CGjenny

Frugal Friday Favorites

I haven’t been this excited to share something with you in weeks…WEEKS, I tell you! I hope you’ll share my enthusiasm.

I have found a podcast that I’m obsessed with.

Unfortunately, there are currently only 3 episodes available and I blew through the first two, back to back, then waited (with baited breath) for the release of the 3rd this past week, then listened to it early in the morning, on my daily dog walk.

Have you heard of Missing Richard Simmons?

It’s currently the number 1 podcast on iTunes and, no matter how you feel about Richard Simmons (I honestly hadn’t considered his existence in years) it’s captivating and engaging.

You see, I wasn’t aware of this, but Simmons hasn’t been seen since February of 2014. An active part of his community and a regular on talk shows, Simmons simply disappeared into thin air and no one has heard from him since. It’s bizarre and (apparently) completely out of character for him. This podcast will leave you hanging on every word and theory about his whereabouts. Listen to it and then let’s talk!

A laundry item that gets my heart rate up:

The next item isn’t nearly as exciting as a missing flamboyant fitness guru, but it did get my heart pounding and my knees shaking when I saw it at Wal Mart:

It’s a laundry basket on wheels. I declared it “treat yo’self” day when I saw this for $9 at Wal Mart. (Link HERE–although, online, they’re sold in packs of 4 only–but check your local store to purchase a single).

One of the worst parts of doing laundry for me is transferring our overflowing laundry basket to the laundry room (first world problems for the win). When I saw this laundry basket with wheels, I visualized how much easier it would be to get from one side of the house to the other with a full basket. Also, for $9, I figured that there was room in the “Jenny’s Mental Health and Wellness” budget to justify this purchase.

If my laundry hamper was only halfway full, like in this picture, then it’s not time to do the laundry. My hamper always looks like this:

Also, Stewart likes to help on laundry day…

“Dis napkin here. Wash it!”

 

(By the way…did you know that Stewart has his own Instagram now? Follow him HERE for daily photos of his goings-on. It hasn’t been easy, going from a privileged life of private jets, visits to Uncle Elton John’s Feline Day Spa and trips to Tahiti to…well, sitting in a laundry basket).

Homemade “Febreeze”

And, lastly, I made a homemade “Febreeze” kind-of-stuff that worked nicely for me this week.

A quick backstory: My house has been stinky lately. Generally speaking, I’m a clean person, so I don’t let our house get too far out of control, but something has occurred in this house in the past couple of weeks that has resulted in a stinky house situation. Now, this is not a fly-infested, Hoarders-type of thing–it’s just a subtle ick that I’ve noticed.

It smells like someone fried a lot of bacon, deposited a few pairs of dirty socks under the couch and then brought in a few really dusty old rugs to scatter about the living room. I’ve been washing all of the bedding, washing the dog’s bedding (which, let’s be clear–the “dog’s bedding” is actually also “our” bedding because she considers our bed to be hers) and opening the windows for fresh air whenever possible, to no avail.

This week, I tackled the kids’ bedrooms. I cleaned and purged and rearranged dresser drawers (partially inspired by Wendy’s “Clean With Me” video…link HERE). While I was up there, I decided to fumigate, in case the mystery smell was coming from their rooms. I didn’t have any Febreeze, so I decided to make my own. Here’s what I found on Pinterest:

Image courtesy of: www.removeandreplace.com

Link HERE

I made my homemade Febreeze using this fabric softener and I think it really took it up a notch (affiliate link ahoy!):


Caldrea Pear Blossom Agave Fabric Softener, 32 Fluid Ounce

This stuff smells good and it helped to freshen up the house. This recipe made a whole spray bottle-worth of homemade Febreeze too. I plan to use it often and mix up new batches as needed.

So, what about you? What’s blowing your skirt up this week? Any favorites to share? 


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CGjenny

Frugal Friday Favorites

So, I have 3 Frugal Friday Favorites for you this week. One is a game-changer recipe. One is a favorite bargain shopping haven and one is a favorite cleaning product.

(This post contains affiliate links which help to support this website. Thanks!)

First up is a homemade pizza crust:

Confession time:

I’m not a baker. A cook, yes, but baking scares the pants off of me. If I see a recipe that calls for dough or yeast, I’m immediately like, “Nope…too bad. That would’ve probably been delicious too.

 

image courtesy of: www.teaspoonofgoodness.com

Recipe HERE

So, imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade pizza dough recently and discovered that we had all of the ingredients (which, really is only 2 items) and decided to go for it. I had a store-bought pizza crust waiting in the pantry in case this was a huge fail, so I decided to give it a whirl.

It turns out? It is the easiest. You really and truly can not mess this pizza dough up (because, believe this…if anyone COULD it would be ME).

Since you only need flour and yeast (and water) to make it, it costs pennies to make and comes together quickly with little forethought or advanced planning. I’ve declared that every Friday will be homemade pizza night in our house. This week, I’m trying my hand at homemade pizza sauce. This recipe is a contender.

Next up:

My favorite place to bargain shop:

Image courtesy of www.nerdwallet.com

I’ve talked about TJ Maxx here before. It’s my go-to; my end-all; my soul-mate. If there’s ever anything that I need, I typically head to TJ Maxx first because, 9 times out of 10, they have it and it’s way better and way cuter and way cheaper than anywhere else.

Hear this: I don’t love Homegoods (TJ Maxx’s sister company) as much as TJ Maxx and here’s why–I love me some home furnishings, oh, hell yes, but sometimes I like to look at beauty products, shoes, clothes and purses too. Give me all of that under one roof and I’m a happy girl.

Now that we’re doing a pretty major “Budget Bootcamp,” I haven’t been to TJ Maxx in months. (I know, right?) But, I was running dangerously low on hand soap for the kitchen this week and TJ Maxx is the best place to buy hand soap, in case you didn’t know. So, I carefully proceeded to TJ Maxx with a very short list of my “needs” and a firm grip on my cash, lest I lose my damn mind in there.

Here’s what I came out with:

A makeup brush cleaner $5.99 |  hand soap $5.99 | Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap $4.99

 

I’m always amazed when people say that they’ve never shopped at a TJ Maxx. There’s something for everyone there. And their merchandise turns over constantly, so it’s the type of place where it pays to stop in often.

Last, a cleaning product that saved the day this week:

 


Bar Keepers Friend® Cleanser & Polish: 12 OZ

Where we live, we have hard water. Even with a whole-house water softener, we still get soap scum and hard water stains in the bathrooms and kitchen. We have a glass shower in our master bath and, due to a number of circumstances (a few of these “circumstances” perhaps being laziness and/or Real Housewives of Beverly Hills marathons on Bravo) I had let our shower get a bit out of control.

Here’s the thing with our shower: Our bathroom has poor ventilation. There are no windows in our bathroom (oh, how I love windows in bathrooms) and this makes it really tricky to climb into a glass shower stall and scrub the bejeezus out of it with lots of effective, albeit TOXIC AS SHIT chemicals. I’ve made myself dizzy and sick a few times attempting this maneuver.

So, lately, I’ve taken to half-heartedly squirting a vinegar solution on the water stains every couple of weeks or so and also largely ignoring them. Spoiler alert: this is a wholly ineffective method for glass shower cleaning. #themoreyouknow

Today, I got a wild hair and decided to tackle our gross shower once and for all. I started digging for long-forgotten cleaning products from under the kitchen sink and found a can of Bar Keeper’s Friend that I don’t even remember purchasing. I decided to give it a go in our shower.

First of all, this stuff is non-toxic, so I was able to sit, closed up in my shower, for an hour, scrubbing away at the tile AND the glass with Bar Keeper’s Friend, with nary a hallucination nor an asthma attack. It also didn’t leave my hands red and raw like other cleaners do.

Secondly, holy moly, this stuff worked! It got rid of the hard water spots, the mold and mildew and soap scum too. Sure, I scrubbed it hard–so it wasn’t without effort, but it worked so well and I didn’t have to worry about breathing in chemicals. I can’t wait to try Bar Keeper’s Friend in other parts of the house.

Please share your own Frugal Friday Favorites below or chime in on the ones that I discussed today…any tips for using Bar Keeper’s Friend that I need to know about?

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CGjenny

2017 goals

I’m an action-oriented, list-making type of person, so I enjoy the beginning of a new year and all of the promise and potential that it holds. I’ve never really been a resolution-maker but lately, I’ve grown accustomed to setting some goals and intentions for myself at the beginning of the year. 

This year, I have some goals and I thought I’d share them here, in the hopes that they’ll inspire you and also hold me accountable.

Without further ado, here are my goals for 2017…

Continue reading “2017 goals”

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CGjenny

So very thankful tag

Megan and Wendy participated in the “So very thankful” tag and I enjoyed watching their video on YouTube, so I’m going to participate too. 

so-very-thankful
Image courtesy of http://www.meganandwendy.com/

 

1. Name a color you are thankful for. Turquoise. Always turquoise–especially this time of the year because I love seeing turquoise accents, amid the red for Christmas.
2. Something your spouse does that you are thankful for. Kevin plans and cooks dinner every Thursday. It’s so nice to have one night of the week where I don’t have to think about what’s for dinner. 
3. Something your kids do that you are thankful for. Anna’s superpower is exceptional manners, so, while I still remind her to use her best manners everyday, I really don’t HAVE to. Jack is such a hard worker. When he sets his sights on a goal, he’s driven like none other. 
4. A food you are thankful for. I love my recipe for cornbread dressing that is a hybrid of both of my grandmother’s famous recipes. It tastes like my childhood and home. 
5. What recent good news are you thankful for? This one is tricky right now, but I’m going cop-out and say that I’m thankful for the news that it’s finally going to get cold here this week? Sorrynotsorry. 
6. Name a drink you are thankful for. Coffee. Err day. 
7. Name a restaurant you are thankful for. Panera Bread. My kids have finally discovered Panera Bread so now, they’ll willingly choose it over other fast food and I can finally eat something healthy when we go out to eat.
8. Talk about an animal you are thankful for. How much time do you have? I’m very thankful for the opportunity to foster a mama cat (Jacobien–“Bean” for short) and her 4 babies (Booger, Tux, Bandit and Pinto) for our local no-kill animal shelter. It’s so rewarding to know that we’re able to give these sweet kitties a new beginning and a safe, warm home to live in for a few weeks.
9. Name a beauty product you are thankful for. I’m enjoying all of my Rodan+Fields products right now. I drank the R+F koolaid hard, y’all. 
10. Name a cleaning product you are thankful for. My homemade granite cleaner (recipe HERE)
11. What social media platform are you thankful for? Instagram. I love Instagram and I’ve purposely kept my personal account locked down, so only my nearest and dearest get to see what I post–unlike Facebook that is too big and wide right now. 
12. Tell us why you are thankful for the last person who texted you. My dearest friend, Erika. She gets me like no one else (and somehow loves me in spite of it).
13. Name a candy you are thankful for. Sour Patch Kids. I’ll rub the roof of my mouth raw from eating too many then keep going back for more. I can’t quit you, SPK. 
14. Name an app on your phone that you are thankful for. What’s App. That’s how I stay in touch with my close friends from all over the globe. We have almost-daily text chains that range from the philosophical to the ridiculous (and sometimes ridiculously philosophical). Thanks to What’s App, we can stay in touch in almost the same way we did when we all lived in the same city. 
15. What are you looking forward to that you are thankful for? Hosting my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s rehearsal dinner in mid-December. When we bought this house, we knew that it would be great for assuming some of the entertaining burden from my mother-in-law and I really enjoy throwing a good party and planning every little perfect detail–especially for those that I love. Party hosting is my love language. 

 

This was fun! If you’d like to participate, please link below to your post so that we can see your answers too! 

cheers-jenny

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CGjenny

What I did this weekend

…and why you should do it soon too.

What I did this weekend

(Also knowns as, “The latest installment of: ‘Jenny is bossy and thinks she knows what’s best for you.‘”)

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my favorite time of year. Once we get beyond Halloween, I get way too excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s a toss-up as to which holiday I love more: Turkey Day or Christmas. 

I love Thanksgiving for so many reasons…namely, the food, the fellowship but also the unofficial start of the Christmas season. There’s nothing that gets me more excited than seeing the Rockettes kick to a Christmas Carol in their velvety Santa dresses during the Thanksgiving Macy’s Parade. 

The Rockettes
The Rockettes

Another thing that I love about the holiday season is “nesting”. We stick close to home, baking and hosting friends and family. It’s the one time of the year that my oven is preheating several times a day and I keep a ridiculous stock of cream cheese and refrigerated crescent rolls on hand at all times, to throw together an appetizer or dessert in a pinch, if the opportunity for a get together presents itself. (Some favorite recipes HERE and HERE)

Continue reading “What I did this weekend”

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CGjenny

Friday Favorites–Homemade Daily Shower Spray

You know what they say: “Those who live in glass showers shouldn’t purchase expensive daily shower sprays, when they can make it themselves.”

Today, I’m sharing another homemade favorite household cleaner with you. If you enjoyed my Homemade Granite Cleaner post, then this one will surely rock your world too (maybe that’s a little overzealous. I <at least> hope that it helps you around the house.) 

daily-shower-spray

In our current house–for the first time ever–we have a glass shower. Until I was faced with the task of keeping all of that glass streak and spot-free, I didn’t fully appreciate the boring, dated, tiled showers of our past houses. The copious amounts of glass in this shower, coupled with our hard water, left me feeling defeated on a daily basis. No matter how hard I tried (and, let’s be honest…perhaps I really wasn’t trying THAT hard) I couldn’t stay on top of the limescale build-up and the soap scum on the glass shower. 

I bought all manner of shower cleaners at the store but, as the cost added up and the limescale and soap scum continued to win that battle, I finally turned to my trusty Pinterest for some help.

Enter: A homemade daily shower spray. 

For merely pennies on the dollar (and, you might notice that some of the ingredients are the same as the ingredients in my Homemade Granite Cleaner–so I already had the items on hand) I make a spray for our shower that we use daily and has really proven to keep the muck at bay. 

Ingredients:

1/2 C hydrogen peroxide

1/2 C rubbing alcohol

1 teaspoon of dish soap (I’m partial to Dawn for all of my cleaning concoctions)

1 tablespoon of dishwasher rinse aid (like Jet Dry)

3 C of water

Mix all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and spray all of the glass surfaces of your shower when you’re done showering for the day. No need to rinse. 

I hope this homemade daily shower cleaner helps you to save money and save your sanity in the battle against glass showers. Do you have any homemade cleaners that you’d like to share? 

cheers-jenny

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