ff Kathe With an E: March 2012 -

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thrifty Non-Thrift Store Finds

You may remember back a few weeks ago when I cleaned out my closet that I had made a shopping date with my gal pal, Ms K. Yes, my closet was nice and neat but, I didn't have many clothes left to wear.  On the off chance Mr. B and I were to have a date night that didn't involve a drive thru, I had nothing nice to wear (my "I ♥ Oregon shirt doesn't qualify?).

So, this past weekend Ms K and I met up and headed south to the outlet mall. I hadn't had a girls day out in way too long!  The day was beautiful, lunch was delicious and bargains were to be had at every turn! Ohhh I did find some pretty pieces to hang upon empty hangers in my closet.

 Of course a day out shopping would not be complete with me not finding other deals besides clothes!  The Corelle outlet store called my name.  Corelle means dishes to me and being the complete dishoholic that I am, and no 12 step program yet developed, I had to go in.  I am so glad I did!  Clearance!  Clearance! Clearance!

I did refrain from buying everything as the salesperson suggested I do and limited myself to just the pretties I *had* to have. Like these salad plates
The pattern is called Leaves. Regular price $4.99, my price, $1.98! The teal blue is what first caught my eye but then I noticed the gray shadow and brown.  So many possibilities!

I also purchased the matching bowls.  Corelle white with a teal rim.  So pretty!

Are you familiar with the clearance end caps at Target? Well, Corelle has the same idea! As I came to the end of the aisle I spied these out of the corner of my eye.
Yes, I am well aware that Christmas is 9 months away but, this end cap was 50% off the final price
Yeah, final cost, 56 each!  That, my friends, is thrift store pricing right there for brand new Christmas salad plates!

The same end cap also yielded these cute votive candle holders. Silver on the outside, green on the inside.  I don't think they are Christmasy at all and will be using them for other holiday tables for sure. 50 cents each!

I had such a good day!  Beautiful weather, new clothes, new dishes!  Yep, I am going to have to this again soon! Rumor has it.....there is another sale coming up ;)

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Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Spring is here and I have already begun planting in my gardens. I have always been a big fan of Miracle Gro products and Miracle-Gro has recently introduced a new product, Expand ‘n Gro™ that will help me and you grow up to 3 times the flowers and vegetables versus native soil.  Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix uses all-natural coconut coir blended with Miracle-Gro plant food to produce a unique planting mix for gardens and containers.  It is lightweight and easy to carry, and can expand up to 3 times when mixed with water.
Expand ‘n Gro improves the environment of your native soil and feeds your plants for up to six months!
EnG Product Shot.png
I'm not getting any younger and let's face it, basic potting soil can be heavy and messy. Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix is easier to work with and can hold up to 50% more water, helping your plants get the moisture they need when they need it. The coconut coir contains an organic polymer called lignin, which slowly decomposes and benefits the soil for several years.
I am really excited to find a product that will help my garden grow.  I just love a full bedding area bursting with flowers and beautiful plants.  You can see the video below for additional information and tips on how to use it.  Swing by their website to grab a coupon for a discount before that disappears!   I cannot wait to get my hands on this product.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Warmth Of Spring


A sense of warmth is tapping at the door;
And hope, a feeling out from distant lore
– Or so it seems – clears the deep refrain! 


Emerging youth: a dormant lea awakes.
The raging colour, singing loud, partakes
In annual birth – spring is born again! 

A zest anew for nascent life
Begins in floral train:
Carriage one: a snowdropp thrill;
Carriage two: the crocus;
Number three, a daffodil – dancing,
Drawing focus – as she would,
Attention seeker! 

How I love our spring:
The bold and sleeker feel I get,
An inner glow, a ring!
I’ve paid the winter’s chilly debt, so
Now upon the wing! 



Tablecloth: Boscov's 
Charger: JC Penney
Dishware: A Mother's Day gift several years ago from Mr. B. American Living from JC Penney 
Berry bowl and underplate: Candlewick, estate sale finds (read about them here )
Flatware: A gift from Mr. B
Purple stems: Thrift finds
Napkins: Thrift find
Napkin Rings: Christmas gift from my oldest son and his fiancee
Vase: Thrift find, formally a weird blue that I spray painted Heirloom White
Crystal Candlesticks: A long ago gift from oldest son
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Have We Been Eating?

As I have stated before, and nothing has changed, I am addicted to Pinterest!  And guess who else is...well besides you...Mr. B!  Well, addicted may be a tad strong of a word for him but, he enjoys scanning through it in the evening. Having him be a part of the wonder that is Pinterest is really helpful to me!  He finds all kinds of new recipes for me, and even him, to try out. I thought I'd share with you some of the meals we have experimented with from our Pinterests boards.

Breakfast:
We aren't big breakfast people.  During the week we don't eat breakfast at all.  On the weekends we might have frozen waffles or frozen pancakes. As long as it isn't too labor intensive we eat something in the morning on the weekends.Then we found this!
Can you guess what kind of quick waffles these are??  Canned biscuits!!  Seriously!  Seriously fast and easy!
We also tried using the thick flaky canned biscuits and canned cinnamon rolls but found that the smaller, cheapest canned biscuits you can find are really the best!  Keep it simple, keep it cheap, keep it tasty!

Appetizer:
Mr. B & I are big guacamole lovers!  Problem is, I am one of the lucky ones that finds the taste of cilantro icky.  I can handle it in small doses but people that like cilantro LOVE cilantro and put way too much, for my liking anyway, into their guac. All I can taste is the cliantro, not the avocado which I LOVE!
Then Mr. B came across this fresh and simple recipe
Guacamole
OMG! This is craveable my friends! In just a few short weeks, this has become Mr. B's signature dish. He mixes everything but the avocado, salt and lime juice, using half the recommended cilantro (thank you), earlier in the day to give all of the flavors time to marry up.  Then, when we are ready for a snack. he mashes in the avocado and fresh squeezed lime juice.  He has also made it his own by adding garlic salt instead of just regular salt. He really needs to be selling this in back alleys because it is green, delicious, crack disguised as guacamle!

Dinner:
This is the meal we have really been testing recipes out.  We have started calling Sunday "Pinterest Dinner Sunday".  I chose Sunday to be the best day to try out new recipes for a couple of reasons.  One, I have had two full days of sleeping in, perhaps even gotten in a nap or three, so I am rested. Two, if the recipe winds up a failure, we can go out for dinner.  So far, no dinner out needed.  Pinterest FTW!

Chicken was always on the Sunday menu growing up for both Mr. B and I. Roasted, fried, boiled, it didn't matter how it was cooked, Sunday just meant chicken.  This taste sensation took our grandmother's and mother's Sunday chicken to a whole new level
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Baked Honey Chicken

I would change nothing about this recipe.  It was divine just as promised. I will be making it again that is for sure.

Another tasty chicken dish is this
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Crockpot Orange Chicken

Mr. B is a huge fan of Panda Express and their orange chicken. This comes pretty darn close. I did add some red pepper flakes for heat and some sesame seeds for the nutty flavor.  You definitely need to watch this one as the sauce tends to burn. Next time I will try making this one on the stove in a skillet instead of in the crockpot.  

Now we can't live on just chicken every Sunday so along came this recipe
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Crockpot Pork Carnitas 

Excuse me.  I am drooling just thinking about how good this was!  As mentioned, we like flavor and, oh baby, are these pork carnitas loaded with flavor!  It does need more heat though (YMMV) so next time I will add some green chilies.Oh and the guacamole from above is a perfect addition to this too!

Again with the pork 
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Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops
This recipe Blew. My. Mind!  3 ingredients coming together to create layer upon layer of flavor.  This is true comfort food!  Served over mashed taters with a green veggie on the side and you can have a Sunday meal on Tuesday! I can see using chicken breasts too. This is one of the very few pork chop recipes Mr. B LOVED!

The most recent recipe we tried from Pinterest was this
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Sun Dried Tomato Creamy Ravioli
This is such a quick and easy weeknight dinner that has fancy restaurant quality flavor! I did use beef ravioli, again, flavor, instead of cheese.  If needed, you could sub the white wine with chicken broth since there is so little used.  Next time I will try sausage ravioli.  Add a salad and some garlic bread, cloth napkins, dim the lights, light up some candles and this is a date night dinner without leaving home.

Now on to
Dessert:
This is one Mr B just had to try on his own
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Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Bananas

One of Mr. B's favorite snacks is a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Not my cup of tea but these little chocolate covered frozen delights are as awesome as they look!  They will be made again...and again...and again!

One of the foods Mr. B is not so fond of is cake. He's more of a pie person. But, come his birthday, he always asks for Angel Food cake. To be honest, I take the easy route and just pick one up from the grocery store bakery and he is good with that.  Then I found this
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Angel Food Cupcakes

Take a box of Angel Food cake mix, add water and beat the beejeezus out of it. Pour into cupcake cups and bake!  No need to make a special trip to the store and much more personal! Mr. B loved it when I made them! And to make them extra special, I made up this to go on top
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Crockpot Caramel

Caramel sauce made in the crockpot! Another easy peasy recipe.  One can of sweetened condensed milk placed in the crockpot, covered with water and cooked on low for eight hours becomes a delectable delight to pour over ice cream or, cake!

I just made this last treat last week. I saw it on Pinterest and knew I had everything on hand.  I jumped right up...well after pinning for just a few more hours minutes and made them
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Snickerdoodle Muffins

Not only are these a good dessert muffin but they are an awesome breakfast muffin too. Here's a tip I found from reading the comments, I didn't have self rising flour but you just need to add, for each cup of flour, 11/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. I also added a smidge of fresh nutmeg to the cinnamon sugar topping.  I also put the topping on before baking instead of after. 

So, that's what we have been eating lately. You can see my Food Pin board by clicking here to see what other recipes we might be trying out soon. If you choose to follow me let me know in the comments below that you did and I will follow you back. In upcoming posts I will share other pins from my boards that are wins or even fails.  Have you had any Pin recipe wins?  Let me know so that we try them too!
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's Spring!!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of iBulb for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Spring has sprung!  I honestly didn't think it would ever get here! The last of the snow has finally melted from  the yard and I was actually able to get out back last weekend and do some garden clean up! I drove past a park today  and noticed the tulips have burst up from the ground in a wide array of colors for all to enjoy, especially me!  I love tulips!  Yes, everyone loves roses but roses are so cliche'.  Tulips, on the other hand, are perfect for gifting and tulips are so bold and rich in color.  Nothing says Spring as sweet as a vase filled with tulips.

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iBulb is the flowering initiative from Anthos, Holland’s Royal Trade Association for Nursery Stock and Flower Bulbs. This foundation was set up in January 2012 to focus on the financing and implementation of three activities that are important for the Dutch flower bulb sector: promotion, technical research and market access. iBulb supports 85 Dutch companies in the dry sales and forcing business, which together represent more than 90% of Holland’s flower bulb business. Learn more at iBulb

My oldest son is getting married this Fall and his sweet fiancee is using burlap as her theme. How cute would it be to wrap some Spring tulip bulbs in some burlap tied off with a pretty ribbon and use as favors at the reception? Guests could then plant them and, in the Spring, be greeted by the tangible memory of their special day!

Find even more inspiration using bulbs here:http://pinterest.com/digdropdone/

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Anyone?

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Table

With our last name, it's no surprise that March 17th is a special day.  Mr. B is half Irish. I have been told I have a wee bit of Irish in my blood too.  But then I have also been told I have a wee bit of just about every heritage coursing through my veins too, so I may or, I may not be able to claim an Irish background. 

I started with a green and white check I got on clearance online from Boscovs. I then used a crocheted runner to break up the green a bit.
I decided to go for a green, gold and white theme so I started with a gold charger, followed by a thrift store plate with green ivy, our every day Gibson salad plate. On one of my many thrift shopping trips, the luck of the Irish was with me as, I found napkins that also have ivy on them!

Another thrift find is a small gold rimmed Irish coffee glass. If you look closely you will see a little shamrock in the stem.

Wanting to get a bit more of the green, I made lime jello and used the coffee glasses as dessert glasses.
I also used a set of ivy salt & peppers on the table.
My vintage gold plated flatware makes another appearance.
Irish crystal stemware and, because he is half Irish, pint glasses for a nice cold Irish Red home brewed just for today by Mr. B, emblazed with his own custom label.



I put the centerpiece together using a cake plate, a shamrock wreath, a sweet little leprechaun, some gold coins, and a small plaque.Irish crystal candlesticks complete the table.

 


I know I am a bit early to the party but with so many to attend I wanted to be sure I was ready! I am notorious for being unfashionably early. First to arrive, last to leave is my motto! Sláinte friends!
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