Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Whew... What a Week!

And it's only Wednesday... Morning!!!  LOL 

We had a very busy weekend starting with Friday.  Austin had his preschool "graduation" if you want to call it that, on Friday.  That was his last day of preschool really.  They were supposed to go Monday thru today but I was counting down the days til he was out of preschool so I pulled him a couple days early.  No big deal really.  He ended his year with a "Fun Day at the Park".  So it is bittersweet... he is getting ready for Kindergarten. He'll be starting the Kindergarten summer school program May 28th.  I cannot believe I have a kindergarten child. 

Saturday we had our niece's graduation party.  My brother in law had a dinner at the Pasta House for them.  I had made these adorable graduation caps out of chocolate and Nathan knew better than me and let them melt to nothing in the car.  I bawled... not going to lie... I did.  We're talking hours of work making them AND the base they were on.  I was so proud of them too.  Thankfully I took a picture of them to keep in my "creative" scrapbook.  Pictures just don't do justice though. They were so cute. 
Candy Grad Caps
Sunday we were supposed to go to church.  Austin was to have an Awana Celebration that morning but we didn't make it because the poor dude was running a 102.8 temp and coughing.  Ugh... here we go again.  He was sick from Saturday evening thru yesterday!  I had to take him to urgent care on Monday night because his fever was almost 104, he was shaking, not eating or drinking.  It was scary!!  Turns out it was just a virus but still stinks.  He still has a cough and is on Robitussin for it. 

Now we are trying to get back on schedule.  So much in one weekend that a lot got pushed aside.  Now I have mentioned we are trying to keep frugal because of Nathan's new job right?  So today I went back to making my own detergent.  In my opinion, nothing compares to Gain.  I LOVE Gain laundry detergent but at nearly $15 a pop, I need to rethink our laundry options. 

Homemade "Ivory Snow" Laundry Detergent
It's nothing I came up with.  Nothing new either.  Everyone has seen this recipe I think, but here is what I do:
2 bars Ivory bar soap
4 cups Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
4 cups Borax
I microwave the Ivory for about 90 seconds.  I know it's crazy, but I have grated it with my food processor grater many times but came across another blog that recommended microwaving it.  Now microwaving it is a fun science activity.  I did it with the preschool class I had a few months back.  I might actually do it with my kids here too.  It is even fun to squish and play with to break down once cooled. 
I just microwave for 90 seconds and then put the soap into my food processor and pulse a couple times.  I add the 4 cups of washing soda and process until a fine powder and well combined.  I place it in a bowl and the pulse the borax too just to make sure there are no clumps.  I then combine all and mix well.  I keep in an air tight canister (Tupperware) with a 2 Tablespoon Medicine cup from something like Nyquil.  Most say to do 1 Tablespoon for regular loads and 2 Tablespoons for heavy loads.  I just do 2 Tablespoons for it all.  So I get about 80 loads out of this.  Not bad because it is so cheap to make but I do miss my Gain already!!  :( 
Well that is about all today.  I do want to add a final note to pray for Oklahoma.  I cannot imagine the pain and loss they are dealing with it. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Frugal Fail

Yes, I am ashamed.  Ashamed and quite angry with myself as well. 

What is this??

Yes, those are leftovers gone bad.  Leftovers I am throwing away.  How about that for being frugal right?  There is enough pork roast for 2-3 of us, enough chicken for 1-2 of us, rice, green beans, taco meat for at least 4 tacos, maybe more and a small amount of mashed potatoes.  Sickening right?  So ashamed.  I told Nathan I want to be sure to use up our leftovers to save money, but then when it comes to the words "leftovers for dinner" then we both find other options.  Pull something from the freezer or the big one since he's been home more is he runs to the grocery store to pick up chicken legs to grill.  It is a cheaper meat option right? Helps with being frugal right? 
WRONG!!!  We bought chicken legs twice this week to grill.  Which we also bought pasta salad mixes, which we LOVE, to go with them.  Eating the leftovers would have then saved us about $12-$15 this week alone.  Throwing away the cash... NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!!
Now onto a happier topic.... still food but this is FUN, I'm a goof ball Mommy Food!!!
So while cleaning out my fridge, I started going through the pantry too.  With Schnucks having triple coupons this week, I am making my grocery list and restocking on a lot of things we use.  So I found a nearly empty box of pancake mix.  It wasn't enough for the family to eat it but I got goofy and creative with it.  Austin's last day of preschool is tomorrow so I made Pancake dippers for his breakfast.  I'll just put them in the fridge and heat them up for a quick but hot breakfast for him (and Mollie too of course).  I started making small circles they can pick up and dip in syrup.  Then I thought, "Hey I wonder if I can use my cookie cutters for shapes."  UMMMM, NO.  FAIL!!  LOL.  While they looked like they would work, they cooked into the inside of them and rip apart trying to remove.  I also tried to pour the batter then pull the cookie cutter up in hopes the sides cooked enough to hold shape.  Another NO!!  So I gave up on that.  I did attempt to make their initials too.  Mollie's M fell apart the first time and I had to redo.  They didn't turn out perfect but I am sure they'll think it is fun anyway.  That's what it is all about anyway right? 
Pancake Dippers
Ok.  So while I had a major frugal fail, I had a little comeback by using what I had on hand to make something fun for my kiddos.  Now just to work on and stick with using our leftovers so we are not throwing anymore money away!!!  Have a great day folks!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Moment into my Mind

So today I am juggling some thoughts in my head.  As I have mentioned earlier, I had to quit my preschool job in March and I do home daycare to two young boys and my own daughter is you want to count that as daycare.  I don't really but some may count her.  In addition to this big change, my husband quit his job of 4 years due to sales being super low and he now works at a factory.  He took a pay cut  but in the long run we do find it will be better.  So here is what I am juggling....

  • We need more income
  • We need grocery money
  • We need to save in other areas too!

A lot on this Momma's mind and it really isn't a ton is it?  I am looking at several ways to cut groceries.  Living in the *somewhat* St. Louis area, I do follow 2 blogs pretty regularly.  I had gotten away from it a while when I was at the preschool because that job took everything and then some out of me.  I just couldn't do it all when I was there.  I would go to check my email finally on a Friday evening and have over a thousand.  It was awful.  So I quit following like I wanted to.  My 2 favorite blogs that share some of their money saving ideas and finds are:

STL Mommy
King Size Savings
They even offer giveaways periodically.  I enter most... haven't won one yet.... My time is coming soon I hope!!  LOL Today King Size Savings is having a giveaway for a gift card to one of 2 St. Louis Local grocery stores.  (Click the link above to find the entry).

In addition to these blogs to try to save on groceries, I am contemplating doing home parties.  Selling something useful like Tupperware, Avon (which both I have done in the past) or something else.  I was at a Tastefully Simple party last night and they have a super good new consultant deal.  I am REALLY considering it.  But would I do well at parties?   I live in a tiny town where everyone knows everyone.  Once I get through that group of people will it continue.   I love their products.  I buy at EVERY party I get invited to so why not sell it and enjoy a discount?  Nathan didn't seem to excited about it but maybe if I do well he'll change his mind. 

I was going to apply for the janitor position at my church too.  It was posted in the church bulletin for a couple weeks (including this past Sunday) but when I emailed for more information on it the secretary told me she believed it was already filled.  Ho hum....  Seems it wasn't meant for me I suppose. 

So that is where my mind is wandering today!!  LOL  On another note... my last MOPS meeting of this year is tonight.  BUMMER!!  I love MOPS!!!!  Ho hum again!!  Hehehehe!!!! 

Have a wonderful day all!!!! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

25 Uses for Vinegar

Today I was browsing Facebook, you know... my addiction, and came across a post that said to use vinegar as a weed killer.  Seriously folks... what CAN'T this stuff do???  I became interested in what all it can do.  I began a search, through Swagbucks of course and found some interesting information.  I put together 25 good uses for Vinegar.  Some you may know and some you may not but hopefully it is of interest to you all.

  1.  Add 1/2 cup to rinse cycle to eliminate lint on clothing.
  2. A Stain remover:  Rub full strength on to jam, jelly, mustard stains, etc then wash as normal
  3. Rid the smell of smoke out of clothes by adding a cup of vinegar to a HOT bath and hang clothes over to steam.
  4. Soak wilted vegetables in a mix of 2 cups water and a tablespoon vinegar to freshen them
  5. Put vinegar on a wash cloth and allow to sit on/around faucet to remove hard water stains
  6. Pour a handful of baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar down a drain to unclog.  Rinse with warm water
  7. Clean and disinfect wooden cutting boards with full strength vinegar
  8. Boil a mixture of 1 cup water and a 1/4 cup vinegar in the microwave to loosen stuck on messes and deodorize. 
  9. No buttermilk on hand for a recipe?  Mix one tablespoon into a cup of milk and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  10. Need a wine vinegar for a recipe?  Mix 2 tablespoons vinegar with 1 teaspoon wine (red/white) to use as a substitute.
  11. Spray on faucets and fixtures around house to disinfect
  12. Soaking shower heads and faucets in distilled vinegar overnight to clean corrosion.
  13. Soak a chicken bone in a glass of vinegar for 3 days to turn it into rubber.  Not real sure why one would like to do this but could be a fun science experiment. 
  14. Use full strength vinegar as a window cleaner.  I have also heard to use Newspaper instead of paper towels to wipe it clean. 
  15. Give your patent leather a shine by wiping with a vinegar dampened cloth
  16. Spray vinegar around windows and doors to deter ants.  THIS is much needed around my home this spring.  May give this a try this week!!! 
  17. Add a little vinegar to your pets drinking water to deter fleas and mange.  Interesting.... but will my cats drink it? 
  18. Polish car chrome with full strength vinegar.
  19. Relieve sunburn by lightly rubbing on vinegar.  GOOD TO KNOW for summer!! :)
  20. Add a 1/4 cup of vinegar to vaporizer to treat sinus infection and chest colds.
  21. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a bit of honey for taste to a cup of water.  Should take the edge off of appetite as well as make you feel overall better.  Maybe give it a try myself....
  22. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar with one teaspoon sugar to a quart of water to fresh cut flowers
  23. Kill grass and weeds by spraying full strength.  Not recommended for flower gardens because it could potentially kill your beautiful work if not super careful.
  24. Remove the skunk smell on dogs!
  25. Mix vinegar with orange or lemon peels to make a better scented, homemade disinfectant spray for your kitchen.

These are just some of the interesting ones I found, but please note I am not to be responsible for any crazy things that could happen!!!  LOL  Attempt all tips and suggestions at your own risk.  But really?  Who would want to do the chicken bone????  LOL  I am still baffled by that one!  :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Down 2 lbs yesterday...

I weighed in yesterday and to my surprise and slight disappointment, I lost 2 pounds.  I have cut down soda.  I still allow myself 1-2 cans a day but considering I was doing 1-2 32oz fountain sodas A DAY, I think this is a huge improvement.  I am slowly trying to cut back on things.  I am overweight.  Actually considered obese.  I have high blood pressure as well.  I am on medication for it but would love to be off of it completely.  So I have been watching what I eat for the most part and trying to use to aid me in weight loss journey.  It seems to be a little time consuming sometimes but it does have wonderful motivation and tools to assist you with weight loss.  I used it after Austin was born and did great with it.  Then I attempted it again after Mollie but with PPD and such I just didn't care.  Now that Mollie is nearly 4 and my jeans barely button, I think it is time to get serious.  I am almost 30.  I don't like feeling like I do.  I am still young right???  30 isn't really old is it? 

So back to the topic here.  Yesterday I was going through the fridge trying to decide on what to make for lunch.  I had half a can of black beans in the fridge, a red pepper and cilantro left over from another meal.  I got creative.... 

I thawed some corn, roasted the red pepper, mixed all the ingredients and added some lime juice.... YUM!!  I took the picture when I added it to my SparkPeople recipes so for prettiness I added some pita chips to it.  I actually ate it with a corn tortilla and a little Avocado Ranch made with Greek Yogurt.  It was delicious!!!! 

Here's the recipe:

3/4 cup canned black beans3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 small red pepper, roasted and diced
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss to coat with juice and mix well. 

I added this in the recipe calculator (one of the many useful tools spark has!!) and figured it at 1/2 cup serving for only 151 calories.  Amazing!!  I felt it was a healthy and satisfying lunch.  Plan on having it again today.  :)

Now, keeping that in mind... I still spoiled my diet.  Oh yeah, pretty bad.  LOL  Our Mother Daughter Banquet at church is tonight and I was asked to bring cupcakes.  I was thrilled to do so but it's not good on the tummy.  I made chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream frosting and put adorable pink flowers I made on them. 

Show them off??  Of course I will :)

And yes, I ate a ton of frosting alone!!!! 
Well off to the kiddos.....  Happy Friday to you all!!!!  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ready to Get Back at It!!!

So I started this blog in 2011 and then stopped as quick as I began.  LOL  I am changing that today on this nasty rainy day.  I love to follow blogs and think that having one could be kind of fun, so here I go. 

Let's get up to speed.  Who is this girl who is wanting to tell the world about every little thing she does?  LOL  My name is Bridget.  I am married to my best friend.   We met in November 1998 and the first time we ever said a single word to each other was June 21, 1999 in the church van on our way to church camp in Iowa.  I became his "girlfriend" just 2 days later.  He proposed on Valentine's Day 2003 and we married April 17, 2004.  We had our struggles.  Don't get me wrong, but it has made us stronger than ever today.  Austin is our first child.  He was born August 11, 2007 changing our lives forever.  A wonderful change but still a change.  In 2008, Nathan was laid off for majority of 2-3 months.  If I remember correctly it was from October-December.  He was working for his Dad's company and they were so slow.  Nathan began to look for another job.  We struggled so much in the time.  He applied at Schwan's in December.  They called him for an interview the very next day and was officially hired a couple days before Christmas.  It was our Christmas miracle.  The down fall.... we had to move to Hermann, MO area where his Schwan's Depot was.  So January 2009 Nathan started the long, tiring hours of driving and selling with Schwan's.  In March we moved.  I grew up in Cedar Hill.  I honestly never thought I'd leave.  I lived not but 5 minutes from my parents and Grandpa.  I still had my best friend from high school a few miles away and we met for lunch at least once a week.  It was my life.  I packed up though and we moved to a tiny 2 bedroom apartment in Hermann.  Looking back now I realize that was such a petty little thing to get upset over.  I was happy he got the job and it's not like the military families who move across the country or even OUT of the country.  It was 67 miles away.  Felt like millions to me but it wasn't.  I still struggled though.  I wasn't happy.  I missed my family.  I missed my friends.  I missed being able to run to Walmart just to get out of the house.  Walmart was only a few minutes away before, now it was 20 miles and just over 30 minutes away.  I felt alone.  I had a hard time meeting new people and Nathan was never home.  Then I found out March 18th that baby number 2 was on the way.  I wasn't as excited as I thought I would be.  I was, but I was scared too. 

As the months went on, I had little issues with the pregnancy and I was miserable, but our beautiful baby girl was born November 24, 2009.  She was perfect.  She was enormous.... a whopping 9lbs. 11oz. but she was perfect.  I ended up with PPD though.  I was a miserable person.  I didn't like me.  I didn't want to be around my kids.  I just wanted to stay in bed and cry.  Nathan had no idea.  I was on the phone with my mom before heading out to see her one day and I was hysterically bawling with the kids in the background.  I knew something was wrong with me and she told me to call my doctor.  I did and he put me on meds.  It helped for a while but then came back not long after being off the meds and our family physician put me on them again while I was crying in his office at my son's 3 year well visit.  I eventually got over it. 

Mollie turned one in November 2010 and in February she had a seizure in the middle of Steak and Shake.  We thought she was choking but it was just a seizure.  She ended up having 8 seizures in 8 months and it was just febrile seizures.  That's it!!!  Turned out every time she had one, she had an ear infection too.  Her fever would go from nothing to 103 in a few minutes time and her little brain couldn't handle it.  It was a very scary year for us but after many doctor visits, hospital visits and neurology visits we found she was perfect.  She had tubes put in her ears in October 2011 and have been seizure free since! 

Since then.... we bought our first home last March in New Haven, MO.  I started working full time for a while... MISTAKE.  That requires a whole new blog post of its own for that particular topic.  To clarify though, getting the full time job wasn't the mistake, it was the job I had.  I have one good friendship out of it, a scar on my head and a couple doctor's bills for high blood pressure since I started....  Ay yi yi!!!!! 

I am now doing in home daycare.  I have 2 kids, brothers I watch and then I do have Mollie during the day too.  Austin is almost done with preschool this year and he'll be starting Kindergarten in August.  He is playing t ball this spring/summer and he will be attending the summer school kindergarten program with the New Haven School District.  I am also a stay at home wife/homemaker.  AND I am a full time student.  I am busy but in a good way.  I am happy again.  Are there still issues and struggles?  Yes but what life doesn't have those?  Do we swim in debt?  You betcha!!!  And things are likely to get worse before they get better too.  Nathan's job with Schwan's was just too much.  He was working 14 hours or so a day and getting paid very minimal.  He just didn't feel it was worth the pay to be away from home like he was.  He missed out on  A LOT of Mollie as a baby and she is almost 3 1/2 year old.  Austin has grown so much in that time too of course.  He just started a new job on Monday at a local factory.  Yeah it was a pay decrease but he is home more.  He'll be on 3rd shift once training is done so he can sleep while Austin is at school and be up when he gets home.  He's on days this week so he has been a part of our daily routines for the first time in 4 years!!  It is a change for us all but it's good to have him home and not having to do it all on my own. 

Now a tad on me....  I am almost 30.  The big 3 0 is coming in June.  Oh help me!!!  LOL  My favorite color is pink.  I am addicted Pinterest.  I love cooking and trying new recipes.  I like to scrapbook but I am so far behind on it.  LOL  I love to dance!!!  And I am an overweight Momma trying to lose weight.

So that was me in a nutshell... a large nutshell, but still yet.  I am hoping to post something daily.  Not sure what my topics will be...  It can be anything from kids, marriage, family, food, craftiness, healthy lifestyle and losing weight (I hope) and so on.  I hope you will join me in my journey of life.