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

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

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Today’s crafting

We bought this huge white tree last year and put traditional ornaments on it. 
This year, when we unpacked it,  I thought it looked like a snowman.  So I looked on Pinterest and saw several snowmen trees for inspiration.  


The top hat is made from black posterboard and I used this pattern as a basis 
The eyes and buttons are black yarn pompoms.
The mouth is chenille stems wrapped in black felt.  
The nose is a posterboard cone wrapped with orange yarn.  
The black scarf was crocheted by my mom, my husband used to wear it many years ago when he rode a motorcycle.  
It was fun to do and we are really liking our happy snowman tree. 



Cindy Lou Who Cape 
This is a fleece cape, also inspired by Pinterest, for a granddaughter to wear when her school has its annual Grinch Day.  I think it’s probably too long but it will be easy to shorten.  Fleece doesn’t have to be hemmed so I can just cut it to fit.  
I’m pretty fearless when it comes to whacking fabric 😂


‘‘Tis the season for crafting projects ❤️




Saturday, December 1, 2018

Hello December


Hello everyone and welcome to December.  

It’s cooler here and it seemed like a good time to batch cook some pinto beans for the freezer.  
I think home cooked beans taste better and are thriftier than canned beans.  
And why do canned beans foam up when I rinse them? It’s almost like they have soap in them.  They don’t taste soapy but it sure makes me wonder.  


I soaked 5 cups of pinto beans overnight and seasoned them with cumin, onion and jalapeños while they cooked.  Then when they were done, I added salt and pepper to taste.  
We ate pinto beans with cornbread for supper tonight and I put 5 containers of cooked pintos in the freezer for future meals.  


Amazon has been running a deal on some Prime Pantry items,  save $6 when you buy 5 and free shipping on orders of $10 or more.  You must be a member of Prime Pantry which is $5.99 a month but I signed up for a free month and will cancel it before the 30 days expire.  
Some of the items also have coupons on them and the free shipping after $10 is for the total before coupons are deducted.  
I saw hundreds of comments about other shoppers doing this deal on a Facebook shopping list so I jumped on the wagon too.  
I ended up doing 9 orders and spent $52 for all the products below.  
All the pastas on the left are a gluten free variety.  
It was a good deal and everything I bought are things we use.  It seemed like an unbelievably great deal when I was doing it,  but now I think it was just a good deal.  
I think the deal is still going on and they change the items occasionally.  Go to Prime Pantry and click on the Buy5 save $6 icon and it will take you to the list,  if you’re interested.  


Below - Two books I’m reading and so far, I like them both.  


December came in like a lion last night with lots of wind and rain.  We’ve had this play house for about 7 years and this is the first time it’s ever  turned over.  

I’m hoping December will go out like a lamb.   It who knows? 

Hope you all are having a good weekend ❤️

Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday To dos, that puzzle and other home stuff



Good morning,  
I made a pretty to do list for this week and even though I feel like I’m moving slow, I’ve already marked off a few things.  (It’s 8:37 a.m. as I’m writing) 


I’ve worked on the 1000 piece puzzle and it feels slow too. 
I’ll finish it but I think I’ll be doing 500 or less piece puzzles in the future.  


This puzzle has lots of details.  I like this guy who has eaten 3 1/2 apples from his box and is now sleeping with a newspaper covering his face 😂


Yesterday I made a batch of hamburger vegetable soup in the crockpot.  I shared it my family,  
It was nice a slightly chilly day. 



I’m not an early Christmas decorator but I did hang the Christmas mugs in the kitchen yesterday. 
Below is one I bought last year at Dollar Tree 
And I think should be the motto for just about everything.  

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle 

Have a good Monday everyone ❤️

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Puzzle day and Friday night pizza

Hello - first I want to thank everyone for the sweet comments on yesterday’s post,  which I somehow posted twice.  But I don’t want to delete the duplicate post as both have comments from different visitors.  But I guess we all understand internet goof ups, right?  I’m pretty sure the error was my fault though and not Blogger’s though.  

I think homemaking blog readers are some of the sweetest people on the internet and I’m happy to of met so many of you through blogging. 


Today, November 3, is National Puzzle Day in the UK.  I’m a long way from England but I’m celebrating their holiday. 
I usually work puzzles with less than 500 pieces but I decided  to try a 1000 piece puzzle from a yard sale.  
Oh my- it has so many pieces!  It took me a couple hours to turn over and sort all the pieces and work the border.  





When our children were at home. Friday night was most always homemade pizza night.  I usually made 4 pizzas and leftovers were rare.
It was just my husband and I last night so I made just one pizza.

I mix up a half portion of this dough in the bread machine.

pizza or calzone dough recipe 
My husband diced up the veggies.  

He likes pepperoni and green olives on his and we both like jalapeños and onions so I put on the toppings to suit us.


No baked pizza photo but it was very good!  

Have a good weekend everyone ❤️

Friday, November 2, 2018

Changing gears

When I started blogging, I was employed, my husband was working and our children were all young adults, some were students and we had no grandchildren.
We also had to be very careful with our finances.  

A lot has changed since then.  
I left my job almost 9 years ago.  
For 9 years, we had at least 1 grandchild here most every week day while their parents worked but now all the local grands are in full time preschool and school. 
My parents have moved to our town. 
And my husband has been retired almost 4 years.  
And we have fewer financial obligations.  
Many days now, it just my husband and myself and we enjoy spending time together and doing tasks together.  

When I started blogging,  I was very busy with homemaking, careful shopping, crafting, budget cooking and decorating.  
I still live somewhat  “if you do stuff, stuff gets done” but I’m also enjoying some slower days and more relaxing hobbies like jigsaw puzzles and reading and just being Un-busy is suiting me these days.

I haven’t blogged in awhile because life is good here but it’s different.  
I want to blog but my focus will be slightly different.  I’m still homemaking but on a smaller, slower scale. 
Some of you may still follow me but I expect others won’t be interested.  

Enough chatter- here is what’s been going on here 

Breakfast this morning was New York Crumb cake.  It’s a Martha Stewart recipe and I’ve been baking it for more than a decade.  I have no idea why it doesn’t have better ratings on her site as it’s so good.  I’ve made it for lots of people and everyone likes it.  
I like the recipe because it’s uses only basic  ingredients and fast to mix up.  


We enjoyed it very much at breakfast and I took part of it to my parents.  


A hobby I’ve rediscovered is jigsaw puzzles. 
They are a fun group activity and  when I work on one alone,  I find them very relaxing,

The only problem I have with puzzles is our dog, Ducky, thinks the pieces are yummy.  I have to be vigilant in picking up pieces that fall on the floor as he will destroy a puzzle piece in no time.


Our daughter’s front door was barely hanging on so I helped my husband fix it this morning, 
The builder used those short screws 😱to install the door to the doorframe. 
My husband replaced all the short screws with the longer screws. 
That door should stay in place now.  



I’ve mentioned our youngest son many times in my posts.  
He recently married an amazing partner.
We are happy to have both of them in our family.






Changing gears

When I started blogging, I was employed, my husband was working and our chicken were all young adults, some were students and we had no grandchildren.  
We also had to be very careful with our finances.  

A lot has changed since then.  
I left my job almost 9 years ago.  
For 9 years, we had at least 1 grandchild here most every week day while their parents worked but now all the local grands are in full time preschool and school. 
My parents have moved to our town. 
And my husband has been retired almost 4 years.  
And we have fewer financial obligations.  
Many days now, it just my husband and myself and we enjoy spending time together and doing tasks together.  

When I started blogging,  I was very busy with homemaking, careful shopping, crafting, budget cooking and decorating.  
I still live somewhat  “if you do stuff, stuff gets done” but I’m also enjoying some slower days and more relaxing hobbies like jigsaw puzzles and reading and just being Un-busy is suiting me these days.

I haven’t blogged in awhile because life is good here but it’s different.  
I want to blog but my focus will be slightly different.  I’m still homemaking but on a smaller, slower scale. 
Some of you may still follow me but I expect others won’t be interested.  

Enough chatter- here is what’s been going on here 

Breakfast this morning was New York Crumb cake.  It’s a Martha Stewart recipe and I’ve been baking it for more than a decade.  I have no idea why it doesn’t have better ratings on her site as it’s so good.  I’ve made it for lots of people and everyone likes it.  
I like the recipe because it’s uses only basic  ingredients and fast to mix up.  


We enjoyed it very much at breakfast and I took part of it to my parents.  


A hobby I’ve rediscovered is jigsaw puzzles. 
They are a fun group activity and  when I work on one alone,  I find them very relaxing,  

The only problem I have with puzzles is our dog, Ducky, thinks the pieces are yummy.  I have to be vigilant in picking up pieces that fall on the floor as he will destroy a puzzle piece in no time.  


Our daughter’s front door was barely hanging on so I helped my husband fix it this morning, 
The builder used those short screws 😱to install the door to the doorframe. 
My husband replaced all the short screws with the longer screws. 
That door should stay in place now.  



I’ve mentioned our youngest son many times in my posts.  
He recently married an amazing partner.
We are happy to have both of them in our family.  






Monday, September 24, 2018

pumpkins and pumpkin spice cookies


Good morning 
Below are some cloth pumpkins that I made yesterday, for my daughter at her request.  
They are circles, with a running stitch pulled up, then stuffed with polyfill. 
The stems are made from strips of brown fleece, tightly rolled and hot glued.  



If you want to make pumpkins but don’t want to sew or can’t sew, I found this really cute and simple method to make pumpkins from old clothing items. 
No Sew pumpkins by Fresh Vintage 


Below is our front porch, decorated for fall.  
The mum has lots of buds but they aren’t opening.  If they don’t open soon,  I’ll take them back to Lowe’s.  



Here is the recipe I used for Pumpkin Spice cookies, if you’re wanting to do some fall baking.   It’s a cookie recipe I’ve baked many times.  They are great made with just vanilla and they taste like fall when the DIY Pumpkin Spice is added.  

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

1 C butter, softened (I use real salted butter, not margarine or spread for baking)
2 C brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 t vanilla (I omit this when adding pumpkin spice) 
2 1/4 C flour 
1/2 salt
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
3 cups of oats- rolled or quick- both work fine 

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric  mixer until smooth.  
Add eggs, one at a time and beat to combine. 
Add vanilla and/or pumpkin spice as desired and beat about a minute. 
Add flour, salt, baking soda and powder. Beat at low speed until combined. 
Add oatmeal and stir until combined. 

Now preheat the oven to 350.  
Line your cookie sheets with parchment. 
Make large balls with dough, I use a 2 ounce cookie scoop. 
Put dough balls on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.  Slightly flatten each ball, use your fingers or the bottom of a glass. 
Bake about 12 minutes, or just until set.  

With a 2 ounce scoop, one recipe makes 3 dozen good size cookies. 


DIY Pumpkin Spice 
3 T cinnamon
2 t ginger 
2 t nutmeg ( I left this out because my nutmeg didn’t smell right)
1 t cloves
1 t allspice 

Mix together and keep in a tightly closed container.
I added a little more than 1 T to the oatmeal cookie recipe.  Yes, I know eating raw eggs in cookie dough is a No-No but I tasted the dough before I baked it and after adding more spice,  I think a slightly rounded T of spice mix is just right.  

Happy Fall Y’all 
🍁🍂🐿🍂🍁

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Peppers and tacos and cookies


Hello, on my to do list was to deal with a bunch of jalapeños my husband grew.  
For some of them, I used my friend Dawn’s recipe.  

Dawn’s freezer jalapeño poppers



I think these will be so nice to pull out and bake some whenever we like.  

With the rest of the jalapeños, I found a very simple candied jalapeño recipe and did that to the rest of them. 
Candied jalapeños are really good on a cracker with a smear of cream cheese.  



Supper was lentil tacos in crunchy shells with naked okra.  


My grandsons that live on a farm gobbled up the lentil tacos.  In fact the oldest grandson ate 4. 
He is not a picky eater but he never mentioned anything about the lentil tacos being different from the beef tacos he has always had before.  

I really think the lentil tacos would appeal to anyone that likes tacos.  They are seasoned up just like beef taco meat.  

Gavin and Braeden really do live on a small farm.  Their daddy has beef cows and their momma has dairy cows. The boys help with both.   
This is one of their guernsey calves right after they showed her at our county fair.  



Yesterday, I baked 2 batches of cookies.  Most of them are for this weekend’s cookout.  
I used this recipe for the chocolate chip ones except I used semisweet chocolate chips and I made mine just regular cookie size 

Cookie Madness is a great blog, written by a regular mom who won the Pillsbury Bake Off maybe 10 years ago.  She bakes lots of cookies and other desserts and you can trust her recipes and advice.  



The other is a recipe I’ve used for lots of years but I added homemade pumpkin spice blend.  They have no real pumpkin in them.  

That’s what’s been cookin’ here. 
❤️

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hello ——-To do list, CVS deals, no meat recipes

Good Monday everyone
My husband was out of town for a few days, helping his family in Arkansas.  
He brought me these pretty yellow roses ❤️
And if you look in the background, I did order more fabric and sewed a curtain for the dining room window to match the bench cover. 


Here’s my to do list for the week.  I didn’t decorate it this time.  
Even though it’s plain, it will help me stay on track.  



I’ve gotten back into weekly couponing at CVS.  
It does take planning, as many things do, and I think it’s very worth my time and fun too. 


Above is what I bought this week.  It was $109 before all deductions and just $22 after deductions and I got a pile of CVS extracarebucks to spend next week.  


Below is how I planned out my purchase plan.  I clipped the items I wanted to buy  from the sale paper and glued them onto a sheet of paper. 
This makes it easy to spot the correct item in the store. 




I try to always buy items that are on sale, offer extracarebucks, have coupons and if possible, also that I have CVS personalized coupons for.  Personalized coupons, called CRTs in couponing lingo, are coupons that print from the CVS red box or at the bottom of a CVS receipt.  

I also only buy items I know we will use, but I made a slight exception to that this week as I got some new vitamins that were free after coupons from Sunday’s paper.  


 Below I did some rough figuring to determine the actual amount I should spend.
It was pretty close,  I guessed $25 and it was a little less.  



The deductions circled in green are paper coupons either printed from coupons.com or from the newspaper. 
The deductions in Red are CVS CRT coupons, app coupons and extracarebucks from last week.  See how quickly they add up? 


Next week, I’ll start with $31 in CVS money.  


Meal prep
3 grands spent the night here this weekend, so before they came, I did some meal prep. 
In the crockpot Lentil Taco filling is cooking.  I mixed up pancake batter for breakfast.  It’s always nice to have a salad in the fridge. 
For fruit, I cut up a watermelon and put it in 2 containers and the rest is on the divided tray with plums and strawberries.  



I am still eating no meat and I like it just fine. 
I hesitate to call it vegetarian as I have used a few animal products we already had on hand when I started leaving off the meat.  And we definitely are not eating Vegan. 

Lentil Tacos are one of my favorites 




Slow cooker lentil tacos

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed 
1/2 t garlic salt
1 T chili powder
1/2 t oregano 
2 t cumin
Black pepper as desired
1 can of green chili and tomatoes- Rotel, 10 ounce or so (I used Aldi ones) OR 1 cup salsa 
2 cups water
2 bouillon cubes- vegetable bouillon would be vegetarian but I used chicken as that’s what I had 

Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker, stir, cover and cook on high 4 hours, until the lentils are tender. 
I had to add about a cup of water halfway through.  
So plan to check on the lentils a couple of times during cooking.  
You want the lentils to cook and not dry up but the finished dish should not be juicy.  
My crock pot cooks fast and yours may not cook as hot as mine.  

I served these on lightly fried corn tortillas with traditional toppings like onion, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa and sour cream.  It would be good in crunchy shells or flour tortillas too.  
While the flavor is almost identical to beef taco filling,  the texture is different.  
I don’t think you can fool anyone with this but they really are so good.  
We like them a lot and they are very easy and thrifty.  
One batch of these made enough filling for 3 meals of tacos for the 2 of us, making 6-7 tacos each time.  

Black Eyed peas are another favorite.  

Black eyed peas 

2 cups dry BE peas, washed and drained
1 diced onion
3 celery stalks, diced
1 1/2 t paprika
1 t thyme
1 t parsley 
1 t oregano
1 1/2 t Cajun seasoning like Tony Chacheres 
1 T dry chicken boullion- I would use vegetable to be vegetarian but I already have this in my pantry 
If desired 1 t Tobasco

Put all in a slow cooker and cover with water and another 2 inches or so
Cover
Cook on high- in my crockpot it takes 4 hours 

Serve with hot rice 


I made it simple batch of lentil soup but it was very blah.  I plan to try a more spiced up version next time. 
We also really like red beans and rice with no meat.  I’ll share that recipe soon.  

Today, I’m cooking a batch of refried beans in the crockpot and will serve them with quesadillas and green salad.  

We’re not eating meat but we aren’t eating anything people would call too weird either.  


Have a good week everyone ❤️

Monday, August 27, 2018

Eating differently- no meat?


Good morning 
I hesitate some to write this post because people can have very strong opinions on this.  
First, I want to say I am not anti-farm nor do I think animals have more rights than people.  
Second, I think what people eat is their own personal choice and I truly don’t care what they decide to eat. 

I have been dieting all summer.  I’ve spent 2 months following The Trim Healthy Mama plan and 3 weeks following Keto.  Both plans center around protein at every meal, and mostly from animal products.  In all that time,  I lost 10 pounds but was not happy with meals as I truly don’t enjoy eating meat.  I’ve been eating meat all my life but I’ve just got tired of it. 
So for now.  I’m not eating meat.  
I am eating a little dairy and eggs. 
So after some research, I learned it’s called “ovo lacto vegetarian” 
For now, I’m not concerned about GMO or organic, I see there may be some benefit in it, but for now,  I am not convinced.  

My husband is being a great sport about it. He’s enjoying the meatless meals I’ve prepared and has also enjoyed a little meat along the way.  
Grands have been here for meatless meals and they ate and never noticed a difference.  

I did not purge our kitchen and get rid of all animal products,  we will be reasonable about this and not wasteful, nor did I go out and purchase a bunch of specialty products.  I did buy more beans.  We still have a big freezer with many meat products inside,  they will get cooked for company in the future. 

And because I am trying to lose weight,  I am also avoiding sugar and refined grains as much as is reasonable.  


For breakfasts, we've eaten eggs most times. 
 Below we had eggs with hash browned sweet and white potatoes, and my husband had some precooked bacon from our freezer. 



I had a biscuit with all fruit jelly and an egg 

Another egg and toasted seed bread 

Hot tea with scrambled eggs on toasted seed bread.  

Sugar free, fat free vanilla  yogurt mixed with a tablespoon sugar free peanut butter and a tablespoon sugar free chocolate chips is so good, it’s called cookie dough yogurt in the keto and trim healthy mama world.  I really like it and it keeps me full till the next meal and it can be mixed up in a minute.  

I’ve also enjoyed eating fruit whenever I want- melons, berries, pineapple, apples and bananas.  



On to lunches and suppers, 
Naked okra, hash brown sweet potatoes, fresh fruit and some Tillamook cheese for protein.  


Black eyed peas and rice- 

Zucchini noodles mixed with a few spaghetti noodles topped with homemade sauce and cheese, sautéed spinach and onions and fresh fruit.  
At this meal, my husband skipped the zucchini noodles and only ate spaghetti noodles.  He is not a fan of “zoodles”

Red beans and rice with naked okra 

We’ve had fried rice several times.  This meal had bigger pieces of scramble eggs in the fried rice for protein,  

Below was an impromptu meal with 3 grands.  We had cheese quesadillas with fresh fruit, veggies and yogurt for the children.  I made my quesadilla on a low carb tortilla while the others were on flour tortillas.  


Below  was a meal when 2 grands were here- I set out peanut butter sandwich ingredients but nobody ate them.
The fried rice, made with the eggs stirred into the hot rice to cook them, was a big hit.  

Another meal with 2 grands here was bean and cheese burritos.  I put canned refried beans and grated cheese in tortillas, folded them up and heated them in a skillet with a bit of butter.  We liked them that night.  My son came by the next day and reheated the 2 leftover burritos and he liked them too.  



One day, we were in Oklahoma City and we ate at a Golden Corral, a buffet with lots of choices.  I had a salad topped with sunflower seeds, Mexican beans and cornbread and several vegetables.  My husband had a huge salad, some vegetables and 2 chicken legs.  We both skipped all the desserts.  

Another day,  I was gone all afternoon and hadn’t planned supper.  So I stopped at Walmart and got a bag of Italian salad mix and 2 Digiorno thin crust pizzas, one was spinach and the other pepperoni.  These were small pizzas, maybe 8 or 10 inch.  It cost about $11 total and was cheaper than eating out.  I really liked the spinach pizza but it was different from traditional pizza.  My husband is a big spinach fan but he didn’t like it, he did like his pepperoni just fine.  

For snacks,  we’ve had sugar free pudding, nuts, a few peanuts mixed with sugar free chocolate chips, and fruit.  

Our verdict? After 8 days,  I’ve lost 3 pounds and I feel really good.  
Someone at church commented to my husband that he was looking thinner but I don’t think he has weighed.  He was happy for the compliment. 
This way of eating does take planning but it can be very economical.  
We plan to stay with it and see how it goes.  


I do have a warning if you’re thinking about looking into this way of eating. 
Vegans use no animal products at all and some of them are such purists and activists,  they are not very “nice” or subtle.  You might come across some disturbing or very rude things looking for vegetarian info.  

I’ll post some recipes we like later if anyone seems interested.  

However you choose to feed yourself and your family, happy cooking to you ❤️





Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda