Friday, April 23, 2010

Cutting Down on Germs in the Kitchen

The kitchen can be a breeding ground for germs. There are several culprits in the kitchen that are known to spread germs. The following tips will help you cut down on germs:

Wipe down surface with a disinfectant: Every surface in your kitchen is used for something. A counter for preparing foods, a stove top for cooking them, the cabinets for storing things, the table for eating, etc. These surfaces are used frequently, and thus should be sanitized regularly in order to cut down on germs. For the surfaces like the counters, you will want to wipe them down and disinfect with a mild soap after each use, especially if used to prepare poultry, meat, or fish of any kind.

Clean your microwave and stove regularly. These are areas used to cook food, and are often warm, and even moist at times. So, they may lead to germs growing and spreading. Anytime an item spills, leaks, splatters, or boils over be sure to wipe it up as soon as it happens, and then use a sanitizer as often as you can. Once a week would be sufficient.

Clean out fridge monthly: Often leftovers, old bottles of food, drips, leaks, and spills happen in the fridge. Foods get shoved to the back and ignored, and they rot and go bad. Bottle drip, seals leak, etc. Meat juices can be left on a shelf, or salad oils dripped. Take the time once a month to remove everything from your fridge, throwing out anything you see that is expired, or leftover and in your fridge too long. Then, wash down all the refrigerator's inside surfaces, and the outer handle with a disinfectant so as not to cross contaminate anything.

Clean your kitchen daily. Germs grow in dark, moist, places, and the kitchen is full of such places, so make sure you take the time to do a general cleanup of the kitchen. Make a rule to not go to bed without first loading and running your dishwasher and wiping down your countertops.

Clean your sinks weekly. Your sink is going to be used to clean dishes, hands, and even food, so making sure that you have a sanitary, germ free sink is critical to cutting down on germs in the kitchen. Using a cleaner that disinfects while it cleans will help cut down on germs.

In addition, make sure that as you cut down on the germs in your kitchen, that you focus on the areas you spend time. For example, if you have a bar, and barstools, you may want to take the time to wash them down daily so that they do not become a place to spread germs. Your kitchen should be a great place to spend time, and not a place where you should have to worry about spreading germs and making people sick.

Beverly Frank is mom to two young kids and a writer. Visit for more parenting advice and ideas.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Save $1 Now On New Dry Erase Markers.

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Free "42 Ways to Recycle" eBook

Look what I found for you!

Reduce, reuse, recycle. These are famous words that we've all heard before. Before throwing out all your trash take a second look at what you might be able to save. 
There are tons of crafts you can create with your recyclables. Look in the Recycle eBook to find out what you can create. Once you're done licking the yogurt out of the container don't throw it out, reuse it.
You can be very creative. We have provided 42 ways to reuse materials to create unique and amazing crafts you never would have thought of. You can create wine coasters out of glass, you can make tins out of greeting cards and can critters out of metal. Use your imagination, save the earth and recycle. Here's what you can find in this eBook...

Get your FREE Recycle eBook here! [PDF]

Section 1: Paper

Learn how to use junk mail to make paper beads

Section 2: Paper Making

Use paper, magazines and greeting cards to create different kinds of crafts

Section 3: Metal

Use tins and cans to create little critters and luminaries

Section 4: Plastic

Use those old bottles, cans and containers to create household items and decor

Section 5: Glass

Don't break those old wine bottles, create coasters out of them

Section 6: Clothing

Sweaters and belts don't have to be clothing items, they can be made into bracelets

Section 7: Miscellaneous

Take those old CD's and turn them into ornaments

5 Easy Ways to Go Green For Earth Day

Earth Day is the day designated for appreciating the earth's environment and raising awareness of the issues that threaten it. The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970 introduced by Senator Gaylord Nelson, a US senator, to bring environmental issues onto the national political agenda. Earth Day is observed in 175 countries, and coordinated by the nonprofit organization Earth Day Network. Earth Day celebrates its 40th birthday this year on April 22nd.

In recognition of Earth Day, here are 5 simple things for the novice greenie to do that not only help save the environment but put money back into your pocket too.

1. Use reusable water bottles

Americans buy more than half a billion bottles of water each week. The issues with bottled water are numerous:

* Petroleum is used to make the bottles;
* About 27% of the bottles are recycled, the other 73% go into the landfills;
* Water, which is available from a tap, is transported from the bottling site to the store and ultimately to our houses causing greenhouse gases along the way;
* The FDA only requires that bottled water is as good as tap water. An NRDC study estimates that 25% of bottled water is really just tap water.

To save money and help the environment, buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up with good old tap water. If you do not trust the tap water, using a filter is still much better than buying bottled water.

2. Use reusable plastic bags

Single use bags in particular, plastic, are very bad for the environment. Not only are they made out from petroleum but the recycling rates are low. WorldWatch Inst. estimates that about 100 Billion are used and discarded in the US alone, at the cost of 12 million barrels of oil. Many of those plastic bags end up in landfills and some flow into the ocean and probably join the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which a floating island of trash estimated at twice the size of Texas where plastic particles are more abundant than plankton.

You can find reusable bags at most retail stores these days. Invest in a couple and you can save 300-700 plastic bags a year.

3. Unplug the Vampires

Many power cords suck up energy even if they are switched off, either because the appliance remains on stand-by waiting to be switched on with a remote control or an adapter, disconnected from the device they are supposed to be charging such as a cell phone or lap top, continues to suck up energy. This is known as vampire or phantom energy and can account for about 10% of your residential energy bill. The EPA estimates that the average US household spends $100 a year powering devices that are off. On a national basis, this standby power accounts for more than $10 billion in annual energy costs.

By using a power strip or unplugging unused appliances or power cords can reduce your energy bill as well as save the environment.

4. Eat like a vegetarian once a week

Farming requires fossil fuels to make fertilizer, run tractors, process and transport food. It takes many calories of grains to make one calorie of meat; animals and manure produce greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide. As a result, producing meat emits more greenhouse gases than growing crops. A 2006 United Nation report revealed that the "livestock sector" generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and planes in the world combined.
Environmental Defense estimates that, "If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted a vegetarian meal, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.

5. Buy smart

Consumerism, the constant buying and disposing of stuff, leads to a lot of environmental issues, including extraction, manufacture, packaging, transportation and disposal of goods. Limit purchases to what you really need, after all, Reduce is the first of the 3R's: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

When you do need to buy something invoke the second R, Reuse, and save money by buying through thrift stores, online through Craigslist or eBay, or have fun visiting yard sales.

Have fun celebrating Earth Day 2010, and with these easy tips, save money and help save the planet too.

Marlene Zobayan is the founder and CEO of Consumer Change LLC, a green advocacy website. For more information or to provide a review of a business' environmental practices, visit

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ughh, I need to change my insurance :

We recently bought a new truck. I knew our insurance was going to go up but
this was just crazy. Our insurance company kept easing our premiums up on our old truck too. 
To find out, they had changed our policy from PIP (it was an old truck!) to full coverage when it was time to renew. Now the insurance for my older car has risen too. We are good drivers and I haven't had a ticket in a decade! We've been a loyal customer for a long time too, guess that's why they think they can take advantage of us :(
Needless to say, we are looking for another car insurance company. I guess it wouldn't hurt me to get 
quotes for health insurance too since everyone has to have it soon too. Maybe I should get a business insurance quote too and get a discount for combining them all? Heck, throw in my home insurance and I should save a lot. Now that I think of it I have a separate insurance company for everything!

The search is on, I've been checking out a few companies. This one gives you quotes on everything in only 6 minutes. I'm busy and that sounds good to me!
For My California friends 
California Business Insurance
California Department of Insurance


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Living Organized - Free Kindle Ebook

Normally I put all book Reviews, Freebies, and 
Giveaways on my Book Blog Mommy Reads too Much 
but this one just belonged here.
I'm a recovering messy and I'm continuously reorganizing 
because I'm a scatter brain. I hope you enjoy this book, I 
plan on diving into it as soon as I have time, I need all of the help I can get.
Don't have a Kindle? Don't worry, you can download Kindle PC for your
computer and Kindle for your Blackberry
Check out this book HERE for Free!

Check out more Book Freebies on Mommy Reads too Much

Free Purses with Target Coupon

Yesterday I went to Target and got these two cute purses 
for FREE!
I have a feeling they won't make it into my gift closet because they've been claimed!

They were on Clearance for $5 and I printed up a coupon for
$5 off any Merona bag from

You can print the Coupon up twice! Which was
great for me since I need everything in twos :)

UPDATE: It looks like the coupon has reached it’s print limit, it was a popular coupon! I'll keep checking back for more.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Free Rimmel in All You Mag

There is a coupon for a free Rimmel product up to 5.00 in the April issue of All You magazine. 
It applies to trio eyeshadow, lash extender mascara, eye definer, natural bronzer, or an intense wear lipstick. Great deal!
They have freebies all of the time!
Don't have an All You Subscription yet?It pays for itself and then some with all of the freebies and coupons!


Shape Magazine for only $1.49!!

Shape Magazine for only $1.49!!
It's originally $14.97
Use code BSXSHP
& it's only $1.49!!



The Real Magic of Harry Potter Sweepstakes

Found this amazing Sweepstakes for you!
The Real Magic of Harry Potter Sweepstakes
With two amazing theme parks, non-stop nightlife, and world-class on-site hotels, Universal Orlando® Resort is an entire universe of action and thrills for every member of the family. Now prepare to join Harry Potter™ and his friends as you step into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts™ castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade™ and experience pulse-pounding rides that transport you into a world of magical thrills and excitement, only at Universal Orlando Resort.

Four Grand Prize trips for 4 include:

* Roundtrip airfare
* Ground transfers to/from airport in Orlando
* 3 nights at an on-site hotel
* 3-day/2-park admission to both Universal Orlando theme parks

Sign up HERE


National Parks Week -Free admission

To make it easier to experience America's Great Outdoors, the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees, so visitors can enjoy all 392 national parks for free April 17-25.

In addition, many national park concessioners are offering special promotions that are certain to add to your fun.
Also on their site are activities for Teachers and Kids!


Baby Steps: Moving A Family To Whole Foods - Part I: Unburying My Head

I’ve been a homemaker for almost twenty-three years. I have my own way of doing things, and really, I thought I was doing pretty well. My kids are healthy, thank God. I try to make sure our meals are well balanced, with meat, vegetables and fruit, and we’ve even been working on cutting down on our meat consumption. All in all, I was happy in my complacency and ignorance, much like that proverbial ostrich with her head warm in the sand.

As a homeschooler, though, I tend to encounter many different types of people. Homeschoolers by and large are usually more free thinking than the general public, and so although it’s certainly not the rule, they are often more proactive about making major lifestyle changes.

When we moved to Florida, I chanced to meet a group of other mamas who have made this kind of big change. They had done loads of research on a new way of eating. . that is really an old way of eating.

For a while, I smiled and nodded and tried to ignore it. They all used strange words, like “kefir” and “komboucha” and “soaking grains”. I had no idea what those words meant, and frankly, I didn’t really care to learn!

But then. . slowly. . .and somehow. . .it began to rub off on me. That’s the only explanation I can give; there wasn’t any dramatic conversation experience on my part. My most knowledgeable friend began leading informational cooking classes, and I offered the use of my kitchen for one of them. As I listened to her talk, I was horrified by some of the facts she shared. And at the same time, I realized that some of the changes she proposed really weren’t that extreme.

So we began to make baby steps. We didn’t toss out everything from the pantry. We finished what was there, and when we needed to replace it, we chose a healthier alternative or in some cases, we chose not to buy that item again.

I learned what kefir is and what it does, and what’s more, I am actually the proud owner of real live kefir grains. I’ve shared some with a friend, and I’m getting ready to send another batch to New Jersey for my sister.

Last week my knowledgeable friend—henceforth known as Lee—bravely allowed me to borrow her komboucha ‘mother’—the mushroom that will allow me to brew my own komboucha tea.

I’m still far from knowing it all, or even a fraction of all the wonderful information out there. But I’m learning, slowly and surely. Since my normal response to a new experience to write about it, I thought I’d document our little lifestyle change in this series of articles. You can come along as we take our baby steps toward a new way of shopping, cooking and eating.

I’ll be sharing information from the experts as well as links for you to do your own exploring. As always, I love to hear input about how your family might be making these sorts of changes. Let’s go on this journey together!


Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 9 years to almost 21 years. She and her husband of over 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel. She is also a resident writer for Taking Time for Mommy. View more of her Articles HERE

Part 2 of the Whole Food Series!


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