Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Necklace Organization

Necklaces are hard to store no matter what.  I don't have many because I am too self-conscious about my thyroidectomy scar.  Now that my scar is getting less noticeable I would like to get more as I am able.  Storage in a jewelry box is just too dark, cubbie slots seem to tangle.  I was browsing around the web and found these great solutions.

What is your favorite?

A Vinyl wall decal of a Willow branch with tacks to hold the necklaces, how awesome is that?  Art and practicality combined!

A toilet paper/paper towel holder turned jewelry organizer.

Fashion knobs of your choice.

A curtain rod and shower curtain hooks.  Very clever!

Re-purpose a cutlery tray.

So, How do you store your necklaces?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Family Rules

As a working mom with six kids (actually only five now that my oldest flew the coop and left for college last week, boo hoo) I understand that boundaries are an absolute MUST!  No ifs, ands, ors or buts!  
I thought I would share some great "Family Rules" I have found throughout the web.  Some are available for purchase through different Etsy sources, one is a free printable.  I think all of these are terrific.  
Especially the ones that include Jesus!

Wouldn't you love to have one of these hanging in your home.
I know I would!  

Let's start with my favorite:

$25.99 from Alexander Creative
I adore this!  Perhaps for my birthday?


All these crafters are very talented.  I applaud you!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Free Kindle - Prayers for Today

At the time of this posting there are a few free Kindle books at Amazon that look very interesting.  I downloaded them!  Be sure to check and make sure they are still free before you check out!!

Prayers for Today Sampler: A Yearlong Journey of Contemplative Prayer [Kindle Edition]

Kurt Bjorklund 

A 30-day sample collection of classic and contemporary prayers, some derived from Scripture and others from the writings of Christian leaders throughout the centuries, invites readers into a daily experience of closer intimacy with God. Each day's entry focuses on one of ten traditional types of prayer:
* Prayers of Thanksgiving
* Prayers of Confession
* Prayers of Affirmation
* Prayers of Petition
* Prayers of Renewal
* Prayers of Praise and Adoration
* Prayers to Have Christ-like Character
* Prayers for Wisdom and Guidance
* Prayers of Intercession
* Prayers of Surrender
Prayers for Today guides readers through a unique kind of spiritual pilgrimage, a pilgrimage toward the very throne room of God. For any reader who's ever wanted more out of prayer or who's ever hungered for a greater sense of God's presence, Prayers for Today promises deepened communion with the One who treasures the words and longings of His people.

Get the complete edition with 260 entries-- enough for every weekday of an entire year-- of Prayers for Today in print and eBook version today!   Available HERE

When Hummers Dream: A Milford-Haven Story [Kindle Edition]

Mara Purl 
Can a hummingbird dream? Artist Miranda Jones thinks so. Sensing the tiny injured bird that wings its way into her world still lives, she paints the creature's dream-garden and seems to reach into his very heart. She reached into her own heart to create a new life for herself in Milford-Haven, the small town of undiscovered beauty on California's Central Coast, where one of her dear friends is environmentalist Samantha Hugo-a brilliant PhD twenty years her senior who gave up a son years earlier. Though the e-book stands alone, it also introduces Book 1 of the Milford-Haven Novels, the critically acclaimed, popular series, a multi-generational saga. Based on Purl's BBC Radio drama Milford-Haven U.S.A.
Again, make sure they are still free when you purchase,  prices can change at any time.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Healthy Meals For Less: A Review

Jonni McCoy
Bethany House

My Thoughts: In these rough economic times saving a buck on the weekly food budget is the easiest way to help out the family budget. I am a working mother with six children at home and my time is extremely valuable.

Each recipe has Nutritional information and all main courses have a cost per serving of less than $1.00. The author even includes vegetarian recipes and crock pot meals.

All recipes are simple enough for cooks of all experience levels. Some of the recipes that caught my eye are:

Tandori Chicken
Crock Lasagna
Pull-Apart Chicken
English Muffins
Cosmic Caramel Corn
Cracker Faddle

I recommend this book. It was previously published in cookbook was previously published in 2002 under the title "Miserly Meals", so if you already have that cookbook, there won't be any new material.   Five Stars if you don't have the other cookbook

Publisher's Synopsis: In this easy-to-use, make-it-from-scratch cookbook, Jonni McCoy, the original Miserly Mom, demonstrates that inexpensive meals can be both nutritious and mouth-watering. She offers proof that living well without spending is doable. Originally published as Miserly Meals, every recipe includes the price per serving and a nutritional analysis. Kitchen tips are an added bonus with every recipe. Simple soups, slow-cook dishes, breakfast ideas, vegetarian options, snacks, gifts from the kitchen, and more will make this the busy mom's most-used cookbook.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Bethany House exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pinterest Picks: Ingenious Ideas

If you haven't discovered Pinterest yet, you are really missing out!  If you need an invite shoot me an email!  It is inspiring (yet addictive). 

Here are some pins off my "Ingenious Ideas" Pinboard.

Top, Left - Fruit Fly Trap via The Idea Room pinned by Tammy
A super, nearly free way to get rid of pesky fruit flies!

Top, Right - Mop Flip Flops via Marie-Louise pinned by Kris Thompson
I am endlessly scooting around on dishrags around my kitchen floor, 
these would be so cool and I am sure the kids would fight over who gets that chore.

Bottom, Left - Reisenthel Easy Bags via Reuse It (dot) com pinned by Laura Gonzalez
Great way to "be green" and keeping purchases corralled in the Suburban too.

Bottom, Right - Scissor Lock via Image Fave pinned by Tina Poulson
I don't know about you but I have kiddos that like to cut their own hair!!  
Why didn't I ever think of this clever idea??

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kids' Bible Handbook: A Review

Title: Kids' Bible Handbook
By Tracy M. Summer
Barbour Publishing Inc.

My Thoughts: This is a valuable resource for all parents and Christian educators. Beautifully illustrated and jam packed full of all kinds of valuable, relevant information this informative book goes through each chapter of the bible. The Kid's Bible Handbook is aimed at Children aged between 8-12yrs of age. The stories are captivating and every adults can benefit from this book. This Handbook covers topics and questions like , why there are 66 Books in the bible, some of the stories it covers are: Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark and Joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat. Also included are memory verses (Power Words) for your child to remember.

From Genesis (“In the beginning”) to Revelation (The final “Amen”), the Kids’ Bible Handbook is a great resource will provide your entire family with entertaining, informative and educational reading experience. A perfect addition to a Home School Library. If you desire for your children to understand the Bible, enjoy reading and understand why it is so important to read it this is the book for you! 

Five Stars

Publisher's Synopsis: Help your kids understand scripture’s big picture with Kids’ Bible Handbook. This fully-illustrated guide for 8-to-12-year-olds provides age-appropriate, faith-building details on the greatest Book of all! Featuring a Genesis through Revelation tour, Kids’ Bible Handbookbreaks the 66 books down into memorable segments: “In the Beginning” (Genesis through Deuteronomy), “His Story and Their Story” (Joshua through Esther), “Wise Words to Live By” (Job through Song of Solomon), and so on. “How Did We Get This Book, Anyway?” describes the Bible’s history, while kid-friendly sidebars feature important verses, places, and applications. Intriguing trivia adds to the fun, and it’s all wrapped up in a bright, colorful package that kids will love.

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title for review purposes, free of charge, from  NetGalley. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. This Review is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

DIY Feather Extensions

Miranda just celebrated her eleventh birthday this weekend!  Yay Miranda!  One of the things she wanted with her birthday money is a feather extension.  We went down to the Antique store and she picked out a feather and had the worker crimp the bead into her hair.  She looks ADORABLE. Now I want one!  It was 12.99 for one little feather!!  AGH!!!  McLaughlin Designs has a great tutorial on how to do your own feather extensions!! HERE along with links of where to purchase supplies!  Go check it out! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sad momma First child off

Sad day for me.  We just left Josh, my oldest, off at college. Boy 18 years already!  I couldn't hold back the tears!  We love you Josh. Have a great freshman year.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cutie Pies: A Review

Author: Dani Cone
Publisher: Andrews McMeal Publishing

My Thoughts: Who doesn’t adore pie? This adorable little book has pies, pies in jar, flip pies, petit pies and pie pops! Dani Cone is the owner of the High 5 Pie Bakery in Seattle, WA. Using her Grandma Molly’s all-butter pie crust recipe, she started a bakery to share her passion for the perfect but easily attainable pie, sweet and savory.

This book has 40 wonderful recipes. Beautiful full-color photos of every single recipe will have your mouth watering. My first to try list includes: Chocolate Cream Pie (my husbands absolute favorite), Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie (for our six children), Caramel-Pecan Pie Pops (for me) and Campfire S’mores Petit-5s (for the entire family)

I highly recommend Cutie Pies as a wonderful addition to any kitchen!

**** Four Stars

Publishers Synopsis: Praised by Bon App├ętit, DailyCandy, and Sunset magazine, the secrets behind Dani Cone's signature handmade, all-natural miniature pies are revealed for the first time inside Cutie Pies: 40 Sweet, Savory, and Adorable Recipes. Whether you're grabbing the perfectly portable Flipside on the way to work, enjoying a Piejar as a tasty afternoon treat, or looking for a fun and impressive dinner party dessert, Cutie Pies provides the perfect morsels to satisfy sweet and savory cravings alike.

Inside Cutie Pies, Cone presents 40 exclusive recipes inspired by the unique line of compact pastries she serves at her Seattle-based Fuel Coffee and High 5 Pie locations, which have received a Best of Seattle Weekly award. Sweet, one-of-a-kind treats like a Mango-Raspberry-Lemon Piepop mingle with savory recipes like Cone's Curry Veggie Piejar, all in a distinct and delightful design.

Cutie Pies is illustrated throughout with more than 20 mouthwatering, full-color photographs, and its contemporary fashion and straightforward recipes enable bakers everywhere to create these tiny treats with big flavor.
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this e-galley for review purposes, free of charge, from Andrews McMeal Publishing via NetGalley ! No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. This Review is my honest opinion.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully: A Review

Author: Audrey Penn
Illustrator: Barbara K. Gibson
Publisher: Tanglewood

My Thoughts:

This is a beautifully illustrated 32-page picture book that shares one example of how children (in this case raccoons) find the courage and strength to handle a bullying situation. Bullying is a problem in many schools and can take many forms that can have an everlasting impression that can devastate a child. The moral of this story is to find the goodness in someone (mainly the bully) and to offer them something they may need.

This is definitely not the answer for all bullying! Absolutely not. Some cases definitely require a harsher approach (coming from the mom of six). But if you have youngster just beginning school (I have a new Kindergardener this fall) I think this book is a terrific way to introduce the problem of bullying. This great book will open up a dialogue between parent and child that can be very beneficial. I will definitely be reading this with my youngest several times before school begins in two weeks. I will also explain how important it is to confide in an adult.

I highly recommend Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully!

Publishers Synopsis: In this latest addition to the Kissing Hand book collection, Chester Raccoon must learn to deal with another common problem of childhood: a bully at school.

When Mrs. Raccoon learns that there is a bully problem at school, she decides to investigate the situation. But after seeing the bully for herself, she shares a story about a forest that was full of smooth yellow stones, and how the animals living there changed a pointy stone they found into a smooth stone so that it wouldn't hurt any tender paws.

Chester, Ronny, and Cassy follow the spirit of Mrs. Raccoon's story when they next encounter the Bully. Approaching him as a group, they invite him toplay, proving that the best way to get rid of an enemy is to make him or her a friend.

This book encourages children to understand that many child bullies are themselves unhappy and gives readers a good example of settling differences by peaceful means. Educators will embrace this story about a positive strategy for dealing with a bully.

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this e-galley for review purposes, free of charge, from Tanglewood Publishing via NetGalley. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. This Review is my true and honest opinion.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Right Way to Clean a Coffee Pot

Coffee is wonderful but you must have a clean pot, good coffee and good water in order for it to be tasty.   I thought I would show you my chemical and cleaner free way I clean my coffee pot!

Step One - Rinse the pot.
Step Two - Cut a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in half and insert into said pot.
Step Three - Use some sort of instrument to rub the eraser around all the interior surfaces of same pot. (My weapon of choice today is my ruler off my desk)
Step Four - "Erase" the outside of the pot.
Step Five - Rinse out same pot.

Ta Da! 

Note: I used the same half eraser for the last two and a half years but grabbed a new one for the photo tutorial.  Now if I could get him to stop buying Folgers Brand I would actually drink the coffee.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sales Tax Holiday Dates

As a working mom of six I have to seriously plan for the Back to School Financial Crunch each year.   Back to School can easily destroy a budget. especially with my oldest beginning college and three kids in Junior High School this year.  I always look forward to the "Tax Free" days of back to school shopping but I always seem to have trouble finding those dates.

See if your state is participating in offering tax free purchases of certain items.  Every state is different regarding the date and the items that may be purchased "tax free".

 Here it is:



Items Included

Maximum Cost



Information Links
clothing - $100
computers - $750
school supplies - $50
books - $30
August 5-7
Arkansas2clothing - $100
school supplies
2011August 6-7
clothing and footwear - $300
August 21-27
school supplies - $15
books, clothing - $75
August 12-14
clothing - $100
August 5-6
all TPP - $2,500
August 5-6
hurricane preparedness items - $1,500
May 28-29
firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies
September 2-4
clothing & footwear - $1002010August 14-20
energy star products2011Feb. 19-21, 2011
all TPP - $2,5002008August 13-14
clothing & footwear - $100
July 29-30
energy star products - $1,5002009April 19-25
clothing - $100
computers - $3,500
school supplies - $50
August 5-7
New Mexico
clothing - $100
computers - $1,000
school supplies - $15
August 5-7
North Carolina
clothing - $100
school supplies - $100
instructional material - $300
computers - $3,500
other comp. - $250
sports equip - $50
August 5-7
clothing - $100
August 5-7
South Carolina
school supplies
August 5-7
clothing - $100
school supplies - $100
computers - $1,500
August 5-7
clothing, backpacks and school supplies- $100
August 19-21
energy star products
air conditioners - $6,000; other - $2,000
May 28-30
hurricane preparedness items - $60
generators - $1,000 
May 25-31
clothing - $100
school supplies - $20
August 5-7
energy star products - $2,500
October 7-10

Hopefully this list will make it easier to plan your back to school shopping.  I found it here.

John Frieda Root Awakening Free Sample

You can get a FREE sample of John Frieda Root Awakening when you fill out the short form HERE. Sample is courtesy of Walmart and available while supplies last.  I requested mine!  Hurry these will not last long.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Scunci Pony Wrap: Review

This is how I wear my hair to work most everyday:

(Aren't I gorgeous? No, this is not me)

It is so simple to do this style and my hair weather curly of straight always is under control.  I use a simple tool my mom had been given.  It looks like this:

This item is so easy to use.  My problem is I lost mine!!!  Yes I inadvertently left it at my sister in law's home in Louisiana last month.  I miss it every single day.  This weekend I am going to find another one, I hope. In this little country town I just may have to wait until I can make the hour long trip into Humble.

This product is available from Scunci and available on their website with the following simple instructions:

  • Follow these quick and easy steps to create an elegant ponytail wrap, using your own hair, without any pins. 1. Pull your hair back into a ponytail, but before you wrap your elastic around the hair, pull a section of hair out from the bottom of your ponytail. This section of hair will be your “wrap strand” that you will wrap around your ponytail, on top of the hair elastic. 2. Put your hair elastic around your ponytail as you normally would, being careful to leave the “wrap strand” free. 3. Insert the thick end (the end without the loop) of the hair tool straight through the center of the ponytail, from the top down, through the center of the elastic. Stop when the loop end of the pony wrap tool is just above your ponytail. 4. Wrap the pulled “wrap strand” of hair around the elastic. Continue wrapping until there is approximately 2” of hair left at the end. 5. Slide the “wrap strand” end into the loop of the tool between the hook and longer straight piece. 6. With one hand, hold the "wrap strand" securely in the eye of the hook. 7. Using your other hand, gently pull the hair tool completely through the elastic and out of the bottom portion of your ponytail. 8. Your “wrap strand” will now be threaded through the middle of your ponytail and securely in place. It’s as easy as that!
I actually use a small section from the bottom of my already contained pony, not like the directions above.  I will have to try it this way now.  It is so simple and anyone can do it even children but it make the normal everyday ponytail look clean and a little more sophisticated.  If you have long hair, try it.

Note:  I was not compensated in any way for this review I just love the product.  I was not furnished one from Scunci. I wish I had been though since I lost my beloved tool!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pinterest Picks - Green

I adore green.  It is my favorite color.  I have not used it in my home though.  I guess I am a scaredycat wimp.  Below are some of my green Pinterest picks.  How bold, clean, crisp and beautiful all of them are.  Maybe after seeing these I can be confident enough to use green as an accent paint color or throw pillows first.  Just beautiful.  To see all my Pinterest clicks click here.

Upper Left - Cove Road
Upper Right - Shower Room
Middle Left -  Divine Kitchens
Middle Right - Creative Home Ideas
Bottom Right - Carnival Bright Bathroom

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pinterest Picks: Paths

Today I thought I would share with you four of my Pinterest Pins on my "Paths" Board

Top Left - A Way in the Forest (via Wallpapersdb)
Top Right - A Magical Place (via Wunderground)
Bottom Left - (Via Tumblr)
Bottom Right - (No Source)