Sunday, January 30, 2011

DIY ~ Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

I think this is such a cute idea. She made this for her planting workbench, but this could work anywhere. Check it out here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Notebooking the 50 States

You can download a free copy of Notebooking the 50 States. Here are more details on this download from their site:
Notebooking the 50 States includes individual outlines for all 50 states, maps of the United States with state boundaries (with and without state names), timeline pages and various pages that can be used for writing reports, creating state profiles (including pages appropriate for detailing state seals, birds, trees, symbols) and more. Whether studying the entire U.S. or just one state, students will find what they need in this download to create a beautiful project.
Thanks MSM!

Send a box of Kleenex

Make someone's day. Send them a Share Package of Kleenex - for free! It's always fun to get something unexpected in the mail. Surprise someone you love with a little box of Kleenex and a note from you.
Note: you can only send ONE Share Package to ONE recipient. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Free Beginning Sewing e-book

Teach someone to sew – or learn yourself! Sewing is a wonderful hobby that teaches a wide array of different skills – from hand-eye coordination to fraction and mathematics applications. Plus, it’s lots of fun and inspires creativity. Janome has created a free E-Book download that provides the basics of this rewarding hobby. This short, simple e-book even contains an easy napkin project to get you going! Download yours today, and start sewing!
If you haven't checked out the free beginning sewing webinars, you can do so here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chasing Elephants: Book Review

 What do you believe about homosexuality? What about social drinking? Is it possible that social drinking could be acceptable for one Christian and not for another? Do you know why you believe the way you do and where these issues are addressed in the Bible? Brent Crowe addresses these issues and more in Chasing Elephants: Wrestling with the Gray Areas of Life.
 This book starts out covering our freedom in Christ and what that means. Crowe says, "As a Christian, your freedom is a powerful, sacred, and even mysterious trust given by God. If we don't seek to properly understand our freedom in Christ, we can cause division and hurt within the Christian community and be poor representatives of Christ to those outside the faith." After Crowe gives the reader a better understanding of their freedom in Christ he moves into addressing the elephants in the room. He uses a grid of 16 questions to ask yourself regarding each elephant you face. Some questions are answered with the first question, Is this decision within the moral will of God or has God already dealt directly with this issue in Scripture? Other questions, such as social media and the internet that are not directly dealt with in Scripture require asking more questions in the grid. Crowe does a wonderful job showing the reader how to answer these questions for them self without pushing his own beliefs and convictions on the reader. If you are unsure of why you believe what you do or if you have questions about how to believe on any issue then this book will help you to answer those questions. I enjoyed this book and will add it to my rotation of books I want to read again in a few years. :)
You can check out pages from this book here:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

$20 Amazon gift card for only $10

Living Social is offering a $20 Amazon card for $10 today only! This is a great deal and it never expires!
To make it even better if you get 3 friends to buy this deal, yours will be free. So I would be thrilled if you decided to purchase one through my link. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Craft Time

Here is an quick and easy craft to keep little ones busy for a bit.

 I used some left over crumpled up tissue paper and white copy paper to make a counting craft project for my little one. I wrote out the numbers 1-5 and drew the appropriate amount of circles for each number. The idea is to paint glue on the little circles (fine motor skills) and glue the crumpled tissue paper in each circle (counting practice & number and color recognition). Big sister also had fun getting to play teacher for a while.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Christmas Candy

 We saw this recipe on Money Saving Mom and I wasn't really impressed with the ingredients. I mean candy from saltine crackers? Doesn't sound very good, but after reading all the wonderful comments about how addicting and marvelous it was we decided to give it a try. The finished product was, well, it was saltine crackers with butter, sugar, and chocolate on top. Surprise! I'm still not very impressed and the good news is I'm not addicted either! This candy is nothing fancy, but it uses common ingredients and was easy for my daughter to make. If you need a quick and easy dessert it would work out well. I think adding chopped nuts to the top would make a nice addition. Enjoy!

Christmas Candy
1 sleeve saltine crackers
1 stick of butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips
chopped nuts - optional

Lay out saltine crackers on a cookie sheet. Melt butter over low heat and stir in brown sugar until nice and gooey. Spread butter/sugar mixture over the crackers. Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly. Pour chocolate chips over the top. Let sit a few minutes so they start melting. Spread chocolate out evenly with a spatula. Place in freezer for and hour or two until hardened. Break into bite size pieces. Store in refrigerator.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Weekly House Cleaning Schedules

 Back in the days of one small child I was able to keep my house clean, laundry clean and put away, and dinner cooked without a schedule. I didn't wake up and wonder what needed to be done that day. I just got up and did it. Fast forward to now~four kids later~ it takes a lot of planning for me to stay on top of things. Without a schedule I will wander around in circles not knowing what to do. Well, maybe I know what needs to be done. It's just overwhelming to think about or maybe when I do think of a task to do I get distracted and then forgot what I was doing. One of my new year's goals is to get back on schedule! I find a weekly cleaning schedule works best for me. Mine looks like this:

Make bed.
Start a load of laundry
Empty dishwasher
Spend 30-60 min on one specific cleaning task

Monday~ Bathrooms  (I only clean my own bathroom, the kids are responsible for theirs.)
Wipe down sinks and counters. Clean mirrors. Scrub toilet and bathtubs. Empty trash. Clean floors.
It's a good idea to keep some cleaning supplies under the sink so you can do a quick touch up if needed during the week. Spend 10 min. working on a deeper cleaning job~ under sink, baseboards, etc.

Tuesday~ Bedrooms (kids are responsible for their own rooms)
Wash sheets. Clean clutter off dressers. Dust. Look over closet and straighten up clothes. Spend 10 min. de-cluttering.

Wednesday~ Kitchen
Empty and wipe out refrigerator. Clean all clutter off counters and wipe down counters. Wipe out microwave. Sweep and mop floor. Wipe off the fronts of appliances and cabinets. Empty trash. Pick one cabinet or drawer that needs organizing and spend 10 min. working on it.

Thursday~ Vacuum
Vacuum or sweep all floors. Dust family rooms and any other rooms that need it. Spend 10 min. de-cluttering and organizing these spaces.

Friday~ Extra Rooms and Meal Planning
Write out next weeks meal plan. Catch up on any missed cleaning. Work on laundry room, pantry, guest room, and/or playroom. These rooms should have been dusted and vacuumed on Thursday, but might need a little more attention.

A clean house just seems to make for a more peaceful home. Maybe I'm just a nicer mom and wife when everything seems clean and under control. :) If you are behind on your cleaning you might need to spend a couple hours each day for a few weeks focusing on each specific area to get it under control.

Check out this website for a more detailed weekly plan.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rare Egg Coupon!

You can print a coupon for $.55 off 2 one dozen cartons of eggs at under 'printable coupons'. This will double at Kroger to $1.10! 

Star Wars Legos @ Aldi

We stopped by Aldi yesterday and found these Star Wars Legos marked way down.

 Legos never go on clearance so this was a pretty exciting find. I guess they had these in stock for Christmas and are now trying to get rid of them. My kids *love* legos and so do their friends so these will make great presents for someone. They had other lego sets marked down too. I went by Target last night and looked to see what these were selling for there:
Freeco Speeder  Aldi~ $6.99   Target~ $24.99
Snow Trooper  Aldi~ $3.99  Target~ $11.99
Check at your local Aldi soon to see if you can find some great Lego deals.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I took advantage of the pumpkin deal on Amazon and now I am in search of great pumpkin recipes. This is one of my favorites. These muffins don't taste like your typical pumpkin recipe because they lack all the pumpkin pie spices. They freeze well too.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 16oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups oil
3 cups flour ( I like to use 1 cup unbleached all purpose white and 2 cups freshly ground wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips

In a large bowl beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil. Add in dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffins cups 3/4 full and bake at 400 degrees about 10-15 min. Makes 36 muffins.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Homemade Playdough

I came across this playdough recipe the other day and decided to give it a try. It's the best playdough recipe I've tried. You can add in food coloring, spices, glitter, or extracts. We added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and some glitter to ours. I wouldn't recommend adding the spices if you have little ones. My 2 year old thought it was food. It did smell like a cinnamon roll. 

Homemade Playdough
 1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
1 T. vegetable oil
1 T. cream of tarter
1 c. water
Mix all ingredients together in saucepan. After you've mixed them together turn heat on medium high and cook, stirring constantly, until dough forms into a ball. Remove from heat and knead until smooth. If the dough is too sticky you can knead in a little more flour. Store in a covered container or plastic bag.