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Archive for the ‘Works For Me Wednesday’ Category

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How many times do you find a recipe in a magazine, online, or given to by a friend that you wanted to set aside to try some day? The time comes you want to try one of those recipes (or you’ve already had and want to remake this delish dish) but could not seem to find the recipe? I cannot tell you how often that has been the case for me.

Poppa Bear is always saying I have to stop leaving recipes all over the house. How nice of an idea would it be to have them all stored away somewhere, in one central location, where they can easily be obtained? Yeah, sure! In your perfect world maybe. Little did I know Poppa Bear was suggesting something so brilliant! Sure, my gazillion colored folders full of recipes were all over but at least they were in a neat folder, yes? Wrong! It obviously wasn’t working for me. Enter the idea of a Recipe Binder.

For years I was on the hunt for a perfect recipe holder. I came across cookbook ideas, recipe card ideas, etc. etc. but truth be told, all required a lot of work. More work that I have the time for. I mean, really, who has time to print off or write out recipe cards to put into a pretty binder? Certainly not me. Then it hit me…..I could get a el cheapo 3″ binder (Compliments of one already in our office closet unused), grab some sheet protectors (already have those too because of my Avon business) and some tabs (which I did not have on hand but scored at 50% off using an AC Moore’s gift card making the total a whopping $1.50!). Now, all the Family Tried & True favorites are in this Recipe Binder, protected by the sheet sleeves and organized in it’s right category. It also has a clear pocket in the front so if my kitchen decor changes or I just change my mind on the looks I can update the cover. This works for me.

Find more Works for Me Wednesday tips head on over to We Are THAT Family.

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If you have a ceiling fan, you’re probably well aware of the layer of dust that accumulates on top of the blades.

One of the easiest ways to clean a ceiling fan is to take a pillow case, slip it over the blade and wipe off the dust bunnies. The dust falls conveniently into the pillow case, not onto the floor or furniture. After dusting each blade, take the pillow case outside, turn it inside out and shake out the dust. Repeat as needed for each fan!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday tips at We Are THAT Family.

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If you are anything like me, you spend all day online looking at news, checking e-mail, maybe even chatting? Wouldn’t it be great if you could save money while you’re at it? There are so many different online clubs and services now that will allow you to save in “real life”, offline! Here are a few of my favorite sites:

1. Taking a road trip this Summer? Check out GasBuddy.com for the lowest gas prices for ultimate savings on your trip, or even use it to check the lowest prices in your neighborhood! This little handy dandy feature has saved me quite a few bucks over the last year. I’m certain it will for you as well.

2. Like to read but don’t like to pay for books, or maybe your like me and have no time to get to your library, check out Paperbackswap.com . You can trade books with people all over the country, you are responsible for mailing out books but it can be cheaper than buying from the bookstore! How about DVD’s? Paperbackswap has a sister site that works just the same Swapadvd.com.

3. Missed a favorite tv show, maybe you can not afford an extra fee each month for aDVR box, or maybe you *gasp* don’t have cable! Check out Hulu.com, where you can watch current tv shows such as House, The Office and more and you can also watch movies, or check out the major networks web sites directly, they also will replay current episodes of their shows!

4. Looking to get rid of some old furniture or items around the house but do not want to pay someone to come pick it up, maybe you have an old pool and you can’t afford to buy a new one, request one from Freecycle.org. Freecycle is basically what the title says, recycled items for free. One mans junk is another mans treasure should be the motto for this site. If you regularly check you can find some great items too, all for free!

5. Shop around. If you plan to make a purchase online, check every where you can. Many stores offer an online matching or low price guarantee. If you happen to see the store you like has one of these guarantees it pays to shop around. I cannot tell you how many times i’ve saved a ton of money because of this. If not anything else, this is where the internet proves to be most valuable for my family.

6. Printable coupons. Check out sites like http://www.coupons.com/ or just look around my blog and you will see links to printable coupons. Just because the Sunday paper does not have a certain products coupon, does not mean it is not out there somewhere. Check manufacturer websites too.

7. Skip calling 411 and check out whitepages.com or yellowpages.com, all the same information you would find in the phone book except right online at your computer! I also love to use whitepages.com for “reverse lookups” when I have a number but need a mailing address. If they are listed, they are there.

Find more Works for Me Wednesday tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

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PhotobucketLast week on Works for Me Wednesday I featured Edible Playdough. This week, I want to feature Edible Finger Paint. Why? Because it Works for Me (and because it’s Frugal of course)

I love Edible Finger Paint. It can keep Little Bear occupied for at least an hour. Not only that but since she’s very curious about how everything tastes (she’s only 14 months old, ya know) I do not have to worry about her taste testing the product. There is no chemicals to worry about!!

What you will need:
Plain Yogurt (Vanilla Pudding will also work)
Food Coloring (Regular or Gel)

Choose your painting location–preferably in a contained space. We used the high chair. Easy to clean up, and the finger paint can’t run away and paint the wall.

Just mix up some colored yogurt (We used plain, unsweetened, unflavored yogurt, so it’s not so tasty on its own that the kid wants to eat it all and not paint with it) and a small amount of food coloring in the yogurt, give the kid some paper, and let them go! You don’t need that much food coloring because when the yogurt dries, the color is actually darker on the paper than it is when it’s wet. Also, you don’t want the paint to be so dark that it stains the kid and whatever he touches. Basically the same theory applies as it does to the cake decorating food coloring – a little goes a long way.

Clean up is easy. Just use a washcloth/sponge, and soapy water. Depending on how messy the child is, you might be able to wipe them down, or you might prefer to toss them into the bathtub. I don’t know about yout but I preferred the bath time after route. Yogurt is a dairy product and already a sour-smelling product as it is – I did not want Little Bear to be walking around with it left on her, if you know what I mean.

Another fun option to this fun and exciting adventure – give them the yogurt and stick them in the bathtub with no water and let them paint away – walls, tub, doesn’t matter. When they are done, just give them a bath. I have yet to try this but plan to do so the next time around. Little Bear loves her bath time and I’m sure this will make for an even better experience for her.

You know, it’s funny. I was thinking of buying finger paints before I tried this, but I like this more because it’s free (as long as we already have the supplies on hand) and because it’s edible and washable. The paintings look nice when they’re dry, too!

Sorry folks, no pictures for this blog entry. I’ll be sure to take pictures of the next Edible Finger Painting Project and post then. 😉

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PhotobucketLately, it seems that my darling daughter either requires my undivided attention or otherwise is forever getting into things she shouldn’t be. When these type of scenarios happen, I turn to homemade play dough because it works for me!

  • By making your own play dough, you can customize the colors to fit the current holiday – or in my daughter’s case, she prefers it to always be either red and or blue. Something about these colors just keeps her entertained for HOURS.
  • It’s less expensive than the store bought stuff and we’re all about that in this house.
  • The texture is so soft and smooth that I sometimes stop what I am doing to sit and play along.
  • It does not get all crumbly like the store bought stuff
  • My favorite thing about homemade play dough… if my 13 month old decides it looks good enough to eat… I do not have to worry about her eating scary chemicals.

Here are some of the recipes I use…

Play Dough #1
1 c. flour
1/3 c. salt
1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 c. water
food coloring
Mix all together and place over low heat. Stir often until it is the consistency of mashed potatoes. Turn out onto waxed paper and cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Play Dough #2
2 c. flour
2 Tbsp. alum
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 c. salt
1 Tbsp. oil
food coloring
Heat to boiling the water, salt, oil and food coloring. Stir liquids into dry ingredients. Knead until smooth. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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One of the things that I really have come to enjoy is my DVR. I know that there are many out there that prefer to stay completely away from the television, but I rather enjoy the opportunity to relax and unwind while watching a little bit of television.

With DVR, I control the TV instead of it controlling me. I can record two shows at once. Tho, if the TV is on when I am recording two shows, I either have to watch one of those shows or something that was previously recorded. (This normally never really happens – thus far, in about a three year time span it’s only occurred about four times.) If my show moves days of the weeks, the DVR knows. Ican elect to record all episodes or only new episodes. (I love the fact that I can skip the re-runs!)

Having a DVR allows me to always have a show that is appropriate for my daughter to watch available. She’s not too into television right now and is more curious about the world around her however there are a few that catch her attention. Some of the shows we record for her are Little Bear, Franklin, Oswald, Sesame Street, Blues Clues and Curious George.

For me, the nice thing about the DVR is I can watch the shows I want when it is convenient for me and in a fraction of the time, because I can skip commercials. I can start to watch a movie one weekend afternoon and finish it the next morning. I can start watching a show 10 minutes late and finish at the regular time because I don’t spend time watching commercials. It really is a lot more convenient for me. I’ve come to realize that the majority of one hour shows are usually full of about 10-15 minutes of commericals.

Now, it may sound like I watch a lot of shows, but really, I only watch about six shows – Prison Break, My Own Worst Enemy, Private Practice, ER, Greys Anatomy, Desperate Housewives. The rest of the DVR scheduling is all my husband and daughter. Truth be told, Dh has an extensive list of shows he records. (Tho he never really gets around to them all. LOL!).

Find more Works for Me Wednesday tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

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