Monday, October 27, 2014

25 Things to Do While Watching TV

Hi everyone!

I believe that women for generations have been major multi-taskers. This is not a new concept. It is more a way of life. The reality is that there is always something that needs done around our home.  I think women are actually born with a multitasking gene. It is like second nature to us.

In order to not let all the little things pile up, these are a few things I do while watching TV in the evening.

25 things to do while watching tv @thethriftygroove.com

  1. Take a grocery bag into the living room and go through all the mail and immediately throw out stuff you don’t need.
  2. Write in calendar/day planner upcoming events, dates of bills to be paid and any other relevant date type things.
  3. Make out bills and any other correspondence
  4. Clean out phone email, pictures and text messages
  5. Make weekly menu plan
  6. Fold several loads of laundry
  7. Clean jewelry
  8. Mending. Yup, still sew on a button from time to time or sew up a small rip
  9. Go through magazines and purge. (donate to a senior living facility)
  10. Match up clean socks
  11. Cut out coupons and match up sales ads
  12. Paint toenails or fingernails…or both!
  13. Shred old un-needed papers
  14. Clean out your purse/wallet
  15. Give yourself a facial (mask)
  16. Update your address book
  17. Make your grocery list
  18. Remove your junk drawer and clean it out
  19. Clean shoes. Use a Mr.Clean eraser on scuff marks
  20. Do some ironing (I use a small tabletop ironing board)
  21. Detangle necklaces
  22. Write out blog outline and or ideas for future posts
  23. Write a “Love” letter to your spouse and tuck it somewhere he/she will find it the next day
  24. Polish up some silver pieces
  25. Cut up old worn out, stained clothes for rags

There are a lot of other things and this list is just the tip of the iceberg. The other night while watching TV I gathered the 3 coffee cans I have filled with cookie cutters and sorted them into “holiday theme” bags. It was one of those little things that I had been meaning to do and never had the time.

Here is another great list of things to do while watching TV. Kathi and I have a few of the same things but, she has a lot of great ideas that aren’t on my list!

30 Organizing Projects You Can Do While Watching a 30 Minute TV Show

There are evening when I only watch TV. But, my nature is to stay busy.

Oh, and my biggest internety thing I do at night is Pinterest! Seriously, I pin away on my phone late at night. I don’t have time to do it during the day because I found that I can quickly lose HOURS if I step into the world of Pinterest while at my laptop! Doing it on my phone seems to keep me from losing myself in Pinterest! LOL

You can find Kathi’s list along with a lot of other great organizing tips on my Pinterest board Thrifty Organizing

 

Following me at:

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

I hope you have a fun and thrifty week!

I’m joining Kathe & Kim for Your Gonna Love it Tuesday

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday at the Table~Recipe for Stale Donut Bread Pudding

Hi everyone!

Do you ever buy those bakery donuts at the grocery store that are marked down at the end of the day? Or buy the package of the broken up donuts from the Bakery outlet store for super cheap? If they are cheap enough, I buy them and throw them in the freezer to make a “Stale Donut Bread Pudding”.

Stale Donut Recipe @ TTG

This year we have gotten quite a few dozens of leftover cinnamon and sugar donuts from the Haunted Hayrides at the farm.

Donut Pudding Recipe @ The Thrifty Groove

We have been manning the bonfire and the donut/apple cider tent for about a month every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Whatever donuts are left on Sunday evening we all divvy them up between all the workers. Considering it is not unusual to go through 25-30 dozen fresh baked donuts in an evening, we deal with a LOT of donuts every weekend!

Donut Pudding Recipe @ The Thrifty Groove 

After dealing with so much donuts 3 nights a week, you really get tired of them. LOL So, I seal them up into plastic bags and toss them in the freezer. In February, a donut bread pudding will sound really good!

Donut Pudding Recipe @ The Thrifty Groove

Bread puddings (or in this case donut puddings) are such a great budget stretcher and also a thrifty but yummy way to use up stale bread type products.The recipes below call for half & half and the other for heavy cream. I don’t find those things budget friendly so, I use canned milk and it turns out very good!

Here are two recipes that I use.

From Blogger Coleen's Recipes (The picture above is Coleen's. Doesn't it look awesome!)

6 day old donuts
1/2 cup raisins
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 and grease an 8" x 8" baking dish.
Cut the donuts into 8ths and place in the baking dish - sprinkle with raisins. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour over the donuts and push the donuts down into the liquid a little. IMPORTANT STEP: Let the donuts absorb the liquid for about 30 minutes before putting into the oven.
Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until golden. It will sound hollow (and spring back a little) when you tap the top of the bread pudding with your fingers. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Another recipe from Food Network's Chef Michael Chiarello:
Bread pudding:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
16 cake doughnuts
Rum sauce:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound confectioners' sugar
Dark rum, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor, combine butter and sugar briefly, just until it forms into a ball. Add eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla, and process until blended.
Lightly butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Break up the doughnuts into 1-inch pieces and layer in the pan. Scatter the raisins over the top. Pour the egg mixture over the doughnuts; soak for 5 to 10 minutes. You will need to push doughnut pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by egg mixture.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top. The donut bread pudding is done when the custard is set, but still soft.
Make the rum sauce: melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan, and take off the heat. Add confectioners' sugar to the melted butter and whisk to blend. Add rum, to taste. Pour the sauce over the bread pudding and allow to soak in


I'm not a big fan of rum sauce but, I like to make a vanilla sauce or maple sauce to drizzle over the top. And depending on what flavor of donuts are in the pudding, I also like to make an orange cream sauce.

Bread puddings in general are a very simple thing to make and a great way to use up stale leftovers. Not to mention, you can toss in any of those little dabs of things that are leftover from other baked treats. Dried fruits, nuts, stale coconut, chocolate chips or any other flavor baking chips. There is no "absolutes" when making bread pudding. Just use what you have and what you like.

For more budget friendly food ideas, check out my board at  Pinterest: Thrifty Food!

Follow Diann Thrifty Groove's board Thrifty Food on Pinterest.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Decorating with Fresh Herbs

Hi everyone!

Well, it should come as no surprise to most of you that I used herbs in my home décor. Throughout my house there are herbs tucked here and there. Since I own an Herb Business (DTL Herbs) herbs are a huge part of my life.

decorating with fresh herbs 2 @ The Thrifty Groove

At the end of the season, I let my herbs here at home just kind of grow out of control. I like to use them for non-culinary purposes at this point.

Decorating with herbs @ TTG

That is my run amuck oregano plant!

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This is how my shelf in the living room looked for September. I shared this post “Easing into Autumn” awhile back. I had faux fruit in this old wooden drawer. September was the month of harvesting fresh peas and apples.

Decorating with herbs @ TTG

October brings fresh pumpkins and fun gourds. So, I removed the faux fruit and added fresh gourds to this little display.I am trying to keep things a little simpler with holiday decorating this year. And of course I am really trying not to to add any more “stuff” to be stored so, I am using what I have on hand.

Decorating with herbs @ TTG

Even adding a fresh pumpkin to the smaller shelves on the wall.

Decorating with herbs @ TTG

I cut some fresh sprigs of oregano to add to the shelf. I love using fresh herbs because they add their own wonderful smell to a room plus they are just perfect for the added greenery in a display.

Decorating with herbs @ TTG

Just tuck the stems in here and there. There is no right or wrong way to do this.

Decorating with herbs @ TTG

The herbs will dry out but, that is completely okay. They are now dried flowers. The picture above was taken a week after I redid this shelf. You can see that they are now dried.

decorating with fresh herbs @ The Thrifty Groove

Use your herbs in your arrangements. First of all they are pretty and add a wonderful natural aroma to your home. Plus, they are already out in your yard which means they are FREE!

For more Autumn ideas, check out and follow my Autumn Board on Pinterest!

Follow Diann Thrifty Groove's board Autumn Ideas on Pinterest. Sharing at: Home Sweet Home

Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Make Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

 

Hi everyone!

Have you done any Halloween decorating this year? I don’t do a lot but, I like to have some fun things around the house. This was a fun and thrifty Halloween project, The Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins!

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins @ The Thrifty Groove

I thought it would be fun to “stack” some glittery pumpkins I bought at Walmart (.97 cents each).

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

What I used:

  • 3 different shaped foam pumpkins
  • a black boa
  • Wood skewers
  • Hot Glue
  • Scissors

Yes, this is inexpensive and easy….two of my favorite things!

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

Decide the order you want to stack your pumpkins and cut a length of the boa to glue around the bottom of your bottom pumpkin.

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

Grab a wooden skewer and you second pumpkin.

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

I put a little hot glue on the bottom of the orange pumpkin and then pushed the wooden skewer through both the orange and the purple pumpkin.

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

Snip off the excess wooden skewer. Then do the same with the top pumpkin (a little glue and another wooden skewer through the top and second pumpkin).

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

Now snip off a few feathers and glue them in between the pumpkins. This will hide your little stub of wooden skewer.

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

I sat mine on top of a candlestick.

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

All done!

Topsy Turvy Glam Pumpkins

Just a fun little easy décor!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday at the Table~Saving Seeds

Hi everyone!

Most of you know that I love to do thrifty tablescapes. Have you seen any tablescape posts from me lately? Nope! Why? Because my dining room table has been “seed saving central” this past summer!

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These are the plates that have adorned my table all summer. We have been harvesting the seeds from various heirloom produce that we have grown at the farm this year.

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I think these are the last of our winter squash seeds. So, I might actually get my dining room table back soon!

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Of course, this too has taken up the table since Spring! The dehydrator. I don’t think we have had a single day in about 3 months that this thing wasn’t running. Honest! We definitely need to get several more for next year.

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We have dried a ton of various veggies this year. But, without a doubt the biggest time has been concentrated at drying our hot peppers. We have grown several of the world’s hottest peppers this season and are developing a new product. Our customers at DTL Herbs have been asking us for some hot and spicy mixes. We listened and dedicated a lot of time this year to grow these peppers in order to fill this need.

Oh, and in case you are wondering what those “sticks” are in the above picture, they are dill stems. Did you know they are filled with flavor as well as the leaves? Yup, I use them to flavor my oils and vinegars for here at home. They don’t look as pretty so, I don’t use them for products. but, for home use, they are just fine.

Do you save your seeds?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Spooky and Creepy Halloween Wreath

 

Hi everyone!

I haven’t made a new Halloween wreath this year. I have been debating on what I want to do. So, I thought I would go through what I have made in the past and see if new inspiration hits me. Usually I make a thrift store run and something just seems to jump out at me. But, I have just been too busy and haven’t been shopping in any form in ages. Maybe something will just click soon. In the meantime, here is last years Spooky Creepy Halloween Wreath….

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A few weeks ago when I was at Value World with the 50% off total purchase coupon, I spotted this pretty blue Christmas wreath. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it at that point but, for $2.49 it came home with me.

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I decided to spookify it up and paint it black! I had plenty of black spray paint on hand so, outside I went!

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I took advantage of the paint being still sticky and wet and added some “cobwebs” to the wreath.

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Okay, so I got this part done and I wanted to leave it outside to dry. And as life happens, I got busy and forgot it outside over night. And of course I woke to the sound of rain! OYE!

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I brought it in and hung it up to drip dry so I could hot glue a few things to it. I actually like what the rain did to it!

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Creepy crawlies were in order! This is the first time I have done an all black wreath. Geez, it took so much restraint on my part not to add color! LOL It turned into a personal challenge!

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So, there ya go…My creepy black Halloween wreath!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I Hate Cleaning the Refrigerator!

Hi everyone!

Now how’s that for a blog post title? Seriously, it really is one of my least favorite household chores. And yes, I think of it as a chore!

So, why am I writing a post about this little fact? Do I honestly believe any of you could possible care about whether my fridge is clean or not? Of course not. However, I know a lot of you feel the same way I do. And if I find a tip that might be a simpler method of getting a dreaded chore done easier and quicker, isn’t it my duty to share this?  Why yes it is!

Thrifty isn’t just about money to me. It is also about saving time, stress and energy. So, I search out easier and quicker methods for doing anything that needs to be done that I don’t enjoy. As a matter of fact, that is probably one of my favorite things about Pinterest. It’s a great place to gain tips and information.

So, since household chores are not on my top ten list of favorite activities, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to cleaning tips….Thrifty Cleaning.

pin1

Yup, it’s time for another “Saw it….Pinned it….Tried it!”

So, it all started with a can of applesauce. I had put several cans of applesauce and other fruit in the bottom shelf of my fridge so they could get cold and be served with dinner in the upcoming week. And when I went to grab the can of applesauce, it didn’t move! It seemed to be cemented onto the shelf! I plopped my butt on the floor to see what the problem was. I saw a thick hard gooey mess on the shelf under the cans of fruit. I discovered that on the top shelf a jar of caramel ice cream topping tipped over and and drained down the backside of the fridge.

Do you know how insanely difficult it is to try and just wipe up cold petrified caramel? I thought I would try to chisel it out with a butter knife. Oh no, that just turned into spreading the mess around!

So, I took out the shelf and then discovered that the crisper drawers under the shelf were also cemented in. After finally getting them out, I saw the bulk of the caramel jar was nicely spread out on the very bottom of the fridge.

After boiling a pot of water and pouring it directly onto the mess, I finally got it all cleaned up. But, I thought it was ridiculous that I had to spend so much of my time cleaning up this.

I will spare you the “before” pictures! Who really wants to see that anyway?!

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All cleaned! And I know I don’t want to deal with this again. So, I remember pinning a tip for just this situation. I headed over to my Thrifty Cleaning board and found what I was looking for.

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That’s right, Glad Press’n Seal! Okay, I have that!

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I pulled a long piece of the wrap and started at the very top of the bottom space of the fridge. Then I put another piece overlapping it a little with the first piece to help it cling. You can so tell that I didn’t “stage” my pictures! The picture I saw online was perfect, no wrinkles! I just wanted the job done! LOL

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Then I slid the shelf back into place along with the crisper drawers.

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And that shelf also got covered with the wrap! I made sure the pieces were long enough to fold under the shelf to cling to the underside.

So the verdict?

Cleaning Tip @ TTG

So far, this one is a thrifty, time-saving cleaning tip winner!

And just in case you are wondering, no the folks at Glad have no idea who The Thrifty Groove is. I haven’t paid attention at the stores to see if there is a store brand of this stuff yet. I just had this one on hand.

Do you have any thrifty time saving cleaning tips? Please feel free to add them in your comment. I am ALWAYS looking for ways to save time from cleaning!

Thank you for stopping by and I hope this tip helps you!

Linking to Savoring Saturdays

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sparkly and Bedazzling Pumpkin Ideas

Hi everyone!

Holy Cow! I can’t believe it is October already! From this point on it seems like time flies and the next thing we know it is a new year!

I thought I would share some fun pumpkin decorating ideas with you. It is all about the bling. Sparkle and bedazzling!

Last year I had fun playing with glitter and rhinestones on some of my pumpkins.

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Just some simple sticky backed rhinestones added on this one.

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A dollar store pumpkin painted white and then pretty sticky jewels and glitter added (this one is in my little bathroom that is purple and white)

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I even created a board of different ideas I found at Hometalk filled with sparkly and bedazzling pumpkin decorating ideas. If you click the board it will take you to all the different ideas. So many cute and fun creative pumpkins!

This is such a fun way to take a $1.00 pumpkin and get creative. Just raid the things you have around your house.

  • rhinestones
  • buttons
  • broken jewelry
  • glitter
  • sequins
  • ribbon
  • scrapbook paper
  • stickers

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So many fun and simple and very thrifty ideas. Have you started adding a little pumpkin décor around your house? If not, take a couple of hours to yourself with a couple of dollar store pumpkins, your glue gun and raid your stash of craft supplies and have some fun!