Feb 23, 2010

Oilcloth Luggage Tags

We found another great use for our oilcloth remnants--luggage tags!  These items are colorful, fun and useful.  Best of all, because they're so small we can dig through our mounds of remnants to come up with enough material to make them.  We always love it when we can find practical applications for "trash!"  

These tags work great for luggage or can be customized to coordinate with any of our tote bags.  Our luggage tags are now available for $5.50 here and tags that coordinate with our oilcloth diaper bags, as seen below, are available here.


Feb 22, 2010

Blog to Book.

I ordered my blurb book last week!   For those who weren't around for that entry, blurb is a site that will turn you blog into a book.  My friend Camille got hers and it was fabulous.  I loved reading it (even though I've already read every entry in her blog, funny how that works).  Anyway, I was super jealous so I finally went ahead and ordered mine.  I've been waiting until I had some extra cash.  That was never going to happen.

For those of you interested in turning your blog into a book... more info about turning your blog into a book.
  • the software is free and can be downloaded here
  • once you download the software you can search for your blog and select the blog entries you want to include in your book, they will then be uploaded and (if desired) auto-filled into your book
  • you can then edit the layouts and entry information.  this is super easy but takes some serious time if you are planning to do a whole year like I did.  still, nothing compared to the time it would take to scrapbook all of it.
  • my hardcover 8x10 portrait style blurb book is 240 pages long
  • my book contains all of my blog entries from Sep 2008 (when I started the blog) through Dec 2009
  • my book has 1,241 color pictures in various layouts and all of the text from my blog
  • my book cost about $84 - that price includes tax and shipping 
I did a little price analysis to compare the cost of blog to book to the cost of a scrapbook.  Before I go into my analysis I will say that I actually do scrapbook.  Carson got a book for his 1st year and he will get a book for every 5 years of his life.  I find scrapbooking relaxing and just couldn't give it up altogether.  But I couldn't justify scrapping all our family photos when I am already blogging them.  So in lieu of a "family" scrapbook I decided to print my blog.

The analysis...
  • Cost of blog to book (sep 08 - dec 09):   $84
    plus my butt being glued to the couch as I blog and then later download my entries into my blurb book (which I now do weekly so I don't have a massive amount of entries to do at the end of the year)

  • Estimated cost of scrapbooking (sep 08 - dec 09)
    - pictures:  1,241 @ .09 each (WalMart price) = $111.69
      not including tax - yeah that's already more than my blog book cost
    - scrapbook:   4 albums with 40 pages + page protectors = $380.50
      a Creative Memories album can hold 40 pages... let's say we fit 8 pictures on a page... it
      would take 4 albums to hold 1,241 pictures
    paper/stickers/glue:  we're going to estimate low here and say $50 per album for a total of $200

  • Results:

    Blog to book = $84
    Scrapbook = $692.19
Can we talk about SAVINGS here people?!!

Feb 15, 2010

rbt Bags Back to Basics Collection

For those of you who don't really dig flowers (no pun intended), we are sympathetic.  Oilcloth is designed and produced in Mexico; from start to finish, this product was meant to reflect the warmth and excitement of the authentic Mexican culture, as well as to honor its Spanish traditions.  Translated: it's hard to find an oilcloth pattern that doesn't have bright, bold flowery patterns on it somewhere!  However, we don't want to exclude you non-flower lovers any longer, so we searched the depths of the oilcloth archives and came up with this, our Back to Basics Collection.

We are slowly making all of our products available in this combination of red and black polka dot, gingham and plaid patterns.  We really like the subtlety of these designs and colors; it has all of the best of what oilcloth has to offer in terms of form and function, but without all the frills.  Even flower-phobic husbands might be willing to hold these bags while you're in the bathroom!  Check out our Etsy store for products now available in our Back to Basics Collection and keep checking back as we add more.


Feb 9, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Story behind this soup...

Shortly before we moved to Tennessee I researched homes and home builders.  One of the home builders sent us a packet of information and must have saved our e-mail address.  It has been a year and a half and I have NEVER gotten an e-mail from them.  Well a few weeks ago I got an e-mail from them and the memo said "Hearty Buffalo Chicken Soup."  Yeah, some lady at the home building company e-mailed all of their contacts a recipe.  Weird!

But it did sound kind of good so tonight we tried it and oooooh yum!   I am a huge fan of soup and I love buffalo chicken anything.  Plus this was super easy because I had a pound of cooked shredded chicken in my fridge.

Hearty Buffalo Chicken Soup

  • 1 pound of shredded chicken (I used chicken breasts, cut them up, cooked them in olive oil, then put them in the food processor)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (we don't like celery so I used the same amount of chopped scallions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 28 oz reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp bottled hot pepper sauce (yeah, I had never used this before, it is by the condiments and is a little bottle of greenish peppers in vinegar)
  • 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • hot sauce (if desired)
Melt butter in large pot.  Add celery and onion; cook and stir until onion is tender.  Stir in broth, milk, and 1 tsp of hot pepper sauce.

In bowl toss together mozzarella, blue cheese, Parmesan, and flour.  Add gradually to soup, stirring after each  addition just until melted.  Stir in the shredded chicken.  Heat through.  You can reserve some cheese and chicken for a topper if you want.

I added hot sauce (Texas Pete) to mine because I like it really spicy.

rbt Bags Oilcloth Binder Covers

There are many great uses for the rbt Bags oilcloth binder covers, but this one takes the cake!  Check out The Family Franchise: The Manual.

Thanks to The Modern Hive for your excellent ideas!


Feb 4, 2010


So rbtbags just started a Facebook page.  Trying to get 200 fans by Valentine's Day.  Get 200 fans by Valentine's Day and there will be a giveaway.  Yay for free stuff!

Become a fan here.

Chicken with Smashed Potatoes, Potpie Style

I can't believe I haven't posted this before!  This is our favorite potpie.  It really isn't a pot pie at all but it is sooo good.

Chicken with Smashed Potatoes, Potpie Style


1 ½ pounds baby red potatoes, cut in quarters
1 tbsp butter
¼ cup cream
Salt & pepper

Place potatoes in large pot with water to cover. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 12 minutes. Drain potatoes then mash with butter, cream, salt and pepper.

Chicken & Sauce:

1 tbsp canola oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into slivers, chunks, or 6 thin breasts (I do chunks)
Combine: 4 tsp salt, 4 tsp pepper, 4 tsp rotisserie chicken seasoning (or whatever chicken seasoning you like), 2 tsp parsley (I always have to make more)
1 ½ cups carrots cut into matchstick strips
1 can peas, drained (if desired)
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup heavy cream
½ tsp dried tarragon
2 tsp chicken boullion granules
6 scallions finely chopped

While potatoes are cooking, in nonstick skillet heat oil over medium heat until very hot. Combine salt, pepper, chicken seasoning, and parsley and rub mixture into chicken breasts or toss chicken pieces in mixture. Add chicken to skillet and cook until lightly browned. Transfer to oven to keep warm.

In same skillet, add carrots, peas, broth, cream, tarragon, and boullion. Cook on medium heat for 6 minutes or until carrots are cooked. Add scallions and cook 4 more minutes. Before serving add chicken to sauce and stir to coat chicken in serve. Serve with chicken and sauce over potatoes

Feb 2, 2010

Oilcloth Three-in-One Makeup Bag

It's a makeup bag.  It's a lunch bag.  It's a handbag.  It's adorable.
Introducing our new rbt Bags oilcloth three-in-one makeup bag.  It is as cute as it is functional and we think that you'll have no trouble finding a use for it!  Available in two color options for $25.