Gretchen Schock shares her love of recipes, crafts and frugal living. She also speaks very opening about the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. After a breast cancer scare in 2012, she decided to say goodbye to her nightly glasses of Chardonnay. It was time to get sober and live life with eyes wide open! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.

2/26/2007

New Pictures

I've added some classic shots of the CocktailMoms to the blog. The first one is a promo shot from the Women's Work Festival that Jessica and I created along with another woman, Kate Aronson, in Pittsburgh, PA. It was a month long series of plays and music all created by women.
The second shot is from our senior banquet at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.
It's funny looking back at the pictures and noticing that Jessica and I always stand on the same side in each shot. Very odd.
anyhow...ENJOY!

2/11/2007

Using things twice (or more)

Green living is very popular these days. But I'm more concerned with conscious living. Green living seems like another advertised consumer choice. Conscious living, to me, is using my head and instincts to try and use my resources in the best possible way for me and my world. My New Year's Resolution in 2007 is to pay more attention to the 'Reuse' in the old adage, 'reduce, reuse, and recycle'. My current artistic project is a cycle of plays created around the theme of sustainable living. (For more information visit confluencetheatre.org) Researching The (re)Cycle Plays completely changed the way I looked at recycling. As it turns out much of what we recycle is really downcycled. Downcycling often produces toxic chemicals as a by-product and uses large amounts of fossil fuels in the process. So, I've taken it as a personal project to reuse things at least twice or give them a second life. For example, instead of buying anymore disposable Tupperware I reuse the salsa jar or spaghetti jar for leftovers. It is cost effective and makes me feel like I am throwing less things away. My favorite resuse this year is shown in this picture. It is a bag of shredded bank statements and old bills etc. I am going to use the shredded paper as packing material for shipping. It's a little thing but a cost effective thing. I'd love to hear about how everyone else is reusing everyday objects so please make some comments on this post.

2/06/2007

1st Dinner made in my new Apron

My Christmas present from Gretchen was an Aunt Art original!!! This oil cloth apron is fantastic. To be honest I don't usually cook in an apron (except my Cocktail Mom vintage ones that I wear on the holidays - mostly for show) but now that I have this apron I plan on wearing it all the time. It is totally awesome because I can just wipe it clean and don't have to worry about it getting ruined.

I've been entertaining at home more than usual lately. Since I am moving to Boulder, Colorado in May I've decided to invite as many of my friends in NYC as I can over for dinner before I go. Making dinner for most of my single friends in NYC is what being a Cocktail Mom is all about. Most of them are far from their real moms and therefore like a little home cooking. My dear friend Bill dined with me last night and we had a blast. Of course it was way cheaper than taking him out to dinner in the city and we got to have a wonderful private evening in my home.

I am a big fan of Everyday Food which is a magazine that is part of the Martha Stewart Empire.
Most of the recipes can be found at:
MarthaStewart.com
Dinner consisted of: Pork chops with apricot mustard dipping sauce, green beans with caramelized onions, pistachio and scallion cous-cous, and for dessert baked apples with walnuts and maple syrup.

ReadyMade Book

Last night I sat down and read cover to cover the book: ReadyMade How to Make (Almost) Everything. It is full of amazing ideas. My borrowed library copy is full of small scraps of recycled paper marking all the things I want to try and Jessica if you still have those xrays of your back there is a really cool Window Frame Light Box on pg 155 that would be so awesome to display them. Anyway I know it doesn't have much to do with the CocktailMoms...I mean we don't get a cut of their sales or anything..but it's one of those books that shouldn't go unnoticed.

2/05/2007

Wine Box Magazine Holder



OK first let me start with...yes my hubby and I drink box wines and I know some of you out there are cringing. Other than the fact that box wine is cheaper and we are saving money to buy a house the other main factor is the waste that bottles create. We drink a lot of wine. :)


So every time I throw the empty wine box in the recycle container I hold it for a minute and try to think of something that I could reuse it for, it's really strong cardboard but an odd shape so storage is out...and then it hit me! I grabbed the American weapon of choice, the box cutter, and I sliced a diagonal line across and BAM! A magazine holder!


But having boxed wine magazine holders are not that classy as far as decor so I went to work with scrapbook paper. The rest of the steps are so easy that my 3 1/2 year old helped me make it.


First I laid the sides of the box on a 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper, you could use any type of paper. My 3 1/2 year old traced around the box and then I cut it out. We did this for all the sides and then I simply taped each piece to the box. To finish off the project I covered the whole thing in clear packing tape so that the paper won't get torn or ripped from pulling it off the shelf. Take your time with this step so you don't have any bubbles in the tape.

The end result is fabulous!



2/01/2007

Tank Sweet Tank

I'm in the process of moving from New York City to Boulder Colorado so many of my future posts will deal with creative packing and moving on a budget. Also I want to document some of the cool things about my current apartment that I am breaking down.

This is my studio apartment fish tank. This is a picture of when I set it up 3 years ago. I used aquarium sealant to secure the books on the shelves and flowers on the tables etc. The furniture is all Barbie furniture and the wall paper is just a fun scrap of material attached to the back. Everyone that comes to my house loves it and the fish seem to be happy too. In a few weeks I am going to return my current gold fish to the pet store and break this tank down. I think I might build my next tank with legos.

Party Favor for Kid Birthday Parties



As I planned my son's 3rd birthday party I knew I wanted to do something different for the party favors. Of course the party favors had to go along with the theme of the party too. The theme of the party was "Arts and Crafts". I created his invitation in photoshop. And one night I got this brilliant idea to create another photoshop image and to add pictures of all the kids who were coming to the party. The party was a small group of really close friends. Actually a playgroup called the "Jitterbugs", we've met every week for the last 3 years! So I created the image, printed it out on iron on paper (found at your local office supply store) and ironed the image on to white t-shirts. Any type of t-shirt will do as long as it's a light color. Just remember to reverse the image before printing it out or else any words you have will be backwards. And wha-la a funky t-shirt for each kid as the party favor! The moms were so excited about it...not only adorable picture of all the kids but also a usable gift. I'll be doing this again for future parties.

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