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News from the Nest, January 10

Good Morning, Friends.

We took the last bit of Christmas down from the front porch yesterday, so we are officially packed away! Well, we thought we were! Until we watched TV last night and noticed the glowing tree on the back porch that we forgot. If it weren’t a fake Christmas tree in a pot that I need to use this spring, I’d probably leave it as I love the shining lights at nighttime.

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Heart-shaped pillows.
Heart shaped dog treats.
  • I received an email recently asking me how to block knitting. This post has been on my ‘to do’ list for a bit, but that email spurred me to get it done…NOW! So, if you have been knitting blankets, sweaters, scarves or whatever and are not sure how to finish your projects, check out this post on How to Block Your Knitting Projects.
  • What are your thoughts about wallpaper murals? I avoided any kind of wallpaper for the longest time, but lately, I’ve seen some that have caught my eye. I am working on our master bathroom, and my daughter has encouraged me to look at wallpapers or murals. A marble mural could be interesting!
  • If you need a little decluttering motivation, check out this comment made by one of our readers, Kate. Can we all agree that we hope Kate enjoyed a well-deserved, peaceful, solitary bubble bath? Maybe with a good book and a glass of wine!

This is truly inspiring! I am a mom of 5 and I always feel overwhelmed and clutter-overtaken! It’s like swimming in a house full of stuff! Not just kids stuff but my husbands clutter, my own clutter. I usually try to take a declutter if day of just my own things every 6 months. The kids stuff is harder seeing that we have a 12, 8, 6, and 3 year old twins. So if I don’t have to buy something and the younger ones can use it I save it. But I went through things after reading this and I mean how many pairs of jeans will my 6 year old need from his older brother… not 15 pairs, I went through everything between what I gave for the twin and my middle son and got rid of 5 totes full of clothes. I currently have 2 totes in the twins closet and 4 totes for my middle son vs (what felt like) 50. Thank you so much! Off to tackle the kitchen and basement next! Thank you again for your guidance! It helps this Mama out!

  • I am currently on Week 2 of the 2022 Declutter Challenge, focusing on the Kitchen and Laundry Room. (You can join the challenge any time!) I am giving my pantry most of my attention. I grew up with a mom and grandma who cooked from scratch, so I am comfortable going that route. And in general, I’ll substitute an ingredient without a second thought. But, I am going to redouble my efforts this year, finding ways to make do with what I have instead of buying more stuff to fill my pantry. I will be sharing my substitution ideas and recipes regularly with you. (If you have recipe subsitution suggestions or requests…send them my way!)
  • Up first, substitutions and a recipe for Old Bay Seasoning. Growing up in the Mid-Atlantic, I didn’t realize this wasn’t available everywhere until we moved to Tennessee a while back, and I’d have to bring it back from Virginia. The market for Old Bay may have moved west by now, but if you are in an area that doesn’t sell this spice blend, which is absolutely necessary for the best-steamed shrimp and crabs (and Bloody Mary), here are some substitutions and a recipe!
  • This Creamy Tomato Soup gets its creaminess from a secret ingredient that is fat free and gluten free! Can you guess? It is getting made today because…I have all the ingredients in my pantry!
  • I use this Measuring Equivalents Chart ALL.THE.TIME! I have it laminated and posted on the inside of my cabinet. Make sure to grab one if it would come in handy in your kitchen too!
Watercolor lemon with measuring equivalents
  • Along the same lines, last week I told you that I’d challenged myself only to buy perishables as needed for January. Specifically, fruit, vegetables, and dairy are the only things I will buy this month. My reasoning is three-fold: 1) We want to include more plant-based meals into our diet in general, and this is an excellent way to kick start that, 2) (see above) My pantry is loaded with dried beans, grains, stocks, bulk spices, canned tomatoes, etc. and I need to go through them and 3) I need to replenish my bank account after the holidays!
  • Thus far, I am doing great with my challenge, but I haven’t had to make a meal as we are also using up leftovers in the freezer. Tonight’s meal is taken care of, but tomorrow I will need to start cooking again. I found this site, Big Oven, which I am anxious to try. Specifically, their Use Up Leftovers tab looks promising! If you are in the same boat, give it a try!

  • Is 2022 the year you will learn how to knit? I’ve got you covered! Step by step lessons with videos, plus I’m always here for questions!

I’m signing off with this little thought for the week. Make it a great one!

Be happy with what you have and you will have plenty to be happy about.

Unknown – Project Happiness


Signature of Lynn

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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