Thursday, February 27, 2014

Updates from the Farmhouse

As February, 2014 comes to an end, I thought I'd update you on some of the goings on around here. 

Grandchild number 4 is another.... (drumroll please).... BOY!

The Gender Reveal Cake

The icing on the inside was blue!

So by early July, we will have four grandsons.

But, the baby news doesn't end there!  Another grandchild is due by the end of August.  Its too early to know the gender.  My gut feeling is that this one will be a girl, but if not, having five grandsons will be wonderful!   I've got to get busy making baby quilts and hats, not to mention planning for Christmas of 2014!

I made it through another birthday!  I took a day of vacation from work in honor of me last Friday and spent the day sewing.   On Saturday, my daughter and two of my grandsons met me in a nearby town for shopping and lunch.  Here's an old picture of me and my best friend daughter.

This picture was from twenty years ago!
Hubby and I still have restaurant gift cards from Christmas, and used two of them for my birthday.  Saturday night was at a local steak house and then on Sunday morning , we went straight from church to Cracker Barrel for a late breakfast.  My church service starts at 9:00 A.M., so we were able to eat before 11:00.  I love to shop in the Cracker Barrel gift shop, but don't usually actually buy much there.  But, this time I did pick up a new coffee mug.  Its from their Sanctuary Garden collection. 

Nice and large with a little weight to it! 
I've have a little Spring fever, so I'm trying my hand at growing some lettuce from seed.  These are on my kitchen window sill.  I plan to start some tomato seeds soon, but not for a couple of weeks.  I know from experience that the earlier I do this, the more work it becomes!  

I know I'm crazy, but I wouldn't mind just a few more snow days at home!

I started a Pinterest Board for "Fashion Over Forty For The Regular Woman" HERE.  I am a long ways over 40! ha ha ha ha.  But anyway, I love having the inspiration for putting together outfits from what I already have in my closet, or also knowing what one little item I need to purchase to go with things I already have that  make a whole new outfit.  I am putting my favorite outfits on this board, so I can look at it anytime I want to, without having to search everywhere on the internet.  NOTE:  I probably won't be wearing those skinny jeans because..... well I'm not skinny enough.  I'll just substitute regular jeans for those.

I have been busy sewing too!!!  I've got so many things on my sewing list, and grand babies keep being conceived who need quilts, children keep getting engaged who need quilts, and so I haven't had time to sew for my Etsy shop.  I did make a couple of clothespin bags, but there's not too much demand for those right now!   Oh well, there is a season for everything!

Well, there you have it!  A little news from me. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Little Tiny Frugal Tip

Most of the toothpaste tubes now come with a flip top cap.  But, when you get down to  last of the toothpaste, its almost impossible to get it out because the flip top cap prevents you from being able to squeeze the tube at the top.

I bet you all knew this, but I didn't know the flip top just screws off and underneath is the standard toothpaste tube.  I felt sort of dumb because I didn't realize this.    I was complaining to Hubby about all the toothpaste that was still in the tube and he told me about it!

The toothpaste in the above picture lasted me about another week once I learned to take the flip top cap off.

Monday, February 17, 2014

An Owl and a Tooth Fairy Monster Pillow

I made a couple of fabric toys for my grandsons. 

1.  For 7 month old Eli, a Crinkly Tag Owl:

I started with a washed Cheetos bag to go on the inside for the crinkly noise.

I made a simple pattern from notebook paper.

I experimented with the layout of the eyes and nose. Then I fused them onto the fabric and zigzagged the edges to be sure nothing could come off.

For the arms and feet, I used ribbons.  Here is the finished front:

Finished back:

For 6 year old Dylan, a monster tooth fairy pillow:

I used the same pattern as I did for Eli's owl.  But, I stuffed it with polyfil and added a pocket on the front.   I also used different eyes and added teeth and little stuffed feet.

In this picture he is watching me sew!

I got the ideas for these from Pinterest and then just made my own pattern.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Frugal Tip - Saving money and time with Amazon Subscribe and Save

In the past when I saw an Amazon Subscribe and Save deal on a blog, I never took advantage of it.   I really didn't know how it worked and it sounded complicated to me.  But, recently I have been using this service with good results!  And its very easy and convenient.

There are a few money saving blogs that I read most days and when I see an Amazon Subscribe and Save deal for a product that we use all the time, like toilet paper, I go ahead and sign up for it.  Some of these have a coupon that you just click on before ordering, to further sweeten the deal.

Some good points about Subscribe and Save that I enjoy are:

Shipping is free. 
You get plenty of notice before shipping if you need to change your order.
Its easy to skip a shipment or cancel it altogether.
I love having a good supply of things like toilet paper, dishwasher packs, facial tissue, and more.
Its easy to make sure you are getting the best price for an item.
If you are subscribed to at least 5 items you save an additional 15%
Driving up after work to find that monthly box of stuff is fun.
You can choose your monthly delivery date.
Amazon gift cards earned with Swagbucks can be applied to your order.

Here are some of the items in my Subscribe and Save account.  I don't get all of these every month.  You can get them how ever often you want them.  For example in December, I skipped all of my items altogether and then resumed in January.  If you only want to get an item for one month, that's fine too.  Just cancel it.  Several of my items only come every 3 or 4 months.

Scott Extra Soft Toilet Paper
Angel Soft Toilet Paper
Angel Soft Tissues
No Sugar Added Del Monte Canned Pears
Olay Foaming Face Wash
Cover Girl Professional Mascara
Finish Dishwasher Packs
Cascade Dishwasher Packs
Peanut Butter (gave to food pantry)
Ecotrin low dose aspirin
Dish Liquid

Some of these had a coupon and some were just a limited time good deal.   Sometimes the Amazon price IS NOT the best price.  You have to compare prices with your grocery Store.  Figure out how much the per unit of an item is, such as the dishwasher packs, and you will see that often buying the larger box from Amazon is a much better price than buying the smaller boxes more often.

There is a section on Amazon that contains all the Subscribe and Save items.  Not everything is available that way, but lots of things are.  I have found a few good deals by just searching there myself, but most of the good deals I have found came from money saving blogs such as these:

Jungle Deals and Steals
Money Saving Mom
Moms by Heart
Southern Savers
Fabulously Frugal
We use Coupons

I go to these blogs by searching for them on Swagbucks, which helps me to earn more points to get my Amazon gift cards.  If you don't already use Swagbucks, I would love for you to sign up through my referral link HERE.  That way, any points you earn up to 1000, I would get credit for also.  Once you sign up for Swagbucks and start earning Amazon gift cards, anyone who signs up through your referral link can help you earn the gift cards faster.  Each $5.00 Amazon gift card requires 450 swagbucks.

If you sign up for Swagbucks, the above list of deal blogs are good sites to search for, even if you don't want to participate in Subscribe and Save. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Church

What! Its already February 10, 2014! It was all a blur, between having the flu and minor surgery for skin cancer on my nose.

I was visiting Mama's grave to place a new flower arrangement on it and took a few pictures of my church with my cell phone.  This is on the western side of the 140 year old building.  Every time I go to church I go check on her grave.  Its such a peaceful, beautiful spot.

Love this picture with the sun's (Son's?) rays glowing behind the tree.
A little clearer view without the sun glow.  What a blessing being raised in this church has been.

The church building is in the shape of a cross.   You can see a large bell in the steeple if you look closely.  It has to be rung by pulling a long rope.  It takes a strong man or 2 or 3 boys to make it ring.  One of Mama's wishes was that the bell be rung when she was being carried from the church to her final resting spot.   An older man was in charge of ringing the bell.  It was a close call, but he was able to get a few "DONG, DONGS" out of the bell.  Probably needed two "older" men!  How she would have loved seeing six of her handsome grandsons and great grandsons, all dressed in dark suits, carrying her to be laid beside her dear Mama and Papa, as the bell was being rung!

Purple for Mama, Sunflowers for me.    

Looking South
This is the old section of the cemetery.  To the left of this are Sunday School buildings, the Fellowship Hall, Pastor's Home, and a new section of the cemetery.

Next to the farmhouse, this place feels most like home to me.   Many Saints and Angels have walked these grounds.

Glimpses of Home - HOOKS!

Now that's an exciting title, isn't it?  HaHa  While working around the house the other day I realized that I have a lot of over t...