Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Random Thrifty Finds & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #28

I stopped in at a thrift store yesterday and found nothing except a lovely dining room/kitchen armoire for $59 that was already sold. That's the second lovely cabinet that I have seen at that exact location, both already sold. So disappointing.

Anyway, let's put that aside for the moment. Here are the last few items from my recent thrift store visits. Above, another plate for my food photos. I like the way the pretty flower pattern is around the edge rather than in the middle. I often find that the food covers the best part of the plate. This one is Potpourri Press "Christina," made in Korea, 1991.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Trash to Treasure - Turning A Vintage Spice Rack Into A Nail Polish Cabinet

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #trash2treasure #CollectiveBias

Sometimes when I am out shopping at thrift stores I spot an item that I think is kind of cool but I have no idea what I'd use it for. More often than not I buy it anyway. That was the case with this cute vintage spice rack that was made in Japan. It has been three years less one month since I first posted this thrifty find here on the blog. Back then, readers suggested I use it for storing toiletries in the bathroom. It's a bit smaller than the photo might suggest, but their idea got me thinking about using it as a nail polish cabinet in the master bathroom, thus getting all the nail polish out of my bathroom drawer. Fast forward three years and I finally have this little baby painted and on display! Am I the worst procrastinator ever?

Long delay aside, I am pleased with the end result. I believe that having some vintage and thrifted pieces in your home gives it extra character. Sure I could buy a brand new, ready-to-go cabinet, but it wouldn't have that quirky look and personal touch that makes this little cabinet special. And often it's more affordable to buy a thrift store or flea market piece to make over than it is to buy brand new.

What I Ate Wednesday

Today I'm doing a proper, traditional What I Ate Wednesday. The What I Ate Wednesday linky party that Jenn hosts involves sharing a look at a full day of eats. Breakfast through to bedtime. Nowhere to hide. None of this showing highlights from the week like I usually do. It is a day's entry from a food diary, if you will - in pictures. If you're a dietitian or health aficionado you could, in theory, tell me what I'm missing in my daily diet. If you wanted to. Which I'm sure you don't.

Anyway, this is a look at my Tuesday foods. The kids and I slept in a bit after staying up late for my daughter's dance showcase the night before. My daughter requested fruit done up in the Yonanas frozen treat maker for breakfast. We used frozen strawberries, bananas, peaches and blueberries. (I am currently out of my fave frozen cherries - I have been to two stores at which they were sold out.) When I make Yonanas for my daughter in the evening, she asks me to add a "surprise ingredient." It's usually chocolate chips, so not really a surprise but always welcomed nevertheless. Sometimes I stick a cookie in the middle. Despite the fact that it was breakfast I threw in some chocolate chips and the three of us had frozen-fruit-that-seems-like-ice-cream for breakfast.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Brown and Yellow Thrifty Finds & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #27

This week, I'm sharing a look at some of my recent thrifty finds. If there's a theme to be had, I guess it's yellow and brown. This first item - the made in Japan mushroom and owl spoon rest above - was actually a gift from my sister. She thrifted it for me. I hung it above the stove because thrifty dishes that I leave on the counter tend to get "accidentally" broken by my husband. (Strange - he is ordinarily so careful.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday, March Break Edition

This being our March Break week, we spent the past weekend and the early part of the week visiting family. And eating with family. This What I Ate Wednesday I'm looking at some of the foods we consumed during our visits. There were moments when I forgot to take photos though. For one thing, I was hungry. For another thing, watching two sometimes-naughty dogs in unfamiliar (to them) territory is distracting.

At my sister-in-law's house, we were treated to a lovely brunch, some of which is pictured above - including pancakes, peppermint tea, breakfast potatoes and a fruit platter. Yum.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Thrifted Decor Items & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #26

I keep telling myself, "Enough with the owls already!" But then I see another adorable, wise, sweet owl face on some kind of home décor item and I simply cannot resist. Like this owl pillow that I found at Goodwill on my last thrifting outing with my sister. I mean, come on, isn't it so cute? I also picked up this crocheted granny blanket. I have about a bazillion blankets already, but this was such a cold winter I developed an even fonder attachment to blankets of all sizes and types. (My sister just gave me an electric throw blanket and I'm in Heaven about it!)

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Children Act by Ian McEwan (Book Review)

If you are looking for an enthralling March break read, Ian McEwan's The Children Act might be just the thing. At just over 200 pages, this suspenseful book is a perfect shorter read to occupy the nervous airplane traveller or the vacationing beach bum. Of course, it's also fine for reading at home in winter on your plain old couch (like I did).

The Children Act has more to recommend it than its brevity. If you've read any of McEwan's many previous books, like Atonement or Enduring Love, you know that he has a masterful writing style. The Children Act reminds me very much of On Chesil Beach because it feels ominous like it is building to some horrible conclusion, but there is little actual action.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

We were out of town all weekend for a basketball tournament slash visit with my sister. So, Monday arrived without a fresh infusion of groceries or any plan for what we could eat. On this particular What I Ate Wednesday, my food choices will tend to show that there was little in the fridge.

But first, before we left for the weekend I made this red lentil, potato and tofu curry. It was the first time I attempted this recipe and I really enjoyed it. I will make it again for sure.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thrifted Dishes For Spring & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #25

With temperatures finally creeping above zero, I'm starting to feel like spring is on the horizon. Perhaps that's why, on a weekend trip to Goodwill with my sister, I was drawn to these pretty plates that seem to speak of spring, as well as a vividly coloured floral tray.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

Vegan Falafel With Tahini Sauce

Happy Wednesday! Food, lovely food! Why do we think about it so much? Sometimes it's with excitement - like when we're checking out a new restaurant. Sometimes it's with dread - what am I going to make for dinner? We could all eat food just to survive but instead we've made something wonderful and seductive about it.

My What I Ate Wednesday food highlights from the week begin with this falafel sandwich that my husband made on Sunday (in between my son's basketball games). He used Casbah falafel mix to make the falafels themselves. (You rehydrate the mix with water, form balls and then fry them in oil.) It has pretty good ingredients and the end result is tasty. We also put on canned beet slices, lettuce, pickles (a necessity!), hummus and a tahini sauce. It make a quick, filling and fairly healthy lunch (except for the fried in oil part maybe).

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Photography Studio & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #24

Fisher Price Vintage School Days Desk at Vintage Bliss

Clearly I don't have a photography studio. But I do have a table by a big window in our walkout basement. You can read more about this table in a previous post. My dad gave it to me - it has a lot of history and I enjoy using it to set up many of my photos for Vintage Bliss Tuesdays as well as my recipe shots.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sunny Peach Salad With California Cling Peaches

Use canned peaches for your winter recipes

During long, cold winters like this one, I find it difficult to keep enough fresh fruit in the house. Often the quality of produce available in grocery stores in winter is not up to par. And even when the fruit is better quality, the price can be prohibitive.

Inspired by the need for more fruit in my family's diet, I created this light yet satisfying Sunny Peach Salad using canned California Cling Peaches. This refreshing salad sits on a bed of baby spinach. It has a gentle sweetness from the peaches and a tangy punch from canned beets. Despite its refreshing lightness, it makes a filling lunch or dinner starter, in part because of the healthy fat provided by fresh avocado. Tasty pecans add protein as well as more fibre and a pleasing crunchy texture.

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