Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quilting...again


I have so many things I want to blog about.  Wanted post last night, but was home alone for a bit but having a little dinner and snuggling into my bed to watch a some TV sounded better at the time.  Anyway...Quilting, again.  It seems like something I learned to do yesterday (probably because I only do about 1 quilt a year these days)  The reality of it is that it has been 8 years since I learned to quilt (future post for that whole story) at first it was all I did as soon as one was done I would start the next project and so on...enter a so called friend who talked me into going into business quilting and embroidery to be exact.  It went well at first then one day while I was on vacation with the family she sold off almost all my quilting supplies...leaving only embroidery which I did but it wasn't my favorite thing to do.  things were not good after that we parted ways, I got stuck with $25000 worth of debt (that is now paid off).  Finally dug myself out of that mess about 4 years ago, but it left me with a bad taste in my mouth.  I didn't want anything to do with quilting after that, so by the way side it went.  But it looks like the quilting bug may be back...I am still only doing about one quilt a year like mentioned above.  Now its because I am working full time and have a hard time making myself sit and work on a quilt not because I don't enjoy it.  The feeling I get when one is finished is amazing.  I really do love that I learned this skill (thanks Amy) and I hope that 2012 will be the year it all comes back to me.  Who knows maybe quilting will take a few orders for quilts to make me some extra $$ for the vacation fund...we'll see   :)
As for the picture above that is Stephanee's quilt top the one mentioned about a week or 2 ago (blog post "a gift for a friend").  It turned out wonderful.  It looks simple enough, just a bunch of blocks, but the thing was one of the hardest I've done so far due to the fact that if the color blocks were off by very much at all it looked really really bad.  but anyway it's ready for batting and a back then it will be fit to use.  I figured I better post a finished picture of it seeing that the last one about this quilt just showed a bunch of cut up fabric.  Hope she enjoys it.  :)

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

*****There's still time*****
1 YR BLOG-A-VERSARY GIVEAWAY
Read this post for details

Friday, January 27, 2012

How 'bout some popcorn


Yes, I believe I will...
...never buy store bought microwave popcorn again that is.
This was another "Pinterest" find and I must say I had my doubts yet again.  But of course IT WORKED!
~~~~
All you need is:

1 plain brown paper lunch bag
1/4 cup regular popping corn

~Fold the bag over at the top twice and tape it shut.
~Lay it in the microwave and turn it on for 2 minutes or until you hear that the popping has slowed to about 1 pop every 3-5 seconds.
~Remove from the microwave and add any topping you choose and enjoy right there out of the bag. 
No mess no dirty dishes (unless you melt butter) 
The above instructions are for one serving, if you have 2, 3, 4, 5...people wanting popcorn they that's how many times you will have to run through the steps, but it is so much better than the stuff we have all been buying from the store it really is worth it.
~~~~
I added about 3 teaspoons of butter and sprinkled some salt held the bag shut and gave it a good shake.  Turned out super delicious and it makes just the right amount.
My girls didn't even add butter, we had some popcorn seasonings in the cabinet that we had forgotten about and they just sprinkled that stuff on it.
Turns out my girls like popcorn without all the greasy nasty junk that the store bought stuff comes with. 
One more small step to being a little be more aware of what is going into our bodies and what isn't leaving out wallets.
This project gets a thumbs up from the Corley girls this week.
Give it a try and come back here and let me know how it went for you.

Next I will be trying the "best stain remover"  Caprice said it is amazing so I want to try it.  Heaven knows with 2 kids a husband and an indoor dog we have a few stains that need "removed" 

Keep coming back to see what crazy things I will be trying next.

*****Also don't forget*****
1YR BLOG-A-VERSARY GIVEAWAY
Read this post for details


Thanks for reading, enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Here it is!

The information you all have been waiting for...how do you win a prize.  it will be pretty simple for you and I plan to leave it open for one week before I pick the final 3 prize winners.

~~~~
Step 1: look through my whole first year of blogging.
Step 2: find your favorite story and post a comment as to why it is your favorite.
Step 3: sign up as a follower of this blog over on the right of the page.  If you are already signed up as a follower congratulations you are 1 step ahead.
~~~~

I'm looking forward to see what posts are your favorites.

Now for the most fun part...PRIZES!!

I will be giving away 3 gifts in total random order (cause that's how I roll)

one will be knife gift set.  that's right. A Rada paring knife and cutting mat along with the sharpener so that you always have a sharp knife handy in the kitchen.
Another will be the wonderful cookbook I wrote about several weeks back.  The one from my friends church, some of the best food you will ever cook.
And the last one is a gift card from one of my favorite favorite stores...that's right.  Hobby Lobby $25

I wish you all luck and next Wednesday February 1st I will collect all the names and put them in a basket and draw out 3 winners. (it's super high tech around here)

Thanks again to all of you for taking time out of your day to read my crazy random thoughts, it is so much fun. 

I love you all have a great day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Super sweet scrub

So the picture isn't the best, you're not looking at a wonderful back drop or perfectly packaged product for this jar of sugar scrub.  But what you are looking at is a simply wonderful homemade sugar body scrub.  I am guilty of spending more than my share of time on the ever growing in popularity website craze "Pinterest" just looking and pinning, pinning, pinning.  I asked myself some time last week "what is the point in this if I don't try some of the things I am pinning."  So yesterday I found this recipe for a sugar body scrub, it helps take off  dry dead skin and it hydrates as well.
Now I know we haven't been hit with a bad winter (yet) but the air has been terribly dry and my skin is really suffering all dry and itchy.  My hands have gotten so bad that they were starting to crack and bleed around my cuticles.  So I made this scrub last night before taking my shower.  Here is what I did:

Mix 1/3 cup of each in a bowl
Brown sugar
Regular white sugar
Olive oil
2 TBS vanilla extract (to make it smell awesome)

After all mixed together well I put mine into a jar (we have tons of empties left from making jelly this last summer)  took it to the shower with me while standing in the shower so there wouldn't be a mess in the bathroom floor scrubbed it all over my arms and legs and paid special attention to my hands.
At first I was thinking "oh no this is not good.  It felt thick and oily (olive oil does that ya know) I was sure it wouldn't work.  I continued with my shower (washing like normal) and got out to dry off...guess what my skin felt AMAZING!!  It worked and I didn't have to spend tons of money on some high priced store bought product.  I had everything I needed right there in my kitchen cabinets. 
I love it and will be making more to have on hand for the rest of our dry winter because even though it's almost February we are no where near the end of winter here in Oklahoma.
Get in the kitchen and mix some up today...then come back here and let me know what you think.
Thanks for reading, have a great day.  :)

ps. Giveaway instructions coming your way tomorrow so come back & see what you need to do to get your name in the drawing.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rada Cutlery...simply the best.

The basic starter set
This brand of knifes are just about the best.  I was introduced to these knives several years ago (thanks Steph)  She gave me one paring knife.  Turned out to be the best knife I had in the kitchen.  Fast forward a few years and my kitchen has several of them (some even duplicated because I liked them most). 
Rada is made right here in the US and have a lifetime guarantee.  The company offers every type of knife you can think of and they even come with black handles if you want.  But it isn't just knives, there are different useful utensils for serving and cooking, along with cutting mats, cookbooks, stoneware (that can go into the dishwasher freezer & oven), candles and mixes for different soups, dips, smoothies and pound cakes.
Stephanee's mom (Reta) will be selling these amazing knives out of her booth at the local flea market. (email @ tlc33195@ymail.com me if you want some and don't live near us)  I have been pounding my head trying to figure out what I wanted to give away for my blog-a-versary and I believe this is going to be one of the prizes.  Keep checking back for how to get your name entered in the contest.  And thanks for reading.

love you all have a great day

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The girls


Brittnie, DaLaney, Valorie & MaKyla

These girls have been friends since the beginning of time (their time anyway)  I met their momma shortly after I started dating Stephen, she was dating his friend so they wanted us to get to know each other.  It was crazy at first.  I never take to new people well and that day was no different.  But over time we build an amazing friendship for us (and our children).  I think that she is the sister my parents forgot to give me.  Either that or God knew no mother could handle the both of us as sisters either way we are great friends.  She had some changes in life that took her and her girls away for about 4 years, but here we are all back together (-1, +1) as one big crazy family. 
Our girls fight just like sisters, but the love they have for each other is unconditional.  We got to see this first hand when the little ones had a huge fight with a bunch of horrible things they said to one another.  My thought was well they are getting big enough now that they need to figure it out for them selves, or we can sit them down together and let them talk it out with the parents in the room.  But that wasn't needed.  The next time they were together they took care of it themselves. 
~
girl 1-I'm sorry I said those things
girl 2-Yea, me too I'm sorry
girl 1-We're good?
girl 2-Yep we're good.
~
and that is how it was handled, no parents needed to get involved or anything it was fixed just like that.  We as grown ups could learn so much from the children in our lives.

The oldest girls don't ever seem to fuss with each other like that, I believe it is because they are both such laid back, relaxed people that nothing they do ever causes conflict between them.  Now I am sure as they get older and go different ways things will come between them(school, boys, work, kids) but I am also sure that no matter what it is they will be like Stephanee and I, they will find their way back to the way it was.

Even though they don't all belong to me, I love all these girls the same and it brings a smile to my face when one of them (that don't actually belong to me) calls me mom.  These are some of the best kids anyone could ask for and every day they are growing into such beautiful young ladies.

Thanks to Stephanee for taking them out to take a few photos.  There were lots of good ones, but the one above was my favorite.

Thanks for reading, have a great day.

ps. it's almost giveaway time :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blog-a-versary!!!

Yes, that's right its almost here.  January 27th will be my 1 year anniversary to when I first started this little blog thing.  I still don't know exactly why I started and I never even thought anyone would read it, but there a couple of you out there that do and I am grateful.  Thank you.  I really enjoy writing about all the stuff that goes on in my life.  "My crazy random life" is exactly what happens on the pages of this blog.  I know from lots of research about blogging that your blog should be "meaningful" or have a purpose.  well let me just say I DON'T CARE what they say.  I think that my randomness is why I have a few of the readers I do have and I am ok with it not looking exactly perfect or that it doesn't follow a "recommended guideline" If no one wants to read it I am ok with that too.  Because I write for me for pure entertainment.  Yes the things I write are true (nothing fiction or fake about my life)  If they are funny, good.  If they are sad wait a day or two and something funny will happen again.  That is how it is here in my life.  Not every day is perfect and I don't need to pretend they are.  Its just crazy random Tammy. (re-read that whole bit you'll see...CrAzY)

Anyway back to the BLOG-A-VERSARY  I have been trying to figure out how I am going to do it, but I would like to have a give-a-way.  Yep I want to give you a chance to win something.  I am still having a problem with what exactly to give away but Ill get there.  I keep thinking about all the things I love and the things I think others would love as well, but all the things I love not many of my friends like...for example,

I love...
   quilting
   photography
   cook books
   spending time with family(come on I can cant give one of them away)
   knitting
   horses
   living in the country
   making my own butter
   gardening
  
See the list is long and I cant really decide what all of you would enjoy as a prize

My first thought was a cookbook(may still use that), a gift card to my favorite restaurant, a gift card to Hobby Lobby, a gift card to Jo-Ann's Fabric, a quilt or a scarf by TammyC

I hate making decisions... I have a couple more days before I have to nail something down so I am going to ponder (& work on a quilt or scarf just in case) and maybe before too long I will have come up with something to share with 3 lucky readers.

Keep checking back to see how you go about getting your name in the drawing.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A gift for a friend


So at Christmas I was having a hard time finding just the right gift for Stephanee.  I don't know why it was so difficult, but I couldn't find anything I thought she would enjoy.  So I went to texting her:

me-what do you want for Christmas?
steph-nothing
me-whatever
me-there has to be something you want
steph-a quilt
me-bahahaha
me-it's 3 days til Christmas there is no way I can make a quilt by then
steph-but you could start one

Ok so she had me there.  So for Christmas 2011 Stephanee is getting a handmade "tammyc" quilt.
I let her pick the pattern (hoping she would pick something easy, it's been a while) and we went to the store and bought all the fabric needed to complete this task.
It is all cut and ready to sew.  She is even helping me with her gift.  She pressed all the fabric after washing it.  I done the cutting and she is putting the colors in the order she likes them best. 
Maybe before the end of January she will have a Christmas gift.

What importance is this in my goal to be more fugal well I didn't spend unnecessary money on a gift that wouldn't be loved...and in the process of getting all my things out to start her quilt I found lots of things I had started and not finished, and that goes back to using what you have instead of buying more.  I have some projects to work on and when finished I am going to try and sell them for some extra cash for the family.  And this has really sparked my desire to return to quilting.  So a big thank you to Stephanee for asking me to do this for her.
I'll post a picture for you when I'm done.

Have a great evening

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Back on track?

Whew...it has been a pretty crazy 2 weeks of the new year.  I hope that is the extent of excitement like that we have for the rest of the year.

I don't feel like i have been very frugal this last week with all the trips to the hospital and the added cost of medication for momma.  Anyway, we have been doing well at keeping up with where we spend our money and using what we have in the freezer instead of running to the store everyday for something for dinner. 
Another thing we tried and it really seemed to work (don't laugh) I made home made fire starting logs. Yep I know it sounds silly but really, with the cooler weather (and snow last night) we use lots of the store bought ones. they are not cheap either.
 
I bet you have this around the house

 So here is what I did.  I took empty toilet paper rolls (house full of girls we have tons of these) smeared the inside with petroleum jelly (less than $2) and stuffed them with dryer lint.  
the jelly soaks into the tube & lint
 The petroleum jelly soaks into the tube and into the lint which makes for wonderful burning power :)
 

I store them here

I store them in an empty plastic tub that my favorite candy comes in.  that way the jelly doesn't soak into anything except for what it should and for next to nothing we have fire starting logs for the wood burning stove. 
A box of the logs(from walmart) run around $10 and up & they don't seem to last us very long at all.  So I think I will continue to make the homemade ones because it goes along with my desire to be more aware of what we use and becoming more frugal.
Every little bit helps.  I have only made a few so far and It doesn't even look like I have used the petroleum at all, so with this being so cheap to make I can't give you a price per log or anything like that, I just know we are going to use up some stuff otherwise bound for the trash can and save some $$ that I can put away to eventually pay for a vacation or another cow or 2    :)
  
Reduce, reuse, recycle, re purpose.  I am loving this way of thinking.  If you have great ideas to share please do. I would love to try them in our family.
Also, I am still thinking of ways to introduce a give-a-way for my blog-a-versary, so keep checking back.

Have a great day.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Unexpected events

My momma & daddy
Today's blog isn't on track with my whole being frugal goal but then life happens and plans change.  Saturday night(Sunday morning really) my momma had a heart attack.  This was very unexpected for us and as much as I like to think I can handle things like that if they happen, I learned very quickly that I can not.  I believe had it not been my own mom then yes my head would have been screwed on straight and I would have been able to remember everything I was taught (i hope)  She seems to be doing well today we are waiting for more tests to find out how much damage was done by the episode Saturday night.  The doctors seem very positive about everything.  I keep thinking about how I could have made different choices to make things different, like not having to wait 45 minutes on an ambulance or communicating with mom better to know ahead of time that she has been prescribed nitro and we could have eased the pain much quicker, if we didn't live so far out that we could have gotten an EMSA unit quicker, if I had baby aspirin in my cabinet they would have helped...there are tons of "what ifs" there are even a few bad what ifs, like what if she had been home alone, what if Mike didn't answer his phone when we called...I know we shouldn't think about the what ifs but then that is just human nature. 
I am extremely grateful for the men who showed up at my house that had the training, equipment & medication needed to get control of the situation in a timely manner.  I know that some people get too caught up in the whole who's boundary line, who's service area,  who's district and my thoughts on that are if that is what you are worried about most then maybe you ought to hang it up and call it quits, because from where I sit today, it isn't about all that. its about taking care of the patient no matter what service area they live in they should be your priority not who gets there first.  because what does it matter if you get there first.  if you are not trained to care for their needs when you get there.
My mom is doing well for now, they told us that at this point there isn't a lot that they can do for her except give her lots more medication to keep her heart in check and we have a lot of work ahead of us with keeping her on her meds, she is very hard headed when it comes to taking medicine or buying it.  I think she is starting to understand how important it is.  This has been a pretty hard wake up call for us all but sometimes it takes something bad to make you understand how important it all is.
I thank all my friends and family for all the prayers, phone calls, texts & visits.  It means so much to us all. but most of all I thank God she is still with us today. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Frugal...

So what does that word mean to you?
I have always thought it meant doing without the fun things in life.  But I found a blog called frugally sustainable and this lady is teaching me more about being frugal than I ever thought i needed to know.

Just today I read that:
"Living frugally does not require that we put off all material possessions and live in abject poverty. In fact it’s quite the opposite.  Frugality means we are to embrace and enjoy what we have!"

Well now.  I think we can do this whole frugal living thing, we already have so very much stuff.  there is no reason we shouldn't be using it.  So on this website she has issued a challenge  "23 day living frugal challenge"
and every day she is giving us a challenge so here I go...both feet not turning back.  if nothing else it will help me save a little money for the next 23 days right.  anyway, maybe it will be fun and I can get the kids and Stephen on board with this plan and we will be a whole different family.



Day 1 challenge was:
Redefining frugality...I think I got that part, I cant wait to get into the full swing of this thing


Frugality is…
~sharing with one another
~living life in balance
~finding happiness in the way things are
~being a good steward of our time, money, earth, energy, and possessions .
~enough
~simple living
~nothing wasted or unused

Frugality isn't...
~being a tight wad
~being bored because you are staying home on a Friday night
~just getting by

Keep checking back, I don't know that I will post everyday of the challenge, but I will post often.  come see what it has in store for us.  :)  it might just work or you'll get a good laugh.  either way someone wins right

oh and one more thing, my one year blog-a-versary is coming up, I am planning a give away.  look for how to enter in the next week or so.

Have a great weekend

Monday, January 2, 2012

A new year

Ugh!  I have started and deleted this blog entry more times than I care to admit. :)  I have so many things floating around in my mind that I want to write about that I keep jumbling them all up on the page and they are not making sense to me so I am sure you will not have a clue what I am saying...babble, babble, babble...

Anyway maybe this one will work for us all.
The new year.  2012  Wow.  I am getting so old, I don't ever recall thinking this far in to the future when I was a kid except maybe when I watched movies with flying cars and hoovering skate boards and such thinking it would be neat to have a flying car.  but here we are still living a pretty normal life without all that stuff.

I chuckle a little when I think of all the things I enjoy, these things certainly don't "fit" the year 2012 as the movie writers would write it. Because I don't want a flying car, I think it would be fun to ride a horse everywhere or have a covered wagon for when it was raining or cold.  I like planting a garden and raising pigs, cows and chickens to keep me from buying a good part of my family's food from the grocery store.  I like pouring cream into the butter churn and making my own butter because it tastes so much better than that vegetable oil mess you buy in the bowl, I like playing out in the yard or sitting around reading books rather than being tethered to the TV by a video game.  I have made the comment to Stephen (and on this blog) that maybe I was born in the wrong year.  but then the reality of it is, if I HAD to live like that I would be wishing for something different.  But that doesn't stop me from wanting to adopt the less is more attitude.  If I could get Stephen and the girls on board with me, well life would be sweet.
I don't usually make "new years resolutions" generally I hate them, but this year is a little different.  I want to live more frugally (is that a real word)  anyway.  yea, i want to be happy with what I have, not have the constant need to spend money i haven't earned to buy things i don't need to impress people i don't care about.  That isn't what life is about and I am tired of living like that.  I want simplicity.  simple enough right?  well this year we are going to find out if i can do it.  So here on my blog, I am putting it out there (accountability), my goals.  so when the end of this year comes you can ask me, "well how did you do?"  We did not get this crazy overnight so it will take some time to turn it all around.  Baby steps and faith!  I don't know if I will reach all my goals, but I am going to try.  and that is truly all I can do.
~~~~~~
1.  Spend less
2.  Save more
3.  Downsize everything (and I mean everything)
4.  Organize my home and everything in it.
and lastly
5.  Live contently with what we have(resist the urge to buy more crap).
~~~~~~
Now keep in mind that I did say Stephen and the girls haven't really heard my plan just yet so when I set them down and let them in on the plan they may just squash it like a pesty bug.  But I hope that I can paint in their minds how stress free living like that will be and that alone should help my cause.
So wish me luck with my plan for the new year and check back here often as I am sure I will have lots of crazy stories that will come of it all. 

As for you I hope that you do all you can to have the best year yet.  Happy 2012 everyone.