Thrifty Finds – July 21

Green Tool Box a

I haven’t written about any of my junking finds lately.  I have been to some garage sales and a couple of auction sales, but not nearly as many as usual.  I have been working hard this month getting my shop restocked with awesome junk after doing almost nothing with it from late March through early June.  Here are a few items.

This green metal toolbox is one of my favorites.  Love the color.  It is in very good condition and could be used for so many different storage options.

Blue Tool Box a

Not only metal toolboxes, but wood, handled toolboxes are items I always pick up.  Love the blue color on this one.

Blue Train Case a

Finding a few different train cases as well.  This blue train case is perfect for storage.  I have a black Samsonite one that I have to get listed soon.

Sewing Drawer a

I used to find a lot of drawers from old sewing machines.  I don’t come across them nearly as often, but I do pick them up when I can.  This one is a typical design for a sewing machine drawer.  However I have another one with a great pull knob also listed.

Bright Pink Hat a

I have found some fun and funky hats.  I love the color of this bright pink puff hat.

Orange Wool Cloche Hat a

Or this orange cloche hat.  I have quite a few hats listed.  Fall will be coming when wearing hats will be easier than in this hot weather.

Crochet Half Apron Blue White a

I have also listed many different vintage aprons. From this crocheted apron.

Gray Apron Basket a

To this embroidered fruit basket apron.

Funky Flower Full Apron a

To full aprons like this funky flower full apron. Right now I have listed over 25 vintage aprons.

Even though I have not been writing about my junking or my Etsy shop, that is still apart of my life. Still enjoying it.  Life is good.

 

A Morning in the Kitchen

Chopped Zucchini

It’s July, so that means the garden is producing.  I spent the morning in the kitchen.  The first thing I did was made 2 batches of zucchini bread.  In the past I used my food processor to chop up the zucchini. It was time-consuming, and I usually ended up with small chunks.  It worked, but once in a while you would find a piece of zucchini in the bread.  I decided to grind it in my Vitamix.  Yes…smooth, creamy zucchini. Perfect for the bread.  It turned out delicious.

For those of you that know that I have reduced my sugar intake, the zucchini bread was my normal zucchini bread recipe with 1 3/4 cups sugar.  I will probably eat a small piece, but it is more for my boys.  They are 18 and 15.  They aren’t on the no sugar bandwagon, so I still make them their yummy treats.  They are making some changes in the diet, but not as much and Big M and I are doing.

Coconut Butter

I had heard about coconut butter, so I decide to make my own.  I used about 2 1/3 cups shredded coconut that was not defatted.  I ground it in my Vitamix.  The butter turned out yummy.

Cashew Butter

Since that was a success I put two cups of cashews in my Vitamix and made cashew butter.  Ok, this was even more of a success. Everyone loved it.

Coconut Cream

I then went back to coconut.  I had just purchased a container of coconut cream.  We are moving away from dairy.  We found a big chunk of coconut at the bottom.  So I decide to try my Vitamix.  Failure.  It ground it up but it made it a very weird texture almost curdled looking.  Won’t be doing that again.  I need to find out why the chunk was at the bottom and what to do about it.  Anyone else use coconut cream?

Ground Dill

Our dill was looking beautiful, so I had pick dill and dried it for a little over 2 hours.  Normally I scrunch it up with my hands and spend time picking out the larger pieces.  It can be time-consuming.  Out came the Vitamix again. I ground it briefly, and it looked like a course powder…no large pieces of stem left. Quick and easy.  Now I have dill for the remainder of the year.

Rainbow Chard

I was done around noon.  I was hungry.  Since I had my Vitamix out I decided to make a  green smoothie.  I had just picked up some rainbow chard from our CSA.  It looked yummy.  Never have eaten rainbow chard before.  I added a couple of leaves without the stocks into my smoothie.

Rainbow Chard Smoothie

 

It turned out delicious.  It was slightly more bitter than kale when I took the first couple of sips. However, I got used to it and enjoyed my healthy, green smoothie.

It was a productive morning in my kitchen. It is official. I am hooked on my Vitamix. It can do anything I seem to need in the kitchen, except the dishes.

Fresh Vegetable Borscht Soup

Borscht Soup bOh how I love this time of year when I can walk into my back yard, pick some yummy fresh vegetables, and make dinner.

Yesterday we snitched fresh red potatoes (I didn’t even peel them, just scrubbed them with a brush and the skins came right off.), beets and beet leaves, zucchini, and dill to make a borscht soup.  I also had some bok choy we added from our CSA that we joined this year.

Borscht Soup a

Oh my it looked good getting ready to boil it in my dutch oven.

Borscht Soup c

It smelled so good that we ate before I remembered to take a photo of the finished soup.  It was simply delicious.  Are you eating fresh vegetables right now?

 

Peach Mango Coconut Smoothie

Peach Smoothie

I still am loving healthy smoothies.  I use my Vitamix at least once a day.  That thing gets a work out.

Most of my smoothies are green. I add spinach, kale or lettuce to my smoothies.  However today I decided to leave out the green and try my own concoction.  It was delicious.

Peach Mango Coconut Smoothie

1 cup coconut milk
2 ripe peaches, with or without skin
1 frozen mango
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 to 2 Tbsp of shredded coconut
1 Tbsp hemp hearts
2 scoops of Protein Powder
5-6 ice cubes.

Put everything in the Vitamix and enjoy the smooth, creaminess of a summertime smoothie. It made about 32 ounces of pure yum.  Enjoy.

 

The Power of Habits

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Lately I have been reading books on habits as well as on health and fitness.  One of the books on habits I enjoyed was The Power of Habits: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.  I would recommend reading this book if you are interested in understanding your habits and how to change habits.

Today I found a brief video online by Mr. Duhigg called How to Break Habits.  It is just over 3 minutes and well worth the watch.

Finally if you want to test this theory out, you may want to check out the website, Tiny Habits.  Mr BJ Fogg has created a way for you to try forming a new habit by paying attention to a cue, an action, and a reward.  About a month ago I tried one of his mini sessions.  One of the habits I created was to do push ups after I go to the bathroom.  It worked. I can no longer go to the bathroom without doing a couple of push ups before I leave the bathroom. (Is that more than you want to know?). At first my reward was a “Yeah I did it.” while looking in the mirror.  Yes, I felt a little stupid, but kept at it.  I now do between 15 and 24 push ups a day, when I couldn’t even do one push up that wasn’t on my knees.  And now…now my reward is muscles developing in my biceps and upper back.  Pretty cool.

I am in the process of trying to figure out what other healthy habit I want to create.  I know I want to eat slower, but I can’t figure out a cue or a reward yet.  So trying to break it down to a small routine.  If I get it, I will let you know.

If you try it, I would love to hear what habit you want to break or to form.

1970s Pasta Duck

Macaroni Duck Wall Hanging a

Does anyone remember the 1970s craze of painted pasta characters wall art?  I remember having a couple of characters in our house, not sure what the characters were though. I wish I had a photo.

I recently found this macaroni or pasta duck.  I can’t seem to find what this was called.  I am sure it was a 1970s trend.  Anyone else remember it?  Any information would be helpful.

Good Books Read – May 2014

We are into our 5th month of 2014 already. The good news is I have made great progress on my reading goals for the year. I have spent a lot of time in the vehicle waiting for my son during his activities which allowed for more reading. I also continue to read before bedtime.  I have read several great books this year.  Here are some of them.

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  Here is my review that I left on Goodreads.  I didn’t realize that this was a British Chick Lit book when I pick it up from the library. All I knew was that my sister gave it a 5 star, so I wanted to read it. Normally I don’t like books set in Great Britain. Normally I don’t like self-centered, non-motivated characters, but Jojo Moyes did a great job writing this book and pulling me into the story. I began to love both Lou and Will by the middle of the book. I wanted to know what happened, so I could put it down. Even though I liked this book from the beginning I continued to like it more and more as I read and decided it was a “great book” when I had tears streaming down my face.
However I liked this book because it made me think of my values and morals. What I believe…and why I believe it. It made me so grateful for my faith and belief in all life is valuable and precious in God’s eyes. So yes, whether I agreed with the ending or not, (I don’t) it deserves 5 stars because of how it made me think and re-evaluate what I believe and know.

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Snapshot by LIs Wiehl.  I have read several of Ms. Wiehl’s book and have enjoyed each one.  This one was great as well.  This is a mystery of a murder in 1965.  It is well written, and it had elements of history woven into the story.  It was fast paced which I really like in a mystery.

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The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor is my favorite health book that I have read lately.  What he states makes complete sense to me about a calorie is not a calorie and that food quality matters.  I have been trying to cook more according to his recommendations and have noticed small differences.  I really do look at foods and think about how SANE it is.  You will have to read the book to know what that means.

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I am continuing to read the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson.  The Truth Seeker was a great one.  All of the books have been good.

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Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is a young adult fantasy that my son, Z, recommended to me.  It was a good versus evil story that was fun and light-hearted. I can’t wait for the next book in the Reckoners series.

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I have read many more good books, so you can go to my Goodreads page to find them, but the final book I will mention here is Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease by Robert H. Lustig, M.D. I only gave it a four stars because it wasn’t as organized as I would have liked but the information in the book is well researched and interesting.  Mr. Lustig is well-known for being an expert on sugar in a diet.  He knows his stuff.  This book just reconfirmed my goal of reducing, in hopes to some day eliminating, added sugar as well as processed foods in my diet.  If you are interested in health, I would recommend reading this book, or you may want to listen to his presentation, Sugar, The Bitter Truth on UCTV.

Are you finding time to read?  Any recommendations of an awesome books is always appreciated.