Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad

Having spent many, many years in Southern California, we always used to say that it is not Christmas until we have heard Jose Feliciano singing "Feliz Navidad". This brings back many memories.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chug chug chugging along...

Hail Blogeroos!

I just popped in for a sec. I hope to have some pictures up soon of what I have been up to.
I have realized that it is not the fact that there are not enough hours in the day but that there is not enough steam in this old engine.

After ten hours at work all I want to do is flop into bed. I am doing bits and bobs along the way and keeping up with the house, but sadly blogging is not at the top of my list right now. 

I came up with a GREAT idea. Since I am so late with making my Christmas goodies I will continue to make things after the holiday and have them ready for next year! Good thinking eh? Might as well since I have all the stuff out all over my floor.

What ever happened to times like these with all the family gathered around?

I hope you are all enjoying your festive season and finding time to spend with family and friends.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Grateful Heart

Giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart: for my son being safe, for friends far and wide: ( England, Swaziland and every state in the Union), for my spousal substitute Nick who makes me very happy, for my job, for paychecks that allow us to become debt free, for my health, and for my family who I always miss during the holiday season. May you too have a very thankful day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Well Hello......

It is Sunday evening, I have a roast in the oven with delicious roast 'taters browning and crisping, the laundry is done (clean work clothes for tomorrow) and all is right with the world.

I have completed my three weeks of manager training and tomorrow start at my new store. The days are long and I get quite tired, but all in all I am enjoying myself. The only thing I am sad about is that I don't have much time for crafting or blogging. I refuse to feel guilty or stressed about it, since both are supposed to be a pleasure. At the end of the day, one can only do what one can do.

I love getting a pay check every week and am looking forward to becoming debt free. However there are a few little goodies I might just have to treat myself to. I think that once a month I might buy myself something gorgeous to remind me that life is not just all about work. I received the latest Cath Kidston brochure last week and have my eye on a couple of things.

How adorable is this bag?!

Tea would taste so marvy in a dotty mug!

Hope everyone had a restful weekend and in rejuvenated for the week ahead.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanking all our Servicemen and Women

Rest assured, you are not forgotten.

Thank you so much for your sacrifice.
You make us all so proud.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Still Here....

Just a quicky at 4.30am before I go to work.
I am alive and well and getting through my training. Next week should get easier with no more studying.
I have some ideas swirling around in my tired head and hope to get them made up next week.
I am linking to The Girl Creative today for her monthly Etsy Originals party. Go and check out all the cool shops.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dear Diary....

Just popped in to let you know I am still alive and kicking/ish.
My new job has given me a very steep learning curve, long hours, and quite a bit of stress.
I have not even had time to check in on everyone's blogs to see what you are all up to!

Can you imagine this bloke looking over your shoulder all the time as you try to perform on a grill that you have never, ever, in your long-legged life, cooked on? Fast, accurately, and with a smile on your face to boot?
Plus study and take tests all at the same time....

I am an awful test taker and do very badly under stress. So you can tell that is has been a bit of a  week I have had.

Fifty hours of work takes a bit of getting used to, and ten hours a day without sitting down makes the feet HURT.
Ah well, soon the learning curve will be over and hopefully I will feel more comfortable.

I am dying to do some creating but just don't have the time right now...sob sob.

I have to be up at 2.30am so will have to go to sleep soon to be fresh and perky for tomorrow. 
Hope everyone is well.


Monday, October 25, 2010

First Day On The Job...

Hello my lovelies.
Today was my first day at my new job. I left the house at 5am and got home just before 5pm! It wasn't bad at all. I am not really mentally tired, just my bod hurts (my back specifically).
I have spent the past few days studying menu abbreviations and getting familiarized with store operations. 
Wouldn't you just know it, I start work and get a nice etsy order for a bulk sale! 
No worries, it is an easy make, so I should be able to knock it out no probs.

I hope everyone is well and dealing with all the daily ups and downs of life.
I read through all your blogs when I have time and will post again later this week to let you know how I am surviving.



Sunday, October 17, 2010


This week has just whizzed by so quickly.
I have had not time to post or even read any blogs (I have 295 posts waiting for me to read them!).
I got busy and listed some new items in my Etsy shop and for some strange reason I had my best week yet for sales.
I woke up one morning and looked at my shop, only to find some things missing. Then it dawned on me....KACHING...KACHING. They had sold!

Remember this post about the tray I made?

Well not only did one lady buy this and another item, but at exactly the same time someone from England wanted to know how much it would cost to post one to the UK!
Some adorable owl salt and pepper shakers sold to someone I used to know in my former life in Los Angeles, she saw them on my FB page. I also sold a vintage glass jar....the only problem is I can't find it!!!!!

On Friday and Saturday I went on interviews for a job as a manager at Whataburger.
My life is going to change drastically after next week. I will be working 10 hour days and will probably be so tired when I get home that I will fall straight into bed, lol. I am excited but anxious at the same time. I will need to get loads of rest and keep up my strength. I just hope my old body holds up and I don't suffer too many aches and pains. This is the last push before retirement. I have ten years left to save some money and get that 401K built up. I am extremely glad I will have health insurance again.
Mr. Shabby will be able to leave his very shabby job and get going full bore on his new business. He is very excited about that.
I just hope that my insurance covers domestic partners. I did ask that question but so far no answer. Still, with both of us making fairly decent money now, we should be able to pay for his insurance.

It will be such a relief not to have to skrimp so much but I really think that all this time with such a small income has made me realise how much money we spent on totally unnecessary things. Into the savings account it shall go!

So anyway, I suppose the point is, I will be simplifying my life to some extent. I will try to make blog enteries at least once a week, but I am not going to stress over it. I will also be reducing my blog reading list to I don't feel I HAVE to read all of them. I will be having enough stress at work and need to reduce the amount at home. I am one of those people who puts way too much on her plate and then feels terribly guilty and bad because I did not do it all.
I am closing down one of my etsy shops and keeping open the one that sells vintage finds from the thrift shops. That is to say, until I run out of stuff to sell or run out of time to go and find stuff to sell.
I will have to spend less time crafting and creating and be much more choosy about my projects.
My main focus will be on making a career and moving up in the business world so that in ten years I can leave the work force knowing I did a good job and have something to retire on.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness here, but I typed it as it came into my head.

I want to thank all of my dear readers and blogmates that have cheered me on this past year when I started blogging and selling on Etsy. I have met some super people and been incredibly inspired in so many ways by you all. 
I would love it if any of you felt the desire to email me. We could stay in touch like that too.

All that being said, I bid you adieu for a while but you will all be in my thoughts and I will be lurking around your blogs from time to time.  


Anne x0x0x0x

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cake in a Jar.........done.

I am delighted to tell you that my experiment with baking in canning jars went very well!
I chose squatty small jars to try this in. I only bought four in case it was a huge flop.

I used a package of Betty Crocker Chocolate Chunk Brownies because they are totally delish and just as good as home made.
I filled the jars 2/3 of the way full, baked them at 350 degrees for about 45 mins after having put them on a baking sheet.
Prior to that I sterilised the jars as per the instructions on the box.
When you place the lids on (very gingerly since the jars are very very hot) and tighten them up, the lids pop down during the cooling process so you know they are sealed.  

I am very happy with the experiment and am sure my son will thoroughly enjoy digging into them with the plastic 'sporks' I included in his care package (that way he can eat them on the spot, hehe).

I wrapped an assortment of toiletries and bits and bobs in Halloween paper since the parcel should get to him about the end of the month. I wrote funny things on the labels; for instance: "Use this on itchy Werewolf skin" on some non scented lotion and "This contains garlic to ward of Vampires" on a tub of Cajun seasoning!

I also popped one of these in for him!

~~~~~~~~~GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS~~~~~~~~~~~


Monday, October 4, 2010

Too Pooped To Party

I am feeling most def like a party pooper today.
I am tired and worn out and have accomplished enough for one day without pushing myself to do any more.
I took four more secret shopping jobs today, running out to do one before I went to the grocery store.
I did research into forming a business.
I did housework.
I listed handmade tags on Etsy.
I made dinner.

And I still feel like I should have done more......
But tomorrow is another day.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cake In A Jar

Who knew you could make cake in a jar?
Well I certainly didn't.
I have been a very bad Mummy and not sent my Soldier son any care packages yet and whilst on FB with his girlfriend, it came up that our Armed Forces love receiving cakes in jars.  Apparently when opened, they taste as fresh as when they came out of the oven!

I found a lot of delish sounding cake recipes around the net, so next week I shall be off to buy some canning jars and get to canning some cake!

Things are looking up at the House of Shab. Mr Shabby is starting a new business venture with an old colleague and there is a bit more of a spring in his step these days, bless him.
I am picking up more secret shopper jobs and thoroughly enjoying it (who doesn't like free merchandise, eh?)
I now have to do some research to figure out if it is better to become an L.L.C, to incorporate or to be a Sole Proprietor. 
I am also going to take a free on line book keeping course to see if I can do the books before handing them off to an accountant.
The page might just be starting to turn.

It is Frugalicious Friday and I wanted to show you how frugaliciously thrifty I have been this week in my thrift shopping.

 An old ironstone milk jug and an apothecary jar.....$1.50

Another tray to decorate, two cups to put decals on, vintage buttons and a vintage knife holder that I shall paint....$4.50.

And how about these beauties?  $1.00

The owls I will sell, so let me know if interested.

Off to link to Frugalicious Friday at decormamma.blogspot.com.decormamma.blogspot.com

Monday, September 27, 2010

Brag Monday?

Don't you just love it when a thrown together dinner works?

I had some lovely thick pork chops but wanted to cook them in such a way as to not dry them out.

First I browned them in olive oil after coating them in seasoned flour.
Then I threw half a box of Orzo into a greased dish. I added 1.5 cups water and a packed of onion soup mix, laid the chops on top, covered with foil et voila...........an hour later dinner was ready.

I had made a bit of pear/apple sauce this morning , I steamed some cabbage and it tasted DELISH!

Ok, pursuant to my last post about my secret mission, I wanted to show you what my loot looked like.

 Not too shabby eh?


Now I was hoping to complete a project for Brag Monday chez The Graphics Fairy, but I have just spent the last hour helping Mr. Shabby download Picasa. Then I showed him how he could play with pics in Picnik. Then we had to figure out where his pictures were being saved from some email and how to find them again.
Yada yada yada...........

So here is my petit project pour Brag Monday. Needless to say, my computer did not want to print out on the velum so that caused some frustration until I taped it to another piece of paper and 'helped' it through the printer.

 I also used my very last piece of shrink plastic to print out some skull ear rings. The ink smeared....grrr. I may show you those tomorrow.

TTFN it is time to watch House now.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

International Woman of Mystery

Shhhh, don't tell anyone, but I did my first 'Secret Shopper' gig!

It was sooooooo much fun and I came home saying "I could do this every day!"

My mission, which I chose to accept, was to visit a well known upscale clothing store and purchase a gift card for $20. I had to use all my secret agent skills to count how many people were in the store, how well the sales person knew their gift card policy etc.

Thanks to my amazing training.......

I was able to complete this part of my nerve wracking mission in about 15 mins. and I managed to escape the store without being spotted.

Trying to  look non-chalant, I proceeded to my car and sat for a second to calm my beating heart. Then off to my next secret location....literally 2 mins away.

Here I was to pose as a shopper (I know, hard eh?) and look around the store, finding something to purchase with the gift card. Again, a nervous wreck at having to portray a woman shopping for clothes, I discovered that the sister store was having a HUGE, ENORMOUS, GIGANTIC sale.

I was hard tested (NOT) to find anything to buy, but I worked hard at it and eventually managed to make my way up to the cash register. Here I was to secretly observe how the cashier handled the purchase etc.

By this time I had been holding my breath so long that I could not wait to escape the store and regroup. 

I jumped in my car and laughed all the way home!!!!

I had ended up with two t-shirts, four tank tops and a grey cardie, all purchased with a $20 gift card that I will be re embursed for, AND I got paid $10 for the mission!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wind Farms off the Kentish Coast and Eco-Tourism to Kurdistan

I do so love watching BBC World News.
You find out the most interesting things...

Two holiday destinations for next year might be the Kent Coast in England. There you will be able to watch hundreds of wind turbines creating energy in the open sea!

Or how about Northern Iraq? Kurdistan is supposed to be very safe and have some super white water 
rafting and great picnic areas.

I am sure you realise that was all said with my tongue placed firmly in my cheek!

To be perfectly honest, I am currently feeling very un inspired, bored and BORING.
I have no great posts for you I'm afraid, but I did finally get my 25 match boxes finished and ready for posting for A Swap for All Seasons.

Oh, and I did pick up a bit of work doing some secret shopping and merchandising!
Hey Mrs., see.....some good things have happened after all!!!!!


Monday, September 20, 2010

New Items in Cottage and Castle

Good evening one and all!
I hope you all had a pleasant weekend. 
I am slowly going bonkers at home with too much time on my hands (how could that be, you ask yourself).
I reckon everything in moderation, even alone time.
Still, I am slowly adding more goodies to my new store on Etsy.
Fancy a peak?

This is a really lovely, heavily etched, silver plate tray.

This tray I turned into a chalk board because it was a bit shabby.

This one was fun. It goes well with the teapot one I did last week.

  You too can have your initial on a platter!

The last two are some nice shabby baskets that I can think of a myriad uses for.

I was working on a Halloween themed decoupage plate for Brag Monday at The Graphics Fairy, but I used this really awful stuff (which I have tossed in the bin) called Liquid Laminate. Pretty much ruined the project. I should have stuck with good old M P!
If it dries and I can salvage it, I will show it to you later.

I had to get out of the house today as I was going stir crazy, but I PROMISE tomorrow I will get my studio in order before I break my neck falling over all the stuff on the floor.
Mr. Shabby actually dared to come in and he didn't say a word, bless him!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Girl Can Dream Right?

Since I have not been working I have had to be quite frugal. Basically the only places I go are to the grocery store or Walmart (woohoo I get to look at clothes there). I am not complaining or anything. Actually I realised how little we need to live. I really don't need any clothes or shoes or bags or jewellery or anything like that. Just food on the table and the odd trip to the craft store and the thrift store.
I really would like some furniture in my living room!

It has been empty for about two years now since getting rid of the HORRID old stuff that was in there.

We have a nice den that we re-did before the bottom fell out, so we don't actually use the living room, but I am just saying.......it would be nice.

So today I went virtual furniture shopping! Money was no expense (since I wasn't really spending any) and I gave myself free reign to dream.

For some reason I found myself looking at kitchen tables and thought that if I had a different sort of eat in kitchen, this would look good.

Coastal Living™ by Stanley Furniture Coastal Living™ Round Leg Table - 829-01-34

Isn't it lovely? You could change the chair covers to suit the season or occasion.

This looks really comfy and casual. I love slip covers because you can change those out too.

Or how about this?

Living room decoration trends 2009 2010

Loving this one, but don't think Mr Shabby would be into it. What am I saying?! He had his den!

Now this set has potential. Classic lines and a neutral colour. I could put some great hand made cushions on it to jazz it up and it would go really well with my sunny yellow walls. I am looking at the bare bones here of course. I love to mix things up with bits of antique stuff like side tables etc, eclectic looking lamps, you know the sort of thing. I hate the idea of walking out of a store with a living room in a box.

I think I am on to something....ideas are forming in my head......


Input Needed on Die Cut Machines

Drinking my coffee in bed this morning and catching up on my blog reading, I happened to see on HSN, that Cricut has brought out a new machine.

If I had the money I would really invest in something like this but it is $500!!!!
I had my eye on the Silhouette for Christmas, and it comes in at a much better price.

Does anyone have any input on which is the best machine all around?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Procrastinate

Well hello there dear blogmates. I hope everyone is well and having a good week. My week has been much better I am glad to say.
 Yesterday at the crack of dawn Mr. Shabby left to go and work out of town until the weekend. I thought I would be bored stiff without him being here, but to be honest I have enjoyed the quiet (no yelling about blowing up tanks or getting one shotted in his War game). I bought some Chinese take away yesterday and enjoyed it for both lunch and dinner. Mr Shabby does not care for Chinese food, total meat and taters guy.

 I even got a couple of movies from the Red Box since Mr Shabby had taken my beloved lap top with him so I couldn't watch Netflix whilst working on my matchboxes in bed (I love doing things like this at night).

So here are a few of the matchboxes I have been making for A Swap For All Seasons. I am almost done with them, all 25, but now have to make a tiny something to include on the inside of each.

They were a lot of fun to do. 

 I ventured out in my car today and went to my favourite thrift shop "Angel Aid" where everything is always half price! Seriously cheap and I can always find something good.  Like............

A vintage brayer for 50cents, a book of old sheet music for a dollar I think, some vintage stamen for a quarter and that lovely milk glass candle stick for $2. Warms the cockles of my heart, it does, to find such goodies.

While I was in the kitchen cleaning up I had a total brain wave. I had a couple of things laying out, not knowing what to do with them. Would you like to see the result .........

How cool is that then?! Two dollars got me a pretty celery green welcome sign on a painted tray.
Think I am going to sell that in my new etsy shop I hope to have up and running tomorrow.

I will tell you right now, this job hunting business is bloody exhausting. You know what bothers me the most? You fill out a million trillion applications online and have totally NO CLUE as to where they go! Does anyone ever actually see them or do they just float around in cyber space?
I did put in an app at my local grocery store however, and make a point of speaking to the manager so she could put a face to the name. Again, I shall have to wait and see what happens.

I am going to link this post to Frugalicious Friday as I think I was quite frugal this week (well apart from the Chinese).


Monday, September 6, 2010

Love and Lust

Love and Lust
Love and Lust by Anne Lambdin featuring a crossbody handbag
I have a penchant for fabulous leather sachels and chunky boots for this fall.

This is my first Polyvore set so I am not sure that it looks that great but I thought I would have a go.
Here is something else lustworthy. Have you tried these puddings yet! OMG, talk about delish and only 60 calories each. They are so good you could eat at least two in one sitting.

I hope everyone is having a nice extended weekend.....