Home Hair Cuts

For the past three years I’ve been learning to cut my son and husbands hair by trial and error. I’ve had some successes and some hilarious failures.

Today I found this You Tube video and am so excited! This video (HERE) is a men’s hair cutting class demonstration; a clipper haircut and eyebrow trim. The video is just over 30 minutes long and is very detailed. I’m excited to watch this a few times and put into practice some new techniques for my fellows.

What I can’t quite figure out is…how do I corral all that falling hair? I feel like I am covered in hair after I give these cuts, especially in the wintertime when we can’t go outside for haircuts. Maybe there is a You Tube video that addresses hair cleanup too. 🙂


Meal Planning Fun!

I’ve been searching for an online menu planner and price tracker and finally decided on Say Mmm. I started entering all the recipes but decided that since I already have them in a binder I’m rather wasting my time when all I’m really after is shopping list planning. I don’t want to have to print the recipe each time, and I don’t want to have to run back and forth to the computer either!

So what to do? First, I’m entering the recipe title and ingredient list into Say Mmm. That way I can make meal plans and shopping lists more quickly and easily. Second, while I’m entering recipes I’m sorting through my recipe binder. I started a new binder for the recipes that have not yet attained to the high status of our “keepers” list. The new binder also gives me a place to store new recipes I want to try without having a cluttered pile hanging around.

Prepping all the ingredients before I start cooking…”Mise en Place” in action!

In the end my original recipe binder should match what is in Say Mmm. Once everything is entered I can then put together meal plans…so much easier than deciding each week what to fix for each meal. For instance, I can add a meal that is set as “cheese meatloaf, escalloped corn, and harvard beets” and then choose that meal in my weeks plan.

Eventually I can upgrade and track my shopping costs, and add more than 100 recipes. Once I am using the program regularly I’ll feel the $3/month is more justified. No sense spending money when I haven’t yet proved I’ll use the program regularly (no matter how excited I am now).

(update: I wrote this in February but am publishing it in July…the system has been working pretty good. I upgraded and really like having all my loved recipes in one place – both in my binder and on Say Mmm. I’m still working on getting meal plans together and working out some of the bugs but my meal planning has gone much better since I started this.  I find their system a bit bulky but still the best from what’s out there to choose from. Hoping they upgrade their pricing system soon.

I also wrote down what is in all the aisles at our local grocery store so that when I write my lists by hand I can sort them exactly how the store is laid out. I dislike searching for things!)


Homemaking Helps, Pregnancy, Couponing & Some Odds and Ends

17 Things You Can Do Today to Make Your Life Easier Tomorrow @ Time Warp Wife

Home Management Binder Ideas @ Time Warp Wife

Do The Needful @ The Hippie Housewife…”Simply do the next needful thing.”

The Super Bowl & Human Trafficking @ Finding the Beauty

Beginner Pinterest Q & A @ An Oregon Cottage

Say Mmmm – A grocery planning website. Anyone use this or another online resource to help plan menus? Also saw Plan to Eat

Helpful Homemaking Resources @ Raising Homemakers

6 Random Kitchen Tips for the Busy Mom @ Almost Plum Nearly

15 Natural Solutions for Kid Messes @ Simple Organic

Puritan Prayer on Contentment @ Homemaker by Choice

The Final 6 Weeks of Pregnancy from Transition to Parenthood.

Preparing for Baby @ The Finer Things in Life

Baby-Led Weaning @ Simple Organic – my grandma told me how when her firstborn (now in his 60’s?) was under 6 weeks old her mother would feed him smushed up noodles. I was pretty aghast but she didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. I think we may try this approach this time…just a little bit later than 6 weeks!

I don’t (yet) know much about the world of couponing. I want to learn more though and try to fit couponing into our life. In that vein, here are what seem to be some helpful links.

Walmart’s Ad Match Guarantee

The Frugal Girls Couponology (couponing for beginners) @ The Frugal Girls

How to Use Coupons at Walgreens @ A Thrifty Mom

Free Rebate: Arm & Hammer Clumping Cat Litter @ Happy Money Saver

An Assortment

I like the idea of having some guidelines around keeping the house clean. Eventually I’d like to have a household binder where my favorite cleaning guidelines & tips are kept. Right now though I want to put a few of these ideas into action and get them to be habits instead of nice ideas.

10 Rules & 10 Tips for the Kitchen @ Time Warp Wife – this has been revolutionizing my kitchen work. The idea of doing dishes every time there are at least 10 and the idea of filling the sink while cooking – why didn’t I think of that!

3 Steps to Ease Your Way into Truly Natural Personal Products @ Simple Organic

There are few large issues that move me as much as human slavery. Portland was a hub for this; now the I-75 corridor running from Florida to Michigan. No matter where you live, someone is being sold against their will. National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, January 11th

I am thankful to have a good marriage but I know many who are struggling. This article speaks volumes I think.You Never Marry the Right Person @ Relevant Magazine

And a fun one: this shows how data can be manipulated to serve the interests of whoever holds the data. I first saw something like this in my statistics class in college and it’s been in the back of my mind since. Also fun for a chuckle. Correlation or Causation @ Bloomberg Businessweek

Most years I am eager for the new year to arrive so I can decide which goals I want to set. For whatever reason, this year I have no desire to set any goals. Maybe the daily goal of unpacking the house and preparing for the baby are enough. 🙂 But when I read this blog about setting goals a month at a time something clicked. I feel like I have enough wiggle room to set a monthly goal, or even to set one goal, get that into practice for several weeks, then think about another. We’ll see how it goes! Rethinking Resolutions: Setting Goals One Month at a Time @ Frugal Living NW

There’s been lots of talk about SOPA but I find I really don’t know what it is. Thought this was a good explanation link. What is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You? @ Wise Bread

Catching Up

Last week I was focused on some house purging and find that the more I do the more I want to get rid of! Thus I happily ignored my blogs last week and cleaned instead. Here are some of my favorite links from last week:

Starting with 7 Principles to Simplify your Family Life @ Simple Mom. Not sure that title does the article justice. If I could just do these seven things I’d be quite happy! Maybe they could re-title this “7 Goals to Work Toward,” or “7 Cool Objectives for a Household Manager.” 😛 This is my favorite article from last week.

Money Links:

I have no budget, am buried in debt, and am going on vacation @ Enemy of Debt – Next question, “Who are you following over the cliff?” 😀 This has some good questions to ask yourself about your debt.

General principles for setting up a budget @ Gather Little By Little – A budget can sound scary and complicated, but it isn’t!

Food Stuffs:

Perfecting Pasta @ Simple Bites – With our new pasta roller machine (which is very cool and fun) we must make lots of pasta! I’d like to try this sauce.

Crockpot Au Gratin Potatoes @ A Thrifty Mom – Mmm…not from a box.

Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies @ $5 Dinners – really, the name says it all!

Homemade Pop Tarts @ Mennonite Girls Can Cook – everything can be homemade!

Bread for Every Occasion @ Chiot’s Run – Homemade rolls, hamburger buns, etc.

7 Nutrients You Need More Of @ Wise Bread – I like that with each nutrient listed there is a list of foods that contain the nutrient.

Butcher’s Tips: Easy Ways to Slash Your Meat Bill @ Lehmans – This also contains an embedded link to an article on how to cut up your own chicken, a helpful skill to have!

Why Christians Should Store Food @ Almost Plum Nearly – Ok, really, I don’t think someone needs to be a Christian to store food. Because the Bible doesn’t say, “follow Jesus, store food.” But I do think that food storage is important, and something TJ and I haven’t started yet. In fact, we’re busy eating our way through the pantry! But we have plans to store food! 😀

And some interesting odds and ends…

Radiation Network.com – This tracks radiation levels around the US. Very interesting! Our level is at 29 right now. 100 is bad. It also shows all the nuclear sites in the US. Rather disturbing on several levels.

5 Easy Steps To Organic Weed Control for Your Garden Beds & Borders @ An Oregon Cottage – I love this; easy, simple and something I can do. 

Northwest Spring Consignment Sales – 2011 @ Thrifty NW Mom – yeaaa sales!!!

Pledge vs Olive Oil + Lemon Juice @ 29 Diapers – My can of Pledge is almost gone and this is how I plan to replace it…homemade!

Whew! Those were all open tabs in my Firefox! Firefox is awesome b/c it saves the open tabs if you want it to…thus TJ often teases me about all the tabs I have open.

Ash Wednesday Blog Finds

Today is Ash Wednesday, and the day finds me wishing I knew more about the Catholic traditions. What is the purpose of the day? Why does it exist? No idea. Here are some finds from the day’s gleanings:

Spring Cleaning Checklist @ Getting Freedom.net: I am a sucker for a checklist of any kind. More than the checklist though I like the listing of things a person might clean if they wished to do some spring cleaning. I think I may wash the curtains sometime soon.

9 Bills You Can Lower Starting Today! @ Christian Personal Finance: Lists like these are great if you are trying to think of ways to cut your expenses. Even though I feel like we’ve cut as far as we can I’m sure that with the electric I can find yet another way to try and lower the bill.

Oatmeal – 5 Ways @ $5 Dinners: Oatmeal is a scary dish. It can taste excellent or very bad depending on who is cooking. I love the idea of adding something yummy (other than brown sugar) to the dish. Somewhere out there I also read about cooking oatmeal in the slow cooker overnight. A nice warm breakfast on a chilly day does sound tempting!

Free Ebook: The American Frugal Housewife @ Money Saving Mom: This is a Kindle book, but if like me you don’t have a Kindle you can download a “Kindle to PC” reader and still get the book for free. This book is my kind of book! It was written in 1832 and dedicated to “those not ashamed of economy.” Lower on the page you can also download other titles for free, such as “Things Mother Used to Make” or “Made-Over Dishes.” I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon!

Monday Morning Blog Roundup

The word “roundup” always puts me in the mind of cowboys and the wild west. One dictionary defines the word as “the herd so collected.” Tee hee! So yee haw and let’s get started!

My Favorite Food Rules @ New Nostalgia: I am growing to believe that more is not better. Food that looks like food does seem to be a better choice than food that does not. Eating foods that will eventually rot makes sense. Making food at home does seem healthier than eating out. I think I want to read the book she mentions.

Time Management 101 from Money Saving Mom: The Money Saving Mom wrote a small e-book on how she manages her time. I always find it helpful to read what others do. Even if I only agree with one tip that is one more tool for me to use!

Are Kids the Victims or Victors in Frugal Homes? @ Frugal Living: Summary: kids win every time if you have your money under control. In the short term and in the long term. And I would add that it is a HUGE disservice to kids to grow up in homes with uncontrolled spending.

How We Control Our Spending @ Budgeting In the Fun Stuff: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how something always has to give when you have limited means and spend outside your budget. If I say, “oh, let’s just go out to eat,” that money has to come from somewhere. And it comes by taking away from something else. I liked what they said along those lines here.

Evening Primrose Oil, A Mama’s Favorite Remedy @ Passionate Homemaking: I am totally fascinated by all things “natural.” I’ll probably read this article many times before I actually go out and find evening primrose oil, or ever use it even if I do find it! But I like to think about it. 😀