WFMW: Cran-Apple Pork

Today is 5 ingredient or less day at Shannon’s Works-For-Me-Wednesday. I don’t cook. I bake. I love making cookies. But I detest cooking. That said, I found this little gem through FlyLady’s website some time back.

Cran-Apple Pork

1 can of Jellied Cranberry sauce
Applesauce (works equally well with Cinnamon Applesauce)
Pork Chops

Needed: a crock pot

Put the chops in the crock pot. Cut the cranberry sauce out of the can and drop it into the crock pot. cover the whole mess in applesauce. Cook 3-4 hours on high / 4-6 hours on low.

Add some mashed potatoes (I like the ones that come in the box), and veggies of your choice and it’s a quick easy dinner. Well, quick if you remember to start the crock pot in the morning.


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WFWM: Online Shopping Edition

Shannon has asked us, where do you go to shop online?

Amazon.  That is always the first place I go whenever I need anything.  I even have one of those rewards cards that pays me in Amazon gift certificates.  It’s great.

The only thing I don’t buy at Amazon (besides food, because I’m not that crazy), is shoes.  I get my shoes from  With my double wide boats, it’s hard to find shoes that not only fit, but look good.  But Zappos has them!  Like these super cute heels that I got for my sister’s wedding.  They have super cute little girls’ shoes, like these, which my PinkDiva just adores.  And I highly reccomend the New Balance brand for kids.  About 2 years ago, GeekBoy ripped through about 3 pair of Target/Walmart sneaks in a span of 6 months.  I got him some New Balance from Zappos, more expensive, but he out grew them long before they wore out!  BigBoy has worn nothing but New Balance, and he always out grows them long before the tread on the bottom shows wear and tear.

I also sell through CafePress.

That’s pretty much it.  Though, I do fully intend to purchase some NY Giants Super Bowl Championship wear and memorabilia at their NFL shop.

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WFMW: noiseless alarm clock

I had a problem.  DH needs to sleep late in the mornings due to working the night shift.  My alarm clock also wakes up thePinkDiva, and she is anything but kind and gracious when she has been woken up early.  What to do?  How to get myself up early enough without waking anyone else?

Well, my cell phone has an alarm clock in it.  I can also set it to vibrate instead of ring.  So I set that sucker to 5am, and tuck it into my pillowcase, under the pillow.  It goes in the case so that it doesn’t migrate around the bed at night.  Then in the morning, the vibrations under my head wake me up, quietly.

This does have a downside.  There’s no snooze.  So if I reach into my pillow and hit the volume button, it shuts off the alarm, and I’m still not “up”.   So this method takes real discipline to get yourself up and out of bed when it goes off the first time.  No more “9 more minutes…  just 9 more minutes.”  But it does work.

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WFMW: Teaching math

Last September, GeekBoy declared he hated math. How to teach math to a kid who runs screaming in the other direction at the mere glance towards the workbook?

Open a House Bank.

Mad propz to Paul, a commenter at Mamalogues for this idea. But here is how we make this work in our family:

First, he only gets paid for work done around the house above and beyond his normal chores. Clean your room, good! You’re supposed to. Empty the dishwasher, great! Let’s go add that to your bank account.

He gets paid 5$ an hour, because as Paul said, that easily breaks down into $2.50 for 30 minutes, and $1.25 for 15. He’s only 7 years old, so he’s usually only good for about 15 minutes worth of work anyway. He gets paid 10% interest every first of the month because that’s easy for a little guy to compute. We use a template for Microsoft excel as his bank register. Mom keeps track on her computer while he writes it all in and computes the math. That little Mom keeping track bit, yea, that’s to keep him honest. He can’t add a whole of work that he didn’t do because Mom doesn’t have it on her computer. (Since Microsoft has a habit of changing their website frequently, go to, look for Downloads, Office Templates, something like that, then search for a Checkbook Register. But remember that Microsoft is picky, and only likes to let you download if you’re using Internet Explorer.)

It’s been great. GeekBoy has learned to add and subtract up to four digit numbers. He’s learned a little bit about multiplication, decimal places, dollars and cents, and percentages. He’s also learned a bit about money management and fiscal responsibility. No longer does he surf drooling over the latest AT-AT or Death Star, declaring that, “Daddy/Gramma will buy it for me if you won’t mom!” Now he looks, and says, “That’s ok. I don’t want it, I’m just looking.” He still has things that he desperately wants, like the Jedi Star Fighter with Hyperdrive Booster Ring. But at least he’s learning the value of earning his own money to buy things, as well as budgeting for what you really want. (Sure you have enough for that new 19.99 kit, but if you buy that now, it will be even longer before you can afford that 49.99$ Star fighter. “Oh. Ok. Never mind then. I want the Starfighter. Got a job for me?)


Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.

WFMW: Backwards Ed.

According to Shannon, I get to ask you a question today. So here goes…I’ve been doing TaeBo recently.  I love Taebo.  But I’m getting old.  Yes, although my mind is a young 30ish… my body is more like 60.  I need some suggestions for some low impact, yet fun, exercises.

So what’s your fav workout?

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WFMW: What Do I Fix? Edition

So,  what to feed the family when you have next to nothing on hand??

Hamburger Helper.

If that’s out, try Macaroni and cheese with hotdogs.  To add a little veggie without the kids realizing, fry up some minced onion and mix it into the Mac & Cheese.  *S* Gotta be fresh, and minced though, or they’ll find it. *S*

If you have some Chicken breasts, try BBQ Chicken (though this does require some time since it’s a crock pot thing!)

Chicken Breasts into the crock pot.  Cover with ketchup.  Add molasess.  Throw in a couple of splashes of Worcestershire Sauce, and some Chili Sauce.  Let cook on lo 4-6 hours, hi 2-3 hours.  Make some instant mashed potatoes and a can of corn.  Presto!  Instant meal.

For more quick dinner fixes, check out Works For Me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer.

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WFMW: It's not about the "day"…

Something I learned from FLYlady several years back.

“Ever feel like you just want to spend the holidays with your own family, in your own home, etc? Its not about that one day. Celebrate with your family whenever you get the chance.” – Kelly

Based on that, and our home at the time (much closer to Gramma’s house), we opted to celebrate Thanksgiving on Black Friday, and Christmas on Christmas Eve. It worked for us! The kids had a great time, and no one seemed to notice that it wasn’t “the day” we were supposed to be celebrating.

From 2002 until now, our traditions and celebrations were built around making sure we could get to Gramma & Grampa’s house by a certain time on a certain day. This year, things have changed. We moved a bit further away & Grampa passed away. Therefore, it’s time to change our traditions again. And change is good, no matter how much I hate it.

WFMW: Lego Blankets

My Mom gets full credit for this bright idea. Keep an old sheet or tablecloth with the legos. When it’s time to play, spread the sheet, and play on the sheet. When it’s time to clean up, pick up the corners, and dump it back in the box. Easy breezy, one, two, three-sy.

I must say, while this worked extraordinarily well with me and my sisters growing up… not so much with my boys. The big one has the general idea, but the Legos almost never stay completely on the blanket. But! It’s so much easier to pick up the small amount that wanders off, and toss them on the blanket before dumping the whole mess into the bucket. And my son loves the dumping part.

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WFMW: Brand-loyal Ed.

Huggies – because it was the only brand available at the commissary in Sigonella that did not cause my firstborn to break out in a rash. Even though we’ve been in the states for the last two babies (read close to 5 years), I’ve never felt the need to experiement with other brands. Don’t mess with it if it ain’t broke!

Dove Soap for sensitive skin – Same reason as above.

Dell – because I’ve gotten exactly what I need from them, for a decent price. I highly recomend Dell. although, their tech support could use some help. it’s awful when i call the guy, and I have to help him. But that’s why I have a few Geeks in the family – literally. MomoT and her fiance Bing both used to work for Best Buy’s Geeks on Call. I call them for tech support if I can’t figure out the issue myself.

Ford – We had a very good experience with the Taurus we bought back in ’99. So good that we went back and bought an explorer in ’02 from the same dealer. While I’m not opposed to other brands, other then the accidents in Sig on the Taurus, neither car has needed a mechanic until last week when the Brake Interlock Switch went bad in the Explorer. Not a bad record for a couple of cars that we bought “used.”

era – see the huggies reason above. and add to that, we can buy it in the big huge container at the walmart now. Woo hoo!

Mr. Clean Eraser – because I’ve tried the knock offs, and they just don’t work as well.

Canon – because the cameras are great, and the picture quality from the printer is awesome.

Hersheys – call me a spoiled American… but I just don’t like other chocolates. Palmer tastes like old t-shirts to me, and I never was a fan of the “gourmet” chocolates… Give me Hershey’s!

Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate – I drink hot chocolate like most people drink coffee. 2-3 cups a day actually, even in the summer. I have to tell you, if it ain’t Swiss Miss, it just ain’t right. I’ve tried other brands, but I always come back to the swiss miss.

WordPress – I have like – 4 or so blogs running right now.  All use WordPress!  and I’ve helped others set up wordpress on thier sites.  I love wordpress.  I started in Blogger.  i love the flexibility of wordpress, and being able to host it here, at my own site.  awesome!

That my list. My DH has his own list of Brand Names. Pioneer, Sony, Dell, Linksys, Ford, Craftsmen, etc.

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