July, 2011

3 Natural Cleaning Products You Already Have

In my house we are moving away from conventional chemical cleaners and are using more natural products that do the job just as well and don’t leave you with a headache and feeling like you just had years taken off your life. The bonus is that they are all things you have in your house already!

  1. Baking Soda-Baking Soda is a great mild abrasive, meaning you can use it to scrub things without worrying that it will scratch it. It also makes a great deodorizer- think, trash cans, diaper pails, shoes, the carpet where the cat peed, in the washer, you get the idea. You can pour one cup down the drain followed by one cup hot distilled vinegar to safely unclog your drains without the worry that it will eat through your pipes. Just let it sit for five minutes and rinse with hot water.


  2. White Vinegar– White vinegar is a jack of all trades. You can use it at full strength to disinfect countertops or used with old newspaper you can clean your windows and mirrors, just mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. You can also use it at half strength to clean shelves, cabinet doors and such (think surfaces that aren’t going to have food prepared on them or in the bathroom). If you are worried about the smell fear not. Though there is initially a strong vinegar smell it quickly dissipates as it dries. I have actually come to equate the smell of vinegar to the smell of clean! Pouring it into your laundry works as a whitener as well as helps with static in the dryer.


    Go here are more ideas on how to use vinegar!


  4. Salt– Salt is a rougher abrasive. It works well to clean out your coffee pot. Just add salt, ice and then swoosh it around. The ice applies pressure to the salt since you can’t actually get your had in there to do it yourself. It also works well to get blood out of the clothing. I learn this trick from my dad who used to be a lab tech in the army and always had to have pristine clothes. You want to use cold water on the back side of the fabric (if you scraped your knee while wearing pants, rinse from the outside of the pants in. If you picked up your kid who just scraped their knee and got it on you rinse from the inside out.) Apply salt to the same side that you are rinsing on (you are basically working the stain back out the way it came in.) If you want to you can use the salt on the opposite side as well once you’ve used it thoroughly on the first side. You may need to rinse thoroughly and repeat several times depending on the amount of blood. Then you should just wash as normal. If you are really worried you can use a stain remover before washing if you want to.



Lemons– Lemons are great for whitening. According Martha Stewart Living via Apartmenttherapy.com the following is how you would go about whitening with lemons “To whiten cloth napkins, linens, and even socks, fill a large pot with water, and drop in several slices of lemon. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add the linens, and let them soak for about an hour. Then launder as usual”. They are also great for freshening up your garbage disposal. Just quarter a lemon, toss it down your garbage disposal, turn on the water and let her rip!

All of the above are very inexpensive and easy to keep extras on hand. So next time you go to clean, try using one or all of these and see for yourself how they compare to your favorite cleaners!

I’m linking this to:


 Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Monday Mommy Confession #13

I don’t have a “potty mouth”, but I certainly have “potty” on the brain. Many might think that I’m being obsessive or over the top when I say that I have four, count ’em four potty seats on our house. Why, do you ask, do I have four potty seats? Well let me tell you. I started out with one, just so she could get the idea, then I bought another one that sits on the floor like the first one and one that fits on the toilet in the shape of a turtle (Emma likes Franklin). You see we have two floors that needed a potty chair plus I wanted her to get used to going potty on a real toilet. So why did I buy the forth? Simple, it was $.50 at a garage sale and I wanted a second seat that fit on the toilet. Now we have one in Joel and I’s bathroom, one in the girls’ bathroom and two in the guest bathroom downstairs (one on the floor and one that sits on the toilet). I think we are good on potty chairs now. And what did I pay for all four potty chairs- $9.50 total. Now that’s nothing to stick your nose up at, unless there is poo in them of course!

Great Grocery Deals: July 20th-28th

Here are the best deals advertised this week. There are no coupon match-ups, just what I think are the best deals.


Baker’s –Sale Prices Reflect with Baker’s Plus Card

Dillons Large Eggs 12ct $.99

Fritos9.25-10.5oz or Cheetos 7.75-10.25oz $1.99

Activia Yogurt 4ct $1.88

Kroger Cheese-Shredded, Block, or Sliced 12-16oz or 24 slice $2.99

Starbucks Frappuccino or Double Shot 4ct $4.99

Kellogg’s Cereal-select varieties 10-20oz $1.99

Yellow Peaches $.99/lb

Devore Farm Cantaloupes $1.99 each

Zucchini or Yellow Squash $1.49/lb

Green Beans $1.29/lb

Northwest Red Cherries $2.99/lb

Driscoll Strawberries 16oz $2.50

Driscoll Organic Strawberries 16oz $2.99

Organic Cantaloupes $1.99 Each

10 Item Mega Event (prices listed reflect after 10 item discount)

Pepsi Soft Drinks Select varieties 2lt $.89

Rice A Roni or Pasta Roni 4.2-7.2oz $.49

Kleenex Tissue select varieties 68-184ct $.99

Philadelphia Cream Cheese select varieties 8oz $.99

Pepperidge Farm Bread or Dessert frozen select varieties 9.5-19.6 $2.49

Pepperidge Farm Bread, Bagels or Flat Bread select varieties 12-24oz $2.49

Energizer Max Batteries AA or AAA 4ct $2.49

Scotch-Brite or O-Cel-O Sponges select varieties 1-3ct $2.49

Clorox Bleach Select Varieties 82-96oz $1.29

Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables frozen, select varieties 10-12oz $.99

Colgate Toothpaste select varieties 6.4oz $.99

Vitaminwater select varieties 20oz $.59

Propel Fitness Water select varieties 24oz $.49

Lipton Naturals Select Varieties 20oz $.49

Ozarka Water 3lt $.69

Ocean Spray Craisins 6oz $1.49

Silk Pure Almond or Pure Coconut select varieties-half gallon $2.49 






Hy-Vee 100% Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast $1.59/lb

Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat Bread 20oz $.99 with in ad coupon

Hy-Vee Butter $2.50

Kellogg Cereal-Raisin Bran Crunch 18.2oz, Corn Flakes 24oz, Fiber Plus Berry Yogurt Crunch 15.3oz, Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oat Crunch 11.5oz, Fiber Plus Caramel Crunch 15.5oz $2.50

Hunt’s Ketchup 24oz $.69

Country Fare Bathroom Tissue 4ct $.69

Stemilt Anjou Pears $.99/lb

Fresh Green Beans $.97/lb

Midwest Grown Tomatoes $.88/lb

Fresh Blueberries 1pint $1.99


Bag ‘N’ Save
Our Family Sandwich Bread-white or wheat $.77

Act II Popcorn 3ct $1

Our Family Snap and Seal Sandwich Bags 30-50ct $1

Melitta Coffee Filters 40ct $1

On the Vine Tomatoes $1.39/lb


No Frill’s Super Markets
No Frill’s White Sandwich Bread $.88

Powerade 32ox $.58

Act II Popcorn 3ct $.98

Dole Strawberries 1lb $2.50

Summeripe California Peaches $.99/lb

3-DAY SALE Friday-Sunday

73% Ground Beef (sold in a 10lb tube) $1.77/lb (smaller packages are $1.97/lb)

Dole Iceberg lettuce $.88


Rotella Vienna Bread

Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie, Honey Buns, Cosmic Brownies, Nutty Bars or Swiss Rolls $1

Blue Bunny Premium Ice Cream $2.99

Ritz Crackers or Fig Newtons $2.50 each

7up or Dr. Pepper Products 6pks $2.50 each

Fresh Leaf Lettuce $.99/bunch

Yellow Onions $.49/lb

Roma Tomatoes $.99/lb


Whole Foods Markets
Donkey Chips Tortilla Chips $2.00

Luna Bars Energy Bars 4/$3

Tasty Bite Indian Entrees $2.50

A Baby swing, A Tricycle and More, Oh My!

Mom and I ventured out to go garage saling last week for the first time this summer. I know, right, only the first time and it’s the middle of July. That is life, my friends. We happened to pick the week of the same awesome rummage sale we went to last year! I’m not going to give a rundown of every item and what we paid, but I will give highlights.

The swing I got for $2! My grandpa built a swing set for all the littles in the family, so Joel went looking at a hardware store for a swing like this one and it was $20 new! It looks faded pretty bad but it came from Las Vegas and got a lot of sun. The rope is still in great condition though and the lock works just fine.

The chairs I got for $.50 each and the trike mom got for $10. All the buttons still work and the girls are thrilled!

Here are some pillows that mom got for a reading corner in her class room this fall. You can see in the background a carpet remnant she picked up as well for just $3 I think.

Here are the rest of mom’s spoils. There are children’s books for the girls and books for school. She picked up the decorative boat with knick knacks, a lighthouse mirror, a floral picture, a picture frame, 2 baskets, a small frame for Emma, 2 lap trays, stickers, a bag of party beads, a couple pairs of earrings, a baby doll bed for the girls and 2 large lunch bags for her and Joel to take to work that were jsut $2 each.

Now for all my goodies.

I picked up 2 fabric remnants, a wire planter box for $1, 2 sets of vintage red ornaments for $.50 each, a cd, a turkey décor thing, a picture frame for $1, a large measure prepping container for $.50, a bath rug for $3, Arbonne RE9 body wash (barely used) $2, Arbonne Aromassentials Reactivate Spray (barely used) $2, 2 Arbonne Aromassentials Reactivate Sea Salt Scrubs (unopened) $5 each, 3 Arbonne RE9 Body Cream and Serum sets (unopened) $5 each. I also got a sweater for me for $1

For the girls I scored some books, an inflatable sled, penguin/cars/plane/boat for the girls, 5 bibs @ $.25 each, jewelry for Emma, a baby grooming set for $1, and 3 pairs of pants, 4 dresses, 4 pj’s and a sweater for Emma. And Sammie got a dress for next year too. Not in the picture is a potty seat the goes on the toilet that I snagged for $.50 (there is a Monday Mommy confession coming soon about that!)

I had another big score but they are getting a post of their own. You’ll just have to wait and see!

Resting Beds


So like I said last week, I didn’t get anything planted this year. So we are making the most of it and are piling the grass clippings to prep the beds for late summer. I’m hoping to put in some radishes, onions, lettuce, turnips and the like.

I also put grass around the asparagus, rhubarb, and the strawberries that managed to live through grandpa tilling them under. Plus I think that I found a blueberry plant. Grandpa transplanted the bush last year but apparently he didn’t get everything.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos. I took the camera outside and it was so hot out that it fogged up the lens. I had to wipe them off and take the pictures as quickly as possible before it fogged up again.

I am linking to Homestead Barn Hop!

Monday Mommy Confession #12

I am a fake shaker. There I said it and I’m not ashamed of it. I’m sure I’m not the only one. When my girls see me add some salt to my dinner they of course want some as well. I’m not about to add salt to their food when they don’t need it, soooo I fake shake. You know, when you tip it just enough to look like you are adding salt but not enough for any to come out. The girls are happy and I’m happy.

So, are you a “fake shaker”? Do you have any other situations that you “fake” something in order to appease your children?

Great Grocery Deals: July 13th-19th


Here’s what’s happening this week in the world of grocery store sales. Like I said before, this is not a coupon match up. I am only sharing with you what I think is a good sale price.

Baker’s (with Baker’s Plus Card)

Kellogg’s Cereal select varieties 10-20oz $1.99

Quaker Cereal select varieties 12.5-15oz $1.99

Activia Yogurt 4ct $1.88

Kroger Value Granulated Sugar 4lb bag $1.99

Organic Strawberries $2.99

Yellow Peaches $.99/lb

Top Flight Wire Bound Notebooks select varieties 70 sheets $.15

Crayola Crayons 24ct $.25 (limit 12)

10 Item Mega Event (prices listed reflect after 10 item discount)

Pepsi Soft Drinks Select varieties 2lt $.89

Kleenex Tissue select varieties 68-184ct $.99

Philadelphia Cream Cheese select varieties 8oz $.99

Pepperidge Farm Bread or Dessert frozen select varieties 9.5-19.6 $2.49

Pepperidge Farm Bread, Bagels or Flat Bread select varieties 12-24oz $2.49

Energizer Max Batteries AA or AAA 4ct $2.49

Scotch-Brite or O-Cel-O Sponges select varieties 1-3ct $2.49

Clorox Bleach Select Varieties 82-96oz $1.29

Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables frozen, select varieties 10-12oz $.99

Colgate Toothpaste select varieties 6.4oz $.99

Vitaminwater select varieties 20oz $.59

Propel Fitness Water select varieties 24oz $.49

Lipton Naturals Select Varieties 20oz $.49

Ozarka Water 3lt $.69

Ocean Spray Craisins 6oz $1.49

Silk Pure Almond or Pure Coconut select varieties-half gallon $2.49


Post Cereal-Fruity Pebbles 11oz, Honey Comb 12.5oz, or select varieties 6.2-20oz $1.68

Hy-Vee Tomatoes 14.5oz or Tomato Sauce 15oz 2/$1

Knorr Sides select varieties 4-5.8oz

Blue Bunny Ice Cream pail select varieties $5.99

Hy-Vee Frozen Vegetables select varieties 12oz steam quick or 16oz $.98

Dole All Natural Classic Iceberg 12oz or Coleslaw 14oz $.99

Organic Red Seedless Grapes $2.49/lb

Driscoll’s Organic Strawberries 1lb pkg $2.99

Peaches $.88/lb

Single Stem Roses 2/$1

Bag ‘N’ Save

Our Family Lg Eggs 1dz $.97

Steamfresh Vegetables 10-16oz $.99

Fresh Cucumbers 2/$.98

Green Onions –Bunch 2/$1

Lg Bing Cherries $2.47/lb

No Frills Super Market 

Our Family Pasta 12-16oz 11/$10 ($.91 each)

General Mills Cereal select varieties 11.25-17.1oz $1.88

Our Family Storage or Freezer Bags 15-25ct $1.48

Frito Lay Tostotos bite size or traditional only $1.99

Weber Grill Seasonings $.99

Jif Peanut Butter Creamy or Crunchy 28oz $3.49

Knorr Rice or Noodles and Sauce all varieties 4.25-4.5 10/$10

Dole Classic Romaine, Greener Selection or Spinach $.99

Whole Foods Market
Andrew and Everett Shredded Cheese 8oz $2.49

Boneless Beef Chuck Steak $3.99lb

California Grown Organic White Peaches $1.99/lb

Tasty Bite Indian Entrees 2/$5

Luna Bars Energy Bars 4/$3

Oikos Yogurt Multipacks $3.99

2011 Summer Garden Update

    Well, something’s go as planned, and others, like my garden, don’t go as planned. And when I say not as planned, I mean in the worst way possible. It all started out when my seedlings died while I was gone over Easter, then it kept snowing. The ground had thawed enough to plant, but me, being a newbie gardener, was too afraid to plant seeds in snow. I then had the great idea that I’d wait until my mom was done with school for the summer so that she could watch the girls for a couple of days while I hit it hard. That would have been great had it not started raining the same week and just kept raining and raining. The ground was so soaked for so long that by the time it dried enough, the weeds were half my size and it was too late to plant seed.

    So now I have scaled way down. This year my garden has been reduced to planting pots. I ended up planting 2 roma tomato plants, 1 large tomato plant, 6 pepper plants, and 1 dill. I did manage to plant some lettuce from seed. It wasn’t much though, only enough for 1 salad.


  For now we are tilling under the planting beds and laying grass clippings on top to kill the weeds and put nutrients back into the ground. I am hoping to plant another round of lettuce in late summer in a bed as well as onions, radishes and turnips. We shall see.

Anybody else singing the garden blues this year?

I am linking up with Homestead Barn Hop over at New Life on a Homestead!

Recipe: Sunshine Cake

This is a favorite family recipe. A family friend made it for a women’s get together for church when I was a girl. We got the recipe from her and the rest is history. So here’s to you Nancy!

SunShine Cake

What you’ll need:

1 Yellow Box Cake mix

3/4 cup Cooking oil

4 Eggs

1 11oz can of Mandarin oranges (juice included)

1 8oz container of Cool Whip thawed

1 20oz can of crushed Pineapple (juice included)

1 small box of Vanilla Pudding


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Grease a 9×13 pan

Mix cake mix, oil, eggs and Mandarin oranges together

Pour into greased pan and bake for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool completely


Thoroughly mix Cool Whip, pudding and pineapple together

Spread on top

You can serve immediately or place in the refrigerator to allow topping to firm slightly. Either way is fine but I like it chilled better.

I am linking to Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam!

Great Grocery Deals: July 6th-12th

Here are the deals and steals for this week in the Omaha area.


Sargento or Kraft Cheese $1.99

Activia yogurt 4ct $1.88

Dillions Large Eggs $.99

Organic Strawberries 16oz $2.99

Blackberries or Raspberries 6oz $2.99

Buy 10 Get $3 off at Checkout (reflects prices after 10 item discount)

Capri Sun or Kool-Aid Jammers $1.67

Pillsbury Grands Biscuits $.99

Cottonelle Bathroom Tissue 12 Double Roll $5.99

Coca-Cola Products 2lt $.89

Gatorade or G2 $.69

Cheetos or Fritos $1.69

Breyers Ice Cream $2.99


Pwerade Sports Drink 32oz $.49

Pillsbury Classic Brownies 19.5oz-Fudge or Milk Chocolate $.99

Hy-Vee Pasta 16oz $.88

Green Peppers 2/$1

Green Giant Klondike Rose Baby Potatoes 3lb Bag $1.88

Hy-Vee 100% Natural Fresh Whole Chicken $.79/lb (this will go great with their two-day meat sale-see below)

Midwest Country Fare Vegetables $.88

Charmin Basic Bathroom Tissues 12 double Roll $5.68

Bounty Basic Paper Towels 8 regular or 6 big rolls $5.68

2-Day Sale Friday and Saturday

Pepsi Products 6pk Bottles 4/$10

Driscoll’s Red Ripe Strawberries 4lb pkg $4.99 ($1.25/lb)

15% off All the meat, seafood, lunch meat, cheese and delicatessen items you can fit into one of their grocery sacks!-This is great for items that never go on sale or you have a great coupon for. My dad’s bologna never is included in sales because it’s all beef, so I am going to stock up!

Bag ‘N’ Save

Yellow Peaches or Nectarines $.97/lb

Bounty Paper Towels 8 regular rolls $5.97

Little Debbie Snack Cakes $.99

Yellow or Zucchini Squash $.99/lb

3-Day Sale-Friday, Saturday and Sunday

All Kellogg’s Cereals are 50% off while supplies last

No Frills Supermarkets

Summerripe California Peaches $.99/lb

Little Debbie Snacks $.99

Cottonelle Bath Tissues 12 double rolls $5.88

Viva Paper Towels 6 rolls $5.88

Our Family Cheese 8oz block or shredded 3/$5 ($1.67 each)


Rotella Italian Sandwich Bread $.99

Barefoot Wine 750ml $3.99

Strawberries $.99/lb

Starkist Tuna Chunk Light water or oil 5oz $.69

Plochman’s Mustard 10.5oz $.99

Pepsi Products 2lt $1.25

Roma Tomatoes $.88/lb

Fresh Leak Lettuce $.99/bunch

All Natural Fresh Whole Chickens $.99/lb

Wimmer’s Natural Casing Wieners 1.5lb $6.99

Wholefoods Market

Organic Cherries are on sale Friday only $2.99/lb (That’s $4 off!)

Also Walgreens has Pepsi Products 2lt on sale through Sunday for $.99.