Friday, March 26, 2010

Razor Blades

Do what!!  Yes, it says razor blades, and let me now tell you why:
  • Cost - about 1.50 for a pack of 10 single edge (which is what you want)
  • Grout - after you scrub grout, there is usally this little bit of gunk you just can't get out, well, I get it out with virtually no effort with a razor blade
  • Gas cooktop - you know what I mean, the little bit of dried oil, butter, food, etc that get burned, brown and stuck on right there under where the flame comes out, a razor blade takes them off easily, just be careful not to dig so you don't scratch your surface
  • Nonstick cookware - **don't do this if you have any type of warranty because it will nullify it.  But if you have the cheaper kind, I personnally have used a razor blade to get stuck on pam spray off before.  My hubby is usually the only one to use the nonstick and clean it, and sometimes if little bits of the spray gets left on, it will burn on and it's hard to get off -
  • Glass - get stray spray paint or other stuck on matter off of glass in a cinch - I personally love to do this on my toaster oven because it's hard to clean the door
  • Small appliances - I have a kitchen aid stand mixer that I use almost daily.  I wipe it down after I use it, but sometimes I like to take if apart and just give it a good bath.  Well, since I make a lot of flour products, bits of flour dust get left behind when I wipe it down, and because it's not far from the stove, grease particles maket he flour stick, and sometimes you get gunk around the screws in the back of the machine, so when I give my mixer the spa treatment, I get the razor blade out and scrape gently around the joints and screws and my baby comes out clean as a whistle.
  • I use a clean razor blade to slash bread tops before baking too, you can get pretty creative with the art this way because the slashes are so clean.
The razor blade is fast becoming one of my good friends, however there are a few instances when a razor blade should never be considered:
  • On humans - do I really need to get into this, just don't use it on people
  • On animals - can't think of  a good time to use it on critters either
  • If you have a mentally unstable person living with you - then you may want to forego razor blades in the home at all
So, I like to use razor blades for certain jobs, but I keep them in a safe place and far away from where my kids could find them.  I also store the little case they come in inside of another container, to further hide them.  Used cautiously and responsibly though, they can be handy little suckers and save you a lot of cleaning time and headache.  Plus they are dirt cheap themselves.

**Please read disclaimer to the bottom right of this blog!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Free Healthcare!

I was having a conversation with a woman from my church not long ago about healthcare and related things and her comment to me went something like this:  "When I was a kid, we never went to the doctor unlss we were really sick.  If we had a cold, momma prayed over us.  If we had the flu, momma prayed over us.  If we had a headache, momma prayed over us.  Nowadays, people take their kids straight to the doctor or emergency room for every sneeze, sniffle, fever and vomiting.  It's needless and stupid.  If people prayed over their kids again and used their common sense, they'd save a ton of money and time in the doctor's offices and on medicines they don't actually need."

There are some things that need medication, but as this wise older woman has so clearly pointed out,  people don't take the time, put their hands on their children and fervently pray.  They also don't use common sense.  They say things like "Oh, it's just a $20 copay" or "Medicaid is paying for it anyway." 

People please - there is no such thing as free healthcare - that is except for taking the time to pray over your sick loved one.  There is no charge for prayer.  Medicaid costs, copays cost, even free clinics need donations because they cost money to operate.  Prayer is and always will be free of charge. 

Common sense if free too, if you don't have any, I suggest you find someone who has some and begin to ask them questions so that some seeds of common sense and wisdom may be planted in you to cultivate and grow and use yourself - then pass it on to another person in need of more common sense so that one day, it may actually be common again!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Workout DVD Rentals

I haven't posted about renting DVD's from the library in about a year and a  half, so let me reiterate.  Most libraries have an online catalog that you can search and hold specific items, including DVD's.  I do this often, and each free rental is 3 weeks long.  Here is  list of titles I have gotten recently:
  • Jungle Book 2
  • The Rescuers
  • Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred
  • Denise Austin Pilates
  • Denise Austin Yoga
  • Disney Classics Collection (includes Casey at the Bat, Morris the Midgette Moose, Ben and Me, and several others on the same DVD)
This is a very small sample of available titles.  If your library is like ours (and we are NOT in a large town at all) then it is linked to several local libraries and they transport titles back and forth for you for free.  There is also the opton of interlibrary loan, which is sometimes free, and for us, sometimes it costs $1 - which is still cheap for a 3 week loan.

Take a few moments, and find a good DVD/book/CD from your local library system and entertain for free!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Healthcare Tips

For those of you who don't already know this, I am a Registered Nurse, and when I do work (which not very often anymore, only about 2-3 times a month) I work in the Emergency Room.  With this healthcare bill passage looming, I think it's time to post a few tips for you because, I believe as a nurse that this bill is going to seriously hurt a lot of Americans, and most of my cohorts in the Emergency Room agree based on what we deal with on a regular basis.  So it's going to be more important than ever to stay healthy and not have to use the healthcare system except when you really need it.
  • Vomiting one time is not a medical emergency.  Vomiting many times and not being able to keep any liquids down to compensate for the fluid loss, or adding in fever or diarrhea deserves a call to your doctor (who has your medical history available and can make the determination on whether or not you need immediate medical attention).  And remember vomiting has a functional purpose too, it's not all bad.
  • Fever of 100.5 is not a medical emergency.  A fever of 105.0 however, is a different story - and please don't not treat the fever because you don't want to 'mask the fever', we want you to treat a fever that's high instead of letting it just get higher and higher and possibly have febrile seizures.  If the fever is 102.0, treat it and call your doc to see what they think-.  Also remember that fever too has a functional purpose and is also not all bad - it's your body's way of killing off bacteria and viruses.  Most health professionals don't even recommend treating a fever under 101.0, but if you're concerned or want to hear the opinion of someone who knows you personally, ask your faily doctor or nurse since they know your history and can give you more personalized information based on your medical history.
  • Eat healthy - people who eat nothing but junk don't have the optimal physical condition to naturally fight off infections
  • Exercize - people who exercize regularly are generally healthier (this doesn't mean you need a membership, this means get your butt off the couch and clean your house, cook your own meals, work in your flowerbeds, walk the dog, play with the kids, go for a walk, etc)  MOVE MORE!!!!
  • Wash your hands - this can't be said enough, but wash your hands with plain old soap and water several times a day - when they are dirty, before you eat, after using the bathroom, and after play.
  • Don't be a germa phobe - things like over using hand sanitizer, scrubbing every surface with bleach like a mad woman and spraying lysol on everything is not necessary.  DO take precautions, DO practice good hygiene, but DO NOT obsess to the point of craziness.  And believe it or not (and you can research this for yourself) exposure to normal germs is good for your immune system.  Now I'm NOT saying to go lick the dog or the gas station bathroom floor, but if your kid eats a God-knows-how-old Cheerio out of the corner of your living room, don't head to the ER to get his stomach pumped either.
  • Call your doctor's office for questions, that's why they are there
  • Invest in one of those home remedies or home medical manuals, they have lot's of great informaiton out there (and you can find them at most thrift shops)
  • Get plenty of sleep - this also helps you fight off infections
  • Get annual exams, once a year check ups for healthy adults is a good way to catch problems before they become BIG problems.  Regular cholesterol, glucose, triglyceride screenings are helpful in making sure you are doing your part in maintaining good health.
  • Immunizations - this one is controversial, so all I'm going to say is to do your research and make your decision then take whatever precautions are necessary depending on what your decision is.  We personally did not get the H1N1 vaccine, but my kids are also not in public school or daycare, so our risk was lower than some other groups.
Anyway, more to come on this later - I'm not into writing posts that may make your eyes pop out :)

Friday, March 19, 2010


As of today, my minivan is PAID OFF!!!

Our family's overhead is now decreased by $650 a month.

Next up , the computers!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Homeschool Planners

If any of you homeschool, or have just looked at some of the websites, you know that most every company also has their own pretty little planner with 'everything' in it.  Some cost as much as $40.  $40!!! 

There are also, several sites that offer free printables for homeschool planning and household planning.  My favorite is and the best part is, she is still adding to the free database.

So go check her out, there are tons of homeschool planning resources, but there are other things too like household planners with calendars, timers, checklists, etc.

Free, did I mention Free!  Not $40!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

White Vinegar for Urine Odor

I have a 3 year old who is potty trained but still has accidents, and not all surfaces can be thrown in the washer.  Case in point - your car's seat cannot be put in the washer.  So, I have heard before that white vinegar added to your washload will get the urine scent out of clothes - and that is true, I have used it for about a couple of years now.  A couple of days ago however, I had to get the scent out of something - so here's what I did, I used clean towels to soak up as much as possible, then I took my White
Vinegar and Water Cleaning Solution and spray and medium mist (enough to dampen the surface - more than a light mist, but not a soaking either) and I just left it there.  It took a couple of hours to air dry but the urine scent was gone.  The area does not smell like vinegar either.  I mean if you stick your nose right up to the surface (I did just to check to make sure the urine odor was gone) you can get a faint vinegar smell.  But it's very very faint, and only if your nose is stuck right up on it.  Move 3 inches away, and you can't smell it at all.

I have used febreeze a lot for many household surfaces, and it works well, but urine and feces are tough odor and vinegar generally kills both odors well.  This is very important if you have small children :)

*** I generally use a 1:10 white vinegar:water ratio for my home all purpose cleaning, and this same stuff is what I sprayed on the area.  If you have pets it may take a higher concentration, or even straigt white vinegar spray.  Let me know if you try this.***

Cash for Groceries

Most people have heard of this 'cash only' system for buying groceries - I have wanted to do it, but keep getting back into the debit card rut.  We definitely do not use credit cards - for anything, but it is easy to lose track of extras when you're swiping the debit card.

Can I do it? Can I really go to a cash only?

My husband gets paid on Monday, and when I deposit his check on Tuesday morning I am going to keep out $75 for groceries, and try to do $75 weekly on the cash system and see if I make it - I'll let you know if I can pull it off or fall on my face!!

Monday, March 8, 2010


This post is not going to try to convince you to homeschool.  However, if you are interested in learning about it, email me and I'll be happy to give you any info I have.  Anyway, this post is about spending wretched amounts of money on homeschooling.

There are too many types of curriculums to list, but I will say that the 'all-in-one' packages can easily be $1000 per student per grade level.  The only time I would recommend one of those is in the case of Missionaries, who are going to be overseas and need everything handy at any given time or if you live in a remote area where you either can't get to the library easily or you plan on being snowbound for a few months.

I personally put together several things to form my curriculum.  I start by going to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Website and looking at what the state has the other kids doing in that particular grade level.  I actually print it out and as we cover the topics, I check them off in red ink so I can have the visual of 'complete.'  Anyway, the only real curriculum items I purchase are math and learning to read materials.  Things to complete Science and Social Studies are easily found at even small libraries, and literature is probably either in your home already, at the library, or in the thrift store.  I do Handwriting and Grammar at the same time through copywork.  I read my son the sentence, have him look at the words and we work on pronounciation, then I write it on writing paper and skip lines so he can copy it on the line directly below.  We talk about how words are spelled and what types of punctuation are used and why.  a Kindergarten doesn't need to diagram sentences, but when we get there, we can do it the same way.  Plus, he gets practice writing lots of different letters instead of a boring page of nothing but the letter p which would bore both me and him stiff in about 10 seconds.  I would rather kill 2 or 3 birds with the one stone and one time frame and move on.  Plus copy work helps with retention.

Anyway, everyone has their own particular style of homeschooling, but just because someone tells you to 'buy this because it's the best,' don't jump into it, just wait and look around.  Best for their kid is not necessarily best for yours!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ultra concentrated Bleach

Don't be fooled by this gimmick.  Bleach, whether it's regular or 'ultra-concentrated' is only 6% sodium hyperchlorite 9the chemical compound that makes bleach the whitener and disinfectant that it is.  Ultra concerntrated also has 6% which means, it is not really concentrated, it's just thicker because of the other compounds they put in it, water is not removed, other stuff is added.  Read your bottles of bleach and you will see that all of it, regular or concentrated is 6%, don't be fooled.