Archive for July, 2006

Monday WAHM Spotlight: Texas Trail Web Design

Monday, July 31st, 2006

Thanks to Laura Kirkland for being part of our Monday WAHM for We wish her much success in her business and with her family.If you are interested in being featured, we will be selecting a mom for each Monday of my blog. You can read more and apply. Email confirmations are sent to each mom if they are chosen. I still have many people to reply to on these so please be patient waiting for my reply. I promise to get back to you guys soon! Also remember to do your own research on these companies. If there are obvious red flags on BBB, I do not post them. Check my scam article to find out more about the potential dangers of work-at-home businesses.Thank you to Laura and her WAHM business, Texas Trail Web Design, for taking the time to apply and be a part of my Monday feature.

Personally, Laura’s tips have really struck a chord with me & my heart. There is much to be gained by reading them- it is invaluable advice to any work-at-home mommy. Thanks to Laura for sharing such heartfelt advice- I know many will have much to be gained from reading these tips!

Name: Laura Kirkland

City/State: Canton, Texas

Name of Company: Texas Trail Web Design

Two or Three Sentences About Your Company:

I specialize in doing funky, bold web sites for businesses who like to stand out from the crowd. I love to hear the “Wow!” over the phone when a client sees their new web presence. It’s been my experience that professional web site makes each business owner feel confident that what they are doing matters and gets them ready for success.

Tips for Moms Trying to Work-At-Home (these tips can be how you stay organized, how to be successful, how to get started- anything that you feel would help someone
just starting out):

1. No Money? Prepare Anyways.

I’ve heard it said that When opportunity comes, its too late to prepare. I want to encourage the moms who are stuck in between thinking and doing to get out there and get ready! You may not have the money yet, or any idea of how it will all come together. Prepare anyways. Brainstorm. Get excited. Throw the doubts out. We all need inspiration and giving yourself permission to dream breathes life into your soul!

2. Have Fun with Your Kids in between working

I’ve had days where my project consumes my thoughts and I’ve been grumpy and not fun for my kids. They fed right off my attitude and they felt horrible- and everything seemed to break down. I had no creativity to work, no desire and my poor kids felt bad too.

It’s been a hard lesson for me and my kids, but I learned to PLAY. It’s not an option. I can’t skip it because work is waiting. Play is as nourishing to my attitude as it is theirs. We play loud music, dance, do whatever we need to laugh and be free with each other. We all have fun and then I really am refreshed to work again.

3. Be Patient with Yourself and Your Kids

I’ll be honest- starting my own business has had its stressful moments in our house. We have all had to sacrifice to some extent and it took focused determination and my faith for me to not give up. I felt fears and doubts that I wasn’t a good mom if I didn’t give my kids 100% of my attention, that no one would hire me, that I wouldn’t be able to get the job done. It seemed like every hurdle I made it over, another doubt was waiting to get me to quit the race.

I threw all those fears out and did what God lead me to do. It has not always been cookies & smiles, but I am highly motivated and still committed to success even when I skin my knees along the way. I remind myself “I know more than I did yesterday” and I keep going.

More on Online Grocery Shopping

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

CBS News just did a report on online grocery shopping. They actually tried out several of the big name grocery stores and reviewed the pros & cons of each place. It is definitely worth reading, particularly if you have entertained the idea of doing your grocery shopping online.

For more information on online grocery shopping, visit my post about Amazon & Peapod. I also blogged on how I do my shopping online through Sam’s Club via their Click ‘N Pull feature (no fees attached!)- this can save you a lot of time & money. We do not live in a big city so I am not able to take advantage of the online grocers, although we used them for business purposes when I lived in Massachusetts.

If you have thoughts on the buying groceries online craze, feel free to share!

Broken Crayons Equal Good Fun!

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

My son is a repeat offender of breaking his crayons. Every time I give him a box of crayons and a pad of paper, I am guaranteed at least half of the crayons to be broken, by the time he is done coloring. Instead of tossing them, I have been saving them so that we could do a fun project that I had read about.

Yesterday I noticed that our bag was full of broken crayons. My husband, myself, & our son all worked on pulling all of the wrappers off of the crayons and our son got to pick where he wanted each of the colors to go in our muffin tin. I lined the muffin tin with paper wrappers, but the wax somehow still seeped through. Next time I will spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray, to make sure that none of the waxy residue sticks. These were junky muffin tins that had been sitting in our garage though, so I didn’t really care that they got a little messy.

Ideally, you should stick colors together that will make a colorful design- red/yellow/orange or yellow/green/blue. All black and all white crayons should be in their own little tin, as they dominate the other colors and can be used as their own color.

I said this was ideal though! My son was not interested in forming unique colors so all of the tops of our crayons turned out like giant Reese’s cups. When flipped over though, these were very colorful and beautiful. There is a great picture here that you can look at and see exactly what these turn out like.

If you were searching for a (practically) free party favor for your next birthday party, these would make lovely party favors.

The perfect rainy day activity- enjoy!

Frugal Momma’s Rainbow Jumbo Crayon Recipe

Broken Crayon Bits
Nonstick Cooking Spray
Metallic or Paper Muffin Tin Liners
Mini-Muffin Tin or regular Muffin Tin

Preheat the oven for 350 degrees. Spray your muffin tin lightly with a nonstick cooking spray. Insert your muffin tin liners. Peel all paper off of the broken crayons and arrange into the muffin tins. Fill to 1/4-1/2 full. Try to stick with similar colors, to avoid a muddy looking crayon. Red/yellow/orange or yellow/green/blue- colors that are next to each other in the color wheel are ideal. Place muffin tins in the oven- watch carefully! It will take about ten minutes for the crayons to melt down. Once the crayons are melted, you can turn the oven off and let the crayons harden inside the oven, or you can pull them out (carefully so that the colors don’t mix into one color) and allow them to cool (I popped ours in the freezer once they were becoming solid to quicken the cooling process). Pop the crayons out of the muffin tin and place in a container (we used an old plastic ice cream tub).

Friday Freebie: Free Samples & Subscriptions

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Whirlpool is running a sweepstakes right now. Enter to win a Whirlpool Gold Dishwasher with PowerScour option and get a FREE OPI Nail Laquer, just for entering. The color is, “I Don’t Do Dishes” (how funny is that?) Sign up here– hurry, only while supplies last!

I signed up for a one year free subscription to Family Fun magazine. This is my favorite magazine and it had expired. This site has lots of free subscriptions. Unfortunately, most of them made you sign up for stuff or take a survey. The Family Fun one was really free though, so take advantage of it. The others…enter at your own risk!!

Get a free Schick Quattro Titanium Razor by signing up here– hurry, only while supplies last!

Get a free half gallon of milk. This one is only for residents of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, & San Diego. If you live there and are drinking free milk, I am officially jealous of you! Sign up here.

Free sample of Biz- click “Take the Stain Challenge.” There should be a little soap bubble that says free sample on it. This will get you a free sample of six ounces of detergent. Sign up here.

Try Poise Panties for free. These are the kind that are not supposed to not show your whosits and whatsits and rid you of that panty line. Only smalls and larges are available. Sign up here.

Complete a short survey for Pfizer (regarding your heart health) and get a free pedometer for answering the questions. Sign up here.

Visit this page, to print out a free coupon for one hot 12 ounce beverage from Borders. This offer expires on 08/15/2006. It says you need a Rewards card, but that is also free (unlike Barnes & Noble).

Enjoy, everyone!

Frugal Momma’s Test Kitchen: Slow Cooked Hot Dogs?

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Did someone say slow cooked hot dogs? Yup! That wasn’t a typo at all. This week we tried a new recipe (of sorts) out of this great cookbook that I picked up from the library. The cookbook is called, “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker,” and I can tell you that the title fits. There is no way that my mom would have made any of this stuff. They have omitted the classic French onion soup mix, condensed soup, and meat combo. They replaced this with really good recipes, full of yummy ingredients and tips for using your slow cooker in traditional (and untraditional) ways. Despite the omission of the canned soup recipes, they did include a recipe that caught my eye…a recipe for cooking your hot dogs in the slow cooker.

Let me begin by explaining why I appreciated a recipe like this. For one, I had gone to the grocery store that day and was dead tired by the time I got home, put the groceries away, and fed the baby. The last thing I felt like doing was making dinner, but I would have hated spending $100 on groceries, only to go out and pick up a pizza. I wanted something quick, easy, & did not require any effort on my part. It was 4:00 and I had zero ideas. Hmmmm…How about hot dogs?

Now I do appreciate a hot dog from the grill, but my main complaint with the grilled hot dogs is the dilemma that usually by the time we have brought the dogs in to feast on, they are already cold. I like my hot dogs really hot and my husband prefers hot dogs without charring. His solution is to boil them. Boiling hot dogs, for some odd reason, extremely grosses me out. Something about meat floating in water and then dealing with dumping the water…I don’t know, I guess I have an aversion to it.

When my husband came home from work, he leaned over to look in the slow cooker and saw what was in there. “Slow cooked hot dogs? Now that sounds like something I would want to try!” So we did. And we liked them.

These are not fancy, but it is a great meal for when you have absolutely nothing else on the agenda. It would be great for potlucks or playgroups and the cost is minimal.

When cooked in the slow cooker, they have a crisper skin (then boiled) and these tasted absolutely delicious. You know it is a hit when my son begins singing his, “Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog” song, while dipping his hot dog in ketchup. A hit with everyone in the family- then this recipe will get an encore performance in our house.

I highly recommend the cookbook, and I highly recommend trying this recipe!

Crock Hot Dogs

8 hot dogs (about one pound)

Put the hot dogs in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH until hot & slightly browned around edges, 1.5-2 hours. Remove with metal tongs and serve hot, in buns, with the fixings.

WFMW: Frugal Exercise Solutions

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

Welcome to this installment of Works-For-Me-Wednesday. Please visit Shannon’s blog for some great solutions for your family. These ideas are much better than any parenting magazine you will ever read- and best of all, it is free!

Out of shape? Me too! The problem with a gym membership is that you pay so much money to go to the gym, and rarely use it! I can’t afford to pay forty-sixty bucks a month (to sit on my bum) so I found a cheaper solution to developing an exercise routine.

Our library has a ton of great exercise DVD’s. I check out a few at a time, and can enjoy them for (up to) six weeks. Usually by the time the six weeks is over, I am tired of the routine and ready to switch it up again. The great part about this is that it is free!
We also get a channel called Fit TV. If you get this channel, they have a show called, “All Star Workout” that you should set your TiVo for. They have all types of workouts- boot camp, belly dancing, hip hop, yoga, step, and more! It is a great workout and we get it with our regular channels on our satellite dish.

Purchasing home gym equipment can be expensive, but we found a good deal on our equipment with our wholesale club membership. They didn’t have these items in the store, but we were able to order them through their website. You don’t need fancy gym equipment in order to get in shape though. Things that are low-cost (and just as effective) are jump ropes, exercise bands, a step, and a pedometer. A lot can be said for a good old-fashioned push-up, sit up, and a good run!

If you still insist on suiting up for the gym, check to see if your gym offers classes that you can take without having a membership. One of our local gyms offers a card that you can use to pay for classes. You don’t have to have a membership, and each class is four bucks with your card. You get twelve classes on your card and you can use them anytime you want. This is a great way to sample what a gym has to offer without committing to a membership.

Thank you so much to the new visitors! I have included links, to my past submissions, so feel free to browse around. My blog focus is saving your family money. Now who couldn’t use a little help in this department?

Past WFMW submissions:

Microfiber Obsessions
Sand Between Your Toes Blues
Giving the Gift of Magazines (Frugally)
Solution for Cheap Trash Bags
Programming Your Cell Phone
Free Up Pantry Space: Make a Snack
Weeding Through Your Child’s Art Work Creatively
Using the Coffee Maker With Ease
Making Your Spice Rack Usable
Maximizing Space

Monday WAHM Spotlight: A Thousand Words

Monday, July 24th, 2006

Thanks to Valerie for being part of our Monday WAHM for We wish her much success in her business and with her family.If you are interested in being featured, we will be selecting a mom for each Monday of my blog. You can read more and apply. Email confirmations are sent to each mom if they are chosen. I still have many people to reply to on these so please be patient waiting for my reply. I promise to get back to you guys soon! Also remember to do your own research on these companies. If there are obvious red flags on BBB, I do not post them. Check my scam article to find out more about the potential dangers of work-at-home businesses.Thank you to Valerie and her WAHM business, A Thousand Words, for taking the time to apply and be a part of my Monday feature.

Name: Valerie Simmons

City/State: South Bend, IN

Name of Company: A Thousand Words

Two or Three Sentences About Your Company:
We specialize in wedding photography and video slideshows. The video slideshows (photos set to music on DVD, CD or VHS) are for any occasion: birthdays, memorial tributes, engagements, weddings, reunions, etc.

Two Tips for Moms Trying to Work-At-Home (these tips can be how you stay organized, how to be successful, how to get started- anything that you feel would help someone just starting out):

1. Your business is a job. It’s easy to get caught up in the free time and neglect your work.

2. Ask for help from family, friends and babysitters. Sometimes, what takes you all day to do when your child is home, only takes an hour when she is not!

Sunday Supper: Yeast Waffles

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

We have been invited over to a friend’s house for dinner, so we will not get to eat what I had planned for our meal today. We will be eating these another night this week though, so I wanted to share with you all my absolute favorite waffle recipe.

This recipe is special to me because it was given to me by my dear friend. My first getaway (without my son or husband) was to her house and when I arrived she was making these waffles for me. The recipe was given to her by her mother, and now it makes a regular appearance in our home.

You will not believe how much these waffles rise, which results in a light & airy waffle.

I hope you enjoy these as much as our family has!

Yeast Waffles

1/4 cup warm water
1 package yeast (dissolve the yeast in the ¼ cup of water)
½ cup oil
1 egg

1 tablespoon sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

2 cups warm milk

Mix all ingredients together, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Warm waffle iron and spray with non-stick spray. If batter is too thick, use milk to thin down.

*Keep water warm- if too hot it will kill the yeast.

This is Coffee (1961)

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Saturday Sales

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Lots of great sales are happening as time is approaching for the kiddos to return to school. I know, I know. I can just hear you guys groaning. But we want our kids to stay home! Why, God? Why must my children return to school (*shaking fist at the sky*). I am sorry to say that summer is coming to a close, moms. Be sure to read my Back to School article, which should offer some helpful tips on how to get your family back into the groove and find new ways to utilize all of your free time (yeah, right!)

Last week’s sales are still applicable. Visit them by clicking on this link.

This week’s sales:

Each week, Ebates will double the cash back on Tuesdays for one merchant. Check their site on July 25th to find out who was chosen for the week.

Getting the kids a new pair of jeans? American Eagle is running a great coupon code. Take 15% off of your order at Use code 68911546.
*Ebates members receive additional two percent cash back on purchases*

Take ten percent off at , using coupon code JULY10. They have some great things under the clearance section, in particular a really nice train table for $99, which would make a great Christmas gift from Santa. You can use their coupon code on clearance items, so this is one worth checking.
*Ebates members receive additional four percent cash back on purchases.*

Barnes & Noble is having a GREAT sale. All books under ten bucks. Check it out! Again, for the Christmas Queen Bees (like myself), these would make lovely Christmas gifts for the bookworm in your life! I noticed many board & felt books for the kiddos. These could be put away for all of those birthday gifts.
*Ebates members receive additional three percent cash back on purchases.*

Dell is running several coupon codes. If you are still hunting for a computer for a recent high school graduate, they are running several specials.

Save $200 on select Inspiron™ notebook B120 (E-Value code 6vaff- ib120s1) with free external wireless card at Dell Home. Use coupon code 51V2R10JHTZSL8.

Save 30% on select Inspiron™ notebooks $1499 or more at Dell Home, not including XPS systems. Use coupon code 34?058XPTKZ4CP.

Save $350 on select Dimensions™ $999 or more, not including XPS systems at Dell Home. Use coupon code N6LJQJRFXLC2LZ.

Save $750 off select Inspiron™ notebooks $1999 or more at Dell Home, not including XPS systems. Use coupon code 9BCP1T8V?340DL.

Save $350 on select Dimensions systems over $1049. Use coupon code $1K$46W?HNNQ9Q. Not valid with other offers.
*Ebates members receive additional two percent back.*

Take up to $20 off at Use coupon code SCHOOLSAVE. Exp 07/23/2006. Visit the Outlet (you will see the outlet on the homepage) for great deals on beach towels, pajamas (cute princess pajamas for girls & great boy prints for only $4.99), and back to school items.
*Ebates members receive additional two percent cash back.*

If you are interested in learning more about the Ebates program, please follow this link for more information. An additional $5 is applied to your account, upon making your first purchase.