Thursday, December 22, 2016

Our Plans for Christmas!

I said I would share the project that I made for my son for Christmas, and I am keeping true to my word!


Here it is.  I took an old frame that I picked up at a thrift store some time ago.  Took the original photo out and turned it around and used it like poster board.  The frame was originally gold.  I was going to paint it blue with a sample I had, but a friend who loves to craft probably more than anyone I know happened to have spray paint.  She spray painted the frame for me and added glitter cuz well everything should sparkle if you ask me.



I filled the frame with photos that my step dad gave us two years ago to my son for his birthday. They are photos taken during his military service time.  I have a case full of scrap book paper that I bought a couple years ago from a thrift store for like 7.00.  I talked to my step dad and since his service was Navy and Army we decided that red white and blue were the best colors to use.

I fished through other stuff I had and we added little details like sparkly back ground behind some photos, cut stars out and added little arrows etc.  Below you will see the finished project.  If you notice the letters that say Navy Man and Army well when i put the glass back in the frame I cracked it.  That was my creative way of hiding the breakage, i don't think my son will know.

I also filled the kids stockings up with some of their favorite treats, and created bags like that for some other kids.

I could not afford the kids school pictures this year with the changes in my life (yes I know I chose those changes,)  but for two gifts maybe three by the time I am done I cut out the tiny proofs I was given to give to a friend, and the kids made a home made photo out of them for their Dad for Christmas!



I will also make peanut butter blossom cookies, and peanut butter balls covered in chocolate as gifts.



For some added decoration to the house, I hung up art things my kids made at school.




For Christmas dinner, we decided to make what I call mock Chinese food.  I make white rice, we add soy sauce, diced ham, and sweet peas.

I also purchased green sherbet and lemon lime soda for Grinch punch.



So may I encourage you, if you need to save money or don't have money to spend this Christmas, look around and see what you may have around the house that you can already use.  Talk with family and friends perhaps they have something laying around that you could make something out of.  You can cut cute photos our of magazines or take family photos and pass them down in a creative way. I mean i borrowed our Christmas tree this year.  We were going to maybe draw one on a mirror or try building one our of books, but someone lent me one.  Don't despair.  Dinner doesn't have to be traditional, do what you can afford. It is the time and memories made that will really be what last forever!  Cuddle up make some popcorn and watch some Christmas movies.



 Here are ideas from Christmas' past.....lol


http://mjscomingundone.blogspot.com/2014/12/sharing-simple-gift-ideas-as-we-get.html

Hope this helps someone and offers some inspiration!











 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sharing Ways We Save

along with all the abundant blessings!!!! It's a daily struggle adjusting to a new life even with a new roommate...financially life is interesting.

My daughter had surgery on her mouth and a friend came over with a small bag of feel better treasures...a little mirror, some jewelry and clothes.


I picked up an extra hour at work today.  Wohoo....lol. I really am happy to have a job!

I went to the company Christmas party, and ended up with a 10.00 gift card to the Olive Garden, and a tin of Christmas popcorn.  It was fun.



We were supposed to bring a $10.00 gift.  I really didn't have the cash to spend but a friend shoved 10 bucks in my bra...lol when she was leaving...(I was just going to gift a set of my jewelry.)  I took the 10.00 to Michael's craft store.  I bought a cup.  Saw the price was 13.00 but knew it would be under 10.00 with a 40 percent off coupon.  When i got to the register that sucker was $3.50.  Score!!!!!  (No one has to know I only spent 3.50 the cup had a value of 12.99!) Used the rest of the money to purchase the creatology cups that you can paint and bake because my son wanted to make one for his dad, I made one for my roommate, and then my daughter made one for my son for Christmas.  So that $10.00 went far. 


My friend dropped off another bag of clothes for my daughter and several pairs of shoes, there was also a purse and a book bag in there!





For teacher gifts we did cookies, with peanut butter candy home made, and one teacher got a pair of my Christmas cutie earrings! nothing spent there .


I earned two 5.00 virtual visa cards for some research things that I apparently participate in and used it to pay the internet bill.  

Google play gave me a free $3.00 credit so I downloaded two songs!

Cut off my cell phone so I save 25.00 a month.

I donated blood today and received a $10.00 gift card to Publix, and I used it for toilet paper, dish soap, and laundry detergent.



Still using no heat or air.  Been pretty hot lately.  Trying go get the electric bill way down!

In all honesty, I am so scared, only working part time, I am afraid that I won't make enough to pay my part of the rent, but I work for a great company that will work with me on the hours I need since my kids are in school and child care is super expensive.  One day at a time is how I am taking things.

Tomorrow or Wednesday I hope to show you guys the home made gift I made for my son for Christmas!

I have a wonderful long distance friend in New York that was super sweet and has sent each of the kids a big item they wanted for Christmas! It was so awesomely sweet of her. I have to be honest, my son as we decorated the tree, that a friend let us borrow, said he is now aware that Christmas is not all about gifts, and he attempted to share the meaning of Christmas with his sister.!  Hope you all are doing well and staying debt free for Christmas!
 
What did you do to save?


Monday, December 12, 2016

Sharing Ways We Save

and what we have been up to.  So I was not feeling so festive, but that is me every year.  Slowly starting to get there.

In order to have internet I qualified for the ATT 9.95 program. It is for all low income families.  There are no equipment or connection fees. I pay 9.95 plus tax.

I have absolutely been avoiding using the heat or ac because the weather flip flops.

We had a selfie for a shake promotion at work. I have had like three free peppermint chocolate milk shakes lol.




To decorate for Christmas, a friend let us borrow a tree.  We decorated it using the ornaments we had.  At the bottom of the tree is a train set that my "dad" gave my son when we went up to say goodbye to Belinda when she entered hospice care over the summer. I think he did a great job setting up he added some hot wheels and little houses we had around the house for decoration.






We painted and decorated wine bottles and put some Christmas bulbs in a bin to make a table centerpiece.  And of course we are using the wonderful table runner that a beautiful reader sent me a couple years ago.




My son spotted a fire place set by the side of the road and I was thrilled cuz we do have a fire place, and we have had a couple of fires.



We were also given some snow flake ornaments and we hung those from the ceiling along with some of my old records for something different. I am planning a night of baking and dancing in our winter wonderland.  Cookies and candy are going to be our teacher gifts this year.




After much consideration.....I have decided to select a roommate.  You will see him sort of in the fire place photo.  Yes I said he....yes that is a source of tension for people who have opinions, it is simply a matter of two people living together paying bills to keep a roof over our heads.

I am home making my son a Christmas gift which I hope to give you a peak at later this week.  I am almost done, but my daughter has surgery on her teeth tomorrow, and emotions have been high with all the changes in life and sometimes it is hard to get things done.

That about wraps it up for now.  I colored my own hair, and the school blessed us with a few gifts for the kids since a part time pay check only goes so far.  I feel like God is giving me favor despite some of the choices I have made and now have to live with.  How are all of you.  Have you decorated?


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Out of the Ashes

Sometimes comes beauty.  I know I have been soo silent, for soo long. Soo many things have changed.  I asked my husband for a divorce, I have been struggling to find my way ever since.

I am waiting to see what beauty comes from the ashes of the bridges I chose to burn. There has been heart ache, and pain.  I now work part time. I really like the job I found.  I would like to launch an official blogging business and very much wish I could work from home.

I have been rebuilding my jewelry business and I have made some treasures.  I have priced earrings at 3.00 bracelets at 5.00 and chokers at 10.00. Shipping is 3.00 usually.  I made a couple sales, with one order going all the way to New York.  This is my facebook page, I accept paypal and people have just sent payment by mail....lol




I have pretty much nothing to spend on Christmas per usual.  I did find my son a tshirt that looks brand new with Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty on it for a dollar at a yard sale.  We do not have a tree we have decorated instead the fire place mantle using items we had already.

We will probably do some baking and home made candies this year.

I have a couple home made projects to complete for the kids, I hope to share those with you guys...if there is anyone still reading....lol.

So I am alive.  Life has been an adventure.  A stressful adventure lately, such a roller coaster ride.  Not being a stay at home mom, trying to find work, and a baby sitter when needed.  I am thankful to those that have supported me and checked in on me.

Stay tuned, as I trudge along!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What I Find Myself Doing Tonight

Or should I say this early morning it is officially Thursday I guess since it is 12:05 am EST.

I got a message today (when I say message I mean literally through Facebook Messenger app) that my grandmother (my children's great grandmother) passed away a day or so ago from my estranged step sister.  Some of you know the story I don't speak to my biological father but I did have a relationship  as did my children with his mother and his brother.

I know she is free from her earthly burdens and she did believe in Jesus.  She accepted Him as her Saviour many many years ago.  A friend said she was a sweet soul that had been through alot in her lifetime.

My biological father does not acknowledge  me as part of the family and I am ok with that.  I am unable to travel right now anyway for the funeral.  I realized today it makes no difference if they recognize me as part of the family or not.  They will never be able to take away the memories she and I made together.

I find myself unable to sleep tonight.  I have prayed, tried watching movies to no avail.

I decided to put my no sleep time to use and tackled this....

My ever so lovely laundry room.  Our washer and dryer were outside under a carport at our old place. One of the nice things about this place is that the laundry can be done inside.  The appliances needed a good scrubbing.  That is just what they got.  I washed the baseboards, cabinets, and floor.  I may have mentioned it is a very small room but I got something done without waking the house up and it was nice to work without interruption.

Finished it is like this


And I know it may not look different in the photos and my husband will probably never notice.  We are supposed to do our work as unto the Lord anyway right?  Not for man's praises.

There is a chalkboard that hangs over the washer and dryer.  We do pass through this room each day to go out.  Any suggestions on some inspirational quotes I could put on it.  Some days depression is rough and holds on tight, but I won't quit.  Leave your quotes or suggestions in the comments....love to you all!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ways We Save

Phil 4:6- 7  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


On the 4th of July, my bestie invited us over to her place in the evening (we otherwise stayed home all day) and she grilled hot dogs and we had mac n cheese and watermelon with chips at her place.  Her daughter and son in law brought over fire works and set them off in her drive way. We had alot of fun.  The daughter bought too many hot dogs so we were blessed with an extra pack and some buns.  



I have been trying to track our electric meter and watch the total, and if it looks like we will exceed my budet of $170.00 I look for ways to cut expenses.

I hate line dried crunchy clothes but I was given a tip dry them for only like 5 minutes then they will be softer so I am trying that this week. For the past two months my bill has been right at 170. I unplug things when not in use, and keep the thermostat mostly at 80.

I mentioned a few weeks ago we went to Wisconsin, I collected all the free samples coffee and tea included so I have added the coffee from the hotel to my coffee can....(i have a smorgasbord going on in that can).  I also brought home all the soaps that are free, and Ms. Brown gave us an abundance of little gray shorts for the kids that have been perfect for summer in Florida, as well as swimming, and sleeping in.

We looked on pinterest for DIY mixes for an easy bake oven and were blown away by all the options.  My daughter used her money to buy regular sized bisquick, cake mix, sugars, chocolate chips, and we will be able to bake in that thing quite a bit....it even gave me ideas for her birthday and Christmas....(the easy bake oven was the toy my daughter chose at the church's thrift store while we were at the bread basket.  While not a need and I feel every dollar needs to count...it was just a dollar and she had her own money anyway.)  It has her interested in cooking...and it is teaching her to wait....it takes about 15 mins to bake just one pizza.





Started saving my husband's soda cans again...it will take time to get anything from them...but I use the pop tabs for crafts too.

I have mentioned that I use Swagbucks. I have been working it faithfully, so far blessed to meet daily goals etc.  Well I had signed up or done a survey for Publix and Motts, and won free movie tickets to see the Secret Life of Pets !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We are super excited.  We could use a little break.

We were blessed to recieve some potatoes, a can of tomatoes, two packages of hot dog rolls and spaghetti noodles from a friend going on vacation and would not be able to use the items.

I made an angel food cake from scratch, and sugared down some end of life strawberries from the bread basket.  It actually wasn't bad.

I made body wash using a generic bar of the Dove brand that Dollar general sells......my husband was using my shampoo as body wash as he hates bar soap. I found bar soap in the cabinet. I got more body wash from the generic brand then I do the name brand.


I used empty bottles and jars around the house to bottle it.

We visited the bread basket again...and it was definitely a blessing.  Two answered prayers I desperately needed fresh collard greens and we were soon going to run out of milk.  We got a half gallon of milk!!!!  Allowing me to stretch dollars!  Praise the Lord!.

I continue to use baking soda and a couple drops of Dawn as dishwasher detergent.

We returned a small car part for about $4.00 that we couldn't use.  And scratched up loose change.  We ended up with about $7.00.

How was your week? I got to admit, emotionally things are stressful. Belinda's funeral was Saturday, we were unable to attend, but our hearts were with everyone.  The finality of her being gone is setting in to know the next time my "dad" comes she won't be with him. Definitely struggling with a little depression. Love you all though.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What we are eating

Matthew 6: 27  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
 
Monday July 4th

Bkfst:  We ate the rest of the scrapple :(  just in slices and plain.  We fried it in a pan. I like mine crispy. You can eat it anyway you want. Alot of people eat scrapple egg and cheese sandwiches.  You can also have it on the side of your plate with eggs over easy and toast.  If you freeze it the texture is crumbly, so we have mixed the crumbles in with scrambled eggs and put it in a wrap before.  Rapa is the best brand in our opinion. We can't really get scrapple where we live.  If you order it in a restaurant, they deep fry it, but it ends up being pretty much too hard to eat.  When we would go out to a place that has it, we would ask for it to be cooked soft on the grill.





Lunch: Easy bake oven Pizza (made from DIY mixes)

Dinner:  Hot dogs, (buns from bb) mac n cheese, and the last of a cucumber smothered in Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese.


and later more hot dogs, mac n cheese, chips, and water melon....

Tuesday July 5th
Bkfst: Bagels and cereal.

Lunch: Left Over Mac n Cheese (at least what didn't get spilled in the floor, it sure made the dog happy)

Dinner: Chicken soup with rice and green beans thrown in....(homemade)


Wednesday July 6th
Bkfst:French toast casserole, made using ingredients on hand, including a loaf of french bread from the bb, and some eggs in the fridge that don't taste so good on their own for some reason but seem to do great in baking.


Lunch : Summer Break Spot lunch at the local park for the kids. I usually glean whatever is left over.


Dinner:  Hot Dogs, Cream Corn and i know its weird but popcorn too....


 Thursday July 7th

Bkfst: Pizza bagel for me made from stuff on hand....kids summer breakspot


Lunch: Summer break spot at local school (getting to hot to eat in the heat at the park.) Me: fried bologna and cheese sandwich


Dinner:  Chicken fajitas-made using a recipe from a friend that involves salsa and taco seasoning, I had to improvise because I didn't have any salsa but I did get canned tomatoes and have onions from an old old grocery store trip in the bin in the fridge.  I used this recipe to create a version of salsa, shredded the chicken and cooked it in it, and made home made tortillas.  I liked the salsa recipe because it readily showed things that could be subsituted for ingredients you may not have on hand.

Friday July 8th
Bkfst : Cereal

Lunch : cinnamon bagels with pb for the kids....bologna and cheese for me and the hubby on choice of bread or bagel from bb

Dinner: Soup: contained elbow macaroni noodles, chicken bouillon, garlic, salt, some bits of celery and carrots gleaned from kids lunches at the park, and a can of peas.  It tasted pretty good.  I also sliced up a loaf of cheese bread from bb and toasted it with butter.

Saturday July 9th

Bkfst: Left over french toast casserole, cereal

Lunch: left over soup from Friday night and onion rings. I found some onions in the bottom drawer 

Dinner:  Spaghetti noodles with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and some shredded chicken.


Snacks/Desserts: Remains of chocolate cake, apple pie, angel food cake with strawberries, bagels.

Sunday July 10th

Bkfst: Fried potatoes with ranch or ketchup if wanted

Lunch: Popcorn and ginerale

Dinner: McDonald's, it was an unexpected treat for my son's birthday which is Friday the 15th.


With the $7.00 we scraped up from loose change and a return we picked up more pepsi (because my husband felt like he had to have it. A really cheap 3 lb bag of cat food and two loaves of bread.  My grocery total is now running 157.30.  I am trying so hard to spend as little as possible.  Gotta make it through until the 28th.  How did you do this week?