Monday, August 9, 2010


Good morning everyone. How are you doing this cloudy Monday morning? I was watching the sprinkles fall here outside my window but they have gave way to a hot humid morning. The DN is asleep taking a nap and the DD is at band practice. I was going to go out this morning, but plans have changed, so I sit here contemplating things like crafts, food, etc. Perhaps I will go later on today. Not sure yet...

So I wanna talk about a frugal topic that I absolutely love... garage sales! When I was younger, my grandmother, mom, and I would go "garage sale hopping" on the weekends to see what we could find. Sometimes we would get lucky and sometimes... well not so much. I ran across this article which made me think back to those fun times, and I decided to share it with you. Maybe you can find something useful from it.

The Garage Sale Lady shares bargain-hunting tips
12:33 PM CST on Thursday, November 13, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. – Shelley Kincaid digs three objects out of a canvas tote bag – a slightly dented plain lampshade, the sleeve of an old stretch-lace T-shirt and a crocheted scrunchie.

She slides the lacy sleeve over the shade, securing it with the scrunchie.

Voila! She has created a pretty new lampshade from throwaway items purchased for pennies at garage sales.

Kincaid – better known to her many DIY fans as the Garage Sale Lady – was a headliner at the Southern Women's Show in Orlando, Fla., recently. During her twice-daily presentations, she transformed bargain-rack blouses into gift bags, cast-off jewelry into candelabra, and created a tuffet (Think Little Miss Muffet.) from salvaged chair legs and old curtain fabric.

"None of these things started out beautiful," Kincaid said. "You've got to mix and match, fix and patch, screw and glue."

Shelley Kincaid

Considering the dire state of the economy, there is no better time than now to catch garage-sale fever, Kincaid said.

Want to make a little extra cash? Hold a garage sale, she said.

Need to save money? Become a garage-sale shopper.

Kincaid has been doing both for more than a decade. As a result, she has made more than a little money and saved a great deal. Almost everything in her house was once someone else's throwaway – from furniture to bedsheets, towels and tools.

It was a "nightmare move" from Kansas City to her present home in Denver that sparked her passion for garage sales.

"The movers destroyed everything," she said. "My dishes were pulverized. There was all kinds of water damage. My wood furniture was buckled, my sofas were moldy."

And after the insurance claim was settled, "The insurance company took everything."
"That's when I went to my first garage sale. I started finding old things and fixing them up. I'm a designer with an engineering background. Fixing things really got my creative juices flowing," she said.

MCT Shelley Kincaid makes lampshades from a variety of materials including this one made with old lingerie.

"People admired my stuff. They wanted to know how to do it. I wrote down instructions, which eventually became a book."

Kincaid's "The Garage Sale Decorator's Bible," first published in 1997, is now in its fifth edition. It is available on her Web site,, from and at Barnes & Noble stores.

"Then out of the blue, I got a call from a Denver TV station to do a show, "Trash to Treasures." I've been on the air for 10 years," said Kincaid, who also is a frequent guest on HGTV, the Discovery Channel and DIY Network.

It is a myth that you only find junk at garage sales, she said.

"In reality, I often find brand-new things selling for a few pennies on the dollar, she said. "Clothes people buy then never wear. Wedding gifts. Christmas gifts. Birthday presents they don't like," she said.

But it's the gently worn and even totally trashed items she treasures most. The antique china and vintage fabrics, the wonky chairs and battered jewelry, the fringe on old drapes and appliques on worn T-shirts. Things she can mix and match, fix and patch, screw and glue.

"I'm saving money. I'm creating something unique. And best of all, I'm recycling throwaways," she said. "And that's good for the planet."


Most garage sales are on Friday and Saturday. Get a jump on the competition and hold yours on Thursday.

If most sales in your neighborhood begin at 8 a.m., start yours an hour earlier.
Advertise in newspapers, online and with neighborhood signs.

Post easy-to-read directional signs. Bright paper plates with bold arrows are inexpensive and eye-catching. Your sale is only as good as your signs, Kincaid says.

Wear your money. Keep cash close in a fanny pack for speedy transactions and to discourage theft.

For the convenience of shoppers, keep a tape measure and extension cord handy.

To entice shoppers to linger and buy, merchandise should be clean, clearly priced and attractively displayed.

Have a toy box to keep kids amused while adults shop.

Position large items out front. Dealers and people in need always want furniture.


Shop early on the first day of the sale for the best bargains. Shop toward the end of the sale for rock-bottom prices.

Plan your route carefully.

Make a list of items you need.

Before leaving home, jot down measurements for window treatments, mirrors and furniture.

Bring a tape measure, magnifying glass and extension cord.

Stock up on small change.

If you don't see the items you're looking for, ask. You might get lucky.

Pretty interesting huh? And some of those things you find at garage sales, you can use for crafting! Now speaking of crafts... today I offer you a wood working craft that can be used for lots of things... special celebrations to hold gifts of giftcards, cash, etc. or use it as a planter, or whatever you like! That's the fun thing about making your own things. You can do basically whatever you want with them! Now there are alot of steps to the process of today's craft, so instead of post them ALL here, I will link you to the site to find this extraordinary idea!

Craft Idea of the Day: Wooden Wishing Well

You'll need the following supplies:
Two 1/8" thick balsa wood panels 4" by 2 1/2" .
Two 1/8" thick balsa wood triangles 2 3/4" on each short side.
Five 1/4" thick balsa wood squares, 2 3/4" on a side.
Four 1/4" square posts of 2 3/4" length.
Two 1/4" square posts of 6" length.
Two 1/4" square posts of 3 3/8" length.
One piece of 1/4" or 3/8" square stock of 4" length.
One piece of 1/8" dowel cut to 4 1/4" length.
Some dollhouse shingles.
Wood glue, paint, decorations

Ok gang, its that time again... time to munch on some superb sustainance! Now I have done some themes based on music, some on fruits, some on methods, etc. but I am really loving the theme I have picked this week. You see, its something I eat just about everyday with at least 1 meal! I know my dad eats alot of these too, and so did my mom back in the day! My dear friends... in honor of the scorching summer heat, I figured I would heat up the recipes this week with some HOPPIN' JALAPENOS!! Those little green pieces of fiery heaven... yes the jalapeno! So delish... OMG gonna go throw some in some omelets when I am done here LOL! I love them about as much as I love garlic! YUM! LOL... ok so this week I will bring you jalapeno facts as well as some sizzling recipes!

Some Interesting Facts about Jalapenos:

The Jalapeno was the first pepper to be taken into space.

Dried and smoked jalapenos are chipotles, generally known in a class of their own.

The generic Chili plant interestingly enough is classified as a fruit, and not a vegetable and came from either Peru or Bolivia sometime around 7000 BC. The seeds of the plant were carried by birds across to other parts of America; Central, South and Southern North America. The Jalapeno (Chili or Chile) pepper got its name from a village by the name of Jalapa in the area of Veracruz, Mexico where it is said to have originated. It is by far the most popular form of chilli eaten especially in the US and Europe!!

Jalapeno peppers come from the capsicum family and are dark green in colour but turn red when mature. Their shape is long and like a cone and they normally reach a length of approximately 2 inches when fully grown. They are rich in Vitamin C, A and E, potassium and folic acid, so are rich in nutrients.

There are at least two varieties of Jalapeno peppers, the North American variety, and the Mexican variety. They are the two locations where they are grown the most. The North American type needs dry air with lots of water where as Mexican variety does well in the heat and humidity. Hence there is a decline in production of the North American Jalapeno during the hot summer. In general, it takes about 2.5 – 3 months for the pepper to grow and each plant will yield about 30 pods.

Jalapenos are known for providing that ‘kick’ in food. The ‘kick’ comes from the seeds and the rib of the skin so many people remove both these parts if they want just the flavour and not the heat!! The heat or spice comes from a group of 5 chemicals that are called Capsaicinoids. Each chemical in the family has a slightly different affect. The hottest one out of the five is the capsaicin which produces the fire sensation or burning in the mouth.

So now its time to eat these little Southern beauties! Today I am stuffing them! I know you have heard of classic cheddar cheese and cream cheese stuffed peppers, but check out some of the other stuffings you can put into these hot little "poppers" LOL! Eat & Enjoy!

Stuffed Jalapenos with Smoked Gouda and Pineapple


12 fresh jalapeno peppers
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
6 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon real bacon bits
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained and juice reserved


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cut a slice off the stem end of each pepper, and use a sharp paring knife or pepper corer to scoop out the veins and seeds from the peppers (wear rubber gloves and avoid touching your eyes or nose).

Mix together the cream cheese, Gouda cheese, bacon bits, pineapple, and about 1 teaspoon of reserved pineapple juice, or as needed to make a workable filling, in a bowl until thoroughly blended. Using a small spoon, stuff the hollow peppers with the cheese mixture.

Place a rack or several disposable foil bread pans upside down onto a baking sheet. (See notes for how to make a pepper rack from a foil pan.) Stand the peppers, stem sides up, into the rack, and bake in the preheated oven until the peppers are softened and the filling is hot and bubbly, 30 to 45 minutes.

Firehouse Jalapenos


30 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
60 small smoked sausages (such as Lit'l Smokies®)
1 (1 pound) package thin-sliced bacon, cut in half
60 toothpicks
1/2 cup barbeque sauce


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Fill the jalapeno pepper halves with softened cream cheese, then place a smoked sausage into each pepper on top of the cheese. Wrap each piece with a half strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place the peppers onto a baking sheet and brush with the barbeque sauce.

Bake in the preheated oven until the bacon is crispy, about 30 minutes.

Bacon-Wrapped Peanut Butter Jalapenos


8 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1/2 cup peanut butter
8 slices bacon, cut in half


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Fill each jalapeno half with peanut butter and with a piece of bacon; secure the bacon with a toothpick. Arrange the wrapped jalapenos on a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until the bacon is dark brown, about 25 minutes.

Crawfish-Stuffed Jalapenos


8 ounces bacon
8 ounces bulk lean breakfast sausage
24 large jalapeno peppers
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Muenster cheese
1 pound cooked and peeled crawfish tails, coarsely chopped
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 cups beer, or as needed


Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Stir the breakfast sausage into the skillet, and cook until crumbly and no longer pink. Meanwhile, place the Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Muenster, and cream cheeses in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, stir in the crumbled bacon, breakfast sausage, and chopped crawfish tails. Set aside.

Remove the stems from the jalapenos, and cut a slit lengthwise down one side. Wear gloves while handling the jalapenos (trust me, I learned the hard way). Remove the seeds through the slit. Hold the seeded jalapenos lengthwise between your thumb and forefinger, and stuff with the meat and cheese mixture (you remembered the gloves, right?). Place the stuffed jalapenos onto a dish, and freeze overnight or until solid.

Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Whisk together the flour, paprika, white pepper, and garlic salt in a bowl until combined, then quickly whisk in the beer until a batter has formed.

Use a skewer to stab a frozen jalapeno, then dip it into the batter until coated. Place the jalapeno in the hot oil, and hold for a few seconds just below the surface, before twisting out the skewer. This will help keep the jalapeno from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook until golden brown all over, then remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining jalapenos.

Ok kids, that's a wrap... a bacon wrap LOL... for today! I hope you are excited for a new week, a new theme, and new fun and adventures! I think I AM gonna take the DN, DS, and myself and go out for the day. We are gonna make a baby hunting adventure! Hunting for furniture LOL! And who knows what else! Of course, I still might just stay home and cook and sew LOL! I never know. Thanks for coming in and sitting with me this morning and be safe today in your travels and your own adventures! Until tomorrow my friend... HUGS!


  1. Debbie "MOM"August 9, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    OMG!! Those peppers look good!! I dont know if I could handle eating too many of them but I sure could try. LOL Especially the Firehouse Jalapenos and the Crawfish Stuffed Jalapenos. My goodness, how do you come up with these themes. It makes it very fun to read your blog each day. Kudos to you.....and could you make me some pepper treats? PLEASE!!! LOL
    I loved the garage sale article. It brought back fond memories. How is it that things you love to do get pushed aside in your everyday life and you never seem to get back to them? There are several things in my life that I have enjoyed doing, but either through not having the time, money, energy, or willpower, those things are nowhere in my daily life anymore. I feel sad now. Guess thats part of getting older; giving up some things for other things. Oh well, there is an old saying that says,
    "for everything there is a purpose", and I guess I will figure out mine.
    Til next time.......

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