Tuesday, August 7, 2012

SoCal Cheapskate gets it done for freesies, or vacation brain.

Happy Tuesday, friendies.
I'm home from the beach, BUT I'm also trying to get caught up on everything that I've missed/skipped/ignored over the passed three weeks. So, I have a super treat for you today. Melanie, the amazing, fun, weirdo behind Metropolitan Money Pit (A blog I LURVE) is here to teach you the ways of the cheapskate...

Take it, Melanie...


Hi Perched readers! How's it going? My name's Melanie and I blog over at Metropolitan Money Pit. I'm a confirmed cheapskate but love to go out and have fun. How do I combine the two? By finding the best cheap activities in Southern California. And if I think they're great, I share them with my readers.

Since I just admitted I'm a total cheapskate I thought I'd take the time today to share a little of what that means. Call it my confessions if you will. Confessions of a Confirmed Cheapskate. Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

- I always, always try to find the cheapest parking when I go to a concert or event. You want to charge me $20 for parking after I've already paid a crazy amount for this ticket! I don't think so. I've been know to park at the movie theatre down the street when going to a hockey game and in the neighborhood down the hill when attending a concert. It saves me money and I burn calories. I call it a win win. Oh, and speaking of concerts, I will go out of my way to go to the box office if it means I don't have to pay extra fees. You want to charge me an extra $20 for your "service?" Get out of here, Ticketmaster!

- I am a regular patron of my local library. So much so that the librarians know me. Seriously, I go there about once a week. I love to read but books ain't cheap. Well, except on Amazon, but why buy it when I can get it for free? And I'm extra lucky because my library also has a huge film collection. I'm talking new releases, not just documentaries and how to videos. And they don't charge anything to rent them! Goodbye, Netflix. Oh, and when I do buy books, I resell them when I'm done on Half.com.

My trusty library card
- I religiously cut coupons. I use them everywhere - the grocery store, Target, the drugstore, restaurants, clothing stores...if they offer a coupon, I'll be sure to find it! And you want to hear something really embarrassing? I've been addicted to coupons since I was a teenager. So much so that I took over the grocery shopping for the family because I loved them so much (coupons that is. But, don't worry, I do love my family a lot, too). Yes, when I was a newly minted 16 year old driver I would borrow my parents' car so that I could go to the grocery store.

My handy dandy coupon book. I made it out of a cosmetic bag that I (shocker) got for free.

I think I'll leave you on that note. I'd better stop my confessions before I reveal anything even more embarrassing!


I have numerous follow up questions... 
How do you remember to USE the damn coupons anyway? I always clip them, and can't remember to bring them with me anywhere important.
How do you learn to match up sale ads to your coupons and get massive amounts of shit for free like Extreme Couponers on TLC?
And, in all seriousness, how do you find HEALTHY options with coupons? I feel like all coupons are for junk food and things that will make me very fat.
Think on it. We'll wait.

I'll be back with you tomorrow, darlings.
Until then...

Friday, August 3, 2012

the gift of pie.

Happy Friday Fools.
I'm still at the beach, which is DIVINE.

Today, I have a treat for you. Literally. Miss Amanda from Cupcakes and Corsets is here to share some pie with you, and since I don't do pie (I do do a mean dump cake... and my friend Sweets kills it at pastry), this is actually a real treat.



Hey everyone my name is Amanda and my blog is Cupcakes and Corsets I am a pastry chef and I'm guest posting here today.

Thank you Jackie for letting me post! I'm glad to be here!

Today I'll be sharing a recipe for a delicious summer pie. I tweaked a recipe I found in bon appetit to make it a whole new pie. It has lots of berries so you can take advantage of all the summer fresh fruit.

Here's what you will need

1 small container of fresh blue berries
1 small container of fresh raspberries
1 small container of fresh black berries
1 small container of fresh strawberries
1 lemon you will need the juice and zest
3/4 cup of sugar
3 tbsp of cornstarch
1/4 tsp of cardamom
1 tbsp of vanilla
2 pack of ready made pie crust
1 whole egg whisked
tin foil
pie pan
1 large bowl

Preheat oven to 400
First clean all the fruit thoroughly, then cut off the tops of strawberry and slice in half then in half again.

Line the bottom of your pie dish with 1 of your pie crusts take a fork and poke holes in the bottom

Add all your fruit to your big bowl, add  1 tbsp of lemon juice 1tsp of lemon zest ,sugar,cardamom,vanilla,and cornstarch

I would use your hands to stir and be gentle this way you don't mush up all the fruit
Pour mixture into your pie dish and spread out
Now take your 2nd pie crust and cover over the top fold under any extra and you can use a fork to close and mark the ends around the pie
Make slits around the top of the pie like in the picture above
Use your egg mixture to brush atop the whole crust

Bake for 30 min then take off the foil and bake for another 10 min or until pie crust is golden brown

Take out of the oven and let sit before serving you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream as well

Just a side note you can use from scratch pie crust if you like I normally do but i made this for a dinner party so I didn't have to time to do so

Also to keep the ends from burning use the tin foil to cover just the ends of the pie crust

I hope you enjoy the recipe and have a great week!

I will absolutely never be able to make that.
But I hope that one of you tries and sends it to me as a thank you for having Amanda over today. Like a hostess gift!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

glamour shots with michelle.

WHAT A FREAKING MONTH! I can't stand how busy and crazy I've been...
Vegas for the Scentsy Family Convention.
Kicking my own ass into gear and getting excited about my business.
Quitting my freaking job.
And so so so so so much more.

But, right now, I'm on vacation in the glorious Cape May, NJ... which I wrote about in this little ditty for Michelle while she was on vacay in MY glorious city of NYC.
*cue music: it's a small world after all*

And Michelle is here with me today, picking up my slack while I get my tan pasty paleness on.

Thanks, babe. Hit it!


I'm so happy to be Jackie's guest today.  She's definitely one of my favorites and has been for a few months, even though our paths came thisclose in June when our family visited NYC and made a stop by the Life Suck but stupid Colin Powell kept us from meeting (w/ apologies sort of to Colin Powell...).

I'm Michelle and I unload my inner dialogue over at You're my favorite today, much to the relief of my 2 daughters and my long-suffering husband.  We've lived in Minnesota for 14 years (and no, we are not in the witness protection program) and it took me about 10 of those to stop crying and trying to escape.  But when I learned to accept that which I cannot change I realized that Minnesota is not, in fact, Siberia, and is actually quite a lovely place to raise a family - 8 months of the year.  
So for those of you who have never been to MN, I thought I'd give you a few reasons it's not as bad as you might think (it's really a wonder that the Minnesota Tourism Dept. hasn't contacted me about a job, isn't it?)
1.  Minnesota has the Mall of America (or as we local peeps call it - "MOA" - not "The MOA", just "MOA").
If you've ever wanted to shop at a mall with 4 Caribou Coffees, 2 American Eagles, 3 Engrave Your Memory Stores (because apparently in Minnesota we need a lot of shit engraved), a 2-story Old Navy, 2 Victoria Secrets, 4 Lids Stores (Minnesotans love them some baseball caps), a Glamour-Shots (that fact alone pretty much cancels out the cool and edgy vibe that Minneapolis has a reputation for. Good God), and it's very own Mall Gift Store (and 1 isn't enough...there's 2), then the Mall of America is the place for you!!  Oh, and did I forget to mention the full-sized amusement park and underwater aquarium?
I Like to shop as much as probably more than the next guy girl, but I only make the 30 minute trek to MOA if:
a.  I need a Nordstrom fix
b. I'm taking my kids for their annual Nickelodeon Universe trip 
c. I'm going to Glamour-Shots for my Christmas card photo
d. I feel the need to self-inflict pain
2.  Minnesota is home to arguably the best store in the history of stores (suck-it MOA) - TARGET.
I swear there is either a Target or a Super Target about every 5 sq. miles in the metro area.  And if I didn't already live here, this fact alone would get me to move here.
3.  Minnesota has kick-ass winters.
...and by 'kick-ass' I mean bitter and brutal and blizzardy beautiful snowscapes and plenty of opportunity for outdoor "fun" (if you don't mind frostbite on your extremities.  All of them).  With the exception of the gloriously mild winter of '12, we can usually count on about 10-20 days where the HIGH temp is a negative number.
I heard you....and I agree - it pretty much sucks from January through (not to) March.  2 feet of snow is beautiful until you have to shovel it and slip-n-slide around town.
But eventually, you'll reach the light at the end of the tunnel (mid-April) and you'll be looking ahead to the #1 reason I stick it out.
4.  Minnesota has Lakes...and fantastic summers to enjoy them.
If you visit my blog during the months of June, July and August, I can pretty much guarantee you will get sick of me talking about the lake.  We spend about half our summer at our little cabin on a little blue lake in north-central Minnesota, and it is seriously what fuels me the rest of the year.  
Sure you have to put up with swarms of hungry mosquitoes who magically appear at about 7 p.m. each night, severe storms and tornado warnings and a muggy day here and there, but it's worth it for sights like this.
So if I haven't sold you on a visit to Minnesota, at least stop by my blogmeet the family, and stay awhile!
I promise not to complain too much this winter (and I will try not to lie to you ever again).


I absolutely cackled. Mostly because there is still a Glamour Shots in the MOA.

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