Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Easiest, quickest chocolate cookies you'll ever make!!

I got this recipe from my dear friend Darlene, its really the ultimate busy mommy's recipe for chocolate cookies and it tastes wonderful, easy enough for the kids to do too (if your hands are occupied by a baby who wont sit on the floor :))!
Mix together: 1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
6 tablespoons Cocoa
Add and stir: 2 Eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
Add 2 cups flour and 2 teaspoons baking bowder.
Roll roughly in to small balls, then roll in icing sugar. Arange on cookie sheet and bake at 180 degrees Celcius for 4-8 minutes.

Monday, April 29, 2013

How I homeschool for free!

You know being the (cheapskate) rebel against the system that I am, I decided that Homeschooling doesn't need to be more expensive than regular school, not to mention private school! And lets face on one income is hard enough without adding the crazy expensive curriculums each year. So here's how I do it:

My eldest (girl) is in Grade 1, so I researched what BASIC skills she needed for this year and went on this:

10 Bare Basic skills to learn in Grade 1

1. She needs to be able to count and recognize numbers from 0-100
2. Basic sums: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division
3. Problem solving, concept of money
4. All shapes and colours (different shades too)
5. Time, Days of the week, Months, today's date
6. Recognize, read and write the sounds of the alphabet
7. Be able to draw a straight line from left to right crossing the midsection of her body, with out  
     picking up her hand
8. Neat and correct penmanship skills
9. Recognize shapes or objects drawn over each other (Good visual discrimination), folow  
    instructions correctly and recognizing sounds, remembering facts of a story (Good Auditory
10. Basic lifeskills and general knowledge, including physical science, geography, biology and  

Please note that the above list is not extensive, and that I am not an expert on early child development, this list is compiled based on my own research.

I searched for curriculum that included the above skills and we are very happy with what I found so far. This our maths curriculum. Free Maths Program has curriculum from Grade 1 to Grade 5, divided in easy to follow sections and all skills is covered.

 The most wonderful thing about homeschooling is that when you see your child struggle with a certain skill, you can put it on hold and then get back to it later, this is what I have done on a few occations and it works wonders. This way your child don't get discourage and end up having a negative experience with certain subjects or skills

We started with an intensive reading program and I bought a litteracy work book which is used in our state schools. But my daughter got discouraged with the literacy program and it didn't cover the words and sounds long enough to actually be remembered.

 So we stopped both and I searched for a good phonics program, after my friend told me about one she used, but I didn't want to buy one (read couldn't aford it). This is our phonics and literacy curriculum.

We are really enjoying this program! Progressive Phonics (we're doing the Alphabetti program now) is based on very cute stories that the mom reads with the child with certain words typed bigger and in bold that the child must "read".

For the rest we do interest led lapbooks. I've found some really great free printable lapbooks on Homeschoolshare. We do our lapbooks in a big scrapbook - those ones with the blue pages. It keeps the work contained.

For my three year-old I just print out some worksheets that I know he would be able to do and I've also made some file folder games, which keeps him busy. I found some really nice file folder games at Filefolderfun and Mr Printables but I also made my own using paint colour cards I found for free at the home-improvement store :)

It really is possible to homeschool for free!

Disclaimer: I did not recieve any payment or incentive for my opinions in this post

Do you know how to chop up a watermelon?

I didn't either! My mom used to cut it in slices like a loaf of bread and then peel and chop each.and.every slice. NOPE too much work and definitly too much trouble!

 photo credit:

Once, before I was maried I bought a watermelon and I couldn't face chopping it, so I stashed on top of my kitchen cabinet, (where I couldnt reach it without a chair - dont judge I had a VERY tiny kithchen). I completely forgot about it, and one evening I was cooking something and it E.X.P.L.O.D.E.D!!! Everything was covered in rotten watermelon beer!! eew! So I stopped buying watermelon altogether. But my kids LOVE it so whats a mom to do? (and I defnitly didnt want to have another melon-explosion!)

Here's the basics Three easy steps:

 work on the biggest tray you have with the sharpest knife
1. cut in half, then quarters
2. make slices in the flesh vertically and then horisontally like a # with out cutting through the skin
3. cut along the skin to seperate the flesh. scoop out and cut in to smaller pieces if desired.

You only have 4 big pieces of skin to throw away and it literally takes a few minutes to cut up!

For a busy mom, this is as easy as it gets! :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

5 things I save on by NOT buying the cheapest

I have always had this unwritten list of things I buy that is non-negotiable. I figured if I keep to these guidelines I actually save in the long run. See I am by nature very cheap! I love a great bargain but some things you just can't skimp on. So here's my list...

1.  Tea  - I never, ever, ever buy cheap tea. I buy the best quality I can for the most reasonable price. If I buy cheap, we end up not using it because its so awful or we have to use two teabags per cup just to make it strong enough. So I save by buying quality Tea.

2.  Dishwashing sponges - you know those with the scouring pad on the one side of the sponge. I don't use those when it starts getting dingy and gross! When I buy cheap sponges I can't get past using it about three time before its so completely ruined I HAVE to throw it out. So I buy the best quality on sale (of course) in that way it keeps longer and I save in the end.

3. Chicken - Did you know that frozen chicken is pumped full of water before its frozen? It looks big and plumb but when its cooked the chicken shrinks and you've got a pot full of water. So no frozen chicken for me I buy fresh and freeze it myself.

4. Crumbed chicken schintzels or steaklets - I buy the best quality I can find and keep to that brand. The cheaper brands has so much cereal and fillers in that I dont know if we can even call it chicken- anything! I also like to mince fresh chicken at home and use that in chicken burgers - recipe coming soon!

5. Frozen mixed veggies - when ever I succomb to the pressure of buying the cheapest brand of frozen veg I am always disappointed! I keep finding beanstalks on my plate!

This list is not extensive and I will add to it as I remember the rest of my list. But these are defnitely my non-negotiables. Yet it doesnt mean I buy most expensive!!! I have found the brands I like with trial and error and always look for sales on those specific brands.


6. Refuse bags: If you buy the cheapest you end up using two or three to prevent the rubbish from falling out. I buy the strongest, least expensive garden refuse bags for my household rubbish.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Joyful heart


This is officially my first post. I am a Wife first of a great Man, and Mom second of three Crazy kids! Im a Baptist. We homeschool.

 I struggle, I fail, I wake up tired, I am human, no super mom, no sleek professional just a mom. I sleep too little, forget the laundry in the washer for hours, um days, drink too much tea, I design wedding invitations, try to keep a journal, I love vintage things, roses, dustypink, chocolat, french decor and my Blackberry! I try to be as feminine as possible, to do a hundred things at the same time, I try to stay sane and healthy and take a regular shower!

But most of all I try to have a joyfull heart! Between school work, house work thats never done and a bible reading plan thats never up to date, I remember how hard I prayed to be a stay at home mom, how hard I cried when I had to leave my one year old daughter at daycare.

 My prayer has been answered, though its as much a blessing as a struggle but I am so thankful to be able to be at home and cook and clean and teach my kids. We are far from rich and most of the time we struggle to make ends meet, but its totally worth it!

This blog is my documentation of how I am trying to become a more organized home-maker, more feminine wife, more fun mom, cutting sugar and chemicals, grow my own food (haven't gotten around to try this yet - but one step at a time right?) bake my own bread, read more of Gods Word and teaching my kids to be Godly! Tall order? yes! Can I do it? With HIS strength EVERYTHING is possible! LETS DO THIS!!