Remember way back in September when I first posted about Big Batch Beef, my make-ahead secret weapon for nights when I was pressed for time?

Tonight, I used the last of in a kind of deconstructed cabbage rolls #makedo recipe.

You may recall that the batches are supposed to be used within three months. Ha!

I lost my deep freeze in the months since this last batch was made, so I am not sure how much I can store if I choose to make it again. I still advocate pre-cooking ground beef for those winter months, though. Its a budget-saver on those evenings when A&W drive-through is so tempting.



Book Value

Confession time: I have bought some stuff. Well, technically. Or not. I guess it depends on your view.

Since my objective was to decrease the amount of stuff I have by not buying any more of it, I am still clean. The stuff I bought, while costing me cash money, is not taking up any space in my house.

It’s eBooks.

I joined a book club last summer, and I did pretty well at first. I managed to not buy any of the books we were reading until after Christmas. I had some already, and I got lucky getting the others through the library. Then, I was getting ready to go on holiday and I didn’t want to drag extra stuff with me, so I figured, what the hell. I have a Kindle that I really love. I am not a person who keeps a lot of books, anyway. I love the library, but waitlists can be lengthy and I’m on a schedule.

I don’t really think of buying eBooks as a rule break, but I can see how it might be considered cheating, so I thought I’d better cop to it, especially because I just bought May’s and June’s selections on my Kindle last night. I have spent maybe $100 on eBooks in the last eight months. I still think that’s pretty good.

What’s your take? Am I a dirty rotten cheater?

Drying Days

All week long, I’ve been putting a load of laundry in the washing machine before leaving for work, and hanging it on the line to dry once I get home. The weather here has been so pleasant (for a change) that it only takes about an hour to dry, even with the sun low in the sky.

Nothing makes me feel quite so productive as doing a bunch of laundry. Back when I lived in a Toronto apartment without a laundry room, I used to love taking a few hours on a Sunday, cramming every piece of fabric I owned into the back of a rental car and trucking it to the laundromat. My favourite one was at Runnymede and Annette, because if was cheap, had free parking, and this one dryer that would run forever on one quarter if you knew how to finesse it right.

Still, I wouldn’t trade my suburban clothesline for those laundromat days of my youth. My power bill jumped by $30 a month this year, so I’m making it an unofficial goal not to use my dryer all summer.

Have you got any other good power-saving tips for me?

It’s My House

It’s Sunday evening, and I had a really good day. Top shelf. I was just taking my third full line of clothes in to fold and feeling generally grateful that spring seems to have finally arrived in this corner of the world, when I looked over at the dog just in time to watch him pee all over his bed.


I took it outside to strip the cover off and assess the damage. Apologies to anyone who might have been out enjoying a barbecue and had to listen to me shout and swear and stomp my feet.

The bed was a hand-me-down from my mother, so it’s not like I paid for it. And needless to say, I won’t be buying anything to replace it. He has other soft things to sleep on, but this bed is ruined.

The stuffing is toast and the cover is now in the washer. I’ll see if I can stuff it with something else. It’s not a disaster.

It bothers me how much I let this kind of thing get to me. Like, doesn’t the dog know I’m not allowed to buy anything? Why doesn’t he respect his belongings? Why can’t he see that I’m trying to make this a nice home for the whole family? Doesn’t he read my blog?

Dogs like the smell of their own pee though, right? Maybe that’s his contribution. Maybe it’s how he shows his appreciation.

“Mom, I see you. Nice job you’re doing. Here’s a present for you. Namaste.”


Mrs. Krauch’s Cards


My friend Sam (that’s Mrs. Krauch to most of you) made me this great piece of artwork a while back. I’ve been slacking on posting, but I feel the timing is serendipitous because she’s ramping up production for craft fair season!

If you’re local (to me), you can scope out all her wares at the Lawrencetown Spring Craft and Vendor Fair at the Lawrencetown Community Centre next Saturday, May 9, from 9-2.

My girl is prolific and has cards for all occasions. (She’s also on Facebook.)

Everything Old is… Still Old

It’s the first of May, and this is me publicly committing to a post a day in May. I only have four months left in this experiment, and I think that maybe my new habits and realizations are mundane to most people. Still, I think it’s worth documenting some of them, since I want to finish strong. So how about holding me accountable, guys?

I have not bought any makeup or toiletry items in over eight months. This is a minor miracle within the greater miraculous landscape of not having bought anything, really. Makeup was my go-to buy for when I wanted to feel better instantly. I have a lot of makeup, so I’ve been steadily using it up as I go. I have yet to run out of any one cosmetic category, which is a bit nuts. Not even mascara. I know how bad that is. Now, when I want to switch something up, I go shopping in my train case. That’s where I found this little gem.


I’ve had this tin of lip tint so long I don’t even clearly remember where I lived when I bought it. Probably Toronto, so that makes it at least three years old and probably more like six. It’s probably older than my kid. I’d look on the back and tell you for sure, but the label has completely worn off. Lush likes to assign best-before dates to their products which imbues them with an air of freshness. We all know how little I think of use-by dates when it comes to my food, so you can assume that I basically never throw out a Lush anything unless it starts to smell (unintentionally) rank. I have some standards.

(I remember reading in a VC Andrews book — as a kid, when we all read VC Andrews books — about one of the waiflike teenage heroines finding a bunch of old, abandoned makeup on some long-dead relative’s dressing table, and then putting it on. I was so grossed out by it that it’s apparently stuck with me for over 20 years. Of all the gross things in those books, that’s the thing that sticks.)

Anyway, I love this product. It smells like cinnamon and lasts forever. I use it on my lips and cheeks as a stain. It’s great for travel because it does two jobs. I sometimes use a bit of my favourite homemade lip balm (mine) to give it a creamier texture but it works fine on its own. You can layer it to your heart’s content.

I like a pink lip for spring.


No filter, although it pained me.