Saturday, January 31, 2009

Homemade Cleaners


Here are some tips and also recipes for using and making your own household cleaners from "Dining On A Dime Cookbook". Most of the recipes are simple and only take a few minutes to mix.

* NEVER MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH! Mixing these chemicals creates a harmful gas that can be fatal!

* If you don't want to make your own cleaning supplies, either purchase the store brands at your dollar store or in bulk at a janitor supply.

* Buy 1 gallon of bubble bath and use instead of liquid hand soap. It is much cheaper and smells better than regular hand soap.

* Read the labels on any cleaning product you buy, even on common products that you, your mom and grandmother have used for years. For example, for generations women have used ammonia to disinfect their kitchens, but ammonia is not a disinfectant. It is a de-greaser. It works great for that greasy grimy build-up on floors, but it isn't actually disinfecting anything.

* Mark your cleaning pail with fingernail polish to indicate the levels of water you usually use for your jobs (i.e. 1/2 gallon, 1 gallon). That way you don't waste water.

* When using cleansers, tear the tab back only part way. Then you only get half as much cleanser so that you don't wash as much unused cleanser down the drain.

* Save on spray cleaners. Spray the solution on a rag and then wipe. This way the extra spray cleaner is not wasted and you save time by not having to rinse off the over-spray.

* Use fabric softener sheets to dust furniture and television screens. The sheets make your furniture smell good, but more importantly, eliminate static so dust won't be attracted to these surfaces.

Recipes:

All-purpose/Window Cleaner
- 1/2 cup ammonia
- 2 cups rubbing alcohol
- Water
- 1 tsp dishwashing liquid
In a one-gallon container, mix ammonia and rubbing alcohol.
Fill almost to the top with water. Add dishwashing liquid and mix. Top off with water. Rated by Consumer Reports Magazine to work much better (and much cheaper) than most commercial window and kitchen sprays. Alcohol is the secret ingredient -- it's what commercial window washers use.
*Safe on most, but not all, household surfaces. I use this to clean almost everything from the bathroom to the window.
This is the main cleaner I use in my house.

Ready Mop Cleaner Refill
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup ammonia
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- Water
Mix ingredients and pour. Use in your mops instead of buying commercial cleaner.
Tip: Use a piece of scrap fleece, scrap flannel or micro- fiber towels (purchased at automotive stores) to replace your Swiffer or Clorox Ready Mop disposable pads. Cut several to size to have on hand. When soiled, throw in the wash and launder as usual. Note: Don't use ammonia on wood floors. Just use vinegar and water or water and Murphy's Oil soap.

Daily Shower Cleaner
- 1/4 cup concentrated cleaner (Lysol is a good brand)
- 1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol
- Water
Pour cleaner and alcohol into quart spray bottle. Add enough water to fill. Thoroughly clean shower before using. Spray on shower daily. Use daily to prevent water deposits and soap scum.

Homemade Cleaning Wipes
- 1 round baby wipe container*
- 1 roll of paper towels**
- 2-4 cups cleaning solution (homemade is fine) Recycle a used round baby wipe container. Cut a roll of paper towel in half, (an electric or serrated knife works best for this.) Remove the center cardboard. Place 1/2 of the paper towels in the baby wipe container. Pour cleaning solution into the container. (The amount will depend of the absorbency of your paper towels.) This can be used for window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, or disinfectant cleaner. Pull the first paper towel out of the center of the roll, through the hole in the container lid. If the paper towels dry out before they are all used, add more solution or some water.
*If you don't have a baby wipe container, you can use a round plastic container and just drill or punch a large hole in the center of the lid.
**It is best to use expensive, thick paper towels. The cheap ones won't hold up to scrubbing.

Face/Hand Wipes
- 2 Tbsp liquid baby bath
- 2 cups water

Bathroom Wipes
- 1/2 cup pine cleaner
- 2 cups water

Window Wipes
- 1 cup glass cleaner
- 1 1/2 cups water

Outdoor Window Washer
- 3 Tbsp liquid dishwashing soap
- 1 Tbsp anti-spotting agent (like Jet Dry)
Put soap and anti-spotting agent into a spray bottle attachment for your garden hose. Spray upper windows and let them dry. This is for cleaning the higher windows on your house that you can't reach except with a ladder.

Tough Hand Cleaner
- 1/4 cup Fels Naptha*, grated
- 2 Tbsp mason’s sand or pumice
- 1 cup water
- 2-cup plastic container (16 oz. cottage cheese container works great)
Place soap and water in a saucepan. Place over low heat; stir until soap is melted. After mixture cools, add mason's sand or pumice. Store in a cottage cheese container or margarine tub. Dip fingers into soap mixture and lather hands. Rinse well. *Any grated bar of soap will work but Fels Naptha removes the stains better.

Skunk Smell Remover
- 1 qt hydrogen peroxide
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 tsp dish detergent
Sponge on and let dry. Safe for use on cats and dogs.

About the Author:
Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the editors of http://www.LivingOnADime.com/. As a single mother of two, Jill Cooper started her own business without any capital and paid off $35,000 debt in 5 years on $1,000 a month income. Tawra and her husband paid off $20,000 debt in 5 years on $22,000 a year income.

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Free Stay-at-Home Mom's guide to Successful Ebay selling Ebook!

I am relatively certain that you don'thave to be a SAHM to take advantage of this offer!
Thanks to http://iamfrugal.blogspot.com/ for letting me know about this offer.

Right now Suzanne at Ebay Selling Coach is offering her ebook Stay at Home Mom's Guide to Successful Ebay Selling for free. You can go HERE to download your free copy.I'm excited to get this little book and learn more about how to sell on Ebay and get rid of some of our clutter!Thanks to Suzanne, for offering this great ebook!

Lowering The Electric Bill (via Home Ec 101)



Some quick and easy tips can be found here.

Free Mineral Makeup Samples


I found this deal on Mary's site. My total came to $3.13 (you only pay S & H). This is a fun way to try some new colors "on the cheap!" Check it out below:


Check out Blissfully Domestic to learn how you can get 5 Everyday Minerals makeup samples for the cost of shipping (about $3). I ordered mine at the start of the week and got them in the mail today. The samples aren’t huge, but each container holds enough for a week or two’s trial. I love that I was able to select 3 different foundations so that I had a good chance of finding at least one color that was right.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Some choco-rific HG recipes...


That's Hazel-NUTS Cocoa Supreme - The richest cup of cocoa you'll ever drink. Period.

Mini Microwave Triple Chocolate Cake - If anyone asks you to share, point them to the microwave. They can make their own.

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes - The world's most perfect no-guilt chocolate cupcake.


Swirls Gone Wild Cheesecake Brownies - Doesn't the name say it all?


HG Style Hot Fudge 'n Brownie Sundae - Careful! You might want to make it EVERY day! Click 'n scroll!


So-Good Chocolate Chip Softies - A "softy" is a person who's overly sentimental. Our softies are just overly delicious.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Crisp Puddin' Shake - We can come up with different ways to eat chocolate all day. Click. Scroll.

The Panini Solution


Check out this frugal tip from Mary Hunt:


In the world of really delicious food, there exists a gourmet sandwich that contains a terrific secret for every home cook. It’s called a Panino, which is a pressed and grilled sandwich filled with things like meat, vegetables and cheese. Its name alone commands respect. But when you realize you can fill it with what you happen to have on hand (especially leftovers), it becomes a culinary solution.


Click here for the rest of the article and some awesome looking recipes.

Making your Own Free/VERY Cheap Photo Cards

Run on over to Money Saving Methods and find out how to get Free/VERY Cheap Photo Valentines (or anytime) cards.
Did you love the 6 free Photo Valentine's Cards I posted about here? Did you not take advantage of them yet? You better. Mine came today and they are ADORABLE! I love them. Click here for the entire article.

Grocery Shopping Isn’t Rocket Science

Happy to be @ Home has an interesting article about "Shopping Care Essentials." Check it out.
So, you’re going to start eating healthy. Congratulations are in order—and so is a trip to the grocery store. Stocking up on some new items is a must. If your pantry is full of healthy fare, you’ll stress less about meals, and you’ll be less likely to snack on nutritionally-empty junk.

Broadcast Dysfunction

With the upcoming Super Bown this weekend (Go Steelers!), I thought this was an interesting study, complied by Common Sense Media.

Broadcast Dysfunction: Sex, Violence, Alcohol, and the NFL

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cleaning With Sickness In Mind

I clipped this a while ago (can't remember where it was). GREAT ideas with cold and flu season in full swing.
I am adding this for Tammy's Kitchen Tip Tuesday (with a few more rooms added in. . .)
Cleaning With Sickness In Mind
Living Areas
In your living room, great room, and all other areas where you “hang out,” keep in mind areas your hands touch- doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, computer keypads. For items that are less likely to be harmed by getting a little wet, spray Lysol and leave it without wiping. For more sensitive electronic items, I usually spray Lysol on a cloth and wipe from there.

Kitchen
Here, you’ll also think about areas hands touch. Again, clean the light switches, doorknobs, the refrigerator door handle, and all other areas your hands touch. Lysol, again, is the best for this. Don’t forget things like your coffee maker and the buttons on your microwave. I rarely use bleach for cleaning since I cannot handle the smell, but I do use a bit of bleach in my dishwater when washing dishes if anyone has been sick. I also make sure all dishes are absolutely and thoroughly dry before putting them away. I normally make sure they’re dry, but in the case of sickness, bone dry, baby.

Bedrooms
I change the sheets as soon as someone’s finished being sick and wash them with hot water. If you’re going through a particularly ugly round of sickness and you feel too weak still to change sheets, changing the pillowcases will be a good temporary solution until you feel well enough to go all out and change everything. Don’t forget your can of Lysol and spraying all the areas your hands touch. I also like to make sure I thoroughly dust and vacuum (this goes for every room of the house) if it’s a respiratory illness- sometimes a bad cold is actually allergies. Give your pillows a nice sunning, if it’s dry enough outside.

Bathrooms
Clean your toilets like the Queen of England is coming to use the loo. And, of course, don’t forget the good ol’ Lysol. Clean the sink and tub really well, too. And, of course, don’t forget the light switches, etc.

Laundry
All clothes and bed linens from the sick person should be washed with the hottest water possible. If there have been diarrhea or vomiting issues, be sure to wash those items separately with bleach, if the items can be bleached. Dry on the hottest possible setting as well. And, naturally, Lysol all the areas that hands touch. You should be used to that routine by now.

AngelFood Ministries. . .an awesome, frugal resource


February's REGULAR BOX for $30.00

Balanced nutrition and variety with enough food to feed a family of four for a week.

1.5 lb. Sirloin Strip Steaks (4 x 6 oz.)
2 lb. Tray Pack Chicken Breast
1 lb. Boneless Pork Chops
2 lb. Breaded Chicken Nuggets
28 oz. Salisbury Steak Entreé
12 oz. Sliced Bacon
1 lb. All-Meat Hot Dog
1 lb. Stir Fry (Broccoli, Red Peppers & Onions)
1 lb. Carrots
8 oz. Breakfast Cereal
32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk
35 oz. Crinkle-Cut Fries
7.25 oz. Mac ‘n Cheese
1 lb. Rice
1 lb. Bean Soup Mix
Dozen Eggs
Dessert


Click here to find a host site near you. If you can't find one, call them at 1-888-819-3745 for updated information.

Mindi at Moms Need to Know wrote this article about AngelFood.

Hillbilly Housewife actually compiles a menu plan with recipes for the AngelFood boxes each month.

Feeding a Family on $50 per week . . . can it be done?

Mindi over at Moms Need to Know has written a three part article about Feeding a Family on $50 per Week.

How much is your grocery budget each week?


Read on.


I’ve been asked several times how I can possibly feed a family of five on only $50 per week ($57, if you include my weekly diaper budget). If you are like most people and spending $150 per week for a family of 4 (although from talking to people, I think that amount may be low), the idea of cutting your bill by 66-75% may seem like a pipe dream.]



So how do I do it?


Feeding a Family on $50 per Week: Part 1

Feeding a Family on $50 per Week: Part 2

Feeding a Family on $50 per Week: Part 3

High fructose corn syrup contains mercury?

High fructose corn syrup contains mercury and other reasons I think we're going to start feeding our kids air.

Check out this article from Mom-101.

Coming out on DVD Tuesday: FIREPROOF, one of the most profitable movies ever made!

Last fall, a small, unheralded movie called Fireproof (IDP/Samuel Goldwyn) arrived in theatres and became a huge surprise hit and among the most profitable movies ever made (at least according to budget-to-gross ratio). Now that the film will be released on DVD this Tuesday (January 27), I thought it was worth revisiting the mysterious recipe for the movie’s success.

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays: Babe Ruth Bars




This is a recipe my mom used to make when we were kids.

I hope this recipe Tempts your Tummy like it always does mine!


Andrea


Friday, January 23, 2009

Top 10 Tips for Junkie's

Have you ever been to Tip Junkie? If you haven't, it's a fun place to look around. Check out the link below to see some AWESOME tips!

Welcome!
Tip Junkie is a collection of pictures and links to creative ideas from women bloggers. Hopefully, you'll be inspired by the tips and amazing ideas I feature daily.
To catch you up on what you've missed, here are the Top Ten Tips for Junkie's like me!

Did you know that Rite Aid Pharmacy online has a FREE weight loss plan?


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Menu Planning Resource

I love menu planning. I am not consistent with it, but when I am, it gives me a great deal of comfort to know that we won't eat out that week. Here's a great post from MommySnacks about how she does it.

I plan my menu plan each week. I find it saves me money, time, and headaches after a long day! I will be sharing my own style of menu planning in a future snack, but I wanted to share this Menu Planning Resource with you because I think it has helped me immensely as I sit down to menu plan. Click here for the rest of the post.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Comfort Food Recipe Swap @ Life as Mom!

FishMamma over at Life as Mom is hosting a Comfort Food Recipe Swap today. My favorite "go-to" recipe is Alfredo with Grilled Chicken. Here's the recipe:

Chicken Alfredo (a la Andrea)


1 stick butter (the real thing, please)
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese
Garlic pepper to taste

Melt these together on medium heat. Whisk or use a mixer until smooth. Add garlic pepper.

2 cups liquid--I use 1-1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water (Whole or skim milk work fine too!)


Whisk in the liquid, stirring constantly. It will be thin.

6-8 ounces of Parmesan cheese

I use the cheapest grated kind. (I have also grated fresh cheese myself for this recipe and couldn't really tell a difference.) Add cheese slowly to the liquid until blended. Turn heat to low and let cheese melt slowly. It will thicken upon standing off the heat.


I like to make this and refrigerate it until the next day. It reheats well, but you have to add some water to get it to thin up some. It is VERY thick. A word of warning, don't freeze it. I made that mistake and had to throw it away. I don't know if it is the cream or the cream cheese, but it doesn't freeze well.

Serve with grilled chicken strips and linguine pasta.

Serves approx. 6 people (more or less depending on how hungry you are!)

Check out Life as Mom's Site. It's awesome!

Meal Planning: Save Time, Reduce Stress, Eat Healthy & Enjoy Your Family


The children are running around the kitchen. The dog is barking it at the door and dinner should have been on the table thirty minutes ago. It’s a common scenario in many households come dinner time.

The reason that most meal times don’t always go smoothly may because dinner the last thing on your mind and when it’s time to get food on the table, everything else goes haywire in your house.

We have all been there, but with a little bit of meal-planning, you can be serving up delicious meals the family will be glad to gather around the table for.

Meal planning can make it easy to get dinner on the table in no time on a busy night. Not only do you save time, but it’s economical too. You buy only what you need, avoid the drive-through line up and you can concentrate on using fresh ingredients – instead of prepackages items from the grocery store. Every mother should have a set way to plan all of their meals in advance for the week…it’s a true life-saver.

The first step to successful meal planning is to sit down before you head out to the grocery store for the week (or sign up for the affordable '>Dine Without Whine they’ll make that plan for you).

It is best to plan what food you will need to have on had before you head to the grocery store when planning the week’s meals. Meal planning will make good use of a well stocked pantry and will only need a regular amount of grocery shopping. By having your meals for the week planned out, you will be able to write a grocery list that you can stick to actually puts your grocery list together for you too). This will help you to save money by keeping you from not buying extra food that you will not use.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

At the Well. . .a new site to check out!

If you are new to The Well, please feel free to go here to read just what At The Well is all about.

In order to help "kick-start" our new site, we are going to be giving away door prizes on our launch date. We've got some great prizes...Here is what you could win...
  • A brand new blog face lift valued at over $50 donated by Doodlebug Designs
  • A custom blog card (or mom card, if you don’t blog) design, valued at $30. You’ll receive a high quality .jpg, .png or .pdf file – you can do the printing yourself or have them printed online or locally – the options are endless. Print only as many as you need! The file is yours to keep.donated by Simply Amusing Designs
  • "Fill 'Em Up!" ... a "cookbook" for parents to use with kids which includes a devotional/Bible study that goes along with each recipe.donated by Heavenly Homakers
  • A signed copy of the book "The Devil in Your Garden"donated by Natalie Witcher from I AM (not)
  • A digital scrapbook download package donated by The Digital Scrapbook Place
  • A $25 Starbucks gift card donated by At the Well

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cake Mix Dinner Rolls

I found this fascinating recipe at Mommy's Kitchen! Check out her site.

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or Bread Flour
  • 1 (9 ounce) package yellow cake mix (about 1 cup)(don't use the whole box it is usually 18oz you can also use 1 jiffy yellow cake mix)
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 2 egg whites beaten
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the flour and cake mix. Beat until dough is smooth. Add some flour on the counter and knead any additional flour to the dough. Knead until it is not sticky anymore.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  5. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into rounds. Let rest for 5 minutes and then roll into 12 inch circles.
  7. Cut each circle into 10 wedges. Brush melted margarine onto the circles. Roll up the wedges, beginning at the wide end.
  8. Place on prepared baking sheets with the end of the roll on the bottom. Brush the rolls with margarine and beaten egg white. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Quick & Easy Breezy--Super Versatile Blueberry Muffins



Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:




  • 2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat & 1 cup regular flour with marvellous results.)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup milk

  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup Splenda-ish sweetner and 1/4 cup white sugar.)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used about 1/3 cup. Next time, I will try using 1/2 cup applesauce.)

  • 1 cup blueberries - frozen or fresh - thawed

    Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and sugar; mix well.
  3. In a separate smaller bowl beat eggs lightly and stir in milk, and oil.
  4. Quickly stir egg mixture into dry ingredients.
  5. Carefully stir in blueberries
  6. Spoon mixture into greased muffin cups (or lined cups) and bake for 15 to 17 minutes.

Snowy Fun

My kids are lovin' the snow and the day off from school!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Chewy (Chocolate Chip Cookies)

If you check out the recipe on Food Network’s website, you’ll see that this cookie recipe got awesome reviews (518 to be exact). If that doesn’t tell you that these cookies are probably close to being the best chocolate chip cookie out there, I don’t know what will.

Thanks to Stacie (sorry for the typo Stacie) @ Kat's Kitchen for bringing this recipe to us!

(Recipe from: Alton Brown)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 ¼ cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups M&Ms
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
  4. Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
  5. Stir in half the M&Ms.
  6. Chill the dough, then using an ice cream scoop (or smaller cookie scoop), scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6-12 cookies per sheet and press 4-5 M&Ms on top of scooped batter. Bake for 14 minutes or until gold brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Random Links

The 10 Dirtiest Things in Your Home…and how to clean them. Great advice, especially for those of us who suffer from a touch of OCD.

Here’s a great article about how to reuse milk jugs.

Do you have an appliance than needs to be repaired? Check out Repair Clinic.

A Beginners Guide to Once a Month Cooking. I would LOVE to start doing this. . . .

Lynn at Lynn’s Kitchen adventures wrote a great post about how she maintains her weight. She’s got fabulous tips; perfect timing for the New Year.

I haven’t tried this yet, but Sonshine’s recipe for no-rise yeast dough looks like it’d make breadmaking so much easier.

FREE Photo Album at Hoorray

Are you a Bzz agent?

If you've never heard of it, you can click here to find out about the word-of-mouth marketing program. If you are already a member, you probably already saw this little goodie!

Hoorray was a campaign for Bzz agents. As a thanks to all Bzz agents and their friends (so all of YOU), you can create a photo album for FREE (valued at $34.97). You just pay the shipping and handling (starts at $7.99).Click here to go to Hoorray to start your album and enter code bzzalbum at checkout!

Buy 1 Workout get 1 Free at iTrain.com

Not sure how long these will last. . .

Don’t let the holidays get your metabolism down, get in shape! RedPlum users get 10% off any purchase on iTrain.com OR 2 workouts for the price of one.

Use the following coupon codes:

REDPLUM10 : offers 10% discount on any offering available on iTrain.com.

REDPLUM2FOR1: offers the possibility to “Buy 1, Get 1 free” workout A La Carte.

Super Easy Chicken Soft Taco

I got this over at Carrie's Cooking. Check out her site. She shares lots of great recipes.

Ingredients:


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 cup salsa
1 package Taco Seasoning Mix
2 cups quick rice, uncooked
8 to 12 flour tortillas (6 to 8 inch)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet.
  2. Add chicken; cook until lightly browned.
  3. Add 2 cups water, salsa and seasoning mix; stir.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in rice; cover.
  6. Cook on low heat 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Spoon chicken mixture onto tortillas; top with cheese, if desired.
  8. Fold up sides to enclose filling.

Hungry Girl's TOP ATE tricks for sticking to your diet and exercise resolutions. . .


1. Get by with a little help from your friends.

Following healthy eating and exercise plans can be tough to do on your own. GET SOME SUPPORT! Find a buddy to walk with or join you at the gym. Compare grocery lists with a calorie-counting pal. (Check out our AWESOME new printable list for 2009!) And if you're a little shy about this kind of stuff, a discreet approach can be just as effective. Get your sweat on in your living room with a new workout DVD (consider the video trainers your new BFFs). And hop onto some discussion boards online to swap stories anonymously.



2. Just journal.


Jotting down your daily diet is one of the best ways to stay on track. Even if you're too crunched for time to record every calorie, fat gram, POINTS. value, etc., just writing a little description of each meal and snack can have a huge impact. You can always review your choices later, and see if you need to make some changes. Ooh, and don't forget that old WW credo, "Write before you bite!" That one's a keeper, since you're way less likely to scarf down 87 jellybeans if you see it in writing first.



3. When it comes to exercise, everything counts.


Even if you can't get a full workout in one day, you can always squeeze something in. Go for a few calf raises while waiting in line at the bank -- or get a walk in before dinner. Do bicep curls with soup cans while you wait for the oven to preheat. Stretch in the shower (careful -- don't slip!). Commit to doing at least SOME physical activity each day.



4. Be prepared.


Holiday shopping may be over, but you can still have a spree at the supermarket. A stocked kitchen is KEY to success, so print out our latest grocery list and hit the aisles running (okay, walking). Make sure to consider all your snacking and mealtime emergencies. Do you have purse-friendly snacks? How about nukeable dinner choices for when you get stuck at the office? Make a list of all your tough-eating scenarios and plan accordingly.



5. Rethink your resolutions.


One of the main reasons resolutions fall short is because they aren't reasonable. If you're determined to lose 30 pounds by the end of January, you're setting yourself up for failure. If you've never exercised before noon in your life, yet you've made up your mind to hit the 6am cycling class five times a week, you probably won't do it. Adjust your goals and make them REALISTIC. Who says resolutions need to start on the 1st anyway?



6. Keep it fun.


Face it -- if your meal plan is boring and your exercise routine's lame, you're never gonna stick it out for the entire year (let alone beyond that). So add some excitement. Find great new recipes to try out -- plug the name of your favorite food into the HG search bar (in the upper right corner!) and see what comes up. And seek out exercises that you actually enjoy. If running doesn't do it for you, try dancing. You can also take power-walks through the mall, try a new sport, hula hoop, take up karate, go swimming... Whatever! You can even work out with your video console (Wii Sports, anyone?). Just do it. (Our secret? Lots of bad reality shows while walking on the treadmill.)



7. Rely on reminders.


With all that's going on, you might need some "shoulder taps" to keep you from forgetting your New Year's wish list of personal goals. So buy yourself a cute calendar and fill it with activities. Schedule workouts. If they're written in your calendar, you'll be more likely to do them.



8. Forgive, don't forget!


If you slip up and miss a day of exercise or accidentally inhale an entire week's worth of chocolate in one sitting, don't beat yourself up about it. It's one thing to acknowledge where you went wrong so you don't repeat your mistakes, but it's another thing altogether if you throw yourself a pity party that lasts until Labor Day. Don't give up, letting one bad day turn into a bad week or month. ACK! Be patient with yourself while you figure out what works. Live and learn!

WW Recipe Links

Below are links to WW favorite recipes of 2008! Enjoy!


Breakfast and lunch
Asparagus, Bacon and Cheese Strata
Cajun Chicken Wraps
Hearty Turkey Chili
Pan-Fried Fish Sandwich
Steak and Eggs
Tuna Salad on Whole Wheat

Main course
Apricot-Glazed Turkey and Sweet Potatoes
Beer-Soaked Beef Cheeseburgers with Grilled Onions
Penne with Vodka Sauce
Shrimp Scampi
Thai Chicken and String Beans

Desserts
Caramel Cookies
Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Shake
Dark Chocolate Cake
Homemade Lime Curd with Butter Cookies and Cream
Whipped Cream Chocolate Pie

Soup, salads, sauces and sides
Broccoli with Lemon-Garlic Crumbs
Creamy Tomato Sauce
Italian-Inspired Zero POINTS-Value Soup
Pesto Sauce
Spinach Salad with Pears, Almonds and Cranberries
Zucchini Flan

Receive a 1-day shopping pass to Sam’s Club

To receive your FREE 1-day pass to Sam's Club from Philly Swirl, go to http://www.phillyswirl.com/aboutus/1day.cfm

Shop as if you were a member all day and don't forget to stockup on lots of Philly Swirl Pops!
[10 cal/0 g fat/1 g fiber/4 g carbs] 0.5 pts

Girl Scout Cookies

Here are the nutritionals and the WW points for the up and coming Girl Scout Cookies!


Lemon Chalet Crèmes, 1 cookie [80 cal/3g fat/0g fiber/12g carbs/40mg sodium/<1g protein] *2

Trefoils, 5 cookies [150 cal/7g fat/<1g fiber/20g carbs/105mg sodium/2g protein] *3.5

Do-si-dos, 2 cookies [110 cal/5g fat/<1g fiber/15g carbs/85mg sodium/2g protein] *3

Samoas, 2 cookies [150 cal/8g fat/<1g fiber/19g carbs/50mg sodium/1g protein] *4

All Abouts, 3 cookies [150 cal/7g fat/<1g fiber/21g carbs/75mg sodium/1g protein] *3.5

Chocolate Chips, 3 cookies [160 cal/9g fat/2g fiber/22g carbs/140mg sodium/1g protein] *3.5

Tagalongs, 2 cookies [150 cal/10g fat/1g fiber/14g carbs/100mg sodium/2g protein] *4

Thin Mints, 4 cookies [150 cal/7g fat/1g fiber/20g carbs/115mg sodium/2g protein] *3.5

~~These cookie nutritionals are from the Little Brownie Bakers in February 2008.

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