Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pinterest in Real Life: Our Family Bank and Chore System

Morning, chores and homework have been a hassle in our house in the past.  I have tried several different reward/chore systems and so far they have all flopped - yes, even on the FIRST day!  It either works really well for one of my kids and not the other or they both just could care less so it turns into more of a daily burden than a help.  

I love Pinterest  and go there a lot for inspiration.  Recently, I saw THIS pin on a family banking system and thought it was an awesome idea.  I was excited to give it a try because I know it is important for my kids to have responsibilities and to learn to manage money and this family had excellent ideas.  Here's how it works...

Every week lay the chores out on a table face down and they choose 5 each.  An example of the chores they draw from are emptying the dishwasher, feeding the pets, vacuuming, laundry, Mom's choice and even a free day.  They are only allowed one free day per week.

Each day they check off the items with a dry erase marker as they are complete.  (Remember how much I told you I like lists?

Sundays are "pay day".  They are both required to put 10% of their earnings into tithe and 20% into savings; then they are free to do whatever they choose with the remaining 70%. 

This system works wonderfully for our family.  No more complaining about chores and homework because if they choose not to do it, well they don't get paid. 

Do you have a reward/chore system in your home?!?  What works for you? 

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Working Mom's Cleaning Schedule

I love lists.  It is probably my personality but I get great satisfaction when I can check off an item on a list ~ at work, at home and even in my personal calendar....I have lists for EVERYthing!

I also love to simplify.  For the longest time, I have scanned over Pinterest for an idea of how to simplify my cleaning duties at home.  I found list after list of daily duties but just couldn't seem to fit them into my schedule.  I tried scheduling a certain chore on a certain day but it didn't work for me.

Working part time and having 2 kids in sports, my days/evenings/weekends can be sort of hectic.  Honestly, I don't want to spend 98% of my free time cleaning so I decided I needed to come up with a plan.  Here's what I did....

I picked the items that I know I have to do daily..... dishes, laundry, dinner

Then I thought about the items that need to be done on a regular basis.  I gave myself 2 weeks to complete these items.  Some days I have more time than others, so I might be able to squeeze in 2 chores that day to make up for the days that I miss for sports or other activities.  I also included 2 "swing" items....

which are larger chores I can knock out over the span of a month or so.

This system has worked really well for our family.  What works best for your family??

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Walking Through the Storms

Photo Credit
A few of my very close friends are walking through some storms in their lives so in honor of them, I am sharing this 'old' post I wrote back around Easter of this year.  My God's peace surround you as you walk through the darkness of this storm ~ God's light will lead you through!!

Over the years, many of us have read the Bible or heard stories from the Bible and I find many of them inspiring.  But the thing is, when we read the story, we know the ending .....if it is a knew story - we may not know the ending when the chapter starts but we quickly find out how the story ends several lines down.  So many times, stories of the Bible become just that - stories.  But do you realize that these were REAL people having REAL experiences and REAL emotions?!?

Think about it - Noah built an ark ~ we know the world ended up being flooded - but Noah didn't while he was working daily on a boat God told him to build when no one had eve seen rain.

Moses's mom didn't know when she left him in that basket by the river that she would eventually be reunited with him in the near future and become his caregiver.

And speaking of Moses - he didn't know the sea would literally split in half when he was stuck between a huge body of water and a raging army of men.

We all walk through storms in our lives, God never said it was going to be easy.  I guess what God is showing me is that through the storms, we have to TRUST Him ~ He knows the ending and will lead us through. 

I encourage you to re-read those well known Bible stories and pay close attention to the 'storm walker's' reactions ~ did they cry, yell, wallow in their sorrows or did they stand strong in faith and proclaim the Word of God?  Did they stand in faith that although they didn't understand, they chose to trust God with the outcome? 

My prayer is that I learn by their examples when I walk through the storms of life....

"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’"
Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Snickers Cake Recipe

This past Monday was the Hubster's birthday.  He is a HUGE fan of Snickers ~ Regular Snickers, Almond Snickers, Peanut Butter Snickers, Ice Cream Bar Snickers .... it doesn't matter as long as it's Snickers.

For his birthday, I thought a Snickers cake would be awesome so I headed over to Pinterest and did a quick search and found this recipe.  I tweaked it just a bit and the outcome was amazing!!!  So amazing in fact that I neglected to take a good picture of the finished product ~ every time I got near it, I had to eat a piece. 

Consumer beware ~ this is a super RICH cake so have a glass of milk handy!! 

16.5 oz box of  Devil’s Food cake mix
1 c water
1/3 c vegetable oil
3 eggs
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz jar Caramel ice cream topping sauce
1 c chocolate chips
1 pt heavy whipping cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
3 Snickers candy bars, chopped
  • Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs at medium speed for 2 1/2 minutes.
  • Pour the cake batter into a greased 9” x 13” pan
  • Bake the cake for 25–30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  • While the cake is baking mix together the condensed milk and jar of caramel sauce until thoroughly blended.
  • When the cake is done cooking, but still hot, poke 20–30 holes in the cake using a straw.
  • Pour the caramel sauce over the entire cake.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the cake while hot then spread around once melted.
  • Allow the cake to finish cooling completely (I stuck mine in the fridge to speed this up)
  • In a medium mixing bowl beat together the whipping cream and powdered sugar at high speed until it is nice and thick, about 3–5 minutes.
  • Fold the chopped Snickers into the whipped topping.
  • Spread the whipped topping over the top of the cake.
  • Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2 Things This Super Frugal Mom Will Pay Full Price For

Sometimes as a mom, I feel like I am SuperWoman....see, I even have a cape ;)  Being frugal, though, there aren't many things that I will pay full price for BUT there are 2 things that I will not budge on.

1.  A Good Hair Cut.  Simply put - you get what you pay for.  I will color my hair from a box ALL the way but will not cut out my bi-monthly hair cuts.  Not only does it make me LOOK better but it helps me to feel better; and not much can make a girl feel worse than a terrible hair cut.  I have opted for a $10 hair cut in the past but again - you get what you pay for.  I love my stylist and would opt for NO cable before I cut her out of my budget.

2.  A Good Daily Vitamin.  One can't wear the Super Frugal Mom cape without some hidden super powers, right?  Mine comes in the form of a vitamin pill by Rainbow Light.  I have tried numerous multivitamins over my years, but haven't really found one that worked right with my body until I found the Rainbow Light Women's One Multivitamin.  It gives me just enough energy without causing my heart to jump out of my chest and helps to regulate my stomach (and those of you that KNOW me - know my stomach is super fragile). I love these vitamins and it is a struggle to get through my day without them.

These are my 2 items I won't budge on - what's yours??

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