Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Week #9 on Weight Watchers 360

It is week #9 on Weight Watchers 360° and I lost 1.2 pounds. I had fun this week. I started exercising.

Since I started to exercise on a regular basis I've noticed I have lots more energy and a more positive attitude. Plus, I wanted everyone to realize that exercise can actually be fun. Really!

When most people think of exercise they automatically assume it means going to a gym. I want to mention a couple ways you can exercise that don't involve going to a gym. Hopefully you will find something that you enjoy.

This is the easiest, cheapest and most convenient way to exercise. There is no special equipment necessary - all you need are a pair of regular sneakers. It can be done almost anywhere anytime. Lots of people walk during their lunch break, first thing in the morning or after their dinner in the evening.

You can make it even more enjoyable by listening to a mp3 player with your favorite songs.  Just try picking songs that have a good beat to walk to.

Walking is also a great way to clear your head at the end of a long, stressful day. You can also make it a family event by taking the whole family along with you.

Video Games
There are loads of video games to choose from Just Dance, Dance Central, Wii Fit, AE Sports Active 2, Biggest Loser Workout, Zumba and more.  Depending on what you enjoy doing, sports, dance, yoga or old fashioned exercises, there are a couple games to chose from for each gaming system.

These are great for the person who do not want to exercise in front of others or cannot get out for whatever reason (ex. caring for kids, no vehicle).

My absolute favorite is Just Dance 4. My daughter and I compete to see who can get the highest score. I also like Wii Fit Plus' yoga, snowball game, rhythm parade, and ski jump.

This is probably the easiest activity if you are concerned about your joints. If you have a pool at home or a community pool this is a great option. However, you will need to find another exercise for winter months if your pool is outside.

This is my favorite type of exercise. Simply turn on your favorite type of music and start moving. If you start to get tired switch to marching in place or stepping side to side. Get that heart pumping.

Basically find an exercise you like and then do it everyday. Shoot for 30 minutes or more each day. Work up to it if you have to. You should start to feel more energetic in no time and of course you can track your activity points on Weight Watchers Online.

* This post is sponsored by Weight, but ALL opinions are completely mine and 100% honest. These are my actual experiences and feelings about following Weight Watchers 360° online program.

**  People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Copycat KFC Cole Slaw Recipe

This really does taste like KFC's cole slaw. I can't claim credit for this one. I found it here:

I've served this a couple times and get lots of rave reviews each time. 

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 cups finely chopped cabbage (about 1 head)
1/4 cup shredded carrot (1 medium carrot)
2  tablespoons minced onion

1. Be sure cabbage, carrots and onion are chopped into very, very tiny pieces. Put in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl mix mayonnaise, sugar, milk, buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Mix until well blended and smooth.
3. Pour liquid mixture over cabbage, carrots and onion mix. Stir well.
4. Cover and refrigerate. Best served chilled.

Serves 8-10.

Monday, July 29, 2013

My First Attempt at Canning Pickles

This week I tried my first attempt at canning pickles. I've got a ton of them in my garden. I only planted 3 small plants, but I'm getting lots of small 3-5" pickles. They were specifically for pickling.

Okay don't get all impressed.  I used a packet of seasonings that I bought last year in clearance. It didn't have an expiration date, so I gave it a try.

It's pretty easy. Start with a bunch of cucumbers. Size doesn't really matter. Smaller sized cucumbers are easier to fit into the jars and fill small spaces.

Cut them up into slices (crinkle cut if you can). You can also cut into length-wise strips as well. It's your preference really.

Next start putting the cut up cucumbers into clean, sterilized jars. Any size jar will work. I had pint size jars on hand so that's what I used.

Now it's time to make the liquid that will make the cucumbers taste like pickles. I used the package of seasoning mix, but you can follow any recipe you wish. There are lots available for free on the web. Mostly it spices and lots of white vinegar.

Once your liquid is complete according to your recipe's directions, add the hot liquid to the jars full of cucumber slices. I found it much easier to use a funnel (which can be found in most dollar stores). Leave 1/2" from the top of the jar with no cucumbers or liquid.

After you add the liquid seasoning, be care because the jars will be hot. Wipe the jar with a dry towel, especially around the top rim. Add a dry, clean and sterilized lid and ring and tighten.

Add all the jars to a canning pot. Once the water is boiling, let the jars remain in there for 5-10 minutes or however your recipe calls for.

After the jars were boiled for the designated time remove them to a towel on the counter.  Let the jars remain their for 24 hours to cool thoroughly. You may hear them pop as they cool.

My recipe said they were ready to eat after 24 hours, but we waited 2 days to try them. Let me just say- Yummy!!  Next time I will try sweet pickles, because I still have a ton of cucumbers growing. We will be eating pickles forever! LOL

Feel free to leave a comment with your pickling stories.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Freebies on Friday - July 26, 2013


A Simpler Season

The Best Homemade Cleaners: Recipes To Make Your Own Cleaning Products And Save!

The New Green Family Guide: A Beginner's Guide to Going Green as a Family (Green Matters)

100 Activities To Do As A Family This Summer

Tax Free Shopping Weekends - here's a list of the various states offering the tax free weekends.
Finish Quantum Lemon Sparkle - free dishwashing sample
Escada Fragrances - free perfume sample

* Please note the ebook links are affiliate links but at the time of this publication all the books were listed as free on All the remaining links are not-affiliate links and I am not compensated for sending people to any of them.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Something to Make You Laugh

Here is a couple things just to make you laugh today.

The first video is just like America's Funniest Home Videos. Please excuse the message toward the beginning. I didn't make this - just found it on YouTube.

I have to admit is I find the next photo's jokes funny. That's just how I am.

My boy still occasionally plays with Legos and I always seem to step on the one Lego he forgot to pick up.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Week #8 Weight Watchers 360

It is week #8 on Weight Watchers 360° and I didn't lose any pounds, but I've lost a few inches. I'm a little disappointed because I stayed within my points and still didn't lose any pounds, but inches will do.

I've been more committed than ever to losing weight. I love that my smaller clothes are starting to fit and my stomach is getting flatter. It's really exciting.

This week I wanted to warn against drinking a bunch of extra calories. It seems even the beer companies are getting in on the low calorie craze with their 64 calorie beer commercials. They are right - you don't want to waste all those calories on a drink - do you???

You may be surprised to see how much sugar is in your drink.  By the way, this would make a great science project. Here are a couple examples.

Vitamin Water (20 oz bottle)   8 tsp
100% Apple Juice (10 oz)   10 tsp
Coca Cola (12 oz can)   10 tsp
Snapple Lemon Ice Tea (11.5 oz)   10 tsp
Mountain Dew (12 ounce can)   11.5 tsp
Monster (12 oz)   13 tsp
Welch's Grape Juice (10 oz)   15 tsp

Reduce flavored drinks and stick with regular plain tap water most of the time. Save your calories for something nutritious, filling and tasty too.

* This post is sponsored by Weight, but ALL opinions are completely mine and 100% honest. These are my actual experiences and feelings about following Weight Watchers 360° online program.

**  People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How to Clean Ink off Dolls

How many times have one of your kids decided to draw "make-up" on their dolls with a permanent marker? What about an ink pen?

Well I've thrown away dolls that had their faces covered in ink and marker before.

Not anymore!

I found a way to get all the ink and pen marks off your dolls. The magic ingredient only cost $10 or less.

I started with a Next Generation Doll (sold at Target and similar to American Girl Dolls).  I found it at a local Goodwill store for less than $2.

The doll had lots of pen marks on her face, even eyelids. I figured magic eraser would get it right off.

Well I was wrong, but I didn't want to throw the doll away or donate it back to Goodwill in that condition. So I did some digging online to find out how to get the ink off.

I found a magic solution. It's 10% benzoyl peroxide - it's found in acne medicines. Yep acne medicine!

First you take the acne medicine and apply it to the pen marks and marker marks.  Next you take some ordinary plastic wrap and place it over the marks and acne medicine.

Now the part where the magic happens. Take the doll outside and place it in the sun. I recommend covering the dolls hair because it could dry the hair out.

Okay so here is how the doll looked after 3 weeks of the acne cream on the doll left inside by a window.  It did manage to get all the ink off, but not the marker. That's when I learned it works much better outside in the direct sun while wrapped in plastic wrap.

FYI: This doll has freckles.

This is what it looks like after 3 hours in the sun outside. It works much faster and better!!

This treatment works on Barbie dolls, American Girl dolls, and most baby dolls. Just make sure you check the dolls every once in a while because the treatment can bleach the skin.

Hopefully this will help you save a doll in your little one's life. I'm off to save more dolls.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Quick Science Experiment Thats Fun for Little Kids

Today the kids and I had fun with some common household stuff to make a fun weather related activity.

This is a quick, easy and inexpensive little experiment, but it demonstrates what happens when too much liquid fills up the clouds. It rains food coloring down to the bottom. Perfect for homeschooling families wanting a quick science lesson.

First you need a small clear glass, regular tap water, some shaving cream and food coloring.

Next fill the glass about 2/3 of the way full of water.

Spray shaving cream on top of the water so it looks like a cloud or mountain on top.

After putting shaving cream on top slowly drip some food coloring (darker colors work better). Watch what happens in the water.

You can continue to add more food coloring - even multiple colors.  See how it changes the colors at the bottom in the water.

Have fun playing with this experiment.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Freebies on Friday - July 19, 2013

This week I've included three ebooks that I hope you will find helpful. Easy recipes in jars is a great gift idea anytime of year. Plus who couldn't use a program that shows them how to get fit and healthy in no time flat. Lastly, if you like gardening, like me, you will find the last ebook interesting. It talks about which plants grow well together.

Sorry, there are only 2 freebies this week. Severe thunderstorms in my immediate area are forcing me off my electronics early today. I'll be sure to add extra next week.

100 Easy Recipes In Jars

No Gym, no Time, No Problem

A Beginners Guide to Companion Planting: Companion Gardening with Flowers, Herbs & Vegetables (Simple Living)

Eucerin Professional Repair Extremely Dry Skin Lotion free sample
Animal Parade KidGreenz Children's Chewables Hypo-allergenic, gluten free and vegetarian. Tropical fruit flavored.

* Please note the ebook links are affiliate links but at the time of this publication all the books were listed as free on All the remaining links are not-affiliate links and I am not compensated for sending people to any of them.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Really Cool School Supplies

As I mentioned before I love school supplies, so today I thought I would share a couple really cool school supplies I have found in my travels over the web.

1. Disguise Your Lunch.
Adorable sandwich bags are sure to be a hit with almost any kid.

2. DCI Yummy Pocket Taco
This cute pouch is the perfect place to store lunch money, house key, cell phone, etc. Hamburgers, cookies, sushi, hot dogs and more are also available.

3. Teddy Bear USB Drive
This is perfect for little kids or older ones with a slightly twisted sense of humor.

4. Pencil Knee High Socks
These are too cute. Great for teachers or your favorite teacher's pet.

5. A Magnetic Chandelier for Your Locker
Brighten up all the dark spaces of your locker with this neat light.

* All the links in this post are affiliate links. All other links are not affiliate links and I am not compensated in any way if you visit or purchase from them.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week #7 on Weight Watchers 360

Well this week on Weight Watchers 360°  I managed to lose 4 1/2 pounds. I found some low point value foods I really like.  Basically, I made the system work for me, so I get to eat foods I like and still stay within my point limit. It's easier to stick with it when you like the foods and you don't feel like your missing out on what you love.

One thing I found that I really, really like is scrambled egg whites. Then I add 2 tablespoons of salsa and mix it all up. For a total of 1 point. Awesome!!!  This coming from the person who really doesn't like "diet" food.  I admit it - I'm a fast food lover.

I don't eat out at fast food restaurants a lot, anymore. However, I lost 60+ pounds on Weight Watchers a couple years ago and I ate out every weekday. It was easy because I worked odd hours, had little time, and all the food's point values were listed online.

I'm not, by any means, suggesting you eat out every day to lose weight. I'm only saying you can lose weight even if you need to eat out occasionally. The key is to find healthy choices. A regular hamburger and side salad are usually my meal of choice because I love burgers.

I've only found a couple occasions where the information wasn't listed in Weight Watcher's food point tracking system. It was smaller restaurants, homemade foods, and restaurants having new menus. At which point I entered the restaurant and meal and "nutritional info" into There are lots of sites online that list all the nutritional information that you want.

Once you get the nutritional information, take that back to Weight Watchers online tracking and enter it to find the points value.

I'm almost down 10 pounds and am totally psyched! My clothes are getting loose and my stomach is getting flatter. LOVING this!!!

* This post is sponsored by Weight, but ALL opinions are completely mine and 100% honest. These are my actual experiences and feelings about following Weight Watchers 360° online program.

**  People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My First Harvest of the Year

I just started my garden in June, but I've already gotten delicious home grown veggies.  Okay so not a lot, but one bell pepper and 2 cucumbers. To be honest, I started my garden a little later than I normally do.

I don't mean to brag. I'm totally excited - I love free veggies!

It's really not too late to put a couple plants in the ground and start a garden of your own.  Especially a faster growing plant like cucumbers.

It's really easy. Put seeds in the ground, cover with dirt (preferably miracle grow potting soil) and add lots of water every day. Then let the sun do it's work. Just be warned cucumbers take up a lot of space and the vines grab hold of anything to spread out.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Back To School Shopping on a Budget

It's my absolute favorite time of the year? Yes I am that mom from the Staples commercial (not really), but in spirit.

I love, love, love school supplies! I could easily go overboard spending on supplies each year, but I don't and you don't have to either.

Shopping for back to school isn't meant the "break the bank".  Unless, of course, you listen to all the television commercials and sales ads. The ones that say your child needs a whole new wardrobe, new backpack, lunchbox, folders, and more every school year.

Start off by creating a budget and be sure to add in for unexpected fees (planners, magazine fees, etc.).  Include school supplies, clothes, shoes, and anything else your school requires. Then go through the list and assign a dollar amount to each item. If you don't know how much it costs - then estimate it (over estimate it actually).

Yes, I know this post is called Back to School Shopping on a Budget, but the whole point is to make your money stretch as far as possible. It's not always about finding the cheapest price, because sometimes the cheapest priced item doesn't last very long. So here's how to buy the things your children need for school without having to replace them over and over again throughout the year.

One thing I really want to stress is purchase quality products. Believe me we went the other way for a while and it didn't work out well. Last year we purchased a good, quality backpack for each of my kids and they are able to use them again this year. The same with their lunchboxes and a couple folders.

Plastic pocket folders instead of regular pocket folders can last for years without a rip unlike the regular folders that rip in a couple months.

To start the school year off right I purchase a new outfit or two for each child. Notice I said outfit not wardrobe. I also purchase new shoes because most of the summer they wear flip flops and they usually have outgrown their old ones. Again these should be a good quality, but not necessarily expensive.  

I try to replace my children's clothes as they outgrow them. For example, if my son has a growth spurt and shoots up 2" causing all his jeans to be too short, I buy a couple pairs. I don't recommend buying a lot in advance because you can't predict how your kid will grow.

Stock Up on Sale Prices
However, while things are on sale I try to stock up on the basics such as pencils, paper, erasers, pens, glue sticks, etc.  The stuff that gets used up throughout the year and that costs more later.

Once you set a budget, then find the best quality merchandise you can find for that price.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Freebies on Friday - July 12, 2013

Good morning everyone! I found a couple good e-books and samples for you today. The cookbook has a couple recipes I'm looking forward to trying (mostly the 7 Layer Dip).  I'm also really considering getting a membership to Netflix, so if any of you are a member please let me know what you think.

Hope you enjoy the freebies and see you on Monday! Have a great weekend!


The 2011 Book Blogger's Cookbook (The Book Blogger's Cookbook)

Another 81 Money Saving Tips: Incredible Ideas for Frugal Living (Volume 2)

Boost your child's confidence (52 Brilliant Ideas)

Purina Dog Chow Light and Healthy - get a one month free trial. Lots of television shows and movies delivered directly to your Wii, Xbox360, PS3 and more. See if you like it and if not cancel - no fees.
Herbal Essences Body Burst sample

* Please note the ebook links are affiliate links but at the time of this publication all the books were listed as free on All the remaining links are not-affiliate links and I am not compensated for sending people to any of them.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Free Lance Xtra Fulls at Walmart

Look what I got for free yesterday!

Don't can too! :)

Visit the link below to print out a coupon for a package of 8 - 6 packs of toasted cheese and peanut butter crackers. The site allows you to print out 2 coupons equaling 2 packages. Each retails for $2.78. Only available at Walmart.

My kids and hubby really like them. There is more peanut butter (obviously) and it tastes yummy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Week #6 Weight Watchers 360

This is week #6 of the Weight Watchers 360 program for me and this week I managed to lose 1 lb. Not great, but I'm down into one size smaller. I can actually fit into my size 16s and big 14s. I started out in size 18 (baggy), but my 16s were getting pretty tight.

I have to be completely honest. This week I really didn't follow the program. We had a big birthday party for my hubby and a 4th of July cookout with my family. I decided to skip tracking my food this week as we were eating little bits here and there. Most of which were homemade meals. I found these too time consuming to track because you either had to find something similar in Weight Watchers' database or enter in the recipe to get an exact point value. It took too long, so I just skipped it.

Don't get me wrong the Weight Watchers system works great for most fast food/chain type restaurants where you can easily find nutritional information online, but for homemade recipes, especially made by others, it's a bit of a pain.

I'm still glad to be using their program because in the past it worked so well. I'm just having a bit of difficulty sticking with it this time.  Any suggestions???

Anyways, this week I wanted to talk about salads. Whenever most people think of diets they automatically think of eating salads. I wanted to point out that all salads aren't created equal.

Today I wanted to show you the highest and lowest calorie salads at some popular fast food chains. I chose these restaurants because they are the most popular in my area.

(information obtained from on 7/10/13)

Premium Southwest Salad w/ Crispy Chicken  - 12 points
450 cal
23 protein
21 fat
42 carbs
820 sodium

Side Salad (no dressing)  - 0 points
20 cal
1 protein
0 fat
4 carbs
10 sodium

(information obtained from on 7/10/13)

Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad w/croutons and dressing (full size)  -  12 points (salad w/chicken only)
780 cal
41 protein
51 fat
40 carbs
1570 sodium

Garden Side Salad (no dressing)  -  0 points
200 calories
4 protein
13 fat
18 carbs
370 sodium

Burger King
(information obtained from on 7/10/13)

Chicken BLT Garden Fresh Salad with TENDERCRISP and dressing  -  19 points
690 calories
35 protein
48 fat
31 carbs
1750 sodium

Side garden salad with avocado ranch dressing - 6 points
230 calories
5 protein
21 fat
7 carbs
520 sodium

The whole point of showing you this is so you know that salads can be high in calories too. One easy way to cut calories from your salad is to choose grilled chicken over crispy. Another way to lower the calories is to choose a low-fat salad dressing and use it sparingly.

* This post is sponsored by Weight, but ALL opinions are completely mine and 100% honest. These are my actual experiences and feelings about following Weight Watchers 360° online program.

**  People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Six Secrets to Recession-Proof Living

Today's post is a guest post that I hope you will find helpful in this difficult economy. Enjoy!

Six Secrets to Recession-Proof Living
By  Marie Christine Sing Umali

With the stock market conditions on a consistent downturn, current housing prices continue to plummet, homeowners buried in debt are not even willing to sell knowing that it will be a big loss in equity value. Oil and food prices have risen higher than before and have no indications of going down. Because of these, people cannot help but panic.

The US has survived countless wars and recessions time and time again. This only goes to show that nothing is impossible if Americans work together in uplifting the economy as one nation. However, it does not guarantee that everyone will not experience hunger, unemployment and mortgage foreclosures. So how can one bullet proof his property and family's future in case the great depression strikes? With no one else to turn to, everyone should be able to plan ahead to achieve resilience from any economic instability.

Here are a few tricks which could help one increase his chances of surviving amidst growing pains and price hikes:


This means looking for a job you see yourself doing for the rest of your life. Never settle for a job you despise. Not only will you suck doing it, but you will also waste valuable time you could have channeled to a more productive outlet. Love your current job and try your best to get promoted! Promotion means an increased salary, and constant promotion shows the company that you are an indispensable asset.


If schedule permits, try having alternative money-making endeavors. Try a low-pressure sideline that gives you a steady stream of income. If you are a kitchen goddess, start accepting made-to-order pastry batches. Prepare small samples when friends drop by for barbecue. Make sure that you have perfected your recipe first and have run taste tests before you declare "business is open". You have only one shot at making an impression to your friends. If they think your sample is a flop, you will have a hard time convincing prospects that the next batches will taste better. First impressions last so make it one that everyone will remember for all the good reasons. Once you have built your credibility, who knows? This may turn to a long-term bigger business. Be a wise spender of your time and money.


Have at least 10% of your salary untouched. Save up in case a family member gets sick or someone in the family gets laid off. It is also wise to be in-the-know of current financial and investment trends.


If you are used to buying using your credit card, or have an outstanding loan, start making plans on how you can slowly pay off all these things that could be a potential burden to you when tough times come. At this point, do not give in to any loan offers even if it means giving up getting your next dream car or that divine house by the beach.


If you are living in the city where the cost of living is essentially high, consider moving to a less expensive state. Get job offers somewhere "safe" and consider it as a second home. Select places that have low unemployment rates -- where the local government can subsidize its residents, where people can buy homes at reasonable prices in a location that everybody wants. Consider one that has a low crime rate and one that has a friendly and family-oriented neighborhood, with good schools and recreation centers. When you move in, make sure that the previous owners have done bathroom and kitchen remodeling. This takes away significant home improvement headaches which could ruin moving day for you.

If you feel that overseas-living is very tempting, research on the living costs. For expatriates, the salary offered to foreign workers are higher but what's better is that the cost of living is a lot less than America. One country, Malaysia, offers "My Second Home Program" and allows foreigners to settle down with ease under certain criteria. Another great place to stay is Singapore, a highly progressive country with a stable economy. Vietnam is starting to get more and more foreign investments; its economy is in the upswing supported by foreign-friendly government policies. This could mean more opportunities for you to earn, invest, and save.


Make a list of some basic things needed in the house should emergency situations arise. Off the top of my head, the following seem logical and important:

Store non-perishable goods and other relevant household items inside a dry, clean, kitchen cabinet;
Make sure to store kitchen essentials and canned goods;
Buy tools for carpentry work, plumbing, small electrical jobs, etc.;
Buy or keep "security" items and supplies like a licensed gun, supply of ammo, two-way radio, flashlight, candles, lighters, and the like;
Store medical supplies;
Get solar power equipment, spare batteries; and
Buy a bicycle.

Decide on which part of the house you can transform into a storage area. You need to find a dry place that is accessible enough and big enough to be a repository.


Learn to plant without thinking about the zombies! Keeping a vegetable patch in your backyard can serve as a way to de-stress and take your mind off work. Instead of buying from the store, you can grow vegetables, fruits, flowers in the garden. Incorporate a small hanging herb greenhouse in your kitchen design.  Such can also be used for decorative purposes. You can also 'gift' these to some neighbors or use it as another source of income when it is running thinly.

We cannot really figure out what will happen in the future. History gives us the clues, serving as a warning of threats to come. Continue reading up on current affairs and know the trends inside-out. Apply all the knowledge you have learned when you finally decide to build, buy or rent. In any case, whether this dreaded event is coming or not, it pays to be prepared than sorry.

Marie Christine Sing-Umali is a blogger and home improvement enthusiast working for Kitchen Cabinet Kings, a leading online distributor of discount bathroom and kitchen cabinets nationwide. If you are looking for high quality birch, maple, bamboo, and oak kitchen cabinets, you can count on []Kitchen Cabinet Kings' RTA Cabinets. Claim your free kitchen design service, discounts and know more about financing options by visiting their website.

Article Source:  Six Secrets to Recession-Proof Living

Monday, July 08, 2013

Get Your Family Ready Now

I'm not really an alarmist, but all you need to do is watch the nightly news to see the world is going crazy. There is extreme weather, rioting in the streets, financial turmoil and more.

You may live in an area of the world not yet affected by any of these, but it's only a matter of time. Let's face it - there are problems everywhere. The popular saying: "The End of The World As You Know It" doesn't have to be an earth changing event for everyone - just YOU.

I've always been the type of person who feels the need to be prepared. Prepared to keep my family fed, safe and protected.

Here's what I believe. I try my best to create a stockpile of food and water (aka our pantry) for my family. My hubby has gone months where he's was on reduced work schedule and we didn't have money for lots of food. We used our pantry to get us through those times and then in good times we restock.

We also own a couple guns and we know how to use them. These are for hunting and protection.
Some situations, such as flooding, fires, etc., require you to leave your home for a safer location. Be prepared with a place to go that is out of your immediate area. We have family that live somewhat close and others that live outside our state completely.

I just want to encourage you to start thinking about ways to get your family prepared for emergencies in your life.

Don't think that anything could happen to you? Watch the video below. (That video only covers June 2013. There is one for almost every month for at least a year or two.)

Stay tuned for regular updates and tips on how to help you protect/prepare your family on a budget.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Freebies on Friday - July 5, 2013

Happy Friday everyone! This week I've included three e-books and three product samples. I'm most excited to read "The Pantry Cookbook". Not that we are having a hard time financially, but I believe in always being prepared.


How to Work From Home Without Going Crazy and How to Become a Review Blogger Combo Pack (Freelance Mom)

The Pantry Cookbook

Living Clutter-Free with Kids in the House

Garnier Ultra-Lift Targeted Line Smoother
Despicable Me 2 Ringtones
Sheba Cat Food Sample

* Please note the ebook links are affiliate links but at the time of this publication all the books were listed as free on All the remaining links are not-affiliate links and I am not compensated for sending people to any of them.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Forth of July!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July everyone!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Week #5 on Weight Watchers 360

Well this is week #5 of being on Weight Watchers 360 and unfortunately I haven't lost any weight. I did lose some inches, but I'm finding it frustrated at how little of my regular food I can eat.

The problem I'm having is that my family is not on the diet with me and frankly they have no desire to totally change their eating habits. It's not just my immediate family either - my extended family as well.

All our family functions, including casual visits, center around eating. Eating dinner, going out to eat, snacking while watching tv, or just talking about the latest recipe they've found.  They are a food loving family.  It's mostly cakes, cookies, chips, crackers, etc. I'm not sure how well it would be received if  I start sharing my favorite grilled chicken or vegetable recipes.

So my solution to this problem is to start bringing a dish I can eat. I don't bring my whole meal just a side dish or dessert that I am able to eat without completely blowing my diet. It also allows them to try the dish, if they wish, without feeling any pressure to change their way of eating.

Let's face it, I'm the one on the diet - not them. I've always hated when others pushed their views on me and I refuse to do the same.  If they ask I will gladly share with them, but I'd rather show them by example.

While I'm motivated to lose weight I am still finding that this is an uphill battle especially with my family always tempting me (not on purpose - just trying to keep old routines I guess).   I will continue to search online and on the website for meals that my family and I enjoy.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear any suggestions on how to get your family to accept the fact that you want to eat healthier or how to gracefully turn down almost all the food they offer without totally alienating your family. HELP!

* This post is sponsored by Weight, but ALL opinions are completely mine and 100% honest. These are my actual experiences and feelings about following Weight Watchers 360° online program.

**  People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Perfect Gardening Space For Kids

Today I wanted to share a guest post with you. It talks about one of my favorite topics - gardening! Enjoy and see you tomorrow.

Perfect Gardening Space For Kids
By Amanda C Smathers

As a child some of my fondest memories were in the garden. Our family kept about an acre of land that was dedicated to a yearly garden. We kept everything from corn, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, strawberries, cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, and onions. We would spend hours outside watering, weeding and picking fresh vegetables. Now grown up and living the suburbs the space for a large garden is not available but I still want my daughter to be fascinated with the growth of plants.

If you want to experience a garden with your children without all the work involved of a large garden then try one of these ideas that work great for small spaces. Gardens come in all sizes. A simple flower bed along a house can be a great place to grow vegetables. Large pot planters can be perfect for growing peppers or tomatoes on a patio. Or create or buy raised garden beds that can be 4 x 4 feet or 8 x8 feet.

To have success with your garden, you should start with good soil. If you are lucky enough to have good topsoil then you need to do very little except rototill your soil. For small areas a shovel and rake will work fine. If you live near the beach or in very dry climates you may need to purchase top soil at a local store or by the bucket at a mulch center. Moisture Control garden soil is great for first time gardeners. If you forget to water the plants daily the soil will still be moist because of the time release.

Container gardening only works if there is proper drainage. Drill additional holes if the water does not drain quickly after each watering. Raise the container at least an inch off the ground. Use a fertilizer for vegetables once every seven to ten days. Five gallon window boxes work great for most vegetables. Opt for 5 gallon pots or bushel baskets for larger plants such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. Potato plants will grow in stacked tires filled with soil. Plant on top and the roots and grow the potatoes.

For raised beds choose your favorites or keep a garden only for salads. Several raised beds allow for more plant types. Squash and cucumbers need to be planted in multiples in order to self fertilize and grow.

This year my three year old and I planted two raised beds of salad mix with leaf lettuce, spinach, grape tomatoes, and orange sweet peppers and herbs. Spinach is nice because unlike leaf lettuce you can freeze and can it to eat during the winter. My daughter loves eating ripe tomatoes and helping to collect the salad greens. She is also becoming a big help with the up keep by watering and weeding. The garden can be seen right outside the window so she enjoys watching them grow.

Enjoy your home vegetable garden!

Amanda is the owner of We have gifts for new moms, babies and toddlers. Customized Diaper Cakes are available as gifts and for baby shower decorations in your theme and colors at great prices. Also like us at

Article Source:  Perfect Gardening Space For Kids

Monday, July 01, 2013

Having Fun Exploring

I've gotten lost today. I was searching online for some old fashion recipes. See I'm really big into historical romance novels. Mostly stories from the late 1800 and early 1900 when the middle of the country was being settled.

While searching I came across How come I've never noticed this site before?

There are a million really good recipes here!!  I'm don't claim to be a great cook who experiments with spices and stuff, but I can follow a recipe.

Like I said earlier I was looking for historical recipes and found some really cool ones that I plan to try out.  Here are two I can't wait to try:   Old Virginia Angel Biscuits and Old Fashion Corn Bread.

The only thing I don't like about is the fact there there aren't photos of the finished recipe.

There is even a drink mixer manual where you can learn how to make almost any mixed drink.

If you are looking for a great recipe to take to your next get together or picnic browse their site. You are sure to find something you like.

* None of the links in this post are affiliate links. I am not compensated in any way if you decide to visit the site above or for posting about it. I'm simply sharing my opinions and experiences in hope of helping others. Enjoy!