Trying to cut the cord

Hey there! Just wanted to do a short post this evening because I have a great offer to share…but first I’ll tell a little bit about the “why” I think it’s a great offer.

Over the last few months I have been trying to help my Mom cut some expenses. Mom has worked hard her whole entire life. She quit school in her early teens so she could go to work and help her parents, who had children younger than Mom, but had also adopted family members who were even younger yet and was raising them as their own.  So fast forward about 40+ years… Mom worked for KMart for almost 20 years before they closed her KMart down several years ago. I am sure that Mom wouldn’t mind me sharing her age with you because she is very proud of how hard she has worked, and that she can still work circles around most anyone out there. Mom has a birthday coming up next month…she will be 83! She took a little time off but she has never been one who could just sit at home, so after some time off she got another retail job working at TJ Maxx. She worked there for months and then we had a terrible hail storm in our town and the building was demolished. Not only was her work damaged, but she had damage to her house and her new car was totaled. She lived very close to where the store was located. It was the worst hail storm we have EVER seen. So once again she found herself without work to do. She endured for a while, we got her fixed up with another car, got her house repairs done,  and she found herself sitting at home again, all the while going stir- crazy just being at home. She went out and got another retail job at the Dollar Tree. She worked there for several months and then due to circumstances beyond her control she found herself without a job. I digress but I wanted to share what leads me to this post! So, we have been trying to find ways to cut her monthly expenses since she no longer has that paycheck coming in. By the way, she is still looking for work and has applied at Belk and possibly Dollar General!!! So… I thought that if I got her a Fire TV Stick that could help cut down her cable bill. I ordered it and when it came in I took it over to her house, installed it and added all of the apps or channels or whatever you call them so she could try it out. She has used it some and she likes it but I don’t think she is totally convinced yet to totally cut the cord and be cable free…but she is working on it. Seriously, it would save her over 100.00 a month!!! So that brings me to the great offer I have for you! And a small explanation about it….I have recently become an Amazon Affiliate and I can offer promotions from Amazon and if you use my link and make a purchase I get just a little bit of profit from that. So…this is a pretty awesome offer!!!

You can get a Fire TV Stick and an Echo dot for just 41.99. That is an awesome deal!!! Christmas is coming….or if you just want to cut some monthly expenses…cutting that cable cord might help. We have one on every tv in our house and we love them. We have not cut the cord yet but we might soon. You would not believe all of the things you can watch. You can even get local news stations too.

https://amzn.to/2pNWXSE

I hope you take advantage of the link…I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Have a great night and I will be back soon!

Jo

Happy Fall Y’all

Well, well, well….it has been a long time! There has definitely been a lot going on around here and honestly, I just can’t keep up! I did want to get back to blogging now that I have some time on my hands. That is a whole other story that we can talk about at a later date. But for today I just wanted to come in…chat a bit…and talk about the upcoming Holidays.

I know that I can’t be the only one ready for some excellent food next week. Some good ole comfort food. Some stick to your ribs, fill your belly until you can’t stand it, go back for more, down home good cooking!!! Y’all got your stretchy pants ready? I do!!!

So…what y’all making???? We share duties so that one person doesn’t have to cook it all. Hubby and I usually go to His Mom’s for lunch Thanksgiving Day with the kids and his sister, and then for dinner that night We have my daughter and her family and My Mom over. This year we are going to be smoking ham and turkey! The last couple years we have just ordered from Honey Baked Store but we decided this year to do the meat at home, which is what we have always done, we just took a break for a while! I will also be making the dressing for both meals and baked mac and cheese!!! I love some baked mac and cheese! Really…this should be called Cheese and Mac….coz it is cheeeeeeezy! I will also be baking some pies! Planning on making my cornbread for the dressing tomorrow and just sticking it in the freezer until I need it next week. Here is a pic of Thanksgiving past…

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YUMMY!!!! Doesn’t that just make you want to….I don’t know….slap someone?!?!!??? That’s the mac and cheese on the other end…I told you it was cheeeezy!

While we are on the subject of food and cooking…do you have an Instant Pot? Yes…Instant Pot…not Instapot. Most people call them Instapots…I don’t know why, anyway. Do you have one? Do you use it? I do and I LOVE mine!!!! I use it all the time!!!

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And I do mean…ALL THE TIME!!! I cook in it at least 3 or 4 times a week. The thing is…everyone thinks you can only cook the things that are in the Instant Pot cookbooks. That is SO NOT TRUE! I cook all of my usual stuff….I just use the Instant Pot. You can adapt any recipe that you love. It is so easy! There are different settings for different things and it really does make it easy to adapt the recipe. I think a lot of people are intimidated by the electric pressure cookers and so they just don’t get comfortable using it. These are not the old time pressure cookers that you have to be worried about them “exploding” in the kitchen. There are safety features on there that were not available when Grandma was using hers! I tell you, meat comes out tender and still juicy, soups and stews have much better taste, you know how soup tastes after you have warmed it up a few times….just like that right off the bat! So if you have an electric pressure cooker take some time and get to know it….use it…become it’s friend….you will be glad you did! My word of advice though is this….please DO NOT EVER SIT IT ON THE STOVE!!!! I have seen so many times in the Facebook groups that I am in, about someone sitting it on the stove, either while using it or when it is not in use, and somehow the burner gets turned on and melts the pressure cooker. You have been warned! You’re welcome!

I am going to wrap this post up, but before I do I want to share with you a couple of things for the Instant Pot that you really shouldn’t be without. You can click on the picture and it will take you to WalMart.com where you can purchase them!!! (And if you do… it will pay me just a little bit too!)

 

If you use your Instant Pot…you have already figured out that sometimes the seal will retain a scent of what you cooked in it last. So it is a good idea to have an extra seal on hand. Especially if you cook both savory and sweet in your pot. You sure don’t want you cheesecake tasting like spaghetti sauce!

And then there is this little gem…

It is a steam diverter! I love mine!!! It fits over the pressure valve so that when you want to release the pressure the steam won’t blow straight up and into the bottom of your cabinet! Why didn’t I think of this? You just want to make sure you put it on before it comes up to pressure that way you aren’t trying to put it on and having steam escape and possibly burn your hand.

There are many different accessories you can get for your Instant Pot and I will share some more in another post coming soon!

Now that my stomach is growling from all of this food talk, I am gonna end this post and go try to figure out what we are going to eat for dinner tonight! Everyone have a wonderful evening and I will be back with another post real soon!

See ya soon,

Jo

Fluid Acrylic Painting

I just wanted to share something that I have been doing for the last several months. Fluid Acrylic Painting. I absolutely LOVE it! I have always loved to craft and I always enjoy trying different types of crafts. I just ran into this on Youtube and I have been hooked ever since! I am going to share one of my Youtube video’s that I published a few months ago. It has over 6000 views! I am so excited about that! I hope you enjoy it!

And here is a picture of what it looked like after it was dried and varnished!

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Arts and crafts, College and coffee.

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So, I had a few extra days off last week. My original plans were to have a booth at the local arts and crafts festival. It’s called the Bloomin’ Festival . It’s held every April in Cullman, Alabama. You should really check it out if you ever have a chance! Anyway, I apparently waited too long to check into the requirements to apply. I still had time to get the application in but one of the requirements was that you had to submit a picture of your tent display. No can do…I didn’t even have my tent yet! I had been lurking Amazon trying to figure out which one I wanted to get and before I could even decide, the openings for vendors were filled. I have my tent ordered, it should be here next week!!! Look out Bloomin’ Festival 2019…I plan on setting up tent!

I decided to go ahead and take the time off anyway because I can always find something to do! I really needed to get some pictures of my artwork and jewelry so that I could get some things listed on Etsy. I have the pictures but not one single listing is done yet. It’s a work in progress. It is ALWAYS a work in progress! Anyway, I talked with my daughter and she only had one class on Friday, and since I really needed to go to Huntsville, we decided I would just take her to class and we would have some lunch and do some shopping. Her class was at 10:30 so she said we would be fine as long as I was at her house by 9:30. No problem. Except I forgot to check my gas gauge the day before and had to stop and get gas before I could pick her up. I got to her house at 9:35. I was shocked that she hadn’t called or texted me before I got there to make sure I was up and on my way. She usually does! When I got there…she wasn’t ready. We finally got out the door at about 9:43 and she said we would still be ok….just don’t drive slow, she says. That is not usually my problem…she is usually telling me to stop speeding!!! So we get on the road and it is smooth sailing for about the first 20 minutes…then traffic pretty much comes to a stand still. Uh oh…not looking good for getting there on time. We creeped along for the next several miles until we could finally get off the interstate and headed at a normal rate of speed towards the campus. I told her that if I would have known about all the traffic mess I would have just taken the time to make my coffee to bring with me. That is definitely not something she is used to hearing because I have just recently started drinking coffee! She told me there was a Starbucks right by where her class was and I could just go in there and get some coffee while she was in class. Sounded good. Except what she didn’t know was that I have never ordered coffee at Starbucks! Never! Ever! We finally made it to campus and I delivered her to her class. She pointed out where I should go if I wanted some coffee and headed to her class. I would have about 40 minutes or so to wait and since I was just going to be sitting in my car reading while I waited I decided I would go for that cup of coffee after all. So I walk over to the building that housed the coffee shop, walk up to the counter, and explain to the woman who was working there that I had no idea how to even order the coffee that I wanted. I don’t know a cappuccino from a latte. Let alone what a Frappe or Macchiato is. So I told her what I wanted…brewed coffee with half regular and half decaf. Her reply was…”Oh….we ain’t got no decaf in the brewed coffee.” Although it plainly stated on the order board that it was an option. I said..”ok…well…what do you have that we can do half and half?” She offered an Americana with one shot regular and one shot decaf. “Sure”, I say, no clue what an Americana even is. Now, in my mind, at some point she is going to ask me if I want cream, sugar or some type of syrup. I don’t know much about Starbucks, but I do know that they have syrup for your coffee!!! Nada. She handed me the cup of coffee, told me how much it was and that was it. Ok. I look around and see that there is a counter that has stir sticks and some other stuff on it so I am thinking I will just go see what they have to offer there. Once I got to the counter I realized that she had run this coffee through some machine and I wasn’t exactly sure WHAT was in it. I took the lid off and it was a light color foamy looking coffee. Well now how an I going to know what the heck to add to it if I don’t know what’s in it? Guess I need to taste it and see. I just have to say…that was the HOTTEST coffee known to man!!! Oh my gosh!!! Talk about a tongue scorcher!!! I don’t think my tongue is ever going to be the same! I am pretty sure that I burnt the whole top layer of my tongue off!!! AND…it was just plain coffee!!! I put some sugar in it…stirred it up…and headed back to the car. I like cream in my coffee, preferably Hazelnut. I didn’t have that. Burnt tongue, no cream and a horrible first experience ordering at Starbucks…dumped the coffee in the trash can outside as I walked by. Should have taken the few extra minutes at home that morning to make it exactly like I like it! Not to mention that I honestly think it interfered with my sense of smell for the rest of the day! My daughter says it is the other way around, smell affects your sense of taste, but not taste affecting smell. She might be right, but I’m telling you, if you have never burnt your tongue that bad you will never know!!!

Have a great week everybody!

Jo

 

I’m back!

Whew! I’ve been gone for a while! I just don’t know where the time goes. As I get older the days go by so much faster. And I don’t seem to get as much as accomplished daily either. I have been doing a lot of painting. I am really enjoying doing the fluid acrylic painting and I have also been doing some acrylic painting and some water color.

This past weekend I was able to be a vendor at a local women’s conference with my friend Ginger. We both love to make art and we have wanted to set up a booth at arts and crafts shows so this was a good opportunity for our first venture!

We both had canvases already done but with the opportunity to show our art and possibly even make some sales we both worked hard and created even more so that we would have plenty to show. It was truly a labor of love for both of us because we LOVE doing it! However, it did involve quite a few VERY late nights! When I set my alarm on Friday night for the event on Saturday, my phone said “your alarm is set for 3 hours and 27 minutes”!!! What??? When we got to the venue we discussed it and she went to bed about the same time I did!

 Once we found out where we were to set up our booth we got busy unloading the cars and preparing to create an awesome display! I had a wire grid wall that I was going to hang my canvases from and I had a set of lights to drape around the sides and top to make it stand out. I got the wall put up and the lights on and guess what….half of the strand didn’t light up!!! I just bought them!!! It never even crossed my mind to check them ahead of time….rookie mistake! I thought…no problem…not gonna let that bother me, it isn’t going to affect how the art looks, let’s just get the canvases up and displayed. We had to be at the venue at 7 am and to be set up by 8:30. Shouldn’t be a problem! Right. My original plan was to put wire on the back of the canvases for people to hang them with but then I decided that it wouldn’t really be necessary because with fluid paintings they can be hung whatever way looks best to the owner. And one less thing for me to have to do before the event! Score. NOT. My plan was to hang the canvases with the wire from “s” hooks on the grid wall. When I tried to hang the canvases without the wire from the “s” hooks….it wouldn’t work! It needed the wire to hold on to! Another rookie mistake. In my mind it should have worked but I didn’t try it ahead of the event day. Another rookie mistake. Now, I have 40 canvases, a wall to display them on and no way to hang them. Bummer. I decided I would run out and try to find something to hang them with. It was 8:03. Supposed to be set up  by 8:30.  I left and went to the nearest place that might possibly have something I could use… Dollar General. A sign on the door said they were closed due to register issues. I drive across town to another Dollar General, ran in, told them what I was needing and the clerk took me to where the hooks were and what they had wouldn’t work….Okay….think outside the box Jo, time is ticking! I look down and see a roll of twine. That’s it! I can make a hook with the twine, attach it to the back of the canvas with duct tape and hang it from the hook! SCORE!!! I. Am. A. Genius!  Rush back to the event, Ginger helps me and we get them all hung up. Whew..disaster averted. WRONG!!! The first guest speaker started telling her story, which was an absolutely amazing testimony of the power of prayer! A canvas falls. Boom…..hits the floor. A few minutes later, a second one, then a third. One by one….the canvases were falling. Minutes apart. Just when I thought another wasn’t going to fall……crash….another one would fall. How embarrassing!!!! Finally I just got up and took them down, stacked them in front of the wall and left it at that! Major rookie mistake with the duct tape!!!

I said all of that to end up saying that I am grateful for the opportunity to get it all figured out and ready for the next event!!! I am now currently working on making a fail proof hook for my canvas!!!

Ginger had her artwork displayed in an awesome way!!!

I also make jewelry from the leftover paint from my fluid acrylic painting and those were on display as well.

Here is what the booth looked like before all my canvases decided to play Humpty Dumpty and fall of the wall!!!

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Photo credit to Ginger.

 

So that was my first event experience with my art. I am thankful for the experience and looking forward to my next event!!! 

This is just one more example of why my blog has its name!!! Mishaps and Mayhem abound whenever I’m around!!!  But ya know what….I just keep on keeping on!!!

Be blessed! I will be back soon.

Jo

 

 

Where does all the time go?

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I’m not sure where all of the time goes. I know that I have the same amount of time in my day as everyone else…but it seems to go by so quickly! Maybe it is because I am getting older and it takes me longer to do things! Maybe it’s because I try to cram too much into my day? I have so many things I want to do…so many things I want to make…so many people I want to share with…so many things I want to cook…and I still have to make a living! The pesky making a living thing. It get’s in the way sometimes of doing the other things…but it is a necessity!!! I think my issue is time management. Or maybe….I just need to move faster? Who knows! I have been working on a lot of different things….trying to get them to all come together in what I am trying to do to make the overall picture complete!!! I have my blog…I am working on my YouTube channel. I am trying to get my Etsy store going…and they are all linked to my motto…MishapsandMayhem…because it perfectly describes my life!!! There are always Mishaps and Mayhem going on…it wouldn’t be MY life if there wasn’t!!! The common thread is Mayhem. So please be patient…I will share when I can…as I can….and hopefully it will all come together to create the ME package that I have been working towards!!! You can find my YouTube channel by searching my name….Jo Dunagan…on YouTube. I have been doing some painting tutorials and a tshirt making tutorial. I will expand as time permits. Please check it out and leave me some feedback!!! I am working on my Etsy store and it should be going before long! It will go alot smoother once I have them all up and running and linked together! Thanks for your patience while I am working through this process!!!

 

Too much or too little?

I often times find myself questioning…do I do too much or not enough? Most of the time I feel like I try to do more than I can do in a day. But then…I feel like I didn’t do near enough! I know we all have different stations in life, different goals and definitely different energy levels. I just question…what is “enough”? What is…”the norm”? I just feel like it is time to start taking things a little easier. Not sure how to make that happen or if I even can. Just pondering.

I started today by going to the dentist for a routine cleaning and check up. (I had to be there at 7 am). Got a great report. WHEW! Going to the dentist has never been an easy thing for me. Lots of dental work over the last couple of years has made me realize that I need to stay on top of things…and it’s not nearly as scary as it once was! Thank God for a wonderful dentist!!!

Left the dentist office heading to work. Got there too early so decided to go pick up some donuts for the girls at work. I like the people I work with and like to do random things. And hey, we like to eat!!! Had to open today so I had to be there earlier than normal. Being there earlier than normal is always a struggle for me and a stressful thing…but I am getting better at it!

Spent my day being a part of the management team at work. Also filling in for a full time person that is on vacation this week and the part time person that wasn’t there today because of scheduling. Can we say…dual roles…or would that  be triple roles?

Left work and went to the grocery store. Picked up what I needed to get…came home and put things away. Changed into my comfy clothes and got started.

Did some cleaning in the kitchen. Started some laundry. Picked up some around the house.

I had a shirt order that needed to go out so I went to my craft room to work on that. Then I realized I had to cut some vinyl for another project I have going. Cut the vinyl and came back to work on the shirts. Got the shirts done and now it is past time for dinner. I am not talking about a shirt or two…12 shirts. Actually 13 but didn’t get the last one done yet due to a size issue. Luckily we had already talked about the fact that we were having leftovers of the chicken and dressing  from the weekend. So I put the chicken and dressing in the oven to warm and made some sides to go with it.

Oh wait..past time for the pups to eat. Feed the dogs.

Now the trash is full. Take the trash out.

I still need to finish the laundry. It will get done before I go to bed. Or in the morning.

I have recorded shows I want to watch…to unwind. Instead I decided to blog. And I am sure that there are many more things that I could be doing, should be doing, or need to be doing right now. But I am saying…Enough is Enough….I should eat dinner..but it is way too late ….I had a very late lunch today so not even hungry.

In my mind I have many many many more things or projects I need to be doing right now…or in the very near future. I have crafting to do…cleaning to do…cooking to do…and giving to do. Family to spend time with…memories to make….and trips to be taken.

Maybe I need an assistant? To help with  scheduling. Maybe I need a maid? To help with cooking and cleaning. Maybe I need vitamins? To help with energy. I don’t know. Who knows what the answer is. I just know that I still can’t figure out….do I do too much or too little?