Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Weekly to do list

So last week I was determined to mark some of the items off my list that have been long standing:

  • The first was to make another batch of homemade laundry detergent. I had made a batch around Thanksgiving and I just used up the last of it this week. My initial batch turned out okay, but never really gelled. I used a different recipe for my 2nd batch and it turned out perfect. Here is the recipe I used. I was extremely grateful for her breakdown in cost. Thank you  The Family Homestead.

  • Next on the list, homemade yogurt. I have to say I was pretty skeptical that this could rival my favorite Stonyfield yogurt. I did use stonyfield for the yogurt starter which may contribute to my fondness for this yogurt. It turned out great, filled my crockpot and received approval from the little people.

  • Recover my office chair. It's needed it for quite a while. So it is now stripped, the paint is drying. I hope to finish it up tomorrow and will post some pictures.

  • Last on my list was to finish tagging my items for the WEE consignment sale. Everything is ready to go just needs to be tagged. I had planned to do this last night and drop-off today, but nature had another idea as it is currently snowing, schools are closed and well "it ain't happenin". I had really hoped to sell to be able to earn some extra cash, but looks like I might be listing some stuff on facebook. Oh well...

Happy list scratchin'

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Learning to Blog

Over the last month I have been researching Blogging. It's been interesting and I've learned a lot. The newest concept I have discovered is Marketing Affiliate Programs. While I am not sure this will ever be a huge income producer, I am excited to partner with companies that I enjoy, like DaySpring. I offer them a spot on my website, share their products and in return I earn a commission off of purchases. An added bonus, I love their stuff! Be sure to check out their clearance section, you can score some major deals!

On my journey of research I have also come to find a couple new favorite blogs that I now follow:

  • I LOVE Moneysavingmom. I have to say the creator, Crystal Paine, is a genius when it comes to blogging. Not only is her site well-organized, interesting and visually attractive, but it has already helped our family save some dollar bills! She has some great articles on making money blogging along with other ideas to help me stay at home! So thank you Moneysavingmom!
  • BakedbyRachel let me count the ways I love this blog: Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake, Maple Bacon Donuts (shut your mouth), Beer Pretzel Bread...Beautiful pictures and wonderful recipes! Thank you helping me hibernate BakedbyRachel!
  • I recently stumbled across Chronic Admissions. It's a really personal blog that hits home as a mother to a child with CF. Thank you for your honesty and transparency.
Be sure to follow Poppycock to learn more!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Goal is a 4 letter word ;)

As I look at December 2013, I see gifts that weren't bought, packages that weren't wrapped, Christmas cards that never got sent (or purchased for that matter), cookies not baked and that's just the stuff I know about. Who knows what I let slip without even being aware. As a mom we are pulled in so many directions that it so easy to get distracted, but I've got to get it together.

I hate setting goals because the fear of failure always lurks. It's easier for me not to have a goal then fail because the feeling of failure, well, stinks! Even thinking about making a list of to-do's overwhelms me, so to put it on paper is an effort in itself. So I've come up with a new strategy, goals, not daily, but weekly. I think this may put things in to a perspective that doesn't overwhelm and seems to be lending more success. So I'm trying it this week and so far, I've checked a few things off.

Here are my weekly goals for the week of January 5, 2014:
1. Read the Storybook Bible to the kids at least 4 nights this week
2. Establish a workout routine for weights (Thank you hubby) and do it 4 days this week
3. Take the dog to the vet
4. Work out the dinner menu through January 15th
5. Write a blog post (well, I'm doing this now, so we'll just go ahead and mark it off)
6. Get my flu shot
7. Clean out the cabinet under the sink
8. Organize craft closet
9. Decide and schedule kids spring activities (thank you snow day)

So this list might be completely accomplished this week. Even so, I will never be that mom that has it all together, you know the one that remembers teacher snack day and the PTO meeting (yeah, I forgot both this morning). That is not how my brain works, I thrive in organized chaos. But the word I was missing in 2013 was organized. I need to get it back and this is the first step!

How do you keep it all together?


Monday, October 21, 2013

Apple Wine

Most of you know I make my own wine. In the past I have experimented with several wine kits that provide each ingredient along with a step by step handbook. I decided to try something different after finding a box of "deer apples" for $5 and make apple wine. I've never started with fresh fruit, so it's proven to interesting. I am about on day 12 of the secondary fermentation, my gravity is a bit high still and the cold weather we've had might be contributing to that. Anyway, if you're interested here is the recipe, thanks to http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/recipes.asp. Not sure if I'll add this much sugar. Do any of you make your own wine? Would reducing the sugar effect the end product?

APPLE WINE (1) [Heavy bodied]

  • 24 lb. windfall apples, mixed varieties*
  • 3-6 lb. granulated sugar
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 tsp. pectic enzyme
  • Sauterne wine yeast and nutrient
Chop the apples into small pieces, put into primary fermentation vessel, add the pectic enzyme and water and cover the mixture. The water will not cover the apples, so stir several times a day to bring bottom apples to the top. After 24 hours, add the yeast and nutrient. Keep covered (a bath towel held fast with a large rubber band works well if the primary fermentation vessel doesn't have a lid) and in a warm place for 7-10 days. When the vigorous fermentation of the pulp subsides, strain the juice from the pulp and set aside, then press the juice from the pulp and add to the set-aside liquor. Measure and add 3 lb. sugar per gallon of liquor. Put into carboy or gallon secondary fermentation vessel and fit with airlock. Rack when clear, allow another 60 days, then rack again and bottle. Allow six months before tasting, one year for best results. [Adapted from C.J.J. Berry's First Steps in Winemaking]
*For this and all apple wine recipes, unless varieties are specified, the more acid and sour varieties are preferred and the sweeter eating varieties are to be avoided. Winesap, McIntosh, Jonathans, and crab apples are best. Delicious apples should be avoided.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Smitten Apron Top

I am smitten with this apron top. I made this one today to play with the pattern with some Christmas fabric I stashed last year. I will be making more...fabric request?
This is today's creation. I love this detachable apron top. It's hard to tell on a hanger but it has a full gather that would be super cute with leggings/jeggings. It would also look adorable with some minky ruffle bottoms, which is on my list so hopefully we'll complete the outfit in the next few days. This one is not up on Etsy, it's been requested by a VIP (sweet girl). She's already dubbed it "this will be my Christmas baking top". I can recreate with any fabric, have a request? Email me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A few more items I am working on this week, all posted on Etsy.

Super Cute Wine Monogrammed wine bag. I have to say, I'll be handing out quite of few of these come the holidays, $10.

 Also working on hair clips, I love these things. So cute and finish off any festive outfit, 2 for $7.00.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Etsy Shop is OPEN!

My Etsy Shop is officially OPEN (as of 2 minutes ago). Super excited. I hope to have more success with Etsy than Ebay. All this blogging and selling online is quite involved. If anyone wants to share some help tips, they'd be greatly appreciated!