Thursday, August 18, 2011

Living Dead In Dallas- Book 2

I know that I mentioned in my first post about the Sookie books that you should not read these if you are not current on the Sookie Stackhouse books or the True Blood episodes.  The same Disclaimer applies here, there may be spoilers!  Now on to the juicy topics of 
Book 2
 Living Dead In Dallas served as somewhat of a preamble to the Vampire politics, we learn a little more when Eric sends Sookie to help in Dallas.  It is also introduction to another breed of "Supe,"  the Maenad, and the Fellowship of the Sun. Bill and Sookie grew closer but Eric and Sookie seemed to as well. We got our first glimpse of Eric's more human qualities and a few more characters were introduced.

Lafayette - We actually met Lafayette, Merlotte's cook, in the last book. He was friendly with Sookie, though they only had a couple of interactions and it was always fairly light conversation. I was having a hard time deciding if he should be mentioned in the previous post because he is one of the main characters in  True Blood and just a small part in the book. I decided to wait and figured he would be more predominate in this book.  I remembered that Lafayette is killed in one of  the books and it was in one of the first few I'd read, though I wasn't sure which. I did not realize that only 8 pages in he would be found dead in Andy Bellefleur's car. Sookie spends the majority of this book trying to solve Lafayette's murder, getting Andy off the hook. However, she goes out of her way to make sure everyone knows its because she was Lafayette's friend and thats the purpose behind her efforts.  Through Sookies detective work we find out that Lafayette was involved in some kind of weird sex circle. They begin to hit him and he threatens to out everyone so they kill him. This is where the book differs from the show a lot, Lafayette still (in season 4) has a pretty big role. It is Eggs,Tara Thornton's love interest that is killed. - But before we get too confusing, I'll save that for the show reviews.
Tara Thronton - One of Sookies closest and only friends from high school. Sookie hangs out with her, Eggs, and another friend JB at a football game making Bill jealous after he is seen with Portia.  Tara and Eggs are also at the cabin in the woods.
The Bellefleurs- Come to think of it, Andy and the rest of the Bellefleurs don't really have their own plot  lines in the books but are definitely worth mentioning as they are in all the books, I think.  Well at least most of the books. The Bellefleurs are not fans of Vampires and at the end of the book Bill discovers that Andy and Portia are great grandchildren to him. While in True Blood, season 4, Bill just makes this discovery.
     Terry- Andy's cousin is a little crazy (post war symptoms) and likes to keep to himself. From time to time he helps Sookie out, she is of the impression he is just generally a nice guy. He also stands in for Sam working the bar when Sam needs help. In True Blood he marries Arlene, I cannot remember if that takes place in the books but I will confirm it when I reach that point, by the end of book 2, he is not with Arlene
     Portia- Andy's sister, uses Bill to try to get an invite to the sex club. She thinks that if she gets in she can get to the bottom of the murder of Lafayette and clear Andy's name. She is still repulsed and a little scared of the idea of being with a Vampire and they never actually have relations, they are just seen in public a few times. In True Blood, season 4, they have more of an intense relationship. Portia wants Bill but Bill finds out about the family ties and backs out.
   Andy- We met Andy in the last book, I believe he is in every book and most of the episodes. I have a tendency to write him off as unimportant but I think its just because Sookie kind of plants the image of a bit of a Barney Fife cop.  So, this book starts with Andy drunk (interestingly, in True Blood, Andy's addiction is V not alcohol) in Merlottes, Portia comes to take him home where her aversion to vampires is made known when Bill tried to help her get Andy to the car.  Andy's car is left in the parking lot which is exactly where Sookie finds Lafayette dead the next morning.  At this point Charlaine introduces Holly the waitress as she comes onto the scene.
Holly - A "blunt, straight forward" waitress at Merlottes with a son. Sookie gets along with Holly but they are not great friends. I feel like its important to mention her now because in Season 4 of True Blood Holly plays a large role with the Wiccans. In Holly's introduction to us from Sookies, she mentions Holly previously had a relationship with Andy. In season 4, her and Andy appear to be developing a relationship.
Callisto the Maenad- A crazy creature that lives in the wild. She thrives of pride, sex, and drunkenness. She badly injures, almost to the point of death, Sookie to send a message to Eric. She is responsible for the chaos in the woods the night at the sex party. Eric and Bill have to burn that cabin to clean up after her. She has what appears to be a sexual relationship with Sam for the short time she is "visiting" Bon Temps, but they don't go into a whole lot of detail.  In True Blood, Sam ends up killing her but, in the book she just moves on to the next location.
Dr. Ludwig - Sookie and the Supe Dr. Sookie calls her a dwarf. She appears a couple more times in the books.
Barry- The other telepath that Sookie meets. He appears in the stories some time later too. He also helps Sookie realize she can send messages as well. In the book she sends Barry a message while she is locked in the basement at the Fellowship to tell Bill where to find her.
The Fellowship of the Sun- The "Church" against Vampires. Believe all Vampires should meet true death.  In book 2 they are planning a lock in for church members so at dawn they can let the two vampires they have meet the sun in a huge ceremony. A member from the Church also tries to kidnap Sookie upon arrival at the airport in Dallas.
     Steve Newlin - runs the Fellowship, and a bit creepy, I must say.
     Sarah Newlin-  Steve's wife. When Sookie makes her escape with the shifter, Sarah tries to get Sookie back by causing a car accident. She tries to haul Sookie from the car claiming to be her sister.
Godfrey- The Vampire who saves Sookie at the Fellowship of the Sun. He is there to meet true death. He volunteered himself to the church for the ceremony.  I believe he is Eric's maker in True Blood.  He is not in the books. 
Farell- the Vampire that is kidnapped but Godfrey and the Fellowship to be a part of Godfrey's ceremony. Steve's plan is to tie Sookie to him so that she will burn too.
Stan Davis- The lead Vampire there in Dallas. He contacted Eric to enlist Sookie's help tracking Farell through the minds of the workers at the bar. He later calls Bill back to Dallas to settle up some debt with the shifters who helped Sookie escape the grasp of the fellowship.

A few more plot points
-Sookie hears Stan's thoughts when she is first introduced to him. She still does not tell anyone.

- At Stans house during Farells welcome home party, the Fellowship makes another attack on the Vampires. Eric is shot in the shoulder and tricks Sookie into taking the bullet out with her teeth ingesting some of his blood.
- After the trip to Dallas Bill and Sookie take a small break, thats where Portia comes in and the football game with Tara, Eggs, and JB
- While Bill is out of town in Dallas dealing with the shifters and Stan, Sookie enlists Eric's protection at the sex party in the woods. We see a bit of a more human side to Eric and also see more of the attraction Eric has to Sookie.

Well that about wraps book 2... Club Dead anyone?

Friday, August 12, 2011


First of all I would like to thank everybody for the wonderful comments that they left here and on the Terra Rhodes Photography facebook page. Now, its time to announce who will be receiving a free mini session!

Erica S.!! 

Thank you all for participating. I can't wait to hear from you Erica!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm a Sookie Stackhouse nerd!

OK, OK, so I'm a huge dork but also a huge fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books and the True Blood series.  However, since I read the books about a year ago and the episodes of True Blood are a week apart (the seasons a year apart) I have been having a really hard time keeping things straight in my head
     -- Hold on, before I get too in depth here, let me throw out this DISCLAIMER: There may be spoilers for the episodes, books or both. Even comments may contain spoilers. - I highly recommend you do not read this if you do not want to know.
As I was saying, I realize that the show is much different then the books but my mind just goes there.  I have even read some interviews here and there that Charlaine Harris has said the books are more like an outline for the TV series rather then the script. Also, that they are trying each season of the shows sort of corresponds with  each book - I'm paraphrasing there. I thought that was a pretty good way to put it but I can't help but feeling its good to have read the books first.
So, a couple episodes into this season of True Blood, I decided to reread the books.  And try to straighten out my head a bit. As I finished the first book, I realized I was going to be "forced" to re-watch the first season of True Blood again.  This was starting to sound like an endless circle that was going to consume my entire "life after the kids are asleep at night." Plus with the new Twilight coming out this November, I couldn't be wrapped up in 2 vampire concepts, talk about confusing.  I decided the best idea was going to be to keep outline of sorts that touch on the highlights of each book so that I can go back and add to/decipher it when I get around to re-watching.
So here it is, feel free to add or bring up anything you think should be included. But please do not be offended, this is all strictly my opinion and not an official stance on anything.

Book 1 

Overall this is about the introduction of Sookie and her gift to the reader, Bill, and Eric. 
We also meet other important characters -
Gran - Sookies Grandmother who practically raised Jason and Sookie after her parents were killed in a flood. Gran is an old fashioned Southern Woman but doesn't seem to mind vampires. She seems to encourage Sookie and Bills relationship because she wants Sookie to be happy.  She is murdered by Rene and leaves the house to Sookie.  Sookie thinks of her from time to time through the entire series.  In the most recent book Charliane released, they reveal tons of secrets Gran had been keeping, but Im not telling yet!
Jason -Sookie's handsome older brother who at this point doesnt seem all that relevant. He is suspected for murder (of a couple local fang bangers and his grandmother) in the book but Sookie helps prove his innocence when she is attacked by the true killer, fights back and both the killer (Rene - his name is relevant only because they refer to it later in the books and show) and Sookie are hospitalized.  Rene comes clean in the hospital.
Sam - The first shifter we are introduced to.  Sookie's boss, best friend, and I have to mention in the first book there is several mentions of missed opportunities of Sam as her lover. Though, at this point thats all it is, missed opportunities. Sam likes to take the shape of a Collie because its a larger dog but non threatening.
Sookie can read Sams mind but its harder for her then other people, also it appears he can keep her out if he wants. The scene that Sam reveals he's a shifter is kind of funny. Sam as Dean, the Collie, stays with Sookie one night. She thinks hes a stray and she's just lost her pet cat, the next morning when she wakes Dean is not longer there but a naked Sam is asleep on her bed.  The explaining starts. It should be noted that both Sam and Sookie seem to have a strong need to protect one another.
Arlene - She is more important in earlier things but her and Sookie's friendship fizzles later.She has her own story line currently in True Blood, which I find myself not caring much for. Anyway, she is anti-vampire and Sookie thinks of her as a friend.  She mentions "best friend" but only because friendships are llimited for Sookie and Arelene seems to accept it as long as Sookie stays out of her head. Also, Alrene and Rene are married.
Liam, Diane, and Malcome - There is a Vampire nest nearby that plays a big role in this book but, I do not feel like in the grand scheme of the novels or the show, these characters make much difference. Other then to say they show a little vulnerability of the vampires because they're home is burned during the day and the vampires go up with it. Also, they just further touch on Bills devotion to Sookie and mainstreaming.  Since they were a pretty big plot line for this book, I felt like they at least need to be mentioned by me.
Bubba - Bubba is Elvis if you hadn't figured it out. He becomes a loveable character for me but not yet in this book. He prefers to feed on cats but, is not the killer of Sookie's cat - Rene does it and he just strangles the cat. I remember it being much more gruesome on TV but, it makes for better TV. Bubba makes his debut as protector of Sookie and her home while Bill is out of town- a favor to Bill.
That brings us back to Bill...

Vampire Bill - Sookie's first encounter with the supernatural. Sookie falls in love with Bill over the course of the first book. As soon as she meets Bill her life begins to change.  I find it interesting to re-read this book because Sookie is so innocent and naive in the first book, something you tend to forget over the course of the stories.  There is so much she begins to learn about the Vampire world and politics.  She encounters death -other people and her own - several times and ultimately the book ends with her in the hospital. More importantly, she and Bill share blood several times and she begins to learn the power of Vampire blood. I also believe this is the beginning of the blood bond however, its not mentioned. Bill does refer to Sookie as "mine" but only explains that its a vampire custom and its to keep her safe. At the end Bill takes a mysterious trip and comes back saying he has won an election and this will help keep their relationship safer from Eric.
Eric - Beautiful, powerful Eric.  I know what you're thinking but, I haven't been able to decide yet if I am Team Eric or Team Bill.  Anyway, Eric and Sookie meet for the first time at Fangtasia where she warns them about a raid tipping him off to her powers. He later calls her back to listen to employees mind and try to find a thief who stole money from them. She makes a "deal with the devil" - ok, its just a deal with Eric - that if he does not kill the offender she will cooperate with him any time he needs this sort of help. This is really interesting because she took Bills blood the previous night to make her strong in case things went bad with Eric, somehow she reads Eric's mind while discussing their arrangement.  She says it was hard and she got out quick so he didn't know she was there.  It wasn't much but definitely an interesting tidbit to keep in mind.  Also Sookie gets attacked by the thief and takes more of Bills blood to heal. Sookie mentions physical changes when she takes vampire blood. (One of them is that her teeth are whiter and sharper. I thought this was interesting because in the most recent episode from 8/7, when the guard was killed I thought her teeth looked sharp and even that we heard her fangs pop out. But I couldn't make sense of why he was going to try to feed on her if she were a vampire or how Marney didn't pick up on it in the circle. I guess I can attribute the teeth back to this observation of Sookie.) It has to be said that at Sookie and Eric's first introduction, Eric has already made his mind up that he wants Sookie.

So now its on to book 2.  I will have more to report for you guys in a couple days and may try to watch a couple episodes of Season one the weeked. I am a little afraid though, I will get confused so ay have to wait until the end of the current season. If Season 1 of True Blood is fresh on your brain, by all means give us some feedback.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Well you guys, I said I was going to try to be better about getting to my coupon posts, and here I am. Yay! I have some good ones for you guys this week.
Don't forget this is only my shopping list with maybe a few other popular deals, there are a lot other great deals to be had that I did not mention! As a matter of fact I fave decided to share my FAVORITE couponing site with you all Collin is fabulous. She stays up to date every day with all the freebies and sweet deals that come out. I recommend spending some time getting to know her site, its just great. Also, follow her on facebook. She posts her updates there too.

First of all check their photo center for "7 days of deals." Today its a free 8x10 with code FREE at checkout.  Select to pick it up in store and avoid shipping. Only one per person.

Keri lotion 15 oz $5.99 = $5 RR
Use the $2/1 coupon found in the 7/17 SS or here
Pay $3.99
Get back a $5 RR
Final cost FREE + a $1.01 Moneymaker!

TRESemme shampoo or conditioner 25 or 32 oz, styling products 5.7-11 oz 4/$15 = $5 RR
Use 4 $1/1 coupons found in the 7/31 RP
Pay $11
Get back a $5 RR
Final cost $1.50 each!

Aussie or Herbal Essences hair care 6-14 oz $3 = $1 RR
Use the $1/1 Aussie or Herbal Essences coupon found in the 8/7 RP
Pay $2
Get back a $1 RR
Final cost $1!

Coppertone or Ban de Soleil Sun Care $9.99 = $3 RR
Deal Scenario:
Buy Coppertone Sun Care $9.99
Use the $1/1 coupon found here or here or in the July issue of All You mag
Pay $8.99
Get back a $3 RR
Final cost $5.99!

Huggies Little Movers or Slip-on Jumbo pack diapers $9.49 = $2 RR
Use the $1.50/1 coupon found in the 7/17 SS (check for coupons in the infant care book from walgreens also you may have better coupons from buying the packs of diapers)
Pay $8.99
Get back a $2 RR
Final cost $6.99!

Buy Glade Plugins Lasting Impressions $6.99
Use the $3/1 coupon found in the 7/31 SS or here or found here
Pay $3.99
Get back a $1 RR
Final cost $2.99!

Crayola Crayons 24 pk $1 = $1 RR
Final cost FREE!

--------- the next portion of the list is just great deals, no RR. You should use this as your second transaction and apply your RR from th previously listed items

Domino sugar 4 lbs $2.39 with in ad coupon
Use the $0.50/1 coupon found in the 6/26 RP or in the July issue of All You mag.
Final cost $1.89!

Green Giant vegetables 14.5-15.25 oz $0.69 with in ad coupon

Campbell’s soup chicken noodle or tomato 10.75 oz $0.69 with in ad coupon
Use the $1/5 coupon found here
Final cost $0.49 each!

Nestle Skinny Cow Dreamy Clusters 6 oz (6 pouches) 2/$5
Use the $1/2 Walgreens coupon found in the August coupon booklet
Plus, use 2 $1/1 coupon found in the
June issue of All You mag. or found in the 7/31 RP
Final cost $1 per 6-pouch package!

Ban deodorant 1.5-2.6 oz $1.49 with in ad coupon
Use the $1/1 coupon found in the 8/7 SS
Final cost only $0.49!

Use the $0.50/1 coupon found in the 7/17 SS
Plus, use the $2/1 Walgreens coupon found in the August Coupon Booklet
AND use the $2/1 Walgreens coupon found in the Infant Care Coupon Booklet
Final cost $1.49!

Purex 2X laundry detergent 32 loads $1.99
Use the $1/2 coupon found in the 8/7 RP
Final cost $1.49 each!

Palmolive dish liquid 10 oz $0.89 with in ad coupon
Use the $0.25/1 coupon found in the 7/24 SS
Final cost $0.65!

Aussie or Herbal Essences shampoo, conditioner 10.1-13.5 oz or styler 6-14 oz 2/$4.97 = $1 Ecb (limit 1)
Use 2 $1/1 coupons found in the 8/7 RP
Pay $2.97
Get back $1 Ecb
Final cost $0.99 each!

Schick Hydro 3 or Hydro 5 cartridges or razor $8.49 = $5 Ecb (limit 1)
Use the $2/1 razor or refill coupons found in the 8/7 SS
Pay $6.49
Get back $5 Ecb
Final cost $1.49!

Softsoap body wash 15-18 oz, liquid or foaming hand soap 8-8.5 oz 3/$9 = $3 Ecb (limit 1)
Use 3 regional $1/1 body wash coupons found in the 7/24 SS (Expires 8/13! – some regions received $0.50/1 or $0.75/1 coupons) or the $0.35/1 liquid hand soap coupon found in the 7/24 SS (Expires 8/13!)
Pay as low as $6
Get back $3 Ecb
Final cost as low as $1 each!

Pampers Jumbo Pack Swaddlers, Cruisers, Baby Dry, or Easy Ups $8.99 = $3 Ecb (limit 1)
Use the regional $2/1 coupon found in the 7/31 P&G (some regions received $1/2 coupons)
Pay as low as $6.99
Get back $3 Ecb
Final cost $3.99!
*There’s also a $2/1 Pampers diapers AND 1 Wipes 60ct+ coupon found in the 7/31 P&G

Spend $10 on Excedrin 8-50 ct = $5 Ecb (limit 2)
Buy 1 Excedrin Extra Strength Tablets 24 ct $4.79 (based on online price)
Buy 1 Excedrin Migraine Geltabs 24 ct $5.49
Subtotal $10.28
Use the $0.75/1 Excedrin product coupon found in the 7/17 SS
Plus, use the $1/1 Excedrin Migraine coupon found here
Pay $8.53
Get back $5 Ecb
Final cost $1.77 each!
*There’s also a $1/1 Excedrin PM coupon found here

Buy 1 Renu Fresh Twin pack $12.99
Use the regional $4/1 coupon found in the 6/12 SS or the $2/1 coupon found here
Pay $8.99
Get back $3 Ecb
Final cost $5.99 for a Twin pack!

-------Non ECB purchases
Welch’s jelly 32 oz or Jif peanut butter 3/$5
Use the $1/3 Welch’s coupon found in the 7/31 SS
Final cost $1.34 each!
* Buy 2 Welch’s products and submit for the FREE Welch’s Sandwich keeper! --see, isn't Collin awesome

Select Disney or Marvel vitamins and gummies Buy 1 get 1 Free
Buy 2 Disney Gummy Vitamins $7.49 (based on online price)
Use 2 $1/1 coupons found in the 8/7 RP or found here
Final cost $2.75 each!
*There’s also a $1/1 Sundown or Marvel vitamin or supplement coupon found in the 8/7 RP or a $2/1 Ester-C tablet, gummy or powder coupon found in the 8/7 RP

 Grocery Deals good through Tuesday the 9th

 Kroger - keep in mind a lot of the prices are with the old policy of double coupons. The Krogers around here don't do that anymore. Call and check with the store to get the policy.

Top Flight Notebook or Oxford Twin Pocket Portfolios 15¢

Crayola Crayons 39¢

Yoplait Yogurt Cups 60¢
- 50¢/8 Yoplait Yogurt, Original, Light, Thick & Creamy or Whips Coupon (7/10 SS) or Printable Coupon OR
- 40¢/6 Yoplait Yogurt Coupon (6/12 or 7/10 SS) or Printable Coupon or Printable Coupon OR
- $1/10 Yoplait Yogurt Cups Coupon (6/12 or 7/10 SS)
= 47¢ – 50¢ ea.

Top Flight Composition Book or Office Works #2 Pencils 50¢

Chex Mix, Bugles, or Gardetto’s $1.67
- 50¢/2 Chex Mix or Chex 100 Calorie Snack Coupon (6/12 SS) *expires 8/6! OR
- 60¢/1 Gardetto’s Snack Mix Printable Coupon OR
- 50¢/1 General Mills Bugles Corn Snacks Coupon (7/10 SS)
= 67¢ – $1.17 ea.

Kashi TLC Bars or Cookies $2.99
- $2/1 Kashi Product Coupon (Recyclebank)
= 99¢

Kroger Value Split Chicken Breasts 99¢/lb.


Arm & Hammer Liquid Laundry Detergent – $3.52
-Use $1/1 Arm & Hammer Liquid Laundry Detergent (in-store coupon)
Final Price = $2.52

Axe Shower Gel – $3.82
-Use B1G1 Axe Shower Gel or Detailer coupon (RP 7/31)
Final Price = $3.82 for 2 ($1.91 each)

Bob’s Texas Style Chips – $2.99
-Use B1G1 Free Bob’s Texas Style Chips coupon (in-store coupon)
Final Price = $2.99 for 2 ($1.50 each)

Casa Fiesta Beans (16 oz) – $.82 --this is really a good brand.
-Use $.55/2 Casa Fiesta Beans (16 oz) coupon (in-store coupon)
Final Price = $1.09 for 2 ($.55 each)

Old El Paso Seasoning Mix – $.72
-Use $.50/1 Old El Paso Prodcut Printable Coupon
Final Price = $.22

Skinner Pasta – $1
-Use B1G1 free coupon (in-store coupon)
Final Price = $1 for 2 ($.50 each)

Splenda Essentials (80 ct) – $3.78
-Use $3/1 any Splenda Essentials coupon (SS 7/31)
Final Price = $.78

Wacky Mac Pasta (12 oz) – $1
-Use $1/2 Wacky Mac Pastas Spiral or Bows coupon (in-store coupon)
Final Price = $1 for 2 ($.50 each)


Fage Greek Yogurt (6oz) – $1
-Use $2/2 Fage Total Yogurt
Final Price = 2 Free

Tide Detergent – $5.99
-Use $1/1 Tide Detergent (PG 7/31)
Final Price = $4.99

409 or PineSol $1.49 (Limit 3)
- $1/1 PineSol Printable Coupon
= 49¢

Combine with in ad
Pledge or Soft Scrub – $2.99 (Limit 4)
-Use $1.50/1 Soft Scrub Products (RP 8/7)
Final Price = $1.49
Huggies or Pampers Boxed Diapers – $18.99 (Limit 4)
-Use $3/1 Huggies Diapers (SS 7/17) OR
-Use $2/1 Select Pampers Diapers (PG 7/31)
Final Price = As low as $15.99
Shredd’s Country Crock Spread – $2.99 (Limit 3)
-Use $0.40/1 Shedd’s Spread Country Crock Spread
Final Price = $2.19

Well guys, there you have it. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Free Photographs?

I am so excited! Its my first day with my new camera (and my not so exciting 200 page camera manual.) Oh well, take the good with the bad right?
SO, today friends, I have two things for you guys.  First is just a heads up, I would like to sell my previous camera, its a Canon EOS Rebel XS and comes with some extras. If you or someone you know is interested then contact me for the details.  SOLD!!

Secondly, and more exciting, I am giving away a 30min mini photo session to celebrate my new camera! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here on my blog and/or head to Facebook, like Terra Rhodes Photography and leave a comment. You are only allowed one entry per site and please be advised this will be for a local Houston session only. The winner drawn August 10th and contacted with all the details via e-mail.

Best of luck!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shopping list - a long blog

Well I know some of you will be disappointed that I am not posting the Very Hungry Caterpillar blog yet, but its in the works, I promise. Until then I am trying to get back to you all with the coupon blogs. This summer has been so crazy for and we have been in and out of town so much I haven't had time to do much couponing of my own. Thankfully we had a nice stash so it didn't matter much because we were able to use some things we already had.
This write up is going to be a little different. As you know, I usually just post deals on my own shopping list (don't forget there are lots of other deals to be had) I decide that this week I would give you a glimpse of how I set up for my couponing trip. I usually start by making a menu, that works best for us and helps us stay on budget. Plus, its just easier for me to have a list of meals to pick from. That way I don't have to try to figure out what I'll be making.
As bakward as it sounds to start a diet at the end of summer (what, are we getting in shape for parka season?) we've (me and the hubster) have decided to its time! We had a lot of good luck with the 17 day diet book when tried it at the beginning of summer. However, with all the travels it was really hard to stick to.  August for us, is relatively slow and a good time to focus on food.  Im not sure yet that we are going to do this by the book but we are going to try to take the things we learned and incorporate them and see how it goes. Diet Food- another good reason to make a menu, Im just not that creative and the hubster gets pretty impatient with diet food gone bad.  Hes a steak and potatoes kind of guy!
Ok, now you know whats going on and it goes something like this

Grain-Free Chicken Cordon Blue–

  • Boneless Skinless chicken breasts
  • Sliced ham
  • Sliced swiss cheese
  • Pork Rinds, crushed very finely or food-processed into crumbs
  • Butter (melted)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, pound out your chicken with a heavy object (I use my heavy metal measuring cup) until it’s pretty thin, but not falling apart.
On each breast, lay some ham and cheese. Roll up the breasts so the ham and cheese are inside, and lay them in a baking dish seam-side-down.
Once all the chicken is rolled up and in the dish, top each one with some more swiss cheese.
Sprinkle pork rind “dust” over the top of the swiss cheese, and drizzle with melted butter.
Bake until cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
Freeze, fully cooked. When you want to eat one, thaw it overnight. Then you can throw it in the oven or the microwave until it’s warm (since it’s already cooked). I did about 2 minutes in the microwave to heat the middle, then finished in the oven to get the top crisp-ish again.

This next was a recipe I wanted for lunch for myself. I like to keep egg salad or chicken salad on hand for fast lunches.Skinny Low-Yolk Egg Salad
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1/2 of salad • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 81.2 • Fat: 4.4 g • Protein: 9.3 g • Carb: 1.2 g • Fiber: 0.2 g Sugar: 0.1 g

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 4 tsp Hellman's light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped green scallions or chives
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

Separate the yolks from the egg whites and discard 3 of the yolks. Chop eggs and combine with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, scallions, salt and pepper.
This is another dinner recipe. Its just the recipe for the Corn salsa, but I thought it would yummy on some grilled chicken or even a chicken salad.
Chicken topped with Corn Salsa with Lime
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 12 Size: about 1/2 cup  Old Points: 1 • Points+: 1 pts
Calories: 52.5 • Fat: 0.7 g • Carb: 11.7 g • Fiber: 1.8 g • Protein: 2.0 g • Sugar: 1.8
Sodium: 10 mg (without salt)

  • 4 cups (20 oz) cooked sweet yellow corn, cut
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 scallion, diced
  • 1-2 jalapeƱos, diced (remove seeds unless you like it really spicy)
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 limes, juice of
  • chipotle chili powder, to taste
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste


Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for about an hour. Makes about 6 cups.

Another Dinner plan
Grilled Chicken Bruschetta
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 4 oz chicken + tomatoes •  Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6
Calories: 236.8 • Fat: 8.5 g • Protein: 32.4 g • Carb: 6.8 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Sugar: 0.5 g
Sodium: 182.9 mg (without the salt)

  • 3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 oz part skim mozzarella, diced
  • 1.25 lbs (8 thin sliced) chicken cutlets


Combine onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Set aside a few minutes.

We'll be having beans and "spanish" rice with this. -I usually just brown some rice then cook like the directions say (use brown if you can, better for you) and add a cup of salsa. Its a pretty good substitute.
Carne Asada
Carne Asada Marinade:
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs of flank steak
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
In a gallon size Ziploc bag, combine all ingredients with flank steak and mix really well. Let marinate for at least 6 hours - overnight if you can.
Grill steak until desired degree of doneness. LET SIT FOR AT LEAST 5-10 MINUTES! Once the meat has cooled, slice ACROSS grain into small chunks.
Other Ingredients:
Cook tortillas (dry) in a hot pan for 45-60 seconds on each side. You want them soft & pliable. Add meat, cheese, salsa, onion & top with guacamole. You will LOVE these tacos.
Onion, Cilantro, and Lime Juice Relish:
  • 1-2 sweet yellow onions, diced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 limes juiced
Dice onion into small pieces. Clean & chop cilantro. I use some stems (not many) because they have great flavor. Add lime juice & stir. I let it sit for a few hours to marinate the flavors. It is delicious - especially on Carne Asada Tacos!
 The full recipe was so long I didn't paste it but you can go here and check it out.
Flank steak
  • 2 lb flank steak, fat trimmed
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes, chopped (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs such as oregano, basil or parsley
The goal is really to avoid carbs and sugars. I do splurge a little but try to make healthier choices like whole wheat, brown rice, corn tortillas and so forth. Then compare your recipes to your cupboards and figure out what you need. I usually just print the recipe list and highlight or circle the things I need to get. If they are already on my following list I just tally them.
I always keep fresh salad and fruit on hand. Since I am trying to knock out carbs, I haven't been creative enough lately to come up with additional sides to my main dishes, most of them time I will just do a salad and a veggie.

The rest of my list looks like this
Eggs - big one
Turkey bacon
Light Mayo - Walgreens
Light butter
Pancake Mix (Hungry Jack)
Yogurt - Kroger
Dish Soap

Coca Cola 12 pk Cans – $4.25
-Get $3 ECBs WYB 4 (Limit 1)
Final Price =  $10 for 4 ($2.50 each)
Dawn Dish Detergent – $.99
-Use $.50/1 Dawn Dish Detergent (PG 7/31)
Final Price = $.49
Caliber Notebooks BOGO

Keri Lotion $6.99 = $5 RR (August unadvertised monthly deal)

Use the $2/1 coupon found here or in the 7/17 SS
Pay $4.99
Get back a $5 RR
Final cost FREE!
Kids Smart HI DHA-Omega-3 Fish Oil 30 ct $7 = $7 RR
Final cost FREE!
Crayola Washable Markers classic 8 pk $2 = $2 RR
Final cost FREE!
Hellmann’s mayonnaise 22 or 30 oz $2.99
Use the $0.40/2 coupon found in the 7/31 RP (value will vary by region)
Final cost $2.79 each!
Revlon Tweezer $2.49 (regular price – not in ad)
Use the $1/1 Revlon Beauty Tool coupon found here
Plus, use the $1/1 Walgreens coupon found in the August coupon booklet
Final cost only $0.49!
Dawn dish liquid 10.3 oz $0.99
Use the $0.50/1 coupon found in the 7/31 PG (Some regions received $0.25/1 coupons)
Final cost $0.49!

Trial Size Cascade Complete ActionPacs (3 pk) $0.99
Use the $1/1 coupon found in the 7/31 PG
Zyrtec (5 Ct.) $5.27
Use the $5/1 Zyrtec coupon previously printable
Final cost $0.27!

French’s Yellow Mustard $1
- 30¢/1 French’s Mustard Printable Coupon OR
- 30¢/1 French’s Classic Yellow, Spicy Brown, Honey, Horseradish, Honey Dijon or New Dijon Mustard Coupon (6/19 SS)
= 10¢
Crayola Crayons, 24 ct. 25¢
Dannon Yogurt $1.88
- $1/1 Danimals Product Coupon (6/5 SS) OR
- $1/2 Activia Multipack or Tub Coupon (6/5 SS) OR
- $1/1 Dan-o-nino Dairy Snack Coupon (6/5 SS)
= 88¢ – $1.38 ea.

409 or PineSol $1.49 (Limit 3)
- $1/1 PineSol Printable Coupon
= 49¢

Skintimate Shave Cream – $1.97
-Use $1.50/1 Skintimate Cream Shave Printable Coupon OR
-Use $1/1 Skintimate Moisturizing Cream Shave coupon (SS 7/24)
Final Price = As low as $.47

And there you have it, the things I'll purchase this week and a healthy menu you didn't even have to create together! Hope it goes well!