September Food Swap

We had another food swap this past weekend.  I brought a bunch of figs and a TON of a variety of peppers.  All this healthy food, I traded for lots of desserts!  It’s interesting how different each swap is.  This one was definitely dessert based.  My bounty included a slice of cheesecake, a cinnamon roll, a bunch of oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate peanut butter balls, and caramel popcorn.  I also got some slightly healthier things, pickled crabapples, earl grey peach jam, rose peach jam, a kombucha scoby, and a bulb of garlic.  Yum!

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Last Weekend’s Yard Sale Complete With Tips

The minion and I have been battling a serious cold this week so forgive my late post about last weekend.

Anyways, last weekend we had a yard sale.  We ended up making over $200!  I was amazed.  Both that we did so well and that we had so much stuff we didn’t need.

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Yard sales are surprisingly eco-friendly.  There’s a lot of energy and materials that go into making new goods.  If you can share the use of an item with one or more people, that’s one less new item that has to be made.  Plus it’s budget-friendly!

I know a lot of my tips seem basic and obvious, but no matter how much I knew that we needed signs, I still didn’t have signs the night before.

A few tips:

  • Be prepared before, have signs, change, and of course your merchandise ready
  • List your yard sale online, look for local websites as well as Craigslist
  • Price things in 25¢ increments, then you only have to deal with bills and quarters
  • Have good signs, bright with clear letters, just use the words ‘yard sale’ and arrows
  • To elaborate, don’t put hours on your signs, what if you want to close early?
  • Keep your money on your person, I have a little waiter’s apron that works great
  • Have an area of shade with chairs for you
  • You probably should still wear sunscreen or at least coconut oil

I had a friend join us for the sale and she has these great store-bought reusable signs.  I might invest in some of those myself.  Poster board is expensive and on-time use only.

Anyone have any additional tips or stories of yard sale success?

Removing Labels From Glass Jars

From making my multi-bean soup, I had to clean the labels off a bunch of jars.  I think I found the best way to remove them.

First, just try to peel it off.  The labels of 2 of my 7 jars just peeled off in one piece leaving just a little bit of adhesive.  If you are lucky enough to have this happen, just rub a little bit of oil on them to get the glue off.

If you’re not quite that lucky, make sure the top shiny layer of paper is mostly peeled off.  This will leave the thin white more textured paper.  Then you want to put a thin layer of oil on and let it sit for a few minutes.  You can use any kind of cooking oil to do this.  Be sure you coat the entire outside of the jar otherwise you can just push the adhesive onto other parts of the jar.

When you come back, you should be able to scrub the rest of the label and adhesive off with a dish scrubber.  Then you can just wash the oil off.

Just be sure that the inside of your jars are completely dry before you try to store dry beans in them.

Other than storing dried foods in them, what other uses are there for reused glass jars?

August Food Swap Atlanta

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Another successful food swap today!  I brought five loaves of bread (made with my mom’s new bread machine) and an assortment of peppers including two ghost peppers.  We got there a little late and because of the heat, swapping had already started.  I still scored a bunch of yumminess.  Some almond milk, some almond butter, two jars of relish, a bundle of herbs, candied watermelon rind, milk kefir grains, raspberry white chocolate scones, and rhubarb bitters.

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Wow!  The hero and I have already finished the scones and I’m really excited about trying the bitters and making kefir.  And of course, eating everything else.  So yea, food swaps are awesome!

Locks of Love From a Hippie With a Pixie

The minion is getting grabby.  One of her favorite things to grab on is my hair.  She grabs on, entangling her little fingers in the hair and PULLS.  Not pleasant.  I found a solution.  Get rid of it.  The hair, not the minion!

I just got my hair cut from mid back length to a short pixie cut.  Here’s the picture of Ginnifer Goodwin I used as a reference:

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It was a drastic change.  So far I like it, I also hope it will be much easier to take care of than long hair.  I told the stylist that I was planning on donating my hair to Locks of Love and they cut my hair for free!  Apparently a lot of salons do this, so check that out if you’re planning a big hair cut.  I got a free haircut and Locks of Love got 14 inches of hair!  Win win.

A Quick List of Free Places to Go with a Baby

  • plant nursery and look and feel the plants and flowers
  • pet store and watch the animals, especially fish
  • fabric store and explore textures
  • the library
  • international grocery store and if baby is old enough, get some fun produce to eat later
  • farmer’s market
  • look for local free concerts
  • a busy park (be safe, don’t go into secluded areas alone or just with just your baby)
  • walk around your neighborhood
  • La Leche League meetings

Do you have any additional ideas?

White Chocolate Mint Leaves

I had just a little bit of chocolate left over after making another recipe.  Much to the delight of children everywhere, there’s only so much you can scrape out of a bowl.  I figured out a way to use a little bit more of that chocolate.  I did this with white chocolate but it probably would work with milk or dark chocolate.

Basically I just scraped the bowl that I had melted the chocolate in with mint leaves and then patted them face down on wax paper to spread out the chocolate.  Super easy and frugal!  After peeling the leaves off the wax paper, I left them to solidify face up in the freezer.  This gives a very thin layer of chocolate on top of the mint leaves.  They are tasty even before they solidify, but I didn’t sneak any or anything…

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They were also delicious frozen.  These would be a perfect classy finish to a meal.  A little bit of sugar and a lot of mint.  Very high class.