Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When Temperatures Fall....

Fill the cookie jar.
Watch a heartwarming show. 
My new favorite that airs Sunday at 9pm on The Hallmark Channel.
Do a little housework.
Curl up with a good book under a warm blanket. 
I received an electric throw for Christmas.  Oh my!  This has been a great winter for it.  I keep wondering why it took so long for me get one. 
Make a warm dinner of burritos for your family.
 Light a wonderful smelling candle.
Enjoy some hot chocolate.
 Think warm thoughts!
 The most important things is to be grateful.... grateful that sun was shining, for a snug home, for heat and warm blankets and most of all a family to share it with.
It is being reported that the temperature is suppose to be -15 with a -35 wind chills this morning.  I haven't looked to see the temperature yet.  Regardless of the temperature I do know that it is cold as it is a little chilly in my home this morning.  Megan's school is cancelled and I plan to enjoy the same kind of day. 
May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bits & Pieces

Like most of the nation we have been having snow and cold. The extreme cold keeps inside and when I spend most of my time indoors I feel the need to fluff the nest a little bit. I used the frames of two pictures on the side of the frig to make the paper clutter look a little neater. I felt it needed a little pop I so I added some leftover wallpaper.
I am pleased with the change.
It was warmer Sunday which made it nice to venture out to church and then to celebrate Chinese New Year with friends.
Megan is showing a real interest in cooking.  I have started to let her use the stovetop some.  On Saturday she sautéed some tomatoes to add to her pasta.
There have been some amazing sunrises and sets.  I never get tired of the beauty.
Megan reads for fifteen minutes before it is lights out.  Her choice of reading, the dictionary, made me smile.

It is Monday which means laundry day around here.  I have high hopes of getting it all done including the ironing. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Overnight Biscuits

Sunday there was a luncheon after church with a brunch theme.  I don't know about you but time seems to be lacking on Sunday mornings.  I decided to take in biscuits and gravy.  I really didn't want to get up at the crack of dawn to make biscuits so I searched for a dough I could make the night before. 

Sift 4 cups self rising flour and 2 Tbs sugar
Cut in 2/3 cup shortening until it resembles cornmeal
With a fork mix in 2 cups buttermilk
Knead for 20 minutes. 
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.  The next morning roll the dough to 1 in thickness.  Place biscuits 1 in apart on a ungreased cookie sheet and let proof for 5 minutes.  Bake at 425* for 12-14 minutes.  Brush with butter when done. 

My family declared this recipe a keeper. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Frugal Five

I have seen many post where people share their frugal accomplishments.  I always find them motivating so I thought I could share some frugal things from the past week. 

#1 - Chuck paid $9 to attended a men's breakfast at church that was catered by Bob Evans. 

They ordered more food then needed and were going to just throw the excess away.  I know!  Chuck came home with almost a quart of gravy and two large pans of home fries.  I ended up with three one cup bags of the gravy and twelve four cup bags of the potatoes for the freezer.  Score!

#2 -  My birthday was last weekend and the boys I watch brought me a present this week.  In the gift bag was about six sheets of pretty tissue paper.  I smoothed out the paper and folded it up for future gifting. 

#3 - The ketchup bottle was almost empty so the packets from the frig and van were emptied into it.  I ended up with a little more then 1/4 of a bottle.

#4 - Tacos were served for dinner one night and then eaten again the next day for lunch.  After that there was still some meat left.  No matter how little I always put the remaining amount in the freezer to add to the next taco meal. 

#5 - Using coupons earned from my coke rewards I was able to get FREE coke for Chuck. 
Here is a tip for gathering points for coke rewards:  Ask people you know that drink coke products if they participate in this program.  Most of the people that work with Chuck do not.  When finished with their vending machine drinks they save the caps for him.  There are even some who save the points off of the cartons for him. 

So there you go.  I hope this encourages you to do things to save money.  The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more as I see prices of just about everything increase.  I am not sure I will have five things to post about every week as many times my frugal accomplishment is simply staying home and making do with what I have. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Soap and Water

I sat down on the kitchen floor to straighten out our snack drawer.  While I was down there I got a good look at my cabinets.  Oh boy!  All the baking and cooking from the holidays had them looking... well... gross!   The only thing to be done was to give them a good scrub!

You know how one leads to another to another?  (Are you singing a tune as you read that?  Okay, maybe just me.) Anyway, I decided I might as well start at the top and work my way down. 

That meant everything needed to come down.  Can you guess what happened when it all came down?  Yes!  It all got a good scrub also. 

While I was at it I might as well wipe down the bead board and everything on the counters and in the window sill.  Since I had gotten that far I decided I might as well do the entire kitchen.

Ahhhh.. much better.   I plan to do a little purging and straightening in the cabinet, but other then that I have a kitchen that is clean and sparkly.  It has me motivated and this week I plan to deep clean the living room before I add some valentine touches. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tea Thyme Cough Remedy

I haven't been feeling 100% since Thanksgiving.   I was treated for bronchitis and after a round of strong cough syrup and then a round of antibiotics I still have a lingering dry cough.  This is something that I tend to get every winter.  This is the third year in a row that I have endured this for months at a time.  So the doctor thinks there is an underlying reason this keeps happening.  He is working on finding out what is going on, but in the meantime I still have this cough.  I have only been to church two times since this started and quite frankly I feel like life has been put on hold.

Over the counter cough medicine doesn't work for me.  Besides that it has tons of "stuff" in it.  I began researching old time cough remedies and have found one that is helping.

1 cup of water boiled
2 tsp Thyme
Seep for 10 minutes
Add 1 Tbs honey and sip

I drank my first cup about an hour before bed.  Going to bed brings on a huge coughing fit and I could tell right away that it was improving my cough as I didn't cough as much.  I drink this three times a day.  I am still coughing but nearly as often or as hard as I have been.    I even made it to church yesterday!  I know what I will be adding to my garden this year.

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Slow and Cozy

The high for Monday was -11 with wind chills as low at -43. Brrr.... a nice day to stay snug and warm inside.   It was also a great day to heat up the house by working in the kitchen.  Megan helped me make bread to go with dinner.
I pulled the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving and Christmas out of the freezer the day before to make stock.  Boy does it make a home smell good!
Our neighbor is no longer able to cook due to the arthritis in her hands (causes them to really shake) and lives off of frozen dinners.  Yuck!  I sent over some beef stew, bread and a couple cookies I had left.  Now, I don't share that to get a pat on the back but to encourage you to do something like this for someone you know.  A simple gesture that I know means the world to our neighbor.
We bundled up and stepped outside for a moment to try throwing boiling water into the air.
It was neat to watch it dissipate into a cloud.   We hurried back into the warmth and I helped Megan with a knitting kit she received for Christmas. 
No cozy day would be complete without playing games.  

There was also reading, snuggling under the electric blanket and there just might have been a nap squeezed it. :)  School is cancelled again and it looks like Chuck will be home another day.  As our street hasn't been plowed and we watched a van get stuck this morning and there is still a pick up truck stuck in the street.  I can't say I am upset about having my family home for another cozy day. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Winter Wonderland

A large snowfall was forecast for us on Sunday and it did not disappoint.
We had snowfall all day and about 9pm last night there was about a foot on the ground.  The flakes were big and beautiful.  I enjoyed watching it fall.  We did venture out in the afternoon for Megan to play and to shovel.  Chuck figured it would be better to shovel twice then have to move a foot of snow at one time. 
We ended up the evening by making snow cream. Yum!

Look at the forecast for tomorrow.

Can you say brrrrr?! The only thing to do when it is that cold is to stay inside warm and cozy!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

I enjoy a good breakfast but I admit it is my least favorite meal to prepare. That leads to eating cereal more often then I should. I am trying to eat better and I know that starting with a healthy, hearty breakfast is a great start. I do not like any type of instant oatmeal. The kids gobble it up but I don't like the texture. My previous slow cooker oatmeal was good. I just didn't love it so I didn't make it as often as I should have.

I have been playing with different recipes and finally found one that I love. 

8 1/2 cups water
2 cups steel cut oats
1 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Pour all of the ingredients into a butter greased crock pot or use a liner.  Mix together and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low.  When I get up I turn it onto warm and then stir before serving.  At that point you can add any fruit, nuts or additional sweetener if needed. 

This makes a huge batch.  Next time I will cut in in half and will still have plenty for the week.  Enjoy!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Five Gifts to Make

Coming off of a major holiday I am sure that making gifts is far, far from the minds of many. Every year I intend to make gifts and then that little thing called time, or lack there of, gets in the way. I am determined not to let it happen this year.

Many times I save a bunch of pins, magazine ideas and then things never make it to the top of the to do list.  This year I am going to start small.  I have complied a list of five gift.  Once they are finished I will then make another list of five items if time permits.  Making things for those you care about should be about creating in love not in a stressed out state to just get it done!

My list included some items that are super easy and take little time and some that are a little more time consuming.  Without further ado here is my list:     


As I complete an item I will be sure to let you know the cost and how it turns out.  Happy Crafting!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!