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Blog Findings 2-1-12

I’ve been spending a lot of time checking out some new blogs I’ve discovered over at New Life on a Homestead’s Monday barn hop and sites I’ve found through those sites. There is so much information I’m just trying to soak it in as quickly as possible.

So I thought I’d take a minute and share with you what I’m busy reading!

Budgeting with the Bushmans


I am love, love, loving this blog. Actually I’ve read every single post already and I just found it yesterday (to be fare she just started it in Sept ’11)! They sold their large home in the city, paid off all their debt and purchased a house in a town of 100, with half the square footage for $13,000 cash! They are living frugally and are able to live off of one par time job. Ok I know its extreme for most but I do love extreme, at least reading about it anyway!

Penniless Parenting


This gal has also downsized her home recently. She shares lots of money saving tips as well as green living and gluten/dairy free recipes (for those who are looking for inspiration in those food areas).

The Zero Waste Home


These guys are trying to live with little to no waste. They don’t even own a trash can anymore. I have just read the tip of the iceberg on this one, but so far she has a lot of reader testimonials of their different paths and stages to zero waste homes.

If you have adverse thoughts or reactions to the idea of “green” think of it this way, just two generations ago the idea of “green” living wasn’t a catchy thing, it was a way of life. There was no thought of using something once and then throwing it away. Nothing was bought on a whim or without saving and researching the best deal and quality item. Really it’s about making sure that everything that comes into your house works as hard as it possibly can for you and is worth the space it will take up, the maintenance it will require to keep it working well, and the hard earned money you spent on it in the first place.

Graceful Little Honey Bee shared a video about a 16 year old boy who is building a “tiny house” so that he won’t have to worry about a mortgage after he graduates from college. I love the forethought and responsibility this young man is taking of his future!

Have you found anything interesting that you want to share with us? Obviously you can see a theme for me this week but next week it could be cooking or crafting or gardening. Anything is welcome so share away!

2012 Goals: Recipes

 

Along with reading and crafting goals, I am challenging myself in the kitchen as well. I figure if I try just one new skill or recipe per month (save April) I can overcome my fear of failure in the kitchen once and for all. Granted I have tried new recipes and different takes on recipes, but my biggest fear is waste. “What if it turns out badly and no one will eat it and I’ll have to throw the whole thing away or worse yet, I’ll have to suffer through eating all the leftovers myself because I can’t bring myself to throw it away?” That is over my friends! It has been a looong time since I have screwed something up so royally or picked such a terrible recipe that we had to scrap the whole meal. And even if it were a total flop, so what, you live and learn and do better next time.

With that, here is my list of skills/recipes for 2012 broken down into monthly goals:

January

Basic Bread Recipe

February

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

March

Homemade Crackers-” target=”_blank”>Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it

April

Homemade Mustard-” target=”_blank”>Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it

Homemade Ketchup-” target=”_blank”>Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it

May

Homemade Soda-” target=”_blank”>Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it (this one will be with the help of hubby since he’s the one who reeeally wants to try it!)

June

Chipotle Burrito Recipe

July

Homemade Salsa

August

Better then Panera Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

September

Homemade Tomato Sauce-” target=”_blank”>Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it

October

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

November

Homemade Pitas (I want to make Gyros)

December

Homemade Granola

BONUS

Homemade Runzas (once I get the bread thing down I will be whipping up a batch of these babies! I made them with my mother-in-law once but she had already made up the dough. They are so good and are great to keep in the freezer and pull out for a quick lunch or dinner!)

How about you, do you have any recipes you are dying to try? How about that culinary skill you need to suck it up and try? Share with us below and we’ll give you lots of encouragement!

I’m linking this to Monday’s Homestead Barn Hop!

2012 Goals-Crafting

 

With the aid of pinterest I have made myself a list of crafts I would like to try this year. I would like to consider myself a creative person, but over the last couple of years that creativity has taken a back burner to motherhood. Even though we will be adding a third little to the Terrell Clan, I am determined to keep up with my Goals and get back into the crafting game. There will always be something keeping me from it if I let it.

Here is my list broken down into monthly goals:

January

Crocheted Dish clothes

February

Freezer paper shirt printing

March

Produce Bag from old t-shirts

April

Grocery Bags from Recycled T-Shirts

May

Dipped Candles

June

Braided necklace from old shirts

July

Bent Spoons Wall hanging

August

Baked Marbles/Glass Stones

September

Vegetable Stamps

October

Button Bobby Pins

November

T-shirt Shag Rug

December

Paint Dipped Pinecones

Bonus

DIY Gift Bags

Do you have any craft projects you hope to tackle this year? Please share with us below! You never know when it will be just the project someone else has been looking for!

Canning and Other Such Things

 

I want so badly to start canning. I had big plans this year of all the different things I was going to can. But as I shared here, the garden didn’t go as planned. I do plan to do some canning this fall. I make tons of apple sauce in the fall and it gets consumed within the first few months. Usually I freeze it but this year I want to try canning some of it too. I need to at least double what I bought last year (which was three bushels!) so that I have enough for the whole year. Plus I want to make some apple butter and can that as well as some apple pie filling. Maybe some tomatoes if I happen to find someone with an over abundance of tomatoes that they’re trying to off load. We’ll see.

I’ve been looking for canning jars at garage sales but the only ones I’ve found were antiques that A. they wanted $2 a piece for (which is a very fare price for antique canning jars but when you can buy them new in the store for under $1 a jar it’s not such a good price) and B. you don’t actually want to can with them, they really are for show. Enter my aunt J. She had been following my sorry garden attempts via Facebook and my blog and thought I might be interested in some of the canning jars and paraphernalia that she was no longer using. Oh boy was I!

Yesterday I loaded up the girls and headed over to her house. She had three full shelves of canning supplies and I could have whatever I wanted. I got jars that were my grandmothers and jars that were my great grandmothers. I haven’t even taken the time to count how many I got, but got quite a few in all shapes and sizes. She also gave me her small and large pressure cookers as well as the large pot for warm bathes (those that are high acidity and don’t need to be pressure cooked). What a huge blessing! Just the jars alone would have easily been $50 new from the store and I won’t even get into how much it would have cost me for the pots.

Growing up, aunt J. was the aunt who made her own bread, grew her own garden and canned what she harvested to feed her six kids (four of which were very hungry boys) and knew practically every plant and it’s use in the surrounding forest. Visiting her house was a blast regardless of the fact that I was always out numbered 6 to 1 (her 4 oldest boys and my 2 brothers). I aspire to be as self sufficient as she is!

I left that day with the open offer that if I needed more jars I knew where they were and I was welcome to them. And since I don’ think I even took half of them there are plenty more should I actually get good at this gardening and canning thing and find myself running out. Though I probably won’t get very much canned this year, I am excited to practice this year and hopefully be a pro by next year!

I’m linking to:

3 Natural Cleaning Products You Already Have

In my house we are moving away from conventional chemical cleaners and are using more natural products that do the job just as well and don’t leave you with a headache and feeling like you just had years taken off your life. The bonus is that they are all things you have in your house already!

  1. Baking Soda-Baking Soda is a great mild abrasive, meaning you can use it to scrub things without worrying that it will scratch it. It also makes a great deodorizer- think, trash cans, diaper pails, shoes, the carpet where the cat peed, in the washer, you get the idea. You can pour one cup down the drain followed by one cup hot distilled vinegar to safely unclog your drains without the worry that it will eat through your pipes. Just let it sit for five minutes and rinse with hot water.

     

  2. White Vinegar– White vinegar is a jack of all trades. You can use it at full strength to disinfect countertops or used with old newspaper you can clean your windows and mirrors, just mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. You can also use it at half strength to clean shelves, cabinet doors and such (think surfaces that aren’t going to have food prepared on them or in the bathroom). If you are worried about the smell fear not. Though there is initially a strong vinegar smell it quickly dissipates as it dries. I have actually come to equate the smell of vinegar to the smell of clean! Pouring it into your laundry works as a whitener as well as helps with static in the dryer.

     

    Go here are more ideas on how to use vinegar!

  3.  

  4. Salt– Salt is a rougher abrasive. It works well to clean out your coffee pot. Just add salt, ice and then swoosh it around. The ice applies pressure to the salt since you can’t actually get your had in there to do it yourself. It also works well to get blood out of the clothing. I learn this trick from my dad who used to be a lab tech in the army and always had to have pristine clothes. You want to use cold water on the back side of the fabric (if you scraped your knee while wearing pants, rinse from the outside of the pants in. If you picked up your kid who just scraped their knee and got it on you rinse from the inside out.) Apply salt to the same side that you are rinsing on (you are basically working the stain back out the way it came in.) If you want to you can use the salt on the opposite side as well once you’ve used it thoroughly on the first side. You may need to rinse thoroughly and repeat several times depending on the amount of blood. Then you should just wash as normal. If you are really worried you can use a stain remover before washing if you want to.

 

*Bonus*

Lemons– Lemons are great for whitening. According Martha Stewart Living via Apartmenttherapy.com the following is how you would go about whitening with lemons “To whiten cloth napkins, linens, and even socks, fill a large pot with water, and drop in several slices of lemon. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add the linens, and let them soak for about an hour. Then launder as usual”. They are also great for freshening up your garbage disposal. Just quarter a lemon, toss it down your garbage disposal, turn on the water and let her rip!

All of the above are very inexpensive and easy to keep extras on hand. So next time you go to clean, try using one or all of these and see for yourself how they compare to your favorite cleaners!

I’m linking this to:

 

 Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

A Baby swing, A Tricycle and More, Oh My!

Mom and I ventured out to go garage saling last week for the first time this summer. I know, right, only the first time and it’s the middle of July. That is life, my friends. We happened to pick the week of the same awesome rummage sale we went to last year! I’m not going to give a rundown of every item and what we paid, but I will give highlights.

The swing I got for $2! My grandpa built a swing set for all the littles in the family, so Joel went looking at a hardware store for a swing like this one and it was $20 new! It looks faded pretty bad but it came from Las Vegas and got a lot of sun. The rope is still in great condition though and the lock works just fine.

The chairs I got for $.50 each and the trike mom got for $10. All the buttons still work and the girls are thrilled!

Here are some pillows that mom got for a reading corner in her class room this fall. You can see in the background a carpet remnant she picked up as well for just $3 I think.

Here are the rest of mom’s spoils. There are children’s books for the girls and books for school. She picked up the decorative boat with knick knacks, a lighthouse mirror, a floral picture, a picture frame, 2 baskets, a small frame for Emma, 2 lap trays, stickers, a bag of party beads, a couple pairs of earrings, a baby doll bed for the girls and 2 large lunch bags for her and Joel to take to work that were jsut $2 each.

Now for all my goodies.

I picked up 2 fabric remnants, a wire planter box for $1, 2 sets of vintage red ornaments for $.50 each, a cd, a turkey décor thing, a picture frame for $1, a large measure prepping container for $.50, a bath rug for $3, Arbonne RE9 body wash (barely used) $2, Arbonne Aromassentials Reactivate Spray (barely used) $2, 2 Arbonne Aromassentials Reactivate Sea Salt Scrubs (unopened) $5 each, 3 Arbonne RE9 Body Cream and Serum sets (unopened) $5 each. I also got a sweater for me for $1

For the girls I scored some books, an inflatable sled, penguin/cars/plane/boat for the girls, 5 bibs @ $.25 each, jewelry for Emma, a baby grooming set for $1, and 3 pairs of pants, 4 dresses, 4 pj’s and a sweater for Emma. And Sammie got a dress for next year too. Not in the picture is a potty seat the goes on the toilet that I snagged for $.50 (there is a Monday Mommy confession coming soon about that!)

I had another big score but they are getting a post of their own. You’ll just have to wait and see!