Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Brass Amadillo Chickens

Spent a Saturday morning snapping pictures at the Brass Armadillo, a great antique mall near us. I don't think they typically allow cameras, but once I explained that I wanted to do a series of blog posts about the store, they were very gracious.

I took so many pictures, it will take several blog posts to show them, but the first two I want to share with you are a sampling of the many chickens they have for sale there...and I mean MANY!  If you're a chicken enthusiast, like me, you can pick up some of the cutest ones ever for great prices.

With over 600 antique dealers, the largest number of antique dealers under one roof in the entire desert valley, the inventory at the Brass Armadillo is always changing, so visit often. You never know what treasure you're going to find.

I can't tell you how many times I heard someone say, "My mom used to have one of those!" Or, "Oh, look - I used have one of those when I was a little girl."

I'm pretty sure I even uttered those words once or twice.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Persistent Bunny

Last week I spied this bunny while browsing through the Goodwill. I had to laugh because with her little fist clenched like that, she seemed to be saying, "Take me home...or else!" Checked her price tag - $1.49. Cheap enough, but I really didn't need a pushy bunny, so I walked on.

On Thursday, I stopped in again and noticed that she was still there, still insisting that I take her home. Her tag was purple and it was Dollar Day, so I could have bought her for just $1.00. "But I still don't need a bunny," I explained. I thought I saw her fist clench just a bit tighter. She did not look happy.

Today, I ran down to the Goodwill to browse around and...you guessed it - there was grumpy bunny. Today purple tags were 1/2 price, which made her just .75 cents. I didn't have the heart to refuse her a 3rd time, so home she came. It didn't seem to make her any happier, though. Her little fist is still clenched.

Trixie Belden Kindle Case

I was so stoked to get a Kindle Fire for the 15th day of my Birthday Month!

(I celebrate my birthday for a whole month, because one day is just not enough.)

My daughter is going to take me to pick out a great cover/case for it, but in the meantime, I got all crafty like and made myself a temporary one from an old Trixie Belden book I had that was falling apart.

I didn't take pics as I went, but it was pretty simple...

First I cut the pages away from the spine, which was easy, as they had pulled away from it already. Then I reinforced the spine with packing tape, because it was torn a little.  I cut a piece of cardboard the same size as my Kindle, cut a piece of leather from a pile of leather scraps I bought a long time ago at the Goodwill, and cut a length of elastic (white, but it would have been better if I'd had black).

Glued the leather to the cardboard, attached the elastic to the corners and glued the insert to the back inside cover of the book - DONE!

I love how it turned out - what do you think?

Friday, August 9, 2013

White Chocolate Orange Smoothie

I can't stop! My brain is full of possible low-cal smoothie recipes that will satisfy my sweet tooth.  Today I concocted a White Chocolate Orange Smoothie with only 95 calories. Again, it was rich and creamy, delicious ...and oh, so easy to make! Just 3 ingredients and a handful of ice.

White Chocolate Orange Smoothie

1 cup almond milk
1 Tbs sugar-free white chocolate pudding
1 tsp sugar-free orange gelatin
and a handful of ice

Throw it all in the blender and blend until ice is chopped up.

*I might put another tsp of orange gelatin in the next one to make it super orange-y...and I might remember to take a picture before I sip a bunch of it down.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I'm on a bit of a pumpkin kick - probably because I'm tired of the hot Arizona summer and really looking forward to Autumn. When I think of Fall, I think of brilliant colors gracing the trees, the crispy crunch of fallen leaves under foot and pumpkins.

Yesterday I made a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, which seems to have triggered a pumpkin craving in me, so today while making my morning oatmeal, I stirred in a dollop of pumpkin (2 Tbs), a little almond milk (1/4 cup), some pumpkin pie spices and some stevia for sweetness. Stirred it all together and yummy! Would have been even better if I'd had some walnuts or pecans to toss in...next time.


Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal - 174 calories
1 cup water
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 Tbs pumpkin
1/4 cup almond milk
Sweetener to taste (your preference on sweetner)
Dash each - Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Clove (I use 2 shakes cinnamon, one scant shake of nutmeg & clove)

Boil the water, add oatmeal and cook until done. Combine cooked oatmeal and all remaining ingredients, stir and enjoy!

"Caring for the body is a form of worship to the God who created us."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Ever heard of Loseit.com? It's a great way to keep track of your calories and lose weight. I have a friend who's lost 20 pounds using it and her daughter has lost 29 pounds. That's enough to get me going again!

One of the things I really want while dieting is sweet snacks that don't drain my calorie bank. Today I was craving pumpkin pie, so I set out to make a low cal Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.

Here's what I used...

 Pumpkin Pie Smoothie - 126 calories

1 Tbs sugar-free vanilla pudding
2 Tbs canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup 2% milk
Dash of cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves (I would have used pumpkin pie spice instead if I had it)
Handful of ice

Threw it all in the blender for about 10 seconds and it was YUMMY!

Next time I think I'll use Almond Milk and use a full cup instead of 3/4. That will lower the calories by 30 and give me a full glass.

**Made another one with Almond Milk this time and it was even better! Tasted just like creamy Pumpkin Pie.  Used a whole cup, so I got more and it was 32 less calories for a total of just 94 calories!!!!

Got any ideas for good low-calorie snacks?  Please share them with us.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Seattle's Best Coffee Frozen Coffee Blends Creamy Caramel

Seattle's Best Coffee Frozen Blends
It's 106 degrees outside, but I'm chillin' with a delicious Seattle's Best Coffee Creamy Caramel Chiller (Frappe), and it didn't cost me $5.00!

Today I discovered Seattle's Best Coffee Frozen Coffee Blends. You can find them in the frozen food section of your grocery store (I got mine at Walmart). They're little chunks of frozen coffee (and other yummy stuff).  All you do is blend them up with few ounces of milk and...sip your way into blissdom!

The Creamy Caramel is oh-so-good, but I want to try the others, too. Just did a search for a coupon and jackpot!  I found one for $1.00 off a bag. Since I paid less than $3.00 for the one I just bought, the next will be less than $2.00. The bag makes 2 chillers, so my next two drinks will be less than a dollar each! (Take that, *bucks!)

Here's where you can find the coupon for $1.00 off Seattle's Best Frozen Coffee Blends - let me know which one you get and how you like them.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Smucker's Sugar-free Cookbook - Free

Have you tried Smucker's line of Sugar-free products? As a diabetic, I'm grateful for a company that provides high-quality, yummy products.

Want some recipe ideas using these great-tasting jams and jellies? Download Smucker's Sugar-free Cookbook. These recipe look great!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Making Boney's Trail Biscuits with Mr Lee

I've been reading Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson - a story about a brave young woman who believes that the best way to help her grieving family is for them to pack up everything and join the Boones Lick Wagon Train, heading west.

The book is filled with likeable characters. One of my favorites is Boney. He's the trail cook on the wagon train. I can just imagine Boney pulling the chuck wagon into camp, then jumping down to unload his dutch ovens and tin coffee pot. I can see him opening a big sack of flour to start mixing up biscuits to serve with a big pot of beans. I can practically smell the beans boiling and see the butter melting on the hot biscuits. It just makes my mouth water!

My Dad making biscuits.
I guess this strikes a resonant chord with me because my dad used to love to make biscuits. He also worked on a ranch in Prescott, Arizona, spent several seasons fur trapping around Williams, Arizona and worked a gold mine in Bumblebee, Arizona.

Is it any wonder that I love western fiction? Dad would have loved to join up with a wagon train and I'll just bet he would have volunteered to be the camp cook!

I was excited to see that Prairie Song author, Mona Hodgson posted a recipe for Boney's Trail Biscuits the other day, so I just had to try it. My hubby (Mr. Lee) gave me a hand because biscuits are just not as good unless a man has a hand in makin' them (IMO).

We didn't have a dutch oven, so we improvised and baked them inside, but they turned out really great. Here's how we did it...

 Measure & mix dry ingredients

Cut in the butter, then add in the buttermilk

Turn out, knead and...

...then roll out.

Cut and place on your best old blackened cookie sheet. (Do you have one of those?)  I think I will roll them out less to make the biscuits a little thicker next time.

Bake, basting with butter just before done.

Hubby thought they needed more butter basting right after they came out.

Mr. Lee wanted the leftover scraps to fry

Because his dad used to fry bread dough.

It does look yummy, but I can't eat all that fat

Then, he drizzled it with honey

So, we got Boney's Trail Biscuits - two ways

I ate mine with sugar-free blackberry jelly.

We had a lot of fun baking together, talking about our Dads (who are both gone, now) and talking about what life would have been like on the trail west. I offered to let him read Prairie Song. He asked if it was a girly romance book. I admitted that there was romance, but lots more that he would like. I doubt he'll read it, which leaves me wondering why he has such an aversion to romance!

Boney's Trail Biscuits tasted great! You can find the recipe here. (There's also a great recipe for Boney's Campfire Beans (haven't made that yet). Scroll down the page for the biscuit recipe.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cowboy Decoupage Table

What we did on our summer vacation - Day 1

Mr. Lee has a week off work, but since we don't really have the money to go out of town, we decided to find some fun projects and things to do right here at home.  Here's today's project...

A friend (Kathy) was throwing this table out a couple of months ago, so we grabbed it.


Mr. Lee stained the legs with Sedona Red stain.

I love the rich red color and it's perfect for the pictures I wanted to decoupage onto the top.

Next we started cutting pictures from an old book we found at a thrift store.

Then, I arranged the pictures the way I wanted them to be on the table top.

I applied Mod Podge to the back of each picture...

 ...and applied them to the table in layers.

After all the pictures were glued on, we applied several coats of Mod Podge over the pictures, allowing it to dry between each coat.
(As you can probably tell, we had some issues with bubbles. Worked most of them out, but some still remain. That's okay. We'll figure that out with our next project.)

This is how the pictures were arranged on the table top.

And here's the finished table. Not perfect, but we like it and it was a fun way to spend some time together.

Side view

  Whatcha think?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Saving Mondays

Mondays are my day to do grocery shopping. While some women dread that chore, I love it. Why? Because I get to exercise my awesome thrift skills.  Like today. I picked up $169.57 worth groceries for $109.57, for a total savings of $59.65. That's a 33% savings - and I didn't use even one coupon!

How do I do it? First I pray before I go. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know most people make a menu, then a shopping list, but I pray. I ask God to lead me to bargains and help me be creative with using what I find on sale and marked down. Today, I found these meats marked down.

This week's meat bargains. Last week I scored
on lots of turkey and pork products
4 packs of Laura's Lean Beef (no preservatives), 4 packs of Foster Farms chicken thighs and drumsticks (also no preservatives) and one family size pack of Chicken Tenders (preservatives included). Saved $15.16 on meat alone.  Every morning my friendly butcher, Ray, marks down the meat that has a "sell by" date for the next day. In other words, the meat I bought today (July 8th) has a sell by date of July 9th (tomorrow). That's not the date it goes bad, that's the last day they can sell it. 

I put my meat directly in the freezer and thaw the day I intend to use it. And guess what...I've never in over 40 years of cooking, given anyone food poisoning!

I'm sure I could save more money by using coupons, but the thought of hunting for, clipping and organizing all those tiny pieces of paper creeps me out. To say nothing of trying to shop with them.  Nope, I'll stick with my tried and true method for saving money at the grocery store...prayer, making friends with the butcher, buying sale items and being flexible in what I cook and eat.

How about you? Any great bargains lately? Any tips that you can throw in the mix?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Chickens Make Me Chuckle

Bottoms Up!

photo credit: bospopp1 via photo pin cc

Sometimes this is the the only side of yourself you want to show to the world!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chicken Invaders!

Just downloaded this game (free trial on BigFishGames and can't wait to play it.

Chicken Invaders! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I must have this pattern for Prudence the Chicken!

Isn't she just adorable? 
You can pick up the pattern from the Little Hibou Shoppe at Etsy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

If two heads are better than one, then...

Charlie knew he was different, but he didn't let it stop him from fulfilling his dreams. He kept one eye on the prize and the others on the path.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ramen Noodle Custard Pie

Just made a yummy pie with ramen noodles - yes, ramen noodles!

Ramen Noodle Custard Pie - yummy and easy to make!.

It tasted very much like rice pudding. Hubby loved it and so did I. It's so easy that I didn't take step-by-step pictures, but trust me, it's a snap to make. Here's how...

2 packages of cooked ramen noodles (without the seasoning packet)
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups of splenda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Spray a pie pan or square baking dish with cooking spray. Cook the noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, then place them in the baking dish.

Mix the milk, eggs, vanilla, splenda & cinnamon well and pour over the noodles. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

*Update: I think next time I'll break up the noodles before cooking to give it a better texture.