Subscribe: HOMEMAKING DREAMS
http://homemakingdreams.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
back  bag  bags  cleaning  day  fall  frugal tip  good  love  make  minutes  room  swagbucks  time  tip  week  work 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: HOMEMAKING DREAMS

HOMEMAKING DREAMS



Glimpses of Home.....



Updated: 2017-11-20T07:09:37.241-05:00

 



Anxious For Nothing - A Bible Study

2017-11-04T15:08:33.448-04:00

I thought I would share a new On Line Bible Study that starts Monday.  Its based on the book, "Anxious For Nothing" by Max Lucado.  Its being offered by the Proverbs 31 Ministry at THIS LINK.




The Bible study is free, but you have to furnish your own book.  I got mine at the library.  I hope to be able to renew it in order to finish the Bible study.  My library also has it in E-Reader format, but all their copies are already on loan.  I have my name on the waiting list just in case.

You can download the first 3 chapters from Proverbs 31 if you want to do the Bible study, but don't have a book yet.

You can order the book from Proverbs 31 which helps to support their ministry or from Amazon in print form or digital format HERE.

Any time is a good time to learn about not being anxious, but this time of year is an especially good time!

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7



Here comes November!

2017-11-01T06:44:25.005-04:00

Happy November!

(image)
One of my grandsons on a beautiful Fall day.

I have been plugging away steadily decluttering and organizing in the zones in the farmhouse, each week working in what ever zone the Flylady is in.  If you haven't heard of Flylady, its a wonderful program for getting organized and getting things done!  I have implemented the Flylady principles off and on for years and haven't found any other method that works as well.

Last week we were working in the master bedroom and closet.  It was the perfect time for switching to my Fall and Winter clothes and storing the Summer ones!  I filled up a couple of boxes with shoes and clothes that I no longer like, or don't fit and actually dropped them off at the thrift shop right away, instead of riding them around in the back of my vehicle for days or weeks.

I didn't quite finish doing what I wanted to get done in that closet, so this week, I have been doing tiny jobs each day.  I can get so much done by breaking up big jobs into small bite size jobs.  Sometimes its a micro size bite of the job, but eventually the job will get done if I hang in there!

The first 2 days of this week were dedicated to the living room.  I have three jobs in mind for that area.  Number 1 is to purge some old magazines that are stored in a basket.  Number 2 is to clean the dust bunnies from under the furniture. Number 3 is to vacuum under the cushions on the couch.  None of those are too much work, but need to be done.

The rest of the week will be spent on the front porch and entry way.  Neither of those areas need much work, but I do need to get rid of some scraggly plants that are on the porch and sweep.  There are also some pumpkins that are beginning to look a little bad, so I need to check on those.  I'll leave my fall decorations up for a couple of more weeks though.

I've been planning for Christmas, following along with Flylady's "Cruising Through The Holidays" plan.  I haven't made too much progress, but I'm working on it!  I bought a red journal to keep my lists and ideas in.   I plan to get more serious about getting ready for Christmas early now that November is here. 

I hope your November is peaceful and blessed!





A Slice of My Life October 9, 2017

2017-10-09T06:45:42.157-04:00

Good Morning!I worked in the sewing room on Saturday and completed two more of the small monogrammed tote bags that I am working on for Christmas gifts.  I also started on the 4th bag.  I felt a bit of accomplishment since I had not been able to find the time or motivation to do any sewing lately.My plan is to work at least 15 minutes each day in the sewing room.   But, with even the best of intentions, lots of days (well most days) it doesn't happen. sigh.....Also on Saturday my hubby and I cleaned out one of my Zinnia flower beds.  The flowers were still blooming, but the plant part was looking very bad.  I picked a bunch of the flowers and then we pulled up all the zinnia plants and I trimmed all the remaining plants.  That's one flower bed that has been put to bed for the winter!   The flowers made a very pretty arrangement that I have been enjoying all weekend, and should last most of the week.This is the other Zinnia bed that has mostly yellow zinnias.  They are still looking pretty good, so I'll leave them for a while longer.  Its been very dry lately, so we've been watering them.This week I am working in Zone 2 on the Flylady plan which is the kitchen.  Here are my plans:1  Declutter and throw away some of the junky plastic ware we have accumulated.  I get so mad when I am running short of time and I'm trying to pack my lunch and none of the lids will fit the bowl I put something in!2.  Wipe off the cabinet doors and the fronts of the appliances.  Our cabinets are white and dust accumulates on them.  The best way to remove this is to use baby wipes or Lysol wipes.3.  Wipe out the refrigerator shelves  and drawers and throw away anything that needs to be tossed.4.  Declutter duplicate and unneeded kitchen utensils, gadgets, pans, etc.  I have a huge pile of cookie sheets, muffin tins and spatulas.  5.  Store some things that are normally stored on the counter inside the cabinets.  Hopefully there will be more room when I get rid of some things.  For example, I don't use the blender that often, but it is taking up room on the counter.  Same goes for the red Pioneer Woman Dutch Oven.  Its pretty, but adds to that cluttered look.6.  Wash the window over the sink.7.  Use magic minutes:  Those are the minutes that can be used while waiting for something else, or when you just have an extra minute.  I could wipe out one of the shelves inside the refrigerator door during a magic minute, or wipe one cabinet door front!Ideas for food this week:Butterbeans cooked with smoked sausage that has been cut into small piecesBeef kabobs cooked in the oven.Sloppy JoesBite size celery sticks with a spoon of pimento cheese on each one.Hot dogs Green beans cooked with ham bitsI hope your week is blessed and productive![...]



A Slice of My Life.....

2017-10-02T07:03:54.457-04:00

Good Monday morning to you. Here's what's going on in my life this week.What I'm wearing:  At the moment I'm still in my comfy clothes with a quilt tucked around me as I type this.  The temperature dropped enough outside that its slightly cool inside.  Its 69 degrees in here with no AC running.  That's the way I like it!What I'm going to wear today:  I hung my clothes for today on the hook on the closet door yesterday.  Its black pants, purple and black striped top that has gold buttons on the shoulders.  A long necklace that has gold and black beads on it.   Black sandals.  I'll wear sandals a few more weeks before its too cold around here.What I'm hearing:  Bad news on TV.  The sound of dishes clinking as Hubby unloads the dishwasher.  The sound of his cup of coffee brewing.  The low hum of the fan that runs while we sleep, which hasn't been turned off yet.What I'm working on in the home this week: I am going to work in the dining room and front entry way.  Just 10 minutes a day!1.  Pull the dust bunnies from under the china cabinet and all other furniture with the static duster and vacuum them.2.  Clean cob webs from the ceiling area and light fixture.3.  Wash the glass doors at the front and back doors.4.  Dust the top of the china cabinet and all other furniture.5.  Declutter and clean up plants.What's going on outside of the home:I have a doctor's appointment this morning for my annual check up.  No coffee for me this morning!  UGG.   I don't usually eat anything until lunch, but I normally do have coffee with stevia and half and half.Going to work every day, as usual.What's for supper tonight:Pork Chops.  Potatoes.  Broccoli and cheese.  What's going on in the sewing room:I'm working on the little monogrammed tote bags for Christmas gifts and the machine quilting of the Road Trip Quilt.  That's the plan, anyway.  I didn't touch any of that last week.  UGG It was a busy weekend!  I'm hoping for a quiet week and more time in the sewing room.  Just 10 minutes a day would be great![...]



Speed Cleaning in the Living Room - Days 2 and 3

2017-09-27T06:41:24.432-04:00

Items found under the couch!  Traces of Summer and babysitting boys!




I am continuing on with my plan to do a 10 minute speed cleaning session each day "before" work this week.  Yesterday it did NOT happen before work.  However, when I got home I went straight into the living room.  I was really tired, but I figured I could do anything for 10 minutes.  Supper was going to be easy and simple:  Fresh tomatoes from the garden and ham sandwiches! So, I started cleaning at 5:30 and finished at 5:40.  Here's what I did:

I moved the couch and 2 end tables away from the wall.  They sit underneath 2 windows.  I dusted the mini blinds and floor boards with the pink fluffy static duster that I use.  Then I vacuumed the entire area.

I moved the furniture back.  Done in 10 minutes!

Today will be day 3 and I plan to move more furniture, vacuum underneath and dust floor boards.  Not very exciting, but a well spent 10 minutes, I hope!



Speed Cleaning in the Living Room This Week!

2017-09-25T03:00:37.988-04:00

Happy Monday and first week of Autumn, 2017!

This week I am doing some speed cleaning in the living room!  Speed cleaning for me this week means I am going to work for 10 minutes each day before going to work, and am posting it here for accountability.

I know 10 minutes doesn't seem like much, but by Friday, if I stick to it, I will have worked for 50 minutes!

Today's 10 minutes are going to be spent as follows:

Couch and chair duty!  I'm going to remove the cushions and clean up all the crumbs and dirt that always slowly accumulate under them.  I'll pick up the biggest pieces like popcorn, etc. and then vacuum the rest with our hand held vacuum.  I'll also vacuum the cushions, the back and arms of the couch and chairs.  I'll move as quickly as possible and see if I can get all that done in 10 minutes!

I've been doing well with speed cleaning each Saturday like I described  HERE.  If you haven't read that post, it tells how I clean for an hour each week, doing four 15 minute jobs.  It really does make a difference.... and its only an hour!  Love it. 

We had unexpected company Saturday afternoon, and even though my house wasn't perfect, I was happy with its appearance.  As you may know, our house was built in the 1940s.  Our visitor was a 75 year old man who grew up in this house and he wanted to walk down memory lane.  He remembered his father building the house.  It was so interesting to hear him tell about his memories.  There were some good memories and some bad memories.

A weekly speed cleaning hour is great, but I need to do some deep cleaning also.  So, join me this week as I do some speed deep cleaning!

I hope your week will be blessed!  








Practice first.... Sew once!

2017-09-19T06:34:22.910-04:00

I worked on the monogrammed bags I am making for Christmas gifts over the weekend.  I had already been successful with one bag.  The monogram came out really well.  So I continued on with working on some more bags.  I was not happy to discover that different letters of the alphabet need to be spaced differently, depending on the shape of the letter!  I'm afraid I messed up two of the panels that would have become bags.Here's the one that I made weekend before last came out great on the first try. But this one is Bad!  That "W" is way too close to the center "S".It turned out much better on this practice piece.  I wrote down the numbers and can now monogram the bag correctly.This one is kind of hard to see, but the "J" on the right is just not right.This practice piece is much better and I did write down the numbers for future reference!This one came out ok the first time, thankfully!Here the machine is set up to go.  Hopefully the practice pieces and numbers I have written down with make this bag a success!I will definitely do practice pieces from now on before sewing on the fabric I planned to use![...]



A Tiny Frugal Tip# 5 - Play The Games

2017-09-15T06:45:26.920-04:00



There are so many stores out there and ALL of them want your money!  There are all kinds of gimmicks that they use to achieve their goal to get you into their store and to spend your money there.  But you have to be smarter than they are!

One of my best frugal tips is to decide on a select few stores, learn their "deal games" and then play the games well.  Just focus on a few.  For me, I have chosen CVS, Dollar General, and Food Lion, as far as brick and mortar stores.  These three stores are convenient for me.  I also love Amazon Subscribe and Save.



I know their prices.  I know how to play their games.  I have their MVP card, Extra Care card, and and have signed up for their digital coupons.  When I go to CVS, if it isn't on sale, or I don't have a coupon, I don't buy it!  At Dollar General, I know what is a good price and I leave the other stuff there.  

A price book is a great tool to help you play the games well.  I like to bring the price of an item down so low, using a combination of sale prices and coupons, that there's no doubt that the price is the best I can find.

My "old lady" brain can't keep up with too many stores at one time.  Sure, there are some great deals at Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart.  I'll visit these stores from time to time, but they just aren't my "deal stores".



There's only such much time to spend on getting the best deal.

So that's my tiny frugal tip for today.  Play the Games ...... and play them well!





Fall Around The Farmhouse

2017-09-13T12:36:50.088-04:00

Good morning! Fall is my favorite time of year and so the Fall decorating at the farmhouse has begun!Door mat from Dollar General.  Love the few scattered leaves already at the top.This flag is perfect because my hubby has a red truck and lots of times there are pumpkins in it!This is what you see when you come in our back door.  I made the runner a few years ago.  The only thing new is the "harvest" sign which came from Dollar General.A yard sale find a few years ago.I love using what I already have on hand.  However, I would love to add some Fall dishes to my collection, so I'll be on the look out for them, especially when they are put on clearance after the fall season is over. I grew this sunflower.If you look close you will see that the dishes in the china cabinet are Christmas dishes!Another red truck with pumpkins.This is old but I bought it at Family Dollar.The Fall quilt I made many years ago.I love this leaf shaped bowl my daughter gave me a few years ago.I love anything with sunflowers on it!Fake gourds.This is a runner I made a few years ago on the kitchen counter/bar.This picture has battery operated flickering lights.  I bought it on a deep clearance at Family Christian Stores a couple of years ago.  Its one of my all time favorite fall decorations.  Dollar General scare crow girl and mini stool.  Mini stool from Dollar General.This is what the stools look like without the items sitting on them.An old yard sale find.Dollar General..... again. I'm the first person in the neighborhood with pumpkins on display.  There will be more to come!I hope you enjoyed this little Fall tour!  [...]



Christmas Sewing!

2017-09-11T03:00:14.090-04:00

I was able to  finish one of the Christmas gifts I have been planning and love the feeling of accomplishment!  My plan was to make monogrammed bags and to purchase items on sale, with coupons, etc. to go in them.I went "shopping" in my stash and found enough of this fabric to make four bags.  I am choosing the monogram color based on what I "think" is the recipient's favorite color.  Not really sure about a couple of them.  The colors are blue, red, green and purple.  I am choosing the lining fabric to coordinate with the monogram color.Some colors to choose from.Several years, in the early days of my blog, I posted a 5 part "pocketbook" tutorial, and also a "fabric reusable grocery bag" tutorial.  I  went back and read the posts and this bag is a combination of the two tutorials.  The tutorials are listed on the bottom right hand side bar of this blog, if you are interested.So far the goodies in this bag are shaving cream, razors, body wash and two lotions.  I also have several candles and will add one of those.My "dream" plan if time allows, is to also make a small, zippered, monogrammed cosmetic bag to go in the bags.  In the zippered bag I plan to include small items such as chap stick, lip gloss, etc.  The possibilities are endless for ideas to fill the bags.  A personalized key fob would be a nice touch also! I ordered lotions, body washes and candles from Bath and Body Works when they had a big clearance sale a couple of months ago.  It was a great sale!  I had some high value coupons that I applied to the shaving cream and razors at CVS and through Amazon Subscribe and Save.Are you making any plans to make any Christmas gifts?  I hope this post has given you some ideas! [...]



A Tiny Frugal Tip #4 - Misfit Cleaners

2017-09-08T03:00:39.121-04:00

Welcome to my Tiny Frugal Tip Series!  My last tip was about saving money on clothes by loving the clothes you already own. Today's tip is about saving money by USING the cleaning supplies you already have on hand.  Are you like me in that you have some cleaning supplies you thought were going to work, or you bought them because you had a coupon,  and then you never really liked them?This the basket that holds my misfit cleaning supplies!  I've tried to use them, really I have!  I almost threw them away just a few days ago.  Then I decided that there must be some way to make use of them and save money.Here are the ideas I came up with:1.  Organize the cleaning supplies by category.  Begin by wiping off the containers and combining any that are the same.  Use the ones with the smallest amount left in the containers first.  It helps with decluttering if you can throw away some empty ones.  This creates a sort of "snowball" effect in getting rid of the cleaners.  Kind of like when someone is trying to pay off debt!2.  Make a list of what you have on hand and areas of the home in which you plan to use them.  If you have some kind of household binder, that would be a great place for the list.   3.  Brainstorm ways you could use the cleaners.  There are multiple uses for many of them.  Could you use one of them for washing the outside of the car or cleaning the inside of the car?  Can you use one of them for cleaning outdoor items, like lounge chairs or flower pots?   Would any of them work for spot cleaning laundry?  If you use your imagination, you might just end up really loving a misfit cleaner!One way I am using some of the cleaners comes from an idea I got from Flylady.  I put a little cleaner in the toilet brush container, along with a little water.  Then when I swish the brush around in the toilet, the cleaner is already on there.  This works great for the light daily swishing that often needs to be done.Search on line to find ways to use certain products.  Also on the back label of the product, there is usually a list of uses that you haven't even considered.4.  If you have a cleaner that doesn't work as well as you want it to, save it to use on an area that isn't as dirty.  Save your heavier duty cleaners for the extra tough cleaning jobs.5.  Could you donate the items?  Do you have a family member or friend, who could really use some of the cleaners?  Different people like different things.  Even if you hate a cleaner, someone might be glad to save a little money by not having to buy some cleaners.  There might even be a need at a homeless shelter, or animal shelter.6.  Promise yourself that you won't buy any more cleaners until the ones you have are used up!  You can probably accomplish this by getting creative and making some of your own cleaners. to supplement them.  Vinegar is a great base for making homemade cleaners.  You might be able to create a new cleaner using what you have by adding vinegar, baking soda, etc. to it.  Just don't cause any explosions!7.  If you are like me, you have certain cleaners that you use all the time.  Make a list of those and only buy those in the future.  Even if a cleaner is on sale and you have a coupon, its a waste of money if it doesn't work for you.This is the shelf in my laundry room.  The basket on the left contains my misfit cleaners.  The one on the right contains the cleaners I use regularly.  My plan is to empty the one on the left and simplify all my cleaners so that there are only a few basics up there, eventually. Lets give our misfit cleaners[...]



Speed Clean With Me!

2017-09-06T07:17:34.897-04:00

(The links in this post are affiliate links.  If you click on them and make a purchase, I may earn a small fee.  Thanks!) I had a nice long Labor Day weekend with lots of plans. But, I didn't want to spend a lot of time doing house cleaning.  So I decided to clean for one hour, loosely based on the Flylady's Home Blessing Hour.  For my own home blessing I decided to spend 15 minutes on 4 different chores.  Here's what I did.It was a gloomy, rainy Saturday morning.  Perfect for staying inside!  The laundry was already in progress.At 8:00 A.M., I set the timer on my stove for 15 minutes.  I was still drinking coffee and constantly losing my mug.  Do you do that?  I have to look all over the house to find it.My first chore was dusting.  I didn't do a detail dusting, just a light dusting.  I cruised around the house with my fluffy pink duster thingie and dusted hither and yon.   This is a static duster and does a pretty good job.   I started at the back door and worked my way around the house.   I spent a little more time in the living room and master bedroom, since those two rooms were the dustiest of the house.  I went outside a couple of times to shake and tap the duster on the back steps.  Detail dusting is reserved for the time when I am working in a particular zone.After the 15 minutes was up, I stopped and proceeded to the next chore:  Dust Mopping.  We have hard floors in every room, no carpet at all.  I dust mopped a lot like I dusted.  I started at the back door and dust mopped around the edges of each room.  The purpose of this was to prepare the floors for vacuuming.  The dust mop pulls crumbs from under the bottom edge of the kitchen cabinets.  It gets the dust from under the edges of furniture.  I had to go outside and shake and tap the dust mop just like I did with the pink fluffy duster thingie.The third 15  minutes was a  speed vacuuming of the floors. I didn't move any large pieces of furniture and I made sure I got up everything the dust mop pulled out.  I vacuumed small rugs, quickly pulled the chairs from the dining room table and vacuumed under there.   I love this battery operated vacuum.  No wires to plug in.  Just grab and vacuum.  Its a Shark Navigator.  I bought mine a couple of years ago on Black Friday.  Click HERE to check it out!Finally, the last 15 minutes of the hour, I did some quick mopping.  I started at the back door, mopped the mud room, laundry room, kitchen, dining room and living room.   During my next home blessing hour,  I plan to mop some other rooms in the house.  Of course the kitchen and mud room will need mopping again.  This mop is nice because the cover is machine washable.  I just spray the cleaner on the floor in sections and move fast.  Here's a picture showing the mop without the cover.  I've had that bottle of concentrated cleaner forever.  It lasts a long time and I don't remember where I got it.  I checked Amazon and they sell it HERE.After only an hour, I was really pleased with the results!  You'd be amazed at the progress you can make in an hour.  Not included in this hour was cleaning the toilets and the tub/shower, but that didn't take too long. I love using this speedy method in doing other work around the house also.  For example, I had some yard work that needed doing.  This included trimming some scraggly summer plants and bushes.  Every now and then, over the weekend, I would run outside and trim just one potted plant, or one bush.  Or I would run out and spend 5, 10, or 15 minutes at a time, depending o[...]



Vera Bradley Sale!

2017-09-01T19:49:33.213-04:00

Ok, I'm not one to spend a lot on a purse.  But, I've been wanting a Vera Bradley purse for a while and when I saw the sale that's going on this Labor Day Weekend, I caved and ordered one!  I also have been wanting a little bit larger purse that would hold more of the stuff I tend to carry with me to work every day.  

There are lots of items on sale for 50% off and there is free shipping.  I hate to spend money on shipping, so that's really good.

Also, if you have an EBATES account, order through that and you can earn 6% back.

If you don't already have an EBATES account, please sign up through my referral link HERE.

Once you have signed up for EBATES simply search for Vera Bradley and once you place an order, your Ebates account will reflect the 6% rebate.  Once you reach $5.00 in your account, they'll send you a check or deposit the money in your Paypal account.  That's my preferred method of cashing out.

If you don't want to order through Ebates, you can see the bag I ordered by clicking HERE and you can also look around the Vera Bradley Site while there.   Its the Kiev Paisley Pleated Tote.  I can't wait for it to arrive!

There are all kinds of things on sale, including purses, totes, wallets, blankets, cosmetic bags, lanyards, id holders, and more.  There are many ideas for gifts for birthdays, Christmas, or what ever.

Enjoy shopping and thanks for reading!

I have also posted this deal on my new blog HOMEMAKING DREAMS DEALS



Glimpses of Home

2017-08-31T07:33:40.240-04:00

Hey you guys!  Here is a peek into my life recently. I have discovered that I can completely empty the dishwasher while brewing two cups of coffee.  Not only that, I refill the water reservoir on the coffee maker.  This may not sound like a big deal, but its one way to get a head start on the morning.  Its a small accomplishment done early in the morning.  One small way to NOT procrastinate!Another way I avoided procrastination was that after getting home from a weekend trip, I unpacked immediately.  This is also a little unusual for me.  Normally I would still be unpacking the next morning... as in retrieving what ever I needed to get ready for work from the bags and basically living out of my bag for a couple of days.My sweet friend, Penny, embroidered this dishtowel for me.  I love it!  She did such a good job. She has motivated me to do more handwork!  You can see her blog HERE.Pumpkins!  I've already got some!Did you ever wonder where all the pumpkins sold all over America come from?  Lots of them are grown in the North Carolina mountains.  There are pumpkin vines as far as you can see:I planted some sunflower seeds a little later in the summer so that I would have some in bloom during the fall.  I was a little sad because we had the house pressure washed and the chemicals dripped on some of my plants.  Most of them didn't survive, but this one sunflower did bloom, despite the damage.  You can see that the leaves are burned.The Autumn Clematis is blooming over the pallet flag and the yellow Zinnias are still blooming.  I'll be adding pumpkins to this area this weekend!See that tiny bird feather that fell on this daisy?  I love finding things like that.Happy last day of August! Fall is almost here![...]



A Tiny Frugal Tip #3

2017-08-29T08:57:32.680-04:00

Good Tuesday morning to you and welcome to my Tiny Frugal Tip Series!This frugal tip is about small batch freezing and meal starter freezing.   This saves money because you cut down on waste and also it can help cut down on eating out and extra trips to the grocery store when you need a meal and its getting late.One of the easiest things to freeze is rice.  I love to be able to pull a bag of rice out of the freezer both for meals at home or for my lunch to take to work.  You can use any kind of rice, but its especially handy for brown rice, since it takes longer to cook.  When you have a little time, you can cook up a large pot of brown rice and freeze a few bags.This is a recent bag of rice I took out of the freezer for a side dish for supper.It heats up well in the microwave.Bell pepper is a good thing to freeze.  If you buy them from the grocery store or grow your own, you know they won't last too long in the fridge.  I go ahead and cut them up, spread them out on a cookie sheet to flash freeze and then put them in a freezer bag.  When you need some bell pepper for a recipe, its easy to just pour out what you need.  If I do this, it really cuts down on the waste of finding a mushy bell pepper in the fridge!I use a lot of tomato paste, but even the small 6 ounce can is too much for most of my recipes.  So, when I open a can I use what I need for the recipe I am cooking, and freeze the rest.  These blobs of tomato paste are from a 12 ounce can.  I let them freeze for an hour or so on this plate and then after they got firm, I transferred them to a freezer bag.  The next time I make a pot of soup or chili I can just add one of the blobs to it directly from the freezer.Frozen Tomato Paste Blobs!We didn't have a very good tomato harvest this year, but I froze a few bags, one bag at a time.  It was no big deal to put a few in a pot to simmer while I was doing something else.  I think I ended up with 5 bags.  This kept the few tomatoes we had from going to waste, since they tend to ripen faster than we can eat them.Another great meal starter I love to have on hand is browned hamburger.  After I get the meat home from the grocery store, I like to go ahead and brown some of it and freeze it.  Just last night I had no idea what we were going to eat for supper.  Then I remembered a bag of frozen browned hamburger in our freezer!  Chili!  It was so easy using the frozen meat and a frozen tomato paste blob along with some canned tomatoes and beans.  I love to put sour cream and some shredded cheese on top of mine.Vegetable Soup is good to make from frozen browned hamburger.  I need to share my quick week night chili recipe, but no time! Gotta get ready for work!I also want to tell you about another blog I have started called, "Homemaking Dreams Deals". I hope to share deals that I come across and also I feel it is a more appropriate place to blog about Swagbucks. I hope you'll check it out and become a regular reader. Thanks![...]



Photos Of The Week

2017-08-25T04:00:18.985-04:00

These lillies bloom just about the time school starts back each year.  Its an old fashioned plant that was planted here many years ago.


An early Saturday morning rainbow.  I was outside working and when I turned around, this took my breath away!


Dreaming of fall.


Have a great weekend!



Swagbucks - Get $30.00 when you sign up for HULU

2017-08-25T01:00:19.424-04:00

If you're a TV lover, Hulu is running a special on their offer through Swagbucks this weekend only: You'll get $30 (paid in the form of points called SB) for trying Hulu for a month. That will cost you $7.99, so you're making $22 on the deal.Hulu has tons of current and classic programming, movies, brilliant original series, and more. Here's how you do it: 1. Click this link. You need to be a Swagbucks member to take advantage of this offer, and if you don't have an account you can create on here, which takes 30 seconds.  2. Click "Continue" and sign up for Hulu3. Enjoy Hulu! You should have your points within 30 minutes. You must be a first time Hulu member to receive SB for this offer.Haven't tried Swagbucks yet? They're a site where you earn points (called SB) for doing things like online shopping, watching videos, taking surveys, and discovering deals and services you might like to try (like Hulu!). You then take those points and turn them into free gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.This is a great time to join because when you sign up through the link above and get your 3000 SB, you'll get a bonus 300 SB at the beginning of September. So that's $30 (3000 SB) for trying Hulu plus your $3 (300 SB) bonus, which gets you 3300 SB, which means you make $25 total for trying Hulu!CLICK HERE to use my Referral Link for Swagbucks.  Thanks![...]



A Tiny Frugal Tip #2

2017-08-23T06:43:13.608-04:00

Welcome to another Tiny Frugal Tip... but this post might be a little longer than the definition of tiny would imply!Lets save money (and time!)  by falling in love with the clothes we already own!  After all, we thought they were pretty when we first bought them. There are lots of ways to do this.One way is to choose one top, bottom, or dress and come up with at least three outfits using it.  Each of the three styles can be made using a scarf, jewelry, different pants, shoes or a skirt.  I love to use Pinterest for this!  Just put in a brief description of the article of clothing in the search box and lots of outfits will come up.  For instance, if I have a gray top, I will enter "gray top outfits".  There's no doubt that you will have some other clothing items that you can combine with the gray top to recreate some of the Pinterest outfits.   I like to create an outfit and then hang the entire outfit on a hanger. Its easy to choose an outfit when all you have to do is reach out grab the total package.  I have a hook over the outside of my closet door where I hang the outfit I plan to wear the next day.  I also like to go ahead and choose an outfit for the next day when I am changing after work.   Its part of my after work routine.  AND I won't let myself change my mind!  That defeats the whole purpose when I end up trying on several more combinations and then I end up rushing around, running late.  It also helps to choose your jewelry and shoes.If there's no way you are going to fall in love with an article of clothing again, get rid of it.  I like to keep a box that I add my unloved clothes to until its full and then drop it off at a charity thrift shop near my office. A real money saver is to go through your clothes and get them organized.  The best method of organization for me is to arrange the tops by color and category. For example, all the black tops go together, black sweaters or blazers go together.  Black pants go together.  Black skirts and dresses go together.  This makes choosing outfits much easier and you also have a better idea of what you actually have.  If you know you have several black tops and are shopping, you won't make the mistake of adding another one to the pile!We need to know what looks good on our body and also what feels comfortable and we love.  I have a pear shaped body and some "older lady" midsection fluffiness.  I can't stand to wear anything that clings to my stomach or that's too tight on my hips.  I have some pants that I feel showcase my hips too much, but otherwise fit well and I like them.  So those pants require a longer top that covers me up a little.  I can't tell you how many times I've tried on several things when I was already running late, just trying to make a certain pair of pants work.  Now, once I figure out what works for a certain pair of pants, I hang the total outfit together on a hanger and avoid that situation in the future.One thing that really helps me to love the clothes I already own is to lose weight!  Just a few pounds and my clothes fit so much better and I love my clothes.  Another thing is to wear the right under garments!  I have found some that allow my pants to fit smoothly, are comfortable and that also hold in that midsection a little.   When I lose a little weight and wear the right underwear, I feel so much better in my clothes.  I don't feel as motivated to keep going shopping in order to find things that fit and are comfortable.A[...]



A Tiny Frugal Tip #1

2017-08-18T07:35:34.056-04:00

Welcome to a new series of posts that I plan to do, called "A Tiny Frugal Tip". They'll be short and sweet, but hopefully you can glean some information to save a few dollars! Here's a tiny tip that's also frugal.  Put your body wash in an empty liquid soap dispenser and add a little water to it.    It lasts longer and its easier to use.  With coupons and/or sales you can buy body wash pretty inexpensively.

I was experiencing some dry skin on my legs and after I started shaving with the lathered up body wash,  my legs are smooth and soft.  I like it better than shaving cream or regular soap.

Its easy to pump the body wash onto your washcloth or directly onto your legs.

Its hard to get that last little bit of the body wash out of the original bottle, so I add a little water to it and shake it.  Then its easy to get every drop out.

I like the convenience of having pumps in the bath tub, so I am thinking of transferring my shampoo and conditioner to an empty pump bottle as well.  Adding a little water to shampoo and conditioner is a good idea I think, because you are going to lather it up with water on your head anyway.

Just a tiny tip to finish off the week!

Happy Friday!





Pockets of Time

2017-08-15T15:18:30.408-04:00

Good Monday morning to you!I've been really busy lately, but I am trying to manage my time better in order to get more things done.  I need more "at home" time!  I've been trying to make use of little pockets of time, such as the minute or two it takes for a cup of coffee to brew, or if I can get ready for work fast enough in the morning, there might be a few minutes left for crafting or cleaning.Recent examples of things done during that short pocket of time when the coffee is brewing are that I unloaded most of a load of dishes from the dishwasher,  folded a few pieces of laundry and started some tea bags brewing.  In the past I would jump up during a TV commercial and quilt a little.  Now we watch most of our tv on Netflix, so no commercials! LOL Using small pockets of time works well for sewing projects.  Here are some key fobs I've been working on lately.  This one is for my daughter.This one is for my friend and coworker. This is one in progress for my daughter-in-law.I finally learned how to download embroidery patterns from the internet!  I bought this curly monogram from an Etsy shop.  This was just a practice piece, using some scrap fabric, but you can see how it will turn out.  I am going to be putting monograms on bags, and more, for gifts.  In pockets of time, I can work on them in baby steps.  The first step is to choose the fabric, followed by pressing the fabric and putting it and the stabilizer into the hoop.My monogram on scrap fabric.The majority of my pocket time has been used to water plants in the yard during this whole summer.  Thank goodness for some rain lately, which allowed me to skip my watering chores occasionally.   I'm looking forward to fall and winter and more time for homemaking and crafting.Have a great day! [...]



A Sunday Nugget - Amen

2017-08-13T12:03:57.634-04:00

I babysat one of my grandsons Friday night and he gave me quite a few chuckles!  Kids can say some funny things and of course we grandparents think everything they say and do is the best ever.



I was reading a book to this one who is only 8 days shy of his third birthday at bedtime.  The book is called "Night Night Little Pookie" by Sandra Boynton and it is one of his favorites.  He especially loves that I read it just like the book sounds to me with lots of excitement and sound effects:  "OH POOOOOKIE!  ITS TIME FOR BED NOW!!  When I got to the end, he jumped right in and hollered, "AMEN!".  It was so funny that instead of saying "THE END!", he said "AMEN!".

I say Amen at the end of prayers, or when I agree with something, without really thinking about it.  So a quick search revealed that the real meaning of "Amen" is "So Be It" and signifies strong agreement. 

May your Sunday and the upcoming week be filled with many blessings and AMENS!

(Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I appreciate your using them! This means that I may receive a small compensation.)




Swag Luau Team Challenge - US

2017-08-13T11:44:11.953-04:00

One more quick Swagbucks post!Swagbucks is holding a Luau Team Challenge to help you earn free gift cards. For those of you who don't know what Swagbucks is, it's a website where you can earn cash back on everyday tasks you do online like shopping, answering surveys, discovering deals, and watching videos. You can even earn for searching the web! If you've never tried Swagbucks before because you didn't know where to begin, their Team Challenges are a great way to learn the ropes! The challenge, begins Monday, August 14th at 8am PT, but you can pre-register today.Here's how you can join the challenge and the site:  1. Click here to join the challenge and be assigned to a team.2. Starting August 14th at 8am PDT, in addition to earning SB you'll contribute points to your teams total as you complete different activities on Swagbucks.3. Check back on the page often to see the scores and what you've contribute so far.    All members who participate and contribute at least 600 points to their team’s total will receive a SB bonus in the form of a SB Swag Up Rebate on their next gift card! Not only that, but if you sign up under me this month and earn 300 SB before September 1st, you'll get a 300 SB bonus!Members of the 1st place team will receive a 100 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 2nd place team will receive a 50 SB Swag Up Rebate, and members of the 3rd place team will receive a 30 SB Swag Up Rebate. Your SB Swag Up Rebate will be made available on Friday, August 18th at 2pm PT and will expire on Thursday, August 31st at 11:59pm PT.(Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I appreciate your using them! This means that I may receive a small compensation.)[...]



Swagbucks Back To School Sale (US Only)

2017-08-13T11:43:55.727-04:00

Good morning!  For anyone who is interested, here's another Swagbucks Post.

Through September 8th you'll get double cash back (in the form of SB points) or more when you shop for Back to School essentials at your favorite retailers through Swagbucks. They also have offers where you can earn SB points towards free gift cards for trying school-related products and services.

Then you can take all the SB points you earn and use them to get gift cards and PayPal cash! Click here to see all of the deals they're running, and if you sign up through me during this sale you'll get $10 for making your first purchase! That's in addition to the normal SB you get for your purchases.

New to Swagbucks?

If you don't know about Swagbucks, its a website that allows you to earn gift cards by doing things such as:

*On line shopping through their site
*Answering surveys
*Watching videos
*Playing games
*Searching with their search engine (works just like Google)
*Entering swag codes
*Referrals
*And many other miscellaneous ways

The key to earning gift cards is consistency.

Here's my Swagbucks Sign Up Referral Link.

(Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I appreciate your using them! This means that I may receive a small compensation.)




The Fabric and Yarn Fairy has been!

2017-08-10T15:55:46.714-04:00

The fabric and yarn fairy has been to my house! Well.... actually it was my sister. She is cleaning out the area where she stores her craft supplies and is not doing much sewing and crocheting any more. So, I am the happy and lucky recipient!


I haven't had a chance to really go through it all and see all the treasures, but laying right there on top is a Moda Layer Cake and a Moda Jelly Roll!  There are packs of matching fat quarters, and all kinds of wonderful scraps and large pieces of fabric.  Even the basket was included in the gift.


I see lots of sewing and quilting in my future!


I am also going to be looking for ideas for using the yarn and looking forward to crocheting in the Fall and Winter this year.

Do you have any easy crochet Christmas gift ideas? 

Thank you sister!



Speed Cleaning Tip - Let it sit

2017-08-10T15:57:30.422-04:00

Many years ago I bought a book called "Speed Cleaning" at a library discarded book sale.  THIS is the book.  There is a picture of the book on my right side bar.  If you want to order the book, my suggestion would be to find the cheapest used version, which at the moment is $1.51, plus $3.99 shipping.  I've decided to review the book again and try to put some of its ideas to work in my home.One idea is that when you have a grimy area to clean, a dried on spill, or built up stains, spray the area, or simply squeeze some water on it.  Instead of using your time and elbow grease, let the liquid do the work.  Move on to something else for a few minutes and when you come back, you just wipe it off! Saturday I put this idea to work with this bottle of spray cleaner I bought on the dollar aisle at Dollar General.  This stuff works so great!  I have bought Tilex in the past, but no more.  For one dollar, you would not believe how well it works.  First of all I worked on the stainless steel sinks in the kitchen.  Here's a before picture.   The brown stuff is a build up of coffee, etc.  It is pretty easy to clean by scrubbing, but I just sprayed the cleaner, walked away a few minutes and when I came back, all I had to do was rinse!Before with yucky brown build up.This picture shows the drain after I sprayed it and walked away.Spray and let it sit!This is after rinsing the cleaner down the drain.After rinsing, no scrubbing.I was on a roll and so here are pictures of more areas I applied the spray, let it sit, and came back and rinsed or wiped away the grime.The sink in the laundry/bathroom.The top of the freezer had stains and a build up of dust.The knobs on the stove had a build up of grime, even though we wiped them every time we cooked.  I hadn't even noticed until I put on my reading glasses and looked close!  That's another tip!  Put on your reading glasses, or just get close.  You will be amazed at the grime that is there that you don't notice.I removed the knobs, sprayed, and let them sit.They are nice and clean now.Clean knobs.One thing I can't stand is a grimy can opener.  There can be all kinds of bacteria on there from food and seems like a recipe for food poisoning to me.  I removed the part that actually opens the cans and let it go through a dishwasher cycle.  Then I sprayed the rest of the can opener with my spray with bleach, let it sit and then wiped off all the grime.  Here's my clean and sparkly can opener.The next area I plan to put this idea to work on is the white cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom.  I can clean a few doors a day.  This one definitely needs some cleaning.I hope this post gives you some ideas of ways to use the wet it, let it sit and rinse, speed cleaning idea.Do you spray grime and let it soak, or do you "scrub it now"?[...]