Sunday, May 20, 2012

tarantula fern

I'm house sitting right now.  There are TONS of plants in this house.  Some are older than I am (no pressure on keeping those going...) , and this guy:

It looks like a tarantula coming out of the pot.  The internet said it was a hares foot or something, but since the search in google was "tarantula fern," I'm sticking with that title.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

on the hunt

I LOVE finding a bargain (but then again, who doesn't?).  When I purchase something on a super deal, I usually can't help myself but say it's price when I'm sharing about it.  "Oh hey Diana, I like your skirt."  Me, "thanks, I got it for $11, and it was originally $120!"  I've tried to keep it in, but it's just not as satisfying.  Like hunters, you know?  They don't shoot a buck and then not tell people about it (and possibly hang it on the wall, depending on where they're from).

Here's a sampling of bargains I've found:

The blue dress, that I paid .47 cents for, is one of the best ever (right up there with a Banana Republic white eyelet trench coat that I paid around $11 for that was originally $148).  The elephant dress was originally $137, but I found it for around 6.  Ahh, satisfaction.  :)

That being said, I've been asked by a few to share my bargain hunting tips.

  • Obvi, hit up the sales wall.  It's almost always in the back of the store.  I never even look at the stuff in the front (unless it's on sale and I have an extra coupon or gift card in hand).
  • Go the sales wall when it has a sign over or near it that says "take an additional 40% lowest ticketed price."  That's how I got the $100+ trench coat above for $15, and how I get all my BR skirts for less than $15.
  • It's warm out right now.  When I'm going to stores now I'm keeping an eye out for wool skirts, sweaters--heavy items.  They're going to be really cheap (I got a $110 J.Crew wool skirt for $8 in May last year).  When it's 30 degrees in November, I'll be looking for summer dresses and blouses.  Stores want to get these items off of the racks, and prices are slashed accordingly.  These items tend to be marked with something like "final sale" which means you have to like it, because the store isn't takin' it back.  I also avoid getting "trendy" items and instead go for items I know I'll be able to work into my wardrobe when the season changes.  A bonus of this behavior is that when winter (or summer) rolls around, you have all these fun things you couldn't wear at first.
  • Go when you have time.  It takes a few minutes to thumb through racks (and most of my really good deals have been on items that there was only one left of).
  • Be patient.  I know each time I go to the BR sales wall I'm not going to leave with something amazing.
  • Consignment stores and yard sales are also good to look at!
That's all I have to share about that!  Do you have any tips to share?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

how far can a can go?

I have a stash of Trader Joes coffee cans.  I always hold onto them because it just seems practical to, I like the label, and I keep thinking to myself, "surely I can do a a project with these."  But, I don't know what sort of project I'd do.  They don't really fit with any home style I'm a fan of for myself (southern and/or nautical).  Since most of them have been sitting idle for over a year, they'll probably end up donated to the VBS cause and the top of the refrigerator will be freed up once again (though a few may get held onto for organizational purposes).

At work though, coffee cans have had a good life.  At Christmas time I printed the Christmas Story onto 11 x 17 paper, cut a few inches off the top, and wrapped it around the coffee can.  I hand-glittered stars, put them on dowels, and put them in the can for some vertical element.

A few weeks ago we had a spring luncheon/training and out came the cans again!  This time I made flowers, put them on wooden skewers (a much better height and no cutting involved), wrapped green pipe cleaners around them, and voila!

 (This voila! would be a lot more effective if I could get this photo to rotate.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

taking note!

This blog is really the best way I have of remembering some of the fun things I get to do, and the enjoyable things of everyday life.  The weekend before last my church hosted another women's day.  I love these!  I worked on my sewing cutting fabric skills,
hung out with awesome ladies (and Lucy the dog),
and of course, ate.  Everyone was asked to bring a salad of any sort.  Isn't that great about the south?!  Growing up with northern parents salad was just green salad.  Leaves, and that's about it.  I remember when I was in 5th grade ordering a "chicken salad" and being perplexed at the mayonnaise-celery concoction on lettuce that came to the table.  I've since learned and love that when you say "salad" it can mean a number of different things.  It could be a tuna salad.  Pasta salad.  Potato salad.  Chicken salad.  Fruit salad.  Jello!  Couscous salad.  Or of course a green salad, which is the route I went for this women's day.  The pastor at church is known for her salads--they're soooo good!  She adds whatever fruit & vegetables she has in the kitchen to a field greens base and serves it with a vinaigrette dressing.  I wanted to make an attempt:
In mine I put apples, cucumbers, almonds, & blackberries.  I love berries on salads!

Last weekend was fun; on Saturday I went on an (awesome!) early morning run, went to a great prayer training, and hosted a "cinco de dip" party.  The premise of "cinco de dip" was easy--everyone bring a dip to share.  I made a homemade guac, and a dessert dip--chocolate chip cheesecake dip.  Both were really, really good.  For the guac I sauteed garlic and onions before adding them to the avacado/tomatos/cilantro/other random spices.  I made the chocolate cheesecake dip with only a few tablespoons of butter instead of the stick the recipe calls for and I couldn't even tell a difference.  Also on the menu was a festive (alcohol free) drink--I crushed (and by "I" I mean the blender) some ice, added fresh strawberries and orange juice, and donesies.  Festive & easy.

On Sunday I went to a friend's baby shower.  Earlier in this week I had met up with her to catch up, and also to give her daughter her 2nd birthday present from me, a book.  Last year on her first birthday I decided that I wanted to get this particular little girl a book every year from me on her birthday.  This year when I went to Barnes and Noble to find a book I was expecting a long hunt, but then I saw this:

BABY JANE EYRE.  Done, and done.