Friday, April 30, 2010

One more "crafty" cake


Here is the cake I made for kid #2's birthday. (Sorry for the dark photo!) Her birthday was Good Friday (I am late posting, I know!), so we celebrated with a Spring Bunny cake made from 2 round cakes. The kids had great fun making it. We may never go back to store bought cakes. They are already talking about the next cake we can make. This is as creative as I get, so I better keep practicing.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Towels and Napkins



I have noticed on a lot of frugal living or green living blogs that cutting down on disposable products is better for the environment and the budget. About a year ago, I eliminated paper plates and plastic cups. We purchased the entire family water bottles and only do juice or milk boxes on road trips or special occasions. Now I have taken another step in cutting down on disposables. I was noticing that my children were using up to 3 paper napkins a dinner! In addition, I felt like I was constantly buying them. The cheaper the ones I bought, the more they used! We didn’t seem like cloth napkin people. Cloth napkins are formal and our dinner hour is less than formal. So, I set out on a mission to kind cute, cloth napkins. I found a pack of 12 white cloth napkins at Target (I LOVE TARGET!) for $4.99. They were fine, in my price range, but didn’t satisfy the cute part of the plan. When I was suit shopping with kid #1 for his First Communion, I found adorable cloth napkins at Kohl’s on sale with a 30% off coupon these napkins were $1.87 each. I bought 12! I know there is a bit of a cost in the beginning, but I have already been one month without napkins. The kids use only one and sometimes can leave it at their spots for a second use. The same is true with paper towels. At $9.99 a package, they can be a bite in the grocery budget. I found these fun, colorful (and organic!) bar towels at Kohl’s too. With my coupon they were about $9 a pack. I assigned a spot for used towels and every night (or every other if the load is small) I run a load of towels before I go to bed. In the morning I put them on the deck on my new drying rack to dry. (I’ll post a picture later.)

Budget note: My birthday was this month. I used my birthday money to buy the Kohl’s towels and a drying rack. (Last year I used it for a label maker and plastic bins!!!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No Bake Cookies - Now!

Well it has started happening, the unexpected, unexplained pregnancy cravings. I can never explain them, but I need whatever it is RIGHT NOW! It has not been the same thing with any pregnancy. Kid #1 was cheese puffs with the neon orange cheese. Kid # 2 was mac and cheese in the blue box (and only in the blue box). Kid #3 was Hummingbird Cake from Zingerman’s. This weekend I had one of those urges, looked in my cookbooks, and rushed to recipes.com. I even made them right near bedtime and let the kids stay up while they cooled. Here is a picture of the finished product. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats, so the whole family could enjoy them (but not too many of them!). I think there is another batch in the future, but I can’t be sure when!


Here is the recipe I found at Recipes.com:
2 cups of oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats)
1/2 Cup cocoa
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of milk
1/cup of peanut butter (there is the protein, right)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook the milk, butter peanut butter and cocoa in a sauce pan until melted. Bring to a boil one full minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla and oats. Spoon on to wax paper. Cool 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A spring BREAK

Well, I didn't mean for it to happen, but I have gotten quite busy over the past 2 weeks or so. I have been thinking about items to write about and have some really important (to me) topics to discuss. I'll start carving out some time to add all the items I have been working on and taking pictures of. I'll be back...soon!