Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just Between Friends

I love a great deal! 

Anyone else????

Now when it comes to kids clothes I happily report that I have purchased 1 item for my 3 year old at full price. I figure he grows so quickly and he tends to be ALL BOY that some items get thrashed pretty quickly, why should I pay full price. 

That said I have also bought ahead because as a tiny little one he was a BIG boy. Rather than milk I made cream. From the time he was 1 to 2 he gained 2 lbs…… that tells you what a little chunker he was.  Back then I had no idea that once he grew some he would be a lean and muscular 2.5 to 3 year old…….

Normally I would hit the deep discount stores and was fortunate to stumble upon some store closures.  Twice I have seen $5.99 stores closing and was able to get lots of Baby Gap, Tony Hawk, and Quicksilver shirts  for $1.99 to $3.99. Not bad.  I did have fantastic luck with the Target clearance schedule. I have a pretty close Target that had a lot of clearance, then they remodeled. After that, basically no clearance.  I have not shopped Target in over a year.
A great time to shop online is Midnight Thanksgiving night. Another fantastic online shop I had was Old Navy about January 3rd. I came across TONS of clearance items. I got free shipping and got 24 items for $46.

My score other than a pair of Airwalk shoes and  super cool Crocodile Costume
Now I have never gone to a resale shop…..BUT I have gone to the kids resale event called Just Between Friends. I went six months ago ( they have them every 6 months) and found a handful of items for the like price. I decided I would sell some of Kash’s items at the sale this time around. As a consignor you get 60% of the sale price. You can donate the items or go pick up whatever does not sell. An even more exciting part of this event is that if you are a consignor you get to SHOP EARLY!!!!  The event is a 3 day sale. The first  two days are regular sale days and the third is a half price day. I did not go the first day, but I took advantage of the half price early pass and went after the regular sale had ended the second day.

I have to tell you…… I honestly do not think I will shop retail for my son again! The items go through an inspection process so everything is great. But you can still be choosy. In about 45 minutes of shopping and very through checking of all my items I walked away spending $81.27 for 39 items.  They are all Gymboree, Oshkosh, The Childrens Place, Baby Gap, Dickies, Ralph Lauren, Nautica, Billabong, Levi, Lillian Vernon, Airwalk.  AMAZING!!!!!!!!

Now it looks as if I sold around $65 worth of items.   I only had about 40 items that I offered up for sale and  came home with about 12.  I will just leave them as is for the next sale and add to the pile.

Up to this point I had always just recycled our baby items and given them to people who had a boy who was younger than ours.  I figure I can still do that with some of our things, but I can certainly offset my sale purchases with my sales revenue. So with what I will get from my commission I will essentially have purchased each item for about $1.50.  Once again AAAMMMMAAZZZIIINGG!!!!!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

A new fall homegrown tradition

I have lived in San Diego my entire life…..and NEVER gone apple picking!

You would see things on the internet or in the news and it always seemed like it was basically one weekend and EVERYONE would infiltrate Julian, pick the apples and that would be it.  Turns out it is actually a few weeks long AND there are more things available than just apples. So I picked a day and off we went. We went to a pretty popular farm that used to be an apple pie farm, the way the price of produce shook out they could not even pay the labor for what a case of apples was going for.  So they sold the farm. The new owner switched over to organic practices and opened as a u pick.

Don’t get me wrong, the apple picking was fine. We were not huge fans of the variety of apples available that day but we were able to pick a bag of empire apples in no time.  The farm wasn’t too busy and was set up like a  winery, so it was pretty easy. After the whole drive to get there we wanted to explore a little more so we were actually going to go to the winery down the road when we spotted a sign for an organic pear orchard. So we drove in.

Now this place was DIVINE! There was one other family there when we arrived, rather than having someone standing there at the gate ready to take your money for a picking bag…. I had to go down to the other family there and ask them where they got their picking bag.  The answer… just go up to the house and yell if the dogs don’t tell them you are here. So that is what I did.  This farm used to be a Whole Foods supplier until they tried beating them up on the price.  He hung up on them, opened up his coolers and never picked another pear. Instead that is when they opened up for u pick. They have turkeys, chicken, goats, horses and a beautiful orchard.  They make goat cheese and fabulous goat’s milk soap.

With our beautiful pears I made a huge batch of dried pears, 3 full dehydrator batches. Pear Ginger Applesauce (this is a fantastic thing!) We juiced some with apples and ginger and they were amazing;  I made a big batch of Pear Butter and a lovely Pear Vanilla Jam.

So if you still have time head on up to Julian and be sure to hit the O’dells Organic Orchard. If you can’t make it now be sure to put it on the calendar for next year.  It is AWESOME!!!!!

this was when it was all steamy in the crock pot!
Pear Butter
8 lbs pears
1c sugar
1c water
3t cinnamon
½ t cloves
1t all spice

Peel, quarter, core pears. Put into a large pot. Add all spices, sugar and water. Bring this mixture to a boil then let simmer 20-30 minutes. At this point the pears should be a little soft.  Transfer the mixture to a crock pot and put on low for 4 hours. After about an hour or two grab a potato masher or immersion blender and get them a little smoother. Then just enjoy the smell, it will become super amazing and if you are not sure, leave the house for half an hour then come back in to smell deliciousness!

As you approach the 4 hour mark get your canning supplies ready and be sure to follow safe canning practices. This recipe will make just over 4 pints. I canned mine in 8 half pint jars and probably could have stretched it into 9, but instead I just put the extra in a bowl and we ate it!

Enjoy…once you taste it you will realize you are a genius ( I did the same thing) ;-)