Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Easy Pot of Beans

I totally meant to get this out a few days ago. Better late than never, right? 

I love making homemade beans and so does my family. This year for Thanksgiving on my side of the family we didn't do the traditional turkey and all the fixings. You see you when you get a family of Mexicans together you're gonna eat mexican food. Mmm so I was so happily volunteered by my SIL to make the beans. 

This is how I make a pot of beans. First off I use my crockpot. 

I used my small crockpot because I can put it on the low setting without a timer. I filled the pot with a 2 lb bag of pinto beans. Then I seasoned with garlic salt, onion powder, pepper and chicken bouillon. (Sorry no actual measurements, do it to taste) Then filled to the top with water. I let them soak for a couple of hours. Then just before I went to bed I turned on the crockpot to low and let them cook all night long.

I woke up to the smell of beans in the morning. Mmmm I checked on them, stirred them and added some more water and let them finish cooking for another couple of hours. So by 7 am they were completely cooked and tasty if I do say so myself. I let them cool just before we had to leave. 

My family totally scarfed them down. I hardly had any left to bring home.

Happy cooking.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Be Prepared - November

How did you all do last month in collecting fuel items? I did surprising well. I scored big at my local dollar store!
I found all of this at the dollar store!

I know November’s preparedness list is little late in getting out.
This month’s Food Storage items are Beans and Lentils.
Beans become a big staple in most food storages, because they are cheap. There are 2 ways to store beans, either dry canning or pressure canning them. I’ve personally done the pressure canning way with my MIL. We did okay for our first time but now we know what not to do the next time. More water less beans!! haha
You can buy the beans already canned for you either dry or wet. Emergency Essentials has the beans and legumes on sale this month. I know a lot of people like to buy the big 5 gallon bucket of beans, just remember when you open it you need to use it or you might be able to re-can them.
I’m not a very big fan of lentils, maybe because I had really bad experience as a kid with them, Bleh! But you might like lentils.
Here is a recipe using your food storage veggies and lentils to make a Greek Lentil Soup
Have fun collecting all sorts of beans! I will try to get a few of my favorite bean recipes up this month to share.
Here is the full November file to print out.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Be Prepared - October

So how did you all do last month in collecting salt? I was able to get sea salt from the bulk bin at my local WinCo and filled up an extra pint sized jar. I also got some Epsom salt for wounds. I also got regular table salt, which is totally cheap.

Well this month it’s all about lights and fuel. Candles, flashlight, matches, batteries, etc.
Did you know that you can make your own emergency candles? I’m all about saving money and making things, so this is something that I’m going to do. There are a few different kinds that you can make but I will share a couple that would be most popular.
Here are 2 different types of homemade emergency candles you can make and store.
Wax Candles – This looks like fun

Liquid Paraffin Candles – I think that I might try this one
You can also buy them if you decide to go that route. Emergency Essentials always has a good deal going on to make it easy to purchase emergency items. *I’m an affiliate for Emergency Essentials so by clicking on the link and purchasing something from them helps my earnings.*

When you see batteries on sale buy them and stock up. Get all different kinds b/c you never know what you’ll need. From triple A to a watch battery, it’s good to have them on hand. We’re lucky over here b/c my husband gets them for free from work. He is always bringing home batteries.

As for your fuel get a few gas buckets and store them in a safe place. Here is a great post from The Ready Store regarding the storage of fuel and how to do it.
Good Luck! Remember if don’t get everything on the list don’t worry, get it in next month.

Here is the link for the full October file.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Be Prepared - September

I've been such a slacker on my blog and I apologize. Having a new baby and being on maternity leave has made me a bit lazy. I promise to do better, so onto this month's preparedness.

This month we are to collect Salt in all it's forms.

  • Sea Salt
  • pickling salt
  • table salt
  • rock salt
In addition to collecting salt you should also be collecting items for your 72 hour kits.
  • Duct tape
  • emergency candles
Salt is great resource to have on hand as it is used not only for cooking but for preserving. When canning you use a canning/ pickling salt to preserve the foods you are working with.
To learn more about the many uses of salt, go to this link, it has a ton of ways to use it.

If you would like to order salt in bulk check out Emergency Essentials for a great deal!
To print off the full file for September go HERE.
#emergencypreparedness #foodstorage

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Be Prepared - August

Sorry this post is late but I've been busy with this pretty little girl.

Now on to this month's prepardness list. This month it is all about the veggies, canned and dehydrated.

You can visit my July post for links on how to can and dehydrate the veggies.

Additional items to stock up on this month are mess kits for each family member, flares, walkie talkies and lighters.

For the full August list click this link.

#foodstorage #emergencypreparedness

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Tiny Prints Deal

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Monday, July 7, 2014

New Items

It's been awhile since I posted a new item for my Etsy shop. I've been slacking. Well I finally dusted off my sewing machine and got to work. A couple of months ago I was on pinterest and found this really cute wallet. I thought that this would be perfect to use up my scraps of fabric with. There was a free pattern on that blog, so I printed it. The pattern is easy and it only has 3 pieces to it.

Here is the result of what I have made.

Items have already been listed in my shop. I will be posting more in the coming days.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Be Prepared - July

I can't believe that it's July already! I hope you all enjoyed your 4th with fun and saftey. I've got about 3 weeks left before baby girl makes her appearance. This coming friday will be my last day of work. I'm looking forward to 9 weeks of paid vacation time to get ready and meet this new addition.

Well anyways, how did you did with your June food storage preparation? I have to be honest I didn't as well as should have but I did get a few items checked off, like sugar and jams.

This month's focus will be on fruits and fruit juices. You can do a couple of things when it comes to fruit.

You can can it, buy it already canned for you, or you can dehydrate it.

Canning - here is good site to get you started.

Buying it - look for sales at your local grocery stores. Usually during the Summertime some will put out a special to buy by the case.

Dehydrating - this form is good to make raisins, apricots and bananas. Here is a great blog on how to do it, b/c i'm not very good at it.

Here is July's full file for items to collect.

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Be Prepared - June

It's June!! How did you do in putting together your important information into one place and collecting fun activities for your family?

How about collecting water? If you didn't don't worry just try to do as much as you can.

This month it's all about sugar!

Sugar in different forms.
  • granulated, brown, powdered
  • Honey
  • jam
  • molasses
You will need to store about 60 lbs of sugar per person. Many people think that they don't eat that much sugar, but when divided into other sub-categories, you may find that you really do need that much.

Here's a breakdown for different types of sugar to collect and how much per person

Granulated sugar - 40 lbs
Brown sugar - 3 lbs
Molasses - 1 lb
Honey - 3 lbs
Corn Syrup - 3 lbs
Jams & Jellies - 3 lbs
Powedered Drinks - 6 lbs
Jello - 1 lb

Happy Collecting!! Here is the full file to print out for June.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

How to Know What Necklace to Wear w/ Each Neckline

Have you ever wondered what necklace should I wear with a certain top? I know that I have. Well I found this great tip with a picture to help out with that lingering question.

Different necklines look better with certain necklace styles.

Turtle necks – best with longer necklaces
Crew necks – best with short necklaces such as necklace ‘collar’ or bib styles
Scoop necks – fill in the space with multiple strands of beads or larger scale pendants
Strapless – look great with chokers or short pendants, leaving your lovely decolletage bare
Square necks – look for pendants with an angular finish to harmonize with the angular neckline
Asymmetric necklines – look for necklaces that aren’t symmetrical, instead a necklace that has it’s own asymmetry can work, alternatively a long string of different sized and shaped beads can work well.
Halter necks – these create a narrow V neck – so look for a narrow pendant with a sharper end
V neck – ideally a necklace that matches the shape of the V – depending if it’s a wider or narrower V neck.
Collared shirt (button down) – there isn’t much space for anything too wide, so a choker style works if you have a long neck, if not a slimmer pendant that sits above the last open button.
Boat neck – a long string or two of beads is ideal for this neckline.
Cowl neck – this neckline is already detailed and has volume, so either a short and small pendant or a pair of feature earrings instead of a necklace.
Sweetheart – a curved necklace that has width that will balance the open decolletage of this neckline.

{source: http://www.insideoutstyleblog.com/2013/04/how-to-choose-necklaces-to-work-with-your-neckline.html}

Come check out my jewelry boutique, All Things Pretty, for some great necklaces for your outfits!
#allthingspretty #kitsylane

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Be Prepared - May

I can't believe that it's already MAY!!! How did you all do last month in collecting seeds for a garden? Did you get to plant the garden? How about soap? I was able to make laundry soap and dishwasher soap. I will post the recipe for the dishwasher soap in my printables tab later.

This month's emergency prepardness is to gather all of your legal and important documents into one place. Along with that fun items to keep your family entertained during a disaster or emergency when shall I say it, there may not be any electricity!? GASP! What?!

Have fun with this one. Find games that your family would enjoy, or some quiet activities such as coloring books, books to read.

Our food storage goal is collect water. Water is more essential than food. You can survive a few days without food but only a couple days without water.

Here are some ideas to store water.

Canning - why didn't I think of that before? You can can water just like you would food. Check out this blog for quick tip on doing it. CLICK HERE

Bottled water -  the easy way, buying cases of it from the grocey store. Just remember to rotate it as it may evaporate over time.

Bottling it yourself. - I have large plastic containers of water in my pantry labled. At the time I was buying a lot of Hawaiian Punch and saving those bottles. Milk jugs will work just the same. Store them in a cool dark place.

Water Pouches - You can get these at any emergency prepardness site. Emergency Essentials has a pretty good select of prepackaged water.

Water Barrels -  these are to catch rain water. Here in Arizona it would take awhile to fill one as it doesn't rain that much here. But if you live in an area were rainfull is abundant, take advantage of that. Be sure to keep purification tablets on hand for this kind of water.

Good Luck! Here is May prepardness file to print.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Homemade Laundry Soap

As part of this month's emergency prepardness we were to collect laundry soap. So in attempts to save a little money and to have a decent storage of laundry soap I decided to make it. I looked online to see how it's done. I found several blogs with different variations on how to make it.

I went to Goodwill in search of a pot that I can use specifically for melting soap. I was in luch I found a nice sized pot.

Here are the ingredients that you will need to make laundry soap.

1 bar of soap, Zote or Fels-Naptha
1/2 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda

Big Pot for melting soap
empty milk jugs
5 gallon bucket

Remember this bucket from  March? Well I bought it make my laundry soap in.

It was a lot easier to make than I had originally thought. I had a helper in making the soap.

I recuited my son to grate the soap. He did a pretty good job and said that he was having fun.
You will add the grated to soap to a pot of hot water to melt. Once melted you will add it to the bucket with borax and washing soda and stir until well mixed.
Now fill up bucket with hot water from tap using your jugs. Once the bucket is full cover and let it sit overnight.

Next day, you will fill up your gallons about half way and then fill up the rest with water.
Here are mine half way filled up.
You can make 10 gallons of laundry soap in one batch. I made 6 gallons plus 2 concentrate gallons for later.
I've already used my new soap. My husband was pretty skeptical while I was making it asking if it's going to work. I told of the blogs that I had read and how much these other ladies loved their homemade soap. I'm now happy to say that I am one of them. I don't think that I will ever buy laundry soap again!
Here is a link for the recipe. Homemade Laundry Soap

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Recipe: Pound Cake

In preparation for Easter dinner on Sunday I made a yummy pound cake for dessert for strawberry shortcakes. . . . mmm! I'm going to share with you my yummy recipe but first here is a picture to get your mouth watering.



Bake: 1 hr 30 mins


3 1/2
C flour
Tsp salt
Large Eggs, room temp
Egg yolks, room temp
Tbsp milk, room temp
Tsp vanilla
C unsalted butter, 4 sticks
2 ¾
C sugar


1.     Preheat oven 350 F
2.     Butte and flour the pan
3.     mix flour and salt in medium bowl, set aside
4.     Whisk eggs, yolk, milk and vanilla, set aside
5.     In a mixer, beat butter @ med speed until smooth. Gradually add sugar.
6.     Then on low speed gradually add flour, and then egg mixture until well blended.
7.     Put cake in oven and reduce temp to 325. Bake until toothpick is clean and springs back.
8.     Cool and enjoy!
Here is a printer friendly version for you as well. Classic Pound Cake Recipe

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter Ideas Round-Up

With Easter right around the corner I thought that I would do a round-up of ideas that I have seen floating around from crafts to entertaining ideas.

An Egg-Cellent Easter Egg Dying Party!
Taste of Home – coloring easter eggs

bunny basket pillow tutorial

I love how bright and cheerful these recycled jars are. The three dimensional effect is so cool!

Bright & cute Easter treat bottle printables | Thirty Handmade Days

Easter Brunch Table Inspiration + Free Printables

Paper tree


Easter Mantel Decorations :: PositivelySplendid.com


Simply as That

SC Life as a Wife

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Be Prepared - April

Happy Spring everyone!! The weather has been gorgeous here in Arizona! Well I hope you all did well last month collecting your fats and oils and your meals for your 72 hour kits. I did pretty good. Here is a picture of my 72 hour kit meals.

Don't mind the bucket I have something else in mind for that.

I was only missing a set for one backpack and I scored a fantastic deal at Emergency Essentials for the MRE pouches.

For the month of April it’s going to a fun and fairly easy one for food storage. This month’s challenge is to collect seeds for planting a garden. This is something that my family has already been doing for a couple of years now. When we had to move in with my in-laws I had suggested to my father-in-law that we need to plant a garden for food storage. He immediately loved the idea and started prepping the backyard for gardening. We have since found vegetables that we love such as beets, yellow squash, tomatoes and onions for canning.  Mmmm! We have since moved out of their house but only live down the street so once the vegetables are ripe we set aside a Saturday to prep and can them.

Anyways I’m going to share some gardening tips with you that I have found that could be useful to you to get your own family garden going.

First decide what you are going to grow. Second determine how much space you need and where you will put your garden. Then how you want it to look. Here is link for more info at Better Homes and Garden.
There are many types of gardens out there that you can choose from to fit your family’s needs and your space.

Container Gardens

Remember have fun with this as it can be very rewarding .

Here is the link for the April file. I will also have a link in my Printables tab as well along with the previous months.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tiny Prints Deals of the Week

There are some great deals going on over at Tiny Prints. Here are just a few.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

72 Hour Kits - MRE Meals

This month not only are we to be collecting fats and oils for our food storage but also meals for our 72 hour kits. I wanted to share this awesome deal that Emergency Essentials is having this month.

The MRE pouches are on sale this month starting at $2.95 to about $0.75 for the individual pouches. That is a fantastic deal!! I figured that for about $19 I can have a 3 day meal for one person at these prices!

There's a large selection of meals to choose from and they sound pretty tasty!

Good Luck!!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Be Prepared - March

It’s another month! How did you all do for February?  I was able to get some items checked off, not all but like I’ve mentioned before, food storage is a process it will take time.

This month for March we are to be collecting Fats and Oils such as shortening, butter, mayo and peanut butter to name a few.

Here are some tips on how we need to be storing our oils. I found some tips off of Prepared LDS Family blog (there’s some good info on there). 

Oils should be stored in a dark location such as a closed cupboard or pantry. Olive oil has about a 6 month shelf life, but can be stored for a year in a refrigerator. To avoid using rancid oil, always smell before using. Sticks or canned shortening have a shelf life of 2 years. Once opened the canned shortening has a 1 year shelf life, but the sticks have a 6 month shelf life.

Peanut or almond butter is another item I stock up on this month, but remember it has a short shelf life of about 1 year. I usually keep a 6 month supply on hand in the small 18 oz. containers because we use it slowly. If you need help figuring out the shelf life of any food item, visit StillTasty.com or look at the expiration date the manufacturer put on the item. And remember to see if the date is truly an expiration date OR a best buy date. Many items can be stored beyond the best buy date, but be careful about oils as they do not smell or taste good when they go rancid. Yuck!

Here are some other tips that I found on Survival Mom on how to store your fats and oils.
Keep oil cool.

Refrigerate or freeze your oil to lengthen its’ shelf life.  If it thickens, just let it warm to room temperature before using it.  Coconut oil is a great option to the oils we typically think of for cooking and baking.  Coconut oil can be kept refrigerated and has a longer shelf life than other oils since it is a saturated fat.

Keep track of time.
The most important step in storing oil is keeping track of the date you purchased it and rotate it on a regular basis.  By the time it reaches its’ stamped expiration date, it may already be too rancid to use.  If you don’t use oil all that often, buy smaller bottles so you’ll be able to rotate through them more quickly.

Keep oxygen out.

Obviously, you won’t be able to  use oxygen absorbers in your bottles of oil!  The only measure you can take is storing oil in jars and then using a Food Saver device to extract oxygen from the jar.  Even that isn’t fool-proof.

While on Pinterest I found out that you can actually store butter safely and at room temperature! What!?!  So naturally I had to pin it. Here is the link on how to store butter. Click HERE. It is very fascinating that I had to share this info with MIL, she is my partner in crime for food storage. She was just as shocked as I was since she has been doing food storage for years!

Did you also know that shortening can be used in an emergency for light? Another tip I found while scouting on Pinterest. Here is the link how to make a Crisco Candle.

I hope I haven’t bored you yet with all this info. Good luck and just keep on going, even if you don’t get everything on the list. Below is the link for the entire March List.
March Prepardness List

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Be Prepared - February

It’s a new month! How did you do last month in gathering the items listed? I know that it was late in the month when it was posted so don’t feel like you have failed if you didn’t get everything for that month. Just keep adding and it will get easier.

This month’s focus will be on the grains such as Wheat, Rice and Corn etc.  You can grind your own grains if you have a grinder and store it or you can purchase already canned grains.

If you are interested in grinding your own grains look for a quality grinder. I have a KitchenAid mixer that has attachments such as a grinder. You may also want to have a hand grinder on hand just in case there is no electricity. Hand mills are not very expensive and are great to have  in your emergency storage.

You can purchase one here.

If you do decide to grind your own you will need to make sure you have the proper storage containers. You can do the big buckets, but keep in mind the space you have, or smaller containers or bags. I personally think that the smaller containers are easier b/c you can control the portions. With the bucket once it’s opened you have to use it in a certain amount of time or else it will spoil. When storing your grains you need to make sure you have an oxygen packet to keep out the bugs.
I bet you’re asking what kinds of grains are good for storing and how to use them once you have them. Well I found this fantastic blog that will help you. Go here. She has a ton of information!

If you do decide to purchase your grains please note that it can get expensive unless you find good deals. You can purchase from the following site:
Emergency Essentials
Shelf Reliance
Wise Company
Items to collect for February

Emergency Preparedness Goal:

  • Place $20 in coins and small bill in your “cash stash”.
  • Axe
  • Paper Towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Trash bags and twist ties

72 Hour Kit Goal:

  • $5 in coins
  • Portable axe
  • Rope
  • Individual charcoal bricks

 Food Storage Goal:

  • Grains: Wheat, Corn, Oats and Rice

Challenge: Prepare a Storage Inventory for your food storage.

Here is the link for the full February file.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Be Prepared - January

As promised here is this month’s emergency preparedness info. With a new year I thought that it would be nice to start fresh in being prepared for an emergency. With all of the crazy weather that has been experienced it will be nice to have things on hand if you are unable to make it to the grocery store. For me I live in Arizona and the harshest weather I may have to endure is a drought.

A couple years ago I had done a mini-series on food storage that I will be reposting along with new info each month.  I know that it’s late in the month but I hope to have a post up at the beginning of each month so that you have all month to get ready.

A lady in my stake had created a great food storage and preparedness plan that I adapted to my family’s needs. I will have a link to a pdf file for each month in each post that I write for you to print off.

Alright, let’s get started.


Finding space to start your food storage is part of the fun and can also be a challenge. For me, I have some room, for one I have closet pantry in my kitchen and walk-in pantry in my laundry room off the kitchen, jealous? Anyways, if you don't have 2 pantries, you can use your basement, if you have one, corners of closets in your house, under the bed or find cute furniture that can act like a closet to hide your stock pile. Use what space you have to suit your needs, who said that storing food couldn't be stylish! ;)


Rome wasn't built in a day and neither should your food storage/ stock pile. Take the time to carefully plan out what you need as far as what your family likes, meals you enjoy and even what kinds of products you use for hygiene purposes. Your storage shouldn't just be about food, but personal hygiene products as well. Look for sales and opportunities to stock up on the essentials.  Get the family involved to give some input as to what you would like to accumulate. For example; in my house beans, rice, tortillas and cheese are a MUST. We LOVE Mexican food and I always have these on hand to make burritos with. An easy way to help get started is to create a menu of the meals your family likes and go from there. Some things to stock up on are pastas and sauce for a quick pasta meal. Have fun with it.

Items for January

Emergency Preparedness Goal:

·        Place $20 (or whatever you can afford) in coins and small bills in a concealed location this will be your “cash stash” and you will be adding to it each month. Remember, this is your emergency bank only, not an ATM. Some people “can” this emergency money.
72 Hour Kit Goal:
Start collecting items needed for a 72 hour kit. Place items all together in one location. Be sure to have a backpack for each member of your family.
·        $5 in coins
·        toothpaste and toothbrushes
·        comb, brush and mirror
·        floss
·        chapstick
Food Storage Goal:
·        Powdered Milk
·        Hand/ bath soap (anti-bacterial soap works too)
·        Cheese
·        Eggs
You can purchase these items through Emergency Essentials. They always have a sale going on and they have a lot to choose from.

Here is the link to download the rest of the January file.

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