Sunday, June 20, 2010

HAPPY FATHERS DAY

Good morning everyone and a HAPPY Father’s Day to all my male readers out there… especially MY DAD! Love you Daddy! So how is everyone doing this sultry Sunday morning? Me… can’t complain- I woke up with air in my lungs, a roof over my head, and my family all around… so I’m good! And I have lots to share with you today, so let's get started.

OK now, yesterday, I managed to get some crafting done. And boy let me tell ya…. I think you will like it!



Intriducing… the Monopoly money bags!! Aren’t they super spiffy?? I attached all the bills together and then covered them with vinyl and proceeded like normal totes. Although when it was just the sides covered in vinyl, I have to admit, they would have made really cool place mats too LOL! I am going to take one of them and make it into a “Monopoly package” with a matching makeup bag, etc. and make a notebook out of the cards, etc LOL. I think it will be cool! What do you think?



These are super jumbo puzzle pieces and I spray painted them. Once they were dry I drew around the edges with some special glue and then sprinkled different colored glitters on it. Pretty sparkly huh? I am thinking that I might make them into magnets or package tags or… well I just don’t know.



These are some more cell pouches that I made, but since I am out of snaps, I used velcro. I think they are pretty neat really. All these materials were scraps from the green crate (as were the inside fabrics of those purses). I am slowing working my way through that crate LOL! I’m running out of time, so I better get cracking huh? Anyway, the roses and skulls material is the ones I used for making my DB’s bedroom set. He said he is waiting for more (bedroom sets) LOL! Might be an idea for the Christmas Countdown challenge… not sure yet. Gonna start my list probably next week. I’m sure that crate will diminish quickly once I start the Christmas Countdown LOL!



Seeing that I have a wretched landlord who has not yet done anything about my possessed stove, I am cooking meals that are either stovetop, crockpot, grill, or just eating the premade meals I froze in the freezer. I also made a couple of casseroles at mom’s and brought them home too, but those are already gone LOL! Anyway, I had a whole buzzard and I threw that in the crockpot yesterday morning with some Lipton’s vegetable soup mix and a can of Rotel. Seasoned the chicken with the normal S/P/G and then also used some cumin and allspice. Let that puppy cook on low for a few hours and it was falling apart moist LITERALLY! I paired that with some noodles with veggies in them (and I put some of the stewed Rotel on top the noodles) and then some buttered garlic Italian bread I had and voila! A mouthwatering no fuss super That everyone devoured!



What’s a dinner without dessert? Here is our colossal cookie! Super chocolate chunk and oh so… sweet!!! TOO SWEET for me actually. It was given to us the other day and it was the perfect treat… for THEM! I had one bite, it hurt my teeth, and I said oh no! LOL But I have no fear they will make it disappear LOL. Its cute though… very cute!



I ended my day with a rescue. Aren’t those the sweetest little faces you have ever seen? See, as many of you know, I am a member of several different yahoo groups for various things. Frugal Living, Cooking, freecycling, etc. Well I guess, on one group, I have been deemed the “cat lady” LOL. One of the members of my local freecycle group called me pleading for my help. She said the momma cat was hit by a car and these kittens were out on the side of the road (still with the momma) and she couldn’t catch them so they didn’t get hurt or die. So at 7:30 last night, I drove over there and was able to get the kittens to come to me. I started crying at the condition of these poor things. She couldn’t keep them as she owns pits and they would “not be pleased” let’s just say. I had no choice… so home with me they came. I know I know… crazy! They look maybe 2-3 months old, so malnourished, and COVERED in fleas! So the first thing was they got washed and sprayed with flea stuff (cause I am allergic to fleas to boot LOL. I know an animal owner/lover allergic to a common pet problem- go figure! Talk about irony!). They were really not digging that, but the fleas just started falling off, so that was good. I can’t get them to eat yet, and I am praying they were not still nursing! Otherwise, HEY MOM… I MIGHT need some of that kitten formula you have! My inside cats were NOT happy with me last night, and I am hoping things get a little better should these kittens stay. So I have been loving on my cats all morning to try to ease their “hurt feelings” LOL! We have named the kittens Gizmo (cause his ears are bigger than his head LOL) and Miracle (because it’s a miracle she is alive and quite frankly will be a miracle if she survives). Say hello everybody! DH just got all teary eyed and said that I was a good hearted person... cats and kids I rescue them all! LOL! He's just odd LOL!

Now I had found an article that, by reading the title, led me to believe it would be a great Frugal tips to share with you all here. BUT… after further reading (past the title and jibberish) I am not real impressed and have come to the conclusion that the author is not necessarily giving the best advice. I’m gonna share the article and then MY humble O’s… and lets test just how frugal she REALLY is…

5 Ways to Cut the Fat From Your Grocery Bill

Kerry K. Taylor
Friday, June 4, 2010

Eating is an expensive habit. And if you're anything like me, then food probably consumes a significant portion of your budget. On average, American families spend $9,478 a year on food alone -- that's 13.3 percent of their total household budgets, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

To help you get a grip on this tasty but often expensive cost-of-living, here are five ways to cut the fat from your grocery bill.


1. Make a grocery list and check it twice. Going through your kitchen before hitting the supermarket is free, and planning ahead can fatten your wallet by preventing expensive impulse buys. You might even save on gas by being organized because you won't need to make a second shopping trip to buy those forgotten items.- OK… not gonna argue her point here, because I do the same thing. I keep a running list of what I need, how much of it I need, etc. AND I take at LEAST 4-6 hours to plan a grocery shopping spree… planning DOES help!

2. Stop clipping worthless coupons. Take a good look at the grocery coupons you're clipping before getting excited about the deal. Many coupons offer deals on highly packaged foods low in nutrition and high in unpronounceable ingredients. Skipping the worthless coupons and opting to pay a little bit more for whole foods may be a better deal for your health in the long run.- OK… BIG NO NO here! While I agree that whole foods ARE better for you, not everyone has a ton of money to eat just whole organic foods… some do depend on some prepackaged items. PLUS you can also find coupons for produce and such… they are usually called wine tags. AND you can also take that package of whatever you got for just 19 cents after your “worthless” coupon and turn it into maybe a part/component to a very healthy meal! It just calls for a little creativity! IMHO, NO coupon is WORTHLESS!!

3. Watch the price scanner. Mistakes on price scans are common at the grocery store and can cost you additional dollars. A Consumer Reports survey found that 6 percent of respondents were overcharged at the grocery checkout, and no particular chain stood out as more or less accurate. Watching while your grocery prices scan and verifying their accuracy at check-out can save you money and may even score you free food -- many grocery chains will give you the item for free if it scans at the wrong price, but it's up to you to spy the error.- Another good point here… and also be aware of the store’s price scan policies! Some have it where you get the item free if it scans wrong, some give you the item free AND cash back on your order…. SOOOO it can pay to be super-hyper vigilant on your register!

4. Buy generic items over big brand names. Save a huge 10 to 50 percent on every shopping trip by switching your brand name buys for generic items. It costs big bucks to market brand name products, and you're paying for that expense when you buy a food item with a recognizable label. Compare many generic items to the brand name equivalent and you'll find that the brands are not necessarily better than their less-advertised alternatives.- Ok I really dislike when people write like this! They try to make it sound like you can ONLY buy generics in order to save money, which is SO not true! UGH! Sometimes, if you Clip those coupons and compare prices (especially if your stores double or triple coupons like mine does), its actually far cheaper to buy BRAND NAME items!!!! About 75% of the stuff I buy is brand name… and ya know why? Cause I’m a SMART COUPON SHOPPER! (Oh it frustrates me so bad! Sorry… was about to go all soap-boxie!)

5. Skip the cans, buy dried beans in bulk. Why are you buying beans canned in captivity? Buying dried beans in bulk and soaking them overnight is a frugal way to add protein to your diet without paying for the high cost of meat. Besides, dried beans are extremely cheap and expand when soaked, so your family gets more meal for every dining dollar spent by forgoing the canned variety.- Again, this is a SEMI-good point. A lot of times, the bulk dry beans ARE cheaper… again UNLESS YOU HAVE A COUPON! If you can get your Gebhart pinto beans at 79 cents a bag or 19 cents a can… which one will you pick??

Finding simple ways to cut your everyday food expenses takes a bit of practice, but the payoff can be huge. Keeping track of your budget can also help you save money on all your other living expenses.

This author has a few valid points, but I think that a vital key to her article is missing. COMMON SENSE. A truly frugal person will know to cut the coupons, which can add up to some serious savings. A truly frugal person will know that by planning/preparation and paying attention, you can score some major bargains. A truly frugal person will know that repurposing items, when possible, will help to save money, reduce clutter, and be unique. So who do you think is the truly frugal one here?

Ok let’s get crafty! Now my mom called me the bag lady once in once of her comments after a day of tote making, and since I made more yesterday… well maybe it should be a “specialty” of mine. So I am gonna show you how to make another bag! “Gift bags are often the last step when giving a gift for Father's Day or a birthday. But they also add a significant cost to what you have already spent. Would it not be a relief save those extra dollars on paper or a bag that will be crumpled and tossed aside in seconds? Now you can make your own reusable gift bag for free. All you need are common items you already have, like the Sunday comics and an empty cereal box. Here's how:



Craft Idea of the Day: Cereal Box Gift Bags

What You Need:

Cereal box, or other box, into which the gift(s) will fit
Sunday comics section from the newspaper
Glue stick
School Glue
Scissors
Plastic grocery bag
Colored straws or leftover ribbon

Instructions:

1. Choose an empty cereal box (or any box) and cut off the top flaps. Trim the box shorter if desired, leaving it at least 2 inches higher than the gift will be inside.

2. Take the Sunday comics and neatly wrap the bottom and sides of the box. Secure with glue or tape.

3. Trim the top edge of comic paper so that it is about one inch higher than the top opening of the box.

4. Carefully fold the comic paper over the edge of the box so that the cardboard is neatly covered. Secure inside with glue.

5. To make handles for the gift bag, you have two options:

Option A: Plastic Straws
Cut two lengths of about 6 inches from plastic grocery bag handles. Cut colored drinking straws (wash and dry if you are reusing them) into shorter pieces. Thread the straw piece onto the plastic handles. Cut two small, index card sized pieces of scrap cardboard. Staple each end of the handle to the cardboard. Using school glue or strong tape, fix the cardboard to the inside of the top edge of the box, so that the handle is up.

Option B: Ribbon
Cut two lengths of about 6 inches of leftover ribbon. Punch holes in the sides of the box. Thread the ribbon through the holes and knot the ends of the ribbon to secure handles. If knots are too small to keep handles secure, staple ends of ribbon scrap cardboard and glue inside as described in option A.

6. Cut one long rectangle of comic paper that is slightly smaller than the area of the bottom plus two larger sides of the box. Use this sheet to line the inside of the box. Use a glue stick to secure the top edges with glue.

7. To make mock tissue paper, cut one or two large plain squares of plastic from grocery bags, avoiding the printed areas. Note: White plastic usually looks more like tissue paper than plastic from colored bags.

The advantages of these reusable gift bags are many. They better for your wallet and the environment. You can be relieved to avoid the cost of disposable wrapping and perhaps have more money to spend on the gift itself. Even if you haven't bought the gift yet, you can make this gift bag ahead of time if you know the size of gift you will get or make. And if you keep the bag in the family, whether it is a birthday, Father's Day, or other holiday, you have a gift bag for your next occasion that is ready to go.”

Time to talk some food! I hope you have enjoyed our journey to Hawaii this week. I hope that I have represented the people’s food the best I can based on the information I could find. I am gonna close this week with some bread. You normally see flavored breads around the holidays, but it is very commonplace to see flavored breads at Luaus at any time of year. Banana bread is very often served at Luaus. But another bread also served is this tasty treat, made with the freshest island ingredients, is Mango bread. What a “sweet” way to wrap up this food week, eh?



Mangoes are one of the best sources of Betacarotene, Quercetin and Astragalin. These are powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells and lead to heart disease, cancer, premature aging and degenerative diseases. One small mango provides a quarter of your recommended daily allowance for vitamin C, nearly two thirds of your daily quota for vitamin A, good amounts of vitamin E and fiber. They also contain vitamin K, phosphorus and magnesium. Mangoes are particularly rich in potassium which can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

Mangoes also contain pectin, a soluble dietary fiber, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Recently, scientists at The Institute for Food Research, discovered that a fragment released from pectin binds to, and inhibits galectin 3, a protein that plays a role in all stages of cancer progression. Other population studies, including the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer, have identified a strong link between eating lots of fiber and a lower risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. Mangoes are a considered a ‘high volume’ food which means you get a lot of food for a relatively small amount of calories – one mango contains around 135 calories. However, they are quite high in natural sugar with one mango containing around 30g. So keep that in mind when you try this tasty loaf of golden goodness!



Mango Bread

A recipe for mango bread using fresh mangos and macadamia nuts.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar
3 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup melted butter
2 cups partly mashed, partly diced mangos
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Combine all dry ingredients.

Beat eggs.

Add oil and butter and beat for approximately 2 minutes. Add dry ingredients and mangoes. Add nuts.

Bake 45-55 minutes.

Alright everyone, I am gonna get off of here and find something to do to occupy my mind- which obviously has too much time to think sometimes LOL! I will probably go check on the kittens and see if I can get them to eat, and then maybe do some crafts after I call my Dad (I doubt he is awake yet LOL). I hope all the dad’s out there have a GREAT day and I will see you again in the morning! Until tomorrow… HUGS!

3 comments:

  1. Debbie "MOM"June 20, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    Oh, the poor little kitties. They are so helpless at that age you cant help but want to love 'em up. Hope you can make them healthy. Remember, most outside kittens like that are flea ridden so they will need to be checked daily for fleas until its under control but beware because some of those flea shampoos are harmful to young kittens. Make sure of what your using. And you need to keep these new kittens kenneled or in a carrier away from your already established cats in the house because they will be very territorial and could hurt the kittens. The kittens will probably also have worms, most kittens do. There are some dewormers in places like Petco or Petsmart, but make sure to read directions and check how old the cats need to be before use. If you still cant get them to eat, and you have tried the old trick of minced tuna (packed in water of course), then the kittiens are probably not weened. This means hand feeding by bottle every 3 to 4 hours with prepared substitute kitten formula (availiable in most grocery stores). DO NOT give them milk or cream! It is too fatty for a kittens system and will make them sick or get diarrhea. Other than that, it a good idea to give them a old small stuffed animal to cuddle with (just in case one of them doesn't make it), that way they are used to snuggling with it. And a piece of fluffy old blanket or an old soft towel will make them feel comforted. And dont forget that small kittens like that have to be made to go potty by wiping their rears with a warm soft paper towel or soft rag that can be disposed of; this is a necessity to keep their digestive track and urinary track in check. Hope these tips help you. I have had many successes, hope you do to. Til next time....

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  2. I absolutely love the monopoly bags. I want one. Oh I could have a unique purse for everyday of the year thanks to you. Congrads on the new kittens. I hope you can nurse them to a happy healthy life. Let me know what you find to help the fleas as I thought I saw a few on my kitty. Great blog today. Thanks and take care.

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  3. oh the poor kitties I love kitties and feel so sorry for them that they lost their mother :(
    make me feel like crying. i hope you will be able to keep them healthy...and happy.

    just got back from a week vacation in Hilton head SC.. hot hot hot
    \and humid but fun vacation.. now to rest up lol
    jean

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