Wednesday, June 30, 2010

5 minutes for me

As you know, I've been pretty much absent for a couple of weeks.  I've been crazy busy with cake orders, the end of baseball season and school and everything else in between.  I had a total of 11 orders between the last two weekends.  I'm so thankful!  But that also means less time to spend on my blog.  I have to say that I've been missing it and sort of feel guilty.  I have a feeling such will be the case the rest of the summer.  I'd like to get back to my Frugal Friday's at least because I know a few of you were looking forward to it.  So, this is what I've been up to....  I didn't take pics of all of the work since some was repeat of other cakes and plain cupcakes.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Frugal Friday 6/11

This turned out to be a busy week since I got 2 large last minute cake orders.  I hope you all enjoyed my first edition of Frugal Friday last week.  Earlier in the week before my 2 orders came in, I thought to myself that I should write my post for Friday just in case and I never did.  Big mistake!  So, I'm taking a break from caking to bring you some more tips.

This week...IN THE KITCHEN!

Homemade Stock

I have to say that nothing tastes quite as good as a homemade stock when making soup.  And I know what you're thinking..".stock?  I'm NOT making my own stock.  There are so many good ones on the shelf of the grocery store!"  Not only is this a better tasting stock but you control what goes in!  And, not only are you getting a great tasting stock, you're also cutting down on household waste!

Here's what you do:

Every time you get ready to use a vegetable, wash the outside thoroughly, even onions and garlic.  Get yourself a freezer container or baggie and every time you peel a vegetable, stick the peelings and ends that get cut off into this container in the freezer.  When it's full, add it to water and boil it.  Strain and voila! stock!
You can use anything you like in it.  Carrot peelings and ends, zucchini ends, pepper tops, onion and garlic skin, green trimmings (collards, escarole, etc), celery tops and bottoms, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower stalks, honestly the list is endless!

No more expensive extract! (Citrus)

I'm a baker so I know how expensive flavoring extracts can be and lots of them don't even really taste good.  If you do any baking with orange or lemon extract, stop buying them!  Before you peel that orange to eat the inside, use a microplane grater and get all that flavorful zest off!  EVERY time.  Keep your zest in a small ziploc baggie in the freezer and each time you eat an orange, get that zest off.  And the same with lemons.  Zest it before you cut it open and save it in a ziploc bag.  Each time you need lemon or orange flavor for a recipe, pull out some and stick it in your recipe!

That's all I have for today.  I know it's not fabulous but I'm actually in the middle of making 2 last minute cakes.  I'm making a 20" standing Dewar's bottle and a club penguin cake, both for the same family.  They've been very time consuming and not very cooperative..sigh.  Until next week....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Who's leaving the plastic baggies at the store?

And the winner of the PB Green Re-usable Lunch Set chosen by is.....

Keira!  Congrats Keira, I'll email you shortly with contact info so you can order your new lunch set.

Thank you to PB Green for working with me on my first giveaway!

You've gotta speak up!

For quite some time now, when I receive a product that's damaged in any way or not up to standards, I contact the company.  You've gotta speak up when you spend your hard earned money on something and end up not being able to use it.

Recently, I had purchased Wilton gum paste on 3 separate occasions at Michael's and AC Moore.  When I opened them, all three of them, I found that the top portion of the gum paste was already hardened and un-usable.  Now this stuff is expensive and there's not much in the package, so when you're having to cut a portion of it off to get to the usable stuff, that's upsetting! 

I got on the phone with Wilton customer service and guess what they did?  They replaced all three bags!  Nice, right!  It came via FedEx in less than a week.  Now that's how a company should react to such problems.  Thanks Wilton!

Last Reminder!

Tonight at 9 pm EST the PB Green giveaway ends.  Don't miss your chance to win a re-usable lunch set including 2 snack bags and a sandwich wrap!  Enter here ------->PB GREEN GIVEAWAY

Friday, June 4, 2010


I'd like to start a weekly post to share tips on how I try to be more frugal.  I'm hoping that you will learn something new and it will help you and your family.  What better day than "Frugal Friday"!! 

And so, here's the first weekly installment of Frugal Fridays.  I'll be asking for guest bloggers from time to time to share your ideas so if you're interested, please email me at!

This week I'd like to talk about your dirty laundry.  A while back I gave you the recipe and instructions, complete with pictures, on how to make your own laundry detergent.  Don't worry, it's really easy!  You don't need to be Suzy homemaker to do it, I promise. 

So how much does a bottle of Tide cost these days?  Like a hundred bucks?  No, seriously, it's really expensive and it's one of the worst ones out there as far as polluting the environment.  Check out this article from to read all about it.  

So let's say you pay $12.00 for a 64 load bottle of Tide.  The 64 load estimate is for small loads.  Do you only fill it to the bottom line?  Let's even say you do.  That's .1875 cents per load.  I'm guessing you only get more like 50 loads and therefore pay more like .24 cents per load.

The recipe I shared with you HERE, cost .71 cents for 64 loads!  That's a whopping .01 cent per load!  If you need me to post the breakdown I will but trust me, it's accurate.

So I ask you, will you please try a batch or 2 of this?  You won't be disappointed!  I do an average of 10 loads per week so it costs me .10 cents per week to wash my clothes.  If you use Tide, you're spending $2.40 per week, $124.80 per year.  Mine costs me $5.20 PER YEAR!  I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but if you add that to 5 or 6 other things you save over $100 on, you've just freed up an extra $500 or more per year!

I hope you're inspired.  It's cheap and green!

NOTE:  From reading several other reviews on homemade laundry detergent, I've decided to use Ivory soap next time as several posts have reported color fading from using the Fels Naptha.  I have not experienced this color fade as of yet.

PB Green Giveaway Ends Monday 6/7 at 9 pm EST

A reminder to all you wonderful followers, that my PB Green Giveaway will end in just 3 days.  Be sure to visit the post and enter for your chance to win a FREE set of re-usable snack bags and a sandwich wrap in a pattern of your choice!  These are wonderful high quality items that you shouldn't be without!

BUY THEM! PB Green Bags

Please stop by the post and enter!  And please visit PB Green Bags to see her beautiful items!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday!

Mama's little apprentice?  Looks like my 22 month old's gearing up to take over my cake and cookie business one day!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

PB Green re-usable snack bags and sandwich wrap giveaway reminder

Just a reminder to enter for a chance to win a re-usable snack bag and sandwich wrap set from PB Green.  Your odds are good as there are only 19 entries right now!  You get to choose which pattern you would like to have for yourself. 

Enter Here-------------------------->PB GREEN GIVEAWAY

Please do not enter any comments for contest entry below this post.  You must visit the original contest post to leave your entries.  Thanks!