Sunday, February 28, 2010

Affordable Decorating

I was delighted to visit a friend's home decorated with such lovely expressions! I was surprised at how easy and affordable these decorations can be! Depending on size, these lovely expressions can be as inexpensive as $24.95.

These expressions will adhere to any smooth surface -wood cabinets, car windows, walls, etc.

Easy to apply by removing paper backing and sticking to the surface. Takes only a few minutes. Easy to remove, just peel off! Leaves absolutely no residue.

The chalk board and custom photo decors can be removed and applied elsewhere again and again! Extremely affordable and instantly adds style!!!

Personalize your home with vinyl expressions and decor with Uppercase Living! For further information go online to

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Frugal Girl

Okay. The Frugal Girl is ridiculous.. ridiculously GOOD at being frugal!!

This mama of four started "The Frugal Girl- Cheerfully Living On Less" blog about two years ago and now have many many fans and followers. According to her, she has always been a frugal person... always saving instead of spending... which makes sense why she is so darn good at it! But with all that she does; full-time homeschooling mom, part-time piano player and part-time piano teacher.. it is certainly inspiring to read her posts about how she saves money by planting her own garden, baking her own bread, making her own yogurt, shopping at thirst stores... and most impressive of them all SPENDING LESS THAN $100 on groceries per week (to feed a family of 6)!!

If you are like us, desiring to live more frugally and trying to find ways to spend less on groceries.. this site may help you to do so... and inspire you to "cheerfully live on less"! :)

Some highlights from her site:

-Wednesday Baking- recipes and "how-to" for baking all sorts of tasty bread and treats!

-Food Waste Friday-posts pictures of food she has wasted that week to motivate herself to use up the food instead of wasting it.

-Grocery Spending and Menu Plan- Records exactly what she spent on groceries (plus photo of all the items she purchased) and menu plan for the week.

You can connect to The Frugal Girl website here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Those With Young...

God promises in Isaiah 40 verse 11 that He will:

"gently lead those who are with young."

Isn't it comforting to know that God is guiding and leading us Mamas with little ones... gently and patiently (He must have known that it was not going to be an easy task).

Dont' be hesitant to ask God for help with anything (strength, wisdom, sanity, breastfeeding, discipline, you name it!)... He desires to help us and mold us into wise, strong, patient, intelligent and beautiful Mamas that He has created us to be!!

Image Source: MS Clip Art Gallery

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Our Valentine

12 Indeed you will go out with joy; you will be led along in peace; the mountains and hills will give a joyful shout before you, and all the trees in the field will clap their hands.

14 . . . You will not experience oppression; indeed, you will not be afraid. You will not be terrified, for nothing frightening will come near you.

13 All your children will be followers of the LORD, and your children will enjoy great prosperity.

10 Even if the mountains are removed and the hills displaced, my devotion will not be removed from you . . .

5 For your husband is the one who made you - the LORD who commands armies is his name. He is your protector, the Holy One of Israel. He is called "God of the entire earth."
Isaiah 55:12 and Isaiah 54:14b, 13, 10a, 5

God is so great, and He's totally in love with you!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Babysitting Swap

We all know that finding a babysitter for a date night can be a gigantic hassle...unless you have parents or in-laws nearby that are willing to come over any time. But even then, they may not want to babysit any later than 9pm.

When we discovered that we had a neighbor that attended our church (and they had a little one also), my husband and I knew we had to jump on this opportunity to do a "babysitting swap"! Since we both had breastfeeding babies at that time (and both slept by 7pm), we thought that the easiest thing would be to go out after we put our kids to sleep... So, one of them would come over to "babysit" (or it was more like, just sit and watch TV) after we put our daughter down.. and either my husband or I would go over to their place after they put their daughter down. It worked out great!! It literally took a few steps to get back home, so neither of us really cared how late the other came home.. plus, it was the easiest thing ever!!

Although we had to move away from our old neighbors, God has blessed us with some other amazing friends to do "babysitting swap" with. We don't live as close (but still only a 10min drive away) and we babysit for each other once a month so at least we are guaranteed one date with our spouse per month. :)

There's nothing better than having someone that you trust and love (and who your children love) babysit for you... and returning the favor so that you can bless them as well! Doing a "babysitting swap" will save you money, headache, stress and hassle!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Keeping Your Immune System Strong

If someone in your family is starting to feel under the weather, read these great tips from WebMD:

An Immune System Buster
Eating foods high in sugar and fat:
Consuming too much sugar suppresses immune system cells responsible for attacking bacteria. Even consuming just 75 to 100 grams of a sugar solution (about the same as in two 12-ounce sodas) reduces the ability of white blood cells to overpower and destroy bacteria. This effect is seen for at least a few hours after consuming a sugary drink. A diet high in saturated fat has a similar effect."

An Immune System Booster
Get more antioxidants in your diet: A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins and nutrients can boost immunity to help fight infection. Your body produces free radicals -- molecules that can damage cells. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals so they can’t do any damage. Researchers believe that when the balance between free radicals and antioxidants is upset, it can contribute to developing cancer and heart disease, as well as age-related diseases.

Top antioxidants include vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. To get enough of these antioxidants in your diet, experts recommend eating an abundance of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

Other immune-boosting foods include fresh garlic, which has claims of antiviral and antibacterial properties, and old-fashioned chicken soup. A study showed that if you do come down with a cold or the flu, a bowl of steaming chicken soup can boost immunity and help you get well faster.

In addition, mushroom varieties such as reichi, maitake, and shiitake may have some influence on immune function.

A Music Alternative

Children love music. They love to dance to it and sing along! However, we as mothers sometimes need a break from the la la lyrics and the hyper peppy songs. Classical music can be the answer! I wasn't a big classical music fan growing up, and I didn't know if my kids would appreciate it, but now it's soothing to me and it calms my nerves . Surprisingly, my kids like it!

When things get frantic around the house, try putting classical music on in the background. If you don't have a classical music collection, you can tune in on the radio to classical music stations. The kids might really respond to it! I've noticed that my kids interrupt me less, concentrate more on their activities and seem overall more content!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meal Planning

You Mamas out there know... ANYTHING to make meal planning, budgeting and grocery shopping easier... right?!! Well.. hopefully these nifty notepads will help you be more efficient with your time and money (and help reduce stress!).

This one helps you plan out your dinner for the week.. as well as breakfast, lunch and snack. As much as I sometimes dread planning meals for the whole week.. I find that it DOES reduce food costs (or at least helps me to stay within our budget).

This one helps you keep track of all the items you're out of.. so on the day you go grocery shopping you don't have to write a list in a hurry, then realize that you forgot a few important items when you get home (which is what often happens to me).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Adding Omega 3s to the Menu

Adding fish to the weekly menu can sound tedious because prepping fish, baking it or frying it can be an ordeal. But here are some quick tips to add fish hassle free to your weekly menu.

Anchovies are rich in omega 3 and are less likely to have mercury because of their small size and short life span. Add a few anchovies to your kid's pizzas or salads. To reduce salt, you can soak or rinse the fish before serving.

Sardines are packaged with their bones in tact which has an added benefit of being rich in calcium. Also, these delicious fish are not only rich in Omega 3 but also in protein. Have it with rice or pasta, grill it or buy it marinated in tomato sauce.

Smoked salmon can be eaten right out of the package. Serve it on a bagel with cream cheese, or try my favorite - a la carte with cottage cheese and rice crackers.