Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #35

Emily, Michael, and Amy... yes they hug without being told!
Dear Reader,

Hello! Perhaps this is your first time to visit Harvest Lane Cottage. Welcome! Each week I try to keep track of some of the thrifty and frugal things that I do around here to use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. My family has gone through some really hard times and lived to tell about it. I hope that my posts will encourage you that you can do this thing called life with hope, a can do spirit, and a whole lot of prayer and hope in Jesus Christ.

If you're new to Harvest Lane Cottage, you may want to know more about me. I hope by the time you've been around for a bit, you'll also want to know more about my Lord, Jesus Christ.

This was a very busy week at the cottage. My husband remodeled our house by washing windows! Seriously, it looks like a brand new place! My part was washing curtains. I had already washed the insides of the windows a week or so ago. Last week we painted a room in the basement and moved Michael down there. This weekend we're thinking about painting our daughters' room.

~ I received some free books in the mail for review.

~ I made pizzas with leftover pita and tortillas from our freezer, a couple cans of tomato sauce, some pepperoni from the freezer, and some mozzarella cheese leftover from our older son's birthday dinner.

~ I spent a few hours mending several rips and tears in my younger son's Air Force jacket. It's a second hand one that he's worn for a couple of years. He snagged it on barb wire while working cattle with a local rancher. He's really enjoying his work.

~ I'm still cooking primarily from food on hand with supplementation. Our restaurant is still closed for the season, so I'm trying to keep expenses down.

~ I visited a naturopathic doctor. I got the supplement I needed and lay on the chi machine to adjust my neck for about $20. It would have cost more than an hundred dollars to go to the doctor.

~ I used lavender oil mixed in a little almond oil when I started to feel stressed or anxious.

~ My daughter took hooks and yarn we had on hand to her 4 H crochet class which Miss Sarah offered without charge.

~ We paid $1.69 a gallon for gas!

~ I signed my husband up for a free knife skills class at Craftsy.

All in all it was a pretty good week. What have you been doing to be thrifty in your home this week?

Who Loves it When Folks Talk Back

Monday, January 26, 2015

Are You a No Reply Blogger?

Dear Reader,

Do you find it frustrating when you take time to comment on interesting blog posts, maybe even asking a question, and you never receive a reply to your comment?

I do my best to reply to each comment though time does get short sometimes. If you've not received a reply, it might be because you are a "no reply blogger".  Basically, that means that your settings are such that your comments do not include an e-mail address to which the blogger can respond.

I'm not very tech savvy, but I used this terrific tutorial from Robin at Fluster Buster awhile back to fix mine.  Go check out the tutorial, then check your settings.

The fun thing about blogging and reading blogs is the great potential for interaction between reader and writer.  Let's talk back!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

P.S. Just for clarification: When you comment on a blog, the writer receives notification by e-mail. If you're a no reply blogger, they do not give your e-mail in the notification. That means that the writer cannot respond directly to you. If you don't check back at the blog post, you won't know if you received a response. For greater clarification, see comments below.

Darling Downs Diaries
This post was featured!
I received this information which may help you if the above tutorial is no longer applicable.
The directions from this site were not exactly correct. It didn't allow me to go back and switch my site back to my google+ profile. It took me a while to switch it back. I had to to Blogger Help. Connect Google+with Blogger account and under Google+ Followers - Connect Google+ to Blog. I know this is a round about way but there was not links as shown in the directions when I did it. Maybe new or formatting issues that were changed. Thought this may help someone else quickly!

Art of Homemaking

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #34

Wishing for a little more of this lovely stuff that we enjoyed in November.
Hello! Another week has passed so quickly. My thrifty project this week has been cleaning and organizing. ~smile~ I didn't finish nearly as much as I would like. I still need to wash some curtains, clean some woodwork, wash walls... oh no! Never mind. I didn't say all that. My husband reads my blog! Working and driving so much over the last several months really took up my time. Cleaning was one of those things that really suffered.

Here's what my thrifty week looked like.

~ I reviewed a free copy of Ruth Soukup's book, Living Well Spending Less. 

~ Although I don't usually pay for my review books and DVDs, the company expects that I will actually write and publish the review. ~smile~ Therefore, I always feel like I've settled a debt when I hit publish. There's a list of books and movies in my sidebar that I'll be doing reviews on in the near future.
~ I received a free copy of Nourished to review. It feels so nice in my hand. Things like that matter to me.

~ I made skillet oatmeal using a bit of butter in a fry pan, some dry oatmeal, a few leftover pecans crumbled, a bit of leftover honey, and a little maple syrup.

~ My girlfriend cut and styled my hair and my Emily's hair for us Thursday afternoon.  She did a little extra for mine, but I'm not going to mention it on the internet!

~ Okay, if you're squeamish, don't read this next one. Everyone got their eyes covered if you need to? We ate squirrel and dumplings for dinner Friday evening! My son went hunting and shot some squirrels. I am so not this kind of girl! It wasn't bad, but I'm not going to request it. It was frugal. I bought the potatoes on sale, so we spent about $.75 on them, a stick of butter $.70 (baby girl didn't know she wasn't supposed to use a whole stick in the potatoes), half a dozen eggs $.90, and some flour. $.50... and a $.12 shotgun shell.

Now, I figure I may as well stop right here. I don't think you're going to want to read anymore after that last entry! I hope I haven't scared you away forever. ~smile~ I'm just trying to be a good, supportive homeschool mom.

You've got to keep an open mind if you want to live a thrifty and frugal life.

Have a wonderful week!
Happy at Home

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #33

It's been a beautiful week here at Harvest Lane Cottage. The sun's shining brightly, and it's warming up. That's a happy happy for my son Michael, 15, because he's been working with a local rancher working cattle this week. He was also out there last week, when the temperatures were in the teens, breaking ice in the troughs and the pond for the cattle. It's a great opportunity for him to learn about the cattle industry and do some career exploration. He sees it as a way to make money doing something he enjoys. Isn't that what we all wish for?

Well, I'm still getting over my cold, so I haven't done much this week to be thrifty. Of course, I've stayed home, and that's very thrifty!
~ I received a free copy of Ruth Soukup's book, Living Well Spending Less, for review.
~ I signed up for the Nourished blog tour.
~ I've been creative in making soups with things I had on hand. I made a delicious chicken broccoli cheese soup and a very good mushroom soup, too.
~ We have lots of bread on hand, so grilled cheese sandwiches showed up on the menu a couple of times.
~ I used beans that I made and froze a couple of weeks ago to make burritos.
~ We split the package of pork chops we had into two meals instead of one. Pork chops for the first meal and stir-fried pork with pineapple the second meal.
~ Today we're having a fend for yourself lunch with leftovers and what you may find. My daughter took a frozen pita and topped it with pizza toppings minus the sauce.

Well, that's about it for this week. We're redoing a room in the basement for my son this week. First a good cleaning then a gallon or two of paint. He's thrilled to have more space.

So then, what are your frugal accomplishments this week?

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #32

It's been cold... really... truly... cold. As I write, it's warmer in Zurich, Switzerland! Don't ask me why, it just showed up on ~smile~  It's only 9 degrees here and 34 degrees in Zurich! Even the wood stove is having troubles keeping up. We're piling on lots of blankets, and I've been making tea and soup like a crazy woman!  I've started back with Trim Healthy Mama again, so everything that I eat has to fit into the Satisfying, Energizing, or Fuel Pull category.  Most importantly, it has to fit in the delicious and affordable category, too. ~smile~

Here's my thrifty week:

~ New Year's vacation visiting family about 4 hours away, seeing our old hometown, the Kansas State Capital building, some beautiful architecture and blessed open countryside. Thanks to low gas prices and staying with family, the whole trip only cost us about a hundred dollars for a three day vacation. Thank you God; thank you family!

~ I made a simple soup using half a pan of leftover mashed potatoes and gravy, milk, salt and pepper, and some leftover shredded chicken from the freezer. This fed my husband and three teenagers lunch.

~ I made a simple Trim Healthy Mama friendly soup with half an onion, some green pepper, some leftover chicken, a bit of cream, a bit of half and half, taco seasoning and a slice of cheese.  All odds and ends that I had on hand. I don't have measurements. Don't be afraid to experiment with leftovers. This was S for Satisfying.

~ I made a simple soup that include Rotel, black beans, white beans, and a bit of taco seasoning. This was E for Energizing.

~ I made another simple soup with chicken broth, leftover shredded chicken from the freezer, some wimpy celery, a few frozen peas, and a can of green beans. I added Marjoram and a bit of Rosemary for flavor.

~ We've been drinking lots of hot chocolate, hot tea, hot cappuccino, and hot coffee that we received as gifts.

~ In trying to keep the heat turned low in this frigid weather, we've been piling on extra blankets. We even put a blanket over the outside of our little dog's kennel to keep the warm air inside with her. Kitty has been happy in the basement.

~ We're burning wood in our stove.

I haven't felt well since we returned from our trip, so I've not felt very energetic. I hope I'll be better motivated next week.

How have you been thrifty?

May I suggest?

Never give up!


Darling Downs Diaries
This post was featured!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Make Do and Mend... Do It!

The heart of being frugal is using things that you already have to make do. Make do and mend is an old saying that goes back at least until World War II and maybe even further back.

According to the Oxford Dictionary: "Make do and mend means: Manage with and repair the possessions one already has rather than buying replacementsthe austerity of the war years taught her to make do and mend".

Make Do and Mend was a pamphlet issued during World War II by the British Ministry of Information.  It included tips on mending, re-purposing and reusing old clothing.  It was a time of extreme rationing and shortages.

Nowadays, I find that I, as well as many others, have little money to spend for clothing.  My primary way of clothing my family is through purchases at thrift shops and yard sales. Clothing is often found for a tiny fraction of the original purchase price, and it's usually in very good condition. My daughters even buy things with the idea of altering them.

Altering an item or remaking it is a thrifty option. Mending what you already have by sewing on a button or sewing up a hem or seam can give weeks, months, or even years to a ready to discard item. Patching is another option to extend the life of a pair of jeans.

Personally, I've let my mending basket overflow again. I've got to get busy and do some mending and sewing.  I'm going to keep track for the month of January. Care to join me? I'll bet you've got some sewing to do also.

A stitch in time saves nine!

Happy to Be Home Again

No Rules Weekend Blog Party

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015... HAPPY

Happy... new year... new start... fresh leaf... do over... resolution... fresh start... new day... begin again... forgive and forget... goal setting... new vision... new provision... healthy eating... exercising... cleaning... organizing... Bible reading....

Whatever the new year means to you, I pray that you will seek God in a new and more committed way.  His mercies are new every morning.  New can happen any morning, any moment with God.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Every day is your new day. 

Every day is my new day.
Every day is the Lord's new day.

Let's seize it.