The Ultimate Annual Home Maintenance Checklist

My fourth wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of this month.  I’m also pushing 40. That’s hard for me to admit, but it’s true.  4-0!  

These two facts mean that I spent many years being completely self-reliant.  When something broke around my house, I either fixed it or had to find someone to hire that could.  Okay, so I admit that when my dad was younger, he helped me quite a bit – but still.

Doing regular home maintenance tasks will help to make sure that your home is in tip-top shape.

ultimate annual home maintenance checklist

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re the one responsible for home maintenance, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  It seems that there’s almost always something to do, which is hard if you aren’t used to performing those kinds of tasks. It’s also hard to remember when to do maintenance, especially when you have a million other things going on in a day.  

Let me tell you from experience, though, not performing those maintenance tasks will cause you bigger headaches in the future.
Just do it.   Continue reading →

Honey-Soy Pork Loin with Bacon and Veggies

Honey-Soy Pork Loin with Bacon and Veggies is an elegant dish that is a family favorite.  If you plan on entertaining a small dinner, this is a go-to dish!

honey soy pork loin with bacon and veggies

What’s not to love?  This honey-soy sauce ensures that the meat is moist and flavorful. It really is hard to mess this up!

If you’re like my family, then you love gravies and sauces.  This dish has ample sauce, which you’ll cook into a gravy.  Really, who doesn’t love to sop up extra sauce or gravy with a soft piece of bread??

soy-honey pork loin with bacon and veggies Continue reading →

How to Save on Winter Electric Bills

Just because winter hits, doesn’t mean that our electric bills have to go sky high.  The tips that follow will show you how to save on winter electric bills.  Our electric bill hovers around $75-100 in the winter, and our house is medium-sized (9 rooms) and one level.  We have friends who live in the same area, though, who have electric bills as high as $500 or $600!  We live in Kentucky, which often experiences temperatures around 0.  Last winter was a doozy, though, with 2-3 feet of snow and temperatures -0 F that lasted weeks.  It was so bad that it was disaster status. The Red Cross brought communities water, and shelters were opened.

How to Save on Winter Electric Bills

Follow these simple rules to make small adjustments and to identify and fix problem areas in your home that can add up to big savings while keeping you warm and cozy.  Of course, there are other tricks we use to keep electric bills low, but I’ll talk about that in another post. Continue reading →

Maple Bacon Cheddar Burger

This Maple Bacon Cheddar Burger combines some of my favorite things: maple syrup, maple bacon, and cheddar cheese on a meaty burger.

Maple Bacon Cheddar Burger

If your husband is like most, he loves to grill.  Mine (Sam) is a grill master and grills just about everything.  You know those pictures forwarded around social media of men grilling outside during a snowstorm?  Yep, mine does that.  In fact, that might have just been a picture of Sam you’ve seen.

Last year, we traveled to Kingsport, TN, to experience the Tennessee Oktoberfest Craft Bier Garden.  Personally, I can’t stand the stuff, but Sam loves it on occasion.  While there, he discovered a maple bacon beer and fell in love.  Sam has brought home a variety of craft beers over the years, but the maple bacon came in second only to pumpkin beer.  The maple bacon beer inspired him, though.  He left saying he wanted to develop his own maple bacon cheddar burger. Continue reading →

Saving Seeds: Step-by-Step Instructions

Saving Seeds: Step-by-Step Instructions

I grew up next door to my granny, and we shared what I consider to be a pretty big yard.  Granny had a huge garden behind her house (another house stands there now with its own yard, so that tells you how big it was), and Dad kept one just as big back on the hillside behind our house.  They shared a compost pile.  Although I grew up around gardens, I found them to be a nuisance.  I literally remember thinking that I didn’t understand why anyone would work so hard when they could just go to the store and buy whatever they need.  Boy, was I crazy!  Now I understand why they put so much work into harvesting their own food.

Saving Seeds: Step-by-Step Instructions

Why Grow Your Own Food:

  • It tastes better – plain and simple! What you buy in the store may have been picked before it reached its ripest and was shipped for days.  It isn’t nearly as flavorful!
  • It’s better for you. You control the pesticides and chemicals you use (or don’t use).
  • It helps you become more self-sufficient. Most of us depend on other people for our basic necessities.  This is one more way to break away from that.  I want to provide for myself.
  • It saves you money. Yes, it does take some time and effort, but it really pays off, especially if you grow a lot and preserve food for the rest of the year.

Continue reading →

Buttercup Squash Roasted with Brown Sugar and Honey


Savory Buttercup Squash Roasted with Brown Sugar and Honey

You’re going to love this roasted buttercup squash with brown sugar and honey.  It goes well with just about any meat dish – pork, chicken, or beef.  It’s quick and easy, too, so be sure to pick up some squash on your next visit to the grocery store!

Butternut Squash Roasted with Brown Sugar and Honey

I’ve been a squash fanatic for years, even though I had only tried three varieties: summer, butternut, and spaghetti. I just don’t see other types in my grocery stores very often. That’s probably because I live an hour and a half from the nearest interstate or major highway. Yep, you read that right. Hard to believe, but true. Folks around here raise a lot of gardens, but squash varieties just haven’t been included for some reason. Continue reading →

Gift for Christmas When You Can’t Afford it

Today’s post is targeted to those of you who are willing to do something a little different for the holidays this year – give Christmas Coupons!  This is perfect for those of you who need to figure out how to actually gift for Christmas when you can’t afford it.  This idea is good for those of you who:

  • are struggling financially to buy any Christmas gifts
  • are struggling financially to buy more than one gift for the kids
  • need fresh ideas for stocking stuffers
  • want to get back to the basics and give the gift of quality time

Read on to download a free printable that will allow you to actually gift for Christmas when you can’t afford it!  There are two versions available: for adult and for kids!  There are three sheets available for each version.

gift for christmas when you can't afford itgift for christmas when you can't afford it

Continue reading →

Foolproof Hashbrown Casserole Even if You Can’t Cook

foolproof hashbrown casserole even if you can't cook

Try this Foolproof Hashbrown Casserole, even if you can’t cook!  See that picture – yeah that’s CHEESE!

I have a secret to admit: it was years before I was able to cook.  It’s hard to believe that I once dreaded something that I love to do so much now.  You know the person who signs up to bring 2-liters, napkins, paper plates, and plastic utensils to the potlucks?  Yeah, that was me.  It was so bad that people started assuming that I would bring those items.  

I made this foolproof hashbrown casserole for our family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and everyone raved about it.  I had a third helping.  I admit it! Continue reading →

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