Friday, October 30, 2009

Frugal Friday

Ok, people, I don't have a real post yet, but since some of you (Taylor) get up and post during the wee hours of the morning, I'll throw up the Mr. Linky for you all =) I'll have a real post later today, because I'll be spending the morning at K-Lou's school.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Maybe. We'll see. I've been hearing about a thing called Swagbucks on a bunch of different blogs. The concept is basically that you use their search engine and you randomly get awarded "bucks" which you then save up and trade in for stuff. So I signed up. Looks like you can get some pretty fun stuff like gift cards, games, movies, The Office. I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it, after all, it's not like I'd be doing anything I wouldn't normally. So, if any of you out there want to try it out too, sign up using my link =) I'm not sure what I get out of the deal, but there's gotta be something right?

Search & Win

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (almost)

Nov. 2006

Oct. 2007

Nov. 2008

Monday, October 26, 2009


I found this article here.

LOS ANGELES — Authorities say a 37-year-old Los Angeles man has been arrested on suspicion of murder for the death of an unborn child believed to be his.

Police said in a press release that Joshua Woodward was arrested Sunday in Los Angeles and is being held on $2 million bail in a county jail.

Police say the arrest came after an investigation on Monday revealed "suspicious circumstances of a miscarriage." Investigators estimate the fetus was in its 13th week.

Police released no information on the mother or the circumstances of the child's death.

The release says Woodward is believed to have ties to Miami and Chicago and detectives are also seeking information in those cities.

Investigators are set to present the case to prosecutors on Tuesday.

A deputy at the jail had no information on an attorney for Woodward.

Seriously? Now, granted this is horrible, but abortion clinics get away with every day. How is this any different? The legal system in this country amazes me. This should be an interesting case though. Can they really arrest him for murder if the unborn baby is not a human life as our country claims? If so, how (if at all) will that effect the pro-abortion agenda?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Special Guest Post by Matthias

matthias matthias


*Just to show how smart Matthias is, he spelled and typed all these words himself except for zebra. I told him how to spell it ;)

Spending to Save

My wonderful husband budgeted $100 this paycheck for me to buy stuff for the house. Yay! So I bought curtains. Let me tell you, it was rather hard for me to pay full price for something. I had decided though, that I'd get myself some of those fancy "energy saving" curtains. I did some looking around online and found some at Target for only $10 a panel! Not too bad. I read the reviews and the main problems were that they weren't long enough and that they were hard to iron. Well, I hardly iron anything, let alone curtains, and the couches are in front of the windows so you can't really tell if they're too short. So I bought 5. Seriously people, these things actually work. We only have 2 windows covered, and I it's already reducing our heat usage. Our little control panel for the heat has a fancy feature where it keeps track of how much power is used every day. We usually use over 2 hours each day (I'm not overly sure what this means, I'm assuming that it's keeping track of the total amount of time the heat is running), but the last couple of days we've been using closer to 1.5 hours. Pretty exciting, eh? It's pretty cool too because you can actually feel the temperature difference in the living room compared to other rooms in the house. Also, we turn the heat off at night, so in the morning when we get up it's pretty cold, but the last couple of mornings it's been about 5 degrees warmer than normal. So I'm pretty excited =) It could all just be coincidence, but we plan on buying more for other windows anyway!
So there you have it, sometimes it's good to spend money to save money in the long run. It should be fun to see our electricity bill next month!

Share your Frugal Friday post!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just a Few More...

I found some more of the pictures I took of Matthias. They for some reason went into the wrong folder. There were a few cute ones that I feel the need to share. That is after all, the only reason you all read my blog.

Monday, October 19, 2009

We Ripped off the Thrift Store

Today we went out to the Real Lift Thrift Store. Our purpose? To find dishes to use for Thanksgiving dinner. We will be having approximately 15 people here for dinner, and we have only 4 place settings. Yes, only 4. In our old place we never had people over because it was too small, so we got rid of all our dishes except the pretty Longaburger ones so that we'd have less dishes to clean ;) Now, we have a larger house and are able to have people over. Hence Thanksgiving dinner. I liked this plan because it allowed me to buy new stuff (insert evil laughter). My grandma has offered me her china set (yay!) but we're still a bit short. My plan was to get a bunch of mismatched dishes in "heirloom white" and have a more eclectic look. Well, here's what we found today at the thrift store:

Anyone want to venture a guess at how much we spent on this? Come on, you know it's fun! Ok, here's the rundown:
14 dinner plates - $.59 each
14 bowls - $.49 each
7 salad plates - $.49 each
12 mugs - $.49 each
total: $24.43
However, let's not forget that everything in the Real Life Thrift Store is 50% off! So all of this was only $12.22! Can you believe it! I think we're set on dishes now =) Here's some close ups on the patterns:

We also got this cool little serving thingy ($1.58):

Close up:

Some fun glasses. Daniel is not too sure that they are glasses, but I say that they were on the shelf with all the other glasses, and I want them to be glasses - therefore they are glasses. ($.49 each)

A bunch of linen napkins so we can be all fancy like ($.25 each). I'm thinking I might have to play around with some dye and see what happens.

Silverware. We need silverware. ($.15 each)

This cool bowl thing. I'm not really sure why other than it's cool and weird. ($.89)

A couple of glass bowls ($.59 each)

And look at this.

Isn't that great? It was handmade too, someone gave it to their mom in 1981. Poor kid, their mom gave it to a thrift store.

A gravy boat. ($.29)

And a few items of clothing for Daniel, some games, some puzzles, a few "fall" decor items and a Spiderman tent thingy for Matthias. It was a good shopping day =)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Need I say more?

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Got Nothin'

Sorry, folks. I'm totally unprepared for this week. The kids and I have spent the last few days sick, so today totally snuck up on me. In fact, the only reason I remembered is that Taylor left me a message on Facebook. So, I guess I'll share with you one of our most frugal recipes. I found it here, but it originally came from the book The Tightwad Gazette. Here's how we've the recipe was originally written, and some variations that we've used to changed it up a bit:

Brown Rice and Lentil Casserole:

3 cups broth (chicken or veggie) or water
3/4 cup lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup grated cheese


Italian - Substitute 1 can of diced tomatoes for 1 cup of broth, add chopped onions and garlic and Italian seasoning. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Greek - Substitute 1 can of diced tomatoes for 1 cup of broth, add chopped onions, garlic, broccoli and rosemary. Top with feta cheese.

Pizza - Substitute 1 can of tomato sauce for 1 cup of broth, add chopped pizza toppings (like pepperoni, ham, ,sausage, onion, green peppers, olives), Italian seasonings, and cheddar cheese.

Taco - Substitute 1 can of diced tomatoes for 1 cup of broth, add chopped onion, taco seasoning and ground beef (or leftover taco meat). Top with cheddar cheese.

Leftovers - Toss in any leftover meat and veggies. It always tastes good =)

1. Preheat oven to 300
2. Mix all ingredients (except cheese) into baking dish
3. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour 10 min
4. Remove foil, add cheese, and bake for 20 min more

The times I've tried making it in the oven, it always needed much more cooking time. I usually cook it in the crock-pot on low for 4 hour or high for 8, adding the cheese during the last 30 min or so.

This may sound like a strange meal, but trust's good. The kids always enjoy eating it, even Kelsi! Well, as long as I chop the onions small enough ;)

Do you have a Frugal Friday post you'd like to share? Enter your link below!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


It's fall and it's cold. While I'm not a big fan of the cold, I love Autumn. All the oranges and yellows, scarves and hats. It's wonderful. This year I want to bring a bit of that fall look indoors. So, I'm requesting your help. I want acorns and chestnuts and maybe those cute little mini pine cones. Anyone know where I can find those? Real ones, not plastic ones. Gotta go for authentic you know. If you have any thoughts please let me know =)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Big Red Dog

We went thrift store shopping. We're addicted. But we had a good excuse...really! We volunteered our house for Thanksgiving dinner this year, which is great because that's one of the things we liked about our house when we moved in...we'd have room to have people over =) Then I realized later, we don't have enough dishes. Or cups. Or really anything! So we decided that we could probably just scout out thrift stores and buy plates and such for about the same (maybe slightly more) than buying paper plates and such that would hold to to all that gravy. Mmmm...gravy. The plus would be that we could use them over and over. So, see, we had a reason! Sadly we didn't find any dishes, but we did find a cool glass/crystal (not sure, probably glass) punch bowl with 11 matching cups for only $2.75! It just so happens that we'll have 11 adults for dinner! Assuming I counted correctly. We also gave in and splurged to get Matthias this:

Complete with tail.

Kelsi had decided that she wants to be a cheerleader, so she found some pom-poms:

Please excuse the mess in the background, we're rearranging the house and things just get thrown over by the garbage can for some reason ;)

I guess I really didn't get the pom-poms in the picture, but look at that face! Bet you didn't even notice =) If anyone happens to see a cheerleader outfit at a thrift store that would fit a 10 year old, let me know!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Secret Weapons

I know that I said I was going to give you all a run down of the thrift stores in Post Falls this week. But really, we spent most of our time at the Real Life Thrift Store! So, there's not much to report =) Instead, I'm going to tell you about my secret weapons. Yes, I know that sounds cheesy. When Matthias came around, I started double thinking the whole cleaning thing. I really didn't like having a cabinet full of toxic chemicals and having my child crawl around on a floor that had just been smothered with them. So, I started using "natural" cleaners and haven't gone back since. The great thing is, not only are they safer, but they are so much cheaper! So, here are my 4 secret weapons:

Castile Soap

This stuff is awesome. It's a soap that is made entirely out of vegetable oils and can be used for anything. Seriously, anything. At first glance this soap is kind of pricey, but keep in mind that it's highly concentrated. We buy it from the Flour Mill for $5.99/lb, but I dilute it at about a 5:1 ratio. So that's 6 pounds of cleaner for $5.99.

Baking Soda

Again, can be used for just about anything. We purchase this from Costco at about $8 for a 13.5 pound bag. That's a lot of baking soda. It lasts a long time!

White Vinegar

Let me tell ya, we look pretty odd coming out of Costco with a giant bag of baking soda and 2 gallons of vinegar. The door checker asked us once if we were making a volcano. Anyway, we get 2 gallons of white vinegar for about $3.69 which always gets diluted to about a 3:1 ratio.

Ok, so how do I use these? Well let me share =)

All-Purpose Cleaner:
1 part Castile soap
5 part water
Used for general cleaning of counters, sinks, tables, toilets, etc.

1 part white vinegar
3 part water
Used for windows, glass and other surfaces.

Sprinkle baking soda over area, spray with "windex" or all-purpose cleaner. Scrub until cleaned.
Used on stove tops, toilets and other yucky areas.

Carpet Freshener:
Sprinkle baking soda onto smelly carpet, let sit for about 10 min then vacuum area.

Sprinkle some baking soda over drain then pour some white vinegar onto it. Let work for 10-15 min. and rinse with hot water.

Laundry detergent:
1-2 tbs. undiluted castile soap
1/4-1/2 cup baking soda
Add while washing machine is filling.

Fabric Softener:
Fill a Bounty Fabric Softener ball with vinegar and toss in the washing machine. I promise your clothes will not smell like vinegar when you wear them! Soft and static free =)

Hand Soap:
1 part Castile soap
5 part water
Using this into a foaming soap pump works great!

Shampoo 1:
Tiny bit of Castile soap
Yes, I've actually done this many times. The great thing is you don't need conditioner! I wouldn't recommend this as a long term habit since the soap is made out of oil and can leave your hair kind of oily

Shampoo 2:
1-2 tbs baking soda
This is actually what I do. Don't get grossed out, it works great! Just sprinkle it onto your scalp and scrub away. It gets rid off all the grime and dead skin cells without stripping your hair of it's natural oils. If any of you decide to try this, just be forewarned that it can take up to a month for your hair to adapt. Since normal shampoo strips off all the natural oils, your scalp is constantly producing more to replace them. It will take a while for your body to realize that it doesn't have to produce as much oils.

1/4 cup white vinegar diluted with water
This works great any time, but is pretty important if you're using baking soda as shampoo because it helps keep the ph balance. Just pour onto your hair and let sit for a minute or two and rinse. When your hair dries you won't be able to smell the vinegar!

There are many, many more recipes but these are the main ones I use. If you want to see more, a great website is Pioneer Thinking. Just ignore all the Ayurvedic stuff.

For my fourth, and final secret weapon...washcloths. I use washcloths or cut up t-shirts instead of sponges or paper towels. This is a huge money saver for us. I have even made reusable Swiffer covers to use!

So, there you have it. Some great ways to save bits of money here and there. These supplies last us for months and are used for just about every kind of cleaning we do. Except the dishwasher, but we usually wash by hand anyway...using Castile soap of course!

Do you have a frugal post you'd like to share? Enter it here:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Have I Mentioned.... much I love the Real Life Thrift Store? Seriously, it's the greatest. Here's some of the stuff we got today:

A lovely white board that we're hoping we can clean well enough to use. Any thoughts? I've heard that alcohol works.

Two sweaters for MZ, two tank tops (for under shirts) and a denim shirt for K-Lou, and a sweater for me.

A pile of polo shirts (5) for Daniel so he can look nice and snazzy when he meets with people about web design jobs.

A couple of puzzles for me =)

A couple of new knitting looms for Kelsi. She's learning how to make stuff =)

Label printing stuff. I'm not really sure why.

Cute little Christmas dish/things. Hopefully you guys don't mind getting stuff from thrift stores for Christmas ;)

A new in the box shoe rack that can hold up to 50 shoes. Yay! No more, "Mo-om, I can't find my shoes!" every morning.

Some cute little glass Christmas jars. More gift stuff =)

A scanner. Hopefully it works =)

Anyone want to venture a guess as to how much we paid for all this? Anyone? Just under $25! Can you believe it! We've always like the Real Life store because their prices are so cheap, but right now they have everything 50% off. Everything! They're trying to keep their inventory low so that they don't have to move as much when the new building is ready. I think this is a fabulous plan. Plus, some of their clothing is 75% off. Sadly I did not realize this, otherwise I would have gotten more clothing =)

We also hit up the Humane Society thrift store and the Youth Ranch thrift store and got some clothing at each. I didn't feel like taking picture of them though =)