Guest Post: All From One Little Pumpkin

Guest Post by Monica from The Homespun Heart

One of my favorite Fall decorations
is a simple pumpkin! I
recently purchased a 3.4 lb. pie pumpkin at Wal-Mart for $0.78/lb. I thought it would be fun to see how much we could
do with just one pumpkin several days in a row to really stretch
the value of purchasing it! Join me as we follow the life of the this small
pumpkin…

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When I first brought the pumpkin home, it made a lovely decoration perched on my porch.

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A few days later, it made a fun greeting for a few ladies I had over for an Autumn in Avonlea gathering.

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The next morning, it made a fun vase for our First Day of Autumn breakfast.

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And, at lunch, a great hiding place for lunch during our scavenger hunt.

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Next,
I cooked the pumpkin. (Just half the pumpkin and place cut side down
on a baking sheet for one hour at 350 degrees; I got about four cups of cooked
pumpkin from the two pumpkins I cooked.)

I used the cooked pumpkin and made some delicious Pumpkin Struesel Muffins.

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Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

1/4 c. margarine or butter, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. brown sugar

2/3 c. pumpkin

1/2 c. buttermilk

2 eggs

2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Streusel Topping:

1/3 c. flour

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. cold butter or margarine

For muffins: cream together margarine and sugars. Add all remaining ingredients and mix together. In a separate bowl, cut together streusel ingredients and sprinkle over muffin batter. Bake in prepared muffin tin at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Makes one dozen muffins. Original recipe from Quick Cooking May/June 2000.

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We
were able to tie the muffins into our homeschooling this week by
having an ‘unbirthday’ party (we’ve been reading Ask Mr. Bear!)

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Then we toasted the seeds for a snack. Here’s the recipe we used:

Sugared Pumpkin Seeds

2 c. pumpkin seeds (from two pie pumpkins; rinsed and dried on a baking sheet for 48 hours)
1 egg white mixed with 1 Tbsp. water (save the egg yolk for your next batch of pancakes or scrambled eggs!)

1 c. sugar

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. salt

Mix seeds and egg white mixture. Add remaining spices and mix well. Spread on greased baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees for one hour stirring every 15 minutes.

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I think I’ll send some in my husband’s lunch tomorrow. After
this yummy baking, we took a short walk outside and enjoyed coming into a
cozy smelling home!

All that from a $2.68 pumpkin!

How do you like to stretch a
pumpkin? I look forward to hearing your ideas!

Monica enjoys blogging about the simple pleasures of faith, family and home over at The Homespun Heart.

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Free book and much more

Sign up here to get a free copy of Robert Allen’s book, Multiple Streams of Income. You will also get a free 30-minute phone consultation and be able to attend a free teleconference. I am not for sure, but my guess is that there will be valuable information in the book, phone consultation, and teleconference, but they will also likely attempt to upsell you. Unless it’s a really superb deal and you have the money to pay for it, please do not purchase something you can’t afford. :)

That said, this book looks like it has some good information in it (I’m a big fan of multiple streams of income!) so do consider getting a copy if you are looking to learn more about earning from home.

More Freebies:
Free diabetes monitor and booklet (must qualify)
Free baby samples and more baby samples
Free sample of Pamprin
Free car care guide
Free Jungle Pond products
Free o.b. Tampon sample
Free books and sample units from Great Books Foundation (Thanks, Beulah!)

And while this is not exactly a freebie, for those of you looking to earn a little money from home, you can sign up for SurveySpot and earn a little money for taking surveys. I’ve not tried this particular survey website out myself, but I’ve heard from reputable sources that it’s a good one to sign up with. (I’d love to hear from any of you who have tried it out. Did you find it worth your time?)

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Free coupon booklet from Dinner Made Easy

Betty Crocker

If you haven’t signed up for the Dinner Made Easy email newsletter, do so here and you’ll get a free coupon booklet with $10 worth of coupons in it.

Thanks, Thrifty Mommy!

Also, if you haven’t yet signed up for the Box Tops 4 Education email newsletter, you can do so here and get a free Fruit Roll-Up sample!

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Free razors!

Can I just admit that the razor freebies are probably my very favorite free product samples of all? And there’s good news today because we have not one but two razor freebies! Yay!

Schick

Sign up here to get a free Schick Intuition razor. No longer available!

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Sign up here to get a free Schick Quattro Titanium razor or trimmer.

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Birthday freebies

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photo by plindberg

Here are a few of my favorite birthday freebies:

Sheridan’s Frozen Custard–Sign up for their e-club and you’ll get a coupon for a free shake, malt, or concrete on your birthday. Plus, you’ll get a coupon for a free treat when you sign up and a coupon for a free treat if you refer another friend.

Baskin Robbins–Sign up for their Birthday Club and get free icecream on your birthday!

Caribou Coffee–Sign up for their eNewsletter and get a coupon for a free drink on your birthday.

Cold Stone Creamery
–Sign up for their Birthday Club and get a coupon for a free Creation on your birthday.

Red Robin
–Get a free burger on your birthday when you sign up for their eClub.

Moe’s Southwest Grill–Sign up for Moe’s email newsletter and get a coupon for a free entree on your birthday.

Belfonte–Sign up here to get a coupon for a free 1/2-gallon of ice cream on your birthday.

Rubio’s–Sign up for Rubio’s Beach Club
and get a coupon for $7 off anything. Sadie, who emailed me about this
deal, said she got a 2-taco plate completely free with that coupon!

Ben and Jerry’s–Get a free ice cream treat on your birthday when you sign up for their Chunk Spelunker Club (Note: The site doesn’t say anything about this, but I read it here. I’m waiting to see if I get a coupon for my birthday.)

I read here that you can get a free meal at Taco Bell on your birthday. Does anyone know if that’s true? I couldn’t find anything on their website.

There are many other great birthday freebies listed here and here. What are your favorite birthday freebies? Did I miss any really good ones?

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Guest Post: Successfully selling on Etsy

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photo from BlingSlings

Guest Post by Marie Cluff, owner of BlingSlings

As a mom of a one-year-old boy, I had to make the tough
decision of whether to stay at home or work. My husband is currently in
school right now, and our budget is extremely tight. I felt the need to
help my family, but just couldn’t imagine being away from my son so I
knew the best solution was for me to find something I could do from home.

I started
making baby slings about a year ago, giving them as gifts for baby
showers. I decided that selling them would be the perfect way to make
some money and still be able to stay at home! I had come across Etsy
before and loved all the homemade products that are sold there, so I started my own shop there, BlingSlings.

Etsy is a site where you can buy and
sell homemade items. You can easily create your own store for free! It
costs 20 cents to list an item and then there’s 3.5% sales fee when you
sell an item. It is considerably cheaper than eBay and I also think it’s much
“prettier”.

I found it very easy to get started with Etsy. You just go to etsy.com and in
the top right hand corner you can register. It is very self-explanatory
and has a guided process you go through. They also have great help page which answers any questions you might have and gives excellent tips!

Etsy is the perfect way for an artsy-crafty person to make money. However,
it is by no means easy
  money; you have to work hard getting your name
out there and making quality products that people want to buy.

Just
because you think your product is great doesn’t mean others will. Some
of my very favorite slings which I assumed would sell out instantly, didn’t
sell at all. I found it helpful to look up other products similar to mine and see how
they have sold. This is a good way to decide whether you have a market for
your product or not.
You also have to remember that you may not sell your
stuff right away. I have already sold quite a few products, but it took
some time for people to “find me”. I am constantly advertising my
shop by:

  • Handing out business cards
  • Making fliers and posting them wherever I can
  • Networking on MySpace and other internet sites
  • Relisting my products on Etsy regularly
  • Giving my slings as gifts for family, with business cards
  • Posting often about my store on my blog

Etsy is a great starting place for selling your handmade products and it is a
wonderful way to make money from home doing something you enjoy.
I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have if you are interested in trying your hand at Etsy. Just email me: blingslings @ hotmail.com (remove spaces).

Marie is a mother to one cute little boy and wife of three years to an amazing husband. In addition to running BlingSlings, she writes a family blog.

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