Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, Chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...

Jul 31, 2016

Thrifting Scores! 100+ Degrees, Fast, Frugal Healthy Dinner

Thrifting Scores!
I scored some really great deals of some beautiful, and functional, things this weekend! Shown above at Goodwill I found two like-new one cup Polish Pottery teapots. My sister-in-law is of Polish origin and introduced me to their unique and gorgeous designs years ago. I recognized the colors and similar patterns. I got these two for $1.99 each! I found the vintage Newport silver plated tray for $2.00. It was really tarnished but cleaned up nicely. Perfect for the holiday, for food, or my creamer set. I found a new bamboo cutting board I needed, $5.00. I also found a nice, new-ish work blouse for $4.00. 

Silver tray, reflection of lemons :)

I found some adorable baby clothes for my Grandson River, several onesies, khaki pants and this summer overall, perfect with his safari themed bedroom! $2.00, cute seersucker, cool in the summer-

My daughter loved it too!

Today at a local thrift store I found a like new Land's End summer/spring jacket, navy blue with chambray trim, fit perfect, $4.00. I also found this bunny destined for some chalk paint for my French Country spring display. It's scratched up hollow clay so should take paint well, a whopping .69 cents, love it!!!


Cost Plus World Market recently moved into a much larger location. I had a 50% off coupon so we went on a field trip since we were up in that area. I knew I'd find something there! They had so MANY cute Mason jar like items I was tempted. I remembered I needed Olive oil and decided to get this large jug 1/2 off $20.00, now only $10.00, score!

All in all a very good batch of deals!!! Happy dance~~~

100+ Degrees-
It's just been so HOT lately, ugh. Thanks to A/C it could be much worse. The garden and trees etc. have been getting watered, but it just seems constant :(  85 is forecast for Wed., so a bit cooler. Hens have been getting cool treats and we're keeping the shade area well-watered and the mister on as well. A bit cooler tonite, 77 at 9:30 p.m. It's been in the 80's when we've been going to bed! I'm ready for fall. On the good side- we are getting out first tomatoes and I had my 1st amazing lemon cuke yesterday, still warm from the sun, delish! Tons of tomatoes on the vines, they seem to do well with the soaker hoses and extra hand watering. So far, so good. We have pears ripening (40 or 50 maybe?), still a bit hard but BIG. I see a French pear tart in my future!!! I'm groaning looking at all the apples on the tree, but will can again this summer and give some to my kiddos. 

Fast, Frugal Healthy Dinner-
I bought some of these salmon burgers last week at my local grocery store. I has bought something similar in the past at Costco. They were 4 burgers for $2.99. I made us each 2 for dinner since they were only 4 oz. I fried them in a little olive oil with dill and lemon pepper. Sorry no pics! I served with green salad, fresh lemon slices, and corn on the cob. I figured the whole dinner per person, was about $2.50 or so. I also used some Ikea lemon dill sauce, making it extra yummy. It looked much better than the photos above. Try some! I do make homemade salmon patties sometimes, but on a work night this is a faster option...

Jul 17, 2016

Kitchen/Bath Re-Do One Year Later, Instant Asian Dinner, Banana Bread

Kitchen/Bath Re-Do One Year Later-
I deep cleaned my kitchen yesterday and was reflecting our kitchen and small bath re-do last summer. I'm happy that everything has held up well, cleans easily and still looks bright and airy! These are new photos, since I have tweaked things-

Here are my posts showing what we did, on a small budget, with before and afters- paint, new back splash, sink, etc.- Backsplash Re-do  Starting Kitchen Re-do  Kitchen Re-do Part 2

I also did a frugal mini-makeover on my small master bath, with a new back splash, and moved some things around-

Link here to my before and after-  Mini-bathroom Makeover Refresh

Instant Asian Dinner-
What to do for dinner after you've been cleaning the kitchen all afternoon? Instant Asian! Take one roasted store bought chicken, remove skin and cut in chunks. Add to a salad mix from Costco, toss the salad with most of the dressing, top with chicken, cashews, wonton strips, rest of dressing and sesame seeds. Excellent!!!

$4.00 at Costco

Banana Bread-
What do you do with 6 black bananas? Make a loaf of banana bread! I used this recipe Banana Bread   and added 1 cup of pecans and 1/2 cup raisens. Super moist and delish!!!

Jul 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day! Independence Days Challenge

Happy Independence Day!-
Happy 4th of July! We had our family get together last night. When you have in-laws we share the holidays :)  We had Muffuletta sandwichs (easy to make ahead of time), watermelon, green salad (from daughter), drinks (from other daughter)  and my apple blueberry cobbler. I love making great, healthy, flavorful meals and watching others inhale them! If I had the $ to potentially lose I'd love to open a little cafe, just cook and stand back and watch others enjoy the meals. It was 95 degrees yesterday so we ate inside. About 85 today. We went and saw the new Independence Day Resurgence movie today, excellent! We cleaned cars, did yard work then went to the movie. Good choice. Here's to a relaxing day for you!!!

Independence Days Challenge-
Here's a small snippet, lucky we had a four day weekend!!!

1. Plant Something- We ripped out some invasive lamb's ear and an old yarrow. We replaced with a deep blueberry colored Echinacea and a reddish yarrow. Looks much better!  It was all overgrown and needed to be thinned. This is a strip next to our driveway dividing our lots and the neighbors. We've let it get a bit overgrown. Next weekend I'm pruning big time!!!

 2. Harvest Something- Lots of eggs, chives, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, marionberries, raspberries, still waiting on tomatoes and other veggies but we have lots! Flowers are doing great-

old Echinacea

Shasta daisies

My $5.00 geranium's huge and blooms constantly!

Peaches getting big! Apples and pears are coming along

3. Preserve/Store Something- Freezing breads, cheeses on sale. Canning will wait for the apple harvest. Will start pickling veggies soon. I may can dill pickles this year, haven't decided yet. Fermenting certainly is more sour.

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Dave got a new vacuum 40% off after our's died. Good timing. Had a $10.00 off $40.00 purchase at a local feed store. Bought 4 bags of bark dust, wild bird food, and the 2 new plants. 

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- Using up more of my canned apple slices for cobblers.  Found a new strawberry cream pie recipe :) Saving that for next weekend.

6. Build Community Food Systems- Giving the kids eggs, will go to a farmer's market soon now that warm weather crops are coming in. Still buying local artisan breads at our local discount store.

7. Recycle/Re-Use- Made charity donations recently, with another bag to go. Giving chickens leftovers as usual.

8. Skill Up- Nothing off the top of my head.

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Got some old blackberries re-growing better with more soil (winter erosion), water and fertilizer. They look great! Dave reseeded part of the yard in our turf after paint spilled during or painting the house :( 

Jul 2, 2016

Road Trip! Adventures in Baby Sitting

Road Trip!
Dave and I decided to do a one day road trip to Baker City, Oregon yesterday. It's about a 2 hour drive, cooler and lots to do there. Our first stop was to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center , a fascinating look at how the settlers came thru the area. The ones that survived atleast! Quite a historical overview. Here's some pics of some of the highlights!

The  main building up on a bluff overlooking the valley

Hitting the trails 

Tough and dirty life

Oxen were used, much tougher than horses and stronger

Some brought goats

Gotta bring everything!

Love the simple reproduction quilt

have to bring some nicer essentials

Trade beads

Pretty lace

 Nice porcelain pitcher

Love the decorative tepee

Native crafts

Gorgeous bead work!
Gorgeous memorial quilt for volunteers

Lots of native plants outside, looks like an aster

Various junipers or sage?

view down into the valley below and Baker City

It was a fun trip and I really admire the people who migrated west! We had lunch in Baker, then hit a thrift store. Sadly nothing there for me :(  Ice cream then we headed home. We actually hit a thrift store in Boise since we were a block from there before coming home. No luck, oh well. Next time we're going to a famous ghost town Silver City.

Adventures in Baby Sitting-
We had the pleasure of babysitting our new grandchild River today for about 4 hours. It's amazing how much STUFF comes with the baby! Diaper bag, changing stuff, car seat, bouncer chair (worked great!) and breast milk in the fridge. We had a great time, and he slept about half the time. What fun!

Baby stuff

our bed ala changing area

car seat

daiper bag

Grandpa holding River

Grandpa feeding baby :)

our simple nursery set up

nice and quiet with blackout curtains!

Our Grandson can enjoy some of his Mom's former decor, butterflies! She had them in high school, now they're in the nursery :)

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