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Friday, December 6, 2019

Reclaiming Wrinkled Ribbon for Use Again and Other Stuff

I finished the bulk of December's grocery shopping on Thursday, with a stop at Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice. I bought everything that was priced on my list from earlier this week, adding 4 additional quarts of almond milk that were near expiry, so marked down to 50 cents each. There were actually several quarts marked down, but I figured 4 would be plenty for me. I poured off a bit from each carton into my current container, then froze the remaining in the cartons. I estimate that I now have enough non-dairy milk for my own use to last into March. 

For the month of December, I have spent $120.07 on food. I'll still need a ham, more oranges, and maybe another bag of tangerines.

I didn't take photos of our meals this past week. I was just plain old tired for several days. But I can tell you that we had lots of turkey, the accompanying leftovers, a large pot of vegetarian chili, a vegetarian pasta salad with eggs on the side, a pizza brought in by one daughter (Little Caesars), and a fried rice dish with garden kale (yep, still using fresh kale from the garden) and tofu.

Another tip, this time one that is useful for decorating and gift-wrapping -- using your iron to make used ribbon look presentable. 

Yes, you can iron some types of ribbon. There's the satin ribbon that is sold in fabric and craft stores that seems obviously iron-able. But also, there's a type of ribbon made from acetate. This ribbon is like a very stiff fabric made from plastic-like threads. It is woven and frays along the cut edge. (Diagonal cuts help considerably.) However, the side edges have been heat-fused to prevent fraying. 

Acetate ribbon is what many florists use because it s so easy to work with, holds beautiful, large loops in bows, and is water-resistant. Craft stores sell this kind of ribbon in rolls to use in crafting and gift-wrapping. It's often cheaper than wire-edge ribbon, so it's been a favorite for holiday decorating for me.

I needed 5 short lengths of red and green plaid ribbon for the light fixture that hangs over the kitchen table. The only plaid ribbon that I could find in my stash was previously used for what looks like a variety of purposes (1 large puffy bow and several odd lengths of crumpled ribbon). All of it was squashed at the bottom of a trunk of Christmas decorations.

I knew from previous experience that this ribbon would iron up nicely. I used the setting on my iron that was mid-way between nylon and polyester, so not too hot. 

Within just a few minutes, I had a nice selection of flat ribbon with which to work, tying nice bows onto the arms of our light fixture.

The other kind of ribbon with which most of us are familiar is that truly plastic, inexpensive ribbon that is also the stuff from which stick-on bows are often made. This type of ribbon melts unevenly when ironed, leaving ripples up and down its length. However, I've had some luck with flattening this ribbon using a pair of scissors in a similar way as curling ribbon. I pull the ribbon across one blade on the scissors, then flip the ribbon over and pull it across the blade again. Doing this curls the ribbon, then uncurls it, leaving it at least somewhat smoother for use on a new package.

My week has been filled with clean up from Thanksgiving, Christmas preparations, and grocery shopping. This is a busy time of year, for sure. What's been on your calendar this past week? Are you in the midst of holiday preparations, or is that for next week and beyond?

Wishing you all a lovely December weekend!!


  1. Hi Lili,

    I save all wrapping paper and ribbons too! I have made wrapping paper ribbons and my adult kids think I'm very creative (which I'm not) and tease me a lot but they like how it looks!

    Since we didn't cook Thanksgiving food I had no leftovers. So I was needing some more Thanksgiving food. So I roasted a chicken and had mashed potatoes, butternut squash mash, green bean casserole and frosted cauliflower. I had my son do most of it so he would know how to roast a whole chicken. He watched carefully as I carved it so he would know how to do that also. We had some other good meals this week: 7 can taco soup (I used my own variation and didn't use 7 cans), chicken noodle soup, hamburgers and french fries, beef stroganoff and I'm sure there was more but I can't remember.

    My monthly budget was a little high for November but I did buy a lot for my daughter and we found a few deals on meat for the freezer as well as come extra freezer veggies and canned veggies. My husband still needs the softer veggies that come in a can versus the frozen kind. But I like the frozen kind better. So we got both.

    We won't spend a lot on Christmas gifts since we tend to "give" all year round. But I am going for some smaller things. My son wants a veggie chopper and an Instant Pot. Not sure he's getting the IP this year but the chopper, yes. I'm kind of waiting until he buys a house then we'll start getting him a few things. My daughter is coming home for Christmas (from Honduras) and she needs socks so that's what she's getting. My married daughter has received a lot more than the other kids so she will be reminded of all the things we gave her this year. My husband needs a new jacket. I got some new booties as the heel came loose on my old pair. I think we'll build on these things. If they say they need something we'll just add as we see it. That's really the best I can do.


  2. This is another good-to-know tidbit of information Lili. Thank you. I am in the midst of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Still putting Thanksgiving away and bringing out some Christmas decorations. Just behind. Only our son is going to be at our house a few days before we travel to see the rest of the family including our daughter, so we are doing low key and low scale this year.

    PS. And I just have to say I love your taste in fixtures since I have the same light fixture over my kitchen table, dining room table and as pendants over the island. :)

  3. Since we traveled over T-giving, we also don't have turkey leftovers. A lot of my meals this week featured chicken in one form or another. Tonight I'm making mac and cheese--my recipe is easy and fast and it's a kid-pleaser.

    I think I'm finally done with putting up Christmas decorations. Wasn't sure I'd put all of them up outside, but the weather finally moderated yesterday so I decided to go for it. Lili, I made your spiced nuts last night. Now to try to avoid eating them all at once! I think the kids and I will make cut-out sugar cookies tonight as we are all home at the same time!

  4. Hi Alice,
    I love the mock-Thanksgiving foods that you made for yourselves. It's nice to have all of those foods even when you weren't at home for the holiday. My step-mom did something similar this year. She and my step-brother served meals at Salvation Army for Thanksgiving, but they still wanted the leftovers. So, she cooked up a bunch of stuff the following day for the two of them (they're their only family in their town).

    As for the foods that you bought for your daughter and your own grocery budget -- if it were me figuring the budget, I'd consider what I bought for an adult kid as coming from the gift budget and not my home grocery budget. I don't know if that makes you feel any better about your own grocery spending for the month of November. That's just how I'd figure things.

    We're definitely not spending a lot on gifts this year for our immediate family. I always like to do something nice for a couple of relatives who don't live nearby, but for the rest of us our gifting is simpler, with a lot of necessities as gifts. It just makes sense for us right now. We really need to sock away for retirement and I think my grown kids know that. We've never been over the top with gifting anyway. I do try to do a couple of things that I am willing and capable of doing for family members that they don't really want or aren't as able to do for themselves, and I call those part of their gifts. This usually involves some degree of baking or cooking for different family members, suited to each's tastes and needs.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Alice!

  5. Hi Lynn,
    what a coincidence on the light fixture!! How funny!

    Holidays do change, don't they, as the kids grow up and move into their own lives. Your plan for a low key holiday season makes sense. Plus, you'll get to enjoy the decorations in two homes this year, your own and the family you'll be visiting! That sounds like a very good trade-off.

    Enjoy the weekend, Lynn!

  6. Hi Kris,
    good for you, getting your decorations all up. I still have a bit to go, including getting the tree decorated. I'm working at it, though.

    I'm glad that you enjoy those spiced nuts. I really do, too. I'll be making a large batch next week to add to a couple of gifts and still have some for us. They are so tempting to snack on, though, aren't they? I hope that your cookie-making tonight was a fun activity for your family. It sounds like the perfect activity for the family on a Friday evening!

    have a wonderful weekend, Kris!


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