Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Holidays

Update: I landed a job and we're moving into a new (rented) house on Sunday!!! Since the economy is in the dumps and mortgages are pretty tough to get right now, we decided to wait another year or so before buying a house, but we found a great place to rent:

It's got a big garden plot and room for my chickens, so stay tuned for a special series on raising chicks in the spring!

And here's a couple of Merry Christmas photos of the little guy (and Mazi) to share with you all:

I just can't believe he'll be one in only 10 days! Where has the past year gone?


Peace, Love, and Joy to your family from ours.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Greener cleaners revisited

Just wanted to share this link-- recipes for homemade earth-friendly cleaners! Sorry I've been MIA lately...I'm trying to land a (real) job. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rave review-

First of all, let me say that Northern Essence has not paid me or asked me to write about them on my blog. I just REALLY like their products. They've got a little bit of everything- baby soap, nursing pads, diaper cream, bath stuff for mom and dad, candles, etc. I especially love that their products are natural and REASONABLY PRICED! I've tried a few of their soaps, and the deo disks for my diaper pail, but my favorite thing from Northern Essence so far is their Better Butt(er) Cream. It's safe to use with cloth diapers and has a wonderful creamy texture and no gross smell like some diaper creams. Here's the link, check out their stuff:

Northern Essence

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cheaper greener tip for today- tea in a jar

I drink a lot of tea, and instead of using powdered iced tea mix (NOT cheap or green), here's what I do:

I have a half gallon glass milk bottle (you could use a big jar or any type of glass bottle). I fill it with HOT tap water, pop in 3 tea bags, and set it on the counter for an hour or so to steep. I'm still nursing Ollie, so I stick to decaf or herbal teas, but you can try lots of different combinations. My favorites are: 2 decaf bags and 1 earl grey, or 1 decaf, 1 lemon, 1 mint.

I don't sweeten my tea, but if you wanted to you could add a squirt of agave nectar or honey.

Oh, and toss those used tea bags in your compost pile instead of the trash!

Enjoy :o)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cheaper greener tip for today- check your checking

If you already have online banking and pay your bills via the internet, hooray for you! If you don't, look into it. Often, online checking acounts have no fees, and may even earn interest, so shop around. And the green part is, less paper wasted! If you get on a website like, you can compare some online checking account deals side-by-side.

Make sure you look at some local banks and credit unions too. Our bank is local but we have an interest-earning free checking account with full online access. They also refund all ATM fees each month. To keep up our end of the deal, we must use our debit card at least 10 times per month, pay at least one bill online, and receive our monthly statements electronically. Pretty easy...and cheap...and green!

Friday, October 17, 2008

More yummy muffins

I made these the other night, and they came out sooo good :) These tasty muffins are a great way to get some extra fruit, veggies and fiber in your diet. I used a flour combo, but you can skip the wheat flour and wheat germ and just use 1-1/3 cup all purpose flour if you want.

Stef's Morning Glory Muffins

1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon (I used a little bit of pumpkin pie spice too)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated apple
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup raisins or chopped nuts (optional)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil (or use half oil, half applesauce for less fat)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 and grease (I do a quick coat of nonstick spray) 12 muffin cups. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a second bowl, combine carrots, apple, coconut, raisins/chopped nuts, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until batter forms. Spoon batter evenly into 12 muffin cups, then bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

Netflix- a good deal?

Hubby and I LOVE movies. We used to spend a fortune renting movies when we had no cable or satellite and we were living the baby-free life, then we found Netflix. Instead of spending $3.50 plus the cost of gas every time we wanted to see something (which was 3-4 times per week), we could pay about $15 per month for 2 movies out at a time. As soon as we send one back, there's a new movie in the mailbox 2 days later. Let's look at how much that saved us:

(round it up to $4.50 per movie to account for gas)
so $4.50 x 4 movies per week = $18 x 4 weeks = $72!
with Netflix, the cost per month is only $15 for the 2 out at a time, and if we watch movies the day we get them, we can end up with about 3-4 per week.
Total Savings: $57 per month!

Netflix also has some hard-to-find flicks and seasons of your favorite shows, which is an added bonus.

Now, if $15 is a little more than you would like to spend, they have a 1 movie out at a time plan for 8.99 plus tax-- still a pretty good deal.

If you'd rather spend um... nothing, check out your local library. They may not have the best selection, but free is good.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cheaper greener tip for today- baby food

Maybe this subject doesn't apply to everyone, but let's talk baby food anyways. Ideally, I would love to make all my own baby food, but in reality, I don't always have time. I've found a few shortcuts that are quick and easy and MUCH cheaper than store bought baby food. (Although we still splurge on a few jars of the Earth's Best variety each month).

When I have time to make up a batch of baby food, here are the steps that I take:
1. peel, cut up veggies/fruit
2. steam
3. puree with hand blender or food processor
4. let cool, then freeze in ice cube trays
5. pop out frozen food cubes and put in freezer bag

Fruit/Veggies to try with the frozen cube method (you can do combinations for older babies):
sweet potato
butternut squash
summer squash
white potato

If your purees are too thick, add expressed breastmilk, formula, or a little bit of water
If your putees are too thin, add a little bit of baby cereal just before serving

There are also some foods that you can mash without cooking, which saves time and energy- ripe banana and avocado are two that come to mind.

When you really don't have time to make baby food, here are some options that are cheaper than the little jars (especially if you choose organic).
*Save money by buying applesauce and whole milk yogurt in full-sized containers instead of little baby-sized ones.
*Instead of buying the puffs with added flavors and preservatives, try puffed rice as a first finger food for your baby (you can get a big box of it for a couple of dollars).
*In the frozen food section of your supermarket, you can find already pureed winter squash and sometimes pumpkin or sweet potato as well.

****Always consult your pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby****

A great website to check out for more info on making your own baby food: Wholesome Baby Food

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Free samples- Bear Naked granola and Kashi cookie!

Get your granola!

And a cookie to go with your organic milk!

Diva discussions continued

There are a few things I wanted to add about the Diva Cup. For me, and many others I've spoken to, there seems to be a learning curve. The first few times I inserted my cup were tricky, but it became easier after the first couple of days. Here is a great resource on different folds (shown using a different cup, but you get the idea):

Menstrual cup folds

I also wanted to link to the Diva Cup website because they have a great FAQ section:

Diva Website

Hope this info helps!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Are you a Diva?

Warning to any men that may read this: this post contains girly vagina information not suitable for men of any age. Stop reading. Seriously, this is more info. than you would ever want to know.

After 16 blissful months without Aunt Flo, she has returned full force and I've finally gotten to try out my Diva Cup. I have to say I'm totally impressed. For those of you who are unaware of this fantastic little invention, here's the scoop:

The Diva Cup is inserted like a tampon, but instead of absorbing your monthly blood flow, it catches the blood in a cup and can be emptied out, then re-inserted. It comes in two different sizes (pre-baby is size 1 and post-baby is size 2). According to the Diva Cup website, they should be replaced every year, but as long as it is sterilized and cared for, I'm guessing they would be ok for about 3 years.
I got mine for just under $20 which is a great deal, considering how much money I will save over the next few years not having to buy tampons. Well, let's go ahead and see just how much money I'll save (this is really an estimate since tampon preferences differ as well as how heavy/long a person's period is...).
Let's say I can get an economy pack of 100 regular tampons for about $15. On average a person bleeds for about 5 days and changes their tampon every few hours, so about 6 per day. That's 30 tampons for each monthly period.
30 tampons x 12 months = 360 tampons x 3 years = 1080 tampons
so for 3 years I would need to buy about 11 boxes of tampons at $15 = $165
SAVINGS from buying a Diva Cup = $145
Even if you replace your Diva cup each year, you could still save about $40 per year!
Monetary savings aside, there are other reasons to switch to a Diva Cup:
Environmental reasons- less waste, packaging, etc.
Less vaginal dryness/irritation- people with sensitive skin (like me) can appreciate a non-chemical alternative to tampons
Convenience- Diva Cup can be worn for up to 12 hours, and there's no need to send hubby on an embarrassing trip to the pharmacy

Get your Diva Cup!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A few vacation photos

We had a great time, and I'm looking forward to sharing some cheaper greener tips with you when I finish the ridiculous amount of laundry we came home with!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Oh Vacation, how I love thee...

We're off to Cape Cod for a week-- I'll post some pictures and stories when we get back. Wish us some sunshine (especially for the wedding on the beach Sunday morning)!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Zucchini anyone?

My parents keep trying to pawn off zucchini on us--as usual they planted WAY too much. I do like zucchini, but there is only so much boiled squash I can make my husband eat before he starts whining. For those of you who have the zucchini overload like us, here are some ways to use it up (some of these even work for the ones that resemble baseball bats!)

*Zucchini parmesan (you can make it just like the eggplant variety)
*sauteed zucchini with sweet onion in olive oil, then topped with fresh basil and grated parmesan
*Zucchini bread/muffins--there are lots of good recipes out there (my fav. is listed below)
*add zucchini to soup
*ratatouille (great for using up tomato overload as well)
*for big ugly zucchini, grate it up, and then you can use it fresh or freeze it to use later

I also thought this was hilarious, but I'm a day late--oh well, maybe next year!
Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night

Stef's favorite zucchini muffins
Makes 12

3/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. plain yogurt
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. shredded zucchini, drained a little bit, especially if using frozen
1/4 c. raisins and/or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 and lightly grease 12 muffin cups. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients (except zucchini, raisins and nuts) in separate bowls, then add dry to wet and mix until batter forms. Fold in zucchini/raisins/nuts. Bake 18-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Monday, August 4, 2008

By golly it worked!

SLEEP! Glorious, precious, wonderful sleep! I got some--and it was marvelous!
And there wasn't much crying either. :o)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

This is your brain on no sleep...

My 7 month old is on sleep strike (which has been going on for over 2 months now)--so today we're rearranging some furniture and putting him in his own room. I hate to do it, and there is going to be some crying involved (no, not just me), but I have to because hubby and I can't survive with only 3-4 hours of sleep per night.

Scrambled brains aside, if anyone has ideas to help this kid sleep, please speak up. We've tried just about everything and nothing has worked. My baby actually has DARK CIRCLES under his eyes--they're not as gargantuan as mine, but they're definitely noticable. Here's to hoping for a good night's sleep!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Blogging the RECESSION...

I don't know too many people who aren't affected by this "downturn" crap, my own family included (hello? anybody want to buy a car from my hubby in the middle of a recession?). So when Kristin over at Motherhood Uncensored challenged us to "blog the recession", I was totally on board. The idea is that we all put the piggy button on our blog so that our readers can check out what other bloggers have to say about the recession and all things related. For those of us that make a little bit of money from page traffic, this may help bump up our income (ooohhh an extra 21 cents- I can buy 0.05 gallons of gas!)

Since I haven't done cheaper greener tips in a while, now seems like an appropriate time to revive that practice and give you all something to gnaw on. Oh, and click the piggy to see what everyone else is saying about this economic catastrophe.

Cheaper Greener tips- come on people, pinch those pennies!

*STOP eating so much meat! Meat is relatively expensive and we greedy Americans on average eat way more than we should. Even cutting back by eating meatless a few nights per week can make a significant difference in your grocery bill and your health. There are plenty of other protein sources that are cheaper and better for you. Try cooking with tofu, beans, or nuts. Or stretch a little bit of ground beef with lentils. I made enchiladas the other night using a mixture of ground turkey and lentils--they were delicious!

*STOP buying paper products (well, maybe toilet paper is okay- I'm not THAT hardcore!)
Trade your disposable diapers and wipes for cloth ones, instead of tissues, use a hanky, use real plates instead of paper, no more napkins or paper towels--you can buy cloth ones cheap! use reusable containers with lids instead of plastic baggies/wrap for everything.

*STOP making so many trips everywhere--it is a waste of gas and time! Plan ahead and do all your errands on one day. Make a list so you don't have to go back to the grocery store to get things you forgot.

*GET ORGANIZED! If you're living in chaos, it's easy for bills to get lost in the clutter and not get paid on time--which costs you extra. When you're not organized, you end up buying more of things you already have. If you're looking for cleaning inspiration, (or a kick in the rear) check out For financial inspiration (and a plan to get out of debt, try

And a photo of the cutie for good measure:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ode to Ollie

Blueberry eyes stare wonderingly
at tigerlilies, leaves, clouds
A reflection of the whole world
from a view only half a year old
Breezes ruffle silky blond hair
that has never been trimmed
Your new baby smell has not yet left
but its time is dwindling
Milky softness will give way to
stinky little boy feet

I can't keep you little
but I can cuddle you now
and remind myself that
these sleepless nights don't last forever
I will trade them for a bigger boy
but not just yet.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I know, I'm a slacker...

but there are so many fun things to do in the summer besides writing on my blog! Here's a cute photo of the little guy to hold you over dear readers, and I will come up with something to write about tomorrow.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Win free bumgenius diapers!

Here's the link:

Beat the Heat Summer Contest

All you have to do is enter your info and tell them your favorite way to stay cool in the hot hot summer!

Why I love breastfeeding

1. It's free
2. There's no packaging to throw in the landfill
3. There are no bottles to wash
4. I don't have to get out of bed to feed my baby at 4 a.m.
5. I always have a snack available for him
6. Mama milk is nature's perfect food for babies
7. Breastfed babies have a stronger immune system
8. Breastfed babies are less likely to become obese
9. Breastfeeding is great for cuddling and bonding with baby

10. I woke up this morning and put on my size 5 jeans from my freshman year of college--and I weigh less after 6 months of breastfeeding than I did when I got pregnant! :o)

I usually hate forwarded emails

but this was pretty funny:

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders & says...

'Oh shit....she's awake!!'

hmmm...I'd like to live up to that!

Thursday, June 26, 2008 article to share

Just wanted to share this awesome article that I just read on It's about saving money while eating well!

Go Green Save Money


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Grand opening of my Etsy shop!

Hooray! I just listed my first item on my new Etsy shop: Little Dude Diapers! I've got more stuff to list, but I just wanted to share my excitement with you all...check it out!

Little Dude Diapers

Sunday, June 22, 2008

...and the teething continues.

Ugh...teething is no fun! We haven't seen anything pop through yet, but Ollie has been crabby and miserable for the past week or so. We started using Hyland's Teething Tablets and absolutely love them! They seem to calm the restlessness and make him more comfortable, plus they're all natural so I'm not putting chemicals in my baby.

Another great tip that I got from an elderly lady at church is this: Take a large carrot out of the fridge and wash/peel it. Cut a length of at least 4" and give to baby to chew on. (Make sure the carrot is fat enough that baby can't break off a piece--and make sure to supervise) We used an organic carrot, and he loves it! What a cheap, earth-friendly way to deal with teething!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Homemade bread

I made homemade wheat bread for the first time ever this week, and it actually turned out really awesome! It was quite a bit easier than I thought it would be, it just took time to rise, etc. I used Hillbilly Housewife's recipe for "Beginner's Bread" .
I used one cup of wheat flour and two cups of white, but besides that I followed her recipe exactly and got a really nice loaf of bread out of it. Now that I know how easy it is, I might bake my own bread more often! Especially since it's cheaper and healthier for my family. Take a look at the ingredient label on your bread at home, or next time you're in the bread aisle at the grocery store--there are all sorts of bad things in there (can we say "high fructose corn syrup"?). Anyways, off my soapbox and on to dreamland. Goodnight!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Blueberry eyes

Just showing off the blueberry eyes! Happy 6 months to Ollie on Sunday!


Crunchy: Adjective. Used to describe persons who have ALTERED OR ADJUSTED their lifestyle for ENVIRONMENTAL REASONS.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Free Vitamins!

Here are the links for some free samples of Nature Made vitamins. Enjoy!

Multivitamin for her:
Vitamin C:
Vitamin D:
Super B Complex:

Greener cleaning

When I found out that I was having a baby, I went a little crazy and threw out everything in my house that was toxic. That meant I had to start from scratch with all of my cleaning supplies. After some research, as well as trial and error, I've realized that it is totally unnecessary to use any toxic cleaning products. Here is what I've tried and what I use.

Products that I've tried:
Method all-purpose cleaners, bathroom cleaning wipes, dish soap
Seventh Generation automatic dishwasher soap
Clorox Green Works all purpose cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner
Trader Joe's dish soap, automatic diswasher soap, castille soap
Charlie's soap (laundry detergent)

I actually haven't had a problem with any of the products listed above. I like the scents available with the Method cleaners (mmmm... pink grapefruit). Both the Seventh Generation and Trader Joe's dishwasher soap worked well getting my dishes clean. Not crazy about the scents with Clorox Green works but I do like their toilet bowl cleaner. No complaints about Charlie's soap.

All that is well and good, but buying the greener versions of cleaning products can be expensive. I do keep some on hand, but for the most part I make my own. I've already shared my recipes for laundry soap and dishwasher detergent. Here is what I use to clean everything else.

All-purpose cleaner (for sinks, floors, windows, mirrors, etc.):
1 part water
1 part white vinegar
10 drops of essential oil (I like a combo of tea tree, lavendar, and orange)

Toilet cleaner:
sprinkle in about 1/4 c. baking soda
add 1/4 c. white vinegar and scrub with toilet brush while it fizzes

Tub cleaner:
same as toilet cleaner but I use a sponge instead.

I also use my all-purpose cleaner to clean the baby's toys-- it works as a mild disinfectant.

Now go GREEN your cleaning!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cheaper greener tips to stay cool!

It is BLOODY hot outside here in New England! Since cranking up the AC or driving to somewhere cool (Grocery store, movies, water park, etc.) costs money, let's think of some ways to stay cool on a budget.
*if you have babies or toddlers, let them play with cold washcloths in a bowl of ice water
*get some box fans going and drape wet towels over them
*drink plenty of ice water or iced tea (but not too much caffeine- it's dehydrating)
*go somewhere CLOSE and cool- maybe the library or a lake that is within walking distance
*take a walk in the woods- it's usually several degrees cooler (but make sure to check for ticks after)
*if you don't have an outside pool or a kiddie pool, try filling up the bathtub with cool water and let the kids take a REALLY long bath
*Cover the windows that the sun shines in the most with towels or heavy curtains, keep the lights off, and don't use the stove or oven to cook

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ooooh Freebies!

Wanted to share some freebies :)

*Free emergen-c sampler pack Upper right hand corner-- click "shameless bribe" and fill out a short survey

*Free Clorox 2

*Free chocolate truffles...


Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Just wanted to share a couple of great rhubarb recipes with you all! I made the rhubarb cake this morning and it was delicious :o) These recipes are a great way to use fresh rhubarb.

Rhubarb Custard Pie
(8-9" Pie)

Prepare pie crust

For filling, mix together:

3 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 Tbl. tapioca

Fill pie crust with mixture and bake 10 min. at 400*, then 50 min. at 350*

Rhubarb Cake

3 cups chopped rhubarb

1-1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2-1/8 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. sour cream, plain yogurt, or buttermilk (may need to add a couple tablespoons of milk if using sour cream or yogurt)

1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour 9x13 pan. In a small bowl, mix together rhubarb and 1/2 cup sugar-- set aside. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon-- set aside. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup sugar and stick of butter. Slowly beat in eggs and vanilla. Alternate beating in flour mixture and buttermilk/yogurt/sour cream until it is all added. Fold in rhubarb and almonds. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Saturday, May 31, 2008

Book Review- The Tightwad Gazette

The Complete Tightwad Gazette
LOVE this book! It's one of my favorite resources for frugal living. There are tons of ideas for saving money and reusing/fixing items you already have in your home. There are also tips on hardcore yardsale-ing, gardening, cheap meals, etc. This is a must-have for anyone who is trying to stretch a tight budget!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cheaper greener tips for today!

*Carpooling-- Do you commute to the office? See if you can find a friend that lives nearby to carpool with. Another option for some people is to telecommute one or two days per week. Especially with gas prices the way they are, this can make a huge difference in your budget! On a smaller scale, how about carpooling to the grocery store with a neighbor? Perhaps someone who is elderly and doesn't drive would pitch in for gas money to run errands with you. It doesn't hurt to ask!

*Unplug your electronics chargers when they are not in use! Even when you are not charging something, these will suck electricity when plugged in.

*Only run dishwasher/washer/dryer when they are full. This saves on water, electricity, and detergent. Also, try this homemade dishwasher detergent: mix together equal parts borax and baking soda in a clean jar. Use 2 tblsp. per load (put in the bottom of DW).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rave review for our Ergo

We got A LOT of use out of our new Ergo baby carrier this weekend when we took a trip to Philly. Oliver was a happy little boy riding around on mama and daddy. The snap on hood is great for when baby is sleeping and Karl (who has back problems) carried Ollie for several hours at a time without getting sore. Love it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Look what I made!- Homemade laundry detergent

I just made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent! Here's the recipe:

1 C. Fels-Naptha soap, grated

1/2 C. Borax

1/2 C. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

Use 1 tablespoon per load, so this recipe makes enough for 32 loads.

It cost me about $1.00 in ingredients to make this, so that works out to be about .03 per load--not too shabby! Even the cheapest detergents you can buy at the store cost at least 3 times that. I'll let you know how it works!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Read to your baby!

Just wanted to send out a reminder to all you mommies out there-- it's never too early to start reading to your little one! Ollie especially likes books with soft pages and textures so he can grab on and stick them in his mouth. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cheaper Greener Tips for Today!

*Go Yardsale-ing! Everyone loves a good yardsale, and that season is upon us--here are some tips to make your yardsale experience more enjoyable and efficient:
1-CHECK YOUR LOCAL PAPER for yardsale locations for the upcoming weekend and plan a route so that you won't be backtracking and wasting gas.

2-MAKE A LIST of items you are looking for and approximately what you are willing to spend on them (remember- a bargain isn't a bargain unless you have a use for it and a place to put it). Also keep in mind that if you are looking for clothing for a child that is not with you or furniture for a certain space, it is a good idea to write down measurments and bring a tape measure with you.

3-HAVE SMALL BILLS AND CHANGE on hand because it is easier to haggle if you have exact change for the price you are willing to pay.

4-WHEN YARDSALE-ING WITH CHILDREN, give each child a set amount of money ahead of time. This will alleviate the "mommy-i-want-that" and will teach them a lesson in budgeting and counting money.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Great website

Found this great website and wanted to share:

Lots of green products and ideas to fight global warming!

Cheaper Greener Tips for Today!

*Loaded baked potatoes make a great inexpensive lunch or dinner and you can top them with almost anything! To save energy (and not heat up your house in the summer), wrap washed potatoes in foil and pop them in the crockpot on low for 4 hours. Some of my favorite toppings are: edamame and shredded cheese, vegetarian chili, black beans and salsa, or for meat lovers- chopped ham, green onions and cheddar.

*Purchase some inexpensive cloth napkins. If you usually go through a package of napkins each month, that's around $30 per year--cloth ones will pay for themselves pretty quickly! And while you're at it, buy some microfiber towels to have on hand instead of using paper towels. Microfiber soaks up more liquid than cotton and they also pick up dust and dirt really well.

*Clothesline season is here! Hang your clothes and you can save up to $60 in just one season. (Not to mention the CO2 saved by not running your dryer as much) Put up a clothesline or drying racks in your basement and save even more year round!

My cutie boy

Just thought Oliver was looking particularly cute today and wanted to share this photo!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I just watched "The Story of Stuff" and was inspired to share it with everyone. Here it is...

I really do believe that each one of us has the power to make a difference and leave behind a better, cleaner earth for our kids and grandkids. I'll post more later, but for now, watch "The Story of Stuff" and let me know what you think.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Article to share

Check out this article on parenting and environmentalism. I thought it was pretty interesting.,9171,1738629,00.html

We're off to see our friend Kelly's new baby today. Little Delia was born last Tuesday and weighed a whopping 9 lbs. 11 oz.! Can't wait to meet her :) I'll post a photo later.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Discount code for

Just thought I would share. has cloth diapers now! You can use this code "stefblog" to save $5.00 off your first order. Enjoy!

Cloth diapering-- the good, the bad, and the downright stinky

So we've been cloth diapering since Ollie was about 3 weeks old... which was about 4 months ago. Surprisingly, it wasn't all that difficult to get Karl and the 2 grandmothers on board. When I showed Karl the hard numbers on what it would cost to use disposables, he gave me the go-ahead to buy whatever cloth diapers I wanted (within reason of course). Here are my calculations (the economist in me just loves this crap--pun intended...LOL):

2.5 years of diapering = 912 days

Babies go through an average of 8 diapers per day, so

8 diapers per day x 912 days = 7296 (wow that's a lot of diapers!)

Disposable diapers cost about .25 each and if you can get cheap ones to work for you without leaks it's more like .16 each (let's take an average- .20 each)

.20 per diaper x 7296 diapers = $1459.20!

Let's take disposable wipes into account as well.

These cost about .04 each, but some diaper changes require more than one, and they come in handy for messy hands and faces too. So let's estimate that you use 1.5 wipes for every 1 diaper.

This works out to about 10,944 wipes

10,944 wipes x .04 each = $437.76

Add those together and your total for 2.5 years of using disposable diapers/wipes is $1896.96!

Besides the extra costs for electricity, water, and detergent, you can cloth diaper (and wipe) a baby for anywhere from $50 (for those super-frugal resourceful types) to $1500 (for a gorgeous stash of designer dipes).

Not only are cloth diapers and wipes cost-effective, they're healthier for your baby's bum and for the environment! I'll post articles on those topics at some point.

*getting down off my soap box now*

I look forward to sharing our cloth diaper experiences with you all!


I am a stay-at-home mom with a degree in Agricultural Economics (the Ag. part comes in handy for gardening, and the Economics part for money management). I love my family and am learning to put my worries aside and just enjoy being a mommy and a wife. Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy the challenges of stretching paychecks, cooking from scratch, and cloth diapering.

Karl is my soulmate--plain and simple. We will be celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary on July 22, 2008 but we have been together since high school. Karl sells cars and has been blessed with a job where he is happy and treated fairly. He is a great daddy to Oliver.

Oliver "Ollie" is our cute-as-a-button little boy. He was born on December 22, 2007 after 28 hours of labor (which was hell but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!). He is a delightful little guy and I love seeing him discover new things every day. I had no idea what I was in for when I joined this club called "motherhood." Half the time I find myself tripping over my own feet... I think I still have much to learn.

Last but not least (ok, well technically she is least but we still love her) is our loyal pup, Mazi. She is a one of a kind Hungarian Vizsla with TONS of personality! She drives me up the wall but I couldn't imagine life without her wagging tail and soft floppy ears.

To blog or not to blog...

This blog has been a long time coming. I have actually been thinking about things I could write about when I'm in the shower, going to sleep, waking up, nursing Ollie... I've decided that writing is probably the best way to keep my sanity while staying home with a baby (maybe now I can get rid of the "Elmo's World" theme song that is perpetually stuck in my head). I have so many thoughts floating around that just need to get out-- and here is my chance to evict them.

I hope you enjoy reading about my stuggles and triumphs while I'm elbow-deep in baby poo or potting soil letting the dust bunnies float on by. In the coming days, weeks and months you can read about everything from cloth diapers to buying a house (I hope) to finding calm amid the chaos.