A bunch of my friends got together this weekend and shared our “favorites” at a Favorites Party. There were some AWESOME ideas shared. Many of them were new to me, but I totally trust the women who shared them so I am going to post them for you as well as a “to do” list for me. I know this blog entry is SO long, but I think you'll be glad you read it. I sifted through and picked my favorites of all of the favorites. I've categorized them as well. It's good stuff!
Sugar Cookies – When making sugar cookies turn your cookie sheet upside down and roll your dough on the bottom of the pan. Cut out the shapes and remove excess cookie dough. Then put the pan in the fridge for ten minutes before cooking. Your shapes will not get distorted from transferring them to the pan and they will not expand in the oven. Perfect shaped cookies every time.
Increase your kids piano practice by making them earn TV/Video game time 1 minute of TV for each minute of practice time.
Save money shopping online by googling the website’s name with “coupon codes” before checking out. More often than not you will find some sort of a discount.
Instead of having kids order paperback books out of the Scholastic Book orders have them take the order into the library as a book list.
If you get something stuck on your iron or simply need to clean it turn the iron on a medium setting and wipe it off with dryer sheet. It will come right off!
Family History – Take family history classes at home at www.familysearch.org research helps tab, then select online classes. Also BYU independent study has free online family history classes go to ce.byu.edu.
Melatonin is a natural herb that helps you sleep. It is found in super markets. (There are also drops in health stores that I use on “special occasions” for my children.)
Chicken – When you buy bulk chicken, when it is on sale, grill a whole bunch of it and cube it before freezing. Then when you want to make something that has chicken you just have to grab the bag and the worst part of the job is already done. You can also can chicken at the Cannery in Preston.
AMAZON – Buy your dippers on Amazon (and everything else) joining Amazon Mom gives you 15% off, choosing “subscribe and save” saves you another 15% so a box of 228 (size 2) Pampers is around $30. They are delivered monthly to your door AND you get free 2–day shipping on ALL Amazon Orders. If you don't need dippers you can become an Amazon Prime Member and get free 2-day shipping.
True Stories – Tell your children about your life (or theirs) at bedtime. It is one time that they are still and want to listen to whatever I tell them. This is often the best part of the day and when I teach them about the person I am and want to be, and tell them what kind of people I believe they are and will become. It is a great time to teach them the gospel.
Shave your legs with conditioner. It’s a great way to use up cheap conditioner and your legs will love it.
Knock back some serious fruits and veggies by making a smoothie from nothing but fruit, veggies (if you’re up to it), crushed ice and a little vanilla yogurt. Mmmmm.
Blog – Print your blog using blurb.com. Monitor who views your blog using statecounter.com and follow others’ blogs by setting up Google Reader. Find stock photos at www.photosupport.com/resources/stock-photos.html
Red Box Online – Before you go (or send your husband) reserve your movie online and you will know what box has the movie you want to see. You can get the most popular movies without leaving it to chance.
USU Students are awesome inexpensive resources. You can post off-campus jobs for just about anything you don’t want to (or can’t) do. Go here. That place is dripping with talented people desperate for money!
Salt Lake City Connect Pass – This pass is AWESOME for a family adventure go here. For a one-day adult pass it is $24 and includes 13 venues in the SLC aria. Our family favorites are Hogle Zoo, This Is the Place Haritage Park, Lunch at The Lion House Pantry, Discovery Gateway, Clark Planetarium, Thanksgiving Point, Utah Museum of Natural History, and The Snowbird Tram. For $24 dollars you can do a whole lot in one day!
Glasses – Get your next pair of glasses for $10 or less at zennioptical.com. There is a huge variety. You put in your prescription and they are so inexpensive.
Get in Shape - Rip 60 – It is a great new work out video/system! The Master Swim Class at Sports Academy – It is for adults of all swimming levels. You don’t have to be a member and it is well worth the fee!
Bountiful Baskets - This is a favorite of a lot of people! If it is available in your city give it a try. Each Monday you sign up for a basket full of fruits and vegetables that you pick up the following Saturday. It can be a blessing to families on so many levels.
Li’Lash. Eyelash Stimulator. It make eyelashes grow like crazy (or not fall out) Put it on nightly like a clear eyeliner. It costs allot, but your licensed beauticians can get it for about $85. It makes for awesome lashes.
Econoheat – They are ceramic heaters that heat a room. You can put on a thermostat and they cost a fraction of other electric heaters to run. They look nice and are not hot to the touch.
Ceramic Curling Irons – They are much hotter than normal ones and a they suck the moisture out of your hair so the curl stays in. Chi makes them, but Brazilian Heat ones are much cheaper and work just as well.
Hiking in Cache Valley – Get the little blue book entitled “Cache Trails” at Al’s Sporting Goods for planning.
Pampered chef batter bowl – It measures 8 cups, and is just the perfect mixing bowl, for anything. Pop on the lid and store whatever you need to in the fridge. It is also the perfect container to cook a Barbie Cake Dress in!
Calmoseptine is the best diaper rash cream. (In Cache Valley you can get it at Shopko in the pharmacy section.)
Upholstery twist pins. Hate making bunk beds? Twist these little things in through all the layers of bedding into on the bottom side and the wall side edge of the bed. They keep all the bedding in place and makes the bed making process quick and easy for the kids, and it looks great every day.
Vitamin D3 Supplements – are AWESOME for helping you to stay HEALTHY and HAPPY in the winter. Go get some today!
Hamburger Press – Check out the one from Taylor Gifts (online). Not only does it press them, but it stacks them for storing or freezing.
Nasal Spray – Where have you been all of my life? Why am I 33 and just learning about this stuff? I can actually breath when I have a cold. It isn’t a glamorous process, but it is worth it.
Great Game - Wacky Six
Valentines – Fancy Dance. Get dressed up really fancy. Do the girls hair and make up. Have a candlelight dinner and Martinelli’s. After dinner clear the front room floor for some dancing with your family.
Valentines – Cut out hearts and write specific things you love about each child and spread them on the floor.
Easter – The week before Easter have an activity each night that can relate to Christ’s ministry and mission. For Example – learn to make bread and read about the bread of life: light an oil lamp and learn about the 10 virgins: have your husband be the donkey and act out the Triumphal entry, etc. The Easter Bunny comes on Saturday and on Sunday have a special egg hunt where each egg tells part of the Easter story.
Anniversary – Celebrate your anniversary as a family. Make it, for example, Kirk Day. You can check out my friend’s blog to see how she does it: Badgett Day.
Christmas – Every Christmas morning before opening presents her dad would give the children all a letter that he wrote as his gift. She has kept them all.
Christmas – Let the kids sleep under the tree or if your up to it even the whole family can join it.
Christmas – Limit gifts to:
1. Something they need
2. Something they want
3. Something they will cherish
4. A book
Websites and Blogs:
Mint.com – I agree that this is an AWESOME resource for tracking family expences. I have used many and this one is best and free. You can get apps for it too.
Commonsensemedia.org or Dove.org – Before going to any movie, purchasing books or video games check out the content.
Allrecipes.com – Go for the four and five stars and read some of the comments for ways to improve them.
Goodreads.com – Find out what friends are reading and get ideas.
Mormonyouth.org – Can help with FHE for teenagers.
SFherbs.com – bulk, inexpensive herbs
Sistersatthewell.org – A way to enjoy and get more out of scripture study by doing it with a group.
KSL.com classifieds – Split Disneyland park hopper tickets, finish your basement, buy a timeshare. You can find it all!
Pandora.com or Pandoraradio.com – Listen to the music you like and let Pandora DJ.
Audible.com – purchase audio books.
PinchingYourPennies.com - This sites five star system will help you know what deals at the grocery store are really good deals. The site is confusing to get started, but once you are in the right spot it is awesome. Go to "State Forms". Scroll down to select your state. Scroll down to go to the store where you shop and then click the link to view the current list or ad.
Freebies2deals – A blog that can help you save.
Ourbestbites.com – When you try a new recipe from this blog you will feel like you have cooked it before because they give you lots of helps and hints.
MyFitnessPal.com is a great resource for calorie counting and tracking exercising.
Princesshairstyles.com will give you some fresh ideas for doing hair.
LDS.org – You can listen to conference and listen to Ensign articles. Your kids can even listen to some of the Friend articles. The stake and ward directories are awesome. Plus all of the great stuff that has always been there.
Sugardoodle.net – a billion LDS ideas
The Anatomy of Peace (The Arbinger Institute)
Change your Questions, Change your Life
The Parenting Breakthrough
The Power of Positive Parenting
The 5 Love Languages
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
The Total Money Makeover
The History of Joseph Smith by his Mother
Raising Up a Family Unto the Lord
Man’s Search for Meaning
Bonds that Make Us Free