Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to Become a Great Thrifter

I've talked a lot about new newfound hobby of thrifting.

Here are my thrifting tips for you:
1. Visit your local thrift stores often.  
They are constantly putting out new merchandise.

2. If something doesn't have a price on it, make an offer.
I just got this new purse for $2 from Goodwill.
It wasn't marked so I offered $2 and they accepted.
 3. If something has 2 prices on it, point it out and ask for the lower price.
I got this frame recently.
It was marked $1 and $0.50.
They let me have it for $0.50 :)
4. Take your time.
You have to walk through the store several times 
to be sure that you've really seen everything.

5. Check out all departments.
You never know what treasures you will find that you weren't looking for :)

6. Guard your cart.
This sounds silly but I've had people start shopping out of my cart before!

7. If you buy any clothing, fabric, etc.
Examine it VERY closely for stains, rips, missing buttons.
Some of those issues are quickly fixed
but it's no fun to come home with a stained, icky item.

8. Try things on.
You never know how good or bad something will look until you try it on.
Jackets and tops are easy to slip on over your clothes.
Skirts can usually just be held up to your waist.
*This should happen no matter where you are buying clothes from!

9. Think outside of the box.
Can the item you are eyeing be spray painted,
repurposed for something else, etc.

10. If you like something, put it in your cart right away.
You can always put it back on the shelf if you change your mind.
If it is a real treasure, it probably won't sit on the shelf for long.
*I'm having flashbacks to two cute cookie jars that I passed up on my first glance 
and then someone had snatched them up before I could go back for them.

11. DIG!
You are going to have to dig through a lot of junky things to find the best.

12.  You'll often find things off season but don't let that stop you from purchasing it.
I've bought summer things in winter
or in preparation for holidays that are months away.

13. Inspect all glassware or ceramic items really thoroughly.
You don't want something that is cracked or broken.

14. Get rid of things.
If you are thrifting and bringing home things, 
you should also be purging and getting rid of things you no longer want or need.
No need to show up on an episode of Hoarders on TLC!
It's really convenient, if you are going thrifting at Good will or DI 
you can drop off your donation items before you shop.

15. Try to go thrifting on a weekday
because weekends are much busier and more crowded.
It's hard to dig when you are surrounded by people.

Happy Thrifting!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cream Puffs: Valentine Edition

I remember my mom making cream puffs when I was little.
They were soooo yummy!
Recently I asked my mom for the recipe and have made them a few times since.
 I'm a sucker for anything handwritten, 
so my mom is nice to always write out her recipes for me:
Follow the recipe listed above and it should look like the pictures below.
I dropped the dough in a rough heart shape 
and then went back and formed the hearts with my hands.
I usually just drop spoonfuls of dough on the cookie sheet but
I decided to try to make heart shaped ones since Valentine's day is fast approaching.
 They baked beautifully.
While they are baking, work on mixing the pudding.
 Let cream puffs cool off baking sheet.
 Refrigerate jello and cream puffs until both are cool.
 Fill icing bag with pudding.
Use a dull knife to poke a fill hole in the cream puff.
Wiggle around inside to make room for pudding filling.
 Insert tip into cream puff and fill.
I realized that I needed to poke a hole in both sides of the heart
in order to put in the maximum amount of pudding.
If you do the regular circular or oval shape, you only need to poke on fill hole.
 Filled with a little pudding peeping out.
 All filled and plated.
 B.E.S.T. way to do a small amount of melted chocolate.
Grab a handful of chocolate chips.
Put them in a small Ziploc bag and seal it.
Microwave it for about a minute or until all chips are melted.
Snip off the tiniest corner possible of the baggie.
 Hold sandwich bag just like an icing bag.
 I decided to drizzle chocolate on half of my cream puffs.
 I served the plain ones with a generous shake of powdered sugar.
So good and so pretty!
These are best to eat the same day that you make them.

Mountainy Monday

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eat Well Everyday

Here are the healthy foods I fixed this week:
1. Healthy Nachos:
Lots of lettuce, tomatoes and jalapenos
a few chips and a little refried beans
2. Quesadilla Explosion salad at Chilis
Dressing on the side please :)
3. Spaghetti Squash
 Cut in half
 Scrape out all of the seeds and insides.
This was a little tough.
 Drizzle olive oil and salt/pepper
 Bale cit sides down at 350 for 40 or so minutes.
 Let cool so that you can handle it.
Use a fork to scrap out the stringy squash.
 Scraped clean.
 One spaghetti squash would sever 6-8 people.
 Honestly, I didn't love this squash but Kevin did.
I think I'll prepare it with other veggies or top with marinara next time.
4. Lima beans
 5. Teriyaki glazed salmon
My favorite way to fix salmon!
I coated both sides and fixed on the stove top for 15 or so minutes.
I loved the teriyaki baste and glaze on the right.
 6. Steel cut oatmeal
with 2 pks of Splenda and peaches.
7. Homemade Brown Bread
Lots of yummy foods :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My House for Valentine's Day

Here is how my house is looks for Valentine's Day:
Table centerpiece with glass cylinders, coffee beans, candles and hearts.
I got my new strawberry needlework hung up.
I always pull out our senior prom picture around this time of year.
 I save cards.
I pulled out all of my Valentine cards to make this cute garland
and hung it in our family room.
 Valentine Jars.
Such a romantic time of year :)