Adventures of an Island Mom

A JOURNEY OF LIVING LIFE FULLY, FRUGALLY, AND FAITHFULLY

Tip Tuesday June 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 8:28 pm

Whew!!  Just got home from a lonnnnnnng day away!  We still own our home in Renton and the kids and I took the 8:45 ferry this morning to meet my parents there to get it clean and all ready for the new tenants who are moving in on Friday!  (Mom and Dad, thanks for your help!!)  So, I’m JUST now getting to my tips for the day!!!

1.   Get your Books (and free entertainment!) from the Library

The kids and I love going to the Library, not only for the obvious reason, but for the fun and free entertainment they provide, as well.  Research your local Library and see what they have to offer!!  Ours offers some amazing programs, such as Toddler Storytime, Toddler Dance, Movie Day, Bedtime stories, etc, etc, etc.  They also have a great kids area with games, puzzles, stuffed animals and a fish tank.  You really can’t beat fun and FREE!

2.  Send away for and follow-up on Rebates

After I buy a product(s) with a rebate, I make sure to send in (or if it’s an online form, I do it online) for it THE SAME DAY. Then I mark my calendar to remind myself to follow up with the rebate company if the check hasn’t shown up.  This goes for any product, big or small.  It’s essentially “free” money, so do it right away!!

 

Discounted Newspaper Subscriptions June 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 6:51 pm

newspapersIf you’re thinking of trying to go the coupon route, but don’t quite know how/where to start……..

START WITH THE NEWSPAPER!!

I found a great website: http://www.discountednewspapers.com

They offer a GREAT discount on a subscription if you are a first time subscriber.  I just subscribed for the Sunday only paper, and I got a 45% discount on a 13 week subscription.  It’s $1.50 a week.  You’re only paying for the paper, not for someone to deliver it and bring it directly to your door!!  Only $19.50 for 13 weeks!  Quite the deal!! Your coupons could pay for that in ONE shopping trip!!  I’d encourage you to check it out!!

 

Meal Plan Monday June 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 8:48 pm

Wow, life sure can get crazy and unpredictable, can’t it?!

I have been a bit out of commission lately, with a pretty miserable cold and lower back issues that have been causing me much pain.  It has pretty much stopped me in my tracks and I am behind on EVERYTHING.  (Including this blog!)  There has been so much I’ve wanted to post, but just have not been able to.   I start to feel guilty about it, but then realize that I have to remember that I can only do what I can do.  And, if I don’t post everyday, then SO BE IT!  I love doing it, and want to do it as much as possible, but I have to keep reminding myself that it may not always be possible!  So, that being said, I will try to do my best to get back on the “band wagon”, but will not make any promises!!  🙂

Here’s to Meal Plan Monday!! (AGAIN, my links would not work! ARGH! If you’re interested in any of these recipes, let me know!!)

Monday: Crock Pot Brown Sugar Chicken, Egg Noodles, Green Beans

Tuesday:  Mexican Rice Casserole, Fruit Salad

Wednesday: Sweet and Sour Chicken, White Rice, Broccoli

Thursday:  Leftovers!!

Friday:  Street Fair and Carnival Food!!

Saturday:  BBQ at the In-laws after the Annual Parade. Happy 4th!!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! June 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 8:47 am

P1010007

To my wonderful man.

I love you.

 

Tip Tuesday June 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 1:31 pm

CUT YOUR OWN HAIR

or

YOUR HUSBAND’S OR CHILDREN’S HAIR!!!

Ok, so we all don’t necessarily think we have the “skillz” to cut hair, I know, but this is a really

amazing way to save money!!!

I have always loved doing hair, and honestly, wanted to go to Beauty School long before I wanted to go to College.  There was just something about hair that I really loved and wanted to be a part of.  Well, needless to say, I chose College, (which I’m very grateful for!), and didn’t learn how to cut hair, but it has ALWAYS intriuged me!!

About 14 years ago, the summer before 9th grade, I got my hair cut short.  I really can’t remember what sparked in me to go short, but I guess I wanted a change.  I had really puffy, permed, shoulder length hair at the time.  I think it was too much to manage!!  Ever since then,  I have kept my hair relatively short…..I’ve gone in out of hairstyles and have had some doozies, but have kept it on the shorter side.  Through H.S. I remember going to Gene Juarez Academy of Beauty and getting my hair cut.  (Which, by the way, is another GREAT tip!!)  They were students going through Beauty School, so the price of a haircut was MUCH cheaper!!

College, well, that was a different story……this is when I started cutting MY OWN HAIR!  You know, when you’re a poor college student, you look for ANY way to cut from the budget!!  For not being trained to cut hair, I think I was pretty good at it and I don’t think most people could tell that I did it myself.  (Well, if they did, they didn’t say anything!!)  I used to cut my roommate’s hair, too, and I even advertised in my Dorm for $5 haircuts and got some business!!  It was a lot of fun and I didn’t mess up anyone’s hair too badly at all!  🙂

From then on out, I was hooked, and I kept cutting my hair myself.  It was good and bad.  Good, because I got to do what I liked to do AND I saved money while doing it.  But, BAD, because I was a little obsessed with it and could never get my hair exactly the way I wanted it!!  I went through some pretty interesting hair phases that I hope won’t come back to haunt me!!

About 2 years ago, though, I came to my wits end……I needed help with my hair, and I needed a CHANGE.  I had received a Spa Package for Mother’s Day that included a Haircut and color, so I jumped on it.  I truly believe that, Amanda, the hairdresser who got me that day, was sent by God!!!  She knew EXACTLY what I needed and what would  suit me.  I walked out of there a VERY happy lady and I continued going to her for the past two years, until she changed Salons that is now way too far for me to travel.

So, what I’m trying to get at, is that even though my TIP is to CUT YOUR OWN HAIR, I know that we aren’t all comfortable doing that.  I have seen hair cutting from both sides and there are pluses and minuses to both.  The obvious PLUS of cutting your own hair is that it’s FREE, but the MINUS is that it may not turn out exactly the way you want it.  The obvious PLUS of going to a professional is that, hey, they’re actually TRAINED to do this type of thing!!  The MINUS is that, depending on where you go, it could cost you lots of Moolah!!

If you don’t feel comfortable cutting your own hair, I completely understand.

So, why not cut your husband’s hair??

I started cutting my husband’s hair before he was my husband.  You could say I pretty much “transformed” him from his “longer on the top” hair days, into his easy, kinda-spikey hair days now.  I cut it pretty much every, other month and I love it!  I still get my “fix” cutting hair, and cutting his hair is so much easier than cutting my own!!  There are many sites out there available to you to teach you how to cut hair, also, and there are many tutorials on YouTube to walk you through it.  It’s definitely worth looking into!!

And, how about cutting the Kiddos’ hair???

I bring this up, because just last night we gave our two kiddos their first haircuts….EVER!!  Ava is 3 1/2 and Luke is 26 months and neither have had their hair touched!!  I was originally only going to cut Luke’s hair last night, because his, (although darling!!!), was getting slightly out of control with all his fly-away curls and it was getting in his eyes a bit!!    Ava’s hair is one length and is getting long, but I didn’t see any need to cut it.  BUT, as she sat there watching her brother’s hair get cut, she, too, wanted her’s cut!!  So, I did both!

I thought you might like to see the transformation.  Here’s Lukie, our “little boy” becoming a “little man.”  (We forgot to get a “before” shot, but if you go back a few posts, you’ll see what he looked like!!)

P1010132

P1010133

P1010134

P1010137

And now here’s the happy boy (or, somewhat happy boy!), with his new ‘do!!

P1010138

P1010146

I only cut about an inch off of the bottom of Ava’s hair, but here’s a few shots of that:

P1010139

P1010141

P1010143

I forgot to take an “after” picture of Ava’s hair, but this morning, when it’s dry, you can tell it’s a little shorter.  She LOVES it and couldn’t stop bouncing around the house looking in the mirror every 2 minutes!!  So cute!!

So, the moral of this whole TIP TUESDAY is to consider cutting your own hair, or the hair of a member(s) of your family.  Don’t be intimidated, and if you are, search out some info and/or tools that will help you!  You could save you and your family A LOT of money!!!

 

Yummy Bagels

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 8:22 am

As the kiddos were napping yesterday, I thought I’d tackle my “project” of making Bagels!!  I have NEVER tried making them before and was a little intimidated, but the recipe seemed easy enough, so I thought I’d try it!!

HERE’s the link to the recipe I used, but here it is, all spelled out:

1 1/4 cups water
2 tsp yeast
1 Tbls sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbls oil
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour

Combine the water, yeast, sugar, oil and salt in the mixer. After a sponge has formed, add the 3 – 3 1/2 cups flour. The recipe says the dough will be smooth and elastic. Mine was not sticky at all. Let it sit in the bowl, covered for 15 minutes. Divide it into 8 pieces, roll into 10″ snakes. Wet the ends and form into rings. Place on a floured baking sheet, cover and let rise 15 minutes.

Here’s mine “rising” on the baking sheet:

P1010127

Boil the bagels, 4 at a time in 4 quarts of water, 1 Tbls sugar, and 1 tsp salt

(As you can see, this recipe does not state how long to boil them, so I really didn’t have a clue.  I did them for about 5 minutes.)

Here’s a picture of mine boiling.  The steam kind of messed up the shot, but you get the idea!

P1010128

Place the boiled Bagels on an ungreased cookie sheet.  And bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

(In my experience from yesterday, GREASE the sheet….mine stuck a bit.)

P1010129

P1010130

As you can see, mine are not as “fluffy” and risen as I feel like they should have been, but that would be my only complaint.  And, it could have been something I did wrong in the process.  BUT, even though they didn’t rise as well, they were DELICIOUS and sooooo tasty!!  I will definitely try these again and see if they turn out a little more robust.

I’m also thinking of trying THIS recipe, too.  It looks a little more complicated, but worth a shot!

I am soooooo not an expert baker, so if I can do this, you can too!!  If you’ve ever thought about making Bagels, I say, why not give it a try?!!

 

RASPBERRIES!!! June 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 1:46 pm

After lounging around all morning, I decided it was time for us to get outside!  I’m not feeling well, at all, and don’t have too much energy, but I knew I needed to get out there and pick the strawberries, radishes and rhubarb!!  The kids LOVE to help in the garden, (well, Ava does……Luke just likes to dig in the dirt!!), and they love being outside, so they were all over this idea!

After we picked the strawberries and rhubarb, I looked up and couldn’t believe my eyes!!!  Lots of Raspberries were ready to be picked!!  We were soooooo excited!!  The three of us ran over and starting picking right away!  I wish I had had my camera with me, because as I’m telling the kids they can eat a few, but to put the berries in their bowls, of course, their bowls were 100% empty and their mouths were 100% full!!!  Red gooey goodness all over their faces! (I hope they don’t wake up from their naps with tummy aches!)

We didn’t pick too many, because my cold is terrible and along with that, my allergies were flaring up like crazy and I couldn’t stop sneezing!!  But, here’s a shot of the first Raspberries of the season:

P1010125

Yummy!!  I really can’t wait for more and more!!  We will get hundreds, if not, thousands, of Raspberries and it’s hard to keep up with the picking, but we will definitely do our best!!