverse ethnic and cultural background such as our son. Our children shouldn't have to chose one over the other.

So, when our son says he's a Mutt he says it with pride and respect.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Hear The News? Walmart is Selling Turkeys for 40 Cents A Pound!


Thanksgiving Dinner photo courtesy of Martha Stewart

A turkey dinner for eight as low as $20 at Walmart!

Beginning today, select Grade A turkeys are available for 40 cents per pound at Walmart. These turkeys are part of Walmart’s $20 Thanksgiving menu guaranteeing family favorites will be on the dinner table this holiday season.

Walmart’s $20 Thanksgiving feast includes:

One 12-pound Grade A turkey*
Three 11 to 15.5-ounce cans Green Giant vegetables
Two 14-ounce cans Ocean Spray cranberry sauce
Three 6-ounce boxes of Stove Top stuffing
One 5-pound bag of red potatoes
One 12-count package of Sara Lee dinner rolls
One 22-ounce pumpkin roll cake

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - November 9, 2009

This week, Charles has a few morning shifts, at Kmart, so I'll have the car. Marcus and I are volunteering at our church on Monday. He's going to be helping out in computers and graphics.

Then, it's more volunteering for the PE program, running errands, doing some grocery shopping and arranging to downsize our storage unit.

The Tri-tip from the church food bank was delicious! The next day, I took the leftovers and made a stir fry for lunches.

Now, onto this week's menu courtesy of Kraft Foods Food & Family Magazine. Thanks to Organizing Junkie for hosting MPM!

*Meatball Sandwiches - using whole wheat buns, Pasta Salad with Veggies

*Super Stuffed Potatoes - various toppings

Subway Sandwiches - $9 Family Special

*Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Potato Salad

Oven Baked Cod, Broccoli, Brown Rice

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley Blessfest Video 2008

Click here to watch last year's Calvary Chapel Spring Valley Blessfest!

Cleaning Out Your Closets for The Holidays? Consider Donating Clothing to Homeless Organizations

Holiday seasons are quickly approaching. So are the cold temps. The BerryMorins are asking that you and your families consider donating your old winter clothes and old blankets to the homeless.

This year, many homeless are families. They aren't able to purchase winter clothing and blankets, at thrift shops because they don't have the money.

If you live in Las Vegas, please consider dropping your gently used items off at Calvary Chapel Spring Valley, 7175 Oquendo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89113. Please call for office 702-362-9000 for drop off times.

On Thanksgiving day Blessfest Thanksgiving '09 will be providing dinner, clothing and other social services. Marcus and I will be there volunteering and blessing our neighbors.

Marcus' Favorite Snack - Fry Bread



Several years ago, Marcus was working on a school research project on an American Indian tribe. We thought it would be fun to find a recipe, make it and include it in his project.

This has actually become one of Marcus' favorite snacks. Recipe is courtesy of Native Foods.

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
Deep hot fat in frypan or fryer *we use a cast iron skillet


Sift dry ingredients. Lightly stir in milk. Add more flour as necessary to make a dough you can handle. Kneed and work the dough on a floured board with floured hands until smooth. Pinch off fist-sized limps and shap into a disk -- everyone has their own characteristic shapes.(Shape affects the taste, by the way because of how it fries).

For Indian tacos, the disk must be rather flat, with a depression -- almost a hole --in the center of both sides. Make it that way if the fry bread is going to have some sauce over it. Smaller, round ones are made to put on a plate. Fry in fat (about 375°) until golden and done on both sides, about 5 minutes. Drain on absorbent paper.

Marcus brushes them with margarine and sprinkles some with sugar and Splenda while they're still hot. If you're using them as Indian tacos you can fill them with taco meat, beans and cheese. Just make them larger. Enjoy!

Living On Minimum Wage and Unemployment - August to September


Toby, the Wonder Dog, peering into the camera

Like many middle income families, we thought that Charles would find a fulltime job quickly. After all, he has terrific job skills and a solid work history. Well, so do many of the other thousands of Las Vegas unemployed and underemployed.

He got the Kmart position, in September, after they called him to say that they had cancelled the interview. They weren't going to hire as many seasonal employees as they first thought. Charles asked they if he could come in anyways and they said yes. He got the job by really selling his retail, customer service and sales skills, and the fact that he worked for Sears, in the past! A lightbulb went off, in their heads and they hired him to work in appliances part time.

We were then unpleasantly surprised to discover that once Charles started working for Kmart, for $7.55 a hour, we would no longer qualified for the food stamps. It didn't matter that we pay $1116 a month in rent or that I was spending $600 for prescriptions and $200 for doctor's visits.

We only had food stamps, for one month. We received $143. Marcus qualified for Medicaid, in September, but I wasn't notified till October. You quickly learn that this is how the system works.

My unemployment benefits, $250 a week, didn't start for almost a month! Charles was only working 4 hours a week and they had a hold on his benefits! We used up our small savings, paying for our rent, my medical, food, Marcus' clothes, for school and other expenses. The money went fast.

When we surrendered Toby, our dog, I got so depressed. Seeing Marcus crying was so heartbreaking but we couldn't pay for Toby's surgery and care. It was the right decision.

I was crying throughout the day and night. Yeck, I still cry. But, we keep going, praying to the Heavenly Father for support to get through the day.