Monday, December 24, 2012

My holiday attire

Merry Christmas!
I bought this hat at a discount store a few years ago and get compliments on it every year. Best 99 cents I ever spent!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter blooms

I'm fortunate to live in a temperate climate, so I have blooms year-round. The bearded iris is named "frequent flyer" and blooms three or four times a year. I paid quite a bit for one rhizome several years ago (I don't remember how much, but I remember being reluctant to spend the $), but it has paid for itself many times over. As for the roses, I clipped the buds to bring them inside before I do my annual pruning.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Creative Palette giveaway

Here's your chance to win some goodies from one of my favorite designers, Nancy Thomas. I've been a fan of hers since the Lifetime Moments days. She started a blog after LM closed and I've been able to continue to enjoy her creations. Here's a link to the giveaway.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Card swap, month 2

Susan was the hostess for November's card swap. She told us she stuffed the packages and she wasn't kidding! As usual, I forgot to take a photo of the goodies before I dug in, but Susan has a photo on her blog. Here's just a partial list of what she included:
  • All kinds of embellishments including pearl beads, ribbon, flowers, and brads
  • Library pocket (I never know what to do with these)
  • Chatterbox Scrapbook Nails (these are "vintage" scrapbook embellishments)
  • Slide mounts (as are these)
  • Flower lace (loved this, even though I ended up not using it)
  • KI Softie (loved this too)
  • Scenic Route alphabet stickers
  • Card bases and envelopes
  • And some of my favorite paper from KI (their Color Theory paper from 2006) and Luxe Designs
This first card is my favorite.
I love, love, love the red paper (Luxe?), both the A and B sides. It is rare that I like both sides of a double-sided paper. The pearls were a pain to glue on. Normally, I'd have used Stickles or a Viva pen, but since pearls were included in the kit, I decided to go for it. The only part of card that I added was the black satin ribbon.

Card 2 and Card 3 are similar designs. Try as I might, I am a simple cardmaker. Maybe I need Scrapfest (an online crop challenge that Lifetime Moments used to sponsor) to encourage me.

The only parts not from the kit are one of the card bases and the black brads. When I looked for brads to use, I discovered that I have FOUR kinds of black mini brads: Lasting Impressions matte, Bazzil matte, JoAnn's, and one no-name brad. Yes, they are visibly different and I had to try them all (I ended up using the no-name brads). On the third card, I just trimmed the paper slightly to fit the card front and the design left a perfect space for the flowers (or I could have put a sentiment there). Those Chatterbox nails made nice flower centers.

This final card uses the KI Theory that I mentioned earlier. How much do I like this paper? As the last LSS trash to treasures sale, I bought a few sheets of this paper to add to my stash (I don't have much of the paper; I didn't buy any when it first came out). I added the card base and stamped sentiment to this card.

Check out what the other ladies made:
Leslie's cards
Katie's cards
Susan's cards

Susan gave us sooo many goodies, I'm sure I could make a dozen more cards. Thanks Susan! I heard that Katie's kit is on its way to us. I can't wait!

Card swap, month 2, Leslie's cards

Leslie is part of our card swap, but doesn't have a blog so I've volunteered to post her cards for her here.

All of her cards have extra touches like lots of inking (which doesn't show up very well in the photos, unfortunately) or stamping.

This card has a fun surprise inside:

Here's a cute little "Hello" card:

And a romantic wedding card:

Susan, November's swap hostess, challenged us to do a layout with the leftovers, and Leslie rose to the challenge:

And you get a bonus! Leslie's daughter, J, wanted to get in on the action so Leslie sent along her creations:


Thanks for playing along Leslie and J!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

You never know what life will bring

I took a quick trip back to the homestead to do my usual fall house prep of cleaning the house gutters, doing a bit of yardwork, and putting gas in my mom's car. Well, the last wasn't fall prep, but I'm the only person to put gas in her car this year, which tells you how little she drives since I've only been up there three times. My hope is that if she knows the gutters are clean, she won't be climbing up the ladder to clean them herself.

When I got back to the office (keep in mind, this trip was just a long weekend trip), I got some bad news about a coworker. She had been having some headaches and vision problems, so she went to the doctor and then to an ophthalmologist, who immediately sent her for some tests. It turns out, she had a brain tumor and was scheduled for a 2-part surgery. News like this makes you want to hold your loved ones a little tighter, makes you want to live life a little fuller. Keep that in mind as you go about your evening/day/week.

The surgery was a success and she's recuperating at home. We missed the chance to send flowers to the hospital (and weren't sure if ICU would allow them anyway) so instead, we took up a collection to buy some grocery and restaurant cards. Hopefully, they will make life a little easier for her family. Somehow, I ended up volunteering to organize the collection and shopping, which means I had to make a card too.


Supplies: Creative Imagination patterned paper, Bazzill Bling cardstock, Viva Pearl Pen, misc. fibers. 
Tools: EK Success punch, Papertrey Ink stamp

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Card swap, month 1

It is time for the big card reveal from the first month's card swap. As it turns out, putting together a kit is more work than I expected. I kept changing my mind about what card bases to use and which patterned papers to include. I should have included more (and meant to), but with my craft supplies spread out all over the house, I forgot to include a few things.

You can see some of the original kit here. I meant to take a photo of the full kit, but forgot. The kit included:

2 5.5x8.5 sheets of Bazzill cardstock
2 DCWV card bases
1/2 sheet of 12x12 patterned paper
6x6 sheet of patterned paper
ribbons, fiber, buttons, brads, flowers

Here's a link to Susan's cards. I like how she mixed the card bases and patterned paper in ways I hadn't thought of.

Leslie doesn't have a blog so she sent me a photo of her cards. She has waaaaay more patience than I do to fussy cut the tree and leaves. And the present pyramid is super cute!


 Katie posted her cards on her blog. Check out the owls and leaves she made.

Here are my cards. I really like this first card. I used a border punch on the card base and then added a strip from another card base. I die cut "Celebrate" from the Bazzill and added the brads. I thought it was a little plain so I added some fiber from my stash. (I'm finally using the fibers from my stash. I don't really use fiber on my scrapbook pages, but I'm really liking them on my cards.)


Everything on this next card is from the kit. I again used my border punch and added a strip from the Bazzill to lengthen the card front. Just a few flowers with the brad centers and this could be a hello, celebrate, or any occasion card.


 Finally, a fall card with one of the patterned papers, ribbons, and button from the kit. I used some cardstock from my stash for the card base and inked up the edges.

 
Yep, I admit I didn't use the Christmas paper or red fiber. I've got two card ideas in my head, but they're not coming together. If they do, I'll update this post.

Thank you Susan, Katie, and Leslie for participating and I can't wait to see what's in Susan's kit!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

$4.49

That's 40 cents more than a week ago. Ouch!

Monday, September 24, 2012

ISO Card makers

I'm putting together a little card kit exchange swap. This may be a different from other swaps you've been in. Each month, one of you will be a hostess. You'll put together a mini card kit and send it to each of the participants. Feel free to shop from your stash (we all have one, right?). The kit does not have to contain the latest and greatest, just good quality items.

Each participant should post their cards before the end of the month, when we can all admire your creativity. If you don't have a blog, you can send a photo of your cards to me and I'll post it here.

I've started to put together the first kit and would love to mail it out on Monday to you. If you're interested, you can let me know in the comments or e-mail me. I'd like to keep this swap small (4 to 6 participants including me) so it isn't too expensive with supplies and postage.

Guidelines:
  • Hostess sends out card kits by the 1st of the month.
  • Swap participants post cards before the end of the month (maybe I'll figure out the Mr. Linky thingie or some other way we can share).
  • Each kit should contain enough supplies to make 3-4 cards. You can include envelopes, but it isn't necessary. I'm not sure how much they'll add to the postage costs.
  • Supplies can be from your stash, but kits should be all the same (or the same as possible). For example, don't include blue twine in one kit and pink ribbon in another.
  • Include both paper and embellishments. 
  • At the end of 4 (or 5 or 6 months), I'll start another swap.
I'd love to have you join in!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Food storage

I'm trying to increase my glass storage containers because I think they are a better storage medium. They don't absorb odors or release toxins like plastic does. My mom used glass jars to store dried goods for years and I'm convinced food stays fresher in glass than plastic. I'm not giving up my beloved Tupperware yet, baby steps people, but if anyone is interested in purchasing part of my collection (I have a huge box of new Tupperware from when I was addicted to it, plus used stuff in excellent condition), let me know. Modular Mates anyone?

I've been saving glass jars and have found fewer and fewer foods come in jars, peanut butter and mayo to name two. Makes me sad that plastics are taking over.

One place I want to replace (some) plastic is the freezer. I had read that you can freeze regular glass jars as long as you don't fill them full so there is room for expansion.But that made me nervous. So I purchased some canning jars for the freezer, on sale and with a coupon, of course. I plan to use these to freeze fresh tomatoes, soups, marinara sauce, and stock. I did buy plastic lids because I thought they would be more leak proof. We'll see. Here's the first test: chopped toms from the garden. I like to freeze them when I have too many to use. The jar was the perfect size!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Kale

After a difficult start, I was finally able to harvest some kale. The first few seedlings were devoured by caterpillars, which was making me rethink the whole pesticide avoidance thing. I was picking teeny tiny caterpillars off by hand (gross!) because the little suckers wouldn't wash off. But I kept replanting (good thing seeds are relatively cheap) and finally had some success.

My schedule is such that I do most of my gardening on the weekends. Some days, I leave for work when it's dark and some days I get some after dark (and some not-so-good days, both), so I harvest when I can, even if I don't know what I'm going to do with it. I had a decent sized batch, but didn't know what to do with it, so I decided to blanch and freeze the leaves to use in the future. This was way more work than I anticipated and I'm not sure if I'm going to do it again. I ended up with 2 quart size baggies.

Here's my method for removing the leaves from the stems. Many websites suggest cutting the stem off the, which is pretty easy. I prefer to tear the leaves off, which is even easier. You can then tear leaves into whatever size pieces you want.




What to do with the stems? I baked them with some parmesan cheese and a bit of oil like this recipe from Kayln's Kitchen. I should have parboiled the stems first. I forgot that kale stems are tougher than Swiss chard stems so the dish ended up tasty, but chewy.



Saturday, September 08, 2012

Help! I need to evict my new roommates

I'm sure you've had them. Roommates you can't get along with. They have no respect for your belongings. They eat your food. Leave a mess. Are constantly bothering you. Just when you think they've agreed to the house rules, they're back annoying you.

I didn't invite these roommates in. They just snuck in one night and moved in on their own about a month ago. Despite my best efforts, I just can't convince them to leave. Yep, we've been invaded by ants. We have found them in EVERY room in the house. We've tried bait, we've tried all kinds of insecticide, we've tried the honey/borax treat. They just keep coming back and I'm pretty sure they are bringing all their relatives too and are living in the walls of the house.

I'm open to suggestions. On the plus side, my counters have never been cleaner.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scrappy enabler alert

I read a rumor that TJ Maxx and Marshalls had EK Success and Martha punches for cheap so I've been hunting them down. My first trip yielded this lone punch. I figured that I missed out on the deal. I wasn't too thrilled with the design, but I decided this would be a cheap way to try out this style of punch. The design has grown on me since then, even if I haven't tried it out yet.

I checked out another store and thought I hit the jackpot. That store didn't have quite what I was looking for, but I couldn't resist these. I figured if I never get around to using them, I can gift them or resell them.

Then I read that some stores got in new shipments so I went back to the first store, which was easy to do since it is on my way home from work. They didn't have the one punch I really wanted, but I did get these beauties, which I like more than the previous batch.

Now the fun part...where to store all of these?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today's harvest

A pretty poor showing...
That's what I get once a week, and that's only been for the past three weeks. As you can imagine, I'm pretty disappointed in this year's garden. I got a late start this year and I didn't have much compost to add to my new bed, which means a lack of vegetables. I just bought and planted a six pack of tomatoes in the hopes of having some tomatoes this fall.

New change

So I'm still contemplating a blog change, but in the mean time, I got a haircut. That's a cheap and easy way for a little change. You know me, no pictures, but rest assured, I'm happy with the change.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thinking about a name change

I've been a pretty absent blogger lately, partly because I don't feel inspired, partly because I'm trying to avoid the computer, and partly because I'm overworked at work (we're down two people and we could barely keep up when they were there). Sooo, in the past, when I've needed a change or some inspiration, I've been pretty drastic about it. Like quitting college. Or breaking up. Or changing jobs. Or moving. Or going back to college. Since I don't plan on doing any of these, what can I do?

I feel that I outgrew the title of this blog a long time ago. When I changed to Look.cook.scrapbook, I was bit more into posting photos and recipes and was trying to spread my creative wings. But now I feel stifled by the title. I need another direction. I'm not sure what it will be, but I'm feeling more introspective, more frustrated with life. Just wanted to forewarn you that change might be coming. I'll still be here, just not sure what I'll look like.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Back to crafting

Work has been hectic since we're down a person and up unscheduled projects. But I managed to put a tiny bit of crafty time to make this card...for another coworker who left. Ironic that having more stress in my life drove me to crafting, isn't it?
I was proudest of the inside because I finally managed to use a journaling card and it was perfect for adding the sentiment. I love journaling cards and hoard 'em, but just don't know how to use them.
I was embarrassed because I had four coworkers tell me how much they liked it, but I think it is rather plain. I didn't have much time to put it together. Plus, I made it out of scraps, out of old, old paper from companies that have gone out of business. But, I should just be gracious and accept the compliments, right?

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Thank you Paper Crafts Magazine!

I follow a lot of craft blogs, some are commercial (manufacturers, publishers, designers) and some are personal. Often, the commercial blogs will have giveaways and usually all you need to do is leave a comment on a post. Once in a while, you have to "work" for it. In this case, Paper Crafts asked for a limerick and I quickly posted five lines over my lunch break. I'm sure I didn't win based on talent, lol. It was more likely our old friend, Random Number Generator, helped me win. Anywho, here's a look at my goodies. I especially love the Studio Calico veneers and the Paper Smooches stamp. (Susan, Miwa, there's a set of baseball stamps. Who wants them?)


I included a bit of the box in the photo. Someone took the time to decorate the box with colorful paper scraps. I'd like that job! Work has been super busy and stressful and there were a couple of days this week that were especially bad (when you walk into your boss' office and declare that you'd like to wring someone's neck, he know you're not a happy camper). When I got home to this lovely surprise, I had a complete turnaround in my mood and I ended the week on a great note. Thank you so much Paper Crafts and SB manufacturers!

If you'd like to win a box of your own, they're giving away another box for June.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Treat time

Yay! Time for Starbucks Frappy hour and my first frappuccino of the year! We walked to SB and I opted for no whipped cream in an effort to save a few calories. I still find the frappuccinos too sweet, but I can't resist treating myself when they're half price. They are half price 3 to 5 pm through May 13, if you'd like to indulge.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Week in the Life

Did you participate in project Week in the Life ? I managed to take a few photos every day, but other than that, I haven't done anything, not even post any photos here. I had grand plans to do a little mini book, but I don't really feel like editing/printing my photos. Maybe I'll do something digital, but my digital skills are lacking. Did you participate?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

We spent our Earth Day morning at the chic French store, Tar-jay, where we picked up this adorable little tote for free. Mr. Fix-it was disappointed in the size of the bag (9.5 x 10.5 x 6.5), but I like the small size and think it will be useful. I also like all the samples that were included since some are items I'm considering buying.
If you hurry over to Target, they still might have some bags. The giveaway was posted on every deal/frugal site I subscribe to so I expect the stores to run out of bags quickly.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

$3.99

I'm thrilled to see gas under $4/gallon again!

Monday, April 09, 2012

$4.09

just another gas price update (posted late)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Scrapbooking shouldn't be stressful

I usually get together with some girlfriends once a year to scrapbook at a B&B. I didn't participate last year, so I signed up for two weekends this year. Since I have to travel to the site, it involves a bit of juggling of time and planning. Work is extra stressful right now with lots of projects. I thought I might look forward to the break from work, but the reality is, I'm stressed about not being able to get everything done that needs to get done.

Unfortunately, I didn't buy my airline ticket at rock bottom prices so that was an extra hundred or so. Good thing I'm frugal in other areas. And I'm still trying to figure out transportation. I'll probably just rent a car unless I can find a ride from my mom's to the B&B (hope I don't get lost driving there).

I haven't organized a single page, printed out any photos. As I was looking through my stash, I wondered if I should just get rid of it all. The hobby doesn't bring me pleasure any more (although I still enjoy shopping and buying). If I got rid of it all, would I miss it?

Monday, April 02, 2012

No more CSA

Last year, the company facilities manager arranged to have our workplace become a CSA dropoff spot. Since I had always wanted to join a CSA, I was one of the first to sign up. At first, I was a little disappointed in the amount of produce for the price and it wasn't all organic. But, as it turns out, the produce really was fresher, tasted better than what I got at the grocery store or farmer's market, and lasted longer.

So every other Monday, like today, I would go down to the mailroom and pick up a box of produce. Usually, there were carrots and I'd cut the tops off for my coworker's rabbit. And there would be a small crowd as we played "guess the vegetable."

Unfortunately, the schedule was inconvenient for me. We do most of our grocery shopping on the weekend and I plan our meals for the week. It just didn't work out to have a full fridge on Sunday and then more produce on Monday. We never knew what would come in the CSA box so sometimes, we'd end up three heads of lettuce or five pounds of apples or more than we could use of some other fruit or vegetable or herb. Plus, the cost ($23) was a significant portion of our grocery budget every other week and I had trouble adjusting the budget. I felt bad cancelling the CSA since I want to support local farmers, but it just didn't work out.

With spring coming, I hope that produce will come down in price, plus I hope to eat from my garden all summer. It was a good experiment while it lasted.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Guess I'll be going to work on Monday

This was not the winning ticket. We got nothing, nada, zip. Oh well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Apple cake

I made this apple cake and I guess it was a hit since it is half gone. I modified it slightly by using two apples instead of one and half and half instead of milk. Since there were so many apple slices, I placed some of the apple on top because I was afraid they wouldn't all cook if placed in the middle. Also, as noted in the recipe comments, the cake was pretty sweet. I think if I had just sprinkled the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top without the apples, the cake would have been too sweet. In any case, I still had leftover sugar, which I saved for future cinnamon toast.

ETA: I made this again, but with yogurt since I rarely have milk in the house, and I used the leftover sugar/cinnamon from the previous cake. The texture was better when I used milk, but cake was still tasty. I think the recipe is a keeper.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A full fridge

We made a turkey for dinner tonight. Yes, just for the two of us, 13.7 pounds. It was on sale before Christmas for 59 cents a pound, plus I got $3 off so I couldn't resist. Can't imagine getting meat for any cheaper than that. It wasn't too difficult finding room in the freezer at first, but it was difficult to not have the room for a couple months. We finally took it out to defrost last week and the empty space as already been filled with frozen veggies and gelato.

Now we have a full fridge.Mr. Fix-it can have turkey sandwiches the rest of the week and I'll figure out something to do with the rest. Some will get frozen and of course, I'll have to make some turkey stock (not that I have time to cook during the week).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Living without modern appliances

Our microwave died a few weeks ago. It sounded like it was working, but it wasn't heating. We didn't bother trying to fix it. It wasn't my favorite appliance (I thought it took up too much space) and I occasionally wondered if the microwaves are harmful rather than helpful.

It didn't take long for the empty spot on the counter top to fill with...stuff.
I didn't think we used the microwave that often, but as it turns out, we use it multiple times a day. Sometimes I need to reheat my coffee in the morning if I don't get to it soon enough. And you know I'm the leftover queen so we've had to be creative in reheating.

We've been dirtying a lot more dishes and using more pots and pans. Leftover rice is steamed. Most other dishes are reheated on the stove, though some are reheated in the toaster oven. Mr. Fix-it thought it was all too much trouble, but I didn't mind. I thought we were eating less since we were portioning out what we wanted to eat. And I thought the texture of some of the reheated foods was better. No microwave took some getting used to, but then, I still could heat up my lunch in the microwave at work.

But, as it turns out, Mr. Fix-it really missed the microwave. And he couldn't wait for a sale (sigh). So now we have this sleek beauty:

ETA: The microwave went on sale and we went back to the store for a $10 credit, woo hoo! As it turns out, this microwave doesn't have all the bells and whistles that our previous microwave had, but since it was so much less $ and it is red!, I don't mind.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On my day off

I took the day off yesterday. No special reason other than I had a vacation day to use up. I had grandiose plans to clean the whole house (or at least a couple of rooms) or the more realistic plans of vegging in front of the computer and TV. There wasn't as much as I would have liked of any of that. I did manage to cook up a several quarts of spaghetti sauce and prep a couple of lunches for the week, plus pick/wash some Swiss chard so we're set food-wise for a few days.No, that large container on the right is not my lunch. That's the leftover spaghetti from dinner. I have a hearty appetite, but not that large. That's another dinner and a couple lunches for us. My lunch is the smaller container with the black lid in the back.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

$4.27

Woo hoo! Prices have stabilized!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

100 things challenge, day 100 update

Sorry about the lack of updates. These long work days are taking a lot out of me. I just want to veg in front of the TV, even the computer takes too much effort. But, I have good news to report.

We sold four items on ebay (for less than we hoped, but at least they sold) so that's a few more pennies our pocket. And this challenge forced us to make a donation trip. Otherwise, the boxes of to-be-donated stuff would still be sitting in the garage. That trip got 27 items out of the house. Actually, it was more than 27 since I counted the box of office supplies as one and the box of Christmas decorations as one.

office supplies, Christmas decorations, clothes, kitchen stuff = 27 items
ebay (3 mugs, cookie press) = 4 items

total gone 80/100

Eh, a little short of 100 (since I didn't count every little item). And you still can't tell we got rid of stuff. Maybe I'll hit 100 at the next challenge. Ever the optimist, lol. I hope you'll join me when I start the next challenge. I might be more motivated if you play along.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

$4.29

This price has held steady for a week.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

$4.15

This was particularly painful. Over $4/gallon. The line at the pump was too long so we went back the next day. That decision cost us 6 cents a gallon more.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

$3.95

Too close to $4/gallon for my tastes. I've started looking for new carpoolers. Or maybe no one else cares to save $ in this area.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

$3.69

Up 10 cents in a week.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

$3.58

This was the start of the meteoric rise in gas prices.

Singapore noodles or thankful for a well-stocked pantry

As part of our continuing quest to spend less (more on that in another post), I've been cooking a tiny bit more. Today, I whipped up a quick lunch so we wouldn't be hungry as we ran errands. As usual, I don't have an exact recipe since I was using up stuff we had on hand. Everything was already in the fridge, freezer, or cupboard. The baby corn and bamboo shoots were leftover from a curry dish earlier in the week. The fresh veggies we had, and the chicken was from the freezer (I freeze small portions of chicken (breast, thigh, whatever is on sale) to use for stir fries).
Here's my "MacGyver" recipe:

1/2 can of baby corn
1/2 can of bamboo shoots
1/2 package thin rice noodles
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/3 red bell pepper
1 chicken thigh, thinly sliced
oil, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic, Singapore seasoning or curry powder
  1. Marinate the chicken w/soy sauce, cornstarch, and garlic (since I didn't have time to let this marinate, perhaps I should say "Mix").
  2. Heat some oil and stir fry the chicken.
  3. Remove the chicken, add more oil if needed, and stir fry the onion. After the onion is almost cooked through, add the bell pepper and let it cook for a minute or two.
  4. Add the rest baby corn, bamboo shoots, and rice noodles.
  5. Sprinkle on some the Singapore seasoning or curry powder (start with less, you can always add more).
  6. Toss the ingredients together.
  7. Take a taste test and add more seasoning or soy sauce or salt if needed.
Enjoy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A step backwards or confessions of a scrapaholic

I went to another LSS trash to treasures sale today, just to check out the store (no, really!). I hadn't been there before so I wanted to check out the space before I signed up for their next sale. I think I'm going to try to do one more LSS sale, list a few things on 2 Peas, then just do a big donation dump. Let's see how much more I can get rid of this year. Unfortunately, there were some good deals and I added to my stash:4 small Bazzill packs (perfect for cardmaking), 12 punches, paper crimper (can you believe I don't have one?), and 4 Catseye chalk inks. Not bad for $9. Just the paper or ink would have $8. I have no idea where I'm going to store the punches though. Sigh.

And in case you noticed the straw bale in the photo, yes, we have straw bales in the backyard. I plan on using it for mulch.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kale chips

I made kale chips over the weekend and brought them into the office to share with my coworkers. It seems I've started a kale chip addiction since the chips went fast and there were several requests for the "recipe." Sorry, no photos, but if you search for "kale chips." you'll find lots of food bloggers doing it. ;)
  1. Wash and dry kale (the drier the better; I used my salad spinner to dry the kale).
  2. Remove stems. You can save them for stock or add them to your compost heap.
  3. Tear leaves into bite size pieces (not too small because they'll shrink a lot).
  4. Coat leaves with olive oil. I probably used just over a tablespoon to cover one large bunch of kale. I used my hands to rub in the olive oil. If you toss the leaves, you'll need more olive oil to coat the leaves.
  5. Spread leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 275 or 300 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. About halfway through, shake the baking sheet to make sure the leaves are evenly distributed and not covering each other. (I used my large toaster oven and had to bake the chips in two batches.)
  7. Add sea salt or other seasonings. Note that some people add the seasonings with the olive oil. I'm not sure how the flavor will differ.
Enjoy!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

100 things challenge, day 49 update

I made a small dent in my scrapbook stash at the scrapbook trash to treasures sale. It was at a different store than the previous ones I participated in and there was a lot less traffic. I don't know if that was because of the store or the economy. At the previous sales, the sellers were mobbed. At this one, the buyers just trickled in. After subtracting what I bought (oops!) and paying for the table, I barely made a profit. Not really worth the day (okay, half day) I spent doing this. I was disappointed, but if I think about this being the third time I did this and I didn't add much to the "sell" pile, it wasn't too bad. The good part is more stuff is gone.

I have no idea how many things I got rid of, but I'll guess 40 items. A couple were bigger items (album, ink pad holder), but the majority were smaller items (embellishments for 25 cents, paper 8/$1). At least I'm ahead of the challenge count.

Got more things listed on Craigslist, but no bites. I heard someone on a money talk show saying this was a bad time to sell anything because lots of people are trying sell off their own stuff and lots of people don't have money after spending it at Christmas.

scrapbook stuff

total gone 63/100

Monday, January 09, 2012

Gone in 60...

minutes. Mr. Awesome (I mean Mr. Fix-it) listed an old steel tub on craigslist and received three emails/phone calls in five minutes. I guess people want old metal to sell for scrap. Mr. Fix-it told the first caller he'd drag it out to the curb and for the caller to just come by whenever. The caller said "not too close to the curb" because he was afraid that someone else would come by and steal it! As Mr. Fix-it was cleaning out the garage, he found some old steel shelves and gave those to the guy also. I didn't know that metal recycling was such big business, though Mr. Fix-it's dad used to make regular trips to the metal buyers, just small household stuff.

old shelving
old tub
2 file folders of paperwork
pile of magazines

total gone 23/100

We're pretty far behind since this is day 44 of the challenge. On the plus side, Mr. Fix-it is totally on board with this and listed several more things on craigslist, just no bites yet.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Resistance is futile

Remember my one-in-one-out rule? I kept up with it the first half of last year and continue to do so with clothes and stuff for the house. But scrapbooking supplies? Sigh. My biggest downfall. Like these American Crafts ribbon (and they're propped up against my AC ribbon box). I got these at Tuesday Morning, but these 24 spool lots are also showing up on all the daily deal scrapbook sites if you can't resist either.
And Thickers? Another sigh. Even if they don't stick as well as they should, I still love 'em. Big Lots got another shipment in. Can't you see these on some pages for my nieces? Never mind that I didn't scrapbook a single page last year.
And last, but not least, I found these new goodies at the local scrapbook store. She was having a midnight madness sale and I ended up buying yet more patterned paper (10 for $1!). Plus everything else was 25% off. I had heard of Candi, but wasn't sure they they were. They're made of heavy paper so I think they'll be easier to use than brads for a little pop of color. And the lss owner said the Viva pens work better than Stickles and Liquid Pearls (dry faster, easier to use).

I haven't gone broke buying this stuff, but I don't have anywhere to store it either.