Wednesday, October 31, 2018

{Travel} What I'm Packing for Scotland & Ireland

We're leaving soon for our trip to Europe and I think I finally know what I'm packing. I'm trying to pack lightly and keep it all in a small carry on bag (plus a backpack as my personal item).
Black denim jeggings
Black overall jumper
Denim skirt
Boyfriend Jeans*
 See my suitcase and packing cubes here.

It helped to lay out my outfits and it will be nice to have photos to refer to when I'm away.  I probably could have packed lighter but I like having a few extra  options. I've put together 16 outfits for 10 days by mixing 4 basic bottoms and 10 different tops that can be layered (and I'm sure I could get quite a few more outfits if I kept on going).
Chambray Button Down
Gingham Button Down
Black Tunic Sweater
Black Striped Long Sleeve Tee
Chunky Striped Sweater
Black Cardigan
Grey/White Striped Cardigan
Grey Turtleneck
Pumpkin Long Cardigan*
Black V-Neck Tee Shirt
I'll fill in with accessories.  Meanwhile I'm sure most of the outfits will be covered by a raincoat but that's ok!  

Black Fleece Lined Tights (2)
Leopard Scarf
Camel Felt Hat*
Black Knit Hat/Gloves
Black Ankle Boots*
TOMS Slip On Shoes
Black Belt*
*Wearing on plane.

What do you think? Am I ready??

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Monday, October 29, 2018

{Blogspiration} TBB Asks-November Giving Thanks Edition

I won't be participating in this month's TBB Asks-Giving Thanks Edition but if you want to play along, here are the questions for November.   The link goes live next Monday, November 5th. Join in, it's fun!

1. Have you ever kept a Gratitude Journal? Yes or No? 
2. Hosting Thanksgiving at your house? Yes or No?
3. Favorite Food from The Thanksgiving Meal?
4. What one thing in Nature are you most grateful for? 
5. Pumpkin Pie: Yes or No?
6. Traditional Cookbook: Yes or No?
7. Oven Baked or Deep-Fried Turkey?
8. Thanksgiving Leftovers: Yes or No? 
9. What is one household product your most grateful for?
10. Are you most grateful for home cooked meals or restaurant meals? 

Link up here to participate  - The Blended Blog on Monday, November 5th.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

My New Dyson Cordless Stick Vacuum

Am I the only one that gets excited about new home appliances?  I'd been eyeing up cordless stick vacuums for awhile and when Target dropped the price on this one, we went for it.

 We got the Dyson V6 Motorhead Cord Free Vacuum.  I really wanted a cordless stick vacuum and this one is powerful.
 It runs for about 35 minutes on one charge. It's enough time to do at least one floor in my house.  I can switch it between regular suction and MAX suction with the press of a button.  It gives me so much freedom to go from room to room or between floors without the hassle of a cord.  It's so light too!
 I love the trigger action to use it.  It comes with a few attachments for any job around the house.
 I also dig the convenience of popping it off its charger and giving the house a quick cleaning.  It's actually fun to use!
 It really comes in handy for cleaning out the grooves in our kitchen table too.
The best part (to me) is that we found the perfect place to store and charge it in the laundry room.  I love it so much, I hardly ever pull out our old heavy vacuum anymore.  Have you tried a cord free stick vacuum yet? #notsponsored 

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

{Recipe} Oh She Glow 10 Spice Vegetable Soup

This is probably the third time I've made this soup and it's still so good. There's something magical about the combination of simple ingredients, I tell ya!
The recipe is from Oh She Glows and I've loved everything I've ever made of hers.
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked (I used 1/2 cup)
6 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil(I omitted this)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced sweet onion (1 medium)
1 heaping cup diced raw carrots
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups diced sweet potato, white potato or butternut squash (I used white)
1 heaping cup diced celery
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes and their juices
1-2 TBS Homemade Spice Mix (recipe below)
salt & pepper to taste
2-3 cups baby spinach or kale (I used 1 package of frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess moisture)
1 15 oz can of chickpeas or other beans (I used chickpeas)
*I added 3/4 cup frozen corn*
Homemade Spice Mix
(makes 1/2 cup-I halved the measurements to make 1/4 cup-you'll still have leftover spice mix)
2 TBS smoked paprika
1 TBS oregano
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS dried basil
2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 tsp white pepper (optional)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
 To make:
1) Soak cashews in water for 8 hours or overnight. A quicker method is to soak cashews in boiling water for 30-60 minutes.  Drain and rinse the cashews.
2) In a blender mix drained and rinsed cashews with 1 cup of the vegetable broth. Process on high until smooth. Set aside.
3) In a large pot, heat olive oil (or water) and add onions and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes until onion is translucent. Season generously with sea salt (I skipped the salt).
4) Add carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, corn (if using) celery, tomatoes and their juices, the remaining 5 cups of vegetable broth and 1 - 2 TBS of the spice mix (start with the smaller amount if you don't want too much spice)to the pot.  Stir to combine. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium low.  Add salt & pepper to taste (I didn't think it needed any).
5) Simmer the soup uncovered for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender. Mine took about 30 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper if necessary.  During the last 5 minutes of cooking add the cashew cream, spinach(or kale) and drained beans. Add more spice mix to taste.  You'll have leftover spice mix for future soup!
This freezes really well.
It's creamy, hearty and packed full of healthy veggies! Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

More Trader Joe's Fall

I was back at Trader Joe's for a quick trip and discovered even more new-to-me items!
I upgraded to their Pumpkin Pie Spice that contains cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, lemon peel and cardamom (my old one only had cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice).
I've been noticing more gluten free options at Trader Joe's.
I picked up the Pumpkin Butter. It's good but a little too sweet for me.
I saw these Pumpkin Flowers on another Trader Joe's haul and was happy to find them at my store. They are real flowers and have to be kept in water.  They are so cute and look like real mini pumpkins growing on stems.
I've been keeping them in a tall mason jar in front of the fireplace.  They are still looking great and it's been over a week since I got them.
I picked up a few new items in the frozen section starting with the Vegan Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice. I'd heard really good things about this vegan meal and they're all true. It was so yummy!  It had just the right amount of spice in the sauce.
I also picked up the Yellow Jackfruit Curry with Jasmine Rice. I haven't tried this one yet but it looks good.
The Butternut Squash Pizza Crust is a new item and I'm excited to try it. I didn't have the best luck with their Cauliflower Pizza Crust so I'm hoping for a better outcome this time (it still tasted good, it just broke apart).
This Harvest Hodgepodge of frozen veggies looked good for when I'm in a pinch and out of fresh.
I tried another new Kombucha flavor-Cranberry Spiced Apple-it was tangy and good!
This vegetarian Organic Pea Soup in the refrigerated aisle was so good and tasted like homemade.
I also picked up a bag of these Mandarin oranges and they've been tasty.  Have you been to Trader Joe's lately? What's your favorite find if you have?

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Four On Friday

Who else is happy that today is Friday?  Hands up!!  Here's what I've been...

1) Thrilled about...getting a shout out on the Nature's Charm instagram page for my Vegan Magic Cookie Bars recipe!!  If you don't know Nature's Charm, they make a delicious line of dairy free coconut milk products.

The actual recipe is here.

2) Eating..sushi(veggie of course) and seaweed salad.  We saw First Man on Saturday --another great movie-- and went out for a yummy sushi dinner.
 3) new necklace. I used my birthday gift cards and money to buy myself something sparkly.
4) Surprising..these three ladies yesterday morning when I went out on the deck.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dollar Tree-in' Again

I hit up the Dollar Tree again and there were so many good finds, I just had to share!
They still had a lot of Halloween decorations available and this sign almost came home with me.
Their Christmas stuff was already out and they keep adding more. If you read my blog post yesterday, you saw the black and white fleece scarves on my kitchen table acting as runners.  I also saw a cute DIY for Christmas stockings made with the scarves.
These mini trees came in green and white.
The ribbon selection was awesome!
Mini disco ball ornaments!
The Christmas florals looked really nice and realistic this year.
The gift bags and boxes were really impressive.

I really liked this reindeer gift bag...again with the buffalo check!
I came home with some of this plaid ribbon.
I didn't know that DT had mini canvases.
These are great for kids' paintings.
This nautical rope in the craft section could be used in some cute projects.
I've been reading about some of the benefits of using Irish Spring around the house so I picked up a few boxes.
I loved these clear mugs and they are a good size too.
Ceramic ramekins!
The charger plates are back and I really like the silver tone.
I picked up the traditional Crostini crackers and boy are they good!
These tea light candle holders look like they could be used all year round.
Finally, I noticed that they carry really cute thank you note packs--for a DOLLAR, people! I picked these up for my birthday thank you notes.

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