Merry Christmas! Saturday, Dec 26 2009 

Hey everybody!  Greetings from Chateau Frugal, where we are wrapping up a fantastic Christmas!  Kids had a great time, Katie & Robbie were properly spoiled to the nth degree, and where my best Christmas present yet has been an early release from Abu Snuglib – yes, the Snuglis are DONE!  The Christmas miracle has happened!    I finished Doris’s (Mother In Law) yesterday, in time for her to unwrap it this morning.  The ones for my two sisters, their husbands, their kids and my parents are FINALLY done as of about 10 minutes ago.  Hallelujah!  Is there an extra star in the East?!  Should be – feels like a miraculous feat has just taken place!

Actually, relatively easy, just VERY time consuming.  Add to that the inevitable Hollywood toss of the huge tray of pins (picked up with one of my son’s magnetic trains) and the equally inevitable multiple stab wounds from same pins, and it was a pretty smooth process. 

Watched “A Christmas Story” today several times over as I was sewing – realize now with horrific amused shock that I am indeed Aunt Clara – on par with the crazy Aunt who sewed Ralphie pink bunny jammies as a Christmas gift.  I’m not QUITE that bad yet, but HEY, Christmas 2010 has all kinds of possibilities, no?!  🙂

A very Merry Christmas to you all!!!  Kris

Greetings from Abu-Snugli-b…. Monday, Dec 21 2009 

Okay, things are going great, we’re pretty much on track here.  Brownies are done, baked & boxed, and we’re about 1/3 of the way done with the snuglis.   Don’t get me wrong, love to sew, but had to take a little break from those bad boys. 

And, not trying to get political here or anything, but if any of our terrorist detention centers put in a room filled with sewing machines & ultra-plush fabrics, and made terrorist detainees sew one of these things, they’d be spilling enemy secrets faster than you can say polar fleece.    

So everything’s on track to finish fleeces this afternoon, thrilled at how things were pulling together.  Which is usually the perfect cue for insanity to descend.  Why should today be any different??  Was about to start sewing again when 6-ABC just called, wants to do an interview TOMORROW for “Mary Talks Money”, a new show on the HD Living Well Network. THRILLED for the opportunity, but have NOTHING prepped, & frantic at the thought of letting them in the house, which currently looks like Santa’s Workshop right after the F-5 tornado touched down. ‘Tis the season for miracles, right? Let’s hope so!!! 

So much for sewing this afternoon – don’t you think a snugli would make a perfect NEW YEAR’S present as well?  Valentine’s Day, perhaps??

Excuse me Mr. Folk singer…do you know what day it is?…Ummmm, never mind! Wednesday, Dec 16 2009 

Had such a fantastic time at the Press Club lunch today!  Had no idea so many people would be there!  Had the pleasure of meeting some v-e-r-y imaginative guys, especially the hysterical people I got to sit with.

How hysterical and imaginative, you ask?  Not everyday you get to chat with the creator of the Naked Folk Singers Calendar!  (not in a typical day in MY life, anyhoo…) Jayne Toohey (world class photographer to all things Main Line), was a total crackup…after hearing about her calendar and worldwide travels, I’m going to beg her to let me carry her luggage on her next trip to Texas…don’t ask! 

Crunch time for the holidays, and I have to squeeze in a day of mega-brownie baking tomorrow.  Lots for family & friends, I was originally thinking we’d do just a few, but suddenly the numbers are really spiking!  A day surrounded by chocolate, sugar & totally cool Christmas music?  There are worse ways to spend 24 hours…  To the ovens!

In addition, AFTER baking brownies, I’m about to undertake a somewhat idiotic self-assigned task.  Emphasis on idiotic.  Considering how blessed FREEZING it is around here lately, and the fact that utility costs are supposed to spike after the New Year, I had (what I thought was) the great idea of sewing everybody really, really, plush snuggies from this pattern that I found online. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love sewing, so long as a minimum of straight sewn lines are required (making this pattern a perfect match for my skills…).  Rather, this is a time issue as, it appears that half of the month of December has vanished in a blink, and now it’s going to require a bit of a sewing CRAZE to complete these presents for everybody. 

I’m going to be making (gulp) eight of them.  Just bought the fabric, with everyone’s favorite colors & themes, I really think this is going to turn out pretty cool.  We’re making them for my Mom & Dad, my sister Lib & her husband Sam & their 4-year old Lilly, 1-year old Ben will get a little plush fleece woobie.   My sister Stacey & her husband Dan will also get them, as well as one for M-I-L Doris & S-I-L Dawn. 

When I made one before, it only took about 3 hours.  So, doing eight of them, we now of course, have another 24-hour assignment ahead of us.  
I luv a challenge…

Delaware County Press Corp Luncheon invite! Monday, Dec 14 2009 

I’m so excited!!!
I just received an invite to the Delaware County Press Club luncheon at the Edgmont Country Club on Wednesday!  Definitely filing that one under “I’d rather be LUCKY than GOOD anyday!

Can’t wait to meet the members of Philadelphia & Delaware County’s Press…as well as Jane Pepper, their guest speaker. She’s President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and in charge of the Philadelphia Flower Show, one of my favorite things in the world! (note to self…talk slow, get only DECAF with lunch…and if all else fails, seek out Press Corp members who talk as rabidly fast as I do!)

Full report back on Wednesday just as soon as I’m home!

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Saving for the Holidays” segment aired tonight! Saturday, Dec 12 2009 

Hello all!  Happy Friday, and Happy Holidays! 

Fox 29 just aired the second “Saving at the Holidays” segment, and as always, they did such a wonderful job!  A million thanks to Consumer Report Michelle Buckman, and Shane, cameraman extraordinare, for making this segment so much fun to create. 

Huge thanks also to the hard-working crew at Goodwill in Morgantown, PA.  Your store is absolutely beautiful, and such a delight to visit.

Click here to see the news piece! 

Merry Christmas, everybody! 

Brilliant Frugal Hunting!!! Thursday, Dec 10 2009 

Today we’re headed to Cabella’s for the morning.  For anyone NOT living in Pennsylvania, Cabella’s is a gargantuan store in Hamburg, kind of like Disneyland for big game hunters.  It’s actually really beautiful, and they have an amazing aquarium & wildlife area, which Katie & Robbie adore.  Victor will be in his personal nirvana of hunting/camouflage/weapons of mass chaos, so all is well there.  

But do not despair, lest you feel Kris is left out of the fun – RUWAH HAH HAH! (as I wring my hands and shriek with glee…)  Because in perhaps the best big game hunting of all, (personally speaking), I heard back from a fantastic lady on Craigslist, who lives near Hamburg, who is selling nine pair of practically-new shoes (Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Nicole Navy and *sob* my beloved Enzo Angiolini’s) for $50 total, and she’s meeting me at Cabella’s for the exchange!  Now THAT is my idea of great hunting – and NO camouflage required!   OH YEAH, BABY!   

Here’s what we’re getting…craigslist shoe pic

Brown & Black Tommy Hilfiger sandles, soooooo comfy
Enzo Angiolini tan 3″heels w/1/2″ platform, trimmed in dark brown
Michael Kors black suede 3.5″ heals w/ 1/2″ platform
Nicole Navy 2.5″ heals w/ 3/4″ platform
Bobbi Blu dark brown leather 2.75″ heel
Indigo black flats with a 1.5″ heel
Alfani pink/purple 3″ wedges
Liz Claiborne black boot shoes – gorgeous!

Second Brilliant Frugal Living segment of Fox 29’s “Saving at the Holidays” set to air! Monday, Dec 7 2009 

Hey everybody!  Hope you all had a great weekend! 
Over here at Chateau Fixer Upper, we’re getting lots of decorations up and waiting for the last of the snow to melt.  Very pretty stuff.

Just heard from uber-Agent Eileen that the second Fox 29 segment will be airing this Friday, December 11, at 5:00P and again at 10:00P! 

To everyone at the Morgantown Goodwill, a MILLION thanks for helping make the segment film so smoothly.  You are all terrific, and I can’t wait to see you and your gorgeous store on the air!

Everybody set your TIVO’s for this Friday, and keep your fingers crossed that I made some sense!

I’ll add a link to the segment as soon as it’s available (probably Saturday morning.)

Take care everybody!   Kris