Ibotta Savings 10.08.19

Ibotta 10.08 Pic

This was one of my “slower” shopping weeks with Ibotta with a total savings of $4.25 however I still bought some great products. We were able to try one new favorite item and get in touch with some of our “oldies but goodies” again.

And with this week’s WalMart trip, I am that much closer to my $1000 goal!  I am at $992.26 saved since January 1, 2015.

This week’s savings included the following:

  • Cracker Barrel Cheese Blocks-.75
  • Food Network Kitchen Inspirations Meal Kits-$1.00 (we have had these before and they are great for a quick dinner)
  • Townhouse FlipSides-.50
  • Nature Valley Wafer Bars-.50 (my husband loves these for a quick breakfast)
  • Meow Mix Dry Cat Food-.50  (I have two new kittens…and they always seem hungry)
  • Philadelphia Dips-$1.00  (These are new and so good! We tried the Spinach and Artichoke dip and paired it with the Townhouse FlipSides while watching our Broncos finally win a game!)

The Ibotta app is so easy to use and the savings adds up quickly. Once you hit $20.00 in your account, you can request Ibotta to issue a payment to your PayPal account or to a gift card of your choice.

One of the best ways to earn money with Ibotta is through teamwork!  Join my team at https://ibotta.com/r/wjfugsc

Let’s start saving money together!



The Jefferson Depot


One fall Colorado tradition that everyone must do is to travel up to the mountains and see the Aspen trees turn.  The weather is nice and cool, fall has arrived and the scenery is beautiful!

Yesterday my husband and I drove up to Georgetown, Colorado and then drove the 22 miles over Guanella Pass and ended up in Grant, Colorado. From there we drove onto Jefferson where we stopped and ate a late lunch at The Jefferson Depot. Before I tell you all about the wonderful Jefferson Depot; I do need to share the obligatory picture of the Aspen changing:


And one more that features the cutest boy showing the trees to his Pa!

IMG_1748 (1)

Ok..now back to why you stopped by.  The Jefferson Depot!

The Jefferson Depot is located in Jefferson, CO in an old Railroad Depot building painted a light baby blue.  Now please know when driving through Jefferson, if you blink, you will miss the whole town.  And it might be easy to drive by this gem in Park County as you look for a more well known restaurant or even a bigger one; but you won’t regret stopping!

One thing to know about The Jefferson Depot is that they cook all their meals fresh and to order; the wait time can be 20 to 40 minutes for your meal.  So if you are looking for fast food, or you don’t have time to stop and truly enjoy the beauty around you while you wait for your meal (and enjoy a cold beer or a nice glass of wine); then you might want to wait to experience The Jefferson Depot at a later date.

When you arrive at The Jefferson Depot, you will make your way to the bar where you will order your drinks and food.  The staff is wonderful, friendly and will help you with your selections.  

Food and drink items you will find at The Jefferson Depot include:

  • BYO (Build Your Own) Beef or Veggie Burger
  • Bratwurst (Elk) or Buffalo
  • BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • Salad
  • Pizza
  • Ice Cream (yummy!)
  • Local Beers
  • Wine
  • Soda
  • Juice
    • Please note this is just a sampling of the items on the menu at The Jefferson Depot and they do have specials!

After you place your order, grab your drinks and head outside. The view from the outdoor patio is amazing! You are surrounded by mountains and beautiful views.

On our visit, my husband and I each got the BYOB Burger and Fries.  As you can tell by the picture above, the hamburgers are huge! We could have easily shared one.  The hamburger was cooked perfectly! I had pickles put on my hamburger and they were nice and thick and so good! Probably one of the best pickles I have had!  The bun was very fresh! Truly no complaints from me where the hamburger was concerned. My only complaint was that I wish the French fries were a little hotter and had more salt.

Check out The Jefferson Depot at http://www.thejeffersondepot.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thejeffersondepot285/

On your next trip through the mountains and Park County, stop at The Jefferson Depot… you won’t regret it!

In the comments below, please tell me your go to restaurant in Colorado, I’m looking for the gems in hiding!




Every four years, a reminder happens…one that I try to bury my head in the sand and not think about as much as possible. It is that “one” reminder as a mom that you don’t want or need to be reminded of…I failed as a mom! It’s true! I have failed! How you ask? Well my two children, they are Green Bay Packer fans! Now you might say, well that isn’t bad…well it is when they grew up in a faithful Denver Bronco household AND they grew up in Colorado! @wheredidigowrong

So you may ask, why only every four years? Well that is when the two teams meet up to play. And it has been four years since the last match up, so this past Sunday was the day! While the Bronco’s won four years ago; we won’t talk about last Sunday. Please don’t even ask me the score…

My kids and I live about two hours apart, they both go to school, work and my daughter is married, so for them to make the trip out here to the plains of Colorado, it takes a lot of effort on their part. So I do my best to make each trip out here special for them.

Last Sunday when they came out for the “big” game, I decided since they were Green Bay Packer’s fans, I would make the sacrifice and serve a Green Bay Packer themed meal.

My daughter and son-in-law who were engaged at Lambeau Field, (yes they are “that” type of fan) told me about Pack-n-Cheese. My understanding from them is that this is a staple and a “must have” when going to a game at Lambeau Field.

For the game I worked on my own rendition; however in full disclosure, I’m told that the Pack-n-Cheese at Lambeau Field is served with Brats which are cut up into slices and placed in the Pack-N-Cheese. The mom in me just couldn’t justify serving that much fat in one dish…so I served them on the side. Not sure I improved any nutrition facts there…

You will need:

  • 1 box of noodles (your choice…I used small shells)
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 pkg of cooked brats
  • 1 cup Panko Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of milk (or heavy cream…which makes it well creamier)
  • 1 pkg (2 lb) of processed cheese
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Canned parmesan cheese


Cook your bacon via your preferred method. For me, I like to put the bacon on a cookie sheet/stone and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the desired crispness has been achieved. Once cooked, drain and cool. If you are going to cook your Pack-n-Cheese after it is assembled, keep your oven at 350 degrees. If you are going to store for later use, you can turn your oven off once the bacon is cooked.

While your bacon is cooking, boil water and cook your noodles per the direction on the package. Drain and set aside.

If you are going to add the brats (traditional), cook them at this time per the directions on the package, once cooked, set aside.

After your noodles, bacon, and brats (if using) are cooked, you can begin the next process.

Place the noodles in a 9 x 13″ pan. Crumble your bacon on top of the noodles. If you are using your brats, slice and place on top of the noodles and bacon.

Slice your cheese block into small chunks and place on top of the noodles. Next slice your stick of butter into small slice and place on top of noodle/meat/cheese picture. Pour milk on top of the noodles.

Once you have assembled the Pack-n-Cheese, you can cook it right away or refrigerate until you are ready. If refrigerating, once you are ready and cook, heat oven to 350 degrees before proceeding.

Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Stir noodle mixture and return to the oven.

Cook another 10 minutes and stir again.

*If you refrigerated your Pack-n-Cheese, cook an extra 10 minutes before proceeding.*

Cook another 10 minutes, stir and coat the top of the Pack-n-Cheese mixture with parmesan cheese and then the Panko crumbs. Return to the oven.

Cook another 10 minutes or until the Panko crumbs are “toasty”.


If you try this recipe, comment below with how it turned out and any variations you might have tried. Or share your best “Football” food!



Ibotta Savings-9/22/19

I am a huge Ibotta fan! There isn’t a single trip to the grocery store, specialty store, or online shopping (even Amazon) where I don’t check Ibotta first to see what type of savings are available. I have even been known to menu plan based on the savings being offered by Ibotta that week.

I have been an Ibotta user since January 2015 and as of 9/22/19 my lifetime savings is at $979.11! I’m excited to hit the $1000 mark!

This week’s savings included this haul from WalMart where I saved $6.87 on:

  • Post Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal-.25
  • Hormel Natural Choice Snacks-$1.00 (making the final cost .67 for each snack!)
  • Keebler Elite Mix-.65
  • Chobani Flip-$1.22 (which equals getting one for free!)
  • Fresh Cravings Salsa-.75

The Ibotta app is so easy to use and the savings adds up quickly. Once you hit $20.00 in your account, you can request Ibotta to issue a payment to your PayPal account or to a gift card of your choice.

You can earn bonuses as well and one of the easiest ways to earn a bonus is through teamwork!

You can join my team here: https://ibotta.com/r/wjfugsc

Join today and let’s start saving money together!


Celebrating Cheesecake!

So to be honest, we were actually celebrating the hubby’s birthday however it was a great excuse to bake a Cheesecake.  I have always loved baking and my ultimate dream job would be to own a small bakery where people stop, have a cup of coffee and enjoy the treat of the day.  At Thanksgiving it would be the “place to go” for the ultimate Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Enough with the dreaming, let’s get back to the story at hand.  My husband loves chocolate so turning to trusty Pinterest, I found this recipe from The Baker Upstairs; appropriately named “Death by Chocolate Cheesecake”.  You can check the recipe out here:  http://www.thebakerupstairs.com/2013/09/death-by-chocolate-cheesecake.html?m=1

While it is called “Death by Chocolate”, it could be called “A Bite of Chocolate Heaven”.  I made the crust using chocolate graham crackers, the creamy filling was made using melted chocolate chips, and all of this decadence was topped off with a rich chocolate topping that was just the right finish to this wonderful dessert.

When I talk to people about making cheesecakes, they always seem a little intimidated by doing so.   They are actually not that hard to put together; in my opinion the hardest part is just how time consuming they are.  Although this particular cheesecake did have its one challenge. Now I consider myself a semi-experienced cheesecake baker so when you make that beginner mistake, it can be quite embarrassing (and oh my mother-in-law was watching-double embarrassment)! So my tip of the day, make sure when you are using your Kitchen Aide and mixing the cream cheese filling that you stop the mixer before adding the cocoa powder; because believe me that cocoa powder will go everywhere and you will spend at least an hour cleaning up cocoa powder from the ceiling, the walls, the cabinet, the counter tops and the floor!!

I didn’t get any pictures of this wonderful creation and will need to make sure to do so the next time I create one.

Now go find a reason to celebrate!



Celebrating Spring!

Spring is one of my most two favorite seasons in the year (the other being fall). After a long cold winter, it brings a newness and a since of hope with it. I love to see the longer, warmer days evolve, the grass to slowly green up and the flowers start to bloom.  And I might be a little crazy and most people may not agree with me, but I also like when Daylight Saving begins and the days are longer.  Yes there is that adjustment period after the time change, but ultimately in the long run it is worth it.

This time of year you will find me Spring cleaning, opening the windows on a good day and starting to plan the garden for Summer.

Share with me your favorite part of Spring. What traditions do you have? What are you most looking forward to this time of year?


Why I’m Here…

I believe life is about celebrating! There can be so much negativity in this world that we need to celebrate as much as possible; from a huge event like a graduation, a wedding, a new baby to small events like passing a spelling test, a weekend at home, or achieving a personal goal.

The purpose of Celebrating Life (our store) and celebrationsbysjm.com (this blog) is to share ideas for celebrations! At the Celebrating Life store, you will find inexpensive cards, stationary, party supplies and gifts to add to any celebration.  At celebrationsbysjm.com you will find celebration ideas as well as links to affiliate vendors.

Join me on this journey! Share your ideas with me! Tell me what products you would like to see.


P.S. Please leave comments and I will respond.  I want this to be a blog where everyone here can share ideas!

A link to our store where you can find inexpensive but creative greeting cards, party supplies and gifts!