Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What I Ate Wednesday

My green smoothie habit was going strong there for a while. I started each day with a green smoothie for a few weeks in a row. Only over the last couple of days have I not felt like drinking my usual smoothie. Partly I think I'm just tired of doing dishes. With four people home, it can feel like the dishes never end. And that blender is a pain to clean!

Anyway, whatever the reason, I'm afraid yesterday (the subject of this What I Ate Wednesday day of eats post) saw me starting the day with iced tea and a couple of peanut butter protein cookies. Not the healthiest breakfast, I know. But did I mention they were protein cookies? That makes it all good, right?

My daughter and I have been making iced tea regularly in the small iced tea maker I bought at Teavana. I had asked my family to get me one for my birthday, but the iced tea makers were all sold out when they went. On a later visit (mainly I sample teas in the store's doorway) I spotted this smaller version on sale. There are similar ones (like the Takeya Flash Chill® Iced Tea Maker) available online. I like that you brew the tea right in the pitcher and then remove the tea basket and pop the pitcher in the fridge.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Made in Mexico Blue Floral Mugs, Questions For You & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #96

I took an unplanned, two-week hiatus from Vintage Bliss! There are a couple of reasons for that - one, there are just too many other things distracting me in summer with the whole family home - and, two, the last Vintage Bliss Tuesday party was a bit of a dud. I think people may have been on vacation and didn't have posts to link up. And there wasn't the engagement on the post that I normally see. So I thought I would allow August to (mostly) pass before looking for other vintage enthusiasts to link up once again.

Truth be told, once the family is back at school and I go back to more thorough planning of posts, as well as a bit of a blog re-design, I'll be thinking about whether I should continue the Vintage Bliss Tuesdays party. Let me know what you think, pretty please. Would you miss it? For those of you who link up your thrifted finds, have you seen any engagement from it? Any suggestions for bettering the posts? If it isn't desirable or useful to many, I may move on to other things.

In the meantime, I'm sharing a look at a couple of the small thrift store finds I have picked up on my summer travels. I certainly don't need more mugs, however, I'd like to replace our ordinary, kind of boring mugs with mugs that put a wee smile on our faces. I think these blue floral (with birds on the other side) mugs do the trick. They say Mexico, lead-free on the bottom. It hadn't occurred to me that they might contain lead actually, until I read that. Does anybody do lead testing on their thrifted and inherited vintage dishes?

What have you been up to this summer? Have you visited garage sales, auctions and outdoor flea markets? Or maybe you've been hanging at the beach instead?

Linking to Vintage Charm.

Vintage Bliss Tuesdays - Join The Party!

Vintage Bliss Tuesdays at Woman in Real Life

Please grab the code for the Vintage Bliss button and encourage others to join our party! Or you can use a text link instead. Please follow Woman in Real Life on Bloglovin' to be reminded when it's party time. And invite your friends. The more the merrier. Cheers!

Monday, August 29, 2016

End of Summer Checklist & My Birthday Excursion to Port Dover

How do you feel about summer winding down? I confess it saddens me. Summer never feels quite long enough. I'm fine with returning to the routine of school and work. I just think it would be great if it were warm enough to hit the beach after school or have a gathering on the deck with some fruity summer cocktails, just for maybe two more months. As the end of summer approaches, I always think about whether we did everything we planned to do.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Off The Shelf (My Book Recommendations)

Before you read my book recommendations, I should tell you that I've been accused of being a "book snob." I studied English lit and I like to keep a certain standard of reading even today. But I'm not reading Shakespeare or Chaucer, friends. I like to find books that are equal parts entertaining and artfully written. And I think these three books fit into that niche.

On the scale from pure entertainment to complex literary tome, none are anywhere near the Harlequin book (which I consider the far end of the scale of pure trashy reading). But they vary from clear page-turner to more introspective. Let's look at my three recent reads individually.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What I Ate Wednesday

The blog has been very much on a loose summer schedule lately. Actually I have been on a loose summer schedule - staying up late watching episodes of The Fosters on Netflix and waking up late in the morning. I will hate (with a passion) to see summer go, but I always enjoy the return to a more solid routine.

I'm happy to be back with another What I Ate Wednesday post today. I'm doing a "proper" What I Ate Wednesday - a look at a full day of eating, starting with the breakfast smoothie above. Even though I've been waking up late, I'm still not really hungry in the mornings. I prime the pump with a green smoothie with kale and peanut butter on most days.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Spicy Crunchy Mango Sushi Rolls (#TakeBackSchoolLunch)

I know I'm not the only parent who dreads one thing about back-to-school time - namely having to prepare healthy, appealing lunches for the kiddos five days a week. Wayfair challenged me to come up with a fresh spin on school lunch. I knew immediately what I wanted to do - vegan sushi rolls!

There are many meals we disagree on in this house, but sushi is never one of them. We all love sushi rolls with a passion. It may seem like an effort to make your own sushi rolls, but once you get the hang of it, it's really not so hard. Make a gigantic batch for dinner, getting each family member to roll their own, and you'll have enough left to pop into your bento box the next day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Child's Memory Box with Hand-Cut Vinyl Decals #12monthsofdiy

This month, our #12monthsofdiy projects are sponsored by Expressions Vinyl. When I found out that our material was adhesive vinyl, I knew exactly what I would do. This diy/organizing project has been a long time coming. I mean a looooong time! If you are pregnant or the parent of a young child, I urge you to start a memory box right now. I mean it...go now.

This is a case of "Do as I say, not as I do." Rather than creating these handy, tidy, stackable memory boxes when my kids were small, I just got around to doing them now...when my son is going into high school. With daycare and 10 years of school behind him, it isn't a pretty organizing job!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Spicy Sushi Bowl from Vegan Bowl Attack! (Recipe, Review & Giveaway)

Spicy Sushi Bowl recipe (vegan with a gluten-free option) - satisfy your sushi cravings easily with a simple bowl! Great for a buffet party too - everyone chooses their own options. Plus, a look at Jackie Sobon's Vegan Bowl Attack!

Don't you love the idea of eating your dinner out of one big bowl? In the early part of this year, I renewed my commitment to eating more healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. (It's an ongoing process.) I became fascinated with the idea of vegan bowls - proteins, grains and toppings in one comforting, healthy lunch or dinner bowl. Vegan bowls are ideal for summer, because you can do minimal cooking on hot days (or none at all really if you opt for a raw foods bowl).

I was excited to learn that vegan food blogger Jackie Sobon's new cookbook is called Vegan Bowl Attack!: More than 100 One-Dish Meals Packed with Plant-Based Power. It came along at just the right time for me, as I was looking for vegan bowl inspiration. You might know Jackie as the creator of the blog Vegan Yack Attack.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Vintage Pottery & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #95

Happy Tuesday! I haven't done any thrifty shopping this week. In fact, I have been focused on de-cluttering. Mainly I have been purging clothing - mine and my son's. He is starting high school in the fall and he'll be wearing a uniform. In the meantime, I have been taking all of the too-small jeans, t-shirts and pajamas out of his closet and drawers and giving them to my twin nephews. Next up, we need to tackle his desk area so he has a tidy spot at which to do homework.

Today I'm looking at some older thrifted finds - the kind of little, inexpensive pieces of pottery that I really like, but try not to buy anymore. There simply isn't more room for them in this house! But they are sweet aren't they? I have actually made use of this cute cream and sugar set, above. A couple of times anyway.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What I Ate Wednesday - A Day of Vegan Eats

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see some of the vegan party foods I have enjoyed recently, as well as meals from recent restaurant and bakery visits. Here on the blog today, I'm sharing a look at one particularly healthy and delicious day of vegan eating.

Angela Liddon's new cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-based Recipes, will be out soon. That news inspired me to browse my copy of her first cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out. I went grocery shopping with a few recipes from the book in mind. For breakfast, I prepared Angela's classic green monster smoothie. It's a simple recipe with yummy results. The smoothie's green colour comes from a handful of spinach or kale. With the spoonful of peanut butter and dash of cinnamon in the recipe you don't even taste the veggies though.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pier 1 Hand-Painted Plates & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #94

Thrifty finds - Pier 1 hand-painted in Italy pepper and tomato plates

I enjoyed a vacation of sorts this past week. I still did some freelancing writing, but I didn't create any new blog posts after last week's Vintage Bliss Tuesday party. I have a few posts that I want to get up in the very near future. But, with the entire family home for the summer, it's just too easy to get pulled away to an amusement park, shopping expedition or a meal with friends.

Sometimes those aforementioned shopping expeditions are to the thrift store. Of course. Pictured above is one of my fave thrifty finds of the past few weeks. You know how much I love plates. Because we clearly have enough plates already, I usually just buy one of any given pattern of plate to use for food photos. But when I saw these Pier 1 tomato and pepper plates, hand-painted in Italy, I clearly had to have all four (one for each member of the family).

I mean, the kids are half Italian. And, coincidentally, we only have a few veggies and herbs growing on our back deck this year and they happen to include tomatoes, green peppers and basil. These plates were meant to be with us, don't you think? They seem to invite refreshing summer eats like roasted vegetable sandwiches, pasta primavera and fresh bread with olive oil.

Best of all, they didn't have a price on them, so the cashier suggested $2 for the set. "Sounds good to me," I said.

How are you balancing work and fun this summer? And do you have any more space for thrifted plates?

Linking to Vintage Charm.

Vintage Bliss Tuesdays - Join The Party!

Vintage Bliss Tuesdays at Woman in Real Life

Please grab the code for the Vintage Bliss button and encourage others to join our party! Or you can use a text link instead. Please follow Woman in Real Life on Bloglovin' to be reminded when it's party time. And invite your friends. The more the merrier. Cheers!

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