Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Garden Goodies in Winter

Today is the last day of February for 2024.  

Hopefully it's the last day of our winter as well.  Although, every day has been up and down weather, and yes, more snow yesterday.


I've been focusing meals on what we froze from the garden, what was stocked up in the freezer, and what's in the pantry as well.  It's getting close to spring, and we still have a lot of green beans and green peppers in our freezer.

I didn't get a lot of photos, as we were enjoying our dinner, but here was what I came up with recently.

Dinner - meatball casserole with dollops of ricotta.  I used homemade frozen (then cooked) meatballs, and home canned tomato sauce for this.  I also thawed some diced yellow squash and added that to the sauce (I wanted asparagus, but we were out).  The squash was also from the garden.

 The meatballs are made with organic oats vs. bread crumbs.  We topped the meatball "casserole" over frozen and thawed garden spaghetti squash.  In the future, I will layer the spaghetti squash in the baking dish first, and bake it all together.  Either way, it was delicious.

I roasted green beans using frozen garden green beans. I used homemade garlic powder, then when it came out of the oven, added some parmesan cheese.

I baked a dozen sausage egg cups, with our farm fresh eggs, and one cup of already cooked sage sausage from the freezer.

I'm already making breakfast plans, to use some delicious garden bell peppers we froze last year.  There will be some scrambles, hash/egg dishes, more egg cups, and crust-less quiches or breakfast bakes.  I will be adding them to lunch and dinner as well.  They are delicious in omelets.

What's your favorite way to use frozen (diced) bell peppers from your garden?  

Garden Goodies in Winter   © Feb 2024 by Kristina at Pioneer Woman at Heart

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Sitting on the Front Porch in February


Update on the Tex Mex Sweet Potatoes and Onions:  Delicious!  However, I keep forgetting that our jalapenos from last year, were very "hot" in flavor (hence the small amount on my plate).  

It ended up very spicy, but next time I will cut the jalapenos to a smaller amount, ha ha!  I cannot find the recipe online, so you'll need to borrow the cookbook from your local library.  We served the side with homemade chicken enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce.

My chicken enchiladas are filled with sauce, then a layer of cooked onion, chicken, chilies, and black beans (salt and pepper), and some cheese.

The enchiladas are super easy to make.  I cooked my chicken in the crock pot the day before, and the sauce can be made up to 3 days before (stored in the fridge).

On Monday, we had a 65°F day!  Sitting on the porch in February is unheard of in our area, and I took advantage of it.

Not once in the day, but twice I got to enjoy our front porch.  When my husband got home, and after dinner. we enjoyed the front porch until the cooler air set in.  

Tuesday, we hit a record for the month, and the day.  We heated up to a whopping 73°F (a feels like temperature of 76°F).  I got another day of reading on the front porch in February!

Rain moved in with thunderstorms overnight, but should end today.  The weather is to dip to a very cold 13°F (feels like) by tonight.  We may even get snow later today, after the rain stops.

Yes, I said that right.  Crazy weather.  The spring daffodils are starting to come up right now.  

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Homemade Hair Detangler ~ Update

 In the beginning of February (2024), I made homemade hair detangler (recipe is online with Mommypotamus).  I was quite impressed when I brewed the tea for this on the first batch.  It uses marshmallow root for the tea making part, and it creates a wonderful "conditioner" spray for the hair (mucilage properties).

My review?  It takes about as much effort to comb out my hair with homemade detangler vs. store bought (chemical free/no preservatives).

I have new hair growth underneath the back hair, and very slightly around the brow area.  It is said that the marshmallow root can repair damaged hair and encourage new, healthy hair growth.

I absolutely love my hair after using it, and I letting it dry as much as possible without a hair dryer.  My hair is softer, feels better, and looks so much better.  My scalp feels better as well.

The only draw back I see, is that by storing it in the refrigerator, the oils (jojoba and any essential oils if you add them) in this will harden.  I have to take it out of the refrigerator, with enough time to "thaw" it all, prior to using it.

Otherwise, when you get down to the bottom of the spray bottle, you are left with mostly oils and it will definitely make your hair look oily.  By this I mean, if you use it daily, and use it right out of the fridge, before the oils can warm up to a total liquid spray.

Also, I drape a towel around my next when I spray this on, so that the "tea" does not stain any of my clothing.  So far it has not, but to be sure, I do this as well.

Overall, I will continue to use it, and see how much new hair growth, and repaired hair I get.  My daughter, the hair stylist, said it has to be much healthier for my hair vs. store bought.

If I remember, I will try and update in maybe 6 months of use.  It is very easy to make, and use.  The first batch I added lavender essential oil, but the next batch is without any essential oils (to see if it really made a difference).

Homemade Hair Detangler ~ Update  © Feb 2024 by Kristina at Pioneer Woman at Heart

Monday, February 26, 2024

Happy Homemaker Monday

 Today is definitely a "happy" homemaker day.  Waking up to new floors in the hall and the kitchen is a game changer.  It really brightened up the house.  If you didn't see the photos of the hallway progress, you can see the post HERE.  

Today is the last Monday of February 2024.  How will you be spending your day today?  Time flies by way too fast.

We are getting a lot finished on the to-do list, and boy it feels great.  No more pattern binders piled in the living room, another lap afghan finished, kitchen blinds/windows cleaned, and so forth.  We still have a bit of work in the hall, but it's 98% done!

We haven't decided on the next course of action, but with spring around the corner, we may be back to working on our waist high, raised beds (a project from last spring).  There is the complete garage clean out, and the drywall repair/new outlet and window project too, to think about.  

I think I forgot to buy new seeds for some winter squash for this years garden, so I need to get on that before the week is over.

Also, in the process of moving the refrigerator, I realized how many printed recipes I had on the side (with magnet clips).  Oh boy.  They have been there for a few years.  I guess I just forgot about them, and secondly, I just don't have the time to try them all.   Some are tried recipes, but for the most part are recipes to try.  Once again, I let them pile up.  A very bad habit of mine.  It's on the purge/clean list for the week.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

The weather . . .

The sun will be out, but the rain moves in tonight.  It will be warming up too.

Right now I am . . .

Brewing another pot of coffee.

Thinking and pondering . . .

I had to toss out the plastic floor mat, that was under my computer chair (in the kitchen).  I'm considering replacing it to protect the flooring, but stores here do not carry the clear ones, or any for that matter, for non-carpet floors.  I had to buy the last one online.  My husband says we really don't need one, but the wheels do put wear and tear on the flooring.

How I am feeling . . .

Tired, but a good tired.

On the breakfast plate . . .

I'm thinking I will bake Cheddar and Chili Egg Casserole.

And blueberry link sausages.

On the lunch plate . . .


On the dinner plate . . .

I put about a half batch of a new recipe in the crockpot.  It'll be a side for tonight's yet-to-decide dinner.  I'll let you know if it's good.  The original recipe calls for 5 sweet potatoes and 3 onions.  Hence why I made a half batch of this.  I used frozen jalapenos from last years garden.

On the menu . . .

Again, I didn't have time to plan this yet.  I will work on this today.  I'm going to base my menu on what's in the freezer.  Stay tuned.

On my reading pile . . .

On my TV . . .

Whatever looks interesting.

Looking around the house . . .

 The kitchen was swept and mopped, and everything is finally moved back in their place.  We used those felt mover pads, and it worked for most of it.  We'll add felt floor protectors to the legs too. 

To-do List . . .

-breakfast for the next few days 
-sweep/mop the rest of the floors
-any laundry left from the weekend
-put trash out

For the week:
-prime hallway entry door

From the camera . . .

Yikes!  I have nothing to share today, other than my crochet projects below.

What I am crocheting . . .

Finished this lap afghan.  The idea is to only use yarn I have, so the top and bottom are different gray colors, but it worked.

I'm back to working on this blanket, while the weather is cooler, but on warmer days I am not.

Devotional, Bible Verses, Prayers. . .

Prayers for our youngest, as she is sick and the doctor was unsure of what was the cause of it is.  I delivered her some homemade ginger-ale, but she is still pretty sick.

Happy Homemaker Monday  © Feb 2024 by Kristina at Pioneer Woman at Heart

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Up and Down Weather


The last Sunday in February.  We went from 60 degree weather earlier in the week, to cold 30°F with a windchill  of 20°F, and snow.

The forecast is all over the chart for next week.  We are to warm back up to a delightful 66°F, but with it comes thunderstorms and wind.  We just can't win this time of year.

I do love the sunshine.  We got a glimpse of it yesterday, but it hopefully, we'll see more of it today.

Happy Sunday!  I hope you all get some rest and R & R today.

Up and Down Weather  © Feb 2024 by Kristina at Pioneer Woman at Heart

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Kitchen ~ Pattern Binder Purge


Friday was an extremely foggy day.  I was a bit worried about my husband's drive to work. By 11am, the fog had lifted.

My husband and I were not happy with the glue-down flooring that was installed in the kitchen, after half of the floor was torn out for joist replacements and new subfloor over a year ago.  it was coming up, spreading apart and dirt was sticking in the cracks.

A wrench in my winter hallway repairs, but the flooring was on sale, and the installers were free, so my husband made arrangements.

On Wednesday, we emptied the entire kitchen, other than the refrigerator.  The flooring/installers were to arrive at 10-11am Thursday to install (same flooring as hallway).  Around noon, I am notified that they are not going to make it.  Friday they arrived, but had to come back on Saturday to finish up.  Hence my delay on posting.

During my waiting process, I had collected all of the pattern binders (but one), purged them all, tossed out what was junk, and gave away a pile of unwanted patterns.   Whew!  Project binder purge is DONE!  Checked off the to-do list! 

In the process of re-flooring the kitchen, we removed the only base board electrical heater and a new electrical outlet was installed.  We do not need the heater, and it was malfunctioning anyway (a hazard if left installed). 

New floor trim was installed where the heater was, and I had to paint a bit, but it all looks great.

I would say 90% of the hallway, and kitchen floor trim was re-installed. I painted the kitchen trim, so that saved us money, but we needed trim for the hallway.

Also, the computer chair, at our kitchen desk area had to be replaced.  I was not prepared for that expense.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Repairs/Renovations Progress ~ Winter Projects

Here is an update on our progress on our winter project list.  We've made some headway with the hallway, and a small repair in the master bedroom.

If you have followed my blog, you know that we started the hallway repairs/renovations 3 years ago.  

Life happens.  There were appointments, losing people we love, taking advantage of a time where someone could rip out our carpet for us (changing plans), and so forth.  I'm just glad I we got back on track.

The hallway has two steps in two locations, longer than normal, wider and the lowest part has a high ceiling.  It's on a cement slab as well.

It is so wide, we had several bookshelves in there, to accommodate books for the kids and myself.  When the local town library closed, I brought home a ton of books that were educational, and good for school needs.

Since then, the bookshelves were emptied, books donated, and bookshelves taken out.

(January 2021)

It all started with ripping out the carpet and getting new flooring.  The dogs and cats, and constant foot traffic wore the carpet out.  Well, that flooring (that first replaced the carpet) is being changed due to the fact we had to rip out all of the half wall paneling, so nothing matches color-wise.


We have been looking at flooring at every hardware store in the area, for the hallway (and kitchen). 

These 3 photos were taken in different light/location in the hall.  You can see that the original paint looks different in each one.  It is why it took us so long to pick out a paint color.

We decided on our paint color, but in complete shock on the price.  A gallon went up almost $14.00!   A whopping, almost $68.98!  I had to laugh when I friend said I was "overthinking" on the process of picking a color.

(This is the flooring we picked out {earlier photo prior to painting})

The hallway walls are now painted, other than the repaired drywall areas.  The color depends on the light coming in at the moment, but it is a farmhouse gray, and we love it!

The new flooring was picked up and installed.  It's very close to the color of the remainder of the house, but we did have to go with sheet vinyl flooring for this project.  Older houses do not have exactly flat flooring, ha ha!  Nothing is square either.  Either way, it saved us money, and it looks great!  I'll most likely be looking for a few runner rugs soon.

What's left to do?  Mud the repaired drywall areas one more time (done), sand and paint them.  Once that is done, we need to install floor trim.   We need to do some work for the two steps in the hallway as well.  Personally, once that is done, I may look into motion sensor strip lights for both steps, so we can see them more easily at night.

 We also need to paint the interior door to the garage and re-install door trim, and prime and paint the entry door.  Oh, and install the other light fixture.

We went to pick up the other light fixture, and they did not get them in as they said they would.  I will have to order it online.  No stores in the area had any in stock.  Well, there is a store within a 1 hour drive, that has them in stock, but we just don't have that kind of time right now.

Out with the old, and in with the new!  I've had this new switch plate since 2021.  They are USA made.  I can't believe I found where I had stored it all these years, but it's replacing the old one.  The old one is being donated.

Speaking of windows, I finally removed 15 year old scotch tape on the outside of the door window.  The kids, over the years, taped birthday (or other party) signs to the outside, and the residue was left.  It has been cleaned off completely now.

One of the electrical outlets in the master bedroom has been installed.  One more needs replaced, but that is part of an entirely different repair job that we'll tackle later.