Monday, May 30, 2011

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Using Baking Soda for Baby'sI am cleaning a small mobile home for friends because the husband is elderly and incapacitated and his wife has her hands full.  Because the husband is so frail, I surely did not want to use any harsh chemicals.  I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to clean the home properly using natural products. My friend made sure that I had plenty of baking soda and vinegar on hand, as I had asked prior to coming over.  I had a stack of old rags, a broom and a vacuum to work with also.  I don't know if you know this but vinegar has anti-bacterial qualities.

them around the faucet.The first thing I did was to soak rags in vinegar and wrap all three faucets in the house.  After 20 minutes or so, you can remove the rag and wipe around the faucets, even use an old toothbrush around the grout area.  The faucets and handle will be gleaming with hardly any work on your part.

I sprinkled baking soda throughout the house on the carpet to absorb any unwanted odors.  I vacuumed just before I left about 2 1/2 hours later and it neutralized the odors nicely.

I damp-mopped the furniture and surfaces with just water and a rag for dusting.  I did add a spot of dish detergent to the rag for dusting off the nic-nacs.  The baking soda and vinegar worked well on areas that needed scouring.  The vinegar smell strongly until it dries, after it dries the odor is gone in addition, the vinegar neutralizes unwanted odors.

Best friendsMy friend was very happy with the end result, her house was clean, it smelled good and we had a nice visit too.  I was happy to have been able to assist her and I loved our time we visited.

Friends, don't be afraid to set aside your harsh chemicals and try out the baking soda and vinegar.  I think you will be surprised at the results you receive.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

and the Oscar goes to....Katie!

Next Saturday, June 4th, 2011, my Princess Katie will marry her Prince, Oscar.  They have been together for five years and have shared many wonderful special life events together, celebrated life together, loved each other deeply and brought joy to each other.  Our family openly accepts Oscar as a son, brother, nephew and grandson as he makes our Katie love life a little more because he's in it.

We wish them a fairy tale ending of happily ever after.........

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sunflower Seeds and a Mt. Dew

What does a green girl do at the end of a crazy week and a reaaaally bad day? Pick up a fountain soda, diet Coke or Mt. Dew, and a big bag of seeds. When we get home, we put on the latest recorded episode of Parking Wars, collapse on the sofa, put up a Do Not Disturb sign and veg anywhere from one hour to the entire weekend.

We hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Scottie is a Hottie McCreery!

Scottie McCreery.Yea! Scottie, "baby lock them doors and put the lights down low" is our newest Idol, just as predicted by Aunt Lulu on the night they aired his audition.  Scottie seems to be all the things that makes an American Idol, talent, personality, showmanship, and he's a real cutiepattutie.  We can't wait to see what he's going to do this next year. 

Will Win American IdolWe can't say enough good things about Lauren.  I personally have been watching Idol since day one except for those two really bad years, what the heck was that!  I can't remember ever there being a sweeter contestant that Lauren.  She is so genuine and young, she probably made all the mommas cry last night.  We really hope that she gets as far as she'd like to be in her career.  P.S. who knew that Carrie Underwood had legs like she had last night?

On a side note, You all got to meet our Biggest Loser yesterday, hope it was pleasant.  Molly does make us laugh a lot with her sense of humor. 

Don't feel sorry for her because she says that she has such a busy life, she's just trying to get attention.  We're Irish from Southern California, she's made flight reservations for the Jersey Shore and all of a sudden she has a tookus?  Puhlease.  Her schedule is jam packed but she also has a personal assistant that does her cleaning, laundry, cooks for her household and every mother's dream come true, a teenager that drives and can run errands, Hello!

Molly is also very beautiful and could pass off as a sister of a Khardasian, but don't tell her I said so!
photos were copied from AOL

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Biggest Loser (No, I'm not mad at my sisters or their husbands!)

I am here and blogging (Tobe will be so happy!) While I had hoped to start blogging by introducing myself, I have found if I have ten minutes to blog, I'd rather sleep (sorry Tobe).  So here it is....
Who watched the finale last night?

My family and I are HUGE fans.  We watch and or record every episode, I have Jillian's many DVD systems as well as Biggest Loser for the Wii, we love it!
My family and I are planning a vacation to Jersey Shore this summer and I am in no shape to wear a bikini (not that I would wear one if I was in shape, I just like to feel sorry for myself). I do not struggle to lose weight, that's the easy part, it's keeping it OFF that I have a problem with. These last 15 pounds seem like a piece of cake, speaking of cake... That sounds delicious!!! For me, I still have not got back in shape since the baby.
Speaking of babies, it was actually him last night that made me realize I need to get my bum in shape. As I was cuddling with him in our chair last night, watching the finale of course, I was telling my "baby" how much I loved him and how happy he makes me to be his Mommy. It was then that he said,"Mom, I am NOT a baby, I am ten years old!" Where did the time go? Wasn't I just changing his diaper? UGH!!!
So, I'm NOT afraid anymore. This is me, this is NOT who I want to be and I AM READY TO MAKE A CHANGE! OK, that was the easy part, now the challenge. As you can all see, I don't have time to blog much less go to a gym. I work 40 hours a week, my son is currently playing on three, hello? I said THREE baseball teams, my daughter Sofia plays club volleyball and Chloe is 16, enough said (she does cheer but I find I get more sympathy if I just say she's 16). I haven't had a free weekend since, well I don't even remember when the last time was. I try to take "me" time but that is when my son hits a grand slam and wins the baseball game or Chloe throws her double tuck your the worst mom in the world round off. See the dilemma?
I did do boot camp just before my wedding two years ago, the best thing to happen to me. It worked (remember I said I can lose the wait, just can't keep it off)! I need someone in my face, I need someone to call me on the phone and force me to get my tookus out of bed, I do not have the will power to make it on my own. I'm looking for ideas to get a good work out at home? Anyone in my area get together to work out at the park? How do I get my kids involved (when they aren't busy at sports?)
Maybe I should start a local club for working woman with busy kids. More so for local support to get us out there, I know I'm not alone on this one.
I will begin this weight loss journey this weekend, I will blog about my progress (I probably won't but at least Tobe will be happy that I'm saying it) and I will include great strategies, what's NOT working and let you all know where I'm at with my journey. Now because I want to be serious about losing weight, I will also include where I am now with my weight and TRY to record weekly how much I've lost.  Remember, any advice and/or comments are much appreciated.
Your soon to be skinny friend/sister,

Shrimp Scampi Fettuccine

Katie and Jocelyn had to work the evening that Madison went to prom, so they, along with Oscar (soon-to-be son-in-law) came over the next afternoon to cook whatever Madison wanted to for dinner and to hear all about her big night.  Madison's favorite vegetable is shrimp and she chose to have it scampi style with fettuccine.  She also chose to cook it herself and we photographed the process for our blog.

We started with: 3lbs of med. shrimp
                          2 pkgs fettuccine
                          1Tbl olive oil
                          1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
                          1 pt. heavy cream
                          8 lg cloves of garlic chopped
                          juice from one lemon
                          1 cup Parmesan cheese
                          salt and pepper

Fill water pot for pasta, toss in a tsp of salt and put over fire.  When the pot is boiling, add fettuccine and cook as directed.  Clean and peel the shrimp making sure to rinse it under cold water so it does not cook. 

Heat a deep skillet or heavy pot and put in olive oil and a 1/4 of the stick of butter under medium heat.  Add garlic and let cook about 2 minutes before adding the remainder of the butter.  When the butter is completely melted, add all of the shrimp and the lemon juice.

Salt and pepper the shrimp and stir in the butter just until the they begin to turn pink, this will happen quickly.  During this time, lower flame so the temperature drops inside the pot.

Slowly pour cream into the pot over the shrimp while continuing to stir.  The temp has to be down and you have to continuously stir so that the heat and lemon won't "break" the cream.  Once the pint of cream is completely poured in, continue to stir until the edges begin to bubble.  Then add 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, continuing to stir.  The sauce should thicken a little during this process.

Side Note: If your sauce breaks that's okay, it will taste the same and once you add the pasta it won't be so noticeable.

If you started the scampi at the same time you put in your noodles, they should be done.  Make sure not to overcook the pasta, you want a little bite in it.  With tongs or a pasta fork, bring noodles out of the water directly into the scampi and toss everything together.  The more you toss, the thicker the sauce will get.  Salt and pepper to taste.

We serve the scampi fettuccine out of the pot at the table.  Just sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top, you can sprinkle a little cut parsley also, and serve.

Dad, Katie, Oscar, Jocelyn, Madison the cook! and Mom

How to open a bottle of wine


We were having a family dinner last Sunday, Madison made Shrimp Scampi Fettuccine and Sauteed Chicken Breasts.  Jocelyn brought a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio and Madison wanted to open it.  So Katie gave wine opening lessons and I thought we'd share them.

The first thing you want to do is to run the blade of your wine opener around, underneath the rim of the bottle to cut the foil.  When the foil is cut completely around the neck, remove the foil.

Next, you take your corkscrew and going in with the point, give it a good turn to get a start.  When it has a good start, holding onto the corkscrew, making sure that the screw is completely straight up and down, begin to turn the bottle or you can turn the screw, keeping it straight.

Don't turn the screw in too far, usually if you stop right before the last turn into the cork that is sufficient.  Now you can fold the corkscrew placing free side on the edge of the bottle for leverage.  Once you feel you have leverage and that it won't slip of the edge of the bottle, pull the handle straight up.  This should free the cork nicely.
Katie and Madison

If for some unfortunate reason the cork breaks off or maybe you can't find the corkscrew, use the traditional Irish remedy and push the cork completely inside the bottle to ensure a good flow.  Just remember, since you aren't able to recork the bottle, this leaves you in the predicament of drinking it all!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Garage Sale (plus) Prom Night (equals) Comatose Mom

We will have prom pictures to post as soon as we can get it together.  A couple of us Green Girls had a massive garage sale this weekend that went great.  Sold lots of stuff that we didn't need or want, thank you neighbors!  Thank you Hemet people!

Our nieces and nephews were a great help, we set up a killer snack bar for them to sell muffins, candy bars, blow pops, sodas, energy drinks and water.  Best laid plans and all, webasically we had a bunch of hyped up preteens running around the house while our older girls prepared for prom, not the best idea we've had lately.

Hemet High School prom was at a resort in Palm Springs, we chauffeured the kids there, dropped them at the resort that was hosting the shebang, I have to say,everyone was so beautiful and handsome, Hemet High really puts out some good looking kids.  We really appreciated that the kids didn't give us a hard time about driving them there.  While our prom goers exited the car and we observed everyone, it brought back great memories for us of our prom nights and it made us think that we would like to hear yours.

The Green girl moms then went to nearby Flemings Steak House for dinner, SO amazing!  We totally recommend the grilled Ahi appetizer and the Fleming potato side dish.  Safe to say, everything on the menu is quite memorable.  After dinner, we walked around the small mall and then sat outside near a beautiful waterfall area drinking Starbucks's skinny vanilla iced lattes and eating the most delicious gourmet apples.  There were dipped in carmel and chocolate with broken pieces of toffee and dipped in more milk and white chocolate, pecans and more carmel, are you kidding me?  So impossibly heavenlySome of our best dates our with ourselves.

Understandably, we have fallen into a comatose state, I am not really awake, I am sleep blogging in my underwear.....

Please comment and tell us your prom memories.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We have to recommend this site to our followers who want or need to organize their family lives.  The site can help you in so many ways, beginning with simple things that you can do each day to simplify your life.  It also has a calendar that will e-mail you reminders.  The entire family can access the site to check on the family schedule.  There are grocery lists and meal planning...Flylady is amazing, check her out!

10 Best Reasons To Drink Coffee, or have a cuppa' as we say in our kitchen

10.  When, surprise!, your kid has a report on the civil war due tomorrow and its 7:30pm.

9.  Neighbors/neighbor's dogs/neighbor's kids kept you up all night and you need to function.

8.  Sister/Friend needs your shoulder at 11:00pm to cry about boyfriend/husband....again.

7.  Loooong drive trip and whew! the kids finally fell asleep.

6.  Term paper/work assignment/blog has to be done tonight.

5.  There's a bottle of Jameson's and sweet cream on hand, Irish Whiskey anyone?

4.  Sitting at the hospital waiting for your sister/friend to give birth.

3.  Because you just had a fab nap and want a wake up (one of my favorites).

2.  Because it's morning and mornings were made for a cuppa'.

1.  Because there's still a bottle of Jameson's and sweet cream on hand and it would be a shame to waste it dontcha know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Camille Grammar, Maria Shriver and Jennifer Aniston

While I realize that when famous people become....famous, they concede to the fact that their lives will be profiled in the media.  To define this further, "news" about them is expected to be broadcast.  Do you think it stop at that?

Why couldn't it just be announced that so and so had an affair with so and so, so now so and so and so and so are splitting up.  That's it, that's all.  Do we really need to know the details of the matter, the nitty gritty?  Will it make our lives easier knowing the when, where and why of it all.  Do we need to see their pained facial expressions blasted on the tabloids?

Bad things happen to good people, unfortunately that's the world today.  I feel badly for Camille, Maria, Jennifer and any other person the planet that is experiencing emotional pian.  I hope that they are able to heal within a support group who will listen to them and then keeps their mouths shut.

Even though famous peoples lives are public knowledge, isn't there a boundary....there should be, everyone and everything has boundaries.  What responsibility do we have as far as respecting these boundaries. 

Tabloids and the Perez Hilton's claim that it's all part of being famous....but they are getting rich exploiting these people and these stories. When did the tabloids and the Perez Hilton's of the world get to decide the definition of our ethics?  Who said they could?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Juicy not Couture

I spent the day helping a friend out with spring cleaning and she introduced me to juicing.  Now, I am not new to juice and although sometimes even I think I live under a rock, I am aware there are several juice cafe's.  But I thought that to juice at home I would have to have one of those super expensive Juicers like you see on infomercials.  I found out today that you certainly do not have to have one of those expensive machines at all, especially of you are juicing for health reasons and prefer to retain the pulp of your veggies and fruits.  And you probably have one in your home already, a blender!

My friend put an unpeeled apple; a bundle of spinach; and about half a cup of frozen pineapple, she said that its good to add a frozen item to keep the juice cold; and two cups of water into her blender (my friend has a quality blender and she indicated that a lesser quality one may not work as well).  She pulsed the mixture several times and then blended on high for 30 seconds.  It was sooooo good!  It wasn't as sweet as some of the store bought juice blends that I have purchase, but it was very good.

I went to the store and purchased some fruits and veggies of my own to try out in my blender (Oster).  When I got home, I immediately went to work.  To my two cups of water, I added half a beet because they high in iron, folic acid, vitamins A, C, biotin, niacin, and many other benefits; I put in 4 carrots for their antioxidants and carotene; I added 4 brussel sprouts because they also are high in carotene, vitamin A and C, potassium, etc; and then I added two unpeeled pink lady apples, cored, for bone protection, cancer protection and weight loss HELLO! I also added half a cup of frozen peaches.  It was very good, I really enjoyed it.  I had enough to fill a 20oz. glass and had about 24oz left for tomorrow.  I was afraid that the beet would make it a little bitter, but the apple sweetened it to my liking.  If you prefer your juice blends sweet, I think using orange juice instead of water would work.

No more juice cafe's for me!

If anyone has any juice recipes or tips for me, I'd love to check them out.  I'm going to see if I can drop about 5lbs. from this new venture of mine.  I'll keep you updated.....Hope everyone had a great weekend. 

P.S. Did ya'll see that Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton got married?  Very cool merger....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Big Garage Sale Weekends Coming Up Here In SoCal!

If you live in the surrounding area of Hemet, the weekend of May 20th-22nd, will prove to be a busy garage sale weekend.  Seven Hills residential community will be holding its annual garage sale extravaganza, featuring an estimated 132 garage sales.  Seven Hills is located off Stetson Avenue in Hemet.  Previous experience was great there according to mom.

The following weekend, Memorial Day weekend, Idyllwild hosts its annual Memorial Day garage sale event.  If you are a garage sale lover, you do not want to miss this weekend sale.    The weather can be iffy, when in doubt, layer, you can always undress if its warm.  Idyllwild is located above Hemet, up Hwy 79.

As Memorial Day weekend falls on the last weekend of this month, garage salers should have no trouble making great finds, as the last weekend/first weekend of any month is usually prime time for having a garage sale.

I hope this information proves useful, have a great weekend!

Monday, May 9, 2011

El Patron, you lost nuevo patrons last night.....

Last night,  my wonderful brother in-law treated my sister and I to dinner at El Patron, a new Mexican food restaurant located on Florida Avenue and Dartmouth in Hemet, California.

We were greeted by very friendly hostesses, they were smiling, appeared excited about working at El Patron and were very informative when asked questions.  We had a few children with us making for a party of seven and as it was Mother's Day, we had to wait several minutes for a table to be set up for. 

Our Server's name was Amanda, she is an experienced server and appeared to know what she was doing.  Amanda came to our table promptly bearing chips and salsa.  The chips were warm and crisp and the salsa was very good.  Our beverage order was taken and after a few minutes, we received our drinks.  At this time, the restaurant had approximately ten medium to large parties and there appeared to be a few small parties in the bar along with a party of twelve.

Shortly thereafter, our experience took a turn for the worst.  Our server took our order, writing it out on her pad in long hand.  As an experienced server, I never took orders long hand, not even when we hung tickets; which is what appeared to be happening in this restaurant.  The only reason this affected us was that it took a very long time to take our order in this manner.  This procedure made me wonder how experienced the cooks were if they could not read short hand server orders.

During the time that we waited for our food, our drinks were filled and we were plied with plenty of salsa and chips.  We noticed that the food expediter was confused as to what food went to which table, carrying sizzling fajitas (that smelled great) around the restaurant, looking for its owner.  This confusion took place during our entire stay, we were offered other tables plates repeatedly.  At one point the expediter asked if we were sure that the plates in her hand were not ours.  At times, it was very Keystone Copsy.

Shortly, our server became noticeably busy as she had to take over the tables in the bar so the bartender could make drinks.  This measure did not make sense as there were several servers, bus persons and expediters that were running around appearing to be making busy work, who should have been able to assist our server or the bartender.  We waited several minutes before we were served our meals.  Our plates did not live up to most of our expectations because:
    • Chile Verde Burrito Plate - rice and beans were cold and the "green sauce" is not green nor does it have the tomatillo/ortega chili flavor at all.  The meat itself was pleasantly tender albeit lukewarm.
    • Carne Asada Burrito Plate - my niece ordered her burrito with no pico de gallo or red sauce and guacamole inside.  The burrito came with red sauce on top and our server had to return to the kitchen for guacamole.  The burrito was not edible.
    • Two Chicken Enchilada plate - My daughter was not pleased with her enchiladas and refused to eat them.
    • Tamale Plate - My niece indicated that she did not care for the type of tamales offered on her plate and did not eat them.
    • Bean and Cheese Burrito - My nephew didn't have anything to say either here nor there.
    • Chicken Enchilada Plate with Green Sauce.  My sister did not eat her Chicken Enchilada as she did not care for the ungreen sauce and did not like the flavor of the enchilada.  She indicated that her tortillas were too hard.  I sampled the tortilla of the enchilada and in my opinion, while clearly I was not tasting green sauce, the tortillas were of a thicker nature and very corn flavored which I happen to prefer.
    • Shrimp Burrito - My Brother-In-Law approved of his meal giving his plate an 8 1/2.  Did I mention that he's our Mikey?  He'll eat anything.
 Overall, I would not recommend the food until maybe after being open a few months they can hopefully get it together.  It appears there needs to be a table map so that the food can go to the correct tables and the cooks need to work on timing.  In addition, the servers could use a little training as far as standard seating so that an expediter can be more useful to them and the confusion could be lifted in this area.

I also experienced the restroom and I was absolutely 100% appalled!  The old fashioned dome lid trashcan with swinging door was over full, there were paper towels and toilet paper rolls scattered on the dirty floor.  One of the two toilets had apparently flooded and while there was a "caution wet floor" sign, the mess had not been cleaned up.  In the working stall there was toilet paper all over the floor surrounding the toilet.  The sink area was dirty.  At this time, I made a note to myself:  Check restrooms prior to sitting down to eat at a restaurant, because had I done this, I would have gone elsewhere.  On my way back to the table, I  stopped six of the staff who were all walking from the hostess desk, I strongly urged them to take care of the restroom matter.  Minutes later, I noticed the two hostess briefly disappear into the restroom alcove for only seconds.  Out of curiosity, I returned to the restrooms to find it unchanged.  I popped the men's room door open and observed it to be in the same condition.

As I had not once seen any person that appeared to be a manager or even a supervisor, I asked the server whom served my sister and I our Mother's Day flan if there was a manager present.  She answered yes and asked if I wanted to see him.  I declined as I speechless at this point.  I will say, the flan is very very good as I prefer eggy flan and was not disappointed.

To sum up our visit to El Patron: The hostesses, bus persons and servers were all very pleasant.  However, the food was found to be more than lacking and the restrooms undeniably disgusting.  I don't think we will be returning to El Patron anytime soon because, while the flan and salsa with chips are superb, we just won't be able to stomach surroundings and dinner plates.

Best Ribs Recipe Prepared in the Green Girl Kitchen

Start with pork spareribs or babyback ribs.  I buy mine from the butcher's counter at Stater Bros.  Make sure you look the ribs over for a good amount of meat on them and you want a little fat too.   Two full racks with serve four with a rib or two left over, they're so good though, usually they don't make it past the table.  You'll notice that these ribs are not baked in barbeque sauce, its added at the end.  Don't worry about them not tasting "saucy" enough, you won't be sorry you prepared them this way.

First thing before I prepare my ribs, I take out a cookie sheet which is an old one that I no longer bake cookies on.  Unless I have extra wide foil, I take two sheets cut the same length and put them together.  I fold one long edge together making a seam so that when opened up, its a double wide square of foil.  I wrap my cookie sheet loosely in the foil making sure to press down into the sides and corners.  Then I place the ribs in the pan rib side up.  I rub the ribs with plenty of coarse salt and black pepper, turn the ribs over and repeat on the meat side.  You can subsitute your favorite barbeque seasonings if you prefer.  After seasoning the ribs, place the entire pan into the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.  I like to let the meat marinate in the seasonings for at least 30 minutes but its not a deal breaker.  Placing foil on the pan helps in the end with clean up, the pans end up very messy.  If you don't want to use foil, spraying the pan with non-stick spray may do the trick.

Three hours prior to serving time, set oven at 275, pour one and a half cups of vinegar (white or apple cider) into the side of the pan and place inside the oven to slow bake.  The vinegar gives off strong fumes while baking that turn into good ribs smelling odors through out the house. 

After one half hour, turn rack over rib side up.  Every half hour after this turn the racks over.  The last half hour raise the oven to 325.

When three hours of cooking are finished, remove the ribs from the oven and let sit 15 minutes to seal in juices.

Heated store bought barbeque sauce will be good on the ribs, however, I prefer homemade.  Here is a simple, quick recipe for barbeque sauce: 1 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 table spoon vinegar, stir constantly with a spoon while heating in a pan on med/low until no noticeable brown sugar granules.  For a spicy flavor, add hot chili flakes or a drop or two of tobasco.

This is a photo of the rib platter following dinner for four:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Baby Back Ribs Anyone!

Sit tight, I am making the best baby back ribs you have ever had in your entire life!!!  After we eat and get the kitchen cleaned up I'll give you the lowdown on my favorite easy peasy recipe...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Coupon Craze!!!

Sister numero quatro, Molly, is working on earning a title as a semi-pro extreme couponer.  It is her new favorite game.  It has become her new life challenge.  It has become her new drug, and she has got all of us addicted.  It all started with watching that new show about extreme couponing.  It didn't take long for her desires to come to fruition.  From the store ads, to the Sunday coupons, the manufacturer's coupon websites and also the store websites, it seems there are many money saving opportunities to be found.  If you need or want to save a little cash (who doesn't in today's society) and you can buy a little time away from some of your daily activities, couponing on some level may be for you.

First thing you need to know are your ads.  Carefully peruse your local ads from the drug stores and grocery stores, also check out Target, Home Depot and all other store ads that offer coupon savings (there are many savings offered on some of these store's websites).  In the ad itself, watch for in store coupon specials and sales.  Keep your ads with your coupons for easy access and to prevent confusion over which store has the best deal.  Its a good idea to keep a pad of legal paper with the ads so that you can make any necessary notes, I found it to be a little overwhelming at times, my notes saved me (and Molly).

The most obvious would be to cut out all of your Sunday newspaper coupons from the newspaper, even if you won't use a coupon, someone you know might and you could possibly make a trade.  In addition, you may be able to make a deal with your newspaper route driver to get any extra coupons that they have left over at the end of the day, I'd tip well for that.  Maybe some of your neighbors and friends throw out their coupons, ask them to set them aside for you and pick them up in a timely manner.  After going over your newspaper coupons,  if you decide that you really need to have extras, go purchase more newspapers from a vendor.  Clear baseball card saver-sheets make great holders for your coupons and you can put them in a binder.  (Thank you Molly for that great tip!)

Go online to the store websites and check out what coupons that you can print.  I used a $5.00 off of a $20.00 purchase today at CVS that I printed from their site.  In addition, there are some really good websites for manufacturer coupons and other savings, and are highly recommended by Consumer Magazine. You might want to ask for a copy of each stores coupon policy, some stores are more lenient than others.  For example, Walgreen's has very strict coupon policies and does not allow multiple transactions.  Remember to get rain-checks for out of stock items and make sure to note on the rain-check any in store extra bonuses for purchasing the product.  For instance, CVS gave an "extra" $5 off next purchase for buying $15 in Nivea products today.  Splitting my transaction allowed me to use two $5 off coupons today in addition to the manufacturer's coupons.  This kind of savings offer should be noted on a rain check for future reference so the savings will not be lost.  It should be noted, If you have to fill out multiple rain checks and the store is busy, ask the cashier if you could fill them out nearby in an out of the way area and then bring them back to be checked over and signed.  Your fellow shoppers will appreciate you for this.

The greatest drawback that I see is that it takes time....a lot of time.  If I intend to add regular couponing to my schedule, I will have to do an inventory of my time schedule and decide where it will fit in and also what kind of time commitment can I make.  I have a very busy schedule as it is, even if my sisters tell you that I do not.  I live on a limited budget and I could definitely use the savings.  There is time I spend on the internet and some television time that I could give up and also a some time on my days off.  I do have obligations that are not negotiable.  I see women on television saying that they spend upwards of 40 to 60 hours a week couponing, saving their families hundreds of dollars, as evident in the stockpiles of merchandise stored in their homes and garages.  If you are only supporting yourself or your household is very small as mine is, this may not be a necessity unless you plan to donate the excess.

Another con is for me is that is seems most of the food and beverage coupon items are for processed foods and high sugar content beverages.  I have an opinion of my own in regard to consuming these products and offering them to my family.  I am on a budget and I watch my pennies closely, maybe it would be easier on my wallet to only buy food and beverages that I have coupons for, but in the long run my health will suffer.  And some say, if you have your health, you have everything....

If saving money by couponing sounds appealing to you, have fun with it, get a couple of family members or friends involved with you so that you can help each other out, support each other.  Maybe each person could be in charge of printing coupons from different venues.  Use all of your resources for savings.  Put a little money away, pay some bills, go on a cruise, maybe donate excess items.  In conclusion people I do ask one thing: Before you ask that friend that you haven't talked to in 4 months to "catch up" with you while pushing your third and fourth cart, before you have your teenager get up at 4am to avoid daytime store traffic, ask yourself, do I really need 112 deodorants?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Something Borrowed

Went and saw Something Borrowed tonight with mom and sister, Molly.  It was an official "girls night out," so we decided to dress Khardasian.  Molly sported her Coach hat and sunglasses and mom and I looked pretty snazzy ourselves.  But enough about us.

The movie is great, don't listen to the critics.  If you've read the book, you'll love it!  The characters were perfectly cast, Kate Hudson was perfect in her role and the story was well told, it held very close the book (except the watch was a jacket, those of you who read the book will understand what I mean).  I can't wait for Something Blue to come out....hurry please!

It is a chic flick, so if your beau isn't into them, grab your best friend, mom and/or sister and head to the theater.  Dress like a Khardasian, have fun!

Win a Paula Dean Bakeware set!

This is a brief heads up about a contest we'll be having during the month of June 2011.  We are looking for the best recipes!  Please submit your favorite recipes during the month of May, deadline will be May 31st, 2011.  All month long in June, we will be sampling 3 of our favorite submitted recipes a week.  At the end of June, we will decide who the winner of the best recipe is.  The winner will win a Paula Dean Bakeware set.

Participants must be followers of the Green Girl Kitchen.  You may submit as many recipes as you wish to.  We will announce weekly the recipes that we will be featuring.  At the end of the week, we will let you know how we liked the recipe and we will feature the recipes that we decided to cook.

Please submit your recipes to  or e-mail address at:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I was blind..but now I see, thank you Walmart!

Today I spent an hour or so at the optometrist at Walmart's for a contact lens exam.  The doctor was so pleasant as was the office staff, I really have to complement them on their "bedside" manner.  Following the exam, I was given my contacts to try out for a week.  I am wearing my reading glass prescription in my left eye and my distance script in my right.  Half of Hemet probably thinks that I am interested in them because I continuously wink one eye or the other, lol.

The great part is that when I came home and put my make up on, it was nice to be able to see when I put on my eye make up, on the other hand, I now realize how much make up is now necessary.

My eyes feel a little dry and I can feel the outline of the lenses very lightly on my eyeball.  Its not a "I've got something in my eye feeling," its not in any way painful nor are my eyes watering.

BTW: Did you know that we have about 27 tear ducts located on our bottom lid?  Apparently, as we mature, this ducts become blocked or clogged by hardened mucus, oils, etc; which can cause dry eyes and irritation.  So, the tip of today is: every night close your eyes and lightly wash your lash area with a cloth or cotton swap wet with a little warm water.

And remember, now that I have full vision with my new contacts, some of you may be better looking than I previous thought....and some not so much.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Is there anything better than eating a hotdog with EVERYTHING on it, while sitting on the curb in the garment district of Los Angeles?  Yes! Eating the hotdog with Everything on it while sitting with my daughters and my [mom who wouldn't sit] on the curb in LA.  What began as a day empty of too many obligations except to blog, work on our website that we are building and maybe toss in a little grocery shopping, turned in to a full blown Green Girl Adventure day!

We accidently detoured to LA after picking up my lovely second daughter, who mistakenly thought we were just, I don't know, going to the local shopping mall and was not too happy about 'being kidnapped.' In the end, she was very satisfied with the whole trip.  Most of all, #1 Green Girl, mom, had a great time with her daughter (me!) and granddaughters. 

  There are street vendors selling the best hot dogs ever with bacon, grilled onions, guacamole, ketchup, mayo, and mustard.......I am sure that I am missing something.

The shopping was terrific, we found everything we were looking for: two maid of honor dresses, a flower girl dress, MAC makeup and a cool hippie style messenger bag that I really wanted ($15). 

If you are looking for formal dresses for little girls and tweens, we found amazing deals on really cute stuff priced between $9 and $15.  Can't beat that.

Madi got to try on some couture dresses, she had fun and was stunningly beautiful.  Her and Jocelyn purchased their bridesmaid dress for a song and a dance, I sang and they danced.

If you have any questions about directions to the garment district or want any shopping tips, send and e-mail to us at

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lower your electric bill this summer by 25-75%

Mom has a terrific book from Country Living, it's title is Simple Country Wisdom, 501 old-fashioned ideas to simplify your life.  The author is: Susan Waggoner.  This little book is one of the best I have read on the subject of organizing and simplifying your life.  I recommend highly as a bedside book.

So, how can you lower your electric bill by 25-75%?  Well, one of the great tips in this book is to line dry your laundry.  If you prefer the dryer, line dry or place your clothes on a rack until almost dry and then put them in the dryer for 15 minutes or so.

If you find that your clothes are stiff, that is most likely because you are using too much laundry detergent.  I put 1/2 cup baking soda and even in my larger loads, I only use the smallest recommended detergent.  In addition, if you put 1/2 cup of white vinegar in rinse cycle, the vinegar works as a softener (don't worry, you can't smell the vinegar).  If you have young children who's laundry may need more attention, take a lesson from our grandmothers, soak their clothing overnight in the bathtub.  You can use the soak water to water your plants and be even more "green."  How "green" are you!

If your dryer is inside the residence or in an attached garage, it can cause your air conditioner to work overtime cooling the interior of the house, significantly raising your electric bill.

Putting these methods into practice may cost you a few extra minutes more doing laundry than normal, but remember how high our electric bills are going to get soon.

Happy Laundry, Tobe'


A Natural Way of Burial - Mark Harris

Remember when Nate Fisher of Six Feet Under was laid to rest in a woodland grave sans coffin?  This caused Americans all across the country to look outside the box when death came calling.

Grave Matters follows families who found in "green" burial a more nature, more economic, and ultimately more meaningful alternative to the tired and toxic send-off on offer at the local funeral parlor.

Eschewing chemical embalming and fancy caskets, elaborate and costly funerals, they have embraced a range of natural options, new and old, that are redefining a better way of death.  Environmental journalist Mark Harris examines this new green burial underground, leading into natural cemeteries and domestic graveyards, taking you aboard boats from which ashes and memorial "reefballs" are cast into the sea.  He follows a family that conducts a home funeral, one that delivers a loved one to the crematory, and another that hires a carpenter to build a pine coffin.

In the morbidly fascinating tradition of Stiff, Grave Matters details the embalming process and the environmental aftermath of the standard funeral.  Harris also traces the history of burial in America, from frontier cemeteries to the billion-dollar business it is today, reporting on real families who opted for more simple, natural returns.

For readers who want to follow the examples of these families and, literally, give back from the grave, appendices detail everything you need to know, from exact costs and laws to natural burial providers and their contact information.

Visit Mark Harris': website at:

Sources: Mark Harris; Simon & Schuster Inc.; and John Fullbrook III.