Pepper’s winter sweater

So, before Christmas 2015 I saw this in the local Target ad.

target dog sweater.jpg

And my first thought was that dog looks like Pepper (our ‘red’ Golden Retriever).  I knew Pepper needed a sweater to keep her warmer when she slept out in the dog house so I went looking the next time I was in the local Target store.

Target was out of the dog sweater that was shown in the ad, but I was able to get Pepper a sweater.

Here she is modeling it.  She definitely doesn’t look as happy as the dog in the ad, but she didn’t complain when we went to put it on her before bedtime.  And I am happy to say that it lasted through the winter and will definitely get more use this coming winter.

pPepper sweater

Pepper modeling her winter sweater

Do you dress up your pet?

Later – H

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Updated: DIY Ribbon Organizing

This is an update to one of my first blog posts.  I think this idea is much better and takes up less room.

So, when I was first organizing ribbon I used a plastic basket, dowels and some twist ties.  This basket was still in my cupboard until January of this year.

 

January is when I started to seriously reorganize the sewing/craft, etc room (that will take multiple posts to show so that will be done some other time).

Anyways, I saw on Pinterest (or somewhere) about the idea of hanging ribbons on a mutiple pant hanger (or at least that is what I call it) and I had one sitting in my closet.  This allows me to use the space in the cupboard for stackable items  (labeled boxes, etc) and I can hang the ribbon holder on the door handle when I am working on a project.  When it is not being used it could hang in a closet.

ribbon holder watermark.jpgYou may see another update in the future if I figure a good way to hang extra ribbon below the lower bar (which doesn’t open).

Anyone have any suggestions?

Later   -H

Why do you live where you do?

In June, Nevada (and at least California) are having elections for local supervisors, etc.  In our area it is becoming clear that the people running for office are either for big growth or against it (i.e. want the area to stay like it is).  In trying to decide who to vote for I am realizing I have to decide why we live here and how/if we want it to change in the next 5 to 10 years.

We moved here 20+ years ago since it was a semi-rural area with a technology company where we could get jobs.  Over the years we have had the opportunity to move to different ‘big’ cities for jobs (in different states).  We have always decided it was not best for our family with one reason being we didn’t want to live in a ‘big’ city (and deal with everything related to it – higher crime, more traffic, potentially higher taxes, etc).

Nevada is becoming known as a potential place to move technology and other companies (Apple Inc. and Tesla Motors Inc. either have plants near Reno, NV or are in the process of building them now).  Overall, I am happy to see this happen, but I think it needs to be carefully thought out.  Not everyone wants to have their rural area changed into a ‘big’ city.

Where we live we have to drive to another town if we want to do major shopping  in person (Costco, JCPenney, etc).  We knew this when we moved here and I can at least say it has gotten easier.  Now it is about a 20 mile drive instead of 50+ miles (which would turn into an all day event).  Besides, a lot of the shopping can be done online and shipped to your house if you really don’t care to see the items in person.

Maybe it is just me, but it seems that when people move to a new area they want to change it to be similar to where they just left – i.e. want closer shopping, want specific restaurants to come in, etc, but they don’t want the things they didn’t like (more crime, higher taxes, more traffic, crowds, etc).  Well, after living in the same semi-rural area for over twenty years I can tell you that as more shopping, restaurants, housing areas, etc come in you get more traffic, crime, etc. (For example, it is amazing how many articles in the local papers are about people stealing items from the local Walmart stores.)

I know people that drive 50+ miles to be able to live in a smaller area, but work in a larger city and I know people who have done the opposite (live in the larger city and travel to get to the smaller area for a job they want).   It just depends upon what you want and sometimes where you have extended family.

So, why do you live where you do?  Did you move there because of family, a job or what the area was like?  Do you have plans on staying there long term?   Are you happy with the way the area is changing (or not changing)?  If not, maybe it is time to voice your concerns and get involved.

Later – H

2016 Northern Nevada quilt activities

In case you are in the Northern Nevada area this summer here are some of quilting / sewing activities you might be interested in.

June 4 –  June 5, 2016

Carson Valley Quilt Guild show

10 am – 4 pm

Douglas County Senior and Community Center

1329 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville, Nevada 89410

http://quiltshow.cvqg.com/

 

June 21 – September 6, 2016

Row by Row Experience

http://www.rowbyrowexperience.com/

 

June 23 – 25, 2016

Sew Original Quilt & Creative Expo

Grand Sierra Resort

2500 E. Second Street, Reno, NV 89595

http://qscexpos.com/reno.html

 

Do you know of any other events in Northern Nevada?

Later – H

First eleven tips for Hawaii (or other locations that require you to fly)

My family finally got to go on a much needed vacation.  We have been home for just over 24 hours and I am happy that I have gotten two loads of laundry already.  I figured I would post some tips that came in really handy for us (in no special order).

  1. Carry on luggage – Each family member was able to travel with one carry on suitcase and a backpack.  Unless you have fancy events planned you will find that you will spend most of your time in your swimsuits and shorts anyways.  But, at the same time you will sometimes find that the airlines will gate check your suitcases to your final destination (that happened to us each way).  (We even had space in our bags to bring home new beach towels and a few other new items.)
  2. Roll your clothes – If you aren’t on Pinterest you might not have seen the posts that by rolling your clothes you can store more in a drawer, etc.  It really does work so I would suggest you try it next time.
  3. Detangler spray & TSA liquid rules – Each person is able to take a quart-sized bag with your liquids/creams as long as each original container is less than 3 oz.  The humidity and salt water makes it so we get more knots in our hair so this time I put some detangler spray in a small bottle and took some with us.
  4. Bug spray – We usually go hiking when travel and this trip wasn’t any different.  So, we bought a small container of bug spray and took it with us (in the quart-sized bag with our other liquids).
  5. Breakfast in the room – The hotel we stayed at this time had a Keurig coffee maker and a mini fridge (no microwave).   We bought instant oatmeal at the grocery store and made it for breakfast most mornings.  (See #6, #7 and #11)
  6. Metal fork and spoon – I packed one for each family member.  These came in very handy.  Note: You are not able to take sharp knives in the carry on luggage so I took a couple of plastic knives.
  7. Plastic bowls – Since we had room in our suitcases (by not taking too many clothes and rolling what I did take) I was able to pack plastic bowls for each family member.  These came in very handy for breakfast and for eating pie, etc (see #11).
  8. Plastic Ziploc bags – I took a few new quart-sized ones and a couple of gallon-sized ones.  These were very useful!  (One thing we did daily was put ice in a bag and used it as an ice pack in our ice chest.)
  9. Plastic, see-through water bottle – You can take an empty water bottle through security.  We filled it with water at the airports and put ice inside of it when we traveled and it helped keep our snack foods and drinks cold.
  10. Ice chest – The last few trips we have been able to put a collapsible ice chest in one of the suitcases.  We used this to keep our drinks and snacks cold for when we went to the beach or driving around the island.
  11. Grocery store – Usually when we arrive we look for a grocery store so we can buy some food.  This time we lucked upon a local grocery store chain (Tamura’s Market) which definitely had cheaper prices than the big mainland chain that we found the first day.  We were even able to find locally made (Ted’s Bakery) pie.  The Macadamia Nut Cream Pie was really good!

So, hopefully these help you out and they will come in handy the next time we fly somewhere on vacation.

Later – H

Dead front load washing machine

Well, this was going to be a post about how handy husband and I fixed our 12 year old Kenmore Front load washing machine.  One night a couple of weeks ago when it was near the end of the final spin cycle it abruptly made HORRIBLE sounds (turns out the tub was swinging around and hitting the side of the walls and front of the washer).  When handy husband and I took off the back we found that one of the shocks was broken.

So, I did a Google search on the model number and found out that RepairClinic.com had the shocks and a video that showed it was pretty easy to replace.  So, I ordered the parts and we waited.  While I was gone for a few days handy husband got the old shocks out (he said it was pretty easy) so all we would have to do was put the new ones in and start using it again.

The new shocks went in pretty easy and I tested out the machine by rinsing and spinning out a few towels.  It was semi-louder than I remembered, but we thought it was okay.  So, then I decided to wash the towels and a couple of pairs of jeans.  It sounded fine until it got to the end of the spin cycle.  I heard this HORRIBLE noise from the other end of the house.  I went running for the laundry room to turn it off.  I came upon Pepper (the Golden Retriever) in the dining room with her ears pulled back and running for the hall (which she has never been allowed to go down).

We first thought the washer was somehow unbalanced (which was weird since it was never unbalanced before).  So, we added foam between the tub and the sides, but it still was making horrible noises.  (The way Pepper was acting [ears back and wanting to leave the house] should have told us that it was making horrible noises before we could hear it.)

I did a YouTube search and found a video on how to take apart our washing machine.  They discusses that the ‘spider’ which is inside the tub breaks.  Uh, oh.  Between that video and a comment from a friend we decided that was what was wrong.  Since the spider is part of the drum it is very expensive to fix.

So, I went searching (Consumer Reports, Google, etc) and found out that Home Depot had the LG 4.0 Cu. ft. washer (WM3050CW) on Black Friday sale for $579 ($220 off).  To be safe I ordered the 3 year protection plan for $80 (it says they will replace the unit if it is a Lemon).

So, the washing machine is on back order so we are without a washing machine until December 3rd.  I am hoping we only have a few more trips to the laundry mat before it arrives and right now I am so happy that I don’t live too far from the laundry mat.

What appliance have you had to replace recently?

Later – H

 

Giveaway: Build a Budget that Works by Jessi Fearon

So, you all know that I try to be thrifty by doing DIY projects, making food from scratch, using coupons, find deals at the Thrift Stores and finding the best deals on the new items or services we need to buy.  Well, another way is by keeping your family on a budget (and one that works is even better).

Jessi Fearon sent me a copy of the Build a Budget that Works  book to review as part of her book launch.

I am glad I got it since it reminded me of categories that I sometimes forget to budget for (like recently needing tires for our truck [which I found a sale on] and now it sounds like we will need them for the car also this year – ouch,  definitely not something I planned for, but I will be looking for a deal on those also).

I will continue to tweak our budget using the tips in Jessi’s book.

So,  would you like to win a FREE copy of the Build a Budget that Works book?  I was given one copy to give away to a reader.

Between now and Thursday 20 November 2014 make a comment (which will be delayed in posting since I have to approve them) with your name and email address.  After that I will pick a winner using a Random Number Generator (hey, I have to use something nerdy).

Good luck!   – H

Bealls and smartphone coupons

Have you heard of Bealls?  I heard from friends that they are ‘big’ in Arizona (and Florida).  Well, they have started opening stores in Northern Nevada.

When they had their grand opening the daughter and I were able to get boots on their ‘Buy One and Get One Free boots and shoes’ sale.  (Oh, and mine are really comfortable and cute.)

Bealls, boots

 

I signed up for text messages from Bealls.  This last week I got a 30% off ‘coupon’ on my smartphone.  It was good on sale items and for more than one item.  I didn’t think I needed anything, but I saved it anyways.

Well, the husband announced on Saturday morning that he needed some new shirts.  We were going to town anyways so I figured we would stop in Bealls (he hadn’t been in there yet) and see what they had.

 

We found some nice shirts on sale for great prices and a jacket he needed.

So, we bought three shirts and the jacket for $89.  I saved $130 and $36 of that came from my smartphone coupon.  Not bad!

The other advantage was we didn’t have spend time (and money for gas) driving to a bigger city to look for clothes.  Besides, he said he didn’t want to buy shirts from Costco since he would then look like everyone else at work 🙂

And, the old jacket has been relegated to the garage – yay!   (Which is a good thing since one of the pockets ripped when we were walking Pepper this afternoon.)

Where have you been finding great deals?

Later – H

 

 

Bargain clothes

Since I quit working full-time three years ago I have been wearing the casual clothes I had and have only bought a couple of shirts, sweaters, pants or shorts each season.

I realized a few weeks ago that I needed to go shopping since I have holes in a few of my favorite shirts 😦  and am starting to wear out a couple of pairs of really old pants.

Here is one set of bargains I picked up from JC Penney and Kohl’s.  The best part of this outfit is I don’t have to turn up the pants!

So, this outfit cost me less than $10.00 for the top and pants combined.

JC Penney, Kohl's, clothes, bargain

The top came from JC Penney and was less than $5.00 on clearance (regular over $20.00).

The pants came from Kohl’s.  Since they were $4.40 on clearance (regular $44.00 – 90% off!) I decided to try them on even though they were rolled up to a really funny length (about 1/3 of the way between my knees and ankles).  I figured I could try to unroll them or cut them off and turn them into capri pants for next year if I had to.

When I got into the dressing room I found out that they were not stitched up – just rolled up at the factory (they had crease marks).  When I rolled them down they were the perfect length.

I have worn the pants once and they already have a small black pen mark 😦 .  Hopefully it comes out in the wash.

Besides this outfit I picked up a similar shirt in a different color for less than $5.00 and a light colored pair of cord pants for about $8.00, but I have to turn them up before I can wear them.

I also picked up new jeans from Costco for a very nice price.

I obviously need to work on taking selfies if I am going to show you my clothing bargains.

So, where have you found bargains lately?

Later – H

Grocery Outlet – bargains and Gluten free

Note:  I got nothing from Grocery Outlet (or any of the brands listed) for this review.  I am just really happy that the Grocery Outlet opened in our town.

Since my favorite grocery store closed last year I have been bouncing around the local stores and Costco for my shopping.  I was happy when a Grocery Outlet opened locally.  I knew from extended family (and other blogs) that they didn’t always have everything, but when they had something they usually had a good price on it.

Did you know that each Grocery Outlet is locally owned?  The statistic is that for every $100 spent in a local store $45 stays in the community.  I am definitely willing to try the local stores to keep the money and jobs here.

So, here are some of the items we have been buying there lately.

Morasch Meats  – Beef New York Striploin Steak (2 pack, 14 oz,  $5.99) – Wow, we put some Dry Rub on these yesterday and cooked them on the BBQ.  They were great!   The husband and I were able to share one of them so we have the second one for another meal.   (Note – I went back today and bought two more packages of them since it was so good.)

Organic chicken legs – I got a great price on these (I cooked them up the same day and took them on our camping trip a month ago).

Smart Balance spread for $1.99 – this is a great price and the expiration date is way out there

Individual Garlic Bulbs (3 for $1.00)

Flaked Coconut

Cans of soup – today I picked up a can of Muir Glen Organic Homestyle split pea (14.9 oz) for $1.49

Frozen Ore-Ida potatoes (I just picked up a bag of Zesties for $1.49 for the first time today so I will let you know what we think).

Hummus – Since I am the only one in the family that really likes hummus I bought a container for a great price (don’t remember the cost now since it was a month ago), and then froze it in smaller containers.

Gluten free mixes – Arrowhead Pizza crust mix , 1-2-3 gluten free Rolls Mix and Poundcake Mix (haven’t tried them yet, but I know their prices were definitely cheaper than other places)

They also have bags of Gluten-free All Purpose Flour and other gluten free mixes which I am thinking of trying in the future.

So, now I stop at the local Grocery Outlet before I head to any other grocery store.

Have you checked out your local Grocery Outlet store lately?  Here is the link to their website if you want to find your local store:  https://groceryoutlet.com/

Let me know if you try them out and what bargains you found.

Later – H