Thursday, March 31, 2016

Princess Tea Party Via Living Luxuriously for Less YT Channel

After spring cleaning the kitchen sink and garbage disposal, I watch a delightful video from yoo toob by Living Luxuriously for Less.  It was filled with inspiration and fun showcasing a little girl's tea party.  The creator's concepts were so impressive,  She combined fun and education for five to ten year old girls. 

I feel the need to share the video here.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9ZK3nndJ8M

Enjoy a bit of beauty!







Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cleaning the Appliances, Part One

If you've been with Angie's House for a while, you know I like to clean.  If you're a new reader then I will state right now  that cleaning brings me joy.  It feels so rewarding to me when I complete a task and step back to marvel in the results.  The other side of the coin is I clean to maintain the value of an object.  Meaning I am frugal enough to keep appliances and the like for as long as I can.

It's spring.  With this season comes lots of pollen, but also super deep cleaning to prepare the home for a long summer of canning and cooking.  I clean each room once a week, but in the spring I super clean.  Today began with cleaning the dishwasher using baking soda and vinegar.  The baking soda gets sprinkled on the floor then is swooshed around with a wet cloth along the sides. top, and bottom.  The rubber seal gets a once over as do any cracks and crevices.  Next comes out a scrub brush to remove any stubborn spots.

Another generous sprinkle of baking soda followed by a generous amount of white vinegar and the magic sound of chemistry is music to the ears.  Replacing the racks, closing the door and running the washer on the shortest setting is the final step.  Easy, quick, and rewarding.

Baking soda sprinkled on the bottom floor of the dishwasher.
Next came the vinegar.


Just to let you know I may use the dishwasher twice a month, but it was still dirty with a grease buildup on the arm and the short section that props up the arm away from the floor.  Removing the grease lengthens the life of a dishwasher.  To me being frugal does not have to mean going without.  It also includes care of what we possess  to have an object last as long as possible.

I would like to stress that I'm retired and can do these tasks whenever I feel the need.  I don't need a schedule.  If you are a young mom who works outside the home, you will need to make choices of what is important to you and/or  creating a schedule will greatly benefit you.  It may benefit you and your family if you used a vacation day to deep clean the home if at all possible.  If not, please don't fret about it.  You may only have the energy to focus on the personal needs of the family.  Just do the best you can.

A peek into my history:  My husband was in the ICU for days. (I can't remember how long.)  Two friends dropped over to bring food because they knew I spent quite a bit of time at the hospital.  Our eldest daughter watched her siblings after school and did light cleaning (dishes) until I could come home in the early evenings.

This particular day my mother (often referred to simply as 'Mary') came to visit.  I sure could have used her support and maybe a couple of loads of wash done.  She kept looking at me for a few minutes with disgust on her face.  Then out of no where she told me how ashamed I should be because my house was such a mess. The shock of her statement had my mouth hanging open and tears welling up in my eyes.  I was frozen.  Normally she would keep her nasty side hidden from others, but this must have been too much for her to keep in.  My friends came to my defense by shaming her for her attitude.  So, yes, I've been there and it hurts not to be perfect 24/7.  So please (I'm begging) don't worry if your life is full.  Do what you can when you can.  It's so much more important to show love and support to you family than have a clean dishwasher.  Keeping the family healthy in the home environment includes keeping germs at bay in the kitchen and bathroom.  Dust can certainly wait a while.

The only other item I cleaned this morning was the dryer lint catcher.  I scrubbed it down in the sink and dried it before using it to dry Marley's bedding.  That's it for the morning for me.  If I feel energetic this afternoon I will tackle the freezer hoping to find a pork chop for dinner!


Not the greatest picture, but a clean
lint catcher none the less.

Stay safe.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Mashup of Things

I've wanted to post this for a while, but wasn't sure where to put it.  Since today's subject (s) is a compilation of unrelated ideas, I thought it fit in perfectly with this post.

Did you know that each toothpaste tube is color coded?  The codes are not because the companies want to add to the design of the tube..  The codes identify the ingredient makeup of the product inside.  I noted when researching this that the carton the toothpaste is enclosed in does NOT have this code on it.  Only the tube does.  The codes are as follows:

GREEN - All natural ingredients
BLUE - Natural and medicine ingredients
RED - Natural and chemical ingredients
BLACK - All chemical ingredients

I was horrified to see my freebie toothpaste had a black code on the tube.  This pretty much means I've been being careful of what I eat, then clean it away with chemicals.

The color code is located in the back, on the bottom.




I always wondered how people cared for their teeth when there was no toothpaste.  I found out (and have tried) a couple of things.  I use baking soda to brush with until I can remember to grab natural toothpaste from the store.  Then I will brush with both.

To avoid tooth decay a process called pulling was used.  It's simply swishing coconut oil through your teeth for five to fifteen minutes once a week.  The video I watched was put up by a physician who explained the benefits of pulling.  The amount of oil he recommended was way too much for the size of my mouth so I went down to 1/8 of a teaspoon.  I have to warn you if you try this the solid oil doesn't feel so good in the mouth, but it quickly becomes a tasteless liquid.  If you try this do not spit the oil down the sink drain.  Use, instead, the trash can.  The oil will solitify and clog the drain.


Speaking of coconut oil, I'm getting the impression that this natural food is a wonder item.  Following is a list of things the oil can be used for in a beauty routine.  I feel like we've been had by all the pretty packaging on cosmetics in the stores.

1.Makeup remover
2. Shave cream
3.Facial cleanser (I haven't tried this.  I would assume this is for dry skin.)
4. Diaper rash
5. Moisturizer for dry skin
6. Hair conditioner

Many of us don't appreciate what commercial weed killers do to the soil.  I tried this recipe for a natural weed killer and it works.  It took two days for the weeds to begin to show signs of death, but it does work well.

NATURAL WEED KILLER

1 tablespoon soap (I used Dawn)
1 tablespoon salt.  (I used table salt so it would dissolve quickly.)
Fill the remaining space in the spray bottle with vinegar.

To alleviate tomato blossom end rot add a compost of fifty percent ground egg shells and fifty percent coffee grounds to the soil mixture before planting.  Make sure the shells are washed then dried well before you grind them.  This keeps the soil safe and free of salmonella.

I have not tried this recipe for a tick repellant yet, but it sounds to have workable ingredients in it.

TICK REPELLENT

20 drops lemongrass oil
20 drops eucoliptus oil
4 oz. distilled water
Shake well and spray on clothing and shoes. 

Now for the pretty stuff!

These eggs are not colored for Easter.  They came to me this way in shades of blue, white, tan and brown.  When I ordered them from C's friend who raises chickens I had no idea they would come in pretty colors.  It was a pleasant surprise.

Toppings for our sandwiches that we decided on for Easter dinner.  My gift to my two working daughters is I will do all the cooking and provide the food for dinner.

To all my readers - may your Easter day be filled with loving recollections and God's peace.
                                               HAPPY EASTER

Monday, March 21, 2016

Things I'm Loving This Month

It's been a while since I've posted about the things I love.  This month is one of those months that quite a few things came up, some of them free.

I received the Victoria Secret free undies coupon in the mail.  I picked out the cutest undies and bought a bra to match, in pink.  It seems my chest is diminishing and the bras I have are too big for me.  I always thought they were, but when the ladies at VS measured me they all came up with the same measurement.  This time the girl did it correctly, and just as I thought I have been measured incorrect for two years.  The coupon for $10.00 off a bra was helpful.  I also found a sample  perfume in the bottom of the bag.  Another freebie.

Freebie undies all washed out and waiting to be hung dry.


My son was a prince because he left me a case of my favorite spring water before he went back North.  It's a big seller in the Northeast, but down here in the South most people don't care for it.  To find it here is close to a miracle.

Poland Spring water from springs in New England.
Fresh and a bit of a sweet taste.




Also free to me are the containers I cleaned out from  used up candles.  It took some time to clean the jars, but it was well worth it to me.  I now have a set of jars that look fabulous on my bathroom counter that contain cotton balls and ear swabs.  The candles were buy one free one free, so for the cost of one candle, I received two candles and long term storage jars.

So pretty on the bathroom counter.  I couldn't be more pleased if I
had spent lots of money on a set of jars. 


As I said in an earlier post all of my records are now organized in a hanging file drawer in the desk.  The one thing that is not upstairs in the office is bills that come in the mail.  I was leaving them on the counter then sitting down to write out checks when a couple bills came in.  Leaving them on the counter left them exposed to anyone who came to visit.  To alleviate this problem I purchased a set of three file folders at the dollar store.  I only use one of them at this time, but it hides the bills in a pretty folder.

My failure at photography is really apparent in this
photo.  The file folder is lavender and blue.

My husband always said I was a 'cheap date'.  He certainly knew what he was talking about.  These are the little things that can bring joy to a heart.

Stay safe.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Boss of the Swamp Waffles Turned into Angie's Pancakes

I've mentioned before that one of my favorite yoo toob channels is The Boss Of The Swamp.  Recently he put up a recipe for waffles that had proteins added to them so his meal would stay with him for a longer period of time.  They sounded yummy so I took at stab at making the waffles that looked so good.

My project was a complete failure as seen in the picture below.  I had forgotten why I never made waffles.  I simply can't get the hang of them.  I could use an entire bottle of oil to line the waffle maker, yet they always stick.  As I was reminded of this when the mess was revealed as the top of the waffle maker was lifted, I had to do something to save the rest of the already made mix.  So I added a bit more water and made pancakes.  I also added salt because the recipe called for oatmeal and I eat oatmeal with salt.

This is what failure looks like!


Here is The Boss's video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPh2DykPJ0Q  He put together two waffle recipes, one with pumpkin and the other with apples.  I have only tried the apple one so far.  This is the recipe I altered to fit my needs:


Apple and Raisin Pancakes

In one bowl, beat two eggs.
Add 3/4 cup of oatmeal
and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
One shredded apple
1/4 cup raisins (optional, but a good source of iron)
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients together with a fork.

In a separate bowl combine pancake mix according to package directions.  Combine all ingredients.  These take a bit longer to cook because of the heavier ingredients that are added.  Top with your favorite syrup and enjoy.  The pancakes were cooked in an electric skillet at 350 degrees (F)  for about three minutes on each side.  I stayed full for four hours.


This is what my success looks like.
Let me know about your success if you decide to try this.

 

Family Visiting

I've had family visit for a few days, which was an exciting time for me.  It was a time to get to know my new daughter in law and her children.  Now that they are a part of our family, they are considered to be Angie's family.  My son loves them, then we love them.  It's that simple.  My son chose wisely.  (So did my daughter in law!)

My grandson is 16 and a strong and healthy boy.  He helped me so much by getting my yard ready for spring.  It took three hours of steady work in which he never stopped and did an extremely complex job.  I can't thank him enough.



The end of the clean up.  I should have counted the bags of 
debris he ended up pitching in the trash.  All I know
is I had a of a time rolling the trash barrel to the curb
for pick up.




B and his family spent time with his sisters and their families. too.  The most important thing was going to Virginia Beach to check out the ocean front.  I also can't forget the trip to Krispy Kreme donut shop that just opened in my area.  They happen to hit the shop when the donuts were being made which impressed B's 10 year old daughter.

Having fun on the boardwalk at Virginia Beach.
They brought me home some taffy from Forbes.
Yum yum!


B and I went to the meat store and he bought steaks to make a nice steak dinner with. He's a chef who specializes in meats.  Needless to say dinner was fabulous with a side of fresh green beans.

B also took the time to hook up all of the wifi elements in the house.  My printer now works and I can access the chrome cast from my cell phone.  About the cell phone.  I had one that minutes were put on every three months.  I messed that up - big time.  I don't even know how.  B bought me a phone and put me on his plan and downloaded a coupon app for me.  He tried showing me how to use it, but at this point, I'm having a hard time knowing how to answer it.  I've vowed to overcome the anxiety associated with this small device by taking small steps in learning so I don't throw it through a window.  It will not beat me!

Before they left they cleaned up the upstairs and even washed the sheets and replaced them on the beds.  I miss them already.

Friday night my 5 year old grandson spent the night with me.  He asked if he could and I was surprised, but it was by his request.  We went out to dinner with his aunt and cousins, he played in the garden dirt - finding two worms - and chalked a picture on the garage floor for me.  He asked if he could and I could see no reason not to so I have a flower on the garage floor.

Not everyone has a flower on their garage floor.  But,
I do!


He slept well in the middle of the bed and Marley and I slept in the upper left corner.  The highlight of the visit for me was when he sat up in bed and said, "La la, I love you."  My heart skipped a beat in the same way it did when my husband first spoke those words to me when we were so very young.

Stay safe.  Angie

Monday, March 7, 2016

What No Pictures Again? No Just Family Wisdom

I posted a request on Facebook asking if any topic of interest should be covered.  I received two requests.  One about the importance of family and the second about menu planning.  The menu planning will have to be set aside until I learn more about it.  It so happens I'm on that journey as we 'speak', but I would feel more comfortable waiting until I have tried out different approaches.

Today I'll try to approach the subject of family.  There's a saying in the USA that a person can choose their friends, but not their family.  Although this may be true to some extent, I will argue that we can appreciate our families even more than friends.

The answer may lie in how far we will go to accept each individual family member for who and what they are.  Acceptance leads to contentment which leads to love.  As an example:

We have four children.  I love them each with all my heart.  I now have a number of grandchildren and four in laws.  That's eighteen different personalities to enhance my life.  Yes, enhance.  I can learn from each of them by opening my heart to their specific personalities.  Not try to change them to meet my needs or wants.  One of my son in laws is a business owner.  He is so much like me that it can get scary at times.  He takes good care of his family (as do all of my son in laws) and worships the ground they walk on.  If I looked at the differences between us and had an expectation that he fall into line with me all of the time, friction would be created.  The friction would spill over into their marriage.  This is not what I want for my children or grandchildren.

I have another son in law who is a police officer.  He sees some pretty rough things in his job.  But, he loves helping others  yet doesn't bring his work home with him - even though he works many, many hours.   Above all I appreciate the love he has for his family.  He demonstrates his love in the way he knows how.

My third son in law told me before he married my daughter that he can promise he will always have a roof over his family's head, food on the table, and clothes on their backs.  I began to fall for him when he told me that.  He's the one who will put an arm around me when I cry and say nothing, just offer comfort.  So he provides so much more than he thought he could.  His family receives the benefit of his kind and loving spirit.  As do all of our girls and their families.

What if - just what if- I didn't accept any of them because I looked for their faults and complained about them all of the time?  Any contentment would disappear not only between them and me, but it would spill over into their marriages and home life.  That is NOT what people who love each other do. 

What people who love each other do is see the other person's gifts and run with them.  Everyone has faults.  To only see those would have a person turn bitter and angry.  As an old friend once told me, 'When we point one finger at someone, there are four pointing back at us'.

This post is a plea to make the world a better place.  Love one another without fault.  Just give love to those around you.   If enough of us do that, perhaps the world be become the better place we yearn for.

Stay safe.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

No Pictures Today, Just Some Experienced Wisdom

No posts have gone up for a while because I couldn't think of anything of substance to post.  I have been busy cooking and checking out the dollar store, but I didn't feel like posting about those things.  Even the accomplishments seemed too hollow to post.  This morning I was watching Boss of the Swamp yoo toob video about money and I was inspired to post.

He was talking about the dreams we have coming before the mainstream thought about first dreaming about making loads of money, then going after the dreams - thinking money was the tool to bring on the dreams.  I agree with this philosophy.  What is difficult to go along with is a person has to live an off grid lifestyle in the middle of the woods with only our physical strength to provide for our needs.  It is, however, the ideal solution  people yearn for.  JC was only addressing comments from people who thought they needed money before a dream could be had.

In my experience the simple life is a state of mind.  I currently live in a condo because I'm at a stage in life that I no longer have a desire to do outside maintenance.  My fees pay for that task as paying for a number of other ones.  I have lived rural most of my adult life and loved it.  I have carried over my thought process to my current living condition. 

I do indeed have a power bill.  But, I use my power as efficiently as possible.  To the point that I unplug small appliances when they aren't in use.  I know the lay of my living space and use a night light to maneuver the space in the dark.  I do things that reduce the cost of being on the grid while embracing the fact that I don't need to cut wood to stay warm.

What if the grid goes down?  I have made accommodations using a rocket stove to heat and cook with.  Light at night?  I have four solar lights to guide the way.  No lap top access?  I have books with large print to entertain my mind. 

What about cash usage?  I still have the frugal outlook on money being a tool to obtain my needs and a couple of wants.  I need little and want even less.  There was no need to change this because I moved to a largely populated area.

I still have the same mind set, I only had to adapt to the current living condition.  Can you see what I'm getting at?  Ninety nine percent of life is what we think it is.  We can begin our journey where our feet are currently planted.  I say go for it!  Make a decision to be content with life rather than what mainstream society is telling us we want. 

SMALL WAYS TO BEGIN

1Use rags instead of paper towel for most clean up jobs. (annual savings, 30.00)
2Unplug small appliances when not in use. ( 120.00 for me)
3Grab a couple of solar lights when they are on sale to navigate in the dark. (Cost of lamps 28.00, annual savings 120.00)
4Use the grocery ads to shop sales on food.. annual savings 120.00 for me)
5Think about the amounts of a food your family uses, then streamline purchases to the need.  This avoids spoiled foods that have to be trashed.
6Define the difference of what is a need  and what is a want.  Food, clothing, shelter, transportation are basic needs.  Everyone has a 'habit' that brings them comfort.  I would include this as a need, then a want.  Like soda?  Does it bring you comfort when stressed?  Include it in the need category, but try to reduce the use.
7Get a good night's sleep.  This is important to maintain the ability to make informed and level decisions.  I think (In this country) we have forgotten how important this is.
8Reuse items when you are able.  The more you reuse, the more money stays in your pocket.  I save tissue that comes in a gift.  It can be ironed (I don't iron it) and used again.  The gift bags I have stay here after a family member opens their gift.  I use the same bag for the next gift giving time.  The bag may cost only a dollar, but with eight people to buy for in my immediate area, that adds up.  When I send gifts to NY, I use wrapping paper that is purchased at the dollar store. ( 32.00 annual savings)
9 Use two small squirts of dish soap and/ or run the dishwasher with a full load.  Just to let you know I wash dishes by hand unless I have people over for dinner.  I use dawn so one squirt of soap works well.
10When I used detergent in the wash I made my own with borax, washing soda, and bar soap.  Now I use wash balls unless I'm washing the pup's things.
11Be as organized as you are able.  This is basic, but it saves money when you can find the tape or ruler instead of having to buy a second one.  No one knows the difficulty  in this area more than I do.  I'm still a work in progress, but I'm getting there.
12Using home made cleaning products such as the orange cleaner, window cleaner, and stove top cleaner reduces a large amount from leaving my pocket.  I saw a video where the woman was saying she went through three bottles of window cleaner a month.  I don't even know how much these items cost any more but if I bought just these three items once a month at a cost of 2.50 I would save 90.00 annually.

On just these few items I save 482.00 a year.  What a good state to bringing down my costs.

What I'm saying is relax.  Start where you are.  Don't be pressured to be what other people think you should be.  As far as I can see, there is still peer pressure out there, the package has a completely new wrapping.  If you are looking for ways to live simply, I hope this helps.  If not, maybe you've just been entertained.