Friday, January 22, 2010


Good morning mes amis! How are you all this morning? I’m doing alright I suppose. The swelling has gone down under my eye at least… except right in the corner near my nose. It’s rather annoying LOL! I want to thank everyone for the comments yesterday. They were great! Now, I’m gonna take a few moments to answer all of your questions…

To Melissa- Thanks for letting all your SAHM’s know about the blog. I want to say HI to all of them and glad you like the reading! Make sure you get to be a registered follower so you are eligible for the prize! There’s still a few days left! Now… when I don’t feel well… well you have to understand I have had medical issues since I was 5 years old, so coping with it and keeping going is something I have always done. Its like habit now LOL. Plus I always have had so many people depending on me for so many different things… ya know that old phrase “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done”? Yep… there ya go. LOL but if I need a lot of energy (like for cleaning and stuff YUCK!) I do every once in awhile drink a Monster LOL! I have never held a class on crafts or cooking before. And I have never actually thought about it LOL. I go to Farmer’s markets on leisure time. I have never considered selling at one because of the fact that I do go to festivals, fairs, and shows tailored for Arts & Crafts booths. Honestly, I don’t think I would enjoy them as much if I had to work them too. And finally… BABY showers… those can be so fun! I remember my baby shower for my daughter! There were at least 50 people there and I got so many things that I didn’t have to buy anything except formula for the first 6-8 months of her life! It was crazy! Gimme a few days and we will discuss it… is it foe a boy or girl?

To Jean- Glad you are still enjoying the posts LOL! Hope you continue to enjoy them as well. As for meal planning… I set up a general “month” calendar but its just a guideline. I print out a blank month and write a meal on each day. This gives me a general idea of what to make throughout the month. However, I’m flexible… maybe what I wrote down for that day doesn’t sound good or maybe I have more people coming than that meal will feed. No problem, I just pull something different out… switch the days around if you will. Remember that if you have a hard time deciding, planning ahead on paper may help. And you can always quick thaw some ground meat in some cold water if you finally decide at noon that you want meatballs and they need to be done by 5pm LOL! And lastly… soups. Girl, where have you been all this time? LOL J/K… During the course of this whole blog so far, I have posted 22 Soups & Stews recipes. Are you looking for something designed around a specific ingredient?

To Hazel- Thank you so much for your comment and I am glad you are enjoying the writings. If there is anything you might want to see, let me know and I’ll see what I can do!

Ok, so I was reading online some of the articles for “Money matters” online recently, and I found this article I wanted to share… Now tell me this is not an “oxy moron”… you have an author writing about money issues and his/her name is SHAM? Um…. Yea ok… anyway, I thought a few were pretty interesting and maybe you will too…

Top 6 Mindless Money Wasters

by Sham Gad

Most people will say they are interested in saving money. Money saved from one area can be spent in another area. Or even better, the money can actually grow as an investment for the future. But despite the benefits of putting some money away, most people take a passing interest in actually doing it. As young adults, they don't think much about retirement; then, as adults, credit card debt becomes a way of life.

But the tough economic times that hit the U.S. in 2007 through 2009 were a wake-up call for many people, causing the public's view of saving to shift. If you'd like to make regular saving a part of your life, read on to find out how to conquer the first step: finding that extra money. You can begin by paying attention to these top money wasting activities.

1. Convenience Stores
Many people don't think about the mark-up they pay for convenience store items. Here's a hint: it's huge. This is because these stores don't purchase food in the large quantities that a grocery store does and also because they make you pay more for the convenience they provide. So, unless it's an emergency situation, avoid shopping at convenience stores. The premium you pay for convenience is not worth the assumed convenience you get. For example, a Coke at a convenience store might cost you a dollar, while you can go to the grocery store and buy a 12 pack for $4. If you tend to pull over for a drink, buy a 12-pack and keep it in your car. If you visit convenience stores often, the annual savings of cutting out these visits can be tremendous.
2. Cell Phone Plans
Take the time to check your monthly cell phone bill - you may be paying more than you need to. If you are using fewer minutes than your monthly plan allows, switch to a lower-rate plan. If you are using more minutes than your monthly allotment, then upgrade to a higher minute plan. Before making any changes to your plan, sit down with a list of your cell phone company's offerings and compare and determine which plan provides the most value based on your needs. Most cell phone companies charge 40 to 50 cents per additional minute, so going over your allowed minutes by 100 minutes one month will cost you $40 to $50 in that month alone. With many minute plan upgrades costing $10 to $20 a month, they'll easily pay for themselves. You should also scan through your cell phone plan for added features like text messaging and mobile internet. If you aren't really using these features, get rid of them - they're costing you money each month!
3. Soft Drinks
This one is a sneaky money waster. Not only does ordering beverages along with a restaurant meal boost your total expenses, but soft drinks also have one of the highest markups of any restaurant item, and thus provide lower value for your money. Consider a typical family of four that eats out twice a week at fast casual restaurants (typical for a middle class family even today). Assuming an average price of $1.50 for a fountain soft drink, that totals $12 a week, $48 a month, $624 a year. Just cutting out this one item from your meal could mean significant savings that could go into something much more productive, such as a retirement savings plan. If you invest $624 at the market average of 9% a year every year, you would have almost $32,000 at the end of 20 years. So dine out, but opt for water!
4. Unnecessary Bank Fees
Many people unknowingly pay a lot to their banks in the form of fees. If you don't know what fees your accounts are subject to, spend a few minutes finding out. Some banks charge ATM fees for using another bank's ATM, for example. These can be as high as $5! This amounts to a 25% one-time fee for a $20 withdrawal. The key with this type of fee is simply knowing about it. You would be better off using a credit card to make the purchase. Go back and examine the rules governing your checking and savings accounts. Many people have accounts with a fixed number of withdrawals and deposits per month. You would be better off with an account maintenance fee of $10 a month than getting hit with two or three different fees a month. Also consider consolidating bank accounts, as often one account with a larger minimum can eliminate numerous fees that might otherwise exist.
5. Magazines
If you're the type of person who likes to occasionally pick up your favorite magazine from the local grocery store or newsstand, consider getting an annual subscription. Even if you don't want the magazine every month, a couple of issues at the newsstand are enough to cover the entire annual subscription. For example, a 26-issue subscription to Forbes Magazine will cost you less than $25, while one issue at the newsstand costs $5.
6. Annual Credit Card Fees
Unless you have a poor credit history, there is no reason to pay annual credit card fees. A host of Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards have no annual fee, yet many people pay up to $100 a year for the privilege of holding a credit card. Unless you're an ultra-wealthy, exclusive holders of an elite-level credit card with exclusive perks, most people should not be paying annual credit card fees.
And speaking of credit cards, make sure you make a payment on time every month, even if it's the minimum. Many credit cards charge $39 monthly late fee charges, charges which accrue interest along with your existing balance.
Be Proactive- Spend a couple hours and go over the above categories along with any other regular habits you may have accumulated over the years. The time will be well spent as it could mean hundreds of dollars of recurring annual savings.

Alright, now… here is another cute craft from recycled materials… those old CD’s. I found this on thrifty fun and I had to share!

Craft Idea of the Day: CD Cake Toppers Or Centerpieces
Cover an old CD with scrap fabric and lace. Hot glue figurines on top for a cute centerpiece or cake topper! Make sure to ask friends and check with local thrift, pawn shops, etc. and ask them to save the damaged/unusable CD’s for you. Figurines can be found all over- thrift stores, dollar stores, craft stores, and your own home! Have fun!

Ok, food… who doesn’t love food, right? Here we go with another slow cookin’ hearty winter-y soup recipe to add to the collection!

Beef Barley Vegetable Soup


1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast
1/2 cup barley
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons oil
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
4 cups water
4 cubes beef bouillon cube
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (28 ounce) can chopped stewed tomatoes
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste


1. In a slow cooker, cook chuck roast until very tender (usually 4 to 5 hours on High, but can vary with different slow cookers). Add barley and bay leaf during the last hour of cooking. Remove meat, and chop into bite-size pieces. Discard bay leaf. Set beef, broth, and barley aside.

2. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Saute carrots, celery, onion, and frozen mixed vegetables until tender. Add water, beef bouillon cubes, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, chopped stewed tomatoes, and beef/barley mixture. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 to 20 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

And there you have it… today marks another day of fun and food LOL! I think I’m going to go lay down for a bit cause my meds are making me sleepy! I’ll see you here tomorrow… HUGS!


  1. Renee,

    GIRL LOL, we are so happy it is a GIRL due May 15th and it is my first!

    I really hope you feel better!


  2. mmmmmmm that soup looks so good ,guess you know what I will be making this afternoon .I love your idea for the cake topper ,now what would you suggest for empty CD cases ?Any idea's would be appreciated .

  3. Renee guess i am not paying attention ROFL
    we are on cardiac diets and so do not eat red meat... bummer....well, I splurge a bit but DH does not. so we have to eat chicken, turkey, fish, things like that... of pork too.
    so I guess I was just thinking of soups using them BUT i am going to look back again at all of them ....
    your ditsy follower LOL

  4. do you have a recipe for a thicker potato crock pot soup that you make ????