Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Frugality and Dreams, Gift Tags and Tamales. Oh My!

I'd like to talk to you about frugality. I'd like to talk about dreams. I'd like to talk about gift tags and tamales. But where to start.

Let me begin here. This is my desktop. This is Italy (Santa Margherita, I think). I'd really really really love to go back. With my whole family. Only a trip such as this costs money; quite a bit if you are going to shlep five people overseas. And it seems greenbacks are in short supply, at least in our neck of the woods.

So, in a effort to conserve this precious resource, we are upping the ante with our frugality. My mondo beyondo wildest dream? Pay off all our debt and have money to travel. This fantasy seems so insanely out of reach but as Confucius says, " A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

And with that let's step into the kitchen. This is the room our journey begins. We've already nixed eating out. We did that two years ago. Yet we still have our transgressions -- especially on nights I have to work. The crock pot has been our savior but there are days I am simply too tired to be in the kitchen.

In comes tamales. We made a HUGE batch for New Years. We fed our friends. We gifted some. And still we have a freezer full. These will be a God send on those nights I don't want to cook. Additionally Mr. Peculiar made a double batch of kibbe and stuffed grape leaves. We are now stocked with excellent homemade reheatable foods.

In addition, this weekend, we will be canning our own tuna. Over the summer Mr. Peculiar and the boy went on a fishing trip. They brought home tuna. Loads and loads of tuna. It was vacuum packed and frozen and has been in our freezer ever since. It's time it got used. As such we are going to can it. I don't own a pressure canner but we are borrowing one from a friend.

Now what does all of this have to do with gift tags? Well nothing really except they are also born from a frugal vein. These gift tags pictured are for my shop. I've adopted that owl as my logo and like to include a tag with each order. I've also taken to sending additional tags as a little gift to accompany the purchased item. Beautifully I can make them at home -- a tag punch, my stamp and pad and a hole punch. Voila. These tags are made from envelopes. Those wonderful envelopes that come with bills. What a fun way to recycle, 'eh?

And now I will finish rambling. I have a library book waiting for my attention. Oh yes -- and the girls and I have to finish reading Harry Potter. I must admit I'm a touch sad. We are nearing the end of the very last book of the series. Whatever will be read after this? Indeed some research is in order -- books to capture the attention of a preteen and seven-year-old.

And now I am going to join the hubby for a taste of his fine beer. Have a lovely evening!


Jen said...

Your dreams, your obstacles, and your frugality are very inspiring. Best wishes on your journey.

Kelly said...

I hope you make that trip! Frugality to me is the responsible way to live.... :)
As far as books, if you like the fantasy/adventure genre then I suggest looking at the Gregor the Overlander series, my own kids and my students love it!

Angelique Valdez said...

This is a teen book I think but I really liked it, only 2 books in the series. The 1st is "On the edge of the dark sea of darkness" Very funny!

Shalet said...

Thank you for the book suggestions. I will definitely check those out!

Pam said...

I'll be on same stepped up frugality journey with you. We already live a simple life which had afforded me to stay home the past 12 years. But my husband and I have a new dream we are working towards and it means finding new creative ways to save. It may seem unreachable but like you said, "a journey of a thousand miles...."

Allyson said...

I found your blog through your store on Etsy -- I'm eagerly coveting some of the items but unfortunately extra purchases aren't in my budget right now either. It seems like you've had a rough end of the year, so I've posted something on my blog (here), using some of your Etsy images -- I hope that's okay. I don't have a very big readership as I just started my blog, but hopefully someone who has a little extra pocket money will love your stuff as much as I do. I'll also definitely be checking your blog regularly!

Tina @ Squirrel Acorns said...

Best wishes to you in 2011! Mmmm...that beer looks awesome. Must research availability. How nice to find somewhere else who likes sour beers! The hubby is a homebrewer and has some sours in production. (They take a long time.)

Shalet said...

Tina -- Deschutes Beer is great. It's mostly available on the West Coast but they are moving into the midwest. Hopefully, soon, it'll be across the country. It's great to have a brewer as a husband!

My favorite sour beer is "The Dutchess"


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