Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Since I last reported, our family went from
Yes you counted right. We now have three little ones.
As one can well imagine, life is crazy. Heck, why sugar coat it, it's downright insane! I don't have the luxury of closing my office door for a much needed break (although the bathroom has proved to be a decent substitute) but I wouldn't change it for the world.
This past year has had it's share of challenges, mainly due to my little girls health scare at birth. Life gets put into perspective in the blink of an eye and so did my focus. Now that I have settled into a chaotic routine I hope to share some new and improved ways to save money, time and hopefully your sanity (although I may ask for help on that issue from time to time)
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
You can now find me here
Some of you may know that I have been writing for another blog. Trying to maintain the two has been extremely difficult and I have made the decision to focus on this one located at Organizing Connections. This blog's ideals and content is exactly that of my own and thought it would be easier to maintain one with the same goals. So if you could change your links as the name on the blog is the same but the address is different . I will continue to write on the same tips and ideas as always so please come on over.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I received this tag several days ago and thanks to the lovely flu bug we have been on our hiney's since. Both of these frugal blogs tagged me and asked my top budget busters. I have so many so I had to narrow them down to the following:
1. scrap booking stuff - Some of these products are very costly and can put a damper on any gals budget. A good friend Kathy Thompson taught me early on to use creative fonts and placement to make nice layouts without breaking the bank.
2. photographs - If you have kids you have been sucked in. Luckily my above mentioned friend is a talented photographer and captured my kids many times. Without her I would have had to head to the nearest Wally World or an expensive photographer. Although a couple of professional shoots are in order try filling in by learning to take some creative shots yourself. With all the new technology out there you can simply hang a white or black sheet and play with lighting and props. Check out some sites to get some examples of neat shots.
3. convenience food - make them yourself even when you don't feel like it...for me lately it has been tempting to resort to that but I held out and made oatmeal cookies and granola bars to tie us over
4. cleaning supplies - make your own using natural ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar. This is not only kind on your pocket book but your kiddies as well.
5. movies and amusement parks. - create your own family fun such as this activity or a simple picnic in the park. The memories created by these outings will last much longer than the thrill of that roller coaster.
so check out these two great blogs and find out some more neat frugal ideas.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I remember back to when I was 9 and I received the opportunity to attend summer camp held at a historic site called King's Landing . This was a living museum of sorts where tourists walked through a 19th century village complete with families portrayed by yours truly.and from around the world. This was a summer camp that gave participants a chance to live the authentic lifestyle complete with parents and siblings with days filled with chores (shovelling poo and milking cows), class in a one room schoolhouse and activities that were conducted by people of that era. One thing I remember in particular was the chore of making butter. Every couple of days we were responsible for beating on this wooden stick in a barrel until one of two things happened:
A. Our arm fell off or....
B: the cream turned into butter.
Since we were told to switch arms should the former happen the only alternative was for B to hopefully take place before you had to resort to your feet (option C by the way). I swore from that day on there was no way I was ever going to do that much work for such little reward. Fast forward...well let's say a few years and now I can get some sick enjoyment from seeing my child do this tedious task. No just kidding he had fun trying out this long lost art and although it is fun as a treat it will not replace our household consumption of butter.
I saw an article on how easy it really was to convert regular whipping cream into the yellow stuff we smear on our morning toast. Wanting to teach my child where this comes from I thought it would be a great tool to do just that. I simply filled up a 500 ml mason jar with whipping cream and put the toddler to work shaking and dancing with it. Since the average attention span of most toddlers is approx. 5 minutes it is now up to you to finish the manual labour which could take up to 20 minutes.
When you first start shaking it will look like diddly squat is happening and you're doing nothing more than wasting your time...keep going, trust me. After about 10 minutes you will feel the cream starting to harden and there will be little noise as the cream is the consistency of cool whip...keep going. After an additional 10 minutes the sound will turn to a watery sploshy (not a word I know but it is the best description) substance and if you open it there will be a ball of butter in the midst of a watery liquid that is better known as buttermilk . At this point I like to pour the buttermilk into another mason jar and add some more water and shake a couple more minutes to get as much of the liquid out of the butter. Some suggest to take this further and squeeze the butter to get additional liquid out as this improves the flavour. Speaking of which this is where you can add as much salt as you like or leave it au naturel as the pilgrims did it.
I even found some great recipes that call for buttermilk. Normally you add vinegar or lemon juice to duplicate this ingredient but with the real stuff the results are outstanding.
I now exclusively use butter to spread on the kids toast as opposed to margarine or other type of butter spreads. The one downfall to this is the fact that the butter is hard and normally requires warming to spread on toast or bread. To remedy this we place a small amount in microwavable custard cup and warm for 10 seconds or lately I have been sitting the ramekins on the metal bar of the toaster which enables the butter to melt while the toast is cooking.
So now you've seen how easy it is to make authentic butter from cream and you can easily shake this while talking on the phone or watching reruns of CSI on Spike TV.
For more great kitchen tips visit Tammy's recipes
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I am sure many are aware of the benefits of shopping chez the dollarstores. Too often we get wrapped up in the excitement of the price and fail to look at quality. Ultimately our perceived bargain ends up in our junk drawer and winds up in the 5 cent pile at our next yard sale. I am now aware of what is truly a deal and what is a waste and wanted to share with you one of the former.
We recently enrolled our son in swimming lessons and had to get one of those sexy bathing caps. We finally tracked one down at Wally World for the outrageous price of $8.97. (for a piece of spandex) Having no other option than shaving him bald, I forked it over and proceeded to complain. Three days later I was in the Dollarstore and there was a huge wall of identical caps for a buck. AHHHH. On top of that there was every colour combo available, some good some well not so good. I overheard the cashiers saying they sold out quick and more than likely not getting any more. Needless to say I picked up a few to put away as I am sure over the course of my kids lives we will go through more than our fair share of caps. Now some may say that the quality is not that great but until he reaches the likes of Michel Phelps I am not too worried.
Can you tell the difference? Neither could I....for the record my son liked neither.
For more great ideas visit Biblical Womanhood Online
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Well I haven't been out and about this week so I thought I would bring one of my treasures out of the archives. This was a haul I got form our local thrift store for $5. I actually looked at these toys recently and was astonished and the price for them new. And the Baby Einstein video's, can you ever have too many? Seriously if it wasn't for these sometimes irritating movies I would not have showered for the first year of my son's life. He would happily watch them in the playpen while I got my hair washed AND conditioned.
So show me what you got.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Since discovering Blogs I rarely use cookbooks for new recipes and I have even gone as far as to purge some. I find that you get a first hand account of the recipe and especially love the neat tips and tricks that you don't normally get from a cookbook. I wanted to share one in particular that I frequent every day and has now become a favourite of mine. Her meals are complete with "real" pictures of her food and she puts so much work into providing this to her readers. Please take some time to check it out and leave her some comments. http://momsfrugal.blogspot.com/
Monday, April 14, 2008
There never seems to be a shortage of chocolate in our household. With all of the holidays that just passed, from Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter we have a freezer full of hallow bunnies, large hearts and solid milk chocolate Santa's. Many were received as gifts from friends and relatives but I do buy a great deal of them after the holidays when on sale. When I have accumulated a large stash I simply chop by hand or use my food processor to make smaller pieces and store them in a large freezer bag. When I have a recipe of cookies or pancakes I simply use this chopped chocolate instead of the more expensive chips sold in the package. These small pieces are also convenient should I have to melt some for either drizzling or dipping cookies into.
(yes that is a decapitated Santa)
For more great tips visit Tammy's recipes