Oct 29, 2011

Marketbasket Mayhem!

We were running quite low on groceries...but payday wasn't until Friday and we'd already spent all of our grocery budget...so I decided to go shopping today...Saturday...bad idea. REALLY bad idea.

I expected Saturday to be pretty busy but, for those of you that don't live in this neck of the woods, we're predicted to get 6-10 inches of snow tonight! (Yes you read that right.) Apparantly today was SOOOOOOOO not the day to pick to go shopping.

When there were no carts in the return carosels in the parking lot and upon entering Marketbasket there were no carts inside either and I had to wait in a 6 person deep line just to get a cart....I should have just gone home. (And that was the situation even though they had 6 guys 100% devoted to trolling the parking lot and bringing in empty carts as soon as you picked your last grocery bag up out of it. I swear, they were like hungry grocery cart vultures!) Seriously people? We live in MAINE/NH. We're getting 6-10 inches of snow followed by days of 50 degree weather. I think we'll be okay. think you'll be able to get out of your house. I think the world will continue to spin on it's axos. You'd think it was the freaking Apocolypse or something!

But, gosh darn it, we have a family fall crockpot party to go to tonight and if I was going to brave that mess for spinach artichoke dip fixin's, I may as well just get my whole list's worth. I put on my BEST, most cheerful, most patient attitude and braved the mayhem with a sense of humor.

It was PURE insanity. It was a maze of carts that had to be maneuvered through at a snails pace. And the check-out lines? They looked a lot like this...but WORSE. (I swear if I'd remembered that my new iPhone can take photose, I would have totally taken and actual picture for you! THAT is how un-techy I am.) They had EVERY single line open and double baggers at EVERY single register. And each line at each register was still AT LEAST 6 people deep! I have NEVER seen anything like it.

And to my husband, who claims that Marketbasket is "ghetto", I have this to say. They were fully staffed, no super staffed, no uber staffed. They were staffed right out the wazoo. And EVERY employee was upbeat, kind and helpful. While looking for baguettes in a well picked over bakery section, the baker saw my woe and came out and told me he had fresh ones baking and he'd set two aside for me. A helpful deli person came right out from behind the deli and led me to the aisle with artichoke hearts. And the cashier was simply delightful even though she'd been there since 7am. AND you can still get one gazillion groceries for like $1.50. (I'm not even kidding. For all of my friends that don't have a Marketbasket close by and are stuck with shopnsave, shaws, and walmart...I pity you. I really do. If you had a Marketbasket near you, I swear you'd save 1 million dollars a year and eat like kings.) So if that's ghetto, then I, for one, LOVE ghetto.

Oct 25, 2011


Do you have spots in your home that just drive you nuts? They're little so you put them off and put them off, until one day you just can't take it anymore!? Well I do. They're mostly closets and drawers.

But this one is our kitchen counter. I hung a basket up for mail, but papers just seemed to abound on the counter anyway. My measly attempt to contain phones, cameras, charger, keys and sunglasses, was a basket that ended up looking more like a rats nest and causing reeking more havoc than doing good. Here's what it looked like...and this is kind of neat compared to what it usually looks like. Oh man, that tangled basket of wires would keep me up at night!
Yesterday I just couldn't take it anmore. So I did something about it...for free. I used fabric that I had and left over dowels from my puppet theater project. I just need a fabric pen to lab the slots with, but THIS was my inspiration and this is what it ended up looking like. THIS is also a cool idea, which I may end up using for office or junk drawer things, but it would cost me money and again, it would be on the counter. I'm IN LOVE with wide open, clear, clean counter. It's like heaven to me!

Also, THIS is one of my new fave organizing websites. Yes, I think the woman has unlimited funds, but such great inspiration!

Frugal Me

I swear when the cold sets in I just start getting the crafting bug. Money is always tight around here. It's a sacrifice that we stive to embrace. It's the byproduct of us chosing for me to stay at home and of us chosing to aggressively get out of debt. (And I might add that, other than our house, we've not purchased anything by credit since we cut up our card back in 2007!) It's worth it!

But the Holidays are upon us and it's an expensive time of year. We never buy more than one gift for each person, and just a handful for Ella, because we don't want Christmas to be all about presents. But even so, I'm all about way to be frugal! So I'm finding lots of neat stuff to make for super cheap. I just made this doorway puppet theater for Ella. I spent $10 and change on ALL the materials! (I've seen handmade ones just like it going for $65 on Etsy.) I just picked up some felt and I'm going to make her puppets out of those! Very fun to fulfill my creative side and very frugal to save our budget!

Oct 22, 2011

Both Are Going Home

"Dear God, tank-you for aunt Karen and baby Jude. Please heal their boo-boos off. In Jesus name. Amen." This is the prayer that Ella has prayed literally every single night since we first found out about baby Jude and my Aunt Karen. She has never before taken such an interest. She asks to see pictures and videos of them each day. Until now, her prayers have been just her repeating after us and maybe telling God a few things she did that day. But she has prayed that prayer every night, on her own, unprompted by us. In fact, she sometimes reminds us.

She would ask me to play the videos of baby Jude over and over. She would say, "Mama, pray for him. No touch him. Touch all his boo-boos and pray for him." And so there we would sit. My laying my hands on each of baby Jude's visible boo-boos, then his heart, as we lifted those things, and the other needs up in prayer. It has been heart wrenching to see Brandon and Mandy go through this. The strength and faith they have had through this all, is a witness, inspiration and encouragement. The way I have watched my daughters faith grow in these last few months is beyond words.

I'm still not sure how I'm going to tell her that baby Jude is in Heaven now. No that's exactly what I'll tell her. That his boo-boos are all better now. That he is healthy and well. No more pain, no more tears. He is in the loving arms and presence of God. He is home.

Please, please, please do not let your prayers stop here. Continue to pray for this precious family and the road they are on. Honor them and read this post that so magnificently captures the beauty of faith, trust, and hope even in the worst possible times.

And please keep praying for my Aunt Karen. She is a walking miracle. She is astounding doctors and physical therapists and occupation therapists left and right. Though her left side is still not moving with the speed and dexterity she'd like and that often frustrates her, she is eating, talking, laughing, writing, walking, climbing stairs, working so incredibly hard...and she is going home! Only two months after we weren't even sure if she was going to make it, she is going home.

I am praising God in both these situations. That may seem hard to understand, but I am thanking God in both because I trust that His is will is best, even though it may not be what I'm asking for all the time. I know that God holds them both in his tight grip and I know that God knew how they'd both be going home.

Oct 21, 2011

I'm in love.

Have you noticed the recent flurry of posts after a long dry spell? I guess I have to be inspired. And it's interesting what inspires me....dead cat stories, baby mullets, and now the iPhone. I'm not sure what this says about me, but whatever!

We recently switched cell phone carriers and got a free iPhone. Jason can't have a phone with a camera at his work...(ya know, so he can't take pictures of our Navy's sub fleet and sell them to the spys)...so guess who gets my trackphone and guess who gets primary custody of the new iPhone!?

We're really not techy people. And I pretty much despise it when people text and play games on their mobile devices instead of hold actual conversations with the people that are sitting next to them. So I'm going to try REALLY hard not to become one of those people. But I TOTALLY see the temptation!

We're not going to be on the internet all the time on this phone. And we're not going to use it to text up a storm. In fact, we really only continue to use cellphones for emergencies and when we're on the road.

What we ARE going to use this bad boy for is a GPS on the road, a handheld game to keep us occupied on long drives, an ipod to listen to our tunes, and what I believe to be the most important function.....a child occupier.

We've already downloaded some pretty cute and free learning apps for her (including Curious George ABC's, a few fisher price animal apps, and a counting app). And we ponied up $10 bucks for a season of Curious George that I'm quite sure will save my sanity a our 3 hour drive north today with a toddler that no longer naps in the car. Not to mention it will come in quite handy on big grocery store trips and waiting for food in restaurants!

It's been one day with this gadget and Ella is already in love with it as well. Don't worry, we're not going to let her become and iPhone junkie by any means. It will be for certain ocasions and perhaps as a reward at times. And I do think there's a lot of value in the learning apps and in helping to develop a (responsibly) tech savvy child this day in age.

Oct 19, 2011

The Mullet Cure

It's true. My child will be three in a few months and she's seriously challenged in the hair growth department. I'm beginning to wonder if she'll ever have any real hair to speak of. Seriously. It's part of my nightly prayers ("Please let Ella grow hair.") I swear I keep it to myself. Don't worry, she won't have a complex. But she really does have a rather unfortunate "baby mullet". See. Well, let me tell you how tickled I was to learn this past weekend, that she LIKES headbands. And will wear them! I boy did I run with it. I learned how to make these adorable fabric flowers that night and prettied up four simple headbands in two seconds flat! See. And now, when wearing the headbands, it actually looks like she has some cute little bangs with some longer hair tucked behind the headband. See! Okay, okay, it's not really a mullet cure. More like a cover-up, and not even the best one at that. Pigtails are really the best cover up, but she won't keep the in for more than two minutes...except this one time at the Winslow's where she actually had them in long enough for Angie to snap this picture. See. Even cuter from the front, I swear. Oh boy, I love this little girl. Mullet and all!

Oct 17, 2011

Did I tell you the one about the cat tin?

I've been in organizing/purging mode lately. The urge hits me often, but even more so just prior to the present onslaught of birthays and Christmas.

So I was taking some clothes to consign at a local shop. While I was filling out the paper, Ella was admiring all the shiney things in the counter display cabinet. "What is that mommy? What is that cat thing in there?" she asked.

I peered in and saw a small tin with a picture of a cat on it. I explained what a tin was and told her that the things in that case were for sale. "I want that mom. Can I have that?" (Don't even get me started on her "I want that phase" because it's a whole other story!). I calmly replied that we did not come to buy things today.

That's when the well-intentioned (and clearly soft) woman behind the counter said, "Oh, that's not even in there to sell. It's mine and I just put it in there for decoration. She can have it." I politely refused and explained she did not need to give it to my daughter. She insisted. I wanted to avoid carrying this on so I accepted and told her how nice that was and had Ella thank her numerous times.

The woman slid it from the display case and placed it in Ella's hands. "This is heavy mom!" she exclaimed, "What's in here?" The kind (and perhaps crazy/demented) lady behind the counter responded that she couldn't even remember what was in it. We attempted to open it, but it was glued shut. It was indeed heavy and felt like it was filled with sand. It had been filled and glued shut to be used as a paper weight, I reasoned.

Well, we got that cat tin home and Ella kept asking me to try to open it to see what was inside. It only took a slight little prying with a butter knife to free the lid from it's base and that's when I saw it. Yes, the contents were similar to sand, but just a bit more...ahem...finely ground.....or perhaps incinerated. That's right folks. It was a small plastic bag of ashes, a.k.a. A DEAD FRICKIN" CAT.

Ella can read my face and she knew something was up. "What mom!? What is it mom? What's in there mom!? What is it? Can I see it!?"

"Nothing sweetie," I replied, "Just some dirt." Then I chucked the dead cat ashes, sanitized the crap out of that tin and handed it right back to Ella. She loves that tin.

Oct 4, 2011


I could be wrong, but I think Maine is the only state that has Marden's. At let me just say, that all you folks who don't have a marden's 15 minutes down the road from you are SOOOO missing out! Listening to the annoying commercials is totally worth the bargains you find there. (Also, check out my friend's blog about ugly crap you can find there too. Hilarious!) From candy, to books, clothes to home decor, hardware to fabric...they've got it all. And fabric is what I was in search of the other day.

I've been wanting to slipcover pillows in my living room FORVER! And by forever I mean like a few years. I finally used some of the house budget for pretty instead of practical and had at it! I did the bench pillows, the couch and chair pillows, and because the fabric was so flippin' cheap I reupholstered the benches too! I even had 2 1/2 yards that I decided to make into a doorway puppet theater for one of Ella's Christmas presents!

Anyhoo, Here's what the benches and pillows looked like before:And here's what they look like after! BAM!!!

I took pictures to do a tutorial because I made rockin' covers that you can change out, and there are no zippers involved. Perhaps I'll post the tutorial sometime.