Sunday, July 29, 2007

Jungle Babies Baby Quilt

I finished the baby quilt I have been working on. The two pictures above show the front and the back. The fabric is called "Jungle Babies". Pictured at the top is the picture shown with the pattern I used called "Sheep and Rail Fence" which came from an old Georgia Bonesteel Book Club called "Spinning Spools" . A friend gave me 3 huge notebooks full of all the club patterns. I just used the jungle babies print in the place of the sheep and used a totally different color scheme. BUT, I love the way the quilt pictured at the top turned out and would love to make one like that too, but I'm not too good at applique! My daughter picked out the jungle babies fabric. She wanted something different than pastel baby blue.
I hand quilted the quilt. I quilted in the ditch on the interior of the quilt and a chain design on the border. I'm not sure if you can see the detail of the quilting in the picture.
One thing I love about quilting is that you can take any pattern, pick your own color scheme and make it all your own. The possibilities are endless.
I got started quilting using the Georgia Bonesteel original Lap Quilting book. The cover on mine is tattered and torn. It was written before Rotary Cutting became popular so all my patterns were homemade from cardboard. I still have the pieces in my quilting storage boxes. But I still look at that old book from time to time to get ideas. The design I used for the quilting on the border came from that old book.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Frugal Friday

My Frugal Friday Tip this week is "use what you have". For example, yesterday I didn't have anything planned for supper. I didn't feel good and REALLY wanted to stop and get food. If the Papa John's Pizza Cart was still open when I passed, I'm sure I would have stopped! KFC and Pizza Inn also beckoned to me.... It was too late to order pizza, the ready to go cart was closed, so I just decided to go home and make do.

The first thing I saw when I got home were some beautiful eggplants my sweetie grew and picked. He just had them laying there on the counter as if they were saying "Now how are you going to use me?".

I quickly went on line to look at some eggplant recipes, because they aren't something I've really ever cooked much or had any luck with. All the eggplant parmesean recipes were similar, so I just decided to make up my own recipe to make use of what I had on hand. I washed the eggplants, sliced them into 1/3 inch wheels and browned them a few minutes in some oil. Then after draining them I spread them out in a baking dish. Then I covered them with some Ragu Spagetti Sauce and sprinkled a good sized layer of mozerella cheese and then parmesean cheese. I finished off with some parsley sprinkled on top. I covered it with foil and baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then removed the foil and let it brown for about 10 minutes.

I informed my family (aka guinea pigs) that if they didn't like this dish, they could eat whatever they could find, like hot pockets or tomato sandwhiches.

I saved some $$$ by not stopping at the fast food places on the way home from work, not to mention we had a fairly nutritious meal instead.

Tomorrow I plan to use the excess tomatoes we have to make some homemade vegetable soup. I have everything on hand to make that too!
Also next week I think some vegetable lasagna using the eggplants, etc., will be on the menu!

As you can see from the picture, my sweetie has ben hard at work in his garden!

Please Visit for more frugal ideas!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Simplifying My Goals

I have updated my goals list so that it takes some of the pressure off! Instead of "Lose 10 pounds", it now says "Eat Right". Instead of "read Bible through by 12/31/07", it now says Read Bible/Devotion every day". I also realized that reading the Bible and having a quiet time each day should be at the top of the list and I changed some of the other goals to better reflect my needs and wants. I am still working on this.

This week I am reading the Book of Esther, along with Matthew. I still plan to finish reading all the way through the Bible. I'll just keep plugging along. It may take a year and a month (or 2 :o) ) !

I have also made a lot of progress in finishing quilting the border of the baby quilt. I would like to finish the quilting and get the binding on it this weekend! If I get that done, I'll post a picture of it here! I'm itching to get back on that NC State Quilt!

It is amazing how much you can get done on a project by doing it in small pockets of time. 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there really make a difference. Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood is knitting a baby blanket this way!

As long as I stay motivated, I can keep working toward accomplishing my goals!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Operation Christmas Child

If you are not familar with Operation Christmas Child, you can read about it here:

Now is a good time to buy some items for the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, if that is something you do each year or would like to do this year.

The school supplies are on sale everywhere and will be for another month or so.

This week at Walgreens I purchased, with the store coupons you tear out of the weekly sales paper, packages of end cap erasers for .19, crayons (24 ct.) for .29, small memo books for 8 for $1.00. Pencils (10ct.)would have been .19 too, but I couldn't find any at the store I visit.

I have been collecting items all year, starting with the after Christmas sales. Sometimes I have bought Happy meals and saved the toys for the shoeboxes. You just have to be careful that the toy is appropriate.

This helps me to work on the goal to the left, Planning Christmas!

Debbie J.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Contentment and Positive Thinking

We had a great little get away this weekend. I'm tired, but glad to be back home. I love going away, but love home too!! The weather was awesome. For July in North Carolina, it was a taste of heaven!

I am really working on being content. I made a post last week on being thankful, and I've really been thinking that I have a tendency not to be content. Its so easy to fall into the habit of negative thinking and complaining.

I'm trying to be a positive person. It would probably be good to re-read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. His books always inspire me.

Every one has a different perspective on life. A person who has had a lot of tough breaks or live in a poor country would REALLY appreciate the things we take for granted as just being "o.k.".

I had to get up and go to work, its Monday, and I'm really not too energetic, BUT Its a beautiful day, I have a great husband and children, I have my health, My family are all safe after being on the road all weekend, I have a good job that I like, the bills are paid, I have a good home in a great state, and God loves me! ..... and the list of good things could go on and on!!!!

In Proverbs its says its better to live on the corner of the roof than to live in a house with a contentious woman! See these verses for information on the contentious woman. (Proverbs 21:9, 21:19, 25:24, 27:15 (NASB) ) Did you know that one of the things that will make our husbands the happiest ever is for us to be happy. If you thank him for even the smallest thing or comment on how beautiful the day is, he will be so happy. Men are made so that they feel responsible for our happiness and if we're not happy they try to fix it. I don't want to be so negative that he just can't fix me!!! I want to be totally fixable! That means being content.

So I'd like to encourage others to think positively and ask for your encouragement to me in that area.

Mission for today: Turn every negative thought into a positive thought!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weekend Trip

We're going away overnight! Its been a long time since we went anywhere and I am very excited. I love to ride off with my sweetie. We are going to Wilkesboro to visit my sister in law and brother in law, and possibly on to their cabin on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Its a four hour drive to Wilkesboro and then about another hour to the cabin.

I am taking coupons and my coupon organizer to work on while riding. I am way behind on keeping them up to date. I haven't even set foot in CVS or Walgreens in 2 weeks! I just know I have missed some deals, but haven't had time to go!

I am taking the baby quilt I am needing to finish up. I am doing the quilting on the border which I can do in my lap while riding.

I am also taking my "Not Just Beans Cookbook" and "Dining on a Dime Menu Planner" to study and write down the numbers of menus and recipes I want to use in the near future.

North Carolina is such a great state! We have such a variety of vacation spots, from the beach to the mountains and all in between. Its a part of my soul! Wouldn't ever want to live any where else..... except my heavenly home, but this is almost heaven.

Please pray for the safety of all travelers this weekend, especially in my family. We all seem to be on the road. Lori and Ryan are traveling on their first anniversary trip to the NC Zoo, etc., Jacob is in Williamsburg, Virginia on a little mini vacation, My brother and his wife are traveling to Virginia and we are traveling to western NC.

Thanks in advance for those prayers! Debbie J.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Frugal Friday

My frugal Friday tip for today is to get out those old thrift idea books or check them out from the library and re-read them. I have 2 of the Tightwad Gazette books, and I got them out recently. There were so many ideas that didn't really appeal to me in my early frugal years, but now are so relevent. I guess I am maturing, which probably means I am getting old!

One example was the article about sour dough bread. When I was younger, I wasn't interested because I thought bread making was too hard, but now I am totally interested!

As we go through life our outlook changes, so if you haven't looked at your money saving books lately, you might be surprised at how many things will be relevent to you in the stage of life you are in now!
"To everything there is a season"
Happy Friday!
Please visit more great frugal ideas!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Even though I dream of being a full time homemaker, I really do have a great job and work with great people.

I had a lightbulb moment this morning. ... I saw on the news where a mother and her twin daughters were killed in a fire caused by a malfunctioning A/C. I realized how devastated I would be if my office were to have a malfuntioning A/C and burn down. I would be out of a job, but that wouldn't even compare to losing the lives of your children in a fire! I realized how much I need to be thankful for the wonderful situation I am in. I DO NOT NEED TO BE COMPLAINING! I should be thanking the Lord every day in all situations.

I have it so good in all ways. We are so blessed compared to many people in other countries. I know the Lord just looks at us and just shakes his head when we are so blessed and complain about the smallest of things!

I will be more aware of how much I need to be thankful and have a great attitude in all things!

Even though I miss the mark miserably most of the time, if I shoot for excellence in being a Biblical Woman, I know the Lord will reward me with the longings of my heart, if they are His will. But not complaining is an important thing to be aware of.

With hugs and thankfulness, Debbie J. :o)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Baby Steps

I know baby steps are not a new idea. I really learned this concept from Emilie Barnes, one of my favorite authors and then at . This is how it works for me.

1. Never go up or down stairs without taking something that needs to go up or down.

2. Do one job or small part of a job during tv commercials.

3. Make a list of 5 minute jobs that you can check when you actually have 5 minutes to spare.

4. At work, every time I get up to go to the restroom, I file a few files. (the bathroom is beside the file room.)

5. Every job can be accomplished in small segments of time. 15 minutes a day for a week equals 1 hour and 45 minutes.

6. Doing things in baby steps makes it easier to beat procrastination. Its not so bad to start a job you dread if you know you are only committed to spending a few minutes. I find that once I get started, I actually don't want to quit. I start enjoying the progress.

This is what I did this morning in the baby steps area:

1. Went upstairs to get cell phone, so took box containing punch bowl set upstairs to storage area.

2. While in bathroom, took dirty towel and wiped down sink and counter.

3. Went downstairs, took basket of laundry, dirty coffee cup and bag of trash. Put clean trashbag on bottom step for next trip upstairs.

4. While in downstairs bathroom to get dirty towel for laundry, wiped down sink and counter with dirty towel.

5. Put load of laundry in washing machine. After it filled up and agitated for just a minute, turned off so it could soak until I get home.

6. While waiting for picture to load on blog, folded laundry.

If you do just a little bit every day toward a certain project, or just plain old weekly housecleaning, it gets done before you know it!

This is a wonderful tool for anybody, but a person with a job outside the home can really use this to MAKE HOMEMAKING DREAMS COME TRUE!

Have a great Wednesday!

Hugs to you, Debbie J.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Baby blankets, quilts and afghan

I promise this isn't becoming a baby blog! Just one more picture for a while! This is the cradle my daughter was given at the shower I had before she was born 27 years ago. All of my children slept in it as well as relatives' children. The bumper pad in it is the one I made 27 years ago. The blankets and quilts, I made since January for her baby and the afghan was a handmade gift from my sister to the new baby at the baby shower Sunday.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Baby Shower Clothesline

Baby Shower

The baby shower was a great success!!! I was glad to mark that goal on my sidebar DONE! It was a floating shower so people could come anytime between 2 and 4. They came in and watched their gift being opened, then went to get a plate of food, and then socialize. We had a good turnout, the perfect amount for the space we had.
The food was as follows: Cake, punch, pretzel rods dipped in white chocolate and then sprinkled with blue sprinkles, a veggie tray with ranch dip, sausage balls, ham and poppy seed party rolls, white seedless grapes, nuts, brownie bites, pineapple cheeseball with crackers and meatballs.

The decorations were "Its a Boy" banners, balloons and streamers and blue and white serving dishes, paper plates and napkins, and blue and white table cloths.

The cutest thing was a clothesline we strung up across the living room over the parents to be. On it we hung up little tiny baby clothes, diapers, shoes, and blue paper hearts, etc. It was really cute!

I'll store all the decorations, serving dishes, etc. and save for future showers!

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Frugal Friday

There's a consignment shop near my office that I pass each day when walking. Yesterday I noticed they had an end of summer sale sign. I popped in to check out the baby clothes. They had some little boy clothes for 75% off. There were really cute items that were only $1.50 to begin with and now are less than .50. There were other prices and percentages off too. I didn't have any money with me or the time to make wise choices, so I plan to go back today to get some little boy summer clothes in the size my new grandbaby will probably wear next spring and summer, as well as anything I see that he could wear this year in a 0-3 months size. I will probably need to have some clothes on hand at my house for those visits to grandma and they don't necessarily need to be expensive.

I have also seen 75% off sale signs in the window of my favorite low cost ladies store. Now's the time to inventory our closets to see what we need so when we go to the sale we can make smart choices. It isn't a savings if we just go buy a bunch of stuff because its cheap. For example, I do not need any more black, red or orange/peachy tops. I realized this only when I arranged my closet by color. I have some bottoms that I need tops to match and could come up with several new outfits if I could find the right matches. I have also come to realize that certain colors look better on me than others and I should stop buying those colors that make me look washed out!!

You really save money if you get a clearance sale on prices that are ALREADY low.

The same thing goes for marked down meat at the grocery store. At our Food Lion, they routinely mark down meat that still has several days before the expiration date. But, when you really save money is if you can find meat marked down from an already good sale price. That's the time to stock up and make use of your freezer.
I also found serving trays and platters on clearance at Walmart in the perfect blue shade for the baby shower I am hosting Sunday!!! They were located on the "summer supplies" isle. I plan to store these for the future. I hope to be able to use them to host other baby showers in the future.

So, my Frugal Friday tip for today is take advantage of clearance prices on items that are already reasonably priced!

For more frugal tips go to

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Debbie's Goals Progress

I posted my current goals in the side bar and they keep nagging at me to get SOMETHING DONE! So I thought I'd post about the progress (if any) that I've made.

Declutter, Organize and Clean: I have been working on this, but only out of necessity. In the process of getting ready for the baby shower I have been trying to make sure the house is presentable. The only problem with this is I don't have time to deep clean and organize. This means that I have moved some things out to the garage and stored some things in boxes. It is giving me a start and I want to make a list of the things that need to be done this fall, after the baby shower and new baby come and things settle down some. :o)

Exercise: I have been doing better on this, but it comes in bursts. I do really well for about 2 weeks and then don't do anything for a week. Will keep working on it!

Finish Baby Quilt: I have finished the part that requires it to be in a quilting frame and now am working on it in my lap while watching TV. Its nice to have the quilting frame out of the way. I won't have it done by the shower, but as long as its done by the birth of the baby it'll be ok. I have other gifts for my daughter for the shower. Also have already completed several other baby quilts and blankets for out new baby boy!

Lose 10 lbs: I lost 3, probably have gained it back. Will keep working on this one!

Plan and get ready for baby shower: I have made great progress on this which is a good thing since its this SUNDAY! I will be ready without any last minute rush I hope!

Plan Christmas: Nothing on this, except some stocking stuffers that I have been accumulating all year.

Read the Bible through by 12-31-07: I am working on this. I have gotten behind, but hope to catch up. I still have 5 1/2 months!

Spend more time sewing: This will have to wait until after the baby shower and baby arrival too.

Finish NC State Quilt: Not forgotten, but no time right now.

Plan my week each Sunday: I haven't achieved perfection on this, but am working on it! I have been cooking ahead on the weekend and buying what we need for several easy and quick meals during the week. I try to write in my planner each day what needs to be done and bought, etc. I try to get the bills that are due that week ready and in my pocketbook for mailing.

Hopefully soon I can remove a few of these goals as they will be reached!!! Slow and steady wins the race. I try to remember that!!!

Happy Tuesday!

Debbie J.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

There is a small paraglider airport near my house. I took a picture of this person going over my house at 6:30 AM yesterday while going to get the paper and walking the dog. They seem to like to go up very early in the morning. This is one of the few things my son doesn't want to try, thank goodness! His friend paid perfectly good money to ride on one. I suppose if the engine stops, you just glide down!!!. Not me!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Baby Shower

These are pictures from a shower my daughter's co-workers gave her last night. It went really well. Her friends are so sweet. The food was great and we really enjoyed it. A really cute gift she received was a wreath made with baby diapers, rattles, pacifiers, socks, etc. It is shown in the first picture. That was a really neat idea and useful too! I think I would like to make that for a baby gift someday!
I put together the punch that I'll be using for the baby shower that I am giving her on July 15th this morning. It will be in the freezer until the party and then I will take it out, add the ginger ale and it'll be ready. The only problem is the color. I had a vision of this blue punch because the baby is a boy and the colors of the shower are going to be yellow and blue. The recipe says to choose the color of jello according to the color you want the punch to be. I found some really great blue jello and so I thought the punch would be blue.... well if you add something yellow to something blue, you get green. The recipe calls for pineapple juice and that's yellow. So the punch is going to be a TEAL GREEN! Its exactly the collor of UNCW's school colors. AAARGH! Oh well, I'm sure it'll taste good. I still may just leave this one in the freezer until some other future event and see if I can come up with some blue punch! I used this same recipe for her bridal shower and used lime jello which made the perfect color of green I was after and it tasted wonderful! Here's the recipe if you are interested. Just beware of what color jello you use!
1 (6oz) or 2 (3oz) pkg. jello
3 c. sugar
2 qts boiling water
3/4 c. lemon juice
1 (46oz) can pineapple juice
2 qts cold water
2 qts ginger ale
Choose the flavor of jello according to the color of punch desired. Dissolve jello and sugar in boiling water. Add remaining ingredients, EXCEPT GINGER ALE. Pour in containers and freeze. Just before serving, add ginger ale. Remove from freezer long enough to become slushy in your punch bowl. Then add the ginger ale. Keep other containers in the freezer for future use. Makes approximately 50 cups.
It is good to freeze these in gallon freezer bags. A person to hold the bag while you pour is helpful. Then stand them up in a large pot or other container until frozen to prevent spillage.
Happy 4th of July!
Debbie J.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Fourth of July Week

I'm off work until Thursday! Huuraaaay!!!!

This morning I am finishing up addressing the baby shower invitations. The shower is July 15th. I have them almost finished and will put them in the mail box before the mail lady comes. Then I am going to work on getting the house in shape for the shower. I plan to work on one room at a time and in the rooms I don't get to I will make a list of what needs to be done there.

Since people will be coming in through the front door I will start on the front porch and foyer. I need to pick up some plants for some pots that I usually use on the porch. Hope its not to late to get some healthy ones.

The foyer contains a piano and my sewing machine. The sewing machine is in a cabinet that can be closed up when not in use. I also have a wooden shelf with baskets that contain my sewing supplies, projects in progress, fabric, etc which keeps them out of sight. This morning I plan to make it look like a foyer and not a sewing room.
I am going to Wilmington tomorrow night to attend another baby shower for my daughter being given by her co-workers.

On the menu tonight is lasagna!

Have a great Monday!

Debbie J.

Glimpses of Home - A Little Bit of Fall

I've been enjoying Fall.  I love this time of year. Having a hubby who is retired is great.  He does so many things around the house. ...