Thursday, December 17, 2009

Coffee and hot cocoa mixes

Coffee mix - One part instant coffee, two parts sugar, two parts coffee mate
To serve the flavoured coffee, add one tablespoon per cup of water to taste
Hot chocolate mix - One part cocoa one part sugar
To serve the hot cocoa add one tablespoon of mix to one cup of hot milk

Try to make one cup of mix AFTER the additives are included. An easy way to do this is to make a lot of the mix, put the additive in a measuring cup and then top it off with the mix until one cup is reached. Mix well, I suggest using a large measuring cup (like 4 cups) but only measuring up to one cup so you have room to stir. This can make a huge mess.

French vanilla = Coffee mix + a packet of instant vanilla pudding (I find that this one tastes best with two tablespoons of mix per cup of water)
Holiday spice = Coffee mix + 2 tablespoons all spice mix
Caramel = substitute the white sugar with brown sugar in the coffee mix
Almond = Coffee mix + one teaspoon almond extract (This comes out like an amaretto if 1/4 cup cocoa is added to the mix)
Mocha = This one is a little different. One part instant coffee, two parts sugar, two parts coffee mate and one part cocoa.

Peppermint Cocoa = Hot chocolate mix + one teaspoon peppermint or mint extract
Chocolate cherry cocoa = Hot chocolate mix + one packet of cherry Kool-aid

I then made labels that included serving directions with my basic home printer and some label paper then jarred the mixes in recycled baby food jars but you could package it however you like or keep it for yourself.

Try other flavours, this mix is very versatile and measurements also do not have to be exact. When making something new it is fun to make just a one cup or even half cup batch and taste test some too.
Try different spices, pudding mixes or extracts.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Draft stopping critters

Critters That Keep Out the Cold

Stationed in a window or up against a door this winter or fall, these charming homemade draft blockers will help keep indoor temperatures up and fuel bills down -- provided they don't get coaxed off the job for a playdate, that is. Both are simply fashioned from a pair of tights and filled with rice, which makes them posable enough to tuck tightly into nooks and corners.

Found on Disney family fun craft website (Where you can find the instructions too) for a perfect first day to autumn.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Home made pop tarts

Thanks to boo_zombie and ragdollpirate our mornings will now be filled with the evil goodness of toaster pastries, but they’ll be homemade. Personally, I’m thinking s’mores, but if you wanted to cross over to the salty side, you could fill them with bacon and cheese. Or how about scrambled eggs and cheese?

Grab the full recipe here (or just scroll down) and get baking!

Cheesy nom nom nommmm lol


Homemade Pop Tarts Recipe
23 min | 15 min prep
12 pop tarts
For Pie Crust
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup shortening
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 3 tablespoons cold water
For Filling
• 1/2 cup jam (your choice)
For Glaze
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 3 ounces milk, to thin
• candy sprinkles
1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add shortening and butter and blend with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Blend until mixture is fairly coarse. Add water, 1 tablespoons at a time, gently mixing dough after each addition until dough forms a ball.
3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a square/rectangle. To about 1/8 thickness. Cut out long strips about 2 inches wide and 3 inches long. Repeat until dough runs out.
4. Take one pie crust rectangle and lace 1 teaspoons of jam on top. Cover with another piece of pie crust and crimp all four edges. Repeat with the rest of dough. Place Pop-tarts on a baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake for 7-8 minutes.
5. While pop-tarts are baking, make glaze. Place powdered sugar in a bowl. Pour milk slowing until it has a consistency of really thick syrup. 1/2 a tablespoons to 1 tablespoons might be enough.
6. Once pop-tarts are done and cooled, top with glaze. Sprinkle and decorate with colorful sprinkle.
For cherry filling just whiz some cherry pie filling until smooth.

For Chocolate add coco powder to the dough and just add bits of chocolate into the middle.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Free Coldplay album, Left right left right left.

Coldplay is offering a free album for their fans at
Download it and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

KY Cloud 10 sample (not for the kiddies!)

KY, a company that makes personal lubricants has created a tropical arousal gel. Sorry is this is a little personal for some people but I know some ladies out there might want to try this.

From the official website:
What is K-Y® INTENSE Arousal Gel for Her? K-Y® INTENSE Arousal Gel for Her is your ticket to CLOUD 10™. It is not a lubricant, but a uniquely formulated arousal gel that has women saying "it makes sex more satisfying". 75% of women who used K-Y® INTENSE Arousal Gel experienced feelings of heightened arousal, sexual pleasure and sensitivity where it counts most. Of those women, 90% reported that K-Y® INTENSEArousal Gel bettered their overall intimate experience with their partner.

They are offering a free sample from their official website HERE

Hope I didn't offend anyone. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Moonlight Movies in the Exchange

The Exchange BIZ & the Winnipeg Arts Council present Moonlight Movies in the Exchange

On July 30 & 31, Old Market Square will be transformed into an outdoor movie venue, with a blockbuster Hollywood movie playing each night!

Thursday, July 30

Friday, July 30

*** Each night will also feature a very special, world premiere showing of The Kids of IRCOM's brand new music video, produced with the support of the Winnipeg Arts Council***

Moonlight Movies will start at approximately 9:30pm

Monday, July 20, 2009

Made by humans $5 T sale

Design By Hümans is having a truly -excellent- $5 and $10 sale today and don't know when it will end:

What is Design By Hümans?

DesignByHümans is a place for people to submit, discover and buy amazing custom t-shirt designs created by artists from around the world. Based around an ongoing t-shirt design contest, all of the designs you see on DesignByHümans have been submitted by our community. Headquartered in Irvine, California, DesignByHümans officially launched in July 2007.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Free slurpee day '09

Every year on the 11th of July 711 stores give out a free slurpee until they run out of special cups. This is available all across Canada.

Bound to be a hit in Winnipeg (Slurpee capital!)
Go get some slurpees tomorrow!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Out door pools open soon

The 2009 schedule for outdoor public pools is now available HERE
Wading pools and spray pads are free and tonnes of fun for the whole family. There are many scattered through out the city so pick one and go cool off already.

Admission Requirements

Wading Pools have a maximum depth of 45 - 60 cm (18 - 24 inches). They are designed for children 12 years and under that meet Admission Requirements. Children under 5 years of age must have a parent, guardian or caregiver 12 years of age or older actively supervising them at the pool.

Groups are welcome at wading pools city-wide - please check the Group Admission Requirements.

Dakota Park is available for group or day care bookings from 9:30 - 11:00 am, Monday - Friday, July 2 - September, 2009.

Wading Pool Rules

For the safety and enjoyment of all participants, Wading Pool Rules apply at all wading pools operated by the Community Services Department.

Wading Pool Closures

All wading pools are closed on days when Environment Canada forecasts either the projected high temperature for the day is 21°C or lower or the probably of precipitation is 70% or greater.

Wading Pools may need to close unexpectedly - please check Wading Pool Closures for more information.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Frugal finger paints

You can make your own finger paints by mixing 2 tablespoons of white flour with a little water to make a thin paste and then adding a few drops of food coloring.
To make painting extra easy for a young child, have her paint on waxed paper taped to a table in the kitchen or outdoors. Put a blob of paint down on the paper and show her how to slide her fingers around. If you want to save her creation, press a piece of regular paper over the waxed paper and peel gently away; hang to dry.
I personally used normal paper and it worked fine. This does not make the best paints in the world but it really amuses a baby. Best of all you know it's non-toxic. She kept eating it and it was great to have the piece of mind of knowing it was just coloured flour and water.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Free OB Tampons

OB Tampons have been offering this for some time now. This pack of 3 tampons and a carrying case is available to Canadians, all you have to do is fill out the form HERE
I have received this before so I know it comes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Springs church charity car show

If you are a car lover then you won’t want to miss this weekend!!! You will see muscle cars, import tuners, rods and some insane out of this world sound systems competing in a dB Drag Race. Come join us for a Father’s Day weekend to remember as we have a wide variety of things planned for you.

This event combines two great purposes; the first is honouring Dad’s on Fathers Day weekend by giving them what they love, cars, cars and even more cars! The second is to make people aware of the struggles our inner city kids face and raise money for great programs at Springs Inner City that build their self esteem and give them a positive alternative to life on the streets.

Why not make it a family event and bring out the entire family as there will be great food, prizes to be won, live band, magic show, kid’s face painting / games and much more!

ITINERARY for Saturday June 20
(Itinerary will be update when and if necessary.)
- 7:00am - set up for Parts SWAP meet
- 7:30am until noon Parts SWAP meet open
- 9:00am Car show entry registration and set-up
- 10:00am until 4:00pm Car show open to public
- 10:00am until 12:00 DB Drag Race time registration and trials
- 1:00pm until 4:00pm DB Drag Race competition
- 11:00am until 4:00pm Autocross Rally Course open to public
- 4:00pm DB Drag Race awards

- 4:30pm Inner City presentation by special guest Mayor Sam Katz
- 5:00pm Car Show Awards ceremony (for all categories) Presented by Mayor Sam Katz

Father’s Day Sunday any entries are welcome to stay over for our Show & Shine for all our service can be left here over night (security provided) or brought back by 8:00am.


> DB Drag racing
– Sponsored by Hamilton Audio / Mach 5 Audio for all those stereo buffs out there (North America wide competition). Some of the vehicles registered for this event are already from as far away as Alberta and the northern USA.

> Car Show – featuring a wide variety of classifications (including Classics, Muscle, Tuners, Street and Motorcycles)

> Autocross Rally Course – for those that always wanted to try their car out (hosted by Porsche Club of Winnipeg)

> Part Swap Meet - for those looking for the elusive part to finish off their project

**You say what is a dB drag race???

Click here:

Click here:

Click here:

This event will be held at Springs church at 595 lagimodiere blvd


Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How to bake cookies without a recipe

I have read a million cookbooks and cooking magazines and it has gotten to the point with my self teaching in the kitchen that I no longer need a recipe so long as I understand the technique
Problem is that it is harder to find cooking technique books than it is to find run-of-the-mill cookbooks.
I want to cook things without a recipe and do not want to rely on them.

Here I will use cookies for example, and I hope to teach someone something in the process.

The basic ingredients in cookies are:
Baking soda
Fat (Butter, margarine or any other fat)

Now it would make common sense not to use bacon grease as your fat, unless for some reason you wanted to make pork cookies, but the idea here is to learn the science behind cooking so if you ever wanted to make bacon cookies you could. The fat can also be a nut butter or shortening. Think FAT! Oil is not a particularly good choice here because it is not very stiff. 

I start with the fat and the sugar. About equal parts or each, however some like sugarier cookies. Remember more sugar will make them crumblier as the sugar does not bind as well as the other ingredients.
Also, with the sugar, whether you use brown, white, natural, cane or even finely crushed butterscotch or mint candies will make a big difference in your cookies. All white sugar will cause it to come out like a sugar cookie where as brown sugar gives it a softer chew. Crushed candies will also give a flavour to the cookies so you may want to omit any other flavouring. Experiment with whatever sugars you like, keep in mind that if you are looking for a chocolate chip cookie consistency it is usually done with a 50/50 mix of brown and white sugars. More white if you want it crispier and more brown if you want it softer. I personally like 75% brown and 25% white but again, whatever you like, have on hand or depending on the kind of cookie (I might make a bacon cookie with 100% brown sugar but a Christmas style sugar cookie would be made with all white sugar).
Mix this very well, some call it "creaming" the sugar and butter.

Eggs are kind of like the glue that holds it all together, it also causes the cookies to brown. Depending on what kind of cookies you are making and how many would determine how many eggs you use. I have never experimented with too many eggs, so I don't know what happens if you put lots of eggs in your cookies. The amount of egg to batter is hard to describe, but I personally like one egg to each cup of fat used. 

The flavouring is normally vanilla extract when making cookies, though any extract can be used (Almond, mint etc) as well as other kinds of liquid flavouring (Including juice) Add as much of this as you like, keeping in mind that too much will overpower the taste of the cookies and not enough will not have a strong taste at all. It would also be too much flavouring if it drastically changes the texture of the dough you have so far. For myself, I usually add a few tablespoons of flavouring or extract to each cup of fat used though I have seen many recipes and have used 2 eggs for each cup of fat so it doesn't have to be so precise (in fact, this whole process does not have to be precise).

Baking soda causes to cookies to rise. I usually about one teaspoon to each cup of fat used but I have made cookies without it and with extra. It really doesn't make a huge difference but if you want fluffy cookies, use it. 

I usually mix it at this point, but you can not over mix cookies, so mix as much as you like.

Extra stuff are things like oatmeal, chocolate chips, M&Ms, coconut, raisins, crushed candy bar pieces, nuts or really any thing else you want in your cookies. Add as much as you like here. This is really what makes the cookies special and individual so have fun. you can also chose not to add anything here.

Flour is of course the part that makes it all come together. More flour will make it stiffer and less four will make it runnier. The look and feel here will be the biggest key as to whether or not there is enough. You want to be able to make balls with the cookie dough.
If you wish to make a more chocolaty cookie, you can substitute some of the flour for cocoa. Cocoa will make the dough  gooey so I usually use a 25% cocoa to 75% flour mix if making chocolaty cookies. This makes black cookies as opposed to brown or white cookies and taste really chocolaty.

Stir this until it is all mixed well.

To bake, place cookies by balls on a cookie sheet. Grease the pan if your pan is conducive to things sticking to it. Parchment paper is a good idea and I have even used tin foil as well. Anything to keep the cookies from sticking. Of course you don't need to add anything if you have a nice non-stick baking pan.
Space them with enough room so that the cookies don't touch each other when they spread out from the heat. If you are concerned about the cookies spreading out and sticking to each other just put less on each pan and cook in more batches. Better to be safe than sorry and by the second batch you will know exactly how to space them for maximum cookies baked per batch.

Cook at about 325 degrees until browned on top and they look yummy. The bigger you made the balls the longer it will take to cook. Check them often because cookies cook quickly. small cookies cook in under 10 minutes where larger hand sized cookies can take about 15 minutes. This really depends on the size of the cookie. 

The cookies will be soft when they come out so you will want to let them cool. They can cool in the pan, on a cooling rack, in a plate or on a paper bag. You can let them cool wherever you like. this will help them stiffen and make them easier to eat and distribute. I know you want to eat them hot. Timing is key here, eat some when they are cooled off a little but still warm for best results though cookies are good totally cooled too (but you knew that!)

Hope that gave some insight to baking cookies. Now to figure out how to bake cake without a recipe! It's probably pretty similar.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Free light smoothie day at Orange Julius

You will need to bring THIS COUPON with you to the store on June 19th 2009

This coupon comes right from the Orange Julius website and it totally legit (Do I post anything that isn't legit?)

Enjoy! YUM YUM 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Make your own chocolate syrup

I find that this recipe impresses people. Maybe they figure that chocolate syrup is made in a factory and bottled, I am not sure but people are always surprised when I tell them I make my own chocolate syrup for a fraction of the cost of the store bought kind and is really easy. Funny thing is that I found the recipe on the side of a can of store bought cocoa.

In a saucepan combine:
1 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water

Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes stirring constantly

store in an air tight container in the fridge. Mine always gets eaten in about 3 weeks to a month so I am not sure how long this keeps for but I would guess quite a while because it's only cocoa/sugar water. 
I also store mine in an old chocolate syrup container I had left over from when I used to buy it. I wash it between batches though so it doesn't get crusty but you can keep it in any air tight container.

Use this as you would store bought syrup. I like to pour the fresh warm syrup on ice cream, put a little in my coffee, iced coffee or frappuccino, and even make chocolate milk and soy milks with it.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Make your own sports drinks

We all need to keep hydrated but store bought sports drinks like Gatorade are full of sugar and other things that are less than desirable.
I found this recipe in a magazine to make your own sports drinks this summer, and every other summer for that matter.

Mix one part fruit juice and one part water and add a pinch of salt

Yeah that's it.

After seeing this "recipe" (The quotes are because I would call this less of a recipe and more of a method) I decided to google "Make your own sports drink" and found many other recipes. Some called for tea while others called for juice. Some called for the water while others didn't. I even found one that added baking soda. The thing in common with all of them though was the pinch of salt. 
I think that you could make this with any yummy juice or tea you like, water it down to reduce the sugar content if you like but basically just add a pinch of salt to whatever you are drinking.

Have fun and stay safe this summer!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Make your own Cleaning wipes

Cleaning wipes are expensive but so convenient! 
Thanks to for this tutorial.
You can use any tightly sealable container for this. You probably have everything you need to do this in your home. I know I do.
Original tutorial is HERE

Wipe Out! Make Your Own Cleaning Wipes

Who doesn't love commercial cleaning wipes? They're wickedly convenient--but also wickedly expensive and often contain harsh chemicals.

The alternative: make your own!

Homemade cleaning wipes are easy to make, economical, and contain only those cleaning agents you select.

Put homemade cleaning wipes to work for you in your organized home with our easy instructions:

Materials and Equipment Needed:

cylindrical plastic food storage container, 10-cup capacity
extra-large roll of paper towels
cleaning agents of your choice (recipes follow)
electric drill with 1/2-inch drill bit
electric knife
liquid measuring cups


In the garage or workshop area, place a small block of wood beneath the plastic food storage container lid. Use electric drill to drill a 1/2-inch diameter hole in the center of the container lid.

For best results, select an extra-large roll of good quality paper towels for this project. Less-expensive towels fray or shred when pulled through the holder; thicker quilted towels have greater cleaning strength and withstand more scrubbing. Even at $1.39 per roll, cost for homemade wipes will be less than 75 cents, not including the storage container.

Without removing the paper towel wrapper, use the electric knife to cut the paper towel roll into two shorter rolls. Save the second roll for a refill later. Be patient! It may take up to two minutes to cut through the towel roll and cardboard tube inside.
Remove the wrapper, and place one short paper towel roll inside plastic food storage container. Using a liquid measuring cup, gently pour one of the following cleaning solution recipes over the top of the paper towel roll.

You will need between 2 and 4 cups of cleaning solution, depending on the size and absorbency of the paper towel product selected. These recipes make about three cups of solution; increase or decrease amounts if needed.

General Surface Cleaning:

1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water

Disinfectant Cleaning:

1/4 to 1/2 cup pine cleaning solution such as Pine-Sol brand
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cup water

Window and Glass Cleaning:

1/2 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Place the lid on the plastic food storage container, and allow paper towels to absorb cleaning solution for 4 hours to overnight.

Open the food storage container. Gently pull the wet cardboard tube from the center of the paper towel roll and discard. Carefully pull the end of the paper towels from the inside, where the cardboard roll had been. Thread the end of the towels through the hole in the lid, and replace the lid.

Pull gently on the exposed end to separate the cleaning wipe.


As you use the wipes, they will begin to dry out, so add more water and/or cleaning solution as necessary. Allow wipes to stand overnight before continuing to use them after adding more solution.

You may vary the strength of the cleaning solutions as necessary for your household, using more cleaning agents for a stronger wipe, less solution and more water for a milder product.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Free Tim Hortons Iced Coffee

This one has been flying all over the Internet recently but the details are getting muddled up like a crazy game of telephone.

Just to clarify, it is not a free ice cap, it is not a large, no they will not just fill any container you have with free ice cap until the machine is empty (I guess you can ask them when you get there but my bet is that it won't happen). 
The free item is a small iced late.

For those that have not heard of this yet here are the details:

Enjoy a FREE Tim Hortons 
Iced Latte!*

Thursday, May 21, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Drop by participating Tim Hortons stores on Thursday, May 21, 2009, and enjoy a small 
Iced Latte for FREE!*

Tim Hortons Iced Latte is made with freshly ground espresso and served over ice.


Free Iced Coffee

*No purchase necessary. Offer valid at participating Tim Hortons locations in 
British Columbia and Manitoba. Limit one small Iced Latte per customer.

The official website is HERE in case you need to see it for yourself (I know I always do)

This is TODAY! So go get a free iced late!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quick tip: Stir sticks

Today's quick tip comes from the Riverwood Church Community. This church is famous for having a coffee break in the middle. 
Yeah, these guys love their coffee!

Fettuccine noodles, broken to the length desired, make excellent stir sticks.
Check out this picture I took of their coffee display.

Those are normal, plastic, stir sticks on the right and the fettuccine stir sticks more to the middle. I thought the noodle would soften in the coffee but it didn't. It takes more than a little stir to cook noodles. Aside from the obvious cost difference with noodles Vs plastic it was also pointed out to me that noodles are biodegradable so it would be help with all of our carbon footprints.

Thank you Riverwood!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring cleaning party

I would not normally call any time where I clean a "party" but the great people at have a step by step two week spring cleaning regiment with day one starting today.

I just learned about this a few hours ago and jumped on the band wagon. If you're like me and need a little motivation and lots of direction when it comes to cleaning you might want to try it too. 

Basically, will post a new cleaning task (chore?) every day and a little motivation to go along with it. The idea is that by the end of the two weeks, with only a little work every day, your spring cleaning will be done.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

31 cent ice cream at Baskin Robins

Tomorrow is 31 cent ice cream day at Baskin Robbins. It's 31 cents a scoop, up to 3 scoops per person.

Their website,, for locations!

Bring your family and friends to the
31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin-Robbins to show
your support for firefighters and enjoy scoops of
your favourite ice cream for 31 cents.*

As a thank you to our customers and the firefighters
who protect them, Baskin-Robbins is donating
$10,000 to Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
All collected consumer donations will be used by CFFF to build the Canadian Firefighters Memorial in Ottawa.

*3 oz. soft serve cone or 2.5 oz. hard scoop are 31 cents plus tax where applicable. Limit three scoops per person.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Quick tip - Coffee cubes

Left over coffee can be frozen in ice cube trays.
Use those frozen coffee cubes in your iced coffee or home made frappuccino 

Iced coffee is easy, just place coffee cubes in a cup and top with cooled coffee. The ice will cool it down even more so it doesn't have to be too cold before pouring.

Frappuccino is those same cubes and coffee put in a blender. blend until smooth. I like to add some half & half before blending too. 

Flavour your drinks with chocolate syrup, caramel, honey, cream, milk or any combination. Coffee flavours are good too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Contest tips part 2

2)Read the newspaper
*I find that contests in the delivered paper are quite rare. I personally do not subscribe to the paper nor do I read it on a regular basis but when I do there are not often contests in it. The kind of paper I am talking about is the local events/news paper. It's hard to describe this kind of news paper. They are usually free papers and usually have a lot of local events and contests in them.
*In Victoria BC this paper is called the Monday magazine.
In Winnipeg MB this paper is called the Uptown Magazine.
Find your local paper / magazine, ask around or google it.

Often times this magazine/paper will have a contest where the only requirement is to email them your information and the contests are often listen on their website.
In Winnipeg's uptown magazine (for example) the home page for their magazine is THIS PAGE. From surfing the site you will find their contests HERE.
The contests will vary from time to time so check back weekly and enter any you are interested in. I win this way a lot

Another website in winnipeg with local contests is Accesswinnipeg

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Win something already! (contest tips part 1)

Here's something I didn't really want to share because the more people playing this game the less of a chance I have of winning. We're talking about contests here! 
Now I understand that some people "professionally" enter contests using auto fill programs on their computer and have all the angles worked out to get the best odds of winning a new washer and drier or a lifetime supply of instant noodles but I am not going to go into that here, mainly because I do not do that myself and do not really have any advice on that topic. The kinds of contests we are going to talk about today are quite small, the prize is something like a CD or DVD and movie, concert or event tickets. Sometimes you can win CASH! 

1) Listen to the radio 
*If you pick the right station you not only listen to the kind of music you like but they also have contests for similar items. You won't win a rock music album listening to a jazz station. Usually the contest will require someone to be the -somethingith- caller and often need you to answer a question or play a game, but not always.
*Set the radio station(s) you listen to's phone number in your speed dial, in your cell phone or house phone, or memorise the phone number. 
*Listen to the requirements for winning. 
*If you only need to call in, no trivia or anything else then call it! You probably won't get in the first time but if you try often you will win eventually. 
I used to win this kind of a contest once a month (the radio station I listened to had a rule where you could only win a maximum of once per month)
* If you need to know the answer of a trivia question and you either know the answer, someone with you knows the answer or you think you have a pretty good guess call in. 
* If it is a game you have to play like answer a few trivia questions in a row CALL IN. Many times these are multiple choice games or have somewhat easy questions. They also often still have smaller prizes if you don't get all the answers right and a large prize for getting it all correct.
*To win radio contests keep calling in. Call in when you think you will win and when you think the odds are stacked up against you. Just call. You will win more often than you think!
* Check out the station's website. Sometimes they have more ways to win or earn points online.

More tomorrow

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Financial Peace University

Educating yourself is the the best start to managing your money and Dave Ramsey has an amazing program available through out Canada and the USA. 
It's called Financial peace university. I have been taking this course for a little over a month now and I love it. I have already saved money and payed off more dept that I would have without this money managing course. It is funny and serious and smart. Dave Ramsey talks with such bluntness about how being in debt is wrong that needs to be told to so many people today. 
Now you probably know that debt and poverty is not the way you want to live and know how to educate yourself, you are in a cheap living blog reading my posts and probably read many others or even have your own, but do you know everything you know to fight debt and win in the game of finances? 

At my church this course is free but it may not be free in all locations so search your area for a course starting now and call the location to find out if it is free or if there is a fee. If you can not find any up coming courses in your area check for classes that are currently in progress (by choosing 'advanced search" from the search page)and call the location to ask when they will be starting again or if you can join in part way through. I have two friends that are just starting on week 4. In my church the course is 18 weeks long but this will vary by location as well. It is also requested that you purchase the workbook. In my area it is rather pricey ($130, Yowtch!) but I am finding that taking notes instead of buying the book is working out really well. They hand out any important paperwork in class so I don't feel you need the book, but some people like it.

There are many testimonials on the FPU website. Surf the page and read a little about it. I'll wait.

On top of this there is a special presentation, Town Hall For Hope. This is a special event that will be broadcast live to several locations and is about the recession in particular.  "I am an American and I am not participating in this recession" is the tag line found on the Town hall for hope website. I wish I could attend but I found out about it too late to inform my church about presenting it and it is not showing in my area. You can search for your area from the search section of the homepage.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More things to do with T-shirts

Sorry I don't have a full real post today. We are all getting together for Easter and hope your family have a great holiday full of old and new traditions.

So to make this at least a little bit of a normal "Cheap N' Cheerful" here's a link for more things that you can do with an old t-shirt.

You guys are never going to throw out clothes again.....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter egg tips and tricks

Ditch the packaged egg decorating kits! You probably already have everything you need for great Easter eggs in your house.

Basic colouring
Did you know that you can use regular food colour to dye your eggs? I have been using it since I was a child and gives a very vibrant or light pastel colour, which ever you like, it just depends on how many drops of colouring you put in your water.
Here's how; Combine 1tsp of vinegar with a half cup of hot water and a few drops of food colouring. Many boxes of food colouring comes with a colour chart or you can follow this one that I found with a quick google search. Keep in mind that all brands on the colouring will vary slightly and that using less will give a more subtle colour while using more will create a deeper colour. Food colouring can also dye your plastic containers and wooden items like your table.  Coffee mugs work great for this project because they are deep enough to submerge the whole egg and are made out of a ceramic which is not likely to stain. As with all craft projects with kids you might not want to do this while your kids are dressed in their Sunday best as it may stain clothes. The chances of staining will depend on the brand of food colouring you choose though I find it's pretty safe. For best results, let the water cool before you start dipping the eggs.

To dry the eggs
I hope you have been saving toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls. Take a few of these and cut them into half inch disks. These disks are perfect for placing the wet dyed eggs on instead of back into the egg cartons to keep the colour from smearing and to display them right away. 

A little more fun?
Sneak into the kids crayon collection and collect the white crayons. If you find your kids don't actually use white crayons you can keep them with the rest of your adult crafting stuff too. If you don't have any white crayons yellow ones will also work but I think the white ones are way cooler.
Let the decorator draw or scribble all over the egg with the crayon before dipping in the dye then when it's dipped the dye does not stick to the wax and leaves cool patterns on the eggs. 

Hope you and your family have a traditional Easter, either with new traditions or old!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Make your own Swiffer accesories

I can not take credit for this. This collaboration of links has been put together by Tipnut and am just sharing them with you here.

15 homemade Swiffer cloth patterns includes patterns for knitting, crocheting, sewing and even a no-sew option for the craft challenged (it uses an old sock... brilliant!) 

It also includes a link to a pattern to make your own Swiffer duster and how to take the cap off of a Swiffer wet-jet canister so you can fill it with whatever cleaner you prefer.

The link to the full article in tipnut is HERE.

I personally saw a reusable Swiffer style cloth at Dollarama an just picked one up the other day and then use a spray bottle to get the floor a little damp with a home made cleaner. I'm not as fancy as some people with the whole "Swiffer system" but it works for me.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pancake mix recipes: Deep fried goodness

This tutorial starts with the pancake mix recipe posted earlier this year 
but any pancake mix can be used. 

You will need to prepare the mix as directed to make pancakes. 
In the case of the home made pancake mix you will need:
1 cup of mix
1 egg
1 cup milk
 And then mix it together to create the batter

Now the fun part, picking the ingredients

You can deep fry almost anything. Yes it's true. I use this technique to deep fry sweet things. 
 things you might want to fry are:
Oreo cookies
Chocolate bars
Fig Newton
Reese's peanut butter cups
Cheese cake
Chocolate chip cookies
Oatmeal cookies

Pictured on the right are some things I chose to fry up. There is an Oreo type cookie that I made from scratch, some chocolate bars, fig newton style fruit bars and some peanut butter cups.
Cut everything to bite size pieces. 

Then coat it in the batter and place in deep frying oil on a high heat.
The pieces will float so you will have to turn them over once they are browned on one side.

When you take them out of the oil after several minutes of cooking the snacks need to be placed on a plate with a paper towel on it to drain the oil off. 
Let it cool for a little bit. You want it to still be hot in the middle but not boiling. It is easy to burn yourself on hot melted chocolate so be careful, especially when serving this to children!

It is also really easy to over eat these and feel fat. So delicious!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Customer service, Warenties and Gurantees

My husband bought Transformers Stratego, a board game by Milton Bradley. It was on discount at 'The bargain shop' and I think I know why....
It was missing the stickers you put on all the little pieces, in other words the game was unplayable.
That was about a month ago, today I looked at the box and they listed their website. From there I navigated the page to find the customer service phone number. I called them during regular business hours and explained that I bought the game a month ago and told them about the piece that was missing. She then took my information and said that they would be mailing me the missing stickers for free.

This is the kind of service I regularly get when I call companies. I say this because I know that people are afraid to call companies to complain sometimes, but they will usually do their best to satisfy your needs.
Did you know that most companies guarantee their product? They want you to be happy with it!

Here are a few more examples of times I have called customer service and been totally satisfied.

Last year I bought a $50 breast pump for milk for my baby. I only bought the one for occasional usage, not the heavy duty one and I used it too much and it broke. I called the company that made it (the first years) and after walking me through some troubleshooting steps and found it was beyond repair they replaced it with a more heavy duty model. I only had to pay shipping to send my broken pump back to them. I saw the newer model at the store and it was worth $150! 

Several years ago after Halloween I bought some Halloween M&Ms discounted at the store. They came in small individual bags and I was putting them in my lunch. I was disappointed to find that some of the bags of candies only had 2 or 3 M&Ms in them, so on a whim I emailed the company about it. They called me a few days later, apologized and mailed me coupons for $10 of free M&Ms. Funny thing though, Christmas was coming so just after the holiday I stocked up on $10 worth of discounted red and green candies. That was a lot of candy.... 

Pretty much the same story about Bicks pickles. I bought a jar of mixed veggies and there was only one pickled onion in the jar, sent them an email and they called me get my information so they could send me coupons for 2 free jars of pickles. Well the coupon didn't state what size the pickle jars had to be so I went to the superstore and got the biggest jars they had. This was just last year too.

More recently, my baby gate broke (1st choice brand). From wear and tear I guess. I called the company and they mailed me a form to send them back with the broken piece from the gate. I am now waiting the coupon for a free baby gate to replace the broken one.

Here's my point. Companies have a customer service and will guarantee most anything they sell. They want you to be a happy customer and want you to try their products again. They hire people to do this. Nervous about calling them, send an email. There are often email addresses on the company website as well as phone numbers. I have also never had to prove purchase with copies of receipts when contacting the companies directly. 

Stores also guarantee the items they sell. I know many big box stores will accept exchanges on many products so long as you have the receipt. Wal*Mart is particularly good when it comes to returns with a receipt and will exchange anything within a year so keep those receipts! I find a lot of stuff from Wal*Mart breaks so this is handy to know. 

I wonder though. With the board game I called about today, could you call about a game you bought used? She never asked me where I bought it, just when. They do want you to be able to use their game and play with more people to get them to buy their own copy too so it wouldn't be stealing unless you lied if they asked whether or not you bought it used.
I will have to try it next time I buy a used board game that is missing pieces. But then again, sometimes it's fun to use random marker pieces.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

$5 challenge

Living with Lindsay is having a $5 craft challenge. The button has been there on the right for a little while now. Have you noticed it? Either way, I decided to use the cute box tutorial that I posted in February as my entry, but add to it a little bit to freshen it up.

The directions are the same, but I prettied up 2 boxes that I use several times a day.
 These boxes under my baby's crib hold her clothes and her diapers. Kind of like a make shift drawer they were meant to be a temporary measure until we bought a new dresser for her. They are in such a convenient place and just the right size though they have been there about 6 months now. 

This is them all wrapped up like presents.

 Lowering the safety bar for the crib keeps the troublemaker out of the "drawers".

Check out other crafts that have been entered into this contest at Livingwithlindsay

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MYO Laundry detergent

There are so many tutorials for making your own laundry detergent online and I actually use a recipe that I found and did not make my own. I found mine on Wikihow (can you tell I use wikihow a lot?). The tutorial is for a liquid detergent which I have made with a friend and I regularly use the powder version in the video on the same page. So for this reason I will not post another tutorial because that would be redundant. Instead, please check out the tutorials for the wet and dry versions already available at Wikihow. I can vouch for both those recipes since I have used them myself.

The page of tutorials is HERE

Some benefits of home made laundry detergent:
Save $$$. I bought all the washing soda and the Borax at Wal*Mart for about $3 each. Doing about 10 loads of laundry a week one pair of boxes lasts several months. The two I have were bought about 6 months ago and I am about half way through the box. This is with giving some away too.

Save time. It only takes about 10 minutes t0 make, believe it or not. As you make it more and more often you get better and faster. You will get used to having all the tools ready and make less of a mess too. This is faster than going to the store to get some!

Save more money on more cleaning products. The combination of borax and washing soda can be used to clean many things. I use about 1/4 cup of both with 4 gallons of water and use it where I would an all purpose cleanser. I even wash windows with it. The borax has recipes on the side of it for other cleaning uses. This mixture is great for washing the toilet too.

Works in HE washing machines. I have not personally used it in high efficiency washing machines but have been researching this kind of soap online and have seen multiple reports that it works in HE machines. HE washing detergent is more expensive than the regular stuff so this is really something people with HE machines should be doing. 

Clothes doesn't get stinky. Ever notice how sometimes when you forget the laundry in the machine overnight it gets a little stinky and you have to re-wash it? Well this laundry detergent stays fresh even after sitting in the machine for long periods of time. No re-washing!

Easy to alter to your personal needs. Sensitive to soaps? Are your kids sensitive to cleaners and can only use mild baby soap? Use a very mild soap or a baby soap in place of the regular bar of soap called for in the recipe. You can even add a few drops of an essential oil if you like a lavender sent or any other sent in your laundry detergent or any other cleaner you might make with these ingredients.

I really hope everyone does this. It will cut down on your cleaning bills!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fun with plastic bags

Unless you are super smart and remember to bring cloth bags with you to the store you probably have too many plastic bags under your sink or in the pantry just waiting to get thrown out or recycled. Well what if there were uses for these things? Turns out there are many hings you can do with old plastic bags. 

One great thing to do with them, for anyone that sews, is to fuse them together to become one thick plastic sheet that can be sewn like fabric to make anything from purses to rain coats to shoes to new shopping bags to whatever. It becomes hard to tear but you can still cut and sew it.
A really simple bag fusing tutorial with video can be found on's how to section and another tutorial with a slight difference at cut out and keep. There is also a tutorial on the threadbanger website on how fuse the plastic and also make a padded laptop case with the newly fused plastic. 
Threadbanger mentions that you should not use pins when sewing the fabric but that you should use bobby pins instead to prevent having too many holes in your 'fabric'

Another great thing is good news for people that like to crochet and knit is to make plastic bag 'yarn'. This is also really simple and again you can make bags or anything you would normally knit or crochet, even dresses. 

Just for a larf, before typing this up I used the search option on wiki how and looked up more tutorials for things to do with plastic bags and found a few of interest.