Sunday, December 11, 2011

Food Storage.

In this economy it is good to be prepared.  Layoffs, illness, disability, pay cuts etc.
At church they have been doing this year long program to get our Food Storage in order.  Extra food, supplies etc from those times of crisis, famine, penny pinching etc.  It is broken down week by week, generally based on historic sale items,etc.
By the end of the year you will have a tidy little food storage built up. Here is the program summary:

Each week tear off the coupon and add it to your regular grocery list (no cupons here, I will just type them out).
Get a Marker for marking the date on items to aid in rotation (regularly use items from your food storage, taking care to replace them when using so they dont go bad)

Buy the largest amnount you can SENSIBLY afford. It is better to buy a little and get started with your food storage program than to go into debt or put off any progress until you can afford to buy the whole years supply at one time.

Replace these items as you raid them. Remember, these coupons(items) are for items IN ADDITION to your regular grocery list.
Watch for sales and other specials.  Grocery stores dont always have the best buys. (bulk stores dont always have the best buys either).
If you miss a week, skip to the next week. Dont get behind.
Share your hot buys and bargains with others who are saving as well.

Now I have found that when produce is on sale in the summer or there are hot deals at the farmers market, it is a good time to pull out the canner. Dont can?? Find someone who does and have them help you. Google it...there are plenty of instructions and blogs on how to do it properly. It is quite easy.
Every week I will list the Food Storage items of the week, and maybe we can build our food storage together.
No matter your faith, economic situation etc, it is a good idea to have it...JUST IN CASE.

Happy Saving!

This is Disgusting

I will admit, I love McDonalds.  I grew up with it.  My dad worked for McDonalds Corp for years. We lived in Illinois when he worked for the headquarters. McDonalds has been very good to our family.
You will NEVER hear me say anything bad against McDonalds. EVER.
Well, until today.

Last night was my Work Christmas party.  On the way home we had to stop and find a bathroom, so we pulled off the exit and into the McDonalds by the Mall.
we saw THIS:
I am appalled, disgusted and really really pissed off about this.
Really McDonalds?  24 hours? I can understand a small bit of time, but open ON CHRISTMAS 24 HOURS??
That is ridiculous. I hope none of those employees show up for their shift that day. I hope the owner who made that stupid decision is forced to work, and maybe they will change their minds about next year.

Shame on you McDonalds.  SHAME.
I am truly disappointed. I thought you were better than that.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...how lovely are thy branches

This weekend we went to Lowes and purchased our Christmas Tree.  It is a lovely 7 footer, full and lush and green.  29.95 plus tax, baby!  It smells so good. I love it.
We put it up  in water and let it sit for a day and a half before decorating it, to let the branches drop.
I went to Target and purchased a few boxes of m ini lights, they were the red/green/white multi string. They are lovely.  I havent had new lights in 15 years. We've been using the same white strands that dont work half the time, unless you give 'em a good shake every now and again.
So it was nice to put new, WORKING, pretty lights on our wonderful tree...did I mention just how good it smells??

So we had a decorating party Monday for Family night.  We pulled out all the boxes (by we, I mean I made Charles go under the house where all the spiders are and pull out the storage bins.) and went to town.
I made my special world famous brownies, we had hot chocolate and listened to Christmas music on Sirius XM. It was a Holly Jolly time.  I put up all my nutcrackers, pulled out the stockings and hung them on the fireplace, arranged my gazillion snowmen and let the spirit and magic of Christmas fill the house.
I just cant seem to capture the Christmas Tree properly. I dont have the right camera or something. They always come out blurry. I tried slowing down the flash, I tried adjustiung the f-stop thingy, I tried no flash, I tried motion blur correction...so any helpful hints would be appreciated.

Here are some of our favorite, traditional ornaments:
 The Pickle.  It is a german tradition. On Christmas Eve, parents hide the pickle ornament. When it comes time to open presents, the child who finds the pickle ornament gets a little extra something for being observant.  Well in our house, whoever finds the pickle gets to open the first gift.  My grandparents always had a pickle on their tree. I always thought it was so funny, but now it is one of the first that gets hung up every year.

this ornament was made in 1981 by me. I remember when we made it. We had to go up to the teachers desk and dip our thumb into an ink pad and stamp out the snowman.  My mom gave me this ornament a few years back when she decided her tree was too fancy to warrant such kitschy, homemade ornaments. She is all matchy matchy now. So I inherited all the old stuff from when I was a kid. I remember all these ornaments were in an old Knitts Berry Farm jelly sampler box. It was always the first box I pulled out to hang. Those were the best ornaments.


A few years back at Costco they had a pack of German Glass blown ornaments for 24.99. Ity was all the classic kids christmas movie characters.  These are just a few of them. It has rudolph and sam the snowman, the bumble, frosty, the grinch, santa clause is coming to town etc. They are awesome. My fave ornaments. The packaging is a pain in the butt, but well worth it. LOVE my TV ornaments.

 What would Christmas in the south be without a little NASCAR?  This is Peters Jeff Gordon hood ornament. Yep, we have a NASCAR hood on our Christmas Tree.


This is Peters Donate Life Heart ornament we picked up in 2009 in Louisiana when we went down for the Coroners convention and spoke to them with the Leger family about organ donation. It has a special place of honor on our tree 

 This is Charles YODA ornament. (dont judge me, I am an enabler). Got it for him a few years back for Christmas. Finn always asks to hang it up, and sometimes Charles is gracious enough to let him do it. I can almost hear Yoda saying "dork, you are"


 And last but not least, the sweetest ornament on the tree. Bought this in 1998 after the birth of our darling baby girl, Jillian. This is always a bittersweet ornament to hang up.  We unwrap it and remember the little baby that blessed our home for only a few short weeks.   But her bootie is always at the top of the tree, next to Peters donate Life heart.

I love Christmas. I am so grateful that I have a savior who loves me and who knows me. I am grateful for all my many many blessings. Health, a home, family and friends. I am grateful for all that God has chosen to give me, and I know that he blesses me with what I need and more.
May this season keep you all safe, happy and healthy. 
Merry CHRISTmas to you, and a wonderful new year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

shameless promotion. VISIT MY ETSY STORE and make your kissers happy!

Its that time of year again.  Time to break out the lip balm fixin's and get to work. So visit my store HERE for your order...or leave a comment on my blog to order.  They are 3 for 7$. 
All Natural, cosmetic grade butters and oils and flavor oils.  No preservatives, other than all natural vitamin E. No petroleum by products like regular sticks for chapped lips. 
These are made with beeswax, so they are NOT suitable for Vegans.
If you are a vegan, or know someone who is, I do make a vegan formula as well with carnauba and candelila wax as a beeswax alternative. Just leave a note, or in the Note to buyer on my etsy site let me know.





Revamped labels, a HUGE Flavor selection.  All balms are MADE TO ORDER! These arent premade and sitting around on a shelf somewhere. These are whipped up as they are ordered. fresh, decadent and total awesomeness.  These arent your moms lip balms. These are gourmet, supah dupah lip balms. They are like cashmere for your mouth. (so on a fashion metaphor: why would you wear cheap acrylic when you could wear luxurious, soft, smooth cashmere??)

So take care of those money makers ladies!

All ingredients are natural and WONDERFUL for the lips and skin.
Beeswax, jojoba, shea, cocoa butter, aloe butter, meadowfoam oil, evening primrose oil, rice bran oil.

satiny Smooth, silky and STAYS PUT ON YOUR LIPS!!! No more winter chap for you! Keep those smackers kissable and pucker-able.

Remember visit my etsy site

www.thebalmshoppe.etsy.com

APPLE- Sweet juicy and tart apple
APPLE PIE- Apple with cinnamon and nutmeg and a dash of vanilla
BANANA- Monkeys and kids love it...
BLACK CHERRY- sweet juicy classic cherry
**CANDY CORN- Perfect for Halloween! Definitely a treat.
CAPPUCCINO- Java with a hint of cinnamon
CARAMEL APPLE- Apple with ooey gooey caramel
CARAMEL CHEWS- Sweet creamy ooey caramel chews
CHAI TEA- Classic blend of herbs, cinnamon, cloves, cassia
CHEESECAKE- Cheesecake minus the dairy(and calories)
CHERRY ALMOND- Classic best seller
CHERRY VANILLA- Classic best seller
COCONUT- Tropical coconut
COCONUT LIME- You put the lime in the coconut and drink it on down...
COFFEE- Natural coffee syrup. This balm is tan in color.
CUCUMBER MELON- fresh melon and crisp green cucumber
DREAMSICLE- sweet orange with a splash of vanilla
GINGERBREAD- Holiday treat
GINGER PEACH- Sweet Georgia peach with a touch of spicy ginger
GRAPE- Purple grape. Kids love it.
GRAPEFRUIT- Sweet Ruby Red grapefruit
GRAPEFRUIT MINT- A really great blend. Gives the grapefruit a little extra kick
GUMMI BEAR- Like the packqage of sweets
HERBAL BLEND- Blend of mint and other herbal oils.
HERBAL TEA- Lavender, Mint and honey. Like a soothing cup of herbal tea.
HONEY- Flavor oil that smells JUST like the real thing.
HONEY ALMOND- Classic Best Seller
HONEYSUCKLE NECTARINE- . Fruity and floral at the same time. Best Seller
**HUCKLEBERRY- fruity and sweet, Huckleberry without the bears.
ISLAND DELIGHT- Tropical fruit punch with kiwi undertone
LAVENDER- Essential Oil that is soothing and floral
LAVENDER LEMON- Lavender and Lemon
LEMON DROP- Sweet and puckery lemon.
LIME- tart and sweet, grab a bottle of tequila and some salt
MANGO- Sweet juicy mango
MANGO STRAWBERRY- a great combination
MARGARITA- Lemon Lime. Like friday night for you lips. No salt!
ORANGE- Sweet navel Orange.
**PASSIONFRUIT- tropical passionfruit in a sweet fuity scent
PEACH- Sweet and ripe georgia peach.
**PEARBERRY- juicy pear with raspberry and blackberry
PEPPERMINT- essential oil. Great lip plumper too.
PINK BUBBLE GUM- Got a nickel for a Bazooka?
PLAIN JANE- No flavor added. Just balm.
PLUM APRICOT- These two fruits go together so well
PUMPKIN PIE- Great holiday flavor
RASPBERRY CREAM PIE- rasperries and vanilla
RASPBERRY LEMONADE- Bestseller
ROOT BEER- Just like the real thing minus carbonation
ROOT BEER FLOAT- Root Beer with a splash of vanilla
**ROSE- Upscale and timeless. Just like Chanel.
SKITTLES- Bestseller. Just like a bag of your fave candies!
SPEARMINT- essential oil. Great plumper, sweeter than peppermint.
STRAWBERRY- fresh strawberries
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE- Decadent
STRAWBERRY LEMONADE- Refreshing, tart yet sweet
STRAWBERRY LIME- This is a great combination
SWEET ALMOND- Classic Almond is a bestseller
SWEET JANE- no flavor, just sugar oil added to give balm a natural sweetness.
TANGERINE- This is similar to orange, but a little less sweet and more potent. More of a Clementine and Less of a navel
TANGIE-VAN- Tangerine with a hint of Vanilla
TEA TREE- Essential oil Medicinal, healing,antiseptic
VANILLA ALMOND- Classic Bestseller
VANILLA MILKSHAKE- just like a classic shake from your blender
WATERMELON- Just like Jolly Rancher watermelon candy