January 31, 2011

Giada De Laurentiis Apron at Target

After blogging on Friday about my Cookbook Challenge that I was going to start, I decided that it's best not to keep wiping my fingers on my pants but to get an apron.

I went to Target and found this.

Get a load of the price?!
As Jacques Pepin says, "Happy Cooking!"

January 28, 2011

Cookbook Challenge

I love to cook.

I really do.

I collect cookbooks and read them as if they were novels; one delicious page at a time.

So, after being inspired by a Canadian cooking show that now appears on OWN, Anna and Kristina's Grocery Bag, where the hosts cook from and review a different cookbook each episode, I decided that I should start cooking.

Rather than just look at these cookbooks (and occassionally dust them :), I should actually start to use them.

Beginning next week, I will dust off one of my cookbooks, cook a recipe and share it with you.

Stay tuned to see what is in The Single Nester Grocery Bag.

Do you utilize all of your cookbooks?

January 26, 2011

Simplify? Really?

While strolling through The Christmas Tree Shops' home decor section on a recent excursion, I spotted a wooden plaque with the following word carved out - SIMPLIFY."Really?", I thought.

How does the wooden word simplify, simplify your life?

How does another dang thing to dust simplify your life?

So, I passed it by and bought something else.

Oh well.

I tried.

photo source
"Be content with what you have,
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you."
- Lao Tzu

January 24, 2011

How Many Back Issues of Magazines Do You Keep?

Ahh, the start of a new year.

New beginnings.

Fresh starts.

Sort. Purge. Assess. Containerize. Enjoy.

I love Real Simple magazine. It's clean and to-the-point.

I have had years of back issues. I was saving them because they are chock-full of great information.

But it is time to purge baby purge.

So, I started with this issue.
I went through each issue and sorted them into two categories: articles to read and recipes.

It feels so good to recycle these babies.

Now when I get my new issue of Real Simple, I read it and then tear out and organize the articles and recipes. Well, sort of. Now, I have to go through the stack of interesting things to read.

Do you keep any magazines and if so, how do you organize them?

"Thank God for dirty dishes,
they have a tale to tell;
while others may go hungry,
we're eating very well."
- Author Unknown

January 21, 2011

The Sartorialist - A Visual Life

When I first starting blogging almost a year ago, I came across this blog - The Sartorialist. Visually inspiring, you can travel the world through the lens of Scott Schumann.

Because of blogging, I take my camera with me because you never know what you may capture.

In this video documentary, you will see why Scott loves blogging and why I do too.

January 19, 2011

2011 Pantone Color of the Year

Well, what do you think?

I prefer last year's color of the year.

January 17, 2011

Butterfly Punch and Scrapbook Paper Artwork

For the past few years, when giving gifts to my nieces, I have given them a homemade gift in addition to the other gifts I give them.

After seeing so many creative blog projects with decorative punches and scrapbook paper, I decided to make some butterfly artwork for their rooms.

Butterflies have a certain significance for them and their dad so these gifts had extra-special meaning.

I used a tan frame purchased at ACMoore and a black IKEA frame. Glue Dots, a butterfly punch and various scrapbook paper to match their rooms.Using spray adhesive, I first glued scrapbook paper to the cardboard part of the frame. Then, without using a grid (how the heck does one make a grid on Excel?), I glued the butterflies.

Here are the results.

Not too shabby if I say so myself. And, fairly straight for not using a grid.

January 15, 2011

The Other Boleyn Girl on a Snowy Night

While the winter winds blew and the snow accumulated, I tucked myself in to watch this movie.I have to say, I loved it. It had many twists and turns and Eric Bana? Delicious!

Have you seen it?

January 14, 2011

I Hate My New Daughter-in-Law Wedding Invitation

I can't remember where I found this but boy, is it funny.

January 12, 2011

Starbucks New Logo and Increased Prices

I am not a coffee drinker. I have never had a cup of coffee.

But, what I do love is a Tall Double-Blended Caramel Frappuccino. At Starbucks of course.

And let's face it, I love the atmosphere. I get a lot of work done at Starbucks.

There is a fairly big Starbucks about a 20 minute drive from me. There are other Starbucks closer to my home but this one has lots of comfy chairs and staff that are not particularly annoying.

I headed there the other day with my work that I planned on tackling and my Gold Starbucks Card. Didn't know that Starbucks had a Gold Starbucks Card until I received one in the mail. Guess I drink a lot of Caramel Frappuccinos.

I know exactly how much this beverage costs. I was surprised to see that Starbucks drinks went up 10 cents.

In addition, I received an email and video link from the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz (whom I quite like), stating that for their 40th anniversary, Starbucks was changing it's logo.

Not a fan Mr. Schultz.

I miss the logo already.

Just my shot of two cents.

And speaking of two cents, I am going to track how much I spend at Starbucks in 2011.

So far, $4.07.

How much, if anything, do you spend at Starbucks?

January 11, 2011

Nothing Says Fresh Start Like a New Calendar

Each year, I try to pick a different planner.

Sometimes it's French Impressionism. Sometimes Sierra Club. Sometimes Flowers.

For 2010, I chose a childhood favorite to accompany me through the year. This year, I chose a Folk Art Calendar that I have used in year's past.
A new page.

A fresh start.

"I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's.
- Henry Moore

January 10, 2011

After Christmas Bargains (Loot)

It seems that every year, after I put away all of my Christmas items, I head out to pick up more crap stuff.

Here is some of the stuff.

Two Bronze vases from Michaels. Originally $8.99 each, I paid $2.69 each (70% off). They are gorgeous and perfect for Thanksgiving. The Dollar Tree was next with 50cents each for a tablecover, turquoise ribbon, and gold ornaments.
Joann's had pretty little gift bags. They were 60cents each and I just had to get the turquoise ones.
The best loot of all was at Target! Everything was 75% off and I picked up guest towels - $1.00.
Gold glitter leaf ornaments - 75cents each. Perfect for Thanksgiving.
Who doesn't love Blue Balls? $1.50 each.
These were the best deal as the snowflakes came in multiple packs. 25cents each!
Foil snowflakes - 50cents each.
Turquoise snowflakes - $1.25 each for the big ones and 50cents each for the smaller ones.
At The Christmas Tree Shops, where everything was 50% off, I picked up a tablecloth for $1.49, turquoise ribbon for 99cents, plates and napkins for 50cents each, a bike bag which I bought because it was turquoise for 50cents and three bunches of yarn for 75cents each so I can make a yarn ball wreath next Christmas.
Also at The Christmas Tree Shops were great decorative boxes that I use for storing Christmas things. These three were 2 at 50cents each and one for 99cents.
These two were $1.74 and $1.99 and are quite big.
Not pictured are 3 silver Christmas trees purchased at Borders for $1.98 each and 2 turquoise Christmas trees for $3.75 each. They were 75% off and can you believe I found more turquoise Christmas trees!

Also not pictured, candy already eaten :)

Total (so far) for all of this stuff - approximately $50.

Not bad.

Did you score any items from after-Christmas sales?

January 7, 2011

Ditch the Blog Snowflakes (pretty please)

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

I enjoy making my blog look all pretty and festive.

I enjoy looking at pretty and festive blogs.

However, when I attempt to read blogs with falling snowflakes, I want to throw my laptop across the room.

Maybe you don't know this but . . .

Snowflakes make viewing your blog a verrrrrrry slow endeavor.

Snowflakes make my computer freeze.

Snowflakes are supposed to be frozen but not on my computer screen.

Snowflakes make me never want to return to your blog.

So, pretty please.

Save the snowflakes for the great outdoors.

The Single Nester

photo source

January 5, 2011

Instead of New Year's Resolutions, Try an Action Plan Instead.

I've always hated New Year's Resolutions just like I hate New Year's Eve. All that kissing at midnight. What if you don't have anyone to kiss at midnight?

What if you don't "achieve" any of your resolutions so nobly made the year before?

What if the last year outright sucked?

On New Year's Eve of 2008, I decided to look at all of my past journals to see what my New Year's Resolutions were. I went wayyy back.

And, I was saddened to see that all of my resolutions had something to do with three themes: lose weight, find a man, find a career I love.


At times, these resolutions were fulfilled but never for the long term.

So I decided for 2009, I would make fun resolutions like wear more dresses and drink out of pretty glasses. When 2010 rolled around, I felt accomplished because I did indeed show more leg and drink out of turquoise glasses! And wouldn't you know it, as a side bonus, I lost weight too, just by not making my resolution to lose weight.

For 2011, I have decided to not make a resolution but more of an action plan.

Because in order to resolve something, you must act.

My Action Plan for 2011 is to STAY IN THE MOMENT!

Go no further than what I am currently experiencing.!On Day Five of 2011, I have been mostly successful. I do find though, that I have to constantly remind myself to not go there.

But, I will continue to enforce this Action Plan . . . one moment at a time.

"New Year's Day is
every man's birthday."
- Charles Lamb

photo source 1, photo source 2
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