Friday, April 30, 2010


Morning everyone! I missed you yesterday... I've just popped in to stop and say I will be back either late tonight or tomorrow with a normal entry. Things are a little chaotic right now, so I have some sorting things out to do before I can really concentrate. I love you all and I will see you soon. Check out the comment on the last entry... my mom stopped in and said hello! Ok kids, I'm out of here... See you soon... HUGS!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Well hi there friends in the blogland! I have to tell you my mother loved all your gifts! She said to extend a sincere thank you to you and she said she will thank you “in person” over the PC as soon as she is back! I gotta tell ya, her room looks like the local florist shop LOL and I think its great. She smiles all the time when she looks at it! It’s awesome! Shoot, you are amazing the nurses too! Mom thinks it’s just the coolest thing LOL! And Tabitha, she almost cried when I told her about your donation to the Animal Rescue in her name… she said “That’s my girl” and got teary eyed… so thank you. That touched her so much!

Ok today’s frugal corner… gotta keep earning my title, right? LOL! Anyway, I ran across this article… not sure how… but it was interesting and I wanted to share it with you!

A Frugal Mom’s 5 Ways to save money

There are plenty of ways to get exactly what you want without spending a dime and without doing anything illegal. Jennifer Jolly gives you five ways to save money.

1.Stop spending more than you absolutely have to:

One of the easiest ways to cut down the family budget fast is to get cell-phone savvy

Stop spending more than you have to - get cell phone savvy and find prepaid, no-contract cell phone plans where you only pay for what you need. There are plans out there now that offer tremendous savings each month - Boost Mobile is expected to launch a new unlimited plan in the near future that offers a nationwide home calling area for one low monthly fee - that's a great value in today's economy.

Prepaid wireless plans are a great way to save money - they can often be paid by the minute, day or month to let you control exactly how much you spend, and with no contract, you can make changes to your service whenever you need to.

One of Boost's camera phones, the Motorola i776, is only $99. Again, no contracts, just buy what you need.

Also, see billshrink for an excellent tool that asks you a few questions about your current plan, and then finds alternatives for you.

Another way to save is to comparison shop:

By spending ten minutes or less online doing a little comparison shopping for things like insurance, you can save tons of money.

More than a third of drivers say they never shop for car insurance.

Evaluating your car insurance regularly is a great way to save. If you've moved, gotten married or bought a home, check with your insurance company - you may be eligible for lower rates.

Auto insurance rates can vary greatly from company to company, so shop around to find the best deal. It only takes about 8 minutes to get a quote and check comparison rates at

2007 data showed people who shopped around and switched to Progressive insurance reported saving over $350 on their annual premium.

2. Don't buy when you can borrow:

For the family:

Santa brought Jennifer Jolly's daughter a Wii for Christmas and they were super psyched, until they realized that the games they wanted to play on it cost about $60 a piece. That's where Gamefly comes in.

Rent video games for your kids, don't buy them. Use, the Netflix of the video game world. lets you try all the games you want for as long as you want while only paying $15.95 a month. Rent 1-4 games at a time and keep them for as long as they like. Your favorite gamer can try all of Gamefly's 6,000 titles without breaking the bank. Through GameFly, you can purchase used video games at a very discounted price too

On a more decadent note:

Designer Handbags, sunglasses, jewelry and watches:

Bagborroworsteal: for about $40 you can borrow a Coach, Gucci or Louis Vuitton handbag that would cost you $1,000 or more to buy.

Frombagstoriches: They will rent you a designer bag, best used for special occasions like an Oscar party, your wedding or the prom because the rentals can get expensive and before you know you could have just bought one.

If you want a bag that stands out for a hundred dollars instead of thousands, renting makes sense.

3. Swapping is HOT!

The average consumer spends about $1,750 a year on clothing and its upkeep, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Free Books, DVD's and Videogames:

Swaptree allows people to trade used and like-new books, DVDs, CDs and video games with other people online for FREE. Users list items that they are looking to trade, select items that they would like in return, and Swaptree's technology connects users with someone to trade with. It's up to the user whether or not to accept or reject the trade. And, since swapping on the site is free, users only have to pay for S&H. Over 1 million people across the country trade on Swaptree.

Free Clothes, accessories and cosmetics:

Clothingswap: Simply bring clean, gently worn and new clothing, shoes and accessories that you no longer wear or use. SWAP and take home your favorites for free. All unclaimed items are donated directly to local non-profit shelters and charities to help those in need.

Swapstyle is an online fashion swap party where you can and lots more with people from all around the world at any time, day or night. You pay the cost of shipping and a small fee to register.

About swapping stuff, On barterquest you can not only swap dvds, books, games and cds but anything you can imagine! clothes, electronics, even services!

4. When it comes to travel, only rookies pay retail

Leather seats, enough room to cross your legs, free cocktails -- what's not to love about flying business or first class? And it's surprisingly easy to do at coach prices by combining points earned from credit cards and from frequent flier programs on an aggregator site like

At, you can track, redeem, earn and-for the first time ever, trade your points with other people in order to accumulate enough for a free flight or to do some shopping.

With many airlines, it takes just 10,000 miles to yourself to business or first-class, an easy enough target to reach given the numerous bonus point offers currently available. United Airlines, for example, offers 150 miles for every $250 spent at major grocery chains like Safeway. American Airlines gives you 1,500 bonus miles for trying Netflix.

Second: the airlines are desperate to fill every seat.

There are all kinds of great flight deals out there right now. Go to to find the best deals - Orbitz, JetBlues, Expedias - they're all there in one place - so you save precious time as well as money. They have flexible booking options that help you to find a good deal to your destination without having to search just for prices on specific dates.

Don't be spooked, we are seeing some of the best travel deals in history right now. If you know what you're doing, you can spend a fraction of what the person sitting next to you on the airplane did.

Third: Just about every hotel and resort has some hot deal right now:

For instance, the swanky Kimpton hotel chain is offering breakfast for a dollar - the very same breakfast that could run well into the double digits each day. Book the "Breakfast for Just $1 More" package and get continental breakfast for two each morning for just a buck! This is good at any of their 44 hotels for stays through March 1st (based upon availability, of course) - that includes any of the Hotel Monacos (Seattle, SF, Denver), any of the Hotel Palomars (SF, Los Angeles) as well as the Hotel Solamar in San Diego. Visit for details. Enter "EAT" in the promo code box or request this special package when booking.

5. If you're going to buy, go big, buy a house:

Here's the big ticket item for living large while paying less. If you use a non-traditional brokerage like, you will get money back in the form of a rebate check.

If you buy a $300,000 house, you'll typically get $1,800 back, enough to buy furniture or pay the closing costs.

On top of that, the ZipRealty offers tons of information and user-friendly tools to help with your search including a new "Foreclosure Search," the ability to rate the agents you work with, and track price reductions for housing you are looking at.

Thinking green? Need a Starbucks in walking distance for your morning fix? ZipRealty features walkscore ratings for every listing that will tell you how "walkable" or "Car-dependent" the house and neighborhood is.

Foreclosure data is cross-checked to ensure homes are bank-owned properties and currently for sale. And if foreclosures aren't for you, the foreclosure search allows home-seekers who don't want to deal with the hassles of a foreclosure house (i.e., more cash needed upfront, having to compete with professional investors, downtrodden properties) to omit these from their search results.

Ok, now I have to ask something. You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to… but I would love some feedback here. Ok… now being in a hospital daily, you see some “not-so-great” things. One is the so frail and elderly people who can’t do anything for themselves. I’m talking the (barely) living human skeletons laying in the bed having everything done for them. Could you do that or would you like to be laid to rest peacefully? On one hand, I can see how my family would want me to live… because they love me and don’t want to lose me. But really what kind of QUALITY of life is that? Is it selfish of the family to want the person alive or selfish of the person to want to pass?? Can you see the moral dilemma? I can imagine that its probably a rather painful existence. I can tell you that I do NOT want to end up like that… call it my stubbornness, call it selfish, whatever you want I don’t care. If I am so frail I can’t get out of bed and take care of myself like that… its time to go. I will have led a full life and it will be time to move on. I have an advanced directive and hopefully that will apply to that sort of scenario. I gotta check on that! Is it wrong to think that way? What would you want? Its just food for thought ya know.

Oh, and just in case you or a loved one needs special parking, check with your local DOT for forms to apply for handicapped parking plates or placards to make it a little easier when you go out. If you live in Texas, you can download and fill out the form HERE. Print it off and have your physician fill out the rest. Then depending on whether he/she says you are temporary or permanent, you will get your plates/placards according to color. Take it to your registration office and that’s where you get them.

Ok I want to move on to happier topics… let’s make something cool! One of the things I did/do is sweep my parents house, removing footprints, etc. from the new floors. Mom has a Swiffer mop to use in the house. Well having to buy those disposable pads is not only expensive, but its wasteful. So why not recycle some old kitchen towels that maybe are too stained to display and make a reusable cloth for your swiffer mop! I thought this was super cool and when I get a moment that I am free (HAHA what a joke, right?! Its ok, I told ya… anything for my family!) I am thinking about making one for me and one for my mom… until then, lets file it in the TO-MAKE lobe of my brain LOL! But nothing’s stopping you, so here ya go!

Craft Idea of the Day: Reusable Swiffer Mop Covers


· Basic sewing supplies (machine, thread, scissors, iron, etc)
· 2 pieces of terrycloth material (eg. towels), at least 12 x 14” each
· 2 large and colorful buttons, or velcro
· Tracing paper

How to:

On a piece of tracing paper, copy the dimensions of the cover using the measurements provided. Using your pattern, cut out two pieces of the fabric.

Fire up your sewing machine and your iron.

Pin the fabric right sides together. Beginning on one long end of the cover, sew around the entire cover using a ½” seam, leaving a four-inch opening for turning. Due to the bulk and nature of the fabric, it will slide around a lot while sewing so be sure to reset the fabric into place here and there.

Using scissors, clip off the corners to eliminate bulk and clip diagonally into the inner (don’t clip the seams, however!).

Turn the cover right side out, using a chopstick to get into those difficult corners.

Press the cover into shape with a hot iron. Press the seams under where the opening is.

Topstitch around the entire cover ¼” inside the edge, thus closing the opening where you turned the cover. Topstitch five horizontal lines along the bottom of the cover (this gives the cover shape).

I use buttons for attaching my cover but if you’re leery of buttonholing on terrycloth (and I wouldn’t blame you if you were!), you could use Velcro for attaching the cover. For the perfectionist, you could place a square of stabilizer beneath the buttonhole area for stabilization of the buttonholes----but hey, it is just a swiffer cover, after all…!

Now try your swiffer cover on. Pull it up snug. On the flaps, mark the placement of the buttons and buttonholes----again, you want the cover to be snug, especially if you will be using the cover wet. For example, I placed my buttons 1 ½” from the edges.

Hold your breath and sew two horizontal buttonholes corresponding to your marks and your button sizes. Sew on your buttons.

Put your swiffer cover on and ooh and ahh with delight for now you can swiff your floors in style!
**Note: This cover is reversible. To make it so, place buttons or velcro on both sides of the flaps.

Isn’t that super cool? I thought it was awesome! I’m a velcro girl myself… I hate buttons. On anything really… I have such large hands, I fumble buttons so much- especially small ones like on women’s blouses, etc. It’s a curse! Now, lets move on to something else I love… FOOD! Now you know I like to make lots of different kinds of soups. I found this soup and made it as a pure experiment… a small batch just out of sheer curiosity. I was actually very impressed with the taste. I was expecting something majorly gross, but it was surprisingly quite pleasing… especially if you like pickles! Yes I am one of those who will try just about anything LOL! Pair this with a hamburger for a super interesting treat.

Polish Dill Pickle Soup


1 pound beef neck bones
1 cup mixed vegetables
2 cups diced dill pickles
2 quarts water or beef broth
2 cups diced potatoes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
salt to taste


In a large pot, place neck bones, vegetables, and pickles. Add water. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes.

Add potatoes; cook until soft, about 20 minutes.

Remove neck bones. Increase heat to medium-high. Combine flour and milk in a small bowl, and gradually stir into soup. Continue stirring until mixture boils. Season to taste with salt.

Well kids, that’s all for me today. I’m fixing to put on my green M&M scrubs and make my way up to the hospital to be with mom. Oh fudge LOL I remember, I have to ask my new “friend” in the hospital cafeteria if she can give me the recipe for the chicken noodle soup my mom seems to like so much! LOL… wish me luck on that one! Ok, well join me back here tomorrow for more “cheap” chit chat LMAO! Ya’ll have a great day and be safe in whatever you do! HUGS!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Well a big early morning hello to you all! How are you doing this humid weekday morning? Jean Darling, where have you been? LMAO… I told everyone about my fall and suspected broken bones like over a week ago LOL! So how did that meatloaf turn out? Who ended up making it? LOL. I want to let Jean know that I got the card for my mother and will be taking it to her. Same with Tabitha… the lily was delivered today, and the Carter Family… the Bougainvillea was delivered today too. They are wonderful… and I will be delivering them this morning as well. She will love them, thanks! Just proves again how I have the best readers!

Ok, now I found this article and I just HAD to post it for my Dad! It’s a bit of electronic frugalness for you! LOL!

Nab a Deal on a Big-Screen TV
The old sets aren't much different than the new ones -- and they're cheaper.
By Jeff Bertolucci, Contributing Writer

Ah, springtime. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and big-screen TVs are screaming deals that can't be beat. What's so special about spring? Retailers are making room for new TV sets that were launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, so they're dropping prices on older models.

But this leads to a conundrum as old as the seasons: Buy one of last year's closeout TVs and save a few bucks, or invest in a new, 2010 model as a hedge against obsolescence? This year, at least, the answer is clear: Get a closeout model and save some money.

Consider the Sony Bravia sets. Last year's 52-inch VE5 Eco Series HDTV runs about $1,550. Sony's new model, the KDL-52NX800, features some cutting-edge tech that early adopters will pay for, but it costs $1,250 more.

The sweet spot. For the best dollar-per-inch value, look for sets selling for about $1,000. At that price, you'll find 46- and 47-inch LCD sets, as well as 50-inch plasmas, from top vendors such as Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Sony. Still too pricey? Top-tier 42-inch TVs go for $700 to $800. The savings at this price level aren't as great, but you can still pocket $100 by buying last year's model.

If you haven't shopped for an HDTV in the past year, you're in for some surprises. Many LCD models — even some of the remaining 2009 models — are stunningly thin. And with refresh rates that have gone from 60 Hz to 120 Hz, the newer sets do a better job of displaying fast motion, which is especially important for watching sports.

Another trend is LED backlighting on LCD sets. The use of LEDs — light-emitting diodes — conserves energy and reduces bulk, making those incredibly thin sets possible. And Internet-ready TVs are becoming more popular. The sets offer wired or wireless connections (sometimes both) to a home broadband router. That lets you watch movies delivered online from Netflix or other video services on your TV, as well as access popular Web services, such as Facebook.

Many people are buying TVs online and having them shipped to their homes. Before you agree to this, read the vendor's return policy. It should be consumer-friendly. For example, you shouldn't have to pay a restocking charge if the set arrives damaged. And when the set is delivered, the package in which it is shipped should be pristine. "If there's a hole in the box, don't accept the TV," says Gary Merson, a consumer-electronics analyst at

If you decide to buy on-site, you typically have three choices: warehouse clubs, national chains such as Best Buy, and — Merson's favorite — regional stores. What's so great about the local guys? Merson says that their salespeople often operate on commission, giving you some room to negotiate a lower price.
3-D: Maybe next year. One much-hyped feature of new high-end sets is 3-D. "I strongly advise against buying a 3-D TV unless you are very rich or must have the absolute newest gadget available," says Dan de Grandpre, editor in chief of, a bargain-hunting Web site.

You won't miss much. There's little programming in the format. Plus, the technology will likely add hundreds of dollars to the cost of an HDTV — especially once you factor in the cost of 3-D glasses, which cost $150 to $300 a pair.

Although 3-D at home is a novelty now, it could be a good deal once programming becomes more common and prices drop.

Now onto crafts. I saw this and I thought Boy that’s cute… especially if your kitchen is decorated in something like Coca-Cola, etc. And it’s a recycle craft, so it ranks up there among the “preferred” group LOL! I know we used to drink tons of soda (I know… don’t say nothing LOL) and these would have been cute to make. Now that we are virtually soda free, maybe I have to recruit my friends and families to save their boxes for me!

Craft Idea of the Day: Recycled Cardboard Basket

Use your kitchen empties to make woven baskets from your recyclable cardboard. Open your box down a seam if possible. Cut the sides, flaps or tabs from the two larger main surfaces: front and back. With a ruler or other straight edge draw lines on the cardboard and cut the strips apart.

Begin weaving, using a little tape if you need to help it stay together. Fold up the edges to form the sides of the basket and secure with tape. I like using shipping tape on larger projects and regular size for smaller ones.

Finish your top edges by trimming or adding a little ribbon or paper folded neatly. The picture shows that floral tape was used to give the edges at the top a more finished look.

The frozen pie box (the one on the top) is a good size to hold paper napkins.
By Melody_yesterday from Otterville, MO

As you know, since I have been living “on the road” in a way, its quick and easy meals for this house… so I thought about it and I think this week I am gonna feature a “quick” meal each day. Sound interesting? Yea me too… this one is a quick prep, but a long cook really. It’s a slow cooker soup and its really great for you! Check this out.

V8 Vegetable Beef Soup


1 pound lean ground beef
48 ounces tomato-vegetable juice cocktail (Ex: V8)
2 (16 ounce) packages frozen mixed vegetables
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
3 Stalks of celery, chopped


Place ground beef in a Dutch oven or slow cooker. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain excess fat, and crumble. Add juice cocktail, onion soup mix, and mixed vegetables.

Cook in a Dutch oven, simmer for 30 minutes.

Move to a slow cooker, cook 1 hour on High. Then reduce heat to Low and simmer 6 to 8 hours.

Alright everyone, I am outta here… off to the hospital in my bright yellow rose scrubs! I will see you again tomorrow! HUGS!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Hey there everyone. How are you doing today? It’s a fresh start for the week for me and my chaotic soap opera LOL! I’m dressed to aggravate mom this morning LOL. I told her I was gonna start coming up to the hospital in scrubs and guess what I am wearing! LMAO! No I am not a nurse (professionally LOL), no I have never been a nurse, I just make the scrubs to sell. What better way to advertise than to wear them? LMAO! Plus I tease her I am gonna be sneaking around trying to blend in. I’m really not, but it sounds funny when you say it.

To Jean- oh you don’t know how your comment made me laugh! I am operating with a “suspected” broken toe/foot… don’t curse me to break anything else! LMAO! But I appreciate it so very much that you care. Thanks girl!

Alright folks, I have to earn the title of “Frugal Mom” someway, so I was searching for food tips and look what I found! It’s an interesting read for sure!

28 Tasty Tips to Save on Food
by Stacy Johnson with MoneyTalkNews

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 the average American family spent $6,443 on food. To put that number in perspective, that "average" family consists of 2.5 people (not a nice mental image) with an income of $63,563. So from these numbers we can surmise that our average family spends about 10% of their income on food.

Depending on who you choose to believe, the average American family also carries a $5,000 balance on credit cards. If they're paying 15% interest, that's more than $750/yr.

Conclusion? We could materially impact two expenses simultaneously if we could convince the average American family to eat their credit cards.

But if that doesn't sound like an appetizing solution, here's another thought: If we can use some simple tips to shave 10% off the typical annual food bill, we can use the extra $50 a month we free up to help pay those credit card balances faster. With that in mind, here's my attempt to fill your basket with more than 20 useful tips to slice and dice your grocery bill.

We'll start with seven tips from this recent TV news story. It's only 90 seconds long: check it out, then meet me on the other side for more. Here's a recap of those seven tips:

Cook From Scratch
Making meals from scratch is probably the single best way to save on food. Because the more prepared the food, the more it costs. Ironically, less expensive home-made is also normally better for you as well.

Sometimes generics aren't as good as name brands. In those situations one might choose name brands. But for things like flour, sugar, salt, bleach or virtually dozens of other items you find in the grocery store, the only discernible difference is price. Paying more for an identical product is more than extravagant; it's stupid.

Writing down what you came for…and ignoring everything not on it… will save money. It will also save time and fuel expense by preventing repeat trips to the store for things you forgot.

Stoop and Bend
Smart merchants place the most profitable items at eye level and on end-caps. Stoop, bend and look around for the best values.

For decades, coupons have been a shoppers best friend. These days online coupons have made them easier to find and use. If you haven't used a coupon search engine yet, do so. It's a new routine. Internet first, then store.

Warehouse Stores
The savings you can find at warehouse stores are well-documented.

Salvage Grocery Stores
These are harder to find, but if you happen to live near one, the savings are huge: up to 50%.

Now let's add to that list with more tips. These are from my latest book, Life or Debt 2010.

Don't Shop Hungry
It makes you buy more.

Shop Alone
Kids, and spouses who act like kids, will often whine, cajole, or otherwise try to influence you into impulse buys. Leave 'em at home.

Always Overcook
Then freeze. That saves the time you need to be able to cook from scratch.

Substitute Cheaper Ingredients...
..For more expensive ones.

Weigh Pre-Weighed Produce
Use the handy scales in the produce department to weigh pre-weighed bags. For example, if you're buying a 10-pound bag of potatoes, weigh them. Some will be 9 and a half pounds, but some might be 10 and a half for the same price.

Put small quantities of leftover sour cream or other perishables in smaller containers; they'll last longer. Cookies, crackers, and the like will also last longer if stored in glass jars.

Grate Savings
You pay more to have someone else grate your cheese for you. You'll also save by cutting up whole chickens, slicing your own pickles, slicing meat for cold cuts, and using a blender or rolling pin to make your own bread crumbs.

Save on Starch
Fancy boil-in-bag or flavored rices routinely cost 10 times the amount of the old-fashioned kind. All it takes to make rice is the ability to boil water! Bags of smaller potatoes are often half the cost per pound of big baking potatoes. Bake two little ones instead of one big one. Your stomach won't notice.

Save on Protein
The simple proteins found in beans are better for you and obviously much cheaper than the complex ones in meat, fish and poultry. In other words, eat less meat!

Milk Your Budget
Milk about to expire? Freeze it. You can thaw it out and use it later. Same with things that might be rotting in your vegetable drawer: onions, parsley, tomatoes, garlic. Not only will freezing keep it from rotting, it will keep it from stinking.

Butter Up the Cheese
Lightly buttering the edge of semi-hard cheese makes it less likely to form mold or dry out.

Extend Yourself
Adding cottage cheese to hamburger will enhance the flavor, add protein, and allow you to increase servings from four to six per pound.

New Life for old Bread
Leftover bread and rolls can be toasted in a toaster oven and chopped up into croutons.

Alter Your Recipes
Nobody will sue you if you alter your recipes a little. You can substitute cheaper veggies (sliced carrots) for more expensive ones (zucchini). You can also probably reduce the cheese or sugar in your baking slightly, without noticeably altering the taste. Keep in mind that recipes will often "round up" ingredients to make them easier to measure. When you read a recipe, look for ingredients that might just be included to enhance the color instead of taste, and try eliminating them. There are ways of stretching just about everything. Make your cookies and muffins a bit smaller and make more of them. Add a little more water to your concentrated juice. Add extra potatoes, beans, etc. to stretch casseroles and soups.

Make Your Own Salad Dressing
Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard, 1 minced garlic clove and 1 cup of salad oil. Voila! Delicious salad dressing at a fraction of the cost.

Grow Your Own!
Next time you buy fresh garlic, save the four inner cloves. Plant them about 1/2 inch deep. In less than six months, you'll be in garlic city! There are many other herbs and vegetables that you can grow yourself, so check 'em out.

Don't Buy Water -- Ever
The fact that people pay for water is further proof that enough advertising can make people do just about anything. If you really have concerns about water quality, buy a cheap water filter and fill your own bottles.

Be a Migrant Worker
If you live near an area that grows fruit, vegetables or produce, go to a pick-it-yourself farm for bargain prices, fresh air, and a reminder of why you work in town.

Creative Leftovers
Nearly every meal ends up with a few odds and ends that aren't eaten. Keep two lidded plastic containers in your freezer. After every meal, put veggie bits in one and meat bits in another. You can then periodically sprinkle the bits of meat on your pizzas, or combine the two and make a great soup!

Keep Lettuce Longer
Wash your lettuce thoroughly, then go outside and swing it around in a pillowcase to get rid of the excess water (and to amuse your neighbors). When you're done, put it in an airtight container and it will last at least two weeks in your refrigerator.

Last but Not Least
Remember, you are what you eat. Which would you rather be: an apple or a candy bar? One of the best things about saving on food is that what's cheaper is often the same as what's better for you. Apples cost less than candy, are more filling, and are much better for you. Water is not only healthier than soda, it's nearly free (from the tap). Legumes are a cheaper source of protein than meat, and better for you as well.

Bottom line? There are lots of ways to save on food. Some will be appetizing to you, some won't. But there are few things in life tastier than paying off debt and achieving your monetary objectives. So if you harness any of these ideas, be sure to use your savings for debt destruction!

Ok so its time for crafts. One of the “Get Well Gifts” my mom has received was a gift card to Houston Garden Center. Now my crafty (but sometime tacky LMAO) mind caught myself thinking how I could have made the “presentation” prettier! LOL, isn’t that awfully tacky!? LMAO! Anyway, so that inspired today’s craft. Its also another recycle craft, which you know I am big on!

Craft Idea of the Day: Gift Card Holder

Recycle toilet paper rolls into a Gift Card holder.
Approximate Time: 20 minutes


empty toilet paper roll
Scrapbooking paper scraps
about 30 inches of ribbon
Modge Podge
embellishments (letter or flowers)


Flatten a toilet paper roll. Measure length and width. Cut 2 pieces of scrapbook paper the length and width of the flattened paper roll. Adhere the 2 pieces of paper to the toilet paper roll (one on each side, covering the roll) Adhere your ribbon to the paper roll so that it will secure the gift card at the bottom. You should able to tie a bow at the top. Embellish by adding additional papers, a greeting, flowers, etc. Insert gift card and tie a bow at the top.

By Melissa from Down South

Ok, so yesterday while at the hospital with my mother, the Dietician came to visit and was talking about proteins and snacks and sugar levels and such. I actually learned a few things I didn’t know. Food always seems to enter my life on a daily basis in some way, shape, or form. I was trying to do some research on the type of “diet” that was discussed and I came across this recipe… keep in mind I have not tried this, but it has 326 positive reviews so use it at your own discretion!

Cabbage Fat Burning Soup


5 carrots, chopped
3 onions, chopped
2 (16 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid
1 large head cabbage, chopped
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (15 ounce) can cut green beans, drained
2 quarts tomato juice
2 green bell peppers, diced
10 stalks celery, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth


Place carrots, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, peppers, and celery in a large pot. Add onion soup mix, tomato juice, beef broth, and enough water to cover vegetables. Simmer until vegetables are tender. May be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Here are some of the reviews this recipe got:

I would recommend NOT making alterations to this soup because the purpose of the set recipe is to lose weight. I did lose weight when I made this (it was for a vacation), and it tasted great!! I checked with a local hospital, and they said this recipe is used for overweight patients to get them to lose weight rapidly to prepare for surgery. I would recommend this recipe to anyone!

I've been making this for my boyfriend for about three months now. The only thing I do different is to add ground turkey. He eats a light breakfast of whatever he wants, a light sandwich for lunch and the soup for dinner. He likes to add some heat in the form of Tabasco or different dried peppers as it heats on the stove EVERY NIGHT. He's lost over 50 pounds! I'm sick of making it, but if it's working and he's enjoying it, I'll keep a pot of it in the fridge.

Found this "diet" and decided to try it. The weight just went away! It does get a little boring... But it's tasty and painless; think about adding different spices and/or herbs to the soup to vary it... chili powder, curry, etc. Now, I *did* have to change the way I had lunch once I lost the weight... No more fast food breakfasts and lunches (except for the occasional emergency...), trying to get out and walk a bit a few times a week at lunch... But it did get the weight off and-- with my revamped lunch hour-- kept it off.

So there you have it… take it as you will. Just be careful in whatever you choose to do as far as weight loss, etc. As for me, I think stress, the lack of appetite, and running around like a crazy woman HAD to burn off a few calories… at least I hope so LOL! I’m off of here for today… gonna head straight up to the hospital after I drop off the kids and spend most of the day with mom… at least til it’s time to pick up the kids! Be safe, healthy, and happy today. HUGS!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Good morning boys and girls! How are you doing this sunny Sunday morn? I am alright... stiff, tired, and yet cranially stimulated LOL! Mom is in her owm room now YAY! I stayed with her for about 8 hours yesterday. She was laughing and being more like my mom... even griping at me for not eating and such! YAY! I know, doesn't that sound weird that I WANT her to gripe at me? LOL hey she scared the crap outta me this past week, so this is a welcome improvement! I'm gonna TRY not to roll my eyes when she does it after she is home... notice I said TRY! LOL... I want to thank Hazel and Jean for their comments yesterday. I got to read them late last night and I couldn't help but smile. I've always said, I have the best readers in the world, and you guys and girls just keep proving that each day. THANK you so much!

Ok, so I left the hospital yesterday and was going out to her house to do some chores... I stopped by Home Depot on the way to her house and used my coupon for Buy 1 Get 1 Free Tree before it expires on the 26th... oh crap! That's tomorrow and I forgot to grab hers so I can get 2 more trees... FUDGE! Dad if you read this before you leave... stop reading and grab that coupon... put it in your wallet and bring that coupon up to the hospital to me today! Then come back and finish reading LOL... Ok sorry... jello brained. Anyways, you should have seen me trying to fit these 6-8 ft. trees in my little car LMAO! But I did it... so she has 2 pecan trees like she wanted waiting for her when she gets home. Think I will get the lemon trees she wants with her coupon. See, she lost all her trees because of the storm and this Garden Club Coupon was the best thing... so she could replace them. And you guys know me... I HATE letting good coupons expire! LOL!

Ok, so I get to Mom & Dad's house and unload the trees. Then I check the garden if it needs watering, but it doesn't, then I clean the water bowl for the outside cats. I go inside the house and start some laundry. Go in the garage and see a brother has graciously left HIS laundry on the outside washer. Go in the attic and get a few things out of one of my boxes. Then take the laundry in the house. Go in the RV and love on the kitties, clean the cat box, brought in the mail, washed the dishes, and checked how much food Dad has to make sure he is eating properly. Ok... done in the RV so I go back in the house. Change the laundry over and start making mom another bag of ice. I get the ziploc filled and tried to seal it. Ok good... looks sealed. Turn it upside down to "make sure" and WHOOOOOOSSSSSSHHHHH! Ice ALL over the dang floor!! Oh did I scream like a banchee and cussed bad enough to make a sailor blush and run the opposite direction!! OK take a deep breath, scream again, and clean up the ice. Now... lets try this again... filled up the bag and snap the seal... walk over to the sink to check (Just in case LOL) and turn it upside down. Ahhh sealed! Finally! Turn around to walk over and put the bag of ice in the freezer and BAMPLOP! Fall on my butt on a stray piece of flippin ice!!!! I'm surprised the cops weren't called cause the neighbors thought someone was being killed cause I was screaming and cussing so loud! Oh this is some good insulation- they can't HEAR me outside LOL! Ok ya know what... I think its time to go home and not touch anything and go to sleep lol!

I get home and DH asks if I would like a glass of tea. Yes please that would be very nice. "Do you want ice?" he said... Oh I started screaming about ice and he looked at me like I was insane LOL! So I had to tell him about the ice and he laughed at me... butthead! Needless to say I stretched out on the floor and that was the last thing I remember. DH woke me up around 10 telling me to go to bed LOL.

So I'm up this morning looking out the window and notice I have sticks where my squash once was! Something has eaten all my blossoms and leaves! My garden is suffering but family comes first. So it looks like Mother nature and I need to have a talk so she will help take care of it in my absense LOL. Anyone know if opposums like squash blossoms?

Ok, I am chomping at the bit to get back to crafting (and don't say anything to mom DAD! Yea I know you are there LOL) but my family comes first... so I am gathering all these ideas for "my big comeback LOL". I am thinking of making my mom a Dammit Doll for while she is up there actually LOL. Can you see the nurses faces when she tells them what it is? LMAO! So until I can slow down below the speed of sound and light, I am stuffing these neat ideas in a box and will eventually pay them a visit. And I am gonna share another one with you today.

Craft Idea of the Day: Survival Guardian Angel Kit

Make this creative gift for a friend. (I've been inspired with this whole ordeal with my mother and I saw this and just nodded my head like yep uh huh... I should do that LOL)

Purchase a small gift bag and fill with the items below, along with a label explaining each token.

Toothpick - Pick out the good qualities in everyone, including yourself.
Bandaid - To heal hurt feelings.
Gum - Think before you "Chew" others out.
Smiley Face - Because smiling is contagious
Guardian Angel - Because everyone needs one.
Pencil - To write down your days blessings.
Eraser - To remind you always start each day with a clean slate.
Sticky Tape - To tape your lips when you have nothing good to say.
Star - To reflect what you can be.
Sand paper - To smooth out the rough edges.
Glitter - To make things sparkle.
Velcro dot - Help you get a grip on things.
Rubber Band - To stretch you beyond your limits.
Paper clip - To keep things together.
Candle - To light up your path.

I think that would be a neat gesture for someone when you don't know what else to do. You could also make other kits similar to this... I have seen Mother's/Father's survival kits, friendship kits, etc.

Ok, now my head says I'm not hungry but my stomach begs to differ. Its growling and making my feel queezy, but who's got time to eat right? Exactly... well maybe to cook actually. So what does the frugal mom do? You got it... Set it and forget it! CROCKPOT TIME! YUMMMMM

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

1 pound cubed beef stew meat
2 (10.75 ounce) can condensed golden mushroom soup
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon granualted garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 beef boullion cube
1/2 packet of dry onion soup mix
1 container of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter


In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce and water.

Cook on Low setting for 5 hours. Saute mushrooms in butter and add about 30 minutes before meal is done. Stir in cream cheese and sour cream just before serving.

Ok gang, time for me to get dressed and start another day of sheer chaos LOL. I will see you here again tomorrow for another day of "let my friends laugh at my idiocy" storytime! Big HUGS!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Well good morning my faithful flock! Sorry I did not post an entry yesterday, but I finally got to see my mom at the hospital YAY and I was there all day for almost every visitation! It was great to see her. Hard... but great! It started as a tough morning but got better as the day progressed. They had moved her to ICU yesterday... not because of her condition, but because they were closing the TCU unit and putting all their patients together. As I headed home last night, my Dad, who stayed with her of course, texted me saying she was being moved to her own regular room. YAY! She's got generally good vitals (except when she gets herself all fussy and her BP goes up LOL) and she wants to come home. But she still has some issues so it might be a few more days... but she is definitely getting back to the old mom we know and love. She even griped at me yesterday afternoon! YAY!!!!! I love it! LOL...

I'll be the first to admit that I have been would up tighter than a $2 watch this week... juggling 3 households among the mass hysteria and worry of everyone including myself. Its a hard job and it makes me admire my mother that much more. I am kinda a "see it to believe it" person, so even though Dad kept saying she was ok... I had to see it. And I did YAY! Sooooo.... have you ever felt such a weight lifted off of you like you were carrying the world and suddenly someone took it off your back? Yea, that's what happened last night. I had a hard time leaving the hospital... I sat on the bench outside for maybe another 15-20 minutes before I walked to my car. I got in the car and started balling... a relief cry. Then I just felt soooo tired. I don't really remember the drive home, but I sat on the bed and that's the last thing I remember... I was OUT! Shoot, I woke up in the same clothes and everything... so I have to shower and change this morning LOL! If there is a stage past pure exhaustion... I found it and lived it 200%! LOL.

So I'm excited to report that things are much better and improving each day! Hopefully soon, she will be home and on the road to recovery. I'll still be logging alot of hours away from home, but I do it because I love my family. Whatever she needs, I'll be there! So how are things on your end of the world? Tell me... what did you do for Earth Day? I miss my friends here online... sit down and chat a while!

So when I get a moment to actually sit down and relax, there are a few crafts that are going to be top priority. First is my kitchen... my mommy got my fabric like I mentioned and its gonna be a very special kitchen! Then there is my DD's room. She finally has it all organized and picked up where I can do the redecorating. And then there is birthday party stuff for DD... remember its a big 16 this year! So I NEED to start coming up with ideas! One of my band "kids", DD's BFF, turned 16 on Friday so I owe her something special as a belated Happy Birthday... I feel bad about missing it, but Katie is a good kid and she cried when Madison told her about Nana... so she understands. So anyway, since the kitchen will be redone soon, I found this craft for a utensil holder using a clay pot. Its simple, cute, and versatile.

Craft Idea of the Day: Kitchen Utensil Holder

I bet you never thought about using a flower pot to hold your kitchen utensils! This project is so easy. It won't take but a few minutes. This is the perfect utensil holder. It won't burn if you forget and leave it sitting on the stove. It won't tip over and it holds a lot of tools! You can custom match it to your kitchen decor.

Materials Needed:

one 6 inch clay pot
enamel paint (any color)
decals or paint to decorate if you wish
Paintbrush (if you brush the paint or if you paint a design)


Just get a 6 inch clay flower pot and paint it any color you wish. I recommend enamel paint because it makes clean up from kitchen splatters easier. It may take more than one coat because the clay is very porous and absorbs the paint. Let the paint dry. Then you can apply decals. If you are artistic you can paint on a design. If you prefer, you can use a stencil .Use your imagination.

This craft would make a cute wedding shower or housewarming gift filled with all kinds of tools.

Then of course you all need to eat! Hopefully you have done some reading and catching up on things you might have missed or getting some ideas for crafts and foods. But today I bring you another recipe to enjoy (trying to get back SOME degree of normalicy here!).

Monkey Bread Muffins


1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (12 ounce) can refrigerated biscuit dough, separated and cut into six pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon water


Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Butter 6 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

Combine the apple pie spice and white sugar in a small bowl; roll the biscuit pieces in the mixture to coat. Divide the coated pieces between the prepared muffin cups.

Combine the brown sugar, butter, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Allow the mixture to boil until the sugar is completely dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the mixture over the biscuit pieces.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden, and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 8 to 12 minutes.

Ok gang, again I thank each and every one of you for your support during this hard time. I am gonna get off here and see what the day brings. So I will see you tomorrow... Peace, Love, and LOTS of HUGS!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Happy Earth Day everyone. Well boys and girls, as you know its super crazy around here. I have a smidgen of good news on both topics of mass frustration I alerted you to yesterday.

First the thing with CPS… I met with the caseworker (standard) and talked to her for awhile. She told me it was originally reported in February from an anonymous tip from someone who didn’t even have my address! ARE YOU SERIOUS? She said she thought it was stupid, so once she got some more information, then she finally got around to acting on it. She said it was low priority and now having talked to my kids, met them, and met me and DH and talked to us and saw our house, etc. she can say there is no cause and it is just someone with a grudge against us. She was very nice… I offered a tour of the house to see the clean clothes, the food, etc. The lady is just doing her job and I proved that whoever said this stupid crap obviously is just abusing the system. It is true… A mother’s love is like no other! It is amazing what we will do and endure for our children… and our mothers!

Ok, now on to the other important topic… my mom. I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support you have all shown for her. The comments, the emails, the phone calls, just everything! Even the nurse from the clinic where my mom was when all this happened called to check up and let me know that the whole clinic is praying for and thinking about my mom and our family. They are really nice people. Or could it be a CYA thing?? Maybe something they did caused all this and they are just acting really concerned? I have one of those sickening gut feelings (and I am usually right 99% of the time unfortunately) that this is more the reason they are calling… to make sure they didn’t kill her! I just have to figure how one would go about finding that out or proving that. I’ve also had emails asking if people can send a get well card, gift, etc. If you would like to do that, let me know via email and I will give you an address, ok? And I appreciate it very much. I have the best readers in the world!

As for her condition… she has improved drastically. Her vitals are darn near perfect (you’d think she should be up dancing around!) and they removed the breathing tubes a few hours after she became awake. Her throat is very raw because of the tubes but this is normal and should be better soon. She can talk some, but it is still more of a raspy whisper. The Respiratory Therapist gave her an Albuterol treatment to help her breathing. But they are keeping her in TCU overnight because she is still having the difficulty breathing. TCU, for those who don’t know, stands for Transitional Care Unit. It is not quite ICU, but the next step down… better than a regular ward but not quite as good as ICU LOL. The doctors are going to get their Pulmonary Specialist to come by and check on her breathing and lungs. They’re also going to bring in a Pain Management Specialist and Neurologist to work on the pinched nerve issue that started all this. They performed a cat scan last night to see if they could see why she had the seizure or if there was any damage from it and the results were negative on both issues… THANK GOD! The doctor gave his OK for her to start eating (if she wants to) and was able to drink some cool water today. She was also CHEWING ON CRUSHED ICE! (She LOVES crushed Ice LOL!) Then I got notice from my Dad that said:

While I was out, the Pulmonary Specialist came by and did his examination. It appears that she has amassed some fluid on her lungs, which is why she is having some trouble breathing. They’ve set her up for additional Albuterol treatments every 4 hours, and have decided to keep her in the TCU overnight. When I came back in at 8pm, she was taking one of the treatments. Afterward she sounded a bit better – not quite so “raspy” as before. They’ve also started her back on some of her regular meds. They’re having to crush them up and mix ‘em into some sugar-free pudding so she can swallow them. They’re also working on getting her blood sugar back under control. She’s getting her regular doses of insulin and a third kind which is supposed to take some of the “swing” out of her sugar numbers. She’s down to the low 300’s (still high, but doing much better). Hopefully, if all goes well tonight, she’ll be in her own room by tomorrow.

So, fluid on the lungs... not good! I have read about some of the reasons and it scares the crap out of me! And they are hoping to move her to a regular room sometime today… which is good cause I really need to see my mommy. I cry at the drop of the hat and it’s hard to focus on everything I need to get done. Trying to stay strong, help everyone, take care of everything, and answer all the phone calls is proving a tough battle. My mother is one tough cookie, let me tell ya! I’ve always respected my mom (and dad) and everything they have done, but this… wow!

I do have a bit of “normalicy” for you today. As you know, today is Earth Day and there are actually some things you can get for free today. Also I hope you are planting some trees out there peeps! Go to this Yahoo Article and see some of the free stuff you can get today… from tote bags to hats to park admissions! And don't forget to go to HEB today with your 5 plastic bags for a free reusable shopping bag!

Ok, I’m trying to keep myself busy as best I can really. I have washed 18 loads of laundry, painted all their door jams, cooked, cleaned, fed and watered animals, and tons of other things. Keeping myself busy keeps me from sitting here balling constantly. I think I will be much better when I can see her. Until then, it’s the jelly brained busy bee for me! My mom surprised me by going online, before all of this happened, and bought the fabric I wishlisted on Amazon for my kitchen! I should never have taught her how to pull that up LOL! So now, my kitchen will be extra super special because she bought it for me. She said it was a “thank you” for all I have done. No thanks necessary! So maybe I will work with that some… of course maybe not cause I might just cry all over it! Not sure yet… just have to see what the day holds. I might just go and wash more clothes and such… which I really should do! Yea I think I will. DH can take care of this house today! Anyway, let me get off here and try to get moving. Thank you all again for such kindness you continue to express! HUGS!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Morning kids. I hope this message finds you well this morning. I cannot say the same here unfortunately. A lot of things have happened and they are pretty bad, so I am here to let you know that today (and probably for the next few days at least) I won't be posting any happy go lucky jokes or even crafts and recipes... it would be a good time for you to maybe catch up on what you may have missed, etc.

You see, as you know my mother had a dr. appt. Monday and a special procedure scheduled for yesterday. Well the procedure could not be done and in trying, she had a seizure and is now in the hospital in critical condition. She is intebated and on a ventilator and they have to keep her sedated for now. As of last night they were trying to get a bed for her in ICU. It is a very scary time for our family right now.

To make matters worse (I know how much worse can they get right?), someone had the audacity to call CPS on me and tell them that my DS14 stinks... DO WHAT? So they talked to my daughter and she was flabbergasted and even the social worker said she didn't know why she was called and it was absurd! So I have to go through all of this bull crap while worrying about my mom! It has NOT been a good 24 hours.

So I am going to get off here and head out to see if my mom's condition has changed. I will talk to you all soon. Please pray, send good wishes, whatever you can do... as she really needs them right now! HUGS!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Good morning children. How are you doing this day of days. I am dragging but what else is new LOL! Mom’s got a doctor appointment today, so I am going to go over and straighten and work at her house while the DH works on ours.

I am sad to report that I didn’t continue cooking yesterday after the kids went to school. Having taken my meds, I laid on the couch and took a nap. I guess my body needed the extra sleep. By the time I woke up, it was time to go get the kids and then I headed out to my mom’s house. I’m heading out there today too to work all day, so I won’t be cooking and crafting until maybe after I get home.

My DD went and told my other “band kids” that I hurt myself real bad, so now I have them rallied to help me around the house and such as well. They all came out to the car yesterday when I was picking my DD and DS18 and were “checking” on me LOL! They are some good kids, let me tell ya… I’ve trained them well LMAO!! They have the Spring concert coming up, so I am seeing some jam sessions coming soon. Good thing I am doing mass cooking right? Tons of hungry teenagers in the house is always a dangerous thing LOL!

OK now with me on the go constantly, I have been looking for ways to both lose weight and have enough energy to make it through everything that is going on lately. So, I have been researching and I found this article on yahoo… tell me what you think.

10 Breakfasts that Slim and Energize
By Lucy Danziger, SELF Editor-in-Chief - Posted on Wed, Apr 14, 2010, 1:48 am PDT

Did you eat breakfast today? If your answer is yes—good job!—you’ve already done something pretty fantastic for both your weight and your health and your desire to slim down for spring! Breakfast eaters consume fewer calories and less saturated fat through the day than those who don’t have a morning meal, research shows. Morning munchers also have flatter abs and a lower risk for heart disease.
For these reasons and others, I’m a big fan of breakfast. In fact, I sometimes have two—a quick bite before my workout and then a fiber- and calcium-filled “second breakfast,” such as my favorite parfait of Greek yogurt, granola and fruit, at the office a couple of hours later. A high-fiber, calcium-rich mix of whole grains, protein (including eggs and dairy) and fruit keeps my energy up and my weight down.
If you want quick, healthy breakfasts you can whip up before dashing out of the house, post this list of 350-calorie meals on your fridge door. (Don’t let cholesterol worries keep you away from the egg options—research shows you can eat up to three eggs daily without raising LDL, the harmful cholesterol.) Get set to rise and shine—and slim!

SPEEDY WEEKDAY BREAKFASTS (about 350 calories each)

Breakfast Burrito
Cook 1 Amy's Breakfast Burrito as directed on package. Top with 2 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt. Serve with 1 orange.

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich
Order 1 Starbucks Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon and Egg Whites English Muffin sandwich.

Cream Cheese, Fig and Nut Wrap
Roll up a whole-wheat wrap with 2 tbsp light cream cheese, 4 dried fig halves and 2 tbsp chopped walnuts.

Cherry-Vanilla-Almond Smoothie
Blend together 1 cup frozen cherries, half a medium banana, 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt and 1 tbsp sliced almonds. Add a few ice cubes to make it more frothy.

Strawberry Almond Oatmeal
Prepare 1 packet instant plain oatmeal with 1/2 cup skim milk instead of water. Top with 3/4 cup frozen strawberries, thawed; 2 tbsp sliced almonds and 1 teaspoon brown sugar.

Apricot, Almond and Ricotta Toast
Spread 2 slices whole-wheat toast each with 2 tbsp part-skim ricotta and 1 tsp apricot preserves; top each slice with 1 1/2 tsp sliced almonds.

5-Minute Egg and Smoked Salmon Sandwich
Crack 1 egg into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a paper towel and microwave until egg is cooked through and not runny. Layer 1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light cheese, egg, 2 oz smoked salmon and 1/4 cup raw baby spinach on a Whole Wheat Arnold Sandwich Thin. Serve with 1large apple.

LEISURELY WEEKEND BREAKFASTS (about 350 calories each)

Portobello and Pesto Egg Scramble
In a medium sauté pan, cook 1 sliced portobello mushroom cap with 1/4 cup chopped red onion in 1 tsp olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk 4 egg whites with 1 tbsp water and add to pan. Scramble mixture over medium heat until eggs are no longer runny; add salt and pepper to taste. Just before removing from heat, fold in 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella and 1 tsp prepared pesto. Serve with 1 slice whole-wheat toast.

Peanut Butter Waffle-wich
Top one toasted whole-grain waffle with 2 tsp peanut butter, 2⁄3 cup sliced apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Top with another whole-grain waffle. Serve with a café au lait made with 4 ounces coffee mixed with 4 oz steamed skim milk.

Spinach and Smoked Gouda Egg Sandwich
Sauté 1 cup fresh spinach with olive oil cooking spray until wilted (add pepper and garlic powder if desired); set spinach aside. In same pan, fry 1 egg plus 1 egg white in cooking spray until no longer runny. Top eggs with 2 tbsp shredded smoked Gouda. Sandwich eggs, cheese and spinach between 2 sides of a toasted whole-wheat English muffin. Serve with 1 orange.

Some of those don’t sound too appealing to me, but hey… at this point I’m willing to give it a shot! Now let’s talk crafts! We have 2 more days until Earth Day, and I hope you have been enjoying the recycled craft ideas. I have another one for you today that I just thought was super cute (and just happen to fit with my recipe discussion too… LOL Go figure!).

Craft Idea of the Day: Chopstick Wrapper Bookmark


2 Pretty Chopstick wrappers
1 Piece of Card stock or Oaktag Paper
A Pencil
A Glue stick
Clear Packing Tape
Standard Hole Punch
Grommet & Grommet Installation Tool
A tassel


These are very easy to make and are fabulous for small last minute gifts, housewarming trinkets and even stocking stuffers during the holidays! Ready to get started?

Take one of the chopstick wrappers and trace it with a pencil on your piece of oaktag or cardstock paper.
Cut out the cardstock that you've just traced and use the glue stick to glue both chopstick wrappers to it, one wrapper on each side of the paper.

Set it aside and allow it to dry for about an hour. Use clear packing tape to laminate each side of the bookmark. Do one side at a time and then use the scissors to trim away any excess plastic.

Use a hole puncher to punch a hole at the top of the bookmark where you would like to place the grommet.
Lastly attach the grommet with the grommet tool and then string the tassel through the center and tie it on.

Cut off any excess string.

Tips & hints: There are lovely grommets in all kinds of colors and styles in the scrapbooking aisles at your local craft store, so experiment with different looks that strike your fancy!

Ok, its time to munch! WOOHOO! Ok, I’ve already confessed I have this Asian thing ya know… well today’s dish I have seen my mother eat at Szechaun a lot so I searched for a at-home DIY and I finally found one. Of course, to please mother’s palate, there will be a few changes, but the concept is the same. Check this out!

Moo Goo Gai Pan


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 pound snow peas
1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 pound sliced bok choy
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
3/4 cup skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - thinly sliced
1 teaspoon white wine
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water


Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, snow peas, water chestnuts, and bok choy; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the wok and wipe the wok clean.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the wok. Stir in the garlic and ginger; cook a few seconds until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Stir in the chicken and cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, sugar, and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir into the simmering sauce. Once the sauce returns to a simmer, stir until thick and clear, about 30 seconds. Return the vegetables to the wok and toss until hot and coated with the sauce.

OK kids, that’s it for me today. I gotta get myself out of here and go help out around mom’s place with laundry and such. I will chat with all my fellow blogheads tomorrow! Peace, Love, and lots of HUGS!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Morning everyone… how are you doing this disgustingly rainy day? The rain delayed itself a couple of days so that I could go to the Market YAY! But yesterday and today it dealt me a pretty rough hand, so I’m not doing so great really. But yet, we trek on… yesterday was super cooking day- despite my little mishap!

The day started out great! Once I got off here chatting with all of you, it was straight to the kitchen! We started by boiling pasta and blanching/steaming broccoli. Is that not the greenest broccoli you have ever seen? The picture does not do it any justice! I mean that stuff was sparkling emerald green when I took it out of the pot!

When the pasta was cooking, I was busy chopping! I got a hold of some zucchini and some yellow squash. Drained the garden pasta, dropped the next pasta in and threw the veggies in with a little zesty oil and voila! Yummy pasta salad! Healthy and delicious! Very good vegetarian meal if you ask me!

So we’re chopping…. And chopping… and we mix up some Broccoli Cheese Rice and some Asparagus Casserole. Pop them in the oven and let them bake. Gotta have sides for my meals... Doesn't that look delish with those toasted golden french fried onions on top? YUM! (Of course I could eat those things right out of the can LOL!) Then I hollowed out the zucchini and stuffed them with a sausage mix… AHH yummy Stuffed Zucchini Boats! Pop them in the oven and let them bake!

OK second batch of pasta is done. SPAGHETTI yummy! Throw the meat sauce in the pot and stir it up! About that time the Zuke Boats are ready, so I pull them out. Oh geez… YUM!

I had some chicken legs marinating in some Hawaiian season, so I threw those in the oven. I make a pot of mashed potatoes and heat up a few various canned veggies. Time to start plating! Crud… I have to run to the store because I am out of a couple spices, oil, and a few other things… While the chicken bakes, I start cutting beef and onions and such… peasant goulash coming up! But where’s the cocoa? Ah hidden… ok that pot is going and I pull the chicken out. Time to run to the store!

Well, as I said, it was raining. I was wearing flip flops (because they are all I can get on because my feet were so swollen) so I grabbed my keys and purse and I am out the door. Rain and very slippery wooden steps do NOT mix! I slide down ALL the stairs with the rain beating on me. My big toe bends forward and I land at the base ON it still forward… my leg goes numb cause that is my bad hip side anyway all the while my OTHER side is pulsing and throbbing from being beaten on the way down! It was like a big water slide, only not so fun! I am screaming in pain and I hear my DH running out of the house screaming at me to hold on he’s coming. Apparently he heard me fall. And my neighbor (the deacon) comes running to help too… not sure where she came from! She’s like Batman… comes out of nowhere LOL! Oh God, I hope she didn’t see me fall like an idiot! DH picks me up and gets me inside as he thanks the neighbor.

Ok, so I’m inside and crying and screaming and hyperventilating because of the pain and I am soaking wet! Oh geez, find me some dry clothes! DH trys handing me like 40 million different things and I’m like I’m too fat, that’s too heavy, etc. LOL… DD comes in and finds me a shirt… ahh thank you now get out- my butt is wet! LOL! DH takes a picture of the back of my thigh… pretty isn’t it? And just think, this is like no more than 10 minutes after it happened! Its much larger and darker this morning… and I have 3 other ones just like it- including a nasty one on my lower back! I look at my foot and it’s deep purple and swollen like crazy. I’m pretty sure it’s broken! I’ve had plenty of broken bones before and this one is swollen, purple, numb, and yet so painful… yea that sucker is toast! Ok so what, I gotta deal with it! I wrap it up, get dressed, and take some meds… and grab my cane out of the closet. NOW I H-A-V-E to go to the store!!! Family and foods are depending on me! It took a lot longer than normal, but I got it done… although I did have to ride a cart through the store!

Ok, so I get home and drop in another batch of pasta… egg noodles this time! Draining and straining (while sitting now) and mixing. Now I got some kitchen helpers LOL! Throw it together and into a pan… YUMMY Tuna Casserole! Maybe they can make it last a little longer this time… yea right LOL!

While that bakes I am slicing pork… and celery, and shredding carrots, and chopping broccoli LOL! Remember that jar of Planters I got at HEB the other day and didn’t know what I would use them in? Well I toasted those and used them too. Any clue? Yep… Pork Stir-fry!! YUMMY! Isn’t that just a Pot of Perfect Prettiness? LMAO! And it tasted good at that!

After the stir-fry, I plated and labeled the Goulash, the stir-fry, and everything else while the gang washed the dishes for me. I throw it in the freezer and start on the next group! I sliced sausage for jambalaya… ok that’s going. I cut more onion, celery, apples, and shredded carrot… mulligatawny soup… ok got that going! Slicing peppers and throwing together some spicy refried bean soup… ok that’s going too! I cooked until about 10:30pm last night, despite of my super ouch crash & burn! This is what I ended up with:

1. Pasta Salad
2. Spaghetti with meat sauce (to be paired with fresh salad and garlic toast)
3. Hawaiian Chicken Legs, Mashed potatoes, and green beans
4. Beef Goulash. Over noodles with Aparagus Casserole and Carrots
5. Pork Stir-fry with rice (and a fortune cookie if I can go get them)
6. Zucchini boats with broccoli cheese rice and corn
7. Mulligatawny soup
8. Spicy Refried Bean Soup
9. Jambalaya
10. Tuna Casserole

And I still have more cooking to do! Can you believe it? 10 complete meals in 14 hours minus a 3-4 hours oopsy time LOL! I figure that’s a great variety there… Fish/Seafood, Pork, Beef, Chicken, and Vegan. Pretty good for a day’s work (half of it being in a chair mind you!) Can’t tell you what else I have to do though LOL!

Ok its time to craft… repurposing, or recycling, is a good way to show little kids (or big kids too) a couple of valuable life lessons if you ask me. First you are teaching them not to give up on something (or someone). Next, be unique… how many kids do you think will be wearing a soda can tab belt? Not many I’ll tell you that! Then of course you have the obvious one of helping the environment. And finally- frugality! Recycling or repurposing things is a great way to save money! See, didn’t think recycling was so great, did ya? LOL! Well today’s craft is a new way to use old cookie baking sheets. Perhaps the non stick coating isn’t all that great and you don’t want to use them anymore… repurpose them! Cookie sheets/trays are not just for cookies anymore? Who would have thought that you could use a cookie sheet/tray for home decor? Cookie sheets can double as a message/magnet board for your kitchen, office or bedroom. The altered cookie sheet/tray craft can be new or you can recycle an old cookie sheet that doesn't work for your baking needs anymore. Use the altered cookie sheet to create a one of a kind message board for any room in the home.

Craft Idea of the Day: Cookie Tray Message Board


Large cookie sheet 17x19 (non-aluminum steel works well)
Scrapbook paper or contact paper
Adhesive (spray adhesive works well)
Embellishments (ribbon, glitter, stickers, stamps and ink, etc.)
Large chipboard letters
Scissors or paper trimmer


Step 1: Trim the paper to fit the inside of the cookie sheet. Start with a 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper and trim to size. You will need two sheets in order to cover the entire inside of the cookie sheet. Cut strips of paper to fit on the two ends of the cookie sheet (top and bottom of the magnet board).

Step 2: Spray the adhesive on the back of the paper or on the inside of the pan. Next, gently place the paper on the inside of the cookie sheet paying close attention to the edges of the cookie sheet that you get the paper lined up evenly. The adhesive will have a little bit of give for a few minutes so if you get the paper in the wrong place then quickly and carefully peel it up and put it back down in the correct position. Once the adhesive sets the paper will be there for good.

Step 3: Smooth out the paper making sure there are no wrinkles. Use your embellishments to decorate the inside of the cookie sheet.

Step 4: Cut a piece of ribbon long enough to go the length of the cookie sheet and cover the seam between the two pieces of paper. Cut another piece of ribbon (about 8-inches), thread it though the hole in the top of the cookie sheet, tie it in a knot and use it to hang the message board on the wall or door.

Step 5: Use large chipboard letters to spell out a word at the top of the cookie sheet. You can personalize the message/magnet board by spelling out a name or another word. (example board says: "NOTES"). Decorate the chipboard letters with patterned paper, stamps or glitter to make the letters stand out. (example board: letters are stamped and inked around the edges).

Step 6: Adhere letters to the cookie sheet with a strong adhesive like glue dots. Place the letters evenly across the top or bottom of your message board. Give it some character by placing the letters at different angles across the length of the cookie sheet.

Step 7: Hang the finished message/magnet board on the wall and use magnets to display important messages for yourself or others.

Other variations:

Use the decorated cookie sheet as a picture frame. Display pictures on the inside of the cookie sheet (much like a scrapbook page).

Use the board in a bedroom to display certificates of achievement or other documents. Personalize it with a name or word describing the achievement.

Use the cookie sheet magnet board to house a chore chart in the kitchen where each person can check off their jobs.

I thought that was the coolest thing when I saw it and I had to share it with you! Now it is time to eat… and I know I have been eating like crazy the last couple of days. Yes I know why and no I can’t tell you LOL! I will be glad when the cravings leave in a few days! Until then I am destined to eat everything in the house LOL! Now this one was inspired by the boxes of veggies staring me in the face in my kitchen. I know some of my readers are also vegetarians out there and I wanted to give them a slow cooker idea to enjoy!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili


1 (19 ounce) can black bean soup
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 ounce) can vegetarian baked beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped tomatoes in puree
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil


In a slow cooker, combine black bean soup, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, baked beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, bell pepper and celery. Season with garlic, chili powder, parsley, oregano and basil. Cook for at least two hours on High.

Ok kids, its time for me to get off here, go take my morning meds, and get to work! I will see you all here tomorrow for some more crafts, great food, and interesting adventures! Until tomorrow… HUGS!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Good morning everyone. How are you doing this muggy morning? I’m ok. Got a few things on my mind that are making me a little space cadet, but I’ll get to thinking straight soon enough. I want to thank everyone for the comments and emails about my mom. I will pass your messages on to her when I talk to her next!

Well after running my errands yesterday, we went to the big Farmers Market. Let me tell ya we went nuts! They had some incredible sales so we stocked up on just about anything and everything! This was our haul. We got a 25lb. bag of carrots, a 25lb. bag of red onions, a 20lb. bag of grapefruit, 2 big bags of peanuts, 2 ribs of celery, 2 flats of strawberries, a pineapple, 2 bunches of green onion golf balls LOL, 5lbs. of yellow onions, 8 cucumbers, 8 zucchini, 8 yellow squash, 8 green bell peppers, 8 red bell peppers, 16 green apples, 1 Jicama, 7 round zucchini, 14 pounds of jumbo yams, 1 huge cabbage, 10 pounds of bananas, 10 lbs. of broccoli, 10 lbs. of Roma tomatoes, 3lbs. of fresh jalapenos, 1 small personal watermelon, 4 pounds of green beans, 2 lbs. baby new potatoes, 4 pounds fresh okra, 2 bags of radishes, 1- 2lb. 1015 onion, 5lbs. of grapes (both red and green), another 6lbs of carrots (long story LOL), 7 avocados, and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeeeeeeeee! LOL!

Ok, let me tell you about this carrot LOL. I bought the 25lb. bag in the main market right? Real cheap… so I am walking around back with the small vendors and I see this bag of carrots… with one in there that could choke Godzilla! I HAD to have it LOL! The carrots in that bag were about 6lbs, but for only a $1 I HAD to get it LOL! It’s a Goliath carrot… 12 inches long and 8in. around at the thickest part, so about 3 inches in diameter! This thing is flippin’ HUGE!

You Ever see a yam this big? This was one of the smaller ones! Over 9 inches long and 11.5in. around! Like I said, these were some of the smaller ones I found in the bin!

This ugly monster is called a Jicama (hi-ka-mah). Jicama is a crispy, sweet, edible root that resembles a turnip in physical appearance, although the plants are not related. Jicama has been cultivated in South America for centuries, and the vegetable is quite popular in Mexican cuisine. Jicama has a unique flavor that lends itself well to salads, salsas, and vegetable platters. The roots can sometimes grow to be quite large, although when they exceed the size of two fists, they begin to convert the sugars that give jicama its sweet flavor into starches, making the root somewhat woody to the taste. Jicama is actually a legume, and it grows on vines that may reach 20 feet (six meters) in length. The vines tend to hug the ground, terminating in tubers that may grow up to 50 pounds (22 kilograms) in size, although the majority of jicama roots sent to market are approximately three to four pounds (1.3-2 kilograms) in weight. Before eating, the coarse brown outer layer of the jicama should be peeled to reveal the white inside. When choosing jicama at the store, look for medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Do not purchase jicama that has wet or soft spots, which may indicate rot, and don't be drawn to overlarge examples of the tuber, because they may not be as flavorful. Jicama will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks. Jicama is excellent raw and is sometimes eaten plain. It can also be used as a substitute for water chestnut in Chinese dishes, in which case it should be thrown in right before serving. Jicama also appears in stews, juiced drinks, stuffings, and a variety of other recipes. In addition to having a unique flavor and texture, jicama takes flavor well, making it well suited to culinary experimentation. Jicama is a great source of vitamin c and is fat free—making it a superb on-the-go snack.

These are some big old green onions I found from the private vendors in the back. The bulbs, as you can see are bigger than golf balls. I measured one of the bigger bulbs… 6 1/4in. around!

Seeing as the last time I had a berry bandit attack my box of strawberries, I went ahead and bought 2 flats yesterday LOL! So that’s about 16 pints of strawberries. Of course, I feel the Berry Bandit right on my heels and a pint (or so LOL) has already disappeared! I can’t catch him though… he’s a quick little sucker LOL!

This is just one of the cucumbers that we got… HUGE! It is the same size as the monster carrot! 12in. long and 3 in. in diameter! It’s crazy! AND on top of that, they were on sale for 50 cents each!

This is the monster 1015 onion I found. It weighed 2 pounds by itself. The DH kept calling it my “baby’s head” onion because it is literally as big as a baby’s head! LOL! Can you imagine the size onion rings you could get out of this sucker? LMAO!

We also paid a visit to the Spice Shop and the Bakery… oh big mistake! I got some churros and brought them home. When I bit into the first one , I did not know that they had caramel filling in them! OMG!!!!! I died and went to sweet treat heaven! I ate them all and didn’t share them with anyone LOL! I know… shame shame on me! (Guess who didn’t take her blood sugars last night cause she KNEW the numbers were gonna skyrocket?! LMAO All in all it was a good day at the market! A very good “OMG-you-came-on-monster-produce-harvest” day! LMAO

I also stopped by H-E-B. and got some of those Okra Snax I was telling you about along with some of the other deals. I let my brothers try them and they liked them so I got them one, and then everyone in my house loved them (I can’t keep them out of them!), so I got us one. And then I bought one for my mom… That’s a lot of okra! LOL! I also picked up the deals on the bread, the donuts, the hot dogs, and a few other things. I had coupons for 75 cents off Ronzoni pasta too, and guess what was on sale for $1 a box? YEP 25 cents a box for Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta… I can deal with that! Same with Idahoan pouch potatoes… on sale 4 for $1 and I had coupons!! WOOHOO! And then the piece de resistance!!! They had LIVE CRAWFISH on sale! OMG I shouldn’t… I shouldn’t… but I did! LOL!

Guess who came to dinner? LMAO yea you guessed it! Last minute crawfish boil! The gang stayed outside purging the crawfish while I was inside prepping veggies and putting stuff away… well putting it away the best I could LOL! (I think that’s when the Berry Bandit followed me into the kitchen LOL!)

Well that was our day and our finds. I got a $10 Kohls card in the mail yesterday too, so I am gonna go see what I can find there in the next few days too LOL! Hey I like free stuff! Now its time to focus on today and all the wonderfully yummy dishes I can make with these items. Of course, there are some of them… just so large I don’t want to cut them LOL. I want to marvel at the sheer size of them! LOL! Kidding. So you guessed it, today is cooking and chopping and kitchen dancing! Of course, I will probably try to do some crafting while each meal is cooking. Which leads me to the idea for you.. I give you the:

Craft Idea for the Day: Soup Can Cup


1 Campbell's Soup can 10.75oz pop top type
6 cardboard disc 3.5" dia.
6 cardboard disc 2.5" dia.
6 cardboard strips 1/2" x 5"
1 cabinet knob with screw
2 small brads
Two part epoxy, white glue, walnut stain, and amber shellac


1. Cut 6 disc from shoe box cardboard 3.5" dia, glue disc together with white glue(make sure to leave plain surface face on both sides) place a weight on top to clamp.

2. Cut 6 disc from same type cardboard 2.5" and glue together to form lid.

3. Cut 6 strips of same material 1/2" wide and 5" long, glue together and bend into the shape of the handle as in photos, let dry in this shape, round off ends when dry and punch small hole at both ends for small brad.

4. Sand all the assembled cardboard pieces(make sure to sand out any glue marks to allow staining), and stain all pieces.

5. Attach the handle to the side of soup can and larger disc to bottom of can with 2 part epoxy.

6. Cut both brads off(just long enough to go the handle, not the can) so that they can be placed into the holes in the handle to give the look of rivets.

7. Drill hole in center of smaller disc and attach cabinet knob(I used a clear metal knob, but you could use a wood knob, the metal colors the same as can when shellac is applied) the screw may have to be shortened with hack saw.

8. Apply about 4 0r 5 coats of amber shellac(the amber shellac creates the bronze look as in photo) to all assemblies.

9. Allow cup and lid to dry completely before putting together.

Isn’t that pretty cool? I thought it was neat when I saw it, and it keeps with the Earth Day/Week recycling theme! Now let me ask you… are you hungry? Here is a dish that has absolutely no meat… a vegetarian dish if you will. BUT your carnivorous little bunch will never miss it! I urge even those who do not normally like eggplant to try it. You might be amazed!

Eggplant Parmesan


3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil


Sweat eggplant in a bowl of water with some sea salt added for approximately 30 minutes to remove bitterness.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Alright kids, I have tons of produce and such calling my name in the kitchen, so I need to get off of here and get to work. I will see you all back here tomorrow to see what I made ok? Until then… HUGS!