Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cheap & Everlasting Bouquet

Here's a fun quickie project! This took me about 10 minutes to complete--pompom flowers! There are at least a bajillion tutorials on this and I used this fork method. A little 5-minute epoxy and they were sturdily attached to wire floral stems.

Vase-thrifted for $3
Yarn-thrifted for $0.50
Bag of floral wire stems thrifted for $0.50

$4 everlasting bouquet!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Apple Pie Caramel Apples

Finally followed through and made caramel apples this season! Cody and I have a habit of picking up Apple Pie Caramel Apples when we are in Santa Cruz (Marini's on the wharf!) and I always promise to make them. And while they aren't real difficult, they are a REALLY messy treat to make (and eat!).

Granny Smith apples (I bought minis since they seem to grow an inch with all the dipping!)
Caramel (make it or melt individually wrapped candies)
White Chocolate
Cinnamon Sugar blend
Lollipop sticks & a sterilized small screwdriver

I also used an oiled mixing spatula to spread the caramel & chocolate evenly around the apples.

Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and let cool. But make sure they are back to room temperature before you try to eat one!

What is your favorite type of caramel apple?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Personalities

Decorating and/or carving pumpkins is just one of those things you must do in the fall. We had planned to host a carving party/bbq over this past weekend, but had to cancel at the last minute due to a dirtbike crash. Cody's hanging in there. No broken bones, SO THANKFUL FOR THAT. But he did a number to his hip and it will take some time for him to feel like himself again. I did manage to squeeze in some pumpkin time with Emily so at least the front porch is ready for passing out candy!

(Emily's first pumpkin on the far left!)

I stocked up on supplies--costume faces, mustache stickers, ribbon, tacks, etc.-- at the dollar store (not the best carving knives by the way..but I guess I should have figured that!). After carving one pumpkin, I decided the other two would just be embellished. It got cold outside and I'm a whimpy Californian. 

Luckily, the one pumpkin I carved had a lot of pumpkin seeds for roasting!

Unluckily, I burnt the pumpkin seeds. I blame the new issue of BH&G. I got all settled with a cup of tea and completely forgot I had something in the oven.

So how is your fall going? Burnt anything lately? I do have two new recipes that I managed to cook properly coming soon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Warm Pasta Salad

I fell in love with this dish at a local restaurant and decided it was time I try to make it myself. True to form, I changed it up a little. Tomato Thyme makes this dish with bacon, I substituted that with Aidell's chicken sausage (Sun Dried Tomato-Basil to be exact). 

My 'recipe' is exactly what you see here, pasta, spring lettuce mix, chopped squash, parmesan cheese and chicken sausage. I cooked the sausage and pasta and then combined those into a large bowl with the raw lettuce mix and squash mixed with a bit of olive oil. It was hot enough that with a few minutes under a pot lid the veggies softened up perfectly. A sprinkling of parmesan cheese and black pepper and you are good to go! I have a habit of adding veggies to every pasta dish. Cauliflower and broccoli absorb your chosen sauce just as well as pasta and a little more fiber never hurts!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ins & Outs

I've updated a few things around the house so I thought I would just lump them all together into one shout-out. Here we go..

The cubes and china cabinet have been fall-ified.

There are finally items on our floating bathroom shelves. And since our gray towels turned yellow from our face-wash (?) I'm thinking I might actually bring yellow into the bathroom...

Made a chicken version of Taco Lasagna. Can you even spot it under all that cheese?

And Cody survived his first babysitting experience!

Any plans for the weekend? I'm hosting a pumpkin carving day and I'm super excited about getting crafty & roasting some pumpkin seeds!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Pet Peeve

This bugs me. Why not just use a piece of tape? Nevertheless, I was told by one of the volunteers at Happy Dragon Thrift that hairspray will remove permanent marker from glassware.

It worked! It took a few applications and allowing some of them to just sit for a few seconds in-between scrubbing. But the whole process was only a minute or two. Phew! All that glassware I thought was ruined still has a chance!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Make-Up Bag Rehab

My make-up bag has seen better days. It's torn, stained from spilled bottles and powders. I have been needing to replace it but I just couldn't find the right size bag. I finally downsized and threw out a lot of samples and nearly empty containers. Speaking of which, anyone watch Shark Tank on Friday? The Spatty  and Spatty Daddy? Not a bad idea! Best wishes to her!

 I stumbled across a pencil pouch in the Target dollar bins that I thought would work nicely to keep my brushes separate from my make-up, so I grabbed that to get me started. A few weeks later I spotted this cute blue clutch at the thrift store for $0.50! 

A $1.50 well spent!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Clearance Couture: Thrifted Head to (Almost) Toe

It's really exciting, at least to me, when I can put together an outfit of all thrift finds. Just proves (to anyone still doubting) that thrift stores have more than the frumpy costume items that immediately come to mind. Or maybe I'm frumpy. 

This second photo is the equivalent to winning the lottery. Both dogs looking at the camera at the same time? Impossible. Thanks for capturing the moment, Katy!

Shoes $4.98 (Target)
Jeans $6 (Happy Dragon Thrift)
Belt $? (street vendor in Mexico 6+ yrs ago!)
Blouse $3 (Happy Dragon Thrift)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Persimmons are Coming!

I think we're getting close to persimmon time! Originally I thought we had Fuyu persimmons, which stay pumpkin shaped and hard. But now they are starting to stretch and look more like Tabers. Which means they will need to be super soft before they're ready to eat. As well as turn more orange. But some of them are halfway orange! Counts for something, right? 

We had one fall off the tree last week that was really, really soft. And at the time I was still convinced we had Fuyu's, so I though this was a defective one, especially since it wasn't entirely orange. So I let the dogs have it, looking back I should have tried this one myself. But they were just so interested in it. They're cute faces won and they LOVED that persimmon. Usually Tanner will just kick around and hold fallen fruit (avocados) in his mouth, this he actually devoured. The best part is watching Brandi dive in, Tanner completely gives up. Gentle Giant vs Little Squirt. 

Yes, I realize the dogs have worked their way into like every post lately. What can I say? They are kind of my life right now. And Cody too, of course. Brandi slept through the night last night and made it to the backyard for her morning bladder emptying! Woohoo!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Purple Banana Bread

I don't bake all that often, but when I do its usually banana bread. This time around (which was actually a while back, just re-discovered these pictures!) I had blueberries and blackberries that needed to be used so in they went! The color of the batter was a bit frightening, very gray...

But once baked, the color looked edible again! Do you have a favorite banana bread addition?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Neighborly Affair

Well, we just can never let the dust settle at our house. Cody and our neighbor rebuilt the fence which divides our yards over the weekend. We are in love with the new fence. Nothing like fresh redwood to warm up a yard. And getting to know your neighbors a little better helps too! And while a 80+ foot long fence is not exactly a thrifty project, doing all the work yourselves sure makes BIG difference! And rent an auger. Worth every penny of the $50 day rental to not have to dig all of those post holes! 

Meanwhile, Brandi is slowly learning to sleep on her own bed (the dark brown one) instead of Tanner's. 

And Tanner is flirting with picking lemons off the low branches of our tree. I've watched him a few times from the back windows of the house, but he always just freezes when I try to catch him on camera.

And I wine toured while Cody cheered the Niners onto a blowout win. So much fun in one weekend!