Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grocery List

We just went grocery shopping (early) to beat the Black Friday and Christmas crowds. Boy, did we stockpile the food. With the recent addition of Whole Foods to our neighborhood, we had no trouble making a sizable dent in the grocery budget.

We try to eat healthy foods. Superfoods. (Great book!) Rarely do we eat out and fast food never sounds appealing. We feel better when we eat well. High fructose corn syrup is the enemy - as is enriched anything. Many people falsely believe that healthy food doesn't taste very well. Au contraire! So, I decided to pass along my current top 5 favorite healthy food products.

First up, Stonyfield Farm Organic Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt. I've never been a fan of fruit yogurt, but this is reeeally close to dessert. Very creamy. Yum. And no HFCS or artificial sweeteners. This was purchased from Whole Foods.

Next is a new find from WF, it's R.W. Knudsen Organic Goji Berry Juice. This juice is heavenly and it incorporates a Superfood.

Another good snack is Kashi T.L.C. 7 Grain Crackers found at Walmart. If you need more fiber and whole grains, these delicious crackers make it easy.

My favorite cereal is Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola Cereal. Again, it's the best granola I've come across (even Charlotte asks for this for breakfast!) It's available at Walmart, Trader Joe's and WF.

Lastly, Triple Leaf Tea Cold and Flu Time. This tea is a little tougher to find (also available online here). At the first sign of feeling a little under the weather, we drink a cup or two and start to feel better right away. Continue drinking the tea as directed and it definitely shortens the duration of your cold. I give this as gifts to family and friends. It even tastes good!

Do you have favorite health foods? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Falling (tea) Leaves Swap Received!

Look at all the wonderful goodness that was sent to me by Angelena over at Little Mountain House!

She was my swap partner for the Falling (tea) Leaves swap. It's incredible, but she managed to send my very favorite tea AND my husband's favorite tea... Celestial Seasonings chamomile and true blueberry. How did she do that??! Also sent, a variety of other teas, wild cherry hard candies, two mini doilies, decorative fall leaves, a blueberry scone recipe and a delightful cranberry toile tea cup and saucer. Unfortunately, the Post Office was unkind to the package and the tea cup handle broke in 4 places, while the saucer broke cleanly in half. But that's what superglue is for :) Everything is wonderful. Thank you Angelena!

Here's what I sent to Little Mountain House:a vintage tea towl, a tea sandwich plate and cup set, a box of delicious gingerbread tea and a brown and white polka dot apron that I made just for her.

I had this vision of an apron (mom, stop rolling your eyes) that I wanted to make for her. That's how it is with me, I come up with something in my mind and then have to find it or make it happen. Without a pattern, I started cutting... and created my first half apron. And my first ruffle! I put two running stitches (starting in the middle and working out) to create the ruffle without breaking the thread.

What really set in my mind was to create a removable, decorative (thrifted) lace panel on the front of the apron.
I wanted to create a hostess-type apron. She can wear it while working, then attach the pretty lace panel via the hooks and eyes to dress it up a bit when the guests arrive. The apron turned out as I envisioned, so it was difficult to part with! It was a joy to make, and I hope that she enjoys wearing it.

Be sure to check out Rebecca and Danielle's swap too. They exchanged a vast amount of goodies. Well done, ladies!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dutch Treats

It's time, once again, for a yard sale report. This sweet little bavarian house is also... a musical jewelry box. Charlotte has already enjoyed dancing along with the ballerina to "Edelweiss". It cost me 25 cents. The music box sits atop a brand new, red felt Christmas tree skirt. I plan to embellish it with some type of embroidery. That was purchased for 50 cents.
Next up, four children's book at 20 cents each. (C is a book hound since she doesn't watch tv.) The red velvet vintage child's Christmas apron was scooped up for $1. (They're never too young to start the apron obsession, are they??) This pretty blue floral tea cup was a steal at 25 cents. (I bought that for my neighbor who has been under the weather.) Lastly, you'll notice the icky fake wood grain on my little dutch girl. She has a secret though...
the front plate swings away to reveal some type of hiding place. Well, I don't actually know what it is, but it will be a secret hiding place. It needs a coat of paint first. Grand total = $3.30.

Also purchased, more aprons for my shop, shipping supplies and an umbrella stroller. Our dog recently broke C's stroller, so I bought an identical replacement - in a different color - for $2.

Many folks were feeling generous this weekend. I tried to buy a wiffle ball for C to play with, but the man insisted on giving it to me. Also, the woman holding the yard sale with shipping supplies chit chatted with me about children and foot surgery. Before I left, she gave me an art set for my daughter, two Christmas placemats and a Christmas doormat - all brand new! Now that's a thrifty weekend :)

Dad on Veterans Day

For Veterans Day this year, my father decided to attend a nearby parade. He put on his camo jacket, his army hat and headed out to honor other vets. While waiting for the parade to begin, some folks approached him and asked if he had been in the army. Why yes, he had. Would he like to help lead the parade by carrying the flag and representing the United States Army? Of course he would. That's my father - on the far left - with the long legs, camo jacket and American pride.

He was given a medal of thanks. School children made him sweet thank you cards. He deserves each one. For all those cold nights outside on the ground, for the train ride to the Czech border wondering if WW III awaited him, for time and self-sacrifice, he deserves to lead a parade.

Whenever I meet a vet, I thank them. Every day should be Veterans Day. They truly know what it means to serve.

Thank you, Dad. I'm so proud of you.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bunnies Need Pillows Too

My daughter has been climbing on top of our bed, sinking back into our pillows and staying there. Sometimes for minutes at a time. This is truly a feat of mammoth proportions when you're talking about a toddler. She acted like she wanted her own pillow. So, I purchased a super soft travel sized pillow, then I dug out some thrifted supplies. Using 20 cents worth of $1 thrifted fabric and 25 cent thrifted iron on velcro, I got to work.
After measuring the pillow, I cut the fabric to size with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, plus 3/4 of an inch in the length for the no-sew velcro. 20 minutes later... Bunny got to try out a pillow.

Then another bunny tried out the pillow. She now carries it everywhere. For less than 50 cents, I made a pillowcase that matches Charlotte's bedding. And her size :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Mail It!

It's Vintage Thingies Thursday again. Please visit our hostess, The Apron Queen, for plenty more blogworthy vintage finds.
This vintage metal file box recently caught my eye. It was a great brick red color, had sweet, white carrier pigeons swooping down with the mail and was useful to boot!

I snatched it up. I don't know it's vintage time frame, but the woman who sold it to me was, well, vintage. You may have noticed that I've been using the past tense... that's because my address box went up for sale in my new vintage etsy shop Acorn Pudding. It has already sold. Parting with our vintage goodies is truly bittersweet. We just can't keep everything - even if we want to keep stashing it all away. Plus, it actually brings me hope because now I'm looking forward to the next find!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Acorn Pudding

As I've eluded to previously, I've had something big in the works. It's my new etsy shop for all the vintage good stuff I've come across. It's called: Acorn Pudding. Just like a squirrel storing away nuts, I bring vintage goodies to my shop. Even before I could tell you about my newest shop, I've already made a few sales. Yay! And there is much more to be added...

Last week was also our wedding anniversary. We had our annual dinner out, just the two of us. It's so foreign after having a baby! We also took in a movie. In the theater. It was very enjoyable to get out with just my dear H. (Btw, we saw Fireproof. Highly recommended. Tip toe past a little corny acting to hopscotch into a wonderful message.)

Like I said, busy, busy, from one tree to the next!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Poo

This is my shampoo and conditioner. Yes, for my hair.

For years I have struggled with oily hair, daily shampooing and switching shampoo to keep my hair "confused". Turns out that I was the confused one. Shampoo and conditioner were the problem. I went no-poo. I'm never going back.

Honestly, I didn't think it would really work. I enjoyed my hair smelling like a pina colada. But, I was willing to try going no-poo for two weeks. There was trial and error involved (I needed more baking soda per washing and acv every other day.) Without harsh chemicals, my hair is no longer being stripped. My hair actually stays clean longer. Here's the bonus: I'm saving money too!

How do you go no-poo? I've found a couple of links for you here and here.

There is no lather with baking soda, but that's a good thing. When the acv is rinsed out, the strong smell goes away. My hair is actually soft without a store-bought conditioner! It's a better, natural alternative for my daughter (whose former baby shampoo had anesthetic to make it "no tears".) I use a parmesan cheese shaker for the baking soda and a squeeze bottle to mix my acv conditioner with warm shower water.

It's easier than you think. I'm going on 10 months strong!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thrifty Goodness Giveaway/Swap Partners

My friend Rebecca, over at Thrifty Goodness, is having a giveaway! She's surprising one lucky blog reader with this Knitpickers Yarn Holder next monday. Be sure to fly on over and leave her a comment to be entered for the drawing! While you're there, peruse through her free patterns and all around thrifty goodness :)
Swap partners have been matched up! Chosen at random, they are as follows:
Lauren/Karla/Jenn (Lauren to Karla, Karla to Jenn and Jenn to Lauren)
All swap participants should look for an email/comment from me with details. Thanks and have fun swapping!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

Christmas! It may not even be Thanksgiving yet, but I couldn't wait any longer. Yup, I go straight from candy corn to candy canes. These little bobbies are just screaming to be eaten, er... worn. I hope to start putting my Christmas clippies and all around hair goodies in the shop soon.

There is so much more that I'd like to share, but it's all part of another big surprise on the horizon. Since you're at my mercy, you'll be forced to practice the virtue of patience.

Have you started down the path towards Christmas preparation? Have you scheduled your family photos? Have you purchased a few gifts to stash away? Are there any decorations out yet?? Do share!
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