Friday, January 23, 2015

Fun Friday!!!

Fun Friday is going to be where I share new websites, blogs, products, "pins" that I have come upon in the past week that I think you might enjoy.  So here we go.........

#1 - Decorating and so much more by Priscilla
She is decorator extraordinaire.  Many of you probably already follow her but I am always late to the party.  She had such beautiful Christmas decor and ideas and she's also been stitching up some gorgeous cross stitch patterns...take a look and please stop by her blog and she's on Pinterest too.  I want to do her seasonal cross stitch displays.  Great idea using magnets and she just switches things out depending on the season.
           #2 - Crochet Pattern compliments of Love 4 Nails
 I also ran across a crocheted cowl pattern on someone's blog (can't remember now) but the pattern was on Love 4 Nails on You Tube and she is just darling!  She's great at tutorials and I now know why it's called Love 4 Nails....she has some gorgeous ones!  The link will take you right to the tutorial.  I couldn't post a picture but the link will and she has 2 versions;  a wider one and a narrower one.  They are fast and easy from what I've heard and I've been wanting to make a cowl.

#3 - Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane  She lives with her husband and 2 beautiful children in South Australia.  She is so talented and her latest creation is this darling bookmark and she gives full instructions and a material list on how to make one.  She has been featured in Homespun magazine which is a great magazine published "down under".   If you're lucky enough to be near a Barnes & Noble, I have been known to pick them up there occasionally.  The Aussies have great magazines for sewing and crafting.  I definitely plan on making some of these!  The only thing I need though are eyelets and an eyelet punch.  It's already on my Amazon Craft Wish List! LOL!  Thank you Sedef!  Please visit her blog and she's on Pinterest.  She has so many cute crocheted items too that are just precious....what a talent!

DSC_0509-2collage 600px

 #4 - Is Jessica over at Cutesy Crafts  She has over 3,000 followers so she must be pretty good!  She has quite a variety of interests too.  I thought this was cute.......this was how she told her audience she was pregnant.........darn straight!
#5 - Last, but in no way least, are 2 sites for prizes and giveaways! One is Maureen Cracknell who quilts beautiful quilts and other fabric related items and has a fabric giveaway every Friday! 
Maureen Cracknell Handmade
and one of my "favs" for a long time now, Susan B. Anderson 
She's a wonderful knitter, teacher and pattern designer who is having a Shawl KAL (knit along) and if you sign up you get a discount on her shawl patterns PLUS there will be prizes throughout and at the end if you finish by the deadline which is March 1, I think there is another prize.  There's a Ravelry Group for it and I can't decide plus I don't really have the yarn for it but I want to so badly....I must make a decision tonight!  She just posted it yesterday and there is no starting date but you must use one of her posted patterns.  Read the rules!

If I join I will make this was a hard choice though! 

Let me know if you do any of the above activities and whether or not you are having fun on Fun Friday!!!!
Oh and let us not forget it's        
Handmade by Heidi
I think there may be multiples of these but this is the one I am participating in at Heidi's and there are prizes there too.  Please go to her site to read the rules and please join us!  I have to go get my supplies ready for me. there's nothing on t.v. anyway! LOL!
Happy Trails!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lovely weather the other day...snow tomorrow!

It was just gorgeous for several days here (67 F) but no more...they are predicting snow tomorrow but from what I can see it will probably go South of here.  Whatever happens it won't last as Monday is supposed to 56 F. But on these gorgeous days, the girls and I have been walking...........
Some things never freeze here.......
like mosses..........

and there are some birds here that don't go South that I wish would..............
vultures........they're huge and you have to be careful when they fly over you for obvious reasons........
I'm not sure what the difference is between the red beaked and the not red beaked....male/female? 

Oh! A baby long needle pine!  We have lots of cedars here so it's nice to see a different variety..........

It was really nice to have the sun shining down on us as we walked..........

And sparkling off the water...........there were people out in their boats too which was nice to see.
Now tomorrow is supposed to be cold and snowy which is fine with me.  I like variety! LOL!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tuesday's Thrifty Tidbits...a day late!

THRIFTY - Careful management especially of money 

TIDBIT - A choice morsel

 I was being so Thrifty that I never got around to blogging until it was time to make supper and even that was late!  Do you ever get involved in projects and the time just flies?  Well, that's every day for me! LOL!

THRIFTY TIDBIT #1 - Yesterday I set up a Monthly Bill Paying X-cel spreadsheet and a monthly budget sheet and  paid a few bills, used Clean Mama's check register free printout and also her printout that tells you how long to keep things.  I have a notebook now for my house keeping and for finances.  I don't want any surprises nor do I want things falling between the cracks.   I also partially set up a new file system which I will share with you when finished. 

 How to Set Up a Filing and Budget System that Really Works via Clean Mama

I've used Clean Mama for setting things up and Better Money Habits for a budget plan.  I've always been pretty good but "the times they are a changin" and bills that never used to fluctuate are going up all the time.  Buying groceries now is like going to Vegas...the odds are not in your favor.  For example my Terminix bill (bug and critter control is not an option in the South) has gone up $5.00 every year for the last 3 years.  They said it was gas prices....well, all those people that raised their prices because of the price of gas should be lowering them now, right?  NOT!  Anyway, I may go to a cheaper service, same for propane although most times I prefer to stick to name brand companies as their employees are bonded and they seem to be a little more adherent to state and federal laws and regulations.  These are all things you might consider when trying to be THRIFTY.

 Budget Worksheet and Bill and Payment Checklist via Clean Mama
 Clean Mama has printouts for all of these things but not all are free but hers are much prettier than my X-Cel spreadsheets.  

THRIFTY TIDBIT #2 - Start eating out of your freezer now.  When Spring arrives and you start going to the store or farmer's market and want to load up or harvest all that fresh produce for next Winter you'll have room.  Plus, it will allow you to save on groceries right now and save money for the seeds and plants you'll want in the Spring.   You'd be amazed what just a couple plants can produce and pesticide free!  I still have several bags of jalapeno's from 2 years ago.  When your bananas go bad just throw them in the freezer and use them for banana bread later.  One of the best tools for this is All Recipes    They have a tool where you can type in the ingredient you have...I happened to have some frozen drumsticks and it comes up with all the recipes calling for that ingredient.  Then you can narrow it down to all the 5 star recipes. I found this awesome recipe (awesome because I had it last night, I had all the ingredients on hand and it was easy to make and tasted wonderful)!


Oven BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Recipe by  
"A wonderful chicken recipe that can either be nice and gentle, or have a bit of a kick!"

Original recipe makes 3 servings Change Servings
  • PREP
    10 mins
  • COOK
    1 hr
    1 hr 10 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place drumsticks in a baking dish.
  2. Whisk water, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, butter, salt, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and chili powder together in a bowl; pour mixture over drumsticks. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour, turning chicken about halfway through. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Cook's Note:
  • I usually cook the chicken 10 to 15 minutes longer to thicken the sauce. I like to pair this with mashed potatoes and drizzle a bit of the chicken sauce onto the potatoes. Also amazing with any seasoned rice. 
    You can create your own recipe box for free, make a grocery list for needed ingredients and read reviews by people who have made it.  I love Pinterest but I have tried a few of those"OMG! You HAVE to try this." recipes and they have not only been disappointing but I've wasted time and money.  All Recipes has never failed me just ensure there are close to 5 stars and lots of people have made it.

    THRIFTY TIDBIT #3 - Start cooking from scratch and stop buying "processed" foods.  Yes, they are easy and quick but they are also full of ingredients you can't pronounce (basically chemicals not real food), empty calories which give you 0 nutritional value and they cost a lot more. 
     Start making your own bread.  Mother Earth News    
    is a wonderful resource and if you click on the above link it will take you directly to the "easy peasy" no knead bread recipe that I've been using for years. They have a whole treasure trove of bread and no-knead recipes.  But there is so much more you can make from scratch and once you get in the habit it will become routine and you won't even have to pull out the recipe.  I don't think I "knead" (sorry, I couldn't resist) to tell you how good your home will smell and how much pleasure you will derive from eating it and knowing you made it yourself.  Once you start making your own bread you will never be able to look at store bought bread the same!
    I hope these tips were helpful as I only share what has proved useful and positive in my own life. 
     Happy Trails!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday - What are you reading?

I used to take part in some group like this but I don't remember now and I can't keep track but I thought I would get on my own blog schedule so for Monday's it will be all about books, movies, audio's, magazines and/or articles and Kindle books now that I have a few of those.  I thought of doing a "link up" but I don't know how.  I searched for a Mr. Linky that I saw people use but I couldn't find it.  If someone has any suggestions about "linking" people to my blog so we can all share what we're reading, I would appreciate it else I'll go research later.
Anyway...... I've been reading this for awhile now....very long and very informative in some areas but
kind of like reading an encyclopedia.  It's really a reference book about the art and science of keeping house.  I never had home economics nor was I in 4-H or Girl Scouts and my mother was a career woman so there wasn't a lot of instruction in this area.  It's never too late and actually I know quite a lot of it but some of it is so passe' and I cannot see myself ever following so many "rules"...I'm a rule breaker not a rule maker! LOL! 
Product Details
I just finished this mystery which was a fun read and there may be more than this one book as it stated it is a "Booked For Travel Mystery" as in "series".  So, if you like to travel and you like mysteries this is a good one.  A "fun" read and involving all age groups.  The main character is a widow and buys a travel excursion business where she takes people on trips and arranges everything.  This one was to the Sonoma wine region and the description of all the things they do on the trip is almost like being there.  I learned quite a bit and then there was the mystery to boot!  This book was one I got from Sue, the book fairy.
I picked this up at a sale as I had heard about it but unfortunately this is the 2nd and maybe last book.  The original is called Cold Sassy Tree.   Last night I downloaded the first book onto my tablet and started  reading it.
Here's the Amazon description as I just started it last night:

"The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around - fast. When Grandpa E. Rucker Blakeslee announces one July morning in 1906 that he's aiming to marry the young and freckledy milliner, Miss Love Simpson - a bare three weeks after Granny Blakeslee has gone to her reward - the news is served up all over town with that afternoon's dinner. And young Will Tweedy suddenly finds himself eyewitness to a major scandal. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa's new wife, Will nevertheless approves of this May-December match and follows its progress with just a smidgen of youthful prurience. As the newlyweds' chaperone, conspirator, and confidant, Will is privy to his one-armed, renegade grandfather's second adolescence; meanwhile, he does some growing up of his own. He gets run over by a train and lives to tell about it; he kisses his first girl, and survives that too. Olive Ann Burns has given us a timeless, funny, resplendent novel - about a romance that rocks an entire town, about a boy's passage through the momentous but elusive year when childhood melts into adolescence, and about just how people lived and died in a small Southern town at the turn of the century. Inhabited by characters who are wise and loony, unimpeachably pious and deliciously irreverent, Cold Sassy, Georgia, is the perfect setting for the debut of a storyteller of rare brio, exuberance, and style."

 A few other books I came upon that I have absolutely no remembrance of seeing these covers before (which is so fun as it makes it like going to a book store and all I'm doing is perusing my own shelves all the while cleaning them too)...these will be next.........
Mud Season  ..."where one woman's dream of moving to Vermont, raising children, chickens and sheep and running the old country store pretty much leads to one calamity after another"
I love true life adventures!  Katrina this sounds like your kind of book too!
and then there' s this which is fiction...........I cannot tell a lie.....I buy many books because of the that a baby Chance on the cover there next to the Great Dane?  Too cute!

Well, I'm off to enjoy our nice day of 67 degrees F.....and clean out garage.  I've prepped for supper which I am trying to clean out my freezers so it is oven barbecued chicken drummies, spaghetti squash (stored on the cold porch) and some brussel sprouts.  
Congrats to the Seattle Seahawks for the best "save" of a game I have ever seen in my entire life!  Wow!  I am still reeling from will go in the history books for sure!  
Happy Trails 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

YOP Week #29

What a week this has been!  I am finished with the bookmarks but need to weave in the ends on 5 of them and block them.  Unfortunately, I got little done this week as my right hand was killing me!  I'm not sure if it is carpal tunnel or my rheumatoid or I pulled a tendon but whatever, it really put me out of commission for crocheting, knitting, typing and even holding a book in my hands was painful.  It seems to be better and I have to get on with my life so enough is enough! LOL!
Here's the bookmarks and the last one I needed to go to my second ball of thread which I thought was the same color but obviously it wasn't!  I actually like it better.
Since I've never done thread or filet crochet or so many of the same thing it might have been the cause of the wrist pain.
You can definitely tell by my first one (upper left) that my technique improved.  I am definitely versed in filet crochet now but not sure how soon I'll be doing it again.  At least not until my wrist heals.
I also finished all my squares for my Dottie Angel throw...........
 This afternoon will be football and weaving in ends.
We had an ice storm last week but not significant and no loss of power thank goodness!
and now we're in the 60's so it's time to get outside and start cleaning the garage and yard work as last Fall it got cold and rainy and there was no opportunity to get it all done.  Heck, I can even spray paint in this weather! :)
I started feeding the birds during the ice storm and although most have gone further South there are still a few here.............I gave them ham trimmings and peanut butter and black sunflower seed mixture (according to Mother Nature Network's recommendations).
They seem to like it!
Now it's time to get ready for Valentine's Day!  Here are my projects that I had scheduled for that "LOVEly" day.............some wash cloths for the grands..........(these patterns are all in my YOP 2014 - 2015 list on the right side bar if you're interested....there's a link to them there on Ravelry)
Another free pattern on Ravelry.  Not sure if I'll make this for everyone or just me...I always think I have more time than I do.  But I love it!
and there's even a card to knit...........
You knit the little heart and she gives you the printout for the card!  Free!  How wonderful are the people on Ravelry?  Awesome, I'd say!
I'm still organizing and cleaning and I need to get my budget finalized for this year before I buy any yarn but I have plenty of WIP's to get back to now that the bookmarks are done.  I hope you had a wonderful week and a relaxing Sunday today!
Happy Trails!
P.S.  My son Benjamin turns 37 today!  I was 29 when I had him....8lbs 10 ounces or was it 9?....and now he's a tall skinny "drink of water" at 6' 1"! LOL!  Happy Birthday Son!