Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Last post for a week or so

I am not usually a do-it-at-the-last minute kind of homemaker. But I have to confess than I have been this last week or so.
Jeff wanted a robe to wear while he is in the hospital. I forgot about it until it was too late to buy one in my podunk-town. I looked online at Target and Walmart but the only kind of mens robes they sell right now are Grim Reaper robes for Halloween - those don't seem to appropriate for the hospital, do they?
But I got a McCalls pattern 8524 Saturday on the last day of Hobby Lobby's 99 cent sale. They also had some nice 8 ounce denim, not the most traditional choice for robes, but it suits Jeff and I think it looks good on him.
And even getting a late start, I got it cut out and sewed up in plenty of time.
For now, I want to give our home a good cleaning, buy some groceries, do the yard work and pack up what we will need while Jeff is in the hospital and I'll be on the road.
I won't be posting grocery totals for awhile, I think the people that are interested in them want to read about good recipes at a low cost and that is just not what kind of cooking is going on here right now. So, I'm taking a blogging break starting right now.
I'll be back as soon as I can!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Crafty children

My children were around a lot of crafts and do it yourself projects growing up. We had some really lean years after Jeff was discharged from the Marines before he found a decent paying job in our town. The kids say they don't remember ever knowing we were just about poor. They say they thought we were the same as Martha Stewart because we were always making something or fixing something or cooking something,
just like Martha.
not really,
but I am glad they have good memories.........
Here are some of their recent crafty projects.
Nina bought this set of hot pink bathtowels in the back to school section at Walmart. She also got a spool of black and white polka-dot ribbon there. We sewed the trim on the towels and she will put these in their guest room.
I don't think the picture really shows how "stinking cute" these towels really are. That is Nina's adjective, not mine.
If you want to make some too, the towel sets are about $9 and one spool of 9 feet of ribbon is just exactly the right amount for these towels.
You can't really see Nina's shirt in the above picture so I made her pose again. Her brother Bobby does these T-shirts and sells them when his wife is singing with their rock band "Siva"

I think the shirts are very cool.
Bobby used some stencils and some kind of bleaching product for the design.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

2 weeks worth of yard sale treasures

Jeff and I went to yard sales yesterday and the Saturday before, but my life is pretty busy right now and I am just getting around to posting them.
And these will probably be the last yard sales we go to for awhile. Jeff will have a total knee replacement surgery this week.
So, I may not do much blogging at all in the next few weeks.
We got some great stuff yesterday, so here it is.....
this sweet handmade quilt was just $1 at the VFW sale. It is a lap quilt, about a yard square.
I like it so much because the colors and prints look like a quilt my grandmother would of sewed. She like to put bright colors together too.

New linens~
these were from a home in the high-priced neighborhood
the red checks is a long tablecloth that fits our long dining table perfectly,
the yellow damask are 6 nice napkins with a crocheted edge
and a brand new package of 4 Williams-Sonoma dish clothes.

Vintage linens
these are also from the VFW sale - all four tablecloths were 25 cents.
2 of them are long and will work on our long table. The other 2 are square and should be fine in the breakfast room or on the patio.

lots of Tupperware at the VFW sale - these were all 20 or 25 cents each

a few books for Gavin

Now on to last week - last weeks pictures are so dark - I guess a black tablecloth is not a good background
a cute little hanging bird and a set of cookie cutters, also with a bird in the set

Books and a toy for Gavin

a scary looking apothecary jar - it looks much better cleaned up
and 3 picture frames for Nina - she has been making a family picture on a big wall in their new home. She painted a big assortment of frames the same color and she says they look great - I'll see it Monday night when she is hosting a jewelry party.
2 lamps for a guest room - just $1 for the pair
if you are a yard-saler, I hope you had a good week too!
Head over to Rhoda's Southern Hospitality Blog for lots more yard sale treasures.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Taboli or Tabbouleh or Tabouli?

In the middle east, cracked wheat salad is called tabbouleh.
The kind we eat is an Oklahoma made product and it's brand name is Taboli.
The mix I buy is made in Bristow Oklahoma and is sold in the produce section of every local grocery store.
But whatever you call it, it is a really nice salad. I like the already-flavored mix in a bag. It soaks in water, oil and I add a little lemon juice to soften. Then I add a chopped cucumber and onion and a couple of tomatoes.
Bishop Taboli also sells plain cracked wheat and you can your own seasonings.
Most every Oklahoma potluck meal includes a bowl of Taboli. I like to make a bowl of it and keep in the fridge. It goes great with sandwiches and as a salad with dinner.
The ingredients

the finished Taboli

Have you ever had Taboli? and if so, what is called where you live?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Week 33

Purchases - everything is from Walmart this week
giant double pack of Lysol Wipes - these will last a long time, I like them for special cleaning like the computer, remotes, phones, etc.
bleach for laundry - all whites at our house get washed in hot water with bleach to kill any germs
1 loaf of bread
tabbouleh mix
2 pounds white cheddar
20 pounds white sugar and 6 pounds brown sugar - I did not pay attention to the details but I've heard about a possible U.S. sugar shortage coming - I heard it twice on the news and saw it once online. If there really is a shortage, sugar prices will rise. And if not, well, I have a big pantry and I don't think sugar spoils.

Meals this week
Tasty Lentil Tacos with Mexican rice and toppings
smoked chicken, oven fries and spinach with onions
a late breakfast after garage sales of biscuits, ham and eggs and OJ
a late lunch/early supper at Texas Roadhouse
coffee cake for breakfast
lunch - Pampered Chef Taco Ring and a big salad - we liked it so much that we ate some of the leftovers for supper too.
meatless marinara sauce with pasta, more salad
Baked chicken, squash, salad and cantaloupe

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"tasty lentil tacos" Really!

I tried a new recipe last night, tasty lentil tacos from All Recipes.com.
We eat meat most every night but I get tired of meat and want to try to few more meat-free dinner recipes. We liked these lentil tacos alot.
They are very easy and quick - less than 40 minutes from start to eating ready - and cheap.
The recipe says it will fill 12 taco shells, I think it could easily fill 15 or more.
They "taste" just like beef tacos but the texture is different than beef and may not please everyone though.
So if you are not eating meat for religous, social, economic, health or personal taste, this might be a recipe you will like too. We will be having them again.

3 products I really like

When I buy something, I like to read or hear opinions from other people who have used those products. I really like that feature on Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com.
Here are some products I've recently tried for the first time and like so much, they will always be in my home.
Tide Totalcare
I was completely out of laundry soap a few weeks ago. I took several coupons to the store with me and bought 4 kinds. To be honest, I only bought this Tide TotalCare because I had a coupon on it and because it has a money back guarantee. After using it on several weeks, it gets out every stain, the clothes come out soft and static free and it has a great light scent.
When Jeff grilled chicken and ribs a few weeks ago, he got that spice mixture, sauce and meat drippings all over a brand new shirt. Those are some the toughest stains and this Tide got them all out on the first washing.
It is more expensive than many detergents but you don't have to use spot treatments or fabric softeners, so I don't think it really ends up costing much more.
I've tried the homemade options - I made detergent twice but it did not clean our clothes and remove spots, homemade fabric softener seemed to make the dryer lint gummy and I stopped using it out of fear it might ruin the clothes dryer.
We like fresh spinach but it is expensive, spoils quickly and cooks down to almost nothing. Jeff likes canned spinach, it is cheap and easy but I can't stand it.
I found this cut leaf spinach in 1 pound bags in the frozen section at Walmart for $1.34.
It tastes pretty close to fresh spinach, makes a big pan even after cooking and the price is great.

We've been Pace salsa loyal for years. A few months ago, I printed some high value coupons in one of the contests. We tried these new varieties and both are excellent.
The Salsa Verde has a very nice spicy flavor but is not at all hot. It is especially good on chicken enchiladas and chicken tacos.
The Mexican Four Cheese is so nice for nachos. It has plenty of spice too and is easy to heat a serving sized portion in the microwave.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Week 32

sodas, 2 boxes cereal, frozen spinach
6 cans Grands and 12 cans Crescent rolls - pricematched and used coupons on all
3 toothpastes, 4 Loreal makeups, 2 Loreal hair colors, 4 deodorants, 4 peanut butters
4 bags chicken, 2 packs bacon, 2 ham steaks and 1 ham for sandwiches
12 cans diced tomatoes
6 cans pork and beans
8 cans tomato paste and 24 cans tomato sauce
6 cans green beans
6 cans fruit cocktail and peaches
12 cans broth
onion soup mix, olive and vegetable oil, garlic powder, 4 pounds spaghetti
2 brown sugar, white sugar, flour, chocolate chips,
3 bags chips, 2 boxes chocolate bars, saltines
light sour cream, skim milk, 1 pound mozzarella and 2 pounds butter
seedless watermelon, 2 cantaloupes, 2 strawberries, 2 blueberries, 10 pounds potatoes, 4 lemons, 2 grape tomatoes, 9 roma tomatoes, 1 head iceberg, 6 heads Romaine, 1 bag spring mix,
3 bell peppers, red and yellow onions, mushrooms 2 cucumbers, 3 yellow squash, 2 pounds carrots, whew! that should keep us eating our 5-9 servings of veggies a day for awhile!
Melissa D'Arabians chicken and potatoes and spinach- yummy!
goulash with salad, lemon pie for dessert
smoked pork loin with more potato gratins and salad
biscuits, eggs and OJ for breakfast
Red Rock salad and sandwiches for lunch
Mexican rice and chicken tacos for supper
breakfast at church
pizza in Oklahoma City with Jimmy, Bobby and Bridgette
sandwiches for supper
Steak in mushroom and onion sauce, corn, mashed potatoes and strawberries with cake
Hearty Ham Casserole with salad, strawberries and cake

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday to-do list & a quick fix

My week is starting out with lots of chores I want to get done. This is my to-do list for things at home on the left with a short shopping list on the right. I've already crossed off a few things as completed - and I hope it is all done before Friday anyway.

Here is my progress on my postage stamp quilt - 800 hundred blocks sewn together so far. I think traditional postage stamp quilts might use a smaller piece, mine are 2 inches before sewing. And some of my seams my not match exactly, so if you are a quilt-perfectionist, you might not approve.
I am having fun making it and Baby Gavin seems to like it so far too.

I gave our hall bathroom a very good cleaning this morning. I noticed the shower curtain bar was looking pretty bad. I will probably buy a new one, I think this one is 7 years old.
But for now, I cleaned it real good and gave it coat of black spray paint.
And for now, I think it works just fine in this yellow, black and white bathroom.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gavin's new chair

Gavin is 6 months old and had his first rice cereal this week. His mom says he likes it just fine.
So, I've been on a search for a high chair for him when he is at my house and I think I found the perfect one from Fisher Price.
This is Gavin's first time to sit in it.
He pounded his tray and seemed to be saying "hey Grandma, this is nice, but how about some bananas or Teddy Grahams while I sit here?"

A side view - it's called a Fisher Price - Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat - and it fastens easily to a regular dining chair. I bought it at Walmart for $24.

Week 31

Yes, I am still here - just busy with other stuff and not getting around to blogging.
I'm sure you all know about days like these.

shown above- a portion of the ground beef prepared in various ways

We stopped at Food Pyramid on the way home from church just to get their green beans, corn on the cob and orange juice that was on sale. But then we walked by the meat counter and saw the meat man had just marked down lots Black Angus ground sirloin to 99 cents a pound. So, I got 4 big family packs, about 28 pounds total. While Jeff was outside smoking chicken and ribs, I was inside, dealing with this meat. I made a big pot of chili and a big batch of taco meat. I froze all of it into meal size portions. We'll use some it and Jimmy will take some it back to school.
I also made 24 patties for hamburgers, froze 4 pound portions, and cooked up a bunch for Theo-sized meal portions.
Our dog Theo is a sweetie but he won't eat dog food. For his supper, he gets 2 slices of bread mixed with about 1/2 pound of cooked meat like burger, chicken or turkey. He also has a bowl of milk before he goes to bed and a few slices of cheese and dog treats during the day.
Food Pyramid
6 cans green beans
1 gallon OJ
5 ears of fresh corn, red grapes and a watermelon
28 pounds ground sirloin and 2 slabs of pork ribs
French bread, cinnabon bars, cheese crackers
coffee, yeast, vanilla, soy sauce, pancake syrup, sugar, powdered sugar and flour
2 bags frozen corn, Cool Whip, 2 cans Grands
2 pounds white cheddar and sliced cheese
2 dozen eggs, 1 gallon milk, 1 pound butter
6 Twix - free with coupons
3 rolls Foil, freezer bags and freezer paper
celery, carrots, iceberg lettuce, roma tomatoes, bananas, potatoes and 2 cantaloupes
July 29th
Beef and Noodles
Baked chicken with Salad
spaghetti with salad
August 1
ham, eggs and toast for breakfast
quesadillas for lunch
Jeff and Jimmy's favorite homemade pizza and salad for supper
breakfast at church
late lunch/early supper of Jeff's smoked chicken and ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans and fresh bread
Swiss steak with salad and baked potatoes
chicken and ribs from Sunday, baked potatoes and corn

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Thrifty finds this week

We hit the road in search of yard sales Saturday morning. A few of the sales were so bad, well, it is hard to describe just how bad they were. Maybe the sellers don't have trash pick-up and thought a yard sale would be a good way to get rid of their garbage.
But we did find a couple good ones.
This apothecary jars were 25 cents each
The little mug shakers, for salt, pepper, cinnamon sugar, were 10 cents.

Jimmy wanted another drying rack. This one was a really good deal

And we always find a few things for Gavin.
These like new suction toys were 50 cents and the board books were a dime.

These toys actually belonged a little girl and there were so many nice clothes at this sale, mothers were buying them by the armful.
This little book is so funny - it has little flaps that cover parts of the page
Crown and duck uncovers to be.....

Duck wears the crown

scarf and egg become

The egg wears the scarf

beans and sock become......

Beans are in the sock.

I know my children would of giggled if they read these books and I am pretty sure Gavin will too.
For lots more thrifty finds, you are invited to Rhoda's party every week.