Archives for the month of: July, 2012

So my daughter wanted some pasta a while back and we weren’t at home. We swung by the deli isle in Safeway and picked up a tiny portion of Chicken caesar pasta salad and she ate it on the way home. So later, I’m picking up trash from the day and see this long, long, long label staring back at me!


Just crazy if you ask me. So today I took a crack at the same pasta dish but with a little less ingredients. The pasta wasn’t the most amazing ever, maybe because it was whole wheat… but the caesar dressing was awesome!!
I like to double my efforts so I at least double recipes. Here is the dressing recipe.
Caesar Salad Dressing:
6 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cup mayo
4 TBSP parmesan cheese
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 TBSP lemon juice

Blend and chill
Full recipe here

The ingredients in my pasta caesar salad was 16 oz. whole wheat pasta, 1 cup roasted shredded chicken, romaine lettuce. I left the Safeway recommended sodium nitrate out. Goodness.


Guest Post from Cathy

It pays to be a wise and proactive consumer. I have been an advocate for years now. Even if I don’t hear back from companies after I have filed a complaint or a dissatisfaction of their product, I still feel better by voicing my opinions. I don’t think enough people speak up.
Anyway, I have gotten good results over the years because of my customer/consumer actions.

Recently I purchased a Revlon Colorstay lipstick and it had a defective brush on the lipgloss side.
So, I still had the box and I e-mailed the company about it. We talked on the phone as she wanted the code off of the tube.
I told her that if they wanted it back, I would send it to them in a self address’d stamped envelope from them.
She said that wasn’t necessary and they sent me a $10.00 gift certificate!

I never used to be as strong as I am now, I think it comes with age and maturity and wisdom.
I love my life and I love where I am in it also! I am a more confident woman ~ hear me roar! lol!

    Have you had good results contacting companies about their products or customer service? I’d love to hear about it. Post below.


Tired of fruit flies? I am. So when I saw Venus Fly Traps for sale I thought… What if it works for my fruit fly situation? I mean how cool is a Venus Fly trap?! For giggles and kicks I put it in a delicate tea cup. I may be the only one who finds it humorous. Probably.
On a side note, it’s been years since Stewart or I had messed around with a plant like this so I had him drop a fly into it’s open mouth. BAM it snapped it’s mouth closed! We both jumped back, surprised and startled. Too funny. I’ll update later if the cool plant took care of my fruit flies or not.


Rated: Slightly difficult, worth the time
Materials needed: A highchair, an unused banner destined for the garbage can, needle and thread and/or sewing machine, and about two hours of time to kill


My high chair was a yardsale find and I really liked the cushion but it was all cracked with age 20120727-200617.jpg

I took the pads off…20120727-200629.jpg

And this is the banner I inherited. Ask around local small businesses if you’re in need of a banner

I tore off the old vinyl and used the boards as a template for cutting my new vinyl. Traced and cut out20120727-200709.jpg

Don’t forget the edge strip.20120727-200728.jpg


When sewing the vinyl edges together, take time to make sure that you are sewing the backside together. I messed up and had to take my thread out and redo it. The idea is that by sewing it inside out, that when you flip it right side out that the lines are super clean with no visible thread. I recommend reinforcing the thread by making a couple passes through the sewing machine, especially in the corners.20120727-200831.jpg

So this is what the put together pieces would look like. There is ONE piece not sewed shut, if you sew it shut, you won’t be able to get your cushion in!! 😀 Luckily this did not happen to me but it was definitely a possibility.20120727-200848.jpg

Now man handle it so that the pretty side is seen.20120727-200907.jpg

Time to put the cushion back in and hand stitch it shut. I chose to have my hand stitch facing the back of the high chair so you wouldn’t really see it.20120727-200935.jpg

Hard parts over! Time to put it back where it belongs.20120727-200953.jpg

And there you have it, totally unique highchair and actually saved me spending $18 at the fabric store.

Anyone who has little ones understands the challenges of decorating your home. Glass items are a definite no, small items will get lost or eaten, house plants fake or real will get dismantled. Most of us just box up things or put way up high on a shelf. Luckily the ‘destroy all precious things’ stage doesn’t last too long but it could last long enough for you to miss those treasured items put away in storage.

Sali has three kids ages 4, 2 and 10 months and thus has mastered the art of display. After seeing an old display case for sale, she bought it up for $75 and is able to keep things neatly and safely displayed for all to see.
The great thing about a display case is that you can change the items or look of it within an hour and a half. When first brought home it displayed her husbands Dodger memorabilia but has since been revamped to suit their chill beach feel in their living room. The best part of all is the kids are safe from the items and vice versa. The only complaint? Display cases seem to be a magnet for fingerprints!




Sweet tea: A refreshing and sweet beverage to enjoy on a hot summer day. It can also be an extra expense at the mini mart checkout before you head out to the lake. A cheap can will cost you at a minimum $1 and for a higher end black tea in a glass bottle about $3. Judging from the taste of the cheap stuff, the only reason we buy it is because it’s convenient (and $1).
With just a little bit of pre-planning, you can get a better quality sweet tea for .19 a bottle.
Buy a pack of 12 pint size glass jars with lids, a pack of 100 Lipton tea bags, and a 5 lb. bag of sugar. Fill jars with water, add one tea bag, lid it and sit in sun just till heated. Bring in, remove lid, wring tea bag out into the jar it came from, add one TBSP of sugar, put lid on, shake and put in fridge. You’ll have 12 bottles of sweet tea waiting for you to grab and go to your destination, which might just be on your back porch.
For you nerds who want to see the math:

Have a relaxing summer everyone!

What an amazing birthday present my husband Stewart made me this year. At the time, we were still living in the trailer which happened to be right next to our new house which was under construction. He was working hard on the house to get us moved in, focusing only on the important things like power, water, etc. Porch lights were not on the list. He knew I was all about the fun part, the finishing touches, so he put the lights all together, hung them and made them operate so I could enjoy them on my birthday. I absolutely love them.

Creating these lights weren’t dirt cheap. One light cost about $80 in materials: wiring, galvanized bucket, chicken heater bulb guard. However, if you could find a used bucket at a yardsale, you could drop the price down to where it would be rather cheap.
A happy day it was.

I’m a big fan of flor brand carpet tiles. I love the prints, colors, everything. Everything except for the price! For one 18″ x 18″ carpet tile, you’re going to pay about $14. I had saved up some money and paid for some great bright squares for the girls’ room but couldn’t afford the living room, except for two measly squares (for motivation). So anyways, I found myself at a dollar store killing time while my husband was shopping next door and happened upon a pleasant surprise.
A stack of some 18″ x 18″ carpet tiles! I’m not saying I found the holy grail of carpet tiles, I did say this was a DOLLAR store, right? But I am so excited that I got ten carpet squares for less than the price of one from Flor. Wow. Should I be embarrassed? Ha.

If you’re curious which two tiles were the expensive ones… One is the far right top and the other is the far left bottom.


And just for comparisons sake, the left tile is dollar store and the right is Flor.

After 4 years living in our 30ft. Travel trailer, our house was complete and ready for us to move in! Well, complete is a sort of vague term when you do all the work yourself I guess. We had no bathroom mirrors, no mirrors at all actually. We had decided to stop spending money on the house so… What to do?


I have to say, there may be a cult following of faux gold framed mirrors somewhere in the world but I’m in no such cult. I picked up two of these badboys for $1 each. I bought a can of satin black spray paint for $7 (overpriced, I know) and had at it.

My husband helped me hang them with wire and some mounting tape and I’m way happy with the results.

Yay for mirrors!