Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Every year (usually summer) I have a big 2 day yard sale at my house.  A lot of families bring their stuff priced and ready to sell.  That week end is this week end.  Friday and Saturday (23 & 24 Sept.) from 8-2.  Want to sell?  Let me know and bring your things tagged with your name and price.  The more the merrier :)  (Call with questions @ 572-2955.)

Since I am getting my garage ready, I decided to fix a few things on my blog. (I will post "What I Buy Wednesday" next Wednesday.)

Many posts ago I showed you a very big frame with an unattractive picture that I had been waiting to go on sale (at a thrift store).   I finally found the very large frame I wanted (needed) for $15.00 that looked like THIS.

(Large ugly frame I needed for an idea.)
When a follower asked what I did with it, I REALIZED I NEVER SHOWED YOU!

Here is what I did.  I framed my 1960's DISNEYLAND map, and used it as a (giant) scrapbook. 
I made copies of some of our fun Disney pics from thru the years (1983-...), and backed them with bright solid cardstock.  Then I just taped them on.  (The frame has acrylic instead of glass making it lightweight.)  And hung the GIANT picture in the grandkids room.

(OF COURSE I put the pictures in the correct land :)
Another follower asked how the found dresser came out.  What?  I never posted that, either?  UGH!  (Thank you for remembering.)

Free, ugly, old dresser.
This was a fun project.  I faux painted the veneer top as granite.  (It was a test to see if I could do my counter tops.  Result?  It has gotten a couple of tiny chips over time so I will just wait until I budget for real granite.  Sad.)

I have enjoyed this in my kitchen.  It stores my ramekin collection, the Popsicle trays (when not filled), the electric griddle for pancakes (in a pillowcase), a couple of my more often used silicone baking pans and my container of kid's decorative sandwich cutters.

During the week I keep the fruit there.  On Sundays I put the salad bar there.
Yep.  I like it.  And it was free.

(Remember the top 2 drawers were missing.)
If you want me to post the steps of how I painted the faux granite
 just let me know, and I will post it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I was going to share some $$$ store finds today, but my power went out yesterday.  It was a cooler day and I was home alone.  It was off for about 3-4 hours, and it was a little sad when it came back on.  I had to quit reading.)  (I will do the Dollar Store post next week.)

I am way into preparedness.  As I have gone thru the process of preparing, I have found some things that have have really helped.  (I have shared some of these ideas before.)

LIGHT  (A big one)

My go to light sources are
1 - the small (very powerful) flashlights.  I have at least 5 of them hooked to lanyards and hanging in my closet. 
In an emergency we may not have hands to carry a flashlight.
We may not need the constant light source, and just misplace them. 
Long term, we may get somewhere and realize we forgot our flashlight and have to go back.  (In a simulated emergency I would run downstairs to the storage room for food, and have to run back up for my flashlight ;(
Of course, we also have regular flashlights w/ extra batteries, hand crank and shake flashlights and glow in the dark flashlights and glow sticks.

2 - Yard solar lights (Yep, just the inexpensive ones you stab in the landscaping.  Watch for end of the season sales now.)
I got this idea after seeing them in our back yard during our last "fake" disaster.  I just wiped off the tip and brought them in, and set them upside down.  They did a GREAT job illuminating a room.  I just took them back out in the mornings to recharge. 
If you are in an apt., consider planting a few in an outdoor potted plant.

Keep in mind that although propane lanterns work great, they give off A LOT OF HEAT.  (And the hissing gets annoying.)  Also, I would rather use the free solar light than my propane bottles. 


If I see the thermos' (the ones with the spigots.  2 1/2 gallon, 5 gallon...) at yard sales or thrift stores, I get them.  They are practical for taking water and juice to the canyons.  And homemade root beer :) 
But, they work great for emergency water.  (I always have clean ones in the basement.)  Several times our neighborhood has lost water due to construction.  One Thanksgiving day our neighborhood water was turned off due to a neighbors burst sprinkler line.) 
Anyway, I quickly filled the coolers, and put 1 in the bathroom for hand washing, and one in the kitchen for drinking.  (In a true emergency we would use hand sanitizer and drink ALL the water ;)
I also store water pouches, water bottles,  water jugs...


I collect the small propane bottles.  I just pick one up as I am out shopping for groceries, gifts, whatever.
BUT my big thing is, HAVE AN EXTRA PROPANE TANK FOR YOUR GRILL.  And always keep it full.  The reason is obvious.  Who wants to run out of propane in the middle of a party?

We used to trade our empty tanks in for new ones when stores had them on sale.  Then my son in law heard from his dad about a commercial place.  That is where we go now to get ours filled.  The cost is less, and they fill them full.  If you are in the Salt Lake City, UT area, here is where we go.  (They also sell full tanks.)

Commercial Propane, Inc.
8750 South 300 West   Sandy, UT  (East side of the freeway)

If you are not from here, call around to commercial propane co. for prices.  (Not gas stations with a propane tank.)


I had a meeting last night and was glad that I have some regular wind up hair rollers for after my shower.  I did not know if I would be able to use my curling iron.

Hand can opener.  (Store a new, good quality one.  It may get a lot of use.)

Alternative radio.  (Battery, hand crank, solar...)  You will want/need to hear the news.

This is my favourite extra.  It is a smallish battery powered fan.  I use them at night when I travel for air and white noise.  (Yellowstone, New York)  They work great.  I keep extra batteries with them, but have not needed to replace them.  (I got them from Walmart for $5.00 during our first "fake" disaster.

$5.00 battery operated fan uses 2 "D" batteries.
Centre circle is about 6" across.
(I also collect aluminum foil and ziplocks.  They will help w/ food needs/prep.)

We (actually me) do an inventory of the very basics the first week of October and April.  I update emergency snacks, check battery needs...
I hope some of this helps you get ideas for preparedness.  Remember to add card games, a good book or a few things to help you enjoy your day with no power.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

ON MY MIND (My collection of odds and ends)

I had a different post planned for yesterday, but got a flu.  It was short.  And I slept.

On My Mind

I have never watched "Casablanca".  I love old movies.  I have tried many times to watch it.  I deleted it from my DVR again last night.  (I made it over 1/3 of the way through it.)

There are fewer commercials on BBC (it seems to me), but I wish they were British commercials.  Then I would not fast forward them.

I made a "new"  "recipe" for hot cheesy bean dip, for Sunday dinner.  As I made it, I realized it was not new, nor was it really a recipe.  It is what I usually do to our refried beans, only called a dip. 
However, the point of this comment is the chips I bought.  Doug and I were walking down the row to the tortilla chips (on Saturday night, AFTER the (sad) game) when I stopped because I SMELLED tortilla chips.  Of course, we got those. 
They did not disappoint.  Everyone commented on how good they were.  They tasted like what you are brought in some Mexican restaurants.  They may or may not be higher in fat/calories.  I chose not to check.  (JUANITA'S TORTILLA CHIPS   manufactured by DOMINGUEZ FAMILY ENTERPRISES, in Hood River, Oregon)

Highly recommend these tortilla chips.
$2.18 at my local WINCO

Although it looks wrong... I wonder why "REJOICE" is not spelled "REJOYCE"?

Hilary was looking for a particular talk on line.  I found it quicker in the actual magazine :)

Speaking of magazines (well, actually books), I was watching Doug read on his Ipod last night.  He used a finger to move down the "page".  Yuk. 
I love real books.  I love to hold them, and turn the pages.  I like to see how many pages there are.  And go back to look at the author's picture in the back cover and...
For his birthday Doug wanted a book that was 50% cheaper to buy for the Ipod  (also could be bought immediately).  But now I can't read it.  Or at least don't want to read it in that format.  Want to know what books I have been reading?  Just click on my "Pinterest" (right side of my blog) and check out my "Books I have read...and liked" board.

Want easier access to one of my recipes?  Just let me know which one and I will put it on my "Recipes I like" board.

Friday, September 9, 2011


The weather is starting to cool a bit.  Fall is on it's way. 
I use my crock pots year round.  (In the summer I use my crock pot out on the patio.  Keeps the house cooler.)  but this is more of a fall recipe.
I especially like crock pot meals on Cub Scout day and Sundays.  I am always on the lookout for new crock pot recipes.

We have been making this recipe for about 4 years and it is a family favourite.  It is easy and left overs are great. 
The name of the recipe is from a daughter in law that does not usually like "white chicken" (she means casseroles ;)

from Pam J.

4 table. butter or margarine
1 package DRY Italian dressing mix
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - frozen or defrosted
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup

Prepared rice or noodles

Spray crock pot and melt the butter in it. 
Add Italian dressing mix and stir.
Put chicken breasts in and stir to coat with butter mix.  (Can stir again during cooking process to be sure that all are coated.)

Cook on low 6 - 8 hours, or high 3-4 hours.

About 30 mins. before serving, shred the chicken in the crock pot (with forks).
Add and stir in softened cream cheese and cream of chicken soup and cook on low about 30 mins.
Stir over prepared rice (our preference) or noodles (very good, too).

I can always use another good and easy crock pot recipe.  Thank you, Pam.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I Buy Wednesday

This week for "What I Buy Wednesday" I am heading to the laundry room.  I thought I would share a few of my favourites/must haves.

The first one is TIDE STAIN RELEASE - In Wash Booster.  I bought this on accident when it first came out a few years ago.  (I had a coupon for $3.00 off and thought it was laundry SOAP with a booster.)
After I figured out what it was, and used it,  I was impressed with how bright my laundry was.  But lots of things can give me that.  Here is what won me over.  IT GOT MUSTARD OUT OF ONE OF MY BLOUSES.  (Mustard, to me is like a dye.)
I don't use it every load.  I use it most for my light loads (not towels).  I have kept buying it.  And I still look for coupons.

I also like TIDE TO GO stick.  (It is like a marker of spot remover that you use by going over the spot, to remove it, on the spot.  It sometimes dries with a faint ring around the missing spot.  That washes out.) It has been used often by my family.  (It worked on a sweet flower girl's dress when she got hurt, and bled on her dress.)

I keep SHOUT COLOR CATCHER around just in case.  I like it when an item is part dark and part light?  Which load do I wash it in?  (Usually dark - with a COLOR CATCHER.)
I use it when I am washing a new item and am unsure about color fastness.
I also use it case of an emergency.  The standard case of the white(ish) shirt that jumped in the dark load.  It has always pulled the color out, after the incident, for me.
My box is a 24 sheet size, and I have had it for several years. 

Last but not least is basic White Vinegar.  I use a gallon of vinegar about every other month.  It is great for removing odors.  (Pool/chlorine, pet accidents (if your cat is very old), dish cloths...) 
It is also helpful in cutting hard water.  Vinegar is a good basic cleaning tool.

I have a favourite laundry soap, stain remover, dryer sheet and fabric softener.  (Don't we all?)  These are just a few other helps I have found.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR SOME OF YOUR FINDS :)  You can share your finds and experiences by leaving a comment.
Next Wednesday we will share some $$$ store finds and favourites.

All opinions (and actual products) are mine.  I was not compensated.  I do try to find coupons.

Monday, September 5, 2011


With our big family Yellowstone/Island Park trip over, and my N.Y.C. trip past and the antique/crafts FLEA.O.LOGY market done, I guess I will get back to menu planning.  (I did try 9 new recipes in 3 days last week end :)

As I am planning my menus for the week, I use 9 categories to include variety and ease.  These are my categories.

1 Meat with sides
2 Casserole - pasta, rice, beans
3 Crock pot, Homemade Soups, Chili, meats
4 Pick A Can - canned soup, canned chili, cereal, Spagettios...  You pick, you prepare, you eat.
5 Easy - paninis, sloppy joes, sandwiches...
6  Requests
7 Left Overs/Planned Overs
8 Breakfast for Dinner
9 Sunday Dinner

I try to plan about 2 weeks of menus at a time.  It makes grocery shopping easier.
I usually make a list of what I am planning (and if there is a new recipe, where to find it).
I adapt my list to my day.  An easy day may suddenly change, leaving me with no time to cook the planned meal.  I just pull an easier/faster meal from what I have already scheduled.

(New topic)  I have tried a couple of recipes lately that have been a disappointment.

One was "Brookies".  (Betty Crocker Supreme Bars Cookie Brownie - Did not care for these.  Needed to cook almost 20 mins. longer and they were still not done, but we had to leave for church.  They were heavy and the flavours/texture were not defined.)

I also made baked spinach artichoke dip with a new recipe that used pureed white beans instead of cream cheese   What a waste of all my ingredients, including 2 cans of artichoke hearts :( 
Don't you hate when that happens?

I will post other failures, and my successes in my posts this month.
I am heading to the laundry room for WHAT I BUY WEDNESDAY.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...