Saturday, March 28, 2009

screamin' deals

Thanks for all of your comments on economic emporiums.
I would love to hear anyone else chime in on that as well.

Well, since we're talking about getting deals. I thought I'd tell you about the "screamin' deals" Adrian and I got on Friday. Apparently an old co-worker and friend of his was fond of the phrase "screamin' deals" so we adopted it as our theme for the week. :)

Friday night we went to dinner here:

For you locals, they have a location in Quorum Circle and a couple others in Dallas I think.
I had seen it way back before Christmas and thought it would be fun to try out. We drove by again in February but we were on the hunt for breakfast burritos, not salads. :)

Well last night we went. Adrian has discovered that at you can get gift certificates for different restaurants for way under value. A few weeks ago we went to a really great Italian place on a $25 gift certificate that we bought for $2. You do have to "spend" $35 but $25 of that is already covered by the $2 you spent online. Make sense?

Anyway, last night we had an amazing dinner at Greenz ($35 gets you a long way there!) for MUCH less than we would have going just any ole place on a Friday night. We had brie cheese with strawberry dipping sauce, chipotle pinwheels, a salad served in a pretzel bowl with steak and roasted nuts, etc. and a goat cheese and pear salad with strawberries and an apple-honey-chamomile dressing. AND an asparagus soup and a lemon square! I think that's it. Wow, was it all yummy!

Then we went to . . .

Bed Bath and Beyond. We got the rest of our towels from our registry, one of our saucepans, a place setting of china, a creme brulee torch (!), linen napkins, some drawer organizers and several other things. They were the GREATEST!!! I didn't really think I wanted to register there when we started the process of registering for our wedding (not really sure why not) and I am SOOO glad we did. Bed Bath and Beyond and Crate and Barrel have been the BEST.

We got taken care of very well. We had been stockpiling coupons, friends brought us theirs that they didn't plan to use, etc. We had the 20% off and the $5 off $20s and on $10 off $30 and the EXTREMELY nice and helpful lady matched up coupons to items to maximize our savings!!! She did not have to do that at all and she did. We left there VERY happy campers. Overall, we had nearly $200 in savings there from all of those coupons and some clearance items.

To celebrate we went to Paciugos!

They are a wonderful gelateria here in Dallas.

We had them cater our wedding. It was so much fun! They left a big stack of buy one item, get one free coupons at the wedding. It was so nice.

So, we didn't pay full price for anything all night and had a wonderful evening out together!

Now is that a screamin' deal or what?

Have you gotten any "screamin' deals" this week? Kelly

Thursday, March 26, 2009

economic emporiums

photo: a cool mosaic E on a Mexican restaurant in New York City taken by my friend Jenni
(I cropped just the E though so her photo was much clearer, just to give her credit.)

This is going to be fun . . .

Walking in the door from school I was thinking about how I needed to add packing tape to my shopping list. I was wondering where I'd get the best deal on packing tape. hmmm . . . I've seen it at Dollar Tree. Is that where I'll go? I'm not sure.

photo: Bloomies on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, definitely NOT an economic emporium!
taken on our trip last May

There are so many things that factor into where I shop,
distance = time it takes out of my day
distance = gas $
price of items at that store
store environment
if it's close to other places I'm likely to go

photo: being silly while registering last summer for our wedding

But here's what I think would be fun . . .

Let's compile a list of economic emporiums.

Where do you go to find things at good prices?

I'll start . . .

Big Lots
Dollar Tree
Thrift Shops

That's just four, I'd like to know your thoughts and if you care to embellish on your economic emporium comment (can you tell I'm getting into this alluring alliteration?), you can say what types of things you like to get at that place, when certain places have good sales in your opinion, the cheapest place for _____, etc.

I would love to know your thoughts and compile a list of places I may or may not think of when deciding where to go to fulfill my growing shopping list.

These can be places that sell any sort of merchandise, not just places that are more of a "general store" mentality.

photo: Daffy's in NYC taken by my friend Jenny
(The two Jenni/ys and I went to NYC together a few summers ago.)
can you see the tagline on the sign? Clothing Bargains for Millionaires!

Okay! I'm excited to hear your comments. :)
Hope you're having a good day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

little boy

Little Boys are Treasures

author: unknown

Little boys are treasures
Who are worth their weight in gold.
And charm everyone around them
From the time they're minutes old.

They're Mommy's little darling,
They're a special pal to Dad,
And the bring the very happiest days
A family's ever had.

photo: my nephew

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a guest!

my mom is here for a spring break visit and we're having oh so much fun!

She is our first overnight guest and I wanted to spruce up the guest bath for her a little bit.
Adrian brought to me from his hotel because he knew I'd like them.
silver bowl from an estate sale, rolled up green washcloths, green ribbon from my stash and curly silver wire, B&B Works soap that I got on sale!
I collect these sorbet glasses in all different shapes and patterns but always green. It was fun to see some of them in Sandy's post this week!
My friend Erin gave me these floating lily pads one time and it's fun to
pull them out now and then for a touch of something unexpected. :)

and finally, below, I learned this trick can be for "at home" and not just hotels from my grandma, Sweetie!
Hope everyone's having a great spring break! Kelly

me and my Poppy

Grandpas are very special people.

My Poppy used to take me jogging with him when I was two.

He has built things out of wood for us to paint and craft, to play with as toys, etc.

He is known for clapping his hands together and saying, "hey!" in greeting.

He is a man of God.

He studies the Word and has led his family in God's truths.

I love to hear him pray as we stand around in a circle at the beginning of a big family meal. Sometimes he asks one of the younger men to pray too. He is leading the next generation and the next.

He is a very kind person. He watches out for new people and visitors at church to make sure they feel welcome and become included. He helps out to provide for people who don't have a lot of material blessings.

He has integrity in all that he does.

He loves my grandma! He loves his kids. He loves his grandkids and his great-grandkids and every new spouse as they come along.

I love you, Poppy! Kelly

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Little Cowboy

A couple of weekends ago my sweet husband was out of town for work so I headed to be with my parents and brother, sis-in-law and nephew for just a fun hanging out sort of weekend. We took this little cowboy to the livestock show and it was so much fun.

Howdy pardner!

Such a cutie!

the boy doesn't get enough attention! :)
boys and dinosuars! Is there anything better?

listening to grandpa or "Dukka" as he calls him

oink, oink!
blowing a kiss to Aunt Kelly!
bye bye!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Travel Tuesday - we went camping!

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments and please keep them coming!

So many of you had such great things to say that we will have to continue to incorporate into our camping experience.

We went on our first camping trip together this past Sunday. We just went for one night. Adrian had one day off for spring break and we're just breaking in easy. :)
It was still gray and a little chilly early in the day but after lunch the sun came out and the weather was beautiful! The campsites were nice, right on a lake. There were a few others there but not too many which was nice. We all had some space.
Is it just me and my sweet tooth or does this rock holding down the tarp look exactly like a yummy chocolate chip cookie on top of a delectable brownie? hmmm . . . back to camping

My man set up our new tent!

I thought just for fun I'd count how many baby wipes I used on the trip. I lost count. :)
This is my new chair! I guess I didn't ever get a full picture of it but you can see a little more in the next photo. It has a foot rest. :) I love that about it. It also has this neat little zipper pocket. I said that it is a blogger's camping chair. My camera was always handy. :)

Adrian made some WONDERFUL beef stew for our dinner! He prepped everything at home and then cooked it over the campfire! um, yum!

I love this "action shot" of the stew being stirred.

Inside the tent!
We camp in style.
Seasoning the stew
These started out as just ordinary canned Wal-mart brand biscuits . . .

Do you know what these are?

I got this idea from my kids at school.

Kids are very smart, you know.


We threw them up in the air and watched them spin around and hung them up for a nice little glowing light.
Those plain canned biscuits turned into the most amazing "fry biscuits" that tasted wonderful with our stew.

a few smores with gourmet French chocolate later . . .

(French chocolates a gift from Adrian's parents that we had on hand)

and it was time to hit the sack . . .

the next morning we woke up to another beautiful day!
So . . .

what you've all been waiting for . . .

Did I like it?

Well, yes, mostly. This is something that I want to share with Adrian so I'm just going to keep plugging away until I learn it. I liked Mindy's comment on the last post, that camping takes practice, that you learn, that the first time may not be perfect and that's alright.

Here's what I liked:
1. just sitting and reading in the great outdoors
2. hearing the lake water lapping at the shore
3. seeing the beautiful stars in the inky night sky
4. feathering our nest, be it for one night
5. being with my husband and watching him love camping
6. eating my husband's delicious campfire food
7. being pampered since camp work is man work in my man's book :)
8. not having the "pull" of ordinary life (laundry, etc.) and feeling like I had more time to do my Bible study, read, pray, etc.

What I'd like to find a way to make better:
1. our organization/staying packed for camping for the future so it doesn't take so much time/effort each time (I've got some ideas but would be happy for any you have)

2. the bathroom situation - I skimped on drinking because I didn't want to have to trek to the bathroom and use the one that really wasn't horrible but wasn't that great either. hmm . . .

3. I learned that it's no use just pretending you're just as clean as when you got there and putting off any "beautifying measures" until you get home and take a shower. I should take a real washcloth and at least pour some water on it and wash my face and put on a little mascara or something easy and put in my contacts. Maybe put some baby powder in my hair and brush it out? I like your idea Tawn about washing up. I'll have to do that next time. (good to hear from you by the way!) We did brush our teeth. :)

The stress of the unknown is already out of the way because now I know a little about how camping works so I'll know better how to approach it. Kelly

p.s. do any of you have a camping checklist you use? I'd love to see a copy if you'd like to share. Thanks!

i just might . . .

have used this for our wedding had I known of it back then. :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009


My husband grew up camping.

I did not.

He backpacked in the Grand Canyon with his grandpa. He lived in New Mexico.

I lived in hot and humid Houston.

The closest I came was staying with my cousins & my grandma in a camper WITH a shower & a toilet at Jellystone park KOA with lots of yogi bears around and a camp store where you could buy big yellow corn in little brown paper bags to feed to the various goats, geese, etc. on the property.

Then there was also the time that I went on a church family campout with my friends' Kori and Mindy's family and a whole bunch of other people from our church. There were cabins, some people brought trailers and some tents. I stayed in a tent with Kori and Mindy. It was a brand new tent as I recall. Being the city girl that I was, it didn't ever even occur to me that having a big ziploc bag full of homemade chocolate chip cookies that my mom sent with me inside the tent was a risky thing. um . . . a racoon ate THROUGH the wall of the tent to get at those cookies. I remember being impressed that my friends' dad didn't even get mad. I also remember being very sad about losing those cookies.

Oh dear!

So, I am going to venture into the world of camping as a married woman. I really want to like it. I would love to really enjoy the best of both worlds, camping some trips and nice hotels some trips as we travel as a couple and later as a family.

This is where I want to hear from YOU!

No horror stories please!
No discouragement.

What do you like about camping?
What are your favorite foods to take?
What tips do you have for successful, fun, romantic (is there such a thing?) camping?

Help a girl out. Thanks everyone! Have a great weekend! Kelly

Friday, March 13, 2009

two little touches

It's spring break and even though it's nearly freezing and pouring down rain outside,
I am feeling that spring cleaning/nesting bug.

The above photo is of a display in our entry hall that has been a work in progress
over a span of the last month or so. It keeps evolving and I really like it.

yep, that's an old folding ruler (I am married to a carpenter afterall) tied with black lace and a neat photo frame that I won as part of a bunko prize once upon a time. It holds one of our engagement photos. The sheet music is an old hymn rolled and tied with estate sale ribbon trim and then simply thumb-tacked to the wall inside the paper roll.

The music crown is from our Christmas crackers
at Adrian's parents house. A wonderful British tradition!
Here is one of my "two little touches" that I just did.
Why have a plain old alarm when you can have a little ledge for decorating?

"Vietato fumare" means "no smoking" in Italian
I bought it way back in 1997 at a little, dusty shop behind the Duomo in Firenze.
The spool of pink thread came from a shop in Fredericksburg, TX.
Here's the second little touch. I really like that little rag ball with the word "love" pinned on hanging off this photo from our wedding.

Is this your spring break?

What will you do?

Have a happy one!