Monday, October 26, 2009

Laundry Day Hints and Helps

Keep your budget out of hot water with these economical laundry tips.

*Save $$ on your heating bill - unless labels specify otherwise, wash your loads on the cold cycle.

*Dry your loads back to back so the dryer doesn't have to cool down between cycles. And make sure to clean your lint filter between loads to keep your dryer working as efficiently as possible.

*I always use half to three-quarters of the recommended amount of detergent. To save more money, you can cut dryer sheets in half.

*Lightweight sheets need far less time in the dryer than heavy towels, so grouping similarly weighted items will cut down on dryer time.


Does your washer have an odor in the tub?

Washer odors are usually caused by leaving the washer lid closed when not in use.  (Who doesn't do that??) This doesn't allow air to circulate and dry out the moisture remaining in the tub area.  The air/moisture mixture become stagnant and creates an odor....not one you care to sniff!

To get rid of odors inside the washer follow these steps:

1. Fill the washer with hot water; set at regular speed and the longest wash cycle.

2. Add 1 cup vinegar or baking soda and allow the washer to complete an entire wash and rinse cycle. (When I do this, I like to wash off the top of the tub (with the water from inside the tub)...where fabric softener/laundry soap has accumulated.

3. Allow the washer to dry out - if odor lingers, repeat process.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

OHMYGOODNESS Cheese Blintzes

I've had the recipe for years in my files, but had never made them until recently.  I had to add the adjective to their name, as they are sooo yummy!!  Pretty easy too, but my suggestion is that you keep a sink or bowlful of soapy water nearby...not only are they a little messy to make, I found myself licking my fingers a lot too.  *-*  They make a great appetizer or snack anytime.


cheese blintzes
12 ozs. block cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 loaf sliced white bread
1-1/2 cups melted butter
1 cup sugar mixed with 1 Tb. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Mix cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks and lemon juice until smooth.  Cut crust off each slice of bread and roll flat with a rolling pin.  Spread with cream cheese mixture and roll up into spiral, then cut in half....or leave whole.  Dip in butter, then in cinnamon/sugar mixture and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 15 minutes (or longer if you place them close together).  After they're cooled, they can be frozen or chilled and reheated in the oven or microwave.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Are you a Coupon-er?

google coupon
I have always enjoyed grocery shopping.  I know that's not the case for everyone, but part of the reason I find it 'fun', is because I make the most of couponing, and so I thought I'd share a few ideas and thoughts to help get you get the most for your money.

The best deal I ever had was when I once paid $39 for $63 worth of groceries. But I've heard of women who regularly save as much as 80% of their cost!!

  • Scour your newspapers and magazines weekly.  Sunday newspapers are a treasure when you are able to use many coupons and store circulars with info on sales.

  • I try to stock up on my most-used items when they're on sale.  Many stores allow you - as mine does - to use a store coupon along with a manufacturer's coupon.  And if your store doubles or even triples the coupon, you can go home with free items. WOW! Ex: my grocery store once had a holiday coupon deal - Buy one 5# bag of flour, get 3 free.  That in and of itself is a real deal, but I had a 25 cents off coupon for the flour, that was doubled, and so I ended up paying 49 cents for 20# of flour!!

  • There are some great websites where you can print coupons.  Check out or that can help you save even more.

  • Enlist your kids to help.  Joe Daugirdas of Willoughby Hills, Ohio blogs on his site - and teaches classes at a community college on how to save money.  He suggests having your kids clip coupons and then match them to your shopping list.

  • A fun 'trick' I have learned, is that if I really like a product, I can call their 1-800 number and rave to them.  More often than not, they will send a coupon or two to me, just for taking the time to contact them. I've received a number of FREE coupons!

  • My daughter, Deb, recently had a post about couponing, that I'd like to share here too... check it out...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tips for Simplifying Meal Planning

I always enjoyed planning meals when my kids were growing up, but I think it had to come to me more naturally than for some.
I have tried many new recipes, and still do, and my family probably wished I would have served some things more often.  I would love to share some ideas to help those who tend to have a hard time creating menus for their family.

  • Post your weekly menu on the refrigerator door. You don't have to stick to it, but at least you'll have some ideas to choose from when you're hungry for a certain taste.  If you have teenagers or younger trustworthy kids, maybe they could help by preparing a dish, or even preparing an item for dinnertime, like mixing/making muffins from a mix.

  • Set your own family traditions - have pasta on Wednesdays or grill burgers every Friday.  We love having breakfast for dinner, on Sunday evenings.

  • Come up with 3 or 4 weekly menus and rotate them. Keep them simple and learn to substitute fresh veggies and fruit when they are in season.  To make things easier, plan a week's menu using the same cookbook.

  • Cook a double portion and freeze for a quick meal on a busy night.  This website has awesome ideas to help get you going with this great plan... Freezer Cooking

  • Don't be afraid to try new recipes. Ask a friend who you know is a good cook, to share some of their recipes and menu ideas with you. I have to admit...I try many more dishes, because I've been given the recipe by someone I trust. They have helped me 'blossom' and grow in the kitchen - literally (teehee).

  • I've recently become acquainted online with a new cookbook author, Jane Doiron.  I'm thrilled that she sent me a copy of her new cookbook to review. Check out her website Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms . You can subscribe to her monthly newsletter there and have a recipe sent to your inbox along with it.

If you need some help finding forms to accomplish your meal planning, be sure to check out or Organizing Junkie!
Whether you are someone who relishes your time in the kitchen or spends as little time cooking as possible, just remember that family bonds and memories are made around the dinner table.   Your kids won't remember the meals they were served, nearly as much as they will remember the precious times you spent together.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Signs that make you Smile

Humor is always good for the body, and the soul.  Hope you enjoy these as much as I do....


"Bargain Basement Upstairs"



“Time wounds all heels”



“Yesterday’s Meals on Wheels”


(My personal favorite!)


“To expedite your visit please back in”



“Don’t sleep with a drip. Call your plumber”



“Invite us to your next blowout”



“We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows”



"Toilet out of order - please use floor below"



"Automatic washing machines: Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out"



"Elephants please stay in your car"


Monday, October 5, 2009

Chocolate Eclair Cake (Make Ahead)

choc eclair cake
We've always called this a cake, though it's a simple, no-bake, delicious dessert.

Try'll like it.

(I use sugar free pudding and 50% reduced-sugar frosting, and serve it to company.  No one knows unless I tell them - the only real difference is that using sugar free makes the pudding softer set...frosting doesn't set up as much either, but it's still delicious)


3 cups cold milk
2 small pkgs. instant french vanilla pudding mix
1 - 8 ozs. frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pkg. (14.4 ozs) graham crackers
1 - 16 ozs. can chocolate frosting

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.  Fold in whipped topping.  In a 9" X 13" X 2" dish, layer a third of the graham crackers and half of the pudding mixture.  Repeat layers.  Top with remaining graham crackers.  Refrigerate for atleast 1 hour.

Spoon frosting (I rarely use all of it) into a microwave-safe bowl.  Cover and microwave on high for 15 - 20 seconds or until softened, stirring once.  Spread over graham crackers.  Chill 12-24 hours before serving.

Yield: 15 - 18 servings

For a flavor change - use one pkg. of pistachio pudding, in place of one vanilla. This makes a lovely presentation!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

God's Incredible Pharmacy

 This is such awesome info! God knows how much I'm a visual person, and need to have these kinds of 'visuals' to help me eat healthier...

It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish... All before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We're such slow learners...

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body!

God's Pharmacy! Amazing!

carrot sliceA sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

tomato chamberA Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

grape clusterGrapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

walnut halvesA Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

 Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.kidney beans

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.celery

avocadoAvocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

figsFigs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

sweet tatersSweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.olives

orangesOranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.onions

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Caden plaid shirt 09
I've been encouraged to share these silly stories that have given us some great laughs. Grandkids certainly DO make life GRAND!

 During the benefit for Caden last weekend, he found a Trivial Pursuit game in the huge toy display.  He sat on the ground throwing his dice, with the cards scattered all around him.  As I walked by, I saw him throw the dice, and keep his hand open.  I laughed to myself that he seemed to know what he was doing. 

It wasn't long and his big sister Charlie came into the garage where many of us were, laughing herself silly.  She told us that she saw Caden shaking the dice in his hand, and then say...
"C'mon Baby - Mama needs (holds the hand with the dice to his mouth and 'huffs' on them a couple of times) a new pair of shoes!'

 Oh my goodness - we have cracked up over that time and time again.  He loves repetition and definitely has watched some things too much on the tv!
Claira Ruth 409Deb & Greg's oldest, Claira, who is 4 also, comes up with the craziest things from a child her age.  Not long ago - she put on a bathing suit and was twirling and 'modeling' it in their home.  She looked over her back at her mom and said

"Look mom...I've got a big butt like yours". 

Kids are just too hilarious sometimes huh?  Had to share the chuckles with ya'll!