Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Halloween - Redux

I did a series last year, 31 Days of Halloween... it was followed by a Thanksgiving and Christmas series, too.  I had so much glitter and hot glue in this house, I temporarily misplaced my children.  They were found just before Christmas under a pile of ornaments and scrapbook paper.  After it was done, I was like, 'man, I will NEVER do this again'.

You know how when you've just given birth and you vow to never again be in the same room with your husband and then a few years later, you have forgotten how horrible labor was and decide on another child?  I am there, in crafting form.

31 Days of Halloween starts tomorrow!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - "Big" Bloggers

So let me just say that you guys are awesome.  Not just regular awesome, but 'rock-my-socks' awesome... I was feeling overwhelmed last week and you guys sent some really encouraging words.  If we ever find ourselves in the same county as one another (and I'm hoping we do), we're having lunch. For reals.

So, I had an email from a reader that forced me to stop and question something. She and I had been communicating about a blog that she's contemplating starting and wanted to know if I had any advice for her.  Aside from telling her that if she's looking for my advice, she's already in big trouble, I gave her some tips that I've learned along the way and what I would/would not do differently.  She thanked me and told me that she was flattered that a 'big' blogger would respond to a new blogger.  I fell off my chair.  What makes someone a 'big' blogger?

I'm not a big blogger, I don't think.  My pageviews are pretty good, at least I think so... but I think there are bigger criteria than just pageviews to determine the size of your blog.  Is it number of followers? Facebook subscribers? Number of posts? Number of regular comments?  I mean, what makes a blog or a blogger 'big'?

More importantly, do we really want to be 'big'?  I think that when your blog becomes big, you lose personal contact with your readers.  There are days when I can't respond to every email or comment I get and it is hard to stomach some days... I love all of you and want you all to know that I love each and every word you send me.  If my blog got big, I might not even be able to read all my comments, let alone respond to them.  And my little heart would break.

I think I'm a small-medium blogger... small because I'm still pretty new, medium because I refuse to believe that I'm small potatoes.  Small-medium sounds pretty good for right now. :)

I want to know: what makes a blog/blogger "big"?
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Balloons

This is it... our 'Apocalypse Monday' swan song.  It's been an honor to prepare all of you for the zombies but now we must prepare for the holidays.  If unprepared, the holidays can be just as dangerous as a zombie, as anyone who's forgotten to bring a dish to a holiday potluck can attest to.

For our final edition, we're discussing balloons.


There are so many uses for these little babies... let's get started, shall we?

1.  Civilized societies don't live without balloon bouquets.  I'll be darned if we're going to let the zombies turn us into animals.

2.  Fill up some balloons and put them into your satchel.  If you find yourself short of air, you've got your portable air bags with you.  GENIUS.

3.  Balloons are the universal way to alert people that there's a PARTAY OVAH HEEEAAA!  I am so hip to today's lingo.

4.  You can blow up some balloons and set them out in the yard.  You'll hear them pop when the zombies approach, like a little warning alarm.  Also works for in-laws.

5.  Summers just aren't the same without a good ol' water balloon fight.  Stock up and you'll have an artillery that every frat boy in the world will envy.

6.  When the end of the world happens, you'll need to be creative about finding a new career, especially since your boss got eaten.  Figure out how to make those balloon animals and hire yourself out to parties.  Remember me when you make your first million.

7.  If you need to perform an emergency appendectomy on yourself, you'll need some sterile hand wear... balloons over each finger and you'll survive to tell the tale.

8.  Balloons are great for target practice, and you'll need target practice, what with all the bloodthirsty undead around... or pushy salesman.  For the last time, we're not interested in your zombie-attracting spray.

I've enjoyed our time together survivors.  I hope you enjoy the holiday series coming up... who knows, maybe a zombie will pop in now and then. :)

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mission of Goodwill - Week #10

I found this Goodwill goody almost a year ago.  And I bought it almost a year ago.  And then, I did nothing with it.


As far as I can tell, and after a confirmation from Grammy Goodwill, it's a little tool box.  I knew I could do something with it, I just didn't know what... throw in the super-duper price tag:


...and it was too good to pass up.  And so I bought it and waited for inspiration to strike me.

And now, almost a year later, I've been struck.  Or is it 'stricken'?  DON'T MAKE ME TRY AND REMEMBER GRAMMAR, OKAY?

I have a plan for this little baby and you'll see it come to fruition shortly... I love a cliffhanger. :)
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - Spreading Ourselves Too Thin

Oh brother, have I done it now.

I am overwhelmed.  I fully admit it, I've lost control of this situation.  I have so much to work on, I am paralyzed.  So nothing's getting done.  I have over-committed myself to many people and am now paying the price.

I think the problem is that I think I can do anything.  And you know what? I probably can do anything... if there was about eight more hours in every day.  But there isn't, so I'm stuck being paralyzed.

Are there any other super-bloggers out there who don't know their own limitations?  TELL ME YOU CAN RELATE.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Rubber Bands

Apocalypse Monday is drawing to a close... next Monday will be the last one until after the holidays.  WHAT WILL EVERYONE DO IF THE ZOMBIES ATTACK?

I just have to believe you've all been stockpiling the items we've discussed.  If you have, then I'll be seeing you when the world ends.  And we'll be real-life friends instead of just bloggy friends.

Today, we're going to talk about why rubber bands are the latest must-have.


1.  It should go without saying, but these are great for shooting with your hand, which is a great defense against the undead.  Ask the teenagers to do it because since school's been back in session, they've been practicing.

2.  You know those bouncy ball vending machines that are in the grocery store? The ones that elicit the begging of quarters? The little bouncy balls that end up underneath your stove? Those little things will be the first things to be looted, count on it.  And when that happens, you might think your only option is to live a bouncy ball free life.  NOT IF I CAN HELP IT.  Make a rubber band ball... it bounces.  If you make it big enough it bounces super-duper high.  This girl has made more than a few rubber band balls in her lifetime.

3.  It should go without saying, but rubber bands are essential for holding back your ponytail.  And trust me, when you're gutting a zombie, the last thing you need is hair in your face.

4.  If you take a rubber band and a paper clip, you can extend the size of your jeans.  Really.  And this will come in handy for me because once the apocalypse happens, I'm going to get SOOOOO FAT.

5.  There's a craft on Pinterest that shows what vases look like if you wrap rubber bands around them and spray paint.  Once the bands are removed, you have art.  Crafters will thrive during the apocalypse if I have anything to say about it.

6.  Rubber bands are a great tool for organizing.  When the zombies attack, all of us ambitious folks will be furiously creating pamphlets to educate the masses.  And when you're handing out your 'SURVIVE THE APOCALYPSE WITH RUBBER BANDS' leaflets, you can use your rubber band to keep them all nice and neat in their pile.  Nice and neat will still be important at the end of the world.

7.  You can make a guitar out of a shoebox and rubber bands.  Wait, let me rephrase that: YOU TOTALLY NEED TO MAKE A GUITAR WITH A SHOEBOX AND RUBBER BANDS.  We can start a post-apocalyptic band and tour the country.  We will be a sensation.

Until next time survivors,
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Crunchy Onion Chicken

I am a sucker for good marketing.

So, I was watching television and saw this commercial for French's French Fried Onions.  You know, that can of stuff you only buy at Thanksgiving to put on top of the green bean casserole?  That's the stuff.  I saw this commercial and found out that there's other things you can make with it!  You learn something new everyday.

I used less ingredients than the recipe called for because my children eat like birds unless it's chili or tacos.  I bought the small can of French Fried Onions...


Seriously, not just for Thanksgiving.

I crushed them up with about a tablespoon of flour and put them in a dish.  In another dish, I had a beaten egg and of course, I had some chicken.  I used three smallish chicken breasts and I cut them up into smaller portions.  In addition, I added one child doing homework.  Totally necessary for this recipe.


Cutting up the chicken makes it look like I'm making more food.  I feel more professional that way.  Of course, it's all for show.  YOU GUYS SEE RIGHT THROUGH ME.

I dipped the chicken into the egg...


And then into the onion mixture...


And then I baked them.  They baked for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  And they smelled awesome.


So, is it worth buying the French Fried Onions for an occasion other than Thanksgiving?  Yep.  It was pretty darn good.  And easy.  And quick.  And there's almost always a coupon for them.  Give them a try, your picky children might like them.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mission of Goodwill - Week #9

We are only a few weeks from October which means my weekly Mission of Goodwill will be going on holiday hiatus.

Only the posts will be going on hiatus, I still intend to go to Goodwill all the time.  I assume that if they don't see me for a few days, they'll send out a search party and I don't want to worry them.  I'm a thoughtful kind of girl.

This week I found this little jelly jar.


Old and needing a purpose.  I flew into action.  Well, OK... I didn't fly into action.  I sort of shuffled to the garage and got some sandpaper.  For me, that's as active as it gets.  Some sandpaper on the top and matches in the jar and I have a Pinterest-inspired storage item.  Matches and something to strike them on.  This is going in my survival pack for the zombies.

**I had a facebook comment that suggested putting the sandpaper on the underside of the lid... which is a great idea because if a monsoon occurs, your matches will still light just peachy.  I am thankful for my much-smarter-than-I readers. :)


And now, you must excuse me... I'm knee-deep in Halloween awesomeness.  I can't wait for you all to see it!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - My Child Is Psychic

OK, you all have to hear about this: my child is psychic.  For realsies.

So, this morning, I'm making a list of all the errands I have to run today.  I am a list-maker, it's how I roll.  Anyhoo, my seven-year old son is getting dressed in the living room... I am in the kitchen.  He's not looking in my general direction, let alone at my paper.  This is important to remember.

I started writing the word 'Target' on my list... as in, I have to stop by Target and spend lots of money on nothing.  FROM THE OTHER ROOM, HE LOOKS UP AT ME AND SAYS, "Aw, I wish I could go to Target."

I WASN'T SPEAKING... I WAS WRITING.  The child is psychic.

Months ago, just before his bedtime, he came to me and randomly said he doesn't like it when the power goes off.  Since it was clear with no chance of rain that night, I assured him that the power would stay on like normal.

AT MIDNIGHT, A CAR HIT A UTILITY POLE AND OUR POWER WENT OUT.

Seriously.  What I've learned is that my child is psychic.  He still hasn't picked the winning lottery numbers, but I'm working on it.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Nail Polish

I don't know how to break this to all of you, so I'll just say it flat-out:

There are only three more Apocalypse Monday posts for this year, including this one.  Once October hits, there's nothing but holiday posts until the new year.

I can hear all of you weeping.  Please know that I feel your pain.

Let's soldier on, shall we?  My blog was down for most of the day because of some hacker who clearly doesn't understand how vitally important these posts are to the survival of mankind.  That selfish, selfish hacker.  At any rate, let's talk about our much-needed survival item: Nail polish.


We women of the apocalypse are going to look stunning in our survival wear, and our manicures will be impressive.  I mean, our nails will be so glossy, we'll be able to see a zombie's reflection in them.  But nail polish won't just be necessary for our fingers and toes.  Here are a few other reasons we'll be glad we stocked up on Revlon and Maybelline.

1)  If you're anything like me, you go through war paint like no one's business.  Truthfully, I wear it when I'm shopping.  Nothing says 'get out of my way, that sale-priced bacon is mine' like a little war paint under the eyes.  Use nail polish to add a little color to your face paint and you'll still get that bacon before the enemy does.

2)  While we're on the subject of face-painting, do you know those weird guys who paint their chests at football games?  It's like, four degrees outside and these yuckels have their shirts off.  Sweet Moses, those boys need some help.  During the zombie apocalypse, our husbands can be those yuckels... a little nail polish in the chest hair makes a man, in my opinion.

3)  Acrylic paints will be rare during the apocalypse, what with all those 'Repent, the end is nigh' signs.  Use your nail polish to paint on canvas and you'll be an artist that the dwindling population can be proud of.

4)  The kids are going to get bored with no crayons to play with.  When they're looking to color on the walls, hand them a little Sally Hansen and watch your own head explode with anger.

5)  Think of the great crafts we've yet to use nail polish to complete.  Remember those thumbtacks I made? Skip the scrapbook paper and just give 'em a coat of nail polish.  Done.

6)  I'm thinking you could use nail polish as eye shadow in a pinch, but your eyelids might be too heavy to lift... I'll need further testing to confirm.

7)  When all your jewelry is looted, you can use nail polish to paint on earrings or necklaces... perhaps for your anniversary, your husband can paint a nice ankle bracelet on for you.  That's post-apocalyptic romance.

Until next time survivors,
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Biscuit Pizzas

So, I'm a comparison shopper.  As in, I spend much more time in the grocery store than most people because I'm meticulously comparing two items and the difference in price.  While I was marathon-comparing, I noticed that the grocery store had made a 'breakfast pack', a pre-packaged assortment of breakfast items at a good price.  It had a roll of sausage, a pound of bacon, a dozen eggs and two rolls of refrigerated biscuits.  I needed the sausage and eggs anyway and the price of the package was about the same as if I bought just those two items separately... so it felt like free bacon and biscuits.

You can imagine my joy.

In order to really feel like I was getting a good deal for my money, I decided to use those biscuits to make pizza.  I knew it was the right thing to do.

With the biscuits bought, I had everything on hand:


I took two of the biscuits and mushed them together.  That's a culinary term... 'mushed'.  I rolled them flat onto a silicone baking mat with a little flour to keep them from sticking.


I put a little pizza sauce...


A little cheese...


And some pepperoni.


I baked them at 375 degrees for about ten minutes.


Spoiler alert: This tastes like regular pizza.  I don't know what I expected, but it tasted just like other pizza crust... I loved that it was mini and can be personalized.  The hubs loves icky stuff on his pizza, while I'm a purist.  It's that whole 'star-crossed lovers' thing.  Anyhoo, give these a try, they are so easy and yummy!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mission of Goodwill - Week #8

Has it already been eight weeks of Goodwill awesomeness?  It doesn't feel any more than six, tops. :)

This week, I found this little jewelry box at Goodwill:


So, $2.96 for this little beauty... it even has the little felt inserts to hold all my expensive jewelry.

Yeah... I don't actually have any real jewelry.  I mean, I do have this Hello Kitty ring that a classmate of Jonathan's gave me.  It's a little tight on my finger, but I think if I lost a little weight, it'd fit just fine.  And I'd be cool to other second graders.

Anyhoo, I plan on giving this a little makeover... maybe it will be like a 'Field of Dreams' sort of thing, where if I build it, they will come.

If I refinish it, the jewelry will come.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - Polarizing Topics

You might not know it from this blog, but I'm extremely passionate about politics.  I lean more towards one political party than another, like most people in this country.  Which political party?

I won't tell.  Not on this blog at least.

To know me in real life is to hear hours of political talk about various issues.  And this girl gets pretty darn passionate... but this blog isn't political.  And the risk that we take by making it political is that we might lose readers.  And I loves my readers... So I don't tell them my political affiliations and they don't ask.  It's win-win.

Now, if I was writing a political blog, I would be more than happy to let my political flag fly... I mean, that's what you expect from a political blog.  But this blog?  We'll stick to the glue guns, fabric scraps and zombie preparations, thank you very much.

In an effort to keep all of you from alienating readers, here's a list of topics we probably shouldn't cover, besides politics:

1.  Over/Underhand toilet paper roll placement.
2.  Whether pizza toppings should go on top of the cheese or underneath it.
3.  If the McRib is really all that great.
4.  Whether it's appropriate to wear socks to bed.
5.  Playstation vs. Xbox
6.  Glitter vs. Sequins
7.  Generic crafting supplies or Martha Stewart brand

Any one of these topics can put you in some trouble... you've been warned.

Are there any topics you steer clear of?
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's TIME For a Goodwill Redo... 'Cause It's a Clock. Get It?

I am very aware that my subject line isn't funny.  You should be aware that when I typed it, I did a snort-laugh.  That's how I roll.

A few weeks ago, I showed you a clock that I found at Goodwill.


Now, I had some grand plans for this baby... I was going to put some sort of catchy phrase on it like, "IT'S TIME FOR DINNER" or "LAUNDRY TIME!".  But I have a hard time being 'catchy'.  So I gave that idea up.  Instead, I took off the back...


Which is super-simple.  The next time you find a clock at Goodwill, snatch it up.  It's so simple to give it a makeover.  And I did, by spray painting the frame and mod podging some scrapbook paper to the face.  I thought about putting numbers on it but ran out of time that day... and I liked it without the numbers, so THERE.


It is a totally different clock!  And I spent $0.96 on the clock... the rest of the stuff I had on hand.  LOVE IT.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Nails

I know you're all enjoying your Labor Day right now, but I still need to post your weekly zombie-preparedness guide.  And today is especially important, because what if the zombies were just waiting for a holiday to start the invasion?  You know, because everyone's all distracted with the beer and barbecue.

Today's must-have item: Nails.


So, nails are always handy to have around, what with their ability to hang pictures and all... but there's more they can be used for.  Let's begin:

1.  Do you remember the string art I made?  Do the same thing, but instead of someone's name, you could write 'STAY OUT ZOMBIES' or something like that.  Of course, the zombies can't read... but whatevs.

2.  We talked about how toothpicks could be used like little pointy land mines in the yard to ward off the zombies or nosy neighbors?  Same goes for nails... and with nails, they're way more sturdy and shouldn't break under a callused zombie foot.

3.  Our husbands are going to be bored during the apocalypse... what with the women having the wherewithal to kill the undead, they are feeling a bit useless.  Let's give them a project! Let them build a doghouse or a bookshelf to kill those lonely hours.  You'll be able to find some blueprints on Pinterest WHICH WILL STILL EXIST DURING THE APOCALYPSE.  IT JUST HAS TO.

4.  I have found that, in a pinch, you can use nails instead of popsicle sticks to build little log cabins.  When times get tough, we need to be resourceful.

5.  Nail guns will be weapons against the undead when it all goes down... save your nails for ammo and let those zombies have it.

6.  Nails will be great for booby traps.  Poke a nail through some sandpaper or shingles and place them, pokey-nail side up, around your neighborhood perimeter.  You'll be protected from zombies and people in caravans.

7.  When the toothpicks run out, you can use the nails for the hors d'oeuvres.  CAN YOU BELIEVE I SPELLED THAT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME? I RULE.

There's a few more things we could use nails for, but it's Labor Day... which means I don't labor.

Until next time survivors,
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!
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