Friday, November 30, 2018

A Handmade Christmas... Ideas for Your Christmas List

I know it's getting late, but there's still time for handmade Christmas gifts. Here are some ideas to help, especially if money is tight. 

Homemade Gift Ideas

Paper Craft
~ decorated recipe cards (could add recipes and ingredients)
~ homemade greeting cards
~ scrapbook

From the Needles
~ tribbles
~ doll clothes
~ skirt
tablet stand
~ camera bean bag
~ key chain
~ Christmas stockings
~ hair baubles
casserole hot pad
~ drawstring bags
~ kitchen curtains
~ tote bag
~ pillow cases
~ crocheted twisty hair ribbons
tea towels
pacifier clip
earbud pouch
baby bib
~ tea wallet
pin cushion
~ socks
~ camera strap
~ Bible cover
mug rug
~ tissue holder

~ strap for guitar
~ ornaments
~ magnets
~ candles
~ soap
~ coasters

From the Kitchen
~ cookies
~ homemade vanilla
~ recipe scrapbook with photos or on large cards
~ bread
~ quick breads
~ homemade mixes
~ Clementines in a pretty gallon jar
~ jam

Acts of Service
~ all clothes ironed
~ clean out car
~ babysitting

Be creative! Your imagination and ingenuity can make a thrifty budget stretch far!

Happy Christmasing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols

Snuggle up in a chair with your tea or cocoa and immerse yourself in a Christmas book that combines a touch of mystery with an abundance of good will and cheer. 

From the Publisher:

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup

My husband did it to me again!
He knows that I'm a do with what I've got kind of cook who often makes soup without a recipe. For the second day in a row, he's shared a photo of his lunch on Facebook. This time he promised I'd write out the recipe and share it here. So, here it is. I didn't measure when I made this, so my measurements are approximate. Please adjust for what you have on hand or your personal taste.

6 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled, reserve grease
1 lb fresh broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1/2 gallon of whole milk
1 T cornstarch
3 handfuls of shredded cheddar (2 cups?)
salt and pepper to taste

This makes about 2 1/2 to 3 quarts. It fed four of us with no leftovers. I used a 3 quart saucepan to make it.

  • Fry 6 slices of bacon. Cool and crumble. Set aside. 
  • Trim 1 lb. fresh broccoli. I peel the stems and chop the softer inner core. I cut the florets into bite sized pieces.
  • Chop one onion.
  • Stir-fry the broccoli and onion a bit in the bacon grease. You want the broccoli to be just tender not fully cooked.
  • Remove veggies from pot. 
  • You can add a little hot water to deglaze the pan if needed. Remove and reserve excess grease before you do. You can add it back before the next step.
  • Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with about half a cup of cold milk until smooth. 
  • Add the cornstarch mix to the pan drippings. Add a bit of butter if needed. 
  • Stir constantly as you add milk to make a white sauce the consistency that you like for cream soups. This is how I do it when I don't have cream.
  • Return veggies and crumbled bacon to pot and stir.
  • Add more milk as needed to get to the consistency you prefer. 
  • Add 3 handfuls or 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until melted through.
  • Add more milk if desired. If it gets too thin, mix up some more cornstarch and milk and stir in.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

There you have it.
Go forth and enjoy!

...doing what I can with what I've got
where I am on a short shoestring budget!

Sunday, November 11, 2018


We've just come through several weeks of hard times.
Even after years of thrifty and frugal living,
God is still teaching me to trust him.
I wrote this just a few short weeks ago.
Things have improved for us greatly since then.

 I just selected a banana to eat. In awe of God's goodness, I breathed, "Thank you God for this banana."  I have never felt so thankful for a banana! 

 I've been praying each day, "Give us this day our daily bread." I really meant it, too! God showed me abundance. A friend took me out to lunch then took me grocery shopping.

 Two more friends brought more food before I could even put away the groceries. There was little overlap except eggs, oats, and bread. 

 My eldest son came over a few minutes later and picked me up to ride along to Walmart with him. He bought me vitamins I've been out of for months, eggnog, and whipped cream. Then my husband came home and bought us milk! 

I think God had a very specific message for me yesterday. 
I can trust him to care for us all the days of our lives. He is GOOD!

Still learning to trust,

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Super Simple Chicken Soup

Super Simple Chicken Soup

Mix in a little crock pot: 
approx 2 cups shredded baked chicken (or any kind or amount you like)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 bag of mixed frozen veggies
hot water to cover the chicken and veggies
salt and pepper

Let it cook for a few hours until hot. Then mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with a couple tablespoons of cold water until lumps are gone. Stir it into the hot soup and allow it to thicken before serving.

That's it! It makes about 4 servings. I like to make lunch soups in my little slow cooker since it's a great way to use up leftovers. I'm so glad my family loves soup! This is a great do with whatcha got soup.

Over the Moon

Monday, November 5, 2018

Sunday Supper ~ Taco Soup ~ Apple Crisp

Hey y'all!

Thank you so very much for praying for me. I'm recovering well from my last surgery. All that's left of this cancer journey is recovering from treatments, healing, appointments, tests, and rebuilding my health. Perhaps this is where the real work begins. ~smile~

One of the things I love about Sundays is that my adult children join us for dinner most weeks. We can't all make it each week, but we enjoy the time we have together with those who can make it.

This week we had taco soup with corn chips for dinner and apple crisp with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. I'll put the recipes below for my kids and for you!

Taco Soup

This is a variation of a recipe I printed off, way back in 2005, from the internet. I don't know where I found it originally.  I'm printing it with my changes.

1 or 2 lbs of 80/20 ground beef, browned and drained (We like 2.)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can corn, undrained
1 can black beans, undrained
2 cans kidney beans, undrained
1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 envelope dry taco seasoning  (We prefer Old El Paso.)
1 small tomato sauce (optional)

Put it all in a slow cooker. Cook on low 4-6 hours. 
We serve this with corn chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

Apple Goody / Apple Crisp
Original recipe from Evie Funke. I lived with her and her husband for a few months when I was in college.
I've recorded this with my changes.

Mix together:
5 cups apples, chopped
1 cup sugar 
1 T flour
1 t cinnamon
Place in a sprayed 13 x 9 pan.

(This is the amount I make. It is double the original recipe.) 
Mix together until crumbly: 
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c brown sugar
   2/3 c melted butter
   1/2  t baking soda
   1/2 t  baking powder

Bake 30-40 minutes until golden.

Be blessed!


P.S. My apron was made by my friend Sarah at Lilacs and Springtime
She has some really nice things in her Etsy shop.

Over the Moon
Homemaker Party   

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Laura Lately

Laura Lately...

I am healing well from my October 10th surgery.
I've been knitting a lot. 
I knit some little hats to donate to the Shoebox Ministry of Samaritan's Purse. My church is putting boxes together. 
I've knitted soft hats for the chemo center.

After knitting so many hats,
why didn't I take any photos?

I'm beginning to think about making Christmas gifts. 
I'm thinking about learning to make little zipper bags. 

I've made cocoa with whipped cream.
I am starting to blog more.
I've been reading more. I love Christmas books. This is a Kindle book.

I have begun reviewing again. Christmas by the Sea is a favorite.
I'm trying to add my blog posts to link parties.
I've been listening to The New Testament on Bible Gateway.

I am trying to pair down our book collection. As sad as it is, we won't need many of these books again, and I don't have the room to save them for grandchildren.
I've been making some odd meals to make ends meet.
I've helped out with Republican campaigning.

I've enjoyed lunch and coffee with a few good friends.
I've been doing some things on my Fall Bucket List.
I'm getting rid of clutter.

I've been taking my little Penny down to the courthouse square to teach her to walk with a loose leash in public. She is making progress.

Oh it goes on and on between driving my daughter everywhere she needs to go!

So, it's been a time of recovery while I redeem the time as best I can.  What have YOU been up to lately?


Over the Moon
Homemaker Party   

Pay Day

I received this text that touched my heart from my son. I'm recording it here, because I don't want to ever lose it.

"Hey, I want to tell you I love you. I just went shopping for house stuff, and I found my thought process for selecting kitchen items was, 'Did momma have one of these in her kitchen?' LOL If you didn't, then I knew it was unnecessary, because you worked absolute magic making something out of nothing for us because you loved us. You did a wonderful job of raising all of us. You made me who I am and I love you for that. I am proud to be your son."

Best pay day ever.