Friday, March 29, 2013

No bake energy bites!

I found this recipe and thought I would give it a try today for snack time.

You SERIOULSY need to make these! They are super yummy and a massive hit. The recipe says that they can be stored in the fridge for one week....I doubt these suckers will last an hour in there.

I altered the recipe to use raisens instead of chocolate chips but other than that I left it as is.

BLT Pizza...Why yes I think I will!

Since we are cutting all processed foods out of our diets it has become very important that I be able to alter recipes to meet our new standards. A BLT pizza is one of my favorite things on the Earth...I mean it has BACON! Luckily my recipe was very simple to alter...

Pizza crust
1/4c Coconut oil
1 Tbsp Honey
2 tsp salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)
4 cups flour
1 1/3c warm water
1 Tbsp yeast

~Mix all the ingredients together in your mixer using your dough hook then let rest for 20min. Divide dough in two and roll out on to pans. Pre-bake in 400 degree oven for 15min.

~While the crust is baking combine two cups of homemade mayo with ranch seasonings:
  • 2 medium green onions, diced
  • 1 medium hand full flat leaf parsley, diced
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, diced or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

~Once the crust is cooked add your ranch dressing mixture on top like a pizza sauce. Top with organic spinach, tomatoes, and chopped cooked bacon.

This is a serious hit in our house!

Turning bar soap into liquid soap!

 As I have mentioned before we are going chemical free in both out diet and our beauty routines. Organic soap however is really not cheap! We ended up buying Dr. Bronner's mild organic bar soap and a bottle of glycerin and decided to try making our own liquid soap. I found this recipe and gathered all my ingredients.

I started to grate my soap but quickly realized that it was much easier to just shave it with my knife.After letting it sit for the recommended 12 hours I was shocked to see it had turned to a solid in my pot!
 It however was super simple break apart in my mixer and I was able to fill up multiple empty containers from around my house. I have been using the soap for several days now and I am sold!
Total for soap and glycerine for 1 gallon of organic liquid soap: $5.30
Price for one gallon of Dr Bronner's Mild Baby organic liquid soap: $55.26

Total saved: $49.96!

Making your own Lunch Meat

 My husband is a meat eater. Every meal he eats MUST have meat in it or he is NOT happy. Since lunch meats are on the no-no list I decided to make our own lunch meats! It was really pretty simple. I bought a chicken for $7.99 and threw it in my covered baker for 2 hours at 350. Once it was done I let it cool for about an hour until it was cool to the touch.  Then I pulled it out onto a cutting board and cut the meat off the bone being careful to not shred it. I also pulled the wishbone out for my kids, they love those things!

  Make sure to keep the drippings and the bones to make your own bone stock!

 Once I had the chicken all cut into strips it was time to make myself a sandwich. I used homemade white bread, mayo, organic spinach and tomatoes. Talk about yummy!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

No New Stuff Challenge: Fourth Week of March

I have learned a lot about how to handle kids school projects without buying any new "stuff" this month! This week we had to make a diorama for my 6yr old's school project. The diorama had to show her animal in it's natural habitat. I think we did pretty well without buying a thing! This week we also got a letter home from school asking for 12 plastic eggs filled with candy for the same child's class. I was thinking ahead for once and ordered 30 used plastic eggs off of ebay earlier in the month. I got 30 used eggs for $4.75 and didn't even have to blink an eye when I got the letter. I picked up some lifesavers and got them sent off to the school.

Continuing the crafty vein this week we made this really cute paper organizer  which I am in love with! As well as finding ways to recycle some packing peanuts from a package a family member sent for Easter. Who needs to buy craft supplies?!

Next up this week I have been telling my husband for weeks that I would get him some new jeans. He seems to be related to our oldest daughter, also known as our little jean ripper, and has ripped the knees out of his two pairs of jeans. I ran over to the Airmen's Attic and had a look at what they had in stock. I was able to pick up a pair of jeans for hubby and 2 pairs of jeans for our oldest daughter, all for free :)

Total I would have spent this week: $85
Total actually spent: $0 (The plastic Easter Eggs were counted in the totals for our upcoming Easter Post)

Monday, March 25, 2013

What are we eating?

Since making the change over to only whole foods and cutting out all processed junk our diet has changed quite a bit....for the better! Whenever I hear that someone has made this type of change I am always curious what they are eating. I thought I would share some of our typical meals...

*Homemade muffins with whole ingredients and no processed sugar
*Pasture fed eggs cooked in either butter or bacon drippings, no vegetable oils or spray oils
*Cinnamon toast made out of homemade bread
*Smoothies made with whole fruit and organic milk
*Yogurt (organic)

*Sandwiches on homemade bread made with whole meats (no lunch meats)

*Baked goods made with whole ingredients
*Fresh Fruit
*Nuts and seeds (my kids can kill a container of peanuts with sea salt in one sitting)
*Yogurt (organic)
*Dried fruits
*Organic Cereal with organic milk
*Homemade popsicles made with frozen fruit and organic milk
*Cheese cubes (organic)

*We are still eating through our pre-baby meal stockpile. Luckily 99% of these were made with whole ingredients.
*Lots of whole organic veggies as side dishes

Kind of simple huh? It however has made a world of difference!

Spring Cleaning the kitchen day!

 It is snowing like crazy outside today so what better day to spring clean my kitchen cabinets! Also known as the day you pull everything you own out and then stand there in horror and wonder how you have not been nominated for the show Hoarders. I am more than slightly horrified by the below pictures....but I am trying to be honest and motivating to everyone out there in here you go!

Tupperware cabinet before and after. Big change since we are getting rid of all plastic storage containers this month.

 Pots and pans cabinet before and after
 More pots and pans before and after. I am also in the process of moving from nonstick pans to stainless steel ones. I still need to buy a big skillet and griddle then I think we can make the switch to 100% stainless steel:
The cups cabinet before and after. Some of the sippy cups and glasses we are keeping are in the dishwasher:
 The spinning cabinet next to the stove. The first pic is only half open because it was so stuffed with stuff that that was as far as it would open!

 Under the kitchen sink.. I used an oatmeal container to contain the grocery bag mess. I also found while I was under there that I am out of garbage bags...perfect timing!:

 Upper cabinet #1 above the peninsula:

Upper cabinet #2 above the peninsula:

Upper cabinet #3 above the peninsula:

Just for fun here are the massive amounts of pencils I found while cleaning out the cabinets....if one more child tells me they can't find a pencil I will not be responsible for my actions!

 Cabinet above the stove:

 And all the stuff I pulled out of my cabinets that will never be going back in. I now need to sort through it all and decide what I will be selling, donating, or just plain throwing away.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Homemade Organic Diaper Rash Cream

I love all those little jars of specialized creams you can find for babies. My favorite is organic diaper rash cream. You can use that stuff on just about everything from chapped cheeks to razor burn and it works wonders. It however is $15 for 2oz....and 2oz lasts a very short amount of time when you 8 people dipping into it. I have always wanted to make my own cream but the list of ingredients was a bit off putting. They were so odd and sounded so hard to come by that I just knew it was going to be terribly expensive. I decided to give it a try though figuring just knowing what was in my cream would make up for the fact that it was bound to be more expensive to make. I was SO wrong on that point! 

I found a recipe for diaper rash cream via pinterest (as usual my go to place for odd recipes). I decided to give it a go, especially since she linked to amazon in her post for each ingredient. I bought all the supplies off of amazon except for the little glass jars. Because of the "no new stuff challenge" I could not buy brand new little jars. After thinking about it for a bit I decided that baby food jars would work perfectly. I posted on my local facebook yard sale sites to see if anyone had any they wanted to get rid of as well as checking on ebay. I was shocked to see how much used baby food jars were selling for! Anywhere from $0.50-$1 per jar PLUS shipping! Are you kidding me? You can get them at the store for $0.40 and they have FOOD in them!  I decided to buy a few jars at the commissary and use the contents to make muffins for this week. I washed out the jars and got them all ready for the cream to go in. 

I bought enough of the cream ingredients to make the recipe 9 times for a total of $39 (I already had the coconut oil and olive oil in my pantry). I tripled the recipe when I made it this time since it is good for 1yr after mixing and I didn't see the point in messing up my kitchen every time I needed a jar. It took about 20min to combine and melt all the ingredients and then another 30min for my mixer to get it all whipped up (I left it to do it's thing and went to nurse the baby while it worked). 

So tripling the recipe got me 16oz of diaper rash cream....that means that for my investment of $39 (or two jars of the commercial cream) I can make 48oz of organic diaper rash cream. That is a retail value of $360! I saved myself $321 and I know exactly what is in my diaper rash cream and more importantly why it is in there. I am so excited!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Who doesn't like a nice bowl of chicken noodle soup when the weather is cold outside? It has always been a hit in our household, especially when I make my grandmothers homemade soup. I however am a busy mom of 6 and I admit I kept some cans of soup in my pantry for times when I was feeling lazy. As I mentioned in my last post we are cutting processed foods out of our diet so I went through our pantry and looked at the label for every single item in there. I was shocked when I looked at a ingredient list for canned soup.

Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken stock, enriched egg noodles (wheat flour, egg solids, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), cooked chicken meat, water, contains less than 2% of the following ingredients: salt, chicken fat, cooked mechanically separated chicken, monosodium glutamate, cornstarch, onion powder, modified food starch, yeast extract, spice extract, soy protein isolate, sodium phosphates, beta carotene for color, chicken flavor (contains chicken stock, chicken powder, chicken fat), flavoring, dehydrated garlic.

Oh my! So with every yummy spoonful you get a big dose of  MSG, phosphates, and who knows what is in those "Flavorings". All with some mechanically separated chicken...yuck!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Homemade chicken bone broth (chicken bones and water)
Chicken (Mommy separated)
Egg noodles (Pasture fed eggs, flour, and water) *recipe below*
organic peas

How can you not feel better about how you are eating when you look at those two lists?! Plus it couldn't be easier if you do a little prep work here and there. I made my bone broth months ago and stored it in the freezer along with the leftover chicken I stripped from the bones. The carrots were peeled and cut up at the beginning of the week for snacks, and the peas were leftover from dinner the other night and stored in the freezer till needed. All I needed to do today was roll out the noodle dough and warm up the other ingredients. Super simple.

To make my soup I pulled out several cups of chicken bone broth out of the freezer and added it to my stockpot. How much you use depends on how much soup you are looking to make for your family. I would say acouple of quarts at least. Once the bone broth is warmed up I add my frozen chicken straight to the pot to reheat. After the chicken is heated through I add the carrot chunks and the egg noodles (recipe below). When you have all the noodles in the pot stir regularly from the bottom of the pot till the noodles are cooked through (about 20min depending on how full your pot is). I add my peas and any other leftover veggies I saved in right before I serve since they are already cooked through and I don't want them to turn to mush.

There you go super simple homemade chicken noodle soup without all the preservatives and MSG!  

Homemade egg noodles 

1 egg = 2 Tbsp water
egg/water mixture + enough flour to bring it together and make the dough smooth and not sticky

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it for any sized family very easily. For each egg you add to the bowl add 2Tbsp of water then add enough flour to bring it together.

I personally do 4 eggs, 8Tbsp of water, and about 3 cups of flour. The amount of flour will vary depending on the size of your eggs. I usually start with 2 cups of flour and then work my way up to 3 cups, stopping once the dough comes together and is no longer sticky.

Once you have the dough mixed together sprinkle flour on your work station and roll the dough out as thin as you can get it. Don't use too much flour while rolling it out since flour on top of the noodles will come loose in the soup and you will have a floury mess in your pot.

Allow the noodles to dry for several hours. I roll mine out on the kitchen table after breakfast and they are dry enough to be used for lunch. The best plan would be to roll them out the night before however I have children who need to sit at the table to eat their meals. I remember when I was a child my mom could never roll them out too far in advance either since we had a very curious cat.

One the noodles are dry use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the noodles into strips. Once your soup is up to a rolling boil use a spatula to get your noodles up off the work surface, dust the flour off of them, and drop them one by one into your soup being sure to stir after every couple of noodles (great job for kids!).    

How yummy does that look?!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

I am a whirlwind!

Honestly we are changing so many things at once right now that I am a bit of a whirlwind!

Lets see:
*No new stuff in 2013 challenge
*Cutting all chemicals out of our household cleaning/beauty routines
*Removing all plastics from our kitchen
*Removing all processed foods from our diet and replacing them with whole non-processed (preferably organic) foods.

Nice and simple right? ACK! I might have bitten off more than I can chew here!

Where are we now?
*The no new stuff challenge is going well. So far so good!
*Cutting out all chemicals: We are getting there. We have switched to the Kiss my face shampoo and conditioner but have hit a bit of a snafu with our soap order. I ordered it and was sent the incorrect product via amazon. They were great about it and my new order should be here on Monday. I can NOT wait to switch our hand and shower soaps to organic all natural soap. We decided to use up the dish and laundry soap that we currently have before going to all natural for those. I did make up 16oz of homemade (organic) diaper rash cream today, a $120 value for half the price and I still have tons left to make another batch.
*Removing all plastics from our kitchen: We are currently saving glass jars and using our glass Pyrex storage containers. I have a massive amount of plastic storage containers that I need to go through and clean out. Hopefully I can sell them and put the money towards buying some more glass storage containers.
*Cutting all processed foods from our diet: We are one week into this change and things are going well. I have been doing tons of reading on natural living blogs getting lots of ideas. Finding ways to pay for all natural organic foods for 8 people isn't easy but we feel it is important. We have found a local farmers market that has pasture fed eggs, and our local commissary has a good range of organic dairy and shelf stable items. I am still looking for a good source of organic grass fed meats and organic produce. I am hoping to find a local farmer that offers both.

We have our hands full to be sure! We are however doing well and really enjoying the changes we are making.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Organizing the paper chaos!

 I didn't realize how much paper is attached to children. They are constantly bring home mountains of paper from school. Between graded work, announcements, and letters from the teachers it feels like I am drowning in paper. My counters were buried in it and I was forever losing things I needed. Several ladies on my mom's forum suggested an inbox system for the kids. I loved the idea and was off to search pinterest for ideas. I saw several inboxes made out of cereal boxes and pretty paper. I figured how hard could it be and broke out my supplies. I had printed out labels for each box, found 4 sheets of pretty scrapbook paper that matched my dining room, 2 cereal boxes, packing tape, spray adhesive and my scissors and got started. I marked where I wanted to cut on both boxes at the same time to be sure they were as close to the same as possible.  I cut the nook out of the box and then used my spray adhesive to adhere the paper to the box. I then flipped the box over and secured the paper with some packing tape. I then used the second piece of paper to line the inside of the boxes. Using scraps I cut out a decorative piece of paper for the front and then added the label on top of that. I am sure all of you professional crafters can tell I had no idea what I was doing...paper crafts are not my strong suit, but I think it turned out pretty well!

The next part of the project was to make a dry erase board to keep track of what projects are due for each child. I admit that with 6 kids I tend to be a bit forgetful of things that are not due for two weeks. We then end up staying up late the night before something is due trying to get it all done at once. I found these two matching frames at the local Airman's Attic for free, and decided to paint them with some leftover paint I had stored in the attic. I didn't have any newspaper so we lined the counter with construction paper and got started.
Once the paint was dry I added a personalized to do page I printed and framed it as normal. I hung the frames above the inboxes and added a dry erase marker on a string. Now when something comes in for one of the girls I can add it to the inbox and write the due date on the board!

Total invested $0 but man is this going to save me a whole lot of stress!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

No New Stuff Challenge. Third week of March

This week has been a very busy week at our house. With my husband out of the country for the week my life got very hectic very quickly. While that is bad for my stress level it is good for the No New Stuff Challenge. I have been too busy to want to go shopping!

Lets see....this week I really wanted to buy some new books off of amazon for my kindle. I was home alone at night and bored out of my mind. I tried to rationalize it with myself that technically I was buying a digital book so it didn't really count...right? I mean I download stuff online all the time...I just don't pay for those. I held firm though and did some window shopping instead. I went through and any books I thought looked good I requested a sample to be sent to my kindle. Once I read the sample I either deleted it or added it to my wishlist. I actually got so many sample chapters that I have not even gotten through them all! I was also able to find some great free books for my kindle as well. Total win!

Next up is an ice cream maker I have been wanting forever. We are cutting all processed foods out of our diet and it would be amazing to have an ice cream maker so that I could make ice cream for my family with organic milk and fruit. Brand new they retail for about $60, amazon however has them used for $35 with free shipping. I have to admit I almost did it. I almost bought one. I talked myself out of it at the last minute though. I may eventually get one but right now our budget is stretched thin with getting rid of all the chemical filled soaps and products in our house and replacing them with natural or organic versions.

Lastly this week I really wanted to buy some mason jar soap dispensers.  They would look so cute filled with the new soap I am about to make, and well they just make me happy. I looked and there are several listed on the internet that are made with recycled jars and lids. I almost talked myself into it, I mean they are almost totally made out of recycled products. One catch though the pump in almost all the cases are brand new. *sigh* I tried to talk myself into it I really did. I would be all over an item that was made out of 100% recycled materials. I just can't in good conscious overlook the new pump during the middle of the no new stuff challenge. So I will be reusing the plastic soap dispensers we already have  and looking for items used to turn into my own pretty containers.

Total I would have spent on stuff this week: $165
Total actually spent: $0

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fed up with chemical filled products.

It seems that we have been hit with a outbreak of rashes at my house. All due to the chemicals in the products we have been using.

I am allergic to the dial soap in our hand wash dispensers
My husband is allergic to our laundry soap
My 8 yr old is allergic to her body wash

I am irritated in more ways than one! I have had ENOUGH we are DONE with the chemical filled products!

However we are still a larger than normal family and have to do these things on a budget. So we are starting small and working our way up to clearing all the chemicals out of our house.

First up is replacing our shampoo and conditioners since we have used up our entire stockpile as of this month. We decided to go with the Kiss My Face shampoos and conditioners. I have ordered them off of amazon and I can't wait to see how they work!

We plan to buy some organic bar soap, probably the Kiss My Face olive oil bars, to use in the showers instead of body wash. I am planning to take some of my old washcloths and make these cute little bar pouches to help the girls get a good lather when they are in the shower. I am also loving the fact that they can no longer knock over the bottles of body wash and literally pour them down the drain.

Toothpaste is a harder one. I have yet to find a natural toothpaste that isn't nasty.... If you know of one please let me know!

As for our dishwasher detergent and laundry soap we plan to make them from scratch with natural ingredients. I will have to make two different laundry soaps one for normal laundry and one for our cloth diapers.

I have set up a page here on my blog with all of the homemade cleaners and detergent  recipes I have found after hours of research. All the recipes for the products I am making can be found here.

Wish us luck this should be an interesting adventure!

Friday, March 15, 2013

No new stuff challenge: Second week of March


It is time for our weekly update on how our no new stuff in 2013 challenge is going!

First up this week was a challenging challenge. My oldest daughter had to make a leprechaun trap for school. I swear I sat there and read that letter from her teacher several times trying to wrap my brain around the fact that we had to come up with a trap to catch a tricky little Irish elf. Seriously? Once I reread the letter about three times I started to panic. I NEEDED to go to the store to get supplies! There was NO way we could do this with just the items here at home! After several days of thinking about it I started to calm down and realized we could totally do this with the stuff we had on hand. We took two boxes, some cotton balls, construction paper, fabric, sticks and glue and got started.  As you can see the leprechan climbs up the little stick ladder to get to the coins on top. Once up there he walks into the small box to get the rest of the coins that are balanced on the fabric and falls through the hole into the bottom box. Simple and effective! I don't know if we will win any awards but we did our best and stayed true to our challenge so we are both pretty happy with the results.

Next up we have our "new" compost box. My daughters have been asking me for the last year when we could start our own compost and I kept putting them off because of one reason or another. Since the main purpose of this challenge is to teach my children about using the things we have, be that through recycling or reusing things around the house, it seemed counter productive to throw away our veggie scraps and then buy compost. So I put "find a compost bin" on my list of things to think about. As I was driving to the grocery store the other day I passed by our local bulk trash bin. This is a bin just for large items that can't be recycled or put in the trash compactor. Such as furniture, broken appliances, etc. Nothing nasty or anything in there. I have been known to climb up the side of it every now and then and see if there is anything good in there (to the horror of my husband). So since I was out anyways and it was a pretty day I decided to climb up and see what I could see. There were several dresser drawers in there that I would have liked for my garden but they were too far out and I couldn't reach them. There was however this tote within easy reach. The bottom corner is broken and the top is missing but it will do nicely for a compost bin. I mean look at the was practically screaming to be rescued from the garbage and reused!

Another thing my children have been asking me to do is to start recycling again. We used to have a bin for recycling but when we moved here to NJ the housing office never issued us one. Since we were a bit busy with settling in, then my husband's deployment, and now the new baby getting a new recycling can was pretty low on my list. However since starting this challenge I bit the bullet and went to the self help location in our housing and got a recycling can. Of course the first thing I thought after getting the can was that now we needed a can inside to put the recycling into. Then it dawned on me that since the door to the backyard is right next to my stove and the outdoor recycling can is right next to the door outside I can just open the door and throw the recycling in. Actually works out better for me as I don't have two indoor cans to empty now. Not that there is much in it at this point since we are into hardcore reusing phase right now.

Which brings me to our latest reuse it post. I went to the BX the other day while I was out at the grocery store and bought $17 worth of vegetable seeds. I normally would have also bought potting soil and something to start the seeds in. Since that was not an option I came home and got creative. I cut the top off of some milk jugs and used them to plant our carrots. Should work wonderful since the soil will be loose and not compacted and the jug is plenty deep. I also found two disposable foil pans that people brought food to us in after we had little bit. I poked holes in the smaller pan and lined it with coffee filters so that the soil would not fall through the holes. I then added the soil and planted my tomato seeds. I placed the smaller pan in the larger pan to act as a drip pan and covered the pan with some plastic wrap to seal in moisture. I also found some more of the little divided plastic pots leftover from last years flowers and used them to plant our bell peppers. Last but not least I pulled in a giant pot filled with soil and planted a second type of tomato. I used some leftover cardboard to protect my floor and lined all the plants up in the master bathroom. It is the warmest room in the house and gets the most light so hopefully the seeds will like it in there.

I have to admit I almost broke and bought something brand new. We have been having trouble with gating off the dining room and kitchen from the toddlers.Our son gets himself in to serious trouble in there even with the room baby proofed so it is off limits these days. Unfortunately the gates we have would not work in the doorway since the frame was not 100% straight. It was constantly falling over. So I went on ebay to look at metal pressure gates that have the built in "door" that opens and closes. I found several that looked good but since I was unaware of what a good price for such a gate was I went on amazon to check out how much brand new ones were going for. I found a used one I wanted for $30.99 with free shipping and the exact same gate on amazon for $31 with free 2 day shipping. I am going to be honest here I almost broke and got the brand new one so that I would have the instructions on how to install it. I held firm though and ordered the used one off of ebay. It came today and guess what! It has the instructions in the box, looks brand new, and works great! My oldest two daughters are still trying to figure out how to use it but I am sure they will catch on quickly. Now if I can just keep my very technical son from paying too close of attention and figuring it out himself!

Next up were snappi's. I somehow lost all of the snappi's I used with our older kids and needed to get some more before we would be able to start using our prefolds on little bit. I couldn't find any used on ebay (which shocked me) So I asked on my mom's forum if anyone had any there were looking to get rid of. I ended up getting 3 used snappi's for $6 with shipping. 

We have also been working on several Easter projects as well. More about this to come in our big Easter post. I will say it has been really fun to think outside the box on this one and come up with some creative ways to keep the Lord in the holiday. Here is one of the projects....We found a count down to Easter printable sheet online. The original idea of this sheet is that you print it out and frame it. Then use a dry erase marker to write the days in the circle. Before the challenge I would have simply ran out to the dollar store and picked up a $2 frame to put this page in. Since that wasn't an option I did a lot of thinking about what to do with it. I finally had the idea to cut the circle out and tape the page to our dry erase board. Same concept, zero money involved. My kids love the countdown and I don't have to store another frame after the holiday is over.

Lastly we had a bit of an uproar to our lives this week. Out of the blue we got the call that my husband was being shipped overseas the next day. We went into emergency prep mode over here. I went to the grocery store and stocked up on the essentials and got him all the toiletries and snacks he would need for his trip. When I got home he dropped the bomb on me that he wanted to take my laptop with him. MY LAPTOP! The laptop I use to surf the internet and write these posts! My first reaction was to say "well I have been thinking about getting you a small laptop to keep in the closet for times like these". His first reaction is usually to just agree with me, which he did just like he always does. I however couldn't bring myself to actually buy a new (or used) laptop that was just going to sit in the closet for the majority of the year. Instead I started thinking outside the box and realized that we have a desktop that could be hooked up to the was just too far away from the router to hard wire so we never bothered. I knew there had to be someway to get it online via our wireless signal so I was off to research it. Turns out a wireless stick was all I needed. I found one used via amazon for $15 with free 2 day shipping! I was sold. It got here tonight and as you can tell works perfectly! A little research saved us a minimum of $250 for a used laptop. 

Total if I had bought the above things new: $334
Total actually spent: $51.99

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Cleaning: Master Bedroom

  I finally got the time to work on spring cleaning the Master Bedroom! ACK! We don't have a storage closet in this house so everything tends to get piled into the master bedroom while it waits to be taken up to the attic. Of course with 6 small children in the house there is seldom time to take things to the attic so the room becomes trashed quickly.

My husband was home today and the baby agreed to sleep in her swing so I was able to spend several hours spring cleaning our bedroom. There were before pictures but my camera seems to have ate them. As you can see I was able to get quite a bit done and even got a load of stuff up to the attic!

I was also able to pull out a ton of books to sell, as you can see by my empty bookcase. And the rest of my maternity gear pulled out for sale as well. I only kept the decorative things that had memories attached to them. Everything else had to GO! I feel so  much calmer and happier in the room now. No more clutter!!

What about you all? What spring cleaning are you up to?


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