Monday, November 30, 2020

Last Week's Thrifty Moves

 


Hello!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and that you enjoyed a nice long weekend like I did.  I was able to take Friday off of work and enjoyed myself immensely just being at home.

 

20 years old!  How did that happen?

Last Sunday my oldest came home to celebrate her birthday with us.  Her actual birthday was that Friday but she had finals and also had to work the weekend so we patiently waited for he to come home.  I set a pretty party table which she very much appreciated and made her some of her favorites for dinner which included grilled salmon and shrimp with pesto and parmesan cheese.  She chose a chocolate cream pie as her "birthday cake" so I made her one from scratch.  It was really delicious.

 

17 years old!  Doesn't seem possible (sigh)

The very next day on Monday we celebrated my youngest's birthday.  We prepared tempura chicken and Mongolian style noodles from copycat recipes we found online and tweaked a bit.  She chose a Jell-O Poke cake once again this year as her birthday cake and we enjoyed that very much as well.  They both seemed to have a wonderful time, enjoyed the food and their gifts so I call that a win!

 

Birthday party place setting

Wednesday both girls worked at their respective grocery stores so my oldest headed back home that afternoon.  I ended up having the entire evening to myself so I celebrated the eve of Thanksgiving by pouring myself a glass of wine and cleaning out the inside of our refrigerator.  Do I know how to party or what?  That was so much fun I did a big load of laundry after that.  Oh yeah!  This house was rocking!!

 

I set the table for Thanksgiving with my grandmother's china
and the tablecloth her mother, my great grandmother, made

I slept in until 7:00 on Thanksgiving morning and spent a good portion of that time backing up my files on my computer.  Yep, still in party mode!  Hot coffee and my trusty assistant Stella curled up beside me made this job much less of a chore.  I'd been putting it off and really needed to quit procrastinating and just get it done.  A quiet holiday morning seemed like the perfect opportunity to knock it out.  Now I don't have that concern niggling at me anymore. It is a done deal and I can check that off my "To Do" list.

 

Shrimp scampi anyone?

Stuffed shells in Alfredo sauce

I spent an entire hour in the kitchen preparing our feast and what a feast it was!  The girls were thrilled and told me they were voting for nontraditional again next year.  We'll see how they feel about that next time, but suffice it to say our little Italian menu was a hit.  I will say that I really did enjoy having the majority of the day to myself rather than spending it in the kitchen this time.  I was finally able to get back in my craft room and make some birthday cards.

 

Our non traditional Thanksgiving feast. Delicious!

Friday the girls and I did some low key Black Friday shopping.  I started online by placing an order with Home Depot for a set of cordless drills to replace the one I sold on Facebook Marketplace (my charger died and I couldn't find a replacement) as well as our very worn out corded drill.  I was able to acquire a replace drill as well as add an impact drill with charger and two batteries for the bargain price of $149.  I had been looking and pricing for some time and this was truly a great buy so I decided to go ahead and use some of my COVID bonus money to make that purchase.

 


We went to the antique mall and spent a couple hours browsing.  I didn't buy anything there, but as always I had a wonderful time.  Like crazy people we went to the mall primarily to use my stack of coupons at Bath & Body Works which pretty much took care of all the Christmas gifts I had left on my list with plenty of extra items to put in my gift box for future gifts too.  Lastly, we went to the Asian market and picked up a few fun items before heading home so the girls could make sushi.

 

Dessert was easy!  Leftover birthday cake

My oldest got my youngest a sushi kit for her birthday last week and they had a lot of fun making sushi Friday afternoon.  I am not a huge fan myself, but I have to say they did a remarkable job for their first attempt at it.  I have a feeling these two will be making it a lot in the future and for what they have invested so far in supplies and ingredients they'll be making it for pennies compared to what they have spent on it already prepared.

 

I think they did a beautiful job

Saturday found me back in craft mode and I spent the entire day at it.  Both girls headed back to their jobs and I had the day to myself with the kitties.  It was the perfect way to end a busy but extremely nice week.

 

My big Black Friday purchase

The hens got quite the Thanksgiving Day feast after I collected all of the items from the fridge I knew we weren't going to be able to eat before they spoiled.  I think they were quite pleased with it.  I also washed out several Ziploc bags to reuse as well as a cottage cheese and a cool whip container for my oldest to use to take home leftovers.

 

The girls feasting

I replaced the battery and charger on my old laptop so I can use it as my HP laptop is giving me fits.  Computer issues are never a fun time.  I was able to find the parts I needed on eBay and used money I already had in my PayPal account to cover the cost.  I also picked up replacement ink cartridges on eBay for our printer.  I am not ready to replace my laptop or our printer quite yet so I'm hopeful I can continue to limp along with my old Toshiba for a while longer.  It is a really nice laptop, just old.

 


Some of the 15 Minute Chores I accomplished to keep my home in order: 

Laundry Room & Half Bathroom - vacuumed mopped floors.  Daily swish & swipe. 

Dining Room - vacuumed & spot mopped floor, cleaned light fixture. 

Kitchen -  vacuumed & spot mopped floor, cleaned sink, microwave & stovetop, cleaned the inside of the refrigerator. 

Bedrooms & Main Bathroom - vacuumed & dusted, scrubbed the tub & tiles.  Daily swish & swipe.

 

Other - two large loads of laundry, vacuumed & dusted living room, hallway & entry.  Swept the front porch & garage.

 

Are we ready for the next holiday?

How was your thrifty week?

 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

 



We have much to be thankful for this year.  With that in mind the girls and I wish you and yours wonderful day as you gather together and enjoy the holiday.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Simple Christmas 2020 - Update #5

 


Thanksgiving weekend is a long four day weekend for me and I love to use this time to finish up my Christmas shopping, complete any gifts I am making as well as to get all of those gifts wrapped up and ready to go under the tree.

 


I also like to finish up my annual Christmas letter that I enclose with each card I send out.  I will choose the paper and print them out so they are ready when I sit down this weekend and do my Christmas cards.  I have already made all of my Christmas cards and purchased some Christmas postage stamps back in September.  I will print out my address labels before sitting to complete may cards and get them ready to mail out the first week of December.  I love to do this ahead of time so I have plenty of time to work on these without feeling rushed.

 


Our Christmas menus are planned and we have most of what we need already on hand in our pantry and freezers.  A quick trip for fresh produce and a few dairy items as the time draws nearer and we will be all set as far as any grocery shopping goes.

 




Next month we will be enjoy our decorated home and doing some baking as well as preparing some fantastic meals to enjoy together.  I always look forward to this time of year because we've prepared ahead so we can just enjoy the holidays without stress or that feeling that we have way too much to do.  Christmas and New Years is always a leisurely and thoroughly enjoyable time in our household.  Twinkling lights, Christmas music, good food and drink and a few well thought out gifts to open on the big day.

 


Are you ready?

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Carrying A Grateful Heart

 


By carrying a grateful heart I am happy, content and at peace regardless of how chaotic or restless the world around me might become.  If I am having a difficult time or a hard day I pause to sit back and think of something about this time or this day that I am grateful for and it allows me to gain a better perspective of the situation and deal with whatever issue I might be having.  It takes some practice, but every day I am getting better at doing so.

 


This year I began a gratitude journal.  Lined pages I have numbered 1 through 366 (it is a leap year) and every morning I write down the one thing, sometimes it’s a few things, I am most grateful for at that moment.  It can be as simple as a hot cup of coffee or as monumental as the love I have for my children.  It is difficult to be sad or unhappy when you are writing down what you are grateful for in life and as the pages begin to fill you realize how truly blessed and fortunate you are.  I have so many things I am grateful for.

 




As I sit hear writing this post I find myself in a unique position.  I am happy and content.  All of my needs are currently met and I want for nothing.  And very soon we get to celebrate on a day dedicated to being Thankful.  How perfect is that?

Monday, November 23, 2020

Last Week's Thrifty Moves

 


Happy Monday everyone!  Are we ready for the big holiday season?  This past Friday was my oldest daughter's birthday and today is my youngest's.  With Thanksgiving Day on Thursday we are having quite a week of celebrations.  And I love every bit of it!

 


Last Sunday was a gray and gloomy day for us with lots of rain.  That's okay, because we need the moisture after a really dry summer.  So, while tackling Laundry Mountain I got busy printing out our annual Christmas letter and addressing Thanksgiving and Christmas cards to send out in the mail.  I mailed the Thanksgiving cards last Friday and the Christmas cards are ready to go out the first week in December.  So fun to check that off the "To Do" list.  It was even more fun making all of those cards and getting them ready to send.

 

Sunday food haul
There appears to be a lot of junk here for the holidays 😁

I got all of our holiday household and grocery shopping completed including a stop into the liquor store for some holiday spirits.  It is customary at our house on the eve of Thanksgiving to bake pies and sip dry gin martinis.  Shaken, not stirred.  Ha, ha, ha, I'm so funny!

 

I may have aquired a little something to go with my Christmas china
More about that coming up very soon!

The rest of the week slipped by in an instant and I was super busy at work earning a fair bit of overtime.  Not a bad work week, but definitely harder than usual.  Nonetheless, everything went just fine.  I am proud of the way I handled the added workload and pressure.  I left work at work and when I got home I was all about enjoying my little sanctuary.

 

A slice of pepperjack cheese melting over my eggs - oh goodness!

We had loads of rain last week and the temperatures were much warmer than the week before.  I was happy about that and adjusted the heating accordingly.

 

I did a $10 Dollar Tree prep last week
This is the first ramen I've bought for the prepper pantry

I washed out some gallon sized ziploc bags to reuse.  I squeezed out every last bit of toothpaste from the little tube the dentist gave me at my last visit before tossing it in the trash.  Normally I save those for travel, but I have plenty of travel tubes so I decided to go ahead and use it.  And the toothbrush.  And the flossers too.  I love freebies.

 

I made some cleaning cloths on Saturday
More about that little project coming up very soon too!

I fixed three large meals that pretty much kept us fed throughout the week.  Lots of good healthy veggies were included in our meals too.  On Saturday I made soup because nothing beats a good bowl of hot soup this time of year.

 

I picked up these candle sticks for 69 cents each at a thrift store


and gave them a quick dress up with a dot of hot glue and some
silver glitter ribbon so they are ready for our Thanksgiving Day table

Some of the 15 Minute Chores I accomplished to keep my home in order: 

Laundry Room & Half Bathroom - vacuumed & spot mopped floors.  Daily swish & swipe. 

Dining Room - vacuumed & spot mopped floor, cleaned shelves, washed holiday glassware. 

Kitchen -  vacuumed & spot mopped floor, cleaned sink, microwave & stovetop, wiped down base cabinets. 

Bedrooms & Main Bathroom - vacuumed & dusted.  Daily swish & swipe. 

Other - three large loads of laundry, vacuumed & dusted living room, hallway & entry.  Swept the front porch & garage.

 

What do you think?  Won't these look lovely on our holiday table?

How was your thrifty week?

 

 

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Butthole Turkey

 


I had been searching high and low for a nice looking turkey figurine to place on the dining room table as part of our Thanksgiving décor and centerpiece.  I looked in stores, the mall, online, eBay, antique shops and after a few years of searching I found the one last year that was the perfect size and had the look I was going for.  And!  I found it at a thrift store so it was only $4.  Bonus!  I snapped it up and after paying for this handsome bird headed home with my new found treasure.  I was thrilled!  So very, very excited by this find.  At home I gave it a quick bath in some hot soapy water and then placed it in the dish drainer to dry while I gathered the items together to create my table centerpiece.  Once all was said and done I stepped back to gaze upon my long awaited masterpiece.  All was as I had hoped it would be and then…  I realized….  What is that?  No way!  They put a butthole on this turkey!  A very obvious butthole!

 


We’re not talking a slight possibility.  No.  An actual and very intentional butthole.  No mistaking it for something else either.  And why, I ask you, do you think it was necessary to add that little bit of rectal attraction?  It isn’t a real turkey!  And not so very lifelike in design as to require all of its reality.  But, (no pun intended) there it is in all its glory for us to gaze upon.  At the dinner table no less.



No matter how I place him somebody inevitably gets the pleasure of sitting across the table in full view of the butthole.  So what, may you ask, are we going to do about this?  Donate it back to the thrift store for someone else to enjoy?  Place a plant in front of it?  Get out the spackle?  Nope.  None of that nonsense.  He’s ours and we’re keeping him!  We just set him on the table and if you are the one who gets to sit behind his behind, then guess what?  You are the guest of honor!

 

 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Soap

 


When it comes to keeping things clean and relatively germ free nothing beats good old soap and water.  I keep it pretty simple and thrifty for us when it comes to soap.  I don't feel the need to buy anything fancy or to spend a lot of money on these things.  Bar soap is relatively inexpensive and I purchase it at the dollar store in 2 packs, sometimes they even have it in 3 packs.  I also happily accept the little hotel bars from my friends that travel.  Whenever we travel we always collect the unused bars of soap, bottles of shampoo & conditioner, even the little lotions.  I keep my hotel soaps in jars in our downstairs bathroom because one of my grandma's used to do that and it has kind of stuck with me and is another reminder I have of her.

 

Some of the Free Items I've collected this year

I purchase shower gel at Bath & Body Works whenever it is on sale and I also have coupons.  I love their Buy 2 Get 3 Free offers and I will go ahead and get five bottles at once and use a 20% OFF coupon to shave even more off the price.  I also get Free Item coupons and I always use those for extra bottles of soaps or lotions.  The smaller sizes on the Free Item coupons I save for gifts and stocking stuffers.

 

I bought this dispenser for $1 on sale at Rite-Aid
I've been refilling it now for over a year

I enjoy changing them out for the holidays

I've shared many, many times with you that I use one tablespoon of shower gel stirred into a cup of warm water to make foaming handsoap refill solution to top up our foaming handsoap dispensers I keep at each sink.  About once a year when Bath & Body Works has their foaming handsoaps on sale for around $2 each I will stock up (I will also use a 20% OFF coupon), but in between times I refill them with my homemade solution.  It works perfectly and allows me to use some of those extra sale soaps to pair with a dish towel as a nice little gift.

 

Halloween soap dispenser at the kitchen sink



My favorite Fall handsoap - Pumpkin Marshmallow Latte

I really enjoy using my soaps as part of our home decor too.  The jars of bar soaps as well as my bottles of shower gels are on display in our bathroom.  At our sink I use a tray to keep my soaps corralled so they not only look nice, but it helps me to keep things neat and tidy.  I purchased the glass tray for our kitchen at a thrift store and used a Corelle Sidekick for the downstairs bathroom.  I liked how it looked in there so well that when I found another one at a thrift store I purchased it to use in our upstairs bathroom after we refurbished it.

 

I picked up 5 of these a couple years ago, plenty to last a few years for us
2 have been in use and these 3 are still waiting their turn

Additionally shampoo, hair conditioner, laundry and dishwashing detergent is usually purchased on sale and with a coupon or at the dollar store.  I am not overly particular when it comes to those items as long as it gets the job done, which we find it usually does.  We also make sure we aren't wasteful and overusing our products so they last longer and therefore we don't need to purchase as much.  That is a good thrifty trick in and of itself.

 



I picked these bar soaps up on sale at Walgreens for 69¢ each
I love how good this soap smells

So while soap may not be the most interesting subject out there at the moment I felt it was worth touching on.  I do feel soap is a pretty important item in our lives, especially these days.  In my mind nothing beats good old soap and water to get the job done.

 

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