Sunday, October 2, 2022

A Peek Into Last Week (September 24-30)~

Another week has just flowwwn by me! I am flabbergasted that October is upon us already. We are coming into my favorite seasons, fall and winter, when we finally get a reprieve from the suffocating heat and humidity. 

“October is crisp days and cool nights, a time to curl up around the dancing flames and sink into a good book.” 

~John Sinor

And before I go any further, I want to extend my prayers to all who are suffering from the devastating effects of Ian. Living in a hurricane prone area, I totally feel your pain, helplessness and overwhelm. πŸ™

Homekeeping ~

This past week's homekeeping focus was the storage and/or laundry room. As I consider our garage to be an area of storage, I spent some time assessing my gardening equipment and cleaning and tidying the area where it is all kept. 

I also took the time to shine up my kitchen sink, and since it is such a fleeting victory (πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„), decided to take a picture, so it would last longer~haha!

ain't she purdy?!

While I am on the subject, I don't want to give the impression that I am trying to come off as a "super homemaker". Farrrr from it. I deal constantly with fatigue and, what I consider to be a low level of depression,  or "the blues" as I like to call it. It has been a constant struggle for me since my husband had his stroke ten years ago and we were sent home with no manual as to how to navigate our "new normal". It was much, much harder the first few years, and I am finally at a more manageable place but I still have days where I only get the absolute minimum done in order to keep the state of our home down to a "dull roar". Not because that's what I want, but because that is what I am capable of. I say all this, not to gain sympathy, only to clarify. I have "zones" (ala the Flylady) to help keep me moving forward with my housekeeping, rather than being stagnant or falling completely behind. So, I like to focus on little projects or cleaning jobs in the different zones that go beyond the everyday cleaning tasks in order not end up on the next episode of Hoarders, πŸ˜†. Even if I spend only a total of five extra minutes for the whole week accomplishing one of those housekeeping goals, it still gives me a sense of accomplishment and encouragement. 

In this fast paced, show-only-your-"Instagram worthy"-ness world we live in, I must confess it is not easy for me to admit all of that, but it is my reality. And my hope is to be "real" with you.

Moving on, lol...

What I'm cooking, baking and eating (besides the usual) ~ 

I baked another two full pans of chicken leg quarters, (quickly seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder and salt & pepper) to have for easy, heat & eat dinners. I also threw in a foil wrapped sweet potato to cook alongside the chicken for hubby's dinner one night (I'm sure I've mentioned it before but he and I are on two different wavelengths when it comes to meals, the kind and the timing of them). I came upon two ten pound bags of chicken leg quarters, week before last, marked down to .29 a pound so I brought them home, divided them up and froze them. Plus, hubby has been content with sandwiches (ham and cheese, pb&j-he's pretty easy to please) on other nights.

I am trying to lower my consumption of sugar (I have not one but many sweet teeth) for my health and mood, so I haven't been baking, other than bread for the hubs. Because of this, and since I do have a ravenous appetite for sweets, I have made sugar free versions of fresh lemonade, whipped no bake "cheesecake", chocolate mousse and a faux chocolate crustless "pie": sugar free, fat free chocolate pudding (boxed instant Jello) with zero sugar whipped topping (Cool Whip) since chocolate pie is one of my all time favorite kinds of pie (thanks to my great grandmother "Ma" (pronounced Maw-RIP) who made a mean chocolate merengue pie, and who contributed to the delinquency of a little sugar addict chocoholic piggy πŸ·πŸ™‹‍♀️. The cool whipped topped instant chocolate pudding is as close as you're gonna get this girl to making a merengue pie😁.). 


What I'm watching/reading ~


The Into the Night series on Netflix

The Netflix site describes it as, "Passengers and crew aboard a hijacked overnight flight scramble to outrace the sun as a mysterious cosmic event wreaks havoc on the world below."

I describe it as, gripping.🀯

Well y'all that's about it for me this week. I hope you all had a good one. See you next time annnnd...

Thanks for stopping by!

πŸ’‹xo,

TJ

PS~ the Bar Keepers Friend is not sponsored and this is not an ad for it. I just love using it!(my savvier-than-her-mama daughter has told me I need to always make that clear, lol)

Friday, September 30, 2022

Friday Fave~

 endeavor:

authentic•oldfashionedvalues•lowtech•slowliving

~livingsimply~

I thought I would add a little series called Friday Faves, wherein I will showcase something I've used and/ or purchased time and time again. I enjoy seeing people's favorites and I have learned about products I might otherwise never have known about without them sharing.  I hope this serves the same purpose for you!
The first item I want to share is *Crystal Mineral Deodorant Stick. I have been using this brand's deodorant for years, and get this...I am only on my third purchase (yes, I use it every day, lol). My first ever purchase was the deodorant Stick like I am using now. My second purchase was the liquid roll on, which I liked and worked as effectively, the product itself just didn't last as long as the Crystal Mineral Deodorant Stick. 


I love that the ingredient list is short: potassium alum (mineral salts)  and that it doesn't contain common deodorant ingredients such as aluminum, silicone, parabens, artificial fragrances or colors and phthalates. I especially like that for around $6, the product will last two years (as per the label-but mine has lasted, and been just as effective, for a longer time span in the past). 

I prefer to use unscented products when I can, but the brand does offer a variety to choose from: an Invisible Solid and also a Mineral Roll On in Lavender and White Tea, a Mineral Deodorant Roll On in Pomegranate, a Mineral Deodorant Stone with a dish and of course, the  Unscented Mineral Deodorant Stick I use and show here.

Now granted, I realize it may not work in everyone's particular situation, but then again, what ONE product works for everyone? 

If you have used this product, or any other natural deodorants that you enjoy,  please share in the comments. As I mentioned, I love to learn about others' favorite products. And if you haven't already, but decide to try the Crystal deodorant products, please share your thoughts!


Thanks for stopping by!

πŸ’‹xo,

TJ

*this product was not sponsored and is not an ad~just a friend sharing with friends!

Monday, September 26, 2022

What's in My Bag / Exchanging Handbags for the Fall~

endeavor:

authentic•oldfashionedvalues•lowtech•slowliving

~livingsimply~

from this one... 

to this one!


Do you enjoy "What's in My Bag" type videos? I do and so I thought I would film one! Curious? Take a peek at-> What's in My Bag / Exchanging Handbags for the Fall


See you there!~ TJ 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

A Peek Into Last Week (September 17-23)~

endeavor:

authentic•oldfashionedvalues•lowtech•slowliving

~livingsimply~

 Well...Happy Fall y'all! I've been noticing an almost imperceptible change in the weather for a couple of weeks now. It's slightly less hot (I can't say cool yet) and slightly less humid. It's autumn in Texas, lol.

This past week has been the busiest I've had in a very lonnnnng time! This may be a very short and uneventful read since I was thrown off my usual scheduleand routines.

Errands ~

Hubby went to the ER Monday as his pain level was getting the best of him. I had a follow up appointment with my oral surgeon on Tuesday and a deep cleaning on Thursday. 

Somewhere in the mix of things there, I went to the grocery store and to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions and other OTC necessities. 

Homekeeping ~

The focus this week was the office, desk and paperwork. My special project was to clean out a couple of desk drawers and recycle some unnecessary papers. 

What I'm cooking, baking and eating (besides the usual) ~ 

tomato mozzarella salad 

I did big batch baking of chicken leg quarters (half with lemon pepper seasoning and half with Italian herbs and spices) and a second pan of hamburger patties seasoned with Montreal Steak seasoning. I also made a crustless quiche and a tomato mozzarella salad. It made dinners easy for a busier than usual week.

What I'm watching/reading ~


I watched a movie, Father Stu, on Netflix. I don't know if I was having an emotionally hormonal day or if the movie really got to me that much but I'll just say, the tissue box was definitely on standby 😭. I  found it very touching.

IMDb says the movie, "Follows the life of Father Stuart Long, a boxer-turned-priest who inspired countless people during his journey from self-destruction to redemption.

It is based on the real life story of "Father Stu".

Highlight ~


This little guy had a birthday this past week! He is not so little anymore (he's taller than me!), and has grown into a fine young man that his Mamaw (me!πŸ™‹‍♀️) is extremely proud of. Here's to many, MANY more birthdays for this handsome fella!

And...not quite as major as a grandsons birthday, but a highlight for me just the same, is these two snuggling up next to each other...


I hope you had a wonderful week, thanks for stopping by! 

πŸ’‹xo,

TJ





Sunday, September 18, 2022

A Peek Into Last Week (September 10-16)~

endeavor:

authentic•oldfashionedvalues•lowtech•slowliving

~livingsimply~

It's time for another...


...peek into our week.🀭


Homekeeping ~

using the sun's perfect bleaching action for the whitest white laundry 

This week's focus was the guest bedroom and craft room. My pet project this week was spending time on sorting through all my fabric and getting rid of what I know I'll never use. Most went into the giveaway box. Still, I am left with more fabric than I will probably ever use, lol!


What I'm cooking, baking and eating (besides the usual) ~ 

For dinners, I made enchilada casserole  (again!☺️)but this time with red enchilada sauce and chicken. I also made a simple pasta bake using items we had in the freezer and pantry.

I haven't been baking a whole lot lately but did bake a white and a cinnamon raisin loaf this week.



Errands ~

I had to get our car's safety inspection sticker renewed and after I was done with that, I stopped in a couple of grocery stores to pick up some sales items and a few necessities.

Highlight ~

like I've said before...it's the litte things

That morning cup of coffee. 'Nuff said. πŸ˜‰

Thanks for stopping by! 

πŸ’‹xo,

TJ




Sunday, September 11, 2022

A Peek Into Last Week (September 3-9)~

endeavor:

authentic•oldfashionedvalues•lowtech•slowliving

~livingsimply~

This past week I wasn't very productive imo, due to a case of the blues. But that's okay. We all find ourselves in that position at times. I did manage the following little snapshots of productivity here and there though...

What I'm cooking, baking and eating (besides the usual) ~ 

I didn't do a lot of cooking or baking this week. Of the few things I did make, these are those:

crockpot chicken and noodles. I love a good (practically) dump and go crockpot recipe for those days when my energy, or enthusiasm for fussing over a meal, is low. This is one of those dishes, and I had everything on hand except the egg noodles. I substituted pasta "twirls" instead and it came out just fine. It was tasty and one of those comforting types of meals, like a hug in a bowl, lol.

I, again this week  made another "power food meal" that feeds us several meals worth of food. I love "template" style recipes that allow me to use and combine what we have on hand to made a delicious,  nutritious dish. This time, I made it into an "Italiano" style, with ground turkey, black olives, cauliflower, green beans, mixed veggies, canned diced tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, garlic cloves, garlic powder (we like our garlic!), Italian herbs, oregano, fennel, parsley and salt & pepper. I like to keep the grain, which in this case was rice, on the side so that the amount of carbs can be controlled by whoever is eating the meal.

Homekeeping ~

This week's focus was the living room, entryway, and front porch. This area proves challenging to clean and tidy because the area is still in disarray from water damage that originated with the hot water tank in the attic and worked it's way down to the first floor. I do what I can, take a deep breath and try to look the other way πŸ˜‰ until we can get it repaired.

I cleaned the screens flanking the front door, the front door and the decorative lantern. I didn't need to sweep this time because the lawn fellas always blow the porch clean when they are here. 

I  spot cleaned the entryway rug.

πŸ“·: unknown 

"I find it soothing to take something wrinkled and make it smooth. It feels anticipatory. It's what I do before a celebration. And nobody bothers me when I'm ironing."

I ironed a few items that needed it. I know, I know...ughhh, right? But, we can do it! The job will be finished before we know it~πŸ‘And once you get started, it can become a relaxing exercise in meditation of sorts (and my Rowenta iron is a great tool to help get the job done *not an ad* I've had it for many years and it has been quite the workhorse). 


We don't have many clothes that need ironing but the linen items we wear to keep cool during the sweltering summer demand no less than naturally cool fabrics. And sometimes that means ironing.

The thing about linen though is, even after ironing, it still looks like it needs ironing! πŸ˜‚

What I'm watching/reading ~

This week, I started a new (to me) series called Marcella on Netflix. I'm only on episode two of the first season but so far I am really enjoying it! 

About Marcella, Netflix says "An emotionally damaged ex-police detective goes back on the job to investigate a serial killer after her seemingly happy marriage falls apart." 

and~ 

"Despite marriage woes, a tragic loss, memory blackouts and her struggles as a mom, a London detective excels at what she does best: catching killers."

Sounds juicy!

I also ran across this YouTube video  describing how to turn milk, that is on the verge of having to be discarded, into farmers cheese and wanted to share. In these days of rising prices, I think we can all use any help we can get to make our dollars-and food- go further. I always love a good "waste not, want not" tip and I look forward to finding out what he does with the whey! (my usual use for whey is to add to soaking beans, but there are many other great uses for whey. I would love to hear your favoriteuses for whey!)

Pamper ~


Have you taken time for yourself this week? I did...and as you can see from the picture, the process wasn't pretty, lol, but it felt great! The fast pace of life these days can overwhelm our spirits if we don't slow down sometimes and show ourselves some kindness. Treat yourself like someone you love! Inexpensive (or free!) things we can all choose from to pamper ourselves:
πŸ“š get lost in a favorite book
πŸ› soak in a bubble-or just a nice warm-bath. (bonus~light candles!)
☀️ sit out in the sunshine for a bit
πŸ«–☕️🍫 take a tea/coffee break and maybe nibble some chocolate
πŸŒΉπŸ’ buy a pretty bouquet or pick one from your yard...even if it is just greenery
πŸ¦ΆπŸ’… diy mani/pedi or just soak your tootsies in a basin of warm water (optional: add Epsom salts/acv/a drop of a delightfully scented body wash or bubble bath) 

πŸ’¨ take a few deep breaths

And so many more ideas are out there! Feel free to add your favorite(s) in the comment section! 

Treat yourself like royalty ~~πŸ‘‘

Highlight ~

my pov from under a shady tree♡
This view from underneath a shady tree. It's the simple things for me sometimes!

Well...that's about it for me this week. I hope you had an enjoyable and productive week! But before I go...please join me this week at a FREE online event, The Traditional Skills Summit, given by School of Traditional Skills (get your ticket here). We will learn more about subjects such as sourdough bread, the Back to Eden gardening method, traditional bone broth and much, much more taught by the experts themselves! I can't wait to "see you" there!

As always, I thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog. Until next time...

πŸ’‹xo,

TJ 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

A Peek Into Last Week (August 27-September 2)~

 endeavor:

authentic•oldfashionedvalues•lowtech•slowliving

~livingsimply~

September is upon us, school is back in session here, and it's still hotter than a Texas bonfire outside! Whew! As long as our air conditioners keep on blowing the cold, I am good with laying low and doing indoorsy things. After several days in a row of rain, for which I am extremely grateful, we seem to be living smack dab in the middle of a mosquito hatchery. I rue the times I walk out the door not having had the forethought to apply my lemongrass essential oil, dabbing it on liberally like so much eau de parfum, to repel those tiny vampires.

While I was busy fanning myself and tending to my mosquito bites, I did jot down a few notes of the things I managed to accomplish this past week. Let's take a peek, shall we?~~~

What I'm cooking, baking and eating ~ 

Tomato and basil chicken sausage served over garlic cauliflower mash, enchilada casserole (Since I was making this in a 9"x13" pan-I don't have the size pan called for in the recipe-I used 12 corn tortillas rather than 8. I substituted pork from this recipe that I made in the past, portioned out and froze for future meals. The black beans were big batch cooked in the past as well, divided up into 1 1/2 cup portions and frozen. I substituted green enchilada sauce for the red, as that's what I had on hand. I also added about a half of a cup of salsa verde that I had in the freezer to help stretch the saucy part to accommodate the extra corn tortillas and larger pan. I also used more cheese on top than one cup-maybe 1-1 1/2 cup more), a little garlic powder and a bit of salt.πŸ˜‹), "power food meal", devil's food bundt cake, chocolatey chip yellow snack cake (using up cake mixes I bought at a great price several months ago)

Homekeeping ~ 

this Mainstays candle from Walmart has the most delightful Autumnal scent!

This weeks focus was the master bedroom and closet. I straightened up my shoes and organized a few things on the closet shelves. 

What I'm watching/reading~

After reading this article I decided, after getting away from reading fiction in recent years, to revisit a long lost favorite author of mine and tackle some of her books that have been gathering dust on my bookshelves. I used to devour Ms. Steel's books back in the day. Now, I don't know if they qualify for the fiction Dr. Restack meant but hey, baby stepsπŸ˜‰.

Ghost Diving USA I love that they are upcycling the lost nets into other items while helping to clean up the ocean floor!

Arctic Daughter: A Lifetime of Wilderness

and

Rewilding Kernwood, both on Prime Video. The two documentaries were a fun mental escape-sentimental, real and raw from the perspective of Jean Aspen and her husband, Tom Irons.

Garden ~


Haha! Do you ever feel the way Miss Sourpuss does when those never-ending bumper crops keep coming through the door while you feverishly work to put it all up? I know I shouldn't get frustrated and overwhelmed at the work the blessing of the bounty creates,  but I do sometimes if I am to be perfectly honest πŸ™„. Thankful? Most definitely. But I am after all, only human.

I harvested a few spinach leaves from a volunteer spinach plant and some basil that I used to make some basil ice cubes that will be easy to throw into our favorite Italian dishes.

Create~

After spending all of last week working on trying my hand at my own watercolor rendition of Monet's Water Lilies on a small scale in my traveler's notebook, I thought this was an appropriate quote to salve the frustration that can come with trying to learn something new...

"When I'm working in the barn or house I often think of all the errors I've made in my life. But then I quickly put that behind me and think of water lilies. They will always eradicate unpleasant thoughts. Or goslings are equally comforting in their own way."

 ~Tasha Tudor

Thinking of water lilies and trying to paint them are two totally different things, lol! 

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Thanks for stopping by! ~TJ