Wednesday, October 27, 2010

F is for 4 Funny's & a Funeral

{1}  Have you watched Parenthood or Modern Family or The Middle?  So Funny!!

{2}  Pull your lips into your mouth, covering your teeth.  Now try saying "Rhutabaga, Rhutabaga"  Hahaha - You look Funny : )

{3}  Q:  Why don't cannibals like clowns?
A:  Because they taste funny!

Do I hear crickets?  yeah, well, that's Handy Hubby : ) 's favorite joke.  It would at least make me smile if he'd stop telling that one!

{4}  Homecoming was a few weekends ago at the girls' high school.  The theme was Disney movies.  Each class picked a different movie to showcase.  The freshmen class *Daughter S* picked Finding Nemo.

Well, despite their efforts the freshmen didn't win - they never do.  The seniors won {Daughter A happens to be a senior}so there was still celebrating in our house.

I think the freshmen should have won for their slogan alone:

Frosh are Friends, Not Food

 Just in case you haven't seen this movie, there is a scene where a friendly shark learns in 'school' that

Fish are Friends, Not Food

Get it?! 
Totally tickled my funny bone! I'm easily amused *not by cannibals, however* & it is about the little things, after all.

I loved that they could laugh at themselves & understood where they fall in the school food chain : )

Oh! Shark Bait *another movie reference* can be soooo FUNNY!

& Finally the {Funeral}  The 20th was my birthday.  I turned Forty... something ; )
Anyhoo - My MIL & several S'sIL kindly invited me out to lunch to celebrate on Wednesday!  I accepted.  Then the next day I got the call about a funeral at church scheduled on... my birthday. (I'm on the funeral luncheon committee)
Talk about the circle of life!

At first I wasn't sure how to feel about it.  A part of me wanted to be selfish and proceed with my plans.  Never mind that the current chairperson running funeral luncheons is in her 9th month of pregnancy with her 5th child.  Forget the fact that another woman & I already agreed to tag-team subbing for her while we give her a 2 week maternity leave *jk!*  Well, and then there was the sad truth that I'd only ever worked 1 funeral dinner.  There hadn't been a funeral in almost 2 months so it could be if I didn't try to learn the ropes when I had the chance. 

Ultimately, I decided that I was fortunate enough to be able to postpone my birthday celebration - I had the luxury of time.  And this funeral was the last big thing the church gets to do to honor this man.  I was happy to serve at his funeral luncheon on my birthday!!  *I don't mean I was happy about his funeral... Oh! you know what I mean!!*

I just hope the Fam could chuckle at the fact that I ditched them to work a funeral...
or am I digging my own grave?!
duh, duh, Duuuuuuh


Monday, October 25, 2010

Cute While Cooking

I know some of you think I've fallen off the crafty wagon.  Well, I've just been preoccupied with a few other things, is all!  And to prove I still do the occasional project - just wanted to share a birthday gift I made for my son's girlfriend.  They were here over the weekend.

She likes to cook so I thought she might enjoy looking cute while cooking : )  I bought my materials at GW this time because I was hoping I would get more fabric for the money.  The spotted fabric is from a flat twin sheet.  The brown fabric is a duck cloth window panel.  They were $3.99 each {and I think I might have enough fabric left for another apron although it might not be double-sided like this one}. 

I cut a strip the length of the twin sheet to make the ruffle.  I used almost all of it!  I cut off the side hem, intending to make some cute embellishments for the front of the apron.  Another length was used for the sash/tie across the top.  I cut 2 panels from the brown curtain so the apron is reversible {but it looks the same from the front or back}

After tucking the apron into a bag with some tissue paper, I tied a big bow to the handle and capped it off with a pin she can put on the apron (or sweater or scarf), a cookie cutter in the shape of a crown & a glittery M.  {I got the cookie cutter at Sur la Table for $.60}

Daughter A *who's modeling the apron in my pics* said it makes her want to cook something : )
Hopefully, Girlfriend M will feel the same way and then Son C might benefit from some cookies or brownies or a gourmet meal!  Oh, rats!  I let the cat out of the bag - gifting with ulterior motives...

And as a Halloween treat for both of them.  They each received a mug from the dollar section at Target.  It has Charlie Brown on the front saying "Good Grief!".  Inside I put a bag of chalkboard spray painted rocks {a la Pottery Barn} & chalk.  Now they can both say "I gotta rock!"  teehee

So, you see?  I'm not totally out of the crafting game - I still dabble a little!

You might find me partying at some of these places *HERE*


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

E is for Economizing Efforts

 So, the economy isn't great.  Times are tough.  Everyone's tightening their belts, right?
Should one be thrifty only when times are hard?  Heck, No!  I love saving $ all of the time, it just helps most when every penny counts.  And if things are stretched thin for average josephine's like me, what about those who have even less?

Well, I'm no money guru but I do have a few tricks I love using & thought I'd share a few with you today!

My favorite 'funny money' is Discover Card's Cash Back Rewards!  *find out more HERE* I use my Discover Card whenever I can.  I use it on groceries, gas, clothes, restaurants, misc.  I hardly carry any cash anymore.  But I pay off my full balance every month & I only buy something if I'm ok with the price it costs right now.  I don't think about any money I get back.  When I'm ready to cash out I can do a number of things.

1) I can use the Cash Back Bonus $ to reduce my balance due.  Sometimes I do this when a reduced balance is really what I need.

2) I can use it to make a donation to a handful of organizations & Discover will donate a percentage more.  This option is great because there is no additional out.of.pocket expense to me.  I'm helping out a great cause *I usually choose the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund* plus Discover kicks in a little extra.  I feel good - they feel good!

3) I can get a gift card at a participating store.  So, for example, at time I cashed in $20 in Cash Back Bonus $ and got a gift card for $25 at American Eagle!  I did that for each of the girls so for $40 I got $50 in GCs.  If a special occasion is coming up and I know we'll go out to dinner I may cash in $80 and get 4 $25 GCs to Buca di Beppo.  Bring that in with a $10-off coupon usually found in the weekend paper & I may not have to pay anything more out.of.pocket on a dinner for 5+ people!!  I usually fund my hardware store needs for my projects with Lowes GCs using my Cash Back Rewards $ although this one's not as great of a deal.  (For $45 I only get a $50 GC.)  And it has come in handy, when I have enough advanced notice, to order a card to give as a gift.  How often do you get to buy a GC for less than the face value?!

btw I didn't get paid for this endorsement - I just love my Discover Card! <3
Ok!  'Nuf about that!  Moving on -

There are 2 sites where I get good deals. &
 If you get on their email list they will send you regular deals.  For example, during a special promotion at I purchased a $25 GC for $2!  {Yes! You read that correctly!!} I chose a local restaurant I've wanted to try.  Handy Hubby : ) & I tried it out on a date night.  We ordered $31 worth of food.  We spent about $14 total on our meal out.of.pocket (including tax & tip).  I might not have been willing to try it if not for this GC!  {Make sure you read the fine print for each establishment}

The same goes for  They do offer restaurant coupons but lots of other things too.  I've tried indoor rock climbing experiences, paint.your.own pottery places, a wine tasting nite.  All things I would never pay full price for but at a discount I'm willing to give it a try.

And finally, I've recently discovered the world of couponing!!  Where have I been?!!  I mean I've always used coupons but not to this level!

To supplement our church food pantry, a new committee started requesting that parishioners donate their weekend ads after they've clipped the coupons they want first.  We meet weekly to sort the ad packets and clip the coupons for the best deals of the week.

Last week, I MADE $ buying toothpaste at CVS for the pantry!!  How you ask?  Well, the toothpaste was on sale for $2.99.  CVS was offering $2.99 in Extra Care Bucks but we also clipped a coupon for $1 off so I made $1 in ECB/tube!  I used my ECB on Halloween candy.  I can't bring myself to turn in that receipt to church for reimbursement - I'd feel like I was stealing!!

Now I pick up any deals that end up being free and donate it to the pantry.  Makes me feel good. 
There are several sites that watch weekly ads:, Just Trying to Save Money  blog & The Coupon Goddess blog!!  Check them out!

And one final tip - I promise!  If you love owning books you should check out!  You list books that you are done with.  When someone requests one of your books, you pay to send it out *media mail* and when they receive it you earn a credit.  You, then, can use your credit to request a book someone else has listed. They actually have divisions to swap CD's & movies too.

My girls have to purchase their own books for school & we can usually find most of the books they need for English on paperbackswap.  It saves us a little cash.  And when they are done with it we can keep it or repost it. 

As usual, I've run on too long!  {If you knew me in real life you'd say I'm shy - Honest!} I just get so darned excited when I can save $ on something I was gonna get anyway.  It never hurts to watch your spending!   So there you have it, Folks!  A few of Emily's Economizing Efforts!
How do you economize?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

D is for Delish

Now that the weather is cooling down, I really LOVE having hearty soups as meals!

At a women's retreat weekend through church recently, I was responsible for providing a soup for the participants at the Sat. lunch which is traditionally the soup & salad lunch.  I made my MIL's recipe for Tortellini Soup.

I'm sharing her recipe but I usually take liberties with the quantities because I like my soups super chunky!

Chicken Tortellini Soup

2 cups diced chicken breasts *about 3 breasts*
1 cup sliced carrots *I double it*
bay leaf
6 cups of water
1/2 cup vermouth *or cooking sherry or white wine*
3 14.5 oz cans of chicken broth or 1 29.5 oz can
1 can cream of chicken soup *I use 2*
1 large chopped onion
1 tsp *or more* each:
heaping Tbsps minced garlic
10 oz bag of chopped broccoli
1 20 oz pack of Buitoni tortellini *in the refrigerated section*

1} Cook diced chicken in small  amt of water w/ sliced carrots & bay leaf in stock pot
2}  Add rest of ingredients to pot except for broccoli & tortellini
3}  Boil until carrots are tender
4}  Add broccoli & tortellini 10 - 15 min before serving

Serve with grated white cheese of choice and/or garlicy croutons
Serves 8 - 10


I broke out my extra large capacity crock pot to hold this quantity.  Of the 5 soups offered for lunch that day 2 were scrapin' the bottom of the barrel.  I went home with an empty crock & several requests for the recipe.  : )  I was humbled cuz I'm not a great chef - I only make what's easy!!

My crock may have been empty but my heart was full on love!  It's truly an honor to serve meals for the participants at these retreats.

If you give this recipe a try, let me know if you think it's Delish!
I think it's D bomb!!

Jenny Matlock


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cool, Cr@pPy & Challenging - Oh, My!

I've got a C concoction going on today since I'm participating in Jenny Matlock's Alphabe - Thursday.  It was difficult coming up with just one C word to focus on because there are so many choices, but I decided to limit myself to 3...

Since I started blogging a few months ago I've seen soooo many Cool ideas!  You all are completely amazing & talented & creative & inspiring... *do I have your full attention yet? : ) *  I saw so many ideas I wanted to borrow but I couldn't keep them all straight in my little pea brain.  So, I started an idea file {found in my tool bar} where I tucked away the links of things I wanted to remember. 
My all time #1 favorite, uber Cool idea to date is *HERE*
These scultures are made out of driftwood by  Heather Jansch !!

I have absolutely no hope of EVER constructing something like this, but I had to save it and share it because it blows my mind!!!  The fluidity and beauty of these creatures astounds me.  I'm confounded by her vision!  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised, in the least, if one of them actually galloped away!!  Whew!  Oh, I'm flushed - those sculptures truly move me!!

Ok! So that was the Cool... moving on to the Cr@pPy Crafts
{1}Do you recall this wall of vinyl frames?  

Do you recall I predicted they would fall down one day?
 Well, slap me silly & call me a fortune teller cuz look what happened

As it turned out, the black frame was not the part you 'rub on' the wall.  It was the negative space that was sticking to the wall!  A few little sticky spots were not going to hold up the large frame!  And it didn't, obviously.  I may have even damaged the wall because I kept rubbing & rubbing the black trying to get that part to adhere to the wall!
Looks like this one's next... Grrrrrrr!

So, I'll warn you again:  If you are tempted to buy the faux vinyl wall art from Target - Just Say NO!!

{2}I picked up a few discontinued fabric samples from JoAnn Fabrics a while ago.  I've been doing different projects with them *see here, here & here*
I was saving my favorite for a special project.  Love it!

I finally decided on a handbag.  I wanted a funky shape for my cool print and came up with this

My idea was to have interchangeable handles, so I punched holes to install grommets.  Unfortunately, I chose a grommet the wrong size for my punch.  Now I just have holes.  I'm not calling it a Craft Fail yet.  I'm not buying a new punch yet either.  I'm calling it Cr@pPy planning & filing it under 'In Limbo'
{3} I could keep going on & on but I'll just bore you with 2 today and move on...

My Challenging Craft is definitely my hip chair I found at GW right before Labor Day

I thought it was just going to be a reupholstery job & I thought it would be pretty easy with it's clean lines.  But when I removed the fabric I found Mr. Grumpy Potato Head underneath

& it smelled!  I couldn't bring myself to just cover it up so I stripped it down to the frame.

Now we're talking a totally different ball game.  I don't know nothin' bout redoing this!! 
The back was tufted.  And the seat has deteriorating burlap which I wanted to replace but can't because there are wires running through it.  I can't spend a lot of $ to redo this.  So there it sits in the garage where Handy Hubby : ) walks by it and asks every day how much longer it's going to be there.  Siiigh!  

So there you have it - The Cool, the Cr@pPy & the Challenging!
C you next time!

Jenny Matlock

ps for those of you still hanging around  and who asked to C this...
Here's the crumb.catcher/dust.ruffle dress from Plan B


Monday, October 4, 2010

Paper Bows

Yay! I'm finally back in business! 
I haven't been able to load pictures to my post for almost a week and it was crampin' my style!  And not even because I have anything fantabulous to share with you. It's just I want what I want when I want it!!  That's not too much to ask, right?!
Well, all I've really got today is a quick little project.

This is the centerpiece I have on my table this year.  Although I had all of the pieces last year, I've never had them together in this combination before.  It's just a pre-fabbed candle ring on a pedestal with a foam pumpkin on top.  The only thing new is the paper napkin I used for the bow. 

I'm in LOVE with the quatrefoil pattern right now, so when I saw this pack of cocktail napkins at Target I had to have it.

 I only used 3 napkins to cover my pumpkin.  See how *here*

Anyway, the centerpiece pumpkin looked a little plain so I used one of the napkins to fashion a bow for the top.

I started by opening up a napkin and cutting it into 1/4's

I took strips and fashioned them into parts of the bow

Then I took left over twist ties from treat bags and wound them around a chopstick to make curly Q's

And since my pumpkin is foam, I simply used straight pins to attach all the parts of the bow.

Easy Peasy!
*That's more than I can say about getting pictures to load to my post!!*

You might find me partying at some of these places *HERE*


Friday, October 1, 2010

Plan B

I apologize for being tardy, Miss Jenny, but my dumb computer won't let me load pictures to my post!  I've been trying for 2 days now but every time I try the computer flips out and toggles between blogger & google, google & blogger! This wasn't my original topic but I'm a resourceful gal, so I'll go to Plan B.

B is for Bad Dress Day

Daughter S runs cross country.  The day before meets the senior girls pick a theme and everyone dresses to fit the theme.  Friday's theme is 'Bad Dress Day'  {and not bad as in good but bad as in people should point & laugh bad}.  So naturally my sweetie came to me asking if she could borrow something from my closet.

Admittedly, I have a collection of pretty outdated dresses from weddings & events past.  And I've always dreamed of the day when my girls would raid my closet to borrow my clothes... just, not because they think my clothes are atrocious!  Well, a mama can't be too picky now can she?

So, I paraded my line of horrid,, attire for her approval.  As I pulled out dresses, delving  deeper & deeper in the closet - reaching further & further back in time, her reactions were priceless.  Some caused her to suck in her breath, some caused her to exhale with her mouth in an O {sorta Darth Vader-like}, some made her eyes light up as she exclaimed, "Oh! that's so good!" {meaning bad}.  She even asked if I had anything with shoulder pads.

Honey, I'm a product of the 80's.  Of course I have shoulder pads!!  Mama's got your back : ) *I mean shoulders*  I produced not 1 but 2 dresses with shoulder pads - both in floral print!!  The length was mid-shin.  { I know there are nods of recollection goin' on out there!}

Daughter S finally settled on a black & white full-length dress I wore to my first college formal with Handy Hubby : )  It's a black spaghetti strap number with a 6" white ruffle that falls below the black waist band *S called it a dust ruffle* & an 8" white ruffle that went up from the waist band *S called it a crumb catcher*.  She said it really wasn't all that bad.  She just couldn't bring herself to wear some of the other ones that made us double over with laughter!

btw, Daughter A wore the same dress for Halloween one year when she & a friend were zombie prom queens (?)

Personally, I just think they secretly LOVE my dress & want to wear it to pretend they're mocking me but need an excuse to wear it publicly!!

That's my story & I'm sticking to it!!

Jenny Matlock