Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: House Cleaning

House cleaning is a never ending task. As much as we all want it, they still have not designed the self cleaning house. This is a huge expense for a big family, and it is an easy way to save some money by using products you already have sitting in your pantry.



Vinegar
This is my all purpose cleaner. It works amazing, and is really an option to clean any thing.
  • Mix with water and use to clean windows, counter tops, any where you use an all purpose cleaner
  • Add 1/4 cup to hot water to mop your floors. If desired add essential oils to scent the water
  • Leave a bowl on the counter to absorb cooking odours
  • Strip residue from your dishwasher, coffee pot and washing machine to leave them working like new
Don't worry about the vinegar smell. The smell disappears as it evaporates. 

Baking Soda
Replace any abrasive cleaner with plain old baking soda mixed into a paste with water. Shine your sinks, scrub your bathtub, and pots and pans. Works just as good as any abrasive cleaner you can buy, but with no harmful chemicals

Lemon Juice

  • Lemon juice is great for cutting grease on surfaces. Mix with water and clean away
  • Clean your microwave by microwaving water and lemon juice for 3 minutes. Let sit for 2 more minutes, and even the worst stuck on food washes clean! Repeat if necessary







Tooth Paste
Toothpaste is great at removing crayon marks
Hint: Don't use on wallpaper!

Salt

  • Use salt to clean cast iron pans. Just sprinkle salt around and wipe clean. If your pan is not burnt you can do this instead of washing it in water. It will help protect the surface and it will make it more like a non-stick pan!
  • For burnt pans add 3-4 tablespoons as soon as the damage occurs  Leave the pan to soak with hot water, then scour the pan. 
  • Use lemon juice or lime juice and salt to clean metals such as brass and pewter. Just sprinkle salt into the empty squeezed-out lemon half and use it to rub down the metal. Rinse and buff to a shine with a soft cloth.
  • Cover any spills in your oven with salt. Salt absorbs any liquid spills. If needed, add water. Let sit and wipe clean. Hint: If you have a gas cooker be careful to remove all the salt when you wipe up the spill. Salt residues may cause your gas burners to flare up with a yellowish flame when you next light the gas.

These are some of my favourites, but there are always more! What are your go to home made cleaning tricks?



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Baby Steps

Rant alert!!!

Baby steps can be huge in a little one. I'm not talking about literal walking steps, but steps in progress and development.

Take Little C, she will be 2 in just over a week, and with her delays, she is no where near where I expected she would be right now. Each time she does something new, it is huge for us. When she began to show interest in self feeding my heart burst with joy! I hate to admit it, but at this point, this would be bigger for me than if she started walking....

With 5 kids, a husband, home schooling, and housework, it is hard to sit and spoon feed my 2 year old. So you can imagine why this is so huge for me. The road to self feeding with Little C was harder than I ever could have imagined. She goes on food strikes and refuses to eat things a certain way, or anything but her favourites. What is a mother to do?

With my boys, I was (and still am) a tough love mom when it comes to meals. I don't run a restaurant.  I will not be the mother making 4 different meals to accommodate different tastes. I'm not mean about it. Little S HATES potatoes. I only give him a small portion, but he has to eat that small portion before he can have something else. I make salads with our meals. At first, each of the boys insisted they did not like salad. I always have an other vegetable on the table, so I made a rule: no seconds until you have some salad. You don't want salad? No problem. Be happy with the portion you have.

Little C is throwing all my rules out the window! It can be so frustrating buying a snack for Little C and having her shake her little head at me when I offer it. This girlie wants to live off  yoghurt, oatmeal and potatoes! Ok, I think my rant is over ;)



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kicking The Winter Blues Cash Giveaway

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Welcome to the Kickin The Winter Blues Giveaway


We all need money, so we all should save money. Coupons can be a great way to put some of that cash back in our pockets. There are so many websites and brands offering coupons these days, it is like throwing money away not to use them! I love signing up for emails from my favourite brands. Then I get their coupons right in my emails! So convenient! 

About our Sponsor: Rather Be Shopping Have you heard of the best place to save money, find online coupons, search coupon codes, and find coupon codes that are updated daily? You might have heard it mentioned on TodayShow.com, L.A. Daily News, MSNBC, Woman’s World, and Readers Digest to name a few. If you haven’t been there yet and love to save money! You should visit Rather Be Shopping. Kyle from Rather Be Shopping is awesome and takes pride in saving money, and it shows. He keeps Rather Be Shopping updated daily with the best online coupon codes, printable coupons, savings, bargains, and for those new to online shopping learn “How Coupons Work.” Don’t forget to get geared up and save on the go with the FREE Rather Be Shopping Coupon App for your iPhone. About the Giveaway: We are super excited to bring FIVE lucky people the chance to win some serious cash! The 1st prize winner will receive $500 PayPal Cash! How exciting is that! Check out how the break down will work.
  • 1st Prize: $500 Paypal Cash
  • 2nd Prize $200 Paypal Cash
  • 3rd Prize $150 Paypal Cash
  • 4th Prize: $100 Paypal Cash
  • 5th Prize: $50 Paypal Cash
Giveaway will run from 02/27/2013 at 12:00am EST - 03/28/2013 at 12:00am EST, open WORLDWIDE! To enter you must be at least 18 years of age, and use the Rafflecopter below. Remember you do not have to complete all entries on the Rafflecopter, but by doing so you are gaining more entries into the giveaway and increasing your chances on winning. There is plenty of time to enter this giveaway as it will run for 4 weeks. Those of you who wish to take advantage of daily entries be sure to visit daily and grab those extra entries
Special thanks to our fabulous Co-Hosts:
Thank you for making this event so much fun! Maybe you will be one of the FIVE lucky readers will receive cash! Good Luck!


Disclosure: This blog was not compensated for being part of the event, nor are we responsible for shipping the prize to the winner. This event is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google or any other social media network. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email. The winning email will come from jennsblahblahblog@hotmail.com. Be sure and add it to your safe list. We sure would hate to have to redraw another winner. If you have any questions about the giveaway you can contact Jenn from Jenn's Blah Blah Blog at jennsblahblahblog@hotmail.com. Good Luck.

Teaching Pre-Readers

I am a home schooling mom and proud of it. We decided to home school before our oldest was born. Since I knew that I was responsible for all the teaching, I made decisions early on to have early exposer to educational toys and programs. I figured that the more the kids absorbed from their environment early on, the easier it would be to teach them later.

Even if you plan to public or private school your children, it still pays to give them a head start.
Everyone knows the whole "Raise a Reader" read to your child bit, but what other educational things can you do to help introduce those early reading skills?

Play With Letters
Children can memorise their name long before they can learn to read. Use fridge magnets, flash cards, ABC blocks to make family members names for your child. Help them become familiar with the look of their name. Help them to see that letters are for more than a song.

Sing Rhyming Songs
Our brains retain so much information. Have you ever noticed how quickly we can memorise a song? Now try to memorise a poem? Not so simple, is it? Learning rhyming songs gives your child something to relate to when they learn to read. My son figured out rhymes on his own just from songs and games.

Let Your Child See You Reading
The more your child sees you reading, the more they want to know how to read. I am guilty of not doing this as much as I'd like to, but any little bit helps.

Pick Educational TV Shows
I'm not one to let the kids sit in front of the TV all day, but there is noting wrong with some entertainment, especially if they are learning at the same time. I am a HUGE fan of Leap Frog DVDs. We bought the Letter Factory when my son was 1, and he knew his phonetic alphabet before he could talk!

Incorporate Reading In Activities Your Child Loves
If your child loves to colour, colour letters. Love building with blocks? Try building word buildings. We used to sing alphabet songs while we pushed our kids on the swing. It all adds up!

Visit Educational Websites With Your Child
There are many websites out there with pre-school games. Here is a list of my favourites :
http://www.starfall.com
http://www.jumpstart.com
http://readingeggs.com

It is never to early to lay down foundation to help your child read. Investing in our children is part of parenting, right?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Coach Peyton Tote Giveaway

Madame Deals Media has teamed up with Blue Kangaroo to bring you this amazing giveaway! 5 Designer Purses 5 Winners 5 Weeks (1 given away each week)

WEEK 5 PRIZE: Coach Peyton Tote

Signature khaki coated canvas, leather handle with silver finish hardware. Front open pocket with zip top closure and leather pull tab.

(Retail Value: $298)



Did you enter last week's purse giveaway? Well, you still have a chance! This week only, win a Coach Peyton Tote. I want this purse, and I'm sure some of you will to! Good Luck!!

Step 1: Only Mandatory Entry is to Sign up for Blue Kangaroo! enter button
 (Registering for Blue Kangaroo Tip: If you have a Gmail or Yahoo email, use that to sign up. It will save you a step in the process.)

  Step 2: Click here for Optional Entries that you can complete for bonus points. *Selected winner must be an active member of Blue Kangaroo at the end of the giveaway.

About Blue Kangaroo

Blue Kangaroo is a personal search engine for deals. Tell it what brands and products you’re looking for, and the Roo will start scouring the deal universe for the best offers to match. Through Web and mobile applications, Blue Kangaroo’s mission in life is to make sure you always get the right offer at the right time. During signup, they’ll ask if you want Blue Kangaroo to automatically check your inbox each day for marketer’s emails and summarize all of them for you in a single colorful email, reducing the ad clutter in your inbox. This additional service is smart, but strictly optional for this contest.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Stain Removal

In a house with 7 people, stains are a constant battle. Paying for expensive stain treatments are just not in the budget for me.
I have actually gained a reputation for being able to remove stains. This is a mixed blessing, because my family gives me their stained clothes to fix!
Here are some of my go to tips for removing troublesome stains with products you probably have in your house already.

Sun Light
I am a huge fan of my clothes line. Not only is it a money saver in it self, but the sun naturally bleaches out stains, and disinfects. For extra tough stains on whites, use lemon juice on the satin, then leave in direct sunlight.

Baby Powder
Just pour on a grease stain and let sit over night. Wash as normal in the morning.

Dawn Dish Soap
Another great grease remover. Just work into the satin, then wash as normal. Check to be sure the satin is removed before putting the garment in the dryer.

Hair Spray
Ink is a tough one if it is just washed as normal.  The sooner you treat it, the better. Immerse stain in a mixture of hair spray and cold water. Soak. Wash in cold water, and be sure to check is the stain is removed before placing in the dryer, as heat will set the stain. Heat set ink stains can sometimes be permanent. I have removed some, but it depends on the ink. Repeat  process until stain is gone.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Blood stains are something many people struggle with removing. All you need to go is avoid heat (This will set the stain because of the iron in the blood) Pour hydrogen peroxide on the stain, and wash in cold water. Repeat until stain is gone.

Share your own stain removing tips with us!

Flash Giveaway!


I love flash giveaways! Today only you can win...........
$15 Pay Pal! 
What will you spend it on?


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Home School Success

When I began home schooling, I knew it was going to be hard work. I knew it was the best choice for my family, but even now 4 years later, I still get surprised at my children's success.

This week, we had a success that I can't stop talking about.......

My 4 year old son can read.

When I started schooling the oldest 2 boys, the younger ones just played. This year Little S started Kindergarten. With Little A only 1 1/2 years younger, I bought pre-school material for the first time. I knew that if I didn't school time would consist of Little A asking what he could do the whole time. I am glad I made the investment in my son. Now we can celebrate!





Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013

Mission Giveaway: The Simply Bar

I am really happy to be a part of Mission Giveaway. This week our sponsor is a great company that I am thrilled to work with!

About Our Sponsor


 Wellness Foods are a small Canadian, Woman-owned company. We opened our doors in 2002 and have been “an overnight success” and now 10 years strong! Our Simply Choices are healthy choices for busy people and include The Simply Bar, Simply Protein Chips, and Simple Whey. They are all high in protein, gluten free, vegetarian, all natural, and kosher. We are in thousands of retail stores across Canada and the United States and are also available online in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Coupon: Get 20% off your first online purchase when you use the code "SimplyShop" Includes bars and chips.

The Prizes


 The Prize Pack Contains: 12 The Simply Bars – 3 Lemon/Coconut, 3 Caramel/Peanut, 3 Peanut Butter/Chocolate 4 Bags Simply Chips – 2 Chili, 2 Herb 4 Bars Simply Whey – 2 Apple/Cinnamon, 2 Coconut Winner Keeps: One Prize Pack Winner Shares: One Prize Pack

How to Enter

The Giveaway will open up on 2/19 12:01 am EST and Close on 2/22 at 11:59 pm EST.

Complete the mandatory entries on the Rafflecopter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway Check out and Enter our Other Giveaways

 Side note...It's not mandatory to enter all the giveaways at each blog. Those are just great bonus giveaways for you to enter.

 Mission Giveaway started with Madame Deals and her $100 story where with $100 several people received the help they needed. We are on a mission to help people help each other! We have gathered a group of bloggers that want to make a difference. Together we are Mission Giveaway!
 To ask about becoming a sponsor, please contact Amee or Dawn at madamedealsmedia@yahoo.com for details. Take a look at our Media Kit to see what Mission Giveaway has to offer.
 Are you a blogger that would like to participate in Mission Giveaway? Find out how you can join us. Find our official Terms and Conditions on the Madame Deals Media page.

Coach Soho Leather Carryall Giveaway

Madame Deals Media has teamed up with Blue Kangaroo to bring you this amazing giveaway! 5 Designer Purses 5 Winners 5 Weeks (1 given away each week)

WEEK 4 PRIZE: Coach Soho Leather Carryall

Soft leather carryall with snap closure and fabric lining. Inside zip, cell phone and multi-function pockets.

(Retail Value: $378)


Don't you just love designer bags? I sure do! Thanks to a great sponsor for making this giveaway possible!
Our sponsor is a great site that can help save you money. What can be better than that? Winning a new bag of course!

Step 1: Only Mandatory Entry is to Sign up for Blue Kangaroo! enter button

 (Registering for Blue Kangaroo Tip: If you have a Gmail or Yahoo email, use that to sign up. It will save you a step in the process.)
  Step 2: Click here for Optional Entries that you can complete for bonus points. *Selected winner must be an active member of Blue Kangaroo at the end of the giveaway.

About Blue Kangaroo

Blue Kangaroo is a personal search engine for deals. Tell it what brands and products you’re looking for, and the Roo will start scouring the deal universe for the best offers to match. Through Web and mobile applications, Blue Kangaroo’s mission in life is to make sure you always get the right offer at the right time. During signup, they’ll ask if you want Blue Kangaroo to automatically check your inbox each day for marketer’s emails and summarize all of them for you in a single colorful email, reducing the ad clutter in your inbox. This additional service is smart, but strictly optional for this contest.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mission Giveaway Treasure Hunt


Welcome to this week's Treasure Hunt! Enter to win $10 Pay Pal Cash.
This is only open until midnight, so enter now!
Be sure to visit the Mission Angel Facebook page for links to all the giveaways each week!

Good Luck! 
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Beauty Tips From Your Pantry

Last week I shared my Body Scrub and Facial Mask recipes.
This week, since today is Valentines Day, I wanted to share some tips to help you get ready for your Valentines Day date!

Milk Bath

You may have seen Milk Bath powders sold in beauty shops. These are more than just relaxing. The Lactic Acid in the milk is a natural exfoliant that leaves your skin soft and smooth! Just add up to 2 cups of milk to your bath water (I have used as little as 1 cup and still enjoyed the results), or 1/2 cup powdered milk. Soak and enjoy!



Hair Clarifier
Why buy special shampoo to wash out the residues left by styling products? Just rinse with lemon juice or vinegar diluted in water. I due this once a month, and it leaves my hair silky smooth.

Hot Oil Treatment
Dry brittle hair? Heat up olive oil for 20 seconds in the microwave, and apply to wet hair. leave for 2 minutes (longer for really dry hair) and wash as normal.

Happy Valentines Day!




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Dear Mommy,
I just want you to know that I am interested in self feeding now. Well, at least the mess.
 Love, Little C









Monday, February 11, 2013

I Love Cash Giveaway

I Love Cash Giveaway
 

Welcome to the $600 I ♥ Cash Giveaway!

We are teaming up with Giveaway Promote, to bring you one of the best giveaways there can be, CASH!
We are teaming with lots of awesome bloggers to be able to bring you the best giveaways. 
Three lucky people will win cash! One grand prize of $500 and two other $50 cash prizes are up for grabs. 
Is there anything better? 

Enter to win $500 or $50 cash via PayPal.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway. Refer your friends using your unique link to earn even more chances to win.
Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on February 24th, 2013.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Bloggers, we'd love for you to join an awesome group giveaway event like this one! Sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Giveaway Promote.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thrifty Thursdays: Make Your Own Beauty Products

When I began having children, I needed to start looking for ways to ave money. Going from 2 incomes to 1 was hard, especially when you find out your second is on the way when you have a 3 month old! The first thing I gave up was my little luxuries  When I was single, I never would have thought beauty products were luxuries  but when you compare them to diapers and milk.....

Now I have 5 children, and still 1 income. After many years of putting my self last, I wanted to feel beautiful again. So I began making scrubs and facial masks myself. I already had the ingredients, so why not?
Here are 2 of my favourites:

Honey & Brown Sugar Body Scrub


This feels amazing, and is so easy!
Mix:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup olive or coconut oil

Mix thoroughly and enjoy!
















Honey Nutmeg Facial Mask
This is great for bleaching red spots! It is wise to test this before use to be sure you won't have a reaction to the mask.
Mix:
1/8 cup honey
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Apply to face. It may burn a bit. Keep it on up to 30 minutes, or until you can't take it!







Next week I will share some more, so be sure to keep a look out! Subscribe to my RSS feed and never miss my Thrifty Thursday tips!






Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Angry Birds + a 8 year old = fun!
I think my kids are a little too into Angry Birds!









Friday, February 1, 2013

$350 Melissa & Doug Toys Giveaway

$350 Melissa & Doug Toys Giveaway
I am a HUGE fan of Melissa & Doug toys! I am thrilled to be a part of this giveaway that will have 3 winners!

Sponsored by Melissa & Doug

From puzzles to puppets, plush to play food, magnetic activities, music and more, Melissa & Doug® is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of educational toys and children's products.

Over 23 years ago we started our company in the garage of the home where Doug grew up — we had to be careful not to disturb Doug's parents who were still living there! Thanks to your support, we've been able to move into a real office down the road, a building that actually has separate ladies and men's bathrooms! Our philosophy has remained the same over the years–to make each and every customer a happy and permanent member of the Melissa & Doug family, while offering products with tremendous value, quality and design. Our line offers something for everyone with over 1,000 innovative products for children of all ages! We've always welcomed customer suggestions, and we continually strive to make improvements to our products. We're honored by the faith you place in us and view it as our responsibility to continue to earn your trust in the years to come!

Read Coupon Gator Mommy's Melissa & Doug Toys Review.






Three lucky winners!
 
Grand Prize: $250 in Your Choice of Melissa & Doug Products
1st Runner Up: $50 in Melissa & Doug Products
2nd Runner Up: $50 in Melissa & Doug Products

This giveaway ends Feb. 26, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. 
Open to US and Canada residents.
Good Luck!


A special thanks to all the amazing bloggers who are participating in this giveaway!

~Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Me And My Handful is not responsible for shipping prize to winner, nor did I accept any compensation for this promotion.~