Friday, December 29, 2017

Clutter Busting Challenge December 2017

I'm purging 15 items this month. I went through my closet and purged a good amount of stuff including the dress that I wore to our Vow Renewal. I did go thrifting and got a few tops. Self care is important, feeling good about yourself including the way you look and what you wear. It doesn't matter your budget, you can look good and feel good.

My purge pile:





Thursday, December 28, 2017

Stairs Carpet

I started removing the carpet from the stairs about 2 yrs. ago. I got it off the bottom landing and the first 4 stairs.






















All these still needed done. I stopped and put it off for too long.






















In February my husband and I removed the carpet from the upstairs landing.






















I decide to make it my goal to get it removed by the end of the year. It had been left partially done for too long. I finally removed the carpet from all the stairs leading to the second floor.






















It took about 5 hours but I'm glad it's finished. I was tired and ache but it's worth it.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

December 2017 Reading List

















The California Gold Rush Romance Collection
The Price of Love by Amanda Barratt
The Best Man in Brookside by Angela Bell
Civilizing Clementine by Dianne Bell
The Marriage Broker and the Morticain by Anne Greene
The Lye Water Bride by Linda Farmer Harris
A Sketch of Gold by Cynthia Hickey
Love Is a Puzzle by Pam Hillman
The Golden Cross by Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Golden Haven Heiress by Jamie Jo Wright

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well blended. Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7 minutes. Cool. If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake:

3 cups grated carrots
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
3/4 cup chopped pecans

 

Frosting:

3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, combine grated carrots, flour, white sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in eggs, oil, 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, pineapple and 3/4 cup chopped pecans. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until smooth and then stir in 1 cup chopped pecans. Spread on cooled cake.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Clutter Busting Challenge November 2017

I'm purging 19 items this month. I didn't end up finding much and didn't really look too hard.

My purge pile:





























Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Grandkids Toy Closet

Shawn and I painted the toy closet in our home for our grandkids, Arileise and Richard. After 15 yrs. in our home we have finally painted the dingy toy closet, previously the game closet while our kids were growing up. It's not perfect but I think it's perfect for us.

The toy closet before the paint job. Our home is over 100 yrs. old and a few areas are still original, this closet is one of them.






















The bookshelf basket that I bought this Summer at the flea market for $5. Our grandkids love to read.






















The old light fixture.

















Everything empied out.






















The toys and stuff got moved to Shawn Jr's old bedroom.

















We washed the walls, puttied, sanded, and washed the walls again.


Before we moved everything back into the closet.


The newly painted toy closet for our grandkids, Arileise and Richard. This is all their toys at our home, a few we bought for them over the years and a few from our kids younger years.






















We already owned the paint, the bookshelf basket, and the decor. We used the leftover robin's egg blue paint from our bathroom. The scripture picture that I had in my closet for several years works nicely with the wall color. We put the books lower that we originally had them.


 



















 The new light fixture that we got at the thrift store for $4, a longer chain $5, and a package of hook eyes $1. Shawn used eye hooks to make the chain easier for the kids to use. We still need a kick guard for the door and a pulley for the chain. It'll have cost us $15 for this project once we get the other items.



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November 2017 Reading List

















The Proving by Beverly Lewis

Colorado Wings Collection by Tracie Peterson
A Wing and a Prayer
Wings Like Eagles
Wings of the Dawn
A Gift of Wings


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling and Lemon Butter Frosting

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk


Filling:

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten


Frosting:

4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk
 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make filling: In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).

Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 3 hours.

To make frosting: In large bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Beat in milk, and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

To assemble: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread with half of the lemon filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Add third layer, and spread with remaining half of the lemon filling. Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake until serving time.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Honey Gingerbread Bundt Cake

3 eggs
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda (mix into coffee)
1 cup warm coffee
1 stick butter (room temperature)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 ¾ cups flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
 

1.      In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, vanilla extract and honey until light and fluffy.

2.      Add the eggs and keep beating for another 3 mins.

3.      Pour warm coffee in a large (!) cup and add baking soda, let it bubble.

4.      In a large bowl, mix together the flour and gingerbread spice mix.

5.      With the mixer on low speed, add the coffee, alternating with the flour mixture.

6.      Pour into a small (8 inch) greased bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Clutter Busting Challenge October 2017

I've decide that this will be my last year documenting my items purged each month. I've been taking picture of my purges and posting them since May 2013. That's a long time. Although I've enjoyed it, it's time for me to move on to other topic. In January 2018 it'll be 7 yrs. on my journey to minimalism. I'm going to make a big push to see how many items I can get out of the house before the end of the year.

My purge was 22 items this month with a total of 390 items for the year.

My purge pile:







Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 2017 Reading List



















Virginia Brides Collection
Spoke of Love by Cathy Marie Hake
Spinning Out of Control by Vickie McDonough
Weaving a Future by Susan Page Davis

White Mountain Brides Collection by Susan Page Davis
Return to Love
A New Joy
Abiding Peace

Two-in-One (Bestselling Author Collection) 
Thanksgiving Prayer by Debbie Macomber
A Handful of Heaven by Jillian Hart


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Perfect Pound Cake


3 sticks Butter
3 cups Sugar
5 whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Butter Flavoring
2 teaspoons Lemon Flavoring
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 cup Sprite, 7-UP, Or Sierra Mist

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each addition. Add butter and lemon extracts and mix well. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add soft drink, then mix together until combined. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix briefly.

Pour into a greased Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until the cake is no longer jiggly. Remove cake from oven and invert pan until cake drops out. Slice and chow down!

 


Friday, October 20, 2017

Redoing Shawn Jr's Old Bedroom: Part 2

We got the room painted and set up temporarily for guests. The walls are ColorPlace Special White Chocolate and Adirondack Green. We used paint we already had leftover from other rooms. I set up the bed with bedding that we already owned.This bedroom will be my husband's hobby room. We'll set it up for that later, along with moving out the bed. This is Part 1 of Redoing Shawn Jr's Old Bedroom



 







Thursday, October 19, 2017

My Frugal Five- The Project Edition


We've done a few bigger projects together over a couple weekends the last month. It's fun to spend time together without spending any money and our home benefits by looking better.  

We used to think that we didn't have money to do things to the house that we wanted. We have found over the last couple years that we have more money to do stuff like paint and do repairs since we aren't buying as much stuff. In some situations we're using stuff we've collected but didn't get around to using. And some repairs take a bit of time but not much money. Some things like the camper renovation or if we're completely doing a room in the house does cost some money but not as much as we had expected while we were procrastinating.  We bought a fixer upper home and it looks better every year.


1. We spent an evening washing/scrubbing the camper. We used supplies that we’ve had a long time to detail it. My husband bought and installed a new toilet in the camper.





  










2. Our DS25 moved out in March. We painted his old bedroom with paint we already had from previous projects. It took us a weekend to do. Thankfully I had started this project in June by filling holes in the walls and sanding, putting wood putty on the window trim holes and sanding, washing the walls, and priming. I hadn’t gotten to the painting until now because of doing the camper renovations before our trip in June.

 















3. We painted the inside of our camper back in June. We have leftover paint so I painted the camper bathroom this week. Not sure why I didn’t think about doing it then, but instead 4 months later. 


4. We purged and organized the shed.  This was a big project to do. We sorted out all the camper renovation leftovers that we didn’t need and put them away. We put the extra cabinet door, cushions, and stuff in the trash. We put things that were out of place back onto shelves. I sorted the big red tool box. My husband sorted his electronics. My husband purged a few of his things. We swept the floor.























5. I purged and organized the garage. This wasn’t that hard to do but took a bit of time. I put the weights that our son left behind when he moved out in March in the basement with the other weight bench and supplies. I swept the floor. I stacked wood and picked up stray debris. I hung up the yard games. I basically straighten up.