Froggy Girl Designs

A glimpse into my daily life of crafting, frugal living, and being a mom!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Frugal Friday: Favorite Meal for Hubby-Green Beans and Sausage

I'm a little late in the game today, but I hope ya'll understand. As I've said, my husband is getting ready to go on an extended trip, so I'm trying to make all his favorites for him before he leaves, as well as do a massive baking session for treats for him and the other guys while on the road.

Tonight, our dinner qualifies for frugal as well as favorite. Green beans, potatoes and sausage. The method is simple. Open 3-4 cans of green beans (or more/less depending on family size, this is VERY flexible), and dump it all, including the liquid into a stock pot. Peel and cube about 2 lbs. of potatoes and throw them in the pot. Slice 1 package of smoked sausage (we get it 10 for $10 around here pretty frequently) into the pot. I use a healthy dose of Nature's Seasons to season it up, and sometimes add just a bit more water to make sure the potatoes have enough liquid to cook. Then cover and simmer for 45 minutes or so to blend all the flavors and cook the potatoes through.

What's your favorite quick and frugal recipe?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Title? We don't need no stinkin' title!

Ok, maybe we do, but that's the best I could come up with for today. I'm sorry I've been so scarce lately, and I'll go ahead and apologize now because I'll continue to be scarce until after the 3rd. You see, hubby is getting ready to leave for a few months for Uncle Sam, so we're trying to squeeze 4 months worth of family time into these last few days. I know there are some of you out there who deal with long deployments all the time and my heart goes out to you. We've been very lucky that the only trips we've had to deal with to this point have been no longer than a week or two. I'm starting to flounder wondering how we'll all do without him here to keep me grounded and to love on us all. Sometimes I forget that for 4 years I didn't have anyone else there to pick up the slack when I was having a rough day with the kids, it seems like we've been together forever!
With that being said, I've started planning goals for while he's away to keep me sane-projects with the kids (they wanna get crafty for Christmas!!!), goals for my business, projects around the house to tackle. I'll miss him terribly, but want to make sure he has a nicer home to come back to than what he's leaving-even though it is still pretty durn clean from Thanksgiving! Does anyone have any tips for how to deal with long business trips like this without going completely crazy???
And onto better news...I've still been sewing up a storm. My boys have recently become addicted to boxer shorts so I let them loose on my fabric stash and have been sewing up their choices for them. I noticed on the Etsy boards that there were quite a few people looking for boxer shorts, and only one person selling I've started listing some in my store as well. We aren't so much into characters at our house, and every little boy wants something fun instead of just plaid or plain colors so that's what I'm hoping to provide. The jet planes were my 6 year old's first choice for shop boxers, I figure letting them pick out the fabrics for the ones in the store will just make sure they're little boy choices right?
Regardless, I'm having fun with the interaction with my boys, and teaching them how to run the sewing machine a little bit. I'm kind of a nervous nellie about it, I let them run the foot pedal and I guide the fabric. I'm so afraid they'll stick a little finger under the needle! It's funny though, because I am SO not a nervous mom. With 4 boys we have plenty of bumps and bruises (although surprisingly few visits to the emergency room! HAHA!), so I should just relax with the sewing machine right?
Todays question: How old were your kids when you started introducing them to "dangerous" crafts? Any tips for letting them start to be more creative than drawing (which they LOVE)? I'm wanting to get them crafty stuff for Christmas because that's what THEY want, I just don't know where to start! Thanks ya'll!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Well, that was unexpected...

Thanksgiving came and took us by storm! I overestimated myself in preparations so my computer time was severely limited. It's been one of those weekends, lovely,! First of all, my house is CLEAN (except for some lingering dishes and laundry of course!). I spent two days cleaning the heck out of this place in preparation for everyone coming here for Thanksgiving so it looks good, and I'm going to try and keep it that way. I'm working on some major decluttering around here, we simply have too much stuff.
The picture above is from about 2 weeks ago after my first seige on the front room. Now, my jacket is hung on the rack like it should be, the box of clothes is gone to the thrift, and the table is cleaned off. My sewing area was cleaned up, but I've been sewing like crazy the last few days so right now it has a bunch of projects in progress on it. I'm not even showing pics of my cutting table at this point because it's worse than it was! LOL!
Another development of the weekend was my husband's beloved Camaro breaking. Apparently the head gasket blew. Now, my knowledge of a cars mechanical workings is complete with putting the key in and turning it on, so all I know is that he said it's BROKEN. Horrid timing because he's leaving in just over a week for 4 months, and he wanted to drive his car, but will now be taking the truck instead. Time to start squirreling money away to pay for a new engine. I'm very thankful that he has the knowledge to fix it himself because just the engine alone is really expensive, let alone if we had to pay someone else for labor and the like.
I also got tagged last week by Green Bean Baby (if you haven't checked out her blog before, go do it...she has some SERIOUS talent!!!) . 7 random things about me...oy, coming up with these is gonna be hard, but here goes.

1. I've been pregnant 16 times. I've had 12 miscarriages for unknown reasons, even after a massive vampire session with my perinatologist while I was pregnant with Wyatt. I am VERY thankful that I have 4 healthy, happy babies now.

2. I've bitten my fingernails for as long as I can remember. My mom tried everything to get me to quit and nothing has ever worked. It even drives me crazy, but it's a mindless habit now.

3. I wanted to be a veterinarian as a kid until I found out that sometimes you have to put animals down. As an adult, I understand the need to do that sometimes, but I still can't handle an animal dying.

4. I'm addicted to Starbuck's Carmel Macchiato, but I try and limit myself to one every other week or so because it's insanely UN-frugal to pay over $4 for a cup of coffee.

5. I LOVE movies. I have a massive DVD collection of 400+ movies. I don't get to sit and watch them as often as I'd like anymore, but I still love them.

6. I hate putting laundry away. I don't mind doing the whole rest of the process, but for some reason putting it away is the worst. Again, very thankful for children on this one lol.

7. The most embarassing, and I can't believe I'm admitting this. When I was 5, I wanted to marry Michael Jackson and have baby zebras. Now, please remember I was 5...he was in his "Thriller" hay day, and was as yet untouched by plastic surgery. Also, I didn't understand how racial mixing worked at that point. Feel free to pick yourself up from the ground now lol.

Now, I tagged everyone I knew last time I got tagged, so if you're reading're tagged! Now have fun!

We're off to return our nephews home from their stay this weekend, then I'll be sewing away some more. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I'm going to leave you with this question..what's YOUR secret to getting all your laundry put away in a timely manner????

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm a Flunkie!

Ya, hi!!! Thanks for remembering I'm here, because I that is. Kinda.

I disappeared last week because I got seriously sick. I'm not one that gets sick often, but when I do, I do it right-as in...running a fever of 104.5 and not being able to move. That kind of thing. So that's where I went. And then I realized that Thanksgiving is this week. Who moved the calendar this year? Everything is coming SO fast! I'm trying so hard to stay on top of everything and I just wonder where the time goes. I know ya'll understand that one!
And those of you who have children will know how true the following statement is too....when you're sick, it's like someone has opened the gates of the zoo and let the creatures run wild. So today my cousin came to help me play catch up and get the house ready for Thanksgiving which I am hostessing this year. I'm incredibly nervous, I've never had my whole family in my house for a holiday (or any other day for that matter!) so I'm trying to get everything just right.
I'm going to work on a "Thankful" post for later in the week, and tomorrow is a meme I got tagged for...details forthcoming promise!
The picture above is one thing I'm very thankful for. A wonderful friend whose beautiful daughter we laughingly refer to as Wyatt's future wife. This is a picture of them "playing" a month or so ago. She's 4 months older than he to the day.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Money Making Monday: Netwinner

I've talked before about Netwinner, but I think it's time to talk about it again. They've been making some changes over there!
First, let me say that while Netwinner can be a waste of time if you don't manage it correctly, it can also be a nice way to take some extra moments while web pages are loading and the like and turn those into a few extra gift cards to have around.
The premise of the main site is this: You "spin" the wheel, and then if you match any of the numbers, you win points, or cash. Yes, you can win cash. Not long after I signed up last year I won $25, and received the check within a few weeks. I've cashed in over $100 in gift cards from them since starting out, and have enough points for another. Are you going to make millions? No. Will you earn enough points for a few extra gift cards to pay for extras or give as gifts? YES!
Like I said, the site has been undergoing some changes lately. They now have 2 different games available. The Money Wheel and Banko. Banko I haven't played yet, it appears to be similar to Bingo. I'm going to check it out when I have a chance though! The Money Wheel: you get 100 spins a day and it works like I mentioned above. It's super simple.
I tend to leave the window open in my browser throughout the day, and click whenever I walk by, or sit down to take a break for a few minutes. Give it a shot, and have some fun! Netwinner is a fun, easy way to earn a little extra for your family!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A nice relaxing weekend..those really happen?

Every now and again, the stars align and we actually have a relatively relaxing weekend. Bobby is leaving in a few weeks for Army business for 4 months, so we're working on getting everything prepared here at home for him to be away-vehicle maintenance and the like. So he worked on those things this weekend, and I spent alot of time sewing. It's mental preparation ok? And sewing is the default way for me to relax. I always feel like a day is incomplete if I haven't touch my machine-please tell me I'm not the only one?

We still have alot to do-plastic on the windows, move my sewing room, and finish patching the wall in our bedroom where the previous tenants did a REALLY bad drywall job. I have all these high hopes of getting a million things done while he's gone that never seem to get done with him here. I'm dreading him leaving because he is totally the other half of me, and I tend to be a little lost without him around.
That being's the jumpstart to my holiday sewing. I did 2 new visors this weekend, but this one I think is my favorite. I used the Joel Dewberry Rose Magenta fabric, with a lime green blender fabric for the contrast pockets. I love the way it turned out!

I'm trying to start stocking my Etsy store quite a bit more. Hoping holiday sales will kick in soon!
With all the recalls and things, and my Buy Handmade pledge (check the link in my sidebar for more's a VERY cool thing) I'm really trying to come up with ideas for all the family members to receive handmade gifts from us. What kinds of gifts are YOU coming up with for a safe and hopefully handmade Christmas?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Baby Wyatt News Flash!

The boy is crawling!!!! Less than 5 months old and he's crawling. Aye yae yae I'm in trouble now!

Frugal Friday post will be up later. I'm fighting a bug so it's slow going!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Another Toy Recall-The Date Rape Drug? You have to be kidding me

This latest recall is just making me sick to my stomach. The date rape drug, in a child's toy. Aqua Dots is not something we have, or were going to have in our house, but regardless I am just sick. How many pedophiles will be going dumpster diving in coming weeks for this super popular toy? When is this going to end?
Christmas will be different this year. We had already pledged to buy handmade as much as possible, but I was hitting a wall with ideas for my older kids. Let alone gifts for other family members. Now I'm searching out toys NOT made in China, and our list is consisting of LOTS of books for our little ones.
I'm also looking for toys like these to round things out. I love the "crunchy" feel of the Waldorf toys, which help maintain the types of things we teach around here anyway. I'd just never really looked at them before all these recalls.
It's ridiculous...and something needs to change QUICK!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Another not so exciting day...

I spent most of today working on a bib design. Easy enough right? WRONG! I couldn't find any patterns online that were what I was wanting so I started trying to draft my own, and I cannot figure it out for the life of me. I'm wanting a side closure, that's a decent size to catch drool for my monkey. I have the perfect shape in my head, but I'm not getting the pattern itself onto paper very well. Sigh. One day it will come, probably after all my babies are out of the bib stage I'm guessing.
I've got some luscious Minkee fabric here to use, a(nother) blanket for Wyatt is in order I'm sure. I've been pretty picture starved around here lately haven't I? Tomorrow I'll post those pics of the front's looking REALLY good. So until then...I'll leave you with this. We have a cat that thinks he's a dog, and that also thinks that Wyatt is HIS baby. This is the result:

Doesn't that face just say..someone get this cat off of me???

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ya I blew it already

It's only the 6th and I've already blown NaBloPoMo. Do I get kicked out of the club now or can I try to redeem myself and not do it again? (Man I feel like a 4 year old who just got caught eating paste or something!)
My marathon cleaning session caught up with me from Sunday I think, so I spent most of the day doing LOTS of laundry and ironing of new fabric that came in. I also threw in some sewing of course, am I the only one who feels like the day is incomplete if I don't touch my sewing machine at all?
Here's what came out of it though:

Doesn't look like much does it? It's a smaller version of the Fix-It bag. I wanted some of these for Bobby and the rest of us to be able to use as handwarmers in our coat pockets this winter. None of us are fans of mittens so these will be perfect! I've also got these in my shop if anyone is interested.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Day 4: Simply Sunday

Today has been spent on my dungeon room-the front room that I posted about here. It's about 3/4 of the way done at this point, after a few really long hours in there. Lots of things put away in their correct places, LOTS of trash, and 3 huge trash bags to the thrift. I meant to take pictures, again, but I forgot and now its way too dark to get even halfway decent ones.
Is this time change kickin' anyone else's booty? It is mine! Gain an hour, whatever! The boys were all wound for sound today and did not want to go to bed...I'm so loving Mitch Daniels right now for deciding it was a good idea for Indiana to start daylight savings time (insert sarcasm here).
In other news...well, there's really no other news. I still haven't heard from Hilary that won one of my rice bags, so Hilary, please email me!!!!!! I have a couple of VERY belated things to mail out this week as well, poor Barb who won my last giveaway has been waiting so very patiently, so her package is going out this week. Sigh, I feel so bad!!!
Back tomorrow with more random musings and craftiness!!! The boxers above are one of many pairs I've done over the last few weeks. My older two boys have discovered that mama made boxers are the best since they can pick and choose fabrics and stitching. I love seeing them wear things I make, and seriously LOVE them!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

And the winner is!!

OK, ya'll this was SO much fun! I had 159 total comments, two were duplicates (or oops here's my email lol), and one was a "don't enter me", so I didn't include those. And thanks to pulling numbers for me, the winner is:

Number 21 - Hillary. Please shoot me an email with your mailing address, Blogger wouldn't let me see your profile to email you! Also, stop by to pick the fabric for your slipcover.

And...simply because all your comments made me so happy. I picked a second winner. And that winner is....Holly! I've emailed you Holly, so if you don't get it, please shoot me an email as well ok?

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by and entered to win. Your feedback on my bags is greatly appreciated! And as another token of my appreciation, I am offering up to everyone else a discount! Shoot me an email with "Happy Fall Rice Bag" in the subject line, and your order and fabric choices, and I will give you a 10% discount of your entire order. Right now I only have large sizes in my store that measure 5" x 20", but I also have available medium (5" x 10"-$11.50 regular price) and small (5" x 5"-$9.50 regular price).

Friday, November 02, 2007

Day 2

Well, I almost went to bed without posting...that'd be a heck of a start, wouldn't it? We've had a fussy baby this week so neither me, nor him, is getting much sleep.
That being said, I managed to make quite a large dent in my front room today. I'll definitely have this done by the end of the month! I meant to take pictures of today's progress, but forgot. Sigh.
I also found out that my rice bags will be the featured product for November on one of my Yahoo groups. I am so excited! I really think these are a great product and can't wait to start getting them out there more. I've been listing on Etsy of course, but am kind of floundering for other ways to get exposure.
I don't know if I have any other small business owners who read this, but if I you have any tips for me? I'm an active member of various email groups and forums, and have my store in my signature line; I'm donating some products to a local silent auction benefiting Habitat for Humanity; I've been leaving business cards in various places around town and the like; and now have a featured spot to over 100 group members. I know it all has to go it's own way, in it's own time, but I also know in order to have a successful business it takes hard work, so please feel free to bombard me with any and all tips you may have!!!!
The picture up top is Mattie wearing his Halloween costume pants I made for him. He went as a pirate and this was the closest I got to a picture of his whole costume. Man that kid loves to strip! He loves the pants though, and the pattern was super simple, so I already have another pair halfway done for him, but in a normal pant length.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!! I'm closing comments at noon tomorrow and drawing a winner so enter now or forever hold your peace ya'll!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

It's a big month-NaBloPoMo and 30 day Organizational Challenge

One side of my cutting table.

Yes, it's official I have lost my ever loving mind. Not only have I signed on for NaBloPoMo which means I'll be making it a mission to post every single day in November, I have also signed on with OrgJunkie's 30-day Organizational Challenge. We'll see how close I come to succeeding at either.
The center of my cutting table.
The 30-Day Challenge comes at a great time for me. See, our house has electrical "issues". It was built before grounding outlets was the norm I guess (I have little to no electrical knowledge), so we have areas that just don't work right. We're trying to get our landlords to fix it, but they understandably are reticent to completely overhaul the electrical system of the house for as cheap as it rents. So, anyway, back to my point....the room I've been using as my sewing room doesn't have electricity working in it at all. We've rigged a light over my cutting table and I've been using our second living room to actually sew in. It also doubles as our dining room, and then when my aunt passed away and I inherited a bunch of her stuff, it also became a dumping ground for that stuff that I need to go through, sort, and organize.
This is half the room.
My goal at the end of the 30-Day Challenge is to transform the front room into my official sewing room, or at least have it organized enough that we're closer to that happening, as well as organizing my cutting table. And I am posting before pictures, but please don't judge. Gosh I am so embarassed! I didn't even vacuum before taking these, so forgive the crumbs on the floor! I've definitely got my work cut out for me!

Now, if you've made it this far...don't forget to enter the giveaway!!! I'm closing it on Saturday so keep em coming!