It’s not really fall, but it’s tourtiere for dinner anyway.

Tourtiere, simplified by Kate Holmes of TGtbT.comWell, it’s fall by the calendar, and that will have to do here in Southwest Florida. So here’s what’s for supper tonight chez nous. I’m speaking French so I can avoid pronouncing tourtiere.

Tourtiere: a French Canadian meat pie.

Simmer 2-3 lb. ground meat (I use beef, pork, veal, turkey but it’s traditionally pork) in 3/4 c water with 1 envelope beefy onion soup mix, 1/4 t nutmeg and 1/4 t allspice. Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 minutes.

Then thicken it with 3 T flour whisked into 1/4 c water and let thicken a bit, say 5 minutes.

Turn the mix into a (good old Pillsbury) pie shell, cover with the other shell, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

That’s it.

(I know, some charming ladies in lace caps named Marie are probably revolving in their graves. But I like it.)

Until I started looking for an image to share with you, I didn’t know this is a traditional Christmas dish. I make it ’cause we like it, it freezes well, and it can even be eaten room temp.

I’m making roast carrots too, as long as the oven’s on. Did I mention it’s 90 degrees at 6pm?

See more Recipes I’ve actually used and recommend.

Best use yet for an orphan sock. Maybe.

Reusing single socks on the blog

As this blogger says:

If you’ve been looking for a comfortable, WASHABLE, easy to use armband for your phone while exercising, you HAVE to do this.

It’s very involved and complicated so pay attention.  Here’s what you have to do …

Cut the toe off of a sock … and put it on your arm.  Phew.  Difficult.

But if you’re more the amuse-kids-and-whimsical-adults kind than the running kind, you might prefer to make puppets.

(Here’s how to make mouths on your sock puppets. You could write something cheeky therein.)

I know which I’m going for.

Armband photo from here; sock puppet by Rion (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


There’s something in the air…

Maybe it’s because school is starting up again. (Although it’s been many a year since there was anyone in my household going “back” to school.)
Or because the days are getting noticeably shorter.
Or because it’s been a year since there was any remodeling mess in my home.

But I’m feeling, well, nest-y recently. Which means, natch,

I get to haunt my local resalers, recyclers, and re-imaginer places.

What can I do, economically and sustainably, to make my home more me? Here’s an article which got my imagination twitching. A DIY in Kentucky. (And here’s the blogger whose home it is.)

And here’s our resale mavens’ Home with a History Pinterest Board, and ideas for painting your thrifty finds or even taking it a step further….

And here’s the idea I’m jonesing on right now….

or maybe this….

But here’s the point I want to make!


Happy birthday Coco Chanel!

Happy birthday today, August 19, to Coco Chanel. Still a fashion icon 130+ years after her birth and 45 years after her death.

If you open up your closet right now, there’s probably at least one item in there that pays tribute to Coco Chanel’s classic vision.

Chanel in Chanel.A short list of things that are a part of our fashion world now, introduced and/or popularized by Coco Chanel:

Knit jersey material as suitable for womenswear. “I make fashion women can live in, breathe in, feel comfortable in and look younger in,” Chanel said.

Menswear “borrowed from the boys”, from polo shirts to pullovers to trousers. Include boater hats and pea jackets too.

The Chanel cardigan jacket, with its stunningly original tweed, braid, and simplicity.

The Little Black Dress. “While Chanel might not have invented the little black dress, she certainly did popularize it. In the early 1920’s, black was a color strictly reserved for mourning, considered indecent if worn anytime else. But …in a 1926 edition of American Vogue that Chanel published a sketch of a simple, short all-black dress. Vogue deemed it “Chanel’s Ford” because, like the car company’s Model T, this little black dress was effortless and women spanning any social class could easily wear one, and look good in it.” —

The Chanel bag, of course… but did you know that until its first iteration in the 1920s, there were no shoulder bags? Every bag was, literally, a hand bag?

Chanel No.5, possibly the first designer scent. Marilyn Monroe, when asked by LIFE magazine what she wore to bed, famously replied, “Just a few drops of Chanel No. 5.” It’s claimed that Chanel No. 5 is the best-selling fragrance in the world.

Costume jewelry as an accepted and even coveted accessory… think ropes of pearls!

Slews of fashion quotes... and quotes on other subjects as well. My favorite? “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

And, alas, sun tans.

Many of these were designed in the 1950’s, when Chanel was in her 70s.

She refused to follow trends, preferring classic, elegant styles. And THAT is the best thing Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, AKA Coco, ever did.

Need a social media hook today about Coco’s birthday? See this blog post.

My favorite Chanel history video, by Karl Langerfeld. This is a true birthday treat; don’t miss it!

Want more? A brief video biography of Coco.  Inside Chanel’s apartment. Visit the Chanel website.

The photograph is from here, posted without credit.


Save money in the fridge. Spend it on resale.

Don't waste money on wasted veggies. Save the veggies AND your money for a scrumptous gentlky-used designer handbag!

USDA report (Released in February 2014) “In the United States, 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten. The estimated value of this food loss was $161.6 billion using retail prices.”

How much food does your household throw away? Mostly because it was stored incorrectly (well, then there’s those weird vegetables that no one would eat. Kale, we’re looking directly at you.)

Think how much healthier your wallet would be if you didn’t waste food. And how much nicer your wardrobe or home decor would be, if you didn’t throw away money on food you throw away.

Here’s how to store, where to store, and how long your groceries will keep if you do it right.

Remember, a broccoli saved is a designer handbag earned!


Photo from, and more amazing foodie fashions at, Urban Gardens Web.