Saturday, December 3, 2011

Baby Gizmo 12 days of Christmas give away!

From the baby gizmo homepage:
Baby Gizmo is playing Santa Claus again this year! From high chairs to diaper bags to a fabulous luxury stroller (hint: it’s an ORBIT!!!), Baby Gizmo is having a holiday giveaway extravaganza! This is one giveaway that you do not want to miss! The Baby Gizmo Giveaway of the year! 12 Days! Lots of Winners! Thousands of dollars worth of prizes!

The 4th Annual Baby Gizmo 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza celebrates the holidays by giving away our favorite things to lucky winners twelve days in a row! (December 1st – December 12th.) Yes, we know this isn’t technically the true “12 Days of Christmas” but when we are giving great things away, we make the rules!

This year we are giving you lots of ways to earn extra entries each day! For the first 11 days, a random winner will be picked from all the entries that day. The 12th day? Well, that’s something special! We will tell you more later! Prizes include products from: Inglesina, Oilo, Boon, Britax, Timi & Leslie, Stokke, Peg Perego, Skip Hop, Summer Infant, Moonlight Slumber, phil&teds and ORBIT BABY!!

To enter the giveaway, click on the links below and mention my blog name when asked!
The 12 days of Giveaways!

The Baby Gizmo homepage

are you a blogger? enter this great giveaway too !
for other bloggers....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It really works!

 Have you ever heard of cleaning the bottom of your copper cooking pots with ketchup? I have read about this many times but never tried it until now. It really works!


squirt some ketchup on

rub it around...wait 5 minutes or so...

 ...and after! scrubbed and washed

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple Orchard

Do you love going to the Apple Orchard? Save money by picking your own apples!
Ask if they have a price for picking them off the ground to save even more money! Lots of time you will find perfectly good apples on the ground that get knocked down by other pickers. Same price for whatever variety of apple you want. We picked them for 50 cents a pound!  Great way to try different types of apples!

                             this a good one?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bosch Basic Bread Recipe

Bosch basic bread recipes: Ingredient quantities for three batch sizes


Full batch= 6 loaves
Med. batch=4 loaves
small batch=2 loaves

With dough hook in bosch bowl, pour in hot water. Add the "step A" quantity of flour. (this can be any combination of whole wheat flour, white flour, cracked wheat, oatmeal, hot cereal like malt-o-meal or Ralston, etc.) then add the oil, honey, and yeast. With splash ring installed, jog switch to "pulse" several times to prevent splashing, then mix well on speed 1. Stop and add the "step B" quantity of flour (again, any combination) add the salt on top. Turn on to speed 1 and within 1 minute, gradually sprinkle in more flour until the sides of the bowl come clean enough to see bottom of bowl. This final amount of flour depends on the humidity of the air and the protein content of the wheat. 

After bowl sides come clean, knead on speed 1 until gluten is developed, generally 8-10 minutes(if using white flour, kneading time for gluten development may be much shorter)

Shape the loaves by hand or by rolling out. To roll out, use a greased rolling pin on a greased surface and roll to 8"x16". Then starting at the far end, roll up tightly in a spiral like you would a cinnamon roll. Tuck each end under and slam dough down hard on the counter a couple of times to get rid of air bubbles between layers of dough. 

Put in greased pans.(I use a metal pin pan, to get nice round loaves.)
Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubles(about 30 minutes) 
Bake in preheated oven 350' F for about 25-30 minutes
Remove from pans, cool on racks.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Photos of my square foot garden

                                  Spinach, lettuce, radish, carrots   ↑

                                                carrots ↑
                                               beans ↑
                                              broccoli ↑
                                                   jalapeno  ↑  ↓

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Baby Gizmo 15 Strollers in 15 Days Giveaway Extravaganza

Baby Gizmo 15 Strollers in 15 Days Giveaway Extravaganza

It’s like Christmas in June here at Baby Gizmo.  We are having our biggest giveaway yet!  It is the Baby Gizmo 15 Strollers in 15 Days Giveaway Extravaganza!  We are celebrating the launch of the Britax B-Agile by giving away 15 strollers!  We seriously feel like Oprah right now. “And a B-Agile for you!  And a B-Agile for you!  You get a B-Agile! And you get a B-Agile!”  15 lucky moms (or dads!) are going to get a brand-new Britax B-Agile Stroller over the next 15 days. 
I know…I know…just when you thought our giveaways couldn’t get any better and we go and throw 15 strollers at you!  And not just any strollers!  The fabulous new B-Agile strollers that are lightweight, easy to fold and super easy to push!  We are giving away 15 of the B-Agile strollers before you can even buy them.  Ridiculous, right?! 
Now, before we tell you how you enter to win – you must check out the B-Agile.  Yes, it’s a requirement to check out our full review and watch our video review to learn all about the stroller.  We are giving away the strollers – so we make the rules!  You can’t win if you don’t know what you are winning!  :)   Plus, you know we love to throw Baby Gizmo quizzes around.  So, go ahead check out the stroller and we’ll wait.  Here is our full review of the Britax B-Agile: 
Okay, now we all know how fabulous the B-Agile is and we all want one, right?  Each day for 15 days (June 16-30), a random winner will be picked from all the entries that we have received from that day to win a B-Agile.  Yes, you have to enter every day to be entered every day! 

How do you enter, you ask?  It’s easy!  All you have to do is log in at to be entered to win! 


Extra Entries:
Want to up your chances of winning?  You have the opportunity to get FOUR additional entries into the giveaway! (You still HAVE to log in to though)
**You will receive ONE extra entry into the giveaway (for each thing you do) if you:

1) All you have to do is leave a comment here on RatedbyMom and tell us one of your favorite features of the B-Agile!  That’s ONE entry!
2) Comment on Baby Gizmo’s Facebook Page3) Tweet about the contest using hashtag #BabyGizmoGiveaway! (add this to your Blog comment so we know you did it!)email us the link or add it to your blog comment so we know you did it!)
4) Post about the Giveaway on your favorite message board! (
One random winner will be chosen each day from the entries THAT DAY! 
So, log in to Baby Gizmo, do your extra entries and let the giveaways begin!
*If you leave a comment here on Baby Gizmo’s Blog – RatedbyMom, please make sure you enter your email address correctly in case you are the winner so that we may contact you!
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

check out this link:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Square Foot gardening

What is Square Foot Gardening?

A simple system that adapts to all levels of experience, physical abilities, and geographical locations. Grow all you want and need in only 20% of the space of a conventional row garden. Save time, water, work and money!

These are the advantages to Square Foot Gardening:
*New Method - Easy to understand
*User Friendly - Great for beginners
*Locate Anywhere - Close to your house
*Economical - Reduces everything 5 to 1
*Efficient - 100% of the crop in 20% of the space
*Easy to Protect - From pests and weather
*Earth Friendly - Reduce Reuse Recycle
*Very Productive - Just  as much as you need

Check out these videos!

 For way more information, check out this website:!__whatissfg/what_is_sfg

I also recommend buying this book if you are going to start a Square Foot Garden:

This is the kind of garden we started last year. It was our first time planting a garden and it was so easy to do. I couldn't believe it, I didn't have to do any tilling, digging or weeding!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Vitamix giveaway from The Thrifty Mama

Vitamix Giveaway

by Crystal on May 11, 2011
This giveaway is from  TheThriftyMama  (
To enter this giveaway, click on this link below ↓:
vitamix turbo blend Vitamix Giveaway
This is from TheThriftyMama:
You amaze me. Yes, you sitting there at your computer (or browsing on your smart phone), I’m talking to you. My reader. Thank you for your profound support, encouraging words, fabulous emails, Facebook comments, Twitter tweets and for just being all around awesome.
I couldn’t write this blog without you. It’s tough work, but you make it all worth it. So thank you! And as a thank you, I’ve giving back by offering one lucky reader a Vitamix. Vitamix in no way sponsored this post, nor did I receive anything in order to do this. I’m just giving this away ’cause I know a lot of you out there are dreaming of having one of these.
So here it is.. One winner will receive a Vitamix Turbo Blend Countertop Blender ($379 value).

Giveaway ends Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 9pm EST

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

1001 uses for white distilled vinegar--Laundry

Laundry tips:
Looking for brighter whites or bolder colors? The answer just might be white distilled vinegar. It’s a safe and inexpensive way to boost the power of your detergent and add a little more muscle to your stain remover. With vinegar in the mix, your clothes have never looked better.
Prevent lint from clinging to clothes by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the wash cycle.

To remove soap residue that makes black clothes look dull use white distilled vinegar in your final rinse.

Get stained white socks and dingy dishcloths white again. Add 1 cup white distilled vinegar to a large pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil and drop in the articles. Let soak overnight.

Some stains on clothing and linens can be soaked out using equal parts milk and white distilled vinegar.

Before washing a mustard stain, dab with white distilled vinegar.

Attack spaghetti, barbecue, or ketchup stains
with a white distilled vinegar and water solution.

Remove perspiration odor and stains on clothing, as well as those left by deodorants, by spraying full-strength white distilled vinegar on underarm and collar areas before tossing them into the washing machine.

Forgot that you left wet laundry in the machine and it now smells moldy? Pour a few cups of white distilled vinegar in the machine and wash the clothes in hot water. Then run a normal cycle with detergent.

Remove smoky odors from clothes by filling the bathtub with very hot water and 1 cup white distilled vinegar. Hang the garments above the steaming water and shut the door so the steam can penetrate the fibers.

Keep the steam iron clean and in good working order by getting rid of mineral deposits in steam vents and spray nozzles. Fill the water chamber with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and distilled water. Set it in an upright position and let it steam for about 5 minutes. When the iron is cool, rinse the tank with water, refill and shake water through the vents onto an old cloth. Test before using.

Remove scorch marks from an iron by rubbing it with a warmed-up solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and salt. If that doesn’t work, use a cloth dampened with full-strength white distilled vinegar.

Remove musky smells from cotton clothes by sprinkling them lightly with white distilled vinegar and then pressing them.

Get water and salt stains off shoes and boots by wiping them down with a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water.

Give patent leather shoes and bags a better shine by wiping them down with white distilled vinegar.

Get cleaner laundry! Add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents. Besides removing soap, white distilled vinegar prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew.

Eliminate manufacturing chemicals from new clothes by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the water.

Remove soap scum and clean the hoses of your washing machine with white distilled vinegar. Periodically run the machine with only a cup of white distilled vinegar in it—nothing else added to the wash cycle.

Bring out bright colors by adding 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Fluff up wool or acrylic sweaters (hand- or machine-washed) and rid them of soap smell with 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar in the last rinse water.

Get rid of the tiny holes left along the hemline when you take out the hem of any garment by moistening a cloth with white distilled vinegar, placing it under the fabric and ironing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

weekly giveaway from The Baby Gizmo Company

Baby Gizmo’s Giant Weekly Giveaway is a phil&teds Verve stroller with doubles kit! (Retail value = $819)

To read (and watch!) the full review of the 2011 phil&teds Verve click HERE.

All you have to do is log in at to be entered to win!  One winner will be chosen at random from all the people that log in and/or leave a comment!    Giveaway ends on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 11:59pm CST.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bulk spices

Normally I buy spices in the containers, but lately I have been buying them in bulk at the local organic store. I put them in the Tupperware spice containers, very handy since I found the carousel to go with the containers at a thrift store for $1.50. I have found bulk spices to be way cheaper! I have also found them in the local grocery store (in the produce section) in little bags, already to go. Here is just one price comparison:

<-----This ginger is $4.09 for .85oz

<------This ginger is 1.5 ounces for $1.41

basil: 1.0 ounce for $1.32

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flannel lined jeans?

Have you ever found a fabulous pair of jeans at a thrift store for your kid, but find out they are lined with flannel? Most of the time they are way too hot for the kid to wear, making him uncomfortable and crabby. Here is a quick fix: take a pair of scissors and cut the lining out! Simple. Most of the time, there is only a seam around each pant leg and one seam around the waist. Just be careful so you don't cut the jeans! Wash after you take out the lining, there is usually dust and junk hanging around inside:( Now you have a usable pair of jeans!

"Free" sale fundraiser

The other day, we had a "free" sale. It was kind of like a huge garage sale. A bunch of people from church donated their stuff, like clothing, shoes and household item. They then set them up/organized them according to size and gender themselves the day of the sale. Then at 7 p.m.  if you wanted to come "shop", you paid $20.oo at the door and then everything was free!
I couldn't believe all the stuff that people donated! All the tables in the dining room were full:) Within 1 hour, we made over $200! It was hardly any work at all on my part. I just had 2 announcements made, put a poster up on the church bulletin board, sent a few text messages and just showed up an hour early to set up my stuff and make sure there was even stuff there! It was the first time doing this, so I didn't know what to expect. What if people didn't donate anything and tons of people showed up to garage sale?! It turned up to be the opposite, tons of clothing and only a few shoppers, but the shoppers that did come, got some great stuff, in fact, they left with a few bags FULL of stuff.
In the end, after 2 hours and 1 hour of packing everything up, we made $300 :) Not bad! Now we just have to deal with the mounds of leftover clothing. We are going to go thru them, sell the good stuff to consignment stores and have a garage sale with the rest during the "annual city wide sales" coming up town!
Kind of a fun thing to do! What do you think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wild rice and turkey casserole

Wild Rice and Turkey Casserole

1 c cooked white rice
1 c cooked wild rice
2 c diced turkey breast (I used a rotisserie chicken)
2 c shredded mozzerella or montery jack cheese
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/2 c finely chopped chopped red pepper
1/2 c finely chopped chopped green pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley, if desired.

Heat oven to 350.  Spray two quart baking dish with cooking spray.  In baking dish, mix white and wild rice; spread evenly over bottom.

In large bowl, mix turkey or chicken, cheese, milk, bell peppers, eggs, salt and pepper.  Spoon over rice.

Bake 45 - 55 minutes or until knife in center comes out clean and top is lightly browned.  Let stand five minutes before serving.

*this recipe is from Leanne P

weekly giveaway from The Baby Gizmo Company’s Giant Weekly Giveaway this week is a Maclaren Triumph 2011 Stroller. 

 go to this link to log in and enter the weekly drawing!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo - wikiHow

How to Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

There are many reasons to eschew typical shampoo if you have naturally curly or wavy hair. As well going no-poo can give straight hair back its natural fullness and body, and maybe even a wavy texture that was being shampooed out. Most shampoos contain harsh, drying sulfates that are extremely damaging for curly hair (ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, etc.). They are often foaming agents that make curly hair frizzy and uncooperative. Using conditioner, or another replacement such as baking soda in place of shampoo will cleanse the hair just as effectively without stripping it of moisture.


  1. Prepare before you begin a no-shampoo routine. You need to clarify the hair of any hair products that cannot be removed without shampoo.
    • Use a sulfate shampoo to remove any silicones or waxes in the hair. (Only do this once before beginning the method!) Also, get your hair trimmed if you have any split ends. It will take 2-4 weeks for your hair to adjust to the no shampoo. It may even look worse at first. Hair is a long-term project and it may take a couple weeks for it to regain its health.
  2. Begin your routine by wetting your hair in the shower.
  3. Wash your hair with a shampoo replacement.
    • For curly or wavy hair that isn't oily: Distribute conditioner on your entire scalp and massage your scalp with the tips of your fingers. This will cleanse the scalp of any dirt and get rid of dandruff. Then rinse thoroughly.  You only need to do this step every other day.
    • For straight hair or hair that's oily: Consider using home remedies in place of harsh shampoos.  All of these still may be a little drying to the hair so be sure to condition afterwards.
      • Baking Soda Mix: Baking soda is also known as bicarbonate of soda.  It is sold in most supermarkets, health food stores and similar places. Before showering, combine one tablespoon baking soda with one cup warm or hot water in a plastic bottle and shake thoroughly.  Work into the hair and comb through.  Rinse thoroughly.
      • ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) Rinse: ACV, of course, smells like vinegar. Don't worry though; once you have rinsed your hair the smell will go away. If it doesn't, you are using too much ACV. Combine one to two tablespoons of ACV with one cup water in plastic bottle.  Work into the hair and comb through.  Rinse thoroughly.
      • Lemon Juice:  Combine the juice of one lemon with an equal amount of your normal conditioner.  Work into the hair and comb through.  Rinse thoroughly.
  4. Distribute a moisturizing conditioner throughout all of your hair.
  5. Untangle using your fingers or a wide-toothed comb. Take a small section of hair on one side of your head and untangle from the bottom up. Repeat until all of your hair is combed.
  6. Let the conditioner sit in your hair for five minutes or so for extra moisture.
  7. Do the final rinse of your hair with cool or cold water to decrease frizz and add shine.
  8. Leave some conditioner in your hair, especially in dry sections like the ends.
  9. Avoid waxes and silicones, ingredients that generally end in -cone, -conol or -xane, in hair products. Short term, silicones will make hair look sleeker and less frizzy, but in the long run they will coat the hair shaft and seal out moisture causing hair to become straw like, less defined, and frizzy. The only way to remove silicones and waxes is to use a harsh, drying sulfate shampoo. Most of the highly commercialized lines of hair products (Pantene, Garnier Fructis, Aussie, Tressame, Sunsilk) contain silicones. However if a silicone has "PEG" in front of it, it is water-soluble and will not build up.
  10. Apply a gel or mousse and leave-in to wet hair after showering (for curly or wavy hair). If straight, simply let your hair air dry.  Read this article about curly hair for more tips and tricks.
  11. Realize that there will be an adjustment period of two to four weeks. Your hair may become frizzy or oily as it adjusts to the no-sulfate routine, but eventually everything will level out and you will reap the benefits of going shampoo free! For the period in which your hair is adjusting (2-4 weeks) try wearing your hair in braids, a healthy, protective style for hair.


This video describes different ways to cleanse hair without shampoo.


  • You can use a inexpensive silicone-free conditioner, such as the Vo5 or Suave Naturals brands, to scrub your scalp.  Use a moisturizing conditioner, Devacurl and Jessicurl make great ones, for the rest of your hair.
  • Try adding honey to your hair with your conditioner.  It cleanses the hair and adds moisture and shine.  Rinse it out like it is normal conditioner.  You can leave some honey in your hair, but make sure it's not more than a drop or two- your hair will end up sticky and coated.
  • Be patient and experiment with hair products and changes to your routine.  Your hair may never be perfectly frizz-free all the time, but it can get close.  Visit the external links for more suggestions and hints.
  • If you want to reduce the 'shock' to your hair in the transition from using shampoo, then all you need to do is progressively water down your shampoo before going 'no poo'. Once you have decided to go 'no poo', buy your last bottle of shampoo, use it as normal - but top up the bottle with water each time you use it. After a short while you will find that using more and more dilute shampoo works just as well, and eventually you can stop using it altogether.
  • After swimming in chlorinated water, conditioner is not sufficient to remove the chemicals. You can try using home remedies, but it's best to use a non-sulfate shampoo. Look in the ingredients and make sure it does not contain sodium/ammonium lauryl/laureth sulfate. See this page for a full list of sulfates.


  • Only use the shampoo substitutes once a week at the most or it could be too drying.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment and do what works best for you.
  • Make sure to wash out the lemon juice completely. Otherwise it could lighten your hair in the sun.

  Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bottles
  • Conditioner
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) Rinse
  • Baking soda
  • Sulfate free shampoo

  Related wikiHows

  Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo.  All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hotel with water park or community center?

Spring break is here! The kids are happy from a break from school, but they have been asking "where are we going for spring break?" I told them we are not going anywhere, but I am trying to come up with some sort of family fun to do. There are many nice hotels with water parks, but when you have to buy many wrist bands, it gets rather expensive. If you take a room overnight, you get 4 passes included in the room. That isn't enough for our family, plus we would have to rent 2 rooms and each room is around $200. Is it worth it? For one night?
Community centers have a nice indoor pool and a zero entry pool for the little ones, plus a water slide for the big ones and other activities. To go with the family rate, it is around $25.00.  We could go for the day, have fun, get tired out and come home and sleep in our own beds! Is this option worth it?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I am just starting out blogging and not sure what to write for my 1st one! I am kind of nervous to post my first one, cause once I start, I will have to continue to post! I don't know why it should be a problem, I am always on the computer anyways. I have different ideas of what I want to blog about, but not sure what I want to start out with. I want this blog to be about saving money, using money wisely, couponing and of course, being thrifty. Some of the posts will be about what we do as a family and some will be just in general, not what we do. 
Hopefully this will get easier as time goes on...
until next time!