Monthly Archives: December 2010
Well, I’m signing off for 2010. It’s been a pretty fabulous year and I have a feeling 2011 will be full of change and new adventures (and hopefully LOTS of amazing blog-worthy material!). I hope you all have a safe and joyful night tonight. We’ll be spending the night in, partying just the three of us if you include Logan.
It’s been real 2010! Bring it on ’11!
2010 is almost over and the year has just flown by. It was our first full year as a married couple, in our own place (no roommate) and setting ourselves up for home ownership and future family. This year we tried to save money and next year it will be imperative we live on a pretty strict budget. Here are some things we did in 2010 to save dough…
- Used the local library. The library isn’t just for books and research anymore. Many libraries (like our local system) now carry DVD’s and even Blueray. We use our local library to get new release movies, TV shows and video games for FREE. Plus, the more check-outs you give the library the more funding they get new material and support reading programs.
- Turned off the AC. We almost made it the whole summer without turning on the air conditioning. We opened windows, used a fan, ate out on the porch, cooked meals in bulk to keep the kitchen cool or ate summer foods like chicken salad, drank a lot of water and found other ways to keep cool. We only turned it on once, during the hottest week of the summer when the dog looked uncomfortable. It saved us quite a bit on our bills this summer and let us put a little extra cash away.
- Always hunted for the best deals. One thing I adore about my husband is his knack for finding deals. Whether it’s a meal out at a restaurant or a big ticket item like a computer, Jared knows how to get the very best price. Retailmenot.com, Slickdeals.net, shopping sale items at the grocery store and of course coupon-clipping are some of the ways I have learned to save a little extra on everyday purchases.
- Ate at home. I have really made an effort to cook whenever possible. Coming from dorm life where I couldn’t cook and now finding time to make meals when I get home from work isn’t always easy, but I try. They aren’t always elaborate (hello frozen pizza!) but it does save us a few bucks. We do treat ourselves sometimes and occasionally I just can’t get a meal together, but typically we do eat together at home.
- Have a plan for our money. We don’t keep regular books, but we did discuss where are money should go and what we should do with our savings. Jared is smart. He started saving for our retirement before we were even married. We have our priorities, we put away as much as we can and I think having a plan really helps me save.
What have you and your family done this year to save money in this economy? Any resolutions regarding fiances for 2011?
Just a collection of lovely wintry photos and inspirational stuff for your Wednesday afternoon. Hope you are all having a good week back and are gearing up for 2011! I’m off for the rest of the week so I’ll be around catching up on post-holiday tasks around the house and a few orders.
- Butterfly Foodie -
- Nature Mandalas -
- Chocolate Creative -
- Lakbdesign/Fergusandme -
- RoverDog -
- Holley & Gill -
I could use a pick-me-up today, and I think cheery prints could do the trick. Stripes, florals, ikat, paisley, dots, etc. Mix them, match them, wear a bunch of them, print just make me smile. With the snow white washing everything here in Ohio, it’s the perfect day to throw on a big floral scarf with my wool coat.
These two pretty printed outfits are from Anthropologie’s Outfit Outlook. How divine is that color dipped dress? And I think every girl should have an oversized floral printed scarf like this one in her closet. Here are some other prints to brighten a winter day…
Carpet & Kelim Rug Pillows from Mother’s Atelier – $39-59
Letterpress prints printed by dice by Stukenborg – $20-175
One-of-a-kind Antique Kimono Sleep Eye Mask by Naomi Lingerie – $22
“Words Can’t Express” Heel from Modcloth – $137.99
(Photo from the Winter Series by Miles of Light – $25)
I hope you all had a relaxing and merry holiday. I apologize for no post-holiday photos, but I was busy spending time with family and eating mountains of cookies and sweets that I just forgot all about my camera. Christmas morning our little apartment was so cold and drafty we brought all the gifts in the bedroom and opened our gifts in bed where it was warm. We had a lovely and busy weekend but took time to relax alone at home on Sunday.
Of course now the holiday is over and it’s back to reality. I may have spoke about the new house too soon and probably jinxed it. It’s about a 50/50 shot now that we’ll get the house. We are working on a back-up plan if it doesn’t work out, but it will also mean we’re out all the money we spent on inspections, etc. We also have had a number of unexpected expenses come up this week including new breaks this morning (only months after our warranty goes up of course) that have sucked up our home improvement fund. There’s a good chance if we end up in a home any improvements will have to wait until summer and as much as possible will be DIY.
I really want to welcome the new year next week, but I have a feeling it may be one of the toughest years yet for us. We will be on an even tighter budget (so expect lots of shopping vicariously through my blog and budget posts) and change will most certainly be hanging in the air which often brings stress along with it. So put on those seat-belts, dear readers! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!
The last list this week comes from Evita of The Happy Heathen. I know it’s a little late to be doing much shopping, but I had to squeeze in this one last list. Perhaps you can find a little treat for yourself this holiday.
“Dang Lindsey, this was a little harder to narrow down than I thought! Everything on my list is something that I would either wear, use or would have in my home. I’m not even sure as to how to write this collection up. There is no central theme, other than flights of fancy that tickle my taste.”
- Gooseberry Tea Strainer from Michael Aram – $79 : From one of my favorite artists, Michael Aram. I am very fortunate to have a few of his pieces in my possession, and would love to have one of these! Beautiful gold plated and blackened stainless steel tea strainer will keep you drinking tea all day.
- Birds on a Wire Photo Clips from Fred Flare – $12 :Don’t let desktop clutter ruffle your feathers. Enlist the help of this flock of eight blackbird clips strung on a 32 inch ”clothesline”. It’s a fun and visually appealing way to display photos, memos, keepsakes and more. Clothesline is about 36″ and birds approximately 2″
- RE_Vinyl Wall Clock from Pavel Sidorenko – approx. $51.00 :Playful designs that are lasercut vinyl records by Estonia artist Pavel Sidorenko. Note: design of label may change.
- Girl with the Magic Fruit Print by Elsita – $25 : This black and white design is a print of an original papercut made by Elsita. This print looks so beautiful in person, the black ink is very concentrated on the paper which makes it look almost like velvet. The paper used for this print has an archival professional grade, it is acid-free and the weight is 285gms, it also has a nice textured surface.
- Nip it in the Bud Vases from Wisteria – SALE $9.50 :He took over France, he invaded Spain, and now he will conquer your home. Don’t be fooled by the soft, polished, white porcelain, these Julius Caesar bud vases are strong, capable leaders! They come as a troop of three, so place a few around your home to soften the space with just a slight floral touch.
- Enchanted Buck Measuring Cups from Anthropologie – $48 :Beautiful new bone china measuring cups topped with a gilded stag!
- Mounted Mooks by i love grey skies – $37 :Boy and Girl, Mounted onto wooden plaque.
- Syphon Vacuum Coffee Maker from Cooks’ Nook – $106.85 : If you’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking coffee made from a vacuum coffee maker, you know how amazing the taste is! Coffee Vacuums work off of air displacement, tiny bubbles that form in the bottom chamber when the water starts coming up to temperature force the water from the lower bulb to the upper bulb, where the water gets mixed with the coffee grounds, steeps a bit, then, when removed from heat, gets drawn back down through the filter into the lower bulb due to the vacuum that gets created when cooled. vacuum. The entire process is fascinating to watch, and the brewed coffee in a vacuum is never directly exposed to heat.
- Pomegranate Tree Shopping Tote from Roddy & Ginger – $15 : Sturdy canvas shopping tote made in the UK and hand printed by us with our pomegranate tree design. This extra strong bag is beautifully made from thick 10oz unbleached cotton canvas with short tape handles.
- Felted Gloves by AureliaLT – $55 : Gloves are made without seams! 100% Hand made felted gloves made using only the softest superfine Australian merino wool. The decorative trim is made from wool ribbons.
Thanks Evita! Be sure to head over to the Happy Heathen for lots of gorgeous eye candy. Have a very merry holiday everyone!
I needed to inspire myself this morning so I put together a new treasury. I think the beach in winter is so magical, especially in the pacific northwest. The cold wet air, the abundance of treasures due to lack of tourists and the waves and sea birds being the only sounds to break the stillness. The color scheme was inspired by City Light’s photograph of the same name (featured above).
To find out more about the featured items and artists, please visit the treasury and give them a pat on the back.
Last weekend I spent Sunday baking and decorating gingerbread and classic sugar cookies with my Grandma. We usually make cookies every year and this year we ALMOST skipped it, but at the last second decided to throw some together. I used some of my new woodland creature cookie cutters and of course my grandma’s classic shapes.
I have one last gift guide for you tomorrow and then things will probably be slow going around here during the holidays and while we attempt to finalize some things with the house. I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday week!
Today we have a wonderful list from Erin of Gardens of Plenty, my gardening inspiration and one of my favorite daily reads! Erin has put together a list of holistic items for your organic gardener or really anyone you care about! She has also included a couple of DIY items for last minute thoughtful gifts. (And I can speak from experience on her first item, we have those sheets and I swear by them!)
Hi! My name is Erin and I blog about gardening, gratitude, and finding balance between work and play at gardensofplenty.com. My wish this year is for everyone to have a holistic holiday season. It seems like we all keep getting busier and busier. And with the chaos and stresses of daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of the simple joys and pleasures that make up the plenty. So my wish list includes some of my favorite organic and natural finds to share with you, along with a few fantastic splurge items. Here’s to wellness, slowing down, and relaxing! Here’s to celebrating, getting our hands dirty, and being mindful. And here’s to giving our family, friends, and selves the love and care we all deserve.
- Organic Sheets from Target $24.99-44.99 :Okay, okay… so maybe you can’t afford to run out and buy a new mattress (see #4). But you can give yourself or someone you love the gift of organic sheets! I swear by these sheets. They are soft, wash very well, and are free of pesticides. They go on sale at Target at least a few times a year, so you can always give a set now and then hold out for a sale to stock up. We have two sets for the master bedroom and two sets for the guest room.
- Vinegar & Baking Soda Basket – DIY : Could there be a more perfect pairing? The gift of vinegar and baking soda is a conversation-starting, budget-friendly, DIY gift for friends or family members who tend to rely heavily on toxic cleaners like Pine-Sol, Scrubbing Bubbles, bleach, etc. Use mason jars to display the vinegar and baking soda, toss them in a gift basket, cut up old t-shirts to make custom rags for cleaning, and tie everything up with a big bow. Wallah!
- The New Moosewood Cookbook from Barnes & Noble – $12.39 : Hands down, this is one of my most favorite cookbooks. Ever. The soups in here are incredible—especially the lentil soup and split-pea. I also highly recommend the stuffed zucchini! It’s all-veggie slow cooking at its finest, with some of the most delicious and hearty meals you can whip up. Plus I love the incredible hand lettering and illustrations. Cooking is art!
- Organic Mattress from Savvy Rest – Price Varies : Total, utter splurge. And I want. I have been reading a lot about how the off-gassing of toxic chemicals in pillows and mattresses can contribute to a multitude of illnesses and health issues. So I started researching and learned about Savvy Rest all-natural latex mattresses. Customers love this company, and their mattresses and certified organic wool or cotton casings come with a 20-year warranty. How much is good health and sleep worth? I start to wonder if this is less of a splurge and more of a smart investment.
- The Gift of Time – DIY : Whenever I ask my older sister what she wants for the holidays, her response is, “Time! I want more time! Time for myself! Time to go out! Time for my kids to spend with you!” She inspired me to create the gift of time gift certificate (designed by my wonderful husband, Craig). You can download this certificate to give—it’s free! Give your time to someone else today, whether it is time spent babysitting their kiddos, time helping with house chores or running errands, or even time just to hang out and catch up with them over coffee. When you give a loved one more time, they just might want to share more time with you!
- Ross Toscano Casina di Cornia Organic Red Wine from the Organic Wine Company - $14.99 : When in doubt, wine makes a thoughtful gift. Organic wine is even better because it’s made without pesticides and herbicides. And wines from Tuscany evoke scenes of sweeping vistas and lush vineyards. Or, purchase a bottle from a local winery to give. Ahhh… relax and enjoy.
- Nature’s Gate Organics In the Beginning Gentle Cleansing Lotion from Amazon – $25.50 : This cleanser makes an ideal stocking stuffer! I have searched high and low for an organic facial wash that works on combo skin (translation… skin that might just break out occasionally even if you are 33 years old!). My skin feels amazing when I use In the Beginning. And it smells so good—I want to eat it. It’s made with au naturale things like cucumber, yucca, rose geranium, safflower, aloe, jojoba, shea butter, and clary sage. Totally paraben-free.
- Organic Potato Blossom Festival (seed potatoes) from Wood Prarie Farm – $19.95 : This collection of six varieties of Maine double-certified organic seed potatoes (12 total) is an amazing gift for your favorite gardener or niece/nephew who is interested in gardening. I planted the 12 seed potatoes in my 4′ x 4′ round garden bed last spring and was delighted by the beautiful purple, pink, and white blossoms on the plants as they grew. And I am still enjoying the harvest—several pounds of adorable and delicious red, white, yellow, and purple potatoes. The best part about getting this kit in the mail? It comes with cool potato postcards, a planting diagram, and yummy recipes.
- Gardening Bamboo Compost Pail from Clean Air Gardening – $39.99 : I am of the opinion that you are more likely to start composting and keep at it if you reallllllly like your compost bin. And this cute pail for either the countertop or under the sink is made for collecting veggie scraps and more. It features an easy-to-remove plastic liner and dual charcoal filters to contain any odors. I would give this to one of my skeptical friends who claims it’s too hard to compost. No way. It couldn’t be easier!
- Copper Cap Raised Bed from Gardener’s Supply Company – $215 : Here’s a splurge for your favorite gardener! (Side note: everything I have ever bought from Gardener’s Supply Company is incredible. And their blog is top-notch. Browse their site for a ton of affordable gift ideas!) I bought this raised garden bed 4 years ago, and it still looks nice. As an organic gardener, I like beds made from cedar because the wood is durable, non-toxic, and rot-resistant. Two great things about this kit: it’s 10.5″ deep, so it’s perfect for growing deep-root crops like carrots and tomatoes. And the copper caps add a distinguished touch.
Thank you so much for sharing Erin! Be sure to visit Gardens of Plenty for more holistic goodness. One more list to go!
I just found out about Etsy’s new Taste Test feature where you pick items in a stream of consciousness fashion and they match you up with lots of related items. Let me tell you, it’s addicting. I’m finding tons of new favorites and it’s fun to stumble on old favorites they happen to match you with. Here are some items I was matched with today:
- Marissa Slouch Hat by Tortilla Girl – €33,00
- Narrow Leather Bracelet by Snapping Dragon – $10
- Herds Pillow by Skinny Laminx – $30 each
- Three Dear Foxes Photo Print by Ginger Lilly Tea – $12
- Garden Marker Set by Simply Pretty Prints – $12 for 4
Take the test and find some new favorites to add to your list!
PS: Sorry for the lousy graphic today. My laptop with photoshop is feeling lousy so I had to use MS Paint (gasp!).