Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday Night Fever

I'm sorry I am such a bad visitor lately but there's been some issues going on in the background and now we're supposed to get freezing rain so I needed to ensure I'm prepared with firewood, kindling, batteries etc.  Plus, I have really been on a roll with cleaning and clearing so I don't want to stop that!
 I had to move my plants to the front room as it is getting too cold on the porch.
 I found an inexpensive little trick to keep my cords and garland from gettting tangled and to make them easier to put away.  I had some really long twist ties (if you don't have long ones you can link them together to get the length you want) and after wrapping them I twist tied them. 
 They all stacked up nicely to put in the plastic bins I have for the Christmas"stuff".

 I had a lovely surprise that came in the mail today too.  My daughter sent me a package for my birthday.  Look at what I recieved......
VOILA!   Aren't they pretty?  Can you tell my daughter is an art teacher?  She's all about the color!
They were so pretty but that didn't stop me....they are sugar cookies with an almond flavor and a bit of frosting on top.  What a treat!
but wait...that's not all.............

These Buddy products are:
NO preservatives
NO genetic modification
NO artificial flavoring
NO corn syrup
NO hydrogenated fat
Very good for children and everyone.  My daughter and I both love lemon bars and these  are delicious!  Each one is individually wrapped too so great for popping into a lunch bag.
And then there was this......a cute little ornament made out of a salt has a tiny bottle brush tree, a little silver ornament and a snowflake in it, and snow! LOL!
The Clean Mama routine is working great........
My bathrooms are sparkling and I worked on the family room today in order to take down the indoor Christmas decor and also clean and get ready for a "freezing rain" (ice storm possibly) event starting late tonight or early tomorrow. Got kindling in.........
and put out some red.....
and a Valentine wreath.....early but it is the next holiday.
 Supper was English muffin with tuna fish salad and a slice of American cheese melted on top and some Annie's macaroni and cheese.  It was a very satisfying day but I am not done by any means! LOL! 
Tonight Is PBS with Father Brown and Murder in Paradise (?).....I love Father Brown mysteries.Only 2 more Jesus book marks to go and I'm done with them.  I love Jesus but I am getting tired of crocheting the bookmarks.
Happy Trails!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Fangled Cookie Recipe

I'm a little late with the New Year's decor but I couldn't resist it when I saw it. These are cookies I made using what I had on hand.  They're Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Bombs.  This is the dough and I used one of those cookie scoops which are like the old fashioned ice cream scoops except smaller.
  They mix up so easy and fast and no buttering your cookie sheet either.  This is when they are ready to go in the oven.
 This is what they look like when they come out.....YUM!!!
 I am a crisp cookie person but these are not really crispy but I still like them.  I baked them 11 minutes and they were doughy so then I went 15 and that seemed to work as they were not doughy but not burnt either.  You might want to watch and test yourself as my oven is old and I think one side cooks more than the other....crazy but I manage alright.  I really like them so I thought I would share the recipe with you.  Just what I like in the evening with a hot cup of tea before bed.

Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Bombs
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup or more of health bar pieces (that's all I had of the Nestle ones you buy in the package but if I had more I'd add 1 whole cup)
1 cup chopped pecans

Sift together cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli which is sweetened so if you only have unsweetened just increase the brown and white sugar like 2/3 cup brown and 1/2 cup white .), flour, baking soda and salt.  Beat butter, brown and white sugars and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in the heath bits and pecans.  Drop by well-rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake until centers are set.  Mine took 15 minutes.  Cool for 2 minutes then remove to wire rack and cool completely.  Store in airtight container.
Happy Trails (of cookie crumbs)! :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Crazy Soap Opera Day...........


I am pretending today is Tuesday and I am posting for the group Love Your Library hosted by Snapdragon Crafts  I hope it's not too late but yesterday was crazy here.
This is the book I am using for my first pattern which is a WIP from way before Christmas that got put away in July when my daughter came and hadn't surfaced again until today.  
Some of you will remember it and I can hear you saying now..."You mean you never finished it?"   That's right folks. But this is going to be the year of "finishes"!  They may not be in order but they will get finished.
 All the parts are done except for the pompoms and then I need to sew it together and do the embroidery.  This week all I managed to do was find the book and the project and it's parts.  I still need to find the rest of the yarn and needles.  So, hopefully you'll all see some progress on this by next week!

As for my following Clean Mama   that went pretty good considering I had some other stuff that came up unexpectedly yesterday but I still managed to do laundry, empty all the garbages and get it out to the curb, clean counters (not all) and make some cookies which I invented using what I had on hand.  I'll share the recipe tomorrow.
 Today I'm making some bread for my neighbor as a very late birthday present, cleaning the shower in my bathroom (cat litter box resides there with a heavy duty cover over the drain) shook some rugs and will vacuum and hopefully wash bathroom floor and washing the "dog linens" (beds) but I am already starting to get tired....yep, at 3:00 p.m. my biorythmic clock takes a huge dive until about 5:00 or 6:00 p.m when I manage to perk back up a bit.  I don't nap but I may go sit a spell and crochet those bookmarks....almost done!
I hope you're off to a great 2015 and if not, don't worry.....there's always tomorrow....God willing.
Happy Trails!

Monday, January 5, 2015

A fresh and hopefully clean start..........

I was looking back on my 2014 blog posts and there were many things that I posted about and then promptly forgot about.  So, I am revisiting and hoping to follow through this time.  One of the first items I posted about was cleaning and de-cluttering which I did do some but didn't continue to follow though to the end.  This past weekend I read and picked up some really good tips.  One tip became glaringly evident to me.  Clutter and even too many decorative items make your cleaning routine take that much longer!  Well, that explains it!  So this will be the year of the "clean and lean" homestead!
I made a lot of excuses like too big of a house, 2 housefuls of stuff, not being able to get rid of stuff, illness, tired....enough!  The woman that wrote these articles has 4 bathrooms! So no more excuses....I'm off and running  now!
The plan/tips/methods I'm following is from   This woman is a miracle worker and gets right to the heart of the matter.  No fluff just practical, sane advice.  She has all kinds of free printables , recipes for natural cleaning supplies, menus, specific organizing and cleaning processes and an Etsy shop for more downloadable checklists and aides.  She's even written several books.4 Free Seasonal Cleaning Checklists via Clean Mama  The above is just a small example of her free printable checklists.  Her graphics and designs for her work sheets are a delight to use....form and function! :)
Her basic Daily Tasks are 1) check floors, 2) wipe counters, 3) take care of clutter  and 4) laundry.  She feels if you keep up with these 4 things it will free you to do the other tasks that are involved with maintaining a home.  Her Weekly Tasks are 1) bathrooms, 2) dust house 3) vacuum floors 4) wash floors, 5) catch-all and 6) sheets/towels.
I have my own routine and some of those will remain the same but I am utilizing her specific methods for certain areas that I've had problems with.  She also has a FAQ section which I haven't looked at yet and and a way to contact her if you have questions.
Today I cleaned 1 of my 2 bathrooms, visited the neighbor and took her her Christmas gift, changed my sheets, did laundry and took down all the Christmas decorations and lights outside.  I didn't get it all done but I am not allowing a lot on my bathroom counter now which will make it much easier and quicker to clean next time.
 There is also a De-Clutter Challenge that she and several other gals have going which you can see here
with another free printable list. I know many of you are probably excellent housekeepers but I,  for one, can never seem to get it all done.  I know I don't have the energy I used to have but I am not using any excuses!  Wish me luck! :)
If you're more like me I hope this helps you in some way.  I've looked at lots of house cleaning and organizing websites and to me this gal has everything well in hand!
 Happy Trails and Happy Housekeeping!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

YOP Week #27

This is quite a red letter day....more so than the 1st of January.  We are halfway through the YOP year or for some it's the first week! Also, Downton Abbey's new season starts tonight and I turned 66 today.....unless you want to be specific as I was born about 10:15 at night.  No's a BIG day! LOL!
I am still "plodding along" with the Jesus bookmarks but working on #9 of 10 or 13 maybe.  I was thinking of my neighbor, one for my daughter and myself but we'll see.  I wish I had something else to show you but this is what I've been working on and only in the evening.

I wanted to join the Downton Abbey MKAL but with yarn and pattern it was $57.00 and you don't even know what you'll end up with?  I like a good mystery but not a $57.00 dollar one! LOL!  
But I did join this.......I found it through our very own Gracie is not My Name and her Saturday post. The link to sign up is here

The object is to utilize the books and patterns you already have....sort of like printed stash, lol!
Since I am knee deep in toy making I thought I would pick this for my first book......
I'm already making a couple things out of it but they are not finished.  Now that the Christmas "making" is done I will move on with the other holidays and birthdays and maybe some socks for me?  Please?
Mainly this half of the YOP year will be spent using what I have, finishing all sorts of WIPs and organizing my projects and supplies. Below is what it looks like now...........old, mostly "free" bags I've gotten from all over (except for the crocheted one) and I have no idea what's in any of them so I have to "root" through them each to find what I'm looking for.  And yes that is my Pilates machine which should be used in a whole different way! 
So the first step is to create "tags for bags" so I could just check the tag and not have to "root" through it.........I thought these might do the trick......
or these were pretty....  
Paper tags with crochet edging...I'm thinking pillowcase edging for those who haven't mastered yarn. Cut and Paste to card stock.

or maybe these where the shape could denote what was inside?
Free crochet Warm hands pattern - Keep your hands warm during the cool fall season. Fingerless crochet gloves are great to have for indoors and out.
Anyway that is only a temporary fix until I get gorgeous bags sewn for all my this one from Norththreads ( I could not find the link, sorry but these are all on my Pinterest board under graphics and sewing and there are lots more there too)

cute drawstring bag..

or this which Joanne over at Rose Dahlia whipped up to put her new sock project in?
Too cute!  I think I would actually get more projects done if they were stored in these darling bags....I mean who wouldn't want to reach for them?   You should really stop over at Joanne's as she has her "finishes" from 2014 and oh my word what that gal accomplishes is amazing!!!!  She is very talented and does just about everything...a super woman for sure!

So, as much as I am going to be focusing on WIP's I will also be sewing up some tempting bags to house them in and also hopefully sell some.  I hope that helps me with more finishes in the end and not just more WIPs! LOL!  We shall see!
Happy Trails!