Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I will "" a winner of some of my favourite things on Monday.  (I will welcome new followers with my posts next week :)

This week end is the last chance to enter Next 2 Nothing Crafts's Blog Give A way.  I have a link to her "SPRING" tutorial, and Give A Way at the end of this post.  Be sure and leave a comment on BOTH blogs. 

No, I don't do my shopping on Wednesday :0)

I had a different post planned until I realized what week it was.
The last week of March  (and September) I do a battery inventory. 
First I check the batteries IN flashlights, then the ones WITH the flashlights and radios (preparedness). 
Next I check the upstairs battery container and downstairs battery wall mounted rack. 

I know I will need to use 3 nine volt for the unwired smoke alarms that get changed the first week end of April and October.  (And I usually always need AA for Wii remotes.)
I buy my batteries at Sam's Club because  I like buying them in quantity.
(Batteries do lose power over time , so I also have wind flashlights.) 

(We also have rechargables and a car battery jump starter.  I make sure the rechargables are still with the chargers, and that the car jumper has been returned to it's box-AND IS WHERE IT GOES.)

This week I am packing an emergency backpack for my husband to have in his office.  It will have new batteries.  (As well as older canvas shoes, flashlight, solar blanket, a roll of quarters, snacks, water pouches, rain poncho...)

I am over at THE THRIFTY HOME for a link party today.  I appreciate that she hosts these.  Thank you.

Next Wednesday I am posting a major (in my opinion) preparedness purchase. (Mine was under $10.00)

On Monday, Next 2 Nothing Crafts guest posted on my blog.  She is doing a GIVE A WAY of her cute "SPRING" project.  And SHE HAS ONE FOR MY BLOG FOLLOWERS!  Read this post to find out how you can win.

Next week I will be back to my regular weekly schedule of blog posts.  Recipes, crafts, deals, organization and odds & ends. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Allison, from "Next 2 Nothing Crafts ", is guest hosting at my blog today with one of her crafts.  Thank you, Allison. Visit her blog and see what she does with craft ideas, and to be part of her craft give away.

Hi everyone, I'm so excited to be guest blogging on Michelle's blog today! My name is Allison, I blog over at and I LOVE  to craft. I am married to the man of my dreams and have one adorable almost three year old son, with a little girl due in July. I just wanted to share some crafts that I have done on my blog with you today.

First I want to start off by showing you my most recent craft.  SPRING letters!  I love spring and am so excited for it to come this year.  I made a short tutorial for you.

Here are the blocks, cut, sanded, painted, papered and modpodged.

Then I added the stem and leaf by cutting out the shapes in paper and modpodging them on.

I added a rosette made from pick polka dot fabric

Then I added some vinyl and she is done!  So super cute and so so easy.

Other spring crafts I've done are:


I want to give you the chance to win a set of SPRING blocks for yourself!
Giveaway Rules:
1.  You must be a follower of this blog, as well as my blog.

Leave a comment and let us know you follow our blogs for one entry!  Also, please make sure we have a way to contact you in case you win!
Thanks Michelle for having me today!

Thank you SO much, Allison. This is really cute.  The flower on spring really adds a lot.
This GIVE A WAY goes until Monday, April 4th. 
Remember to have a chance to win you need to be
#1.  A follower of THIS blog (michelles10things).
#2.  A follower of Allie's blog (Next 2 Nothing Crafts)
#3 and #4.  Leave a comment on THIS blog AND on Next 2 Nothing Crafts blog!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

PLANNING OUR MENU + Guest Blogger with a GIVE A WAY on Monday

On Monday I will have a Guest Blogger posting on my blog.  She has a fun spring craft she is showing.  AND SHE HAS A GIVE A WAY!!!  Come see her cute craft touches, and check out her crafting blog.

SUNDAY - Final day of celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  Crock Pot Corned Beef.  (So easy and the meat was tender and full of flavour.)  Cabbage, asparagus, green beans, Doug's green jello salad, green salad, baked potatoes (done in crock pot) and rye bread (turns out no one likes rye bread).  For dessert Lindsay made lemon lime poke cake .
MONDAY - Pesto Chicken Bake,  (made in a covered pot in the oven with red potatoes and tomatoes-very easy), the easy pot bread, green beans and fresh strawberries with tangerines.

TUESDAY - Doug requested eggs and hash browns (used planned over baked potatoes from Sunday).  Strawberries and sliced tomatoes.   Doug asked me to put this on our 30 Day/30 Meal rotation.  Done!   I also made Blueberry Streusel Cake.  I am still working on that recipe.  The flavour is great, but it lacks in the appearance dept.  I will share that recipe when it works.
WEDNESDAY - A Chicken Fajita soup.  This has been on my to try list for awhile.   It was not as good as I had hoped it would be.  (And the planned overs were more boring.)  I also made a new biscuit recipe.  Loved the taste and texture (a real lot) but was disappointed that the self-rising flour did not rise much.
THURSDAY - "Pick-a-Can"   (Our basketball team plays + Pinewood Derby night + Special Needs Road Show)  This was my plan.  After I left to help set up the Pinewood Derby track, Emily brought home Papa Murphy's pizza for everyone watching the big game.  (We lost :0(
FRIDAY - Planned Overs
SATURDAY -  I made a Tortellini soup for dinner.  It did nothing for us.  All in all, a very disappointing week of new recipes.



It is a "Hungry Girl" recipe that I got from her show.  I thought that using 1 can bay peas and 1 avocado sounded like it could work.  While it was not disgusting, it was not at all related to guacamole.  Even with an avocado in it, it was a very muddy green.  (And I wasted my avocado.)  And, I like canned peas (sometimes- what can I say.  We ate them in our childhood.)

I am very disappointed this did not work   (Darn it.  I should have tried this on Friday.  APRIL FOOL'S DAY!)


Thursday, March 24, 2011


This is another (dessert) recipe that I have been making since the 80s.  It is from a Pillsbury mini monthly cookbooklet.  (I bought them almost every month for years.  Sometimes I still do. :)
I made these for Brooklyn's blessing dinner.  They are (very) fast.  Just 1 step and then you bake them. (If you are in a hurry, you can even take them right from the oven and cut them when you get there :)

from Pillsbury cookbooklet (#147 All New Part Cookbook)

Mix as for brownies
1 brownie mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 egg

Add and stir in just until mixed
1 can coconut pecan frosting (German Chocolate)
1 cup sour cream (I use light)

Sprinkle over the top
1 cup chopped pecans (I use walnuts or pecans)
1 cup chocolate chips

Put in sprayed 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 400* for 42-52 mins., until knife comes out clean.
Cool and cut into bars.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I got this simple and inexpensive idea about 3 years ago (several months after my grandson, Logan, was born).

My daughter commented that some of Logan's outfits had gotten too small before he had a chance to wear them.  We headed off to Wal-Mart and I bought bundles of the baby hanger in different colours.  Both Wal-Mart and Target sell a pack of 10 hangers for $1.00.
My idea was to hang each size outfit on a different colour handle.  (0-3 mos. - white, 3-6 - mos. - green, 6-9 mos. - blue, You get the idea.)
Put the hangers in the closet by colour, and you won't miss something.
Easy, huh?  And cheap.  And organized.
Simple, I know, but it is an inexpensive add on to a baby gift, or closet organizer project.

This idea is linked to the party at The Thrifty Home.  I appreciate her hostessing.

Next week I will share a major (in my opinion) preparedness purchase.  Under $10.00.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.  It's already tomorrow in Australia."  Charles Schultz

6 March - 20 March, 2011


Last week was a busy one.  I intended to get my 10 things typed and posted, but did not.  So I am combining the last 2 weeks.

#1  I had intended to make cute cake pops for our Cub Scout cake auction with Ashley teaching me and Elana some fun ones.  As the week went by, that was something I crossed off my list.  Then Saturday morning I got a text from Ashley saying that she had made 20 cake pops for Saturday night and would bring them to me.  They were so cute.  Thank-you, Ashley.

#2  Emily took lots of us to "Pirate Island" in Orem for a fun family activity (since there was no school that Friday).  There were 13 of us.  The kids had lots of fun.  Thank-you for sharing your deals/coupons with us, Emily.  (Hilary paid the extra.  And I bought 10 paper pirate hats for the "X marks the "game :-)

 #3   Doug and I got to hear Mark and Ashley talk at church on Sunday.  This was the first talk Ashley has ever given.  They both did a great job.  We were glad we went.

#4  We went to Lindsay and David's church meeting on Sunday for Brooklyn's blessing.  The blessing was very nice.  Everyone came to our home for dinner after church.  We had lots of help, and the weather was wonderful.  I enjoyed Sunday a lot.

Our Brookie Bean


6.  O.K.  This is one of the FUNNEST things I have done in a long time.  My sister and niece were visiting my brother, sister (in law), and their 2 children.  On (or is it "in" ? ) Staten Island..  My brother is great about calling me and telling me what they are doing.  (I so love that city.)  So on Wednesday, they called when they were all heading to Times Square.  If you read my blog regularly, you know what happened.  I told them with camera was up, and they came and found me.  Me on my computer in Utah, and them in Times Square.  I gotta say this was a real highlight of my week (actually month).  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PLAYING WITH ME.  (I took this picture of my computer screen.)  You can go to Times Square (and watch fire trucks and strangers) by clicking on the earthcam link on the left side of my blog.

7.  One day I was  #1 on our bracket game the whole day.

8  .I have wanted some things printed since last July.  Leslie printed them, and some other things, for me.  Thank you, Leslie.

9.  My kidults, grandkids and friends came over to watch "Darby O' Gill and the Little People for Saint Patrick's Day.  I love when the family is around.

10.  On Thursday I got to go with our cub scouts to the land fill.  (I thought is was a dump, but they are different things.)  I thought it was fascinating.  And the boys were good, too.

11.  I am loving the BYU games on t.v.  It brings family home.  And...

12.  I am loving all the comments on our Family Bracket Facebook page.

13.  Do you know what these are?  They are french fry cone baskets.  I saw them many months ago in a World Market ad.  Mark went to get them up for me, but they were sold out.  (Two people had bought them all.)  They put me on a waiting list (I wanted 4) IN CASE they ever got them in again.  (He did buy the paper liners for me :) 
Four months later they called and had my 4.  And they sold them to me at the sale price they were at the time :)  Not totally sure how I will use them since I only make sweet potato fries, and even then, not often.
Vegetable sticks?  No, I have plenty of veggie trays.  Homemade ice cream cones?  I am sure I will think of something :o)

14.  My niece taught me to make this very fun happy face.   d[*o*]b    Thank you, Ayley.

Monday, March 21, 2011


If you live in the Salt Lake Valley, Sunflower Market (about 6400 S. State, across from Fashion Place Mall) has 85% lean ground beef on sale for $1.69 a pound.  I bought some for us (and some for kidults).
THIS SALE ENDS TUESDAY, March 22nd.  (Today if you read this on Tuesday.)

I made some into patties, and froze them.  (I put the "glob" of meat into a fold over top sandwich bag (they are cheaper than zippers) and press the meat, in the bag, into a pattie.  I freeze them separately and then put in a large zipper bag in the freezer.

I browned 10 lbs. and drained it until cool.  Then I filled 10 small zippered plastic bags with 1 lb.  All the bags go into a large zippered bag.  I browned some for some kidults, too.  I have cooked meat for 10 week day meals and 1 family BBQ :)

AND, if you head to Sunflower Market for beef, they have strawberries on sale for $.88 a lb.  (Limit 4 pounds.)  They are very pretty ones. 

Sunflower Market has a nice bulk section and carries a lot of organic foods.


DO YOU WANT TO PLAY? (A link to our March walking (healthy) contest sign ups.)

Why plan menus ahead of time? 
Helps with organization. (You can try/or get rid of all the recipes you have cut out/bookmarked.)
Encourages variety-and new ideas.
Saves money.  (Plan what you will eat by watching sales.  Also uses left overs.)
Saves time and stress.  (Cuts down on the what shall I make for dinner.)

Week 5 - Is there a recipe that you want to make that needs an ingredient that you buy just for this recipe?
Here is my problem.  I (really) wanted to make the recipe, so I bought the ingredient (hominy, nacho cheese soup...whatever)  Once I have all the ingredients the pressure to make it is gone.  Before I put the ingredient away, I put the recipe (and source) in my "make in the next month" page protector.  I also mark on the can what recipe I bought it for.
I have a list of not usually bought ingredients on a list to watch for at sale prices. (mangos, a certain meat cut)  Plan a recipe that you have wanted to try and watch for what you need to go on sale, or pick it up on a low shopping week (for me that is more Marjoram).
(Also, try and plan your meals for next week.)

SUNDAY - Our grand daughter was blessed and everyone came to our house for dinner after.  Rolls, meat and cheese trays, salads, fruit, vegetable trays desserts...  You know.  I also baked Lemon Cookies, Salted Peanut Bars, and German Chocolate Brownies. (I will post the brownie recipe next week for Throw Back Thursday.)
MONDAY -  Emily took the family out for pizza with her deal coupons.  We went to the ROCK CREEK PIZZA (in Riverton, UT) buffet.  The place was packed.  (The coupons expired that day-for almost everyone there.  The buffet had very good pizza (dessert pizza, too), and drinks are included.  But, we were really impressed with the staff.  They were happy and did a great job keeping up with a full house.  We felt the buffet was very reasonably priced at $8.00.
TUESDAY - With lots of meat, cheese and rolls left over from Sunday, we had sandwiches, green salad, carrot peanut salad (one of Doug's favourites) and cantaloupe.
WEDNESDAY - (Almost everyone came over to watch "Darby O'Gill and the Little People".  My kidults wanted to share (relive) their happy childhood memories with friends and nephews and niece.)  We had Pesto Pasta (green) and also Marinara.  Lots of fresh fruit and many green treats/snacks that Leslie planned.
THURSDAY - IRISH STEW (actually my tried and true crock pot recipe.   Cub Scout Day + basketball game + full house)  Homemade green pot bread, green salad, green jello salad (I live in UT + it is one of Doug's favourites ;)
FRIDAY - Lots going on so we did left overs.  (We call it "Pick-a-Can".  That means pick what you want and eat when you want/are here.)
SATURDAY - Yep, another basketball game with lots coming over.  I made a pan of lasagna, another loaf of (the very easy) pot bread and a salad.  We had ice cream and rootbeer for floats, but no one had one.  (Too much going on in the basketball game - and in the family bracket standings :)

Next week end I will post a menu planning and money saving "craft".
Share some of your planning successes and failures.  I LOVE COMMENTS.

If you are working on our menu planning goals, remember to pick a recipe you want to try that has ingredients you don't usually buy, and watch for them to go on sale.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


This is a really requested and popular dessert recipe.
I made it for Broolyn's blessing dinner on Sunday.
This recipe uses things that I don't usually have around the house, but it is worth the extra cost.
This is from the mini Pillsbury cook books that you buy at the grocery store check out.  I have been making it since the 80s.

from Pillsbury

CRUST - Combine on low speed until crumbly.  Press firmly in ungreased 9x13 pan.
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. salt
1/4 tea. baking soda
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine (I use margarine for this one.  It is cheaper and no big taste difference)
1 tea. vanilla
2 egg yolks (discard whites-not needed)

Bake crust at 350*  for 12 - 15 mins. or until light golden brown.
Immediately sprinkle with

3 cups mini marshmallows - Return to oven for 1-3 mins. until marshmallows just begin to puff. 
Let marshmallows cool while you make the topping.

TOPPING - Heat in saucepan just until melted and smooth
1/4 cup (1/2 cube) butter or margarine (I use margarine here)
2/3 cup light corn syrup (like Karo syrup)
2 teas. vanilla
2 cups (or 1 12 oz.pack) peanut butter chips  (I buy mine in bulk at Winco)

As soon as smooth and melted, stir in
2 cups crispy rice cereal ;-)
2 cups salted peanuts (I buy these in bulk at Winco)

Immediately pour over and spread over barely warm marshmallows to cover.  Let set until firm before cutting into bars.
If you make these, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011



If you are looking for a fun, free (and probably very crowded) idea in the Salt Lake City, UT area on Thursday (17 Mar.)  Discovery Gateway is free.  Discovery Gateway is a great children's educational and activity centre, located in downtown Salt Lake at 444 West  100 South.  The phone number is 801-456-5437.  Their hours are 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.  This free day is part of the ZAP funding taxes agreement.

If you are looking for a fun St. Patrick's Day project, here are a couple we found.
I found this fun bright idea from The Seven Year Cottage.   This is HER picture.  I will for sure make this - next year :)

Here is another great idea we found over at The Fickle Pickle.  This is HER picture, and I love it.


I am ALWAYS thinking Christmas.  Year round.
What I buy for Christmas is something that Leslie started me on. 
While she was at Target one day, she saw a gift card she thought I would like.  (Don't they have the cutest gift cards?) 
She brought it home to me.  Thus started my collection of gift cards. If I am at Target or Wal-Mart and see a cute (Target) or generic (Wal-Mart or grocery stores0, we put $5.00 on it.  It is as easy as that.  By the time "Black Friday" comes, you may have enough to pay for all of your purchases.  Wouldn't that be great?

There are a few tips for success.
1 Keep each stores gift cards in there own zippered plastic bag.
2 Keep the receipt there, too.  This is really important.  It is proof that YOU bought this.  Not usually needed, but good to have.
3 Keep with your Christmas notebook/journal/lists, whatever you call it.  (You do have one don't you?)  This way you can always put the new one right where it goes, and you will not lose them.
4 Keep it up.  Have a little extra money?  Put more on it.
5 If you "borrow" it, pay it back (if you can).
6 After they (the fun Target ones-like Legos, Barbies that you dress, tape recorders...) are used, x the back with a marker and stick them in a purse or bag for the kids to play with :)
7 I never count what I have until near Thanksgiving.  I love the surprise.
Have fun collecting and getting a head start on the holidays with this easy and relatively painless way to save.  (Even if you use it for cooking/baking supplies.)

This post is linked up at "THE THRIFTY HOME" for a party.  Thank-you so much for hosting one.
Next Wednesday, a baby gift idea, or an idea for you if you have a new(ish) baby.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


If you are...
Today is the day I a winner of our fitness awareness challenge.
Have you walked more, or taken the stairs a few extra times a day?
Or have you been a bit more aware of what you have eaten?

The winner is #1 - Peggie!
CONGRATULATIONS!  I will get that mailed to you.

What have you won?  A $5.00 gift card to SUBWAY.  They have a healthy choices menu that will help on the fitness path.  (I am buying this myself.  I am not being paid or compensated.)

The next will be March 31st.  If you are a follower, sign up to play on the March 3rd post (DO YOU WANT TO PLAY?  I will try to have it link on my posts.) 

(I did not know how to link the, so I just took a picture ;)

Monday, March 14, 2011


I am late getting this posted because I spent the week end cooking for several events.

A meal/menu planning goal this past week was to start (or continue) working on a basic/fall back list of meals.

Week 1 Challenge- Schedule a new recipe to try this week, and a tried and true recipe to make this week.
Week 2 Challenge- Check your freezer.  Make sure you know what is in there.  Maybe use something you had forgotten was there. 
Week 3 Challenge- Start a list of meals that you can eat/cook often to good reviews.
Week 4 Challenge- (This week) Plan 9 meals for next week.
Although I plan (and write down) a meal for each day, I have 2-3 more at the side of my menu plan.  Sometimes I need something faster, or have more time than I thought.  Sometimes I forgot to marinate or the meat is frozen or it turns out that I am out of an ingredient.  If I stay on schedule, I already have some ideas-for next week. 

SUNDAY - We had grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for Lindsay's birthday dinner.   Good AND easy.  (Thanks, Honey, for always grilling.) 
We had the regular sides.  Salad bar, fruit tray...
MONDAY - Mango Cashew Chicken.  This has been on my list since I saw mangos on sale last week.  (I put 2 mangos in, instead of one.)   I served it with zuccinni and sliced tomatoes.
For my 30 Days/30 Meals list, I try to use recipes that I would usually have everything for.  I decided to put this great tasting chicken dish on my list even though I rarely have unplanned mangos.  (I think I will try it with frozen soon.)
TUESDAY - Date Night out with Doug after my Dr. appt. :)
WEDNESDAY - BBQ hamburgers
THURSDAY - German Pancakes (I had crock pot planned, but I needed pictures for Throwback Thursday ;-)
FRIDAY - Pizza Friday.  I opened a crescent roll tube (I used crescent rolls instead of canned pizza dough,  because it is fluffier.  It is cheaper, too.) and pressed and sealed all the seams to form about a 9 x 13 rectangle.  I lightly spread BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Regular), going to about an inch from the edges.  I sprinkled 1-2 grilled chicken breast (pulled apart) over the sauce.  (My son in law grilled these for me on Wed. when they grilled for dinner :-)  Then I topped the dough with grilled red onions (done in a stove top frying pan) and grated smoked Gouda cheese.  (If I am making a regular pizza, I slice the Gouda in rounds for the pizza.

Starting on a long edge, using the edge of your baking sheet or foil)  roll the 2 sides up and seal (pinch) together , being sure that everything stays tucked in.  Seal it closed at the end. 
Start by bake at the temp. and for the time on the crescent roll tube instructions.  Then add time as needed to have a nicely browned pizza roll.  I usually go about an extra 5 mins. 
We love BBQ Chicken Pizza and make it lots of different ways.
SATURDAY - Soup Social and Cub Scout Cake Auction at our church (I took Chicken Enchilada Soup,   "filled chocolate cookie" cake, peant butter cup brownies, and cake pops that Ashley (daughter in law :) made for me to take  (Andrea, I will trade a batch of these for a jar of your jam? )  I also took a collection of hair bows donated by "Bits and Pieces" donated for the silent auction.  (Everything sold well :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011


You already know that we eat breakfasts for dinner.  Do YOU?  Let us know.
This is one of our fast and easy and FAVOURITE breakfasts/dinners.  My husband loves this and requested it be on of our 30 Days/30 Meals. 

GERMAN PANCAKE  (aka Dutch Baby, Bismarck)
I adapted this from The Junior League of Salt Lake City's HERITAGE COOKBOOK
(I got this cookbook from my sister in law (Wendy) the first Christmas I was married (1979).  Although I wore out the cookbook, and replaced it, I kept the the page with the note from her.
Makes a 9 x 13 pan

Put into a blender

3 cups of milk (I use 1%)
6 eggs (I use large)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teas. vanilla (or you can use vanilla sugar)
1/4 teas. salt
Blend well.

Set oven to 400* and melt in 9 x 13 pan

4 - 6 table. butter (be careful not to burn, but I like mine a tiny bit browned.  ummmm, browned butter)

When butter is melted, immediately pour egg/milk batter into melted butter. 
Adjust oven heat to 450* and bake for 20 mins.
Lower heat to 350* and bake 8 - 10 mins. (I always do 8)

This comes out full and puffed and above the pan sides.  Within about 3 mins. it has fallen to about 1 " high.(I bake mine in a metal pan because it is a bit bigger than my glass ones.)

This can be served with powdered sugar and/or syrup, berries and whipped cream/sour cream, brown sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon apples/applesauce, pie filling...  I serve usually serve with powdered sugar and syrup, juice and fruit salad.
This serves 4 - 8, BUT if there are leftovers, put in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.  Works great.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This week I am explaining 3 different things I buy for my bathroom.

HAND LOTION - The hand lotion I buy costs between $15.00 and 25.00.  ( I am quite picky about my scents.)  I really love THYME'S Olive Leaf lotion.  I live in a very dry area and use hand cream.  A LOT. 
Another , less expensive, but good quality, hand lotion that I use is TRADER JOE'S A Midsummer Night's Cream (Moisturizing Cream Extra Dry Formula)  (They say unscented, but it has a faint scent.  It is under $4.00 and travels well if you need someone to bring one back from their travels because you do not have a TRADER JOE'S in your state/area :(
To help my favourite last longer (THYMES) I keep them side by side.  Each time I use hand lotion, I squirt out a pea size of EACH.  Works great.  Only three of those stupid hang naily things this winter.

SALT - Yea, weird, I know.  I grew up in California (our home base as I was an Air Force child.).  Whenever we would go to the beach my skin would clear up.  (I was about 12 at the time.)  My mom told me it was the salt.  Ever since then I have washed my face with soap - and salt.  (A very cheap exfoliate.  Yea, under $1.00 and it last (quite) awhile.)  (We are talking 41 years here.)  I keep a small Tupperware (midget) container with a lid, filled with salt.  (I prefer the coarseness of Morton.  Store brands are finer.)   Maybe it has not done anything, but I feel good about it and will do it forever.

DRYER SHEETS - Another weird one :)  It is dry here.  And I can not stand static electricity.  CAN NOT STAND!  I use a pick comb, and as needed, I put a dryer sheet (folded in thirds) on the base of my comb.  It works great.  If things are really dry, I spray a bit of STATIC GUARD on the dryer sheet.  Ah.  No flying hair.

This What I Buy Wednesday is linked up to THE THRIFTY HOME  party.  Thank-you for hosting.

Next Wednesday I will share what I buy to give me a head start on Christmas.  You may think it is too early, but I have converted many to this simple purchase.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Do you want to participate in our get healthier game?  Commit to do more each day.  The first follower/participant give away drawing is March 15th.  You need to sign up (and be a follower) to win.

"The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing."  Stephen Covey

27 February - 6 March, 2011
As always, not in any particular order.

#1  For the first time this year (2011) we have 2 working, legal cars at our house.  Whoo Hoo.  (Thanks P.K. Auto.)

#2  I had a great day on Tuesday.  Felt great!

#3  My family WAS happy that our basketball team was #3 in the national polls.  (Happy family makes me happy.)  Unfortunately, we are now ...#8.

#4  One day last week I had 150 hits on my blog.  That is my most hits in a day since I have kept track. :)

#5  I went to book club on Thursday.  It was great to be back.  I love book club.

#6  I had a great MARCH FORTH.  Got lots of little things done, and got a lot done in Lincoln's room/Grand kid's/playroom.

#7  On Friday Emily asked if she could take me to lunch.  Of course she picked the only restaurant that would get me out of the house.  I love "RIB CITY" in American Fork.  Their ribs are wonderful.  The owner is on sight to great guests.  I had seen her share a recipe on GOOD THINGS UTAH for Cuban Style Pulled Pork Sandwich.  It looked so good that I decided I would get one to go :)  It turned out that it is not on their menu, but she brought me some of each of the meats to try. mmmmm   
THEN, Emily went to the A.F.D.I. (Thrift store in American Fork) and said she would read in the car while I treasure hunted.  Since I still can not drive, this was a perfect day!  Thank-you, Emily.

#8  I have been pretty darn mad at my local newspaper.  They no longer run the 2 medical columns that I like.  They don't have the local television and movie columnists that I like.  And finally the big one.  They got rid of my favourite columnist, Ann Cannon.  (Some of my favourite columns of hers are the Diet Dr. Pepper and slippers at church, and the family reunion.  But there are many more.)  And I do not like the replacement.  The new column(s) are by authors/speakers that I am suffering overload from them. 
Then I heard Ann was writing for another local paper, now.  I BLINGOED her, and found her blog.  Yea!  I can keep reading her wonderful everyday life stories.  (Made me happy :)
Then as I read I learned that she was not terminated.  She was just making changes.  (Made me happy :)

#9  I had lots of fun making my "X marks the spot" and playing with it with Logan.  Yes, We had real treasure.

#10  LES MISERABLES!  The new one.  IT WAS WONDERFUL.  We watched it Saturday night on PBS.  It was so good, that realizing I have no LES MIS DVD, I went to Amazon to buy it.  As I read the reviews, I realized there was a weak spot, so I waited until I had seen it all.  Still thinking about the purchase.  But, this 25th Anniversary  Concert does have some amazing performances.  Besides some quality performances, the sound quality is great.  And the special lighting effects are a very well done surprise.  And some wonderful bonus features.  (Four Jean  Valjeans from different well known companies/eras singing together.  Ah!) 

A side note - I am getting rid of my old videos, and replacing some with DVDs.  So I watched "The Man With One Red Shoe" (1985).  I remember liking it.   Turns out the much funnier movie with the same plot was 1997s "The Man Who Knew Too Little".  SO FUNNY.  I already have that one on DVD.  (And strong PG-13)

Monday, March 7, 2011



Yep, I got my project done.  I fell in like with the fun "X marks the spot" project from "4 Crazy Kings"
 that I posted last week end.

I love the way her "X" looked a bit like an anchor, and wanted mine to, also.  To make my pattern I started by collecting circles (mixing bowls, pans, etc.)  I used my biggest mixing bowl and traced 1/2 of it on the fold of a newspaper.  (I then cut out several because I knew I would want to experiment in sizes.) 
I decided on my stock pot size and traced a 1/2 circle to that size, on the fold. 
Next I folded my 1/2 circle in 1/2 again.  Now in 4ths.  One more fold, into 8ths.  You can see the cut I made.  It is almost a "P" with an angled point on the bottom.

I pinned my opened pattern to doubled red felt from a bolt.  (The squares you can buy at craft stores are too small.)  Then, I just started sewing around my X with a blanket embroidery stitch.  (It took about 2 hours to make.)  I would stuff each anchor end of the X before stitching up the sides.

I used craft store brown felt sheets for the "dashes"  on the "map".  I got 10 dashes per felt square by cutting it in 1/2 lengthwise, and then each side into 2" lengths.  I used 4 pieces of felt.  We want a BIG map.

Layne has not seen it yet, but gotta say Logan loves it.  He (and Grandpa and Aunt Hilary) made "maps" for quite awhile on Saturday.

(I will add the pictures of how to make the "X" tomorrow, as well as the link.)

I also finished another fun craft this week end that I will share on an upcoming Saturday.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


How did you do using something from your freezer this week, and making note of what you have in there?
(Lindsay told me that I have the meat that I need for Sunday's dinner in HER freezer.  That's a $15.00 savings for me this week :)

Do you have a 30 DAYS/30 MEALS plan?  (I still only have 14 meals on my list.  My expectations are really high for a permanent spot :) 
Do you have a 30 Days/30 Meals plan?  What are some of your favourite, easy, cheap or convenient recipes that qualify?  We would love for you to share with us.

SATURDAY-  I adapted an easy recipe from Melissa d'Arabian's show, "Ten Dollar Dinners" on Food Network.  The Huevos Ranchero recipe is below.  It was good, fast, and easy.
SUNDAY-  (This is one of my favourite Sunday dinners because it is soo easy.)  Navajo Tacos with scones bought from SCONE CUTTERS on Saturday.  I also made a new dessert that was a hit.  I found SOPIAPILLIOS CHEESECAKE BARS at "Lick The Bowl Good".  This recipe was EASY.  (Not too cheap, and I do not usually have crescent rolls in the fridge.) 
I put the extras in the fridge over night, and they were good the next day.  Not so good the third day.  Cold and at room temp.  (The top was still crisp.)  I also enjoyed these with a honey drizzle.  We will serve these with fresh fruit at the side next time.
This is my second recipe from her blog in the last 2 weeks. 
MONDAY- Doug and I had left over Navajo Tacos.  (I am so glad my husband likes left overs :)
TUESDAY- Everyone went to IHOP for free pancake night- except for Me and Doug.  I made what was on my menu plan for today.  I made "12 14 Cloves of Garlic Pasta" from "Stirring The Pot"  (kind of far down the page).
I really liked this.  The flavour and colour were great.  I will make this again.
I think next time I will cook the bacon and then remove it.  (We wanted it crispier.)  Then I will cook the garlic in the pan with 1 tea. butter and 1 tea. olive oil. (Just to make it healthier.) (Oh man.  The fresh basil does not show.)

WEDNESDAY - I had a recipe from my 30 Days/30 Meals list, but Hilary picked up PANDA EXPRESS for everyone to help with a cousin's fundraiser.  it was fun because we ended up having almost everyone here for a (disappointed) basketball game.
THURSDAY - I had a recipe planned for Wed., but found a new one I wanted to try.  Immediately.
I ended up making it today.  I loved it.  The meat had a great flavour.  (It marinated for 29 hours.)  Some of the taste testing kidults thought the lemon was too strong in the pasta.  I did not.  (Neither did Doug and some other kidults.)  We liked this so much that I put it on my 30 Day/30 Meals list. 
I found Lemon Chicken Pasta over at Creations By Kara (via Mel's Kitchen Cafe- which I also read)
(My chicken breast were really large so I only needed 2.  Instead of 2 table. olive oil, I used 1 teas. butter and 1 teas. olive oil.)
FRIDAY - (Usually we have Pizza Friday (like much of the blog world:), but I was gone (Ah, freedom) most of the day.  So we had Thursday planned overs.
SATURDAY - Lots of the family came over for the basketball game (our team won) and so we did Cafe' Rio salads.  (We really do not eat out this much.  Strange week.)

We have big family brunches at least 4 times a year.  And Doug and I like breakfast for dinner, so I am always on the lookout for breakfast ideas.  This is an easy one we will save.

I adapted this from "Ten Dollar Dinners"

about 2 table. melted butter/margarine

6  8 inch flour tortillas- thin style
1 can diced tomatoes with chipotles-undrained (about 16 oz.)
1 can black beans- rinsed and drained (about 16 oz.)
6 eggs
grated Monterrey jack or pepper jack cheese
salt and/or pepper to taste

For this recipe I use an over sized (large) muffin pan.  I do not spray it. 
Brush both sides of each tortilla with melted butter, sprinkle the outer 2 inches of the inside with kosher salt, and make a pleat on 2 opposite sides of your tortilla and set in the muffin cup.

Mix the beans and tomatoes.  Put about 2 table. in each tortilla cup.

In a sprayed skillet, fry 6 eggs to barely, or not quite, over very easy.  Then put an egg in each tortilla cup.
Bake 8 mins. at 400*.
Remove and top with the grated cheese.
Put back in the oven and bake 5-6 min.. 
May cover with foil if it looks like it is getting to dark.  Mine was fine.)

Can serve with the usual.  Guacamole, sour cream, salsa...

These were really easy and I had everything on hand,  A bonus =) 
I added corn and cilantro to the extra bean, tomato mix and used it for salsa over the week end.  You can also use it to make one of our fast, easy recipes, Corn Tortilla Bake.  (This is on our 30 Days/30 Meals list.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I am making this today during a basketball game.  Logan saw the pictures and can hardly wait to plat pirates.  (He is 3 and he really likes Jake and the Neverland Pirates, too.) The boys will get hours (and days) of playtime from it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


 I found this idea last year over at Prudence Pennywise's food blog ( - and loved it.  I did not need to write it down because it lodged deeply in my brain. 

MARCH FORTH - the perfect day to grab hold of the day and accomplish some of those things that we have been procrastinating!  WHAT CAN I GET DONE?  Make a list and share with us if you would like to. 
Take a pat on the back, high five and thumbs up, if you decide to participate.
Thank-you Prudence Pennywise for a motivating idea!

I (finally) got the mistletoe taken down.
Got a package mailed.
Fed Exed a phone that needed to be returned.
Went thru all the toys in the playroom.  Got rid of of a bunch of them.
Caught up on cutting out coupons (and reading the paper).
Went thru videos and got rid of a lot.
And switched my fall/winter throw pillows for the spring/summer pillows in the family room.  (I do hope it is spring.)
Successful March Forth.


Usually on Thursday I post a tried and true recipe.  I got it ready last night and realized that when I made it, I had not taken a picture:(   Luckily Doug loves it so I will make it this weekend.
So... I decided I would respond to some comments-and start a game.

I have heard from several people saying they want to play our walking game.  Here is my plan.
If you want to play

#1  Be a follower.
#2  Decide that you want to walk more each day than you normally would EVERY DAY IN MARCH.  You do not need to buy a pedometer if it is not in your budget.  Run up and down the stairs more times a day.  Walk around the block a couple of times...  You get it.  (We all try for the recommended 10,000 steps a day.)
#3  Commit by posting your name on THIS post.  (You are welcome to leave a comment, too.)
#4  Be consistent (and honest).

I will do a drawing on 15 March and 31 March for a small, health related prize.  (It has to be small to fit in my budget :-) 

Everyone and anyone (that is a follower) is invited. 
Happy walking!

(I am posting another post tonight that you might want to read before you plan your day tomorrow.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Last week we talked about cleaning garbage disposals.  There were comments and ideas and I decided
to re-post about a cleaner that I really like.
LEMI SHINE - A hard water remover sold at Walmart for under $4.oo. It really works great. It is made for dishwashers, and made mine look new.

I also tried the recipe for cleaning drains. Into my kitchen sink I poured (in order) 1/3 cup LEMI SHINE, 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 cups water. I don't know if it cleaned the drain, but the explosion was cool. After the foam goes away, rinse drain well.
I also tried the spray, which worked great! In a squirt bottle mix 1/8 cup LEMI SHINE and 8 oz. of water. Spray on surface. Let set if desired and rinse well. CAUTION - Test to see if spray will cause damage in a small area. Although this worked amazingly well on my bathroom granite, it seems to have left a whitiesh look. It worked super on shower doors.
(from my 7/17/10 post)

UPDATE-  Vinegar is supposed to be great for hard water deposits. 
Here is my horror(ible) story.  As I began to recover from my surgery, and wanted to take on house jobs, I tackled the hard water deposits that had accumulated around the faucet handles.  I put white vinegar on a damp rag and worked on the hard water spots.  It was working.  But then, I decided it would be easier if it pre-soaked.  I soaked the rag and set it around the handle.  Several hours later I found, to my horror, the vinegar had etched the pattern of the rag into my granite.  Thoroughly traumatized, I have still not finished the job.
There is a moral.  Don't let the deposits build up - even if you are not allowed to use your arms to clean. And, do not blame anyone else for this.  You should have tried it on a small (hidden) area.  All directions tell us that, and we should have read them.  (I am so sad (and embarrassed) about this that I can not even post a picture :(
(Vinegar still works great in laundry, dishwashers...)

Next week- How I extend the life of a product I use daily.    

Tuesday, March 1, 2011



"Happiness is not a destination you arrive at, but a manner of traveling."  Margaret Lee Runbeck

13 February - 27 February, 2011

#1  Doug used 1 of his left over vacation days from last year.  He took Tuesday off, giving us a 4 day holiday together.

#2  We got a pre-paid Visa card for Christmas from Doug's parents.  Doug also still has his birthday birthday money from his birthday in August.  And his birthday money from his birthday in August, 2009.  (I know.  Weird, huh?  That's Doug.  Few needs and easy going.)  Anyway I wondered if he wanted 2 new suits at a buy one-get one free sale, and he did.  (The truth is this- .Doug is not a clothes-or spend money on clothes man.  We have been married 32 years.  In all that time he has gotten 1 new suit.  His mom bought it for him (custom made) in Hong Kong when they picked his sister up from her LDS mission there.  She got home in 1989.  (No, he is not still wearing it.)
Since then we have bought suits from thrift stores.  (The last one was when Lindsay got married in Sept., 2005.)
I still need to hem them.  To frugal to pay for that.

#3  On Monday (President's Day) Emily and Hilary used their deals and coupons to take the family to "Incredible Pizza", which has now changed hands and is "Planet Play".  (If you have coupons, use them quick while they are still being honored.)  We had a really fun afternoon.  Logan, Layne, Lincoln and Ari participated in the dance contest.  We had no clue that they would dance for 1/2 an hour, but they ALL stuck with it.  They were each rewarded with a $3.00 game card.  Layne played "THE CLEW" game and won a very big monkey(?).  
Very fun day.  Thank-you Emily and Hilary.

#4  One night I was watching t.v. (Blue Blood.  What can I say.  I like crime shows.  I was reading my father's childhood Frank and Joe Hardy books by 7.)  Any way, there was someone that looked familiar.  And older.  I could not place it, so I re-wound it and asked Doug.  He did not know, BUT the next morning when I woke up, he told me what show the guy had been on.  (He had remembered in the night.)  AND HE WAS RIGHT.  (He had never watched that 10 year old show either.) 
We are the part of each other that is missing.  I am so happy we have each other.  We each think we got the better deal.

 #5  On Wednesday we enjoyed a great play date at FREE ZOO DAY.  Leslie did all the work pulling the wagon since both Lindsay and I have had surgery.  Thank-you, Leslie.

#6  We really enjoyed the RUSTIC TOMATO TART that I made last week.  It was fun to make the free hand tart crust, and the tart was so good.

#7  GUESS WHAT!  Emily won an IPAD from KSL television.  She was watching the news while she was getting ready for work on Friday, and they asked what you would not give up in this down economy.  She emailed that she would not give up her daily deals/discount coupons.  They read her response on the air - and said she won an IPAD.  (She needed that.  And of course she is thrilled.)
She and Logan took TRAX downtown that afternoon to get it.

#8  I tried 2 new successful recipes this week-end.  Both of them are ones I will keep.  I will share them on Saturday with the "PLANNING OUR MENU" post.  (A main dish/breakfast and a dessert.)

#9  Do you watch "Amazing Race"?  We do.  It is a family game/activity.  This week they were in Australia, and one challenge had the teams dressed as kangaroos - and wearing cool shoes with rollers that helped them to bounce.  It was so funny - and fun.  It was especially fun when there were several teams together forming a TROOP or MOB (yea, I looked it up :).  We were all laughing. A lot.  (We missed you, Christy.)

#10  Even though I can not drive, yet, I have my van back.  (Yea, another $450.00 in car repairs.)  But it is back.


NO, I am not putting a pedometer in the give away basket.
Some of my kidults and I, and 2 of my sisters and a friend of my sister,  are starting a fun challenge today.
We have all bought pedometers and are ready to start walking.  Even Logan wants to "play".  He used $5.00 of his birthday money to buy an inexpensive "nomiter" at Wal-mart.  It is not accurate :) 
The one we bought was from Amazon and rated highly at several sources.  Because I ordered more than $25.00, the shipping was free.  It took less than 1 week to get here.  (When we ordered ours it was $23.00.  Now it looks like it is $19.99.)
My kidults and I are each putting $5.00 in for the person with the most March steps.  (Incentive, not gambling ;)  I will also be doing some other little contests and prizes for our group.

To help you play with us (sort of) I am putting a $5.00 STARBUCKS card in "MY FAVOURITE THINGS" basket.  (A healthy treat while you are out.) 
I will do a '" drawing when I have 60 Dear Followers (*_*)
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