Owner/Creator:Anita Knits

Monday, May 31, 2010

Budget Busters!

If there is something everyone can admit is that we are all on a budget ~ unless of course you are Bill Gates!  So I thought I would share some budget buster tips we have established in our home.

Hydro... aahhh the dreaded Hydro bill!  Yuk!  Unless you have gone off the grid (and if you have WAY TO GO!!!  ONE OF OUR DREAMS FOR SURE) you will likely get a [lovely] bill each month!  But like the most of us we use our hydro.. so when you do try to run bigger appliances in your home during the off-peak hours.  That is from 9p-7a Mon-Friday.  Weekends and holidays are also considers off-peak.  When I can't hang my laundry I use my dryer.  But now I only do laundry at night throw in a load at 8:30p and then by 9p it is ready to go in the dryer and off to bed I go.  I also try to run my dishwasher at night as well.  And I've managed to save $20 off my hydro bill.  Now you may consider that to be 'peanuts' of savings.. BUT if you consider what you would save in a year that is $240!  Now that is pretty cool!  Click here (if you live in Ontario of course) for more info.

Another way that I try to save money for our family is by making home cooked meals (and it is better for you anyway!).  Some may say 'I don't have the time or I am not a cook'  but with practice and managing your time you too can whip up a home cooked lunch or dinner in no time!  I'll be honest with y'all I really don't follow many recipes because I just kinda throw stuff together and it just turns out ~ (I've been cooking since the age of 9... so needless to say I have a lot of experience☺)  Here are just some of my favorite 'recipes':

Homemade Hummus
1 can (540ml/19oz) chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp each of cumin, salt & pepper
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic

In processor or blender, puree chickpeas.  Add lemon juice, blend.  Continue to add rest of ingredients, blend well until smooth.  Serve with veggie sticks (carrot, celery, zucchini etc) or crackers.

Buttermilk Pancakes
1 1/2 cups flour (I've used whole wheat or buckwheat)
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (**alittle trick us regular milk & add lemon juice or vinegar to make the milk curdle)
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 lrg eggs
1/2 vanilla
3-4 tbsp ground flax seed (** I like to add this to make them healthier.. and the kids love it)

Mix wet to dry until the batter is smooth but with bubbles.

Chicken Stir Fry

**again I don't measure when I cook.. but here is one I just throw together .. and you can too!

onions, chicken breast until almost cooked
Add carrots, celery, zucchini & broccoli (that has been thinly sliced)
Cook until onions & chicken is browned and cooked, BUT rest of veggies or soft but a bit crunchy

2 tbsp butter
3-4 tbsp soya sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper to taste
pinch of chili flakes if you like it spicy

Serve over fried rice or Chinese noodles

Simple Tomato Sauce

This was a staple growing up in our Italian home!  And if you ask any Italian.. the simpler the tomato sauce the better!

Saute until golden brown 1 large onion in a pot with some veg oil
Add 1 - 19 oz can of pureed tomato's OR fresh tomato's, washed and squished into the pot
Add a couple of fresh basil leaves and leave to simmer on low all day
A pinch of salt

Serve with your favorite pasta.  You can also use this sauce over breaded chicken breast, your lasagna or any where you need tomato sauce.

**the longer you cook your tomato sauce the better it will taste

That's it for now.. just thought I would share these 'tips' with y'all.  Hope you find some of them useful.

Friday, May 28, 2010

100th POST! GIVEAWAY.....!!!!

OK.. I never in a million years thought that I could possibly write one hundred posts ~ let alone one!  WOW have I changed over the last year and a half.  A whole new [better] me.  I have undergone so many changes: spiritually, emotionally, our move, 'new job', new church, The 'ME project', homeschooling and soo many other transformations and transitions. 

So here it is folks, tell me something about yourself that you have never done/experienced before.. that is totally outside the box for you, that is making you grow and learn more about yourself that you never knew.  A sneak peek on my 'never done' experience before is something I will be calling 'The ME project'.  I have never done this before, I never thought I could do it, I have a goal in mind (several in fact), it's good for me, and IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!  Some long overdue me time, a me thing.. just for me!

Let me know what your 'never been done before' experience is and I will enter your name in the draw for a ....

I know, I know... it's not much but come on folks we are all on a budget.. and heck I may have to mail this GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday Y'all... and my apologizes for the lack of posts.. I have found my head and it is securely on my shoulders again! (that's just how crazy busy I've been)..

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Crazy Life..

Just wondering.. how do I go from wanting to do more with my life and time TO being SO totally crazy busy!  I know, I know yeah 4 kids 5.5yrs and under can keep me busy.... but I can handle that.. its all 'extras'  Not that I am complaining!  I would rather be busy and happy... for sure!

That's it... just my thoughts.. and frankly that is all I have time to write!

Hope you are all having a busy, happy, time for yourself, enjoying life, taking in all the crazy, funny, messy things your kids are doing kinda day!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Firsts for me!

Well my little man seems to just be plowing through life.  There is no stopping him now!  He has had many firsts.. here are just a few of them:

4.5 months... first time sitting in his highchair.. and lovin' it! 

5 months .. first time eating cereal.. and he really really likes it!

5 months.. first time playing in his new crib!  Since the sleeping arrangements have been changed up, everyone is in their own bed and we now officially have a girls room and boys room!

6 months... first time eating homemade butternut squash.... `humm not sure about this new taste yet...`

All these moments and many other are bittersweet for me.  It is exciting to see him grow bigger.  I sometimes catch myself wondering.. what will his voice sound like when he starts talking.. what will he look like when he starts walking... how will he get along with the other children...  But he is also my last baby.  I have to now more forward myself.. and enjoying watching the kids get older and experience all their next first..

Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of Linden`s firsts!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

movin' on up...

We have made several sleeping arrangements since Linden has outgrown his bassinet (*sigh* all my babies slept in it.. I guess it will be soon time to pass it on to some young couple that will put it to good use).  He was then sleeping in a playpen that we set up on my side of the bed.  That way I could still nurse him, put him to bed and he could get a good sleep and not constantly wake himself up through the night by hitting his hands on the side of the bassinet.

Gracie has been fully potty trained since about February.  She turned 2 in January.  She potted trained the quickest out of Ava and Gabriel.  She even sleeps through the night without accidents!  Yay Gracie! ☺  The 'boys' room is smaller than the girls room so we decided to get bunk beds for them (obviously Linden won't be sleeping it in for a few more years).  When we first moved here a year and half ago we bought Ava and Gabriel new beds; so Ava kept her bed, Grace got Gabriel's bed and now Gabriel is sleeping in the bottom bunk ~ oh and he LOVES it!  I am pretty sure Ava was a little disappointed that she didn't have a bunk bed.. but I'm thinking her pink girl room will sooth her sorrows! ☺

Now everyone has a comfy bed.  And we officially have a girls room  and a boys room!

Where's Linden?

I just had to take a picture of this!  Poor Linden fell asleep on our bed tonight because the boys room was taken over by daddy putting together Gabriel's bunk bed (more of that to come).

So this just proves it ladies I'm just like any other mom out there.. clean laundry that is waiting to be folded does pile up on our bed too!

Sans Caffine (well kinda)

Day 6 of 'sans caffine'.. well not entirely.  I have successfully cut my coffee consumption to 1 a day.  I didn't even caved last night when we had our bible study at our home.  Made a pot of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice and baked some oatmeal cookies.  I had one ~ count 'em people one cookie and a glass of water.  (they were only about 1 inch in diameter ~ so pretty small). 

I am feeling like I have more energy.

I do not have a headache.

I am feeling healthier.

.. so I will keep pressing on... " think I can, I think I can, I think can.. " has now changed to the tune of "I know I can, I know I can, I know I can..."

Yay....  ☺  OK so maybe just maybe having one cup of coffee is doable!

Happy Saturday!  Hope you enjoyed your coffee this morning because I KNOW I certainly did.