23 September 2009



baker's man.

Bake me a cake as fast as you can;

Pat it and roll it and mark it with a B,

Put it in the oven

for baby

and me!

Thanks for all the good oatmeal cookie recipe suggestions on Twitter!

(And thanks to Ryan for photographing our first-ever oatmeal cookie effort!)

22 September 2009

... with no sign of slowing down as long as I'm keeping up with this almost-three-year-old!

What are y'all up to this week?

12 September 2009

It's been a busy, successful morning with lots of bargains. I don't have any chit-chat in me this morning, so we get to skip straight to the good stuff!

Here's what I bought this morning:

$1.00 - A plastic tote - I saw it and knew it would be great for storing all my gorgeous fat quarters of fabric for my upcoming quilt project. It was marked $2 and I was willing to pay $1 but I wasn't sure if she'd take it. You might hate me or love me for this, but I offered $0.50, the lady looked at the $2 sticker and said $1. I got my price and she felt like she'd done a bit of bargaining. We all walked away happy!

And, I walked away with a more organized sewing room!

$0.50 - a string of 150 white lights on green wire, brand new in the box - I just told Ryan yesterday that now that September was here I was finally emotionally prepared to consider things like Christmas lights at yard sales (no matter how good the bargain, it's hard for me to think about sweaters and wreaths when it's 98 degrees out). Sure enough, I found a box for $0.50! I'm going to thank myself in December when I have enough working lights for our tree and don't have to run out to the store mid decking the halls!

Free - 2 large manilla mailing envelopes (I am always buying these things to mail skirts and things. Two free envelopes are two fewer that I have to spend cash on!)
Free - bundle of pipe cleaners (I love it when people just give me things. Oliver will get a little joy out of these, then I can pitch them guilt-free!)
$0.50 - expanding file folder and brand new box of Crayola crayons (Had both of these on my to-buy list!)
$0.50 - awesome shape and color sorting tool/game - There are a lot of basic preschool skills that can be taught and tested with this game. I picked it up for our co-op, but Oliver played with it for a solid 30 minutes when I brought it home. Evidently he's got those skills figured out.

$0.25 - Agatha's Alphabet book (pictured above) and a transportation puzzle. Not bad to get two for a quarter! (I love that alphabet book, by the way - it's excellent!)
$0.50 - Melissa & Doug 100-piece puzzle - It's time to move Oliver up to some more challenging puzzles now that the 40-piecers are no longer a challenge. I think this one will be tough for a while and I'm looking forward to working with him on it. It's going to take some real focus!

$0.50 - Linen tablecloth - it's totally 'Anthropological' (as in, it looks like it's from Anthropologie) and it's just in line with the color I have in my kitchen and dining room right now. Unfortunately, it's a little small for the table so I think I'll cut it all up and make a bunch of lovely reusable grocery bags. (I use those things all the time for so many things!)

$3.00 - sleep shirt, black cardigan (H&M), grey tank and super cute trousers. I never know whether to show each one individually or to just show them as a bunch...

$0.25 - Handsome striped hoodie for a certain fall kid.

Free - Madeline magnet. For Bea. :)

$0.75 - bunch of decorative lemons and limes - weird price, I know. The lady gave me these and the puzzle & book above for a dollar. I think they look sort of Eric Carl-ish in person. They're neat!

$0.50 - "Au Lait" milk bath powder - hm... might need to use this during Oliver's nap today!

Okay, I totally win today's Tuck-And-Run prize. I'm so excited - it was the first thing I bought and my mom was so jealous!
(I'm guessing some of these will end up at her house anyway!)

$0.50 - NINETEEN Yankee Candle tarts. NINETEEN!!! For fifty cents!!! Um, I love these things and always want to buy them but it's hard to bring myself to spend $1.99 for one tart. (I'm sounding cheap, aren't I?) Anyway, I just got almost $40 worth of tarts in my favorite scents for $0.50!! (Just picture me doing a happy dance and you'll have it about right) :)

And, since I'm not technically allowed to award myself the "tuck-and-run" prize, I do have a legitimate winner for the week as well:

Congratulations to the VanOrden family who described a tuck-and-run sort of feeling as they drove away with a beautiful bike trailer/double stroller for only $15 last weekend! Those things are hard to come by and they're killer to buy brand new. Excellent find, VanOrden family! Thanks for sharing!

Are many of y'all still going out on Saturday mornings? Is the weather beginning to slow down the sales in the North and midwest yet? We usually get garage sales into October here (although I bought one of my favorite sofas at a yard sale on a sunny December day one year!).

Show me what you found this morning - I always love to see!

09 September 2009

Today Oliver and Beatrice had their first day of school. (And, by "school" I mean home school co-op.)

Rebecca made Bea a beautiful pleated skirt out of handwriting fabric and I used a bit of scrap to make Oliver a handsome (yet admittedly a little silly) tie.

The day was a screaming success.

Minus the part where Beatrice wandered around the room, uninterested in joining the group activity.

And the part where another child used sandpaper ("S" was the letter of the day and we were using scratchy sandpaper under our coloring pages for texture) on the nice, borrowed table.

Oh, and the fact that Oliver wept big crocodile tears for the last fifteen minutes of class because he was all done learning and just wanted to go home.

So, except for those things, a screaming success!

At least the skirt was a success.

And the little guy who absolutely could not follow directions and stand in front of the bushes for his school photo. We can at least count his handsome-factor a success!

Oh, the braids definitely went well.

The shaving cream in the hair... um... maybe not...

But, at the end of the day, both kids came home and reported to their Papas the letter of the day and what sound it made.

And the shaving cream washed out just fine. :)

07 September 2009

Ryan and Rebecca ran in the Franklin Classic 5K early this morning to benefit the Mercy Clinic. They were two of 41 runners from Parish, from age three to over fifty.

This was actually Ryan's first run with the group, but he's looking forward to joining them for their weekly runs.
"Cogito ergo sum" was the epigram of Descartes, "I think therefore I am." Ours is "Sum ergo zoom," "I am therefore I zoom."
-George Grant

05 September 2009

I skipped last Saturday. Well, I kinda skipped last Saturday. I slept in until 9:30, rolled out of bed and lazily browsed a few garage sales. I found a wooden Madeline dress-up puzzle for my niece (the lovely Beatrice, featured in the post just beneath this one) and a few sweaters for myself for when the weather gets chilly. Bottom line, I got lazy. A gal's allowed one or two lazy Saturdays a summer, right? :)

If it helps, I have two interesting bits of garage sale information for you today. Well, let's just call them bits and you can decide for yourself if they're interesting or not.

First, it turns out that the stack of clothes I bought for Ryan two weeks ago (you can see them in this post) belonged to someone you may (or, may not) know. A few days after purchasing shorts, shirts and a tie from a cute, trendy family a few blocks away (I LOVE shopping at garage sales of cute trendy families - particularly when they're my size!), my sister mentioned to me that the woman I paid was the wife of Dan Haseltine, the lead vocalist for Jars of Clay. Isn't that funny? I guess this is what happens when you live in and around Nashville - you walk around in the pants of a singer and you crash your motorcycle in the front yard of LeAnn Rhymes (yes, that actually happened to Ry).

My second bit of garage sale information is really just a response to the question that I keep getting from all y'all (another thing you get to do when you live in Nashville, you get to say "all y'all"). Many of you have asked about how I plan my outings to find the best sales, what I look for and how I manage to get good prices on things. Good news friends, I am one step (or about 15 posts) ahead of you. I addressed many of these questions and more back in June in this post. Feel free to hop over, have a read, and if you still have a question, feel free to ask!

Okay, now on to this morning. Sidenote: Oliver has been galavanting around the country with his grandparents since Wednesday (his first big trip away from home - he'll be returning to his Mama sometime Monday evening and she - well, I - can't wait!!). This has changed the dynamic around our house quite a bit (read: I deep cleaned the house this weekend and it is STILL clean!) and things like Saturday mornings feel just plain different without him. It's a strange feeling, but I'm actually rested. My body naturally woke up a little before 7 this morning ready to go, so how could I say no? But, since O isn't here, there's no need to leave Oliver and Ryan to their special Saturday morning playtime, and I was anxious to get back to my clean home and my husband, so I only went to two sales, spent my wad, and came right back home!

Even though I went to 2 sales, I only bought anything at 1. It was a fantastic sale. I looked around, made a pile of all the things I wanted, and told them I had a $10 bill and asked if we could call it good? Who's going to turn down a $10 in an outstretched arm? We had a deal!

Here's what I got: (I'm going to list them as the sticker price they had on them at the sale, just so I don't have to assign everything new values.)

$2.00 - 2 more down-filled pillows - I promise, these are the LAST two I'm going to buy. Really. Even if there are more next weekend for only $0.50 apiece - I have all the down pillows I need - at least until I get them all covered and decide I need more.

$0.75 - An organization tray - There were two and I sort of wish I'd bought them both. I didn't want to buy any unless I could think of how they could be immediately useful, and at the time I could only think of my kitchen drawer. Now I realize it would have been nice to use another one in my sewing room. Shucks. (This still had the store tag on it - $7.99)

Here is my new storage tray in action. I told you I'd use it immediately!

$5.00 - 10 articles of clothing at $0.50 apiece - These first two things are Zutano brand (very popular in the South) and were new with tags (although the sticker was torn off so I couldn't see the price). Yes, all of these clothes are 18M size and Oliver is almost 3. They're not for him. I got news last night that I was moved off the waiting list and onto the consignor list for my very favorite consignment sale in town. When great clothes are fifty cents each and will sell for $3-$8 each, it's just good business. (And, for the record, the sale is in 2 weeks, so they won't be sitting around for long!)

And, for my "tuck-and-run" item of the day?
There are actually three because I just cannot decide. Here they are:

$1.00 - Williams Sonoma set of four Cedar Planks - still in the packaging ($14.95 new). These are a gift to my sister and brother-in-law, since I'm not a huge salmon fan and I know they love grilling salmon on planks.

$3.00 - Williams Sonoma instant read thermometer fork - still in the packaging ($24.95 new). I almost saved this for Ry's birthday, but he was so excited to open it up and figure it out this morning, I'm glad I didn't wait. It's especially handy since I ruined my existing thermometer by leaving it in a pork roast when I put it back into the oven a while back. Yes, it melted.

$3.00 - Pottery Barn Bradford wine rack - we have been courting this baby for years. We even almost bought it once but couldn't bring ourselves to spend $60 on something we felt like we could probably make ourselves. When I brought it out of the van this morning Ryan saw it and said, "Is that... the one?" Yes darling, it is - for less than we would have paid in taxes. I love making that guy proud!

So, I got $14.75 worth of garage sale joy for just $10. And, all in one stop! AND, it's likely to pay for itself when I consign all those handsome little boy clothes in a couple of weeks. It is, indeed, a great day!

As for your tuck-and-run finds from last week two weeks ago? It was a tie between two. And, since it's been two weeks, I have no scruples about picking two winners:

Martha Stroud at "A Day in the Life" - Martha hit the mother-load when she found a sale where the family was selling what seemed to be all the leftover merchandise from the Linens-N-Things closeout this spring. She walked away with a $65 iron for $3, a $130 stainless-steel trash bin for $20 and a whole lot more - all still new in the boxes! You can read all about it (and congratulate her!) here.


Sarah at "The Art in Me" - Sarah found a great yard sale two weeks ago and managed to find a lot of great bargains. The one that makes me a little green though? That pair of beautiful black shoes now hanging on her shoe rack. Excellent finding, Sarah! (You can see what I'm talking about here.)

Alright, time to see what you found this week! You know the drill...