Monday, December 19, 2016

Delicious Low Carb Hot Chocolate

Here's my best attempt at a low carb hot chocolate! Its delicious and almost tastes like McDonald's. Just a little over 10 carbs and is on plan for Trim Healthy Mama

1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, about 3/4 tablespoon cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons stevia (3 is better but was trying to hold down the carb count) (I use Pyure), 2 tablespoons heavy cream or half & half, whipped topping on the top. I only used a very tiny amount of sprinkles. Heat the milk and cream or half & half in the microwave for 2 minutes (adjust to your microwave). This amount fits in one of these tall coffee cups. Then add the other ingredients and stir well. When you get done there will be some cocoa powder in the bottom of the cup, but I just pour that out. You can also adjust the sweetness and amount of chocolate to your taste.




The weather is really dreary and cold today.  It was almost 80 yesterday and only got into the 30s Friday! 

Happy Monday!

Monday, December 12, 2016

My Christmas Table

I love these plates and forks found at Walmart. 


I tried to do a natural centerpiece.  The apples and some of the leaves are real.  There are beans in the jar with a battery operated candle.





I made the runner and napkins.  My table is oval and its very hard to find the right tablecloth in the right size and shape.  I may buy a solid muslin colored one in a rectangle shape and then round the corners myself with the sewing machine.  


My favorite one.  I searched 4 Walmarts and finally found one.


Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Fall Cleaning In The Storage Building

This is the small storage building that my Hubby has designated as mine.  It contains so many different kinds of things including, but not limited to gardening supplies, gardening tools, plastic totes full of various household items, kids' yard toys, flower pots, potting soil, fertilizer, clothes drying racks, Christmas trees, canning jars and supplies, vases, wreaths, cemetery flowers, garden flags and much, much more.


The weather was so beautiful on Saturday, I thought it would be a good idea to work in the building.  It won't be long before winter will be here and I won't want to be working outside.  So, I spent a  couple of hours trying to get it in some kind of order.  The main problem is that I have stored some small pieces of furniture out there and when I put the furniture in there, I put it in the middle, just so the door would still close.  Then things got put on top of the furniture and it was down hill from there!


My goodness!


After two hours, everything is straightened up and it looks so much better.  Its still not pretty to look at, but that's ok.  It is an outside storage building after all!   I need to spend some time going through things, decluttering, etc., but I made some great progress.  Here's an after picture that shows we can now actually walk inside the building.

We threw away a large black garbage bag filled with trash, two boxes of old newspapers and an old metal dresser chair.

My cleaning zone for this week is the living room and front porch.  I've already decluttered and deep cleaned most of this area, so I just need to do maintenance cleaning.  Things like cleaning under furniture, detail dusting and cleaning under the cushions on the couch.

I have to say that my home is the cleanest its been since we moved in!  I am loving it.  In addition to my zone cleaning, I now have a morning cleaning routine that I do before work which is mostly just straightening everything up.  Its so nice to walk into a clean house after work every day.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cute Treats For The Child with Food Allergies

I saw this idea on Facebook and since we have one grandson who has food allergies, namely peanuts and beans, I made a few.


They are so easy. All you need are clear plastic cups, grapes, marshmallows, a sharpie and some press and seal or plastic wrap.  You draw the face on the outside of the cups after placing the grapes and marshmallows inside. Then Just cover with the wrap.

Monday, October 24, 2016

My attempt at a Pinterest Pantry...

I Keep tweaking our pantry, trying to organize it and make it work better for us. I study Pinterest looking for ideas.  Well, my pantry would NOT qualify as a pretty Pinterest pantry, but I did get some pretty good ideas.

The Flashlights are all together, ready for the next power outage, which I hope is a long time from now!

Lots of the Pinterest pantry pictures had cute chalkboard labels that were supposedly sold at Dollar Tree.  My Dollar Tree didn't have them and the clerk said she didn't know if they ever had. I didn't have time to look in other stores, so I just bought a pack of these labels and used a black sharpie to write the labels.  The red totes came from Dollar Tree also and came in several colors.


The shelves are deep, so if I have items that don't fit in the totes, there is room behind them.


I like this towel lined basket for our potatoes.


I came up with this system for storing canned foods by buying soda can organizers at Dollar tree and using wire shelves that I already had.  I like this system because I can see at a glance what we need and we can keep them rotated by expiration date easily by always putting new cans in the back and pulling from the front when getting a new can out.



I store small appliances that aren't used on a daily basis on the top shelf above the canned items. 


This bottom shelf is where Hubby and I put our lunch bags after work every day.  You can see the bread maker is stored in the back of the deep shelf.  I haven't used that in a LONG time.  Its not good to use a bread maker too often when one is trying eat low carb. LOL


Here are all the plastic wraps, aluminum foil, garbage bags, zipper bags, etc.  The shelves are deep, so in back are stored some more seldom used items, such as the large stock pot on the right.

My attempt at a Pinterest Pantry is an ongoing process.  We will finish painting the shelves and I may eventually find the chalkboard labels and make some other improvements, but it will probably not ever be considered a Pinterest Pantry!

This week's Fall cleaning zone is the master bedroom and closet.  I've been waiting for this zone to come around again because the closet needs some work!  Also, its time to switch out the summer clothes for fall and winter things.  We still have some warm weather around here, but I won't be wearing some of the sleeveless and thinner things again until next spring.

Have a great day and week!  I am thoroughly enjoying our fall weather here in North Carolina!

Monday, October 17, 2016

In The Land of Cotton

Of all the crops that are planted behind our house, I love cotton the best.  Hurricane Matthew has damaged it some and so its not quite as pretty as I had hoped.  The little cotton balls are kind of hard and didn't open up fully.


I always think of my Mama when I see cotton.  She picked more than her share in her early years.  She would often tell me stories of her cotton picking days.  Mama was a hard working woman.  She helped my grandfather keep the farm going while all her brothers were away in the war.  Even in her later years she could work circles around me!


These boys love to run around in the fields.  They are technically city boys, but they have some country farmer blood in them, since they are related to me!


Homemaking plans for this week:  Continue with Fall cleaning and Spend 15 minutes a day doing daily cleaning.  The weekend was so busy, I didn't get my basic maintenance cleaning done, so I hope to do it during the week before work.  Its easy to do 15 minutes of work each morning and it really makes a difference.  The zone I'm working on this week in doing my Fall cleaning is the hallway and guest bedroom.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Hurricane Decluttering

We are slowly getting back to normal after Hurricane Matthew passed through here. We are so thankful that our problems were minimal compared to so many. We were without power for three days and had some family members over for a couple of days who's power was still off after ours came back on.

I decided I would take advantage of some time off from work by continuing on with my Fall cleaning.  These two cabinets were really getting cluttered!  They are high up and I store things up there that aren't used too often.  I can't even reach the back of the one over the refrigerator.

So here are the before and after pictures.  When I was working on these two cabinets, the storm was going on outside and our power had not gone off yet. 

Before

After




Before

After
After the power went off, I spent a lot of time working in the dining room.  The weather was sunny and beautiful by then and with the window blinds open, there was plenty of light to see what I was doing.   I deep cleaned everything, washing windows, mopping, detail dusting, and organizing everything.  The china cabinet and two other cabinets were completely organized.  I was glad to have something to do other than sitting and laying around just looking at the walls!

The roads in our area were damaged so badly, that we couldn't really go anywhere.  All the nearby towns were without power, so there were no stores or restaurants open.  We threw away everything in our refrigerator and freezer, but when we went grocery shopping after power was restored, the grocery stores had not replaced their cold or frozen foods yet.  So today I plan to make a stock up trip for basics like milk, butter, etc.

So many people in our area are dealing with flooding and damages way worse that we did.   I sure don't want to see any more hurricanes for a long time!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Under the Sink

Fall Cleaning continues!  Last week I worked in the kitchen.  Deep cleaning in the kitchen isn't for sissies!  I've decided that I have to clean the oven more often, so that when I do clean it, it isn't a marathon!  Good Grief!

Here are the before and after pictures for the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink:

Before

After
I love the chicken wire basket with the burlap trim, that I am storing dishwasher tablets in.  I found it at Dollar General.  They only had one at that particular store, but since there are several more Dollar General Stores nearby, I plan to look for more.  I think it would be cute for storing folded dishtowels and dish cloths.

I didn't take a before picture of the silverware drawer, but here's the after picture.  This is another small area that needs to be cleaned regularly.  I don't know how the tray gets so dirty.  Evidently every time the drawer is opened, some dust or crumbs jump in there!


In my planning for fall cleaning in zones, I allowed extra time for the kitchen.  So, this week I'll finish working in the kitchen and also work in the dining room.  I planned eight zones, and this is week eight!  I am going to start over next week with zone one, because there were some jobs in each zone that I didn't get done and I also want to keep the work I've done maintained.  Also, all of the closets in the house need work. 

My ultimate plan is that once I get the whole house completely decluttered and cleaned, I will have time for sewing and quilting.  Can't wait.

Here are a couple more Fall Pictures from our yard.




Have a wonderful first week of October!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fall Farmhouse Yard Spruce Up

My Fall Cleaning in zones continues!  So far I have tackled the deep cleaning and spruce up of the Main Bathroom, Master Bedroom, Living Room, Sewing Room and this past week, the porches and yard.

Y'all, its still hot around here!  I worked every afternoon after work and most of the day on Saturday,  and was so hot and sweaty.  My hubby trimmed the bushes and a big pine tree, and brought me some pine straw, potting soil, mums and pumpkins.  But, my biggest surprise was the John Deere green bench shown on the porch here.
 ~ Love ~

I made the pillows for the rocking chairs before work one morning and another morning I raked up the hedge trimmings.


I had planned to store the pallet flag after Labor Day, but I decided I like it with mums and pumpkins.  What's more American than flags and pumpkins?


My hubby also had these cute pumpkins designed.  I love them.  He likes to call me Glamma.


I divided and re-potted some house plants.


Other chores I got done are:  Dead heading flowers, trimming everything, weeding, planting a hydrangea, transplanting a day lily and another plant, putting out pine straw, sweeping and cleaning the floors of the porches and organizing and getting rid of some flower pots.

Here are some more pictures that I took that have nothing to do with cleaning up the yard, but I like.

 A cotton boll that has opened.


 A cotton flower.


The cotton field.  Eventually the leaves will fall off and all the white cotton will shine! 



... And EEEK!  A spider!


This coming week, I have 2 projects in mind.  First of all the zone I am working in is the mud room/pantry/laundry room area.  This area isn't nearly as overwhelming to me as some of the others have been.  The second thing is that the men's group at my church are having a yard sale next weekend and I plan to get together some things to donate.  This will help me a lot in my fall cleaning and decluttering.  I need to have the donations together by Friday afternoon.  So my plan of attack is to do a 15 or 20 minute job in the zone each morning and then to work on gathering the donations for a few minutes each day after work.  Wish me luck!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fall Sewing Room Cleaning and Organization

My Fall cleaning is going well!  Our home looks so much nicer and I am really enjoying the results.  Last week I worked in the sewing room.  I should have taken "before" pictures.  But, trust me, it was bad.

Here are a few pictures of the finished room.

I washed all the windows.  This room has great light, especially in the morning.


These baskets and drawers contain fabric sorted by color.  


I'm thinking of ordering an over the door iron hanger, but for now using two over the door hooks works.  I normally keep the ironing board set up all the time, but the room looks so much nicer with it up off the floor.  So I plan to only have it out when I am using it.  When I am sewing and quilting, that would be all the time though!


I have lots of books and magazines. Some of them have nothing to do with quilting, but most do.  


This area is behind the door, so its not as visible.  These totes contain batting, scraps and the one with the pink top contain children's type fabrics.


These are the 12 blocks I made when I was working on the Splendid Sampler Quilt Along.  I couldn't keep up, so I am going to make a small quilt to hang on the wall in the sewing room.  


This an old dresser that was in the bedroom my sister and I slept in when growing up.  I'm going to hang the quilt wall hanging above it.


This is an old doll cradle with a bear made from an old quilt.




He likes looking out the window too.



Of course, if he had eyes, that would help!


This is my old Singer.  It needs something "quilty" hanging above it too.


Plants:



Small touches.






This is my Mama's old machine. I took it out of the cabinet since I really don't have room for it. Some day I would like to paint the sewing machine cabinets white and use them both in this room.


Nothing helps me get in the mood for sewing and quilting more than having a clean, organized and inviting space.  Lets get busy!

Practice first.... Sew once!

I worked on the monogrammed bags I am making for Christmas gifts over the weekend.  I had already been successful with one bag.  The monogra...