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Archive for November, 2007

It's Not Even December Yet

November 28th, 2007 at 07:58 pm

Should it feel like Christmas?

OK, Chanukah is only a week away. I light candles, say prayers, read stories, cook latkes and play driedel. But gifts are given later in the month with my husband's big Catholic family.

Regardless, the commercial world is in high gear. And I have completed the vast majority of my shopping.

Why? Early Planning Saves Money (not to mention my nerves).

For example;
--I've taken advantage of a moderately expensive buy one/get one toy for tots weeks ago

--More time to cost compare between retailers on a few items; and way better selection on the items I wasn't sure of

--Using coupons a few at a time at the bath/linen store

--Using coupons one at a time for ribbons and other goodies at the craft store

--Time to make many of the gifts for teachers, store owners/employees where I consign, and nurses where I have a relative living

--There will be NO last minute running to the overcrowded mall or big box store with mean spirited, desperate shoppers

--Relaxed fun at home finally with the kids to make cookies, decorate, hang out with neighbors Smile

--The only shopping I have left are the important, unusual special things for my husband. I want to have a good feeling giving him a gift. Not anxiety over the price, or time to squeeze in getting things. He just wants a couple items from an independent dry goods (western type) establishment in town that is extremely less stressful to visit.

See you all round the fireplace with a cuppa hot chocolate.

Inexpensive Gift in a Jar Recipe - Part 6 of 6

November 22nd, 2007 at 05:28 pm

A hot cup of homemade soup hits the spot this time of year. If it is a snap to make, your recipient will be thankful. This last gift recipe is a thoughtful offer to many on your list; teacher, neighbor, young cook, friend, co-worker.

I hope you have enjoyed all the six ideas in the 'Handmade' category of this blog, recapped below. One for kids, one for the guys, one for the vegetarian, one for the fitness buff, and so on.

#1-Spicy Rice Mix
#2-Choc Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
#3-No Yeast Whole Wheat Bread
#4-Sun's Up Granola
#5-BBQ Rub

[u]#6-Confetti Comfort Soup[u]
Ingredients:
1 Pint Jar with tight screw lid
2/3 C dried green split peas
2/3 C dried yellow split peas
2/3 C dried orange lentils

(Note: these dried legumes are available at the whole foods, natural markets. Other types are also possible, just make sure they have identical cooking instructions)

Assemble Ingredients (see Photo)


Step 1 (see Photo)-Place green peas in jar for first layer.


Step 2 (see Photo)-Place orange lentils in jar for second layer.


Step 3 (see Photo)-Place yellow peas in jar for third layer. The items should reach to the top of the jar threads.


Step 4 (see Photo)-Tightly screw on lid and cover lid with a piece of wrapping paper or fabric. Tie on with ribbon.


Step 5-Tie tag with Mix instructions (as follows) around lid:
"Mix Instructions-Warm up on a cold day! Just place 1 C mix and 3 C water in a soup pot. Bring to a boil. Promptly lower heat and simmer covered about 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste."

Plan Your Doorbuster Route with this website

November 20th, 2007 at 05:08 pm

I heard of (and looked at briefly) a website for those ridiculously low priced items stores offer at the crack of dawn on Black Friday -

http://www.bfgear.com

It stands for Black Friday Gear. Supposedly has some of the ads in advance from retailers.

My hubby is one that has been known to get that $9.99 DVD player or whatnot.

Good luck!

Low Cost Pins Make Me Happy

November 18th, 2007 at 07:23 pm

Isn't it satisfying when the perfect use comes along for those little things you've been saving and saving?

I have a dozen little pots of craft paint that were left over from one of my kid's project. And bits of ribbon, a few sequins, some buttons. Even some little Christmas decorations when they were 90% off last year, for example.

So voila! They have been made into great fun pins which are destined for a few craft shows this year. They will cost $2.50 each.

Have a look:

BRIGHT CHRISTMAS TREE, RED 'SWEET' HEART
The tree is embellished with pearl swags, button ornaments, a bit of silver snow, and a big gold bow topper.

The heart is enhanced by a rosebud and lettering.


NATURE CHRISTMAS TREE, BACK-TO-BASICS HEART, ROMANTIC HEART
The tree is brightened with copper glitter branches, button ornaments, and a silver bow topper.

The old fashioned heart is decorated with buttons, and outlined in yarn. It reads "Peace".

The romantic heart is embellished with a sweet pink flower, two ribbons and a bit of pearl string. It reads 'SWEET' on the side.



Every bead has it's place, right? Now I can't wait to start saving all the gift wrap decorations from this year!

Mix It Up Gift - Inexpensive Idea to Make, Part 5 in a Series

November 10th, 2007 at 04:04 pm

This is the fifth 'Gift in a Jar' you can make for family and friends this December. It is rather inexpensive but thoughtful, especially if it is made even more personal.

For example, personalize this spice rub attaching a BBQ tongs or fork, or a big potholder (available at the dollar store).

Find more great easy recipes in the 'Handmade' section of this blog (click on category column left). And more are coming for you to collect and make later this year. Some of the recipes are my own originals, some are credited to others. All lean to the healthy diet, as I prefer to avoid heavy sweets and fats. Enjoy!

Spice Rub
Credit: Gifts from a Jar, Publications Intl.

Ingredients:
Clean dry jar with screw lid
1/2 C chili powder
1 1/2 Tb salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 TB ground cumin
2 tsp ground red pepper
1 TB black pepper
2 TB plus 1 tsp oregano

Layer ingredients in jar with the chili powder on the bottom. Cover the lid with a square of fabric or wrapping paper, tie with a ribbon and attach a tag with these instructions:

"Shake and Bake! Sprinkle the rub on burgers or chicken and grill to your heart's content!"

Cure for the Blues

November 8th, 2007 at 04:56 pm

Just a clever name for an item I made and lowered the price in my little internet shop Pretty Cheap Jewelry

Fringed Blues Bracelet $6


Want the good news or the bad news? The bad news first...yesterday my shop was spammed by a bogus 'buyer'. Not just a spam email. This one actually went into the shop and bought 4 things, with payment never to be sent. The good news? I notified the Etsy admin and they corrected the situation immediately. Whew! thanks for the fast response.