Saturday, March 10, 2007

BerryMorins Bits and Tips Recommended Weekly Blog - Because Mom Said So..

Because Mom Said So... is about thoughts and stories from multiple bloggers who are moms. You'll find humor, opinions and informations at this blog. Stop by today and see what all the buzz is about.

Visit Marcus and Me Blog Today! Contest News, Today in History and More


At Marcus and Me you'll read about the During Dinner.com Disney World Dream Vacation. It's a fun opportunity to share your family traditions on video, for a chance to win a trip for 15 people!

FoxFaithMovies.com is providing an opportunity for free tickets to inspirational movies and lots more. Check out the post for more details.

My favorite posts, are the Today in History and Special Holidays. Find out more about Harriet Tubman, International Pancake Week, and lots more.

You'll also find posts on Internet Talk Radio Shows like Parenting My Teen Talk Radio Show and MomSoapBox Talk Radio.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Saving Money Year Round by Audrey Okaneko

As moms, many of us want to stretch our incomes as far as we can. I’d like to offer some ideas that have worked for me in saving money year round.

1. Check with your local newspaper and see if you can read the paper online. I am able to only subscribe to the Sunday paper in order to qualify for online access. I can read seven days per week but only pay for one.

2. We go to garage sales often. I can not count the number of times we’ve found something we needed, in almost perfect condition and at a fraction of the cost.

3. Either buy books at the used book store or rent them from the library. Used book stores sell books at ½ of the cover price. They then buy them back at ¼ of the price. So, in essence you can get a book at ¼ of the cover price. We also buy books at garage sales. Often they are only 25 cents each.

4. Look into being a mystery shopper for restaurants. Pizza places are great. You can get a free pizza just for sharing your experience and taking notes about wait time, hold time etc. We recently ate at IHOP for free. The questionnaire took about 10 minutes to fill out. Please note there is NEVER, under any circumstances, a fee to become a mystery shopper.

5. Our local cable company charges about $50 to get more than the basic channels. If you add a movie channel, it goes up to about $70 per month. Why not order Blockbuster Online instead? For $18 per month, you can have 3 DVDs out at any time plus get a coupon to rent one more in the store every week. By the time you ship one back and get the next, you’ll always have DVDs to watch. You can rent both television shows and movies, eliminating the need for cable.

6. We do not have a long distance plan on our phone. Instead, we use prepaid phone cards. The per minute rate we are charged on our calling card is far less than the per minute rate if we add a long distance plan.

7. Commit to eating what’s in the house for a week. When we do this, we are able to finish off cans of soup, cans of tuna, pasta, crackers and many other items with long shelf lives. You may need to buy meats, fruits and vegetables, but really make an effort to use everything in your pantry. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by not buying new foods at the grocery store for a week.

8. Invest the time to examine what you pay for monthly. For example, are you paying for magazines you are not reading? Can you read them online? If you are saving a years’ worth of magazines for when you have time, save the money and buy it at the store when you really do have the time. Do you belong to a gym you are not using? Many people join a gym with good intentions, but if you are only working out once every three months, then saving the monthly fee and paying per use might be the way to go.

9. Plan out what gifts you will need for the next year. Shopping spur of the moment is always more costly. Buy gift items when they on sale and put them away. Birthdays, holidays and anniversaries come once each year. If you plan, you’ll save money.

10. Get credit card balances paid off. When you have a balance, you are charged interest on not only the old balance but also on any new purchase that you make. Take all of the money you have saved above and pay that credit card balance off.Once you begin applying these tips to everyday life, you’ll find you really can save money year round.

Article by:
Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached at audreyoka@cox.net or visited at www.scrapping-made-simple.com

Book Recommendation: Martha Stewart Housekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring For Everything in Your Home


I managed to get my name on the waitlist for the Martha Stewart Housekeeping book, at my public library. After a month, I finally got a phone call that it was mine, for the taking. I rushed over and signed it out.

This is a well organized reference book that covers all the concerns for the Home CEO. I really did learn some new things. Like how to really clean my fridge, folding a fitted bed sheet and sewing on a button so it won't fall off! It has many important lists, like the stain 101, monthly and seasonal cleaning, and lots more.

At the Martha Stewart.com site, this book is selling for $45.00 but at Amazon.com you'll be able to save 50% and possible more. This is a great addition to your home management library. It makes a great gift for the new bride, new home or apartment warming gift.

Here's Amazon.com's review on her book. Feel free to add your reviews too.

Amazon.com
Martha Stewart's new home reference book is a must-have for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it's gorgeous. Printed on thick, glossy pages covered with subtle sepia photos and that perfect Martha-blue as an accent color, Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook is a pretty and practical package for everyone: "all mothers and daughters, fathers and sons who have a room, an apartment, or a home to care for." Stewart's exhaustive handbook features a handy "how to use this book" introduction; a room by room guide with weekly, monthly, and seasonal checklists; tips for cleaning, creating a comfortable and safe home, and moving; and a guide for identifying and caring for materials in your home. Curious? Take a look at some excerpts below. You'll be sweeping and shelving your way to a happier home in no time. --Daphne Durham

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday - March 8


Visit Diary of a SAHM to join in the fun!


Family Swiss Steak - six servings
2tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 1/2 lbs boneless beef round steak, cut 1 in thick
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
canola oil cooking spray
1 lg garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
2 med celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 med onions, thinly sliced
4 med plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup reduced-sodium canned beef broth

In a small bowl, combine flour, thyme, and paprika. Using a pastry brush, brush steak pieces with Worcestershire sauce. Dredge in flour mixture.

Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place on stove over medium-high heat. Add steak pieces and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.

Transfer steak pieces to a 3-quart or larger crockery slow cook. Top with garlic slices, celery, onions, and tomatoes. Pour beef broth over the top. Do not stir.

Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

To serve, transfer steak pieces and vegetables to a heated serving platter. Spoon any pan juices over the top and serve at once. Serve with brown rice.

Per serving:
191 calories (21% calories from fat), 28 g protein, 4 g total fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 71 mg cholesterol, 102 mg sodium

Product Recommendation: Keri Original Moisture Therapy Dry Skin Lotion

If you're like me, you're looking for money saving purchases, products that can benefit mulitple people. I found a lotion that my husband, teenager and myself enjoy and solves our dry skin issues. Keri Original Moisture Therapy Dry Skin Lotion is light, non-greasy and has a very light scent. ( important to my two guys) The 15 ounce bottle is the perfect size for our lotion loving family.

My husband commented that it's not heavy and has little or no scent. Our teenage son appreciates that he only has to apply it in the morning. And me, well I love that I'm not spending money, purchasing mulitple bottles of lotion.

What products to you recommend, that your whole family use?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Today in History: Sewing Machine Patent 1854


Visit the Old Sewing Machines site to see them in action. Yes, they have animation for you to view.


Howstuffoworks.com offers an insight of the sewing machine. You'll find other machinery too. So, you'll want to add this one to your favorites list.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

BerryMorins Bits and Tips Website Pick - 'America's Story'

Visit America's Story from American Library website for more fun facts and pictures. This website offers your student fun and educational way to learn more about American History courtesy of The Library of Congress.
Amazing Americans allows you to learn more tidpits about politicans, performers, inventors and other people who made a contribution to our country. Don't forget to play the Dynamite President game!

Jump Back in Time allows you to get a peak into in American history. They can even see what history occurred on their birthday!

Explore the States lets you learn more about each state. Check out the Treasure Hunt.

Join America at Play is where you'll discover more about America's hobbies, pastimes and sports.

See, Hear and Sing is just the place to listen to a movie, hear a song or listen to a tone. You'll want to bookmark this site because you'll be visiting often!

It's Mexican Tortilla Soup - Mr. Food's Quick & Easy Diabetic Cooking Cookbook

I have received many requests for the Mexican Torilla Soup and Frogmore Stew recipes, from Monday. I love Mr. Food's Quick & Easy Diabetic Cooking Cookbook. The best prices can be found at Amazon.com.

So, let's get the apron, pots and utensils out and start cooking!

*my family likes more of these ingredients so make adjustments based on tastes. Remember, cooking is fun and adjustable.

Frogmore Stew
8 cups water
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper *
1 lb turkey kielbasa sausage, cut into 2in pieces
3 medium potatoes, cut in half
3 medium onions, cut in quarters
2 large ears of corn, husked and cut into 3inch pieces
1 pound medium shrimp, unpeeled*

In a soup pot, combine the water, seafood seasoning, and ground red pepper and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add the sausage, potatoes, onions, and corn, and cook for 15 to 20 mins, or until the potatoes ate fork tender. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 mins, or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.

Strain the stew and serve immediately, along with bowls of broth for dunking.

Mexican Tortilla Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 in chunks
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) ready -to-use reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup salsa (I like using fresh salsa-less watery)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup broken up baked tortilla chips

In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, bell pepper, and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the chicken is browned on the outside, stirring frequently.

Stir in the chicken broth, corn and salsa. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink.

Stir in the cilantro, ladle into bowls and serve topped with the tortilla chips.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Menu Monday Plan - March 5

The Ultimate Blog party is still going strong. Please stop by my post. Courtesy this week, goes to Mr. Food's Quick and Easy Diabetic Cooking Cookbook!

Monday - Mexican Tortilla Soup

Tuesday - Turkey Francaise, Broccoli, Brown Rice

Wednesday - Sandwich and Soup (mom has bible study)

Thursday - Caramelized Cola Roast, No Yolk Noodles, Green Beans

Friday - Frogmore Stew

Saturday - Leftovers (mom is working most of the day)

The Dr. Laura Webinar Was A Terrific Experience!


The Ultimate Blog Party is still going on. Please feel free to look around. Click on party introduction . Enjoy your visit!

First of all, have you ever attended a webinar? If you haven't it's so convenient. (I attend many company meetings utilizing webinar) You just need a phone, computer, the phone number and the link for the meeting.


Overall, I didn't learn anything new but I'm glad that I attended. I'm a Dr. Laura Listener for many years so I'm familiar with her insight. It was interesting hearing questions people had about their marriages. Some of the questions just couldn't be answered without having a 2-way dialogue, so she recommended those to call her show. Many had to do with poor choices in a spouse - Choose Wisely!

The company, Go Meeting, introduced Dr. Laura. (yes, there was applause) She spoke a bit about her book, "Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage" and letters that she has sent received, from those you have read it. Then she announced that attendees had an opportunity to email her questions. Which she would select from and then answer.

Some of the highlights were her 3 Point Plan.

1. Treat your spouse as if you loved them with your last breath.

2. Think hard everyday about how you can make their life worth living.

3. Be the kind of person you would want to love, hug, come home to and sacrifice for.


Remember: Give a gift of yourself - instead of the whining, roll over and think about what you can do to make their life worth living and men are easy to bring around.
Here's just a few highlights of Questions and Answer Time!

Q: How do I re-act to my husband's rudeness?

A: Look at it from his point of view. Be cute and adorable. Be his woman.


Q: What's a perfect marriage?

A: 'The Gift of the Magi"


Q: I'm a Christian and my husband isn't. How do I get him to go to church?

A: Choose wisely! Side note: Don't pressure him! He needs to make the decision himself.


Other points of interest that I've actually read and heard elsewhere are as follows:

Clean yourself up! Be a hot mamma! Listen more, give supportive feedback. Have gratitude for what you have, you'll have a happy life! And most important element in a marriage - Choose wisely! Be emotional healthy!


She wrapped up the event by stating that there would be a complimentary recorded version, sent via email to those who attended. And she plans on doing more webinars, in the future.

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