Monday, October 18, 2010

Creepy Snake Wreath

In the October issue of Martha Stewart Living was a fantastic Halloween wreath idea. It was basically a grapevine wreath spray painted black with black plastic snakes attached all over it. The twists of the grapevine combined with the snakes to look like a mass of snakes. Here is my version:

I love how it turned out and will be keeping this to use from year to year. Also outside are my adorable trick-or-treaters. They have different colored eyes this year and the girl has a new hair bow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Swapping

I love to read. I easily have enough books to last me years, but I still cannot resist a catchy title or interesting cover. My local library does not have most of the books I want to read. A few I find I want to keep, but with most I read them and am done. I use PaperBack Swap to trade books (hardcover and paperback). I have been very pleased with this service.

Recently I have finished two books. The first is Baby Not On Board, which is all about being childless. It was more humorous and sarcastic than anything. It was a fun, quick read. It is currently packaged up waiting to be mailed tomorrow.

Next is The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes about a mother's struggle to find appropriate care for her mentally disabled son. I was not sure I could relate to the book, but it is a touching story. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

While this should free up two books' worth of space on my shelves, it does not really. I am waiting for two more books that I requested to arrive. I am on a reading merry-go-round, and I do not want to get off.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Baby Gifts

I had the material and supplies needed to make these for months. I had them for so long that two of the babies were born before I got around to actually sewing them. In my defense I have a tiny(!) travel size sewing machine. Doing any project is frustrating at best. A real, big girl sewing machine is on my wish list.

I made burp cloths and embellished onesies. I needed to make two girl gifts and one boy gift. The girls are getting bright floral designs. The baby boy will have a star pattern.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Recipe Review: Coconut Pops

I had a can of coconut milk in my pantry. I know I bought it for some reason, but I never got around to actually using it. When I saw this Coconut Pops recipe is a recent issue of Food Network Magazine, I knew it was the perfect way to use up that can of coconut milk.

You will need:
14 ounce can coconut milk
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup shredded coconut

I put everything in the blender until it was mixed well. I have a set of popsicle molds and ended up with eight popsicles. Dh did not like them as he is not a fan of lime. I thought they were delicious - a bit tart from the lime and slightly sweet. I plan to purchase another can of coconut milk with this recipe in mind.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I am continuing to follow the summer session of the Holiday Grand Plan on Yahoo Groups. Each week I am focusing on an area of the house. To this point I have cleaned the pantry, craft room, walk-in closet, and living room. The living room was the first main room of the house I did. It made the rest of the house look awful. I know that I need to take it one room or area at a time though.

This week I have been cleaning the desk and our storage building. My decluttering has motivated dh. He wants to tear down two-thirds of our backyard storage building. That means we need to get rid of some stuff. I have no problem with that. If we are not using and have no plans to use something I see no reason to hold onto it.

I have found that cutting back on the amount of things we have also cuts back on the amount of time I spend cleaning. I admit that I have never made it completely through the Holiday Grand Plan. This just might be my year!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Garden Blessings

If you have visited my gardening blog, you will see that we are not eating much from our garden yet. We have been blessed with fruits/vegetables from our friends' gardens.

Strawberries were our first blessing. I got about six gallons from my aunt and uncle's strawberry patch. Some went into a yummy strawberry pie. I froze some whole to be part of homegrown frozen mixed berries. I made dh some strawberry popsicles. Others went into the freezer for jam or ice cream. One gallon went to my in-laws.

My in-laws gave us some yellow squash. We also picked their garden last week and received more yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. I shared some as we had more than we could eat. Everything has been eaten fresh. I do plan to blanch some of the squash and zucchini as part of a homemade frozen stir fry mix.

Snap beans from another friend's garden were enjoyed fresh. Some will also be put into the stir fry mix.

Blackberries from my parents' garden will complete the frozen mixed berries. We have also been enjoying onions and potatoes from the family garden.

The garden produce definitely helps my current grocery budget. I also try to freeze what I can to help the garden budget in the months when the garden is finished.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Menu Planning

Over the weekend I started to get serious again with my menu planning. I am making a menu for the entire month. My goal is do get my shopping down to one main trip a month. A regional grocery store often has good sales and is more convenient. I also find the produce is fresher and a better quality. Even better I can stick to my shopping list and am not tempted so much by impulse buys.

I do not stick strictly to the menu plan. For example if I have a meal planned for June 27 and we want it, we eat it even though it is June 12. My monthly menu plan is a general list of meals so I am not peering into the freezer searching for something I can fix.

The second part of my plan is to save my menus in my household notebook. In June 2011 I can pull out this menu plan and with a few tweaks have a working menu. I have decluttered my recipes and also have a folder of ones I want to try. Perhaps I will have meals we do not love as much or new meals that I want to add in. A year is a long time to wait to see how it works. I expect it will be fine or at least give me a good start.

I do know that the monthly shopping works as I did this when I worked. The less I am Wal-Mart, the less I am tempted to pick up this or that.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Taking in Homeless Animals

All three of our cats were rescued, and we continue that tradition by taking in two more homeless animals - a pair of white Cochin chickens.

My DH got to work building a very nice pen for them with a little roost and plenty of room to ramble in the grass. I named them Fred and Daphne (from Scooby Doo). They stay very close to each other. Daphne has already laid several eggs, which we are saving to hatch out.

Our intentions were to get chickens at some point anyway so when no one wanted these it seemed like a great opportunity. We will add to our little chicken family with a few more breeds in the future. I grew up around chickens, but it is fun to have some of my own.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Computer Problems Over

I am happy to be back online with no problems now. I ended up having to reformat the hard drive, but everything is working smoothly again. I know everyone complains about their slow computer. When my neighbors complained, I let them use my computer and was always told "mine is not so bad after all". It was aggravating, and I did lose a few programs. I had tried everything else. I could have taken it somewhere to be checked out. The cost of that would have been more than the cost of the two programs. I am not certain that the outcome would have been any different.

I am pleased to say that I have posts lined up for the next week. I apologize for my absence and hope the computer will cooperate from here on out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Recipe Review: French Apple Tart

As I was decluttering my recipes/cookbooks, I made a point to only keep recipes I knew my family loved or that I seriously wanted to try. One of those was the Barefoot Contessa's French Apple Tart. The tart was incredibly easy to make. My favorite part was the crust as it was very flaky. Dh declared that he gave it a 9.5 out of 10. He deducted half a point since we had no whipped cream in the house.

I made a couple of changes simply to use items I had on hand. I replaced the Granny Smith apples with Gala apples. I also used peach preserves rather than apricot. My apples were a bit small, and I could have used one more. The crust was so yummy that the sparse bits were not a problem.

This recipe definitely goes into the keep section. I would like to try it with peaches or pears.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekly Shopping

I went shopping Wednesday afternoon and tried my best to stick to a low total. I think I did well as I got everything pictured for $7.10 thanks to sales and coupons. My freebies were the cereal from CVS with a bonus extra buck. From the grocery store I got the Steamfresh vegetables & rice and two candy bars. The pasta side was for yesterday's lunch. The Fritos and grapes are for DH's lunch. The corn chubs were 75 cents each after the coupon. I needed something for a church dinner next weekend. Creamed corn will be a great and frugal start to my menu.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Menu Plan

I am trying to do another pantry/freezer challenge. My plan is to spend less money on groceries over the next eight weeks. We have plenty of food on hand. My problem is decided what to fix. That requires a menu plan. Here is mine for this week.

Yesterday we had pizza and salad for lunch and burritos and salsa/guacamole for dinner. It was not the most balanced, but I was away much of the day.

Today we are having broiled cod fillets, a pasta side, and either salad or slaw for lunch. Our evening meal will be corn dogs and home baked fries with fruit for dessert.

Friday: hamburgers on homemade buns, chips
Saturday: chicken wings, green beans, potato salad
Sunday: BBQ sandwiches on homemade buns
Monday: pizza and salad
Tuesday: sausage and tomatoes in pasta, biscuits

One day this week I want to try out an apple tart recipe. I am only keeping recipes that I seriously plan to test. This is one DH had selected so it is a definite test recipe. I already have the apples so I can try the tart without purchasing any other ingredients.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Restaurant Cooking at Home

Eating out does not always fit with the budget or the waistline. I do have some things that I like and consider a treat. Making similar recipes at home allows me to treat myself for a fraction of the money. I am not clever enough to decipher most of the recipes on my own. That is why I like the copycat section of RecipeZaar. I can search by meal or by recipe. Some need a bit of adjusting to taste exactly as I want them which is another bonus of preparing it myself at home.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Cookbooks/Recipes

Last week I caught a cold which I am still dealing with today. I did not do any spring cleaning and am still trying to take it easy. I decided one area I could work on from the couch was my cookbooks/recipes. I have too many of both. I find it easy while flipping through magazines to be pulled in by the beautiful pictures of delectable dishes. I tear out the recipes with grand plans to cook the featured foods. Eventually (aka: now) I find myself buried in paper. It is time for a fresh start. I am going to put my favorite recipes in one cookbook so I am no longer digging through mounds of recipes.

I am not going to pretend that I will get rid of all of my cookbooks. If I can clear out five books along with 75% of the "one day I might cook that" recipes, I will consider that area of spring cleaning a success.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls for Now or Later

I use my bread machine to make the dough for my cinnamon rolls. It takes 90 minutes for the dough to finish and another 60-90 minutes for the shaped dough to rise and be ready for the oven. That makes having freshly made cinnamon rolls first thing in the morning a challenge unless I want to get up before the chickens. I decided to do a bit of experimenting. After several trials and some errors, I found two successful ways for making cinnamon rolls now to eat later.

The first option is for cinnamon rolls served the day after making. I make the dough, shape it, and place it without letting it rise in the refrigerator. The next morning remove the cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator and let them rest on the counter 15-20 minutes. Bake as usual.

The second option is for freezing the dough. I make the dough, shape it, and let it rise. Then I wrap the pan well and place it in the freezer. The day before baking, let the cinnamon roll dough rise overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator and let rest on the counter 15-20 minutes before baking as usual.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My First Handmade Card

I have always wanted to try rubber stamping and recently subscribed to a kit of the month club that included a small lesson book along with the rubber stamps and materials to complete the projects. I worked on the March kit over the weekend. I have to say I am pretty pleased with the results.

Although it is not visible from the picture, the flower has a 3-d effect. I stamped the image three times and cut out parts from two of the images. I used pop dots to layer the flower parts giving the image a bit of depth. I am thinking I might actually be able to make my Christmas cards for this year and not have them look like a three year old made them.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Improved Pantry

First of all, I am a bit surprised at myself for sharing the before photos. The main reason I am sharing them is that the after ones are so impressive. Here goes:

I have no good explanation for this mess. It started small as all messes do. This part of the house is cold so once winter was in full swing I could not not convince myself to bundle up enough to get back there. We were just opening the door and tossing things inside. Finally enough was enough, and it was time to clean up. It took a few long days to get it all in order, but I am thrilled with the results.

Everything is neat and organized. I can easily put up any items I purchase, and I can quickly find any items that I need. I think the before pictures will be motivation to keep it in the after condition.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring Cleaning

I know it is several weeks past the beginning of spring, but I have finally been bitten by the spring cleaning bug. I started in the craft room/gym which was one of the two worst rooms in the house. I would have taken pictures, but it was too embarrassing. It took me a week to finish. While it is far from perfect, it is much better.

I have donated three and half boxes of books to a neighborhood bookshelf. Two grocery bags of books went to the local gospel radio station for its prison ministry. A box of craft supplies was given to my church along with my Swiffer WetJet. I have a box of yard sale items to give to my cousin for her sale. I am trying to be a bit ruthless in my decluttering. We simply have too much stuff in our house.

I am motivated by the progress I have made. Next week I am going to work on the pantry. It is even worse than the craft room. I may get brave and take some before pictures of the pantry to share. It needs organizing, and I am sure I will have to toss a few expired items that have been buried in the mess.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Decorative Clipboard

One of my hobbies is writing letters. I have pen friends all over the world. I know e-mail is faster and cheaper, but I prefer snail mail as do my pen pals. I decided to save a bunch of the stamps and use them to decorate a clipboard. Here is what I started with: plain clipboard, diluted white glue, foam brush, and stamps.
I went with a random display (or as random as I would allow myself to be). I opted not to overlap the stamps as I wanted to see them. Here is the finished product:

Some of my favorite stamps are from France. These are two examples:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Homemade Hamburger Buns

I cannot remember the last time I bought hamburger buns. Instead I use my dinner roll recipe to make hamburger buns. When I shape the dough, I usually make 6 hamburger buns and 12 dinner rolls. These are softer than purchased buns. Of course, we usually eat them straight out of the oven so they are fresher too. Here is the dough prior to rising:

After Rising

Monday, April 12, 2010

Use It Up Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas

First I apologize for how unappetizing the picture looks. I made chicken noodle soup to use up a package of egg noodles. I then had chicken leftover. I also had some wheat tortillas and a bit of shredded cheese. These along with a few other ingredients became chicken enchiladas which went into the freezer for a quick meal at a later date.
I do use the term "recipe" rather loosely since I barely follow one. Here goes:
can of cream of chicken soup (I use my homemade version)
chicken broth (homemade from the freezer)
sour cream
shredded cooked chicken
bell pepper
shredded cheddar cheese
I mix the cream of chicken soup with a few spoonfuls of sour cream. I then add in enough chicken broth to make it creamy but not runny. Keep about a cup of these separate. To the remaining mixture add the chicken, bell pepper, onion, and cheese. You can also add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon some of the chicken mixture onto a tortilla, roll up and place in an eight inch casserole dish. I normally get about five generously stuffed tortillas from this. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the tortillas. This can be topped with cheese and baked or frozen to cook later. If freezing, thaw overnight in the refrigerator first and top with cheese. I bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until it is bubbly.

One freezer hint if you need your dish before you are ready to bake. Line the dish with heavy duty foil before adding the tortillas. Cover tightly before placing in the freezer. Once it is frozen, remove the tin foil containing your enchiladas and place in a gallon freezer bag. Now you have your dish. The tin foil can be placed in the casserole dish when you are ready to bake. Just be sure to uncover the top.

Friday, April 9, 2010

One of My Favorite Things

I will start this post of a favorite thing by telling you one of my least favorite things - mopping the floor. We have no carpet in our house. With two people and three cats constantly in and out of the house, we have a bunch of feet tracking in dirt. I am not sure what exactly about mopping that I find so awful. I love a clean floor. I hate lugging the bucket of water around the house and waiting for the floor to dry while trying to keep all of those feet off of it. I also hate the chemical cleaners. Not mopping really is not an option although I tried to put it off as much as possible.

I set out searching for a good steam mop. That brings me to my favorite thing....the Eureka Enviro Steamer. I opted not to purchase any additional clean cloths. I am using cloths made out of old towels to supplement the two than came with the steamer. I love how clean the floor feels after I mop. I also love that the floor dries almost instantly. In fact I love the steamer enough that I have been known to mop three or four times a week.

Just for information the one thing I have always hated more than mopping is scrubbing the tub. I need to find an equally great item for cleaning the tub. If only all of those little bubbles really scrubbed the tub like they do in the commercials. Oh well, a gal can dream.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Earlier this week I helped DH clean out our goldfish "pond". He emptied all of the water out which meant all of the fish had to be removed as well. I worked rescue by picking up all of the goldfish and mosquito minnows as he bailed out the water. The little pond is a work in progress since late last summer.

I bought 24 tiny goldfish last year for 38 cents each. They have grown so much, and we still have all 24. The mosquito minnows were free from a neighbor's goldfish pond. We were given about eight of those and have they have multiplied into many more. We also have two catfish that DH caught. The catfish can stay until they get too big, which I am assured will take a long time. All of the fish are happy to be back in their cleaner home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Cupcakes

My mom and I hosted the church Easter egg hunt this year. We always provide a simple meal for everyone. I made cupcakes. I ended up making 48 cupcakes. I bought two cakes mixes with a coupon and also a container of chocolate frosting. The other frosting was from the freezer and had been leftover after making my cousin's birthday cake. I did buy the bunny Easter picks and had the flower picks left from another year.

I prefer to make a butter recipe cake mix with real butter. I also used fresh eggs from my parents' chickens. I ended up using Bantam eggs, which are smaller than regular eggs but taste just as good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Men's NCAA Basketball Champs

I am a big Duke fan. I love them when they lose, but it is so much more fun when they win. I have a ritual each year. Every November before basketball season starts I paint my toes blue and white. Unless the team loses two games in a row, I just add another coat of polish on top as they chip. A good year is when my toes are still blue and white in April. This is a great year!!

I am a Duke fan because of Coach Mike Krzyzewski. About 18 years ago I had the honor of meeting him at the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. He was kind, patient, and really nice. He made such an impression on me that if Duke had never won another game I would have been a fan. Fortunately he is not only a wonderful person but also a wonderful coach. Congratulations to the National Champions Duke and Coach K!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Cats.....Again

I am sure everyone gets tired of seeing my cats, but they are always around and really do love to be photographed. I wish you could have seen Lucy who actually smoothed her fur down before she settled into her pose.

Here is the little diva.

Paris is not so concerned with her appearance.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter!

I have been very busy in the yard since the weather here has warmed up. Be sure to visit my gardening blog for more about that. I did put up my Easter/spring decorations recently so I will share a couple of photos of the porch.
First up is a photo of the main display. The other side of the door looks the same without the wreath. The stand with eggs was left from Christmas. Dh suggested I leave them out and decorated them throughout the year. I used ribbon and attached plastic eggs. The pots have a sad looking Boston fern, a coleus, and a Japanese painted fern.

Here is a better picture of the wreath. It is a grapevine wreath that I already had. I wired on some white flower garlands leftover from another wreath. The butterflies are also leftover. I wanted something spring-y that I could leave up for several months.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cute Cats

I just thought I would throw in a few pictures of my furry children. First up is Paris guarding the laundry. When this laundry basket is inside the house, it contains an old rug and is her bed. I think she was annoyed that her bed was sitting in the yard.

Next is JJ doing what he does best - taking a nap.

Lucy looks as if she is being punished. Instead she is waiting for someone to come by so that she can pounce on them. She hates to be attacked by her brother or sister but has no problem being the attacker.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Potluck From the Pantry

I promise I do more at my church than eat. A couple of weeks ago I again needed a snack to take to church. I had not been to the grocery store and turned again to items that I had on hand.
In the refrigerator I found a block of cream cheese and a piece of a block of cheddar cheese. I first thought I would make a cheese ball. A search of the cabinets revealed no crackers. Instead I made mini cheese balls. I rolled each one in chopped pecans and added a toothpick for easy grab and go access.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Birthday Cakes

My cousin asked me to make the birthday cakes for her daughter's first birthday party. It was going to be a princess themed party. I knew that Wilton's crown pan would be perfect, but I needed more cake. I used a large rectangle as a base. Added some crown and wand sugar lay-ons and edible glitter. Before I get to the picture, keep in mind that I am self-taught. My cake motto is that they taste better than they look.
Next the birthday girl needed her own cake. The problem was that she has several food allergies. I searched online and found a recipe for a vegan cake. I was not sure how it would taste, but it contained nothing that would cause her to have a reaction. Amazingly the cake rose up well and did not taste as bad as I expected. The birthday princess who had never eaten any cake before seemed to enjoy it. I will be holding on to that recipe.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dish Washing Buddy

I have several craft projects that are in process. Unfortunately, many have been in process for months or years. This is one of the multiple month projects. The reason lies with me rather than the complexity of the project.

I am a cat person and did this in the colors of my cat Lucy. I also happened to have this yard in my craft room. It has a holder behind the cat that stores the bottle of dish washing detergent.

It was not a necessary project, but I hate washing dishes. At least this little kitty makes me smile a bit!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Potluck from the Pantry

My church typically has "finger foods" after special services on Sunday nights. This past week was one of those times. I usually try to take two dishes. I had an abundance of little smokies in the freezer from a sale. I also had cheese. I picked up two types of olives and made a large tray of snacks with a smokie, cheese cube, and olive on a toothpick.

I needed a sweet snack. I had all of the ingredients for making cinnamon rolls. I ended up doing two pans for a total of 36. I expected to have plenty leftover for my DH to take to work the next day. They were very popular and none were leftover. I was surprised that everyone was so taken with them. This is a fairly basic recipe with basic ingredients. I suppose no one makes homemade cinnamon rolls any more.

I ended up with two dishes made mainly with on-hand ingredients. I did buy the olives for around $2.50. However, I have olives leftover to go into salads, on pizza, or just for snacks. Party foods do not have to be fancy or expensive. A little creativity can go a long way!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Snow is a rarity here in the deep south. We see a few flakes from time to time. However on Friday the 12th a few flakes turned into a bunch of flakes that actually stuck. It snowed much of the afternoon and early part of the night. We ended up with just over an inch. Saturday morning the cats were not sure what to think of the white ground. Paris decided after seeing me walk on it that she could safely go out in it too. She had a blast in the snow.

Older sister Lucy was not so happy. She followed in my footsteps before making a mad dash to the table on the deck. She promptly found the un-iced portion and walked in circles. After Paris scared her she ran at full speed back into the house.

Sago palms and snow do not normally appear in the same picture.

The deck Friday night and Saturday morning

Monday, February 8, 2010


I find that things go more smoothly in my house if I stick to a routine. Being a housewife it is easy to say that I have plenty of time so why be in a rush to do anything. The problem is that I find it all too simple to do fun things and skip the boring household chores. My solution is to stick to a routine and treat my being a housewife as a job.

My morning routine is:
~Make bed
~Swish & swipe the bathroom
~Feed & water pets
~Clean litter box
~Make tea
I also get out of my PJs and get dressed including hair and makeup. It makes me feel more put together for unexpected visitors.

The afternoon consists of deep cleaning in a different room each day. I do one to two loads of laundry. If it is raining I do more loads on the sunny days. I also do Flylady's zone mission and exercise.

My evening routine helps me wrap up the day and prepare for the next. Each day I:
~Sweep & steam floor (sometimes just sweep)
~Feed & water pets again
~Pick out clothes for the next day
~Take out any foods for following day's meal
~Take out trash
~Clean up kitchen (I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen.)

Of course I have plenty of other chores to do throughout the day. This list keeps me on track. I still have plenty of time to play and relax. My routines definitely help me keep the house in order.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Your Chance to Win

Kikkoman is currently hosting a Chinese New Year instant win game. The Kikkoman Chinese New Year Celebration game has many prizes, which means you have a 1 in 5 chance of winning. These are among my favorite type of instant win games to enter. The prizes include silicon basting brush, spoon rest, stainless steel tongs, cookbooks, and coupons. Good luck and please let me know if you win!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

January Sweepstakes Wins

One of my hobbies is entering instant win games and sweepstakes online. I could spend all day entering if I had the time. Instead I pick easy to enter contests or those with prizes I would love to win. My first win for January was a free product coupon from a Pace instant win game. Last week I received this Taylor Swift CD from Entertainment Weekly. EW has subscriber only contests that can be entered with one click. This win was a complete surprise. If you are interested in entering sweepstakes, I highly recommend Sweepstakes Today. You can create a "Lucky List" to make entering your favorite sweepstakes easier. These are legitimate contests, and you really will receive your prizes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Small Splurge

I saw this wonderful wire pedestal in a magazine a few months back. While going through my tear files, I decided to do a search and see how much it cost. I was happy to find that it was on sale for 50% off. When I added in shipping it would cost $16. I did not order it immediately. The more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted it. I believe there is no point in being frugal if I never have any fun. I had some money saved, and I knew I wanted this. When it arrived, I was certain I made a good purchase. Currently it is holding fruit on the island in the kitchen, but I do plan to use it for cakes too. A bonus is that having the fruit displayed like this seems to be helping us eat more of it. This stand did have bananas which were quickly eaten.

Here is a better picture of the pedestal on the Crate and Barrel website.