Like most Americans, we had a great time celebrating the Fourth of July. Check out my fun centerpiece made from garage sale finds I've collected over the years. The dessert was an easy one I found on the Taste of Home website (top ten patriotic desserts) - easy to make with whipped cream, flavorings and cream cheese whipped together and then layered with fruit. Delicious, quick, and easy - which gives the hostess freedom to enjoy her guests!
Our friends the Hales, who own Hales Ales in Seattle, are opening a new restaurant in our neck of the woods. So there has been much cause for celebration. We were on hand last night for a party celebrating their success. The restaurant looks great and the food is wonderful and reasonably priced. The location's not too bad either, right in the Kitsap Mall. Go Mike and Kathleen. We wish you all the best!
I am not sure I'm cut out to be a Las Vegas girl. I'm too cheap to gamble and too big of a blabbermouth to let what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas. Which, of course, is why I'm blogging about my recent first-ever trip there. We went with friends who used to live in Vegas so we got to see more than the strip (which, I have concluded is Disneyland for grown-ups who want to be naughty). We checked out Red Rock, poked around various neighborhoods and even drooled our way through some gorgeous high rise condos. And we saw David Copperfield, which was one of the highlights of the trip. Great fun. I tracked down an audience volunteer after the show in the hopes that I could worm the secret of one of his great illusions out of her but he had cast a spell over the girl and her lips were sealed. No amount of bribery would work. So I had to find some other way to spend my money. This was not hard once I discovered Vegas pawn shops. Let me tell you, forget wandering around the Bellagio or Mandalay Bay. Get to the good stuff and hit the pawn shops. Instead of losing money you'll be finding bargains! I upgraded my diamond for a song. Now, if I could just upgrade the aging hand it's sitting on. Next vacation.
Oh, the bargains to be had these days! And not just in the department stores (although those are full of bargains, too). I was on the hunt yesterday for some clothes to wear for an upcoming trip to Las Vegas. I didn't want to spend a lot of money because I am hoping not to say the size I am for long. So why invest a lot of moolah in clothes that soon (hopefully) won't fit? Since I didn't want to spend a lot I decided to thrift my way to a vacation wardrobe. Off I went with my friend Kimberly and we prowled our local Goodwill. And I struck gold there, let me tell you. I found a hot pink Tadashi blouse. If I'd been at Saks I would have paid a couple hundred dollars for it. At Goodwill I paid ten. Woohoo! Yes, it's not this year's model, but it is gorgeous and when I tried it on I felt like a million bucks. Looked like it too. Little Sheila was hot! Well, from the front anyway. Losing few pounds will eliminate those little bulges in the back. I may even wear it before I lose weight and just make sure no one sees me from the back. (Hmm. Is that possible?) For sure I'll use it for an author photo. So if you ever see a picture of me on the back of a book looking oh, so hot in hot pink. Well, you'll know the secret behind the glam shot. It's garage season now, ladies. Who knows what fabulous stuff you might find. Happy hunting!
Actually, I am in Costco all the time, doing my part to stimulate the economy. But today I was IN COSTCO! SMALL CHANGE is sitting right there with all the other hot sellers. I was so excited, I whipped out my camera and almost trampled two innocent shoppers in my excitement to capture the moment. Actually, one kind woman offered to take my picture. Do I look happy or what?! There is something thrilling about seeing your brain baby on sale in an unexpected place when you are out and about. So, I hope you all don't mind if I take a moment to squeal, "Yaaaaay!!!!!" Okay, thanks. I feel better now.
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE BLING. And we proved it this week when some of the neighborhood gang came over for a Breakfast at Tiffany's party. We wore our bling and brought jewelry we were tired of to swap. Some even brought purses, adding to the treasure trove. We ate rhubarb muffins and quiche and guzzled OJ and sparkling cider and examined all the goodies. Then we took turns picking out what we wanted. Well, at first, then we all just went at it. There was plenty to choose from - including a treasure trove of Mardi Gras beads that Judy, our New Orleans transplant, brought, and we all came away with a ton. (No flashing necessary!) We had so much loot we had leftovers, but no problem there. My buddy Bonnie took them home for craft projects. If you're looking for some affordable fun to kick off the summer, this makes for a great girlfriend party. The Something Out of Nothing Gang highly recommends it!
I have had so much fun promoting "Small Change" and talking with women about how we can live well while facing our money challenges. One of my favorite things to do is chat with book clubs. And when they're in my neck of the woods that's even more fun because I can go in person and bring goodies. (Of course, I send goodies too, but it's more fun to get to deliver them in person!) And I meet the nicest people. Let's take for example the Lake Ludvick Book Club, neighbors who have recently started a book group. These women actually had goodies for me: chocolate, a lovely card, some coffee for my garage sale espresso maker, and even some adorable handmade kitchen towels! Each of these women have interesting careers and talents and love to read. I could happily hang out with all of them . . . a lot! Except they're even further out in the wilds than I am. Wow! Good thing they all like each other because when it snows they are stuck together like flowers in a vase. (Or should I say ice cubes in a tray?! Snowballs in a pile?) But that seems just fine with them. They live in a lovely area and they make it work. They also told me that nobody runs to the store just for milk and if someone is making something for dinner and finds she doesn't have all the ingredients, well, she changes the menu. Whenever someone is going to town for something she checks to see if anyone else needs something. Hmmm. Seems to me that's what people used to do. These women have figured out how to be good neighbors. And they're saving gas. Way to go ladies!