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Showing posts from January, 2012

All-Purpose Cleaner - DIY Style

I have been using this recipe for All-Purpose Cleaner for three months now and I love it. I had previously used Lysol 4-in-1 All Purpose Cleaner, but I did not love the toxicity of the cleaner. I use this now and I think this cleans and disinfects better than Lysol did.

I got this recipe from Better Basics for the The Home by Annie Berthold-Bond. Please check her book out! It rocks!

Basic Formula For Antiseptic All-Purpose Cleanser

Up to 1 teaspoon antiseptic essential oil (thyme, sweet orange, lemongrass, rose, clove, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, birch, lavender, or tea tree)
1 teaspoon washing soda
2 teaspoons borax
1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
2 cups hot water

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to dissolve and blend the minerals. The author suggests spraying this cleanser onto a surface, then leave for 15 minutes or so before wiping it up with a rag, to give the essential oil's antiseptic qualities time to work.

I use sweet orange essential oil when mak…

Three-Bean Turkey Chili

This recipe is from quickandsimple.com. I found it when I was looking for more recipes that used ground turkey and a crockpot. If you don't use ground turkey, I would encourage you to try it. It is readily available in the frozen food section and is almost $2.00 a pound cheaper than ground beef. Ground turkey can also be substituted for ground beef in a lot of recipes.

This recipe is also great for using items in your food storage since it requires a lot of canned goods. If you would like to use dried beans, you can substitute a 1/2 cup of dried beans. You will need to soak them overnight so they are tender.

Three-Bean Turkey Chili

1 pound ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
28-oz. can diced tomatoes with their juice
15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
8-oz. can tomato sauce
4-oz. can chopped mild green chilies
1 to 2 Tbsp. chili powder
Shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish

In a medium …

Procrastination vs. Laziness - Part 3

Procrastination has bitten back at me enough times that I have to deal with it and not let it become a problem. As I mentioned in previous posts, I have struggled with procrastination since I can remember. One can always find it easy to put off what needs to be done for their homes, families, and work than to tackle it. I can always find an excuse to avoid doing the necessary things or simply waiting until later to do them.

The problem never goes away though. These are some of the tricks I use to help with my procrastination problems.

#1 Make To-Do Lists: This helps me more than I will ever be able to know. Depending on my energy level, some nights I only have 4-5 things listed to do. Some nights I have more. Having those lists and being able to cross them off as done gives me a great sense of accomplishment! To-do lists become very important to me on the weekends when I have a whole day to get something accomplished. I get a little lost when I have free time so having a to-do list al…

Weekly Update - January 22

I know, I know. It is a day late. But due to the lovely weather we were having over the weekend in north Iowa and southern Minnesota, I got to stay an extra day at Rob's house. I missed my kids like crazy, but it was nice to spend some extra time with him too.

This week went by in a blur! I am struggling just to remember what happened when! We stayed mostly healthy with only Shali coming down with a nasty cold in the middle of the week. While probably not the best thing, I know she has no problems drugging herself up to get rid of it! We are switching to less toxic medications, but I cannot find a good replacement for Aleve and Advil. The hunt for this is on!

Shali also only had one basketball this week, but all the way over in Everly! Heck, that is only 20 miles from where I grew up. They didn't win which was a bummer, but they played hard and she played which was great! I also got to see my parents and my grandma which was also great!

We got a snow day on Friday which the k…

Weekly Update - January 15

This is our week in review - what we did, didn't do, and maybe should not have done! I want to start doing this to have a better record of our lives as well as let you all know that we live a real, very imperfect life!
Jordan in healthy mode
Sunday and Monday did not go well here at the Nygaard household. I was sick for both those days. Jordan started getting sick on Sunday and did not get get well until Thursday sometime. She went to the doctor on Tuesday to find out that she had the "crud" and with her coughing could turn into pneumonia. She got to have a new to us medicine: codeine cough syrup. Talk about knocking her out! (**I am going to get on my soapbox. Carefully look at the dosage, then question the doctor again. Half of the recommended dosage worked just fine. If she would have taken the full dosage, she would not have woken up until next week sometime. Although I did like the fact that she slept!)
She is much better now! We also got great news on Friday that Shal…

Procrastination vs. Laziness - Part 2

With this blog I endeavor to be as real with you all as possible. After I wrote the last post, I think I came off as making procrastination vs. laziness look like a black and white issue. It is not like that at all.

I know in my daily life I make a very conscious decision about what I need to get done to get through the day. I know some days I could do a lot more and I push it off under the guise that I don't have time right now. I take the easy way out.

Then I have days I know what needs to be done and then I run into this issue. I just simply don't have enough time to get it all done.

Whether something else came up or I need more hours in the day to get it all done, it happens. I don't have much control over that and I simply have to accept it. I know I could stay up later or get up earlier to get things done, but I have learned the hard way that sleep is important.

So I simply let it go. I work 9 hours a day. My kids have ball games, school activities, homework, and nee…

Laziness vs. Procrastination

I have a weird little habit when I travel. When I souvenir shop, I don't go for the big items. I buy magnets. I like to collect magnets from all the different places I (or we) travel to. I have one magnet on my fridge from visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL. (On a side note: Go There! I highly recommend it!)
The magnet has a quote from Mr. Lincoln: 
"Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today."
I see that quote every single day. Depending on the day, that quote can inspire me or bug me to no end. I feel like I need to do something like signing the kids' permissions slips now instead in the morning when the bus shows up. Or clean up the mess on the kitchen counter. Or tackle paperwork in my office. 
This phrase has also gotten me to thinking about whether I am lazy or procrastinating. I know I am a world-class procrastinator. I know I am a busy person and most things can be put off until tomorrow. Lately, this attitude…

Frugality and Prepping

In the last few weeks I have gotten emails and comments about my lack of prepping posts. Trust me, prepping is never far from my mind. In fact, I have been thinking about it a lot. I have been thinking about how prepping covers almost every area of my life in some way.

Prepping showed up in my gardening goals and in my bucket list. The need to be self-sufficient as possible and learning those skills were part of both of those lists. While prepping involves being ready for anything (or any situation if you chose), preppers are also pretty frugal.

Really you say? Yes.

What good is it if, as a prepper, you have all these things to be prepared for anything and have no idea how to use them? What good is it if you have no skills to be able to survive without modern conveniences for however long? What good is it if you have things for projects, but do not get those projects done?

It is no good at all. You have completely wasted your money and time and that is not being very frugal.

Looking …

Ways I Plan To Be More Frugal

I have thought long and hard about way I plan to be more frugal. But in this household, we are a family so the kids will be fully included into my plans to be more frugal. They just don't quite know it yet! Shush...

Ways I Plan To Be More Frugal

1. To be more focused on how much electricity is being used in our house:
   a. Much more intentional about shutting off lights when not in use and not daylight out
   b. Shutting off power strips both computers at night and when we are not home
   c. Shutting off power strips for the living room television at night and when we are not home
   d. Making sure chargers are unplugged in the kids' rooms when they are not in use
   e. Making sure Shali and Jordan's electric blankets are shut off and unplugged when not in use
   f. Making sure the kids' radios are off and unplugged when not in use
   g. Use more lamps than overhead lights at night

2. Dry clothes on the drying rack instead of using the dryer.

3. Use the clothes line a …

The Need To Be Frugal

The one New Year's resolution I did not talk about was the need to be more frugal. I need to be. I need to start looking at what I spend and figuring out how to do spend more wisely and save more. I need to look at what we have and what we can do without. I need to look at items and ask myself if they have more uses to them. I need to recycle and reuse a lot more.

I need to be more frugal.

I like to pat myself on my back and say "Oh, but you are already frugal. Look at all the ways you save money! Look at all the things you make yourself that saves you loads of money!"

That may be true, but making my own laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and other cleaners is not enough. Buying our clothes used is not enough. Teaching my kids to shop the clearance racks first is not enough. Shopping the grocery store's loss leaders is not enough. The utility bill going down $9.00 a month is not enough.

I need to start being intentional with our frugality. I need to start teac…

23 Day Frugal Living Challenge!

I wanted to share and challenge you all to the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge that is being hosted by the blog Frugally Sustainable.



This is a great chance for you and me to learn and reinforce our frugal lifestyles. I am hoping to possibly become even more frugal. (My children will be groaning at this!) Please hop on over to the Frugally Sustainable blog to join the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge!

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!