Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today's chores

It's 9:59am as I type and the kids are at my mom's for the day and I'm determined to get the house finished up before the weekend is here.  

Did you know that you can use dry-erase markers on your fridge?  It's awesome!  The circles represent how many times I have to do something and the HS packs are these.  I just found that site and TOTALLY love it!

What chores are you doing today?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More chicken coop progress + we got our chicks!

Free roofing = it's doesn't always match

Yup, another 3 kinds of roofing on this side ;)

Seriously love being married to this guy...he has nearly every tool we need :)

3 Araucana + 3 Wyandotte + 4 Barred (Plymouth) Rocks

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why I shop at 2 stores for nearly EVERYTHING

This sounds bizarre, right?  However, it's finally dawned on me that I can "make money back" money by shopping at Fred Meyer and Costco.  I shop at Freddy's every week and receive a 1% cash back check every quarter.  Plus, I shop at Costco 2-3x a month and we have the executive membership where we get 2% back every year, which should almost cover the cost of the $100 membership.  You probably already know what I buy at Costco every month from this post where I listed prices in our local area.

For those of you who are familiar with Fred Meyer you know that they have nearly everything.  On top of groceries, they have a great natural foods section, clothing, shoes, toys, games, garden, household, kitchen, bedroom, crafts...and the list goes on.  So, if I'm going to spend the money on shoes for Miss A, why not make 1% back?  I will say that Freddy's has a nice shoe selection and often has great clearance and good coupons too.

So, back to Costco; we spend about $200 month there, so $2400/year.  2% of that is $48, but I'm going to start buying things there that I've usually bought at Shopko/Target/etc.  Things like light bulbs, greeting cards, workbooks for the get the idea.  I estimate that our 2% reward will end up being about $75/yearly.

Yes, I still try to buy as much as I can used...especially clothing for all of us, but sadly there are a lot of items we need that are non-grocery items.

As for gift buying, I have found Heartsy, which is like Groupon for Etsy, but safer because you can use Paypal.  They have a handful of stores they feature every day and you can purchase "gift cards" for usually 60% off.  I have purchased 4 items so far, which are all gifts and I'm planning to purchase as many gifts as possible from here :)

Do you shop at stores that give you cash back?  

Are you an Etsy shopper?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Courtney at Women Living Well has a great Good Friday post

God Bless you all today!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How are we supposed to celebrate Easter?

This question has been rattling around in my brain for the last month.  How would Jesus want me to celebrate his death and resurrection?  Easter eggs, candy, new clothes, a bunny.  Is that what he had in mind?  I highly doubt it.  Living in the country and time that we do, it is hard to celebrate a holiday without big business getting their profit too.

So far, I'm planning to make a sweet baked good in the morning with a side of bacon, giving the kids each a chocolate cross for their Easter gift and then having an Easter egg hunt.  Sometime this week we'll be dying our eggs for the hunt and then on Sunday evening we'll be having our Easter ham dinner with all the fixins.

How do you celebrate Easter?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gluten free pound cake recipe

I have to admit something to the interwebs.  I have become addicted to the show Cake Boss and have watched all 45 episodes on Netflix.  It's a little over the top on the drama side, however, the cakes they create are seriously outstanding.  I have become interested in making cakes from scratch in the last 6 months and received lots of cake making supplies for Christmas.  On Cake Boss they use pound cake almost always because it's dense and can withstand the man-handling of frosting/decorating.

I tried a gluten-free pound cake recipe last week and it was not very good.  Then I decided to make a gluten-free version from an original recipe.

GF Pound Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I generally use a mix of almond and brown rice)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter - softened
  • 3 cups white sugar (I used a mix organic sugar and honey)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional, in my opinion)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk (can use cream, or whole milk in a pinch)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan (or two 9" cake pans). Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon and the vanilla extracts. Gently mix in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes (or 25 minutes of cake pans). When cake begins to pull away from the side of the pan it is done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. Frost it with your favorite buttercream frosting, fill it with jam between the layers, top it with fresh berries...the possibilities are endless!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What are your favorite books to read... your kids?  Or what are their favorite books?  We've been depleting the children's section at our local library and currently have 30+ books on our "library book table".  I'm looking for your families favorites for ages 2-4 :)

Here is a list of our current favorites:
Bread and jam for Frances
Tikki Tikki Tembo
Duck! Rabbit!
Go Dog. Go!
Hilda must be dancing
Corduroy (any in this series)
Stone soup
Bats at the library
Bob & Otto

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The truth about our modern processed foods

Awesome video about a mother's journey through feeding her family and looking deeper into our food system

Hartke is Online