Sunday, September 29, 2019

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #145

Welcome to Harvest Lane Cottage.
I invite you to enjoy a cuppa and browse through hundreds of posts on faith, family, thrifty homemaking and encouragement. 

Hello dear reader,
  Contrary to last week, it does not feel like fall this past week. We've had a couple of nice days, but we can't turn off the ac for any length of time. It's supposed to be in the high eighties again this week. But, before we know it, we will miss warm days, so I'd better enjoy it while I can. Here are some of my thrifty acts lately.

  • Ham and beans and cornbread from scratch is always a money saver. I bought one pack of ham hocks for about $5, and I put two of the four into the freezer for another meal. I figure the whole meal for six cost less than $5. That's pretty thrifty.
  • Shopped at Aldi. That's the best way I know to save on groceries.
  • A kind young barista at Starbucks gave a free cup of tea. Why? I don't know. I just accepted the blessing with a thank you.
  • I used a $2 coupon on my salad at Moe's on knit night.
  • I've decided that I will wait a bit longer to shop, because I've been losing weight with Trim Healthy Mama. I might as well buy a smaller size next time! So, maybe that's thrifty, too. I'm doing what I can with what I've got where I am. ~smile~  
  • I received a free refill on my iced tea.
  • The big deal this week is that I have cleared, with the help of my husband, a lot of real estate in the garage. I finally felt well enough and it cooled off enough to tackle it. We still have lots of boxes that I haven't unpacked and a lot of miscellaneous junk that shouldn't have been moved in the first place. So over the last two Mondays, we've filled our large trash can twice and now have a trunkful of things to deliver to the rescue mission. I estimate that we have cleared about fifteen square foot of clutter so far. You know how I count that. Yes! Real Estate Investment!
  • My Lowell bought 80/20 ground beef at $1.99/lb from the butcher. Terrific sale. He bought ten pounds. They were frozen in one-pound packages. We also bought 2 pounds of sausage from the same butcher.
  • I used one pound of beef to make spaghetti using a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, mad hatter peppers, fresh basil and oregano from the garden, some dried herbs, and jarred garlic. The family used the last of our spaghetti noodles, and I ate mine over some riced cauliflower to keep it Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
  • I fried a sliced banana pepper from the garden, scrambled some eggs, and added the leftover spaghetti sauce on top. Sounds crazy I know, but it was delicious!
  • Eggs and oatmeal stretched our budget.
  • Someone gave my daughter a scholarship to the Christian college student retreat this weekend.
  • Eating at home saves money. 
  Well this weekend, I'm going to get my husband to pull out my Fall tote. Maybe if I decorate, Fall will come. ~smile~ I'm hoping to try some new recipes this week. If I find some we really like, I'll share them. In the meantime, check out my Home Cooking. You'll find recipes for some of our favorite soups and other delicious dishes. 

  Be blessed and focus on the good God's put in your life.

  "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Redefining Laura

    You might be wondering about the Amazon links I include. The truth is, I'm trying to make a little money to pay for Christmas and for my daughter's dual enrollment tuition at the community college. It would help me greatly if you'd stop here and use my link at the top of my sidebar when you go to purchase something at Amazon. The earnings are a very small percentage, but every bit helps. It doesn't cost you anything extra to use my link. Thank you so much!

    Saturday, September 28, 2019

    REVIEW: The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden HOPE AND GLORY #1

    The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden
    Releases: September 2019
    Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building a successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Tasked with gaining access to the private Delacroix plant collection, Smithsonian botanist Annabelle Larkin unwittingly steps into a web of dangerous political intrigue and will be forced to choose between her heart and her loyalty to her country.

    My Thoughts:
    This book began very slowly for me. I have to admit, if this wasn't a review book, I would have put it down. BUT... just a few chapters in, I'm glad I kept reading. This setting and plot of this book are different than the average romance book.

    Post Civil War around the turn of the century, there's no food and drug administration yet. Those who sold bottled, tinned, or jarred goods could say anything they liked, use any ingredients they liked, and label it any way they liked. There was nothing to keep them honest or safe. Mr. Delacroix hates the dishonesty and dangerous practices of his major rival the McGruders, but he also hates the idea of government officials tramping through his own factories, intruding on his freedom, and judging his own practices.

    Miss Larkin is employed by the Department of Agriculture. She's thrown into a very difficult situation with Delacroix. They are at odds but attracted to each other.

    There is a pure food initiative that keeps throwing Mr. Delacroix and Miss Larkin together in spite of their differences.

    Read this for fascinating information about the History of Spices.

    I received this book from the publisher for review.

    Sunday, September 22, 2019

    Fall is in the Air!

    Here we are at the last official day of summer.
    Monday begins my favorite season of the year—

    I hung my fall wreath this past week. 
    I've been burning a fall candle.
    I'm dreaming of soups and stews.
    Yes, I even made a pumpkin apple spice
    cake last week. Oh the fragrance and
    the taste were delightful.

    So I say so long to summer and hello to fall with joy!

    Be blessed and seize the joy in each day.

    Grateful for Another Autumn

    Saturday, September 14, 2019

    A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #144

    Welcome to Harvest Lane Cottage.
    I invite you to enjoy a cuppa and browse through hundreds of posts on faith, family, thrifty homemaking and encouragement. 

    Hello dear reader,

     I'm here at the library making use of a free hour of internet. My computer seems to be losing its will to live. ~smile~ We received it as a gift way back in 2011, and it was a few years old then. My thrifty side, as well as my budget, has required that I use it as long as possible. Now the time has come to part with it. It will not remain functioning long enough for my daughter to do her college math on-line or for me to write a blog post. I tell you this for two reasons. First, there's nothing wrong with using something up. You know I am a believer in use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without as a way to save money. It's good for the environment, too. Second, it is my rather flimsy reason for my sporadic writing. The good news is that I am trying to sell things to save up the money to buy a used laptop. It's not in our regular budget with my daughter's dual enrollment bill due in a couple of months at the college. I'm considering putting a donation button on my blog to help cover costs. I'd be interested in your opinion in the comments if you'd be so kind.

     We had a lovely cool night last night. It was a joy to keep the windows open and save a bit on the air conditioning. It's just a teaser though. We are to have temperatures in the high eighties and nineties next week. Fall will come though. Let's get ready. Let's grasp the last few days of summer for all the fun they have as well. I still have a few things on my Summer Bucket List that I haven't done yet. ~smile~

    • Bought iced tea when I went out to Starbucks with my friend, Deborah. It's much less expensive in money and in calories than a fancy coffee or chai tea latte.
    • Free refill of iced tea at Starbucks for signing into Starbucks app and showing my phone to the barista
    • $.61 eggs. Yep, bought a couple more dozen. I've eaten more eggs lately than a black snake!
    • Shopped at Aldi. 'Nuf said.
    • Well, maybe a bit more on Aldi. Although the eggs went up to $.87 over the last few days, the manager pointed out that they have reduced their prices on hundreds of items for the foreseeable future. It made up for the extra I paid for eggs.
    • I signed up for Dollar General app on my phone and clipped a coupon for laundry soap. I saved $1.50. I need to spend a little more time looking into how to use the app. 

    • We enjoyed a tea party with friends at home. I offered a choice of six teas and tea cups. My favorite tea is Constant Comment by Bigelow.

    • I made a half batch of Joy Filled Eats' recipe Bacon Chicken Ranch casserole. Since only three of us were eating last night, I decided that it would be wasteful to make a 13x9. Some things I will make extra of, but I don't have freezer space, and I knew they wouldn't want it two days in a row.  I was able to save enough bacon to flavor a second meal. The recipe was Trim Healthy Mama, KETO, and low-carb friendly.
    • I made banana cake for a party with frozen bananas my son bought for $.19 a pound! It was Trim Healthy Mama friendly, too!
    • I sold my Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2 for $50.
    • I sold my Teaching Textbooks Geometry for $50.

    • I sold Notgrass Government books for $25.
    • I used some of the money for a birthday gift.
    • A couple weeks ago, I finally delivered some charity baby blankets that I made with squares that Cheryl Smith sent to me a few years ago. I think I made four or five. Thank you Cheryl. 

    • My Lowell found ground turkey for $1.19 a pound. I mixed a couple pounds of turkey with a pound of ground beef bought on sale for taco salad.
    • I'm still making charity hats with leftover yarn.
    So tell me, what have done lately to save money, prep for colder months, and such?
    Also, what do you think of me adding a donation button to help cover expenses such as a computer?

    Thank you, I value your comments and opinions. I've made lots of friends here that have been so encouraging and kind. God bless you all!

    Redefining Laura

    You might be wondering about the Amazon links I include. The truth is, I'm trying to make a little money to pay for Christmas and for my daughter's dual enrollment tuition at the community college. It would help me greatly if you'd stop here and use my link at the top of my sidebar when you go to purchase something at Amazon. The earnings are a very small percentage, but every bit helps. It doesn't cost you anything extra to use my link. Thank you so much!

    Thursday, September 12, 2019

    I Forgot! September is National Sewing Month! A Challenge!

    Did you know that September is National Sewing Month? I enjoy sewing, but I haven't sewn for many months.  I was bit by the knitting bug during chemo, and it was just easier to pull out the needles. I joined a knitting group.  I began to knit more and learned new techniques. It's been good for me. Tuesday Knit Night is now a priority.

    I put an affiliate link to purchase the yarn bowl from Amazon at the bottom of this post.
    Strangely enough, the day I took this photo, one of my children knocked it over and broke it.
    At least I have the memory!
    Fast forward, it's September again. I don't know how it slipped my mind, but September is National Sewing Month! So, I intend to pull out my sewing machine and organize my sewing things. As I did last year, I'll probably begin with mending. ~smile~ It just makes sense.

    If all goes well, and I sew enough, I'll be able to do some creative sewing, too. When we moved, I actually found a whole drawer of things that need to be mended. I'm going to make sure they're still wanted first!

     When I sew, I feel like I am doing something that God created me to do. My mother and a very good high school sewing teacher taught me most of what I know. I am very thankful that they did. I used the money I received at high school graduation to buy myself a sewing machine. I couldn't imagine going off to college without one! 

     I am challenging myself to sew every day remaining in September. Even a few minutes will count. I hope to get back in the habit.  So, first I mend! 

    I'm going to try to post some photos and write about what I'm up to. I may share projects, ideas, tools, or great websites that I've found.

    How about you? Do you sew? Are you up for the challenge of sewing just a bit or maybe a lot each remaining day of September? I'm going to try.
    Join me?

    Time to Make Do and Mend!

    *We had out-of-town company, so I didn't get started right away. So Friday the 13th will be my day one. ~smile~

    Friday, September 6, 2019

    Tea Time with Friends

    Hey y'all!

     I've got something a little different for you today. One of my dearest friends is Joyce Morris from Morris Patch of Heaven Homestead. She's been making lots of videos about her homesteading life here in Southern Missouri. Joyce, her daughters Caitlynn and Avonlea, and her son Jedediah came to my house for a little tea party yesterday. While we were enjoying ourselves she and her son took some video. So if you've ever wondered what I sound like, here's your chance!
    The photo below on the beginning is my buffet and our teacup and tea choices.
    Enjoy! Be sure to check out Joyce's YouTube channel.

    If you cannot see and play the video above, here's the direct link to the video. It opens with my friend, Joyce, talking.

    Shared at:

    Thursday, September 5, 2019

    On My Needles and What I'm Reading... September 5, 2019

     On my knitting needles... on my Scribd app... on my book pile! Knitting and reading in my free time and little bits of snatched time are two of my favorite ways to enrich my life.

      How are you all this fine September day? I am enjoying the warmth of the last days of summer. I can enjoy it, because I have central air in our new home. Praise the LORD! Our cucumbers are finished, we're eating the last few tomatoes. My friend brought me gourds this morning. All good signs that fall is on its way! 

      I have finished my socks. I only need to sew in the loose ends. I think that I will do that and share them with you next week. I am so pleased that they fit me well. I used the Fish Lips Kiss pattern and find that it worked well for me. 

    Dotty Beanie

      My poor Dotty Beanie has actually shrunk. I pulled out nearly half of it last night. I found that I'd made some errors and my dots weren't falling into place like they should. So, I rip rip ripped. Oh well, I like the Malabrigo yarn, and I don't mind knitting it again.

     I've finished a toddler beanie in the brown yarn that was left over from Penny's sweater. I used a knit 2 purl 2 ribbing followed by stockinette stitch. I've started another since I still have more yarn left. This one has a knit 1 purl 1 rib band and will be finished in stockinette. I cast on 72 for each beanie. I think I enjoy the knit 1 purl one repeat much better. My hands just get into a better rhythm, and I don't have to think about it so much. These are charity toddler hats. They will either go in the Samaritan's Purse shoeboxes at church, or they will go to the infant clothing shop that my step-mom's church runs.

     I finished listening to Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado with Scribd.  I also just finished reading Thimble Summer. It's was the 1939 Newbery Medal book by Elizabeth Enright (Rinehart).

     I recently began listening to The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay. It's our book club selection this month. It's a bit hard to follow, but I'm hoping as I get further in I will enjoy it more.

    Well, it's time to think about supper. There. I thought about it. Tee hee! Have a homemade, handmade, heartmade thrifty week! 

    P.S  If you use my link, you'll get a 2 month free trial of Scribd, and I will get a free month as well. I'm not an affiliate, it's just a neat perk that they have for their subscribers who tell their friends.

    on Goodreads

    57 Finished Books
    Goal 50 60

    on Ravelry

    Joining with Yarn Along and Crafting On

    Wednesday, September 4, 2019

    What Do YOU Want?

    I'm bumping this post up to give others a chance to respond!

    Hello blog friends!

    Over the years, I've written about a lot of things. I've written about homeschooling, homemaking, my love for Jesus Christ, God, Holy Spirit, recipes, A Day in the Life type posts, reviews, my cancer fight, and I'm sure any number of other things.

    Since I've been at the new house, I have not had internet for my computer. That's made it hard to write, and it has also put blogging the back burner. I'm learning to write on my phone and my husband's laptop now.

    It seems like a good time to think about what I'd like to do with the blog. Please help me.

    What types of posts do you like to read best? Please answer in the comments and tell me all you're interested in. Think of something else? Add it. I'm trying to determine where I want to go from here.

    How to
    Household Tips
    My journey back to health
    Trim Healthy Mama
    My Daybook
    Happy Homemaker Mondays
    What's on my needles and what I'm reading Wednesdays
    A Thrifty Week
    Laura Lately
    A day in the life...
    anything else you'd like me to write about.

    Please, I really want to know what you like.

    Thanks so much!

    Shared at:
    Tuesdays at Our Home

    Tuesday, September 3, 2019

    Thrifty Things Lately at Harvest Lane Cottage #143

    Welcome to another thrifty week at Harvest Lane Cottage. I am glad you've found me! Each week I share my thrifty and frugal projects, ways of saving money, frugal cooking, and my blessings from God. 

    Thrifty Things Lately at Harvest Lane Cottage!


    Hello everyone! Can you believe that Labor Day weekend is past?  This has been such a fast summer. I haven't finished my bucket list, but I have two or three weeks as we transition into fall. 

    Here are some of the thrifty things we've done lately.


    ~ I stayed home almost all week. That saved gas, and I didn't spend money while I was out and about.

    ~ Lowell won a drawing for a $25 Visa gift card at a business meeting.

    ~ Eggs sixty-one cents a dozen at Aldi! I've been making lots of egg scrambles. I've used all kinds of things with the eggs—even cabbage.

    ~ I received free movie ticket codes for sharing about Overcomer.  We went Monday night and loved it. While we were in the theater, there were loud noises from the theater next to us. I thought it was a war movie. Turns out that it was thunder. There was a bad storm while we were in the theater, and we didn't even know it!


    As you can see, we've had many blessings again this week.
    God is so good.
    Praise God!

    What have you been up to this week?

    Blessed to be a blessing

    Do you like my blog?
    Please share!

    This post has an affiliate link for Amazon.