Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reusable Shopping Bags

My husband did the grocery shopping yesterday. I forgot to send my reusable shopping bags with him. This is what he came home with:

24 plastic grocery bags for only $87.12 worth of groceries. They were floppy and a pain to unpack. I'm used to my strong, roomy, easy to fold and easy to carry totes. My totes can hold three times as much as a double bagged plastic bag. And now I have to remember to take these in to recycle. Regardless of the impact on the environment, these are a pain. I love my reusable totes. They even come in insulated versions:

They are easy to fold and stuff in one bag. Just grab and go. I put them right back in my car when I'm done using them so I'll have them the next time.

He also brought home several plastic produce bags. I like mine better. Aren't they cute? I made them with inexpensive tulle netting and cheap nylon cord. They are strong--I've been using them for a while and they can take even heavy loads. They are washable. They weigh very little. Produce doesn't tend to mold when you store it in these bags since they "breathe." The baggers at the store always want to know where I got them. I made them in different sizes. I gave some away for Christmas.


* Stores are making it easier to use reusable totes and grocery baggers actually like them!
* Most reusable totes cost $1 or less. Insulated versions are often around $2.
* My Whole Foods gives a $.05 discount for every reusable bag.
* My Trader Joes has a drawing every day for a $10 gift card for people who use reusable bags.
* When I lived in Korea, the stores charged about $.05-.10 for every bag they had to provide. Many municipalities in the US are considering doing the same.
* Americans use 84 BILLION plastic bags a year
* DECA reports that the price of plastic bags has gone up 84% in the last few years. That price gets passed on to the customers.
* DECA reports that 20,635,800 plastic bags were used by U.S. military commissary customers worldwide in 2007. If just 10% of those were replaced with reusable bags it would be a savings of $2 million a year. Imagine the savings if, say, Walmart customers used more reusuable bags!

TODAY'S SPECIAL


Normally $28. This week $19.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

NEW item!

I also have these in white!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

TODAY'S SPECIAL


Silver champagne earrings

Normally $15. This week $12.

Oval freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver or 14k gold-filled

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!


10% off your order on December 24 & 25th.

Use promotional code "THANKS10" at checkout at Sue Runyon Designs.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Break Activity

When you have a kid home from school for Christmas break it helps to have some activities planned. Today my eight year old son Caleb and I sat down and painted these ornaments. I had actually meant to purchase some from Dunkdesigns shop on Etsy, but she finished for the season before I got around to it.

Emperor penguin ornament I painted for my son. He's really into penguins.

Snowman and Santa ornament my son painted

Caleb's favorite animal--the tapir. Not just everyone has a tapir ornament!

snowflake ornament by Caleb

Our tree

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Winners

I have two winners for the Give-A-Way that I drew for yesterday (using the very scientific method of having my 8 year old son draw names out of a bowl held over his head). Winners were drawn from my list of e-mail newsletter subscribers. Congratulations, ladies!

The First Prize winner was Catherine from Oregon. Catherine won a $20 Sue Runyon Designs Gift Certificate. Catherine has a beautiful shop on Etsy:


The Second Prize winner was Jan from Florida. Jan won her choice of any of my copper earring designs.


If you would like to be entered for the next Give-A-Way, just become a subscriber to my e-mail newsletter which I send out six times per year.

Newsletter Sign-Up

Once you sign-up for my newsletter you are automatically entered in ALL give-a-ways.

Thanks,
Sue

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Household Tip: Organizing Your Grocery Shopping Trip

I confess. I hate grocery shopping! I try to get in and out as fast as I can. I believe this tip has shaved 20 minutes off of my grocery run each week (over 17 hours per year). If you tend to do one main shopping trip each week, and shop at the same store most of the time, this will work wonders for you.

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1. Visit your store with pen and paper in hand and make a list of what type of items the store stocks on each aisle. Just note general categories and note the aisle numbers. For instance: #13 baking/canned beans, veg & fruits/soups

2. On the computer make a one page, aisle by aisle, blank shopping list that you can print off. In addition to the aisle by aisle list you'll have all those items that can be found around the perimeter of the store such as "seasonal/holiday," "deli/bakery," "produce," "meats," and "dairy." Put those on your list in the order that you come to them in the store. Leave extra space under each category that you buy a lot of items in. I have the biggest space under "produce."

3. If there is another store that you almost always visit on the same trip, make a category for that store on the end of your list.

4. Print copies of your list (scrap paper that has already been printed on one side is great for this) and attach one to your refrigerator each week. Instruct your family to mark down any items you need under the proper category on the list as you discover you need them. No more "I didn't know we were out of ketchup . . ."

5. When you get to the store you can glance quickly at what you need in each aisle or section of the store, you won't have to stop to mark things off your list. You can see which aisles you don't need to go down at all which saves a lot of time and frustration--especially if you shop with young children.

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Additional tips for your grocery trip:

* Plan weekly menus and mark all the items you will need down on your list--don't try to guess at the store.
* Sort coupons before you go.
* Wipe out your refrigerator shelves before you shop when they are at their emptiest for the week.
* Grab your reusable shopping bags, or better yet, put them back in your car after you unpack your groceries so you always have them handy.
* Will you need a cooler or insulated bags?

Give-A-Way

Today is the last day to sign-up for my December Give-A-Way. I will be drawing for a $20 Gift Certificate and will also draw for one other winner to receive their choice of a pair of my copper earrings.


To enter just sign up for my e-mail newsletter. I only publish my newsletter once every two months, and once you sign up become a PREFERRED CUSTOMER and are entered in ALL of my give-a-ways.


Thanks,
Sue

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Homefront Team Contest

I am a member of the Homefront Team. We're a team of spouses of U.S. Military members who have shops on Etsy. We are currently having a "Bits and Pieces" challenge on Facebook to make items using mostly scraps of whatever materials we usually work with to create handmade items for our shops. This is my entry:


CAPSTONE memory wire bracelet made using all my "orphan" beads, misshapen pearls, oddly shaped gemstone beads and beads that just got away from me during a project and found later and didn't bother to put back. I think it turned out well despite, or perhaps because of, all it's imperfections.


To see all the entries click here and log-on to Facebook. To vote for your favorite, type "VOTE" in the comments section under that photo.

The winner will receive notice on the Homefront Blog and on the Homefront Facebook fan page.

And, yes, the bracelet is already sold, but I plan to make more that are somewhat similar soon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

TODAY'S SPECIAL

My Swarovski crystal snowball pendant and earrings are on special this week if you purchase the set!

Only $12 for both pieces!


Pendant regularly $8.50. Earrings regularly $10.50.

This week buy both and I will refund $7 to you via Paypal after your purchase.


Find them on both Sue Runyon Designs website and in my Etsy store.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Peru: The Sacred Valley and Cuzco

Our last adventure in Peru was a tour of the Sacred Valley which is not too far from Cuzco. We set out with a small group of others in a van to drive to the Sacred Valley and tour various sites for the day. We stopped at a couple of scenic overlooks on the way:


Then we stopped for a brief time at the bustling market at Pisaq. We went on a Tuesday, but the market is much bigger on Sundays. I posted some more pictures of the Pisaq market in a previous post so I'll just add a few here:

The white flowers indicate that these girls are unmarried (of course)


empanadas fresh from the oven

Caleb enjoying an empanada and watching cuy (Guinea pigs)

dyes

From Pisaq we continued on to Ollantaytambo to climb the ruins.

Ancient pre-Inca storehouses high on the side of the mountain.

terraces


modern village mixed with ancient ruins in Ollantaytambo

Temple of the Moon at Ollantaytambo


huge pre-Incan stone walls at Ollantaytambo

Fountain


family of ducks in the water channel that provided great entertainment

After Ollantaytambo we stopped for lunch in Urubamba. We decided to skip the buffet lunch on the advice of our tour director and opted for snacks in the plaza.

We were highly entertained by pictures made in the cobbles on the sidewalks along the plaza. We went from panel to panel trying to identify each thing. The one above is the sun, but there were many, many motifs.

tree in the center of the plaza in Urubamba

snacks we purchased at a small bodega--coke with real cane sugar instead of corn syrup (much tastier) and a bag with mixed potato chips, Cheetos, pretzels and spicy cheese crackers--quite a yummy combo.

From there we made our way to Chinchero to tour the old church with beautiful old frescos and spent a few minutes at the local market. Chinchero was really our favorite market because many of the craftspeople were selling there own items and demonstrating their skills in person.

Chinchero


The next day was our final day in Peru. We walked around Cuzco in the morning and found an interesting textile market and museum (below) and several small museums which were on our Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) that we had already paid for.


Caleb purchased birdseed from a lady and fed the palomas

In the afternoon we collected our luggage and were transferred by our tour agency to the airport and helped through the somewhat complicated check through procedure. We flew to Lima and then on home.

We had a fantastic trip! Read back through our posts for all of our adventures over our two weeks in Peru.

Copyright 2009 text and photos. All rights reserved.