Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Good evening boys and girls. I am so sorry this blog is so very late. My computer completely stopped working and I had no access to the net… until now! Somehow, I got the cable line to reach into my DH’s PC in the bedroom and so that is where you find me now. I took MY PC over to my dad to see if HE could figure out WTF is going on! I came home and began trying to get the internet line onto DH’s PC so that I could do my daily entries until my on computer was feeling better. It took awhile but I finally got it!

THEN… when I came back, guess what I found? I little TINY kitten that can’t be more than 8 weeks old… and I am for certain is not weaned! It was by my door beaten and half dead, I swear! I think the lawn man may have caught it with the weedeater when he was doing the back yard, etc. or some other bigger cat or animal attacked it or IDK but all I know is I wasn’t gonna leave it outside to die! I can’t! Luckily, the other day I picked up a carton of kitten milk when I got rabbit supplies at Petsmart. I didn’t know WHY I got it, and it was the only one, but something in my gut said to get it… and now I’m glad I did! This kitten is smaller than the bunny!

OK since it’s so late, I am gonna get right to the good stuff today… I am still on the kick about crafting for guys, cause they’re just so dang hard to gift AND I have so many in my family to give to LOL! Well, I don’t know about yours, but the guys in my family are real American red-blooded men who get out and get dirty. TOOLS are a big thing with them… they work on and fix EVERYTHING! SO, I thought that this tool wrap in some really cool materials, like camos, skulls, John Deere, etc. would be something they would really like and use a lot! Maybe it’s a good gift idea for that special man you need a special gift for too!

Craft Idea of the Day: Tool Wrap


Duck cloth, dark color — 1 to 1-1/2 yards per roll-up. This is just a ball-park figure; your roll-up might be significantly different than mine.
Upholstery Thread, dark color
1″ nylon strapping, a 20″ piece — Hold the raw ends in front of a candle flame to heat seal them from ravelling.
1″ inch buckle
1″ strap adjuster
Fray Check


The directions are very detailed and include lots of pictures for great step-by-step instructions, so just go to the site and get this great craft there! I hope you enjoy it!

Ok kids, its time for another installment of Dollar Store Dining! WOOHOO! I am having so much fun with this, you can’t even imagine! I hope you are having just as much fun! Today is main course midweek day LOL! I am gonna bring you a couple of main course meals that are sure to please your palate AND your pocket book! BTW, if you want to pick up a copy of The 99 Cent Only Stores Cookbook by Christiane Jory, check your local book stores or go to Barnes & Noble online and buy it there for $11.10… there are tons of recipes in this great little paperback book! For instance, the main course section contains 30 meals alone (Including one for smoked mussels MOM!) LOL! Today I will bring you 2 of the ones that jump out to me and say “Pick Me… Pick Me!” LOL so I hope you like them and… as always… Eat & Enjoy!

Mexican Chicken (sounds like a Mexican Lasagna if ya ask me… sounds good! YUMMMMM!)

Makes: about 6 servings
Cost: about $12.99

A layer of jalapeno slices and/or hot salsa will let you spice this up to your own taste. This can be prepared quickly, and if you freeze your cheese, all the ingredients can be kept in stock.


1 cup Spice Box dried chopped onions (use fresh onions when available)
2 to 3 tablespoons Dutch Farms Wisconsin margarine
1 (10.5 oz.) can Baron cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.5 oz.) can Baron cream of chicken soup
1 (28 oz.) can Sun Roma sliced tomatoes
3 cups Crider cooked chicken
16 Guerrero corn tortillas, quartered
3 cupsCheese Pleasers grated cheese, jack or cheddar


1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Soak Dried onions in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Drain.

3. Saute onions in margarine until golden.

4. In a large bowl, mix soups, tomatoes, and chicken. Mix in onions.

5. Line a baking dish with quartered tortillas, then chicken mixture, then cheese. Repeat layers, finishing off with the cheese. Bake for 35 minutes.

(***HELPFUL HINT***) If you use commercial products to clean your oven, be sure to cover the thermostat wire with newspaper or foil. Harsh cleaners throw off your cooking temperatures. Be sure to remove your covering after cleaning and before turning the oven on.)

Corned Beef Casserole

Makes: 4 servings
Costs: about $2.99

This, like most meat casseroles, can be doubled easily. It is hearty and makes great leftovers. At about 75 cents per serving, it is a tasty way to get through a financially trying week. (This dish can be prepared the night before and refrigerated before baking. Bring to room temperature before placing in oven.)


1 tablespoon Spice Box dried chopped onions (use fresh onions when available)
1 cup Allegra macaroni
1 (12oz.) can Clasico Corned Beef
1 (15oz.) can Libby’s cream-style corn
¼ cup Spice Box dried chives


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Soak Dried onions in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Drain.

3. Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain.

4. In a mixing bowl, break up corned beef; add onions, corn, and chives.

5. Mix in macaroni and place in a medium-sized greased casserole dish. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

(***HELPFUL HINT***) Pasta added to water before it starts to boil can become mushy. The heat of boiling water seals the outside of the pasta, preventing it from sticking together as well.

Alright kids, its just about time for me to get off here and try to give this new kitten a feeding. This is insane… why are all these little animals calling/finding me all of the sudden?? Oh well… save a life as my mother says! I will see you all tomorrow for more crazy updates! Until then… HUGS!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Good morning boys and girls! How are you doing on this sticky icky morning? I am good. Still not feeling real well, but still alive with a great family by my side. So what’s new with you? Not much here… PC is still causing me more gray hair than I care to have, finances still making me ulcerate LOL, and house still cluttered with tons of crud! LMAO but I don’t care! I have made it to another day to fill my lungs with fresh air, so I am not gonna complain!

Well, we got word last night that Thursday will be the first day with our little visitor! DH and the kids better be doing some super heavy duty cleaning today while I am away! So much to do and not a lot of time to do it! When my day is done with mom today, I have to go home and do lots of cleaning and such (ya know those things I am not real fond of anyway LOL). I want a safe and happy visiting place for the little man to be. Ah babies, babies, everywhere! First kids, then cats, then bunnies, and now back to kids! The circle of life LOL! Ain’t it great?

Speaking of great… you wanna see the greatest thing? I mean so incredibly cute its almost unbearable?! LOL… Look… this is Miracle and Rescue playing together! I normally have been using the bed as a playpen for the bunny to exercise, and miracle was being nosey, so I let them “meet” LOL. I figure if Miracle can see what the white ball of fluff is, he will be less likely to harass her in the cage… I am hoping anyway! LOL… and I have to remember a salt wheel for Rescue… it’s the one thing I forgot. I remembered when she started licking me LOL!

How about this for cute! My mother harvested this the other day… think it was Sunday when I was over there. She actually got some potatoes to grow! And those green things are okra and on top are some elongated bell peppers! Isn’t that so cool! I’m jealous of the potatoes and the okra LOL! My okra plants are still kinda babies… not growing to incredibly fast, but hopefully soon! And I’ve never grown potatoes before so I can’t really be too jealous LOL! But I think it’s so cool!

So are you ready for today’s craft? With only 177 days left until Christmas (and 27 until I start working on that countdown), I am beginning to think of ideas for everyone. I have big problems with gifting the GUYS in my family most of the time… My Dad buys whatever he wants whenever he wants then tells me he doesn’t want anything (he better watch out, I got a jar of nothing now LOL!), and my first brother… well he’s a very unique person… HARD to gift. My baby brother is easy… he just likes food LMAO! There are 2 things I make (and one of them ONLY at Christmas time) that he absolutely LOVES and REFUSES to make himself LOL! Buttermilk Pie and Crepes! So he asks for nothing but those every year! LOL! I have even given him the recipe so he could make them, but he “claims I do something special to them… like stick my finger in the batter or something.” LMAO he is such a nerd LMAO! But I love him and what he doesn’t know is I will be getting his GF to learn to make them this year too! LMAO! But all year long I hear hints of Buttermilk pies and crepes to annoy me… but it just makes me laugh LOL! Anyway, so if you are like me, gifting for guys tends to be a major pain in the butt! So today I am bringing you something for them that they should like… guys like their cars and music right? Well why not make them a CD holder for their car. You ever see those ones you can buy in the stores that hang on the visor? Yea… those are so easy to make, its not funny! And you can make them for women too… its great! So here is your…

Craft Idea of the Day: Visor CD Holder


Cotton fabric or a non scratching fabric (Novelty Prints are great for gift giving)
Craft weight fusible interfacing
1" wide Elastic ( 2 - 7" Pieces)

Cutting Instructions:

Cut 2 pieces of fabric 12" by 7" (Back both pieces with fusible craft weight interfacing)

Cut 10 pieces (all with the right side of the fabric facing up) to the measurements shown in this diagram.


Note: All Directions use 1/2" Seam allowance!

On the angled edge of the pocket pieces, press under 1/4" and press under again, to enclose the raw edge. Stitch the hem.

Starting 1/2 from one end, place the pockets an even distance from each other with the last pocket lining up with the end of the 12" by 7" piece. Placement should be approximately 5/8" apart. Pin the pockets in to place.

Starting with the end pocket, stitch the pocket to the backing piece along the straight edge of the pocket. Once the pocket is stitched, fold it back out of the way and stitch the straight edge of the next pocket. Repeat until all the pockets are attached.

Lay all pockets flat and press. Baste the edges to hold the pockets in place.

Lay the elastic on top of the pockets 2" from each end. Stitch the elastic in to place in the 1/2" seam a allowance.

Take the second 12" by 7" piece and place it right sides together, on top of the pocket section. Starting on a 12" edge, stitch around the edges, leaving a 2" to 3" opening to turn the CD holder right sides out.

Trim the seam allowances (except at the area you left open) and the corners to eliminate bulk. Turn right sides out. Turn elastic to the back side.

Press the opening seam allowance inward, and press the whole CD holder flat.

Top stitch 1/4" from the edge all the way around.

You will want the wide part of the pocket to be at the bottom. Adjust the direction you place the pockets to have a holder for the drivers side and the passenger side of your vehicle.

Well kids, its time for another day of Dollar Store Dining! Today we will be tickling the taste buds with some frugal sides and soups! I tell you when I first picked up this book, I was like OMG are you serious? Some of the recipes in there are pretty smart… that led to my desire to try them! Just reinforced what I have believed for a very long time… that you can make a meal out of just about anything and that it doesn’t have to be expensive to taste or even look good! I admit it… I am a Dollar Store Junkie LOL! And I am lucky that where I am at, we have a few different ones all around us! So when browsing through this book, a couple of soups and sides jumped out at me from the 29 interesting choices this book has and I wanted to bring them to you today. I hope you like them… eat & enjoy!

Alu Bhaji (Savory Fried Potatoes)

Makes: 4 servings
Cost: About $3.99

These are a great accompaniment to Naan (a baked good) and also make a good filling for Chapatis (an hors d’oeuvres). When serving with Naan, include a yogurt dipping sauce to balance this great snack. Since it is also delicious when cold, it would be a nice variation of potato salad for a picnic.


1 cup Spice Box dried chopped onions (use fresh onions if available)
2 (15 oz.) cans of Libby’s whole white potatoes
1 tablespoon Albergo olive/canola oil
1/4 teaspoon El Pique cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon Spice Box turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Spice Box Mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon Baja Pacific salt


1. Soak dried onions in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Drain.

2. Rinse and drain potatoes. Boil in hot water to heat through without allowing the potatoes to get mushy. Remove from heat, drain, and dice.

3. Heat oil in a saucepan and fry cumin seeds until aromatic.

4. Add onions and fry until golden.

5. Add turmeric and chili powder. Stir, then add potatoes, sprinkle in salt, and toss to mix well. Serve hot or cold.

(***HELPFUL HINT*** A slice of raw potato will keep down the pain and swelling of a bee sting.)

Ham Chowder with Sweet Potato Biscuits

Makes: about 8 servings
Cost: about $7.99



2 ½ cups Cinch pancake mix
1/3 cup Imperial Margarine, softened
1 cup S&W candied yams, rinsed, drained, and mashed
½ cup Springfresh milk


1 (15oz.) can of Libby’s whole white potatoes, mashed
1 (10.5oz.) can of Baron cream of chicken soup
1 (15oz.) can Libby’s corn
1 cup of Libby’s cooked diced ham
1 (15oz.) can Veg-All mixed vegetables
1 ¾ cups Springfresh milk


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. For the biscuits: Mix all ingredients until a soft dough forms.

3. Place dough on a flour-dusted surface and roll to coat.

4. Shape into a ball and knead four times.

5. Roll to one-half-inch thick. Cut with a 2 ½ cutter dipped in a pancake mix to avoid sticking.

6. Place biscuits with edges touching on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.

7. While biscuits are baking, combine all chowder ingredients in a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.

8. Place chowder in serving bowls and top with 2 biscuits. Serve hot.

(***HELPFUL HINT*** In the United States, the terms yams and sweet potatoes are used interchangably but in truth, they are very different. They may both be roots, but a yam comes from the yam family and needs hot moist weather to thrive. Sweet potatoes are from the morning glory family and are more abundant in the States since they can withstand colder weather. The USDA requires food with “yam” on the label to be followed by the term “sweet potato”. Chances are, unless you have specially sought out a yam at an international market, you probably have never eaten one.

Well folks, that would be all I have for today! I might just make a visit to the Dollar Tree, which is right across from my mom’s therapy office, while she is in with the doctor to see what kind of tasty treasures I can find. It’s a HUGE store and one can get in lots of trouble in there LOL! They have a full out freezer section as well as non-perishables LOL… okie dokie, so I am off to take mom to therapy. You have a wonderful day and I will see you again tomorrow! HUGS!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Good day to you my friendly flock! How are you doing this morning? I am alright. I had a rather rough night, and I am feeling a little ragged around the edges this morning, but I am alive so I am grateful. I’m glad you’re here, so grab your cup of Java and let’s chat, shall we?

When I got up this morning, the first thing was to feed the animals… so I thought. I got to thinking and I have to revamp my whole process of doing things because, well frankly, there’s a lot more animals to tend to now LOL! The outside cats are easy, the inside bigger cats are ok, the kittens were in the back whining and screaming their little heads off, and the rabbit was bouncing around crazy in the cage by the bed LOL! Lots to do, so I decided that maybe I should water the plants this morning first instead… LOL.

OK, so I go outside and there are kitties everywhere… getting underfoot and tripping me up. BAM! Down the steps I go with one big thud! Oh that hurts LOL. So I crawl back inside and gain my composure and the open bag of cat food LOL. Let’s try this again… Alright feeding the outside cats FIRST! THEN I go down the steps and get the water hose. Water the rose bed, which has such pretty new blooms that smell so wonderful (wish I could say the same for the INSIDE of the house LOL… just kidding!). Then I water all the plants on the porch… and its off to the back in the garden!

I get to the garden and see that I need to harvest a few things and that my eggplant plants are getting monstrous but the blooms are falling off… not cool1 THEN I see that my Romas are racing to heaven but no blooms even… odd. Then I spot it… holes in my leaves! OH NO!!! I am searching and searching but nothing… I lift EVERY leaf out there and can’t find a single worm, caterpillar, nothing! What on earth is going on… so I back up going down the stairs to the single pots of tons of things. Man my cherry tomatoes really bushes back out… YAY! Ok so anyway, I notice that my Italian parsley… the one that has been a beautiful bush of herby loveliness forever, is really short and spindly looking in some areas… I get closer… OH MY GOD!

I found them! 2 HUGE… FAT… UGLY caterpillars! Eating my parsley! First I got mad and then I started laughing uncontrollably! I remember back a few seasons ago where my mom’s garden was suddenly attacked by “worms” and she was chunking them across the yard LMAO… when she found out they were gonna be butterflies she felt so bad…LMAO my mom, the butterfly assassin! TOO FUNNY! So instead of chunking them across the yard, I gently removed them from my plants and took them and placed them on a branch of one of the trees in the back yard LOL. I let them live… just somewhere else LMAO!

OK back inside after the plants got plenty of water… it was time to feed and play with and love on animals. I started with the bigger cats. They need to know that they are still special, despite all the new critters coming into the house LOL. So after some special loving and canned food, it was off to the baby kittens, who by this time were literally climbing the wall/door and screaming their little heads off LOL! Ok, played with them and gave them some canned food and let them out into the big bedroom to play and have fun… then it was time for the bunny. I refreshed the water and pellets and cleaned the cage. I let her out on the bed after I blocked all the sides and turned it into a big playpen. She played for about 30-45 minutes then just came and cuddled up on me. So I get up to come talk to all of you and she is here with me now, cuddling on my chest grinding her little teeth in contentment LOL. She will soon be back into her home for awhile so that I can get some things done. I have to baby proof my home, because I will be having a visitor soon LOL. I will be “helping out a friend” by watching her little one while she tries to find a better job. I’m always happy to help someone bettering themselves. So since it is looking like rain outside (hearing the thunder now LOL gosh I wish I’d have known before watering the plants LOL), today is going to be inside serious cleaning day LOL! A new baby in the house will be my special motivation… always easier to accomplish goals (for me anyway) with a special “purpose” LMAO!

Alright, so after all that rambling, do you feel crafty? Well I saw this craft a while back and tried it and was so happy. So then I was sitting and thinking what I could possibly bring you that was new and unique. When I was in the kitchen feeding my bigger cats, I noticed my hot pad… my lovely lemon smelling hot pad and I thought OMG I could share that! It’s a simple but great little project that I really enjoyed and hope you will too!

Craft Idea of the Day: Scented Hot Pot Mats


Desired cotton fabric
Sheet wadding (quilt batting)
Sewing machine access
Ground cinnamon or cinnamon Oil (other scents if desired)


When you place your HOT pot on top, the fragrance of cinnamon will come wafting through filling the air with a beautiful aroma. Start by working out what size pot holder you want. Approx. 30cm X 30cm is suitable. Cut your fabric into the size you require allowing for 1/2 inch hems. Sew 3 sides of your fabric closed and slip in the sheet wadding through the last opening. You will need to either begin hand sewing or machine sewing this end closed. Just before you complete the closure Sprinkle about a teaspoon of cinnamon powder into the Project or sprinkle your drops of oil onto the wadding prior to placing it inside. You can finish it off by sewing some diagonals along the top to keep the wadding in place. The quilting also makes it look very decorative.

Ok so are you ready to cook? I hope so, because this week I have decided to bring you some recipes from something very near and dear to my heart… something I absolutely love. No not chicken LOL or strawberries… but Dollar Stores! WOOHOO! Nothing like Frugal cooking to enjoy dinner that much more! Awhile back I bought a book at Barnes & Nobles called “The 99c Only Stores Cookbook: Gourmet Recipes at Discount Prices” by Christiane Jory. I think I saw her or the book or something on a morning show and that’s how I knew what to look for. Anyway, every recipe I bring you this week will be out of that book and can be found in the 99c only store (some stores may not carry the exact same thing, but hey they should have something close to it LOL). I will include all the extra information from that page, recipe, etc. it’s a great little book! Most people have a Dollar store in their area… now I am not talking about a Family Dollar or Dollar general, where things can cost more than that $1. I am talking about a true… nothing is more than a buck store! Some of the more popular ones include: Dollar Tree, Everything $1, The 99c Only Store, Dollar World, etc. You won’t find anything more than $1 in these stores and THAT is the basis of this book! I’m telling ya, it will blow your mind some of the things in there! Easy to make, easy to afford, and easy to enjoy! I hope the theme for the week excites you and that I will tease your taste buds to try something new. We shall start out the Dollar Store Dining week with some lovely appetizers and hors d’oeuvres.

Clams Casino

Makes: about 15 Hors d’oeuvres
Cost: About $3.99

This is a classic that can also be made with oysters or mussels. In the original version, the filing would be put back into the half shell and quickly browned in a broiler. If you want the seared effect, place assembled hors d’oeuvres on a cookie sheet and broil for about 1 minute.


1/2 cup Spice Box dried chopped onions (use fresh onions if available)
8 tablespoons Danish Creamery butter
1/4 teaspoon Spice Box paprika
Spice Supreme salt and pepper to taste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans Snow’s chopped clams
12 slices Branding Iron bacon, cooked and diced


1. Soak the dried onions in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain.

2. In a large frying pan, saute butter, onions, paprika, salt, and pepper for 2 minutes for the reconstituted onions or if using fresh, saute until tender but not brown.

3. Add clams and simmer for about 3 more minutes.

4. Serve warm, sprinkled with bacon bits on toast of choice.

(***HELPFUL HINT*** Strain the bacon fat and use it to fry your next omelet. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.)

One Bite Ham & Cheese Pies

Makes: about 12 Hors D’oeuvres
Cost: about $1.99

These are spicy, cheesy bite size biscuits. They can be prepared in advance, leaving out the last step of baking again for 1-2 minutes until right before guests arrive. My snobbiest, most skeptical friend loves them. Of course, I had to wait for her verdict before admitting they were part of the book.


1/2 container (about 8 oz.) Pillsbury buttermilk biscuit dough
1 (6oz.) can of Libby’s Chunk Ham
1/2 (5oz.) jar of Kraft Old English cheese spread
1 tablespoon Oscar Mayer real bacon bits
Eden garden nacho sliced jalapeno peppers


1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F.

2. Peel the thinnest layers possible from the biscuit dough and form into the cups of a mini muffin tin.

3. Bake 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, watching closely to avoid burning.

4. Remove from over and fill cups with a layer of ham, then cheese spread.

5. Sprinkle with some bacon bits and top each one with a jalapeno slice.

6. Bake again for 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Serve Warm.

(***HELPFUL HINT*** These can be prepared and frozen in advance, allowing you to always be prepared for unexpected guests.)

Well everyone, that’s it for me today. I hope you will join me again tomorrow for some more fun and crazy antics. As for me, I am going to get off here and get some cleaning done and maybe finish up DD’s birthday invites! I hope you have a great day, be safe, and see you tomorrow! HUGS!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Good day to you all! How are you doing this fine Sunday morning? I am surprisingly well. I have some seriously sore legs but some very exciting things to share with you today. Are you ready for a Flea Market adventure?

First off, let me just say that I am proud of the family (Including my self LOL) for not complaining about the heat even one time! I got sick a couple of times but nobody rained on the parade, sorta speak. We walked the whole entire market, which took about almost 4 hours. We saw a lot of great bargains, but we practiced restraint, as we were there on a mission. The mission was to find a nice dress for Madison’s Sweet 16 pictures (and hopefully something she could use in the future for other events). We set out with only $50 to use for the whole day… kinda bold and crazy huh? Think we could do it? Let’s find out…

After 3 hours of walking, and finding many dress shops, DH spotted a little hole in the wall boutique store and DD saw a dress hanging on the wall that she fell in love with. See DD is not a “fru-fru” type of girl… she doesn’t like frills, bows, or poof… and she wanted “Gator Blue” LOL! Well this one was Gator Blue, no poof, and super sleek and sexy! She tried it on… the sales woman thought it would be too big but because of the fact that she is “built” like her momma, it was almost a perfect fit! We are gonna take some very awesome dreesed up pictures of her in it this morning so I can go print them out and send them with the invitations. I will post the picture when I get them done so everyone can see how beautiful she is growing up to be! Grand total for the dress? $20 even… wonderful huh? You gotta love flea markets! And yes, the dress is brand new!

So then we were walking some more and we grabbed a huge snow cone and shared it all… not bad for $2 LOL! Walking some more and we found a little food vendor who was offering the roasted corn with all the fixings (mayo, cheese, chili powder, etc) for $3… GOTTA HAVE IT! YUM on a stick right there ladies and germs! LOL We shared that too… isn’t being frugal GREAT! Ok, so we keep walking… and my heart sank!

We came across a little Hispanic lady who had some animals caged up in the heat. They were panting and suffering and I got so angry! I had to help! (Thank my mother for her comment yesterday about saving a life and how she raised me to be a severe animal lover!) Well DH wanted to bring home the Peacock but we have absolutely no place for it LOL. They had tons of chickens (both chicks and hens) and I thought of my mom but she is not yet ready to accept them in her yard LOL. And back in this lonely little cage was this baby white ball of fluff! All alone and panting from the heat! I started tearing up. This woman had no water and no fans or anything on these poor animals! I asked how much for the rabbit and she said $30. I got mad… I said “Look, the way you have these animals I could report you and press charges for animal cruelty. Now I am going to rescue this rabbit for $15 INCLUDING the cage and walk away and you will stay out of jail. What do you say?” As you can see… I WON! I named her Rescue and I know I know… another animal in the house LOL. DH was just shaking his head at me but after holding her and realizing that a Netherland Dwarf bunny will not get any bigger than about 2 pounds, don’t make very much noise, and just had to be treated better than she was… well he didn’t say much more LOL! I think he has fallen in love with her… right after she nibbled on his chin LOL!

On the way out back to the car at the Flea Market, we found a little stand where a lady had some gorgeous watermelons for sale. The kids and DH picked out a HUGE one so I gave the lady the $5 and we were gone… I figured I would half the watermelon with my mom since she likes it too… (Look how this huge thing dwarfs my LARGE crock pot!). I got $5 left in my pocket and had a car with kids, bunnies, formal gowns, and monster fruit LOL! Quite a productive day, wouldn’t you agree? LOL. We were there for about 4 hours and everyone said they had a blast! DD fell asleep about 6pm, woke up briefly to eat and such, and was out like a light by 8:30pm LMAO! DS was out about 9pm. I wore everyone out… it was great! But we had a lot of fun… another successful summer outing! Once we got the bunny home, I went back out to Petsmart and picked up a few things with coupons for the cats and a few things for the bunny too.

Now… lets talk some crafts. I got a bit of the craft bug after seeing some of that stuff yesterday, but not much. I got some great party ideas though, as some of the stores focus was on Latin Quinceañeras and decorations, supplies, etc. I plan on replicating some of what I saw there. I also saw tons of baby things… and in the little vendors who had clothes and things were lots of baby bibs. Well, as the bag lady (as my mother tends to call me LOL) I thought I would bring you another cute way to make a purse out of those tons of bibs I saw! Check this out!

Craft Idea of the Day: Vinyl Bib Purse


2 vinyl Baby Bibs
A few yards of ball chain (you can cut it to your desired length)
4 medium grommets and grommet attachment tool
Sewing machine
Optional: Small square of Velcro for the closure
Glue gun/glue stick to attach the Velcro


The first thing you're going to do is to cut off the portion of the bib with the neck closure. Use your ruler and pencil to draw a straight horizontal line and repeat the process on the second bib.

Make sure that your line is in the same spot on both bibs. When you're confident that they line up perfectly, cut along the line and remove the neck closure portion and discard it.

You'll then have the front and back pieces of your purse. The top lip of the bag where you cut with the scissors will need to be folded over and sewn so that the top of your bag doesn't have a raw edge. So carefully fold the "good" side of the bag down about a half an inch and sew. Do not use pins as it will leave holes in the vinyl. Just do your best to hold it flat as you sew. Repeat the process with the other piece of the purse.

Then place the two pieces of the purse "good" sides together and sew along the outline of the purse. When you're done, carefully turn the bag inside out.

Almost done!

It's time to use your grommet installation tool to install two grommets on each side of the bag as shown in the photograph above.

Afterwards loop ball chain through the holes and close the ball chain with a ball chain connector.

If you would like to make a closure for the bag use a glue gun to attach a Velcro circle or square to each side of the inside of the bag.

Tips & hints: Ball chain is available really inexpensively at the hardware store. It's usually sold by the yard and the connectors are usually sold in prepackaged pouches nearby.

As far as finding bibs, I found these at a discount shop. If you can't find vinyl baby bibs you can also use vinyl children's art smocks in a small size for this project.

This project was contributed by Faith Sugarman from

To end your week of Russian delight, I’m serving you a complete totally Russian dinner… drinks included! What a way to celebrate the end of another fine food theme week. Did you enjoy it? Tell me what you would like to have as a theme next week… I am thinking some recipes around a specific ingredient or maybe some Latin recipes? I have tons of ideas to share, but I want to know what interests you. So to wrap up this week, let’s partake of a truly Russian buffet! Eat & Enjoy!

DRINK: Black Russian Classique


1 1/2 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Coffee flavored brandy


Pour over ice cubes in old-fashioned cocktail glass.

APPETIZERS: Gutap - Kazakh Deep-Fried Herb Fritters


3 tb Dill freshly chopped fine
3 tb Parsley freshly chopped fine
1 tb Garlic minced
9 tb Scallions chopped fine
1 tb Black pepper frshly ground
8 tb Butter
1 1/2 ts Salt

1 1/2 c All purpose flour
1/2 ts Salt
4 tb Butter, softened
2/3 c Luke warm water

1 ts Cider vinegar
1/4 c Sour cream
2 tb Butter
1/2 ts Flour
6 tb Finely minced onion
1/2 ts Salt
1 ts Black pepper frsshly ground
1 tb Lemon or lime juice frshly
- squeezed & strained


DOUGH: Place the flour into a deep mixing bowl. Make a hollow in the center. Add the water into the hollow, salt, & 2 T of the butter. Stir slowly untilk all of the ingredients are well mixed and the water is totally absorbed. Beat vigorously with a large spoon until a firm, stiff dough is formed. Gather the dough into a ball. on floured surface roll the dough ball out into a rectangle approx. 16" x 18". Brush the dough with the remaining butter, fold into quarters, then roll it out as thinly as possible. Cut into a 16" x 18" rectangle the cut that into 48 each 2" squares.

FILLING: Combine the salt, pepper, scallions, garlic, parsley, & dill. Cut the butter into tiny bits and chill until the dough is ready. Place a teaspoon of the filling mix into the center of each square, add a piece of the butter to each. Draw up the corners and pinch them together firmly thus closing the filling into the dough. Heat enough oil in a deep pot. Heat to 375 degrees F. and drop in 4-6 of the filled squares. Cook for 4 minutes, remove from the oil, drain, and serve warm.

SAUCE: Melt the butter, add the chopped onions, the salt, the pepper, & the vinegar. Cook for 4 minutes then add the remaining ingredients. Stir constantly until it thickens. Remove from the heat. Ad the lemon juice and serve over the fritters.

ENTRÉE: Beef stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a dish consisting of strips of lean beef sauteed and served in a sour-cream sauce with onions and mushrooms. The recipe, which is of Russian origin, has been known since the eighteenth century, but its name appears to come from County Paul Stroganoff, a nineteeth-century Russian diplomat. Legend has it that when he was stationed in deepest Siberia, his chef discovered that the beef was frozen so solid that it could only be coped with by cutting it into very thin strips.


2 1/4 lb beef (boneless)
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp ketchup
5 oz sour cream
2 c broth
1 tbsp flour pounded with butter
1 ea onion
salt to taste


Chop the meat long wise fibers (fibres) and beat the pieces a little. After that cut the pieces into stripes 2 cm long and 1/2 cm wide. Season and roll them in flour. Fry chopped onion in the pan and when it is gold brown, put the stripes there. Fry on hot heat until the meat is light brown. Make a sauce: fry 1 tb flour pounded with butter for few minutes, add sour cream, ketchup, salt. Pour the sauce over meat and stew on a low heat during 15-20 minutes. Don't let sauce to boil, overwise the meat will be hard. Beef Stroganoff is served with fried potatoes.

DESSERT: Plum Sambouk

Sambouk is a kind of mousse but it is thicker and made from berries with egg whites.


1 lb plums boneless
5 tbsp sugar
2 ea egg white
2 tbsp gelatin


Bake plums a little and grate them. Make plum-water from the rest of plums and bones, strain it and dissolve in gelatin. Add sugar and egg whites in plum puree. Put the bowl with plum puree in the pan with cold water or ice and whip with mixer until there is foam. Volume must increase 2-3 times. Pour in gelatin carefully while whipping. Pour mass into moulds quickly.

Well that’s it kids. I hope your trip to the Russian Republic this week has been a fun and exciting one! This meal was divine! I’m stuffed! LOL… so now its time to go relax with a nice heaping helping of American Couch-potato-ism! LOL… Actually I am about to start shooting the DD’s pictures so I can go make copies for the invites LOL. Then its off to visit with Mom while DH has daddy-housework duties LOL! Have a great day and I’ll see you back here tomorrow! HUGS!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Morning everyone… hope you are getting a great start to your weekend. Wish I could say the same. Got up this morning and checked the phone first and read the comments. Thanks so much… I feel so loved LOL. But let me address your comments individually…

To Kathy, enjoying those moments… I hear ya. We do the same with all the family outings and activities I plan for each summer. I tend to spend time (normally anyway) on the computer in the early morning hours or late at night as that’s where I based my business. I also get much information on cooking, recipes, crafts, etc. and most of it I share with you. Isn’t it great? I can multi-task! LMAO! But I am actually glad to hear that you are making the most out of your summer! Keep it up girl! I hope everyone is doing the same! Just make sure to stop in every so often and let me know you are ok, ok? LMAO…

To my Dad- ahhh the beloved hatred of an Iconic American Monopoly… ain’t it great? LMAO and Dad says I am about as “subtle as a train wreck” LMAO… wonder where I get it now? LOL love you Daddy! You know I'm just playing with ya!

And to my mom- Thank you for all the compliments about people missing me, etc. I really needed that actually cause I have been feeling kinda icky the last couple of days. I only hope that this blog does in fact serves that purpose of helping people learn about frugality, crafting, and experiencing new food they might never have heard of, much less tried! And you’re welcome on the mussels recipe… I figured you could appreciate that LOL.

Now, just because the blog looks a little more “normal” this morning, don’t get your hopes up LOL. I am still dealing with all the same computer crud, but our plans of going to the Pearland Flea Market are still a go/in effect. Despite the fact that this has NOT been a good last few days, I am praying that today will be better! Time to forget all my worries for the day and have some fun with the family. So what exactly is in store for us today? Well, gonna try to go to Baubles and Beads, then head off to the flea market. If we get done early there, which I doubt, maybe we can catch some of the other resale and thrift stores. Yes kids, its gonna be a day of Bargain Hunting Madness! Maybe we can even find a dress or some cool things to use at the birthday party for DD.

Now for the craft for today? Well I know many of my readers are either new moms or are expecting very soon. So I thought I would show you another baby craft. I have seen many women wearing those baby “slings” for a unique way of carrying the baby but having some use of your arms. For those of you who like this idea, I have brought it to you as the…

Craft Idea of the Day: Baby Sling


Stretch Poplin
Sewing Machine


This project shows you how to make a baby sling wrap using a very simple sewing pattern.

Follow the intructions and pattern below to create your baby sling wrap.

Follow the general shape of the pattern to create a piece 58" inch (148cm) long and 21" inch (53 1/2cm) wide.

Fold along the dotted line then fold in half.

2: Sew along the curved edge, use a double stitch for strength as this section will take the main weight of the baby.

3: So that the sling remains folded sew a 6" or (15cm) line. This section usually sits on your shoulder.

4: Make a hem around one bottom.

Want a longer sling or a larger person? simply measure from your shoulder to your hip and double it to get the original length measurement. This one is 58"

Now, today’s recipes are what the Russians call Kashas. Kasha is a native Russian dish made from all the possible groats with meat, fish, liver, mushrooms, onion. For base, milk, cream, meat and fish broths were used. It was impossible to imagine Russian cuisine without kasha, there is a proverb: “You can’t feed Russian without a kasha”. I have heard of the cereal Kasha, but not dishes of this nature until I started doing research! So simple, yet so tasty! Check it out!

Gouryevskaya Kasha


1 c semolina
2 1/2 c milk
2 tb butter
2 tb sugar
2 c dense cream
2/3 c nuts
2 c canned fruits
1/2 c sugar
1/2 ea lemon


Take a not very deep pan. Put cream (must be dense) into the hot oven. As soon as there is a pink skin on the cream, take it carefully away on the plate. Be careful not to tear. Do it until you have 6-7 skins. Boil a viscous kasha (mush) on milk. Add butter, sugar (2 tb), vanilla, salt and mix very well. Put kasha into the oven to warm up for 30 minutes. Add the rest of baked cream to kasha. Nuts caramelizing: nuts must be caramelized otherwise kasha will be grey and not have a very good taste. Nuts must be tempered (fired) at first. Then put in a very hot water for 10 minutes. After that take the skins off and dry and chop them. Put sugar (1/2 c) in the pan on the heat, add lemon juice, wait until red colour and add nuts. As soon as nuts are caramelized, take them out and let cool down. Prepare a baking form. Grease it with butter. Put a little kasha as first layer, then a skin and nuts, chopped canned fruits. Repeat it until all the skins are used. The last layer is made of kasha. Decorate with sugar, fruits and nuts and put the form into the hot oven for 10-20 minutes. Gouryevskaya Kasha is served with apricot puree or any fruit juice.

Well what do you think? I think it’s a tasty treat that’s good to eat LOL! Alright I am gonna try pulling myself up by the boot straps enough to get out of this funk and go do some fun and exciting things with the kids today. I hope you have a safe and happy Saturday and I will meet you back here tomorrow for more fun and excitement (and hopefully a working computer! LOL) on The Frugal Mom! Until Tomorrow… HUGS!

Friday, June 25, 2010


Well good evening everyone. I hope this end of the work week finds you well. I am not doing so great. As you have probably already guessed, I am having some major PC issues. It is now stuck in reboot mode and I cannot get Windows Desktop to even load. Therefore, I am having to type my entry out on my daughter’s PC as we speak… and I am not sure how this is gonna make it to the web… but I will find a way I suppose. LOL! And my mother did ask where are all the familiar posters and I am wondering the same thing!? I can check comments from my phone you know… LOL! Get on here and at least let me know you are not all abandoning me! LMAO.

Ok for those of you dying for your Frugal Fix, I did manage to find this article a while back on yahoo and save it to my flash for future reference… guess now would be the time? LOL… as a frequent shopper of the big “W” store, I know there are things that I would and would NOT recommend buying. Well someone actually grew a pair large enough to talk public about THEIR opinions about products from “W”… way to go! Here is an article for you to check out…

What to Buy and Not Buy at Walmart
by Catherine Holahan
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that Walmart (NYSE: WMT - News) is the nation's largest retailer, there are plenty of people who wouldn't be caught dead in one. To these folks, Walmart conjures images of a rapacious juggernaut of stadium-sized stores offering low-quality merchandise, spotty service, and mistreating employees and the environment — while driving small local retailers out of business.

But many of those misgivings are starting to fade, partly as a result of some well-timed improvements to the company's product line-up and its environmental record. What's more, there's nothing like the worst recession in 80 years to nudge "low prices" a little higher on the collective priority list. And while Walmart may not be making its employees rich, the chain handed out very few pink slips in the downturn and remains the country's largest private employer.

To be sure, there are plenty of reasons to remain wary of the retail behemoth. Whether you are concerned about the threat to a downtown business district, object to the retail culture, or just have a mental picture of the Walmart shopper that you can't square with your own self image, it may not be for you. But it's worth keeping in mind that, when it leverages its enormous scale for good, Walmart can make a difference in a hurry. It's one thing when a boutique sells fair-trade coffee, but when Walmart gets into the game, a lot of sustainable farmers benefit. Here are five product categories where you can comparison shop in good conscience at the nation's "low-price leader."

1. Moderately Priced Consumer Electronics
Dying to get the latest hi-definition TV from Vizio or Viore? We thought not. Those low-priced brands are what Walmart has focused on in the past, but recently the retailer has expanded its offerings to include high-def TVs from top makers such as Samsung (Other OTC: SSNLF.PK - News), Sony (NYSE: SNE - News), Philips (NYSE: PHG - News), and Sharp (Other OTC: SHCAY.PK - News). It also now offers digital cameras made by the likes of Nikon and Canon.

Walmart still isn't the best place to shop for a top-of-the-line television or digital SLR camera. But its focus on bringing in more big brands has made it an attractive option for shoppers seeking consumer electronics in the sub-$1,000 price range. This year, for example, some WalMart stores offered a 50-inch Samsung plasma television for less than $700 during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

What Walmart doesn't have is an army of educated sales people ready to explain all the settings on the back of that SLR or the subtle differences between a high-def TV with a resolution of 1080i versus one with 1080p. But such service has become less important now that 90 percent of consumers turn to the Internet for detailed product reviews, says James Russo, Nielsen's vice president of global consumer insights.
"Consumers will do their research outside the store," says Russo. "So if Walmart has the right selection and price point, consumers will go there.

2. Smart Phones
In the past year, Walmart has beefed up its offerings of higher-end cell phones, especially Blackberries. This is good news if you've reached the end of your phone contract and are looking to compare new phones and carriers all in one place, since Walmart sells phones and service plans from each of the four largest U.S. carriers: Verizon (NYSE: VZ - News), AT&T (NYSE: T - News), Sprint (NYSE: S - News), and T-Mobile (NYSE: DT - News). So if you want to see how T-Mobile's G1 phone, which uses Google's Android operating system, matches up against Apple's iPhone, Walmart is the place for you. You can't do that at an AT&T store, or even at one of Apple's fancy boutiques.

3. Coffee
While Walmart has been criticized in the past for being more concerned with price than environmental or labor issues when sourcing its goods, one area where it's improving its record is with coffee. This year, the company partnered with TransFair USA, an independent certifying agency, to offer fair trade-certified coffee in its Walmart and Sam's Club stores. The coffee is sustainably grown by farmers who receive a living wage and is thus more expensive than competing coffees — roughly $5.88 for a 10 to 12 ounce bag, compared with less than $5 for supermarket brand Eight O'Clock Coffee. But it tastes better (or at least it should), and by selling fair-trade coffee, Walmart vastly expands the market for such goods.
Carmen K. Iezzi, executive director of the Fair Trade Federation, a North American association for such products, says Walmart's expansion of fair trade certified items like coffee was promising, although she cautioned that it's too early to tell how much impact Walmart's efforts will have. Still, coffee is a good start. "When any major corporation begins to move in the direction of more sustainable practices, that is a positive sign," says Iezzi.

4. Video Game Bundles
Of course, Walmart's primary appeal has always been its low prices, but it makes sense for shoppers to do a cost/benefit analysis: Is it worth it to save $10 on a book, when you could be supporting an independent bookseller instead? On the other hand, you can save a lot more money if you're in the market for video game systems, which Walmart often bundles with starter games. For example, Walmart was recently selling the Xbox 360 Elite gaming system, along with two games, including this season's blockbuster title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, for just $259. The game console alone sells for upward of $249 at stores such as Sears, while Call of Duty typically retails for $60. And buying video game consoles and products at Walmart is arguably a guilt-free purchase. After all, Sears (NasdaqGS: SHLD - News) isn't known for standing up against suburban sprawl.

5. Laundry Detergent
When it comes to the environment, Walmart's suppliers have often fallen far short of best practices. Now the chain is trying to clean up its act by offering more eco-friendly products. One area where it's done the most is laundry detergent. The company recently switched to selling only concentrated laundry detergent in its U.S. stores — these products use up to 50 percent less packaging and require less fuel to transport than the earlier versions. Once again, scale matters: Walmart has a serious carbon footprint, so cutting laundry detergent containers by half can have a big impact.

Walmart has taken steps to combat phosphates, which pollute the water and lead to an explosion of the algae population that destroys fish habitats and plants. The company already says there are no phosphates in detergent it sells in the U.S., and earlier this year, it announced plans to choose more eco-friendly suppliers for the laundry and dish detergent it sells in its Americas region, cutting phosphates by 70 percent by 2011. The Americas region includes Canada, Mexico, and countries in Central and South America.

And Walmart has unveiled broader initiatives to improve its eco-image. In July, the company began developing a sustainability index that will eventually rank all of its suppliers and products based on their environmental impact. "Walmart is taking some important steps, although they've still got a long way to go," says Honor Schauland, a campaign assistant at the Organic Consumers Association, a Minnesota-based consumer advocacy group.

Walmart didn't become the world's largest retailer by accident. Executives in Bentonville, Ark., are well aware that stocking sustainable products was a good way to attract a more affluent consumer. And those consumers like low prices on recognizable brands as much as anyone, especially in the current economy, says Doug Conn, a managing director at Hexagon Securities who focuses on the retail sector.

"They have picked up on trends like organics and natural products, and that has helped get new customers," says Conn. "But the key theme is that customers are more value-oriented than they have ever been this holiday season, and Walmart is the default place to go for low prices."

In other words, new customers are coming for the deals. But if they shop the categories mentioned above, they can feel good about being thrifty without worrying that they've abandoned their ideals just to save a buck.

What Not to Buy at Walmart
While Walmart has recently burnished its reputation among upscale shoppers, there are still some product categories where you'd be better off going elsewhere — either because you're straying beyond Walmart's core competency, or to avoid supporting the giant retailer's bad behavior. Here are three of them.

1. High-End Electronics
Though Walmart has expanded its selection of name-brand electronics, it's still focused on value-oriented products in the sub-$1,000 price range. And its sales staff tend not to be experts in the finer points of multimedia interface. So if you want to splurge on a top-of-the-line television or digital SLR camera — and get the accompanying level of service and accessories — you'll want to visit a specialty electronics store. Best Buy (NYSE: BBY - News), for example, has a customer support team (the Geek Squad) capable of explaining why, for instance, you may need a television with several HDMI ports.

2. Books
This year, Walmart slashed prices aggressively to establish itself as the low-price leader for best-selling books. The store cut the cost of popular novels such as Stephen King's Under the Dome by 70 percent to $13.99, sparking a price war with Amazon (NasdaqGS: AMZN - News).

The Walmart/Amazon rivalry translates into incredibly low prices for consumers on some of the most popular book titles. But Walmart's prices come at a cost, say local business advocates. In the long-run, such deep discounts can drive independent booksellers out of business. And without these stores, consumers will have difficulty finding all but the most well-known authors, says Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a non-profit that advocates for local businesses.

3. Wood Furniture
Despite Walmart's increased focus on sustainability, the retailer has a long way to go in the furniture category. In December 2007, an environmental group published a report tracing furniture from Walmart suppliers to wood illegally logged in protected Russian habitats for Siberian tigers and other wildlife. Several months later, Walmart promised to investigate its suppliers and joined the Global Forest & Trade Network, an organization dedicated to eliminating illegal logging. Environmental activists have applauded Walmart's promise to purge environmentally rotten wood, but Walmart could take until a self-imposed deadline of 2013 to phase out the products. Until then, consumers can't be certain that Walmart's wood furniture comes from well-managed forests.

So do you agree? Do you own anything in these categories? Talk to me… share peoples… and have you been crafting? Not me, I have kinda been in this funk ever since the issue with the PC started. And with limited to no access to the web to find new and exciting ideas, I am sad to report that I am gonna have to skip the crafts for a few days until I can get back up and working at normal capacity again. I apologize for this, as it is very depressing to me too. I’ve laid in bed wondering what else I can do, if anything, to get my PC up and running without losing so much info… and playing games on my phone to try to keep the old blood pressure from making me stroke out! LMAO.

Now the recipe I bring you today utilizes one of my mother’s favorite proteins… mussels. She loves mussels. So I am always looking for new recipes to give to her. I was shocked to see one in the Russian cuisine honestly, but hey whatever works right? Fish is a big ingredient in the Russian culture… easily accessible to the rich or to the poor. It serves as a healthy main dish for any meal. And my mother’s comment was right on the money… it is amazing how many people will shy away foods with different names, despite how much they are similar to something they may be so familiar with… its crazy! So without further ado, here is the Russian Recipe of the day! Eat & Enjoy!

Crimean Mussel Pilaf


2 qrts mussels
1 cup white wine
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 oz butter
onion, thinly sliced
10 oz rice
salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley


It is necessary to wash mussels carefully to rid them of sand and mud. Left for an hour in 1 or 2 gallons of cold water with a handful of salt, they disgorge and release some of the sand. Clean the mussels by rubbing them against each other in the water. Change the water two or three times. A mussel may be full of mud and so vacuum-tight that even washing won't open it. To check for mud, push with your fingers in opposite directions to make both shells slide open. If the mussel is full of mud, discard it. Put the mussels in a large pan, add the white wine and garlic; cover and cook over high heat, stirring once, for 5-7 minutes or until opened. Remove from their shells, discard the beards and reserve the mussels. Strain the cooking liquid through muslin and add enough water to make it up to 700ml. Set the oven at moderate, 180°C (35O°F). Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and cook the onion slowly until soft but not brown. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains are transparent and the butter is absorbed. Add the mussel liquid with pepper. Cover the pan, bring to the boil and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir in the mussels, cover and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes. Allow the rice to stand for 5-10 minutes.

Well folks, I am sorry there have been so many problems with my postings the last couple of days. I don’t know what else to do aside from totally reformat my hard drive and lose everything… pictures, files, 12 years worth of work… all of it didn’t fit onto the few flash drives I had. Sucks I know. I will keep finding ways to get to each of you each day. I can check your comments from my phone, but the posting is what is going to be fun! So I am hoping to get on here again in the morning and see you off to a great start to a crazy weekend. Only time will tell… until then… HUGS!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Good afternoon everyone! How are you this humid nasty day of days? Sorry I am so tardy today! I am going crazy. It’s been a rough 24 hours between the storm knocking out my computer and it not working and me getting no sleep and being in pain and such! But as my Dad tells me… this too shall pass. Oh, I want to let everyone know that mom had her procedure finally done yesterday as you probably got from her comment late last night! YAY! She is pretty sore and achy, but that’s to be expected. Give it a few days and she should know if it helped or not. Crossing our fingers it did and thanking God it didn’t turn out like last time!

Time for another kitten update! Miracle is putting on weight… kinda fast, but still… they are eating canned food and dry food and pottying without accident! They are playing so much now its great! And they are flea free! I have been checking them and haven’t found anything yet WOOHOO! I brought them out in to the living room (in the carrier of course) for about an hour this morning to try to begin introducing them to the older cats. Still a bunch of hissing and snorting… oh well I will keep trying. This is only the first time. LOL Rebel did plop his big old butt on top of the carrier as if to tell them… My house you little heathens LOL! After an hour I took them back in the back and they ate some more, pottied, and took a nap LOL… just like little kids!

Oh and just wanted to let you all know that this weekend we might be going on another “exciting adventure” that will bring you lots of funny stories and pictures. We “might” be going to the Flea Market in Pearland for a day out. One of the things on their lists was Trader’s Village, but Pearland is much closer LOL! Gotta balance the bills and books and see if we should/could/would… so stay tuned for that LMAO!

I am going to try to get some super unique crafting done during what’s left of today, but right now I want to bring you this craft as its just too super cute! It’s a recycling project of course, but something 8 out of 10 of us probably have in our car or recently used… LMAO I thought of my brother who is like a McDonald’s Frequent Flyer LMAO! Check this out!

Craft Idea of the Day: Recycled Note holder

This is a recycled craft that the kids can make for dad on his special day (with a little help from mom). It is made from a french fry container from McDonald's.

McDonald's french fry container
light card stock
glue (white glue, hot glue, or rubber cement)
paper punch
paper cut to size for notes
pen or pencil
Sharpie (any color)


Cut a piece of light card stock to cover the printing on the french fry container. Use photo as a guide. I cut mine a wee bit smaller than the container, so it is bordered in red. Decorate the card stock by printing "Notes" across the top. You can decorate it with stickers, or draw pictures such as flowers or rainbows, if you like.

Punch a hole at the center top as you see in the photo to hang the note holder. Glue the card to the front with any glue you like. Just a few dots of hot glue at the corners would work well, and adhere quickly. Add a pen or pencil and cut some paper to fit in the pocket for writing notes.
By Harlean from Hot Springs, AR

And now its time to eat! For Russian cuisine there are three principal types of meat dishes: boiled meat piece, poultry dishes and dishes made from animal organs with groats. At the moment the last group is not very popular on the table. Dishes with liver, kidneys and heart are loved by many people though. Meat dishes are usually served with groats, mushrooms, vegetables and pickles. (This one kind of reminds me of an Empanada wouldn’t you agree?)



2 c flour
1 c milk (water)
1/2 ts salt
2 tb vegetable oil
2 ea eggs
1 c beef
1 c pork
1 ea little onion
3 tb mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil to fry


Grind beef and pork twice in a mincer. Then add finely chopped onion, salt, pepper. To make mincemeat more tender and juicy, add mayonnaise. Stir very well and knead with hands. Reserve. Mix flour with eggs and milk, salt and oil until a soft dough forms. Knead on floured surface until dough is elastic. Take some dough and make a "sausage" (1 inch in diameter). Divide into pieces (1 inch thick). Roll each piece so that they are 1/16 inch thick. Take a little plate ( 4 inches in diameter) and make rounds with it's help on the dough. Fill each round with the mincemeat evenly, fold into half-moons. Pinch edges together and connect the opposite sides. Pour oil into the pan and heat up. Put two Cheboureki on the pan at a time and fry until golden brown on the average heat on two sides. Cheboureki are good with beer.

Alrighty my little legion of lurkers LOL… that’s all the time we have for today. I’m sorry for the super late post… blame mother nature and my dino-PC! LOL Think I am gonna go find something to eat and then craft while I download/backup the files on my PC! Ya’ll have fun and be safe in everything you do today! Until tomorrow… HUGS!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Good morning kids! How are you today? I am rather nervous as the doctor and hospitals are supposed to be doing my mother’s procedure this morning. I am gonna gather myself here today and go over there and make sure the house is prepped for her return!

OK remember last week when I brought you the things to do with common household things like vinegar, lemons, and baking soda? Well I have some more spots for you to find some great uses for things like Vodka, Oatmeal, Olive Oil, Ketchup, and Aluminum foil! And make sure to hop on over to The Daily Green for tons of great information about Going Green, Recycling, and LOTS more! (Reposting the other links too…)

12 Things you’ve never thought to do with Oatmeal by By Brian Clark Howard

Top 10 Weird Uses for Vodka by Brain Clark Howard

8 Surprising Uses for Olive Oil by Brian Clark Howard

9 Uses for Ketchup that may surprise you by Brian Clark Howard

12 Surprising Ways to reuse Aluminum Foil by Jeff Yeager

40 Fantastic uses for baking Soda by Melissa Breyer

Lovely Lemons: 14 Uses in the Home by Annie Bond

23 Ingenious Uses for White Vinegar by Mel

Well now for those of you who are looking for a craft for today… look no further! Today when you are eating your potato chips with lunch or you walk by the vending machine at work, I want you to think of all the wrapper crafts just waiting in there LOL. As you crunch your chips be thinking of what to do with the bag… and I have an idea for you right here!

Craft Idea of the Day: Recycled Potato Chip Bag


Potato chip bags, cleaned, dried and cut so that they lay flat (approximately 20 large bags should be enough to make a purse)
Rotary fabric cutter
Mat to protect the table when the rotary fabric cutter is being used.
Strong carpet thread or nylon thread
Craft needle
Piece of ribbon
Large button


Paper chip purses are colorful, fun to make, and a great way of recycling snack bags that would otherwise simply be thrown away. If you have ever made a gum wrapper chain when you were small, the same technique can be used to create a stylish and durable new purse. There are more complicated methods that can be used to construct the purse, but to make a simple purse you only need to make a single shape, plus a long chain to use for the shoulder strap or carrying handle.
Step 1: Cut the potato chip bags into pieces that are 2 inches by 4-1/2 inches, using a rotary cutter.

Step 2: If you've ever made a gum wrapper chain, the technique for making the individual pieces is exactly the same. Lay one cut piece of chip bag on the table wrong side up. Fold it in half lengthwise, creasing the fold. Then, unfold and fold each long edge in towards the center crease. After both sides have been folded to the center, fold the entire piece in half lengthwise, which will enclose the cut edges on the inside. Then, fold the piece in half the other direction, making a crease. Fold the both short edges so that they meet at the center fold and crease. Then, fold the entire piece in half so that the cut short edges are enclosed on the inside of the piece. You will make many of these pieces.

Step 3: To join the pieces, slide the edges of one piece into the slots of another, continuing the process until you have a long chain. If you've never made a gum wrapper chain before, you can check out for pictures.

Step 4: Once you have a long chain made, you can start the purse by creating a circle shape that, when flattened, is as wide as you want your purse to be. Using strong carpet thread or nylon thread and a craft needle, sew the rows together by spiraling one layer above the other, fitting the notches of the chain together as you go. Sew the rows together by running the thread through the gaps of the individual links. Continue this process until the cylinder is as tall as you want your purse to be.

Step 5: Using the thread, sew the bottom edge of the purse closed. You will now have a purse shape with a closed bottom and an open top.

Step 6: Create a chain from potato chip bag pieces that is long enough to serve as the handle or shoulder strap. Attach one side of this chain to either both sides of the open end of the purse.

Step 7: Sew a large button onto the front of the purse. Then, using ribbon or a decorative piece of cord, sew a loop onto the opposite side of the open end of the purse, so that you can close the purse by looping the cord loop over the button.

Alright folks, its time to eat! Long time ago Russian desserts were called "zaedkami", that means "after-eaters", for they were served after the principal meal. Native Russian sweet dishes are kissel, compote, levashen (fruit pastila), sweet pirohi, baked apples and pears, fruit and berry preserves. So for those with a serious sweet tooth, try this recipe on for size! Eat & Enjoy!

Baba Romovaya cake


3 ea eggs
5 oz flour
5 oz sugar

5 oz cherry juice
2 tbsp rum

4 tbsp rum
2 ea yolks
8 oz cream
1 tbsp starch


Beat up eggs with sugar with the mixer until there is foam. Stir in flour very gradually and make dough very quickly. Fill in the form half (the dough wil rise twice) with dough very very carefully. Grease the form abundantly with butter and sprinkle with flour. Close all windows and doors to avoid draughts otherwise "baba" will catch a cold". Put in a warm place, don't move it. As soon as the dough rise up to the top, bake in the oven (180C) until it is golden. It is very important to keep the form of "baba" after baking. Put upside "baba" in the form down on the paper until it is cold. Don't take it out of the form until it is cold. Mix rum with cherry juice in a large bowl and sink "baba" in this syrup. Beat up yolks with cream and starch, pour in rum. Put the mass on a "steam bath" (put a smaller pan with cream mass in a large pan with water) and bring to thickening. Pour the sauce over "Baba" before serving.

Well gang, that’s all the time we have today for Frugal fun and adventure. I am gonna go sit on the end of my chair and anxiously await word on my mom’s procedure, which was SUPPOSED to be today… perhaps 3rd times a charm? Ok gang take care, I love you all, and I will see you tomorrow! HUGS!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Good morning boys and girls and welcome to another edition of the Frugal Mom! So glad you stopped in today… so tell me… how are ya? I am doing pretty good. I was up late last night and I have a busy day planned for today, but I’m good

Alright everyone… after searching and planning, I have found a site to host a small web store for free until I can pay the selling fees to open it up with lots more listings. I started working on it late last night until I went bug-eyed. I used to have an extensive yahoo site, but they shut it down (everyone not just me LOL). So this is going to take some time to get it up and running, so be patient with me LOL! But I am proud to say that Goodies Galore is back up and running! Go check it out on webs and even bookmark it LOL!

Well today for frugal, I’m bringing you an article about one of my favorite things… FOOD! Yes there are tons of ways to be frugal with food costs, and this article shows one guys perspective. See if you agree!

50 healthy foods for under $1 a pound
by Jeff Yeager, The Daily Green

If you are what you eat, then I should weigh-in at under $1 a pound. That's because, as a general rule of thumb, I try to only buy foodstuffs that costs under a buck per pound. Under $1 a pound, year-round -- that's my grocery shopping mantra.

It's not just because I'm a world-class penny-pincher and smart shopper; believe it or not, it's also about eating healthier. When you look at the USDA's "food pyramid," many of the things we should be eating the most of -- grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables -- happen to cost the least.

It's often the stuff that's bad for us (at least in large quantities) like red meat, fatty dairy products, and processed foods high in trans saturated fats, that cost the most, on a per pound basis.

To prove my point, I've put together this list of 50 healthy foods that I've purchased at least once in the last six months for under $1 a pound.

So rev-up your shopping cart, but be careful: There's a Green Cheapskate loose on aisle five!

- Apples - One a day keeps the cheapskate away.
- Asparagus - HUGE store special at 99 cents a pound during Easter week. I bought 10 pounds, blanched it, and then froze it.
- Bananas - Potassium for pennies.
- Barley - A tasty alternative to rice and potatoes.
- Beans - Canned or dried. Kidney, pinto, navy, black, red, and many more.
- Bok choy - Steam and serve with a little soy sauce.
- Broccoli - Yes, a store special. Usually closer to $2 per pound.
- Bulgar wheat - Try it in pilaf or a tabouleh salad.
- Cabbage - Green and red. I like mine fried.
- Cantaloupe - No, sorry, I can't; I'm already married.
- Carrots - Raw or steamed. Rich in carotenes, a healthy antioxidant.
- Celery - Stir-fry it for a change.
- Chicken - Whole or various parts, on sale.
- Chickpeas - AKA garbanzo beans -- mash 'em up as a healthy sandwich spread.
- Cornmeal - "Polenta" is all the rage these days, but I loved it 40 years ago when Mom called it "cornmeal mush."
- Cucumbers - Try peeling, seeding, and steaming with a little butter and salt.
- Daikon radish - My new favorite raw veggie.
- Eggs - Don't overdo them, but eggs provide high quality protein and still cost about $1 per pound. (Plus, there are many eggscellent things you can do with the shells.)
- Green beans - Frozen, but fresh are sometimes on sale for under $1 a pound in-season.
- Greens - Kale, mustard, turnip, and collard greens are rich in vitamins and a good source of fiber.
- Grapes - Store special at 99 cents a pound.
- Grapefruit - Bake with a little brown sugar on top for a healthy dessert.
- Lentils - Perhaps the perfect food -- healthy, cheap, and versatile. Think soups, salads, sandwich spreads -- and those are only some of the "s" possibilities.
- Liver - Chicken livers usually cost under $1 a pound, and sometimes beef and pork liver can be found in the DMZ ("Dollar Maximum Zone").
- Mangoes - High in fiber and vitamins A, B6, and C.
- Milk - Yep, on a per-pound basis, milk still costs well under $1 a pound.
- Napa cabbage - Delicious steamed or raw in a salad.
- Oatmeal - The good old-fashioned "slow cooking" kind ... that takes all of five minutes.
- Onions - Try baking them whole in a cream sauce.
- Oranges - Frequent sale price when in-season.
- Pasta - Store special at 89 cents a pound -- I nearly bought them out!
- Peanut butter - Special sale price, but stock up because it usually has a long shelf life.
- Pork - Inexpensive cuts of pork frequently go on sale for 99 cents per pound or less; sometimes even ham during the holidays.
- Potatoes - White and red, Baked, mashed, boiled, broiled, steamed.
- Pumpkin - Yes, you can eat the same ones you buy as holiday decorations, and they usually cost under 50 cents a pound.
- Rice - White for under $1 a pound; brown, a little more expensive but better for you.
- Rutabagas - Hated them as a kid; can't get enough of them now.
- Sour cream - 99 cents on sale, but long shelf life, so stock up. My cucumber awaits.
- Spinach - Frozen (but Popeye doesn't care).
- Split peas - Add a hambone and make the ultimate comfort soup. Try it in the crock-pot!
- Squash - Try baking acorn squash with a little brown sugar.
- Sweet corn - Canned or fresh on the cob, in-season.
- Tomatoes - Canned are often better than fresh to use in cooking, and occasionally you can find fresh on sale for under a buck, in-season.
- Turkey - A popular bargain-priced, loss-leader around the holidays -- buy an extra bird and freeze it for later.
- Turnips - Make me think of my grandparents, who always grew them.
- Watermelon - Whole, in-season melons can sometime cost less than 20 cents a pound if they're on sale and you find a big one.
- Wine - Well, at least the stuff I drink -- a 5-liter box (approximately 11 pounds) for about 10 bucks, on sale. (BTW, the beer I drink is even less expensive per pound.)
- Yams/sweet potatoes - One of the healthiest foods you can eat, and usually available year-round for under $1 a pound.
- Yogurt - 8-ounce containers on sale, two for $1.
- Zucchini - OK, they're a type of squash (above). But I love them so much they deserve their own place on the list. Plus they look great in pantyhose.

Here are a few disclaimers about my list-o-50:

No, I don't live on another planet or in a part of the country where the cost of living is deflated. In fact, I live and shop in the Washington, D.C., metro area, which has one of the highest costs of living (and groceries) in the country.

No, I'm not saying that all of these items are available in every store, at all times. But if you shop carefully, you can always find at least some variety of these foods around which to plan your meals.

Many of the items on the list (e.g., most root vegetables, bananas, beans, etc.) can usually be purchased for under $1 pound even when not on sale or in-season. Other items on the list were "store specials" and typically would cost more than $1 a pound, and/or they were in-season so cost less.

No, none of the items on my under $1-a-pound list are organically grown. The pros/cons of that debate aside, for most people with a limited budget, the choice isn't whether or not to buy expensive organic, it's whether or not to eat highly processed crap like fast food or eat inexpensive healthy foods like those on my list.

No, I'm not saying that by eating only these foods you'll have a complete, healthy diet. But they certainly can be the backbone around which to plan healthy, inexpensive menus for your family.

No, I don't burn up a lot of time and gas by running around to a lot of different grocery stores, and I rarely use coupons. I shop only once every week or two, and I usually shop at only one or two stores.

I plan my meals around the-best-of-the-best weekly store specials (aka the "loss-leaders"), the sale items that are usually on the front page of the weekly circular most stores publish. If you're not a creative cook like me, try a website like Delish or Epicurious, where you can enter the ingredients you have to work with and get all kinds of recipes.

Now look at all the money you've saved!

Jeff Yeager is the author of The Cheapskate Next Door and The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches.

I spent quite a bit of time checking out the website “The Daily Green” yester-night and let me tell you… LOADS of great information there! You should check it out! Now… lets get crafty! Remember that I brought you the reusable swiffer mop cloth back in April… well today I have found the matching duster. No more wasting your money… recycle and be green! Go on over to the blog Sew Much Ado for a great step-by-step tutorial with some great photos!

Craft Idea of the Day: Reusable Swiffer Duster


4 7"x7" pieces flannel
4 4"x7" pieces flannel (can be co-ordinating color)
Swiffer duster handle

Note: I found that flannel works best at dusting. I also tried using microfiber (you can get microfiber cloths at the dollar store for a couple of bucks), but personally didn't like it as much as flannel. It didn't seem to hold as much dust, and made a HUGE mess as I was cutting it up. Polar fleece may also be a good alternative, but I would still prefer flannel, in my very humble opinion :).


1. Place two pieces of 4"x7" flannel on two pieces of 7"x7" flannel, centering smaller pieces on top. Repeat with remaining flannel squares.
2. Join small and large pieces together by stitching down center of all four layers of fabric as pictured. Stack the two sets of flannel on top of each other, with the small pieces on the top and bottom.
3. Next, make the casing for the Swiffer duster handle. Fold the small pieces of fabric to one side, align the base of the prongs at the edge of the fabric, and center the prongs over the middle seam where the small and large pieces were joined together.
4. Trace close to side edge of prong all the way to the edge of fabric, leaving spaces where the curved areas of the prongs are. It is better to leave a little extra space where the curved areas are than to leave too little space. Fold small piece of fabric to opposite side and trace prongs again the same way.
5. Fold top and bottom small pieces to one side and stitch along traced lines, through all four layers of flannel.
6. Fold top and bottom small pieces to opposite side and stitch along traced lines, through all four layers of flannel.
7. Open up top and bottom small pieces at middle seams and lay flat. Slide Swiffer duster handle into the casing you have sewn, in between the 4 large pieces of flannel. Curved areas on prongs should slide into the spaces you left when you stitched the casing in step 6 and hold the handle in place.
8. Beginning with top layer of large flannel piece, trim approximately 1" of fabric from edge on both sides.
9. Continue trimming each layer approximately 1" shorter than the layer beneath it.
10. Turn duster cloth over and repeat steps 8-9 with opposite side.
11. Beginning with narrowest layer, clip edges of flannel at 1/2" intervals along length of duster.
12. Repeat with the next flannel layer beneath.
13. Continue clipping edges of all layers on each side of duster cloth.
14. Ruffle up all clipped edges.
15. Throw your new reusable Swiffer duster cloth in the washer and dryer to let the edges fray. You may need to clip some loose or dangling strands of thread.
16. Let your kids, husband, and even you (ya, you) fight over who gets to do the dusting!

Today’s Russian food focus is appetizers and breads. From olden times bread in the Russia was the evidence of hard work, prosperity and fortune. Guests were welcomed with Russian bread, holiday tables were decorated with delicious ruddy pies; pancakes are the attribute of winter seeing-off. Bread is everything’s head, says Russian proverb. Appetizers, as in any cuisine culture, and Russia is not an exception, serve as small snacks before main course. Russian appetizers (in Russian, they are called “zakuski”) were meant mainly not to provoke keen appetite but to have them with strong drinks. So, most favorite Russian appetizers were all kinds of pickles and cold meats which go best with ice cold vodka. But not only vegetable pickles were used in Russian cuisine, the abundance of sea and river food provided cooks with a wide range of various fish appetizers. So here are today’s picks to please your palate. Eat & Enjoy!

Dolmasy ( Stuffed Grapes Leaves )


3 tb butter
1 c onion finely chopped
1 tb coriander finely chopped
2 tb fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh peas
black pepper
28 pickled grapes leaves
1 c chicken stock
1/2 c long-grain, white rice
300 g lean lamb ground
2 l plain yogurt
1 tb cinnamon


Melt the butter in a skillet set over moderate heat. Add the onions, lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until they are lightly colored. Transfer them to a large bowl. Bring 2 c water to a boil in a saucepan set over high heat. Stir in the rice, lower the heat and cook uncovered for 8 minutes, then drain through a sieve. Stir the rice, lamb, coriander, dill, peas, salt and pepper into the onions and stir all the ingredients together lightly but thoroughly. Taste for seasoning. Bring 4 c water to a boil in a saucepan and drop in the grape leaves. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, uncovered, then drain. Flatten them out. Put each leaf the inner side up. Place 1 tb stuffing in the center of each leaf. Roll leaves, covering stuffing from sides like an envelope. Arrange the rolls, seam-side down, in a pan just large enough to hold them in one layer. Pack them in side by side so that they retain their shape while cooking. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover the casserole tightly, lower the heat, and stew for about 45 minutes. Serve the grapes rolls with a bowl of yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon.



3 cups wheat flour
2 eggs
4 oz butter
1/3 cup water
salt to taste


Knead the dough, let it stand for 20-30 min (so it would become more sticky), roll the dough finger thick, slice into small squares (2-3 fingers wide). Drop into a boiling salty water and boil until they float on top, or a bit longer if the middle is raw. Place on a rack, let the water run off well. Fry quickly in butter on a pan, shaking the pan occasionally. You can add cubed bacon to the galushki on the pan at this point. Serve with sour cream.

OK kids, that’s about all for me today! Gonna take mom to therapy today and then once I get home spend the day getting my shopping lists and bills and such in order first so that I can relax the rest of the day with some fun crafting and kitten play. I hope you have a wonderful day and be safe in your journeys! I will see you tomorrow! HUGS!