my good deed for the day...

...is passing along this helpful tidbit. I'm dumbfounded that I've gone through my entire life without knowing this. How?


five weeks down...

I'm thinking I should change the name from my "spending hiatus" to my "spending cutdown" or something like that. I made another purchase this weekend - this book. I looked for it first at the library, but they didn't have it, so I bought it at Half Price Books, a book reseller. Which means I recycled at the same time. That should count for something, right?

I'm not sure how much longer I plan on formally sticking with the no-spend (the sometimes-spend for me). I feel like I've learned what I want to from the experiment. We'll see...

Continued good wishes to everyone else...



New item posted in the shop - the Louise Tunic in gold. Modeled here by one of my favorite people in the world.


taste: scardello artisan cheese

This year for Valentine's Day, my valentine and I decided that we would skip the restaurant scene, and try out the fondue pot we had bought years ago, but never used. To make sure we did it up right, we hit Scardello Artisan Cheese for a quick lunch, then picked up the cheeses and some crusty bread to make their Swiss Three Cheese fondue (they have over 150 cheeses available. Can you say heaven?).

There's a small seating area towards the back of the shop, where you can enjoy something off
their menu – we both had The Sweet Italian sandwich with a green salad, and it was absolutely delicious – plus they serve wine by the glass or you can pick up a bottle. They also have a great selection of foodie delights - varietal honeys, roasted red peppers, a selection of different salts. If you live in Dallas, and you love cheese or just food for that matter, this place is a MUST!

And here's their recipe if you want to try it. This serves 4.

Swiss Three Cheese Fondue
1/2 lb grated Gruyere cheese (rind removed)
1/2 lb grated Vacherin Fribourgeois cheese (rind removed)
3 oz (1/2 cup) grated Appenzeller cheese (rind removed)
1 clove garlic, 1 cup dry white wine, 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 3 1/2 tsp. cornstarch 1 tbsp kirsch (optional, pepper and nutmeg to taste

1. Rub inside of medium saucepan with peeled garlic clove. Throw away garlic. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the cheese with the cornstarch and toss. Stir the mixture into the wine one small handful at a time. Make sure each handful is completely melted before adding another. The fondue can bubble a bit, but don't let it boil. Season with nutmeg and pepper. Stir in kirsch (optional).
3. Transfer to a cheese fondue pot and keep warm with burner. Serve right away.

four weeks down...

Well, from the photo above, you can probably tell that I didn't exactly stick to a NO-spend, but I did manage to walk out of Target with only the Orla Kiely coasters. I've been waiting for the Orla Kiely for Target line to come out for weeks, so I consider only purchasing coasters a victory (although if I find a Target with the pitcher or the canisters, those are coming home with me too)!

The spending hiatus is teaching me a lot – I feel a lot better about purchasing things when I have considered the purchase beforehand and then decided to go ahead with it. It's the impulse that causes the guilt for me. 

Continued good luck to everyone else!


for you...

I wish I could remember exactly what he said to me.

Happy Valentine's Day. 


etsy pick friday: laura davis design lab

I first saw (virtually) the cool stuff from today's pick Laura Davis Design Lab on Etsy, then I saw her pillows and mini wreaths in person at Make. (Hooray for a local pick!) Laura is a graduate of the MFA Furniture Design program at Savannah College of Art and Design, and is currently a furniture and product designer at JC Penney. Somehow in her spare time, she is still able to find the energy and creativity for the little works of art in her Etsy shop and at ShopSCAD! 

Right now, I am really loving this
bird hat. Maybe I could name the two little birds Loop and Lil?


the denial phase of grieving...

I received my last issue of Domino today, and I can't bear to open it. Sigh...


three weeks down: hitting my stride

After last week's poor performance, I wanted to get back on the wagon this week and renew my sense of commitment to this experiment. If only Valentine's Day hadn't gotten in the way of it! I thought carefully about it, and decided to get something for my Valentine from Etsy. (Valentine – if you are reading this do not click on that link!)

The funny thing is that I didn't feel guilty or bad about this purchase like I did about the others, I felt great! And I realized that this just isn't about not spending money to prove a point, it's about consciously realizing what the value of material things and experiences are to me. Hope everyone else is feeling good about however this is turning out for them!

For those on (or not on) the spending hiatus, check out
this leather wallet from etsy seller treeswithknees for a gentle reminder after all of this is over!


flower power...

Just listed in my etsy shop, the fabric flower brooch. Although this guy says otherwise, the weather here this weekend makes me feel like spring has sprung!


movie rec: king corn

One of my New Year's resolutions was to read more books. Subsequently, I've been "reading" a book on tape of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. It is absolutely fantastic. It's about how our food is grown in this industrial age, and it was an eye opener for me.

Subsequently, when I saw this movie on the shelf at the library, I was interested because the first section of The Omnivore's Dilemma focuses specifically on industrial corn. The movie follows two college buddies who decide to go to a tiny town in Iowa where their great-grandfathers were raised, and grow one acre of corn. Their mission is to follow a corn crop from the beginning (seed) to the end (our bodies). If you like documentaries, or if you're interested in food at all, I'd highly recommend this movie. Or if you want to skip the movie and learn about grass-fed meat or sustainable farming, go here or here


two weeks down: the sheets that killed the no-spend

I managed to avoid spending in spite of the fact that we had a rehearsal dinner and wedding to attend this weekend. This normally would be an occasion for me to go out and find that perfect new outfit (for both nights). However, I found those perfect outfits in my closet. And felt really great about it until...

Incident 1 - I bought new curtains for my living room. I might return them. 

Incident 2 - These sheets that I've been waiting for to go on sale from Kohl's went on sale (look at how cute the ruffle is!), and I couldn't resist. I might return them. 

What's up with me? Why even go into the stores if I know I have no willpower? The guilt is killing me. I think I will take this week to reflect, regroup and figure out whether I want to return the things I bought or not. Hope everyone else is doing better than I am!