A patched together lifestyle of thrift and charm...

Mar 29, 2013

Easter Candy Box Nest...

Easter is soon upon us.  As a special treat again this year - 
I decided to make some peanut butter eggs.  Eggs symbolize new life 
do they not?  And that is the message of Easter - new life in Jesus! 
 In the egg making process here... I used a 
peanut butter taste than what I've used in the past.
  (I still haven't tasted them - but they look good!)
  Since the chocolate coating ended up being enough for 2 batches...
(tip - this year I used a skewer to jab the eggs for dipping into the chocolate - it worked nicely!)
 ...I was happy to give some away.   But what to give them in?  
I had no cute basket on hand.  This is a lid to a greeting card box. 
 I simply covered it with some pretty wrapping paper...
...shredded some tissue paper and created a 'nest' for my eggs.  
I think my neighbor friends were happy recipients.

Mar 27, 2013

Vignette Time and Finding Money...

Every week I create at least five vignettes on top of kiosks and 
dress racks at my local thrift shop.  Here are some of today's 
creations with merchandise 'for sale' in the shop..
 I always start with one interesting piece and go from there.  
Color is key to pulling a grouping together.

 I was working with the patchwork pillow for this one... 
sorry about the odd angle of the photo (was running out of time at this point!)
 Sweet hand stitched motto...
 And now a bit of teaching on frugality.  Do you believe you 
need to make more money to have more money?  I beg to differ.  
Instead... I (and My Love) have lived our lives always well within 
whatever our current means has been.  We've lived on 1 income for 
many, many years.  Money is made and lost more in the 'small' 
stuff than in the 'big stuff'.  
Buy your clothes and housewares at thrift shops for example - 
and be content with that!  (You CAN get great stuff!) 
Today I'm sharing this wonderful post from The Frugal Farm Wife.
It features 9 easily doable tips - including hanging up your laundry - 
all year long! (I've done this my whole life.)

So think about what you can make from scratch, do without, find or buy 
differently and watch your savings grow and your debt disappear.

Mar 23, 2013

A Pinterest Recipe Review...

I'm on a quest to actually make the recipes I'm 'pinning'.  
Same with all the project ideas and tips on my Pinterest boards.   
Tonight I made these super easy 3 ingredient cookies.

They're just mashed bananas, GF or reg. quick oats & chocolate chips.  
My thoughts?  Well - they were quick to make for sure.  
Recipe made about 15 cookies.  Taste?  Not bad...
 and they're mostly a guilt free cookie.

Here's the original pin from this site...

Not sure if I consider this a 'keeper' recipe or not. 
 Try them and let me know what you think.

Mar 22, 2013

Using What's Laying Around & Birthday Roses...

Yesterday was my birthday.  (I apparently have entered middle age realm - 
eeks!! - how did that happen?).  I received a lovely bouquet of
 pink roses and decided to play with them a bit.

 All these items were just randomly nearby - so I
 kinda used what was within easy reach...
 The 25 cent scarf I wore here - but now it will serve as a table runner.
 My trencher (as I'm seeing them called) or faux wooden dough bowl 
cost me $5 recently from a going out of business shop.  
I filled it will some 'silver' fruit I picked up (also recently - $2.50 ea),
  faux geraniums (used here)...
 ...divided the roses into 3 aqua Mason jars - 1 quart and 2 pint sized - 
and I think it's  just fine.  A nice Spring centerpiece!

Mar 18, 2013

Menu & Modest Monday...

Ok - 2 topics today -which to do first?  
Spring may be appearing this week - but it was unseasonably cold here today. 
(Not to mention we're the midst of our only major snowstorm this year as I type! - go figure...)

I headed out for groceries and this happened to be what I was wearing.  
Several people commented on my outfit... (why?)
 Maybe it was the 25 cent scarf I tied on just before I left the house...

 One lady - approached me and said I looked so cute.  (Made my day!!)  
She'd like to wear skirts more and didn't know how to do that 
and be warm in the winter.  It was an 'aha' moment for her when she 
noticed my boots. (I recommend  knee-hi sock or tights & leggings or slip too!) 
 Femininity and modesty is a year round thing for this gal.
Sweater - Thrifted
Skirt - Thrifted
Coat - Thrifted
Mittens - ?
Scarf - Thrifted
Boots - New (somewhere - can't remember) but On Sale!

(Pardon my weird stance and expression - tried using the self-timer and had no idea 
when it was going off or if it was focusing.  In other words - I didn't know what I was doing!)

Now for the Menu part of this post... 
my No Tahini Homemade Hummus...

 This has been my go-to snack for my current no meat, oils, 
eggs or dairy diet.  (I'm starting to wean off a bit for weekends and eating out.)

Hummus - Joyce's Version

1 can Chick Peas, drained except for
2 T. Juice from can
1 T. Lemon Juice
1 - 2 T. Minced Garlic
1 t. Minced or Chopped Onion
1/8 c. Chopped Green Peppers
Sev. Dashes Paprika

Puree chick peas in food processor or blender w/ liquids (blender isn't the easiest - have to do in tiny amounts at a time.)  Add remaining ingredients to taste.  All measurements very approximate - I really just 'dump'.  Have a guilt free feast w/ celery (other veggies work too!)

Linking to Modest Monday

Mar 15, 2013

Easy & Pretty Dessert...

Last evening for guests I served what I think is the
 easiest dessert ever - and it looks and tastes great!
To make - mix yogurt of your choice (I used blueberry Greek yogurt)
 with some whipped topping.  I placed this into a
 sandwich bag - and clipped the corner...
Mix fresh fruit (I used blueberries, strawberries, and apples).
Layer fruit mixture and yogurt mixture (piping it from the bag) 
alternately into parfait glasses.  Using the bag helps
 keep your glasses neater as you fill them!  
Garnish with additional whipped topping and 'wa la'...
...a simple Fruit Parfait Dessert!

Mar 14, 2013

Simple Spring Centerpiece...

Company's coming tonight!  

I looked around for something - anything springy and
  found these silk geraniums on my back porch. 
(You guessed it - never put away from last year!)  I plopped them into some aqua 
Mason jars and added water (gives the illusion that they're real).
I have to have candles - so a few small votives and tea lights will work.  
The jars are wrapped with twine and that's it...
We're having chili (stains expected!) -  so....   
It's paper napkins and this $2 tablecloth I picked up
 years ago from a restaurant (they were updating).
I don't have appropriate chargers or placemats - so 
a piece of sheet music will do the trick.
 Pulled out my trusty yard sale tulip plates that never
 sold in my booth - and I'm calling it 'good enough'.
My Menu 
(which includes enough items to accommodate my diet needs at the moment)
Corn Muffins - Butter and Raspberry/Rhubarb Jelly
Vegetarian Chili (crockpot!)
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans w/ Almonds
Tossed Salad (French dressing for them - Honey, Mustard & Lemon Juice for me)
Assorted Homemade Cookies (pulled from my freezer)
Fruit Parfaits (just fruit for me)

Mar 11, 2013

Menu Monday - Tortilla Pie...

Ever do something everyone else thought was crazy because you 
just felt it was the right thing for you to do?  
A few weeks ago I put myself on this diet.  
It is a plant based diet of no meat, no dairy, no eggs and no added oils.   
It's not the easiest diet (especially since I eat gluten free too!) - but
 I'm finding some good recipes.  Tonight's supper? 

Tortilla Pie!
 (shoulda taken these photos earlier in the process - but just trust me - it is good!!)

This dish is like eating hot nachos and will warm you all the way to your toes.

I made half of the recipe and it was about 4 servings.
5-6 medium no oil corn tortillas
2-3 15 oz. cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 16 oz. jars salsa
1 16 oz. pkg. frozen corn (I used canned)
1 c. chopped onion (I used less)
1 c. peppers chopped (I used less)
1 c. tomatoes chopped (I used diced canned tomatoes)

Line bottom of large baking dish w/ half of tortillas.  (tear as needed).  Spread beans over tortillas.  Then add half of salsa, all of the corn, onions, peppers, tomatos and remaining salsa.  Top w/ remaining tortillasBake at 350 degrees for 60 min.  OR - I did mine in the crockpot on Low for 4 hours.

I've been on this diet about 4 weeks - and can definitely 
say I'm starting to feel better.  I'm not sure how long or how strict 
I will keep to this diet - but  am so thankful to have found it!

Mar 8, 2013

Old Tire Water Garden...

Found this on facebook by Creative Design & Azerbaijan 
and wanted to 'pin' it - so am doing a quick post of it...
 The 'how to' is in pictures only.  Neat huh?
I'm thinking we can all do a water garden in our backyard now!

I think this is one of those DIY's that is trying to look like the main picture - but is not 
actually how the main picture was done.  There are some differences between
 picture #6 and the 'main' picture - but it gives a good idea of how to get there.
  I'm thinking a child's swimming pool could be used too.

Mar 5, 2013

Our Farm B&B Stay...

While on our little excursion to Savannah - we stayed on a lovely 
old plantation property called Dunham Farms.   
For all the details of this gorgeous estate -  best to visit their website.  
But let me just say - it was a wondrous and huge paradise.

We stayed - literally - in the barn that was built in the 1930's 
and transformed to a B&B in more recent years.
 This salt water river and all the varied birds that came to visit was our 
view every day - just a stone's throw from the front door.

taken by My Love
 Clementine - the resident miniature mule (yeah - I thought she was a donkey too...)  
and Cruise, the horse - were nearby.  Too cute!

taken by My Love
  Some of my favorite breakfast offerings included these 
strawberries and cream (an appetizer one morning)...
...and these gingerbread pancakes.  The owner made them gluten free for us 
and actually enjoyed the challenge of a special diet to cook for.  Wow!!!

Interesting side note - see those lovely plates?  See the reticulated edges (holes?)... Yeah?  Well, we didn't...  Guess where the pancake syrup went!  But our hostess was most gracious about our 'mess'.

 We were the only guests during our stay - so we had the whole barn to ourselves.  
This was the breakfast room and also where we helped ourselves to tea and coffee throughout the day or night.
 And this was the main gathering room right inside the front door.  
All decor was done in country estate flavor.
 Since we were the only guests (we were just ahead of the crazy busy season)
our hosts upgraded our room for us - no charge!  
Our king size bed was fluffed with eight - yep - 8 pillows!
I was amused that My Love fixed them every morning 
before the innkeeper showed up.
Pillow fix job by My Love!

The flowers were just beginning to bloom.   
There are camellia gardens and more everywhere!
photo taken by - you guessed it - I'm glad I know him!

We received a free tour of this original plantation house on the property.  
 The wealth of history and information our hosts shared was unreal.  
We tried to keep up - but boy - they knew their stuff!

The Spanish moss is of course a southern novelty for a northerner like myself.  
We caught it living quite happily on a holly tree

 But I think I prefer it on the grand and majestic oak trees.
taken by My Love
Thank you Meredith and Laura - our stay was perfect!

Mar 4, 2013

Savannah Glory...

Ahhh - Savannah!  Here are just a few pictures 
from our visit last week. 
I'll let the photos do the talking and will share a bit
 about the farm B&B where we stayed in another post. 

Of course - the buildings and architecture were amazing...

Savannah has 20 park-like traffic circles...

 ...with local musicians out doing their thing...
The waterfront - or River Street - was amazing...

 (I was being naughty - My Love was very opposed to me feeding the seagulls!)

I'm thinking I might have borrowed the feet idea from my daughter...

The pralines sold in this candy shop...there are no words - they were that good!  (My Love of course...)
And just a few teaser shots of where we stayed for 3 nights...
 ...oh the trees!!!


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