Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Homemaking Notebook

Remember I mentioned I was making a home-making notebook? Well, I made it back in November and thought I would use it for a bit before I did a post on it. I read about these on and used many of her print outs and suggestions. If you like what you see with mine, surely go check out that web-site. She has many suggestions and pictures, free print-outs, etc. to get you started.
This is the cover of my notebook. I used a regular 3-ring binder with a plastic insert on the cover so I could slide a piece of pretty scrapbook paper with a printout glued to the front. I thought it was kind of cute.
Now let's take a peek inside...

I put my most used subjects first as I refer to them several times a day. My first one is Menus and Shopping Lists. I used scrapbook paper with a pretty picture glued and inserted into a plastic 3-ring page protector for the first page. To get some pretty pictures to use, I went to and clicked on images. Then I put in victorian pictures, or victorian cleaning... you get the idea.

Here is a print out from for menus. This keeps me well organized and I know what I'm having for meals and snacks at a glance. It's also a great way to make out my shopping list, which is in here, too.

Here we have Accounts. That pic shows an uptight Victorian woman tallying up her spending. Goodness, I hope I don't look like that! That pic always makes me smile... I use this subject nearly every day.

Here I keep track of all spending. Not bill paying, as I have another system for that, (I can post about that, too, if anyone's interested) but about everyday spending. Gas, groceries, coffee stops, you know, the day-to-day nickle and dime spending that you don't even think about. Trust me, once you keep a tab of every penny that goes out, it gives you a whole new perspective on where your money goes. This a THE BEST tool you can use to get started on living more frugally. My goal is to have our home paid off in the next several years. We built a beautiful home ten years ago and when the taxes skyrocketed in that town, we decided to move to a more tax-friendly (just over the border), and keep track of our spending so that we could, in the forseeable future, be compelely debt-free. Hence, the frugality and tally-watching.
I did have some other pictures to show, but they came out quite blurry and not worth showing. But I think you get the idea. Below is a list of my subjects. Think of some of your own areas and insert those.
I have:
Menus and Shopping Lists
Everyday Recipes - which houses bread, yogurt, stuff that I make over and over again
Daily Schedule/To-Do
House Cleaning & Home-made Cleaning Recipes - this section also includes a seasonal cleaning checklist
Current Crafts - came in very handy over the Christmas gift-making
Booklists - for both me and my children. Books I/we want to read, crossed-off when accomplished, and books I want to buy or borrow from the library
Pantry-Freezer Stockpile Inventory
Phone Book - Our personal white and yellow pages
Gardening - My gardening plans and useful articles from the web
Price List - helps me keep track of food prices and where to buy them cheapest
Also lets me know if I'm really getting a buy or not
Prayer List - don't want to forget anyone! Great to keep track of Bible reading, too.
Calendar - will put this into use once the calendar I'm using is finished in August. This will save me some money as the one I use now is truly beautiful, but I need to cut back where I can, and this is one place I can.
Chore Charts - This way I KNOW who's responsible for what zone! No pulling the rug over my eyes, anymore!
Holiday Planner - Wonderful tool to keep track of birthday's and if I send a card or make/buy a gift, it's all in here to help me plan.
Frugality - any tips I don't know of or can/want to try I put in here.
Natural Health - Again, any helpful information I can use, I put in here... like putting Vicks or garlic on the bottom of feet to help stop coughing. I didn't know that, but I do now and when someone is sick, I know I have the info in here.
My notebook is still in the tweaking stage, but I like it a lot and use it daily. It takes a few hours to put it together, but I have found it to be well worth the time.
Over the next few days, I will post some projects I hope to accomplish in 2009. Many are household cleaning projects and of course, craft stuff, too.

Just had to include this beautiful flower that came into bloom the other day. My dad always buys me something special before Christmas. It may be a poinsettia plant, a fiber-optic Christmas tree or, like this year, a bulb that blooms right around Christmas. Since I took this pic, it now has three blooms. Just beautiful. My dad and I have a special bond, and this little treat each year lets me know I'm still his little girl...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Silent Night, Holy Night

Silent Night, Holy Night
All is calm, All is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, Holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Merry Christmas, My Blogging Buddies...
May you and your family know and embrace the true meaning of Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not Quite As Far As I'd Like...

to be, but hey, I gave it my best shot. One of Kaleigh's Christmas gifts is almost done, but not quite. It's a hat and mitten set and I still have one more mitten on the needle. She's a bit older than the other three girls so I know she'll understand. But I'm gonna finish it, I promise! The yarn is so soft and pretty; a tweed by Valley Yarns called Williamstown. It's a WEBS yarn. Since I live only about 45 minutes from the store (lucky me!) I'm quite partial to their Valley Yarns, as they're named after many surrounding towns! The hat is knit from a free pattern I got on the net called Women's Lace Edged Hat. If you google it in, you'll find the pattern. I can assure you the picture doesn't do the hat justice. It works up adorable!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hot Cross Buns!

It's nearly Christmas and it's time to deliver a few little gifts to my neighbors. I did the cookie swap last week, remember? I thought I would make up some of those cookies and some of the ones me and Kaleigh made and give those. Afterall, that's what I've done for years. But this year I didn't make as many as usual so here I am, giftless. So what did I do? I made up two Christmas candies, a fudge and White Chocolate Peppermint Bark and gave that to one neighbor and some of my husband's co-workers. But I didn't have enough for two other neighbors. So this morning I made a dozen Hot Cross Buns. Oh, I can't tell you how delicious they taste, and my kitchen smells like a bakery! I made a couple little changes as I don't use an automatic bread machine, so I switched up the order a bit, and instead of raisins, I added the Christmas candied fruit. YUM! Here's where I found the recipe: Just put in Hot Cross Buns! They are submitted by: LITSTER5
Give them a go... you'll be really pleased.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wintertime Fun!

Our first REAL snowstorm is hitting pretty good with a foot of snow predicted. The kiddoes are all excited and they fired up the 'ol snowmobile for some wintertime fun!

I know you can't see her too good, but Kierra is nestled in front of Casey going for a ride. Weeeeeeeee!!!
If you click on the picture, you'll see a mass of blonde hair and a blob of hot pink. Yea... that's Kierra.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Caressa's Hat & Mittens

Just finished this one at the dentist's office. Do you think Caressa will like it?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Busy Sunday

Some days are busier than others, and this past Sunday was one of those days. Our meat chickens were ready to be slaughtered so my husband spent the day up to his elbows in chicken guts... literally. You probably can't see it too good, but on the left side of my clothesline is a chicken dangling upside down. He was pretty cold when he finally came in. While he was busy doing that, me and the girls were busy doing this...

baking Christmas cookies!

So far we've made: Snowflakes, gingerbread girls, thumbprints, white chocolate frosted Italian cookies, and peppermint fudge (the horrible fuzzy pic) that is really yummy.

We'll make a few more kinds of cookies and candy over the next few days. As if my kitchen wasn't messy enough, we also had to make...

this pretty birthday cake for my hubbie. It was a white cake with a lemon filling and very light white, coconut frosting. It tasted really good. In between the baking, I had to do a quick clean-up as we had a little family party for him in the evening. We were all pretty tired at the end of the day.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day that Catholics celebrate on December 8. It is the day of the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary without original sin. She was instead filled with divine grace.
We began our day this morning with celebrating the Mass. When we came home, I looked at a plant that my husband brought in just before the first frost and noticed a beautiful flower that came into bloom today!
Ave, Maria!

Wee Wonderful Kitties, Bags & More

Little kitties I made for my little girlies using the Wee Wonderful Pattern, Kitty, Bunny and Bear. These were really fun to make and I could see I could get carried away in doing the whole matching thing...

Three bags to carry the little guys around in. What I didn't take a pic of was three blankets I made for girls to wrap the kitties in when they're asleep...

And three matching dresses...

that are reversible, too!
Time to go wrap these giftees up!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mens Fingerless Mitts

I've been away from the computer for the past few days as I had a mishap... I was rotary-cutting some material the other day and got over zealous and ran over my left index finger. Major OUCH! I can't believe how much I NEED that finger! I mean, I know I need it, but wow, I REALLY need it! So, I've taken a few days off and nursed my finger and today it's feeling pretty good. At least I can type and bend it without excruciating pain and more bleeding.
I finished these fingerless mitts for my husband's birthday which is the 13th. I've tried really, really hard this year to stay in my budget for Christams and two birthdays and by golly, I'm doing it. Lots of work for me, but I love to hand make things, so it's O.K. I'm hoping that the mitts and special dinner of lobster (yuck for me, but he likes it) steak, and corn-on-the-cob, and home-made cake will be a nice gift for him. I'm thinking the mitts will be good for driving, yes?
I used the free pattern from here: I used a worsted weight yarn in Navy by Cascade Yarns. If I have time and my finger cooperates, I hope to make another pair for my dad's birthday on the 21st.
I have several other gifts to post in the next few days, so check back!