Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I find my life going a different way...

Life changes who we are, what we want and the things we want in life...

To fit what I now find most important in my life I will be making a new blog, and getting rid of this one. I will transfer the useful information to the new one but honestly that is why I have not been posting lately...

Crafts is less my life, I prefer now to learn about healthy and frugal living and living a sustainable life.

Dharma teachings and good actions mean more to me than before. I posted many times how I did not want a Buddhist based blog, but being a Buddhist mom is who I really am. So often I have not posted things for fear of offending others.

The beauty of Buddhism is that it is not God based, it is love based.

I love you all!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Crochet Tip: Easy Color Change

I am working on writing a new pattern, and I'm pretty excited about it. It is more complicated than most of the stuff I do. It involves multiple balls of yarn all being worked at the same time, chainless foundation, chainless extensions, and color changes.

To help get people ready to use the pattern, I am going to write tutorials on these techniques. Today I am writing about easy color changes.

This is something that is really easy to do, and there are many ways to do it.

Easy Crochet Color Change

Color changing is not hard, and it is a pretty standard thing in a lot of patterns. Those who have crochet for a while can do it with no problems, but this can be daunting for someone still learning. Most patterns don't really explain this step ether. 

So this is what I learned through trial and error. 

Start your stitch like you normally would in the first color. In this tutorial I am using double crochet but really it would work with any stitch.

Halfway through loop the second color on the hook.

Finish the stitch! The first color is still on top and the second color is ready to continue.

If you are continuing from a previous row, you may end up with some yarn being stretched across. This is very easy to cover up to make a nice seamless color change.

Make sure you do not pull the new color too tight or it will bunch up your project. Lay the extra thread as close as you can to the top of the stitches. Watch that the hook goes under the extra thread so you can stitch over it.

Keep on stitching with your new color covering up any ends or extra thread as you go!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Depression Hurts & Schizophrenia Lies

It has been a rough month for me. Sometimes life just sucks. I'm not looking for sympathy, but with the recent death of Robin Williams it seems like a good time to talk about it.

I am schizophrenic, and I learned being medicated is worse than the disease. Side effects will kill you. I have been unmedicated for a few years now, and I think I am functioning better than when I was on the meds.

The problem with this is that sometimes my disease flares up. One bad thing can set me into a dark spiral. That is kinda where I have been for the last few weeks.

Buddhism and Crochet are what has always dug me out of these spirals. Buddhism teaches me that this spiral is called Samsara, and Samara can end. When life sucks, I remind myself that this is part of the human condition. Once I come to accept this, I work on fixing the things that suck.

I have always strive to be the change I want to see. More than that, when I am down I push to shine even brighter.

This is my mantra when life gets hard, "Be the light in the darkness for others to flock to."
Also this is a photo of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. This is where my parents met and later married.

When life is hard and you feel down low that is when you need to stand tallest. When you just can't do that, and there will be days you can't, lean on those who love you. I promise they don't mind, because they love you.

No one wants to admit it, but there is flaws with us all. Even if they can not exactly understand your pain, they can sympathize. Everyone you meet is fighting their own demons. 

It is time for us to let go, and admit we are flawed, by accepting that everyone is flawed maybe we can learn to function together and hold each other up.

Until then, find something that brings you joy, and focus on that. For me it is my garden and my crochet. I also have a wonderfully supportive family that keeps me stable. 

Talk to your children about any mental illness in your family. It is important for them to know and understand. This can be hereditary, and it is good for them to know what to expect. For me, schizophrenia runs so deep that I asked what it was like to have that brake down. I asked what they felt, what they heard and what do I do if it happens to me. It was because of my understanding that I handled things as well as I could have. 

Once I got over the blindness the brake down creates I had a moment of clarity and I realized I was not well. I was able to tell my family what happened. Later when I saw the doctor I was able to articulate what was wrong better, because I knew what this illness looks like.

By being prepared I was able to get the help I needed, and even now I can remind myself that this disease lies, and not to believe it.

I pray my kids never know my pain, but they are prepared in case they .

Monday, July 28, 2014

7/28/14 coupons I am currently most excited about

I recently announced I have become an affiliate of coupons.com. I have used printed coupons before and I am comfortable using the site, but I have not used it as much as I should. So the last few days I have been going through them all and I just printed up a TON of coupons. 

I don't get the inside scoops on upcoming sales but I read blogs and I am the member of groups that do get this inside info. For example I hear that Kroger is starting a Mega event next week. So I just printed up things that I would use, that are often a part of these kinds of sales. I am lucky that I hear rumors about some of these things too. I also noticed so many more healthier foods are getting coupons too. I hardly get to use food coupons because it is unhealthy stuff. 

These are the coupons I am most excited about! (Be sure to explore yourself to see if there are things your family will use) (Also these are totally affiliate links, but I am being honest in how I feel about each coupon)

I have little girls in my life, and these make GREAT stocking stuffers! The coupon is good until the end of the year too! I know sometimes Kroger has these for 99 cents too!

Food Stuffs!

Horizon Organic Dairy now has snack foods! I was aware of some of these, and now I want to try others! I was happy to see they have coupons!

Save $1 on 2 Kashi GoLean (GMO free cereal!!!)

Are you Gluten Free? I am not but I do try to limit it. 

.25cents off 2 Arm and Hammer Baking Soda Because you can never have too much when you make your own cleaning products!!!

1$ off 1 lunchable with smoothies Daisy plans on bringing her lunch to school this year, and she LOVES lunchables. It is not something I buy often but I think I will let her get some. I prefer to make healthier lunches but I give in sometimes!

Not Quite Food Stuffs

$1 off 1 Rubbermaid Lunch Box kit I have a set of these I bought last year and they are so awesome. Even last year I wanted more, but could not find them once the back to school sales were gone. This year I have two kids packing lunch so I know I need more. I maxed out printing already but I am not sure where I am going to use them yet.

Personal Care 

$2 off 2 Dial Body wash This does not exclude the mens!!! 
1$ off 2 Dial Hand Soap I used this at Walmart a few days ago. They were on sale for .88 cents each. After the coupon they were .38cents each!

.50cents off Oral B floss This was on sale at Kroger for $10 for 10 recently. There is a good chance it will again
$1.50 off 2 Oral B toothbrushes These do not exclude the cheap ones! The prohealth were on sale at Kroger for $10 for 10  that made them .25 cents each! I totally stocked up!

.50cents off Lady Speed Stick I see these on sale all the time at Kroger. Sometimes you have to look, but I have gotten these for .50cents each in the past!
$1.50 off Speed Stick Gear Rumor has it that these will be part of the Kroger Mega Event! Not sure how good of a deal yet but it has been suggested to max out on printing these.

I can't wait to put together my plan!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A preview of what is to come: Printable Coupons

Like so many others I have gotten into couponing to help my family save money on the things my family uses.

I am not a hoarder, and I only get things my family will use. Sometimes the best way to make a deal work is to get a ton of something, so I share these items with friends and family.

So I decided, because I know so many other people who coupon to become a coupon.com affiliate!

I will be working out methods to best share these with you, but feel free to use the link above to print your coupons until I am able to set things up the way I want.

I got 10 of these for 42cents each! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Newest Crochet

I have been crocheting more! My hands often hurt and I have arthritis in them. Crochet has become a therapy to keep my hands working right.

So recently I have made some reusable duster covers and sweeper covers! I thinking of selling these, but I am really not sure what the best platform for that is.

I am thinking of listing this exact set on Ebay.

 I like these summer colors so much, I used them to make myself a Coupon Clutch.

This was the first attempt at making something like this, but I am going to work on it some more. I even made the paper dividers. I think I am gonna work on this some more. If you are interested in one of these feel free to send me a message on Facebook!

I am going to be adding a button to keep it closed, and my daughter suggested I add straps to make it like a purse. That will make it easier to carry when I am carrying all those bags from my extreme couponing! 

It even has a little pocket to hold my money!

I have all of my coupons nicely organized so that I can easily use them.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Homemade House Cleaners

I do not use a lot of household cleaners really. I find the harsh perfumes overwhelming and often they give me headaches.

I have always used Pine-sol (it keeps the bugs away) and dish soap to clean my house. When my kids were younger and made bigger messes I would add orange oil based cleaners to my list. Mostly I use good old fashion elbow grease.

Reading through other blogs I see that making your own cleaners has became more and more popular. So I thought maybe I will try it. It might even make my life easier.

I have learned that with some baking soda and white vinegar you can clean almost anything! Throw in a few other things and you have the base for any cleaner needed!

These are the recipes I have  made and actually tried so far:

Fabric Softener

1c Hair Conditioner
1 1/2c White Vinegar
3 cups Hot water 

You can add some scented essential oil to this as well if you want. I chose not to, and I find that the scent from the conditioner is so subtle you don't really notice it. I poured it into a couple of old fabric softener bottles. This is very thick and I love it! You do need to shake it up every time you use it. Thanks to couponing it cost me $1.50 to make 2 bottles worth!

I decided that I like this more than the stuff we buy. Use less than the store bought stuff, and add warm to make it thin enough to use.

Carpet Powder

1c Baking Soda
1/3c dried used coffee grounds
10-20 drops of scented oil
1Tbs Vanilla extract

Coffee grounds was my daughter's idea. Coffee is a smell neutralizer, and overall a useful thing. I really did not measure the coffee grounds. I took what was in the coffee maker and spread it out on a cookie sheet and baked it at 400 degrees until the grounds were dry. We mixed Mexican Vanilla into the baking soda in a large clean coffee container. I used a fork to brake it all up and then putt the lid on it and shook until everything was evenly mixed. The final results smelled like a creamy coffee drink. We put it into a shaker and sprinkled it on the carpet. Let the mix set for 10 minutes before vacuuming it up. 

We found that not only did the carpets get deodorized, but it made a better air quality. We have 3 kids and 3 pets. I was amazed by how much this helped. It has been added to our weekly cleaning.

H2O2 Powder (Homemade Oxi Clean)

2c Washing or Baking Soda (either seems to work the same)
1/4c Hydrogen Peroxide

This was so obvious I feel stupid for no realizing this sooner. When it was new I used Oxi clean for EVERYTHING. When the kids were young I needed it for the laundry, the walls the carpets and what ever else they touched. I can't believe I spent so much on that stuff when I can make a whole bucket for so little. I use it less these days so I just made enough for this recipe. I mixed it with a fork then shook it up in my coffee can. I store it in a old frosting container. So far I have only used it to was the dogs blankets. It worked as well as you would expect.

Things I plan of trying:

  • Glass Cleaner
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Multipurpose cleaner

Have you made your own cleaners before?

What have you made? How well has it worked? Is there anything you would want to try?