Moving Prep 6 weeks Prior

If you’re moving far away this is the point where you need to stop eating out and use what you have in the fridge and freezer.

No matter where you are moving its time to contact your vet and make arrangements for your pets to be boarded while the movers are working.  I know this seems early but I have had moves where I was unable to board because I hadn’t called early enough and there was no availability.

As I write this I have already made arrangements for my upcoming move.  My vet doesn’t usually do boarding but as it will only be during the day as the movers are working she is going to take my three boys. I made these arrangments last month.

My move date got moved up so I’m now moving in one month instead of three. Needless to say, I will be busy!!! Thankfully it’s a local move so will be much simpler.



Game Night

We live in such a hurried world. I think it’s important to make time for the people that are part of our lives. In my family, we have set one night a week as  Game Night. In the past when I lived closer to my friends we would do this too.

We make dinner together and then play various games. No phones or electronic games just time to catch up on events and enjoy.

Some of our favorites  include ~

Jenga   Giant Jenga is fun for picnicsGenuine Hardwood Jenga Giant Image 2 of 2

Catch Phrase

Apples to Apples


Various Card Games

What games do you and your family enjoy?





Money and the Holidays

I know you’re probably thinking I’m off my nut as its February and I’m writing about Christmas. Trust me! I’ve been doing this for years to make my Christmas season more affordable.

It all started the year my son was born, His birthday is July 2nd. As a single parent, I never wanted him to feel that he was missing out. So I started spending from January 1st until the end of June shopping for his birthday. I usually came across some good gifts for Halloween and Christmas as well and would stash those away for later.

Once my son’s birthday was passed, the rest of the year was all about Christmas.

Now that my son is grown and making his way in the world, I have changed this only in that I now shop for my entire family throughout the year. This saves me so much money! I can get what I want for various family members throughout the year so it’s easier on my budget. I’m also a lot less stressed as I’m usually done with my shopping by the beginning of October. Including a few bottles of wine for those surprise gifts from people, you’re not expecting.

Then in the beginning of December, I only need to buy candy, flowers, and my baking needs.

For the other holidays throughout the year, I do my buying a month or two ahead for gifts. For decorating I have to decide how much do want this item?? Am I willing to wait for it to go on sale and risk losing it? This year I found my door hanger for Valentine’s Day in the bargain bin at Target. I spent less than $3.

What tips and tricks do you have to save money on the holidays?  I’d love to hear from you!

Moving Prep 2 Months Prior

At this point its time to get your boxes. Rather than spending tons of money buying boxes from the moving and getting pennies on the dollar back ~ go to your local market and ask them to set aside the dry goods boxes for you. Don’t forget to get a few boxes from the liquor dept to help with your wine and liquor bottles.

Get a change of address form for each person in the family.

Obviously, you’ll still need to get wardrobe and dish boxes.

Also, start really thinking about your all-important first-week box. What do you truly need?

If you have pets you’ll need their food. and bowls. Toys. Litter, leashes, their meds etc

 All Medications

clothing and sleepwear

shampoo and conditioner, hair care products, body wash, towels, toilet paper, shower curtain

bedding and pillows

cleaning supplies

pen and paper

trash bags


All Legal documents ~ passports, closing papers, housing documents, IDs, bank documents,

cd player and a stack of favorite CDs

glasses and plates for one week

reading glasses and a book

champagne and the all-important take-out menu for your favorite restaurants ~ I don’t do a whole lot of take out but when your packing or unpacking your life it’s necessary. Let’s be real its exhausting!!!

As you start packing number your boxes and keep a list a listing of what’s in each box as well as what room it’s going in. This will help you when your unpacking.

I also like to put together an unpacking box ~

box cutter


paper towels and hand soap for the kitchen and each bathroom

cleaning spray and cloths

laundry soap, dryer sheets

a box of Kind bars and some fresh fruit

pain reliever, bio freeze, a heating pad and a bag of frozen peas ~ packing and unpacking are hard work!! As my Mom always said and I’ve always told my son “Expect the best, prepare for the worst”  Living with Fibromyalgia or any Chronic Illness it’s better to be safe.










A Do~able Cleaning Schedule

If you’re like me before your health issues became truly noticeable and changed your life, you most likely did some dusting, laundry and vacuuming during the work week and the big house clean in one day one the weekend.

Before cleaning I always crank up the stereo. This always helps lift my spirits and get me going.

I can still clean my home in a day when I’m feeling good. That is if I don’t mind being down for the next two to three days afterward. As a single lady ~ that’s just not acceptable.



So I started thinking about how to best to clean and maintain my home while not exhausting myself.

I now take one room a day and clean it.

Once a week I clean out my refrigerator and clean the stove and oven. Sweep the patio. Each one a different day.

Every other week I dust the fans, light fixtures.

Once a month clean the headers and baseboards.

I also have plants everywhere to keep the air in my home clean. This is especially helpful when I have to be stuck inside running the heating or cooling.

I sure hope this helps!  Wha do you do to maintain your home without overdoing?

Love and hugs ~ Shellie


The Hidden Costs of Moving

No matter how many times I move and trust it’s been far too many to count, there are always fees that I’ve somehow managed to forget.

So here are some of the hidden costs, the ones that you absolutely need to plan some extra money for.

restocking the pantry, fridge, freezer ~ No Matter how close or far your moving. You’ll need new spices, milk and other perishables, frozen foods or maybe just an extra bag of peas for your stressed muscles and joints.

moving supplies ~ box cutter, sharpies, box tape, bubble wrap, Speciality boxes for tv’s, antiques. etc.

eating out/ordering in

tipping the movers ~  depending on how many hours your movers are working and the quality of work. You’ll be looking at a 10-20% tip.

gas ~ eve moving locally there is a lot more driving during a move. For supplies, the trips looking at places, gathering supplies, going to clean your new home before move in, etc.

hiring helpers ~ even if choose to move with U-Haul, living with Chronic Pain, Chronic Illness you’re going to want to hire people to pack and unpack the truck for you.

travel ~ if you’re moving far away, that means at least a trip or two to your new location. You need to fly out and look at the area and find your new home.

Hotels and transportation.  Eating out.

tools ~ if you don’t already have a toolkit. This is the time to buy a good hammer and a couple screwdrivers.





Swiss Cheeese Fondue

There are two ways depending on your time and how your feeling.

The quick and easy way ~Go to Trader Joes and purchase their Swiss Cheese fondue. Add about 1/2 cup good quality Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

You want to get a good quality wine as it directly affects the flavor and outcome of your fondue.

* Serve with sliced apple, pear, orange, celery, carrots, broccoli, french bread, ham and turkey. Whatever you like. Serve with the rest of the wine.

The real way ~

2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped. Crush with the side of the blade first this releases the flavor.

8 oz shredded Swiss

8 oz shredded Gruyere

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup good quality Sauvignon Blanc

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup Brandy

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

small pinch nutmeg

Place shredded cheese in a ziplock with the cornstarch and shake until all the cheese is coated.

Put the garlic in a pot and saute.

Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer.

Slowly add the cheese in small amounts stirring constantly.

Once the cheese is completely melted and smooth of any lumps, add the brandy, nutmeg and mustard. Stir.

Transfer to fondue pot to serve.

  • serve with dippers listed above or your favorites.


Crab Enchiladas

Crab Enchiladas are traditionally made with a sour cream sauce. However, I  really wanted to make them this time with a Green Chile Enchilada Sauce. I use Palmas.

I always use frozen crab. I get mine from Trader Joes. Its already been shelled and is ready to use. Plus it doesn’t have the tinny taste of canned.

1 pack small taco flour tortillas if you prefer corn that’s fine.

2 bags shredded Mexican cheese. I simply can’t sit and grate my own cheese anymore ~ the arthritis in my hands won’t allow it.

2 cans chopped green chiles

2 cans chopped black olives

garlic and onion powder, black pepper

1 9  by 11 rectangular dish

Start by pouring enough of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.Put a layer of tortillas, then cheese, crab, spices, chiles and olives.


The top layer should be sauce tortillas and cheese.

I apologize for the lack of pictures, I recently purchased a Chromebook and am learning to use it as fast as I can.

Hugs ~ Shellie



Lobster Salad

For this salad, I use Langastino Lobster. I buy it frozen at Trader Joes to keep it cost effective.

3 hours before starting I put the lobster in a bowl of ice water with lemon so that it doesn’t taste fishy.

I make a simple salad for this using hearts of romaine and spinach. Torn into small bite-sized pieces.

1 Roma Tomato Cut into bite-sized pieces.

1 Avocado also cut into bite-sized pieces.

For an intimate meal, I would assemble the salads in the bowls and serve with a good quality Sauvignon Blanc and some sourdough bread.

Serves 2