Posts Tagged ‘cheap’

dear mae,

i recently gave myself the gift of a new work space.  my poor computer hasn’t had a proper place to live since we moved here. it has spent the majority of the last two years sitting on the kitchen table. that’s class. it cost me nothing to get my little home office set up, just a bit of rearranging.  this desk was tucked in my bedroom collecting dust and junk for a year before i realized that it’s a desk. for a computer. duh, put it in the living room. it’s in really ugly shape so i draped some fabric over it. good as new. kind of.

thank goodness for goodwill! lamp:$1.50, seriously. map:$5.00, maybe, i got it a long time ago, so i don’t really remember. oh, and the desk and chair were dumpster finds. did i mention how classy i am?
is it crazy of me to match my markers to the map? maybe, but who cares? i do, that’s who, and i like it.
hey look! i can see my house from here!

the map is one of my favorite things. it’s the portland metro area and includes little ol’ wilsonville.  tom spotted it rolled up at goodwill and it was so huge we decided just to buy it without knowing what it was.  there are tiny little post-its all over it that were there when we unrolled it.  i’m not really sure what they mean, but i’m thinking that it used to be in one of the distribution centers in town (hollywood video and rite aid both used to ship out of wilsonville, and coke still does).


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dear mae,

i don’t know if you are aware, but i am terrible at baking. i can make some dry chewy cupcakes, whip up a cake that is both burnt and under cooked, or make a sheet of rock hard sugar cookies, but this doesn’t prevent me from trying to make an oven fresh snack from time to time.  i never bake from scratch because i end up wasting a pound of flour, half a dozen eggs, a whole bag of sugar… whatever it was that i threw together in that bowl, so i opt for something out of a box.  if i’m feeling mighty crazy i’ll add something special to at least make it look homemade. maybe some craisins.   being in some sort of autumnal spirit i whipped up a box, i mean loaf, of pumpkin bread with surprisingly tasty results!

put this junk in the pan, then bake it in the oven. don’t bake the beer. drink the beer while baking, or cheap wine, it’s up to you.
try not to bake eggshells and other foreign objects into cakes or loafs.

if you are good enough at following simple directions you might just end up with a tasty end product looking something like this:

hey! i didn’t even burn it!

the best part about box baking is that i can put it together while carrying an attention starved baby while doing the dishes and photographing the whole disaster. i may not be a domestic goddess, but i am certainly a domestic person.




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dear mae,

while baby is due in a mere 12 days (!!!!) i can’t stop trying to make sure everything is absolutely perfect for him.  boiling bottles, sizing onesies in the closet, buying things like nipple cream (tmi?).  gosh, it’s a whole lot of things you never thought you would see yourself doing.  it sometimes freaks me out, i know tom gets weirded out with the talk of breast pumps and diaper cream, but soon enough these will be everyday normal things around here…. les sigh… parenthood.

but anyway, there is a much more adorable side of pending motherhood and it is all at the end of the hallway in the nursery:

tom and i have always collected vintage board games and for the last couple years we haven’t really been playing them, but the boards themselves make fantastic art.  they are just loosely pinned to the wall so we can take them down if we ever want to play risk or clue or go for broke.  plus my granny square afghan is getting really big! I’m intending on working on it and using it for “tummy time” in the living room until i either run out of yarn (ha) or get bored with it (more likely).
i love these old fisher price toys from goodwill  and i was so excited to get a sophie giraffe at my baby shower! i’m sure she’s gonna get lots of lovin’ and squeezin’!lots of books, with lots more to come i’m sure! my favorite toy is the set of blocks hiding away in the big red basket with the monkey, oh, and the otter pops box is full of matchbox cars that tom has been buying since we found out we were pregnant.

i think the nursery might be done… i keep saying that, and then making another big change.  the dresser is still quite ugly and is awaiting some kind of inspiration. i’m thinking perhaps wood-grain contact paper stripes… or something…

well, just maybe my next post will be an introduction to my little guy, who knows?

❤ betty

p.s. you can see more pictures at apartment therapy, but i wish i would have had the foresight to wait until the room was more complete before submitting it!

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dear mae,

believe it or not, i’m still roaming planet earth, just a little more zombie like than before.  my world has been a whirlwind of doctors appointment’s, eating, sleeping, knitting and eating, a lot of eating.  every time someone says being pregnant gives me the goahead to eat whatever i want, i want to punch them. what it really means is i should be eating as well and as healthy as i can because i will be doing a lot of eating. even with that said i can no longer squeeze my butt into any of my pre-pregnancy pants, and barely into a skirt. my wardrobe is limited to baby-doll dresses and leggings. i look like the 90’s. now where’d that denim jacket go?

anywho, enough groaning. i did manage to come up with a recipe that i think everyone would enjoy! it may seem daunting to make your own granola from scratch, but it’s actually quite fun! i love to wander up and down the bulk foods isle at the supermarket choosing seeds and nuts and dried fruits to pair up.  i’m not a label snob (when it comes to food) but it’s nice to know every last ingredient in my breakfast cereal, and wonderful for those of you who are!


3 cups rolled oats

1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnimon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup dried blueberries

*note: most of these ingredients can be swapped, replaced, skipped, added to, ratios changed, whathaveyou. these are the ingredients i used for this particular batch, but i’ve made it with lots of different fruit/nut/seed combos, or try maple syrup instead of honey if its what you’ve got on hand, you could even add some chocolate chips if you wanted, yum! (even my measurments are approximate, i count 1 scoop at the bulk food isle to be about a cup.)

preheat your oven to 350.

mix your oats, nuts, seeds, spices and honey in a big bowl


spread it all out on a baking sheet

bake for about 10-15 minutes (i can usually tell it’s done when the whole house smells like cookies, but don’t let it burn!)

carefully transfer your granola to a bowl with a lid and stir in your fruits (and chocolate chips if you feel so inclined).  your granola can be kept in the fridge indefinitely, but i’m sure it won’t last that long!!Image

i usually eat mine in a bowl with soy milk, but it is also awesome on yogurt or ice cream.

give it a try! next time i think i’m going to try it with banana chips, maybe pistachios…. let me know if you try it, and what worked out for you!

❤ forever,


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dear mae,

last week when my mom was in town i got to play tourist in my own town.  i got to show her all of the things that i love about living in oregon, as well as discovering new things to love.  this includes the portland rose gardens.  there is no mystery to why portland is called the city of roses;  roses grow in the parks all over the city, in personal gardens, and near freeway off ramps.

the odor of the roses was so strong the moment we got to the gardens, you would have thought your nose was already pressed into the petals. the whole thing was absolutely astonishing.
oh! and the lovely 1950’s silk dress i’m wearing was a gift from my mom that we picked out from magpie in downtown portland. it’s perfectly lovely, but i spilled some coconut shaved ice down the front, so i already have to take it to the cleaners.  i guess i got the clumsiness from my mom as well!



p.s. i forgot to mention, the gardens are absolutely free to walk through, so if you are ever in the area be sure to check it out!!


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dear mae,

next time you feel like you need a super great craft project, or two, and short on cash, i can tell you that your local thrift store’s linen isle might need a good sifting though.  the bed sheet i bought in my last post has been transformed into both a lightweight summer frock, as well as a curtain for my bed room! at the local good will in town they have a plethora of fun bed sheets ranging from graphic star wars prints to dainty florals and neat tickings.  the instant i saw this sweet floral/stripe/polka dot fabric i knew it would soon be a dress hanging in my closet! well, with no further ado…

i even used the trim from the top edge of the sheet for my skirt, sweet little polka dots!

i used a vintage dress that i already had for the pattern, i love the low scoop back.  i added my own little twist with the wrap around so there would be something just as pleasing for the front.
and then there were curtains! or kind of, they are only thumb-tacked to the wall until i get some proper rods.

well, how have you been spending your time when you aren’t busy working, or schooling or what have you? i also spent a good long time cleaning my bedroom. its funny how a little thing like tacking half a bed sheet to your wall can inspire you to get other things straitened out!

❤ betty




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dear mae,

i’ve been thrifting! gosh i love it, the smell of mothballs and old, old perfumes, digging though piles, bins and racks.  nothing better, in my book.  except for maybe an estate sale.  this is what tom and i picked up this week from goodwill this week!

i picked out the bed sheet because it reminded me of rosmary’s baby, but i don’t think it’s going to go on my bed, it might make me some lovely curtains, or perhaps a sundress.  my pyrex collection is getting pretty out of hand, if there is such a thing, but i’ve moved on to straight corningware.  i found some crazy daisy bowls and teacups, as well as a couple random pyrex pieces.  when we went to the beach a few weeks ago i realized that i no longer have a thermos.  i used to have a terrific, huge, hot pink one, but i don’t know where it’s gone, so i replaced it with this chubby little yellow guy! i’ll be happy to have it in the wintertime i’m sure.

tom came across this fabulous map rolled up in the arts and crafts isle.  he bought it before he even knew that it was a map of portland.  i was pleased to see that it even includes our small town in the southern suburbs! tres cool! it’s covered in stickies with peoples names on them, perhaps friends of the previous owner.  it reminds me of the map we used to have of oakland county, but not quite as awesome, as this one doesn’t roll up and retract, but very awesome, none the less.  in total we spent less than $20, quite thrifty indeed!

❤ betty

p.s. i did make a dress and a curtain! see my next post!!

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