Monday, January 30, 2012

Another stop at the S-S-S!

I received another e-mail from another friend in California asking me to send
her a couple of boxes of those fantastic disposable pastry bags I found at
my secret savings spot. She read this post and couldn't believe seeing that I
actually found communion figurines too! Communion season is coming up and
her sweet daughter Mini-P, as I affectionately call her, will be making her first
Holy communion in the same Church where the boys made theirs! Of course, I
was all too happy to make another trip out to my s-s-s, especially since the last
time I was there with SpaBoy, we saw lots of employees busy stocking the
shelves with all sorts of new items. One of them being these pencils from my
very favorite make-up, Urban Decay. Do you know what I pay for an Urban
Decay eye pencil at Sephora? A whole lot more than $4.95, that's for sure!
I don't usually spend much time at the s-s-s cosmetics
counter, but that changed tonight! I'll take three, please!
When I couldn't find the communion figurines I started to panic a bit. I
mean, just last week there was a huge box practically over-flowing. But
tonight, no trace of them anywhere! I finally asked the man at the register,
but I was directed to the food section to the communion wafers. No... Really!
Fortunately, I didn't give up and found this tiny stash behind the
boxes, (and boxes!) of church votive candles. Whew! Now, all the kids
in Mini-P's first communion class will have one in their goodie bag!
I hope that they enjoy it as much as I love the figurine
I received on the day of my first Holy communion...
Although I wouldn't put money on any of them keeping
their first Holy communion figurine for 35+ years like I have!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

More Cupcakes!

Last weekend I made these cupcakes and they went pretty fast!
Mostly because I took 12 of them to work to help celebrate a friend's baby news!
She found out she's having a girl, so I thought red velvet cupcakes with pale-pink
icing was absolutely in order! Speaking of in order... I found this measuring
cup/pitcher and thought it was perfect for cupcake liner filling!
And, once again...
I was right on the money! And, speaking of money, if you
want one of your own, it won't cost you much at all!
This was the Best $6.00 I spent all week!
Speaking of spending... Mom asked me to place an order for her with
Williams-Sonoma for some of the same Bistro items I picked up. I was
happy to do it, and even happier to find the table runner I've been eyeing
is now on sale! Mom loves her butter dish and her cheese platter
as much as I am now enjoying my new pantry table runner!
While my cupcakes baked, I checked on the boys out in the solarium!
Our transition has been going quite well this week!
King Bing is back to his calm, happy self!
And, King Leonidas really seems to be enjoying his new home!
For my part, I'm really enjoying the peace and quite. And, what about all
this bright sunshine in January too? Love it! I think as soon as my cupcakes
are out of the oven, I am going to get outside and wash the Mini Cooper!
Cupcakes baked... Mini Cooper washed!
How much do we love Devil's food cupcakes?
Last week I had batter for one cupcake left over...
Today, there's batter left for two!
Time for another round of Martha's Buttercream!
The secret to smooth frosting is sifted powdered sugar!
Sifting works out all the kinks!
 Last weekend I made only one batch of Martha's buttercream...
Which left me with a few naked cupcakes. Naked
cupcakes rarely get eaten around here...
So I throw them out into the yard for the
raccoons. Because they are less picky that way!
Nevertheless, this weekend I'm doubling Martha's
recipe, thereby eliminating the risk of naked cupcakes!
The raccoons won't be happy!
I'm using a couple of different tips this time so I thought I
would share with you my trick for transferring icing from one
pastry bag into another... Just snip off the bottom of the first
bag, and use it to pipe the icing over into the second bag!
Certainly not rocket-science. However, it's a whole lot easier and less
messy than scooping icing out of the top of a used pastry bag. Right?
Last week I told you about the photo light tent I picked up and how
much I enjoy using it. Well, after my friend Cheryl read my post, she
e-mailed me to show me how she was able to tweak one of my photos
using Photo Shop. Cheryl's adjustments looked great, but the thing I
wanted to know the most was how she was able to lift, and brighten
up the background. I don't know how it happened; but I noticed a
while ago that my indoor photos were looking a bit drab. After
sharing my frustration with her, Cheryl suggested I adjust my
white-balance setting. And, you know what? She was right!
Adjusting the white-balance on my camera made all the difference!
Now, even without help from Cheryl's Photo Shop, I have
beautiful, bright, clear backgrounds again. Oh, Cheryl...
I heart-you!
Another weekend... And, another great
afternoon spent in the kitchen baking!
Before I go... This is the scene upstairs on our bed
right now. Bing and Leo getting along, and getting closer!
Could grooming each other be far behind?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Inside my Secret-Savings-Spot!

After sharing my Secret-Savings-Spot in this post, I received a ton of
e-mails asking me to disclose its location. I also received e-mails asking if
I would consider shipping some of the disposable pastry bags I found there!
If you're one of my readers that inquired, then you know I answered every single
e-mail. And, if you asked me to mail you a box, (or four) of disposable pastry
bags, you'll know in a few days that they were mailed this evening. But, if you
are one of the many readers who said you wished you could see inside my
little s-s-s, then get comfy... Because the following photos are for you!
SpaBoy and I met for Hot Yoga after work this evening. Then, we hit the
secret-savings-spot. It was his first time. We shopped for almost an hour
and a half! The first thing I hope you've noticed is the variety of products
they carry! Now... This below had me a bit miffed because these non-slip
comfort/wellness mats are perfect for the kitchen but at only $14, they're
a fraction of what I paid for the one I ordered from Williams-Sonoma!
Part of the reason it took me and SpaBoy an hour and half to get through the
store is because we stopped to giggle so often. I mean, really... This has to
be the only place you'll find a garment steamer, blowdryer diffuser, water
bottle combination set, and commercial fry basket all on the same shelf!
Oh, and empty prescription bottles just below!
This cracked me up because I saw these in the gift shop the last time we
visited the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning with the Ranger!
Yes indeed... There's a whole lot of everything here!
Like these hand warmers I intend to send to the Ranger! He told me
it's been snowing in Afghanistan for a week now and that their
digital thermometer stopped working at minus 6 degrees!
SpaBoy loaded up on these sponges... Every
esthetician knows why this is a great deal!
Trehalose...Who knew?
But this is where you'll find it... Right next to
the hot tub safety rails and... The bathtub!
Need a bar condiment caddy, flat iron or set of hot rollers?
Or maybe you're in the market for a new
Bible or you're taking a road trip to Arizona?
I bet you could shop every store in North Carolina and not
find another box of plastic communion figurines anywhere!
Last fall I bought a case of tennis balls at Costco,
and I paid a whole lot more than this for them!
Right above the Pottery Barn wine stopper set and next to the corkscrews
is where you'll find the extra-long Gutting Gloves. And, isn't
extra-long what really matters when buying your gutting gloves?
This is usually the only place in the store where you'll find me...
It's where they stock all the baking/cooking supplies, and where I recently
found these fantastic rolls of 18" disposable pastry/decorating bags, priced
just $9.95 a box! I called yesterday afternoon to ask if they would put another
six boxes on hold for me, and I'm glad I did - Because while it may look like
there are still a lot of boxes left, there were ten times this many last week!
Now, last week they didn't have any of these latex gloves I was
after... But this evening I got lucky, and I took all five boxes home!
This is an example of the Williams-Sonoma goodies to be found here!
And, if you're in the market for a replacement handle
for your Le Creuset rubber scraper, you're in luck!
 I hope you've enjoyed your peek into the best kept secret in this area... SpaBoy
and I had a blast! After all, it's the only place in North Carolina a couple of former
Kansas State University students could find a clock like this hanging over the door!