Sunday, May 23, 2010

Good Summer Reads

Wrote this post awhile back and thought it would be great for Amanda’s Dishing It party! Head on over to Serenity Now for more post full with good summer reads!
3704901_a37e9560fd[1]It’s that time of year, the kiddos are getting out of school, vacations are being booked, and a good read is calling your name. I’m always on the hunt for a good book. I’m a self diagnosed adult with ADD so it takes a lot to grab my attention and pull me in. I thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite summer reads. I’m sure there are other peeps out there looking for a good book as well so let’s pull together and give each other a few suggestions!

Some of you may have seen my post about The Night Huntress Series. They have to be at the top of my list! Loved these books!! My Mom who has never touched a vampire romance novel loved them as well. They’ve made their way to all the ladies in my family and even touch the night stand of a few of my friends. Just to warn you……once you start reading you cannot put them down! To read more about these books click HERE.

0767905180[1] Jemima J is another one that sucked me in. I finished this book in 1 day! I started and literally could not put it down. I’ve never read a whole book in one day so that says a lot. It’s a story about a girl who struggles with a weight problem, how she deals with it and over comes it. I know it sounds a bit dramatic but it’s actually very funny! It pulls at your heart and your funny bone at the same time! To read more about this book click HERE

SomethingBlue[1]        SomethingBorrowed[1]
I’ve read Something Blue but have not read Something Barrowed……..yet. I plan to because I really enjoyed the first novel. Something Blue is an easy read and a page turner. It’s a great lying by pool type of book! Click Here to read more about Something Blue and Here to read more about Something Borrowed.

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas: Book Cover
Lately I’ve enjoyed listening to audio books downloaded for FREE from my local library. That’s right I said FREE!!! I load them onto my MP3 put my ear buds in and go to town. Something about listening to an audio book while I buy groceries at Wally World a.k.a. Wal-Mart makes it more of an enjoyable experience. I listen to audio books while I workout, clean house, and during long commutes! I just finished Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas. It was a great book full of romance, funny moments, and southern hospitality! To read more about this book click HERE

Tips to find these books and others for lower cost or free!
1. Don’t forget about your local library. If they don’t have it in stock some libraries will allow you to request it online and will bring it in from another branch.
2. Half Price Books: I get most of my books at Half Price Books. If you don’t have one in your area look for another local discount book store.
3. A data base of fellow bookies who want to trade books. You just enter the books you want to get rid of and the books that you’re looking for. Swapteee will match with someone who wants to swap for a book you have. You print out postage and mail your book. Super easy and a great way to save!
5. Goodwill: It may take some time to look through all the unorganized books but you can really find some great recently released books and for .49 cents for a paperback……you can’t beat that (unless it’s free)!
6. Host a book swap with friends and family: Pick a local location and have everyone bring books that they are willing to part with. It’s a great excuse for a ladies night and you can leave with a few new to you books.
Now it’s your turn: In your comment tell us the title of your favorite books and why you enjoyed them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Martha Stewart Helped

For Mother’s Day I made my Mom and Aunt these cute tea cup candles. I saw this craft in a Martha Stewart Craft book and knew it was a perfect Mother’s Day gift. Good ole Martha does it again!
I’ve been on the hunt for tea cups for awhile…and by awhile I mean since Christmas! I’ve had this craft on the back burner for quite some time. I did finally find one cute colorful tea cup at a thrift store but picked these white ones up at Goodwill along the way.


The one above is for my Mom and the one below is for my Aunt. The warping and coordinating card reflect their personalities. My mom is classy while my aunt is full of color and spunk; two very different sister but two special ladies I love very much!
I used a Martha Stewart template to make the cards. I’m over buying cards…making them is much more fun and personal! More on how I made these cards in a later post.

I'm Linking up with:
Fingerprints on the Fridge

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cucumber Lemonade

We had a ton of cucumbers in our veggie/fruit co-op basket this cycle. When there is a new item in our basket that people are not use to cooking or an abundance of certain item we send out recipes to give each other ideas on ways to use it . One of our members sent this Cucumber Lemonade recipe out this week. Not only was it delish but also a creative way to use some of our cucumbers from our co-op basket!

Ingredients: 1 cups water
½ cup white sugar
1 cucumber, sliced
6 lemons, juiced
Directions: 1. Make a simple syrup by stirring the water and sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat; heat until just about to boil and the sugar has dissolved. Place in refrigerator 30minuets, or until cool.
2. Place the cucumber slices in a blender or food processor; blend until mashed into a pulp. Pour the cucumber pulp into a fine mesh strainer place over a bowl to catch the liquid; allow to sit until you have about 2/3 cup of liquid from the cucumber, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir the simple syrup, cucumber liquid, and lemon juice together in a pitcher. Serve cold.
If you have a large family you may want to double the recipe.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Such Talent!

Happy Wednesday everyone. Hope you're having a great week!

I just came across this clip and had to share. Greyson who is featured in this clip oozes talent. Ahh to be to be that young and so talented. Turn your volume up and watch till the end. He really rocks it at the end....gave me chills.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Veggie/Fruit Co-op

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         With some help from my sister-in-law we started our 1st round of veggie/fruit co-op last week! It’s been in the works for a few months so I was excited to start it up and reap the rewards. Above is a picture of our car full to the brim with all the goodies we bought to fill our members baskets.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Members dropped their laundry baskets off Friday night so they were ready to go Saturday morning….and by morning I mean right at the crack of dawn. My bud Jennifer and I left her house at 5:15am to make our way to down to the bulk market before they sold out of fruit and veggies. It was definitely an experienced and I’m so glad my veggie co-op experienced sister-in-law was there to hold our hands through the process!

Once we were done with our shopping trip we headed home, unloaded the car, and started sorting all the goods. Kent (my fiancée) even came out to help! He’s a math genius which I am not so his awesome math skills came in handy. He’s in the mist of sorting a huge bag carrots in the picture above.

Here’s the breakdown: Our basket this cycle included 6 oranges, 6 apples, 4 grapefruit, 4 plums, 1 cantaloupe, 2 heads of cabbage, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, 3 sweet potatoes, 4 rustic potatoes, several broccoli crowns, 1 package of cherry tomatoes, 1 package of mushrooms, 5 jalapenos, and fresh garlic. All that for only $15.00! I was super excited. As many of you know I’m a bargain shopper so it was fun to shop and see what a deal we were getting!

P1015522    Once everything was sorted and ready we called our members to let them know their baskets were ready to be picked up. Most people were just as just as excited as Jennifer and I!

Above are a couple meals I made with previous veggie co-op basket. I was lucky enough to sub in another group for a week. That’s when I caught the bug and knew I needed to get my veggie/fruit co-op group going.
Left Picture: Oven roasted yellow squash, baked chicken breast breaded and stuffed with cream cheese and green onions, oven roosted jalapenos stuffed with pepper jack cheese and turkey bacon.
Right Picture: Veggie stir-fry with firm tofu, fresh mushroom couscous, fresh green beans sautéed with a little garlic and turkey bacon.

On the Menu this Week (using co-op goodies of course)
*Stuffed Cabbage Stoup (yes I meant to say stoup) with brown rice
*Spaghetti with mushrooms and whole wheat pasta
*Grilled pork chops with grilled sweet potatoes topped with parsley lemon butter
*Marinated chicken breast served with Texas style stuffed jalapenos and a dinner salad
*Whole wheat apple muffins as a little treat

Monday, May 03, 2010

Thrifty Treasures

I hit the jackpot last week! Thrift stores can be a hit or miss but I was lucky enough to find several great items!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         I was driving around last week looking for something and I stumbled upon a new to me thrift store. Of course I was super excited and even tweeted about it! I found this tea cup and matching saucer at the new thrift store. I’ve been on the hunt for tea cups and saucers for awhile and was tickled to find a matching set. I have a project in mind for this little gal and it does not involve drinking tea! The silver thing in the background is a napkin holder also found at a thrift store.

Locations, blog 191   Locations, blog 192
These have to be my favorite! Bran spanking new Z GALLERI pictures with the original price tag intact. Don’t you LOVE when you find something at a thrift store that has the original price tag on it? It just further shows you what a great deal you’re getting. These were originally $29.00 each. My price, $5.00 each! Let’s give that one a BIG WOOOOOHOOOOO!

Locations, blog 190
LOVE this little guy! I took him home for $3.00

Locations, blog 195               Locations, blog 202
I’m Lady Ga-Ga over the colors in this hand painted picture! The picture I took doesn't do it justice. I originally planned on painting the mat but decided not to. I really like the funkiness of it. This little guy became mine for $3.00

I know the book section in thrift stores can be a little daunting but you can really find some great things if you’re willing to spend a little looking through them. I was pretty happy with the books I took home. Who doesn’t need a napkin folding book… I right? How many times have you been pacing around your house because you didn’t know the fleur di lis fold? Well I no longer have to fret for .49 cent I can rest easy! I also found 2 really great cookbooks in new condition. I love holiday cookbooks. They usually have really great entertaining recipes. I jumped for joy when I found a cook book with a compellation of recipes from the best selling cookbooks from 2009!!! That one deserves another WOOOOHOOOO!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           Another great thing to look for in the book section is music books. Sheet music looks much better than scrapbook paper made to look like sheet music….why not use the real thing when crafting if you can. If you do a lot crafts with sheet music look at your local thrift store for a few music books. This one was .49 cents. Not only does it look better than recreated scrap book paper it’s cheaper!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Liberty of London rain boots which can still be purchased at Target. I found these at Goodwill and paid $2.00 for them! Wayyyyy better than the Target price and these bad boys are bran spanking new!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         New Express scarf with the tag still attached. I think I paid $1.00 for it. It’s thick and super long. I know I’ll put it to good use when winter rolls around.

LOVE the ruffle details on this winter vest! I can’t wait to wear it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Another great thrift store find. I think I paid .50 cents for this little guy.

If you are not a thrift store shopper get out there and give it a try. I think you’ll be surprised with what you find. Now I’m not going to lie, you may be surprised in a good way as well as in a what the HE(double hockey sticks) is this kind of way but it all adds to the fun of the experience!
Happy Thrifting!

I’m linking up with:
Southern Hospitality