Friday, July 25, 2008

Lable Cloud

Yea! I'm so excited about my new lable cloud! It's that big bunch of words in the right sidebar. Those are all keywords that I've tagged my various posts with. I converted my keywords into a "cloud" so that you can see what I've written about most frequently (the bigger words) and hopefully help you find past posts a little easier. They are all the rage these days!

To set it up, I used a great page by phydeaux3 that included code and instructions on how to implement the cloud for blogger. It was nice and clear, and took me less than 10 min. If you are looking to add a lable cloud to your blogger blog, check it out here!

Thanks phydeux3!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

MomAgenda Givaway!

I am so thrilled to have gotten my hands on these! I got two brand new MomAgenda Desktop planners for August 2008-December 2009! One of them is for me, of course, and I'll give you the inside scoop on all the details. The OTHER one, however, is for one lucky reader to win! To find out how, read on....

I first heard about MomAgenda through CoolMomPicks, though the company has also been featured in Real Simple and on The Today Show. Their focus is creating chic, yet practical organizational tools, mostly for moms, though they also have an option that works for anyone. (the MyAgenda)

What really impresses me about the MomAgenda is how much utility is packed into the thing. It's eye-catching exterior is highly durable and waterproof. It's not a spiral, or 3 ring type, so the pages turn easy and you don't have to worry about them ripping or falling out. It comes with two built in ribbon bookmarks to help you find the page you're looking for pronto.

The MomAgenda Desktop edition is organized into month at a glance (with holidays!), followed by weekly layouts. At the top of the weekly pages, right below the dates, it gives a large section for your activities, with a little space to the far left side to write your most important to-dos. It is in a Monday-Sunday layout, which I like because I often plan the week on Monday and hate it when Sunday church activities sneak up on me (potlucks!). Having it laid out that way does kinda mess with my mind a little bit though, because it goes across, like a calendar week, instead of down the page like in Amy Knapp's Family Organizer.

But the real advantage to the MomAgenda is that, under your schedule, it gives you places to write in each one of your kids' schedules. This is the way to go if you have to worry about after school practices, games and lessons! It has space allotted for up to 4 people's schedules besides your own. I use one for my husband so that I can remember which days he'll be out of town on business, and when his next doctor's appointment is.

Along the bottom of the weekly pages there is space given for you to plan your menu for the week. I love this feature because I can look at what I've got going on during the week and decide what nights need to be a quick dinner, or something more relaxed.

I do wish that there was more space on the layout for goals or to-do lists (like Franklin Covey or Amy Knapp's) as I really need those visual reminders. Sometimes I wish I could get a planner that was just a weekly layout of to do lists, along with grocery list and menu plan, oh and some way for recording the money I've spent! (I found this one with the to-do lists part at least)

A couple more features I should mention... the MomAgenda has a great example page on how to use the weekly layouts. It also has a REMOVABLE address book and birthday record, with a few pages for medical records, and website passwords thrown in. This awesome little bonus will easily slip out and get transferred next year's MomAgenda, eliminating the need to re-copy all that info, yet keeps it handy and organized, tucked inside your planner.




Okay, then it starts to make up for the lack of to-do lists with some terrific sections in the back for organizing your important (where the heck did I put that?!?) lists! It's got a birthday organizer, a place to write down what books and movies you'd like to read and see, spots for your nutrition and exercise plans, shopping, dining, gift records. It even has some pages for you to list your entertaining resources, like your favorite caterer and where to get those invitations you spotted for your daughter's next birthday. Then there's a great section to organize your party planning and guest lists, vacation ideas and details, followed by a nice big blank section for you to record whatever else your heart desires!

Yes, the MomAgenda has a good amount of space to write in, but it has slyly avoided being too bulky to carry around easily. It is not as slim as most spiral bounds are, but the quality and durability make it feel more likely to survive being thrown into your large purse or diaper bag. I love the waterproof cover, and the colors are so cheery and appealing!


(I fearlessly poured water on mine!)

So do you think you'd like to get one for yourself??? All you need to do is post a comment to this blog post, giving me your e-mail address (so I can contact you if you've won). You can spell it out like thrifty(dot)domestica(at)gmail.com or something like that, if your worried about it being harvested. AND please share your best tip for organizing your papers, lists, or appointments! I will select one person randomly on July 30th and notify them by e-mail that they have won! Oh, and if you have a blog or website, feel free to post a link of that too! I love to read my readers!

PS. To check out more MomAgenda products, be sure to visit www.momagenda.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Picaboo photo books!

Picaboo is having a sale for new customers! 50% off your first photo book! I made my first photo books for Mother's Day, and they turned out so awesome. They make great gifts, or maybe you're looking for an easy way to show off that awesome vacation you had this summer. In any case, Picaboo is a great company to work with, they are such good quality, and now you can get your first book half off!


Picaboo

Thursday, July 10, 2008

T-shirt shopping cart/highchair cover!

The other day, I was at the fabric store looking at patterns for shopping cart and highchair covers. I was rather frustrated and the largeness and bulky-ness, and was thinking how I wished that instead of making a "fitted" one, I could make something stretchy that would accomodate any size. I had picked up a remnant of knit t-shirt-like fabric (to make babylegs tights for my daughter) and I began playing with the idea of making a cart cover out of a similar fabric. Then the thought struck me! What is a cart cover really? A tube with a hole in the end for your kid's legs that would stretch over the cart (or highchair) to cover the unsanitary parts! Kinda like a t-shirt with no arm holes, ya know???

I had recently cleaned out my husband's t-shirt drawer, and had a stack that was to be donated, so I selected one of the nearly new ones with a good amount of stretch to it. I cut off the sleaves and sewed up the holes, adding loops of ribon for toy attachments. I considered cutting slits in the back for the belt to go through, but decided against it, as the belts are often the most disgusting part, and the t-shirt was not so bulky as to limit the belt being fastened around it with my daughter inside. So that's it! Check it out!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Blueberry Heaven

This is a brilliantly simple recipe and another way to use the irrepressible versatility of butter cake mix

As you can see, I was unable to take a picture before part of the dessert was consumed. This is because it is just to die for hot out of the oven! The warm blueberries have burst forth their tart juices to mix with a sweet chewy yellowcake better-than-cobbler topping. Vanilla ice cream optional.

Preheat your oven to 325 F. In a 9x13 baking pan/dish dump 4 cups of fresh (or frozen, if you must) blueberries. The berries should cover the bottom of the pan, with a few extra. Then sprinkle one entire box of yellow cake mix over the berries. Melt one cup of butter (or margarine if you want to be all diet conscious) and pour the melted butter over the cake mix and blueberries. You could also cut up the butter into chunks and sprinkle it over, but I think pouring it is a little lazier. That's it! Pop the pan in the oven for an hour. Pull it out and fend off your husband's fork!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Breakfast Cookies

I tried these chunky cookie/muffin tops as a quick breakfast on the go to grab during VBS week! It is derived from the cookie recipe on the Jiffy Oatmeal Muffins box. I wanted something healthy and super easy, so this is what I came up with!



  • 1 box Jiffy Oatmeal Muffins mix
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs old fashioned oats (or quick oats)
  • 3 Tbs margarine
  • 3 Tbs peanut butter (I used crunchy and it gave the muffins a little extra nuttiness)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 Cup coconut
  • 1/2 Cup Craisins (or raisins)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine everything except the coconut and craisins. Mix it up until it forms a thick dough. Then add the last two ingredients and mix well. Drop by large, 2 inch balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 min.

You can find more quick and easy recipes for Jiffy mixes at JiffyMix.com and they'll send you a FREE recipe book if you'll just tell them where to send it!