Monday, August 30, 2010


Yesterday, my husband undertook a moving-the-chess-pieces type project in order to have more room in his office, and to give me more room in the laundry room and the pantry.

It is all made out of cabinets we had, so no money was spent here, just my darling's labor. On the right you can see the cat food bin. Our kitties are very talented and will open the door by themselves so we had to put it up high.

Here is the pasta/canned goods/snacks cabinet. I used to have about three times the number of canned goods, most of which were black beans. I have made an effort to use what I have, as you can see ;D

Here's the booze - we have a little wine rack in the dining room but the hard liquor goes here. It looks like a lot because my dearest darling just bought a bunch of mixers, but we really don't drink a lot.

Here is the breakfast cabinet, the bottom shelf is the rice/soy milk my youngest and I drink, plus our beloved Cheerios, and coffee/tea/cocoa and more cereal are on the top.

I love all the extra storage. I'm working on a lunch bin so I can have all the goodies for my boys' backpacks ready to grab in the mornings.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The School Run

The urge to throw on sweats and a hoodie is one I fight every day of every fall and winter season. It is really so tempting to wear the Old Reliables, but with my oldest boy in school, I have been trying to make an effort to NOT look like I just rolled out of bed.

This kind of outfit is my goal, a cute shirt with pants or jeans, a comfy cardigan for chilly mornings, and non-athletic shoes. I also happen to LOVE the tank with its rich, saturated color and lovely ruffles. You don't even need jewelry with that kind of detail, but I've included some on the board because I might be going to get coffee with a girlfriend after the school run ;D

Every item on this list is either under $50 or you can find a similar item for under $50.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Harvesting in August

My garden keeps feeding us and the joy it brings me daily is only matched by the excitement of "what am I going to plant next year?" - because, people, the 2011 list has already been started. But that's for another post. Today I am going to share some of our latest goodies:

Lovely, gorgeous, succulent, homegrown vegetables and fruits.

I have to pick the green beans every three days, maximum, otherwise I'm completely overrun by them.

Our chard is cooked just like spinach, usually sauteed with tons of garlic!

Our pear tree is heavy with fruit, lots of pear tarts for us this year!

The strawberries are few but delicious, even the tiny ones are full of flavor, as if they are concentrated.

Our zucchini is delicious no matter how big it gets.

I am collecting pear recipes, for obvious reasons, so if you have a good one, please send it my way!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Frugal Fall Finds

I have been thinking a lot about fall. Like, "I hate this f***ing hot weather, can it be fall already?" or, "I'm dreading all the holidays coming in the fall because daddy won't be around this time" or, "I wonder what cute fall clothes there are out there?"

Since there's nothing I can do about the first two, I figured I'd check out what my home away from home, a.k.a. Old Navy, has for this fall season. I'd love to say that my home away from home is Anthropologie, but let's face it, I can't afford their shit. Or rather, I can afford ONE piece of clothing, if it's on sale. Or I can afford their $6-$10 mugs.

I put together this little board because my mother is stuck in a black/white rut (for decades!) and although she wants to start wearing things in the brown/tan/camel color range, she has no idea where to start. If you are looking for some warm cozy goodness, here are some ideas:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

When NOT to be frugal

The good things about being frugal is that, when there is a time that I need to splurge, I can do it without guilt. Okay, without TOO much guilt.

Last year, just in time for my 38th birthday, I got acne. I literally woke up on my 38th birthday to a bunch of breakouts all over my nose and chin. I tried Clearasil, Neutrogena, etc. and nothing, the zits were getting worse. I eventually went to my doctor, and she told me that it was adult acne, put me on Retin-A and antibiotics, and sent me home with some hope.

The bad thing about Retin-A is that it makes me peel. Big time. So I still had zits, but also peeling skin all around. Yikes. Then I had to be super careful to not be in the sun. I live in California, dude. To make it worse we went on our first cruise ever, so I came home happy and tanned, but very unhappy with my skin.

Eventually things did calm down and I am now at the stage where I get a couple of small breakouts but nothing like the mess before.

And yes, there is a point to all my blabbering.

The point is, in a word, foundation. I have long been against liquid or cream foundation, since I have oily skin, so powders are my friend. However, powders can accentuate peeling big time, so I embarked on a quest to find a budget skin solution for my less than perfect visage.

Revlon, Cover Girl, Maybelline, I tried them all. Powder, cream-to-powder, etc. no formula did it for me. I either felt like I had put nothing on my skin, or was covered in a layer of cake batter. And when it's 90+ outside, that's just not okay.

Eventually I decided not to waste more money on crap that wouldn't work for me, and head to my favorite makeup counter.

I usually wear Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer. It is light so that I don't feel anything on my sensitive skin, evens me out, and has an SPF of 20. Good times.

I had read about Laura Merciers' Foundation Powder and thought this might be the answer:
It has a matte finish, which I need, is easy to apply, and you can build on it - it has a sponge if you want to wet it and use the powder for more coverage, and a puff to use as a straight powder.

The verdict: Je l'adore!

I like that it is easy to use and blends really well, and that you can control the amount of coverage. So far I've only used it dry and that has been enough for my day-to-day routine. I don't like to look all made up, but I do like to look polished, and this does the trick. It evens out my skin pretty well without looking cakey at all.

When it comes to the face I show to the world, I have definitely learned that being happy with the results is worth the extra money spent. Drugstore brands have come a long way from the all-pink foundations of yesteryear but they still have not made a product that meets my needs.

So now I am curious, what is your splurge?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My favorite new book!

The new 2011 IKEA catalog is available! You can check it out here - it's funny because a friend and I were saying last night we need to go to IKEA one of these days. And you can also order your own copy.

Here are some lovely items I shall be looking for in my next visit!

Aryd block candle holder - $9.99 - I LOVE LOVE LOVE these, they come in two sizes and could be used in a group as a centerpiece or to flank the ends of a mantel.

Lonsboda candle holder - $3.99 - Oh my goodness, this one comes in my favorite color and I am telling you three of these lovelies are coming home with me. They have a poured candle inside but when that burns off you can certainly re-use the holder for tealights.

Sondrum photo frame - $4.99 for 5x7 - While I have bought many IKEA frames, I have usually decorated them in some way because I find them to be very minimalistic - this little frame, however, changes all that. The frame itself has a beveled edge and there is also a sweet bead detailing, plus it has a mat. This is a great value and yes, several of these will be coming home with me!

Kivsta shade - $25 16x10 - A little pricier than the usual IKEA shade, but this color is just about perfect for our master bedroom. Must see them in person first, though!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Springdream giveaway winner!

Thank you everyone who became a Follower and commented on the giveaway post - if you didn't win this time, fret not, as I have another giveaway in the works coming soon.

But, this time, the winner of the Springdream jewelry giveaway is:

comment #10 by roogirlie!

Congratulations, email me with your address so I can get your sparklies in the mail soon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The latest lineup

Our onions continue to mature, they are ready to pull and cure - although, to be honest, they will probably be gone in a week :D

The latest entrant to the lineup is the green bell pepper - FINALLY! I swear we've waited like 6 months for this one. Not really, but that's what it feels like.

My tomatoes continue to delight . . .

. . . even these freaky mutant tomatoes!