Nurturning a Pioneer Spirit: De Mystifying Food Canning

Click HERE to learn more about the mundane miracle of home food canning!


Another Birth Day ...

Last Friday Was My Birthday!

The girls stayed up late the night before to make me these mossst delicious cupcakes!!

Katie and Rosie made this sign (above) and taped it to the mirror on our landing!

Katie took this picture of Rosie and her momma (me).

We threw on some clothes and went out for our...

frugal luxury of coffee...

(Why does coffee always taste better when someone else makes it?)

Home again...

Happy Birthday Fun for Momma !

The girls had to guard the cupcakes from Zoey Kitty...

and the raffia!

Katie drew this charming little caricature inside my special birthday card...

the girl is me...

the kitty is Zoey Kitty.

(She's looking for her coffee...)

These cupcakes were sooo good!

They took a simple devil's food cake mix and added chunks of chocolate...

to the batter before baking...

and iced them with a simple butter-cream frosting... were yummy!!

They were so creative when decorating them!

The cupcakes in the forefront had a s'mores theme...

sprinkled with crushed graham crackers and garnished with snips of...

marshmallows and a chunk of chocolate.

Simple red sprinkles adorned the center cup cakes...

The last row was a paradoxical nod to a healthy attitude...

garnished with a dehydrated lemon slice...

(I had dehydrated a batch the day before and they are sooo good, really)

...and a chunk of dragon's fruit (really, that's what it's called).

It was the beginning of my very lovely and loving birthday day and week.

I am still celebrating as I write this!!


Outdoor Drapes...Bargain Prices...Surprising Sources!

Dirt Du Jour

Our friend, Cindy McNatt, over at the lovely and useful blog Dirt Du Jour has a fantastic idea and source for garnering affordable curtain sheets! At $79.00 for one dozen, fully hemmed, 60" x 104" sheets, she was able to create an entire wall of outdoor drapes.

While Cindy's post advocates these panels for outdoor use, they have me conjuring images of simple, crisp white curtains to use on our over-sized glass doors and several, currently unadorned, windows throughout our house!

And...perhaps...matching (washable) slip covers for the dining room chairs...and sofa!!!

My mind is reeling with the possibilities.

Thanks so much, Cindy, for the great idea and Inspiration!


Check out Cindy's blog for her link to the online supplier!

Dirt Du Jour: A gardening community of passionate plant people in Southern California


What Katie Did (Rosie & Momma too)!

On Katie's Birthday this Week...

we indulged in a delicious frugal luxury of coffee from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

(Katie's very favorite)...

then... we then snuck away...

... to visit this charming, Cottage, nursery.

We entered here...

Rosie framed herself under the roses & rustic arbor!

Katie found a quiet corner ... a perfect place to meditate & pray...

Ooops...I think she had to take that call!!

The girls spotted a lucky Calico kitty patrolling the premises.

We pray that's not why this charming bird cage is empty.

The girls meandered down a pathway strewn with flowers & herbs.

We don't know what these flowers are called...but we think they're really pretty!!

We appreciated this lovely iron trellis... lion fountain... and concrete urn.

Then we wandered out of the enchanted nursery until...

another excursion!


Thank you for joining us in Katie's birthday adventure!!


Swaptree - trade books, CDs, DVDs, and video games for free


Hello my good souls! I have just stumbled across this fantastically frugal and green site that allows you to swap and/or obtain FREE Books, CD's, Video games ant the like...of course...I felt an urgent NEED to share it with you! Please take a peek at and tell me what you think!

Swaptree - trade books, CDs, DVDs, and video games for free
Shared via AddThis


Enchanting the Ordinary...

The Romance of Draperies...

Here are a few pictures I've collected that illustrate my love for draping beds & sofa's.

The simple addition of fabric holds the ability to enhance the ordinary

& add a bit of enchantment and beauty to everyday life.



Creative Recycling of the Ordinary: Whimsical Gift Packaging

Long before recycling... re-purposing... and reusing became popular...

we have harvested nylon/plastic netting...saving them from the landfill.

We store them in a pretty apothecary jar on the counter-top.

Sometimes we use them as-is...

other times, we paint them to create whimsical gift packaging...

This Bean Soup Mix is prettily packaged inside a recycled fast-food cup...

(it has been cleaned out with bleach & water...allowed to dry...then painted)...

and then wrapped in re-cycled netting.


We originated this idea in our first book...

Frugal Luxuries

(page 230).

Below, you'll find the actual excerpt with detailed instructions on how to

make this environmentally friendly, easy, project.



You Will Need:

Spray paint [I try to minimize my use of spray paint & either buy it at yard sales or use a sponge brush and leftover latex paint from other projects around the house]
One large, clean drinking cup (like one from a fast-food restaurant)
Nylon netting (from store-bought onion or garlic)
Raffia or other coordinating ribbon
A small piece of masking paper or newsprint

To Make:

Over the masking paper, spray-paint the netting. [Or sponge paint, one side at a time, allow to dry between sides.] Allow the netting and paper to dry thoroughly. Crumple the paper and put it loosely into the bottom of the cup. (This will raise your gift item so that it makes a better presentation.) Next, put your gift (I use homemade three bean soup or homemade gourmet coffee) into the cup and netting then tie it with a raffia bow.

This beautiful package will stand alone as a small hostess gift (you can put cookies or candies inside instead of soup or coffee) or as part of a larger gift basket.

Take from Frugal Luxuries, by Tracey McBride. Published by Bantam Books, 1997.




A thousand and one Thank-You-s to each of you...

for y0ur amazingly KIND Comments...

and GOOD & GENEROUS Thoughts!


she has WON this copy of FRUGAL LUXURIES !


Thanks again to all of you kind and good souls for sharing...

your frugal luxuries and good thoughts.



The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

A warm Thank You to all kind souls and kindred spirits who generously take the time to leave a comment...your encouragement, trust and support are deeply appreciated...please know that we read each and every message and will respond as time allows.


Frugal Luxuries
is a registered trademark.


"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

After more than a decade, FRUGAL LUXURIES has never been out of print and is now more relevant than ever.

"It's our hope that a new generation, faced with a teetering economy, will also find this information helpful and enlightening."

Sending Good Thought to Our Special Band of Kind and Kindred Souls!

Frugal Luxuries Book I

Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons Book II

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