Free Worldwide Shipping and New Products!!

For this week (Wed. Oct. 28 thru Wed. Nov. 4) I'm having a promotion of "FREE Worldwide Shipping" on everything in my Etsy Shop!!! This is a great savings when shopping for small gifts for friends and families!

Think of all of those people in your life that deserve a little something from you for the holidays! I'll be adding a few new fun products this week also, so keep checking back.

I've recently added some Bottle Cap Magnet Sets that can be used in the office or home decor -- or for those who have magnetic Bottle Cap Necklaces (i.e. Snap Caps).

I'm also adding more Bottle Cap necklaces for those younger (tween/teen) girls on your shopping list.

A few new Twilight items have been added -- just in time for the release of the 2nd movie on Nov. 20th.

Some more inspiration pieces have been added as well. I'm excited about the new pendant that is based on the Mutual 2010 theme for LDS youth groups. It will be available in any of the YW value colors and at a great discount for group orders. (If you are interested in this -- please email me).

I will also be releasing some Bottle Cap Theme Kits with instructions for the 2010 Mutual theme so those crafty leaders who want to make their groups something fun for Trek, Camp, Recognition, Birthdays, etc. can do so. More on this to follow. . .


Pretty Pink Couch

This couch reminds me of my grandmother's! Of course, hers wasn't all dressed up in this pretty pink. I found this splashy pink softness in Anna Maria's blog. She's got some new patterns out --- one of them is this darling multi-colored pillow!

My grandmother had reupholstered her couch and matching chair back in the early 70's -- it is a light green with pink highlights. It's still sitting pretty and classy in my mother's living room -- looks similiar to how Anna's couch looks at the top of her blog. My grandmother probably would have thought this bright pink couch a little too bold -- but I think that it looks good here among Anna's other bold and sunny prints!


Too many Tomatoes! Lots of Sauce!

This year we decided to plant a garden for the first time. We have quite a bit of land in the back of our home but really haven't attempted truly having a vegetable garden until this year. My husband found himself with lots of extra time in the spring because his work was furloughing their employees during the slow periods.

Because of his lack of work and the reduced income, we felt like it would be an excellent year to attempt to garden. Hubby divided the garden plot into raised beds that were 4 ft by 6 ft. He made about 10 plots. The first of June we went to a local greenhouse and bought lots of starts and a few seeds. I thought that tomatoes would be great to grow -- and we ended up with 15 tomato plants! Silly me! We had also bought cucumbers, beets, lettuce, peas, radishes, cucumbers, different varieties of squash, watermelon, other melons, peppers, herbs, and green beans.

Of course, since it was our first time, we did our best, but had some crop failures and some lessons learned. The main vegetable that thrived was the tomatoes! 15 plants of lots of tomatoes. We started have tomato sandwiches, sliced tomatoes, tomato salads, etc. Which I adored! There is nothing better than a fresh vine ripened tomato! We didn't have any problems with pests or disease -- just a great crop! We gave away some to family and enjoyed a lot.

But, we found that we had too many! I wasn't getting to them fast enough -- so we started to process some into tomato sauce. I didn't really want the bother of canning this year -- so I decided to freeze the sauce.

We picked boxes and boxes of tomatoes --- washed the tomatoes --- blanched them for 30 seconds in boiling water and then set them in an ice bath for a few minutes --- then my dear 17 year old daughter peeled and cut up all of those tomatoes!! She is truly a gem!! She tried to get out most of the seeds and juice as she peeled them.

I cut out peppers (some fun red and purple ones from the garden and some green ones I bought), sweet onions and garlic. I cut everything up real fine. I sauteed the peppers, onions and garlic in butter until the onion was translucent and the peppers soft. Then I poured in the bowls of cut up tomatoes that my daughter had all cut up. I had a whole pan full. I brought everything to a boil and then turned it to medium and continued to cook it on a low boil for a few hours. I would keep stirring and checking to see if the liquid was boiling out and the tomatoes breaking up. I added a couple of tsp. of Italian Seasoning and salt and pepper. I also added a 1/4 cup of brown sugar. At the end I added 2 cans of tomato paste and simmered it another 30 minutes.

The sauce turned out delicious, chunky and great over some fresh pasta! We ate some of it fresh on the few nights that we were making the sauce. The rest we put into plastic freezer containers. I got 12 quarts of fresh tomato sauce in my freezer -- gave some away and we ate some. I figure that we had plenty to eat fresh tomato sauce once a week during the winter months!

Now the tomato plants have frozen. We picked a bunch that are still ripening on my counter right before the cold spell hit. We'll still have some until the end of the month.

We love the tomatoes -- but since I only have 2 kids left at home and my husband eats tomatoes cautiously because of acid reflex -- we had better only plant 4-6 plants next year! It was a great learning experience and one that we can build on for a better garden next year. Maybe we'll try for a bumper crop of green beans next year since our plants failed this year!

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