Monday, April 30, 2012

May savings, Basset style (which means, the lazy way)

In my quest to lose this extra weight that I've gained from my lack of exercise and HORRIBLE eating habits (I don't do all caps lightly, people), I am implementing a series of changes. This first, to begin cooking again. I also want to incorporate more salads and fruit into our lives, which can be rinsed in the colander. Sad thing is, I highly prefer a spinner but haven't had one for quite some time. Enter, the Kohl's coupons!

When I was younger, I learned the value of sales/clearance shopping. Stocking up with holiday essentials is cheap and easy with after holiday sales, always ensuring the ability to always participate fully without exorbitant spending. So far, I am fully stocked for next Christmas and Valentine's Day (I can take pictures but it's not pretty...yet).

Back to shopping for every day things. I love Kohl's (I'm not getting paid to say this, either). Mostly because I love the Vera Wang line that they carry, but I do love the rest of it. And the best part is that I spend enough money there (my wardrobe is split between there and Target) that I get extra coupons in the mail. I almost always have a 20 or 30 percent off coupon in my coupon book, just waiting to be spent.

The thing about Kohl's is to never, ever, ever, buy anything at full price. They have so many sales that you will almost always get what you want at a lower price. Combine one of their sales for 20% off and a coupon for 20% or 30% off and you have a deal! And on top of that, if you wait and buy those large ticket items during certain promotion times, they will give you a coupon for a certain amount of money ($10 for every $50 spent on your purchase).

Today, the GG and I realized that we had Kohl's cash that was to expire on a busy night of mine so off we went to the store. We were originally going to buy a Dyson, but found the same model on Amazon for a lot cheaper. We decided to peruse the kitchen section, my favorite part of the store.

Voila! Our booty for the night.

Full price~$49.99

Full price~$39.99

What was our final price for both including tax? $11.11!

GG has been asking to get more food storage containers (helps with leftovers and healthy snacks) forever and when we saw the ones with air tight sealed snapping lids, he went for them. 

$11.11. That's a savings of about $79 all gained by paying attention to the dates on the coupons (20% off), catching a little sale (I don't remember how much it was, sorry!), and using some Kohl's cash from a previous purchase ($50). Sure, they do it to encourage shopping at their stores, but quality wares at cheap prices always makes me a return customer. I don't coupon in the least, besides what stores send me so when I get those types of savings, I get excited :D

The Basset and Mutt wonder if their mom will ever stop taking pictures of them

Side note...the newest member of the family is almost here! I can't wait!

This Basset mama loves washi

As you may or may not know, this Basset mama volunteers with a local animal rescue, doing online networking as well as volunteering at adoption events (all breeds rescue). Today, we had an amazing couple drive three hours to just meet one of our puppies, a wire haired terrier mix. Well, long story short, they were so amazing and completely blew away one of our seasoned volunteers that they were able to take her home with them today. During all of this, a piece of paperwork was separated by a cashier and so we now need to mail it to them. What? Excuse to make a "dog" themed card? Don't mind if I do.

Mmmm, washi tape (and a few decorative)
Now, I'd seen plenty of cards using washi tape as banners, and I soooo have wanted to emulate them. So I gathered my meager supply and came up with a plan...

And got to work. I attempted to make them all different lengths and shapes at the ends...

 But I am neither extremely clever nor inventive so I ended up with this. I attempted to cut the triangle out of the bottom but I couldn't find quite the right template.

 For the look, try and lay the edges of the tape plush to each other so that the white of the card stock does not create a white space between them.

For the front accenting piece, I worked on and messed up a few concepts. I again used my scalloped edged circle punchout to make a white cutout to layer over a brown bigger one. I attempted to use a square thank you stamp and it just never lined up right with the rectangle edging so I scrapped that idea.

Enter, the adorable way too cheap stamp from China. 


I used dark blue ink for the stamp, using it as a safe color for her fathers and to match the tape.

I then glued it to a brown scallop edged cutout and plopped that on top, finishing up the simple card.

Next time, I think that I'll add some twine and maybe a few buttons but I didn't want to go too over the top on a "here's your paperwork" note.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A healthy Basset is a happy Basset

Today's post is a food post. I love food. I love the taste, smell, and sometimes, appearance of food. That being said, I dislike cooking. I like baking, but as I am attempting to eat better to help my weight loss goals, I have put baking on the back burner. Enter the EASIEST meal ever. It tastes amazing!

Chicken Caesar salad with a twist

Skinless boneless chicken breast (at least 1/2 per person)
Tony Chachere's original Creole seasoning
Low fat Caesar dressing (compare the nutritional information among those in the aisle and pick the best one)
Croutons (optional, again, compare the nutritional information)
Mozzarella (optional)

Equipment needed:
Grill (I use my 2 person George Forman's grill)
Cheese grater

First, plug in the grill and allow it to heat up for about 7 minutes. While this is being done, rinse the chicken breast and remove any fat. Then, sprinkle the chicken with Tony's seasoning. The amount is up to you. If you have never had it before, tread lightly and just sprinkle. I like to put a good deal on as I put it in everything. 

After the grill has heated up, place the chicken in it and grill for at least 6 minutes, until it is cooked all the way through and there is no pink in the middle. 

While the chicken is grilling, rinse the lettuce or spinach in a colander and arrange on plates. Add croutons if desired. 

When the chicken is done (remember, no pink in the middle) take it off of the grill and cut into strips or bite sized cubes. As I try to reduce the amount of dishes that I use, I cut it on one plate while all of the greens are on another one and then switch them out for half and half.

After the chicken is cut, place on top of the greens and add the desired amount of croutons (watch the serving amount!) and grate Mozzarella on top. 

Dressing can be added on top of everything or put into a side container to dip forkfuls in. 

I forgot to take a picture before I ate most of it and GG's was completely gone :D hehe

This salad is bursting with flavor due to the Tony's seasoning and the combination of ingredients never sits heavy on the stomach. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bassets help others

The last few days have been quiet due to stress from work obligations. But what are the best ways to de-stress? Volunteering and crafting! So what's the best way? Combining them into one.

Enter, the opportunity. I have had a few items in an auction before for Rowdy to the Rescue animal rescue, and two sets of cards (pictured below) raised $40. Granted, they have some of the biggest hearted contributors but it was phenomenal to help in some way.

So when a friend suggested that I help with an online auction for Cystic Fibrosis, I said why not? It also is giving me an opportunity to test out the newer designs in a card sampler.

I'm not quite sure if I want to continue along the same thread or if I should invest in a Cricut. I've seen great example of paper crafts using it on Pinterest but I have yet to be able to justify buying one since I don't know how much I'd be able to use it.

One last note, the GG and I may be adding a new member to the family. No, it is not a mini GG, but it is super adorable! Stay tuned, I am hoping that it happens this week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A little love for some Basset grandmas

I actually did it! I completed a task that I set for myself in a timely manner. I have actually made two Mother's Day cards just like I wanted to. Well, not exactly as I wanted to. The first one I made for my mother and I messed up on it several times, but we'll get into that.

For these cards, you will need:
  • Cardstock of desired color and size (I cut mine to 6 1/4 by 8)
  • Scrap booking paper
  • Paper doily
  • Buttons of desired colors
  • Liquid and stick glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ink
  • Sentiment stamp (I used a "make your own sentiment" set by Martha Stewart)
  • Shape punchout (I really would have loved to use banners, but alas, I don't have any) 
 I'm not quite sure of the cost for each card as I had all of the materials at home already.

First is the doily. I was originally going to stamp directly onto the doily but I smeared it :( So I tried to cover it up with another doily.

If you look closely, you can see the second doily/the messup :(

 And you could still see the blue ink. So my final solution ended up being to stamp the sentiment (Happy Morther's Day) onto a white card stock punchout and then gluing that to a brown kraft paper punchout that I had in my supplies. Whew, crisis averted!

The blue paper that was used already had the lace pattern along the edges, making it extremely ideal!

Notice how my two themes, the doily and buttons, were both integrated into it exactly as I wanted it to be.

The second thing that I did today was make a weight loss tracker using decorative glass pebbles and a few clear cups in different shapes. I kept it simple and didn't put any lettering on the cups as to their purpose since both the GG and I know what they are for and this way they look a bit more decorative on our kitchen counter.
 This one is GG's

Instead of each having our own glass to put in our lost weight, we each are putting it into the same one as a sort of act of unity. We're in this together!! (So cheesy, I know) The clear pebbles each represent one pound, the blue/purple ones get moved over at 5 pounds, and the flower bead is the end weight!

My weight loss goal is to get rid of 20 pounds and his is for 16. I feel like the shorty is going to have to work harder *wink* It looks like we may start going to the lake sometime next week so we definitely are behind in getting back to our beach bods. Hehe

The view of mine from the many pebbles!

As for where I got the materials, I just went to Marshall's after searching through Ross and Target and got the three cups for $2.99 each and the pebbles for $3.00 for about $13.00 (with tax) for this little reminder. I could have used my normal cups, but I don't like to run out as it is, so I figured the little decorative ones would do better.

And while I'm typing all of this up, check out who kept me company.
Jeni's paw is in the top right

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April encourages outside Bassetting

The time has come. I can no longer use my ankle as an excuse not to be proactive. Shucks! I only mention this as it means that my outside obligations are back in force. I even took the Basset out for a walk at the Farmer's Market this morning and she did great! I think she may yet have a future in therapy. Now back to the crafting. 
After my mad fit of crocheting and knitting, I started dabbling with stamping. While you may not know it by looking in my house or on my computers, I am very minimalist when it comes to my cards. The next few pictures will more than illustrate that point.

All of them can be found here.

I have several different card styles in the works as well as switching up the colors for the cupcakes, but for the last few weeks I just haven't been able to motivate myself to finish any one new style, even though my shop desperately needs them. Tonight though, I am planning out Mother's Day cards for my mom (herein referred to as Moogie) and the Gentle Giant's (his 6'2" to my slouchy 5'4 1/2" makes it seem that way, lol) mom . Even though we aren't even engaged, I don't think that she'll mind my making a card for him to send to her :) I am going to combine a few things, such as this front idea:

From this post by Jessica Rosario

My main attraction to this piece is the doily. I love those silly little paper things to death (see my suitcase here) but I am not inherently girly so my usage is a lot lower than I would like. I am also drawn to the stamping onto the doily and is also a major point for me.

The next example has me adoring the use of like shades and buttons:

Via this post (try as I might, I couldn't find the original on etsy)

I love tying my cards up in twine and finishing them off with a button and a bow and these cards completely take the cake! I have the perfect paper to put on the front of my white card stock as well. I haven't quite decided on the inside sentiments, but I figure that I can write my own while my GG writes his own.

Switching gears, I thought I'd show the point that I referenced to "creative space."
My creative space is actually the kitchen table. We used it twice maybe when we started dating and he had me over for breakfast and dinner (yes, he does cook for me :D ) but stopped doing so when we established our tradition of watching Law and Order: SVU during dinner, resulting in us being another couple who sits on the couch to eat at all meal times with the exception of having guests over. We have a rather large coffee table that makes it so easy and convenient and even served as my crafting table when I was couch bound.

This is what it looks like on the typical day, which makes the minimalist and tidy cards seem even weirder.

The jar of white liquid on the right is my home made mod podge with plastic wrap rubber banded over the top since the lid was mistakenly thrown out by someone -.- Hehe

There's the suitcase again. It is holding my yarn, doilies, and seasonal stuff (mostly Valentine's day themed items).

This one is my vantage point from sitting at the table. Really inspiring, right? *snort*
In the picture above, you can see my label maker, which I have been using to label everything. Even the boxes of envelopes are labeled on the top. This is by far the messiest point in the house and is unfortunately viewable from every vantage place in the house besides from inside the bedrooms and bathrooms. Seriously, every where. Even down the hallway *eek!*

And the last picture of the night is of the most helpful Basset who just wants to be included in making cards for her grandmas.