Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lilla Rose ~ Splendid Beauty

I have recently started as an independent consultant with Lilla Rose!  I am excited to start this journey!  I have been looking for something for my hair that would look elegant but also be useful, work well in my hair, and not give me a headache.  I didn't realize that my hair pieces were giving me headaches until someone else said the same things happened to her.  I have thick, curly, hair that goes just below my shoulder blades.  During the humid times of summer, I can do nothing else with my frizzy hair than to put it up.  These Lilla Rose clips work great for it!

 To launch my work with Lilla Rose and to celebrate as a consultant, I am having a "Grand Opening" Party!  And I'm inviting you to the party!!  You can start shopping at HERE or go to my Lilla Rose website.  You can click on the link above this post to get there.

To celebrate my grand opening, I have a special running for new Lilla Rose customers.  When you order 3 Flexi Clips, you will get a 4th Flexi Clip FREE {valued at $16}!  Just order your first three through the party link, and e~mail me with your choice for your free clip.  Your free clip will come separately and a few days later.  The is for NEW Lilla Rose customers only {who have never ordered through a Lilla Rose consultant before}. 

I'd love for you to head over to my Lilla Rose website, or join my grand opening party!  You will be able to register as a party guest at THIS link and start shopping!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Free Or Frugal Summer Things To Do As A Family

I know summer is almost over for many of us.  We have a couple of weeks left before we hit the books and school begins.  Even so, we can enjoy these last few days of summer together and not spend a lot of money.  Here's a few things we like to do!

Go to the lake.  Lake Michigan is about an hour away from us, and there is a certain beach we like to go to.  We pack a picnic, put on our bathing suits, and spend the day swimming, building sand castles, and enjoying the sun.

Take a hike!  We have several state parks within an hour's distance that have nice trails to hike on.  We of course have to be picky as we need wheelchair accessibility, but for those who don't, you can go almost anywhere to enjoy some outside time!

Wash the car.  Yes, I am serious!  Our smaller kiddo's love to do this!  They get to have fun with the water while helping out on a chore {we all win!}.

Watch a cheap movie.  We have a movie theatre nearby that has $2 movies on Thursday and Friday mornings during the summer.  They are usually older movies, but they are kid friendly. 

Camp out in the backyard.  We love to go camping, but sometimes it's just as good to be in your own backyard.  We get a fire going, have s'mores {of course!}, and sleep in our sleeping bags.  We might sleep in our camper, or sometimes we put up our tent.  Either way our kids are happy!

PLAY!  This is something we've not spent much time doing this summer.  We've been so busy working on the house, that we've neglected playing together.  Whether it's Frisbee, badminton {I love to play this and we haven't gotten our net out even once this summer!}, baseball, soccer, or a good game of tag~~just get outside and play together!

Whatever you do, spending some family time together before the summer ends and school routines begin will be time well spent! 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Where I Shop For Modest Skirts

{affiliate links included}

I recently was asked by a reader where I shop for my skirts.  She has found it difficult to find modest skirts.  I completely understand this difficulty.  Stores are full of skirts that are much to short for anyone to be wearing!  So where do I shop?

I'll be honest, much of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores.  I like to wear longer skirts and I've been able to find them now and again here.  I don't find something every time I go, but I've been able to occasionally find some nice skirts .

Deborah and Co. has some very nice modest skirts.  This business grew as a result of Caroline looking for modest maternity skirts.  It has grown into a full time business selling modest skirts for women and girls.  They also have added some other items to create a beautifully feminine look.

There are also a few other online stores that have some modest skirts.  Woman Within, New Creation Women's Apparel, or Jumpin Bloomers are a few that I've found. 

I have also made some skirts for myself and my daughter.  The picture above is of a skirt I made for my youngest daughter.  It was my first attempt at making skirts and I thought it looked pretty good.  I have even added a lace or scalloped edging under a skirt to lengthen them.  I really like our skirts to be at least knee length, and even for small girls this can be difficult to find.  Making our own skirts was our answer to this problem.

When you've made the decision to wear skirts you may need to do some searching to find the skirts you like.  Just know that modest skirts are out there and you'll be happy you did the extra work of looking for them.

Good luck!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Jeanne's Banana Bread

I used to work with a woman named Jeanne.  She was one of the kindest people I have ever met.  She was full of joy and love, and everyone who met her knew of her love for her family and the Lord.  She was just the kind of person who always made you feel important.  She would make us banana bread to enjoy and we would beg her to give us the recipe.  This really was the best banana bread I've had.  She finally gave us the recipe and it has since been the only recipe I use when making banana bread for my family {and it never lasts long in our house!}.  Jeanne passed away last year from breast cancer, so in her memory I give you her recipe for her "famous" banana bread!  Make it for your family~I promise they'll love it!  And Jeanne would love that you are enjoying her banana bread together.

Jeanne's Banana Bread {yes, that is how I have it on my recipe card!}

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas~mashed
1/2 cup veg oil {I always use coconut oil and love the taste it gives}
1/4 cup + 1TBSP buttermilk
1 cup chopped walnuts
{My own addition is 1/4 cup flax seed}

Stir flour, sugar, soda, and salt.  In another bowl combine eggs, banana, oil, buttermilk and add to flour mixture.  Fold in nuts.  Pour into 9x5x3 pan, bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Does not double well.



Thursday, August 8, 2013

An Impromptu Round Of Frisbee

We had just got home from our local county fair.  There were dirty feet to clean, messy heads to comb, and pj's to get on.  Each child carried with them a bag filled with candy, pencils and paper.  A couple kiddo's were lucky enough to receive Frisbee's from a local business.
As we got out of the van, that's when it happened.
Someone threw a Frisbee.
Followed by the other one.
Soon we were all enjoying Frisbee throwing on the front lawn.  We threw.  We caught.  Some did not!  We laughed.  We rolled. 
I savored the moment.  Drank it all in. 
As darkness crept on us and bedtimes passed, I kissed hubby and said "this is what life is all about".
My family playing together.  Enjoying a beautiful summer evening.  An impromptu round of Frisbee.
No worries.  Just family.
Life is good!
God is Good!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Stockpile Challenge

I have been looking at different ways of shopping over the last few months.  I would like to shop on the "offense" instead of the "defense".  What does this mean?  It means that I will stock up on items that I know we need when there is a great sale.  All of us have things we just automatically get at the grocery store or at the drug store.  Things like butter, milk, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper, etc.  Those things that may not even be on our shopping lists because we just know we need to pick them up.  I've been looking into ways to change my shopping to stock some of these items without breaking the bank.  Lori over at Moms by Heart has started a series this year that has really interested me.

The goal is simple~~stock up on everyday items you use when they are on sale.  By stockpiling, you will have enough to get you through until these items are on sale again.  Therefore, you will never be paying full price for any of these items again.  Lori has made this do~able on a small scale by using just $10 per week.  I'm starting out with personal care and home care items.  We have a Walgreens nearby that I can get great deals at.   Walgreens allows you to use store coupons along with manufacturer coupons.  I already take advantage of these sales {I haven't paid more than 50 cents for toothpaste for quite a while!}, so I just need to take it up a bit.

I'd like to have a 6-12 month supply of personal care items.  I'll start at 6 months and then increase it as I get there.  Thankfully we have lots of storage space in our home for these items.  Here's what I have figured out as my stockpile list.  I may change these up a bit after I pay more attention to our usage of these items.  Remember, we have 7 people in our family {four who are basically adults} so those of you with smaller families may gasp at some of these numbers! ☺

toilet paper~7 rolls per week =168 rolls
tissues~3 boxes per month =18
feminine supplies~1 box tampons and 1 box pads =6 boxes of each
toothpaste~2 tubes per month =12
Dixie cups~1 box per month =6
contact lens solution~1 bottle per month =6
deodorant~4 per month =24
toothbrushes~7 per month =42
liquid hand soap~we make ours last longer so 2 large refill bottles should last about a year.
dish soap~1 bottle per month =6
dishwasher detergent~we make our own and I try to stock up on the ingredients when they go on sale.
shampoo~3 bottles per month =18
conditioner~4 bottles per month =24  {remember I make our own fabric softner with conditioner}
bath soap~3 bars per month =18
bathroom cleaner~2 cans per month =12
laundry detergent~I usually make my own, but if there is a really good sale that I can add a coupon to, I may consider getting it.

Remember...this is for EVERY DAY ITEMS that we use EVERY DAY!  This is NOT extreme couponing where we have a pile of peanut butter and dog food filling our garage.  The intent here is not to buy things just because we can get them for a low price!  The intent is to stock up on the items we regularly use when they are at the lowest price and adding a coupon to make them even cost even less.  In this way, I will never pay full price for these items again.

I'd love to know if you shop this way and how it works for you!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Be Careful Little Eyes....

source~free digital photos

"You know better than that!"


This was recently spoken by my Four Year Old! 

 To ME!!

Oh, WOW!  How many times have I spoken those words?  Apparently way too many!  This was a much needed reminder that little eyes {and ears!} are always watching me. 

Watching how I respond to situations.

Watching how I interact with others.

Watching where I place my priorities.

Watching and listening to EVERYTHING!

So many times my children hear me say things in frustration.  So many times my children see me react to a situation instead of act upon it.  So many times I have been an un~Godly example to my children.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  Matthew 12:34

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.  Proverbs 4:23

My heart attitude is the real problem, sometimes.  I get caught up in emotions or whatever may be going on that I forget about those little eyes and ears.  I forget to ask the Lord to change my heart to conform to his.

My daily prayer is that I would be a good example to my children.  That they would learn good things from me and not just bad.  I don't want them to grow with some of the bad habits that I have.  I want my mouth and actions to reflect the nature of my heart, a heart after God's own.

When I remember that little eyes are watching me, I'll remember that God's eyes are upon me also.  What a difference this will make in my life.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Large Family Frugal Living~Eating While On Vacation

Our kiddo's eating breakfast at an Oasis near Chicago this spring

Our family recently took a family vacation to the Creation Museum.  Taking a family of 7 on a trip can get costly.  So, we try to cut corners where we can without compromising the joy of the trip.  One of the things we cut corners on is eating.  We have a few tricks that we employ when we are travelling.

~~We find a hotel that serves free {hot} breakfast.  We all eat a good breakfast, and we don't have to dip into our food funds.  My hubby has become a pro at finding us a hotel that is within our price range and still serves a hot breakfast.  In fact, on this trip he found us a great hotel that not only served a delicious, hot breakfast~~they also served a delicious meal for dinner.  We knew they were serving a dinner also, but we really were expecting sandwiches or something simple.  Instead we were pleasantly surprised they had full dinners including desserts!  This saved us a lot for the couple of days we were there. 

~~We skip lunch and bring our own snacks.  This may or may not work depending on what we may be doing during the day, but we usually have a cooler along with us on vacations and fill it with things like juice, cheese and crackers, baked goods, or pretzels.  This will tide us over and then we'll eat an early dinner.

~~We check out what restaurants the cities have.  Hubby is great at this also.  He'll look online and even request mailed information from the cities we are travelling to.  We then look into ways to eat cheaper.  Things like "kids eat free nite" or online coupons help our budget.  Sometimes we just order a pizza and have it sent to our hotel room because ordering a couple of pizzas is sometimes cheaper than taking our family to a restaurant.

~~We get a hotel room with a kitchen.  Every fall we go to a waterpark hotel in the Wisconsin Dells and get a room with a kitchen.  This way we bring our own groceries and make our own meals right at the hotel.  We never leave the hotel, and don't have to have a meal budget.

~~All you can eat buffets.  This is not always a good idea, as they are sometimes costly, but once in a while it is a good deal. 

We want to have a good time on vacations and enjoy ourselves.  Eating out is one of those areas we don't want to miss either.  By using some money saving idea's we can enjoy our vacations without breaking our budgets!