Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour

We turned off all the lights (even our outside lights), unplugged our computers, and drove to Chicago for dinner. We had dinner at Trattoria Caterina. At 8:30 we returned to our friends condo. I tried to run up the stairs, but I am ashamed to admit I only made it to the 7th floor. We participated in Earth Hour. We sat on the 17th floor just south of Roosevelt in the South Loop. We turned off all the lights, lit some candles, and played UNO. It was a fantastic evening. As we looked out the window we could see lights, lights everywhere. The weather was bad and visibility was only a few blocks due to the low hanging rain clouds. The places that did have their lights dimmed (that we could see) were the Field Museum, and Navy Pier. Solider Field was all lit up as usual. I assume that the Sears Tower was off, but the weather was so bad, we could not even see it.

From the 17th floor we saw several buildings nearby that were completely lit up. Chicago I thought you would do better. Earth Hour is not going to really make a difference, when it is only once a year, and the rest of the year we over consume. It doesn't take much effort to light a few candles, and turn off the TV for an hour, or turn off the lights when you are not in the room. We will be doing this more often that once a year, because who doesn't like a candlelight dinner, and a quiet evening with friends. I think everyday we will try to consume less, that is what Earth Hour is actually about, why don't we all consume a little less energy. So next time you leave the office turn those lights off. It is the least you can do, it is not hard, and it doesn't cost anything, in fact maybe you can save some money.

Does anyone have some good stories about their Earth Hour?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Nature and Metal

I am planning a garden for the next place we live, which is going to be in Florida. We are moving there in a few short months, and I want to have some great garden plans by the time we get there. The gardening season is year round, imagine that. When I think of what I want to see in my back yard, I think nature. To contrast that nature, I am thinking about the Blomus stainless steel bird feeder (there are several that I would love to have). I think the birds would love it and it would look really modern. It could stand it next to a tree, and when the sun soaks the backyard, the feeder would shine! There are several stainless steel garden accessories that I would really love to have. I think one of the must have items is the Blomus Stainless Steel Fire Pit. The price on this might be just out of reach, but I guess I could settle for the floating stainless steel torch for the pool instead.
To round out the entire backyard, a few of the stainless steel planters might be in order. They would look fantastic with my avocado tree that I have grown from seed! I would want the ones with casters, because I know that my avocado craves the sunlight, and I could push it around the yard to make sure it gets enough of the sun.

Once I have the garden in order, I might get a few of the stainless steel kitchen accessories. They have such a great selection. I guess I should not over do it, I will have to wait until we move in to see what sort of items I will need!

Salsa Supply

I just found a great giveaway over on How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, it is a case of Zukay Probiotic Salsa and Relish. You have to check it out. The pictures make it look so delicious, it is making me hungry! There is a great review of the products, and the chance to win a case of different salsas and relishes.
This salsa is different than your average processed supermarket brand. This is actually good for you and 100% natural.
I hope that I am the winner, if not I might have to buy a few bottles to try it for myself. To enter the contest is easy, just go to How to Cook Like Your Grandmother to get the details!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Something to Share

I was reading one of the blogs I follow when I saw that she was hosting a giveaway. OliveBites is hosting a fantastic giveaway, of an awesome 8x10 photograph from NestraUsa. It is a great photography shop on Etsy, and you need to check it out. I picked my favorite photo from NestraUsa and I entered to win it. You can enter too, but hurry this contest drawing is on Thursday. Check it out today on Olive Bites

Monday, March 23, 2009

Time To List

This week I will be posting new items. I have a few coffee sleeves that are ready to go. I am in the middle of a custom order for 10 bags. Between shopping the local thrift stores for great vintage fabric, I have spend some quality time with my sewing machine. For this order there were a few specific requests, so I am working hard to get it done. Keep any eye out on Threadbeaur's eco-friendly shop so that you can see the new coffee sleeves that are coming this week. I have cut out several bags too and I hope to get them listed in the shop sometime soon.

We have been very busy on the house too. It is up for sale, and over the weekend we did some cosmetic improvements, to help make the house great for showing. We will be having an open house on Saturday. Anyone in the South Chicagoland area, if you know someone looking for a house send them our way! We are hoping for a good turn out, as the weather is improving with every day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back at home

We are back from our long haul down south. The drive was a nightmare, but at least the dog was well behaved.
The beaches of the panhandle of Florida are magnificent. The sand as white as snow and so very soft on the feet. We were able to watch the sunset in Fort Walton Beach. It was beautiful and I wanted to share some photos.
Spring break was just starting, so the beaches were still empty as we strolled in the warm evening air.

Just that short weekend back in Florida is going to make the next 3 months seem like an eternity. I can't wait to be 10 minutes from the beach, and have wonderful weather year round!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Packing our Bags

We are heading to Florida for a weekend filled with house looking! We got a few days off to check out our new town. It will be a long drive for us, and the dog, but it will be fun. We will be leaving behind some chilly weather, but our destination promises 70 degrees and sunny. Notes from the road will follow throughout the weekend, maybe even a picture or two. My goal is to walk on the beach, even if it is only for a few minutes! I am bringing my new flip flops for sure!

Outside the Box

Your mailbox, do you think of it as an accessory for your house? Or is it just a little box that sits outside in all sorts of weather, and holds your precious mail? I think of the mailbox as a dressing to increase your curb appeal. Since we were trying to sell the house, we had to look at things such as curb appeal. In the winter, it is hard to look past all the dormant vegetation to see the full potential of a house, but small things such as an updated mailbox are key.

There are so many different mailboxes to choose from you can find something to fit your style. Whether your style is a wide mouth bass, or a large wall mounted wrought iron mail slot. We chose a copper-ish mailbox which sits at the end of our driveway on a 4x4. I run to the box everyday after work, you never know when that perfect fabric order will arrive!!! I find it important to keep your mailbox looking nice. It is one of the first things people see when driving up to your home. People will see the mail box, and maybe on a subconscious level think "Nice mailbox, well kept, that must mean their house it well kept too". I think it is the little details that make your house shine, and mailboxes fall into that category. Next time you run to get the mail, think about the outside of the box, what does yours say about you?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Budget Business

I was trying to stick to a budget, and having difficulties with impulse spending. So I was thinking of trying a prepaid Mastercard. I think it might be a great tool for mad money budgeting. I can load it up with a specific dollar amount, and that way, when it is gone I can't spend anymore. I could reload it each month with monetary limit and it would help curb that impulse buying. Many of the cards can be reloaded a local chain stores, which could be very convenient. This would be great for those teenagers who (as I remember) are always asking for money. They could use this card just like a credit card, but because it is a prepaid credit card, there is a limit to their spending.

The only thing that I am not completely sold on is the processing fees for the prepaid debit cards. Seems like you are spending extra money, just to activate the card. Then every month there is a processing fee on top of that. It could be a good tool for someone who has let their finances get out of control, this would be a good to rein them back in. It is like voice in the back of your head suggesting you rethink that purchase, before spending your hard earned money on yet another black sweater. If a prepaid debit card makes you think twice about spending, perhaps it is worth the few extra dollars for the fees!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

If the shoe fits

We are moving to Florida! Yipee! That is the good news. And now I get to buy all new shoes for our new environment. That is also good news, so I guess there is no bad news. When shopping as you may know, I like to get a good deal, and I always check out SHOP.COM when I am looking for those good deals. I am so excited that I don't have to shop for winter boots any more, and now I can get fun beach shoes. Nothing like a great pair of flip flops, keens are my favorite in that department.
I will be looking into fun keen sandals, for the quick walk to the beach.
You can shop for all kinds of women's shoes at SHOP.COM and get quick price comparisons. My husband, who is not the mall type, likes to browse the internet to shop for men's shoes. If you can't find a price point that fits your needs, you can always check the clearance section. There you will be able to find deeper discounts on all sorts of shoes. Deep discounts on shoes can really be helpful in a down economy, and a little retail therapy might give your spirits a boost too!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Free Tee

What could be better than a free tee? I don't know. I was over at Olivebites, and she is hosting a giveaway of a free tee from XENOTEE. There are some great colors, and great designs. The giveaway is easy to enter, you just have to head over the the contest page, and leave a comment about your favorite item. Easy as that. The contest will not last forever, so check it out before it is over on March 9th.