One of our daughters got married last fall. I’d like to share how we saved money and how we made the preparations easier.

One of the biggest expenses, after the hall of course, is the dress.  As soon as she got engaged, my daughter made a dash for the local consignment shop that has an extensive bridal department.  Our eldest daughter got her dress there, as had at least 6 other people that we know.  She found a dress that fit perfectly and was priced just below 100$!


Since it was a halter top we went to our trusty seamstress, my mom, and she whipped up a bolero that fit perfectly!

Veil?  These things are pricey!  We used my oldest daughter’s veil from her wedding.



Bridesmaids dresses can be so expensive… my daughter found some she liked online.  With shipping they were under 60$… back to trusty seamstress for some major hemming and minor alterations….


Flowers?  Another very costly expense.  We could have made our own bouquets… but we were pressed for time.  The next best thing?  Stop and Shop.  I brought some pictures of bouquets my daughter liked, we cut cost by using carnations instead of roses.  We did bouquets for the girls and boutonniere’s for the guys.  No corsages for mom’s or grand mom’s.  We had a family pick up the flowers in the morning and deliver to church.  Delegation is key!

One expense I decided needed to be made was to have a hairdresser come to the house for the girls.  It was cheaper than going to the salon, and a real stress reliever on getting ready… seeing as all the girls, except bride, have super long hair.

We didn’t rent tuxes, all the guys, including my husband, wore their church suits.

My daughter wanted to utilize the flower girl dress my mom made for my wedding, but it really was too big for the smallest member of my family. Once again, my mom came to the rescue. She just “whipped” up a dress in like an hour. She called me and said “all set”

Centerpieces? No problem! I hit up my stash of beloved vintage canning jars. We added some grains and candles and poof!

Favours? Easy! Went to our trusty Church rummage sale for all the wine glasses we could find. Not only did they add an eclectic flavor, the guests got to take them home!

We saved majorly on the wedding cake. One of my daughters made the cake! Delicious carrot cake with cream cheese icing! The large pumpkin is cake, the smaller two are frosted “props” and she made up six sheet cakes to cut up for guests.

We had so many talented people donate their time….the DJ was a cousin of the grooms mom, photographer was a friend of the grooms family, the appetizers were done up by a catering friend….super amazing! (Wish I had grabbed a picture!)
I’m sure I’m missing things as it’s been 8 months!





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Random moments


I love when I catch the kids at random times doing things that I’m not expecting.

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Use number 1021 for canning jars…


Centerpieces for our daughter’s November wedding!

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We’ve been crazy busy canning corn and tomato sauce for the past couple weeks.


Funny how you forget things.  I couldn’t remember if I was supposed to use 10 or 15 lbs of pressure.  I googled it and…..


They were wrong.  On the left is 15 lbs of pressure, the right is 10.

Filling jars vs packing tightly because you want to cram as much in as you can to get it done as quickly as you can because there is so much to do! Phew.


Plus I had a good amount of jars that didn’t seal.  I was in a hurry because we had bushels and bushels to process, so i would help the pressure cooker out by releasing the steam.  Note to self….let pressure go down on its own.  It makes for a much nicer product.


So pretty :-).

I love processing and seeing all those lovely jars!



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Our 9 year old oven finally gave out.  We were fortunate to find an affordable replacement via Craigslist.


As soon as my husband finished installing it, the girls started baking!


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As I sat, sipping my morning coffee, this quiet morning, I felt the cool breeze coming through the open window next to me.

I heard the faint squeals of the new piglets up on the hill.  I heard the dogs barking at our outside cat, that likes to languish just out their reach.  I thought of my children blissfully still asleep.  I thought of my husband who just left for work, and two of my children that I had just dropped off at their summer farm job.  I thought of my children that have grown up and moved on with their own families….

I looked around at my small house, realizing how full it is….

Full of life.  Full of love.


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I love my vintage mason jars! I love filling them….they make me happy 🙂


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Future bread baker










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decisions, decisions….decisions.

Is it me?  Or has the quality of EVERYTHING gone so far downhill that anything you purchase is destined for the dumpster pile in a few years?  Where is the quality of old?  Is our society so consumer conscious that the manufacturers purposely design things to NOT last?

Lets see, my “top of the line” front loading washer and matching dryer died, repeatedly, after a year, finally retired them after 4 years.  My fridge, bought at the same time as the washer/dryer combo, died in about 6 years.  My 5 burner gas cooktop…. exploded!  twice!  retired that after  7 years of use.  My ovens are on their way out, 8 years old…. you get the picture.  I won’t even mention the number of vacuums I’ve burned out, yes, even Shop Vac’s.  Anyway, I digress.

My highly used, and much loved, Kitchenaid mixer has broken, again.  I have broken 3, yes 3, of the 6 quart pro-line models.  We make all of our own bread, pizza dough, cookies, cakes, anything you want to put in a mixer… we do it!

My dilemma and decision now… do I get another, bigger Kitchenaid (which makes me happy when I see it on my counter), do I go with an Electrolux, which is rated awesome for making bread dough, and is VERY different from what I’m used to.  Do I try to find a decent used Hobart 12 or 20 quart that doesn’t cost me my first born…..

You see, when funds are limited, you want to make the best purchase possible, you want something to last, you want to love it!   I’m not so sure there is a product that will last anymore, hence…. what do you want to throw your money away on for a few years?

So… I’m obsessing!

To Kitchenaids credit, when I called to ask about the new bigger machines and I told them how I’d broken 3 of the 600 series, they offered me 20% off one of the bigger ones.  Which brings it about to what Amazon charges, but will include a 5 year warranty vs the 1 year.  Tempting….

For now… my dad found, at the dump!, an older Kitchenaid 5 quart, …….he’s letting me borrow it :).

p.s. my old KA 4 1/2 q is still going strong, passed it on to my daughter 10 years ago.

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The best job…

One of my favorite jobs as a mom is to rock a cuddly kid early in the morning.  They come to you all bleary eyed and say “can you rock me?”  Sheer heaven I tell ya!

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