Monday, June 13, 2016

Monthly Goals Update and This Week's Goals

Well, this was kind of a mixed bag on the goals front. 

I did get some of my list done for the week, but some things kind of took a back seat this week to other things I did.  Like sewing clothing goals got pushed aside for cleaning goals as I am trying to deep clean to get rid of even the shadow of the idea of bugs invading my house. 

I managed to get about 3/4 of the laundry accomplished this week, but still need to reorganize my hallway closet to work better (shelves are bowing under weight in wrong areas, etc), so putting it all away didn't get done. 

Due to hot weather, canning mustard didn't happen.  I could have done it this morning, but put it aside for another cool day, maybe later in the week.  Since I have all the materials to make said mustard on hand and we still have some mustard in the pantry, I'm not super rushed on that.

BUT, I was feeling super rushed to get my niece's gift done before she got here, so that's what I worked on yesterday and today (cut out last night, sewed together today).  I would have gotten it done sooner, but my husband worked all day Saturday and the kids have not been in good moods the last couple of days, so I've been busy with them.  The final work is above. 

Okay, before you ask, it's SUPPOSED to be a bunny snuggy.  To me it looks like Winnie the Pooh with rabbit ears on (to the point I almost embroidered a headband in between the ears to make it look like rabbit ears), but that's how the pattern worked out.  Since it's a multi-use pattern that is supposed to make a cat, a teddy bear or a rabbit depending on what ears you use, I don't know why I'm surprised by the result *laugh*.  By the way, I used a Simplicity pattern for this.  Normally I have really good luck with Simplicity patterns.  This one was AWFUL!!!  I eventually had to toss the sewing instructions aside and just work from the pattern itself or I would have been lost forever.  It was truly terrible in lack of illustrations and directions.

The pattern had eyes and a nose that you were supposed to cut out and sew on, but I embroidered all the details on instead since a baby is going to be getting it and I want the little one to be able to chew on it.  I also hand sewed the top animal body to the blanket with about three layers of back stitch to make sure it wasn't going anywhere as I imagine that the thing is going to be swung around by little kids a lot by the blanket part :).

Oh and Gretchen, if you read this, I grabbed the materials out of my stores before I knew if you were having a boy or a girl and it was half cut out, so I didn't redo it in a pink theme.  Sorry *laugh*.

Overall, I'm pleased with the result.  Wish it looked more like a bunny, but at least it looks like a cute Winnie the Pooh with rabbit ears on ;).

I also got golden syrup canned this week, which was one of the things off of my canning list, so yay there, got the den decluttered a bit, got a list going for gifts for some of the kids in the family for Christmas (and thank you to the blog readers who chimed in with ideas for gifts, some of them were a REALLY big help in figuring things out to make), got the list done for the freezer on what meat I needed to get (which ended up being the one's kind of sad to just find a good price on beef products somewhere :), got a teeny tiny bit of work done on the yard (I've been ripping dead out of the raspberry patch every time I go and water my rhubarb plant at the bottom of the yard.  It's only a thing or two each time, but I'm making SLOW progress doing it that way) and I got the materials to make truffles as part of my husband's anniversary gift, so woohoo on all of that!

I also managed to make artisan style bread Saturday and used a trick I found online where if you put a pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven when you are baking the bread it is supposed to give you that chewy "store bought bread" type of texture.  I was curious and sure enough the trick worked!  You have no idea how many years I've been messing with recipes trying to get that texture *laugh*.  It was worth the kneading the dough by hand (I skipped the mixer...for one I'm trying to get in better shape, so I figured that would give me a work out...and I was right) and the 3 hours plus lost of my time to make good home made bread :).

I then made two more loaves of bread today as the recipe I used for the other bread the loaves came out smaller than I had anticipated, so I wanted to make good sandwich bread for the week.  So I made my go-to recipe for bread in an hour and got the light fluffy sandwich bread cooling right now.

So, yeah, onto the goals for this week!

Sewing Goals:
  • Work on clothing sewing goals (getting zipper replaced in husband's jackets, skirt and dress for me, etc).
  • Clean sewing machine (it'll need dusting and oiling after working with fleece today)
  • Work on mending pile

Canning Goals:
  • Can mustard (if time and weather/temperature permit)

Cleaning Goals:
  • Rip everything out of kid's rooms, deep clean (and I mean DEEP clean), shampoo carpets and then reset everything.  Weed out toys, especially with daughter, to figure out what needs to go/isn't played with anymore.
  • Shampoo downstairs carpets

General Goals:
  • Reset hallway closet (what is this, reset like number 1000 or so?) to work better.  Flip shelves to help with bowing issue.
  • Get daughter through her orthodontist appointment (she gets her braces off tomorrow!  Yay!!!) 
  • Harvest cabbages that are starting to bolt from garden.  Plant new seeds in place where they were.
  • Fertilize garden.

And there you go.  My goals for the week.  Doesn't seem like a lot, but the bedrooms and the hallway closet are going to take a LOT of time and energy to get done.

How about you?  Up to anything this week?


  1. Oh, the gift turned out so cute! I love that!

    Congratulations to your daughter in finishing her braces! I'm so glad for her (and you!).

  2. I think your baby gift is adorable!

  3. You might also want to try putting a large pan in the oven to preheat and then when you put the bread in, throw in a bunch of ice cubes onto the pan. They will instantly start to melt, giving you steam.

  4. What a cute baby gift.

    I started with my goals for the week yesterday by spending most of the day weeding the garden and thinning and transplanting beets and green beans. This is the first year I've planted cabbage. I was wondering if I took off some of the outer leaves if it would hurt the plant? After garden work, came in and made spinach roll ups to take to pot luck tonight. Finished one eternity scarf and started another for the Christmas gift pile.

    The rest of the weeks goals

    Sewing - finish piecing a quilt that's to be a wedding gift in August.
    Cut fabric scraps into useable sizes for future projects.
    Check out free tutorials for ideas for Christmas gifts

    garden - Stay on top of the weeds. Pick herbs to dehydrate.

    Pantry - clean out pantry and rearrange canned goods.

    General -- restock homemade herb mixes for salad dressings and seasonings.
    Make coconut milk from unsweetened shredded coconut and use the milk
    for yogurt, dry out the pulp for flour to be used later.
    Get weekly menu made using storage foods.
    Scrub the deck and deck furniture.
    Make "moose munch" for the hubs for Fathers Day.


    1. When it comes to cabbage, if it's a bunching type I'd leave it to grow. In my experience, once the heads start bunching it seems like the plant uses up pretty much all the leaves to make the head in the middle. When I cut my cabbages at the end of the season, you could use the outer leaves as well, but they are tougher than the head. Some varieties of cabbage, from what I understand, you can harvest the outer leaves as the plants grow to use as greens, but I really am unsure of what varieties those are :).

    2. And I hope you can make sense out of half of that statement. I'm running on two hours of sleep and haven't had a full cup of coffee yet this morning. It shows *laugh*.

    3. Thanks for the info. I think I'll just leave them be. I planted a late one called Dutch and on early one of who's name I can't remember. Anyway, 12 heads of cabbage. Dorothy

    4. With open or Chinese cabbage, if you pick the outer leaves, it causes it to grow more center leaves. With me the outer leaves usually get chewed by bugs so I cut them off. I hate for the plant to spend energy growing a chewed up leaf I am not going to eat. Oh, and you can take the tough outer leaves and run them through the shredder and make coleslaw. Jeannie

    5. Oh, I never thought of that, but yeah, I do shred the outer leaves too when I make sauerkraut as well, so that's an option to use the tougher leaves with :).

    6. Thank you both so much. I'm going to try shredding some of those outer leaves for coleslaw and get extra use out of those cabbages. Cabbage here can be upwards to $1.25 a lb, like it was some exotic vegetable. I will be making sauerkraut, and sweet and sour stuffed cabbage rolls for the freezer for winter. I have recently learned that putting the head of cabbage in the freezer and letting the whole thing get good and frozen and then defrosting it, there's no need to blanch the leaves to make them pliable. Also going to be dehydrating shredded cabbage for soups. Dorothy

  5. I am so happy that I can comment on your blog now. I love the baby gift you made, who cares what it looks like, its adorable. You are very lucky that you are so talented. Me, I can't even sew a button on to save my life. It truly is pathetic! My husband will be finishing up his 12 day vacation on Thursday so hopefully once he is back to work I can get some deep cleaning done around here. I have already warned the kids!!!

    1. With the commenting, sorry it took so long for me to figure that one out. I finally found the settings for posting and was able to turn on the anonymous setting to make people's lives easier.

      When it comes to talent with sewing, honestly I don't have any. It all comes with practice and I still mess up regularly. I mean I was proud of myself that I only had to rip out seams two times on the bunny snuggy. I think that's a record for me *laugh*. To this day I still need to look up in my mending books on the proper way to sew on a button.

      I am about 1/2 of the way finished with a beginning series on really beginning machine sewing and how I learned to do it in junior high. Luckily for me, I had a good home ec class back then and remember it well as it was the only sewing training I had growing up. I'm hoping to finish up the first parts here sometime soon. Been busy and blah blah blah ;).

    2. I am an experienced seamstress, and I still have to rip out seams occasionally. It's part of the process. :)

      Love your blog, Erica.


  6. I love the bunny snuggy. So very cute and you did a good job sewing it.
    Money saving this past week.
    *Due to the high heat we are experiencing peak electricity demand at certain times. I cut back during those times to avoid higher electric charges. I have also started closing off my bedroom during the day. It really makes the rest of the house cooler.
    *Only dried clothes for half the amount of time and either hung up the clothes in the laundry room or left it in the hot dryer to finish air drying.
    *Harvested the following from the garden: lettuce, onions, Chinese vegetables, cucumbers, kale, cabbage, radishes, strawberries, blueberries, potatoes, celery leaves (plant is bolting so the stems are tough) carrots, sugar beets, green beans and cooked a butternut squash from last year's garden
    *Herbs harvested: St. John's wort, dill, nasturtium.
    *Saved seeds for next years garden (will share with anyone who wants them): green seoul, cauliflower and spinach.
    I don't know how much longer I will be able to keep the garden alive. We are experiencing a drought in my county. Everywhere around us has gotten rain but we are suffering. We have had one rain in the past five weeks and now the temperatures are in the upper 90's. I am on well water and have been watering constantly but it is 1,000 square feet and that is A WHOLE LOT OF WATER. It is heartbreaking when you do so much preparation and then you have to just watch it burn
    *Shopped online using Swagbucks, coupons and Father Day sales to get my oldest son some new pants. He is very hard to fit. I also downloaded a $5 off $25 online coupon and then sent him to Dollar General to get socks and underwear.
    * Met my best girlfriend for lunch and we spent the day shopping at thrift stores. We did not have much luck but I did find a lampshade and a HUGE coffee cup. I am so tired of returning to the kitchen for a refill. Now I can tell the doctor I only drink one cup a day.
    * Followed the suggestions of other bloggers and began watching “Call of the Midwife”. I love it but my husband hates it. He said, “No car chases, gun fights or explosions and I can't understand their accents. It is only women screaming in pain”. He just doesn't get it.
    Frugal fails this week:
    *Dropped a pitcher of milk right in front of the refrigerator. It bounced and splashed EVERYWHERE. I had to scrub the inside, outside and underneath the refrigerator. I discovered some nasty stuff in the back that smelled awful and had to throw it away. I took all the edible odd stuff and made a burrito casserole. That was a win.
    * Baked sugar cookies shaped like a bone (people treats) and donated them to a fund raiser for the local humane shelter. It was a free event called “Bark in the Park” where you bring your dog and enjoy all types of activities. Since I got my dog from the shelter, I wanted the volunteers to see how wonderful Scooter is doing. He was an abuse victim and has had a hard time adjusting. Well, he vomited in the car just as I pulled into the parking lot!!!! Thank goodness the cookies were in the trunk. I just dropped off the cookies then returned straight home to clean out the car. It was a win because it was cheap to make the cookies but a fail because I missed all the free fun.

    1. Continued
      *My second son come home this weekend for a friends wedding. I suggested he use our home phone to call and chat with his girlfriend and save his cell phone minutes. They ended up talking three hours and breaking up! I don't know if that is a frugal win or loss????

      I did not get much done this past week because I was sick with a bug for a few days. This usually happens after I have pushed myself working so hard at my job plus I am around so many people. This next week is going to be better.
      Goals for this week:
      Inventory pantry and clean it out.
      Visit Mom and help her grocery shop and clean her house.
      Clean my house. It is really a mess.
      Try to do at least some mending.
      Make pickles from all the cucumbers coming in.
      Weed garden and WATER, WATER, WATER!!!

    2. Good grief! My grammar..."Call of the Midwife" like "Call of the Wild", oops. "Call the Midwife"
      "Friends wedding" should be "Friend's wedding"
      I am afraid to read any more. Jeannie

    3. I know how you feel about the garden but with me it's bugs and other things. Like last night we got hail. A lot of hail. For about 45 minutes near straight. Luckily most of the garden is under the eaves of the house and I was able to drag the planters under the eaves as well to protect them, but my poor spinach has holes punched through it from the hail. And this on top of what all the bugs are doing to everything this year. My raspberries are coming in great...if they have a chance to ripen. I've got beetles eating on them green and have already have a few of the baby raspberries die as a result. Frustrating to say the least.

  7. Very well done on the lovey! I'm not sure, have you ever seen a taggeies blanket? My sister in law makes those as baby gifys, you can do all sorts of sizes, it's those blankets with different textures of ribbon the edges for the kids to feel. She said those are cheap and easy for her to make. (If you ever need more cute baby gift ideas)

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I do have a bunch of different types of ribbon. That might be something to look into for at least my baby niece for Christmas :).

  8. Great job on the baby gift, Erika. I don't think baby will care if it looks like Winnie the Pooh with bunny ears...just that it is soft and cuddly! Your niece will love that it was hand made, so it's all good. :)

    I've always wondered how to get soft bread as well. Thank you so much for posting this tip!

    As for my goals, I'm usually a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of person. But, the news said that strawberries are finally ready in our area, and I happen to be off on Friday and Saturday, so I might try getting some and making jam! Not sure it will happen, though, as my mom is painting the kitchen right now. We'll have to wait and see!!!

    1. Well, at least you can clean strawberries and freeze them until your mom is done with the painting. I remember when we were doing work on our house in PA and I ran into cheap strawberries. I ended up cleaning them out on our back stairs, fighting wasps while doing it, washed them with the outside spigot and then put them in the freezer for later use really fast. My immediate family didn't can once we moved to PA (I always helped my grandma with her canning for the year, though), but those strawberries sure did taste good on shortcake come winter time *laugh*.

  9. I'm not sure if you will see this or not, but any clue why a raspberry (black) plant suddenly is getting brown curling leaves? The other looks great, but this one is nkt, and now the berries aren't forming right. No fungus growing, no holes in the leaves, just starting to curl. Goodlettsville hasn't helped.

    1. I'm not sure as I've found a lot of different things can cause that to happen with mine. A dog peed on one of my bushes once and that happened to it, one year it was an early warning sign of a blight that wiped out a good portion of my raspberries and last year it was a sign that the bushes were getting too much sun and were starting to bake on me. I know, no help at all. I'd just keep a watch on it. If it seems localized to the one branch and doesn't spread I'd just cut it off and call it good. Hopefully it'll be alright and won't be that big of a deal.

    2. Here's an article I found on the subject that will hopefully help you diagnose the cause...