Monday, February 28, 2011

This spud's for you!

As promised, I'm kicking off the start of March with a gardening entry. It is or almost will be (depending on where you live) time to plant potatoes. Potatoes are a great vegetable to grow yourself since commercially grown potatoes are often full of pesticides and organic potatoes are usually expensive. Don't have a source for seed potatoes? Make your own! Just place some grocery store potatoes and toss them under your kitchen sink. Check on them every week or so until you see "eyes" sprouting. When you're ready to plant, cut the potato into chunks and plant, eye side up, making sure each piece you plant has at least one sprouted eye on it. Plant potatoes 4-6 weeks before your area's last frost date.

Exhibit A: potatoes after sprouting under the sink
If you don't have a garden, plant them in buckets or trash cans. Did you know that a  20 gallon trash can can yield 20 pounds of potatoes?

  • For a 20 gallon trash can, 2 to 3 potatoes or potato pieces will suffice. Put the potatoes eye-side up in the container and cover lightly with potting medium, no deeper than two inches.
  • When your potato plants gets about 4 to 6 inches tall, put more potting medium over it- totally bury it. Continue burying your potato plants until your container is full. When your potato plants turn brown, you may harvest the potatoes.
*Make sure you drill holes in the bottom of the container for drainage.
*If you love expensive varieties, such as fingerling potatoes, buy a bag of them at the store and sprout and plant them yourself. I did this last year with Peruvian blue and fingerlings from Kroger!

My apologies

I have written today's post, but blogger isn't allowing me to post photos so I'm waiting for the problem to be resolved. Hopefully I'll have it up and running later this afternoon. Thanks for your patience!

Friday, February 25, 2011

An update...

  • My new method of attacking clutter by putting an item in its proper place every time I move from room to room has been working! While I still have far to go, I'm definitely seeing some encouraging results. Hopefully as time goes by I'll actually catch up!
  • Also on another note, I washed my car with castile soap today and it worked beautifully. I couldn't dry the car because it started to sprinkle, but it has since dried with no spots. Hooray!
  • Starting Monday (Yes, I know it's still Feburary, but I can't help it!) I'm going to  to kick off the gardening season with tips and ideas. You never know...I may have another prize drawing up my sleeve!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My stamp of approval

"I'm in love and I don't care who knows!" (Guess that movie line... I'll give you a hint: he's tall and wears a green suit with tights.) Anyway, I ordered an address stamp for myself last fall and I can't tell you how much I love the thing. It's round with a pretty font, and I can change the color with different ink pads. It also looks very classy on that birthday or Christmas card envelope. With just a quick press, you can mark your books, recipes, letters, or just about anything else made of paper that you want to identify. They also make terrific gifts for that someone who has just about everything. I found mine on They offer a huge variety of custom-made address stamps with prices ranging from $6-$40. So hop to it and get one today. You'll love it- I promise!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Last week, we purchased an ugly duckling dresser/nightstand set on craigslist for our daughter's room. After a few coats of white spray paint, she now has a very cute dresser in her room! (I only had time for the dresser this weekend, so the nightstand is anxiously awaiting its transformation in the garage.) I'm selling the gimpy old one on craigslist, so hopefully I'll only have invested $20 for the set. Not bad!

 (Please overlook the mess)

(I know there are a few bald spots in the paint that I need to touch up, but I just couldn't wait to share the pics with you all!)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Couponing Tips

I recently discovered these valuable tips and thought I'd pass them along to you!
Did you know that when you use a buy one get one free coupon on a buy one get one free sale at a drugstore you will get both items for free? However, this does not work at a grocery store. This is because drugstores literally charge you for one item, giving you the other item for free where a grocery store charges 50% off each item. So if you have a buy one get one free coupon, always use it the drugstore, NOT the grocery store. Another tip for CVS shoppers: scan your CVS card at the coupon kiosk, take the coupons, and scan again for a second set! I recently found out you can do this for double the savings! (Don't bother scanning your card more than twice- it doesn't work after the second scan.)
*All of these couponing methods are completely legal and ethical- even though it seems like the deals are too good to be true!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One thing at a time...

As much as I would love to spend 8 hours cleaning my house at once, I just don't have that kind of time. My new experimental method of de-cluttering will be the following: every time I go from one room to the next, I'll take at least one item with me from that room and put it in its proper place. Yes,  this will probably take a while, but it's something that it doable for me. I'll probably think twice about carelessly tossing things down when I know I'll be bothered by picking them up before I can move to the next room! I'll keep you posted on how effective this is. Wish me luck and try it with me to see how well it works!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Whether you have all day to plan or are just getting off work, here's a dessert that looks and tastes impressive but is so easy and quick to make! You can listen to the devil on your shoulder and make these with pound cake or make the angel on your shoulder happy by using angel food cake. Either way, you are in for a big treat!

 Here's all you need:
(Pound or angel food cake, Nutella, fresh strawberries) 

Here's what you do:

  • Cut slices of cake
  • Spread Nutella onto each piece
  • Slice strawberries and place on cake
  • Top with more cake to make a sandwich
  • Grill for about 30 seconds per side
  • Enjoy!
Here's what you get:

  *You can top with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, or powdered sugar. If your grill isn't working (mine wasn't) cook in a pan on the stovetop or use a Foreman grill.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Golden Egg

This week's golden egg hails from CVS. I paid a whopping $1.01 for this little gang of goodies. Thanks to great coupons, clearanced items, and a sale, I was able to snag a little something for everyone. I would have only come away with the gum if I hadn't looked through the aisles for marked-down items. It pays to look around!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Send a message...

Send a sweet message by attaching a heart-shaped note to your special someone's tea bag. Just pull off the original paper and tape on your customized note. They will love this sweet start to their day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Deal Alert

This week, Kroger has a deal where you receive $1.50 off of your order when you buy any 3 Hallmark cards. Hallmark cards start at $.50 each, so you can get 3 free cards!
*I have tried it and it does work, for the record.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

I made this list for my husband one year for Valentine's day. Since he really liked it, I'll share it with you. In lieu of a card, I comprised a list of the top 50 things I love about him. You don't have to only come up with romantic things to list. Mine ranged from his silly sense of humor to his knobby big toes! To make it interesting, I stained the paper with tea to make it look old and sprayed it with my perfume. Give it a try! He (or she) will love it for sure.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Groupon Deal

You can get a great deal on groupon today! You can get a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card for just $10! Click on the link below to claim yours today:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Have a heart.

I'm going to have at least one post a week until the 14th on Valentine-related ideas. I've found some fun new ways to use my heart-shaped cookie cutters. Cookie cutters make great stencils for cut-outs. Set a heart-shaped cookie cutter atop a cupcake and sprinkle colored sugar inside for a lovely design. You can do this on your heart-shaped cookies before you bake them too. Use one to cut out heart-shaped sandwiches for the kids or cut out pie crust hearts to give a decorative flourish to a dessert. Use a tiny cookie cutter to make marshmallows with heart-shaped cutouts to float in hot chocolate.