Composting fun!

14Dec11

Well tomorrow I’m really “digging” into the garden with both hands. I’ve decided I’m going to replant an artichoke plant I have, get my tire planters set up, and clear out space for and start my compost pile. This I am VERY excited about, partly for the wonderful addition to my soil and partly because it will cut down on my family’s waste output. Also I’ve found a way around that long, back breaking, chore: turning the compost pile. Instead of turning I am going to use a perforated length (about four feet) of PVC pipe stuck into the middle of the pile to aerate. I also plan on adding some worms to speed the process along. Eventually I plan on having two piles, one that will be breaking down while we build up the other so we always have compost on hand! Will post some pictures very soon.

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Taken  on a day trip with my parents and sweetie.


As I’m pretty sure I’ve said before, I live with my boyfriend, my parents, my little sister (who is currently 5 1/2 months pregnant) and her fiancee. That’s a lot of people to feed and as the one who does all the cooking cleaning and shopping, I was beginning to get a little stressed. Because of my father having a few weeks of shut down this month, money is tight but it wasn’t as if I was going to be feeding fewer people so I needed to find a solution. And where do we all turn for those? Google of course!

What I have begun doing is making a menu for each months dinners, now, with my family it wasn’t going to work if I said “This is what we’re having for dinner this week” so instead I made a list of recipes, enough for an entire month and I let everyone vote on what they feel like that night, then cross it off my list. Now I know I’ve made that and I no longer have the ingredients. No one gets tired of anything because I only do it once a month.

Most of my recipes come from Campbell’s Recipe Collection, a cook book that I got at a used book store for nine bucks. As silly and non challenging as it is, I love it. For one, because it’s bound like binder, I can write recipes down and store them in the same book, secondly, all the meals are lighting fast and easily altered to fit my family’s varying tastes. Once I found all the recipes I wanted, I went through one by one and entered them in a note book file, and wrote down the ingredients needed excluding amounts and any meat that wasn’t chicken (I buy the frozen skinless chicken breasts, my dad takes care of the beef and pork with a meat box from our local butcher).

Now my list looks like this-
Meatloaf
eggs
ground beef
bread crumbs
ketchup
chicken and broccoli alfredo
pasta
chicken
broccoli
cream of mushroom soup
parmesan cheese
milk
Chicken Parmesan
Chicken
tomato sauce
mozzerella
salad
Chicken and stuffing
chicken
stuffing
cream of mushroom
milk
Seafood Stew
Tomato sauce
clam juice
1 pound seafood
can of clams

And so on. Now I take that list and go over it and make a list from that writing down each ingredient I need, using Astrix to indicate repeats so I know the amount I need, leaving me with this-

chicken breasts *******

salad mix
potatoes ***
onion ****
garlic

mozzerella cheese ***
cheddar cheese *
sliced turkey

milk ***
sour cream ***
butter
eggs**

ketchup
mayo

rice *
dry beans

fettuccini noodles
bowtie noodles *
spagetti noodles
noodles

This is obviously not the full list, but you get the concept. (Just so you know, I’m a little neurotic, so this list is by aisle or section of the store)  Now since I use the same menu month after month, and really just worry about changing the order (we only eat the same thing once a month) this is a pretty solid list, telling me what I need for every month. I just leave this list on my computer,  print it out before shopping and write down any additions to the list.

To help save money I also look at the store’s websites the night before. I do my shopping at two stores, Grocery Outlet which puts their little add paper online in it’s entirety. This has no coupons but you can see what on your list might have very low prices, and I mark those on the list with a highlighter or something so I remember to pick those up while at the store and search for anything else marked down a lot. I do the rest of my shopping at Winco which only accepts their own (very few) coupons but theirs are available online as well so you can print them to use if they apply to your list.

All in all, this system works very well for me and my family, hope it was helpful.


Okay so I am going to make a couple posts today because I have a few things to post on and I’ll be able to better explain it all one at a time.

Chemical free beauty-

To give a little background for this post, let me explain that I have horrid allergies to lots of things. Mostly, fragrances, dyes, and all sorts of other things that are used to make those wonderful beauty products that so many of us love. I’ve had awful experiences with lotions, makeups, hair removers, perfumes, shampoos and a multitude of other things that most everyone uses. (And pineapple but that’s beside the point, I suppose.) Also my husband and I have recently decided that its about time in life to start with the baby making. So I decided between paying obscene amounts of money for hypo-allergenic products and wanting to limit all chemicals entering my body to prepare for pregnancy, that there had to be a better way. And guess what? There is!!

Baking soda shampoo?

For the last four months or so, I’ve been using baking soda to clean my hair and apple cider vinegar to condition. Yep, No ‘poo is the way for me. The basic idea is that the chemicals used in shampoo, in addition to being not so good for you, also strip oils from your hair that actually help keep your hair clean and strong. I wash my hair with the backing soda once sometimes twice a week and rinse it and scrub my scalp everyday. I find I only need the vinegar about once a month.

How to go No Poo.

The only difference I see between this and what I do is the conditioner, I used apple cider vinegar instead of white and I also added some honey and a tiny bit of raspberry essential oil. Works WONDERS!

Olive oil wonder solution

The other thing I have been using is olive oil. Not on my hair but for just about everything else. Being allergic to most shave gels and creams and being very susceptible to razor burn, I’ve had a hard time with keeping smooth sexy legs. My solution? Olive oil and brown sugar. Crazy I know but the key to limiting razor burn is to exfoliate your legs before shaving and the best way for me, is to fill up a nice hot bath and soak and read a book for 5 or ten minutes, then take my tupperware container of olive oil and brown sugar and scrub my legs with it for a minute or two. This helps get rid of all that dead skin, so no ingrown hairs. Now, dunk my legs back in the tub and the sugar dissolves in the warm water and the oil stays on your legs, and works as a lubricant for your razor. After getting out of the tub I use the tiniest bit of olive oil to rub into my legs before I dry off and I have wonderfully smooth, moisturized, happy, not itchy legs!!!

The same olive oil/brown sugar mix, I also use to exfoliate my lips before putting anything like lipstick on them so I don’t wind up with any little skin flappy things in my wonderful red lipstick. And any time my lips start feeling a little dry I use a dab of olive oil and moisturize them. I’ll often put the oil on as I’m putting the rest of my makeup on so that by the time I put on that harsh, drying lipstick my lips have soaked up tons of moisture.

You can also wash your face with olive oil!! The oil actually binds with the oils on your face because of how similar they are on the molecular level, and when you take it off it takes all that nasty stuff with it and leaves your face nice and fresh and surprisingly not oily.  Take a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a small dish and pull your hair back or put in a head band, and rub it all over your face. ( I usually do this while I’m in the tub, getting ready to shave my legs.) Now take a cloth get it wet with some very warm water, (like your bath should be) , wring it out and place it over your oil-covered face. I leave this on for 5-10 minutes and I re wet it every couple minutes so that the heat stays constant and keeps helping to open my pores. After you’ve let it sit, use that same cloth to wipe all the oil off and wonder at your results!!


Well my family and I have been discussing for some time now, the idea of putting a garden in our relatively small back yard.  The biggest problem has been we need containers because we live about twelve feet from a built up man made logging pond, so our back yard is filled with very large rocks making tilling near impossible. So we need containers large enough for our veggies to have big healthy root systems, but none of us feel we should be paying $20 plus per container.

Then, I had an epiphany, my uncle scraps and recycles old cars and has a problem getting rid of the tires because it costs money to recycle tires, and scrapping three or four cars a week, they build up. We are going to use tires, stacked three high, to make our lovely little raised garden. The best thing is, if we go to move, the tires can be emptied, broken down, and transported easily. This way we’re saving money and we’ll be re-purposing 30+ tires so everyone wins.

Talking with my mom, we’ll be planting potatoes here soon, and this spring we’ll be starting in on a couple kinds of squash, tomatoes (not in the tires but in some “Topsy Turvy” planters I got her for Christmas last year), garlic, onions, strawberries, and a bunch of other things. I will post pictures as soon as we have the first planter or two in!


First post

18Nov11

Hello! I’m Mallorie and I live in a remote little part of Northern California. I’ve decided to start this blog to be able to talk about my stay at home daughter/wife life. My boyfriend and I live with my parents and my younger sister and her fiancée. I know this sounds strange as I am about to turn 23, but my father works six days a week most weeks and my mother is disabled, so I take care of her.

Now that I’ve summed that up, what is this blog going to be about? Good question!! Everything. I love crafts, cooking, going green, penny pinching, writing, exploring, birdwatching, and just about anything else I can get my hands on!

As for today, I have to start a hat that I promised to a wonderful friend of mine, then on to make a lovely dinner and visit the in-laws and play with some very cute kittens.