Right now, I am…

by Kristen on December 5, 2012 · 88 comments

in Right Now

-happy to have our Christmas tree in the house.

-looking forward to putting lights, garland and ornaments on it. It’s lookin’ kind of naked at the moment.

-thinking this is the only time I’ve gone to get a tree in flip-flops. Yay for a December warm snap!

-thrilled that we got a lot of our leaves taken care of.

-equally thrilled that there are almost none left on the trees. So, what’s clean will stay clean for now.

-feeling like the pile of leaves in the backyard can stay for a while. (The girls made a huge pile under the zip line so that they can drop off midway and land in the pile.)

-hoping the three-corner roast I put in the crock pot will eventually get tender.

-wondering what in the world a three-corner roast is anyway. The Internets have not been able to enlighten me thus far.

-thinking that all roasts must eventually get tender in the crock pot. Right???

-remembering that I will have to clean my crock pot. This is horrible because my crock pot doesn’t come apart and must be sponge-bathed rather than immersed.

(Don’t be jealous of my 90s crockpot, okay?)

-starting to agree with Mr. FG’s opinion that I should just break down and buy a better one.

-really, really happy that all of the kids have already bought presents for each other. I think this is the earliest we’ve ever gotten that done!

-feeling slightly proud that I’ve gotten a bit of holiday baking done already.

-looking forward to trying out my new soaps from Third Day Naturals (I get to give some away to you guys soon. Not my bars, though! You get brand new ones. ;) )

-excited that a new nephew will make his appearance this month. This will improve the nephew to niece ratio ever so slightly, though the nieces are still decidedly ahead.

-thankful that I pretty much never have to deal with my own computer problems-Mr. FG does all of that for me and I’m glad to let him.

-feeling a little disorganized because I didn’t do a meal plan yet this week. I really don’t like flying by the seat of my pants.

-wanting to make: yogurt, no-stir granola, and some homemade bread. Because we’re out of all that stuff.

-planning to buy some vodka (not for drinking! For making homemade vanilla extract.)


How ’bout you? If you want, you can do a 3-5 item “right now” list in the comments. Give it a try...it’s fun!


Joshua’s 365 post: Desperate

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wendy December 5, 2012 at 7:25 am

thre corner roast is also known as a Tri-tip. Very good, very lean. Have never cooked one my self, but have had been served it.


2 Virginia Dare December 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

yeah, i was going to wonder if it was the same as tri-tip.


3 Cheryl S. December 5, 2012 at 10:18 am

Yep, tri-tip originally cut/named in Santa Maria, CA. Very good cut of meat!


4 Kate F December 5, 2012 at 7:54 am

I love my homemade vanilla extract! It always cracks me up, though, because I never transferred it from the giant handle of vodka container (why waste another container?). When I make waffles or French toast, it feels weird to pour out of a handle of vodka :p


5 Pam December 5, 2012 at 8:05 am

Have you ever tried the crock pot liners? I know they’re not exactly frugal or green, but they’re amazing. My crock comes out of my crock pot for clean up so I don’t use them all the time, but if I’m cooking something that will be particularly messy I use one.


6 Jill December 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I don’t have a crock pot, so I’m no expert. But in terms of how green they are, it’d be interesting to consider what’s more green – adding crock pot liners to the landfill (looks like they’re usually plastic, so not fantastic) or the e-waste of getting a new crock pot.
Then again, if you can afford a new crock pot, and can give the old one to someone who needs it but may not be able to afford a new one (whether it be through giving it to a friend, to a thrift shop, or selling at a yard sale or something) Then you’d be happy with a new one, the old one wouldn’t go to waste, and you wouldn’t have to worry about buying liners/throwing away liners.


7 SandyH December 5, 2012 at 8:50 am

Yum, tri-tip…mainly a California cut, we were curious so bought one to try out. Texans that we are, we grilled it…oh my, it was fabulous! Sliced it into steaks, medium to medium-rare.


8 Kristen December 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Huh. I guess since it was labeled “roast”, I thought a typical roast cooking method was the way to go.


9 SandyH December 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I was kind of confused by that too, Kristen, because I’ve seen it called tri-tip roast AND tri-tip STEAK…


10 Donna December 5, 2012 at 8:58 am

Before breaking down and buying a new crockpot, I’d put out a call for one on Freecycle. They multiply out in the world, and so many people have nice removable-insert kind still in boxes, unused. Nearly all of mine (we have a few for hosting parties) are ones we have received free from folks who never used them!


11 Holly December 5, 2012 at 9:02 am

Just curious, what are your go-to/tried and true recipes for Christmas baking?


12 Tara Morrison December 5, 2012 at 9:08 am

I third the tri-tip roast but don’t know if crock pot cooking is the best idea for it. I’ve only had it grilled mr-medium. Good Luck!


13 Jo@simplybeingmum December 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

Right now I have a touch of the green eyed monster seeing a photo of your retro crock-pot. Don’t cave to the pressure to replace, that’s a keeper! ;-)


14 Virginia Dare December 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

Right now I am…
About to take a big step at work and hoping I can prove myself
Still wishing I didn’t have to work and could be at home with my baby
Also wishing I had remembered to buy cream cheese. :-)


15 Kristen @ A Modern Mrs. December 5, 2012 at 9:25 am

Have you tried the Reynolds crock pot liners? My crock pot does come apart and I still use them for easy clean-up. They’re pretty inexpensive, too!


16 CarrieLynn December 5, 2012 at 9:27 am

If I have a tougher roast, I like to cook it through, then take it out and tear it apart and put it back in the crockpot in some gravy I make out of the juices in the bottom of the crockpot, then let it cook a few more hours like that. It usually turns out really yummy this way. With mashed potatoes and a veggie on the side, my kids are always happy! : )


17 Rachel December 5, 2012 at 9:37 am

A new crockpot may not be all it is cracked up to be. I believe that they have changed the temperature settings in late-model crockpots. Several members of my family have had difficulty with crockpots from the last decade – they tend to stick and burn on the bottom on high power, or on low power, they take much longer to cook than vintage crockpots.


18 Lili@creativesavv December 5, 2012 at 10:30 am

I discovered the same thing. I researched buying a new crockpot just a couple of months ago and the consensus is that the newer models don’t heat as evenly as older ones. Many of the new models have a “hot spot”.

Kristen, you may want to favor buying a used one instead of new for this reason. I wouldn’t normally advocate used electrical appliances, but this is definitely an exception. Keep an eye on your Goodwill. I see crockpots from time to time at our thrift shops. And you may want to hang on to your older one, too. They make great heating vessels for things like hot cider for large gatherings, freeing up a new crockpot for something else at same event.

One last thing, if you think that’s a vintage crockpot, you should see mine, handed down from my mother, purchased in 1970s! Oy! Now that thing is ancient!


19 The Greatful Mom December 5, 2012 at 9:38 am

Right now, I am. . .
-Nursing a sick baby girl
-About to go sell some stuff we no longer need to put some extra cash in our bank account. Woot!
-Dreading going shopping for toys for work, since it’s December and I usually steer clear from the malls in December
-Also excited about the warm snap. It is beautiful outside!
-Wondering what you do with your baking when it’s done this early–freeze it?


20 Tamara December 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

Good Morning, this is my fist time here. I am excited about making the yogurt recipe I found here yesterday!! Just recently unemployed, I am cutting back on ALOT of things and making stuff from scratch has always been fun for me, I never gave it the thought that I could make my own yogurt and cream cheese at home………Then I saw the yogurt machine that was on sale in an ad that was emailed to me. That got me to thinking………I really don’t have the money to spend on some machine…….What does it really take to make your own yogurt?? Do I really need a machine to do this?? So I started looking at recipes and here I am!! – WOW, how cost effective!!! I use yogurt quite a bit in recipes so I always have a carton of plain in the fridge and I thought I was saving $$ by just buying the vanilla in the cartons and adding my own fruit, jams, honey or whatever so I wasn’t paying extra for the flavored stuff. So I always had 2 cartons in the fridge anyway. Since I live in the country and the closest grocery store is 15 miles away, I will have to wait a few more days before I make the trip to town to pick up a cup of starter yogurt along w/ my scheduled grocery trip. I do can some foods, so I already have the mason jars, rings, lids and I have a cooler that fits 4 quart jars perfectly. I seriously can not wait to make this, thank you so much!


21 WilliamB December 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Tamara, if I may offer a suggestion: make your own laundry detergent. It’s about 90% less than storebought and about as hard as making instant coffee.


22 Diane December 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I second this advice. Easy-peasy. After trying both, I have decided the dry version is by far the easier and equally effective version for me. Works well in my HE washer. My favorite recipe is from Katie at the Non-Consumer Advocate.


23 Vicki December 6, 2012 at 9:02 am

I third this recommendation. I like the dry detergent much more than the liquid. It’s easier to make and store and works just as well.


24 Tamara December 6, 2012 at 9:55 am

Thank you all for the recommendation on soap!! I too have an HE washer, that is nice to know that it will not hurt my machine.


25 Liz December 6, 2012 at 9:35 am

You can also make dishwasher soap, too: 1 cup Borax, 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup salt. Use vinegar as a rinse aid. (You can also add some essential oil, like lemon, to the soap mix, if you’d like, but I don’t…)


26 Tamara December 6, 2012 at 9:39 am

That sounds like a great idea. I will look into this. Thanx for the advise!


27 Susan December 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

I took advice from Cook’s Illustrated when I purchased a new crockpot earlier this year. I waited until it went on sale and had a coupon and am in love with it! As someone else stated, try crock-pot liners. While I agree not necessarily green, in the long run you are saving your time and water with the ease of clean up. I’ve gotten to the point, even with my fancy crock pot that does come apart, that I won’t use it without the liners.


28 Cheryl S. December 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

Feeding 180 at a high school event this afternoon after a full day of work

Taking a half day off tomorrow to shop for a (new to me) used car–NOT my area of expertise!

Have no idea where I am in my Christmas planning/purchasing/shipping but can’t stop to think about that until this weekend…


29 Deb H December 5, 2012 at 10:52 am


I had that EXACT same Crock Pot up until a month ago. I got it at Walgreens on clearance many, MANY years ago. Don’t be alarmed, but mine literally blew up in my face! I was reaching over it to plug it in and as soon as I did sparks and black smoke flew out from the point where the cord attaches. It got me right in the face and fried my bangs a little but I immediately unplugged it and all was well. I think maybe because it doesn’t come apart, DH possibly got some water in it when he washed it the last time. That’s the only thing I can think of. Be careful!


30 DawnF December 5, 2012 at 10:53 am

Right now I am…

* Reading your blog instead of working! :)
* Remembering how fun it was to attend my son’s school Christmas musical last night
* Thinking that I need to make a grocery list for tomorrow morning’s grocery store trip
* Listening to Christmas music in the background

okay, back to work now! :)

LUV your blog!


31 Diane December 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

Right now I’m enjoying my first day of retirement. There are a million things to do, but today it’s raining and I’m going to stay home and R*E*L*A*X. The list making will begin in earnest tomorrow!


32 Jenessa December 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

Right now I am trying to remain calm and proffessional while dealing with some extremely frustrating office politics. It is sort of working.

Enjoying the cool breeze coming through my office window since the heater in my building is messed up and it is nearly 80 degrees inside.

Excited that I got my Christmas tree decorated last night.

Hoping to get some Christmas light bokeh pictures over the next few weeks.


33 Megan December 5, 2012 at 11:23 am

Right now, I am supposed to be making a shopping list. I came here for meal ideas. (I kinda miss your meal plans!)

I’m thinking- Keep the crock pot, and ask for a 4 quart Nesco Roaster Oven for Christmas. I love mine! It’s like a combo between a crockpot, stovetop, and oven. I do soups, stocks, cook down chicken, casseroles, roasts, and even bread. You can adjust it’s temperature by degree- so I cook, then decrease heat to keep warm.

And for the roast– If it’s not too far in the process, add some Cream of Mushroom soup, sliced olives and the olive juice, sliced mushrooms, and sliced onions. Sounds weird, but it is amazing. After cooking, the goop makes its own gravy and is amazing on mashed taters. The meat is crazy tender.


34 Rebecca December 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

A big NO to crockpot liners, everything tastes like plastic wrap, yuck. When you are done using the pot, just fill it up with hot water and let it sit, then it just wipes out easy peasy!


35 Jen December 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I agree. I don’t want to cook my food for hours in plastic.


36 Sarah December 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I just made a tri-tip (three-corner) roast in my crockpot for the first time a few weeks ago. Cooked all day on low and it came out delicious and tender. I do think crockpot cooking is great for getting beef really tender.


37 Dori December 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Have you made the vanilla extract before using the vodka in your recipe? Will you do a post sometime on making homemade vanilla extract? I’ve always wondered about that because I use a TON of vanilla in my baking and would love to try making it homemade because everything I’ve read said it’s very simple. However, I’m just a little nervous about how it will taste (the recipes I’ve seen seem suspiciously simple–just strong alcohol like vodka and vanilla beans to steep in it?!) and how it will compare quality-wise to the nice storebought kind I usually use . . .


38 Kristen December 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I sure will-it’ll be a little while, though, because I think the vanilla beans have to sit in the vodka for 8 weeks or so!


39 WilliamB December 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I have made vanilla off and on, over the years. It is dirt simple:
Step 1: put a vanilla bean in vodka.
Step 2: wait 2-3 months.

I’m not sure it’s cheaper than store-bought real vanilla, though, because neither vanilla beans nor vodka are cheap. My off-the-cuff analysis is that if you have to buy the vodka, homemade will be more expensive. (Caveat: unless you buy a lot of vodka to get a good price, then keep it for the decades it would take for you to use it all as vanilla.) If you have the alcohol on hand then it’s a close call and you’ll have to do the math for the prices you see.

The best way to save money on vanilla is to use artificial vanilla for just about everything but custard. Even the venerable Cook’s Illustrated reports that even their Type-A, biased, hyper-trained tasters can’t tell the difference except for straight from the bottle or in custard.

A less drastic way is to wait for holiday coupons and sales – ’tis the season now! – and/or try a bulk retailer. Vanilla powder is also available but I’m unfamiliar with its pricing.

Strongly, strongly recommend vodka and nothing else. Other alcohols have flavors of their own that interfere. Who wants rum-flavored choc chip cookies? (Although now that I think of it…)


40 Diane December 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Oh my goodness, William B, I heart you! Making vanilla has always been on my list of things I thought I “should” do, as I use a decent amount of it to make toffee every Christmas. However, most vanilla recipes make a HUGE quantity. My overall dollars OOP will probably be lower if I continue to buy it at Costco as usual. Thanks for the forehead-smacking moment of illumination. I can cross that one off my list with not a speck of guilt. More time for making laundry soap, yogurt and (on the stove right now) Tomato-Artichoke Relish (inspired by a score of a 5.5 lb. can of quartered artichoke hearts for $1.50 at Grocery Outlet).
I think I’ll give that instead of vanilla for Christmas gifts. Yay!
Sorry to be off topic Kristen, but WB’s brilliant analysis makes me really, really happy!


41 Vicki December 6, 2012 at 9:40 am

I have to respectfully disagree here. We have been making our vanilla for years now. We started making it because it’s so easy, so much cheaper, we wanted to give it as gifts and we wanted to know what’s in our vanilla. I did a quick cost comparison and, given the prices in our area, making our own vanilla costs half what pure vanilla in our local stores costs. We use the cheapest vodka in our local liquor store and don’t notice any liquor taste, even in homemade vanilla ice cream, just pure wonderful vanilla-ness. I also have a great respect for CI but I notice a distinct difference in the taste of fake vs pure vanilla so I’m not sure what that’s about. The cost comparison I did is for a gallon (because I use so much of it and we give it as gifts) and it might not be quite as cost effective if you’re only making one bottle at a time. ??? For whatever it’s worth, we let ours sit for six months. When we give it as gifts, one of two things usually happen: 1) They bring the bottle back and ask for more or 2) they ask how to make it and begin making their own.

I (obviously) enthusiastically recommend making vanilla but each person has to decide for themselves what is the best use of their time and money. Vanilla making isn’t for everyone and no one should ever feel guilty about what they do or don’t do. It’s the differences in each of us that makes the world such a great place.


42 Diane December 6, 2012 at 11:14 am

Vicki – I agree with you!
William B’s brilliant insight got me thinking about a concept that has nothing to do with vanilla at all! My “lightbulb” moment was about total dollars spent. Like many frugal people, I have always thought in terms of getting the most from each dollar. How can I get more for less? Can I make it myself? Do I need this vs. want this?

Lately, I have started thinking about frugality in the sense of how little I can spend to get exactly what I need. Sure, the purchase price per ounce might be better in the super jumbo economy size, but what about the cost per use if I don’t need or use it all? What if I use more of something just because I got it cheaply or have a lot of it? Isn’t that a type of waste or -horrors- greed?? If I buy twice as much at Costco because it’s cheaper but let half of it go to waste, I am starting to think that is poor stewardship. If I buy more and give it away, I’m okay with that, but if I spend less then theoretically I will have more money to give away.

I am positive your lovingly homecrafted version is delicious and highly cost effective for the quantity that is produced. I am also sure your friends can taste the love you put into crafting this special gift. But if I made my own vanilla, I’d have way more OOP expense than if I just bought what I need at Costco. Unless I was having a “Vanilla Emergency”, I would never even consider buying a tiny bottle at a regular grocery store.

I have always found those Hoarders and Extreme Coupon programs similarly disturbing. Both groups are grappling with facets of the same issue: When is enough ENOUGH? Their lives are out of balance. They have let greed in some form or other control their lives. Yes, I am aware that some people give some of what they’ve “scored” away, but the whole game results in higher prices for everyone else.

Sorry, I know this is an extended tangent, but William B’s comment was extremely helpful. I will be thinking about frugality in a whole new light this holiday season. I believe incorporating this concept into my life is going to have huge payoffs. Thank you Kristen and William B, for teaching me yet another way to fish.

43 Kayla December 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I’m interested in learning more about this too. Thanks!


44 Vicki December 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Hi Diane – I do apologize if I was offensive. In retrospect, I guess should have replied below William B’s comment. I’m afraid I have shown my blog commenting ignorance. I didn’t mean to disagree with your concept of frugality but, rather, the concept that it’s not cheaper to make your own vanilla. Yes, it is bad stewardship of our money if we purchase/make a gallon of something (no matter how cheap it is) but then not use half of it so that it goes bad. My concern was that someone would read William B’s comment (whom I have a great deal of respect for as I’m sure others reading the comments do) stating that it might possibly not be cost effective to make your own vanilla. I didn’t want someone who truly wanted to make their own to be discouraged from doing so because of that comment. I am a horrid written communicator so I’ll stop trying to explain myself/digging myself a deeper hole and just say that I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!


45 WilliamB December 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Vicki – I don’t think you sounded offensive, disrespectful or disagreeable at all. I thought you did a fine job of explaining why homemade works for you and what circumstances make it work for you, and all without denegrating anyone else’s different experience.


46 Kristen December 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I love how polite you guys are. On some blogs, people don’t care at all about being polite, and you all are falling all over yourselves to make sure you didn’t hurt someone’s feelings!


47 Skirnir Hamilton December 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Right now I am wishing for a complete down day, ie a day with nothing on my agenda. Today was requesting a copy of our marriage certificate which can only be done via mail or physically picking it up and going to CVS to fill a prescription and lots of little things.

I am wondering how to celebrate Christmas in a temporary living “fully” furnished apartment with my family. Decorations don’t really matter much, but how can I make it somewhat festive and less like waiting until the closing on our new townhouse?

I am waiting for my son to come back from the business office to head out to CVS, as he did not take an apartment key with him.

I am hoping my hubby is having a good day at his new job, day 3.

I am wishing I had time for a walk outside, but as it is a bit dreary and I still have things to do, I will probably do the fitness room this evening.

I am thinking of homemade wheat rolls and homemade pineapple chicken for dinner tonight and maybe homemade pizza for dinner tomorrow. (Pizza will probably be pineapple and smoked sausage, as I don’t have ham or italian sausage.)

I am hoping I won’t be going way over what I like to spend this month on groceries. I am starting to get to where I have what I need to make a varied meal plan, but spending more than I want to.

I am also hoping I won’t get so much food stuffs in the house before 12/28 that we will need to make many trips between the apartment and the townhouse.


48 Becca @ Live Simple Natural December 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Right now I am :
-Excited to spend some Swagbucks-earned Amazon gift cards on Christmas presents for the kiddos.
-Trying to remember everything I was going to put on my list of things to do today.
-Listening to Christmas music :)
-Super thankful for the gorgeous sunny morning- it’s been rainy a lot lately and it’s nice to have a cheery sunny day!


49 Vicki December 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Cudos to you for making vanilla!! It’s super easy and so, so worth it! I learned how to make mine at heavenlyhomemakers.com and never looked back. You will love it!


50 Susan December 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Right now…

I am happy that my family is healthy. I’m also happy that our tree is up, Christmas decorations complete and Christmas cards mailed this morning.

I’m happy that the main presents have been purchased on the internet and are on their way.

I’m happy that my son’s middle school testing has just been completed.

I wish I knew which middle school he was going to be accepted at but I am going to have to wait until March…


51 Hawaii Planner December 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm

1) Hoping we can refinance our house. Email sent this morning!
2) Crossing fingers that my run goes smoothly at lunch. Lately my stomach has been hurting, which is unpleasant.
3) I’m done with my holiday shopping, card sending, & decorating. Earliest ever! I may even have time to bake a few batches of cookies with the kids.
4) Looking for bread recipes! I’m hoping to start baking our own in 2013.
5) Needing a book to read. I desperately need a trip to the library!


52 Kristen December 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm

It’s a good time to refi, that’s for sure! Hope you can save some money on your mortgage this way.


53 Becky December 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Right now I am …
- eating lunch *alone* (all three of my Little Ones fell asleep after a busy morning out and about … which hardly ever happens!)
- debating whether to make drop sugar cookies, or put in the effort and do roll and cut Star of David cookies for Hanukkah.
- Wearing my thick socks for the first time this season.
- and now I’m thinking about homemade vanilla extract! How does one make it? I can only imagine how much better than store bought it tastes :-)


54 Kristen December 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Oh, I kind of miss those bits of quiet I used to have when I had just a few kids and they all took naps. That was lovely.


55 Kristen December 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Forgot to answer your question. It looks like you just split vanilla beans, add them to vodka, and let it sit together for 6-8 weeks, depending on how strong you want your vanilla. I’ll let you all know how mine goes!


56 Becky December 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Oh – that just sounds too simple not to try! I wonder if it gets thick and syrupy?
either way, I’m thinking that homemade vanilla extract can only be good.


57 Lindsey C. December 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Split and scrape, 24 per 750ml. In houston I have found one half gallon jug is cheaper than 2x 750 ml bottles, and its exactly twice as much. I made vanilla extract for gifts this year, amazon has good prices for a pound of beans. specialty bottle had cute amber bottles for gifting.

When your ready to bottle, split a fresh bean into each one to keep it active and steeping, and your recipient can keep it going by topping it off with vodka as they use it until it gets too run down.

I really do not recommend going any lower in quality than Smirnoff for your liquor of choice, lower than that and all you’re going to taste is cheap vodka.


58 WilliamB December 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Agree re using decent quality vodka. The idea is to have a tasteless alcohol so the vanilla tastes like vanilla. Cheap vodka has something of an off-taste.

On the plus side, Consumer Reports discovered that you can make decent quality vodka (or better) by repeatedly draining cheap vodka through coffee filters. IIRC it’s two filters at a time, done 3-5 times. I haven’t tried it though.


59 Hadl December 5, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Right now I am:
-holding a sleeping two month old (and he sleeps warm…)
-thinking of making chocolate chip cookies (if he wakes up)
-figuring out diaper prices
-doing my reading for small group
-listening to Christmas music (luckily, the boy doesn’t need quiet to sleep)


60 Megan December 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Sounds perfect!


61 Tina Ray December 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Had a “to do list” for Mr. Ray and I this past weekend. Almost got it all done.

-Decorate tree (completed last night along with house decorations)
-Make chex mix (completed took several days)
-Clean and reorganize pantry
-Take pantry items to basement (that are not used on regular basis)
-Reorganize lazy susans (still to do)
-Clean fridge (done!)
-Sort paperwork from hutch (still to do…yuck)

I will be working diligently on my things left to do so I can say my list is done! I feel for you Kristen on not having your menu completed. I have to make one in order to grocery shop and to keep my sanity!


62 JB December 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

That crock pot looks almost “new”!! I use one of the original West Bend ones from 1965 ……. my mother’s first crock pot. I was just a little girl when she got it and I’ve decided to see how long it keeps going. I call it fugal…my hubby calls it cheap. :)


63 Arleen December 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Buy a new crockpot!
I always use white rum for my vanilla. I will try vodka next year!


64 janknitz December 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I ALWAYS see crockpots in good condition at thrift stores. Many exactly like my 24+ year old Hamilton Beach with a removable stoneware crock. The only thing I don’t like about it is the plastic lid, but I’ve thought about searching thrift stores for a glass lid that will fit.


65 Sarah December 5, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Magic Erasers work like magic for cleaning things like crockpots. For real, it’ll save you mounds of time and won’t cost a lot of money at all. I use it for cleaning my tea kettle, which gets grease splatters caked on, and I’m done in seconds.


66 Frances December 6, 2012 at 12:19 am

FYI. Magic erasers are loaded with formaldehyde. Not sure I’d use one on anything I planned to eat from.

Right now I am wondering why adding a nephew “improves” the nephew:niece ratio. Having more girls than boys in the family surely isn’t something that needs improving…


67 Kristen December 6, 2012 at 8:12 am

The formaldehyde issue is actually not true: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/eraser.asp

I’m certainly not opposed to nieces-I love them all to death! But the few boy cousins do rejoice when another boy joins them. ;) Because the girls do tend to prefer tea parties to Lord of the Rings.


68 SarahD December 6, 2012 at 10:10 am

“But the few boy cousins do rejoice when another boy joins them. ;) Because the girls do tend to prefer tea parties to Lord of the Rings.”

I got a chuckle out of this. :-) We are very boy heavy in our family, and you should hear the moans and groans over all the princess/tea party stuff that happens.


69 Diane December 6, 2012 at 11:27 am

This made me laugh too. When I mentioned to someone that the newest addition to the family was a girl after seven boys, bringing the count to seven boys and two girls, he laughed and said, “That makes the teams about even.”
It’s also hilarious to watch the boys doting over their youngest cousin. With supreme lack of guile, she holds them completely and adoringly in the palm of her hand.

70 Frances December 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I like the idea of evening up the teams…’twas the word “improving” that bothered me. Perhaps I am sensitive to the issue, being in the midst of a “boys are better than girls” phase with my son…who somewhat contradicts himself by really, really wanting a sister.

still wouldn’t use a magic eraser on a food surface. Wouldn’t use Mr Clean itself, either. Perhaps “loaded” is an exaggeration . I have learned through years of dealing with a formaldehyde allergy that almost all conventional household cleansers (including dish soap) contain formaldehyde-releasing chemical preservatives, which are rarely listed on the ingredient lists. I called a lot of companies before I found my short list of products I can use. Besides, baking soda works like a charm if you let it sit for a bit.

71 Kristen December 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

No worries at all-I can see how you took it that way. And if you don’t know me, you might have thought that I do think boys are better than girls (That’s SO not the case, though…trust me!)

It’s just a running joke that our extended family has a terrible time producing boys. Out of 15 grandchildren on my side, there are only 6 boys (including the one that’s coming this month!) And on Mr. FG’s side, poor Joshua is the only boy. ;)

On the Mr. Clean topic, yeah, I’d be unlikely to use that on a kitchen item as well. And you’re right, things like baking soda and vinegar do work amazingly well.

72 Tamara December 6, 2012 at 9:47 am

You can also use a parchment liner in your crock pot if you are skeptical about using the plastic stuff. These are made in the USA and biodegradable. Lodge makes them for their cast iron dutch ovens. You can go to http://www.lodgemfg.com and look under the products tab.


73 Lindsey December 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I am….
Glad my 2yr old took a nap
Excited to move into our first place alone after divorce
Kind of nervous to actually be on our own
Thankful I have the opportunity to do this for my daughter
Disappointed her father is not there
Very excited to see it all set up
Looking for ways to be frugal and
Glad I do not have to compromise on style or anything else for that matter!
Grateful for the support from family n friends through this tough time…


74 Madeline December 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

LOVE my crock pots. I have 3 sizes! I always find them at Goodwill or the Lutheran thrift shop, and one of them ,someone GAVE ME.. I mentioned I needed a crock pot for our cabin up north and someone said she “never uses hers!!!” and gave it to me!

LOVE my crocks!

Did the roast come out ok!?????


75 Kristen December 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm

It did! I was very relieved to see that it had become quite tender after hour number 8. Phew.


76 Stacey December 6, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I had the same crockpot. It lived a very good long life, but it got too rusty and had to go away. I got a 6 quart one for Christmas last year with a removable crock and it has been a lifesaver.


77 Jenn Laine December 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

how come you dont go and get a crock pot liner?? it will save you from “sponge bathing” your crock pot


78 Kristen December 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Well, I try not to use plastic whenever possible, especially if the food is going to be hot. The idea of cooking in plastic makes me a bit nervous!


79 Jenn Laine December 7, 2012 at 10:28 am

right now i am nervous because i picked out a house and am signing the lease without my hubby, the house will be a surprise.
im anxious because all i want to do is start decorating but we cant move in until jan 1. i myself am frugel and dont like to spend outrageous amounts of money, i like to take what i have and use it as long as i can, that is why i am going to re do our dressers using your tips you posted ( cross your fingers i do a good job) or the hubby might kill me for having to go get two new dressers ! does anyone have any other tips they can offer me ? in regards to organization and decorating?


80 Skirnir Hamilton December 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

wowsers. I think my hubby would kill me if I signed a house contract without his knowledge. Has he seen the house? I mean, my husband and I had some disagreements on what we wanted in a house, but we are closing on a townhouse 12/28, but wish we could move in sooner too!


81 Nikki December 7, 2012 at 10:47 am

Right now, I am…
* procrastinating finishing the laundry.
* planning the busy, busy weekend ahead.
* thinking I should bake something!


82 Joy December 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

You know what? I love your ‘naked’ Christmas tree because it’s looking just the way God intended it to look when he first designed it. The brightest and sparkliest of baubles can’t compete with that, can it?
J x


83 blonde on budget December 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

looks like a beautiful christmas tree you`ve got!


84 Jen December 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Oh my goodness, girl! Go get yourself a new crockpot already! I can’t imagine using the kind without a removeable bowl, they get so dirty!


85 Linda December 7, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Keep your old crockpot….the new ones get too hot. I’m going to goodwill to try to find an oldie but goodie. My new stainless one looks good, but cooks lousy.


86 Economies of kale December 8, 2012 at 5:55 am

Nice tree and we almost always always wear flip-flops when we get our tree :)

Right now I am:
-Happy to have finally posted on my blog.
-Working on my homemade Christmas gifts and wondering how to pack them all for the flight
-Nervous about Mr Omnivore’s upcoming surgery
-Needing to work in the garden, my herbs are looking quite neglected


87 Becky December 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Three corner roast, known here as a tri-tip, is absolutely wonderful when barbecued. In fact, it’s just about everyone’s favorite barbecue food where I live. Yum! There’s some good recipes on google, but all you really need is a good meat rub, sometimes I even forego the rub, and a little time on a hot barbecue. My mouth is starting to water just thinking about it. I might have to head down to safeway to buy one now, even if I do have to barbecue in the cold :)


88 Julie December 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

My new crockpot took a terrible flying leap through the air and smashed against the wall at a hotel where I was hosting a hospitality room…. So I am kinda jealous of your crock pot. However, I was boohoo-ing about my crockpot and my friend said, “Ya know, a lot of times you can find like new ones at goodwill.” Since you are a goodwill guru… keep your eyes peeled for a deal….


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