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Sunday, June 28

Sunday Citar : Kindness


Welcome to Sunday Citar! This blog quote meme was created by Tabitha @ FreshMommy. You can stop by her blog to the quotes and photos that she and everyone else is loving right now.

I love quotes. For a short time, I had been posting my own quote of the day and am so happy that FreshMommy has a weekly meme.

This week, I'd like to share a quote that has been on my mind daily. I work in the retail industry and while most customers greet me with the same courtesy or smile as I do them... some do not and are, well, rude. mean. condescending. are having a bad day and need someone to take it out on no matter how brief.

Yeah, that's me, a real live live person you are dumping on! I have feelings. I have three small children waiting on me at home who'd rather have me at home with them instead of sharing me with you.

But before I start to take it personal or a used punching bag, I discreetly take a deep breath, I remember...

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~Plato

You can go here to browse through some of my other favorites.

Thank you for stopping by. Until next time.

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Friday, June 26

3 Year Olds

The babes have just gotten up from a nap. "E" got up a bit later than the other two, so she missed out on her after nap snack when the other two had theirs. Instead of her snack, she wanted something else... OK, no problem.

"E": Mom, I'm thirsty.

Ok, just a sec. Do you want a banana? {My atempt to offer her the missed snack.}

"E": No! Thirsty!

"E": MOM! I'm thirsty!

Hold on honey, I'm coming. Ok, do you want Grape or Orange Tangerine?

"I" pipes in: Grape.
She happily trots off to drink her grape juice.

"E": Kool-Aid. {Funny, I don't remember offering Kool-Aid.}

Grape or Orange Tangerine?

"E": Kool-Aid.

Grape or Orange Tangerine?

E: KOOL-AID!

Grape or Orange Tangerine?

E: KOOL! AID!

**Sigh**

Offereing only two choices doesn't always work, usually, they come up with a third option, but I'm chosing not to have this battle, so she got Kool-Aid. LOL

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Thursday, June 25

Tell Me Thursday : Working from Home

Well, if you stopped by yesterday, you caught a glimpse of my daughter chattin' on the phone while listening to headphones. The kind that allows you to sing along - kinda like karaoke.



I don't think either of them were working, but she was having fun anyway.

Oh, yeah, and you don't you just love the background? Toys everywhere! That looks like it was a good day. LOL

Some things never change.

As you can see... toys everywhere! Oh yeah, the girls were doing some body painting with their butt cream. They did the same thing with the same tub of butt cream about some months earlier. It was the best butt cream evah!

Anyway...

Don't ya love it?

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Wednesday, June 24

Wordless Wednesday : Working from Home

Visit more Wordless Wednesday fun over at, none other than Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Tell Me Thursday!

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Shrinking Jeans : Shred Days 2 & 3

I Shred with the Sisterhood!
Wow! What a week! I started The Shred just last Tuesday (Day1), skipped Wednesday cause my legs still felt like jello and then did Day 2 & 3 back to back Thursday and Friday.

Thursday (Day 2) I felt awesome. I felt stronger. Yes, I still felt like jello, but I also know, for me, the best way to work out workout soreness... is to, um, workout. I had my reservations about being able to commit to every day, but at the end of Day 2. I knew I could and I felt relieved...

Well. Let me tell you. Friday (Day 3) was the clincher. Although I didn't think I'd be able to get a workout in before work on Friday, I did anyway, well cause - I had to. You know. I felt so good the day before. How could I not keep the momentum?

Boy was I sorely mistaken! That was all she wrote. I could feel my legs, knees, ankles and feet aching all day, but that was due to working out, of course, and my body still getting used it. BUT, while kneeling to a squatting position at work to restock/front face merchandise at the cash wrap, I had a painful discovery. My knees had swollen so much that I could not bend them without being in excruciating pain - needless to say, I could not bend them. And because my muscles were weak, I had to pull myself back up from the shelf with one hand while pushing up from the floor with the other.

Ah, the perils of being young and ignorant. I used to be an active person. I loved to ride my bike, go roller blading around the lakes, walking, hiking, working out at the gym, etc...

In 2001, I suffered my first knee injury, partial tear of the ACL. I'm not able to go into details, but needless to say, it was not taken care of properly by the responsible entity and I believed the doctor when he said he didn't see anything wrong with it anymore. Hmmm, yeah, whatever! I was young and naive.

Then in 2004 I suffered a complete tear of the ACL of my other knee, surgery followed 15 months later cause I could not under go surgery while pregnant. My body did not respond well to physical therapy and honestly I should have put more effort into it. Again, I was naive and have never regained full range of motion in that knee, not to mention I've lost a lot of muscle mass due to that injury.

Ok. So. Back to today.

The Shred and the Sisterhood were going to be my way of getting back into shape and essentially get my physical life and knees back. I have three little ones to keep up with you know. LOL! The Shred cause a good friend has been raving about it and the Sisterhood, cause now she and I can both be held accountable in a fun, supportive way.

So, with that, I'll be modifying all of the high impact exercises with once I've learned from my past days of working out. I think I'll try one day a week to do the whole exercise like the video, but the rest of the week, I need to go a bit slower to get my strength back in knees.

Mr. Scales has me at 161 pounds this week. Oh well. I still feel better and I'm so lovin' the ab workout as I sooooo need it. :)

Until next week!

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Tuesday, June 23

One year ago today...

we packed up the mini-van and my three babies and I drove 1300 miles to my mom's. It was something we had to do. Having three small children is not easy without family near by, add financial struggles on top of it and you have a recipe for disaster.


The decision was to stay with my mom for a couple of years. Grow up, get our finances under control and move back home once the babes were in school.

It was planned that hubs would tie up loose ends through the summer and make the trip by himself to be with us.

The plan, I'll admit was flawed. We didn't plan for the unexpected. He never made it.

It has been a year since we have seen him. He is still back home, struggling financially and lonely without his family. We are here, struggling financially and lonely without him. We miss him... terribly. This past year has been extremely difficult on many fronts. I can't even begin to explain. All of the things that we have missed by being apart, we'll never get back.

We'll keep drawing up new plans. Plans for me and now 3-4 year olds to get back home. Until we get it right, we'll be here.

It's not easy, but we'll keep trying.

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Tackle It Tuesday : Not Sew Easy

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This is my first Tackle It Tuesday and if you remember, I did my first Works for Me Wednesday, just last week. I've been a reader of these memes for some time, but really nothing more than a bystander. I'm always in awe of all the things these bloggers accomplish, so many great ideas - such a great platform to share. I love it. Well, I've finally gotten the courage to do my own posts about what I'm 'tackling' and what's 'working' for me.

I've been slowly but surely finding the means to get back to basics. I'll be using these platforms to chronicle my progress. And solicit your advice as not everything I tackle... will be working for me.

This week is a prime example. My first sewing project.

Find a pattern, size your children, cut out your pattern.

I am trying a simple nightgown for the girls.

Sew the shoulder seam, easy. Sew the side seam, easy.

Sew the bottom hem, easy.

Sew the neck and armpit holes... NOT SEW EASY!

I got so frustrated. First of all, the hem is a lot smaller and more difficult to fold under for a clean seam... let alone sew it on the machine.

Worse yet, it is almost too small! When I sized all three of my children, their measurements came out to a size 4 according to the pattern. Size 5 should fit just right, so the next one will be a size 6 so they have room to grow. Maybe I should go bigger?

This exploration project took me an afternoon. Considering I haven't sewn anything from a pattern like this or anything for that matter since Junior High Home Ec class, I guess I did alright.

However, any ideas on how to make the armpit and neck holes less frustrating? Otherwise we'll be sewing square ones from now on! ;)

What are you tackling this week? Head on over to 5 Minutes For Mom to get some inspiration or share your own!

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Wednesday, June 17

Works for Me Wednesday : Frugal Laundry Soap


****UPDATE***

I just realized that unless you got to the original post you may not get the recipe. Oops. Sorry.

Here it is.

1 Cup of Borax (20 Mule Team Borax)
1 Cup Washing Soda (not Baking Soda)

That's it!

Mix in a bowl and store in an air tight container. I've been using 2 tablespoons per load and have had great results. I do not use any kind of softener or vinegar for that matter.

This recipe can be doubled or more based on the amount of combined ingredients you have. I think one whole box of each can net you a total of 6 cups each with some left over of the Borax. Which, the Borax has lots of other cleaning uses around the house.

This basic recipe may or may not work for you. I've been using it for about a week. Read through the tipnut.com links I shared for tons of other info if you like.

Take care,
Shanna

*******************************************************
Here's my first Works for Me Wednesday post. If you've been around my blog for a while, you'll know that I've been experimenting with homemade laundry soap. I must say that I am still quite impressed and here's why:
  • It is easy to make. I modified my recipe from grating the Fels Naptha to not using Fels Naptha at all. Thanks again Anne for the tip.
  • I don't need softener! I always forget the rinse cycle anyway, so it saves on energy and water too!!
  • It costs pennies per load. {$0.0490 per load based off my ingredient purchase}
  • It's only TWO ingredients.
  • My clothes smell fresh, clean AND they are soft!
I'm still testing my new found love, but so far, I'm extremely happy. Go to my Frugal Laundry Soap : Follow Up post to get the "gist", a short Q&A session and links to other great sites for recipes and FAQs.

Get motivated, be inspired and visit more Works for Me Wednesday posts over at We are THAT Family. You'll be glad you did.

Thank you for stopping by! Until next time!

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Shrinking Jeans : Day 1

Thank you for coming back today. Today is weigh in day with Mr. Scales over at the Sisterhood, but before I get to far, here's a quick back story.


Last week, I decided to jump on the scale, just to see if I've been maintaining my weight. I'm not trying to gain or lose, so I usually get on the scale about once every two months. Just to 'see'. Well, let me tell ya! I thought the scale was broke cause it said I had GAINED almost 10 pounds! Ok, ok, I love to bake, what can I say? It was bound to catch up with me eventually! LOL

Fast forward a couple of hours...

While blog hopping after posting my Wordless Wednesday, I came across mommie blogs and while I had no intention of joining, offered some encouragement for her decision to join the Sisterhood. She responded to my comment and said for me to join with her cause, you know, the more the merrier. Thank you C for the return encouragement and the fact that Mr. Scales is not my friend right now, I'm gonna be Shreddin' with the rest of you.

Although putting my weight out there for everyone to see is a bit intimidating, you only live once, right? Besides, I weighed more in high school. Having three children and knee surgery in one year shredded about 35 pounds too, so I'm ahead. *wink*wink*

So there you have it.

Today Mr. Scales says I'm 160 pounds, last week, when I freaked out, he said I was 164... hmmm... maybe he is broke.

Since my good friend from college convinced me many months ago to get The Shred, I and the babes will be hanging out with Jillian as much as possible and yesterday she kicked our butts {well, mine at least} I can barely walk today. LOL

Until next week!

I Shred with the Sisterhood!

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Tuesday, June 16

Sure, Why Not?!

While blog hopping last week, which is coincidentally a main reason, along with my three small children, that I don't post more often. I get side tracked, hopping along and before I know it. My bloggy time is up and I have to get back to real life. :) I came across mommie blogs who decided that she was going to join the latest Sisterhood Challenge.

Now, I'm not one who is motivated by challenges or prizes or money. It's like telling my son that if he eats all of is dinner, he can have ice cream for desert. Those of us rookie moms still learning a few things would think that he's scarf it down, right? Um, no.

If he really doesn't want to eat his dinner - whether he doesn't like it, is full, doesn't feel good or whatever, he won't... he misses out on ice cream. He's usually upset that he misses out, but that doesn't motivate him to eat his dinner.

Well, I left a comment for mommie blogs and she sent me a response tell me that I should do it cause we could join together. Cool. I've already made a friend.

So, I've decided that I'll be joining too.

Sure, Why Not?!

I'll be back tomorrow with stats.

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

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Wednesday, June 10

Wordless Wednesday : It's Summer

Visit more Wordless Wednesday fun over at, none other than Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.


Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Tell Me Thursday!

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Tuesday, June 9

Frugal Laundry Soap : Follow Up

Well, it's been almost two and a half weeks since posting my public Frugal Laundry Soap journey and I must say, I am still quite pleased.

I've also learned that my tutorial skills need some work and I appreciate you sticking around anyway. ;) I'm working on it. Thank you for coming back!

The number of questions and suggestion offers have been amazing. Now, I don't feel so alone in this endeavour. Thank you!

So, let's get started! This "Follow Up" post is more about answering the questions I've received so even if you've been afraid to ask or
gasp a lurker, you won't miss out. Since this is a learning process for me as well, I'll share some of the experiences and questions that I have.

Making your own laundry soap is really quite easy! Anyone can do it. If it is something that you've really wanted to try, then you you just have to do it and not procrastinate like I did.

Can I use Homemade Detergent in my HE (High Efficiency) machine? I have no experience with this, but I have found lots of info on the web that says it's ok to use. Be aware that the manufacturer may void the warranty if you are not using their recommended products. Homemade detergent is low sudsing (if any at all), which is very important for HE machines. Also, at the bottom of this Soaps Gone Buy page, they write briefly about HE machines.


Hmmm....  this one has really got me thinking.  Can I use my homemade soap in the dishwasher?  I'll be checking that one out cause I am tired of paying for that one!  You?

So, do your clothes come out as clean as they did before?
I think so. They look, feel and smell fresh and clean.

I've been wanting to do this but haven't done it yet.
I say,
just try it especially since it is something that you've thought about. This way you'll be able to stop thinking about it and if it doesn't work for you and your family, you can utilize the Borax and Washing Soda for other areas in your home. Each provide several suggested uses.

I've heard some people add bluing in it for their whites.
This is another area that I don't have experience in. I've never used bluing and right now, with three little ones, I do my best to avoid any white clothing.
Mrs. Stewart's Bluing is the one that comes to mind as I've seen it at the store. I thought about getting it the day I purchased my other homemade detergent ingredients, but then I reminded myself that we don't have many whites and what we do have is socks and undergarments. So I skipped it. Got to Mrs. Stewart's Bluing for some instructions on how to use this product.

I've been wanting my own laundry soap for awhile and am just waiting to use up some of the soap I already have.
Yeah! Me too! This is the same reason I waited so long. Problem is, when you wait to run out. You will run out. And instead of trying to put something together that you are just learning, you'll go to the store and buy more of your usual stand by. :) Get what you need now, then when there is no pressure, he he, you can mix everything up.

How do you grate the soap into flakes?
I just use a hand-held cheese grater.

I've heard of people putting it into a food processor but then I wondered if you can really get all that soap residue out of it when you wash it. Wouldn't want it in my food!
That is a great question, cause I wouldn't want soap in my food either, yuck! Some of you may know
Heather over at Want What You Have and she has a post on how she makes her homemade laundry soap and she uses a food processor. I imagine it would take the same amount of effort to clean it after other uses. I toss my hand-held cheese grater in the dishwasher and it comes out just fine.


I hope this helps and here is a Q&A session from tipnut.com.  Maybe it'll cover some questions you hadn't thought about or offer other advice.  Now, if the powdered detergent is not your thing, they also have several different recipes.  I find alot of sites referring back to this one, so it has some merit.

Remember, when I said I have only enough detergent for one load?  Well, since Anne said...  "I don't use the Fels- Naptha and it still works great."  That is my next trial.  I've already got it mixed up.  AND, if it works, it'll only cost me $0.0490 per load.  She did caution to not use more than suggested otherwise it'll wear out my clothes.  Why not try it?  I'll let you know.

Also, I haven't used fabric softener since my first load of home made laundry soap and I see no reason to go back.  Thanks for the tip Anne!

Please realize that each person's experience may be different.  I've read that your water can have an affect on the effectiveness of your detergent.  For example, I've read that well water may cause your clothes to look dingy after so many washes.  I'm sure it's not all well water, but the person that posted about it, had that experience.

Unless you just plain don't like the idea, don't give up.  Your finances will thank you.  You may have to research or tweak your recipe, but in the long run, you'll still be saving and learning along the way.

Have a great day!  Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts or how it's working for you.  Feel free to respond to other comments as well.  We can learn from each other.  :)

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Thursday, June 4

Capture the Magic

Do you have a hard time capturing the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or Santa in the act?


Well Capture the Magic has solved that problem for us.  Check out their website to learn more.

Remember, since Santa and the Easter Bunny are on vacation right now, you won't get any pics of them; however, the Tooth Fairy is a very busy fairy with little teeth needing compensation on a nightly basis and I'm confident you'll be able to catch 'em in the act.

Sign up for email notifications and they'll let you know when Santa and the Easter Bunny will be in town so you can get their pics too!

Have fun!

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Tell Me Thursday : Beautiful Surprise

I'm grateful to have been invited to join Tell Me Thursday... about Wordless Wednesday.  I really, really try to be true to Wordless Wednesday and not say much, but sometimes, I can't help it and just have to say something!

Join in the fun each week and stay true to your Wordless Wednesday, then come back on Thursdays and tell us about it.



So here it was, yesterday...

A lot of you were interested in what kind of flower/plant it was and honestly...  me too!  I had no idea, except that I was surprised by the beautiful little flowers on what I thought was an ugly plant.


Turns out, it is a Hoya.  The picture I took yesterday is of the flowers on the bottom left, there are about a half dozen of these all over the plant.  Hoyas are also called wax plants due to the waxy look of the flowers.  It is a vine and has tried to take over the tree where it is hung.  The vines are woody, like a rope.  They are tropical plants, but don't let that discourage you if you'd like to get one.  I've read that they can be grown most anywhere with the ideal conditions.  This one started from a cutting (in Wisconsin) from a friend, whose was from a friend, whose was from a friend's grandmother.  Cool, eh?  It's at least 25-30 years, possibly older.  If you'd like to read more about them, you can search for Hoya on the Internet in your fave search engine, go here or here.  (I have no affiliations with either of these links, I've linked for informational purposes only)

Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to more Wordless Wednesday and Tell Me Thursdays, how about you?

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Wednesday, June 3

Wordless Wednesday : Beautiful Surprise


Join in on the fun and exploration at 5 Minutes for Mom and Wordless Wednesday.

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