Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy 140th, Vaseline!

Did you know that Vaseline has been around since 1870? That's right, they are celebrating their 140th anniversary as America's most trusted healthy skin expert and more than 30 years as a leading hand and body lotion. During these past 140 years, consumers have discovered many, many uses for Vaseline. Today, I am going to share 10 of my favorite uses for Vaseline and encourage you to leave your favorite uses of Vaseline in a comment below.

1- Use it to keep shampoo out of a little one's eyes. Just wipe a bit over the child's eyebrows and the soapy water will divert around the child's eyes.

2- Use it for costume wounds. Place a glob of Vaseline on the skin where you want the wound to be. Then use a toothpick to "etch" the cut into the Vaseline and use fake blood in the cut. The Vaseline makes the wound look wet and gross. I do not have a lot of use for this, but with Halloween in a few days, I thought it would be appropriate to share this tip.

3- Rub Vaseline on the terminals of your car battery to prevent erosion. I also know of some people who take big glops of Vaseline and put it in rust-prone areas of the vehicles right before the snow starts. It helps keep the salt from the roads from sticking to the vehicle and causing it to rust. This is particularly effective around the door jambs.

4- Make your own lip gloss. When you get down to the bottom of your lip stick and all that is left is the little nub that is stuck in the tube, dig it out and mix it with some Vaseline for customized lip gloss. You can even blend several different colors of lip stick to create your own "new" color.

5- Keep your feet soft. I tend to neglect my feet in the winter, but it easy to help keep them soft if you lather them up with Vaseline and then cover them with a pair of cotton socks. Do this before bed a few times a week and your feet will be sandal ready come summer.

6- Control your eye brows. I like to wrap my hair in a towel when I get out of the shower and remove it when I am ready to do my hair for the day. With 4 kids, sometimes it will be a little while before I get to it. If any of my eye brows got caught when I was wrapping my hair, they tend to stick out in a funny way afterwards and it can be difficult to get them back in line. A light swipe of Vaseline, gets the wayward hairs back where they belong with little effort.

7- Use it in the bedroom...with caution. I will start with the PG use in the bedroom. Vaseline can be used during a massage to reduce friction and soften the skin. As things heat up, it can then be used as an intimate lubricant. However, if you are using condoms, DO NOT use Vaseline with them, as it can deteriorate the latex.

8- Smother a tick. If you find a tick on your pet or on a person, and the tick is embedded itself in the skin, cover it with Vaseline. This will make it so the tick cannot breathe and it will back itself out of the skin, allowing you to then brush it off. Before sure to keep an eye on the wound though for signs of infection or Lyme Disease.

9- Speaking of bugs, Vaseline can also kill lice. When all else has failed, smear a thick layer of Vaseline all over the scalp to smother and kill lice.

10- One more for Halloween: rub Vaseline on the cut portions of your Jack O'Lantern to keep them from drying out or rotting.

So there you have 10 of my favorite uses for Vaseline. It can be used in so many ways, but do take note that there are times NOT to use Vaseline. As I stated above, do not use Vaseline as a lubricant with latex condoms because it can weaken the latex and cause the condom to break. Also, do not put Vaseline on a fresh burn as it can trap the heat and cause a more severe injury. Now, I have shared how I use Vaseline and a few ways not to use Vaseline, how do you use Vaseline?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Vaseline blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Low-Fat Alfredo Sauce

I made this for supper tonight and decided that I wanted to post it here. This is a recipe that easily allows for substitutions, especially if you do not have the fat-free products. I serve it over cooked whole-wheat pasta and steamed broccoli for a quick, easy dinner.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (I was out, so I used salt and garlic powder)
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk (or 2 cups evaporated skim milk)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (or sub 1 T dried parsley)
1/3 cup grated reduced-fat Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and garlic salt until smooth. Slowly, whisk the milk into the sauce until completely incorporated. Add the garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese, whisking continually. Bring the sauce to a simmer; cook, stirring regularly, until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.

A double winner!!! Sorry it was so late.

Here are the winners that were supposed to be posted last week:

Brilliant Lenses only had 1 entrant, so congratulations go to Mudderof5.

For the Libman Freedom Mop Giveaway:

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-10-27 23:09:56 UTC

Mudderof5 said...

I follow your blog too

Which was also Mudderof5!! Double Congratulations are in order :) Please get back to me within 48 hours so that I do not need to choose an alternate winner.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Check me out on Bargain Briana, plus winners TBA

I realized that I missed posting my winners last week and I will do so in the next few days. I have family in from out of state and have been a bit busy. However, be sure to check out my guest post on Bargain Briana today about homeschooling on a budget.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review: The Waiting (Blog Tour) and Kindle giveaway information

I really enjoyed the book Amish Proverbs from Suzanne Woods Fisher and was excited to participate in the litfuse blog tour for her newest book, The Waiting. The Waiting is the second book in the Lancaster Secrets series, following The Choice. When I initially heard this was the second book in a series, I was not sure if there were going to be things I missed out on by not reading the first book. However, I was pleased to learn that although they are in the same series, they are stand alone stories, in that you do not need to have read one to understand the other.

From the back of the book:
"Jorie King's life is on hold. She has been waiting for Ben Zook to return to Lancaster County. Waiting for him to settle down and join the church. Waiting to marry him.

But when news arrives that Ben has been killed, Jorie is devastated. She finds unlikely comfort in the friendship of his brother Caleb. Friendship ripens into love, and two broken hearts plan for a life filled with the promise of a fresh beginning--until their worlds are turned upside down.

With her realistic characters whose weaknesses develop into strengthes, Suzanne Woods Fisher offers a reading experience that rises above the others. You will love growing in spirit with these complex people living the simple life as The Waiting transports you into a world where things aren't as simple as they seem."

What this does not tell you is that this story is set during the Vietnam War, an era that many do not relate with the Amish communities. For those who are unfamiliar with Amish beliefs, they avoid war and are granted conscientious objector status during drafts. This story tells the fictional tale of what happens when this particular community is faced with the realities of the Vietnam War.

What I thought-

I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. It was easy to grow along with the characters and to really feel like you knew them. The author's use of descriptions allows the reader to feel as though they are right there along side each one of them. I could easily relate with the struggles and triumphs that Jorie King faced and I was able to see her as not just a member of the Amish community, but as a woman, not unlike myself. If you enjoy Amish fiction, historical fiction, or just a good, clean read, you will undoubtedly enjoy reading this book.

About the author-

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the CBA bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, Amish Peace, and Amish Proverbs. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Benedict eventually became publisher of Christianity Today magazine. Suzanne is the host of a radio show called Amish Wisdom and her work has appeared in many magazines. She lives in California . Find out more about Suzanne at

I also want to share this information about a Kindle giveaway hosted by the author, Suzanne Woods Fisher:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of The Waiting, book two in The Lancaster Secrets Collection. In The Waiting Jorie finds herself caught between two loves and two lives in this compelling page turner about complex people living the simple life.

The Waiting is the next stand alone story in The Lancaster Secrets Collection and follows in the footsteps of the best-selling, The Choice. The Waiting is in stores now and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles and a gift certificate! The Prize Pack (valued at over $185.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation

* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* A $15 dollar Gift Certificate

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 28th at Suzanne's Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party.

Join Suzanne for the Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party on October 28th! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Waiting and The Choice, and giving away copies of both books and HEAPs of readerly prizes! Be sure to join us on Thursday, October 28th at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page.

10 ways to make everyday activities fun

As a homeschooling mother of 4, there is often lots to do around my house and lots of errands to run. If I tried to do all of it on my own, I would be one overstressed lady, and likely have miserable children and a rather grumpy husband. Instead, I have learned to involve my kids in every day chores. This helps me to get those things done that I need to do and keeps the kids from immediately undoing every thing I am doing. However, I sometimes struggled with the guilt of having them work with me. It is important for children to learn how to do things in life and it does help teach responsibility, but these tasks are not always fun. I set about to find ways that got the jobs done and allowed my kids to have fun. Here are 10 ways we make it work:

1) Make up songs- Whether we are traveling or simply doing chores, my kids and I enjoy changing the lyrics to songs we know to fit whatever we are doing at that time. We often sing, Dora's Map Song when traveling, using pit stops and places along the way for the first part and our final destination for the end. "First we will visit Mt. Rushmore, then we will see Salt Lake City, and then we will reach Grandma's House!"

2) Have a race- Kids are competitive. We hold the "Amazing Kid Race" at our house on a regular basis, but especially on days when there is a lot of chores to get done. Each child is given a challenge to complete, such as fold 10 pieces of laundry and put them away or match up 3 pairs of socks and put them away. When they complete that challenge, they receive another one, maybe empty one garbage can. The challenges continue until the chores are finished. An alternative to this, and one that is especially good when there is only 1 child to race, is to have them try and finish doing something before you finish doing something. Your chore can be the same or something different. I used this a lot when they were really young, especially when trying to get out the door. I would say, "I bet you cannot get your shoes and coat on before I find my purse and get my coat on."

3) Have a scavenger chore hunt- This is another activity I like when we have a lot to get to done. I divide the chores up into several different parts and assign each child one part of each chore. The first child to complete their list wins. A typical list might include the same challenges as listed above, as well as: put away 7 toys, hang up 1 jacket, straighten 1 shelf of books, and so on.

4) Make it special- This is great if you have more than one child and need to get some one on one time with them. I typically have one night a week I can go shopping. Each time, I bring one child with me and get them something special on our shopping trip. Sometimes we share a doughnut, sometimes they get something from the gum ball machine, it always changes. They enjoy the time and they are there to help me get one of my chores done as well.

5) Play music- Whatever task you are doing, music makes it fun. We crank it up in the van when we are driving around town and we sing as loud as we can, the goofier the music, the better. We also like to listen to music as we do chores and dance as we move about the house.

6) Have a toy bath- When it is time to clean the (non-electronic) toys, I throw them into the tub with a kid or two and let them give the toys a bath. Even the youngest children can do this and they love pretending to be big.

7) Rewards for drudgery- For every un-fun activity, include something fun afterward. When I have to drag the kids along for little errands, such as the post office or bank, I reward them afterward, either with a trip to the park or game time at home. They know that if they have listened, the reward will last longer and usually be more fun.

8) Involve them- When there is an activity that is more difficult for a child to get through, such as waiting in a long line at the bank or post office, find a small task that the child can complete for you. Maybe, they can apply the stamps to your letters while you wait or count the coins in your change purse or find a stick of gum that you have hidden in your purse.

9) I Spy- Most of us have played I Spy at some point in our lives. This is a great game for almost any activity and works just about anywhere. It makes travel time fly by as well as the time spent waiting in lines.

10) Let them lead- The best way to incorporate fun into a child's life is for the parents to relax a little and just let them lead the way. Kids have wonderful imagination and a knack for having fun. Let them tell you what they want to do and how they would like to do it and then, assuming it is safe, do it their way. One time I asked my girls how they wished their room could get clean. They decided it would be fun to build a robot that would help them clean. I let them pretend to turn me into a robot and they could tell me what they wanted me to put away. The catch was the robot could only work if it had energy and it gained energy every time they put something away.

Childhood is fleeting and kids deserve to be kids while they can. However, childhood is also a time for learning how to live in this great big, and sometimes, crazy world. Let's show them that it is ok to have fun in life, even when performing some of our least favorite chores.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and The Hub blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Product Review and Giveaway: Libman Freedom Spray Mop

For both economic and environmental reasons, I have been slowly eliminating disposable products in our home. We have switched to cloth napkins in place of paper ones and rags in place of paper towels. My desire to avoid disposable products is one reason I have avoided getting a new mop. The mops I have owned in the past either did not perform well or required me to lug around a big bucket of water, that needed frequent changing. Some of the "newer" style mops perform well, but require disposable pads in lieu of a mop head and made it impossible to use ones own cleaner, in that only their cleaner bottle would work and/or they were made in a way that they could not be effectively refilled. When I was given the opportunity to review the Libman Freedom Spray Mop, I hesitated at first, but as I read the details of the mop, I was thrilled to be able to try it.

Up until now, whenever we needed to mop the floor, we pulled out our carpet shampooer and used that, or we got down on our hands and knees with some cloth diapers and used a whole lotta elbow grease. Both are effective, but both also have their drawbacks. The Libman Freedom Spray Mop truly lives up to it's name, bringing more freedom to the mopping world. For me personally, it brings me freedom from an electrical cord, and not at the expense of batteries either. The spray trigger is operated manually with four fingers, so your pointer finger is not doing all the work by itself. Speaking of the trigger for the spray, that in itself brings freedom of carrying around that heavy bucket of water. There is a small bottle that attaches you can fill with whatever cleaner you choose, or even with just water if you choose. The bottle easily attaches to the mop and allows you to spray the floor directly in front of the mop. The reusable bottle and the washable, reusable microfiber mop pads, allow you to save time and money, while being environmentally responsible as well. The pads are safe on any type of flooring and can be washed up to 50 times. I also enjoy being free of having to get down on my hands and knees to get to the places where other mops have failed to reach. This mop has a swivel head that easily reached behind and around my toilet and in other tight areas. The mop pads allow you to mop right up to the edges of the floor, again eliminating the need to use something to clean along the baseboards.

The Libman Freedom Spray Mop is sold fully assembled at retailers nationwide for the suggested price of $19.99-$24.99. These mops are quality manufactured in the USA, Arcola, IL to be exact, by a 4th generation, family owned company.

Is it worth it?- I absolutely love this mop and that says a lot. I plan to keep this mop for as long as possible and will be happy to replace with the same one when necessary. The only drawback I found is that in areas that needed extra scrubbing, such as behind the toilet and along the front of the kitchen cabinets, I needed to get down on the floor with a scrub brush. This is more my fault as they needed a deep cleaning anyway and this mop is designed more for everyday use. However, the microfiber pads also have 3 green scrubbing stripes in them that help with grabbing spills off the floor. The price is comparable to other mops I have seen and considering that you do not have to replace the pads and are free to use whatever cleaner you choose, this is truly a good value.

Be sure to visit Libman on facebook

I have a Libman Freedom Spray Mop to give away to one of my readers.
Mandatory entry: Tell me what you dislike most about mopping and which feature of the Libman Freedom Spray Mop will help you the most.

Extra ways to enter (leave a comment for each one you do):
- subscribe to my blog
- follow my blog
- share this giveaway via your blog or other social networking site.
- Follow me on Twitter
- "Like" Libman on facebook
- Enter my Brilliant Lenses giveaway

The winner will be chosen on October 18th and they will have 48 hours to get back to me or a new winner will be chosen. I will choose the winner at some point in the evening of the 18th and entries will be accepted up until the drawing. Good luck!

As a reviewer for Mom Bloggers Club, I received a free Libman Freedom Spray Mop from Libman for this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any outside source.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review and Giveaway: Brilliant Lenses

Sponsored by
Although I wear contacts most of the time, I often give my eyes a rest and wear glasses. With 4 little ones, lenses on my glasses are often being touched by greasy or dirty little fingers. In a pinch, I will breath on my glasses and wipe them off with my t-shirt or, if I am home, I will wash them in the bathroom sink with hot water and a drop of hand soap. Neither way is not the best way to clean them and not always convenient either, especially if I am not wearing a soft t-shirt or not near a sink. Another problem I tend to have with little ones, is getting scratches on my lenses and short of waiting for my insurance to cover a new pair of glasses, there is not much I can do when they get scratched. Due to these issues, I was more than happy to review Brilliant Lenses eye glass cleaner, made by Black Diamond Stoneworks.

I received a package with 2 small(7ML) bottles of lens cleaner, a soft cloth, and a small pouch to put it all in. The spray bottle is the perfect size to fit in my purse so I will always have it with me, and no more trying to find a soft cloth either. Another benefit that I love, is that the spray contains SR-8 which is a protective coating that makes the lenses 50x more resistant to scratches. You can buy 1 bottle and a cloth for $4.99, or upgrade to the 2 pack with the small pouch for just $7.99 at

Is it worth it? I love the convenience of having the spray and cloth all together in a small pouch in my purse. I did not have to scrub the lenses very hard to remove smudges either, which is definitely a plus. I cannot really comment on how well the lenses were protected against scratches because I have not really worn my glasses that many times since I received it and they already had some scratches to begin with, but I can say, there have been no NEW scratches since I started using it. I do not think any of you would be disappointed in this product, though I do wish they sold just a refill bottle of cleaner so I could be a bit more environmentally friendly.

Would you like to win your own package of Brilliant Lenses? I have one to give away. Here's how to enter:
*Mandatory entry (you must do one of these to earn extra entries, do both for 2 entries)*
- "Like" Brilliant Lenses on facebook
- Follow Brilliant Lenses on Twitter

Extra ways to enter (leave a comment for each one you do):
- subscribe to my blog
- follow my blog
- share this giveaway via your blog or other social networking site.
- Follow me on Twitter

The winner will be chosen on October 18th and they will have 48 hours to get back to me or a new winner will be chosen. I will choose the winner at some point in the evening of the 18th and entries will be accepted up until the drawing. Good luck!

I was given the package described above of Brilliant Lenses in exchange for a review from through Tomoson

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Winner: Pink Digital Photo Key Chain

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-10-07 03:31:06 UTC

Congratulations to Emily:

"Emily said...

I also had to re-subscribe. :-( Wonder what happened.

Hopefully now I will get my regular subscription to "The Happy Wife."

I'm a subscriber!"

A new winner will be chosen if I do not hear back from the winner within 48 hours.