Book Review: B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook


I just finished reading B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook by Alexe Van Beuren with recipes by Dixie Grimes. Yes, I said I actually READ it. Normally, when receiving a cookbook, I skim through the recipes and don’t actually read everything in the book. This one was different. The stories Alexe tells of starting a small grocery store on a typical small-town main street, and her rise to creating a thriving small business is nothing short of inspirational. Dixie’s recipes are sure to have you itching to get in the kitchen and create, too. So many good, Southern recipes in one place just might be considered a crime in some areas! I can’t wait to start cooking through this collection. I highly recommend this cookbook. You won’t regret it. You can read Chapter one {here}.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, all opinions are my own.

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Review of “Modern Pioneering”

modern pioneering

I just got through with reading the book “Modern Pioneering” by Georgia Pellegrini. And let me tell you, I LOVED it! This is exactly my type of book. She doesn’t go into too many of those homesteading subjects that are beyond the modern gal. Almost all of her ideas and recipes were actual things I would try. She did have a few things that were a bit “out there”…..for example: She had several fig recipes (I’ve never even eaten a fig before) and she had several page on growing mushrooms and mushroom recipes. This gal does NOT eat fungi. Sorry. I preferred the second half of the book over the first, but it was all worth reading. Overall, I’m sure to be referencing this book often. I would definitely recommend purchasing the book if you are even halfway interested in this type of modern self sufficiency…or at the very least, checking it out at your local library.


I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. However, all opinions are my own.

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Frugal Friday VI

There’s not much frugality going on this week, as I am HERE: beach Yay for vacations !!!!


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Frugal Friday V

Here’s what I’ve done this week to be Frugal:

Earned another $5 in Swagbucks

Finished putting together my new sewing nook, so that I can get inspired to start sewing again to be even more frugal

Made a vegetable beef soup for dinner with corn, green beans, tomatoes, and potatoes from garden harvests…and venison harvested by one of the male’s in my household

We found a volunteer tomato plant out behind the building we previously used for a chicken coop…It had 11 tomatoes on it, ready to be harvested! Free food is awesome!!

Went to six Dollar General store to find 40 pack of Glad Trashbags for 1.37 a box. These were regularly priced at 7.50 a box. I got 8 or 9 boxes. A friend told me about the sale, and I hit as many stores as I could to stock up for awhile. This is one way I try to be Frugal all year. If I find a good sale on something, I try to stock up with at least a year’s worth of the product. Usually, sometime during that year, I can find another sale to stock up for the next year…and so on. I’m still using dryer sheets that I got for free using coupons THREE years ago!

..And probably the most Frugal thing I did this week, was make the joint decision with my husband NOT to purchase a new car (with a car payment) and instead look into making arrangements to get the transmission fixed in my van that went out on Thursday.

What did you guys do this week to be Frugal? I love hearing your ideas!

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Sewing Nook Reveal

sewing nook
I’ve been inspired by Pinterest to “fancy up” my sewing nook. I am thrilled with how it turned out. By using coupons, thrift store finds, and gifts from others, I was able to create this little area for around $50.

I bought my sewing machine 18 years ago, and it looks old and raggedy..but it still works great! My mother-in-law handed down the serger about 7 or 8 years ago, and I’m still learning how to use it properly. I have been mostly self-taught in all aspects of sewing, with just a few pointers from some good friends and LOADS of trial and error.

I purchased the old sewing machine table at a thrift store for $10. A friend gave me some left over greenish-blue paint that I used on the top and legs, so that was free.

The table the serger is sitting on is an OLD typewriter stand that my dad passed down to me. The top got ruined in the tornado, so I decided to sand it down and paint it. I went to Lowes and had them use their machine to scan the color on the “inspiration” plaque and then had them mix that color in one of those little sample paint cans that cost 2.97.


The chair was purchased at a thrift store for $5. I went to Hobby Lobby and used a coupon for the material. It was around $8 with the coupon…a little pricey, but I wanted a nice fabric that would last.

sign inspire sign

I bought the two signs from Hobby Lobby with their 40% off specials of the week. The inspiration sign was $2 something, and the Scarlett O’Hara sign was $5 something. I really liked that one since I usually am putting off my sewing projects indefinitely…! I made the cute flower on the sign out of scraps from the chair fabric, and also used scraps to make the ruffle on the lamp shade (the lamp was give to me from a friend a few years ago).

I bought the thread holder full price at Walmart for $9 something..which was still a good deal. Hancock fabric was selling the exact thing for almost $20 and Michaels had it for close to $15. It pays to shop around.

My sewing box was given to me by my sister-in-law, and the basket under the table that holds my knitting/crocheting items was given to me by my mother-in-law. (Yes, I DO have great in-laws!)

Also, not shown in this picture is a chest of drawers that holds my patterns, materials, crafting supplies and sewing supplies.

I’m super excited about starting my next project, now that I have my sewing nook completed! Any ideas???

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Frugal Friday IV

Seems like once you fall of the frugal wagon one week, it sure is hard to get back on the next! It’s been a busy week for me, and when I am busy, it is hard for me to concentrate on being very frugal. Hmm..let’s see…

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some material (with a coupon) to recover a $5 thrift store office chair that I am using in the new sewing nook that I am creating upstairs. My sweet husband took a few minutes and re-upholstered it for me and I absolutely love it. I will post pics of my nook when it gets complete (and yes, this is MY project, so it isn’t going to take two or three years to finish like SOME people’s projects….I won’t mention any names here, but said person lives with me!!!)

I made a home-made pumpkin pie completely from scratch. I had cooked a pumpkin last fall, and froze the pumpkin puree. I made the crust from scratch. When looking over the recipe, I realized I did not have the usual evaporated milk called for, so I kept googling until I found a recipe that had the ingredients that I had on hand. I ended up using cream and the pie was delicious! Using what you have on hand, and not running to the store for every little item is VERY frugal!

Yesterday I had lunch at Starbucks for .29. Earlier in the year, I had purchased a Groupon (before Starbucks’ irritating stand on marriage was brought to light) and I refused to use it. This week, I received an email stating that it was getting ready to expire. While driving around town running errands with only $3 cash in my wallet, I started to think of where I could eat for cheap. I saw the Starbucks sign in the distance, and immediately started salivating just thinking of their Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Before I realized what I was doing, I was standing at the counter with the Latte in one hand, and a ham & swiss pannini in the other. I know, I’m weak!

The only other real frugal thing I did this week was say “yes” to subbing at the school again. If I am working and making money, it means I am not in town spending it!

What did you guys do this week to be frugal?

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Redeeming Love Book Review

redeeming love book cover

I didn’t add a Frugal Friday post last week, as I have been busy trying to get this book finished and reviewed..and boy am I glad that I did~!

I recommend every lady read this book! It is modern day retelling of Hosea’s story. While I love the original story in the Bible, this retelling brought it much closer to home for me.

I enjoy reading Francine Rivers, and there have been very few of her books that I didn’t LOVE~ this one is no exception. The story brought home the deep love of Christ for all his wayward children, even when we repeatedly disappoint Him. He loves us unconditionally. We may feel so unworthy of such love, yet He continues to stay beside us. When we run back to our old sins and past mistakes, He gently calls to us, urging us to come back to Him.

If you would like more info on this book, please visit the author’s website. Here is the link to the first chapter, too….but be warned, you WILL want to continue reading it, and I promise you won’t regret it!

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions, however, are my own.

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