Category Archives: challenges

52 Week Money Challenge (Pinterest)

52 Week Challenge


I’ve seen this pin floating around on Pinterest for awhile as a fairly painless way to save some money. Start with a small amount of money each week and keep adding to to it to end up with over $1300 at the end of the year. Sounds good doesn’t it? I would love to have some money saved up for my summer vacation. Unfortunately, I don’t usually start thinking about it until its close to school being out and by then it’s too late. My plan however is to do it backwards…$52 now….the down to $1.  It’ll be less painful to put in a smaller amount of money as the year progresses. If I let it go all the way until Christmas I’m pretty sure putting in a couple dollars a week will be easier.

Eating From the Pantry

This year one of the things I’m trying to do is to be more organized and to gain a few more skills. I have a fairly good sized pantry but it’s not very organized. Things get put in there randomly….then they get pushed to the back and then they get gotten. Sound familiar to anyone?

So…. one of my goals for the year is to reorganize my pantry and refrigerator so that I don’t have to get rid of things that have expired or that turned into a science project at the back of my refrigerator.


Yes, I’m really putting myself out there putting a picture of my refrigerator on the internet. Honestly, I really don’t know how it happens. It gets organized and then things get shoved in there and it looks like this. Scary.

I also need to get into my freezer. ( No pictures of my freezer will be happening. It’s in my garage and today it’s just too dang cold to go out there to take a picture. This is coming from someone who is not dealing well with the freezing cold weather we’re having here in California). I  have an older chest freezer that tends to have items at the bottom that get forgotten. One of my goals for January is to clear it out. I’ve been using items from the freezer from the pantry and fresh stuff from the fridge for the past 2 weeks with a set a goal of not spending more than 20 dollars each week. Originally, I was going to set some restrictions for myself on just buying fresh fruit, vegetables, bread or dairy. But, I decided not to be so restrictive so I’m just giving myself 20 dollars each week to spend on what’s necessary. So far I’ve spent 28 dollars. For the thirteen days. That’s a serious record for me.

One thing I’ve discovered, I have a lot of tomato products. Really a lot….tomato sauce, tomatoes juice, tomato paste, spaghetti sauce, frozen tomatoes from my garden, sun dried tomatoes. I won’t be buying tomato products for quite some time. Anyone have any creative recipes? You can only eat so much spaghetti.

Wish me luck as I dive deep into the recesses of my pantry…..

Linking up with Adventures in Country Living at Shalom Engedi Farm who is also Eating to the Bottom of Her Freezer.

Clutterfree in 40 Days

I’m still working on getting rid of the clutter. It is such a never ending process. I’m really kind of glad we’re in a smaller house because I’m almost positive I’d find something to fill it up with…..

But….it’s one of those things that needs to be done and I keep trying to find ways to make it easier…more fun…more interesting.

I’d rather be outside in my garden.


Stephanie at Keeper of the Home has set up a bit of a challenge to get rid of the clutter in her home in 40 days. She has a nice set of daily goals to follow in e-book form…although you should make it specific to your home.

I love a challenge. Keeps me on my toes….

So….starting today….July 2….my home is going on a diet….so to speak.

I’ll have a few before and after photos to hopefully show the progress.

Want less mess and stress in 21 days? It’s a giveaway!

Updated: The winner is Heather G!

Did you clean your purse out for National Clean Your Purse Out Day?


Because it’s such a special day I’m giving away a copy of Kathy Lipp’s newest book called The Get Yourself Organized Project.


If you’d like a chance to win a copy of her new book just leave a comment below letting me know if you found anything interesting in your purse by Friday, May 18th. Good luck!

And…. if you head over to her website and leave a comment you also have an opportunity to win a new purse filled with all of Kathi’s books!


Five other lucky people will have a chance to win this cute tote also filled with Kathi’s books. It just might be you……


So get yourself over there by May 18th and leave a comment!

National Clean Out Your Purse Day

Do you know what tomorrow is?

Yep! It’s National Clean Out Your Purse Day!

I already did a clean out of my this past weekend…and it’s a good thing because the weight from it was giving me a neck ache. Want to see the unnecessary mess that was in there?


Let’s see. That’s my wallet plus two….yes two…empty change purses. See all the change in the picture? It was at the bottom of my purse…not actually in the change purses. I counted almost ten dollars. Can you say heavy? I also found two inhalers, two things of lotion, tons of paper trash/receipts, a rebate form that I almost forgot to use, several hair clippies, torn movie tickets, two chapsticks and a lip gloss.

Want to see my purse now?


It’s very empty now. I think I need a smaller purse…..

By the way….if you come back tomorrow….I just might be having a great giveaway….and you could have a chance to win big on Kathi Lipp’s site! 

Who is Kathy Lipp, you ask? Well she is a wonderful author who has written a number of books, one of which I’m reviewing…The Get Yourself Organized Project.

She also has some fantastic ideas on how to clean out your purse…..

How to Clean Out Your Purse by Kathi Lipp:

How to Clean Your Purse Instructions

Here’s my super-speedy way of cleaning out my bag. I simply take my purse and dump it out into a plastic grocery bag. I sort the dump into Put Away, Put Back, and (in this case) Throw Away.

Put Away

Anything I want to keep that doesn’t belong in my purse gets put away. This is also when I go through receipts I’ve carefully placed in my wallet (or, more likely, the ones I’ve quickly thrown into my purse…) and random notes or other pieces of paper. If you’re away from home while you’re sorting, just put these items into another bag to put away when you get home. And when you get home, put them away in the right spot.

Put Back

If it belongs in your purse, go ahead and put it back into your purse.

Throw Away

Anything that’s left over in your plastic grocery bag (food wrappers, cash receipts you don’t care about, and so on,) is now garbage that gets recycled or thrown away.

The beauty of the grocery-bag organizing system is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. Just grab a grocery bag and start sorting while you’re waiting for your kids to get out of band practice or while you’re on the phone with your mom.

Clean it Up

Give your purse a good shake and get out any stray bits, crumbs etc. I’ve even used a hand held vacuum to really get the bag clean.

Label It and Put It Away

Assign a spot for everything that belongs in your purse, bag, or backpack. I use three zippered pouches. Everything goes into one of those three pouches or into your wallet (or in rare cases, onto your key chain). The fewer items you place in your purse, the easier it is to know what’s in there.

Wallet. I recommend you keep in your wallet only cash, receipts, checkbook, and credit, debit, and gift cards.

Pouch 1: Makeup bag

•Lipstick and gloss



•Sunscreen stick

•Blush and brush

•Eyeglass cleaner wipes

•Hand sanitizer

Pouch 2: Emergency kit

•Fashion tape


•Needle and thread

•Nail glue


•Couple of adhesive bandages

Pouch 3: Change

Other Things to Keep in Your Bag

•Sunglasses case

•Cell phone


Keep It Up

If I sort through the items in my purse once a week, it really is easy to stay on top of it. It takes only a couple of minutes to keep it up.

A Very Epic Post

So I signed up for a challenge over at Blogelina. The idea was that you were to write an “epic” post to hopefully bring new readers to your blog. Readers who actually might want to stay around and keep coming back for more.

I think realistically if you’re going to be a decent blogger you really have to find your niche. There are so many bloggers out there who write about everything under the sun. And they’re really good. Really, really good.
I’ve been posting on this blog for a couple of years now and it still feels too random. I think part of the problem is that I feel like I can start writing about something then see that topic on someone else’s blog…and it seems so much….better.

I really do have a lot of things I’m interested in writing about. I love gardening, my chickens, developing my food storage, reading my Bible and many other book genres and going to the movies just to name a few. Some of them I’m just beginning to learn about, some I feel fairly knowledgeable about, and one thing (teaching preschoolers) I actually could post quite a bit of insight and activities about because I’ve been doing it for over 30 years.

But, do I really want to blog about the work I do 5 days a week? I keep thinking about the burn out factor there.

Or maybe I need to just write about what I like to do? Could it be that simple?

That’s the dilemma.

This trying to figure out what my place is in the blogosphere is so very difficult. I would really like to know other bloggers figured out what to write about? I welcome any and all advice….

Pantry Challenge Wrap Up

Back at the beginning of January I accepted a challenge to clear out my pantry. My thought was to clear out anything that was expired, organize what I do have and get some sort of inventory list going. I had my son pull everything out of the bedroom closet we call a pantry so I could get a real look at what we have.
image I’m pretty pleased with the small amount of things I found that were expired. There were a half dozen cans of beans that were given to us last year when my dh was unemployed. I never used them because they were already expired when given to us but I didn’t want to get rid of them because if things got really bad I thought we might have to use them.
Note to self and anyone else listening…if you are going to help someone out by giving them food…don’t give them expired foods. I know you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth when things are bad. However, while I was grateful to receive the free food…I was also a little afraid of giving my family food poisoning. Now that we’re in a better financial position I’m sure the opportunity to help someone else will happen. My lesson learned? Give the best of what you have not the stuff you plan to toss.
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10.
Anyways, back to the challenge. One thing I discovered was that I have a lot more than I thought in some areas and am sorely lacking in others. Plus, things are scattered in too many places around the house to be used in an organized fashion. I’m finding things that we’re tucked in the back of cabinets because there was nowhere else to put them.

I’ve set a couple of goals that I want to accomplish over the next few months.
1. Get everything we have put onto some sort of inventory list. Anyone have any suggestions for a simple inventory system?
2. Clear out the extra room so it can effectively be used for our food storage. Not sure how fun this will be…it’s become the catchall room for everything that doesn’t have a place.
3. Create a menu plan to use what we have. This is going to be my biggest challenge. I have major menu plan envy from all the wonderful blogs on the net. I’ve never been very successful at creating a menu plan that works for my family.

One last thing… I tried to keep shopping to a minimum for the month of January with the intent of using up things that might be close to expiring. I can honestly say that this part of the challenge was a big success! I only purchased basic items that we needed and we ate from the pantry the rest of the time. Money spent for the month?  $134 out a $300 budget. We did eat out twice…but dh wanted to take me out both of those times….so I wasn’t about to say no.

I’m pretty satisfied with the way things went in January, but still feel like I have a long ways to go in getting as organized as I want to be.

Menu Plan January 9-14

It’s week 2 of the Pantry Challenge and so I think it’s gone pretty well. We ate from the fridge most of last week. It’s finally looking pretty clear.  There were a few packages of mini carrots and some apples that were going bad so I put them  in the crockpot with some other items to make a batch of dog food.  Last week there were also smoothies made with frozen bananas, pears and yogurt. I made a large batch of bean and cheese burritos, turkey sandwiches, and I tried these from the Tasty Kitchen because I happened to have the ingredients on hand. They were a little too sweet for my taste, though.

Still haven’t gotten the written inventory done…and the foodstuffs that were in the extra room closet are still laid out on the extra room bed.  Sigh…. My job keeps getting in the way….

January Pantry Challenge



Jessica at good(cheap)eats is hosting a pantry challenge for the month of January and I’ve decided to participate.  I really need to do an inventory of my pantry because I’m a little afraid of what I might find. This house has a very small kitchen so I don’t have a real pantry.  Most of our foodstuffs are stored in a closet in the extra room.  It started out fairly organized in the beginning, but as seems to happen pretty regularly in my life, it has become a jumbled mess.

I’m not organized enough to plan menus for the whole month.  I’m going for a weekly thing.  First up will be eating leftovers in fridge. We have several days worth…plus I have a roast thawed that will go in the crock pot today.  Breakfasts will be cold cereal, oatmeal or farina. Dh and I start back to work tomorrow so it needs to be easy. Lunches will be sandwiches or leftovers. Ds17  forages for himself during the day. I usually leave breakfast for him and he gets his own lunch.

So…my real goal for this month is to inventory the pantry and get rid of any items we’ll never use or expired items so I can see where there are any holes in what we really need.

We’ll see how it goes.

Monday Mission: Let’s Get Prepared

Being prepared for some of the challenges life throws at you has been something I’ve grown interested over the years.  I admit to first researching “preparedness” out of fear when y2k first came on the scene  but calmed down afterwards and came to my senses.

It does however make sense to buy food and other supplies in bulk at cheaper prices instead of purchasing when prices get inflated (like now). 

It makes sense to have daily supplies stored just in case you become unemployed long-term (as in my husband’s case) and need to rely on your stores and use the cash that would have gone towards food to be able to pay the bills.

It also makes sense to store water if you live in an area where water comes from the tap and from May to October you might get 5 to 10 days of rain. 

Katie at Kitchen Preparedness is doing a series on being prepared.  She is starting out by asking a series of questions to get you thinking about what preparedness is. You can read about it HERE.

Her Monday Mission (and, yes I know I’m late with this one) is to add a few gallons of water to your storage. Water is essential to staying alive, correct? I have filled some empty glass jars and some of my mason jars to add to my water storage.

Won’t you think about what you would do if your water was cut off even for just a few days?