Wednesday, June 30, 2010

For One Night Only!

The Frugal Hostess has ants in her pants, both literally and figuratively.  The literal ants are actual ant bites all over her right leg.  Except they are flea bites.  Because the dad-gum fleas are back.

Figuratively, the ants are excited ones, because FruHo is participating in a cool event tonight.  Ever on the cutting edge, the Lady Rogue Business Network has put together a jumble sale of sorts for members.  Despite not really knowing how to make or sell anything, TFH has decided to hang out her shingle and go for it.

You can purchase such delightful treats as:

Baby's First Permanent File

A Small Bag of Bees

Bad Tidings: Christmas Cards that are Downright Rude

The Frugal Hostess will also be selling some cool and unusual housewares from her shop, TFH Vintage.  There will be antique cocktail shakers, vintage linens, and retro accessories for the modern hostess.  If you live in Atlanta, you should definitely swing by!

Oh, and did you hear the part about free wine?

The Frugal Hostess gets lonely. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Birthday Party: Shrimp Boil with BBQ Butt and Badminton

In addition to the blog's birthday, June includes The Frugal Hostess's birthday.  FruHubs planned exactly what TFH wanted - a shrimp boil - and lots of fun ensued.  Please enjoy these pictures.


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Saturday, June 19, 2010


 You know how The Frugal Hostess usually speaks in the third person?  Well, today I barely have the strength to speak.  Tar balls have washed up on the beach in Bay County, where I was born - home, for better or worse.  I'm trying to think of something to say that is worthy, but I can't think for crying.  My family and so many, many friends make their livings there, and now, what?  That's just over?

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Omigod You Guys

Have you ever heard any of the music from Legally Blonde the Musical?  Specifically, there's this song when Elle thinks her boyfriend is getting ready to propose, and she's trying to find an outfit for the occasion, called "Omigod You Guys."  Listen to it.  It's really good.  Um, if you like that sort of thing.

Whew.  What a convoluted intro for something that probably makes sense to none of the (two) people who read this blog.  OK, so the point is, OH.  MY.  GOD.  YOU GUYS!

This blog is a year old today!

Stay tuned for lots and lots of birthday extravaganza-ing!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Make a Wedding Gift: Luxurious Area Rug

This is a gift you can make for friends who are getting married.  If you hate them.  Or, if you know (hope?) they will find it amusing.

ReadyMade: How to Make (Almost) Everything 

The Frugal Hostess first discovered it in one of the greatest books of all time, ReadyMade: How to Make [Almost] Everything.  (Seriously, buy that book.)  Written by the ladies who started ReadyMade Magazine, it details a zillion different amazing upcycling projects organized by material (glass, metal, wood, etc.).  It came out right about the same time FruHo was having a crafty renaissance, so she bought it.  And thus, this project.

The Boutique Bag Rug

If you are like The Frugal Hostess, you sometimes forget your reusable shopping bags and sometimes come home with the fancy handled ones.  You may, like TFH, hoard save them because you feel guilty about getting them in the first place.  For this project, you'll be glad you did.  

Fancy shopping bags
Clear packing tape


(Please note: FruHo is TOTALLY making these up based on memory, due to laziness.  If you want to make a non-horrific version of this item, buy the book.)
1.  Tear your bags apart on their seams, removing the handles and flattening the paper.

 2.  Cut each bag into strips no more than two inches wide.  As she recalls, they should probably be more like an inch and a half, for ease of weave.  (And, PS, is that not the best turn of phrase you've heard in a while?  Ease of weave.  Unbeweavable.)

3.  Decide how big you'd like your rug to be.  This one was maybe four by four?  Really, who can remember these details?  The important thing is that it's easier to make if it is square rather than rectangular.
4.  However long you decide on, tape the strips of bag together to make strips that length.  Or, if they're long enough, consider yourself lucky.
5.  Tape two pieces together to form a corner.  If you have the choice between sturdier and more flimsy strips, use the sturdiest ones here.

6.  Now that you have a corner, begin to tape and weave strips on either side, like a basket or one of those potholders you made at Vacation Bible School.  You'll want to stop and adjust every now and then, pulling the strips so that there are no gaps.
7.  When you're done, you may discover that your rug is a hideous, hot mess.  If this should happen, feel free to create a diversion by sticking stickers or sprinkling glitter all over the surface.

8.  You may also notice that your "rug" is as flimsy as, well, a paper bag.  Should this be the case, please unfurl an entire roll of packing tape in your attempt to shore up its strength.

Happy marriage and mazel tov, Susan and Jeff!

The Frugal Hostess gives dreadful gifts. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Home Economist Quiz

This quiz was printed in Newsweek on May 10, 2010, and it is nowhere to be found online.  Hence the scan.  Take the quiz, and put your score in the comments. FruHo would not have been successful in 1950.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

About Last Night

Great ways to entertain yourself for free:
1.  Give your cat a ball of masking tape, sticky side out.
2.  Look in the mirror, make a sexy face, and then spend 40 minutes trying to capture it on film for your Facebook profile picture.
3.  BLEEP.
4.  Get invited to a (free) fabulous event.

The Frugal Hostess did all of those things last night, and the best was the free fabulous event. 

FruHo was invited to the Tony Awards Viewing Party at the fabulous Fox Theatre by Russ Sauve, whom she "met" on Twitter a few weeks back.  TFH has been to a zillion Oscar parties, some fancy and some ghetto, but the Tony Awards have never really been on her radar screen, so this seemed like a great opportunity to try something new.  Plus, if you live any where near Atlanta, you know that the Fox is an amazing venue, and any excuse to go there is a good one.

First, TFH needed a date.  FruHubs was out of town, so Sidekick Sherry came along for the ride.  The ladies had cocktails at Livingstons, then tottered across the street to the Fox.  [A note on tottering: In the last year, FruHo has gone from wearing four-inch heels and mascara to tie-dye and flip-flips every day, so her party shoes nearly knocked her on her ass.  Re-education may or may not begin soon.]  Once there, they checked in and climbed a flight of stairs to the party room.  Off to the left, in a separate room, the silent auction items (benefiting Unicef) were on display.  Hey, FruHubs?  Stop hyperventilating.  TFH got there too late to bid.  Which is a shame; there was a lot of cool stuff up for auction.

In the main event room, 15 restaurants were offering tastes at tables set up around the perimeter of the space.  You've been to events like this before, undoubtedly, so you know that the food quality can be...spotty.  Well, The Frugal Hostess is delighted to report that, with only a couple of exceptions, everything was delicious.  There were salmon rillettes (from Il Mulino, maybe?  If you know, leave it in the comments.); lasagna from Joey D's; lobster bisque from New York Prime; and pulled duck sliders from LivingstonHudson Grille brought amazing lobster dip and some desserts, and there were more desserts from Broadway Diner.  

But the best thing, by far, was the beef carpaccio from Veni Vidi Vici.  Thinly sliced rawish-rare beef was wrapped around a Parmesan bread stick, and there was an anchovy garlic dip (maybe with Dijon mustard?).  Dude.  Seriously.  Just, wow.  This will be making an appearance at a party in the near future.  (That's Chef Jamie Adams in the picture.)

The tables were mostly reserved, which made it awkward to find a place to sit down (TFH got denied by someone sitting alone at the Unicef table!  Really, Unicef?).  The good news?  FruHo and Sidekick Sherry scored drink tickets from some gentlemen they ended up sitting down with (who won their tickets on Facebook), so that helped.  Aside from those guys, and Atlanta's favorite City Councilman, Kwanza Hall, the average age in the room was about 86.   Maybe a lot of life-long patrons were invited?

The Tonys themselves were, uh, kind of like the Drama Club banquet.  Remember how all the hard-core drama kids always seemed vastly more sophisticated than you, like they all smoked pipes and had ex-husbands?  And yet, those drama geeks were, you know, kinda geeky.  Or at least, off.  Same with the Tony Awards.  You knew that the nominees and presenters were famous and a BFD and all, but many of them seemed like they smoked pipes and had ex-husbands. Next year, The Frugal Hostess will pay better attention to what's happening on Broadway.

Now's the part where, if she hadn't received free tickets to this event, TFH would make some gentle suggestions for next year's party.  Like to invest more in the flowers next year, and to have live entertainment during the commercial breaks.  And maybe an official emcee.  Just minor, tiny little tweaks.  But, since FruHo would never want to appear ungrateful, she'll just keep those between us.

In all, this was a great, great event, and a wonderful time was had by all.  Thank you, Fox Theatre, for existing, and for inviting The Frugal Hostess to come and write about your party!

The Frugal Hostess tends to live-tweet events....but how would you know if you aren't following?  Follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Something Sad. Also, Mother Nature is PISSED.

The bird nest is empty. 

The fern hanging basket that it was in fell off its hook during a storm, and the eggs smashed to the ground.  Some creature gobbled up the contents, and the mama bird has hightailed it out of here.  Now, this is obviously just part of the circle of life and all, but The Frugal Hostess can't help but take it personally.  It feels a little like Mother Nature is trying to prove a point. 

Further examples of the wrath of Mother Nature:

Exhibit A: Power Outage

Last week, the power went out.  Just after the sun went down.  While FruHubs was out of town.  Scary, scary, scary.  When there's no power, you can hear everything - a baby crying next door, cars honking miles away, and the wings of insects beating the air.  You can also hear your phone bleat with that little you-have-a-text-message sound, which happens a lot if your neighbor, the Pie-Making Carpenter, feels compelled to text you repeated pictures of sharp knives.   You know, to make you feel better about the murdering murderer who might have snipped the electrical wires before making his murderous way into the house.

Exhibit B: The Disappearing Kitten

One of the loudest noises on the night of the power outage was the sound of meowing on the front porch.  There was a teensy little baby orange kitten hiding out there in the corner, just screaming her head off.  But when TFH went to pick her up, the kitten hauled ass and did laps around the house.  Like, 14 laps.  The next day, the cat reappeared across the street but again wouldn't get caught, slipping into the crawl space of a vacant house.  The Frugal Hostess made a path of tuna from the hiding spot to her front porch, but the kitten never came back out.

Exhibit C: Maggoty Maggots and Fleas

FruHo can't really discuss this.  It's enough to gag a maggot.  Rest assured, the maggots are gone, and TFH may or may not have put her non-toxic bug spray beliefs on the shelf for a quick minute.  The fleas are apparently just going to be a summer scourge, because, according to the vet, sand fleas live in Georgia with or without an animal host.  Gross!  And, thanks for nothing, Mother Nature.

Exhibit D: The Last Shrimp Boil

FruHubs had a birthday party for FruHo.  Among other amazing things, he boiled up some Gulf shrimp with potatoes, corn, and sausage.  It was delicious, and everyone loved it.  Probably for the last time.  Screw you, BP.

The end.

The Frugal Hostess gets lonely. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Review: Substituting Ingredients | The A to Z Kitchen Reference

Have you ever heard a song that was so good you wanted to slap the person next to you for not listening hard enough?  ["The Cool, Cool River" by Paul Simon]  What about a movie that is so good you want to pass a law that makes it required viewing?  [Food Inc.]  Or, have you ever encountered some product that is so great that you want to run out and buy one for every person you know?

That is how The Frugal Hostess feels about this new book, Substituting Ingredients | The A to Z Kitchen Reference.  Written and recently updated by Becky Sue Epstein, this book is like a frugal cook's bible.  The publisher of the book says, "Her goal is that no cook will ever abandon an appetizing dish for the lack of a particular ingredient, a time crunch, dietary restrictions, or the cost to make the dish."  Awesome!

FruHo loves this, because it gets at one of the central philosophies of her life - the idea that you should use what you have.  Having at one point been the kind of cook who would run out two or three times in the process of preparing a recipe, TFH really digs that you can just flip through and find a substitution.  Epstein also lists when you cam omit an ingredient, like when a recipe calls for less than one tablespoon of orange zest or less than half a cup of fiddlehead ferns.  Also, the book is a petite paperback, so it fits handily in your spice cabinet or drawer of utensils.

Here are some choice ideas from the book:
- You can use cream cheese and a little butter to replace mascarpone.
- You can add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of flour to create self-rising flour.
- You can substitute brown rice flour for arrowroot.  (Nope, no idea what arrowroot is.)

Epstein lists several ways to correct recipes gone wrong, like "if your potatoes turn brown after slicing, cook them in milk to whiten."  She also includes a section of household formulas, including a pesticide for ants and a mouthwash recipe.  In all, this slender volume contains about 14 times its size in great, interesting, and helpful information.  You totally need to buy it.  Immediately.

Disclosure:  TFH got a free copy of this book to review, and those links up there are affiliate links.  As always, FruHo only gives good reviews to things that are cool and non-evil.

The Frugal Hostess gets lonely. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Miss Prissy Britches Eats Ice Cream

Five of the fifteen or so pictures The Frugal Hostess took of Miss Prissy Britches enjoying a cotton candy ice cream cone after school.  So cute it hurts your teeth.

The Frugal Hostess loves ice cream. Any flavor.  Except pistachio.  Who knows why.  Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Look at This!!!

Holy mackerel!   The Frugal Hostess discovered this while watering the plants on the front porch, and it is quite possibly the most exciting thing that has ever happened out there.  Yippeee!!!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cooking from Scratch

The Frugal Hostess would be a pretty crappy hostess indeed if she didn't welcome her new visitors from How to Cook Like Your Grandmother.  Welcome!  Have a beer!  And while you're here, enjoy some posts about cooking from scratch.  

FruHo and FruHubs (OK, mostly FruHubs) have whipped up some great meals that your grandmother might have prepared.  FruHo's grandmother would probably not have ever prepared any of these things, as she's more fond of congealed salad, sliced tomatoes with mayonnaise, or fried shrimp take out.  No matter --The Frugal Grandmother's talents lie elsewhere, namely in being extra, super, spectacularly awesome and well-dressed.  

While you're here, feel free to enter the BeFunky photo contest, and please come back soon!

Seriously, thanks for stopping by, or thanks for coming again if you've been reading.  It just brings a tear to the usually cold-hearted FruHo's eye.

The Frugal Hostess loves new guests. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.
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Hanging Out Elsewhere

The Frugal Hostess is hanging out with Drew at How to Cook Like Your Grandmother today.  Come on by!  Also, don't forget to enter the BeFunky photo contest of Delight and Joy. 
The Frugal Hostess gets lonely. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.
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