Sunday, March 9, 2014

Who Is Your Organizing Guru?

I am following a few too many organizing gurus this week. We moved a few months ago, and I find myself needing to bring order to the chaos. Do I follow The Fly Lady who has never led me astray? Should I go with Money Saving Mom, who has a four-week program to a cleaner, more organized home and who also employs a number of Fly Lady techniques? Or should I go with a current favorite of a few of my friends, 40 Bags in 40 Days? It may seems nuts, but I think I'm going to try to do two of the three. Money Saving Mom and #40Bags40Days here I come!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cleaning Up the Refrigerator

Is it time to clean out the refrigerator? I know you know to toss out the science experiments first, and remove items to keep to a different shelf or the countertop, so I'll skip that part. Starting from the top, down, I begin with a dry cloth or paper towel, to remove any crumbs. After shaking out that cloth over the trash can, I run water over the cloth, and go over the same areas of the fridge shelves. If there are any areas of dried, thick residue, I lay a wet cloth on it, leave it for a few hours, and move on to the next task. That way, I avoid wasting energy on a task that moisture and time can solve for me. Then, I return in an hour or two to easily wipe up the mess. In the event of a stubborn area, repeat, leaving the rinsed out damp cloth in contact with the area in question. I do the same for my glass stove-top and interior of the oven. If raw meat juices have spilled, I'll use some Windex with Vinegar or some Clorox wipes, whatever I have on hand. I try to avoid the really nasty chemicals and find it best to start with water or sudsy water first.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes Recipe from Brigette Chevy

OK, I did it again. I meant to make something for dinner, but decided I'd rely on leftovers to sustain us this evening. There's nothing wrong with that! However, since Mother Nature has decided not to cooperate AGAIN and my daughter's lacrosse team won't be playing tonight, I decided to make use of the bag of potatoes my husband asked me for last week, but then forgot to use.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom, when I came across a guest post by Brigette Shevy. She wants to enjoy potato dishes, but likes to skip using cream soups and / or sour cream, which are frequently used with potatoes. Luckily, her mother-in-law had a great family recipe for Cheesy Hashbrown Potatoes that she shared with Money Saving Mom, Crystal. And, now I'm sharing that recipe with you.

I'll be making this recipe this evening, and I'll let you know how we all like it. But, from looking at the recipe, and reading through comments on Bridgette's guest post, I already know a few things that I appreciate. First, NO ONIONS! I love onions, they just don't love me. So, it's nice to see a recipe without this seemingly ever-present ingredient. However, I feel the recipe is flexible enough to allow for onions if you so desire, I'd just sautee them a little first. Second, though the recipe calls for milk, and many would read that as "whole milk," what's the harm in using skim? It's what we have on hand, and though the dish might not be quite as thick without whole milk, I like the benefits of skim to help balance the ensuing carb and cheese fest! And, third, I appreciate the flexibliity of being able to use up those fresh potoates you have on hand, or the efficiency of using frozen shredded potatoes.

Oh, and those pototoes that I was going to use? I scrubbed the potoatoes, started boiling a large pot of water, then decided, it's going to takey WAY too long given that it was already 5:00 pm. So, those potatoes will wait till another day and frozen shredded potatoes, here we go!

Enjoy this recipe by clicking on the link at the top of the page!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quick Tip: Carry Store's Coupon Policy in Coupon Caddy

I've heard and experienced that many cashiers aren't familiar with their own store's coupon policies.
This can be frustrating when you have your stack of coupons ready to go and it all comes to a screeching halt. You've got other folks behind you in line giving you the evil eye and you just want to give up and go home. Well, don't! Keep a copy of the store's coupon policy (generally found on their website) in the back of your coupon caddy, envelope, etc. The cashier will either become more knowledgable about policy, or will be so intimidated by the fact that you know their coupon policy, chapter and verse, that he will just put your coupons through out of sheer embarrassment! If that, too, fails, then ask to have the store manager ring you up at customer service.

Here are links to some stores' policies.

Kroger (Digital Coupon Policy)
Fred Meyer

Quick Tip: Simplify Washing to Get Better Looking Towels

Unless you don't mind a bunch of lint balls covering your towels, or if you use your towels until they've gasped their last breath, then you'll like this.

Have you ever noticed that when you wash different colored towels together, even the older ones will transfer little lint balls to towels of other colors? I hate that. I cannot stand seeing all those little lint balls on the towels! The next time you get new towels, buy all the same color. You'll no longer have to wait till there are enough dirty from the same color to make up a load, and no more lint ball transfer!

Also, remember to limit the use of dryer softener sheets when washing towels (or fleece). The softener sheets prevent towels from absorbing as much water as they normally would. (The softener sheets just flat out ruin the appearance of anything fleece, over time, so I wash fleece separately and use no dryer sheets at all.)

If you are asking for towels for Christmas, a house-warming party, or whatever the occassion, make sure to ask for towels that are all the same color to make wash day a little easier.


Put Some Pep in Your Housecleaning Step!

Put some pep in your housecleaning step!

I know that I always get more done around the house when I have to music to bop along to and I've found a new site to help with that. My friend Christine brought walk by jog fm to my attention, and I thought it would be a great way to put some pep in your housecleaning step. You can always use your MP3 player, or even stream music from your favorite radio station or Pandora.

Whatever you do to get a little motivation, choose something fun and you'll be sure to be more productive when you are doing your daily chores!


Contest Corner - The Best Giveaways on the Net!

I'm a big fan of Money Saving Mom. Each week, she gives a forum for other blogs to list any contests or giveaways they have posted. I've seen these in the past, but rarely entered any of the contests. This week, I decided to give these other hardworking bloggers some love and enter their contests.

One blog that I tried was Contest Corner. They have "The Best Giveaways on the Net!". This week, they are giving away a D-Link Day/Night Security Camera. Contest Corner provided the following information about the camera.

The D-Link DCS-932L Day/Night Security Camera retails for $129.99 
and is available at Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot and Amazon – 

Contest Corner, like other blogs running contests that I've come across, are using "Rafflecopter" for entries. By performing various tasks, most of which are to help advertise the blog or the company providing the prizes, you gain entries. For example, on Contest Corner, you can earn entries for liking their Facebook page, Tweeting about the contest on Twitter and posting the link to your Tweet back in the Rafflecopter, subscribing to a an e-mail or RSS feed, etc. In fact, I'm earning an entry right now just for telling you about their contest on my blog!

Not everyone will want to do all activities, but the more activities you complete, the more chances you have at winning the prize. This particular contest, at present, has received over 2,000 entries. As nationwide contests go, that's not a huge amount, so your chances are pretty good, though I'm not going to mathematize (our own family word) for you. Some entry methods are able to be done on a daily basis during the life of the contest. For example, you can Tweet about the contest once / day to earn an additional entry. I have seen some contests / giveaways that have fewer than 100 entries.

Yes, contests and giveaways are fun, but they serve other purposes and anyone who spends even a small amount of time purusing blogs will recognize that bloggers have contests to boost readership. Some bloggers will also get free product to try and write about, and the manufacturer often gives an extra item for the blogger to give away. Also, the contests often require that the reader likes a Facebook page, Tweets about the contest, or writes about it in the reader's blog, all promoting the blog with the giveaway, the company who provides the prize, or the manufacturer of the product. Some readers seems to get a bit bent out of shape about this, but I don't see why. If a company is giving away an item, and a blogger is willing to try out that item to promote it for the company, then if I'm going to try to win the item, the least that I can do is help promote them a little in the process. Many will help, few will win, but c'est la vie, right?

So, now that you know a little more about contests and giveaways on blogs, go forth and win!