Saturday, December 6, 2014

Off the Wheel

I finished spinning my Harley colored roving and knit it up into a cowl!  This cowl is perfect for the crisp mornings we have been having here.  By midday I can take it off and I dont have to worry about changing clothes.  I love how the stripes worked out when it knit up.  I just love finishing projects!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thrifty Thursday- 5 ways I saved money this week



Thrifty Thursdays are a new segment I am starting to show how we save money.  I want to start this week by showing 5 ways we saved money in the past week.  This past week was Thanksgiving and we had a pretty low key holiday.  Hubby had to work all day and had a pot luck there.  We sat down to a celebratory dinner of chicken, green bean casserole and an apple crisp when he got home.  We watched a movie and then he went to bed.  Which leads me to my first way I saved money...

1. Make Money- I babysat on Thanksgiving/Black Friday so another family could go face the crowds.  While they were out shopping in the freezing weather, I was inside, warm and enjoying a rare night of cable.  I told them I couldnt babysit until after Tim went to bed so that we wouldnt miss out on any holiday time together.  Pretty easy way to earn some dough.

2. Stay Away from Sales- Just because there are crazy sales on Black Friday does not mean I need to take advantage of them. One way I saved money was to NOT go shopping on Black Friday.  I am always a sucker for a sale and if I went out, I am sure I would come back with "deals too good to be true".  I have to limit my shopping exposure because I have horribly bad willpower, so I stayed in (and babysat) instead of hitting the shops.

3. Bringing Home the Bacon...errr Ham.  I mentioned earlier that Hubby had a pot luck at work on Thanksgiving.  They served a huge ham alongside a turkey.  Hubby, being the thrifty guy he is, brought me back the ham bone with meat still on it.  This next week we will make split pea soup using the ham from his potluck.  Thats one less meal we have to buy and I love stretching something that would normally have been thrown out.



4. Drink Free Coffee- I love Starbucks.  I am kind of ashamed to admit that I have a gold card with my name on it because that shows how I cant stay away.  I know I can make coffee at home (and I have really been trying to make cafe like drinks at home so I dont have to pay the high prices at Starbucks).  Our RV park has a keurig machine stocked with free kcups in the laundry room.  When I went to the office to pay rent for December, I swung by the laundry room and made myself a free cup of coffee.  Its not nearly the Peppermint Mocha I love from Starbucks, but it was warm and free and kept me from going out to Starbucks. 

5. Swagbucks- I have really been trying to maximize my earnings on Swagbucks to earn Amazon giftcards.  Swagbucks is a website where you earn points by watching videos, taking surveys, etc.  If I make it a daily habit to earn 90 points, I can earn a $5 Amazon gift card every 5 days.  It usually evens out to $5 a week.  But hey, thats $20 a month in Amazon credits for not having to ever leave the RV.  Did I mention the RV Park has free wifi?  You could earn way more than 90 points a day but I dont want to be a slave to the computer so I feel like that is a good compromise. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

On My Wheel

Along with the knitting bug, I have also been bitten by the spinning bug.  There is not a lot of room in the RV to spin, so I have been taking my wheel to work.  Since I work over night and most of the time the boys are sleeping, I have plenty of time for spinning, knitting or napping.  I am able to spin pretty consistently, but really need to work on my plying.  For those non fiber readers, first you spin whats considered a single.  Once the fiber is spun, you spin two singles together (called plying) which makes a stronger yarn.  You could knit with singles, but your knitting will be slanted and more likely to break.  You can also spin three singles together for an even stronger but also way stiffer yarn.  The most common is a 2-ply yarn.  I look forward to practicing more until I can get my plying consistent. 


This is considered a good ply... so its not all bad!

Can you see how some are twisted together well and others are definitely NOT?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Family Cloth... Again


     Living in the RV poses a lot of challenges.  We are constantly learning and adapting!  We had been having issues with our black tank (aka the poop tank) getting clogged and stinking to high heaven!  Talk about gross!  We have found that even 1 ply toilet paper can clog our tank.  Maybe our tank is extra sensitive.  In order to keep the tank working as it should (and not smelling too bad) I don't use toilet paper at all.  I am back to the "family cloth".  I ordered flannel cloths from FamilyClothWipes on etsy and love them!  They feel so much softer on your bum than normal tp.  We have a small trash can for dirty wipes and wash them in hot water when we get near to running out.  

    What would you do to save your black tank?  Is this too extreme?

The cloths live on a little shelf next to the toilet.

Monday, November 17, 2014

On My Needles

 
My fingers have been flying lately as I have been in the mood to knit!  My current big project is a cardigan for me.  I am using a lace weight yarn and holding it two strands at a time to make it thicker.  I love this yarn!  I wasnt sure if I would have enough to do the entire sweater in pink, so I just did the top lace part and sleeves in pink, and the rest in an off white.  Can't wait to be able to wear it!

The pink is more true in these two photos, the first one seems too bright.

Friday, November 14, 2014

kayaks

      Last week hubby and I bought two kayaks! And of course this week we have sub freezing temperatures and will not be taking them out anywhere. We had been debating about getting them for a while, and finally the sports store had a huge sale on them!  Hubby got a fancier one then mine so he can take it fishing.  I got the cheapest one they had.  No bells and whistles for this girl!  We can see the river from our RV so we dont have to go too far to put in.  When the river is up we can go for a good while.  We now have a "loop" we do.  We can only go up to the rapids (hubby tried going up the rapids but they are too shallow and he had to get out and walk) and back.  Doing this 3 times takes maybe 30 minutes.  I like to take my time on the way back since it is going with the current and I can watch the wildlife on the banks.  There has never been anyone else on the river with us and it feels like a magical place of our own.  
      What is my favorite part of my kayak you might ask?  The coffee cup holder!  I have yet to take coffee.  I did try taking a water bottle and I kinda mighta tipped the kayak and the bottle fell out.  I didnt want to drink it after it went in the river so I just threw it out.  Might have to practice so I dont waste good coffee!


Of course I had to get the hot pink paddles and hubby got the cammo ones.  Those fish sure wont see HIM coming.  haha.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How We Got Rid of the Dog Crate

Living in an RV means that space is at a premium!  Having two large dogs means that space is extra precious.  Our RV is broken up into three main rooms.  The bedroom, the living/dining/kitchen, and the back room.  The back room used to be the bunk room, but we took out the bunks to make room for us to live here.  RVs are definitely not intended for full time living, but thats another post... In the back room we had set up the dogs crate.  They share a crate and its huge!  I was constantly frustrated with the dead space for the crate.  We tried not crating the dogs when we are gone or sleeping but they are too destructive without us, so a crate is necessary.  I turned to good old Pinterest for some ideas on how to save space with a dog crate.  There were so many gorgeous built in dog crates, or dog rooms but nothing would work for us.  
Finally I had the idea to repurpose the cabinet under the kitchen sink.  Its the largest cabinet in the RV and is just big enough for the dogs.  I took out the shelves in the cabinet and took off one of the cabinet doors.  I was going to build a cute barn door style cabinet door, but then found this gate thing at Hobby Lobby.  I attached the gate to the side of the cabinet so it doesnt open.  On the other side of the cabinet is another door (right under the sink) that they use for an entrance.  Thankfully our dogs do not challenge doors, so I just added two hook and eyes to close the cabinet door.  I put their dog beds in the cabinet and after luring them in with treats they now know this as their new "bed" and run right in when we say "go to bed".  
I couldnt get the old crate out of the back room soon enough.  Now we can arrange the back room to be more livable and useable.  What do you think?  Would you remodel a cabinet for a dog room?






 
Jack loves the new house and has a front row view of our comings and goings in the front door.  


This "Love You" sign is perfect to cover up the fire extinguisher hole, and it adds more ventilation with the holes in the letters.  
 This was the half wall before we started remodeling.
In progress... the fire extinguisher we have doesnt even fit in the hole for it, so we had to mount it on the wall.

Friday, October 31, 2014

{this moment}

Inspired by Soule Mama
{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments for all to find and see.

Friday, October 24, 2014

{this moment}

Inspired by Soule Mama
{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments for all to find and see.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A new RV Park

We recently moved to a different RV Park and are loving it!  I thought I would share how we have things set up.  

 This is our outdoor seating area.  It is under the awning so we can sit out here during the rain (provided its not storming)
 The birds also live outside under the awning.  The kitten likes to watch them from the window above.
The front of the RV.  I tried to hide the hitch and make it more homely. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Patience Pays Off

I have been wanting a truck box for my truck for a long time.  Have you seen the prices for truck box?  200...300...400... Not in my budget!  Yesterday hubby took me to the pawn shop because he had seen one out front for sale.  We thought that since it was used, the price would be decent... wrong!  They wanted $200 for a beat up white (white?  my truck is black!  totally wont go) truck box.  The pawn shop employee helpfully suggested I could spray paint it any color I want.   I might be inclined to spray paint a truck box if I got it for free.  Not if I have to pay $200 (but its a really high end brand they said).  As we were getting ready to get in our truck (without a truck box) the pawn shop employee said he would take $150.  We politely said no thank you.  Well at that exact moment a truck pulled up next to us.  The customer says he has a box at home (only lives 5 minutes away) that he will sell us for $100.  We figured it was worth it to go see.  And no, if I was alone I would never have followed him to his house, but I am safe because hubby was there.  Imagine my delight when we get to the guys house and the truck box is double the size of the way too expensive one at the pawn shop.  We handed the nice guy a $100 bill, put the box in the bed of the truck and drove away.  After purchasing a mounting kit at Lowes (less than $20), Hubby was able to install the box on my truck.  Lowes sells this brand and they were asking $329 for the same box.  Ha!  I will gladly take my used box for $100.  Its just going to get beat up anyways.
 

  Now you might wonder why a girl needs a truck box if I don't work a traditional truck-box style job.  Well, I nanny and there is NO storage in a truck.  My truck is a full size truck and can seat 5 adults comfortably.  My afternoon family requires 2 car seats and a third child all to sit in the back.  So if I want to keep jumper cables for example, I have to keep them on the front seat.  Now I will be able to keep them in my truck box and leave the front seat clear for hubby.  Hurray!


 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saving at the Grocery Store

Today I went to Randalls.  Have I mentioned how much I love Randalls?  They always have awesome clearance deals and I find I primarily shop the clearance section.  I did buy things not on clearance but lots was on clearance.  I got all of this for $65.  The chicken will last a good long while and I got a bunch of supplemental ingredients.  Normally I will only buy pasta if it is under $1 per box/bag.  Randalls had this brand on sale for $.89 then with a Randalls coupon they were $.79 each.  I bought 5 packages of pasta.
 
  One way I save money when buying meat, is by buying the cheapest package.  The meat is priced per pound.  This chicken was $1.99/lb.  Now some of the packages had way more poundage, therefore making them cost more.  I sifted through the packages of chicken (some cost upwards of $12 for the same size package) to find the lowest priced package.  Some people might say that yes I paid less, but I also got less meat.  Duh.  Well, not duh because most recipes call for a number of chicken breasts.  No one will know if your chicken breast was larger or smaller than another package.  By purchasing the smaller breasts I am consuming less meat without even trying.  And lets be honest, the bigger breasts are probably just pumped up with more water anyways.

 
  Tonight for dinner I made spicy Cajun pasta with 2 chicken breasts.  We loved it and will be eating the rest for dinner tomorrow (Hubby will take some to lunch as well).  I plan on making soup later this week and using the celery along with some potatoes we have that are starting to sprout.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A kitchen update



The finished kitchen!
Covering up the ugly wallpaper.  I just tiled over it.
 The "before" picture- check out the valance and wallpaper...
Hubby and I have been improving the rv.  It is amazing how much some paint can change a space.  The wallpaper in the rv was hideous!  I completely painted the kitchen- cabinets and walls.  I found this awesome thin peely tile at Home Depot and used it for the backsplash.  The kitchen is teeny tiny so a small change makes a huge impact!  What do you all think?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meet Harley

 

Hubby was down in Houston visiting his family and was called to a rescue.  A lady had 3 kittens stuck in her car engine and couldnt get them out.  Hubby was able to remove the bumper and rescue the kittens!  The lady couldn't keep them all so Hubby offered to take one.  This tiny kitten rode all the way home from Houston (about 3 hours) in the saddlebag on Hubby's Harley.   She is the sweetest kitten and not yet weaned.  We are giving her kitten milk from Tractor Supply and she is loving it!  We named her Harley since she rode on the Harley and she is orange, black and grey (Harley Davidson colors).  She is settling in well and very demanding.  The dogs are not sure what to think of her just yet.  Whiskey ignores her and could really care less.  Jack is intrigued and watches her every move.  I am hoping Harley will be a permanent fixture here in the rv. 


 See how tiny she is compared to the pillow?
I took her to work with my on the first day so the kiddos could meet her. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Leaky Roof

(This is the leak on the seam on the roof... no bueno!)
(Not knowing what to do while it was still raining, I put a tarp down with all my pots and pans to collect the water)

When we bought the rv, we knew it was a fixer upper.  We DIDNT know the roof in the bedroom leaks horribly!  I came home from work one day to find the bed soaked from the rain.  We put a tarp over the roof to prevent any further leaks until we could fix the roof.  We dont have the ability or the funds to take the rv into the shop whenever theres an issue, so we set out to learn how to do it ourselves.  The rv store gave us some sealant that will hopefully fix our problems.  I bought enough to do the whole roof and we just had to wait until hubby had time to go up on the roof.  I am not going up.  No way.  No how.  Hubby was amazing and sealed the whole roof in the scorching sun.  We haven't had a leak yet so he did well!
(can you see hubby up there?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

An Impromptu Fidde Concert


I love our local library.  Any chance I get I try and stop by.  One Sunday I stopped in to return a book and was delighted to discover a concert in progress.  Two talented young sisters were giving a guitar/fiddle concert.  They had a unique style and such good singing voices!  I happened to have my knitting in my purse and no other plans for the afternoon so I was able to sit, knit and enjoy the fiddles.  It made me love the library even more!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Just a Grillin

Hubby LOVES to grill. And I mean L.O.V.E.S. to grill! I found a veggie basket on clearance at Target so our standby is grilled peppers with chicken (omg my absolute favorite marinade is Salt Lick's marinade. yum!). I had also found some sausages on clearance at Randalls so we grilled those up too. We try to grill a bunch of meats so that I can use them later in the week in meals. We cooked up a whole package of chicken which can then be shredded, diced or sliced. Grilling this way saves us time later in the week.
Can you see Whiskey in the bottom corner? she is always hoping Hubby drops food


Friday, September 5, 2014

Slowing down

Sometimes its nice to take some time and just slow down.  Grab a book, or knitting, or whatever tickles your fancy.  Even if I can just take 15 minutes, its nice to sit down outside, book and coffee in hand and just breathe.  It is all too easy to get caught up in the go-go-ness of life.  How do you take a breather?