Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Speaking of bookmarks...

I have mentioned before that I love to read. In fact, yesterday, I made my first fabric bookmark to help out with my love of reading. Friends often recommend good books, or I read a review of a book somewhere that sounds interesting. However, I hesitate to buy a book before I have read it--what if I don't like it? what if I can't finish it? Enter my wonderful local library. We have a large county library system with multiple branches. With my handy library card, I can search for books online, reserve them, and have them held for me at my local branch. This allows me to read a book with no strings attached (like feeling obligated to finish it because I spent money on it). Our particular library system even has a wonderful feature online where I can keep a list of books I want to read--I just search for the book and add it to my list. Then I can request the books whenever I have the time to read. Also, did you know that you can check out more than books? Many libraries also have audiobooks, magazines, videos and CDs. So familiarize yourself with your local library AND their online catalog system--the possibilities are endless! It works for me!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My first bookmark

I saw this idea for a fabric bookmark on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog and was ashamed that I had not thought of using scrap fabric for this before now! It combines my two favorite pasttimes--sewing and reading! Anyway, I think there are many more bookmarks in my future, especially if it will help me use up my scraps.

Fun and funky floral

This is my latest sewing project, a nursing cover in a funky lime green floral (thanks for the order, T.P.!). I purchased a new sewing machine last week, and it has made sewing even more fun! It helps that the projects seem to come together more quickly with my new machine (probably because it does not have the issues my old machine had). I hope to get several more items sewn in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for pictures.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Temporary blogging break

My mom is in town visiting for the week, so I am going to take a temporary break for blogging while she is around. See y'all again soon!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Recently, a friend handed me her business card and it was so cute that I immediately wanted one of my own (a business card, not a friend--though I love my friends!). The coveted business card had information on my friend's business, a bakery, with a fun tagline: "Solution to your sweet tooth." Since then, I have been racking my brain trying to come up with a fun tagline for my business card. I can't do it. I have nothing--zero, nada, nothing--that screams "this is a cute tagline." It may be that I don't have a strong purpose. I like to sew, and I like to sell the items that I sew, but that is not a good tagline. Most of my items are for new moms, but not all of them...I am still trying a few ideas out. I have to be careful how much I emphasize "unique" or "custom", because many people will associate that with "embroidered" and I don't do embroidery. Plus, I just want to be able to hand someone a business card with my blog on it, and let them hopefully enjoy the reading from there. They don't have to buy anything:-) Oh the dilemmas! What do you suggest?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My secret (makeup) weapon

I recently discovered a wonderful secret (makeup) weapon.


Yep, that's it. Concealer--the product I thought I had left behind in my acne-riddled youth (okay, so my acne really wasn't that bad, but it certainly felt terrible when I was 13). I know many makeup artists swear by concealer, and it often makes the list of "things you have to put on even if you aren't doing your whole face". But I didn't use it. My acne has stablized (some, but we won't talk about post-pregnancy hormones), I don't have terrible circles under my eyes, so I didn't worry about it.

Then one day, my lovely CVS offered a 'buy foundation, get concealer free', and I needed foundation. So I bought some concealer just to try. And the makeup artists were right. I LOVE my concealer! I thought my circles under my eyes weren't bad--until I used concealer, and I was amazed at the difference. It was shocking how much more rested I looked! And with a baby, that is a good thing. So now, concealer is almost always in my daily routine, and I really do look better. I currently use L'Oreal Visible Lift Under Eye Concealer, and it is amazing. I also am trying a powder concealer by Everyday Minerals--I didn't think it could work as well as a cream, but I am blown away by the coverage of this powder. Great stuff!

What secret weapons do you have that make you feel (and look) great? Concealer definitely works for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Great fabric

As I have mentioned many times before, I love fabric. I recently washed and ironed a lot of my fabric, and was amazed at how much I actually have! Oops, I probably need to start sewing a little more, and cut back on the 'accumulating' :-). I have learned that the internet is the best place to find great fabric, and I love Ebay and Etsy shops. I recently ordered from Fabric Closet, an Etsy shop (see my last Fabric post) and I cannot rave about them enough! They have great fabrics from great designers (Amy Butler, Paula Prass, Joel Dewberry, Heather Bailey), and wonderful prices. Right now, they have fat quarters on sale for $1.25/each! You can put together your own fat quarter package as well, which is just a lot of fun. If you want more of something, they will cut it for you and make a special listing--they did that for me, and I loved it. Go look at their amazing fabric and their February sales, and let me know what you like. If you are as fabric mad as I am, you can enter a giveaway at A Heart for Home to win 4 fat quarters from the Fabric Closet. Check it out here and enter today!

I heart freebies

Several weeks ago, I started reading about free samples available online, and I signed up for several. Many of the blogs I read take pictures of the samples they receive, but unfortunately for me, many of mine are eaten/used before I can get a picture snapped!

Here is a list of the samples I have recently received:
Cascadian Farms Granola Bar
Quaker Oats Mini Rice Cakes
Gold Bond Lotion
Sunsilk Shampoo, Conditioner and Volumizer
Quaker Oats Granola Bar
Everyday Minerals Makeup Trial Kit

I learned of these samples through a variety of websites, including
The Thrifty Mama and Money Saving Mom. Many of these samples come with coupons as well:-) Just remember to only sign up for freebies that you will use--that is only fair.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Harris Teeter triple coupons!

Harris Teeter is tripling coupons (face value up to $0.99) today through Sunday. If you are reading my post and are heading to HT after this, expect that some of the selection will be picked through--it was already picked through when I was there right after lunch. Check out
Coupon Mom and Hot Coupon World for more information.

Here's how I did:
26.2% VIC card savings
36.2% triple coupon savings
62.4% total savings--Not too shabby:-)

I confess that I am not the greatest couponer, and I bought a couple of things for which I did not possess a coupon (I picked up Old El Paso brand instead of Ortega, and when I realized my mistake I told the cashier not to worry about it, meaning I didn't want to buy it...but when I came home I had purchased it! Oh well. You should always check before you leave. But you should also probably not take a cranky toddler and fussy infant with you either:-) Have fun!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Discounts for newspaper subscribers

My husband and I have a Sunday only subscription to our local paper. I used to buy it in the newsstand, but came across an offer to get Sundays only for $1/week (cheaper than the newsstand), so we became subscribers. Confession: I don't read the paper. I skim the headlines, read articles that look interesting, and pull the coupons and sales flyers.

This past week, my skimming lead to a great discovery--as a newspaper subscriber, I am eligible for special discounts and giveaways. The giveaways are usually tickets to concerts and events, and discounts apply to a variety of activities like the zoo, roller skating rinks, pizza buffets and more. I am very excited about a particular discount they offered for the symphony, though. My hubby and I were able to purchase two Orchestra level tickets for Valentine's Day weekend for only $15 each simply because we have a newspaper subscription. I do not know if every newspaper has similar offers for their subscribers, but it can't hurt to look into it. Who knows what kind of deal you will find? Now if only I could find discounts on babysitting as well...

For other Works for Me Wednesday ideas, check out Rocks In My Dryer.

Addendum: A couple people have asked how I found the discounts/coupons section, and it was sheer providence that I was reading a column in the paper on Sunday and came across a contest (a gift card to a grocery store along with shopping advice from our paper's expert couponer!). However, my paper (the Raleigh News-Observer) makes the Subscriber "Zone" very easy to find at the top of their webpage. Other papers may have something similar, or even have a place for you to log-in for special features. Check around your paper's webpage looking for things for subscribers only (perhaps called "My ____[paper's name]). Look in the physical paper at columns written by local reporters/regular contributors for contests and discounts. Check the Arts and Entertainment section to see if the paper is giving away tickets for anything. Search the website for "Subscriber discounts/coupons/contests". I don't know that other papers do similar things, but it can't hurt to check it out. Good luck!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cream Cheese Cookie Bars

These delicious cookie bars are SO easy! I just made a batch for our new neighbors, and I wanted to share with you.

Cream Cheese Cookie Bars
1 18 oz. tube of chocolate chip cookie dough
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

Beat cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth. Cut the tube of cookie dough in half, and press one half of the dough into the bottom of a greased 8x8 pan. Smooth the cream cheese mixture over the cookie dough crust. Crumble the remaining cookie dough over the cream cheese mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Easy-peasy!
*Note 1: you can substitute 2 cups of your favorite cookie dough for store bought dough.
**Note 2: you can also buy the largest tube of cookie dough and use a 13x9 pan. Your 'cookie to cream cheese ratio' will be different, but it still works with one blcok of cream cheese.