Monday, February 06, 2012

My blog has moved!

Please check out my new site if you want to keep following my blog:

This site will be migrated over there completely soon.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thrifty Ornaments 2011

I had lots of holiday crafts and plans that didn't happen this year. I decided to make them crafts to do throughout the year so they will actually be done for Christmas 2012...a book wreath (semi completed), homemade snow globes, and time capsule ornaments! I did find many cute ornaments at thrift stores this year right around Christmas day for 50-75% off making them around 50 cents a piece. I started following the blogs Goodwill Haunting and Living the Goodwill Life and found out you can resell many Hallmark ornaments on Ebay for $12+. Since Ebay started offering 50 free posts a month I may look into some reselling this year.

Value Village had several ornaments bagged together, so I found a few cute ones grouped together like the Winne the Pooh Hallmark ornament above and the Hallmark New Home Ornament below. I am keeping that one in hopes for the 2012 tree. We spent last Christmas in Hawaii, so I snagged a hand painted shell ornament to commemorate that at the St. Paul de Vincent thrift store. I am adding my own hand painted dates and details on some of the ornaments to note their meaning.

I was thrifting with my sister-in-laws at the Share House near Ann Arbor, MI and found this adorable little girl ornament that was screaming Zoraida. It captures the essence of her toddlerhood. A side note, the Share House had these amazing framed butterflies in glass cases that I immediately asked the clerk,"How much are those?" and of course they were sold. She has also been in love with Penguins after watching Happy Feet, so I got her S.S. Iceberg Hallmark Penguin ornament from Value Village.

On a thrifty note, I was going back and forth at a Goodwill in the furniture section deciding whether I should get an Ethiopian inspired table that was very cool but had little current function for my home. The hard working employees in back then brought out two mint condition bookshelves priced at $12 a piece. We are in dire need of bookshelves so that made my decision easy with limited trunk space. This is why I love Goodwill, it is ever changing and sometimes things just fall in your lap.

Essence of Toddlerdom- Share House, MI

S.S. Iceberg Hallmark Penguins- Value Village

Hand painted Hawaii Shell Ornament- St. Paul de Vincent Store

Baby's 1st Christmas- Value Village

Carlton 1994 Caroling Ornament- Heart to Home Thrift Store

Hallmark New Home Ornament- Hoping this has special meaning in 2012!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Too Good to Be True

Cyber Monday has come to a close. My adrenaline started flowing yesterday around 8 pm when I saw Half Price Books Marketplace would be offering free shipping on everything. I pulled up my Amazon Wishlist and started searching. I was delighted to find many books for 99 cents!

The endless possibilities of books I could get for thrift store prices shipped to my home started flowing...was this really going to work. When the deal went live at 9 pm I had 15 books in my cart and clicked BUY. The deal cleared and I think I uttered to Wyatt I can't believe it and I will probably be up all night searching. Alas the dream was short lived and as I continued to search all the prices that should have been 99 cents were 4.99. (they had added the shipping cost to the book prices making the deal a scam in my opinion)

Wyatt said I should be thankful for getting the 15 books at rock bottom prices. I am giddy thinking about all these books currently in route to my house from around the country, but I can't help but be disappointed about all the ones that got away.

On another book related note, Zoraida and I have gathered all our Christmas books together in baskets for this month. I have amassed quite a few mostly from thrifting. Here is the list:

  • Messiah: The Wordbook for the Oratorio, George Frideric Handel
  • A Christmas Testament, Phillip Kopper
  • The Christmas Day Kitten, James Herriot
  • The Snow Tree, Caroline Repchuk
  • Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-up, Robert Sabuda
  • Lift the Flap Nativity, Allia Zobel-Nolan
  • The Newborn King, Cindy Robertson
  • The Christmas Cross, Max Lucado
  • Frosty the Snowman, Hallmark book read by grandma
  • The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
  • Journey to Bethlehem: the story of the first Christmas, Dorothy Van Woerkom
  • One Wintry Night, Ruth Bell Graham
  • Religious Christmas Stories for Children, an Ideals publication
  • The Carols of Christmas, an Ideals publication
  • Nativity, Winston Press
  • A Child's Book of Christmas Carols, Illustrated by Masha
  • The Kingfisher Book of Classic Christmas Stories, selected by Ian Whybrow
  • Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book
  • Usborne Lift-the-flap Nativity

Do you have a favorite Christmas book?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Building a Library

Its been about three years since we stuffed a van cab with a handful of boxes, dropped them off at curbside checkin and flew to Seattle to find an apartment, buy a car and start new jobs in a few days. Out of those few boxes, 2 were full of books. After 3 years, we have gone from a couple hundred books to 1287. The number is probably 70 higher, but I didn't count each volume of our 1953 Encyclopedia Britannica, Tyndale commentaries, and Calvin commentaries as separate books in the catalog.

Being 30 plus weeks pregnant, I decided it was the perfect time to channel my organizational energy into cataloging our growing library. I kept it pretty simple to start by using Excel to record the title, author, year, awards, and category. Wyatt has grand ambitions to now alphabetize the books in each category.

The majority of our books fell into Christian (537 books) and Childrens (349 books) categories. I plan to further refine these later into subcategories. Our oldest book is an 1879 New Devotional and Explanatory Pictorial Family Bible. Wyatt acquired it for $25 at a Half Price Books using a 50% off coupon. I found an 1884 book titled Historical Records Concerning Jesus the "Christ" Messiah at a Woodinville library book sale. I will pick up anything older than 100 years just to have it as a piece of history. We do buy new books too, the most recent a Father's Day present for Wyatt entitled, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (2011) by Michael Horton.

The most prolific author we have is Dr. Seuss with 27 entries. Wyatt thought it would be one of his favorite theologians, which I guess if you count Calvin's commentaries as separate books he would win with 30 books. Other authors with more than 10 books include Graeme Base, F.F. Bruce, Eric Carle, C.S. Lewis, John Piper, Plato, R.C. Sproul, and B.B. Warfield. We also 32 Bibles, so you could say God is our most prolific author.

We had 41 duplicates, so I may be selling some on Ebay to free up bookshelf space. Having gone through them all, the duplicate buying should decrease since my memory is pretty solid, ha! Right now we have bookcases scattered throughout our home. We have dreams to have a dedicated library someday when we are homeowners.

Thought for the Day: You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. ~C.S. Lewis

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Avocado Smoothies and Asian Spareribs

Summer is the perfect time to do some simple cooking with the help of kitchen appliances. I ended with two extra racks of ribs after making oven roasted bbq pork ribs for father's day, so I searched for an easy recipe on Crockpot 365 blog and found this recipe. Since I already had some kalbi sauce in the fridge I substituted it for the sauce she uses. The jalapenos added a really nice amount of heat and the ribs were really tender and delicious!

Wyatt and I were craving bubble tea the other day and reminiscing about the amazing Joy Yee's tea in Chicago's chinatown. I loved riding the El down to Chinatown with some girlfriends on the weekend to get my favorite avocado bubble tea at Penang. It then dawned on me I could make this at home. We actually would make bubble tea at home in Chicago, but I never have made the avocado. I bought bubble tea straws and tapioca pearls at wonderful new Uwajimaya in Bellevue.

Slow Cooked Asian Pork Spareribs

2 racks spareribs
1/2 cup kalbi sauce
2 jalapeno peppers

1. Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
2. Turn ribs over half way through cooking.

Avocado Smoothie

1 ripe avocado
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3 Tbs Honey
4 ice cubes

1. Scoop out avocado into blender and combine with all ingredients until smooth.
2. Add more or less ice depending on preferred consistency.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Half Price Finds Today

I am currently cataloging all our books, so I added these to the list today. Today's entries make the total 756 with about one room left to do. A blog with all the statistics will be coming shortly. We happened to be near a Half Price Books today and took a peek. Of course, we both walked out with a few finds.

Tracy's Cart: (All from the Clearance Sections)

  • Illustrated Robinson Crusoe ($1) - I already have a nice copy of this book, but the illustrations are really well done in a Japanese print-like style by artist Felix Lorioux, so I couldn't resist.
  • Galapagos: Discovery on Darwin's Island ($2) - I was slightly obsessed with the Galapagos Islands in my teen years and had a really hard time finding books about it back then. Now they are prolific and this one has beautiful watercolors of many of the unique animals found here.
  • The Timechart History of Jewish Civilization ($3) - I actually had the Timechart of World History and Biblical Times on my book list to buy, so I got this one to check out the series more closely. The fold out time line looks will hopefully help me get dates straight!
  • Master Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago ($3) - Wyatt and I have many fond memories of this museum from our time in Chicago, so this was a nice find to reminisce.
Wyatt's cart: I am proud to say he actually stayed around $3 a book.

  • Jesus the Jew : A Historians's Reading of the Gospels by Geza Vermes
  • The Courage to Be by Paul Tillich
  • For All God's Worth by N.T. Wright
  • The Essence of Christianity by Ludwig Feuerbach

Sunday, May 08, 2011

An Edwardian Note

What will today's era be called? In terms of my decor, I would go with the Craigslistian period. Happenstance has again weaved together my interests. I think that shopping at thrift stores, following rabbit trails from books, and reading an array of blogs lends itself to these wonderful coincidences.

The Edwardian period is where my latest trail has led. The all knowing Wikipedia labels the Edwardian era as the time covering the rule of King Edward VII from 1901 to 1910.

I recently read Teaching the Trivium by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn. By the way, the authors also have a blog Trivium Pursuit that is quite helpful. One recommendation the Bluedorns make for teaching young kids science is keeping a nature notebook. They recommended the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden as a great example of a nature notebook.

Whenever a book is recommended in my reading, I immediately stop and go add it to my library hold list and amazon wishlist, so I do not forget it. The Diary came in from KCLS and I was blown away by the talented illustrations in it and inspired by the monthly notes that Edith Holden made. I then ordered Edith Holden's The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady used from Amazon and The Country Diary Book of Days is currently in route to our home. Zoraida and I go on nature walks near our home, so I started a notebook myself. I am working on identifying and illustrating everything we see thanks to the wonderful wildlife guide provided by the city here.

I have been spring cleaning and recently dropped off some bags at the local Goodwill and of course did a little browsing myself. I came across an Edwardian Dollhouse: A Three-Dimensional Book in the kid's book section. It was in mint condition with all the paper dolls still not punched out. Zoraida has really enjoyed the house especially using staircase as you can see from the photo above. A portable dollhouse that folds into a book is a genius idea.

We do not have a TV or Netflix, which I have blogged about before, but I do love film. I get my contemporary film recommendations from a little podcast called Filmspotting (see earlier blog for more details). We primarily get our movies for free from the library, where I manage a queue of them on our hold lists. A blog I follow recently listed their top 10 movies most of which are suitable for kids and one was Miss Potter, a movie about the life of Beatrix Potter. And of course Beatrix Potter lived during the Edwardian period, so it was another glimpse into the era.

Thought for the day: From The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady ~"Saw a little grey Lizard come out of a hole in a wall, he didn't seem frightened but sat on a stone blinking his eyes at me and basking in the sunshine. The bogs here are full of small white Water-Crowfoot; but I have seen no signs of Bog-bean, nor Butterwort nor Sundews, such as you find in the Welsh and Scotch marshes." Edith Holden, May 8, 1905.


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