Friday, June 20, 2008

Frugal Friday-Bad Company Corrupts Good Character

A good frugal tip that has helped me tremendously is having good down to earth friends, my husband being the best of them. My husband and I are both tremendously frugal (cheap!). It really helps our relationship that we both don't like wasting money on things we don't need. He loves that I don't have the attention span for an afternoon at the mall. It has helped me greatly that just having him around makes me double think purchases, most of the time that extra time thinking makes me not purchase the impulse buys that sometimes kill the best planned budget. They say that thing most couples argue about is money but honestly (knocking on wood) this hasn't been a problem for us. We both sat down and made our budget together and work to staying on it together.
Most of my friends aren't in to the whole "keeping up with the Jone's thing"; when one of them get something they've wanted I'm honestly happy for them. Its interesting the choices you make and the things that are important to people; if you tried to keep up with all your friends it would be ridiculous. The hubs and I like travelling (on the cheap usually) and we do like having our electronic toys (but don't mind waiting up for them all night on black friday to get a good deal). Some of my friends like having new cars so they make their payments faithfully every month. Some people its the jewelry, some people its the clothes, some people its the house and the landscaping and some like going out to dinner all the time. The things that are important are different for most people and if you tried to keep up with everyone, you would run yourself ragged with work or run up your credit card bills.
Not saying that you should cut out all of your friends if they are competing with you in this area, just saying that maybe you should limit your time with them at the mall. Or just acknowledge in your mind that this doesn't have to be a competition, who cares what they have. Find the contentment in yourself so that you don't look to "beat" someone else at having the biggest, the best and the most expensive. Its so much easier to just live within your means and be happy for others who get the things that they wanted.
What are you guys up to?
Join in the fun, grab the code below and post your own frugal ideas!

I found out that Frugal Friday didn't start here-the original is at Biblical Womanhood, go check out the original!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My thoughts on the AMA and ACOG

Apparently the AMA and ACOG aren't too happy about The Business of Being Born; you know the movie that Ricki Lake put out about how birth is viewed in the US, and which also casts a positive light on home births. You know what I'm not so happy about, the Cesarean Rate in this country that is more than double what is recommended by the WHO.
According to a study by the CDC

The cesarean delivery rate rose 4 percent in 2005 to 30.2 percent of all births, a record high for the nation. The cesarean rate has risen 46 percent since 1996."
So the U.S. has a C-section rate of above 30% while the WHO states that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10 to 15 percent.
Its amazing to me that the countries that honor birth as a natural occurrence in life have lower c-section rates and a lower maternal morbidity rate. You would think instead of attacking the idea that birth is not a medical condition the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists would see that our country is lacking in this area and try to learn from those who are doing better. It angers me that many of my friends and family are recovering from surgery's that they didn't need to have because these institutions will not admit that we are below par in these areas.

As you can see from above, we're not the worst in the area of Maternal deaths but we're also not the best. Why not learn from countries that are doing better than we are in this area.


By the way-I've scheduled posts that I've already written to be published both this week and next. I will not be checking up on everyone else's blogs or commenting till probably the beginning of July. So I didn't abandon you :)

Dream Big

I learned something when I fell in love with the hubs. I learned that love and being in love was waaaay better than I ever expected. This taught me that I should dream big in other aspects of my life as well. I was reading a blog today about someone getting her dream home. So it got me thinking about what my dream house would look like.
My dream home would probably be a log cabin with a wrap around porch with rockers on it; I would love for it to have 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a basement. I wouldn't necessarily want it to be too much bigger than the house I have now because I've learned from my house sitting ventures in my early twenties that more house just means more cleaning. Also I'm not into the McMansion look, its just too much to me.
I would want the inside of the house to be just a plain white with pine hardwood floors. I would love to have a pretty open floor plan with maybe some small rooms tucked here and there for privacy. I would want the kitchen to be open to everything and the biggest room in the house. I would LOVE a fireplace with a huge stone chimney and a hearth seat that goes all around it to be free standing between the kitchen and the living room. I would want a really good sized pantry to go alongside the kitchen.
As far as our bedrooms; I would want a master bedroom, a boys room, a girls room, and a guest/sewing room. The rooms don't need to be big just an average size, with the same floors as downstairs just with gorgeous rugs to inspire curling up with a good book on. I would love to have little windowed nooks that are tucked in here and there with some interesting antique chairs where you could sit and watch the rain and snow fall and the seasons change with some knitting or a good book.
In the master bedroom I would want a king size bed, a jacuzzi tub, and a small private porch. Just to make it its own little sanctuary.
Mostly I would like an interesting house, with windows of all shapes and sizes and colors (stained glass here and there would be amazing!). With little nooks and crany's that just wait to be explored. I remember a show I saw when I was little (I think it was webster) where he had secret passages in his house, I would TOTALLY want this.
The most important aspect of my dream home would be its view. I would want it to be completely surrounded by forrests and fields with no neighbors or roads visible from the house; I had this when I lived at the cabin and I LOVED it! Its so foreign to me to close the shades on our house, I like them wide open but I also like privacy in my own home. I would love to have a good amount of land that I could have a good size garden, a line to hang up my clothes, a big tree with a swing on it, and a pool to relax in after a hot summer day.
Outside I would want trees and shrubs that can be used as far of lands by the little princes and princesses that would inhabit our house. I would want weaping willows, shrub tunnels, little clearings in the woods where the sun shines down on you and trees that are just perfect for climbing. Mostly I just want a house that the hubs and I can start our family and then also grow old together.

Whats your dream?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baconhenge-I want to make this

Speaking of breakfast foods, this looks good.
Baconhenge-bacon-wrapped french toast "stone" sticks that surround a frittata of mushrooms, potato and onions.
I found it here

Yummie Summer Quiche

So last night I got a bug in my bum to cook some quiche.
My favorite crust for this type of recipe uses:
1.5 cups of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup corn oil
1/4 cup water
dash of salt.
Mix up flour, salt and corn oil with fork till consistancy of sand. Add water and mix till it starts to come together. Place in the bottom of your pie plate and smoosh it up to look like a pie crust. It will be thicker than a normal pie crust thats what makes it so good :)

2 onions
2 cloves garlic
Whatever veggies are in your fridge-we love: spinach, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, spaghetti squash, broccoli; but basically anything will work.
You can also put in some meat if you would like-sausage, ham, bacon, etc.

I sautee these all in a pan till they are al dente I put in a good amount of pepper here.

Then I mix them with 3 eggs, 1 cup milk (or half and half if you so choose).
I'll also throw in whatever bits and pieces of cheese I have in my fridge adding in some thyme and rosemary.

It then goes in the oven at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until set.
Its soo good :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Frugal Friday-Just Wait

Sometimes my best frugal finds have come from waiting. I have wanted a freezer for our house for over a year to help us stockpile and for general use. Right now we have a side by side fridge and the freezer section leaves a little to be desired. There have been many times in the year and a half we've had the house that we've had the cash and I was tempted to just buy one. I have browsed the aisles of Kmart, Sears, Lowes, Best Buy, and Home Depot drooling over their pristine clean white Frigidaires. Something stopped me every time I went to buy one, held me back from dropping my benjamins down to bring home an Electrolux of our very own. We kept on shoving and smooshing and creatively packing our freezer, precariously balancing our ice trays (broken ice machine) on leftovers. Then two weeks ago I saw an email on Freecycle offering one. In my haste to reply back to the woman I neglected to realize that I had another email showing that there was someone lined up for it already with backups already waiting. My heart sunk a little but oh well, it wasn't meant to be. The woman wrote me back though and said although that one was taken she did have another one that she had to empty out first but I could have that(I would just need to wait a couple of weeks). I was so excited!! That weekend the hubs and I went to a few yard sales and found.... go ahead guess... a freezer! This one was gorgeous and looked basically brand new for $40!!! Since we had one promised already to us we called up the hubs brother to see if his family could use it, as my sil was also looking for a deep freeze of her very own. They ended up buying that one and helping us bring ours home with their minivan. Ours wasn't in such pristine condition but with a little bleach and elbow grease it got some shine to it and dontcha know it freezes things just fine. God then choose this week to shine down on us and there were some kicking meat sales for Fathers Day, so our first week with a freezer we were able to start filling it with sales.
Its amazing what a little waiting will do!
What are you guys up to?
Join in the fun, grab the code below and post your own frugal ideas!

I found out that Frugal Friday didn't start here-the original is at Biblical Womanhood, go check out the original!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Probably the most awesome video on the internet

This is my friends little girl (almost one). I LOVE how she stops dancing when the music stops.

I've determined

That I am genetically incapable of eating anything without getting it on whatever outfit I am wearing. It doesn't even have to be drippy, I have been known to drop a bagel and cream cheese in my lap. Today's offender-mango salsa; will a girl ever learn.
Seriously how do people go a whole meal without splattering their top with whatever is for lunch.
I should make myself a bib.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Detailing the loss of brain cells

As I've mentioned before its my busy time at work. So of course I do stuff like this...

yes they are nerds and yes that is my desk...

****I'd like the record to note that I was on the phone while I made this gorgeous sculpture

Friday, June 06, 2008

Frugal Friday-Staying Hydrated

I don't know about you but I'm a thirsty girl. I used to wet my whistle by stopping at WAWA or another convenience store to buy soda's, juices or waters. Besides being bad for me (the soda's and the juices that is) it was killing my pocket book. Generally drinks go for a little over a dollar a bottle and I was definitely getting more than one a day.
Enter my Klean Kanteen:
Now I fill up before I leave the house, pretty much every day so while I'm searching yard sales, grocery shopping, driving to the shore, going to work; there is always some good old healthy water next to me. Its saved me countless dollars. Of course you can use any water bottle and don't need to buy some name brand jobbie. I choose my Klean Kanteen because of the materials used and also the manufacturing methods the company uses; if you would like one you can purchase yours here.
I've found that my most frugal changes haven't been the big ones, but have been my small changes. Looking around at my lifestyle and changing the things that don't seem to matter; I find out that they really do and the money adds up!
What are you guys up to?
Join in the fun, grab the code below and post your own frugal ideas!

Don't forget to leave a comment so I know to link you up :)

I found out that Frugal Friday didn't start here-the original is at Biblical Womanhood, go check out the original!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Summer Contest!

So in the past year I've realized that our culture is living a lie, that so many times I have fallen into. Its the "I can't do it" or "I don't know how" lie. I know when I've faced some of the new things that I've done this year, I went in with the attitude of well we'll see how it goes, I don't know if I can do it but I'll try. This has been with breadmaking, sewing, crocheting, gardening, landscaping; ok basically everything new I have done. Even when I have completed something new and I'm excited about it and showing someone I've heard, "Wow, thats awesome I wish I could do that but I'm just not a good _______". It strikes me as odd that we would count ourselves out before we even try, now I know that some people just don't want to try or make time for things but it seems to be a common answer.
In response to this I'm going to challenge myself to start or finish 5 things that are new to me in three months time.

1.)Grow a garden and actually harvest some veggies.(already started this).
2.)Start and finish a sewing pattern
3.)Start a Granny Square blanket and make at least half of the squares.
4.)Finish my knitted dishcloth that I started way long ago.
5.)make one of those cute crochetted animals I see on Ravelry.

I'll check in every now and again to let you know how its going.
But join in, let me know something that has totally intimidated you and try to do it!
For anyone that keeps up with it and does 5 new things in the next three months I will put your name in a hat for a fabulous prize! Just comment here and then whenever you update your blog with your progress on your list just comment back here that you updated.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-What I've been doing instead of blogging

My version of a "Square Foot Garden", we'll see what happens here but if you need tomatoes in a few months you know who to call. The hubs built the box out of recycled wood from a border of a dog run we just took out. I laid out the squares with old embroidery thread and thumbtacks. Lots of good stuff planted; tomatoes, cukes, peppers, beets, onions, squash, eggplant, spinach, jalapeno's and tons of other stuff.

This is a planter box that is built into our deck, I was very excited when we moved in to find tons of mint growing here. Then I realized that mint take over everything so I decided to "plant" planters into the soil so that I could grow some flowers and other herbs. I'm hoping that the mint will continue to grow around them but my herbs and flowers will flourish in thier pots. I have growing here: mint, oregano, basil, parsley, chives, rosemary, bachelor's buttons, dahlia's(I think, I don't remember).

My Meyer Lemon Tree that I just got in the mail from Spring Hill Nursery. Supposedly these can be container tree's as its a dwarf.
The other planter box on my deck that I haven't done anything too yet.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

If ever in Utah and need something to do

There's always this.

The Shift

It started a long time ago in my heart but gained perspective and vision in the past year. Moving beyond what is expected and towards the beautiful. My hands relish the time spent kneading dough, scrubbing floors and digging in my garden. My nose enjoys the smells of fresh baked bread, roses and Fells Naptha. My skin enjoys the feeling of a soft breeze on my arms. My pocket book is full of gratitude with the fruits of our budgeting, having money where it is needed and not wasting. My eyes drink in the things that we have taken part in creating; the beauty in a soft flower, a neatly planted vegetable garden, a nicely laid table, fresh scrubbed bathroom, a clean sink, a full pantry. Its amazing what a little simplicity will do for your outlook in life.
June and July are the busy times for me for Work, sometimes its harder to focus on how satisfying these things are when you feel like you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off. I'm trying to focus on slowing down when I do get home and finding joy in the things that I set my hands to doing and also making some quality time with my dear hubs.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Flavor Comes from the Heart

"Flavor comes from the heart"

implies both cooking with one's whole soul and giving thought to the right atmosphere in which to serve the results. When care is paid not only to placing the dishes on the table but to cleanliness and neatness of the room, the floral settings, and the arrangement of food on the plates, the meal tastes twice as good. - Soei Yoneda

Maybe this is why I like setting a nice table

Homemade Mayonnaise

So one of my recent ambitions was to make homemade mayonnaise as the stuff in the bottle looks nasty and I don't like having a jar of nasty in my fridge. Well it turns out the homemade stuff is also pretty nasty looking as I'm sure its hard to make a big mixture of oil and egg not nasty looking. So we're coming to the other reason I wanted to do homemade Mayo, I don't like mayo; honestly the stuff grosses me out. I figured that if I only made it when I really needed it, it would make it soo I wouldn't need to see the stuff that much.
Well I had about 13 eggs that were close to going bad so last night I decided I needed a big batch of egg salad. After "floating my eggs"(good eggs sink bad eggs float) to see if they were still good or not I boiled them and got to work on my mayo.
I did two batches last night because I don't read directions well. All it required was 2 eggs, a cup of oil, and a TBSP lemon juice or vinegar. If you add the ingredients all together in a blender it does not work. This, however, did work. If you mix one egg together with a fork then add 2 Tbsp's of that mixture to the blender with the yolk from the other egg then blend the two for a few minutes; then sprinkling lemon juice on top of this mixture. Once this is all blending good what I did was put a funnel on the top of my blender and SLOWLY poured the oil in (this slow part is the most important), it doesn't look right at first but when you get about halfway through it starts thickening up. Once you're here basically the sky is the limit and you can add alot of things to spruce up your mayo. I didn't go there cause it was late and I wanted to go to bed. Also I don't really want to make mayo something I like, especially after seeing the ingredients.
My egg salad is very simple; I just add eggs, mayo, a little mustard, curry, salt and pepper. No picture cause egg salad is not very photogenic, neither is Mayo.