Happy Reading! I had fun compiling this blog links list this month!

Blog Links

Blogging:

20 Fall Blog Post Ideas http://www.hutamanama.com/en/20-fall-blog-post-ideas/

Food Related:

35 Completely True Food Facts that Will Make You Say WHAAAT? https://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/facts-that-will-forever-change-the-way-you-think-about-fo?utm_term=.blLxKW89OY#.wqmQjZ4E52

The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (and it’s not gluten) http://www.realfarmacy.com/reason-toxic-wheat/

Cake in a Jar http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=730

Reese’s Peanut Butter Balls http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=1528

Slower Cooker Prawns http://milaslittlethings.com/2016/09/slow-cooker-prawns.html

Fabulous Candy Clusters http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=754

Easy Creamy Potato Soup from Instant Mashed Potatoes https://diymomblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/easy-creamy-potato-soup-from-instant.html?m=1

Homesteading:

Growing Your Own Garlic http://shareably.net/how-to-grow-your-own-garlic/

Knitting:

How Knitting Saved Me from Digital Overload http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2016/09/how_knitting_helped_me_get_over_my_digital_overload.html

How to Convert a Crochet Pattern into a Knitting Pattern http://www.ehow.com/how_18632_convert-knitting-pattern.html

Planner Related:

Bullet Journaling Doesn’t Have To Take Over Your Life, But In This Case It Has, And I Need Help http://reductress.com/post/bullet-journaling-doesnt-have-to-take-over-your-life-but-in-this-case-it-has-and-i-need-help/

Random:

Sleep is a Waste of Time http://carolcassara.com/sleep/

Reading:

Kids Explain How Reading Banned and Challenged Books Helped Them and Even Saved Their Lives http://boingboing.net/2016/11/05/kids-explain-how-banned-and-ch.html

Travel:

The One Thing I Always Regret Packing http://www.atipsygypsylife.com/thing-i-always-regret-packing/

Writing:

Surviving NaNoWriMo: The Tough Mudder of Writing Challenges http://www.signature-reads.com/2016/10/surviving-nanowrimo-the-tough-mudder-of-writing-challenges/?cdi=3AFC069807714314E0534FD66B0AA679&ref=PRH774FF6C894

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The wonderful Steve Morton, of TravellersNotebookTimes.com and Philofaxy.com, started the My Favourite Traveller’s Notebook series on TNT website.

He was kind enough to all me to be kick off the series.

You can read the post here: http://travellersnotebooktimes.com/2016/11/25/my-favourite-travellers-notebook-cori/

Thanks again, Steve!!!

 

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This is a follow up post to my Freezer Inventory List post. If you thought I was nuts for wanting you to keep track of what’s in your freezer, hold on to your hat! Now I’m going more radical and tackling the abyss that is the Pantry via the pantry inventory.

I’m aware of all the apps that are available for smart phones. I’ve tried six of them. However, after scanning the UPC code, I still had to input information: volume, description, quantity, etc. I found this incredibly annoying since I can write faster than I can type on my cell phone.

So I quickly noted what a particular product was (diced tomatoes, 14.25 oz, quant: 6), and moved on. I do not mark down brands, which the single except ion of Rotel ® tomatoes.

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After all the notes are made and items are stuffed back onto the shelves (usually I organize as I go, but not this time), I type the full list and tape it inside the door.

There are somethings I do not add to the inventory list: breakfast items, snack pages, and paper goods. I use highlighter to cross-off items as we use them.

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Now, I bet some of you are wondering how I add items to this list and/or do I retype it every time. To add items, I either add them to the margins of the typed list or on a separate piece of paper, which is also taped inside the door. That means I don’t retype the list.

So despite the OCD, Type A groove this post is taking, since I don’t retype every single update, I’m not that crazy, right?

Every couple of months, I do a recount and update. I should probably reprint at that point. We’re actually due for another recount and reorganize. Just need to get the printer working.

How do you organize your pantry?

© Cori Large 22 Oct 2016

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I’m a list person. Always have been. When my husband and I purchased a chest freezer in the Spring of 2015, I was concerned about how we would keep track of what we had stored in there. Having one of the stand-up style freezers growing up, which was difficult enough to keep organized, I was unsure of how we wouldn’t lose food items in a 10 cubic foot chest. Here is how I set up a freezer inventory:

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In my quick video and subsequent blog post, March 2015 Meat Haul, we purchased 129 pounds of meat product. That’s a lot of meat to keep track of. We made a list of how we broke things down, i.e. 5 bags of 5 drumsticks each. After the breakdown, clean up, and sterilization of the kitchen, I typed up the list.

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The intention was to highlight the item when it was removed from the freezer. And as long as we remembered to do that, it was a great system. You’ll notice some stuff isn’t highlighted. Two reasons: either we forgot to highlight or it’s still in the freezer somewhere. I also left additional space at the bottom of the list so we could add additional items.

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Occasionally, when the freezer starts to get frosted over on the inside, we’ll do a quick scrape and clean out of all the built up frost. It’s when we’re putting items back into the freezer, I go through the list and make notes so I can update it. As you can see from the pictures, we’re due for another update soon.

This may seem like a really OCD, over the top, and complicated thing to do, but it has helped without meal planning and grocery budgeting.

Stay tuned for the follow up post on my pantry inventory. Yes, I am that nuts.

© Cori Large 19 Oct 2016

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Can you believe Christmas is only 6 weeks away? For those that celebrate Christmas, crunch time is almost upon us. I don’t do Black Friday shopping, but I’m all about Cyber Monday!

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve only just started working on compiling the hardware and software needed to put together some of the Christmas presents. I wanted to start gathering stuff in August, but the Husband Veto came down. I should have just done it anyways, right? Although, I’ve run through my Christmas To Do list, and am in far better shape than I thought I was.

I’ve made my list, shopped around for deals, and now I just have to start putting things together. Having chosen to streamline Christmas gifts for the most part has cut down on a lot of headache and wasted money. I really want to tell you all what I’m working on, but the Family reads this and I don’t want the surprise spoiled! There will be a post-Christmas post about what was given.

As we get closer and closer, there’s still baking I’ll need to do for other parts of the gift list, but luckily I planned ahead and have been making a batch of cookie dough each weekend for the last couple weeks. I recommend, if you’re the type to make a bunch of cookies for presents, to make a batch of dough each weekend, portion them out on cookie sheets, and freeze them. DIY break and bake, in my opinion. That way you only have to do the baking closer to Christmas.

Who else has started prepping for Christmas? How organized do you get? Does anyone else shop throughout the year for materials or gifts? Or are you a more last-minute mad-dash shopper?

Please let me know in the comments.

© Cori Large 16 November 2016

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[Author’s Note: I’m not a paid spokesperson for Microsoft, Coca-Cola, any health insurance company, or gym. I am not being reimbursed in any fashion for sharing this information.]

No, no, I promise you my account and website has not been hacked. This post is an update and continuation to my original Bing Points post.

Microsoft Points

Bing has been converted over to Microsoft points. Essentially it means that you take whatever your Bing Points total and multiply it by 10 and that’s your new Microsoft Points total. But it’s still the same concept: Do a certain amount of searches each day, and you earn points. I do these searches to accumulate points for Amazon gift cards. The $5 Amazon gift card is 5250 points.

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My Coke Rewards

If you’re a drinker of Coca-Cola® products and you’re not redeeming the Coke Rewards points, you are literally throwing away free money and coupons for free products. Twelve packs have codes on the tear away section, and they are worth 10 points. The bottles, all sizes, have codes on the caps, and they’re worth 3 points. You can redeem 75 points a week.

The types of gift cards I work toward are $10 Walmart gift card (670 points), $10 Amazon gift card (690 points), and $10 TJ Maxx/Marshalls gift card (710 points).

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Gym Membership Reimbursement

This one pertains to my health insurance. (I recommend checking with your insurance company to see if they offer a similar reimbursement.) If I go to the gym 100 times a year, must be spaced throughout the year and not all the once, I can get $150.00 reimbursement toward my gym membership.

Ideally, I would be going 25 times a quarter, so roughly 9 times a month. I can tell you, I may not make it this year. February, September, and October were bad months for me. I didn’t go to the gym at all.

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So these are some ways I earn free gift cards and reimbursements. Thanks for reading.

© Cori Large 7 October 2016

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During my September Goals Update post and video, I stated that I would be travelling in October. Well, I’m back from my trip! I had a wonderful time with my husband over in England. We participated in an archaeological dig, but I’m not allowed to divulge anything; eat a multitude of cuisines while there; and went to some of the bigger tourist attractions in London for research for a book I’m writing. Fun times!

2nd night’s dinner was at Tandori Nights, right down from the hotel. Introduced the crew to poppadoms and chutneys.

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1st Saturday we were there, a quiz night was held at the local history museum against some of the locals. I’m proud to say the Americans didn’t do too badly, until the category was Local History.

Monday, we went for a six and a half mile hike to Stonehenge, up the Processional Avenue the ancients would have walked. English weather being what it is, we were right in the middle of a sheep pasture when it started to rain and hail. Lovely….”It’ll only last five minutes!” BS! It lasted 15! With the exception of my feet and my head, thanks for my insulated boots and hat, I was soaked through. Thanks, David.

Video filmed once the rain stopped: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45vVBt_GT-E

The next day we actually went to Stonehenge officially and walked around the site. I FORGOT MY HAT!!!! Yes, it was a big deal. I had to wrap my scarf around my head like a babushka. It didn’t really help.

At Stonehenge video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAON4jW3A_k

After Stonehenge, we went to High Tea at the local tea room: McGuire’s Vintage Tea Room. They had my china pattern!!!!!

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Tuesday afternoon was Salisbury to see the cathedral. My mom had specifically talked to me about what it was like for her to see it when she was there in the late 1970s. After the cathedral tour, and while most of the group attended Evensong, I dragged Husband and other group member to a yarn store.

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Wednesday was spent in Bath. We ate at Sally Lynn’s for lunch. Did tours of the Roman Baths, which was pretty cool. Then, of course, I had to hunt down the two local yarn shops. Found my Hedgehog Fibre yarn!!! Dinner was at a Moroccan restaurant. The food was soooo good!

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Thursday, we traveled to London. Spent the afternoon in the British Museum doing a scavenger hunt. But before we got there, we all stopped to eat at this adorable Italian restaurant that was two blocks away from the museum. I have never had gnoochi as light and fluffy as they made it.

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Friday was the Tower of London. We actually took the tour this time. Very interesting. We got to see the inside of Her Majesty’s Private Chapel. I later asked the Yeoman (aka Beefeater) when the last time the Queen stopped by: 2014! A lot more recent than I thought.

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After the Tower, we were set loose on our own, which meant Husband and I went and hunted down a yarn shop. (Are you starting to see a pattern?) We had to play real-life Frogger to get to this one. Scary! Don’t ever want to do that again. Lunch at a pub. Husband got his Lincolnshire sausages and mash for lunch. Any British expats reading this will understand how important that is.2nd Saturday, we went to the Natural History Museum. Very impressive collection. They had coconut crab specimens! Holy crap! As well as the giant squid!

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I also hopped over to consult a detective…

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I convinced everyone to go a French restaurant for our final night in London. Once we found the place (it was on a side road, off a side road, off a main road), we all settled in. The food was delicious! Vichyssoise, lamb wellington, and chocolate mousse! Perfect way to end the trip!

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That was my latest adventure!

© Cori Large 23 Oct 2016

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