Tuesday, February 22, 2011

today is hubz birthday ... and thanks to inside brucrew life
i made some super yummy cupcakes for him to take to work and school 

but hubz doesn't especially like cake at all (though he said he might like these), i made him another favorite dessert to have here at home all the time. the recipe is crack crackers (we named them, because yes, they are as addictive or more than crack)

1 sleeve saltines
1 package of milk chocolate chips (however you can use other kinds of chips -- wouldn't recommend mint choco though)
2 sticks of softened butter
2/3 c. brown sugar

heat oven to 450*. mix together the butter and brown sugar. lay saltines on a cookie sheet so they are touching completely. you can put down some coconut oil or butter on the sheet beforehand if you remember. so after the saltines are all laid out flat, dollop on the butter mixture. do not try and spread it out. put cookie sheet in oven for no more than 6 minutes. take the tray out of the oven and you will notice that the crackers are all messed up and they floated on top of each other. no fear... take a spoon and slowly move them back to where they belong. once they are back to their homes, sprinkle the back of choco chips all over the crackers. then, using the back of your spoon, start to spread the chips over all of the crackers. as you do this, the chips will start to melt. takes about 3-5 minutes. once it is all melted, put the tray in the refrigerator for a bit so it will cool down. then cut into crackers squares and enjoy. you might want to share so you don't get sick eating all of these yourself. just saying. enjoy!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

what busy busy busy times. but even in busy-ness, i have found many ways to save money. 

laundry soap is made by hand. i first saw this at a church activity and have used it ever since!

5gallon bucket
4 c. hot tap water
1 fels-naptha bar (or ivory i've heard, but not tried)
1 c. arm&hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 c. borax
8-10 drops of essential oil (if ya want)
grate bar of soap (or put in food processor) and put into hot tap water into a saucepan over medium heat. stir stir stir until the soap is dissolved.
fill 5 gallon bucket with hot water, add the soapy water, soda and borax (and essential oil). 
stir and then cover. let sit over night. 

stir again and then put into a clean laundry container (use a funnel, otherwise it gets messy)
i made one batch last august. yes, 6 months ago. i have given some away too. and i still have half left. i didn't use essential oil, but i think i will next time. i always think about it, but never do it. 
i use about a lid full of soap for an extra dirty load, but this is a concentrated formula, so you don't have to use tons. and it won't be foamy. the hubz does manual labor and gets dirty and sweaty. and all the clothes come out clean and smell free (shocking!) and this is totally hypo-allergenic and great for babies and kids. 
and add vinegar to all loads. works wonders!

dishwasher soap is made by hand, thanks to this recipe.
1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax
1/2 cup table salt
mix together

i put it in a recycled applesauce container and doubled the recipe (after i tried it first, of course, to see if it would work---which it did and i love it). i just sprinkle it into the dishwasher holder thing and make sure the jet-dry thing is full of vinegar and my dishes come out so pretty! plastic and glass alike! let me know if you try it!

later, i'll talk more about soap and how to save a lot of money with it. thanks to blogland, i have learned a lot, but i'm still learning, so you'll have to wait a bit longer. 
how do you save money?

Monday, February 7, 2011

really (really really) quick, i just saw that you can download 14 songs from amazon. i always love free music! here is the link for it! they actually have a lot of free songs, to expand past what was heard at halftime last night. (which i actually liked, but i like a lot of music)

here are the instructions for 2$ credit so you can give your sweetheart (or yourself) some more music!


1. Browse for music at Amazon MP3. All Amazon MP3 downloads play on virtually any MP3 device, including the iPod®. 

2. Find the MP3 album or song you want to give. Click the "Give album or song as a gift" button (or the "Give song as a gift" button). 

3. Follow the instructions to personalize your MP3 gift and click the "Proceed to Checkout" button. (If you do not currently have a credit card and billing address associated with your account, you will need to add them.) 

4. On the checkout page, enter code VDAYMP3S in the box labeled "Have any gift cards, gift certificates, or promotional claim codes?" and click the "Apply" button. Your $2 credit will be added. If you receive an error, make sure you've entered the code correctly and that the promotion is still valid and has not expired. 

5. After you've entered the code, click on the "Give song as a gift" button. On the Thank You page, if you like, you can click the Facebook or Twitter buttons to tell your friends about the MP3 you chose and pass the word along about this offer. See how

Need help? Contact Customer Service via Amazon MP3 Support.

and talking about saving money, i just saw a new website, CouponSuzy where there are tons of what i think are good coupons. let me know if you like the site as much as i do! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Try oil cleansing for natural skincare

here is another great idea to pamper yourself... not only for cheap, but without chemicals!
let me know when you try it.... and i'll do the same (am needing castor oil)

Try oil cleansing for natural skincare
i love ginger. it is just so yummy and i have never thought about making my own pickled ginger... but here is the recipe.
and it is so good for you. next, i need to get a recipe to make pickled garlic. that is super duper good!
next on my grocery list... ginger and salt!

Homemade Pickled Ginger - Eat well and thrive

Friday, February 4, 2011

yummy yummy treat on a snow day (not getting bored at all here!)
1 treat turned into 3 treats, so think of it as a buy one get 2 free!!!

cinnamon roasted almonds (are currently in the oven)
here is the recipe from Pretty Little Posies

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup sugar (a bit less)
1/2 cup brown sugar (i use a bit less)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or more!!!)
1/4 tsp. salt

i don't measure much when i cook. it is all roughly. but turns out yummy!
first, beat your egg white to a stiff peak (about 5-7 minutes, depending on how fast your beater is) in a big bowl
add in the vanilla and beat a bit more
then mix in your almonds
in a jar/baggie/something close-able mix the sugar and cinnamon and salt
then stir all together in the big bowl, or put the lid on and shake shake shake
spread onto a LIGHTLY greased cookie sheet (with foil on to make it easy)
put in oven at 250* (not 450, like i did one time on accident) for one hour and check on it about every 15 min or so
pull out and let cool for about 1 min THEN
eat all of it before anyone in your family gets any!!!

hope you all enjoy!!!

ooey and gooey, right after i put them in the oven

  almost done, looking a lot less gooey and a lot more crispy and yummy

and don't forget... don't share!

okay... so as i was waiting for the almonds, i got distracted found another recipe for a banana frittata and it smells so good, while i'm waiting for my almonds. 

here is the recipe

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar
  • some cinnamon and vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 large bananas, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter or coconut oil


  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Gradually pour in the milk, stirring constantly, until a smooth batter is formed. Add the eggs, one at time, stirring well each addition. Stir in sliced bananas.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a nine inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour the mixture in by spoonfuls, spreading the mixture evenly across the pan. When the bottom has turned a golden brown turn the frittata and cook over low heat until golden brown on the other side. Sprinkle with sugar and serve warm.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and eat up 

as i was finishing this, curly found a recipe in one of her magazines and started cooking it. 
this is super kid friendly, pretty healthy and delish!!!

4 whole graham crackers
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond/soy/whatever butter)
4 T honey (i used raw, it's always yummier!!!
1/4 cup coconut flakes

1. wash your hands with soap and water
2. put graham crackers in a medium sized plastic bag. roll a rolling pin back and forth over the crackers until they are fine crumbs.
3. in a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, raisins, peanut butter and honey.
4. roll a teaspoonful of batter into a ball, and flatten it into a cookie shape. press lightly into the coconut flakes. 

all of these recipes turned out absolutely wonderful. and i did them all within 1 hour. now, i'm not sure if we'll be able to get them all, especially since it is pizza time on pizza friday night, but it sure was fun to make!
This winter - Delight in beautifully nutritious edible flowers
i love to find little tidbits of information on how to be happy and look beautiful.
this just might be my next project, sometime.

FFA - Free For All Friday from Sassy Sites!

since i have been procrastinating some time, i took some pics of the girls room. i started this about 6 months ago 
and am still working on the finishing touches. i just finished this swing not too long ago. and i love it!
and i thought of this all by myself. i love using the rope for hair clips. the girls think its cute!
i just have to figure out something for leaves. either toilet paper rolls, or fabric leaves... thoughts???

it might not look like it, but this is a very organized and small closet for 2 little girls. i saw this floating shoe rack somewhere in blogland, after they saw it on some fancy-pancy store's website, for like 200$. this cost me uhhh... about nothing, except for the hardware to put it in the wall. and the paint. this is actually wood from a pallet the hubz brought home. along, with the coat hook on the wall.  
 here is a closer view of the floating shoe rack. pretty cool huh? it's easy. i figured it out. got some smaller wood strips, screwed the purple pieces into them, then used supports and got them into the wall. maybe i should brush up on proper lingo here, but i hope that helps some. if anyone wants to know how i did it, i can do a better tutorial, i'm sure!
 here is another coat rack, right behind the girls' door, with a couple pictures. i want to get a shelf here too, so, that should fill up the blank spot. and another picture i think. i used ribbon to hang the frames, got the frames from the dollar tree
 pretty flowers i painted on the wall. its cute with their little table underneath, however, their room is a mess, so no pictures of the floor right now

and watch for the update of this. this is in the hallway and it is going to be chore central -- or the "helping hands". this part, i just put in a couple nails, put twine on, did mini clothes pins (from dollar tree -- love that store), hot glued (and burned fingers) buttons on and have the kids chore charts laminated. i have a great idea to finish this, but i have to wait for all the little ones to be here and us not have anything going on for it.

we have had a number of snow days here recently... and i'm getting some tons done in my days off work. 

valentine's wreath for curly's teacher at school
i saw the idea somewhere (sorry, i forgot the original source), but then i added to it. take toilet paper rolls (which i think is one of the best mediums for crafts!!! and so cheap), cut in strips and paint. it took me a coupel days a i painted the outside, with curly's help, then the next day painted the inside. i used hot glue to put the hearts together. i tried more kid friendly glue, but they didn't work well. so glue gun... and no burns even! then i added the ribbon (here is my hint, i used the ribbon to make the hearts into more of a circle/wreath shape. before it was lop-sided. i think this is much better). then i added the little hangy down things. stickers from the 1$ section at Target, stuck onto the cardboard that came with the stickers. (pictures are from curly too!)

she put these on the fridge and then took pics, i just had to post her creativity!

 here is the wreath on my room divider thing (still not sure what i'm actually going to do with it, but focus on the wreath)
curly took this picture, but you kinda see it better than on the screen. 
********UPDATE 2/9/2011********
curly gave the wreath to her teacher and the teacher loved it! yay! so proud of her!

easy-peasy hair tie for curly (but she isn't here right now to model for me)
once again, i don't have the original source, but i've seen these a lot. take a regular hair band, lots of ribbon, fold ribbon in half and loop over the hair tie and pull. i tied knots into different strips and burned the edges of the ribbon. i'm thinking that i might add some beads or something into it too, just for more fun!

and painted a bookshelf for the boys room. this bookshelf was originally green, made by an old roommate of hubz. i guess it was supposed to be a handmade dvd rack. anyway, i turned it to a bookshelf, then started painting it to pink and purple for the girls room. then i found a different one on CL a while ago and this little gem has been in the closet. until now. the boys needed a bookshelf, their room is turning to the space theme and this will look great. right now, it's just black (leftover from their wall... and i got that gallon for about 4$ on the mis-tint section. still not sure how you mis-tint black, but i'm not that picky!!!)

, but i'm going to do something else to it... open to suggestions!!!

this is the ceiling fan we picked up from home depot
 i love it. and there is buzz lightyear hanging from the ceiling too.. to infinity and beyond!
and of course, star trek, from my nerdy hubz. love him! this is totally vintage
its a space room... this black wall will have a mural of the earth on it. wait and see. it's gonna look cool!!! as we mix star wars, star trek, tron, buzz lightyear and whatever else
but of course, still a work in progress, like everything is around here!