Monday, August 29, 2011

Stocking the freezer!

My uncle brought me a big box of corn this weekend.  He is blessed with wonderful soil in his back yard garden. Oh, and also a fence!  No deer to feed on his produce, no sirree!  I, on the other hand,  am not that fortunate--my yard is hard pan clay with no fence.  The top soil was bulldozed off to get the house built.  Growing anything is a chore except for crabgrass! But anyway, back to the corn. So Sunday I shucked , blanched, quick cooled and bagged 50 plus ears of corn.  Now I realize many of you have much more to process, but this was my first time freezing corn on the cob. By myself. All alone. And I had to arrange roses for my sons girlfriend in the middle of it.  My, oh my, do I feel good about getting it done. By myself, All alone! 


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tangled Tower Cake

This past week I had a huge  cake project that I was working on.  I was asked to make a Tangled Tower Cake for a friend's Grandaughter.  I have worried and worried about how to construct the tower, making the tower house and getting it to her house when or if I ever get it done! it is:
The tower

The finished product!

Phew, Am I glad that is over and done with!

How was your Saturday?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cake Decorating --one of my many loves!

When I was a Junior in high school, I took an adult education class in cake decorating.  That was the best $11  I have ever spent!  Every night I would come home and teach my mom everything I learned in class. It was such an adventure.  When my children were little, I made all of their Birthday cakes--with four children I save a boatload of money and the kids were thrilled with my creations. Well through the years my mom and I would be asked to make wedding cakes.  We had practiced making cakes for my grandparents anniversaries so we made any cake we were asked to do.  Well, my mom isn't able to help any more so I bake by myself these days and enjoy the creativity!  Here are a few of my cakes:

This one was truly a labor of love--My Daughter's wedding cake.
It  had german chocolate, yellow, strawberry, red velvet, and carrot cake.  All cakes were filled with a special filling. The sides looked like woven ribbon with pearls at each criss cross. Decorated with live roses, babys breath and greens.  I worked on it for over 14 hours. Boy was I a tired mess! 
Well, I hope you enjoyed looking at some of my cakes!
If you think you would like to learn,  take a class or watch youtube videos. Just try.
It will certainly save you money making your families cakes!


PS.  Just wait till you see what I'm working on this week! One of my most ambitious cakes yet!

My Dried Food Stash

Since my garden was a bust this year, I decided to order some dried food staples from San Francisco Herb Company. They have many food items for pretty reasonable costs.  I ordered dried minced onion, dried spinach, vegetable soup mix and stew vegetable mix. My favorite is the dried spinach.  You can put it in most anything--spaghetti sauce, soup, and dip mixes. It is so convenient and it  makes a great spinach dip!  I made a quick pot of soup this past Sunday with the soup mix--just added some spinach and frozen beef broth--yum!
     Next year I hope to be able to dry my own veggies( if the deer don't get to them first) I see a fence in my future!!

                              I just love storing food in my jars!
Dried Spinach, dried onion, and dried veggie soup mix looks so pretty.

Do you have any dried foods in your stash?

Have a great day!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday at our Home

Not much going on yesterday ot our house.  Two of the kids worked all day and my DS#2 was working on his Spanish lesson plans for the week--he is very stressed about his lesson plans as this is his second week teaching!  So it was a very quiet day over all. Tom was in bed most of the day so I just  puttered around the house!(doesn't happen often)

    I was able to figure out how to post my products on Etsy--Yippee! I did it all by myself-no help from my techie son!  I only had time to list my Bath Teas but it is a start!  Here is a link to my shop:

I would appreciate it if you could take a peak! I still need to figure out how to get a button on my blog for my site and also get a banner for my shop--Anyone know how? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

   I made a pot of soup for supper and Tom asked for homemade peanut butter cookies.  I guess seeing all of the peanut butter I bought Saturday made him want them. He doesn't ask for baked items very often, so I made him Easy Peanut butter Cookies.  Yes, I know he is spoiled but I like making and doing for him especially when he is having such a rough day. I looked up the recipe on-line and was very sceptical about it--only 3 ingredients! They were very good and easy so  I will be making them again soon!

Here is the recipe:

Easy Peanut butter Cookies

1cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Thats it!  Just mix all in a mixing bowl, then roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet and smash with a fork. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Let cool.  Yummy!!

How was your day?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thrift Store Deals!

My Mom ( who lives next door) is a thrift store shopaholic.  She doesn't drive so she makes me ( she has to twist my arm so very hard!!) take her on Saturdays.   I am on a tight budget so I am very choosy about what I get there.  Here are my deals today:

Three romance novels( I am addicted), A very nice flat pink sheet for a quilt I am making, 2 jelly jars, a beautiful wee  basket for my collection, and a small water baby doll for my Grandaughter Jordyn.
All for only $2.97! 

All in all a great trip!


Saturday Stash Savings!

Today I went to meijer to get peanut butter, and cereal for my stash
Here is what I got: 3 bags of cereal, 10 jars of peanut butter, and one can of Pringles.
And my total was( I tried to get the TP that was on sale but I picked up the wrong thing so I got a refund for them)
After coupons and getting the refund for the wrong TP(even I make mistakes sometimes!) My total was only  $6.45!!!!!   I am so thrilled to be able to increase my stash so much for so little.  The PB was on sale 4/$5 and I was able to print coupons on line! So my peanut butter was only 25 cents per jar  at most--I had a Meijer Mealbox coupon for $1 off of 3 that I stacked.  I also used several other coupons (Cereal was buy 2 get one free)for the cereal and the Pringles. 

See, It is possible to stock up your pantry very cheaply!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stamp Out Brain Tumors!

Stamp Out Brain Tumors logo
 Please help Stamp out Brain Tumors by signing the petition.  Here is the link with more info:

This is important to me because my DH has a brain tumor.
Your support would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

20 Followers--WooHoo!! I did it!!

Wow!  I made it to 20 followers!  I am so very excited.  I cannot tell you how much I have been enjoying blogging and getting comments! Did I tell you I am so excited?  Well this means I can draw a name for the winner of the Gift basket and other Herb and Botanicals products.

Drumroll please!

The winner is Carla!  Carla please e-mail( me your address to ship your basket and goodies to you! Congratulations Carla--hope you enjoy your gifts!  Thank you to all who have joined my Blog and I hope you visit me regularly!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thoughts on Preparedness--Part 2

 Just this Saturday I added quite a bit to my pantry(which includes Toilet paper, shampoo, soaps,etc.). I had a budget of $20 for my pantry stash and  I have to admit--I failed to stay within my budget by......8 cents!  I can live with that!  Here is what I got at our local Meijer:

I got 5 bottles of Suave Body Wash, 4 Suave Shampoos, Jiff To go pack, Cottonelle Fresh Wipes, 6 Lipton Cup a Soups, 4 Lipton Beefy Onion soup Mixes, 3 Bags of Meijer Pretzels, and a Suave Deodorant.  And Guess what--I got a coupon for $1 off my next purchase!

I was very happy to be able to add this stuff to my pantry stash for only $20.08 with a savings of .......

                       $23.49. Yeah!!!!  I beat my goal of 50% savings  and with only 2 coupons!! 
If you don't want to coupon, just buy quantities of your supermarkets loss leaders or sale items.

See- you can build your pantry stash up a little at a time.  Even if you only saved $10 a month from your grocery budget, that would get you  started! Here are pics of some of my pantry stash.

Sorry my stash is so messy! I have a great start but not nearly enough!  These pics show only a part of my stash-I have about 40 boxes of kleenex, about 100 bars of soap, about 25 bottles of mouthwash,
 about 20 deodorant sticks, and about 30 bottles of shampoo in the bathroom closets. oops--I forgot the 30 tubes of toothpaste! I also have my jams and jelly that I made last week.

Anyone get any great deals for the pantry?  If so, please share your successes in the comments section!
I would love  to see pics of your pantry stash!


PS  I still am giving a basket of my soaps, spa bags and bath teas  away as soon as I reach my goal of 20 followers!  Please join!  Just leave a comment when you do and if you post about this give away, you get another chance to win--just leave acomment about your post! Welcome followers!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jam and Jelly Recipes as requested!

Here is the link for the jam I made:
Zucchini Jam Recipe and Tutorial from The Family Homestead
I do not have Crystal's permission to print it! Sorry for just the link but she is awesome and has a great tutorial!

Here is the Kool-Aid jelly Recipe:

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package Kool-Aid, any flavor (no sugar added*)
  • 1 (1 3/4 ounce) package sure-jell pectin
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • Mix water, Sure-Jell and Kool-Aid together.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in sugar.
  • Stir and bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.
  • Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Quickly skim off foam with a large metal spoon.
  • Pour into jelly glasses and seal.
  • Use water bath Canner for 10 min
I used Black Cherry Kool-Aid and it is delicious!  I bet the blue raspberry would be awesome and kids would probably love the blue color!

Good Luck making your jams and jellies!

Just need one more follower to make my goal of 20!

I am so excited--I have 19 followers in less than 3 months of blogging! Never thought I would have so many nice people following my blog so soon! Thank you all so much for the nice comments and the feedback.  Just need the last follower to draw a lucky name for the Lavender themed basket and the Bath teas. I may just throw in a few more Shower spa bags!

  Again thank you for visiting my humble blog and hope you visit again soon!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Herb of the Week


Sage is an evergreen perennial with grayish green hairy leaves.  It prefers warm sunny locations but not extreme heat. While not being fussy about the soil it is in, it does better in well drained soil. Sage is a great candidate for container planting--just remember it needs full sun!  Prune plants after blooming to keep it in shape and keep it from getting too woody.

Sage is a wonderful addition to poultry and meats with its earthy flavor and is a favorite in stuffings!

here is a great recipe using sage: 

Bacon and Sage Mashed Potatoes

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Servings: 8
    • 5 large yukon gold potatoes or 5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans chicken broth
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 2 1/2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese
    • 4 slices bacon, fried until crisp ( but not black)
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage


  1. Place the potatoes and enough broth to barely cover them in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer just until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, reserving the cooking liquid.
  4. Return the potatoes and 1 cup of the cooking liquid to the saucepan and, using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, mash until smooth. Add the butter and gouda and stir until incorporated and melted; do not overmix.
  5. If necessary, add more broth to attain the desired consistency.
  6. Stir in the bacon, sage and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve immediately.

Have a great day!

Free e-book at Amazon

25 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living: A Guide for Improving Every Aspect of Your Life
here is the link:

I just love free books for my Kindle!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pillow Giveaway at A Primitive Place

Tammy at A Primitive Place is giving away this Prim pillow!
Go Here to enter:
Thanks Tammy!


Free Sample of John Freida Shampoo

Here is the link for a free sample of John Freida Shampoo:

I just love free stuff, Don't you?


Almost there!

As of today I have 16 followers--just need 4 more for the basket giveaway!  Remember to leave a comment if you post the giveaway on your facebook or blog.  I will be adding a pkg of Herbal Bath Teas to the basket!
  Good luck and thank you to all who have visited my blog! Hope you stop back real soon!


Happy Birthday Kaitlyn!

Today is my youngest daughter's 19th birthday.  Kaitlyn is such a blessing to me and her father.  We just adore her. Of course we adore all of our children! :) 
  My pregnancy with Kaitlyn was very nerveracking.  I had problems from 15 weeks on.  My Dr. turned me over to a specialist midway through and I had to go to another hospital. I was so scared the whole pregnancy.  I worried about the baby every day and was so relieved that she was perfect--and she was perfect!
  So Happy Birthday Kaitlyn!  You are such a special young lady!

Love you,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Free Suave Sample Box

Here is the link:

Thanks Wal-mart!

Thoughts on Preparedness- Part 1

  Would you be able to comfortably make it through a power outage of 1 or more weeks?  Would you have enough food to last you through a blizzard in the winter when roads are impassable? Could your family stay warm? What if a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake  hit your town and knocked out all utilities-would you be able to be self sufficient? 
  Most of us would be ok for a few days maybe, but we wouldn't be able to last much longer without depending on our Government for help.
  That scares me--really scares me!  Think of the state of our government and the economy--should we base our families saftey and security on our government?  I don't think so.  Shouldn't american citizens take responsibility for themselves?
  The "put something away for a rainy day" mentality is by and large gone.  A real pantry is something all households should have and improve on daily.  Why would having a panty stocked full of food be a bad thing?  Some people would laugh at you for being so concerned  about the future of your family that you stockpile food or put some away for a rainy day.  Don't let that stop you!  They will not be laughing if an emergency or job loss hits!  You may be the one they turn to for help. Take ownership of your family's secure future.  Be prepared for an emergency.  You cannot depend on others to save you.
  Preparedness doesn't have to cost a fortune.  Work on it little at a time.  Water is the cheapest  and easiest item on the list--it is a priority. You need 1 gallon per person per day.  A 55 gallon drum  of water will support a family of 4 for about 2 weeks.
   Buy one item a week to add to your stash.  Use coupons! Cans of soups or stews, oatmeal, dried mik, canned meats and veggies all are great items to stash.  Don't forget a hand can opener!  All foods must be rotated--first in, first out. Check dates and use food before it expires--just replace it next grocery trip!
    Think about providing light--will candles work for you? Solar lights? What about oil lamps?  They can put out quite a bit of heat in the cooler months.  Remember to have a supply of lamp oil and extra wicks on hand.  Hand cranked radios and flashlights would be a great help in a power failure--no batteries to die.  Remember matches and /or lighters and spare full tanks of propane for a grill.  Plastic trash bags are a must --think no water for toilets!
   Start a first aid kit.  Add to it weekly.  It never hurts to be prepared for medical emergencies.

I challenge all of you to be better prepared for an emergency.  Take responsibility for your family's wellbeing. Set goals of enough supplies for 3 days, when you reach that, set your goal for a week, then 2 weeks, etc.  Think how good you will feel when you have a months supply stashed!

Please post what you are doing to prepare for emergencies.  I would love to know  how you are prepping!



Monday, August 8, 2011

Day off!

  The good news is that I have another day off from work.  The bad news is I have to take my DH to the Dr.  For those of you that do not know, my DH has a brain tumor.  It is a very stable brain tumor--not growing--but still a brain tumor.  Tom's main problems are seizures and headaches.  He has 3 different kinds of seizures and has many seizures a day. Therefore he cannot be left alone.  This presents a big problem of trying to have a family member here 24/7. While my children have been absolutely wonderful by helping look after him, they are growing up and working and generally getting a life of their own. So ....I am stressing out about our future and who will be taking care of him.
  Did I tell you I am stressed out?  I am getting more gray hair by the day!  STRESS!

Well, tom has been having horrible headaches daily.  I freaked out thinking the Tumor was growing and called the Neurosurgeon and requested an MRI.  Everything is stll stable--Thank you God!
So I ask how come he is deteriorating before my eyes?  The Dr. thinks he is overmedicated.  So,  I will be asking the Dr. to reduce his meds.. She is not going to like it but I can see no other choice,  Tom has no quality of life now.  He is in bed 16-18 hours a day sleeping and trying to get rid of his headaches .
I try to get him out for dinner once or twice a week but it really isn't in our budget. So I worry about him and how I am going to take care of him in the future. 

  We actually toured an Adult daycare center last Friday.  I left in tears.  It was so horrible.  I am not ready to have him in one of those facilities--don't think I would ever be able to do that to him.  So that is not an option.  Tom is on medicare but I carry the insurance and we need my income so I cannot quit my job to take care of him without major lifestyle changes.  Push comes to shove, I may have to go that route.
No wonder I am gray! Right? Did I mention a little STRESS? 

I am sure it will work out somehow.  I hope. Please God!  I am trying to get a business built up selling soaps, herbs, jellies and old fashioned plants I have propagated.  I want to start attending the local Farmers markets next year-maybe this will be a way to stay home with him--never know!

So off to the Dr. we go!


Jams and Jellies

I put those new jars to good use yesterday! I made zucchini jam and Black cherry Kool-aid jelly.
I used Crystal's recipe from The Family Homestead.  She has a great tutorial on jam and jelly making! Here is the link to her Zucchini Jam Recipe:
You should really take a look at her website and Blog--that lady has got it going on!!

I googled a recipe for Kool-aid Jelly--very easy only 4 ingredients! 
Here is that link:

Well,  I hope you had a productive weekend--What did you do?


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Goodwill Deal!

I found 10 adorable jelly jars at the Goodwill Saturday.  I especially love the litle ones withe the fruit design on them. Such a bargin for $2.50.
Guess what is coming in my near future?  Canning Jelly and Jams!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Basket Giveaway when I reach 20 followers! Giveaway is over!

When I reach 20 followers I will be drawing names for one of my Herb and Botanicals Gift Baskets! It contains a bar of Lovely Lavender soap, a Lavender candle, and a Lovely Lavender Shower Spa Bag.  I will add several extra suprises as well.
  You get one chance if you are a follower--just leave a comment on this post. If you post this on Your facebook or blog you will get another chance.  Please just leave a comment telling me you did so. I am so excited and please remember to leave your e-mail address for me! Please use the Join

Welcome to all new followers and thank you for following my blog!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Favorite Summer Salad

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

I love this summer salad--so fresh and delish!

2-3 tomatos sliced
Italian Salad Dressing
about  1/2 lb. Sliced fresh mozzarella
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh grated Parmesean Cheese
Fresh Basil about 1-2 cup

Layer tomato slices and mozzarella cheese around a plate or platter. Tear basil leaves and put on top. Salt and pepper to taste then drizzle your favorite Italian dressing over tomatos and cheese.  Sprinkle parmesean on top.


What is on the summer menu at your house?


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gratitude Tuesday

  I am thankful for my cousin Christina.  She is one of my best friends, my sounding board, my cheerleader, and the sister of my heart. For most of our lives we didn't talk because of hard feeling between the family, but in the last 3 years we have become so close.  We are interested in the same things and can talk for hours without batting an eye! So today I am grateful for Christina--Happy Birthday by the way!

  Who are you grateful for in your life?


Monday, August 1, 2011

Mini Quilt for Sale

I have a beautiful Mini quilt/walhanging for sale.  This little quilt is approx. 16.5 inches square and is hand quilted. Rings on back for ease of hanging.  Price is $12.00 plus shipping.  Please email me at if interested.

Thanks for looking!


First Batch of Soap ready to Sell-Lovely Lavender!

My first batch of soap ready to take to the flea market!!  It has been over 6 weeks curing--a long process.  Each bar weighs about 4.5 oz. and sells for $3.50 each.  Anyone interested please leave message in the comments or e-mail me at


Happy Birthday Michael(DS#1)

Twenty-three years ago today, My son Michael was born. I had a C-section scheduled and  thanks to my epidural I was awake for his birth. My DD#1 was in too big of a hurry to get here--so I had general anesthesia. This time I was able to see him right away.  He was so perfect! 8lbs. 13.5 oz. A little butterball!  Did I tell you he was just perfect?  My hubby and I had tried for 2+ years to get pregnant again.  I actually had given up on another baby when we found out we were expecting  him.  So Happy Birthday Michael!  I love you so much!