May 31, 2013

Cotton Apron

I am a complete slob in the kitchen. Having a small space doesn't help... more flour often ends up on me than in the bowl. I have always benefited from using an apron. I have a cute one that I sewed years ago that I practically live in, but recently I saw this Vickie Howell Apron Strings pattern in Interweave Crochet, and I knew I had to make it. 

Here's a sample of the fun stitches. This is whipping up pretty quickly, so I should have it done soon. Perfectly cool, cotton yarn for weekend crocheting. I'm not sure how much cooking I'll actually be doing in it, since temperatures are starting to sore again, but at least I'll look cute fanning myself in this apron. 

May 28, 2013

Giving a Handmade Gift

I know the pickings seem slim in the crafty department, but I can assure you the needles and hooks have been flying in between moving mayhem! I am surrounded by boxes and most of the craft supplies are already buried deep. Thankfully, I remembered to leave out the gift I'm giving a friend. (I really do promise to show you photos of the actual gift I'm about to give, but you'll have to wait until after the weekend...

My morning coffee, perched atop the stack of moving boxes.
Usually, with a hand knit or crocheted gift, I like to give the recipient a little leftover yarn, along with a laundry care instruction card. I like to think that my handiwork will last a long time, but the reality is, stuff rips. It's nice to have some yarn that matches in case the recipient needs to mend something. If the gift has buttons, I try to include one or two extras as well.

I often just tie the yarn right onto the card, or put it in a small plastic ziplock bag (like those small ones that hold extra buttons on new clothing). This time, my project used multiple colors, so rather than shoving them all into one little bag to get tangled, I decided to make a little yarn card holder. 

The only supplies needed are paper and a hole punch (I used a standard sized hole punch, but any size or even shape could work.)

First, I found some paper. (This alone was a miracle. I really have packed away most of the craft supplies. In the future, I would definitely use sturdier cardstock -- my paper was pretty flimsy, but it did the job in a pinch.

Finding the paper may well be the most difficult task in this project! Here's the rest:

Punch a half hole on each side -- two holes for each strand of yarn.

Wrap the yarn scraps around the indentations. You can either tie them at the back or just loosely fold them over each other. 

Fill up your yarn card. 

I slid the whole card into a narrow ziplock bag (I measured and cut the card smaller than the bag before I wrapped the yarn). 

Not all yarns are created equal and some require special care. I usually just glue the washing instructions from the yarn ball band onto a handmade luggage tag. I sometimes add info on there like whether or not I have pre-washed the item. Even if I don't have time to make a tag (or if I forget...), I'll usually remember to at least give the recipient the actual yarn ball band. 

I tied both the laundry tag and the yarn card together, and then promptly put it with the gift. Hopefully the gift doesn't fall apart, but in case it does, the recipient will be well-equipped to mend. At the very least, the extra yarn could be used for a scrapbooking or other crafty project. 

What extras would you like to receive from a homemade gift?

May 26, 2013

Beet Greens

I don't know if it's because bathing suit season is around the corner, or simply because I'm making a choice to be healthier, but I'm definitely trying to eat more green stuff these days. 

With so many varieties of fresh food over the summer, it's not that difficult, actually. I'm also trying to use everything that's actually edible on the vegetables I purchase.

This past week, I went to the local farm market with a friend. She bought some plump, gorgeous beet root... and as she got to chatting to the vendor, she discovered you could actually eat the greens. I don't know why this came as a great surprise to the pair of us -- after all -- if you look closely at those bags of mixed salad greens, beet leaves are often amongst the rocket and iceberg lettuce. 

My friend gave me a handful of the greens to take home with me. I promptly set about washing, cutting up, and sauteing the greens in a little olive oil, onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes (cut in half), and chopped turkey bacon. 

DELICIOUS. The only downside is that these greens cook way down -- similar to spinach. So fry up more than you think you will need because they won't stay on your plate for long. Obviously you can add whatever mix-ins you like. These don't take long at all to saute.

Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Isn't my mama's rooster hilarious?! We saw it at a local store years ago and couldn't stop laughing in the aisle, so we knew one of us had to buy it. (My mom is a great thrifting companion! To see how I got my mom hooked on Pyrex, and to see what else I got at that flea market besides beet greens, read more here.)

What are you cooking up this Memorial Day weekend? 

May 23, 2013

Spring Cleaning and Donations

In my last post, I mentioned spring cleaning (and finding fabulous thrifted goods as a result) as one of the bonuses of warm weather. 

What I didn't mention is that I'm also in the throes of my own spring cleaning. You see, the Sailor and I are moving in a few short weeks... and while we have lived a number of places both as singles and as a couple, this is the first time we're moving together, quite far, with STUFF. 

I don't think we have more than the average American by any means, but we've still got some stuff (my craft stuff alone seems to have multiplied when I wasn't looking). And even though we're moving to a slightly larger apartment, I don't want to haul ALL of the stuff stashed in here with us. 

So I've been purging. 

I have a few general rules about material purges. And since my life seems to consist of lists lately (hence all of the blogging lists of late!) I thought I'd also share these purging guidelines with you. (Notice I said guidelines, not rules. Exceptions, of course can be made.)

1. If you haven't worn an item of clothing for a year -- get rid of it.  

EXCEPTIONS: One or two special items -- like your wedding gear, or that sassy red dress you bought on clearance that you haven't had occasion to wear yet. However, if you have a closet full of the equivalent of sassy red dresses that you haven't worn yet, get rid of a few. 

TIPS: Some people suggest putting the hanger backwards in the closet at the start of the year (or your purge), and then when you wear the item, put the hanger the right way. At the end of the year, you can quickly see what you haven't worn. And by all means, only keep clothing that you love. If you wear something and think, 'I can't stand this' -- then get rid of it. 

SIDE NOTE: If you are waiting to lose weight to fit back into something (we're not talking about those times during the month when things fit more snug than usual -- I'm talking at least a size difference), I suggest you get rid of it. The times in my life when I have reached my heaviest, I looked at my skinny jeans and wanted to cry. Rather than motivating me to lose the weight, the skinny jeans simply reminded me of how fat I got. Likewise, when I lost the weight, I got rid of the fat jeans. I didn't need a reminder of that time period in my life -- and I certainly didn't want to keep something in expectation that I may gain weight again. 

2. If you buy something new, get rid of something equivalent in your closet or cabinet. 

EXCEPTIONS: Things you didn't have in the first place -- you can't get rid of the old blender if this is the first one you've ever purchased! Just be sure to actually use the blender.

TIPS: Just because it's cheap at the thrifts, it doesn't mean you should buy more. Thrifted items still count as 'new' even if they're old. Ask yourself: 'If money wasn't an object, do I love this item enough to pay full price for it, or am I simply buying it because it's cheap?' If you're only buying it because it costs a buck, hang it back on the rack. 

SIDE NOTE: I still bought stuff even after we knew we were moving. I know I have a Pyrex problem -- let's just get that out of the way. In my defense, I made sure I got rid of something of equal value if I bought anything. For instance, I found this Butterfly Gold loaf pan and my mom became the proud new owner of my old glass pan. 

3. Try to imagine the benefit someone else may get out of your stuff. 


TIPS: Ask yourself: 'Can someone else can use this stuff more than I do at the moment?' Think of it as a good deed for the day.

SIDE NOTE: We didn't have a lot of money growing up. We never once went 'school shopping' for new clothes. I lived in hand-me-downs until I got to college and even then, I still thrifted my way through my 20s. I remember how excited I was on the days we came home from church with a garbage bag full of clothes given to us by another family. It was like Christmas to me -- I felt like a princess. In turn, when I outgrew the stuff, my mom had me box things up and give them to the next family in line, or we donated items to Goodwill. 

An added bonus is that many thrift stores aren't out to make a profit -- your donations to them support various charities and people who may otherwise not have a job.

If you prefer to make some extra cash with yard sales, eBay, or Craigslist, consider donating a portion of your sales to a charity or non-profit involved in the recovery of the recent horrific tornadoes in Oklahoma. It's not always easy to box up your clothing and ship it to someone who may need it (and the people of Oklahoma need many things right now), but plenty of charities are able to offer support thanks to monetary donations. 

Here are a few of my favorites: 

The Red Cross: In times of disaster, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental services to help families and communities get back on their feet. 

The Salvation Army: These unsung heroes are often the first at a disaster site with mobile food canteens. (Bonus, they have thrift stores! Donate your goods directly to them.) 

Hope Force International: I have personally worked with and for this organization and can vouch for the excellent emotional and spiritual care they offer to people in disaster situations.

What's in your closet?

May 20, 2013

Five Reasons to Love Warm Weather

1. Crochet. I love to knit, but it seems to take a backseat to crochet as soon as the weather warms up. Knitting elicits images of wooly warm yarn on bamboo needles by the fire. Crochet on the other hand is my staple fiber art during spring and summer, especially with cotton yarn. I'm making something super fun (but can't divulge yet since the recipient may also read this blog.) In the meantime, check out this Bullion Beach Blanket I made -- in case you missed it!

2. Hammocks. There's nothing quite as peaceful as swinging from a hammock on a lazy day. You can even knit in one (despite me just saying I crochet more in warm weather.) You can find out where to buy a very cool hammock here, at the bottom of the post. 

3. Craftiness. The winter isn't the only time to be crafty. Spring and summer bring forth a whole host of fun ideas. I raided my stash to make the simple wreathe below. 

4. Spring cleaning. Warmer weather means people are cleaning out their homes and attics, which means bargains galore in thrift stores and at yard sales. I just found the Golden Pine Pyrex Space Saver (top white dish) for $1. See more photos of this gorgeous holiday promo here

 5. Outdoor activities. Quite possibly my favorite -- longer days and getting to spend time outside. Watching the sunflowers bloom is a bonus.

Eastern Ukraine, circa 1999. It's time to return and get an updated photo in those fields!

What's on your warm weather to-do list?


May 17, 2013

Small Kitchen Hints

Last weekend, I promised to share my hints for living with a small kitchen on this post. Using a doll-sized space takes some creativity, but I refuse to let the size of my kitchen dictate what I can and can't cook. Is it frustrating sometimes? Yes. Would I like more counter space? Of course! Am I able to still whip up some yummy delights? Absolutely. 

Despite the small factor, I've managed to turn my kitchen into a fully functional cooking space.  So, as promised, here are my top five small kitchen hints:  

1. Decide on your non-negotiables. Pick a few things that you simply MUST have in your kitchen, regardless of how much space they may take, or even what they may cost (within reason, of course). I've always heard the phrase, 'Buy the best you can afford'. While I love thrifting, I wanted to get good quality non-negotiables brand new, at the price I could afford.

For me, it was a set of great knives, stainless steels pots and a cast iron frying pan. (The Italian coffee-top espresso maker is a given -- there was never any negotiation involved in that one.) 

We married overseas and had a small wedding -- I never registered for dishes, knives or appliances. I didn't register for anything, actually. We had nowhere to put stuff at the time, plus I'm a little anti-registry. 

Once I had my own kitchen though, I thought about my non-negotiables, purchased them and then was happy to get the rest of my kitchen stuff from thrift stores. My knives do take up a chunk of the counter space, but I can't imagine not having them accessible. The frying pan stays on the stove, and the pots stack neatly inside one another under the oven.  

2. Everything must be FULLY functional. Having a small kitchen means you can't really have stuff laying around that simply looks pretty. That doesn't mean you can't have pretty things. 

One look at Vintage Pyrex and you can see that my kitchen is chock full of functional and pretty things. Problem solved. I am particularly enamored with the refrigerator dishes. (See more reasons why here.) You can bake in them, store them in the fridge and lids make them stackable.

Fully functional, fun AND pretty. 

Plus, if you don't have the cabinet space, you can use any of your bowls for other types of storage... like yarn, for instance. 

Having functional and pretty things sometimes means getting creative. I continually swoon over vintage cake stands and covers, but I clearly don't have space for them. This past weekend, I realized that I had a glass storage container with a rubber lid that was the perfect size for the 8" cake I baked -- upside down! Even if you don't have a lid, any clear glass container would work for the size of your cake or pastry, as long as you put a plate underneath.

3. Utilize all available counter space. I don't have a dishwasher. I wash everything by hand, and I have a dish rack, which takes up precious space. 

If you're in the same boat and need more space -- wash and dry the dishes, put the rack away and use that counter space for a while until you need to wash the dishes again. I know this seems basic, but I can't tell you how many times I've stared at the kitchen, willing an island to pop up out of nowhere, when this little corner was simply waiting for me to put the dry dishes away. 

I've also seen things that you can put over a sink in order to get more counter space. I only have one sink, and am constantly using the water from there when I cook, so it wouldn't be practical for me. But I think if you have a double sink, it would be great! (They sell these at places that sell RV supplies... and really, what better example of a small kitchen than an RV?!)  

I do have a wonderful strainer the fits over the sink, so it often comes in handy when I need more counter space. 

Of course, use the obvious: your kitchen table. My dining table happens to be right in the kitchen, so I just move stuff out of the way and onto the table when I'm cooking. 

4. Use your oven for storage. I'm always surprised at the number of people who only have a baking tray stored in their oven -- or nothing at all. I have a ton of stuff in there -- in fact all of my baking, muffin and bundt pans, plus a few Pyrex casseroles have made a home in my oven. 

Of course it means that when I use the oven, I need to remove everything. I usually just put it all on the table or on my bed. (Place an old towel on the bed in case there are yuckies stuck under the pans -- unless of course you have a spotless oven. In which case you probably have an immaculate and large kitchen... and you're reading this for entertainment rather than actual hints.) 

5. Choose smaller appliances. Unless you are a baker by trade and the Kitchen Aid stand mixer was your non-negotiable, choose appliances that are better suited for small spaces. After borrowing my mother's nearly 40-year-old hand mixer for a few months, I knew I needed to look for my own. I found this Sunbeam one on sale. 

The whole thing packs into a mixing bowl with a lid. I keep it on top of my fridge. The lid keeps everything dust free, I don't have to hunt for another mixing bowl, and it takes up far less space. 

Along the same lines, I do have a blender that I love using. But unless it's the summer smoothie season, I keep it in the back of the cabinet and just use my smaller stick blender when I'm making soups and small quantities of blended goodness.  

Of course having a small kitchen doesn't mean you can't use other gadgets and gizmos. I have a giant dehydrator, a popcorn popper and yogurt maker, but they usually stay stacked in the closet until it's time to use them. 

Happy cooking, no matter what size of a kitchen you'll be using! 

May 15, 2013

Cable Knit Blanket Success

I do actually finish projects, although these days it seems like it's taking longer than usual! I gave an update on my recent yarn projects here, and I'm happy to say that the gray blanket is now complete! (You can find the link to the free pattern there as well.) 

The pattern called for four panels that you seam up afterwards. I made five -- either my gauge was off, or this yarn curled more than usual, because my blanket was narrower than I wanted it to be. 

It turns out seaming up garter stitch is pretty easy! I used this tutorial here from Knitty.  

Aren't the cables pretty? I love how soft and thick this blanket turned out, since you knit two balls of yarn at one time. 

I also crocheted an easy border around the edge to prevent it from curling even more. 

I just did single crochet around one time, then a simple shell stitch on the next round. 

This was actually a breeze to make once I got cracking on it. The pattern is easy to memorize and since you're making the blanket in strips, it seems to go faster -- imagine just making five long scarves instead of a blanket! 

The best part about this project was that I made most of it while hanging out with my mom. She had no idea what was going on with that gray yarn and needles -- most of the time it really did look like a scarf. 

Imagine her surprise when I gave her the finished blanket as part of her Mother's Day gift! 

Remember when you were little and brought home artwork from school? Or a lopsided pottery dish? Well, I don't think I've ever outgrown the thrill of giving someone a handmade gift despite my age. 

And I don't think my mom has outgrown receiving a handmade gift either. 

May 12, 2013

Mother's Day?

I'm not a mom, so occasionally I get an awkward 'Happy Mother's Day!' greeting from people who assume that I have children, or people who don't know me. 

I don't mind. I've been Auntie B and Miss Brenda and all manner of other nicknames to enough little people and teenagers to know that I've influenced them (hopefully) for good, despite whether or not I ever have my own kiddos.  

I'm not opposed to Mother's Day I do think that moms everywhere should be celebrated and should get a day off.  

But does it all have to happen on the same day? 

I find the whole premise of Mother's Day kind of funny. I used to waitress, and often had to work on that day. Mothers of all kinds came in with their families. They waited in line forever, the service wasn't great because we were always so crazy and busy, the cooks were ready to tear our heads off, and usually the moms themselves seemed to be the most uncomfortable ones in the restaurant. 

The funniest part was that most of the women I waitressed with were actually moms themselves. Yet here they were, working to serve someone else's mom. Rather than dealing with a child's temper tantrum, they had to deal with the cook. (Frankly, I think their kids may have been easier to negotiate with.)

The whole thing seemed kind of ironic to me. 

So, years ago, I officially banned 'take mom out on Mother's Day'. It's not that my mom doesn't deserve a day off. Goodness knows, she's been through hell and back this year -- she deserves more than a day off. 

She also deserves my love and honor for her every day of the year. Not only today. 

My mom is an amazing and strong woman. I told her today she's always been the champion of my adventures, and my hero in the adventures she's gone through in her own life.

As a child, she was like superwoman to me. Superhero or not, she still needs to eat. So instead of flocking to a restaurant today, I made my mom brunch. 

We ate like pigs and drank far too much coffee. We joked that my brother would have liked the spread I put out for her. And then we cried a little. 

Years ago, when the Sailor and I first got married, we lived with his parents. That Mother's Day the siblings all visited at the same time. That was the last time that I can remember all of the family together in the same place circumstance and distance make get-togethers difficult. I cooked made-to-order omelets for the crowd and remember my mother-in-law beaming from ear to ear at the table, listening to the chatter. All she wanted on that day was to have all of her children there with her. 

I think today, that's all my mom wanted too. 

So today, and the rest of the year, remember those moms who have lost children, whether young or old or for the children they wanted to have but never could. 

Remember those whose mothers have already passed on the ones who still wish they had a mom to take out on this day. 

Remember the adopted-moms in your own life or in your children's lives. They may or may not have their own children, but they've been there for you or yours.  

And above all, remember that while moms usually love their gifts and dinner out, they probably would rather have a hug and a phone call at least every Sunday not just this one. (It goes without saying that they probably want brunch a little more often, too.)

Happy Mother's Day to the many women in my life who have influenced me, but especially to my own Mama.

May 11, 2013

Small Kitchens, Big Dreams

I love having my own kitchen, even though I joke that it's the smallest kitchen in America. (I'm sure it's not, but for the record, my counter space is smaller than my desk -- and that's not very big.)

When I finally moved into a place where I wasn't sharing someone's dishes, or using tea towels that I hadn't picked out (read that lament here), I was so ecstatic the space was mine that I didn't care how big or small the counter was -- I would make it work. 

I acquired my own tea towels, found nooks and crannies in cabinets for the ever-growing Pyrex collection, and I managed to cook an astonishing amount of food in such a small space.  

Occasionally, though I feel like it's not working. When I burn something, I have to open the front door -- which is only a refrigerator's width away from the stove -- to let the smoke out before the detector blares again.  
My tiny wooden doll from Bulgaria seems to stare down at me from the spice rack, as if to reprimand me for cooking in such a small space to begin with. 

Perched next to the Hungarian paprika, she herself is a size more fitting for my doll-house like kitchen. 

I have to remind myself that my kitchen is still much larger than many people around the world. My friend Natasha taught me that anything is possible -- even in a doll-sized Ukrainian kitchen. She has one of the tiniest kitchens I've ever seen. Yet I've eaten some of the most delicious made-from-scratch food from that kitchen. 

A while back, I saw a photo essay on kitchens in various parts of the world. I wish I had bookmarked it, because now I can't find it. 

I did however, find this gem during my search: a photobook project by Gabriele Galimbert, featuring grandmothers from around the world with their favorite recipes. There's some serious inspiration in many of those dishes -- and most of those kitchens don't look enormous to me.   

Over the years, I've also been inspired by the kitchens I've eaten in around the world. It's made me realize that we have fallen for a great lie in America in believing that the bigger the kitchen, the better the cook (I blame the Food Network, even though I too drool over their kitchens...) 

I don't think there is anything wrong at all with having a big kitchen. In fact, I'd love one myself. I dream of counter space that I can actually keep appliances on top of, rather than in boxes in the closet. I think it would be grand to have a place for all of my pots and pans so that they're not on the stove top 24/7.  

However, I don't think having a small kitchen should stop you from cooking, experimenting and generally enjoying the culinary process. My kitchen and I have made a mess together of homemade ice-cream, dehydrated apples, yogurt, bundt cakes, cupcakes, beef and chicken pies galore, stir-fries, French fries, brewed kombucha, soups from scratch and so much more.   

I think small kitchens can sometimes wield the most miraculous outcomes. So rather than dreaming of a larger kitchen, I'm dreaming up new dishes to make in my small one.

Later this week, I'll be posting some small kitchen organization tips. In the meantime, happy cooking!

May 7, 2013

Bloglovin' and Virtual Organization

I like being organized.

I like things put away, in their proper place.

I like all of my ducks in a row. Or at least the (chicken) eggs. 

I see patterns and order daily. 

Most everything in my small apartment has its own place. Chaos makes me a little crazy.

My blogroll though, was a different story

Until about a month ago, the list of the blogs I read and wanted to read, looked like this: 

My bookmarks, especially, were getting the better of me. I had so many bookmarks in different categories: yarn, cooking, paper, photography. I finally just created a folder called: 'blogroll' in my bookmarks. But then I'd forget to check the folder and therefore, I'd forget to check the blogs I wanted to follow.

With some blogs, I signed up for email updates. These are great, if you only follow one or two blogs (and a special shout out to you email followers who have been with me from the start... you know who you are!) But if you follow lots of different blogs, it starts to clog your inbox.  

Thankfully, I discovered Bloglovin'. Bloglovin' is a user-friendly site that lets you read blogs, search for them, sign up to follow them, and then get as many or as little notifications as you like when those blogs update. 

I didn't need much convincing. I signed up right away and got busy following other blogs. 

Now, once a day, I get one email update that combines ALL of the blogs I follow on one page, with a little blurb and thumbnail photo from each. To read the rest of the post, I just click on the link. 

When I login on the Bloglovin' website, it lists all of the blogs I follow, in ONE place. 

Sheer brilliance. 

Seriously. This may have revolutionized my virtual organization skills.

I noticed this week that I got a little giddy when I described the site to a few friends. I decided you all needed to know too, in case you weren't already a fan of Bloglovin'.

You may or may not have your own way to organize the blogs you read. Maybe you like getting 28 emails twice a day from other bloggers. Perhaps you enjoy the hunt of checking your favorite blog daily... trying to guess which day it will actually update. Or maybe you like sitting down with a nice cuppa' on the weekend and reading the latest 14 posts from each of your favorite blogs. 

If you're anything like me though, then those ideas weren't working out for you. Sign up for Bloglovin'. Post your own blog so people can follow you there. And say hello to virtual organization. 

(Disclaimer: I received no compensation from Bloglovin' for this post -- I simply think they rock.)

May 4, 2013

BBQs and Spring Sunshine

These past few days have been glorious in my part of the world. (I'm so sorry Minnesota, for your springtime snow...)

It was so glorious that I decided the sheep and I needed some Vitamin D, so we spent the majority of the afternoon sitting outside. 

He didn't stay in his basket the whole time. In fact, now he has a head. It's amazing how motivated I get with a little sunshine.  

All afternoon though, I smelled someone barbequing. 

No matter what I have planned to eat or what I already ate... if I smell something on a grill, I want to drop what I'm doing and fire up a BBQ. 

It's the time of year when my own carnivorous cravings kick in and I too want to throw meat on the grill. A few weeks ago, I did just that. Well, actually, my mother threw the meat on, and then we tag-teamed for the final result.

Sadly, the results weren't pretty. The steaks didn't taste terrible, but we nodded our heads in agreement, in between chewing, that the Sailor was much more of a grilling champion than we were.

Today, as the BBQs wafted through the air, I once again counted the days until the Sailor arrives home.

In the meantime, I'm brushing up on my grilling skills, because I'm not sure I can wait until he gets home to make myself a steak again. If you missed the Sailor's South African braai (BBQ) rules earlier, you can find those here

What are you grilling this weekend?

May 1, 2013

Gravy Boat Winner and Fire King Chilli Bowls

I had a lot of fun doing my six-month blogiversary Great Gravy Boat Giveaway. Thank you so much to everyone who entered -- I enjoyed reading responses from all over the world! I wish I could send all of you a gravy boat... everyone seems so lovely! 

I only have one to giveaway this time though... and the winner is:  

Emily Vannah!  

Congrats Emily -- send me an email TypingSunflowers(at) with your mailing address and I will get your gravy boat and plate in the mail for you! 

I did the giveaway old school style and put the names in a bowl (Pyrex, of course) shuffled them, handed the bowl to my mother, who closed her eyes, and pulled out a card. 

I recently thrifted the white bowl that goes with this big Butterfly Gold bowl above -- see the photos here on the Pyrex Collective III blog. 

I also ranted a little about my local Salvation Army on that same post. The non-priced mixing bowl I wanted to purchase last week is nowhere to be found... but I did find these chilli bowls. I promised myself that I wouldn't collect Fire King anything (I have enough Pyrex, clearly...) but for 99 cents each, these little cuties were too fun to pass up. 

They are great sizes for children and it makes me think that whoever owned them previously may have used them for a son and daughter. 

I think we'll just use them as HIS and HER ice cream bowls for now. 

(Use your imagination. I didn't have any ice cream in the freezer...)

That Salvation Army is slowly redeeming itself. 

Thanks again to the giveaway entries!

(And stay tuned -- I'm sure I'll have more giveaways in the future. Pyrex will probably be involved. What a surprise.