If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

On to a few home spruce ups.......

I’ll show the shopping deals soon but now, I want to show a sewing job I just finished today. 

We bought a 6 foot long foldable bench at Aldi earlier this summer and it’s very practical for the our grands to sit on but it sure wasn’t pretty.  
I decided to try sewing a slipcover/dust-ruffle to cover it.  
I didn’t find much help on Pinterest so I just jumped in anyway. 
I ordered 5 yards of black and white buffalo check fabric on EBay.  It was described as tablecloth fabric and I was very happy with it when it arrived.  
It’s polyester so it doesn’t wrinkle and should be sturdy.  

Below is the bench without a cover. 

I just measured the bench and cut a piece for the top, then cut 2 long pieces for the sides and pinned them on, and 2 shorter pieces for the ends.  
Then I just sewed it all together and finished the seams so it will hold up to laundering.  

I don’t think Ducky likes it but that’s OK.  He won’t be sitting on it.  
I also added ties on the inside to each corner and middle of the cover are tied to the legs.  
The table runner is just the scrap of leftover but I do plan to hem it for a proper runner. 
I like the black and white checks so much, I may order more and sew up a new curtain for the window by the front door. What do you think? 

In the kitchen,  I cleaned out every cabinet and tried to clear as much surface as I could.  

The biggest change is the upright freezer was moved to the garage and our fridge moved back to the built in spot it was supposed to be in.  

The coffee bar moved into the breakfast nook.  

The kitchen seems a lot less crowded to me now.  

It’s hard to photograph and I didn’t take before photos but I spent 2 days cleaning out and organizing our pantry.  
Below is the view top to bottom.  

Above is the top half of the pantry and below is the bottom half.  
My favorite change is I switched out plastic storage baskets for Longaberger baskets.  I already owned several Longabergers and then I bought a bunch more  of them at a bargain yard sale in June.  

The crocks hold potatoes and onions. 
The plastic tubs hold things bought in bulk and things like extra bags of flour, rice, etc; 

These changes have made cooking much easier too as I know exactly what we have on hand and where everything is.  
I’ve got more sprucing up in other rooms to do and I’ll post progress when I get to it.  

Monday, August 13, 2018

Let’s start with food..........

Good morning everyone
I just looked at the possible blog photos I’ve taken recently and they seem to be all related to food, bargain shopping and home sprucing up. 
So I’ll post the food highlights today and move on to the others later this week.  
That way each post won’t be as long a book 😃

We really like okra and in the south, it’s usually battered or coated with cornmeal and fried in lots of oil.  It’s delicious that way but not healthy. 
I recently read to just cook okra plain and we like it so much this way. 
I’ve been buying frozen sliced okra at Walmart. 
To cook, I heat up a nonstick skillet with just a teaspoon of olive oil.  Then I add a single layer of frozen okra and cook it on medium high, flipping it as need to get both cut sides nice and brown.  Add salt and pepper as desired and some diced onions toward the end of the cooking so they don’t burn.  
It’s isn’t slimy and is just so good! 
If you try this,  remember the single layer is important.  If you try to cook a big batch for a group, in 1 pan, like I did 😱 You Will End Up With Okra Mush.  

Naked Fried Okra is my new favorite side dish and I’ve been cooking it at least twice a week this summer.  

I usually buy our weekly produce at Aldi.  I’m thankful Aldi is close by and ours is very nice with a quick turnover on everything.  
This week’s produce is not a rainbow but seems to be all red and green.
The tiny tomatoes are not from Aldi but from our little backyard garden.  

I offered to help my daughter out by making freezer sandwiches for her 2 children that are starting school soon and like to take homemade lunches.  
Below are all the ingredients set out before I started assembling.  

I shopped at Walmart for these ingredients and found French bread for .32 a loaf. 
When we have big dinners,  everyone likes bread.  So I got 4 loaves. 

I sliced them all lengthwise and spread them with softened butter.  
I used 2 sticks for the 4 loaves.  

Then I sliced each loaf about every inch or so.  

Then I wrapped each loaf in foil and put them in the freezer.  
When we need bread for a meal, these will either get heated in the oven or outside on the grill depending on what meal we have.  

I’m not picky about many brands but I do prefer the Reynolds foil in the Heavy Duty for wrapping food.  

For sandwiches,  I made ham and cheese on both tortillas and soft white bread.  
No condiments were used as the online advice says the condiments make the sandwiches soggy and these 2 grands aren’t crazy about condiments anyway.  

I also made peanut butter and jelly on seed bread, the Walmart variety that is so much like Killer Dave bread, but half the price. 
I made 2 PBJ on tortillas but I don’t recommend them as I think they will be very messy as the fillings seem to just  squeeze out when I rolled them up.  

And everything was put in zipper bags and into the freezer, ready for lunchboxes when school starts for them this Thursday.  

I hope you all are having a great August 
I plan to post tomorrow some shopping deals.  

Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday list and some coupon shopping

I started the week with a new to do list.  
As always, I don’t use a fancy planner.  I just hand write out what I plan to do in a week.  It’s on notebook paper and decorated with Dollar Tree washi tape and some older rubber stamps.  
It hangs on a clipboard outside the pantry door.  I just check things off when they get done and  
sometimes I refer back to the list when I feel scatterbrained and can’t remember what to do 😂

Monday’s supper was soft tacos and Tuesday’s supper will be hamburgers so I chopped and sliced the toppings for both at the same time, 
The burger toppings are in the fridge and will be fine tomorrow evening.  

I have done very little coupon shopping for several months but our laundry supplies were getting low and I saw these great deals at Dollar General.  

I used some DG digital coupons and some newspaper coupons, and also the $5/25 coupon that Dollar General usually offers in Saturday.  
After all were deducted,  I paid just $11.20 for 4 Tides and 3 fabric softeners.  

Dollar General has a very similar sale going in this week too.  

On our beach vacation,  we stopped at a CVS to get some supplies.  After that purchase,  I ended up with a $5 ExtracareBuck and a $8/60 purchase coupon.  
I didn’t want to waste them so I looked over the new ad and we stopped at CVS before church Sunday morning.
I had worked out what I wanted to purchase and had it organized with prices, sizes and coupons.

CVS deal shopping requires a good bit of planning and organization.  But it’s worth it.  
Before coupons, my total was over $80. 
After coupons, I paid $25
And I got back $20 in ExtracareBucks and a $5/40 coupon on my next purchase.  

At CVS, I used the coupons in the above photo as well as 2 CVS digital coupons and a $1 coupon that printed at the  CVS red machine.

I don’t coupon shop everyday but when I see deals as good as these,  I try to do them. 
Tide cleans our laundry best and I’m very happy to be stocked up with it.  

I hope you’ve all had a nice Monday ❤️

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A really long catchup post- kid crafting, vacation, garden bounty

Hello everyone, 
It’s been such a busy and fun July - just not much free time for blogging.  But here are some of the highlights, when I took photos.  

I am the crafting grandma and all the grands want to do crafts when they see me.  

Below are some crafts we did, all inspired by Pinterest, and chosen because I had the supplies on hand. 

Dolls made with paper towel tubes, google eyes and scrap yarn and paper.
At the bottom are snakes made from chenille stems and pony beads and more google eyes.  The 3 boys ages 3, 5 and 6 liked making the snakes and really enjoyed playing with the snakes.  
The 8 year old girl liked making the dolls, especially the fancy hair ones.  

Popsicle stick and yarn turtles were a hit with all 5 local grands.  They are 3 craft sticks hot glued into a turtle shape and then wrapped with variegated yarn.  

This 5  year old took the yarn wrapping very seriously and counted out loud “over 2 and under 1” as he wove the yarn on so carefully.  His finished turtle is the one in the center of the photograph above.  

We also did celery painted fish- just dip a celery stalk into tempera paints and rainbow paint the fish.  All 5 children enjoyed this.  Their great grandmother was here for this craft and she enjoyed it too.  

The older grands made Perler bead crafts.  

The 2 oldest grands started making these beaded suncatchers but they got bored halfway through and I finished them all the next day.  

They are hard to see in the next photo but there are 3 of them hanging from the pergola, one in the center and one  each corner.  The wire is bracelet memory wire.  
I liked making them and hope to make some more.  

These 2 granddaughters had fun painting some beach themed Dollar Tree suncatcher kits.  
Can you tell that’s not our home? 
We went on a trip to South Padre Island, Texas.  Our son and his family had a condo there for a week and we joined them for part of it.  

On the drive down,  we all stopped at a big Bass Pro Shop and the kids had so much fun climbing all over an ATV on display.  

We all stayed at the same La Quinta hotel one night and the in hotel breakfast was very nice and child friendly.  

Charlie and Grandpa enjoying some morning snuggles.  

The condo had a nice kitchen and we cooked a hot breakfast each morning and then had sandwiches and fruit for lunch.  
For supper, we went to different restaurants on the island.  
Our favorite was Blackbeard’s steaks and seafood.  After we ate there,  the children got balloon creatures from a funny man.  

I was just too busy on the island to take many photos.  We swam in the pool just outside our condo and we swam in the gulf and collected shells.  We ate and visited and saw some of the sights.  
It was a fun time and we especially enjoyed spending so much time with these 3 grands and their parents that we don’t see as much as the other 5 grands.  

My husband and I drove back home and we planned to see some sights on the way but it was just so hot and we changed plans.  
We did stop a H-E-B grocery store.  It is a Texas chain, the stores are huge and carry so many fun items.  My husband liked this grill shaped like a longhorn.  See the grill in the background painted like a Texas flag? I don’t think any state flag is reproduced more than the Texas flag.  It is everywhere in Texas.  

We also stopped at Buc-ees , another Texas chain, but these are gas station -rest areas- food stores- novelty stores all in one in huge buildings and they claim to have the nicest, cleanest restrooms in Texas and I agree with them.  
If you’re ever driving through Texas,  stop at a Buc-ees and I expect you’ll like it as much as we did.  

While we were on vacation,  our Ducky had his own vacation at a pet resort in our town.  
He had a great time and we were so happy that the kennel posted photos on Facebook so we could see Ducky while we were gone.  

The staff told us the black Lab is named Wrigley and was Ducky’s BFF for the week.  

We’ve got a small backyard garden  and our biggest yield has been from the cherry tomato plants.  
Below is one day’s harvest. 

I’ve diced up so many tiny tomatoes and made quart after quart of fresh salsa.  We’ve eaten it and shared it and have really enjoyed it- it’s just diced tomatoes mixed with finely diced onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic salt and lime juice. 

With our garden peppers, I’ve made refrigerator pickles of jalapeños, onions and carrots.  They are not “canned” and must stay in the fridge but we eat them pretty fast.  

And for our son in law that doesn’t like carrots, we made him 2 jars of just assorted peppers and onions but no carrots.  

I have to say my husband has been a big help with the above foods.  He grew them and he helps me do the chopping too.  We are really enjoying this retired stage of life.  

I did some coupon shopping this weekend and I have plans to do a room by room cleaning and organizing throughout our home. 
The grands start back to school soon and all 5 local grands will be in schools all day.  After 9 years, my days of almost daily grandchild care while their parents worked, is over.   
So I plan to be back homekeeping and will still take of my family and I plan to blog about it.  

And if you read this far, I’m amazed.  This has been one long, rambling on post.  
Hopefully my future posts will be more frequent and less lengthy.  

See you all soon ❤️

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Busy July

Hello everyone.
everything is fine here, just busy with a few routine medical things, family times, a short vacation trip, yardwork...….
I hope to be back to normal blogging when school start back up.

until then,  have a great rest of the summer everyone 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer Fun

Hello everyone 

Saturday, we spent the afternoon with our son, daughter in law and their 3 children.  
They have a huge, above ground pool and we all had the best time, 
That’s my husband in the giant floating unicorn.  😂

I’m holding our youngest grandchild RJ while he naps.  He swam all he could  but toddlers just need naps.  

Sunday evening was spent sewing.  Our daughter and her family always go to North Carolina for a beach vacation in July.  She ordered matching 4th of July clothing but when they arrived,  the sizing was way off.  The shirts for her 2 boys fit, but the dress for her 8 year old was the right size for a 3 year old and the adult shirts were way too small as well. 
She wanted her children to all match,  so she asked me figure out a way to make 1 dress  with the wrong size clothing.  

I had that Simplicity 8369 pattern already and I was able to make it from the 2 adult shirts.  I think it turned out pretty cute. 
I’ll post a photo of it on the 8 year old when she wears it.  

This grandson made a wooden knife when he was here over the weekend.  He found a scrap of wood and drew a knife shape on it.  His grandpa cut out the knife, then Braeden sanded and colored it with markers.  
He wanted a case for it so I sewed up a very simple scabbard with brown fleece and added fringe to make it old west style.  
He likes it a lot!  

Then the UPS brought a delivery.  I placed an order on Sunday night for 1 hat and 3 swimsuits.  
So I was rather shocked by these 3 huge boxes.  

Turns out,  I actually ordered TWO hats.  My husband really likes this style and the wide brim protects his entire head and neck.  So I think we will keep both of them. 
But Amazon, I really think you could of shipped both hats in just 1 box.  

Wednesday- we had 2 grandson and 1 extra here most of the day.  
I gave them a painting project.  

They swam in our backyard pool.  

They also played basketball, rode bikes, had some screen time and they ate, ate and ate.  

It was also our daughter in law’s birthday, so I helped them make frosted brownie cupcakes to take to her.  
The cupcake papers and decorations were some of the things I got when my parents downsized.  
I’m so glad our craft room is organized now and I can easily find things in there, like these festive cupcake supplies. 

I think today will be a housecleaning day, a little sewing and a nap for this tired grandma 😴 

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda