Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy!

Visited Whole Foods Market today and learned something I never knew. I spoke to the fish monger and asked what was the mildest salmon he had in the counter. He told me that the Sockeye was always going to be the strongest flavor and Alaskan would be the mildest. Good to know since I am trying to add more Vitamin D to my family's diet.
Last week I learned that  65 - 75% of Americans have some level of Vit D deficiency. According to many sources the best way to get the Vitamin D is to spend some face time in the sun. There is a fine line between how long before you put sunblock on because it will block the needed rays from doing their Vitamin D duty. Best guess I'm hearing is 15 - 20 min is enough unprotected then we need to apply sunblock. Next to sunlight is supplements then diet but there are limited foods rich in Vit D mostly milk, egg yolks, and fortified cereals, then soy tofu, and mushrooms. A good multivitamin is not a bad idea. So get outside and be active it's fun and healthy!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

From Jeans to a Skirt!
We simply cut a pair of jeans off that fit in the waist. I cut under the zipper in the front and a couple of inches under the back pockets keeping a relatively even cut. Then we took scraps from other jean legs in different shades and cut rows then sewed the rows together. I made two coordinating panels and cut them both into an A line shape. I used the cut edge of the jeans top and started the A line panel that size on top with a little seam allowance and just cut the panel the length I wanted my skirt to be. Attach the A line shaped panels and seam it up! Wha la! You have a skirt.

Here's a different version using a pant top cut off the same way as above. My girl had a dress that was to tight at the top so we cut the dress off at the waist and attached the cut off dress bottom to the cut edge of the pants top. Wha la! Two more skirts using stuff that some people would throw out.

Nice how the brown pants color match the skirt we attached that was ivory with brown flowers. She paired it with a solid brown top and she looks like a million bucks! This is a great project to teach a kid to sew. Yes it rouge and there's no pattern. It's just plain practical and quick so the instant results encourage the child to learn more. You wouldn't believe the pride that she gained actually getting compliments on an outfit that she helped make!
Kid's Waste Control

I have a few simple ways to cut down on waste in our home. I especially try to help with the kids having a way to not spill or over use expensive products.

1 Kid is old enough to want to shampoo their own hair but not consistently able to portion out the proper amount or not able to keep those wet, slippery shampoo bottles out of the water.
Solution - Purchase a pump bottle! I was able to find a kid's brand shampoo with a pump. It was larger than I was used to but I bought it on sale with coupons so no sweat. I continue to refill it over and over so the savings just keep on coming! Even if the bottle falls in the bath it doesn't spill and the kids know how many pumps they are to use!

2 Kid is to big for sippy cup but spills still happen A LOT! 
Solution- Tupperware lidded drink cups with straw hole. There are also lots of sports drinks that if you rinse out the container your child could reuse them. I even use the Tupperware for myself when I take a drink into my room or work around the computer to avoid costly spills.

3 Two bathrooms only One Product
Solution - Use an empty that is still in good shape or purchase small reusable bottles.
I often buy products in large containers way to over-sized to be left out on the counter or just have one product but need to have some in both bathrooms. If I already have an empty of the same product I can easily transfer some from one bottle to the empty. If it's shampoo I can just add it to the kid's pump. If it's hair gel or lotion I can use a reusable small container. Also if you happen to get travel size products free with purchase don't just toss them out once used. Think about small containers being refilled especially when your kids are learning to use products on their own. 

4 Snacks left open or wasted
I almost never buy snack size chips or cereal! It's just to expensive. But my kids will either not get the chip clip on good causing the snack to go stale or don't close the sack up at all and leave it out or even worse eat the whole family size bag between two little kids :(
Solution - Make portion controlled snacks with zip top bags and have a snack canister/bowl/drawer that the kids can get to easily. I keep the big bag sealed and fresh while the kids can have portion control and freshness.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Don't Fight the Curl!
Just a quickie to show you what your little man can look like if he has naturally curly hair and you let it grow out, apply a little Aussie style gel and allow to dry.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Let's talk about coupons!
Ok I am not an extreme couponer but I need to cut my shopping cost down extremely low soooo, I coupon! Now I'm new at this so forgive me if you are more versed than I but let me share the top 10 tips and tricks I've discovered so far.

The biggest and best tip,,,,,wait for it,,,,buy the Sunday Paper to get your manufacturers coupons.

Tip 2 There are really cool people on YouTube that have the sale ads a week before the sales and they also know which coupons are coming out in the paper. Once you see that info you can determine if you want to buy more than one paper.

Tip 3 Every store is going to have a little different sales so it's always good to keep your coupons with you.

Tip 4 Pick a system to keep your coupons organized. I use a rubbermaid shoe box style container. I separate categories with index cards and small envelopes. Some people use a 3 ring binder with baseball card sheets. Use whatever works for you.

Tip 5 Take advantage of online coupons that are printable and sign up for some cool websites that alert you to those coupons.

Tip 6 Learn how each store works it's sales programs. CVS and Walgreen's have really specific set ups with ECB (electronic cash back) and register rewards programs. My favorite store policy for both is that if they have a BOGO (buy one get one free) sale, you can use a coupon for the one you buy and the one you get free so you are doubling your savings. If you find a clearance priced sale you are really going to cut your costs. Which leads me to....

Tip 7 Look for clearance items that you can match up with coupons.

Tip 8 At CVS and Walgreen's buy the item that earns rewards so that you can use the rewards on a separate purchase. I sometimes make a couple of separate purchases in a row to take advantage of the store's reward program.

Tip 9 Buy enough of an on sale item to last you until the next cycle of sales on that type item. Ex.... If deodorant is on sale BOGO and you have 6 coupons buy 3 and get 3 free. You'll have 6 deodorants to last you until it goes on sale again and you can collect more coupons for it.

Tip 10 Brand loyalty is your enemy! It's true for savings. If you are strictly loyal to ABC detergent and you seldom get ABC coupons and the sales don't get put on for ABC that often or the sale is not that great of savings, guess what? You are denying yourself huge savings on other brands that you do get coupons for that do have great sales. It's all detergent, it all cleans clothes, I'm going to save some money and buy what's giving me the best deal!
Now that being said, if you just have to have ABC detergent and it's worth it to you, rewards are a good way to get what you want. Take advantage of the sales and coupons you do get and use rewards to roll over to the ABC detergent.


This is the easiest way to save money consistently in our budget. 13.08$ for over 300 loads is to cheap to resist. The smell of the Fels Naptha is wonderful.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The easiest hair cut you'll ever watch. Simple guides to keep your man or lil man looking sharp.
This is Chloe' getting her Mermaid Braid on!