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

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

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday plans

Good morning !
I've got big plans today.  I hope to do all the yardwork this morning before it gets too hot,  I already moved everything to mow around it and weeded one flower bed.
Then I want to do the laundry, clean the floors and bathrooms, dust and do some decluttering.  I probably ought to prepare supper too.  

Then if i have time and energy this afternoon,  I may start on a project using this cute oilcloth from the new Joanns Fabric store in my town, quilt batting scraps and 2 old cookie tins.  

Any guesses?  

I'll be back later.  Hope everyone has a good Monday.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Economizing steps

It's been a while since I did a strictly frugal doings post.  Prices seem to be going up on almost everything,  summer is here and that means big air conditioning bills,  and we've had a few unexpected expenses so I've  got penny pinching on my mind.  
Here are some things I did this week that help cut costs a little.  

I cut out and sorted the Sunday paper coupons.  Then I looked through this weeks grocery sale ads to check for good deals, then made a list of these sales and put it in my purse with the coupons. 

I don't print off lots of coupons but I did see one for $1.50 off Snasauges -Theo's new favorite snack - and printed off 2 of them.  

We have 2 empty bedrooms that mostly get used when we have company.    No visitors  are here so I shut the  vents and shut the doors to these rooms.
Now when the AC is running,  that cold air is shared with fewer rooms and it should cost a little less.  

Laundry - I usually machine dry clothes for just a few minutes,  then hang them up on hangers and the small things get put on a drying rack.  It seems like just a short machine drying keeps the clothes softer and less wrinkled than straight air drying alone.  

I mixed up a batch of bread dough in the bread machine on Tuesday.  I  baked it  in the oven  -
divided into one small loaf of bread,  5 hot dog buns and 4 sandwich rolls.
We had hot dogs Tuesday for supper.
The sandwich rolls went in Jeff's lunch.
Part of the sliced bread was used for breakfast toast
and I used the last 5 slices to make croutons for salad.  

I happily accepted cucumbers and big tomatoes from Gavin's other grandpa's garden.  

Supper on Thursday night was one of Jeff's favorites - Mexicalli pie.
For the corn chips,  I used the last of the tortilla chips crumbs that accumulate in the chip container.
Since it was just Jeff, Gavin and me for supper,  I made a half-recipe and baked it in a pie pan in the toaster oven,
toaster ovens use less power than the big oven.  

To go with the Mexicalli Pie,  I made a big salad.
While I had out the cutting board and knife,  I also cut up a container of veggies for Jeff's lunch box.
I used lots of fresh tomatoes, green peppers from our garden, and cucumbers.  

All vegetable peels were saved and put in the backyard composter.

We had some bills that needed paid this week - I use the free online bill pay that our credit union offers.  
I love it!  it is so much easier and quicker than writing out paper checks and mailing them.  

We like sharp cheddar cheese.  We buy the 2 pound blocks at Sams, for about $4.75.
I just grate and slice it myself.
The Sam's cheese cost about 1/2 compared to grocery store cheese.

See the cloth napkins stacked behind Gavin?

I've been washing dishes by hand this week - when we have company,  I use the dishwasher.
But hand washing seems quick when we just have dishes for 2 or 3 of us.
And it is so much quieter and more peaceful when the dishwasher is not running for an hour.

frugal back yard fun!
Jeff found this pool last year on clearance for $5 at Aldi.
Gavin and Elizabeth have lots of fun in it.  

Ulta just opened in my town.
Today, they had gift certificates for the first 100 customers and gift bags for the first 1000.
My daughter wanted to try so we met up there just before the opening and got in the line.
She got a $25 certificate and I got $10.  The man in front of me got $50.
Ulta is very generous I think!
On the left in the picture,  I got 2 mascara and 1 lipstick and spent about $2.
On the right are the products from the gift bag.

Gavin did not get a certificate but he did get a gift bag to take to his mom.  

These are all typical activities for me. 
 I would love to hear what you are doing to stretch your finances.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

May Toes! or tomatoes

Grand daughter spent the night with us this week.
Early that next morning,  she helped me pick her favorite vegetable from our little backyard garden.
She calls them " may toes" and she always says it with exclamation,
Elizabeth is a very enthusiastic toddler.  

she has some crazy bed hair, doesn't she?
I brushed it a little but decided it look cute and to just let her momma deal with it.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the sad saga of our hydrangeas

In 2007, we bought 3 hydrangeas and planted them in our front yard.
They are all still living but have not bloomed much.  
has been so kind and given me lots of advice on what she does for her hydrangeas.
Water them lots.
Feed them lots.
Don't prune them. 
Mulch them.  

I've consistently done all that.  I was even able to start 6 new plants from the store bought plants.  
I started looking for buds early this spring,  there were lots of nice green leaves but.......

only 2 buds!

total --- 
on 9 plants!  

Both buds turned into healthy looking flowers and I finally cut them to bring them inside to enjoy.  

 I am taking care of the plants all summer and I think maybe last year's hottest summer ever could be to blame for the lack of buds.  

But if you guys don't bloom in 2013,  I am going to dig you up and move you somewhere else!  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Easy plants to grow

Zinnias that are from seeds harvested from last year's zinnias

more zinnias

red and white petunnias
and an aspargus fern that has really grown a lot

portulacca,  also called moss rose or dessert rose,  in a strawberry pot.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Betsy's mani-pedi party link up

Betsy,  when I saw baby Andie with this polish,  I knew it was perfect for your party!  

My granddaughter Andie and her first time to get her nails done.  
Not sure I completely approve but I do think Andie looks adorable.  

Andie spends a lot of time at a beauty salon,  because her mom owns and works at a big salon.  
Her dad does all the handy man stuff at the salon and he makes sure Andie is all dressed up when they visit the salon as the clients just love to ooh and aah over sweet little Andie. 

I guess most babies don't get their nails done.  
But I've been told that the nail girl used an almost dry brush to color Andie's nails and  that it only took seconds to apply it.  

Head over to Betsy's really quick if you want to enter
or just go visit Betsy, if you don't know her yet.  
Betsy is a real sweetheart,  a creative mom with 4 wonderful sons,  just go visit and read a few of her posts. 
I promise you will enjoy her great photography and just marvel at all she does.  

Quilts - older and newer

I made this blue jean cathedral window quilt years ago.  I put it one the beds this week and like the way it looks.
But it is very heavy - was very tiresome to sew once it got big.
I don't know how comfortable it would be sleep under either because it is so heavy.

But I do like how it looks on this bed and I see it whenever I walk past this room.  

the back
You cut big denim circles and cotton print squares.  Then they get sewn together
and all the curves get zig-zagged.  
I finished this one on Wednesday,  a strip quilt for John  and Nina's June Birthday gift.  

It is all machine done and just tied

most of this pretty blue and green fabric was from another blogger,  Jill.
 Thank you, Jill.
 John and Nina are very happy with this quilt.

this pretty quilt was a Mothers Day gift from Sheena and Bobby.
One of Sheena's clients made it,  I think the quilting is done with a longarm machine.
isn't it pretty?  

embroidered message on the quilt
so sweet!
Table runner that I just finished on Saturday.
I printed off an internet picture in 2008 of a similar one,  and I think I cut out the pieces for it then too.
just took me 4 years to make it!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Clever Flip Flops and update on Theo

I thought my DIL was a genius when I saw this pair of flip flops that Gavin was wearing.
They have a strap of black elastic attached to the front part,  very simple, and Gavin can keep these on his feet much better than he could if he was just wearing regular flip flops.

But Amanda told me she did not come up with this idea,  that the shoes came with the elastic already on them.  

The elastic just goes around the heel
then lapped over for a loop and machine sewn with a very narrow zig zag.

So even though this idea is from a shoe company,  I am showing it in case anyone  has some toddler shoes that need to stay on better.

Theo is doing OK. ( he was diagnosed with Addisons about a month ago)
He does not have as much energy as he used to and has weaker muscles, especially in his back legs.
He sleeps a lot, even for a dog in the summer.
But he is happy and not in any pain.
 He watched  the grand children play in a wading pool for a little while.
Theo made sure to find the shade and you can see he was panting a little, even though it was not a very hot day.
For now,  we are thankful he is home and still having a good dog's life.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to downsize a t-shirt

The big story in Oklahoma right now is that our basketball team, The Thunder,  is playing in the NBA finals right now.  
My brother from Texas visited us over the weekend.  
He bought himself a Thunder shirt and also bought shirts for Gavin and Elizabeth.  

but we have a little problem......

the Thunder shirt on the left is the size my brother bought.
the shirt on the right is the size shirt that Gavin and Elizabeth currently wear.

So,  I got busy with a little alteration, it really was easy and quick.
and successful.  

first I laid the smaller shirt (with the sleeves folded under) on top of the bigger shirt.
then just cut off the bottom, sides and sleeves.
I left about an inch on the sides,
2 inches on the bottom.
The neck of the shirt was not changed in any way!

I did this with the Thunder shirt turned wrong side out.
Make sure to check your design, so you don't cut into it if you try this.  

then I cut the sleeves off and open at the sides so I can cut them smaller. 

For size,  I used the smaller shirt as a guide.  I cut off the bottom -seam of the sleeve...

then cut off more at the top  

then just pinned the cut down sleeve back into place.
See - the sleeve hem never changed.
Just machine sew the sleeve back to the shirt.
I also added some zig-zag to finish off the seam but that is optional.

After the sleeves are sewn in,  pin the sides together and machine sew them .  

now,  just turn up the bottom hem
and machine sew it about 1 inch from the bottom and then again at 3/4 inch from the bottom .

close up of the altered sleeve  
20 minutes later
the finished shirt!  

Gavin modeling his Thunder shirt.

it is still a little big but I think it will be a little smaller after a laundry.
the original shirt was a 10-12 youth
Gavin and Elizabeth both are 3T size

Now,  I need to size down Elizabeth's.  Her mom asked me try to make hers into a t-shirt dress.
I'll let you know how it goes.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Andie is 3 months old today

Baby Andie
she's come a long way from that tiny 5 pounds that she started out as-   she is so sweet and  cute, I can hardly stand it.  

some cleaning tips and a use what you have

I've been spring cleaning and am happy to brag a little that I've got a lot of it done.  

One tip to share is those Mr Clean sponges work great at getting marks off tile floors.  

Another tip is for cleaning ceiling fans blades - use a pillow case,  just slip the dirty fan blade into a pillow case, then run your hands down both sides and off.  All the fan blade dirt and dust just goes right into the pillow case.    I  did not come up with trick,  I read it somewhere but don't know where to give them credit.  
It is the only way I will ever clean my 5 ceiling fans in the future.  

my other tip,    don't buy a house with these crazy high ceilings!  
 If  we ever move,  we will not buy another house  like this,
regular 8 foot ceilings will be just fine.
If you do have high ceilings and want clean ceiling fans,  you will need a giant ladder.

 What do you think of this easel at our front door?
My daughter bought it off a swap list but it takes up so much room, so she sent it to my house.  
At first I had it in the house,  then moved it to the front entry.
There is a roof over it so it is mostly protected from the weather.  
I need to get a good package of dry erase markers and some real plants to put in the little pots
but I did not want to go to the store yesterday.  

I will go to the store today,  Theo is out of dog food after his breakfast.
So maybe I will find some little plants to put in the little pots and they will look better than the hand-scribbled flowers currently in them.

I know my family is all shocked when they read this, that Theo is eating dog food.
He really is!
I think this gland condition has been affecting him for so long and dog food just never tasted good before.
Anyway,  he likes dry Beneful food just fine now,
 He has finished off 2 of the smaller bags since his doggie hospital stay.