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Saturday, March 15, 2014

spring cleaning, decluttering and pre-baby projects

Hey Y'all!

Today is a revelation day for me.  The CVMA meeting has passed, (our monthly meeting) so I'm done making some get-back whips for motorcycles and doo rags (or durag, depending on which part of the country you live in.) for now.  I'm making more in about 2 weeks, but as for right now, I'm in pre-baby mode.

Nesting is taking an interesting turn.  I want to grab a snow shovel (hard to find in Alabama...) and start scooping up all the clothes and toys and crap that has accumulated everywhere and start dumping it into a trash dumpster.  Seriously- I'm tired of everything everywhere and it's rather hard when the kids outnumber you and you are 9 months pregnant and can't bend down like you used to.  Heck, rolling over causes me to groan and moan, imagine getting on my knees to do the little tasks I need to do to pick up whatever has fallen on the floor.

I feel the need to declutter.  Get rid of crap.  All of it- if it doesn't have a home, I haven't used it in a year (not holiday or baby stuff) or kids have outgrown or it's broken, beat up or damaged in any way, or even if I just don't LOVE it anymore, it's got to go.

So, for the next week (body allowing) I'm going through my school room, living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry/play room and bedrooms to prepare for the coming bambino.  Since I am having an out-of-the-norm birth, I need to have many, many things prepared.  This includes medical supplies if needed.

I guess you could call this spring cleaning a pre-baby project, but in addition to the cleaning, I also have about 100 diapers to still make (still have Abi and Elli in diapers, and Nate is only in them at night.), about 20 pairs of nursing pads and mama cloths (because I'm allergic to the paper ones sold in stores).

Oh, and another pre-baby project I'm doing:  Getting my dining room (at least!) decorated in the country decor that I want.  I have the stuff, I'm just needing my big, strong, strapping husband to get it up on the walls! I love that man- he puts up with so much from me.

I don't know if this is pre-baby or post- baby, but I have about 20 dresses I have to sew for my twins, about 10 skirts to so for Zoe, and some shorts for the boys for summer.

Looking forward to it, and of course, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 14, 2014

I bought another printer yesterday.. a lesson in impulse buying.

No, the impulse buy wasn't the printer.  I needed one because my old HP crapped itself.  To the point it wouldn't print a test page- with new cartridges.

SO, this time I decided to get a cheap version.  the printer I have now, does everything but faxes (don't need it to- no house line!) and I only want it for printing coupons and patterns for my girls' dresses (Shout out to Dawn at!  <3 her="" p="">
Anyway, I was on the phone with the guy from tech support (somewhere in India- I could barely understand him.  His supervisor- I could understand just fine.) and he offered me an extended warranty for 24.99.  While this seemed like a "good" buy, for 3 extra years, think about this- the printer is "supposed" to last at least 6 years by itself.  So if nothing happened, it would be a complete waste of money to insure my el cheapo printer, in essence paying $75 instead of $50.

Another reason I declined it was because he was only allowing me 2 minutes to make the decision.  I found out a long time ago to avoid impulse buying.  If I had to make a split-second decision to spend more money, the answer would always be no.  So, I declined his offer.  The funniest thing about this was he didn't understand what I meant.  I said "no, I'm not going to get it."  He didn't understand.  I think he was only used to hearing the positive.

Anyway, impulse buying- that will blow your money fast, so whether you're standing in line at target, the grocery store, or even on the phone with a tech support guy from India, my suggestion is unless they give you a really GREAT deal (1/2 the printer cost is not a great deal to me.) don't impulse buy.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Starting another series... eventually.

Home improvement and decorating.

Our house was built anywhere from 1912- 1940 depending on who you ask and what paperwork you look at.  Trust me, the wiring states the same thing.  Le sigh.

I'm going to be doing some renovations soon (with the baby coming, I don't really know HOW soon) and I will also be decorating.  Hopefully, I'll be able to show off my photography skills (yay, education finally coming in handy, huh?) and I'll get some stuff put on my walls.

I've turned my dining room into a craft room and desperately need to get it back to a dining room and have all of my craft stuff migrate back to the craft room again.  Right now I'm working primarily on sewing for the baby and the twins coming up.

So, to stay on focus (not an easy task for me lately!) I'm going to cut this blog short and just say that I'm going to start adding home improvements and my version of farmhouse decorating soon. :)

Be blessed!

Monday, February 24, 2014


Ok, for those of you who have been following my laundry doings, you know that I bought a washboard from

Yeah, first if you're going to do this, check the dimensions.  Washboards come in "regular" and "mini".  Apparently I bought the mini.  Yeah, this isn't big enough to do the cloth diapers, so I now have a great little rustic decoration to hang on my farmhouse wall.  No biggie, but it was disappointing at first.

So, I went to an antique mall "near" me (it's about 30 miles or so away) and was SO EXCITED to find a glass washboard.  I was so glad to have found this.  No really!  It's larger than my mini and is glass.  What's the difference?  Glass doesn't rust.  Word.

Ok, so I fired up my double sink full of hot (and boiling) water.  Meanwhile I was running a small load of diapers in the washer.  I took them out when they were done and threw them in the sink with the washboard, 1 tablespoon of my Laundry Soap found here (which I used in the HE washing machine, btw.)  (one exception to the laundry detergent, I make my own soap, and I'm going to update that on the blog soon) in the water and let the diapers sit for a few minutes.

After that, I started scrubbing the diapers on the washboard.  HOLY CRUDDY WATER, Batman!!!  ok, EW!  First, I thought a high efficiency washer was... well... efficient.  Apparently, not so much.

Anyway, I washed them on the washboard with a little extra fels naptha soap (I'm not a fan of the scent.  I'm going to make some extra batches of soap to cure for laundry soon.  I'll blog about that too!) but bot howdy did it do the job!  prefolds that I swore were permanently grey were white again!  WHAT????  YES!

So, after I washed them, I hand wrung them out and put them in the hot rinse water and let them soak until I was done all the rest of the diapers.  So after sitting, I agitated them with a plunger agitator that my hubster made me a few years ago

Friday, February 21, 2014

Routines... What does yours look like?

I have been thinking about establishing a weekly routine.  A long time ago, women would do certain chores on certain days.  I'm thinking about establishing that in my house.  For example, I've called it Blue Monday for a while because that's when I do my laundry- about 15 loads of it.

Laundry will be going a little (lot!) faster for me soon because my wonderfully amazing husband just bought me a washboard.

no, I'm not nuts, but I get that question a lot.

I asked for a washboard to assist me in my washing, not to exclusively DO my washing.  I have a machine for that, but this I wanted more for scrubbing out stains (I hear it's amazing) and for doing diapers.  I'm excited to try it out.

But anyway, back to the routine- Since I feel the need for established routines in my life with 6 children (I'm just going to go ahead and count the pre-born baby now.  It's easier than adding the addendum in there.) whom I home school, breastfeed, having 3 in diapers, etc.  I need to get routines done.

SO this is what I'm thinking:

Monday- laundry.  Wash, dry, fold and put away.
Tuesday- Kitchen and bathrooms
Wednesday- Dining room and living room  (Another load of diapers)
Thursday- kids rooms and play room
Friday- School room and craft room  (Another load of diapers)
Saturday- Family day- off.
Sunday- Family day- off.

What do you think?  What do your days look like?  Do you have a routine for your home?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Here's a math equation for those of you inclined enough to actually understand math... (I envy you in that department.  I'm good at basic math though.)

{(spring cleaning x nesting) / (short attention span + aching body)} x rambunctious homeschooled kids divided by even less time = how much sanity I have left in the day... by 9 AM.  I guess you could factor that as "X"...

I am going insane as the nesting instinct is hitting me full-swing, hard and my house has had 5 tornadoes go through it, from ages (almost) 2 to 9.  Oh, and my husband brought home a new puppy.  Of course I can't say no because it helps him with his stress, but he's not here letting the puppy out.

Anyway, nesting- The baby is "due" (Man, I hate that word!  It's not a library book!) in about 9 weeks and I have so much to do.  On the list of baby and baby related products to sew, I have:
cloth diapers (50+)
nursing pads (50+)
mama pads (100+)
a blanket or two,
3 sleep sacks.

the list of products I have to BUY are:
more diaper covers,
a pack and play,
a vehicle to fit our family of 8!  (we're actually looking at a 15 passenger van!)
and cleaning products.

So I'm going absolutely insane with wanting my house to be clean, but not having the time, energy or help to do it.  This is one of those dillemas as a mom.   Particularly, a homeschooling one.  I am with my kids almost 24/7.  I have a hard time ...ahem.... motivating them to clean.

See?  Even those of us with crazy senses of humor have stress and drama.

80 lbs of ground beef... and italian meatball recipe.

I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and the subject of buying 1/2 a cow for stocking up came into conversation.  Of course, she and I are frugalistas so we were all excited at the prospect of it.

I was doing my grocery shopping and my husband and I decided that with some of our tax money, we would stock up on some meats to put into our deep freezer.  Boy howdy, did I stock up!

I bought a case of ground beef from Sams Club.  My intention was to divvy it up and freeze it for meals, as well as pre-make some meals and other useful things.

So my idea was this:
20 lbs:  into 1 lb sectioned bags.
20 lbs sectioned into 2 lb bags.
10 lbs of meatballs
10 lbs of meatloaf
10 lbs of taco meat
10 lbs of random ground beef for incidentals like sloppy joe or to throw into pasta sauce.

Well, when we first brought it home, it was easy and we sectioned it out- I tetris'd the freezer so everything fit- WITH extra room as well as all the other meat we brought home.  (I'll post on that in a few minutes!)  And even frozen vegetables.  The next day I delved into the refrigerator and was able to make some 5 lbs of meatballs.  I'm doing the other 1/2 today, as well as making and freezing the meatloaves.  The only problem I'm having now is finding the room!  Seriously both the deep freezer and the smaller fridge/freezer are packed full.  It's going to get creative here soon!

Anyway, what did I pay for all that ground beef you ask?  in total it was 233.33 not including tax.  Yes, I probably could have found it cheaper doing sales, but I really didn't feel like waiting until meat went on sale considering I had the money now for it.  So, my family will eat well for a while -guaranteed- and this will help me once the baby comes, having pre-made freezer meals, something that can easily be popped out of the freezer and thrown into a crock pot so I don't really have to "make" anything.   :)

So, with all of that said, Smart:  planning ahead always is!  Savvy:  for the most part- buying in bulk is usually cheaper than sales, so yeah, that's pretty savvy!

I have been cooking so long that I have no idea what measurements I used for the meatballs but they came out amazing!  here's what I did:
Italian meatball recipe:
5 lbs ground beef
garlic powder (about a 1/4 cup)
onion powder (about 1/8 of a cup)
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs
breadcrumbs to suck the extra moisture out.

mix everything until completely and thoroughly combined- do NOT skimp this part!  no really.

deep fry on a lower heat.  You want it completely cooked through but not super crusty on the edges.  Let drain on paper towels and once cool, toss into a bag and pop into the freezer!  pull out what you need when you need it.  Btw, these make some GREAT meatball stroganoff.... just putting that out there.  (yes, that recipe will come eventually!)