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Everything posted by StaceyinLA

  1. My friends are always telling me I need to do a blog about organization and minimalism. I'm not truly a minimalist in the sense that I have a barren house and walls, but I definitely do NOT like clutter, and what I do have, has a place. I actually started a "minimalist granny" instagram, but just haven't done anything with it yet. I am currently storing stuff for 2 of my daughters that are in transitions with moving, so I didn't feel like it was a good time for me to be showing anyone what my house is like. 😜 Christmas has been tough for me - I tend to overspend on the grandkids. However, I have a daughter who is fairly minimalist, and she has really encouraged me to keep the stuff to a minimum. I've gone from buying who knows how much to a 3 gift limit per child (and $100 max, including stocking stuffers). That's still not super minimal, but it's a step. I do make an effort to fill their "stockings" (I do little buckets because I want their only stockings to be at home) with items they'll use up, practical things like cute undies, or small items that go with or add to something they already own. Overall though, my house is pretty minimal and non-cluttered. I have nice, big canvases of my grandkids on the walls, and a couple areas where I'll put decorative things (mostly my open kitchen shelving interspersed with dishes), but other than that, no real "trinket" decorations anywhere. I keep a minimal amount of pots/pans in my kitchen. I keep only what I use - period. I have an 8-qt pot, a 5-qt deep skillet, a 2 qt saucepan, and a ceramic non-stick. I need to add a nice, 3 qt saucepan and ditch the 2 qt, and I'd really like a 5 qt dutch oven for most of my cooking. The 8 is just too big most of the time. I don't buy a lot of gadgets. I have a very few knives, but I have good ones. I did research and picked the best rated of each type of knife I use (chef's knife, paring knife, bread knife), and we have steak knives. With clothing, I just DO NOT KEEP IT unless I use it - same with shoes. I'm also pretty basic, so I never really have to worry about trendy stuff that's gonna go out of style. I buy classic shirts and sweaters - typically from Gap or somewhere like that, and I wear them until they have holes. I have boots I've owned for 10+ years, and I still wear and love them. I just don't buy things like that unless I can't imagine NOT having them. Dh and I have a small closet with 1 clothes rod each and a 3-dresser chest from Ikea under the hanging clothes. ALL our clothing is neatly in there, and we both have room left. I DO have us each 2 Ikea soft storage pieces on the top shelf for our bulky winter things since winters here are short, and I have some matching Ikea shoe storage containers up there for us to store our few pair of dress shoes (I think we each have 2 pair). I could ramble on, but I really already have, and I don't know that I'm making a point - just rambling. 🙂
  2. Well, I'm definitely in the Apple camp, since I have only used Apple products for going on about 15 years now (best thing I ever did was bail from Windows), so I definitely suggest iPad (and iPhone as well). Apple has better overall security with their devices, they work together seamlessly, and the iPad App Store is pretty much unmatched. Between us right now, in my family, the adults have 8 iPhones, two iMacs, 2 Apple watches, and two iPad Pros, and the grandkids have 4 regular 2018 iPads, an iPad Air 3, and 2 iPad mini 4s. I LOVE the educational stuff I can put on my grandkids' iPads, as well as loading up movies when we are going on long trips. I realize you can likely do this with other tablets, but they just never seem to work as well as iPads.
  3. This is one of my faves! It's Whole 30 also (although if you don't need that, the original recipe calls for soy sauce and brown sugar in place of coconut aminos - I don't think anything else is very different). When I am doing Whole 30, I eat it over crunchy, shredded lettuce (like finely shredded romaine hearts or even iceberg), and I LOVE the little spicy drizzle, but if you're not a fan of the added fat/calories, topping with some additional fresh green onion works great! This would typically be eaten over rice, so if you aren't doing Whole 30, it's great over Jasmine rice! It's a dry/crumbly topping, not like a wet/gravy topping, but it's REALLY yummy! I love it with some kimchi on the side! I've also done a Thai basil beef recipe with ground meat, and it's quite yummy too! I used The Defined Dish's recipe (you can search online for it), and just used ground beef in place of the thinly sliced steak (I've done it both ways - the steak is great of course, but doing the ground beef tasted just fine, and it's cheaper). We get a lot of ground beef as well because my sister raises free-range, mostly grass-fed cattle, so even though it's not as fancy in some recipes, I know it's clean, good beef!
  4. Super excited about some of these ideas! I think I’ll be able to pull off a few, inexpensive “couples’ baskets” for my adult kids/spouses incorporating some of these kitchen gadgets, along with some fun snack foods.
  5. Haven’t made it to TJs yet, but hit WF for some sales a couple days ago - $60. I think I have right at $100 left before I hit my goal. It’s highly likely I’ll go over since I’m only halfway through the month, but to be fair, my goal was HALF my typical budget, which is only $600 to begin with. If I go over by $100, I’ll be pleased with that - $400 isn’t bad, especially considering the way we typically eat. For instance, hot dogs would typically be a super cheap meal. I bought weiners on sale at WF the other day for $5/pack (all beef, grass-fed, on sale for that price), and I needed 2 packs, plus $5 for brioche buns because their other buns are a crumbly disaster. I made a huge pot of homemade chili. Dd and her kids ate with us, so all the weiners and buns were gone, but I have 2-3 more meals’ worth of chili. That’s a fairly expensive hot dog meal, but I don’t do hot dogs often because I cannot make myself buy less expensive weiners. I pick up good weiners when they’re on sale, and hot dogs are a “treat” meal for us. I am set for Thanksgiving I think. I already have my turkey, got the stuff for my homemade dressing (with the exception of a French bread I’ll need to buy to dry out for crumbs, and maybe a few chicken thighs on the bone), bought some fresh cranberries (WF had their organic ones on sale), and threw those in the freezer to keep til I’m ready to make my cranberry sauce. I probably will need sweet potatoes, but I’ll pick up local from the farmer’s market, and they’re pretty inexpensive. I will hit TJs this weekend, so I’m thinking the rest of my goal budget will be done, but hopefully I’ll be able to make it the rest of the month buying only a few fresh items.
  6. American Eagles jeggings are pretty much the only “jeans” I wear. I like that they feel more like a jean, come in multiple rises, so I can have the waistband hit me where I want, and are thick enough to not highlight every little flaw. I have thin legs too, and jeggings with a slightly loose top (long enough to cover my booty of course), is pretty flattering since my thinnest parts are more accentuated. I do have one regular pair of jeans with a straight leg from AE as well for times when I wear a bulkier shoe that doesn’t look right with jeggings, but other than that, I am always in my jeggings.
  7. I never really get “deals,” because it seems like they are never on anything I’m looking for. I’ve definitely noticed a trend of marking up items so they can be put on “sale.” Like buy one get one half off, but the item is nearly double what it should cost in the first place. Now, I buy American Eagle jeans only (well, their jeggings), and when those are buy one get one half off, I’ll go for it. I know the regular prices, so I know it’s a deal. I also only buy them once every few years when my previous ones get holes. As far as other sales, I’m skeptical. I just try to know the pricing of items I want/need fairly well, so I’ll know if a deal is really a deal.
  8. I’ll admit to not reading all the replies, but just wanted to throw in checking thrift stores or resale shops for a nice dress. When my kids were younger, and we didn’t have money for nice church clothes (as in multiples so we wouldn’t have to wear the same nice clothes every week), we ALWAYS did the thrift stores. Those types of clothes rarely get used enough to be in less than great condition. I have a basic black dress from the Gap (tailored and classic Gap - not new Gap) I bought for $3.99 at a thrift store probably 15 years ago. I STILL wear that dress to funerals and for occasions where I need a basic black dress. Best purchase I’ve probably ever made in my life. 😜
  9. Awesome - thank you! A globe is at the top of my list. I was actually just on Amazon looking. Any particular one you all recommend?
  10. Thank you all for the ideas - lots of good ones!! I’m working on getting some stuff together and a good plan, and we will be starting formally after the 1st of the year. Right now they’re covering the basics (math, phonics, grammar/spelling) with mom or me, but I’m so excited to do more with them!
  11. I spent about $70 at Wal-Mart a couple days ago (not by choice, but I was out of a few things and didn’t want to do an hour drive to the grocery), but that won’t all count toward groceries. I think I got milk and some cookies for dh, a couple things for sandwiches, and then dog/cat food. Right around $40 on groceries. I can still spend around $200 and be within my goal. I’m hitting TJs this morning, which will likely knock out $100 of that, but I’ll get a LOT of stuff for that hundred, especially since I don’t need meat or anything really pricey (except possibly nuts). If I have two more $50 trips after that, basically getting fresh items, I’ll be good! We shall see! I made a HUGE pot of something last night. I called it gumbalayoup. 😜 It was a cross between gumbo, jambalaya, and soup, and it was really good. It had all my gumbo goodies (chicken, local sausage, okra, a little tomato cuz that’s how I like mine best), but wasn’t made with a roux; organic broth instead. It also had carrots, potatoes, and I threw in a half cup of rice. If I would’ve had any fresh greens, I’d have added those (spinach or kale), but I didn’t. Either way, it was delicious, and it fed me, dh, dd, and her kids, I sent dh with 2 days’ worth of lunches, and there are 2 lunches’ worth in the fridge at home. Earlier in the week I did pork chops (I had gotten some really nice ones at Whole Foods - I RARELY buy pork) smothered down in gravy and made some yellow grits, collard greens and local sweet potatoes. Gosh that was excellent - the kids, who usually dislike grits, devoured it with the gravy on it. The pork was falling apart tender, and the collards were the best I’ve ever made. Not sure what’s gonna be on the menu for tonight - depends on if I pick up something yummy at TJs, or dig something out of the freezer.
  12. My grandkids are very interested in Geography right now, so I’d like to start them with something, but I have no idea what. 1st/3rd grades, and I don’t want to do a “community helper” type program. They are really interested in the map, states they’ve traveled to, etc., so I’d just like something to give me some direction. Also, is US or World preferable? They’ll be doing SOTW Volume 1. I have large maps in my school room, but should I have a globe also? I just can’t remember the thinking on this. Geography was one of those things we really skimped on back in the day, but we’ve all gotten a lot more interested in it over the years, so I’d like to do something more thorough with the grandkids.
  13. I always LOVED Veritas cards when my kids were younger. Now that I’m gonna be the primary teacher of my 2 oldest grandkids, I am rebuying the card sets. I have SOTW, and that’s what I plan to use because their mom can easily do the reading with them as part of their nighttime story time, and we can put it all together during school time. I just have to incorporate the cards. I know there used to be a list somewhere that tied them together; just wondering if that still exists.
  14. Would you share a link? When I look this up, I see a few different things.
  15. Are the MM pages in color? Any pictures? Doesn’t it incorporate mental math, word problems, etc.? I guess when I say boring, R&S is so much drill. It’s black and white, and the pages are just boring. Of course, math is kind of a boring subject, so I’m not bent on changing it for that reason. I think the learning method is also a bit boring, but if it works, it works. I just think my grandson (and his sister) might like it mixed up a bit more.
  16. ^ You mentioned some things that I think my grandson would do well with. 1) DIfferent approaches/methods of doing the same thing. I think sometimes if the traditional thing doesn’t click, hearing it explained differently might help. I try to do that, but because I “get it,” I think it’s harder for me to explain at his level. 2) A combo that includes a bit more mental math, but not totally different than a traditional program. I had thought after reading this thread I’d just stick with R&S, but honestly, your post makes me rethink it...
  17. I have a huge problem with this in Christian circles (and I AM a Christian, and I even like watching the Duggars). If you have a conviction to stay pure, but are unable to control it unless you’re being chaperoned, are you really that convicted? I have a serious problem with people not having personal responsibility.
  18. I don’t really get this either, and even though his manipulating them because of a ticket is a different scenario than them sleeping with him for a ticket, I guess I just still don’t get it. You gave me a ticket. I don’t owe you **** is more along the lines of my way of thinking.
  19. I think there are many women struggling with this very same thing. I'm in no way victim blaming because I'll admit to not knowing the whole story, but women participating in sex acts in order to gain something isn't real classy on their part either. I'm disturbed by the number of women who willingly do these types of things.
  20. I am following this thread for some new ideas! I have done a few of the things mentioned above. Also, over the last couple years, I've given really good kitchen knives to a couple of the adult couples. I bought some nice blade covers from Sur La Table to fit the knives, and put those in their stocking (each couple gets one). Also in the past I've put nice spices, olive oils from our local olive oil store, balsamic vinegars from the same store, fun little specialty food items they wouldn't typically buy themselves, bag clips, oven gloves, high quality stainless measuring spoons/cups, things like that. Williams Sonoma always has a bucket of inexpensive knives near the counter. They are all different colors. Some are serrated edge, some straight edge. There are a few different ones. I have bought those for myself, and really like them, so I am considering one of those for each adult couple this year, along with maybe some nice cheeses/salamis, good crackers, nuts, etc. I'm not planning to do true adult gifts for my kids this year - it's just been an expensive year for everyone - so I'm gonna do each couple a nice basket of edible treats instead.
  21. If you were starting a 3rd grader with little to no formal grammar knowledge, would you start in R&S 3? My oldest dd's friend was asking her about it, and she asked me - just wanted to see what others thought.
  22. I have spent about $140 so far this month (Whole Foods a few days ago). Hit the farmer’s market last weekend and Whole Foods during the week - did sales only except for my coffee creamer, and a rotisserie chicken (which will make us a double batch of whole 30 chicken verde chili and still leave some for chicken salad). I need some more fresh veggies, and will probably get to WF, Sprouts or TJs (or all 3 hunting sales) this week. I have my turkey for Thanksgiving (WF had a good price on the Diestels a couple weeks ago, so I grabbed one for under $20). I do need a few items for my dressing, and some fresh sweet potatoes, but nothing pricey. My girls usually each make something to contribute. My goal is getting through the month only spending about $250 more. We shall see.
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