New Molly Green: Sneak Peek Monday

all new molly green

All New Molly Green Magazine

Launching in January with all new benefits

Just in case you haven’t heard, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the all new Molly Green Magazine!  The blog will be getting a makeover and members will gain all new benefits as well as a new focus for the magazine.

You’ll enjoy the same frugal advice and information you’ve come to trust, with a deeper focus on the art of homesteading,  back yard farming,  and all things home industry.

Benefits include a video sharing platform to share how-to’s on canning, recipes, gardening and all related topics. Members will have the opportunity to network and sell their homemade & handmade/small business items in their very own cottage stores at no additional cost.

New columns from our friends at Build a Menu with exclusive access to their Dine on a Dime planner, and monthly column by The Fly Lady and more!

Right now, you can lock in the special rate – $1 for the first month, and $3.85 monthly thereafter.  This special introductory rate won’t last. The membership price will increase with the new launch and platform coming in January.

If you are considering a membership to the all new Molly Green, now is the time to get this valuable resource to help you save money, become more self sufficient, and to learn about all things home industry.

Join us here to get your membership and lock in your discounted rate today!

Need a recipe to use up leftover Christmas ham? Go here

Check back tomorrow for a delicious recipe & more – to help you ring in the new year!

Frugal Friday – recipes for leftover ham

 

frugal family leftover ham

Christmas ham is an all time favorite at our house. We love to get the honey baked ham and we always have plenty of it left over. After the first day or two, I always need to come up with a new way to serve that delicious ham to keep it interesting.

One of the best ways I’ve found to use it up is to put it into a cheesy macaroni casserole. This recipe once gained me a standing ovation – right in my own kitchen! It really is THAT good!

I call it:

“Cheesy Delicious Macaroni & Ham Casserole” 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups  macaroni -cooked according to package directions & drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup  flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion or other onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 pack (10 ounces), frozen chopped broccoli, cooked & drained (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped/bite size pieces – cooked ham
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers tossed with 1 tablespoon melted butter

cheesy delicious ham casserole

 Directions:

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan melt 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add flour, green onion, salt, and pepper; stir until blended. Add milk and stir until blended. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Add in broccoli, macaroni, ham, and 1 cup cheese. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese & buttered crumbs over top of the casserole.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until top is brown.
Stretch those leftovers a little further by using the ham bone and scraps to slow cook pinto beans. Follow this delicious step-by-step recipe for southern pinto’s ,so good it’ll make yer tongue slap yer brains out! (If any of my northern friends need a translator for that one, just holler)
I’d love to see some of your family recipes or favorite ways to stretch a dollar.

You never know . . . you could be featured in a magazine or blog post – Share using the links below.

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest –  here - I’ve been collecting wonderful ideas to last all year long

frugal friday

Grab the button above or from the sidebar and link your post up below. Be sure to visit others to see their lovely projects.

After entering your link by clicking below, come back to click on the link again and you can click on any of the pictures to visit their blogs:

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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Merry Christmas

 

merry christmas

We hope you’ve been able to use some of our ideas for frugal and beautiful homemade Christmas gifts and decorating tips.

I pray you are enjoying your family time, and celebrating Jesus this season, and every season.

I’m off to go bake some cookies and get my own home in order to entertain loved ones.

God bless!

 

 

If you need some cleaning help as you prepare for company – read the article here on coming clean for Christmas. 

 

Last minute homemade gift ideas are here and here.

Give Molly Green Membership for Christmas at a discount here!

Frugal Friday: simple, frugal, crafts for Christmas

frugal fri Christmas crafts

*affiliate links may be present

 

Happy – Almost – Christmas

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be “wrapping up” the last of my Christmas crafting and maybe even a little shopping this weekend. I’ll also be putting some final touches on the Christmas decor and doing a bit of deep cleaning before our company arrives.

If you are feeling a overwhelmed with your cleaning list, be sure to read about how I’m tackling mine here.  Soon enough, we’ll all be Merry and Bright!

About those Christmas crafts . . . .  here’s a terrific collection to inspire you this weekend!

Super quick gifts to make from Better Homes & Gardens 

quick and easy gifts to make

Fine Craft Guild –  Sea Shell Printing 

shell printing

From Good and Messy – a new twist on the Sharpie Mug

new sharpie mug idea

Diary of a Quilter – Great neighbor gift of homemade potpourri 

homemade potpourri

Wrap it all up with this sweet little candy cane craft – It makes a great decoration on a package, and it’s a beautiful ornament that is a gift in it’s own right!

From Sweet Miss Daisy

candy cane craft

For more ideas and a little “how-to” check out my dollar store crafts here 

I’d love to see pictures of your crafting projects for Christmas, or your favorite Christmas recipes!

You never know . . . you could be featured in a magazine or blog post – Share using the links below.

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest –  here - I’ve been collecting wonderful ideas for all year long

 

frugal friday

Grab the button above or from the sidebar and link your post up below. Be sure to visit others to see their lovely projects.

After entering your link by clicking below, come back to click on the link again and you can click on any of the pictures to visit their blogs:

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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Crafty Christmas: simple, easy, on a dime

christmas crafting

 

The count down is on. Christmas is almost here.  There is always much to do on the homefront and Christmas is no exception. Actually, Christmas adds much more to the regular to-do list.

I don’t know about you, but it’s time for me to crank up the Christmas music, and dig in to finish up some Christmas crafting!

antique blue glass thrift find

I found these lovely antique Belgium Blue Glass jars at a local thrift stores and paid a few dollars for a set of three. I immediately began brainstorming about what I can fill them with, and came to the conclusion that bath salts treated with essential oils will make a wonderful Christmas gift. (Just don’t tell cousin Midge as she could be the recipient of one of these – keep it just between us – K?) 

The first thing they needed was a good washing with warm soapy water. Once they are completely dry, I will add my top secret, special bath salt recipe (which I’m about to share with you – again – we can keep it just between us). 

I use a simple plastic container with a tight fitting lid. That tight lid is important because once I add the ingredients, I shake -shake- shake it up to ensure we have a well blended mix. I make a big batch because I refill my own bath salt container and can give extra bags of it for refills to go with the pretty gift containers.

Top secret ingredients:

  • Epsom Salts – large bag (about $2.99 or less)
  • Lavender essential oil  (I pay $9.99 for the NOW brand to use in salts)
  • Chamomile (free – I dry my own)
  • Optional additions I like (lemongrass or citrus essential oils)

Here’s the thing – I don’t have a formula and you don’t need one. I add as much of the salt as I want into the plastic container. I then crush and sprinkle in my dried Chamomile throughout. I pay attention to the amount of the Chamomile, as this salt mix will be going into the bath tub. If you are unsure, grab your scoop or a big spoon and scoop out the approximate amount that will be added to the bath (2-3 big scoops). You can then adjust accordingly.

wild chamomile

Learn more about wild chamomile here. 

 Or read about it’s many uses in the Aromatherapy bible here. 

 I’ll be sharing another simple, easy, on a dime craft for Christmas on Frugal Friday.

Are you crafting Christmas this year? Come link up with us for Frugal Friday and share your ideas!

 

A Homestead Christmas: gift ideas for the homesteader – at heart

homestead Christmas

*no affiliate links present

American_Homestead_Winter_-_Currier_and_IvesAmerican Homestead Winter – Wikipedia

Christmas on the ‘ole homestead makes me think of candles in the windows, fresh Christmas tree scent with touches of cinnamon wafting through the air and sleigh bells from the old farm horse trudging down the lane. While some of this ideal Christmas may not be possible for everyone, there are a few things we can do to make the homestead lifestyle a reality.

You don’t have to live on a farm these days to be a homesteader. Plenty of folks with homesteader hearts are making the most of life in the city. With touches of this and that, reminiscent of life on the old homestead,  I’ve gathered a few ideas for gift giving especially with the homesteader in mind.

 

For those who will be weeding and harvesting this year

The Roo Gardening Apron saves time and back pain!

Roo Apron

 

Waterwise plants for Sustainable Gardens

 On Sale from $24.95

waterwise gardening book

Pretty feathers from around the farm

like these guinea hen feathers

make beautiful ear rings for the naturalist, gardener,

or wildlife enthusiast in your life!

a pair of feather ear rings

Need a quick and easy handmade project?

These beautiful painted bottles from bywilma.com 

are sure to please!

a painted bottle gift

Whether you are living life on a farm out in the country, or in the big city, you can make that homestead lifestyle a reality. Homestead is more than a location, it’s a mindset, and an attitude. Start small, right where you are. If it is a desire or an outlook that comes from the heart, you know you are on the right track.

You might even start with one of these homesteader style gift ideas . . . for a loved one – or for yourself!

Did you see the guest post - here –  from cousin Midge?  She had some great ideas for your favorite gardener!

Frugal DIY Christmas ideas

frugalchristmasideas*affiliate links may be present

In case you missed yesterdays guest post from cousin Midge – she brought us frugal ideas for thinking outside the box this Christmas. Midge has several loved ones who are avid gardeners, and she put together some wonderful gift baskets they are gonna love! Go here to read about her frugal finds in her gift basket. 

gardnergiftbaskets

 

(I am secretly hoping to be one of those loved ones who are the lucky recipients of these great gardener gifts!)

With personal, frugal, and handmade gift ideas in mind – I’ve gathered a few more choices for you from around the web. Each of these DIY gift ideas include step by step instructions on the original sites. Just click on the photo’s below to learn more and get recipes and directions for each project.

Be sure to follow Molly Green on Pinterest to find unique recipes, money saving tips, homesteading advice and more!

diy soap crayons

handmade lemon soap

branch bangles

Be sure to wrap up all your lovely DIY gifts with a beautiful burlap bow – go to factory direct craft.com for step by step instructions

diy burlap bows

 Don’t miss the Molly BOGO Christmas Bundle – see it HERE

 

frugal friday

Grab the button above or from the sidebar and link your post up below. Be sure to visit others to see their lovely projects.

After entering your link by clicking below, come back to click on the link again and you can click on any of the pictures to visit their blogs:

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

 

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Creative Christmas gift for friends & loved ones

*affiliate links may be present

Thinking outside the box this year for Christmas? Midge has a few ideas up her sleeve to share with you!

midge Christmas ideas

Hi there! Midge again – I’m giving my newly educated frugal mind a good old fashioned work out this Christmas, as I try to stick to a rather strict budget for our family.

Although the gifts are not the most important thing about our Christmas celebrations, I do like to make sure each of our loved ones has a little something to show how much they mean to us.

 

With a budget as strict as the one cousin Molly has put me on this year, it means digging deep and getting creative. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of what I have come up with so far for some special friends who love to garden.

Any input is welcome as we put our heads together and think outside the proverbial Christmas box!
For those sweet gardener friends of mine – I thought new gardening kits would be fun. I found this one pre-made.

Fiskars 9424 Garden Bucket Caddy – Under $12 (not including the bucket or tools – just the apron bucket caddy)

 

gardening bucket - Christmas ideas
I also found this beautiful pink one that I love, but it is double the cost at about $25:

pink garden caddy for Christmas

 

Bond 6930 Pink 5 Piece Garden Tool Bag Gift Set

Other things I came across in my research include this good looking garden hat that could be added to a basket of goodies!

The Womanswork Cotton Rancher hat is $15.98

I found a 3 pack of pretty garden gloves for only $9.47 – which could all be added to one big basket or separated into 3 individual gift packs for friends and loved ones.

For my particularly small budget, I have gathered several pretty baskets from around the house. A couple of them will get a fresh coating of paint to freshen them up. Using things I have, giving them new life with a fresh coat of paint, and creating something new as a creative gift idea is a terrific way to be both frugal and green. So far, I am sure I have Molly’s approval!

My plan is to use homemade shredded paper – from saved colored scrap paper or left over paper grocery bags to fill the base of the up-cycled baskets. I get free shipping from Amazon on all the products I’ve added here with my Amazon Prime membership. You might find other deals locally instead of shopping online. I find it both frugal and convenient to use the Amazon Prime account.
I could divide the 3 pairs of pretty gloves between each basket. I have ordered this 4 pack of Heirloom tomato seeds – from Ferry Morse for only $7.16 and will add a packet of those for sure. Each of my loved ones will appreciate the heirloom seeds because they will be able to reproduce the tasty tomatoes year after year!

I was fortunate enough to find a large pack of vegetable seeds for less than $21  - Ferry Morse Vegetable Garden - It contains 12 different Ferry Morse seed packets.

With the addition of these Peat pots, my plan began to take shape!

 

gardnergiftbaskets

My most frugal option, and one I believe my friends will love, came together as follows:

3 baskets from my own gift storage – FREE

Paper filling for gift baskets – FREE

Wooden tongue depressors - $6.56 (I plan to paint and label these to dress them up)

12 packs of Ferry Morse Vegetable Garden seeds - $20.47

4 pack of Heirloom Tomato seeds – $7.16

Set of 15 Peat pots – $4.27

3 of the $5 aprons – $15.00

Total cost = $53.36 or $17.79 for each gift basket

Add the gloves and the total would be $20.94 each

Additionally, I have several mason jars to place in the baskets. They will hold the personalized plant markers and may be used for ice tea or lemonade while working in the garden. I’ve added little garden notebooks for recording planting information.

These were also FREE as I had them on hand. If needed, you can easily find cute notebooks at the dollar store.

If you decide to think outside the box and make a frugal Christmas basket of your own – you could even add a small container of home baked cookies just to push your delighted friends right over the edge!

Comparable gift baskets  I came across ran on average between $40 and $124 a piece and were far less personal.

All in all – I believe any garden savvy friend would love to receive one of these as a gift any time of the year, and they sure won’t break the bank.

Christmas cleaning: ‘Tis the season to come clean

Christmas cleaning

 

There are few things I dislike more than setting up Christmas in a dirty house. With the hustle and bustle of the season, Thanksgiving travels,  jumping right into Christmas and a household full of busy little people . . . well, that dirty house can sneak right up on you! This is true for me anyways, so I imagine there must be at least a few friends out there who are also plagued by it.

I grew up in a household where my mother never let the dust settle, in more ways than one. While I may never manage to measure up to her white glove standards, I can sure give it the old college try. I’ve learned an awful lot from her stellar example.

One of the best tips I’ve retained from her tutelage is to have a routine. She gets up in the morning, showers and dresses. She does her hair and then applies makeup, all before starting her household cleaning routine.  When I picture the 50′s version of the “perfect housewife”, there is no need to imagine June Cleaver, I have my mother.

Although I would love to tell you that I am always perfectly put together for the morning routine, the truth is, I miss that mark regularly and I can’t remember the last time I applied lipstick before doing the dishes. It may sound silly, but the truth is, when I look better, it helps me feel better and then I might even enjoy those dishes a little more. Note to self: apply lipstick, implement routine.

As Christmas is quickly approaching, I’ve found myself off routine. It’s easy to get side tracked during the holidays, but can be all that much more important to dig in and stick to the plan. Here’s the key, it doesn’t need to be a complicated plan.

Washing Plates

When I get behind (and I do get behind) I need to remember not to become overwhelmed. Instead, it’s better to break things down into bite size pieces, strap on the rubber gloves, get out the trusty soap bucket, and go to town.

Using a 15 minute plan helps to accomplish more without feeling behind.

Set the timer. Start in the kitchen and get those dishes and counters clean. Make a master list, and then divide it into sections and attack in 15 minute increments. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in that amount of time. It will inspire you to do more.

Soon enough, everything will indeed be merry & bright!

Need more guidance? Enter the solution – The Fly Lady

If you aren’t familiar with her, you are in for a treat. She is full of helpful information to help you come clean.

Guess what else? The Fly Lady has a column in the new Molly Green Magazine! She’ll be gracing us with her presence and sharing her valuable insight all year long.

If you don’t have your Molly Membership yet, you can check it out here and enter to win a full year.

I’m off to take care of some dishes, and then move to the family room. Now, if I can just find that lip stick . . . . .

linking with: Works for me Wednesday

 

Merry Christmas Membership Giveaway by Molly Green

Merry Christmas Giveaway

 

Sneak Peek Monday

It’s jingle bell time! Do you have your tree up yet?

I’ve been decorating all weekend with my family. It’s so much fun to play the Christmas music, put on the hot chocolate, and pull out the ornaments that are special traditions in our family.

We love celebrating with you during the holidays by sharing ideas for a frugal Christmas and by giving away memberships to Molly Green Magazine.

This is going to be the best year ever for members! In case you haven’t heard . . . . . we have a brand new magazine launch coming in January!!! This launch is not just a pretty new blog and website (although, I do find that rather exciting) but it also entails some new features I cannot wait to show you!

Right now, you still have time to take advantage of our special. Get your first month of membership and your first Molly Green Magazine subscription for only $1 and $3.85 thereafter. Prices go up with the new launch, but those of you who have already subscribed, will enjoy this locked in rate – for the whole year!

molly green nov dec special

Members will have a platform for networking and selling all their homemade and handmade goods, as well as to share how-to video’s and more!

Enter to win a full membership for yourself or for a friend:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway