Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Blessings to all!

Isaiah 9:6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

May your Christmas be wonderful and safe!
Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Hugs and Kisses!

It’s done!
I got it back from the Long Arm quilters and finished the binding today! This is my first lap quilt and I love it. It is very far from perfect and let me count the seams that are not straight, but it’s done and in time for Christmas! 

It's called "X's & O's" or "Hugs and Kisses"; can you see them in the pattern?

This is the back...and the quilting patter was done as a poinsettia in a tri-color thread.

This is the next project...

Other than quilting, I have been baking and had a cookie exchange, I interviewed for a job and got it (!) pending background checks, etc., and have been finishing up Christmas shopping. I had a few little things to get done. :)

Have a nice week!
Go over and join in The Great Holiday Barn Hop today!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wrapping Christmas presents

Wrapping paper & decorations get more expensive every year. But I can't resist all the pretty styles, colors and Christmas themes, can you? All those cute reindeers, the beautiful sparkly colors from stripes to polka dots? I just love them all, but this year I am doing something different. I refuse to buy any of that this year. I am going to get some regular regular brown Kraft paper. Yep, that ugly light brown shipping wrapping paper. I have grocery bags I can use. However, it is going to be transformed into something beautiful and it is all because of my friends and family.

Last year I was looking at all our beautiful Christmas cards and I hated to throw them out. We had only had them for a few weeks at most, and man, what a waste.  They had glitter on them and some of them were a 3D type card. So I thought of a way to keep them and use them. I tore off the front and trimmed them up. Some I would “fussy cut” a specific scene on the card or just cut out an animal or Christmas tree. This year, I am going to wrap the presents in the Kraft paper and decorate the packages with the cards from last year. I have some twine and small decorations that I can put on the packages also. I will still use up my bows and may finish up using what little paper I have left, but for the most part all the presents will be Kraft wrapped! J

See what I mean? Isn’t it pretty? OK, I confess, it’s Pinterest. I haven’t wrapped my presents yet, but this is a good representation of what they are supposed to look like, lolol. :) This one has Rosemary tied in the ribbon! What an excellent idea! I think I will try it!

This is a pretty one and similar to what I am talking about. Looks like they made a snowflake!  There are a ton of fun crafts you can do with your kids too. I saw this on Pinterest and can't wait to make one for our little baby Kai next Christmas!

Enjoy your week! Link up to the Holiday Barn Hop here!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Catch up

Wow, again, it has been a while since I have posted. I guess it is pretty normal this time of year though. I haven't been reading as many new posts from my blogger friends as well. Everyone is running around getting their shopping done, decorating, preparing to bake their hearts out not to mention the day to day normal things we do.  J I love it.

It has been so pretty here lately. Open window weather for sure. The sun has been shining, there is a light wind and the air is nice and crisp but not too cool. Just perfect!

My daughter has five and a half more weeks before the baby gets here and we are getting so excited! She and her hubby are on a mini vacation to Orlando this weekend to see the Ice & Snow at Gaylord’s Hotel. They have a nice exhibit of ice sculptures that you can visit. I have never been but have heard it is wonderful. This is what we Floridians do for ice and snow. J They also went to SeaWorld. That is always a good time.

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. Lots of friends and family over for an informal dinner. My new son in law’s family isn’t really into the celebrating of this season so it is all new to him. He doesn’t even really understand the spirit of Christmas! We have lots of work to do, but what fun! He said his family never made a big deal of it growing up so he just never had it in his life. So excited to teach him all about the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas.

I have been quilting. I have not bought any fabric since I am grounded until I get some more projects done. I did finish my Christmas X’s and O’s quilt my mom’s Christmas gift and a baby quilt that a friend of mine bought from me for her step daughter who is expecting. I have 2 more baby quilts at the LA quilters and another 2 lap quilts at another LA quilters. These should all be done for Christmas! One is for my niece and one is for my daughter. The baby quilts are up for grabs.

 my moms quilt

 love the polka dot binding!

I am still shopping cameras. My little Olympus is still hanging in there, but I really want to get something better but not professional. Any suggestions would be appreciated. J I am looking at all kinds so don’t be shy.

Thanks for reading! Have a nice week!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Black Friday frugal find (or rather Saturday morning)

Thanksgiving is over but the excitement is still in the air around here and will be for a while. We will be decorating this weekend and getting a tree. Might as well get our money's worth, right?

I admit I went to Joann's yesterday during black Friday, but since I wasn't really running around to any other stores, I took my time and just explored. They had a good sale on flannels and other fabrics, thread, etc., and I took advantage of it! :)

The problem started, when I got home. I had no room for more fabric. What was I thinking? *sigh* Have I told you how much in love I am with fabric? Ah well, now on to the frugal solution.

I started at Target and looked on the website to get an idea of what they had in storage. Hundreds of dollars, no thanks. Then I moved on the Ebay. Same thing, too much money. I then decided to look at craigs list and check out the garage sales that were going on but didn't really see anything that sparked my interest. I decided against it because I would probably find other things to buy and we don't need any more junk, lol.

Then my brilliant mind thought of my sister and all the furniture she has in her house! So I called her and explained what I was 'sort of' looking for. I didn't really know myself actually and after perusing Pinterest, for what seemed like hours, I still had no idea. Anyway, she told me she had a cabinet that might work and to come over today and look at it. Deal. If the cabinet didn't work, she suggested the Salvation Army store.

So off to bed I went, dreaming of my new fabric cabinet! Ahhh, what a lovely night.

Well this morning I awoke to my mom rearranging her room, lol. Since I wasn't going to my sisters for a while, I decided to help her and work on getting rid of some things in my own room. We ran across some of those clear stackable drawers/tubs that had some Christmas wrapping & bows in them. I have a huge box I keep under my bed that has paper and other wrapping stuff in it too so we just consolidated it all together!

Sort of like this one

Now I have the drawers for my fabrics and I didn't even have to spend a dime! I love when I can find things to reuse and not have to buy anything. Especially so close to Christmas.

Do you have a budget for this time of year? Leave a comment if you like on a frugal Holiday tip. :)

Thanks for reading

Thursday, November 24, 2011


So today is Thanksgiving and it is just about my favorite day of the year. Certainly my favorite time of the year! From now until after New Years is a wonderful time. We get to spend it with family, eat good food and just be appreciative of everything & everyone we have in our lives.

This week (and month) lots of bloggers have been stating what they are thankful for. I would like to do a little of that now.

1. God - without whom all things would not be possible. Thank you Lord!

2. Family - I could never be, without all of you in my life.

3. My new found love of fabrics and sewing. 

4. All of you who read this little blog of mine. Thank YOU.

I could go on and on, but I want to keep it simple today.

We have done all of our prep work for the wonderful meal and the turkey is cooking as we speak. All I need to do now is make a couple of loaves of banana bread for a wonderful couple that is bringing their new baby boy home today from the hospital!

I am going to get a Christmas tree & decorate the house this weekend and plan a cookie party for some friends that have kids & my niece. It is loads of fun! Messy, but fun.

Shopping? Already?

I have to confess, I did a little Christmas shopping online this morning. I used MyPoints, have you heard of it? I am a little familiar with Ebates and I think it runs along those lines. Anyway, after you sign up you can make purchases and get a certain amount of points per dollar you spend. Most major retailers are affiliated with them too. After accumulating a certain amount, I usually use mine for dining gift cards. I don't really have to money to eat out so I like to use them for that. If you plan on Black Friday (or any) shopping, sign up and get the rewards! (I am not affiliated with them at all, just love the program). Check them out,

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy your family and the wonderful times together!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


This weekend was absoultely beautiful! The weather couldn't have been anymore perfect, there were lots of outside activities to do and time was well spent.

This being November and the Thanksgiving month, I wanted to post what I am thankful for.

1. God for creating such a beautiful world.

2. Family, for always being there. Never judging or mean.

3. A healthy little baby soon to be born and his wonderful parents who can't wait for his arrival.

4. My new found love of quilting.

5. My kitties.

These are just a few things that I thought of today. I know there are tons more, but for now this will do. Mom & I have a womens church group tonight to round off the weekend and then it is time to get ready for the week!

Hope your weekend was excellent too!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Let's get "scrappy"...

This is mom's new scrappy quilt. She likes it so it is hers...

It isn't very big though so I will make a couple of borders to make it a lap quilt. I am glad she likes it. Actually, she 'claimed' it. Mom's will do that ya know.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Pinterest, interests...

ALL of these photos are from Pinterest. Check them out, it's crazy...

I would hang these all over the place in our trees...

This is an excellent idea!

No worries for your next dinner party guests...

I think I am going to try this...

I would love to hold a family meeting here...

This is just too cool...

quiet time anyone?

One of my new favorite foods!

Dream house. :)

LOVE this table.

Thanks for reading...

Linking up to the Barn Hop!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My posts

I don't know if you've noticed but my posts have been sort of sporadic & mixed up lately. No rhyme or reason, no set subject, just ramblings.

Maybe its the weather. It has been so beautiful here lately. The windows are open during the day and I get to have a light blanket to sleep with at night. My very favorite time of the year for sure! 

I am finding myself taking new directions lately. I am not gardening so much but I am quilting a lot. I have found a few new hobbies.

I spend way too much time on Pinterest.

I love to blog about cooking, finances, quilting, my family & I love reading all of your blogs on gardening, homesteading, your animals and homeschooling. The Barn Hop is my favortie and I try to read every single post. Sometimes it takes me all week and into the weekend though.

We will have a baby around here in about 10 weeks, but I promise not to inundate you with that. My daughters baby shower was this past weekend and it was wonderful.

Anyway, if there is something you want to know, pictures you want to see or just plain have any questions for me, just let me know. I will be happy to answer what I can.

I am looking for a new camera too. If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate it very much. :)

Thanks. Happy Week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Garden

I am not planting anything this fall. I am taking a little break. I had a horrble Spring/Summer planting and am discouraged. All is not lost though...

I met some new friends that have started their own suburban farm. So I did the only thing logical (to me) I gave her my rain barrel and some soil. We have lots of plants around so I offered some of those too, lol. Frangipani anyone? How about a bromeliad? I forgot to give her the seed I have, but can drop it by her house soon. I couldn't possible use it all if I tried. She has her own blog check her out. She is on FB also.

I will be ready to plant tomatos next Spring and maybe some herbs and I have learned a lot. I will continue to buy organic and at least local from the farmers we have nearby. This is the time (in Florida) for lots of farmer markets to open in the area. I love going and checking out all the good veggies, breads and homemade products.

Thanks for reading. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Fall is my all time favorite season. The wood smoke and chill in the air. Pumpkins and the beautiful colors of the leaves. Yeah.

We don't have any of those things here in Florida. Well, the pumpkins of course. Chill in the air? Maybe December. If you're lucky November. You get the picture, right? I love it though. I can sit on our dock in shorts, in December...can't get better than that. ;)

So, to get my 'fall' fix we usually head north in October. My oldest sister has a cabin up in the north western part of NC, and we usually head that way, but my youngest sister is looking for property and this time we headed towards the Asheville area. She is feeling a "pull" towards that area and I don't blame her, lol.

Anyway, I love going to NC in the fall. This year we went a little early for the leaves but the weather was beautiful during the day and chilly at night. Here are a few pictures. Enjoy.

This was in Leicester NC. It is called the Medicine Wheel House at
Spirit Mountain Sanctuary. It was totally round, had a bedroom in the loft, a very nice wood stove and the bathroom rocked (for all 5 of us, lol)

this is the view from the deck...

beautiful vista!

hot tub

lots of paths to meander

Quiet places to meditate...

woods to explore...

This was in Franklin NC. The kids wanted to go mining, lol. This is the view from the balcony of the house we stayed in for a few days. Way down in that pasture, there were some cute little cows. The man who owned this house had a ton of bird feeders so when we got there we loaded them up. The little birdies were so much fun to watch as we sipped our morning coffee.

panning for Sapphires & Rubies. The kids did not want to go to the 'salted' mines so this one took almost all day to do. It was fun though.

This was in Georgia at Tullalah Falls park. This is one of the falls,
I believe there are two. :) So pretty

Tullalah Falls Gorge

And that is pretty much it. There were lots more pictures and even some video of my sister letting loose, singing and dancing to Abba's "Dancing Queen". It was hilarious!

Thanks for stopping by...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This week

This week I have been working on a quilt I started last week. We had a baby shower here last weekend so I had to put everything away. Out of sight if you will. The dining room is my sewing room. I had also borrowed a cutting mat and gave it back to the person I borrowed it from so I really took my time getting my sewing things back out. I really wasn't in to this quilt you see so I was in no hurry. I didn't like the way it was going. Didn't like the way it looked no longer appreciated the colors. *Sigh* not a good place to be. You see, I don't like to start a new project without finishing the one I am on. So, that is how my week has been.

Until yesterday.

I went to Wal-mart and bought myself a new cutting mat and ruler. Next I got out the sewing machine. Today I actually got the fabric back out. I started sewing. Next thing I knew I actually had a kind of vision. Then things started to look ok. The fabrics were meshing. I held them up and laid them out; turned them around and all of a sudden, I liked them. I could actually 'see' where I was going with this.

Maybe it was because I didn't have a pattern when I started (never do). Mostly I watch tutorials on You Tube. I really should take lessons I think, but for now I can't afford it and will just wing it. The quilts I am making are for me and my family and they won't mind if they aren't perfect.

This is the finished top. It measures 52" square. :)

I just have to drop it to the quilters house and wait for it to be done. :) I am also going to have her do 2 baby quilt tops. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Roasted Chicken

Yumm! I love cooking a roasted anything really. Whole chickens are pretty inexpensive too. Not to mention all the meals you can get out of one whole chicken!

1 whole chicken
1 or 2 celery stalks, cut up 2-3" pieces
1 med onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 Tbsp garlic granules (or 3-4 fresh cloves minced)
1 Tbsp Thyme
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Parsley
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pepper
olive or vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the chicken and throw the innards into your freezer to add to homemade chicken broth. Loosen the skin on the breasts, being careful not to tear it. Chop up your veggies and place in the bottom of a roasting pan with a rack. Mix the next 6 ingredients together to make a 'rub'. Take about one or two tablespoons of the spice rub and push it up & under the skin of the chicken, rub it around under there. Drizzle the oil all over the chicken and the remaining spices over the outside of the chicken. Place chicken in a roasting pan on top of the rack, breast side up & cover. Roast the chicken for an hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes (depending on size) or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165°F. Don't poke too many holes with the thermometer, you don't want the juices to leak out.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven, carefully lift out the rack with the roasted chicken on it and transfer the bird to a clean cutting board. Let it rest, covered with foil, for about 10 minutes before carving.

Here is a picture of mine going into the oven. Sorry its blurry, lol.

I don't have any "after" pictures because it was so tender it fell off the bones, lol. As of today the bones are picked clean & are resting in the freezer. I am going to take most of the chicken that is left & make some chicken pot pies for future dinners. I hope the freezer is up for it.

Thanks for reading, have a nice week!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Posts from the week

Some posts I liked this week…

Megen at Sparing-Change cutting costs on your vacation. There are some good tips there, check it out.

Read this post if you are having a bad day or week. It's the weekend so hopefully you can implement some of these and appreciate the res1. Thanks, Nora.

This is a good and unusual post on more and many uses of duct tape. Another good one from Daniel over at Wisebread.

Diane @ Turning the Clock back is turning up the salads with edible flowers. Check out this post.

They have a guest blogger over at Not Made of Money and he has written about struggling with energy bills. We can all use help on energy costs.

Marisa @ Food in Jars blogged about how to tell if your canning items have gone bad. Check this post out.

Go over to The Homestead Revival tomorrow and link up to the Preparedness Challenge.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Barn Hop #33

(click on me to chek it out)

This week on the Barn Hop, I thought I would post a recipe for Chili. It isn't quite 'chili eating' weather here in Florida, but I made it anyway in hopes it will be soon.


1 lb ground beef, browned
1-28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1- small can diced tomatoes
1 or 2 can kidney beans, light and/or dark
1 small-med onion chopped
1-2 envelopes chili mix (to taste)
dash or 2 cayenne pepper (to taste)

8 oz. sour cream
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the ground beef and chopped onion together until the beef is done. Drain fat. Add the chili mix tomatoes, beans and cayenne pepper and stir it all together. Simmer until ready to eat. Near the end of cooking time I usually mash the mixture to make the sauce a little thicker. Serve over rice if you want.

This is a very basic recipe. You could add anything you want to this. We have some picky eaters so this is usually what I start with. I can't make it too hot and this is always a challenge for me as I like it hotter than normal. We also top with a pinch of shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Blessings for the week

Sundays are my very favorite day to just relax and chill. I like to reflect on the week and just be thankful for the good things in my life. I thought I would share with you my little list today.

1. I am thankful baby Kai is healthy & that he cooperated for his 4D sonogram and quit 'hiding' so we could see his little face. 

2. I am thankful for every month I get to attend the Dorcus meetings with the ladies at church. I love to listen to them chat and share their wisdom.

3. I am thankful for the trip to the grocery store. We are very fortunate to have food to put on the table.

4. I am thankful to our vet and my kitty's perseverance.

5. I am thankful that when the sliding glass door shattered, no one got hurt, It stayed in the frame until the repairman came and we were able to get it fixed fast.

6. I am thankful for some fabulous weather for a beautiful baby shower on Saturday.

Blessings to everyone today. Enjoy your Sunday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mama kitty update...&

...and I promise, no more.

She is doing well so far. She is adjusting to blindness and doing pretty good for a 19-1/2 year old kitty. :}

Ok. I have been trying to catch up on reading all the Barn Hop blogs here, but still haven't had much time. I started a new quilt today. Not sure how it will turn out as I have no pattern, just in my head. I am using four 5" charm packs, sewing the squares randomly together and then I will cut them in half again and make something from that. I have seen some done this way but am not really sure what they are called, lol. Is it any surprise? ;)

We are going to a pumpkin patch this Sunday and I am so excited! I don't remember ever going to one before to be honest so my sister and I are taking her kids. I bet I have more fun than they do!

Tonight I am cooking some beef stew over rice for dinner. We haven't had it in so long and it is actually a little chilly (cough) here today (60 degrees?). It is beautiful though and I love this time of year. I can't wait for a toasty fire in the fireplace. Probably won't be until Dec/Jan though.

Thanks for reading & have a nice day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Baby Quilts

Here are some of the baby quilts I have made lately. I included two 'tops' and am starting another lap quilt this weekend...

This is a little flannel "rag" quilt

This is a baby gift for my friends daughter, she like fishes.

For a little girl...there are the cutest little hippos on here.

For a baby boy...dreamy & I tied it on the backside for this one. The embroidery thread is green and matches a stripe in the back side of the fabric.

This is the top of one I finished today. Love the green polka dots...the yellow will be the backing. I will bind with the green polka dots.

my favorite...(just a top right now)

The purple will be the back and the binding. I love these colors together.


My little helper! I just love her...see the orange cheeks? She dresses like a pumkin
for the church pumpkin patch. The kids love it! So cute!
The seams are so not perfect, but I am still learning and I stuffed everyone of them with love so the babies will be wrapped up in it! :)

My Christmas "lap" quilt is still at the long arm quilters, but it shouldn't be too much longer. I can't wait to see what miracles she has done with it. I will post pictures when I get it back. I am really enjoying this new found love of fabrics and sewing. Do you quilt or sew? What kinds of projects do you make? Any tips for me? :)

Thanks for reading, enjoy your day! 


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