Monthly Archives: March 2011

April is National Volunteer Month!

Thank you to The Everyday Philanthropist for sharing this wonderful information.  I LOVE, LOVE her blog, and cannot wait to read her book!  She shares LOADS of information to help the every day gal (or guy), like me, make a difference in the world, without busting our bank accounts.  Check her blog out!

 

April is National Volunteer Month and Everyday Philanthropist wants to make it easier for families to participate. We know you’re busy, but it is possible to make this month count even if you’re short on time and short on cash.

Though the average person may not be aware, there are a myriad of charitable organizations around the world that are finding new and innovative ways to make a difference – in no time at all!

Whether you’re surfing the web, playing a game or taking a walk in the park, families can get enjoyment – and a dose of social awareness – from everyday activities that double as a charitable boost.

Computer time
Surf for the earth!  Powered by Google, Ecosearch.org returns the same search results but with an environmental kick: The site donates 100 percent of search revenues to nonprofits, such as Rainforest Alliance. Make it your computer’s default search-engine.

Craft time
Encourage children to help organizations like Make a Child Smile and Hugs and Hope by crafting cheery notes, drawings and cards that bring joy to hospitalized kids.

Kitchen time
Bake cookies for a local fundraiser to support a chosen cause or host a charitable bake sale of your own to benefit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

Game time
Play online games for good, such as the vocabulary test game at freerice.com that donates rice to the hungry for every answer you get right. It’s entertaining and you’re helping a great cause.

Any time
Be Someone’s Eyes. Provide a free reading service for the blind and visually impaired through Read This to Me. All you need is a working phone and a fax.

Summer time
Go the website, Alexslemonade.org to find out how the kids can organize a charitable lemonade stand to help raise money for cancer research.

One day at a time
Offer your services as a family just one day a year for communal events like International Coastal Cleanup day or Family Volunteer Day.

Wellness Wednesday – Green Spring Cleaning

I found a really cool article in my newspaper a little over a week ago.  It was all about spring cleaning…the green way.

 

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The thing is, I’ve always been into chemical-free cleaners, even before the whole “green” movement began.  I grew up in a home where my mom used Melaleuca, which is a company that makes chemical-free stuff.  Everything from cleaners to makeup to personal care products.  Soooo, it’s always been something I enjoyed.

 

Unfortunately, the aforementioned company is just like every other company out there (in my cheapskate opinion):  overpriced.  When I can make “green” cleaners for less than half the price, I’m gonna do it.  That’s why I loved this article.  It shared a lot of cleaning ideas that I already knew, but a few new ones as well.  I especially love this all purpose cleaner recipe:

  • Citrus peels
  • Vinegar
  • Water

Fill a quart sized glass jar with citrus peels.  This doesn’t need to be done all at once.  Whenever you eat a citrus, just put the peel in the jar.  When it is sufficiently full, pour vinegar over the peels to cover.  Let the mixture sit for at least two and a half weeks.  The vinegar will take on an orange/golden hue and smell powerfully of citrus.  Fill half a spray bottle with citrus-vinegar, straining as you pour.  Fill the rest with water.  Use with a rag to clean, well, anything!  It works well on sinks, mirrors, windows, floors, wooden chairs, and counters.  Best of all, this is made with the citrus peels you’d otherwise be throwing out! (recipe from Penniless Parenting, MCT)

(You can see that I’ve just started on this…but I’ll be sure to share my thoughts when the entire cleaner is made!)

 

Here are the basic recipes and techniques to get you started with your green cleaning, which I’m telling you, will save you some major green!!

Glass cleaner -

Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle.  Spray on glass and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth or old newspaper

Countertops and bathroom tile -

Mix 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda with 4 parts water.  Apply with a sponge, scour, and wipe away.

Floors -

Mix 4 cups white distilled vinegar with about a gallon of hot water.  If desired, add a few drops of pure peppermint or lemon oil for scent.  After damp mopping the floors, the vinegar smell will dissipate quickly.

Wood furniture -

Mix equal parts lemon juice and olive oil.  Apply a small amount to a cloth and rub onto the furniture.

Mold and mildew -

Wipe with straight vinegar

Moms: Classified

Anyone read Slummy Mummy?  If you haven’t, it’s hilarious.  Totally politically incorrect, judgmental, and silly.  In the book, the main character lumps moms into different categories:

 

Alpha Mum – These are the PTA presidents, the school volunteers…you know, the leaders.  The women who are completely organized, those who can knit, the women with the spotless houses, the women who unknowingly make you feel worthless.

 

Yummy Mummy – A Yummy Mummy is a hot/sexy/gorgeous mom.  She’s never seen in sweats.  She’s the mom who lost her baby weight 3 months after the baby was born.  The one who makes you feel fat and ugly (not on purpose, of course)!

 

Slummy Mummy – This is where the rest of the moms fit in.  You know, the moms who are lucky to get a shower each day, the ones who do indeed, go shopping in sweats, the ones who can’t seem to keep up with…LIFE!

 

I have always (voluntarily) put myself in the Slummy Mummy category.  My guess is that a lot of you do too, even if I look at you and think you belong somewhere different.  It’s just the whole self-depreciating thing we as women do to ourselves.

 

Anyway, I have some news:

 

I, Slummy Mummy Evelyn, have infiltrated the systems of these Moms.

 

I joined the PTA with the other Alpha Mums.  I became friends with the Yummy Mummies (as terrible for my self-esteem as it was).  I BROKE IN.

 

And I learned their secrets.

 

Did you know that the Alpha Mums don’t actually have everything together and organized all the time?  Did you know that the Yummy Mummies have ugly little secrets?  Oh, the discoveries I’ve made!  I would like to share with you a few secrets I’ve learned:

 

–          I know an Alpha Mum who has kids that (deep breath, gulp) AREN’T LITTLE ANGELS.

 

I know!!!  Shocking really.  But true.

 

–          I know a Yummy Mummy who keeps a messy house

–          I know an Alpha Mum who doesn’t enjoy scrap-booking!

–          I know a Yummy Mummy who confesses to feeding her kids cereal for dinner…on multiple occasions…and it’s even SUGAR cereal. (Gasp!!)

 

 

So, what does this mean?

 

It means we’re all normal!!!  It means we don’t have to stress over keeping up with the Joneses, or the Hansens, or the Smiths for that matter.

 

HALLELUJAH!!!

(photo)

 

 

*Stay tuned as I uncover more dirty little secrets…(and please, share yours!)

 

*PS. Please know that I don’t really, TRULY group all of my gal pals like this….I swear! :-)

Menu Monday 3/28-4/2

Boy, for some reason, I just can’t think of dinners this week!  If anything sounds particularly delicious to you, holler at me and let me know, cause I’ma struggling:-)  Thank heavens my mom made us a huge family dinner last night and sent me home with leftovers! (The * means it’s a new recipe I’m trying)

 

Here’s what plan I have so far:

 

Monday –

Leftovers, homemade bread

 

Tuesday -

*Apple Chicken, rice, salad

 

Wednesday -

Build-Your-Own Taco/Burrito – Homemade tortillas, rice, “refried” beans, chicken, peppers, etc.

 

 

Thursday -

Rice with corn, BBQ pork

 

Friday -

???

 

Saturday -

???

 

After school snacks planned for the kids:

  • Homemade bread and jam
  • Strawberry Sorbet
  • Nutrigrain bar(s)
  • Fresh Raspberries and grapes

 

April is Autism Awareness – Utah Events

Thanks to Big MAKS for sharing:

 

April is Autism Awareness

  • Light it up BLUE – April 1-2
  • World Autism Awareness Day – April 2
  • FEAT – Autism Training Series – April 5
  • Autism Council of Utah Annual Meeting – April 6
  • UVU Autism Conference – April 11
  • Big MAKS – Bouncin’ off the Walls – April 11
  • Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
  • State Spring Conference
  • Autismo Utah Conference – April 16
  • Asperger’s Syndrome Seminar – April 20
  • Autism and Faith – A Message of Hope
  • Southern Utah Autism Conference – April 30

For additional information visit

http://autismcouncilofutah.org/

Bring It ON

My day yesterday:
  • made 54 sandwiches for church
  • took care of sick kids (5th straight day of fevers, poor baby)
  • Took a trip to the doctor
  • Came up with centerpiece for church meeting, set up chairs, decor, etc for said meeting
  • Contacted dozens of companies for donations for charitable carnival
  • Went to the bank
  • Grocery shopped
  • Picked up antibiotics
  • Picked up mp3 player
  • Ran into someone I didn’t want to see and listened to him yap for 20 minutes while trying not to shoot myself in the head
  • Pulled weeds
  • Held a playdate for daughter
  • Discovered the neighbor tearing down our fence (not a problem really, just unexpected)
  • Scrambled to find money in the budget to help pay for the new fence we’re apparently getting.

As a result, my house last night:

You got a problem with that???

 

I didn’t think so.

 

 

 

Menu Monday

Whoops, I’m a bit behind…I’ll post it quickly!
Before I do though, I went through my food storage, and there are a LOT of shorter term foods close to expiring, so unfortunately, there’s going to be a lot of processed foods ingesting this week at my house.  Darn it! One of these days I’ll get better about rotating the storage!

(photo)

Here’s what we’re eating this week at my house:

 

Monday -

Rice-A-Roni, canned peaches, grilled chicken, green salad

Tuesday -

Sweet and Sour Chicken, rice, bread twists, carrots

Wednesday -

R.S. Dinner – Ribbon Sandwiches (I’m making these to take), cookies, etc.

Thursday -

Fruit crepes, scrambled eggs

Friday -

Chicken Jambalaya, green salad

Saturday -

Dinner out

Sunday -

Dinner at my mom’s