Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's Coming Along

 I ran out of ceiling paint late yesterday afternoon, energy as well :( I only had a small area on one side of the room to complete. First thing this morning I got myself to the home improvement store to pick up that ceiling paint. Thinking I was finally DONE and could put the last area of the room back together I realized at some point I had picked up the wrong paint tray!!!!! Holy cow I put the wall paint in this tiny area of the ceiling!! I should be able to go back and repaint in a few hours once the ceiling is completely dry. If I try to paint over it while it is the least little bit wet the popcorn finish will come tumbling down. It's always something with DIY's.
 AJ the Beagle was so happy to have her spot back last night. I was happy to be almost done!! Notice the window treatments? We haven't had window treatments in  the past but the room was feeling to white without them. I thought I would make simple panels using "Bama" style herringbone fabric but at $24.00 a yard times the 7 yards needed I switched my plan. I found single panels of charcoal tweed drapes on sale for $39.99. Rather than buy 4 panels I went with just two knowing I could do some creative sewing to make it work.
 The fireplace mantel came out brighter than I had planned, it looks white, but for now it will be fine. I may at some point add a third coat of paint with more tint added to the already tinted paint. It certainly brightens up the room!!
Once I fix my mistake on the ceiling and get the rest of the furniture and fixins back in place I can start looking for an area rug to use this winter. I don't like a rug down in the spring and summer, too much running in and out for a rug, but in the winter a budget friendly rug is nice to have. I go with budget family rugs so I can donate them once we have gotten the wear we want out of it, usually after 3 or 4 years.

So what do you think? Not a huge difference other than fresh walls and ceiling, oh ya and window treatments. We purchased the new couch and chair last month or was it the month before? The end tables were what not tables from around the house other than the one between hubby and my chair that I found at the scratch and dent section of "Pier One".

Here is what I did with the two single panels. I cut each panel right down the middle lengthwise to make two panels from one. A simple double hen on the edge finished them off. The only thing left was to add tabs to the newly hemmed edge and walla they are done. The panels are fully line which is a nice extra if we want to close them in the summer or winter for extra savings on the electric bill. We purshased the wooden southern blinds years ago to cut down on energy loss but and extra layer of lined drapes will up that savings even more.

I had Mason man yesterday morning while DD#1 went to an appointment. Knowing I was going to need curtain rods for the new window treatments he and I went on a search for the best priced deal we could find. We hit pay dirt at the third store finding rods for $12.99@ on the clearance rack that were oh so close to what I found for $59.99 @ at the home improvement store. Score one for the home team!!

Whats the bottom line for the family room makeover?

Paint -  $104.00 (had leftover primer and trim paint from the powder room makeover)
Window treatments & rods - $106.00
Total spent - $210.00

Estimate from painters
Paint -  $175.00
Labor walls - $200.00
Labor Ceiling - $200.00
Labor Fireplace - $225.00
Total cost - $800.00

SAVED!!!! $590.00 I am happy with the room, very happy with the savings, and will be dancing a jig when I'm finished!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lets Get this Party Started

 AJ the beagle is not happy that one of her favorite nap spots is covered in plastic
 It took 2 hours to clear out the STUFF in the family room. Sad part is everything will be going back as there is nothing hubby doesn't love.
 I sure hope painting the mantel will look better than it does now, if not we will be buying a new one

 Where did all that STUFF go? The kitchen of course. The kitchen seems to always be the dumping ground for all things home related.
 There will be no cooking or baking until the family room is complete as the cooking area is covered in STUFF. Thank goodness for leftovers!!
 This family room project needs to stay on budget, seeing as how I don't have a shower cap to cover my silver locks and I refuse to spend money on one, I am using underwear that hubby won't wear. My man is married to his whitie tighties, he won't have anything to do with the nice pack of color undies I bought him.
So what do you think? Good look right? BTW, my head is not as big as hubby's rear end!! I am using an over sized hair clip to keep the undies secure to my head.

It's break time!!!! Holy cow am I ever tired :( three walls are complete, 3/4 of the ceiling is done, and the first coat of primer is drying on the mantle. It has gotten to dark too see well enough to paint this evening so I am switching over to cleaning all of the pictures and STUFF from the family room.

Still to go tomorrow. Two coats of paint on the mantle, finish painting last wall, finish painting ceiling, two coats of paint on the back door.  I have high hopes to finish this room tomorrow but I will be watching DD#1's kiddo's in the morning so it will be a late start on the painting party. I stink at painting!! I have as much paint on my body as there is on the walls but what the heck I'm cheap labor right?

AJ the beagle and I will be hitting the sack mighty early tonight. She is ready to get in a comfy place to cuddle, I am ready to get off my feet and give my arms a rest.

Anybody else trying to do some home improvement/updates around the house before the holiday's?  Having no AC this summer has me way behind on so many things, it was just to stinkin hot to do physical labor without AC.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Project and Recipe

 With all the LARGE spending we have done on our home over the past two months I can't justify the cost of painters for the interior rooms. I am also tired of the wood stained mantel at the fireplace, that alone was going to cost $200.00 to have stripped, sanded, and painted.
 It's hard to see all the nicks, hand prints, general wear and tear on our family room walls. Trust me it needs a coat or two of paint.
 Sooooo, I plan on painting each of our downstairs rooms. I would love to have everything finished before Thanksgiving but I know that might be a lofty goal. For now I WILL do the family room, entrance hall, and breakfast room. Tomorrow morning I will hit it hard. I have forewarned the big girls that Nanny is on a mission, do not make plans for play dates at my house for a few days!!
Sunday peewee football continues to fill our Sunday afternoons. The game should be flag football for these little guys but as the season goes on they are beginning to tackle. They do get a penalty flag if the take an opponent down but that doesn't seem to bother them a bit. Tyler was double teamed in this photo but jumped up proud as he could be that he held on to the ball when he went down. There are just some things I don't understand regarding boys, big or small!!

Ahhh, for a change the house is quite. Nothing better than a relaxing Sunday night with a good book and a homemade snack. Tomorrow morning and for the next few days I will be crazy busy working on painting walls, trim, ceilings, and the fireplace mantel. I HATE to paint!! I mean really and truly I hate every single thing about painting. But.....We just can't afford to continue to fork out money on home improvements that we (I) can do. :(

Tonight I tried a new recipe from the piles of recipe's I pulled out of all the old magazines, flyer's, basically piles of "I should try recipes". Taste of Home "Herbed Slow Cooker Chicken" is a real winner!! Super tender, moist with just a touch of spice. Along with the chicken we (meals on wheels for my buddy) had wild rice, asparagus, and banana bread. This recipe will be a hit with Hubby and the big kiddo's, might be a bit to spicy for the grands. However Karsyn can tear up some spicy chicken wings with her Daddy. I used 4 boneless chicken breast instead of bone in breasts. The spice rub was just enough for 4 breasts. I would have to double/triple the spice rub and chicken for the whole family. If your looking for something new to throw in the crock pot you won't be disappointed with this one!! The big kids Sunday dinner "to go" was chili, banana bread, and cookies. Figure they could make corn bread or whatever they want on their own

Off to bed with AJ the beagle, we need our beauty sleep for what will be a long hard week ahead

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kill Them with Kindness

 Kara helped me in the kitchen today making cookies, snacks, and lunch for the roofers
 The grands LOVE helping "mix it up" no matter whats in the bowl or pot
The roofers were on the job at 7:15 AM, when they promised to be here at sunrise they were not kidding!! Check out our old roof covering the deck.

When I moved my car this morning to make room for the roofing equipment the thermometer read 25 degrees!!! That is crazy cold for this time of the year in the south!!

I had loaded the garage refrigerator with a case of water for the fellas last night thinking they might enjoy something cold to drink as they worked. By late afternoon they did have a few bottles of water but they were VERY appreciative of the two pots of hot coffee Kara and I took out to them this morning!!!

We delivered chocolate chip cookies still warm from the oven for a morning break followed by a pot of chili and corn muffins at lunch. They didn't go hungry in the afternoon, we baked banana bread as well to share.  While the cost didn't go down they were so nice and understanding that I had to let poor AJ the beagle out a few times to take care of her lady business. Kara LOVED giving them the treats "I do it myself", her little face was beaming. Playing in the kitchen with her helped me keep my sanity with all the scraping and banging going on!!

I was so happy with the quality of work and their appreciation for the extra goodies from the kitchen that we signed up for 2 additional small projects with them. There will be more work come at a later date, once I build our savings back up!!!

The cost of feeding 10 men for the day ZERO. Everything came from the pantry, love that. Of course there was money spent building that pantry but buying on sale with coupons during the year the cost was pretty low.

Speaking of the pantry I did a bit of stocking up last night while picking up milk. An unadvertised sale on flour was too good to pass up. Five pounds for $2.00, regular price is $3.49. We were getting lower than I like on white flour, might as well strike while the iron is hot. I hope before the holiday to do even better but just in case I know I now have more than enough for holiday baking. For those of you new to this blog I use 50% white flour 50% fresh ground wheat flour in most of our baking. Many things it's a 25% white 75% wheat ratio.

I keep forgetting to share a great blog that you must check out for pantry inspiration when you have a few hours to yourself. Brenda at "Coffee Tea Books and Me" does Saturday pantry posts each week sure to please all you pantry Princess or Queens. She also has a link for all of her Saturday pantry posts that for some reason is not showing up on the top of her blog this evening but you can view them here. If you scroll to the bottom right side of her blog she also has many more links to past stocking up posts. Better find a quite spot and a cup of tea or coffee, plan on spending some time with Brenda!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

I am TOO Old for this!!

 Today is Karsyn's real third Birthday. DD#1 wanted to take the toddlers to one of those fun zone bouncy house places for some special play
 Even having my camera on the sports setting I couldn't get many good shots of the grands, they move too darn fast.
 Mason man had NO FEAR, whatever the girls did he was right behind them. Can we say Heart Attack kid!
 We caught Mason man on the table where I had placed my purse looking for more snacks. That was our warning to get the toddlers some food followed by naps. It couldn't come soon enough for me.
Our supplies for the new roof arrived late this afternoon. I had to make a call at 2:00 since they had missed the 9:00AM delivery time. Wouldn't do much good having the roofers show up in the morning with no supplies on hand.

I am SOOOO dreading the roofer's tomorrow. Kara, AJ the beagle, and I will be stuck in the house the entire day :(I am thinking they should take a lunch break at some point, that will be my small window of opportunity to get the dog and toddler out for a run. I have put DD#3 on notice to take off early if the shop is not busy. I know I will be ready to pull my hair out after just a few hours. What did this pile of supplies cost? $2,800.00, ouch

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Black Bean Brownies

 I used up some of those black beans today instead of oil in brownies.
 Kara was mixing those brownies like a pro
 I bagged up the rest of the beans into packages of 1/2 cup purred beans and 1 cup whole beans to try additional recipes in the future
 So they hopefully won't get lost in the freezer they are all in a larger zip baggie
 Ahh, Halloween I am done with sewing for you (I think)
I finished the last of 10 kitchen towels today, DD hit me hard for teacher gifts and Boo bags. My stash is down to two, what the heck! Ha

The results for the Black Bean brownies is in. They were just fine. As the video I shared with you yesterday said that using all purred beans would result in a more cake like brownie was correct. Personally I don't care for a gooey brownies so I liked them a lot, the grands were sold, so were a few fiends I used as taste testers. The only one to make a negative comment was DD#1, she thought they were a little dry. DD#3 is prego so she doesn't count, that sweet little butter bean soon to be grand she is carrying around needs more protein and fiber!!

I'm gonna give chocolate cake a try Sunday using black beans, maybe cookies next week. I will share the results.

Had a few money surprises today. First was the roofing company who called this morning letting me know I needed to pay for the shingles and supplies this morning. WHAT?? You said pay the full amount after the work was completed, seems his plans changed, grr I had to scramble around to pay the $2,800.00 as the shingle supplier wouldn't take a personal check by phone. Our home improvement account is in a checking account that we don't have a debit card for. Dog gone I hate when people mess with my banking/budgeting plans. The supplies should be delivered in the morning, installers promise to start and complete the work on Saturday. Time will tell.

Second surprise was we got our annual enrolment package for benefits today. I shouldn't really say surprise as from everything we have been hearing about this WONDERFUL NEW government health care program was going to be a mess. For 2014 our premiums will be double for health care, nice....... In 2015 all bets are off as hubby's company has already published that if they decide to continue to provide our "Cadillac" plans it will cost the company 4.5 MILLION dollars in penalties alone. I don't understand how a deductible of $4,000.00 is considered a "Cadillac" Leave it to the government to figure out how to get even more money from WORKING Americans.

Hubby almost blew a gasket when he saw we now have coverage for infertility. Seeing as how he had his man stuff taken care of back 30 years ago when we decided 3 children was all we could afford. I had my girl stuff removed 13 years ago. Now here is what we are wondering. Will this new insurance "requirement" be willing to replace all those organs we had removed so many years ago so we can reproduce at our age? Humm, What a shame, to see all the money being wasted in DC that WORKING Americans can't afford to pay for.

Any one else running into higher health insurance premiums for next year?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pressure Cooking

 I brought home Karsyn and Mason man's costumes to do some resizing for Halloween. How cute are they going to be as Dorthy and the Lion from "The Wizard of Oz". Mason loves playing in his Lion costume, lots of roars and pretend bites as he attacks us all.
 This weeks $100.00 for groceries is still siting in my zippy wallet. So far I have had zero spending for food. $70.00 was moved over to the mason jar savings from last week. I still haven't decided what to use the savings for. I will continue to dream :)
 Since none of the grands were around today I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try out my new pressure cooker. On the menu tonight was  Black Bean soup (just like Panara bread) along with artisan bread. Rather than use canned black beans I wanted to use dry black beans. The ratio of dry beans to cooked beans seemed to be all over the place. I decided to cook up 3 cups of dry beans not knowing how many cooked cups I would have in the end.
I didn't pre soak the beans, just checked them over for any bad beans, gave them a quick wash then threw them in with 8 cups of water. After cooking the beans for 45 minutes I ended up with 8 cups of cooked beans. Everything I have read/seen so far suggests to pour our the extra liquid then rinse the beans after they have cooked to cut down on indigestion (gas).  Here is a really good video on cooking beans
 Since I wasn't sure how freshly cooked dry beans would work in my recipe I used 2 cans of store bought beans along with 4 cups of the dry beans. Not sure what to make of this but the fresh cooked beans on the top of this photo are much darker than the canned beans on the bottom of the dish. Gonna have to google for this info.
The Bean Soup recipe makes a whole lot more soup than I care to eat. I split the pot with myself,  DD#1, and a friend. Instead of two large loaves of artisan bread I divided the dough into 3 loaves, one for each of our homes. Oh ya, and chocolate chip cookies. Our temp tonight  is 48 degrees with the wind chill, that's pretty darn cold for this time of the year, the soup and bread really hit the spot.

Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder where the heck did that day go? I was working on something or other all day starting at 6:00AM but there doesn't seem much to show for it. I have a tiny bit of sewing I want to finish up tonight but...I'm not sure I will get back off the sofa!

All right let me share with you how the new pressure cooker worked out for me. Everything was simple as could be, but I did have fears the lid would blow off!! I stayed in the kitchen cleaning the fridge and pantry while the beans were cooking just to see what was going on. The one thing I will do different next time is use the cooker on my open counter. When I released the steam after the beans were done it made a heck of a mess on the cabinets above the cooker. There was steam dripping from 3 upper cabinets :( . The clean up was very easy unlike the crock pot sometimes!!

Since I used 1/2 canned beans in the soup recipe that leaves 4 extra cups of cooked dry black beans in the fridge. Kara and I are going to use some of them to make brownies tomorrow, check out this video on the how to substitute beans for oil. Some of the beans I will freeze to use at a later date, will see how that works out. Maybe a chocolate cake using black beans, could work for Sunday dinner this week.

I'm looking forward to trying a few new recipe's using the pressure cooker in the near future. I sure will come in handy making mash potato's for the whole family!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lots of Finishes

 Sew, I had a friend ask if I could make a crib quilt from a twin size store bought quilt. Humm, it shouldn't be that hard, sure I would love to. While working on that another friend ask that I do the same for a toddler bed for her grand. Here is a photo of one of the quilts cut to make the toddler bed quilt. Sew much leftover fabric.....
 The hardest thing was to get the small quilts cut from the larger quilt and of course finding the time!! The new baby girls name still needs to be embroidered on but my machine doesn't have a hoop big enough to do the name in a large font. Today I will pass this crib quilt on to a local embroidery shop so it can head on it's way to the sweet Mommy to be.
 I hated to see all that leftover quilted fabric go to waste and I knew I CAN NOT add anything more to my stash, sew I put together two throw pillows 14x14 and 16x16. After digging around in my stash I found polka dot fabric that was a pretty close match to use for the birdies. I sew love using up those leftovers!! The new baby girl will start her life in the spare bedroom that already has the same quilt on it's bed. Maybe adding a few little birdie pillows will girlie the room up some.
 The original quilt had a large yellow border I hated to see go to waste. Our DD's love buntings, hope the new Mommy to be likes them as well. I added the birdies to the first and last triangles on the bunting as well as one in the middle of her first and middle name. This should look cute hanging over her crib.
 Instead of using binding to construct the bunting I thought this sweet trim would do the trick. Karsyn says she "rikes" it Woohoo, more leftovers from the quilt and my stash are being put to good use
 The new baby girl will be joining her two big sisters any day now. Why not use up even more of those leftovers to make "Bitty Baby" quilts for all three girls. I appliqued each of the girls first letter of their name onto the quilts. this should keep things peaceful as they play with their dolls while Mommy plays with her real new doll baby
 Excuse how horrible our grands picnic table looks, it has seen a whole lotta action over the years. The Mommy to be posts lots of photo's of the older DD's playing on their picnic table like ours. Humm, our little girls love to have tea parties, why not make a toddler tea party table runner for them
Ta Da!! I used up the last of this leftover purple fabric (love that) for the binding along with yet more of the border fabric from the quilt for a Toddler Tea Party runner.

It's ALL DONE!!! Well other than the clean up that is. See why I had set up that factory Friday night? I am looking forward to getting my kitchen and breakfast room back in order today. With all of the family activities on Saturday, Sunday and yet again Monday I didn't think I was ever going to get those two quilts cut up and repurposed any time soon. Ahhhh, mission accomplished. I plan on keeping the factory set up for a few more days as I want to get some Halloween kitchen towels made for our big girls, maybe a Toddler Table Runner for our little girls as well, but that won't be nearly as messy as cutting up those quilts!! Ha

I had never thought to cut up a twin quilt/blanket to repurpose for a baby/toddler room. What a great idea. Not sure what the first quilt cost but the second one was $29.99 at Marshalls Home Goods. This would be a great frugal way to pull together a nursery on a budget. The second quilt was for my friends Grammie toddler bed, she ask for a toddler pillow along with a doll cradle quilt and pillow for her grand. I think there is enough fabric leftover for a window treatment when she decides what it is she wants.

Before I got a good start yesterday morning on all these sewing projects I had to head over to DD#1 home to watch her kiddo's. Not a problem, I was home by 9:30 ready to get back on the sewing machines. DD#3 called to ask if I would go with her to pick out Kara's Halloween costume...OK what time? I had an hour of sewing time before I meet both DD's and all the grands. Holy cow. Shopping with that crowd is not very relaxing to say the least!!! Finally after three stores and a lunch out of pizza and slurpies we were done. I drove (crawled) back home determined to get all the nursery/toddler sewing finished. It was another early bedtime for AJ the beagle and I!!!

Whats on the list for today? Getting Hubby's box in the mail before the end of the day. I still need to get the baking completed for his taste of home goodies then make a run to CVS for some sort of Halloween treat to include in the box. CLEAN up all the fuzzy's, thread, and fabric from the downstairs. Set up the next sewing project, get dinner on the stove, maybe use that new pressure cooker for tonight, make bread, and clean out the fridge. Oh and a nap, I sure could use a afternoon nap.

From here on out until after January 1st life always gets crazy busy!! And costly I might add :( I need to work on our finances, money seems to be flying out faster than it's coming in. Anyone else find Halloween to be the kick off of the holiday season?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Mess Can Wait

 The mess of sewing in the kitchen is still waiting for some attention. We had our pumpkin patch, petting farm, hayride yesterday afternoon. By the time we got done with that and I had dinner with a friend and her grand along with a quick stop at Hobby Lobby I didn't return home until 10:30 PM. Karsyn now wants a cow for her Birthday but if we won't get her the cow a baby goat will be OK
 Manson too fell in love with the cow but settled with feeding the goats.
 DD#1 and her family
 And DD#3 with her family. DD#2 as always was out of town for a ball game :(
 A cold raw rainy day didn't keep us away. The grands could care less
 Kara let her Daddy do the heavy lifting
 DD#1 and her crew picking out the perfect pumpkin
 Sunday afternoon football, Tyler scored his first ever touchdown
 He was so proud to finally make it to the goal post.
Sunday morning started with Karsyn's Birthday Spa party. The little girls always give each other a BIG hug when they are together.
I think AJ the beagle is ready to run away from home. She doesn't like to hang out by herself in such a messy house!!! I have to agree with her, this place is a hot mess and I am sick of running the roads!!
With all of the weekend activities I haven't been able to do anything other than take out the stinky trash and put fresh sheets on the bed. I thought I could get back to my factory tomorrow morning but after checking the calender I see I will have DD#1's kiddo's in the AM while she attends Tyler's teacher conference. The afternoon will be filled with baking for hubby. He called this morning to ask that I send him a jacket and coat to TX as the weather has turned off cool. I can't very well send a box without a taste of home in it.
Karsyn's party turned out so cute today!!! I will share later this week some of the sweet photo's of our girls. Who knew you could take 6 toddlers (3 and under) to a Spa and have such a relaxing fun time. Note to self, start checking garage sales for a pedi chair!!! Ha Just kidding.
AJ the beagle and I are off to an early bedtime. The activities of the weekend have had me on the roads, tractors, hay wagons, bleachers, but no Spa chair for us Nanny's. I am so tired my eye's are crossing!!