Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I removed EVERY thing from my closet then threw it all on the bed. Unless I got it cleaned up there would be no sleeping tonight.
After sorting through the piles I put my "little bit better" than Nanny wear on one side of the tiny walk in closet

The other side has my Nanny wear, I only hung on to the nicer tee's but still have plenty. Dress up clothes were moved to a spare bedroom closet, it's not like they get used very much so no need to clutter up my working closet. Two large bags will be headed to Goodwill next time I am over that way, they are already loaded in the car ready to fnd a new home.

I moved our every day bulk storage under my tee's so I could get to it much easier. Before I had to go in the closet, shut he door, drag out the 50 pound buckets then drag it all back again. I replace the lids with Gamma Lids for our bulk items. Much better for getting in and out plus they keep a nice seal. I don't have room in the kitchen or any of the other pantries for these large buckets.

I didn't turn my machine on for a single minute today :( but I did get a few more bits and pieces sorted. I am hoping this system will work better than the piles of scraps I had hanging aound. The larger containers hold leftovers from seasons or categories. No need to have Christmas and such just taking up space and looking all messy.

Needed to post early today since I know hubby will want to get on the PC tonight to start our tax filing. I have a little nest for myself to work on files in the den for this afternoon and evening. I need to do a quick dig to find everything hubby will need then it's on to doing the yearly clean out and setting up for 2012. I sooo should have done this earlier but now is better than never! Our desk is housed in our bedroom so this is still part of the decluttering for the master bedroom. I am oh so close to being done in there.

After hours in our room I needed a change of scenery so I moved over to the scrap/sewing room for some time. The only way to get some sibilance of order was to find storage containers for all my leftovers. Wally world here I come, put down $31.74 for crappy plastic boxes, printer paper (we were out), file boxes. and Cheetos (lunch). This won't be much of a low spend week, I will need gas and a few other things before the week is out.

I so hate ugly clear plastic boxes, getting cute colors makes me feel a little better but I need to see what is in the boxes quick and easy so clear it is. I have collected so many good scraps over the last year that I didn't want to do away with much. After putting together 3 quilt tops with the fabric I had bought for just one quilt I realized two things. I buy more fabric than I need to for a quilt and coordinating scraps look pretty darn good together for additional quilts. I used the large containers for seasons, baby, Americana, holidays and such. The small containers are random scraps sorted by color. I hate to cut into a full piece of fabric for just a small bit.

I'm off to start on our filing, shredding and moving the old stuff out. With any luck I can head to bed before hubby gets to far into the tax deal, it ain't always pretty!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Decluttering is Underway

My end table has been unloaded of book, books, and more books. All that's left is "Steve Jobs" that I am reading now. The chair is from my Great Great Grandfather and was recained by my Grandmother, love having a bit of our past close by.

My dresser is cleaned inside and out.

My bathroom drawer is now decluttered from all the junk that seems to find its way in there

What the heck, OK so stand on your head so you can see the receiving blanket I finished today. Used more scraps to match one of the scrap bibs for a shower gift later this month. I used minky fabric I had in my stash for the backing, now hubby wants one in a man size!! I had a time working with the minky, need to check with my fabric store to find the trick for working with it.

Last but not least I pined one of the Birthday quilts for DD#2, now on to the quilting, yuk!

I had a really nice start for a Monday and the beginning of the declutter/Low spend challenge. I was able to get my side of our room and bathroom cleaned out along with some work on a few sewing projects. One bag was loaded in the trash, nothing to donate as I don't think anyone would want my threadbare PJ's, undies and pantyhose. Who the heck wears pantyhose any more and why did I still have some? Along with that another fight with our insurance and drug store over the price of Hubby's prescription drugs, GRRRRR.

Hubby felt so sorry for me after the hissy fit I once again had over drug cost that he invited me to lunch on him. It was the prefect distraction from the craziness, and no cost!! Today was a no spend day!! I spent the evening pining one of the quilts for DD#2 while hubby watched "How it's Made", well really he was snoring within 1o minutes but I now know more than I ever wanted about building hydro dams.

Tomorrows agenda will be to clean out our desk which is housed in our bedroom along with my closet. My man has late meeting tomorrow so no supper will be needed, I can always find a little something for me. I would love to get an additional item made for the baby shower gift but I am afraid my closet will be a bugger to get done.

Off to bed with the "Steve Jobs" book, sure glad I didn't have him as a boss!!!!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On to the next challenge!!

My first attempt at a baby bib
Then a few more

I played around with a pattern over the weekend for a baby bib I want to include in a gift I am making for an upcoming baby shower. They turned out very girlie, just what I had in mind and all from leftover projects, love this whole making do and using up scraps!! I started cutting out another project for the baby gift today but ran into a problem working with minky fabric, that crap stretches all over the place. Maybe tomorrow I can start fresh and have better luck.

I am calling an end to our January challenge. I like to work from Sunday to Sunday on our weekly spending plan and to do list, starting in the morning I am on to Carla's Low Spend/Declutter challenge
So here is the total spent for the week $149.49, my worst week of all for January. I transferred over $50.00 tonight to our Christmas/Vacation fund. The grand total that I was able to put into our Christmas/Vacation account from my weekly spending plan this month was $423.00, not to shabby!! We were still able to fund our long term savings as well as our EF from payroll deductions but after we get through February's challenge we will be backing off on some of the payroll deductions. I have sooo over estimated our payroll deductions!!
For February my goal is to continue to add what I can at the end of each week to our Christmas/Vacation account. I have no set amount in mind, just have as many No spend days as possible and keep my rump at home staying busy.

I will start the decluttering challenge tomorrow in our bedroom, master bath and closets. With any luck I can start working on some area's in the scrap/sewing room as well. I don't think our personal space should take up the entire week, but it will take more than a week to get the sewing mess under control, I need a head start in there!!

Thanks to all of you ladies who followed along this month and kept me motivated to do a little better each day. You guys have all done an incredible job stashing a little cash!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Make Do Day 27

I think quilts look so much better hanging on the clothes line.
Love the soft flannel backing

Embroidery thread is all inventoried and neatly organized in their containers, wish I could say the same for the rest of the room!

After Kara left today I hit the big box store for the embroidery thread sale. I saved $69.52 but spent $42.33. I am cutting it very close this week to stay on budget. I may not have much leftover to send to our Christmas/Vacation account but the thread purchase today will help cover the cost of one of the Christmas items I will be making this year so it was worth the risk. I picked up 2 custom orders for children chairs this week, as soon as I find out what the Mommies want for the applique and embroidery work I can knock them out pretty quick. I am thinking for now I will set the $$ aside for some storage containers I would like to have in the sewing area of my room.

I am set for the first week of the decluttering challenge over at Carla's this month. I like the idea of starting with our own space. When I do a big clean out I always wait on our room until the end, by then I have run out of steam!

So here are my goals for week 1 on the decluttering side

Clean out our room, master bath and our closets. Along with that I will have to do some work in the scrap/sewing room. I have lots of gifts I need to complete before the end of the month, the sewing side of my little room of sin is a total mess. Along with the No/Low spend challenge I have also been participating in the "Sew Scraps Along" The two challenges worked beautifully together but my room didn't fair to well in the process!
Hope everyone has a great weekend of No/Low spending!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can't Remember What Day it is!

For some reason Kara thought she should wear a sweater in the house today, what the heck it's a chilly 69 degrees!!
Finished up the "Quilt of Valor" tonight, hope I can get a photo hanging on the clothes line, inside after dark photo's stink

It has a nice plaid flannel backing in red, white and blue.

I am to lazy to get up and see what the date is, I do know it's Thursday night and I didn't spend a dime today!! I finished up the quilt tonight after Kara left while I tuned into the republican debate. My quilting and playing around is over for a few days, hubby has started home and should arrive tomorrow sometime. Our weekend will be filled with Papaw time with the grands and lots of catching up, as it should be. I still need to inventory my embroidery thread while its 50% off until Sunday. I can also get an additional 20% off with a coupon I got in the mail today so I really can't put off more spending this week, 70% off sales are few and far between!!

I was able to crunch a few numbers this week to get ready for Carla's Low spend challenge for February. When I set up our spending plan for 2012 I forgot to figure in a few BIG expenditures, as in 401K, Social Security, and the regular savings we have directed before the check hits our account add to that the $6,200.00 that we are putting in the new Health Saving Plan.... folks it ain't pretty!! When it looks bad on paper you know your in trouble!!! I have excused my blunder on the budget since we had just had our 4th grand who was acting up after he was born, a week of jury duty and Christmas all in one month. The good thing about the mistake is we can make the adjustments needed with a click of the mouse. So thankful it wasn't a financial disaster on a CC or some other consumer debt!!! Hubby and I have agreed to let it ride for now knowing full well it is not sustainable in the long term. Come March I will cut back on a little of the regular savings to free up the cash flow or maybe some from the 401K (I think we might be putting in to much). So February's challenge will be a challenge for sure!! I will save what I can when I can from our weekly spending of $200.00 but there will be some spending going on. here is what I know we will need to do with the $200.00 each week

Groceries - I can keep that really low

Gas - May need more than I used in January, staying home helps!!

Entertainment - We have some friends from High School/College coming in for the super bowl. Meals will be eaten at home, I have plenty of beef to keep the men happy and I know my way around the kitchen. I think the adult beverages for the guys are well stocked and I am as always the DD so they will come and go as I please, Ha just kidding!!

Gifts - DD#2 Birthday, Baby Shower, Birthday for a friend, Valentines Day, Gift for Senior Pal, Holy Hannah I am going to have to be VERY creative and dig around in my little room of sin big time.

With all of that on my plate I will feel really good if I can put back $100.00 in our Christmas/Vacation fund from my weekly spending $$. We are putting way more than we can in our regular savings for January and February so if I can pull this off one more month I will be pumped!!

Make Do Day 25 & 26

Check out one of my projects from this morning. Back off ladies I know you are all in envy that hubby has a collection of the best of the best 8 track cassettes. Yep we have the classics, Donny Osmond's 1st tape, James Taylor, 3 Dog Night, Led Zeppelin, Cheek and Chung, you name it we got it.

Why would I even bother with hanging on to this useless crap? When I was cleaning out the attic a few years back I checked with hubby before I sent the box of 8 tracks on their way. He just about had a stroke that I would consider HIS music crap. We no longer have a tape deck (I think that's what they were called) so we can't play the silly things but I am afraid if I bring up that subject again I will find a UPS box on the front steps where hubby has found and purchased a tape deck. I consolidated his tapes along with one of his many train sets (bought before DD#1 was born, she is 34) into one nice plastic container to be shoved back in the attic. Figure it will never see the light of day until our kids get to clean it out when we are long gone so I have a little note on top explaining that their Dad wanted to keep it all. Let them deal with the guilt of throwing it out!! Ha

Yesterday was a spending day. Our temperature was 67 degrees with lots of sunshine and I had cabin fever along with a slight injury to my shoulder from my morning work out (blow drying my hair, I am not kidding) I had heard we had a new quilting store in the area I thought I would check out for some nice ON SALE backing for all the quilts I have lined up and I knew there was another quilt shop out in the country I have been wanting to visit. I didn't want to head from home on the little gas I had left in the tank so I put $20.00 in, not much for my car but enough to make me feel better. I couldn't find the local store but I did visit the store in the country and found what I hope is enough backing for 3 quilts all on clearance at only $5.00 a yard, $47.26 total, I took the $$ from this weeks spend money so I won't have as much as I had hoped to put back at the end of the week. I think I will consider this pace spending. I really want to get as many quilts completed as I can before I start keeping Mr. Mason full time, maybe if I buy a little backing here and there on sale I can pace myself and our budget to cover it all.

Today will be a NO spend day as I am quilting and doing a little organizing while on breaks from the machine, I have Kara for the afternoon so that will be my rest time for the day.
Have you fallen off wagon on the No/Low spending this month? This week it turning out to be my downfall, maybe a month is just to long for this slacker to do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Make Do Day 24

Finished quilt top for an additional "Quilt of Valor"

I spent most of the day working on quilts (whats new!) With hubby gone until Friday I have very few days where I can just walk away from the mess I make and not worry about whats for dinner and where the heck are we going to eat it amongst all the fabric. I am 1/2 finished with the quilting on the other quilt, THANK goodness! Tomorrow I should be able to finish that up then get on with the binding. Quilting has been a big part of staying on track with the No/Low spending challenge this month. Today was a no spend day.

I also want to work on a plan for the February challenges. I think my biggest obstacle is cleaning out the clutter and tackling some organization issues and still stick with the No/Low spending challenge. I am a sucker for organizing tools, containers and such, they of course cost $$.

I want to share a site a young Mommy sent to me today. She wanted to share it with me along with her feelings on how thankful she was to have a Mother who chose to stay home. Thank you so much Katie!! I had thought that maybe just maybe the old stereotype that stay at home Mom's were to dumb or lazy to work outside their homes was over, looks like I was wrong. Why is it woman are so cruel to each other? My DD that have children both work outside the home, so PLEASE don't think I am judging anyone who chooses to work outside the home. One thing our girls and the entire family agree on is that as a family we want the children to be in a loving home environment so together we are making that happen. It's not always easy to be a hands on Nanny, there are lots of things I could do with my time other than helping with the grands but I feel that God wants me home to continue to be a Wife, Mom and Nanny. My prayer tonight is that people who don't want children don't have them and that woman STOP being mean to each other. Check out this site, so sad that woman would go on national tv and act this way!

Rare Mid Day Post

I am working on one of the "Quilt of Valor" today. Quilting the top is a love/hate deal for me. I love that it means the quilt is so very close to being completed, but I hate the process. Its hard on the shoulders, all the layers of fabric makes me hot (menopause you know) and if you run out of bobbin thread after thinking you have completed and entire roll it makes bad words fly from my lips. Notice how the end of the quilt is draped over the back of the chair. That is where I normally sit, when i work the fabric is folded on my chest. Confession time I am a tata quilter, quilting is a whole body experience.

The reason for a rare day mid post is three fold. I have a couple of posts from other bloggers I want to share and I ran out of bobbin thread unbeknownest to me during the quilting process. AJ the beagle seemed a bit threatened by my reaction, it is time to take a break.

First off here is a post from Gill over at That British Woman blog http://thatbritishwoman.blogspot.com/2012/01/for-british-folk-and-all-of-us-who-are.html. Super funny but so on the mark for those of us that take our financial responsibilities serious. Thanks Gill for making my day!!!

Second Carla over at 1/2 Dozen Daily is having a great February challenge http://halfdozendaily.blog.com/ Check it out and sign up with her if you want to get in. If nothing else follow along next month, the group of ladies from January No/Low spend challenge ROCK!! I would think next month will be just as great.

Back to the sewing machine my body has finally cooled off and AJ the beagle seems to have forgiven me once again.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Make Do Day 23

I broke the first and biggest rule in the book at the grocery store today...I went in hungry. After having the little ones most of the day I was in a hurry to get to the big box store to pick up thread then run by the grocery to ONLY get a dozen eggs before rush hour traffic. That dozen eggs cost me $40.00!! I am not a junk food junky but if you were in line behind me you would have never known it. It started with pretzel rods that were on sale bogo deal, which lead to Ettamans donuts, a little jar of ranch dressing wouldn't hurt, however pretzel rods and ranch dressing don't go together, better pick up a bag of chips. The only thing in my cart of any food value was the stupid eggs. I came so close to ripping the box of donuts open in the parking lot it wasn't even funny. I did hold off until I got home then devoured two donuts along with a large glass of whole milk (the grands can't have 2% so we buy whole milk now) I can't remember the last time I bought nothing but crap at the store, I now have a junk food hangover.
The rest of what little was left in the day I spent in the scrapbook/sewing room working on some organizing. I am FAR from finished but I did make a little headway. One of my accomplishments last year was picking up some great deals on fabric...enough said!!
Anyone up for a junk food coma and fabric sorting??

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Make Do Day's 21 & 22

Teen quilt top is finished using all scraps
I cut out and began piecing another "Quilt of Valor"

Today I didn't get dressed, didn't even take a shower (will be showering before bed!) It was a lazy day of PJ's, sewing, and lots of napping. Since I had been with the grands every day last week except Wednesday I decided to blow off Sunday dinner for catching up on some rest. It's early to bed for me tonight as I have Karsyn and Mason bright and early in the morning.

I did really well this past week in my No/Low spending.

$28.00 - grocery store

$10.00 - breakfast with a friend

total spent $38.00, I moved $160.00 over to our Christmas/Vacation fund tonight!!

I am still getting by with the gas from 3 weeks ago but by the end of the week I am thinking I will have to do a fill up and I am running very low on white thread. I have a 40% off coupon I will be using after the little ones leave tomorrow to pick up thread then on Thursday the big box store is running a 50% off special on embroidery thread. I need to check on my embroidery thread stash and see what I can stock up on during the sale. I really don't want to hold off on buying thread when the sale is so good, challenge or no challenge a deal is a deal, need to save when I can!
We are so close to the end of this challenge I hope everyone can stick with it to reach the goals you have set for your families!!! Off to bed with the Jacqueline Kennedy interview transcripts, DD#1 brought over a pile of new reading for me last week a snow day would be a good thing!! Ha

Friday, January 20, 2012

Make Do Day 20

I have spent the evening crawling around on the floor sandwiching and pining a "Quilt Of Valor"

My knees and back are done for the night, who am I kidding they are done for many more days!!

Today was another No Spend day!

I had Kara all day today so not much got done around the house that I had hoped to do. Kara has never been much for naps, she sometimes accidentally will fall asleep!! She is never fussy without naps but it makes for a long day for me. After she left I worked on getting the "Quilt Of Valor" ready to quilt over the weekend. It will be a slow process since this is such a large quilt and I have Kara for an additional day tomorrow. When our girls were young I would chase them around all day then stay up late into the night getting things done. The key word is when our girls were YOUNG, I was too!!

Today was our second pay day of the new year. This weekend I will have to set down and work on some numbers. I think I might have been a bit aggressive in what I am trying to save with payroll deductions and auto transfers. Unless I want to continue the No/Low spend challenge for an entire year somethings gotta give. Of course we will continue to be very cautious with our spending for the year but the spending will have to happen at some point!!

Have a great weekend and keep the savings up, we are almost at the end!! GO US!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Make Do Day 19

Another Scrappy quilt in the making, this time I had a pattern to use and will make very few changes. Just enlarged it enough to make a quilt that will cover shoulders, knee's and toes.

NO SPENDING continued again today. I even meet DD#1 at a super cute store that rents out booths to small business for house decor, window treatments, cute little nick knacks and such. I spent not one single dime!! DD#1 is on the look out for window treatments for her dinning room (I so don't want to make them) a few shops had drapes on 1/2 price sale, however the prices started at $699.00 for one window, that ain't happening!!

One interesting little shop had hand made quilts for sale. They weren't full size quilts just small wall hangings and table toppers. The work was really good, the seamstress (artist?) had made reproductions of vintage quilts. After looking at the price I held one up for DD to guess the price, she was WAY off. They had them priced at $125.00-$200.00 each, holy cow!!! It would be

interesting to know if they ever really sold anything with that price tag. Knowing the area we live in she is more than likely making a killing!!

I am still trying to use up scraps that coordinate with the quilt and purse I made recently. I don't think I will ever use it all up :( The pattern I picked to use today was originally for DD#2's quilt but the more I would look it over the less I liked it. Now that I have started piecing it I am glad I made the change, I still don't like this quilt. I think the black strip is what is turning me off, not really sure what my aversion to the quilt is but I am sure a teen with the "Linus Quilt" project will enjoy it.

Thanks for the comments on the recent posts. Until I can respond in the comments I will try and answer questions or comments on the blog. One thing that seems to come up often is how I can put quilts together so fast. Heck that's an easy one. Hubby is up north this week so my household duties are...well none really. I do however still clean house, but it's a heck of a lot faster with just AJ the beagle to pick up after. I normally only have the grands on Thursday and Friday so most of my week is pretty free to play at the machine. I also wake before the sun comes up, so before many are even out of bed I am ready to roll. The quilts I have been making are also VERY basic, nothing fancy going on. I would like to try and do a few more challenging quilts later on but for now I want to get ahead of the game on the "Linus Quilts" before I start keeping Mason full time in March.

Speaking of keeping the grands. I had a lady e-mail me not long ago with information on taxes, Social Security and whatever it is they call the other stuff that is withheld on pay checks. She wanted me to be aware that keeping the grands and getting paid under the table was illegal. LET ME BE CLEAR, I have never been paid in anything other than hugs and kisses for watching our grands. As a matter of fact I go in the hole quite a bit between gas picking up and delivering the little ones, diapers, food, formula, wipes, extra clothing for our house, baby equipment for 3 little ones and of course toys. If I have ever given the impression I was being paid to watch our grands I apologize. I do it because for me its the right thing to do. I wish more families would work together to do the best for each person within the family. It's not all about me, its all about us.

Good luck with your No/Low spend challenge. I am following everyone who is signed up over at 1/2 Dozen Daily but I am having the same problem with some of those comment sections as I have with my own. All I get is a blank white screen. I wonder if it is a problem with the blog server we are using.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Make Do Day 18

Today was clean up the scrap/sewing room, however.....
Just as I was walking in the room to get started I spotted leftover fabric from a Christmas gift I made that coordinated perfectly with the scraps from yesterday's quilt for DD #2.
How silly to find more room for yet another pile of scraps, why not figure out a quilt to use it all up.

And so I did. Humm, this photo makes it look out of proportion but it's really not that bad. Turned out to be a 48x70, maybe it could use an additional border down the sides, I will think about that tomorrow Scarlett.

Next month I will start looking for some backing to finish this one off. For me a lap quilt needs to cover from shoulders to toes

Even with everything I used up today I still have a pretty good pile of leftovers. I am going to do a bit of thinking tonight to see what I can come up with. I so want to use this all up. I might be able to pull of an additional teen girl quilt for the Linus project.

So much for working on my to do list today, although...... technically I did work on the sewing problem in the craft room. I used up a good size pile of scraps so I didn't shove more in the overflowing room. I might or might not get back in the room tomorrow. If I can come up with and idea for the remaining pile of scraps I will work them up instead. While sewing and making up what to do along the way I did at least get the laundry done, tonight I shoveled lots of thread and scraps in the trash and even mopped the floor.

I did do some spending today. Made a run to the grocery this morning to pick up dog food (AJ the beagle likes the good stuff) and milk. As luck would have it they had a buggy full of coconut on clearance for $.80@ package, savings of almost a dollar each. I went with 8 bags. I was low on coconut after the holiday's, feels good to have some put back in the freezer now. Total spent $26.38, not to bad since it is already Wednesday and I have just a tad less than a 1/2 tank of gas. Hope to stash a little more cash in the Christmas/Vacation account by Monday!!

Thanks for all the comments on yesterdays blog, my blog seems to have a mind of it's own. Some days I can respond to comments other days, no beans. It's good to know I am not the only one in the world who thinks hanging on to what you have for a rainy day or government melt down is a good idea. Save on ladies!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Make Do Day 17

Daughter # 2's quilt top is finished. By adding some borders I was able to enlarge it to 56x72.

Another NO Spend day is in the books!! We are running low on dog food so I will have to run to the grocery store in a day or two. AJ the beagle would love to help in the make do month by eatting leftovers but she is begining to have an expanding waistline so low cal dog food continues to be her diet.

While surfing around on other blogs over the weekend I ran into an AARP retirment calculator someone had posted, for the life of me I can't figure out what blog it was on. :( If any of you might know please leave a comment so I can give the lady credit!! AARP calculater at end of this post. I can't respond to comments again but I do read them all!!!

For many of you retirment is a long way off but with any luck we are only a short 10 years from having a second cup of coffee in the mornings together. We have contributed to our 401K all along but once our girls were all finished in college and their educations PAID in full (I wonder if they really know how bad student loans would have been) We began maxing out our 401K and adding the additional catch up deal they have for our age bracket. Acourding to the calculater we should be able to retire at the same income we have now until age 92, before having to cut back. That little bit of info was really good news. Here is the big if to me in that calculation. Social Security is figured in, at the rate our goverment is going who knows if that will still be around 10 years from now. The other if is that hubby is lucky enough to continue to be employed at his same salary, right now that is a pretty big IF. Once again until this economy turns around and some major changes are made in our debit ridden, can't stop spending goverment anything could happen.

We have many friends and aquantinaces that tell me all of the time, hubby makes pleanty of $$ why do you think you need to save so much, why are you cliping coupons and only buying on sale, you guys should enjoy yourselfs. As hard as I try I can't seem to explain that stuff is not what makes us happy, a bigger house will not do the trick, a new car, not for me, world travel is just not our thing (hubby dosen't fly) Do you find at times you are the only one around you that thinks having $$ put back and living a modest lifestyle is so wrong? I would have thought after the past few years of watching hard working families that have lost everything do to job loss would wake a few folks up. I seems sorta sad to me. Call me crazy all you want, for me and mine we will do what we can to stay off the goverment hand outs, they come with to high a price!!

Make Do Day 16 & 17

I cut out 2 quilts yesterday while Kara was napping
Then stayed up way past my bedtime starting the piecing of one.

By the time Kara left yesterday and I had some leftover potato soup then a little rest I was energized to start piecing one of the quilts I cut out during nap time. The OCD kicked in, I ended up going to bed at 1:00 AM, I am not a late night lady!! What the heck I will just sleep in a bit in the morning...NOT. I forgot in my excitement of starting a new quilt that I had Daughter #1 babies this morning. So far Mason has spit up twice, Karsyn has thrown every food I have offered at me and figured out how the water/ice cube maker on the refrigerator works, tackled AJ the little beagle and turned the playroom upside down. Both babies are now down for what I hope will be a nice morning nap, wheeeee.

Yesterday was a NO SPEND day! Lovin the no spend days, they seem to be coming around more often now. I am thinking today might just be another no spend.

I will have the little ones until early afternoon then I would like to work on the new quilt top a bit more. I am using a pattern I found on line for FREE. The only problem I have with it is the size 48x55. I like a quilt that will cover from shoulders to toes so I am going to figure out how to enlarge it with a few borders (if the fabric will hold out). The quilting will have to wait on this one until next month when I can purchase fabric for the backing. This will be for Daughter #2's Birthday coming up next month, I want to find a nice flannel that will blend with the front.

BTW, thanks for the idea's on a teen boy quilt, I think I will go with solids in some man colors.

Wishing everyone a happy No/Low spend day!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Linus Quilt" for a bigger boy with AJ the Beagle looking on
I am thinking a toddler to maybe an 8 year old boy would like this quilt, I did straight line stitching on the main body with some curvy stitching on the border.

I didn't have enough of the Giraffe print to do the back so I pieced some leftover jungle greenery print to Make Do.

For some reason I seem to be stuck on little boy quilts, have another one I am putting binding on tonight that is once again a boy quilt, wonder what that is all about. Speaking of boys, I need some of you ladies to let me know what sort of fabric will work for a pre teen/teen boy. I am doing 2 quilts each (boy/girl) in 3 different age groups. Baby/toddler, young school age, and pre-teen/teen. I have what will work for all of them except a teen boy, I was thinking sports themed but maybe that is still to kidish, then I was contemplating fishing/hunting but maybe not. Lastly how would no theme and just do more manly looking browns, tans, grey, that sort of thing in maybe flannels, any help would be greatly appreciated!!

I can't make comments again on my blog :( but I do read them all, thanks so much to each and every one of you!! If you don't know a lot about football you may have never heard of Tebow. He played for the University of Florida until he graduated last year and went on to the Denver Broncos. Since our team ALABAMA is in the same conference as Florida we have had the pleasure (and losses) to get to know this young man. He is remarkable, do a google search and check around on the wonderful things he has accomplished in his young life all in the name of Christ. We are not talking football, it's more of the missionary work, mentoring and sharing his faith with others that makes this kid a WOW!!

Alrighty then, lets move on to the No/Low spend challenge, here is our spending for the week

4 No Spend days!!

$8.79 - Thread and fabric all on sale

$43.00 - Post Office and outing with grands

$28.20 - Post Office and supper out

Grand total out going $79.99 that means I will be transferring $120.00 to our Christmas/Vacation fund tonight!!!!
Whats working?

Staying home has saved 1/2 of a tank of gas, I won't need to fill up until next week. That's a savings of around $80.00 for a tank of gas in my car.

Making Do while I work on quilts is really helping. I don't normally buy the backing when I pick up fabric for a new quilt, I never know how big I might make it. Making Do is forcing me to use up what I have on hand. Lord knows my stash could use some cleaning out!!

Cooking at home is of course a huge money saver, having a full deep pantry has been key to very little spending at the grocery store.

What have we gone without? Nothing!!! I did pass on the quilting class I wanted to take. I had the $$ put back for class $150.00 for a 6 week (once a week) class, but I would have needed to purchase fabric. The way I figured from looking at the photo of the quilt we would be working on the fabric would have run an easy $150.00-$225.00. That is not a good way to start the year off, I am sure I will find a class a bit more affordable in the near future.

On to the eats for the week.

We had Vegetable beef soup and Potato soup for Sunday dinner followed up by some Banana pudding (bananas needed to be used up)

For the week since I am on my own (can you see the smile on my face) I will be using up leftovers from today. By the end of the week I will be doing the "Hunt and Pick" deal. You know where you hunt around in the fridge, pantry and freezer, whatever strikes your fancy is what you pick to eat.

I am off to transfer my savings for the week into our new account, finish up the quilt I am working on then headed over to all the No/Low spend blogs to see how everyone is doing. These ladies are so keeping me on my toes, they are doing some remarkable things with their cash, check them out!!http://halfdozendaily.blog.com/no-spend-2012/ scroll down on the post to see everyone who is participating.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Make Do Day 14

Big Sister Ella Grace quilt arrived yesterday.
And here is Baby Sister Aubrey Ann's quilt

I forgot to date the tags when I made them but at least the girls will know who's quilt is who's

I was so nervous when I put the little girls quilts in the mail this week. I packed them up in a garbage bag (clean one) just in case the box got wet and sprung for extra insurance in case they were lost and I had to remake them. Thankfully they arrived safe and sound!!

Today was a NO SPEND day. I am making due with leftover spaghetti and french bread for supper. I also finished another "Linus Quilt" using what I had on hand, can't wait to share that tomorrow as the sun is down for the day.

Spending the night with the Denver Bronco's football, who am I kidding, really spending the evening watching TEBOW!!!! Now that he has turned pro and no longer a threat to Bama's record we can fully appreciate what an incredible young man he is.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Make Do Day 13

Here is all that is left from my make do today with quilting
I took all the scraps from the blocks and sashing to make a scrappy binding for the quilt

One "Linus Quilt" down 11 more to go!!

I didn't have enough backing for the quilt so I pieced together some of the fabric leftover from the main blocks, much more interesting than a plain old backing

Here is an up close of the backing fabric along with the scrappy binding, lots of work but ZERO cost!!

I am so happy with my first "Linus Quilt" I stuck with cross hatch quilting to save my sore arms and time, this is so much easier than free motion quilting. I have an additional quilt just like this ready to go other than the binding (not sure what to do about that yet) that is sandwiched, pined and ready for some quilting tomorrow. In addition to that I pulled together a few other odds and ends to piece a jungle quilt top, gonna have to do a little digging to come up with backing for that quilt but I have in my mind what might work, just need to do a little math before I pull out the rotary cutter. Hubby is headed north in the morning so it's PJ's, quilting and leftovers for me all day Saturday!!

Today's spending was a little out of line, hubby wanted to hang out with Ty for the evening before he has to head to the project so we joined Daughter #1 and her family for Ty's favorite BBQ joint. $23.00 was down the toilet as far as I am concerned (and I do mean literally, if it's not to gross to think about) I mailed out the mug rugs to the blog candy winners this morning, only set me back $5.20, Little Lamb who knows when you will see yours, Canadian mail is the slowest I have ever seen! So $28.20 was the total spent for the day. If I can hold out for 2 more days I should be able to send a little more cash to the Christmas/Vacation account. I didn't really have a goal in mind for how much we could save this month in the No/Low spend challenge but whatever we could squeeze out I knew would head to the Christmas/Vacation fund. I already have direct deposit set up for our regular savings each pay period so whatever we do this month will be bonus $$. Hubby and I each have a (Boy for him Girl for me) vacation coming up in March, I would love to have it fully funded this month!!

How are you doing in your No/Low spending for January? Once you get into making savings a game it really is amazing what you can pull off, good luck to all of you!!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Make Do Day 12

Granola with chocolate chips

I kept some in chunks for snacking the lose granola we will use in yogurt, oatmeal or whatever.

A little more quilting today, maybe I can finish tomorrow.

Another NO SPEND day!!

First off, thanks for all the comments, for some crazy reason I can't get into my own blog to respond to comments. I have no idea whats up with that, maybe it will fix itself soon, if not I will be doing some baking to sweeten up our geek friend to give it a look.

My make do last night and today was snacks for hubby, I am NOT going to the grocery store for stupid snacks. You would think at his age he could hold off on his feedings but he is stuck with a 3 hour feeding schedule each day. I don't keep a lot of junk food around, chips and such when we are having sandwiches or whatever. He needed something to crunch on and a little something sweet for after dinner. I make up some granola last night that turned out really good, my make do on the granola was adding chocolate chips since we didn't have any wheat germ in the house, I think it was a very clever and tasty substitute! (recipe at end of post) The other make do was blueberry muffins, while he would have rather had M&M cookies I didn't have the time today to make cookies so he will have to make do with muffins.
I am off to bed with a new book I started this AM recommended by Kathy over at
http://justincasebook.wordpress.com/. I had a hard time keeping my hands off the book all day, Kara and hubby were here so I had no time to set for even 5 minutes. Funny how things work out, I was exposed to the flu yesterday and what do you think this book is based on?

A flu pandemic, it really is a great read by Carla Buckley "The Things That Keep Us Here"

6 cups oats

2 cups chopped pecans (I think you could use whatever nuts you have on hand)
1 cups chopped walnuts

1/2 cup wheat germ (I would use chocolate chips instead, maybe even bump it up to 2 cups, I'm just saying...)
2/3 Cups maple syrup (I have the store bought stuff so I used 1/3 cup honey & 1/3 cup crap syrup)

1 1/2 cups coconut

2/3 cups light brown sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

1 1/2 Tsp kosher salt

Preheat over to 250 degrees

mix everything up them spread on a jelly roll pan or 2 cookie sheets

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, then check to see if it is golden brown, I turned off the oven and let it set an additional 30 minutes in the oven

Once it is cool you can break it apart and put in sealed container, I left some of ours in chunks to snack on the rest we will use as toppings for whatever.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Make Do Day 11

Our little girls at the water table
Of course they had to drive the NASCAR

Karsyn practicing her grocery shopping skills

We had a much bigger spending day than I had planned today but less than what we might have spent. Hubby and I meet our Daughters and the little girls at "Discovery Place for Kids" this morning for a little outing. The little ones had a blast playing, dancing and running around, this is such a great hands on place for kids and the cost is not to bad, $7.00@. I was going to get both families a season pass for Christmas this year but we were too close to going over budget. I made a deal with them today, I would go in 1/2 for the pass. Teachers can get a family pass for $75.00, they will definitely get their moneys worth out of a season pass!! If we were not in the No/Low spend challenge I know we would have treated the whole gang to lunch (hubby is not to happy with me), the little ones don't really eat restaurant food, it was nap time (they had hit the brick wall already) and Nanny needed to finish errands leftover from yesterday. So home we headed to eat out of our own refrigerator.
I finally got to the post office to mail off the little girl quilts. Shipping along with insurance ran $18.00. I was afraid not to insure them, it ran up the cost but if I were to have bought them they would have been in the $250.00-$300.00 price range.

The grocery store run was not bad, milk, eggs, banana's and a case of water that was on sale. $11.00. Total spent today was $43.00, I need to keep my tail home the rest of the week!

Update on my prescription drugs. I sat at the pharmacy over an hour bright and early today while the pharmacist disagreed with me on changing my meds to generic. Hey buddy I agree with you but we have grown accustom to having a roof over our heads, heat and food!! He went as far as to call my Dr back to discuss the change that he didn't agree with, grrrrrr. While I was waiting no less than 4 people came in who also had price hikes, 2 of which walked out to check with their insurance company, 2 others paid with a frown.

While waiting around for the pharmacist who was doing all he could to separate me from my $$, I ran into a friend who looked as though she had been crying, red puffy eyes a bit blood shot and glassy. She lost her son a year ago at Christmas then had to have emergency open heart surgery less than 2 weeks later. I didn't just give her a hug it was a prolonged embraced with lots of pats on the back. We spoke for a bit and I told her to call if there was anything I could do, she just didn't look good. She then informs me she had just come from her Dr. where she was diagnosed with the FLU, that's why she was looking so terribly bad!!!!! The thoughts that were going threw my head can not be put to print. Why would anyone who knew they had the flu let another person near them? What the h.... was she doing out in public, she had just stopped in to use her coupons for the week. I ran back home and washed as best I could them began taking Zicam while praying an extra prayer that the Lord would keep me from catching the flu. Sometimes people are just turds!

ALMOST forgot the blog candy winners are...

Katie B and Little Lamb, E-mail me your address so I can get your mug rug in the mail!!!