Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quit with the Free Mayo Already

Dear Kroger,

While I am deeply grateful that you send me coupons in the mail, several of which are for completely free items, I do not think I can handle another free jar of mayonnaise. Your past two mailings have included coupons for free jars of Miracle Whip. The problem is, all of your jars of mayo expire in March. I waited. I kept returning to your store to check the expiration dates on your mayo. March 2010. March 2010. March 2010. How do you expect me to use up two large jars of mayo in the next two or three months?

In your next mailing, feel free to include a free coupon on something like cheese or bread. I go through these items quickly. Mayo- not so much. Today, in an effort to use up some of Mayo Jar #1, I whipped up some tuna salad and some tartar sauce. Said tartar sauce went beautifully with the $1.99 tilapia I purchased at your store during my last visit. I also have several jars of pickles from a recent grocery trip when I went a little nutso got excited at your pickles on clearance. Too bad hubby doesn't eat pickles. He also doesn't eat fish or seafood. Looks like I'll be eating lots of tuna salad and tartar sauce while my dear husband starves to death.

Please, for the sake of my marriage, do not send me another Miracle Whip coupon. You know I have a special weakness for all things free and would not be able to turn it down. You know I hate wastefulness and so I would be stuck trying to use up yet another jar of mayo. A girl can only eat so much mayo.



P.S. It would also be helpful if in your next mailer you were able to include some delicious recipes using said Miracle Whip. It would be even better if those recipes did not involve pickles or seafood so that my husband doesn't wither away to nothing. I have heard about cake recipes that utilize mayo- this I am willing to try (for my husband of course). Also, baconnaise is a new concept to me that I just might have to give a whirl. If you have any outstanding recipes like these, please send them my way. Thank you.

P.P.S. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't Suck on the Toilet Seat

Yeah, the wee tot actually did that. And unfortunately he did it before we cleaned the bathroom. *Sigh*

Remember these magnets?

Speaking of toilets and sighing... we had to have Mr. Rooter come out the other day because we noticed water had been leaking down into the basement closet. Sadly, among several other things, a Columbus Blue Jackets (my husband's beloved hockey team) autographed calendar got ruined from the water damage. As if this wasn't bad enough...

Mr. Rooter then knocks us out with a $1000 repair bill. They said the toilet was leaking (um, raw sewage dripping into the basement?) because the previous homeowner is an ignoramus... half-assed home improvement moron...

The home-improvementally-challenged-previous-homeowner stacked four flanges on top of each other instead of putting in a longer PVC pipe. This apparently was a no-no, and I got to pay to have it fixed the right way. I swear if I ever run into him, I'm giving him a swirlie.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Please Pray

My husband's father's family has suffered two tremendous losses today. Bob, my father-in-law's step-dad and the man who raised him, lost both his grandson Bryan and his wife today, on Christmas Eve. Bryan was my husband's cousin and was our age- early 30s. He went into the hospital a couple weeks ago for what everyone thought would be routine back surgery and never left the hospital. One complication after another, including H1N1, led to his being taken off life support this morning and passing away within 15 minutes. Bryan leaves behind his parents, siblings, a long-time girlfriend and an elementary-school-aged daughter. In an unrelated event, Grandpa Bob's wife passed away about an hour later.

Please pray to ease the pain and suffering of this family. While my husband isn't super-close with his dad's family like he is with his mom's family and therefore I didn't know them very well, I still feel their pain. I cannot imagine losing not one, but two relatives on the day before Christmas. Sometimes it is difficult to understand why God chooses to do what he does, however hopefully they can find comfort in the fact that this was part of God's master plan. They are both at peace in the arms of the Lord.

Everything I Learned, I Learned From Little Women

  • "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents." (Too bad they didn't have the internet at their fingertips. They could have hopped online, downloaded some tutes, and made each other some wonderful handcrafted gifts!)

  • "Housekeeping ain't no joke." (Amen, sister)

  • "Something more than energy and good-will is necessary to make a cook." (Yes, I think it's called a Kitchenaid mixer).

  • "Lounging and larking doesn't pay." (Darn. That's what I was going to do when I grow up).

  • "Work is wholesome and there is plenty for everyone; it keeps us from ennui and mischief, is good for health and spirits and gives us a sense of power and independence better than money or fashion." (I'm not so sure about this one).

  • "Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life becomes a beautiful success, in spite of poverty." (Well said, mama!)

  • "Why mind the fashion? Wear a big hat, and be comfortable!" (Just do me a favor, and don't go out in public in your Snuggie. No, not even to a sporting event).

  • "He [Grandfather] wants me to be an India merchant, as he was, and I'd rather be shot." (I guess even back then children were rebelling against their caregivers!)

  • "Are you going to deliver lectures all the way home?" he asked presently... "Because if you are, I'll take a bus; if you are not, I'd like to walk with you." (And even back then, men hated being nagged by the women in their lives!)

  • "Mother likes to have us out of doors as much as possible." (Some things never change. 150 years later, parents are still shooing their children outside to get some peace and quiet).

  • "We go grubbing along day after day, without a bit of change, and very little fun. We might as well be in a treadmill." (Exercise sucked back then too.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Upcycling Baby Food Jars into Christmas Decor

*Hums Klondike Bar commercial jingle*
What can I do-oo-oo, with a baby food jar?

Over at Prudent Baby, Jaime came up with and posted several ingenious projects to use up those Glass Jars. My personal fav is to turn it into a pin cushion. Ca-UTE! (Ok, my real personal fav is the jello shot idea! Can you believe I'm almost 31, and I've never tried a jello shot? That should be my new year's resolution this year. Forget about losing weight, actually menu planning for more than two weeks, and blogging regularly... let's make my resolution one that I can actually keep!)

At first I was thinking that the baby food jars could be turned into a cute little tea set. I quickly scratched that idea when I realized that I wouldn't even trust some of my junior high students with glass, let alone toddlers.

My brain raced to think of something else. What about those clear glass ornaments that I've seen all over bloggyland, where the crafty mama swirls paint on the inside and makes a cool ornament for the tree? This would be cute made with baby food jars instead of round ornaments. I could put a little piece of fabric on the top and secure with a piece of wire wrapped around the edge. The wire could double as a hanger. Nice idea, but I'm too lazy to do it.

And then I remembered this. Yes, my friends, this is the most bomb-diggetiest idea. Place a photo in the glass jar! You can do what designsponge does and sit a grouping of glass jars of various sizes on your mantel, or you could make them into ornaments by adding fabric and wire.

You could cut out pictures from Christmas cards (like I did here) and put them inside the jars for a nice holiday display, or you could make a whole nativity scene with the jars! You could line up a bunch of baby food jars and put a letter in each one to spell out the word "Believe." The possibilities are endless! (Sorry my photo is so generic. I didn't have many glass jars lying around because we emptied the recycling bin the other day).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Things I Almost Did this Holiday Season

Put up the Christmas tree? Check. Buy gifts for everyone on the list? Check. Take Joel to see Santa and pray he doesn't get H1N1? Check. Send out Christmas cards? Crap, I knew I forgot something. Hang outdoor Christmas lights? Crap. Bake delicious Christmas cookies like the good Betty Crocker wife that I am? Crap.

Christmas sweet treats I almost baked:

Aren't these Candy Corn Cookies the bees knees? Just make the cookies red, white, and green or perhaps red, white, and pink and voila you've got Christmas Candy Corn Cookies. It would look really cute with a bowl of actual Christmas candy corn nearby so people know what the cookies are supposed to be. Otherwise they might look like some demented Christmas trees or something.

Frugal Gift Idea: Cookies in a jar! Didn't quite get around to it though.

Anyone care for some Peppermint Kiss Cookies? Too bad. Just drool over the photo. That's what I'm doing too. Less calories that way.

Check out these knock-out-drop-dead-gorgeous cupcakes from Bakerella. Confession: teensy weensy lie here. I did not almost make them. I really wasn't planning on ever making them. They look way too involved for me. (Fondant? I. Don't. Think. So.) But if you've got the time (Time? It could happen- you do have 2 days), then these look A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.

In the realm of sewing, I thought about appliquing a onesie today. The wee tot has a fairly nondescript white onesie that I figured I could spruce up with a Christmas tree applique (Get it? Spruce?). Then I changed my mind and decided to go the stocking route. I went so far as to gather up the fabric I'd use for the applique. I dug out a red print and even the white faux fur I would have used on the top part. Then I laughed at myself and decided no, I am not dragging out the sewing machine beast. I just put it away today. Sewing makes a mess. I'm having company in a couple days. Let it go. And with that, I put the fabric back away.

So is there anyone else who has been a slacker this holiday season?

Won't You Play Along?

What? You don't have time for such shananigans when it's three, count them, three days before Christmas?! (Yikes!)

Anyway, here I go! Copy and paste into your own blog if you're up to it!


What are your middle names?
Mine is Ann; his is Michael

How long have you been together?
We started dating January 2007.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We didn't. We met on the internet, chatted for a week or so, and then met in real life.

Who asked who out?
See above.

Who made the first move?
He did. I think.

How old are each of you?
We're 30, but Jason just turned 30, and I'll be 31 in less than a month. Gulp.

Did you go to the same school?
Nope, we grew up a couple hours apart. Though the weird thing is, his grandpa lived right down the street from my high school!

Are you from the same home town?
See above

Who is the smartest?
I think we're both pretty smart! We both graduated in the top ten... I was 2nd of about 400, and he was 6th out of ??? Not sure- I'll have to find out :)

Who majored in what?
I have a bachelors and masters in music education. He was a geology major but didn't finish when he realized that he didn't want to have to move where the geologist jobs are!

Who is the most sensitive?
Oh that would probably be me!

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We try not to eat out, but when his friend comes over, he always wants us to go to Asian Star. That's where Jason and I met in real life actually, so I don't mind. It's some freakin' good Asian food, too!

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
The Virgin Islands, baby!

Who has the worst temper?
Definitely me. Jason's the most even keeled person I've ever met.

How many children do you want?
We said we wanted two. I can't imagine going through the late nights again though. I'm getting too old for this crap.

Who does the cooking?
That would be a big fat ME. I tried to teach Jason since I went back to work, and he's been staying home. That didn't work out.

Who is more social?
Me. Jason is pretty shy and stays quiet most of the time around others.

Who is the neat-freak?
Neither of us is a neat freak :)

Who is the most stubborn?
How come all of these are ME?

Who wakes up earlier?
Me, once again! I wake up to go to work, and even on the weekends, I get up at 6 because of my stupid internal clock. Either that or the baby!

Where was your first date?
Asian Star Buffet and some cemetery hopping!

Who has the bigger family?
Ooh, Jason finally wins one! His family get-togethers have like, 30 people. Ours usually have about 10.

Do you get flowers often?
No not really, but I think paying for flowers is a waste of money.

How do you spend the holidays?
This year it's Christmas Eve with his family, and Christmas at our house with my family.

Who is more jealous?
I don't think either of us is the jealous type, thankfully!

How long did it take to get serious?
We met in late January and were talking engagement in March. He was moved in by April 1 and engaged on Cinco de Mayo! Crazy, huh?!

Who eats more?
Hmmmm... can I go with a tie for this one?

What do you do for a living?
I'm a music teacher. He's a SAHD.

Who does the laundry?
Both of us do. Why am I still doing laundry when he's a SAHD?!

Who’s better with the computer?
That would definitely be Jason's domain.

Who drives when you are together?
He usually does, although we'll take my car once in a blue moon. I would prefer he drives though.

What is your song?
We danced to "Unforgettable" at our wedding, so I guess that's our song :)

Monday, December 21, 2009


Maybe someone out there in bloggyland can help me with this. I took a long hiatus from blogging while my little one was an infant, and I'm slowly but surely getting back on the blogging train. While I was away, it seems that blogger and google hooked up, however the sites I follow are not working the way they should.

It used to be, if I clicked to add a site to the list of sites I follow, it would refer to me as sewing-chick and have my little photo there in the list of followers. You could click on me and then see a link to visit my blog. Well that's not the way it's working now. It now refers to me by my first name as if Jodie and sewing-chick are not one and the same. A mention of my own blog is nowhere to be found. Ideas, anyone? Did I miss something while I was away?

Thanks so much! *Hugs!*

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dieters, Beware Dollar General!

Holy crap on a cracker. I just found out today while I was perusing Dollar General, that they sell... drum roll please...

Generic Girl Scout Cookies. I'm talking, honest to goodness, I-can-have-them-year-round Samoas (and Thin Mints and a couple other varieties)! They are d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. Of course, I'll still buy some from the Girl Scouts when it's that time of year, but now I can have them whenever my little heart desires! (They cost $1.85 in case you're wondering).

Just thought you'd like to know!

Read to your Kidlet

Today Joel learned how to pull books off of the bookshelf. Yay. There's no turning back now. Awhile ago I thrifted a new-in-the-package pair of straps to secure said bookshelf to the studs in the wall. Looks like we'll be needing to install that this week!

While we were scattering the books all over the floor, I mean reading, I got the idea to share with you the Christmas/ Wintry books we own. I very rarely pay full price for books (though I did get Joel two books at Barnes & Noble last weekend because a percentage of the purchase price went back to the band program at my school). Most of these books were thrifted, though some were Jason's when he was little, and a few were gifts. Here we go.

Elf Help by Margie Palatini is one of my favs. It's about a cyber-geeky elf who royally screws up everyone's Christmas lists when his computer crashes. Luckily, the kids end up liking the gifts they mistakenly received, and the elf gets to keep his job as cyber-geek. My copy is personally signed by the author!

The Little Engine that Could and the Snowy, Blowy Christmas by Watty Piper. Santa's reindeer come down with an illness just as he's finishing up delivering all the toys. Uh-oh! There's one toy left to deliver but the reindeer are too sick to fly! Who will come to the rescue? I'll let you figure that one out.

Memories of the Present is by William N. Fullington. It's a tale of a grandfather telling his grandson about this metal wagon that he really wanted for Christmas. In the end, his parents couldn't afford the metal wagon and make him a wooden one instead. He overcomes his disappointment and realizes that the wooden wagon is super special because it was homemade. Can I get a hell yeah?

The Mitten is a Ukrainian folktale told by Jan Brett. In this tale, a little boy loses his white mitten in the snow. One by one, animals begin to snuggle themselves into the mitten to keep warm. Finally a bear squeezes into the mitten, sneezes, and all the animals go flying. The little boy sees his mitten, picks it up, and takes it home. It's a good thing too because his grandmother was going to rip him a new one if he lost his mittens.

Silent Night, A Mouse Tale by Betsy Hernandez and Donny Monk is a cute story about how the church mice nearly ruined Christmas were instrumental in the writing of Franz Gruber's beloved Christmas carol, Silent Night.

Rudolph's Second Christmas by Robert L. May is about two children whose dad works for a lousy circus. No one buys tickets for their circus, and they go from town to town, only staying in each town for one day. Because of this vagabond lifestyle, Santa missed them last year! The children were very upset. Rudolph saves the day by introducing a bunch of misfit animals to the circus. The circus suddenly is very popular, and so the family can stay in one town for months on end now. Santa doesn't miss them this year, and all is well.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is a classic. I thrifted this one today for 50c! Woot, woot!

The Fattest, Tallest, Biggest Snowman Ever by Bettina Ling is a book that first and second graders should be able to read. It cleverly incorporates math into the story!

The Hat by Jan Brett is about a hedgehog who gets a hat stuck on his prickly things (what are those things called?). He feels ridiculous and when questioned by the other animals, he tells them that it's winter for pete's sake! Everyone should wear a hat! The other animals then go steal clothes from a nearby clothesline so that they can cover their heads too. And here the hedgehog thought the other animals were making fun of him!

We own three different copies of "The Nutcracker." You can't go wrong there. We also own three different versions of the Baby Jesus story. Baby Jesus by Lori Froeb is toddler friendly. The Christmas Story is a Little Golden Book, and I think it was my husband's so it's pretty old. Finally, we have The Nativity by Juliana Bragg, copyright 1982. It's as old as my brother!

There you have it folks! What's your favorite Christmas book to read to the kiddos?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mommy, Promise me...

... that you will never show my future girlfriends the photos of me in those silly orange pants you made. What?! You posted them on the internet?!

Ah, the things we do to torture our children.

These warm pajama-like pants came from sleeves of a sweater of mine that I outgrew long, long ago. I couldn't even fit into that sweater before I got pregnant, so I'm pretty sure I'll never fit into that sweater again!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thrifted Ornament Wreath

Here's something I made several years ago. I used all thrifted materials. Wreath forms which I wrapped in a green and white gingham garage sale ribbon served as the base to which I hot-glued thrifted ornaments. Did I ever mention that my hot glue gun is my BFF? Well, my trusty BFF probably wasn't the best choice for this project. At first, the glue held well but every year when I retrieve these wreaths from storage, ornaments are falling off. Perhaps a different adhesive would work better!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dealing with Cashier Error

Today I ventured out into the damp greyness and went thrifting despite the freezing cold temps. I'm not sure why I was thinking that today was their monthly half off sale, when I know darn well it's the last Tuesday of the month. Fiddlesticks.

I bought a piece of fabric with very realistic money printed all over it (I thought this would make a nice something-or-other for St Patty's Day), six children's books at 50c a pop, and nine articles of clothing for Joel, all for either 50c or 25c. There were several items that were 1.99 however all were pink tags and 75% off. Woot, woot! I won't spend more than 50c for a piece of clothing for Joel unless it's super special. Herein lies my problem. Today the cashier forgot to ring up one of my items 75% off like it was supposed to be. That means I paid two dollars for one of his shirts. Gasp! She almost missed another one, however I caught that one and reminded her that yellow tags are 50% off. I'm not very happy about it, but I keep telling myself that the extra buck fifty I was charged is a donation to the thrift store. The little devil on my shoulder keeps reminding me that with a buck fifty, I could have bought three more articles of clothing for Joel, but his angelic counterpart reminds me that in the big scheme of things, this is not a big deal!

Now off to the sewing machine I go. I want to sew up another shopping-cart-kiddie- cover-germ-keeper-awayer. I keep one in my car, however it seems like every time we're out and about and need it, we're in my husband's car. This way, we'll each have one. Toodles!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Felted Wool Baby Mittens

It's gotten C.O.L.D. these past few days! So cold, in fact, that I am having second thoughts about going to tomorrow's half-off sale at the Volunteers of America. (You know it's cold if I'm thinking of passing on a 50% off thrifting trip!) With these frigid temperatures, I figured I better get my act in gear and sew Joel a pair of mittens.

This project is easy peasy. First, I chose a felted sweater that still had sleeves. I cut several inches off from the base of each sleeve. I figured I'd utilize the finished wrist section to make less work for myself.

Then I sewed a generic "U" shape onto each cuff and trimmed away the excess. You're done! It's a five minute project- woohoo!

Here's the little squirt passed out on daddy's lap while he played video games.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Your initial on a Wreath!

I saw this wreath by Living with Lindsay and I just had to make one. I had a large cardboard "R" that we used as a decoration at our wedding, and I had some evergreen garland that I used to hang outside.

Put the two together, and voila!

I think it looks a little small for the front door so I might have to hang it somewhere else.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Brand New Used Stocking

Yep. That's right. I thrifted a blue stocking with tags still attached for the mere price of $2.92. I then purchased some silver glitter glue specifically designed for personalizing stockings, which set me back another $2. I was very excited to come home and put Joel's name on his stocking. Unfortunately, the silver glitter did not turn out at all. It wasn't silver. It wasn't glittery. It looked like crap.

Luckily, I had a bunch of leftover white felt in the basement, so I cut out letter's and glued them onto the stocking with regular old Elmer's glue. Thankfully, I was able to cover up the not silver, not glittery debacle with the felt letters. I am bummed that I wasted $2 however am very glad with the way it turned out!

Awesome Felt Castle

I really should be sleeping since it's after midnight. When I woke up this morning to go to work, I already had massive bags under my eyes... but it's so much more fun to catch up on some much needed blog reading! I stumbled across two toy posts that I wanted to share since it's the holiday season, and we all have toys on the brain!

The first is a tutorial on how to make a castle out of felt. It definitely is the bomb diggety.

The second one is about how people these days tend to go to their local Walmart and stock up on plastic toys that leave nothing to imagination. This is not what I want for my child! For example, I want (and have been purchasing) real vintage enamleware for my son when he plays "kitchen." And she does too! This post is amazing... check it out!