Monday, September 14, 2009

Make This Monday - Bisquick Oven Chicken

1/3 cup bisquick
Garlic powder
Dash onion powder
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 or 4 chicken breasts

Season bisquick to taste. Melt butter and pour into bottom of 13x9 baking pan. Dredge chicken in bisquick and place in baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Make This Monday - Mexican Pizza

Hubby made this for dinner a couple of weeks ago and it was so delicious!

1 bag pizza dough
1/2 cup taco sauce
1/2 lb ground beef, seasoned with taco seasoning
1/2 cup pico de gallo
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
4 oz can sliced black olives

Brown ground beef with taco seasoning. Spread dough out on baking sheet. Top with taco sauce, then ground beef, then pico de gallo, and then cheeses. Bake 10-13 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then top with lettuce and black olives.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Kitchen implements on the loose...

Missing: Black cheese grater and small pizza cutter. Last seen at the bright and happy home. If found, please contact owner.

I can not find my cheese grater or pizza cutter anywhere. How could these items possibly get lost?? I mean, they never leave the kitchen. Has it gotten to the point that my kitchen tools are feeling the need to run away from home?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Works for Me- Oven Quesadillas

Want to make quick quesadillas? Preheat the oven to 425. Butter 4 tortillas. Place two butter side down on a baking sheet. Top with shredded cheese and the other tortillas, butter side up. Bake 6-8 minutes or until crispy.

Go here for more tips.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Bedtime for my 3 year old has been shifting around lately and I'm not sure what our best course of action is. She no longer naps, and is usually pretty ornery by 7:30 or 8pm. So we started putting her down around 8:30, but now she wakes up around 7-7:30am and is very cranky. I am afraid if we put her down any earlier she'll be up at the crack of dawn.

What do you all do with your little ones regarding bedtimes?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Make This Monday - Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

This is great if you're in a hurry. Add a salad and you've got a nice lunch or dinner in 10 minutes.

1 loaf French bread, sliced
4 tablespoons jarred pesto sauce
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Spread pesto onto bread and top with chicken and cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Works for Me: Instant Volume Control

My daughter has aquired many toys that are LOUD. Most don't come with any form of volume control, and can really give you a headache after a while. So one day I covered the speaker with a piece of blue painters tape and presto - the volume is turned down to a more reasonable level. She can keep playing with her toys, and I can keep my sanity.

For more tips - click here

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Little Things

Lately I have felt like God has been calling me to pray more about things, even the little ones that seem too trivial to bother Him with. I have had a had time finding clothing that fits right since having Princess2 - even though I am only a few pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, my old clothes just don't fit right anymore. I was having an especially hard time finding something to wear to church the other day, and prayed that God would help me find something I liked that fit well and didnt cost too much. After looking through several stores yesterday and leaving empty handed, I stopped at Goodwill on the way home and found a cute skirt that fit me perfectly and only cost $2.49. I guess God does care about the little things after all :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Make This Monday: Indian Chicken Curry

1 lb diced chicken breast
1 Tbl. Cornstarch
1 1/3 c chicken broth
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp red pepper
salt to taste

Toss chicken and cornstarch together. Brown chicken in skillet. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until carrots are tender. Serve over rice.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Outside freezer- Is it worth the money?

We moved into this house last summer, and brought our old refrigerator with us to keep in the garage. I have enjoyed being able to buy foods in bulk, and double meals when I cook and store them in the freezer for nights when I am too tired to cook ( which came in especially handy when Avalyn arrived).

Lately though I have been wondering if it is costing more in electricity than it is saving us? Our last electric bill was $274, and I think part of that cost is from trying to keep the fridge and freezer cold when it is 100 degrees in the garage.

It is about halfway empty at this point - should we try to eat everything out of it and then shut it off until the weather cools down? Or is the cost of running it nominal? I'd love to hear from anyone who keeps an outdoor freezer.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Italian Grilled Cheese

Wow. I came up with this on a whim the other day and loved it.

2 thick slices sourdough bread
sliced fresh mozzerella cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, cut in half

Brush bread with olive oil and rub with garlic. cook in skillet until bread is toasty and cheese is melty. Rub with garlic again and serve with a sprig of fresh basil.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Works for Me: Paying cash for groceries

Last week I tried something new - I only took cash to the grocery store for my weekly trip. It was a challenge to stay under budget, ad I was only able to buy the things I needed for our meals. But it worked, and how wonderful it felt afterwards to know that I didn't waste money on "extras" that are bad for our wallet and our diet.

I am planning to make this a regular thing in an effort to trim our grocery bill down. I know this isnt a new concept, but it is a new thing for me, and it really worked for me!

Go here for more tips.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Potty Training - What works for you?

I'm having a reverse wfmw today - I need some potty training advice.

Princess 1 is finally potty trained, yay! But we still have one problem. She is currently using the little kid potty, meaning we have to empty it out all day long - yuck. We have tried two potty seats for the big potty and both are too hard for her to climb onto by herself, even with a stepstool.

How did everyone else enable their little ones to get onto the big potty?

Go here for more tips.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Make This Monday - Braised Beef with Sun-dried Tomatoes

2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb beef stew meat
1/4 cup rough chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Tbl. flour
3/4 c water
1/2 c red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 Tbl brown sugar
1/2 Tbl. worcestshire sauce
3/4 tsp rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Brown beef in olive oil.
Add onion and cook 7 minutes.
Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add flour, cook 2 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 1 hour and remove tomatoes. Set aside.
Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Works for Me: Prepping breakfast the night before

I'm sure many people already do this, but I just started and it has really helped my day get off to a better start.

The baby is usually awake and ready to nurse at the same time that Princess 1 and I are getting up and ready for breakfast. Any delay in tending to baby causes much screaming. So I have started doing the prep the evening before. I get the coffe pot ready to go and set the auto timer. I fill our cups with ice and stick them in the freezer. If I know that we are having cereal the next morning, I will pour it into the bowls and cover them with foil.

Taking 5 minutes to do these things the night before has really reduced my morning stress and helps set a calmer tone for the day. Works for Me!

Click here for more tips.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Make This Monday - Kielbasa and White Cheddar Pasta

I came up with this while trying to use up leftovers and it became a family favorite.

1/2 lb lean kielbasa, sliced
6 ounces elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Cook macaroni until tender. Add butter, salt and pepper and stir incheese. Warm kielbasa for 1 minute in microwave and add to pasta.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Random Questions

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?

Cable, I feel like it is a waste of money and would like to turn it off.

2. Do you miss being a child?

Yes! no bills, no jobs, no housework.

3. What chore do you hate the most?

doing the dishes, because it has to be done

4. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?

A teppanyaki restaurant in may to celebrate our anniversary.

5. If you could go back and change one thing, what would it be?

Buying our first house - we settled for one we didnt really want.

6. Name of your first grade teacher?

Mr. Cummins

7. What do you really want to be doing right now?

staying at a cabin in the woods

8. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A mom. I’m not a career minded person whatsoever.

9. How many colleges did you attend?

One. Go Sun Devils!

10. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?

Because it’s easy to nurse in, and I spend most of the day nursing.

11. What are your thoughts on gas prices?

Way too high, but I doubt they'll ever go back down to a reasonable level. We are hoping to make our next car a hybrid.

12. Last thought before going to sleep last night?

Which time??? Baby woke me up countless times last night.

13. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?

I don't use an alarm clock...I have a human alarm that wants milk at all hours...

14. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?

Tom Hanks. He seems so nice and normal, I'd like to see if he really is.

15. Have you ever crashed your vehicle?

A few months after I got my license I made a left turn on a yellow light and a lady SPED UP to go through the light and hit me.

16. If you didn’t have to work, would you volunteer?

Probably at an animal shelter. I love animals.

17. Get up early or sleep in?

I like to wake up naturally, which is around 7 or 8 for me.

18. What is your favorite cartoon character?

I loved the wuzzles. Does anyone remember them?

19. When did you first start feeling old?

When I had my first daughter.

20. Favorite lunch meat?


21. What do you get every time you go into Target?

Hmmm...I don't think there is any one thing I buy there...usually a gift or card for someone else.

22. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?

Nope. I think it was meant by God to be a permanent relationship.

23. Favorite movie you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about?

Don't know

24. What’s your favorite drink?

Margaritas! But I don't have that very often, so I guess Cherry Limeade would be next.

25. Who from high school would you like to run into?

My childhood best friend.

26. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now?

Either alternative or Christian.

27. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?

Dating my ex for so long...not smart to drag out an unhealthy relationship.

28. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purposes?


29. Do you have a teddy bear?

Yes but I gave it to my daughter

30. Do you go to church?

I havent been since the end of my pregnancy, I need to get back into it.

31. How old are you?

28 - yikes!

Make This Monday - Lettuce Wraps With Dipping Sauce

For Filling
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/3 cup chopped green onion
3/4 cup water chestnut
1 lb ground pork or chicken
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 cup cooked jasmine rice (optional)

For Dipping Sauce
1/2 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Add vegetables to food processor until roughly diced. Add to skillet with sesame oil and saute until tender. Add pork and cook through, adding soy sauce as it cooks. Serve with lettuce, rice and dipping sauce. If you have extra meat filling leftover, it freezes very well.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Getting Out

So I braved the outside world today with both girls...a few mamas at church started a playgroup and I figured this would be a good way to start getting used to venturing out with two little ones. As must be required by the universe, baby had an explosive diaper just as I was strapping her into the carseat, and Princess 1 got quite upset at the delay as her sister screamed about the outfit change. We were half an hour late, but we made it, and I guess that is the important thing. Hopefully the more I do it the easier it will get.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


It has been wonderful to watch Princess 1 interact with her baby sister. She loves to kiss her and stroke her head. So far there doesnt seem to be any jealousy issues at all. I am an only child and always longed for a sister, so I hope that my two girls will be close and I look forward to watching their relationship develop as they get older.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Works for Me: Co-sleeping

Princess 2 arrived on June 1st! She is doing great and God has blessed me with an easy recovery from the c-section. I feel almost back to normal now.

But as we all know, anyone with a newborn is going to be low on sleep. With our first daughter,we had her sleep in a crib in our room. Hubby and I took turns getting up all night to feed her, rock her, and try to get her back to sleep. For three long months, we were both running on fumes.

This time we are doing thing differently. I am sleeping in our bed with the baby. She can nurse as she needs, and I can generally get back to sleep pretty quickly, averaging about 7 hours of sleep. Hubby doesnt mind sleeping in the guest room, as he is now getting at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Not bad for having a newborn in the house.

So for getting some rest, co-sleeping is working for us! Visit Kristen for more advice.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quick Update

I'm still around, just have a serious case of writer's block. I can't come up with anything insightful enough to post...must be pregnancy brain.

18 more days to go until baby. I pretty much have everything ready, so now we're just waiting. Trying to enjoy this time of relative calm before the chaos. I'm more and more physically uncomfortable each day but trying to just grin and bear it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

One Month

We are officially in the one-month countdown to baby! My c-section is scheduled for June 1st. I saw my perinatologist today for a doppler ultrasound and non-stress test and all looks well with baby. I will be going in for testing weekly now. A month still feels like such a long time to wait but our calendar for May is so full that hopefully the time will pass quickly.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Make This Monday - Cinnamon Banana Breakfast Sandwiches

8 slices whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana, sliced
4 tablespoons fresh whipped cream

Mix cinnamon and sugar. Brush both sides of bread with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Broil for 3 minutes or until warm and toasty. Top half the bread with sliced bananas and whipped cream, and top with remaining bread. Yum!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Balsamic Herb Salad Dressing or Dipping Sauce

The dipping sauce that they serve with bread at Carabba's was my inspiration for this salad dressing. If you prefer you can switch the amounts of oil and vinegar and use as a dipping sauce. I also like to pour this over slices of fresh mozzarella.

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Works For Me - Toddler Tray

At my house it is a rare occasion if we all eat dinner together. As much as I would like us to, it just doesnt work out that way. Since the start of this pregnancy, I am starving by 5 and have to eat then. Hubby usually eats about an hour later after he returns from work. And my daughter is usually not ready to eat before 7 pm - if we try to feed her earlier we all get frustrated.

At 2 1/2 I feel that she still needs some supervision (and some company) while she eats. But we got tired of having to sit at the table for half an hour to watch her eat at night (our dining room chairs are NOT comfortable).

So last week a light bulb went off in my head. You've probably seen the plastic lap trays made for kids. I think they're meant for coloring and other activities, but she never used it for that. So I had her sit on the living room floor and served her dinner on the tray. She loved it because it was fun, and we loved that she can eat her dinner with us while we hang out in the family room. Works for all of us!

Visit We Are That Family for more tips!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Make This Monday: Chicken Souiza Cornbread Casserole

1/2 c butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 oz can corn
1 15 oz can creamed corn
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 8.5 oz box corn muffin mix

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 tbl canned green chiles
1 1/2 cups sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter and saute onion and garlic. Set aside.

Combine corns, salt and egg. Beat in muffin mix. Fold in butter mixture. Pour into greased casserole dish.

Combine chicken, chiles, sour cream, salt and pepper. Spread over corn mix, leaving 1/2 inch border around edges. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 35 minutes.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Make This Monday: Beer Braised Beef With Italian Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde:

1 cup chopped mint
2/3 cup chopped dill
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup minced shallot
3 tbl olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


1 lb beef stew meat
2 tbl. olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup beef broth
12 oz guiness

Combine salsa ingredients and chill one hour. Season beef with salt and pepper and brown in 1 tbl. olive oil.Remove beef from pan and saute onion in 1 tbl olive oil.
Add beef back to pan, along with broth and beer. Bring to a boil.Reduce heat to low and simmer 90 minutes or until tender. Shred with a fork.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday - Oil Burner

I love to have a candle going during the day to scent the house and make a nice atmosphere. However, I'm usually disappointed that the candle does not scent the house thoroughly enough. I recently bought an oil burner ($8 at target) and a couple of oils. This works much better! The scent fills the house quickly and lasts throughout the day. Works for me!

Go here for more great ideas!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday - Buying in Advance

As we anticipate the birth of our second daughter this June, I am trying to anticipate everything we may need to have on hand in the month following the birth. I know that I will be having a c-section, which will mean I am basically out of commission for a few weeks. In addition to stocking the freezer with meals, I have begun buying extras of our commonly used household items and some other things you may not think of buying in advance. Here's a little list for anyone who may want to try this as well.

- toiletries. Next time you buy shampoo, toothpaste, etc grab an extra bottle or two to set aside.

- Snacks and other non-perishable foods. In addition to stocking the freezer with cooked meals, I'm stocking the pantry too. I will be pre-portioning snacks for my toddler so that she can grab them herself when I am busy with baby.

- Birthday or other holiday gifts. We have several birthdays in our extended family that fall near the birth of the baby, so I have gone ahead and bought cards for those people and will have them addressed and ready to be mailed. This way I can ensure no one is forgotten and I won't have to stress about this at the last minute. Also, my daughter's 3rd birthday is about 6 weeks after the baby is due, so I am plannng and preparing for her party as well. I already have the invitations, and will be buying the remaining supplies soon. All we'll need to do at the last minute is the food.

If you have any other suggestions for things to be stocked up on please let me know!

Go here for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday - Skin Cleanser

As a teeneager, I started having trouble with eczema, which has been most troublesome on my legs. My eczema now remains mostly under control without any medication, as long as I avoid aspartame (one day I'll post about how I figured out the connection). Long ago, when my eczema started my dermatologist suggested I use Cetaphil cleanser to shave my legs with, and this has helped tremendously. But have you seen the price of that stuff? Over the years I have tried various shaving creams, but within a week or two my legs would break out again, even with the sensitive varieties. Looked like I was due to shell out the big bucks for Cetaphil forever...

Until I discovered Safeway Gentle Skin Cleanser. Basically a generic form of Cetaphil. It works just the same, and costs much less. My legs thank me and it doesn't bust my budget. If you have similar skin issues you may want to give it a try.

Visit We Are THAT Family for more great ideas!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Make This Monday: Apple Puff Pastry Dessert

This was a little something I came up with when my parents were coming for dinner one night. It got rave reviews from everyone!Please keep in mind my measurements are guesstimates.

One sheet puff pastry, thawed
4 oz cream cheese
3 Tbl. sugar
3 Tbl. melted butter
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 Tbl. cinnamon and sugar mixture

Brush puff pastry with 1 Tbl. butter. Beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Spread on pastry. Toss apples with remaining butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Spread over cream cheese and fold pastry in half. Seal edges and brush butter on outside, sprinkling with more cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Tastes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


The Farm Chicks are having a giveaway! Visit their blog to enter!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Terrible Two's?

I could really use some advice from other mamas of little ones. My daughter is two and a half and is usually pretty well-behaved. She eats well most of the time, and is happy to read books, play with her kitchen or toys, etc.

But for the past week or two, she has been very difficult. She refuses to eat almost everything we put in front of her, even her favorite foods. She is also very whiny and has tantrum after tantrum all day long. Hubby and I are so frustrated by this!

She is getting plenty of sleep and not showing any signs of illness, so I don't think those are the culprits. Does anyone have any ideas of why she has suddenly turned into a very difficult child and how to get her back to normal?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Garage Sales

I guess technically this is a way to make money, not save money, but it's all the same to me.

This past weekend we had a garage sale. We weren't sure we had enough to make a sale out of, so my mother-in-law was kind enough to donate some items she no longer needed to help fil out our sale. I placed a couple of free ads on craigslist, and hubby put 10 signs in strategic locations. Then we got up at the crakc of dawn and waited to see what would happen. We were blessed with LOTS of traffic, and sold almost everything! We made almost $200, which comes in so handy this month as we had an unexpected car repair bill.

So if you're short on cash this month or just looking to make some fun money, look around your house. You'd be surprised how many things you don't even use anymore - why not let them make you some money?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Make This Monday: Cappelini Pomodoro

I had a chance to get a case of tomatoes for just $9, so I have been busy making spaghetti sauces to put away in the freezer. One of the easiest sauces to make is a pomodoro sauce. This tastes similar to a sauce they use at the Olive Garden, and it freezes well. Enjoy!

4 tomatoes, finely diced or pureed
1 tbl. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl. fresh basil, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste

Saute garlic in olive oil for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook until tender. Add basil and cook for 2 minutes. Serve over angel hair pasta.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Make This Monday - Spinach Dip

Let me say I am not a huge fan of spinach, and up until I made this I had never met a spinach dip that I liked. But this one is different than most, and I fell in love.

1 1/2 bunches fresh spinach, washed
3 Tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup half and half
2 cups shredded italian blend cheese
1 cup shredded mozzerella
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter and add spinach, garlic, and wine. Cook 2-3 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Serve with tortilla cips, wheat crackers, or veggies.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Food Co-ops

I try to feed my family as many fruits and veggies as possible. Hubby is a bit resistant ot the vegetables, but we go through fruit at an amazing speed in this house. I could easily spend upwards of $30 a week on produce at the grocery store.

Then my mom sent me a link about a local produce co-op. They have diferent pick-up sites around town. Basically you order a basket every other week, and it is filled with fruits and veggies. You don't get to choose what you recieve, but we are generally happy with the contents. The best part is it only costs $15 and although we usually run out of fruit a few days early, the veggies last us the whole two weeks. They usually offer bread as well, and occasionally other things like olive oil and spices.

Go online and search - there may be a food co-op in your area and they can save you a bundle.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Works for Me - Costco Pizza

Yesterday I came down with a yucky cold. I am so miserable it is hard enough just to care for myself and my daughter, much less do any cleaning or cooking. So tonight hubby will be stopping to pick up one of the best quick and cheap dinner standbys I have found - a pizza from Costco.

Their pizzas are huge - 18" for only $10! You're not going to beat that at any of the major chains. And the quality is surprisingly good- not too thick, not too thin, and plenty of cheese. The topping choices are limited to cheese, pepperoni, or veggie but the convenience and the price are well worth it. So if you have a Costco membership and havent tried their pizza yet, give it a try for dinner this week.

Visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Make This Monday - Linguine with Broccoli

This dish is easy to make and full of vitamins and fiber. Also a good way to get some veggies into your kids.

8 oz cooked whole wheat linguine
3/4 cup cooked broccoli florets
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients and serve.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Cleaning Rags

I used to spend a fortune on Lysol or Clorox wipes to clean our kitchen and bathrooms. Not only was this costly, but I have serious concerns about the safety of the chemicals in those products. Then I began making my own natural cleaning solution (see previous post for directions) and using that along with paper towels to clean. But the cost of going through so many paper towels meant I had to find a better way. So I went through our overstuffed linen closet and found a few old towels. I cut them into squares that are roughly 5x5. I stitched two squares together and there was an absorbent cleaning rag. I keep a basket in my laundry room for dirty rags and do a wash for them about every 7-10 days. At about 10 cents per load it saves a bundle compared to paper towels or commercial cleaning products. Give it a try!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Works for Me - Sorting Laundry

For me, Saturday is laundry day. And as much as I dread doing laundry all day, I really dread having to sort out all the clothes in the morning to get started. So last week I implemented a new rule for hubby and I: each laundry basket has a color designation - darks in one baskets, whites in another, reds in another. As we undress each day, the clothes go in the designated basket. Simple as this may be, it gives me a jumpstart on the sorting process and makes me dread laundry day just a little bit less. It works for me!

For more great tips please visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Make This Monday: Black Bean Hummus

Try this for a different twist on the usual hummus:

1 can black beans - drain and reserve liquid
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tsp tahini
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbl. lemon juice

Mince garlic in food processor. Add black beans and 1 tbl. liquid. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Serve with pitas or fresh veggies.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Burpcloth Tutorial

When we had our first daughter, we spent too much money on uneccessary baby items. Like the first two packs of burpcloths we bought - some were so thin they barely absorbed a drop of water. Then a friend gave us a pack of large flannel burpcloths, and those were the way to go! They actually covered your whole shoulder - no more having to change shirts after baby spit up. Most of those have gotten lost since our daughter was a baby, so I decided it was time to make my own version. It is very simple and quick if you want to try it. All you need is a few yards of flannel to make burpcloths like these.


1. Lay out your flannel and fold it in half so that the printed part is on the inside, and you are looking at the backside.

2. Measure out the burpcloths- I make mine 17" long and 13" wide. This may seem huge, but it provides great coverage.

3. To sew them, just use a straight stitch (easiest on the sewing machine, but could also be done by hand)to sew the sides together. On the last side, leave a couple of inches unsewn.

4. Reach in the opening and turn the fabric right-side-out. Now you can stitch up the opening and voila! You have a burpcloth.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Let's try this again!

Well as you can see I have gotten off to quite a slow start. Shortly after I decided to start blogging I learned that I am pregnant with baby #2! During those first few months my morning (and afternoon and evening) sickness made it hard for me just to get through each day, much less take on anything extra. But I'm 20 weeks along now and feeling much better, so let's give this another try!

For those mamas that can relate to feeling so badly during the first trimester, the one thing that helped me this time around was peppermint tea. Celestial Seasonings makes one that is pure peppermint leaves. It helped take the edge off the nausea.

Tomorrow I will be posting a how-to on making burp cloths - it is cute and so easy. I am a novice sewer, so if I can do it anyone can.