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Monday, November 30, 2009

The flu bug hit hard

Starting yesterday about 1:00 pm one by one my family was hit with a nasty flu bug. There was lots of vomitting etc. In the end eight out of nine people were laid out - nasty let me tell you. I wish I could remember where I got this tip from but thought I would share in case you haven't heard of it.

To make a recepticle to receive vomit take a paper grocery bag and rip each corner down about 10" and roll down - keeps the bag open - then take a plastic bag and put inside. You can layer them to make it more leak proof. I ended up using kitchen bags because they are stronger. Then as it is used just take the plastic out and insert a new bag. Be sure to put a towel under the bag - that stuff splatters!

I know this is a gross post but I am so glad that I knew about it. In the past I just used the paper bag but it would not have taken the abuse we gave our bags yesterday.

If I stold this tip from you let me know and I will give credit where it is due!

Linked to 11th Heaven's Homemaker Monday and Make Do Mondays at My Practically Perfect Life

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Diet Coke and Mentos

Awhile ago I posted about giving up soda. I talked about cost and health benefits from quitting drinking it. Well, what do you do with all that leftover diet coke you bought dirt cheap now that you are quitting cold turkey? Well, I just discovered this YouTube video that has the coolest use for diet coke and mentos!

Handkerchief - yes or no?


A handkerchief (also called handkercher or hanky) is a form of a kerchieff, typically a hemmed square of thin fabricc that can be carried in the pocket or purse, and which is intended for personal hygiene purposes such as wiping one's hands or face, or blowing one's nose. A handkerchief is also sometimes used as a purely decorative accessory in a suit pocket.

Yesterday when I was out braving the crowds on Black Friday my sister needed a tissue to blow her nose. I gave her the last one in my purse. It was rather old because I don't use them much anymore. I use handkerchiefs. It is one of the small ways I am "saving the world one small step at a time". I usually have 2 in my purse or pocket. One that I use specifically for blowing my nose and one to "share" or use like a napkin. My sister was hysterical, she thought it was the grossest thing I have done, ever. If she has to use something else besides paper tissue to blow her nose she throws the article of clothing away. It grosses her out to put the snot in her washer. I think this is just silly. My family thinks I am crazy anyhow but the handkerchiefs just confirms it!

How about you? What do you that your family thinks is nuts to "save the planet" and "save money"?

Go to Life as Mom Frugal Fridays and read all the other great tips!
Also linked to Jen's Penny Pinching Party lots of great tips!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Potato Soup - The Ultimate in Comfort

Don't you love the new logo!
I made this soup up years ago. I love cheese and bacon just NOT in my potato soup. I also needed it to be gluten free. This soup is delicious, nutritious and frugalishious! It is rich and creamy.

Potato Soup

Peel and boil about 10 potatoes
1/2 onion, chopped small
2 stalks celery and 2 carrots chopped small
1/2 stick plus 2TBS butter divided
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole milk.
1 cup white beans cooked and mashed (for protein)

While your potatoes are boiling heat 2TBS butter in a pot, add vegetables cook until tender. Add broth. Meanwhile heat milk and stick of butter add to cooked, drained potatoes. Partly mash potatoes. Add beans and mix. Add to heated broth and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. I usually add spinach at this point.

This soup can also be made with leftover mashed potatoes - just add to the veggies and broth.

Linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday. Go check out all the other great posts.
I have also linked to Ann Kroekers Food on Friday - lots of great food posts.
And for some Tightwad tips check out Tightwad Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stay at home Tuesdays

This year my oldest daughter and my youngest daughter only have had school on MWF and they both have had Tuesdays and Thursdays off this semester. We started a lovely little tradition called "Stay at home Tuesdays and Stay at home Thursdays" some days we stay at home but others we run errands, go to mass, go out to lunch. We have had some of the most wonderfully enjoyable days I have spent as a mommy. I think that because I am so aware that my time with them is numbered I realize its preciousness. Cassie is 18 and in college, she will be moving out sooner than I want. Sylvia will start kindergarten next year and unless God blesses us with another sweet baby I will end an era in my life - life with little people at home all day.

As I type this I can hear them at the kitchen table playing memory. It is a memory I hope I never forget. They are laughing and having a great time. An 18 year old college student and a 4 year old preschooler - dueling it out!

I am thankful for this time. Next week it will be over - Cassie's schedule changes and she wont be home when Sylvia is, so today is our very last Stay at Home Tuesday. We are going to commemorate the day with mass at noon and Sushi for lunch!

I am thankful to God for this time with my biggest and littlest girls!

Join all the other bloggers over at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesday's Unwrapped.
I am also linked to Gratituesday hosted by Heavenly Homemakers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday vol 2

I love the thought of the randomness this quick take can go. This week my theme is thanksgiving of course in honor of Thanksgiving.

1. I am so very thankful for my husband. He works very long and hard hours with a lot of stress so that we want for nothing. He is a strong and faithful Catholic man who tries each day to be holy. He is the love of my life and even though it is not all sweetness and perfection I wouldn't trade him for anything.

2. My living children. Dougie, Cassie, Katie, Tessa, Josh, Joe, Ellie and Sylvia. They give meaning and purpose to my days and my life. Each one is special and unique. My granddaughter Sophia whom I love so much some days it makes my heart hurt.

3. My babies in heaven. Especially Luke. I miss him but I know that he is perfectly happy with God in heaven. I know that he and my other babies I never met are interceding for the rest of us.

4. I am thankful for my Catholic faith. I know that it was an incredible gift that I was born into this faith. I love so many things about it. I am especially thankful for the Eucharist and Reconcilliation. God is so good.

5. I am thankful for books. In them I have learned and grown, escaped and found myself. I love nothing more than to find a new book to read that grabs me and holds my interest to the end. Religious books are what do that now.

6. I am thankful for health and wealth, clean running water, electricity, a home, a car, education, plethora of food and food choices.

7. I am thankful for my friends, old and new. The ones that have known me forever, and the ones that I am just now opening my heart to. I am thankful for the joy, love and diversity they have brought to my life.

I am so blessed, this list is only the tip of the iceberg.
Linked to Conversion Diary's 7 Quick Takes Friday head over there to read some amazing posts.

Dryer Sheets

I do a lot of laundry. Before my oldest moved out I was doing laundry for 10. We have allergies and so can't hang clothes on the line. I hate static cling. A whole lot. I discovered years ago that I didn't need a whole dryer sheet. For 15 years I have ripped them in half and it worked fine. The other day, I decided to try cutting them in 4ths. Yes, 1/4 of a dryer sheet works just fine in my super sized front loading dryer. OH YEA!!!

I tried the blue spikey balls, but they keep coming up missing, I never have "clean" tennis balls so cutting the sheets is what I do.

Linked to Works for me Wednesday
Frugal Fridays
and for the first time at The Thrifty Home's Penny Pinching Party.

Cranberry Waldorf Salad

It just wasn't Christmas without waldorf salad when I was growing up - I think it is a memory of my Dad's - his mom always made it and so did mine. My grandma was a utility cook - she had 16 children and so bulk cooking was her forte - she cooked 10 lbs of potatoes every day. So when she made something as special as this it just made the kids happy! My recipe is different then hers but it still feels special. I don't just save it for Christmas though, it is a great dish to take to a party!
Cranberry Waldorf Salad

2 lg apples, chopped
1 TBS lemon juice
2 celery ribs diced
1 cup fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries, halved
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup real mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
2 TBS honey
1/8 tsp salt

In a large bowl toss apples with lemon juice. Add celery, cherries, cranberries and almonds.
In a small bowl, whisk the rest until well blended. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and put in frig for at least 1 hour for the flavors to "marry".

Linked to Fight Back Friday,
Frugal Fridays,
Real Food Wednesday
Friday Foods
and Party Time at Our Krazy Kitchen
and the 12 Days of Bloggie-mas On the 6th Day at A Moderate Life

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veteran's Day

I have spent most of my morning reading posts honoring our veterans. I have been crying all morning too.

It is not possible to thank our veterans enough. They lay their lives on the line so we can live in a country that is still free. But it is the wives, the husbands and the children who are left here at home while their soldier is off protecting our nation that I truly admire. Who I am eternally grateful too.

I cannot imagine how it would be to say goodbye and know that it will be 8, 10 18 months until I saw my husband again.

I cannot imagine giving birth without my husband near - and then sending pictures half way around the world so that he could meet my baby.

I cannot imagine welcoming him home to bury him. The very real sacrifice of his life for our freedom.

My husband served in the Air Force before I met him. While he never saw war, he could have and was prepared to.

My many thanks and gratitude to all members of the military and their very generous families.

God Bless You All!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yummy Chocolate Frosting

Today is my daughter Katie's 17th Birthday!
"Happy Birthday Katie"

She requested Strawberry Poke the Hole Cake. I bought the ingredients to make it but my other daughter didn't know about the request and she made a chocolate cake. Not a huge loss but I didn't have frosting for a chocolate cake.

I improvised and it was really good.

1 container vanilla instant pudding (chocolate would be better but I didn't have any)
2 heaping TBS cooking chocolate powder.
1 cup whole organic milk

Beat together for 2 minutes.

Whip up whipping cream (use really cold beaters and bowl - I put them in the freezer for awhile.) oh, add a TBS of sugar or honey to sweeten.

Fold cream into pudding. Frost cake. It is yummy with shredded chocolate bits on top. (I used Halloween candy).

This Works for Me!