Our Stroller

Let me tell I can’t even count how many strollers we have had over the years. Let me just say tho the cheaper isn’t better. We owned a grace when Lilah was born it was awful couldn’t move through any bumpy roads. We upgraded to a baby trend single jogger loved it and used it daily. However popped a ton of tires.

Next we had probably 10 different umbrella strollers we are very active and travel a lot. I would wear those wheels down till they no longer worked. We then got pregnant with Kaylie and upgraded to a double jogger stroller from baby trend. We still live this stroller for jogging and working out. It just wasn’t the best for crowed areas or traveling. It took way too much room in my SUV and it was so heavy. So I took the plunge and invested in a front to back stroller. It is expensive but it’s worth the investment.

Packing a family of five for Disney land can be a big job. These are some of my favorite baby gear travel equipment. Stroller is key! So after much thought and saving we bought out double city select stroller. We were lucky to purchase on 30% off.

The Baby Cubby offers price match and stroller 60 day guarantee. This is our stroller. We love it. It’s stupid light wait and can’t wait to test it out at Disneyland. The Baby Cubby is holding a %15 off sale.

My favorite accessories for a growing family. Is I always have to buy more stroller but this one actually grows with your family. Pretty amazing huh! I can take all three of my kids on the stroller. The best feature is this bad boy only weights 29 pounds!! My jogger was a beast to lift in and out of my car but this stroller is so light.

We have 3 kids so this kick board or glider is a must have for my very determined 6 year old. That gets tired after 20 minutes.

The one thing to keep in mind is this stroller doesn’t have cup holders. So you need to invest in a parent console.

This that being said I love love love my City Select and can’t believe I didn’t purchase it sooner.

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Buying a pig

After many question on my Instagram stories about our recent journey to Payson to pick up our pork. At Gary’s meats in Payson Utah. I thought I would take some time explain it more. First off I speak openly the way I grew up in a small town (like less than 500 people small) Adams, Oregon. I have alway has chickens and helped out on other people’s farms. I can say farm to table is the absolute best! Each year I take weeks and bottle, can, and harvest fruits and veggies. We eat a lot of salmon, halibut, elk, chicken, beef, pork, and shell fish. Most my months of August and September are consumed by jamming, salsa, spaghetti sauce, bottle tomatoes, bottling, canning, blanching and freezing local fresh fruits and veggies.

About 4 weeks ago my uncle called asking if I would like to buy half a pig and of course my answer was yes. Over the years we have purchased many animals 1/2 cow and pigs and let me tell you it’s the best meat you will ever have. So as a frugal mama I have to tell you it isn’t bare bottom prices how ever it is very close! Now days the variation in quality and price, it’s cheaper to choose your own cuts, steaks, and choice of meat rather than the store prices.

We were able to choose all of our own cuts of meat bacon, pork chops, bone in pork chops, shoulder roasts, ham hock, ham roast, cured ham, pork roast and bunch of sausage

We purchased 1/2 of the pig for $165.00

The slaughter, cut and wrap and to $75.00

($18 of that was for curing the hams. )

In total 1/2 of a pig was 78lbs we paid in total $240.00 coming out to $3.00 per pound.

Which is still amazing think about it pork chops in Costco are on sale for $1.67 /lb but they are normally around $2 a pound, shoulder roasts vary by price and size, extra thick bacon at Walmart 1.5 lbs is $8.00. All honesty I am not a huge fan of ham so the next 1/2 pig I most likely will not do the curing process which would save our family an extra $18

Farms truly make the world go round. Our 1/2 of a pig came with about 8 very generous 1 pound packs of thick bacon. We ate the last two days for breakfast. 10 (1 lb packs) sausage 5 hams (packaged out to less than 4lbs each because we don’t want a lot of waste by making a giant ham.) 6 or 7 packs of pork chops since our family is larger each pack has 6 chops. 1 ham hock, 1 pack of spare ribs, and 5 pork roasts.

This is a lot of meat. So hopefully we will not need to purchase anymore pork for 6 plus months. My goal this year is to have more than 100lbs of meat on hand at all time. I am so excited that I have been able to package all our meat out using our new air sealer.

I highly encourage anyone to buy local when you can. Currently I am looking at purchasing 1/4 or 1/2 a long horn cow.

Car Upholstery Cleaner

This is by far the best car carpet cleaner I have ever used. Super simple ingredients and user friendly. If your like me you have kids dropping and spilling everything everywhere and your car is beginning to look like the bottom of a trash can .

What you will need is a Spray Bottles, scrubby brush, hydrogen peroxide, dawn soap, essential oil, tooth brush (dollar store), and Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Before is a picture of the floor below my 4 year old daughters car seat. This stuff really works. I used wild orange it has disinfectant qualities. I mainly used it for the smell. Those nasty spills that you can still smell or in my case Costco hotdogs left behind forever.

How I mix this car cleaner is 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water. 3 or 4 pumps of dawn dish soap. 4 or 5 drops of lemon or orange essential oil. Lavender smells amazing too.

Ingredients

8 oz of hydrogen peroxide

16 oz of water

1/2 table spoon of dawn soap

5 drops of doterra wild orange (or your favorite essential oil)

Instructions

Vacuum the whole car first. The vacuum I use is black and Black and Decker Car Vacuum. It’s amazing super easy to use and has a small car bag to store it in. It plugs into the car so you never have to worry about charging it.

Saturate the whole area with cleaning solutions to the stained area. Using a scrubbing brush rub in a circular motion using an old rag wipe away the dirt after scrubbing. I use a toothbrush for smaller areas. Continue to clean let air dry. If needed do more than 1 treatment.

Repeat as necessary.

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How to Clean a Microwave

Is there on thing that drives you crazy cleaning? I hate cleaning microwaves. The smell is gross everything is caked on. I swear I bust my elbow on something every time.

Over the years I have found a few easy tricks to make it simple. I will be sharing these tricks each day for the month of February. #cleanlove follow that tag for Charming frugal cleaning tips and tricks each day for the month of February. Spring cleaning is in the air. Ticks I use to use is water, vinegar and lemon juice. It works great and smells amazing. However I found an Angry Mama at Homegoods last week it was $6.99 just a dollar less than amazon. I am not an affiliated with either I buy all products with my own money and do a truly honest review.

The Angry Mama is as simple as it looks. Pop her head off. That just makes me giggle. Pour 1/2 oz of vinegar make sure not to over fill. There is a vinegar line. Then fill with water to the water line. Pop her head back on. Let’s check out this filthy microwave! Explosions of nasty cooked on food.

Being 5’1 makes it a pain to clean the microwave. I have to use a step stool to really get in there. The Angry Mama is a total game changer. This microwave is disgusting I wasn’t sure how she would do.

Set your microwave to medium-high and zap her for 5 minutes. Make sure she doesn’t run out of liquid.

Let her sit for 2 minutes. She looks like she has been doing a ton of work, she is covered in sweat. Now it is time to see the results! I normally use microfiber towels but microwave crud grossed me out so I used two paper towels.

Absolutely amazing everything wiped off with an issue! I used a little extra liquid from her head and wiped under the glass. It all came off perfectly. I am an absolute fan of this product. It even took off a lot of discoloration from previous burnt marks.

If you want to watch it step by step swing by my instagram page it’s on my highlights reel under clean microwave. I will be posting it to YouTube tonight.

Before

After

Now it’s time for the wretched stainless steel (SS) drives me nuts so I am going to use chemical cleaner. I have tried a lot of home remedies but I still think it looks smudged. I used Weimar Stainless Steel cleaner and micro fiber cloth from target. They work perfect together and the smell is minimal I actually like it.

Slime

While I haven’t tested out all 10 recipes on slime I did get 3 tested! I have been hit with the flu bug and now in bed for the next week.

Are your kids as obsessed with slime as mine…. your answer is probably yes if you are already here reading this recipe.

Slime is a science experiment: with this being said chemicals are going to be used. Please use your best judgment over the years I have made a variety of slime but please use caution. Always wash hands after making slime and using slime. *adult supervision should be used when mixing any type of chemicals. Please do not substitute ingredients because slime is a chemical reaction! If you have super sensitive skin please use gloves.

What is slime? So a polymer glue is made up of tons of long repeating chains of flexible molecules. When you add borate ion it helps linking those silly molecules together! This solution we will be using borax.

Supplies:

Bowls and mixing spoon

Glitter glue 1/2 cup

1/2 cup of warm water

1/2 tsp or borax

1/2 cup of hot water

LETS MAKE SLIME!

1/2 cup of Elmer’s glue or glitter glue (we really like glitter in our house.) add 1/2 cup of warm water (temperatures do matter! Warm works best ) stir.

This part is important 1/2 tsp of borax add it to hot water! Stir it up good, there might be residue on the bottom that’s okay. Now here is the fun part add the borax (ACTIVATOR SOLUTION) to the glue and water stir it up. It will start clumping now pull it from the water (yes there is excess). Set the solution to the side (of your slime is to sticky re dip it in solution) Start your kneading your slime till it gets smooth. Discard solution.

Store it in air tight containers or zip lock bags.

A Clean House in 30 minutes

Is winter the hardest time of the year to keep the house clean for you? It sure is for me. This last week has been a complete blur.

Derrick caught the flu that Kaylie had for five days this week. Between fevers and a very angry teething boy. I couldn’t feel anymore overwhelmed, wrong Lilah is off track at school . Which means she isn’t in traditional school she goes year round and now is home for 3 weeks.

Yup you read that correct she is out of school for 3 weeks in January where there is nothing to keep her entertained. So juggling the boredom monster is becoming quite the task. With Derrick unconscious and quarantined things have been a little bit chaotic here. I have no shame because I am a real person and people get sick the dishes pile up. Life happens and it’s not always picture perfect. I mean I totally fell asleep last night sitting straight up watching scooby do with Lilah.

However with all that said I’m going to teach you a few ticks that I use on the daily.

  1. Use a 30 minute timer
  2. Turn on some upbeat music
  3. Have your kids help (my 6 and 4 year old are perfectly capable to unload the dishwasher and put everything away with a step stool and wiping down counters.)
  4. Work top to bottom, left to right
  5. Don’t get distracted by the little stuff. (In my case don’t let my ADHD take a hold and start random organizing projects.)
  6. Sweep and mop very last. (Guests will notice a dirty counter before they will notice you didn’t mop.)

This is what I completed in 39 minutes. Yes, the floor wasn’t swept till I got home from picking Kaylie up from pre-k. It isn’t perfect but it feels great to take part of my house back the brink of chaos.

I call that a win on the Mom Belt. Now go set a 30 minute timer and knock out a big section on your to do list. I use 10 minute times constantly through out the day. I just find myself more productive in those few minutes than if I just randomly clean up.

Now give yourself a super big high five or a pat on the back! You are doing an amazing job. Keep it up!

#RealLife

Kid Energy Bites

This recipe is kid friendly and healthy. All the ingredients I had on hand. Plus you can modify it to make it work better for your household. Lilah is allergic to peanuts so we make our recipe with almond butter.

Most recipes call for flax seed but my kids can spot something “grown up food” a mile away. I can occasionally hide it in cookies, but that being said if your kids are like mine I do it this way so that texture is similar.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Chocolate chips (milk chocolate)
  • 1 cup of Rolled old fashion oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/4 of plain Cheerios (use a rolling pin to crush to dust)
  • 1/4 cup of raisins

Put Cheerios in zip lock bag use rolling pin to crush up. Place all dry ingredients together. Add in nut butter and honey in medium size bowl. Mix together till well blended. Use parchment paper on cookie sheet. Scoop table spoon size amounts into a ball place on parchment paper. Place tray in freezer for 1 hour.

I bag them up in ziplocks keep in fridge or freezer. Lasts a week in fridge, freezer 2 months.

Fun part is you can add what you want instead of raisins. My kids love raisins but add shredded coconut, craisins, m&ms, or yogurt covered treats.

Shelf Eating

If you are like me you walk into a grocery store to pick up random ingredients and poof you have spent $50 easily. Yeah that was me for years I still struggle with it. Our family of 5 lives off of a pretty strict grocery budget. We budget $100 per person including Colton!

That includes formula, baby food, snacks, milk, and all the groceries. That motivates me to make sure we are using everything to its potential. If you been following my instagram stories I go more in depth on specific things like freezing food which I will post a blog on that.

Anyways shelf eating is how we get to the next paycheck or grocery shopping time. How ever we will buy milk or formula if we run out before our next grocery trip. So to help we shelf eat a lot. We check out cupboards, pantries, and fridge to see what will expire next. The I shop through all the freezers and pull the meat that will work for this recipe. I google recipes that match our ingredients list.

This way we avoid overspending and random purchases. The fact is we fall constantly in with eating what we “want” when really we bought all this food and it such a waste of money to throw away. This will also teach you to add certain items to your grocery list and stock up when prices are low.

We constantly buy meat on sale, cream of chicken, broth, rice, cream of mushroom and cheese. These are staples of cooking in our house.

Here is what shelf eating looks like today in our house.

Enchiladas casserole/

We had corn tortillas that need to be used before they go bad. I just freezer shopped pulled out some chicken breast’s and sour cream (yes I freeze sour cream! ) it’s great for cooking!

Found all these random ingredients in our cupboard and saved us a trip to the grocery store.

Yay!!! Winning!

Easy Breakfast hack

So breakfast here in the Christensen household is a crazy fast paced assembly line. If you didn’t know I have three kids under 6 years old. Oh boy some of them can eat their weight in pancakes. I absolutely hate making mini pancakes. I burn the first three! Then everyone wants more blueberries or chocolates. And after I am done making 15 mini pancakes I have batter left over and it dries to my countertops. Let just say after 6 years and hating to waste foods I finally found amazing life hack!

So a quick life hack to save you time and money in the kitchen on breakfast. I make gigantic pancakes! Huge! Bigger than my face!

Then I use a pizza cutter and slice the pancake like a pizza and then I give each kid two slices and I just cut the slices up with the pizza cutter. Boom mind blown right! I make about 6 gigantic pancakes and the left over ones I freeze in gallon size freezer bags for up to 3 months. I pull them out on weekdays and toss them in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Till thawed and warmed and poof easy breakfast on the go with no waste!

Just try this! Test it out and see if it makes your breakfast routine faster and easier! Your welcome!

These are the products I use you can use anyone’s that your family likes best but this is just what my family uses:

Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix ($6.99 from Costco)

Silicone spatula

Pizza cutter

Cutting board (mine is from Costco)