Yearly Archives: 2016

Tips to Get Through the Holidays Smoothly and Stress-free

Hello! I hope that everybody had a wonderful Christmas and didn’t eat too much. Mine was good.  I was able to see my family. I cooked ham, green beans, corn on the cob, sweet potato casserole, brown n serve rolls and baked a lemon pound cake. It was all very good. I will share the recipes with you soon. What are some of your favorite holiday foods? Do you have any family recipes that are enjoyed for family get-togethers? Do you have any tips to make life easier during the holidays?

Here are some tips that help me…

(Through the year) Make a list of those that you need to shop for and what for each person. When you are out and catch sales or have coupons/rebates, go ahead and buy if you are able to.

(A month or so before holiday event) Make a menu list along with recipes. Check to see if you already have the ingredients needed before shopping. Also, write up a guest list to make sure you will have enough food and dishes for them all.

(A week or longer in advance) Wrap gifts and put name tags on them. Write gift items down what you got for each person so you don’t buy it again or just so you remember it.

(A few days before cooking day) Go over food list/recipes again to make sure you have all that you need before you start cooking. Lay out the baking dishes, serving dishes and ingredients needed for each dish. I put the ingredients in the casserole dishes or near so they are ready to go. That’s if they aren’t perishable though.

(A day to 3 days before depending on what it is) Prepare any food that will keep. Cook any food that is freezable, like cookies and pies. Tidy up the house.

(Morning of) First thing, prepare the food that takes the longest and that goes in the oven or slow cooker, such as turkey, ham or roast. Time the other food according to how long they take to cook. I prepare the dish then place in the oven or on the stove closer to when it’s time to eat.

(While food is cooking) Wash dishes and set the table with dishes, eating and serving utensils, salt, pepper, toothpicks, and napkins. Get some rest whenever you can, before all the family arrives or if your family is already there, play a game with them or watch a movie together.

I hope these tips help! Doing some things ahead of time will help make the day go a little less stressful and help you as far as getting things done in a timely manner. Plus being organized and making plans in advance helps tremendously so you will be able to spend time with your friends and family.

If you enjoyed my post, you will also enjoy this article as  http://snip.ly/q5ptc

I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

SpryGirl

Goals, Priorities and Responsibilities- OH MY!

Does anyone else feel overwhelmed when it comes to responsibilities, setting goals and prioritizing them?

Ohmigosh, I sure do! I think my problem, most of all, is that I procrastinate. When I procrastinate, everything gets piled up, too much on my plate and can’t think clearly to be able to prioritize them because of being so overwhelmed.

So…. To solve my problem, I decided to set a schedule and take on little tasks and move on to the next task at hand. If you use a calendar or planner, write out a list for each day of tasks that must be done at the top of the list, what I want to do and lastly, what I can do if I have time and that can be done while watching TV.  If you use a notebook; make three columns may be labeled as i.e. (urgent, important and leisure). You can also categorize the tasks by if they are a household chore, business/work, personal or for a family or friend. Some people use computer programs like Evernote and PlannerPro. They are good to use but I prefer writing things out and being able to see and hold in my hands and I can mark out what’s been done, make additional notes as needed. I also like to use highlighters and colored pens to color code for what’s been done or type of task.

There may be hobbies or projects that you enjoy or have put off because of more important things always need to be done. Set aside at least once a week for an hour or longer to do something that you enjoy. We all need to have that time for our sanity! If you don’t have time to plan an outing with a friends or family, give them a call or a random message to let them know that you haven’t forgotten about them.

With today’s technology, it is easy to lose touch with everyone. Even though technology makes it easy to communicate, there is so much going on and there are so many social media platforms that it is sometimes hard to keep up with it all.

Please leave comments if you like 😉

SpryGirl

Such a sweet baby! Awww!!!

Babies are so wonderful! I am so happy to have grandbabies. They are so much more fun and so different than when I was raising my kids. My youngest grandbaby is 2 weeks old. I was able to see her today. She is so beautiful and sweet. She has two siblings, an older brother and a sister. I am so proud of my daughter when I see her being such a wonderful mother to her kids. The photo is the newest addition to the family and her big brother. He loves his little sissy!

 

SpryGirl

Pretty Tissue Flowers are so Easy to Make

Every girl loves flowers! I like all kinds of flowers, pictures of flowers, floral prints, objects created into flowers, even paper flowers. I like the faux flowers best because they won’t wilt away and is nice to decorate with them. I recently made some tissue paper flowers for my daughter after the birth of my newest granddaughter.

Here are directions on how I made them and the supplies that you will need:

Tissue paper, any colors or print

Floral wire

Floral tape

Scotch tape

Stapler

Scissors

Ruler

I used 2 sheets of tissue paper in 2 colors for a 2-tone look. I stacked the sheets together and folded in 4ths and cut on the folds. Have the shiny sides down towards the outside. I put the darkest on the bottom so it will show on the outside of the flower. Start folding in accordion style about an inch wide.  Fold in half and tie with wire. However it cooperates for you, with tape, stapler or wire to secure it, without tearing the paper. And cut in rounded or spikes around the edges. I experimented with it some. Then start separating the sheets carefully. After you have separated each sheet, secure sides with stapler and/or tape. Then cut at least 4 pieces of wire in however long you desire, or a very long piece and fold it to the final size. After you have your wires lined up right, secure it to the wire on your flower, then wrap with the floral tape. I made 3 of these flowers and made the wire long enough that it can be wrapped around something to display or can be kept long and twisted to put in a vase. I think it would also look pretty to add a touch of paint on the petals and maybe some glitter. Also, you can have the paper larger for larger flowers as long as you have 8 sheets or more total. The larger the sheets and more sheets, the larger and fuller the flower will be.

Use your imagination! The beauty of crafting is that there is no right or wrong way, just happy mistakes made into terrific innovations. Crafters learn from each project, see what works best and everybody’s crafty eye is different.

If you make any of these tissue flowers, send me pics and comments.

Thanks, SpryGirl 😉

Veterans Day on the Crystal Coast

How was your Veterans Day?

First all, Thank you for your service to all of the military personnel, active and retired.

I had a good time with my granddaughter. We went to the Aquarium on Pine Knoll Shores. Then we went to the beach and Dairy Queen. There is so much to do on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. Many are free and a short drive. Links are below.

http://www.ncaquariums.com/pine-knoll-shores

http://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/locator/Detail/?localechange=1&store-id=10214&

Some of the free activities are beaches, nature trails, boardwalks and museums. See the link directly below to find out what interests you!

https://www.visitnc.com/

About our day…

We arrived at the Aquarium and had a hard time finding a parking space. They have free admission every now and then on a special holiday such as Veterans Day.  So the parking was difficult since it was pretty busy, but worth it. I think my granddaughter’s favorite things there was the touch tank, the kids play area and the analysis center for the turtles. It was nice for them to have interactive activities for the kids to do, other than walk around and look at the exhibits. We visited the gift shop inside the aquarium. They have a lot of fun and nice items there like T-shirts, hats, glasses, jigsaw puzzles, books and toys. My granddaughter wanted everything in the shop. LOL

The beach was very nice. My granddaughter enjoyed it. She got on the swings, and then climbed on a turtle. She even got to digging in the sand like a dog then she lay in the hole she dug. After the beach, we went to get food and ice cream from Dairy Queen. She played some of the arcade games and when she ate her ice cream, I think she was wearing more on her face than what she ate.

If you are ever on the Crystal Coast, I recommend going to the beach and the aquarium. Some of my favorite places to go are the Morehead City and Beaufort waterfronts, Harkers Island, Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras.

SpryGirl

20 Natural Ingredient Hacks

I have always thought that natural ingredients are the way to go over using medications. There are so many healing powers in natural foods, plants, seeds and roots. For instance; lemons, ginger root, vinegar and coconut oil are just a few. I can remember when I was little and my mother would make me a heaping tablespoon of honey and lemon juice when I had a sore throat and would make a chewing tobacco and water concoction for bee stings. There are so many ingredients to relieve many ailments or problems that are readily available in your kitchen and the local grocery store.

I am still learning how to eat and prepare healthier foods. I know that some food makes me feel terrible. Such as I get headaches soon after eating certain food. I have to control myself from buying and eating some food because I know how it will make me feel as well as worrying about weight-gain. I do give in at times and pay the consequences for that decision.

Here are just 20 ingredients and what they have been known to help

  • Almonds – headaches
  • Aloe Vera – cuts, burns and scrapes
  • Apples – heartburn
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – congestion
  • Black Pepper – indigestion
  • Cinnamon – lower blood pressure
  • Cranberries – urinary tract infections
  • Coconut Oil – spit ends and dry skin
  • Cucumbers – puffy eyes
  • Garlic – heart and blood clots
  • Ginger- stomach problems and menstrual cramps
  • Green Tea – metabolism and energy
  • Honey – skin brightener
  • Mint – bad breath
  • Oats – eczema and skin polisher
  • Prunes – constipation
  • Salt – skin polisher
  • Sugar – hiccups
  • Turmeric – infections
  • Water – headaches, hunger, over-all health

As we all know there are health conditions that medications are required. I did not write this post up in order to replace your medications but for awareness of natural option choices. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to stop medication without consulting your physician first.

SpryGirl

Relationships

Hello Everybody! Thank you for dropping by! I hope you all are doing great.

Today, I want to blog about something that has been on my mind lately. It’s about how things have changed over the years. Friendships and family relationships are different than when I was growing up and the generations before mine. People don’t seem to be as close as they used to be. I remember when my family would get together on Sundays for after-church dinners and socialize with each other. I used to have sleepovers with friends, game nights and went to dances when I was in my teens. It seems like people are too busy these days. I hardly ever hear from friends and don’t see family much.

Also, dating isn’t like it used to be. I remember having real dates, when you are asked out to go somewhere, like a restaurant, a play, bowling, etc. I’ve been on dating sites and met guys in person and it seems like the majority of the guys have ONE thing on their minds.

So, how do we change interactions with each other?

Ideally, it would be nice to have closer relationships with our friends and family.

SpryGirl

How is everyone tonight?

About my day!
I’m doing well. I hope everyone is doing great!

I had to get an ultrasound this morning. It was not fun at all. I had to drink two bottles of water before my appointment. Then it took forever for them to call me back. It was such an uncomfortable feeling to not be able to go to the bathroom when needed. And the ultrasound wand was a pain when pressed on my stomach.

No, I’m not prego! LOL I’ve been experiencing some abdominal pain on my left side and the doctor wanted me to get the ultrasound to rule out any female problems. Considering that there is some history of cancer in my family, it’s best to be safe than sorry. UPDATE: everything came back fine. Ultrasound looked normal.

After leaving there, I had to wait for a while at the clinic to get my prescriptions. Then I had to take my car to the car doctor. It started making a squeaking noise a few days ago. It turns out that the belts started getting some wear on them. So, I got them replaced. It’s always something that needs to be done. There is always upkeep on my health, my car, my home, and my pets. But, I know it all must be done.

By the way, my dinner turned out awesome last night. I made wild rice, seasoned collard greens and crescent rolls to go with my Crock Pot cube steak. It was so good; I enjoyed the leftovers tonight as well.

I might make an Italian meatball sub tomorrow night. I got the Meal Deal from Harris Teeter for $6.99. They have a different meal deal every week. I saved more money when I bought those items together than if I got them separate on different shopping trips. It consisted of Tater Tots, Spaghetti Sauce, Hoagie Rolls, Meatballs and Lipton Tea. It sounds like a great meal to me! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I ended up not making the meatballs subs. I might make them on Sunday.

Have a great night!!!
SpryGirl

Cinnamon Rock Candy

Ingredients:
1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
3 ¾ Cups Granulated Sugar
1 ½ Cups Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Water
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon Oil
1 Teaspoon Red Food Coloring

1. Roll the edges of two 16 inch square pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle the foil very generously with confectioners’ sugar.
2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the white sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Stop stirring, and boil until a candy thermometer reads 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C). Remove from heat.
3. Stir in the cinnamon oil and food coloring. Pour onto the prepared foil, and allow to cool and harden. Crack into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy and make for holiday gifts!

SpryGirl

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy doing anything creative. I recently started buying materials to do paper crafts. My daughter is having a baby girl soon and I will be making her a bouquet of flowers out of tissue paper. I like that idea because they won’t wilt and she would be able to keep them longer and decorate the baby’s room with them. I found many YouTube videos for paper flowers using tissue paper, crepe paper, and scrapbook paper.

I’m also crocheting a blanket for the baby. It is just about done. It has a yellow center and stripes of white, green and pink. I can’t decide if I want to crochet a flower or a butterfly to go in the center. What do you think? See picture…

I am also making Christmas presents for my family. I like to use knitting looms a lot for scarves, hats, bathmats, washcloths, placemats and runners. Crochet kitchen towels and bath scrubbies. Make novelty boxes out of scrapbook paper and file folders. My family also likes eatable gifts too. I usually make no-bake cookies and old fashioned cinnamon rock candy. My kids always request those goodies every year. I posted those recipes for you!

I have made lots of jewelry also. I can make earrings and bracelets pretty fast. My favorite materials to work with are glass beads, memory wire, and fishhook earring findings. I am self-taught and have mastered the techniques for attaching headpins to findings. It is a little difficult at first and takes time to get the technique down. One of my favorite types of jewelry to make is chain maille. I love the way the rosettes look in a bracelet and earrings.

I have so many interests in the crafting world (new and old) and so little time. I’m sure you can all relate. LOL

Have a wonderful day!

SpryGirl