Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

Rocks in my Dryer hosts Works for me Wednesday. Next week's theme is "Mom, I'm Bored" there should be a ton of tips for the upcoming LONG vacation!!!

Links on Organizing Kids Rooms

Organizing Junkie - Monthly Roundup is in the kids rooms!

Virtually Organized has 3 rules to organizing the kids rooms, most important tip was to resist the urge to do it without the child. It's so much easier that way, but then it will never stay the way you want it!!!

Long Days & Pleasant Nights 10 things to think about when cleaning up the kids rooms.

Basket Carnival

Basket Carnival at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

I have most of the kids toys stored in totes. Granted there are TOO MANY at the moment, but we just had a huge influx of dolls & stuff, so I need to go through & eliminate.
The Green totes are holding pictures & scrapbooking stuff. Eventually it will get moved upstairs into my sewing/crafting room. You know, when I remember to do it.

The basket is on top the fridge & it contains the open packages of snacks, cereal, marshmallows that accumulate when you have kids. I have recently cleaned it out so it isn't overflowing like it usually is.

I've Been Tagged!

A little bloggy fun... I was tagged by Tracey at Living for today!

4 things I was doing 10 years ago
1. Living in PA
2. Working as a secretary
3. Enjoying life with no kids
4. Trying to be a business owner

4 things I was doing 5 years ago
1. Waiting for the house sale to go through
2. Packing
3. Pregnant
4. Dealing with active 4 year old

4 things I did yesterday
1. downloaded music
2. laundry
3. Blogged.
4. babysat & had a sick Princess

4 shows I like to watch
2. Battlestar Gallactica
3. The 4400
4. CSI

4 things I love to do
1. Hang with my kids
2. bake
3. Sew
4. Play with powertools

If you want to be tagged help yourself!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My kiddos

The Prince at his second baseball game. If you look close enough you can see that he is missing a few teeth! We are up to 4 now, the tooth fairy is renting the guest bedroom now...

The Princess is all dressed up for a baby shower (so is her dolly). We got the dresses at TJMaxx, I should shop there more!!! Of course, everyone assumed I MADE the dresses, HA! Not for the $14 we paid for them! I just wish she was still in toddler sizes they had a gorgeous black toile set...

Take the time to plan for your child's future.

Yard Sale Finds #2

Yard Sale finds #1

We were on our way to buy a lawnmower belt, I happened to be driving or hubby would have kept going. It isn't much, but it's pretty darn near a full bolt of fabric & I only paid ONE DOLLAR!!! I think it's going to be curtains for the front room, it's not what I WANT, but flocked taffeta is not really practical for a dinning/high traffic area nor is it financially possible at this point in time!!!

I haven't measured it out yet so I'm not sure how much is here, but I definitely got a bargain.

Some Frugal stuff around the net.

Frugal Chick had a great Frugal Friday tip about using microfiber cloths on her swiffer sweeper. I recycle flannels (and old cloth diapers) maybe I need to invest in some microfiber cloths too...

Being Frugal posted 5 great places to start being frugal! And there are some great tips in the comments too. I love making things from scratch sometimes it ends up being cheaper, but usually it's just the healthier option!!!

Kitchen Tip Tuesday over at Tammy's Recipes is home to some great kitchen tips (LOL!).
I recycled our baby food carousel for use in our spice cupboard. It doesn't hold the larger jars but it is great for the small and medium sized jars. For thejavascript:void(0)
Publish Post larger jars I stacked some scrap lumber into a tier shape so I didn't have to go out & buy a stepped spice rack. Besides the stepped spice rack I did buy (one that pulls down out of the cupboard) didn't fit in my spice cabinet so I re-purposed it to hold soup cans. I think my best tip for kitchen organization is use what you have & don't be afraid to change what isn't working for you!

AC Lens - Contacts For Less!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weird links

are from a Smorty widget I installed. Not sure if I am going to keep it up, we'll see. The bright orange links in ODD places is annoying me. I haven't gotten a post opportunity yet, so still waiting there. Think I might give their post exchange a try...

Blog Advertising - Get Paid to Blog

New York's new law

Typical NY, taxing us to the hilt.

April 9, 2008, New York
State passed a law mandating that any retailer that (1) meets a certain sales
volume from sales to New York customers and (2) has an affiliate program with
New York based publishers that refer customers to the retailer and are paid on
a commission basis must charge and collect New York sales tax on all sales
shipped to New York.

So They are basically claiming that by being a NY resident & posting a link on your site for a specific company the company has a "base" in NY. Amazon has already filed a lawsuit & Overstock has removed me as an affiliate (not that I have had any banners or links there). I'm just interested to see how it all plays out & if affiliates or the state will prevail???

Print FREE Grocery Coupons at Home

Make it from Scratch #64

Make it From Scratch

And a new carnival I just discovered Carnival of Modern Home Dwelling

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ProBlogger is on the Shelves

I haven't ordered ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income yet but Darren has announced a fun contest. I know if I had a book out I'd love to see it with their owners!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ok, who exctly is this for???

How to Save $451 a Month was a headline article on the yahoo home page this morning. I read it, as I do most financial articles, looking for something I may not have thought of. Well, I didn't find anything at all. It was mostly insulting, since it obviously assumes that the average reader has an above average income.

The first premiss of the article, if you are 30 you need to save $448 a month at 8% to be able to retire in 35 years. While I can't dispute the numbers I can say that I am not investing a quarter of my income every month. My expenses just won't allow for that. Maybe if you made 6 figures you could set aside that much but if you only bring in $450 a week it's kind of hard.

The second point is maximize your deductions to save $219 per month on your income taxes. Basically, adding more exemptions to boost your take home pay. You could even take advanced EIC payments if you qualify. Unless of course you are self employed...

Third, bring a lunch & save $100. If you aren't already bringing a lunch & making your own coffee this is a good tip. If you eat leftovers for your lunch instead of having to buy special lunch stuff you can save even more.

Fourth, the author suggests skipping 1 dinner & a movie every month to save $80. I can say that $80 is a lot more than I would spend on dinner & a movie, unless we were taking the 4 of us to a nice sit down dinner & an evening movie. But we usually just go to a movie & that's an afternoon show & very rarely do we go out & spend more than $40 on the both of us to eat. Also, if we skipped 1 a month we wouldn't have any at all. We don't even go monthly, we do try to do something with the kids but right now our "entertainment money" goes to the baseball snack stand!

Fifth, save $28 on health care using a flex spending account. Sure I'd love to but I can't just go to the bank and open one yet. If you employer offers this benefit TAKE IT! This along with the CVS extra care bucks/card would be FANTASTIC!!! Hey would they let me use flex to pay for my Wii Fit???? I look at it as a replacement for gym membership... LOL!

Sixth, save $10 on Auto Insurance by increasing your deductible from $250 to $1000. Honestly, when we were just confronted with this option my attitude was "it's only $10 extra a month" we'll take it! After all it would take more than a year to save the difference, if you don't have access to the $1000 you would be better off paying the difference.

Seventh, save $8 on maintaining your car. Keep it tuned & tires inflated. Well a tune up may help gas mileage but it will cost you money too...

The last $6 came from switching your prescriptions to generic. My health insurance demands this unless there is a valid reason to not use a generic.

I'm sure I'd do better if I just saved all my change from the grocery shopping & expense of daily living. My bank account is set to "Round up" and move the change into my savings account and I have a large jar for my coins. Which I do anyways I just don't think that it amounts to $448 a month.

I guess I'm waiting for the article that addresses those of us who already have cut the fat, where do you trim from???

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Economical First Aid

For all the other "baseball" Mom's out there I just had to share my dugout re-useable ice packs!

I've made the "alcohol/water" (orange) before, but in my searching for the proper ratio I found a recipe using dish soap (green).

I just dumped half of a small bottle into a zip top bag & added a little rubbing alcohol. I made one without the alcohol & they seem to be about the same after freezing. These are double bagged & do leak a little but I keep them in a plastic container when they are in the freezer & we take them to practice & games in a 2 qt drink cooler (it's what I had). These have been used twice already & we have only just really begun our season.

This is a much "greener" alternative to the instant ice packs and only require a little bit of effort.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The most adorable hair bow holders ever...

Bambina Ballerina offers the most girly, frilly pretty way to organize hair bows & bands that I have ever seen.

There are multiple contests up around the net giving away either gift certificates or product. Check them out today!

5 Minutes for Mom

Bloggy Giveaways

The Kiddie Clique

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Take me out to the ball game...

Finally our first game is tonight, after almost a month of practices.

Oh yea, I think I forgot to mention that we are coaching a minor league team (the Prince's). Ok well Hubby is coach, I get to be team Mom. For all you non-baseball Mom's that just means I get to organize my fleet of snack stand workers & make sure we have cold ice packs for boo-boos (oh and the de-lice spray for the helmets, ewwww).

The Princess is playing t-ball, everything is pink & purple, except for her team color RED, oh the crime of fashion it will be... Her first game isn't until the 24th. There ended up only being 2 teams & they'll play 5 games. T-ball is always cute to watch!!!

I was one of few who did not play when I was younger so the sport itself is really lost on me! So I just added this book to my wish list...It Takes More Than Balls: The Savvy Girls' Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Baseball

Written by The Savvy Girls, it's a girls guide to baseball! There is a great article written about the book on

They must know their stuff because they even have a MLblog Network blog. I just know the basics, hit the ball run to first, try not to get out, unless you are on the field & then it's catch the ball or get it to a plate...but it must be more complicated than that given the 100+ page rule book I have sitting on my desk, eeek!

Nature Made Freebies

Only one per log in account will work.

Nature Made Liquid Softgel Multi for her

Nature Made Liquid Softgel Multi

Nature Made Liquid Softgel Super B- Complex

Nature Made Liquid Softgel Calcium

Nature Made Liquid Softgel Vitamin C

Nature Made Liquid Softgel Vitamin D

Now if only they had a Liquid Softgel Iron supplement... hmmm, suggestion maybe??? Of course the Multi for her has 100% of DRV of Iron, however those of us who linger in the over in the anemic range need more.

My next garden adventure

I am thinking about growing mushrooms. I think the kids would be interested in watching the

I've done the research & I swear I am now on a watch list somewhere. Seriously I really do only want to grow the edible kind... Portobello, shiitake, oyster. I think that as a beginner a kit is the way to go. Once you become more skilled there are other methods (cheaper of course, but more labor intensive) it requires logs & a lot of patience!!!

I am thinking about getting this for a fall/winter growing project. I have enough on my plate with the outside gardens right now!!!
Shiitake Mushroom Kit

Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure partner for "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer"

This may be "old news" but is still worth passing on!!!

On Mother's Day, MLB Players to once again use pink Louisville Slugger bats to support the

fight against breast cancer

Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs are again joining Susan G. Komen for the Cure for "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer," a program that incorporates numerous facets of the game on and off the field to generate awareness about breast cancer and raise funds to help fight the disease. All Clubs hosting a home game on Sunday, May 11 will celebrate Mother's Day with special in-park programs and a "pink theme" throughout. In addition to promotional support, Major League Baseball Charities has also committed $50,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure through the "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" program.

Hundreds of Major League Baseball players will help raise awareness for breast cancer on Mother's Day, May 11, by using pink Louisville Slugger bats. Select game-used bats, as well as select team-autographed bats, will be auctioned off on at a later date, with net proceeds benefiting Komen for the Cure. Fans can purchase their own personalized pink bat at, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, or, with $10 from the sale of each bat benefiting Komen for the Cure (bats are $77).

Fans can also support "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" by purchasing limited edition New Era caps, Soft as a Grape shirts and Logo Art bracelets, all featuring pink Club logos alongside the breast cancer ribbon logo. Out in time for Mother's Day gift buying, fans can purchase these items by logging onto or visiting the nearest Clubhouse store. Major League Baseball will donate $1 from the sale of each item to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Additionally, while supplies last, a special Mother's Day tote bag with the MLB pink ribbon logo will be given as a gift with purchase of $150 or more at Club retail shops within all 30 ballparks.

Major League Baseball will use its various assets to help communicate the breast cancer awareness message. will feature stories on MLB players and their mothers. A full page ad delivering the breast cancer awareness message will run in USA Today on May 9th.

The only auction currently listed was for a Derek Jeter signed bat. The auction is closed & the final price was $4525.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Garden #2

We have been cramming in gardening around the rain drops! Saturday was a busy day in particular, Tuesday was even busier! Since Saturday we have:

1. put in a second "cold frame" using an old laundry basin & 1 pane from the window we replaced in the living room. The first tub houses our carrot crop & the second is now planted with round 1 of leaf lettuce & spinach.

2. Moved a boxwood shrub.

3. Tilled the bed in the front yard where we had some veggies last year & planted the new hydrangea & the boxwood shrub. My plan is to get a couple more boxwoods in there & maybe some perennials along with a few annuals. We will need a huge amount of mulch to cover this bed, it beats having to mow the awkward spot!

4. Transplanted all of the seedlings into slightly larger containers. I realized I have only 4 regular tomato plants (12 went to my parents) and 12 green pepper plants. Of course I counted & I have 9 cherry tomato plants. Hope they are good producers, I only need enough to can anyways. The princess is the only family member who eats raw tomatoes.

5. Created a 3rd green house/cold frame using a tote & the 2nd window pane, temporary just to get the seedlings outside. I am leaving it uncovered until the evening so they don't get cooked.

6. Moved our picnic tables back into our yard. For some reason we have left them in between us & the neighbors since they borrowed them for a party last August. Not that we haven't been using them, we were just going to their yard. Strange!

7. Put in a rock border around the un-edged part of the bed in the front.

8. Picked up a bunch of broken sand box toys & a lot of stuff that has blown in.

9. Planted some cherry tomatoes & "lemon" cukes in containers with trellis.

10. Cleared off the front porch & brought out the rest of the furniture.

11. trimmed the wisteria a little & took a picture of my first & only flower bunch.

12. created a pot for my Mom for Mother's day & planted one of my antique tool boxes with the left overs.

13. admired all the wild strawberries that are growing in my yard & trying to get our teen neighbor (who mows our yard) to not hack them to death like he did my locust tree seedling.

14. Planted (moved) 2 maple tree seedlings (hubby did this all on his own, I hope they live).

15. Gave our future pole barn a new "location" in the yard. We were going to put it out where we now have a REALLY LARGE & UGLY batting cage, but I think it would make more sense if we put it where we currently have the swing set. We have 2 really old maple trees there now & they will have to come down in the next couple of years (they aren't the most healthy things) so it's the perfect location & we don't have to put in any extra blacktop (think air port runway here, I am so tempted to order some line paint...)

16. Cleared up our old campfire area & tilled it. I am going to sink a pole & create a pole bean tepee here. Should be fun for the kids. As soon as the pole is sunk & the lines are run I'll lay down a stone floor. They aren't supposed to be out in the yard barefoot, but flip flops aren't much better & I want to have a nice surface for sitting on!

We were outside as much as possible so I'm sure I've missed a project or 10 here!!!

We are waiting for the gas company to come & finish their project in the front yard, they ran new line all the way up our street & are going to replace the "tie ins" as well. I am hoping they don't have to dig up more yard but I'm not making any plans for out there until they are done!

I am thinking about "borrowing" Stephanie's idea and creating some potato planters out of old tires. I just happen to have a couple in the garage & I think I have the soil at the top of the pumpkin patch worked up enough to give the crop a try...

Gardeners Choice

Friday, May 9, 2008

New paid to blog

Get Paid for Blogging
Smorty pays you to write your opinions.
Every post earns you money. Get paid weekly.

I am waiting for my first task, I'll keep you update. It didn't take long to be approved at all. I think it was a day.

BlogTalk Radio

I was just listening to The Passion Project. Katherine was interviewing Lynn Terry from Click News and Self Starters Weekly Tips Forum. I have been getting Lynn's newsletter for a while now (I don't remember why I subscribed because it's only been recent that I've figured out what she was discussing). She covers all kinds of internet marketing things.

This is the first time I've listened to this show, guess I'll have to download the archives & give it a listen!!!

New Blog Editor -

I am going to give ScribeFire for FireFox a try. For some reason Qumana isn't working on the new computer, and I really liked using a software to post with. Just call me lazy!!!

April Goals wrap up

1. Budget our money better This has become increasingly difficult. I am only getting paid about $2 an hour for the babysitting I do & hubby has taken a huge hour cut, leading to a lay off. Thankfully he can collect unemployment it just takes a week to process & wait.
We haven't eaten out much at all, which is fine but I also have only done basic shopping so my creativity is being stretched!!! With 2 kids (sometimes 4) it isn't easy to make all things kid friendly. But in April we were able to make our scheduled debt payments & keep on top of all the bills. So it isn't nearly as bad as it has been in the past.

2. Pay down our debt We are still on the set schedule so we are -$480 on our loan & -$320 on other stuff.

3. Use savings, rebates & misc found money to fund our emergency fund.
I haven't followed through on this one as much as I had hoped. But a bulk of it is sitting in the savings account I haven't built it up enough to send it to the ING account.

4. Blog daily. I will get better at this. I can't believe I haven't done much this week. Considering I have so much to write about!

5. Work on DIY project everyday. Well I haven't done a true project a day, but we have made great progress in other things. We have tilled the garden & started to prepare for planting in a couple weeks. The seedlings require constant attention. The bathroom is still in limbo & now thanks to the hidden stimulus rebate delay I say hidden because it never dawned on us that our actual direct deposit payment was rerouted to cover the cost of our filing, duh. So we didn't have a DIRECT deposit... THe check won't go out till June something. Which means that the last couple of purchases we need to make will have to wait. I guess I can't complain after all it's a boost. And money is money, it's just not coming for another month & a half. Not that it isn't already allocated pretty much to the dollar! Of course it does depend on how much comes :D.

6. Do better with cards for family & friends. Think I should just toss this one for the year & pick something else!!!

7. Focus on more MYO foods.
I have had some good luck with the sourdough starters I made & the cornbread mix I made has proven to be yummy as a "shake n bake" replacement.

8. Eliminate more clutter Freecycle is so helpful. We also have a couple of local trade boards that I have used. We are also gearing up for big metal trash day, just not sure we have enough for a long haul to a scrap yard. But it's enough that it's getting on my nerves. Although we probably are the only people to have disassembled a washer before junking anyone. After all the motor, belt & pump were all in perfect condition and you never know when you might need a small HP motor!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary

to my parents!!! 43 years!!!