Christmas Music Star Garland The Prudent Homemaker

I’m still moving slowly and unable to sit, which makes getting things done fairly difficult. It also means a lot of almost every single one of my goals from last month are still items on my to-do list.

Knowing my limited mobility, I’m making this month’s goals more in line with what I can do physically. I’d also like to finish making Christmas gifts. The list of gift ideas keeps growing, making the task a bit harder! My orignal plan was to finish those last month, leaving me time to work on some sewing for the house this month. I’d still like to do lots of sewing for the house this month, if I can fit in both. While I am limited in some things, I’m also healing and can do more than I could last month. 



1. Sew Christmas and birthday gifts for the children

2. Finish sewing two pillows for the living room

3. Sew pillow cover for another pillow in the living room

4. Sew and embroider dish towel for the kitchen

5. Recover ottoman

6. Sew pillow and cover for the library

7. If other projects are finished, cut fabric for curtains and matching pillow for bedroom


Holiday Decorating:

1. Cut ribbons for hanging wreaths and hang two wreaths

2. Make (and hang) star garlands using a star punch, some cardstock, and the sewing machine

3. Make a fresh garland for the mirror

4. Cut greens for the urns on the piano

5. Make arrangements for the table

6. Cut arrangement for the entry table

7. Cut arrangement for the library

8. Make some pinecone arrangements in the house

9. Choose jars for epsom salt displays with miniature trees

10. Arrange kitchen displays

11. Set up gift wrapping station in the laundry room and start wrapping presents



1. Wash all brushes and combs

2. Wash makeup brushes

3. Put away outgrown clothing that the children have brought into my room



1. Take new individual family photos of the children and my husband

2. Take silhouette photos in preparation to cut silhouettes

3. Help my husband with curtain rod (we’re making one from electrical conduit)

5. Iron and hang curtains in library

6. Help my husband update his website



1. Harvest lemons

2. Pull out plants that died with the frost

3. Plant a few fall/winter plants

4. Plant seeds

5. Prune grape vines

6. Prune rose bushes at the end of the month


Shopping (with help from my husband, as I cannot drive):

1. Order photo prints of new pictures for the dining room and my bedroom from Sam’s Club

2. Purchase items on my grocery list on sale

3. Purchase a few gifts at Target (they have this clay for $3 in the dollar section right now).

4. Purchase some seasonal plants at the nursery

Lemon Meringue Pie The Prudent Homemaker


1. Make cookies using this recipe and this recipe, plus a couple other recipes

2. Make rosemary olive oil bread for gifts

3. Make French bread

5. Make banana bread

6. Make lemon bars

7. Make lemon meringue pie

8. Make lemon poppyseed muffins



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  1. Hi Brandy & all from Australia :).

    Our goals this month are –

    In the garden –
    – replant corn that was damaged in the recent hail storms.
    – replant any areas where hail totally wiped out crops with other seeds.
    – continue to weed garden beds at back & assess hail damage in back paddock gardens.
    – plant out broccoli, beetroot, onion seedlings on back stairs into garden.

    Groceries –
    – keeping spending to a minimum on Dec 15 and only stocking up on basics until next shop on 15th January next year due to us stocking up on specials on meat & personal care items which put us over budget. We have enough pantry & meat stocks to last way past then & then will access basics needed to be purchased to top up then.

    Husband’s birthday –
    – Will be hiring some videos for him that he wanted to watch as he missed seeing them in the cinemas.

    Christmas –
    – Just a really quiet one at home with my husband & myself. We decided we would make chocolate caramel fudge for a treat for ourselves for the day as well as a lovely baked dinner. We make our own condensed milk for this from powdered milk instead of buying it, to use in our chocolate caramel fudge so it is really low cost. Will probably have another rare treat with some sparkling grape juice with tea too, that we have been saving in the pantry.

  2. Your lemon meringue pie looks divine ! It is my chosen birthday “cake” that my mom makes for me every year.
    I had a needed surgery last month that has pulled me back from my usual chore list so I can sympathize with your frustration of finding out what you can get done verses what you want to get done around the house. I hope you are feeling better with every passing day.

  3. I LOVE that star garland! It is so pretty!
    One thing I do monthly is soak the toothbrushes in boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes to kill germs.

  4. I have had to adjust all of my to-do’s as well! With my broken knee in a brace from the top of my leg to my ankle, it makes it difficult. I realized after a couple of weeks that if I plan my meals out better and get my husband to take out the pots and pans, etc. before he goes to work, I can get more done. That and I’ve just had to realize that I can’t do some things and have relied on help from others. One of these days I’ll be able to lean over and you’ll be able to sit! We’ll get there!

  5. You might want to check into the possibility of suspending your car insurance for yourself for the next month if you won’t be able to drive. Not sure how much money that would save.

  6. It’s SO easy! I made it yesterday. I just printed a couple of Christmas songs on cardstock, punched out the stars, and sewed it on the sewing machine. I am making the others plain cardstock.

    I love the toothbrush idea. That’s a great one. I think I should do that as well. It doesn’t take long!

  7. You work circles around me even with 7 children and an injury. I went to the doctor this morning. He had to remove the toe nail from my big toe on my left foot. Who would believe a toe could cause as much pain as this does. It is throbbing like crazy right now. (no pain pills for me because I take pain meds for arthritis, but it is not helping the toe)
    I love your garland. So pretty. Your lemon pie looks so pretty. I know it was tasty.
    I have curtain rods in my home made with conduit. They look great. I painted mine a bronze color and added an end piece. My husband made ours to fit a bay window in our bedroom. A rod for that window would have been so expensive.

  8. I’ve only recently found your site. You are helping me stay focused and be more organized greatly! Thank you!!

  9. Healing from tailbone injuries is terrible. Glad to hear you’re slowly healing. I bet once you can sit comfortably again you won’t be taking sitting down for granted anytime soon :). I know when I bruised my tailbone being able to sit without pain didn’t lose it’s novelty for a LONG time.

    Things, thank the Lord, are looking up around here. My husband talked to his brother who works for the biggest electrical company in our area yesterday and was told, once again, that his boss would take my husband or my other brother-in-law in a heartbeat as their work has one heck of a reputation around here. So, it took a load off my mind that my husband has a job waiting “in the wings” when we need it. We’re finally getting paid today, so having back pay takes a load off of my mind and my husband is picking up side work to help supplement the not-great income he’s making right now, so hopefully HOPEFULLY we can finally start pulling out of this downward financial spiral we’re in soon. I’m hopeful, really truly hopeful, for the first time in a long time.

    Anyway, tangent aside *laugh* my list for the month can be found here…

  10. It is good to hear you are making improvement. I had a major back injury years ago. My suggestion is to take it slow and heal. I had to make significant changes to my goals then. It seems the body has its own schedule in the repairing process.

    I have been on the project of moving our quilt and yarn store out of the warehouse and into home our home since October. This has involved a restructuring of the carriage house [10×20 building] and the garage. I will sell on Etsy and eBay next year. I have also had many rehab appointments with my husband due to his minor stroke to deal with as well. I told my friend yesterday that when I am done with this move I probably won’t want to do anything for a year. 😉 Fortunately I am not hosting Christmas this year, which takes a huge burden off my shoulders.

    [b]Out of Warehouse[/b] – target date Jan 25, 2016
    o Reclean garage and carriage house Dec 1, 2015 [Joanna] Yea 1 done!
    o Garage ceiling shelves finished. We are moving bulky items to these shelves that hang from the ceiling. We purchased them from Costco. We had bought 2 at full price the first of Nov and put them up. Then they went on sale. Costco gave us the sale price rebate and I bought 2 more while they were on sale. This way we have 4 for the price of 3. We will store bulky items up there. It will open up more floor space. We have an insulated finished garage- Dec 6, 2015 [Ryan]
    o Gather all boxes on to rolling cart shelves at warehouse – Dec 13, 2015 [Sarah and Joanna]
    o Move – Dec 29, 2015 [Moving company]
    • House Holiday
    o Set tree up – Dec 6 [Ryan and Joshua]
    o Decorate living room – Dec 6 [me]
    o Create Christmas list. This year I am using items from my other 3 small businesses to draw on my gifts. This will save us quite a bit of money. Today!!! [me]
    • 50th Wedding Anniversary – find something special that will be a lasting memory for my husband and I] Our original plans are changed due to my husband’s minor stroke. Dec 7-11 [me with my husband’s suggestions]
    • Vehicles
    o I already changed their oil and checked antifreeze last week.
    o Get estimate on front bumper repair on the PT. Most frustrating. This happened in Aug at the same time our grandson opened a car door and “nicked” another person’s car door. They insisted on going through insurance. We couldn’t put 2 claims into the insurance company in 1 week without an increase in premiums. This repair is straight out of pocket.  Glad I have an emergency fund saved. I have drug my feet in doing this repair because of the expense. Dec 9
    o Find the wheels for the other PT in the warehouse and have them put on the car. Dec 14-16
    • House
    o Get estimate and fix the fireplace fan. We use it to heat in the mornings. I found this saved considerable expense on the natural gas bill last year. Today the person is coming! Yay!
    o Get estimate on adding a shower to the downstairs ½ bath. My husband and I are having more difficulty going upstairs where our bedroom is located. Due to my husband’s stroke we have been sleeping downstairs. This would greatly help. Our son that lives with us likes this idea. We are a multigenerational family with son and grandson living with us. He has worried in particular about my husband falling down the stairs. He has improved but still a worry. We looked into moving in May but could not find something suitable that would meet our needs and price range. Dec 7-11

  11. Wondering–what size are your stars? I was going to make them cookie-cutter-size, but then I saw that you punched them out and wondered if I was imaging them bigger than yours.

    Wishing you continued recovery!

  12. Sorry to bother you again–how did you manage to get them evenly spaced? I tried it, and some of the stars were too far apart. Or with enough space in between them, did you not worry about it?

  13. I pulled each star back from the sewing machine about the same amount (I eyeballed it) before adding the next one. That was the part I was most worried about, and for the most part, they are even. If you need to check the length of your garland, though, do it when there is a star under the presser foot 😀 I learned the hard way that when I did that it would pull the thread too much.

    I hope that helps!

  14. Christmas: Purchase the last few gifts for my family, Finish my daughters T-shirt quilt and her pj pants, figure out a way to put up the tree and keep the kittens and puppy from getting into trouble (we may skip a tree this year – but I really hate to do that) and then bake, and bake, and bake – I make ALOT of “goodie baskets” for family and friends. Oh I also need to pull together all the ingredients for our Christmas breakfast we do here at home with the kids.

    Pantry: Finish stocking the baking items (already got the flour and sugar I needed) and get another bag of rice + more beans and replenish any spices that are low. I also am low on powdered milk.

    Animal feed: Lucky for us, the dogs food is $6 off a bag until December 24th so we will be getting another 3-4 bags of that over the next couple weeks. I also need to get another 2 large bags of the cat food. I only need 4 more bags of poultry feed to finish up my 6 months worth.

    Sewing: I need to start working on recovering the camper cushions from the trailer we are “flipping” for selling the spring. Then I need to photograph and list a few things for my Etsy shop and replenish the feed sack totes that have sold.

    I also have some saving goals I want to work on – I need a better emergency fund for vet expenses that may come up – especially if we have any come up when we are traveling. Since we do not have credit cards, we need a fund for this. I also want to work on getting a fund going for purchasing property for camping use and eventually for a small home to “retire” to – something that can be off grid. So I need to redo our budget with the husband to make these things start to happen in the new year. Other than our mortgage, we are debt free and only deal with cash which is how we want to keep it.

  15. Hey everyone! I’ve been laid up since right after Thanksgiving with the nastiest of colds so I’ve just soaked my toothbrushes in peroxide and will do so again as soon as I feel this virus is gone. The boiling water doesn’t melt the toothbrush? I would have never thought of doing that. I’ll probably just stick to my quick & lazy girl way of plopping them into the dish with peroxide though. I feel for all the mama’s down for the count at this very busy time of year! Most times we are “it”. Brandy you are blessed to have many hands to help make your work light during this time while you are recuperating and I agree with a previous post that you did re: not realizing how much you do until you can’t do it! My hubby had a stroke three years ago so he can’t drive and needs me to help him in many ways so to hear you say your husband is driving you for your errands is nice. My daughter is some help, she can drive, but also works full time and has health issues of her own to contend with. Anyway, life is still good. I just can’t wait to be back at full speed! Stay weel, all!~TJ

  16. Really Brandy, even when I am well, I don’t have the To Do list that you have right now! Goodness, all the multivitamins in the world don’t give me that kind of energy, lol! I’ve always said “I was built for comfort, not for speed”. And that’s the truth. Anyway, what an elegant, simple decoration your garland is. I love it! And your pie brought back memories of my great grandmother, “Ma”. She would always make lemon meringue and chocolate meringue pies. As a kid, lemon wasn’t my cup of tea but the chocolate! Oh…I still crave those chocolate pies to this day! She would let me make my own mud pies out in her yard when I visited, bless her heart, the mess that must have been to deal with when I was done! Ah, memories… Take it easy on yourself, Miss B you don’t want to take two steps forward and end up having to take two steps back. Feel better!~TJ

  17. Put the toothbrushes, and the combs (once the hair has been removed) through the dishwasher on a sanitize or hot water cycle with the silverware.

  18. Praying for your continued recovery! Also I hope you are encouraged by whatever you accomplish.

  19. I do the dishwasher for the hairbrushes and combs too. It makes them sparkling clean again!! I haven’t tried toothbrushes, as we both use electric ones.

  20. My Mom was famous for her lemon meringue pie—everyone always wanted her to bring it for any pot luck occasion. I tried and tried, starting at 13, to make that pie from that recipe, and it never came out right for me. Finally, when I was about 50, I used a different recipe, and it came out perfect. Truthfully, I didn’t learn to like it until about that age either, but it bothered me that I couldn’t make it!! To this day, I use a different recipe from hers and have good results every time. I do have a chocolate cream pie recipe that was hers (actually, her mother’s I think)–It only makes an 8 inch pie, but I would be happy to share it with anyone who would like it.

  21. If the fear with the young pets is that they will chew the tree, you could try Bitter Apple spray. I used it to train my young cats not to steal the ornaments. I watched as my cat grabbed an ornament then quickly spit it out, vigorously shook her head and took off like a shot…funniest moment ever! Bitter apple really works well for both dogs and cats. I have always bought the spray, but if you’d like to try a homemade version, Pinterest didn’t disappoint for recipes. I don’t know how good they work, but it’s pretty cheap to try, so might be work giving it a go.

  22. There are 3 kittens and 2 cats, a puppy, a tennager dog and an old dog. I am most concerned with them chewing the cords for the lights (think Chevy Chase – Christmas Vacation) and eating parts of ornaments so the bitter apple spray may work well for that – Thanks for the reminder! Unfortunately it won’t keep them from climbing it. I haven’t put glass ornaments on in years due to critters so most are plastic – still not something I want them eating – That’s a vet bill I never want to see. I will probably put it up and see how it goes – I can always put it away again/

  23. I’m sorry to offer this advice so late or if someone else already has…. Sitting on a BOPPY style nursing pillow helps tremendously!! My tailbone broke during the delivery of my 6th child and it was a long recovery. Once I was able to sit the BOPPY went every where with me. I would even sit on the it while driving.

  24. Lorna, sounds like that hail really hurt your crops! I pray you will be able to catch up with the replanting and have a decent harvest.

  25. I just put a piece of tracing paper over the screen and traced your star. It is apparently life size on my monitor as it matches your dimensions listed. I will make a template out out old xray film…I have a couple sheets picked up years ago that I use for that purpose. I have a stack of card stock in embossed gold one side, white the other. We should be able to get 3 out of each piece. I also have a spool of gold metallic thread. Card stock and thread from “take it or leave it” table at church, collected over the years. Not sure how much thread there is but I can use a bobbin of white and the spool of gold to stretch if need be. My youngest will like doing this. Thank you for the idea and instructions.

  26. Hi Athanasia and yes the storm was like nothing I have ever seen. The winds were swirling in circles with golf ball size hail as well, and when they hit the ground you could just see everything being torn up before your eyes. Very strange that it hit some areas of the yard and left others completely untouched. It went sort of in lines of devastation.

    Thank you for your prayers and well wishes and we hope we can catch up and still have a good harvest too.

    Seems it isn’t all bad with most tomatoes being saved, pumpkins seem to be indestructible and they all survived, all herbs made it, the older corn crop survived but somewhat battered and bent but still producing with just the younger newly planted corn patch got beaten badly, all turnips, carrots also survived as well as our climbing peas. Blessed also that all of the seedlings we were propagating on the back stairs all survived. It could have been much much worse and I know we are being looked after.

    Great to hear that you also make your own sweetened condensed milk as well, here in Australia I think I am a rare breed as most people just stare at me when I say I make my own. Except my church friends who are very much into self reliance & frugality, who are always asking me for recipes for things they have tasted that my husband & I make from scratch. Got to say homemade anything tastes so much better & beats store bought artificially coloured preserved shop bought any day !, and is so much cheaper as well.

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