Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Didn't Take German In High School, So I Had To Look This Up.

Ashley over at 'From A to Being' gave me an award!

The Criteria: The Liebster is meant to showcase bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. This is all done in the spirit of pay-it-forward.

The Rules: You must mention and link to the person who awarded you the Liebster, and mention 5 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers who you think are worthy of the Liebster!

'Liebster' means "favorite" or "dearest" in German. This award, which originated in Germany, recognizes up and coming bloggers. In accepting this award, I agree to:

-Thank the person who gave me the award, and link back to their blog
-Copy and paste the award to my blog
-Reveal the 5 blogs I have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog in hopes they pay it forward by awarding it to bloggers they would like to honor.

I'm giving this award to the following bloggers, who are all writing blogs that are so awesome I can't believe they don't already have a million followers: 

1. Confessions of a Craigslist Junkie
2. Sweetwater Baby
3. Creative Paper My Way
4. Making Sense of Cents (this isn't a DIY blog, but read it anyway, it's terrific.)
5. Mum Of All Trades

Ashley nominated the following blogs when she won, and these were blogs I hadn't seen yet so now I have new blogs to read! Yippee! And you need to go to her blog, like yesterday... I adore her.  'Cause she's adorable.

1. The Bold Abode

25 Days of Christmas!

It's already time for Christmas? Wow, where did the year go? A minute ago I was sitting in the hot July sun, and now it's December!

To continue my holiday blogging extravaganza, I will be doing a "25 Days of Christmas" series, featuring crafts, recipes, and sales to help brighten your holidays! I have a great giveaway planned for the holiday too! It starts tomorrow and I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What Can $10 Get You?

I know I promised to share my IKEA buys with you today, but this is more important... trust me.

So, let's think about this... in today's economy, what can $10 get you? This isn't a trick question or a sponsored post about some product you can get for only $10, I really want you to think about the last time you got out of the grocery store having only spent $10... what was in your cart?

I went to CVS on Sunday. I used coupons. I got all this:
Do you see that? Do you count five (yes, five) bottles of Tide detergent?  Do you also see the 4 cans of Pringles? You know, Pringles used to be cheap... all of a sudden, potato crisps are in hot demand, thus raising the prices.

I get very passionate about the prices of snack foods, you'll have to forgive me.

I got the Tide using $2 off coupons and with the current promotion at CVS, I earned a $10 gift card which I promptly used on Pringles and Spaghettio's.  Healthy living at its finest.

So, those of you still on the couponing fence, what did you get for $10 this week?  If it didn't include 5 bottles of Tide, you need to start clipping.  Believe me, you'll thank me later.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Trip To Heaven. Oh, I Mean Ikea.

It was like a warmth that washed over my body and this time it wasn't because of a potty-training accident.  No, this time, it was accompanied by angels singing and birds chirping.  I think I saw a deer prancing merrily alongside a rabbit.

I went to Ikea.  The closest one is over two hours from where I live.  I had to pay a toll along the way.  It was totally worth it.
I've never been to one before.  Again, because the closest one is over two hours away.  Did I mention that it was worth the trip?
I asked if I could live there. They said no.
I asked how long I could sit here until they asked me to leave.  They said 'closing time'.
I asked how long I could nap here and they said 'the store record is three hours.' I could beat that.
I love this pillow, it's such a happy pattern. Unfortunately for me, today I'm only here for 'practical and necessary', not 'happy'.
I love this. I would tell you why, but one shouldn't explain art.
Hello fellow Ikea shopper! Let's link arms and skip through the furniture warehouse.
I needed this.  I didn't know where I would put it or what I would do with it, but I'm sure I needed it.
I wept when I got here.
When I got to this one, a nice lady gave me a tissue to clean up my sobbing.
I laid on this.  Oh, yes I did.
This is quite roomy, but not roomy enough to fit yourself in.  I found out the hard way.
A crafter's dream, boxes and boxes of frames.  Delicious.
I couldn't love these little lanterns more.  They aren't available online, so scoop them up on your next trip.  Tell them I love them.

Come back tomorrow to see what I did buy and what I made from it.  I'll give you a hint: it's awesome.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holey Shamoley.

So, I've had a busy month. I've been in full preparation mode for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I've been crafting and blogging with complete abandon, I've been raising two children and running a household...

And I wrote a novel.

I didn't even know anything about this National Novel Writing Month until 2 days before it started.  In other words, I didn't have much time to prepare for it.  But I did it.

I am unstoppable.

What did you do this month?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Goodwill Celebrates The Holidays Too.

 **This was a guest post I did over at Life in the Thrifty Lane, just in case you missed it!

Hello Life In The Thrifty Lane readers! I'm Priscilla, the blogger behind Thrifty Crafty Girl!  Veronica asked me to guest post for today, which to me is the equivalent of being asked to DJ an awesome party.  Who's ready to hear 'Muskrat Love' over and over?

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and I was slapped in the face with that fact when I went into my local Goodwill this morning.  They have their holiday wares out in full force.  Here's what I managed to find!
I know that, from this angle at least, it looks like Mr. Peanut.  I can assure you, it's a glass snowman.  I'm going to take out the plastic piece under the hat and fill him with holiday candy. Pretty and delicious. Oh, and it was only $0.76.  Do you believe that? I might have done a little happy dance.
Another glass piece, this one priced at $0.56.  The plastic at the bottom is cracked, which is OK with me since I'm planning on removing it anyway.  I think I'll fill it with greenery and lights and make a little skirt for it out of felt.  It will be adorable, I'm sure of it.
This little felt pail was $0.56 too! Fifty-six must be my lucky number today!  I love this little pail.  I think I'll put some old ornaments in it and put it in the Christmas display.
Do you see this little sled? It's adorable, and in mint condition!  And, it only cost $0.96! I think I'll add some little felt mittens to it and lean it up on the bookcase this year.  Too cute!

If you aren't ready for the holidays yet, don't worry... Goodwill has bucket loads of Halloween stuff out, too.
I love this little guy! I put a candle in him and added him to the Halloween display.  At $1.96, this was my most expensive purchase of the day... but just look at his face... he needed a home.

Quick, run to your Goodwill for the holiday awesomeness! Oh, and if you have a few minutes, come check out my blog! Become a follower and I'll obsessively stalk read your blog!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Strikes Again

Yes, I went out.  Yes, it was crowded.  And yes, people were cranky.

So let me just say, I firmly believe that events like Black Friday shopping bring out our real personalities: if you are a naturally negative person, it will make you even more negative and cranky... if you're a pleasant person, this sort of thing will bring out your best.

I think I am an awesome person.  Not that I'm bragging... but I went out last night and got in a line at Walmart for one of their items and made friends with the other two ladies already in line.  We worked out a strategy amongst ourselves... we watched each others carts so we could all walk around the store to get different items... and we shared our ads with each other so we could price match and save bundles.  We did not pepper spray each other.  We did not have the "I will get one before you get one" mentality.  We are naturally good people who love a good sale.

And if we didn't get our item?  Well, I can't speak for the other ladies in line, but I think I would have survived it.  I've had my share of Black Friday disappointments and I've survived every one.  But the point is, we were complete strangers with a common goal and instead of turning on each other like competitors, we helped each other like compassionate human beings.

All for $4 pajamas.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I'm Thankful For.

I have a lot to be thankful for today, and everyday. But this post is to tell you that I am thankful for you. Yup, Thrifty Crafty Girl is gonna get emotional on you.

When I started this blog months ago, I had nothing but inspiration from other great blogs and bloggers and a million ideas in my head. I started this blog and assumed that no one would see it, no one would follow me, and my ego would take a tumble. But then something sort of awesome happened.

I started getting followers... I started getting comments (which all of you bloggers can agree with, getting comments is like getting sunshine in a bucket, it makes you smile 'til your cheeks hurt) and I started making friends. Every one of you who hit the 'follow me' button took a chance that I wouldn't bore you to tears and I'm so thankful you did. I'm not saying there weren't days when I didn't bore you to tears... but you stuck with me and kept commenting and encouraging me and I love each and every one of you. Truly. If any of you take a trip to Central Illinois, I'm taking you out to Starbuck's. Hold me to it.

I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you are around family and friends and are laughing and eating way too much. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving - The Meal Before the Meal

So, it's Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving... what are you planning on eating for dinner?  If you are like a bajillion other Americans, you'll be calling for pizza delivery.

The night before Thanksgiving is the biggest night for pizza delivery in the whole year.  It's like their Christmas.  Let's give them and your pocketbook a rest, shall we?

Make your own pizza!  Can I tell you, we've been making our own pizza for a few years now and the whole family loves it!  My son runs into the kitchen every time he hears the pepperoni package open, he absolutely loves to top the pizza.  And it couldn't be simpler...

Buy a pre-made crust or make your own and bake it according to the instructions on the package...
Top it...
And bake it.  It takes less time to make than it took me to write this post.  And it's certainly faster than delivery... and cheaper too!
Holy sha-moley.  Happy pre-Turkey day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving - Turkey Brine

I only eat turkey once a year. I love some turkey, don't get me wrong... but it seems like such a production to make and I only like productions on holidays. At any rate, a well-cooked turkey is the signature Thanksgiving meal. But, heaven forgive me, most people cook their turkey way too long. There's only so much gravy you can put on a dry turkey before people call you a gravy hog and then you're forced to wrestle them to the ground while your mother is taking bets on who will win.

But enough about last Thanksgiving.

Our little turkey secret? We brine. Oh yeah, we brine the heck out of that turkey... and it's always moist and yummy. For your consideration:

Boil up the following on your stove:

1 gallon of vegetable broth (it's 128 oz, save yourself the trouble of googling it)
1 cup of kosher salt
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 tblsp whole peppercorns

After it's boiled, let it cool.
I know, it looks disgusting.  Persevere, my bloggy friends!

Here's a picture of my husband doing awful things to a turkey.  Look away if you must.
I told him that he and that turkey needed to get a room.  For realsies.

Once the brine has cooled, throw your turkey in.
Add a bag of ice over the top of him...
And then enough cold water to submerge the turkey completely.
The gobbling sounds like gurgling.

We soak our turkey in the salty cold bath for three days or so.  We put it in a sealed container and leave it out in the garage, checking to make sure it stays icy cold until turkey time.  Then, we cook it like we normally would.  It's a juicy turkey, which is the best part of Thanksgiving.

There is a scientific reason why soaking a meat in brine makes it juicy.  It has to do with osmosis.  It must also have to do with deliciousness.

Do any of you have a turkey secret? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

24 Days of Thanksgiving - Chocolate Pie For People Who Can't Bake

I know you're out there... the people who can't bake. Oh, you've tried, but it just didn't work out. You sat over your culinary fail and sobbed on the inside. Often, on the outside too.

I am here for you.

Now, I know my way around a kitchen. I don't want to brag, but I have the local pizza delivery place's number memorized. You can admit that you're jealous, it's OK.

For those of you not as adept as I am in the kitchen, make this pie. It is foolproof and amazing. It's a Dream Whip pie... so grab some Dream Whip in the Jell-o section of the store and get cracking.

You will need:
2 envelopes of Dream Whip
2 3/4 cup of milk, divided
1 tsp vanilla
2 boxes of the 4-serving size chocolate pudding
1 graham cracker crust
Mix the Dream Whip, 1 cup of the milk and the vanilla.  Use a hand mixer and whip it all up until it makes peaks.  Sometimes it takes like, a million minutes and sometimes it takes two minutes.  I'm sure there's a scientific reason for the variation in time, but I'm kind of tired and don't want to look it up.  Just keeping it real.


Add the rest of the milk and the pudding mixes and mix it some more.
Still yummy.
These are for me.

Pour it into a pie crust.
Spread it out.

It's done.  Put it in the fridge.  Do you see how simple that was?  Really simple.  Oh, and really delicious.  I was going to eat it for dinner one night but I remembered that the children should eat a real meal.  Phooey.
Doesn't this picture make it look like light from heaven is shining on it?  That's 'cause it is.  Yum.

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