Monday, November 30, 2015

Daybook Entry: November 30, 2015

Outside my window ...  the few trees that are not evergreens, have lost their leaves or are in the process of doing so.

I am thinking ... that there is still so much ‘outside’ work to be done before the ‘too cold to be outside’ weather gets here.

I am thankful ... that I am almost completely done Christmas shopping!

I am stitching ...  some hanging handtowels!

I am going ... to avoid the stores as much as possible from now until after the holidays!  I don’t like shopping when the stores are crowded!

I am wondering ... what’s in the present my youngest daughter sent home with us from our last visit with her.  It’s my Christmas present from her and I’m not even supposed to touch it until Christmas … she knows how hard that is for me to do!!!

I am reading ... The Best Yes, by Lisa TerKeurst.  This is turning out to be a thought provoking book!  

I am seeing … our chickens in our yard.  They are so funny to watch!

I am hearing … our rooster crowing!

I am hoping ... the temperature tomorrow will be where we can work outside again!

I am learning ... to crochet!!! I’m teaching myself using youtube by working on simple easy quick projects that match my skill level.

In my garden ... we've decided to plant a cover crop for the winter to help add nutrients to the soil.  

In my kitchen … we’re eating a lot of quick home-made freezer meals or heat and eat home-canned meals since we’re working against time to get everything outside ready for winter.

One of my favorite things ... listening to Christmas music this time of year!

Around the house … it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!! 

A picture to share ...  this coconut cake that I made … for someone else!



patsi

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Getting Ready for the Holidays ... Week #9

Did you do any black Friday Christmas shopping? How’s your Christmas list looking now?

How about those handmade gifts? Are you where you want to be or need to be to have them completed in time for gift giving THIS year?


What did you get done this past week? 

 What are you working on?

I did a bit more Christmas shopping and am now down to 2 more gifts and I’ll be done, shopping that is! Yippee … it’s been a long time since I’ve been this near done shopping at this time of the year! In addition to doing a bit more Christmas shopping, I printed out labels for the Christmas cards we hand deliver locally and at church and labels for the cards we mail. Our church does this really neat thing where we bring our Christmas cards to church and hand-deliver them to each other. Everyone does it and it’s so nice to see everyone in the Christmas spirit handing out their cards. We also hand-deliver, along with home-made fudge, the Christmas cards that we give out to our neighbors.

It’s also time to think about holiday attire. Do you like to wear Christmas themed clothing? How’s your holiday attire looking for this year? Do you need to make any repairs, get creative with what you have or maybe purchase something new?

My husband has finally gotten enough ‘Christmas themed ties’ to wear a different one each Sunday. The kids at church love his ties! It has taken us several years of shopping after Christmas sales to find enough to meet this need at a price we were willing to pay. Both my husband and I really enjoy the Christmas season and go all out … that is, as much as our budget will stand!

One more thing, the mailman has already delivered one Christmas card to us, has anyone else gotten any yet?


patsi



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This post is linked to:  Home-Making Mondays

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pantry Challenge #47 ... 2015

There has been a lot of harvesting going on around my house this week.  The hum of a tractor can be heard when outside and the sight of truck after truck of soybeans going by my house is a common occurrence.  This is the last crop of the year in our area to be harvested and is the signal that winter is just around the corner for us.  Everyone is busy working on those last few jobs that need to get done before cold weather drives us inside.

So, what did I get done this week …

My to-do list from last week:
Work on vacuum sealing candy in jars that we got for half price in the after Halloween sales.  I worked on it, I’m still not finished, but I worked on it!!!!

In addition:

My husband wanted some ham for sandwiches this week so he went to the freezer, got a ham out and cooked it.  It was way too much for him to eat before it spoiled so I set to work preserving it.   I froze some slices, then I froze the chunks and bone and finally I froze the drippings and broth from cooking the ham.  The slices will be used in future meals or for sandwiches, the chunks and bone will be used when I start canning pinto and northern beans in January and the drippings and broth from cooking the ham will be used to season a pot of soup.  Waste not, want not!

One Sam’s Club find this week was these Nutrisystem bars … regular price $12.98 …. on clearance for $2.91/box (15 bars per box).  These are really good and have a high protein count ... which is something I need right now while we’re trying to figure out this meat allergy thing.








The other Sam’s Club find this week was these …  regular price ... $5.48/bag!









Here’s some freebies we got during our visit to Sam’s Club …  the orange juice and muffins were given to us as we entered the store and the candy came from a kiosk.  The muffins will be frozen and brought out during the week of Christmas, the orange juice will be used in taking my daily dose of cider fire and the candy will go to some little people in our lives.  All were free!







I brought my lemon trees in from the greenhouse, you know the ones I started from seeds back in the summer … yes they are still living, and set them on a windowsill on the south side of the house.  I sure hope I can baby them through the winter!

I signed up for EBates this week.  I can earn a small cashback amount when I purchase through EBates … and every little bit adds up and helps!  

I continue to work on earning Swagbucks which I turn into Amazon gift cards.  

I stitched up some 'Christmas‘magic pillowcases’ for my grandchildren this week. 

I've been looking at planners for 2016 and just haven't found anything that was in my price range that met my needs so, ... I’m making my own.  I’m almost finished with it and when I get it completed, I’ll share what I did with everyone.

I took down the fall decorations and got the Christmas ones out of storage.  I’m hoping to get the tree up this week!

I planted turmeric in a pot back in the summer just to see if I could grow it and …. drum roll please …. I had success!  I harvested 5 roots 2 – 3 inches long this week!  I also replanted some of the smaller ones to see if I can keep it going. 

The garlic I planted about a month ago is 3 – 4 inches tall and growing well.  This week I covered the beds in straw in preparation for colder temps.

I removed my hanging ferns from the front porch and hung them in the greenhouse.  I’m going to try really hard to keep them alive through the winter!   Wish me luck!

I dug up a ‘rose of sharon’ off shoot from a larger plant and put it in a pot.  I’m hoping it will survive the winter and live when I replant it in the spring.

I took advantage of the special Amazon is running this weekend of 30% off of any one book by using the code HOLIDAY30 and purchased Mother’s Book of Home Economics: Remembrances, Letters and Essays from a New England Housewife by Mrs. Sharon White.  

Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

Repot small maple trees we are growing from seed.

Repot small trees that my mom and I dug up from her yard back in the summer.

Put up my Christmas tree.

Continue working on vacuum sealing candy in jars that we got for half price in the after Halloween sales.

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?

patsi

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This post is linked to:  Home-Making Mondays

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wrapping it Up and Making it Pretty ... #1

With most of my holiday shopping behind me, it's time to turn my attention to wrapping the gifts and making them look as pretty as I can with what I have on hand.

I enjoy wrapping gifts when I'm not rushed and by starting now, I'll have plenty of time to enjoy this task before gift giving day gets here or before any out of town gifts have to be mailed.

I thought I would share my 'gift wrapping' journey with you, here's what I've done thus far ...


I purchased these over sized cups on clearance last year after Christmas for $.50 each and put them in my gift trunk.  I took them out this week, filled them with individually wrapped candies, placed the candy filled cups inside clear cookie bags  that I had on hand and tied them up with ribbon I purchased on clearance for $.10/per roll after Christmas last year.  The bag of candy cost between $6 and $7 dollars at Sam's Club which made each gift (8 candy filled cups) just a little below $1.50 each.  

I'm using these 'cups' as part of my holiday decor until gift giving time arrives.  I'll be putting up a tree and then the rest of my decor will be my 'wrapped gifts.'  The wrapped gifts make our home look festive without being cluttered (when you have a small home, this is a concern) and then when gift giving season is over all I have to take down and put away is the tree.

Have you started wrapping gifts yet?  Do you use your 'wrapped gifts' as part of your  holiday decor?

patsi

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This post is linked to:  Home-Making Mondays

Sewing Accomplishments: November 25th, 2015

On my sewing day this week, I did some Christmas sewing ... as in 'magic Christmas pillow cases' for my grandchildren kind of sewing.  






The theory is that when the little ones sleep on their 'magic pillow case' on Christmas Eve night, that they will go fast asleep!  

It's a nice thought ... at any rate though, these pillowcases are super cute and were made with lots of love by their grandmommie.  


patsi

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Thrift Store Finds: November 2015

This past week I was able to visit a thrift store in Florence, AL called The Blue Door.  

Look what I found ....




This wreath cost me $2.  
My plans are to replace the bow and add some other things to fill it out and change it up a bit.





I also found these three hardback books for $.50 each.
The John Grisham book is for my husband and the other two are for me!

I love thrifting and can spend hours hunting down bargains.  I save so much money shopping at thrift stores instead of regular full price stores!

patsi

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Getting Ready for the Holidays ... week #8

It's time to take inventory!  We have one month and 3 days until Christmas day and we need to know what we've gotten done and what we still need to do ...

What have you gotten done?

What do you still have to do?

Where are you in your holiday preps ... please share!

patsi

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pantry Challenge #46 ... 2015

Boy, do I have a lot to share this week!!!!

My mother gave my husband and I Christmas money early and we used it to further stock our pantry by shopping sales!  (Remember we’re getting ready for a really lean 2016!)

Come see how we used it ….

My to-do list from last week:

Shop sales and loss leaders  ( I've got my eye on a good butter sale ... we'll see what I'm able to do!) Done! I found butter on sale for $1.99/lb and purchased enough to last for a year … (until it goes on sale again this time next year)!

I also found and purchased these items on sale …

corn ... on sale for $.49/can



mushroom soup ... on sale for $.49/can









chicken broth ... on sale for $49/can
I don't usually buy chicken broth, but this was such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up!







green peas ... on sale for $.49/can









 Le Sueur young peas ... on sale for 10 for $10.  My husband loves these peas so when we found them on sale we purchased some.  They are normally well over $2 a can!





tomato paste ... on sale for $.49/can (regular price ... $1.69/can)













pasta ... on sale for $.49/box










evaporated milk ... on sale for $.79/can

sugar ... on sale for $1.39/4 lb bag












Here's something else I don't normally buy, but these were on sale for $.69/each and I just couldn't pass them up!





In addition:

I ordered a book for my husband for Christmas from Amazon. I got it used (in good condition) for $4.  The book lists for $20.59 new!



I found a 10 lb bag of Northern beans (white beans).  I’ve never seen the white ones in this size bag before so we purchased them, brought them home and now they are waiting to be canned!



I washed a ziplock bag and hung it to dry. I will use it for non-food items in the future.

We had one slice of onion left from a meal so I chopped it up and froze it.  It will be enough to use in a recipe that calls for onions.


I had several really good coupons for JoAnn’s so I purchased the following  ...   The patterns (most of them for doll clothes, I have several little girls in my life whose baby dolls need a wardrobe) were on sale for $1 each and I had 60% off coupons for the rest.  Yes, I had more than one 60% off coupon!




I downloaded Once Upon a Summer by Jeanette Oak from Amazon (it was free at the time I downloaded it).  


If you’re on the A Working Pantry Facebook group then you’ve already seen this.  A friend saw this at a craft fair and came home and made one to give me when we visited this week.  Isn’t it just the cutest thing!  It's body is a roll of paper towels!  This would make great Christmas gifts! 







The same friend had some roses that had seen better days and I asked her what she was going to do with them.  When she told me she was going to throw them away I asked if I could have them.  She asked what I wanted them for and I told her I wanted to make potpourri out of them.  They are now sitting in a dish on my window seal drying.  After they've finished drying I'll turn them into potpourri.


Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

Work on vacuum sealing candy in jars that we got for half price in the after Halloween sales.

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?

patsi

You can also follow A Working Pantry on Pinterest and on Facebook



AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.
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