Monday, September 9, 2013

"Discipleship & Discipline" Webinar with Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson: Only $17.99!!!

When I asked a friend recently what books she has read that have encouraged and challenged her heart as a woman & mom, "Desperate" by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson was top on the list. I have a confession: I had never heard of either author, but after purchasing the book on Amazon last week, I have a feeling I am going to be soaking up books from both women for awhile. It has been an incredible drink of fresh water for this season of life for me right now! I long to embrace who I am as a woman, continue to discover the type mom God created me to be, create a home that shows my husband and children the love & grace of Jesus on a daily basis, and build our family with intentionality (is that even a word? If not, I'm using it anyway).

God's timing is perfect... right after being introduced to these two humble, godly women, I saw that they will be having a webinar called "Discipleship & Discipline" this week (Tuesday-Friday, Sept. 10th-13th). I am so thirsty to walk life with other mothers of young children, and learn from older women who have walked this journey before me! In this webinar, which will be from 9pm-10pm EST each night, they will discuss (and you can read the full descriptions of each session here):

- Laying a Foundation of Love (Sally Clarkson)
- Loving the Wild One (Sarah Mae)
- Dealing with Our Junk So We Can Parent with Clarity (Sarah Mae)
- Heartfelt Disipline/Your Parenting Questions Answered Q&A (Sally Clarkson)

Along with getting to attend the live webinar every evening (and then having "on demand" access--that never expires-- afterwards if you can't make one of the sessions), you will get:

  • Four days of teaching & conversation with Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae via live Webinar
  • Five daily emails with inspiration, key readings and other resources
  • The opportunity to ask Sally your parenting questions
  • My 24 Family Ways PDF Packet
  • The UnWired Mom eBook
  • Core Lies eBook
Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae want as many moms as possible to be able to be encouraged & challenged, so they not only removed the time restrictions some of us have (by making this online versus just a physical location), but they have made registration only $17.99 a person

Are you looking to be encouraged, refreshed, challenged, and given hope in your motherhood journey? That is what my heart is crying out for, so I am so excited to be able to attend this this week, and want to share it with as many of y'all as I can!!! If this is some of what your heart is longing for as well, you can sign-up here.

Enjoy your week!

* This post contains my affiliate link.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Favorite Homemade Cleaner #3: Bathroom Soap Scum Remover

For the last five years my husband and I rented a home that was built in 1969 and was mostly the original appliances/fixtures. Including a bathtub that had been converted to a shower as well. And there were dark rings in the tub that I have never been able to remove. I've tried Ajax, Comet, Total, Soft Scrub, SOS pads, Scrubbing Bubbles... nothing has ever gotten that tub white again.

Right before we moved, I was deep-cleaning the bathroom and ran across this soap scum remover recipe posted by Passionate Penny Pincher and decided to give the tub one last try.

I couldn't believe it. It worked. I called my mom. My mother-in-law. My friends. My sisters. I've cleaned toilets with it, other bathtubs, rings around sink drains... and it just keeps on surprising me by working!

Going to warn you, since it contains a lot of vinegar, it is strong. But worth the smell. Just open a window or turn on a fan. And be amazed!

Thanks, Passionate Penny Pincher!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Road Trip Food: Homemade Cereal Bars


What would a road trip be without some kind of yummy snack? So my fun "extra" to take along with us are some homemade cereal bars.

Back in the fall my husband and I were brainstorming some healthy snack options... we both love granola bars (I've loved making our own over the last year), but I have a sweet-tooth and those don't always quite meet the craving. I like the various trail mix & cereal bars, so I decided to try making some at home since I've found great deals on boxes of cereal with coupons/sales. Basically using the Rice Crispy Treat recipe on the bag (1 bag of marshmallows melted w/ 3 tablespoons of butter, mixed with 6 cups of cereal), I've come up with all kinds of combos.

Today I made a batch using Kashi's GoLean Crunch Toasted Berry Crumble (is that a long enough name, or what?). And they taste amazing... I would add a little bit more cereal next time since they are gooier than usual, but overall it was a hit. I added sprinkles on top just to make them special for the kids.

Other cereals we've used have been Cheerios Multigrain, Cheerios Multigrain with Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Toast Crunch (regular & peanut butter), Cheerios Medley something... Basically, whatever you think sounds good. Some of the things I have added (not all these at once... just a few in a combo at a time) are:

- chocolate chips
- chopped almonds/pecans
- raisins
- dried cranberries
- dried banana chips
- cinnamon
- a few tablespoons of peanut butter mixed in with the butter/marshmallows
- chocolate drizzled on top
- nuts crushed across the bottom of the pan (before the mixture is poured, so it creates a crunchy crust)

What would be some other fun additions? Do you have a good cereal bar recipe?

Road Trip Food: Homemade "Uncrustables" (Frozen PB&J Sandwiches)


After a morning on the beach and getting hot & sandy, neither preparing nor eating lunchmeat sandwiches sounds good, so instead I'm using it as a great reason to make another batch of Homemade "Uncrustables", or for those of you without kids under the age of ten, frozen peanut butter & jelly sandwiches without crusts, that thaw and are ready to eat by lunchtime

I make these probably once a month, they make such easy toddler lunches (and to be honest, mommy/daddy late night snacks) and since we are currently living with my parents during our time of transition from Ohio to Texas, I got to use her Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal... it worked AMAZING and I have added it to my kitchen wish list. :-) Or the Wonder sandwich cutter mentioned here. Anyway, before I just cut them into squares and crimped the edges with a fork. This was a gazillion times faster and neater... Oh, and I discovered in my last batch (seriously, trial & error teaches me so much!) that it is also really easy when I use the squirt bottle of jelly...

One more day until we're on the beach! Maybe, just maybe, "mommy" is as excited to get away as the kids...

Road Trip Meal Plan (Beach Edition)


So we're getting away for 24 hours this week to have some family time and introduce our kids to the gorgeous Texas Gulf Coast... well, it's not exactly the Caribbean, but it's sandy beaches and salty water. And since I'm a native Texan, I can't wait to introduce my kids to some local spots I visited in my childhood.

Keeping this trip on the frugal side, here's the meal plan for our five meals on the road:

Breakfast #1: Homemade "Egg McMuffins" (me and my husband, Nathan) and whole wheat banana nut mini-muffins (the kids)

Lunch #1: Homemade "Uncrustables", chips, and oranges

Supper #1: Barbecue Pulled Pork sandwiches in the crockpot (warming during afternoon quiet time in the hotel), carrots & dip, homemade cereal bars

Breakfast #2: the hotel continental breakfast

Lunch #2: lunchmeat & cheese sandwiches, chips, grapes & apples (heading home after lunch)

Supper #2: DiGiorno pizza at home so we can unpack and clean up! :-)

CVS Facebook Freebie: Coupon for FREE full-size bottle of body wash



This won't last long: Head over the CVS Minute Clinic Facebook page and sign up for a FREE full-size bottle of body wash!

Thanks, Passionate Penny Pincher!

Road Trip Food: Homemade "Egg McMuffins"



We have been in a countdown the last week for our beach trip... My anxious 3yr. old son keeps asking, "Are we going to the beach now?" And today I got to tell him "Two more nights!"

We're squeezing in a 24 hr. beach trip later this week... Trying to catch some sand time before it gets blazing hot here on the Texas Gulf Coast, and before all the schools are officially let out everywhere. We're trying to make this a super-frugal trip, so I'm planning out meals and snacks to take with us.

I really, really love stopping for breakfast at McDonald's when we take road trips. But they don't have toddler-friendly breakfast items, and we could get to the beach quicker if we don't stop. Not to mention save some money. So I'm trying these Egg McMuffin sandwiches I saw on Pinterest... I tried the ones where you bake the egg in a muffin tin, then freeze, but didn't like how they tasted when they were thawed. So I'm trying  this new recipe...

I'll let you know how they turned out when we warm them up Thursday morning! For the kids, I'm packing some of their favorite banana bread mini-muffins... I know those will be a hit!

Favorite Homemade Cleaner #2.5: "Little Helper" Cleaner


If you have a little toddler who likes to "help" you around the house, try mixing some "cleaner" for your little helper. I am trying to learn how to include my son and daughter with tasks around the house, especially because they often want to help. I would be crazy to tell them no... Within reason, of course. But simple things like wiping counters, their little plastic picnic table, toys (Levi apparently thought his race tracks needed cleaning), etc... they can help.

Buy a cheap spray bottle (look in the travel section at Target or Walmart and you can find them for $1).

Mix 1 cup of water with 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the spray bottle.

Give them a rag or paper towel and let them work alongside you. Vinegar will be perfectly harmless if it gets on skin or is taste-tested by your helper...

I'm working on looking at my kids' hearts. Daily tasks often take longer with their "help" but I'm trying to find creative ways to invest in them. Got to take it one day at a time!

Favorite Homemade Cleaner #2: Homemade 409



I have two toddlers, 18m & 3 yrs. old.

In this season of life, depending on the day, I deal with lots of germs, sniffles, sticky fingers, spilled messes, along with the normal house cleaning that goes with keeping places like the kitchen and bathroom tidy. And I have two tiny tots who love to "help" me in those tasks.

So since I'd already gotten my feet wet in the world of making my own laundry detergent, I figured I could try this 409 recipe I saw over at the Frugal Girls... I now had Borax, which meant I had all the ingredients on hand! That felt like a first! (the other ingredients are white vinegar, Dawn dish soap, and water)

And I love it. I clean my kitchen counters, tile floors, bathroom counter, the kids table, their toys, outdoor stuff... it's kind of an all-purpose mess-cleaner and germ-killer!

And if you don't have any Dawn dishsoap on hand, go buy some. Don't skip that and try using anything else. Dawn seriously kicks-butt when cleaning. Other soaps just don't work the same.

My favorite spray bottle is from the gardening section in Target. They're $1.99, and I love them because the suction straw on the inside bends all the way down to the bottom of the bottle so you can spray at an angle and not spray air when you're getting low. But any 16oz spray bottle will work.

Thanks, The Frugal Girls!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Groupon: Houston Chronicle Sunday Subscription $25 or $49

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I have been searching for a fantastic deal to subscribe to the Houston Chronicle Sunday newspaper. And Groupon just released it:

- $25 for 26 week Wednesday & Sunday subscription
- $49 for 52 week Wednesday & Sunday subscription

That's a little under $1 a week, so $4 a month. Since I regularly use coupons, that will pay itself off in just a few shopping trips! And I love just having the paper come on Sunday so I don't forget to stop and buy it...

Have fun!

* This post contains my Groupon affiliate link.