Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How to Save Money On Almost Anything

This post is brought to you by Groupon.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own.

I'm frugal.  I don't like paying full price for anything.  Before I buy something, I always look for a coupon to use in the store or online.  My husband always stares at me while I search on my iPhone for a coupon to use before we pay!  He teases me, but he definitely doesn't complain when the price drops dramatically after I use my coupons.  When I'm looking for coupons, I like to use sites like Groupon Coupons because they find all of the good deals, and I just have to search for them.

How to Save Money On Almost Anything

I've used Groupon before to save on tickets and other events, and now I use their Coupons section too.  Some of their coupons are for in store use, and some are for online only.  Some stores will even let you combine coupons for even better deals.  Some stores will let me show the coupon on my phone without printing it, but be sure to ask your favorite stores for their policies.

Most people think of using coupons for department stores and food, but you can also save on routine purchases for your home and vehicle.

One thing that I love about using Groupon Coupons is that I don't have to subscribe to several lists to get the deals, and I can find them so easily.  

What's the most you've saved with a coupon?
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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Introduction to Roto-Rooter Home Products

This post in sponsored by Roto-Rooter, but all enthusiasm is my own.  

I live in an old farmhouse, and I have kids.  You better believe we deal with some clogs.  One time I found straw, leaves, and grass in my bathtub after the kids washed off something inside instead of at the hose outside.   I also have insanely thick hair, and it constantly clogs the drain.  Compounding the problem, we have a septic system, so I have to use products that are safe for septic systems.  When Roto-Rooter asked me to be a brand ambassador for them this year, I knew it would be a great fit for my lifestyle and my home.  This is a product that we use, so it was natural to share it with my readers.

You probably think of a plumbing service when you think of Roto-Rooter, but they have new home products.  Not every plumbing situation needs a plumber, and you can save a lot of money by trying to unclog your sinks or bathtubs by yourself.  If Roto-Rooter clog remover, doesn't remove the clog, Roto-Rooter will take 10% off of your service call if you show the repairman your empty bottle.

We rarely get the clogs that completely block the drain.  Oh no.  We get those slow clogs, where the sink fills up while you're using it but empties within a few minutes.  These clogs are the worst in my experiences because most drain cleaners just slide past the clog, which means you are literally dumping your money down the drain.  Roto-Rooter has a gel formula with the most active ingredients versus other brands and the right viscosity to move to the source of the clog and break it up, so it works better on our clogged drains.

Roto-Rooter Clog Removers remove grease, soap scum, and hair, so you can use them in the bathroom and in the kitchen.  They are safe for septic systems too, which is really important to us.  Roto-Rooter also has a septic treatment, so be sure to look for that if you have a septic system.

Since I'm a brand ambassador for Roto-Rooter for 2016, I'll be giving you some tips on some basic plumbing fixes and routine maintenance that you can do yourself, so keep checking back to learn more.

You can find Roto-Rooter at Lowe's, Walmart, Menards, meijer, Dollar General, and Tractor Supply Company.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Non Toxic Sticker Remover

When I'm crafting, I have to remove a lot of stickers, especially when I upcycle something.  I use a hair dryer if I can't get the item wet, but that can leave some residue.  I can't use commercial sticker removers because most of them use orange essential oil, which gives me a migraine.  I also prefer to use nontoxic cleaners in my home.  This also has two ingredients in it that I use all the time, so I always have the ingredients.  I started to make a craft for my son, but I had to take the label off of the bottle first.  I decided to share that with all of my wonderful readers,

Non Toxic Sticker Remover

Before using this non toxic sticker remover, it's important to remove as much of the sticker as you can.  Ideally, you'll be able to remove all of it except the residue, but this will also cut through the actual sticker.  

Use a spoon to get about a teaspoon of coconut oil and spread over the sticker residue.  You can also use vegetable oil or olive oil, but I think coconut oil is easier to work with because it's not as "oily" and because it's solid at room temperature and doesn't run all over your bottle.  Simply spread the oil all over the residue and use your finger or a washcloth to remove the residue.  Sometimes this is all that you need to get the glue off.

If it doesn't get removed with just the oil, then add a pinch of baking soda to the oil and scrub it off with that.  The residue just melts off with the baking soda and coconut oil.

Once the glue is all gone, rinse well.  You can use a drop of dish soap if it's oily.  Rinse well and let dry.

Obviously, this is only for things that can get wet.  You can also mix the coconut oil and baking soda together and store in a mason jar, but I've found that this works just as well and doesn't take up any extra room in my cupboard.

If you liked this post, then you'll love:
DIY Laundry Soap
Liquid Castile Soap Concentrate

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Farmhouse Kitchen Decor

I live in a farmhouse, so it shouldn't be any surprise that I want a farmhouse kitchen.  My kitchen was updated in the 70s, and no one has touched it since then.  While I decide what to do with my cabinets and counters, I'm putting together ideas for my decor.  Here are my 10 favorite farmhouse kitchen decor choices.
Farmhouse Kitchen Decor
Links in this post may be affiliate links.

Egg Basket

Whether you use it as a decoration or collect eggs from your backyard chickens, this basket will look great in a farm house kitchen.

These are so cute, you'll want to keep them on your counter for display.

This white distressed stand will match nearly any decor. 

Hanging Burlap Bag

I can think of so many uses for this bag!  You could even change the decor with the seasons.

These would look great over a dinette table or to have two or more over a kitchen bar.

Use to hang towels, other decorations, or just leave it plain.

So many possibilities!  Put a single flower in each canister or use to hold taller items like bottles.

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

Replace your boring hand soap or dish soap with this cute dispenser.

Tall Galvanized Canisters

Use to store your kitchen staples.

Fun and functional, this chalkboard will help keep your family organized.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Bring Out The Best In Your Cat

Living on a farm, it's only natural that we have a lot of animals.  Outside, we have two goats, ten chickens, and a flock of homing pigeons.  Inside, we have two dogs and three cats, all rescues.  Our oldest cat, Luie, will be 16 in July.  He's deaf, mostly blind, and can't eat regular kibble.  We also have Carly who is six this month and Chloe who is three.  Carly and Chloe are fed dried cat food, but Luie gets his own can of cat food each morning.  He cries for another can in the evening, but he never finishes it.  I really hate to waste his food, and he won't eat it cold if I save it for morning in the fridge, so I recently switched to Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend.  It's a dry food, but it has kibble and tender meaty pieces, so even Luie can eat it.

I wasn’t sure if Luie could chew the food, so I offered it to Chloe first.  It only took her a few seconds of sniffing to decide that she wanted to dig in.  Carly, who is a little camera shy, watched from across the room.  Luie, however, decided that Chloe was getting something that he wasn’t, and he wanted to know what it was. 

Since Luie is the oldest, he quickly pushed Chloe off to the side so he could eat.  To my surprise, he did very well with the food and finished the bowl before he went back to sleep.

Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend is made with 40 percent protein, and chicken is the first ingredient.  It also has prebiotic fiber for a healthy digestive system and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and fur. 

As you can see, my kitties love it!  Don’t worry; I gave Carly her very own bowl to try, but she asked that there be no paparazzi while she ate.    Don’t just take my word for it.  Read reviews from other pet parents too.
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Cute Valentine's for Kids

This is our first year homeschooling, and I'm really going to miss the Valentine's Day parties at school.  This year, if we don't get together with a group of homeschoolers, we are sending Valentine's to friends and family.  The kids could use some practice addressing letters to send, so we can learn and have fun.  If you're not sure which Valentine's cards to get this year, here are some of my favorites.  Don't forget to check out my cute Valentine's Day books for kids too.

Cute Valentine's for Kids

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.

Disney Jake and the Never Land Pirates Box of 32 Valentines Cards
Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Valentines Candy Card Kit
Pop-Out Zombie Bookmark Valentine Cards
Valentine's Sticker Gift Boxes, 18-ct. Packs
Disney's Frozen Anna & Elsa Valentine's Cards by Hallmark
Kitty Temporary Tattoo Valentine Cards
Paper Magic Frozen Deluxe Valentines with Bonus Stickers (34 Count)
Video Gamer Themed Geeky Valentine's Day Cards with Stickers
Dr Seuss Valentine Exchange Cards (32 Count)
Valentine Owl Cards With Pencils (2 Dozen)

Mustache Valentine's Day Cards With Pencils
Martha Stewart Crafts Mailbox Valentine Card Kit
Shopkins Valentine Cards - 32 Cards With 32 Tattoos
Chillin' Strawberry Scratch & Sniff Super Valentine Card Pack
Scratch-Off Silly Jokes Super Valentine Card Pack
Avengers Assemble Kids Classroom Valentine Exchange Cards
Made By Hands Make Your Own Valentine Cards
Disney Descendants 32 Valentines with 32 Tattoos
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Valentines Card Box of 32
Disney Frozen Olaf Valentines With 35 Tattoos and Bonus Sticker Sheets
Jurassic World 16 Valentines with 16 Pencils
Thomas & Friends 32 Valentines Cards

Peanuts Deluxe Valentine Exchange Cards with Bonus Stickers (34 Count)
Minions Box of 32 Valentines Cards
Disney Mickey Classroom Valentine Hearts with Candy 22 Count
Pokémon Valentine's Day Cards (35) + Stickers
Red Reveal Happy Riddle Super Valentine Card Pack
Fairy Magic Rainbow Valentines Card Pack
Deluxe Moustache Valentines Day Cards 24ct
Play Ball! Super Valentine Card Pack
Press Pop-Out Race Car Super Valentine Card Pack
Flying Paper Airplanes Super Valentine Card Pack
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent - No grating!

I started making my own laundry soap about eight years ago.  The kids were little, and I was a SAHM, so I wanted to save some money.  My husband had some serious doubts as he was working as a mechanic and got quite dirty at work.  I'm happy to report that my soap removed just as much, if not more, grease than commercial detergents.  I used to make it the old way, which was making 5 gallons of liquid.  Although it only took 20 minutes to make, I had a 5 gallon bucket sitting on my kitchen counter for a day, and then I had to find a place to store it in my laundry room.  I knew there had to be a better way.  I started experimenting, and this is my new and improved laundry detergent recipe with no grating!

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent - No grating!

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.

I prefer to use Fels Naptha for my soap, and I've been using it for years with great success.  I've also used Castile soap, but I didn't like it as much.  In fact, I used it to wash my floors and clean my house to use it up because it was that bad for laundry.  If you don't live on a farm or have kids that spill every other bite on their clothes, it may work for you.

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent Ingredients

How to Make Powdered Laundry Detergent

1.  Unwrap the Fels Naptha and place it on a microwave safe plate.  Microwave the soap until it's completely puffed up.  This took 2 minutes in my microwave.  I suggest microwaving at 30 second intervals until it looks like this.  Do not touch the soap!  It will be very hot.  Open the microwave door and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

2.  Once the fluffy bar of soap is cooled off. start breaking it up in to smaller pieces over a bowl.  I just crumble as much of it as I can by hand.  It will crumble very easily.

3.  There will be some chunks of soap left.  You can use a food processor to grind it up, or use a masher like I do.  I've used a potato masher and this round tool that has sharp edges.  I don't know what it's for, but it works very well on soap.

4.  Once it's all a powder, you should have about 1 cup of powdered soap.  Add 1 cup of borax, 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup oxygen powder if desired.  I've made it both ways, and I like it with the oxy clean better.  You can definitely leave it out or use less if you want.  Give it a good stir to get everything mixed up.

This is what my finished laundry soap looks like.  You can see there are still some bigger pieces of soap,  I've never had a problem with it in my washer.

I use 1 tablespoon per extra large load in my non-HE top load.  I've heard that this works well in an HE washer because it is low suds, but always read your manual before you use it.

After you make this is a great time to clean your microwave.  The soap will make your microwave smell like soap, so I leave the door open to air out and then clean it.  If it still smells, leave the door open overnight.  I've never had the smell linger longer than overnight with the door open.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Valentine's Day Books for Kids

Valentine's Day is coming!  My husband and I aren't big on Valentine's Day for each other.  We used to go out and have a nice dinner and date, but stopped that when we had kids.  Sometimes he will surprise me with roses, but usually we just tell each other Happy Valentine's Day and be done with it.  The kids, however, do love Valentine's Day.  We don't get them gifts except maybe a piece of candy, but we have fun dressing in red or pink clothes--the boys usually wear a shirt of something they love instead.  Since we homeschool now, there are no class parties.  Instead, we will celebrate by reading books about Valentine's Day and making fun crafts.  Here's my top picks for Valentine's Day books for kids.

Valentine's Day Books for Kids

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.

Llama Llama I Love You
Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day Is Cool
My Fuzzy Valentine (Sesame Street)
Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart
Day It Rained Hearts
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Minnie's Valentine
Hug Time Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George
The Valentine Star (The Kids of the Polk Street School)

The Biggest Valentine Ever
Alvin and the Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Valentine
I Love You, Snugglesaurus! (Made with Love)
The Very Fairy Princess: Valentines from the Heart
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime (Junie B. Jones #14)
Little Critter: Happy Valentine's Day, Little Critter!
Peek-a-Boo, I Love You!
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown
Valentine's Day Books for Kids

The Berenstain Bears' Valentine Party Snowy Valentine
Te Amo / I Love You: Bilingual Spanish English Edition
The Valentine Bears
104 Funny Valentine Day Knock Knock Jokes 4 kids: Jokes 4 kids
Children Books: Happy Valentine's Day to You!: Cute Short Stories for Kids, Valentine's Day Activities, and Funny Jokes for Kids
Star Wars: A Very Vader Valentine's Day
Doc McStuffins My Huggy Valentine
Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse!
Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

LEGO Creativity Tour Review

Back in October, I mentioned that I was given four tickets to the LEGO Creativity Tour in Columbus, Ohio, for November.  My husband and I took our three kids, and we had so much fun!  It was in downtown Columbus at the Columbus Convention Center.  They had it in a very large room sectioned off into several smaller sections.  The show lasted three hours, which was plenty of time to see everything.

When we walked in, we were greeted by some awesome LEGO sculptures.  They had super heroes, animals, and favorite LEGO characters.  I think I have a photo of at least one of my kids next to each one.

HELP!  I'm being stepped on by a tiger :)

Using the Force on Darth Maul.  His favorite was actually Chewy, which you can see in the background.

Uh, oh.  Miss Koti Beth is being eaten by a dinosaur!

After we had fun marveling at the sculptures, we started looking at the exhibits  The kids and I spent time building with LEGO bricks to make these masterpieces.  They hung them all up so you could see all of them at the end of the night.

My oldest made the mountain, my middle one made Chewy, and my youngest made the castle.  The flowers are mine.

We browsed the LEGO store for a minute then we headed to another build area.  My daughter was so happy that there was a LEGO Friends section.  She built a house, and she got a little LEGO pack to take home!  Thank you, LEGO.  It's so nice to see girls being encouraged in STEM fields.

In the center of the room, there was a huge pile of LEGO bricks for a huge group build.  The kids loved being part of a group project.

Then we headed to the race car section.  The kids could build their own cars and race them down small tracks.

We all had so much fun at the LEGO Creativity Tour.  We will definitely be going back next year!
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A Star Wars Christmas

To say that my kids are excited for the new Star Wars movie is a gross understatement.   I thought they owned every Star Wars item there was, but I was so wrong.  I found these great Star Wars Christmas items, and of course they want them all!  If you have a Star Wars fan in your house, you'll definitely want some of these to decorate for the holiday.




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