Friday, October 23, 2009

Mama Knows Best: Sanitize what?!?!?!

We as mamas have to be innovative and thrifty all in the same beat. Somehow we find new ways of doing things that save us money, time and maybe if we are really blessed.... sanity!

My hubby is a fireman and paramedic. He looks great in his uniform. :) He also encounters alot of sickness. (Hey, you take the good with the bad!) So, since we are at high exposure risk to the creepy crawlie bugs, I sanitize. The thought of my little ones getting the flu makes me get the heeby geebies.

Someone asked me the other day what I sanitize so I thought I would share my list of common things that we often forget. (That carry alot of germs.) It will take a couple minutes but could save you alot of heartache. Happy cleaning y'all!!

Light switches

Electrical outlets


Tea Kettle / coffee pot handles

Doorknobs, out and in


Faces of DVR, DVD players- anything you may touch alot

Toybox lids

Fridge and freezer handles

Microwave face

Your kitchen sink handles

Handles to all cabinets

Lamp switches/knobs

Bathroom sink fixtures and soap dispensers

Shower door handles

Alarm clocks buttons

Kitchen /dining room chair arms ( If wood )

Can you think of something that I have forgotten? Leave a comment and share!

Do you have a money/time/sanity tip to share? E-mail me at !

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where does time go ??

My son is 3 and in a two day pre-school program. I am AMAZED at how much he has learned in the few short months he has been in school.

Last night he had an open house where the whole school marched throughout the isles of the auditorium in costume. ( They had a "book parade" where they dressed as the characters of a book they have been reading. ) My darling boy was an ice cream man. I had made the costume and dressed him but was not prepared me as he came marching down the center isle.

I felt hot tears stinging my eyes. He looked so big. He proudly marched with his class, his eyes searching for us. Ice cream scoop in one hand, a play ice cream in another, wide grin plastered on his face.

My mind saw him as a fussy infant in my arms, nursing at my breast. Who was this boy? Surly, he had not grown this much, so soon? I suddenly wanted to slow time itself. I envisioned him walking an isle, several years from now with a cap and gown and my heart hurt.

Once again I heard that still small voice whisper to my heart. Slow down, enjoy, relish. They don't stay little for very long and they are gone in the blink of an eye.

I am sure the people around me thought I was a total nut. ( Big surprise !! ) I was sniffling and trying to look composed. I suddenly did not care because I was looking at my life on stage singing his heart out. At the end he waved and blew a kiss. I thought a stretcher was going to have to take me away. :)

I know there will be so many more moments like these and I am thankful. I am thankful for gentle reminders to this mama to get my priorities straight, listen and enjoy.

Until they are on my last nerve and I start to pray for full day school....hey, I am not a saint!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kroger bargain recipe of the week : Hawaii pork chops

Bargain Meal of the Week

I usually pick recipes with few ingredients, but this one looked too good not to try! Yes, there are tons of ingredients but most are things that you already have in your home..woohoo! Happy Eating Y'all!!!

I will not expense spices/oils since most of us have them on hand. W/C means with coupon.

Hawaii Pork Chops

1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon onion salt
dash cayenne pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops (On sale $1.49/lb) $2.24
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped onion $.25
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup pineapple tidbits (Dole on sale $1) $.10
Hot cooked rice (Zataraines on sale $1) $1

In a saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. In a skillet, cook pork, onion and garlic in oil until meat is browned. Add water and reserved sauce. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink, adding more water if needed. Stir in pineapple and heat through. Serve over rice.

Total Cost of Meal: $3.59

Add Roasted carrots (On sale $1) Total Cost of Meal: $4.09

Add roasted carrots and French bread (Kroger on sale $1) Total cost of Meal: $4.59

Monday, October 19, 2009

Teacher Knows best: Halloween books for the right age

I am blessed to live next to a elementary school teacher who loves my kids and we love her!! She has multiple education degrees and is the first person I run to when I am worried about speech, development or anything learning related!! She has agreed to write a weekly post for me on some common concerns involving little ones and just great tips! If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed, please e-mail me at

Halloween Books

It’s time again for some seasonal book selections! Happy Reading!

Inside a House that is Haunted: A Rebus Story by Alyssa Capucilli
Five Little Pumpkins by Iris Van Rynbach

K-1st- 2nd
Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler
Cinderhazel: The Cinderella of Halloween by Deborah Lattimore
Meet Molly: An American Girl

3rd - 4th- 5th
Hallo-weiner by Dav Pilkey
Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe
The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson

All Ages
Skeleton Bones and Goblin Groans: Poems for Halloween by Amu Sklansky
Halloween Is… by Gail Gibbons
Halloween Treats: Recipes and Crafts for the Whole Family by Donata Maggipinto

Menu Plan Monday- errrr .... kind of

So. Y'all know I love me some menu plans. I think that they save you a ton of money, headaches and time. They keep this mama sane and that is saying alot.

However I have been in a serious season of conviction. One of these convictions is my love of coupons and stockpiling. If I can find Knorr noodles for $.10 a package, I buy 5. Do this alot and 2 things happen.

1.) You go over your budget almost every week. You tell yourself its ok because your saving money in the long run.

2.) You can't find anything in your pantry because you have so much stuff!

So after a shopping trip in September filled with $.20 shampoos and a super great deal on chicken, my saint of a hubby did not say a word but gave me "the look". I knew what he was thinking because I was thinking the same thing. Stockpiling was worthless unless you actually take the time to live off of it and reap the savings!

So I can proudly tell you that I have not been to the grocery store in 4 weeks. My goal is to simply get creative and live off the stockpile. When we need milk, eggs and fruit... I send hubby. I am too weak. Bargains know my name and scream at me when I walk by. Its just too much....

So my menu plan this week is simple. Use what I have and enjoy. Maybe I won't have tomatoes for the taco's. But I am using shells I forgot I had, seasoning I found behind a can of peas and cheese I got for a dollar and had frozen. It makes me feel good. It makes me think outside the box and try new things. I am also excited to use some of the stuff on my baking shelf so that when Christmas baking comes around I can know everything I have. ( Compared to trying to reach the sprinkles through expired Graham cracker crumbs and an old can of evaporated milk. That evaporated a long, long time ago.

My goal is to not go back to the store till November and I am pretty sure I can make it. Wish me luck!