About Me

New York, United States
Mommy,wife, homespun enthusiast and excessively mouthy.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine’s Day Tips - a new twist on tradition.

 Valentine’s Day 

 Alright ladies (and gentlemen who brave this blog) lets say you’ve just got your finances back in order after that foggy Christmas whirlwind.  You know, that one day? Usually lasts about 15 mins in your living room at 6am under a tree decked in lights. Yeah, that day. That one special day. You prepare for it all month and before you know it- not only is all your money gone, so is your ass. Cookies, chocolates and candy. Yup, that’s the stuff. 

Did you know that was only 51days ago? Yes, less than two months ago. We showered our loved ones with gifts, ate sweets and complained about our bank accounts.

Splurge no more my friends… This year while celebrating love and affection between your intimate companion take the road less traveled.  Cheap, cheeky and unexpected.

Here is a list of random acts of kindness a little less ordinary.

* Put notes at random in areas of the house you know you significant other will be. Write whatever you feel. Reasons why you love them, reminders of the past, ect…

*Instead of standing and waiting 15-20mins for a table to open up at a restaurant that is probably expensive, make dinner at home. Check out menus online. Give your spouse a list of possible dinner ideas a week before v-day and ask them to choose.

*Instead of watching “romantic” movies. Grab your spouses favorite movie enjoy it at home with the same fixings you would get a the theater. OR if you more into music grab a record of choice and enjoy over drinks or desserts.

* Make coupons to give. Who wouldn’t want a "get out of taking out the trash" card, and "play video games instead of mowing the lawn" coupon. Make them unique to your relationship and fun.

* Plan a trip to a local area that is free or cheap. Most cities and states have tones of untapped resources to discover. Do a little research and plan an exciting day or weekend.

* Create an at-home spa day

* Try to repeat your first date.

* Write a letter to your lover. Remembering fond memories, special occasions and monumental steps in your relationship. Show them you pay attention to detail and have enjoyed your time together.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Everybody poops!

The Joys of parenthood.   

"What to do when your up to your neck in pooh.." K.Clark

It seems I have a few friends going through the same trouble as I’ve been having-Loads of crap in our life…literally.  Now in my case I have a very naughty 8 month puppy who is regressing do to lack of attention. In my girlfriends Kerri’s case it’s her two year old son.  If you’re a parent or a soon to be parent potty training is always a HUGE concern. What age do you start, how do you start, are boys harder to train than girls? The lists are endless and the truth is each child is different. What works for one parent may not work for another. Be prepared to try and try again, then maybe,  try some more.

I am in NO way shape or form an expert on toilet manners and in all honesty I delegated that gnarly obstacle to my devoted husband. I am however, pretty good with index cards, research and power point presentations or blog presentation in this case.  So here is to you my toilet training compadres… The top three sites in my opinion with good, straightforward honest help.

Topics you will find

Give them motivation. My daughters respond well to rewards and praise. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not telling you to bribe your kids but a little extra loving goes along way. For example. I asked my 4yr old to clean her room, she threw a fit. After counting to five and composing myself as to not scream out loud            “ I SAID CLEAN YOUR ROOM NOW” 
 I remembered how badly she wanted to color.  Two minutes of compromising with coloring books I had her cleaning her room and helping with her sisters. Now, this method does not always work but it has it advantages. 

Use your resources! Books, videos, friends and my favorite Google! 

 If your really desperate call your Momma, your toilet trained aren’t you. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stressed out?! Try this.

This winter is kicking my butt! For some reason I always seem to get more stressed around this time a year. The lack of sun here in Washington state doesn’t really help matters either. I've dedicated my morning to researching the best ways to beat stress and the winter blues. Below is a collection I’ve found of the cheapest & most realistic ways to brighten and distress our lives. However, If you are made of money the top result for casting away these problems is to vacation somewhere warm sans your pumpkins. In this instance call your travel agent ASAP and get outta town, if not see steps below.

Stress no more

1) Get a good night sleep. It is recommended that you get at least 8 hours of sleep.
2) Pace yourself. Do not try to do too much at one time.
3) Think realistically. Do not allow your emotions to get out of control.
4) Plan better. Set schedules and prioritize your tasks.
5) Take breaks. Get away from it for about 10-15 minutes.
6) Take walks. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise.
7) Call on your support. Ask others to do the work that you are weak in doing.
8) Confront problems by talking. Bring the problem out in the open.
9) Delegate. Do not try to do everything yourself, but rather, seek help from others.
10) Keep a positive attitude. Do not take life so seriously and try to laugh sometime.

Kick those winter blues
Did you know fall and winter can bring on a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which affects 20 percent of the people in the United States?
1) Eat healthy: Lots of veggies, fruit, and nuts. Reduce sugar and all starchy food.  
2) Force yourself out. Walk, go sledding,take the kids to the park. Be active and try to catch as many sunrays as possible.
3) Exercise regularly – at least 15 to 30 minutes daily. Even a brisk walk to the bus stop might suffice.
4) Meet your friends as often as possible. If you can’t meet, then talk on the phone.
5) Surround yourself with beautiful things: flowers, listen to music, candlelight
6) Start a project; something, you always wanted to do but never had time for: organize your photos, paint , try out new recipes, read this blog... 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recipe Time, Butternut squash soup.

  This is amazing! Great for a cold day and a super easy recipe! 

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 6 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.

Nutritional Information 

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 397 | Total Fat: 33.4g | Cholesterol: 83mg

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Best site for coupons!!

Grocery Coupon Network 

"The Grocery Coupon Network offers a convenient coupon finding service in addition to valuable information on grocery shopping, coupon clipping, cooking, healthy eating, saving money, and more. Find a grocery stores near you. Search for popular cooking recipes and learn about food nutrition all while you save"

Monday, January 24, 2011

Laundry room tips!

I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to the laundry room. I spend numerous hours of my week sorting delicate items, soggy army gear, colors, whites and kids clothes. I also have to stock up on detergent, stain remover, bleach and woolite. If any of you are like me you know these items can be expensive.  Here are a few tips to help you save time and money!

  • Shampoo, is a great substitute for delicate fabric detergents. With cold water and just a pea -size amount your delicates get clean. Even though I have a “gentle cycle” on my machine most of my delicates are washed in the sink and hung dry. Skipping the machine saves water and electricity. Unless you have a full load of delicates, the sink works just as well. 

  • Just because it cost more, doesn't make it better. Try using a cheaper detergent. I normally buy whatever is on sale. Many detergents are created equal. Next time your shopping check for yourself. 

  • Try finding a detergent with a stain fighter in it. If you pay a few bucks extra for this you usually can skip the spot remover all together. Pouring a small amount of your stain fighting detergent on soiled spots and it works as a spot remover.

  • Fabric softeners, can be tricky. Always look for coupons and store brands as they tend to be less expensive.  I keep a bottle of liquid softener as a back up to my fabric sheets in-case I run out. Nothing worse than static cling! 

Hope these help!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mmm Mmmm Good!!

These crab filled delights are always a hit and I can't seem to ever make enough! I make them as often as I can in mass amounts in order to keep up with my husbands LARGE appetite. I prefer to deep fry them, because it gives them a little extra crunch that everyone loves. This recipe calls for baking which is healthier and less time consuming. Enjoy! 

Crab Rangoon


  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (6 ounce) can crabmeat, drained and flaked
  • 2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 48 wonton wrappers


  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine garlic, cream cheese, crab, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce in a bowl. To prevent wonton skins from drying, prepare only 1 or 2 rangoon at a time. Place 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each wonton skin. Moisten the edges with water and fold the wonton skin diagonally to form a triangle, pressing edges to seal. Moisten one of the bottom corners. Create a crown by pulling both bottom corners together and sealing. Arrange the rangoon on the baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. 

New use for cookie sheets!


  • Non-aluminum cookie sheet
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Self-adhesive shelf liner (I got mine from the Dollar Tree) 
  • Empty can aka pencil holder
  • Magnets - The stronger the better
  • Hot glue
  • Drill &/or large nail and hammer
  • Jute
Measure the side of the cookie sheet you want to use and cut it an inch wider and an inch taller than the sheet itself. Stick the shelf liner to the cookie sheet - peel it off slow and smooth over the cookies sheet avoiding bubbles. Cut away the excess liner.  The pencil holder is done the same way. Cut the liner taller than the can, wrap the liner around so it overlaps a little then cut off the excess. Hot glue your heavy duty magnet to the can. Your new message board is almost done! To make holes for hanging, place the sheet in your husbands hands and point him to the garage :) If that doesn't work you may choose to drill yourself OR you can use a hammer and a large nail - make sure you put a piece of scrap wood under your sheet to save your work space. You can choose to have one or two holes. I've used jute to hang my message board because its durable enough to hold the cookie sheet.  

*The magnets that spell out kitchen in this picture I purchased at Michaels. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Build a grocery stockpile and cut your weekly grocery bill!

I have a few friends who think I'm crazy BUT having a stockpile of my commonly used nonperishable items has saved me time and money.
Here is a quick intro on one of my money saving tips!

Getting started - make a note of frequently eaten food items for you and your family so you know what to stockpile.

Stock up - Try not to purchase items that are full price (defeats the purpose) wait for sales and coupons. Purchasing items in bulk my seem higher in price but, you wont have to buy that item again for normally 6-8 weeks. Stock piling items isn’t going to happen your next trip to the grocery store and you may also have to spend a few extra dollars while your building your stock. However, at the end of the “squirreling” process your next bill should be substantially lower.

Making it work - Only stock pile items that you and your family use frequently in regular meals. Buying 12 boxes of a random item that is on sale isn’t going to help your cause. Always rotate your items putting newer items to the back and bringing older items to the front. Always check you pile before you do any shopping to replace tapering items. Its also important to not go overboard (at this very moment I have 13 jars of peanut butter, not acceptable stockpiling) After a few months you should be ready to go. Your grocery bill should now only be spent on perishables and restock items.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Away we go!

We all have our own ways of saving money, time and our sanity. As a Paralegal turned homemaker I’ve found that I spend all my “me time” perusing the internet, magazines and my local newspaper for better and cheaper ways of doing my new job- Searching things from decorating tips, craft ideas, meals and cheap thrills for the whole fam. 
After months (8 to be exact) of storing all my goodies and new secrets to success in a three ring binder and on my PC favorites list - I thought I should do what I harp on my 18 month old to do…Share.

I’ve decided to organize all my awesomeness and let you in on my tricks of the trade.

I hope you enjoy and get as much benefit from it as I have.