Sunday, March 29, 2009

March week # 5 - Another Great Book Recommendation

Confessions Of Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Review from
If you've ever paid off one credit card with another, thrown out a bill before opening it, or convinced yourself that buying at a two-for-one sale is like making money, then this silly, appealing novel is for you. In the opening pages of Confessions of a Shopaholic, recent college graduate Rebecca Bloomwood is offered a hefty line of credit by a London bank. Within a few months, Sophie Kinsella's heroine has exceeded the limits of this generous offer, and begins furtively to scan her credit-card bills at work, certain that she couldn't have spent the reported sums.
In theory anyway, the world of finance shouldn't be a mystery to Rebecca, since she writes for a magazine called Successful Saving. Struggling with her spendthrift impulses, she tries to heed the advice of an expert and appreciate life's cheaper pleasures: parks, museums, and so forth. Yet her first Saturday at the Victoria and Albert Museum strikes her as a waste. Why? There's not a price tag in sight.
It kind of takes the fun out of it, doesn't it? You wander round, just looking at things, and it all gets a bit boring after a while. Whereas if they put price tags on, you'd be far more interested. In fact, I think all museums should put prices on their exhibits. You'd look at a silver chalice or a marble statue or the Mona Lisa or whatever, and admire it for its beauty and historical importance and everything--and then you'd reach for the price tag and gasp, "Hey, look how much this one is!" It would really liven things up. Eventually, Rebecca's uncontrollable shopping and her "imaginative" solutions to her debt attract the attention not only of her bank manager but of handsome Luke Brandon--a multimillionaire PR representative for a finance group frequently covered in Successful Saving. Unlike her opposite number in Bridget Jones's Diary, however, Rebecca actually seems too scattered and spacey to reel in such a successful man. Maybe it's her Denny and George scarf.

I LOVED this book. Couldn't put it down. I was anxious for her and so wanted things to work out in her favor. Even after time and time again it didn't. I can relate to some of her circumstances from long ago. Wonderful, easy, enjoyable read. I can't wait to read the rest of the series! On my way tomorrow to get the 2nd one :). Hope you enjoy - Tamra (a.k.a. the Frugal Mom)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March week # 4 - Another Deodorizing Microwave Tip

Hi Tamra,
You can also put a cup of water and either squeeze a lemon wedge or lemon juice, bring it to a boil and let it sit in the microwave for about 5-10 minutes and then wipe out the microwave.
Dawn, LI NY

Thank Dawn - can't wait to try it!
Tamra (a.k.a. The Frugal Mom)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March week # 4 - Deodorizing Your Microwave

I reheated some seafood leftovers the other day in my microwave and was having a horrible seafood smell whenever I used the microwave after that. I wiped it down with cleanser and that only worked a little.

So I took a cup of baking soda and left it in my microwave overnight and in the morning the smell was gone! Amazing!

I would love to hear any tips you may have too. or post a comment to this blog post.

Thanks - Tamra

March week #4 - Pizza Stone Cleaner

Hi ladies,

I wanted to share a great tip my friend (and Pampered Chef lady) Cheryl told me about. I was having trouble keeping my stoneware as clean as I would like. If you have stoneware pans you know what I mean, they get greasy and just don't feel as clean scrapping them as you do when you use soap, water and scrubby with your regular pans. I use my stone bar pans nearly everyday for cooking everything.

She suggested keeping baking soda in a cheese shaker near your sink. When cleaning your stoneware shake with the baking soda and scrub. It works great! And now that I use this handy cleaning tip I feel good using them and that they are clean after each use.

Thanks Cheryl!

Monday, March 16, 2009

March - Week #2 - Great book recommendation

Review taken from
Jack and Laurel Cooper are two hardworking, loving Christian pillars of the community who die in each other's arms one night in the bed-and-breakfast that they own and operate. The event calls their three grown children home for the funeral, including their youngest son, a fugitive from the law who must face an outstanding warrant for his arrest and confront his one true love, now engaged to another man. As events unfold around the funeral, the three children discover a treasure trove of family history in the form of Wednesday letters-notes that Jack wrote to his wife every single week of their married lives. As they read, the children brush across the fabric of a devoted marriage that survived a devastating event kept secret all these years. It's a lovely story: heartening, wholesome, humorous, suspenseful and redemptive. It resonates with the true meaning of family and the life-healing power of forgiveness all wrapped up in a satisfying ending.
** This book was wonderful. A quick and enjoyable read. I couldn't put it down. And being a mom with little time to myself, it was a pleasure to make the most out of it with this book.
- Tamra (a.k.a. The Frugal Mom).

Friday, March 6, 2009

March week # 1 - What do you do with all that paper!

I don't know about you but I am buried under all the projects and pictures my kids finish at home or that's sent home from school with them. I didn't want to throw them out, but I found that i wasn't enjoying them anyway in piles all over my counters.

So I started a binder to keep all the best work that I want to keep, enjoy and show off. I also have a bin than I put all the finished work in to sort later. It has worked out great. I can see the progression in their talents as they grow and its a self esteem boost when they see mommy putting one of their work in the special book. I still hang up some pictures they make. But now we rotate them.

What you need: a 3 ring binder, clear page protectors, dividers. If you have multiple children make a separate section for each. Place some of the clear protectors between each section. Slip in the artwork and enjoy! Great for sharing with the grandparents too.

This is also great for school work that is sent home. You can make a new binder each year and save the most important things you want to show them as they grow. It will make everything easy to find. And your children will see how much you cared to save these projects.
*And as Dfleib commented you can use them to cut out the ABC's . Here is what we did in our playroom. Now every time I look at them I am reminded that this is my daughters art work. Thanks for the reminder Dawn.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March week # 1 - quick tip: toys everywhere!

Quick tip: Get yourself a catch all

Keep a bin in your living room so at the end of a day (or if company comes a knockin') you can do a quick clean up and toss all the toys in and tuck it away. I have a pop up toy bin I picked up at Walmart for a few dollars that works great. when the kids go to bed I tidy up, toss the toys in and can carry all the toys to the playroom and put them away quickly. Then I can relax without the mess.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March week # 1 - Your at home diaper center

So now that I have eliminated my changing table I had to figure where to put diapers and wipes for easy access at changing times. Luckily I had this idea from my last 2 girls. I had purchased 2 canvas shower caddies (one for upstairs and one for downstairs), you know the kind they sell for college dorms. It has a large center and multiple pockets on the sides for all your necessities like baby lotion, diaper rash cream, Aquaphor, stinky diapers trash bags (got these at the dollar store 100 pack) etc. I fill it with diapers and a package of wipes and it is small enough to store anywhere. I just refill when the diapers get low. Everything is right at my finger tips when I need it.

**This also works great in the kids bath time area. Perfect to store bath toys in the center, and baby shampoo, baby wash, conditioner etc around the sides. Helps keep everything neat and tidy. And since these are made for shower caddies they are fine to store the wet toys.

March week # 1 - A Kool craft idea for kids.

I would love to take credit for this idea but alas it came from my dear friend, Ms. Betty the children's Librarian from one of her story time classes.

What you need:
several different flavors of Kool-aid drink mix packets, white paper & a spray bottle with water.

Spread out the paper, let the kids sprinkle some powdered drink mix on the paper in any design they want. A few different flavors works best. Then spray with a water mist and watch the colors emerge! Its a great art project for the kids. A really pretty effect too.
Thanks Betty!