Friday, May 31, 2013

10 Things that make me happy!

1~ My husband.  
Having him here with me in this world is one of life's most precious gifts!  I almost lost him last year and I appreciate him so much more!

2~  Sitting down to dinner as a family.  
We can talk, eat and enjoy our meal with one another.  It's priceless!

3~ Being Clutter Free!  
It's a daily process but so freeing!

4~Being Organized.  It's an ongoing journey but there is so much more peace without clutter and streamlining our household as much as possible.

5~  Baking bread from scratch.  
It isn't necesarily free, but with the money we are saving from not buying store bought breads, it is saving us bunches!  It's better than store bought bread and much cheaper!  And did I mention Satisfaction?  

6~ A smile.  
Given and Recieved.  It makes a world of difference.

7~ A word of kindness.  
How I love Encouragement~  to both give and to recieve.  

8~  Health.  Things could be better but I have so much to be grateful for!

9~  Tragedy.  
I can truly say that good things have come from it.  It might have taken time for me to be able to realize it, but the rose does bloom again.  

10~  Faith.  Resting in the Promises of God is a wonderful thing.  

What about you?  
What are ten things that make you Happy?  
I'd love to hear your list so please leave a comment or link to your blog!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Creating a Home Binder~Part 2~ Weekly To~Do List

f you haven't seen the first installment on Creating a Home Binder you can find it here. 

The next portion of my Home Binder is a weekly To Do List.   
It's a working journal and so it's not very pretty.  It works for me.  ;)  
This list might seem long but it only takes a few minutes to do these things. Two things I get done every week are change my sheets, vacuum and a detailed wiping down of the floors in the main bathroom.   I might not get everything else finished in a week so I check everything off that I complete and finish it the following week.

No stress and no pressure with rotating tasks.

Here's my list in detail.  

Dust all surfaces
Clean all Window Sills and Blinds
Condensations on all Windows
Wash Bedding/Change Sheets
Thoroughly clean floors in bathroom
Wipe down laundry room
Quick Clean Basement and Guest bathroom
Wipe down Furnace
Clean Windows downstairs

Love these Vintage Home Journal covers!  
(vintage photos courtesy of Ladies Home Journal)
I'd love to hear about your Home Binder!  Do tell!  
A Favorite Thing at Mockingbird Hill Lane Cottage

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A Vintage Quilt

I posted this Tuesday but wanted to post it again because I wanted to share it at other linky parties and be a polite participant. ;)!  I promise this will be my one and only repeat!

Goodness~  this post is going to be image heavy.  I took out a vintage quilt out of the hutch and took out my camera with my wonderful 105mm macro lens that I've kept on it.  I love that lens.   And how can I pick just one photo?  Who am I kidding?  How can I pick just a few?  It's impossible!  

I think the fabric in this quilt is 1930's.  If you know of a more exact date I'd love to know. 

Which pic and fabric is your favorite?  
Vintage Quilt
This is one of my faves because of all the irregular quilt stitches and the 'hidden' quilt stitches.  It would have been so easy to give up on the applique because the stitches aren't perfect but the stitcher continued on.  How I can relate to that!  And I love the character of the imperfection!
Vintage Quilt
Vintage Quilt
Vintage Quilt
Vintage Quilt
This is another one of my faves~  the composition of the photo makes me love it.  
Vintage Quilt
This napkin isn't vintage but it was in my drawer so I pulled it out.  And the doily beneath it.  
I use the doily as a napkin in other photos I've posted before like here.  I try to mix it up when I can.  
Vintage Quilt
Vintage Quilt
And another one.  The Valentine sits in my hutch so I had to pull it out. 
Vintage Quilt
Vintage Quilt
Vintage Quilt
Vintage Quilt
Please leave a comment if you have time!  I'd love to hear from you! 
We've got a facebook page and feature each post there as well if you'd like to hop on over there.  

A Favorite Thing at Mockingbird Hill Lane Cottage

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Old Fashioned Potato Salad

This potato salad is just like Grandma used to make and it's oh so good!  I make it the day before a barbecue or picnik and stick it in the fridge to chill overnight.  It makes ALOT so you might want to cut it in half for your family.

5 pound bag of red potatoes or golden 
12 hard boiled eggs
Mayonnaise to the consistency you like (I use more than a half of a large jar)
Relish or sweet pickle chopped up (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbsp mustard (more or less to your taste)
1 1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
Sliced Olives if desired

I use red potatoes or golden potatoes for my potato salad.  They have a wonderful creamy texture.  When I use russet they are grainy and dissolve if I happen to overcook them.  Red and Golden hold their shape much better.  

Peel and pare potatoes. I like to peel my potatoes on top of a cut open plastic grocery sack or two that overlap each other to make cleaning up a cinch.  I'm all about easy clean up.
Boil and cook till done and drain water.
Boil eggs and peel. Rinse in water. (Sometimes I do this the night before)
Toss potatoes and eggs in a large bowl.
If you are short of mayo or just want it more creamy you can add sour cream or miracle whip.  I prefer mayo alone but I'm a purist!  ;)  I add enough till it's creamy.  I don't like a dry potato salad.
Fold mayo, relish, mustard, and salt into large serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika, cayenne or chile powder.  (noone will ever know it's not paprika~  trust me!)
Chill well before serving.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Homemade Fried Tacos (Jack in the Box Tacos)

These aren't healthy.  And neither are the Jack in the Box 'real' versions.  I've made these twice in the past 6 plus months.    In fact, before I even tasted a Jack's taco I was eating these Mexican side of the family's tacos.  
They're easy and minimal ingredients too.  
Jack in the Box Tacos
Here's how I watched them being prepared as a young girl~

I dozen corn tortillas 
1 pound ground beef
chopped onion
oil for frying
Six American Cheese slices cut in half diagonally
Taco Sauce or fresh salsa
Sour Cream

Crumble up meat...
Jack in the Box Tacos
...and chop up some onion.
Jack in the Box Tacos
Add onion and season meat with your choice of seasonings.  
I use Lawry's and other seasonings I have on hand.  
Jack in the Box Tacos
Jack in the Box Tacos
Divide meat into 12 balls of (attempted) equal proportions.  Spread meat on one half of  tortilla pressing to the edges.
Jack in the Box Tacos
Heat oil to medium hight and place tacos flat in oil for a few seconds.  When the tortilla softens up, fold the tortilla and hold it in place until it stays.  
Jack in the Box Tacos
Fry till golden brown and meat is finished.  I don't have cooling tray so I used my bundt pan lined in napkins to drain the grease.  
Jack in the Box Tacos
Add a slice of American Cheese to each taco.
Jack in the Box Tacos
Put some taco sauce in each taco. Homemade salsa is way better!  ;)   Hubby and I prefer it on the side.
Add some sour cream if you like!    
Jack in the Box Tacos

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Easy Pork Roast

Easy Pork Roast
This has been a staple recipe for our family forever.  It can be ordinary pork roast, add some bbq sauce and make bbq pork sandwiches,  the gravy can be thickened and you can have open faced pork sandwiches.... it has so many options!  

I usually use a pork roast, but the butcher had some pork pieces on sale, so I used that. Sometimes I use pork butt.  If your meat is too lean it will be tough so a little fat is essential.  I spray my crockpot with non stick spray to aid in cleanup...
Easy Pork Roast
...and I season my meat really well.  

These are my all time seasonings~  Lawry's 'generic' tastes the same and I use whatever cajun seasoning I have.  And freshly ground pepper is awesome.  
Easy Pork Roast
I'm not light handed with seasoning~  I like a well seasoned roast.  
Easy Pork Roast
Don't add any water to your roast.  I know it seems counter intuitive but if you add water your roast will be tough.  The meat will make enough juices to cook itself.  

Cook on low for about 6-7 hours depending on size of your roast.  
I've tried it on high but it can easily become burned on the bottom.  
If I do put mine on high I make sure I'm at home to watch it and it usually doesn't make as much juices.
Easy Pork Roast
No need for a knife~  just cut it with a spoon or a fork. 
Hope you like my Easy Pork Roast Recipe.  
A Favorite Thing at Mockingbird Hill Lane Cottage
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Thursday, May 16, 2013


Lately I've been contemplating on Resignation.   Resignation
My will and desires have to be put aside and yielded to a God who is all knowing and who knows what is best for me. 
He knows what is best for me~  
That's a hard pill to swallow when I love to hold on to the reigns of life and take control of every minute detail. 
It's a hard road that even the Apostle Paul walked.  So why should I think that I am somehow exempt from it all?  Even the Lord Jesus resigned his will when He was in Gethsamane to go to the cross.

Resignation is the act or an instance of resigning. The unresisting acceptance of something as inescapable; submission. 

Have I asked the Lord to take the trial away?  You bet!  Over and over again.  And as time passes there is a yielding to the Lord and what He has done~ and is doing~ in my life and heart.  It's all a part of His gracious and loving plan for my life of a road to resignation and submission.  

It's also about trusting Him.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  
2 Corinthians 12:9

In my flesh, I want strength to be all about me.  
I want it to be a victorious proclamation of  my works and my doings.  

"Look what I've done!!!"   
But in my weakness and brokenness, it is the perfect opportunity for My Lord to show Himself strong through me.  
Because it's all about Him.
His divine strength is so much more mighty then my humane strength.  
His grace is sufficient through it all..  
And that is what Victory is all about.  

Linking up with~ 
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Creating a Home Binder~ Daily To-Do List~ Part 1

There are a few thing that have made my life a whole lot easier and 
I'd love to share them here with you.  
There are so many organizing sites and apps that you can pay for and download.  There are also free sites that are awesome.  Some can become a bit overwhelming with info and some can't be adapted to meet each person's needs.  I've merged what works for me into what I use today and it's pretty simple!

I've made a (not so) fancy Cover Page for my Home Binder.  
I've called mine  "Lil's Home Journal' making a play on the famous "Ladies Home Journal" magazine

(photo courtesy of Ladies Home Journal)

The next list I make is a Weekly To~Do list of things.   This list might seem long but it only takes a few minutes to do these things. Two things I get done every week are change my sheets and a detailed wiping down of the floors in the main bathroom.   I might not get everything else finished in a week so I check everything off that I complete and finish it the following week.

No stress and no pressure with rotating tasks.

I'm not a fan of spring cleaning and his method has virtually eliminated spring cleaning for me.  My whole house can be cleaned from top to bottom in 2 months (1 month if I'm industrious and I'm NOT!)  but not including seasonal chores like yard maintanance, snow removal, etc.  
One thing is for sure!  I need flexibility!  When something is too rigid and I fall behind  and the mountain becomes insurmountable and I give up!  Simplicity and Flexibility!  I Like that!  

So, first things  first~  make a daily To~Do List!  If you need something done more than once a week then put it on this list  

Your list might look a little or a lot like mine.  So here's mine~  (with my commentary after each!) 

***Daily To-Dos***

Make Bed 
If I don't make my bed my entire bedroom looks like a mess.  I just take a minute and put my bed together.
Start Laundry/Turn Over Laundry 
Every morning I start a load of laundry and make sure it finds its way to the dryer.  I try to have it all dry, folded and put away before I go to bed.  
Empty all Trash 
I take out all the trash from the entire house and refill the receptacles with clean bags.
Kitchen Sink/Empty Dishwasher 
 Keeping my sink empty of dirty dishes, putting them away and keeping my sink sparkling is a great way start my day!
Kitchen floors 
My kitchen floors are white and need to be done frequently.  If I could do them less I would!  I do them about 5 times a week so I put them on my daily list.
Quick Bathroom Cleanup
I take about 3 minutes a day to wipe my bathroom down.  I keep all of my neccesary cleaners in each bathroom  and wipe down, the sink, counters, and toilet before I hop in the shower.  After the shower myself or hubby (whoever takes the last shower) sprays it down and wipes it free of water.  It probably takes 3 minutes total.
What's Cookin'?
Every night I think about what I'm going to make the next day for dinner.  I make sure I have all the ingredients and take out meat to defrost if neccesary.   Everything is prethought and ready to go for the next day eliminating stress and last minute runs to get fast food and pizza.  Plus it's cheaper!  

Every morning I do what's on this list. It takes approximately 10-20 minutes to get this done, depending on how much laundry I have that day.   It simply makes my life go smoothly and I feel so much more organized and in control!   Your list might look different from mine since it's tailor made for your household.  
 I put mine in a binder in document protectors for easy access and check things off as I finish them.  I use an overhead projector marker that wipes clean with a damp cloth.   Even a hand written Daily todo list is a great help!

I'd love to know what's on your daily to~do list!  And I'd love to hear about your system too!  What works for you?  What doesn't? 

A Favorite Thing at Mockingbird Hill Lane Cottage

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