Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fresh fish

Hmmm, I sure hope there isn't a hidden door between the two businesses.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bye-bye Borders

I wasn't planning on hitting Border's clearance sale, but we happened to be in the area a couple weeks ago so we stopped in. There wasn't much left, despite the prices not being that good. I don't think 20 to 30% off a bargain. I did have a handful of magazines (at 50% off) that tempted me, but ended up getting only these two (Mr. Fix-it was not thrilled about me bringing more magazines home).
If you're interested in where to shop after Border's closes, check these independent book stores.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Corned beef and cabbage

I finally got around to cooking our corned beef and cabbage this weekend (I really look forward to the sales around St. Patrick's Day). I usually just boil (simmer) the corned beef and then add potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. This year, I tried something new, first the simmer, and then I baked the corned beef with a coating of brown sugar and mustard. So yummy! I don't have an exact recipe, but here's what I did. All the changing of water was to try to reduce the salt (based on what I read online). I'm not sure if it made a difference though.
  1. Cover the corned beef with water and let sit for an hour. Discard the water.
  2. Refill the pot and bring the water to a simmer. Again, discard the water (it will probably be scummy).
  3. Refill the pot and bring the water to a simmer again.
  4. Simmer the beef for about an hour per pound, minus 1/2 hour (that's for baking time).
  5. Transfer the corned beef to a baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Mix some brown sugar and mustard together and coat the top of the corned beef. (I used about 1/3 cup of brown sugar [not packed] and 2 tablespoons of mustard.)
  7. Bake for about 1/2 hour. You end up with a yummy topping similar to a Honey-Baked ham.
While the corned beef is baking, you can boil the potatoes and cabbage in the cooking water.

This was so delicious! I think this is Mr. Fix-it's new favorite.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

For sale

The recent LSS garage sale was a success! I had done them in the past without selling much (or ending up spending as much as I made), but this time, I was determined to make a dent in my stash. Plus, I think this store had the "right crowd," not too cutting edge and not too cheap either.
I brought five baskets filled to the brim like this one, a box of magazines, plus some tools, albums, and other big stuff. I actually had more stuff, but after I discovered that the tables were only 5 feet long and all the sellers were crammed in together, I left some stuff in the car. As it was, I had to put 1/3 of my stuff on the floor. I came came home with three empty baskets, most of the magazines, and just a couple of the big items. That's a lot of 25 and 50 cents items gone.

It was interesting what sold and what didn't. Tiny metal frames (actually anything metal) went quickly, as did Cuttlebug and Sizzix embossing folders. Quickutz did not move too well, even at $2 for NIP (new in package) club dies. Alpha sticker sheets, if priced at 25 or 50 cents sold, but sheets at $1 didn't. Punches and deco scissors (all NIP) sold well also. I wish my old magazines sold. I guess I'll donate them to the library for their sale. Paper sold okay. I didn't organize mine like I had for previous sales. I have a Cropper Hopper full of paper that I don't want any more that I take to crops to giveaway. Some people organized their paper by theme to sell, but I decided that was too much work. At 10 cents a sheet, I was happy to get rid of a few dozen sheets. Next time, I think I'll price them at 3/25 cents and maybe I can get rid of more. The woman next to me had premade pages that she was selling for $1-$2 each. They were from classes she taught. She said she sold over $100 worth!

Perhaps it would have been better to package stuff as bundles (it certainly would have been easier to add thing up), but that would have taken more time. Basically, I went though my stash and threw it into one of six piles (25 cents, 50 cents, $1, $2, $4, and special prices). Then I printed out price labels and Mr. Fix-it helped me label everything except the special priced items. That was a huge help. I really tried to price things to sell and remove any emotion to what I was getting rid of. Most items were priced from 10-25% of retail and most stuff was in its original package. Hardly anyone tried to bargain which was a relief to me since I hate bargaining.

The sale was a success for the LSS too. The owner said this was the best Saturday she's had in months, which means that people were looking for bargains and doing regular shopping too.

I was thrilled with how much I sold, but then I lost sleep that night thinking maybe I should have priced things higher. I just need to keep reminding myself that that stuff is gone and I'm happy for the space.

As for my scrapbook accounting, overall, I sold more than I spent so far this year, even counting the crop that was a bust and the table fee for the garage sale. I usually don't count crop fees (or my flight/car costs to crops) as part of my scrapbooking cost, but I started to this year.

So, see anything you need? I'll give you the special blog reader discount. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five on Friday

  1. My heart is breaking for the people of Japan. My coworker's wife is visiting family there. Although they are no where near the coast or earthquake, she's reported that the rice stores are already out of stock.
  2. Wish me luck on the LSS garage sale tomorrow. Hopefully I'll sell more than the table cost and I won't be tempted to buy much. (Thank you Mr. Fix-it for helping me put price stickers on everything.)
  3. In a couple weeks, we'll be fully staffed again, thank goodness.
  4. That means I'll be doing a lot more training classes. You know, because I have so much time on my hands.
  5. In light of #1, please make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Recipes I'd like to try

I spend waaaay too much time reading food blogs or chasing down recipes. Funny thing is I hardly ever follow recipes, even though I have about a million bookmarked. Here's a few that caught my eye recently. Maybe you'll find something interesting. I'd love to hear a report if you try any of these.

Mozzarella stuffed meatballs
Home cured corned beef
Glazed cinnamon scones
Buttermilk syrup
Miso chicken
Graham crackers
Thomas Keller Oreos
Juice pulp crackers (although since I don't juice and don't own a dehydrator, I doubt I'll be trying this one any time soon)

Six on Saturday

Since I missed Five on Friday, I decided to go for Six on Saturday.
  1. Brought a bunch of stuff to my BIL's garage sale and made $59. Not bad for a couple hours of hanging out. Plus I got some exercise since the kids and I went for a couple of walks.
  2. Check out the PSA Stamp Camp blog. I've decided I need lots of these stamps. :)
  3. I'm not looking forward to missing an hour of sleep. Especially since I'm going to a conference tomorrow.
  4. I'm spending the next week digging through my scrapbook stash and deciding what I can get rid of. Based on today's garage sale, I'm getting better at letting go of stuff at a cheap price. I'd rather have the money and it is out of my house.
  5. I wonder if Facebook will notice a decrease in traffic since so many people are giving up FB for Lent.
  6. I repotted the avocado tree since we're not sure where we're going to plant it. Hopefully the new pot will keep it happy for a couple months.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Five on Friday

  1. I put a small scrape on our car today. Thank goodness it can be buffed out.
  2. It looks like it will be a busy March for us. We've got something to do every weekend.
  3. We had awesome spaghetti sauce for dinner two nights this week. I pulled it out of the freezer to make dinner prep easier. I wish I could remember how I made it. (My sauce come out different every time I make it since I usually use whatever I have on hand.)
  4. I finally harvested enough snow peas for two servings. It only took a week.
  5. I really miss scrapbooking. Wonder if I'll ever get back to it.