a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, February 17, 2012

10 Simple Smile-Bringing Stress-Relieving Thoughts

Yesterday I posted on the need to give yourself temporary relief from stress . . .
with the promise of more today.

I will begin with the last chip of advice she offered. . .

Save the earth..... 
It's the only planet with
chocolate !

. . . and continue with her first bits:

1. Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3. Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker..

4. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

5. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

6. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

7. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

8. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

9. You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
      10. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a                                                               detour.       

                         And, again. . .

Give Flapping a Try!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Take a Break from Stress . . .

and Ways to Do It!

Years ago I learned an instant stress reducer. It works every time and anyone can do it.                          

It is unbelievably simple.

Just ----

I know it sounds silly. It is silly. But it works. I promise.
It is impossible to stay "uptight" while flapping. Laughing is good for the soul and----blood pressure.  Flapping instantly relieves the stress of the moment...the frustration of a moment...the discomfort of most any moment.

Please don't dismiss it without giving it a try.

It is also possible to obtain relief from long-term stress.

Ron, a good friend of ours, sent us the following via e-mail. It is important and practical advice. I do not know where it originated so I am unable to give credit.

A young lady confidently walked around the room while explaining stress  management to an audience. With her arm held out straight to her side, she carried a glass of water and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question------'half empty or half full?'?

She fooled them all... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it.

If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.

If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time,
sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.

When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better after each practice.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.

Don't carry them through the evening and into the night ... pick them up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later . . .
after you have rested. Life is short. Enjoy it as you enjoy this short freedom from stress you                have allowed yourself.

Come back tomorrow for  her 10 simple everyday "smile-bringing" suggestions and thoughts. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

If We Are What We Eat ---- OOPS!

Notice: The following may be disturbing. I hope so.

It is said, "We Are What We Eat"

Last week I learned about the "pink slime" that McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell (the announced ones!) use as filler in their burgers. They say they are discontinuing its use.  I have two "wonders" about that . . .
1) Did they decide to quit because they were found out? and...

2) what will be the slime's replacement? Something real? Healthy? I doubt that it will be high grade ground beef.

Last year I read "Twinkies Deconstructed" a fascinating little book about the making of the beloved-by-many little filled-cakes.

Little fake-creme-filled cakes that have a shelf-life that would render most baked goods petrified, that contain many ingredients you could not, let alone would not, consider putting in foods for human consumption----several which are regarded by the Food and Drug Administration as GRAS (the acronym for Generally Regarded as Safe)

Oh yes, GRAS is how the FDA describes the "pink slime"  ---- generally regarded as safe --- because it is first soaked in ammonium hydroxide. According to the news reports, "ammonium hydroxide is an ingredient in fertilizers, household cleaners and some roll-your-own explosives."

Two years ago we saw the horrible/outstanding/eye-opening//every-one-should-see-it movie "Food, Inc."The disgusting pink slime filler was discussed in the movie and our fast-food burger consumption declined for a while----until somehow we forgot. I don't think that is likely to happen again.

Fast food burgers are in reality "Mystery Burgers."

A friend, Chris, helped me with the provident living series we offered to our community three years ago. The night we featured rolled oats Chris brought samples of her family's "Mystery Burgers."

The name turned me off but the burgers did not and, as you will see, there is no mystery to them. I did rename them, however.

Chris' Cottage Burgers
2 egg whites
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 to 1 packet onion soup mix* (Chris' uses 1/2)

Mix ingredients together. Form into small burgers or meatballs. Fry in a small amount of oil, about 3 minutes on each side.

*If you missed the post on making your own dry onion soup mix you can access  it in the recipe list on the right side of the blog or from the recipe tab at the top.

Let's all work towards becoming more aware of what we are actually consuming. 

And, making what we can.

By doing that, it will be easier to be what we eat! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Make Your Own "Windex" and "Shout"

There may be more types of commercial cleaning products than there are things to clean! 

And billions of $$$$ are spent making sure we know about them! 

In addition, there are hundreds of Internet sites with multiple copy-cat recipes for household products----yours for the giving them a chance.

You can search them out or you can give the following a try.

Last August I posted the recipe for Sandy's Laundry Soap at the cost of  $2.00 for 72 loads worth of clean!

It received rave reviews! If you missed it the first go round, check here:


Each time I go to the store I am appalled at the increase in price of just about everything. The news tells us our cost of living is not going up. What they neglect to tell us is that the method of tracking this so-called cost of living takes neither food nor fuel into account.

Further more, the manufactures are up-pricing (the product) at the same time they are down-sizing (the contents).

And counting on us to 1) not notice or 2) ignore it.  Not us! How dumb do they think we are? Savvy shoppers find more and more ways to stretch their dollars and pinch their pennies. Our life may not depend on it ----- but, our lifestyles sure will.

At the same time Sandy gave me  the laundry soap recipe she also provided recipes for spray-on stain remover and window washer.

"Almost like Windex" window and glass cleaner

Into an empty and clean gallon jug, pour 1 pint rubbing alcohol, 1/3 cup ammonia and 1 teaspoon liquid detergent. Add water to make one gallon. Mix well.

"You can almost  Shout" out spots and stains

Combine the following in an empty and clean squirt bottle: 1/2 cup liquid Wisk, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup ammonia and 1/2 cup water. Shake to mix.

More and more, before I buy something, I will  do an Internet search to see if I can recreate it myself ---- creatively, cheaply, safely and easily. It's a challenge and . . .

I love a challenge!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Heavenly Lo-Cal Fruited Angel Food Cake

This almost guilt-free heavenly angel food cake
has no fat and only 190 calories per serving
And, is a very popular recipe for both dieters and those looking for healthier dessert alternatives. There are so many ways to vary it you could serve it every day of the week!

Basic Recipe

1 (16 ounce) package One-Step angel food cake mix
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice 
sugar-free/fat-free whipped topping of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13 inch pan with vegetable oil spray.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pineapple with it's juice.  Mix until well blended; then pour into prepared pan. 

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown and has an even surface.

Let cool. Serve with whipped topping.

Ad-on's and Variations

  • Use pumpkin in place of the pineapple
  • Top with sugar-free vanilla pudding and Cool-Whip frosting
  • Use canned apple pie filling (smoosh the apples up some with a pastry blender) and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on the top of the batter before baking
  • Top the whipped topping with sliced strawberries and toasted coconut or sliced almonds
  • Make it in a shallow ring pan, filling it with the topping, pineapple gelatin (not quite set) and coconut
  • Use as a base for strawberry shortcake
  • Stir one package of dry sugar-free vanilla pudding,  a dash of lemonade powder and coconut into the batter before baking

'til we eat again,
          Simply, Gail