Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snowflake decor

After Christmas, my house looks tree, no garland, no colorful decorations...empty feeling.  I immediately decorate with snowflakes for the rest of winter.  I tape paper snowflakes that the kids have made on my front windows.  I love to see their creative works!  We cut snowflakes out of coffee filters, cupcake wrappers, and paper doilies.  They were all beautiful!  Ours are decorated with blue and silver glitter!  Some of the doilies were so pretty that we just left them uncut.

In my FamilyFun Magazine, I saw a wonderful idea for my fireplace mantle...plastic bottle snowmen, paper trees, and shiny silver garland...I am crafting this...

Reading for Life- It takes time

This is a story for "inspiration" that I got at our school's literacy meeting....why we need to build on language EVERYDAY!!! -Mrs. Kelly Smith

Reading for Life

"Reading is the greatest single effort that the human mind undertakes, and one must do it as a child."
 -John Steinbeck

So, THIS MAN decides to plant a special type of bamboo.  He goes to his yard and measures an area 20 ft by 20 ft.  Over several days, he digs down two feet to break up the clay earth, sifts the dirt, adds manure to fertilize the soil, carefully plants the bamboo, covers it, and marks off the boundaries.  Every morning, before breakfast, he carries water from the stream to his plot.  He weeds and waters and waits. Every day.
After a year, no shoots have appeared. A neighbor who has observed the man's daily efforts stops as the man worked away and asks, "Why are you working so hard for nothing?"
"It takes time," the man replies.
The next year, the man does exactly the same thing.  Every day, he walks to the stream at dawn, carries the water, carefully soaks and weeks his plot. At the end of that year, still nothing has broken the surface. The same neighbor walks by, "Why are you wasting your time?" he asks.  "I have some good seeds I'd give you."
"It takes time,"the man replies.
The third year, the man builds a small fence around the plot to keep out animals.  Each morning he walks to the stream and carries water to his plot. He continues to tend it with care. At the end  of the third year, when still no shoots have appeared, his neighbor asks, "Are you crazy? Why do you keep doing that?"
"It takes time," the man replies.
Three weeks later, the first small, green shoots push through the soil.  They grow. And grow, And grow! Six weeks later, the man's bamboo towers over 60 feet high.

It takes time.  This phrase has little credence in our fast-forward, sound-bite world, where a moment's silence on TV is referred to as "dead air" and multitasking is a way of life.  But during those years when it seemed the bamboo was doing nothing, critically important things were happening:  The roots of the bamboo were spreading, branching, thickening, developing the strength and vigor to support the bamboo's future phenomenal growth and size.  Only with watering and careful nurturing could the plant develop the root structure to support the towering stalks of bamboo.  Every bit of the man's effort, every ounce of water, was needed.

For your child to become a great reader, his/her mind needs similar watering.  You water your child with words-talking and reading.  It doesn't take a lot of time, but you must never forget to water, a little bit every day, day after day, week after week, year after year.

-taken from 1st pages of the book:  7 Keys to Comprehend by Susan Zimmermann

Monday, January 23, 2012

Less is More for Valentine's Day!!!

I was reading the most recent issue of All You mag and realized that we save money around Valentine's Day too, and really get to enjoy it at the same time...

Instead of Going out to Dinner....plan a special dinner at home with or without the kiddos.  Heart-shaped grilled cheese with tomato soup, picnic style by the fire, s'mores over the fire, creative!

Instead of giving Boxed Candy...make your own together with your love or invite the kids to help and make it a fun and creative family occasion.  Cut an assortment of fresh yummy fruit and dip in melted dark chocolate or white chocolate, add pink/red sprinkles to make it special.  Dip pretzels, popcorn, crackers, or fingers!!!! YUM!!

Instead of spending a small fortune at the Florist...consider this:  Personally, I am not a "flower loving" type of gal...seems like a waste of money because they die...I prefer a live plant...I have dropped the hint that I'd love some small herbs for my kitchen window, something that can be used for a long time.  Flowers or decorations can be added to a live plant to make it seasonal and pretty! 

Instead of spending money on a card....write your's soooo much more special and you don't have to dig through the card section, reading tons of cards, trying to find "the one" that says what you feel...nothing is better than your own words!  OR, better yet, we have the same two cards that we gave to eachother 10 years ago, we dig them out and write a special addition to it each year, it's fun to read the previous year's comments to see how we have changed and what has stayed the same....our love!  lol!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Healthy Kid Friendly Snacks

I found some yummy kid-friendly recipes over at Kid Ventures!  The first one is:

Banana in a Blanket

whole wheat tortilla
1 Tbs. peanut butter
1 banana
1 tsp honey or syrup (optional)
1 Tbs of granola or other small cereal crunchies

Lay tortilla on plate, spread with peanut butter, sprinkle granola, then place banana on top.  Roll up.  Drizzle with honey or syrup and garnish with more granola.  I skip the last two steps, the roll up alone is awesome! 

Fruity Sweet Cones

sliced banana
cubed mandarin oranges
1/4 cup miniature marshmallows or chocolate chips
pineapple chunks
sliced strawberries
3/4 cup low-fat lemon yogurt

Instructions: Chop, slice, and prepare the fruit. Toss together with marshmallows or chocolate chips. Spoon mixed ingredients into the empty cone and drizzle with lemon yogurt.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Healthier Meatball Subs

Here at Money Saving Momma, I'm all about saving money, but if I can save calories too....that's a bonus!

For these yummy meatball subs, I hollowed out the hoagie rolls to cut some carbs/calories. ($2.00 @ aldi's)  I saved the crumbs that I dug out, drizzled them with olive oil & garlic salt to save for a salad...homemade crunchy croutons! 

I bought turkey meatballs from Aldis for $3...healthier than the alternative and inexpensive!  I put them in a saucepan with Aldi's all natural spaghetti sauce (no high fructose corn syrup and cost $1.20).  Let it simmer.

I toasted the buns, added the meatballs and sauce, topped with mozz cheese, then popped them back in the broiler for 2 minutes...nice and melty!  YUM!  I sliced some green bell pepper & white onion for added veggies on top.

This recipe is kid son ate 1 1/2 sammies...that's huge for him.  My 3 year old asked for more and more meatballs.  I served this with a simple spinach salad, drizzled with evoo & lemon it!  PLUS, there is plenty leftover to make some pasta and have spaghetti tomorrow! If I add in the price of tomorrow's pasta, I will have spent a total of $10.50 for two complete dinners for all four of us!  That's pretty good!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Visalus Body by Vi !!!!!

So..this is a post from my Family Blog...I held off posting on this blog because I try to keep it dedicated to SAVING this product fits the bill!!  I am saving money and adding years to my life..i think it's time to blog about that!!  I am blogging about VISALUS or Body By Vi !!!

"My sister and I have been going to the gym for 13 months, pretty regularly, like 2-5 times per week.  We even hired a trainer to kick our butts.  We altered our diet to reduce fast food, increase veggies, and even started juicing!  We journaled what we ate, tried to cut carbs out after 4pm and definitely felt better, more healthy, though a bit deprived of evening snacks!  Anyways, I am so glad that we started this journey, but to be honest...I lost some weight, gained some back and kinda did the roller coaster the end of an entire year of being conscious and exercising, I have lost 13lbs. 

I went to the doctor for a check-up, maybe there is something else going on that is making weight loss so difficult, but nope, thyroid, blood pressure, cholesterol...all great!  I'm glad, but was kinda hoping that there was a "reason" that all my effort wasn't enough. 

Around that same time, my sister kept telling my about one of her friends on Facebook...claiming she was losing weight, getting her health back and really changing her life with a product called Visalus.  I didn't have much interest...I doubted it would help "us", plus I didn't know this friend of sister was so amazed at the transformation of her friend that she bought us some shake mix to share.  We loved the taste, especially since we were trying out different protein powders in our smoothies...yuck!  This stuff tasted delicious, I figured I could at least try it.  We loved the energy we felt, the way it kicked my carb/sweets cravings, and we started to see the scale inch it's way DOWN!!!  Really?!?!  I thought it might be "in my head"...still trying to doubt this product!  We refused to tell anyone about it until we had proof!  We started our official 90 Day Challenge on November 30th....and the numbers are in!!

I have lost 11 lbs and 5.5inches, I keep thinking that I could have done better, but let's face was over the holidays and the numbers moved in the right direction!!  I should be thankful that I didn't gain, I doubt there has EVER been a holiday season that I didn't gain!!  I feel great and can't wait to get back into the routine of working out and continuing my Visalus Challenge!  First month down and 2 more to go!!!" 

I will blog more about this because we have decided to become promoters and are already getting checks in the mail!  YES, we are actually getting paid to help people get healthy...this is like a dream come true for me!!!

Workout for Cheap!

I was at Costco today and noticed tons of workout videos, including...Tai-bo, zumba, yoga, pilates, biggest loser, jillian micheals, etc...all for $7.99!  I thought that was pretty cheap, but then I started thinking about how I've bought them before and not liked them and then it's not cheap, it's a WASTE of can go to the library and check them out for FREE...or you can rent them at your local video store!  At Family Video, they are only 99 cents for 3 nights...that's plenty of time to see if you like it enough to buy it!!  Happy working out!!!