Sunday, January 29, 2012

Homemade Makeup Remover

Whether you wear makeup or not, it's always interesting to find recipes for homemade versions of expensive products.  Yesterday I stumbled upon a recipe for makeup remover that set me upon a search for more homemade versions.

Why are so many makeup removers blue?

Strangely enough, they all seemed to be similar in composition, so I decided to share two of the recipes with you.


1 cup water or alcohol free witch hazel
1 tablespoon tear free baby wash


3/4 cup water or alcohol free witch hazel
1/4 cup oil
1 tablespoon tear free baby wash

I went to the drug store to look at prices and the cheapest makeup remover I could find was just less than $5 for 4 ounces.  It's amazing how expensive such a simple product can be.

God bless,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good Reads: Aunt Arie

I have been rereading many of the Foxfire books, but I had never realized that they had published this wonderful book until my husband gave me a copy for Christmas.  Aunt Arie is an elderly woman that the Foxfire students had interviewed and befriended back in the 1970's.  Her interview became part of one of the Foxfire Series books.

Well, they received so many letters around the world asking about Aunt Arie and wanting to know more about her that Foxfire decided to publish a book with the transcripts of their interviews with her and some of their experiences while visiting her.

Aunt Arie was a heart warming character.  You will laugh at her humor and seethe when you hear how antique collectors stole from this lone old woman.  She has long passed from this world, but we can still learn from her story.

God bless,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hang On To Those Receipts

This is going to sound strangely basic, but most of us don't keep our receipts for very long. I learned the hard way several years ago to keep my receipts when I couldn't return a defective item for refund because I had thrown away the receipt.

When I order online I now limit myself to sites that provide free returns. This means that they pay the shipping if you decide to return your purchase. Keep the original box and the shipping materials for a couple of weeks too.

Most stores (Target was the first I knew of) will reimburse you for the difference in price if an item that you bought goes on sale within two weeks of the original purchase date. Bring your receipt in to Customer Service and they will scan it, then reimburse you either with store credit, credit card credit or cash. My Target will just hand you a cash reimbursement.

Make sure you come up with some kind of organization system for your receipts, not something like the picture to the left.  It can be very simple:  just an envelope with the receipts alphabetized by store name will do.

Also store the return label for your online purchases with the receipt.

There is no reason to keep something you don't like, especially when you've spent your hard earned money on it.  And, yes, many places will allow you to return something you have used if it turns out to be defective or not work for you (how are you going to know if you don't use it).  But please be ethical about it; don't buy something to wear for a special occasion, then return it when you are done.  Tacky and this type of abuse leads stores to change their policies, which hurts all of us.

God bless,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Please Watch Dr. Oz's Alzheimer's Show Today

I don't usually recommend believing everything you see on TV, but today Dr. Oz is going to have one of this nations leading Alzheimer's experts on his show.  He is going to discuss ways to treat and prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Oz

For years I have advocated for following Sally Fallon's dietary advice when it came to our body's need for healthy, saturated fats.  Our brain is made of over 70% fat and I believe that we have been starving this organ by adhering to restrictive low fat diets.

Please watch today's show.  I think that the information we receive will spur people to change their diets in a way that no one (other than Sally Fallon and Dr. Weston Price) would have foreseen.

God bless,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Frugal Kitchen: Black Olive Pesto Pasta

Yesterday was a lazy day for DD and I, but I still needed to get supper on the table.  I looked through my cabinets and decided to make a black olive pesto/tapenade to serve on pasta.

Black Olive Pesto

1 large can black olives, drained
1 small can sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
1 handful of fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
olive oil, enough to get right consistency

Add all ingredients, except oil, to the food processor bowl.  Pulse until you reach a fine consistency.  Add olive oil until it reaches a paste consistency.  Heat in a large pan until hot, then add your al dente pasta.  Mix well and serve.

This was a hit with my family and super easy to put together.  Enjoy!

God bless,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Angel Food Ministries Has Closed

About a year ago I had provided information on Angel Food Ministries and their affordable grocery program.  I am sorry to say that they closed down last fall.  I have heard many reasons as to why, from misuse of funds to lack of donations.  I am not sure what the real reason is, but I know that many people depended on them to feed their families and themselves.  It is a shame to see what was a fine ministry go down under bad management.

I should have said something sooner, but I had the idea in the back of my mind that another organization might take the ministry over and restart it.  It didn't happen.  Sigh.

God bless,

Use Your Library To Obtain E-Books

Nothing will ever replace the feel and joy of holding a well beloved book in my hands.  I will always be a lover of bound books.  But, I have also discovered the convenience of the e-book.  My ipod is easy to bring with me on trips, is multifunctional and it holds many books in the space of one.  My daughter also reads many books on her Kindle, especially when she is transporting the books to and from school (her backpack is heavy enough with textbooks).

Most people know that many of the classics and some instructional books are available for free thanks to the Guggenheim Project.  Just Google "free e-books" to find the names of sites that will allow you to download the books.

Within the last year my county's library cooperative has begun to offer e-books to check out for up to fourteen days.  This is through an agreement with Amazon and the books are Kindle books.  You will need an Amazon account to use this system, but it is well worth it.

I have been happily checking out books for myself and DD.  No running back to the library to return an overdue book; it just is no longer available on your device.  One problem is that this has become popular very quickly and some e-books have a lengthy waiting list.

So, once again the library becomes my favorite place to get books.  I just love the library!

God bless,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Frugal Home: Reusing Vacuum Filters

I have owned two vacuums that used filters rather than bags to catch dust.  Both of them came with instructions that these filters could not be reused.  But I felt that since the filters were just made out of a synthetic, nonwoven fabric that they should be able to be cleaned somehow.

The Type Of Filter My Vacuum Uses

When emptying the dust bin on the vacuum cleaner I use a rubber scrub brush to clean out the dust and bird feathers from the filter.  By tapping the filter briskly with the scrub brush more dust will come loose.  I like the rubber brush as it doesn't rough up the surface of the filter, but it does grab all of the dirt.

Once a month I hose the filter clean (you can also use a mild dish soap) and let it dry thoroughly before putting it back in the vacuum cleaner.  I have used the same filter for a couple of years without any loss of function.  As long as the filter material remains in good condition is can be reused.

My rubber scrub brush is from the FlyLady and I really like it.  It is also very good at getting hair and dirt off of upholstery.  But, I am sure there are other rubber brushes out there.

In this case a little labor can save a great deal of money.  Which can be said about many things about the house.

God bless,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Frugal Home: Repairing Scratched Furniture

Most of the furniture in my living room was either bought used or given to us by relatives and because of this there are some condition problems that need to be covered on occasion.  While getting the living room back into it's pre-Christmas arrangement, I noticed that the scratches on one of the end tables were becoming very noticeable.  Time for some camouflage.

Ouch!  Okay, Who Did This?

At the hardware store you should be able to find stain markers in the paint section.  It will save you time to buy them in light, medium and dark in advance.  I have had mine for years and as long as the top is on tight it should last.

Try To Match Wood Color

Choose the stain marker that matches the wood color and start filling in the scratch area.  Try not to go much beyond the area of the scratch.  Wipe the excess off with a rag, because if you get distracted like I did, it will take some heavy rubbing to get it off.

Super Simple

The marker I chose was really too dark for the table I fixed today, so you can still see the scratches, but this repair isn't permanent and will fade with time.  But I think it looks better than having big old white scratches.

Part Of The Problem Is That I Waited Before Wiping

Now discretely cover the scratched areas with a coaster and knick knacks and no one will be the wiser.

Scratches What Scratches?  That's Aging, Not Scratches.

Soon my table will be vintage and then, a fine antique.

God bless,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well, another Christmas, birthday and New Year has come and gone. Tomorrow we jump back into our normal routine, which is nice, but I will miss having DD home with me.

This year I am concentrating on having some much needed repairs done on my house.  We have one bathroom that has the dubious distinction of having nothing in it that works.  It is a glorified storage room with porcelain fixtures.

The electrical panel needs upgrading and the wiring checked.  My refrigerator is making some strange noises and the cabinets in the kitchen are on their last legs.  Add to this some outdoor carpentry repairs and upgrading the one bathroom that does work and I should be busy for the next six months.

So, you can see that I will be blogging about how to do frugal repairs and upgrades to your home.  As I learn, you will learn.

Not My Home, But I Wish It Was

Happy New Year to you all.  Let's keep it frugal, family and faith centered.

God bless,