Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Frumpy Hausfrau's Freebies of the Week

Yesterday's savings at the grocery store were only 39%, but I did get some completely FREE items. After sales and coupons, these Pro-Force Yogurts and Helluvagood Dips cost me nothing except sales tax! (Yes, good ol' Kansas charges sales tax on food, unlike many states. But I'm not complaining. It's just a fact!)


I had more coupons for the Pro-Force yogurt, but knew that my "spare" fridge is about as full as it can be right now, so decided only to get two. If I hadn't been pressed for time, however, I'd have considered the fact that I could have donated a bunch of it to our local food bank. Ah, well, next time!

More subliminal messages have appeared among the Scrabble letters on the spare fridge. I think Hungry Bird is giving me a hint as to what he'd like for breakfast tomorrow...


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Just an Ordinary Day...With Birds and Fun Socks

The past several years, I've had a thing for birds. I've had chickens in the back yard for 16 years, and ducks almost that long. But recently, I've begun to enjoy wearing birds. And not like you'd think - feathers or stuffed birds on my head are not my cuppa anything. I like bird prints on fabric, bird silhouettes in jewelry, even bird tattoos! No, I don't have a tattoo myself, but the rare occasions I've gotten henna tattoos, they've always been of birds.

On a recent perusal of Target, I ran across this adorable bird graphic tee. Instant LOVE! It's got a bird, it's my favorite color (teal) and it's the perfect fit. LOVE!


See how the bird on the tee is made up of tiny flowers? More springy adorableness! Here's how I'm wearing it today....somewhat covered up, because despite the sun shining for all it's worth, it is still quite COLD....


 Old Navy Sweater - ON
Mossimo tee - Target
Daisy Fuentes jeans - thrifted

Necklace - Walmart

Can you see the bird in the tree? I think this necklace is the perfect accessory for my happy flowery birdie shirt. And yes, in the full outfit pic, my feet are shoe-less on purpose - so you can see the awesome socks! Why would I want to cover them up? OK, so I put my slippers back on after taking photos because my tootsies were chilly, but I had to show off the socks, too.

Stripe-y socks - Old Navy

Crazy and/or fun socks have always appealed to me, and I've found that Old Navy's socks are quite good quality. They are a bit too long for my short feet, but that's not a huge issue. Target has some great little fun socks, too, and since I have much closer access to Target than ON, most of my collection has come from there. You know what? I love fun socks so much, I think I'm going to get rid of most of my boring old solid color socks and only wear fun socks from now on!

Back to birds...sort of.... I finally made the decision to sign up for a Twitter account. Mostly because I think the little bird icon is cute. But also because my daughter signed up for it and I want to keep up with her. You can find me @FrumpyHausfrau. 

I think my very next tweet is gonna be about birds and fun socks!




Monday, March 25, 2013

Cookies for the Party That Wasn't

On Friday, I baked a batch of my favorite Chocolate Truffle Cookies to be served on Saturday at an annual party that I host for my sisters, sisters-in-law, mother, daughter and nieces. We call it our "Little Women" Party, because many years ago, we sisters started a tradition of watching the 1996 movie version together at Christmas time. Over the years, the tradition shifted to have the get-together in January, after the hustle and bustle of the holidays was over. We had to move it to February one year due to weather and baby due dates, and most recently we switched the party date to Spring Break after one sister moved out of state. We used to always sit and watch the movie together, eating yummy snacks and passing a box of Kleenex. A few years ago, we decided to forego the movie in favor of more visiting time, since we don't get to see one another as often as before. And so the Little Women Party has evolved over the years to include all the females in our immediate family, exclude the movie (although for this year's party, I wanted to have it playing in the background if possible), have a theme of some sort, fancy foods, a gift of some kind for everyone and some kind of girly activity.

This year's party theme was "A Day at the Spa, Sort of". Sort of, because of the house remodel, we are limited in space and lack of proper decor and furnishings for a spa day. My menu consisted of yummy treats such as shrimp, crudites and dip, mini cinnamon rolls, plenty of chocolate, and various cookies. Sister Bev said she'd bring her foot spa along so we could do pedicures. I trimmed the wicks in a new tropical scented candle and arranged some silk flowers in a vase, the extent of my decorating.

And then a Big Snow Storm headed our way.

Sigh....

I made the tough decision to cancel the party. I love my sisters too much to have them risk their safety by driving in a blizzard. Our out-of-state sister was already in Kansas, so she quickly made arrangements to visit everyone she could, and then they headed back home a day early to keep ahead of the storm. (They made it home just in time, too!) The snow began in my area in the early afternoon on Saturday, with fierce winds blowing it into drifts. I was glad my girls weren't out in it, but I sure did miss seeing all of them!

And now I have a bunch of cookies and other treats just going to waste. Or rather, to my waist. 'Cuz we don't waste cookies around here!

These are the Chocolate Truffle Cookies:


Several years ago, I had a housekeeping job for an elderly lady who loved chocolate. She made these cookies one time and insisted I sample one. Oh, my! They are amazing! Bless Esther for sharing her recipe! It has become one of my favorite "special" recipes - made only for special occasions, because otherwise I'd never be able to stop eating them!

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

1¼ cups real butter, no substitutions, room temp
2¼ cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
¼ cup sour cream, not light or fat free
1 tsp vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups dark chocolate chips
Chocolate sprinkles

Beat butter, powdered sugar and cocoa until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add flour, stirring just until all is moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least one hour (3 or 4 is better).
Heat oven to 325° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape cookie dough into one-inch balls, roll in sprinkles, pressing sprinkles a bit to help them stick to the dough. Place balls two inches apart on baking sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Try to wait a few minutes before sampling one so you don't burn your tongue.


It just doesn't feel right to let the year go by without a Little Women party, so I am thinking of a new date for my sisters to come have a spa day at my house. It will likely be after school is out, but I am determined that we WILL get together!

And now I'm going to eat a cookie....

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Crafty Hausfrau

I did a "craft" project yesterday. It was extremely simple, so it's stretching things to call it a craft, but I did adhere one object to another, so that counts, right? A long time ago, I pinned an idea on Pinterest for a magnetic Scrabble board. I wanted to make one to put on our screened-in porch, but the porch has yet to be built. So...I decided to make the magnetic letters anyway and just use them on the spare fridge in the mud room.

I dug out our ancient Scrabble game from the shed. (We used to have a game cabinet under the old stairway, but when Some Postman rebuilt the stairs, that cabinet disappeared. So we keep our games in a cardboard box out in the shed, until the storage shelves get built in the laundry room.) In that beat up game box was a baggy full of extra letter tiles I'd found at a yard sale eons ago. It's not a complete set - there's no J or V, and a few less other letters, but it will do. While watching TV last evening, I snipped up a sticky-backed magnet sheet and applied the pieces to the backs of the letter tiles. Then I stuck the tiles on the freezer door.


Yes, that's Harvest Gold you're looking at there!


I do believe this refrigerator is almost as old as me. We bought it used a long time ago, as a second fridge to keep eggs, produce and my "stashes" cold. Even though the kids have moved out...well, one is back...and theoretically we shouldn't need two refrigerators...I'm not giving up my second one. Once the ducks begin laying eggs and we have a summer garden, I'll need every square inch of that extra cooling space! It's not pretty, but until we upgrade the kitchen fridge, we'll keep this ancient Frigidaire that sounds like it's blasting off to the moon when the compressor motor kicks on.

The first Fridge Scrabble Game has been started!


And this morning, I discovered a subliminal message in the loose letters....


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Frumpy Hausfrau Strikes Again

Originally, I'd planned to do my grocery shopping today, Thursday. However, the weather forecast demanded a change in plans, so I went yesterday instead. I'm very glad I did! Yesterday was cool, but sunny. The car warmed up nicely while sitting in the sunshine in parking lots. Today it is icy cold, with gray clouds threatening a wintery mix of precipitation. A good day to stay at home and bake birthday cake! (Today is my Dachshund Etta's 8th birthday.)

At Dillon's, our local Kroger affiliate store, I saved 50% off my total bill using coupons and combining sales. My best deals: better than FREE Bailey's coffee creamer and 49¢ tubs of Mountain High yogurt. (My $1 off coupons exceeded the sale price of 79¢ on the creamers.) There goes my resolve to stop using flavored creamer....I just can't resist free stuff!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Morning, St. Patrick's Day

I'm not Irish, at least not very much, but I did wear some green today.

 Leo & Nicole sweater - not sure...I've had it a long time...maybe Kohl's?
Worthington skirt - thrifted

 Scarf - made by my dear mother-in-law
Earrings - JCP
Bracelet - Walmart

American Eagle shoes - Payless

This will be the final wearing of that skirt. It's simply too big and hangs so low on my waist it ends up being several inches too long. I tried folding over the waist, which helped with the length, but created so much bulk at my waist that even the loose sweater couldn't hide it. I'll have to hunt for a new khaki pencil skirt.

As you can see in the background, the master bedroom is still in the process of being drywalled. Some Postman got the ceiling up; next are the walls. It's taking shape slowly!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Crafty Hausfrau

I've been sewing again! In bits of time available, I've been working at another sewing project. Pajama pants for me! I found this adorable Dachshund print flannel at Joann's:


I briefly considered using my penguin flannel pants as a pattern, but reconsidered. Better to buy a pattern, since they were on sale for 99¢, and be sure to have the proportions correct.

Cut out the pattern...

Sew the pieces together...

Press the seams...

Insert elastic, hem the bottom, and there you go - cute, comfy jammy pants!


As it turns out, I should have gone down at least one size on the pattern, but I went by the measurements on the chart. I showed them to Some Postman, and he said "gee, how big ARE you??" Ha ha! Well, they are roomy, but that's part of what makes them comfy. It's not like I'll wear these to church or anything, anyway. Hmmm...I could wear them to Walmart...I'd fit right in...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Makeup Routine

Let's talk about makeup! It's a good girly topic for a frumpy hausfrau, don't you think?

My makeup routine has shifted over the years. It used to be that I dutifully followed a full routine of foundation, blush, powder, eye shadow, eye liner and mascara. For a while, even lipstick made an appearance. During allergy season, the eye makeup has always been withheld, due to itchy eyes and the irresistible urge to rub them. In summer, the foundation often has been either eliminated or been very thinly applied. The past couple of years, however, I've gotten to the point of almost not wearing any makeup at all. Foundations of any weight feel heavy on my skin. Lipstick has never been appealing. Who needs blush when you have hot flashes? Eye shadow is OK, but liner just seems to make my eyes itchy all the time, not just during allergies.

And so my makeup routine has simmered down to two basic items: tinted moisturizer and mascara. On "special occasions" I might add a touch of honey-brown eye shadow. The bare, natural look really appeals to me. It's simple. It feels lightweight and free. I like it!

Here are my favorite products:

Physician's Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer

Cover Girl Natureluxe Mousse Mascara

I really need to buy a new eye shadow. The one I've been using is probably at least 6 years old. Yikes! Bad for the eyes, I know! I've bought new ones in that time frame, but the colors haven't been right. Guess I'd better contact my Mary Kay lady! It's their Mineral Wear eye shadow. It's been so long since I've purchased anything Mary Kay...I don't know if they still carry this line, let alone the color I like!

Has your makeup routine changed over the years?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Someday, Spring Will Come

But not today....

It is cold, windy and precipitous today. The precipitation began as drizzle this morning, and now it is snowing. Tiny, pellet-like flakes, but snow nonetheless. I'm tired of winter weather, but as there is nothing I can do to change the weather, I shall make the best of it instead.

A little over a week ago, I placed an order for fleece-lined leggings on Amazon. I've seen other bloggers write about their wonderfully warm fleece lined tights; they purchased the tights at stores. Amazingly enough, no stores in my area sell these warm things. Why, in the middle of Kansas, where the snow is driven by a stiff north wind, is very little cold-weather wear sold in our stores? At least not at the stores I frequent. Thank goodness for online shopping! I researched buyer reviews on numerous brands and styles, settled on these fleece-lined leggings and popped a pair into my shopping cart, along with an ink cartridge for my thirsty printer. The leggings arrived in my mailbox a few days ago, and today's weather is perfect for giving them a go. The ink cartridge, apparently, is taking a row boat from China to get here.

 Mossimo sweater - Target
Merona skirt - thrifted
Riding boots - JCP
Cherries pendant - Hobby Lobby

The aqua color of this sweater is one of my favorites for spring! My Target.com order arrived on Wednesday last week (read about it in this post). This sweater doesn't look as good on me as it did on the model in the pictures, but when has any article of clothing EVER looked as good on me as a model? I'm the polar opposite of a model - short, stumpy and chubby! It's comfy and soft and the color is fabulous, so I'm keeping it. I'll be returning the gray dress and the sequin stripe sweatshirt. The gray dress would only fit someone with the hips of a 12-year old boy, and the sequin sweatshirt would have fit two of me inside it. Thankfully, returning items at Target is a breeze. Often, even when I'm shopping at the store itself, I'll just toss clothes in my cart to try them on at home rather than at the store, then return them later if they don't fit. When you're wearing forty layers and boots, it's just not fun to shuck everything in a dressing room, then pile it all back on. I'd much rather try on clothes at home.

As for the fleece lined leggings....I really like them! They are warm, comfortable and cozy. Many reviewers mentioned a "chemical smell" associated with almost all the ones I looked at, but this pair has only a faint odor. I took the advice of others and purchased a size XXL. Aside from the fact that the leggings are about 4 inches too long, they fit well. Almost all pants and tights are too long for me anyway, so this is nothing new. Remember...I'm an anti-model... Overall, I'm very pleased with this purchase and plan to wear these leggings as long as the snow continues to fly.

Oh, I suppose I should mention the drill in my outfit photo....as you know, we are undergoing a House Project - a complete and total remodel of our house. Some Postman is working in the master bedroom right now. As you can see, he is putting up new drywall right now. If you are a personal friend of mine on Facebook, you can see lots of before and during photos in my albums titled "House Project". (There aren't any "after" pics yet - except for the pantry. It's the only room/area that is completely finished!)

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Tipsy Hausfrau

No, I haven't been hitting the sauce! I'm giving you a "helpful household tip" -- so I'm tip-sy!

Yeah, lame play on words. Please don't throw rotten tomatoes at me.

At any rate, here's your tip from the Frumpy Hausfrau:

Got a little bit of coffee left over that won't fit in your cup? Give it to your plants to drink! Houseplants love coffee; it makes them perk up like somebody said "reach for the sky, pardner!" Coffee is plant Viagra. I used to have an airplane plant (aka spider plant) that was mostly limp and sleepy looking. Every time I gave it a drink of leftover coffee, within minutes, its leaves were almost perpendicular! Sadly, that airplane plant didn't survive, but I think it was because of being transplanted rather than OD'ing on caffeine.


Here's another coffee-tip for plants:  Save your used coffee grounds for the garden. I have a plastic container out in the garage where I dump my used grounds. When it gets full, my husband scatters the grounds on the garden. I think he puts the grounds near the plants' stalks. I've put some by my rose bush before. I don't know if that's good for it or not...but I figured it can't hurt too much. That rose bush has survived all kinds of abuse and "tending" from me, a black thumb if ever there were one.

Considering my ability (or lack thereof) to keep plants alive, maybe you shouldn't pay much attention to these coffee tips after all. But I heard them from others who DO have green thumbs, so they must work for some folks! Good luck!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sunday Morning

I'm so happy March has finally arrived. This winter has been more typical of our area, with more cold days and snow (thankfully no ice!), and so I am more than ready for spring to begin. The only down side to warmer weather is the increase in percentage of my skin that will be exposed to view. I'm not feeling very comfortable in my body right now, but I'm working on it.

This dress actually made me feel fairly good about myself:

 Kupcake Dress - thrifted
Studio 1940 sweater - Fashion Bug (a long time ago!)

Earrings - thrifted
Necklace - pretty sure this was a gift from one of my sisters several years ago

Privo by Clarks flats - eBay

Heels may have been nicer with this dress, but I am finding more and more that heels are just too uncomfortable. The older I get, the less I can sacrifice comfort for fashion. It's a good thing there are shoe companies out there that are making comfy shoes that are cute as well! 

Spring is just around the corner, so the stores are clearing out their winter clothing. I've scored some pretty amazing finds at Target and Walmart this week. I'd been hunting all winter for a light-weight, well-fitting simple black blazer, with no luck until yesterday, at Walmart, of all places. The sleeves are too long for me (big surprise, ha ha!) but that is an easy fix. The best part - it was marked down to $5! 
My Target.com order hasn't arrived yet, and I have no idea if any of the stuff I ordered will fit or look right on me. But that's half the fun! Returns are easy, and I'd much rather try on clothes at home. Here is what I've ordered:


Target has a new designer collection that I am completely in LOVE with - the Prabal Gurung items. I have yet to make a trip to Target to try any of them on, but am planning to do so very soon. It would have been a very bad idea to add any of these items to my shopping cart when I bought the above items, as I would have been entirely too tempted to keep them, and they are not on clearance. You can view the collection at Target.com. Here is one of my favorites:


This dress features my two favorite colors for this spring. I'm looking forward to finding some great pieces in coral and aqua. Happy Spring!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Frumpy and Frugal

I mentioned a while ago that I wanted to diversify this blog, and not have it be all fashion. Fashion is fun, but being a Hausfrau is so much more than clothing. This post will be the first of (hopefully) many entries featuring great deals found at the grocery store.

A few weeks ago, I collected 31 coupons for a free box of Purina ONE Beyond cat food. Where did I get so many? Well, we subscribe to one Sunday newspaper, which yielded a single coupon. Friends from church give me their unwanted coupons from their Sunday papers, and sometimes I find coupon packets in the bins at the recycling center. The vast majority of the free cat food coupons came from church friends.

Only one store in Town stocks the small boxes of this brand of cat food, and they didn't have 31 boxes on the shelf the first time I went shopping, so I had to make a couple of trips two weeks apart to use all of my coupons. Since their price was 10¢ higher than the "free" value of the coupon, the cat food wasn't completely free. But it was still a great deal!

Part of my stash of cheap chow for the kitties!

Not too shabby, eh?