Saturday, May 30, 2009

Share my Recipe Sunday - Pumpkin cookies with Butterscotch Morsels

Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried homemaker wins my Gem of the Week award for her yummy and original pumpkin cookies. I have used chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in cookie recipes before, but I have never used them in the combination with the pumpkin cookies.

Pumpkin Cookies with Butterscotch Morsels
I made these cookies this week in order to use up a half opened bag of butterscotch chips. I decided after looking at how few chips I actually had, however, to add chocolate chips as well. It turned out well and they didn't last 24 hours.

Pumpkin Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Grease cookie sheets. In a medium bowl, cream the shortening and sugar. Add the pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Then mix in the chips. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool for a minute on cookie sheets before transferring to cooling racks.

Come join us on Sundays. Share one of your recipes with us and pick up a recipe from someone else that you would like to try. It's all about the Sharing!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Columbus Mom Bloggers

I have this button on my sidebar and although it showed I was proud to be a Columbus Mom Blogger - it lead to no where.
As I was in my grocery store the other day, I had someone comment on my coupon binder. She was a coupon "fanatic" as her husband told me and saves them a lot of money. I asked her if she used any of the couponing blogs and she mentioned one that wasn't a blog. I told her about the 3 Columbus bloggers and she was writing them down on a Kroger flyer.
I realized I didn't have a good reference on my blog to my fellow Columbus Bloggers.
So I created this page of them. If you go to my sidebar now and click on the button above, you will get to this list.

1) Lacie from Peanut Butter and Pickles Reviews blog has great giveaways and lots of them! Lacie was the one who first oriented me to blogging. I saw her blog and all the sidebar buttons and spent the next several hours checking things out. But she was so sweet and helped me so much to learn how to do everything!
Peanut Butter & Pickle Reviews

2) Thrifty and Chic Mom - Ellen has a blog that can help you find great couponing deals and freebies. She gives you a step by step on how to make a Coupon album also. (This is how I made mine)
Thrifty and Chic Mom

3) Ali from Blessed Treehouse writes a very comical view on many things. She gives some great tips and ideas on how to do things "green". I met Ali on twitter and we ended up going to a blogging conference together, meeting for the first time when I picked her up to drive to TN.
Blessed Treehouse

4) Marcy from Stretching A Buck blog also has a blog that can help you save money, give you the weekly coupon deals and freebies. She appears on Ellie Merrits First at 4 TV show every other Monday to share the deals she has for that week.
Stretching A Buck

5) Denise from Musings from Mommyland takes you on a journey of raising a premie baby. She has many links to other premie blogs. (Her son actually is turning 1 today!!)

6) Ellie from Elaborating with Ellie is the anchor newswoman for First at Four with Ellie Merritt. She is great! She had me on her show, doing a segment on organizing. She has had Ellen from Thrifty and Chic Mom on before. She also has Marcy from Stretching a Buck and Tara from Deal Seeking Mom on every Monday to tell the weekly coupon and freebie deals.

7) Christina from A Mommy Story has some great articles to read on her blog.

8) Tara from Deal Seeking Mom is on Ellie's news show every other Monday. Her blog is also a blog on how to save money and the great coupon deals you can get. She is a Walmart 11 mom and has had many wonderful opportunities come her way through her blog and Walmart.
Deal Seeking Mom

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Organizing Children's Dresser Drawers

Are you always scared to open your children's dresser drawers? Do you wonder why you ever fold their laundry? Are the socks in every drawer and the shirts in the pants drawer. Do they even have specific drawers for specific things?

For your kids to have an organized starts with them being taught how to organize their dresser.

*Make sure there is a specific drawer for each item.
It is easiest and makes most sense to me to have the socks and underwear in one of the top and usually smaller drawers. If there are enough drawers to separate them, that is wonderful. Belts can go in here also.

Have a shirt drawer, pants drawer, shorts drawer, winter gear or sweatshirt drawer and one for P.J's.

*It is OK to label the drawers to help your children out. You can make fun and fancy labels, or even have the kids make their own labels.
At least when they are young, this helps them to learn that clothes have specific places to go. When they are older, they probably won't need the labels anymore.

*Keep on top of their drawers with them. My kids put their own clean clothes away. I work to teach independence to my children, so when they are out on their own, they know how to do these things.
But in doing so, I have to say that the drawers usually are not as I would want them. I do have 2 of my 5 children at home that keep up with their drawers (and they are 2 of the 8 year olds). I go in every couple of weeks to the other 8 year old and help him pull the shirts out of the underwear drawer where he has stuffed them as a quick get away. Put his underwear back into the underwear drawer and refold many items.

Three of my four older boys have ADHD, so this is normal routine for me. I am surprised when I see one of the triplets reorganizing his drawers on his own! (Wow)

That is why the labels are so helpful. They may not always follow it, but it does help to reinforce where things should go and works to get them into that routine so they can learn it for a life time.

Organizing their dressers can help to save time. They can find their clothes when it is time to get ready to school. They know right off the bat if their band shirt is clean for the performance the next night and they look nicer if their shirt didn't just come out of a sock drawer all wadded up.

Most children will not do this on their own. They need help from you to make it work.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

I am still working on transferring the winter to summer clothes for the kids. I got most of it done on Monday, but I still have bins upstairs to finish going through.
I am working all week between the Doctors office and my organizing clients - so will have to work on it a little bit at a time.
I am finished with my daughters. With the 8 year olds I have theirs almost complete. I still have to get into the 15 and 16 year olds room and work on theirs. But I really need them to help me.
I let them do the transfer themselves last transfer summer to winter. It didn't go so well, so I am going to be doing more of it this year.
Join us on Wednesdays with any project that you need to encourage yourself with.
Just add your name to the Mr. Linky. Then each Wednesday use the Work on it Wednesday button and tell us how you are doing.

Out with the winter - In with the Summer Clothes - 7 Easy Steps to Transferring clothes.

Do you dread the "changing of the clothes" as much as I do? Getting out the summer clothes and putting away the winter ones?
With five children it can be quite the production. I worked on it yesterday most of the day.
I am lucky that my kids can pass down to each other. I still have some clothes from my 20 somethings to pass down to the 15 and 16 year olds. Then the clothes that the 15 and 16 year olds are being saved for the 8 year old triplets boys. With 7 of my 8 being boys, passing down works well. Even works that one of the triplet boys is a size bigger than the other, so we pass down there also!
Such a pity that I have to buy my girl clothes each season isn't it? I know I just boo hoo all the way to the girl section. (LOL)

7 Easy Steps to Transferring The Clothes

1) Get your supplies ready. White (donate) and black (trash) trash bags, sharpie
marker, labels (sticky address labels work great, bins (clear are best).

2) Get out the summer clothes from storage.

3) Start in the kids rooms and pull out one drawer at a time. Determine with each
* Will it fit someone in the family in the future? (If not dontate)
* Is it in any condition to save? (If not then throw away, don't donate clothes
that are torn, stained or are better for rags)
* Will the next child wear it? Was it worn at all this season? (Do they like it?)

4) Make piles.
* Save for next year
* Donate (white bag)
* Trash (black bag)

5) Go through the new season clothes and do the same thing as you put them away in
the kids drawers. Make sure they will fit your child this year and it is
something they will wear.

6) Take the bins you have for next year and be sure to label them.
Put sex, season and size on each label. For instance, Boy - Winter - Size 10

7) Donate can be taken to friends who can use them, sold at a garage sale or resale
shop or taken to a facility such as Good Will.

Transformation complete.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank a Veteran Today!!

What these men and woman have done for us we have no way of really realizing! The emotional and physical stress, the death they have witnessed, the fear they have gone through, the pain physically they have endured...we can't imagine.
We see pictures and hear stories, but we weren't there. But we reap the benefits of what they have done. We don't have to cover our faces, we can vote, we can get jobs and build the houses we choose. We have freedom that we take for granted. We may say we don't, but the majority of us who have never known any different...take it for granted.
This is my nephew. Matt went into the army right after high school. He became a medic in the army. He saw death, he helped friends who lost legs, arms, faces and lives. He was 19. He was able to help many also. He made it through with his life and health.

He was out on guard duty all night, walking and watching when things were calm. They got very little sleep...I mean very little. To be able to fall asleep like this you know that your body has to be utterly exhausted.

This is by the Iraq, Iran boarder. Beautiful place, so sad it had to be seen during a war.

This is Matt and his wife Mary today. He met her in the army. She was a nurse and also saw injuries and death.
My niece Kristy is also serving in the reserves. She is in Baghdad now and still big time in our prayers for her safety.
Thank goodness they had a positive outcome.
Matt and Mary are in Washington DC today at the Memorial Service.
We watched the concert last night in DC on TV, seeing Jose who lost part of his brain but survived. His mom and sister have to care for him daily as he can't do anything for himself. They showed a man whose face obviously had been mutilated. It looked obvious they had rebuilt his nose and part of his face. They showed men without legs and arms.
We can't realize the pain, suffering these families have gone through...just to give us freedom.
Be sure to thank a veteran today.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Share my Recipe Sunday - Joanna with Cheeseburger Lasagna

We are all used to having cheeseburgers on the grill and with Memorial Day being tomorrow I am sure many of us will be eating them soon!
Joanna from Princess on the Farm has a recipe with a different twist for the cheeseburger. It is lasagna made like a cheeseburger that you even serve with lettuce and tomato at the end. I just thought it sounded good.
This weeks Gem of the Week award is for you Joanna!

Join Share My Recipe Sunday and pick up some new recipes and share your recipes.

This is a recipe I only made one time, but it was fabulous!

Betty Crocker's Make-Ahead Cheeseburger Lasagna

1 1/2 lb ground meat
3 tbs instant minced onion
1 can tomato sauce (15oz)
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbs yellow mustard
1 egg
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar-american cheese blend
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Make It:
1. Spray 13×9-inch (3qt) baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown;drain. Stir in tomato sauce, water, ketchup and mustard. Simmer 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl beat egg with whisk or fork. Stir in ricotta cheese and 2 cups cheese blend.

4. Spread 1 cup beef mixture over bottom of baking dish. Top with 4 uncooked noddles. Spread half of the ricotta mixture over noddles; top with 1 1/2 cups of beef mixture. Repeat layers once with 4 noodles, remaining ricotta mixture and 1 1/2 cups meat mixture. Top with remaining 4 noodles, beef mixture and 1 cup cheddar cheese.

5. Cover with foil; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

6. Heat oven to 350*. Bake lasagna covered 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 25-35 minutes longer or until bubbly. Remove from oven. Cover with foil; let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting.

7. Just before serving, top with lettuce,tomato and pickles. Serve with additional ketchup if desired.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Before and After Pictures of a small office.

"Before" picture of a clients home office. She wasn't sure she wanted to take the time to paint it to match the newly painted family room that it was connected to. I told her this was her chance and encouraged her to do it.

She wanted a "Scrapbooking" place and also a place to wrap presents. We put that in.

We used the wall space to utilize all we could in this 8x8 office. We stored her many unused greeting cards, stationary and office supplies and her photos in the decorator boxes she picked out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Organizing Magazines (Part 3) A system

Having a system to read your magazines seems like a silly thing to post about. I mean really....a system to read magazines?
What I mean here is just trying to find the time to read that one, two or three (hopefully not more) magazines a month to make them worth while to have.

1)Have a basket or magazine rack that you can store only your most recent unread magazines. This needs to be positioned near the seat where you usually sit.
When the mail comes in that day, if you are not able to sit down right then and read it, put it in your basket.
I am sure many of your have a magazine rack...but it is completely over flowing with magazines and catalogs. Go through those. If there are magazines that you have not read, and are over 3 months old...pitch them (or donate).

2) Any magazines that you have to keep (under 3 months old) put in that magazines file.
If it is under 3 months old and you are determined you will read it, then go put it in the magazine file that we discussed in the part 2 post.
Catalogs should have their own file for the couple you may want to keep (But even Penney's fall/winter 08 catalog should be thrown out when the spring/summer 09 one comes.). Do not keep all of them. Some companies send something almost weekly (it seems). You can call companies and have them canceled if you never buy from them and do not have time to look at them. Do not be scared to recycle them promptly. They all have online catalogs, so if it should happen that you have thrown one away and you realize you have to order something...either wait for the next one to come, or go online.

3) Keep the rotation going. It has to be on going to keep it under control.
Anything can get out of hand, and magazines are no exception. Magazines do not clean or throw themselves away. We have to take control to do it.

4) A good tip to read your magazines.
*Keep a folder in your car that you can keep one or two. When you end up at the Dr. office without some other productive work to do, have to wait for a child to come out of a sporting event, or have time to kill waiting for a child at a piano lesson or gymnastics can read them then.
*Keep a small magazine file in your bathroom. (No explaination needed)
*If you have a brief case or bag from work, thrown one in there. Lunch break can be a good time to catch up on your reading. the way, I was thinking I didn't have any magazine subscriptions. I got the 2nd of a new subscription yesterday! I subscribed to "All You" magazine because I heard about the coupons in them. I picked up the mail before right before I had to go sit in line to pick up the kids from school. I have scissors I keep in the car, so I sat and clipped coupons while I waited. I will clip the coupons and pull out any recipes I want and then throw the rest in the recycle can within a day or two.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm a Guest Blogger on Ellie Merritt's blog from First at 4 on NBC4

Ellie and I are tight.
LOL No, not really - but she did post a 2nd guest blog from me, so I am thrilled.
She has her own News show on NBC channel 4 here in Columbus. It is called First at 4 with Ellie Merritt. She does the normal news stories for the day, but what is really nice is that she has a little more focus on woman and mom's. On Mondays she rotates having on Marcy from Stretching a Buck and Tara from Deal Seeking Mom (local mom bloggers) to give tips on saving money, coupons and free deals. She realizes the value and how much the bloggers can teach, so she features us often.
Check out her blog called, Elaborating with Ellie and you can check out my post, but you can also look at the other information she has and learn a little more about her. (She is really nice)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Work On it Wednesday - Getting rid of a "favorite"

Getting rid of something that has been well loved, is super comfortable or is hard to replace is very hard to do. There comes a time that for many items it needs to be done. Chaotic Kitten who writes Dehoarding Diary is working on a challenge today of throwing out a favorite pair of shoes because they have come to the end of their shoe life. She says that she doesn't own a lot of shoes and these are her it is going to be hard to do.
Keep in mind if you have followed my Work on It Wednesday...that Chaotic Kitten is a hoarder and as she has been on this very difficult journey this year to dehoard her home...getting rid of things is much more difficult for her than the average person. Be sure to check out her blog. She is very inspirational!

So how do you get rid of something that is hard to give up...but has worn out and serves no purpose (other than taking up space)?
I wrote a comment to her to be funny....but in all reality it is true. You can take a picture of that special item, so you have a visual memory of it. But the actual item and the space it takes up is gone.

Your Blog Is Lovely Award

Amoora from Amoora's Frugal Life gave me this award. She has some wonderful ideas and tips for saving and being frugal on her site. (we all need those in this economy don't we?)
I think it was so sweet of her to think of me.

Now for the Rules:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 (I am bucking the rules a bit. I am only going to pick my 5 blogs) other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Some of the bloggers I have recently discovered and love reading posts from are:

1)Chaotic Kitten from Dehoarding Diary
2) Donna from Zookeeping 101
3) Joanna from Princess on the Farm
4) Tara from Feels Like Home
5) Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Organizing Magazines (Part 2) - "How To"

So now hopefully you have thought about decreasing the amount of magazines coming into the house. But how can you organize the ones that you may want to keep?
I have to admit that my husband has collected a magazine and there is no talking him out of keeping them. He does read them cover to cover when they come and he does go back and look at and read old issues. It is only this one, so I do need to organize them.
I also have a client that I have not done so well on talking him out of keeping magazines. For 30 years he and his wife (now deceased) subscribed to dozens of magazines and never threw out a single one. Over the last year that I have been working with him I have gotten him to throw away hundreds, and for many of them he has been willing to use the 3 month method. (So we are making tremendous progress)

Here are the two methods I have used to organize for each of them.
1)Magazine Cardboard Holders (many varieties and prices)

2)Plastic inserts to keep your magazines in a notebook

These magazine holders are older, but my client had many of we used them. You can find these at any office store or discount store. Prices vary from cardboard very inexpensive to fancy decorated ones.
Here is a really cute version (watch for an upcoming review and giveaway on it on my review blog).

Another option is to file your magazines in binders.
You can find these plastic pieces that I have found by mail order. I was having a hard time locating where I bought them, but did find them here.

This is what the plastic strip looks like.

You just open up your magazine and slip it in the slot.

Then you just put them in the binder and store your binders on the shelf.