Thursday, November 1, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
We took CJ down the Christmas aisles and we played with all the singing animals. If only we as adults could be as easily pleased as he was watching them sign. dance and light up. The joy in his eyes was simply wonderful.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
To recieve your free gift visit our specials section and add the free bath salts to your shopping cart along with your purchases.
Also anyone how makes a purchase before 10am est tomorrow will be entered into a drawing for a free bath set and suprise coupon code.
And don't forget to use the code blog to get 5% off your order!
Monday, October 8, 2007
(using dried un-sulphured apricots)
Vitamins: A, C, Folate
Minerals: Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium
1. 1 pound dried apricots
2. 2 c. white grape juice or apple juice.
Plain water is ok but the puree may be a bit bitter. Some babies actually like a bitter taste however. Consider using ½ water or ½ juice if you disagree with the juices or if baby cannot have juice. You can always mix in another fruit such as peaches or bananas and leave out the juice entirely!
3. Bring liquid and fruit to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Reserve any left over liquid to use for the puree
5. Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
6. Add the reserved liquid as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin puree or
7. Add cereal (if desired) to thicken up
8. Note: puree will not freeze solid, but into slightly soft/slightly frozen cubes.
Have you ever Baked Fruits? If not, we highly recommend it! Baked fruits are naturally sweet, soft and oh so very yummy!
(Use Gala, Braeburn, Rome or Macs)
Vitamins: A, C, Folate
Minerals: Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium
This recipe is written so that you may use any amount of apples you wish!
1. Peel, core and cut apple into slices/chunks
2. Place slices or chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover apples
3. Boil/steam until tender; be sure to check on the water level and stir, T hat's It! Easy Peasy!
4. Apples may be mashed with a potato masher to achieve a smooth applesauce consistency. If your masher will not achieve a puree type of consistency, then follow steps 5 - 7
5. Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the apples
6. Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
7. Add the reserved water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin puree
8. Add cereal (if desired) to thicken up the9. Ask your pediatrician about adding some cinnamon for new tastes!
HINT! You may also buy an "Adult" jar of Natural applesauce from your local grocers! Make sure you buy Natural Applesauce however! Read the labels if you are unsure. The only ingredients should be apples and water or just apples! A few companies may add ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or citric acid to their Natural Applesauce; this is fine!
Why do you suggest peeling fruits and veggies; Nutrients are found in the peels right?
Another friend, that also makes her own baby food, suggested the book Super Baby Food. I'm looking for a cheap copy now. :)
Friday, October 5, 2007
Luckily our blocks were not part of the recall. But I'm still not sure I trust them.
You can see all (I think) of the recalled toys at the link above.
There was also a massive crib recall. http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml07/07307.html
It looks exactly like the crib CJ has. :( Thank goodness he doesn't like to sleep in it. I need to check the model numbers tomorrow.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
The first is a Spaghetti Basket. Get a colander (you can get them fairly cheap from the dollar store or Big Lots) and add a box of spaghetti (or you could use some other pasta), a can of tomato sauce, a container of parmesan cheese and a packet of homemade Spaghetti Sauce Mix :)
1 tbsp. instant minced onion
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. green pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. instant minced garlic
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
Combine all ingredients. Makes 1 package.
Add a nice recipe card with the following recipe written on it.
SPAGHETTI WITH MEAT SAUCE:
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. spaghetti sauce mix
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 c. water
12 oz. spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese
Brown beef in skillet; drain off excess fat. Blend in spaghetti sauce mix, tomato paste and water; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti; drain. Serve topped with meat sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 6.
And now you have a wonderful Christmas gift that will actually get used :)
This recipe as well as more wonderful recipes can be found at http://members.tripod.com/~MaryMae/box.htm
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
OK Its Backwards Day for WFMW over at Rocks in my Dryer which means instead of posting a tip I get to ask for tips. :) It was hard to decide on just one thing to ask about.
So my question is for the blogging mamas. :) How do you find time to post and make your blog successful? CJ is such a handful and then with housework and the new business I'm having a hard time finding the time to blog. So how do you do?
Monday, October 1, 2007
6 prefold diapers for less than $3
A nursing gown for $4, nursing pjs for $3 and a nursing tank for $1.50
A Diaper Genie for $2.50 and a brand new refill for $2
A Boppy pillow (yes it looks just like ou other boppy. lol) for $2.50 and a Boppy play center for $5
I also got 2 pairs of training pants for 25c (together!!) and some burp clothes for around 25c each. :)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
A Maggie recipe
2 pounds potatoes, about 4 large
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 450º. Measure the oil into a 9 by 13-inch rectangular baking pan. Swirl it around so that it covers the pan evenly. Set aside.
Scrub the potatoes and cut each into 8 wedges. In an empty bread bad combine the flour and seasonings. Shake to blend. Place the potatoes, a few at a time, into the bag. Close the top and shake the potatoes to coat them with the seasoning mixture. Arrange the coated potatoes, skin side down, in the oiled pan. Continue until all of the potatoes are coated. Bake the potatoes at 450º for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.
These are similar to the ones available at some fried chicken places. They are nice and spicy, crunchy and tender all at the same time. We love these. I've only recently developed the recipe, but they are quickly becoming a family favorite. We serve them with oven friend chicken or oven friend fish. Yummy
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Fruit, any kind
Juice, any kind
Milk or yogurt, optional
Ice cubes, optional
Sweetener to taste (optional)
This is more a method than a single recipe. You do need a blender to make smoothies. Food processors won't blend the fruit finely enough to make a good beverage.
After you have a blender you need fruit. I use leftover fruit, like that half a banana or half eaten apple left over from lunch. Fresh fruit which is ripening faster than it can be eaten is custom made for blender drinks. Canned fruit, with the juice from the can, works well too. I often use canned pineapple, peaches, pears, applesauce or fruit cocktail which has been sitting in the fridge for a few days, and doesn't look like it will be eaten.
Fresh fruit, cut into chunks, like apples (with the peels, but not the cores); peeled bananas; oranges,peeled and seeded; or any other type of prepared fresh fruit can go into the blender container. One exception to this is grapes with seeds, I only used them once. The seeds were very time consuming to remove, and then some wound up appearing in the smoothie anyway, no matter how meticulous I was about removing them. A few stray orange seeds don't seem to bother me the way those grape seeds did.
Fruit juice, especially any which might turn into cider or vinegar in the next couple of days, is really good in a fruit smoothie. The slightly sour taste adds a nice zip to the finished product, although you might want to add a little more sugar than usual for sweetness. Most of our juice is from frozen concentrate. Any time I use a recipe which calls for part of a can of frozen juice concentrate, I use the remainder, diluted somewhat casually with water, to make smoothies. Regular flavors at my house are orange juice and apple juice. Grape juice is good in a smoothie too, but it isn't quite as versatile as apple or orange juice, because it is so strongly flavored. When I have extra grape juice to use up, I usually mix it with unflavored gelatin to make real grape gelatin. The kids prefer this to grape flavored fruit smoothies.
Next add some milk, or yogurt if you like. I prefer to use yogurt, because to my taste buds it mixes very nicely with fruit. I do use milk sometimes though, depending on my mood, and the contents of my fridge. Lastly add sugar or honey to taste.
The procedure goes like this: Put a cup or two of fruit juice, or syrup from canned fruit, into the blender. Add fresh and/or canned fruit (cut into chunks if necessary). Use about a cup or two of fruit. Next add yogurt or milk if you are using it. About a cup or two will be sufficient. Put the lid on the blender and whirl it around until it is all smooth. When it seems smooth, turn it off. Take the lid off of the blender and taste the mixture with a spoon. If you think it needs sugar or honey, now is the time to add it. Usually 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sugar is plenty. Blend briefly to dissolve the sweetener.
If the blender isn't too full, I often add a few ice cubes, especially in the summer time. Put the lid back on the blender, and whirl it around until the ice is finely chopped Now it is done. Pour the mixture into 6 or 8 ounce size cups or glasses. I recommend this size because Fruit Smoothies are pretty filling as a rule, and the kids won't drink as much as they think they can, unless they are in a growth spurt, in which case, they will eat you out of house and home for a good week or two.
If you have any leftovers, this mixture makes very nice frozen popscicles. Pour it into popscicle molds, or into small paper or plastic cups (3 ounce size). When it is partially frozen, shove popsicle sticks down into the centers of the cups. Popscicles made this way are almost better than the Smoothies.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Today I went to the grocery store because my poor freezer was crying for food! I know I've been terrible about posting my totals from my regular grocery shopping so here are the totals from today.
Sirloin Tip Steak .69# ($2.99/#) $2.06
Sirloin Tip Steak .62# ($2.99/#) $1.85
Boneless Pork Chops 1.12# ($2.99/#) $3.35
Boneless Pork Shops 1.09# ($2.99/#) $3.26
2.55# Bananas $1.01
BBQ Sauce $0.79
1# Bass Farm sausage $2.50 (Man! I'm just looking at my receipt for the first time and I see this rang up $2.99 which is the reg price! They ALWAYS do that and yet I continue to forget to look.)
Lipton Tea Bags 24ct $1.69
Mac & Cheese $0.99
1# Baby Carrots $1.19
Del Monte Sweet Peas $0.79
Also got milk, cheese, cereal and juice with my WIC.
Then to Dollar General to get my sugar since its cheaper there and right across the street.
(2) 4# Sugar $1.65 each
Off to get the clothes off the line. :-)
Monday, September 3, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Friday night, MrB, CJ, and myself met my friend Hayley, her hubby and their 2 kids at CiCi's pizza for a nice night out. We had a coupon for 2 adult buffets and 2 drinks for $9.99, not a bad deal for us to eat out.
Then last night MrB, CJ and myself enjoyed a wonderful Hallmark movie called "What The Deaf Name Heard" lent to us by Mama and Sis. It was funny, it was sweet, and best of all it was a nice clean movie that the whole family can enjoy. If you get a chance check it out.
Today we woke up to nice cool day with a wonderfully delightful breeze! So of course, off went the a/c and up went all the windows! I love it when I finally get to open my windows! MrB took me to Wal-Mart today to get my WIC and we found some great deals on toys for Christmas presents! :-) And some caramel apples as a treat for me and MrB.
Playskool Busy Elephant with 8 activites reg ?? sale $11
(2)4pc Puzzle Blocks reg $2.44 sale $2
(3)Stacking Activity Blocks reg $8.44 sale $4
4 pk Caramel Apples with nuts reg $2.98 sale $1 these "expire" tomorrow :-) But I think we'll enjoy them tonight.
Then I had some coupons I wanted to use so I got:
Huggies Natural Care baby Wash reg $2.82 after coupon $0.82
Huggies Naturally Refreshing diaper Wipes reg $2.53 after coupon $1.53
Huggies Shea Butter Disposable Washcloths reg $2.82 after coupon $1.82
Huggies Clean Team flushable Moist Wipes reg $2.57 after coupon $1.57
I also picked up 2 green rubber duckies for $0.97 each. One is a new one for CJ who loves playing with his rubber ducks and the other for our nephew who is turning 1 on saturday.
Ha! I didn't realize one of the elephants ears is folded back. opps! I really should get better about checking those kinds of things. Oh well.
Have a great Labor Day!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
1) My favorite color is Orange! I don't know why but has been forever! My aunt says its because my Grandma "brainwashed" into believing it was my favorite by standing over my crib with an orange ball and saying "orange. This is orange, Kelly. See the orange ball?"
2) My favorite food is Mashed Potatoes with Garden Peas on top!! Yummy!!!
3) I eat ketchup on everything!!
4) I wanted 2 or 3 kids but CJ will be our only b/c I had hyperemesis, unless of course God has other plans.
5) I'm addicted to Chocolate and Mt Dew and raw chocolate chip cookie dough.
6) I dip my pizza in french or catalina salad dressing.
7) Apparently I'm hungry because all my answers have to do with food!!
8) I'm married to the most wonderful husband in the world!! I'm mommy to the most wonderful son in the world!! And I have the most wonderful family in the world!!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
But first I need some help. :-) I've posted this to the 2 forums I go to the most as well.
I need a new business name. :-) I want to start completely fresh with a new name and everything. My logo/signature is going to be a butterfly. Sooooo help me name my "new" business! If I choose a name that someone suggests I will send them a package of bath salts in my "signature" scent, Cherry Lemonade.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Here are the rules:
You have to post these rules before you give the facts.Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
A-- Ann --- Most of the females on my mom's side share this name in one form or another.
N-- Noodles --- I love noodles/pasta in any shape or form! Yummy!!
N-- Natural --- My haircolor is all NATURAL red! :-)
OK I have to tag 3 other blogs.
A-- A Bibliomane Amidst Butterflies
N-- No Place Like Home
N-- Nancy's Place
Geez. This was so hard! You would think with my middle name only being 3 letters it would've been easier.
Friday, August 24, 2007
First I went to Bath & Body Works where they were having a sale on all hand soaps and anti-bacterial hand gels. I picked a birthday gift for my SIL, a "just for" gift for Mama, and some hand soaps for the house. MrB has decided he LOVES BBW's Country Apple Foaming hand soap, so I thrilled when it was on sale.
This is what I bought:
8.75oz Country Apple foaming hand soap reg. $5 sale $3
8oz Kitchen Lemon anti-bacterial moisturizing hand soap reg. $5 sale $3
8.75oz Sensual Amber foaming soap reg. $5 sale $3 *sil b-day gift*
12oz Lavender hand soap reg. $6 sale $3 *Mama just for gift*
3oz Sensual Amber anti-bacterial hand gel reg. $4 sale $3 *sil b-day gift*
2oz Sensual Amber body lotion $3.50 (not on sale) *sil b-day gift*
2oz Irrestible Apple body lotion reg $3.50 sale $2
Total: $20.50 (w/o tax)
Regular Price: $32 (w/o tax)
Then at Wal-Mart I had a couple of coupons to use so I got:
16oz French Vanilla Coffee Mate creamer reg. $1.73 FREE after coupon
15oz Gerber Grins & Giggles Oatmeal Baby Wash reg. $2.47 $1.47 after coupon *nephew b-day gift*
15oz Huggies Mango, Coconut and Aloe Baby Wash reg. $2.82 $0.82 after coupon
64pk Huggies Supreme Diaper Wipes reg. $2.53 $1.53 after coupon
Toddler Bath Pouf $0.48 (no coupon) *nephew b-day gift*
Total: $4.30 (w/o tax)
Regular Price: $10.03 (w/o tax)
Tonight MrB had to run back to town so I made another stop at BBW since I had a coupon to use that I left at home during the first trip.
During this trip I got:
8.75oz Fresh Pineapple foaming soap reg. $5 sale $3 *CJ/guest bathroom or gift closet*
8oz Sparkling Peach hand soap reg. $4.50 sale $3 *gift closet*
8oz Mango Mandarin hand soap reg. $5 sale $3
3oz Midnight Pomegranate anti-bacterial hand gel reg. $4 sale $3
2oz Sparkling Peach anti-bacterial moisturizing hand lotion reg. $4 sale $3
1.7oz Midnight Pomergranate anti-bacterial waterless hand foam reg. $4 sale $3
8oz Sensual Amber Body Cream reg. $10.50 FREE after coupon
Total:$18.00 (w/o tax)
Regular Price: $37 (w/o tax)
Then to Wal-Mart (again! yuck. but MrB had to go) Mama had told me there was some great clearance but somehow I missed to baby toys today when I was there. They moved them from the spot Mama had told me they were.
So I got:
First Years keys $0.40 *gift closet*
(2) First Years Teething Bead $0.50each *1 for gift closet and 1 for CJ*
Baby Einstein Teethe and Tug Pal (turtle) $3 (marked $4) *CJ*
Munchkin Play 'n Pat Water Mat $5 *CJ Christmas*
Fisher Price Tabletop Playmat $7 *CJ Christmas*
Infantino Shake a Tune Rattle $2.50
Adidas anti-perspirant reg. $2.13 FREE after coupon
I'm not sure what the regular price of any of the baby items were.
All in all I think it was a good shopping day. We spent alot but I got 2 birthday gifts done and some items for my gift closet for Christmas. :-) We don't need much as far as groceries go this week, so I was able to spent some extra on gifts. :-)
Thursday, August 23, 2007
A SEWING MACHINE!!!!!!!!!!!
Its a Brother LS-2125i and I'm so excited! I've been borrowing my mom's but gave it back so Mama and Sis could do some things they wanted to do. I asked MrB to please get me one for Christmas. :-) I guess its Christmas in August! :-) I love it! I took a picture but its still on my camera.
Saturday I scored some neat finds at my grandparents flea market/family yard sale. All of the items were left over from my cousin's 4H yard sale and they donated them to the family yard sale part of the flea market (all of our family's stuff they want to sell outside of the flea market booths).
First is a shelf that I'm going to re-paint and hang it in my bathroom.
Next is this cute Noah's Ark figurine that I sat on CJ's dresser. (The little "John Deere" guy off to the side was MrB's and already sits on CJ's dresser. I didn't realize he had snuck into the picture until I went to post it)
This cute little plaque I think I'm going to hang in CJ's room as well. Or maybe in his bathroom. I haven't decided yet.
This is a close-up of the neat wave pattern on it.
I also got this neat little "bassinet" type deal. It will still hold CJ for alittle while, but we're only going to use it for naps in the living room when I'm in the room, not for all night sleeping. Afterwards I think I'll use it to put his stuffed animals in.
Here's a close-up of the teddy bear print. The shadows make it looks like its stained, but really its in brand new condition!
And last is this walker I got for CJ as well. His feet don't quite touch the floor yet but he likes to sit in it and let me pull him toward me and then push him arms length out from me. Great excerise for me! And keeps him happy.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Mail your loved one a card or letter.
Keep a journal of clippings/ideas of things your significant other has shown interest in. You will always have a handy reference for gift ideas.
Make a collage of sentimental memories and have it framed. As a surprise you could just hang it as a surprise or give it as a gift.
Post an ad to your sweetheart in the personal column of the newspaper.
Love coupons. These are so easy to make. It can be anything from a hug to a favorite meal. (or use your imagination)
Start a love calendar of important happy sharing moments, or events that are yet to happen.
Make a love tape of songs that you both enjoy. What a sweet surprise to find a tape in the cassette player in the car.
Find out your sweeties favorite foods and keep a little cookbook handy. Consult his/her family for childhood favorites.
Hide love notes in their pockets, in the fridge, on the windshield wipers. Get creative. Remind that person that they are special.
Do a chore that they normally do and hate. Choose something that you normally don't do. Does she always vacuum? You do it. Does he always take out the trash? You do it instead. May seem silly, but doing something surprising keeps that little element of spontaneity in arelationship.
Does your sweetie love something like M&M's? Or ice cream? Or anything? Don't just buy a small package. Buy a huge package. It is sure to get a smile and be enjoyed in the larger size even more.
Place a surprise on your sweetie's pillow. It is always nice to end the day on a romantic note. You could add a card or anything special.
Get out the chalk and you and the kids write a big love message to your sweetheart on the driveway as a surprise.
Start a restaurant/movies ratings book together. This is something fun that helps create lasting memories.
Get a special key-chain engraved for your loved one.
Read a book together. (Written by their favorite author)
Put a together a puzzle.
Plan a mystery night out. Plan a surprise outing.
Are dinners out getting expensive? Try breakfasts out.
Clip funny comics to post on the fridge.
When dining casually, sit together booth style.
One of my favorite cheap dates is one we actually had this weekend. I'll pick up a frozen pizza from the grocery store if they happen to be on sale for around $3 (I also like these for a cheap supper when I don't feel like cooking). And then on a friday or saturday night we want to do something but don't want to spend alot we'll go rent a movie ($4). Then I'll cook the pizza and we'll enjoy our "date night" at home for $7. This weekend though we picked up supper at Wendys for $9 instead of eatting pizza.
Monday, August 20, 2007
This morning I woke up well rested and very please that CJ only woke once during the night and that was my fault. My house is nice and neat thanks to a quick clean up yesterday when I thought my MIL was coming over. *blush* (she didn't btw) And my hubby took CJ to town with him so I could have some "me" time and he could get some daddy and CJ time, which was very nice. Well he came home with a new sewing machine for me!!!! Isn't he so sweet?? I've been borrowing my mom's machine but her and my sis needed it back to do some neat projects of their own (if you are reading Sis, I'm ready for my dish washing gloves! lol) I had asked MrB to please get me a sewing machine for Christmas instead of other things and he surprised me with one early! :-) *swoon*
It is so sunshiney outside today. Very hot but there is a really nice breeze. So I hung a load of towels on the line to dry and the breeze felt so wonderful and the sun was like a warm hug. :-) I'm wearing my flowy denim skirt today and the breeze was making it blow around. It made me feel......so homey and very much like the wife/mom/homemaker I'm trying to be.
Supper is done for tonight, its leftover picnic cooked on the grill and potatoes from my grandparents anniversary party on Saturday. All that needs to be done is washing up a few dishes that are left from last night.
God is so great you guys! I'm so happy for this beautiful day. :-)
Off to play with CJ,
Sunday, August 19, 2007
herbs and spices
canned tomatoes-crushed, diced, sauce, paste, puree
sweetened condensed milk
canned beans-kidney beans,navy beans, chili beans
canned soup-cream soups
chicken and beef broth/boullion
dried onion soup mix
canned vegetables-cream of corn, garabanzo beans, peas, etc
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
OK I need to go for now. I promise to write again very soon!!!
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
At another I got myself a shirt for 25cents (too small, will probably be passed to Sis) and MrB got a Ninetendo 64 to put in his 18 wheeler for $10
At the next yard sale, I scored CJ the book "Guess How Much I love you" there are some pencil marks inside but I think I can clean it up to look almost brand new. Also got Sis a Nancy Drew book (copyright 1934) and a Hardy Boys book (copyright 1966) and myself The Silent Bell (copyright 1975 and signed by the author!) and The Herford Aesop (copyright 1921) for a total of $2
At yet another yard sale, I got 8 pairs of jeans for me and a pair of Nauctica shorts for my brother for 25cents each!!
And this beautiful water fountain. I've wanted this fountain since it came out in the Avon books, but it was pretty expensive. This one is missing the power cord, but it works perfect and I only paid $2. :-) Plus I wouldn't plug it up anyway. lol
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Its World Breastfeeding Week and MommyBabble has a wonderful post about getting your breastfeeding relationship off to a good start.
Also as part of WFMW over at Rocks in my Dryer (I know I'm a day late! I forgot it was WFMW!) there's a beautiful post at Musings of a Housewife about enjoying your baby.
One last link before I go... Amy at the Motherload is doing 30 days of savings. Every day for the month of August she will post a savings tip. Yesterdays was about getting discounts. :-)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
If you've visited me before you know I post often about something new I'm trying in order to save us money and/or time. There was the $40 a week challenge, menu planning at the beginning of the week, and the No Spend Month Challenge. For 2 months I wrote down in my binder every single cent I spent and what we had for supper that night. But as usual some how it got pushed onto the back burner along with other failed attempts at setting up a budget. I think it was a mixture of my son who is now very active and doesn't sleep or nurse as much so there's not alot of time to keep detailed accounts of our day and my new found hobby of sewing. (Thanks Mama for letting me borrow your sewing machine!! It'll come home eventually! *smile*)
So I'm trying to decide what works for us. Right now I'm really not sure. I have a hard time picking something and sticking to it. I'm frugal, I shop the sales, I watch my spending, and all those things. But when it comes to putting it on paper or setting up a budget it goes haywire!
Sooo what are your feelings about a budget? How did you pick your system and stick to it?
And while you're at it, check out Meredith's list of Living Well on Less books for some books you might to check out. :-)
Let's see...today is also Kitchen Tip Tuesday at Tammy's Recipes so my tip for today is to hang hooks above your stove (mine are actually beside my stove above my countertop) and use them to store your pot holders and/or over mitts (I have 2 hooks, one for each). Now when you're cooking you never have to look to far for your mitts. :-)
Monday, July 30, 2007
A great place to save money is to make your own household cleaners. If your house is anything like mine you have invested at times a small fortune into household cleaners. What many people don’t know is that household cleaners can be made, you don’t need very many ingredients (most found already in your home), and these cleaners are less toxic so they are better for your family. As an added bonus, ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterparts -- and that includes costly, but worthwhile essential oils and concentrated, all-purpose detergents for homemade recipes.
Today, the cleaner is frequently more dangerous than the things we are trying to clean up. Common household products contain alcohols, ammonia, bleach, formaldehyde, and lye. These substances can cause nausea, vomiting, inflammation and burning of the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory system, and are linked with neurological, liver and kidney damage, blindness, asthma, and cancer. If you have children, this is very scary to have these kinds of things in your home. Why not save money and protect your environment by using earth-friendly cleaners? If you have already bought a lot of your household cleaners use the remainder of the bottle so that you don’t have to feel guilty about throwing away perfectly good cleaners and then begin making your own.
To continue saving money buy your ingredients that you need in bulk and try to buy your spray bottles in bulk. You should not reuse spray bottles because it is not safe to reuse bottles that had commercial cleaners or chemicals in them.
The number one most important thing that you need to be aware of is to NEVER mix bleach and ammonia- this is very deadly! You should always read labels before mixing to make sure that you do not cause yourself or anyone in your home any harm. In addition, when making your own cleaners make sure that you label your own containers clearly so that you don’t mix these with other potentially harmful ingredients.
Below are a few recipes for making your own cleaners. If you are interested in researching the topic further I recommend that you visit care2.com for more information on how to make your home a toxic-free home.
1 teaspoon Borax
½ tsp washing soda
2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice
1 liquid soap (vegetable oil based if possible)
Combine with 2 cups very hot water and use in a spray bottle. If you want a bucketful, use 1/8 cup each of borax, washing soda, and vinegar and combine with 1 tablespoon liquid soap and 2 gallons of water.
½ teaspoon liquid soap (vegetable-oil based soap recommended)
3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
2 cups of water spray bottle
Mix ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle.
Pour one half cup of baking soda and one cup vinegar down the drain, plugging the drain immediately until the foaming stops. Then rinse with hot water.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Mix a solution of water and vinegar. Recommended proportions vary from three tablespoons vinegar in one quart water, to three tablespoons vinegar in two cups water, to a 1:1 mixture. Some recipes add a drop of detergent.
Scrub with a paste of baking soda, soap and water. Also, add borax and salt to the paste. Salt is very abrasive so it will help to get the grime off of your oven.