Monthly Archives: March 2014

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 6, Issue 23 – March 30, 2014

Greetings Thrifty Sisters! My goodness, where has March marched off to? April is just around the corner, and that means that spring is really on it’s way. I need to keep telling myself this since the weather in my neighborhood is not very springy yet. But, that’s ok. It’s time to think of these silly April snow storms as white April showers, and we all know what April showers bring… May flowers! (I hope).

While dreaming of spring gardening adventures take time to consider some of the wildlife or birds that you would like to attract to your gardens. I am fascinated with hummingbirds. I usually see a few in the late summer when my cannas are in bloom. In fact, I usually hear them before I see them. What amazing little birds. Someday I am going to capture their visit with my camera.

While I wistfully await their arrival and snow’s departure, my garden daydreams may start to wander towards how to attract these marvelous little feathered friends. Maybe a water feature? How about some new plants to attract them? Hmmm… what does attract hummingbirds? After some quick research, it appears that brightly colored plants with long tubular blooms are the trick. Hmmm… that explains the cannas.

If you would like to read more about attracting hummingbirds, try the following web sites. Meanwhile I am going to start memorizing the list of suggested plants so I can locate a few of these (maybe a trumpet vine!) this spring when I am scouring the garden centers for hummingbird friendly plants.

http://www.almanac.com/content/plants-attract-hummingbirds

http://www.hummingbirds.net/attract.html

Do you remember the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Apparently, this is still true and very relevant for heart health. In fact, do a Google search for “an apple a day heart benefits” and see the host of articles that are out there. I pulled out one article in particular that I thought was worth sharing. http://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20110412/apple-good-for-your-heart

After reading on how an apple a day DOES keep the doctor away, I was inspired to find some heart healthy apple based recipes. Here are two web sites that have a nice collection of apple recipes just waiting to help you and your heart out!

This site has a downloadable dessert recipe collection for heart healthy minded individuals:
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_apple_desserts

This site has a collection of eight recipes that will take you from breakfast to supper:
http://www.joybauer.com/photo-gallery/delicious-apple-recipes-to-boost-heart-health.aspx#/slide-1

Do you happen to have the crafty itch? Time to rethink how to reuse the items that we are discarding! Check out these clever web sites:

How to reuse food packaging
http://earth911.com/news/2012/06/04/reuse-ideas-for-food-packaging/

How to reuse packaging with safety in mind
http://earth911.com/news/2012/06/06/reuse-it-safely-food-packaging/

It looks like I can go on and on today… There is just so much good information to share out there! Here’s one last web site to help all of you who are not sure if their paper cartons are recyclable or not. As always, check with your local recycling provider, but according to this web site, cartons are recyclable!
http://earth911.com/news/2013/03/06/5-faqs-about-recycling-cartons/

And there you have it my Thrifty Sisters! What a day! Heart health, humming bird gardening, how to reuse our recyclables, and possibly new ideas on what one can recycle! Wow! I hope that today’s newsletter has inspired you in some way. I am off to study hummingbird lists and daydream, before the reality of life starts to sink in for the day – you know, life questions like will we have enough underwear to put off laundry for another day? Have a fantastic week and embrace the new month! Happy April to each of you as you keep on keeping it thrifty!

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Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 6, Issue 22 – March 23, 2014

Greetings Thrifty Sisters, and Happy Spring to each of you.  I hope that you were able to enjoy the Spring Holiday this past week.

For those of you who know me, it is Schmeckfest time.  Although the evenings have been full of rehearsals, reconnecting with dear friends and enjoying the Freeman area have been the highlights of my week.  If you are not familiar with Schmeckfest, please feel free to visit their web site (http://schmeckfest.com/ ) and check it out.  This year both my hubby and I have been playing in the musical, “Children of Eden”.

Last night, Mariell came down to say hello, and we had such a charming visit. Then I noticed the beautiful jewelry that she was wearing… and yes, the bracelet was a former fork!  Wow!  Her fork bracelet was very elegant with a stone wrapped in the tines.  My goodness, silverware jewelry has come a long ways since I was a kid!  For an example of what I am talking about, you can do a quick Google search for fork bracelts, or visit this random etsy site that I found: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MarchelloArt

And random “new to you” jewelry supplies are just WAITING for all of us at Thrift Stores. I love to go thrifting at the local thrift stores. If you have the time and the patience, thrifting can save you cash, and talk about the perfect way to reuse something.

Now, I do want individuals to be cautious, as Thrifting can be very fun, but it sure can fill up your closet and cupboard spaces!  Try the rule of bringing in one item, take out an item.  In fact, on your next visit to your favorite thrift store, you can actually take a load to donate!

Whether you are new to thrifting, or have honed this skill to a fine art, I invite you to read these articles about thrift store shopping.  There are some great reminders and ideas in these articles, and if you are DIY’er, the second article is perfect for you!

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/thrift-store-shopping-101-10-tips.html?page=1

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-use-10-common-thrift-store-finds-for-diy-projects-108267

Recently I had someone ask if I knew of premade “DIY” style laundry soaps that one could purchase.  Oh boy… ask and yea shall receive!  I stumbled across a neat and short article that should fit the bill very nicely. Whether you are looking to purchase a homemade type detergent, or are curious about other soap ideas or recipes, this would be a worthy site to visit. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/diy-laundry-detergent-plus-5-favorites.html?page=1

With spring, and spring-cleaning on the mind, I am sure that many of you are thinking forward to home improvements. I know that I have some large projects on the docket for this year.  Take time to view this clever graphic that helps you improve your home in 10 minutes.  Sigh, if only, right?  However, there are some fantastic and sound ideas on this site! http://www.care2.com/greenliving/improve-your-home-in-10-minutes-or-less.html

And there you have it, my Thrifty Sisters!  May you enjoy the delicious idea of creating some gorgeous silverware jewelry, enjoy either donating or purchasing items from your local thrift stores, creating new DIY projects, including laundry soaps, and feel inspired to do some home improvements! Have a happy week, my Sisters and keep on keepin’ it thrifty!

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 6, Issue 21 – March 16, 2014

My, oh my, where does the time go?  I can’t believe that it has been almost a month since I have written my last Thrifty Sister.  Greetings to each of you and I hope that your past month has been chuck full of wonderful moments and time spent with loved ones.

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, and the official First Day of Spring is on Thursday of this coming week. I am not sure which “holiday” I am more excited about!  After this past winter, I feel that the First Day of Spring needs to be a holiday!  We have made it, folks.  Spring has arrived and whatever Old Man Winter has to throw our way, we can handle it.

With St. Patty’s Day looming in our near future, I thought that this delightful cupcake recipe would be in order. Last year when my hubby and I had the chance to visit Ireland, our tour brought us to the place that lays claim to having originated the Irish Coffee recipe. Just thinking of how delightful this dessert might be brings back fond travel memories. As usual, thanks to Martha for this dessert recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/314060/irish-coffee-cupcakes

Are you a gadget person?  Some people really love gadgets.  However, I am sure that many of us often wonder if they will actually do as they claim.  This article compiles 6 energy saving gadgets that will help cut energy waste in your home – sort of like the consumer reports for the eco-friendly!  http://earth911.com/news/2013/02/28/energy-saving-home-dadgets/?utm_source=Earth911.com+Weekly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1e45d9c1cc-Kickstart_Energy_Saving_Gadgets_3_3_2013&utm_medium=email

Gadgets are fun, and sometimes can be useful, but I also encourage one to look around their home and find little things that maybe you have stock piled – ask yourself if these items can be repurposed for anything?  This is a fantastic opportunity to exercise your creative skills and think outside of the box! But, if you are not struck with creative inspiration by that handful of chopsticks that you have collected over the years, try your techie skills and log on to Pinterest, or check out this site: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/50-uses-for-disposable-chopsticks.html

Speaking of repurposing, since spring is coming, I am sure that many of you are either in full spring-cleaning mode, or are considering what one wants to do in their spring cleaning flurry. As one contemplates/ does their spring-cleaning, consider how one can either fix up or spruce up elements in their home.  One does not need to spend exorbitant amounts of money to freshen up a space in their home. For some inspiration, check out these very clever painting projects from Martha: http://www.marthastewart.com/275335/painted-furniture-projects/@center/276988/painting-ideas-and-projects

If you are feeling like I am and want to be outside, here is a quick read about square foot gardening.  Since I am sure that my garden ground is still frozen, this will at least allow me to daydream about how glorious the garden will be this coming spring, as I wait for the earth to warm up. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/square-foot-gardening.html

Ah, yes… spring is in the air, and boy, I’ve got the itch!  I hope that each of you have a lovely St. Patty’s day, and can enjoy the First Day of Spring Holiday. I would love to hear what each of you plan to do to clean up, garden up, or freshen up this coming spring. I am also sure that many of you have little tricks that would be handy to share with the rest of the sisters!  Until next time, keep on keeping it thrifty!