Hubby and I were watching something on TV about the dirtiest places in your kitchen. #1 was the spice rack. They went on to explain that you often have your spices sitting out, right next to the meat. You touch the meat, then you touch the bottles of spices, then when finished, you put them back into your cabinet. So my task this weekend was to clean all of my bottles of spices, in hopes of getting rid of germs!
Life has become very stressful and intense over the last few years. I cringe each time a new year comes because I know it isn’t going to get any better. I have read my Bible. It is clear we living in the end times. Jesus told us these things would happen.
What are we to do in the midst of it, until He returns? One thing He has impressed upon me is to memorize Bible verses. I know — already, I can hear your excuses. I’m busy. Memorizing is too hard. I am 59 years old. If I can memorize the Word, so can you!
Something I started, to make it easier, is keeping a planner handy. As I find I verse I feel impressed to memorize, I will write it down for that week. (I am trying to do one verse per week.) This is an easy way for me to go back and review when needed. At the end of the year, I can go back and look at what I have accomplished.
I often make images of Bible verses, using the app on my phone. Sometimes while I am at lunch, I will scroll through those until I find one I want to memorize.
When life throws you a curveball, you can pull a helpful verse from your heart, and “chew” on it. I promise — it will help melt the stress into peace, comfort, and confidence in the Lord!
Here is the first one I chose to memorize:
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)
Several years ago, after developing an egg allergy, I researched ways to bake without using eggs. Now that eggs have skyrocketed in price, I am so thankful I had put it into place!
Whenever I make brownies, cookies, bread, or cakes, here is my go-to:
1 T. vinegar (clear, not apple cider vinegar)
1 T. water
1 t. baking powder
That will cover one egg. If I need more eggs, I double or triple the amounts. Everyone who eats my banana bread comments on how delicious it is. Many will say it’s the best they have ever had! The secret is that by using the above ingredients, it makes the outer part of the bread a bit crispy, but the inside is very moist.
We are all feeling the squeeze on our budgets due to inflation. I have done a few simple things to cut our electric bill.
We have a couple of power surge strips that don’t have too many cords plugged into them. When I am not needing the electricity from those strips, I unplug them from the wall. I unplug the toaster when not in use. I don’t use my Bunn coffee maker every day, so I unplug it until I am ready to use it again. I like to use the plug in air fresheners, but since I work all day, I unplug them until I am going to be home to enjoy the scent. The only one that doesn’t get unplugged is the one in the laundry room, which is where we keep the cat’s litter box.
We have turned the thermostat back to 66 degrees which makes the house cooler, but bearable. When we aren’t being active, we do get colder, so we will put on hoodies and wear the hoods. On the weekends, I often wear pants that have some “give” to them. Underneath, I will wear a pair of workout pants that go below my knees, then I have knee-high socks to keep the rest of me warm. I dress in layers for that added warmth.
When I go to bed, I usually leave my socks on. I add a sock cap and gloves to keep me warm. No more freezing as I first climb into bed. I am snuggled in, warm, and cozy. An added bonus of the cap is that when I add hair treatments to help with dry, itchy scalp, the cap helps protect my pillow from being coated with the product.
In these times when everyone is really working to stretch their dollars, I wanted to give a very simple tip. This came from a hair stylist. Use a dime-sized amount of shampoo and conditioner, even for long hair. She said most people use way more than that, so they go through product rather quickly. Try to retrain your brain. Our muscle memory is deeply built in us. We are used to squeezing hard to get a larger amount of product. Write a reminder note if you have to, but I have found that being money conscious is a great motivator. By implementing this simple tip, you can easily get twice the amount of product.
Another tip: Add water to those products and they will stretch even farther.
Hair gels and sprays: I wear my hair very short. I like to spike it. However, I like to use the cheaper products because of my money-conscious mindset. The kickback is that when my hair grows longer, I need more of product on my hair, which causes excessive itching. Even though I used to like my hair a bit longer, that constant itching drives me nuts. Result: I choose to wear it shorter so I don’t need as much product on my hair. In those times when I am itching a lot, I have a roller ball of olive oil with added essential oils that are good for the itchy feeling. I simply roll it on my head, and I’m good to go. Essential oils good for itching: peppermint, lavender, and rosemary.
Now if I could only get my hubby to cut my hair instead of paying for a hair cut…..Still working on that one!
For another quick spruce up, try cleaning the baseboards. Since I use orange oil on the furniture, I bought a $1 can of furniture polish at the Dollar Store for this job. (Back when they were still just a dollar store.) It is cheap, but it makes a huge difference in how the baseboards look. No one else may notice, but you sure will! And….you will enjoy how nice they look. It doesn’t take long either.
After the Covid lockdowns, and being at home so much more, did you find yourself tired of looking at the same things all the time in your home? I found a quick and easy way to get out of the household doldrums. I grabbed the nic-nacs from nearly every room and put them on the kitchen counter. After cleaning them, I searched for new places for them. Moving them from their original “home” to a new spot in the house made everything seem newer and fresher!
I found a quick and easy way to spruce up my home without a lot of time or effort. Occasionally, I will clean the picture frames and nic-nacs that are hanging on my walls or sitting on end tables. It makes a huge difference, yet doesn’t take a lot of time or effort. Once I noticed the big difference it made, I started doing it more often. And I don’t do it because company is coming over. I simply do it for me, so that I can enjoy how much nicer things look. In a world of chaos, simple things like a cleaner, brighter home can do wonders for the soul.
I wanted to share a couple of easy ways to stretch your money on common, everyday things.
Since I make my own laundry soap, it doesn’t have much scent to it. I found a great deal on some Downy Unstoppables. The scent is very nice, but since we both can’t handle a lot of scent, we use about a 10th of what the instructions say to use per load. It still gives a nice scent to the laundry, without overpowering us, and we don’t break the bank. Depending on where you buy it, it can be very pricy.
My sis-in-law gave us a couple of bottles of Downy fabric softener. Again, the scent can be overpowering. I add about 1/4 of what it says to my washer, and I add water to the rest of the “holder” for fabric softener. It does a great job, and stretches those bottles a lot further.
You can add water to dish soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash to make them stretch. I like Bath & Body Works lotions, but they are also pricy. To make them stretch, but still enjoy the scent, I add shea lotion to B&B lotions.
If you like the foamy hand soaps, once it is empty, you can fill the empty bottle with some dish soap. I fill mine about 1/8 of the way, then slowly add water. Close, then shake well. You will be able to use the same bottle over and over before the pump wears out. If you want more scent, just add some essential oil to it.
As the weekend approaches, I always make a to-do list to help me keep from getting distracted by worthless things. One thing that has been on my list the last 2 weekends is to do a freezer inventory. This isn’t a hard chore if one only has the fridge freezer to do. We have a deep freezer as well. It is quite a cumbersome task.
First, it is in our laundry room, which is quite crowded. Being that I am claustrophobic, it can sometimes cause me to start melting down when I feel too cramped. Add to that a bad back, and having to bed over for long stretches to reach everything in the very bottom of the deep freeze, and it can be quite painful.
Nevertheless, I forced myself to do it today. I grabbed my inventory list, a pen, and put gloves on my hands to protect them from all of the frozen food. I knew it would feel wonderful to cross that chore off my list. As I started pulling things out of the left side of that freezer, it felt like it was a bottomless pit. I kept finding more and more meat.
Thankfully, I had the wisdom not to whine about the task, nor to growl about having so much food. With the supply chain still at risk of completely breaking, and seeing the myriad of empty shelves in the grocery stores, I knew I need to have a grateful, thankful heart. Even though my back was really starting to hurt, I kept saying, “I feel so blessed, Lord!” It completely changed this cumbersome task into a wonderful blessing. And I even have time to do some more Bible study before I go to bed!