Saturday, November 29, 2008

28 Years Today

Mike and I are married 28 years today! We'll be trying out a new Italian restaurant tonight.

This time, 28 years ago, we were at our wedding reception. My bridesmaids wore red and my ushers were in classic black tuxedos--my father said they were 'correct,' LOL! One thing for sure, there were no ruffles. I hate ruffles on a guy's shirt.

I had to laugh when I saw the movie '27 Dresses' and heard the line (several times) 'and you can shorten it and wear it later!' That's exactly what I had in mind when we picked out the pattern for my girls' dresses! But really, they did use them again. It was an empire waist dress in red satin with spaghetti straps. There was a separate piece in sheer red fabric, with long sleeves that was worn over the bodice and closed in the back. It fit over the bodice, which means it was hemmed under the bustline. Can you picture it? It was very simple, yet very elegant.

My gown is up in the attic. Alas, it's been about 27 years since I could fit into it, LOL! (I can't believe I was ever that tiny!)

Found Treasure

Know what's even cooler than unwrapping Christmas decorations?
Finding a box that's been tucked away and forgotten for five years!

How do I know it's been that long? 'Cause the newspaper used to wrap the items is dated December of 2003.
I found things in that box I completely forgot I had. Including this sweet little angel. She stands about six inches tall and is made of paper.

Can you believe she is well over 40 years old? Her story is this: my Aunt Mary (who is now 87) worked in a gift shop in Zanesville, Ohio. She always sent us the coolest, most thoughtful gifts. One year, she set three of these to our house--one for me and one for each of my sisters. Each angel had hair to match our own hair color.

I also unearthed some of my own Christmas decorations, but none as priceless as my little paper angel!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Thoughts'd think stores only had sales once a year.
Okay, I know there are some amazing buys out there today. I suppose that, if you are in the market for a high-end item and you can get it at 70% off, it's worth the lines and crowds. But... anything worth spending the night camped in front of Best Buy?

I kid you not: on the way home from our Thanksgiving dinner at my bil's house, we saw a line of people with sleeping bags and tents at the door of BB. This was 7:30 at night! And I don't think they were opening for a midnight sale--at least, none of the ads said they were. So, if the doors opened at even 4 a.m., that means more than 8 hours (and who knows how long some of those people had already been there) camped out in chilly weather.


I sure hope those folks got what they went for!

Now, me...I need to put my paycheck in the bank, and I'm thinking of heading to CVS or Walgreen's. CVS has a lot of FARs today (and, I think, tomorrow), including some nice earbud headphones that would make great stocking stuffers. If I get them, I get them. If I don't, I don't.

It isn't the only sale day of the year!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Must Be Santa Monday

It's Must Be Santa Monday! I took a pic of some of my WIPs for today's offering:

In the back corner is an aqua/white and yellow apron--with an aqua towel attached. I have to do the waistband and ties.
Next are two cloth balls I have actually finished (yay!)
Molly is wearing a crochet jumper that just needs another button, and a yellow coat that needs a lot done. By her feet are pieces for a t-shirt that is aqua with yellow daisies.
I need to add some 'frillies' to the purple tissue holder.
The thing behind it is a cloth bucket. I need to finish the binding. It does not have any batting inside, so it's rather mushy, but I'm sure it's useful in some way.
The odd crocheted cat head was supposed to be an owl, but I didn't like the way it came out so it's going to be a cat. Which explains the little pink nose...
The blue and pink thing actually is going to be an owl!
The red thing in the lower right hand corner is a towel topper.
And finally, those are fish for a fishing game for my nephew. (Isn't it great to find a sewing project for a boy?)

A lot of these ideas came from "Sew, Mama, Sew" or from just looking around the internet. Really, blog 'free sewing patterns' or 'free crochet patterns' and you'll be surprised at what you find!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I feel so loved...

...cause sweet Heather from "The Six Scavos" gave me an award. Two awards in a week...gosh, how can I stand such admiration? You guys don't know how much I need an appreciate the good words!

Here's Heather's blog:

Here's the rules:

1. Name 5 things you love.
2. Pass the award on to 5 blogs you love.
3. Please link back to my blog.

Five things I love:

1. My family, of course!
2. Going out to dinner when all my kids can join us. With different school and work schedules, it isn't easy!
3. My animals, including the fat squirrels who come up to my back door for peanuts. They drive the dog crazy, but I think the cats consider them just more pets. Really--the squirrels walk right past their noses!
4. Going for drives with my husband.
5. Relaxing in bed (most) mornings with my coffee, puzzle magazine and current reading.

Okay, so who do I nominate? So many good choices, but here I go!

1. Becka, of "Renaissance." Baby Number 3, currently named "Bunkin" is expected very, very soon!
2. Punkin, of "Bittersweet Punkin." Okay...I'm horrible with names. It isn't really Punkin. Is it Robin?
3. Cynthia of "Nana's Toybox." Total creative cuteness!

Well, okay, just three...but feel free to award yourself, esp. if you are on my sidebar, LOL!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I got another award!

TX Poppet over at "Canned Laughter" nominated me for this cool award. Isn't it pretty? Check out her's got great tips and some funny stuff, too!

Poppet doesn't believe in following the rules, so she is a woman after my own heart. So here they are, and I'm not nominating that many people.

1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you
3. Nominate 10 other blogs for this award
4. Add links to those blogs
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs
6. Give a reason why you consider their blogs cool

I nominate:

Susan at Blackberry Creek for making the coolest quilts in creation.

Debbie J at Homemaking Dreams for the great tutorials!

Lettie at Polka Dot Pineapple. Who knew you could do all that with yo-yos?

Enjoy these great blogs! And please scroll down for "Must Be Santa Monday."

Must Be Santa Monday

Amy over at "Be Jolly, By Golly" is hosting "Must Be Santa Monday" again. She posts about a cool little present she's giving her Dad this Christmas. Go on over and take a look:

I'm trying to make a bunch of presents this year, and will post about those at a later date...when I have something to show! Meantime, my big, for-the-whole family gift this year is going to be a...

DVD recorder.

Except I don't know anything about them. Does anyone have one? Any recommendations? I can't afford top-of-the-line but I can do better than the cheapest one since I've been saving up. So I'm open to suggestions!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

CVS Duracell Deal

This week, CVS has a deal where, if you buy $20 of Duracell batteries, you get back $15 ECBs!
C'mon, you know you're gonna need batteries, so this is the deal for you!

There is a coupon in today's paper, in the Redplum section. I think it's $1.50 off a package of Duracells, but I already used it so it might be different. It's in my Very High Value list, so it's definitely more than a dollar.

The way it works is that you'll have to buy 4 packages, because only 3 will put you under. Curses on "x.99"! I found some with a free little screwdriver as a bonus--those will make cute stocking stuffers.

If you look on the endcaps, you might also find a CVS coupon for $5 off 2 Duracell packs. I did not use this myself. There was a big line, and after my last CVS screw-up I didn't want to take a chance at losing my $15 deal. But you might want to see if you can use that $5 coupon, too!

Also, if you need fall decorations, CVS has them 90% off--at least at my store.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Husband Rocks Friday

Katie Lyn's got some cute wedding photos on her blog, so go take a look, and read why her husband is a 'keeper.'

Here is another reason why My Husband Rocks:

He does things I should do for myself, but hate putting gas in my car. I used to do it, but for some reason I don't like to do it now. Who knows why? Not only does Mike take my car to gas it up, he usually adds another $10 to the money I give him for gas!

Why does your husband rock? Wanna share?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dare to Share Thursday

I found another Thursday Carnival, over at "Be Jolly, by Golly!" It's called "Dare to Share", but Candace (omg, to be named "Candy" at holiday time!) is looking for another name. So if you think of one, let her know!
Here's her link:

And here is my 2 cents:


1 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 Cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Colored sugar for decorating

In a bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
Fill cookie press and press dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Decorate, then bake at 375 degrees for 6 minutes, or until edges just begin to brown.
Cool on a wire rack, then enjoy or freeze for later.

Now, my hint. Actually, I posted one a few posts ago: get some zipper type bags and measure out your flour, baking powder and salt. Label the bag! Do this for any cookies you plan to make, and you will have all your messy flour ready when you want to bake. You can use quart-size bags to measure out your sugars, too, and put this right down into the flour bag. Another mess taken care of ahead of time!

And another hint, since that was an old one. Use your weekly 40% off coupon for Michael's or A.C. Moore and get yourself a good cookie press if you don't have one. Wilton makes a nice one. Trust me on this, you want a decent toy to play with, not some piece of junk that is hard to 'press' and will only frustrate you. Consider it an investment!

Please visit Candace and join in her Christmas Carnival. And please scroll down, as I am playing in two carnivals today!


It's time for "Thrifty Thursday" over at Thrifty Jinxy. Jinxy, btw, is a lovely kitty-cat. Here's the link:
The above photo is my donation. It ain't pretty stuff, but hey, it works!
The red jar used to hold coffee. I painted it with some extra "Fusion" plastic spray paint (great stuff, btw) that I had, then I cut a slit in the side. What's inside? Quarters! Quarters I've been pushing in there for more than a month now. It's almost getting too heavy for me to pick up.
How do I avoid the temptation of dipping in there for spending money? I glued the top on! I'll have to cut the jar open to get the money. I plan to do that in December, and put whatever I have saved towards our family Christmas gift (a DVD recorder)! I threw in a twenty dollar bill just for fun. I have no idea how much is in there--for all I know, it's barely fifty bucks. But that would be fifty bucks I wouldn't have otherwise.

Quarters, I decided, are better to save than smaller coins. They add up faster. Mike gave me almost 2 dollars' worth yesterday, and I found another 2 dollars in quarters on my son's floor. (I consider it a tip for the maid--that's what he gets for having a messy bedroom floor.)
Okay, on to the funny paper. That is how I list my coupons. I don't cut coupons. I keep my circulars in a binder, each in a plastic sleeve. Each week, I make lists of what I have in each circular, with the date at the top. It doesn't take me long--I only list what I will use. (If I think one of our clients' at Dr. A's office can use something, I bring those coupons in to work).

I have 3 columns: Under $1, $1 and VHV (Very High Value). I list the coupons not by type but by worth. Nobody here doubles dollar coupons, but there is one store here that sometimes triples up to 99 cents!

You'll see there are colors. I use Pink highlighter for Health & Beauty, Green for Food and Blue for Household. It makes it easier to see what I have. When I use a coupon, I simply cross it off the list.
I keep the highlighters, a pencil and scissors in a zipper pouch right in the binder, so they are always on hand. I keep 'loose' coupons, like ones cut from magazines, in another zipper pouch in the back, and always remember to check it.

So that is my Thrifty Thursday post--I hope you join Jinxy, too!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Shadow's Meme

Sophie Belle Patterpaw over at Blackberry Creek tagged my dog Shadow for a meme, so here are Shadow's answers!

1. What breed are you?
I am a chihuahua, of the black and tan variety. Some people think I am a min-pin!

2. How old are you?
I turn three years old this month!
3. What is your full name?
Shadow Dante
4. Do you have any nicknames?
Moona, Gaboo, Poopadus, Poopa Stinka, Mommy's Little Man, you see a theme here? Mommy says I need doggie mouthwash.
5. Where do you sleep?

If Nicky (he's my uncle) is home, I sleep in his bed. Sometimes, I get to sleep with my mommy and daddy. In the daytime, I like to sleep on the couch like Sophie does, but mostly I like to bury myself under a quilt or some pillows and sleep like that. I like the hot-shot bed Katherine bought me, but the cats took it over. And you don't argue with cats.

6. What is your favorite thing to do?

Play dress up or run outside in the backyard like a lunatic. Oh, and bark at squirrels and my uncle Jamie's friends.

7. What is something unusual or interesting about you?
I'm little and cute, isn't that enough? Okay, when I was a puppy, I was small enough to fit in an Easter basket.

8. Who is your best friend?
My big mommy and daddy (that's Clare and Mike), my second mommy (that's Katherine) and Nicky. Dogwise, I am mucho in love with Roxy, a Pom who lives down the block. But, alas, she spurns all my advances. No Chi-Poms in my future! I also have a twisted crush on Nutmeg--she's the black and white cat. I am afraid of Melody, a little.

9. No, I did not go to Obedience School, but I have such a little brain I would not have been Top Dog.
10. Can you do any tricks? See answer #7
I touch my paw to any dog who wants to play! TAG!

Starting My Christmas Prep

Today, I measured out flour and other dry ingredients for 3 types of cookies. I labelled the bags (spritz cookies, brown sugar cutout cookies and sandwich cookies), including what ingredients are in them. In the case of the sandwich cookies, I also made a separate bag of powdered sugar, which I labeled and put inside the bigger bag.

That makes four baking steps already done!

Now all I have to do is watch for sales on butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Butter's on sale this week, so I'll stock up, but I haven't seen any deals on other baking needs yet. I'm keeping my eyes open!

Friday, November 07, 2008

My Husband Rocks Friday

Short and sweet, again...

My husband rocks because he approaches things in an analytical way and cuts through the propaganda and hearsay. What I mean is, if I'm confused about something I've heard (he's very left-brained, I'm very right-brained), all I have to do is ask him and I know I'll get a sensible and real answer. Lately, I have a lot of questions about the president elect. There's some scary-sounding stuff out there, but I'm going to listen to my husband's interpretation of it all and feel much better about the world.

Go on an pay a visit and see where "My Husband Rocks" got started!

Etsy Shout-Out

Brenda over at "Country Romance from the Heart" has started her own Etsy shop, featuring homemade mixes--"Gourmet from the Heart."
I received my package today, including Mexican Fiesta Dip and Sesame Seed Dip. I may or may not save them for my Christmas Eve Party, LOL!
Not only were they beautifully packaged, but Brenda threw in a free sample of Bacon Dip Mix. Oh, boy--I love bacon! Bacon, bacon, bacon...I sound like the dog in the Beggin' Strips commercial.

Hop on over there and see what she's got. It all looks amazing.

PS--you can also reach the shop via Brenda's blog--see my sidebar.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pantry Inventory

Well, first, I passed my 500th post mark and didn't even realize it, LOL! Blogging Time Flies!

Okay, onto today's offering: Debbie J. inspired me with a post about stocking up for winter:

I had taken an inventory of my pantry way back in July, so it was high time to do it again. I still had the original on my computer, so I just printed out copies and took those to the pantry (actually, a big hall closet) and did some editing. I crossed off what was gone and added new stuff, and now I have two nice lists--one for the bottom shelf and one for the middle shelf. (The top shelf is cereal, which fluctuates too much to bother with inventory.)

By going back over the old list and seeing what was crossed off, I was able to see what things I need to be stocking up on. I just jotted them down quickly, but I plan to make an index card to keep in my wallet to have on hand whenever I go out shopping. You never know when you'll see a good deal on ketchup, LOL!

Next stop: the freezer!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday

I actually have a kitchen tip today for "Kitchen Tip Tuesday" over at Tammy's recipes.

It's a little silly, but it worked. I was making breaded chicken tenders. You're supposed to let them sit for a bit to let the egg/flour/bread crumbs 'set up' before frying. All my dishes were in the dishwasher. But I'd just finished an 18-count egg carton, so I decided to use that! What do you know...six tenders fit perfectly on this. It keeps them 'up' a bit so the bottoms dry out, too.

Of course, I threw out the egg carton when I was done. But now I think I'll have to remember to save these, LOL!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

He had scungilli for his birthday

Scungilli--Skun-GEE--lee. A kind of ugly sea snail. For some reason, my husband and 3 older kids love the stuff.
This was what Jamie (he of the flak jacket and serious expression in my Halloween post) requested for his birthday dinner. Mike made it for him with homemade sauce. It was a big hit, except not with me or Nicky. I had a ham sandwich. I'm not sure what Nicky had as I was at work.
I made some hamburger sliders that Jamie ate for lunch. He requested a jar of pickles and some ketchup as a gift--easy kid, LOL!