Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cheap Vinyl Lettering Source

First off, I must preface this by saying I am a really nice person. Our door is always open to friends and family and my husband and I are very much like the "take your shoes off and prop them on the coffee table" type house. One of my big motto's in life is to treat your family like your friends and your friends like family. But door to door solicitors? I'm not a jerk or rude, but I have hit my limit.

Enough is enough. So"what part of no soliciting do they not understand??" I had a no soliciting sign that was in black vinyl lettering on my door, but since my door is a deeper blue I don't think the salespeople were seeing it. Or maybe they did but didn't care. But as I think of it several have admitted seeing it - but then said it didn't "apply" to them because they were not trying to "sell" me anything. I love the "we're not trying to sell you anything" line. If you're not then why are you on my doorstep?

My concern has been how bold solicitors have been lately. My husband and I were working in our garage and a salesperson entered our garage to get our attention. Another noticed that I was working in the garden because the side gate was open. So the 2 of them marched right up to it and started calling me to come over. In my opinion that's crossing the line. And of course neither of them were trying to "sell" me anything.

My other concern is that I am a stay at home mom and I have no idea who is at the other side of the door. Sometimes my kids run and get the door before I get there thinking its one of their friends, and lo and behold its another salesperson. I don't want to open my door to a complete stranger!

I heard about Say Anything Expressions from a popular blogger and I marked it in my favorites bar. I love how you can customize a saying and they can create it for you. She charges $4.50 per foot and 25 cents for each additional inch. The best thing? That includes lettering up to 5 inches tall! And for a 6x9 envelope she only charges $1.50 for shipping. I've seen other vinyl lettering sources that seemed like a good deal but then turned around and charged 8 dollars or more for the shipping which didn't make it a good deal after all.

I scoured the internet for "no soliciting" type sayings, but something that was a little more blunt. Personally my favorite is "We shoot every third solicitor and the second one just left." But I figured that was a little too much and I didn't want anyone walking by to see that from the street and wonder who the heck lived at our house. I decided on No Soliciting. Period. I emailed Say Anything Expressions, and in a few days I had my custom saying delivered to me. It was really easy to apply, and the vinyl is really good quality.

I just put it on the door this evening. Hopefully from here on out the salespeople will leave me alone!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Conquering the Clutter

Since its spring I thought I'd show you what I have been up to the past couple of months. Downsizing. Serious downsizing. Do I need to? No, but if I'm not using it, why store it? I remember when we went through all of our baby items that we donated or gave away to friends. We aren't having any more kids, so instead of sitting in our garage why not let it bless others? I was really surprised as we took that last truckful of donations how I felt an emotional burden lifted off of my shoulders that I didn't even realize that I was carrying! I felt like I had lost 10 pounds just looking at the garage!

I wrote about purging and the 40 trash bags in 40 days challenge in September. You can read that post again here. Sarah at Clover Lane is doing it again this year.

As I look at those empty buckets, I feel such gratitute to see them empty. The items in those boxes are blessing someone somewhere.

The Nester blogged some great thoughts on all of this. In this link she talks about the finding a good deal syndrome. In this link she puts her final thoughts on it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Super Easy Whole Wheat Bread

I absolutely love homeade bread, but I don't do long complicated recipes. This one is the easiest I have ever seen, and it tastes great.

Whole Wheat Bread

6 cups warm water
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast
around 8-10 cups whole wheat flour

If you have a standing mixer like a Bosch or Kitchenaid, pour in the warm water. Add the yeast next. Continue with gluten, oil, honey, and salt. Add flour until it doesn't stick on the bowl. Continue on medium speed for 7 minutes. (You can also knead by hand if you do not have a mixer)

Let rise for 30 minutes (I just put it in my oven at 170 degrees), then turn the heat up to 350 degrees and cook for 30 minutes more.

That's it! I typically put in a cup or two of white flour as well as whole wheat, but I've done it both ways. This is very moist and definitely not a "glorified hard rock" as some loaves do. I prefer white wheat flour to hard red wheat as it has a lighter texture.