Monday, February 23, 2015

Birthdays & Valentines

We found this tiny fur hat at Target and decided it was so cute and funny we had to get it.  
It was on clearance!  

It looked beyond cute on both of our sweet kitties and we tortured them with it for a few minutes while they were trying to nap in the sun puddle.

 hehe, yep

I still read magazines.  Do you ?  
I like Martha Stewart Living, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, Fine Gardening & Carolina Gardener to name a few.  I borrow them from my library.  
The new March issue of Country Living magazine has a gorgeous article entitled, The Thrill of the Hunt, about collecting Jadite.  
I've been an avid collector of these beautiful dishes & glassware for many, many years.  After seeing this article I'm inspired to gather up all my the pieces in my collection and arrange it in a similarly cute display.
Seriously, how cute is that?

 Emily & I decided to spend Friday the 13th at the mall.  
We did some window shopping, got some Starbucks and met our girlfriends for a lovely Gal-entines dinner at Ruby Tuesday and more shopping afterwards. 

The Godiva chocolate store was packed!  
I contented myself with only a photo of the cute heart shaped candy boxes. Sigh.

Emily used one of my Free Rewards and ordered a venti white chocolate mocha with raspberry syrup. Doesn't that look amazing?  Mine was a iced coffee with sugar free vanilla.

I enjoyed a tasty Valentine's Day breakfast together with my girls & Steve at a restaurant they came across called Breakfast Anytime. Doesn't Emily's order of Eggs Benedict look scrumptious?  That girl knows how to eat!  My veggie omelet & hash browns were super with enough leftover for dinner.  Afterwards we did some thrifting.  It was a perfect way to spend a Saturday.

My thrifty finds:

I absolutely love treasure hunting in thrift shops, consignment stores and Goodwill.  Lately, I've been finding some remarkable things.  A few places I frequent sell hardcover books for .99 cents while other places are $1.99 so I love to pop in and see if there's anything cute that catches my eye.

Then I got the notion to take the dust covers off some books and create this rainbow shelf.  I had seen this organization technique on social media and thought it was very pleasing to eye.  I like to do something similar with my sock drawer and my wardrobe although I do tend to wear a lot of black.

I found this beautiful french book and on another shelf close by this nifty box of frenchy flash cards.  The little pink cat is a lipgloss I saw at Forever 21 during our Gal-entine excursion to the mall and had to have it.  Too cute!

I found the peach Fire-King baking dish and that box at the same store.  As soon as I laid my eyes on them I scooped them up immediately and peeked at the price tag knowing I just had to have them.  It was only .99 cents for the box of cookie cutters and either $2 or $3 for the dish.  I just love the graphics on the box of Halloween themed cookie cutters.  I can't wait to use them both in my Halloween displays this year. 
I should've taken another photo of them inside the box because they are cute but just have the tiniest bit of rust starting in the corners.  I think I will have to give them a good soak & a scrub to get that rust off of there before I use them.  Hopefully, the rust will come right off.  
Let me know if you have any advice on scrubbing off rust, ok?

Made a Starbucks‬  run after a fasting blood draw one morning at the Doctors. 
I couldn't help embellishing those darling hearts on the side of the special Valentines cup with my cute minty Sharpie and pink marker.  Pink and mint look so wonderful together, don't you think?

Recently, we celebrated with a Birthday Breakfast for my daughter Sarah.  I put up a few decorations and made some yummy food in her honor.

I think these fruit cups turned out so cute.  I wanted to make Sarah's fruit cup look extra special so i topped it with the adorable ballerina vintage cake topper.  I love the look of fresh fruit!

Read more about it on my other blog Make it special party planning 

I Just started reading:

I put in a request for Stephen King's latest book at my library and I've been waiting patiently for the hold to come through and at last it was my turn.

Currently eating/ Loving:

My fruity mix!
I fill my blender with all kinds of yummy fruit, some frozen some not.  This batch had blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, banana, mango, pineapple and I had a kiwi, starfruit & pear leftover that were ripening.
Then I add chia seeds, kale, fill with coconut water and blitz !
I pour off into these small plastic containers and freeze them.  Then I eat/drink one almost every day for breakfast.  Taste great and they've got all that fiber.

Lately, I have been feeling sad because my camera has not been working very well at all.  I couldn't figure out what had changed, why the photos were so blurry.
Was it my failing eyesight?  I really need to go to the eye doctor and get my prescription updated.
I even was using a tripod and still there was not the sharpness and clarity I wanted to see.
So disappointing.
Maybe my daughter, Sarah's lovely photos had spoiled me?
Then it finally dawned on me as I was cleaning my eyeglasses and sure enough the lens was dirty with what looked like water spots!  Did I use the camera months ago in the rain for crying out loud?  Hopefully I can wipe the lens clean with a special cloth and go back to taking some special photos.  It won't be long before spring comes bringing life back into my garden.

And with that I leave you.  Hope you are having a sunny day.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Highlights of my Week

Here's what I've been up to.

I dug out all our valentine relics and did some decorating.  I haven't done that in a few years but this year I was excited to see all these old gifts, some vintage and some newer.  
Pictured above is a tattered vintage candy heart that made a nifty gift from my sweetheart so many years, as well as the year it was made, filled with chocolates and given to another lady.  
I just love it!   Isn't it  unusual? 
I'll be posting more about the decorating details on my other blog,

What I've been watching:

I may be a little obsessed with this melancholy tv show set in Sweden. I saw a few episodes on PBS a few years ago and thought it was riveting.  I've loved detective mysteries ever since Scooby Doo and Agatha Christi's Hercule Poirot and I've been a fan of Kenneth Branagh for years now starting back when I saw him portray Roman in the 1990's mystery thriller, Dead Again with Emma Thompson.  And everybody has seen him in Harry Potter as Gilderoy Lockhart.  Anyway, the first 3 seasons of Wallander have been on Netflix so I've been binge watching them.  I hope the 4th seasons airs on PBS or Netflix soon or I may need to figure out how to watch it on my laptop.

Here's what I'm Loving:

Currently Listening to:

I first heard this song on TV at the very beginning of the first episode of
my new fav show,  Agent Carter 
and instantly LOVED it! 
I googled it and discovered LOADS of fantastic videos by Caro Emerald. I think I'm obsessed with their sound, very big band swing with a dash of tango sultry.  There's so many songs on you tube and every song is dynamite!

My Thrifty Finds:

One of my Favorite finds lately {who am I kidding?  They're all my favorites!!} has been this adorable gem of a book about mushrooms.  The drawings are so cool. I dream about the day when I can take long walks in the woods, maybe bring this book along so I can identify any mushrooms or toadstools I see.

Another great find was this pocket astronomy book that was only like .60 cents at Goodwill because it's a paperback. I probably would've picked it up for that reason alone but then I opened it up and flipped through the pages and came across this wonderful diagram. I Love looking up at the stars at night, especially in the winter when there are so many clear nights and the constellation Orion is easily visible. To me, Orion's belt has always been the easiest part of a constellation to spot with those 3 beautiful bright stars so close together in a line.  When I take the dog out to do her business at night I look up in the sky facing south and this diagram is what I see!  I never knew that the north star, Sirius, is located diagonally off Orion's belt.  Or if I did I forgot!  The North star is another easy to spot, bright star that I've been wondering what it was.

My eyes just about bugged out of my head when I saw these 3 Nancy Drew books on the shelf at Goodwill.  They're children's books so they only cost .60 cents too!  I've been collecting them for about 5 years now, ever since my hubby surprised me with a few of them as a gift.  I read them all as a kid.

What I've been thinking:

I'll leave you with something funny:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Highlights of my Week

Thrifty Finds:

I'm excited to share some of great bargains I've found lately while scouring the favorite secondhand shops.  I found this collections of Hitchcock books for sale at the library for $1 each, so I scooped them all up!  The green pot was at Goodwill filled with caked on dirt but I knew it would clean up easily.  I think it was $1, also.  I'll use it as to hold my ever growing washi tape collection. 
Don't you LOVE a bargain?

I discovered this lot of goodies at my favorite Goodwill that just happens to be 5 minutes from my house.  The silverplate tray and milk glass vase were in pristine condition and only $2. The china tea cups, pink glass & white Fiestaware teacups were all .25 cents as were the saucers.  Another Goodwill I go to sometimes charges much more and rarely has anything as cool.

And last but not least is the Pyrex 043 size casserole I got from Megathrift for $5.  Pyrex is really a hot collectible besides being useful and durable for baking yummy treats for everybody.  At first glance I thought it was the spring green color just really dingy with lots of those weird black silverware marks that come from putting them in the dishwasher but I've had success scrubbing those marks away with Magic Eraser.  Unfortunately, this poor little casserole had all the clear coat finish worn away, as well as some of the Olive paint so it felt rough to the touch not smooth.  I used it anyway to transport some of my homemade mac & cheese as a surprise dinner for my daughter and her husband.  I really Love the 043 and 045 sizes and snatch them up whenever I see them.  So I learned a lesson to feel for the finish.

Here's what I'm Loving:
I think the candy boxes that Godiva does each year are really beautiful and it's my very favorite chocolate.  I've saved the pretty holiday candy boxes for years and years.  I dug out all my heart shaped candy boxes and vintage valentine decorations and started decorating the house.  I'll be posting photos about that soon.

How cute is that?
 and useful!

What I've been cooking:

It's been so cold and wintery lately that I've been making lots of stews and soups.  This particular batch was some chicken stew that is so very easy to make using a bag of frozen veg. mix that I usually have stocked in my freezer.

Easy Chicken Stew

1 bag of frozen veg. mix - I like the mix that has peas, corn, green beans and little cubes of carrot
1 c. frozen chopped onion
3 stalks celery, chopped up
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 2 fresh cloves
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. Italian herb mix
1 c. or more of cooked chopped chicken
1 16 oz. carton of chicken broth

salt & pepper to taste, perhaps some cayenne, especially if your throat is sore or you have the sniffles.

Saute first four ingredients on medium low heat with a splash of olive oil for about 15-20 mins until softened.
{You could also chop up potatoes or any other veg you wish.  Just be sure they get totally cooked.} Sprinkle flour onto cooked veg and stir well so everything wads up and just starts to brown.
Slowly pour in the chicken broth about 1/3 c. at a time stirring well in between so everything is incorporated.
Add chicken and let it come to a boil slowly.
Simmer on low for at least 15 mins.  Take a taste test to be sure the seasonings are spot on and all veg is cooked soft, no crunchiness.
Serve with biscuits for the best meal!

* If you only have raw chicken on hand you can boil it in your soup pot first using the carton broth to cover. Once your chicken is fully cooked let it cool on a plate in the fridge for at least and hour then chop it up.  Pour off the broth into a large pyrex bowl or 4 c. measuring cup and set aside. Now you can start at the beginning of the recipe.

I'm obsessed with:

Washi Tape!
I've been on a washi tape hunt of late looking for it everywhere I go.  And not just in craft stores, mind you, even Dollar Tree sells washi tape and it costs only a dollar a roll there. There's so many lovely washi and I WANT it all!

What I've been Reading:


I've been going through a reading dry spell lately but I saw this on the 'New Books' shelf at the library and grabbed it.  I've read all her books and I do enjoy a good mystery.

What I've been watching:

Downton Abbey is my most favorite show on tv lately.  It airs Sundays, 9pm on PBS.  It's such a well done show!  It's got superb acting, exciting drama, amazing costumes, and such lush sets.

Did you notice Lady Rosamund's terrific hat during episode 5 of season 5?!
Always a pleasure to watch but  I always feel disappointed when the show comes to an end each week because it's so good I just want to keep watching!

Another show we've been enjoying is Agent Carter.  Have you seen it?

The series just started in January and airs Tuesdays, 9pm.  I'm a Marvel geek, love all the stories, tv shows and movies.  This one is very good, interesting story lines, set in the 1940's so I'm LOVING the costumes, hair, makeup and music.  I just adore that era.

I'm really Loving this image:

imagine a warm summer night, perfect

I'll leave you with this nice quote:

enough said, eh?

Hope your week was a good one!