Friday, February 13, 2009

A Ringing Endorsement of IKEA Frozen Food Totes.

On a visit to IKEA a few weeks ago I purchased an insulated reusable grocery tote. The insulated grocery bags I had until now were mylar and foam and although they last a couple of years if you care for them well, they are still going to be in a landfill for ages. The top closes but the edges must be folded in when you close them or it doesn't completely seal. Sometimes the movement of the car is enough to open them up if you've stuffed them very full, too. They had only a hard plastic handle, no shoulder straps. So while they did serve a purpose, I wasn't all that impressed with them overall.

When I saw IKEA had a nice fabric version with a zipper I grabbed one. Now I'm sorry I didn't pick up more. IKEA isn't close to home so I don't go very often. I'll have to put the word out to family and friends to pick me up a few if they go before I do. As if the bag wasn't sturdy enough to get me excited, it also has interior pockets. I do love organization. It holds a good amount of food, zips securely shut and has two nice, wide straps that can be used for carrying by hand but also work over the shoulder, which makes my day.

But the point of today's ringing endorsement is to tell you that I stuffed the bag full from Trader Joe's this afternoon. When I got in the door, I pulled out the ice cream, put it in the freezer then zipped the bag back up again because I had to run to do something quickly. About ninety minutes later my daughter came in and noticed the bag still on the kitchen floor where I'd lost track of it. I thought she put everything away, but apparently there wasn't enough room in the freezer and I again got sidetracked when she told me I needed to come rearrange things so they would fit (I am known as the packing ninja here, I can make nearly anything fit anywhere) and the next thing I knew I was waking up on the couch where I'd fallen asleep unexpectedly. Wandering to the kitchen for some water I discovered the bag, still sitting there, half full and zipped shut, eight hours after I walked in the door with it.

You could knock someone unconscious with the burrito tray, it is still frozen so solid! I wish I could find a link to them on their site but I don't see the totes there and a search brings up no good results. I'm THRILLED with how well they work. If you're at IKEA you want to pick up at least one. And while you're there could you grab me another three?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Save Me From Voice Menu Hell.

You know what I mean, you've been trapped in it too. I found this today and although I haven't needed any of the numbers yet, I do hope that the directions work should I need them someday. Have a look for yourself, here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grocery Bag Trash Liners

Everyone is using their cloth grocery bags faithfully, right? I know I am, but somehow we still end up with some plastic store bags in the house. There are lots of uses for them, but here is what I'd say is the easiest and most common use.

Get yourself a small trash pail -

From Crunch Crunch Crunch

Add a bunch of bags -

From Crunch Crunch Crunch

You'll get one more use out of them -

From Crunch Crunch Crunch

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Yummy looking recipe I want to veganize.

Swamp Yankees From Outer Space: Pupusas

I am SO coveting that tortilla press. I need to ask around and see if anyone I know has one stuffed in an attic somewhere because we would get a lot of use out that item. I'd love to try the Pupusas stuffed with a vegetable mixture, because they sure do look appetizing with the exception that I'm a vegan.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Woot! Backpack joy.

I have been wanting a lightweight black backpack for years. Never found something I liked or that I thought suited my needs. Tuesday I had an assignment at work that made getting one of these pretty much a 'do it now at whatever the cost' situation. I hate those. I also hate shopping, most especially going to the mall, but I had to bite the bullet and do it.

I got a great little navy skirt - size 14 and it is nice and roomy - at H&M where I often find good buys on fun accessories in their kid departments. The skirt was $10 and I'll get more than my $10 worth out of it, but I had no luck snagging a backpack there.

Too many stores to even count later, I finally bit the bullet and accepted that I would have to get what I needed at Eastern Mountain Sports, even though it would be a pricey prospect. I had it narrowed between two - one $49, the other $65, when I decided to wander the store for a new pair of wool socks while I made my decision.

Do you ever have one of those moments when you happen upon something and you swear you can hear the angels singing?

This was mine.

Yes, there aren't as many pockets as I had hoped for, but it is about as light as you can get and not only does it list for $25, but it was on clearance, one of my favorite words in the whole world, for $5.98. (Insert Dance of Joy here)

It worked perfectly for what I needed and may very well become my everyday backpack from here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Staying Warm in a Cold World

My hands, wrists and feet are always cold. Yes, this is a medical condition.

We keep the house warm enough to be comfortable, but even with the heat set in the mid to high 60's during the day, I still need to supplement my body heat. I wear fingerless gloves inside, along with at least two pairs of socks, preferably a thin pair next to my feet and a thick wool or fleece pair over them. I love wristwarmers and will do a photo blog shortly showing frugal DIY wristwarmers. I find that keeping moisturized helps. I can't sing the praises of Frost Fish Cove's moisturizers enough. The whipped shea I favor goes on thick but is quickly absorbed and smells wonderful. I'm constantly complimented on how good I smell.

Outdoors I swap my fingerless gloves for full gloves or mittens and pile on the layers everywhere else. I do own a coat, a recent non-frugal purchase to replace my last one which has been too big for me, sitting unused in the closet for at least six years. The gorgeous new coat is worn mostly for dress occasions. I find layers much warmer and more convenient for everyday.

How do you keep warm? I hope you'll share some tips.