Monday, August 31, 2009

One more day...

Every year I wait and wait for summer and all of the fun that accompanies it: gorgeous weather, picnics, time at the beach, fresh produce - heck, this year it even brought me a baby! :) But without fail, by the end of August, I'm looking forward to the smells of pumpkin and cinnamon, cozy sweaters, a chill in the air, and beautiful fall foliage. I'm also almost bursting at the seams to scatter the contents of this bin throughout my house.

Fall officially starts tomorrow in my book, and I can't wait!

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Friday!

If you go here, you will get one of these:

(Please try not to notice my un-filed, un-painted, mommy-of-a-7-week-old fingernails.)

Free Dove dark chocolate? Ummm, yes please. :)

This is my third one, and a fourth is on the way! Happy Friday!

(Link thanks to

Thursday, August 27, 2009

TJ Maxx Makes My Heart Beat Faster...

Someone gave us a duplicate of an item for one of Luke's baby showers, and they didn't include a gift receipt. Which means I needed to get a gift card to TJ Maxx.

Oh, darn.

I should probably mention that TJ Maxx is one of my most favorite stores in the whole entire world. It's like...a little more expensive flea market, but classier. You just never know what you're going to find on any given day, and if you can shop in the clearance department, the prices are really reasonable. For instance, some of my favorite picture frames are from TJ Maxx clearance and they were about $3 each.

Don't laugh, but I had $5.99 on that gift card and I was determined to make the most of it! (And before you start thinking I'm a horrible mother for spending his gift card, please know that this child has been extremely blessed with gifts and has more clothes than his mother, plus more toys, towels, burp cloths, blankets, and just about every other baby item than I know what to do with!)

First I located this bowl in the book aisle - it was stuffed with sticky rhinestones with a "Brides" logo on the top. I shudder to think what bride would actually consider wearing those on her wedding day...but I digress.

This little baby was $3.99 - love the fleur de lis - type pattern going on.

With $2 left to spend, I snagged this lovely pear for $1 (I have an unhealthy obsession with fake fruit):

and then I found these Williams-Sonoma cocktail napkins marked down to $1, which will be perfect for a little fall "party" I'm having the first weekend in October. I have never owned anything from Williams-Sonoma in my life. I feel so fancy. :)

My total came to $6.35, which meant I paid 36 cents for these items. I really hope the person who bought the present for Luke can forgive me... ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Storing Up Food

I will always be a New England girl at heart, but one of the reasons I DO like living in Pennsylvania is that it's still "rural" in many parts, which means that many people practice somewhat old-fashioned practices such as farming and canning produce. I had never canned in my life until 2 summers ago when I made strawberry jam and then applesauce with my sisters-in-law - and it was so much fun!

Last summer I didn't get to do a whole lot, produce-wise, because we had just bought our house and I'd started my job. And then this summer I didn't get to do strawberries because my
ginormous baby belly got in the way of picking those berries!

Two weeks ago I did manage to cut up and freeze 1/2 bushel of peaches, which should be nice this winter for making cobblers and crisps, in addition to Luke's baby food (I'm going to try to make as much of his food as I can.)

Two nights ago my in-laws gave us 15 heads of corn from their garden, so yesterday I shucked it, boiled it, and cut off the kernels to freeze. If you have never had garden-fresh sweet corn, just haven't lived! It is so delicious.

It is so easy to freeze your own corn - I definitely recommend it, even if you have to pick some up from a local produce stand. You won't regret it when in the dead of winter you heat it up for dinner and voila - a little scoop of late summer in your mouth. :)

My one piece of advice: make sure you clean up quickly afterwards. They don't call it cornstarch for nothing. :)

What do you like to can or freeze? If you make baby food, what have you found to be successful (or not)? I'd love some more ideas!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

{Updated: If you're visiting from Smockity Frocks today, welcome! This is an older post but I hope you enjoy it!}

Today's recipe seriously could NOT be easier.

You don't even have to thaw the chicken. Really.

I really do love to cook, but I am a chronic forget-to-pull-the-chicken-out-until-5:00 kind of girl.

Plus I have a 7-week-old baby who is definitely nowhere near a schedule yet.

3 ingredients.

Have I convinced you yet? :)

"Super Easy Chicken"

- Mary Seielstad; Sparks, NV

4 frozen chicken breast halves
1 pkg dry Italian dressing mix
1 cup of chicken broth or water

Put the chicken in the crockpot. Sprinkle with dressing mix.
Pour broth over chicken. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

*I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth, cooking for no more than 6 hours, and serving over egg noodles or rice. Seriously, it's so warm and delicious! Enjoy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Today's Thrifty Treasures

I'm so excited to finally be linking to Rhoda's blog!

Yesterday my friend Lindsay and I hit up the local flea market in our area. There are rows and rows of vendors, and it is a blast! My only complaint is that it takes place on Sunday mornings - so you have to wake up early to squeeze it in before church. Oh, well - I will willingly forgo sleep for a yard sale or flea market!

Here's almost everything I found yesterday:

--- Left plate 50 cents, right plate 25 cents, little glass w/cork 25 cents, picture frame 50 cents, and the two tin signs were 50 cents for the pair (those were a steal if you ask me!) ---

The plates will be added to my "wall of plates" - I'll post about that another day. I think the tin signs will look really cute with my fall decorations and the glass bottle will be added to my bathroom collection. The frame will be used to put in one of Luke's new professional pictures. I love what I found - and there's one more item I purchased for $1.50 that I'll post as soon as I finish tweaking it.

There's nothing better than a successful yard sale or flea market adventure. :)

A Fresh Start

Hey everybody! (And by everybody, I mean the 5 of you who faithfully read my blog before. ;)

In the midst of being pregnant and finishing up the school year, I took a very-extended blogging break. But now I'm back and here to stay, with my very own domain name, thanks to my super-smart husband. I'm very excited to be back and blogging again! Of course, it will have to be in the snippets of time that this little guy...

...doesn't need to be fed, bathed, changed, played-with, or held. In other words, I have approximately 10 seconds per day to blog. Should be fun! :)