Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Treasures

It's time again for Tuesday Treasures. First off let me apologize for not having this post up early this morning for everyone to link back to with Mr. Linky. Please do accept my apologies for this. I had planned to do my post last night in order for everyone of you early risers and posters to be linking but my allergies kicked ass and I had to go to bed early.

Here are a few of my Tuesday Treasures for today. Please forgive the quality of the pictures as it is storming outside and my house is very dark right now. In fact I had to use the "nighttime" feature on the camera.

This first picture is of an old cabinet we keep in the living room to showcase some of our most treasured Nascar collectibles. At the top you will see a wooden picture of Dale Earnhardt Jr. which was given to me by Princess when she was about 12. She found it at the Folk Festival in Mountain View, Ar in April that year. It also has several die cast cars which are signed by the drivers as well as many other collectibles. And yes, that's beer bottles you see there as well. LOL.

This picture of one of my most treasured pieces is a Nascar Cooler which has been autographed by Jack Rousch, Matt Kennseth, and Casey Mears. I obtained the first two autos at Batesville, Ar at Mark Martin's Ford Dealership one year. And the Mears auto came from Talladega, AL at the races a few fall's ago.

This is the top of one of our die cast cars. It has been autographed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. I think I prize this one the most.

To take part in Tuesday Treasures just fill in the required information below into Mr. Linky. Remember to use the link that goes straight to your Tuesday Treasures post so that everyone can enjoy your treasures as well. Thanks for playing along with me.

Until tomorrow my treasured friends,

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY: March 30, 2009

Outside my window...It is still very dark since it's 4:33 am. I will actually be awake to see the sun rise today. So unlike me. I have been basically sleeping the last few days away. I hate allergies, I hate Benadryl.

I am thinking...about Trucker and how he has to get up this early every morning and how strong he is to do this.

I am thankful for...the fact that he does awake this early to take care of his family. How lucky I am to have found him and how I continue to be lucky having him in my life.

From the kitchen...I am hearing the coffee maker starting it's early morning hiccuping to life. I smell the coffee and am waiting patiently.

I am wearing...a dark gray pair of jogging pants, my night shirt in pale green, and a flannel long sleeved man's shirt over the two of them. It's chilly in the house this morning and I can't be held responsible for how I look.

I am creating...a home for my family's sanctuary. A place we all want to be together. Full of laughter, learning and good times.

I am going...to the store later to pick up a few things we need.

I am reading...nothing at the moment but fixing to start "The Necklace" by Cheryl Jarvis. I hear it's very good.

I am hoping...that the rains stop so I can get my laundry done and hung out, my rosebushes planted and to be able to transfer my seedlings into containers.

I am hearing...absolutely nothing but silence this early. Nothing but the sound of me pecking away at the keyboard.

Around the house...I have a bathroom left to clean and scrub, dishes to do and laundry as well.

One of my favorite things...is hearing the birds awaken each morning, hearing the sounds of the kids feet as they descend the staircase to get off to school and the laughter that goes along with it.

A few plans for the rest of the week...gardening, working on about 50 more articles, cleaning and just enjoying each day to it's fullest.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Princess went to the zoo last week and took several pictures. This was one of my favorites.

If you enjoy reading my Simple Woman's Daybook then head over to the site that started it all. There you will find many others taking part and if you decide to, you can as well.

P.S. Don't forget tomorrow is Tuesday Treasures. Get your pictures took now and join in tomorrows posting on your websites.

Have a peaceful Monday my friends,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Giveaways Going On At Fellow Bloggers

In the last few weeks I have been entering blogger contests for free giveaways. Now normally I never win anything but for some reason lately I have. Maybe I am just lucky but whatever the reason it's been fun and I am continuing to enter. Here's a few pics of some of the items I have won. This is just in the last two weeks. I never enter anything contest I don't want an item from. If it's not something I can use then I don't enter into it. Most of the ones I find are for young mothers. Occassionally I will enter one of these to hopefully maybe win something useful for my grand children.

I thought I might pass along some of the recent contests going on in case any readers would like to enter along with me.

This first one is for a chance to win a Minty Fresh Spa Foot Soak and Minty Fresh Organic Foot Balm from Sulori. To enter this giveaway go to The Dirty Shirt. The Dirty Shirt is always having giveaways and great ones at that.

The second giveaway blog site is called Red Sox Mommy. She is giving away a Eenamaria "I mean business travel tote" and it's so mod looking. It's retail value is $69.00 and it's wonderful for a weekend getaway or business traveling. Go to Red Sox Mommy for your chance to win.

The third giveaway blog is called We Chirp and is giving away a Sensaria Makeup and Eye Remover product. Jump over there today for your chance to win. Only a few entries so far.

Fourth but not last is Simple Designs and Etsy Finds blog by Jennifer Stuart. She is giving away 7 quarters of the most beautiful fabric. All you have to do is make one comment on this one for your chance to win. So hurry over and comment ladies.

Fifth we have cookies! Now who doesn't like cookies? Fabulous Fun Finds is having a giveaway for Shortycake cookies from their etsy store. These cookies look wonderful and would make a great addition to an easter basket. Jump over and enter today. You'll also find her button on my sidebar.

Sixth in the giveaways is Simply Stacie. You will also find her button on my sidebar. she has such wonderful giveaways for everyone. This time she is having a giveaway for Honey Dipp products. No you don't eat them but you use them on your body. Excellent body washes, scrubs and body butters. You don't want to miss out on this one. Go see Simply Stacie and enter today. She has many many giveaways so while there check them all out and enter.

Each of the giveaways listed above I entered tonight.

Happy winning everyone,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frugal Friday & A Great Giveaway

Good morning all my Frugal Friday friends. It's that time of week again. Time to share some more frugal tips with you. I am enjoying this so much and learning more and more myself each day. Today I am posting more frugal recipes that I cook myself. These recipes are nutritious as well as being frugal. I love trying new recipes myself and thought everyone else would love to do the same. What makes these frugal are that they are made from many ingredients you will probably find in your pantry or on a regular shopping list. I hate recipes that I have to search for the ingredients and always calls for something I may buy once and never use again. So I am targeting things you already have in your pantry or freezer.

We'll start with your main dish
. For us this is usually always a meat. I know meat is expensive but around here we can't do without it. To save yourself money here, most grocery stores have a reduced meat section. At least I know all the ones in our area do and hopefully yours does as well. Our little home town store places the reduced meat out daily. I try to go by every morning or every couple of days and stock up. Last week I went three times and purchased three large family packages of tenderized round steak, four sirloin steaks, a family pack of boneless butterfly pork chops and a beef roast. I paid for all of this around $25.00 for all of it. That's not to bad in my book.

This recipe comes from the top of my head, nothing is wrote do
wn for me to go by so you may have to make some adjustments for yourself. Remember I cook for a family of five, when I cook.

Steak and Mushroom Gravy

1 or 2 large round steaks

black pepper
beef bouillon cubes
2 cups water
oil (to cover bottom of skillet)

2 small cans of mushrooms, drained

I usually purchase my round steak already tenderized, if you don't buy yours this way then I do suggest tenderizing it yourself.

Wash and pat your steak dry with paper towels. Cut into smaller serving pieces. Usually for two steaks I cut about 6-8 pieces of meat. Next combine in a med. size bowl your flour, salt and black pepper to taste. Get out your iron skillet (I always use an iron skillet but you can use whatever you like) and pour enough oil in the bottom to coat and fry your meat. Maybe about 1/2 inch on the bottom of your skillet. I just judge this myself. While your grease is getting hot dredge your steak pieces in the flour and seasonings. Sometimes I may also add a little seasonall as well. when your pan and grease are ready lay your meat in and brown on one side. Turn when browned to brown the opposite side. After browning both sides turn your burner down to finish cooking your meat through and through. While your meat is finishing cooking take out two beef bouillon cubes and unwrap and set aside. Also get 2 cups of water. Take your meat out of pan once cooked and set aside. Now time to make your gravy. After you have removed the meat from the skillet you naturally will be left with the oil (at least some). Add enough of the leftover flour to make a paste. Continue moving this around in the skillet till it becomes the color of dark coffee. Add in the two bouillon cubes and slowly add your two cups of water. Continue stirring on high heat till it thickens, add your two cans of mushrooms. Now turn the burner down to a simmer. After the bouillon cubes have dissolved then place your meat back into the gravy and continue simmering for about 15-20. If the gravy becomes to thick add a little more water. When it has simmered as long as you like it is now finished.

This is really a great way to cook round steak so that it becomes more tender and served with the mushroom gravy it is very hearty.

Once Baked Potatoes

I take the easy way out and microwave them the first go round. Wash and dry about 5 potatoes (depending on how many you are cooking for) and place on a microwavable plate. Take fork and punch about three places on each side of each potato. Place in the microwave about 20-30 minutes. Turn halfway through cooking. They are done when you can stick your fork all the way through.

While your potatoes are in the microwave cook a small amount of broccoli. Shred some cheese or use sliced cheese. Whichever you prefer.

Once your potatoes are done remove from microwave and let cool a little. When your broccoli is finished cooking drain off all water and set aside. Now take a towel and hold on to each potato and slick lengthwise down the middle. While holding your towel take each half potato and scoop out the inside of the potato leaving a small amount around the edges of your potato. put all the scooped out insides into a bowl and make mashed potatoes with it. I'm not explaining that if I don't need to. I figure everyone knows how to make mashed taters. If you don't back away from the kitchen now................

After you have mashed the taters then add your cooked broccoli, some bacon bits and salt and pepper. Mix well and use your spoon and place the mashed into th
e half potato shells and lay side by side on a baking sheet. Place sliced or shredded cheese onto the top of each one and place all back into an oven set for 350 degrees about 20 minutes or till cheese melts and gets a little brown around the edges.

Now add some fresh vegetables or a dinner salad and you have a great meal for your family. I also suggest cooking a few cans of biscuits to go along with the meal. yes, I said canned biscuits, you know the whop on the counter
kind. The leftover biscuits can be used for dessert as well. Recipe to follow for this.

Chocolate Gravy & Biscuits

The gravy can also be cooked in the microwave while the other dinner fixins are cooking as well. Now if you are from the south chocolate gravy is breakfast, snacks and desserts. It is practically considered a staple food. If you've never heard of it, well huney chile you have been missin out.

You will need:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 Tbls. cocoa

Stir this together in a large bowl. Add 3 egg yolks beaten, 3 cups milk. Stirring your milk in gradually so as not to clump. Be sure to beat the egg yolks as well. Add your flour mixture to the liquid mixture and stir well removing any lumps with a whisk.

Place the bowl in the microwave and cook about 15 minutes. If it's not thick enough by then cook an additional 5 minutes more. Take out and stir, if still not thick enough continue cooking five minutes at a time till thick as a gravy. Once thick and removed from microwave add 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. That's it your done now. Serve hot over the leftover biscuits for a one of a kind treat. Your kids will love you.

Now I never said they would be good your heart or waistline, only frugal and taste good. Enjoy this meal and let me know how you like it if you decide to cook
any of them.


Ozark Scents Giveaway Winner Announced:

Congratulations to Victoria and Sachidewy for winning a wonderful smelling candle of your choice from Ozark Scents. contact me with your mailing information and they will get your win off to you in the mail.


Another Big Giveaway this week. Sponsored by: The Ole Bag Lady

This is one of the neatest Etsy stores I think I have run across. Tami specializes in making reusable, fabric gift totes and tags in all sizes. She has wonderful designs to choose from and many Easter designs as well. They are easy to use and no need for paper, tape or scissors, just drop your gift into the tote bags and fill in the gift tag provided and your ready for your next baby shower, bridal shower or any gift giving of your choice. The tote alone would also make a wonderful gift. Since they are reusable they are excellent for the environment. Once they have not only received your lovely gift but they then also have a tote bag to use themselves or to pass onto a friend with another gift inside. Bags store easy and take up very little room folded in drawer or box where ever you may store them. All bags are made in a Smoke and pet free environment.

As you can see they have many designs to choose from. This is only a sample of their designs. The Easter designs could also be used as a unique Easter basket as well. Your child or grandchildren would love this pretty colorful Easter basket filled with all the Easter goodies you fill a normal basket with. Then once Easter is over you still have the tote to keep using. Would also make an excellent over night bag for a night to grandma's house.

The Ole Bag Lady (Tami) has generously offered to let one winner choose a bag of their choice for themselves. It doesn't matter what size you choose or design. Tami has so generously decided to let the winner make the choice themselves.

The rules to enter are simple. Not as complicated as last week. For each thing you do it's counted as one entry. You must comment for each one separately as well.

Go over The Ole Bag Lady Etsy store and choose your favorite design and size and come back here and in a comment tell me your favorite. You have to do this for any of your entries to count. See I even give you the link so that's not so hard.

For more entries and chances to win you can do of the following or one, it's up to you.

1. Subscribe to Tami's rss feed located at the bottom right of her store page. Leave a comment letting me know you have done this.
2. Add Tami as one of your favorite Etsy stores. Also located on the lower right side of her store page.
3. Follow my blog. If you already follow then just leave a comment.
4. Follow me on Twitter here.
5. Twitter about this giveaway and let me know you have done so with a link and ID.
6. post my Frugal Friday button on your blogs sidebar with a link back to my blog. You will only find my button on the Frugal Friday posts.

For 5 extra entries post the button and do a blog post on your blog about the giveaway as well as Frugal Friday. Be sure and leave a comment that you have done this with a link to your blog. This blog post must be made to a legitimate blog and not a phony one. This has happened and I do check and if it happens it will be removed from the comments. I hate to do that but it's not fair to those that do follow the rules. Not to mention unfair to me and my blog.

Contest giveaway ends on Thursday night at 12 midnight (CST) the 2nd of April.

Till next week my Frugal Friends,

This & That Thursday

I also stole this idea from Mental Pause Mama because I think it's a great idea. Let's all play along and do this on Thursdays in Blogland. Here's some of my random thoughts for today. The mind of a menopausal woman is astounding isn't it?

This and That:

I am happy to know that today instead of turning 48 (as I had it in my head) I only turned 47. So now I actually feel a year younger. Whoda thunk it?

Birthdays only suck when you turn each ten year milestone. You know, 30, 40 and on.

Does Mother Nature have it out for me? Each day I decide to hang clothes on the line this week it rains on them. Heavily! By the time they make it into the house they have been washed numerous times now.

It's Spring Break and today I am forced to be listening to rap music from the other room. I hate rap. But love my Princess.

I wish I could wiggle my nose and snap my fingers and this house clean itself. I've practiced trying to wiggle my nose and maybe someday when I get it right the house will clean itself.

I'm strange, I like mail. Each day I anxiously await the new batch. Always hoping for my freebies and gifts. God I'm strange.

Why do doctors make you come into their offices now and charge you a visit just to refill something? I hate this, hate it, hate it. Princess needs a new epi kit, hers has expired. So instead of a refill being called in we have to physically take her and pay an office visit. Makes me sick. Just another way to be screwed. Course I'll have to bend over for this one.

Anyone want a kitten? We now have 5 new ones that are so damned adorable. Prettiest ones I've seen. Why did she have to give birth under my bed though at the top directly under my pillow? now I hear "meowing" nightly. I'm so blessed.

I talked to my grand babies yesterday and they insist on calling me "Nana from Marked Tree." Not just Nana but the entire phrasing. It's actually cute.

I wish there was some sort of spray for animals that would reduce shedding. Sorta like a hairspray of sorts that would glue it to their skin till bath day.

Oops gotta go mail has run! Might be something good today.

Reminder: Today is the last day to submit your entries for the Ozark Scents giveaway. Midnight is the deadline. If you haven't chose your favorite go ahead and pick one to enter. Winner announced in the morning on Frugal Friday.

Till tomorrow,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Have a Laugh Wednesday

Once upon a time I posted hump day pictures of sexy half nude men. Well that's just not working anymore to get me over hump day. My hump is damn near gone these days. Call it getting older or menopause but whatever the sight of a half naked or completely naked man does nothing to inspire me anymore. Does anyone else feel this way? Please share so I don't feel so strange about it. What does help me get through hump day and ready for the rest of the week is a good laugh. Now that's something I'll never get to old for. So here's a few pictures that made me laugh. And laugh, and laugh more. I hope they do the same for you.

Happy Hump Day,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Treasures

Welcome to the First Edition of "Tuesday Treasures." I thought this might be a fun way to do posts for Tuesdays and something everyone could take part in if they would like to.

Everyone has certain things they treasure and I am no exception. Whether it be treasured pictures and photos, a gift from a friend, china, stuffed animals or whatever it is you find you treasure the most. How about we all get together and show our wonderful treasures on Tuesdays together.

I'll go first, obviously since it was my idea. Boy am I brilliant today. As you can see I am still drinking my coffee and it's 11:03 am here. Slow today, sorry.

Here are a few of my treasured items. The first one is the bouquet I carried at our wedding. It's nothing terribly fancy and is made of silk, but it will always hold a treasured place in my heart. I keep it in the china cabinet (may be an odd place) to as to sort of preserve it and keep it close.

This is the Unity Candle that Trucker and I had in our wedding. I decorated it to match the rest of our theme.

This is our beloved china. I have no idea what it is called. All I know is it belonged to Trucker's grandmother and mother and upon their passing it then became Truckers. Some day we will pass this along to Rug Rat 1 and 2. I have several serving pieces and a huge set.

What are some of your treasured items? It doesn't even have to be an object it could be a sunrise or sunset picture, pics of your gardens in bloom, or anything you desire. Share your treasured items and pictures and tell us a short story of why they are treasured.

This is the first time I have used Mr. Linky, I hope it works correctly. If you would like to take part in the Treasured Tuesday meme then please do. Just blog your treasured items on Tuesday's posts and come back here and fill in Mr. Linky.

I look forward to seeing your wonderful posts and pictures.

Till tomorrow friends,

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY...........March 23, 2009

Outside my window...I see the beauty of the day ahead. The green grass now covering my yard, flowers in bloom, my hummingbird pole waiting for me to place the feeder onto it, and of course the birds chirping and the squirrels playing. I love spring time.

I am thinking...about planting my 6 new rose bushes today, if I can find the time. Maybe I need to make the time to do something that makes me happy.

I am thankful for...My family, my health, and my wonderful blogger friends who come by daily to read my thoughts and ideas.

From the learning rooms...I realize this title is for the homeschoolers out there, but in my life I learn something new every day and want to share. I am learning about Crohn's Disease. Trucker has had this for many years now. Up until a few weeks ago he hasn't had a flare up in almost three years. I never ask anyone to pray for us or a member of my family, but if you prayer, please include him in your prayers. We believe he has a stricture which may require surgery. He is making a doctor's appt. today.

From the kitchen...There will be NO cooking today, not even toast. We are having left overs tonight and I am on a deadline.

I am wearing...A silver lame gown and the most beautiful silver and crystal heels you've ever seen. Who am I kidding here, we all know I'm in my pj's still.

I am creating...a simpler life for myself and my family. One that involves staying home more, using less, growing a garden and not worrying about the neighbors. Learning to love what we already have.

I am going...as far as the outside perimeter of my yard to the mailbox today. That's it, no further.

I am reading...the third and final book in the Nora Roberts Trilogy called "the Pagan Stone". Damn good trilogy I have to say. Not quite as good as the Twilight series but awfully close. I recommend if you enjoyed those books (and we all know you did) then be sure and get this set as well.

I am hoping...for the day to be full of Sunshine and no rain. For the gray clouds to move over and let the gorgeous sun I do know exist to shine through.

I am hearing...Rug Rat 2 on the computer in the living room, that child talks to himself all the time.

Around the house...I just say "to hell with it" and ignore it once again.

One of my favorite things...Is taking a moment out of my day to enjoy the beauty of God's work.

A few plans for the rest of the week: hopefully to catch up on all of my deadlines, clean this heck hole up, and spend some time gardening.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

To take part in the Simple Woman's Daybook just click on the name. There you will find many others and what they are doing and thinking today.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Sightings

Now that Spring has finally arrived I am starting to see new things in our yard. Beautiful colors, buds popping out, flowers blooming and the squirrels and birds playing and feeding. I just love watching the birds and the squirrels from my view at my desk each day. Now I just have to clean the window so I can take some pictures while sitting here. Will I get work done this way? Probably not, but sometimes you have to stop and enjoy those things around you that make you smile. That is one of the freebies in life that that God has provided and make it worth living!

So this morning after my coffee was perked and I fixed my first cup I went outside with my camera in hand. Coffee in the other one. I walked very slowly around my yard and just enjoyed the sights out there. Spring is here. Here are a few of the delights I enjoyed this morning.

Kacey over at Wine on the Keyboard is having her monthly photo contest and this months title is "Green." Won't you help me choose which of these photos to enter into the contest? If you would like to take part in it jump on over and by all means do so. But I must warn you, there are always some outstanding photos each month. Except this month I am determined to win. So help me choose and sit back and enjoy the view.

These photos are straight out of the camera. I haven't done a think to them. Click on photos to enlarge.

# 1 choice

#2 choice

#3 choice

#4 choice

#5 choice
#6 choice

Which one do you think I should enter into the contest. Help a lady out here please?