Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Works for Me: Chopsticks

While making tea in a recycled juice container, I use a funnel to put in the sugar. Sometimes, the sugar sticks. When this happens, I pull out the handy chopsticks from a trip to a Chinese restaurant. (I keep a few of these in a container on my windowsill.) They are the perfect size to get the sugar going through the funnel again!

These chopsticks are used for everything except eating in our house. The kids paint them with nail polish and make them into hair sticks. I use them to turn a tube of fabric inside out. We stir craft paint or glue with them.

The next time you get "disposable" chopsticks, think of all of the great uses for them!

Please visit Rocks in My Dryer for more great ideas!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Returning to the Nest

Since I started my new life as a SAHW (stay at home wife), I've found that I'm constantly looking for ways to make more and save more. I've had pretty good results with selling things at home. I'm cleaning out our cabinets and closets and selling off the un-needed items. I'm keeping a spreadsheet that lists all of the money I've made each month. Since I am a very visual person, this shows me the benefits.

I'm also doing things like planning to put up an clothes line to further benefit from line drying (I already hang dry many things inside). I'm cooking at home a lot more and making use of the things that I currently have on hand.

Hubby says he is happy that I'm home and this makes me happy!

Friday, May 25, 2007


KK had a lot of time playing with her stuffed friends today. I asked her what they were talking about and she looked at me like I was NUTS! Apparently mom & dad don't ask those kinds of questions. Well, in my mind, it is a chance for her to express her creativity! She is really a bright child and needs to express herself often.

I met a really great lady named Cindy from our local Freecycle group. She and I have a lot in common. We're going to get together soon and craft.

The weekend starts in just a few minutes for Hubby. We're going to enjoy a very laid back holiday weekend. Tomorrow is Angel Food pickup and yard sales. Other than that I have very little planned.

It's Here

The time has come, the Walrus said...

KK is here and we're busy planning. She is in the kitchen making a list of the things she would like to accomplish this summer. We have a few requirements: read 60 minutes or more per day and do 30 minutes of math. Other than that, the summer is wide open. She is looking through her craft books for ideas right now. If any of you have links to great sites or any ideas we would love to have them!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cleaned Up Messes

After 4 hours in the hall bathroom yesterday, I'm happy to report that it is back in good order. I still need to get a curtain rod for over the closet door. Since the room is too small for the door to work effectively, we removed it some time ago. I have a second shower curtain of the same style that I will be putting over the door. I'm embarrassed to show these photos but I am so proud of the results that I'm willing to show off just a bit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Man Made Messes

I don't know how to handle this. Hubby has become a slob. He has sole use of the hall bathroom and it is disgusting. Hair all over the floor (from shaving his head), hair in the corner of the bathroom (from the previous hair cut, swept up don'tcha know), and stuff everywhere.

We don't have a large house. The bathroom is not equipped with a large countertop or tons of drawer space. I've tried to organize that bathroom hundreds of times and each time he messes it up worse that before.

Today I vowed to clean that bathroom. However, after just 30 minutes, my back is aching (FMS) and I'm grumpy. He came home and got frustrated with me. He raised his voice and made me angry. I hate when things like this happen. He is of the mindset that since I am home I should clean the house. I do agree with this statement. However, I do not think I should have to pick up his bandaid wrappers and put them in the trash. He is a grown man. I would not accept this behavior from a child and I don't feel I should have to accept it from him.

I have to find a way to get this clutter filled room cleaned up. I need strength to get through this day. I need wisdom to know when to stay quiet. I need so many things.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Works for Me: Baskets

WfmwheaderIt seems like we all have storage issues. Some people use shoe boxes, some use plastic totes. What works for me is baskets. I have big baskets and little baskets, round baskets and square baskets.

If you're looking for additional storage, baskets on a high shelf around a room are decorative and are also a great place to store items. As you can see in my photo, I have shelves like these around the perimeter of my dining area. I store dry beans and rice up there in canning jars and also keep a lot of my baskets up there.I use these to hold everything: my husband's rivets, craft items, office supplies, and anything else that is just sitting around. I even have two large baskets that I use for laundry. Items in a container look much neater to items spread out all over the place.

I pick these wonderful baskets up at yard sales for pennies on the dollar. I get them from family members and as gifts. I cannot remember a time that I bought a new basket. There seem to be so many of them at yard sales. This weekend alone, I saw two great ones - one of which I picked up. It is an old English hamper that I'm now using to house a large portion of my ATC items.

For more WFMW tips, go to Rocks in My Dryer.

**I have to add that I wrote this last night BEFORE I saw Shannon's post!**

Summer Vacation

The schools in our county get out on Thursday for summer vacation. This means that beginning on Friday, I will start watching Neighbor Girl, KK. She really is a sweet girl and is well behaved when she is at my house so watching her should not be that difficult.

We are going to spend 1 hour per day on reading and 1/2 and hour per day on math. KK is an extremely bright girl who gets into a hurry on her work so we're going to work on math to make sure that she remembers to slow down and actually DO it. As far as reading goes, I firmly believe in having children read during the summer. When Hubby's girls would spend the summer here, they were required to read daily. This helped them to gain confidence in reading.

Other that that, KK will probably want to spend time in the pool and on crafts. She is a great kid and having her here will keep me busy for sure.

Looking for Life Insurance

As many of you know, I recently lost my job. With this, I also lost life insurance benefits for myself and my husband. I learned a lesson though this and will not be getting life insurance solely through an employer in the future.

I started looking for life insurance online and I found a great company today, Sleightholm Insurance. The company provides what they call "One Stop Insurance Brokerage", which is auto, home, business, and life insurance as well as other things like annuities.

While I am not a Canadian resident, I was impressed with their website. Sleighthom Insurance is the life insurance brokers for Chatham-Kent Ontario . It is well set up and concise. They even offer an online mortgage calculator that shows amortization schedule calculations free of charge. By using this, I was able to see that my house will be paid off in 18 years, 4 months rather than 20 years just by rounding up on my payment by $50.

If you live in Ontario, please consider Sleightholm Insurance.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wow, What a Deal!

On Saturday, Hubby & I went to yard sales. We got tons of good deals for $10 including a nice area rug, a brand new copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales, a picnic basket, and more. At the last sale, we found a great deal for Hubby's workshop. They had a brand new tool/work bench for $100. This is easily a $300 bench with a butcher block top, light, pegboard, and drawers. We bargained with them and got the price to $60. Hubby brought it home, added a piece of metal to the top of it so he could use it for welding without damaging the top. It has really has neatened up his workshop and has given him a great space to work.

Free Food!

Last weekend, my husband and I were fortunate to be able to shop in a mini-grocery store for free. You see, Hubby works for an apartment and commercial management company. They owned a small grocery store here in town. The renters moved back to their home country, skipping out on the rent and leaving the place full of foods. After all of the court related stuff was taken care of, Hubby's employers allowed the employees to go shopping in the store for free!

We got everything in the photo above. The rice ended up having some little bugs in it so I threw it away. Everything else has been great! We got enough to share with the neighbors and to give some on Freecycle as well. Needless to say, we got a lot of things we don't normally buy, like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, energy drinks, and individual sized sodas. These will be nice treats over the next few months. We also got LOTS of beans, like 20 pounds of dry black beans and 3 pounds of white (navy) beans just to name a few. Everyone else was grabbing the sweets and junk while Hubby and I were getting dry beans, pasta, and stuff that will last a while.

This was a great freebie and it makes me feel good knowing that we kept stuff from the landfills as well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Staying Home

I've been enjoying my time at home. Hubby and I are eating better meals made at home, rather than dashing out or eating quick stuff. I've re-discovered the joy of cooking (Hubby usually cooks since he does a quicker job of it).

I have been searching out work-from-home opportunities and I found a site today that matches up the disabled or have a chronic illness with work-from-home employers. I don't what will come of it but I am hopeful.

In the meantime, I am getting unemployment so we will be able to get by. I also have a small part-time job babysitting my neighbor's daughter this summer. It won't put me above the amount to affect my unemployment but will give me a little extra.

I'm also selling things on our local For-Sale type websites. So far I've made $35 by selling some too small clothing and a science encyclopedia. I plan to get Hubby to drag some stuff from the attic this weekend so I can continue to post and sell.

I am of the belief that every little bit helps. Even $2 or $3 can add up!

Up next, I plan to post about the FREE food we got this weekend!

Sunday, May 06, 2007


A good friend of mine does the whole couponing thing. She suggested that I try this while I am not working. She says she spends less than 10 hours per week on average and this includes shopping time. I don’t know where to start. Of course, I do understand that I should start by getting a newspaper and cutting out coupons – DUH! – but I’m not sure what to look for. What coupons do you cut out? How do you find the best deals? Stuff like that.

Something to think about!


Hubby & I are driving home yesterday & we drive past three, yes three, opossums on the side of the road. I made a comment about opossums liking to play dead. Hubby's response?

"Well, opossums can play dead but they can't play dead AND bloated!"

Lean Times Ahead

On Friday, I lost my job. Basically, after 2 years on the job, they say that I don't fit in well enough. We personally think that because I was diagnosed with Fibro, they decided to cut their losses as soon as possibly. Whatever the reason, I'm currently without an income.

I'm heading to the unemployment office on Monday. After that, Hubby has asked me to take a little time off. He would like for me to find a job from home. I have to look into this further. I have found a few legitimate places that are incoming call centers. I'd love doing something like typing or accounting or something from home. Who knows, I could just be dreaming.

Any suggestions that you may have on ways to make money from home would be greatly appreciated.

I'll post about my yard sale finds tomorrow

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Need a Thrift Store?

The Thrift Shopper lists thrift stores by city or ZIP. It is a nice site especially if you're going to be visiting another town.