Sunday, January 31, 2016

Last Call

Hello friends,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend!  I am making a last call for our Book Swap! I have had a few interested and signed up with partners and I am so excited to do this. Anyone else that would love to join please shoot me an email.

gotjoy4@hotmail.com



Blessings,
Chrissy T

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sweet Packaging

I set myself a challenge to send a card or an encouraging goody to someone once a week until the end of February.  Check out my inspiration at my previous post...I am Feeling Special.

This week a lady kept coming to my heart and my mind so I sent her a card. Then a friend of mine sent me a beautiful friendship card and a recipe for the Amish Friendship Bread Starter. So...in return I sent her some Natural Amish Soap (Made by Amish Friends of my friend) and a To-Do pad I had on hand. I had the soap on hand as well because I buy a big bag of it. I had everything on hand from the ribbon, wrapping, card, pad, and even mailing package. 



Sweet packaging!!!

Blessings,

Chrissy T

Friday, January 29, 2016

Frugal & Thrifty Friday Week 5

I was able to do a big stock up last shop day so this really helped in the grocery department. I scored big time at Kroger Grocery Store with Buy One Get One Free and then the one you bought was on sale. I stocked up on rice, pasta, and paper towels.



If you don't utilize Kroger's Freebie Friday's YOU NEED TO.  Every Friday there is a Freebie. You can actually get it anytime but the Freebie is announced on Friday. They do have an expiration date.

Today's Freebie is a Sunny Delight Beverage!!! (Expires Feb. 14th, 2016)

I waited until I had 3 or 4 freebies and certain sales I wanted to catch. I got a container of yogurt, 2 Uncle Ben Wild Rice Boxes, and 6 pack of Nestle Grape Water for FREEEEEE!!! You do not have to make a purchase to get your freebies..  They also had a deal buy a pack of their Paper Towels ($1.89) and get a bottle of dish soap free. Also, buy 2 packs of rice get one free. I totally utilized these things to build my pantry.



They also had Navel Oranges that were 5 for $1.  I got 10 oranges. They were beautiful and delicious. My kids love oranges.

Kroger had all their block cheese and shredded cheese on sale for $1.42 a package or block. I stocked up. We use cheese a lot.

I signed up my email for Redbox and got a free movie.

I had to drive a lot in the last few weeks because my husband went out of town traveling so a lot of things he does on his way home I had to do. So, my gas bill increased. But we are still saying NO to eating out and this saves us quite A LOT!



My goals this week are.....

1. Revamp our budget....My husband got a RAISE!!! WOOT! But we plan to take advantage of this by tackling debt.

2. Plan a sensible February "Blessing Our Pantry" Plan.

3. Plan a fun, thrifty, and frugal Valentine Dinner for the family as well as giving goodies to those needing a little lift in the LOVE Department.

4. Set February Finance Goals

What are ways you saved? What habits are you doing that are cutting the cost??? Share, please!!

Blessings,
Chrissy

*Images found in google search image files*

Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Favorite January Reads

Hello All,

Over the last few years I have stopped reading as much due to my season in life and I have dearly missed it. I still read over those years but mostly spiritual growth, how to be a Minister's Wife type books, and leadership books and that was rare due to time.

My season is different and so I have made a goal to commit to reading books that have been sitting on my shelves or books I have been desiring to read. 



**I am a speed reader. Which is a blessing but I have to make sure I am soaking things in so it can be challenging.**

Here are the books I have read in January. Below that I will share my favorites!


JANUARY-
PRESENT by Keri Mae Lamar (EXCELLENT)

LIVING ON HIS INCOME by Mrs. Sharon White

DETOX YOUR HOME by Katie from Wellness Mama

DIY PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS, 5 Simple Natural Recipes by Nina Nelson from Shalommama.com (E-Book)

TRUST YOUR INTUITION by Jenni Wilson (E-Book)

STEPPING HEAVENWARD by Elizabeth Prentiss (EXCELLENT)

AMISH MIRACLE by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, and Mary Ellis (GREAT read)

A SLOW BURN by Mary E. Demuth  (This book was ok. The story takes a long time and I felt it was entire book on the same thing (just went in circles about the same woman) for 80 chapters (YES...80!) This book is part of a Trilogy. I didn't read the First one. I started with the second. I will not read the last. I love Trilogy books but this one is not the one for me.


First off most of the books above were wonderful or very helpful. It is hard for me to choose one so I will choose by TOP 3.





1. Stepping Heavenward....A MUST READ! I plan to buy a few of these and give as wedding gifts for young ladies. I loved this and seen myself in the lady.



2. Present.....A super read about not being caught up in social media and superficial relationships. I loved this. This helped me let go of some social media that was really bringing me down besides lifting me up. That is why I started focusing on my blog more and let go of other Social Media because this place uplifts me and the blogs I choose to read now either challenge, uplift, teach, or mentor me. And if they don't I don't read them.




3. Amish Miracles & Living on His Income....I know!!! I couldn't narrow it down. Amish Miracles was awesome and a fun read. Living on His Income....SUPER!!!!! I love every book by Mrs. Sharon White. EVERY ONE!!!!!

Have you read any books yet this year?  Share your favorites so far!!! If not, do you plan to read any?




Have you joined the Keeping Home's Book Swap??? Please Join in!!!! You have until January 31st to sign up. Comment below you want to join and shoot me an email at gotjoy4@hotmail.com. More information here.

Blessings,
Chrissy

Going with the Flow

Hello all!

This week has been a little challenging in the homeschool department but it happens. I am thankful I do get to spend time with my children and invest in them. Sometimes though I feel as maybe I am not the most suitable! I am reminded of God's Grace and how His word says He will complete His work in me until His return. Praise the LORD!


                                            A cute Mississippi Door Hanger I got for $1.


My oldest who attends our church Christian High School had earned a free day and decided to take it off. So, we slept in a little today. Which I needed because I haven't slept well in 3 nights. I slept HORRIBLE last night.  It was a blessing this morning when I woke him and he asked if he could use his free day. He loves school and doesn't like to miss but I think he was super tired.

I made Hot Cocoa for my little man and I. Mainly for me to enjoy with my bible time which was delayed because of my youngest fellow (early riser).
 

 




I made Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast. These are a favorite here.


I love the morning view out of our kitchen window. I love watching the ducks and geese. They are so fun to watch. But sometimes a distraction because my kids watch them while doing school and loose train of thought. *Smiles*



Today I just went with the Flow!!! I ended up napping this afternoon.  I dislike Insomnia. I go through bouts of it here and there. Of course, I was feeling so much better until this. I may have to cut the tea out. I don't do coffee or soda's. I love my TEA!!!





On a different note......Please consider joining the Book Swap. You can find information here. There really is no cost (you swap books you own) except shipping and this can be a fun way to join in on my challenge of mailing something encouraging or fun to someone.

I have read some great books this month. Always feel free to check my page in the top tab bar on the books I am reading. I record them there. I update often.

My January Favorite Reads are..........

I will share with you tomorrow!!!!

Blessings,
Chrissy

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Swap...YAY!!!!



I was inspired by Ashley at Precious Moments during her Scripture Swap. I want to host a Book Swap. I would like for anyone interested to email me at gotjoy4@hotmail.com or comment below.

How this works?

You sign up between now and January 31st and I will pair you with someone to swap a book with. This book can simply be one you already own in good condition. Please DO NOT FEEL you need to purchase a book. If you are a reader and are like me you probably own a lot. You will get an email from me with your book swap partner and then you will get some information on that person such as likes, favorite author's, and topics. Please email me your email and information or you may leave it in comments. Also, send a card to go along with your book.

Rules!  Yes, I know!

Please keep the books Inspirational, Christian, or Morally Based ONLY!!!
Examples of books you could swap......Christian inspiration, homemaking, organizing, decorating, Biblical Womanhood, cooking, and fun reads by great "inspirational" Author's. You will have some help from your partner as they will let you know what they like.

If you are out of the U.S. and would like to join in I will see if I can find someone to pair you with. *Smiles*

All books need to be sent by February 10th, 2016.

If there are any questions please let me know in the comments.

Blessings,

Chrissy T

I am linking up with....A Wise Woman Build Her Home

http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/2016/01/wise-woman-linkup_27.html


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Scripture Swap (My Goodies)

Ashley a sweet blogger that has a blog full of wonderful scripture inspiration and deep thinking hosted a Scripture Swap. It was  so fun. We had to send a gift with scripture on it as well as a goody to go along with it.  I actually got Ashley the hostess and write of the blog Precious Moments.

I received these awesome sweet goods yesterday. I love it all. I really love the scripture labels!!!
How creative. Thank you Ashley!






I thought this was such a wonderful thing! So, this has inspired me to do something n the near future!

Can I ask a favor of you?? If you aren't a follower of by blog would you prayerfully consider it?? Just click the "Join" in the sidebar.  Thank YOU!!! Thank you for your visits, comments, encouragements, and prayers!

Blessings!!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Making My Week Manageable & You can TOO!

Good Monday everyone!!!

Now that I am feeling much better it is time to get our home back in order and create some simple flow. I have been working on this for about 3 weeks. I wanted to share what has been working for me.

After reading many letters from Laine, and drawing from the old memory bank of when I first became a homemaker years ago I decided to do something super simple and by doing it I am so surprised at how much I am getting accomplished.

                                                     Weekend Cozy Time!!!


After years of trying to make a Homemaking Binder (which ARE AWESOME) and such I always found myself overwhelmed and also felt I never actually used the binder. I would spend time and money creating one only for it to sit on the shelf weeks later. One of my issues I had was that I had very high ambitions. I would follow different people's schedules, cleaning plans, and etc. It NEVER worked because their life isn't mine and mine isn't theirs. Our seasons may have been different or they may have had a bigger home or more demand for spotless than I did.

I started to recreate the binder of few weeks ago and I just couldn't get into it. So, I used Laine's advice and wrote out the basics that HAD to be done for our home to be smooth and orderly.

I then took 7 index cards (large ones) I wrote the days of the week at the top and then I also created weekly Zones. I chose a room or area as a Zone. Everyday always has a prompt to work on the Zone. Even if it is one drawer, basket, or a full 30 minutes of deep cleaning something gets done weekly in every area of my home.

I simple wrote out the chores I felt needed to be done, days for shopping, and my main cleaning day and put them on the index cards. I always add a Zone chore to a day. I will do it based on other things going on. I also keep a To-Do list to write things we have going on, supper plans, reminders and such.






I chose to keep it simple. It is silly to think I can deep clean an area on the day I choose to grocery shop, prep food, and run errands. I also homeschool and I need to be reasonable that this would not work.

Having a Basic outline has been helping me so much. Also, having the Zone Chores are helping in deeper cleaning and decluttering. I can rest my mind knowing that I will cover all the rooms eventually and to try to maintain weekly order so that when my Zone area comes it isn't so overwhelming.


 With cards that have bigger projects such as Friday is my Bless the Home day (Main Cleaning) I wrote the chores on the back of that card.



Granted...I will say this is a tad easier for me because even though I was a little all over the place with our routines and flow most of the home had some order to it. So, if your home is very chaotic (which I have had happen) I would take a few days to organize, declutter, and get a basic NOT PERFECT workable order of your home so that you can keep your system simple and the Zone work will not be overwhelming.

I hope this may help some one.

Share....how do you plan your weekly chores???

Blessings Friends!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

I am Feeling Very Special

Earlier this week I shared that I got a surprise card here and I encouraged us (including myself) to write to someone.  Well...the very next day I got another card. Then Friday I got a package full of goodies from a dear friend that I had back in Illinois. She was a solid friend. I rock in times when I was weak. I haven't spoke to her since December and I was totally surprised by the treat. She shared with me JELLY BEANS!!!! This is our favorite treat we would share together. Then some Essential Oils, and a book for me to read to the kids. Then a sweet card!!!


This has really motivated me to be sensitive and to think how I can bless and encourage someone. So, I plan to set a goal starting this week to the end of February to send a card, letter, or a goody package to whoever the Lord puts on my heart.

Want to JOIN ME???  This can be super simple and cheap. But totally worth it to spread some happy. This week I have felt "EXTRA" loved!!!!

I needed this little spurts of cards and goodies. I love giving and I am one of those love to give type people. But rarely I get cards, and goodies. It was such a treat to me. I am looking forward to seeing who God will lead me to encourage and bless.

I will share my challenge!!!!

Blessings,
Chrissy T

Friday, January 22, 2016

Frugal & Thrifty Week 4

Good Friday Friends!

This week in the frugal department was very low key as I am practicing to stay home more, and utilize things we have on hand. Also, saying no to eating out has been helpful. We did have one day we ate out but other than that we have ate at home and made things we were craving from eating out. 



I made sliders (mini burgers) to overcome the craving of a burger stop. They were so good. I made cookies for snacks, made yummy cheesy toast besides us stopping for breakfast on a homeschool trip to cooking class which we normally always stop to eat on our way.

I was able to stock up on ground beef that was on sale and 2 whole roasting chickens on sale as well. I also stocked up on chicken breast (5 lbs) I usually make these stretch in a lot of ways. I am not really buying much body products right now so we aren't having to invest in those like normal.

In other words....I make do. I usually like certain face cleaners, moisturizers, lotions, and shampoo's and such. We are just making do with what we have and when we run out I try to find a way to make something homemade to make do. Example I ran out of lotions so I am using coconut oil for lotion and face moisturizer. I am using Amish soap ( I bought a large bag a while back) for my face and body. Normally I have a "fancy" face cleaner. I am using Essential Oils/Herbs for certain things such as medicines and body products.



I am also laying ground rules for the kitchen. One of the biggest issues I have is my kids eating all our goodies (homemade or not) up so quick. I am laying down rules for all of us and setting snack times for my little ones. This week it was such a helpful thing. They knew by the 2nd day I was serious. So, they were anxiously waiting for their snack time. *Smiles*

I am also cutting back on snack and supper portions. Don't worry we are not starving. *Smiles*

I find a Christmas gift on a clearance rack for 50 cents and it was normally $10.99 and it is so nice. I had to go to Michael's for a gift and I found several special keepsakes on their clearance. So, I hardly spent much and then got a future gift.

Besides renting a movie my husband and I wanted to see for a date night we streamed it on PBS so it was free. We had cheese crackers and a classic PBS movie cuddled up for a date night.



I have said no to many outside homeschool activities. Which is hard, but saves a lot of money. I am thinking of ways I can still give my kids some fun opportunities within balance and budget. They normally take a cooking class and they LOVE it and learn so much. But it is quite costly. Although, we forsake all field trips and other activities to do the class. I could save money and invite a few of their homeschool friends over and teach them to cook here at my home (which I do teach them to cook) but I use the day they go to cook class to accomplish things like errands and grocery shopping. I am still in debate on this. We gave up art classes and study that at home. We don't do any field trips right now. So, I feel this class is there only outlet and helps them meet other friends.




I am still in the learning and researching stage of living frugal and I learn everyday different ways to be frugal and try to do something thrifty. It is still tricky and such. But I don't mind trying new things.

I hope you all had a good week.

Blessings Friends!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Be Thou My Vision





I was captured by the beauty of the Lord's creation yesterday on my walk. I felt the song "Be Thou My Vision" impressed upon me and I wanted to share this beautiful video. If you have the time (4 min) pour you a cup of something warm and delicious and enjoy this.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Homemade Dry Erase Board & Letter Writing

Hello everyone. A while back I needed a Dry Erase Board for our Homeschool. I usually put our date, scripture, and events on the board. I sometimes use it for messages and reminders. The only thing was I didn't want a big old dry erase board in my kitchen.  I took a picture frame from WalMart and took the back off. Leaving only the frame and glass. It was $10. I then took Burlap and a good old hot glue gun and made a Burlap border around the frame to cover it. I love Burlap and it fits my Country Cottage kitchen style so it looks great. My kids like to write on it sometimes. As you can tell my Hannah wrote a sweet message. "God will heal my mom!" As you all know I have been sick but I am getting better. Praise the Lord.
 
 



I was blessed with a surprise today. I had a sweet Sister in our new church mail me a card of encouragement. I don't know her super well but I thought it was so thoughtful. I love it. I love a good old handwritten letter and card. So many people rely on social media or texting. The age of writing a letter, card, or even picking up the phone is rare these days. The card is so lovely. It is nice to know someone is thinking about me and praying for me.


I would love to have a pen pal. When I was growing up I had a few. One from Japan. Then when I was in my early 20's a friend of mine and I  wrote each other when I moved off. It was sweet. She would use old traditional notebook paper. I loved it. Maybe one day I can find me a pen pal again. *Smiles*

There is something about a handwritten letter or a card. I love them. It adds a smile to your day. I use to send people in the church little cards of encouragement without putting my name on it. I used to have a little drawer filled with cards and during my quiet time I always prayed if there was someone I could write to. I need to do this again.

Do you write letters? Do you have a pen pal or a special person you write? Do you send special cards?

I hope you all have a lovely day!!!

Chrissy T

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cleaning the Oven & Winter Walking

I am using a little advice from Laine (Check side bar) about using a zone to clean our home. She used the Fly Lady with a twist and I am trying to incorporate that in our routine. My Zone is the Kitchen this week.

While the kids were schooling at the table I decided to clean the oven. This oven is old and it wasn't super nice when we moved in this past August. Over the holiday it got its workout with baking and a cookie cake bubbled over. AHAHA!!!

Anyway I used my Everything Cleaner, baking soda, scour pad, and elbow grease *wink*.


This has the cleaner sprayed on it and then I put a baking soda paste on it and let it sit a while. The oven already had damage and stains from previous owners. I cleaned it the best I could and I couldn't get it to really be as clean as I like. I have always had a new stove that I owned. I have never used someone elses already seasoned stove.



 I put foil in it to prevent more damage and for easier clean up. It isn't perfect but much better.
This oven and stove is old and some of the things don't work on it and the landlord isn't really wanting to replace it. So, we will make do. I am blessed to have an oven. *Smiles*


After our school and chores Hannah I took a walk around the lake. I have been aiming to do a daily walk. It was chilly. We bundled up anyway and took a walk. I was fine but she was cold.




 
This is the back of our home the one that has the steps going down and the bay window. Gray and white.




We had a great Monday even with bumps, rough patches, and such. It is what you make of it.

DO YOU HAVE ANY OVEN CLEANING TIPS????

Blessings,

Chrissy T

Monday, January 18, 2016

Deep Clean that Wash Machine & My Cleaner Concotion!

I have been cleaning and doing special tasks around the home this weekend. My laundry room was needing some love. We tend to let this be the catch all place because the room isn't visible and it is back off in the home. My washer was in need of some deep cleaning. I use to weekly wipe down my washer and dryer and also monthly scrub it down. But with our move then I got sick it got neglected. I felt accomplished if I kept my dishes washed, and laundry done.

                                                Before Shots!!!! Don't Judge!!  Smiles!
                                                          



I started with running a vinegar cycle and then I sprayed it down with a Homemade Everything Cleaner I made. This is my concoction and you may FREELY use it. I don't need any credit for a recipe. *Wink*

My Clean Everything Cleaner

3 TBL of Borax
1 Cup of Vinegar
2 TBL of Dr. Bonner's Lavender Soap or whatever you have on hand
Warm Water
Spray Bottle

I take the Borax  funnel in bottle then fill the bottle a little with warm water and swirl around borax to dissolve then put the vinegar and soap. I then fill the rest up with cool water slowly to keep from suds forming. After that I shake it and then get to spraying.


After I sprayed the washer down (make sure you get those crevices and such) I let it sit for about 30 minutes. I took a scrubbing pad, tooth brush, baking soda and got to scrubbing all the crevices and hidden areas of the wash machine. I then wiped it all down and ran another vinegar cycle. I sprayed it down once more and gave it a good wipe down in and outside of it and dried it all off.




                                                           SO FRESH & CLEAN!!

Sparkle and clean. I will do a gentle wipe down weekly and this deeper cleaning monthly. The wash machines can harbor all kinds of yucky and bacteria. If it is cleaning my clothes I want it to be kept up as fresh and clean as possible.




I then went through all the piles of paper and etc. and straightened up the counter area. I use this for our Home Center to catch bills, paper, and do some office work as needed.

Do you clean your washer and dryer on a regular basis? What do you use??? Please share!!!

I am linking up at Stranger & Pilgrims on Earth, The Art of Homemaking Mondays.

Check the rest of the great posts here.

<div align="center">Here!
 


Blessings,

Chrissy T