Our life in B-town

Attempting family life that is frugal, organic and eco-friendly

Blessingway! It was beautiful! March 26, 2013

Filed under: About me,Birth,Celebrations,Event planning,Pregnancy — rorosarahbeth @ 1:43 am

So since I posted last lots has happened I will update everything one post at a time and try to keep them in order. I had my blessingway which was awesome. Brenda did an awesome job with everything. The food was delicious, the decor she made was beautiful and everyone was so sweet.  Here are the pictures from that.

belly

My belly and hand henna.

blessignway 2 blessignway 3

Brenda did an awesome job!

blessingeay blessingway henna belly

Everyone decorated their hand with a heart<3

henna hands 2 henna hands

 

Spaghetti Sauce September 16, 2012

Filed under: Eco friendly,Frugal,recipes,Self sufficiency — rorosarahbeth @ 8:52 pm

I had a mamma ask me how to make spaghetti sauce home made. It’s SUPER easy and there is TONS of room for experimentation and customization! My mother makes it with mushrooms in it but I hate mushrooms so I leave them out.  Are you a vegetarian? Just use veggie stock instead of chicken!

Anyway here is my personal recipe. Be warned this makes a HUGE batch. I have enough for 4-5 large meals easily.

  • 4 (28 ounce cans) of tomato paste
  • 2 (28 ounce cans) of tomato puree/sauce
  • 2 (15 ounce cans) of stewed tomatoes
  • 2 (28 ounce cans) of peeled ground tomatoes
  • 2 (14.5) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper (I like to use a little of each color but you can use just green or any other color)
  • 1 quart of chicken broth or stock (I have used both veggie and beef as well, both work but change the flavor slightly, I just usually have chicken stock more then the other two)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Basil 2 tbsp of fresh/frozen basil- I buy the tube in the produce section and freeze it to use as needed. Dried basil just doesn’t cut it for me. (Here is the tube I get from Haggen)
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of parsley
  • 1 tsp of rosemary

Put everything into a VERY large pot and mix together well. Cook on stove on LOW all day. Store overnight in the fridge and bag up into plastic bags or mason jars based on what your family will eat in a sitting and freeze.  Stores very well for 2-3 months in a freezer. This batch usually lasts my family about a month!

 

 

Protected: Busy With Diapers! August 31, 2012

Filed under: Cloth Diapering,Eco friendly,Frugal,Parenting — rorosarahbeth @ 4:00 pm

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Lions Then Elephants and Now Giraffes! August 27, 2012

Filed under: Frugal,Johnathon,Pregnancy,Solomon,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 12:28 am

I love baby decor. I picked a theme for each of my boys while I was pregnant with them. Johnathon was little lions, Zephaniah was elephants and Solomon will be giraffes. I figured I would just keep going with the safari animal theme with the boys. :-)

When I was pregnant with Johnathon I was a very broke single mom on bed rest. But I still wanted Johnathon to have a cute bedding set that matched his theme. I picked lions for his theme because they went so well with his personality. He is a very noble and loyal little guy, fiercely protective of those he loves. I got a blue gingham bumper second hand. I think it was only $5 at the Goodwill. Someone made me a sweet patchwork quilt with little lions on it. It was mostly blue and yellow so I pickled up a few bright yellow sheets second hand. I never found a crib skirt that would work with his bedding so he doesn’t have one. My mother got me his crib right after he was born. Target was having a clearance so I picked a white crib for him from those clearance out. I believe it was only $80 and it converts all the way up to a full size bed so I will never need to buy him another bed frame, just a mattress and foundation when the time comes.  I found a dresser with a broken drawer in the dumpster after he was born so I fished it out bleached the heck out of it and glued the drawer back together and painted it. Both the boys still use it for clothes now. I am washing his blanket now but when I get a chance I will take a picture of it and add it to this post later.

When I was pregnant with Zephaniah I knew if I had another boy I would do elephants. I had seen way too many cute baby elephant themed things that just inspired me. Plus they seemed to fit his personality well. He is always hungry and is very methodical in how he does things, always the same way and if you vary in his routine he gets upset.  He also has a great memory! He remembers everything I show him or tell him, plus he is totally stubborn. His bedding choice was easier. I just bought him a set I found on clearance that I liked and had elephants. I spent $45 on the set and it included a sheet, bed skirt, and blanket. I am still making his mobile (Bad mommy! But in my defense we were homeless at the time of his birth and I didn’t really get his crib together until after he was 6 months old and we had a home again.) but it matches his crib set and is very cute. I want to make one for Johnathon too but I worry he is too big for these things now. We shall see how he reacts to Zephaniah’s first before I decide. I searched for almost a year for a similar solid back white crib for Zephaniah and finally found one in March and it was on sale for $200! Score! At the top of my budget but considering I got a good deal on everything else this works, especially since it also converts all the way up into a full bed!

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For Solomon I am still on the fence about what I want to do. I love the ease of a set  but the price is killing me so I am considering another piecemeal set. I am sorta leaning towards finding pieces that are separate because I am not particularly loving the sets I find. I kinda want to do a grey and yellow color theme this time and I found a set I liked but it is now no longer sold. Of course! I have found the blanket but not the bumpers, skirt or sheet. I am thinking of just getting the blanket and getting other things that  match it. I also love the idea of a grey chevron bumper. It has great contrast for developing eyes and would fit in nicely with the other patterns in the boys room. I just need to find an affordable grey chevron bumper and I will do it. :-) Now I need to find another solid back convertible crib because  the one that took forever to find for Zephaniah is now no longer available! Of course!  If you see one  then let me know!


If you are interested then check out my pinboard going for little Solomon here.

 

Protected: Been Baking for Barter! August 23, 2012

Filed under: Frugal,Holidays,Johnathon,Solomon,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 2:42 am

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Way Too Busy! August 20, 2012

Filed under: Birth,Giving back,Pregnancy — rorosarahbeth @ 12:27 am

Sorry I haven’t been posting much! I have been cooking tons for other people and it’s been hot the days I haven’t been cooking. Not warm but very hot. My laptop makes me warm on it’s own so I avoided it while it was hot out!

I’ve been working on Christmas gifts lately for the kids. I am trading for them and buying used where I can. It’s early you say? Why yes, it is! I just don’t like being caught off guard. Plus I am having a baby either right before Christmas,  ON Christmas or right after. I doubt I will want to be shopping a lot around that time!

 

Brenda’s Italian White Bean Soup/Stew August 14, 2012

Filed under: Doing for others,recipes,Sean,Zephaniah — rorosarahbeth @ 1:11 am

I made this last week and I had been meaning to post it but I had other things I wanted to post too!

  • 1 lb Dried great northern beans (or other white, mild flavored beans -I used White Lima beans)
  • 4 Chicken or veggie bullion cubes (Or about 1 quart of broth-I used home-made chicken broth)
  • 1 quart of water to cook beans (Omit if you use broth, you can always add extra water if the beans soak it all up)
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning (I omitted because I used home-made spaghetti which was already spiced to my liking)
  • 2.5ish cups spaghetti sauce (or one of the cans from the dollar store -I used home-made I had in the freezer)
  • 1 bunch spinach or half block frozen chopped spinach

*Optional* None of these things are required for the recipe to turn out but I will comment on what I added to mine. :-)

  • Up to 1 lb  ground beef or Italian sausage ( I used sweet Italian sausage links)
  • Dried or fresh garlic to taste
  • 1/4 cup of shredded zucchini (I had some in the freezer so I tossed it in)
  • 1/2 cup of sliced carrots (I had some shredded in the freezer so I added that)
  • 1/2 cup of Sliced green, yellow, orange or red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup of sliced eggplant
  • 1/4 cup of mushrooms
  • 1/2 olive slices

Put beans, water, bullion (or broth), seasoning and sauce and garlic if using in pot or crock pot. Cook until beans are soft. If you are adding sausage or beef, brown that and add now. Chop spinach (and other veggies) and add to soup and bring back up to simmer. More water/broth makes it more like soup, and  less water like a thick stew or chilli texture. This makes a TON of food. Definitely enough for leftovers several times though!

My yummy bowl of soup!

My family LOVED this recipe and even my pickiest (Sean!) said we should make it again. It was an easy throw together dinner that is good for everyone. Zephaniah was the only one who couldn’t eat it because he is sensitive to tomatoes and gets a rash but it wasn’t a big deal to boil a few beans and veggies into his own little soup though. I am sending part of the left overs over to a friend that just had a baby along with lasagna, blueberry muffins and vegetarian chilli. Perhaps a few other things too but we shall see how ambitious I am!

 

 
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