He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

30 July 2012

Two Summer Money Saving Tips

These two tips may be considered old news but just because they're old doesn't mean they aren't good. 

1. Sun drying your clothes. 
Our grandmothers did it, our mothers may or may not have done it, and by golly, we should too!
Why? It's FREE! Who doesn't love that?!
{Well, for the sake of full disclosure, if you don't have a clothes line, a drying rack, or a sunny spot of deck railing, it may cost a little but it's a one time cost which is good too!}

Currently, as I wait for the posts sitting in our garage to be transformed into a clothesline in the hands of master carpenter Hubs, I have resorted to the deck and a stand alone drying rack I got from Target.
The upsides: Low/No cost. Clothes smell wonderful! Saving electricity therefore saving money. Get in touch with your ancestors. The sun has natural bleaching and germ killing abilities. Drying has been just about as quick as the conventional dryer for me so far, that includes towels **.
The downsides: Rainy days happen. There isn't always enough room for all the loads. Risk of bird droppings which I have avoided thus far. 
**Many people consider crunchy towels and stiff jeans as a downside but that can be easily avoided by tossing the them all in the dryer for a few minutes once the sun has gotten them about 80% dry.

2. Save money while using your central air. 
If you're like me and love fresh air stirring around the house every once in a while, this tip is a big help. Let's say you keep your house around 73 for the daytime, go ahead and set it for that in the morning and then, if it's not super hot out in the morning go ahead and open all your windows and let the breezes flow. Yes... keep your A/C on with the windows open! Once the air begins to warm up, usually around 11 for us here in New England, the A/C will kick on and that's when you go ahead and shut all the windows and curtains up. This way everybody wins! You get your fresh air while your A/C unit gets a break and doesn't have to work so hard to get the house cool again.

That's all for today.
Happy Monday!

27 July 2012

Favorite Last Minute Marinade

I first found this recipe on SkinnyTaste.com as a grilled chicken salad.
Well Hubs and I fell in love with the recipe for the chicken. I love it because it's so stinkin' easy. He loves it because I serve it to him.
I'll get right to the good part...

What You'll Need: 
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice (bottled is acceptable but I ALWAYS prefer fresh)
1 t dried oregano
1 t crushed garlic (fresh is always best, again, but I've used dried in a pinch)
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

What To Do:
I usually slice3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves and throw them in a bowl with all of the above ingredients and let it for about 30 minutes.We then throw the chicken into a grill pan on the grill and cook it through then let it rest for 10 minutes under some foil.

I usually double or triple this recipe and keep the cooled chicken in the fridge for fast lunches. This stuff is wonderful on a sandwiches, wraps, salads, or as a main dish. I often give the kids the chicken as their meal and Hubs and I have a salad with sunflower seeds, sprouts, and dried cranberries. I often use my favorite poppy seed salad dressing but it works great with just a squeeze of lemon and some olive oil too. It's all good!

**Marinating Tip:
If you have a Food Saver and are REALLY crunched for time, throw all the ingredients (including the chicken) in a canister and seal. Depending on the depth of flavor you want you can leave it sealed for about 5 minutes and be good to do.

25 July 2012

Life Binder Part 1

I'm just going to start by saying, "Paige drug me into this!"
Now that that's out of the way...
If you don't know what a life binder is I'll tell you that it is, in fact, a "Project of Epic Proportions" like my dear friend Laura {or Paige as I call her} warns it will be on her blog Our Portion.
{Isn't she gorgeous?!}
Anyway... If you want to skip through my progress and get right down to what Paige has going on you can find her info here...
Intro: What is a Home Management Binder?
Account Information
Budget & Bills

Paige offers a bunch of information on how she's building her folder as well as resources she found for free printables! What's not to love?!

I'll get to how my folder turned out once I am done because I can tell that I'm already going to be adding and making changes to what I've done. What I will say is that we have our fourth child on the way and getting organized isn't just for kicks anymore... IT'S A NECESSITY and though I have only just begun things have definitely been simplified around here. Be warned: It's a LOT of work on the front end but using it in the day-to-day has made an impact.

For the record, Paige and I are not the first to create these binders. The web is loaded with printables {free and for sale}and ideas to get the ball rolling and get you thinking about what will work for you.

Mandi from Finding Home shares her life binder with bunches of free printables
She's got great ideas ranging from meal planning to keeping track of birthdays to remembering movies you want to see!

A Bowl Full of Lemons has several great ideas and gives a rough overview of what she included plus a plethora of links to free and for sale printables.

Tiffany from The Nest Effect has made her own printables that are for sale or, at the very least, are good ideas to get you thinking.

Jen from IHeart Organizing also offers some really cute printables for her household binder along with smart ideas for how to keep yourself organized.

We Built a Sandbox!

Well...actually... he did.
As usual my overactive mind goes a little stir crazy and poor Hubs usually gets roped in.
Well... I'm certainly not complaining because another project was finished and I'm a happy camper.
And yes... Hubs is happy with this one too.

It's a roughly 8x8 box, I'm told that's big but with Baby J on the way we would like to be able to fit at least 4 kids in at a time and our little Step One crab just wasn't cutting it.

So here's what it took...
4 - 2" x 10 "x 8' - sides of box
4 - 2" x 6" x 10" - seat around top
1 - 4" x 4" x 8' - corner supports
12 - 4 1/2" {I think}Lag Screws - for screwing 2" x 10"s to 4" x 4"s
3" {I think} exterior screws - for screwing seat to sides of box 2" x 6" to 2" x 10"
I wasn't that purposeful about taking pictures... I realize that doesn't help things so I'm hoping this picture does the explaining for me. {Feel free to ask if you're totally lost.}
Before filling the box with sand we stapled landscaping cloth around the bottom of the box to keep the grass and weeds from growing up through.
The most expensive part was the sand so we put it off indefinitely. Thankfully, Opa had pity on his poor grandbabies and purchased the sand for them.
Bean helped...
CJ did not...

 We've fit 6 kids in at once so it definitely does the job!

24 July 2012

What We've Been Doing

We've been away for a while.
It's not really all that wise to announce on the interwebs that I'll be on vacation and my home is fair game for the week so I kept it a secret.
I often schedule posts so as not to allow anyone the chance to miss me desperately, as I'm sure you did, but I was just too dang tired before I left.
Please forgive the rudeness without announcement and be prepared to be amazed by what I have in store for you for the rest of the week...

- The sandbox is done!
- The chalkboard is in use!
- The "Project of Epic Proportions" has begun!
- The family has been fed somethin' yummy!

And just for kicks... here a few gratuitous pictures of the family you've missed so much over the past week... MINE! 

Happy Tuesday!

16 July 2012

Grilled Peaches and Berries

Here's What You'll Need:
3 peaches or nectarines   1 cup berries   2 T butter   1 T lemon juice   2 T brown sugar

Here's What To Do:
Set your grill to medium-low.
Lay your peach halves on a 12"x12" square of heavy duty or double up foil.
Pour berries over top.
Pour the remaining three ingredients over top and wrap the foil into a ball to seal the steam in.
Grill for about 18-20 minutes or until the peach is tender.
Carefully open and enjoy!
We served ours over vanilla ice cream. So good!
I found this recipes at Taste of Home

13 July 2012

Basement Bathroom Progress

Nothing too fancy in the bathroom here, I just desperately wanted to be rid of the floral paper on the walls and to tone down the checkered floor a smidge. We're still working on this one but so far... 
During (Round One): 

During (Second Wind):

And that's that!
Have a wonderful weekend!

12 July 2012

Playroom Progress

Another round of craziness while trying to get projects done around the house. We have three weekends worth of guests coming up soon and have been working hard to get the basement "visitor ready". Here's how it's coming along, with some befores and afters.

Play Room Before:
Before we bought the house... isn't it lovely? But of course, we have kids so once we got out hands on it it looked a little more like this...
Play Room During: 
Play Room Afters: 
We created some stations to make clean up easier for the kids.
Dress up, which I hope to "pretty up" a little with a light and a better mirror... 

Hubs built this as one of our Christmas present for the kids.
The general "toy and tidbit" section...
and my favorite part... the adult section where we can safely watch the children and drink hot coffee at the same time. By the way... all the seating was F.R.E.E.! What, What!
If you'll notice, on the right hand side, behing the chair, there is curtain. This is a temporary hold because at somepoint this will go from a wasted nook to a reading corner for the kiddos. {Baby steps. Baby steps. Baby steps.}
Tomorrow I'll share the bathroom update...
Have a wonderful evening!

06 July 2012

The Big "A"

If you aren't following "A Little of This..." on Facebook than you've missed out on the news.
Until now, that is!
 OH! and by the way...
 We will, Lord willing, be meeting this little man by Thanksgiving of this year!!
 Now you're all caught up! 
Have a wonderful weekend!


Related Posts with Thumbnails