Welcome to Life Through Bifocals

Life is not always clear and easy to figure out. So grab a cup of coffee and your bifocals and let's see what we can see.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Using What We Have


Hubby made this little side table years ago. We would cover it up with table clothes and use it for whatever we wanted to. While redoing the bedroom, I decided to redo this as well. I used the same paint from the bathroom make over and what I ended up with was a great little table that is now in our bedroom holding Hubby's shoe shine kit and some other small items as well.


On top is a candle, a Lab plate and a wooden cup to hold change, keys or whatever. All Free! I like that price. What have you done using what you already have. I would love to see and hear your story. My bifocals are on....


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Blessing of a Find

The other day I dropped off some supplies at Family Outfitters and then went inside to see what they had.  I walked out with this.

Clearly my color right? Dark pink, plum and wine, all long sleeves and all 3 came to a total of $5.00!  Now off to the washer and I'll be wearing them soon.  Did you find a great find this week?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Recipe of the Week

I've been on a lower carb lifestyle for about 12 weeks now. I feel great and don't miss the higher carb foods. Giving up all the sugar foods was not hard at all and I'm surprised at how much energy I have! I have found a few "favorite" foods and here is one of my best breakfast recipes that helps me stay on track.

I found Zero Carb bread on line which does not taste as spongy or fresh as the high carb bread but it is great cooked so I grill it up with real butter. The Brand is Health Wise Zero Carb and comes in 3 flavors all with NO CARBS!

Health Wise Rye

Cooked in Real Butter!

Once cooked I top it with a bit of Coconut Manna - this stuff is Awesome! A serving is a full tablespoon but I only use a small knife full. It melts right away and is like I said Awesome! I found it at a local Health Food Store one day and when it's open it looks like "Crisco" but Oh My Is It Awesome!

That's about all I use far less than the Tablespoon serving allowed

Add a thick slice of bacon and coffee and here is my breakfast. OK so now for the best part - ready for it. Total carb count for this meal- 0

That's right a big fat zero the only thing with carbs at all is the Coconut Manna - net carb 1 for a tablespoon but since I use about 1/4 of that it's ZERO!

If I'm really hungry, I can add another strip of bacon, or sausage, or even a thick slice of Cheddar Cheese and it's still ZERO! Add a fried egg (in butter) and it's up to a count of 1!

My kind of breakfast! I'm full and didn't eat anything that counts - life is good.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Review: Finished Bedroom

How was your weekend? Up here we had Beautiful Weather and so most of it was spent outside because I will be inside for a long time once the weather turns cold. By the look of all the leaves on the ground around here, it will not be long.  

After 4 days of painting the bedroom is done. The picture looks more purple than the room really is. It really has gray tones to it but my camera didn't do the room justice. The white room darkening drapes help make the room dark during the day so hubby can sleep and white picture frames all around the room make the room look unified. I'm very happy how it turned out.

We have these photos are scattered around the bedroom. I wanted something beautiful from New Hampshire so that come winter, when there is 6 feet of snow outside, the temperature is 12 degrees, and I'm enjoying the heat from the pellet stove, we will be surrounded by the beauty from summer. I did not take them, they are the work of Professional Photographer David Sokol. They go perfect with the colors of the new room. Even hubby is happy with how it turned out.

How was your weekend? 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quick Tip Friday

We all have those plastic bags that we get at the store when we forget to bring in our green recycle bags. Some of us use those bags for trash bags over our homes. We store them in closets, in junk draws, and in holders designed to hold plastic bags, you know the kind with a hole in the bottom so you can pull them out.  Here is my idea on how to store them.

Lay flat and smooth it out

Fold it in half

Fold it in half again

Start folding it up from the bottom

Tie a knot at the top with the handles

They fit very nicely inside this container

Where do you keep your plastic bags?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Meat Loaf Muffins

Here is one of my recipes for meat loaf. I used this as the base but of course I changed it a bit. This time I used 1 pound of hamburger and one pound of ground sausage. The spices I used this time was garlic powder, celery flakes, Italian seasoning and onion powder. I also placed a strip of bacon on top of each "muffin".

Here is the original recipe It's from Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes. 

So next time you make your favorite recipe, instead of putting it in a loaf pan, try putting it in a large muffin pan, then each person can have one muffin! The meat loaf cooks in about the same time but looks different. Who knew a person could use a muffin pan for dinner!  What do you do to make the usual unusual?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bedroom Makeover

When you are thinking of painting a room, where do you find inspiration? Do you spend hours looking at magazines for colors you like? Do you look at the rooms in your friends homes? Do you search the internet for what others have done? I've done all of that but I also look at my closet! I look at the clothes and colors that I wear the most because those are the colors I love and want to have around me.

I also look at the blankets and covers I have already so that I can blend what I have into the new room without having to start from scratch. So when it came time to make over our bedroom I opened the closet as well as looked at the quilt that was on our bed.

It was clear that I really like royal purple but would hubby like a purple room? When I went looking for paint, I found "Wild Fragrance" and it had an undertone of gray in it. I got several samples as well as this one, and put them up on the wall to look at for a while. Over the course of a day I began to take some down because they were way too dark, others were way too light, and some looked more like grape jelly (great on toast but not on the wall). I had 5 samples on the wall and "Wild Fragrance" was still up there. It was the color that hubby picked so I was happy. I wanted a high contrast so angel white was picked for the trim.

I'll show you more of the room when I'm done, I'm still painting.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Refurbished Duvet

How was your weekend? I was on FaceBook this weekend and it looked like many of my friends were busy visiting, shopping, traveling and playing. I hope you had your fun as well. I finally found the bottom of the laundry basket. Whoohooo!

We have had this Duvet for several years and it is still in real good condition, it keeps me very warm when I am under it - the problem is, it's blue. We haven't had a blue bedroom in YEARS and with the changing of time it was time to change the Duvet. I didn't want to buy a new one because I'm Scottish and I do like to use what I have, so I decided to make a new cover for it instead.

I made this a few years ago so I don't have photos of the process but I'm sure you will be able to follow me as I describe the process?

I first acquired two king size flat sheets in different colors. You can often find just the flat sheets at discount stores, thrift stores, and yard sales for very little money. I knew I wanted solid colors but prints would work as well. For one side I purchased a cream colored sheet and for the other I purchased a white one. On the cream colored side I sewed a white rope border across the wide hem (the top of the sheet), on the white sheet, I sewed a cream rope border across the top. I had the rope trim in my stash of sewing odds and ends, so no cost there!

Placing right sides together, I then sewed the 2 sides and the bottom together (making a large pillow case). You can stop right there if you want but I added Velcro squares to the top so that once the blue duvet was inside I could close the top.

To put the king size duvet inside the king size cover, the easiest way I found was to use clothes pins to hold the duvet in place while you move the cover up. Start by placing one corner into the cover and pin it in place. Then do the same to the other corner. Then move across the bottom. Keep the pins there while you shake the cover up and into place. Using the Velcro, close the top. When it's in place. Remove the clothes pins.

Now I have a double sided duvet and it cost me very little money to make. When the snow is on the ground and the house is cold, I love pulling this up over me to keep me toasty warm.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm lost in the Laundry Basket

Hi there! I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry right now! With working 33 hours a week outside the home, taking care of family and friends, having a life, and the fall change over, I've had something like 7 loads of wash each day. So I'll be back Monday with how to get a new look from an old Duvet and the start of the bedroom make over. Now if only I can find my way out from under all of this.....Anyhow Stay Warm Every One and Have a Great Weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Home Made Laundry Soap

Laundry - Laundry - Laundry
This is my life right now.

I have not bought fabric softener or store bought laundry soap in YEARS. Since I'm

doing so much laundry I thought I would share my recipe for laundry soap.

This is it - 3 items! Simple right?

Since my container is large, I use two of each. I bought a cheese grater just for laundry and while watching TV I grate the soap into the container (good job for a helper) once it's all in the container, I toss it around to mix and then use 1 scoop per large load. Easy and it lasts a really long time. This recipe has been around for a long time. I've seen different versions of this on the Internet for years. Maybe you use a version of this yourself! You can add those left over slivers of bath soap too, so it's a great way to use what you would otherwise throw away.

In the liquid fabric softener spot I put just plain white vinegar. Really makes clothes soft and you will not smell like a pickle, I promise!

Dryer balls help to circulate warm air so clothes dry faster, use less electricity, help to soften fibers and these are fun and easy to make. Found the directions here- Dryer Balls.

I've had these same ones for 2 years now!

These would make a great homemade Christmas gift...don't you think?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Still Getting Ready for Fall

Get out the Throws!

Ok, full disclosure here, I have Raynaud's Disease which means I can produce body heat but cannot maintain it all day so I get cold fast. Therefore some of these throws stay out all year but come fall they all come out! Sometimes I am cold for a few minutes but most time I am cold for hours and hours. I have learned to have a sweater in the car all the times and hubby brings a jacket for me when we go to church or out to eat since the sweater will most likely not be enough. Anyhow back to the throws....

First they get a good washing then they get tossed over the back of the sofa, and the chairs that I will be closest to. Basically they can be found in every room in the house! Every year I try to find a new way to toss them around so they don't look "tossed". I've seen magazines photos of rooms and the throws always look like they are so perfectly placed on the arm of the chair or across the back of the sofa but somehow when I try that, they look tossed! I will keep trying because I'm not ready to give up on the "perfectly placed throw" just yet. Does anyone out there have a trick for this?

My two favorite throws include this blue one that can either stay open like a throw, or snap close around me like a "snuggie" and I can walk around wearing it. I'm all into taking the heat with me.
Becke looks on while I model the wearable throw

And my all time favorite is this pink one that plugs in and turns on. An electric throw! That's what I'm talking about! Man there are days I would love to have this in the car but the authorities frown upon driving while covered up to ones eyeballs with an electric throw so it stays home :-(

I also have these Sure Fit Slip covers on the chair-and-a-half and the couch. If you have children or pets these things are the best! They wash like a dream and really take a beating. Once on, they stay in place and with a pillow or the throw they are so inviting.

When I hit the thrift stores and summer yard sales, one of the things I look for is throws and twin size quilts. For those living frugally these come in handy to stay warm while watching TV or reading. You can keep the room temperature down a bit and still stay warm. Do you have throws in your house to help you stay warm? Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting Ready for Fall in New England

First Get the Clothes

Fall in New England can see some strange temps. The day can can start and stay in the 50's all day or jump 30 degrees to the 80's by noon. So how do you dress for such extremes? Well around here it "Layers - layers and more layers".

Winter can be really cold so I get up in the unheated attic now and pull down the fall and winter clothes. The bedroom looks like a bargain basement with clothes scattered all over. Fall, winter, and summer clothes are EVERYWHERE. 

I go through each item of the summer clothes and ask myself a few questions. Does it fit? Do I still want to wear it next year? Is it still in good shape? If I do want it for next year it goes in the attic bag, if not then it goes either in the bag to donate or to toss if they are really worn out.  

This goes for the clothes going into the closet for the fall clothes. Does it still fit? Do I still want to wear it? It should be in good shape after all I asked myself that when I put them away last Spring. 

Then it's laundry, laundry, laundry and can I say more laundry!  Even though I washed the clothes before I put them away, they have been up there in the attic so they all get washed again!

Slowly the bed and the floor are cleared and the closet gets changed over.  I do keep a few short selves shirts after all we will get some warm days still and they can be worn under shirts in a few weeks.

For the clothes being given away there is an organization called "Family Outfitters"not too far from me that helps families in transition and I really like what they do so I will drop off the clothes there. I also shop there as well they have great prices!

I still have more to do in those closets as you can see. Both the shelves and the floor need work. After I'm done with the laundry......

So do you get ready for the different seasons? Do you have to pull out the fall clothes or just add a sweater to what you are wearing anyways. Maybe your closet holds all your clothes and maybe not.  So how do you get ready?

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Weekend Review

How was your week end? Did you visit with friends or family? Travel? Stay in your PJ's all day (love those days). 

Saturday here was busy - filled with house work (still unpacking), playing with our grand daughter, laundry (lots of laundry), and working on a cross stitch quilt for the new grand baby - #4 is due in February!  It was a great day! It was a cool day so I started to dig out my fall clothes as well. My closet is fairly small so I have my fall clothes packed away. I will spend the next few days going through them to see what fits and what I want to keep. I'll share that with you later this week. 

Sunday it was very cool out when I got up. A hot pot of coffee helped to warm me up. Sitting with the baby quilt on my lap also helped as well. We had a great service at church which gave me lots to think about for this week.  I like it when the men change the order of worship. It keeps my attention a lot better and the message today was about one of my favorite topics - prayer. Then we came home to chicken cheese soup. It stayed cool all day and was gray and overcast all day. I think it made it to 64 degrees! Well the fireplace is ready but it's still too soon in the season to light it - so I'm told.

So how was your weekend?