December 31, 2010

thrifting in the new year...

It's a new year tomorrow and that gets me thinking about how to 'do better' financially. One way I do this is by being frugal and thrifting. Here's a great post by mollyirwin :: on thrifting

1. Buy only what you absolutely love. This is my most important rule. I won't just buy something because it's inexpensive; I apply the same standard that I do on any other purchase -- new or not. Admittedly I've made a few mistakes, like the fabric I got home and decided I don't love it after all. Oh well ... little spent; little lost.

2. Be super selective with items that need an update or overhaul. Re-upholstery, re-finishing, painting etc. has an associated cost, whether it be out-of-pocket for hire, or in your own sweat equity. Then there's the TIME factor, so be sure you believe that piece will (when finished) satisfy the love itrule. Lately I've minimized big project purchases like furnishings, with the exception of the little boudoir chair I'm having covered for my closet. It was the perfect scale and proportion for the space.

3. Second-hand items add instant history. The Patina of an old mirror, or the classic graphics on your 1970s board games bring a familiar warmth of a well-loved, inhabited space. Details like this add character and charm, especially to new drywalled spaces like apartments.

4. You will find truly unique things.I love Ikea, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel etc. for certain foundational basics, but a few funky or special items can lend instant personal style and fresh life to an otherwise basic decor.

5. The hunt + bargain high. The satisfaction of shopping on 25% off day, on top of what are already super cheap prices is nothing short of thrilling to me.

6. For those with crafty ingenuity thrift shops are a great source for materials. Consider alternative uses for things. This patchwork quilt made entirely of blue pinstriped dress shirts, at Inchmark Journal, is a great example of reconfiguring something in a fresh way.

7. It's very much hit or miss. Sometimes I come away thinking why would I ever buy new again? while other times I'm deflated and kind of grossed out by the whole thing. You just never know what you're going to find, which is what keeps me going back again and again.

December 27, 2010


I really NEED this! it's the iGo Green Charger

Here’s how it works:
(Info from Kevin and Amanda: five things)

If I’m traveling and using my cell phone a lot during the day, and don’t have access to a charger, usually my battery gets pretty low by mid-afternoon. If I’m going somewhere that night? It’s completely dead. But with the iGo Green charger in my purse, I just plug in my phone for charging on the go. I can use my phone and charge it at the same time, all while it’s in my purse. When it’s done charging, I unplug my phone and continue using it for the rest of the day. That night, I plug in the iGo green, plug in my phone to the iGo green and they are both fully charged by morning.

December 21, 2010

Grover’s Cheeseburger Soup...

photo: Food Network

2 lbs. 96% lean ground beef
Hamburger seasoning or salt/pepper
1 large onion, diced
1 box (32 oz) Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 lb. Velveeta Cheese, cubed
1 pint Half & Half
1/4 c flour and cold water to make a 'slurry'
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 head of lettuce, shredded

Use ground beef to grill burgers, season. Drain and set aside. In a large soup pot, add butter and diced onion. Allow the onions to sweat over medium heat. When the onions become translucent, you are ready to continue. Add the chicken broth (either a chicken base–like bouillon + water–or broth), the diced Velveeta and the half & half. Allow the Velveeta to melt into the mixture. Don't boil...just simmer.

In a small bowl or ramekin, mix the flour and water to make slurry. Once mixed well, add to the cheese mixture. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly (the cheese likes to stick). Add the ground beef (break up) to the soup pot, turn down to medium low heat. Dice tomatoes and shred lettuce and then add to the mixture. Stir to combine and turn to low heat until ready to serve. Top w/ grated cheddar.

December 20, 2010

December 19, 2010

making a list...

my 2011 list of things to do...

1. Learn to sew (fix sewing machine or buy a new one)!

2. Dye more yarn for my Yarn Tattoo Etsy store

3. Design knitting patterns

4. Knit more socks!

5. Take photography classes to improve

6. Sell my photos

7. Paint the inside of our house

8. Sell my unwanted rubber stamps on Ebay

9. Garden and Can vegetables

10. Do Once a Month Cooking/Freezing Meals

11. Start a fun Exercise routine

12. Read a Book a week

and more................

snow cute.......

Mochimochi Snowmen by Anna Hrachovec

December 5, 2010

Cupcakes in a Jar...

I think I'll make some of these as extra gifts...

Make 24 chocolate fudge cupcakes. Spray each 8 oz. canning jar with Pam and let the cakes cook and cool.
Once cupcakes cool, place one cupcake in the bottom of each jar upside down.

You can use any frosting. Try one of these:

1st- Chocolate butter cream frosting

2nd- Oreo fluff with Oreo pudding mix and whipped cream.

Pipe a gracious amount of frosting on top of each cupcake in each jar.
Get another cupcake, slice the top off and place the cake (sliced side) on top of the frosting. Top w/ your favorite butter cream frosting and add chocolate shavings.

Place the lid on and screw it shut. Decorate jar. Tuck a plastic spoon in with ribbon. You can freeze to use at a later date.

Try other varieties of cupcakes, frostings and toppings.

Photos from: lostateminor and thecupcakeblog

cookie baking...

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
 Here's Paula Deen's Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

- 1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
- Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired.

December 4, 2010

Porter Jack in a Box...

Porter had so much fun playing in the Amazon boxes yesterday. So Brig got an idea to make arm holes, so Porter could actually wear the box....GENIOUS! Porter wore the box and loved it!!!

December 3, 2010

Vistaprints rocks!

James, Peg, Lauren, Brigham, Cameron, Carson and Porter

I ordered FREE address labels and
bought 2 pens with our characters on them!