Subscribe To Our Posts

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Coffee Love

If you follow my Facebook page you know I start every day with a love of coffee. Christmas coffee love is even more cherished by me as I get my days going and prepare for the season.

This coffee lovers Christmas ornament was found at Hobby Lobby. I had to have it. It is my ornament purchase of the year. I always buy one for myself.

Christmas ornament for coffee lovers

I have a small collection of vintage Thermos and this tin with vintage Thermos images has to come home with me. Dean put a small tree with peppermint lights on it.

vintage Thermos display

An I love coffee Christmas tradition is some sort of hot drink station in the kitchen. We have done large and small. Check out our best hot drink tray idea.

hot drink station for Christmas

 Even a simple basket of hot cocoa near the coffee maker is fun and lets the kids get involved in the holiday drink making. I did a whole post on hot cocoa station ideas.

hot cocoa basket

Christmas for lovers of coffee is made even better with a fun Santa mug. Check out my knock off recipe for Starbucks peppermint white mocha. It is so yummy!

Knock of Starbucks peppermint mocha

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Simple Saturdays Blog Link Party


Welcome back to another week of the Simple Saturdays Blog Hop! Can you believe it's December already!?!? 

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of co-hosts committed to the simple ways of life and learning to be more self reliant.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to do more for ourselves in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!

This Blog Hop is being hosted by:

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life

If you are interested in co-hosting our hop, please email

What Can I Post?

Anything and everything related to a more simple way of life or self reliance....
Homesteading, prepping, gardening, cooking/recipes/food, livestock of all varieties, off-grid, natural living, wellness/wholeness and healthcare, herbal, DIY and MYO.

**Please note: By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include  photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way. **

Congratulations to our Featured Bloggers!

All featured will now be pinned by the 

Most Viewed

Gently Sustainable

Hosts' Choice

Ready to get to the hop?  Add your link below:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

2017 Christmas Kitchen Tour

Welcome to our 2017 Christmas Kitchen Tour! Woo-hoo the kitchen is decked out in traditional red and green Christmas decorating ideas.

Our Decorating Agreement

As always, I buy and collect the holiday decor and Dean decorates. In fact on my Instagram I gave him his own hashtag #deandecorates. How's that for a hoot. They guy has no social media but has his own hashtag. Come follow and see his decorating skills at work. Lol! But first, check out his doings in our Christmas kitchen this year!!

vintage Christmas, vintage Santas

baking center, Christmas baking decor

camper Christmas, prim Christmas

Christmas home tour

Holiday home tour, vintage 50's kitchen

farmhouse Christmas, retro Christmas

gingerbread decorating ideas, Christmas baking center

Picking A Christmas Kitchen Theme

From our Christmas cookie baking center to a nod to our love of camping, our kitchen really represents our family. I have some old pieces of my mom's and things my kiddos have given me. It is where I spend all my time and I love what he did this year.

Video Tour Of Our Vintage Christmas Kitchen

Please also take the video tour of our kitchen (click the arrow below) and click like and subscribe while you are there. We would so love that!! Thank you everyone!!! You are always so kind to Dean and I with your comments about our festive decorating.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Freezer Lasagna - Cooking For The Holidays

Welcome to my holiday freezer cooking series. Let's see how we can save time and what to make ahead and freeze for the busy Christmas season.  Today is Freezer Lasagna - Cooking For The Holidays.

make ahead freezer meal recipes, easy lasagna

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

7 Tools You Need To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner - My Favorites!

Cooking Thanksgiving is an overwhelming task to many. I have learned the hard way how to make preparing Thanksgiving dinner easier. Shop early and start smart with my 7 tools you need to cook your special meal.

Thanksgiving prep, Thanksgiving meal

My Favorite Tools for Cooking the Thanksgiving Dinner

1. When cooking your turkey, a large granite ware roaster is my favorite pan to cook the turkey in. Nothing fancy. You can buy the insert rack to put the turkey on but I don't have one. I just throw stalks of celery, halved onions and carrots across the bottom and set the turkey on top. It flavors the drippings nicely for good basting and delicious gravy.
splatter ware roaster
Affiliate links in this post.

2. Any kind of meat thermometer is nice so you know when you turkey is fully done. I have had batter operated and the old dial kind. Both work well.

3. A turkey baster is nice to have for easy basting. That oven gets hot and it is the safest way to get the hot juices and baste that turkey.

My Favorite Tools for Serving the Thanksgiving Dinner

4. Turkey lifting forks are to me, the easiest way to lift that hot heavy turkey onto your platter or carving board. I inherited mine from my mom but they are inexpensive.

5. A sharp knife. From dicing and chopping but most importantly carving the turkey, a sharp knife is necessary for serving your meal.

6. Throw away aluminum pans. For really simplifying every step of preparing Thanksgiving dinner, you cannot beat these disposable pans. You can cook and freeze in them and then reheat in them and when the meal is done, just toss. This meal is so much much work that I will do trick like this to save me time in the kitchen so we can enjoy the day more.

7. A crock pot is a must have now too. As I learned to start cooking my meal one or more days ahead, have a crock pot is must have for my mashed potatoes. I cook them on Wednesday, adding a bit of extra milk. On Thursday I put them in the crock pot or slow cooker at least 4 hours before the meal and turn on high adding some pats of butter. I stir a few times but they come out light and fluffy and bubbly. No mashing the day of Thanksgiving is the best.

Read my previous post on how to organize and simplify your holiday meal prep.
And watch my video:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Does Dawn Remove Mascara Stains From Sheets And Pillowcases

The mascara we don't want to smudge, can be a real pain to get out of your sheets and pillowcases. I decided to test a tip I read that Dawn can remove mascara stains from sheets and pillowcases. Here are my results.

Sheets are expensive to I am determined to find out how to remove mascara stains out of my sheets. Follow along as I find the secret.

Does Dawn Remove Mascara Stains From Pillowcases

1. I slightly dampened the makeup stain on my pillowcase and wiped lightly.

2.  I then put the original blue Dawn on the stain rubbing in well and let sit to work.

3. Using an old toothbrush I scrubbed the stain after an hour of sitting.

4. Placed the pillowcase in the hot washer with laundry detergent and washed as usual.

In a word no! I tested this tip and though the Dawn did fade the mascara stain, it was still there after washing. I am onto the next test. I am going to find a way to get these stains out and save our sheets!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November Grocery Pantry Stock Up Prices

In this day of rising food prices, I am always looking to save. Every month I try to stock my deep pantry when I find rock bottom grocery prices. I like to keep a stockpile sale price list so I know when to stock up.

November grocery stock up shopping is the time to save on:

1. Baking supplies. From butter to flour and sugar, stock up now. Butter freezes well.

2. Snacks and party foods. Holiday gatherings spur the stores to use these foods as loss leaders.

3. Canned goods. If you live in a state that has case lot sales you may find better deals then but for the rest of us, November is the month to stockpile canned goods.

3. Soda and adult beverage ingredients. Again party season.

Check out our entire page of Frugal Tips.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thanksgiving Home Decor Tour 2017

Join us for a Thanksgiving Home Tour 2017. I hope you enjoy this video tour of all of Dean's decorating for the Thanksgiving holiday. He puts lots of time and effort into his fall vignettes and does such a nice job that I always look forward to sharing with you.

 Enjoy... Happy Thanksgiving. Click the video below to see the tour...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Musings And What is With All The Christmas Decorating?

Now I don't intend to cause any controversy but I am noticing more and more people already have their houses decorated for Christmas. Now this may make me a bad blogger but we do not and here is why....

gingerbread vignette, wood candy canes

This was a darling Christmas vignette at a local store. I snapped a pic and bought the candy canes for hubby to recreate as I already have the tree, candle and gingerbread boy. Isn't this sweet?

Thanksgiving kitchen, vintage colander

fall lighted tree, primitive Thanksgiving decorating

Why We Don't Decorate Early For Christmas

1. The plain and simple reason is my husband, as you know, does all the decorating and he refuses to rush any holiday. I suggested maybe just getting a few things up early this year because we are throwing a big party in December for his birthday, and he said no way. Enjoy each month and holiday at a time is his philosophy.

2. Putting up the decorations too early makes me tired of them by the time the holiday arrives. Anyone else like this?

3. I can easily get overwhelmed with all the Christmas decor hubby puts up so one month of it is all I can visually handle.

So there are the reasons and I am content to savor each holiday. My kids look forward to each holiday's decor coming out. But if you are an early decorator, and I know some folks have lots of trees that take tons of time, go ahead and enjoy and share cause we all love seeing your inspirational photos.
Let me know, are you an early holiday decorator?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

3 Of My Easy Go To Soup Recipes Using Leftovers

Frugal cooking is my thing and here are three great soups made from leftovers and the easy recipes to make them.

More frugal cooks in past generations could stretch a meal into many more. Leftover vegetables into a pot of soup the next day was a regular practice. There was no throwing good food in the trash. So turn leftovers into soup for an almost free meal. Here are 3 of my go to soup recipes from leftovers.

frugal cooking

Leftover Soup Recipes

Zesty Mexican Soup
Mexican soup, leftover taco meat soup

This is usually the soup I make with leftover taco meat and Spanish rice. 
creamy chicken and rice soup

potato cheese soup recipe

Potato cheese soup from leftover Thanksgiving potatoes is a tradition. This one if my favorite. My all time comfort food soup recipe.