Get out of debt so you can afford that trip to Paris!


Had a great Christmas.

Credit card bill came yesterday.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd shoot me in the head.

Not really. I wouldn’t want you to shoot me in the head. I meant hand. The one I use to punch my credit card numbers into the computer. Which is a total shame because that’s the same hand I use to give the finger when someone quotes me a shipping rate I think is too high.

Which brings me to my next point.   Money.  Wanna get back on track?  Give this lady $25 and she’ll get you back on track.  Nancy turned her financial life around and became a money coach when a pimply faced teenager cut her credit card up in front of an entire store.   So she speaks from experience.  The $25 covers her entire 12 step online course.  With a money back guarantee!





I can tell you one way I saved money this year.  My vegetable garden.   We are STILL picking vegetables from the garden.  Carrots and Swiss Chard, just last night as a matter of fact.  And my mudroom is still loaded up with potatoes, squash, a tiny bit of garlic and sweet potatoes.  So you wanna save money?  Start a vegetable garden.  Starting a vegetable garden?  You need an Olla.  No, it’s not a vegetable.  It’s this …





Kay.  Now that you’ve saved money you can afford to take a trip to Paris.  Oh.  You haven’t saved quite enough yet?  Not a problem.  Visit Paris vicariously with Fiona.  She’s a genuine Parisian.  And the best part?  She looks it!



Phew!  You’re home from Paris.  Who knew Naomi Campbell would be such a bitch.
Time to ground yourself again jet setters, and get back to basics.  It’s time to nest.
And what better way to do that than in the kitchen?
With a spurtle.
I bought myself one of these spurtles from Brenda at Cattails Woodworking just before Christmas and I have an unnatural love for it.
I LOVE a good cooking utensil and this one I love with all my heart.
It’s Scottish and meant for stirring oatmeal but I’ve used it to stir everything.  Soup, chili, oatmeal … I love it because the end of the spurtle is narrow so it fits right into the crease of your pot to get at those bits that are hiding  AND it doesn’t splash.    With all my heart I tell you.
It’s hand turned, and it’s only $20!
So you’ve saved basically $4,572 by not going to Scotland to buy your spurtle.  Hurray for you!
Let’s buy more shit!
Mason Jar ReCaps!




Felted Snowman Soaps!








Hell! Make your OWN jewellery.



This is a lot of work this shopping. You should probably take a break and grow a garden. You know.  Nourish the soul.  And your body.  ‘Cause you’re saving money if you grow your own food. Remember? First you have to shop for seeds. And yes. You’re officially allowed, encouraged even, to start buying seeds for your summer garden already.


Everyone agreed that THIS was the best tomato I grew this year. The Green Zebra. Neighbours asked for the tomatoes, they asked for the seeds, they asked for next year’s seedlings. Every single person I gave one to said it was their favourite. They don’t taste like a green tomato, they taste like a regular tomato, but they have some sort of indescribable zip. Plus they look great.




And what goes better with a fresh tomato? A crusty loaf of bread held in … ITS OWN LINEN BREAD BAG. Tricia Rose sent me one of these bags as a gift before she was selling them. I’ve told her time and time again, every time I take my bread out of it it makes me feel special. Rustic and chic all at the same time.

Ahhhhhhh.  It reminds me of my time in Paris, a couple of paragraphs ago.

It’s only $15 with no shipping charges!

Buy one.  You can feel special too.






OH MY GOD. You need to buy a dress.

A comfortable, easy to wear, dress.



You can wear it while you sit in the comfort of your well appointed home, perusing Lynne’s great blog, Design the Life You Want to Live. She’s lived in Paris too. So she’s fancy. A lot fancier than you’d expect from a woman who swears so much.




Now that you’re comfy and rich and smartly dressed and clean and fed and well travelled … you should probably think about telling the world about it.

Way Lay has just started a new service where they will get you up and running with your own WordPress blog WITHIN 24 HOURS!

FOR JUST $100!!



So now you’re a rich, successful, fabulously well travelled and attired blogger. You think you’re pretty good don’t you? You, sitting there, typing away on your award winning blog, out of debt, smelling of Snowman soap. Well screw you.

What’s really important is how you treat others.  You jerks.  When’s the last time you Paid it Forward?  Well now’s your chance.  Join my local chapter of the Pay it Forward movement’s Facebook page. A friend of mine just started it up and she’s looking for “likes”.

Plus it’s really entertaining.  You can read all the stories of people who have paid it forward and write in some of your own.  It will be your Random Act of Kindness for the day.

 Pay it Forward


small acts



Or … you could go with paying off my credit card bill for me.  Your choice.


  1. Pam'a says:

    ::snicker:: This may be the best post you’ve ever written.

  2. Violet says:

    Oooh, loads of fun stuff!

    That snowman soap is adorable, but I’m afraid to look and see what it smells like. If it smells like snow, awesome! If it smells like man, not so awesome.

    One of my favorite things to do is go on Google, look up places I’d like to go around the world, and take myself on a Google Streetview tour up and down the streets. Then I tell my friends I just got back from London or Venice or Mt. Rushmore and I’m not lying. Not REALLY. Right?

  3. Chris says:


  4. Sue T. says:


  5. Tigersmom says:

    I clicked on all your sponsors for you.

  6. Sandy says:

    Love the bread bag! Going to try the tomato this summer.

  7. Kelly M says:

    Ha Ha !! Love it.

  8. Candice says:

    Can I say again?…how glad I am that I stumbled upon this blog!!!!!!

  9. Darlene says:

    Hi Karen –

    Just wondering how the chickens are doing?

  10. Lynne says:

    What ?! You think I use potty mouth on Design the Life You want to Live ? I have no freakin’ sh*t a@@ idea what you are bloody well talking about. Pffft. 🙂

  11. sia says:

    omg… you just made my day.

  12. Sara says:

    You are something else! Your brain must be 3/4 creativity.

  13. Rachel says:

    You are a crazy ass lady and I love it! This blog has me giggling for days! Can’t wait to wear my linen sack to Paris!

  14. Lori says:

    “Let’s buy more shit!” Glad I wasn’t drinking anything at the time that I read that because it would have been all over my monitor and keyboard. You crack me up!

  15. Ruth says:

    ROFLMJBO!! (The J is for Jamaican, and I’m sure you’ll figure out the rest) ;o)

    Get yo’ hand out my Third World pocket…. but seriously, that spurtle looks like a good weapon for some reason. 😀

  16. Ann says:

    I have some months that feel like this!!

    But honestly, we decided long ago to put everything on our credit card. And to pay if off in full every single month. That way if we have foolish with our month we see it in full and we can go back over what we spent and decide if it had been really worth it. Most months we stay below our budget by just a smidge but it sure feels good to be able to do that.

    And then the bonus is we get frequent flyer miles. Actually quite a few and it seems we can take a trip together about once a year on them. Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that we put things on the credit card like say, a sunroom. And next a new metal roof. Once we even paid for our car that way. As long as we have the money set aside in the bank, why not use the credit card if they will let you.

    But most months are like the one you describe. And this month will be. Lets see, the other day I bought 2 sets of black rubber runners for my new back sunroom steps, a new couch cover to keep cat hair off my good couch, a new throw rug, 2 new bread pans(from King Arthur Flour, so not your run of the mill ones) lots of yarn, and I haven’t even started placing my seed and plant orders yet!

    All this on a retiree’s income. It can be done

  17. Cathy says:

    Now that I have read this post I must have a rest….lol. I wonder it you understand how much you brighten peoples lives with your writing.
    Thank you.

  18. Alex says:

    I went to Paris when I was 14. I’m way past 14 and still trying to convince my husband we should go back there instead of the Disney trip that will causes me to sneak a flask into the Happiest Place on Earth.

    Love Lynne’s blog! She’s so damn funny!

    • Toronto Boy says:

      FYI: You may be able to convince your husband to make that trip to Paris that year by telling him that there exists a Disneyland in Paris, France. 😉

  19. KimC says:

    Karen, you crafty ninja. And by crafty, I mean sly. We all know how crafty you are. (That time I meant crafty!) Your clever title suck(er)ed me in. Well played! Now I’m off to look for spurtles and green zebra tomato seeds.:-)

  20. Theresa says:

    Very cute! I’m considering buying a spurtle (now that I know what it is). I get a bit concerned with wooden utensils though. How do you wash them? Normal soap and water in the sink and then towel dry?

  21. Mary Werner says:

    I used your Christmas present list and got two glasses shaped like milk bottles with Crazy Cat Lady on them – perfect for my sister, two note pads, the ‘check off crap’ pad and the ‘voodoo paper doll’ pad all from some Onion store. I also bought Tim Burton playing cards from MOMO. Love what I got and love your blog!

  22. Elen Grey says:

    rotfl – I think I just spent more money reading this post than I have so far in 2013. 😀 I have a spurtle from Lee Valley, because that’s where Mr. G, honey buys all my gifts. It’s one of my fave kitchen tools. But now I feel I must have Brenda’s. The beauty of it. And it would go so nicely with her/my rolling pin. I’ll just order it myself. He doesn’t need to know.

  23. Barbie says:

    …..but ……I don’t want to go to Paris…..I just want that cookbook…………

  24. Janie says:

    Does that spurtle vibrate?

  25. Ritz says:

    Spurtle! I bought one about 30 years ago at a thrift store. Although I knew it was a kitchen implement, I never knew what it was. I tied a leather thong around it and hung it on my kitchen wall. From now on I will use it to stir oatmeal. Thanks, Karen.

  26. Janet says:

    I’m fairly new to your blog Karen but you are a kick in the pants! With the time change I think I must be the last one to read your blog! You keep everyone laughing. Thank you!
    Janet in Alaska (:

  27. Mindy says:

    Hilarious. And kinda genius.

  28. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Karen..You are the only one I know who would equate saving money with buying I’m off to peruse all of these awesome products..and then I will be packing for my trip to Paris..ooh la la ;D

  29. Shauna says:

    ah ha, you’re the reason I follow the pay it forward FB page. I follow it and I love it, but I couldn’t remember how I came upon it.

    You’re a wee bit funny, definitely helps me on this morning that has not started funny at all.

  30. Toronto Boy says:

    “Credit card bill came yesterday.

    Annnnnnnnnnnnnd shoot me in the head.”

    Hahaha! This is exactly how I felt when I recieved my credit card statement on Monday! It was only yesterday that I decided to pay the amount after I came to the realization that I bought a number of items that will come in handy for my business.

    Today my wallet may be a little lighter but at least procrastination did not get the better of me! Hurrah!

  31. Chris says:

    You had chips again didn’t you!! No more Paleo cos that was vintage-pre-weird-diet Karen! That was very witty and yes I will check out a few of those sights as I might have a coin or two left over from Xmas. I like the pot and the spurtle.

  32. Amy in StL says:

    Ok, how in the world do you tell if the green tomatoes are ripe? I bought plants that bore cream colored ones, a few years back. They went from green to lighter green to celery green or cream(maybe)… I never did figure it out without biting into one.

    • Karen says:

      Amy – The green zebras start to yellow at the top. That’s when they’re ready to pick. You can also sort of tell by feeling them. Once they have some give to them they’re good to go. ~ karen!

  33. Nicola Cunha says:

    I was just reading about storing bread in a linen bag the other day! Thanks!
    P.S. Check out

    for great Almost no knead bread! Great videos and recipes, and I’m leaving now to pull two loaves out of the oven!

  34. carol says:

    My mom brought me a lovely spurtle several years ago from one of her various travels. I’ve never used it because I couldn’t imagine why it would be better than a spoon. I still can’t.

  35. Jennifer says:

    The Spurtle #2 is sold out 🙁 …but great for them. Thought of you while eating your “original” chicken salad the other day, right out of the bowl…hope the caveman diet is going well.

  36. charity says:

    Love this post!
    wow, have an old spurtle, didn’t know that’s what it was for, we use ours to make Scuppernong (grape) jelly in the summertime, it mushes all the juice apart from the seeds and rinds through a colander, will have to put mine to work!

  37. Natika33 says:

    ha ha! Awesome as usual. I like your logic!

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