Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Lot to Say

Pictures pretty much sum up what's been going on lately (on here and on facebook).

Here are some pictures of our house when it's clean:

Here's a new decoration I got at Target yesterday:

I could probably make one just like it. So I bought it for inspiration.

I have some wonderful bento pictures from the bento order I got over a month ago:

Everything is so much fun!

Here are some pictures of our house:

Our tree is a potted Leyland Cyprus. We are going to plant it outside after Christmas. We might make this a new tradition- you know, a gift for the earth and a fun way to mark the years!Wrapping presents....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fun Things

I am finding some fun things online! I will list them here. (Then later I will post all the other things I have in mind..)

1- I have a subscription to Family Fun and can read all the current and past magazines online- every page! I can also look at some pages of many other magazines, and buy online copies for about $1!

2- You can sign up to receive a FREE magazine with lots of recipes! (I am still waiting for mine but I looked through a friend's). The website also has good recipes, and how- to videos!

3- Better Homes and Gardens- They have an offer to subscribe to their magazine for only $6, and get 2 cookbooks! I already had a free subscription from a bookcase we bought (still waiting for this magazine too!). Their website has a lot of neat things including a lot of helpful videos at

4- Itasha- The cutest Japanese erasers! I found them from a Family Fun magazine.

5- Ichiban Kan- Can't forget about this website! It's the best and cheapest place to buy bentos and other cool Japanese products online!

6- Paper Museum- The neatest paper crafts ever! Just click on the pdf links underneath the picture to download FREE pdfs to print and fold! On the left there are pictures for other printables (a fork for food, wrapping paper for gift boxes, etc.). They are the neatest projects! I just wish I had an umlimited supply of ink.

7- Family Fun- They have a lot of free printables and craft and recipe ideas.

8- They used to have a magazine that was really neat but is discontinued. I have 4 issues, I may try to find back issues. The website has some cute ideas.

9- A Common Place Magazine- This is a Mennonite missions magazine that you can receive for free! My friend from college is a photographer from this magazine and she takes incredible pictures! (She also took pictures at our wedding.) She has traveled all around the world. The magazine helps you to be aware of global issues as well as ways to help out.

10- Last but not least, My husband and I save $100s on groceries! We always save at least 50% every time we shop. You have to pay to subscribe to the website and buy the Sunday paper for coupons (we buy 4) but it is well worth it. Here are some of our true stories:
It rang up as $140.32. We scanned the store card, and then our coupons, and it came to $47.61! We saved $92.71! And it was all name-brand stuff. That paid for our online subscription and newspapers for months!
Another receipt: It was $39.20, and we paid $10.60. We saved $28.60!
Another one: Total- $145.74, we paid only $58.90! Saved $86.84!
Another: Total- $124.10, after the card was scanned and we used our coupons ($34.50 in only coupons!) the total was $45.06. Fortunately we had a $15 giftcard, so we only paid 30.06! We felt really good that day! Just in this one shopping trip the coupons alone paid for 7 weeks worth of newspapers!

We shop at Ingles (they double $0.50 or less coupons), Food Lion, and sometimes Kroger (they can have some really good deals).
We only buy something if it is on sale and we have a coupon. When it is a really good deal, we buy a ton and stockpile. We usually don't need to buy it again until it's on sale again. We are glad we bought a chest freezer and that our new house has a pantry! We also don't go shopping every week. We have already skipped almost a month, not including getting a few things here and there like milk.

I have a ton of photos to post, but i still need to download them.
We got a new couch! My family is coming on Thursday and we wanted to have a couch by then.
More to come..

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ichiban Order!

Well, I did it! I placed an order on Ichiban Kan! I went through and wrote down everything I really wanted, trying to not overdo it. Well, it ended up being way over $100 and my goal was to spend $50 or less. So I started taking off things one by one. I made sure I had a couple of each type of thing I wanted (2-tier bento, sealed bento, dividers, molds, etc.). I also had a few gifts for Christmas. It was one of the hardest things to do! And most everything is $1.00-$2.00 so taking off $10 is a lot! I already narrowed it down as much as I thought I could and I still had to take off about $20 more! I decided to spend $59.99 because then my shipping would go down $2. It was a struggle, but I made it! And placed the order. I will post pictures as soon as everything comes, hopefully in less than a week...!
I can't wait!!

Bento Boxes

I never heard of Bento Boxes until about a week ago. Now I can't wait to order some online! I heard about them from Wendolonia's blog. The main idea is to create cute lunches with all reusable items rather than having trash to throw away. And of course all the reusable supplies are adorable Japanese designs. The only way I have found to buy a bento box with supplies is from Ichiban Kan. They have some of the cutest stuff for super cheap! Except of course for shipping costs. Everywhere else I found bentos online they've been much more expensive. I am a little tight on money right now and have 3 different gifts to buy (weddings and birthday) and just paid a large sum of money for online courses and need to buy plane tickets and gifts for Christmas and want to get a sofa before my family visits for Thanksgiving... but I really want to place an order from Ichiban Kan! At least a small one...

Here are some pictures of bento items bought from a Japanese a-little-over-a-dollar store (of course it's in California..) from Wendolonia's blog:

These items aren't from Ichiban Kan but they have similar cute things for bentos. These are actually from a store called Daiso. I want to plan my next vacation for CA so I can go to a Dasio store. I used to love Dollar Stores. Now I love Daiso stores (even though I haven't been to one yet). Almost everything $1.50 and it's all so much cuter than what I can find at the dollar stores I've been to! Although I enjoyed the Chinese dollar store in China town in Philly... but it was still nothing compared to a Daiso...

Another fun thing I found is 3 cookbooks for free (if you buy 2 items and pay $2.50 shipping) from Smucker's, Jif, and Scholastic. The cookbooks look really cute. I bought two jars of jelly (on sale and with a coupon that doubled..) and am going to send away for the cookbooks. I wonder if I should try and get more.. they would make cute gifts..

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I found delicious-looking cookies on angry chicken's blog. I went to the recipe at and made the cookies. They are delicious! My husband loves them too. We are trying to save some for our friends who are coming over today but I just ate another one... I guess we can all finish them off today (we are going to a corn maze- a fall tradition I love)

We finally carved a pumpkin yesterday! This was our fourth Halloween as a married couple and our first carved pumpkin! I wanted to carve one every year but our first year Joel had a super busy job where we couldn't do much extra. Then the next two years I was taking masters classes and had hardly any extra time. So we finally did this year! (I am already excited for our gingerbread house making this Christmas...)

I used to carve a pumpkin every year when I was at my mom's growing up. I was surprised to find out Joel only ever carved one- and he mostly watched! It was fun to watch him put his hands in the pumpkin. He had the idea for what to carve so he did the drawing, I did the stem carving and most of the scooping and the dirty work, and he carved out the leaf shapes. We had fun and started a new tradition at our new house.

We saved the seeds to roast. We rinsed them but didn't roast them yet. Maybe tonight.

We didn't know if we'd get any trick-or-treaters this year at our new house. We got a little candy just in case, but no one came. We kept the pumpkin lit just in case.

I dressed up today for school. We had a carnival. The kids and the parents and even the teachers had a wonderful time! It was a success! I wore my jedi cloak and had a lightsaber on my belt. Not every one knew what I was but a few kids knew right away that I was a jedi. When I got home joel wanted to try on the outfit with his plasma lightsaber.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Working and Baking

Today is the last day of my Master's classes!! I am almost finished with my last paper. To celebrate, I let myself get distracted and bake. First I made a baked potato in the oven (so much better than in the microwave!)

and then I made chocolate muffins from a recipe from They have really neat recipe books to download! They also let you print the recipes on a 3"x5" size so they'll fit in a recipe box. Neat! The muffins were delicious but very chocolaty. I guess that was because of the 1 cup of chocolate chips. I wouldn't have put in that much except that I had a bag that needed to be used up and there was exactly a cup left.

What did the cats do while I slaved over a hot oven? What they do best of course:

Yesterday I made tapioca pudding with the real tapioca pearls. Yum! I also made lemon bars the other day from a little ABC recipe book my mom got each of us kids when we were little from Gold Medal flour. I found the book online!

Earlier this week we changed the wooden sign for our house number by our driveway to a neat one. We used a neat looking root we found and my husband used tile to mosaic around the house number. I haven't taken a picture of the finished product yet.

Eustace loves to sleep on the printer. Anytime I am on the computer, he jumps up onto my lap, onto the desk, and curls up on the printer. It doesn't look very soft, but he seems to enjoy it..

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Post

I have been thinking about posting ever since my last one, but like everyone else- I've just been so busy! We moved into our new house and are almost finished unpacking. I am still working on my masters degree (only a month left!!). And of course school is always very busy. I guess I should post some pictures of our new house:Lots of boxes!

Sushi making despite the mess.

Almost finished living room with beautiful custom-built bookcase!

Come and visit!

(In about a month I plan to have more crochet postings!!)