Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mama knows best - Cleaning the house!

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

I clean on Saturday mornings. Its a time that I can let the kids play and I can do what I need to do. When I was telling my best friend that the other day she wrinkled up her nose and said "Doesn't it take up your whole day?"

The truth is that I have such a routine it only takes me 2 hours... max. Another confession is that cleaning is one of my control things. I go to cleaning when life seems a little crazy. As a result, I have picked up some tricks and tips that help the cleaning go faster and be more effective.

* Save the all out, sweeping the ceiling, washing down the baseboards type of cleaning for spring and fall. (Or at least quarterly.) If you try to tackle this type of cleaning every will take you all day!

* Do one task at a time. Not one room at a time. For example dust the whole house first or empty all the trashes in the house. That way if something comes up and you can't finish the house you feel like you have actually gotten alot accomplished.

What sounds better? I got the whole house dusted or I got the dining room cleaned. See??

* Do the things you hate the most, first. I hate bathrooms so I do those first. After those, the rest seems easy and I breeze thru them.

* Start off with a picked up house. I always, no matter how tired I am, pick up the house last thing on Friday night. If I have to pick up the house, putting things away, it will take me forever to clean!!

* Keep things freshened up throughout the week. I sure won't clean but I may run the sweeper or wipe out a sink here or there. It makes things look nice and it cuts down the cleaning time on my cleaning Saturdays!!
Do you have a money/time/sanity tip to share? E-mail me at

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pre-school days

My son came home from school proud as a peacock. He loves pre-school and is so excited to show and tell me what he has done...most of the time.

Sometimes he does the typical "man" thing. You know the one.

"How was your day, baby?"


"What did you do?"

"I don't know."

Good times.

On this particular day in February he was brimming over with excitement. He had made his mama a Valentines day card and just had to show me.

After displaying the appropriate ooh's and aah's and maybe a few tears, I proudly displayed it in the kitchen.

My boy wasn't though, however. He was in a talking mood.

He then went on to explain to me that the teacher got out flashlights and let them play with them. (Now let me just tell y'all that I think we own the most flashlights in any household in the US. My little man is obsessed with them.) So you can imagine his joy at the flashlight teaching.

I was a little confused as to why the teacher would just get out some flashlights so I questioned my darling boy.

He shot a look at me that I translated as "Mama, you can't be that stupid." He then calmly explained to his dense mama that they were learning about shadows. How they are made with light and how you could re-create them.

He then added.

"You know..... in honor of Warthogs day"

I laughed so hard that I was crying in the middle of my kitchen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Works for me Wednesday - kids clothes help!

I don't know about you guys but going through the kids clothes each season is comparable to taking a pencil in the eyeball.

Okay maybe I am exaggerating ....but I really do dread it! I have enough of a hard time getting my toddler to put his clothes on, much less trying on multiple outfits.
I hate to waste time or money. So I really do see the need to know what you still need to buy or what you already have! I save myself some eyerolls and ten counts. Each day while getting the kids dressed, I make them try on one pair of pants/shorts and a top. It only takes a couple of minutes and the kids don't get too grumpy :) In a couple of weeks I have a total list of what is still needed!

And that works for this mama!!

For more great WFMW ideas visit We are that Family!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - I'm back!

This is my first week that I have actually gotten to go to the grocery store since my eat from the pantry challenge! WOOHOO!! I think my hubbie is just as excited because he asked me to fix a couple of his favorite dishes. :) Hubs is even going to attempt to make his own "skyline chili". (We will see how that goes....) Happy eating Y'all!!!

Monday: Chicken cacciatore, salad, garlic bread (Recipe follows)

Tuesday: Chili dogs, baked fries, mixed veggies

Wednesday: Stuffed green peppers, salad

Thursday: Grilled chicken over bed of rice, grilled asparagus, roasted carrots

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: Leftover buffet - if its in the fridge you can eat it...but mama is not cookin!

Sunday: Broccoli chicken Alfredo, crescent rolls, green beans

Easy Chicken Cacciatore

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
2 cloves garlic, chopped, or to taste
1/2 cup red cooking wine
1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
8 ounces small seashell pasta
5 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat, and cook and stir the chicken and garlic until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 5 to 8 minutes. Pour the wine and diced tomatoes with their juice into the skillet, and bring to a boil over high heat while scraping any browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the shell pasta, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the shells have cooked through, but are still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Spread the spinach over the top of the pasta, cover, and simmer until the spinach leaves are cooked, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the skillet, and simmer until the cheese has melted and the pasta is bubbling, about 5 minutes.