Monday, April 30, 2012


What did you all do this past weekend?
We worked in the yard this weekend...we had some snoopy visitors.....

We were able to get some free brick off of craigslist. Talk about a steal! We had to dig them up but it didn't take that long!

See that? Green grass!

My hostas are coming back up! WOOhoo!

This is my un-planted raised bed. I only planted half of it last year, but it did really well and so I wanted to expand

So we built another bed...just gotta get some dirt!

We also put a make-shift walkway out of pavers between the two beds. Less mowing!

So now I have to two beds to grows stuff in this year! SOO excited!

What did you do this weekend?


Friday, April 27, 2012

Frugalista Friday: Remodeling

I am by no means a remodel expert. Far from it to be honest! But I have learned some really good frugal tips that really in the end will save a ton of aggravation as well.

1.    Write everything down that you’ll possible need from the store and get it in one trip.  
You think I joke? No, 6 plus trips to the hardware store is not thrifty, frugal, or cheap. If you want an example…check this out. Keep the receipt; return what you don’t need on your next trip to the store. It will save a lot of aggravation…and gas money

2.    Become friends with the people at Lowes. 
Well, not really unless you’re super friendly, but the people in the plumbing section…usually have way more information than you need. Same with flooring. They can explain a lot…oh and tell you what you need to get before you leave the store.

3.    Check/Ask for mistinted paint. 
Really. I have not bought full priced paint yet. My friend Krista got 7 gallons for $45 dollars and around here that would have cost her at least $130. In my experience, Home Depot is cheaper than Lowes on the mistints…just and fyi.

4.    Look for floor models. 
The lovely people at Lowes and Home Depot often change out their floor models, and sell them for uber cheap. This light I got at Home Depot is perfectly fine, in great condition and I got it for $10. I saw one in the box for $89, which is $79 in my pocket. CHA-CHING! I had to ask for a price, but if I didn’t I wouldn’t have the beautiful light.

5.    ReStore.
Check and see if your area has a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It’s a store that sells used home improvement goods for a lot less than the big stores. Plus the money goes to a good cause. I got this sink there for $10. It would have cost me at least $50 somewhere else.

6.    Borrow tools. 
We’re just starting out and don’t have a whole lot of tools, or a whole lot of money to spend on the tools…although Andy would really like to get some…so we borrow. We have some great neighbors who are willing to let us use tools, and Nathania and Storman have some they are willing to let use borrow as well. Just be a good steward and return them in a relatively timely mannerJ

7.    Ask if your friends/family know how to do something.  
We have the honor of having a brother-in-law who knows how to do a whole lot. Storman has saved us from calling the plumber and the electrician, which in turn saves us a ton of money. Friends and family usually are willing to be paid with food or beverage…ahem…

8.    Use what you have in the house already. 
If you have some paint left from a previous project, but you want a slightly different shade…add some white or another color. If you’re re-doing the bathroom and hate the frame around the mirror but the mirror is in good condition, keep the mirror. If you re-use the stuff you already have you haven’t spent any money for a new look!

9.    Craigslist. 
Really? Do I need to say more? The free section of craigslist often has some great materials for a remodel. Or check the other sections for items, like a new frame for a mirror!

10. Be patient. 
When I get and idea, want to get it done and have it done, NOW. But if you want the deals and you want the room you’re re-doing to look exactly how you envisioned it…you need to be patient. Check the stores frequently if you are passing them.  If a friend can help, but can’t do it for a week…deal with a half-done room. The room isn’t going anywhere…I promise!

That’s my Frugalista Friday list for you. If you have any other tips…please let me know!


Linked Up to:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

new series...say what?!!

I do believe that different series of blogpost are pretty popular…if not, well here you go! I’ve decided to do a series called  Frugalista Fridays. I have about 2 months worth planned already, and I’m sure that Nathania will be able to add some Fantastical Frugalista Friday Lists (say that five times fast!)

So here are the topics I will be covering:

1.     Remodeling
2.     Redecorating
3.     Crafting
4.     Cooking
5.     Gardening
6.     Cleaning
7.     Recycling
8.     Random Tips

Now, I can imagine that a lot of these tips have been heard before…but maybe there is something you haven’t thought of…and well passing the knowledge on isn’t going to hurt!

Hope you’ll look forward to it…


Mushrooms that is...
I got a large container of mushrooms the other day at Costco...and in the very large container was very large mushrooms. Perfect for stuffing right? Andy's aunt had made some stuffed mushrooms a few years ago and I am positive that at some point we had the recipe. But could I find the recipe? whats a girl to do? Make it up.

You'll need the following to make these delicious goodies.
1. Mushrooms...ginormatron mushrooms work best
2. Parmesan cheese(1/2 cup)
3. Olive Oil(3/4ish cup)
4.Bread Crumbs (1/4ish cup)
5. Garlic (3 cloves...or less, whatever you want)
6.Dried Parsley (1tspish)
As you can see I really measured well....but you'll understand why in a sec...
Step one: take all the stems off the mushrooms. They should just pop out. DON'T throw the stems away.

Step 2: Chop up the stems. I didn't use all the stems...some of the big ones were a little woody.

They should be chopped up nice and fine-ish. Chop up the garlic the same way. Put stems and garlic in a bowl.

Step three: add the breadcrumbs, parsley and Parmesan cheese

oh, and the olive oil...but start with about a half cup...or less

This is the consistency you want the mixture. Add more olive oil to get it to a wet but not overly wet consistency.

Step 4: Stuff the mushrooms on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil.
Step Five: Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.

Don't they look yummy?
I was going to try and add some bacon...everything is better with bacon...or so I've been told. I don't care too much for bacon and wasn't sure how it would I chickened out and didn't add it. I think crab would taste fantastic in there, but I didn't have any. If you try any variations on it, let me know!

hope you feel stuffed!


Monday, April 23, 2012

in the dark

As I've mentioned many times before, the light is coming back! But I'm not excited about it......yeah right, I totally am thrilled we have more daylight these days. It makes me happier and more productive! The light does pose a small problem for sleeping though. Especially for Andy. I made him a really squirrelly mask, but Lucy got it and had a little snack. So with the light returning, he needs a a mask, cause he can't sleep with the light, where I can sleep wherever and the light doesn't bother me.
First I made a pattern...I traced it on Andy's head so that I knew it would fit. I then cut it our of some scrap fabric that was already quilted. I thought this would be enough, but the light still came through the quilted fabric too much.

So I got out some black fabric from my stash and cut it out in the same shape but about an inch wider.

I then pinned it around the mask form. It's not super smooth on the edges, and I think if I make another one I'll use bias tape. I sewed around the edges and then cut out some elastic, measured Andy's head and then attached the elastic. The yellow part is on the inside so it's nice and soft!

I made Andy try it on for a picture...he was a willing participant:) He actually used it the same night I made it. This will also come in handy when I want to read...and he wants it dark!
Nothing perfect, but super functional and it didn't cost me a dime, cause I had everything already:)

What are you Make Doing?

Sunday, April 22, 2012


check out who came to visit...
about 5 feet in front of our house

from the upstairs window

checking to see if there's any's been a hard year for the moose!
It never gets old! I love seeing the moose, as long as Lucy listens...she thinks they're cows or something:)


pardon me...

As I've mentioned before, my best friend Chelsea had her first baby! Kalli Faith...super cute baby with a large mop of black hair.

Well I've been making some things for Chels and finally sent the package only took...oh FOREVER, but that's how I roll...

I made her some really cute burp rags. I had some great pink/girl fabric in my stash as well as some really soft flannel that I used to make the burp cloths.

They are simple but cute and I think will be use often!

The top fabric is my favorite, but I really like all of the fabrics!

I hope Chelsea likes I'm sure she'll need them plenty:)


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lets sit on it!

It's been a busy April so far and I can't believe we are already in the middle of the month!  We've had home renovations being done, I've done some sewing, we spent a relaxing week in Port Graham, my husbands home town and I made an attempt at reupholstering a small chair. I say attempt b/c while it has been redone it has a few flaws. 

This was my first attempt and while pondering the project I thought this shouldn't be too hard. I'll take the cover off, undo the stitches, use the separated pieces as my pattern, sew them back together, maybe replace some padding, put new cover on, staple on to frame and done.   So easy, what could go wrong!? Well a lot apparently! 

Steps 1-3 went off without a hitch, step 4 was not stellar as pattern pieces were longer and shorter than I thought they needed to be so I fudged along, step 5 was just gross and I inhaled nasty old padding bits, oh and I purchased slightly thicker padding than the original so step 6 required more muscle than anticipated and padding had to be rearranged but I enjoyed step 7 as it meant I was done! The end result was a plump clean chair with no holes in the fabric but wrinkles and puckers in odd spots.  Oh well, I was not about to rip apart seams so while it will not win any reupholstering awards I love the new fabric, Aria is happy to have her chair back and it will be yrs before I tackle another project like this!!!  

New cover with wonky arms
but from a distance it looks ok!


Friday, April 20, 2012

shelf life

I've tride to continue to complete the's taken a while, but I think the more time I take the more I'll like it. Anywhoo, I was originally going to put simple shelves with brackets on this wall above the bathroom. My fantastical friend Krista said that she was going to use boxes instead of shelves in her bathroom. I immediately thought it would be great in my bathroom as well--imitate the boxes I painted on the walls already-- and she didn't mind me stealing her idea:)
So that same day I decided to make boxes out of some wood that we had gotten free on craigslist. It was really nice pine except for the screw marks. Wah wah wah...but is that going to stop this frugal girl? Nope...I got the caulk gun out and filled the holes right up. I let it dry and then caulked again, then sanded it down for a smoother look.  I then painted, let dry and painted again. For this impatient girl, the drying time was soooo not cool. But I did it. Patience is a virtue right?

So last night I decided to put the box up. It took some finagaling, and I think I may need to go to the hardward store tomorrow for a safer solution, my nails are holding, but I think a safer option is needed. But I so desperately wanted to get it up to see if I liked it. And guess what? I do!

What do you think? The picture hanging is one of Andy's favorites...I think it reminds him of where he grew up. He really likes the dark not so much, so there may be some negotiating/painting it white. I also would love to have some funky orange towels to go in the bathroom, but we have plenty of my green ones will have to suffice. I also have some dark blue...we'll see.

This is my poor box that didn't make it up. I originally was going to put two on top being smaller, but I just thought it was too much. I'm sure I'll find a use for it though:)

So I've been able to cross some things off the bathroom list...and I would say it's very near being least until I tackle the ugly flooring.

What are you working on?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

where ya been?

Hello's been a while...hasn't it? Did you miss us? Hope so:)
Since all of you in the lower  48 have had spring and sunshine for a long time already, you may not be super excited about sunshine. But, let me tell you, when the sun comes out up here, we Alaskans are r.e.a.d.y. to go out and play. So where have we been?
Playing of course!
Last Sunday, Nathania, Storman, Aria, Andy, Lucy and I went on a hike to the saddle of a mountain nearby called Mt. Magnificent. It was a beautiful day. Full of sunshine and thus making it warm. Like 55-60 degrees warm. Just what you want after a winter that broke more than one record!
This is the view from the top of the saddle. Although you still see was warm..warm enough for the snow to melt so we post-holed almost the whole way. We had snow shoes, but they don't do much when you're headed down the mountain.

Aria and "Ooshy"
Aria is obsessed with Lucy. No joke. Apparently she wakes up saying her name and whenever I see her the first thing that comes out of her mouth is not "hi" but rather "Ooshy"
Its quite funny because she's still doesn't want to get too close to Lucy...but giggles and giggles when she gets licked!

See I told you it was warm!

It was a fantastic Sunday. I want to do the hike again after all the snow is gone, so we don't have to post-hole the whole time.

Now, switching dinner. Beef is whats for dinner.
Steak to be exact. It's grilling time again so we enjoyed this wonderful healthy dinner tonight.
I have no skills when it comes to buying steak. I don't know what to get. But then again neither does Andy, so whatever I buy we eat. I don't know what kind of steak this is, it just had the least amount of fat on it. I don't like fat on my meat. It's gross and it usually makes me not want to eat steak.
When I was younger I would sit through dinner, carefully picking out the fat. No joke. My steak has to be cooked all the way through too. No pink for me....which drove my brothers crazy. They like their steak still mooing. Wow, that was long winded and I'm not sure anyone cares to know...but I'm sharing, so there you have it.
I marinated the steak in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, S&P, some big grain mustard, and some parsley. Nothing measured...just thrown in. It ended up being pretty darn tasty.

We also grilled the veggies on the grill in a pan. It was delicious!

Now, if this post wasn't random enough...
look at this rose Andy brought me yesterday. Perfect right? And it smells sooo good. It made my night.

Oh and it's currently 9:02 PM...this is the view from our house. The sun is still up.
Who wouldn't love that?

We promise not to leave for so long again!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

lights up!

The other day I posted about the renovations I'm doing in one of our bathrooms. On my list of things to do was to replace the ugly stage lights that seem to be in every household in Anchorage. No joke...when the housing boom went through they used some classy items to put together a house!
This is our other bathroom but I forgot to take a picture of the stage lights in the renovating/orange bathroom. But they are EXACTLY the same. I personally dislike these silly lights a lot and I happened to find a nice new light set at Home Depot for $10 dollars. Yup that's right $ was a floor model but it looks brand new still!
My awesome brother-in-law...Nathania's husband offered to come and help me put the light up. He's super handy around the house and helped with my sink fiasco as well. It may have taken a trip to the store by Storman, but we got it up. I'm positive that the projects I've asked him to help with always end up taking longer...

What I discovered under the light was that the original color for my bathroom was orange. So it's come full circle.The color is just a bit lighter than mine!

I obviously still have to do some things in there but the light is crossed off my list. Here's what still needs to be done:
~Take toilet out and paint behind it, and possibly tile the floor…
~Put up some shelves…painted white
~Put up the mirror with a white frame
~Change out the lovely stage lights.
~ Touch up the paint
I love the way the new lights look...much better don't you think?

a good night

What do you do on a Tuesday evening, when the sun is shining and you have nothing to do? Hop in the car and go to the mountains of course! Andy and I headed out to Flattop area to check out the sunset last night at about 8:15....yup that's right the sun doesn't set until 9:15 round these parts. It's a nice change from the winter.

You could really see McKinley clearly last night. It was really big too.

So this is a sign that's roof is taller than 6'4" he's not very small so it shows you how much snow we still have! But I did notice some of my plants growing in the yard last night...rhubarb and chives for sure, and some other plant---not sure what it is. Either way the snow is melting and I think Spring may have arrived in Alaska.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Orange you gonna check it out?

So guess what? Anchorage officially broke the record for snow…yup we have had over 134.5 inches of snow this year. Slightly ridiculous no?

Well since Saturday we had snow…all day long…I got to work on the bathroom on our main floor.  The bathroom was white when we bought it. But the previous owners…who were hoarders, no joke….did a really crappy job, plus I’m not one for white paint. Now don’t get me wrong it has it’s place, but it is not what I wanted and it made the bathroom boring. Oh, I can’t forget the loverly mirror that was in there. It had a pretty shell motif. Ohh la la! NOT. So I took the mirror down…but that’s another post entirely.

Sorry for the messy before pictures...but it's all I got

So what color did I paint it? Orange. I really like the color orange….and the tile that is in the shower had an orangey pattern. I first painted it a more fleshy color that turned into looking like brain matter. Not cool. SO I added more orange and went with it. It’s a quite bright orange that you can't really tell in the pictures. But I likes it.

I also decided that a pattern was needed on a wall. I had grand plans of using a stencil and putting a pattern on similar to the tiles. This did not work…why? Because we have stupid-silly-on-every-wall texture. I’m not sure there is anybody in the whole state that doesn’t have textured walls. Boo Hiss is what I said to them. So I used painters tape to come up with the squares. This worked, but only to a degree…my lines aren’t super clean…the tape said something about edge lock. Yah not so much. It didn’t take those lovely textured walls into account. But I like the look well enough.

We still have quite a bit of work to do:
~Take toilet out and paint behind it, and possibly tile the floor…
~Put up some shelves…painted white
~Put up the mirror with a white frame
~Change out the lovely stage lights.

But for now it’s functional again. I will update again when there has been some progress.


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