Category Archives: family topics

$25 Spendervention again at Marshalls

I love Spring when you think about cleaning out the old, and bringing in some new and just cleaning in general. Today I headed out to Marshalls for my spendervention. I had my $25 ready and waiting to be spent on some new goodies from Marshalls. I think lots of people had the same idea for a spendervention because the store was PACKED!

I saw some great things at the store. There were some great designer jeans by True Religion, Los Angeles Lakers tshirts, house hold goods, beauty products, Ralph Lauren flip flops, just to name a few. It was pretty well stocked full of some of the branded items you’d typically find at a department store for full price.

My mission for my spendervention was to find some key things that would fit my $25 budget. I combed carefully through the aisles and came across a few great items. Remember how I mentioned spring cleaning? Well, I think the items that I picked out would certainly fit the theme.

I found a bottle of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day all natural laundry detergent. This stuff is really expensive at Whole Foods market and any other grocery store. This was a must have for my spring planning.

Next, I found some great organic cotton kitchen towels. How great are these?! I think that as I get older, I’m slowly transitioning to use more natural products where possible. These towels felt really nice and I think they’ll do the job well.

Lastly, we bought a grater because we’ve been wanting one for a while. I think this would be great for our panini grilled sandwiches that we’re having for dinner while we watch the Laker vs. Magic NBA finals game.

Check out the photo!


Since we are a family friendly blog, I thought that purchasing these home type items would be a really great way to showcase what finds you could see at your local Marshalls.

Happy Spendervention!!

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Filed under Eco Friendly, environmentally friendly products, family topics

All Natural Gnat Killer Repellent Recipe

I have this lovely orchid plant in my house that has recently been invaded by a bunch of pesky gnats. Its really annoying when you see them flying around the house and on your plant. I’m convinced that they are the cause of my recent orchid plant baldness. I’ve lost a few of the leaves already and most of the blooms have fallen. I’m not a green thumb, but I have recently gained pride in the fact that this orchid has not died in my care. Its been a good four months since its been delivered to my house.


I went online in search of something to help my issue. I didn’t want to kill the plant in the process so I stumbled upon a recipe from all natural ingredients. I can’t remember where I saw it now, so I can’t credit the site. Please let me know if its you and I’ll add you on this post.

The concoction was made and tested out yesterday. The gnats pretty much dropped dead on contact and we haven’t seen a sign of them since. Hopefully they will leave my pretty orchid alone.

Want the recipe?

1 clean plant spray bottle

3 cups of water

1/4 cup of all natural dish liquid (I used Ecological Ecover dishwashing liquid – found at Whole Foods)

2 Tbs of crushed mint leaves (Gnats apparently don’t like this)

2 Tbs of lemon or lime juice

I added them all into my spray bottle and shook it up some.  I used it on my indoor and outdoor plants. I hope that it continues to work. Crossing my fingers. This way I don’t have to buy a $5+ bottle of poisoning spray stuff and its ecologically sound to use these products, as well as, non harmful to your plants.

If you try this and it works, let me know. I’d like to hear your stories.

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Filed under Eco Friendly, environmentally friendly products, family topics, recipes

How to Stay Positive in this Economy ~ Newlywed Girl

Every day on TV, online, newspaper and any other information source, you hear the depressing news about the state of the economy and how bad things are right now. The other day I read about this interview that Susie Ormond gave to Larry King. Her philosophy was that we should count our pennies and to try to stay positive.

Unemployment is a real deal in 2008/2009. Its so real that its even happened in my family. My husband was laid off around the holidays of 2008 and has been on the  job search. Thankfully, we have still one income and severance to rely on for the time being. We’ll really have to learn how to manage our budget with one source of funding, and like Susie says, count our pennies.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying my best to be supportive of my husband. Its a tough job market out there and even if he submits his resume a bunch of times, there are few if any bites his way. Its no time to be depressed or at all down on yourself. Eventually, we know he’ll get back on his feet and it’ll be better than ever.

What’s he doing to pass the time? Well aside from the daily emails, resume submissions, and calls here and there to recruiters, he’s keeping busy. He’s had time to do home projects, improve his golf game, and just have some much needed theraputic detox from his old job.

One REALLY cool thing that he did recently was volunteer at a local winery in the Santa Barbara area. He donated his free time to work the fields, pack boxes, and generally anything to help this local and very small vineyard. My husband felt productive and even had an opportunity to learn a lot more about the wine industry and the operations for running a vineyard and winery. If this is a dream of his in the future, he’s made steps towards it by giving some of his free time to help.

Some of the other things that we’ve talked about at length is determining what he’d like to do for himself. Now is really the time to reflect and open his mind and eyes to all the different possibilities. Does he want to go get certified in something? Does he want to become a wine sommelier? Does he want to go back to school? To me he’s got this terrific blank slate to figure it out.

He’s going to continue to look for jobs daily, and look for ways to get himself back in the work force. He’s also going to spend time at the local bookstore trying to figure out some of those questions above. The big what do I want to do? There’s time for him to go and absorb like a sponge, any and all information he can get his hands on. He’ll be able to work on his golf game that he’s been constantly trying to fix. Maybe I’ll even throw in a couple of those Honey Do’s when he lets me assign them 🙂

Basically the point of this post is to give you the real life experience of being part of the unemployed, and how we are trying to make the best of things. There’s no reason to go into dispair. I’m not a finance expert, so I won’t be able to give you advice there.  We do have to survive on my income alone so we will find a way, somehow.

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Filed under family topics, Pay bills