Monday, July 31, 2017

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - FINAL

Well...this is it...the last day of July. We have the rest of today and our dollar-s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, cabinet-clearing, clean-up-the-food project for July is over! Tomorrow is August 1st and we will be in a whole new ballgame! YEAH! 😄

I have to's been quite an experience and we've learned many lessons along the way. At first it was something that I didn't even know for sure that we could do, but, with the Lord's help and guidance, we did and what a blessing it's been! We saved money (in fact, we didn't even miss the money that we were shorted at the beginning of the month), cleared out our cabinets, cleaned out our freezer, and was, literally, able to start all over with fresh food and a fresh, new food plan. 

After discussing what a blessing this project has turned out to be, John and I have decided to do a repeat performance come January. We figure mid-winter and after the holidays would be a great time to go at it again. If everything goes as well as it did time, we plan to make this a regular biannual event. Saving money and doing with (and using up) what we've got on hand is always a wise idea.

Now that we've got the food situation is in hand, our next focus is to clean up toiletries and cleaning supplies that have been sitting in the cabinets before buying more. I've got several partially used bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body spray, body lotions, and liquid hand soap that needs used up. Many of them are seasonal. 

For instance, I've got several partially used bottles of pumpkin-scented lotions and liquid hand soaps that were purchased last fall at Bath and Body Works. When Christmas 2016 came, I set the lotions and soaps up in the bathroom cabinet and that's where they've been ever since. We have used up several newly purchased bottles of lotion and liquid hand soap since then. No more! Until every drop of what's in the house is used up and gone, I will not be buying anything new. It doesn't matter if we used pumpkin-scented liquid hand soap in October or August. It washes our hands just the same. 

Another thing that I have on hand are household cleansers. Some are still here from when my dad was alive. When we moved in, I just put some of those things under the sink and they're still there. I will not be buying (or making) any fresh ones until the old ones are gone. New or old, their cleaning power is still the same and they can be used up.

All of these things put together should result in more $$$ being saved over the course of the next several months.

Well...that's it! The final installment of our dollar-s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, cabinet-clearing, clean-up-the-food project for July! It's been a lot of fun sharing this journey with all of you here and I'm already looking forward to doing it again in January! 

Have a blessed week ahead!

Until next time...

Related posts:

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #4

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #3

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #2


Happy Homemaker Monday - July 31, 2017

Good morning, Dear Ladies!

It is hard to believe that it's Monday again already. This past week has just flown by and I'm still reeling from it. It's great to be joining the crew at Happy Homemaker Monday again this week. I'm really enjoying meeting and being linked to this lovely group of women.

The weather.....

... Hot and sunny, but not nearly as hot as it has been. Daytime temps are supposed to be in the mid-80's to lower-90's all week; nighttime temps promise to stay in the mid- to upper-60's. In fact, we turned the air off last night and opened the windows. It felt good to air the house out overnight. This weather is certainly much better than the 100+ degree temps with high humidity that we've been dealing with, but I'm still greatly looking forward to fall! 🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁

Right now I am....

... Enjoying a cup of tea and the cool morning air as I write this post. I'm also enjoying listening to the cicadas sing. A lot of people don't like them, but I do. 🐛


... About how nice and relaxing the weekend was. 
I worked Saturday, but it was a very casual and fun day. People came specifically to play nature bingo at both the morning and afternoon sessions and those that came were interested, excited, and engaged. It was awesome! I was off Sunday afternoon and totally enjoyed my day! After church I got the housework and laundry done, then family showed up and we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening playing cards and visiting. It felt really odd because usually there is somewhere I have to be or something that I have to be doing. Not having to go anywhere or having anything in particular that needed to be done was a real treat! 

On my reading pile.... 
A Commonsense Guide to Fasting by Kenneth E. Hagin
The People of the River's Mouth by Michael Dickey
To Know Him by Gloria Copeland
Trim Healthy Mama Plan by Pearl Barrett & Serene Allison

Favorite blog post last week (mine or other)....

- This Aldi shopping list from Darci over at Darci's Dishes. What a great resource when shopping specifically for THM approved foods!

Something fun to share...

-The new-to-me red teapot that was sent to me by my friend, Beverly, in Texas this week. Isn't it lovely?

Blog hopping (newly discovered blog)...

- I ran across this blog this week by fellow mid-westerner, Jean: So Not Organized

I was quite excited when I went over there just now to discover that Jean's latest post  was on one of my favorite places back home (I was born and raised in the Kansas City metro area)...the Kansas City Zoo! Cool-o! I am really looking forward to reading more of Jean's posts when I have time. 

On the menu for this week....

Today is the last day of July and the last day of our "Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project" which is really good, because we are out of all the stuff we were trying to clean up and there are no more leftovers. I officially start Trim Healthy Mama this week! 😁

Even though I have a complete, one-week menu plan made up (breakfast, lunch, and supper), I am only sharing my supper menus here. If anyone is interested in viewing the complete week's-worth of meals, just let me know and when I have time I will type it up and share. It's my first time for making up a week's-worth of THM menus, so I'm hoping that I did it right. 😊

- Monday - supper at our daughter and son-in-law's
- Tuesday - supper on the road - I have to work a health and wellness fair with my job, so I will be on the road. I'll opt for something that is THM friendly, or is at least low-cal and healthy...Subway, maybe?
- Wednesday - Chicken Parmy (S) pg 161 THM Cookbook over Troodles pg 222 THM Cookbook
- Thursday - Zucchini Canoes (S) pg 139 THM Cookbook
- Friday - Fantastic Meatloaf (S) pg 316 Original THM served with Simple Steamed Broccoli pg 354 Original THM
- Saturday - Grilled Salmon (E) pg 284 Original THM, Baked Sweet Potato (E), and Creamless Creamy Vegetables pg 352 Original THM
- Sunday - leftovers

On my to do list....

My weekly "home blessing" (actually, I got a jump ahead and did most of it yesterday afternoon...including laundry and bedding - woo hoo!)
- Go to the bank.
- Go to the post office.
- Do as much prep work ahead as possible for this week's menu plans (cut vegetables, cook meats and divide, etc.)
- Celebrate family milestones - two granddaughters celebrate their 2nd birthday this week and our youngest son turns 22; our oldest daughter and her husband will be celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary. 

In the craft basket...

- Does building a worm farm count? 😲

Looking forward to this week...

- Changing the calendar from July to August, celebrating birthdays, working the health and wellness fair at Adrian (I will be focusing on camping safety, dealing with ticks and mosquitoes, and eclipse safety), finalizing my "Wiggling Worms" program plans at work.

Looking around the house...

- It felt good to get up to a clean house this morning, knowing that the bulk of my housework and laundry was done for another week.

-From the camera...

Grey-headed Coneflower Along Roadside

- On my prayer list.....

- It seems that every family we know has a struggle of some sort going on. This morning I plead the blood of Jesus over each and every one of our family members...individually and collectively as a whole...over our children, their spouses, our grandchildren, over John and I, over our extended family (aunts and cousins), over our church family, over our dear friends, and over all those within our sphere of influence. I pray health, healing, safety, protection, godly wisdom, and  direction over Jesus' name.  
- Peace in Jerusalem.
- Protection over the unborn.
- That a hunger and thirst for Biblical truth, godly wisdom, righteousness, and true holiness would permeate our society at every level.

Bible verse, Devotional....

"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee" (Isaiah 54:13 and 14).

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord" (Isaiah 54:17)

Well, Ladies, that's if for this week! I pray that each and every one of you have a blessed week ahead.
Until next time...

Other recent posts that you might enjoy:

Five Minute Friday - INSPIRE

Friday, July 28, 2017

Five Minute Friday - INSPIRE

Five Minute Friday a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: INSPIRE


Inspire! The very word starts my creative juices flowing!

Many things inspire me...color, texture, pattern, things found in nature, mediums of all kinds (crayons, pencils, markers, pens, paints) matters not. 

Paper...fresh, clean, paper...lined paper, blank paper, a brand new spiral-bound notebook, a new journal, sketch book, art paper...even a new planner!

All of these things inspire me! They're fresh! They're clean! They're ready to be put to use! 

Empty walls...ready for fresh paint...but what color? Clean Canvas? Clary Sage? Honey Locust? These are the colors that I chose.

A new journal...blank pages...ready to be filled with words...but what words? Words written to a friend? A story? A poem? Nature notes? I've filled hundreds of pages with all of these things. 

The night sky...full of stars...majestic...wonderful...but where does it end? 

An ant...small, but mighty...

A butterfly...flitting from one flower to the next...

A moth...beating itself senseless against an outdoor light at night...

Where do these animals go when I'm not looking? Where do they live? HOW do they live? These are the things that take further research and observation.

I am easily inspired (and easily distracted) by all of these things. These are the kinds of things that capture my attention daily. These are the things that I think about. 

Creation...from the tiniest, most minute thing...from things that we can't even see with the naked great beasts of all kinds...whales, elephants, bison, and the ocean and the universe and beyond with all their mysteries yet to unfold.


THESE are the things that fill my heart and mind...

These are the things that inspire me...

What inspires you?

"But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand" (Isaiah 64:8)

"Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, [even] of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work" (Exodus 35:35).

 "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:7-10).

"Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy" (Psalm 96:11-12).

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament
sheweth his handywork" (Psalm 19:1).


Until next time...

Recent posts that you might enjoy - 

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ July 24, 2017

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #4

My Thrifty Week - Post #4

Greetings! And welcome! 🙋 

As I write this a gentle rain is falling and it looks like we might get a bit of a break in this heat. Over the next several days the highs are only supposed to be in the mid-80's and nighttime temps promise to be in the mid-60's. I am thankful for both the rain and the cooler temps. We needed them!

There's not a lot to share in the way of "thrifty" happenings this week, but here's what I've got...

- A friend of my husband's gave us a half-dozen ears of peaches and cream corn (my favorite) and three yellow squash. After cooking the corn, I cut it off the cob to serve. It was so sweet and tender! There's still some left and it will be eaten over the weekend with other leftovers. As for the squash, sadly one of them went bad before we could use it, but the other two I diced and sauteed in olive oil. You talk about delicious! Oh, my! 😋

- I checked my Walmart Savings Catcher balance this week. It was $73.72. I went ahead and transferred it to my Bluebird card, because I was thinking about using it for groceries, but I ended up not doing it, I probably won't use it now until Christmas.

- My friend, Laura, and I enjoyed half price drinks from Sonic during her chemo treatment. I left the treatment center long enough to run around the corner to Sonic and get in on their half-price "Happy Hour" special. Laura had a strawberry slush and I had a pineapple. They were extremely cold and quite delicious! I had never had one before. 🍓🍍

- My husband and I are in the final days of our Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Plans For July. We have done well and are transitioning over into our next food phase. You can read more about that by clicking here.

That's it for this week! 

Until next time...

Related posts:

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #4

Week #4 of our dollar-s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, cabinet-clearing, clean-up-the-food project for July is drawing to a close and the month is nearly over. In just a few short days August 1st will be here and this challenge will be behind us. That means that this week is a transition week for us. Yeah! 😄

At the beginning of the week my husband and I did an end-of-month inventory. We were basically down to nothing in the freezer except a few containers of frozen broth, frozen nuts, dry beans, and a few grains. We figure that these will continue to keep so, for now, we are not concerned with cleaning them up. As soon as fall arrives, though, that will change. At that point we will be ready to concentrate on warm and filling bean dishes, soups, and stews of all kinds. 🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁

After inventorying the freezer, we defrosted and cleaned it, making it ready to fill with a fresh supply of meat, vegetables, and fruits. 

As for the kitchen cabinets, they were pretty empty, as well. There were a few things...spices, tea, sweeteners, and a few canned items. We will continue to clean those items up before buying more. They will be included in upcoming menus as we make the transition from this project back into regular meal planning...which may never be "regular" again. 😃

You see, as we come to the end of our clean-up-the-food challenge on one hand, I am gearing up to start Trim Healthy Mama on the other. I have dabbled with it in the past, but my goal is to jump into it with both feet and try to stay on plan as much as possible. Now is a good time. All the not-so-great food (and there wasn't a whole lot of that to begin with, but what there was) is gone now and I am pretty much free to start with a clean slate without guilt. 

It is not in my plan to buy a bunch of specialty ingredients with this. My plan is to start strong with a variety of good, basic foods and keep my menu plans simple. I want to be a good steward with what the Lord provides and plan wisely. Once I get going I will probably fall into more of the 'budgeting mama' category, but, right now, we needed everything.

On Tuesday I was able to plan ahead and get started. The nearest Aldi to us in Missouri is 40 miles away at Carthage. I had to be in Carthage that day anyway, so I went ahead and did my usual end of the month shopping, while keeping my THM goals in mind. 

Like I said, this is a transition week for us. We had already cleaned up the pancake mix and boxed cereal; now it was okay to go ahead and stock up on my Trim Healthy Mama pancake ingredients without feeling guilty. The stuff that needed used up was gone and, now, we only have the good stuff in the house. It is very freeing emotionally.

All of the meat in the house was gone, except a few cans of chicken and fish that will fit in perfectly with THM. There was no fresh meat at all, other than what had been planned out in the final week of menu plans...mostly fish...and now all of that is gone, too. At Aldi's I purchased chicken tenders, ground turkey, grass-fed beef, and lots of salmon fillets. I also purchased plenty of eggs and egg whites.

(Note: We usually only make it to Aldi once a month, so I buy a month's worth of food at a time.)

Now, as we wind down the final few days of July with the last of our dollar s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, cabinet-clearing, clean-up-the-food meals, we anxiously look forward to digging into our fresh stock of delicious, nutritious, and healthy new food stock beginning August 1st. It's not going to be easy to wait, but, hey! We've made it this far! What's three more days???

Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday - July 24, 2017

It's great to be joining Happy Homemaker Monday again this week. I finished last week's post early, but forgot to post it on the Happy Homemaker Monday site until Tuesday. LOL! 🙄 Perhaps I'll do better this week! 😃

The weather..... still very hot! In fact, over the weekend temperatures hit 100 degrees with the heat index on Saturday topping out at 114 degrees. Sunday was a little better, but it looks like the heat and humidity are going to stick around again this week. Oh, goody! NOT! 😰

Right now I am....

... enjoying a cup of tea while I finish this blog post. The laundry is started and I need to get showered and dressed.


... about how quickly time passes anymore. It seems that the weeks, months, and years are just zooming by and there's hardly time to enjoy anything. Life is lived in bits, pieces, and snippets and we take it as it comes. Somehow there's got to be a way to slow the clock down and purposefully make time for the things we enjoy again. 😕

On my reading pile.... 

- I know that it might not seem like it, but I am making progress. It's just very slow. I'll get there. And, yes, I've added a new book to my pile this week. I've read some of this book before, but it's time to read the whole plan. 😁

The Untapped Power in Praise by Kenneth W. Hagin 
The People of the River's Mouth by Michael Dickey
To Know Him by Gloria Copeland
Trim Healthy Mama Plan by Pearl Barrett & Serene Allison

Favorite blog post last week (mine or other)....

- This article on THM menu planning from Gwen over at Gwen's Nest. Gwen offers lots of great tips and even offers a free blank weekly menu and shopping list

Something fun to share....

- At the low water bridge - Prairie State Park...

Blog hopping (newly discovered blog)....

- While searching for Trim Healthy Mama ideas over the weekend, I discovered Seemingly Random. I love this "S-E-FP Meal Building Blocks" PDF that I discovered there!

On the menu for this week....

(I knew that our "Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project" was going to get weird by the end of the month and it is! LOL!)

- Monday - baked fish, fried cabbage, corn (cut off) the cob, corn bread

- Tuesday - baked fish, fried cabbage, corn (cutt off) the cob, corn bread
- Wednesday - chicken winglets, boxed stuffing mix, green bean casserole
- Thursday - baked fish, fried cabbage, corn (cut off) the cob, corn bread
- Friday - tuna patties, fried cabbage, corn (cut off) the cob, corn bread
- Saturday - turkey bacon, eggs, and toast
- Sunday - leftovers (if there are any); otherwise canned chicken made into chicken salad or something...we'll see 😊

On my to do list....

My weekly "home blessing" 

- Meet with our insurance agent to discuss possible changes in plans

- Look ahead to August - evaluate, strategize, and plan 
- Have the tires and fluids on my car checked

In the craft basket....

- Nothing this week. 

Looking forward to this week....

- spending time with my friend, Laura, tomorrow (she's halfway done with chemo...YEAH!!!!), working the Ozark Empire Fair on Thursday, and having Friday off work this week. Yeah! 

Looking around the house....

- I see that the huge moth that was on the kitchen curtain last night is missing. Actually, it was there because I put it there. I opened the front door yesterday afternoon and the moth was just sitting there on the front step. I didn't want it to get stepped on, so I brought it in to observe and identify (which I never was able to do). Anyway, it was on the curtain when I went to bed. It seemed lethargic and unable to fly. I thought it was dying, but, something tells me that that was not the case. Perhaps I'll find it while doing my "home blessing" today. 😃

- From the camera....

This is the postage stamp quilt that my grandma, Maudie, made for me when I was five-years-old. Some of the tiny squares she made from my dad's baby clothes; others she made from the old flour-sack dresses that she had made during the Great Depression. Grandma was bed-fast the last 25 years of her life and lived with us for part of that time. I can remember her taking the old clothes from her trunk apart and making this doll quilt for me. I still have it and I greatly cherish it and her memory. I love you, Grandma! 💓

On my prayer list.....

- We have several friends and family members that are battling various forms of cancer right now. I pray health and complete healing over all of them in the name of Jesus.

- Peace in Jerusalem.
- Protection for the unborn.
- That a hunger and thirst for Biblical truth, godly wisdom, righteousness, and true holiness would permeate our society on every level. 

Bible verse, Devotional....

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32) 

Well, I guess that's it for this week. I wish you all a wonderful and blessed week ahead. 

Until next time...


Other recent posts that you might enjoy:

Five Minute Friday - COLLECT