Search This Blog

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Do you know how much it's costing you?!

This is for all those moms in diapers.  well, not the moms but their precious little ones.  From birth to potty training, it costs around $3600.00 in diapers!  Yes, that was THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED!   This is based around 5-6 diaper changes a day until potty training, and believe me when I tell you- some kids aren't that quick of a study!  Ready to faint now mama?  Well, if you're not- but you're all about the environment just know each of those diapers takes around 500 years to decompose!  (I have NO clue how they came upw ith that, just know they did.)  No to mention the byproducts of bleaching those diapers and how the chemicals sit on your baby's skin.  I was shocked, because this information while available on the internet should be told more often by diaper companies!  Then again, what company wants to put on their product:  this product may lead to infertility when your angel grows up...  But I digress. what it actually costs to cloth diaper- around $500... unless you make them yourself!  (feel free to buy them from me though, if you don't have the time- shamless plug for Cheeky Monkey Diapers.  check me out on facebook!! cheeky monkey on facebook!)

Let me talk to you for a second- is 2 extra loads of laundry a week worth you saving on average $3100?  it sure was to me!  Add to that I make my own laundry soap (check out my first few blogs it's in there somewhere- I'll insert the link when I'm done writing this.) so it quite litterally costs me only .02 cents a load.  I will do 2 extra loads of diapers and accessories a week to prevent spending a fortune!

now there are so many other benefits to cloth diapering, like less rashes, less skin irritation, chemical free, etc.  I encourage you to look them up!  If you're interested in purchasing, you can always email me on FB or go to for it. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

for the cost of a loaf of bread...

Okay, so the avg cost of a loaf of bread is about $2.15 here in my neck of the woods- depending on where you go.  This doesn't include tax, gas to get there or the time you take to go get it.  (granted we usually get it with our grocery shopping!)  Tax in middle TN, is 9.95%.  (ridiculous, I know!) so that one loaf of bread cost about .50 to go to the store too.

so, let me get this straight:  for one loaf of bread, it's:
$2.15 bread +
.50 gas + (or more depending on how far you drive!-)
.22 tax. + 
$2.87   Not bad, considering. but remember, this doesn't include your TIME!  your time is valuable too!!

Now, homemade bread... (don't roll your eyes, it's really only like 20 minutes of actual work)
Flour, yeast, salt and water.  that's all you need.
the most expensive thing on here is the yeast.  and with a jar (about $4) you can make aprox 20-30 loaves with this.  The 10lb bag of flour will cost you about $3- and make about 20 loaves of bread.  salt is pittiance.  it's like .80 and you only need 1 t.  you'll get about 100-150 loaves of bread from it.    Water is- free from the tap. :)

I'm going to price this at the highest price and lowest amount of return.  (least amount of loaves of bread)  this is per batch of dough, and 1 batch will make you 2-3 loves of bread depending on  how large your pans are.
yeast:  .20 per batch.
flour: .15
salt .008 cents.  (let's round that up to a full penny!)

For an entire two loaves of bread- you're paying .36!  (please note, this doesn't include electricity or gas for baking, however .36 beats $2.87 anyday!)

Now, on to the link for the home made bread.  it's a tutorial because I'm just lazy (or is it smart not to reinvent the wheel???)  Joyful Helpmeet's homemade bread tutorial.


I want to be a better homemaker!

I've decided that during the last few months of my pregnancy, this preggo project will be becoming a better homemaker.  I so desperately want to be like those of the 30's - the 50's who put their families first, had dinner made by the time their husband walked in the door, all laundry was done, dishes were non-existant, and not a fleck of dust was anywhere on their furniture, and they seemed to have leisure time for their pet projects.  Their houses were immaculate as were their families, and they seemed to never been rushed or harried in any way.

I SO want to learn the secrets of these amazingly enviable women!  For a few years, I have been studying the book Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl, and that has helped my relationship and my mentality in my marriage is now incredible!  I HIGHLY recommend the book, and yes it will piss you off.  it did me, but when I examined myself I realized that I was in the wrong.  Some things I had issues with I am still dealing with, but that's between me and God.

So, back to being the home maker.  It's more than being "just" a housewife, though I promise there are times that we all feel like "just" a housewife, and that's ok.  Every time we wash yet another dish, or change yet another diaper, or yet another round of our dust/vac routine, we honor God.  In the mundane, boring, irritating things we do, we bless our family and honor God.

My goal over the next 3 months (before the baby is due) is to do all of those things WITH joy and in love for my family!  I want to find joy in doing the mundane, and while I realize that goes completely against what society would have us do, I want to honor my husband and my children. 

Now, I'm a home school mom, and I own a business making cloth diapers.  Add to that I volunteer at my church (albeit lightly), am my hubby's help-meet, and I'm in the throwes of growing a complex human being.  I will be blogging (hopefully) 2-3x a week about what I did, and what I plan on doing for the next day.

Wish me luck! :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Great source for getting your home in order.

There are literally thousands of sites you can "google" (when did that word become a verb?) that will tell you how to clean your house, but let's face it- we KNOW how to clean, we just get overwhelmed on where to start.

Well, I've been a "flybaby" for years.  What is a flybaby?  It's someone who follows  If you have 15 minutes at a time, you can do pretty much anything, and the BEST part, SSHD's, her advice is FREE!  She does have a shop that's open and I very much want to purchase things from her shop like the rubba series stuff but that comes later, after you've established your routines.

for example, did you know it makes a difference if you get dressed to your shoes every day?  it does!  you are more "prepared" for the day.  You are more willing to work if your shoes are on, and your makeup done.  "crap, I need to run to the mailbox?!  but I don't have a bra on..."  no more.

anyway, I HIGHLY encourage you to check the lady out.  Marla Ciley- I want to personally thank you for not only saving my sanity and home, but for making me a stronger, more productive (and in turn), more valuable woman!  I want to share my knowledge and recipes, and money-saving tips with all women, and flylady, you have so graciously given us this knowledge free.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

the value of an apron.

I have several aprons.  I have made them all (except my pampered chef apron) myself.  I value my aprons.  They protect my clothes while doing the everyday chores that need to be done in a household.  But there is just something about an apron that screams "I am the mother!".  I love them to be honest.  Half aprons, tea aprons, frilly ones, cleaning ones, baking and cooking ones, vintage aprons, bib aprons, and even smocks, bring them on!  I don't mind if they get dirty or even stained, they keep my clothes nice, and if one gets wet from dishwater, I can easily change into the next one.

So, in looking at my stash, I tried on an apron that I made about a year ago and realized- my pregnant body will need something a little larger in the months to come, and in fact I'll probably need two or three.  Now don't get me wrong, I know I won't be pregnant forever (unless my husband has his way!) and I am looking for something I can use both now and in the future without looking "maternity".  I'm thinking a flowy smock apron (or 4) like the one seen simplicity 2390 however there was a book from the library that I borrowed one time called A is for Apron by Nathalie Mornu.  It has the smock style apron that I want, and for free!  gee- wonder what I'll be doing here. LOL!  This is the Smart, Savvy Homemaker Diva blog afterall.

Of course, I was also reading Apron Evangelism by the Hillbilly Housewife Here and it made sense.  I DO need a "uniform" so to speak, to show my feminine authority in the house.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that I also home school my children, so they know when the apron is on, I am someone to respect.  (not that I'm not normally, it just shows more authority.  Like when a soldier is in uniform, he gets more respect than when he's out of it.)

Now, as a clothing cover, I have also made some for my daughter- who is known for making messes out of her clothes, partly becuase she's super artistic and partly becuase she's a klutz.  I guess it comes with the territory for a 5 year old.  My 4 year old son is the same, he messes his clothes and I will figure out something for him that looks "manly" in a my-clothes-are-covered-to-make-mommy's-life-easier kind of way. 

but this is my thought for the next few days as I clean up and break out old blue in my spare time.  I will be coming up with a pattern and an exciting "tutorial" as I make it.  Maybe I'll skip the pattern and just go with the book from the library.  either way, I'll take pictures and post how and what I do. :) 

Hopefully, I'll inspire other SSHD's to regain the femininity of the home, and take your place as the domestic diva in your home, and make yourself an apron.  and you know.. protect your clothes. :)

I want to be Bree Hodge so bad.

So, my favorite fictional character is Bree Mason-Van de Kamp- Hodge from Desperate housewives.  I already have the red hair, but my house is NOTHING like hers.  I sew, I clean (for the most part) I garden (when I have a place to do it), I cook (very well!) but she seems to have her life together, despite her problems.

Anyhoo- I'm working on the whole keeping your house home and gardens magazine ready.  that is my goal for the summer, and since it takes 21-28 days for something to become a habit, I am slowly making myself a clean-freak.  Very slowly.  no.  V-e-r-y S-l-o-w-l-y.  but, I'm working on it. practice makes progress, right?

So, I need to stock up on some certain cleaners. Since all I use is vinegar, baking soda, elbow grease and dish soap (because I'm allergic to basically everything else!) I need to get better scrub brushes, tooth brushes -detail work- and maybe a steam cleaner.  i.e. the shark hand held thingie. 

Since this is all about being savvy, and smart, I think I will look into it and write my own review.  It slices, it dices, it makes jullienne fries kind of thing.  Well, we'll see how the fries taste.

but anyway, Bree is my idol.  Marcia Cross, not so much, but I guess you can't have one without the other, can you?  (no offense if Marcia Cross actually reads this blog, I just don't know her personally and can't-and won't- form an opinion about someone I don't know, especially if they are most likely a lovely person!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

crock pot cooking.

So, today is day two in my husband's old house.  It's supposed to be day 3, so my crock pot has gotten it's workout for the week, and I have to say that I'm loving coming home to a prepared meal, that while I cooked it, it didn't use the last little bit of energy I had for the day.

yesterday was stuffed cabbage.  I'm told I can't give you that recipe because it's a family secret.  we'll see.  I may add it later.  Today is chicken burritos.  I put 3 large chicken breasts (would have used 4, but they filled the bottom of my pot, so that's all I needed)  2 cups of minute rice, 2 packs of taco seasoning, 1 can of red kidney beans (would have used black beans, but didn't have them in the pantry) 2 cups of frozen corn, and 5 cups of water.  6 ingredients, cooked on low, thrown on a tortilla at the end of the day, it's going to be amazing!  clean up couldn't be easier either.  there aren't 30 pots and pans to wash, all you have is your prep stuff and that can be taken care of as soon as you're done putitng your ingredients into the crock pot!  easy peasy lemon squeezy!

For us working girls (I'm a SAHM, but the next two weeks I am working outside of the home!) it's easy to throw some food into the the crock pot so it simmers all day, hits you when you walk in the door with it's delicious smells, and all you have to do.  dinner clean up is the crock pot, and whatever dishes you dirty.  HOW EASY IS THAT?!

this is not only savvy (the crock pot takes less electricity than the oven!) but it's a SUPER smart use of your time!!

Divas- send me in your crock pot recipes!  I want to share them, and test them out myself!

clean up that cat pee...

Well, I'm here the day after going into my husband's old home, and I've been scrubbing to my heart's content there. Long story, but his ex wife, their daughter and his ex MIL were living in that house until 2 days ago. I went in to clean it and was bowled over by the stench of cat urine. talk about gross. Well, I'm not here to bash the choices that were made by his former family, but I'm going to tell you how I got the mold, and cat urine out of 2 rooms, and I'm going back for more today.

I used an entire bottle of a popular pine cleaner on the floor of the MIL's room. it didn't get the smell out. After running out of floor cleaner, I figured it was time to go with something I have on hand. I used my baking soda mixture (if you haven't read my previous blogs, it's right here: homemade baking soda scrub)  and a toothbrush.  Calm down, the toothbrush was only for the corners and the edges where the tile met the baseboard, on the rest off the floor, I used a scrub brush.

the trick to this is:  when your water gets really foamy from rinsing the floor, dump and refill.  My husband did this, as I was moving along pretty quickly, and had 2 buckets, he kept making sure I had plenty of clean hot water. 

cat pee is gone from my stepdaughter's room and her grandmother's.  I will, be going in the day before to do a quick mop and make sure that everything else was taken care of, and just to be sure that I don't have any last-minute cleaning.

I am not putting this to test on carpet.  I think my steam cleaner would be taxed a little too much, but I will definitely use baking soda.  it's the best!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

plumbing joys!

It never ends.

I was awake at 4 in the morning today for some weird reason. Well, fast forward to 6, and my hubster comes out in uniform (every girl's dream!) and tells me "sink's clogged."

still used it for shaving though, didn't ya?

well, my 3 year old son force-fed toilet paper (as much as his little hands could get ahold of into the poor unsuspecting tube of my sink drain. Of course, he didn't tell anyone either. poor thing. it never had a chance.

Well, I'm SO glad that the place I live in- the maintenence crew has installed screw-off type of "s-trap" in the bottom of the sink. Insert bucket to catch the yuck, and unscrew until my little hearts' content.

If you've never done this before, let me tell you- it's an interesting experience. weird goo comes out, along with water of every scent imaginable, hair, chunks of black stuff, all come out. If you're a girlie-girl spend the money on a "professional" to come get the TP out of your sink. spend the 200 or suck it up.

anyhoo- with the ever popular butterknife (an all-purpose utility tool) I was able to scrape out the soggy mass into the bucket on the bottom. (a crucial element in this was the bucket. as soon as I started unscrewing, it started leaking, so in order to avoid an even bigger mess, I put the bucket down first)

after all clear and yuck into the bucket, (which gets flushed, btw) I reassembled, tightly screwed in the s-trap again, and ran water just to be sure. no leaks, it drained well, and all is right in my world.

professional: $250 for an hour's worth of work.
DIY: free.

saved $250! This is both savvy and smart! though, having my hands in gunk doesn't qualify this for "diva" status, does it?

well, maybe next time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

baking soda. the SSHD's best friend!

So, there are like a billion uses for baking soda. From a mild and gentle facial scrub, to a non-abrasive surface cleaner, to something I scrub my engagement ring with to make it bright and shiny!

Yes, baking soda is my bff in the home.

how I make a non-abrasive scrub (much like the commerical kind but without being harmful to you or the environment. So, my recipe is as follows, and no divas, I really don't measure. **please note that this is MY recipe. If you have one and it's similiar to yours, great! We think alike- I really didn't jack your recipe I made it up myself. Also, if you like this, please link others to my SSHD blogspot and follow me!**

1 butter knife
1 pint mason jar.

baking soda
dish soap (I prefer a clear one that from palmolive- my skin blisters if I use different ones)
a little water.

Okay, so put the baking soda and fill the jar 3/4 of the way to the top. add some soap, a little at a time and stir with your butterknife. add more soap until thick and keep stirring, but don't foam it up. add water a little at a time, until you get a creamy paste consistency.

I use this typically with a toothbrush but it will work well with a sponge on your counters too!

cost: about 35 cents for the whole batch, not including the jar. cost for commercial: 3.79 in my area. Now, THAT'S savvy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sewing... my fav!

I'm super excited today! I get to chain myself to old blue (my name for my sewing machine) and forsake all household chores because I'm making my marriage dress. Isn't that like a wedding gown, you say? kind of but not really.

See, my fiancee and I are getting married before our "wedding". He's in the Army and he's supposed to deploy but they left him behind so he can finish up some business. So, since I've designed and am going to make my wedding gown (closer to the time) I'm also going to make myself a tea length vintage dress for tomorrow.

Yeah, tomorrow, the 19th. It's insane how I wait until the last minute when I have tons of stuff to do. Well, must get sewing! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Laundry, Mountains and Mountains of laundry!!!

So I was climbing mt. washmore the other day (flyladyism) and decided that there has GOT to be a way to save money. I'm not cheap, I'm frugal. ;) Well, I made laundry soap the other day and it's amazing, it's super easy, my clothes are clean and it cost me approximately 2 pennies a load to use!

I grated 3 bars of soap. (used ivory but am going to use something else next time. I like the scent of yardley's lavendar
2 cup washing soada (found at kroger)
2 cups borax (in the laundry aisle)
lavendar essential oil (because I LOVE the smell)

my mistake was I tried to melt the soap in water on the stove which did NOT work, and then add it and the other powders to a 5 gallon bucket and filled it with water. yay, liquid laundry soap, right? WRONG! it congealed... sort of... and I have to stir it every time I use it, so after doing some research, I found it's better to keep it in powder form and use a tablespoon at a time, so when my bucket-o-suds is done, (at this rate should be the middle of june!)I will make more but keep it in powder form.

What I will do differently: I'm going to finely grate the soap on the littlest form on my grater, (using a different soap) keep it strictly powder and possibly put it all in a blender to make a superfine powder. The good thing about it is not only do I only need a tablespoon per load, it takes up SO MUCH LESS space in my laundry room.

If you're worried about it not getting as clean as commercial cleansers, let me assure you that I have NO problem with it, and my husband is in the army with all the dirt and grime that domes along with his job, and I have 2 children ages 3 and 5 and they also come along with a certain amount of dirt, and the clothes come out smelling clean and fresh every time. I don't even pre-treat.

once my dryer sheets are used up, I will be using a homemade fabric softener, though I have to say with the borax and the washing soda, my clothes come out pretty soft anyway.

Well, off to tackle the monster that my dirty laundry has become. I just wish I had an outdoor clothes line to dry them on. sigh.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well, I'm trying my hand at several different things, and once again spreading myself WAAAAYYYY too thin. (ha! I wish!) I'm starting a new blog Smart, Savvy, Homemaker Diva. I hope to post several listings and blogs and links, etc to help other domsetic types to get a little ahead, and hopefully keep us from getting behind.

There are SEVERAL women who have helped me out in the past all gratis, so I hope to keep this free as well. (Heck, blogspot is free, so as long as it is, I will be too!)

So my spotlight of the day/week/month depending on how often I write on this goes to Marla Cilley- the flylady herself! If you haven't seen her check her out at I HIGHLY recommend her. She's absolutely amazing and for those of us who have zero organizing ability and look at our house and feel like we're going to be on the next episode of hoarding (whether true or not) she has a way to get us all out of clutter and when we release the junk, we clear our heads. She's awesome, her staff is amazing, and her videos- she just has the cutest little accent.

Hugs, welcome, and I hope you enjoy!