Real Weird Blog
A fun blog about real life and the real weird things we encounter.

Hi visitors! I am so happy to have you here. Please have a look around and let me know what you like or don't like :/ Leave a comment or send me an email! I love to hear from my readers.

Banana Nut Muffins Recipe

UPDATE: I brought these into work today and everyone loved them!! 
One thing I have learned this past week is that if I want to accomplish something I should NOT make it into a new year resolution. Every year for the last several, my resolution has always been to cook at home more.  We eat out every day that I do not work. At the moment that breaks down to about 3 days a week. This year I choose not to make it a resolution because I knew my work schedule (getting off at midnight) didn't really allow for cooking within normal hours. Well for some reason I have really been in a cooking mood these last few days. *crosses fingers* I hope it last! Anyway, onto the good stuff. Here are some Banana Nut muffins I made and some Chocolate Chip Banana Nut bread. YUM!

2 1/4 cup of All Purpose Flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Butter (softened)
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
4 Bananas (better if they are on the riper side)
1 cup Walnuts
1 cup Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375* and grease your baking pan.
2. I mixed the first 7 ingredients in that order and then added the bananas 1 at a time.
3. Keep mixing... I mixed for a little while, the original recipe says for 3 min.
4. Fold in the walnuts and the Chocolate Chips if needed.
5. Spoon into your cooking pan of choice. Cook for about 18 minutes.
6. Gobble it up or save some for breakfast!

I forgot to add some walnuts to the top of mine. :( I made 12 muffins and an 8x8 loaf of bread. (you know, standard bread

Here is the original Banana Nut Bread recipe.

Weird Wednesday

This is a tattoo from my left arm. I found this site The Creatures in my Head several years ago and new instantly that I wanted one of these characters as a tattoo. If you are not familiar with this site you should really check it out. Basically every day for several years now this guy draws a different character and puts the picture online. I just think it is super cool and cute and of course the characters are weird so they fit right in.

Thomas the Train and Sale

If you have a Thomas the Train fan in your house you will want to check out the sale going on over at Right now they have these 2 piece train sets for only $9.99 + $5 shipping. If you order at least 2 it is definitely worth the price and for most of them just buying one is better than any online price I could find. We all know how expensive Thomas the Trains stuff is. Lucky for me, I picked up a few items from the Target toy clearance that should get me through until Christmas.

Have you found any other good Thomas the Train deals recently?

Homemade Granola

So, my work schedule is changing and I will not be working 1 to midnight anymore. Instead I will be getting off of work at 6! I am going to use this change to improve my cooking skills actually cook something and maybe break this horrible eating out habit. Today I went to the grocery store and picked up all sorts of ingredients. I will be making chicken parmesan, tortilla soup, dorito pie, chocolate chip cookies, banana nut muffins and this homemade granola.

1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 cups rolled/old fashioned oats
1/4 cup of butter
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 pinch of salt (optional)
1 handful or so of almonds, walnuts, raisins, dried fruit, etc.

1. Put the olive oil and the oats into the pan and cook until some of them look brownish

2. Pour the oats into something else and then cook the butter, honey, and brown sugar in the pan until bubbly.

3. Add the oats and mix it all up. Cook for a bit longer. Don't wait until you smell them burning like I did. Take them out after they are all coated and well heated. I sprinkled the salt on some where around here. I think. :)

4. Add in the nuts and dried fruit or whatever else you want.

Ahh the finished product! These are super yummy even being a little burnt. I can't wait to make them again! I plan to use this granola for a yogurt topping or just as a snack.

I found the homemade granola recipe here but as you can see I did make a few of my own changes.

Cute Cheap Business Decorations!

I saw this cute little thrift store when I was getting gas the other day and I just had to share it. How cute is that building? I just love the green and pink. Can you tell what those green circles and pink flowers are made of? Well, the green circles are those little plastic plates you stick under the not so sturdy paper plates to give them more support. The pink flowers are serving trays! I didn't have the time to stop in because we were headed to see our brand new nephew but I hope to check it out soon.

If you are in the area and want to check out Crystal's Closet in Richmond, Va. you can go to the facebook page here.

Mailbox Monday! 1/28

In my mailbox this week I got an 8 load sample of method laundry detergent. I am interested to see how well this stuff works. That little bottle is only half full. It came with a $2 off coupon! I also got another Starbucks gift card this one was from the Disney Reward program. That program is actually pretty cool. I have not bought a single Disney DVD but they give out free codes so frequently I have been able to get several FREE gift cards.

My Bargains at CVS!

Did I mention I went shopping this morning? Here is what I bought at CVS on 1/27/2013! Right now when you spend $20 on select products you get $5 back in ECB. I did that deal for the coffee. Here is how it broke down.

I bought:
1 Tide $5.94
2 Starbucks DoubleShot Espressos 2 for $10
2 Starbucks Frappuccinos 2 for $10
1 TRESemme Shampoo $.99
1 TRESemme Conditioner $.99
1 Dove Trial Size Deodorant $1.27

Starting cost was $29.19.
I used:
$1.50/1 Tide Detergent, exp. 1/31/13 (P&G 12/30/12)
$2/2 TRESemme Shampoo or Conditioner from the CVS Coupon Machine
$1.50 Any Deodorant purchase from the CVS coupon Machine
I will also get $3 back into my Endorse account.
I got $6 ECB's. $5 for the coffee and $1 for the Tide.

Total cost: $15.19

Another to thing to note about the image are the StayFree items. I did buy those today with a rain check! My store ran out 2 weeks ago when they had the sale. I was able to use the rain check for the BOGO sale, the BOGO coupons and I had received a $2/2 StayFree or Carefree products. This allowed me to get 2 small packs and 2 big packs for $.50 since the coupon had a limit of $4.49. These and the ones made by Always that are Ultra Thin are my absolute fave so I was super happy about this deal. Always make sure to ask for a rain check so you don't miss out. Just be cautious about when your coupons expire.

Did you score any sweet bargains this week? I would love to hear about them!

My Bargains at Target

I went Target this morning to return a pair of super comfy night pants that I know would be too short if I washed them. :( I decided I would have a look around and see what was left of the Target Toy Clearance and see what else I could find. Boy am I glad I did! I found the Aquadoodle for only $8 and the Hello Kitty slippers for only $5. They had tons of other shoes and slippers on sale for 70% off too. The bloom box on the right was for some butterfly wings I bought for my daughter. I had seen them before and had been thinking about buying them ever since. I am so glad they still had this pair today for only $3!! As soon as Zoey saw them she wanted to play with them.

Finally the SHOES! Let me start by saying I am NOT a shoe person. I have tennis shoes, rain boots, black cute boots, crappy black dress flats, and flip flops. I recently got accepted for an internship in another department at my job and thought I may need to dress up a tad more since I will be working with everyone now. (I know that might not make much sense, since you don't work with me.) Anyway the zebra flats were only $5!! I have been "breaking" them in all day!!

Did you find anything awesome at your Target?

My Bargains at Walmart

I was super excited to find that my Walmart STILL had Xmas stuff! I got the bows on the left for $.10, the ones on the right for $.50, the cookie cutters for $.30 and the Crayola Dry Erase Number book for $1.25! They also had tons of wrapping paper for $.50 and some multi packs for only $1. I did buy a few rolls of wrapping paper. My mom likes Thomas Kinkade and they had a nice size roll for only $.80! They tons of toys available too!

Does your Walmart still have Xmas stuff on sale? Have your found anything good?

PlayStation Plus Membership Deal

I literally just finished buying this; my membership was set to expire in Feb! Basically, from now until 3/4 when you buy a 1 year PlayStation Plus membership for $49.99 you will also get 3 months free!! If you own a PlayStation you NEED to be a PlayStation Plus member. Right after you subscribe you will have an instant game library consisting of 12 PS3 titles and/or 6 PS Vita. I'm not talking about some crappy games no one plays either. These are big hits!

Here some games currently included:
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Gravity Rush
WipEout 2048
LittleBIGPlanet 2
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One

Not only that but throughout the month they also give you tons of other games. Some games we have gotten FREE over the last year are: Darksiders, Borderlands, Trine 2, BioShock 2, Farcry 2, and many more. Just 1 or 2 of these games pays for the cost of the subscription. You can also receive discounts on other digital games you purchase through PlayStation Store and early/exclusive access to Betas and demos! It also includes a cool feature that ensures your save games are never lost. For a family of gamers this subscription has saved us a TON of money.

Calling all Nursing Students

If you are currently enrolled in a Nursing program you will definitely want to check out what the CVS Minute Clinic is offering! They have actually paired up with Johnson & Johnson to offer 30 Nurse Practitioner Scholarships at $2,500 and 5 Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarships at $5,000 each! There are a few requirements so make sure to read those. If you are interested in this Nursing Scholarship you can apply online here.

Possible Free Oscar Mayer Selects!

You will want to make sure you grab this one. Once Oscar Mayer gets enough people to leave a Taste-A-Monial they will be mailing out a coupon for a FREE Oscar Mayer Carving Board packaged meat! I have tried some of the other flavors and we LOVE them! To score this coupon, just head on over to Oscar Mayers Facebook. Like them and submit your Taste-A-Monial to get on the coupon list! Even if this doesn't make it all the way to FREE $6.30 off should make for a darn good deal! Make sure to share this with all your friends so we can all get the FREE coupon!!!! Good luck, have fun!

20% off at Big Lots!

On Sat 1/26 customers with a Big Lots rewards card can get 20% off of their purchase. I love having a Big Lots just around the corner. I purchased my kitchen island from Big Lots the last time they offered the 20% off. It is just like the one below except for mine has a stainless steel top. Another great thing about Big Lots is that they tend to have holiday clearance several weeks after other stores so there is always a good deal to be found.

There are a few exclusions to what the coupon can be used on but not many. Eggs, dairy, and calling cards are just a few if you would like to see the full list make sure to check it out on the Big Lots website.

My Peacock Tie and Zazzle Store!

I am super excited to share this with you guys today. Nearly 4 years ago I started my very own Zazzle store!  In 2010 I sold my first item! I was extremely excited because I only had about 5 items in the store. The item was a tie with a close up of that peacock from our local park. I had put it up as a funny test design while I was learning how to use Zazzle. I had planned to use Zazzle for my wedding photography products.

Why would I bring this up now you ask? Well, a few days ago I sold the exact same item again. With the recent sale of my 2nd item in almost 4 years  I decided to revamp my Zazzle store and offer more products. I have added a ton of new items with images that I had taken when I was a photographer. I will definitely share that venture with you guys in the future. For now go check out my Real Weird Zazzle store for unique animal items and more.

I also wanted to share the Pro's and Con's of using Zazzle. You may know 1 of my New Year resolutions was to start an Etsy store. While I know this is VERY different, it is similar enough for me and much easier to use. My Zazzle store will sort of run itself. The main thing I have to do it list the items. I like that with the Zazzle there are no listing fees, you set the percentage you want to make, and it is easy to create items and customize your store. What I don't like about Zazzle is that the "pay" is pretty low and I can't sell handmade items. Overall Zazzle can be a great way to make a few extra bucks with minimal work.

Have you used Zazzle before to either buy something or sell something? What do you or don't you like about it?

Bounty Paper Towels on Sale at Staples

UPDATE: My store was out of stock and I was not able to purchase any. I hope you guys were able to!
I know I just posted about the self inking stamp at Staples but I also wanted to share something else I am going to buy from Staples this week. This week they have a coupon out for an 8 pack of Bounty paper towels for only $4.00. This makes each roll only $.50 but you should also be able to use the $0.25/1 Bounty Towels, exp. 1/31/13 (P&G 12/30/12) coupon to get this for only $.47 per roll! My stock up price is $.50 so this is perfect and I am almost out of paper towels! :) Staples released several other coupons this week, you can check out the Staples coupons here. Make sure to stop by before 1/26 to snag this deal.

In general paper towels and toilet paper cost should be calculate by the square foot or some sort of length measurement. I haven't quite gotten to that point. If you have a stock price for these items let me know.

Weird Wednesday: Monster?

I almost forgot about Weird Wednesday! Here is a figure from a local artist. I think it may be a monster? I saw this in a tattoo shop, Enigma Tattoo Studios. I am not sure who made it, but it is made out of plastic ware.

If you have a picture you would like me to share for Weird Wednesday send me an email.

Customized Stamp $.99!

UPDATE: Staples is not honoring the free shipping. I received an email stating that I had to call them and pay shipping or my order would be cancelled.
I just had to share this with you guys. I love all things involving office supplies! Right now over at Staples you can get a customer self inking stamp for only $.99. You can even get FREE shipping if you upload your own image. My total came to $1.04 including tax. We just moved into our first home in August 2012, so I got an address stamp. The customization options are endless. A few other uses are "this book belongs to...", you could put your child's teachers name, "Good Job!" you can use it for presents by doing a "TO:...... FROM:..." kind of think and if you have not found a permanent settlement just yet you could always just put your names on it and hand write your address.

You can also shop through Ebates for 4% cash back, ShopatHome for 3% cash back or Upromise for 5% cash back!

Be sure to come back here and let me know what design you put on your stamp. Here is what I put, of course it has my actual address though.

Living Room Design Ideas

The living room before we moved in. I would never own a leather  sofa.
Let me start by saying I hate the current color of my walls. The picture above is from before we moved in. The curtains and the light fixture are the only thing still the same. This yellow is so ugly and not in the best condition. Before we moved in I planned to have gray walls and a red couch. Easy choice. We have had red couches for the last 4 years or so and I love gray! I had chosen a nice medium gray. Exactly what I wanted. I couldn't wait to have the keys so I could finally have my gray walls and red sofa. Just after moving in I got started on painting the living room. By "started" I mean, I finished ONE wall.  Even though only one wall is finished, I love the way it looks. I planed on painting the other walls, but then I guess I got lazy and unmotivated. You would think these hideous yellow walls and the fact that squares have been painted around all the outlets and switches would be enough, right? Nope. :( It is now 5 months later and I still have 1 gray wall and 3 yellow walls with gray squares around the outlets. Really? Who does this!?! Who does this for 5 months?

But I mean, that's all fine because I can just paint the walls gray whenever I feel like it and just be embarrassed until then. I had people over for Thanksgiving, even with the mismatched walls and the ugly broken sofa. We had been looking for another red sofa to replace the old one almost, since the day we moved in. I also considered choosing a gray or black sofa but really, I wanted red. I mean I HAD to have red; I had already painted that one wall gray. I guess black would have worked too.  

I bought a gray sofa. Not just any gray, the exact color gray of the walls wall. About 1 month ago I became impatient. I was tired of sitting on our old red sofa that was falling apart and stained from our 2 year old. I think the sofa was more embarrassing than the walls. It was my birthday and I could not think of anything else I wanted or had been wanting more (except for maybe tattoos, but that is more of a process). We visited a new discount furniture store in our area and narrowed it down to two couches. A RED one and a gray one. The red one was about $100 less and much smaller. We chose the gray one. Why did we choose the gray one. :(

Now, I am left with this dilemma and BB Muffins is no help. He could care less what the walls or sofa look like. I don't think I can deal with all that gray. I don't like tans, definitely not this or any yellow, not blue (our kitchen and 1 of the bedrooms are shades of blue already and I have this thing where I don't any room in the house to have the same color, is that just me?)not neon green (our laundry room (below) is now painted neon green and that experience was awful) not white (how boring), and nothing too dark (I like to changes things up and don't want to deal with trying to cover something dark). In case you haven't been keeping track that pretty much covers all of the colors except reds, purples (which I think is the only color BB Muffins would oppose), and orange. 

I love the green for the laundry room, but not for the living room. I was thinking a light mint green might look nice or bright red. I don't think I could handle bright red for the whole living room. Maybe I should just do a red accent wall just behind the couch and then do gray for the other 3 walls. I love the modern look but modern is hard to pull off with a 2 year old. There are always toys everywhere. I have recently created a Pinterest board for my living room inspiration. I have only found 2 things I sort of like so far. If you have any ideas leave a comment with your Pinterest name and I can invite you to pin to the board or you can just leave a link below with your image.

I also want to give a special shout out to my Realtor +Judith Loving. She has been so amazing during this process. I messaged her to get her to find the pictures from before we moved in and within a few minutes she had emailed them to me. Not only that but she offered to have a designer come out and give me some tips/ideas. I cannot wait! :) I will be sure to post all the details of that visit; we haven't set a day yet. I will also be sharing more about our house buying story in another post.

We bought a house, painted one wall, then bought a couch the same color as the wall. Now, I need to finish decorating this room. I started a Pinterest Board for living room design ideas. And last but not least my Realtor +Judith Loving is the BEST!

Mailbox Monday!

Just as I promised, I kept better track of my mailbox freebies this week. One of the most AWESOME things I received for free was the Samsung Note 2 case and TecTiles for my husbands phone. The retail price on the Samsung case is $39.99 and the TecTiles are $14.99. This offer was available for a short time for customers who had purchased a Galaxy Note 2 or Galaxy S3.
What the heck are TecTiles? They are actually pretty cool. TecTiles are small programmable square stickers. You can program them to change all sorts of settings on your phone or start applications and alarms. We plan to put one in the car. When we turn on NFC and touch our phone to the square it will automatically turn on Bluetooth, open the music player and start playing music! How sweet is that?

I also received a Kroger coupon book with 4 coupons, a sheet of Disney stickers, a CPU magazine and a BOGO John Frieda coupon.

Wanna see what I got in my mailbox last week?

Share your mailbox goods in the linky below! I would love to hear about the awesome things you received.
I will monitor the linky to keep out anything that does not involve mailbox freebies. I would LOVE it if you would subscribe or like or tweet or any of those fun things as well. If this goes well, I hope to make this a weekly feature. :)

Sun Sunday 2

I had not planned on Sun Sunday being a normal thing and then last Sunday's post was the 2nd most popular post on the blog. Here is an image of the Sun going through its Solar Max cycle. That cycle will peak sometime this year. Basically this means the Suns solar activity will reach its peak this year. How cool!

Check out the NASA details here.