Friday, February 24, 2017

Free Furniture - My Lucky Day!!

Yesterday was my lucky day!    I have absolutely no qualms about slamming on the brakes stopping my car and grabbing a discarded piece of furniture that is laying on the curb waiting for the trash man.  Come on...  I know some of you do that too.  Anyway....

Image result for slamming on the brakes

Yesterday morning we left our house and headed over to an estate sale.  As we turned the corner I noticed that the house behind us had a pile of furniture out in front by the curb so we stopped to investigate.  I saw some stuff I wanted but since we had my car, we went to the estate sale first and then headed back.   Believe me when I tell you my heart was in my throat because I was so worried that somebody would get there before us and get all that good junk.

When we pulled up there was a woman out in the driveway so I jumped out and asked her if she was throwing out all that furniture.  She said yes and that I could take anything I wanted.  Then she mentioned that they had to put her mom in a nursing home, had sold the house, and had to have the house empty by tomorrow for the closing.  She asked me if I wanted to come inside and see what else they were throwing out.  

OMG - that's heaven to a junker's ears, isn't it?  Was she kidding me????  I couldn't get in that house fast enough.   It was mostly a lot of garbage left but she did have some furniture that I was interested in.  I played it cool and poked around a bit since she said she thought her brother might want what was left.  I sent Louie home for our truck and I went back outside and guarded a cedar chest, a waterfall dresser and mirror, a small drop leaf table and a cane.

We took everything home and unloaded it and all the while I kept saying I wanted the tall secretary and matching chest that she had in the house.  I headed inside to my office to work and Louie shouted that he was going to be outside in the garage.  20 minutes later he was back with another truckload - the tall secretary I wanted with the matching chest and mirror, a large drop leaf table, and a small decorative side table.   Everything was FREE!!!  The lady said her brother decided he didn't want anything and they were so glad to give everything to someone who wanted it instead of it going to the dump.  She said some of it was her grandmothers stuff and really old.  

I'll tell you - I am giddy!!  Now we have plenty of projects to work on for awhile.  I spent all last night pouring over Pinterest and trying to decide how I want to re-do everything.  And again, I have to thank my fantastic husband for going back and scoring some more great stuff for us.  If you remember, he went above and beyond the call of duty last week when he got that vintage trunk for me.   How lucky am I???

Thursday, February 23, 2017

3 Tier Tray Make Over

Last week I picked up this 3 tier aluminum serving tray at an estate sale .  The minute I saw it I knew that I wanted to give it a make over...

All I did was paint it with 2 coats of white paint, lightly distressed it and then gave it a coat of wax....

I think it would be perfect for displaying jewelry or craft supplies.  It would also work nicely for displaying small items at a craft show.  I love a quick and easy project, don't you?  

For sale in my shop here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review - Breakfast Bowls

Breakfast Bowls by Caroline Griffiths, Smith Street Books, 2017

 Breakfast Bowls: 52 Nourishing Recipes to Kick-Start Your Day contains 128 pages and 52 mouth watering photographs.  If you are tired of eating the same old boring thing  each and every day for breakfast, then you will want to check out this nutritious offering.  And if the words "one bowl meals" strikes your fancy, then run, don't walk, to your computer and order this book.

It is broken down into 4 different sections:
  • Smoothie bowls
  • Seed & grain bowls
  • Classic bowls
  • Comfort bowls
Included in the mix are suggestions that also cover vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free and sugar-free options.  See, I told  you - something for everyone.

First up is the smoothie section.  I'm partial to smoothie's myself so I was particularly interested in the carrot cake smoothie bowl that combines yoghurt, carrots, pineapple, banana and vanilla.  How yummy does this look....

Another smoothie that I can't wait to try is the Avocado & Matcha that combines coconut milk, bananas, avocado, vanilla and matcha powder.  Matcha is green tea - I had no idea, did you?

The grain and seeds section will introduce you to items like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower kernels, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, millet, and barley flakes,.  Once you combine some of these ingredients with different things like coconut milk, fresh fruits, rice, honey, or eggs, you will have delicious bowls like black rice with tropical fruit, mixed grain muesli or rice cooker oatmeal with fruit.  

The classic bowls section was especially appealing to me as well since I'm a big fan of oatmeal.  And if oatmeal isn't your thing, you can whip up other things.  

Take a look at the baked oatmeal with lemon thyme and ricotta....

Who wouldn't  want to sit down to a bowl of caramelised apples & blueberry crumble?  Sound good?  This bowl includes honey, apples, blueberries and vanilla bean, topped by a crumble made of quinoa flakes, coconut flakes and puffed buckwheat....

The comfort bowls section contains meals that are a little heartier.  Chicken congee contains rice, chicken, and ginger.  Chilli bacon & eggs with sweet potato hash looks amazing and I have to try this one - it contains bacon, sweet potatoes, eggs and avocado.  Now that is one heck of a way to kick off your day, isn't it?

Breakfast Bowls has two indexes for your convenience - a regular index and a dietary index.  The dietary index is divided into sections for quick access to bowls of your dietary preference:  vegan, dairy, gluten free and grain free.

So, who wants to get out of the blah cereal or dry toast routine?   I bet you had no idea that you could easily make such nutritious and filling breakfast bowls.  Fuel up and start your day the healthy way!

  (I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Book Cover image is the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Estate Sales Feb. 13, 2017

We only found 1 estate sale this weekend, but we visited it THREE times.  Crazy, I know.  It wasn't because they had a ton of good stuff either.  It was just that I had my eye on something in particular and I was biding my time....

We first went on Saturday, which was the opening day and got there about an hour and a half after it opened.  I hate standing in line for these things, so we went a little later and walked right in.  OMG, it was packed with people.  There were 3 floors to explore and we were there for an hour.  Here's what I picked up the first day....

A Jack Daniels commemorative whiskey tin with matching whiskey glasses.....

No bottle of Jack Daniels tho - LOL.   It would make a super gift for someone.  All they have to do is add their own bottle of JD.

Three brass belt buckles.  I think they should sell with no problem, especially the Chevy one...

Brushes which I go through like crazy...

A nice Jack Daniels tray.  This would go nicely paired with the above mentioned commemorative tin, don't you think?  Perfect for a man cave.

This tin canister is a first for me.  I've never heard of this company and I rarely find yellow tins.  Plus it's a square tin, which is sort of different...

A felt covered camping canteen that I don't think has ever been used, and 2 tin cups...

A Mirro 12 piece camping set, still in the original box, although the box has seen better days.  Everything in it needs a really good cleaning, but all the pieces are in great shape.  Wouldn't this be cute for a camper or lake house?

I've been looking for a 3 tier silver tray to display my bracelets on and this one will get a quick make over...

So as we rummaged around the house I came across a vintage steamer trunk, and you know how much I love re-doing old trunks....

And it was a big trunk, like the one I bought and re-did here.   That trunk turned out so nice and was one of my favorite ones that I've done.  Do you remember this one?

I had re-done the interior with vintage sheet music....

Anyway, this trunk was stuck in a corner of  the enclosed back porch and nobody was even giving it a second glance.  I pried it open and it was stuffed with old blankets and the interior paper was in bad condition, which is pretty normal.  The main lock was broken, but that's not a problem because Louie can drill them out and I can buy a new one.

So I sent Louie off to find out what they wanted for it since it wasn't priced.  He came back shaking his head, "$ 80.00."  Well there is no way in hell I am paying  $ 80.00 for a trunk so we paid for the other items and we left with me talking all the way home about how much I wanted that damn trunk.

Sunday we got up and headed back over there at 9:30 am.  The trunk was still sitting where I had originally seen it.  Louie went and talked to the estate sale guy and he told Louie he'd take off 50% today and he'd throw in the blankets that were inside of it.  Yuck, I did not want the blankets so Louie told him we'd pay $ 30.00 and we'd leave the blankets.  Well, the guy didn't want to take that deal so we left and I was sort of steaming.  Now I really wanted that trunk!

We went home and did some stuff around the house and at 1:00 Louie told me to grab my coat.  The estate sale was going to close at 2:00 and he wanted one more shot at that trunk.  When we got there it was still sitting in the corner where we had left it.  Louie walked into the other room where a different man was sitting at the register and Louie told him we'd take the trunk off his hands for
$ 20.00.  The guy didn't even bat an eye, just held out his hand and said "Sold!"   This was me doing a happy dance!

Do I have the best husband in the world or what???  The first order of business will be to completely clean this entire truck and then let it sit outside for a few days in the fresh air.  I cannot wait to start working on it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Book review - The Appalachian Trail: Hiking the People's Path

The Appalachian Trail: Hiking the People's Path by Bart Smith, Rizzoli New York, 2017

2012 marked the 75th anniversary of The Appalachian Trail and Rizzoli published a highly successful book commemorating that fact - The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America's Hiking Trail.  In fact, it was named a National Outdoor Book Award winner in 2013.  Ironically, that was the very first book that I reviewed for Rizzoli and to date it's one of my favorites.  So I was thrilled when they asked me to also review The Appalachian Trail: Hiking the People's Path

This is a hardcover 7" x 5" edition and contains 224 pages with 170 beautiful color photographs.  Photographer/author Bart Smith was the first person to walk all eleven scenic trails of America and his photographs have been published in numerous books and magazines.  His photographs paint a picture better than some words.

The beauty of this "mini edition" is that is it exclusively photographs.  It allows the viewer to sit and experience the trail and every page is a delight.  Footpaths beckon you to follow as they twist and turn into the distance....

The Appalachian Trail spans 2200 miles and crosses 14 states.  Along the way you will experience thousands of species of plants and animals.  Follow the path which is marked by small white painted blazes.  Shelters are scattered along the trail where you can camp for the evening.  The trail crosses many roads that lead to towns along the way where you can stop, resupply, and indulge in ice cream or grab a much needed shower.   A thru-hike of the entire trail generally takes from 5 to 7 months.  But have no fear, you can access the trail from numerous locations and enjoy shorter hikes that will let you experience the trail.   Tailor trips that will only take you a day, a weekend, or a few weeks.

Marvel at streams burning gold with the setting sun or rushing madly over boulders, lakes laying placid in the dusk and waterfalls frozen in time....

Also included is a list of the plates and where each photo was taken along the trail.  I was happy to see that they did this.  As I was going through the book I often wondered where a picture was taken.  This will be really helpful for anyone who is planning a trip, especially if they want to focus on a particular section.  Go ahead, plan a day trip, a weekend hike or months on the trail.  Get out and explore "The People's Path".  The Appalachian Trail is there for you to enjoy. 

                                            (all images by Bart Smith)

Officially published with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, this jewel of a book will become available in February 2017.

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Book Cover image is the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Estate Sale Finds Jan 25, 2017

It has been unseasonably mild this year.  No snow for over 5 weeks now - are they kidding me????

So we have been pouring over the local ads looking for estate sales to go to and they have been few and far between for good ones. You know, the kind of sales that have great stuff and aren't priced like they are selling at an antique mall.

We managed to find 2 sales this past weekend and we came home with just a few items....

It had better start snowing soon........

Monday, January 16, 2017

Do You Walk 10,000 Steps a Day?

How many steps a day do you think you walk?   Go ahead - take a guess.   Remember what you guessed and we'll see how close you are to the daily recommended amount.

I like to think that I'm pretty active - after all, I am constantly running around doing stuff.  Plus we spend a lot of time outside, geocaching.  In the summer, when we're at the lake,  I am always running up and down the hill to the boat dock, walking to the resort down the street, hiking in the woods.  You get the idea.

But winter, well, that's another story.  I work from home, so some days I don't even leave the house.  My activity level pretty much consists of walking to my office, sitting down and working, walking to the kitchen for something to drink, toss in some laundry, walk back to my office, go fix some lunch, fold the laundry, fix dinner, do the dishes, watch tv and write blog posts.  Sound familiar?  Definitely not a lot of walking activity, altho honestly, I never gave it much thought.

Then my son told me that I should be aiming for 10,000 steps a day - yes, you heard that right - 10 THOUSAND steps a day.  Tony downloaded a free app to my phone called Pacer.  It tracks your steps, sort of like a Fitbit, but a lot cheaper since it's free.  I'd love a Fitbit but I can't justify the cost, so Pacer it is.  I wore my phone on my belt around the house for a few days and I was appalled at what I found out.....  Most days, when I stay home, I walk less than 800 steps per day.  OMG!!!  That is horrible!

According to the Fitbit blog site, you should strive for an average of 10,000 steps per day.  That's approximately 5 miles.  And if you're aiming to lose some weight you probably need to do more steps than that.

Now before you faint from that number, let me tell you - it's easier to reach that goal than you think.  For example, yesterday we went geocaching for a few hours and I easily added 2500 steps to my daily total.  Then last night I hopped on the treadmill and added just over 2000 steps by walking just a  mile.  I did that mile in 15 minutes, which isn't a lot of time out of my day, right?

Here's what I do when I'm on the treadmill.   I walk for 2 minutes at a quick walking pace of 3.5 to warm up.  Then I up the pace to 4.5 and run for a minute.  I keep alternating walking with running like this....
Walk at 3.5 for 2 minutes
Run at 5.5 for 1 minute
Walk at 3.5 for 2 minutes
Run at 6.0 for 1 minute
Finish up with a 3.5 walk until I hit the one mile mark.  Done!  Starting this week I'm going to add 1 block more per week in order to increase my steps.  I can afford 15 - 30 minutes per day on the treadmill in order to increase my steps.  Plus I cheat and watch tv while I'm doing it, so it's kind of a no brainer.

If you don't have a treadmill, then get your butt outside.  Walk around your neighborhood, go to the park, hike a trail, or, if it's raining - go walk the mall - just steer clear of the food court.  Start slow and aim for a couple thousand steps per day, increasing it by 1000 steps per week if you're able to do so.  Go check out the Fitbit website for a complete explanation of what you should do.

At any rate - do something.   Get up and start aiming for your 10,000 steps per day.  So, how many steps do you think you walk per day??  Download Pacer or strap on your Fitbit and see how close you are.

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