Thursday, June 10, 2010

LATE SPRING CLEANING



Morning boys and girls! How are you doing today? I am well surprisingly, after a day of intense cleaning! A wee bit sore, but otherwise feeling good both inside and out! Decluttering makes me feel so liberated!

I started off the day actually thinking of my plants. I am diligently working to nurse them back to good health and I don’t want anyone ruining that! I can’t stop things like raccoons or cats or opossums, but I CAN stop HUMANS! So the first thing I did, which also got something off my desk (that counts as cleaning right? LOL), was posted my “NO TRESPASSING” sign in the back yard. I also took a picture that way I have some sort of proof that I had it posted “in the event” ya know? (Remind me that I need to pick one up for the FRONT yard too)! After that I watered all my plants real good.

From there, it was back inside… I checked the forecast, which said thunderstorms again, so I made up my mind to work inside all day. (So much for having just watered huh? Maybe I should have checked the forecast FIRST LOL!) I started piddling in the living room first… picking up trash, dirty socks (apparently I have a centipede living in my house who doesn’t know where the hamper is!), and then some mild cleaning. I threw out an old tower (for DVD’s) that was empty and falling apart that was just taking up space. I sat and thought for a long time how and if I could repurpose it, but I couldn’t (particle board things are hard to repurpose when they are crumbing LOL) so I threw it away.

I started getting frustrated in the living room, as it looks so overwhelming, so I moved into the kitchen. I washed the dishes (the few there were), took out the trash, swept and mopped, wiped down all the counters and cabinets and such, and just did general maintenance. I got the bottom cabinet doors scrubbed but didn’t get them taped and painted! That would have been one step closer to finishing that project! All I really have to do besides painting the bottom cabinet doors is to rip the old wallpaper border down (it was here when we moved it) and paint the rest of the wall tops. Then I can sponge paint some lemons across the top and that will be pretty much it. Of course, I might just adhere the cutout lemons instead, like I did the cabinets… so that it all matches. Not sure yet… but once that’s all done, the project will be complete except for just adding trinkets here and there like canisters, etc.

Now Tuesday night I was working on my desk area (until HK came on at least LOL). I eliminated a tall kitchen bag full of old grocery ads, junk mail, etc. now it was time to find a home for all that was left. This all started (the whole cleaning spark) because I am looking for an envelope full of spare pictures that I cannot find! I need it badly because it has extras of some pictures of Madison that I need for making the centerpieces, which have taken root on my dining room table. I figured to get LESS frustrated, I would use a plastic box and each time I fill it with things I know have a home, I would stop and put everything in the box away. Then I would continue sorting. This method works well for me, especially having ADHD, as I get either overwhelmed or bored and sometimes never seem to finish it. Once I get it under control, it’s not so hard to maintain! I even flipped the couch over and nailed some boards back in place so the one side wouldn’t eat you when you sat down… it helped, but didn’t solve the problem. Its ok, when I have better supplies, I will just flip it back over and pick up where I left off (I know… you’re thinking Yea right, aren’t ya? LOL).

I bounced like this from room to room all day. In the end, the kitchen is spotless, the living room is about 85% clutter free, the couch eats your butt just a little now instead of devouring it LMAO. I found my glasses, the bathrooms sparkle, shine and smell lemony fresh, and the clothes are 60% hung up and put away. I have a bedroom floor again! I have about 5 or 6 storage boxes that I can take to my mom’s house and put in the attic too! The house is fabric refreshed and vacuumed, and it’s much less likely to make me scream when I look at it now than at the start of yesterday! I sweat like a hog and my feet are killing me, but I feel so much better about my home! I won’t be NEARLY as embarrassed now if someone was to drop in unannounced! And on top of that, I was constantly thinking about that project my neighbor wants me to do while I am doing similar in my own home! I got a few ideas started LOL. I just know the trash man is gonna be rolling his eyes again when he comes tomorrow as there is TONS of garbage LOL! But I don’t care. I am trying to become as clutter free as I can! I feel really good and the hard work I did shows! And I like that!!

So, now that I have probably made you very dizzy LOL with all my running around, let me ask you a question…are you ready for some interesting tips of frugality? Well on the hunt for Frugal tips to earn my name, I found this article about things Americans are learning to do “without” and it makes me think… what can I really do without? How about you? Check out this list and find out. I would love to hear what you have “given up” in order to obtain a bit more frugality in your life!

21 Things we are learning to live without
by Rick Newman

1. Monthly Payments- Before the recession, consumers worried less about taking on debt, as long as their income could cover the monthly payments. No more.



2. Window Shopping- Browsing used to be an acceptable pastime. But consumers have discovered that window shopping encourages them to buy lots of things they don't need.

3. Bells & Whistles- The technology arms race is slowing, with consumers gravitating to simpler gizmos like Netbooks, prepaid cell phones, and older used electronics.



4. Clutter- As Americans downsize, do more of their own cleaning, and look for stuff they can sell online, they’re discovering tons of things around the house they can get rid of without even noticing.



5. Cable TV- Many people are cutting back on pay-TV services or canceling them altogether, which saves $50 to $100 a month. Alternatives: Watching free programs on Hulu or YouTube, or simply turning off the TV.



6. A Home Phone line- How many phones do you need, anyway? With cell phones ubiquitous and online voice service cheap, the home phone is becoming redundant.

7. Privacy- Got room on the couch? To save on rent or mortgage payments, roommates are doubling up and grown kids are moving back in with their parents.



8. Prepared Foods- More people are cooking at home, and they're doing it with fewer pre-made sauces, marinades, dressings and other ingredients. Fresh foods turn out to be healthier, and sometimes cheaper.



9. Tupperware parties- Sales of Tupperware and other storage products are up, but some consumers are skeptical of “home parties” where the host sells goods in exchange for free merchandise.



10. Packaged Cigarettes- The average price of cigarettes is about $5 a pack or $45 a carton, which mounts quickly for regular puffers. Some smokers save money by buying small machines that let them roll their own.



11. Lattes- The $5 daily coffee is always one of the first small luxuries to go. But more people are brewing at home. Sales of single-serving home brewing machines, for example, have soared.

12. Guilt- Keeping up with all the latest trends and technology takes an emotional toll. One woman who has stopped trying says, “I feel like I'm in charge of my life instead of multinational corporations telling me what to consume.”

13. Extra Calories- Some people are drinking more water or doing other things to to suppress their appetite. Restaurant diners are splitting entrees and finding other ways to trim the check.



14. Newspapers and Magazines- Millions have canceled subscriptions to print periodicals and started getting free news and information online.

15. Healthcare- A forced reduction in healthcare coverage is probably one of the most crushing effects of a weak economy, as the unemployed and others without insurance make drastic tradeoffs to cut costs and get by.

16. New Gifts- Consumers are devising new strategies for regifting—to make sure they don’t get caught—or “shopping” for presents in their closet or basement.

17. It’s no secret that new-car sales have plunged, but many buyers who have traded down to a used model are surprised at the quality of the merchandise.

18. Comfort- Thermostats all across America are going lower in winter, higher in summer. Shorter showers can save big bucks. And you don’t need to run the water the whole time you’re brushing your teeth.

19. A daily commute- If you’re unemployed, obviously there’s no job to drive to, one reason the amount of vehicle miles driven has dipped to 2004 levels (and traffic on some of the most congested highways has eased).

20. Fancy Dates- Courtship is a bit of a comedown these days, with discount-dating advisers suggesting home-made meals, free performances, and even yard sales as alternative to costly dates.



21. Debt- Total credit-card debt is about 7 percent lower than it was a year ago, with Americans paying down more than $100 billion in credit-card loans since October 2008. And household "deleveraging" seems to be intensifying, not slowing down.

Let’s see… for me, numbers… well MOST all of them really. I have gotten myself down to 6 monthly bills that I cannot really get rid of and that’s it. I don’t really “window” shop unless we have GC’s and coupons and even then it’s a few and far between day. I have no credit cards. Privacy, comfort, etc… well you give some of that up instantly when you have kids LOL! Never been one for fancy dates (the DH and I don’t get to go out at all actually so this is not even a factor). My car is 12 years old LOL. I don’t really care for the “latest technology” or coffee and I don’t have a home phone line LOL. I quit smoking a little over a year ago and I don’t drink very often. AND I cook (mostly) from scratch AND I got rid of my storage unit in order to and am in the process of decluttering my house. I’m pretty dull don’tcha think? But I am definitely ahead of the game I think LOL! Now, how many things can YOU go without and still say you have a good life? Sadly, many people put too much stock in mere possessions (at least I think so) nowadays.

Ok folks, I am in the mood for some funky crafting. I, as normal, love the crafts that recycle and make unique things! I am proud to display them in my home! Now last night after checking my emails but before going to bed, I was searching for some new recycled crafts and I came across an awesome website called Craft Gossip. I was browsing through all the wonderful recycled crafts and this one just seemed to fit today’s theme… as we all tend to get paper bills and junk mail containing those totally usable envies in them! Why waste!? Recycle into this neat project!



Craft Idea of the Day: Envelope Accordion Book

Materials:

Chartreuse A2 Envelopes
Glue Stick
Bone folder
Labels
Gel Pens

Directions:

This easy to make accordion book is a personalized way to organize all of your small odds and ends. Each envelope page can hold something different such as- "to do" lists, stamps, tickets, coupons, and business cards. Also a fun craft idea for a gift - fill with photos, tickets, and other keepsakes and share with a special friend.

Step one: Choose your envelopes. You will need an odd number, anywhere from five to nine. We have used A2 envelopes here but, almost any size side-opening envelope will work.

Step two: Using a glue stick, adhere the envelopes together by placing adhesive on the inside of the flap of one envelope and using a bone folder, burnish it to the front of the next envelope.

Step three: Fold the pages accordion style, making the pointed flap of the first envelope the cover of your book.

Step four: Add a ribbon closure. Cut a small opening the width of the ribbon on both sides of the last envelope and run the ribbon through.

Step five: Using labels and colored gel pens indicate the contents of each envelope "page". Fill with all your odds and ends, fold up, and tie the ribbon closure to keep everything safely tucked inside.

Oh now its time for my favorite part… FOOD! Today’s inspiration? The color green LOL… the main veggies of today’s choices are green… like a fresh cut lawn (but they taste much better LMAO). They taste great and are rich in vitamins A, C, Niacin, Calcium, and Iron! My gang loves these tasty tidbits and I hope you will too!



Spinach Quiche

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, feta and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie crust.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.



Zucchini 'Crab' Cakes

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning TM
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

Directions

In a large bowl, combine zucchini, egg, and butter or margarine. Stir in seasoned crumbs, minced onion, and seasoning. Mix well.

Shape mixture into patties. Dredge in flour.

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Alright everyone, that concludes another days posting from the Frugal Mom! I hope you enjoyed today’s entry and will join me again tomorrow for more fun and excitement! I’m off to spend the day with my mom (taking her to therapy, dr. appts, etc.). DH has daddy duty and household chore duty LOL! So until tomorrow… HUGS!

2 comments:

  1. Debbie "MOM"June 10, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    Things that I can live without? Hmmmm....lets see. Hurricane Ike in 2008 pretty much took care of all that. Dont have cable or a car, dont like to shop, including "window shopping", and dont like coffee or cigarettes, so I dont even have to worry about half the list already. LOL I'm way ahead of the game. All the rest is trivial to me and I feel very sorry for the people who put stuff before happiness. I have been in that place where you need this or have to have that and then things happened and made me realize what is really important. So now I deliberately "live without".
    Sounds like you really got some cleaning done yesterday. I like to clean. Its makes everything look so pristeen and smell so fresh. Then it inspires you to make sure all the stuff is in its proper place. I personally like to do laundry. Renee says I have a "problem" when it comes to how to wash it, how long to dry it, and definitely how its supposed to be folded. For me, its got to be perfect.
    Those recipes look delicious! Dont you think that the zuchinni "crab" cakes would look cute if you took green onion stalks and made little legs for the cakes. So cute! And quiche.....there are so many ways to make quiche. Every time I get the urge to make quiche, I usually end up not having all the ingredients. But thats ok because I usually get inspired from what I do have and make something even better. My DH never complains. He is a sweety pie.
    Ok. Got a long day of doctors and therapy today. BTW, would like to let everyone know that I walked all the way out to my mailbox and back yesterday all by myself and WITHOUT my walker. YAY for me!!! Til next time......

    ReplyDelete
  2. YAY You go MOM! Great job! I think the legs on the crab would be too cute. Hope your appointments went well.

    ReplyDelete