Saturday, June 23, 2012

Coupon Caddy Organizer


I am excited to share with you my new coupon caddy.  I saw the post on pinterest which led me to Andrea's blog simple organized living, which I absolutely love.  When you have a moment, it's a must see.  This new coupon caddy has changed my grocery shopping experience, because coupons are so easy to find. Also it give each coupon a home, so I no longer find them laying around the kitchen are crinkled up on my purse.  Please it helps me keep them organized so I know where to find them, which helps me save money. No more finding the coupon in my purse or kitchen after I purchased the item, which really adds up and used to bum me out. 


Just like Andrea, I also found my expandable coupon file at Staples.  I love Staples, it's like the Macy's of all office supply stores.  Don't get me started on that place, I will stop in just to explore and dream of how organized I can be.  I purchased the card stock at Michael's, but had to cut it down a little to make the coupon caddy less stiff and easy to use.



I am very anal about things so I had to use my label maker, which I use all the time.  I also taped the top edge with shipping tape to add more durability.  On Andrea's blog you can find her breakdown of categories, but I decided to create my own.  Here it is and feel free to use any of them or all of them.

Coupon Caddy Categories--Sub-Catagories
     Baking/Cooking - cake/cookie mixes
     Baking/Cooking - ingredients/supplies
     Baking/Cooking - spices/seasonings

     Beverages - bottle/canned drinks (water/pop/tea)
     Beverages - coffee/tea
     Beverages - juice
     Beverages - lemonade/drink mixes

     Cans/Jars - beans/legumes
     Cans/Jars - fruit/vegetables
     Cans/Jars - pasta sauce & other sauces
     Cans/Jars - soup/broth
     Cans/Jars - salsa/tomatoes
   
     Condiments - marinade/sauces
     Condiments - pickles/olives/relish tray items
     Condiments - salad dressing/toppings
     Condiments - sandwich/burger spreads/toppings
   
     Dairy/Refrigerated - cheese/meat
     Dairy/Refrigerated - chilled dough/rolls/cookies/pudding
     Dairy/Refrigerated - coffee creamer/milk
     Dairy/Refrigerated - dips/spreads/cream cheese/sour cream
     Dairy/Refrigerated - eggs/butter
     Dairy/Refrigerated - goodbelly/yogurt
     Dairy/Refrigerated - other

     Dry Goods/Grains/Starches - bread/tortillas
     Dry Goods/Grains/Starches - cereal/oatmeal/poptarts
     Dry Goods/Grains/Starches - pasta/rice/sides

     Fresh Food - bakery
     Fresh Food - deli
     Fresh Food - meat department
     Fresh Food - produce
     Fresh Food - salsa/spreads/dips
     Fresh Food - pickles/other

     Frozen Food - bread/dough
     Frozen Food - breakfast items
     Frozen Food - fruit/veggies
     Frozen Food - gluten free/dairy free
     Frozen Food - ice cream/desserts/novelties
     Frozen Food - meals
     Frozen Food - meat/seafood
     Frozen Food - pizza/pizza rolls

     Grooming Hygiene - deodorant/soap
     Grooming Hygiene - feminine hygiene
     Grooming Hygiene - hair care
     Grooming Hygiene - make up
     Grooming Hygiene - oral care
     Grooming Hygiene - skin care/shaving

     Health/Medical - cold medicine/relief
     Health/Medical - first aid
     Health/Medical - pain relievers
     Health/Medical - pharmacy other
     Health/Medical - vitamins/supplements

     Household - cleaning/laundry
     Household - food storage/wraps
     Household - hardware/batteries/lightbulbs
     Household - office/school supplies
     Household - paper goods

     Snacks/Treats - candy/gum
     Snacks/Treats - chips/pretzels
     Snacks/Treats - cookies/cakes
     Snacks/Treats - crackers
     Snacks/Treats - nuts/dried fruit/popcorn
     Snacks/Treats - snack bars/energy bars



Here's why I love it: Andrea's idea is great because each person can create it to their own needs and store layout.  Changes are easy to make.  Portable, but stretches out to hold lots of coupons.  You can store the coupons for your shopping trip in the front box and add more to it as you shop.  It really saves so much time.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ladybug Release


We are having such a fun summer.  I have been on the hunt for fun activities for my daughter.  A friend of mine told me that you can purchase a whole bunch of ladybugs from the garden center to release in your garden.  So we took a trip to Tagawa Gardens to purchase the ladybugs and a few other things.





We waited until dusk. Ran the sprinkler in our garden, so the ladies had something to drink.  Then released a third of the package at a time over 3 nights.  They come in a package of 2000 and you store them in the refrigerator before and between releases.


This was a fun after dinner project.  It's so good for the garden and the yard too.


Each night we had ladybugs everywhere. We had to tread lightly and take extra care to not step on the ladybugs.


..and made sure we had no ladybugs on us before we entered the house


The release was over two weeks ago and I still see at least 2 or 3 each time I go outside.





Monday, May 14, 2012

Laundry Detergent

Over the last month I have come to the conclusion that I LOVE Sal Suds!  So, with all the plans that I had, my 32 oz bottle was not cutting it.  I needed more because I tried it as laundry detergent and I was lovin'  the results. Here is the link to Sal Suds laundry detergent I started with. It is quite good and inspired me.  When I tried this recipe, I was loving that when I added this detergent to the running water in the wash there were BUBBLES....but as I continued to use it as the weeks went by, I really wanted more sudsiness.  My favorite part is there is no grating soap in this recipe.  Also, this recipe no ugly gloppyness I was finding in soap grating recipes...this is a huge plus for me, because you don't have to add water later on to even out the detergent.  I was afraid it wasn't as effective as it was in the beginning.  



Thanks to my local Vitamin Cottage for ordering this gallon jug for me.  I am such a loyal of fan and love visiting this shop.  I could have ordered it online for the same price,  but I love supporting my local Colorado businesses.

Here is the link to Sal Suds laundry detergent I started with. It is quite good and inspired me.  My favorite part about making this recipe is there was no soap grating. I was so happy.  I loved the fresh, clean smell and BUBBLES this recipe provided... but as the weeks went on I realized I wanted more bubbles and a tad bit more cleaning power, so I decided to adapt the recipe. When I tried this recipe, I was loving that when I added this detergent to the running water in the wash there were plenty of bubbles and the results are just lovely.  My favorite part about using Sal Suds in laundry detergent recipes is there no ugly gloppyness I was finding in soap grating recipes...this is a huge plus for me, because you don't have to add water later on to even out the detergent.  I was afraid it wasn't as effective as it was in the beginning.  



So here is the recipe I came up with and I am so loving the results.... pure cleanliness.  My laundry smells so fresh and clean and not perfumey.
No-grate, Kick Ass Laundry Detergent Recipe

1 cup Super Washing Soda
1 cup Borax (optional, but I'm loving the results)
1/3 cup of salt
4 cups of water
2 Tbsp of glycerin (optional)
1 1/2 cups of Sal Suds

Over medium low heat warm up 4 cups of water, washing soda, borax and salt until mostly dissolved. Remove from burner and add glycerin and Sal Suds .  Fill gallon container half way with water, add warmed laundry concoction after letting it slightly cool. Top off gallon container with more water and rotate.  Be careful and add water slowly or else you will end up with too many suds. Before washings you can rotate or gently shake bottle before pouring in wash.  1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on whether wash is small or large.  In between for medium loads.  Also you can use more for extra dirty loads.  I hope you are as amazed as I am.


Once our printer is fixed  I plan on adding a label yet but I plan on doing so by including the ingredients.

Special Note: the glycerin and Borax are optional, because it works okay without it.  I just feel the addition of the two give the detergent some extra cleaning power.  The difference is pretty noticeable to me. 



Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day!!

Happy Mothers Day to all you Moms out there. I hope you all had as wonderful  and relaxing of a day as I did.  Our household has been very sick over the last few weeks.  That is one the reasons I have not been posting lately, plus I've had a few job interviews and am in the process of renewing my RT certification.  Besides that, I'm so feeling the love this Mothers Day.  How about you?



Even in the middle of my hubby and daughter being sick they were able to find time to take a trip to the ceramic store and make these.  Aren't they just the cutest?



Me and my daughter showing off her work of art this morning.  "I love you too, Bunny!" Please excuse the morning hair and no make up.  My girl always looks lovely no matter what the time of day.



And my beautiful, funny, whacky girl...who has made my life so wonderful and fun the last 7 and a half years.  She makes me laugh and smile more than anyone, next to my husband.  It is such privilege to be her mommy.
     

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Eucalyptus EO... Sticky Label Remover

While I was at the store last week purchasing eucalyptus EO the cashier told me it is excellent for removing labels and stickers as well as cleaning.  Who would have knew?  Definitely not me.  No wonder it works so well in my all purpose cleaner.


So I thought I would try it on this bottle our salad dressing came in.


I only intended to put 5 - 8 drops, but it came out  a little fast, so be careful to not get it all over the countertop. I think about 15-20 drops came out.  It's hard to focus when you are also the one taking the picture.  


After scraping for about 20 seconds with a nylon scraper and then wiping away with a
 sponge and warm water the label was totally gone.  Quite superb, don't ya think?  Now I have an adorable vase for my white daisies growing in the garden this summer.
   

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sal Suds Multi-purpose Cleaner

I wanted to post another recipe with Sal Suds that has a little extra power for cleaning messy countertops, bathroom sinks, spills on floors, dirty walls  This works awesome and I love the smell. Weird maybe, I know.  With TTO I find that people either love it or hate it.  This is a recipe I came up with myself after doing some research and talking to one of my green cleaning neighbors.


Sal Suds Multi-purpose Cleaner
  • Water (24 ounces)
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Sal Suds Castile soap
  • ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tsp Super Washing Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Borax
  • 25 drops tea tree oil (TTO)
  • 2 drops eucalyptus oil 
Put in spray bottle an mix gently. The Borax and Washing Soda does take a little time to dissolve. Careful, the hydrogen peroxide causes the spray bottle to expand and contents may overflow even though bottle is closed.  Make sure to store on top of paper towel to protect surface from leakage when batch is fresh and bottle is full.   For best results wipe with a wet cloth, then follow up with a dry one.  This cleaner requires very minimal scrubbing and provides a sparkling clean.  Enjoy!
   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sal Suds....Love!

Have you tried Sal Suds yet?  Well, if you haven't you should.  This is my favorite dish soap, multi-purpose cleaner, and laundry detergent.  For just under $12 for the bottle (at Vitamin Cottage in CO),  it is totally worth it.   


For my dish soap/multi-purpose cleaner I mixed a water filled spray bottle with 1 TBSP of Sal Suds, and 2 drops of Eucalyptus EO, and 25 drops of Tea Tree EO.  Make sure you add the Sal Suds after the water is in the bottle or else you will end up with a bubbly mess, a little goes a long way.   I got this idea from Lisa Bronner's blog.


The dishes came out spotless this morning...and I thought I should definitely post about this and share some Sal Suds lovin'.  

The hubby and I also used this solution to clean the refrigerator over the weekend and it is sparkling.  I have also used Sal Suds to make a stronger all-purpose cleaner and some laundry detergent. I tried it in some homemade dishwasher detergent and it did not work as well as the detergent I normally use.  I don't think my sink, dishes, kitchen appliances and laundry have ever been so clean.  I also used it as a substitute for the Dawn dish soap in my Kick Ass Glass Cleaner recipe.  

If you use Sal Suds, or if I have inspired you to try it, I would love to hear from you.
   

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mac Monday...iPhone App Lovin'...Awesome Shopping


I am totally lovin' my iphone and i'm sure that many of you can relate.  I think what makes the iPhone so awesome and fun are the apps that are available.  God Bless those talented developers who work so hard to make them, which makes our lives so much easier. 

Today I thought i would share my favorite shopping list app that I use and update constantly.  It is so easy to use that my 7 year old is beginning to take it over.
  


It is called Awesome Shopping http://makeshoppingawesome.com/.  If you look it up on the App Store the reviews are 4 1/2 stars and for .99 cents you really can't go wrong.

Read on to see why I love it.... you can customize it more than any of the shopping list apps that I have tried. 


First, you can add as many shops as you need to so each shop has it's own list.




                



Secondly, you can add items, and then customize the item you add by aisle, quantity, unit and add extra notes.



          


Finally, once you are done you can cross the items off your list. Then delete them... and then..






Look what it tells you.  How awesome it that!  So for .99 cents you get told how awesome you are over and over again.  Maybe that is the real reason I like it so much. LOL!!



So here is the link if your interested to have that awesome shopping experience.   http://makeshoppingawesome.com. Happy awesome shopping.
   

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Kick Ass Glass Cleaner

Please note: I had to repost this because I accidentally  deleted it, which also deleted some lovely comments from my readers.  Please feel free to comment again and know that your comments were not deleted on purpose. I really love hearing from my readers.



Since I ran out of glass cleaner I had to make more yesterday.  I wanted to try this recipe I found on pinterest just for kicks.  If you are interested, here is the link http://www.crazydomestic.com/2011/03/best-homemade-glass-cleaner-ever.html.  It works even better than the one I made up a few days ago (it really kicks ass, lol). The few things I did different were adding Dr. Bronner's liquid soap (love, love Dr. Bronners), peppermint essential oil, camphor essential oil and the drop of blue food coloring.  I find the Dr. Bronner's adds some extra cleaning power to just about anything, but the tiniest amount goes a long way. I increased the essential oils because the increase in alcohol creates a very strong smell and the EO's help tone it down.  If your you don't mind the smell feel free to leave out the EO's.


So here's my version of Crazy Domestic's Best Glass Cleaner.. Ever.  I will call mine Kick Ass Glass Cleaner...well because in my opinion, it kicks ass.


I even took new picture of it, because it looks a little different than my other recipe.

Kick Ass Glass Cleaner
1 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Alcohol
1/2 to 1 Tbsp Ammonia (I use 1/2 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp of Dawn Dish Detergent
4 drops of Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap
25 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil (Optional)
2 drops of Camphor Esssential Oil (Optional)
1 drop of blue food coloring (Optional)

Combine all about all ingredients in spray bottle, shake and you are good to go.
   


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Homemade glass cleaner...that works!


3/27/2012 Please Note: check out my recent post on another glass cleaner that works even better... http://cohippychik.blogspot.com/2012/04/kick-ass-glass-cleaner.html The recipe in this post does work well but I just wanted to make sure you knew about this other one that I like even more.  :)

There are so many homemade glass cleaner recipes on the internet. I have tried so many of them that I have lost count.. including the green ones with club soda and vinegar.  I would prefer to be green and most of my homemade cleaners are. However, I am a stickler for clean mirrors and windows, and being green for this recipe wasn't cutting it.  The cornstarch recipe out there was not working out for me at all. That was my worst experience. It actually made a white caky mess on my mirrors that took me 3 cleaning attempts to get it off.  This cornstarch recipe was the last one I tried and I was really hoping it would work, but to my husband it was a disaster, but a humorous one.  My husband thought I was crazy trying all these recipes and told me to give up after the cornstarch incident. So, after much research and trial and error here is the glass cleaner recipe I came up with. Well guess what?  It works and my frustration is over. If you try it out,  I would love to hear what you think. For some of you the cornstarch or other methods may work.  I just hope you don't have to go through the same disaster I did.   

J's glass cleaner
  2 Cups of Water 
  2 Tbsp of Ammonia
  4 Tbsp of Rubbing Alcohol
  1 squirt of Dish Soap (I use the blue Dawn)
  3-4 drops of Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap (optional)
  10-15 drops of Peppermint essential oil (optional, for fragrance)
  1-2 drops of blue food coloring (optional, just for kicks)

Combine all ingredients, shake and your ready to clean glass.

On a side note with glass cleaner the sprayer you use makes a big difference.  The one I use is from an old  Febreze bottle and which gives the spray the perfect spread.  Kind of like a heavy mist. I also use microfiber cloths, which are the bomb.
   

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lexi's Birthday Gift...

One thing about our daughter is she is definitely the most amazing and special thing that Brian and I share.  We feel so fortunate to have her as part of our lives so we both try to give her the childhood we could have only dreamed of.  Taking a look back at many of the things we have done,  she is definitely one lucky girl, but not nearly as lucky as we are to have her.  As a wife to such a wonderful guy, and a mommy to such an angel,  I am definitely the most lucky gal in world.  


So, for her 7th Birthday we surprised her with concert tickets to go see her favorite musician. Mommy feels very lucky because it is one of her favorite artists too.


It was so fun to plan and prepare a very special way to tell her. To begin with, we picked her up from school with our car decorated.  With all these hints, she still had no clue about her gift...

Sparks Fly.... Enchanted.. Best Day... any guesses yet?

Picture to Burn...  Love Story...  TS Bound...


We had way too much fun decorating...


and Brian designed the cake.



Tickets for all three of us to share the experience of Lexi's first concert.

Lexi was ecstatic with her birthday gift and counted down the days before the concert. The concert itself was one of the best ones we have ever seen and was an experience we will never forget.  That will definitely be another post to share.
   

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fabulous Find..Vitamix


If there was one thing that we could not do without it would be our Vitamix.  We have had it for over a year now and feel like it has been worth every penny.  We had been wanting one for a few years and were tired of purchasing a new blender every year at 40 bucks + a pop after they would break down.  When our last Black & Decker blender broke down we made the decision it was time.  Yes, it was expensive...over $500 for the deluxe package, but we feel we have made up for it by making our own smoothies and lattes alone.  We have only stepped into a Starbucks twice in the last year and that was when we were our of town.  We have not purchased a smoothie since we have had our Vitamix, due to the fact that we were afraid mere disappointment.  We love our smoothies and they are nothing but pure fruit, a shot of juice, ice and very little agave nectar.  We have also made many soups, some garbanzo and almond flour, and our homemade dog food in the Vitamix.  The difference in quality between your average blender and Vitamix are huge. We have yet to be disappointed



We make our smoothies every morning.




Looks delish, huh?