Frugal Luxuries: Edible Wreaths From Nature's Bounty

Edible Wreaths

I made these wreaths for pennies

using dried Rosemary and Pepper berries

Rosemary bush from my Dad's house.

Pepper berries growing on my dad's pepper tree.

...snipped from my father's garden

Rosemary before I cut it into smaller pieces to make bundles for the wreath

After I made the Rosemary bundles (left) I tucked in a spring of pepper berries then tied it together with raffia.

...and wrapped into little bundles.

Dehydrated limes and peppers...

bought from a local family~farm~stand.

Limes, hand sliced and put in our dehydrator to dry over night. Notice the deep burgundy color?
It starts out amazing!!

The peppers were from the same stand for one dollar per bag.
Dehydrate them over night and all peppers will turn a very dark red (even the green ones).

Add a strand or two of wire...

a large darning needle

...a flutter of raffia

and you have the ingredients for creating lovely,

edible wreaths.


Give one as a gift unto itself

or add a wreath to enhance a kitchen~themed gift basket.

Or... keep one for yourself... to hang in your kitchen.

Snip off a bit of rosemary or hot pepper to add to a favorite recipe.

They will last for years...

but the Rosemary does tend to shed a bit as it dries.


don't forget to put on your favorite holiday movie

as your strand your produce into wreaths!!


Brita's Old Town Garden... The Lion~Cut ... and... "It's a Wonderful Life"

Last week...

Rosie, Katie and I decided to visit our local nursery...

Brita's Old Town Gardens...

to choose our Christmas tree!

As we walked into to this charming little nursery...

the girls spied a most adorable little creature.

I moved closer to see who they were fussing over and saw this furry face...

looking quizzically up at me.

I took a few minutes of my own to coo and cuddle this charming furry creature.

His owner said he was a Pomeranian (usually very fluffy dogs) who had been given...

a Lion~Cut... which... in my opinion... flattered him immensely!!

After tearing ourselves away we moved on to choose a tree

...and admire the paper~whites, Poinsettias and topiaries along the way.

We wandered through their forest of freshly cut trees

...only to discover an overlooked antique store

hidden in a little building behind the nursery!

This red door with it's festive wreath peeked out at us from the greenery.

A lucky Calico kitten scrambled by...

at our feet.

After a bit of musing (and some measuring)

we chose our tree.

Opting for a delivery later in the day...

we made our way towards home.

Driving away...

a few blocks down from the Old Town Gardens...

we spied something...

Could I be reading the marquee correctly??

My very favorite Holiday movie was playing at the Old Bay Theatre...

The last showing of the year was the very next night!!

At 8:00 P.M. on Wednesday...

Mike, Rosie, Katie, some friends and I gathered

to enjoy a BIG SCREEN viewing of Frank Capra's miraculous movie...

"It's a Wonderful Life."

We laughed...

we cried...

we cheered...

we clapped and yelped applause.

It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful couple of days.

Wish you could have joined us.

Tracey and Family



The Frugal Luxuries Philosophy of Gift~Giving and 8 Gift~Giving Ideas With Frugality in Mind

The Frugal Luxuries Philosophy of Gift~Giving

The Season For Saving:

8 Gift Ideas With Frugality In Mind.

The following is an excerpt from
Middletown Transcript.

"The holiday season is upon us, but with the continuing concerns about the economy, many people are looking for ways to cut costs when it comes to gift-giving. Tracey McBride, a frugality expert and author of several books, including “Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons,” says the key to not overspending is to plan ahead and develop a budget. Put a lot of thought into your gift-giving instead of focusing on spending a specific amount. Here are her ideas for practical, inexpensive gifts for the holiday season:

Gift baskets
Rather than buying an expensive gift basket at the mall, make your own, developed around a theme. For a “breakfast basket,” buy a basket at the dollar store and shred paper for the filling. Buy pancake mix and package it in a pretty bag. Cook your own syrup (water, sugar and flavoring) and bottle it in a jar. Add inexpensive plates and bowls and a mixing spoon. For a fruit basket, fill a crate with local, in-season produce and a few pieces of chocolate.

Sweet treats
Buy apothecary jars and fill them with store-bought or homemade treats. You can buy chocolate, caramels or candies in bulk, or make goodies such as peanut brittle or caramel corn.

Tea and coffee
Take an old cigar box and paint it white (or another color of your choosing). Buy a variety of tea bags at the grocery store and repackage them in the cigar box. You can also include a couple of tea cups or a tea kettle. Similarly, for coffee lovers you can pair coffee beans (which you can buy in bulk at a discount store) with a couple of mugs and a few chocolates.

Plants and herbs
You can buy plants, bulbs and herbs at a garden supply store. Replant them in tumblers, which can be found for less than $1. Package them in clear cellophane bags tied with a ribbon.

Family photos
Take treasured photos to a copy store and get them reprinted on high-quality paper. Buy inexpensive frames at a discount store. You can also compile favorite photos in a nice album.

Second-hand clothes
Head to a consignment store to buy clothes, which can work especially well for the kids on your list. Children’s clothes are often barely, if ever, worn. McBride also suggests shopping on eBay or She buys her daughter’s favorite Juicy Couture hoodies (which retail for about $100) on eBay for an average of $20 each. She’s also used eBay for electronics and American Girl accessories.

Recipe book
Gather your family’s or your friends’ favorite recipes and compile them in a recipe book. This can be done inexpensively if you print the recipes out from your computer or write them out and put them in a recipe box. Make your gift recipient’s favorite dish and give the food and book at the same time.

Regift family heirlooms
While some would consider regifting to be in poor taste, McBride says regifting with thought can be extremely heartfelt. One of her most treasured gifts was when her parents gave her their silver tea set for the holidays. If you’ve thought of passing down a family heirloom, the holidays are the time to do it.

TIP: If you tend to overspend on your kids, McBride recommends setting a price limit for each child. Find out each child’s “must-have” gift, buy it, and use only the leftover money in that child’s budget for the other gifts. Most of all, be creative. McBride says learning to give frugally is a complete change in mindset, but giving is more fun and easy once you shift your perspective.

To read more, please click the link below.
The season for saving: 8 gift ideas with frugality in mind - Middletown, DE - Middletown Transcript