IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

TL IRON SHARPENS IRON

I appreciate my online friends so much!  I let them know that I was having some technical difficulties in the kitchen due to my inability to stand for more than a few minutes lately.  It’s weird…  some days I’m just fine and others, well…  not so much.

Do you look forward to autumn?  I do (except for the pain, of course), but I especially like that our meals begin to get a little more substantial and hearty.  I’ve been looking for meals that are healthy but simple to fix.

My friends came through with a quick and easy meal.  I’d like to share the recipe with you.

FRIED CABBAGE WITH SAUSAGE (Makes 8 servings)

1 stick butter or margarine
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced into round pieces
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes  (if you use Rotel it will be a little spicy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Melt butter in large skillet. Add cabbage, onion, and cook on medium high for about 5 minutes stirring to keep from sticking to pan. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.

My favorite question when I get a recipe that feeds an Army is…  do the leftovers freeze?  Thankfully the answer was YES, they do!  So, I imagine we could eat two or maybe even three meals, which is great!  That means I don’t have to do anything except defrost and serve!  Excellent!

Is it wrong to want to laugh when you are in pain?  I don’t think so.

Click image to enlarge

I love Christian friendships, don’t you?  Even when we’re having troubles, we just try to sharpen each other’s iron as much as possible with Christ in the center.  God sure knew what He was doing when He established friendship.  He must to this day be smiling down and saying, “It is GOOD!”  🙂

 

NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY

TL 8-17 NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY

Today is NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY!!!  A thrift shop (also known as a thrift store, charity shop, hospice shop or resale shop) is a retail establishment run by a charitable organization to raise money to be used in accord with the organization’s stated charitable purpose.

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A great cup of coffee begins with a great cup

Here in Wichita, we have quite a few thrift shops and I definitely have a few favorites.  About a month ago we lost our large Salvation Army Thrift Store, which made me sad.  They used to have a really great deal on Thursdays.  You could get a bag full of clothes (and I packed mine tight) for $5.

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Polka dots are timeless fashion

If you have kids going back to school, check your local thrift stores today for special deals.  Yes, there are some old styles on the racks, but if you are handy with a needle and thread, you can update those clothes to update and customize them.  Follow this hashtag for great bargains!  #ThriftShopDay

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I’m ready for a night out

I like vintage clothing!  There are some cute outfits and unexpected finds in thrift stores.  They don’t always have women’s petite sizes, but once in a while I find just the right size and style.

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Nice coats – I see a few yellow ones

I’m starting to see some of the old styles coming back.  I’ve seen young girls in jumpers like we used to wear in the 1980’s.  I think they are so cute!  Every girl and woman needs to have one little black dress.  Where did I get mine?  Three guesses…  lol.

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Pretty and flattering with a splash of green

Most thrift stores have more than clothing these days.  Ours have furniture, home décor items, accessories, shoes and even used books.  Now you can own a book for a reasonable price instead of checking it out of the library.

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Classic literature

It’s fun to shop at the thrift shop because you see items that bring back memories.  You may find some rare antiques – and pay a lot less for them!

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Life is better with Trolls

When was the last time you saw one of these???

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I call this a boat motor

I still have my boat motor and use it once in a while.  There are so many great finds hiding in the corners, like this:

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My mood ring is always blue

I appreciate handmade items and have to talk myself out of buying them.  Granny LaVella was talented at knitting and crochet:

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This reminds me of my Granny LaVella

Are you in the mood to shop yet???

Here are a few common sense rules for thrift shop shopping:

  1. Take the price of gasoline into consideration when choosing which stores to visit.  If you have to drive too far, it will defeat the purpose of saving money.
  2. Check the merchandise carefully for flaws.  Remember you are buying second-hand stuff, so it could possibly have some defects.
  3. If the store does not allow you to try clothing on, turn around and walk out!  Some of the stores in our city do not let you try clothing on because they’ve had problems with theft.  I don’t purchase clothing until I’ve tried it on.
  4. If you have a large tote bag, it’s probably a good idea to take it to the thrift shop with you because they don’t always provide bags.
  5. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes today because you will probably be shopping till you drop!

The most important thing to do is have fun!  Saving money should be a happy experience.  🙂

 

 

 

NATIONAL HERMIT WEEK

TL JUNE 13-20 IS NATIONAL HERMIT WEEK

This is NATIONAL HERMIT WEEK!!!  Does it have anything to do with Herman’s Hermits?  Well – that’s up to you.  I might listen to some of their music while I do what I need to do!

Everyone needs a little “me time” to get stuff done.  Here’s your chance!  What will you do with your time?  I’ve decided to use my time to pack my summer beauty emergency kit.  Will it take a week?  For me, more than likely – yes, it will!

With summer comes more time outdoors, so it’s important to plan carefully and pack the right stuff to meet every conceivable contingency.  Here are my must-have’s for summer:

  • Vaseline – it is a great lip balm and moisturizer.
  • Thermal-spring water spray – it has anti-inflammatory minerals, which calm itchy or  irritated skin.  You can also mist it on limp curls or waves to renew their bounce.
  • Sheer lipstick – protects lips from the sun.  You can also put a little on your finger and rub it on the apples of your cheeks.
  • Concealer – it can be used as a foundation if necessary, but is important to cover up those under-eye circles that happen when I don’t get enough sleep the night before.
  • Visine – they constrict blood vessels and make my eyes look well rested.
  • Translucent face powder – since it is not tinted, I can not only brush it on over the concealer, but if my hair begins to get oily, I can use it like dry shampoo, sweeping it on roots to sop up oil and add volume.  It’s my cheap answer to Wen.
  • Stick sunscreen – unlike the messy sunscreens of the past, this is a great way to reapply SPF.  I also use it to soften dry cuticles before pushing them down.
  • Hand cream – obviously it keeps my hands supple for a while, but it’s also good on hair!  I just rub a drop on my palms and tame split ends in a flash.
  • Waterproof mascara – not only lengthens lashes, but acts as an eyeliner if I gently put the tip of the applicator into the base of my lashes.  I use a brown mascara, so I can quickly cover gray hairs with it as well.
  • Clear nail polish – I’m a piano player, so I don’t wear my nails long.  I don’t actually paint my fingernails, but use a clear polish to give them a sheen.  It also stops a runner in my hose like a boss.

I’m planning ahead for vacations and just a day in the back yard!  Summer is meant for fun times and making good memories with loved ones.  Enjoy your week!  Happy packing!  🙂

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

My group on facebook, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith – https://www.facebook.com/groups/asecondhelpingofwellness/ has come through again!  Last Monday I asked them to share their best shopping tips with my blog readers.  In this economy we all need help – at least I know I do!

  •  Coupons! Always coupons! And if you have a coupon that doesn’t have a specific size and it’s not on sale, always get the smallest one. It saves you more per ounce.
  • Beware of freebie sites on the internet.  Once I joined one of those and requested a few things and my computer ended up with all sorts of problems.  Is getting a virus on the computer worth getting a few freebies sent to my door?  No.
  • Be cautious about where you get coupons online for the same reason.  Some sites are notorious for either swamping your computer with spam or sending viruses.  Again, weigh your options and you’ll find it’s not worth the grief.
  • Keep in mind that Walmart has price matching.  If you see an item advertised elsewhere for less money, clip the ad and take it in to Walmart.  When you check out, show the cashier the ad and they will honor that price.
  • Try RedLaser to scan bar codes while you shop.  It compares prices at nearby stores so you can find the best deals.
  • Do you make several trips to the pharmacy?  Next time take a look around while waiting for the medicine.  Often the prices on nonperishables like crackers are lower than grocery stores.
  • Staple items like cereals, flour, rice and coffee are often less expensive at Supercenters like Target or Walmart.
  • There are cooking websites that allow you to type in the ingredients you have on hand.  The sites generate recipe ideas using only those foods so they don’t go to waste and you don’t have to make an extra trip to the store.

Allrecipes.com

Myrecipes.com

Delish.com

  • Remember that frozen foods are just as nutritious as fresh.  When your favorite vegetables and fruits are out of season, you can find them at the frozen food aisle.
  • If you go to a farmer’s market just before it closes, the sellers might be willing to negotiate prices on items they don’t want to haul back home.
  • Sales run in six or eight-week cycles.  Scan circulars for deals on foods that won’t expire, and buy enough to last a month or two until the next sale.
  • A lot of times, I see something I really like in store, but can’t afford. I go on Ebay and often find it for a fraction of the cost, even with bidding wars. Eg: Lacoste polo shirts usually $90+ in store ~ I can find them for around $15 including shipping for like new, pre-owned on Ebay.

So you see, it really is possible to save at the store if you can wind your way around all the hype and see your way clear to the common sense ways of saving at the grocery store.  🙂

NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAY

TL 1-10 NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAY

 

BUDGET CUTS

1-10 ENERGY CONSERVATION

With energy costs going up every year, wouldn’t you like to know how you can cut your energy costs?  I know, me too!   Let’s see what we can learn.

Well there’s certainly something to be said for using less.  I’ve always believed the old saying waste not, want not. 

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.  – Vernon Howard

Today is NATIONAL CUT YOUR ENERGY COSTS DAY and we’re going to see if there are other ways to see a difference in our energy bill.

I’d recommend you purchase a programmable thermostat. There are lots of provincial rebates and coupons that help you save money when you purchase a new energy-efficient programmable thermostat.  Our furnaces in the winter and air conditioners in the summer can be real energy suckers – but oh we’d be so uncomfortable without them!

I like to use my crock pot for cooking instead of heating up the kitchen stove.  It uses less energy, true, but I use it because I’m more comfortable with a smaller appliance.  To be honest, I forget to plug it in half the time and we end up eating out at a restaurant – LOL!  Of course I don’t do it on purpose.  What an accusation to make of me!  😉

I have a friend who enjoys canning and it saves her a ton of money!  She recently canned her own shredded chicken as well as stock and broth.  She notes 3 reasons for canning:

1.  Canning is therapeutic.  It calms her nerves and brings her joy.  She enjoys carrying on the tradition that her grandmother began so many years ago.

2.  She likes knowing that using her own canned goods means there are no dyes or preservatives.

3.  It’s quite cost-effective.  She said she cooked 40 pounds of bone-in, antibiotic-free chicken that cost $55.85.  It yielded 20 pounds of cooked chicken and 11 quarts of beautiful chicken stock!  We all know how much it costs to buy one little can of chicken stock – even the store’s name brand.

Photos courtesy of Tanya Parrott Moder

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  He who does not economize will have to agonize.  – Confucius

There are hot water heaters you can buy that heat the water faster than water from a hot water tank.  If I understand correctly, you no longer need a tank – the water goes through the little tube thing and you have hot water in an instant.  Unfortunately, they cost quite a bit of money, but I wish we had one in our house because it takes a long time for the water to get warm in the shower at our house!  I don’t know how much water is wasted waiting, but it may be beneficial for us to buy one of those hot water heaters.  I’ll have to crunch the figures.  That should be fun – I can hardly wait.  You know how I love math – NOT!

Hmm…  but then I saw this video:

So…  I guess we’ll be keeping our tank!

Of course, when you buy major appliances make sure they have an energy star rating.  Keep them in good working order and they should give you optimal service.

It’s best to run your dishwasher when it is full.  In our family that’s a challenge.  There are two of us and sometimes it’s easier to run a little warm water in the sink and squirt some Dawn dishwashing detergent in it – and use a little elbow grease!

A little caulking around windows can keep air from coming in the house.  We love the light and warmth of the sun when it streams through the windows on a mild, sunny day; however, when it’s cold outside – well, they whistle and during thunderstorms it sounds as though the storm will come indoors!

Doors should be checked and weather-stripping applied when needed.  It’s amazing how much difference these small changes make.  With a few minor adjustments we can all do better and save some money this year.  That’s money we can use for, say, a Longaberger basket???  Hey – to each his (or her) own.  😉

I know Christmas is over, but I thought this was so cute!

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They even want to economize at the North Pole…  LOL!  🙂

 

NATIONAL SOUP SWAP DAY

TL 1-25 NATIONAL SOUP SWAP DAY

When the weather is cold, isn’t it tempting to make a big pot of soup or stew?  Well, in our house, it never gets eaten up in a day.  Since there are just two of us, it takes several days for us to eat it all, and we are sick of it by the time we’ve finished it.  It takes so many days to finish off the Potato Soup – ugh…

Today is NATIONAL SOUP SWAP DAY!!!  They make it clear that even though this is the official day to swap soup, it is not by any means the only day you can do it.  All you have to do is find a friend who thinks this is as good an idea as you do and coördinate, then SWAP!

I’ll make you some great German Potato Soup if you will fix me some of your grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup.  See how simple it is?  All you have to do is find a partner (or two or three).

There are a couple of things I would suggest, just to make the whole process easier and avoid some hard feelings down the road.

  • It’s okay to make the soup in your best pot or crock pot, but I wouldn’t transport it in the same pot.  Pots grow legs and walk sometimes.  It could lead to some hurt feelings if you have to go out and buy a new one because it does not come back home.
  • Be sure you and the one you are in cahoots with share the same kinds of tastes.  If I make a mild lentil soup for you, don’t make your four alarm chili for me.
  • This can be a hoot at first, but take a break from it once in a while.  Sometimes people just want to eat something besides soup or stew.  I know it’s hard to believe, but on occasion I like a steak cooked on my George Foreman.
  • If you swap with someone and for any reason do not like, or are unable to eat what they give you, don’t tell them.  That just hurts the person and puts a strain on your relationship with them.  I’m not saying you should lie, just say, “My the stew you made was quite remarkable.”  Or, you could just say “Thank you” and leave it alone.  If you over-state, you will undoubtedly get it again…  often.
  • This may or may not work, depending on your partner.  You could plan to meet with cookbooks and make a list of soups or stews that you think you and your family would like.  Leave your list with your partner and that would ensure that you don’t get an unpleasant surprise.  For instance, if there is a recipe for Turtle Soup in her cookbook, just don’t put it on your list if you don’t want to try it.  I mean, that’s what I’d do.

WORRIES GO DOWN BETTER WITH SOUP

Give it a try this winter.  It could be a fun time and a great learning experience.  You’ll never get bored with soups and stews again!  Wink!  😉