Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Getting My Frugal On

This past weekend my church held a consignment sale.

If you go on the second day of the sale the items are half off.

Channeling my inner Marie, Feeding Five, and Shauna, What I Love, I proceeded to buy gently used items for my kids at fantastic prices.

My kids were not willing to try everything on and model for I had to splay everything out on the bed and take pics that way (I know not nearly as exciting).

For my 10 year old I picked up 3 shirts, 1 pair of shorts, and pajama pants:

For his age group the pickings were slim.  I am sure it has everything to do with boys at this age being tough on their clothes.

My 5 year old racked up a few more items, although he was disappointed he couldn't find a pair of camo pants (for some reason he really wanted some):

He got 3 t-shirts, 2 shorts, 1 khaki pant, and a rain jacket.  Notice the camo John Deer tee.

However the winner in all of this was my daughter.  I suppose young girls take really good care of their clothes, plus they like to wear pretty dresses (which is of endless fascination for my daughter).

We were lucky enough to pick up this bounty:

1 flannel pajama set, 1 sweater, 3 skorts, 1 skirt, 1 t-shirt, 1 pair of jeans, 1 long sleeve linen shirt, and 6 dresses.  I am absolutely in love with the pink dress that is front and center of the second picture.

What was the grand total for this spree?  $51.50.

Yes got 27 pieces of clothing for $51.50.  That averages out to $1.90 per item.

When I came home and told my husband how good the sale went and how little we spent...he was sold on buying second hand from here on out.

I have to say that "No Impact Man" has made quite on impact on us.  Reusing items instead of buying new is really becoming our mindset.

Tomorrow I will have a little round up to let you know how some of our initiatives are going and to update you on the no poo.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Little Excited

I had a recipe be selected as the "Recipe of the Day."

Vegan Blueberry Biscuits with Vanilla Glaze

Over at Circle of Moms they selected my Vegan Blueberry Biscuits.

I was pretty shocked to have it selected, I mean the recipe is very tasty, but it was neat to have someone else select it.

If you get a chance drop by Circle of Moms and check out the recipe.

Oh and a little side note.  Did you know today is National Pistachio day?  Pistachios are full of nutritional goodness, not just for your heart but they also help fight free radicals in your cells (check it out here).

Friday, February 22, 2013

Margarita Day

I don't know if you are aware but today is National Margarita Day.

Yep that's right there is a holiday that encourages you to consume alcohol.

Now I am not saying that I am against this at all...I DO love a good margarita.

So in celebration I present to you some fantastic margaritas (if you are going to try them let me know so I can taste test):

                                                                    Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

                                                                    Source: via Courtney on Pinterest

                                                                         Source: via Kaleefornia on Pinterest

                                                      Source: via Phyllis on Pinterest

                                                       Source: via Sandy on Pinterest

                                                          Source: via Joy on Pinterest

And a post about margarita's would not be complete without putting this lovely little tune in your head (yes I am guessing just the mention of the song will have you humming it all day long):

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Good American

I was given the opportunity, through BlogHer book club, to review the book A Good American by Alex George.

This is my first book review and honestly I am a little nervous that I won't do the book justice, but here we go.

A Good American is the story of Joseph and Jette Meisenheimer's move from Hanover, Germany to Beatrice, Missouri.

Initially the pair leave Germany because of Jette's parents (who disapprove of their relationship and unborn child).  With little more than the clothes on their backs and all the money Jette could scrounge from her parents house they leave aboard a ship to America.

Alex George does a wonderful job of weaving this tale over 4 generations of this family.  He takes you through events such as:

The birth of Joseph and Jette's two children (Joseph Jr and Rosa)
Joseph Sr going off to World War I
Joseph Jr's marriage
Opening of a restaurant
Birth of grandchildren
Birth of great grandchildren

You emotionally run the gamut from joy to sorrow with the events that happen to them.  In one particular instance I wanted to scream at the characters "Don't do it!" because I could just feel something bad was going to happen and I became so invested in them that I honestly cared what happened to them.

Overall the book is very engrossing and I just didn't want to put it down.  At the same time when it was over I felt I had been told the WHOLE story of the Meisenheimer's.  I didn't feel cheated by the ending and in fact loved that George wraps up everyone's story.

I read a few reviews prior to finishing the book and was encouraged by the sheer number of positive things people had to say.

I have already loaned out my copy of the book because I felt it was such a good read, that I really just couldn't keep it to myself.

Have you read any good books like this that just kept wanting to read more and more?

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Some people will do anything for love...this though might be crossing a few lines...OUCH!

                                                               Source: via The Cools on Pinterest

Today people will take time out of their day today to let people know they love them.

                                                          Source: Uploaded by user via Ronnie on Pinterest

I've set up e-cards to be sent to my husband every hour, on the hour, while he is at work (he doesn't read my this reveal won't ruin the surprise of receiving harassing loving messages).

Seriously who wouldn't want to get messages like this: - I love you like cavemen loved meat. - I want to grow old and disgusting with you

For us we don't like the mushy cards, with tons of words, quick sarcastic banter is the way we roll.

I hope whatever you are doing today that you have fun and that it is filled with love.

Remember tomorrow I will announce the winner of my Wholesome Sweeteners gift still have a chance to win, just head to the post here.

Here is a fun little tidbit I learned on the radio today.  Apparently those who are good at whistling are also good kissers.  What do you think?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Treat

We all know that Valentine's Day is a mere two days away.

Have you thought about what you will be doing for your sweetie?

Maybe something kind of sexy?

I wanted to share with you a recipe from Wholesome Sweeteners that might be enjoyable on Valentine's Day:

I do want to say a quick word about what I think is special about Wholesome Sweeteners.  Their products are organic and Fair Trade (meaning farmers are paid a set premium for their crops).  By doing this local farmers can compete against factory farms...and who doesn't want to support the local farmer?  I think that deserves a little Valentine's Day love.

The love doesn't stop there Wholesome wants to give away to you, one of my lucky readers, the below gift basket:

That is a lot of DELICIOUS agave.

Would you like to know how you can win?  Enter through the Rafflecopter below.

The giveaway will be open through Valentine's Day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 4, 2013

Self Sufficiency

What is this you might ask?

A fair enough question.

It is my first run at greening my beauty routine.

See last week I posted some goals I had to decrease my carbon footprint.

Part of my goals was to make my own shampoo.

With that I did a bunch of reading and it was suggested that you have a period of time where you wash your hair with baking soda and then use an apple cider vinegar rinse.

So enter the baking soda (on the white it is not a controlled substance), the tinted jar of apple cider rinse, lemon peel sugar scrub, and a lemon rind as a face tonic.

Before jumping in the shower on Sunday I used the lemon rind (I grated the zest to save for a future project) to rub all over my face as a toner (gently mind you, and stay away from the can sting a little).  The lemon can help with purifying the skin cells (which helps with the signs of aging, skin problems, age spots, etc).

I got in the shower and rinsed my face and then I washed my hair with a tablespoon of baking soda.  I was a little worried once I got it in my hair, as I was not sure that it would all come out and/or that I would have a big greasy mess on my head before heading to church.

To make my fears a little worse I rinsed with the vinegar, which was super cold and smelled funny.  I used about half of the jar of rinse.

Things did improve when I used my sugar scrub as it smelled quite pleasant.

So how well did the items work?

Well it is probably too soon to tell if the lemon is going to make my skin look any younger, but I'll keep trying it and see what happens.  I figure if it makes the cells healthier it should give me a more vibrant appearance.

The scrub gave my skin a nice softness all day and the piece de hair.

I was so very pleased once it dried and I could see that it was cleaner now then it has ever been.

My hair was nice, clean, and shiny.  I finally realized that what I had been reading was true.  You don't need the various shampoos to make you have a nice head of just need $1 to buy a box of baking soda and a bottle of apple cider vinegar.

To make the items above:

Vinegar Rinse:
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 C water

Sugar Scrub:
peel of 1 lemon
1/2 C sugar
olive oil

I cut up the lemon peel and put it, and the sugar, in my Vita-Mix.  I blended them together until they were of a fine consistency then added enough olive oil to make a paste (sorry I didn't measure how much oil I used, but I know it didn't take much).

So be sure to save your lemon peels (they can have a whole host of uses) such as:

  • degreaser
  • clean your microwave
  • polish chrome
  • deodorize your garbage disposal
  • clean your stainless steel sink
  • refresh your cutting board
What things do you do, or have you read about, that can green your beauty routine?

Friday, February 1, 2013

January Vegan Food Swap

Well due to a few technical difficulties (mostly operator error) I am a day late in posting what I received as part of the Vegan Food Swap.

First things first though.  The swap is coordinated by Cat over at The Verdant Life.  You are asked to spend up to $20 on your recipient and include a hand written note (a lost art for sure).

This month I was paired up with Shannon of Gingery Snips and Snaps.

I opened my box and was stunned.  Look at all the goodies:

vegan candy bars

Vega and chocolate chip cookies

Vega is my go to protein powder, so I am always glad to get some of that.  As for the rest of the items I have never tried them before.

I was very excited to get the Primal strips.  I look at them every time I am in Whole Foods, but just haven't brought myself to try them.  Shannon gifted me with teriyaki and hot & spicy.

The chocolate chip cookies were made from Mama Pea's recipe in Peas and Thank You.

I have never heard of Journey bars but I am excited to try them...just not sure if I should go with barbeque or   pizza.  What are your thoughts on it?

The 3 that I will save till the end are the candy bars (Jokerz, Mahalo, and Angell).  When I feel like I need a treat I will break into one of these.

Shannon thank you so very much for an awesome box, it was jam packed with things I have really been wanting to try.

So after seeing this awesome box do you want to be part of the action?

There is still time to sign up for February's swap (deadline is Tuesday the 5th).