Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beautiful ONE year old Bella (pic heavy)

I wanted to post some pictures of Isabella from her first birthday dinner party last week and our trip to the Zoo this weekend. We had such a fun time! Enjoy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Food Waste Sunday!

A day early... We are going to San Diego Zoo tomorrow not only for Valentines Day but to celebrate Isabella's First Birthday! I'm so excited! She is going to love all the animals.

Unfortunately I had completely forgotten about some leftover meat marinara sauce from when I made lasagna at the back of the fridge and so I had to throw it out. It was at least enough for one good sized spaghetti meal. I was very bummed. But on the good side of news that was all that was wasted this week. Very impressed with myself and Adam. Hopefully better next week.

Also, I was really happy with Adam and I we ate all the meals we said we would and we haven't gone over budget once yet this month. We're just barely at the middle but I am very pleased with ourselves. I have two more shopping trips left for the month and I have exactly 1/2 of my grocery budget left. I should definitely be able to stay within our budget this month.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

I keep reading how people can make their own cleaning supplies and the idea is very intriguing to to me. So I googled. There are a load of different ways to clean one's house all while using just lemon, baking soda, vinegar, salt and a few other ingredients depending on what you want to clean.

Here are a few of the most practical and most used formulas for cleaning your home, like Great-Grandma use to do it.

All Purpose Cleaner- Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep.

Uses- remove water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.

Disinfectant- Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use non-aerosol spray bottle. (This is not an antibacterial formula. The average kitchen or bathroom does not require antibacterial cleaners.)

Uses- to clean the the bathroom sink or toilet bowl.

Laundry Detergent- Mix 1 cup Ivory soap (or Fels Naptha soap), 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. Use 1 tbsp for light loads; 2 tbsp for heavy loads.

Uses- Doing laundry

I have a lot of cleaning supplies at my house but I think as I run through them I may just try some of these recipes and see how I like the outcome. There are so many things running around out there on the web about what a person can do to be more environmentally friendly while being frugal, now it's time to try some of them out. I got these formulas from Earth Easy Try them out tell me how you like using homemade versus bought.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Meals for the Week 2-8/2-14

Breakfast- Oatmeal(me and bells)/ granola bars(adam)

Lunch- ham and cheese sandwiches/ leftovers/string cheese/ oranges/ chips

Monday- Baked potatoes topped with chili, sour cream and cheese, cornbread and salad
Tuesday- Italian sausage pizza and salad
Wednesday- Leftover chili and cornbread
Thursday- Hawaiian baked chicken and fried rice
Friday- Date Night Out for Valentines Day!
Saturday- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and tomato soup with oranges
Sunday- San Diego Zoo day! If were home in time for dinner tamales, retried beans and chips

Dessert- leftover Superbowl King Cake and Birthday Carrot Cake

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Food Waste Sunday!

We haven't been doing very well at not wasting food, but it's not as bad as it used to be. This week it was mostly produce that I didn't use fast enough. Hopefully next time I will notice before they go bad and cut it up to freeze.

Food Waste:

1/3 container Cottage Cheese
1/2 of celery
1 hard boiled egg
shredded chicken
lettuce about 2 cups

I don't have picture because I can't seem to download to my computer right now.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Expiration Dates

When was the last time you went through your makeup bag and tried to remember when you bought that purple eyeshadow or that really awesome mascara? Recently I was watching a show and the host was informing a lady of the correct amount of time beauty products are suppose to be stored. I thought I would dig up the list and place on here for all to see. I definitely did not know some of these I have some makeup older than my relationship with my husband(we've been together 5 years).

Oil Free Foundation- 1 year
Cream or Compact Foundation- 18 months
Concealer- 12-18 months
Powder- 2 years
Blush and Bronzer- 2 years
Cream blush- 12-18 months
Powder Eye Shadow- 2 years; Cream Eyeshadow- 12- 18 months
Eyeliner- 2 years
Liquid Eyeliner- 3-6 months
Mascara- 3-5 months (heavy use go with the shorter date because of all the air getting in the bottle)
Lipstick and lip liners- 2 years
Lip gloss- 18-24 months
Nail polish- 1 year
Perfume- anywhere between 1-5 years depends on perfume and storage

Now if your anything like me you'll be shocked to see some of these dates. It definitely puts into perspective paying astronomical prices for some of these cosmetics. Personally I would probably keep my nail polish at least 3 years. Blush and powder I go through fairly quickly but I definitely won't be buying in bulk ever. Not to mention the perfume restrictions, I won't be buying too much perfume any more because most of it will spoil before you ever finish using it. I used to buy one or two perfumes a year because I love it so much, done with that now.

To keep your makeup lasting longer it should be stored in a moderate temperature with no moisture, which rules out your bathroom. Perfume same rules apply but also keep it in a dark area away from light.

Also, many of the websites say you should clean your make-up applicators once a week, I say at least monthly. I just cleaned mine on Wednesday, so I should be reminded at the beginning of each month to clean them again. The cleaning helps to prevent the spread of any infections and helps to keep your skin clean from extra oils.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Raw vs. Paturerized Milk

This is a new topic of thought for me. My sister-in-law lead me to think about the good and bad qualities of the possibility of having Isabella drink raw milk instead of pasteurized. I had always thought that pasteurized milk was the best, I was taught that it was safer and healthier for a person to drink the pasteurized milk. So I began to do some research and found that depending on the circumstances of how the raw milk is produced affects whether or not you should purchase and consume the non-pasteurized version.

Some people may not know what pasteurized milk means- its the process where a diary
exposes the milk to an elevated temperature for a period of time sufficient to destroy certain microorganisms, those that can produce disease or cause spoilage, without radically altering taste or quality.

Many people think pasteurization is the best bet for their milk but the question is what kind of microorganisms are being destroyed? Are they all bad? And why are they only concerned with radically altering the taste and quality, how much is it really changing? What are we missing by drinking pasteurized milk?

Pros for Pasteurization

According to the FDA (Food and Drug Admin) pasteurization kills off the possibility of exposing the drinkers of the processed milk to Tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio, salmonellosis, strep throat, scarlet fever and typhoid fever. It also gives milk a longer stable shelf life of 2-3 weeks. Also with processing the milk you remove the possibility of animal bacteria to enter the milk from unclean utters, or barn areas.

Cons for Pasteurization

Depletion of certain vitamins such as thiamin(b-1), pyridoxine(b-6), cobalamin(b-12), folic acid and vitamin C. Thiamin if you don't know helps the body convert carbs into energy and it is also considered the anti stress vitamin because it enhances the activity of the immune system and improves the body's ability to handle stressful circumstances. Pyridoxine also converts carbs into energy and it also converts protein into useful protein for the body to use. Cobalamin or b12 is very much needed in the body because it helps make healthy red blood cells and it also helps create a fatty layer around nerve cells, which if not there can diminish brain function. Folic acid helps all the B vitamins, it is needed for basically all the normal growth and maintenance of every cell in the body. Vitamin C is the vitamin with the largest quantity removed during the pasteurization process, basically 100% of it. Vitamin C helps with collagen which basically helps hold the body together through the connective tissue joints, and muscle attachments to bone. It also helps to fix damage made to the body, without enough Vitamin C other vitamins and minerals can't do their jobs.

All 5 of these vitamins seem super essential to me, like they would be very important to keep in my diet at every turn. Yet with pasteurization their removed either partly or completely.

Pros for Raw Milk

Raw milk contains 22 essential amino acids, lactose intolerant people often have no problem digesting it, it's a complete protein, raw milk reduces allergy related conditions in 40% of kids (Internet journal of asthma). If raw milk is harvested from pasture fed/grass fed cows, in a clean environment and from a clean cow then the milk you drink should be safe. People only drank raw milk before the early 1900s when pasteurization was stumbled upon. The butterfat in it is also linked to helping the immune system and protecting against disease.

Cons for Raw Milk

The FDA is against the consumption of raw milk because they believe it puts people at an undo risk for diseases, such as TB, strep, and salmonella. If you have an already weakened immune system due to taking immune blocking medications such as when your doing chemo, you can become very seriously ill from drinking raw milk. Also, if you are not cautious about the farm and the cows your receiving the milk from you can also be exposed to mild-serious ailments. You should never drink raw milk from cows that are in confined feed given dairies which main purpose is for pasteurization. Only drink raw milk from dairies whose intention is for the milk to be raw; they have higher standards for the cows and removal of the milk. Also if you have never had raw milk and begin drinking it some people do complain of a minor or mild stomach issue for a short while during which time the body adjusts to the raw milk enzymes.

I caution the use of Raw milk, be very sure you are getting it from a reputable farmer. Also, do your own research into the matter, there are plenty of websites for you to look into. 28 out of 50 states do not even allow the selling or giving away of raw milk, so you'll have to find out what's legal in your own state.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February Resolutions

Second Month of the New Year here I come!


#1) Continue Healthy Lifestyle Choices- I have a feeling this is going to be a resolution for awhile. This won't happen over night, but I need to focus on this more and more and then hopefully one day I'll wake up and healthy food and choices will be ingrained in me and I won't have to think about them. Until then, this is a major focus and something I can constantly strive to improve.

#2) Finish Isabella's Scrapbook of First Year- This has been my major project all year long. I've been working on it since she was about three months old and it has been a labor of love. I'm all caught up to the present so now I'm just waiting on her birthday dinner and our trip to the zoo. Should be fun!

#3) Go to the Library- I feel like it has been so long since I've read a new book. I must go pick something up, I miss my books. I will try to read 2 books this month.

#4) Limit grocery budget- I've decided as inspired by Cate at Budget Confessions that I will limit my groceries to $400. That's a huge chunk of money less but I think I can do it. I might have to become more inventive on how to fill out meals with less meat and ingredients but I am up to the task.

#5) Organize and Rearrange Children's Book Collection- I was given oodles of books and I also have oodles of books from my parents. I will go through and organize them according to age and reading range. This will be a big project to undertake but it must be done or I will never know what I do or don't have.

January Resolution Review

It's been three days into the February and no new goals or goal review. So let's start with the review.

Eating Healthier and Being more Active- This goal went fairly well. I know I wasn't perfect, far from it but it has been a journey. Most nights I have made from scratch dinners that have for the most part included more vegetables, less fat and much less preservatives and chemicals. We ate out a few times, hopefully less next month. Activity was at least 3xs a week, I only made it to my workout class once a week, I really would like to do 2x a week.

Isabella's First Birthday Party- I put all the invitations out in the mail before my scheduled date and I bought all the supplies. Unfortunately lots of issues arose and we had to cancel her official party. We're having dinner with a few people this Saturday night in lu of the big party and then we decided to use some of the money for going to the San Diego Zoo! Should be fun!

Buy and Use Quicken- Bought it, used it and then returned it. I didn't like it, the software program was strange, my system works so I'll use it.

Start 529 Plan- Adam and I did start Isabella's 529 plan which is awesome and we've dumped most of her money that she has accumulated since birth into. I am very stoked that we completed this goals, because college costs just keep going up and up.