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Monday, November 21, 2011

How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream!

Ever read the list of ingredients in Cool Whip? If you haven't and ever want to be able to eat it again, Don't! Pretty much its a bunch of artificial chemicals whipped together to create the Non-Dairy topping. If your going to eat a desert then go for the real thing. Don't poison your body with things you can't even pronounce. To help you eliminate cool whip from you holiday meals, here's a quick "how to" on making whipped cream from scratch.

Whipped cream is basically 2 ingredients: Heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar (which is finely ground white sugar and cornstarch).

About a half hour before your ready to start place your beaters and a metal or glass bowl in the freezer. Keep your cream in the coldest part of you fridge.

Ingredients needed: 1 cup cream & 1-2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

When ready pull out the bowl and beaters. Add cream to bowl and begin whipping. DO NOT add sugar yet. Whip until the cream forms soft peaks approximately 5 minutes. I used my kitchenaid standmixer on speed 6. The faster the beaters are going the faster it becomes whipped cream. At the point that the cream forms soft peaks add the powdered sugar. Whip some more. Scrape down the sides of you bowl. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. DO NOT over whip. It will curdle. Check out this link for additional details on how to make whipped cream.

If you want to get rid of the sugar you could trying grinding in a spice grinder, mortar and pestle, blender, or food processor something like xylitol to a powdered consistency then adding 1-2 Tablespoons cornstarch to get the consistency of powdered sugar. I wouldn't recommend any other sugar alternatives. Everything execpt stevia, and rapurda/succanat are just chemicals. Stevia often has an artificial after taste. And rapurda/succanat will still have the same effects as sugar on you body. They are still sugar just without the nutrients processed out of them.

Good luck making healthier deserts from scratch!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nautical Diaper Cake

I get so many views on my Diaper cake post that I thought I'd add some photos of a nautical cake I made so that you can have some additional inspiration. Enjoy! (If your looking for more specifics on how to make a  diaper cake click here.)

 This is a view of the whole cake.

Bottom tiers.
 Top tiers.

 This view as does the next one shows types of items I like to use to decorate the cake. I often use iron on patches (anchor and sailboat), which the mother can add to plain onesies or to a diaper bag. Painted wooden decor items that can be used to decorate the nursery. And for my friends that like to scrapbook I like to add stickers or things they could use for their scrapbook.

For more information on how to make a diaper cake, please check out my How to Make a Diaper Cake post.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Random Thought of the Day!

So I was wondering why some people don't like books without pictures, but then if you took them to an art museum they wouldn't like that either. Hmm?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Habits and Routines

Everything is a habit or routine, whether you like it or not is the only difference.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When will they get it that it's not the products it's the parents?!

Surfing Facebook tonight and this just lit my fire! So watch out! Article states American Academy of Pediatrics is banning crib bumpers. Honestly, when are they going to get it that it's not the products that are killing babies but parents who think they can put there baby somewhere and be free to do what they want. I get it that the crib should be safe. But drop-side cribs weren't the major problem. The problem is parents assemble once and think its good forever. They need to be examined, re-tightened, maintained. Babies need to be checked on often. I just can not imagine how a baby that is being checked on manages to get itself caught between the crib mattress and side rail, or so stuck on a crib bumper that it suffocates itself. Please understand that this is just something that annoys me. I could be totally wrong and there is always the possibility that occasionally despite good care these things could happen, but often enough to warrant bans seems more like carelessness to me. If your child is precious to you, keep close watch on them. If you don't want to deal with inconveniences dont' have kids, lol. :D They need constant super vision for 3+ years. I was scared to death about losing my baby to SIDS, but I kept an eye and ear out and checked on her frequently as well as tightened the crib hardware fairly often, especially once she got more mobile.

Please know that my heart goes out to anyone who legitimately knows in their heart that they took the utmost care of their baby and lost them to SIDS anyway. To the rest of the parents out there, please tighten your crib screws, and check on your babies frequently.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who pressed fast forward!

It seemed like at the end of July someone pressed fast forward. It all started when I went to California with my sister for her birthday. Going out of town always takes extra preparations and seems exhausting no matter how fun. Then the following weekend, I went to see the herbalist in St. George, Utah. Then the following weekend back to California for my 10 year high school reunion. Home for one day then off to house sit for my inlaws for a week. Back home and begin house hunting, then paperwork, money orders and other stuff to rent the house, then we get the house and begin packing, then moving, unpacking, cleaning both places. Add into that mix two birthday parties, an anniversary, a greek food festival, the renaissance faire, pee wee football, Sunday football with the inlaws, game night with friends for helping us move and keeping up with meals, dishes, laundry, re-potty training the dog and potty training a toddler, I really just didn't have time to blog. I have hardly been breathing, eating, sleeping, showering, etc. And I'm still not done yet. I still have quite a bit of unpacking to do. I'm hopeful to be done by the start of November. Just wanted to let you all know I have not abandoned my blog. Hoping to be back to posting regularly in no time. Hoping life has been a little more leisurely for you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Raising Homemakers!

This has been floating around Facebook this week:

We need to teach our daughters to distinguish between a man who flatters her and a man who compliments her, a man who spends money on her and a man who invests in her, a man who views her as property and a man who views her properly, a man who lusts after her and a man who loves her, a man who believes he is God's gift to women and a man who remembers that a woman was God's gift to man.

I thought it was very valuable advice and thought in case you missed it, I'd share it here.  

And I thought this would be a good time to share about a blog called Raising Homemakers. They are all about raising our daughters to be women of God and good helpers to their future husbands.  I hope you find something useful there to help you raise your daughters. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm Joining this Challenge! Plan it - Don't Panic!

Today I came across a link for this challenge on Facebook. I know that menu planning saves time, money, energy, but it always seems like so much work. So I'm hoping that by joining this challenge I will be able to stick with it and be encourage, inspired and have new food ideas available to me! Interested in joining too! Join the Plan it - Don't Panic Challenge!

Updated October 17th, 2011: Apparently I was feeling a little over zealous when I signed up for this. I thought it would be a great idea despite the fact that I new we'd be moving. Anyway, I'm not going to try and catch up. I still have about half my unpacking to do. At the very least I hope it inspired some of you to join.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Button!

My friend Ali at So...Yeah...Okay... let me know that my button wasn't working right! So if you grabbed my button please update it! Thanks so much!

Check out My Inspiring Blogs Page!

New page with buttons to some great blogs/resources I've found. Trying to do some house cleaning on my front page and move blogs I like to another page all together, not done yet but still a good list over there! Check it out here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Inspires Me to Post?

Yesterday I got a post on my Facebook wall from a friend asking me, "How do you get inspired?" So I thought I'd blog about it.

Originally, I got inspired by being addicted to reading blogs.

Another inspiration is when I sit down and Google "How To" directions for something and have to piece together parts of what I read on various sites to get something to work for me. Then I condense and post in an effort to make things easier for others.

Mostly, learning inspires me. I learn something new and want to post about it. Or find something I'm totally excited about and want to post about it.

I did have to get over a period of time when I would think "I'm sure there's tons of articles out there on the net about this already". It's not stopping anyone else so why me?

Another thing that seems to happen is when I get one idea, I get like 5. So instead of posting about them all in one day, I keep a little notebook and write the main idea and some notes to help me remember when I come back to it.

On days when I can't seem to think of anything, I rely on recipes. I have a whole box of ones are family eats and loves and I share those when I have nothing else to say.

The last thing that keeps me inspired is that someday I hope that my blog will become my "work" from home & therefore I look for things that help me in my life and how they might help others and post about it.

Hope this helps, people keep on blogging!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to Know if You Should Use Powdered or Liquid Laundry Soap

Do you think that whether you use powdered or liquid laundry soap is just a matter of personal preference? Have you ever wondered why if they both do the same thing why there's a difference? Well wonder know more, I've got the answer and explanation for you.

As far as I can tell people choose liquid or powder laundry soap based on 1 of 2 viewpoints. It was what their mother used and they have not problem with it or It was what their mother used and they have a problem so they use the other.

Basically, the major reason for choosing which kind of soap to use is humidity. Powdered laundry soap clumps together in areas where the humidity is high. Dry climates like the desert where I live, don't have this problem.

This I read said another reason to choose liquid over powder was due to hard water. They said that it wasn't dissolving well and not rinsing from the clothes or machine well. We've had hard water all my life and never had these problems. My best guess is that people assume that the scoop is the amount of soap they need when you really only need maybe the 1st line on the scoop for everyday laundry. Maybe more for dirty laundry.

So if you don't live in a humid area and are looking for a way to cut spending try powdered detergent or making your own. After all, why would you want to pay someone for something that's at least partly water when you have that at home. And if you really like liquid and would like to make your own, you can find lots of recipes out there or try this one.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm Trying these New Things!

The Oil Cleansing Method: I've seen and heard of it before but just ran across it again the other day here. Starting today (09/03/2011)

Homemade Laundry Soap: Modified recipe #9 in this list. You can find my modified recipe here. Starting as soon as my old laundry soap is gone about 1 or 2 loads from now.

All Purpose Cleaner made from laundry soap above. See recipe here.

Watch for an update on these things!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Have You Heard About Groupon?

Groupon is a site that offers deals based on the buying power of a large group. Initially, I wasn't sure it wasn't a scam but I just purchased my 3rd & 4th groupons this week and couldn't be more thrilled with the savings. For example here is what I bought. 1st Groupon: $7 for $15 on Ebay (meaning I paid $7 for a $15 gift card). 2nd Groupon: $10 for $25 at 3rd & 4th Groupons: $89 for unlimited eyebrow, lip, and chin laser hair removal & $89 for 6 treatments of one small area, like underarms. There is always a time or number for sale limit so if you want something you usually have to act fast. When I find something I'll actually use I always save more than 50%. So if you need savings, check out Groupon!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to Make Bacon without Getting Burned from Popping Grease!

My family loves bacon! Lately we've been eating it much more frequently, but I hate getting burned by popping grease. Not to mention the huge mess it makes all over my stove and the surrounding counter even thought I use a splatter screen. That got me to thinking, can bacon be cooked in the oven? There's got to be an easier way. A quick Google search later and I confirmed that people have in fact cooked bacon in the oven. So if you're looking for a quick and easy way to make bacon, here's what you do.

Step 1: Cut entire package of bacon, with the wrapper still on in half.
Step 2. Get out 2 cookie sheets, some articles suggested wrapping with foil for easy clean up, but we didn't have big enough foil and used two pieces and it didn't really help, you decided if this is worth it for you.
Step 3: Place bacon on cookie sheets.
Step 4: Put bacon in oven and set to 400 degrees. DO NOT Preheat. Set timer for 17 mins. Watch closely after that if you think it needs a little more cooking. It should look golden brown when it's done.

Making bacon while making pancakes or something else becomes a lot easier! Check out my post on "How to Make Crumbled Bacon" too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Did you know Amazon has Coupons?

I hope I'm not the last person on the planet to find out that Amazon has coupons. The easiest way to find them is by typing in "All Coupons" in the search box on Once you "clip" the coupon it is automatically applied provided your purchase meets the coupon specifications.

Also, if you don't know about Amazon Mom, you need to sign up for that too. It gets you 15% off, certain items including diapers and wipes.

Last, but not least if you repeatedly buy something like diapers and wipes sign up for Subscribe and Save and get an additional 15% off.

Collect all the savings you can!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How To Make Homemade All Purpose Cleaner {Recipe}

I made Homemade Laundry Soap, and after reading the boxes of Borax and Washing Soda, I realized that this mixture would make a great all purpose cleaner. So here's my recipe.

Homemade Laundry Soap
2 oz. White Vinegar
Hot Water (from the tap)
18 oz. Spray Bottle

Put a little water in the spray bottle, add the vinegar and laundry soap mix. Shake till it seems dissolved. Fill the rest of the way with water. Mixture will settle so be sure to shake before each use. Please tell me how you like it.

Update (September 4th, 2013): Since about last October we have been using a much simpler and wonderfully effective recipe. See below.

New Homemade All Purpose Cleaner:

Fill spray bottle half way full of white distilled vinegar, then fill the rest of the way with water. Add 5 drops tea tree essential oil and 15 drops peppermint essential oil. Shake and your done. The vinegar and essential oils are disinfectant, so your house will be germ free without harmful chemicals. Its wonderful because when my daughter wants to help wipe the table I can let her without worry.

This is not a very unique recipe therefore I'm sure lots of people have similar recipes posted on the internet. This is not meant to infringe on that but merely state what we are now doing, in the interest of keeping this blog as up-to-date as possible.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Buying in Bulk: Great for Limited Space & Budget!

Most of the time when I think about buying in bulk, I think massive amounts of products costing me a big chunk of money (even though per unit cost is low) and an even bigger chunk of space. These things are very true of warehouse stores such as Costco, BJ's, & Sam's Club.

What I'm talking about is buying from bulk bins at places like WinCo. Think about it this way. Let's say for example that you send 1 person (yourself/husband/child) to work/school with a sack lunch everyday. And in this example you want to send them with a bag of chips, you go to the bulk bins, pick up 5 bags of chips instead of the box containing 20+ bags. This you can see will limit the cost and storage space. If your budget was super tight you could even go so far as to buy only exactly what each recipe needs from the bulk bins.

I had never thought about it this way, I always thought about it from a stock up perspective, which is always nice to be able to do but when things are tight what an easy way to save on space and stay within your budget. I hope this is a solution to your money and space constraints!

This post was inspired by something my sister-in-law Catherine said to me.

Find more Homemaking Hints at Heavenly Homemakers

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap {Recipe}

Modified recipe #9 in this list to get the following recipe.

What you need:

*2 Bars of Soap, Grated (should be actual soap, not a beauty bar or something else). I used Kirk's Original Coco Castile Soap. {Update: this soap will leave a hard to remove film on the inside of your washing machine.}
*1 ~ 4lb 12oz. Box  Borax
*1 ~ 55 oz. Box Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (different from Baking Soda)
*7 cups Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
*20-25 Drops Essential Oil, I used Lavender cause that's what I had available.
*Container to store it in. Should be bigger than a shoe box sized tote.

Grate soap. I used my KitchenAid Food Processor for this. Then I changed from the grater to the chopping blade and put 1 cup of each with a little extra of borax in the food processor and processed of about 30 seconds. Then I stirred to make sure the soap was getting mixed in. Then with the processor running I added a few drops of essential oil to each batch. I think it took me about 7 batches. If I had a bigger container, I would have put all the soap in and added other stuff till it was almost full and processed that to get the soap to be fine granules. Then I would have put the rest of the ingredients into the container and shook it to get it all mixed together. You need 2 T per load, I'm using an old coffee scoop.

Check out what else I used this recipe for here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two Left Shoes!

So today I go shopping and find these cute shoes. I'm trying on two different sizes trying to decide which feels better. Then after I decide I end up putting both left shoes in a box and both right shoes in a box. I put the right shoes back on the shelf, buy the two left shoes and am on my way. For the record I don't have two left feet, I indeed have one right and one left. Anyway I get home and start unloading my purchases and think I should break them in a little. Tossed them on the floor and tried to put them on and had a big problem. Anyway, it was just one of those days. It all worked out, called the store, they found the box and held it for me, went and picked up my right shoe. Now tomorrow I can try breaking them in.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Visit to the Herbalist!

On Friday, I went to see an herbalist, as I mentioned on my weight loss journey page. This was one of the best experiences I've ever had as far as health and healing are concerned.

Let me tell you a little about how this all came about. A few months back (I don't know when, didn't know I'd be blogging about it) I started to look into something herbal and came across a free webinar that was a prerequisite for an herbalist training course. I watched the webinar and was impressed by the fact that an herbalist considers the first line of treatment to be foods. Which is what I'm always thinking when I leave the doctors office: "Really?! There's nothing diet or lifestyle wise that could help this problem". At that point I decided I was going to finish the series and treat myself since the doctors wouldn't. But then the anticipated funds, didn't come. So that kinda went by the wayside and sometime later while researching other options I decided to google herbalists and when Steve Horne's name came up it sounded familiar. (No one in Las Vegas actually saw people they just sold herbs). I clicked on the link and saw a familiar face and as they say the rest is history. I looked around his website, found the consultation options and then the forms. It took me quite a while to get the forms completed but I'm so glad I did!

He called me on Tuesday to schedule my appointment. He made an exception to see me on Friday despite the fact that his normal consultation days are Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So then on Friday we made the 2 hour drive to St. George,Utah for my appointment. What I didn't even think about was that there might be a time difference. And there is! Despite the fact that we were a whole hour late, he still saw us. (This is a big deal! Can you remember a time you were late for a doctor appointment? They're never nice about it and sometimes, threaten to reschedule you. Can you remember a time when the doctor WASN'T late. Me neither! It seems very common.)

He had no problem with the fact that I brought my family with me.

The first thing he did was look into my eyes. This was non-invasive and the amount of information he could tell me about my personality and my bodies health tendencies were outstanding. He told me that, "I have a good constitution and that because of that I have the ability to heal rapidly." He told me the iris pattern I have indicates that my weaknesses are digestion and liver. Digestion was definitely right on, I've been having issues with my stomach since I was little, like 4 or 5 years old, and that's just what I can remember. Then we went over the blood work results, referred to a book and the combination of my three highest (meaning farthest away from normal) results, determined an issue with my liver. From there he had me stand and checked my body with a resistance test, I'd only seen done at the chiropractors office. He held my arm and asked me to resist as he pressed on different areas on my body. When it came to the liver, I couldn't resist at all. Could resist a smidgen on the stomach and everything else was strong resistance. He then went to grab an assortment of possible remedies. Then he had me hold each one in one hand while he had me pinch together my ring finger and thumb, then he tried pulling them apart. The ones that I could resist were the ones that would help heal me. He then retested that group by doing the same thing with my finger and thumb but had me say "this is the best one for me". This then determined which supplements I would be given. The total was 3. A supplement to help detoxify my liver and one to help my body digest my food better. He told me that my stomach was up high and was a symptom of stress and gave me some breathing exercises that will help my stomach move back down to where it is supposed to be.

During my eye exam he also determined that I tend to hold in emotion, especially stress and anger & that I have a hard time telling people no. He's right on. The third supplement he gave me (this one was literally free) was to help with this emotional side of my health. As well as told me that I need to release my stress and anger as it comes up, by going into another room and essentially throwing a fit (punch and scream, as long as its not directed at anyone).

We also talked about eliminating sugar from my diet. He suggested using xylitol to sweeten drinks and stuff. He also suggested not trying to go cold turkey but allowing myself to have treats. He suggested theses recipes on his website for cookies. He has a whole lot of recipes for making traditional foods healthier. He also said that licorice root helps to curb sugar cravings.

Other diet suggestions he made included: not letting myself get too hungry by eating snacks between meals, making sure the first thing I put in my mouth each morning is some protein with a little fat (this helps the body metabolize fat and keeps you from craving carbs).

It's been two days and I've already lost about 2 pounds. My stress/anger level feels absent. I'm cold, which never happens and I'm sure its a sign that things are working and healing and I cough up mucous every time I lay down (getting rid of toxins anyway I can).

After today I'll start adding updates to my weight loss journey page (which I'll likely re-title to something like my renewed health/weight loss journey).

Overall it was very informative, non-invasive, and accurate. He was very kind, helpful and generous. Not that I can say that all herbalist will be the same but I'm guessing its like night and day from seeing a doctor anywhere you live.

If you'd like more information about the herbalist I saw check out this website. For more information you can visit or

Wishing you answers to your health issues, understanding and the will to push through!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Time, Money, & Sanity Saver!

When my baby was about a year old, I put a big stash of baby wash cloths in one of the drawer's in my kitchen so that after she was done eating I could grab a rag, wet it and get her face, hands, and highchair wiped up quickly with out using something like paper towels or baby wipes which we had done previously. I've also got a little basket under the sink to put the used one's in and then wash them every time I do a load of baby laundry!

I really hadn't thought much of it until I had a friend over recently who saw me get one out of there and said, "Hey, that's a great idea!", so I thought I'd share.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Mop the Floor the Hard Way!

So yesterday, I go and start the bath water for my daughter. Add the lavender essential oils and crayon color bath fizz. Then I get distracted. Walk around do a few things and then realize oh the water's still on. We don't have an  over flow drain (or whatever they are called). I walk back into the bathroom just in time to see the water flow over the edge of the tub and engulf the entire bathroom floor. It took every dirty towel I had including two bath sheets, 4-5 regular bath towels, and 3-4 hand towels to get all the water soaked up off the floor. However, my bathroom floor is now wonderfully clean and all the dirty towels have been washed! I guess the trials of July aren't quite over.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How To Get Gum Off Your Shoe! In 3 easy steps!

1. Scrape as much excess gum off as possible.
2. Spray gum with WD-40. Let sit for a few minutes.
3. Wipe off with paper towel. Make sure to wipe off any remaining WD-40 because it will make the shoe slippery.

There you go, three easy steps to getting  gum off your shoe!

Here's a great article on how to get gum out of clothes, with a natural ingredient no less!

I'm sharing this Homemaking tip at Heavenly Homemakers!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh Boy, July was a Dooosie!

As I'm sure you can see my posts have been a bit sparse. I don't even know where to begin. In the recent past my two year old has been waking before me and "wrecking shop" as we like to call it. I've woken up to tea bags cut open and sprinkled all over the kitchen, dry erase maker all over the kitchen floor, butter and eggs in a pan on my couch & all over the carpet ("a birthday cake for my baby"), doggy toothpaste smeared into the carpet, bathroom drawers filled with water and I'm sure I'm forgetting somethings! I'm sure you're getting a great laugh out of this, but at the time it was NOT funny! That on top of the fact that I wasn't really feeling well, it just escalated my stress level! And that was about all the energy I had. To top it off my car broke down (in the Las Vegas heat) and I had a really frustrating doctors visit. The doctors visit was the proverbial straw. I went in with a list of complaints, a book & some herbs that related to one of my concerns. He stated that "there was a lot of controversy around that" but not whether he was going to look into it, he didn't. The rest of the visit he seemed as if he was going to do whatever it took to get to the bottom of it. He ordered blood work. I went back after the blood work, pretty much said everything was fine, that I needed to watch my weight and sent me on my way. He didn't address the fact that I still had all the same symptoms! I was pretty much furious. Anyway, that led me to research stress relief online and the first site I visited mentioned magnesium being helpful for reducing stress. I new I had some and went to take some right away. I almost immediately felt better. The following week, I went and picked up a copy of my lab work. I find out that my cholesterol is very high, while my good cholesterol is low. My glucose level is in the range for diabetes & one more thing that escapes me at the moment.

Despite all this, there is some good that's come out of it. I've eaten a salad almost everyday since July 9th. That coming from a girl who used to say things like, I don't want to eat lettuce, I'm not a rabbit. I've eaten more salad in this month than I probably have in my whole life. And this Friday, I'm headed to see a master herbalist, which I'm very excited about!

Hope you'll continue to stick with me through the ups and down's of life! Looking for a great salad recipe, you'll find some here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Motivational Monday's ~ You!

"You are the person who has to decide, whether you'll do it or toss it aside. You are the person who makes up your mind, whether you'll lead or linger behind. Whether you'll try for the goal that's afar, or just be contented to stay where you are." ~Edgar A. Guest

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Clearance Ebook for $2: Tell Your Time

On my left side bar is a button like the one below for an ebook on time management. Well today I found out that she is updating it and selling the first version for a clearance price of $2, down from the original $12 or promotional price of $9. So if you'd been wanting this book and just could see spending $9 or $12 here's your chance for a deep discount. Click the button below and be sure to enter the code 2BUCKS at checkout. Enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Motivational Monday's: Universal Law of Magnetism

"There is a basic law that 'like attracts like'. 'Negative thinking' definitely attracts 'negative results'. Conversely, if a person habitually thinks optimistically and hopefully, his positive thinking sets in motion creative forces  and success, instead of eluding him, flow toward him." ~Norman Vicent Pearle

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July from Homemaker How To's!

Since it's Motivational Monday's here at Homemaker How To's this fourth of July, here are a couple of quick quotes and a presidential speech! Happy Fourth of July! Please be safe.

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck

This, then, is the state of the union:  free and restless, growing and full of hope.  So it was in the beginning.  So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.  ~Lyndon B. Johnson (Emphasis: mine)

I am pleased to join my fellow Americans across the nation and around the world in celebrating Independence Day.
On this day each year, we gather with family and friends to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence. With vision and courage, our Founders stated unequivocally to the world: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." These were literally revolutionary concepts, and they fundamentally changed the course of human history.
Today we are living through another period of profound and historic change: change in the way we work, the way we live, the way we relate to one another and to the rest of the world. But the truths set down in our Declaration of Independence are immutable, and they continue to light our path into the challenges and possibilities of the future. Equality, individual rights, life, freedom, opportunity: we still cherish these values, and we must continue to reaffirm them daily.
America is a work in progress, and we have strived through decades of challenge and change to become what our Founders envisioned on our first Independence Day. As we continue that endeavor, let us work together to create an America that remains the world's strongest force for peace, justice, and freedom. Let us work for an America that is not driven apart by differences but instead is united around share values and respect for our diversity. Let us work for an America in which every one of us, without regard to race or religious belief or gender or station in life, can achieve our dreams. In this way we will best pay tribute to those who, 220 years ago, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to guarantee our freedom.

Best wishes for a memorable Fourth of July.
William J. Clinton
(Originally from, found at:

Wishing you all a safe, happy holiday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Handmade Nation & Perceived Value

I just checked out the book Handmade Nation by Faythe Levine & Courtney Heimerl from the library this weekend. It was an easy read as I had it read in one sitting plus interruptions. It is for the most part a history or the handmade uprising in this country (USA). I caught my attention at the library because I enjoy making things for myself and family. I hope someday that people will notice the things I make and be interested in purchasing them, but I don't know if that will ever happen. I was also interested in the book because handmade seems to be everywhere in the blogs I run across. More importantly thought it interests me because when I look at handmade items, I think why should I pay that much, "I can make that myself". I think I'd be more likely to take the handmade pledge if prices weren't so high. Here is an example of the thought process I have when I look at something handmade. I saw these really cute flip flops decorated with ribbon and lady bugs. I love lady bugs and thought they'd be cute for my daughter who has everything lady bug. They were selling for $25. The base was an old navy girls flip flop $3.50 regular price. 4 different ribbons used $1/spool =$4. 2 Wooden Ladybugs (guessing $0.50, I wouldn't pay more than that). Total cost $8, with ribbon left over for other projects. I have no idea how long it took that lady but it would only take me about 1/2 hour. In which case her hourly rate is $34/hour and even if it took her 1 hour she still made $17/hour. That seems like a lot to me in this economy where lots of us are struggling! What incentive do I have to buy from someone else when I can make it myself for way cheaper? That price didn't even include the cost of shipping and handling. This brings me to the next thing that annoys me! "Perceived Value"! When in the world did people start thinking that if something costs more it must be better? Whoever pulled the wool over on us as a country and started us thinking that way did a good job. No wonder inflation keeps going up, there's no reason to bring prices back down if everyone thinks that things that cost more are of better quality. Now even if I have a high quality product and am trying to help out folks who can't afford more by keeping my prices low, I'm at risk of not selling because of the "perceived value"! I think we really need to work to change this mindset in our country. Then maybe all us homemakers making handmade items for a little extra cash can afford the handmade items of the other homemakers out there. Think about it! Ignore "perceived value" try things out and decide for yourself!