Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Shopping Trip

This is not Pinterest related, but I had to share my great shopping trip. It was even featured on Savvy with Savings! I also want to thank my friends and family for sending me their dog food coupons. We are on a tight budget, but thanks to them we were able to get some great quality food for our 3 dogs.

9 bags of 3.5lb Purina One Beyond Dog Food @ $6.49
1 bag 28 oz Iams Dog Food @ $3.00
Subtotal: $61.41
-$4.50 Raincheck from Target for Purina One (sale ended 1/21)
-$45.00 (9x) $5 off any Purina One Beyond
-$3.00 off any Iams dog food
-$.45 Target Rx Rewards
-$.45 Target Debit Card
Grand Total: $8.01 for 33.25 lbs of dog food!
Plus the Iams bag has another coupon inside for $3 off

We usually pay $19 for a 45 lb bag of store brand dog food at Sam's Club

On another coupon-related subject, what do you do with your expired/unused coupons? Do you throw them away? I recently learned that military families can use expired coupons at the commissary. I've been sending mine directly to a friend who's husband is deployed to Afghanistan. If you don't know anyone to send your expired coupons to, check out this site: Overseas Coupon Program.You can find a base that is in need of donations or "adoption," and send them your expired/unused coupons.
Happy Couponing!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pinterest project #3 (ongoing) Sprouting Cabbage

 I found this pin about re-growing celery using the bottom of the stalk, which lead me to Farm Bell Recipes at Chickens in the Road.
Their post states to cut off the bottom of the stalk, and set it in a dish of warm water for a few days. It will start sprouting, then plant it. According to their post, you can cut & replant the bottom of the stalk repeatedly!
We recently made some Asian slaw (using Alton Brown's recipe). I had my husband save the end of the Napa cabbage. I placed it in a dish of water on the counter. In a couple days, you could see some roots forming, and about a week later there were little leaves growing!

Week 1

 Week 2

We haven't planted the cabbage yet, but plan on putting it in a pot soon. Since the weather isn't quite warm enough yet, I don't want to put it in the ground & kill it. In the meantime, I keep changing out the water & it seems to be doing fine. Next, we are trying out this method with green cabbage. This is certainly a fun way of making the most out of our food.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pinterest Meal: Quinoa

I found this pin for Fluffy Quinoa, which lead me to this blog post by Peas and Crayons. We recently acquired 10lbs of quinoa (thank you swagbucks & amazon.com) and needed some tips on how to cook it. This was my first time, and I found the tips at Peas and Crayons very helpful!
First step- rinse & dry the quinoa. A mesh strainer is helpful here. After rinsing, let the quinoa sit & dry. Rinsing removes some bitterness, & drying it back out is supposed to make it fluffier when cooked.
After its dry, toast it slightly. The recipe says use medium heat for a minute or so. Since I dried the quinoa on a cookie sheet, I popped it in a 300* oven for just a couple minutes. You don't want to brown it, just help finish drying it.
Next, add water (or stock) using a 1 cup quinoa to 1.5 cups of water/stock ratio. At this point I also tossed in some minced garlic. Bring this to a boil, reduce to low, cover & simmer for 12 minutes.
After 12 minutes, fluff with a fork & you're done!
I added some mixed veg at this point, and a little rice wine vinegar. It made a very tasty & filling side dish for our dinner!

Peas and Crayons has several good quinoa recipes listed on her blog, I encourage you to check it out!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Project #2 Ruched Ribbon Zinnia flower

This week's project was to test out the tutorial on making a ruched flower. I originally found this pin, which lead me to the tutorial by Rushbrooke Strand.
I adapted the instructions slightly, and used ribbon so I could skip the step of folding the strip of material.
I started out with a 40" piece of 1" wide ribbon. The only other materials I needed were a needle, thread & scissors. I also used a circle of felt & hot glue gun to finish the flower & make it a hair clip.

If you like, you can draw lines at 90* angles down the strip (zig zag). I skipped this step and just eyeballed the angle while I stitched.
I started by folding under the end of the ribbon and making a running stitch up the side. From that corner, I made a running stitch at a 45* angle. When I got to the edge, I made a 90* turn and stitched to the next edge.

 After making a few passes, I pulled the thread tight, making ruched petals. The original tutorial said to curl the ribbon as you go, and use a second needle to stitch it into place. I found this difficult and decided to stitch the entire ribbon before curling it into a flower.

When I got to the end of the ribbon, I knotted off the thread. I curled the ribbon around and stitched it in a few places to hold it in place, tucking the ends underneath so you won't see an unfinished edge. Since I'm using these for hair clips, I then secured the flower to a felt circle using hot glue. Of course, you could sew this onto a shirt, or make a lapel pin with it.
Here's my finished flower clip, its about 3.5" in diameter. Let me know what you think!
I will warn you, this process is pretty time consuming, but it was fun project to do while watching tv in the evening with my hubs. I like this so much, I made them in several different colors, which you can see in my Etsy store, or Violet's Buds Facebook page.
Happy Crafting!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Violet's Buds 5k Fan Celebration

As a thank you to all our great fans, and to celebrate the start of my new blog, we're hosting the Violet's Buds 5k Fan Celebration
Check out these fabulous prizes!

Violet's Buds Mystery Grab Bag worth $25 & Free Shipping to US & Canada  FACEBOOK | ETSY

Birdie Baby Boutique Grab Bag accessories worth $25 FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | ETSY

3 Little Birds Boutique- $15 gift certificate FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | ETSY

Crafty Kelli's Baby Accessories $10 Gift Certificate & Free Shipping  FACEBOOK | BLOG

Creative Mommy Boutique Black and pink Fox Bow & Free Shipping FACEBOOK

Creative Mommy Boutique 3 strand headband with elastic & Free Shipping FACEBOOK

 Deal Seeking Momma  2 full coupon inserts & Free Shipping FACEBOOK | BLOG

Elizabeth Alta Jewelry $25 shop credit   FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

Gigi's Glitzy Boutique custom embroidered shirt of your choice, $25 value & Free Shipping  FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

Heart For Your Home $15 Gift Certificate Cannot be applied to shipping, expires one month from end of giveaway  FACEBOOK | ETSY

Its a Baby Thing Valentine's Taggie Blankie & Free Shipping  FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

Just for Fun Accessory Store one random hair accessory chosen by JFFAS, $10 value &Free Shipping

Knit Knacks Newborn hat, $11 value & Free Shipping in the US   FACEBOOK

 Lilypie Bowtique Child's Feather Headband & Free Shipping  FACEBOOK

Love Your Angels Photography 5 free photo edits, $25 Value  FACEBOOK

 MomBow Number Five Be Mine headband & Free Shipping to USA and Canada  FACEBOOK

Simply Spoiled Baby Bowtique Turquoise Flower tutu & Shipping Free to US, $3 to Canada  FACEBOOK

 Ashley's 'Em'spiration $10 Gift Certificate  FACEBOOK | ETSY | BLOG

Ayden's Treasure Trove $25 Gift Certificate  FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

Brown Haus Kids $5 Gift Certificate  FACEBOOK

Blossom Bands Two surprise blossom bands, $30 value & Free Shipping   FACEBOOK | ETSY | WEBSITE

Twice As Nice Creations- one pair of interchangeable legwarmers & Free Shipping  FACEBOOK

A To Zebra Celebrations $20 gift certificate & Free Shipping  FACEBOOK | ETSY | BLOG | TWITTER

BabySmiles $15 gift certificate to www.babysmiles2000.com & FREE shipping to US/Canada  FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

Trés Chic Models Free Forever Photographer Listing OR 50% off Model Listing  FACEBOOK | BLOG

A Pocket Full of Sunshine Boutique one pair of zebra leg warmers & Free Shipping to US & Canada  FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

 Designs By Mollie $10 Product Certificate, excludes shipping, expires 30 days after giveaway ends   FACEBOOK

Pretty Socks Green Korker socks, fits a shoe size 10 1/2-4, & Free Shipping  FACEBOOK

Handmade & Handpicked Boutique one pair of character bum cover legging pants & Free Shipping to USA, Canada & APO   FACEBOOK

GipsonWands One mini magic wand keychain & Free Shipping to US & Canada  FACEBOOK

Crazy Beautiful Photography Entice - Overlay Set. Can be used with Photoshop and Elements. Will be emailed to winner within 72 hours.  FACEBOOK | BLOG

Corkys Bowtique $10 gift certificate, cannot be used for shipping   FACEBOOK

Grace Tags "I Choose Joy" stamped necklace & Free Shipping  FACEBOOK | BLOG | ETSY

Cherished custom creations by Rebecca Lopez Don't pinch me St. Patty's Day Carebear Gift set & Free Shipping to US/Canada   FACEBOOK

The Tattoo'd Tyke Winner can pick a tattoo sleeve onesie or t-shirt from sizes available & Free Shipping in US & Canada   FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

Bestie Bowtique large double pinwheel type bow with any 2 ribbon colors and embellishment of winner's choice & Free shipping   FACEBOOK

Touche' EDI educational music CD for kids, value $20.00  FACEBOOK

Entry 1 (mandatory): To enter the giveaway, you must "like" all the vendors on Facebook with your personal account, not your business page. Come back here and leave ONE comment that you have done so.

Bonus entries (optional)
#2 Follow 52 Weeks of Pintrest blog. Leave one comment that you have completed this step. (once)
#3 Share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Leave one comment & link to your post when you complete this step. (once)
#4 Heart all Etsy shops & follow all blogs. Leave one comment that you have completed this step. (once)
#5 Make a purchase from any one vendor during the giveaway. Leave one comment that you have completed this step. (one comment per purchase, does not apply to previous purchases)

The giveaway starts on January 21 at 12:00pm CST and ends on February 6th at 7:00pm CST. One winner will be chosen by random.org for each item. The winners will be posted on this blog on February 7th. The winners will have 48 hours to contact the sponsor to claim the prize. If no contact is made within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. If you are not a fan of all vendors, or if you do not complete your entry(ies) correctly, you may be disqualified. Please, do not un-like pages after the giveaway has ended.

Violet's Buds
This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.  Participants are providing information to Violet's Buds and not to Facebook. 
By entering the contest you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. You may not reside in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India according to Facebook rules. International players may enter but may be responsible for the shipping if they wish to redeem their prize.  If you are not willing to pay shipping, do not enter. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.