I Went Label Crazy, Y’all! Spice Tips, Too…

My latest love has got to be my label maker.  I have fallen head over heels for this thing!  From labeling my file folders for my greeting cards to relabeling my spice rack, it’s gotten pretty hot & heavy!  I wanted to share this with you because it really has made a great difference with my organizing.

First, I must apologize to all the labeling ladies who got the side eye from me.  I didn’t know.  I apologize!  You were right.  Labeling things not only makes things easier to find, but neater looking overall.   And one day I’ll get those gorgeous decorator file folders that match the binder & the notebook & the sticky notes, but for now vanilla manila is getting the job done!20160626_191254.jpg

So let me give you the back story to how I started labeling (I make it sound like an Olympic sport, right?)  Well, it all started with a trip to Goodwill.  I love browsing the aisles looking for new & like new treasures that people have decided to part with.  I’ve found some serious steals (I’ll get into all that in another post) in thrift stores and this was a day the Lord was smiling on me!  I’d been strolling along, just really there to kill time & get out of the house when I saw it.

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The Brother P-touch labeler.  Labeller?  Whatever.  Spell check doesn’t like either rendition, so we’ll just continue.  Anyway, I got super excited.  Then I flipped it over and got UBER-EXCITED!  It was only FIVE BUCKS!  Then I almost tinkled when I realized that there was STILL LABEL IN IT!!!!  Y’all, you know I hauled my tail to the checkout to pay for this little beauty.  I’d heard such good things about labelers and the crazy amounts of fonts, sizes, pictures & other bells & whistles this one had.  So they got my money & I got my label maker.

I’m trying to remember what I actually labeled first.  It was some files in my business cabinet.  I was hooked.  So I did that for a while until I had to move on to other responsibilities & then I kind of forgot about it.  Until one fateful day…it was the day I decided to make over the kitchen.  Remember my post about that?  Well, part of it was cleaning the grody old spice rack I had.  Y’all, why?  Why did I choose to clean that thing?  Well, the jars at least.  I feel like this is going to be a long post.  I’ll stop around 1000 words, I promise.  There may be a part 2!  Anyway, I took all the jars out, assessed them & decided to clean them.  I tried wiping them down.  Nope.  Didn’t work.  Imagine trying to rub old gum off of glass.  The spice rack spins and sits beside the stove.  So years & years (I think it was a wedding gift which means it was 20+ years old) of grease, dust & whatever else was splattered on it.  I think I’m making it sound grosser than it was, but oh well.

So I soaked them in the sink with my husband’s patent pending cleaner.  They were mostly clean, but not spotless like I wanted.  So they went in the dishwasher and came out super squeaky clean!  I’m glad I didn’t put them in the dishwasher first. That thing probably would have had tears rolling down the front of it!  lol So I dried them (impatient) and used an old funnel from a steam mop (I cleaned it first) to fill the jars.  Then I noticed I was running low on garlic powder.  This is the norm in our house.  We use so much garlic powder that it should be investigated.  So I had a decision to make.  Where to refill on spices?

Side note:  This is my tip for you.  Try Christmas Tree Shops!  I think I’ve mentioned this before in other posts, but oh my goodness they have great spices at great prices!  For example, I got this large container of lemon pepper seasoning for $1.99.  I usually get my little Dollar Tree spices for $1 and only get about 1.25 ounces.  But look at this whopper!!

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Yuuuuuup!  And their other spices are bigger, too!  Check it…20160628_095647.jpg

Gotta love it!  Ok, here’s Tip #2.  Don’t shake/pour your spices over a steaming pot.  Why?  The moisture from the steam will travel up into those little holes & mess up your spices.  Look at this clumpy mess!20160628_095738.jpg20160628_095753.jpg

That’s why it’s looking all nasty and whatnot.  So instead, pour the spice into your hand or a bowl, table spoon or a measuring spoon and then put it into the hot liquid.

Back to the story.  I bought so many spices (they had new blends I hadn’t seen before) that I had to use a Dollar Tree shoe storage box to store the overflow!  Well, to be honest, this is the second overflow.  20160628_101850.jpgHere’s how much spice I really had left over after refilling the spice rack bottles…  20160628_095847.jpg I may need to be admitted into somewhere for having this much spice sitting around.  But don’t worry, it won’t go to waste!

Now, back to the labels.  Here’s how excited I was.  I ripped off the old gross labels & got to designing and printing new ones.  I’m way to happy about this, y’all!

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And that’s when it happened.  My labels ran out.  Child, I just broke down.  I’m screaming”NOOOO!”
I’m mad.  I’m hurt.  I’m overreacting big time.  That’s when it hit me.  EBAY.  Yes!  Ebay can fix ANYTHING (I had to order the charger cord for my label maker from there, so why not this too)!  I hopped my butt on my app and promptly found a refill.  FOR FOUR DOLLARS!  Yes sir/ma’am!  Not the $15-$30 from the manufacturer.  I had to wait a couple of weeks, but to be honest the kitchen makeover was a lot more stressful than I had originally anticipated.  I was glad for the break.  And not having labels does not stop my recipes!  So when it came in the mail I was praying the whole time that it fit/worked.  It did!!!20160621_162741.jpg 20160621_162752.jpg

So I finished my spices.  It took me a bit to get the font right (so long that I didn’t care any more and went with the default font in caps).

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& the rest of my folders for my greeting cards.  By the way, if you want the list of headings I used, they are:

BIRTHDAY          THANK YOU          MOTHER’S DAY          FATHER’S DAY          GET WELL

JUST BECAUSE          VALENTINE’S DAY          CHRISTMAS          SYMPATHY         ENVELOPES

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So, I hope I gave you some inspiration or a good tip or two.  I don’t know what I’ll be labeling next, but I’m thinking about tweaking my binder system.  Have I told you about that yet?  Oooh, I feel another post coming on!

Until next time!  XO,

Tonya

Sprouting Our Own Spuds!

I’m back with a gardening & patio decor tip.  Did you know you could sprout your own spuds?  Plant your own potatoes?  Yield your own Yukons??  Tee hee.  Ok, on with the post.  We have grown taters before and man, they are too much fun!  The key is to keep the soil loose because you’ll have to dig in it to find them.  Just be sure to do it on a day that the soil is dryish.  It’s a great job for little hands that whine about being bored!  Also, if they’re small, you can eat them as fingerlings.  If they’re medium, slice them along with a Vidalia onion, put in the oven in a foil packet with pat of butter & some black pepper & you have some potato medley after about 35-45 mins on about 375.  It’s the BEST!

For years I’ve had gardens.  I’m descended from farmers.  My grandparents owned over 100 acres in fact.  So yeah, I can grow the heck out of some stuff!  I’ve always had gardens until recently.  The soil here is to the point it’s not worth the hassle to break ground.  We have red clay soil.  If you have it, you know the trauma.  If you don’t, be very, very glad that you don’t.  So I’ve taken to container gardening.  What am I growing?  TATERS!  Yup!  Potatoes in a pot!

My mom says you can grow potatoes in just about anything as long as you have room to keep the soil loose.  Some of her (crazy sounding at the time) containers include, but are not limited to:

  • burlap bags
  • 5 gallon frosting containers (the huge ones-your local Walmart or place with a bakery may give you some free)
  • laundry hampers (sounds like the dirt would fall out the holes, right?  Yeah, line it first.  lol)

Just make sure you use something that is food grade or safe for growing food.  You can also use glass, metal or plastic containers.  Go big, small or whatever size you like!  If you get too many containers, leave some out for free gardening water when it rains.  Can’t beat free water!

I’m trying to get back on the gardening horse, because I was on it!  Y’all, I had tomatoes growing in December!  Outside!  THROUGH THE SNOW!!!  So for me to be letting stuff dry up like oregano is just sad.  Oh, my baby girl & I did plant some nice flowers in a pot on the porch.  Let me give you the pitiful back story on that.  I went to Lowe’s about 2-3 months ago and was stalking their clearance rack.  Yes, they have one!  You can get plants for next to NOTHING.  I got these little pretties for 4/$1.

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Aren’t they adorable?  I left them for dead for about 2 weeks at a time with minimal watering, but this past week planted them in this foam pot.  They must be true soldiers because just 3 days ago they sprouted new foliage!img_20160629_095354.jpg

When I got these little guys ready to go into their new home, I sent one of my children to water it.  When I went back, I noticed a little dent in the middle.  I thought they’d scooped it out or dug around (I mean the trowel is pretty handy, right?) but nope.  It wasn’t actually them.  Well, it kinda was…it came from pouring the water in!  I almost filled it back in, but realized it kept the pot from overflowing.  That was great because I don’t like wet toes in the morning unless I’m showering.img_20160629_095346.jpg  img_20160629_095340.jpg img_20160629_095354.jpg

I will leave these here until they look like they’re sick of each other.  Then I’ll split them up and give them proper individual homes.  Tip: to cut the amount of soil you use, put a layer of stones or rocks in the bottom, then a layer of those little cheapo planters (the plastic ones that feel like they’re made of flimsy plastic) bottom side up in the bottom of your plant.  Fill with dirt.  Don’t worry, it won’t hurt anything and the water will still be able to go through.  You’ll use about 2/3 of the soil and you won’t get that kink in your back when you try to move them!

Wait, this post is about potatoes.  Y’all let me go off on a tangent again!  Ok, back to that.  I asked my Mom to send me some pictures so that I can share what your potato plants will look like.

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What you’re seeing is over a foot tall.  The very bottom is the patio and you can see that there are 2 metal trellises at the top.  Yes, she is a beast when it comes to gardening.  Here’s a different angle.  You can see the little flowers that are there.  Underneath the soil are little potatoes.  She said she has to keep Daddy from digging in them to see how big they’ve gotten!

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Ok, so more about the potatoes.  This is how I did mine:

  1.  Left about 6 spuds in a bag in the corner of the kitchen too long.  They started sprouting.
  2. Left them about 6 weeks more (how they didn’t rot or funk up the place, I don’t know).  They looked like they were more sprout that potato!
  3. Hear my husband say something about flies, assumed it was because of the potatoes and put them on the patio.
  4. Went to Christmas Tree Shops, bought a $4 ice bucket & threw the potatoes in.  Covered with dirt.  Went back in my house & chilled.
  5. Waited another week I guess and wrote this post.

Not real complicated.  Here’s how it’s going.  Yeah, it may look like nothing, but there are some cute little shoots below the surface!  Those green flecks you’re seeing are from my husband & son’s yard work this afternoon.

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Yeah, don’t expect to see Rome pop up in a day.  It’ll be some weeks.  Unless you use Miracle Gro liquid.  Then it’ll be much faster.

Back in the day, I used to grow up some stuff!  Cucumbers, green beans, corn and carrots (until I found out to get a carrot you plant A CARROT seed-ain’t nobody got time for that!) and my favorite is tomatoes.  I got so good at growing them that they grew from May through DECEMBER.  I ain’t lying!  I had a plant that grew up through the snow & started popping out cherry tomatoes!!!  They were good, too!

If I have a little green thumb, my Mom has the Hulk’s arm!  That woman can grow groceries from DUST!  I mean, she must ask Jesus how to grow stuff cuz it’ll be dead like Lazarus and next time she’s showing you this gargantuan crop talking about, “It just needed a little love.”  Man, I need to leave her my checkbook.  Make THAT grow, lady!  Anyway, here’s how hers are going.  I think she said she’s cut them back once or twice because they started growing all over the place.  Oh, she did recommend using Miracle Grow.  I also recommend using compost cow manure if you can find it.  Finally, plant stakes (they’re sticks of fertilizer you put in beside the base of your plants) work well too.  I use those when I’m so lazy that I won’t mix the Miracle Grow solution.  That’s hecka lazy, y’all.  Pray for me.

So, that’s all folks.  I have more tips, but I’m way past my usual word count.  If you love Pinterest & want more gardening tips & ideas, click here —> to visit my board!!

Thanks for reading & I’ll see you next time!

Tonya

 

Liquid Meat Tenderizer is THE BIDNESS!!!

Here’s my tip for the day! Every time I use this product I’m amazed! It’s all natural and so easy to use. Those pork chops I cooked on the George Foreman came out like butta’! I should have done a video, but I was hungry. Just sayin’.

Anyway, here’s my video from this morning on some tips and links to where you can find everything (you can also click the pic below). Have a great day!

liquid meat tenderizer

3V didn’t have their liquid meat tenderizer on their site, but they sure had it on Amazon!  It’s well worth the price at $3.99.

https://www.amazon.com/100-Natural-Liquid-Tenderizer-Papain/dp/B00QHCGFJU

Dollar Tree is chock full of spices. Check out some of their selection. They vary by store so just be aware.
https://www.dollartree.com/search/go#w=spices

Christmas Tree Shops didn’t have their spices listed online, but you’ve GOTTA check out the things that they do have online! Don’t forget to use the popup coupon!
http://www.christmastreeshops.com/

So I hope this helps you with feeding your pack over the summer. I understand now why the kids would be 6 inches taller when they started school in the fall. Thank God I bought another freestanding freezer before they started to swarm my kitchen! LOL

 

Tonya

George Foreman Dinner Ideas and Tips!

Hi guys!  I love my George Foreman grill!  Here are some great cheats that make it super-easy to clean & keep clean FOREVER!  This evening we will be having pork chops & I won’t be battling bugs or cleaning a thing.  First, let me say that the George Foreman grill is an awesome invention! You can cook both sides of the meat at the same time, there’s an internal temperature sensor that will go off when the meat is actually cooked & you greatly reduce the fat content in your food because it drains it off.  Why?  The back end is higher than the front, so gravity just pulls the oil and water down the front into a drip pan.  It’s healthy, cool & gross!  lol

Okay so here are the tips.

Tip #1.  Get into the habit of covering your George Foreman with one sheet of really good imagequality, heavy aluminum foil before you start. Make sure it’s long enough to line the top & bottom grate & fold over the edges.  This will keep you from having to clean it later on. Cool, huh!? However, if you forget, the easiest way to clean the George Foreman grill is to take two or three full sized paper towels, wet them thoroughly and squirt on a mix of Dawn dish washing liquid and white vinegar.  Squish the paper towels so that it builds up the lather and put the paper towels on  the George Foreman while it is still hot. The heat will break down any gunk on the grate and  then you’ll be able to just pretty much wipe it off. You may need to repeat depending on how stubborn  the stuff is that is stuck on.

Tip #2.  I hate the drip pans. Mine often fill up because I am cooking for 5 imagepeople. Usually what will happen is that I’ll get halfway through cooking and need to empty the drip pan. For those of you that know me, I am very clumsy when it comes to transporting liquid from one place to another. So I would end up spilling it across the floor, creating yet another task to be completed.  Then I had the bright idea that I would just get another drip pan (I’d had a small one when I was in college & scored this huge one at a yard sale for like $5!)  Problem solved, right? Wrong! It still was not enough room for all the liquid.  Now I had to make 2 trips & I still ended up dripping stuff across the floor. So today, I came up with my best idea so far.

Tip # 3 Just put the George Foreman lined with aluminum foil on the edge of the counter and make sure that the foil on the end of the bottom grate goes over into the sink. Now, I don’t have to worry about a drip pan at all! I don’t know what I’m going to do with the other drip pans. Any ideas?

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Once that little light clicked off, I had some super yummy goodness sitting before me.

george foreman chops

The last thing I had to do was add barbecue sauce and then let it grill a little while longer. This would create a nice thickened glaze of sauce on my chops and I won’t have to worry about burning them.  You won’t see pics of the chops after the sauce.  Yeah…we ate them!  Sorry, I’ll try to do better next time.

I tried try this method with other meats like chicken, hot dogs, steaks and shrimp on the George Foreman. I will say this, be careful about the cuts of meat that you use. That should not be very thick. I wouldn’t even go past about an inch thick or the size of a really good sized burger. Chicken breasts can be cooked, but cut it in half horizontally before putting it on the grill, or make strips.  If you use a full chicken breast (the really big ones) it may not cook all the way through.

Tip #4. If you like to have grill marks, then just don’t use the aluminum foil.  But oddly enough, sometimes I still get grill marks using foil.  Give it a shot.  It could go either way.

And here is what the side of my sink looks like.  Gross, right?  Side note, be sure that you put a long enough sheet on you grill that it hangs about an inch or 2 longer than this.  I realized after the fact that my grill wasn’t close enough to the edge of the sink.  Or I could’ve just used a longer sheet of foil!

grilled chops

No worries!  Now I just need to squirt some cleaner on it and wipe it down. No more trips across my floor! And I cleaned the sink, ditch the foil & tucked away my grill (after it cooled, of course) until another day!

george foreman cleanup

I enjoy my little blast from the past grill.  Maybe I’ll try salmon & grilled asparagus next time.  Remember when these first came out?  Did you know it was first released in 1994?!?  Lord, that was literally 20 years ago!!!

Here are some links to some really cool info about George Foreman and the grill.  I was AMAZED!!!

The Official Site of George Foreman
How the George Foreman Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine Came to Be
(excerpted from Knockout Entrepreneur by George Foreman)

http://www.mmpublicrelations.com/uplFiles/project_downloads/dwn_179.pdf

I hope these tips help you out. Let me know what you’re making for dinner so I can stop racking my brain over our next meal! lol

Tonya

 

 

Meal Prep-Some Quick Tips For You

Hey y’all! I’ve got some great ideas for your meal preps. I have a Pinterest board on just meal prep ideas and then I have a board called Yum! where I keep all my plan to do (but may not ever do) recipes if you find this post inspirational and want even more ideas. Anyway, on to the share of the day…

First, my meal prep tips.  There aren’t a lot, but what I’m sharing is powerful, common sense & I overlooked it for the longest time.  Since I kept avoiding these tips, I kept failing and fell back on old habits (drive throughs, compulsive/reflexive eating & even worse, not eating at all for 6-8 hours).  So check these out!

*Sit down and figure out who’s going to be ON the plan.  If you’re the only one on the plan, you can INVITE people to be on it with you, but don’t force it.  Trust me.  Did you ever have a Mom or Dad who went on a diet so EVERYONE had to be on the diet?  And was MISERABLE?  Yeah, let’s not recreate that hostile environment.  Plus it decreases food waste.

*Figure out what everyone who’s on the plan actually likes to eat.  I used to be against this.  I was raised that whatever was cooked, you ate.  Now I realize that I shouldn’t force anyone to eat what they don’t like.  There’s enough options that God put here to make everyone happy.  So I do!

*Use a calendar to keep it all organized.  I don’t need one anymore because we discuss everything so much.  And with 3 kids whose memories are better than mine, believe me, they won’t LET me forget.  They walk in the door like, “Mommy, are we still having “blah-blah-blah” for dinner?  I’m HUNGRY!  I may go back to the calendar when people get more serious about it.  Also, I already know what I cook with what, so it hasn’t been a big deal.  But when I first started the meal planning, whoo!!  Having a one week calendar was a life saver.

*Swap ingredients so you don’t get bored.  Sometimes I have a chicken Caesar salad using my crock pot lemon pepper chicken.  Sometimes I add a sweet potato.  Or a baked potato.  Or fried chicken.  Or rosemary chicken or salmon.  See where I’m going with this?  You already have to eat your stinking vegetables, so put something that gives you a smile in there too.

*Once you make it, they will come.  Not 3 days after I started meal planning, here came my husband.  Mr “I ain’t eatin’ no salad, woman!” turned into “Can I have another salad just like the last one you made me?”  Then he became Mr. “Can you make me salads for the week too?” Yeah buddy, I got you on the ropes now!  Now his butt is feenin’ for salmon and salad!  Mwah-ha-ha!!!!!!!

*Pull everything you need together up front.  It took me a few weeks to get everything.  I had tupperware, but it wasn’t the right size/shape to fit in my lunch bag.  So I took the plunge and bought some from the GROCERY STORE.  Child, YES!!!  I don’t buy ANYTHING as far a cookware or storage from the grocery store because they want your house, car, left big toe & everything else.  I’m a Dollar Tree girl.  But when I found a nice set for around $2 I just plunked the money down and haven’t regretted it.  But I did go to Dollar Tree to get my salad dressing containers.  I didn’t get the disposable kind because that’s just throwing money away.  I must admit, though, those tiny containers look ridiculous in the dishwasher.  Oh, whenever I eat out now, I look at my containers to see if they’d work for my meal prep.  I use this little baby to keep 2 hard boiled eggs. Can you see where I got it??

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So when the hubby wants his salad, it only takes 4 slices & rolling.

*Lay everything out before you start pulling food out.  Put every lid to the side (not under) each container.

I took what I love & made meals for the week. I only really need 3, because the other days I’m at home and have full access (in most cases) to the fridge. This week I made chicken Caesar salad bowls. Here’s what it took:

3 plastic containers for the salads
3 small plastic containers for the salad dressing
3 snack sized zip bags for the sides
crock pot lemon pepper chicken (approx 1/2 a chicken breast, shredded and sectioned into thirds)
1 head of Romaine lettuce (it made 4 salads)
croutons
black olives
shredded Parmesan cheese
sunflower seeds

Or you could put in or take out whatever stuff you like:

eggs
Craisins
walnuts
raisins
cashews
bell peppers
mushrooms (shoot, that’s something I’d usually put in, but forgot to get at the grocery store)
tomatoes
tuna instead of chicken
blueberries
blackberries
strawberries
carrots
crunchy noodles

Again, mix and match the ingredients to get the taste you love.  I figure if they keep saying we should eat more fruits, vegetables & nuts, we may as well enjoy it!!

Ok, enough steps.  Here’s a visual walk through…

I bagged my chicken & put my salad dressing in a container.  My chicken was fresh from the crock pot, so I put it in a baggie to keep it from wilting my lettuce.

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I put my croutons & sunflower seeds in a baggie together so any water from the lettuce wouldn’t make my croutons soggy.  Notice how the hot chicken is away from the lettuce.

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Now everything is packed up and ready to go!  I got these containers from either Food Lion, Harris Teeter or Wal-Mart.  I wish I could remember.  The best I can say is that it’s under $3 for 4 containers and they have this little star in the corner.

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They stack perfectly in the fridge.  Now to keep munchers away from them!
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I know some of you out there meal plan & do meal prep.  What cool tools & methods have you come across?

Next time, I’ll share with you some yummy recipes from Southern fried chicken to Mandarin orange chicken!  Huge time savers with great taste!

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I’m Back With More Reviews! Aldi, Dollar Tree, Dollar General & More!

Hi guys,

I’ve been MIA but it’s for good reason.  I WORK!  LOLOL!!!!  Ok, but seriously, spring brings a lot of change for us.  My oldest ended his rec ball season 7-1 and we had lots of events around that.  We just got past midterms at my job and we’re on a mad hunt for summer camps and programs.  We’ve had family visits & yadda-yadda-yadda.  You know, LIFE.

So, I wanted to give some updates & some cool things I’ve found.

  1.  I tried my hand at meal planning.  Not just the writing it down, but actually planning, prepping & packing my lunch for a week ahead of time.  And yes, it works!!!  I had enough time in the morning (since I wasn’t scrambling like a maniac to find lunch) to actually make smoothies!
  2. Smoothies are my recent addiction.  I’ve started making them like a mad person.  I have a short list of go to ingredients that hit the spot.  I need to weigh myself to see if they have had any affect on my weight.  I honestly don’t know.  But I’m less stressed because I have something yummy to sip on from about 7:30-12.  That takes care of my fruit intake & is my breakfast & morning snack.  I’ll list my favorite blends below.
  3. I got a $20 steam mop from Aldi, y’all!  It’s crazy!  My old one died & I seriously went into mourning til we got another one.  They’re the BEST!  Remember the section in my book about “boy stink”?  Well, that steam mop keeps you from having to get too “up close & personal”.  My oldest also uses it to loosen the dirt in the tub before scrubbing it down.  He says it makes cleaning a breeze now.
  4.  I celebrated by 1 year anniversary of water only (well, water mostly) hair washing.  My hair is now down to my collarbone (it was previously only jaw length).  So I’m super excited about that!
  5. Check out Dollar General when you can.  They’ve got some CRAZY deals right now!  I got a 3 pack of winter gloves for NINETY CENTS!!!!!!  Yeah, their clearance aisle is unbelievable right now.

Ok, that seemed like a lot.  What have you guys been up to??  Oh yeah!  Before I forget…the smoothie list!

I use any combination of the following items:

bananas (1-2, fresh or frozen)
apples (cored & sliced)peanut butter
Nutella (less than $3 at Aldi)
caramel
an oatmeal packet (any flavor left from the colder months-hey, I gotta do something with them!)
Chia seeds (I used to find them at Dollar Tree, but got them bulk at Walmart)
spinach
ice

I put it all in my little smoothie maker and in 2 mins or less it’s done!  I like mine thick.  For some reason, I like my smoothies chunky.  If I’d stop being cheap, I’d probably buy some walnuts and throw them in there too.  Oh well, for now I’m good with how they are.  What do you like in your smoothies?

How I Made a KILLING at Dollar General Today! (Cheese Ball Lovers, This One’s For YOU!)

Hi guys,

I hit the motherload today when I stopped into my local Dollar General!  I was there for a big pack of styrofoam plates, when I got the urge to go to the back where the clearance was.  On the way there, I noticed a cart full of cheese balls.  I decided to keep going and check it out on the way back.  Probably just an employee stocking the shelf and left them there, right?  WRONG.  More about that in a bit…

I found a huge cart of Febreeze bedroom scents, Glade room sprays, those jelly room deodorizers and more marked down like crazy!!!  I didn’t get much from here since the scents were ones I wasn’t too familiar with.  But I did get these:

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Ginger Blossom
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Peach

The 2 air fresheners are the Dollar General brand and they come in a 2 pack.  They were marked down to $.75.  So was the Renuzit.  I think they are regularly $1.

Ok, back to the cheese balls!  How about they’d been marked down to $1.50!  I think they’re regularly $2-$3, so I decided to grab one.  But to my surprise & delight, when it rang up, it was only 50 CENTS!!!  So I ran and grabbed 2 more (I was planning on spending $1.50 initially anyway, right?  May as well get 3 times as much for the same price).  The checkout lady was shocked.  They’d just been $1 the day before!

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So what did I do with them?  I grabbed a big dipping spoon, some zip top sandwich bags and went to work!  By the time I was done with one container, I’d had 17 bags of cheese balls!  I stowed some of them away in a large container (another old Dollar General find) and left about 7 bags on the counter for the kids to have a quick little snack.  I know they’ll love them!
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So, head on down to your Dollar General!  Who knows what discounted goodies you’ll find.

Until next time, try NOT to kill your kids!

Tonya

 

5 Things You ABSOLUTELY Must Do This Christmas!

Hey guys!  I’m back from vacation & have lots to share.  You’ll get pics later, but for now, the focus is CHRISTMAS!!!  I have just a few things for you to check off your list this year.  Some are fun, some are gross, some are just good practice.  Ready?  Here we go!

  1.  If you’re soaking your ham in the kitchen sink (Lord, where else would you soak it-don’t answer that), be sure to clean the drain plug/cover.  Just this morning I decided to soak some ribs to clean & thaw them & thought:  when’s the last time I cleaned the drain plug?  Eeew!  Wait, if I haven’t been cleaning it, who has??!  EEEEW??!?!?  So you see how valuable this info is.  And if you regularly clean it, don’t judge me.  Besides, my super neat freak of a husband more than likely cleans it multiple times a day when he washes dishes BY HAND.  Yeah, that was a good dollop of snarky.  A BIG dollop.
  2. Don’t make small things a big issue.  So what if everything isn’t perfect?  What’s your focus?  Appearances or enjoying the ones you’re with?  Oh yeah, and don’t forget it’s the celebration of our Savior’s birth.  He created us perfectly flawed, so striving for perfection is like trying to put an octopus in a jelly jar.  It was a crazy idea at the onset.  Moving on…
  3. Take more pictures this year.  Unless you’re one of THOSE people who load social media with so many updates that we could scroll your page and get the video version.  You know who you are.  Go have a drink or feed the homeless.  We see you way too much.  Love you, though!!
  4. Don’t overspend.  I know that’s a sin for me to say for some, but seriously.  Don’t get your kids and spouse, 5 siblings, their kids, the neighbors and their 15 dogs hundreds and thousands of dollars worth of presents and fancy cards and then can’t pay your light bill next month.  Spending time is better than spending money anyway.  Make memories, not debts.
  5. Get some sleep!!!!  If you’re tired, take a nap.  If you’re exhausted, take 2 naps.  Assign some of the tasks to someone else and pay your body for what you put it through.  No sense in burning stuff, forgetting stuff, messing up stuff, cussing folk out & having to dole out apologies when a good solid rest is what you need to avoid a bad situation.

Ok, that’s all for now.  The oven just preheated.  SWEET POTATO PIE IS GOING IN Y’ALL!!!  One day I’m gonna make one from scratch (but today, Mrs. Smith’s gets a big shout out).  I want a recipe that has crushed pineapple and pecans in it.  Anybody got a good recipe?  Ok, well love y’all and have a

MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

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MY THANKSGIVING NIGHTMARE CAME TRUE!!!

Plans. Foiled. Shot. Blown.

I can’t believe it. My Plan A was to go to my in-laws.  Found out 3 days ago that they have to work. So that plan is shot.  My parents had already reached out, but we’d pretty much said we’d be out of town.

My Plan B was to:
1. Order Chinese
(What? Our family LOVES Chinese food. But it can get kind of pricey by the time everyone orders what they want),

2. Order the pre-made meal from Food Lion
(I heard on good authority from some church mothers that they’re “quite tasty!”) or

3. Scavenge
(there’s chicken noodle soup, fried chicken, chili, spaghetti, frozen ribs & frozen chicken in there). What are we cooking for?

But under NO CIRCUMSTANCES was I planning on this plan:

COOK

What the what???! Cook? Ain’t nobody got time for that!! This was supposed to be a Relax-giving. A Chill-giving. A Mommy-ain’t-cooking-so-go-find-something-to-eat-giving. And my husband KNEW IT. But what does he say this morning? At like 8am? While I’m rearranging my ENTIRE office which is full of jewelry, sewing stuff & furniture?

“What are we eating for Thanksgiving? I’m going to the store on my way to work. Y’all make a list.”

Oh my God…the thoughts. The ideas. The terrible, terrible things that I allowed to run through my mind about that man. My face? Nothing but one coldly poised eyebrow ready to strike fear and terror into any who foolheartedly gazed upon it.

But…

I’m better than that. God has been too good for that. So I made up some stuff about not having enough money, not getting paid til Friday, a phenomenally high light bill, trash bill, etc. was paid in advance cuz you said “we would just eat whatever is here” (during the last 2 weeks that I’ve been asking you what we’ll do). Well, that took all the wind out of his sails! So he left for work. Oddly, he didn’t sound sad. He just took inventory of the fridge, said “Yeah, there’s a ton of food in here. Let’s just eat that.” And took off for the J.O.B.

But what happened next will land me some points. The kids & I hatched a plan. A devious plan. I’m hitting the store & we’re cooking today. So there will be NO cooking tomorrow. He can enjoy the yumminess when he gets home today, have food all day tomorrow and even pack lunch when he goes back in on Friday.

Yeah, I had a moment. Who doesn’t? But like those 2 brothers in the Bible: It’s not what you say, it’s where your heart is. And it’s where your heart is that drives what you do.

So y’all pray for me.  I’m about to go brave the Pre-Thanksgiving grocery store aisles.  Pray I make it back alive with everything I need & the favor to get it done before 3:15!  I guess I’ll be using those tips I gave you guys last time after all!!  lol  I pray your holiday is blessed and that you really, really enjoy your family & friends.

Love ya & Happy Thanksgiving!

Tonya

Thanksgiving