Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 Christmas Present Ideas Post

If you read my goal posts you know that I've had working on Christmas presents on my list since August.  I'm not ready to reveal yet what I'm making this year, but I wanted to share a few popular gifts from years past.

1) Play Silks

You've seen these play silks before.  I think the key for success with these is I wrapped them in a wipes container so my DD (now age 3 -- she was 1 1/2 when I gave them to her) can spend hours pulling them out one by one (you know, like she would do with real wipes if I gave her the chance).  She uses them as blankets for her babies, as diapers for her babies, and sometimes she likes to cuddle with them herself.  She's been playing with these constantly for two years!

2) Felt Birds

My family loved the bird ornaments I made using the free patterns at Downeast Thunder Farm.  I made a cardinal for my DH, a puffin for my son, and a chick for my daughter.  I put these away with the Christmas ornaments, but I'm thinking to make a few more for play to give in Easter baskets.

3) Lotion Bars

I have very sensitive skin and hand lotion was costing me a small fortune.  Thanks to Pinterest, I found these lotion bars.  I didn't use any essential oils, so the cost for ingredients was about the same as a jar of lotion in the store.  These would make great gifts as well.

4) Pom Poms

I made these pom poms two years ago using just a fork and some yarn.  The key was to wrap the yarn really tightly around the fork.  I used them on the end of a scarf and as cat toys.  I'm thinking about making more this year to use in place of stick on bows for wrapped gifts.

5) Ric Rac Flowers

I kept procrastinating on these ric rac flowers, but I'm so glad I finally made them.  My daughter loved the headband I made with them.

Are you making any gifts this year?

This Week's Menus and Goals

Our fridge bit the dust last week, so meal planning has been difficult.  We have a new one now, but it's empty.  Another week of menu adventure!

Sun -- Pot roast, carrots, mashed potatoes
Mon -- Crockpot peking chicken, rice
Tue -- Vegetable beef soup, salad
Wed -- Scrambled eggs, pancakes, fruit
Thu -- Hot dogs and beans for the family, I have a business dinner
Fri -- Pizza!

Breakfasts -- yogurt, banana bread, fresh juice, hard boiled eggs

Lunches -- Salad, hummus and pita, leftovers

Linked to: Menu Plan Monday

It was another crazy busy week at work, so my goals suffered.

Last week's goals:

1) Unpack from vacation
2) Work on Christmas presents one night
3) Plant lettuce in back.  Pull out dead veggie plants.
4) Catch up on ironing and laundry
5) Get ready for neighborhood yard sale

This week's goals:

1) Unpack from vacation
2) Work on Christmas presents one night
3) Plant lettuce in back and clean up garden.
4) Ironing

Have a great week!

Twitterature September 2014

Welcome to the back to school edition of Twitterature.  Well, not really back to school, but I do feel the need to re-introduce non-fiction back into my reading lists.

Here are a few short reviews of what I've been reading over the past month.

If I hadn't of been stuck on vacation with To Rise Again at a Decent Hour as my only book I might not have finished.  But the main character grew on me, and I'm glad I stuck with it.

I liked the older, crankier Father Tim that Karon brought us in Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, the latest, and hopefully not last, Mitford novel.

The thrilling ending of The Time In Between made up for a slow beginning.

Visit The Modern Mrs. Darcy's monthly reading link up to see what this is all about.  If you want to see all of the books I've read this year (91 so far!) check out my Pinterest page.

{Note: Links to are affiliate links. Thanks for your support.} 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fitness Friday

My goal this year is to simply stay in my size 8 jeans through exercise and eating well.  My exercise of choice is walking.  I also love to swim when I have access to a pool (or a lake, or an ocean.)  I love to eat healthy foods, but don't always devote the time I should to preparing them.

The Bad News: I finally had a chance to wear jeans this week, and the size 8's were a no go!  I could be okay with this I guess as long as I feel strong.

The Good News: This week I ran twice, walked a bunch, started up a PCOS vitamin regime, juiced 5 out of 7 days, and lost two pounds!  Even if the jeans news was bad, I feel like the tide is finally starting to turn.

I'm not sure why I ended up with a body that makes me work all summer just to lose two pounds, but now that they're gone I'm celebrating!  Take that PCOS!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Save On Oranges With SavingStar!

This week's Saving Star healthy offer of the week is oranges.  Visit Saving Star to get 20% off.  It's been a while since I've had an orange.

Not a member of Saving Star? Sign up today, and enjoy a healthy offer of the week every Tuesday, Friday freebies, and dozens of other offers all month long.
{Note: I am a Saving Star affiliate. Thanks for your support!} 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

That Time of Year Again -- Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

Soon every store will be trying to tempt us with pumpkin flavored or scented everything, and I'm here to do my part by telling you how to recreate the granddaddy of all pumpkin treats at home - the pumpkin spice latte.  I repost this every year -- I consider it kind of a PSA!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

2 C 2% milk
3 rounded teaspoons espresso powder brewed in 1 C boiling water
1 t vanilla extract
4 t raw sugar
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t pumpkin puree

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, and cook over medium heat until hot. Stir briskly with a whisk to create foam.

And, what's a latte without a muffin or scone?  My favorites to make at home are doughnut muffins and iced pumpkin scones.

Linked to: Works for me Wednesday, Talent Show Tuesday, Anti-Procrastination TuesdayHope In Every Season, Wake Up Wednesday, In & Out of the Kitchen