Friday, June 29, 2012

Hooray for Crafting! Ribbon Sunflower

Sorry guys, I know this is long overdue, but it's been one of those weeks.  As of yesterday, I am unemployed. But, it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise and will certainly be a good practical application of my money saving skills again. Besides, I really needed to leave that place anyway.

Moving on: ribbon sunflowers!

It really doesn't get much easier than this, but I figured we'll start small, since I'm terrible about photographing my process. I'm more a get it done quickly kind of girl.

Step 1: I used six pieces of ribbon just a little over 4 1/2 inches long. Have I mentioned I'm not big on measuring if I can help it? Just eyeball it, you'll be fine.

Step 2: Make a loop and secure with hot glue. (I really, really love hot glue. It's my very favorite crafting supply.) Repeat with all ribbon.

Step 3: Glue all the loops you just made into a circle.

Step 4: Add a button. I used a ridiculously over-sized button. It just felt right.

Step 5: Flip over and glue on an alligator clip or pin. I tend to be a fan of alligator clips, they are very versatile: they can be clipped directly to hair or a head band, or added to a belt, hat or purse for a fun accessory or even clipped to your lapel.

Step 6: Enjoy!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dining on a Dime: Crock Pot Mexican Chicken

Sorry guys, I forgot to actually take pictures on this one, mostly because I didn't originally intend to post it.

This recipe is one I originally found over at The Larson Lingo, and modified just a bit.  You will need:
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used two frozen breast, I couldn't tell you what size.  One was pretty enormous, though.)
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (I typically use the 1/3 fat variety)
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 jar of medium black bean and corn salsa (or whatever you like, what do I care?)
Throw all of that into your crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Voila.  You can shred the chicken or leave it whole.  I prefer to shred it because then it goes perfectly into a tortilla. Yum.

I forgot to thaw my chicken breasts before putting them in, which wasn't a problem. I did go ahead and set my crockpot for 10 hours on low, just to be safe.

I like this recipe in part because I don't have to measure anything.  Clearly, I'm not a fan of measuring when I don't have to.  I prefer to leave that to baking.

The original recipe calls for Rotel, but I really didn't care for it made that way, it was pretty bland and flavorless.  The salsa was just right.  I could eat this everyday.  It easily fed the two of us, and I ate a ton, with plenty leftover.

And just a note, I'll be out of town and offline for most of the weekend, so don't miss me too much.  I will say, I'm pretty excited to be away from my phone for a few days, its starting to stress me out.  Unfortunately, that is about the only I'm really looking forward to this weekend.

I'll try my very best to have a nifty crafting tutorial up for you on the other side of the weekend!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What I'm Loving Right Now: Blue Soul Designs

I was never really a super girly-girl, but I had my fair share of ridiculous, cheap jewelry I picked up at the mall, back in my day.

Sometime in the past year-and-a-half I find myself falling in love more and more with jewelry.  Not the super expensive stuff with priceless gems or super cheap fake stuff.  No, this stuff is nice, and surprisingly affordable.

I'm really in love with Blue Soul Designs.  The jewelry is really beautiful, as you can see:

I've had my eye on this baby for awhile:

I already have the earrings. :)  She also has some rings wrapped with copper wire.  Ah!  It's love! I could go on and on and on....

And let me tell you, while the price tag is affordable I would NEVER describe this jewelry as cheap.  Sarah (who owns the shop, and, by the way, is super sweet) does an amazing job putting together her designs.  I very much look forward to wearing my earrings, and all the other jewelry I have on my list to purchase, for a very long time to come!

You can also find Blue Soul Designs on Facebook here.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Handy Dandy Tips- Gnat Trap

So, as gross as it is, we've developed a gnat/fruit fly problem.  Now, I'm not the world's best housekeeper, but I try not to let things get too nasty, but just having bananas on the counter top seems to do it.  Just having  Either way, this is not working out for me, so, I decided something had to be done.  The flying insect killer we had under the sink appears to do absolutely nothing, and I don't like using it too much with the pets around.  So, a little Pinteresting and I discovered an easy to make gnat trap that could be made out of things we already had around the house.

I know, photography is not my gift.  I'm working on it.  Anyway...

To make this gnat trap you will need the following:
  • Mason jar
  • Sheet of paper rolled into a cone
  • Apple Cider vinegar
A note on the vinegar: this is what all the places I looked at recommended.  We don't actually have any in the house, so I had to improvise.  We DID have a semi-ancient bottle of Marsala wine in the pantry leftover from the veal Marsala I made probably more than a year ago.  Chances are good it's vinegar at this point anyway.  Either way, it seems to be working fine.

Now, all you do is pour a little vinegar/wine/whatever into the jar.  Roll the paper into a cone and secure with tape if necessary, and stick it in the jar..  Voila.  Gnat trap.  The hole in the bottom of the cone is pretty small and the bugs are not smart enough to crawl back out that way.

We've only had it out a few hours and already there are quite a few of the nasty things in there.  With luck, we'll catch the worst of the swarm.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What I Have Learned as a Sample Addict

I LOVE getting free samples. It has become an addiction for me. Coming home to see what I've gotten in the mail for free makes me almost giddy with excitement.  Sometimes, its just a tiny sample, which I'm perfectly happy with.  Sometimes, it's a full size product.  This is even better.  Most even come with coupons and sweeten the deal.

If there is one thing I've noticed, its that a lot of people who like to request free samples enter giveaways (another thing I love to do) or consider themselves couponers are crazy.

And I don't mean this fondly.  Many of these people are straight up jerks.

Take today, for example.  Cafe Escapes was supposed to open some sort of sample giveaway at 2:00 p.m. eastern time.  Some of these people did not even wait until 2:02 p.m. to start freaking out that the giveaway was not posted.  Several people accused them of setting up some kind of scam, while others got snotty and said that Cafe Escapes clearly did not value their customers time, while still others threatened the dreaded "unlike".

Forty-five minutes later, it finally went live.  And promptly crashed.  Also, not an unusual event, that everyone, again, flipped out about.

This is nothing unusual.  I routinely watch people completely lose their shit over samples.  It's madness.  People get pissed when something is not available within seconds of the time that was mentioned.  They get pissed if they were expecting a full sized product (which is really pretty rare) and get a sample size instead.  They say the whole thing was just a scam all the time, particularly if, for one reason or another (usually that the sample runs out) they weren't able to get a particular sample.  They constantly threaten to "unlike" that particular company, because, obviously, they don't care about their customers.

Really people?  These companies are offering something FOR FREE.  They want you to try their product, they are not trying to "scam" you or make you angry.  Sometimes there are going to be technical difficulties.  Other times, demand might be much greater than the number of samples they have to give away.  It's insane.  It's just unreal how entitled all these people feel.

You win some, you lose some.  I certainly don't get every sample I set out to acquire and that's fine. I just wish people weren't so insane.  I feel like it gives people like me a bad name.

Don't even get me started on the couponers.  That's a rant for another day.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Okay, so I'm a day late.  Sue me.  Migraines are no fun and certainly prevent thinking enough to write a post. Life goes on.

So, my thoughts are to make Winesday a weekly event, because, I apparently need a reason to drink more wine.  Typically I would like to try a new, relatively cheap wine every week and share my thoughts on it with you all.

This week, however, that will not be the case.  I find myself in a bit of a tight spot financially.  Again.  Lovely.  Anyway, in lieu of actually trying a new wine, I have decided to tell you a little more about some of the wine available from wineries near me, at least until some funding can be restored.

Now, I do not have the most, well, grown-up tastes in wine.  My one of my aunts call them my Kool-aid wines.  I'm working on branching out to drier varieties, but it is a slow process.  I am a sweet tooth at heart.

But back to the point, Missouri really does have quite a few wineries.  The closest one to us is just down I-70 in Rocheport.  Les Bourgeois Vineyards is one of our favorites.  They have several sweet varieties (the Pink Fox is pictured above) that we drink on a regular basis.  Being that it is so close it is rare for us to pay much over $5 or $6 per bottle.  If you want the drier varieties, the prices go up a bit, but even then I cannot recall ever seeing them around here for more than $25.00 or so per bottle.

Les Bourgeois has a Blufftop Bistro (which I honestly have never eaten at, but the view is lovely) and an A-frame with a picnic area.  After one visit, the A-Frame area has become one of my favorite date spots.

There are few things quite as relaxing as sharing a bottle of Fleur Du Vin (a semi-sweet red), baguette, cheese, summer sausage, mustard and apples (well, Deven eats the apples anyway, I wouldn't touch them) while overlooking the Missouri River.  This is a meal we recreate often at home on the patio, with different variations.

In other words, if you are ever in the area, Les Bourgeois is a must try.  I'm a little ashamed I didn't go there sooner.  I lived in Columbia for nearly seven years before finally getting out there.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gee, I Wish I Knew What I Was Doing...

For someone who reads quite a few blogs, jumping into the blogging world is intimidating.  Yes, I know what the bloggers I read do that I enjoy, but one certainly doesn't want to get accused of stealing ideas.  So just knowing where to start was a really tough question.  Where do I have this blog hosted? Do I pay or use a free service?  What do I write about?  What on earth do I call it?

I have absolutely agonized for weeks now over what to call this blog.  I made lists of other blog titles I liked trying to find some inspiration and even tried a few different possibilities on for size.  But nothing sounded quite right and what was worse, didn't feel quite right.

One afternoon I stumbled upon the word "fol-de-rol" on something I found leftover from the Renaissance Fair.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, fol-de-rol means "a useless ornament or accessory, a trifle."  It's old fashioned, and being a history geek, that appealed to me.  "Frippery" came to mind almost immediately, it means "second-hand finery, affected elegance."  Both of these are words I might affectionately use in reference to my crafting projects.  None of them are necessary items, but they make me happy... sort of like fun words like fol-de-rol and frippery.

So the blog was finally born.

Despite making it this far I'm still rather confused about where to go from here, so anyone who chooses to follow me can follow the adventure or disaster, as the case may be.  There is still a great deal I need to consider and decide.  Obviously, I'm hoping for the adventure and I certainly hope we all enjoy the process. :)