Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cheaper Way to Buy Gas

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Hey y'all. Shan here. I hope you're having a great Thursday. Just one more day till the weekend... Do you have plans that require traveling? If so, you may have noticed that gas jumped up $.08-$.11 this week. What's up with that? Well I don't know about you, but that's money I would rather keep in my pockets, or at least in my Checking account since I try not to keep money in my pockets because somehow it always "magically" disappears.

If you live in the DMV or any of these other nearby states (North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania or Ohio) you're in luck! There are 409 locations where you can use this information. If you live outside of these areas, hopefully you will have a store in your area offering something similar. (I hope so!)

This was the post that actually gave me the idea for this blog when I posted it on my other website

Here it is, in all it's helpfullness.

Some Good News & A Helpful Tip

Hey y'all. Happy Sunday to you. Just a quick NSR post for you today.

First off I wanted to update everyone. Sorry for the delay, I know I should have posted Friday or even yesterday but to be honest even though Friday brought good news I was a complete and total HOT MESS! (Actually that's putting it a little mildly! (:  ) After a second mammogram was not enough to clear me and I needed a sonogram I was finally given the all clear. Thanks be to God and the Blessed Mother and of course to all of you that offered up prayers and positive energy.

Yesterday, I was able to actually sleep in and then run some errands before going to work and then heading over to my sister's house to enjoy a glass of wine and call one of our best friends to wish her Happy Birthday.

So, sorry for the delay, but one of my resolutions, excuse me resolves for this year was to make more time for family and friends. So I am trying, and at the end of the day, I did say that was what it was all about, trying.

To that end - another one of my resolves was to manage my money more effectively. I think that's a pretty good idea right? I mean I don't know too many people with throw away money just lying around. If you do, and you want to throw some my way great, I'm more than willing to take it but until then I'm gonna have to do whatever I can to save whatever I can especially since my Government is intent on wasting as much as possible.

Now we're friends right? Yeah, I thought so. So I thought "Hey Shan, Why don't you share some of these ideas with your friends? So every once in a while when I stumble upon something that seems like a really good idea, I'll let you know too, so we can both save some money. I figure that way we've got extra money for other stuff right? Right.

Do you have a car or some other kind of vehicle that consumes gas or diesel? Do you like to made to order sandwiches, shakes, coffees, doughnuts, sodas? Do you have a Sheetz in your area? Then you need one of these-

You get $.03 off each gallon automatically everyday. Now, in my area Sheetz is usually the lowest price everyday anyways comparable to even Wawa's. The only places lower are the big warehouse stores, you know the ones I mean (where you have to have a membership) and even those are usually only about 2-3 cents lower and they are out of my way. In addition with this card I get free food and other discounts in the store, pretty sweet. You can either use the key fob or the "credit card"style card if you hate having all those fobs on your key ring. *Please note I have not been compensated by Sheetz in any way. This endorsement and opinions listed herein are totally my own.* Now if you do not have a Sheetz in your area it might be worth it to check and see if any of your local stations offer something similar to this. I know one of our local grocery stores pairs up with a big name gas station to give you 10-20 cents off a gallon but those stations are almost always at least 10 cents higher than any of the other stations in the area, so I would have to spend a lot of money on groceries just to get my gas there at the same cost I could get it anywhere else. Not a smart financial move, for me at least. So, I know that 3 cents a gallon, really when you look at it is not a lot. Most of you have 10-12 gallon tanks so it's what, 30 cents a fill-up but you know what, 30 cents a time depending on how often you fill up adds up.

Sometimes it's the small things in life that trip you up, but you know what else, sometimes it's the small things in life that can make all the difference. Is 30 cents a week going to do it? You never know. It just might, especially if it's combined with other savings. If it does, or if it even helps a little, I hope you think just a little kindly of me and maybe let me know.

I don't know about you- But I plan on using my card today and moving that extra $.03/gallon in savings over from checking to savings and watching it grow.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to Dance in the rain.

Till next time-

Be Safe,
ShanPin It

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Comfort Food - Reese's Cup Pancakes

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Hey y'all. Shan here.

Do you ever have a need for comfort food? You know, something that just makes you feel good? Sometimes in the winter I want chili, or stew, or shepherds pie. Sometimes I want something I know is not good for me, like Chicken-fried steak, corn, mashed potatoes with milk gravy and cake for dessert ( a big ole southern meal) maybe throw in some fried okra or fried pickles too or some mac and cheese that's sooo creamy and cheesy that you have to break the threads just to get the spoon to your face. Do you know what I mean?

But every once in a while, you need that kind of comfort for breakfast. For me this usually comes in the form of good ole chocolate chip pancakes or waffles. Last weekend however, after my relief at hearing that my healthscare was over I needed a little something more.... I began to scour the cabinets and found chocolate chips, Hershey Kisses and then....wait for it...yep... Reese's Cups. Little miniature ones left over from making Reese's Brownie bites a few weeks back. What if I chopped them up and folded them in the batter? I tried it and the resulting concoction was a little taste of heaven let me just tell you. But as I began to drop the cupfuls of batter onto the griddle I realized I was potentially depriving the world of these tastebud pleasing morsels. I knew then that even though this was not a dish that one would or even would consider having on a regular or even semi-regular basis, for you my friends (and I'm certain we are in fact friends, are we not, yes I thought so) I would make the ultimate sacrifice and make these again soon and this time be sure to document the process.

So, yesterday I selflessly, for y'all, made a batch of these-

Reeses's Cup Pancakes
I have to say I channeled my inner Shelly from Cookies and Cups, on this one. Have y'all seen her stuff? She's amazing. Check her out- but after you finish here, kay.

These are soooo hard! And soooo expensive tooo! So Since we're friends I've got the step by step for you, kay? Kay!

Start with your box of ready mix pancake/waffle mix. Normally I go for Bisquick (I'm a southern girl) but remember how I said I'm trying to save us all some money? That box was like $5 and this one was $1.99. Guess which one I was getting? Plus, when I'm wanting comfort, I'm usually wanting it pretty quick, I wasn't wanting to have to do a lot of mixing and measuring. All I had to do here was add water. (I'm not a proud baker. I'll save the real cooking, with the real mixing and measuring for bigger projects)

Next, unwrap your little chocolate and peanutbutter filled gems of happiness and get ready to relieve a little frustration.

I used 8 but, it was just for me. Use more or less for your taste and your situation.

Next chop them up coarsely. I used my chef's knife but you could use whatever works for you. You want to make sure you still have chunks though.

Fold your chopped Reese's cups into your pancake batter and gently mix until fully incorporated.

Next, get your your griddle hot or skillet if that's what your using.  
*Tip*- If using a nonstick griddle I recommend using butter and not non-stick spray as it tends to leave a film on the surface of the griddle.

This picture just makes me happy (:

Pour batter onto griddle in even sizes and wait until bubbles begin to form and edges begin to brown. (Just like any other pancakes)

When you flip them try not to be amazed at how light and fluffy and how amazingly high they are and how great they smell!

Remember you have a whole griddle full, and that you should share some with the others in your house. If by chance you live alone, then by all means freeze some so you can have them whenever you want and aren't tempted to eat them all in one day!

Don't you want some?
I can't swear by the accurateness of the following statement but- I'm quite sure that if you do like I did and you stir these backwards it takes all the fat and calories out and therefore by the time you expend the calories to actually eat and digest them you are then in negative calories. Add this to the nutritional properties of peanuts/peanutbutter and emotional benefits of eating chocolate well, these are soooo freaking good for you I don't know why you couldn't eat them on a regular basis!

Ok, that's all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed today's post and you get a chance to try it out soon. If you like it, feel free to share it with your friends and even to Pin it. 

Don't forget to follow me - I'm still new here and trying to get some new friends. Susbscribe so you don't miss anything new. I'll be back soon with some new stuff.

Till next time-

Be Safe,

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Free Wine Tasting ... Part Two

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Hey y'all. Shan here.

Did you see this woman last night?

If you answered "No", then I just have four little words for you. Why the Heck not!?!

That sweet lady with the fab smile (isn't she cute?) is Melissa. She was our Wine Hostess with the Mostess at the Olive Garden's FREE (Yes, I said Free!) Wine Tasting Event last night. We sampled 6 different wines, 3 whites, 3 reds from different regions in Italy. Melissa told us all about the different regions in Italy where they came from, what kinds of flavors to expect from each one, which types of dishes they would go best with, that sort of thing. She had a nice appetizer assortment ready for us including cheese, bruschetta with warm toasty bread and different types of olives. When it came time for the dessert wines she even gave us a combination of Olive Garden's new Dolcini's, their little, smaller sized desserts. YUM (:

When I left, I think there had been about 14 people in to participate and there was almost an hour left. Melissa just kept adding the people as they came in and would catch them up and make sure they had a chance to get to try everything. No rush, just take your time and enjoy.

She did an AMAZING job!

So....You know what? They're having another one tonight. Guess what? Yep. It's Free too. Uh-Huh. Same rules apply. They'd really like you to go to the Olive Garden FB page and sign up so they kind of have an idea about who's gonna come by, but I looked at the list of who had signed up yesterday and said yes, and let me tell you, I didn't see any of those people there last night except yours truly.

Well, what are you waiting for? Grab a date, or a friend and head on over to your local Olive Garden. Okay, so not right this minute. Get there at 6 when it starts, or maybe a little before then so you can get good seats in their newly remodeled cafe. Here in the DMV, that would be in Fairfax, Falls Church, Vienna, Woodbridge, and Mannassas. They'll be doing it again next week too, but why wait?

Let me know if your Wine Hostess is as Amazing as Melissa. She'll be hard to beat!

Till next time-

Be Safe,
ShanPin It

Monday, January 9, 2012

Free Wine Tasting and Appetizers... Are You In?

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Hey y'all. Shan here.

So, I told you I'd tell you about fun events and money saving tips. How about a Fun Event that was FREE! Yep! I said FREE!

Do you like Wine? Do you know about Wine and which wine goes with which foods or do you just go "I like that one." The right wine can really make a meal rather that meal is a $6.00 appetizer or $100.00 full sit down meal, or even just a nice desert. It can also make you look really smooth if you know the right bottle to order with a meal or to bring to an event. *Hint-Hint*

Did you know that your local Olive Garden Restaurants are offering Free Wine Tastings in their newly remodeled restaurants. Their servers are specially trained to educate their guests to help them pick the wines that will compliment their meal selections the best. When you go to their restaurants you can get up to 3 samples on any given day of their wines Absolutely Free! Their servers should offer you this service, but if for some reason they don't, just ask and they will give you the 3, 1 oz samples Free of charge. Most restaurants charge for this, but not the Olive Garden. They really do treat you like family.

However, they are now taking this one step further. They are offering Free Appetizers and Wine sampling in their Cafe's as a way to showcase their newly remodeled restaurants and as a Thank-You to their loyal customers they are offering these Free Appetizers and Wine Tastings. They will have Specially Trained Servers in the area just for you to answer any questions you might have and to help educate you regarding wine pairings.
How Freaking COOL is That?

So- You're probably thinking- "Hey, Shan- You're Amazing! (Why, Thanks *blushing*) What do we have to do, to get in on this fabu gig?"

Go to their FB page here (see, I gave you the link and everything) and see when the tastings are in your area, sign up, get your friends to sign up and go have a blast.

You can thank me later. No, really. Thank me. Like, you know, send some peeps my way and let me know if you had fun, that kind of thing. Also if you hear of something in the DMV I could go to, hit me up.

I hope to see you all soon. Who knows, maybe I'll see you at the O.G.

Till next time-

Be Safe,
ShanPin It

Oh Lawdy Here We Go Again!

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Hey y'all! My name's Shannon. I've got a few other blogs my main one is here,  and my other one is here (although I don't get to it very often, can't imagine why).

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? I Don't make Resolutions because I think that too often they're unrealistic and we set ourselves up for failure with them. So instead of "Resolutions" I just "Resolve" to "Try".  You know to Try Harder, to Try More... You get the idea.

I resolved this year to 1- Make more time for myself. (See I would have already been failing there) However, I am going to look at this blog as a way to that by maybe forcing myself to get out more and explore what my local region has to offer. I do after all, live in an amazing area, so maybe it's not a fail, just a baby step toward a win. 2- Make my finances a Priority so I could sell my house, buy a condo and start putting more money towards retirement. This is what really got me started thinking, just yesterday, about yet another blog *groan* *eye roll* because YES, ABSOLUTELY!, What the world needs is another Blog. (More about this in a minute, You can jump down if you have to (: ) 3- Make more time for Family and Friends. 4- Work on my other business, which will of course help out #2. If you want to help out with that or just see some great cards and papercrafting techniques and some links to other sites hop on over there, but not till you're done here. 5- Finish my degree and start on my next life phase (don't even get me started *BIG Head Shake* 6- Finish my first novel which is about halfway done and get the second one started, the characters are already swimming around in my head.

Lucky for me, I'm an empty nester and my boyfriend's job keeps us separated for long periods at a time so I have all this free time to spend, right?

So, back to my epiphany yesterday, I was watching The Playoffs, were you watching? And Blogging about being able to save money every time I bought gas. Did you hear me? Every time I bought gas in town! Then I thought, "Why should just my stamping peeps get to be in the know?" But, then I thought, "Well my Stampin blog is mainly for Stamping & Designing, (it's primarily a Creative blog) and what if I wanted to start putting other neat ideas out there for others?" HMMMMM
I got up yesterday morning and after the week I had was craving comfort food and wanted pancakes but wanted something more than just pancakes and more than even just Chocolate Chip pancakes, so you know what I made, Pancakes with chopped up mini Reece's cups. O. M. GEEEEE! They were Soooo GOOD! They were like Shelly from Cookies&Cups Good, or Bakerella Good or Annie's-Eats Good! I realized in the middle of making them how good they were going to be but it was too late then to take pictures with my crappy picture taking BB, so I'll have to do that next time, but I thought maybe my design blog isn't the best place for my comfort food but a blog sharing blog would be just right.

Now trust me on this when I tell you- I'm never gonna be as funny as Shelly or Shelly and Kristan or as talented a cooker or baker as those other fine ladies and that's ok because I'll just send you to their sites. Let's face it, a lot of the time, they've done the recipe searches for us a head of time anyways. What I will do is pass on whatever money-saving, or time saving tips I can find or fun things I can find to do or maybe just something new that interest me. I'll do it for as long as I can find stuff out there (which with all the stuff out there hopefully will be a while, maybe I'll get some sponsors- Hey Wineries listen -up!) and as long as I can find the time to keep up with it. This will definitely not be an everyday blog, but I hope that you will Google friend me, or put me on your reader or sign up for e-mail alerts so you know when something new comes out.

Well that's all for this post- the good news is the next post isn't far behind. In fact, it's only moments away.
I hope to see you soon.
Till next time-

Be Safe, (If you want to know where this come from you have to go here)
ShanPin It