Saturday, October 17, 2009

GroBaby Bio Soakers

GroBaby is doing a giveaway for their new Bio Soaker system. Here's some info about it:
http://www.thenaturalbabyco.com/gro-baby-biodegradable-soaker-pads-p-745.html

Bio Soakers are plastic FREE, fragrance FREE, Dye FREE, Chlorine FREE and only contain 3 grams of SAP gel compared to the 10-20 grams found in other disposables.
They have super soft NON latex, elastic leg gussets that are guaranteed to keep messes in their place. These also have a proprietary biofilm backing that is both waterproof and breathable. It meets all AS...TM6400 (USA), EU13432 (EU), and BPI standards for biodegradability and commercial compostability! Wheew!

Now GO! Check them out!


Now personally, I don't like that they still have the gel. BUT, 3 grams compared to 10-20 in conventional diapers really rocks. I can't see myself using them, but they look like a great option for cloth diaper users that aren't hard core, for camping and vacations and such.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bit of Whimsy Dolls

Bit of Whimsy Dolls is having a daily giveaway on their blog- cute stuff, go check it out (who doesn't like free?!)
http://www.bitofwhimsydolls.com/blog

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tiny Bubbles!

Right now I'm a Charlies Soap fan- that stuff is fantastic! However, Tiny Bubbles is doing a giveaway for their soap and I'm open to trying new things, especially if they're free. I'll post an update with my thoughts after I actually try it, but here are the specs:


Tiny Bubbles
The detergent of choice for cloth diapers and baby apparel.

* Dye & Fragrance Free
* Completely Biodegradable
* Completely Phosphate-Free
* No Optical Brighteners or Fillers
* Gentle for Sensitive Skin
* Low Residue Formula
* Ultra-Concentrated
* Low Cost-Per-Wash
* Recyclable

Safe to use with Gro Baby™ and all other cloth diapers brands. Not tested on animals. No animal by products. ($0.22 per Load)

Phosphate Free - Phosphate detergents are a major cause of pollution in our lakes and streams. Even biodegradable phosphate detergents are harmful to water life. Tiny Bubbles contains no phosphates and is completely biodegradable.

60 Loads - Front Load Washer
Net Wt. 60 Oz. (3.75lbs)

U.S. EPA Designed for the Environment
The Design for the Environment (DfE) Program works in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders to reduce risk to people and the environment by preventing pollution.

Ingredients
Sodium carbonate, Sodium sulfate, Sodium percarbonate, Sodium alkyl aryl sulfonate, Linear alcohol ethoxylate.

Use
Front Load Machines – 1 scoop
Top Load Machines – 2 scoops
Hand Laundry – 1 to 2 teaspoons/basin


http://www.thenaturalbabyco.com/tiny-bubbles-p-732.html

Monday, March 23, 2009

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jib

Jib got his glasses today. He looks like a miniature version of me LoL. I'm a bit cheesed that I got sucked into getting the pair that the guy suggested- they're too big and why did the guy think that a toddler's glasses would actually last more than a year? Durrr. I'm wondering if we can return them, or if we're even going to have him wear them. We keep encouraging him to leave them on but he gets a great deal of pleasure from putting them in their case. Toddlers!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Glasses

We took Jib to the optometrist today. I haven't noticed anything huge- I've seen him squinting a couple of times, but that could just be normal goofy toddlerisms; but both Gadgetman and myself wear glasses so we figured better safe than sorry. Well, turns out he has a very slight prescription in both eyes. At first she said only one eye, but then she rechecked and said it was both eyes. She suggested glasses since I had mentioned the squinting, only she said "Since you've noticed him pulling away" which totally isn't what I said.

So....do I trust her, and get the glasses? Do I forego them? On one hand, I feel like we should get them because better treated early so as to fix the problem. On the other hand, I'm worried that glasses are like a crutch and will worsen his vision. Anyone have experience with toddlers and corrective lenses? What would you do? If it matters, Jib will be 3 next month. We picked out a pair of glasses and they'll be ready tomorrow at 1, we figured we'd get them filled since the insurance is paying for it anyway. Thoughts?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

iherb

$5 free, for you! Use the code HOB764, no minimum order!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So it's been a while

I've been paying more attention to my other blog This [eggstra]Ordinary Life. Heh, get it? It's about chickens? So here's what's new- chickens! (28 of them), business is going a heck of a lot better now that we've got the advertising down (Bushelbutt Boutique), my grandpa has cancer. We made an impromptu trip to Chicago (14 hours, there and back all in one night with me driving the entire time). What did I take from that? People who drive in Chicago are INSANE!!! Anyway, we went there to pick up my Godchild's daddy, who met her for the first time. The family is settled into their new apartment now, but daddy is sick- not surprising after traveling from California to Michigan via bus.

I kind of fell of the raw bandwagon but I'm working on getting back on. I'm at least 80% raw right now, and I am okay with that. The reason I was doing raw was mainly to get rid of my anxiety and panic attack issues, which it did. I found out that the problem is with milk, so as long as I stay away from that I'm fine.

So yeah, stay tuned for more blogs, I'm trying to keep up but sometimes life gets the best of me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Still eating raw

Still going strong with the raw, though I've started to have one non-raw meal every two weeks. This week it was pizza, Jet's to be exact. Mmmmmm....Jet's pizza.....BUT I can definitely feel it in the way I'm incredibly sluggish. Back to fruits and veggies!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Moving the chickens

So I figure that everyone is probably sick of me talking about chickens, my family definitely is. So if you're interested in hearing about it, please be sure to check out my Chicken Blog spinoff, called This [eggstra]Ordinary Life. It's got a TON of pictures and I hope to get some video up, especially when the eggs hatch. Hope to see you over there (I'll still be posting here also, but probably not as much until the chicken stuff has calmed down).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

One thumb up to Decorah Hatchery

Woot! They have a whole thumb up from us so far......we got a call this morning saying that the chicks will ship out tomorrow. They should get here Thursday or Friday. YAY! Now to scrounge up some living quarters for them.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A tentative thumbs up to Decorah Hatchery

I'm pretty sure this is a good sign- I received a handwritten receipt in the mail as well as the printout from the credit card. The Mr. had to phone the order in since they don't do online ordering, so I'm pretty impressed so far.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Comic

Not much happening chicken-wise, so here's a funny for you:
http://www.self-sufficient-life.com/henopause.jpg

Getting a little worried about what we're going to use as a brooder. The Mr. called Sears and they've got a dishwasher box but I'm fearing it won't be big enough. I was really hoping for a refrigerator box, but maybe they'll get one in by the time the chicks outgrow the other.

Nothing going on with the eggs- still hand turning them by manually maneuvering the auto-turner. They'll be sleeping to the right tonight.

2 Thumbs Down for Welp Hatchery

Two big hairy man hand thumbs down, two short stubby fingernails bitten woman hand thumbs down, and two toddler thumbs down to Welp Hatchery. If you've been reading, you remember my post that Welp made me change my order.

Well, today my husband gets a call (after leaving them a message wondering when to expect the chicks) stating that they're not shipping until April 1st, as they all sold out while they were busy screwing with our order. On top of that, I got an email stating that they had charged my credit card ABOVE what I had authorized. I didn't realize that the slow broilers were more expensive, gave them the go-ahead to change the order and they neglected to okay the new charges with me.....mmmkay, not cool.

On a good note, I'm getting 6 Silkie fertile eggs shipped from a farm a couple of hours away, so they should be here in a couple days. I'm a little worried since they'll have different hatch dates from the first batch, but the lady assured me that it wouldn't be a problem. They're coming from Destiny Farms, I'll update with my review of them when I get the eggs.

Chicks are ordered........again

So after our fantastically awful experience with Welp Hatchery, we called Decorah Hatchery since they had the best prices and nothing said "sold out" on their website like everywhere else.

On order are:
2 Americana Pullets
2 Barred Rock Pullets
21 Cornish Rock Broilers St. Run

The guy said they should ship the 11th or the 18th.....the Mr. asked him to pretty please try for the 11th (I think he's sick of seeing me mope around the house due to chicken lust). Please Decorah.......don't disappoint me;)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Egg weights

All of these are based off of the unincubated weights taken. Now, I'm not a math whiz by any stretch, so if my calculations are off- please let me know.

Egg 1- 71.7g, -0.4g change from first weight, -0.55% change from first weight
Egg 2- 61.7g, -0.6g, -0.96%
Egg 3- 68.4g, -0.5g, -0.73%
Egg 4- 61.9g, -0.3g, -0.48%
Egg 5- 66.2g, -0.3g, -0.45%
Egg 6- 76.1g, -0.1g, -0.13%
Egg 7- 62.7g, -0.3g, -0.48%
Egg 8- 70.4g, -0.2g, -0.28%
Egg 9- 61.9g, -0.1g, -0.16%
Egg 10- 60.5g, -0.4g, -0.66%
Egg 11- 67.2g, -0.2g, -0.30%
Egg 12- 64.6g, -0.4g, -0.62%

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Grrr...

I ordered 25 birds from Welp Hatchery (25 is the smallest order available).

- 8 Cornish Rocks
- 7 Slow Broilers
- 5 Ameraucanas (Easter Eggers)
- 5 Barred Rocks

I wanted more of a diversity of egg layers, but Welp charges an additional $1.50 per sex or breed if you order less than 5.

I get an email today saying that the Cornish Rocks are hatched on a different schedule than the rest of the birds, so I either need to switch my order to 15 Slow Broilers or take shipment of 25 birds in each order. I told them that there's no way I can take shipment of 50 chickens, so to just switch my order.

I'm not real happy with them so far- I mean, why not just state that [the fact that they are hatched on a different schedule] on the website? Then, I asked if they'd be able to mark the breeds- a whole 4 breeds. They wanted an additional $0.25 PER BIRD to separate them and stick a sticker in each section marking the breed. Umm....seriously.

Not.Happy.

I'm hoping I'll be pleased once the chicks arrive.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The eagle has landed!

AKA the eggs are in the incubator. I pulled a "stupid" today- I've had the incubator plugged in for about 24 hours now, and the egg turner hasn't turned a bit. I know it goes slowly, so I made sure to check it every few hours. Well, I had finally come to terms with the fact that the turner wasn't working and had gotten into the mindset that I would just be hand turning. I had made the decision that I'd still put the eggs in the auto turner, but unplug it. This way, they would still be more secure than just letting them roam free.

I went in to put the eggs in the incubator, and after double checking the egg turner- durrr.......it wasn't hooked up! It was plugged in, but the turner wasn't hooked up to the knob on the turner. LoL, it is now working and the eggs are in:) Just working on getting them up to a steady temp.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Egg weights

Weights:
1- 72.1g
2- 62.3g
3- 68.9g
4- 62.2g
5- 66.5g
6- 76.2g
7- 63.0g
8- 70.6g
9- 62.0g
10- 60.9g
11- 67.4g
12- 65.0g

Setting up the incubator

The incubator is all set up and holding steady at 99.5* F. The directions say to leave it on for a half day before putting in the eggs, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow morning so I don't wake up to accidentally cooked eggs.

I'm using my mom's hundred year old HovaBator. She used to hatch the Mallard duck eggs that our neighbors would find in their boats come springtime. Her very first hatch was done under a lightbulb, misted with a spray bottle. I've heard that hatching isn't the easiest thing to do; she's my hero!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The search is on

I've been doing a ton of research on different chickens, which would be best for our climate, which are the best layers, the best meat chickens, etc. I visited what seemed like a thousand different websites to price compare.

Great site:
http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKHatcheries.html

Then I get this brainy idea to hop in the van and go driving to our local fresh egg supplier. I asked her if she sold chicks, chickens or fertile hatching eggs; she said she had *just* collected the day's eggs and they were still on the counter. WOOT! She had already washed them, which isn't a good thing- but hopefully it won't be a problem.

She said that she couldn't sell them as fertile hatching eggs, since she can't guarantee fertility but that she does have a rooster and has been getting some blood spots when she cooks with the eggs (which indicates a fertile egg).

I walked away with a dozen potentially fertile eggs for $3.00.

Friday, February 27, 2009

And our adventure begins...

Me: I want a chicken
Hubby: No
Me: No really, I want a chicken
Hubby: No

continue on like this for a year or so...

Me: Do you want to do meat chickens, or just for eggs?
Hubby: I guess both

*Chuckle* After a year of talking about it, he obviously got used to the idea. When I rephrased the question to ask him which he wanted (without giving him the option of "no chickens", he thought it was his idea). Bwahahaha, my evil chicken plan worked ;)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Godchild

I don't talk about my family too much on here, but my niece is really starting to grow on me. My sis keeps talking of up and leaving for CA so I've been keeping myself emotionally at arm's length, but she's just so darn tootin' cute I can't help but like her. Though, if she keeps up this teething business I may just have to sell her to the zoo.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Sewing sewing sewing!

I've been sewing up a storm! Working on some Rita's Rump pockets for the cart. I'm thinking of doing a dozen RRPs with customer's choice of cover size. I find that sets do better than singles, but not sure if a dozen will be too costly for most. Hmmmm....

Monday, February 02, 2009

Where did my baby go?

I look at JibJib and all I see now is a toddler where my baby used to be. *sob* I can't believe he's going to be 3 soon!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Chickens!

I think I *almost* have Gadgetman convinced that we need chickens. Now to decide what kind.....I'm kind of thinking about meat chickens and a few egg layers.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Meal Planning continued

Chicken Noodle Soup rotated with Chicken Rice Soup rotated with Chicken and Dumplings

* Pack of egg noodles $1.09 or some rice $0.50 (if that) or dumplings (recipe from Hillbilly Housewife) $0.60

For the Dumplings:
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil- $0.20 (if that)
* 1 cup milk- $0.19
* 2-1/2 cups unbleached flour- $0.21
* 1 tablespoon baking powder (negligible)
* 1 teaspoon each salt & sugar (negligible)

* 2 lbs chicken- variable depending on sales $1.28-$1.98
* Can of corn- $0.49
* Few potatoes- $0.25 (guesstimate)

Total: Chicken Noodle $3.11-$3.81
Chicken Rice $2.52-$3.22
Chicken & Dumplings $2.62-$3.32

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Meal planning

I'm on "get the food budget as low as possible while still feeding the guys" kick. Gadgetman and JibJib don't mind eating the same thing week in and week out, and I don't eat their food (see my zillion other posts about my raw food diet) so I've got a 7 day rotating menu.

Each meal feeds both guys for dinner and then the leftovers feed them for lunch the next day.
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"Hamburger Helper" recipe from Hillbilly Housewife, I modify it a bit.

* 18 ounces egg noodles (I use 12 oz, since that's the size package that they sell around here)- $0.99
* 1/2 cup instant powdered milk ($12.00 for 64 oz)- $0.40
* 2 tablespoons flour (negligible)
* 1 tablespoon dry onion (negligible)
* 1 teaspoon onion powder (negligible)
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (negligible)
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper (negligible)
* 4 beef bouillon cubes (I don't use this, I give it a shot of nama shoyu instead- it's a naturally brewed "soy" sauce)
* 1 pound ground beef (I use ground turkey, and only a half pound) $0.595

Total $1.99

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Spaghetti (made with my homemade sauce)

Here's my sauce recipe- I make up a big batch and it makes enough for me to freeze 4 bags worth (2 cups each) and have dinner for the night I make it.

* 8 cans tomato paste ($0.39 each, $3.12)
* 3-4 circles of the pan of olive oil, enough to saute the onion and garlic (maybe $0.30)
* 8 cans of water (negligible)
the rest of the ingredients are negligible in cost
* 2 Tbsp sugar
* 2 Tbsp minced dry onion
* 1 Tbsp powdered onion
* 2 Tbsp garlic (I use the pre-minced kind in a jar)
* 1 tsp black pepper
* 4 Tbsp Italian seasoning
* 1 tsp + a few dashes ground red pepper (adjust this to your family's spice preference, this does not make it very spicy at all, 2 year old JibJib likes it)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan (mine is 6 qt). Add the minced dry onion and cook it a bit. Add the garlic and powdered onion. Brown it all a bit, but don't burn it.
Add the tomato paste and water, mix it up (a whisk helps greatly with this).
Add the rest of the seasonings and simmer until the thickness that you like.

Let cool before putting in bags.

Total for sauce: $0.684 for each dinner/lunch


Quick and Easy Garlic Breadsticks (from Hillbilly Housewife)
of course, like all recipes not my own I modify it a bit

* 3 cups flour (5 lbs-22.5 cups- $1.89)- $0.252
* 1 teaspoon salt (negligible)
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder (negligible)
* 1 tablespoon dry parsley (optional, for decoration) (negligible, I use it)
* 1 tablespoon baking powder (negligible)
* 1 cup milk (1 gallon-16 cups- $2.99)- $0.19
* 1/2 cup margarine (1 stick) (EWWW! I do NOT use margarine. 1/4 cup butter, a few tablespoons of olive oil. $1.99 for 4 sticks)- $0.25
* 1 more teaspoon garlic powder (negligible)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional, I use it- negligible)

Total for breadsticks: $0.692


* Homemade sauce (see above)- $0.684
* Spaghetti noodles ($1.69 for 32 oz.) 16 oz- $0.84
* Breadsticks- $0.692

Total for dinner: $2.216

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Enchiladas- my own recipe. I make up at least two batches at a time.
Spray the pan with nonstick spray. Put cheese, meat and refried beans on each tortilla, roll up. Freeze. Pour enchilada sauce on tortillas, freeze again. When it's completely frozen, tip it out of the pan and put it in a 2 gallon bag and stick it in the freezer. Voila! Insta-meal!

Enchiladas

Tortillas (10) $0.89
Enchilada sauce- ($1.49 for a big can, I use half)- $0.745
Cheese (on sale, $1.88 for 8oz) 4 oz- $0.94
Refried beans (16oz $0.65- I use half a can)- $0.325
Ground turkey (1 lb $1.19, I use 8 oz)- $0.595

Spray pan with nonstick spray. Put cheese, beans and meat onto tortillas. Wrap up. Pour enchilada sauce over the top. Bake to warm it up and meat the cheese.

Total: $3.495

More to come later:)