Saturday, August 10, 2013

Better than Olive Garden alfredo!

As an alfredo lover I can be pretty picky about my sauce. To me the famous Olive Garden fettuccine alfredo has always been a little bland to me.
My mom shared this recipe with me and we made it when she visited last, it was SO good! Kind of reminded me of the alfredo you can get at a restaurant called Frosos from my hometown of Marysville, WA.

1 pkg Pasta (penne or fettuccine)
1 stick of butter
1 clove of minced garlic
1 pint of heavy cream
1 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp cream cheese
salt to taste
white pepper to taste

Make pasta according to package directions.
In a sauce pan over medium heat – melt butter and add garlic and cook for two minutes, then add in heavy cream and cream cheese and heat until bubbling, but do not boil.
Remove from heat and let sit for a minute then add in Parmesan Cheese and mix until the cheese melts (removing it from heat prevents the cheese from separating or curdling).
Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the hot sauce into the noodles and serve.

I thought this was so delicious and I hope you do to. :)
Thanks for reading,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Homemade baby wipes

I know there are a million and a half homemade baby wipe recipes/blog posts out there but I feel mine will be the best because of trial and error. lol
I have made several batches of homemade baby wipes and just got frustrated time after time because they would start to grow mildew and I'd end up throwing half the batch away which meant I wasn't saving the money that I'd made these dang things to save with! 
I recently dove back into my homemade baby wipe research after a lengthy break from making them and stumbled upon a tip that so far has made the difference between mildew and no mildew. 

Here is my most recent recipe/directions.

Ingredients & Supplies:
Airtight Container
2 1/4 cups water (This depends on the size paper towel roll you use - you may need slightly more or less.)
1.5 Tbs Baby Wash (your favorite brand/scent)
1 Tbs Baby Oil (generic works fine)
1 Tbs White Vinegar (supposed to inhibit growth of mildew)
1 Roll Viva brand paper towels 

1. Bring water to a boil on stove top and allow to cool to room temperature.  This step is important as it removes the bacteria from the water thereby keeping your wipes from molding (the step that has made the difference this time around so there must be truth to this!). 

2. While the water is boiling, use a NON-serrated SHARP knife to cut the roll of paper towels in half.  Place one of the halved paper towel rolls cut side down in the container. You will use 1/2 of the roll for each batch of wipes. 

3.  Mix water, baby bath, and baby oil, vinegar.  

4.  Pour the liquid mixture over the paper towels and close with the airtight lid.

5. As soon as the liquid is cool enough, you can remove the inner cardboard. 

Notes: I use a tupperware bowl I already had to soak the paper towels in then when I remove the cardboard I put the roll into a left over wipe box I have. I have seen posts where people have bought tupperware in the size to fit the roll and pull them out from there but I already had a box to use so I am not going to waste the money. You can unroll and fold the wipes accordion style but I just unroll a few times and put it back in the box with the unrolled wipes on top so I have several that pull right through. I only have to do that once a day so it's no biggie. Also, i have heard good things about Bounty Select-a-Size brand paper towels so if they are less expensive I'll be trying those next batch. 

Please comment below if you have you make your own and do it differently or if you have any questions. 
Thanks for reading!

Tips and Tricks for surviving the expense of back to school

Hi all!
One of my readers, Kevin, requested this post and I thought it was a great idea!
I'm going to let you all know what things we do to help us survive the expense of 3 school aged children going back to school and hope that you will comment below with what your families do. Lets help each other out!!
To start, we don't wait until the last moment to buy everything at once. Spreading out the purchases over the Summer allows us to not get hit so hard at once and also to take advantage of some sales on last school year's items.
 Our kids don't go back to school for another few weeks but we've already purchased their backpacks from Children's Place online at great prices for 2 and a Jansport for our older off of Amazon.

We shop clearance racks throughout the year to buy the opposite season's items at the lowest prices (we have jeans for our daughter at $5-$10 a piece stocked up for the next 2 years!). Children's place had great prices on their jeans last year and they really held up for our younger son who is HARD on his wardrobe. They usually have promo codes you can find to use when shopping online and you get an extra 5% if you use a Children's Place card.
Shoes for kids can be tricky because you want something that will last but you also don't want to spend a fortune... We try Ross for shoes because you can get brand name shoes for a fraction of the price. Last year our daughter got Converse at Target and she is still using them so they held up pretty well for the $25 we spent.
School supplies can be trickier because you don't have much choice as to what the teachers require your child to have. We shop at Walmart because that's were we find good prices and we don't have many other options in our small town.
One thing I have learned is to not buy supplies using the generic lists stores put out before you hear from your school/teacher. We did this last year because we were anxious to get the items and this resulted in another trip to get the correct items and then another to return all the items we bought that were NOT required (thanks to the store so kindly offering us those generic lists early). I'm sure the store's goal is to get you to buy those things and then just keeping them even though you don't need them. Money in their pockets!
Also, in younger grades you're asked to buy markers, pencils, etc to go into community bins for the whole class to use from so if that's the case we don't go all out on the fanciest, most expensive items.

There are the things we do, please comment below with your family's ways of getting through the back to school season without breaking the bank!
As always, thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Photo Greetings By Casey!

Hey all! I'm hoping EVERYONE will go check out my Facebook page for my new business adventure at this link ---> Photo Greetings By Casey.
These are packs of 5 greeting cards with envelopes that are beautified by my own photos for only $5! You can choose any 5 images you choose or you can choose a theme such as flowers and I will choose 5 for you. Here is an example of what your pack of cards would look like....
Here are a FEW of the options I have to choose from...

So go check me out, contact me if you're interested and THANKS for stopping by. :)