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Sunday, June 30, 2013

SOP, weeks 3-5

A couple weeks ago I tried a recipe...

http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2011/05/no-fry-fries

Mine did not end up looking like these. They still looked like raw potatoes, but they were cooked (soft), so we did eat them still. I will not be making these again.

I also tried making these: 

http://moneysavingmom.com/2013/06/best-ever-chocolate-oatmeal-no-bake-bars-clean-eating.html#_a5y_p=659255

 Yum!!!

 These are very similar to the no-bake stovetop cookies I've been making for year, only they are much healthier (the first ingredient is not 2 cups of sugar, for instance)!! I will DEFINITELY be making these again (and again...). :-)

I also tried this today:

http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2012/02/homemade-whipped-coconut-oil-body

 Mine did not "whip up" like this. I'm not sure if it is my mixer, or the fit of the whip inside the mixer. The coconut oil just seemed to get pushed up the side of the bowl and stayed there. I kept scraping it off the sides and back down and it eventually did soften up, but never looked like the picture. I even read some of the comments and took their advice (many said that it will not work unless the oil is cold), put the mixture and bowl in the refrigerator for a while and tried again. It still just softened it. 

HOWEVER!!!!!! I have used coconut oil before as a moisturizer (straight from the jar) and it is DIVINE. I might try using a hand held mixer next time to see if I can get better control of the mixing and see if that will get it to whip up better.

Bottom line...coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer (especially in the dry climate here in Colorado in the winter -torturous on skin, let me tell you!). I'm going to try a couple other times to see if I can get the oil to whip up better. Even if I can't, I will still use the oil as a moisturizer. I very highly recommend it!!! :-)

So, these are the latest Pinterest experiments. I hope you are trying some of your pins out, too!!

Happy experimenting!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer of Pinterest (SOP), weeks 1&2

Our summer technically started the week after Memorial Day, so we are a couple weeks in already.

Here are some of things I have tried so far...

This link takes you to a blog where I got one of my first ideas.

http://www.littlebrickranch.com/2011/04/what-is-wet-pink-and-gross-all-over.html

In the middle of the page, you will see a section that talks about how to add citrus peels to vinegar. This is what I did. I've actually done it before and I LOVE it. I am really trying to go more natural in my cleaning and I have been quite amazed at what vinegar can do!! However, the smell ain't great. I've added lemon peel to mine and it really does help cut the stink of the vinegar down. PLUS, lemon is also another great cleaner, so you are adding more cleaning power to the vinegar which is like a double bonus!!

It does work best if you let it soak for a good two weeks (I might even try it longer this time with one of my jars (I had enough peels to fill two jars this time)). An additional bonus to this "project" is that I make homemade lemonade with the juice from the lemons (Yum!!). I bet you can also do fresh-squeezed orange juice if you'd rather have orange-scented vinegar spray.

If you're interested in the deliciously awesome lemonade recipe I use, check it out here:

http://www.marthastewart.com/267239/classic-lemonade

So, project #1 comes VERY highly recommended.

Another "pinspiration" I have put together is a weekly cleaning list. I don't know about you, but I find it very easy to get overwhelmed with thinking about cleaning my whole house and found that all to often I just give up and nothing actually gets cleaned. This has been especially true since our move and I was pregnant and already taking care of two other kids. Let's just say our house has been a bit under cleaned.

So, I decided to look around for cleaning schedules to try and get me cleaning again. I was hoping to find a template where I could tweak a list and personalize it to my home/family, but that doesn't seem to exist. Instead, I looked at some of the templates that are out there and then created my own specifically for our house and have started working off it.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I am no where near perfect in following it (yet, or maybe ever! lol), but it has definitely been a great help in reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed by the volume of cleaning that needs to get done. With this schedule, all the major things will get done once a week, which is frankly way better than what it has been!!

Here are some links to some weekly house-cleaning templates: 

http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/2010/09/home-maintenance-schedule.html

http://askannamoseley.com/2012/01/day-14-get-on-a-cleaning-schedule-free-printable/

http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/search/label/Printables (you have to scroll down a bit to get to this list)

So, even though this particular item is still a work in progress, I still highly recommend making a weekly cleaning schedule to help stay on top of your household chores.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer of Pinterest

Do you Pinterest?

I do, and I'm quite happily addicted (a bit).

However, one of the things I've noticed with Pinterest is that it's really easy to just keep pinning things and then never get around to actually doing anything with them.

So... I had an idea that I would take advantage of the summer and actually try some of my pins. Novel idea, I know!!

My goal is to try one new pin every week during the summer. And, I might even up the anty and also try one new recipe, too, each week (but, I must not make it only sweets, cause I don't need to gain 20 pounds!! LOL).

Let's give it a try, shall we??

Here we go!!

Another Year, Another Baby

So, apparently, it's been about a year since I last posted anything one here.

Oops!!

Needless to say, the past year has not been boring. ..

Last September we found out that we were expecting another baby (when we still had a 10-month old). Surprise!!

We also (FINALLY!!!) sold our town-home and moved into a single-family house (with a yard!!) at the end of September. We LOVE our new house (especially the FOUR bedrooms - double what we had in the town-home). We are really pleased with the extra space, both inside and outside. We're also really enjoying the garage (especially in the winter - no more clearing off snow, yay!!).

We sold my car and got a new vehicle (a fully-loaded minivan) that would fit three kids and have room for a couple guests, as needed. Though I am still not a favor of being a mini-van mom, it has been a great car with three young children and has been exactly what we need right now. We even took the new car to TX for a test drive and it was a champ (and so were the kids, which was great).

Nathan changed schools and started going to the elementary school our new neighborhood filters into. He was a bit apprehensive at first, but warmed up to it really quickly (thank goodness). He has come so far in his schooling this year, and I am so proud of our big boy. He has caught up with his reading and no longer needs assistance and also no longer needs to have any more speech therapy. Yay!!

Our second baby girl, Abigail Grace, was born May 1 of this year. She was super comfortable inside Mommy and decided that she wasn't ready to join the rest of us by April 18 (her due date). She also decided that she did not want to share a birth month with me and waited until May to come (little stinker, lol!!). We (I) actually decided to give her an eviction notice on the 1st. Things were a bit crazy, but we won't get into that just now. Suffice it to say, she's here safe and sound.

We are all doing well and adjusting to the chaos and joy of life as a family of five. Nathan is done with school, so we are now officially on summer break. I suspect it will be a quiet one, but we will still have fun, no doubt! So, that about sums it up for the past year here. Never a dull moment, right?! :-)

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I am married to an amazing man, who is also the love of my life. We have three kids who constantly keep me on my toes! God has richly blessed me and I am grateful for all He does for me.