I'm so glad you stopped by. Whatcha see is whatcha get. I value your comments! Together we can be great.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Book Review: Three Cups by Mark St. Germain


I got the e-book version of Three Cups directly from the publisher at Booksneeze.com. I did like the illustrations even on the e-book version, however, I was a little bit disappointed by the simplicity of the book. I'm not sure if it's because I already am aware of the idea of breaking your finances up into three cups, or if I wanted a little more "story" along with the instructions. 

I have actually tried the concept in the past with my children and had little luck. Every single one of them ended up "playing" with the cups -- dumping the money out and stacking it up...and I found it very hard to pay the children with the three cup method. For example, you cannot give a child a $5 bill, or a $1 bill... you have to give him a sum that is able to be broken up according to your spending habits. 

So maybe my experiences colored my view of the book in a negative light. It is beautifully illustrated but overly simplistic. I'd like to see somewhere in the back some information on how to make this work in the real world.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review: Healing Is A Choice

Book Review:

Stephen Arterburn

     I found this wonderful website called Booksneeze.com.  In all fairness, my hubby found it and thought of me...and I was hooked.  That man is so smart!  ANY WHO...from what I gather, they send me books to review and I read them and review them and it is a very happy relationship.  This is my first review, so we'll see how it goes.

     To be honest, I initially avoided reading this book.  I received it from Booksneeze.com and was kind of regretting my choice.  Upon reading the introduction I was thinking that maybe I didn’t need to heal and therefore, would get nothing out of this book.  About halfway through the first chapter, I came to understand that although I have not been wounded emotionally and don’t need help healing in that aspect, it WILL come in handy for me to counsel others who DO need to heal.  I like the way the book is set up.  Each chapter starts with a choice that we all have to make, followed by a lie that we all tend to believe that keeps us from making that choice.  Arterburn includes plenty of real-life examples to make his point.  There is also a workbook component added into this particular edition, and both the book and the workbook are formatted to be used personally or as a group study.  In an effort to be completely honest, I skipped over the workbook pages simply so I could review this in a timely manner, but I fully intend to go back again after the new year and work through the workbook page by page.  He has a lot of good questions and scripture verses to study in here.  Bottom line:  I really think Arterburn has excellent information in this book for those who need to heal AND for loved ones who want to help those who need to heal.  It think it is a book that anyone who counsels people should keep as a reference.

     Frankly, I can't wait until I have the time to go through the workbook question by question.  There are a ton of scripture verses I really want to dig into, but I just am being stretched too thinly right now to give it my full attention.  I laugh at myself each time I finish a chapter because I initially avoided reading it for a FULL WEEK after I got it.  Then I read the intro...and felt even LESS willing to read it.  I mean, I have had my share of very minor emotional burns.  You can't get through this life without them.  But the book seems to be more for people who have been abused or suffered MAJOR emotional upheaval.  But as I said, I think the book will come in handy at some point in my life.  I mean, my parents and close friends and family are all still alive.  Eventually, I am going to have to deal with the inevitable...and I feel this book will definitely help with that.  The only thing that maybe creeps me out about this book is this:  in my own personal experience, God tends to provide for my needs...ahead of time.  For example, three years ago, I got an envelope in the mail with $300.00 in it around this time of year.  It was a gift from dear friends...and it was something I totally didn't need at the time!  I was literally wracking my brain trying to figure out what God wanted me to do with this money.  lol. (such problems, I know)  Well, approximately one week later my Grandfather died unexpectedly.  He lived in WI.  We lived in PA.  That unexpected $300.00 got us to the funeral and [mostly] back (it's a long story!).
     I know I could think of at least two other examples in my life like this...later.
     But you see my point....what is He preparing me for?  Whatever it is, I plan to read this book asking God the entire time what He needs me to learn because he is good to prepare me in this way!
     So if you would like to have this book as a reference, I completely recommend it.  Everyone should have a copy on the shelf.  Obviously, if you need to figure out what steps you need to take to recover and heal from major emotional trauma, this book is also for you.  You can find it right here.

Just Amy


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Virtue Of The Month: Gratitude

     The Virtue for this month is:

Gratitude: Letting others know
you see how they've
helped you
So far, to kick things off, we have made a "Gratitude Box".  I basically covered a shoe box in pretty paper.  It's really Christmas paper, but I think we can use our imagination from LAST month and pretend that it's just random green trees...right?  RIGHT!

In "real life", it is hard to see the words because the Sharpie I used is apparently running out.  But as you can see in the picture, it comes out looking a little like grati"fude".  Weird.

The plan is to use the slit in the top of the box for slips of paper containing things we are grateful for.  So far we are grateful for the following things:

DS #2: (Dear Son #2) is grateful for...his fork.  I am serious.  He said without it, his hands would get all dirty eating his pot pie for dinner.  Not as profound as I was looking for, but I will refrain from judging.  He does have a point.  No one wants gooey beef gravy between his fingers.

DH (Dear Husband) is grateful for being able to spend a few moments alone with individual members of the family in the past few days.  This is a rare occurrence in our household.  We tend to always be together...and if we are NOT all together, then the person or people who are not with us are out in the world somewhere.  

DD (Dear Daughter) is grateful for her family.  (awww....) I don't think she knows yet that I will not be allowing repeats.  ;-)

DS #1 is grateful that he gets to breathe another day...he probably knows that he will not be able to repeat, so he is getting the really profound ones out of the way at the beginning - while they are fresh in his mind.  Then when he can't think of anything "good" he'll resort to thanking God for his fork.  

And I am grateful that I did not have to make OR buy lunch for the family...nor did I have to serve it.  I got to have a piece of pizza with peppers and onions and sausage...and I don't even know what else, but it was SO TASTY. I washed it down with a Dr. Pepper, which is my FAVORITE poison, er, I mean...soda.  Afterward, I was told that I am a rock star just because I get to do stuff I LOVE - like pretending to be a super-cool human being on a stage twice a month...and smooching babies once a month...and now I even get to support the small group leaders every week!  

These are all volunteer opportunities in the Family Ministries department at my church.  It started out as a favor for a friend, and now I can't imagine NOT doing it.  How dull my life must have been before...  I may need to revise this statement in a few years, but at this current time in my life, my theory is this:  If you have found your spiritual gift, and you are able to take advantage of using that gift to serve others, I don't think you will get burned out.  Because you are in God's will and everything is in balance...and He will just work miracles through you.  I can't wait until a year from now so I can look back and think "Wow.  It's been a year already?  That time FLEW".  Of course, I could be completely wrong and be burned out in 6 months.  Or maybe I got my gift wrong?  But I really don't think so.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Conversations With a Five Year Old

DD:  Mom, does God ever make mistakes?
ME: Nope.  God never makes mistakes.  That's what makes him God.
DD: Does Jesus ever make mistakes?
ME: No. And you want to know what's extra-cool about that? He was HUMAN for 33 years...and he STILL never made a mistake! That's what makes him SO worthy of our praise.
DD: (eyes huge) Wow!  I wish I could be like Jesus.
ME: Me too, Dolly.  But I think if we TRY to be like Jesus, even though we will fail miserably, we'll probably turn out to be pretty decent people, don't you think?
DD: Yeah.  But what if we make mistakes while we're trying to be like Jesus?
ME:  That's what grace and forgiveness are for.  God will forgive us...even though we don't deserve it.
DD:  God is really awesome!
ME: He really is.
DD:  Did you put half and half in here? (looking at her hot cocoa)

And just as quickly as the deep, poignant conversation started, it was OVER!  But, WOW.  Where did I learn to say stuff like that? It almost sounded like a Hallmark movie. If you had told me ten years ago that I would be having a discussion like that with my daughter, I wouldn't have believed it.  I probably wouldn't have even believed I would HAVE a daughter, much less be having such a thoughtful, important conversation about the God of the universe with her.  That is the power of the Spirit.  He works constantly, but I don't notice a lot of the time.  Then I get little glimpses of the importance of my role as mother to my children...and am blown away.  I don't want to waste a moment of our time together!

Just Amy

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My NEW Favorite Laundry Detergent!

I went through great pains
to photograph
making laundry detergent
just so you could
see how easy
it can be.

Therefore, it is with 
and head-hanging
that I make this post.

I've found THE easiest
way to make  your own
laundry detergent.

It's easier to make,
It's easier to store.
Dare I say 
It's easier to use?


So here's the recipe: 
I won't even post pics
because it's THAT

1 cup grated Fels Naptha Soap

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup 20 mule team borax

Mix and store in airtight container or bag. For light or small loads, use 1 tablespoon. For normal loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons. Cost per load .15.

To make a large batch - grate 6 bars of Fels Naptha Soap and then add 3 cups of Washing Soda and 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax.  Mix well and store in covered container.
For more recipes, visit Soaps Gone Buy, my favorite place on the web!

You will have to measure
the first time to be sure,
but I believe one bar 
yields about 3 cups 
grated soap...so I just
it and have lots of detergent
to use.

I also mix it up thoroughly
with a whisk, but as I was doing it
I thought maybe a dough-cutter
would work just as well.

I cannot believe I put
you though the torture
of making a 5 gallon bucket
full of soap.
This powdered stuff fits
in a big Gladware container on
the counter. AND
I don't have to pay beg my
husband to haul it upstairs for me!
So much nicer.
In my own defense, though,
I honestly thought powdered
soap wouldn't work in
my machine.


It's all good. 

Another plus?
It will be easier for me to 
send some to my lovely
sister for Christmas!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

52 Weeks of Organizing

Before I even begin, I am going to
apologise for the atrocious

I actually took them with the computer
because I wanted to get the post
up ASAP.

The plan is to go back with the good
camera (and in the daylight)
to take better pictures and just
edit the post later.

Good luck with that.

One of my new favorite blogs,
is having a challenge of sorts.

52 Weeks of Organizing

SHE actually enjoys organizing.
I'm not completely sold on the process,
I do like the results.


I'm gonna try it. 
What's the worst that can happen?
I do nothing...just like
the nothing I've been doing the past
10 years? 

I was supposed to come up with a list.
52 projects.

I couldn't come up with 52.
Just coming up with 4
made me slightly twitchy.

Will I be able to do this in one week?
What if something "comes up"?
It would really ruin me if I started on
project 1 and didn't get it done in time
for project 2...
The perfectionist in me would scrap
the whole ordeal.


I have 4.
And here they are.

1. Organize the landing on the way down to the basement.  Previous owners installed shelves here that are SO NICE (well, not nice looking, but a nice thing to have on the landing of the stairs) I just can't seem to decide what exactly to use them for.  Because I can't seem to decide what to use them for...everything that is SUPPOSED to go to the basement but we are too lazy to take all the way down there makes a pit-stop here.  And then never leaves.  I think I would like to use these shelves as extra pantry/kitchen storage.  Extra boxes and cans that we pick up when Price Chopper has a sale. Extra kitchen machines and pans that maybe I don't use often enough to constitute them taking up precious cupboard space, but I don't use them so little that they require long-term storage or a trip to the Salvation Army.  Here is how it looks now:

I was trying to show you how the disaster has moved from the shelves and spilled across the actual floor of the landing...making it a real hassle to even get in the basement at all...in fact, the other day I smacked the edge of my kneecap on that stupid crock-pot there and it brought tears to my eyes.  How awful it would be if we had to have a furnace person or plumber come fix something down there!

2.  This picture is even worse than the basement picture because it's so dark, but hopefully you can see it.
     The second project is going to be my front porch.  I think I secretly have not accepted that the previous owners decided to enclose this space.  Yes, it is nice in the winter...it gets all nice and warm from the son and probably really helps keep the front of the house warm.  But the rest of the year I really wish it were an "outside" porch like it was originally meant to be.  Because of this, I believe I subconsciously ignore it.  We use it for, well, anything we don't need that we can't fit in the basement... So the kid's bicycles are out there, their scooters and skateboards, some chairs we can't fit in the house...my favorite: the exercise bike.  Everyone has one of those to hang clothes on right? I do have a little decorative ladder out there that I used to do up all nice, but since our recent home-improvement project, that has been inaccessible.  The picture only shows a tiny sliver of the clutter.  Maybe when the light is better I can get a "whole porch" picture so you can really share in my utter embarrassment.  I guess this is another place I need to make a decision about how I want to use the space...and commit to it. Oh, and accept the fact that the porch is enclosed and not a southern-style veranda!

First and foremost, this is the first thing people see when they come to my house!  This is unacceptable.

3.  The third project is in my DD's room.  Her room is the nursery.  It is TEENY TINY.  We are biding her time in there until my oldest leaves in 5ish years...then she can inhabit his room for the rest of her time here.  But until then, she gets her very limited space.  I want to concentrate on her "toy box".  Somewhere along the line, someone figured out that it was safer to have these collapsible storage units for children.  I do see the genius in it, since my second son was good for taking hard-sided objects, stacking them up, and climbing them to get toys near the ceiling of his room.  However, they stink. Or maybe we stuff too many toys in there?  Whatever the reason, I aim to organize her toys.  I need to find a way to organize them that makes it WAY EASY for her to put them away, but that looks nice when they are put away.  I'm thinking a cubby unit from Target...but we'll worry about this when it comes time to start the project.  Here is the "before" picture:

Quite fuzzy, I know.  Sorry.  This space is actually behind her door.  So whatever goes in there will need to allow the door to open enough to safely get into and out of the room...

4.  And the final project that I have planned so far is my DS #2's room.  Now at this particular time, his toys are ALL OVER...and that will probably make the list also.  But before I get to that, I would like to organize his DRESSER.  To be honest, I would like to just chuck the dresser and buy him a new one...but I'm having a buy nothing year...so unless Salvation Army comes up with a promising one...we'll have to see what we can do with this one.  Let me just say:  those units they sell with the nursery furniture...the ones that "grow with your child"?  Don't buy them!  Unless your child is normal.  My child (he's the climber) broke his years ago climbing into the drawer to get on top of the dresser to....I don't even know what.  Maybe we can just put a new slider in it.  Regardless, we need to weed out clothes that are too small and figure out a  way to organize what is left in a way that he can start to put his own clothes away...and if it is possible, in a way that when he picks his clothes out for the day he doesn't un-fold everything in the drawer EVERY DAY.  Is this a pipe dream? Maybe we can use cubbies from Target for this too?  Those would fit right into his closet and give him TONS of room! Oh right. Buy nothing...unless it's necessary!!  lol.

See what I mean?  The bottom drawer is open because it's too hard for him to close himself...The rest of it is probably my fault...a started project gone wrong.  Now, if I do get the top of this cleared off, I need to think of SOMETHING to put on it to hopefully dissuade him from climbing up there...any ideas?

Well, that's all I've got.  Do you see now why I'm concerned that these projects will take more than a week?  I left extra room on my handy-dandy list just in case.  Just writing them down and seeing the embarrassing pictures has given me several other projects to tackle.  I cannot wait for the AFTER pictures!

There you have it.
A month's worth of projects for 2011.
The plan is to try to spend an hour
a day on them and no more.
We'll see.

Fly on over to
to start your own
52 weeks of projects!

Just Amy

Monday, January 3, 2011

Making Yogurt With "Brothers and Sisters"

I have recently been successful in making
a batch of Greek Yogurt.
I've made my own yogurt regularly before,
but paused for a bit...
and came back wanting Greek!

So, I want to share with my dear reader(s?)
how to accomplish this
while watching your favorite Sunday
evening program on T.V!

If you love Greek yogurt as I do,
it HAS to save you some cash making
it at home - since it's $1.19
for 6 oz...

So here it goes. 
I will just give a straight procedure
exactly how I do it first, and
then some variations I
have tried...and
maybe some I have not yet tried.

I should probably put a disclaimer here:
I make yogurt all the time in my own home.
None of my family has ever gotten sick
from my home-made yogurt.

I am just a homemaker trying to cut some
pennies out of the family budget, not a
professional yogurt-maker.
So I put this up on this blog as general
info only.  Use common sense!
I take no responsibility for what you do in
your own kitchen.

There.  I said it.

You will need:
A quart jar (Ball or Mason canning jar), preferably with a lid
A medium size sauce pan
Milk (can use any from skim to whole)
The best-tasting plain yogurt you can find in the store - make sure it has live and active cultures in it (and don't try using already made Greek...it doesn't work)*
Small bowl
Wire Whisk
Somewhere warm to put the yogurt (heating pad, crock-pot, oven)

It is helpful but not absolutely necessary to have a candy thermometer (I actually use a candle-making one, and it hasn't failed me yet)

If making Greek yogurt you will also need:
Coffee filters


1. Fill the quart jar up with milk. Not to the top, because you will end up with slightly more at the end than in the beginning.  Mine has measuring marks on it, so I just fill it up to the highest measure.

2.  Pour milk into the saucepan and heat to about 150-180 degrees Fahrenheit.  The goal here is to try to kill any potential nasties that may have gotten into the milk to this point without also killing the good bacteria that is going to grow you some yummy yogurt!  So don't boil the milk.  If you do not have a thermometer, you want to take it off the stove just before the boiling point, but it should definitely be too hot to touch comfortably.  In my experience it takes roughly one segment of "Brothers and Sisters".  (seriously, that's when I check it. lol.)

3.  Once milk reaches 150-180 degrees Fahrenheit, remove it from the heat and let cool down to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is the longest hands-on part.  It generally takes the rest of Brothers and Sisters to get cool enough, but check it on the commercials. lol.  If you have no thermometer, it should be cool enough that you can comfortably handle a drop on your wrist.  (I'd say what you would warm baby formula to, if that helps)

4. While you are waiting for it to cool, measure out 2 Tablespoons of your store-bought yogurt into the small bowl.  I am not real precise - sometimes it's slightly heaping, sometimes slightly less.  You want to have this ready to go because when the milk gets cool, you want to work quickly. At this point I also turn my oven on the lowest setting possible to get it warmed up.

5.  When your milk gets to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit, take a little bit of it (say, a gravy ladle full) out of the pan and mix it with the store-bought yogurt in the bowl using a whisk.  Obviously, you can use a fork or whatever you have handy - just make sure to get it all incorporated.  Then quickly dump that mixture into the pan full of milk and whisk it around to get it all incorporated again. **

6.  Now dump the pan full of milk and yogurt culture into your quart jar, put the lid on. TURN OFF THE OVEN, and then place the yogurt carefully in the oven, turn the oven light ON and shut the door.  Now Brothers and Sisters should be done and you can go to bed.  The oven will hold enough heat to constitute a "warm place". 

7.  In the morning (anywhere from 8 to 12 hours later) *** take the yogurt out of the "warm place" and put it in the fridge. 

* Once you have successfully made a batch at home, you can use your own yogurt.  This is called chain-yogurting and each time you do it, the final product will get progressively more runny.  I have not actually tried chain-yogurting because I usually freeze the left over store-bought yogurt and use it again...and by the time we have used that all up, we are so sick of yogurt we need a break.  My yogurt-making sources say you can probably chain-yogurt about 4 times before something funky gets in there and you need to start fresh.  Again, if you freeze some of your batch, it could be months before you ever need to buy yogurt again.

** A lot of places that I have found yogurt recipes tell you to be careful not to disturb the skin that tends to form on the milk when you heat it...they make it sound like it will ruin the whole ordeal if you disturb this precious skin.  THAT'S BALONEY!  Whisk that stuff in there...I even take the skin off and it still makes fine yogurt.
     Also at this point, if you want VANILLA flavored yogurt rather than plain, you can add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract at this point.  I haven't tried this yet because I forgot to add the vanilla last night...but NEXT week, it's going in there!

*** Make sure you let it sit undisturbed at least 8 hours.  I accidentally took it out after 4 and ended up with slime....  I used it for smoothies, but the texture was not at all yogurt-like, and it hardly had flavor at all.  The longer you let it sit, the more tart it will get. I've learned that from experience too.  TART!


Okay, so now you've made your yogurt and are wondering how to get that luscious, creamy, almost-like sour-cream-tasting Greek Yogurt that you pay an arm and a leg for in the store. 

You're going to kick yourself!  lol.

Greek Yogurt is nothing more than strained yogurt.

1. Take a cup of regular, plain yogurt. (when I tried it I used my left over store-bought from above, so it was actually not quite a cup)  Place it in the center of a double-layer of coffee filters.*

2. Gather the edges of the filters, being careful not to rip them, and tie them together with a string that is long enough to also be tied to something to hang. (I used a ribbon from one of the kid's balloons. It's what I had on hand!)

3.  Hang it over a bowl overnight ** and voila!  You have Greek-style yogurt!  I believe if you leave it one more night, you get "cream cheese"! ***

* I used coffee filters because it was an off-the-cuff experiment.  All the sources say to use cheesecloth or a clean dish towel.  Next time I'm serious about the Greek thing I am going to relegate one of my brand-new flour sack towels that I've been meaning to embroider to the task.

** My sources don't ever specify WHERE to hang the yogurt... when I did my experiment I hung it right over my kitchen sink (boy the husband must have been wondering if I'd lost my marbles when he got up for work).  I ate the product and am still alive, so it doesn't seem to be a hazard to let it sit unrefrigerated overnight.  Next time I do it, I may try hanging it from the rack in the fridge to see if it makes a difference or not.  Also, if you are a non-waster like I am, you can use what drips out (whey) in your smoothie for breakfast. Just FYI.

*** If Greek yogurt is all you are interested in, you can just buy regular yogurt (which is much cheaper than Greek) and strain it yourself. 

Obviously with both regular and Greek yogurt, you will want to add sugar and fruit to taste...if you want flavored yogurt.  Have fun and enjoy the process!

Just Amy

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Being a Phillipians 4:8 Kind of Woman

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable --if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.   Phillipians 4:8

This will be my focus for January.

Too many times I think I have
a conversation in my head that
goes something like this:

"This sucks."
"Why is this happening to me?"
"Why can't my life just be easy for once?"
"Does He really hate me?"
"Why can't I just do what I want"
"Why do I never get to have pretty things"
"I can't handle this"
"I give up!"

Okay, I lied. 
I don't THINK I have those
constant, on-going, TOXIC


I know it too well,
and even while I'm having them,
I know they need to stop.


So my focus at least for January
and hopefully through the year
will be to stop the
toxic monologue
in my brain.

I follow a podcast through
iTunes that offers guided
One of the things the lady says
that is supremely helpful for me
is that beginners mistakenly
think that the goal of meditation
is to stop thoughts
and just

But she says in her meditations:

"thoughts don't matter"
"do not get involved in making up a
story about your thoughts"

When my toxic train get's going,
that's exactly what I am doing!
I am making up a story about those
negative thoughts...
telling myself God doesn't love me
or God wants me to suffer
or God is unreasonable and expects
WAY too much from me...

But if I take away the story,
I'm just left with thoughts.
And if the thoughts just aren't TRUE,
then they are not from God.

Because God is Truth.

If I take away the story,
I'm just left with thoughts.
If the thoughts aren't LOVING,
then they are not from God.

Because God is Love.

If I take away the story,
and I am left with TRUTHFUL,
LOVING thoughts,
eventually, I will become
a truthful and loving person


As water reflects a face,
so a man's heart [thoughts] reflects the man.
Proverbs 27:19

...as water reflects my face,
so my thoughts reflect who I am...

or, to be cute and new-agey...

What you think about you bring about!

Just Amy

Saturday, January 1, 2011

How To Save Your Pennies

Here are my thoughts on how to make
this year THE year you finally
save some money!

  1. Do not buy anything new, unless absolutely necessary!
  2. Keep a running list of things you think you "need".
  3. When you've decided you "need" something, wait for a good deal. If you can't find a good deal, keep waiting.  I bet you will realize half the stuff you think you need, you really don't.
  5. If it's not on your list...don't buy it. Deh.
  6. If you see something you want, wait a week...if you still remember that you want it, put it on your list and revert to #2. I've heard this tip given as "wait a month" but I find that sometimes by then, you DO still want it but it's nowhere to be found...at which point I guess it could be argued that you don't NEED it if it's that fleeting...so go with what's comfortable for you.
  7. Try to buy in the off-season.  So get your spring clothes in the fall, winter clothes in the spring, etc.
  8. Barter.  Will someone till your garden in exchange for some of those peaches you put up every year?  You won't know 'til you ask!  Value is in the eye of the beholder.  lol.
  9. Re-think those items you feel are necessary.  Do you really need a power mower? Or can you use a hand mower?  Can you borrow your neighbor's? Get a cow or goat?
  10. Make it yourself with materials you have around already. Need a blanket? Take that box of old shirts destined for the Salvation Army and make a quilt! Need lined drapes?  Do what I do: hang quilts in the window. Seriously. Very cozy.
These are obviously just very basic ideas
for general penny pinching.
I'd love to hear your specific ideas
on ways you "make-do"

Without getting overly preachy,
I really feel as a wife and mother,
my job centers around assisting
my husband in this area. 
As the manager of the home, it is
important for me to use the money
my husband makes to the best of
my ability...and that means
stretching it as much as possible.
That makes my husband happy...
and makes him look good!  ;-)

Happy New Year!

Well, it is officially 2011.

For the past two months, I have been
working on my resolutions.
I definitely have the usual:


But also I want to work on a few
other challenges.

I am going to attempt a


I have wanted to do this for several
years, but I think it's time.

It will be real SIMPLE:

BUY NOTHING NEW for myself
unless it's
(for example should I need new undies, I am not
going to buy those used!)

I am also going to operate a


For those of you who are quilters or crafters,
you know that UFO
stands for

Un-Finished Objects.

You know:
Those projects you forgot about,
got bored with,
put down and never picked back up...
laying around
taking up space
and precious resources...
probably unknowingly occupying
space in your brain.
(no wonder you're so flaky!)

2011 is my year to finish the

I sort of started in December
when I got on a roll with
some scrappy projects off the cuff.

So anyway,
I am not only

but I will also be
finishing up any
UFO's around my quilt room.

Should be one interesting year!