Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today we...

Cut out a picnic/beach quilt from the 60%-70% off stash
Picked Bell peppers for "Paula Deans" stuffed red peppers, family fav!!

Dug up the onions, turned out to be 4 pounds, not as good as I was hoping for but better than the marble size we had last year! Golf ball to tennis ball size this time, maybe next year they will get to baseball/softball size

Played with Kara in her new hat Nanny scored on clearance just in time for the 4th!

And I pulled a tendon in my leg saving Kara who somehow got to the 3rd step when I turned my back, she was headed down the stairs head first just as I caught her mid air.

Well we have had quite a day around here, I am now sporting a bum leg. Working the garden and getting the onions in the dehydrator tonight wasn't much fun. I need to get busy on bread and butter pickles tomorrow night after supper, the cucumbers have come on strong, they won't wait around much longer, bum leg or not. To top off the day I jumped in on a no spending challenge for a week over at Carla's blog check out her place you are sure to like it! I am now wondering if I have ever thing we need to pull off the 4th holiday. Kara and I stopped in at the local farm today to pick up corn but it won't be enough for our cook out Monday so I am thinking I might have to break the rules a bit for fresh corn other than that we should be just fine. Tomorrow looks to be another busy day, Rambo man took the rest of the week off after returning from a short trip to VA. We will be picking Ty up in the morning to help Papaw do some guy stuff and make a trip to the dump (he loves the dump), the boat is ready to headed back to the lake, I have a sewing class from 12:00-5:00, need to bake some zucchini bread, shred the rest of the zucchini and get it in the freezer then mix up enough of Paula Deans pepper stuffing for the whole durn family, yep I am doing carry out tomorrow night! If I am still standing I will can a batch of bread and butter pickles, we have run totally out. Oh ya, and I cut out and sorta decided on a super easy beach quilt using some of the fabric I picked up at the going out of business sale awhile back. I don't plan on using batting in the quilt. I am thinking the sand and batting won't do well together. I was thinking I would just piece the quilt put on a backing and use the tie off method to pull it all together but then I know the babies will drive us crazy trying to pull the ties out so I need to come up with something else to hold it all together, buttons would be super cute but very uncomfortable to lay on and again the babies would be all over the buttons, any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last of the place mats instructions

Cut a backing fabric larger than the flower, layer just as you would for a quilt with wrong sides together the iron on batting is in the middle, pin, pin, pin!!
Top stitch on each side of the stitching where petals meet starting in the middle of the flower working to the outside. I used my stitch in the ditch presser foot then set the needle 3 spaces over on each side of the seam

Once the quilting is done, Use a walking presser foot to zig zag stitch the flower to the backing, DO NOT TRIM YET!! Go back over the zig zag stitching with a satin stitch, the flower edge will begin to curl a bit. I like the curling effect on the petals but you could iron it down if you want a flat flower

Carefully trim away the backing fabric from the flower, make sure not to cut any of the stitching.

I left off the smallest center of the flower for the place mats I am having monogrammed.

These are really super easy to make. Wish I could have gotten blogger to upload all the photo's in the correct order! :( I think this took 3 posts to get it all in, if you have any questions please leave a comment and I will try to clarify the instructions. My flowers turned out to be 18 inches wide. If you have a small table you might only want to make one as a center table runner, they turn out pretty big!

Cut (1) circle 8 ins cut and additional circle 3 ins from a coordinating or complementary fabric. I used the Cricut to cut circle patterns. Add double sided iron on interfacing to each piece
Cut a circle of one sided iron on batting to fit the flower, medium to light weight batting works best. Iron flower, large circle then small circle to batting

Trim around flower and iron again to insure the batting is adhered to the flower

Sew rick rack or ribbon where the centers were adhered to the flower.
More to come, blogger won't let me load all of the photo's

Let make a BD Place Mat

Need 1/4 yard of (4) different coordinating material

Cut (3) petals from (4) different coordinating materials, you will end up with 12 petals.

You can freehand the petal or use your Cricut to cut one out
1/4 yard will make 3 maybe 4 place mats.

12 coordinating petals, 3 of each

Sew 2 petals at a time with 1/4 inch seam, I used my 1/4 in piecing presser foot, press all seams open.

Once all pieces are sewn into pairs begin attaching the pairs together on set at a time, make sure you are using alternating pieces so they will be spaced correctly on the flower, press seams open as you go

Your flower should look like this when your finished

Weekly Spending

My place mats finally finished!

For the second week in a roll we are under budget! Yepee, not by much but still under is better than over. I don't bother taking the extra to the bank any more seems like a waste of time and gas so I just throw it in a drawer for weeks that we run short, if it begins to amount to much I can always go to the bank (not likely)

I read an interesting article last week in the USA Today, inflation is up by only 1.9% this year but the confidence rating still remains low. They blamed the low confidence rating on the continued high unemployment. The interesting part was in little bitty words at the bottom of the inflation chart it said food, gas, and utilities not included in the inflation %. Well, Well, Well what a surprise, Hey Mr. Numbers man food, gas, and utilities are a pretty big deal around our house and the price is skyrocketing in our neck of the woods. The news media and the powers that be in Washington still insist the way out of this recession is to spend our way out, if everyone would start feeling good again and hit the stores with some plastic money all our worries would be over. Count our family out, me and mine are gonna stick to the spending plan and keep cutting back. With the continuing flooding, wildfires, and devastating storms in our country this year food prices are sure to keep rising, how can the farmers get in the fields when they are under water? And why would anyone still believe what the experts in Washington suggest when their own budget is so far in the red even my own grands won't be able to pay it off. GRRRRR.

Off the depressing stuff and on with the frugal fun! I have had inquiry's about the flower place mats I made for the grands BD and for our own table. I found the pattern in the book "Quilting In No Time" by Emma Hardy. The first one I made I followed the directions but didn't care for the results so I changed things up a bit. I will try and post a step by step of the process in the next day or so, they look hard but really and truly its not, I am all about fast, easy and cheap!

Here's the weekly spending!

fabric store - $20.00

Joann's fabric - $31.00

Grocery store - $23.00

Eating out - $27.00

Gas - $55.90

Total spent $156.00, under budget by - $54.00

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Task

Tyler loves the pressure washer, he has no idea it isn't really on!

Dear Lord, please let this be the last time I ever have to help clean the boat.... Thank you, Amen

Yes the work on the boat is so hard and time consuming that a prayer is needed!! We have maybe one more evening of cleaning the outside panels then it will be ready to put back in the water to enjoy for the 4th of July, for what I hope is the last time. Rambo man has someone who is already interested, he saw it when it was still in the boat slip covered in winter grim, if he liked it then he should fall in love when he sees it this time. We still have to install the canopy when it gets in but surely that won't be as hard as what we have been doing for the past 2 days. We have had about every neighbor stop by this weekend to talk about the boat, seems they thought we had traded the Harley trailer for the boat. Ha, Never really thought about it but when we bought the boat we had it put in the water and have never had it out until this weekend. I think Rambo man might be having second thoughts on selling this monster. I may have to remind him often what a pain in the butt the cleaning, upkeep and expenses are on this 26 foot floating money pit.

I took a break Saturday to get in on the 50% off sale for batting and thread NICE!! Also went by the fabric outlet to see what they had, turns out to be only drapery and upholstery fabric, durn. While I was out and about I ran into a friend who told me Joann fabric was doing a soft opening Saturday and had a 50% off cotton fabric sale going on, out of the way ladies I am headed down the highway. I was able to get the fabric I needed for the rug class next week for $27.00 WOHOO!! beats the heck out of what I was going to have to pay, also picked up some fabric to work on a quilt for Tyler for Christmas this year. He has a thing for elephants, the child's quilt I just finished has elephants on it, I thought he might take one look and want it for himself but he told me they were not real elephants just pretend ones for little kids. His little sister Karsyn on the other hand started squealing as soon as she saw it, I put it down for her to see, she hustled he little tushy over hopped on and didn't stop touching it and laughing. Karsyn must be partial to primary colors! I put the quilt back for her to receive at Christmas. I am thinking all the Grands might get a quilt this year as well as Rambo man if I can find enough Peanuts material to make one for him.

It's early to bed around our house tonight, the manual labor is more than we are use to. I want to get in my "little room of sin" for a bit this evening and line up a few things to work on next week. I don't have any of the Grands until Wednesday so maybe can have a little play time by myself!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Birthday Placemats Complete!

Woohoooo, I finished all the place mats tonight after supper, needed 2 for our grand girls, one for Ty and an additional one for my sisters first Grand who's BD is 2 days after Kara's. Tomorrow I will take them to the shop to have the first letter of each of their names monogrammed on then they are ready for the babies to celebrate with. Kara's 1st BD is coming up July 9th so I didn't have much time to spare. I still have the original set I was making for myself to get back to work on but I wanted to get the little girls done in time for the upcoming BD's. I have lots of morning errands to do, get in on the one day only sale 50% off sale for thread and batting, check out the fabric outlet, take the place mats in, put a few new plants in the garden and watch the babies for a couple of hours while the guys go to the new Car's movie.

Rambo's to do in the AM is to get the boat out of the water so we can bring it to the house for a major clean up and engine service. We have been thinking about selling the boat for over a year. I think we are both ready to pull the trigger. We are putting out over $400.00 a year in taxes, $20.00 a year for tags and $1,900.00 for dock fee's. That's $2,300.00 a year for a boat we used 3 times last year, don't even ask what it cost to fill it up for the day!!! The kids do take it out some but not enough to justify the cost and upkeep. Thankfully we paid cash for the boat so when we sell it our savings acount will be looking pretty darn good. If we really need a boat fix we can rent one for the day at $250.00, that's a lot of money but a heck of a lot cheaper than what we are doing now!!

Staying On Track

Girlie fabric for Birthday place mats
Tyler's Birthday place mats

How cute it this, see the sticks with the roasted marshmallows!

I was able to get to the fabric store to pick up some coordinating fabric to go with what I already had on hand for Birthday place mats Wednesday, I scored the deal for under $20.00. I had Kara along for the adventure so I forgot to hang on to the receipt. I have the little girls place mats finished and Tyler's well on the way to completion, another hour or two should do the trick but I have Kara for the day so it may have to wait until tonight.

I have been wrestling with the frugal devil this week. One of the hardest parts of this living more frugal deal is staying on track, month after month, week after week, day after day. This week has been on of those weeks, you know where if it can go wrong it does, unexpected problems seem to keep popping up. It can be very easy on weeks like this to say to heck with the spending plan, I'm gonna clean my chunky butt up and head outta here for some fun, the spending plan.... I'm over it. But then the guilt sets in, thankfully before I head out the door. What if this paycheck turns out to be the last one, how will I feel after my spending temper tantrum is over? I start questioning myself, where are you headed with your pocket full of cash? The fabric store of course and maybe some baby stores. If I can hold off one more day the chain fabric store has a 50% off Saturday one day only batting and thread sale, OK, OK I will wait. Why not go on an adventure to the fabric outlet and check out the $3.99 a yard fabric instead of the $11.99 they have at the cute store. I need 6 1/2 yards of fabric for a rug class I am taking next week, do I really want to spend $78.00 on fabric for a rug. That's not figuring in the $40.00 I already paid for the class. I don't need to be walking around on a $108.00 throw rug, get a grip!! As far as clothes for the babies, no way no how the girls have more things than 10 kids need, besides the fact I am taking a reversible dress class next month for them. The mood is passing for now but I still feel the need to do something totally irresponsible and exciting.

After dinner Rambo man started the weed eating while I did some gathering in the garden, we pulled in more zucchini of course, a few more jalapeno peppers and a dozen cucumbers. In another day or 2 we will be getting enough cucumbers to finally get busy on pickles. We are totally out of bread and butters. I can feel the excitement build, I could even run over to the local farm and pick up enough to do a batch tomorrow, humm that might take care of my itch to spend and it wouldn't cost much.

After we finished our work Rambo man suggested a ice cream trip, hey I'm all in. Then again I started thinking of our last ice cream run that cost over $11.00, he had a banana split I had a single dip, how about we just go to the store and buy our own ice cream and all the fixins. I'm coming back to my senses now, ice cream is $6.99 a 1/2 gallon...grrr thankfully they had a BOGO free sale, we bought wet nuts, pineapple topping, chocolate syrup, banana's and hot dog buns for supper tonight. We already have strawberry topping (canned strawberry preserves), maraschino cherries (canned sweet cherries) and whip cream. Total cost $23.00, this should last us many nights of an ice cream fix but still. I started thinking, wonder what it would take to can some pineapple preserves, what about wet nuts, how do you make chocolate syrup would dehydrated banana's work the same if I rehydrated them? Rambo man must have been on the same wave link, he was playing around on the PC when he yells in to me "we need to get a new ice cream maker". He now has a new research project, find the best American made reliable ice cream maker at a good price, none of that disposable crap. So I am feeling the ugly mood passing, the spending plan might just make it for another week. I don't have time to shop I need to find some recipe's for canning pineapple, walnuts and chocolate syrup.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back in business

Worked out to be enough zucchini for 8 loaf of bread over the winter
Child's quilt almost done!

New set of placemats almost done

Monday morning started off on the wrong foot, no matter what I tried to get done something or somebody wanted to defeat me! I won't go into detail cause I just might get in a bad mood again, here is a list of the offenders. State tag office, Our crappy bank, Car repair shop, Car rental center,
Photography shop, home computer. I will tackle the state tag office again next week when they get off a weeks vacation!! Yep you read that right the whole durn office is closed. The bank will be a tag team event when Rambo man has a day off, the rest was conquered. Thank goodness for chocolate brownies or I wouldn't have made it through the day!! Speaking of brownies I had a few home canned cherries leftover from supper Sunday, not enough for our next meal. I drained them then threw them in the brownies, YUMMM, gonna try it with any leftover strawberries next time, I bet that would be good as well.

We had our buddy Dudley (his geek nick name) over last night to clean up the virus on our PC, thank goodness he was able to make the repairs, a new PC is not on our spending plan. Dudley never accepts pay for helping us out so I put together a goodie bag for him to take home to the family. His wife is a jelly freak, I made sure to include strawberry jam and apple butter along with some other home canned things I know they like.

After all the frustrations Monday I took Tuesday as an AT HOME don't mess with me day. The garden is finally giving us enough extras to put some back for winter. I worked up zucchini by shredding it them vacuum packing to freeze for zucchini bread this winter, we still have 6 packages left from last summer that I need to use up. Jalapeno peppers went in the dehydrator then in a canning jar, we were close to being out from last year.

After doing a little housework it was on to the scrap/sewing room for the afternoon. I am done with the child's quilt except for the binding. I am a little unsure how to finish it off so I will hold out until I take a class next month on quilting. Got started on a set of placemats that are turning out really cute, I am going to change the construction process a bit before working on the next set. I had a heck of a time turning the fabric once the backing was on and getting all the points and corners to lay nicely. I think I can skip that step next time and just zig zag the front and back together then finish up with a satin stitch on the edge (I hope)

I want to make each of the grands one as a special Birthday placemat to use the week of their Birthday's, that might be a fun thing for them to have and use each year. I have already worked the garden this morning, gave the house a lick and a promise, planned our supper so I am headed out the door in the rental car to pick up a little fabric to start on the grands placemats. I have some cute girlie fabric for the babies but I need a little more coordinating fabric to go with it and backing. Everything I have for a boy is to babyish for Tyler. I need to see what I can find that will work for over the years, I'm not feeling the theme deal. Right now it's all about super hero's, and elephants. last year it was trucks, trains and John Deer tractors, he has passed the Elmo, Dora, Wiggles, Backyardinkins and Wonder pets stage, who knows what next year will bring. I am thinking tools and construction, he and his Papaw have been all about that from the time he could hold a hammer!
Rambo Man forgot his phone today, so sad for him, good for me, I know he won't be calling with ideas he wants me to take care of!!

PS; I do have a coupon for the fabric store and I am no about to blow the budget on 3 placemats (I hope)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sick computer

It has been one of those days all day long, now our home PC has some sort of problem. Hopefully our computer geek buddy can work his magic tomorrow until then I need to stay off the PC!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

Our Grands
New Baby/Child's quilt started

Love this fabric

Hope everyone had a great Fathers Day. We celebrated this morning with the kids, grands, my sister and her hubby at Olive Garden for brunch. We did this for Mothers Day this year as well, it works out great in that we still have time with all the kids but it frees up the day for them to have with their own little families.

Rambo man and I spent the afternoon in the garage doing rearranging, cleaning out and taking a few loads of unnecessary stuff to Goodwill. Finished the day off selling the trailer!!! 2/3 of the money is now in the savings account (did you know you can deposit cash in the teller machine) the other 1/3 Rambo man has stashed away for some projects he wants to work on. As an added bonus I put his favorite toilet paper (Charmin) in all the bathrooms, I have plenty of all brands stockpiled in the attic. Shhh, I don't want him getting into the good stuff.

Saturday morning we took Tyler to the strawberry patch to do some picking, as I had figured they were over for the season but we did score some sweet corn so he was still a happy little guy corn on the cob is a favorite of his and his Daddy. Rambo man had a charity ride in the afternoon so I had some free time to start a baby or child's quilt with some of the 60% off fabric I picked up awhile back. I want to do a traditional quilt with this one using batting, backing and bound edges. I haven't decided the weight of batting and what backing I want to put on it. I am leaning towards the blue print for the back and maybe a combo of all the materials for the binding or just the animal print, can't wait to see it finished up!! I have Kara for most of the week, Mom picked up a few extra days to help cover the cost of the new mother board they had to replace when the air went out last week so my play time will be limited but whats new, my play time is always limited. Off to pack Rambo's lunch for tomorrow, organize some leftovers for meals this week then close down the kitchen and head to bed. Looking forward to another week of frugal adventures in living.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wheelin and Dealin

Daily harvest for now
Big fat savings!!

For a change the garden is weeded, peppers and tomato's are staked and another level of twine has been added, strawberry bed has been cleaned up and blossoms cut back, herbs have been trimmed back with some in the dehydrator, the lawn is mowed and tidyed up, deck is cleaned and looking spiffy. Nothing like a day without babies and an extra pair of hands around to help out!!
Rambo man went into the office for a few hours this morning while I headed out on some errands. I had $40.00 to spend in Kholes bucks before the weekend. I wanted to get the biggest bang for my buck, socks for Christmas were still not on sale, the Grands need nothing, so I started wondering around the different departments to see what was on clearance. Found the red, white and blue queen size quilt pictured above at 60% off. I had been thinking about making a small quilt for 4th of July for the family room. The only one I could find was the floor display, found a clerk who agreed to take it down and sell to me. I started thinking... hummm maybe they will mark it down a bit more since it was on display, sure enough they took and additional 20% off. YAHOO Bottom line regular price was $199.99, my price was $63.99 used my $40.00 in Kholes bucks, the out of pocket cost was $23.99!!!!!
Off to Wally world next to use .75 cent off coupons from Sunday's paper for canning jars, picked up 3 cases of pint jars and 1 case of jelly jars, only saved $5.00 but hey that's better than no savings.

The whopper of the deal came in the afternoon when the mail ran. Rambo man wanted a spray in/on liner for his bubba truck. I try to figure as much as I can in our monthly spending plan to have put back for the big stuff but a truck bed liner wasn't on the list we struck a deal that when his refund for the deposit on the rental house in VA came in he could use that for his liner. Don't you know the check came today! So the bubba truck is headed to the shop tomorrow for the work and we have $87.50 leftover.

The dealin didn't stop there. We need a new Sun shade top for the stupid boat at a cost of $446.80 that also wasn't in my spending plan, sorry Charlie it will have to wait until the expenses from the TX trip comes in. After supper as we were checking around the Internet for a cheap little getaway JUST FOR US maybe using Hilton or American Express rewards I realized we had enough AM points to score a $600.00 gift card to use any way we see fit. The gift card will arrive by Monday. Monday night Rambo man can set down and order the sun screen for FREE with money leftover on the gift card.

Be still my little racing heart. All on his own Rambo man decided today the Harley trailer is just taking up space in the driveway. We have used the thing one time in the 4 years we have had it, each year we still have to pay taxes, tags, and keep insurance on it. He place an ad on Craig's list tonight at 6:00, already have 3 people who want to look at it tomorrow afternoon. If that sucker sells 2/3 of the money is headed to savings 1/3 is for Rambo mans wanta/gotta have list. If he keeps this up I might just spring for his favorite toilet paper (if it's on sale with a coupon) Feels like Christmas around here tonight!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No Alarm Clock

More camera straps in the mail

I woke up to no alarm clock, rush hour traffic, or loading and unloading a chunky butt baby! This is the leisure life for sure! We have had 24 hours of some nice cool weather with very little humidity so I headed to the deck this morning with a cup of tea in my night gown. Sounds lovely doesn't it, well it would have been if the lawn was mowed, deck furniture back in place, garden weeded, and more planting done. I treated myself to a second cup of tea only after I got the deck back in order and pulled the rest of the lettuce that had gone bad. My little experiment with lettuce this year didn't work out as good as I had hoped. Once the temperatures reach over 90 degrees it doesn't seem to matter where it is planted it just won't make it. So much for free fresh lettuce, we will have to hit the market for salads until fall.

After the second cup of tea I tucked my night gown into a pair of shorts to weed the summer squash, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers. The pepper plants all look a little scrawny this year so I am going to put in a few additional plants just in case these guys give up on us.

The pressure washer fellas left a milky residue on all of the windows, grr.... next on my list was to get the kitchen and breakfast room windows washed. I will get to the rest in time but I couldn't stand to look out the kitchen windows with that yucky stuff on them one more day. Then on to the post office to get orders in the mail (I did shower and dress first) Finished the day pulling the rest of the radishes that are past there prime, we have enough for supper a few more nights. Weeded the potato and onion bed, brought in veggies that were ready then mowed the back lawn. That's a full day of labor for sure!

Rambo man arrived home tonight, we had a little talk regarding the debit card.....he surprised me by using it while in TX for the past 2 weeks. Of course the surprise was when I was doing our banking today and noticed a huge difference in the balance I expected to see. The other surprise last week was he forgot to turn in his time cards so we didn't get paid, that's why I had to wait until today to do our banking. We will get refunded everything he spent while on the job but the spending wasn't in my plan for this pay period. Made a note to myself to ride his tail until he gets the paperwork submitted for our reimbursement. He has a company credit card so I never expected he was dipping in our personal account Re-entry is never easy when we have been separated this long.

We have a nice steady rain tonight that should last until tomorrow, I hope to finally get the kitchen cabinets washed down then work in the scrap/sewing room for the afternoon. It's so nice to listen to rain instead of violent storms for a change.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer vacation!!

Busy little beaver Karsyn 8 months old
Snap bag with coin purse

Tomorrow starts my summer vacation, sorta! Daughter #1 finished up in the classroom today so she will be home with Karsyn and Tyler for the summer. I just might miss having Karsyn around to keep me on my toes but I am sure Mommy will share with me any time I want the kids. I will still have Kara 2 or 3 days a week but keeping up with one a few days a week will be a whole heck of a lot easier than watching the 2 babies for the past 6 months. Karsyn is turning into quite the dare devil. She started crawling 2 weeks ago and has since moved on to pulling up on anything and everything. Today she decided to try and take a step between the couch and end table, it didn't work out in her favor but she didn't mind, just tried again. Mom is going to have an eventful summer.

The pressure washer company finally made it to the house today, only a week late :( why do companies continue to be so wishy washy in this economy is beyond my understanding. I found a $20.00 off coupon on line to help cut the cost a little but it still ran us $280.00. Tomorrow will be putting all the furniture, flower pots and stuff back where they belong, you would think at the price they charge they would put things back in place. Got the front yard mowed and the zucchini weeded after Karsyn left this afternoon, brought in a few veggies and our first tomato (gonna have me a mater sandwich for lunch tomorrow)! Tomorrow will be more work in the garden and mow the back yard after Kara leaves for the day, wish I could say I was caught up with outside work after that but no such luck.

The snap bag and coin purse pictured are a gift I made for a friend in need of a little cheering up to take to the beach next week. The fabric is some of what I picked up at the 60% off sale a while back, wish they would have had more of this fabric, it would make cute PJ's for the little girls! I added a pocket to the front of the snap bag with a Velcro closure for her cell phone, the bag is big enough to hold a book and reading glasses along with whatever else seems to settle at the bottom of the beach bag. She can put a few dollars in the coin purse to use if she wants a drink from one of the vendors, can't wait to hear from her when she receives her goodie box.

If your looking for a good read on vacation this summer give "Heaven Is For Real" a try, I finally finished it this week, super good book. I have a heck of a time staying awake at night long enough to get much reading done. I have a nice stack of books on the end table and in the nook I hope to work through over the summer.

Orders for camera strap covers will be going in the mail first thing in the morning. I have made enough $$ selling them to cover the cost of sewing classes in July along with the supplies, WOOHOO!! And thanks to all for your orders!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekly Spending

Chicken and Dumplings
Ironing center

Pin cushion and scrap bag

Tonight for whatever reason I wanted some comfort food, chicken and dumplings are a bit of an odd thing to have in 90 degree weather but it was fast, cheap and good. I had a little leftover roasted chicken from yesterday, frozen chicken broth, and fresh parsley in the garden, mixed up some Bisquick mix for the dumplings, dinner was ready in 20 minutes and it was just what I was craving without all the work! I had Tyler and Karsyn today so my energy level was getting pretty low by the end of the day. It was so nice to have my little baking buddy to help out with cookies while Karsyn had her nap today, cookies and tea with a book for me tonight!

Here is the project from sewing class last week. I was finally able to finish it up over the weekend and try it out on a gift I am working on for a friend. It works pretty good on small projects or piece work, no need to set up the ironing board. I have it at the end of my sewing counter so I don't even have to get up to press seams, nice. I need to get in the habit of using the scrap bag to throw threads and scraps in instead of throwing everything on the floor.

I was over budget this week but I figured I would be from hosting the baby shower. I can't complain because I money at the grocery store and baby shower. Our Son-In-Law picked Karsyn up after work a few times last week so my gas cost was down, it should be interesting to see how low it will go once Mom is home with the kids for the summer.


Gas - $51.29

Groceries - $120.00

Baby Shower - $95.00

Total spent - $266.00, over budget by $66.00


Grocery store - $90.16

Baby shower - $350.00

Total saved - $440.00

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Budget Friendly Baby Shower

Flower arrangements on the fireplace from our yard, vases are from Daughter #3 wedding centerpieces a few years back. We have used the vases dozens of time since then.

Invitations printed at home, total cost $8.00

Centerpiece for refreshments, Dress form from scrap room. Filled it with homemade flower clips and bows to accessorize the new baby girl, along with a floppy hat for $4.99 (my gift)

Baby quilt was the table runner along with matching burp cloths (my gift) for the desert table

Pink lanterns reused from former showers, glass plates, water goblets, punch bowl and serving dishes we have used hundreds of times, no wasted $$ on paper products plus it looks a little nicer

Daughter #1 opened her home today to help host a baby shower for a dear friend and her Daughter-In-Law who is expecting her 1st Grand baby. Dad is in the military deployed away from home, Nanny-to-be and Mommy-to-be needed a little pampering!! Everything turned out lovely, Nanny and Mommy were showered with practical much needed gifts along with a few just toooo cute to pass up outfits. In keeping with our commitment to a more frugal life this year there was a lot of recycling, repurposing, homemade gifts and decorations. Our menu was Chicken salad pita's, flat baked pretzels, guacamole with pita chips, fruit/dip, veggies/dip along with punch to drink and store bought cupcakes for desert. Total cost was $94.00 for the whole she bang, my gifts are included in the price. I would say that is a pretty thrifty shower that no one could tell where the cost cutting was.

Chips, dips, and fixins for the punch were all free using coupons and sales, picked up (2) baked chickens on sale today for the chicken salad at $4.99@. No wasted money on decorations they were all part of the new babies gift from me, no paper products were purchased, we will use the dishes for MANY more years! Flower arrangements were from my yard, free, vases, recycled. I figure we saved over $350.00, including my gifts!!! Below is the breakdown of what this would have cost in our area

Invitations - $36.00

Sandwich tray - $45.00

Punch - $12.00

Veggie tray - $42.00

Fruit tray - $28.00

Centerpieces - $50.00

Paper products - $25.00

Baby quilt - $65.00

Burp clothes - $22.95@ $92.00(can you believe people will pay that!)

Floppy hat - $22.95 regular price

Headbands - $12.99 @ $60.00, I paid $.99 cents each

Hair clips - $5.00@ $75.00, all came from scrapin supplies free

In the spirit of full disclosure I did pick up Daughter #1 a new sun dress for the shower. PG mommies need to feel cute, it was purchased at Kholes on sale and during free bucks week along with a few other things we need around here, have $40.00 in Kholes bucks to spend next week. Granted it took me a whole lot longer to make the gifts, plan the menu then watch for sales and coupons, print the invitations, load the dishes in the dishwasher, cut and arrange flowers but it can also be an adventure!!! Saving money is not all about deprivation, it's doing more with what you got!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our BIG Surprise!!!

Grand Baby #4 is on the way!!

Meet the newest addition to our ever growing family. Daughter #1 and Hubby are expecting their 3rd child December 8th. Whoever he/she is looks to have some "Big Foot" feet, large hands and a pretty nice size head. Nanny's are not allowed to have a preference of a boy or girl, we are just happy to get whatever doll baby God decides we need (shhh,boy please). We normally call our new grands "Oscar" until Mom and Dad find out what gender will be arriving but Tyler has already decided he will be getting an new sister that he can decorate!! He has named the new baby "Baby Gaga", humm I am thinking the kid might be watching a few to many music video's.

With the addition coming at the end of the year Daughter #1 and Hubby will be deciding if they want to put Karsyn in daycare this fall or wait until January after the new baby arrives and Mom heads back to work. Karsyn will be a year old in October so we are pretty close to the one year mark. As much as I would love to have each and every one of the grands with me every day I know my limits, I am pretty darn close to the limit right now!! I feel strongly enough that infants need to be in a home environment at least for the first year that I made a promise with myself years ago that their first year is on me if Mom is unable to leave the workplace. So far so good, this past year has been challenging, inspiring, exhausting, bust a gut laughing, in other words a blessing from God. I am so thankful that I have been able to keep up with the babies, help the adult kids out when I can with a home cooked meal now and then and still squeeze in a little me time. With the fella upstairs on my side I hope to pull it off for an additional year with grand #4.

Keeping the Grands this year has been a huge help staying on track with our spending. I am in no shape to be dragging those crazy heavy infant seats around in and out of stores so I keep my butt at home for the most part. Having only Sunday's off and an occasional Saturday forces me to plan my time and spending trips wisely. I need to get in and out if I want to have time for anything else. All the "Stuff" in the world can't come close to the joy and happiness our little guy and gals brings us. I don't need to purchase nice clothes that will only be used to catch spit up, be drooled on, be spit on from unacceptable baby food and occasional have a nose or two wiped on. There has been so much activity going on this year I haven't done a thing in the little girls scrapbooks but the time will come when I will have hours, days, weeks and years to relive the little moments that are in my heart forever.

Sewing Hangover

Starting early in the kitchen

3 quarts of dehydrated Strawberries

Morning escape

The babies left a little early yesterday at 5:00 so I would have time to make it to my 6:00 sewing class. The drive down in rush hour traffic was hair raising but I made it in time to set up and be ready for class at 6:00, even had time for a potty break. What a treat to set down on the throne without a worry of where the little girls have gone off too. Unfortunately I was the only one who had purchased my supplies in advance (I follow the rules) it took an hour for everyone to pick out their material and all the extras. I wondered around looking at the new stock but didn't spend one red cent. After working on our 6 month spending plan (still working) I had no appetite to spend money. Class was over at 10:15, I finally arrived home at 11:00 with a 90% completed project,grrrr
The earliest I figure I can get back to it and finish up might be Saturday unless of course I have Kara for the day then all bets are off. I did have time to look at some of the upcoming classes next quarter while waiting on the slackers, OMG they have the sweetest reversible sun dress for little girls that is a must take, also a beginers 9 patch quilt that is a real possibility. I took my baby quilt in for some constructive criticism before I gift it this weekend, figured I would still have time to make any changes they might suggest, no changes necessary!! Yepeee

Today and tomorrow are survival days, I will still have both girls full time, it's been a LONG week. They are thrilled with their new mobility. Exploration, destruction and eating the smallest piece of dirt or fuzz from the floors is all they have on their little minds, naps are few and far between when they are together now. School is finished for teachers next Tuesday!! Karsyn will be home with Mommy until August when Mom heads back to the classroom then it is decision time do I keep her until December when she will have reached her 1 year Birthday or should she go ahead in daycare full time so she has a routine in place? Mom and Dad's decision, I am free to help out until January when some big changes will be coming about......surprise announcement tonight!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pantry Cleanup

Kitchen pantry
Back pantry (1)

Back pantry (2)

Back pantry (3)

Karsyn and I were on our own today so I decided to tackle the pantries, we have (4) more shelving
units, (3) in the back pantry and (1) in the kitchen pantry but getting a photo of them is impossible as crammed in the rooms as they are. With as much food as we have around here I have to keep a eye on things so nothing hits the expiration date, we had that happen over Memorial Day weekend with a jar of cheese dip. The boys wanted a midnight snack so I told them to warm up some cheese dip with nachos, I was busy in the scrap room. Rambo man thought the cheese looked a little funny, when I checked it out it was a globby rubbery mess. It had expired 2 month's prior, now the websites say canned cheese has an indefinite shelf life but I am here to tell you that ain't so, maybe it was still good to eat but there was no way I was going to take that chance. While I was at it I did an inventory of what we are low on, not much really other than Lima beans and black beans. Also pulled out an overabundance of several things, sent home 2 bags of groceries with Daughter #1 tonight when I dropped Karsyn off, have a few bags for Daughter #3 tomorrow and a nice size box going for the food pantry. I still need to hit the spice cabinet and backup spice cabinet along with the baking shelving unit then I am done, next week will be all about scrubbing down the doors, drawers, walls and baseboards, with everything back in order in the cabinets the rest should come together pretty quick.

Karsyn was a pistol today, the kid was into everything. When the girls first started crawling they wouldn't go off the carpet so I could put them in the nursery/dinning room and still keep up with them from the kitchen. They are past that stage now, Kara would prefer carpet so she moves very slowly on the hardwoods. Karsyn on the other hand has no fear that kid can move!! Today I got her out of the pots and pans, coupon binder and cookbooks, out from under the rocking chair as well as under the end tables, climbing the bakers rack, changing table, bookcase, crib and trying a bite of the dog food. Karsyn is only 8 months old, me thinks she is gonna be like Daughter #2, if so Heaven help her poor Mommy and thank goodness for great health insurance cause they are gonna need it!! It's early to bed for me with a good book, I have both babies all day tomorrow then a sewing class tomorrow night, my to do list tomorrow is to survive with enough energy to get to class!