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

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

Friday, February 25, 2011

ROKU - or how we watch TV

We canceled our TV cable back in 2009 and now use an antenna to get the local channels.  We live in central Oklahoma and get channels from both Tulsa and Oklahoma City including ABS, CBS, NBC, 2 PBS stations,  local Fox, several Christian channels, 4 channels from ION and several others. 

My husband heard about ROKU boxes,  they run on the internet so they require either being hooked in your internet source or with wireless, we use wireless internet for ours.  The boxes are a one -time purchase,  I think ours was about $60 from Amazon, and then you own it. There are no monthly fees unless you have paid channels.

This is our ROKU box and it's remote,  that is a Santa Pez beside it so you can see how small the Roku is. 
My favorite thing to watch is photos on a loop from Flickr. 
Whatever groups you belong to on Flickr can be on your Roku box.
Gavin likes pictures of tractors and animals.
I like groups that feature Pyrex and sewing projects.
My mom liked looking at the quilt groups.
When I am rocking a baby, I usually turn on Flickr, it has no sound
so it is very peaceful.
Nina however is not a fan of Flickr, she says it is as much fun as watching paint dry.

Roku offers lots of channels and most of them are free,  a few require monthly subscription.  


Roku has news channels,  quite a few fitness channels and social network channels.

Here are some of the news channels.
It is not exactly the same as turning on CNN to see the news minute by minute. 
I like the NBC one best,  they broadcast the first hour of the Today show all day without commercials,
so if I am busy early in the morning, I can catch up on the news later in the day.
Some of the other news channels show feature stories as well as specials and repeats of their news shows.

The only paid channel we have is Netflix.  Netflix offers so many shows in their watch it now category.
Jeff likes movies,  Gavin likes Bob the Builder,  I've been watching  seasons of Hoarders,  Jamie Oliver and Cake Boss. 
When my parents were here last,  my dad really liked American Pickers.
Netflix costs about $8 a month and I think it is very much worth it.

One of the free channels is Blip.  The offer many independent shows,  some are just quirky but many are very good.
I really like some of the cooking shows. 

We tried a free trial of Hulu on Roku but they show so many commercials, we did not like it.

Shows on Roku are all on demand.  We like that we can watch what we want to when we want too. 

The only thing we really missed out on my not having cable is that most all the college football bowl games were on ESPN.  Roku has some sports channels,  some of them have fees, and we have not really investigated them. I am sure they are the right option for some viewers.

There are so many channels and shows on Roku, and they truly add more just about every week.  I have not looked at every single one to know all they offer.

We do sometimes watch programs on a computer and they are pretty much free that way,  but we like being able to watch shows on our big tv. 
So if you are already paying for internet and don't plan on stopping but would like to watch TV shows or movies on your bigger screen,  a Roku box might be a great option for your home.

We like it so much, we got a second Roku box for the bedroom tv. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

saving a little time in the kitchen

when I look over my blog,  it seems like I spend a lot of time cooking.  I do cook most everyday, sometimes I cook several times a day so I do look for ways to save some time.  If you know me or  read this blog much,  you know I also look for ways to use basic ingredients and to spend wisely. 

We like nuts in our baked goods.  Whole walnuts are a good value, as far as nuts go,  I know nuts are high-priced anymore. 

This is a  12 ounce bag of mostly walnut halves and a few pieces.  The halves are way too big for adding to baked goods. 

so instead of getting out a chopper and cutting board everytime I bake a recipe that we like nuts in,  I chop the whole bag of nuts when I open them. 

then all the extra chopped nuts go into a jar.
I store a lot of things in clear glass jars. 
The label is just a piece of masking tape,  with what is in the jar and the date it was put in the jar. 
If I am going to be baking a lot,  I just keep the jar of nuts in the pantry.  But nuts will go rancid if unused, so if it will be more than a month or before they get used,  I put the jar in the freezer. 

About the label,  I have seen some really cute printable labels online and if I had more free time, I would probably use them,  But for now, masking tape works great.  Just use some scissors to cut the ends straight, that looks much better than tearing the tape.  I use masking tape to label things in the freezer too. 

Lyn asked about the dishes the cut up fruit are in, I showed in them in previous post.  They are from Pampered Chef and work fine as you can see what is in them.  The only thing I don't like about them is the lids are not microwave safe and ruin if used in the microwave.  Mine are the one cup size but I think they come bigger, like 2 cups and maybe 4 cups. 

 my other favorite container for snacks and lunchboxes is little jelly jars - mine are currently filled with jalapeno relish and pickle jalapeno relish though.  I think the jelly jars with screw on tops take up less room in a lunch box and it is very unlikely they would leak. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Feb. 14th pictures

Elizabeth looks especially extra cute as she models a special Valentines cap,
crocheted with love,
by her great grandmother RoRo,
hand delivered by her Great Uncle Bert,
just in time for her to wear on her first Valentines Day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snaps of my day

This sweet little guy spent the day with me.  Don't you love his blue eyes?

Little ones always look extra sweet when they are sleeping.

While Gavin napped,  I made binding for that quilt I started a week or so ago. 
Do any of you iron on your kitchen counter? 
I don't iron clothes on the counter but I do like to spread out craft projects on a big surface. 
Just be sure to put a couple of layers of towels underneath.

I cut up some oranges and grapefruit- now ready for easy snacks or to add to Jeff's lunch box.
I also mixed up some sugar free Jello in cups -
doing it myself means our snack cups are fresher and cheaper than the readymade ones at the store.

I washed the mud off the bottom of these cute little boots,
No problem for me,  I cleaned lots of dirty shoes when we lived in the country. 

Theo and Gavin accompanied me on my walk. 
We are having warm days now, just some snow left from the highest drifts that are mostly in shade. 

On our drive to take Gavin back home,  Focus on the Family was on the radio.  Lysa TerKeurst was the guest.  I had never heard of her until Carol from Blessed Cottage recommended Lysa's  free Kindle book Craving God
I really like that book (the first 5 days of it that I have read anyway)   Lysa is also a really funny and heartfelt speaker.  Maybe all of you already know her and have read her other 12 books. 
She is new to me and I am really glad to of found her.  Listening to her on our car ride was encouraging and entertaining. 

Monday, February 14, 2011


Grandbaby Elizabeth 2011
it looks like she is sitting in a red chair

Grandbaby Gavin 2010 in a white chair
looks like the same chair, but a different color and in a different room. 

hmmm,  these grandbabies must have a grandma that likes to change things around, 
could be worse!

I wonder what color that chair will be in 2012?

Happy Valentines Day everyone.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sweet things

Nina left us some sweet things on her way to work this morning

carrot, vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, baked in her kitchen on a snowday from   work.  She also left cupcakes at Jeff's work for his coworkers. 

homemade lemon curd 

the sweetest thing of all, baby Elizabeth.
 Nina let us keep the cupcakes and lemon curd but she took the sweet baby back when she got off work. 

Sweet Theo - laying in the hall outside of the room where Elizabeth was napping.
 We sort of got Theo from Nina about 7 years ago,   but he will keep staying with us. 

Cinnamon rolls and buns from Grandpa's bread recipe

I made another batch of Grandpa's Bread yesterday.    Instead of baking it as loaves,  I made buns and cinnamon rolls. 
For the cinnamon rolls,  I rolled half of the dough, spread it with 3 T of softened butter, then sprinkled it heavily with cinnamon sugar.  I keep cinnamon sugar mixed up in a shaker for making cinnamon toast and cinnamon rolls. It is about 1 cup of sugar mixed with 3 t of cinnamon.  I don't use the whole container, I just shake it on until it looks well covered.

I also added some chopped walnuts to this batch.  Then just roll them up and slice to the size rolls desired. 
4 hamburger buns and 5 hotdog buns, cut from the other half of the recipe.  In case you are wondering,  I used about 2 cups of whole wheat flour and not quite 4 cups of white flour for this batch of bread dough, 
The rolls look little before the yeast has time to rise.
So, they rested under a towel for about an hour or more.  I think the whole wheat version takes longer to rise than when all white flour is used.

all baked and cooled. 
The cinnamon rolls got a little frosting and more walnuts on top. 
We had burgers for supper last night and for lunch today. 
Most of the cinnamon rolls and the hot dog buns went in the freezer for future meals.
My friend Terri who you probably know as Penny Ann Poundwise made some beautiful loaves of bread from this recipe and posted them  here. 

Here are my grandparents on their 33rd anniversary.

Cinnamon Burst Cherrios winner

thank you to everyone who entered.  The winner is Carol!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

why didn't I think of this sooner?

Jeff and I both take a few vitamins in the morning.  I had been opening all those bottles and dishing them out daily.  Then I saw these pill dispensers at Walgreens for 99 cents.
Now I spend about 3 minutes a week filling them up, much better than counting out vitamins every morning. 

We are buried under 8 inches of fluffy snow and this is how cold it is here
Current Conditions
-19° HI 28°
LO -8° ClearSUNRISE 07:20 am

Our weather
 But it is supposed to be in the 60s by Sunday.  Yea!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

giftpack giveway - Cinnamon Burst Cheerios

Look what MyBlogSpark sent to my house last week - a Cinnamon Burst Cheerios cereal gift pack that included a box of Cinnamon Burst Cheerios cereal for my family to try, a family 4-pack of cereal bowls, a Fit &Fresh travel cereal chiller and a cinnamon scented candle.

Made with real cinnamon, new Cinnamon Burst Cheerios cereal will delight your taste buds! This newest edition to the Cheerios line-up allows you to provide your family with a delicious and nutritious breakfast that contains 20% of the Daily Value of fiber (or 5g per serving), has 9g of sugar, is low in fat, saturated fat free and naturally cholesterol free. Cinnamon Burst Cheerios cereal also provides at least 8g of whole grain per serving; at least 48g recommended daily. A true crowd pleaser, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios cereal is sure to kick-start any morning!

I opened my box  to try them.  A cup of Cinnamon Burst Cherrios has 110 calories so with a 1/2 cup of skim milk, it is  just 150 calories for nice breakfast or afternoon snack.
They have a very nice taste, the cinnamon is good but not too strong  or too sweet. 

MyBlogSpark is providing a Cinnamon Burst Cheerios gift pack to give away to one lucky USA reader of my blog!

If you would like to enter to win the same giftpack that MyBlogSpark sent me, and I hope everyone who reads this will enter, just leave me a comment and tell me what you do get your day off to a happy start.
You don't have to twitter or facebook or follow me but if you want to put it on your blog as well,  you will get an additional entry. 

I will close the contest and announce the winner on Friday, Feb. 11. 2011. 

Granddaughter Elizabeth thinks the cold  ring from inside the travel container makes a very cool teething ring. 
It is filled with that liquid that freezer packs are made of, so she only got to hold it a minute.  The ring is NOT a safe baby toy. 

Legal stuff - Cheerios provided me with the free product, information, and gift pack through MyBlogSpark

hope you will enter!

Friday, February 4, 2011

what's new

Gavin turned 2 this week,  this picture was taken last weekend - before the blizzard. 

Theo has been looking for his tennis balls, but they all seem to be under the snow. 

Elizabeth turned 8 months - she only gets to look at the snow. 
this snow has made me a  bit unambitious but after the 3rd day of it,  I cut out a baby quilt from some fabrics I already had.  I thought it would be a gift for a new baby, but it turned out kind of big for a little baby.  So maybe when I get it finished, it will be a nap quilt for Elizabeth when she gets a little bigger. 
Some of the fabric was sent to me by
Elizabeth   when she cleaned out her craft room before she moved recently. 
 My Simple Life

I am thinking that it started with an Elizabeth and should go back to another Elizabeth. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

want free books?

My hubby and I both got Kindles,  electronic readers from Amazon, around Christmas.  I really like the Kindles,  they are easy to operate and electronic books take up much less space than paper books. 
However,  buying books can really add up. 
Fortunately, Amazon offers many free books for Kindles.  And you don't have to have a Kindle to read them,  Amazon offers the free books in forms that can also be read on fancy phones or any kind of computer. 
Some of the free books are always available, especially the old ones that no longer have copyrights.
The new books that free are often just "free" for a few days.  So I check this list almost daily and get any free books that either hubby or I might like.

Amazon Bestsellers

this link is for the 100 top best selling free books and top best selling books that cost money.  It changes often.  I do look at the reviews and description before I get them. 

If you think there is any chance at all you might get a Kindle,  I would suggest you get an Amazon account and start looking for and "buying" free books like I do.  That way they will be in your account and will go straight to your actual Kindle if you do buy one. 
And if you just want to read some free books,  you can view them on your computer. 

There is usually a wide variety of free books, something for everyone. 
Right now,  Lisa Wingate offers a new free book.   She is an author who graduated from the university in my town and I have read and enjoyed several of her other books. 

I check this free list regularly, and have 177 books on my Kindle right now.  I think I paid money for 4 of them and the rest were all free. 

looking out my front door

The news says this blizzard is affecting much of the U.S. so you may have snow like this too.  We've got about a foot of snow today and the wind is blowing so much that is it making drifts. 
This drift is what is outside our front door!   But if you look close,  you can see bare sidewalk  where the wind has blown the snow somewhere else. 

Most everything is shut down because driving is almost impossible.  My hubby is out in this weather though, he had to go to work.  He drives a big pick-up and has tire chains, warm clothes, etc.    He got to work fine and he said he has had to drive a few places in our town doing his job.  I am hoping he makes it home safely. 

And since we park our vehicles in our garage,  he won't have to go through that snow drift at the front door when he does get home.