Thursday, March 19, 2015

Running errands

I've been shopping. I have been trying to fill Easter baskets, but I can't find much to spend my money on lately (that's not always a bad thing). I have my basket, a couple friends and one for my mother.
Last week I decided it was warm enough to visit some stores and see if I could find anything good.
First stop was Target, but I talked myself out of what I had in my basket there. Walmart is a couple blocks from Target, so I try to go to both when I get down there. I found a few things at Walmart:
 Some cute Easter erasers, Ferrero eggs and chocolate covered pretzels. The pretzels were for me. The rest made it into baskets.
Next was Dollar Tree, I mostly just picked up necessities there, after that it was Hobby Lobby where I spent most of my money on stuff that was on clearance:
 The minion cup is from the dollar store, that went in my Easter basket. The flower had a few tiny chips on it, I figured it might be good for a gift someday. The flower child I originally bought it for my mother, but I think I've fallen in love with it. The confetti went into Easter baskets, it has cute little hedgehogs, owls and foxes.
Next I stopped at HyVee, because someone was saying how good Ben & Jerry's Tonight Dough ice cream was, sadly I didn't stop at just that:
 I bought my regular favorite of Chubby Hubby and a pint of pistachio. Lately, I've noticed the ice cream tastes different and not in a good way. I was very disappointed in the pistachio and have decided to spend my money on Blue Bunny in the future. I get more for less money, so why not. I am a bit sad to let go of Ben & Jerry's though.

This week, my mother and I went to an antique store in a couple towns north of us. It's pretty big, and was having a spring break sale, but I only found three things to buy (I'm sorry it's not a very good picture):
 A spiral bound book made from a BINGO card, a leprechaun pin and a bunny button. They all went into my Easter basket.

Today, my friend and I headed west and went to a few other culture grocery stores to get something interesting. First stop was an Asian store:
 Ramune drink, I've seen people try this on YouTube and have wanted to try it. It was ok, it reminded me of Sprite with a little fruit, not the greatest, but I'm glad I got to try it. Taro flavored soft rice cakes, I wasn't too impressed with these. I love the taste of taro (I believe it's a root vegetable and it's pretty sweet), but these didn't have much taste and they were very sticky. Melon Milk drink, I haven't tried this yet, I was really thirsty this morning. Vegetable cake, which I didn't see was vegetable, I thought it was just a piece of bread. It was pretty good, the inside kinda reminded me of an egg roll, so I warmed it up and had it for lunch. The last item is a cream cake, I believe it has some kind of cream in it. I tasted a little bit of it and the outside kinda tastes like a croissant.
I did find a bag of green tea Kit Kats, but they were about $8 for a bag, and it felt like not a ton in the bag, so we decided we could get them cheaper online, but it's nice to know there's some here if I want them.
Next stop was a middle eastern grocery store, we had both been there so it wasn't as fun as the Asian food store that we hadn't been to, but they still have yummy items.
 I picked up some cookies with hazelnut cream in them and peanut brittle balls. The peanut brittle balls went into my Easter basket.
I've been trying to try new foods lately. When we went to S. Carolina I tried to get food that I couldn't get here, and now I'm trying to visit all the different food stores we have, plus there's an international food fair coming up in April that I'm going to. I think I'm just sick of having all the same boring stuff, and food is something you don't really acquire, so I want to spend money on it.
On my way home I walked past a store that had some gorgeous scarves for sale and bought one for my mother:
I think she'll like it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Green Hodgepodge

It's Hodgepodge time:

1. Share a favorite song, book, or movie title containing the word green?

2. Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, 'Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.' Would you agree? Are you a believer in luck? I don't believe in luck, I believe in hard work.

3. Spring water, Hot Springs, handspring, spring fling, spring break, spring fever, offspring...which 'spring' word best applies to something in your day, week, or life right now? Spring fever maybe. We have been having some glorious weather lately, yesterday it got up to 82. I know it's not going to get up to that again until at least May, but with all this warm weather, I just want to get out and walk a few miles. If garage sales start soon, I may be doing that.

4. What's something you do to make yourself look or feel more confident? Certain clothes make me feel better. I love wearing my character shirts because someone always compliments me on them.

5.  It's National Celery Month...are you a fan? If so, what's a snack or dish you enjoy that calls for celery? I'm not a big celery fan, I do like it in tuna or egg salad though.
6. What's one thing you wish you'd learned sooner? Do what you love, not what other people say will get you money.

7. Would you like to own a second home? If so where would you want that home to be? Well, I don't own a home now, so I would love to have my own home. I guess if I ever had enough money to have a second home, I'd get a summer condo up in Okoboji, IA.
8.  Insert your own random thought here. Today I'm going to a local antique mall, and I'm excited about finding something fun.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's time for Wednesday Hodgepodge again.
1. What's the first image that comes to mind when you hear the word 'spring'? Which phrase best describes the season of spring where you live right now (today)-sprung! almost there, or still waiting? Walking in the warm weather, or puddles. We've had temperatures in the 40's, 50's and 60's lately, and I know it's spring (well, not technically) because there are puddles where there weren't any when there was snow. I don't like the spongy and muddy earth, though.

 2. Bed, couch, stapler, garage door, computer mouse, recliner, flashlight, door knob...which household item containing springs most needs replacing in your home? Speaking of springs...did you ever own a Slinky? I'm going with my bed, my parents "bought" me one last year for my birthday, but I've decided that I don't want one until I move because it has to go in and out my apartment through the kitchen window and up or down two flights of a fire escape. I did have a Slinky and I saw one for sale at Target today, so you can still get them.
3. March is Women's History Month. Share a favorite quote by a woman.

4. What's a question that looms large in your mind right now? What next? I'm at a crossroads in my life and I have no idea which way to go.

5. Are you a sugar freak? By that I mean how much do you love sugar? With all the bad press sugar gets these days, have you made any efforts to reduce the amount of sugar you consume? I love sugar. I bought candy for my Easter basket today, chocolate covered pretzels, cherry Coke, 3 kinds of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and sugar cereal today, I love sugar. And, no I don't try to reduce my sugar intake. That's why I don't like diets, I don't like to not let myself eat things I love.

6. Would you rather have less work to do or more work you enjoy doing? More work I enjoy. I was reorganized at my job and do less work right now and less of what I enjoy doing. I'd really love just to do more work right now.

7. Ever been to Texas? Of the top ten Texas tourist attractions which would you most like to see-The Alamo, The San Antonio River Walk, The State Capital, Dallas World Aquarium, Padre Island National Seashore, Houston Space Center, Schlitterbahn Waterpark in New Braunfels, Six Flags Fiesta Texas,  Moody Gardens, or Galveston Island? I have not been to Texas, but anything about animals I'm always game to go to, so the Aquarium wins on my list, but the National Seashore sounds good too. I guess the Six Flags and Waterpark would be close seconds.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. As I said, we've had rather warm weather lately. I talked myself into walking to some stores today, just to get out and about. I really wanted to find stuff to put in Easter baskets, I found a couple things, but nothing really jumped out at me. I'm kinda disappointed. I have 2 friends I'm filling baskets for, me and my mother. I believe I've got my mother done, but I wanted some candy for my friends baskets, I didn't do very well with that. I kept wanting to buy things, but then I decided I had stuff like it at home that I could use.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Buttons!! and other things.

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Not much happening around here, I've been bummed about a couple things, just trying to keep myself busy by working.
I've been trying my hardest to save money lately and have been very good about not spending money on things I don't need, until today.
I got a $30 Amazon gift card for Christmas and finally spent it at the end January. I bought Taste of Home's Easy Weeknight Dinners (I had picked it up at the library and loved it so much I had to buy it), the movie Ironclad, some Lindt truffles and this box of candy:
I have to say I wasn't very impressed with it, it was ok, but I wouldn't have bought it for full price, the best was one of the snowmen had a gingerbread truffle inside, and it really did taste like gingerbread.
Two weeks ago, I picked up some flowers for $5, I decided since I was sick of snow and the dreariness outdoors, I needed a little color, so I bought them:
 I know the ones on the left are a kind of lily, there are some carnations that you can't see, I think the white ones are mums and I have no idea what the giant green pouf is, but I bought them because of it.

I took down my winter/snow decorations last week sometime, and put up my more colorful spring/summer decorations. Even though we've only had about 3 snowfalls this year, I'm sick of the snow, I need color in my apartment.
Yesterday started the warm-up in temperatures around here. We made it to mid-40's yesterday, and there are 60's in the forecast for next week. I know everyone's ready for it. I was going to wander downtown last Tuesday when I was out, until the weather decided to coat all flat surfaces in a very thin layer of ice so you had to basically skate everywhere, so I went today. Basically, I just wanted to buy some buttons, and I was not let down. Here's what I bought:
 A baby spoon and fork, a single button and a jar of buttons.
I know these are bad pictures, but I was trying to show close-ups of what's on these utensils and makes them so cool. They are silver baby utensils, the spoon:
 says Birth Record at the top and then has Thomas printed in the wide bar, and Aug on the left side with 1975 on the right and 25 in the bottom loop.
The fork:
says Birth Record of at the top and then has Thomas inscribed in the wide bar, under that it says weight and has a scale with lbs under one side and ozs under the other, it has a 9 for lbs, and 1 for ozs inscribed on it. there is a ruler in the middle that says inches on it and a 21 on the ruler. There is mo on the left side of the ruler day on the right. There is an 8 under mo and 25 under day, and then in the middle it says year and under that it has 75. I see on the back they say wm rogers and IS, I do have a couple of wm rogers bowls, so it's cool to see they made other interesting things too.
They are very cool, but kinda hard to read, the name is the easiest to read and the numbers look engraved but not by a professional. I wasn't going to buy them because they were $4 each, but I'd never seen anything like them.
Here's the contents of my button jar:
 And my favorites from that:
 And some close-ups of those favorites:
 There were a few glass buttons, like those rectangular ones at the top of this picture, some neat metal ones. I especially like the white ones with crystals.

Quite a few cut MOP, I really like the MOP buckle at the top there, and the itty bitty ones right next to it.
This one was my favorite of the lot:
 It's plastic, but still pretty cool.
I'm always jealous of the bags of buttons Kathy at Kluless picks up, but every once in awhile I find some really good ones in the jars I pick up. She always finds some really cool things (and some weird things) in hers. The store I went to, is called Tangerine Zebra, (they're actual site is but that leads you to their facebook site, and I know if you're not signed into facebook, you can't see it), they are about the only store left here that's only antiques. I used to think they're prices were a bit high, until I started looking at the jars of buttons they have. This one seemed a bit high at $9, but I think there were a ton of good ones in it.

 I thought I'd show you my collection of favorite buttons that I have. I have some buttons that I just hoard (others I actually use), and then I have my all-time favorites:
Mostly they are vintage, but there are some newer ones as well.
 And some close-ups:
 There's a lot of metal and plastic in there, some sparkly ones, and combination ones.
 More combinations and sparkly ones, you can also see the corner of one of my silver bowls filled with other metal buttons.

I thought it might be nice to show some pictures of stuff I didn't buy, but caught my eye:
 A nice Iowa State chamberpot, I saw this and thought of Bargain Hunter, she's always saying how she finds a lot of chamber pots and soup tureens and people get confused as to which is which. I know this is a chamber pot because it only has one handle, I'm wondering if the person who painted it thought it was a soup tureen (they have two).

 This was a vintage record player, I thought the pattern on the case was cute.

This was in a different store, more of a resale store, but they have antiques sometimes too. I thought it was a beautiful mirror.

And this living room set was very interesting, I wouldn't be surprised if it came from the same household, maybe not the same room, though.

And this vintage typewriter. I find myself drawn to typewriters, I think it would be cool to have a collection, whenever I get my own house.

I suggested to my mother that we go to an antique mall a few towns north of here for spring break in a few weeks, I hope she has the time, I haven't been there in so long, and sometimes it's just nice to look.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Do you wear your heart on your sleeve, or keep your emotions tucked in tight?
I'm really good at not showing my emotions.

 2. How did you meet your closest friend?
Through work, I worked at an art store and she supplied various knitting things to the store.

 3.  Pink lemonade, grilled salmon, cotton candy, pink grapefruit, a strawberry milkshake, or raspberry sorbet...of the pink foods listed, which one is your favorite? Least favorite? Which one have you most recently consumed?
I think I'd take raspberry sorbet. I don't like grapefruit. Most likely salmon.

 4. When were you last 'tickled pink' over something? Explain.
Probably my 12 Days of Christmas swap. I had a fun time picking out things for my partner and she did a wonderful job of picking things out for me.

 5. Are you a fan of television talk shows? Daytime, nighttime, or both? What's your favorite?
No. I used to like watching them, and then I stopped watching TV.

 6. When was the last time you wanted to ask a question, but felt too foolish to do so?

7. My favorite __________________right now is _________________.
My favorite art supply right now is buttons.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I have a job interview next week. It's basically for the job I used to do at the library, and I'm so wishing I'll get it. I applied for it last May when the library restructured, but didn't get one of the positions they created, I'm hoping I can get this one this time.
I keep telling myself I need another job and I do, I don't make enough money, but I'm having a hard time stepping out of my comfort zone and looking for jobs. I don't know what I want to do, but it seems the ones I do want to do and apply for, I don't get, so I'm getting a little frustrated. But, I'm sick of not having money and worrying about having enough to cover my expenses.

Head on over to Joyce's to see what other people answered.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


It's time for Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Share a favorite moment from your Christmas holiday celebration.
This year we had Swedish pancakes made by my brother's girlfriend's dad, they were pretty good, though I missed the mimosas we've had previous years.
2. What would you say has been the biggest news event during your life so far?
Probably September 11, 2001
3. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is Marsala. What say you-like or no like? Would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade to either?
It seems like a nice color, though I'm not a big fan of red. Most likely I won't add it on purpose, if it shows up, it shows up.
4. Would you rather meet your ancestors or your great grandchildren? Explain why.
I'm going with ancestors, because I don't plan on having children.
5. Share one life lesson learned in 2014?

6. What was your best or favorite purchase made in 2014?
This is like when I'm doing surveys and they ask me to remember what I purchased in six months. Right now, what's on my mind as my favorite purchase is this little purple octopus keychain I bought at the SC aquarium last week:
I wanted an octopus that said South Carolina aquarium, but they didn't have both, so I got the octopus. I really don't think about purchases much after I buy them, plus I didn't buy anything huge this year.

 7. What is one thing you're looking forward to in the new year?
Honestly, I haven't planned much further than this week. I was so stressed with the holidays and gifts and getting ready for this trip that I haven't even thought of the new year.
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
The high is 8 today, it's hard to come from South Carolina where the highs were in the 50's and 60's back to Iowa where it snowed yesterday and the windchill was 12 and today's high is 8.
 So, here are some random photos from my trip. An alligator:
 Some churches:

Head on over to Joyce's to see what other people answered.

Monday, December 29, 2014

12 Days of Christmas Swap Reveal

I participated in Chaotic Goddess Swaps' 12 Days of Christmas swap again this year. I had so much fun last year, I decided it would be one of the one I did this year. And it is time to do the swap reveal (actually it was last week, but I've been out of town)
12 Days of Christmas Swap image
I was paired with Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, here's what I sent her:
 A snowman stocking, a corkscrew, a wine bag, a couple crosses, snowmen, egg ornaments, a nativity set, chocolate, a necklace and a "W" ornament.
She said she collected snowmen, liked wine, collected nativity sets, that her faith was extremely important, liked brown, and nutcrackers. It seems she really liked that golden cross which was so hard to wrap. I finally had to wrap it in a padded envelope and put it wedged in the corner of the bottom of the box, I loved it and so did she, so it worked out great, but I had to ship in a larger box because it didn't play well with the other gifts.
Wendy mailed her giant package so it arrived on December 1st, so I had this package sitting in my kitchen for 13 days, let's just say it was hard not to open it.
 Every day started out with a wrapped box and the words "On the ___ day of Christmas, my swap partner sent to me" and then inside my gift. Of course, I deleted my pictures of the first day.
 An owl to hang upon my Christmas tree. It is actually sitting below my Owl tree.
Day 2:
 Two purse mates, the owl is also sitting near my owl tree.
Day 3:
 Three bathroom items, a cute reindeer towel, L'Occitane bar soap and cinnamon sugar hand soap
Day 4:
 Four hot cocoas, I haven't tried these yet.
Day 5:
 Five kitchen items, the owl mug is under my owl tree.
Day 6:
 Six sherbet candles.
Day 7:
 Seven words to Santa.
Day 8:
 Eight Chocolate candies, four tiny reindeer, Santa, and three Lindt chocolate truffles.
Day 9:
 Nine sparkly flowers.
Day 10:
 Ten pretty note cards.
Day 11:
 Eleven antique buttons, I love these, they have gone into my pile of hoarded buttons.
Day 12:
A 12-inch snowman plate.

I love everything I got, I'm sure it was rather hard to come up with multiples especially toward the end of the song, but she did very well.

Head on over to Chaotic Goddesses link-up page to see what other people got.

Christmas Presents

I went to Charleston, SC over the Christmas holiday. We left on the 23rd and came back on the 28th. We decided to do stocking stuffers for presents, as we didn't want to bring anything big on the airplane, here's what I bought for people.
First, my brother
Chocolate Monopoly game (he collects Monopoly games), two K'nex Mario toys, an ISU reindeer and a tiny reindeer ornament.
For my mother
 A Santa bag, Santa bingo art piece, and an Iowa ornament
For my dad and my brother's girlfriend
 My dad got the chocolate (he's very hard to shop for), my brother's girlfriend the cloisonnĂ© bird and Big Ben ornaments.
We also decided to do a White Elephant gift exchange, because my brother's girlfriend's parents were coming and we didn't know much about them and they didn't know much about us.
 I bought all the chocolate in the picture for the exchange.
These are from a gift exchange with a friend:
 a dark chocolate hazelnut bar, paper owl garland, dark chocolate minis, walnuts, cocky pin, symbol from Supernatural pin, and wings from Angel pin, elephant garland, and a handmade owl.
 Her mother made me bug and alligator chocolates
And here's what I received from my family gift exchange
 Stuffed owls, a spatula, socks, chocolate Santa, yodeling pickle, button snowman, USB drive, and an Amazon gift card (not shown).
The yodeling pickle and Amazon gift card are from the white elephant gift exchange. If you push a button on the pickle, it will start yodeling. I inserted the tab back into it and taped it on, so my suitcase didn't start yodeling on my flight home.