Friday, March 29, 2013

My List of DO’S instead of BUY’S for March

I decided to make a list of all the things I have done this month for free or cheap that have keep me busy and entertained. I am sure there is more I could add to this list but this will do.  I still have so much that I can DO next month!

Fun and Fitness on the cheap:

I attended my Yoga and Zumba classes several times this month but not as much as I should have due to not feeling well. This was not free but I already paid for it so I am using it.
I went outside and enjoyed the sunshine along with a walk with my daughter Brittany and my granddaughter on a Sunday afternoon.
I read several books from my bookshelf March 2013 Reading List and then donated them to the library.
I went to the library and got several books on topics I enjoy such as fitness, healthy cooking, and crafts. I got a stack of magazines to read such as Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Country Woman, Yoga Journal, and Cooking Light. I borrowed some Christian Praise music such as Third Day- Miracle, Sidewalk Prophets-Live Like That, and Michael W. Smith-Healing Rain. I got a TV series to watch (Downton Abby Season 2). I borrowed and watched two movies Country Strong and Serious Moonlight. All for FREE and no clutter since it goes back when I am finished.
I spend a couple hours reading magazines that I got for free and had been piling up in my basket. They were donated to the library for someone else to enjoy. That's 10 magazine out of my house.
I spent a Sunday afternoon grooming my nails and painting them a nice color.
My Organizing and Decluttering Projects:
I painted a little bookcase cabinet, shelf, and toy chest bubblegum pink for my granddaughter’s room. I plan to use leftover paint on the guest room closet shelves.
I decluttered and organized My Closet . I bought new baskets and a shoe rack to keep things organized. It wasn’t free but was a nice splurge treat for myself which I don’t do very often.

I reorganized and decluttered several areas in my Basement Storage such as my extra kitchen equipment, my craft stuff, holiday stuff, the workout area, personal needs storage, food storage, and our bug-out bags. I worked on this at least 6 days this month one area and one category of stuff at a time. I still have areas to work on but it’s getting done.

I set up my sewing machine in My Guest Room.  I made My Sewing Space by moving my sewing supplies and fabrics from the basement into the unused closet in the guest room along with organizing and decluttering everything.

I spent a day organizing my craft supplies, and jewelry beads in my little office. I worked on the beads for 3 hours and was getting bored but kept at it until the job was done. I made My Quilting Plans after attending a Sewing Smorgasbord were I learned new crafting skills.

I decluttered and sparkled up My Bedroom.

In the Kitchen:

I cleaned the freezer above the fridge since it is almost empty and I’m trying to use stuff up.
I planned some meals this month to use up thing’s that had been in my kitchen for awhile before they went bad and wasted my money. I already paid good money for the stuff I might as well use it up before it goes to waste. I look for ways to use up frozen foods in the freezer before they set too long. I used up perishable things in the fridge and breads before they expired. I used up some boxed and canned foods before they expired. I baked some yummy desserts to avoid spending money on new snacks and treats.
I made some yummy German Soup.

I left the St. Patrick’s Day and Easter clutter in the stores while using decorations and craft supplies I already own.
I checked the freezer and we have a holiday ham for Easter and I have plenty of broccoli for a Broccoli Cheese Bake. I am going to make Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole and Potato Salad with a big bag of potatoes I bought this month. I’ll make a carrot cake for dessert with a box of spice cake mix, carrots, and canned pineapple. We have a SHOP at home feast for the family.

March 2013 Reading List

In March I Read:

Kansas Home Series by Tracey V. Bateman
Darling Cassidy
Tarah’s Lessons
Laney’s Kiss
Emily’s Place

Sagebrush Knights Series by Erica Vetsch (Wyoming)
Knight and Day
Shining Armor
On a White Charger
Kansas Brides Series by Denise Hunter
Stranger’s Bride
Never a Bride
Bittersweet Bride
His Brother’s Bride

Book I owned and have donated this month:  
Kansas Home Series by Tracey V. Bateman
Sagebrush Knights Series by Erica Vetsch
Kansas Brides Series by Denise Hunter

That makes 4 books so far this year that I have read from my shelves and donated.

You can read my previous posts:
My 2013 Reading Goals
January 2013 Reading List
Submitted to: 2013 Booking It @ Life As Mom

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Bedroom

I organized and straitened up my bedroom. There wasn't really much to do but I dusted and vacuumed too.  My husband and I's room is really small in fact the smallest in the house but that should be changing soon.

This is my husband side of the bed with his nightstand and our mini cooler that we keep our drinks or snacks that we don't want to share with the kids.

This is my side of the bed. I have a basket for magazines and since my big magazine purge I have only allowed myself to have this one basket full with a 10 magazines limit. My nightstand is a box I found at a thrift store 10 years ago and stenciled. It has been empty for a couple years now and I can't figure out what to put in it.

In the top basket we have dirty clothes and storage in the bottom basket. We have our dresser that we share and use 3 drawers a piece. My husband stores underclothes, shorts, pants in his drawers and I store underclothes, summer tops, and shorts in my drawers. Then we have my bookshelf your welcome to view My 2013 Reading Goals post.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Basement Storage

Have you every had a project that caused another project or two? This is what happened to me when I moved my sewing stuff up into my guest room. You can read about My Guest Room and My Sewing Space in my posts.

You can see the empty space that was created when I moved my sewing stuff out of basement storage. I needed to work to condense my craft storage completely to just under the stairs.

This is the other side before it got moved under the stairs.
This is the finished results of combining the two spaces and everything is now under the stairs.
This is my husbands bug out gear that was scattered out in the basement that now has a home since I moved over the other things to the right.

 This is now our dog and bird food storage area along with a bag of baby stuff instead of crafts.
I still have a lot of work to do in the basement over the next month or so but it's coming along nicely.  I still have a pile of baby toys that had been in the new dog food spot that I need to deal with. I also need to work on organizing my Christmas stuff again since I never quite finished that project. I am forever decluttering and reorganizing my home.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Guest Room

I figured since I showed my sewing space, I would show you the rest of my guest room. This is what it looked like when I put it together the first time Guest Room/Nastasja's Bedroom Redo. I had spent less than $100 to redo this room.

I changed the decorations around since I put the room back together in January but didn't buy anything new. I don't have my little TV in this room anymore since my youngest son Brandon is using it in his room now. I might look for another little TV and a docking station for my iPod to add to the room.

I did buy a little tikes table set for $5.00 at the thrift store in January. It is for my granddaughter Arileise to use when she is old enough. She is only 10 months old so we have a little time left before then. I will probably move the table set downstairs when she is ready to use it. The portable crib is for my granddaughter also and I got that last summer at a church rummage sale for $5.00.

Submitted to: I'm an Organizing Junkie

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Sewing Space

I’ve been working on setting up my sewing space in our guest room. I set up the guest room in October 2011; you can read about it here Guest Room/Nastasja's Bedroom Redo. My daughter Nastasja moved back in June 2012 so my décor got packed away but then she moved out again in November 2012.  This time she took all her stuff in the closet, desk, chest, and night stand, before it was full and not useable space for my sewing stuff. I did have my sewing machine on the desk with my sewing box, and a project bag on the floor but after she came back it got moved to the basement.

I set the guest room back up and redecorated it in January before guests came to visit but had yet to use any of the space in the closet, desk, chest, and night stand or set my sewing machine back up. I had wanted to do it but had yet to put in the time for the project but after going to the Sewing Smorgasbord this past Saturday I was ready to tackle the room.

I brought everything up from the basement, filled the closet with my stuff, organizing my fabric in the totes, labeled the totes, set my sewing machine on the desk, then put books and projects in 2 of the desk drawers.

I have no before pictures of inside the closet or the desk because they were completely empty before I set up my sewing  stuff so I am just showing you the after.
My Desk and Sewing Machine.

Drawer with several small in progess projects.



Sewing Books and Patterns
Top half of closet with fabric totes.
Bottom half of closet with top shelf of the closet with fabric totes.
Sewing box on second shelf, green project bag, and blue project bag.
Bags with fiber fill,  fusible web, ziplock bags, and upholstery remnants on the floor space under shelves.
Inside of tote with my blue, red and black fabrics.
Inside of tote with my pink, purple, yellow, green, white, and brown fabrics.
The only thing left to do is put knobs on the desk, get a touch light for the closet, and paint the shelves in the closet. I have the knobs for the desk I just need to drill the holes since I bought new knobs and they wouldn’t fit in the holes I had to fill them in. The touch light should be an easy find at the Dollar Tree. I plan to paint the closet shelves after I finish painting my granddaughters furniture that I am working on since I will have leftover pink paint. The pink paint won’t really match the room but will match the closet since I don’t plan to take down the rose wallpaper.
Now, I can get to work on sewing some stuff.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Quilting Plans

This is the start of my quilting plans with the fabric I bought at the Sewing Smorgasbord on Saturday. You can read about the Sewing Smorgasbord on my previous post.

The red quilt I am going to do 4 patches with cardinal themed appliqués.


This is my cardinal themed pattern for appliqués. I plan to use only the pattern for the cardinal and not the rest of the pattern.

The blue quilt I am doing a disappearing 4 patch with bluebird nest appliqués.


This is the appliqué I did last year during one of the classes at the Sewing Smorgasbord. I plan to make several more for the bluebird themed quilt. I with probably use a lighter color green for the  appliqué but this was what we were given for the class and since it was free I can't complain.

The pink is going to be a bold floral theme.


The yellow is going to be puppy dog with blue hair bow themed. This one is probably going to be for my granddaughter.

I didn’t realize it until I took the pictures but I seems to have bought 4 red Rose themed fabrics and 2 blue Rose themed fabrics. I may have to do a rose themed quilt with them and pull other fabrics from my fabric stash. I have 2 totes of fabric and have been collecting these 4 colors for a couple years. I have never made a quilt before and here I am with 5 quilts in progress. LOL

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sewing Smorgasbord

I went to a Sewing Smorgasbord on Saturday with an $8 admission, you get to take 6 classes and there were lots to choose from.

I took 5 classes because you have to do lunch, vendors hall, and fabric fair during class time if you want to visit them. The classes I took were:

Fusibles- This class was boring it was nothing but showing samples of the products.

Bound for Success, Binding Techniques- This class was about making "not so scary" mitered corners. How to calculate how much fabric and binding you need.

Junk Mail Journal- In this hands on class we made a paper bag journal to embellish later at home. I missed the instructions but I was able to look at several nice samples of junk journals.

Shadowfolds, Manipulating Your Fabric- This was a hands on class and was interesting

What's In The Bag? - This class taught how to make a bag with a fabric back and vinyl front to store projects. I liked this class and I am going to try to make some for myself. I bought upholstery fabric to use since I felt it would make a stronger bag and since the vinyl is heavy.
I took my own coffee, water, and pop but bought a sandwich, salad, and dessert for $3.75 in the cafeteria were a 4H club sells lunch.

The fabric fair is were people are selling fabric they don’t want anymore. I set myself a spending limit and made sure to be choosey so I could get the lowest priced fabrics for the most yardages. I ended up buying 4 grocery bags worth of fabric and 2 patterns for about $30. I limited my fabric selection to only reds, blues, pinks, and yellows. I have plans to make 4 quilts with each color family and I even laid them out on the floors and made sure each color of fabrics looked good together.

It was a fun day and I learned new skills that I hope to use with future projects.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound andouille sausage, diced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound frozen peeled and cooked shrimp, thawed
2 cups cooked rice

In a slow cooker, combine chicken, sausage, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, celery, and chicken broth. Stir in oregano, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, bay leaves, and thyme.

Cover, and cook on LOW for 7 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours. Stir in the thawed shrimp, cover and cook until the shrimp is heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves and spoon mixture over cooked rice.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Organizing Cookbooks and Cooking Notebooks

I worked on decluttered and organizing my Cookbooks, Cooking Notebooks, and their storage area as one of my projects for last year and I did a lot of work on it but I am also going to continue working on it this year since it still isn’t what I want it to be.

What I Accomplished Last Year:

This is what my Cookbooks, Cooking Notebooks, and storage area looked like at the end of August.

This is what it looks like now. Notice it's not as full and the 2 boxes for coupons and recipes are on the floor of the cabinet and not on top of my notebooks. The magazines are gone as are most of the mini booklets, and half of the cookbooks. The loose recipes in front of the cookbooks are in the notebooks or purged.

How I did It:

I organized loose recipe pages into my notebooks and decluttered a lot of recipes I will never make.

I got rid of half my cookbooks because I realized that although they had been bought brand new over the years as gifts I have never made one recipe out of them. I gave them to my oldest daughter who only had one cookbook which I had given her (Oct. 2011) when she moved out. I now only have the cookbooks I have used which I plan to type up or look online for the recipe to add to my Cooking Notebooks. I may get rid of them also after I save the recipes but have not decided yet.

I purged over 50 cooking magazine by looking online for the recipes I liked and used cut/ paste into a word document, saved it on my computer in my cooking files, and printed the recipe for my notebooks. I donated the cooking magazines to the library free shelf.

I purged a big stack of mini cook booklets and donate them to the Clothes Closet.

My Goals This Year:

I want to have my notebooks organized so that I only have a limited amount of recipes that I can reasonably use and my family likes. I can always look online or borrow library cookbooks if I need new recipes. My recipes needs to be useable and not just a collection of recipes.

I currently have my recipes organized on my computer, in my cookbooks, on my blog, in my seasonal notebooks, and cooking notebooks but I'm not sure if I have our favorite in each place. I need to reorganize them so that they are easy to find and all in one main place namely my notebooks but I will also add them to my other places.

I have many recipes in my seasonal notebooks that I use for seasonal desserts, meals, and at Holidays. They are organized but I add to them each season or as holidays come up so I need to keep up on organizing the recipes into the notebooks.

I started this project for myself but now my daughters are grown they are asking for my recipes and I want to pass them on to them.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

German Soup

1 head cabbage, diced
1 can spinach, with juice
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups cooked pork, diced
16 oz bag German noodles
5 boxes chicken stock
5 cups water
salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste

Add all ingredients to stock pot except noodles and cook until cabbage is tender. Add noodles and cook until soft. Serve.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Closet

I organized my closet and decluttered a little but not much. I bought these new baskets at Wal-Mart for $14.99 each. I have 4 of them on the top shelf. The one holds pants that I need to hem up, two of them hold my workout clothes, and one holds purses, hats and scarves. The box lying on the side is my memory box that I painted and decoupaged about 5 years ago.

I hang all my winter clothes on the bar in my closet. I have my summer clothes in my bedroom dresser along with underclothes. I hang my clothes in order of night clothes, jeans, shirts, jackets, dress pants, skirts and dresses and last coats. I like to organize in color order. I hang my clothes on my hangers backwards at the start of fall and hang them the right direction after I have worn them. This helps me to see what I am not wearing each spring that may need to be purged, which I still need to get done.

My new shoe rack I bought at Wal-Mart for $20. I need more shoes to fill it up mainly I need shoes I can wear in the winter. My workout bag filled with my Yoga equipment which I’ll share about in a later post. I got the bag for Christmas this past year for $20 at Dunham’s.

I have my Zumba bag hanging on a hook that I bought last month for $12 at Dunham’s. I bought it because it matches my Yoga bag.

This is the full view of my closet which is small but functional. The baskets and shoe rack make it so much more organized before I just had stuff setting on the shelf and floor although, it was organized it got messed up easier. I may end up getting a carpet for the floor of my closet at some point.

My closet redo cost me a total of $80 for the baskets and shoe rack which was a splurge project for me since I would not normally buy everything new. It seems over the last year or so I have found that buying new is sometimes it’s worth it if I know I will get many years of use out of it and I just can't find what I need at the thrift stores.