books, books, books

$5 = library sale score

I love my library! I love it lots and lots and I use it like crazy: books, movies, knit night, summer camp, and of course many great conversations. So when the annual book sale rolls around, I can’t help myself. The books are all so cheap that there’s no way I could possibly buy enough to equal the value I get from this place. Plus, the topics cover everything under the sun. There were business management and resume guides (maybe appealing to people looking for accounts executive jobs), spirituality books, art books, yoga books, and of course lots and lots of fiction.

We went Saturday and all five of us picked up some books (well, I chose a few books for Laura — she didn’t exactly pick them out herself, although I am confident she will love Olivia and Olivia Saves the Circus).

Anyway, yesterday was “Bag Day.” You pay $5 and get a big shopping bag, and then fill it with as many books as you want. Looking at that photo I’d say we did all right! Jake went with me and half of those books are his, LOL… I think the pièce de résistance for me was the 2009 Writer’s Market. I’ve been considering purchasing the new one, but can’t really justify it at the moment. Right now I can barely keep with the (downsized by design) amount of writing work I have. Adding more to my plate isn’t a great idea at the moment, but I wanted an idea of what markets are out there. But finding it right there on the table? And a relatively recent edition? Yes, yes, yes! It was like a sign. There were a few other writing books I picked up, so maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. Or at least offer a little encouragement.

Yes. I do indeed love the library book sale 🙂

menu plan monday 2.27-3.5

Even though we got about three inches of snow overnight, the day is warming up nicely and I’m starting to feel a bit more energetic and creative. Spring is so close! This is a pretty easy week cooking-wise. I’m excited to try the chicken enchiladas from the new issue of Woman’s Day that came in yesterday’s mail, though. Hopefully they’ll be a hit with the boys. I love enchiladas, but rarely make them. This recipe is easy and seems like it’ll be a crowd-pleaser. I’ll let you know!

Here’s my tentative (as always) menu for the week:

  • Sunday: Spaghetti with meat sauce (leftover makeover), salad
  • Monday: Chicken enchiladas (new recipe), black bean salad
  • Tuesday: Hot dogs, creamy chicken & wild rice soup, fruit salad
  • Wednesday: Italian-style meatloaf, baked potatoes, broccoli, salad
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Take-out
  • Saturday: No cooking – Blue & Gold Banquet

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature.

the “awkward” stage

Jake is so funny. He’s getting to that stage where you can tell he’s curious about girls. He gets all giggly and silly when you ask if he has a “girlfriend.” It cracks me up! He admits to nothing, but I’m sure he’ll have a crush in no time. Even though you hear it over and over again, it’s true: they grow up fast. One minute he’s asking you to change the channel to “Blue’s Clues” and the next he wants to know how to remove pimples. Well… at least we’re still a few years from that!

At any rate, Noah has no trouble admitting who in his Kindergarten he thinks is cute. That one is totally going to be the ladies’ man. I can already tell 😉

love the sweet deals

I’m excited to announce that I’m taking part in a blogger affiliate program for Eversave. I actually blogged about their Smokey Mountains Minerals makeup deal the other day before any of this happened! What this means for you is that I’ll be able to share with you the best deals that Eversave has to offer. Will I be writing about every single deal? Nope. Only the ones that I feel are relevant to my readers or saves that I myself have purchased.

The cool thing is that you just never know what will be next! You might be looking for the best diet supplements and one shows up in a deal. Stranger things have happened!

As an introduction, I’ll let you know about a few deals going on right now.

Today’s Save: My Wines Direct

Today’s Save:Pay $27 to have wine delivered to your doorstep — with complimentary shipping — from ($60 value)

Expires 11:59 PM – Feb 28, 2011

Bonus Save: Smoky- Mountain Minerals

Today’s Save:$16 for $32 worth of natural beauty and skin care products from Smoky Mountain Minerals

Expires 11:59 PM – Feb 25, 2011

Bonus Save: Pixable

Today’s Save:Share your favorite photos anytime, anywhere, with a deck of pocket-sized pics from for just $5, plus free shipping ($13 value)!

Expires 11:59 PM – Feb 26, 2011

gloomy day

gloomy day

I should be happy it isn’t snow, but this cold, rainy day is not doing much to inspire a good mood! In fact, it has me feeling a little grouchy. And hungry. Why is it on days like this I want to do nothing but eat? I should be worrying about how to burn belly fat, not how to make blondies without eggs (since I really don’t feel like heading out in this weather to get them). Maybe I should make something yummy, but warm and nourishing, like a big pot of red lentil soup. (I love this recipe… but still not as exciting as blondies!)

Anyway, I do have to come up with something for dinner tonight. Suddenly the boys don’t like tacos (what???), so I think the turkey tacos are off the menu. Maybe they’ve just forgotten how good they are! Worse comes to worse… there’s always peanut butter & jelly 😉

etsy update: st. patty’s day hair bows

This afternoon I had a chance to upload a few of the St. Patrick’s Day hair bows I’ve been making. Sadly, I totally missed the boat on Valentine’s Day (it’s just been a crazy time), but I’ll be stocking up for Easter once March 17th has passed. I’ll also be designing a line of First Communion bows, so feel free to send me a message if you have something specific in mind that you’d like me to create.

Here’s a peek at what’s new in my Etsy shop:

Set of 3 classic tails-down bows: $9

Twisted boutique bow: $4

Awesome 80s-style braided ribbon barrette: $3

I love dressing Lulu up in clothes that go along with whatever holiday is closest. She just needs to grow some hair so she can wear some of my bows, too!

Oh, and don’t forget: now you can follow Pure Sugar Bows on Twitter as well as liking us on Facebook. Stay connected for the lasted sneak peeks and exclusive discounts!

sweet deal on mineral makeup

I love, love, love using mineral makeup, but it can be pretty expensive. However, there is a great deal today on Eversave Worcester — get a voucher for $32 worth of of natural beauty and skin care products from Smoky Mountain Minerals for $16! Plus, new subscribers to their e-mail get a $2 credit AND there is a $3 coupon code for Facebook fans today, bringing the price down to $11! (If you’re lucky enough to have the original $5 e-mail subscriber credit sitting in your account, it makes the deal even sweeter at $8!)

Shipping is free on orders from SMM, so I jumped on this Eversave deal since I desperately need new makeup anyway. I’m can’t wait to try it out.

nice ‘n easy foam hair color review

So last week I colored my hair. Nothing drastic — just to cover up the grays. It was another mess, believe me! I was able to snag one of the Facebook coupons for a free box of Clairol’s new Nice ‘n Easy Foam hair color. I thought it sounded like a great product, but… it wasn’t.

Thankfully the color itself came out well, but the process was not easy. The color stained everything from my temples to my neck to my shoulders. I also feel that it wasn’t wet enough to totally saturate my hair, nor was it very “foamy.” I expected a consistency reminiscent of mousse, but it was more sudsy. If you continually shook it, the color maintained that foamy consistency, but who wants to be shaking the bottle every five seconds? It also burned, which was slightly alarming. I’ve used other Nice ‘n Easy colors in the past and really liked them so this was a huge disappointment.

Were you able to get the coupon? I’m curious about others’ experiences.

menu plan monday

Another week, another menu! This week I have the luxury of being child-free for a day (at least while the boys are at school). Tomorrow Laura will be at her grandma’s, so while I fully intend to indulge in a little “me-time” (since I finished all of my cleaning today!), I also plan on doing a little freezer cooking to get myself ahead. I’m going to give FishMama’s red sauce a try, prep a bunch of taco meat, and I plan on cooking up some chicken and then making stock. We’ll see what else I manage to make. I’m not going crazy. Remember: it’s a rare day “off” for me! But it doesn’t hurt to put in a little time while I have the time, to lend me the time when I don’t have the time. If you follow 😉

  • Sunday: Out (Indian buffet)
  • Monday: Chicken & broccoli pizza on WW crust, green salad
  • Tuesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches, vegetable soup
  • Wednesday: Spaghetti & meatballs (slow cooker), green salad
  • Thursday: Creamy chicken and wild rice soup, salad
  • Friday: Turkey tacos, black bean salad
  • Saturday: Leftovers

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature.

raising adventurous eaters

I feel very lucky to have children that are not particularly picky. Don’t get me wrong — they’ve gone through some seriously picky stages, but I’ve continued to request they try three bites of whatever-it-is. Jake has been a great eater for a while (though not always — there was a time when eating a plain piece of grilled chicken was the equivalent to torture). Noah has also started to come around and lately they’ve been especially receptive to new foods.

Drew’s mom offered to take Laura for some grandma-time and who was I to say no to that? So we thought that perhaps we could convince Jake and Noah to go to try Indian food since our local restaurant offers a buffet on Sunday nights. Jake was really excited about it, and Noah needed a little convincing (but not much). So we headed down to the Red Hook Curry House for dinner, hopeful that they would at least find something they’d enjoy. We’d explained that sometimes Indian food looks a little… well, let’s face it — it doesn’t always look all that appetizing. I could eat it every day of my life, but some of the dishes aren’t so pleasing to the eye.

At any rate, they enthusiastically took a spoonful of this and a spoonful of that. We all sat down and I nervously watched them take their first bites of what was for them an exotic new cuisine. Although I cook a lot of Indian-inspired dishes at home, they’ve never been interested in trying any of them. Until now… Although they didn’t love everything they tried, they certainly had their favorites. Noah couldn’t get enough of the Tandoori chicken and the chana masala (chickpea curry). He also ate his weight in Nan, I think. Jake loved the shag aloo (spinach with potatoes), the vegetable biryani, and the eggplant fritters. He also like the chana masala a lot. (Squee!!! Guess what’s going on next week’s menu?)

Noah wanted to be called “Tandoori Noah” and after sucking the bones dry, I think that nickname is fitting!

1st time eating Indian food

Jake loved just about everything he tried (except… go figure… the Tandoori chicken). Mulligatawny was another of his favorites.

1st time eating Indian food

For dessert they enjoyed some glob jaman and a cup of chai. I was thrilled that the night was such a huge success! There were no scrunched up faces and no resistance to try new foods. It’s taken a little encouragement and persistence, but I’m happy to see my boy expanding their culinary horizons and not fearing the unknown.