Monday, August 22, 2011

Time for some Frugal Pampering

I don't know about the rest of you momma's out there, but our budget is often tight. I have two small boys, and there is always things on our shopping list. We try to always do something fun as a family at least once every couple weeks that gets us out of the house, but with all the necessities plus that it leaves very little extra for things that most women often get to buy for pampering purposes. That's why I was quite excited when I was blog hopping randomly the other morning and came across this great website:

8 Ways To Recycle Fruit and Basic Household Items Into Beauty Products

I admit at first I was a bit skeptical about this because I was afraid that I might break out, it would leave my skin sticky (which I can't stand to be sticky), etc. But I decided to go ahead and give it a try anyway. They are items that most of us already have in our house, and it makes them even more useful so why not? I do buy some things such as facial cleanser, and every now and then I will buy facial scrub. Every great once in awhile I will buy a facial mask to pamper myself with on special occasions like my birthday, mother's day, or tax time. LOL

Anyway I tried the Honey Facial and the Refreshing Facial Spray and I loved them.

The Honey Facial
Just apply clear honey to freshly washed skin and leave it on for an hour. Rinse off with warm water and feel how clean and soft your skin has become.

My skin was super soft. It was a bit gooey admittedly to rinse it off, but I kept up with it, and it didn't leave my skin feeling sticky or anything after getting it all off. Although let me recommend to make sure you put your hair back while applying this one as well as pinning back any fly-a-way hairs so it doesn't stick in the honey.

The Refreshing Facial Spray
There is really no need to buy expensive facial spray bottles and liquids. Instead, use a simple plastic spray bottle, well washed of course, such as a plant spray or cleaning product spray bottle, filled with ordinary mineral water. This acts as a real skin toner and refresher, as well as fixing make up nicely. Recycle the bottle and save money.

I have a few spray bottles under my kitchen cabinet that have never had anything in them. I buy them up for cleaner or to fill with water to spray plants with. You can get these for like a dollar at most dollar stores as well as Walmart. I DO NOT recommend re-using a spray bottle that had chemical cleaner in it because that can seriously break you out and probably cause eye damage if it got into your eyes so make sure it's an empty bottle that has never had anything in it harsher than water.
Anyway I tweaked this one a little bit and here's what I did:
1) Fill an empty spray bottle with mineral water
2) Dice up about half a cucumber and put into the spray bottle
3) Shake up, let settle, then spritz your face
It really did feel refreshing and even a few hours after doing this my face STILL felt refreshed.

I look forward to trying the other's mentioned on the website. It's a really great way to make use of stuff without having to throw it away, it's a frugal way to pamper yourself, and it's very imaginative as well.

Stumbling Into Grace book review

Stumbling Into Grace
By: Lisa Harper

I had the pleasure to read Stumbling Into Grace Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman by Lisa Harper. I absolutely loved it! It almost feels as if you are in a direct conversation with Lisa Harper just like old friends. You could be sitting at the dinner table with her talking over a good meal, or just taking a stroll and enjoying each other's company. It literally felt like she was RIGHT THERE.
It is such an effortless read!
I felt so many emotions while reading this book. One minute you will feel tears, one minute astonishment, the next laughter and joy. The book covers so many topics it was quite refreshing.
It is a diary/devotional novel. A great read for any person, group, etc. I think it really fits all the masses. As a matter of fact I am going to recommend it to my women’s study group at church.
Another thing I thought was pretty cool about this book is at the end of each chapter there is a prayer followed by personal reflection/group discussion questions, followed by optional journal entry. Even for those of you who like to read the occasional book but don’t particularly like a heavy-read this would be perfect as I think you could read a chapter a day and reflect on your own or by recording it in a journal.
Another pretty remarkable thing that Lisa does is she takes her everyday “happenings” and finds a way to apply the word of God to them. It was very interesting and something that most of us don’t really think to do in our everyday lives. It was especially enjoyable on the humorous embarrassing parts applied to the word. We all have embarrassing “clumsy” moments in our lives and it is always so good and refreshing to go back and look on them with laughter instead of shame.
I urge you to give this book a try. I think you will pleasantly surprised and really enjoy it.
It’s a great women’s spiritual book, and it really opens our eyes to God’s word in a more modern way. I have never read a book anything quite like it, and I look forward to sharing it with friends and family.

DISCLAIMER: I was provided this book for free through Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. Opinions expressed are mine alone.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

BrytonPick Floss Review

I recently got the chance to review an amazing product: BrytonPick.

It is a safe alternative floss to using toothpicks or fingers, and it is made with 100% recycled materials. That's not even the best part either. It is re-usable for 30 days! That's right, 30. Days!
The stainless steel is completely germ resistant. All you have to do is rinse off with hot water, or if your on the go wipe off with a napkin. It is super discreet. It comes with it's own little pouch that is no bigger than a credit card. As a matter of fact that's where I stored mine in my change purse in one of my credit card pouches.

I love to cook homemade meals. There's nothing better, but once a week we do go out to eat. Thursdays are our busiest days as it's the day for errands, bill paying, grocery shopping, and the million other things we have going on. So on those days we are rarely home. And let me say how frustrating it is to be out somewhere eating and then you have food stuck in your teeth. You have to excuse yourself and spend forever in the restroom trying to pick it out with your finger or a toothpick. Very time consuming, and sometimes even painful if you jab yourself or something.

Put it all to rest with the BrytonPick! It is amazing. Normal floss hurts my teeth sometimes because admittedly they aren't the straightest teeth a girl could hope for. But the BrytonPick doesn't hurt at all. I barely even feel it, and yet it still does it's job! I'm astounded.

It was easy to fit between my teeth. My husband tried the extra one that was sent and he said it was a bit difficult to slide it between his teeth, but not any more so than regular dental floss. Plus how can you complain when it's not only discreet, but is re-usable for 30 days! I will be buying this for sure as me and my husband truly loved it. I think it would be an awesome tool for those with braces as well.

This is sold at Meijer stores as well as other chains around the Midwest, but to get a truly great deal you can visit their website @ : It definitely helps people reach their goal of healthy teeth and yet in a comfortable pain free manner at the same time. Definitely recommended by me and my family.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Lost Little Fish childrens book review

The Lost Little Fish
By: Allan J. Hayward

       What first attracted me to this book was the vivid cover. It looked so whimsical that I felt sure my almost 4 year old would love it. He absolutely loves reading so I figured that this would be an awesome implement to our home school studies. We have 2 story times during our home school days. One is a book of his choice, and the other is always a bible story. So we awaited the book in the mail, and upon receiving it we were both extremely excited.
       But then beyond the cover was a bit of a disappointment. There were only sketched drawings inside, no color what-so-ever, and some pages didn’t even have pictures.
       I definitely wouldn’t recommend this book if your child looks forward to colorful pictures, and is under the age of 7. HOWEVER, by all means I’m not downing the book at all. We did enjoy the story, it was a bit absurd, but then it is a children’s book so all things are possible. I would recommend this book to ages 7 and up however. I think it would be a good book to implement in a school setting for 7 year olds that are learning to read bigger books.

       The story is about a little fish that gets washed upon land during a terrible storm. He can’t find his way back to the water so he walks all over on his fins. Everyone that sees such a silly absurd sight laughs at him, even the cats he comes across. He gets scared and starts crying and finally comes along a little dog that offers his help. The dog leads him to a pond and tells him that his new home awaits as soon as he jumps in.
       All in all if I was giving this book stars I would rate it 2 out of 5 stars. The cover merit’s a star, and the story merit’s a star. If there would have been more colorful pictures inside it would have gained 3.5 stars at least, but all in all it wasn’t bad.
       Let me just state again that I do think this would be a good choice to those age 7-9 or so.

For some reason blogger is not letting me upload the cover picture for this book, but if your interested in buying or getting more info on this book you can visit this website.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Old Country Peace

The Harvest of Grace
By: Cindy Woodsmall
      This is the 3rd book in the Ada’s House series. I haven’t read the others, and yet I didn’t feel particularly lost throughout the story although I did feel towards the end that some characters just sort of continued on when it really didn‘t need it. However, I will be going back to read the others, this novel was just that good.
       It follows along with a few characters, but the main one is Sylvia Fisher. A twenty-two year old girl whom hasn’t yet joined the faith. She is betrayed by her boyfriend Elam when he proposes to her and she makes him await the answer far too long for his liking. When the circumstances are just to much to bear and yet time and again Sylvia and Elam are thrust together a kiss happens making him betray his wife, and the guilt on Sylvia is just to much to bear. She leaves home, and finds herself working for the Blanks.
       The Blanks are victims of tragedy, and in particular Aaron Blank, former alcoholic, realizes that Sylvia is an obstacle he wants to quickly get out of the way in order to have the Blank farm sold in time to make his parents move with him to run an appliance store in Owl’s Perch. However he only has a matter of weeks to try and get along with his stubborn father, and make him see that the farm can never be profitable, and with his declining health the appliance store is in everyone’s best interest. But how will he get Sylvia out of the way when the farm is her only hope?
       And then from previous novels we follow along with Cara and Ephraim. Cara is an Englischer who fell in love with Ephraim, and is struggling to join the faith. Put upon all kinds of daunting goals that are very difficult to overcome there is nothing Cara will not do to make sure that her and Ephraim will be allowed to marry. However, is reuniting with the biological father that abandoned her just to much to bear? She feels such hatred for him, will this be the one thing to keep her from joining the faith and marrying her one true love?
       There are a few more vivacious characters in this novel besides the one listed above. It is definitely a must read for those of you who like novels in an Amish setting.
       The first thing that caught my eye about this book besides it being about the Amish is the cover. It sort of draws you in, and you just know that something good is going to happen within these pages.

       What I truly loved about this book is the message it gets across through so many characters. Each character puts forth such a positive message about God, and we see that message through the hardships that each character has in their life. As each character puts their trust in God time and again and just let’s go and let’s God we see a transformation take place that we often forget can happen if we would just put more of our faith in God. For he can truly handle anything in our lives, and through God everything happens for a reason, and our hardships often lead to better things. The road never ends, but rather takes different paths, and with God walking beside us the good possibilities are endless. And this book helps to remind us that no matter who we are, we deal with the same issues as everyone else and nobody is perfect in this world. We all make mistakes, and for all of us God can take the burden from us if we just ask his forgiveness. It will be given.
       There is a character in this novel that everyone can identify with, and I look forward to reading the other novels in this series as well.
Truly I was blown away, and this is definitely finding a place on my favorites shelf as I’m sure it will yours as well.

You can pick your copy up here:

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Oh the Places you'll go

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.  ~Elizabeth Stone

Today I have been feeling nostalgic, and we all know what that means! Another musing...

One of my friends is pregnant with her second child and she posted an update on facebook that she was sorting through baby clothes for her second, and I started remembering when I embarked on the same journey.

We didn't keep all my first child's baby clothes, but pretty darned close. I had three full tubs of containers filled with baby clothes, and a tote filled with baby blankets.
I didn't want to sort and wash the clothes too early so I waited until my last 2 weeks of pregnancy. My husband lugged all the storage containers out of the attic and we started to go through them together.
Now I don't know if this was a bad time to go through everything due to the high level of pregnancy hormones or what, but with almost every outfit we pull out there was a memory attatched. What should have took only about an hour ended up taking HOURS! My husband still teases me on this even though our youngest is a bit over 5 months, and I suspect that he will probably tease me on this for YEARS to come. LOL

Anyway it just made me so nostalgic, and I started picturing my 3 1/2 year old as a baby again and all the coos and smiles. His little arms reaching up for me when I would go to get him out of his crib, or highchair, or saucer. And all the memories of everything combined brought tears to my eyes.

I tried not to keep the little outfits with spit up stains on them, but there were a couple that had some baby food stains, and one of them caused me to tell the story of the first time I had him try green bean baby food and how he completely spit everything out everywhere. The yucky scrunchy face he made, etc.

Every outfit came with a memory, and due to high hormones a story to be told. It got to the point where my husband started stuffing clothes behind his back to try and hide them from me and he kept trying to stuff the keeps underneath the keep pile so I wouldn't catch a glimpse of them. haha

And I have finally realized what all other moms have told me for all these years! No matter how big your children get they will always be your little babies, and that's how you will always see them. My son is now almost 4! Come November he will be. I am both excited for him, and dreading my little boy getting bigger both at the same time. My youngest is a little over 5 months, but he'll be 6 months come September. Almost a year old! But I embark on their raising with joy because I both can and cannot wait to see what great men they will become one day. They are such remarkable children. They are my world. The years have gone by so fast! It makes me a bit sad, and yet so happy at how far they've come. I treasure the memories had, and the memories I know are waiting right around the corner. What joy children are!

When you have brought up kids, there are memories you store directly in your tear ducts.  ~Robert Brault

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Cold's

Both of my babies are sick with summer colds. I'm hoping we have safely made it through the worst days. And you fellow moms know the days I'm talking about, the severe drowsiness and fevers mixed with the worst of symptoms. Now there are just runny noses, still a bit tired, and some crankiness.

I hate it when my children get sick. I just want to take all the yuck away, but of course I don't have those superhero powers even though my 3 1/2 year old son does think I do. When he falls and gets a boo boo I pour a bit of peroxide into a little spray bottle and spray his boo boo telling him it's magic water and it bubbles the hurt away. Then I apply neosporin to a bandaid and attatch to boo boo. He is happy with this and sits very still. However, if he sees me get the actual peroxide bottle down he panics and there is no chance that he will let me near him at all!

Most mother's believe this is wrong as they say I'm lieing to my child. I beg to differ. Not trying to stir up trouble, but my son is just 3 1/2. I understand it's best to tell our children the truth, but I believe that should come with age. Right now I believe it's good for the imagination. I mean I grew up believing in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, etc. I don't think it did me any harm. Let children be children, the rest will come in due time. I wasn't even upset when I found out the aforementioned characters weren't real. I started suspecting on my own anyway, and just easily accepted it. Of course I know all children are different, but the same goes with fairy tales. Are you going to tell a four year old little girl that her Cinderella idol is made up? Shame...
So until they start getting older I'm going to try to fill their lives with as much magic as possible while they can enjoy it, I'm not going to extremely ham it up, but I will keep with all the old traditions and let us add things TOGETHER as a family here and there. Looking through the eyes of a child everything is amazing. We as adults often forget that.

So needless to say we are in a battle with the sniffles. So far I have been able to keep the cold at bay from myself and I'm hoping to keep it that way.

So until the next time, I hope you all are healthy and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sausage Stew Recipe

Okay, I said I'd share my sausage stew recipe so here it is.
Mind you, I can't take any more pictures with my camera until I buy a new memory card. I love taking pictures, and all my cards are FULL. lol. So I used my cell phone camera. The lighting on it is not what it should be so hopefully you'll bear with me. If the pics are just way out of wack I will re-post this recipe probably later this month. As this is one of our family's favorite dishes we make it quite often.


Things you'll need:
1) Potato Peeler
2) Cutting Board
3) Knife
4) Large cooking pot
5) Slotted spoon

6) 5 large potatoes
7) 1 lb fresh green beans
8) 1 Bag Fresh Baby carrots
9) Pack of 2 long smoked sausage (we usually just get the Great Value kind at Kroger, for generic it has great flavor)

1. Fill your pot a little over half full, then put it on to boil.

2. Take your baby carrots...

...and rinse them off.
Then place them in the pot of boiling water.

3. Take your fresh green beans...

...and snap the ends off, then snap the beans in 2 and place them in a strainer. Make sure to rinse them well. Add them to the pot of boiling water along with the carrots.

You'll want to let the green beans and carrots boil for awhile until they start getting soft. These take the longest so before you add your potatoes you will want to make sure you can stick a fork through them and they aren't crunchy anymore.

While you wait you can prepare your potatoes...
3. Peel the potatoes...unless of course you want to leave the skin on. We've had them both ways although my son likes them peeled better.
4. Then cut the potatoes in half, and cut the potatoes into bigger dices.
5. Rinse them well, and when the carrots and green beans are soft add in the potatoes.

6. Next take your sausage...

Slice the sausage, and then add it in the pot as well with the rest of the ingredients.

Let boil until the potatoes are soft also. Be sort of careful because if you let it boil too long you'll end up with sort of mashed potatoes. lol. They usually take about 20 minutes to boil on medium/high heat. But each stove is different so you will have to keep checking on it.

Once done you can serve with rolls or garlic bread. Both go along wonderfully with this meal.
Hope you enjoy...

You can tweak this meal however you like. One of my readers used canned carrots, canned green beans, and canned potatoes with smoke sausage links in the mix. I have also tried this, and while it was still good I do prefer our method with fresh veggies.
It's a great cheap yet filling meal if your on a budget, and it's also a quick fix since there isn't much to it. You can season it to taste. My family likes this dish plain, but when I can get by with it I love to sprinkle on some salt, pepper, and some parsley. Makes it even better!

And again I will be reposting this at a later time in the month with better pictures. I'm in a bit of a rush today, but I promised a certain reader who sent me an email, requesting that I put this recipe up that I would. Shout outs go to all my readers, and to Tina M. I hope you enjoy! Thank you for reading! Hope to see you back soon, and God Bless!

Monday, August 1, 2011


August is here already!

 This summer has went by so fast I just can't believe it. With August's arrival I am feeling nostalgic, already, over summer's loss. Unfortunately we didn't get to enjoy the summer fully what with all these new changes taking place in our family. Especially with moving and everything. HOWEVER, I would still rate it a good summer, and we still have awhile before the pools close down and the weather gets nippy. And we still have a few family outings planned as well, which is exciting. And I will of course keep you updated on those. We have the zoo, the children's museum, and Conner Prairie coming up which is so very exciting. Not to mention one good aspect of the weather cooling down a bit is PICNIC's! Yes I love family picnics. They are so relaxing even if they are in your own backyard, or a park nearby! Here in Indiana the weather has sweltered. Some days we have had some severe heat advisories so I couldn't even take the kids out to play much to all of our disappointment. But now even though the heat is still here we are at least getting some breeze, and we have had some much needed rain off and on.

One thing that I'm excited about the approach of is homeschooling! This year I will be homeschooling my son whom will be 4 towards the end of the year. I will update on that as well. I found a great free pre-k curriculum HERE. They have for ages 2-4. This is a bible curriculum by the way. I am going to definitely use some of their curriculum as well as tweak it and add some things/change some things so it will better fit our pace. I don't really feel comfortable with the preschools around us so I've decided to do it on my own. I want my son to be prepared and ready when kindergarten gets here. While I'm no teacher nor psychologist I do know my children and I believe just thrusting him in a class and leaving him will be stressful so I'm going to prepare him myself. He does just fine in his Sunday School classes, but that is only for one hour. Besides there's some things I want him to learn that he just won't learn in school. As far as what I'll do about homeschooling him from kindergarten on I haven't decided. This is going to be a great experience for us to see what fits us best, and we'll go from there. I will have some great things to share along our way which you may find useful in your own homeschooling ventures. Feel free to share them or try them for yourself.

I have some great upcoming recipes to share as well that are just yummy not to mention surprisingly affordable! One of them is our family's recipe for Sausage Stew. And another is some yummy Breakfast Burritos. I will have more recipes upcoming as well, and I'm going to start posting one weekly. Recipes are so good to share with each other. If you have some awesome recipes that you would like to share or recommend feel free to drop me a message or comment. If you'd like I can feature the recipe on my blog. I for one am always up for trying out a new dish.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great and wonderful day! Hope you are all taking care in this heat as well. See you soon!

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