A patched together lifestyle of thrift and charm...

Aug 17, 2017

Chicken Tortilla Soup - Thrifty Thursday...

Here's a simple recipe that is even simpler if you have leftover
 cooked chicken.   In my case I had 3 leftover skinless boneless
 thighs that I had baked the night before w/ salsa and seasonings on top.

They became all the chicken that I used in this recipe.
(Told you it was thrifty!)  
  Basically - I cut up the chicken and added the rest of the
 ingredients & threw in the crockpot.  Then cooked on High a few hours.
(In other words - I didn't do half of these steps...)

My love had cheese on his - I didn't.  De-lish either way!  
And with these amazing chips from the discount store... 

...and a tossed salad (not shown) - twas a very thrifty meal.
Hope you like it!   ~Joyce

Aug 16, 2017

Vintage Cottage Scene Prints...

Is cottage style still well - in style?  Probably not like it once was.  
But I'm still drawn to it.   And today I realized I have several
 thatched cottage scene pictures in the shop that are 
authentically vintage.  Just look how sweet...

And the pressed wood frame on this one is gorgeous... 
not to mention who wouldn't want the cobblestone path?

Do you like cottage scenes?  Do they warm your heart?   
They do mine!  ~Joyce

(Click the colored words above each picture to purchase.)

Aug 8, 2017


Haven't shared my thrift shop displays with you for a while.  
So here are some from today...

First up - this would be an ice bucket turned 'planter'.. 

I only do one men's rack display...

This display has been the same for several weeks so I'll need to change it soon.  
It sits on a tall dress rack and things don't sell well off of it.
(Helps to keep me humble!)

This one is very simple and started with the book.

Pitchers - looking pretty all in a group!

And lastly... this display is in honor of a dear volunteer that died
 unexpectedly Sunday night.  She priced our hats, hankies and scarves.  

 I think she would have approved as she always encouraged me
 when I worked on displays.  I will miss you Doris!   ~Joyce

Aug 5, 2017

My Saturday Sighting Becomes A Milestone Moment...

Out and about at yet more yard sales this AM - I spotted this...

I hurried past thinking I'll get some of that 25 cents-an-ear
 corn on my way back... just enough for lunch.

Upon stopping I noticed the sign said 25 cents a dozen!  What?
A quick chat with the owner & I soon learned there was nothing amiss.  
She was simply well supplied and wanted someone else to benefit
 from her 'leftovers'.  Oh my!  Now anyone else who has no corn in
 their freezer would have surely taken most all that was there at this price.  
But you see - at 53 years old - I have never 'done up' corn by myself.  

My story in brief... 
I have a rare neuro arm disease that started when I was 16. 
There have been many things over the years that I haven't and
couldn't do.   Definitely not corn.  We have simply done without
 except what people have given us at times.  But my arms have improved 
in the last while and today I found myself wondering if I might now 
be well enough to give corn a whirl.  My Love assured he'd help if needed.
So I got a few dozen and we husked, cooked, cooled...


and the hard part for me... cut corn.  About 3 1/2 dozen.

Let's just say I cried some happy tears today. I did corn!  
And I did it all myself - except for help with husking.

 Granted - I didn't do a lot... but enough that now if I want to make
  baked corn - I'll actually have something to make it with.  
Cause we all know - baked corn with store bought corn just isn't the same.  

I'm just a little giddy and think I smiled through the whole process.
  I've been offering prayers of thanksgiving for sure.
Thanks for rejoicing with me!  ~Joyce

Aug 4, 2017

My Pretty Friday Finds Include a Soap Haul...

Sometimes you just run across an amazing find.   
Such was the case at my first yard sale stop today.

See all that soap?  For whatever reason - it was $2 for all 
and included these fancy bars...

The cookie cutters were super cheap at another sale 
as was the flannel pink roses blanket.

I was also smitten with a whole pile of Dawn dolls and outfits...

And treated myself to a lacy yellow maxi skirt for $2

The plaid camp blanket is from a previous week 
that I never got around to showing you.

I find that finding 'finds' is one of life's greatest things. :) 

Happy Friday Every one! ~Joyce

Aug 3, 2017

How to Use a Cookbook for Budget Meals - Thrifty Thursday...

Thrifty cooking and meal planning begins at the grocery store.  
I've shared about that in this post.

Today I'm sharing an easy way to do that planning...  
its all about the style of cookbooks you use.

Now of course - you can do Pinterest and web searches for what I'm 
about to show you.   But I've discovered that those searches alone 
cause me to miss out on a lot of recipes.  And... I need less screen time.

So... Are you familiar with the Taste of Home or Quick Cooking magazines?  
Then you're probably also aware that every year they make a
 hardback compilation book of recipes.  These sell new for about $25.  
BUT... they are plentiful at thrift shops and yard sales for $2 & under.  
Just pick some up when you see them.  I have several.

In the back of the book - you can search by main ingredient -
such as 'sausage'.    Here's what I did for planning tonight's supper...

I started with a search in the back of a book for 'sausage' - 
as that is a bargain meat that I have on hand right now.

I was looking for a main dish - and found several that will work
 with the sausage and ingredients I have.

I happen to also have a pack of turkey bacon open - 
so I zeroed in on
 'Zesty Sausage and Beans' (or a version thereof).

And here's a link for the recipe online (now that I know the name).

Done!  I find this planning method to be quick & simple.
I did it last night in my 'quiet time' before bed without a 'screen'.

  Love it when a meal comes together!  Of course there are other
 cookbooks that offer similar elements.  But these are readily
 available for cheap and I love the pretty pictures.  

Now I'm off to get my thrifty supper in the crock pot!  ~Joyce

Jul 27, 2017

No Shampoo? A Thrifty Thursday Post...

My hair has its challenges.  Most recently... I'm just trying to keep it!   
I've been thinking that the parabens in regular shampoos are not 
doing me any favors.  And hypoallergenic or natural shampoo is
 pricier than I'd like.  So I've searched for recipes to make my own
 and have come across the 'no shampoo' method of washing hair.

Essentially it's just baking soda & water for the 'shampoo' 
and apple cider vinegar and water to rinse.  Here's what you do...

Measure 2 T baking soda into a pint jar and fill with water.  Shake.

Pour it over your wet head and 'shampoo' like normal.  Rinse out.  

Put 2 T apple cider vinegar into same jar and fill with water.  
Pour over head as a 'conditioner' and then rinse out again.

That's it!  
(2 T : 2 C water for long hair - or 1 T :1 C water for short hair)

My hair was easy to comb out and is quite silky today (my first day using this). 
I'll try to keep you posted on how it like it over time.

I figure it can't hurt.  And it sure is affordable! 
And I'll be really excited if my hair loss lessens. 
And in case you're wondering - I do not smell like vinegar! :)

Here's to accepting the changes that the years bring...
and growing with them.  ~Joyce

Jul 20, 2017

Grow Your Own Fruit - Thrifty Thursday...

Fruit can get pricey... but you can grow your own for cheap!  
And oh the delights you can make...

An easy fruit to grow is rhubarb...

Simply cut off the leaves when the stalks are red and ready...wash...

and cut or chop or cook or whatever your recipe calls for.

It's easy to freeze - just throw it in the containers and label!

I made My Love some rhubarb muffins and he's loving them.
(He's not one to often comment on baked goods.)

Of course you can also easily grow raspberries. Blueberries and
 fruit trees too - but may take a little more work.  
For now - we're enjoying our rhubarb.

Want to try the muffins?

Sugared Rhubarb Muffins

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar - (can use less!)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/3 c. canola oil
1 c. chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

Combine all ingredients except rhubarb just until moistened.  Fold in rhubarb.  Sprinkle w/ an additional 1/4 c. sugar (spread out among the muffins).  Bake @ 350 for 25-30 min.

Jul 17, 2017

100 Miles of Rural America, Wildlife and Yard Sales...

What a delightful weekend... the perfect mix for My Love and I. 
  Pennsylvania hosted their annual 100 mile yard sale over 2 days -
 traversing remote roads and villages with lots of wildlife sightings in between.   
This picture says it all - see those mountains?  They were a constant!  
See that yard sale - also a constant!   
(And this house has plans to be turned into a bed & breakfast
 within the next 6 months - yippee!) 

We were adventurous and took 'big bad black dog' along. 
She did great while we were 'on the road'... not so great at the campsite.  
(She doesn't 'play well with others' - just not a nice 'people' dog.)
  But we survived as campsite time was minimal this go-round.

The mountain regions in PA are just beautiful...

...with lots and lots of cabins and camps...

We supported the local firehouses along the way for lunch and snacks...

And were honored to get to some great properties...

 My love had the time of his life shooting wildlife.  
Can't wait to see his pics!  Can you tell what he's shooting here?

Did I mention the small, small villages?

And sweet mountain churches?

This is some of the goods - mostly smalls - that came home with us. 
That flower (dianthus) is real and I had been wanting one- so happy!

So was it worth the trip?  A thousand times yes!  Perhaps not in
 miles vs. goods.  But in sightings and experiences - many times over!  
For more pictures - visit my Quilted Nest Facebook page 
(and follow me - you'll make my day!)  ~Joyce


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