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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beer Review: Abita S.O.S. (Save Our Shores)

     Abita's S.O.S. (Save Our Shores) is labeled "A Charitable Pilsner," and according to the back, "For every bottle sold, Abita will donate 75¢ to the rescue and restoration of the environment, industry and individuals fighting to survive this disastrous oil spill."As if that's not a good enough reason to buy it, the bottle is a definite keeper, with a beautiful painted label.
     Poured into a glass, S.O.S. is the color of straw and slightly hazy with a white one-finger head and steadily rising streams of bubbles. The aroma is bready with a bit of hoppiness. The flavor starts off yeasty, with sweet white bready malts; then, there's a bit of lemony hops. S.O.S. has a spicy, tangy grapefruit finish. It's very well balanced. The mouthfeel is clean, crisp, and refreshing. The carbonation seems just right. Pilsners are generally not my first choice, but I'd certainly drink this one again. 7% ABV. Rating: B.


my new Etsy shop

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Future Beer Reviews

Yesterday, my husband and I drove over to Pensacola, Florida for a beer run. Upon recommendations from friends and, we visited Richey's Liquor Store and Four Winds International Food Market. We brought home several brews that I plan to review over the next month or so. Here's a list of reviews you can look forward to reading:

Abita SOS
Dogfish Head Black and Blue
Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu
Dogfish Head Midas Touch
Great Divide Smoked Baltic Porter
Harviestoun Old Engine Oil
Rogue John John Dead Guy
Rogue John John Juniper
Rogue Northwestern Ale
Rogue Somer Orange Honey Ale
Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
Sweetwater Waterkeeper
Victory Golden Monkey
Victory Storm King Stout

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Extreme Couponing? Get Real!

Back in May, I wrote about TLC's "Extreme Couponing" and the resulting coupon craze. Now in its second season, "Extreme Couponing" is still giving many consumers false expectations of coupon savings. Walking out of your local store with hundreds of dollars in free groceries, toiletries, etc. is not realistic

Here's what is:

In the last four months, I've saved $149.72 just by using coupons, plus another $38.38 by taking advantage of sales. I spend approximately 2 minutes each day scouring my favorite online printable coupon source(s) and another 5 minutes clipping coupons on Sundays. This is a far cry from the 40 hours per week those crazy ladies supposedly spend on their coupon habits.

Unrealistic: doubling coupons.
Realistic: Most stores do not double coupons! Here in southern Alabama, there's only a small handful of stores that double coupons, and those that do typically only double coupons up to 50 cents. As most of these stores charge more for their items to begin with, you're better off shopping elsewhere.

This is just one of many reasons I frequent SuperTarget. 

#1) Lower prices: Check out this article from CNN Money stating that, "Target isn't beating Wal-Mart [prices] on all items but it is on those that really matter to consumers."

#2) Stacking Coupons: This means that Target accepts one manufacturer coupon and one Target coupon for the same item (unless prohibited by either coupon).

#3) Multiple Coupon Formats: printable coupons from their websitemobile coupons delivered to your cell phone, and coupons by mail.

#4) Gift Card Promotions: For example, in July Target offered $5 gift cards with the purchase of 4 select Head & Shoulders products. With two BOGO (buy one, get one free) coupons and one $1 off coupon clipped from the P&G insert found monthly in Sunday papers, I took full advantage of this deal. At regular price, the 2 shampoos and 2 conditioners I purchased would have cost $28.66. Instead, I paid $13.08 and received a $5 Target gift card! (Note: These were the 23.7oz bottles, not the standard 13.5oz bottles.)

#5) Buy 4 (or 5), Get 1 Free Deals: Most of the time, the items offered in these deals are also on sale. For example, last week Target had most Kashi foods on sale with discounts between 35 and 50 cents. Most Kashi items were also included in a buy 5, get 1 free deal. I used 4 coupons: $1.00 off 2 Kashi snack items (Target coupon), $1.50 off 2 Kashi TLC Bars (, $1.00 off 1 Kashi TLC Pita Crisps (, and $2 off any Kashi item ( I paid $9.50 for what would have cost $20.29!

#6) Clearance Items: Target generally has an extensive selection of clearance items, from clothing to home decor to groceries, up to 70% off. And they allow you to use coupons on these clearance items. Frequently, Target's coupon site and mobile coupons include discounts up to $5 off specific clothing brands. Find one of these brands on the clearance rack, and you're likely to get it for next to nothing!

#7) No Hassle: In the past, when I shopped at Walmart, I often had problems with coupons printed from the internet. The cashiers would spend a ridiculous amount of time examining my printed coupons and would even consult managers on whether or not they were valid. Not only did I feel like I was being accused of dishonesty, I sometimes had to wait several minutes for managers to come by. In the middle of summer in Mobile, Alabama you don't exactly want to stand around while your ice cream melts in your shopping cart! I have never had this problem at Target. In case you do come across an issue, I suggest you print a copy of Target's coupon policy, and take it with you on your shopping trips. 

Couponing can easily spiral way out of control. Many people feel the need to purchase products they'll never use simply because they have a coupon. Stick to a few easy rules to keep things under control. Only clip/print coupons for items you buy regularly. Don't waste money on Sunday papers that don't have coupons you'll use. Visit the Sunday Coupon Preview to have an advanced look at coupon inserts before you fork out the cash for a paper, and make sure those coupons, at the very least, offset the cost of the newspaper. There's no sense in spending $2.00 on a paper for 25 cents in coupons! 

My first post on "extreme couponing" can be found here. It includes more links you may find helpful.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Coupons for Crafters

Here are some valuable Michael's Arts & Crafts coupons for my fellow crafters. 

Choose from these: 
save 50% off any regular priced item, 
60% off custom order framing, 
and 15% off Bead Gallery Strung Bead Collection, 
or print all three. Coupons are good until Sept 17th. 

Check out this autumn owl necklace I made with beads and pendant purchased at Michael's.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Free Sample Sunday!

Here are some more free samples!

Target is giving away free samples of the new Kleenex Cool Touch Tissue here.

P&G has added new items to their brandSampler. Sign up here.

Get a free sample of Shout Color Catcher here.

Most samples take 6 to 8 weeks for delivery. Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cathy's Pimiento Cheese

8 oz cream cheese - softened
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese* - finely shredded
8 oz pepper-jack cheese* - finely shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 to 4 roasted red peppers - seeded and roughly chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

*Cathy recommends using only premium quality cheese such as Cabot.

Put softened cream cheese and mayo in a mixer and beat on low to medium speed for about one minute. Slow mixer speed, add Worcestershire sauce and red peppers, and beat on slow until combined and peppers are chunked up. Add shredded cheeses and beat just until combined. Pack into tightly closed containers and refrigerate. Let sit out for about 15 minutes before serving.

For more heat, add a teaspoon or so of Tabasco or Sriracha, or use habañero-jack instead of regular pepper-jack. If you are unfamiliar with Sriracha, then Google it, because you are missing out!

Cathy recommends spreading her pimiento cheese on pretzel bread, while I've been enjoying it on Kashi's TLC Zesty Salsa Pita Crisps.

Big thanks to my mother-in-law, Cathy Whelton, for sharing this tasty recipe.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beer Review: LA-31 Boucanée Smoked Wheat Ale

New to my favorite package store in Mobile, Cottage Hill Package, is the LA-31 line of beers by Bayou Teche Brewery in southern Louisiana. Boucanée smoked wheat ale is brewed with cherry-wood smoked wheat. It pours a beautifully clear copper with just the slightest hint of foam that's gone in an instant, leaving not a trace of lacing. The aroma is malty and slightly sweet with a light smoky scent that intensifies as it warms. The smoky flavor is distinctive but not overpowering. It's bold but super smooth with a bit of bready malt and a hint of sweetness from the cherry-wood. It may be my mind playing tricks on me with thoughts of smoked sausage, but I get a little saltiness on the finish. Boucanée is crisp and appropriately carbonated. The mouthfeel is light but satisfying. This brew would compliment a variety of Louisiana favorites such as sausage gumbo and barbecue. I definitely see a six-pack of smoky deliciousness in my future and can't wait to taste and review the LA-31 Grenade (pronounced grruh-nod) that's currently residing in my fridge. Boucanée has an ABV of 5.7%. Rating: A

Monday, September 5, 2011

Custom Classic Car & Truck Portraits

I am now offering my photography services for custom classic car and truck portraits. I'll have a new website soon, but for now here's the info:


  • a minimum of 1 hour of shooting time at the location of your choosing within 25 miles of Mobile, Alabama.
  • 2 shots of you with your car or truck. 
  • 1 8x10 image of your choosing printed on archival paper. Additional prints and/or sizes can be purchased separately.
  • I will arrive on location approximately 30 minutes early to set up my equipment and discuss any further details with you.
  • Within 2 weeks of your photoshoot, I will email you a link and password to view 10 to 15 carefully edited images in a private online gallery. 
  • $100 for each additional car or truck.
  • $10 for each additional person and/or pose.
  • $0.50/mile one-way for locations outside of the 25 mile radius of Mobile, Alabama.

Though my new website is still under construction, you can view my portfolio here.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions!