Giveaway winners

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

Time to announce the winners of the Purex Complete with Zout giveaway!

The winners are # 2 - the McKannas and #3 Anonymous (HeathersMamo). Congratulations! I am contacting the winners by email, and they'll have 48 hours to respond or I'll pick another winner.

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Purex Complete with Zout Giveaway

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

** Entries are now closed**

I'm really excited that I get to be a member of Purex Insiders. Several months ago they sent me a bottle of Purex Complete with Zout to use for myself and 2 coupons for free bottles to give away on this blog! I thought it was a great opportunity to give some free things away and introduce you to a new product.
...Anyway, in the meantime, we moved and I lost the coupons, although I've been using my bottle all along. The good news is that David sorted through the right stuff yesterday and found the coupons so NOW I'm going to give them away. Don't worry, they don't expire any time soon.

First, a blurb about Purex with Zout from their website so you know what you're winning:
Purex Complete with Zout combines the proven performance of Purex detergent with the triple-enzyme stain-fighting power of Zout pretreater. This powerful combination works to get stains out the first time, even tough stains like grass, chocolate, and tomato sauce. Try it on your tough stains.

We've had good results with the Purex with Zout that we've been using. I'm not brand-loyal when it comes to laundry detergents, I use whatever works, and we've been happy with the way Purex with Zout cleans our clothes.

The best part of this giveaway is that Purex said I can do it however I want! Yippee!!

Here's the scoop:
Two readers will each win one FREE product coupon for Purex Complete with Zout. The winners will be selected using I'll contact the winners by email, Facebook, or phone (however I can reach you) after the giveaway is closed, and you'll have 48 hours to respond or I'll choose a new winner. The giveaway will close Sunday, September 4 at 6pm EST.

How to enter: (1 entry per person)
Leave a comment on THIS post telling me your favorite joke. Or if it's not your favorite, make it a really good one. If I don't already have your email address, leave it in your comment so I can contact you if you win.

*I am a Purex Insider. I do receive samples from the Purex brand, but no other compensation was received & my opinions are my own. Now let's hear your jokes!

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mini peach cobblers

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

This post is about a dish I made but no recipe. And no picture. So you may wonder why would I even post about it??

but.... it was soo easy & yummy! I mean super easy. In a couple minutes I whipped up what is usually a special dessert treat, just for the two of us. It's something I could make on any weeknight.

So here are my guidelines for quick Mini Peach Cobblers. Maybe you could take the idea and make something respectable out of it.

I took 1 can of peaches and cut the peaches up in little squares.

Then I dumped a couple spoonfulls of cut up peaches into muffin tins. 1 can of peaches made 6 muffin tins for me, but they were a little small. We each ate more than one. I won't say how many.

Ok this is where this becomes a non-recipe altogether:
Then, I poured some oats, brown sugar, melted butter and flour into a bowl and mixed them into a little streusel. I don't know how much I used. I used proportions that looked like normal streusel proportions to me. If that doesn't help you, just look up a streusel recipe & scale down. ;)

I dumped my little mix over the peaches and sprinkled cinnamon on top. Then I baked it. I think it was at 375 and it might have taken 15-20 minutes until I felt it was done and the streusel looked as baked as seemed right.

They were so yummy for an evening snack with milk, and see how easy they were?! I dare you to go try it and if you do, please leave comments letting me know if you made any additions or changes because I'd probably like to try them too!

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Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

Geneology is a topic that has always interested me.

Maybe it's because I've always liked history, and maybe it's because since before I was born, my family has had a pretty comprehensive knowledge of our family tree back to the 1500s in some areas. Both of my parents' sides have been in America for several centuries, my dad's side since the early 1600s. Both sides have been traced back to their roots in "old country" - England mostly, but all of the British Isles. I've known about relatives that came to America during the Revolutionary War and others that came on the Mayflower. I'll admit that I didn't always enjoy traipsing through cemetaries with my parents on family vacations, but I like knowing where I came from and the people who got me where I am today.

So when I got married, I was interested in learning what my childrens' geneology would be on their dad's side. The problem is, that David really didn't know. He didn't know what nationalities he came from or anything. He didn't know his great-grandparents' names. So, I asked his grandma. "Well, I guess we're all from Virginia," she said. I thought that was funny because Virginians had to have come from somewhere to begin with, but that was the best answer I had.

Now that we do have a little Wood on the way, I got back into trying to find out more. Well, it only takes a couple of hours on the internet to dig up the correct Wood pedigree. (Way easier than requesting old court records, yes?) I was amazed by what I found. First of all, his grandma was right. We traced his family - ALL branches - back to Virginia as early as the early 1600s. They pretty much HAVE been in Virginia forever, all of them. Before that, they were mostly from England.

So, in the marriage of David Wood to myself, we have merged two of the oldest families in America. Our children will have a very consistent geneology - both sides came from Britain to America in the very early stages of the country.

I still hope to find out more and be able to trace some branches that we don't have very much information on yet. Mostly, I wish I could find out stories about these people instead of just being names and dates. I'll enjoy telling my children the stories I do know, about their great-grandpa who parachuted into Germany in WWII and another great-grandpa who served in the Korean War, among others. They definitely have a strong family tree to be proud of.

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Monthly Appearance

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

Just poppin' in to say hi! I think about writing here almost every day. In the end though, I always end up saving you the yawn-inducing post I would write, since our days are anything but exciting right now.

David is literally spending all day studying. When I get home from work, I end up snuggling up next to him while he keeps watching his bar-prep videos. I'm sure his eyes, back, and mind are all ready for this to be over and to take a break!

For me, I'm also gearing up for a big event - my best friend is getting married next week! The baby and I are super thrilled about flying to Denver next Wednesday, but in the meantime I've got a looming deadline to finish her wedding gift. I've been making that the priority for my weekend time (since David's too occupied to be clamoring for attention) and maybe one of these days I'll clean the house again. Don't worry, I do keep up on laundry & dishes!

I still haven't been very impressed lately with the grocey store deals. Meal planning has also been a bit slip-shod, but hopefully sometime this week we'll have tacos. Tune in next week for more thrilling bits of information ;) All that to say, give us two weeks and then hopefully we'll be on to less monotonous activities. I'm looking forward to enjoying the summer before it's over!

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We're Back!

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

As you may have noticed, the Wood Elves have been taking a brief hiatus from writing and updating this site. We realize that we did not post at all in the month of May, and not because we forgot or had nothing to write about. Below are some of the reasons why this blog did not get updated recently:


David graduated with his Juris Doctor. We had a lot of family in town and had a wonderful weekend with everyone celebrating his accomplishments!


The next weekend, we moved out of student housing to a beautiful place just down the road. We spent a few weekends and several evenings getting unpacked and settled and making our new house "home".


We're expecting in December! While everything else has kept us busy, being pregnant has kept me not feeling well and honestly, I haven't had much to say on the blog that wasn't pregnancy-related so I just had to keep quiet for awhile :) We're thrilled though, and now that I'm on my way out of the first trimester, hopefully I'll be feeling better soon.


Related to #3, I just haven't been grocery shopping much. This picture is our one good shopping trip lately, when David went to Harris Teeter triples for me. Lately when we shop, I just buy what sounds good to me, and I have him buy what he will eat to get him through the next week. I look forward to being able to look at the circulars without feeling sick and getting back into getting good deals at the grocery stores.


Last night we went down to the Oceanfront to the free Beach Boys concert. It was so much fun! We were out a lot later and did a lot more walking than this pregnant lady has done for awhile but it was a really good time and we made some fun memories. We love oldies music so it was a real treat.

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Grocery deals 4/27

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: ,

Last night we went to Farm Fresh for a few items that were on sale (no coupons) and to Harris Teeter for Super Doubles.

Here's the Harris Teeter trip:

We picked up 4 coffee creamers for church for less than $1 total and that whole 5lb bag of grapefruit marked down to $1! I figured even if we only at 2 of them, we still saved money! Total before coupons was about $19, and we spent $5.65.

Things have been pretty busy around here between hosting Easter dinner, finishing up David's law school, and packing to move besides I'm still working full time. It's all good though!

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Grocery Deals 4/6

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: ,

I've still been making several little trips these past weeks. Over the weekend, I went to Harris Teeter twice for free croutons and brownie mix, to FF for inexpensive chicken, and to Rite Aid and CVS for the usual freebies. I know I won't be able to keep this up forever. I'm about ready to eat from my pantry from now until we move next month... except for Easter dinner!

Here's my Farm Fresh trip today.

Before coupons, the total was $24.70. I spent $8.83 out of pocket and got back 3 $1 catalinas for next week, so in effect everything shown was $5.83 when everything is said and done.
I grabbed up artichoke hearts and canned beans because they were on sale - no coupon. No, I don't buy popcorn every week. Why do you ask? (It was free - and one of David's favorite evening snacks!) I used my free milk coupon from last week to splurge on 2% milk!!!!! I feel rich.

By the way - I joined a coupon train for the first time this week, and I"m first on the list. I hope everyone else is as excited about the coupons I sent on as I am.

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Second trip to Harris Teeter

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: ,

We went back to Harris Teeter today to use the new cheese coupons from the Kraft website while super doubles are still going on. The cheese was 50 cents each and we broke it up into 2 transactions to use all our coupons. The cereals were both free.

Between the 2 transactions, we spent $6.93. Before coupons and tax, it would have been $37.

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Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

Last weekend, we went to the Norfolk Scope Arena for WinterJam, which is a huge event with lots of top Christian music artists. The best part is that it is only $10 at the door! You can click on the pictures to see them bigger.

Inside the Scope

It was so much fun! We enjoyed the energy and all the artists as well as the presentation of the gospel


Francesca Battistelli - she was so cute & I love her positive, energetic songs

the David Crowder band

David Crowder - we didn't go into the concert being fans of theirs, but ended up getting their Church Music cd & I really enjoy it not only for the style but the portrayal of God. It's both a humble view in reverence at a holy God but also a thankful view in happiness at a life-giving God.

Kutless was another treat because they're such a pillar in Christian music. We knew all their songs, because many of them are sung in our church and are so mainstream in Christian music

Chris August

The Newsboys! We've been fans for years and neither of us had seen them live before so it was sooo exciting for us

We were happy & surprised to learn that Michael Tait from dc Talk is now with the Newsboys!! We got a little old school dc Talk as well as old school Newsboys!

Jody Davis

Jeff Frankenstein

Duncan Phillips with Michael Tait

Then they played up in the air :)

Here's a far away view to see them playing so high, even the drummer - what a show!

We'll definitely be going back to WinterJam next time it comes around, despite the crowds. It was one of the most fun and encouraging things we've done in awhile!

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Grocery Deals 3/23

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: , ,

It's our 22 month anniversary today! And the stores are giving away all kinds of things to celebrate.

First, Farm Fresh:
I was excited to find the $1/1 peelies on the Mission chips - I usually can never find the good peelies. So many good freebies! Free Jello Temptations, Triscuits, cheese, yogurt, frozen veggies & Miracle Whip. Before coupons, my total was $29.10. I spent $9.32.

Tonight, we went to Harris Teeter for more freebies and cheap strawberries.
We actually did 2 transactions to use all our Kahiki coupons and got strawberries B1G2 (they were $5 each before the sale!). I spent $8.08 between both transactions on all the items above. I'm not sure what it was before coupons, but it was over $50.

I also went to Walmart this week to get the items for the All You rebate, onions & lemon juice that I needed. I'll go back later to get milk. I've been making several little trips lately it seems, to the bread store and to Walmart for milk so that stuff adds up on the side as well.

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Drugstore Deals 3/20

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

After stopping to get our free Rita's after church, we hit up the drugstores.

First stop was Rite Aid.

Transaction #1:

2 Lysol Wipes at $1.99 each = $3.98
Used $1/2 coupon = $2.98 + tax
Spent $3.18 OOP

Received $1 SCR back = $1.98
Received 2 $1 UP rewards back= $.18

Transaction #2:
Bought 1 birthday card for 99 cents plus tax
Used $1 UP reward
Spent $.04 OOP

Then to CVS (This picture refused to upload the right way):

David's Transaction:
1 Allegra: $6.99
1 Schick blades: $8.79
Used $2/1 Allegra Coupon
Used $2/1 Schick Coupon
Used $6.58 in ECBs

Spent $5.64 OOP
Got back $11 ECBs

Total: $1.22

My Transaction:

1 Allegra - $6.99
1 Physicians Formula eye shadow - $6.59
1 filler item - QTips - $.50

Used $2/1 Allegra coupon
Used $6/1 Physicians Formula coupon from the Magic Coupon Machine (CRT)
Used $5.80 in ECBs
Spent $.64 OOP
Got back $6.99 in ECBs

Total: $.55 Moneyemaker

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Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

I haven't posted my menu much lately, but I have been meal planning. I've been following so many cooking blogs, my list of recipes I want to make is only getting longer and longer and I don't have enough days in the week to make all of them!

Here are some of the items on my plan this week:

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken -
Recipe Here

Korean Style Chicken Noodle Bowls -
Recipe Here

Chicken Fajita Bowls -
Recipe Here

Bermuda Spinach Salad (this was SO GOOD!) -
Recipe Here

Corned Beef,
Colcannan, Cabbage & Irish Soda Bread (My mom's recipe)

Dinner with Friends

I also made impromptu Carbonara when I realized that I had to have a quick meal before David went to class.

This menu has worked well since a lot of the recipes had overlapping ingredients - for example, spinach and mushrooms. What's on your plan?

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Grocery Deals 3/16

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: ,

I had good trips at both Farm Fresh and Kroger (gasp!) this week.

At Kroger, we did the Mega Deal and got a bunch of Annie's Macaroni & Cheese for 50 cents each (no coupons) and free Ronzoni linguine using the $1/2 coupon. David wanted to stock up on Ramen and picked up his free Yakisoba after coupon as well. We spent $5.96 and should be good in the pasta department for awhile.

At Farm Fresh, I was really excited about the produce sale: Kale, Tomatoes & Mushrooms all for 99 cents a pound, and potatoes for half price!
I also used some free product coupons I had and did the Mega Deal there as well. Gentle Reader, please do me a favor and never leave Farm Fresh without checking the clearance carts. I very often find toiletry items on clearance that I have coupons for and can get them for free.

2 Mushrooms: $2
3 Roma Tomatoes: 57 cents
Kale: 56 cents
Potatoes: $2
Philadelphia Cooking Creme: Free (after free product coupon)
Swiss Cheese: (just in case we have Reubens): $2
2 Oscar Mayer lunchmeat (used 2 $2/1 coupons): $1
4 Progresso soup (used $1/4 coupon): $2
5 margarine: $2.50
2 Propel (used $1/2 coupon): Free
Coffeemate: Free (after free product coupon)
Herbal Essence Shampoo & Conditioner (used 2 $1/1 coupons): Free
John Frieda root awakening hair spray (used $2/1 coupon): 50 cents

Total before coupons: $33.52
Total after coupons: $12.82
Saved: $20.70 or 62%

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My Mailbox

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

Look at what came in my mailbox this week:

I joined the Purex Insiders and they sent me this entire bottle of Purex for free, no strings attached! Of course I will write a review on here when we have used it, because it was so kind of them to send it to us. What a great surprise! We enjoy the 3-in-1 Purex sheets we got in a deal at Rite Aid awhile ago - so easy & the clothes smell great :)

You can get a free sample of Purex with Zout to try for yourself, at this link:

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Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

Sometimes, it is nice to have an entirely unplanned weekend.

It's nice to just relax, attend to the house, and have nowhere to go.

But sometimes, spending the whole weekend at the house with nowhere to go is not my idea of a fun time.
I usually end up feeling more tired and lazy at the end of the weekend than when it started. Most days, I need to leave the house once, even if just to walk around and get my blood flowing to feel more energized.

This weekend, we had no plans except for David's MPRE exam Saturday morning.

Already, by Friday evening, I was wondering what I was going to do with myself all weekend and felt a little bummed out that we had nothing to do. My wonderful loving husband, who loves cozy evenings at home with nothing to do, suggested getting some snacks and going for a drive.

No destination, just driving. (He usually knows what I need)

So we got some snacks, and we went out driving.

We ended up in the neighborhood of one of the families from our church. We drove by their house, and David suggested stopping in. We drove around the block and decided to, indeed, stop.

The family was home and they were just relaxing as well. We had a lovely visit and left about an hour later, completely refreshed by our time in their home and blessed by the conversation. They even prayed for us before we left.

Saturday, I did mostly spend the day at home - I did a few projects but still felt very lazy. That afternoon, I made dinner for some friends who just had a baby and we took it over to them. Another lovely visit and an enjoyable time holding a beautiful newborn.

Once again, on Sunday after church, we were wondering what we were going to do with ourselves and if there was anyone we could have over. We stopped by our neighbors upstairs and invited them to come downstairs and play games with us later. We actually had never had them over before. They came over and we spent a lot of time chatting and eating dessert, and played round after round of Apples to Apples, which went slowly since we kept chatting between hands. All around, we had such a good time together and learned a lot about our neighbors.

SO - now that it is Monday morning and I am back at work,
I just wanted to take a moment to thank God for the divine appointments He gave us over the weekend. We had no plans, but decided to reach out at the spur of the moment to various people and each time, we left blessed & refreshed. Every time we visited with someone, we looked at each other and said, "I'm so glad we decided to do that!"

God knew what we needed to be refreshed & ready to head into another work week.

What are some little blessings from the weekend that you are thanking God for today?

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Grocery deals 3/2

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: ,

Here is last night's trip to Farm Fresh - I bought some produce, chicken, and clearance savings so the coupon savings are low in comparison. I also got things for a dinner I'm making that weren't on sale.

Total: $23.99 (Used FF Gift card)

Zucchinis - $1.97
Tomatoes - $1.82
Kale - $.54 (See how healthy I am!?!)
Chicken - $9.25
Long Grain Rice - $1.19
Artichoke Hearts - $3.49
Corn Tortillas (Clearance) - $.75 each
Baking Soda (Used $.55/2 coupon) - $.04 each
Tuna (Used 2 $.50/1 coupons) - Free
Shampoo & Conditioner (Clearance) (Used 2 $1/1 coupons) - Free
Pierogies (Used 2 $1/1 coupons) - $.79 each
Pez (Clearance) - $.80

And the good news is, that the Military Farm Fresh accepted my printable coupons! I did ask BEFORE I started my shopping.

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Stargate Cake!!

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

David's Stargate cake is finally finished!! The base is tomato soup spice cake and the stargate is yellow cake with blue jello in the middle. Below you can see a comparison with a picture of the Stargate.

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Harris Teeter - Clearance

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: ,

I went back to HT today to get the Purex deal and a few odds and ends. We ended up getting the last box of Cinnamon Burst Cheerios & hitting up the clearance bins. First of all, the Purex with Zout rang up at the e-vic special price of $3 (making it free after the RedPlum coupon) even though it doesn't come in the 72 oz size! We found 50c Thousand Island dressing in the clearance bin (David's been wanting Reuben sandwiches) and pure Peppermint extract for only 50c as well!!!

But best of all --- see that Black Food Coloring?!?! It was $1.87 in the clearance bin!! I am going to try to take back the bottle that I got for almost $4 at Farm Fresh this week.

In total, we spent $7.90 on the items above. I have no idea how much everything would have been before clearanced prices.

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Forever Love

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

We thoroughly enjoyed our Valentine's Day weekend. We love weekends anyway, because we actually get to be together for the whole day!

This weekend we had the privilege to attend one of Family Life Today's Weekend to Remember, thanks to our loving parents. It is a marriage conference that lasted Friday night through Sunday morning.

We were challenged with ways to improve our relationship through communication and conflict resolution... but most of all, to treat our spouse like the gift from God that they are and to put the other before ourselves in all that we do!
We were given an opportunity to write a love letter to each other and discussion topics to go through.

On Saturday evening, the conference ended at 4:30 to give us the whole evening to spend just on a date night together. We enjoyed Korean barbecue, as you can see :)

On Sunday, as the conference came to a close, every couple at the conference was led to face their spouse, hold hands, and repeat after the speakers new wedding vows. It was fun to look at the man that I am so privileged to be married to and remember the day that we first made our lifelong covenant before God to love each other and follow God's plan for marriage.

I'm still so thankful that God gave me David! He is my best friend and challenges me and helps me grow.

All in all, we are so happy that we were given the opportunity to attend. It was neat to be at a conference only with married couples, focusing on our marriage together.

I will try to show my support for David more through my words, attitudes and actions :)

He is so good to me no matter what I do

I love laughing with him, talking with him, and spending day in and day out with him

Since we went out on Saturday, we didn't do much on Valentine's Day itself. When I walked in the door after work on Monday, he met me at the door wearing a pin that he made that said "Kiss Me, I'm Yours." See how sweet he is?
On Monday evening, we watched Fireproof, which is our tradition to do on Valentine's Day. David got me these beautiful flowers, too!

I love you with my whole heart, David! And I thank God every day that He gave you to me :)

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Grocery deals 2/16

Posted by: WoodElves / Category: , ,

This week, as usual, I ran into Walmart and ended up spending more than I intended, because I always get more than I intended in the hopes of being able to avoid another trip into there anytime soon!

Harris Teeter had Super Doubles this week, and everything I wanted was in stock! We are almost out of salad dressing - I use Ranch and David uses Caesar so it was good to stock up.

I spent $9.15 on everything in the picture above. Before coupons, it was $31.67!

Then I went to Farm Fresh, and I spent $8.06 on the items below.

You are probably looking at this picture and thinking one of two things: 1. "My, what a symmetrical picture!" or 2. "$8.06 on just those few measly items in that picture? Heather Wood, I taught you better than that!" Well, my husband's birthday only comes once a year and his cake just wouldn't have the same effect if I didn't have black food coloring. Although, I do wonder if he would rather have the almost $4 rather than a realistic looking cake.

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