Friday, January 23, 2015

Operation Sparrow

Ladies lets throw down the dust cloths, forget the laundry, and pull out the crock pots, there is FUN work to do. Here is a great way we can all  help out with this wonderful project. Click on the photo for the details!!!!

I have downloaded the pattern
Printed it out
Pulled the fabric
Thread... check
Embroidery hoop - It just so happens I have a new one I haven't had time to try out yet :)

Now for the time......I can't start mine until Sunday as I have the grands until then. I am SEW excited to get started!!!!!!

Who all is in? If you don't/can't do hand stitching would you be willing to share with others on your own blog, FB, or any of the other social media things people use?

Once again click on the photo for all the info. Jenny has made it SEW easy to share with others. Just look at the bottom of her post for all sorts of social media sites!!!!

More Decluttering

 Most of yesterday was spent digging around in the sewing/scrapbook room. I had hoped to have time to build a page or two for next months retreat but there was just no time leftover. I did however remember to pull out some of my old class binders to see if there might be some Christmas pages. BINGO!!! Five layouts just waiting to add photo's and journaling. This is what I call a double treat. Decluttering and moving forward on the Christmas albums all rolled into one :)
 I also decided to do away with my handmade cards drawer. An entire drawer full of finished cards
 Birthday, Thank you, Thinking of you, Just because, and some seasonal stuff for winter
I sorted everything by theme, added and envelope, then bagged them up by theme. They will be dropped off at our local nursing home on Monday!!

After running errands yesterday I got right on decluttering of scrapbooking stuff. The room is no where near complete but I can tell you I have made a nice dint in all of the excess stuff that has been collecting dust for too many years. I forgot to take a photo of the goodie bag I put on a friends front porch yesterday of really cute papers and embellishments she will enjoy.

I am super excited about the cards :) I have two of the grands today or I would make the drop off today. The center puts the cards in their little shop for the residents to shop in. Many if not most of the folks are on a very limited budget. Some only receive $50.00 a month spending money from there social security checks for personal items. Being able to pick up small gifts or cards for a dollar or less helps out a lot.

I have some sewing to do for the home that I need to get on but I am determined to finish up the scrapbooking section before I start anything else!!

Why work on preparing for the retreat that is still a month away? Two of the biggest reasons is I needed to make a trip down to my sisters to restock her freezer and pantry (more on that later) the other is I have a jury summons for February. I am the ONLY person I know that ends up being picked every single time!!!! Of course I never get on a one or two day trial, its always a week or more, grrrr

The next few days will be play time with the little ones. Kara wants to do some cooking, Blake will be exploring the floors for every tiny bite of dirt he can find. Kara also ask to go to the grocery store. I think I have trained her enough now to stick to the list, she loves holding the list and marking things off.

I need to get my rump in gear to give the downstairs a look over to make sure I haven't left anything out the little guys might find interesting and throw the first load of laundry in before the fun begins

I can tell you the unloading and redistribution of things I no longer need or love has me feeling 10 pounds lighter :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Prepping for a Scrapbooking Retreat

 So I decided while I am "Letting it Go" in the scrapbooking/sewing room I better pull out what I need for the retreat I will be going on next month. I decided to work on and update Christmas albums for our DD's families. Sticking with a theme for the retreat makes packing so much easier :) Ya Right!! My goal was to have most of what I needed at my finger tips on the cute new cart I purchased. As you can see in this photo that idea was not working out too well.
 Finally after a LONG day I consolidated, "Let it Go" in some cases, sent to the trash in others.

 Now to practice working in a small space. I measured out a 4 foot by 4 foot space then put down masking tape so I would keep myself "In Bounds" Later in the day I checked with some ladies that will be at the retreat to make sure the space allotted was what I remembered from years ago. OH NO come to find out the space would only be 3 x 3. As you can see by the tape measure on the bottom of the table I had even more consolidating to do :)
 There is no way in the world I could work in such a small place unless I pre made some of the pages I knew I wanted. My goal is to leave the cutting machine along with a whole lot of other stuff behind. I needed a list :) For the past two days I have been working that list of must haves.
 I like clean and simple pages, to me the photo's are what should stand out.
 I want to make sure there are sections in each album for our family traditions
 The things we do and enjoy
Pages that I can add too each year without having to re invent the wheel
I still have a way's to go...Seven more layouts to be exact according to my "List". Of course there are 2 sets for each of these, one for DD#1 family the other for DD#3  Oh My!
Originally I had planned on going all Project Life from here on out in the scrapbooking department that is until I pulled out DD#1 album I had created for them in 2006. I like clean pages. I like order. I like simple. I like the "Old" way..... Traditional Scrapbooking.
I hope this plan works out. I will be making traditional layout sections, sort of like title pages I am thinking. Then the following pages use the Project Life/Pocket style for each additional year. A bit of making it up as I go while still at home where I have more tools, gadgets, and supplies than any one person needs.
I think I have figured out MY style of this new pocket scrapbooking deal. I like simple. My eye and mind goes a bit nuts with all of the stuff on some of the pre made cards. Add to that some embellishments ....for the life of me can't focus on the photo's. It's all just too messy to suit me :)
Hubby is so funny, he ask me last night if I was leaving this weekend for the retreat. NO it's not until the end of February dear. The look on his face was priceless. I know he was thinking we have to live in this mess for another month!!! Na, I am just practicing for now I hope to have it all back where it will stay until my trip.
I had forgotten how messy traditional scrapbooking is. I had also forgotten how many hours it takes to build a layout!!! Maybe that is why I lost my Mojo over the years!! Somehow with this crazy busy life I need to ease it back in. I want the grands to have albums to look back on in years to come.
On to more layouts today, decluttering, reorganizing and "Letting it Go"

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekly Grocery Run

 My $200.00 grocery budget took a hit this week with a couple of high priced items. Garbage bags, TP, and Coconut Oil were the budget busters. Santa hooked me up with some new cookbooks for Christmas, one of the books calls for coconut oil in a ton of recipe's. A little 14 ounce jar of coconut oil cost almost $8.00 ouch!!! The stuff better be worth the price :) Total spent this week $40.31. I have $68.00 and some change to last until the end of the month, I think I can, I think I can.
 While messing around in my scrapbook supplies I "let it Go" of some paper organizers. Heck I took it a step farther by delivering them and helping my buddy organize her scrapbooking supplies. Some adult "Girl Time" was a nice treat for us both.
During my organizing marathon in the scrapbooking department I realized I needed a few supplies for the upcoming retreat. Thank you Hobby Lobby for such great weekly sales. I can't go into Hobby Lobby or any store for that matter without checking the clearance section. Low and behold they had Christmas stocking kits marked down to $10.99, regular price $29.99 Yaaaa These will be used as gift for a GF, Birthday or Christmas, I'm not sure which yet :)

I have grounded myself today! All the running around needs to come to a halt if I want to ever get a handle on this scrapbook downsizing, updating, decluttering project.

Goals for today

Complete six 12x12 pages
Clean out four scrapbook drawers
Work on yesterday's  list I didn't complete :)

On to this weeks menu

Monday - Chili
Tuesday - Asian Pork Roast * Got knock over from last week
Wednesday - Herb Chicken
Thursday - Leftover Chili
Friday - Meat Loaf
Saturday - Baked Pork Chops

The new Penne Ham Skillet recipe I tried from last week was, YUCK. The recipe is now in the trash, decluttering of just one recipe counts!  Hope this weeks new to us Asian Pork Roast recipe will be better.

Are any of you trying out new recipes that are floating around in drawers, counters, magazine's, or where ever else you stack things?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Simply Lovely Find!!
Photo from Jenny of Elefantz
So I am surfing around last night looking for something that I can't for the life of me remember when I found myself at this sweet, sweet, sweet blog. At first glance I was hooked by her lovely hand work, as I dug a bit deeper my heart just melted with all of the beauty. Her "Year of gentle domesticity" spoke to me. If you haven't already guessed I tend to go a million miles and hour with a break in action every now and then. I feel such a need to approach things with more gentleness. Click on the photo above to read her goal for the year :)
Photo from Jenny of Elefantz
Another "spoke to me post" was the one above. While I do enjoy reading my bible often I love this idea of following along each Sunday with the scriptures she shares. Tucking them all in this sweet little book....Be still my heart!!!!!! Once again I felt that voice inside saying, girl slow down I found this just for you ENJOY :) Click on the photo for a free copy of the pattern.
Then there is this!!! I have been meaning to make one of these bags for years!!! If I wasn't so lazy I would jump up and take a photo of the rat nest mess my bags are in. Just click the photo to find the tutorial.
I would love to spend my day on Jenny's beautiful blog, maybe even print out some of the free To Do lists she posted here
 but......I do have a sloppy list of my own that I need to tend to
1.) Grocery Store
2.) Pick up refund from the Post Office
3.) Pay bills
4.) Catch up on filing
5.) Finish laundry
6.) Work on Christmas scrapbook
7.) Clean up piles of books on hubby's and my side tables
I hope you enjoy Jenny's blog as much as I have!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

So Much for My Plan

 As I was enjoying my "Me Day" working right along, decluttering, organizing, finding treasures long forgotten, sitting aside some giveaways of "will never use again stuff" hubby called.... What should have been and entire day and evening alone for some play time as hubby and his buddies were going to dinner after work followed by a movie turned into a traffic jam nightmare.

Hubby's truck decided it needed a rest, the old girl wouldn't start :(  Tow truck? Out of the question, no way will a tow trunk come out at 4:00 for a routine pick up. They can make so much more money pulling in the fender binders during rush hour.

I can never say often enough nor loud enough I HATE city traffic, rush hour, somebody just shoot me. Hubby's office is a mere 20 miles from home. Problem is his office is located smack dab in "Downtown" 3 hours and 45 minutes later I dropped kicked him at the movies to meet up with his buddies. Times like this is when I wish I were a drinker of something other than stinking water :)

$325.00 dollars later the shop called to pick up the truck. They were not sure what was wrong so they went ahead and put a new starter on just in case, grrrrrr

 At least I did have most of the day to collect, sort, and organize what I hope will be the next scrapbooking project.  Update Christmas albums
 A bit of "Let it Go" three small trash cans to be exact.
 Tater Tot seems to be following in the steps of his older cousins. Check out the book he is reading "Cakes in a Jar"!!!! I didn't even realize what book he had snitched until I downloaded photo's last night. Little bugger is into everything now that he has advanced to speed crawling.
His very favorite thing to do is wrestle with his Ty boy. Tyler has a super soft spot for babies, the kid is baby crazy!!! He told DD#2 she needed to hurry up and get married so we can have some more babies :) Even offered to hook her up with his basketball coach!!! Ummm Ty boy your coach might be married. His response "I'll check him out" Oh Lord, kids are a riot.

Today is survival of the fittest. We took Tater Tot and Kara to breakfast this morning to meet up with some friends. Mornings are too early for doing the octopus deal. Try eating, drinking a cup of coffee, feeding a 7 month old, and supervising a toddler while your friends laugh till they cry watching you.

This with the entire family to cheer our Ty Boy on followed by what we hope will be a quite evening with some leftover pot roast.

Sometime before Sunday dinner tomorrow I need to make the weekly grocery store run. It won't be with hubby and the little kids that's for sure!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Some finishes!!

 Another finish from the pile of almost done projects in the sewing/scrapbook room. I made a few of these table runners some years ago as Birthday gifts. Not wanting to waste the leftover fabric I figured I would use it up on even more. Life and boredom got in the way of that plan :)
 Ta Da, Three new Birthday table runners are complete and have been moved to the gift drawer which BTW is OVERFLOWING!!!!
 I thought about ironing this one before taking a photo but...I didn't. Trust me they are cute
 Also in the pile was 6 more cuddle blankets for the no kill shelter that I just needed to sit down and tie. Done and delivered last night.
Hubby road along with me last night to pick up this oh so cute utility cart from Ikea. I have seen photo's of them on different sites where ladies use them for scrapbooking supplies, sewing, prep carts in the kitchen, plant stands, you name it :) I am going on a scrapbooking retreat next month, the work space allotted for each person is so small it got me thinking.....If I load this gal up with supplies I won't have to stand on my head under the table to pull out odds and ends I need to work with. I think it will also be nice to use at home. I always end up crafting and sewing on the kitchen table. It would be so much faster to just throw everything on this cart to push aside at the end of the day. I honestly almost bought two, one for sewing the other for scrapbooking :) or whatever other craft I might be working on. Time will tell if a second one will join the family.

I just love the freedom I feel when a project or two that has been laying around collecting dust and taking up room is finished!! I have two more things waiting in the wings I pulled out of the sewing room that I hope to get to soon. I thought soon would be today but after purchasing this cute cart I am like a kid with a new toy. I just want to play around with it :)

Soooo today will be mostly all about me :) and preparing for my upcoming trip that's still a month away. While working on my trip scrapbooking cart I should be able to do more scrapbooking decluttering. I know I have lots more stuff I need to "Let it Go"

Here is my sneaky little plan. If I can't find anyone locally that would like some of my excessive stuff I will take it to the crop with a cute sign "Needs a Good Home for Free" That should do the trick!! Scrapbookers can't pass up a free deal :)

I can't remember a day in a very, very, long time that I just checked out to have a play date all on my own. Do you ever say to heck with it all to do just what you want? Hells bells I might even stay in my PJ's all day!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Grasshopper and the Ant

Do you remember this Fable from your childhood. My Grandmother use to remind us of this all of the time when we were little. For me it took, my younger Sister not so much. sigh Our grandmother lived the life of the ant. In the garden always planting and putting back enough to get us to the next season. She bought from local friends/farmers what she couldn't grow on her own and cooked from scratch. It's been 4 month's since I traveled to my Sisters house to load up the pantry and freezer, it's time to do it again. This time I am doing it different, rather than having a huge shopping trip in her town I will be hitting the sales here at home with coupons in hand to try and save some money. I know I can stock her up a heck of a lot cheaper than the OVER $800.00 out of pocket last round!!!
Yesterday I ventured out in the rain and fog on my first stock up trip for her. The sales on meats and some canned goods were great. Total spent $174.43. total saved $112.00
My Sister doesn't know how to cook. Her life before being on a fixed income was fast food, evening's out at restaurants or a call in pizza. Therefore I have to shop for lots of open and warm up meals, YUCK!!
The sale on meat was what caught my eye in this weeks sale flyer. I will need to purchase more than what I bought yesterday but this is a great start!

Not only can she not cook her kitchen is not well appointed. When I was down for a visit at the end of last summer I was shocked that she didn't have a clue on many of the basics of cooking. I had to drop back and think after the first night I arrived. We had already done out first BIG shopping trip of over $600.00. At dinner that evening she was so excited to have the freezer and pantry full but she ask how to cook various meats. WHAT!!! How can you get well on the other side of 50 years old and have no clue?

It got me thinking, I sure as heck can't teach her to cook on such short notice and she really has on interest at all to learn. Bingo, after almost 40 years of marriage I realized I was living with someone just like her in the kitchen skills department that is :) When hubby is off on a project he does eat out quite often but it gets old fast. He has a little kitchen travel kit to take along for long projects. A few small pots and pans, coffee maker, toaster, and most used of all a "George Foreman Grill" The next morning with list in hand of more food I realized she needed I also added a 4 cup coffee maker and a small George Foreman grill to the list. The days of Starbucks are long gone for her, fast food impossible.

As we were chatting this weekend by phone regarding the size packages she needs before I vacuum seal and freeze them as well as what she needs the most, likes, and dislikes she hit me with yet more shocking news of her lack of basic cooking skills. She told me she didn't want anymore pork loins as they never got done in the middle no matter how long she cooked them. WHAT??? Well it seems she has been only cooking with a skillet and her George Foreman grill. UGH!! BTW she loves her George Foreman, uses it most days even when its the wrong kitchen tool!

I explained to her the pork loins, pork roast, beef roast and such needed to be cooked in the oven or a crock pot. She informed me she doesn't like cooking anything in the oven for more than 20 or 30 minutes as she is afraid she will forget it then burn the house down. I can see that might happen.... Don't you have a crock pot? Ya she did but it's over 20 years old and is rusted. Turns out years ago she did use it once but didn't know how to clean it right therefore it rusted. Lord don't let me pass out!!!!!

I instructed her to put the rusted thing in the trash as it very well may also burn the house down or give her food poisoning from the rust. I pulled out my stash of coupons, saver cards, extra bucks, you name it, came up with some Kohl's rewards points and a little money left on a return merchandise card. The 4 quart crock pot shown above cost me a grand total of $7.49. Nice!

For more years than I like to admit to I have banged my head against the wall trying to encourage, mentor, lecture, as well as some SCREAMING to my Sister on lifestyle choice she was making. I sent her the first IMO "Dave Ramsey" books by "Larry Burkett" of course the has a library of Dave's as well. Nothing stuck, nothing worked, nothing could change her opinion of what a "Good Life" was about.

Now she is living a lifestyle not of her choice, a lifestyle she is not prepared for, a lifestyle she will be stuck in for the rest of her life.

My Sister is a living, breathing example of what living in the moment looks and feels like when the day comes that the paycheck ends.

Moral of this extra long post....LEARN HOW TO COOK!!!!!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Grocery Budget Update

I ended up making two trips to the grocery this week as the SIL's requested fruit only as our sweets. Trip one was for regular groceries at a cost of $37.56 The fruit run totaled out at 18.67, durn fruit is sky high!! For the second week in a roll I am over the self imposed $50.00 a week goal. It may still turn out  OK in the end if the next 2 weeks come in under the weekly goal
The SIL's requested NO MORE Sweet's at Sunday dinner this week. It just doesn't feel like Sunday dinner to me if we don't have a little something baked but I do respect and agree with them that the little kids (maybe us big kids too) have been on sugar overload for way too long. I ran back to the grocery to beef up on fruit for dinner. After cutting all of the fruit up the world still seemed off to me :) Seeing as how all of the little kids have to take their lunch, even the pre schoolers I decided to make cookies for them to take home for their lunch boxes this week. The SIL's were fine with that :)
We took Kara along with us Saturday to Tyler's first basketball game. Our Ty is the kiddo that is almost as tall as the referee with his hands in he air. We think he might turn out to be taller than his 6'5" daddy when full grown :) So the oddest thing happened...Our Kara is feisty, the gal can't sit still, to this day she can't watch a 30 minute cartoon with us. I had figured I would have to take her outside at some point during the game to let her run off some energy. Nope. didn't happen, that girl sat for the entire game cheering the boys on, she LOVED it. When the game was over she didn't want to leave, "Just one more time Nanny" Who knew she would be a basketball fan!! I might just tape the next game so when she is driving me up the wall I can pop the movie in to get some rest
Tater Tot has learned to crawl :( not only that he decided 2 days later that crawling was not enough. He now pulls himself up onto anything. Dog gone it they grow up to fast :)

On to the menu so I can get this busy day started. I have lots of plans in my head for the day, not sure how many will be accomplished!

Sunday - We had Veggie Beef soup with burgers and hot dogs.

Monday - Ham, mashed potatoes, some sort of veggie

Tuesday - Leftover soup with some sort of home made bread

Wednesday - Asian pork roast *

Thursday - Penne ham skillet * (Leftover ham)

Friday - Beef roast, taters, and carrots

One of my goal for the next month or two is to try out some of the recipe's I have stacked up, pulled from here, there, and everywhere, they are marked with a (*) Hope to come up with a few new family favorites to add to the cook books as well as different ways to use up (hide) leftovers.

I have high hopes I can get in some finishes today once the house is back in order. Sunday dinners wreak havoc on our home from top to bottom :) Ya it's worth it.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Some finishes!!!!

 Way back when I found these calendar kits in the clearance section at Michael's. I will NOT just shove things back, at least for now :)
 It didn't take long to put them together. They can be used as a binder or on the wall. Hubby and I delivered them to DD#1 and Elijah's Mom last night. Two more things are out of the sewing/scraproom. "let it Go"
 Project kits have been organized and prioritized as well as Christmas 2015 kits/ideas lined up. I do believe I have enough to keep busy for quite awhile.
 I was able to "Let it Go" of a few odds and ends while cleaning up and organizing kits
 This pile of WIP reared their ugly heads while I was digging around. I am tired of moving piles of almost complete stuff around. They have become a priority.
 One of the things in the pile was this jewel. I pick up the little girls hats for their dolls in the dollar bin at Wally world. This hat had somehow been put back until I could add some elastic so they will stay on Bitty's head. DONE!!!
 This was suppose to be a row for the "National Row Along" that was going on over the summer. This one I really liked, the others...not so much :) The others went to the trash but I figured I could make this row into something for spring. It's right around the corner I HOPE!!!
Maybe I could turn this row into a cute table runner :)  If you stand on your head to look at this photo you will see I hit my stash for some backing, saching and binding.
 The end results! Another FINISH!! This one has been moved to the gift drawer.
Outline stitching and free motion quilting combined. I "Let it Go" of some scraps, leftover batting, and unfinished project pile is down just a tiny bit :)

It's been a busy day, week, month, year :) I feel a much needed nap coming on with a bit of football on the side

"Let it Go"

 I braved the cold yesterday to work on the sewing room that just wouldn't warm up. Such a mess! I had no idea I was a plastic bag hoarder. I like putting together sewing kits, fabric, notions, pattern and such in plastic bags so I can grab and go when I have the time to sew. When I am done I throw the empty bags in one of my sewing drawers.  It is amazing how many plastic bags can be crammed in one little drawer.
 The majority of the bags went to the trash, yep I "Let it Go". Theses are the only ones I hung on to.
 Another area that needed some TLC in the sewing room was the TOO many binders of patterns/ideas. I moved everything down to the kitchen table closer to the wood burning stove in order to tackle this mess. This took hours!!!! Filled two trash cans full of patterns downloaded from the Internet and magazines that I no longer have any intrest in making. I "Let it Go"
Whittled it all down to 6 binders with some room to grow. There is no douth in my mind that there are still some patterns floating around, sneaky little buggers :) When they come out of hiding the binders will be ready to house them.

Let me start with a question Angela had regarding my cook books. They are old scrapbook recipe  cookbooks from Memory Makers. I love these books to death, they are so easy to sort and flip through. Now days you can find the 4x6 refill pages still in scrapbooking supplies at the big box stores. There are also lots of binders in all sorts of cute colors and patterns that could be used as a cookbook. I think Becky Higgins brand even has a cookbook kit. Check out the Project Life supplies/page protectors as well as other brands that are Project Life styles. Hobby Lobby usually has the best prices, there brand of supplies are much cheaper and of course they are always running a 50% off sale :)

This whole clean out, unload, organizing, "Let it Go" is not for sissy's!! It's long overdo as far as the sewing, scrapbooking, crafting department. Like eating a watermelon it is going to be a one bite at a time deal. Is it trash, treasure, unfinished object, work in progress, or "What the heck?"

For the next few days it will be a slow go as I have grands for 3 days. Keeping up with them, diapers, food, slobber, hugs, and kisses pretty much fills up the days. Kara would love nothing better than to "Help" me in that room. Lord knows what a mess that would be :)