Monday, January 29, 2018

Entertain Me

Feeling bored? Watch some TV, read a book!

I have three kids in college. Next year, there will be four in school. My husband and I toast our success over Ramen noodles, water, and cheap entertainment.

That's a joke, but not too far from the truth. Honestly, we are doing fine. Every now and then, we have peanut butter and jelly...just to keep it fresh. Again, a joke.

But I'm not joking about cheap entertainment. My husband and I watch a lot of TV and read a lot of indie books, because that's frugal entertainment.

I thought I'd share some of the best of my entertainment this month.


IMBd rating 6.1; Read the profile here
This movie only got a 6.1 on IMDb, but I liked it. It was a horror movie and I have noticed that horror movies seem to have lower numbers on average, so a 6.1 is actually pretty decent. The plot of this movie was fresh. It's about a boy whose dreams come true, which is sometimes amazing and other times a nightmare only a child can imagine. There was very little in this movie, but plenty suspense.

IMDb rating 7.4; read profile here
I loved this movie. It's cute. It's unique. It's poignant and endearing. As a baby, a young man was kidnapped as a baby and raised by some very quirky people in an underground shelter. He is freed and returned to his family as a young adult. He knows nothing of the world. His kidnapping "parents" did not expose him to the world. No television, no books. Instead his "dad" created him his own personal TV series, Brigsby Bear. As James becomes oriented to his new world, he does it with the help of friends and family who help him finish his Brigsby Bear series. (Purchased DVD from Amazon)


4.5 stars on Amazon
I'm not choosing this story because RRH blogger, Tara, wrote it. I chose it because it was a good read. I don't usually read much middle grade or young adult stories, but Tara is a friend, so I picked up this novella in 2017. I finally started reading it and enjoyed it.

In the war between humans and trolls, it's not the men whip will find the solution and keep the peace. It's the princesses. Strong willed and big hearted, the troll princess unites kingdoms by being the best self she can be. An enjoyable story that keeps you turning the pages.

What are you watching/reading that I should know about? Be sure to share!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Fuzzy Wuzzy

The winter months bring out the bear in me... Grrr!

=> I eat like I'm going to hibernate for a few months and wish I could!

=> I growl a lot - about the weather, sickness, kids on screen too much, and static - boy do I hate static! Double Grrr!

=>But I do enjoy not having to shave, which makes me feel like a bear, too.

Yup, call me Harriet the Bear.

To keep my inner bear at bay - here are a couple of cures:
  • I try to keep more nuts and berries and less junk food in the house for when I'm feeling peckish (shout out to my British friends)
  • A new sweater or scarf or other knit item is a warm fuzzy treat in cold weather.
  • Keep Cold-eeze or Zicam and sanitizer on hand to drive away colds - and lotion for the dryness of the sanitizer!
  • And replace video time with board game togetherness time!
  • I don't have a good cure for static - except spraying my hairbrush with hairspray...

What kind of animal does winter bring out in you? And how do you tame it?

Stay happy & healthy!

Monday, January 15, 2018

What to Do with Stuff Post

Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Tis the season after Christmas when I ask myself where in the world can I stuff all the new stuff into drawers and closets already bulging with all the old stuff.
It's major stuff overload.
I could buy a bigger house, rent a storage unit, or build an outbuilding, but eventually, I'm sure we'd fill that up too.

So, the uncluttering begins. 

-It's a good rule of thumb that if you haven't used, or worn something in a year, you probably don't need it. Clear it out.
-If it doesn't fit, get rid of it. We all tell ourselves that we'll lose the weight one day, and hopefully we will. But instead of holding onto a bunch of stuff that depresses us and reminds us that we've gotten chubbier, I say toss it and when you lose the weight- buy new stuff. You deserve it.
-When you buy something new, get rid of something old it. Buy a new shirt? Out goes an old one. Get something new for the kitchen? Something in the cupboard has to go to make room. *I like this because it also slows down my impulse shopping.
-Clear things out when no one is home and they can't see what goes. This has obvious repercussions if someone misses an object within a year-- after a year, you can honestly say, "I got rid of that over a year ago and you never missed it."
-Use vacuum bags for items you'll be storing long term. (Also great for packing for a trip when there is limited room in the trunk!) I put all my boys' baby blankets in one and shrunk it to a few inches thick rather than a large stack.
-Take movies and video games out of their cases and put in multi-disc binders. That frees up a lot of space.
-Have a "re-gift" party. This year for Christmas, my extended family added re-gifts to the gift exchange, My niece had a set of Christmas dishes that were my mother's that she didn't need, but I did. Genius idea. I'm glad she thought of it.

Another way to make room is to find some incentive to purge. A friend of mine runs a charity that helps cancer fighters. They have a yearly auction and everything I get rid of helps raise money for a great cause.

And here's a site I found this summer that is helping shrink the closet clutter. is an online consignment shop where you can sell unwanted clothes and some other assorted household items like books, toys, etc. Make an account. Request a box. Fill it up. Mail it in. And they do the rest of the work. I've sent in two boxes full of stuff. It's taken about a month and a half for my items to be placed for sale, but I've been getting email notifications of which of my items are selling. The first $13 goes to pay for my shipping and then the sales are split with

If none of this motivates you, watch an episode of Hoarders, the tv documentary that chronicles the life of people who become consumed by their stuff. That always motivates me to purge.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Shaking Off the January Blahs

Happy January! Or should I say, Ugh, it's January again...

December is such a sparkly, festive, pepperminty month. But when January 1st rolls around, you better get those decorations down or feel the wrathful stares of your concerned neighbors.

This year, I happened to get those lights down lickety-split! And now that Christmas is put away and the company is gone and the vacation is definitely over, the house seems so dreary and bare. So mundane and unscented. And since the weather outside is still frightful, we have to spend more time inside wallowing in all the boring drabness of it!

So here are some suggestions to Shake Off the January Blahs:
  • Game and/or Movie Night - Just because the holidays are over, doesn't mean the fun has to be! A family night of games or a movie will liven and lift everyone's spirits. And doing this on a regular basis will bring your family closer, keeping your house warm with smiles all year.
  • Slumber Party by the Fireplace - A spontaneous night cuddled up by the fire or any out of the ordinary surprise - baking cookies, going through old photos, making funny videos instead of just watching them! - can spunk up any dull January weekend.
  • Change out the photos - January is for new beginnings, so put fresh faces in your picture frames. Time for an update!
  • Rearrange the furniture - Another way to give the old homestead new life is by changing the foot pattern, switch the seats, shed new light. And sometimes you'll find some lost items in the process...
  • Have a Mom Party - Christmas was mostly for the kids. Now how about some pampering for the head of the house who did most of the decorating, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc (two or three times as much in November and December as the rest of the year!) And if you're like me, you probably had to return a few things anyway, so now you can get something you really want!
  • Sales - I love finding a good deal. And this is one of the best times of the year to do it. Sales, sales, sales! On Christmas stuff for next year and closeout winter clothes.
  • Treat Yourself - I know. January is also the time we try to avoid treats because of all the December parties and candy and scrumptious snacks. But the treat doesn't have to be edible. This section is more about "Me" time. Give yourself some alone time with a book, a couple of episodes of Netflix, a hobby you've neglected, or just a snuggle with someone you love - like the cat! Maybe even 30 minutes of exercise. Do something for you to recharge your batteries and January won't look or feel so bad!
Hope your 2018 is off to a tremendous start!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Welcome 2018!

It's time to welcome in another new year!!

Tara and I are doing that by revamping the Really Real Housewives blog. We're changing things up and planning some extra fun and surprises, so stay tuned!

Since we're both busy writing books and raising boys, we're always trying to find the quickest and easiest ways to get the house stuff done, And we'll be sharing those cheats and maybe a few rants and whines here. Here's to 2018 being a year of blessings!

Now, for the official post:

                                                18 quick and easy tips for 2018

1. Got a leather purse that is losing its luster? Clean it with leather furniture wipes. You can buy them in the cleaning aisle of the grocery store.

2. Ink stain on your shirt? Spray it down with hair spray and wash in cold water.

3. Accidentally throw a red sock in the white wash and have a lot of pink clothes? Rewash in cold water adding a bottle of hairspray to the wash (empty a pump bottle, not an aerosol save time  and the ozone layer ;)

4. A dash of vinegar in your pancake batter will make super fluffy pancakes without changing the flavor.

5. Tired of frying bacon? Bake it. Lay it out on a cookie sheet and pop it in the oven on about 350 degrees. Turn every 8-10 minutes until desired crispiness.

6. Dirty, stinky microwave? Heat up a cup of lemon water. Wipe down immediately. The steam from the water will loosen the crusty stuff and help eliminate odors.

7. Smelly hands after cutting onions and such? Wash hands in salty water or shake some salt on your hands and use it like a scrub.

8. Plastic drinking bottles smelling a little funky? Fill with water, vinegar, and salt...allow to sit over night then rinse.

9. Hard water building up in your tea kettle or coffee pot? Add a few ice cubes and salt, swirl around the bottom a bit then wash.

10. If you ever leave the men home alone for a few days and return to a kitchen with what appears to be dried up pancake batter on the counter tops...wet a paper towel and lay it over the spot. Allow to soften, wipe, and toss. Works well on upchucked fur balls too.

11. Tis the season for snow on the windshield. I drive a van and I'm also short, so reaching across the whole thing can be a pain, so my broom is the perfect snow removal tool.

12. Need a quick and easy heat pack? Make a pouch for rice out of a washcloth or a sock and secure with a rubber band. Throw it in a the microwave for 30 seconds and you now have a heat pack.

13. Food, blood, or grass stains on clothes? Pre-treat with dish detergent. Just squeeze a little on the spot and scrub it in and then wash.

14. To best get pre-treater or soap into the fabric, keep a hand held scrubber near the wash. Give stains a little scrub before washing and the stains come out easier.

15. Is your stain still there after a wash? Don't throw it in the dryer! Treat it again and toss back in the wash.

16. Winter static on your clothes? Rub them with a dryer sheet.

17. Getting static from your hairbrush? Hit it with a spritz of hairspray and the problem is solved.

18. I saved the best for last....a quick and easy recipe!

Pan Cookies
Grab a premade cookie mix. Follow the instructions, all but the butter...where it says to soften and add butter...melt the butter before adding it. This will make the batter a little moister. Pour it into a cake pan and spread it out. Bake for 15-20 minutes and you have a batch of pan cookies.

Cut, serve, and enjoy without any fuss.

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