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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dual Use Products

I like to keep a file of handy things that have double uses. You've seen a ton here: Bleach, Vaseline, Socks, etc. Someday I may write a book, but for now, I blog. I love to share my ideas, and others ideas. It's very important, possibly even sacred, to give credit where credit is due. So if you borrow something from my blog, please link my site back to yours.

I am giving a big credit to Courtney. She shares her ideas on She is remarkable. Here's her idea on how to save money this week:

Home Made Cooking Spray
Cooking spray…another thing I can add to my list of things I don’t buy.  I found an easy, effective way to make it on my own!
You’ll need:
  • Spray Bottle
  • 1 cup of oil (whatever type you prefer)
  • 1 Tbsp. of water

Add oil and water to spray bottle…and there it is…cooking spray!

This version costs far less to make and works great.  I don’t know about you, but I love finding out how simple things like this are to make on my own!!

She also has a recipe for homemade laundry soap and softner. You can find that here.
An another recipe for homemade household cleaners is found here.

I haven't tried these, but they come highly recommended from others. If you get brave and try one, let me know what you think.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Favorite New Sites

I have been overloaded this last month and there's no end in sight. So why am I even online, wasting precious time? Because I have to destress and write things out or they bottle up, and I explode.

So I've been looking around for more ways to save money so I don't have to go back to work outside the home. Really, really don't want to go back.

If you need a break from life, check these fun sites out.

Happy Searching! (seriously free music with your library card number. Lots of new stuff too.) (really love the name)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The BEST recipe for these cookies. Thanks to my sister for sharing.

1 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. white sugar (I used 1/2 brown and 1/2 white)
1/2 c. oil
1 egg
2 1/2 c. flour (I did 1 1/2 c. wheat flour and 1 c. white)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 c. chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients but the chocolate chips. When mixed well add chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 deg. for 10 minutes.

I think they are delicious plain, but you can add cream cheese frosting to the tops if desired

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

OR ONE CAN of Betty Crocker Frosting

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins/Cupcake

I have a new obsession with pumpkin. Actually, I've just cleaned out my basement and found some cans from the "Food Fairy," that I'd forgotten. Plus, baking helps me destress, something I've been needing to do for a long while.

Anyway I found this recipe and LOVE it. I've tweaked it a bit, so the version below is mine, and I am sure you'll love it.

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice OR 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. white chocolate chips (or semi sweet works too)

Mix together and using an ice cream scoop (or spoon) divide the batter among 24 small, lined cupcake tray, or 12 large cupcake tray. Bake at 350 deg. for 20-25 minutes. You can freeze these for a treat or breakfast later in the week or month. Mine never last that long.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Be Ready!

As if preparing for a huge social event isn't enough the State of Utah generously warned us of  "the big one" tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. This is a statewide emergency preparedness drill.

Go here Be Prepared for more local info, tips and tricks for staying safe.

MG- I bet you're happy about your last Mother's Day gift now.....

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tweens and Things

It's official. We have young women in our home. Last night was the school maturation program, and we officially know all there is to know about the biology of a human female.

WOW! This class was nothing new to my girls. I am nothing if not blatantly, brutally honest about taboo subjects. Remember the "Virgin Mary talk" whilst in church? Whatever....they ask me questions, I give answers.

Last night we saw an age appropriate video, appropriately sponsored by Always, I kid you not; and then saw some non-descript drawings of the female anatomy and what happens where. After uncurling my girls from the fetal position and giving them a hug, we commenced with questions, cookies and "gift bags." Yes, they know all about the "gift" from Mother Nature.

I guarantee it won't be on any birthday or Christmas list of theirs, at least not for awhile. While they were bordering between being curious and appalled, it occurred to me that this was a stepping stone for me, as their Mom. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from getting misty-eyed and realized the once 4 and 5 lb. babies I brought home are now on the brink of womanhood.

Overall the night was fun, and amazing, and silly and embarrassing, and mind blowing, and something they probably want to forget, but I never will.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Deals, Steals and Meals

It's time for more fun this week as our Spring Break comes to an end. Spring is so great, and gets to be so busy. We spent the weekend with family, watching silly movies and eating...and building our garden.

There are lots of Steal and Deals to be had.

Free Burger at Smash Burger. This was our date night last week and it was AWESOME. Join their club at and they'll send you a coupon via email. You must try this place. Mondays kids eat free with purchase of entree.

Free document shredding and 25 free copies at Staples on April 17.

Free mini Cinnabons on April 17 at local Cinnabons.
Free pretzel on National Pretzel Day, April 26 at Pretzelmakers--you do have to sing a song or dance, but how hard is that???
Marble Slab has free ice cream April 17 to roll out their new seasonal flavors.

Nordstroms has free sample Saturdays, with a new sample each week. Sign up at

I found the best dessert ever here at Our Best Bites. It's so easy and fun to make. The kids can pretty much handle it. It's a Jell-O Fruity Mousse, and it's perfect for Spring. Delicious!

Other Meal Ideas for the week:
Fish tacos- use fish sticks or precooked shrimp; add avocado, lime wedges, salsa, cilantro, coleslaw mix (w/o mayo, just the bagged stuff) and ranch. These are easy

Grilled chipolte chicken with Cuban black beans. S&W has a new variety of beans out--Cuban Black beans and a Chipolte bean. Comes all ready to go. They are about $1 per can, and there's coupons for $1/2. Go to to find the insert source of the coupon, or you can google for one.

Chicken cordon-blue sandwiches- I serve these on wheat thin buns, a slice of grilled chicken breast topped with Swiss or provolone and ham. Place under broiler for 3-4 minutes and place on bun. Garnish with veggies.

I am still looking for a good crock pot meal for our busy week.....have a great one!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Egg Dye on the Cheep

I, but how fun is that play on words??

Easter is such a fun time of year. Spring is finally here, the weather starts to warm up (and then gets cold again, and then hot. It had mood swings. Maybe it's a tweenager), and my garden process starts all over.

Here's a great way to use what you likely already have to dye your Easter eggs.

1/2 c. room temperature water
1 Tbsp. vinegar
20 drops of food coloring.

The cool thing about doing it this way, is that you can make any color you want. We made raspberry, turquoise, greenish-purplish-browinsh, yellow, scarlet, purple and green. Also a plain old white crayon-any brand-can be used to decorate the egg BEFORE dyeing it.

It will cost you waaaay less than $1 and can be lots of fun.

Then you can always hide them, or plastic eggs, outside. Which is what we did to keep the kids out of trouble on our first day of Spring Break. 

~Happy Easter!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dual Use Product Socks

I got creative again this weekend. Want to see???

Ok, so the pic isn't the greatest, but let me just say, this kid DOES NOT like getting her hair done. Something along the lines of lack of patience. Her words, not mine. Anyway we got some awesome ideas from this website Adopt-A-Do. My girls have really fine hair that hardly holds a curl. This pic was taken after school and she still has waves. And it's OUT of her face! Score one for the Mom. Thanks Mindy for the ideas.

We made her curls using socks. The above link has all the details.

Again, it's after school, but La La still has waves and you can see it's styled, at least somewhat. Having four girls should make me an expert on hair, but it doesn't. By the time the baby has hair, I may be one...there's always hope.