Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Goblin Stew:

You can still serve your kiddos a nutritious meal for Halloween, while having fun in the process.

Tonight we're having Goblin Stew:

Here's the recipe:

1 package of stew beef
1 box or 2 cans of beef broth
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen green beans
1 potato cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper, garlic powder to taste

In your slow cooker or dutch oven add all ingredients and cook on low heat, for a long, long time.
Goblins (stew meat) are tough and require a slow cooking time.

Serve with warm biscuits, french bread slices, or crackers.

Enjoy the looks on your children's faces when you tell then you're serving Goblin Stew for dinner. 


Only By His Grace


Happy Halloween...

Happy Halloween!

Stats not Superstition...

Halloween dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, and has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts, devils and goblins. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. Today, many of the young and young at heart take a more light-spirited approach. They don scary disguises or ones that may bring on smiles when they go door-to-door for treats, or attend or host a Halloween party. H ere are some interesting statistics about this holiday in which so many participate:

The number of houses across the nation that are potential stops for 

The weight of pumpkin production by major pumpkin-producing states in 2010. Illinois produced an estimated 427 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. California, New York and Ohio were also major pumpkin-producing states, each with an estimate of more than 100 million pounds.

Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2010.

Number of costume rental and formal wear establishments across the nation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Keeping a clean car...

I'm a busy wife and mother who works outside the home three days a week and I have to busy school aged kiddos with after school activities.  Sometimes my house looks like a train wreck.  I try to keep on top of it, and I have a schedule for it so it doesn't get out of hand too often.

What makes me crazy is when my CAR looks like a train wreck.  I don't like a messy, unorganized car!

Do you know what I mean?  Do you find coloring books, crayons, toys, cheerios, crackers, pretzels, empty juice boxes, extra clothing and other belonging in your car every week?  I try to empty out my car every Friday.  When we get home from school, the kiddos know they are to take in their back packs and then come back out and get the rest of their belongings that have gotten scattered throughout the week.

Then one day during the weekend I try to go out and CLEAN my car.

Here are the before and after shots - and boy let me tell you... it's quite a transformation!

First, I have the kiddos clean out the clutter - since most of it belongs to them, I don't feel guilty about enlisting their help.  They helped create the mess, they can help clean it up, right?

Here are the nasty before shots

Dirty upholstery and control panels

 Dirty Floor mats

Gross floor mats

trash basket runneth over... not a good kind of surplus, let me tell you!

And do we even want to take a peak under the seat?  Sure, why not!

  But then I got out my Basic H2 - mixed to all purpose strength - just 1/4 teaspoon to 16 oz water and went to town.  I sprayed everything in sight and followed up with my trust micro fibre cloth.

I wiped the leather, the dash, the columns, the vents, the doors and door frames, the handles, the buttons... if it was wipeable, I wiped it!  Then I cleaned my windows with Basic H2 - windows formula - 2 drops to 16 oz water, and shined those puppies up!

I vacuumed under the seats, YUCK! Vacuumed the carpets and sprayed all those nasty floor spots with the all purpose strength Basic H!  I emptied my trash container, and waited about five minutes for the floors to "soak."

Rubbed those darn spots with my micro fiber cloth...and WOW!  Those carpets are clean!

The leather and the dash are dust free; my windows are streak free and clear!

I emptied the trash basket, gave it a quick spray with the all purpose cleaner, and a fast and easy wipe down, then I lined it with those grocery bags we all have lying around waiting to be recycled.  I just fold them up into squares and keep four or five under the liner bag.  That way, when one is full, I just pull up the next one and place it in the basket.

Makes a great trash container - so we don't have soda cups or juice boxes rolling around willy nilly in the floor board making more messes on my nice clean carpets!

And there you have it.  A nice clean car, ready for the weekend adventures and the busy week to come.

You can do this, too.  Whether you drive a compact car like mine, or a super mamma mini van, it's easy to invest 15 minutes a week into keeping your car clean and ready.  It feels great to get in and have it feel almost as good as the day you brought it home!

Happy traveling!

We do it all,

Only By His Grace,

Billie Ross

9 Days til the giveaway:  Enter Here

Monday, October 29, 2012

Magnificent Monday: This is the week!

Today is Magnificent Monday.  Usually I post a brief blurb about my resolution for the week.  But I'm not making a resolution this week.  I would love to hear your resolutions, though.  I love hearing about what YOU'RE working on.

I am super-excited, though.  This week my AJ gets his tonsils removed!  YAY!  He's almost eight years old and fighting strep is an on-going battle around our house.  Austin is called a carrier.  He carries the strep bacteria in his little body all the time - so it only takes exposure to trigger an attach with him.

Since last October, he's had strep 9 times - 7 documented and 2 from the ICC.  We finally got an appointment with an ENT who is graciously going to remove those tonsils.

Wednesday is Halloween so we'll be trick - or - treating and eating lots of fun, creative (gross) stuff.
Thursday morning we have the procedure done.  He'll be all healed by Thanksgiving!

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this.  He doesn't rest, he gets sick almost every month, he misses school, we worry about spreading the germs... He's going to feel SO MUCH BETTER!

So - this week - NO resolution... I'm just going to enjoy my sweet kiddos... and take some much needed time off to rest and snuggle with my little big guy on the sofa with some movies... I'm sure some of which will be Christmas movies :)

I hope all of you have a great week.  Keep up the great work!  I know you're all motivated to finish those tasks and fight the good fight.

In the meantime, I'll be here... loving my kiddos...

Only By His Grace,


We always have a creative dinner for Halloween.
Here are some super fun Halloween dinner ideas I wanted to share with you.

I love making fun Halloween themes for dinner on Halloween night.  My kiddos never know what to expect.

Hot Dog Mummies -- How fun is that?

RIP cookies in chocolate pudding with crushed chocolate cookies on top...
Clever, clever!

 Veggie Fingers...
 More ham fingers... I'd have to put some red sweet and sour sauce out with these guys.

I'd use orange peppers, but what a great way to serve
spaghetti on Halloween?

One of my all time favorites...turning chicken wings
into bats...

And this year's theme?  SNAILS...

Who says you shouldn't play with your food?

November Promo

10 Days til the Giveaway:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

11 days until the giveaway...

Just a quick update about the giveaway... I am extending the entry by one week.  Instead of the drawing being held on November 1, I will be drawing on November 8.  My son is having surgery on November 1, and I'm afraid I'll forget to draw, or announce the winner.  This gives you an extra week to enter, and to tell your friends.

So far I have 29 people entered for the giveaway.  I would love to have 50 followers by November 8.  I certainly hope we can get there together.

The two prize packages are awaiting two lucky readers.  I hope one of them is you!  I truly want you all to win!  I wish I could deliver a prize to each of you - because you are all winners to me, and because your friendship is my prize!

Thank you for following, bookmarking, joining by email or adding me to your RSS feed.

I have added a few extra little goodies to the prize packages -- but I'm keeping that a secret for the winners.

Here are the packages again... just in case you wanna get in on the action.

Grand Prize package contains:

 Always Anna Crocodile Note Cards

These note cards are white with pink envelopes and black with green envelopes,
 embossed to resemble crocodile hide.  Very Cute!

Pumpkin Spice candle.  Smells so much like fall, you won't believe it! 

A sample size of Basic H cleaner and a bottle to mix it in. 
You won't believe this product!  A-mazing!

Two Chocolate Cinch Shakes!  Yummy!

Two Cinch decadence chocolate, one peanut butter crunch.. 
perfect for a quick breakfast

 All packaged in a sweet little fall bread basket...perfect for your Thanksgiving table!

Second Prize package contains:

30 dinner-sized fall-themed paper plates.  Great for snacks for those fall gatherings.

30 dessert / snack sized- fall themed paper plates.  
Yummy autumnal desserts would be so festive served on these!

Two chocolate cinch shakes, 2 cinch energy teas and one lemon-cranberry cinch bar.
Great for breakfasts, a quick lunch on the go, or whenever you need a quick energy boost.  

 This prize also contains a sample size of Basic H cleaner and a spray bottle for mixing!

All packaged in this sweet green-lined bread basket - perfect for fall gatherings, 
or your Thanksgiving table.

I hope you'll join the fun. You can enter several ways:

1) Become a follower 
(nothing will happen to you, your info won't be sold to the highest bidder, 
and I won't spam you, promise!)

2) Follow by email
You'll get updates in your email inbox - but that's all you'll get.  
You just have to let me know by leaving a comment below.

3) Post about this giveaway in your blog or your FACEBOOK page.
Let me know you're sharing the info and I'll add you to the list - if you've
already entered and you post about this on Facebook, let me know, that's another entry.

Come join the fun... somebody's gonna might as well be you!

Great Question...

I had a friend email me last week with a very important question.  I think many people may be wondering this same thing.  

Here's her question:   

What's the best and safest way to get rid of unwanted household cleaners? I have several including some bleach products, but I'm not sure the best way to dispose of them. Should I run them down the sink or trash them? Is there any other responsible ways to get rid of this stuff? We also have some yard chemicals in our basement we don't need anymore. I thought you might have some insights...let me know.

After a little research, and asking a few trustworthy friends, here's what I found out:

Each state has hazardous waste disposal facilities.  You can check out which one is closes to you by visiting  There is a link to find a location near you.  Follow the link, I think you'll find a multitude of options!

This is an important topic.  Most of the websites I visited surprisingly stated that "most household cleaners are safe to dispose of down the drain as long as they are adequately diluted."  What is adequately?  One standard was one gallon of water per a few ounces of cleaner.  So if I have 16 ounces of cleaner I would need 8 gallons of water to dispose of it?  How about a gallon of bleach?  How many gallons would I need to dispose of it?

My question is this:  Why are we wasting clean drinking water to dilute cleaners so they can go back into our treatments plants to re-clean them again?  Call me crazy, but that doesn't make sense.  We have a clean safe drinking product, we contaminate it so we can dispose of a toxic cleaning product and then we go back and have to make the water safe again.  

I'd rather start out with a safe product and NOT contaminate my drinking supply in the disposal process, thank you very much!  That's why I use Shaklee products.  I know that whether it's Basic H for my household cleaning, degreasing and window washing, Scour off, Shaklee laundry detergent, Shaklee fabric softener, Shaklee dishwasher powder, Shaklee hand soap, Shaklee dish soap, or nature bright, I know that no matter how strong I mix my products, they are still safe for my family and my environment.  I don't have to worry about what will happen if these products come in contact with my food supply or my children and pets.  I know that these products are safe!  I love that!  One less thing I have to worry about!

Basic H Super Cleaning Concentrate meets the Green Seal environmental standard for industrial and institutional cleaners based on it's reduced human and aquatic toxicity.

Germ Off Disinfecting Wipes clean, disinfect and deodorize all while being bleach and alcohol free! Fragrance Free also available.

Do good for your environment, your family and your budget! Who doesn't like saving money?

Try these products. You will not be disappointed!  They provide results!  Guaranteed or your money back!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cleaning the Fridge...A Call to Arms.

Alright Cleaning Moms... This is your Call To Arms!

I love a clean refrigerator.  I HATE a smelly one!  Sometimes I open the door, and wham! "What was that?" hits me right in the nose!  I have used many products to clean my refrigerator, but now only use one - Basic H.  It's safe around food supplies, it's all natural and non-toxic, and I don't have to worry about what happens after I close the door.

Here's where I started today:  Outdated eggs, a few pieces of rotten fruit, a couple old slices of pizza that had fallen behind the shelves and below the crisper drawer... EWWWW!

The door wasn't any better:  Salad dressings mixed with the jellies, pickles where the juice boxes should be.  It was disorganization at its finest.

First empty out that fridge.

Group like items together so you can re-stock your clean refrigerator in an organized manor.  (Can anyone explain to me why I had two identical opened items in there?)

Combine any duplicates if necessary. 

Then grab your Basic H all purpose cleaner and a micro fiber cloth... Ready, Set, Clean!
Clean your shelves, the walls, the drawers, shelves -- every nook and cranny.  But don't worry!  Basic H is safe around food supplies!  

After you have your compartments all nice and clean and your items all nice and organized, start restocking your fridge:

Fruits and veggies in the crisper drawer.  I line mine with non-slip shelf liner.  It keeps fruits and veggies from rolling around and getting bruised.

Cheese and lunch meats in one drawer.  I keep a seperate bin in my drawer to keep the cheese separate from the lunch meat. 

 Finally, I pull a week's worth of meat from my chest freezer and put it in the meat drawer to thaw.  It's ready when I am!

Restock that door keeping like-items together as much as possible.

And finally, restock those shelves.  I like to keep dairy products together, left overs together and drink items together.

One added money-saving tip:  I used to store all my left overs together in the fridge.  But I found that I kept forgetting they were in there.  I was throwing out WAY too much food.

Every night while we're cleaning up after dinner, I separate our leftovers into lunch sized portions and store them for easy grab and go lunches for work and school.  Instead of one large container of soup I choose to store two small self-sized portions.

Everything is nice and organized.  The fridge is clean and food safe.  No more nasty stench.  And mama is a happy camper!

Happy fridge cleaning!  Go tackle those messes!

Only By His Grace,


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