Thursday, December 01, 2016

My Healthy Goal For December

Every December, I try to make an effort to prepare more simple and nutritious meals to offset the extra candy, cookies and junk (albeit yummy junk!), we inevitably consume during the holiday season.

Recently, I've noticed some health issues that I've been having. After doing some research, I've concluded that these symptoms could very likely be due to not drinking enough water. And I will admit that I've gotten slack on drinking enough water--some days only drinking 1-2 water bottles full!

My goal for December, in addition to eating reasonably well, is to drink enough water each day. I read somewhere a long time ago that we should drink half of our weight in ounces. So if a person is 150 pounds, they would drink 75 ounces of water each day. Makes sense to me and is a great goal to work towards!

This will be a challenge....especially at work, when bathroom breaks are few and far between. Just keeping it real, folks! But I'm willing to give it a try for the whole month to see how it affects my general health and well-being!
My favorite Lifefactory water bottle!

December is here. Let's end the year on a healthy note!

Friday, October 28, 2016

McGalliard Falls

On our way home from getting apples a couple weekends ago, we made a stop in Valdese, NC at McGalliard Falls.

Andy spent several of his growing up years around that area and fondly remembers visiting McGalliard Falls. He has wanted to take me there for quite some time but for one reason and another, it never quite worked out to go until now.

It was a beautiful morning! And very quiet except for a few other visitors, including two photo shoots.

We took the short hike to the falls, sat on the rocks by the stream and just enjoyed God's beauty and the lovely fall weather!

McGalliard Falls is not a huge falls and a fairly small park but still a nice little day trip if you are close. There's a picnic area and lots of wide open spaces for the littles to explore!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Applesauce Week

Last week was quiet in this space as I was spending my mornings making applesauce!

We made a quick trip to the mountains the weekend before and purchased 4 bushels of apples. 

In years past, I've calculated that one bushel of apples yields approximately 13 quart of applesauce. We go through 40-50 quart in a year's time. So 4 bushels of apples= 52 quart. Seemed simple. Some years I purchase 5 bushel of apples because I also make several batches of apple butter. But we still have plenty of apple butter on the shelf so I was just planning to make applesauce this year.

Well...I got a new sauce maker this year ( Yay for birthday and Christmas money!) and it is so much more efficient, cranking out the applesauce much more quickly. Plus I don't have to core the apples; just wash, quarter and cut off any bad spots. 

I did 1 bushel of apples each morning. The first day I was pleasantly surprised to end up with 20 quart of applesauce from just 1 bushel! The next 2 bushels yielded 21 quart each. 

The applesauce with the new sauce maker is a bit finer consistency and a little thinner but I'm good with that! 

Needless to say, 3 bushels gave us 62 quart of applesauce (60 quart canned) so  we should be good to go for the next year and possibly longer than that since it keeps longer than 1 year and I still have a few jars of applesauce left from last year! 

So since the 4th bushel doesn't need to be made into applesauce to can, we've been eating apples fresh, I'll make a batch of applesauce to eat fresh plus some apple pies to freeze. I may even make a few other fun things with them! 

We thank God for His bountiful provision!

For past apple sauce making posts:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Anne Of Green Gables

Can you believe that I never liked the Anne Of Green Gables series?

I tried to read them when I was young and couldn't "get into them". Too much flowery speech and too small of print, probably.

Recently, I saw Anne Of Green Gables on my shelf and decided to give it another try.

And I am so glad I did!

The book took me over a week to read--reading a few pages each night--but held my attention from beginning to end. It was so enjoyable and the characters so relatable and loveable. And so quotable too!

And upon reading the last page, I immediately wanted to read the next book! That's the sign that I really enjoyed a book.

I need to check and make sure the library has Anne Of Avonlea...

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. 
It would be terrible if we just skipped 
from September to November, wouldn't it?" 
--L.M Montgomery

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Clean On Tuesday

Continuing with revamping my homemaking schedule...

After determining that Monday would be my main Laundry Day, I chose to clean the house on Tuesday.

The main reason for choosing Tuesday was that I really do not care that much for cleaning. {However, I do love a house that has been cleaned. Just saying.}

There are things in life that are not our favorites but still need to be done!

I knew if I left housecleaning until Friday or Saturday, it would be more likely to not get done. I try to clean earlier in the week and then do a little more as needed toward the end. 

On Cleaning Day, I focus on very basic cleaning. I clean the bathrooms, dust, vacuum, clean kitchen surfaces, etc. My goal is to complete the basic cleaning in 2 hours or less. I don't always manage that but it is a goal. If surfaces have become cluttered, it takes longer. I try to put things away each day which helps Cleaning Day to run more smoothly.

Typically, the tasks are broken down something like this:
  • Clean bathrooms--20-30 minutes for both using this method
  • Dust--maybe 15 minutes? 
  • Vacuum all floors--this takes a good 30 minutes for hardwood floors and carpet. 
  • Clean kitchen: sinks, counters, microwave, wipe down all appliances--at least 30 minutes.
  • Windows and mirrors--as needed. I estimate about 15 minutes spent on these. 

Any deep cleaning or organizing is done in other small pockets of time throughout the week. 

Vacuuming floors and cleaning kitchen surfaces are done multiple times each week. 

I know there are some who are surprised that our house gets dirty with only two adults living in it. But it does! Someone is home almost all the time, we cook and eat most of our meals at home, we wear shoes in the house and we have a dog. In other words, we really do a lot of living in our home! 

Cleaning Day is one of my least favorite but such a great feeling to work a couple of hours and have a fresh smelling and sparkling clean house at the end! 

One thing that makes cleaning more enjoyable is using a cleaning product that smells nice! My current favorite is Mrs. Meyer's Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner in the Basil scent. This cleaner can be used for many surfaces in our home. I like that it actually works and is a cleaner I can safely use and not have respiratory problems the rest of the day. (Unlike when I use most chemical cleaners.)

Tell me about your cleaning schedule. What are your favorite cleaners to use? 

Friday, October 07, 2016

Frugal Five

Some frugal stuff happening around here lately....

1. I saw a bunch of Mason jars in the glass receptacle where we take our trash. I asked the attendants if I could take some. He said, "Yes!" So I took what fit in my bag--14 jars in all. Perfectly good condition and will be used here! I didn't think we were typically allowed to take out of the containers but it doesn't hurt to ask!

2. Mended some clothing and home items.

3. Accepted some wonderful home items from family members who are down-sizing. Items included a beautiful Oriental-style rug and an old dresser.
Rock approves of the new rug!

4. Used the library inter-loan system to request and borrow books I wanted to read. Also, I'm re-reading some books already on my bookshelf.

5. We've been eating at home a lot which is nothing new but continues to be a HUGE money-saver. We utilize leftovers for lunches so very little is wasted.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Fall Porch

Nothing like a home study visit to motivate me to clean up our porch and give it a fresh look for the fall season!

Aldi had mums for $2.99 and other plants for $4.50 so I bought a couple things to inexpensively add some pretty. A few pumpkins from the farm market instantly added some fall flavor! 

Almost anything looks better than pots overgrown with weeds...ahem! 

A good sweep of the porch, a quick wipe down for the table and chairs and some glass cleaner on the door and everything was looking fresher and more homey! 

Our wreath has been up for a couple of years and needs a refreshing so I took it down and made this little decoration from burlap, an embroidery hoop and a black Sharpie--all items I had on hand! 

Looking at the clean porch and touches of fall puts a smile on my face! 

Happy fall, y'all!