Friday, May 23, 2008

Frugal Fridays - Cutting Hair

I think I have already mentioned that things are going to get a little more tight in our budget starting in September so we've been looking at ways that we can cut things out of our budget. One of the smaller things in our budget that really adds up over the year is getting hair cuts. Because Erik is in the military he needs to have his hair cut pretty regularly (usually every 4 weeks). And then the boys are usually every 6-8 weeks. At a cost of $10 each per cut even if we estimate on the low end that is around $240 a year and could be as much as $300-$360!

So, I purchased this Wahl Clipper set:

But I didn't pay for it with cash. I am a member of MyPoints and I used my points to purchase an Amazon gift card that covered the cost of this. So...I got the clippers for free and I will probably save at least $200-300 per year.

I clipped the boys hair yesterday. Here are a few before and after photo's:

First Bennett before...
And after! His was a little easier than Aiden. Bennett has very fine hair that all grows straight. Aiden however has thicker hair with all kinds of cowlicks!

Not too bad for my first try!

And they are shirtless because the wouldn't keep on the bib to keep the hair off and both were so itchy!

And here's Aiden before...

And after!

I am pretty proud of my hair cutting skills! As tough as Aiden's came out pretty good!

My frugal friday tip for you...first join mypoints to earn lots of free points! And then go and get yourself a set of clippers (especially if you have boys) and cut their hair yourself!

Check out more frugal friday tips over at!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday - Going to the Library

Going to the library regularly is truly something that works for me. Reading all of these amazing blogs I have discovered a huge amount of recommended titles. I LOVE books. Did I say Love...LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. My husband calls me a book addicted. And I love to read them even more than I love having them. However, we are on a limited income so I cannot just go out and buy every book I want to read. This is where the library comes in!

We usually go to the library once a week or every other week. Not only do I LOVE to go but so do my boys. They also love books. Love to flip through them and love to have them read to them. They really enjoy going to the library with me to pick out a few books just for them to take out.

When someone recommends a title that I think I will enjoy I check to see if any of the local libraries might have it. I really like the whole read before you buy idea. That way I get an idea if I will REALLY like it or not. If the local libraries don't have it I check with other libraries to see if I can get it through interlibrary loan. This is usually the case.

Most of the time if I really enjoy a book I can just occassionally take it out here & there or jot ideas down from the book. Other times though...I absolutely must have a copy to refer to as often as I might need to (i.e. Nourishing Traditions). There are a number of different ways that I get my books as cheaply (of free) as I possibly can. Check back with me for next weeks Works for Me Wednesday to find out how!

And for other ideas of what is working for others make sure to stop by Rocks in My Dryer and maybe even share an idea or two of your own!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday

Last week didn't go quite as planned for my tackle. The weather was so beautiful all week we just wanted to play outside ALL the time. I did get a few things done outside that needed doing though.

The garden is almost in. Erik borrowed our neighbors tiller and we got the garden tilled. We laid out almost all the logs for the borders for our raised beds. We will finish this up on Erik's days off this coming weekend.

For this week I am going to keep working on the clothing situation as we are supposed to be getting rain in the afternoons this week.

And here are the other two tackles I need to work on.


I need to do something with all these apples!

I made my first purchase (thanks to our friends from church) from Crown O' Maine. They are a cooperative that provides all Maine grown items (mostly organic) to their members. This is the last batch of apples until the fall. We recently ran out of applesauce so I plan to make more and am not sure what else just yet.

And then...there is my office. This is no excuse because it was bad before this but I had two events this past weekend totalling about 17-18 hrs on my feet. I was a little tired so when I got home I pretty much dumped eveything on the floor in my office. I don't have anything scheduled for a while so I need to get things staightened up.
And Erik put these lovely shelves in the clothest so that I have more room to store things. I also now have a second file cabinet. Not to mention my new laser all in one machine that I haven't even taken the time to hook up yet.

And the floor...that's all of my filing right there...needs to move to the filing cabinet.

And all the books need to move back onto the book case.

Lot's of tackles this week (probably wont all get finished but I will keep plugging away at it!
Stop in next week to find out what I've finished and what else I need to tackle.


Tiny Talk Tuesday

I have two really cute things that Aiden said this last week!

First...I was not witness to this one. My parents were up and were sitting outside with Erik and the boys. Aiden came over and told them he was going to tell them a story about a boy named Bennett who didn't listen. He preceded to go on about how Bennett didn't listen to Mommy & Daddy and he ran out into the road and was squished as flat as a pancake. I'm not sure where he has heard this before because I don't believe we have ever told him a car could squish him as flat as a pancake but who knows! The really funny part though was after he told the story Aiden says, "I don't like kid pancakes!" LOL!! And what does my father say, "They are crunchy." I'm am going second hand on this because I was not there so I might be off by a bit. Too funny.

Yesterday Erik and I had to go to the local hospital to get some blood work done that we've been putting off (just general health, cholestoral, CBC, etc.). They were still doing my paperwork when they called Erik in for his blood draw so he took Aiden in with him. He thought the whole thing was pretty interesting. Aiden is going to need to go for blood work later this week so I mentioned this too him when he came out and asked if he would like to go in an watch while they took my blood. He was all excited to go. While we were in the lab I was talking with him about giving blood and again talked about him giving some blood later this week. He looks up at me and says, "But Momma, I don't want anyone stealing ANY of my blood."

Bennett continues on his talking spree. He NEVER stops talking. We can understand probably half now. He hasn't said anything really funny this week though.

Stop back next week to see what other funny things my kids are saying!

And don't forget to stop by Not Before 7 to share about your kids or to read some other funny things.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

I apologize! I completely forgot to post this yesterday! Please forgive me!

I wanted to start off this week with a few links. Unfortunately, I did not make a note of the blog I found them on so if you have these up please share with us in the comments!

The 10 Best Foods Your Not Eating

8 Foods You Should Eat Every Day

These are both short slide shows about different foods that are excellent for your health. I've been focusing a lot on more healthful eating. We've started soaking our grains. I am cooking a lot more from scratch. We've started to purchase raw milk. There are a ton of EXCELLENT blogs out there to help you get started with more healthy menus and cooking. Here are a few of my favorites:

Stephanie over at Keeper of the Home

Laura at Heavenly Homemakers

Kimi at The Nourishing Gourmet

Lindsay at Passionate Homemaker

These are my hands down favorite blogs in general and for cooking. They run great informative series and are just an inspiration for a young family like ours and to a mom that is somewhat new to homemaking. Definitely check them out!

For new recipes last week we tried out the Cheesy Beef & Rice recipe from Heavenly Homemakers & it was a huge hit with everyone but my 4 yr old. Right now he is not eating much of anything so that is not a surprise. He wont even eat Pizza anymore, which he used to LOVE. Hubby has asked me to make it again and often!

I didn't remember to get the turkey out of the freezer so we didn't have the Roast Turkey as planned. Let me run and do that now so that we can have it sometime this week.

We also never got to the Spud Special Soup from Keeper of the Home. We might try to do that again sometime this week as a lunch meal maybe. We did do the Arroz con Pollo while my parents were up visiting. I tried to use my big cast iron dutch oven on the stove top to cook it but that didn't work so well. The rice in the middle cooked really fast and the rice on the outside didn't cook at all. I am thinking I will use precooked rice in this from now on so that I only have to wait for the chicken to finish cooking. And I finally made the Asparagus Quiche for breakfast Sunday morning. It was absolutely delicious!!

This is going to be a pretty basic week and I'd like to cook from my pantry. Erik is going to be taking a pretty significant pay cut come September so we really need to cut back on our grocery spending budget. This is going to be VERY hard because this is the time of year I love to go to the farmers market and buy all kinds of lovely produce! We are planning to get our garden in this weekend so we will hopefully have a few things growing soon. We are starting from scratch this year because we had planned to move last year so didn't do a garden. And we let the whole thing grow over

Monday - Was pizza on the grill

Tuesday - I have a meeting & Erik is working so I will have Emma (our baby sitter) heat up leftover pizza or make grilled cheese for the boys.

Wednesday - Breakfast for Dinner (Omelets)

Thursday - Rice jumble (Rice, ground beef or goat, onions, peppers, garlic, tomato sauce and maybe a little cheese)

Friday - Roast Turkey and I think I will make these Spinach Mashed Potatoes with it.

Saturday - Turkey quesadillas

Sunday - Turkey Soup

Monday - Cookout

Make sure you head over to for more menu ideas or to share your ideas.