Preserve those Halloween Monsters

How to Get the Best Halloween PicturesThey’re just too cute for words… so don’t forget to take a great photo of the kids (and the not-so-kids) (and the jack-o-lanterns) in their Halloween costumes! Here’s a gathering of the best tips I found (follow the links for many more tips)… and my own personal tip, which is to practice beforehand!


Before you press the shutter, you must decide:  One — What is the subject of the photograph? Two: How can I focus attention on that subject? Three: How can I simplify the subject?  How to Take Great Halloween Photos

Halloween is a time of drama and you can add to this by getting in nice and close and filling the frame with your subjects. Halloween Photography Tips

Don’t always shoot from adult-level looking down on the little ones. Take some shots from a child’s-eye-level too. Halloween Tips 

Ask your witch to cast a spectacular spell, tell your ninja to show you her best moves, or have your little pirate give you his best ‘Aaaaargh’ while waving his sword13 ways to get great photos of kids


Oops, it’s suppertime? Time flies when you’re resale shopping.

You know how you can lose track of time when you’re exploring all the treasures a resale shop has to offer? And all of a sudden it’s half ’til dinnertime and you haven’t even thought about what you’ll feed the ravening horde?

Here’s the solution: Fish Veracruz Resale Style.

Quick recipe so you can resale SHOP til the last minute.Veracruz sauce is partly Mexican, but since Veracruz had a lot of French influence, it’s kinda French too. But mostly I love it because I almost always have the ingredients and it take 20 minutes to make.

Kate’s Resaler Fish Veracriz

You need about 2 pounds of fish fillets. Fresh or frozen. Something like snapper or tilapia. Anything mild. Not salmon.

What you gonna do is make the sauce in a frying pan, then poach the fish in the sauce. Make sure you choose a pan that has a cover…

Warm up about 2 T olive oil. Put a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (fire-roasted with garlic would be my choice) undrained, in the pan and add some minced garlic. Try a couple of cloves worth. Heat over medium for 3 minutes.

Add 1 T tomato paste, about 1/2 cup of white wine, and some green olives and capers. I use lots. Say 1/3 cup of olives and 1/4 cup of capers. There, that’s your sauce. As it bubbles merrily away for 5 minutes or so, salt and pepper your fillets. Lay them gently in the sauce, spooning some sauce over to cover the fish. Cover the pan, and cook gently for 5-10 minutes. Until the fish flakes nicely.

That’s it. Yum. Good with rice (pretty with yellow rice!) and green veggie. Brussels sprouts with a touch of balsamic vinegar are best, but spinach or green beans work too.

Photo from Their fancier recipe is nice too, but wouldn’t you’d rather shop than cook? Me too.


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!