Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Scrapbook Paper Storage

Oh m'gosh, of course!  This makes so much sense! 

Trying to fit the paper into a neat folder or slot is a pain.  It's also frustrating trying to locate papers, but this system from Scrap Recylage looks easy to make, use, and keep organized.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Outdoor Twister for a Group

Twister on your lawn!  You can make it really big for a large group, but you'll either have to make your own spinner or do like Tausha at Sassy Style and just draw slips of paper out of a jar.

I'm thinking this would keep my kids busy outside quite a bit for the 2-3 weeks it would take for it to grow out and get mowed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bandana Shirt or Dress for Girls

Ok, I don't sew much, but this thing is adorable and looks pretty easy.  And cheap.  And did I mention adorable? 

Complete instructions at Daisy Janie

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eat Organic When You Can-- The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

On our budget I just can't buy everything organic; it's too expensive!  Even the Farmer's Markets in our area are not too cheap, so I use the Environmental Working Group's list of foods that are musts when it comes to buying organic.  The reason: these foods don't have enough protective layering to prevent pesticide contamination.

You can go to their site for a list of the Dirty Dozen, foods that should either be bought organic (pesticide-free) or else avoided.  They also have a list of produce that is fine to buy non-organic, the Clean Fifteen.  I love having both lists so that I know when I can get cheaper produce without worrying about the pesticides.

Keep in mind, this list only refers to the pesticide content; it is not a guide for genetically-modified organisms.  I can't currently handle the stress that all entails, so I'm just sticking to the pesticide issue for now.  

Here's the lists typed out, in case you want to just copy, paste, and print for your binder to keep the list handy:

Dirty Dozen  Buy Organic!

imported nectarines
imported grapes
sweet bell peppers
domestic blueberries
kale/collard greens

Clean Fifteen  Non-Organic ok!

sweet corn
sweet peas
domestic cantaloupe
sweet potatoes

And as always, produce that is in season is cheaper and better-tasting.  If you eat following the seasons, you'll provide your body with a good variety of vitamins and minerals; the way God made it to work for us!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quick Tip Tuesday:

When moving clothes from the washer to the dryer, don't heave out large wads of clothing.  Take a fraction of a second to un-clump each item; simply shake out those jeans/towels/shirts as you pass them between machines. 

It doesn't take much time, but your clothes will dry faster.  Because your dryer doesn't have to separate hunks of clothing lumped together, it can get started drying them right away. 

Less time of dryer running = less money spent in the long run.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keep Track of Gifts-- Quick Tip Tuesday

I use a binder to keep track of everything, so that I don't have to keep it in my head. 

One of the sections in my binder is labeled GIFTS.  I write down what gifts we gave to whom (just the major ones-- kids, grandparents, cousins) for Christmas, birthdays, Mother's/Father's Day.

This helps to:
     *make sure we don't give the same thing twice;

     *give along the same level from holiday-to-holiday (ex: It is bad to give the mother-in-law a mediocre "our-life-was-too-busy-to-really-think-on-this" gift for Mother's Day, and then give the father-in-law an amazing whopper of a gift a month later;)

     *remember ages we gave a "biggie" gift to our kids, to give it at the same age for the other kids;

     *remember the "traditional" gifts that we give every year (I would forget if it wasn't written down!)

I also have a page in this section for gift ideas.  If someone mentions something they like/need/want, I am reminded to keep a look out for that item.

What tips do you have for keeping track of gifts?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DIY Magazine Holder or Kitchen Wraps Organizer

I needed a container for my kitchen wraps (aluminum foil, plastic wrap) because on the shelf they kept getting knocked over every time I reached for the olive oil.  Or the sugar.  Or a coffee cup.  In other words, a lot.

So I decided to make an organizer, which as it turns out could also double as a magazine holder, only WAY cheaper than buying one.  And I got to choose paper that coordinated with my kitchen and is just cute.

All you need is an empty cereal box, paper of your choice (scrapbooking or wrapping paper,) and Mod Podge.
Cheap-o cereal box
I cut out a section on one side in case I want to use it as a magazine holder later.
Mod Podge not only acts as a glue to adhere the paper to the box, it strengthens the thin cardboard into a sturdier container.  Paint the Mod Podge on top of the paper also, to make it even stronger and as a protective layer if you're using it in the kitchen.

I linked to

Monday, March 21, 2011

Potluck Beans

This dish is the perfect thing for me to take to potlucks or when I need a side dish to take to someone's house.  It's the epitome of my kind of cooking:  easy and quick and everybody likes it.  I only had to open cans and sprinkle ingredients from my kitchen.  And use my scissors a bit... but I digress.

I found the recipe here.  It calls for cooking bacon and using onion and garlic, but I used dried minced onions and garlic powder, and just put it all in my crockpot, so it was even easier! 

I realized too late that I was out of bacon, so I dropped in a package of little smokies... hence the scissors.  Once I dumped it all together it was obvious the little smokies weren't so little compared to the beans, so I grabbed my kitchen scissors and cut the meat down to a more bite-able size.

It still tasted GREAT and actually looked pretty tasty too. 

Here's my version.  I doubled it to make enough for a potluck, and since the original was a bit too sweet I decreased the sugar quite a bit.  The original recipe is really good, though, and she has a lot of good pictures of the process.

Potluck Beans

1 lb. bacon or little smokies
2 Tbsp. dried minced onion (or 2 tsp. onion powder)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. mustard powder (or regular mustard is fine too)
3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 cans butterbeans, drained
2 cans green beans, drained
2 cans kidney beans, drained
2 cans pork and beans, UNdrained

If you use bacon, cook it first, drain grease and crumble.  Dump all ingredients into crockpot, and mix together.  That's it!  Allow it to cook until heated through; a couple of hours should be plenty since the meat is already cooked.