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Laura's at-home business:

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Rachel's cottage industry:


Switch to Health (S2H) STEP

You may remember my post on the S2H REPLAY.  If you don’t, read the review on the REPLAY first and then come back.  Much of the way the program works is the same, the only difference is that the STEP keeps track of steps you take and gives you a reward code for every 10,000 steps.  I was really surprised how quickly I could get to 10,000 steps even though I spend some of the day sitting at my computer for work.  I averaged 5,000 steps a day.  On days I ran, I could get 5,000 steps just from my run.  I actually found it fun to see how many steps I took in an average day.  So you can probably expect to get 3 or 4 reward codes a week with the STEP. (more…)


Gift Idea: Rice Heat Therapy Bag

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Dec 2, 2011 | Free-for-all Friday, Sewing | Tags: , , , ,

A few years ago, I made a rice bag out of some bright red corduroy pants that I found at a second hand store.  I simply sewed two rectangles together like a pillow, left a hole and filled it with rice and then finished sewing it up.  (more…)


German Rye Bread – No knead

After mixing

Rising in the sun

After the initial rise

While living in German, we used to hear the refrain quite often (from Germans) “how can you eat that bread in America?” (referring to Wonder bread).  Every Saturday morning, we’d walk down to the local farmer’s market and pick up some fantastic German Rye bread and that’s when I realized what I had been missing out on my whole life!  Now that we’re back in the states, I can’t find a good substitute anywhere so I stumbled upon this recipe in “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” which I adapted and it’s almost a perfect match.  In fact, I think it’s better. (more…)


Website Project: After

So a while ago (Mar 11 to be exact), I posted about a website project before and after.  As you may or may not know, things don’t always go as expected.  I am pleased to announce that the project is finally complete and it went live a few weeks ago.  The main hangup on this site was the sheer mass of content.  For a small school, they have around 358 pages and I had to transfer it all.  But I have to say, I’m glad it’s all over with and live.  It’s a vast improvement from their other site and I had a lot of fun with it.  But lest you think I was twiddling my thumbs while waiting for this site to be finished, I completed 5 other sites from March until now.  Only one of them is live, the rest are all waiting for clients to complete the input of content (including my sister…).


Let there be light!

Velux 14' Sun Tunnel

The outside dome isn't too intrusive

Bright light filters in from 8a - 5p

Our house is dark.  It’s surrounded by trees (which we love), but that doesn’t provide much light into the windows nor are there ample windows in our living room area.  We often have to turn on a light during the day to see what’s going on.  As a result, we spend a lot of time in the sun room, which I’m very thankful for!  I’ve often thought of installing skylights, but I thought they’d cost thousands of dollars to install and since we had an attic, it may not work. (more…)


We’re back!

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Jul 15, 2011 | Free-for-all Friday |

And we had a great time in the mountains.  We went hiking and biking almost every day and swam at lakes and rivers too.  Our daughter just loved every minute of it.  I think towards the end, though, she started missing her friends because she kept asking if we were going to church.  So it was time to come home.  Getting away is nice, but when you have such great friends, it’s hard to be away too long!  Sorry for the lack of photos – just got a new computer and my card reader isn’t compatible, have to buy another cable…. (more…)



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Jun 24, 2011 | Free-for-all Friday |

So my first Master’s class is officially over and I really think I did okay.  I had a rough start, but after a few weeks, I got into the groove and actually got ahead of my work.  The most challenging part was working on 3 different web projects while spending 15-20 hours on my course work and being a full time mom.  But my husband is a teacher and he was home full time at the beginning of June which helped tremendously.  My next class starts the first week of July – yippee!

So with that in mind, I’m taking a 3 week vacation.  We are going to the family cabin in the mountains and we’re excited to get away from our very busy lives.  That means that I won’t be posting for a few weeks.  I need a break from everything.  I think that’s what I’ve learned the most about in the last few months – when to say “no” and take a break.  The world won’t end if I take a break – a very humbling thought in deed.

So I hope you all enjoy your Fourth of July holiday and I’ll see you here soon.


Organizing a Desk Area

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Jun 10, 2011 | Free-for-all Friday, Organization | Tags: ,

Hanging shelf holds my backup drives

Milk crates hold important files and coupon inserts

Fabric bins hold various items I don't need in my desk

Despite being an organization freak, my desk always looked more “tangled” than “tidy”.  I really wish I had a before photo to share with you because I’m sure some of you can’t believe it.  For the most part, my desk was very “tangled” because I lacked a good organizational system for my desk.  Just having a few drawers wasn’t enough for me.  So piles of coupon inserts, magazines and bills would sit on my desk.  I’d find a bill a few days before it was due by the grace of God.  Not a good system.  So I decided to change that. (more…)


Creating an Emergency Fund

Last summer, my husband and I listened to Dave Ramsey on CD.  After listening to him, we felt empowered to take control of our spending and start saving.  After almost a year, we have created some good habits, but I wouldn’t say that we’re as frugal as we really could be. (more…)


Homemade Granola

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May 13, 2011 | Food, Free-for-all Friday | Tags: , ,

Use non-stick cooking spray on the measuring cup for honey and maple syrup

Bowl before microwave

Bowl after microwave

I think there is nothing better than homemade granola.  Store bought doesn’t even come close!  So here’s my fall back recipe that I’ve used time and again.  It’s really fantastic.

A special thank you to Sandy Brooks who shared it with me.


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