Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Did you know?

How easy it is to make some items from scratch?  I make home made granola now.  EASY.  TASTY.  Try it!  If you want the recipe or source, just comment to let me know.  It came from a Home Made Simple booklet in my All You magazine.

Another easy item, iced tea, iced coffee, homemade drinks.  Iced coffee is easy.  Whenever we make a pot of coffee, we have a cup or two left over.  We rarely have the luxury of finishing the pot these days.  I take that cup, that has sat all day in the pot, mind you, and put it into a mason jar, add lots of milk, add sugar and vanilla extract to taste.  Place in refrigerator overnight, and voila!  Iced coffee for the a.m. or whenever.  Another idea: add sweetened condensed milk instead of the milk and vanilla (or in addition? LOL)  That's the beauty of your own coffee bar.  Make it how you like it.  Add pumpkin spice, whatever floats your boat!

Pancakes shouldn't come from a box, they are SO easy.  There are tons of recipes out there.  The simplest, plainest one is this: 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk, 1 egg.  That's IT!  Others involve oats, which is hearty and filling.  Others still involve pumpkin, yum!  EASY.

Dryer sheets are disposable, but making your own is cheaper and so easy.  Mix a small part fabric softener and water, place in a plastic dish with a cover.  The mixture is customizable.  I've seen up to a 1/2 and 1/2 recipe mixture of softener and water.  I've even seen hair conditioner mixed with water (but I've not tried that).  Each time you need a sheet, soak a sponge in the mixture and put it in the dryer with the wet clothes.
This is an all natural idea from the site Live Renewed:
Or, how about tearing that dryer sheet in 1/2 or 1/3 before adding it to the machine?  I find that even that small piece still keeps static at bay.  The smell is less overwhelming, too.

Three new sites I found interesting:
Money Saving Mom
Live Renewed
Northern Cheapskate

Making items is fun and can be rewarding.  I'll try to chronicle some of the items that I try to make from scratch periodically.  Feel free to comment, discuss and exchange ideas!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Hello!  We are battling one child being sick, Mother having a neck that won't work and Dad getting a new job 1.5 hrs from home.  We are going to have to come to some new sense of normal for our family.  Hopefully I can continue to blog and create, as I had been getting good at it (if you ask me, I was doing pretty good!).
Having a locked neck is a definite damper to sewing and computer work.  I think that may be what has me locked up.  I need to order a back stretcher that I can lay in or sit in to put my spine back in proper position to relieve the tension.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!
I've had to let Dad drive my little VW Jetta TDI.  I'm not thrilled, but so happy that we have it for him.  Otherwise, we wouldn't really be able to manage this new normal very long.  He'll get 50+ mpg.  Using about 11-12 gallons per week to go 160 miles per day.  These are rough figures, please.  I am an engineer who LOVES math, so I know they aren't right.  Don't even get out your calculator to check me.  BUT, they are a ROUGH estimate of where he'll be in the fuel usage.  Not too shabby.  I anticipate it costing us around $45 per week.  Nice.
On the other hand, I get the mini van back.  18-19 miles to the gallon, with me driving 25 miles or so to work x twice a day = 2.6+ gallons per day = averageing it at $4/gallon = about $10 a day to drive that van!  UGH.  Double UGH. and YUCK.
We better get our taxes done and find another Jetta TDI and quick!  :)
So, I hope to unlock my neck and get back to creating and updating the websites, etc.  I'll try to learn my lesson and take breaks to stretch out so I fatigue my muscles and lock up again!
Good luck in all of your endeavors and God Bless!