Saturday, March 24, 2012


Hi everyone,

Okay, so I'm late with this post, but late is better than "never" today.  Here is what I purchased this week.

A sweet friend called me up and asked if I needed a ride to the store.  I didn't "need" to go, but when a ride/opportunity presents itself, I've got to take it.  I told my friend that I didn't have a lot to buy, which was true. Would that be okay? She said "Yes".  So off we  went to the store. Oh, it is raining today, too.  We went to Whole Foods, where I love to shop.  That place has a lot of good stuff and a lot of culinary temptations, too. So you have to be careful when you walk into this store. 

Purchase on March 24th, 2012 - Saturday at Whole Foods: $21.04

- 20 oz. drip coffee with cream & sugar - $1.90 "want, not a need"
- 2 pastries (one croissant and one nutty sticky bun) - $5 "want, not a need"...and WOW, the price went UP.  It used to be $2.39 per pastry. So the "oodle" factor just went down, when the price went UP.
- Applewood smoked bacon, 18 oz.
- 1 Izze sparkling "grapefruit" drink (for Dad) - $1.49 plus $0.05 bottle return deposit "want, not a need", but Dad really likes these. I read the ingredient label and I was not horrifed by the ingredients...but it is a "treat", that's for sure.
- 1 Bar Gelato, coffee-flavored - $1.99 "want, not a need" My father and I saw these in the store the other day. They looked interested.  In terms of ingredients, these are fantastic. It's made with all real ingredients and things that a third-grader can easily pronounce.
- Local newspaper $0.75 "iffy" I think a newspaper is okay, since it's good to keep up with local happenings.

The bacon that we eat looks like this. It's a Whole Foods brand, and I trust it. Otherwise, I don't buy any other kind of bacon.  Although I've been on a bit of a bacon-frenzy lately. So I'll probably not buy bacon for awhile yet. It doesn't have nitrates or nitrites. I AVOID all meat that has nitrates or nitrites in them:

Oh, this bacon crisps up really nicely when cooked on a flat pan on a grill/barbecue outside. It's much nicer than frying it inside a pan in your home. That and it doesn't smell up the house like bacon.  It'll make your neighbors want to come over and have a meal at your house. 

The gelato bar was awesome. I just had a tiny taste of that and wow, simple ingredients make for the best tasting stuff.  This is what we bought.  Then take a look at the second photo and read the ingredients. It's so ultra simple and all foods should be made with easy-to-pronounce ingredients:

So this was just one of my purchases for the week of Saturday - March 17th to Friday - March 23rd. I didn't include all the other purchases I made this week, because it was more of the same stuff/junk.  I think this is my "low" for the week. That's okay, because that's what "tracking" my spending is all about.  It's about learning where my money actually goes, and what needs to be changed.

Here's another "purchase" that I made at Whole Foods last Monday. These particular items were FREE.  I was in Whole Foods, when a lady with long brown hair, pushing a shopping cart, stopped me in the store and asked: "Do you like Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products?" Why yes, yes I do like them very much. She handed me two coupons, each was good for one FREE Mrs. Meyer Clean Day product, up to $5.99.  So I went over to the aisle that has all the nice soaps.  I wasn't planning on buying more soap, because they're expensive. However, I like Mrs. Meyer's bar soaps, because they're made with good ingredients.  The soaps are normally just over $6 each. As it happened, they were on sale for just $5.19 each...and since I had two "FREE" coupons, both bars of soap were absolutely FREE. That was a 100% savings. Isn't that the coolest.  Here are the two scents that I "purchased":

Just as a side note, Mrs. Meyer Clean Day products have some of the cutest, vintage-style labelling of any cleaning product I've ever seen. So they get a lot of "points" from me for good packaging. Oh, that and the fact that I've got personal experience using these products and they work very well.  So out of this entire week's worth of mostly unnecessary spending, this was the BEST item.

In other news, I'm working on knitting a pair of custom socks for my father. He wants a ribbed cuff that goes to his knee. So that's presenting a bit of a challenge for me. Okay, it's a HUGE challenge. I'm just "winging it" with the pattern to see what happens. I'm also taking notes as I go along.  If any of you know of a good on-line resource that specifically states how to increase and decrease while knitting a "Knit 2, Purl 2" rib pattern, I'd be greatly appreciative. I'll share that project with you in the next few days.

It's raining today.  Not right now...but earlier today it was really coming down. I read that Watsonville was going to have a 90% chance of rain today, so when I saw that, the chances are really 100% good that it would rain here, too.  The rain is such a blessing for everyone, especially the farmers.

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather


Hi everyone,

I did not get the job that I was praying for. That's okay, because I know God has something better in mind.  Thanks so much for all of your thoughts and prayers. Keep praying, because I really do need a job so I can pay my bills!!! That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Update at 4:02 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

Hi everyone.  My interview was unexpectedly "rescheduled" for tomorrow at the same time.  It's a good thing I checked my email before leaving for the interview, because my "potential employer" wrote me an email at about 10:45 this morning, telling me she had to reschedule my interivew. Would that be okay?

Well, yes, because I don't have a choice.  I was a little discouraged because I was dressed up and ready to show them what I've got to offer. IN any case, I did respond via email and also included my phone number.  I'm just thankful that I checked my email, otherwise I would have shown up for the interview and told that it had been cancelled/rescheduled.

Pray that if this is the job for me, that God would work out the details. If it isn't the job for me, than I know God has something even better in mind.

That's the news from the ocean shores of California this afternoon. Love and hugs, Heahter :)

Hi everyone,

I've got a job interview TOMORROW, Wednesday - March 21st at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. It's a part-time job working for one of the local museum's here in town. Pray that I'll be calm and focused. I don't like the "interview" part of the job search. It always makes me nervous. However, I've got peace about this, no matter what happens. I really need a job. I've been out of work since December 2010. However, I want it to be the right place for me, too. This LORD or something better.  Thanks for your prayers, everyone. That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Hi everyone :) :) :)

I hope your past week was  a good one. I was really lazy with getting my "It makes "cents" to me" post up for Friday. It just never got written and so I'm going to give myself a pass for this week.  My purchases were basically the same as last week, minus the breakfast sandwiches :) :)

Otherwise, I've been having a really good week.  I've been watching "Road to Avonlea" on Netflix DVD. It's a gorgeous tv series that was produced in Canada. I'm also working on some more knitting. So that has been really fun, too.

What about you? What are you doing today?

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Friday, March 9, 2012


Hi everyone,

Wow, my goal was to only go shopping ONCE this entire week...and I went to the store SIX times this week.  Until I learn to drive, which will be in the next few months, I have to rely on the kindness of neighbors and church family for rides to appointments etc.  So when I'm near the store, I'll stop and buy something, because I might not get a ride for awhile. That's just something I've noticed.

I'll give you the break-down of what I purchased this week. I did stock up on lots of organic beef.  The freezer is "full", meaning we've got more beef in the freezer than previously thought. We're also doing really well with vegetables, too. 

I don't have any "food" photos to show you. However, I did take a photo of this Izze glass soda bottle. My father likes to drink Izze. The thought occured to me that this would make a really cute, whimsical flower vase:

March 4th, 2012 - Sunday at Whole Foods: $21.40:
- 2 croissants $4.58 - a "want, not a need"...oh yeah, these croissants are super spendy, but they're super GOOD. They come from a local French bakery here in town.
- 20 oz. drip coffee with cream/sugar $1.90 - a "want, not a need"
- 1 Izze soda $1.49 - a "want, not a need". There was a $0.05 bottle deposit on this bottle.
- Applewood smoked bacon.  We do eat a lot of bacon in our house. It's good bacon, with no bad things in it.
- Whole Foods brand conditioner.  This isn't a food. However, I needed some more, because my other conditioner had run out.
-TAX: $0.40
- Out of this total, I'd say $8.99 was spent on real food and $3.99 on miscellaneous (anything that is non-food right now)

  March 5th, 2012 - Monday at Trader Joe's: $33.95:
- 4 lbs. of organic ground beef 85/15 (This runs about $6.50 a pound and is the BEST price on organic beef that I've found in the stores so far)
- Trader Joe's organic dark chocolate truffle bar $1.99 - a "want, not a need"..but wow, it's some really tasty good chocolate
- 1 bottle of sparking mineral water, lemon-flavored.  My father really likes these.  It comes in a plastic bottle. It's about $1 less expensive than the Whole Food's version in the glass bottle AND it comes with a $0.10 bottle deposit.
- 7 jumbo, sweet onions (these taste FANTASIC when sauteed/carmelized in a pan) These are great with eggs in the morning, or anytime.
- TAX: $0.08 cents.  Out of the money spent today, $31.88 spent on food.

I have decided that I won't include the "wants" in my food totals.  I'm trying to discourage myself from thinking of these things as necessary.  They're not bad...chocolate bars, coffee etc.However, I need to redirect my spending, and it's still a challenge for me.  By laying it all out here for you (which isn't easy to do), it helps me to realize just where my money is going.

This next photo is the bottlecap to the Izze soda that my father drank. I love cute bottlecaps.  I'm collecting them, so be used for a future craft project sometime in the future. Isn't this cute? It has such a lovely retro vintage appeal to it:

March 7th, 2012- Wednesday at Trader Joe's: $9.97:
Now this was interesting because I"m staring at the receipt and it's not listing the items that I purchased. However, I do know that I purchased some healthy trail mix for dad and some organic dark chocolate. So I'd classify both of those items as "wants and not needs"
- TAX: $0.22

March 7th, 2012- Wednesday at Whole Foods: $39.18:
- 1 croissant $2.29 - a "want, not a need"
- 1 classic roast rotisserie chicken
- 1 croissant $2.29 - a "want, not a need"
- Applewood smoked bacon
- 20 oz. drip coffee with cream/sugar $1.90 - a "want, not a need"

$45 - Haircut/style.  My hair was in really BAD, BAD shape. It was so overprocessed from coloring my hair at home, that the ends of my hair were literally falling out/snapping off.  The lady who cut my, that was providence. She was at this meeting that I went to after church last Sunday. I went to hear a former missionary from Russia give a talk.  The rest is history. Needless to say, this woman did a fabulous job with my hair. Maybe I'll post a pic sometime this week.

PEET'S COFFEE: ca $2.60 for a large cafe au lait...a definite  "want, not a need", coffee was OUT OF CONTROL today. 

I was remarking to my father, that his empty Izze soda pop bottle would make a really cute, simple flower vase. Here's a close-up of the bottle. What do you think? What would you use this bottle for?:

March 8th, 2012 - Thursday at Whole Foods: $76.62:
- 20 oz. drip coffee with cream and sugar $1.90 - a "want, not a need" This is the LAST coffee that I'll be having for awhile.
- 4.45 lbs of organic, yellow onions
- 3.86 pounds of sweet onions
- 3 lbs of organic ground beef
- organic, broccoli crowns. I'm not sure what the weight was...but  bought 7 of them. They're perfect for steaming.
- 2 cartons of organic, grape cherry tomatoes
- Applewood smoked bacon
- Izze - sparkling black raspberry soda $1.49 - a "want, not a need" It's one of my dad's favorites.  It also comes with a $0.10 cent bottle deposit.
- 2 breakfast sandwiches $10.30 - a "definite want, and not a need" Neither of us were interested in cooking anything yesterday morning.
TAX - $0.86
Out of the total I spent at this store, $58.02 was spent on real food.

March 9th, 2012 - Friday at Trader Joe's: $29.44:
- 3 lbs of organic ground beef
- Trader Joe's organic dark chocolate truffle bar $1.99 - a "want, not a need" 
- Applewood smoked bacon
Out of this purchase today, I'd say that $27.45 was spent on real food. 

I actually had an appointment with my naturopathic physician and my chiropractor today. So since I was going right by Trader Joe's, I used the opportunity to pick up some more meat. Our freezer is nicely stocked now.

I'm not sure what else I'll be doing today. I'll be looking for a job. The weather is FABULOUSLY BEAUTIFUL today, a walk outside is definitely in order. I've also been working really hard to finish knitting some socks for my aunt, too. What are you up to today? 

What are you doing this weekend?  I'll be getting together with some ladies in my Tuesday morning Bible study. We'll be enjoying tea, coffee, and muffins together and listening to one of my friend's share her story. I'm so looking forward to this. It will be fun :) :)

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Hi everyone,
I'm a day late with my "Teacup Tuesday" post.  Okay, so I posted this photo earlier this week.  This is a vintage reproduction napkin holder from the Homer Laughlin China Co. It was made in 1996. Doesn't it have a vintage feel? I purchased it at a yard sale for about $1:

That's one funny looking "teacup". Well, when I went to check who made this napkin holder, I saw that it was made by the same folks who made one of my china teacups.  This teacup is made by the Homer Laughlin China Co in the early half of the 20th century. I haven't been able to figure out the exact date of production, but it is a Craftsman style china pattern. So my guess is that it was made sometime in the 1910s or 1920s. If you have any information, please let me know:

I received this teacup from a friend back in 2004.  It's funny how I acquire some of my china pieces. However, she asked me if I wanted this. I said "YES", even though I thought this piece was rather ugly at the time. It grew on me, and now it's one of my favorite patterns.  Did you notice the secret flower detail on the inside rim of the cup? I just LOVE this kind of detail.  Here's a photo of my teacup again, so you can admire the lovely flowers:

There is a slight crack running through this teacup. So it's no longer something I would drink out of. However, it is a lovely cup to put on display.  This is the backstamp. Oh what a backstamp this is. It's one of the fanciest backstamps that I have ever seen on any piece of china. I'm sorry about the dirt around the bottom of the cup. It was like that when the teacup was gifted to me. I've not been successful in getting rid of the dirt marks. Inspite of that, this backstamp is it's own work of art:

This pattern is called "Chartreuse".  I did find other pieces in this china set at Replacements Ltd. However, I've been unsuccesful in finding out more about the history of this particular china pattern.  When you turn the cup around slightly, look at the lovely detail you can find here:

I really love vintage items because of their attention to detail. This teacup is no exception.  It's what makes this particular teacup very special and unique. 

Most of the items in my china collection are mismatched pieces.  When I was taking photos of my teacup, I realized that it would look lovely with this saucer which was purchased for $1 at The Goodwill thrift shop:

The floral detal on my Homer Laughlin China Co. "chartreuse" teacup seems to match the floral detail in the center of this china saucer.  Now this saucer is a Grosvenor China pattern.  The green and gold detail around the edge of the saucer is what first attracted me to it.  Here is a look at the backstamp:

This saucer was made in England by Bristol Festcon. 

I really enjoy tea very much: drinking it, collecting china, eating food during tea time, everything about it. There is something very lovely about a nice cup of tea. Maybe it's the people that I get to spend time with. I'm not sure. However, tea always brings joy to my heart.  Thank you for joining me today. Please come back again to visit anytime. You are always welcome here.

That is the news from the ocean shores of California today.  Love and hugs, Heather :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Hi everyone,
Okay, I'm a bit late with my "It makes cents to me" post for Friday.  It's on Sunday this time around ;) :)  This is what I spent for the week of February 25th thru March 2nd.  This particular week was really tight financially, so I didn't spend very much. That was because I literally didn't have it to spend.

Here's a photo of a vintage reproduction napkin holder from the Homer Loughlin China Company. What does that have to do with anything? Tune in on Tuesday to find out:

Here's what I spent for this particular week:

February 28th, 2012 - Tuesday: $21.98 at Whole Foods:
- 2 squares of chocolate $0.54 - a  "want, not a need"
- 20 oz. drip coffee with cream/sugar $1.90 - a "want, not a need"
- organic, grass-fed lean ground beef
- bulk dry rub applewood bacon
- Dagoba organic, dark chocolate bar $2.69 - a "want, not a need"
- $1 donation to Whole Foods-sponsored charity

February 29th, 2012 - Wednesday: $25.63 at Whole Foods:
- Bulk, dry rub applewood bacon
- 2 pastries $4.58 - a "want, not a need" Oh, not to mention, that it was a flagrant violation of my gluten-free living :) :)
- 1 classic roast chicken

March 2nd, 2012 - Friday: $1.90 at Whole Foods:
- 20 oz. drip coffee with cream/sugar $1.90 - a "want, not a need"

I clearly buy a LOT of coffee!! Too much, maybe.  Overall, my spending was okay, but that was more because it was the end of the month, and the budget is leaner than lean.

I hope you all had a great weekend.  That's the news from California today. Love and hugs, Heather :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Hi everyone,

How was this past week? Mine has been really good. However, I have neglected to clean out my closet...literally. So I need to do that today, or else I might get eating up by clutter.  I'll have my "It makes cents to me" Friday post up either tonight or tomorrow ;) :)

Today I went to Whole Foods, and bought enough food for the whole week :) :) Plus, I ordered two things from Amazon that I can get cheaper that way versus buying in the store. AND the plus side, is that these things will last months. 

Okay, I'm off to clean out my walk-in closet. How is your weekend going? That's the news from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;) :)