Monday, December 31, 2012

The big regret of 2012!

Guess what it is?  Using my blog to follow other blogs, but not posting and documenting what I have been up to.  I have made a lot of purses, totes, quilts and other things that I gave away without even so much as taking a picture.  I want to change that in 2013.  Simple goal right? 
Let's see how that goes.  It is my only year long goal for 2013.  I don't really make New Year's Resolutions.  To me a year is to long of a time frame and I falter and get away from the resolutions, giving up easily.  This year I am going to try something different - monthly and/or weekly goals.  This will be more manageable because of the short time frame.  I am a cross the items off a to do list kind of girl.  Thus the need for a shorter time frame.

So here it goes - January goals:
1.  Lose 10 lbs.  Reassess at the end of the month and set a new goal for February.
2.  Make a menu plan each week.
3.  Complete my January block of the month for the Don't Call Me Betsy activity.
4.  Complete to do list for Carla's January Finance and Decluttering Challenge.
5.  Participate in the good cheap eats pantry challenge.
6.  Make a noodlehead gathered clutch.  I have had the pattern for months and it is just sitting in my sewing room.  I love her patterns!
7.  Order the pattern and make a sidekick tote - also from noodlehead.  It has a recessed zipper and that is something I really want to learn! 
*I made the go anywhere tote and it taught me how to do piping.  I have made 8 or 10 of the 241 totes and learned how to insert a zipper pocket.  Noodlehead rocks! (I am not affiliated with the noodlehead website in any way and was not reimbursed to make the above comments.  I just happen to love her patterns.  It is solely my opinion).

That's it.  I will cross the items off as I go.

Menu for the Week

Week of 12-30-12

Sunday - turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, and stuffing
Monday - turkey dinner leftovers
Tuesday - club sandwiches -bacon, lettuce, tomato and turkey on toast and taco soup
Wednesday - beef with broccoli in the crockpot - found on pinterest - it looks delicious!
Thursday - dinner at the inlaws - stuffed shells
Friday - out of town for my nephew's basketball game - will have to grab something on the way or at the game as it is 2 hours away and we don't leave until after work.
Saturday - breakfast supper - ham and cheeese omelettes and toast

Jelly Roll Race Quilt

 This is my first Jelly Roll Race quilt.  I am quite pleased with how it turned out!

The jelly rolls (2 small) were from Michael's.  The binding and backing were just some solids from my stash.  Loving it.
I watched this video from the Missouri Star Quilt Company to learn how to make one.  If you are unfamiliar with their videos go to youtube and check them out.  You won't be sorry you did!

Linked to:

Check out my Linky page to see what parties I link up to each week!

Carla's Decluttering Challenge

So probably not the worst thing you have ever seen, but it bothers me.  Sewing when there is junk lying around creates a little anxiety in me.  The hope chest contains a yarn stash. 

 The dresser has quite a nice fabric stash.  Out of sight, out of mind is what works best for me.
I cut and sew on the same table which is annoying, but it works.  It also creates a nasty little mess as I go, which often stays until the next time I sew.  I am a clean it up before you work instead of when you are done kid of girl.  Not good!
On to worse things.  Are you ready to be horrified?
Let me introduce you to the walk in closet in the sewing/spare room!

How is that for hiding your mess?  Sometimes I can barely open the door!
Onto the master closet.  The bedroom itself is neat.  Not surprising as you are now loearning that I try to hide my messes.  Open the door and this is what you find!

Again, not the worst, but yucko for me.  The floor has some junk on it to, but I guess I didn't get a picture of that.  Again, not too bad, but not neat enough for me.
So there you have it.  A kind of messy seing room and master closet and a very, very messy sewing room closet.  Help me Carla!




Pantry Challenge

More info here - Good Cheap Eats Pantry Challenge

Ok - here it goes! I am joining the pantry challenge in January. This is going to be a bit tricky because we have already been eating down the items in our freezer. I do have some meat in there, but I will also need to buy some to make it through the month. However, items in the pantry cupboards are bursting at the seams, so we should be good with the accoutrements for the meals. We also need to buy fresh items as we need to eat healthier, such as lettuce, tomatoes vegetable produce in general. We bought a case of fresh fruit right before Christmas, so that should be fine, we will just need fresh vegetables for salads. Also, I went light on couponing the last couple of months as we had quite the stockpile of health and beauty aids. We are on our last bottles of shampoo and conditioner so some HBA items will needs replenished. I can't see stockpiling hundreds of items as seen on extreme couponing (what a waste) so I take a couple of breaks a year.

I am setting a cash budget of $400 for the month for this famiy of 4. That will basically be for milk, vegetables some meat and actually includes working on the HBA stockpile, not just food. It also includes cat food and cat litter! I will withdraw $100 per week and any remaining money (ha) will be added to the cash jar for Disney this summer. (Every 6 or 8 weeks this money is deposited and transferred to an ING account earmarked for Disney).

We have a huge upright freezer in our garage which is about 75% empty right now. Doing this challenge will pretty much empty it heading into February. At that point I will reassess a budget amount for February. In Feb. I will start back on freezer cooking and filling the freezer with new items, all on sale of course! Yesterday I made a 20lb. turkey from the freezer in anticipation of doing ths. We should be able to eat from the leftovers for several days. I still have 1 more 20 lb turkey in the freezer, but I doubt I will make it before the end of January. You can only eat so much turkey in a month.

Wish me luck. This isn't going to be easy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Block of the Month with Don't Call Me Betsy


Ok - so I am really afraid to try this, but I finally just joined a few minutes ago. I have no clue how to paper piece, but I really want to learn. I love Betsy's blog and I need the support of a person to do this. I taught myself to sew watching youtube videos. I do ok, but I have a long way to go.

Wish me LUCK!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Carla's January Low Spend and Decluttering Challenge

I have followed Carla for along time, but have never joined in one of her challenges. I think it is about time to do so and this should start out 2013 with a bang.

For the decluttering challenge:
1. Clean and organize the sewing room and walk- in closet in that room. It looks like a fabric explosion from my Christmas sewing.
2. Clean out the walk-in closet and dressers in the master bedroom and donate the unwanted items.
3. Go through the kids old clothes and set aside for a spring yard sale.

For the low spend challenge:
1. 10 no spend days.
2. Set up automated savings to online account to fund a Roth IRA in the new year. My husband was putting 15% in his 401k but his company only matches the first 7% so we dropped in back to 7% for the new year. We will put the other 8% in automated savings, but this will get difficult because his pay fluctuates due to sporadic overtime. I guess I will set an automatic amount based on regular pay. Then I will have to be dedicated enough now to go online and transfer 8% of any overtime as he gets it. This worries me as I do not want to fail and end up saving less. This will crush us on our income taxes now, but the win is that we will be able to withdraw it tax free in retirement.
3. Sock $400 away in our vacation account.
4. Increase our automated college savings by $50 per month for each child. My kids are in 9th and 10th grade and the fear of tuition payments is starting to wash over me. We have saved a good bit but it is no where near enough.  I just don't want them to be crippled by student loan debt when they graduate. Son #1 is going to start looking for a job this summer, so he can start saving regularly but jobs in this small town for teenagers are few and far between.  It cracks me up when people say that their kids will figure it out (how to pay for college).  They say that they took out loans and were ok.  That is no longer the case.  Tuition has far outpaced inflation in a time when most people don't even get a raise for inflation.  Also, the majority of college graduates today have enormous loans ($40 to $8o thousand) are graduating with bleak prospects.  Many of them will be lucky just to find a part time job for minimum wage.  It is a very scary time!