Saturday, February 26, 2011

Frugal and Fashion

Good Sat. morning all, hope your enjoying your week-end.  A beautiful day here.  I wanted to share a couple of things with you today.  First is a great buy I stumbled upon during my Friday shopping.  I had been making my own toothpaste, to avoid the fluoride (google fluoride health dangers), but the kids weren't that keen on it.  That's the background story.  Next, Rite-aide has a scan card now (all stores do) and I have received a couple good coupons, the last being a $5 off coupon.  I knew they carried the Tom brand of health care products (that is were we buy our aluminum free deodorant), so went in looking for fluoride free toothpaste.  Found it, at $5.47.  That's right, you know where this is going . . .

After the coupon in was .47 cents, plus tax.  So .97 cents total, the same amount I would pay at the dollar store for reg. fluoride toothpaste.  So that didn't hurt at all to compromise for the kids.  Hubby and I are still using the home made, so maybe it will string it out and make it last longer.

Sorry this is so grainy, but you can see were the total is and that I gave them $1 to pay.  So, if you have a Rite -aide near you it is worth it to sigh up for just one more card : )

Next on the agenda, I have finished two projects this week!   Man it feels sooooooooo good to finish stuff.  I usually have 4 or 5 things going, so it seems to take awhile for all of it.  Not to mention I also seem to always stop and make gifts for people.  But I love it : )  This week I finished my first pair of socks ever (excellent for sleeping in and keeping my toes super cozy) and last night I finished my knit funky hat.

It is simple but the eyelash yarn makes it look so . . .  ooh - la - la - LOL  I worked on this predominantly in Wed. night bible study (shh. don't tell anybody), so took me about 4 weeks of 45 minutes each.  I love it and will wear it everywhere!  I wore it to the library today and the librarian asked if he could touch it.  Of course he could!  : )

I still have a H. P. scarf for B and a pair of pants for me on the stix's, but first I have been asked by a friend to make some baby booties for her new grandson.  How can I say no to that?

Blessings, Beth Ann

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Painting ~

After 9 years of living in our home, we are painting the downstairs!  To be fair, it is the last on our list of home fix uppers.  Since her purchase in July of '02 we have resided the house, put in all new windows, added a carport and an RV port.  We also added a screened in back deck, pool and deck.  Only a year after our arrival we were notified of the impeding arrival of twins, so the upstairs had to be redone, good-bye home office.  We also have painted Z's room, the bath room and the kitchen.   Bre's room will be next, but that's for her b-day, so maybe we shouldn't discusses that.  I love, love, love this house.  When we bought it the downstairs looked like it was permanently stuck in the early 80's (think sky blue, light mauve and white country geese) and the upstairs was left in the 50's  (think bad, peeling wallpaper with green leafs and vines)  I am proud to say we have given the old girl (1949) a face lift, two new doors, the yard fenced in and some outside wiring helped too.   So to help document this, here are some pic's of living room being painted:

Here is our handyman, Z, hard at work.

We are equal opportunity employers, so here are the girls working too.

The twins seem to be having a bit . . . to much fun : )

Here is E doing a self portrait.

Here is our newest cat, Chester Pester, wondering if he can help.  Right after this, he DID get into the paint and coated the top third of his tail.  Before we could catch him, he zipped into the bathroom and decorated the toilet seat.  Now you know why he has his name.

Z is still at it he knows there is a paycheck in his future when he finishes.

Here is the boss surveying the job, and he looks pleased, whooh - LOL

I am sooooo thrilled.  I look around and feel like I have a real adult home now, not like I am still living in Holly Hobbies house.  Come visit real soon and see for yourself.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eat cake

Most families have a bunch of silly little traditions, mostly associated with holidays; ours is no different.  Every year for Valentines day I bake a hart shaped cake, and how can you not love that?!  Here is the easy peasy recipe:

Start with your favorite cake mix, we always choose Pillsbury valentine fun-fetti w/matching frosting, but and flavor will do.  Next, follow directions on box for mixing and pour half of batter into a 9" round and half into a 9" square cake pan.  Make sure to grease and flour well, since cakes must come out of pan.
Follow box for baking directions.  Let cool, then refrigerate for a couple of hours before frosting.

Next, empty cakes from pans onto a serving tray and slice round cake in half.
Turn square cake sideways, as to make a diamond.  Then place one half of round cake on either side, to look like a hart.

Now you may begin to frost with your choice of frosting.
You can fill in any cracks or unevenness with the frosting; no one will mind a little extra!

Now you have a frosted hart to share with your Valentine : )

You can use this as a clean slate to decorate any way you choose, sprinkles, candy or even write a message with gel frosting.

Our frosting came with candy sprinkles for the holiday.

This yummy treat was a special dessert for 8 people with leftovers.

I bought the mix and frosting at our Dollar General Market for $3.  When is the last time you did that?  Stay tuned:  this Sat. is another $5 coupon day at the $GM!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menu Monday's

Greetings and Happy Valentines day all.  Hubby and I celebrated last night.  Dinner out, money from a different account than groceries.  This morning I put one of those little heart shaped boxes of chocolate next to each childes bowl of oatmeal, with a box of conversation hearts (money from grocery account).  That's it, the big hurrah, oh; except for a hart shaped cake I baked this morning, for dessert tonight : )

I wanted to post a new menu for this week and update the great grocery receipt challenge.  To recap, $125 a week and that includes pretty much everything but our utilities.  Last month I went a hundred over, but the difference came from oldest son who helps pay the animal food bill (he has an animal ministry).  We ate out 3 times, two were covered by husbands car jobs, one was a birthday dinner/gift.  This month I have was over by $50 the first week and $25 the second week.  This past week I was right on target and made up the difference when ds paid me some money he owed me : )  A friend from church gifted us some 'gourment' items that she said she would never use, so that will help finish out the month.  It included such items as a beef brisket, lamb tips, holendaise sauce and whole grain pizza dough - 12/1lb. balls.  I am planning on making some calzones with the pizza dough and the holendaise sauce will be great in home made Alfredo sauce! 

Here is a look at our menu this week:

Monday ~  Shepherds pie w/green beans

Tuesday ~  Chicken Verde and Spanish rice w/ broccoli

Wednesday ~  church pot luck/Beef minestrone soup

Thursday ~  Taco's with home made guacamole' and chips

Friday ~  Tortellini in Alfredo sauce w/ tossed salad

Saturday ~  Fish stew over salt and vinegar mashed potatoes w/veggie sticks

Sunday ~  Pimiento mac & cheese w/ grilled chicken and green beans

Other cooking around the house: Heart shaped cake for Valentines day, home made chicken broth made from leftover bones in my slow cooker and home made croutons made from the left over bread from last Wed. when I made crust less round cheese sandwiches for church.  I am sure other things will pop up and I will keep you posted with new ideas and recipes. 

Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy President's Day!

I know I am a bit early with my glad tidings, but our home school group decided to tackle this early.  I am proud to say that after much prayer and effort that our county is just now in the processes of uniting a new group of home school families and this was our first function.  It was a huge success!   There was plenty of food, friends, fellowship and kids!  LOL I am proud to say our church sponsored this worthy group and we were blesses with an absolutely gorgeous day! (all the better to send the kids out to play in)

Z didn't do a presentation, but he was in charge of video and sound, something he does for the church on Sundays already.  B did do a pres. and she picked Teddy Roosevelt.  Dig her board and the use of all my metallic blue paint on her flag!  Guess it add panach'.

She was a bit nervous getting up in front of a large, mostly unknown group, but I told her we had paid $5K for her smile . . . so . . .  Once she was up there it was fine and she did a great job on her research.  Also good experience for public speaking.

Twin son E didn't get the whole big deal, and twin daughter E just wanted to make a pretty flag like her big sister : )   Oh to be six again with no pressure to be in the know politically.

Here is the flag I helped E make, she picked the stick out herself.  When she saw people were going up front to give little presentations she wasn't sure she was in to that, but when the mic came out . . . LOL  Anyone who knows E, knows that she has never met a mic she didn't like!  Matter of fact, she received a stage mic complete with flashing strobe light and clapping sound for Christmas and a matching guitar.  She was also a smash the Sunday before, at the super bowl party.  The kids did some karaoke, and once E got a hold of the mic that was it. 

There was lots of good eats as well.  Most brought cookies and desserts.  I didn't want to go that route and wanted something more high protein, lo-carb/healthy.  I came up with these tasty little kabobs.

These are pepperoni, string cheese and bologna.

Then I mad a dessert kabob:

These are seedless green grapes, mini marshmallows and cantaloupe.

They were a huge hit and not one was left, much to my husbands disappointment.  I think I only ate one of each, for a taste test : )

Next month we are having an ice cream social and there will be more photo's.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just checking in ~

So, it's been a bit since I blogged.  Wish I could say it was because nothing is going on, but it's been C - R -A - Z - Y here!  The weather is insane  ( worse anyone has seen in 100 years), trying to get a home school group started with some friends and church members, and re-painting the down stairs.    I have been wanting to do the downstairs for like . . . I don't know, since we bought the joint, but other things (marriage, twins, life) happened.  We did get the upstairs done when i was expecting the twins.  The twins will be 7 in May, and the upstairs needs an over haul again - LOL  Such is life!  So, just thought I would pop in and let everyone know we are not dead or hibernating (like snakes Eli would say).  Ah contrare, we are busier than ever.  We spent all of last week helping a friend move from the country into town, only 6 houses from us (lucky them).  Tomorrow the kids have a home school group meeting for Presidents Day, food and presentations a plenty!  So the train just keeps on rolling.    In the mean time I still have four knitting projects on the sticks, finished one for a gift, and two I need to start and finish ASAP : s

For some comic relief I thought I would share some new random pet pics.  Can you identify this?

Good guess!

Man does she have some junk in her trunk or what?

Yes!  It's Tina, B's cat : )

Catch ya all latter, maybe when I have some free time?  LOL
Blessings, Beth Ann