Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Well a big HOWDY from Texas! LOL Hope ya’ll are doing good this morning! I am doing well… my plants are good, my kids are good, and my house is getting a little back to normal. Ok, Jean… whatcha talking about that the “Spunky Renee is on vacation?? I happen to be right here thank you very much! LOL!

Ok so remember how I said it was gonna be a lazy day yesterday? Well… it wasn’t. It never fails that I can’t sit still long enough to “relax” if you will. I always have to be doing something and yesterday was no different. I started by looking up lemon stuff on the computer but not finding much for that. SOOO I got annoyed, got up and dressed and went window shopping. I picked up some cat food at Petsmart then I went to Hobby Lobby. They didn’t have lemon anything except 1 overpriced, fake plastic lemon!

I did however get an idea for the centerpieces one of my customers wants me to make. She was telling me how the party is going to be black and either gold or silver… she couldn’t make up her mind. So it was a little frustrating for me with no determined color scheme. Well when I was walking around the store I saw these centerpieces of flowers in colored terra cotta pots. Hmmm… ok lets think classic… weddings, anniversaries, etc. What do they all have in common? Black & White! So I painted a small Terra Cotta gold, used white silk roses with black and gold tiny buds and added some silver star garland rolled in spirals. I might add some ribbon but I’m not quite sure yet. What do you think? Is it pretty and classy or funky and tacky?

Ok, so remember I told you I want to do my kitchen in the Lemon theme? Well I am trying anyway. After Hobby Lobby, I wandered to the next store into the hardware, paints, etc. I was looking at the paint sample cards. I found one called “Lemon Peel” and I fell in love! That is the paint color for my kitchen! I got a quart mixed up for me and then paid and left. Let me tell ya, its pretty bright! LOL… This picture just shows the first step… I will post new pictures each time its updated until its done.

Then I got some gas for the car and went and picked up the kiddos. I put together the centerpiece and was going to clean some more when I get real faint and had to sit down. My head hurt, I was ill to my stomach, and it was just like someone hit me with a bag of bricks. OOOPPS. Uh silly me forgot to take my meds that morning or eat all day… uh oh… so I tested my sugars, which were a naughty really low. Ok, stop what I’m doing and get to munching… starting with a candy bar! Good thing I have secret stash LOL… but honestly it was like eating mud… not very appetizing!

So, what’s on tap for today you might ask. Well, I figured after the kids get done in the doctor’s office, I might stop buy Pier 1 or Ikea or whatever it is down the road and see if maybe THEY have lemon stuff. The kids only have a half day today, so I’m not even gonna rush and try to get them back before school lets out. Maybe I should take them to the beach or something… its supposed to be a beautiful day and it shouldn’t be too crowded being a weekday. Hmmm… it’s a thought. After we’re done in Galveston with whatever we plan to do, I figured I would come back and paint more in the kitchen and maybe do some planting. Tomorrow starts April Autism Awareness, so I also have to clear out the table so I can do some mass sewing! My daughter is letting me use her machine… isn’t she so sweet? I was thinking about maybe putting a link on here so that my readers can buy some of the stuff if they wanted. What do you think? Would you like that? Remember, I contribute part of the purchase price to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation.

Ok so, while I was painting my kitchen yesterday, I got to reminiscing about when my DD was little and always wanted to help me in the kitchen when I was making cakes, cookies, etc. It was more like she just wanted to lick the bowls LOL, but to her it was helping! Then of course she’d get batter all over her and we’d have to change clothes. Well that made me look at aprons… and it inspired today’s craft. And the artisan just “happened” to use a dish towel with, of all things… LEMONS! LMAO! Go figure! So if you have little kids, grandkids, etc. who like to help you in the kitchen, try this one on for size… kids size! LOL!

Craft Idea of the Day: Kids Dish Towel Apron


1 dishtowel (mine measured 18" x 28")
one package of double fold bias tape--extra wide
thread to match
ribbon or trim (optional)


Lay out the dishtowel with the shorter edge on top and measure 4 inches in from each top edge, and measure 9 inches down each side edge. Draw a line between these two marks and cut on the line using scissors or a rotary cutter.

This is when you would add any ribbon or trim. In this example, it is added at the top and the bottom of the apron.

Now you need to open up your bias tape and pin it to the edges of the apron.

You will want to pin the bias tape to the apron so that there is a 15-inch neck hole and 22-inches of bias-tape hanging at each edge for ties. Now you can sew the bias tape to the apron.

Now fold your bias-tape over to the back of the apron (the neck-hole and tie bias-tape pieces will be sewn to themselves) and sew.

Finish the edge of the apron with a parallel seam and you are done!

I just thought that was the cutest thing. It would also go great if you bought a young girl her first easy bake over, or something like that. It would be a great gift for all kinds of events even if you don’t have kids of your own, but know someone who does.

Ok, now as you know, after our beloved crafts, its time to eat! WOOHOO! I love this part LOL! Well it’s casserole week peeps! So today I am bringing you another super delish pan of homemade yumminess!

Delicious Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

4 skinless, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cup cooked rice
6 ounces sour cream
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed broccoli & cheese soup
1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen broccoli florets, thawed/drained
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups crushed buttery round crackers
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Bring to a boil the chicken breasts, celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and enough water to cover. Cover, reduce heat to medium low; simmer for 35 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup liquid. Cool chicken, remove meat from bones, and cut into bite-size pieces.

3. In a large bowl, stir together sour cream, soups, broth, onion powder, garlic powder, cheese, broccoli, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix in cooked rice and chicken. Spoon mixture into a 9x13 inch casserole dish. In a resealable bag, shake together crushed crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle crackers over the top.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Ok I’m drooling already! YUMMY! Ok folks, I’m gonna hop on off of here and wake the kids for their doctor appointments this morning so I can get on the road. I will be talking to you all tomorrow… same blog time… same blog channel! Peace, Love, and lots of HUGS!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Good morning everyone! How are you all doing today? I am alright. I’ve got the kids off to school and I already watered my plants and put my seedlings out for some “fun in the sun” LOL! I’m gonna take it kind of easy today… just kinda piddling around doing not really much of anything.

I went out with my mom yesterday on a “Lemon Hunt” LOL for things for the kitchen and let me tell ya… there was nothing to find ANYWHERE! OMG I was like “Are you serious?” Who knew lemons as a theme would be so difficult?! I told my mom maybe I was born in the wrong era cause from what I remember and have seen, these kind of things were easy to find back in the day. I found chicken stuff but that was kinda it! It was so frustrating. We found one piece of fabric and that wasn’t really long enough to do anything with… so the hunt begins. I’m gonna start ordering kitchen catalogs and weird stuff catalogs, etc. to make my pretty kitchen!

Well I got a few garden updates to share with you. Remember my Giant Pumpkin plant? Yep here it is! Its getting quite large and soon it will have to go outside forever to produce a wonderfully large pumpkin to amaze and astonish people of all ages! LMAO!!! But seriously… its getting real big huh? If I actually get a giant pumpkin I am gonna flip!

These are the Apache Berry vines I got that the Houston Garden Center! They are putting on the first bloom! YAY! Pretty soon it will be pickin berries in my own garden! WOOHOO! I’m still praying for the other vines I have left… but they aren’t looking too well!

This is my big baby! Its one of my Roma Tomatoes and its about as big as an egg almost. Isn’t that the cutest thing?? And I have 5 of them growing already! And don’t even ASK about the cherry tomatoes! I have so many of those growing its absolutely crazy!

For those of you who have never seen this before, this is broccoli plants flowering like crazy! Pretty soon it will be munching on some yummy broccoli (raw of course) with some ranch dressing…. OH YUMMY!

These are the second set of seedlings that DD and I planted a few weeks ago. We have sprouts!! Right now I see peas and Beef Steak Tomatoes popping out and 1 watermelon. We are gonna start round 3 of seeds probably sometime this week.

And finally this is my first tray of plants big enough to be in 4 inch pots. They will eventually be for sale when I have enough to justify a table sale on the roadside. I am aiming for maybe May to have enough to sale. I’m gonna offer the yucca plants and whatever else I can find and grow. LOL!

I decided that, along with the baby plants, I am going to sell some homemade jams too… but not ordinary jams & jellies… oh no… you can buy those at the local grocery store. But have you ever seen Habanero jelly or Jalapeno Jelly or even Mountain Dew Livewire Jelly at the store? Didn’t think so LOL! When I was cleaning out the storage, I found 2 brand new cases of 4oz. jelly jars that would be perfect for the unique flavor jellies. Because trust me, you don’t need very much of these to pack a punch! I may even play around and experiment with some NEW flavors LOL!

Oh I have to tell you about the weird dream I had last night. I dreamt that I had mutant tomato plants take over my back porch! LOL… I dreamt that they busted out of planters and pots and just rooted into my deck and grew everywhere! Oh I was freaking out… but I had tons of tomatoes of all kinds! LOL! Isn’t that the funniest thing!? Think I spend too much time with my plants? LMAO!

Now for the crafty person… like me… who likes to sew, having enough stick pins can be an issue. LOSING them is an even bigger issue LOL. A cute gift for the seamstress/crafter in your life is this neat little pincushion. And the best part is, you can use different size jars and store the extra pins inside!

Craft Idea of the Day: Canning Jar Pincushion


Fabric Scrap of your choice
Jar with lid and band
Cotton balls or fiberfill
Card Stock
Glue gun


Step 1: Using the lid of the jar, cut out a circle of the same size from the card stock.

Step 2: Using the lid of the jar, trace around it on the wrong side of your fabric. Increase that circle’s radius about 1” and cut out the larger circle.

Step 3: Layer the fabric, cotton balls, and lid then place the “sandwich” inside the band.

Step 4: Press the lid down so that the cotton balls and fabric form the pincushion on the opposite side of the band. Check to see if you need to move the fabric to avoid creases. Make any necessary adjustments and then fold in the fabric and hot glue it to the underside of the lid.

Step 5: Trim away any excess fabric and hot glue the cardstock over the fabric edges.

Step 6: Line the band with a small bead of glue and insert the pincushion into it, pressing firmly. Add the lid to the jar and YOU HAVE A NEW PINCUSHION!

Ok, so are you hungry this morning? I am starving actually. Not sure what is going on with me, but its day 2 in the casserole week, so here is a sweet but savory dish I thought you’d enjoy!

Country Ham & Pineapple Casserole


1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 2/3 cups sugar
8 eggs
16oz. cubed ham
2 (20 ounce) cans crushed pineapple, drained
3 tablespoons lemon juice
10 slices day-old white bread, cubed


In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. stir in pineapple, ham, and lemon juice. Fold in the bread cubes. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set.

Ok folks, that’s all for today. I am going to sit back, drink a cup of cocoa and maybe even read a bit. Who knows… all I know is today is lazy day/do whatever day for the Frugal Mom, so I will see you tomorrow. HUGS!

Monday, March 29, 2010


Well hello there everyone. How are you doing this morning? I hope you are well. I am tired. I was cleaning and painting and trashing quite vigorously yesterday and so I am quite sore. But I made a lot of progress really. I got my pantry reorganized and cleaned out, 2 big bags of trash out, 4 boxes sorted through and put or thrown away, cat litter changed out, kitchen cleaned up, dinner cooked, and I started working on my desk area. On my breaks where I had to sit down I cut some coupons, planned a few meals for April, and sorted some receipts. I stayed busy!

Another thing I did was decide what theme I wanted to redecorate my kitchen in…. and its LEMONS! I absolutely love lemons! The bright yellow is cheery and fresh & Clean feeling, the smell is crisp and clean, and its fruit so its healthy LMAO! I got inspired for the lemon theme actually when I was looking at the refurbished armoire craft yesterday. They had redone one in a lemon theme and it was bright and happy and just wonderful! Isn’t that picture just the cutest thing? They did the inside for a bedroom, but it can easily be adapted to a kitchen. However I am just gonna use the painting idea and the lemon cut outs in my kitchen since I don’t have an armoire to refinish. Next I have to find a lemon fabric I like for the curtains, potholders, etc. I also found a lemon kitchen timer, a clock, and a few other things that are just absolutely adorable! Since it is kind of expensive to redecorate a room, it will be a work in progress LOL.

I want to talk about all the skuddlebutt my blog caused yesterday for a bit. Some people thought I had an attitude, some people were very supportive, and some people sent some actually very vicious emails. My blog was not intended to ruffle anyone’s feathers or make you pick sides, etc. It was just a general vent. When you live under the stress factors I have and you see issues that have some way touched your lives, you tend to get annoyed. All that bottled up tension gets to you and eventually you explode. I’ve personally seen my family and friends go through a LOT of trials and turmoil and when I see it I get (excuse the language) PISSED! It’s a normal human reaction. I chose to vent here, where I felt safe, so that others could see a bit of the wrong that is taking place. But also that way I didn’t blow up on anyone who didn’t deserve it. Sometimes the best way to relieve our stress it to write it down. Have you ever written a letter you never intended on delivering, but it felt so good to get it out in some way? It’s the same concept and totally a normal thing to do when you have no control over something. I do not censor your comments, so please don’t feel like you must try to censor mine. Let’s just agree to disagree or be supportive of anything said here. This blog is your haven (and mine) to exercise our freedom of speech, ok? No more nasty emails telling me to leave the country, dropping F bombs on me, etc. PLEASE. I do care for you all and want you happy and healthy. Now let’s get back to having some fun around here!

To Susan- are you doing alright with that bun in the oven? Did you ever tell me what we are having or when you are due even? LOL… I want to say you have but I can’t remember… I’m sorry. Now to answer your questions… first off the key lime cheesecake bars have been called tart by some. If you want really tart, zest some lime into the batter, squirt more juice when you are eating it, etc. There is a lot you can do to alter to your liking. But I am glad I was able to kill 2 birds with 1 stone for you LOL! As for the healthy slow cooker ideas… I will work on that for you and then share them soon!

Now about what to offer your kids in the summer. Milk contains lactose and bacteria which do not “play well” with the heat. Remember our mom’s telling us not to drink milk in the middle of the day and go outside? Well being that I am lactose intolerant, I was forced to learn all this stuff about milk LOL and I found out mom was right! The sugars in the milk (lactose) do not break down properly and the bacteria begins to irritate the stomach, giving us the nauseous feeling. However, most dairy products, cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, and some ice creams, have most of the lactose processed out… explaining why those do NOT make us ill. However, there are tons of good healthy things you can offer your kids for hydration during the summer! There are so many natural ingredients which are excellent coolants. But what are the best summer drinks? Here is a list of drinks that you can offer your kids in the summer:

Watermelon juice: It is wonderful thirst quencher which contains all the minerals required for the body. It has low sugar which does not disrupt a diet program or increase your weight. It contains magnesium, phosphorus, iron and beta carotene. You can even make ice lollies with watermelon juice. However, avoid using bad quality watermelons as it might upset your stomach.

Papaya juice: It is wonderful digestive aid and can be consumed by everyone. It is great for people with weak digestion, non-vegetarians and for those who need enzyme supplementation to improve the digestion of proteins. It is good for detoxification and for people who want to improve liver function. However, pregnant women should avoid papaya juice in large quantities or taking it regularly.

Lemonade: Lemon is a good source of vitamin C. It improves immunity in the summer and is excellent as a thirst quencher due to its cool nature. One should always add a pinch of rock salt and cumin powder to enhance its taste. However, drinking concentrated or large quantities of lemon can cause an uncomfortable acid kind of sensation in the stomach so be careful.

Butter Milk or Lactaid: Very cooling in nature and is available all over the country. It is a good source of calcium, protein and very filling in nature. However, people of certain constitution or blood group may feel uncomfortable with dairy products and if milk is making you or your kids ill, try a lactose free milk (I use Lactaid) and only drink it first thing in the morning or after sunset.

Mango Juice: It is made with raw mangoes which have a cooling effect on the body. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are needed by the body to fight against diseases. Mangoes are good to eat either ripe or unripe. The ripe mango is excellent for toning up heart muscles, stimulating appetite, and improving the skin's texture and appearance. It is also antiscorbutic, diuretic, laxatic, and invigorating. This tropical fruit is also helpful for people who have liver disorders. It's also high in calories and carbohydrates which are needed for those who are trying to gain weight. Ripe mango is a good source of beta-carotene and is good in the prevention of various Vitamin A deficient disorders. Mangoes are also found to have powerful antioxidant and anticancer properties as well as helpful in treating acidity, poor digestion, and anemia. Drinking mango juice is also believed in improving the memory, concentration, and great in preventing mental weakness. Mangoes also contain Vitamin E which helps in the better functioning of hormonal system-improving the sex life. The amount of Vitamin C and calcium found in mangoes prevents internal hemorrhage also.

Rose water: Rose water has rose as a base which lowers the aggravated pitta. It can be added to any drink to enhance its aroma and flavor. Pitta dosha governs all transformations in the physiology, from the digestion of food to the metabolizing of feelings, emotions and sensory perceptions.

Smoothie: A smoothie is a blended, chilled, sweet beverage made from fresh fruit. In addition to fruit, many smoothies include crushed ice, frozen fruit and vegetables and frozen yogurt.

Coconut water: It is very refreshing natural drink and takes care of mineral requirement in the summer when the soaring temperatures deplete all the water and salts from the body.

Khus sherbet: Khus (poppy seeds), according to research, decreases the temperature of the body and aids in cooling the body. It is also supposed to be a good blood purifier and good for calming the nerves.

Ice tea: Though too much of tea is not good for health but a refreshing ice tea in the evening can be very invigorating. Try to drink the tea with limited sugar to increase the healthiness of the drink. Also if your feet won't stop sweating during the summer, soak your feet in tea! The antioxidants close the pores of your feet so they won't sweat as much (and with my son's foot odor... its a blessing! LOL).

Thandai: It consists of almonds, milk, rose petals all of which have a cooling effect and is absolutely fabulous in taste.

And finally a little bit of advice; avoid those fizzy, carbonated drinks that you see all around you. Although they are easily accessible, they're just filled with empty calories, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors which do you no good at all. Kool-aid, sodas, gatorades, etc. are ok once in a while, but if you are trying to get back into a healthy regime I would recommend all natural. Maybe even invest in a juicer and make it totally pure. You don’t need an expensive one. I know Black & Decker makes one fairly inexpensive and it works just as good. Let your kids help you make the juice even. Teach them young and they will carry it with them the rest of their lives!

Water is good yes, but watch that too! There IS such a thing as too much water believe it or not! Drinking too much water can lead to a condition known as water intoxication and to a related problem resulting from the dilution of sodium in the body, hyponatremia. Water intoxication is most commonly seen in infants under six months of age and sometimes in athletes. A baby can get water intoxication as a result of drinking several bottles of water a day or from drinking infant formula that has been diluted too much. Athletes can also suffer from water intoxication. Athletes sweat heavily, losing both water and electrolytes. Water intoxication and hyponatremia result when a dehydrated person drinks too much water without the accompanying electrolytes. So get back to natural, homemade and healthy drinks and have a great summer. Cheers!

Well, I am slowly digging my way through the chaos that has consumed my living room. I have found numerous different crafting items, so when I can find that corner of the world, its going to get a brand new organization system LOL! But to hold you over for some big projects, I found a little idea to recycle those old bottle caps! They would also make unique earrings!

Bottle Cap Key Chain


cotton swab
rubbing alcohol
1 bottle cap from a glass bottle
jump rings
1 large split ring
craft drill
medium craft drill bit
craft pliers


1. Using the cotton swab and rubbing alcohol, clean off the bottle cap.

2. Next, use your craft drill and drill a hole through the bottle cap. Start at the back of the bottle cap, under the ridge, and drill all the way through. You will have to use some pressure.

3. Slip a jump ring through the hole and close it with the craft pliers.

4. Make a chain of jump rings as long as you like and attach it to the jump ring you put through the bottle cap. Make sure to close all of your jump rings!

5. Attach a split ring to the last jump ring on the chain.

Aren’t those cool? Alright… the kids are off to school and I’m hungry. I’m thinking about dinner already but not sure what I want to make. I was thinking last night that I want to make this week CASSEROLE week! Casseroles are easy one pot wonders that feed an entire family. Last night I made the Mexican Shepherd’s Pie and they ate it up! So today I am gonna share the Mexican Pie with you and then I will give you a new casserole recipe everyday this week! I think this is gonna be fun!

Mexican Shepherd’s Pie


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
garlic powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes or rotel
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup hot water
1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8.5 ounce) package corn muffin mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives (optional)
1 can black beans, drained
Sour cream to garnish


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place the beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until beef is evenly brown and onion is tender. Drain grease. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix in the tomatoes, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and continue cooking 5 minutes, until thickened. Mix in black beans and corn. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

3. Prepare the corn muffin mix according to package directions. Spread evenly over the top in the baking dish.

4. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until puffed and golden. Garnish with olives, sour cream, and cheese.

Okie dokie kids, I am gonna get off here and go fix me some breakfast. Then I guess cleaning and such are in order? LOL or not… not sure yet… All I know is the sounds of the birds chirping and the cat scratching and no kids bickering is so wonderful this morning… it truly is a Folger’s Morning! LOL… See ya tomorrow! HUGS!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


(EDITED 11:19am- I have deleted most of this blog because apparently I upset some people with what I posted, so I apologize if anyone else was upset with me. I will not vent or speak my mind so bluntly anymore in this forum.)

Good morning everyone. How’s things in your neck of the woods? I’m still kind of shaking out the cobwebs right now. It was a pretty rough night for me. Hopefully as the day progresses, I’ll feel a little better.

You know how when you don't feel good, things irritate you more than normal? Well I go outside to get one of the baby cats out of my planters and guess what I saw? Something OR SOMEONE has picked every single strawberry I had growing off my plants!!!!! I had like 6 or so growing and turning red, etc. and they are ALL GONE! The stems look like they have been picked off, instead of broken like an animal would do… I swear some people have no respect! Guess I need to be the "good little tenant" and bring it up to my landlord (like he'll do anything about it... he won't put up a fence or anything else. Guess I should just bring them inside every night!)

Ok, so yesterday mom told me about the Jamie Oliver show with the school foods and the little 1st graders who could not recognize their vegetables, etc. So last night I HAD to look it up. The show is called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and let me tell you… I am setting the DVR to catch the next episode! I couldn’t find the whole episode online to watch but what it is about is a famous British Chef goes to what the government named the “unhealthiest town in America” which is Huntington, WV. He tries to help these people, whose population is 50% obese, change the way they are eating so they don’t die! His first mission is the elementary schools. OMG while my mom was talking to me about it I was teary eyed (like I am right now), but when I watched the clips I could find last night I was like OMG and started crying a bit. There is a part you see with a construction industrial sized dumpster full of FAT, lard, grease, etc. that they use to cook the kids food in at the Elementary School in one year!!! It was SOOOO gross!

Then he visits the home of a family with a mom, dad, teen, and toddler... all obese. He takes all of the food out of her house and dumps it on the table (pictured). Then he offers to take them to a doctor and also buys them all new food for their house in hopes to get them eating healthier. He goes back in like a week and that lazy mom made a million excuses why over half the food was still there! Jamie Oliver began to cry. He tried telling that woman how she is killing her family... HER KIDS! And she didn't seem to care! WHAT IS WRONG WITH PARENTS TODAY! OMG!!!! Well I commend this guy for what he is doing and for trying to help! Check out the show… especially if you have kids! And the bad part is, its not just schools and kids… its everywhere! Why just this morning Yahoo featured an article about the Unhealthiest foods at the mall! How many of you have teens who like hanging out or going shopping there? Yep it’s getting them at school AND their favorite hangout! Check out the Mall article… You might be surprised! I was… cause I am even guilty of buying a couple of things off this list!

Now if you have learned about me, I am all about getting and making the most with little money. I was driving around the other day and saw a bunch of garage sale signs. Ya know spring is here and everyone is cleaning out their old “junk” LOL! I love to go to garage sales really. Its true- one person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Well sometimes at estate sales, you can find neat older furniture and that has inspired today’s craft! Its at minimum a weekend project, but I would LOVE to find an old armoire so that I could do this… even do one in my bedroom or something! So if you have one or happen upon one, here’s an idea to give it a fresh new look AND use!

Craft Idea of the Day: Kitchen Storage Armoire

When you run out of room in the kitchen cabinetry, try this idea for a tablesetting station. Deep shelves and neatly labeled drawers keep tableware and linens in place and close at hand. You could also adapt this to be a extra pantry!

Using a precut alphabet stencil, trace the words for the drawers onto paper, then cut the words from stencil plastic. (The plastic makes the stencil sturdier and easier to paint.) Center the word stencil on the drawer and use a stencil brush to paint. Choose words that identify what you will store in the drawers for easy organization.

For extra pretty touches, stencil flower-and-scroll patterns onto the corners of the door panels. Then glue strips of eyelet trim to the shelf edges for added feminine flair. Decorate the shelves with your favorite teapots, pitchers, and plate stacks. Use large and small bowls to corral cloth napkins and silverware.

Now today for dinner, I’m not sure what I am gonna make, so I’ve decided to share with you a deliciously sweet treat. Key Lime is a favorite in this house, as is cheesecake. So why not combine the 2? It’s low calorie and diabetic friendly as well.

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars


6 squares low-fat honey graham crackers, finely crushed (1/2 cup)
2 Tbsp. margarine, melted
1 tsp. sugar
1 4-serving-size pkg. sugar-free low-calorie lime-flavored gelatin
3/4 cup boiling water
1 16-oz. container fat-free cottage cheese (1-3/4 cups)
1 8-oz. pkg. fat-free cream cheese, softened
4 TBS of confectioners sugar
1 8-oz. container frozen fat-free whipped dessert topping, thawed
Key Limes or limes, cut in wedges (optional)


In small bowl combine graham crackers, margarine, and sugars. Press crumb mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart square baking dish. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

In large bowl combine gelatin and water. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside.

In blender or food processor combine cottage cheese and cream cheese. Cover and blend or process until smooth, stopping several times to scrape down sides. Whisk 1/2 cup of the cottage cheese mixture into the gelatin mixture. Whisk in remaining cottage cheese mixture until smooth. Fold in whipped dessert topping.

Spoon filling over chilled crumb mixture.

Cover and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours or until filling is firm. To serve, cut in squares. Top with lime wedges. Makes 9 servings

Well folks, that’s all the time we have today. I’ve got tons of things I have to do today around the house and everywhere else even though I don't want to do anything today! The guys are going back out to my parents house to work on the floors again. Until tomorrow… HUGS!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Well a beautiful morning to you all! How are you doing this absolutely gorgeous day? I am floating on rose petals! LOL… Last night I had to go to the stores for a few things we needed and I found some beautiful plant deals! I took these great pictures last night (everyone thank Dad for the card reader, which works great obviously LOL, letting me able to share lots of great pics with you again… Thanks Dad! LOL)

These are Yellow Diamond Jubilee Hybrid Tea Roses that I found clearanced to $4.50 a piece! I pruned off the dead parts of the plant and they don’t look so bad really! Each plant already has 4 buds on it and they are supposed to have a sweet fragrance. Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite flower is the rose… red and yellow ones firstly, but all roses in general. These were the only 2 yellow ones that they had for clearance and they were just SCREAMING “Take me home PPPLLUUEEAASSEE!?” LMAO!

Ok, so then I go to Home Depot to cash in on the awesome Garden Club Coupons I got in the email this month. More free flowers YAY! I got the mini roses for me and 2 packs of day lily bulbs for my mommy to replace the ones she lost. I hope she likes them! As for the mini roses, they are going into a big pot together to hopefully make a very pretty walkway decoration. I’m thinking small square planter at the front door, stained, and maybe even some fancy stenciling painted on it… or maybe just a big plastic pot LMAO cause that’s what I got right now LMAO!

I ended up going out to my mom & dad’s house yesterday and I did some more plant foraging. You will never guess what I found! Ok all over their yard is these little onion looking stalks. My parents say they are wild onions… ok… but we didn’t think you could actually eat them. That was until my Dad informed us that he has already eaten them before! So he goes and rinses a couple off and he and my DH chow down right there in the yard! OMG are you serious! YUCK! LOL… But as the day went on, I got to thinking more and more about them, I jumped online to check them out, and they are so totally safe and edible, so I pulled up a bunch more to take home and clean up to cook with. They are very strong smelling, but don’t make your eyes water like normal onions.

So mom and I are looking around in the house and I look out the window into the field next to their yard. And I see something… something that doesn’t look like a weed, but more like a lily or a gladiola, etc. I just have a gut instinct that they might belong/were once in my mom’s lily bed. SOOO lol I go frolicking in the lot and start pulling them up. They had these HUGE rhizomes on them! (For those who don’t know… a rhizome is a horizontal plant stem with shoots above and roots below serving as a reproductive structure. In botany, a rhizome is a characteristically horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes. Rhizomes may also be referred to as creeping rootstalks, or rootstocks.Thanks MOM for teaching me a new- and fun to say LOL- word!) I put a bunch of them into some soil in pots and I am praying they are going to survive and turn out pretty like the picture shows… I've been researching since I got home and the greens look like this picture, so we will see! Keep your fingers crossed! I've been crying at the thought this might be them (LONG story peeps...)

I always have so much fun with my mom & dad. She got some pretty lantana flowers and some other flowers to attract bees and butterflies to her garden, so she was potting those in some hanging pots. We also put tomato plants in her Topsy Turvey planters too. When we went inside and started talking, I got another crazy hair-brained idea! Mom was talking about all the wild edibles you can find all over the place. Plus I actually was doing some reading a couple of nights ago about all the stuff you can find wild in a town not to far from here. So my idea you ask? Oh well packing the kids and a picnic if you will and taking a road trip to this town on a foraging adventure! To see all the edible things we could find during our trip. Isn’t that crazy? But think about all the free food! Southern Dewberries (also called blackberries by some), grapes, strawberries, blueberries, dandelion greens, lettuce, ginger, onions, pecans and other nuts, fruits from roadside trees, you name it! I think it would definitely be interesting if nothing else. Of course you have to be careful you don’t pick some poisonous copycat… which are all over as well! Today mom told me about some HUGE patches of berry vines and fields full of white blossoms! Guess where I will be (and hopefully lots of helpers too) in a few weeks when they turn into ripe delicious berries!? YEP… pickin some berries! Free fruits to make jams, cobblers, eat fresh, make smoothies, you name it! YUMMY! Oh believe me, I will get you some serious pictures. If I am right, we are gonna have more berries than we know what to do with! Maybe I should call myself “The Frugal Forager” LMAO!

So today I think the DH and DS18 are gonna go help my Dad put in new flooring… so what does the woman folk do? Well I guess I am gonna try to finish conquering the mass chaos in the living room and I am actually feeling a bit crafty. Maybe I can get some sewing done. Being that April is Autism Awareness month, I am going to be sewing a lot of things with the puzzle piece fabric. Shopping bags, purses, luggage tags, pillow cases, scrub tops, etc. Whatever hits me is what I will make.

I like to do a lot of charity work. Guess its in my blood I suppose. My mom, dad, and brothers were volunteer fire fighters for many years. Yes I said my MOM too… so doing for others without expecting “repayment” has always been natural. Then throughout my life, many “causes” have effected my life or my loved ones lives quite extensively… I have battled a couple different types of cancer (successfully thank you), a near fatal car accident, bone disease, sexual assault, and quite a few other things in my life. My son lives with ADHD, developmental delays (classified as mental retardation), and Autism. My daughter also has ADHD as well as Asthma and severe allergies and joint disorders. Other things that have touched us include (but not limited to LOL) diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke (adult and pediatric), family of a serviceman, etc. SOOOO as you can see we could basically just pick and choose what we want to support LOL. Its really no laughing matter I know, but sometimes you gotta just laugh to keep from crying ya know? So being that I am not rich and famous and cannot donate hundreds of dollars… what can the “little man” do? Well… I sew… A LOT! I make all kinds of things with either cancer fabrics, autism fabric, yarned lapel ribbons, etc. Then I sell them. When I have great sales, I donate some of the money to those causes major foundations- Susan G. Komen breast cancer, Doug Flutie autism, American Cancer Society. And when sales are not so hot, that’s when I donate homemade items and care packages and other tangible things. I send care packages and cards to the troops, I donate toys and stuffed animals to the Children’s Hospitals and orphanages, toiletries and other homemade things to the Women’s Crisis Center, handmade walker totes to senior assisted living homes, homemade doo rags to the major cancer hospital treatment centers. Most of the time (if we can), the donations are anonymous (like to the hospitals, etc) because we are not doing this to be noticed… its to help. I urge all of you to do at least one good thing for a charity or maybe just even someone you know. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you helped make at least one day a little easier for someone less fortunate! And don’t pass up those bell ringers at Christmas either… every penny does help! My DD has always asked for my change to give since she was tiny… so I always kept a roll of nickels and a roll of pennies in my purse at Christmas time and gave her a few to give each time she saw a Salvation army bell ringer. She learned that giving to others who truly need help is a good thing. Now she has graduated to dollars LOL and sometimes if she has money of her own, she gives that too… but most of the time its mine LOL! I have really great kids. Even my DS14 gives to them and seeing an autie donate is a moving experience! I firmly believe that if everyone gave just a little bit of love in some way like that, the world wouldn’t be such a violent place.

Ok, now that I am blubbering again (I don’t know why I am so emotional the last couple of days) lets get back to crafts. Being I have talked about gardening, seeds, etc. a lot, a good craft for someone you know who likes to garden would be this nifty little nature craft!

Seed Packet Craft with Matching Pot
by Twila Lenoir

This seed packet and matching pot is a lovely way to share the seeds from your favourite garden plants, and it looks attractive enough to use a personal housewarming gift or gardening gift.

Seed Packet Craft

Craft Supplies:

free printable seed packet pattern
terra cotta plant pot
potting soil
2 small clear plastic bags
acrylic craft paints in brown and white
permanent marker
brown paper bag
wallpaper remnants or fancy printed gift wrap
decorative edging scissors or pinking shears
spray sealer
thin ribbon
Seed Packet and Pot Project

Craft Instructions:

1. Print and cut out the free seed packet pattern. Trace the pattern on a brown paper bag, cut out, then fold and glue where indicated on the pattern.

2. With pinking shears or decorative edging scissors, cut out a rectangle from wallpaper or gift wrap. This needs to be a little smaller than the seed packet and should be glued to the front.

3. From white paper, cut a rectangle slightly smaller than the wallpaper rectangle, again using pinking shears or edging scissors. Decorate the top of this with a flower sticker or decal, a motif cut from wallpaper, or a rubber stamp design of your choice. You will repeat this decoration on the pot.

4. Write a positive message on the front the seed packet, such as "The Seed is Hope, The Flower is Joy." Glue on a bow made from thin ribbon over the top of this message.

5. Paint the terra cotta plant pot in a color similar to that of your brown paper bag. Paint the rim white. Once the paint is dry, use permanent marker to write the same message around the rim that you wrote on the seed packet. Decorate the pot with a flower motif, decal, sticker or rubber stamp that matches the one that you used on the seed packet.

6. Add some potting soil to a clear plastic bag, seal, and place inside the plant pot.

7. Brush a finishing sealer on the pot.

8. Punch a hole in the top left corner of the seed packet. Place the seeds in a small plastic bag (tiny ziploc bags work very well). Seal the bag of seeds then slide it into the seed packet envelope and glue down the top flap.

9. Thread another length of thin ribbon through the hole punched in the seed packet. Use this to attach the seed packet to the bag of potting soil in the pot.

Now what to eat… well everytime I go outside I find a red strawberry or I open my fridge and see fresh farmers market produce. I have been on a salad and fruit kick lately, so I thought I would share this refreshing salad recipe with you today.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Seasonal Fruit


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 onion, minced
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 heads Bibb lettuce - rinsed, dried and torn
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries


Preheat the grill for high heat.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Remove from heat, cool, and slice.

Meanwhile, place pecans in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pecans until fragrant, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.

In a blender, combine the red wine vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil, onion, mustard, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.

Arrange lettuce on serving plates. Top with grilled chicken slices, strawberries, and pecans. Drizzle with the dressing to serve.

Okie Dokie kiddos, I have to go get the manfolk up and dressed for a day of hard work. Then its time to clean and such… today is really going to be “Susie Homemaker” day LOL! You take care in your travels or whatever you find yourself doing and I will see you tomorrow! HUGS!!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Hi there everyone. Hope you are doing well today. I gotta tell ya, while it feels good to be over and done with cleaning out the storage, all the hard work, plant maintenance, and moving this week has made me one tired pup! And the bad part is… I can’t stop! I have so much clutter in my front living room right now and its mainly all junk! Old text books and VHS movies that probably don’t work, odds and ends craft supplies like ceramic mugs and candle wax, old papers that I have NO clue why I kept them… especially this long, and a ton of other JUNK! I got to thinking and I was paying all that money for trash storage! OMG I could kick myself in the behind for, in essence, wasting all that money! THOUSANDS of dollars over the years! When I checked out today, the lady reminded me I have been there 9 years and not to feel bad because a bunch of people are doing the same thing I did. 9 YEARS! When I sat down and figured out the dollar amount… over $1100 a year!!!! Which makes over $9900 in 9 years….. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I wasted almost $10 GRAND!? Oh I could soooo kick my butt! That’s a new car for goodness sakes!!! Wow… I’m still tripping out. You never really actually realize how much something costs huh? Like when I quit smoking last May (yes after 17 years I kicked the habit cold turkey!) I realized that I was spending $320 a month on something that made it harder to breathe and was slowly killing me! This year I will have saved $3840 come May. That money went to food and other bills… crazy huh?!

Ok I just heard this on the radio and if you don't already know about it, its a sweepstakes for a chance to win a 7 pound honey baked ham and 3 heat and serve sides for Easter from Honey Baked Ham stores. Looks like you also get a $10 coupon too when you join their VIP club. Its called the Honey Baked Easter Sweetstakes and its open to residents in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington. On their home page, there is apparently coupons as well... so check it out if you live in those states! Its a chance at a free $60 dinner!

Alrighty, I want to bring up something my Dad mentioned to me yesterday morning. It’s about personal safety and Social Network sites. Good Morning America did a piece on a lady who had hundreds of Facebook friends and a couple of them robbed her house for over $10,000 worth of stuff. It talks about social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. that all utilize GPS tracking when you do updates. There is even supposed to be a website called Please Rob Me where your updates are posted and thieves pick and choose who they want to hit. Rest easy Dad, I don’t use ANY of those social sites or GPS updating from my phone either. I also google myself at least once a week to make sure I cannot find myself online or any information about me. (Of course I have to worry just leaving and my neighbor seeing me leave LOL! Kidding) However, having said that, Dad does raise a good issue though. Nowadays with all the dishonest and spiteful people in the world, you HAVE to be careful with what you tell to whom. We warn our kids to watch what they say, we should do the same with ourselves. Of course, sadly, all criminals need is your name to find out things about you nowadays… and if you have ever made a purchase online, was a member of a club, etc. online, or even opened an email account… you’re out there somewhere! It just depends on how hard they want to dig and how well you cover your tracks! So be careful on that information super highway ok? Check out the editorial and video on their website HERE and even show it to your teens, kids, etc. It’s good information… a good reminder/refresher even. THANKS DAD!

Ya know what else is hard work and tiring… those plants! But I hope they will be so rewarding in the future that it’s so worth it. Just remember, if you are outside playing in fields, weeds, etc. take precautions! Plenty of not-so-awesome treasures (like poison ivy, etc) growing around, and then you always run the chance upsetting some natural wildlife (snakes, etc!) and they can leave you with something so nasty, antibiotics won’t clear it up! And of course, you have the sun beating down on you, so dress appropriately as well. Just like the internet issue, be careful in what you are doing. I would hate to lose some of my readers because of something that could have been prevented!

Alright… I have a confession (since I am on the plant topic LOL). Plants are beginning to consume my life! I think I am addicted to them LOL! Did you ever have an urge (not necessarily plant related) to do something you know you shouldn’t either because it could hurt you or just simply isn’t right but you want to do it anyway and not worry about consequences? I’ve had that urge… to become “The Midnight Plant Bandit”! LMAO!! Yes this may sound very tacky, but as I drive down the road, I see all these awesome plants and flowers in yards, by the road, etc. I have such an urge to drive around taking cuttings from them and bringing them home to try to propagate them! Can you imagine all the different kinds I would have? LMAO! But alas… I know better and being that my parents raised an honest person… I restrain myself and get them the normal way. I buy them or my parents give them to me or I find them free behind their house LOL!

Now, since the last couple of days/posts have been a little short (by MY standards LOL) I wanted to find you an awesome craft for today for being so patient with me LOL! I ran across this little gem last night and totally forgot that I used to make these! Shoot, maybe if I hadn’t lost mine, I wouldn’t be on blood pressure meds LMAO! So without further ado (and to my mom, dad, and everyone else PLEASE forgive the language but its just funny with this LOL) I give you the…

Craft Idea of the Day: The Dammit Doll


Calico or felt
Wool or doll hair
Toy filling
Sewing machine
Felt pens


These make great little Dammit Dolls for stressful people and can be thrown, jabbed, stomped and even strangled till all the frustration leaves you.

Attach this little poem to go with it:

When you want to kick the desk or throw the phone and shout,
Here's a little dammit doll you cannot do without,
Just grasp it firmly by the legs, and find a place to slam it,
And as you whack it's stuffing out, yell,
dammit, dammit, dammit!

You need to create a basic doll shape and cut it out of fabric.

You can use any color fabric you want, but if you intend on adding facial features you will need to keep the fabric light.

Cut out 2 body shapes and sew around the edges. Turn the doll the right side out and using a pen push out any edges in the hands and legs till it is all turned the right side out.

Then using your toy filling stuff the doll from the leg's up remembering to keep it firm enough so you can write against it. Keep filling the doll till you reach the head, then using some glue or a few hand stitches close up the head.

Use your waterproof felt pens to draw on some facial features and glue on the hair along the head seam. You can add as much or as little detail as you want to your doll.

Isn’t that just the funniest thing? LOL! I might make some for sale even LOL! Once I get the clutter cleaned out of my house at least… I could do prints and solids, faces and non, you name it! Attach the poem on some cardstock and it’ll be good to go! Oh I bet those would sell like hot cakes, especially at things like music festivals, etc! (Yes my mind is always churning on how to make extra income LOL! And inebriated people tend to buy lots of things they don’t necessarily need LOL!) OK on to the next topic that fills me with joy… FOOD! Ahh the joy of cooking (no copyright infringement intended people… its just a phrase!) with all kinds of goodies! Tonight I am STUFFING everything! WOOHOO! Remember those round zucchini I got at market… yep stuffin’ them! And I think I have some pork chops…. Stuffin those too LOL! If not, I KNOW I got some chicken and I’ll be stuffin!

Cranberry and Apple Stuffed Pork Chops


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large Granny Smith apple - peeled, cored and diced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste
2 thick cut bone-in pork chops
1 tablespoon olive oil


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and apple; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and balsamic vinegar, and continue cooking until the apple and onions have softened, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then scrape the mixture onto a plate, and refrigerate until cold.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a small baking dish.

Cut a large pocket into the pork chops using a sharp, thin bladed knife. Stuff the cooled apple mixture into the pork chops, and secure with toothpicks if needed. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper to taste, and place into the hot skillet. Cook on each side until browned, about 3 minutes, then transfer to a baking dish. Top with the remaining apple mixture, and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven until the pork is no longer pink in the center, about 40 minutes depending on the thickness of the pork chops. Uncover, and bake about 10 minutes longer until the apple mixture has browned around the edges.

Balsamic Stuffed Round Zucchini


8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 large mushroom, chopped into small chunks
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon white onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated
salt & pepper
1 zucchini, round (about the size of a softball)


1 Heat the oven to 180°C.

2 Put the tomatoes, chopped mushroom, garlic, onion and oregano into a bowl. Mix to combine and add the balsamic vinegar, mixing until well combined. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.

3 Cut the zucchini in half lengthways, and using a teaspoon scoop out and discard the pulp.

4 Heap the tomato mixture into the scooped out shells.

5 Grind over salt and pepper to taste, drizzle over the olive oil, and top with the parmesan cheese.

6 Bake for 45 minutes or until the shell just starts to go soft.

And finally, no stuffed dinner is complete without a stuffed dessert! So courtesy of one of my favorite chefs, Emeril Lagasse, try this recipe on for size!

Candy Bar Stuffed Baked Apples

Kids will love this outrageously delicious take on the classic baked apple! Try it with vanilla ice cream for a truly decadent treat.


1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup finely chopped Snickers candy bar
1/4 cup finely chopped Skor candy bar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Snickers candy bar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Skor candy bar
4 medium apples (7 to 8 ounces each)


Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the apples on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the top 1/2-inch from each apple.

Using an apple corer or a small melon baler, scoop out the stem, core, and seeds from each apple, leaving the bottom intact.

Stand the apples in a 9-inch square baking dish, cut side up.

Divide the coarsely chopped candy bars among the apples, about 2 tablespoons of candy per apple.

Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of the butter inside each apple, on top of the candy bar pieces.

Divide the finely chopped candy bars among the apples, about 2 tablespoons of candy per apple.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cider and sugar and pour the cider mixture over and around the apples.

Using oven mitts or pot holders, place the baking dish in the oven and bake the apples uncovered until tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Using oven mitts or pot holders, carefully remove the apples from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve hot or warm, spooning the pan juices over the apples, and add vanilla ice cream if desired.

So there you have a totally awesome craft, some super stuffed recipes, and even a bit of blog-world news! Now TODAY is a blog fitting the frugal mom! LOL! Its time for me to let you go for today and start working on some of these boxes crowding out my living room. I will see you all back here tomorrow for more truth and wisdom… ok fine just facts I either know about or find LOL! Stay safe and until tomorrow… HUGS!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Well good morning my darlings! How are you this bright sunny day of days? I am actually in a pretty good mood LMAO! I am so proud to announce that I have done it! I have completed my goal of emptying the storage and eliminating that monthly expense! YAY GO ME! I am a month and 6 days ahead of my deadline I set for myself! WOOHOO! I should hold a party LMAO! I defeated the storage unit YAY! LOL! I am super stoked about this even though it looks like an A-bomb went off in my living room LOL! Boxes and bags everywhere… but its ok! I can work on that now at a super human pace without worrying if the bill is paid or if they are going to lock me out of my own belongings! Oh don’t get me wrong, the people who work there have been super nice to me over the years, but not having to pay that chunk of money is even NICER! LOL! I have to go back one last time to sweep out the trash and pick up a couple of BIG items, but then I am done! YAY! Everybody dance a little chair jig now in my honor… LMAO j/k.

Ok, Jean, to answer your question, yes ALL those plants are running rampant at my parents property. And the thing is, I know people pay good money for those plants too, so after consulting with my parents, I have found that I think I am going to include some of these beauties in my plant sale, provided they all take off, which it looks like they are going to! YAY! Mother nature has given me yet ANOTHER gift… the gift of CASH LOL!

I know some of you are wondering how my doctor appt. went, so I will fess up right now LOL. All of my lab work came back naughty, my Blood Pressure is decreasing but she is not happy still, so I am permanently on yet ANOTHER medication daily for that, I have to have more labwork done in 2 months, and she griped about my diet and weight. Ya know, all the normal stuff LMAO. HOWEVER… there IS one bit of good news! Since my last visit 2 weeks ago, I have lost 7 pounds! YAY! Another GO ME moment LOL! She WAS happy about that… of course most of it was water weight but still… that’s a lot of water! LOL! Just more motivation for me to keep going and doing what I have been.

Ok its time to get crafty! I saw this craft on Thrifty and I just HAD to tell you about it! Its sooooooo cute! I might see about making some with my kids this weekend!

Craft Idea of the Day: Egg Dioramas

These are adorable hanging above a table from a light fixture. They are eggs with tiny scenes inside.

Approximate Time: a couple days, for drying time


Jumbo eggs
Sponge brush for shellac (unless spray-on variety is used)
Faceted and pony beads
Fake flowers
Tiny flowers or pearls
Hot glue gun
Needlenose pliers
Cuticle scissors
Sharp scissors


Using real jumbo eggs, make a hole in the side with cuticle scissors, and drain the egg and let it dry.

Dye them and let dry.

Shellac, and let dry.

Place moss inside, and a cute figurine.

Decorate the edges of the hole with faceted beads or a pearl string and add poms and pony beads to the top and bottom.

Add flowers bows and a hanger.

By Lily from Elkhart, IN

Aren’t those the cutest things?! OK, so now I want to eat… all this super mega hard work the last few days has made me monstrously hungry!!! And sorry doc, but I want me some REAL food… and LOTS of it LOL! I mean some meat, potatoes, veggies, breads, and lots of OH-SO-NOT-GOOD-FOR-ME Yumminess! LMAO!

Barbecued Pot Roast


1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 pound boneless beef chuck shoulder steak, cut 3/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 medium onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons ketchup
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard


Combine salt and pepper; rub over steak. In a Dutch oven, brown steak in oil on both sides. Add the water, tomato sauce, onion and garlic. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over the meat. Cover and simmer for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until meat is tender.

And then I thought that this cake made into individual portions would be a cute party treat for a future party… maybe a garden or outdoor theme… check it out!

Dirt Cake


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
3 1/2 cups milk
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
32 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies with creme filling


Chop cookies very fine in food processor. The white cream will disappear.

Mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar in bowl.

In a large bowl mix milk, pudding and whipped topping together.

Combine pudding mixture and cream mixture together.

Layer in flower pot, starting with cookies then cream mixture. Repeat layers.

Chill until ready to serve.

Add artificial flower and trowel. Enjoy!

Alright kids, let me get off here for now and go finish the last step in this battle of the storage unit so I can rest easy and pack leisurely LOL! I will meet you back here tomorrow for another great day full of excitement LOL! HUGS!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Good morning everyone! How are you doing this crazy day? I’m rather exhausted actually. Remember I said I was going to my mom’s for the berry vine hunt? Well it turned out to be a full out botanical scavenger hunt and boy let me tell you… it was fun but now my body is saying WHOA! LOL. Just hope the doctor doesn’t ask me how I’m doing today LOL! I have to share some of the cool things we found with you. We found a lot of poison ivy, but that’s not cool and we didn’t get any of that LOL! (Sorry for the less than perfect pictures… I took them with my phone cause my camera cord is caput!)

This big old boy and his purple offspring are called Yucca plants. These are growing like crazy out behind my parent’s house. They are very pretty when they flower, putting off white or purple flowers from a stalk in the center of the plant. The spines are razor sharp and do a lot of damage if you are not careful. The Yucca plant is a member of the Agave family and there are 49 different types. Yuccas are widely grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Many yuccas also bear edible parts, including fruits, seeds, flowers, flowering stems, and more rarely roots, but use of these is sufficiently limited that references to yucca as food more often than not stem from confusion with the similarly spelled but botanically unrelated yuca. I brought home 3 of these fellas and there are BUNCHES more to save!

Here you see a piece of a plant called a Purple Heart. It is a tropical plant, related to Wandering Jew, which performs well as an annual in Kentucky flower gardens. The plant has purple colored foliage and grows well during the summer. Purple Heart grows well in full sun but can tolerate shady conditions and can be grown as a house plant. Purple Heart is easy to propagate from cuttings, even in a glass of water on the windowsill.

These are my little “Purple figlets” LOL. There are 11 cuttings from a Celeste Fig Tree. Most varieties require very warm weather but the Celeste fig is a cultivar that's unusually resistant to cold. It can thrive in USDA zone 8, meaning that it can withstand winter temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The Celeste fig tree is very productive and the main crop of fruit ripens in the middle of June. I love this fruit! It makes EXCELLENT homemade jams and desserts. Now ya wanna know the funny part? I’m very allergic to the leaves and sap from this tree! So does that make me insanely crazy or a devoted gardener? LOL!

Ah the Sago Palm tree baby. It is seen in almost all botanical gardens, in both temperate and tropical locations. In many areas of the world, it is heavily promoted commercially as a landscape plant. It is also quite popular as a bonsai plant. First described in the late 1700s, it is native to various areas of southern Japan and is thus tolerant of mild to somewhat cold temperatures, provided the ground is dry. These are 2 younger sprouts and there were many more to harvest in the wilds of my parents property.

The time honored Aloe Vera plant! There is a HUGE patch of these little green beauties running all over the place out there! Aloe vera, also known as the medicinal aloe, is a species of succulent plant that probably originated in Northern Africa, the Canary islands and Cape Verde. Aloe vera grows in arid climates and is widely distributed in Africa\India and other arid areas. The species is frequently cited as being used in herbal medicine. Many scientific studies of the use of aloe vera have been undertaken, some of them conflicting. Despite these limitations, there is some preliminary evidence that Aloe vera extracts may be useful in the treatment of wound and burn healing, diabetes and elevated blood lipids in humans.

I also brought home some Cacti and a few other plant cuttings, clippings, etc. We shall see over the next few days if they take or not. Keeping my fingers crossed! Now I didn’t have much time to craft yesterday, obviously, so there is really no craft for today.

And then of course, you need something to eat right? Well seeing that I was so dog tired, the DH made spaghetti (well under my supervision he made it LOL). Today I need something quick and easy… so I am thinking this shrimp dish will satisfy everyone!

Peppered Shrimp Alfredo


12 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, diced
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, melt butter together with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, red pepper, and mushroom; cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 2 minutes more.

Stir in the shrimp, and cook until firm and pink, then pour in Alfredo sauce, Romano cheese, and cream; bring to a simmer stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir drained pasta into the sauce, and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Well gang, I gotta get off here and run to the doctor’s office. I will let you know what all happens. Be safe today in your adventures and live life to the fullest! HUGS!