Sunday, December 29, 2013

Frugal Tip

Want to learn to sew, crochet, cook or anything else for free? Go to youtube, there are so many free tutorials. Learn from people who have been doing these things forever!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

We Love Lucy!

About a week and a half ago we got a new family addition....

Lucy! What a little cutie!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Repurposing Rags

The Artist and I have been making rag rugs. We simply use old ripped sheets, t-shirts, etc. Really anything that isn't in good enough shape to donate. If you don't have rags buy sheets from the thrift store, or yard sales. You simply cut the old cloth into 1.5 inch strips and connect them together to make long strips. To connect them snip little holes on each end of your strip, then weave them together. Then crochet your long strip into a circular or oval rug.

These are perfect and durable enough for entry ways or mud rooms, and are pretty enough to add rustic charm to any room. They are works of art that are super easy to make! This would be a great craft project for younger children as well. Simply wash and hang dry.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Canvas Painters Drop Cloth Part 2

So what did I do with that canvas drop cloth? Well first I took the two 12' x 4' pieces and cut them in half making four 6' x 4' pieces.

Then they were ironed and seems sewn all around, making a 4" drapery rod pocket on the top of each piece.

Then we dyed the fabric Navy Blue in the washing machine.

Little Pumpkin was quite concerned to see the blue color in the washing machine! When they were dry I ironed them and looked at them for about a week....They were more purple than blue and since these were for my sons room, purple wouldn't do!


Back  into the washer they went! They came out more blue/gray, but looked better.

While I ironed the now darker drapes Handsome Husband hung the old/new curtain rod. I had bought this curtain rod about 5 years ago and it sat in the basement unused.

Finally! Time to hang the new drapes! OH MY GOSH! They shrunk and are now too short! This simple and fun project was now really dragging out!

So I looked online and decided I would lengthen them with a contrasting fabric, I was bummed to have to wait yet another day to finish these curtains.

So I went to my resident artist (my daughter) and asked her what color would look good, well she said black right away. I had just bought Thoughtful Son a new duvet cover for his bed and wouldn't you know it, it had come with 2 long black pillow cases! Ha! What are the chances? They had been washed and were sitting in the linen closet just waiting!

So w pulled them out and cut them in half length ways.

 I was happy to have mt rotary tool---I can't cut a straight line that well. Ha ha.

Out with the old seems and in with the new!

They turned out AMAZING! if I do say so myself. I love, love, love them. They really tie in his black duvet cover!


I got him a new dresser I am planning to you'll have to come back to see the finished room! This will give him time to clean it too!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Easy Cleaning Tip

Put a layer of newspaper in the bottom of your trashcan, it will absorb any liquids that might accumulate!

Don't have newspaper? Use your junk mail!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Buy vanilla beans, cut them down the middle (I bought mine on Amazon)...

Buy cheap vodka...

 Put vanilla beans into cheap vodka...

Set aside for 1 month and get the best vanilla extract on the cheap!
 This Vanilla Extract will keep for years, only getting stronger with time. It makes a great gift, just put it in a pretty jar!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway Edition Product Review

We got a new sewing machine. It does 100 different stitches and letter & number embroidery! It is the "Project Runway" edition-not that I watch that show, but the reviews on are pretty high. You can't beat the price about $150. I am excited, we started an etsy account to sell vintage items and some of our creations! Should be fun!  Check back to see more about our new machine!

See all different features and stitches. Comes with several different presser feet.

It comes with a DVD to go over the basics.
All the different feet, needles and tools.

Little Pumpkin is very excited to make a house out of the box!

After trying the sewing machine, I have to say I LOVE it! It doesn't matter if you are new to sewing or have been sewing for a long time, this is a great machine! It comes with many different feet and enough stitches to make all your projects unique!

My 14 year old has been sewing up a storm, and gets very jealous when I am using the new machine. I am hoping to get a second one from soon! I saw some listed there new in the box for about $130. That's a great deal!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Chicken Fried Chicken

This recipe is adapted from


I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and I cut them up to be the size of nuggets. I put the nuggets into an egg and milk wash-the recipe doesn't call for milk, but milk makes it more tender.  I LOVE these bowls from IKEA!

Then I got my cast iron pan with oil ready. I usually add more flour and potato flakes than the recipe calls for, I also add seasonings like paprika and garlic.  You can add whatever you like, my mom uses Parmesan Cheese to her recipe, mmm...I forgot until I was nearly done or would have added that too! 

I don't add salt because the crackers have so much salt, also 1 sleeve is 36 crackers, so I started with two sleeves. 

I only buy potato flakes for this recipe--that tells you how good it is.

Make sure your oil is hot enough to fry but not so hot it spits at you or burns the chicken crust. I put my burner on 5 or 6.

I am making a large amount to have leftovers, so I will put my pan in the oven to stay warm, and ensure it's done cooking, while I am frying the rest. 

Also I figure if I am going to do all this work, I might as well make it worth it!

Since I'm doing a large amount I add more crackers, flakes, etc. to my bowl as needed.

We ate it with green beans and mashed potatoes and gravy....mmmm. SO GOOD, and moist!

Submitted By: CASSJW
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes
Servings: 6
"Potato flakes are the secret ingredient that make the saltine crust on this simple chicken-fried chicken dish so tasty."
30 saltine crackers
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dry potato flakes
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
1. Place crackers in a large resealable plastic bag; seal bag and crush crackers with a rolling pin until they are coarse crumbs. Add the flour, potato flakes, seasoned salt, and pepper and mix well.
2. Beat egg in a shallow dish or bowl. One by one, dredge chicken pieces in egg, then place in bag with crumb mixture. Seal bag and shake to coat.
3. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
4. Fry chicken, turning frequently, until golden brown and juices run clear, 15 to 20 minutes.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Frugal Tip

Planning a trip or outing? Pack a lunch!

Not only will it be cheaper, it will be more nutritious! Pack a small cooler and save.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands

~Proverbs 14:1

Friday, December 13, 2013

I Am Blessed

In those quiet moments in the middle of the night when I am up nursing Baby Girl, I am blessed.

In the times I watch Little Pumpkin as she does the sweetest Little Pumpkin things and says the dearest Little Pumpkin sayings, I am blessed. 

As I watch The Artist and see how beautiful and bright she is and the lovely young lady she has become, I am blessed.

In the moments spent with Thoughtful Son seeing him become a man before my eyes and as I see what a hard worker he is, I am blessed.

Hearing Handsome Husband say he enjoyed dinner, knowing he was hungry and tired after a long day of work, I am blessed.

May you be blessed and have a restful Sabbath!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Buying Foods in Bulk

I am always looking for ways to save money on food. So I buy in bulk when things are on sale, December is the perfect time to stock up on your baking goods-flour, sugar, etc.

I also use some coops like to get bulk fruits and vegetables for canning. Last month they had tomatoes 25 lbs. for around $15, and since I was pregnant I didn't get salsa canned last summer, so I was able to do that this fall. The nice thing about Bountiful Baskets is the price and variety. They try to get items in season, so it's a nice opportunity to cheaply try new things. Your initial basket fee is cheap and if you don't want to buy each week, you don't have to. You buy when you want!

Check and see if they are in your area!

I also use Zaycon Foods to buy meat in bulk. The chicken runs about $1.89 a lb. for hormone free boneless, skinless breasts. The chicken breasts are HUGE and come in a box of 40 lbs. These breasts have never been frozen and are fresh. You will need to package them for freezing or canning, so plan for that. They generally have their "chicken event" twice a year.

I also have gotten their ground beef-no pink slime and also hormone free and never frozen. The beef is 93/7 and comes in a box of four 10 lb. "logs" (about 40lbs. per box) so be prepared to process it as well. I have canned the beef, made meatballs for freezing and packaged it into 1 or 2 lb. bags for freezing. It usually runs about $2.99 a lb.

Zaycon usually has an event once a month, check and see if they come to your area. Also if you get a 40# box of something and it only weighs 39.8 lbs. they will credit you the difference. They also have a referral program

I also like Sprouts, they will have weekly deals and on Wednesdays they have last weeks and this weeks deals-so it's a good time to go, if you have one in your area. Overall their produce prices are really good. They usually have hormone free boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.99 about every 6 weeks. I got great deals on peaches, green peppers and pears last summer.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It has been pretty cold this week, averaging about 5 degrees.
Got extra protein feed for chickens, ducks and turkeys.

Extra grain for the goats. Hopefully they are pregnant. Abby, Boots and Buck-the neighbors goat.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Canvas Painters Drop Cloth Part 1

What can you make with a 4' x 12' painters drop cloth from Harbor Freight? Price? $7.49....

HFT 38108 4 Ft. x 12 Ft. Canvas Drop Cloth 
Check back next week and see what we are creating!

Monday, December 9, 2013

White Chocolate Oreos

Okay, so once a year Oreos comes out with White Fudge Oreos, but my local grocery store doesn't have them, and when I went to target I couldn't find them I decided to make my own---not really white fudge, but here goes!

Make a double boiler if you don't have one with a pot of water and a glass or metal bowl. Melt the chocolate in the bowl and dip the cookies in! Super easy!

Uncracked cookies work best and Little Pumpkin ate took care of  the broken ones!

WOW! Tastes just like the store ones.....Danger! They are really gooey and delicious!