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

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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Another jumbled up post

Hello everyone 
I did a little planning this evening and wrote out a new to do list for the coming week.
I also clipped today's coupons and got a CVS list and matching coupons ready for when I can make a trip there.  

Below is the winter mantle my daughter decorated in their home- she was inspired by an expensive grouping she saw somewhere online. She put everything together with things she already had except she bought the battery-powered candles and she made the sign using her Cameo cutting device.  
I think it's all really pretty together. 

I saw this dining set on a Facebook buy and sell group. My husband and stepson went to check it out and they knew it was a great deal so they bought it and brought it home.  
It is very sturdy heavy all-real-wood.  The table is 48 inches wide and 75 inches long and can be extended with 2 leaves that are 18 inches.
It looks so pretty in our dining room and I am so thankful to now own a beautiful dining set at a very low price.  (Below is the seller's photo) 

Grand daughters with lots of hair. 
This is Andie and she is almost 4 but she has more hair than many adults. 
Sister Charlie is 6 months and she has the longest, thickest baby hair I've ever seen. 
It's a blessing for them that their momma is a hair stylist and she will keep their hair looking pretty.

The granddaughters spent a good deal of the weekend with us. Andie just loves to "cut and glue" so that's what she did.  My dad enjoyed his sweet great granddaughters too.

I hope you all had a good weekend and get a good nights sleep tonight, ready to face the new week.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sewing, baking, CVS and a cousin sleepover

Hello everyone!
This a jumbled up, multi topic post- a little something for everyone I guess.  

I have a very stocked sewing room and in 2016, I hope to make useful items with this stockpile 

First, I used a pile of fleece and fur scraps.  Some were given to me and some were leftover from the Frozen costume I sewed in the fall.  I used that tunic as inspiration for 2 more Nordic-ish tunics.  Then working with the size of the scraps,  there was enough to sew make 2 Western style vests.
previous tunic 

the first Kristoff tunic sewn by me

actual tutorial for a Kristoff tunic   If you need to sew a similar costume, I highly recommend this tutorial
I cut fleece into strips of fringe to decorate the tunic fronts and vests backs.  
I think the grandsons will have great fun having dress up pretend play in them.  
Now, I need to make some costumes for the girls. 

My son requested some shoe bags.  
I made some for his dad 30 or so years ago to store and pack his Marine dress shoes in. 
Jimmy uses those bags and picked out this navy babywale corduroy for new ones.  
The ties are made with boot laces.  

My husband is an expert shoe polisher from his Marine days.  
He tried out a new technique to shine up this pair- but that is not how he learned back to spit shine in boot camp.  

My daughter asked me change this pair of mens size 2X pajama pants into 2 tiny pair of pajama pants for her sons. The adult pair had plenty of fabric. 
I tried out a Pinterest method to use pants that fit the child as the pattern, instead of using paper patterns.  It was quick but I'm not sure the shapes are exactly like I would preferred.  
They did turn out cute and I am not going to stress over toddler pajama pants,  right? 

The last project was covering a few more wire hangers with fabric strips. One is just wrapped and the others are loosely crocheted.  

We have been eating 3 meals a day but I guess it hasn't been too interesting as this is the only photo i took from the last week - a batch of our tried and true sour cream chcolate chip muffins - big ones for adults and mini ones for grands.  
I posted this recipe years ago on my first blog chocolate chip muffins recipe

I made 1 trip to CVS
2 16 roll packs of Charmin bathroom tissue
2 hair color for my daughter
2 cans of cinnamon almonds
1 gallon milk
And 12 Gold Emblem nut bars- they are really good! Not really a granola bar as they are mostly nuts and very satisfying 
I used coupons and ExtraCareBucks and a MyPoints gift card.  
The balance ended up $19.76 and j got back $11 ExtraCareBucks 
The receipt says I saved $62.95 = 76%

Below is why you need the CVS app to maximize deals.  
This is a printout of all the deals I had this week.
I didn't do all of them but I did use the 
$6 off any $30 purchase
$2 off Charmin and 
$1.50 off nuts 

Friday night,  4 of the cousins had a sleepover here.  We have beds they could sleep in but they prefer to sleep in the living room on a very big pallet of quilts.

Hope you all are having a good week! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Delivered Fresh Fruit contest - link added

I think all my readers would be happy to win a fresh fruit delivery 
Laura Lane has a review and a giveaway on her blog for the Grub Fresh Fruit company in California.
This photo is from Laura.  CONTEST

The contest is easy to enter and closes on Feb. 1. 

We lived in California for a number of years and the fresh produce there is one of the things I miss.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

CVS, Cooking, Our Pantry and Rocking

Below is this week's CVS purchases.  I did go earlier in the month but didn't blog about it.  
CVS nuts were $3/15 with a $1.50 App coupon and I got back $5ECB
Shakes were $2.50 for both and gave back $2 ECB
Hair color was $8.49 each.  I used a $8/2 newspaper coupon and got back $5 ECB
Lady Speed Sticks were $3 each.  I used 2 B1G1F coupons from Sunday's paper and got back $6 ECB.

After coupons and ECBs from earlier, I spent $1.75 from a gift card I earned from MyPoints.com and got back $18 ECBs for next week.  

For CVS deals info - I look on Facebook at some of the big couponing pages called IHeartCvs, Couponing ar CVS and 

On YouTube, I watch LASavings8 and SavingWithJanandShirl The Coupon Queens. 

To see CVS ads early, I look at IHeartCVS.com 

Also, I have a CVS card that I got at my local store.  I always scan it at the red coupon scanner before I shop at CVS.  I went online and signed up  my CVS card at CVS.com for their Beauty Bucks program and for their pharmacy rewards.  
And I get more coupons with the CVS app.  

I know this all sounds complicated but CVS is the only store I regularly do deals at and I don't spend massive amounts of time at the above deal sites.  I do watch the weekly videos which are short and I just scan over the Facebook pages when I have time, only looking at posts that really interest me.

This week's cooking so far 
Monday- I cooked 5 pounds of ground beef and seasoned it all with homemade taco seasoning.  I froze 5 containers for future meals.  We also had tacos and tacos salad for supper Monday and Tuesday. 
Wednesday morning, I cooked a pot full of homemade pasta sauce.  I put 5 containers in the freezer for future meals and we will have pasta for supper Thursday with a big salad.  
Wednesday afternoon- I repeated our New Years Day meal of black eyed peas cooked with ham, rice and sautéed cabbage.  I also baked a pecan pie.  Some of these leftovers will go to my parents tomorrow.  I know they will be especially happy to get Pecan Pie, made with Mom's recipe. 

Our Pantry 
I've showed our pantry before, but since I spent several hours this week straightening and organizing it, I'm going to show it again.
It is tricky to photograph because it is narrow.  

The shelves are about a foot deep and go from floor to ceiling.  
Cereal, tea, chips, crackers, some baking things, oils, a giant smoked sausage we didn't eat Christmas....
Paper goods in the corner, extra bags and wraps on the top end 
Ramen type noodles in the corner, jars of salsa and drink mix, lots of past and panko bread crumbs.m
The jars are 3 deep so you can't see what's in all of them - they hold rice, dried beans, dry milk, cocoa, oatmeal, popcorn, salt....
The glass containers mostly hold snacks like nuts, bars and some candy 

Lots of condiments and spices, peanut butter, vinegar, jelly, molasses
Canned goods 
Mostly canned goods on the bottom
On the tray is where we keep opened snack chips and bread products 
On the floor - the crocks hold fresh onions and potatoes
The pink tub holds bags of sugars and baking chips
The dark red basket holds prepackaged snacks for the grands
The clear tub holds flour and the other pink tubs holds cartons of shelf stable milk and broth.

Several years ago I used red checked vinyl shelf paper and strips of lace-look vinyl tablecloth material from Walmart to cover all the shelves.  Because it is vinyl, it has held up all these years and I still enjoy it.  

And in case it sounds like I've just cooked, organized and shopped all week,  below is what I did Tuesday.

We had this little guy who is almost 8 months old and not much of a daytime sleeper.  So, I held him for both of his naps. 
Rocking babies is one of my favorite grandma activities.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

If you do stuff, stuff gets done list for this week

Good morning everyone!  I didn't mean to disappear for 2 weeks.  At the first of the year, I even thought I would try to blog everyday. Well, that sure didn't happen.  
I've had a long lasting cold that has worn out its welcome with me.  I think it is 99% gone and I'm very happy about that and ready to get back to doing what I want to do instead of coughing around the clock.  

So, here's my list for this week.  I don't use a fancy planner,  just notebook paper decorated with rubber stamps and washi type tape.  The clipboard is hung on the wall right by the pantry door.
I even added a section for my newly retired husband.  He has been helping around the house but there are a few areas that are bugging me and now he knows.  I don't know about your family but my family has always preferred a list- verbal requests can come off as nagging but everyone likes marking things off a list.  

There were several questions asked in my last blog post and I will get to those very soon.  

Have a good week everyone! 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Saturday cooking, boy fun, some make-do sewing and CVS

I got busy with some cooking Saturday morning.  I made a Dutch oven full of chili.  I put some aside in a saucepan to reheat for our supper.  2 chili-loving grandsons were here for an overnight and that is one reason I cooked chili.  My dad has been wanting chili so I filled a quart jar to take to him.  The other containers were labeled and went in the freezer for future meals. 
Chili is such a convenient freezer food- it reheats quickly and is just as good after freezing as it is fresh cooked.  We like it with corn chips or rice or crackers or pasta.  
I have based my chili loosely on the Flat Landers Chili recipe on AllRecipes.com for years.  I don't add the celery or bell peppers, sometimes I make it heavier on meat and sometimes heavier in beans but the spice mixture in the recipe is simple and just right to us.  
I also sliced a pound roll of breakfast sausage into 13 slices and cooked them.  I also baked 2 small cans of biscuits, bought with coupons for 19 cents a can.  We had sausage biscuits for breakfast and the extras all went in the freezer for future breakfasts,  
I prefer homemade biscuits but store bought biscuits really do freeze and reheat better than scratch biscuits. M

The grandsons wanted to do a craft so they painted some pine car kits from the thrift store. 
I set out acrylic paints and was a little nervous that 3 year old Braeden might be trouble with permanent paints but it was just fine.  The table was covered with a big sheet of brown packing paper I saved from a delivery box.  
The boys had lots of fun painting the cars and playing with the cars once the paint dried.  
They wanted to sleep with the cars but I said the cars had to stayed parked on a table all night.  

Saturday sewing was 5 potholders.  The blue squares with appliqued hearts were in 2 huge bags of scraps given to me awhile back from an acquaintance.   There were not enough heart squares for a quilt but they were the perfect size for potholders.  
I put all the old potholders in the laundry.  Once washed, some may return to the kitchen, some may get recovered and some might get thrown out. 

I had coupons for everything and I had $27 in extra care bucks.  
It didn't go quite like I expected.  The Gold Emblem coupons I blogged about yesterday can only be used 1 kind per customer.  So, I checked out a second time and got more nuts and snacks on the second receipt
I thought I was buying the right things to get the $5 back on Gold Emblem like in the ad below but only $6 of it counted.  

Still- I am very happy with the outcome.
5 6 roll packs of Viva paper towels
4 100 count Lipton tea bags - we drink lots of hot and iced tea!
6 bags of cashews and mixed nuts
6 bags of assorted snacks
2 pounds of elbow pasta
2 boxes organic white cheddar shells and cheese- we had them for lunch and it was delicious 
Total spent was just under $15 and I got back $13 in extra care bucks.

CVS shopping takes some preparation and organization to get the best deals but for me,  it is worth it! 

CVS is the only store where I try to do deals.  I've read about other shoppers doing good at Target, Dollar General, Publix, Rite Aid, Sears, Kmart .....if you want to stretch your shopping dollars and are willing to do the preparation, my advice is to look on Facebook for a deal group for a store you can shop at or to look at the forums on SlickDeals.Net 

I hope you have all had a nice weekend! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Years Day- cooking, sewing, walking and CVS

Happy New Year everyone!  

I'm hoping 2016 will be a year to be more organized and to plan ahead more.  
One thing I need to do is keep some bread in the freezer.  I make whole loaves sometimes and we serve it warm or as toast,  but for sandwiches,  we prefer homemade buns.  They are simple to make and I've blogged about them so many times.

They are bread dough but rolled and cut into circles instead of baked as loaves.
I slice them almost all the way once they cool and then I freeze them until we need a sandwich.  
Buns just stay softer and don't get crumbly like sliced homemade bread seems to.  
Above are the dozen buns I baked today.  

Our traditional New Year's Day meal is black eyed peas served with rice and stir fried cabbage
This is an easy meal to cook and it just tastes so good.  We may just have it on the first day of every month this winter.  
The little boy is a thrift store purchase from years ago.  His face and yellow curls look a lot like our little JJ.  

Of course I've made the standard resolution to exercise more.  I walked 2 miles this morning with a free video on YouTube.  Leslie Sansone has put out many walking program DVDs and she even has several full length ones available on her YouTube channel. 

I have a craft room chock full of supplies, many are from my mom's downsizing.  I have lots of good stuff so I am hoping to sew a little every day in 2016, even if it's just 15 minutes.  
Today,  I hemmed these 2 panels and made them into 2 generous size kitchen towels.

A heads up if you shop at CVS- these printable coupons are available on the CVS.com website with the other manufacturer coupons.  You can print each one twice and they will make for free or very low cost purchases.  I used these several months ago and was happy to see them available again.  
The first one is $2/2 Gold Emblem nuts.  CVS sells single serving nuts for $1 so with 2 of these coupons, I think I can get 4 bags free.  
The second one is $2/2 snack items. I think their popcorn and chip type snacks are $1 are bag so I may get 4 bags free. 
The last one is $1 on any Gold Emblem grocery or beverage item.  I'm not familiar with what CVS sells but I am pretty sure I can match it up with something we use for a good deal.  

Also at CVS, today is the day that quarterly bonus extracare Bucks come out.  If you have shopped there in the last 3 months, you can check your reward on the CVS app or at the scanner in the store or they may send you an email.  
I got $2 - not much but it is based on your final prices paid, not before coupons, and since I didn't spend much actual cash there,  I'm happy for the $2. 

That's the highlights from my first day of 2016.  I hope to do lots of home stuff and to blog about anything that's worth sharing.  

Happy 2016 everyone!