Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Frugal tip

I guess I'm just feeling rather helpful tonight. But I just wanted to pass along an opportunity I recently took advantage of. I like cooking, but like the best of us, sometimes I want to switch it up.
At the sight, www.lowpricesubs.com you can get a year's subscription to Taste of Home for just $2 a year! Yep, you read that right. You can't even buy a copy of that magazine off the rack for that! So, I just bought 4 years worth.
I like the Taste of Home magazine. I like the fact that it has straightforward recipes using ingredients commonly found in your kitchen.
Also, if you are of a mind to save money, you can also purchase a year's subscription of Family Handyman which is a very comprehensive home improvement magazine. You can purchase a subscription to it for $7 instead of $28. In this time of economic turmoil, Family Handyman is a great purchase. It's full of money saving ideas and projects for your home.

Let's make it fair!

Ok. It's a play on words, but also I wanted to give you local So. Cal dwellers a frugal tip. Right now the LA County Fair is going on at the Pomona Fairplex from Sept. 5- Oct. 4.
If you can afford the high cost of entrance, it's a fun treat. If you can't, keep reading.
On Fridays, you can get in for free if you bring 5 cans of food to donate. Kids under 5 are free. So that leaves you paying the $10 ransom they are asking for parking. Last Friday, I tagged along with my friend Robyn Lemelin and her mom Judy (thanks Robyn- it was a rare treat to visit with you and your mom). We got in for an hour and a half. It was a fun 90 minutes. But it was a great discovery.
The last time my family went to the fair was about 5 years ago. I have some great pictures of the kids from our experience. The only drawback was that it cost so darned much! If you go during the week, an adult admission is $12. On the weekends is $17! You have to pay for parking which starts at $10. Then you have the food and, of course, the kids want to go on the rides which are totally overpriced. By the time everything is said and done, you have spent $100 and have nothing to show for it except a day's diversion and maybe heartburn from your deep fried twinkie (YUCK!).
I know I'm a total spoil sport- call me cheap, that's just me. But I want to take the kids and get some pics of them with the animals at the fair and I want to check out the craft areas. My friends from Dreamstone Bead Co. are doing demonstrations there on Fri., Sat., and Sun. from 3-8 pm.
With all that said, this Friday after our primary program practice which ends at 5:30 we are going to the fair. I am excited to go. I want those pictures I mentioned. It will be fun to see Ethan and Aeron's reactions to the animals. There are some fun photo opportunities as well. By donating the food, it makes it a pretty affordable family activity. The kids will not get food except for some cotton candy - maybe. We won't be going on rides. If we want to go on rides, we'd go to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, or Six Flags. I'm looking forward to some fun at the fair this Friday. Stay tuned for the pics.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Exhiliration, originally uploaded by bonniemomof5.

A couple weeks ago we treated ourselves to an afternoon at the beach. I was delighted to capture this image of Steven. I am happy with it and it conveys a brief moment of his generally hooded emotions. It's nice once and a while to see Steven's genuine happiness.

And then there were 2!

And then there were 2!, originally uploaded by bonniemomof5.

2 of my 7 chickens are laying eggs. It is exciting for this quirky venture of mine to start seeing some results. My hens are so funny.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sept. 7, 2009 International Redhead Day!

Sand play, originally uploaded by bonniemomof5.

Yep, you read that right. It's true. I thought that was cool someone made up a holiday in Holland to celebrate us folks who make up 1% of the world's population.

Summer Spaghetti Salad

Summer Spaghetti Salad, originally uploaded by bonniemomof5.

Here's a picture of one of the salads we served at Jonathon's baptism lunch. The is one of Peter's and my favorite salads. I love it because it incorporates a lot of vegetables into a salad, and because of the colors. It is such a pretty salad. We received a lot of compliments on it. And I have to give a BIG thanks to my mother-in-law Claudia, who chopped up all the veggies for this salad and all the salads we served. I couldn't have put on such a great lunch without your help! Friday night I was running around at Mach 5 trying to get all the food prepared. We had cold cut sandwiches, chips, veggies and dip, fresh fruit and dip, summer spaghetti salad, fruit and chicken salad, jello salad and potato salad (my friends Jeanne and Craig prepared and brought this salad- thank you!) and for dessert we had brownies, coconut cream cake and carrot cake. It turned out wonderfully.

Summer Spaghetti Salad
1 package (16 oz.) thinspaghetti or capellini, halved
3 medium tomatoes, diced
3 small zucchini, diced
1 large cucumber, halved, seeded and diced
1 med. yellow pepper, diced
1 med. sweet red pepper, diced
1 bottle 8 oz. Italian salad dressing
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan Cheese
1-1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
1-1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl; add tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber and peppers.
Combine remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl. Mix. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Yield: 16 servings Fills up a Tupperware That's a Bowl to top.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

An eggs-elent discovery

An eggs-elent discovery, originally uploaded by bonniemomof5.

Today after church Bekkah found this little gift out in our backyard chicken coop! I was so excited to see that at least one of our chickens has started laying eggs. Then, a few minute later, Bekkah came in with another one. Now I can tell my friends who inquire about my chicken experiment that yes, my chicken are now laying eggs. I am not sure which ones are laying, but 2 of the 7 are indeed producing.
This week when I went in to the feed store in Norco, I was talking to the lady. I was asking her about our chickens and she told me we would probably not see any eggs until after the heat was over. So, I had consigned myself to this fact. And then not one week later, not 1 but 2 eggs appear. Hooray! I am excited to start relying on our chickens for eggs instead of purchasing them from the farm.
I do have to admit the eggs are small. I will have to use 2 of their eggs in place of 1 large egg. But, maybe as the hens continue to lay eggs, the size will increase. I don't know because I am a newbie to raising hens. The idea of raising chickens was really a wild idea. I am grateful to have them. It has been interesting and a fun diversion to watch the girls as I call them.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Baby Love

Baby Love
Originally uploaded by bonniemomof5
I love newborns. This is McKenna Alexis McNally. She is about 3 weeks old and I will be watching her full time come October. Yesterday, I couldn't resist the impulse to strip her down for this picture. It turned out so well. I'm truly proud of my work here. In fact, my husband was so impressed with the photo, he didn't believe I had taken it. Ha ha, Peter. Once in a great while, I can surprise even you! I'm slowly increasing my skills, one step at a time!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Coral blush

Coral blush
Originally uploaded by bonniemomof5
My goal is to collect as many colors of hibiscus plants that I can. I have found that I can quite successfully nuture these plants. They are quite forgiving if you forget to water them a day or two. And, sometimes I shirk my watering duties.
This one is one I purchased from Lowes. I had no idea what color the blooms would be because it had no blooms on it. But I was so stunned the other day when I was watering. I love the colors of it. They make me happy. Simple... yet true!