Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gavin, almost 1 month old

We saw Gavin last night, and had not seen him in 5 days. He is growing so fast, he developed a double chin just since Sunday! and of course that just makes him even cuter.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Retro sheets part 2

I knew I loved this pattern of sheets when I found them at a thrift store and could hardly believe I found such a nice, not worn set. I think I must of got to the thrift store just after they were put on the shelf too because it sounds like everyone loves this pattern. I got so many comments from you all about them.
They are now on the bed in our guest room. Since the sheets have a bit of "hippie" look, I put this blue jean quilt on that bed too.
I made this quilt about 4 years ago and got the idea and instructions for it here.
I like the way it looks but it is very heavy, kind of like a lead vest you wear to avoid X-ray radiation at the dentist. But it was fun to make.

This room is just used as a guest room and the closet is used for storage of mostly holiday things with some space left empty so guests can put away their things.

To use less energy and keep our electric and gas bill lower,
when no guests are in the room,
I close the vent in the ceiling ..............................................
and close the door.

Week #8 - 2009

We've been using cloth bags for a few months and they are great. Besides saving plastic, they are so much easier to carry groceries around in. The purple one came in the mail. The big one is from Aldis (Jeff bought 2 of them there for $1.99 each) hold so much stuff. It also seems to take less time to unsack and put away groceries when I don't have to deal with all those plastic bags.

Pictured above - some of the groceries I bought this week

2 loaves light wheat bread - I like to go to the bread store for the lower price and most of their products are just as fresh as at a regular store
corn tortillas
Quaker snacks - used $1 coupon
black pepper
2 salt substitutes
2 cans beef broth
2 light Caesar dressings (used $1 coupons on these, got them for 77 cents each)
8 Grands - on sale for $1 and used coupons
2 gallons milk
1 gallon OJ
Romaine hearts
spring mix salad
2 iceberg lettuce
baby carrots
Red grapes, onions, apples and potatoes
yellow onions
baby carrots
grape and Roma tomatoes
Dog Treats used B1G1F coupon - 3.77 each
sandwich baggies
2 Suave lotions used free coupons
3 12packs Schick Razors used $2 coupons
2 2 liter Diet Dr. Peppers one bought with a free coupon

Actual Meals
dinner out at Joseppis with my parents, Nina and John
shepherds pie
chicken parmesan with penne pasta, green salad
cereal for breakfast
sandwiches for lunch
turkey tacos with corn tortillas for supper
oatmeal pancakes with homemade syrup for breakfast
turkey breast with gravy, dressing, steamed potatoes and a big green salad for lunch
leftover taco fixings for supper
leftovers from Sunday lunch
Monterrey Chicken with brown rice and a big green salad

For more real women shopping on a budget and their meals, visit Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday morning to-do list

I don't think I have told you all, my friends already know, but I am no longer employed. I was very frustrated with my job and when Jeff and I worked out a budget on his income, we saw it would work. I left my job the middle of January and so far, we are both very happy with arrangement and our finances seem to stretching even farther.
The first couple of weeks I was home, I pretty much just rested and did things I wanted to do. Then for about 3 weeks, we had different houseguests and I've had a few health issues and have not felt 100%.

But today is a new week, I feel better than I have in 2 weeks and I am ready to get back to a routine. So, I made a pretty long to-do list for this week.
I don't know if I will get it all done, but I have already started on several of the jobs.
I am pretty sure I have too many sewing projects to get done this week, but I guess they can just roll over to next week.

When my kids were home and it was time for chores, they all preferred I make a list. I think they interpreted a spoken request as nagging. When I did make a list, they usually got it all done really quick too.

Anyone else starting off this Monday with a to-do list?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gavin comes to visit

Gavin came to town with his mom and dad today. They had lunch at our house. Then Gavin stayed with us while they did a few errands.
I know all babies are sweet but Gavin is especially sweet. He will be 3 weeks old tomorrow.

And I am so glad my hubby bought this great camera for my birthday. I am really happy with the pictures it takes. In case anyone is wondering, it is a Sony Cybershot 8.1 mega pixels.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nina's latest cake

My daughter Nina has not posted on her blog in months but she updated it yesterday. And since I have also been a bit of slacker and not blogged for a few days, I thought you all should see hers.
Nina made this cake for her friend Alyssa's 21st birthday. I think it is really cute and I hear Alyssa was very happy with it too.
Nina has more pictures and details on her blog, The Wiivers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thrift store finds

When my parents visit us, they love to go all the thrift stores in my town. There are 5 that I go to often and another one that I rarely shop.
Friday, we went to my 5 favorites and today we hit all 6.

Today, I got the treasures in the above picture
a set of 1960 home economists favorites cook books
2 Dick Van Dyke dvds
a pint Dress Barn knit top for me
a like new king size floral sheet - lots of fabric for other projects
and 2 rolls of Hallmark wire edge pink checked ribbon
Friday, I bought several things but these sheets are my favorite. They are like new even though I know they were purchased at Sears in the 70's. They will be perfect for the bed in our guest room.
up close picture of the 5 cook books - they are just like new condition too. I guess whoever they belonged to was not a cook. But I will use them often!

more giveaways

Jeanne Winters has a great giveaway right now - with 5 very nice prizes for 5 winners.

This icthus wall piece is just one of them. So go register! you just might win.

Week #7 - 2009

Groceries bought
1 pound butter and 1 pound light margarine sticks
1 pound soft margarine
3 Grands biscuits
cottage cheese
sour cream
2 gallons skim milk
3 pounds cheddar
2 pounds mozzarella
1 pound sliced cheese
6 packs boneless skinless chicken breasts - about 3 to a pack
turkey pepperoni
8 mineolas
5 lbs Clementines
romaine hearts
red grapes
3 pounds yellow onions
roma and hot house tomatoes
lasagna noodles
angel food cake mix
2 Jello
canned mushrooms, green chilis, pinto beans and mushroom soup
2 bags chocolate chips
4 bags Valentine candy
2 loaves wheat bread, sesame sub buns and wheat buns
bought with free coupons from internet sign-ups - Saltines, Planters nuts, Dr. Pepper
2 bottles Fabulousa lavender scented cleaner

Meals served
dinner at Clint and Amanda's
roast beef with carrots, potatoes, green beans, rolls and Angel Food Cake
Taco salad, Mexican Rice, Nina's sugar cookies
biscuits, bacon and eggs
burgers with oven fries
biscuits, sausage, eggs
Lasagna with salad and french bread
leftovers for supper
pumpkin muffins for breakfast
pork loin on wheat buns, sweet potatoes and salad for supper
pork chops with dijon cream sauce, mashed potatoes and green beans

For more real shopping trips and menus, go see Gayle at

Monday, February 16, 2009

$25 Walmart gift card giveaway

if you like contests or want to learn to how this mom feeds her family supper every night for
5 bucks or less, go to her blog. She currently has a giveaway for a $25 Walmart Gift card.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Baby Shower for Gavin

Gavin and his mom Amanda were honored with a shower held by some of their country neighbors and family this morning.
Gavin with his Grandmother. He has gained 13 ounces since leaving the hospital and weighs 6 pounds-15ounces now.
Great Aunt Bettie Jeannine holding Gavin beside his mom Amanda

Amanda, the new mom, with the food table.
My photography is not so great here, the red stuff up high is decorating a light fixture and in reality looks very pretty, but it just looks silly in this pic. Sorry!

Baby Gavin, cuddling with his Grandma Ruthie. Ruthie lives in Indiana and will be driving back on Monday. I am afraid she will have tears in her eyes the whole trip.
Lots of women and lots of presents. Gavin got so many nice presents, a quilt, 2 afghans, lots of clothes, a hamper, toys, bibs, a pack and play. I can't give a full list because there were too many things for me to remember.
My mom, the Queen of Crochet, made this receiving blanket with a green crocheted edge. She embroiders too and put the cute frog on it. She also crocheted this afghan.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Get the most from produce purchases

I usually buy a good amount of fresh produce every week. We really like eating good produce but it can be expensive. I've got a few methods to keep produce fresh and easy to use. After all,
nobody likes to throw away produce because it spoiled in the fridge.
Grapes get washed in a colander, then cut into small bunches. I just store them in a bowl in the fridge. Having them cut in to little bunches makes them easy to get a serving at a time. I learned this trick from my Aunt Bernice.

I store many of our vegetables sealed up in Tupperware type containers. These romaine hearts have been in my fridge for a week but are still fresh and crisp.
Wash the produce and let it dry on a towel. I shake the lettuce a few times to get out any water hiding inside. Water can leave brown spots on leaf vegetables.
The celery gets cut up and washed before storing but most other veggies just get washed.
Romaine hearts each get wrapped with a single paper towel. I think it helps keep them crisp.
Jeff and I eat a salad most evening. With these romaine hearts, it is so easy to just take out one and unwrap it. Then, I chop it up with a few grape tomatoes, some red onion and any other salad vegetable we have.
I think the whole romaine hearts stay fresh much longer than bagged salad too.
Similar vegetables get stored together in a Tupperware container. Most of my containers for TupperWare Fridgesmart that I bought as a lot on Ebay. I've also got a few at thrift stores. I like the Fridgesmart best because you can see inside without opening them but I use other plastic containers too as needed.
Onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes stay in containers on the floor of the cool dark pantry.

Every few days, I check to see what produce we still have and use up whatever seems the oldest.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Week #6 - 2009

I did not shop much this week so the list of what I bought is pretty short.
quick oatmeal
1 gallon milk
2 gallons orange juice
2 dozen eggs
8 pound rolls of Jimmy Dean Sausage (on sale for $1.99)
grape tomatoes
red grapes
romaine hearts
angel food cake mix
cupcake papers
Good Seasons dressing mix
battery powered toothbrush
spray starch
1 loaf high fiber bread

Actual Meals
sloppy joes on wheat buns with green peas
Tammy's Chicken Rice Bake with green salad, spinach and broccoli
Goulash with green salad, Angel Food Cake
sausage, eggs and toast for breakfast
homemade pizza for supper
sausage, eggs and toast of breakfast
roast chicken, sweet potatoes and green beans for supper
Hearty Ham Casserole - I used1/2 the called for flour and butter and ham, and added frozen corn, peas and carrots
green salad, WW choc. chip cookies
Chili beans, corn bread and green salad

for more real shopping trips and meals, visit Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge

Monday, February 9, 2009

cups and cookies

I've been looking for just the right mugs for months and I think we found them yesterday at
Pier 1. We bought 6 white mugs, they are 16 ounces and have a design on the bottom that did not photograph so well.
I also got 4 floral mugs, sort of like Cath Kidston but made by Pier 1.
Yes, I got them all home, washed and put away without breaking this batch too!
I like milk in my hot tea so I had to get this cute cow creamer.
WW mini chocolate chip cookies
2 T butter, softened
2 t canola oil
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/8 t salt
1 large egg white
3/4 C flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 c chocolate chips - I used the mini chips
preheat oven to 375.
In a medium bowl, cream together butter, oil, brown sugar and vanilla. Add egg white and mix thoroughly.
Stir in flour, salt and baking soda.
Stir in chips.
Drop by rounded half teaspoons onto baking sheet (I sprayed it lightly with Pam)
- I used the small Pampered chef scoop and got 24 cookies. WW says it will make 48 if make them 1/2 teaspoons.
Bake until just golden. 4-6 minutes for 1/2 teaspoons. My bigger ones took about 8 1/2 minutes.
Cool on wax paper or a wire rack.
WW says 2 cookies are 2 points - if you get 48 cookies from your batch.

I really like this recipe - they taste just as good as traditional cookies and use all normal ingredients.

something old, something new

Nina, this picture is for you. Your daddy saw these new cake pedestals at Pier 1 and thought they would be perfect for your cupcakes.
The cupcake dishes on there are bigger than normal cupcakes but I put them there to give you an idea about its size.
This cup assortment is the old. I have been a search for some perfect mugs and finally found 2 sets at Pier 1. These old ones are now in a sack and will be going to a thrift store unless I hear from family or someone locally that wants them.
I'll show you the new ones soon. ....they are really pretty!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gavin and his quilt

Gavin is 4 days old today and doing just fine.

My mom pieced this scrap quilt and I did the quilting and binding.
Gavin did not have much so say about it but his parents like it a lot.
They live in the country and I think this is scrappy quilt is just right for a country baby boy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Junk drawer not junky anymore!

Debbie at Homemaking Dreams has a 2009 home to do list on her blog and she is posting her before and after pictures. Her pictures inspired me to clean out our junk drawer.


and just 15 minutes later
just a little better, don't you think?
I left a place for Jeff's cell phone charger. There were 4 chargers in the drawer and I know which one is mine, but I left the other 3 on the counter so he can put his correct one in the drawer.

Go see Debbie if you need more inspiration than just a junk drawer. She has done a great job decluttering and organizing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Week #5 - 2009

Shopping this week was not just the usual stuff, I bought extra because we had house guests for 3 days, snacks for while we watched the Super Bowl and I found very good meat sales at 2 different stores and a great sale/coupon deal on laundry products at Family Dollar.
What I bought
grape and roma tomatoes
2 bags romaine hearts
2 dozen eggs
soft butter
2 gallons milk
flour, powdered and brown sugar
2 pounds crackers and 2 bags chips
wheat bread and wheat hot dog buns
3 Grands biscuits
4 assorted packs of soda
3 2 liters diet root beer
4 Excedrin
3 Tide, 3 Gain, 1 Gain fabric softener
2 lb bacon
3 pounds Cure 81 sliced ham
4 lbs chicken tenders
arm roast, eye of round roast, sirloin roast, petite sirloin steaks (all beef)
pork sirloin chops
3 whole turkey breasts

Actual meals
vegetable beef stew
fried rice with egg rolls
turkey hot dogs with chili, big salad
pork loin sandwiches, baked beans, big salad, oatmeal cake and key lime pie
breakfast sausage, eggs, biscuits and OJ
lunch roast beef with noodles, big salad, desserts
chips and cheese dip, summer sausage and crackers during Super Bowl
(I cooked big amounts of main dishes while we had company. If food is good the first time, it is usually good reheated. My hubby thinks leftovers are great but I do know leftovers won't please everyone. They can be big money and time savers.)

for more real shopping trips and totals, go see Gayle at the Grocery Cart Challenge

Fix it , Make it and Break it Tuesday

Nina brought over some quilts to wash. She made both of these quilts for John near the beginning when they started dating. I think both have been used lots.
Zerbie, normally a very good dog, thought she need to taste the orange and black quilt.
I fixed it by sewing on some more orange fabric to repair the binding.

Almost all of the ties had come off of this red and blue quilt. So I re-tied it after it was laundered. It is just a twin size so it did not take very long.
I bought this brown fabric at Walmart in September to make a curtain for Jimmy's apartment. I finally got around to sewing it up today.
And I bought 8 black and white mugs at Dollar Tree but in my rush to answer the phone as I got home, the sack ripped, they fell onto our tile floor and everyone of them broke.
The phone call ---- they hung up!