Saturday, December 31, 2011

The "Going to town " Phenomenon

When I was growing up it was such a treat to " go to town". We lived out in the country and enjoyed every second of it but it was so much fun going into town with my mom on Saturday mornings. I'm only 29 by the way so it in the grand scheme of things it wasn't all that long ago.

We would make out our lists the night before and mom would check the pantry to see what all we needed. We normally only went 1 time a month but sometimes a trip "to town" would be warranted at least twiced per month. We would normally go by the local co-op and give the clerk our list of feeds we needed for that month. We never had large animals like cattle or horses or anything so it was normally just chicken feed, rabbit feed and maybe some goat feed every so often. We also picked up the dog food there. There were bins of little dog snacks that you put in a brown paper sacked and they weighed it... so much fun for me for some reason. And we would always get two bags of peanuts which also you got from a big bin and put into a brown paper bag. One salted for my dad and he would take that to work with him to munch on, and then just a regular roasted one we would munch on around the house as a treat.

We would go to the grocery store, and then normally on the way home get an ice cream. Anytime that we needed shoes, or jeans or a dress we would also add that trip to our itinerary for when we "went to town". I can still remember my mom saying "put it on your list and we'll get it next time we go to town"!

I guess I'm being nostalgic, because now days many parents run through drive throughs daily, and people shop for shoes and jeans and whatever out of boredom and not out of necessity. Every shop is at most people's fingertips and indulging in those stores and services seems natural to them.

We normally only "go to town" once a month. I do my monthly shopping which I have written about before on my blog. We also go to the same feed store and I let the kids pick out dog treats from the same bins for treats for our dog. They also enjoy peanuts from the same wooden crates I remember. We will swing by the farmer's market if need be, maybe by the fabric store or home improvement store if necessary and call it a day.

I really enjoy having the other Saturdays as free days with the family. Nothing to have to do, just good ole' fashioned fun around the house. It's funny sometimes how times haven't changed that much after all....

Friday, December 30, 2011

Let's Declutter

With 3 little ones I am always looking for time savers and little tips on how to keep a nice tidy home and how to DECLUTTER. I found this cute little site here on decluttering. They offer a free downloadable calendar for the whole year! There are things to do daily that look really great. I have it saved to my computer and look forward to tackling the tiny tasks daily in order to get my home in the order I want it.

The first thing you do on Day one is to set up a donation area for those things that you will be donating. I like to donate and reuse anything and everything possible so I knew this would be a good tool.

Anyone else have trouble with clutter? What are some steps you have done to simplify your life of clutter??

Saturday, December 24, 2011

So cute: Reusable snack and sandwich bags

I have one daughter in school who of course takes her lunch. My husband and I also take our lunches to work. When we travel we like to take healthy snacks also. Today at Dealpulp there is a great deal on reusable snack and sandwich bags. Buy a voucher for only $15 and receive $30 worth of Reusable items. Not only are these better on the environment than throwing away all of your disposable items, but they are cuter also. Also, it doesn't take too long to rack up $15 worth of Ziploc type baggies, so you will be saving money.
I bought 2 deals, one for our family and one for my best friend who has a birthday coming up! Thanks for checking it out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Looking towards 2012

Well it's that time of year again....
Organizing the pantries!! That's right folks, time to see what all we have, what all we need and what we need to eat ASAP.
Normally my husband is off for a few weeks at Christmas so it gives us a great time to clean and organize. Just a few suggestions for parts of the house:

If you haven't worn it in the last year, throw it out. Donate those things that are still wearable.
Go through your shoes and you will probably find at least a couple that don't have a mate... throw that out.
Go through the kids toys. Fix what needs to be fixed, throw out those things that can't be fixed, and donate those things that the kids have outgrown or no longer play with.

Make sure everything is rotated and in date. Those things that may expire soon need to be put into a menu plan ASAP. There is nothing worse than throwing out food. I like to organize everything also. All the jars sorted and with like items. Everything facing the same way. I even make a list of everything I have so I will know what I may need to stock up on if it comes on sale soon.

I really like trying to declutter and be organized. I challenge you all to find a project to organize yourself a bit better and really work on it this coming year.

What are some of your ideas for the upcoming year to stay better organized?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Season coming to an end

Well the growing season here is just about over. It has been a pretty good year. We had lots of fruit, corn, okra, squash, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers etc. but we didn't have near as many tomatoes or peppers as normal. It was really wet and they just didn't produce. We still had plenty, but not a BUMPER crop like we normally do. Also the pecans didn't do too well this year either.
Now, we have turnips left in the garden and probably will for a few more weeks, but then we will be calling it done for a few months. We are still getting plenty of eggs which is great. I'm able to sell 3-4 dozen a week at my work for $2 a dozen which at least helps to pay for feed. I'm excited about next years garden and harvests and wish all of you a very bountiful year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Family Table

I grew up not knowing any better... I thought that all kids had dinner at night at the table with their families. I thought that all mothers cooked the evening meal and it was shared in a long drawn out enjoyable process.... But I have lived and learned that unfortunatly that is not always the case.

There has always been something very special about the kitchen table. Even though my children are still young ( 5, 4 and newborn) we have always made it a priority to eat dinner together nightly. On the weekends we also eat lunch there and most mornings we eat breakfast there, although now that the oldest is in school, normally my husband and I will eat together first, then she will get up and have her breakast a little later.

We talk about the day, we talk about the weather, we learn a lot about what happened in each other's day. It's a time that the phone isn't answered, the tv isn't on, the music isn't on and we just enjoy each other's company.

I really encourage all of you to get into the habit of having family meals together as often as you possibly can. It's such a precious time and I really think that it's something that as a culture we have gotten away from, and something we need to return to.

Do you all have special family meal times or special nights? ( I like to have lasagna on Sundays after church)?
Do you find family meal time to benefit the closeness of your family?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas for FREE from Amazon

So if you have been reading my blog you probably remember me mentioning a few of my favorite sites that I used to earn Amazon credits. Well even though I insisted that I didn't need nor want anything for Christmas, but my husband wanted to get me something so I decided I would pick out a few things from Amazon, use my credits and get it free:)
Anyways I got the following:

I've been wanting to read this since I saw it came out. I'm looking forward to it. I'll write a review once I have read it.

I had one of these for camping but lost it somewhere a few years back. I know my husband and I always enjoyed it, but the kids never have really gotten a chance to pop popcorn over an open fire. So hopefully we will get a ton of use out of this soon!

To go with the popper....

And this is what I am really excited about... An Ice cream Maker!!!

I have been shopping for one of these and have been reading reviews and such. This one makes yogurt, sorbet and ice cream. I'm pretty excited...

The sites that I got all of my Amazon credits from are the following, they are all free and easy to use:

Search & Win

Superpoints This is a really fun easy one.

I would love to have any of you join and I would be happy to answer any questions. Happy earning!