Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter Thrifting

I posted this photo of my latest thrifty finds a few weeks ago on Instagram.
{If you'd like to follow me I'm @heather_ourlife}
I had missed my beloved Goodwill and it was great to be back.
I found a few goodies: two vases, a ceramic spoon/ladle, a cigar box and an outfit-pants and a sweater!
The vases encouraged me to buy some flowers and brighten up the house. I really love the quilted detail on this white beauty.
I can't decide if this should be a vase or a wine flagon glass. I kid.
Here's the outfit. The (Gap) pants are very long and I hemmed them with some fusible web.
The sweater is super warm and cozy.

Right now the cigar box is just hanging out on a coffee table because I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I may just leave it as is, I like the designs on it.
This faux sheep skin isn't from the thrift store but it was a major bargain from Home Goods.
I love how it warms up the leather recliner.
Oh, and that ceramic spoon/ladle will probably be showing up in some recipe posts in the future.
Have you found any great deals or treasures lately?
Linking up with:
Centerpiece Wednesday
Inspire Me Tuesday
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

{Scrapbooking} Use What You've Got

Or in my case, what you've been given..
A few weeks ago I received a special care package from sweet Katie.  
It was such a nice surprise and included this sparkly snowflake ornament that went right on my tree.
It also included lots of fun scrapping paper.
Lots of cute polka dots and argyle style papers (I love polka dots and argyle!).
So of course I couldn't wait to use some of them once I got back to my scrapping.  There's nothing like new supplies to get you motivated and 'back at it'.
I'm still working on November 2011 but I'm making progress.
I even used some of the dotty paper on our family memory board.
I'd love to pay it forward, so if leave me a comment  I will send you a care package some time this year too.
{First 5 commenters}
Please leave your email so I can contact you for your address.
Happy Wednesday!
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Monday, January 27, 2014

{Recipe}Hungry Girl's Mushroom Risotto

Miss Middle School and I have been trying out some new recipes while Mr Click is traveling and this one became an instant classic!  Hungry Girl has some great tricks for making decadent dishes guilt free and delicious. Her secret ingredient in this risotto is cauliflower!
I'm not a big fan of cauliflower but I love this recipe.

Hungry Girl's Mushroom Risotto:
2 cups finely chopped cauliflower (Like I said, I don't like plain cauliflower and I really don't enjoy cutting it up into finely chopped pieces but this recipe is worth it.)
1 1/2 cups fat free vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced white mushrooms
1 cup diced onions
3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
4 tsp Parmesan cheese (she uses a reduced fat Parmesan, I use less of the regular Parmesan)
2 wedges Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss cheese
optional garnish: parsley, parmesan shreds
Combine all ingredients in a large pot except Parmesan and Laughing Cow cheese. Add 3/4 cup of water, stir well and bring to a boil.
 Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes, until rice is cooked and veggies are tender.
 Add Parmesan cheese and cheese wedges, breaking the wedges into pieces. Continue to cook on low, stirring well until cheese has melted and is mixed in completely.
Serve and enjoy, add more Parmesan and/or some fresh parsley.
This is such an easy way to make risotto, no standing over the pot, adding broth and stirring constantly. You can pretty much leave it and come back to perfectly cooked risotto.
It's creamy and delicious and definitely a great winter comfort food.
Makes 4 cups/servings. 
Each serving has 5 Points +.

Linking up with:
Sunday Showcase
Centerpiece Wednesday
Tasty Tuesday

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

{Recipe} Fruit Salsa & Homemade Cinnamon Chips

This is one of those recipes that I get a craving for and I just have to have it! It's usually a summer time treat when berries are in season but I've made a winter version that's just as good.
 I used to have a recipe for this but now I just wing it but here are the basics.
Fruit Salsa:
2-3 apples, chopped
2-3 kiwis, chopped
1 bunch of seedless red grapes, halved
frozen mixed berries, thawed
Combine ingredients in a large bowl.  
Add sweetener (1-3 TBS sugar, any combination of white and/or brown)*
*I used 1 tsp of Splenda brown sugar substitute
1-3 TBS of any fruit preserves
(In the summer, I like to use nectarines, plums and fresh berries)
 Stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate.
Homemade Cinnamon Chips:
Tortillas or Pitas
Non stick cooking spray
Cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 350F
Cut tortillas or pitas into wedges and place on cookie sheets, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for about 10 minutes until brown and crispy.
Dip into the fruit salsa and swoon!
Note: The cooled chips can be stored in an air tight container for about a week if the salsa lasts that long.

Linking up with:
Thursday Favorites
Welcome To The Weekend
Sunday Showcase
Inspire Me Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Insta-Love {December}

Here's a quick recap of our December in Iphone photos.
The house all decorated.
Making latkes!
 Irish dance girl.
 Mr & Mrs Claus at the mall.
 Trying to capture both trees
 Snowy reflection
 Gingerbread house 2013
 Festive wine glasses are out and in use!
 A fun holiday cd we received
College Girl's final project.

Our Christmas card

(and inside)

 Mailing out the cards
 After her school's winter concert...well done!
 Snow on Christmas Eve as we came out of church.
 My mom's house looking so pretty on Christmas Eve.
 One of family movie nights over the break.
(that's 4 sets of feet!)
 We had a mac & cheese bar when we hosted Christmas with my husband's family.
 Christmas chalk art
Getting ready to host the family
Putting this together...
Getting it hung just right!
 Watching this on New Year's Eve.
and having monkey bread and red wine!
What a way to end the year!

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

{Travel} NYC Holiday Day Trip

We squeezed in a quick trip to the Big Apple over Christmas break. 
The week between Christmas and the New Year is probably the busiest time in the busiest city in the world but we were ready to face the crowds.
Waiting for our train with a much needed jolt of caffeine. 
The train station was packed as was our train into the city.
(Museum of Natural History}
 But once we got into the city, it was beautiful. We had the best weather of the week-warm(ish) and sunny.   We hopped a subway to 81st Street and exited at the Museum Of Natural History. 
{Shakespeare's Garden}
 It was so nice out, we weren't about to spend the day in a museum but I do want to go back to visit it one day.  We walked into Central Park which is always a welcome spot of calm in the city.
{Strawberry Fields}
The last time we were in New York, we didn't make it to Strawberry Fields so we made a point to go see it this time. Of course it's smaller in person than I expected.
{Central Park}
We didn't have any set itinerary, just a few places we were hoping to visit, so we took a leisurely stroll through the park.
{Daniel Webster statue}

We were going to take a cab to Rockefeller Plaza but we just kept walking because it was such a gorgeous day.
Did you know they had ice skating in Central Park? Two rinks, actually!

(The tree at Rockefeller Plaza}
As we got closer to Rockefeller Plaza, it got more and more crowded on the sidewalks.  We couldn't really appreciate the store displays but we were on a mission to see the tree.
And we did!
It is beautiful but it was way too crowded in the area so we grabbed a cab to one of our favorite places.
This place is really Italian food heaven. It's overwhelming and incredible.
From there we headed to Chelsea Market for lunch.
Armed with this article, we tried some of their recommendations for lunch.
The girls had the vegan, raw Taco Salad at One Lucky Duck.  It had spicy taco crumbles, pico de gallo, guacamole & cashew 'sour cream'.  It didn't even need dressing! They also tried a Bunny Brew smoothie (apple, carrot & ginger). It was SPICY!
I couldn't resist a Toasted Cheese Panini at Lucy's Whey.  I had the NY Cheddar and Butter option and it was amazing!
The hubs had some Italian specialties from Buon Italia.
We hit up Anthropologie for a little retail therapy after lunch.

{Streets of Chelsea}
After Chelsea Market we went up to the Chelsea High Line for some views and fresh air and then headed back dow to street level to travel back to Penn Station.
{Souvenirs in Penn Station} 
After a full day in the city, we were all ready to get back home.
Mission accomplished!
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