Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 is drawing to an end!!

I love New Year's Eve and this year should be particularly fun!! We will be spending it with some great friends! Money is a little tight so I don't think I will be able to swing the usual fireworks this and it has been quite dry so it might not be that great of an idea anyway!! We are talking about making marshmallow guns though, if I can come up with the pvc pipe to do it!

I have been working on my Etsy shop adding items. It has been slow going but I have had a few sales to get me started off. I have created a new coupon just for those of you that follow my blog it is..........wait are you REALLY following or just reading. Go on over there and click the follow button; go on it isn't that difficult!! Ok now that I got you all honest here's the coupon allyblog . Enter that code at checkout and you will recieve 25% off your purchase!!

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I know I have posted about this before, but I am doing it again! I just went to the site and took a survey or two and realized that my account balance is over $300. I am watching this to see where is goes, but I am pretty sure that I am going to have over $300 to spend when this is all over with. Kinda excited about the possibilities. If it doesn't do anything then I haven't lost anything by filling out some surverys and giving some feedback.

If you want in on this action go to this link....

Good Deals

I had to take a sick little boy to the Dr. today and while I was waiting to be told that I was about to spend $100 on his medicines, I found turkeys on sale for $0.50 a lb!! I was all over that!!! I bought two turkeys!! I have 3 turkeys in the freezer now, because we got a ham for Christmas from Brent's office. I am feeling pretty darn good about this $1 a day thing right now!! I just hope that I can keep it up!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Year's is right around the corner!!

Christmas was wonderful at our house!! We enjoyed time together and good food. When the evening hit we read about the birth of Christ and took some time to reflect! Great times make wonderful memories!

I received one item for Christmas that I am really excited about and just had to share. This book is wonderful!! Yes Team365 there is a recipe for Men's aftershave!! I will look it up for you!! My girls' received 2 kits for making their own mineral make up. One is just for eyeshadow the other is for everything except, eyeliner, mascara, and lip products. We are really excited about digging into some of the recipes and trying this out. If you would like to see the kits the girls received look at this link . I bought the EZ Eyeshadow Kit and the Mineral Make Up Kit. From the reviews, we should be set on eyeshadow for a very long time!!

Every year we work very hard to make sure the kids' gifts are things that will make them better people and/or develop their talents. Just as the Wisemen brought the infant Jesus useful herbs and oils. We try to do the same. My useful gift this year was bags for my midwifery supplies (I am sure that was partly because my husband is tired of kicking around my supplies all over our room and bathroom). I am excited to get those things organized!!

As we are heading into the New Year I am finding myself looking seriously at my goals and intentions for 2011. We will see some growth and changes in our family this year. We have one getting ready to start college, one starting the youth program at church, one getting baptized and one that will start driving. In the middle of all of that I will be learning what preteen boys need emotionally, spiritually and physically to keep them out of trouble. It seems time flies!! I am sooo not ready to not have babies but it looks like it is to late for that, they are all big kids now!! Besides the $1 a day challenge, I am working on midwifery studies, getting a child graduated from homeschooling, preparing 2 children to start high school in the next 2-3 years, and tutoring a very reluctant reader. I am going to learn to make my own cosmetics, and I have an idea for a book (which is really low on my list actually). I am hoping to keep my blog updated at the very least weekly. Wow, that seems like a lot!! I am so thankful for the 2 young adult girls I have to help out with carting kids around and other projects.

I sure hope that the Holidays were wonderful for everyone and that as the last days of 2010 draw to a close you find yourself counting blessings, successes and memories of the year and that you have many more to look forward to in 2011.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

Well this is it! I am trying to stay out of the kitchen because I have a nasty head cold and I don't want to contaminate any of the goodies!! I was sooo geared up to make candies and goodies this year and now I am having to let my teenagers do it all.

Last night I sat down and brain stormed some dinner ideas to go along with the $1 a day grocery challenge. I really think this is doable. Now I have to admit that I am spending a $1 a day per person on groceries and then I will spend more on storage items to stock my pantry something that has gone undone for the last 6 years after we depleted alot of our storage preparing for a job loss or move (thankfully it was a move).

I found an awesome PDF file today on how to survive during an emergency. The title is "The time to Build the Cellar is Before the Storm" you can download it here .
There is even a list of basic food items for a 30 day supply for a family of 4. A great place to start your food storage!!

I am determined to do a garden this year!! I am looking into combining two methods of gardening; Squarefoot and Lasagna Gardening. I am optimistic that I will have a beautiful garden this year!! (I hope!)

Some thoughts that I have had on the $1 a day challenge are:

1. Lots of casseroles with meat spread thin throughout
2. Hitting the yesterday grind sales at our local grocery store to get meat cheap.
3. Making sure I get the paper on Wed. We only have 2 grocery stores and a Walmart in our town so the sales are going to be very important to making this happen.
4. Keeping things basic. The K.I.S.S. rule applies!!

If you haven't already noticed, there is a link in the side bar to join the $1 a day grocery challenge. If you are interested please join us. There are about 17 families nationwide now participating!! The more the merrier!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More on the $1 a day grocery challenge

Another blog to look at (and follow) is . This is Ashley's blog that she will be keeping during the challenge this next year.

Also take a look at this site to get an idea when is the best time to buy certain items, (very interesting information)


Check this out! Get paid to try out this company by doing surveys and giving feedback on their services.


2 more days

Christmas is on the way!! Are you ready? I think I am! I guess at this point I have to be!

I was on my email and recieved an email on one of my lists about feeding your family for $1 a day per person. That got me thinking so I read on and found out that it is a challenge for the new year. I think I am in!! I like this idea! I am doing a little research and I am getting a plan together. Check out this blog
Jan has some great ideas and awesome goals for the next year.  In fact she just emailed me some information on square foot gardening and lasagna gardening. I can't wait to dig into that a little more!

I love the New Year! I love setting goals and working on them. Sometimes I get a little over zealous and have some goals go undone or added to the following year's list. What are your goals for next year?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yeah!! My internet is back!!!

I knew what the problem was all along! Did anyone listen to me? NO!! Was I right? YEP!!! I guess I have the rep for being blonde and not knowing much about computers so when I said it was the cable no one listened! After several days of being on the phone FOREVER, the husband says, "I think I will replace the cable and make sure it isn't THAT before I ship the computer off to HP."
To which I sweetly replied, "OK honey whatever you think." (Later I rubbed it in a little that I was right!)

I am just glad to have it back! Now on to things that really matter!!

Christmas is 3 days away!!! Aah!! I still need to go shopping for stocking stuffers, and food, the kids have a show Christmas Eve with a party afterwards! Ashley and Ray will be coming over Christmas Day!! So much to do so little time!! Daphne and Jessica dipped chocolates today, Camilla made Christmas cookies and decorated them. The boys helped dad fix the computer! I took a nap and coughed alot!! Why must colds hit during the Holidays? Actually putting it all here makes it seem not so overwhelming!! Maybe I will stop for a massage in the mall tomorrow! Oh wait I still haven't gotten Brent a gift 'sigh'!! Well I guess that will be at the top of my to do list tomorrow!!

Hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Life Happens

It seems that there is always something getting in the way!! I had set a goal to post everyday for the rest of the year and guess what? The computer won't communicate with my modem so I have no internet access!! Bah Hum Bug!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I am trying to stay on top of my goal

It is midnight here in OK and I am just now getting around to writing!! I guess the kids decided today that I am mean! Yep, it's true, I am mean!! I made them clean the living room!! Of course they will forget to mention that I went into town to buy them pizza for lunch because they helped me clean!

Christmas is getting closer and I am not done YET! Two of the kids are in a Christmas show that runs every weekend through Christmas eve. My 17 year old is a singing babydoll and my 9 year is a proper little boy singing I ain't getting Nuttin' for Christmas!! You really should go see the show if you are in the area! It is full of dancing and singing!

I need Christmas ideas for the husband. He is so hard to buy for. Maybe I will just clean off his dresser for him, that is my standard gift to him when I can't think of anything else. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some Freebies

I love this website-- . Every month there is a free project (or two) for download. You have to purchase their download viewer for $4 I think but then every month you can download free activities. Check it out! There are also projects available for purchase. Most for as little as $1. If you are into file folder games and the like you won't want to miss this site!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Savvy Stephie: Christmas Memories: Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Check out my sister's blog! She has posted one of our favorite childhood Christmas activities. Hopefully it will give you something to do with your kids during the Christmas break!


Savvy Stephie: Christmas Memories: Homemade Christmas Ornaments

3 days and I am on a roll!!

This is the third day that I have posted!! Can we say writers block? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I didn't sleep much and it is 7am?

My 17 year old made an awesome dinner last night. Chicken spaghetti--yum. She said that she will get me the recipe so I can post it. Maybe I will have her post it later today!

I am off in just a bit to conquer the Christmas list. My coupons are printed, lists made and I am ready to go (after I take the curlers out of my hair). I am excited to spend the day with a friend shopping and having a great time. It isn't often I get to go shopping for something other than groceries and the essentials.

I have been coaching gymnastics the last couple of weeks and having a blast with it (it helps pay for my 15 year old's tuition also)! The kids are fun and most of them are pretty good! There are the few that insist on making you thankful for your own children though!!! Last night I had some of both but the funnest one was a little girl about 4. We were stretching, sitting on the floor with feet in front reaching to our toes. I was calling the stretches while another coach was checking the roll. I said, "Touch your toes, if you can. I can't reach mine." This little girl says, "You can't? I will help you. I will touch them for you." I had to laugh!!

I wish it was that easy! You touch my toes, I'll touch yours and we will all be physically fit and have lots of friends!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another Day!

Today is Thursday, only the busiest day of the week for us! I am working to get myself organized for some major Christmas shopping tomorrow!! I noticed that Dollar General has a new coupon available. Something like $5 off a $25 purchase, it doesn't sound like much but when you are needing a few extras (like toilet paper and paper plates) for Holiday guests that is $5 you didn't have! I have found a few other coupons in my mailbox lately that sure will be helpful tomorrow as I grab a few gifts for my kids.
I think the exciting part about my shopping trip is that I am going with a dear friend and when we get together we spend alot of time laughing and giggling like 2 school girls (hmm I am thinking stress reliever). 

By the way, have you checked out my Etsy Shop? You really should . I am having fun with Etsy. I met some new people and learned a little about promoting myself!

Well I am off to get ready for the rest of the day, band, gymanstics, girl scouts and maybe I will get some studying in somewhere, somehow today!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Just some ramblings about natural cosmetics

I can't believe that Christmas is just over 2 weeks away. Where did the time go?

I got an e-mail today encouraging blog posts everyday until 2011. Seems like a lofty goal, but I am up for the challenge! I can't promise that every post will be fascinating, but I will give it my best!!

I have recently discovered that I can't wear the make-up you buy in the store and THEN I figured out that hairspray was also causing me problems. The last couple of weeks have been somewhat overwhelming, but I went to work! I bought mineral make up (loving it) but the price ACK! I am washing my hair in apple cider vinegar, so if you see me on the street and my hair looks a wreck that's why! They say it takes a couple weeks for your hair to adjust not being dried out by all the stuff in shampoo (we will see).

I have been lamenting over the cost of the mineral make-up, thinking there has to be a more economical way to wear make up when I came across a book in the book store on making your cosmetics (Yeah it is on my Christmas list). I was amazed at what I found!! Everything from eyeshadow to foundation to zit zapper and aftershave!! WOW!! I had my 11 year old hold the book while I scribbled down the websites listed in the back of the book for getting supplies!! There was one website in particular that I really like . TKB has kits for making your own foundations, blushes and eye shadows as well as supplies for mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick. (Guess what my teenage girls are getting for Christmas!)
I sure hope Santa brings me that book (but if he doesn't I will order it Christmas day)!

So I have solved the make up cost problem! Hairspray, really? How can that possibly be? With a little research I found homemade hairspray recipes. I haven't tried it yet, but I did make some last night. It couldn't be simpler 2 cups water and a lemon peeled and chopped up boil until have the water is gone. Cool and put into a spray bottle. I will let you know how it works!

I am excited about making cosmetics. I already make all our bath soaps, laundry soaps, lotions and skin ointment so cosmetics just kinda naturally falls next in line! I promise there will be updates as I figure this stuff out. In the meantime check out this other site I found--plenty of good stuff here to make you think this is where I found the homemade hairspray recipe and some other stuff I am trying!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A fun website

I have been battling with some health issues and slowly discovering that some of my problems are coming from cosmetics and hair products. I have switched to a natural makeup and today I found a website with some great ideas for natural hair care. Many I had heard before, but some are new to me. Check out their website It is very informative!

I am definitely trying some of the recipes!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Essential Oils for infertility? Really?

It's been a while since I have posted anything so I thought I would share some information that I just researched for a lady having difficulty getting pregnant.

It seems that there are 2 essential oils that are good for infertility problems. Chaste Tree and Coriander--who knew! Chaste tree is said to help with all kinds of woman problems from PMS, to cramping, sore breasts and beyond. Sounds like one I need to put in my cabinet with as many girls as I have. The other essential oil, corriander, is said to remove estrgen type effects and is good for regulating mestruation and possibly even menopause. Wow 2 essential oils that could make my life a little easier. The best part is that the cost is not that bad, $15 for the Chaste Tree and $8 for the Coriander both come in a 5ml bottle. Ok so I spend $23 on two essential oils, now what?

You can add a few drops to an unscented massage oil base, add a few drops to a spray bottle of distilled water shake it good and spritz you, the bed your whole house. Dilute the oils the oils in some grapeseed oil and put it in a pretty bottle, then dab some on as a perfume. A diffuser which is a dish with  candle lit underneath, with some water in the dish add a few drops of the oils and light the candle. If you make your own soap add the oils to your soap. The list goes on!!

I love playing with essential oils and I do not in any shape, form or fashion profess to know what I am talking about. Do take the time to do a little research on your own before jumping into something knew. There are lots of opinions out there, and most are right, but just different!!

(PS If you would like to order any essential oils, drop me a line, and I can do that for you!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

This looks interesting! Paybox looks like a program similar to Paypal (I have been wondering when someone else was going to get in on that action)! It is free to sign up, actually they pay you $50 to sign up, and you get $5 for each person you refer. Not a bad deal huh? So click this link
to sign up so that I get credit for it and then go tell all your friends!

Take a look at my jewelry creations

I am slowly figuring out how to post items with a link to buy them! Right now I have one jewelry item posted after a couple of hours of trying to post a whole bunch of items--whew!! I am getting it figured out slowly and with a little more time I will have more posted! For now to enjoy the one click on the Sterling Silver Jewelry tab!! This page is my effort to raise money to pay for the Midwifery Today Conference in Portland, OR next March. If you don't see anything you like feel free to donate to my blog over on the right of the screen (every little bit helps and I need about $1000 for the trip)! Thanks for looking!! Check back often for new jewelry pieces!!!

Just a thought!

Looking at ways to save money for my family I came across a website several years ago that suggested writing letters to your favorite company with UPC codes from their products included telling the company how much you enjoy their products could actually score you some great coupons. I haven't actually tried this approach.  I have called companies when I have had a problem with a product, like the time my daughter found a piece of bone on her frozen pizza, and have received coupons for free products. I wish I could remember the name of the website where I found this information. The site included form letters and lots of pointers. The information that I downloaded from the site was saved onto another computer that crashed, (a lesson in the importance of computer backups)! I think I may give it a try on my own and see what happens. If anybody knows of the website that I am thinking about let me know, I would love to find it again!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's been a while!

Life has gotten in the way of me posting the last couple of weeks. Our family has experienced a severe outer ear infection, a severely sprained ankle (or is it? we find out more on Friday), a couple pairs of new speed skates (no injuries yet, thankfully) and some really good food!!

Last weekend my daughters made whitefish BLTs--YUM!! Who would have ever thought that you could mix fish with a BLT? (of course this came from the $7 a Meal Cookbook). Some of you may know that I have had to go on a gluten free diet, so my Fish BLT was actually a salad, which was still wonderful!!

Last night a friend brought me shredded pork that had been cooked in Dr. Pepper and a cilantro rice. Both were out of this world!! (I will have to get the recipe!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

More Childbirth Stuff

I had some inquiries about natural birth and so I thought I would post a couple of website of interest so here it goes Learn about finding baby's position during pregnancy. I love this site! This is a childbirth education method that I personally like. Learn what exactly you are fearing about birth and pregnacy and ways to conquer that fear. Birth works because it is Ancient. Need I say more!! This is another childbirth education site to look into. Finda a childbirth prefessional in your area. This does not cover the entire US, but it might give you a good place to start.

Looking for books on Childbirth? Let me show you a few to check into.
I hope that you find these books quite helpful as you prepare fore your big day!
Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
Heart and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Revised)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thinking out loud about birth mostly

I was part of a study group tonight whose study topic for the night was Childbirth Class Options. During our conversation this website came up
Click here to visit
I had to take a peek! Wow, what a great resource this website is! If you are pregnant, plan to be or are just a birth junkie like me you have to visit this website. Catherine Beier, CBE has done a fabulous job putting together a very comprehensive site regarding natural childbirth. You will find everything from Childbirth Classes, to birth videos, even a newsletter and study room (womb as she coins it) to talk to other moms or get your questions answered by birth professionals. I must say that I am in awe at the information on this website!! Just go look, really, go look!! As a midwifery student I am excited to get to see some birth videos and I may even sign up for Catherine's childbirth class to fulfill some of my study requirements! Okay enough gushing over that!! I have another site that I just learned about tonight! This one is on a slightly different topic--reflexology. I have been a reflexologist for about 10-15 years now! I love the work, when it comes around. I received an email about a new online reflexology course. This site offers a very affordable way to learn reflexology, whether it is for your own use or to receive a certificate. Go check them out I wish I could say that I have experienced their curriculum, but just looking at the website it looks quite intriguing! I hope that you enjoy learning about some of my favorite subjects! Of course if you are in my area and you need a good foot rub or any childbirth related questions you can always call. I love to talk shop!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Gardening

My sister at will be posting some awesome fall gardening sales sometime today on her blog. One is from Gurney's and the savings will knock your socks off! Gurney's is one of my favortite seed company's with so much to offer that I find myself looking through their catalog over and over, shoot our family fights over who gets it first!! I want spoil the surprise for Steph, so you better check her blog today. You won't believe your eyes!!!

Cub Scouts Tonight

With everything else I do I am also the Cubmaster for our Cub Scout Pack! Tonight we are having a Pack meeting so today is full with going to get awards, filling out forms, and organizing and decorating for the pack meeting! Whew! Wish I had some helpers, my kids will work with me today to get everything ready and then hopefully we will pull off a fantastic Pack Meeting tonight!!

Wish me Luck!!

I have recieved my first award!!!

Wow, I am surprised and honored--really I am!! I am glad that my blog is considered worthy!!
Thanks Mo, for the recognition!

I received my first blog award from Melanie at 2 Boys + 1 Girl = One Crazy Mom Thank You So Much!!!

On to the rules for accepting this award…

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they’ve been chosen.
I will get back to ya  on my my top 15!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall Gardening

Not that I know very much about gardening, some years I get lucky and other years I don't! I am determined, however to have a garden in order to save money on my grocery bill!!

This Spring the grass kicked my behind!! I don't think any amount of weeding would have gotten rid of it all! I found myself writing a Rodney Dangerfield movie in my head about a gardener that was less than successful. Picture this, a man stands guard over his garden day and night a spray bottle in one hand and a hoe or rake in the other. He is ready to pounce at the first sight of a weed. In his mind taking even the shortest break would be the end of his garden. (I hope no screen writes are reading this, because I would hate to lose the royalties on this one!)

You get the idea I'm sure! Well I came across a book called All New Square Foot Gardening (choirs of angels sang) I knew I had found my answer! 

What? You never heard of square foot gardening? Oh, honey, let me tell you!! You make a simple raised bed (bricks, railroad ties, whatever works for you), fill it with Mel Bartholomew's special soil mix that is easily made by mixing several thing found at your local nursery, lay down a ground cover (the kind that keeps weeds out mwahahaha--oh sorry) then put your 'garden' sides on top of the ground cover and fill with the soil mixture. Divide your 'garden' into square foot sections and start planting. Ok there are a few more details but that really is the basics of the square foot garden.

The book is easy to read and really you can skim it and get a pretty good idea how to do it! Now get busy, if it is too late in your area for a fall garden then get started for spring. Go check these books out on Amazon!! You won't be sorry (but your weeds might be)!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Grapes on Sale

I ran into WalMart this morning before going to the chiropractor, (I needed flour and I thought it best to get it BEFORE the adjustment), as I was heading to the checkout I noticed what I thought was cherries for $1 a pound--that got me excited so I looked a little closer and it was actually grapes. Disappointment set in momentarily but I got over pretty quickly, grabbed 2 bags and headed straight to the checkout!

If you live in my area run over to WalMart and grab some of those grapes!!

I am off to can peas and apples with a friend! I still need to stop by the pear tree on the way to the van to pick a few more pears. Check back to see the fruits of my labor!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I just discovered Business2Blogger. Where businesses meet bloggers. Looks like it could be a great tool for getting content on your blog.

Business 2 Blogger

Giveaway Scout

I found this on another blog and thought I would try it out. So look over in my sidebar and checkout some of the giveaways from Giveaway Scout!!

Have Fun!!

Today's Ramblings

Wow I have 28 followers?!? My goal was to have 30 by the end of September, with 2 more I will have reached my goal for the month!!

I was thinking today that it would be fun to have some sort of swap or contest. I think I have it figured out. I like to journal, but I am not real consistent though. When I journal I find that I am more motivated when I use pretty papers and stickers. I make my own scrapbook journal pages. The pages reflect my mood or whatever I am writing about. I also seem to write more when I have topics to write about, and I don't mean 'What is your favorite childhood memory?' BORING!! I know those are important experiences to write about, but come on people how many times have you written a journal entry on your favorite childhood memory? I want some good meaty topics. Something interesting, different, creative.

Here is the challenge--
1. Post a journal entry topic (really think about this one)
2. Tell me how you like to journal
3. Follow my blog
4. Have a friend follow my blog (list friends blog and/or name)

That is 4 entries! I will draw 1 entry to win a journal package from me. I don't know what it will be yet, probably some of my favorite papers, stickers, page protectors, a nice pen--stuff like that! There is plenty of time to enter, I think I will do the drawing on October 31, 2010.

I can't wait to see the topics everyone comes up with. After the drawing I will compile all the topics into one post for everyone to see.

I guess I should have added 'leave a comment for each of the four entries and you will be entered in my drawing'.  I am knew to this, so your patience is greatly appreciated!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What a week!!

I am sitting at my computer hoping I can last long enough to write one post. On Monday I was truckin' through my day. The kids had their schoolwork done and I was gathering canning supplies to take to a friend's house. We were going to can apples and pears. I had located a box of canning jars and was just ready to pick them up when my hips went out. I was not in the mood! I called a friend and went and laid on her massage table with jade rollers and far infrared heat. Then it hit me--I couldn't get up. My oldest daughter and my friend had to help me get off the bed! I have spent the rest of the week lying around with ice packs and pillows propping me up. I did call a chiropractor friend Monday night and he came over to the house to give me an adjustment. That helped some but I had too much inflammation for it to give 100% relief. I will probably go see him again on Friday. Needless to say that the canning didn't get done, but I am getting caught up on some reading!

The massage table that I used is from therasage at I love this thing! It works wonders on your everyday tension that builds up in your back. And though it didn't give instant relief, last night I used it again and found some more relief. If I could afford one I would be laying on it several times a day right now!

I do hope everyone is having a better week than I am!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Savvy Stephie

You gotta check this out!! Savvy Stephie works really hard to bring you great deals! I think her blog is one of the best I have seen so far on bargains, freebies, mystery shopping, and those little extra money making deals. Ok so she is my sister, but seriously she does have some great stuff posted. She got me started blogging and I must say it has been fun working together finding new things to blog about.

Stephie has posted some great deals from a local market there in Georgia, but she has also posted some great resources on how to start mystery shopping, (now that is fun!) and freebies you can get in the mail. She knows her stuff and you can bet that if she is blogging about it then the deal is legit.

Visit her blog , leave a comment, follow her and tell her that her big sister sent you!!

Bargain Mom

Bargain Mom is giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card.
Visit to enter and let her know that I sent you!! Good Luck!

Shhhh, Mom's studying

I have registered for a Midwifery School and I am having great fun taking my study time once we get through the kids' school assignments everyday! I am also thinking that maybe me taking a study hour is also helping to motivate the kids in their schoolwork.

In the midst of my studies I have gone on a hunt for easy to use curriculum and have found, through Internet searches and talking to friends, some really great resources to make my life a little easier.

A dear friend of mine told me about This website connects homeschoolers to curriculum companies and offers discounts to home schooling families much like the school systems get from companies. Through the co-op I purchased an online phonics program called Explode The Code Online for my reluctant reader. We have used Explode the Code workbooks for many years so this was a no brainer when I found the online version!! My reluctant reader is finding that the computer doesn't really care if he whines about reading and I have had some stress and worry taken off of me. As my friend Jaimie said "It is worth the money just to not have the stress of the kids fighting you to read."  I love this program!

Home school Buyers Co-op also offers freebies that are pretty impressive. You just need to check it out--you won't be sorry!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I never profess to know everything, but I do enjoy learning new things and sharing what I know. I don't know of anything I love more than a good conversation with like minded people. Well tonight that happened (the good conversation part). I learned about another website that I am really excited about it is . It is a wealth of information, and amazing prices!! Check it out!

About 20 years ago I was introduced to the idea of herbs having healing properties, (or maybe I already knew that, but just hadn't really thought about it). I was so amazed by the idea that I just devoured all the information I could get my hands on. It wasn't long before I had our family on the fast track to natural healing. We have our favorite remedies and recipes. I created a wonderful herbal ointment that was so effective that my kids named it 'Mama's Magic Ointment'. I make a cough syrup that everyone just raves about (and it tastes good). I have treated flues, earaches, sprains, and many more ailments quite successfully. There is one thing that still puzzles me, why did I get away from doing these things in the last 4-5 years? Who knows!!! Temporary insanity---sounds good to me!!

If you are interested in learning about natural medicines you will enjoy looking into some of these books as well as the bulk herb store.

If you would like to try some of my magic ointment, just let me know! Have an herbal question? Ask, I might know the answer and if I don't I probably know where to find it!

Home schooling for Free?

It is possible!! I did a little research last night and found some interesting free curriculum for our home school!

LearningPathways is a free online curriculum for K to 5th grade. Lots of great stuff here! I actually started using this site just this year and the kids are loving it. They are doing really cool projects and experiments as well as watching really fun videos online. A lot of work was put into this site and anyone who has tried to research a topic on their own knows what a gem this is!

Another website I found was learnLatinonlinefree. This was a video and worksheet Latin curriculum all online with no textbook needed. I think it is best suited to high school kids, but would be of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about Latin.

Music lessons is always a hot topic at our house. They are just so expensive and add up quick when you have a large family. I looked around and found pianolessons online for free. These are video lessons with music reading and ear training. Plenty of lessons to keep anyone really busy on the piano for a long time.

Reading is a huge deal in our house. Most of my kids love to read. We have used a wonderful website called starfall for phonics and reading for several years and the kids love the animations and games.

Last night I came across another free reading website simply named learntoreadfree. It looks to have some fun games to engage the kids. The concept is Montessori based and is quite repetitive.

BookAdventure is another great reading site that is sponsored by Sylvan Learning. Book Adventure provides grade appropriate book lists. The kids choose a book, read it , then take an online test over the book to earn points which they can redeem for prizes. Parents can customize the prize board, which makes for some fun incentives in our family.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stay at Home mom musings!

We visited some friends for the Labor Day Holiday and had a blast!! When we got home yesterday I had a surprise in my mailbox! VocalPoint had sent me a fullsize Bounce Dryer Bar!! This thing is cool! You just stick it to the inside of your dryer and forget about it for about 2 months (they say)! No more dryer sheets (never used them anyway because I always forget to put them in).  I have to tell VocalPoint what I think after using the DryerBar but hey it was free I can give my opinion for a freeby.

I enjoy VocalPoint. They will send samples with some awesome coupons. If you haven't discovered their great offers go check them out register for an account and start getting coupons, samples, and survey opportunities immediately. The more you participate the more offers you will get! Have Fun!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This is my most recent yummy dinner!

Wine-Poached Salmon with Tomatoes and Zucchini
This is another recipe from the $7 a Meal Healthy Cookbook page 189!

This was so delicious and so easy to make! I must say that even a person who has never cooked before could follow the recipes in this cookbook. The picture above was actually my dinner plate. I have been working toward at least 50% of my meals being raw foods. Some of you may know that recently I had to switch my diet to gluten free. I have also found that the less meat I eat the better I feel. When I found this cookbook I was very excited. Most recipes that I had looked at were extremely complicated and work intensive. Susan has included several varieties of recipes including vegetarian meals. The book is divided into sections to make it easy to find exactly what you want for dinner. Chapters include Poultry, fish, sandwiches and wraps, vegetarian, breakfasts, and more. Meal planning is a cinch with this cookbook. I am finding most of the meals are low carb and gluten free wish suits my diet great.

We are also finding that many of these recipes are also family friendly which is a big plus in a family with a couple of picky eaters.

Our next recipe to try? Page 144 Pan-Grilled Pear-Stuffed Pork Chops!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More on the $7 a Meal Healthy Cookbook

I am so loving this cookbook!! The other night we had ginger chicken that was soooo delicious!! My daughter made it and she added a few extra chicken breasts to the marinade so that we would have leftovers for lunch. That was the best chicken diced up and served over a big green salad!! Mouthwatering!!

The recipes are fabulous but this cookbook is also encouraging me to try some new ideas. The other day I had run out of lettuce for a salad and I had to have my raw vegetables, so I made a wonderful pico salad.

Here is the recipe (this one is my own)

1 zucchini diced
a handful of fresh spinach chopped fine
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
1 med tomato diced
1 small onion diced

I mixed everything up and drizzled homemade Italian dressing on it. It was wonderful, but the second day it was even better. I ate it plain the first day and the next day I put in on my salad (with the chopped up ginger chicken)!! As my granddaughter says 'YUM'!!

I would love to hear if you try this one and how you like it!!

I have added a link for another cookbook by Susan Irby! I recieved an email from her today telling me that if I liked The $7 a Meal Healthy Cookbook that this one will knock my socks off!! I haven't bought my copy yet but I am excited to actually try some of the recipes in it!  She also gave me permission to share the link to her website!! I am so inspired by this lady! I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do! Go take a look .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dolls, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

If you love dolls (as I do), and you love pregnant bellies (like I do) and you love breastfeeding babies (like I do) Then you HAVE to check out this website! These dolls are just adorable! Why can't I come up with these ideas? Anyway you better believe that these are on my Christmas list this year!!

I just HAD to share!

While I am at it this is one of my new favorite pregnancy and childbirth book! Of course this changes from time to time so expect same post different book in the future!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Family and Why we homeschool

We are a family of 8 and we have been homeschooling since the beginning of time! Yep that's right my kids have never graced the halls of a public school, (although I do admit to days that I would love to send them)! Why? You ask! Because I am lazy!! No really!! I don't HAVE to get up at 6am make lunches make sure their homework is done, sign papers, find lunch money, find a shoe, feed them breakfast, get them to school on time and whatever else public school moms have to do!
Seriously though, I grew up in a good sized town and by the time I hit High School I had seen and experienced way too many things that I ever needed to see! I can't say that I was really socially enriched.

My husband and I married in '89 and got pregnant pretty quick. We lived in a neighborhood where several of our neighbors homeschooled. That started us on the road. When I was pregnant with number 2 our midwife homeschooled (do ya think we were being told something?). One thing led to another and I attended my first curriculm fair with a 2 month old baby and a 3 year old! We started 'homeschooling' the next year!!

My oldest is now 20, married and has a little one. Over the years my ideas and philosophies have evolved and are ever changing. I am more relaxed now and we do alot of hands on learning. My kids are 17, 15, 11, 9, and 7! Yes I guess you could say I shelter them, but I like to think that I am teaching them how to choose activies and friends that encourage and uplift them rather than being thrown into social situations that they have little to no control over. There are always days that I wish I had the money to put them in private school, but really the majority of our days are joyful and productive. I have been know to try to talk families into homeschooling, especially families we like to hang out with that go to public schools. I do agree Homeschooling may not be the right choice for everyone, but for some it is the best choice! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just had to stick this in!! I was just able to preview a few our family pictures that we had taken a couple of week ago! I think these are some the only real family pictures we have ever had taken!! I was just so excited to share!! Look for more in the next few days!

I have a Great bunch of kids!! (Most Days)

I have 6 kids! Ashley 20, Daphne 17, Jessica, 15, Camilla 11, Nathaniel 9, and Daniel 7. I didn't really plan the spacing it is just the way they fell!!

Camilla has decided that our bookshelves need to be cleaned off and they do!! She has been sorting through books since yesterday afternoon!! I am glad she is doing, really I am, but I just have not been in the mood to have a stack of books shoved in my face with the words 'Mama which ones do you want to keep?' It is all good though because Daphne just left with a couple boxes of books and took a couple of the kids to the used book store to get rid of them!! WooHoo!!!

Jessica is really good at keeping the animals fed and Daphne is such the up and coming adult!! Daphne is awesome at getting the kitchen cleaned up and all my girls are excellent cooks! The boys are happy as long as they have their Nerf guns, Legos, and Connex. Nate is the best grocery shopper around. He will carry groceries, hold doors, keep track of my list and whatever else I need! One of my favorite things to do with the kids is to give them $10 each and tell them they are responsible for 1 lunch, 1 breakfast and 1 snack for the week. You should see them take ove rthe grocery store!!! I usually cover the tax, but they do a really good job at picking things out!

I really do have a GREAT bunch of kids!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Food for Thought

I am trying out a new cookbook!! Our family has had some really yummy meals this week. Breakfast one day was fresh fruit kabobs with a yougurt sour cream and honey dressing. We also tried out 2 cheese and spinach twice baked potatoes that were just heavenly! Maybe tonight we will try the pear stuffed baked potatoes or the ginger cilantro mashed sweet potatoes. Mmmmm! I am getting excited just thinking about it!

I know you are just dying to know the name of the cookbook! Well it is $7 a Meal Healthy Cookbook by Chef Susan Irby.

At just $7 a meal (or less), you can feed a family of four using fresh ingredients. I bought the book and dug right in. I made a menu chart and my daughters and I started going through the book and filling in with some of the yummiest looking recipes! I head to the grocery store with my list and came out spending about $270 for our family of 7 for 2 weeks! I was quite the happy camper!!

I would love to share recipes if I wasn't copyright infringing, so I guess you will have to go buy the book yourself! Then let me know what your favorite recipes are!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It seems that life just doesn't slow down ever!! We worked in the garden last night as a family so maybe we will have some fresh veggies and fruit this year, if the wild bunnies don't eat it first. Of course there is always the idea of sitting outside and protecting the garden while gathering meat for a rabbit stew! My 11 yo daughter would not be happy!

I still haven't made my marshmallows, but I intend to soon. Every time I think I am going to get it done something else pops up. (Yeah I probably spend too much time on the computer!) Now I am selling Tupperware (what was I thinking?), checkout the Tupperware Catalog link in the side bar. One of these days I will learn how to make buttons. If you see anything that you want let me know and I will get it ordered.

I love Tupperware! Such cool products that are useable! If you are thinking about going green, Tupperware is a great way to do it! All you need is the lunch kit (take your choice of styles and colors) and you are already there. Nomore paper bags or plastic sandwhich bags and you have to fill it with healthy foods so there you go healthier eating and you are saving the planet!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Homemade Marshmallows

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007

Prep Time:
35 min
Inactive Prep Time:
4 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
10 min
approximately 9 dozen marshmallows or 1 1/2 pounds miniature


  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray


Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

For regular marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

For miniature marshmallows:

Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners' sugar mixture.

Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.

Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Homemade Marshmallows

Ok so I said that my first project for this blog was going to be homemade marshmallows so here is a recipe that I found on the food network website

I am going to see if I have everything in my pantry to make them right now!!

Ok so my younger sister talked me into starting this blog, then I watched Julie and Julia last night and got all motivated about the idea. First I need to tell you to go look at my sister's blog She has some awesome saving tips and coupons for you there. My blog will be about making things yourself, hopefuly we won't overlap our ideas and give twice the fun!

I love making things--I always have. My goal for this blog is to try out a few new things and let you know how they turn out and tell you about some of the old tried and true things I like to make for my family. I really want to learn how to make marshmallows from scratch. I think that will be my first project.

Some other things that you can expect to see here are a recipe for english muffins, soap recipes, lotion and creams, ointments, laundry detergent, yogurt, cheese and lots more from my craft closet. Speaking of my craft closet I should take a picture of it and let you see the chaos that it is--I really need to get it organized!! Hey that would be another good project for this blog!

Let me know if you want me to try something new for you and I will see what I can do. Oh yeah and if you talk to my sister tell her that a t-shirt quilt will be one post that I will put here eventually!