Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Nighttime Prep


I am sure many people do this but I know prepping as many things as possible the night before works for me.

  • I make my son's lunch.
  • I lay out his clothes for the next day.
  • I get the coffee maker set up (we do not have a programmable one).
  • I set my clothes out.
  • I have all my work stuff in my briefcase.
  • I even set my briefcase and purse by the front door.
  • I have my lunch made.
  • I take something out of the freezer for the next day's dinner.
  • I sometimes even set out bowls, spoons and cereal boxes for breakfast.

Every little thing I can do the night before saves me time in the morning so that I don't feel rushed. If I can sleep an extra 10 minutes, all the better.

This works for me - to see what works for others, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Kitchen tip Tuesday - Yummy Fruit Salad


I like to make my own fruit salad but at this time of year, the fruit isn't always as sweet as I would like.

So I add honey and a touch of lemon juice.

Kim's fruit salad

Strawberries - sliced,
Blueberries,
grapes - halved,
pineapple - chunks (fresh not tinned)

This is just what I usually add - you can add any fruit you like really.

Once I wash and cut up all the fruit, I add a tbsp or two (depending on how much fruit you have) of honey and about a tsp of lemon juice (bottled is fine). Experiment to see how you like it.

Mix it up and enjoy. I usually make this fresh and eat it immediately so I can't say how it stores in the fridge.

For more great Kitchen tips - got to Tammy's Recipes.

Monday, 28 April 2008

New Job and Catch Up Post

Woo Hoo I got the job I interviewed for on Friday with Western Union. It is a 3-month contract to start, with a good probability of going longer. I start Monday.

I have many things to wrap up before starting work. I have gotten used to all this extra time I have being home. I am definitely going to miss it. I will have to get up at 5am, leave by 5:50am and get home at 5:30pm each evening. I am sure it will take some getting used to, but it will sure be nice to have an income again :)

I have to take stock of my business clothes, hem, press or mend anything that needs it. I have to finish up the taxes, I submitted mine and hubby's today, still have sis and nephew's to do tomorrow.

I have to check the freezer and plan meals for next week as I am sure I won't want to cook much until I get back into the swing of things.

I also have some sewing/stitching/knitting projects that I need to finish up.

I went to my sister's bowling banquet Saturday night. We had a really nice time and did so much dancing that I am still a tad sore and stiff today. Too many muscles I haven't used over the winter.

I will have to prewrite a lot more posts so that I can keep up. I don't want to completely slack off because I am working again.

I have read a bit more of "New Earth" but I am still having a hard time with it - it is just too wordy to hold my attention for long. They recommend reading it in small chunks so that you digest it better, but I think it because that is all you can stand in one reading LOL

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Spring Bloggy Giveaway - Winner

I have chosen a winner in a very technical way - I had my husband pick a number between 1 and 191 and he chose lucky number 7!

Thew winner is...

mommanator said...

first time viewer here. Love the tote- I have tried making them, but there is something I am missing from my tries! Maybe the color in the fabrics??

Right now am filet crocheting. New thing for me although a crocheter for awhile. Would use the tote for the crochet materials.

If truth be known I think my hobby is my family and grandchildren! does that sound stupid? Don't have much time for sitting and crocheting or much else!

April 21, 2008 7:10 AM


Mommanator, you have the choice of this bag

or this bag (may have a different fabric strip however).

Let me know which you like better, reply to my email with your snail mail address and I will get your prize in the mail.

Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

A New Earth - Book review Part 1

Ok so I finally bit the bullet and ordered this book - I was on a waiting list at the library but it would have been next year some time before it was my turn.

I excitedly grabbed the book out of the mailbox this morning and sat down with a coffee to read. I have been really looking forward to this book from all I have heard about it. I have not read any other books by Tolle.

So......

Well I am not sure I am liking this book all that much. I am only on chapter two so far but something about the way the author writes is rubbing me the wrong way. I am a great fan of Dr Wayne Dyer as well as Robin Sharma and not new to the main concepts of this book.

First of all, a good editor could have used a weed whacker to get through the overgrown mumblings of the first chapter. It was extremely difficult to get through without reading a sentence and saying "what?" and having to reread it. I am not stupid or anything - there was just a little too many words for what he was saying - ever known a person that talks a lot but doesn't say anything? That is what I was getting. As a writer, I am all about "get to the point".

Somehow, although he isn't blatant about it, I am getting a feeling of righteousness from Tolle. Like he knows ALL and those of us that are still "thought-based" are somehow lesser. I know, I know he didn't actually say that - that is just how I am perceiving his writings.

I am not going to stop reading - I will continue and update this review as I go.

I read on someone's blog recently how some Christian group is telling everyone to boycott the book and Oprah since she endorsed it. People like that drive me nuts. But people who just jump on the pro bandwagon because someone like Oprah endorses something, also drive me nuts.

Before ordering the book I read several reviews on Amazon. Some were those bandwagon jumpers who just gushed at how good the book was and how it would change your life but didn't/couldn't explain why.

Then there were those that simply said it was evil and there was only one path to God and that was through Jesus.

One review I found interesting said that the book had too much fat before you get to the meat - I find myself agreeing with that so far.

As I haven't read far into the book yet, I can't say if I find it good or not. Little things he writes are bugging me though. Like how he states many of the great spiritual writings of the past have been misinterpreted - I am sure many have been, but how does he know for sure? Does he have proof? I have always questioned the origins of the Bible for instance, as a child I wondered, what if it was just a fictional book and now half the world is believing it. But this is my opinion, it is not definitive. I can't say it is correct. Yet he seems to be doing that. Because he believes it - it is so. Isn't that part of what he is telling us in the book? Just because you believe it, doesn't make it Truth?

Again - I don't know a lot about Tolle, but read where he says he got close to suicide. Makes you wonder doesn't it? What if this guy is just really whacked and has grand illusions, and we the public are falling for it. Are we just so eager for someone to follow, that we will pick anyone?

Who knows - as I read on, I may decide he is the brightest man in the world. I'll let you know if I do :)

Disclaimer: These are my opinions only - not meant to diminish anyone else's opinions. But it is my blog :) Constructive criticism and opinions welcome - flamers will be deleted.

Popcorn

Is it weird that I buy light microwave popcorn and then put melted butter on it?

I didn't think so either :D

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

More toting!

I have really been on this tote making kick - it is just so easy and addictive to make something so cute so fast.

Here is one I made - I wanted it to be rigid- I put cardboard wrapped in packing tape into the sides and the bottom - it works but not ideal - I am sure there is something out there to make bags rigid - probably really stiff interfacing - but I wasn't going to the store so I made do. Just can't wash it LOL. I had this fabric left over from drapes at my old house and I have covered my dining room chairs in it too.


Here a couple more in the works - you can see the first one is just pinned so far - I really want to get something to make the bottom hard before I sew it up. I think this one will be for my sister for Mother's Day and the next one, which is almost the exact same will be for my Mother In-law for Mother's Day.

I have a lot more of that dusty rose fabric and am thinking to make a third one. I will let the winner of my Giveaway chose between the purple tote and the new dusty rose one.

Do you think these would sell? Like in Etsy or something? If so, how much do you think I should charge? If I keep making them - I will have to have something to do with them :)

Works for me Wednesday - Scheduling Posts


Edited to add: You must be using the draft version of Blogger for this to work - avail here.

On a recent backwards Works for me Wednesday - I asked if anyone knew how to make posts automatically post at a specific time on Blogger. I came to find out, that that could not be done.

But wait! There is a new draft version of Blogger with new features and this is one of them!

I have been using this feature for a week or so now and love it. You write a post, and set the post date in the future and then click Publish.

It will be listed in your post list as Scheduled. When the specific time and date rolls around, your post is automatically posted! How cool is that?

I have been in the habit of writing posts ahead of time but always had to remember to go back and post them - now I don't.

Check it out! you can find it on your Blogger home page.

For more great Works for me Wednesday posts - go here!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Thrift Store & Yard Sale Finds

I did a little thrift shopping on Saturday - I know I am late posting this.

My sister came by bright and early Saturday morning - we were hoping to find some yard sales as the weather was just gorgeous - but we only found two - we followed signs for another 3 but they must have been old signs - I hate when people forget to take down their signs Grrr ......Ok rant over :)

Anyway, I found this cute tea cup at the first yard sale
for $1 - I plan to turn it into a pincushion.

I didn't find anything at the 2nd yard sale.

Next we went to Value Village - I lucked out and got this nice spring jacket for $9.99 - they don't usually have anything in my size - so this is really lucky. I was recently complaining to my husband that I had a dressy spring jacket and a ratty fleece (for camping and the like) spring jacket but nothing for everyday wear. Now I do.

I also found a pair of brand new jeans for my son for $7.99.
Ya he is 11 and into skulls at the moment :)
I got this lovely piece of fabric for $1.99 - which will
likely become a tote or the lining for one :)

Some crocheted lace for 99 cents. Not sure what to do with this - trim a tote?
Add to a crazy quilt? So many possibilities.

Kitchen tip Tuesday - Clean as you go


I had a hard time thinking of a tip today - I asked my husband for a kitchen tip to share - He said and I quote " Don't cook bacon while naked." I didn't ask if that was just speculation or if he had first hand knowledge LOL.

My tip today is to clean as you go - it makes perfect sense, but I am not always sensible :)

If I am cooking and I leave all the cleaning until the end - I usually just want to eat whatever was prepared and then relax - the last thing I want to do is wash dishes.

So now I try (try being the key word here :)) to clean as I go - I put ingredients away as soon as I have used them. I wash a dish as soon as I am done with it. There is always a spare minute here or there while waiting for something to saute or boil to wash a dish or two and it really doesn't seem like I am cleaning because I am still cooking - does that make sense?

And then at the end, there just isn't as much to clean up and life is so much easier!

For more Kitchen Tips - pop over to Tammy's place!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Spring Bloggy Giveaway - Tote Bag

CONTEST NOW CLOSED _ I'LL PICK A WINNER TOMORROW

Woo Hoo it is that time of year again!

Time for another giveaway!

NOTE: PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL IN THE COMMENTS OR MAKE SURE YOUR BLOGGER PROFILE HAS THE EMAIL TURNED ON - OTHERWISE I CANNOT REACH YOU IF YOU WIN AND THAT WOULD BE SAD.

I have decided this time to give away one of my hand-made tote bags - haven't decided which one yet, I think I'll whip up a couple new ones this week, so it will be a surprise. There may be a few extra goodies in there too!

Here is one I made to give you an idea of what they look like.

Contest open to those in North America only, due to shipping costs.

To enter, just leave a comment and tell me what your favorite hobby is - currently mine is sewing.

Please make sure you leave your email in the comment so that I can contact you (this format is best: me at hotmail dot com)

Contest closes Friday April 25th at 9pm.

I will announce the winner on the weekend.

Good luck all.

To enter more great contests - pop over to Bloggy Giveaways

Friday, 18 April 2008

Favorite Ingredients Friday - Imitation Crab Dip


Of course you could use real crab in this dip as well - I just always have the imitation kind on hand in the freezer.

I made this recipe up so things are not exact - taste as you go along and change it up to suit your tastes.

  • Package of imitation crab (Pollock fish) - sometimes called Sea Legs, etc. - chopped fine w/some bigger chunks
  • 3 oz cream cheese - I nuke this for 30 secs to soften it
  • 1/2 c mayo - I use Miracle whip
  • 1-2 green onions - chopped fine
  • 3 T seafood/shrimp sauce
  • seasoning salt
  • chopped garlic or garlic powder to your liking
  • splash of worchestershire sauce

Mix this all up and chill for at least an hour to set flavors.
Don't be afraid to taste and add stuff (or leave anything out) to make it how you like it.
For instance - chopped salad shrimp would be nice, finely diced red onion, sour cream, maybe celery for crunch.

Experiment!

For more luscious recipes, pop over to Overwhelmed with Joy!

Frugal Fridays - Revisit what you already have



I have really been on a sewing kick lately. I have been making totes galore.
I have also been reading several sewing blogs about finding great fabric at amazing prices at thrift stores.

I would really like to go to the thrift store and find more luscious fabric but in truth, I really don't have that money to spend, even at the thrift store.

So what did I do? Well I started digging into the stash of fabric I already have - and to my surprise I found a lot that I had forgotten about. Pieces that will work wonderfully with what I have in mind.

I started organizing my fabric into co-ordinated project piles. I really do have enough fabric. I would love to find some great deals at the thrift store - but that can wait - I have enough for now.

Sometimes the "Wants" can be very loud - you just have to stuff a piece of fabric in their mouths :)

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Thankful Thursday - SPRING!


  • I am so very thankful that it is finally Spring!
    I know it officially arrived a couple weeks ago but it hasn't felt like it until recently.
  • I am thankful that today's projected temp is 20C (68F).
  • I am thankful that the birds are singing and I can hear them because I have the windows open.
  • I am thankful that I can put away all the winter clothes for another year.
  • I am thankful that my backyard is finally drying up and my dog can come in without leaving muddy paw-prints everywhere.
  • And as always, I am thankful for my loving husband and my adorable son and that we are happy & healthy.
For more Thankful Thursday posts, go here.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

What to make for dinner? Hmmmmm

Ever have one of those days? I do - frequently actually :)

I found this cool cooking site today - Lisa Cooking.com.

She has LOTS of quick easy kid -friendly meals.

And lots of pictures - I hate food blogs without pictures, don't you? I mean, how do I know my version turned out right if I can't see what it is supposed to look like - I won't buy cookbooks without pictures either - I'm picky that way :)

That's a Lasagna Rollup over there - looks nummy don't it ? :)


Hmmm now I have too many ideas and still don't know what to make for dinner ARG!

Works for me Wednesday - Quick Bathroom Cleaning with Lysol Wipes


I really dislike having to clean my bathrooms - but it something that has to be done.

I decided some time ago that I would tackle the job while it was small and manageable and not a huge chore.

How do I do that?

I keep a container of these in each of my 3 bathrooms.

At least once per day (sometimes only every 2nd day), while I am in each washroom, I grab a wipe and give the counters a quick wipe, straightening stuff on the counter as I go. I use the same wipe on the door knob, then on the toilet lid, the toilet seat, then under the toilet seat and then I toss it in the wastebasket. Some days I take a second wipe to the floor around the toilet (I have a little boy :))

I haven't done a deep cleaning of my bathroom but it is definitely cleaner than it was - and that Works for Me!

For more great tips check out Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Blah

Kid has been home from school for two days - we be sick :(

Actually, we are both finally feeling better this evening. Kiddo had a fever since Sunday afternoon that finally broke this morning.

He didn't mind missing school though, he got to play video games :) Hey he was sick - don't judge me!

I haven't sewn much in the past couple days but have been knitting on my sister's wrap - that thing just never seems to grow!

Just remembered that tomorrow is Wednesday - have to start thinking of what I can post for Works for me Wednesday!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

New blogger features - Finally!

Have you seen that there is a new draft Blogger with new features?

One of those new features is being able to schedule posts - that means you can write them in advance and then set the date, click Publish and they will automatically publish when you want them to!

How cool is that?!

I have been waiting for this feature - in fact I am using it now as I write this post several days before it will be published (so that I have a post per day).

The other new feature is a Blog List that you can add to your sidebar that will let you know when new posts have been written to those blogs - cool again huh? :)

It's the little things in life that excite me :)

Friday, 11 April 2008

Scales, scales, scales and more scales!

Bathroom scales – we all have a love hate relationship with them don’t we?

Regardless of how we feel about that number, we continue to get on and check.

So we need good reliable scales. ScalesEtc.com has them!

Actually they have pretty much every type of scale you can imagine.

Need a bathroom scale? ScalesEtc.com has several.

Need a food scale? They have over a dozen to choose from!

Need to know how big that fish really is? Get a fish scale from ScalesEtc.com.

Does your business require you ship goods out frequently? They even has shipping scales.

Need to weight small stuff on the go? They carry several digital pocket scales that you can take with you!

They also have a new line of scales - Escali digital scales. They are pretty trendy looking and reasonably priced - a hard combo to find.

If you are looking for scales - they are worth checkin out!

Favorite Ingredients Friday - Teriyaki Chicken


Here is a nice easy one my family likes.

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

6-8 chicken pcs (I like to take the skin off)
1/2 c soya sauce (low sodium)
3 T brown sugar
1 T sherry
3 cloves garlic (I always use more :)
pinch of ginger powder (I don't like too much - you can use more)

Place the chicken in the crockpot.
Mix all other ingredients together and pout over chicken.
Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Serve over rice.

Enjoy!

For more great recipe ideas - check out Overwhelmed with Joy.

Frugal Fridays - Getting the last drop!


It has been mentioned several times before but I think it bares repeating.

When your body lotion is getting low - cut the bottle open and you will be surprised to find at least a few more applications inside. I do this with my foundation as well - there was SO much left inside that I couldn't get out before cutting.

After squeezing out the last dregs of toothpaste, I cut the tube open and find another brushing's worth.

Turn your shampoo & conditioner bottles upside down to get the last drops (after you have added a touch of water!)

Add a tablespoon of water to the last of the salad dressing, steak sauce, BBQ sauce bottle - it will be a little thinner than normal but still tasty.

For more easy frugal ideas - head over to Biblical Womanhood!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Noteworthy Websites

Looking for Crockpot recipes? Check out A Year Of CrockPotting.

She has vowed to use her crockpot everyday in 2008 - so far so good! She included lots of pictures and verdicts on how a recipe turns out too.

Melon carvings - yup just what it sounds like - weird but interesting too.

A Taste of Home Cooking - oh my gosh - every post has pictures of delicious looking food - I want to make everything!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Making Money Online


Ok I am not talking an actual salary here - but a few bucks.

I write for PayPerPost.com. Each post has a different value on it but nothing less than $5. Most are fairly easy to write too. I have made $16.50 so far this week. If you would like to join PayPerPost please click the link at the top right - I will get a referral fee if you join.

I also write tips for Daytipper.com. For every accepted and published post you get $1. I have had one tip published and am awaiting payment. I have several others awaiting approval.

I have also joined Helium.com. A client posts a topic, several people write on that topic and then the client picks the one they like best and that person gets paid. Rates vary.

I have the money from both of these deposited into my PayPal account to use for future fabric purchases.

So no I am not making scads of money, but I am supporting my fabric hoarding habit :)

For more great ideas, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Kitchen Tip Tuesday - Make your own single servings


This may not be new to many of you, but here goes anyway.

I buy applesauce, yogurt, chips, cookies etc...in large packages and repackage into single servings for my son's lunches.

I could easily buy those cute little containers of applesauce or that yogurt that comes in a tube...but with a little thought and very little effort, I buy the big containers and then dish it out into little Tupperware like containers for a much cheaper price.

I buy big bags of chips and put them into small snack-sized bags. My son even brings home the baggies so I can reuse them for more chips.

Instead of those convenient cheese sticks - I pack my son a one ounce chunk of cheddar.

He seems to like and eat everything - so why waste my money when a little of my time can save so much!

Monday, 7 April 2008

Great Photo Card Ideas!


You know how everyone and their grandmother takes a family Christmas picture and has it made into a card to mail out to friends and relatives?
Custom Photo Cards makes it a snap!
You simply chose a card layout and then upload the photo of your choice. You can add any text to the front or inside the card that you like. You even get to choose the font style and size. You can order different quantities as well.
Well what if we sent out cards with our pictures or favourite photos for other occasions?
Just think about all the possibilities!
  • A great photo of you with a bunch of scantily clad girls/guys on Spring Break – send it to friends that couldn’t make it to let them know what they are missing and to your parents so they know the tuition money is being well spent J
  • How about a photo of you in last years Halloween costume to use as this years Halloween party invitations?
  • Your engagement photo would look great on the thank you cards for your wedding shower gifts.
  • Same goes for the wedding gift thank you cards – great way to share your wedding photos too. Wedding photos are a great addition to anniversary party invites too.
  • A cherished baby picture would look great on your child’s high school graduation announcement (although, they may not think so J). How about the graduation picture on the grad gifts thank you cards?
  • Imagine a great group shot of last year’s New Years Eve party for this year’s invitation?
  • Then of course there are baby announcements, Easter cards, and Valentine’s cards – oh the list is endless!
Just check CardsDirect out!

Making Monday Better

All I need is love....ummm and this :)




I can thank Vickie that I am not drinking instant.

I usually only have one coffee a day but I REALLY need that one coffee!

So instead of making a pot, I usually just grab instant. Not now that we have the good stuff in the house!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

What we did this weekend

On Saturday we surprised the kiddo by giving him his Birthday gift a few days early. His actual Birthday is Tuesday - he will be 11.

But we wanted him to have time to play with his gift and school nights are not ideal.
So this is what happened....

Reading the card...
Gets a glimpse of the XBOX logo...no way!
Totally cool!

I didn't get a picture of him running first to his Dad and then to me to hug and thank us - wiping out on the floor in the process :)

Then we let him open the box only to realize it was empty.

I acted all put out - Oh man - now we will have to go back to the store and it was the last one there. He was thinking he was going to have to wait at least a week to get a replacement - until his Dad turned the TV on and the XBox logo displayed :)

Here he is checking out the console.
And of course we didn't see or hear from him again for days :)

Friday, 4 April 2008

Look look what I got!

Look, look, look!

I received my tote from my swap buddy Vickie today.

When I was paired up with Vickie and we started corresponding via email, Vickie told me she doesn't sew much - look at the amazing job she did!


And we even picked similar fabrics for each other's totes.
You can see the one I made her here.

Check out the cool fabric inside!

And just look at all the yummy stuff she included!

A Saltscape magazine (from her side of Canada), a lil handmade pouch with beach glass, rocks and shells, a bag of gummy Lifesaver candy (that my son wants to claim) and a large bag of organic French Roast coffee (my husband & I will really enjoy this!).



Thank you so much Vickie - I love it all!

P.S. I couldn't keep the candy monster away!
He promised to save me some though.

There has been some sewing going on!

Updated: New pic at bottom of post!

Since I made the tote for my new friend Vickie as part of the Tote Swap over at Down To Earth, I have kind of been on a tote-making kick.

Vickie received the tote I made her in the mail yesterday, so now I can show you pictures.

It looks kind of plain at this point.

I also added pockets inside.

I decided to add this to the front - it is quilted and then hand stitched to the front.
I like its' puffiness :)

The other evening I whipped this one up in a couple hours.

And then this one I made from an old skirt that didn't fit well but I love the fabric. I still have lots more fabric so may make a couple more. The fabric colour differs on each side. I used it yesterday to hold my wrap when I went to my Dr's appt.

The there is this patchwork bit that I made that I think will become a tote.

As will this denim and fabric patchwork.
I have some small square canvas tote bags that I bought a long time ago - I am thinking to add this to the front of one of them.

In my haste to get going on my next project, I sewed the back to the front the wrong way around - so here is a nice picture showing what happens when you are in too big of a rush :)

I really like how this one turned out. The embroidered bit is from a blouse I bought at Value Village. I had planned to incorporate it into a crazy quilt - but I like this better and there is still another side to the blouse with the same embroidery.

I am not sure what I will do with them all.

I can't really use them all myself. I have a tote that Vickie made coming in the mail.

My family and my in-laws aren't really people who appreciate handmade items - well not true - my sister D loves stuff I make her - I just don't think she needs that many totes :)

My son is going on his first sleepover tonight and asked me to make him a tote - I have to get started on that right now :)

So this is what I came up for the kiddo - I don't have many boyish fabrics unfortunately, so I took one of those square canvas totes and an old shirt that didn't fit him anymore and made this. I hope he likes it!