OOTD (Outfit of the Day)

August 19, 2017 at 9:27 am (50 plus style)

I need to write a light-hearted post.  When I got my iPhone last August, I was finally able to join Instagram.  I love Instagram because it is a quick snapshot without politics, arguments, hate.  Then, in January, with my home wonderfully decluttered, I decided to do something for ME.  I joined a few “over 40” FB groups.  Many of the marvelous women do something called “OOTD.”  I wanted to join in the fun.

The main problem I found is, because I’m a hermit, I don’t really dress OOTD-worthy much.  But I made a decision to at least pay attention to what I wore the days I did run errands…  So, at least once I week I post an OOTD picture for my “fabulous old as dirt friends” (my phrasing, not theirs!! 🙂  )

Here is a collection of photos, most of which I loaded to instagram too.  You can see the changing of seasons and my hair cut!!  You will also notice that I have some very favorite pieces.  I will blog later about the process of minimizing my wardrobe, which was a life-changer for me!!

I realize this isn’t a “change the world” thang, but I enjoy it.

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Minimizing — MY Way

August 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm (Home Projects, Minimalizing My Way) ()

Last year I quietly removed 850 pounds of “stuff” from our home.  Yes, you read that right!!  I stepped on the scale holding bags and and I eyeballed the big stuff.  Jazzy and I made a trip to Goodwill at least 3 times a week for 8 months.  The workers loved her!!

I’m not sure what started me on the journey.  There are lots of stories, blogs, TV programs about “tiny living,” “minimalism” and general living with less.  We’ve lived in our home for 35 years and stuff accumulates without notice!!

I do know that I started in Amanda’s walk-in closet.  I literally took everything out and began.  I was brutal.  I had three piles… THROW   DONATE   KEEP.  If I was unsure of something, I would set it aside and re-visit that particular item.  I had a “landing” area that I moved things to that I was going to throw or donate.  When it became full, I made a trip to Goodwill!

I know that I got rid of 50% of my clothing.  I only kept what I absolutely love.  I cleaned out kitchen cupboards, donating duplicate items (after making sure my children didn’t need said item).  I cannot tell you how many coffee mugs we had!!!  I saved the special ones (2) and only kept the matching ones!!  I cleared the counters of anything that just sat there.  I now have large expanses of counter top that makes it easy to bake/cook without clearing the decks first!

I moved photos from surfaces to walls — coordinating frames for a unified look.

I even worked through my art studio (again), donating fabric that I will never use, beads that I’m not sure why I bought.  I made myself a deal… I would begin to “sew through my stash” and after every 3rd garment, I’d allow myself to buy some fabric only and I mean only IF I would sew using it next!!  I’ve made some beautiful garments in the past three months (another blog post for sure).  I now have a shelf in my fabric cupboard for my jewelry making supplies (which were in boxes in a corner, on the floor, under a table — very hard to reach!!)

Our linen closet had sheet sets for beds we no longer have, quilts that were threadbare (still baffled why they ended up back in the closet) and doilies…  I don’t even use doilies!!  Now, I kept the few that my Grandma Millie had but the rest went to Goodwill.

I had so many different bottles of shampoo, body washes, make up remover, lotions, potions… (you get the idea).  I started at the back and used them up, one at a time!!  I settled on soap that my niece makes and neutrogena rainbath body gel.  I use old fashioned Jergens lotion and no longer care to buy all of the latest and greatest body lotions.

The one thing I do spend effort on is my face.  I am still working out how to keep it in good shape without breaking the bank!  I love R&F but needed to pull back from spending $180.00 every 2 months!!

People asked me why I didn’t try to sell things.  Quite honestly, I didn’t want the hassle.  I also considered donating everything as my “penance” of sorts.

I stopped shopping at QVC and HSN cold turkey.  I only buy something on line 1.  If we really need it.  2.  If I’ve thought about it for 3 days before hitting the “BUY” button.

I also made some changes to how we did our finances.  I went to a “cash system,” which means that, every payday, I take a certain amount from the checking account.  I use that and only that to pay for groceries, toiletries, dining out.  It has made me more mindful of spending because I know that I must use what is in my wallet.  I also changed “auto-payments” to our checking account instead of our credit cards.  That way, when I enter debits weekly into our checkbook, I am aware of what we’ve spent, what we have.

I cannot tell you how much freedom this has afforded me/us.  I no longer peruse shopping sites, wishing to purchase something I really don’t need.  I can honestly say, I am content and blessed with what we have!!   Our home is a dream to clean.  Previously, I was contemplating having someone help me clean because it was getting too much for me.  Now… a piece of cake!!  I now have a special room for me… reading/music/puzzles — it is beautiful and fresh and new!!  It was a “Found” room once I eliminated clutter.

The attic was especially difficult and took one of those eight months!!  I just worked a little at a time.

It has also freed my mind of clutter.  That one I cannot explain except that it has.  My mantra is “it’s my favorite day.”  I approach each day with peace, knowing that I’ve done all I can do to make our house the best home it can be!!  I seem to have more time to pursue what I love to do and battle the MonSter and my wicked neuralgias.

I’ll never be one of those people who have a 33-piece capsule wardrobe with 2 pair of shoes.  But, everything I have, I love and wear!!  I did minimize my make-up drawer.  Not sure why I needed 5 eye shadow compacts when I only wear one color!!

One cautionary note… do not minimize/declutter other’s stuff if they aren’t with the program!!  I was very careful to only work through my/our stuff not darling hubby’s!!!  It is a personal journey, one that each person has to decide to take!!

So… here are a few pictures of our de-cluttered house, minimized MY way!

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Decorative Art — Fruit Of the Spirit

August 11, 2017 at 6:52 pm (Decorative Painting) ()

So, I have really been embracing Winnie the Pooh’s profound statement… “Today is My Favorite Day.”  Remarkably, it has made a real difference in my day-to-day life.  Living with something chronic means one has to battle each and every day.  I was weary of battling so I sort of took a hiatus from life (thus no blogging) for nearly a year.

I really missed painting and was trying to figure out what an easy first “back to art” project would be.  I also wanted to make use of my silhouette cameo too.  I love word art and since I can no longer letter because of intentional tremors, I have figured out how to use it to make wonderful word art.  But I wanted to really PAINT… I remembered a Fruit of the Spirit sign I made and gave away many years ago.  I began to plan…

My first version was somewhat unsuccessful.  The proportions were off and it was just yucky.  I am not easily discouraged and have a very good sander so I began again.Fruitsofthespirit-6.JPG

I began again.  I decided to change the coloring up a bit since I really wanted to do something in the spirit of Peter Ompir.  This is a picture of it with my lettering already masked out and the fruit roughed in.

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Then I began to really paint.  I haven’t done fruit for probably five years so I was fixing, fixing, fixing.  I pulled the masking off to reveal the lettering underneath.  When it got to the point where I could begin the finishing touches, I had a moment of panic.  I have no confidence (yet!)  So I texted my mentor Paul Seymour with pictures and asked him to critique it.  He said I needed to bring the color up in the blueberries and bring up some of the highlights.  The leaf thing (see next picture) I figured it out for myself.

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He also suggested that I add a few flowers at the top of the piece.

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I added my dots (an homage to my OCD and my favorite number – 5 ).  I then took a good picture and declared it finished!!  It’s hanging in our dining room.  I’m really proud of this piece.  I can’t wait to start the next one!

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Zucchini Spice Cake

August 8, 2017 at 12:04 pm (Recipes)

So I made this amazing cake on Sunday.  Our sweet neighbor gave us some zucchini.  We love it grilled but there was ALOT of zucchini so I needed to find another use for it.  I just don’t like zucchini bread… not sure why but I don’t.  I was determined to find another recipe so I did what any computer-savy woman would do… I googled “recipes using zucchini.”

Cinnamon Zucchini Cake-2

I found a recipe on SixSistersStuff.com.  I made one rather big change for a very good reason.  Sunday was a “stay in my pajamas all day” day!!  The recipe calls for applesauce.  I had none.  So, in my PJ’s I drove down the lane to my Daddy and Momma’s.  They always have applesauce.  They had none!!  But, my Daddy is a brilliant man 🙂  He suggested apple butter!  Since I was making this cake for the first time, it was worth a try.  What a depth of flavor the apple butter added!!  I substituted 1 for 1. I also always use fresh grated nutmeg.   So… here’s the recipe:

Cinnamon Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple butter (or applesauce)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini

                Frosting

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. I never just spray a pan anymore.  I lined the pan with non-stick aluminum foil, sprayed it.  (makes for easy removal, frosting, cutting, storing in plastic ware)
  2. Beat eggs, vegetable oil, apple butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg together, add to the wet batter and mix well. Fold in zucchini and stir until completely mixed in. Pour batter into prepared 9×13″ pan.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Mix together frosting ingredients.
  5. Once the cake has cooled completely, remove from pan, using the aluminum foil as handles.  Frost the cake, cut into pieces.

 

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