Monday, August 31, 2015

If You Give a Dieter a Cookie

I have been counting calories...which mean every pin I see on Pinterest is something that a single bite would deplete my entire calorie allowance for the day.  I finally decided I deserved a break so I made cookies.  I had seen this recipe for Blueberry White Chocolate Brown Butter cookies at Keep It Sweet Desserts.

Not being a fan of blueberries, I decided white chocolate would go great with strawberries.  I followed her recipe exactly with the exception of adding diced strawberries.  I am not going to repeat her recipe.  Visit her blog to find it.  She has lots of other diet busting treats to drool over.  Here is my version.

A word about browning butter.  I had never browned butter before.  It takes a while and it requires you to stand over the stove stirring constantly.  I have to admit I am quite lazy in the kitchen.  The whole time I was thinking, "There better be a huge difference in taste to make up for this mindless tedium."  You will be glad to know there is quite a difference in taste.  Would I do it again?  Maybe....but truth be told...a cookie is a cookie and when you want one, just about any will do.

The jadeite cup and saucer are ones I picked up at a garage sale recently.  (Really when is the last time you saw jadeite at a garage sale!  I will tell you later how I lucked into it.)  The cake plate is can kind of tell the difference in the color and sheen, can't you.  
Now if  I were a true blogger (as opposed to one who posts every six months!)  I would have ironed that vintage runner.  However, life is too short.  It sits on our kitchen table with a bowl of cherries on it.  Before every meal, someone bunches it up and moves it off the table so we can eat.  Therefore it is always wrinkled.  Consider it my commitment to truth in blogging. (Although I rarely eat my cookies off a cute little plate.  Usually I am standing over the counter shoving them in my mouth!)


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Gift with a Cherry on Top

Let's face it...I am a lazy blogger.  You would think with the amount of snow days we had this year, I would have been churning out posts right and left.  Nope.  I have ideas in my head and photos in my camera and even drafts at my blog site....but no posts...until I do something so cute and so easy I just have to share such as this year's administrative assistants' gifts.

I have had this pin pinned on my gifts board forever.  I love the red suckers as cherries so I decided this year's theme would be cherry.

I can't find the source for this.  It is much pinned, but each pin links to a page not found.  
If you know the source, let me know!

At an estate sale, I bought about 30 wooden baskets for $1.00.  There were tucked in a corner in the barn.  (When you go to an estate sale, you have to get out to the sheds and barns....all kinds of treasures lurk in the cobweb filled corners!)  I love their vintage wood look.  I found the gingham washcloths at Gordman's.  (I am kind of on a gingham kick right now.  I own two gingham shirts...which Kellyn says is a bit of leaning a bit too much toward the dreaded teacher clothes.)

If you are going to do a cherry theme gift basket, don't head to the store looking for cherry flavored stuff because it just isn't there.  Apparently raspberry is the flavor of the day.  There is quite a bit of strawberry too, but even though the red fit the bill, I couldn't stray from my cherry theme.  (Kellyn says I take a theme too far.)  I settled for my go-to red candy decor Cherry and addicting.  I divided them among baggies and made a topper using card stock.

As soon as I decided on a cherry theme, I sent off to Michigan for our favorite cherry salsa.  Every summer we vacation in Michigan just so we can bring home jars of the stuff!  I ordered jars from Cherry Republic. If you ever find yourself along the west shores of Michigan, you have to try the stuff...sweet and hot make a powerful combination.

Lucky for me (and my grandchildren) one bag of Dum Dums yielded just enough cherry suckers for four gift baskets.  We had fun trying the mystery suckers.  Buttered popcorn was tolerable, smoked bacon was terrible and pizza was horrific.  My grandson liked them all!

A little hot glue to a homemade card and some green and white bakers twine and I was done.  Even Kellyn thought they were cute and worth obsessing about that cherry theme.

The hard part about giving gifts with a theme is that your recipients come to love them and you don't want to disappoint them.  At least I have a whole year to think of a new theme!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Hoarder's Sale

My cousin told me they were running an estate sale that was over an hour away from where I live.  I started to tune him out when he said these magic words, "It is the home of a hoarder."  Oh my! My very favorite kind of sale is one where you have to dig to find treasures.  I love hoarders because they have the oddest and most unusual things and everyone else is too turned off by the dirt and piles to dig.

As usual, my husband and I headed out on Saturday because that is when my cousin marks everything half off.  The sale was in a small musty lake cottage.  My heart started racing when we walked up and could see boxes, chairs, furniture and all kinds of things spilling out of the garage into the yard and driveway.  When I hit the house, my cousin's wife handed me a box. (Boy does she know me!)  I plopped my husband down on a chair with that box and got to work.  It took two boxes, but we left with this

 How awesome is this little green desk lamp...$2.50 worth of awesomeness?  You bet.  I put it into the box.

 Blue Mason jars are a funny thing.  You can find them at any price from $2 to $5 per jar.  I paid $1 for both of them.  Now they were coated and filled with dirt.  Thrift Chick was sure there was something living in one of them!
 This isn't vintage or antique or anything.  It probably came from the HSN.  I just really liked it and could imagine tulips spilling over the top at Easter time.

 This was the most expensive thing I bought at $10.  I tried to look it up on the internet to see it's history, but couldn't find it.  I knew I should buy it when my husband says, "That's really cool."
 These are melamine measuring cups.  My brother and sister-in-law were at the sale and my SIL looked at me and said "Really?"  Sometimes the kitsch factor overrides anything else.
 Thrift Chick can't understand why I like the opal pyrex.  I think because there is so little of the true opal pieces out there.  This divided dish was sold from 1959 to 1967.  It is almost 50 years old and look how it still glows.  (Well it too was filthy when I picked it up...i knew there was a gem in there.)
 Thrift Chick wanted to sleep in and did not make the trip with us.  It was her birthday so I bought her what she would have bought...a vintage camera and and old book.  She loves books period.  However, she has a thing for books with ornate covers.

 A rusty can, an old scrabble game and a seriously cool fly swatter.  Several people expressed dismay that I had gotten to the fly swatter....that is how you know you got a good deal.

 This is not pyrex.  This is Fire King which is almost as cool.  I seem to be branching out a bit.
 The cookie cutters were in a box and I was digging through them selecting the ones I wanted.  My cousin offered me the whole box for a great while the above are the ones I am keeping....
 ... I have a ton more so if you have a need for cookie cutters, let me know...I have a bunch you can have.

Here is the weirdest purchase of the day.  I paid 50 cents for it.  I was joking about it with my SIL.  We thought we would get it for my other SIL who has a lake cottage as a gag gift.  I threw it in the box.  It is actually a cooler!  When I was leaving, a lady told me she had hoped to come back today and get it.  My kids thought it was the absolute best thing I bought!  It just goes to show you that you never really know what is valuable to someone else.

Literally, it was the most fun I have had in ages.  I can't stop thinking about the other things I wish I would have bought.  In the end, I bought two boxes of treasures and my brother bought a weed whacker and a decoy duck.  Seriously, some people have no imagination!


Monday, October 13, 2014

DIY - Grateful Picture

 I have this thing about pictures in my house having meaning for our family.  There are no random prints on our walls.  Everything has a connection in some way.  So when I saw this great DIY project on Catherine's Creative Corner, I knew it was going to make an appearance on my fall mantle.
She does a great tutorial on this here.  I am not going to repeat it.  Check her post out and then stay awhile.  She has a lot of eye candy you will enjoy.
This is my version.  I am so very pleased with how it came out.  Here is what I did differently.  My frame came from my stash of thrift store frames,  After measuring, I went to my computer and created a document that was 11 by 17 (knowing that I would be cutting the end off to fit the frame.)  Then I selected my font and started typing away all the things I was thankful for.  I cut down a piece of tan construction paper to 11 by 17 and put it in the printer.  I printed it off and then stuck it in the frame.  I used by Silhouette digital cutter to cutout the word grateful.  I used white contact paper.  It is much cheaper than the vinyl sold to go with digital cutters.  I stuck the word to the glass on the front of the picture and there you have it.  
If you don't have a digital cutter, you could easily print out the word and place it under the glass.  Then you could trace over it with glass chalk paint.  Same effect, different method.
 I must say that I am totally in love with my mantle this year.  From the pumpkins we got on our family trip to the pumpkin farm to the masterpiece that reminds me of all that I have, this mantle screams family.

I hope you have blessing in abundance this season.


I am linking up to

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Little Bit of Fall

We love all things fall....beautiful colors, crisp air, celebration after celebration, caramel apples, candy corn, apple pie....I could go on and on.

A few weeks ago I decided that despite our heat wave of mid seventies weather, I needed to give autumn its proper due and haul out my fall stuff.  I think I put if off because my cupboards are bursting at the seams with all my thrifting junk!  An organizing frenzy is long over due!  After several hours of digging through boxes, arranging and rearranging, our house is now "fallified.
 The main seasonal decorating I do is on our mantle.  Stay tuned for a tutorial for the grateful picture.

 I have always loved those bloggers who post Christmas pictures of the rusted toy truck with bottle brush Christmas tree in the back.  I have been on the lookout for such a vintage truck.  Holy cow, are they expensive!  My cheap little heart just can't drop that kind of money.  I found this beat up metal tractor this past summer at a flea market for $15.  Thrift Chick says it is better with our farmhouse.

 I have a thing for minnow buckets, kitschy creamers and candy corn...obsession is a word that comes to mind.

There are a few other spots I am still tweaking.  They may make an appearance later on (or realistically I may not touch them for the rest of the season and just ignore my dissatisfaction.  That is truth of how lazy I am.)


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mum's, Pumpkins and Gourds, Oh My!

I have been eyeing the racks of mums outside my local grocery store for weeks.  I have resisted buying anything because I knew we planned a trip to the pumpkin patch where there would be untold autumn wonders.  With the trip out of the way, I finally got to indulge my fall addiction.

 Enamelware, pumpkins, a wool blanket and a rocking chair...if that just doesn't scream fall.  However, let's be real.  That blanket isn't staying there.  With the farmer harvesting the field adjacent to our land and the gale force winds that blow across our yard during fall storms, it would just be a moldly dusty mess.  For blog art's sake, we will just pretend it is always like this.
 Isn't that gourd amazing!  The pumpkin patch was full of awesome gourds and pumpkins of every shape and color.
 I love minnow buckets.  Thrift Chick tells me I have enough, so I have walked away from several during our thrifting forays.  However,  I am not sure I can hold out much longer.
Don't you just love the lacy orange pumpkin.  Again the pumpkin patch came through in spades.  Forget the grandchildren I would have gone for just the produce alone!  The green thermos thing came from an estate sale.  I uncovered it in the barn and paid $2 for it.  It is not a thermos as there is no spigot.  It is very, very heavy with ceramic insides.  Anyone know what it is?

The next time I get around to posting ( I am a realist when it comes to my blogging ability!) we will head inside for a little fall decor.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Tradition Revived

Every fall when our kids were little, we would head out to a farm to get pumpkins.  These expeditions included hay mazes, pumpkin painting, caramel apples and other great fun.   However, as they grew older, Saturdays become about sporting events and singing performances.  With the grandbabies now mobile, I decided to revive the tradition.  Alas, the pumpkin patch we used to go to is no longer in existence.  My assistant at work suggested a place just across the state line.  So this past Saturday, we all headed out.

 Ady was not thrilled with how dirty and heavy the pumpkins were.  We had to convince that she would not find a clean one.
 Abe , on the other hand, went for the smallest and easiest.  He could not be convinced to find one that was orange.  When we went to weigh them, the clerk just laughed and said, "That one is free!"

 Climbing on pumpkins is such hard work!  

 The adults got a little competitive at the duck derby!

 This was so much better than the patch.  Everything was clean and colorful.
 My DIL loves orange and when we spied the orange lacy pumpkins we said it was if they had been grown specifically for her.
 Grandpa was just a little too big for the barrel ride, but the grandkids loved having him on the train.

 Daddy's jumping sent Ady flying.
That will scare those silly crows away!
We all agreed it was well worth the 45 minute drive.  If you are near Convoy, Ohio, stop in at Lincoln Ridge Farms.