Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year, New Blog!

I think it's time for some changes around here!

While frugality is always on my mind - I don't think I will ever NOT be frugal - at one point I had four blogs. One for my sewing, one for my gardening, one for my frugal living, and one for my boys. Needless to say, it was kind of a pain.

My boys' blog will always be a separate entity, but even though I have merged my other blogs onto this one - you will find old sewing and gardening posts here - Frugality only encompasses one of the aspects of all we do. Sure, I make pants for my boys because it's so cheap, but also because they LOVE their cozy warm pants; I grow my own veggies because it's cheaper, but also because I prefer homegrown quality and taste and want my boys to learn where their food comes from.

So, to make a long story short (too late!) come the new year I will have a new blog - and I hope you will follow me there as well!

More details to come!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

To quote Speed

I must have "felt like [I] needed another challenge or something" because I made 18 placemats for Christmas lunch.
We didn't have enough of any one color, so we figure, since we'll be hosting from now on, might as well have a big set ready. And these will go with every color tablecloth for the holidays - cream, bright red, dark red, gold, green, etc.

Off to make 18 napkin rings. Just kidding. I think.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our ornaments

These are just a few of the ornaments we have that mean so much to us, some new, some with lovely memories, but all welcome on our tree:

I found this one at Target, and since my oldest loves dinosaurs and blue is his favorite color, I just HAD to get it!

He had previously made a liopleurodon ornament, so there's plenty of dino-age company around.

This one I got at Disneyland last year, it was the boys' first trip ever.

For the francophile mama, a glittery Eiffel tower.

This one we got the year our youngest was born. Our complete little family.

Last but not least, something Peruvian on our tree. I was born and raised there, and I love to see this hanging on the tree. It's not actually an ornament, it's something you hang up on the wall, but hey, it works, right?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fun @ Gilroy Gardens

Gilroy Gardens is a local park that puts on a show for the holidays - we've gone for the past few years with Gran and Grandpa (my husband's parents) and have always had a great time.

This year was no different, it was actually quite warm, so we all started peeling off coats and heavy sweaters, and the boys romped around the park freely. In fact, I might say, a little too freely.

I am not sure what the finances are like for Gilroy Gardens, but it felt like we had the park to ourselves. We didn't wait in a single line, were usually the only ones on the rides, and had the train to ourselves. Twice. Sure there were other people around but not the crowds of years past. A few of the rides were not operating, either. I just hope that we have years of Gilroy Gardens to enjoy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A tale of two cats . . . and a Christmas tree

After seeing a dark lump beneath my Christmas tree, I went to investigate and discovered it was my cat, Bernie.

Then another lump scampered out, it was my lardass one-eyed cat, Willie-Boo.

"Who ya calling lardass, lady?"

And this is the reason we don't put gifts under our tree. Because the cats have taken over the "under the tree" area. Le sigh.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pantone color of the year 2011

It's been a couple of years since I've been following Pantone's choices and I have to say, their color of the year for 2011 is lovely!
A rich, saturated pinky red, honeysuckle is no pale, pastel-y shade waiting to be overshadowed.

How do you like Pantone's choice?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The boys decorate!

My boys LOVE to decorate the Christmas tree, although my little one loves to take stuff down as much as he loves to put things up!
I think their efforts were top notch and the tree looks fabulous, don't you?

Check out all the other wonderful trees at Sarah's Christmas Tree party!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for . . .

being safe and sound after our little adventure this past Saturday.

The boys and I were traveling from our home (point A on map) to visit my mom, sis and her husband up in Chester (point B) and got caught in a major freak snowstorm. We caught a patch of ice and skidded sideways across the freeway into the snow-covered mountain. I tried to steer the car so the front would take the impact, since the boys were in the back, and it worked, but there was some damage to our car, and we couldn't continue.
I am incredibly thankful for:

The kind gentlemen who stopped to help us. They got us unstuck from the side of the road and one of them eve offered to drive us to Chester, but I couldn't just leave the car where it was.
The police officer who took us back down to Chico, helped me get the boys and our gear in his car and got us to the repair shop.
The tow truck driver who didn't charge me for the extra miles to tow the car to Chico.
The fact that my brother-in-law works for the same hotel chain as the place we stayed in Chico that night, and got us a discount.
The luggage rack I chose to keep in our hotel room, because it was a jungle gym for my boys.
Having bought Cheerios and Froot Loops, milk, oatmeal and yogurt earlier that day because it tided us over until we got into the hotel and ordered pizza for dinner.
My sweet boys, who were a little rowdy at first but in the end, slept like champs, and let me sleep after a scary and confusing day.
My in-laws and our friend J, who offered to drive to get us that evening, driving through the night if needed.
My wonderful husband, who didn't care what I had done to the car (even though money is very tight around here) but just wanted to make sure we were okay. Since we were set up for the night in a hotel room, we agreed that he would get us the following morning. He left at 3am and got to us by 8am, as we were having breakfast. I drove home and he tried to catch some sleep on the way.

Our car is supposed to be ready today so my husband and his dad are going to make the 4 hour drive there, and 4 hour drive back to get the car.

I feel so terrible about what happened, I am not a reckless driver, and at first we thought I'd bent the axle - not that I know what that means - but it turns out it was the strut that got bent, which can happen at lower speeds.

I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, I hope your holiday weekend is a wonderful one!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Giveaway winner!

The winner of the copy of Real Simple Solutions is:

Melissa! Congratulations - please email me your address so I can get your book in the mail!

Last chance to win Real Simple Solutions!

Check out my giveaway of Real Simple Solutions, the winner will be randomly chosen at 1pm Pacific time!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's my birthday but YOU get the gift!

Yes, today, November 12, is my birthday. It's also my sister's birthday. No, we're not twins, we were born 23 years apart, which means she is now 62. Which means I'm now 39. Time to cut my hair into a bob and start taking Metamucil?

Nah, it's time for a giveaway!

If you love Real Simple as much as I do, then this is the giveaway for you!

I will be giving out one copy of Real Simple Solutions, a fabulous book full of "Tricks, Wisdom and Easy Ideas to Simplify Everyday", and couldn't we all use some of that?

In order to win, you must:
1 - be a follower
2 - leave a comment

How easy is that?

Real Simple is not sponsoring this giveaway, I just want some space on my bookshelves! Contest open only to the US since I have to pay postage on this behemoth :D

The winner will be randomly chosen on November 15 - good luck!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Shutterfly Christmas cards, Spanish version

Feliz Navidad 2010 Tarjetas de Navidad 5x7 folded card
Get custom photo Christmas cards online at
View the entire collection of cards.
Here's a preview of my Shutterfly cards - I love them!

These are the ones I'm sending to my Spanish speaking friends and family - they always want new pics of the boys so I'm including a bunch in the card :D

Friday, November 5, 2010

Giveaway winner!

The winner of the sequined flower pin - in her choice of small - is the English Organizer!

Please send me your info so I can mail you the pin - have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Don't forget to comment on my super glam sequined flower pin giveaway post!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Giveaway week!

If you've seen my son's Drago costume in last week's post, then you know I have some red sequined fabric leftover. What can I say, mama likes her glam.

After trying my hand at a few fabric flower pins - you've seen these everywhere on the blogosphere and in boutiques - I decided to put the glam sequined fabric to good use, and because I *puffy heart* my readers, one of you will win one of your very own.

How to win? Easy!
1 - comment specifying if you want the large or small flower pin - 1 entry
2 - facebook, tweet, and/or post about this on your own blog, and leave a comment telling me you did - 1 entry for each

Winner will be announced Friday morning - Good luck!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Before it's gone gone gone . . . this is Bakugan!

My oldest, Aidan, decided he wanted to be Drago for Halloween. Oh no, not any old store-bought costume (there's only one that I found and it did not have a tail), but knowing his parents' love of the theatrical, he wanted us to make him a Drago costume.

My husband and I are old hands at this costume thing - one year for our friends' party, we went as the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood:
I sewed his nightgown and cap, my cape, and he did everything else, the makeup, the headpiece, etc. He looked awesome.

So we dove in to making a Drago costume for our boy.
I sewed the wings, including channels for dowels to go in so when he extends his wings they stand out, and a hood like the mail armor hoods they wore under their helmets. My husband did everything else. The breastplate, the required tail, the headpiece. Check out the eyes!
My husband shaped the eyeballs out of polymer clay, painted and baked them. Then he added the browbone, covered in matching fabric.

Aidan's parade was this morning, it was so cute to see him out with all his classmates and teachers. Now we're looking forward to Sunday for trick-or-treating!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wow wow!

There's a cartoon my children watch, called Wow Wow Wubbzy, about a cute little creature and his two BFFs. Well, three, now since they've added a new character - hmmm, does that mean it's jumped the shark?

Anyway, my oldest has graduated to Bakugan, but my little one still likes Wubbzy, so we made him a Wubbzy costume for Halloween.
I sewed the jacket and pants, and my husband made the bendy tail out of some tubing, and the shoe covers.

Alex doesn't have school on Fridays so his costume parade was this morning. The teachers also dressed up and the kids trick-or-treated afterward, I think they had a lot of fun :D

Stay tuned for a giveaway next week!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shutterfly Holiday Cards!

It's that time of year, when I start obsessing over Christmas cards and figuring out what I'm going to send to friends and family. Given the variety of people we send to, and how we like to make everything with do very, very "us" - the choice for us this year is Shutterfly.

Or rather, the choices, because Shutterfly has hundreds of designs available - let me show you the finalists for our cards these year:

I love this one from Heifer International - it's an organization that sets up programs for people so they can grow their own food and end the cycle of poverty. One of their programs helped people living in rural parts of my homeland, Peru, so I am happy to support Heifer International by using their cards. And if I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me if, because I am from Peru, I had a pet llama when I was little, I would be rich!

This one is also a must, because about half my Christmas list is Spanish-speaking!!!

And of course, I like to remember the meaning of Christmas - I love the silhouette of the Nativity!

I can't really choose, so I might have to go with all three!

To make it easier on your wallet, Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards - go check them out!

Wanna find out how to win 50 cards from Shutterfly? Go read about it on my Twitter page!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Easy ribbon candle mat

I've seen various examples of gorgeous ribbon loop wreaths throughout the blogosphere and since, I have to be honest here, my attention span does not extend to making a wreath, I thought I would make something smaller with ribbon loops.

The technique is pretty simple - find a few coordinating ribbons and cut into similar lengths, depending how big you want the loops to be.

Then, you begin sewing the loops together, one next to the other, forming a long chain:

Once the chain is long enough for your project, take a paper plate and begin attaching the ribbon chain to the edge. I cut off the raised edge off my plate so I would have a flat circle to work with and started at the outer edge, then layered inward. I left the center circle bare for my candle:

I love that you can do this craft for any theme, all you need to do is change the ribbons, I have a feeling I will be making a few Christmas candle mats next month!

Monday, October 18, 2010

More makeup goodies!

This time, it is one of my favorite stores for accessories and jewelry - H&M. I found some great glosses during my last visit, and at $1.95, you really can't beat the price, can you?

Here it is compared to my $14.50 MAC Lustreglass.

I am planning on another trip to H&M soon, they only had a few shades and this was the only one I liked, but maybe next time I'll find some other ones ;D

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Payless for cute nails!

Oh my gosh, I go into Payless because they're having one of their great BOGO 50% sales and what do I spy?

Beauty products!

Apparently I am the last person to find out about this but take it from me, Latey McLaterson, it's better late than never. I snagged two colors - since their sale extends to everything in the store - and I have to say they look really nice. You will have to take my word for it because a) I only did one nail of each color - b) my hands are dry, peeling, so I am not posting pics that may scar you for life, and c) I will be communing with nature soon so I didn't want to do all my nails just to have them ruined so soon after.

But, here is a photo of the shades I got - Sugar Plum, a delicious deep purple red, and Precious Metal, a pretty, bronze-y metallic.
Aren't they lovely for Fall and Winter? And I got both for less than $5.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spring 2011 color forecast

It's kind of confusing to start thinking of Spring 2011 when around these parts it's not even cold enough to be considered Fall 2010!

But our kind friends at Pantone have compiled the colors that designers are naming as the top 10 for women's wear:

What do you think?

My favorite on that chart is definitely Beeswax, which is pretty close to the color I chose for my bathroom almost a year ago. For wearing, however, I stay away from yellows, and would not wear Lavender or Peapod, either. Russet would be my absolute favorite, with Honeysuckle and Coral Rose following.

I put together this little board with some items in Pantone's picks - enjoy!

Brinley Vee
$29 -
Cotton t shirt »

Tops - aerie
$20 -
Aerie tops »