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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Urban Hobo Cookies-A Couple of Friends Helping Me Out!

Well Christmas is over and I am still baking!!! You’d think I would be sick and tired of baking by now….however….I really… truly LOVE it. I do not know what it is; I can be exhausted from my “real job”, come home and get energized to start baking.

Juan and I were so pleasantly surprised at the great responses we’ve received from the customers we sold our hobo bags to. What has happened…the people that received them as gifts, have contacted us for new orders. For that I am so grateful and thankful people are enjoying.

So …I have a couple of “friends” assisting or rather cheering me on to complete orders for this week.

If you are into peanut butter and white chocolate, you’ll love these. They are simple yet delicious. AND…they are delivered (or shipped) in these cute hobo bags (or bindle packs)!

A great price ($15.00 for two dozen) for the peanut butter/chocolate lover in you!

Our next phase…we are attending several Farmers Markets in the coming weeks for anyone to sample our delectable goodies and check out our cute packs. Also, we are completing our website that will list our products of yumminess (I know, I know making up word s again).

Last but not least…all will be accomplished in a small space traveling in a small car. (wink wink smiley face)

Happy Baking!

Shawn

 

Who Says You Need Four Legs?

Came across an interesting designer….Caroline Gomez. She is a French designer who has created a collection of furniture that seems to be coming right out of the wall.
The group is called Contre and she has a desk or console, a small table or nightstand and a shelf.
Just by simple design, the pieces lean up against the wall and there is no need to attach unless your wall is not a flat surface. The tension of the piece leaning on the flat surface keeps it in place. Yes, by simple design!
She states “why do you need four legs when the piece is going to lean on the wall?
Be sure to check out her website, Caroline Gomez. I think I’ll have Juan look into this…he’s a pretty good carpenter…maybe he could create something similar…(wink wink smiley face)
 

Recycling Your Christmas Tree

Recycling and Going Green with your Christmas tree
I know many of you love to have a real fresh cut tree for your holidays. It’s true…nothing like the smell of a fresh cut tree filling your house during the holiday season.
As the end of the year approaches and your tree has fulfilled its duties of brightening your home and bringing smiles to all that enter…it is time to take down the decorations….what to do with the tree???
Help the earth and do something good and green for you and the earth.
#1 Create your own mulch.  If you have a chipper or access to one….cut up your tree into manageable branches and make your own mulch. The chips can be used around garden plants to protect them from the elements and keep the weeds out. You can use the chips in a compost bin and create beautiful paths throughout your garden!
#2 Find a recycling center. Should you not have a need (or space like me) for mulch…find a recycling center so they can dispose of your tree. Many of the recycling centers will mulch your tree to provide for city parks and neighborhoods. If you are not sure of where to look, try Earth911. They should have a directory of recycling centers nationwide.
It is a great way to “repurpose” your tree instead of throwing out to end in a landfill not providing much use.
How many of you?….
Purchase a fresh cut Christmas tree every year?
Purchase a living tree to be planted later?
Own or recently purchased an artificial tree?
I would love to hear from you on what you use for your Christmas tree.


 

Christmas Is Officially Over!

Whew!!! Yup…that’s me…Monday afternoon after spending all day packing, storing, cleaning and reorganizing Christmas 2011! By the way….were you able to take some time PRIOR to the holidays and get your “Stuff” organized and ready for the Christmas season? Do you recall the posting I did in November “Organization for the Holidays”? If not…you should take a peek.
Now many of you probably think I am horrible for tearing down Christmas so soon. However, I put up Christmas right at Thanksgiving. I have an artificial tree and I do love the Christmas season and want to enjoy it as long as I can. Once Christmas is over…I don’t mind cleaning up and ready for the New Year. Since I do own a business and work full time, I figured it is best to do while I’m at home and by New Year….I can relax and enjoy the festivities.
Sorry….I was talking about organizing your holiday decorations et al…If you didn’t have a chance to get things organized BEFORE Christmas (and read that blog about organizing)…NOW is the time to do it right before you put it all away. Review what you have and take note of what you are not utilizing anymore. Is it something you could give to charity? A Church? Friends or Family? If you find certain pieces you are tired of or not using anymore see if your family or friends would be interested in OR by all means if it is trashed…throw it out.
We tend to want to hang on to things because we paid a lot of money for it or someone special gave it to you. However, if it is out used its usefulness… (Am I just making up words now) by all means donate it to charity and take a right-off.
So here are some tips, tricks or things to think about in organizing your holiday décor.
ü  Take the time and go through your holiday décor. Is there anything that needs to be thrown away, donate, given away etc?
ü  If you have empty tins or containers, are you able to use them for next year’s cookies, treats or other baked goodies. If not, donate, have a garage sale or throw out.
ü  Make sure you are keeping only strings of lights that are working. If not, take the bulbs (if you can use them on other strands) and throw the strand away.
ü  Organize your strings of lights with cardboard. Cut a piece of cardboard in the shape of a rectangle and write with a sharpie pen what the lights you are going to wrap on the cardboard are to be used for next year. Such as, tree, indoor garland wrap, backyard etc. Then you wrap you string of lights so you are not dealing with knots like Clark Griswold.
ü  Organize your ornaments; you can purchase great storage solutions for ornaments at Wal-Mart, Target, IKEA or specialty organization stores. If you have large storage bins and don’t wish to buy more storage dividers…make your own. Get a flat piece of cardboard and cut to fit inside your plastic bin. Get the plastic cups (I like the solo red cup size) and glue to the cardboard in rows. Now you can wrap your ornament and place in the solo cup. What is so great is if your bin can allow 2-3 or more layers…you can add another 2-3 layers of these cups. Saw something similar once on Martha Stewart but I thought the cups were too small they were using. So I went with the bigger solo cup. (wink wink smiley face)
ü  If you have an artificial tree, take care in dismantling and folding the branches back up in place. If you take the time, you will be able to get the tree back in its original box. When I had the 9 ½ foot tree for years (pre-lit too), I always took the time to get the branches folded carefully and each year never had any trouble getting back in the original box.
ü  Go through your holiday décor again and see if there is anything you are not using and please…get rid of it!
ü  Be sure all linens, towels etc are washed and pressed and ready for next year. I typically will store these items with Christmas as my space is limited in the house and right now I have holiday décor in a storage facility. If you are able to store all items at home, be sure you have a place for them that is out of the way. Since you won’t need them for at least another 10 ½ months, might as well keep them out of sight.
ü  Label your boxes and bins. If you have the clear plastic bins, you can tell what items are in it. However, I like to label the outside so I know exactly what is in there and which bins I should pull first to get started.
Bottom line is that you want to make it easier and easier each year when you decorate. Not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas but for all holidays and festivities in your life. I love parties and I love to entertain and when you take the time to get rid of STUFF and organize…getting started putting out the decorations doesn’t seem like such a chore.
Happy Holidays.  

 

Merry Christmas

It’s not what you spend for Christmas…it’s who you spend it with.

Juan and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

Enjoy time with your family and good friends as this is the most precious gift you have.

All our best,
Shawn and Juan
aka Urban Hobos

 

Urban Hobos-Brrr… A Little Chilly!!!!

Well, Juan and I are working from home today and decided to take a morning bike ride.

Living in Phoenix, our blood has thinned and when it comes to near freezing temperatures….we are “wusses”! (I checked spell check and it said it was right)

Wow! My toes feel like they are going to break off as we arrived at our destination. However, I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to get on my bike and ride.

So it’s the “eve before Christmas eve”…I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday with family and friends and finished the mad rush of shopping.

Juan and I will warn up with another cup of “organic Ethiopian” and head back out in the chilly air.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..

 

A Special Ornament Every Holiday



My Dad

 During the Christmas season…Tons of memories flood my tiny little brain. The main one is always of my father. My Dad LOVED… I mean La La LOVED this time of year! Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole Christmas music was blaring on the stereo and we set out to find the perfect  Christmas tree (which meant HUGE). Oh and it had to be flocked…you know …for the snow effect. Although we did not get a lot of snow in El Paso TX…my Dad loved the flocked trees. I guess it reminded him of the wintery settings he enjoyed through his youth in Rochester NY with his 8 brothers and sisters! (Big Irish Catholic Family)

When I lost my father, I lost my best friend…my support….my hero. He was John Wayne! I was the youngest and only girl and I believe my Dad was wrapped around my little finger. (wink wink smiley face) We did a lot growing up together and yes, I would do all the “boy stuff” like camping, fishing and working in the yard with him.

He was a man of integrity… with God in his heart, strength in his hands and very humble. My family and I were amazed at the countless letters of condolences regarding my father’s passing that year and how much he did for their family. Juan (hubby) could not believe the charitable things he did without telling anyone…without saying a word. He was a good man with a HUGE heart.

I honor Pops each year during the holidays. If you have lost a loved one…or know someone who did…this is a great token to give to a loved one who has lost someone special.

I know you can buy these at any craft store; small picture frames that are made to hang as ornaments. My sister-in-law found several of these and put dad’s picture in it. She made one for me, her husband (my brother) and my other brother. It was a tough year 2007, the three siblings PLUS their spouses each lost a parent that year. No kidding… each one of us. So my beautiful and thoughtful “sis-n-law” created such a beautiful token to honor my Dad each year when I trim the tree. For me…that small little picture frame ornament was THE most precious gift I received that year. No amount of technology, jewelry or clothing could top such a gift. It brought tears to my eyes and I will never forget such a thoughtful and wonderful gift.

So if you’ve lost someone special OR you know someone close who has lost a loved one, I would recommend getting one of these little frame ornaments and creating a special gift.

May this year be the merriest of holidays for you and your family.

 
 
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