Tuesday, June 29, 2010
There are a few blogs I no longer wish to follow. Not because they aren't good but because their topics don't apply to me in my life right now. It is very daunting to see I have 100+ new blog posts to read each day. It leaves me overwhelmed. Now, I know I don't have to read them all but if I'm not going to read it then I really don't want to see it.
So you are probably thinking "why don't you just unsubscribe?" Well, I've tried. I have clicked unsubscribe. I have click on do not follow. I have done everything I can think of to stop following and yet, every time I open my reader account they are all still there. So, I ask, do any of you have any other ideas on how I can remove blog subscriptions from my reader account? I promise if you help out it won't be your blog I part ways with. :)
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
What bait has caught you? I want to know. Was it a good buy or a bad buy? Please leave a comment with either a link to your review of a product you purchased or write a quick comment about the bait you took.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
- Teaches money management skills. Don't just hand your children money. Make sure you teach them what it means to save. Teach them to pay a 10% tithe and to place 10-20% away for savings. Help your child determine a goal for their savings. For example, if there is a new video game they want explain to them how much money they need to get that game. Place a picture of it somewhere where they can be reminded that that is what they are saving for. Teaching these skills when they are young can help them avoid money problems as adults.
- Avoid having them ask you for money all the time. When your children have their own money to spend and they ask you for something from the store you can just remind them they have their own money.
- Teaches children the value of money. How often do your children see you handle actual money? I know mine only see me with credit cards and checks. Giving children cash helps them see that when it is gone it is gone.
So, when should you start giving an allowance, how much should you give, and how should you do it?
Most children learn about money at school when they are around 6 years old. At this age they can better understand the concepts associated with money management. But you can start teaching the concept of paying for goods as early as 3 years.
The amount to give varies from family to family. I have heard half of their age in dollars or a dollar per year of their age. Some families can afford more while others need to stick with less. Do what is best for your family. Older children may be responsible for buying their own personal toiletry items so make sure the allowance covers the cost of those items and leaves a little extra money for spending.
How often you give the allowance depends on the age of the child. Young children should be paid weekly while older children can be paid bi-weekly or monthly to teach long term budgeting.
I personally believe you should not tie allowances to chores, at least not the chores that need to be done just because your child is a part of the family. You shouldn't pay your child to clean up the toys they left out, make their bed, put clothes away, etc. It's better to remove a privilege if they fail to do those chores. But, make a list of extra chores they can do that pay like, raking the leaves, wiping the base boards, dusting the blinds, etc.
Remember, it is better to start an allowance when the child is younger than to do it when they are a teenager because you can solidify good financial habits early.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Start by going through each cookbook you own and record each recipe you like to make. Type them into the computer and save them under categories like appetizers, desserts, main dishes, and so on. You can even add clip art or your own pictures if you choose. Once you have all of your recipes typed up then print them off. Place each page in a plastic sheet protector and then in a 3 ring binder. Add several extra sheet protectors to the binder for new recipes you will find. Now all you have to do is keep your binder of recipes in the kitchen and when you find a new recipe add it to the book.
Creating your own master cookbook will not only save you time, it will also save you space from storing all of the cookbooks you own but only use a couple of recipes from. The next time you are going on a trip where you will be cooking you just need to grab your binder and you have all of your recipes with you.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I went to gather the library books and DVD's to return them and I can't find Strawberry Shortcakes Big Journey anywhere. I managed to find the case but not the DVD itself. I ask the kids who pulled it out of the DVD player (the last place I saw it) and I get a chorus of "Not Me". I ask the kids where the movie is and get another familiar reply of "I Don't Know." So the search begins. I look in all of the DVD cases we have which is a significant amount. I look in all the DVD players and computers. I look under the DVD player, VCR, TV, and even behind the entertainment center. My search yielded one find, the Alvin and the Chipmunks DVD that has been missing since March but still no Strawberry Shortcake. After searching for all the renewal time I get I have accepted the fact that it is lost. Not Me and I Don't Know have taken the movie and are forcing me to pay the $16 fee to replace the DVD at the library. I went to pay for it yesterday and the librarian was nice enough to tell me I could probably find the DVD cheaper elsewhere and then just bring it in. He renewed the movie for me for another 3 weeks so I could find it. Thanks to EBay I only spent $9 and Strawberry Shortcakes Big Journey will get here sometime next week.
The DVD isn't the only thing I Don't Know and Not Me have taken. Our neighbors have been out of town and they have asked us to get their mail. The key was left in my hand and I placed it on the bookshelf by the door. Well, sometime during their 2 week absence I moved the key to my purse so I could get the mail when I was out. I remember getting the mail a week ago but for the life of me I could not remember where I put the key after that. One would think I would put it back in my purse. I couldn't find it in my purse. I asked the kids if they saw the key or if they new where it was and again they blamed Not Me and I don't Know. Well, our neighbors came home and came to collect their mail and sadly, I did not have a key to give them. Yesterday I even went as far as pulling my couch away from the wall and cleaning out underneath it. That was scary. I'm surprised a little mouse family wasn't living under there with all the accumulated trash. It would have made a nice little home. Anyway, I ran out of places to search and decided to give my purse one last look through. Low and behold, Not Me and I Don't Know had not taken the key this time. It was me. I had placed it in a small little pocket that didn't empty out when I held my purse upside down and shook it.
I just heard a big crash and I have a feeling Not Me and I Don't Know are up to something again.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $25 Costco gift card and a Nature Valley/Fruit Roll Up snack pack.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
2 pounds (1 kg) stewing lamb or beef, cut into 1 in cubes
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup (6 ounces /185 g) peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup stock (beef) or water, or as needed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1 1/2 pound (500-750 g) okra
Juice of 1 lemon
Heat 4 tablespoons butter or oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Working in small batches, brown meat, turning constantly, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a baking dish or stew pot.
Over medium heat, sauté onions in fat remaining in frying pan until translucent, 8-10 minutes Add garlic, cumin, coriander, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock and optional mint. Stir well.
Pour over meat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover tightly and bake in preheated 325° until all liquid is absorbed, about 1 1/2 hours.
Taste and adjust the seasonings. Meanwhile, prepare the okra as directed in note below. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter or oil in skillet. Stir in okra. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring gently.
When meat is finished, arrange cooked okra on top in a spoke pattern. Sprinkle lemon juice evenly over the surface. Re-cover the dish and return it to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes longer. Add stock or water if the mixture seems too dry. Serve very hot.
Serve with rice.
In the past I have stocked up on crackers and fruit snacks. The fruit snacks are for those desperate times when I just need them to not cry for just a little bit longer because we are almost to that next stopping point. There is no nutritional value in them and they are not filling in the least bit. The crackers are good but they leave a big crummy mess behind. My husband and I love to snack on trail mix and the kids want it too but, we always find the nuts that have slipped through their fingers.
Last week General Mills, through My BlogSpark sent me a Costco Sunny Day Snack Pack to try and review. I'm so glad they did. I now have some new favorite snacks that are perfect for our upcoming road trip.
I received a large, 48 ct., box of Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars. These bars are 100% natural and they have 25% more fruit and nuts then the previous version. They are packed with almonds, peanuts, raisins, and cranberries. I love that it is trail mix in an easy to handle bar form. I don't have to worry about the nuts falling between their little fingers and all over their seats and floor. These bars are also filling and will be good to fight off hunger in between meals. Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars even satisfied my child with the picky palate. Another bonus, these bars are only 140 calories and have 8g of whole grain per serving.My gift pack box contained 2-42 ct boxes of the Simply Fruit Roll-Ups. These are definitely a healthier alternative to the original Fruit Roll-Ups. These will be replacing fruit snacks in my house. Simply Fruit Roll-Ups are made with 90% real fruit and fruit juice. And guess what? If you have a child who won't eat fruit, hand them a Simply Fruit Roll-Up because eating just one of these equals one serving of fruit. They will think they are getting a treat and it will be our little secret. This snack has only 50 calories per roll and they are gluten-free. My children loved being able to take them to school for their snack. They come in 2 flavors, strawberry and wildberry. My kids went wild for wildberry which is fine with me because I love the strawberry. Make sure you have some wipes handy though because like most fruit roll-ups, hands will get sticky.
If you are looking for the perfect grab and go snack for your summer vacation, lazy days at the pool/beach, or everyday life, then head on over to your local Club Store and stock up on Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars and Simply Fruit Roll-Ups.
Better yet, you can win your very own Sunny Day Snack gift pack (48 ct Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars, 42 ct Simply Fruit Roll-Ups, and a $25 gift card to Costco. That's right, a $25 gift card to Costco so you can stock up on even more summer snacks.) from General Mills on behalf of My BlogSpark. Here's how:
Mandatory: Leave a comment sharing your families favorite summertime snack and make sure to leave an email or a way I can contact you if you are the winner.
For more entries you can leave a comment for each of the following:
- Become a follower of Spice and all That's Nice and leave a comment saying so. (if you are already a follower just say so)
- Post about this giveaway on your blog and leave the link in a comment here.
- Tell me what your favorite summertime activity is.
You must be 18 years old to win and live in the US.
You have until
10:00 PM MST June 7, 2010 10:00 PM MST June 8, 2010 to leave your comments. I will be doing the drawing after that and posting the results on Wed. June 8, 2010 June 9, 2010
*It may take a while to get your comments posted but, they will be by the deadline. My computer access is sketchy over the next couple of days.