Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Finding what works for us

My son is asleep taking a much needed nap from our trip to the doc with daddy and then lunch with my grandparents. I have clothes going in the washer so I have a few free minutes until its time to start supper and finish up the laundry.

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?


Tip Tuesday

I've been introduced to a website call Paperback Swap. Its a place to list your paperback books that you want to get rid of and get books you want. If someone requests one of your books then you pay to ship it to them which is around $1.60 if you use PBS's labels. But the books YOU request are FREE for you! :-)

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

Homemade Cleaners

There's a ton of great advice over at Momadvice! Here's one of the articles on making your own household cleaners by Amy Clark.

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.

All-Purpose Cleaner
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.

Window Cleaner
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.

Unclogging Drains
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.

Oven Cleaner
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.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blogging Poll

I've posted a poll on the left hand side of the page asking what would you like to see more on this blog. Please comment here if you pick other. :-)



Babytalk & Veggies

Its harvest time! And I loooove it! I don't have a garden per say. I have a Roma tomato plant that I've gotten one mater off of as well as a green pepper plant that has produced flowers but no peppers. My grandaddy how ever also plants a huge garden! And they share the love with everyone since the garden always produces more than they can eat/can. Friday we visited them for awhile and they gave me a wonderful gift of canned maters, strawberry jam, string beans, squash and cucumbers! Yummy!! I can't wait to have a supper of fresh string beans, squash and Rice & tomatoes! Yum! (With meat for my hubby of course! lol)

My dad works on a farm that grows potatoes as well as other things. I received this bag full of wonderful bakinig potatoes fresh from the field from him.

Thank you Babytalk Magazine! I love Babytalk! Its a free magazine (click link to get a free subscription!) that I receive in the mail. This is one of the best baby magazines out there. So I just wanted to give a shout out to Babytalk for its current issue (Aug 07) about Breastfeeding as well as having mentioned babywearing TWICE! Yay Babytalk!

Friday, July 27, 2007

$10 off coupon for VS!

I don't have time to post alot today but I wanted to post this awesome coupon that I found over at momadvice.com
Its a $10 off coupon for a Victoria Secret "Pink" item. These are super comfy pj sets!



Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My baby is growing up!

Well Saturday CJ turned 4 months old! he is getting so big!! Alot of his 3-6 month old clothes is getting to small! AND we had to move him up to size 3 diapers! He is teething like crazy and holding his head up perfect! His favorite thing is to be sang to or read to. :-) Its amazing to look at him and think about how small he was laying in the hospital bassinet with all kinds of wires connected to him. (That still makes me so angry! And I just know its the reason why breastfeeding was such a struggle!!) and now he is my big boy playing in his JumperRoo (which btw we got last weekend for $20 from my sister in law!!), trying to sit up or roll over, and smiling and cooing at me. :-)

Also, Fisher Price is giving away a free Planet Hero DVD! It takes 12-14 weeks for delivery so its just in time for Christmas!!!


More to come,

Monday, July 23, 2007

FSOT Pouch Sling :-)

I have a WAHM made pouch sling with a blue Hawaiian print. I'm not sure the size but it will fit someone probably up to 150lbs. I'm asking $17 plus shipping from NC.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Busy as a Bee

My, my, my. Its been awhile! I didn't realize it had been so long since I had posted! A lot has happened since my last post. CJ is getting bigger and smarter every day! I swear sometimes it sounds like he is saying his uncle "A"'s name (my soon to be 9 yr old brother that lives next door) whenever he wants A to pay him attention or wants to go see him! And its not just me! Other people have said thats what it sounds like he is saying! :-) And of course I just smile and say that I was blessed with a little genius. :-) He is trying to turn over and has ALMOST successfully done it twice! :-) It won't be long.

My step-dad had a birthday since I've been gone. Happy belated birthday Grandpa! :-) We had a wonderful birthday dinner of baked tilapia yummy! Here is the candy bouquet I made for his birthday.

For July 4th we had a little cookout. And I made these yummy little cupcakes. I used boxed cake mix and canned icing but I was proud of them anyway. lol I did however make the sprinkles by adding a bit of blue food coloring to some regular sugar.

Last night I was able to sit down and do a bit of sewing. So I tried my hand at cloth diapers. The blue one is the first one. I forgot to leave an opening to turn it right side out though. :-) The black one I made from an old tee shirt. It turned out much much better only too small. Oh well. They were practices anyway. Neither have snaps or lining I just wanted to practice. I also made a ring sling. :-) It turned out better than I imagined it would and I was able to see things I need to change.

Also while I was away I had a wonderful playdate with my new Attachment Parenting mommy group that I found on the internet through MDC (mothering.com) Even though CJ is too little to actually play it was great to have some time with other moms, especially the ones with babes around CJ's age.

I know I'm forgetting a ton of stuff but I need to go.

More to come, and Happy birthday me! :-)