Sunday, January 27, 2013

Project Handmade Christmas

As a part of my goal to have a less commercial Christmas, I am going to start a series called Project Handmade Christmas. For each craft that I work on for Christmas Gifts, I will document and provide tutorials for them. I hope you find crafts that you like and will want to craft along with me. Let’s stop the Christmas Commercialism Train and hop aboard the movement for a simple Homemade Christmas.

Handmade Blessings to you all,


Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Pantry, It is a Changing!

Hello all,
  I hope this post finds everyone well and happy today!  In the past I have very proudly showed off pics of my pantry stash full of goodies I have picked up cheaply on sale or using coupons.
See what I mean!  LOOK AT ALL OF THAT PROCESSED FOOD! Lots of processed food products. Lots of additives and chemicals.  
  I guess some (processed) food is better than none!  But I wanted to help my family start to eat better. So I started to can some jams and jellies.  I was hooked on canning.  Then I got a dehydrator and loved using that.  Now I have gotten my own pressure canner and I am loving it!!  I have been processing my own food-sans the additives  and chemicals.
So, here is a pic of my pantry now.
Can you see the difference?  I know, I know, there are still some processed foods but there are many more home canned items on my shelves! Yippe for me!!  I absolutely love canning my own food.  I have canned dried beans, beef stew, jams and jellies, green beans and potatoes.  I cannot wait to can more!   Soups, broth, and canned meats are in my future!
What have you canned for your pantry lately?
 Home canned blessings to you all,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quote of the Week

                                  With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
                                                                                                   ---Eleanor Roosevelt


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Goals for 2013

I was able to meet some of my goals from last year.    We went over and above on my emergency fund!  I was able to start paying $50 a month extra on my house payment--Yippee--the sooner we pay off our house the sooner I can retire! I wanted to learn how to Pressure Can and I did!  Just got a new canner that I love! Dehydrating more food was a goal that I did accomplish!  However, I failed dramatically on my goal to reduce my HA1C( Blood Sugar level). It went from a 10.7 to a 12.5.  Can you say EPIC FAIL? What can I say, depression happened.  I also failed to learn how to make French Bread. Just never got around to it.
  So here are my Goals for 2013:
  1. Get my Blood Sugar under control. Must reduce my Ha1C. Will be getting bloodwork in February so hopefully I will be able to see progress by then.
  2. Learn to make French Bread in February.
  3. Spend no more than $50 per week in groceries.  This is going to be tough but I want to do it.  Less processed foods, more whole foods, and hoping for a prolific garden this year!
  4. Pay $100+ extra a month  on our house payment.  Remember the sooner it is paid off the sooner I get to retire.  That is my new mantra!!
  5. Make mozzarella cheese. I have wanted to try this for a good while but I am going to do it this year--hopefully in March!
  6. Start making Christmas gifts.  I am so tired of the commercialism of Christmas that I want to have a "Homemade Christmas" this year.  This will save a bundle and be so much more meaningful.
  7. Save all of my cake money for Christmas groceries. I go overboard around Christmas time when it comes to food and I spend a mint. So maybe if I save my cake money for this, I won't blow my $50 food budget goal during the holidays.
  8. Redecorate my bedroom.  It is a hot mess!  I have chosen a neutral palette--Whites, creams, with a touch of chocolate here and there.  I think it will be so restfull!
Well,  there you have it!  My new goals for the year 2013!  Wish me luck!

Blessings for a happy and productive 2013,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Breaking out my new Pressure Canner

I bit the bullet and ordered a new pressure canner.  I have thought long and hard about this because my mom let me have her old one. I really didn't want to spend the money on a new one because they say they last for ages and ages.  I didn't have the manual, plus I couldn't find a model number to order the correct gasket, and the thing is avacado green!   I really am afraid of using the old one and I really want to start canning a ton of stuff.  So..... I ordered a new one!  After using it today, I am so happy that I went ahead and got a new one.  I had no trouble what so ever with it.  I canned 7 quarts of dried beans and 7 quarts of beef stew. Wow,  that is a bunch to go in my pantry! 
Can you tell which batch I forgot to add vineger to the canner?
The beans!
My beef stew. Thickener is added when you heat the stew--it doesn't hold up in the canner.

Puttin' up Blessings,