Monday, August 31, 2009

DigiScrap: 4th of July

Detailed Views

4th of July Breakfast (Stars)
4th of July Breakfast (Stripes)

I am no longer part of the Activities Committee at church (and also no longer doing several other things as well). I am now just the Primary (childrens' Sunday School organization) Secretary.

However, as my last activity, I was part of the July 4th Breakfast that we did. I did not take all of these pictures, but I did put the layout together. I put a small and larger picture, as both layouts are meant to come together as one. And, this was my last layout for the committee as well. Hopefully the next person can do something fun as well (although, it's really more for a history than anything else, as I don't think any of these got actually displayed on any bulletin boards).

However, I will be doing some for the Primary. Coming soon for them is the Pioneer Day activity we did.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hybrid and Thrifty Craft: Pear Art Wall Decor

So, remember the 5x7 black, distressed frame I found at Goodwill for a couple of dollars?

Well, I decided to try my hand at some wall decor, using pears -- an idea I got from the Thrifty Decor Chick, who got HER idea from The Happy Homebody. (I also thought I could make the color scheme work with the colors in my kitchen.)

Luckily, I didn't have to distress the frame (not that I needed to, but it lends some charm) and then had to search for some fake pears. Not all fake pears are created equal! Some have this sand core that is impossible to cut through. Yikes! But, my second attempt proved better.

So, after some time promised with showing you my thrifty finds re-worked, we have:

The before...

And, after...
Pear Decor (Hybrid Art)

Cute, huh? Something you could easily find at some little home decor place for like, what $15-20? (Altogether this was less than about $5.)

Now, you're wondering how this craft could possibly be considered hybrid? WELL, the paper I used to put behind the pear was digital scrapbook paper (from Shabby Princess' "Damask and Dots" kit) printed on matte photo paper. Hah!

Hopefully the weather will cool down some soon and I can get to some of my other projects, which involve spray painting.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Random Cat Photos

So it's been awhile since I've posted some cat photos. Mostly it's because the lighting in our apartment isn't great, and you know what happens when cat eyes meet the flash of a camera!

So, here are a few funny pictures of the cats. I put them in black and white because it's more forgiving of slight blurriness and dark photos. Thank you, Photoshop!

Yanni will take you out with the katanas! MROWR!


The bed for the cats is usually covered in a fleece blanket, but I thought they might be a little cooler if I put a cotton blanket on it. My mom made this for me, from kitty fabric. Aww, so cute. Unfortunately, I think Yanni prefers the fleece, as he dug himself (I saw him do it!) a little hole to get under the cotton blanket. REALLY adorable!


Recently we got some wingback chairs off of Craigslist (as we were desperate for more seating). They're this beautiful burgundy-cranberry red color, with a rosey, swirly pattern. Unfortunately, the cats think we got the chairs for them. I keep extra pillows from the sofa on them, but, one day, a pillow had fallen down, and Yuki promptly decided to lay on it, and Yanni got up next to her (which in and of itself is quite a miracle, since he doesn't like to be too near her).

Who rules the roost?

(I know, there are more pictures of Yanni than Yuki, but he tends to do the more silly things. ^_^)

Monday, August 17, 2009

And THIS is why I coupon!

This past Saturday my local Kroger grocery store was having a mega coupon event. While they normally triple coupons with values up to 39 cents, and double coupons with values up to 50 cents, this past Saturday, they were going to be doubling coupons with values from 40 cents up to 1 dollar! So all dollar off coupons now doubled to 2 dollars off. SWEET!

I scoured sites and forums, made a list and gathered coupons, and went to the store at 7:30 am (the store opened at 6, but I just couldn't go that early -- too early!). Luckily, I didn't have to worry, as they had practically everything on my list.

I took Brian with me, as the sale stipulated that you could only use 1 like coupon per transaction, so we each had a cart and did separate transactions to get the best deals. And boy, did we do well!

Look at all we got!!!

This is $300 worth of groceries (and a few other items, like batteries and eye shadow, etc.). But how much do you think we paid for it???





$85! That's a savings of 72%. Not only is this probably the best shopping trip I've had, we just got SO many things to add to our stockpile. I love it!

I don't know if I had mentioned before, but about a month ago I taught a class for the women of my church on how to coupon -- I also had another person teaching with me. One of the ladies in the class was very excited, and she had already started getting coupons together, and has only been couponing seriously for a few weeks now, but I saw her at the store on Saturday, and she and her husband had two LOADED shopping carts. I think she ended up getting close to $650-700 worth of groceries for $150. Then again, she has 5 kids. It just goes to show you, that all you have to do is TRY. You will see the savings sooner than you think. (But then, there's still much to learn, as I saw one lady mentioned she got like $360 worth for $8. Seriously!!)

If you're interested in trying to learn, just check out my little tutorial on couponing.

Yay for saving money! ^_^

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review: New Spring

(Just a quick note, but I have become a member of Goodreads. If you're a member, let me know so I can add you. Also, on the sidebar, I have installed Goodreads widgets so you can see what I've read and what I'm currently reading.)

New Spring by Robert Jordan

I have begun the process of re-reading The Wheel of Time series for the ... goodness, well, I've re-read it several times. While New Spring came out some time after the series had started, it is actually a prequel, detailing how Moiraine became Aes Sedai, the beginnings of her quest to find the Dragon Reborn, and how she met her warder, Lan.

I enjoyed this because you get to see a young, inexperienced Moiraine as she attempts to begin her quest. While Lan is very similar, you can see a little bit of youth in him, although, I get the impression that Moiraine gives him a better sense of purpose.

To see how characters come together before you originally met them, is a nice juxtaposition. It would have been nice for Jordan to write another prequel, perhaps, giving a little more detail on the next 16-18 years before The Eye of the World (first book in the series) picks up.

Jordan is a master storyteller and world builder.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Review: The Grand Sophy

I interrupt my regularly scheduled review of The Wheel of Time series, to review ...

The Grand Sophy
by Georgette Heyer

I was at a church friend's house waiting for a meeting to start, and we started discussing books. She and I have similar tastes, and, at the end of the evening, she lent me one of her new books. She said if I liked Austen, I would like Heyer. (I have to say that she must have incredible trust in me -- lending me a new book and all. I admit, I have a VERY hard time lending out my books. But then again, she does have 5 kids under 7, so maybe her expectations regarding the overall conditions of books are low... *laughs*)

Well, I have been wanting to expand my reading repertoire, and I like Austen, and the Regency period, so I gave it a whirl before I started on The Wheel of Time.

I have to admit that the language was a little more than I expected. Not only do her characters, of course, speak in a more formal language, but the book is written that way too! Sure, I can handle it from Austen, but it did take me a little time to get used to it. However, once I did, I found some charming, amusing characters. Also, sometimes things aren't always as they seem, and for a Regency Romance, there wasn't so much romance as more match-making, and the sort. I ended up enjoying the story and wished, once again, to get just a little more resolution, even if it were just a little bit of how the characters ended up overall.

Since this is my first foray into Regency Romance, I have to say I enjoy it, and apparently this is one of Heyer's more-loved novels. So, if you want to try something new, and wouldn't MIND Regency Romance, give it a whirl!

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