Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February Garden News

If you live in the North West then you need this book.  I can't tell you enough about how this book has helped me.  It is divided month by month and tells you what to plant and when. Plus its packed with amazing garden tips and resources. $14.95 and worth every penny. If you cannot afford it then keep reading my blog. I will have a post each month telling you what to plant and where. Your welcome!

February Garden News

Sow Outdoors
Vegetables and Herbs

Late February-Very hardy vegetables can stand temps down to 25 degree's with little damage.  A cloche is sometimes useful but not necessary.

Carrot Family
Chervil: Brussels Winter, Turnip-Rooted
Sweet Cicely

Flax Family
Flax, Edible:Golden

Mustard Family
Arugula, Rustic:Arugula Sylvatica
Radishes: French Breakfast, Fluo, Easter Egg, White Icicle

Onion Family
Garlic (cloves): Italian Red, California Early, Polish White, Silver Rose
Shallots(bulbs)-French Grey, Frog's Leg, French Red
Potato Onions (bulbs)
Onion Sets-(for green onions)

Pea Family
Fava Beans-Aquadulce, Bonnie Lad, The Sutton, Broad Windsor, Green Windsor, Random Lilac, Mr.Barton's
Snow Peas-Oregon Giant, Oregon Sugar Pod, Carouby De Maussane, Golden Sweet, Dwarf Grey Sugar
Shelling Peas-Petit Pois, Waverex, Maestro, Oregon Trail, Early Sweet, Olympia
Soup Peas-Capucijiner's, Bill Jumps Soup, Holland Brown

Sow in Cloche
Late February

Beet Family
Beets-Detroit Dark Red, Chioggia, Early Wonder, Kestral
Spinach-Winter Bloomsdale, Olympia, Skookum

Carrot Family
Cilantro-Long Leaved, Santo

Mustard Family
Broccoli Raab-Spring Raab
Cress-Curly, Broadleaf
Chinese Cabbage-Nerva
Mustard-Green Wave, Red Giant, Mizuna
Radishes-Cherry Belle, French Breakfast, Easter Egg, Fluo
Turnips-Tokyo Market, Ohno Scarlet, White Egg
Oriental Greens-Pac Choi, Joi Choi, Tah Tsai, Komatsu-na

Purslane Family
Miner's Lettuce

Sunflower Family
Endive-Friscee, President, Perfect
Lettuce-Red Sails, Brune D'Hiver, Perella, Rubens Red Romaine, Simpson

Pea Family

Start Indoors to Transplant
Late February is the beginning of sowing seads for spring and summer.  Most will not be planted till April/May/June.  Many of these take a long time to mature so its a good idea to start seeds early.  Direct sowing will result in a low harvest. 

Herbs and Vegetables

Beet Family
Good King Henry

Buckwheat Family
Garden Sorrel
Rhubarb-Glaskins Perpetual, Victoria

Carrot Family
Celeriac-Brilliant, Diamant, Giant Prague, Dolvi
Celery-Utah, Red Stalk, Ventura
Cutting Celery-Heung Kunn, Dinant, Amsterdam Fine, Mitsuba
Finnocchio-Romy, Perfection
Persley-Italian Flat, Gigante D'Italia, Moss Curled, Krausa

Onion Family
Chives-Grolau, Pink Flowered, Common
Garlic Chives-Allium Tuberosum
Broadleaf Chives-Allium Senescens
Leeks-Early Tall Varieties, Varna, Otina, Splendid, Le Lyon
Onions-Ailsa Craig, Italian Red Torpedo, Blanco Duro

Lily Family
Asparagas-Conover's Colossal, U.C.157, Waltham

Mustard Family
Broccoli-Calabrese, Premium Crop, Tomenesco, Umpqua, Rosiland, Decicco, shogun
Cabbage-Derby Day, Early Jersey Wakefield, Golden Acre, Red Acre, Salarite
Cauliflower-Early Snowball, Snow Crown, Ravella

Nightshade Family
Eggplant-Little Fingers, Ichiban, Short Tom, Long Tom, Violetta Di Firenze, No.226, Neon, Orient Express
Sweet Peppers-Early Cal Wonder, Northstar, Lilac Bell, Gypsy, Banana Supreme, Cubanelle, Marconi, Golden Summit, Antohi Romanian, Corono Di Toro, Klari Baby
Hot peppers-Super Cayenne, Czech Black, Riot, Sure-Fire, Bulgarian Carrot, Early Jalapeno
Slicing Tomatoes-Stupice, Kootenai, Siberian, Oregon Spring, Celebrity, Slava, Saltspring Sunrise, Seattles Best, Yellow Brandywine, Black Krim, Green Zebra, Mr.Stripey, Persimmon, Dona, Oregon Spring, Muskovish, Gregoris Altai, Early Swedish, Golden Treasure, Glory of Moldova
Cherry Tomatoes-Gardener's Delight, Sweet Million, Yellow Pear, Galina, Sungold, Peacavine, Rose Quartz, Gold Nugget, Principe Borghese.
Paste Tomatoes-Monix, Almertia, Viva Italia, Oregon Pride, Milano, Oroma

Sunflower Family
Endive-Frisee, Perfect
Dandelion-Montmogny, Emeliore
Lettuce-Sucrine, Capitaine, Freckles, Fairellenshleusse, Merveille Des Quatre Saisons, Reine Des Glaces, Brunia.

Are you excited yet? I AM!!!!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

25 random things you didn't know about me

Good day to you all!

I just wanted to share a few things about myself. Enjoy!

1.  I am 35 years old but feel like I'm still 17.

2.  When I gave birth to my twins I thought they were switched at birth. You see my two older girls were born with blond hair and blue eyes. The twins had a head full of brown hair with dark eyes.

3.  I have loved nature my whole life.  My first favorite place was Mt Scott Park in Portland Oregon.  The tree's were so tall and beautiful. There is a smell about that place that you just have to smell for yourself. Skate park, water pool and giant metal slide you burnt your butt on during the summer. I miss it.

4.  I never learned how to play a instrument ever.

5.  When I take a bath I read the labels on my shampoo and other items. Ive read them many times.   It's weird I know.

6.  Ive never played sports in school.

7.  Pet Peeves-bad drivers, tags sticking out of clothes, chairs not pushed in, people who double check their items when they are being checked out at the cash register and getting over charged $$.

8.  Optimistic always.

9.  Know no other languages unless you count Pig Latin a language.

10.  I love pie crust. Not in pie.  Just the crust.

11.  Addicted to Yahtzee. Either old school or my new App. Love it.

12. Went to high school with my husband and always thought he was cute. Yet we never personally met till I was 19. Found out later his sister was a girl I knew since 6th grade. Small world.

13.  I love running. I run the Helvatia Half Marathon each year and added the Hippie Chick Half Marathon this year. My daughter will join me for that one.

14.  My last job I was a price coordinator for a craft store. I worked there for 10 years.

15.  I collect records of all kinds of music.  My wonderful husband bought me my first record player.  My second record player was my late father's and I cherish it.  Just can't beat the sound of a record.

16. I lived in South East Portland till the age of 11.  I then lived in Forest Grove till the age of 21.  I may have some small town girl in me but my heart will always belong to Portland Oregon. I heart Portland.

17.  I have four of the most adorable daughters. One of which is my size now. :(

18.  Favorite book is The Diary of Anne Frank. My 11 year old is reading it right now which makes me happy.

19.  I'm pretty scrappy.  And I'm not talking about scrap booking.  Just sayin...

20.  My first bike was a orange banana seat bike.  The old neighbor man who lived behind us would rebuild bikes and give them to kids in the neighborhood.  Bless that man. I rocked that bike.

21.  My first job ever was Little Cesar's Pizza where I met my first boyfriend and had my first kiss.  I was 17.

22.  My favorite colors are all of them.

23.  I hold grudges longer than I should.

24.  My first crush was Ryan Huson.  It lasted from 6th-9th grade.  I owe my friend Tanya who some how convinced him to dance with me one time. He was also the first boy to break my heart.

25. I grew up in a single parent home.  I owe everything to my mama.  It is her who taught me everything I know.   It is also her I have to thank for letting my step dad into my heart. He showed my sister and I what a real dad was like.  And even though we had him for only a few years, we will always cherish our times together. RIP dad I miss and love you each day. 

Go ahead and share 25 things about yourself. I dare you.
Stop picturing me on my orange banana seat bike!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January Food Budget $250.11

Franz Outlet

$5 Blueberry/onion/cinnamon bagels 5/$5
$4 English Muffins 5/$4
FREE-Butter rolls when you spend over $8

I know I know. Plastic. Yuck. Arg! Less packaging than a box of cereal. My kids eat these for breakfast everyday. Franz Outlet sells stuff that will be expiring soon. I simply toss them in the freezer and bring one out when we need it.  I would love to learn how to make them but I would be baking 24 hours a day because I have four kids who love these.

To be fair I only went to the store this time to get my husband some Airborne. But I came out with these. They had some super deals and I had to stock up on them while they were cheap.


$3.98 Organic Valley Half n Half
Expiring soon so we will use it to make ice cream. Treat for the girls. These retail over $4 usually.

$9.95 Egglands Best Organic Eggs 5 dozen
These are expiring soon so my girls will eat hard boiled eggs for snacks, egg sandwiches, egg, egg, egg etc. Have at it girls! These retail over $4 each usually.

$3.98 Lunch Meat 2 packs
My husband seems to think we have nothing to eat in the house if we don't have some lunch meat in the fridge. Don't know why but he does. He prefers this style so I get it while its cheap. Usually retails over $4 each but were on sale for $1.99 each. Tossing them in the freezer

$1.75 Banana's
Black spotted banana's they sell for cheap in these bags. Only .38 cents a pound.  My girls prefer eating spotted banana's and they can freeze easily for banana bread later.

$3.96 Bagged Almonds 16 oz bag.
Don't like bagged anything but for .99 cents a bag we will eat them.  My daughter just requested almonds today so she was stoked I found them. Not happy about having to shell them.

$1.99 Orange Juice
I never buy this ever. But I thought the girls would like a treat in the morning with their breakfast.  I compared and they were selling frozen juice for the same price. Plus I think the girls would love to make a bird feeder out of the carton.

$1.99 Alpenrose Sour Cream
Locally made and were addicted to sour cream. We will never ever not have sour cream at my house. Yum.

$.99 Chestnuts
Ive never had these so this should be fun. They were getting rid of all their nuts because they were a seasonal item. 


Last but not least here are my goodies I found at my local Goodwill Store (not the outlet this time).

TO BE FAIR my daughter wanted to stop by to see if they had any cool shoes. She has grown like a week and were on the hunt for new ones. But we didn't find any so we strolled around looking at stuff.
I saw these lovely large glass jars and was super excited. I paid $12 for 4 of these from Azure Standard and they didn't even come with lids. Those you had to order separate for another $4! These lovely puppies were only .99 cents each!!!! OH my oh my.

Then I found a large metal clasp type glass jar for $1.99. It didn't have the rubber seal but I didn't need one.  Years ago I was in a little thrift store and they were selling these rubber seal packs.  They are super old but in new condition. I didn't need them but I think I spent about a quarter on them.  I haven't seen them selling rubber seals in the stores so I snagged them just in case.  Woot!!!

Last but not least I found another mug. I need another mug like I need another hole in my head. So of course I bought it. There is a old man standing near a horse on it. The old man looks like my grandpa. If he was a cowboy which he wasn't.  If he owned a horse which he didn't. I will think of him each time I drink from it. At .99 cents it was MINE.

Oh yeah my friend Beth gave me this cute little gift pack. I drooled over them for a long time but didn't want to pay the $20 price tag. Well Beth works at Whole Foods and hooked me up with this. She said she just couldn't get rid of them. No one wanted to buy them. So for research purposes she gave me one. So I will review it. And love every second of it. I love me a pumice bar and REALLY love foot shaped soap.

Okay that's all.

Organic Hash

Tonight I needed to use up some organic potatoes so I chopped them up and added some ranch powder (Azure Standard). I then put them in the oven on 350 for a hour.

I then took some all natural ground beef,Organic onion and organic bell peppers and cooked them till done.

While that was cooking I cooked some organic green beans. I grew them in my garden last year.

To top the whole meal off I added organic eggs to the top. Yum!

Total cost=$4.75
Organic Potatoes $1.25 (sale)
Natral Ground beef 1/2 lb $1.99
Organic Peppers free from a friend
Free range veg fed Eggs 25 cents each

Free is a good thing

Look what my friend Theresa gave me. She orders organic produce from a local company called Organics To You. You basically get a box of produce delivered to your door step. Its perfect for the busy family who doesn't have time to go to the store or grow their own garden. 
Anytime she doesn't eat up the produce before her new box comes, she puts it on her door step and lets me know. I give her plants in return.  Theresa rocks. I mean it.  And for me its like getting a Christmas gift every week or so. My kids love peeking into the box to see what new veggie we get to eat. If I don't know how to cook it then I toss it into soup. No one has complained yet.
Anyways, Theresa you rock.

Friday, January 27, 2012

January Food Budget $212.52

I have decided to stop my $50 a week and just share with you my food purchases.  I will add them up each month and hopefully learn from my purchases.    I also will give reasons why I purchase certain things and give tips on how to save money.  By the end of the month I will be able to share with you my total for the month. So here we go!


$3.69 Organic Sauerkraut
$5.98 RBST Free Butter 2 box
$1.39 RBST Free Sunshine Dairy Whipping Butter (my oldest wants to make butter)
$3.99 Organic Gallon of Milk (price went down by a buck!!!!!)
$2.46 Fair Trade Banana's
$8.17 All Natural Ground Beef
$1.49 Sunshine Dairy Half n Half
$2.00 Organic Yellow Bell Pepper (Sale $1 each)
$2.00 Organic Orange Bell Pepper (sale $1 each)
$1.99 Veg Fed Free Range Eggs
$11.98 Organic Red Wine (2 bottles)
$2.50 Organic Mustard
$1.81 Organic Grapefruit (was on sale but rang up regular price uurrr!)
$10.00 Organic Avocado (10 of them on sale for $1 each woot!)


This week I bought banana's because I still have oranges from last week.  Banana's will be used to eat alone or put in oatmeal in the mornings.  Who knows maybe even banana bread.

I have bell peppers in my freezer but these were such a great price and they were extremely large peppers.  These will be cut up and put in the freezer.  Bell peppers in any recipe is amazing.

The avocado's I usually don't buy but again were on a one day sale and its the lowest price Ive seen.  I bought them green so that I would have to wait to eat them all.  My daughter also thinks these are cheap and eats them up. She will not touch a green one though.  These should last a while....hopefully.

I broke down and bought a large container of mustard finally. I LOVE mustard and completely failed at making it myself.  You win mustard. Oh how I love you.

So far the total for my January Food budget is $212.52 and that includes todays purchases.  So as you can see eating organic will not break the bank.  Just gotta be creative with your money.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Semi Organic Mexican rice continued

Left overs never tastes so yummy!
I took the left over Mexican rice and added another mason jar of beans to it. Heated it till it was hot.
I cut up a head of organic lettuce my friend Theresa gave me. Thanks!! Put the rice mixture on top of the lettuce. then added cheese, lots of sour cream and tortilla chips. Dinner is served!
Total for this meal= less than a buck! Hubby is working Late so this fed the girls and I tonight.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Semi Organic Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

Yields enough food for a family of 6 and some left overs.

What you will need:
3 cups White Rice (not organic)
1/2 Organic Onion Chopped
1 Cup Organic Bell Peppers Chopped
1-2 Cup Organic Beans (I used my home cooked beans)
2 heaping tbsp Organic Chili Powder
1 heaping tbsp Organic Cumin
1-2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 lb natural ground meat ( I used pork)
I buy meat in 1lb packs so I only used half this pack.

To start off I put 3 cups of white rice and 4 cups of water into my rice cooker.  I recently switched my non stick pan cooker with this 1970's cooker.  The old ones have no non stick or Teflon to worry about.  While the rice is cooking get your ingredients ready.

I buy bell peppers when they are in season, chop them up and freeze them in mason jars.  I also make my own beans and freeze those as well.  It makes it much easier and faster for me to cook plus I get to have things to add fresh taste to all my meals.Take a  half pound of meat and start cooking it on medium heat. 
Once the meat is done add in your chopped veggies and cook till done.   
Now add your beans, spices and about 2 cups of water.  The spices should thicken up the mixture but if it doesn't then just add a tablespoon full of flour and that should do the trick. 
Now your mixture should look like this.  Mmmmm so yummy. 

Now your rice should be done by now so put it into a large bowl.  Then take your meat mixture and pour it over the rice.  Mix it till completely Incorporated. Your done!
Now top with anything you want.  Tonight we had some cheese and sour cream so its what we used.  Sunshine Dairy is local to me so its the brand I choose.  They make excellent half n half and to die for sour cream.  Yum!!!

Sometimes we add crushed tortilla chips or pour the Mexican rice over lettuce and have a Mexican salad.  Sometimes we put this rice in burritos or even add it to eggs to have for breakfast.  Its really versatile. 

Total Cost I paid for this meal: about $4.00 give or take.
How you may ask? I buy in season, on sale and in the bulk section.  Word!

Frugal Fashion

Today I was home taking care of my daughter who is sick. I was also doing a bunch of laundry so I was dressed for comfort. Its been a while since I have worn a skirt so I threw one on. Today's outfit has a librarian slash urban feel to it.
25 cents Gap cardigan from GWO (Goodwill Outlet)

25 cents Trouvé white top GWO

25 cents wrap green skirt. Old has no tag

$1.00 Craft Warehouse store closure sale green skulls scarf

I decided to let my hair dry naturally today. I have weird hair that's not straight but not curly. Wavy hair rocks!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Everything soup

This is a quick and easy soup that my kids love.  I take any vegetables that need to be used up and wash them good. This soup has kale, chard, celery, bok choy, carrots, potatoes, onions and black eye pea's (homemade but not pictured). I chop them all up and put them in the pot to saute until half way cooked.  I then add water till covering the vegetables and add salt. Cook on medium high and your soup has a rolling boil. 
I scored some deli patties for only $3.49 a pound from New Seasons.  These patties have onions, chili powder and lots of spices. I simply pull them apart into chunks and drop them into my boiling soup.  This adds a ton of flavor into the soup. I love it because I don't have to add any spices. This soup I used only a half a pound of the patties.

Let this soup boil for 15 minutes and you have everything soup! Pretty easy huh? This will feed my family of six for dinner tonight and enough for lunches tomorrow.  All in all I think this cost me around $4.00 to make.  My daughter is sick so this should help her feel better.  It has lots of vitamins for her. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Garden heaven

I think I've died and gone to garden heaven. I mean look at this place!

I came armed with my garden wish list and pocked up a few seed packets and a pot maker I've been drooling over for a few years.

I think I need a cigarette now. Just sayin......

Before you get upset just know I don't smoke. Just my way of saying is almost as good as sex. Almost....

If your local to me come check out Cornell Farms on Barnes Road in Portland Oregon. 

Go get your garden porn!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Meat loaf dinner

Meat loaf dinner tonight!

Meat loaf

1lb natural ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs (homemade) or crushed crackers
Spices of your choice. I added everything I could.
1 egg Free range vegetarian fed

1/2 cup ketchup (homemade ketchup)

Mash everything but the ketchup together and put into a glass Pyrex pan.  I took the ketchup and poured it over the meat mixture making sure I covered the whole thing.  I then put it in a 375 degree oven and cooked for about 30 minutes or until you poke it with a fork and its hard and done.

Patti pan squash was from my garden last year. I simply cooked it on medium heat and added garlic salt.

$3.49 One pound of ground beef for meatloaf (used things I had on hand to blend with meatloaf)
$2.99 Fries from Whole Foods
.16 cents one egg

Since I feed a family of 6 this is a little over one dollar per person to eat. Now that's a budget friendly meal!

DIY Organic Ketchup

I would love to afford ketchup in a glass bottle but I'm on a budget and this is too expensive. Although super yummy its just too much. I was able to make this in no time and I had all the ingredients already in my kitchen.  Organic is optional for this just use what you have.


1 6oz organic tomato paste
1/2 cup honey or agave
1/4 cup of organic vinegar
1/4 cup of organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of water
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of organic onion powder or 1 tbsp of grated organic fresh onion.

Put all ingredients into a pot and heat till a rolling boil.  Turn heat to low and let cook for 30 minutes.  Taste and alternate to your taste buds. I prefer more salt so I added more.

Stays fresh in the fridge for over a month.  I like to put it into small mason jars and freeze.  Last up to a year in the freezer.  We don't eat much ketchup and I usually only use it when I make meat loaf.  This works out perfectly for us.


DIY dried beans

Soaked one pound of beans over night and rinsed them well. Put in a pot covering the beans with fresh water and added about a teaspoon of salt. Brought up to a boil then turned down low and cooked for 30 minutes. Once done I put the beans into mason jars and let them cool. One cooled they go right into the freezer. Makes about 8-10 cups of cooked beans which I put in 5 medium mason jars.
Same instructions applies to any dried whole beans. These freeze well as long as you cover beans with the cooking water the bean cooked in.

$50 a week

I'm a stay at home mommy to 4 daughters and wife to a big eater. Instead of planning meals I decided to try a new approach. I am horrible at planning anything and following any recipe is a pain for me. I find its much easier to to work with what I have and use that to make a meal. I also think its more fun and our meals are not as boring. I do set aside $50 a week for groceries and stick to it for the most part. Only time I don't follow the budget is if I find a good deal on something we eat a lot of. It usually consist of baking items or seasonal fruit. I also share with you everything I buy and this keeps me on budget as well. So enjoy!

Whole Foods

$3.15 Liquid Amino's from the bulk section
$1.49 Half n half
$1.99 Veg fed free range eggs
$2.99 Tater Tots
$2.99 Crinkle Potatoes
$2.99 Butter RBST free
$1.23 Organic Ground Mustard (going to try my hand at making my own)
$1.50 Organic Chard
$2.99 Pepperoni Nitrate Free
$2.56 Organic Northern Beans dried from bulk ($1.29 per lb sale)
$3.99 Recycled paper toilet paper
$4.99 Organic gallon of milk
$9.88 Natural beef hormone free ($3.49 per lb sale)
$5.99 Organic White Wine
$5.99 Organic Red Wine

GRAND TOTAL minus bag credit=$54.51

I feel the need to explain a few things.

Liquid amino's I had the bottle for so I just refilled with bulk.  Prepackaged is $4.99 per lb and bulk is $3.99 per lb. Saving me one dollar.

Tater tots and crinkle cut fries were a treat for my girls.  They eat so healthy with no complaints so this is a comfort treat for them.  Since we don't eat stuff like this often I just don't feel bad for the purchase. I do feel bad about the packaging though. sigh....

Ground organic mustard from the bulk section I am using to try my hand at making my own mustard. I will let you know how it goes & I'm sure will blog about it.

Pepperoni slices were cheaper buying the prepackaged than the deli sliced ones.

Ground beef I didn't need to buy because I already have enough for this week.  But at $3.49 per lb I had to buy a pack so I can put it in the freezer for later use.  This saves me .50 cents per pound! Plus next week I will not need to buy any and this saves me money in the long run. I will re wrap this meat into half pound packs in natural wax paper bags I buy from Whole Foods. Love them! Normally I would just have them wrap me ground beef by the pound in paper because I can recycle it.  Really hate the packaging of this pack of meat.

And then there is the wine. I wouldn't normally factor this into my budget but I had the extra money so I just went ahead and bought two bottles.  These are California wines and 100% organic. I know only $5.99!!  One bottle will last me a while since I only drink one glass at a time. Yes that means I'm a cheap date according to my husband.

I did go over on my budget but that's just fine with me.  I still have organic pasta, rice and flour left over from a big purchase I did last month so I still do not need to buy those items.  Paid a good price and bought a ton and in the long run this saves me money.  Now to figure out what to do with 60 pounds of flour....Guess I can make bread instead of buying it. Until next time!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Zit faced and awkward

My cute chicks are turning into zit faced teenagers. Just look at them. Baby feathers coming out and big girl feathers coming in.  They are very much like my oldest daughter.  Awkward and still growing.  They are very curious and are really obsessed with digging holes to get to they yellow paper under the cedar bedding. Each day I have to sweep around the crate because they kick cedar everywhere.
Every morning I come to uncover them and tell them "Good morning ladies".  And each morning they are at the door waiting for me. I put my hand in making sure I touch each of them.  They now love to just hang out by my hand.  But I'm staring to notice something.

They are getting their big girl feathers and losing their baby soft feathers. Makes me sad.  My babies are growing up. 
Oh my! Just look at Jenny.  What a mess she is. Baby cute still but oh how her hair is a mess. Honey you need to brush that hair if your going out of the house.
Lucy went from cute and yellow to red high lights.  She is still adorable though and such a snuggle bug.  My daughter found a book with a red chicken on it and firmly believes it was written for Lucy.
And Lulu oh sweet Lulu.  She is the smallest but should grow up to be the largest of the gals.  I don't see much big girl feathers but she is getting her white feathers in her wings.  She is the sweetest of the bunch. Every time I open the door she wants to snuggle with mama.
Sorry for the crappy picture but its hard to take a picture one handed.  Lulu is laying down snuggling in my arms.  Oh Lulu how I love when you do this.  Melts my heart.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Frugal Finds

I have a friend who lives close to me named Theresa. We went to high school together and in the last year or so have been friendly on Facebook. Theresa has organic produce delivered to her by Organics To You.  Its great for people who are busy in life or simply do not like shopping in stores (I'm starting to get that way). Sometimes she just cannot eat all the produce and leaves it on her porch for me. I love it because its like getting a Christmas gift that I cannot wait to see whats in it. I love when I get something new and have to figure out a way to use it up.   This is what she gave me today. This is why sometimes you see me saying Thanks Theresa on my post.  So once again THANKS THERESA!!!!

I had a lunch date with my husband and on the way home I stopped by Albertson's to get some ibuprofen.  While I'm there I like to see if they have any mark downs which are marked with bright green tags.  Sometimes I get lucky and find organic items on sale. Today I found Egglands Best free range non organic vegetarian fed chicken eggs for $1.99.  Retailed for $5 (who in their right mind pays that price?).  They expire in 2 days which is why they were cheap. So I purchased them, brought them home and quickly made hard boiled eggs. My girls love snacking on these.

I also found a cart full of nuts and dried cranberries.  They were not expired so I think they are a seasonal item that they don't normally carry.  They were 50% off $3.99.  I did the math and I would pay $2.56 a pound. That's way cheaper than if I bought them in bulk so I decided to snag 10 bags of them.  I KNOW I KNOW what your going to say! I already mentally slapped myself. They are in plastic. BUT I saved a ton of money and they are just cranberries and sugar. See I have proof!

I just want you to see that plastic does sometimes sneak into my home but only if its a steal of a deal.  I try my best to keep only organic items in my home but having four children you have to rethink what you buy sometimes.  You know what I did after that right?
Of course I'm putting them in glass jars. The reason I wanted cranberries is because frankly I get tired of eating raisins and my kids just don't like raisins all that much.  I love cranberries and use them in things all the time. I toss them in cookies, homemade bread with cinnamon, make my own trail mix, and sometimes I just grab a hand full for a snack.  These will get put to good use. 

So what about you?
What items do you buy that's non organic?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Frugal Fashions

From time to time I find some cute frugal finds for myself.  Enjoy!

Top and cardigan were about 25 cents each. I found these at my local Goodwill Outlet and paid $1 a pound for them. The more you buy from Goodwill the less it is per pound. Top needed one small stitch but  only took me a minute and now is perfect. 

Jeans I bought on sale from the junior section of Aeropostale for only $12.  I am able to buy from the junior section because I'm right in between juniors and women's sizes. Remember this when your shopping!

Flower clip I paid a $1 for at H&M. I'm really into flowers in my hair right now and this color will look great in just about any outfit. 

The hemp bird necklace I made several years ago when I was working at a craft store.  I have been making hemp jewelry for about 20 years now.  This necklace in question is about 6 years old. The great thing about hemp jewelry is that the more you wear it the more comfy it is. 

There you go! My complete frugal outfit that only cost me.....drum roll please.........$13.50. Woot woot!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hamburger gravy and mashed potatoes

A reader requested I share my meals on here. So here we go.

Organic mashed potatoes 2.5lbs     $1.50
Organic carrots I canned     $1.00
Hamburger gravy home made  (ground beef,flour,milk)  $2.50
Grand total is    $5.00
And as promised (new years resolution)  im drinking water with my Glass Dharma Straw of course! Only the best glass straws ever!

I made a simple gravy where you take your meat and cook it up.  I then add either butter or a little olive oil and let it melt.  I then sprinkle in a little flour and let it cook the flour up. I repeat that until you can no longer add anymore flour.  Then little by little I add some milk and mix. I do this until I get the thickness of the gravy I want. Pretty simple recipe that I use with any gravy with meat or not.  To add a little flavor you can add any herbs or seasonings you want.
Side note: My mother made this gravy but put it on top of toast. It was our favorite because it was called "Shit on a shingle".  This was a cheap and frugal dinner that we ate a lot.  I still love it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

$50 a week

I'm a stay at home mommy to 4 daughters and wife to a big eater. Instead of planning meals I decided to try a new approach.  I am horrible at planning anything and following any recipe is a pain for me.  I find its much easier to to work with what I have and use that to make a meal.  I also think its more fun and our meals are not as boring. I do set aside $50 a week for groceries and stick to it for the most part.  Only time I don't follow the budget is if I find a good deal on something we eat a lot of.  It usually consist of baking items or seasonal fruit.  I also share with you everything I buy and this keeps me on budget as well.  So enjoy!


$4.99 Organic Gallon of Milk
$1.99 Dozen free range vegetarian fed eggs (soon I won't have to buy them anymore. Whahoo!)
$1.49 Sunshine Dairy Half n Half (local dairy)
$3.99 Organic 5lb bag of carrots (super stoked because I was spending $5 at New Seasons. From now on its from Whole Foods)
$1.50 Organic Kale (sale)



$5.99 Cheddar Cheese 2lb Tillamook (local dairy)
$3.98 Organic Heirloom Oranges (sale 79 cents per lb)
$2.55 All natural Pork Chili sweet patties (will use to make meat balls in soup. Yummy extra added flavor)
$4.11 All natural ground pork (I prefer this over beef)
$1.62 All natural free range chicken drumsticks (using to make soup then stock)


I was getting my bread for almost free from a organization(20miles away) but I have now decided we are financially good and will buy it from a local outlet instead.  This will save me on gas and mileage on my vehicle. I also have decided to go back to making my own bread again.  I do not buy sugar filled cereal for my daughters and have not for years now. These are the things my kids like to eat.  Each will decide which one they want and add a piece of fruit with it.  Or sometimes they just want homemade oatmeal.  One day I will learn to make these on my own and not have to deal with the plastic bags. Here in Portland Oregon they can be recycled but thats besides the point. 


$4.00 English muffins sale 5/$5.
$5.00 Bagels 5/$5
Every time you spend $8 you get a free item of choice.  I decided to pick bread just in case I forget to make a loaf of bread myself.  It's nice to have a back up. 


As you can see I beat my budget and have a little extra to stash away.  You never know if I will need more milk or eggs.  I might even go get the girls a Redbox movie since they are a dollar and sports were cancelled due to bad weather.  My hubby is working so its a girls night in .  Woot!

Another added note:For years I have been having to plan our budget due to my husband getting paid only once a month.  This year they decided to pay him every two weeks and its totally screwing my budget up.  So for the next few weeks its going to be trial and error with keeping on budget. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Im a big chicken

To be fair my husband took this picture of me.  AFTER I told him not go get my face in the shot.  Thanks honey. Just awesome.  Every night around 7pm this is what I am doing.  I turn into a big chicken or as my chicks think of me "mama chick". 
It's our thing now.  Let's see who can get the chick to fall asleep first.  Each one of the chicks have their own method of falling asleep.
This is Jenny's way of falling asleep.  She likes to burrow into your arm pit and have her head poking out.

Oh and her butt sticking up in the air.  And what a cute butt it is. She is a big weird.....

But then again....so are we. Have a great day!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Secrets in my closet

I have about two dozen of these things.  Essential oils make me happy.  I use them to make room spray, homemade vapor rub,  lip balm, and even my shampoo. 
If you don't have the money to go out and buy all your favorite essential oils, no need to worry. 

-Always check the clearance aisle.  Big Sur and White Sage I picked up for 50% off. Whole Foods only carries these at Christmas and get rid of them after the holiday.

-Buy one when you can.  I started off buying the less expensive ones only once a payday.  I recommend sweet orange first because its the least expensive and a bang for your buck.  Love sweet orange!

-Some are cheaper through Azure Standard. You might check around the Internet and compare prices.

-Gifts! Ask for these things on your birthday or holidays.  This will save you a bundle because its no money out of your pocket.  Just tell your loved ones you want these and let them pick them out.  Its fun to try new scents out.

When I have extra money I usually will buy some glass or metal containers.  I use spray bottles to make my own room spray.  Just fill with water and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil combinations.  Simply shake before you spray.  I also make my own lip balm and glass lip balm containers are cheap.  My favorite are blue glass so I snag those when I see them.  These usually cost from $1-$3. Remember these will last forever and can be used over and over again.

Sometimes I will invest in other products.  Years ago I found this green clay for pretty cheap.  I use it to make my own soaps and sometimes even add it to my face soap to freshen up my skin.  Cocoa butter is my recent purchase.  It was half price! Adds a lovely addition to my lip balm.  If you don't want to invest much money try going in on the purchase with a friend. 
Last year we made lots of our holiday gifts so I invested in a few oils.  I had purchased a Chinook Book which had great coupons on Aurora Cacia oils.  I asked a few friends if I could have their coupons if they were not using them and then purchased the oils I needed.  These last a long time and worth the investment.  I made bath salts, lip balms and even scented body oils. Witch Hazel is a great product to have as well.  I use a witch hazel and rose water combination as my toner.  I store this in a pretty blue spray bottle of course!
I do purchase already made products as well.  But have to be cheap or I will not buy them.  Joint Rescue was half price and I can see why.  It smells nice but I have not seen or felt real results from it.  Ricola cough drops are my girls favorite and great for on the go.  The spray is my favorite.  Anytime I have a sore muscle I simply spray this and it brings relief right away and even last for about 20 minutes.  Tried making it myself but didn't work.  And then you have Badger Balm.  When we cleaned my grandmother's home out I found this.  It was brand new and I wanted to get this for sometime now. Thanks Gram. Miss you.
Last but not least is my Neti Pot.  We use this anytime we are sick.  I invested in this pretty ceramic pot because I really dislike plastic.  Should last forever unless my kids decide to drop it.  As I write this post I noticed the antibacterial bottle.  We do not use this product and it was requested by one of my daughters teachers in the beginning of the year.  My girls cannot use this due to their eczema and instead wash their hands with soap and water. This was returned to us after the end of the year and some how ended up in the closet.

So there you go.  Isn't it fun looking in others people's closet?  Only this time you don't have to sneak a peek.  Don't deny it. Everyone does it!