Getting through dull weather

Frugal

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I don’t know how frugal it is but I like books and a great pick me up for spirits in this horrible time of year is the above bookcase.  It’s from Wayfair and is free shipping.  It looks like a solid bookcase and would hold a lot.  It would definitely give a home office a facelift.

Seasonal Recipe

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For a recipe that woul be fun to make and brighten up dull days would be the neat cupcakes decorations that you can make with special attachments to a frosting bag.  Really easy to make and it looks awesome.  The buttercream recipe that makes the flowers is on the frosting attachment website at Happy Satchels.  And it’s just one squeeze and it makes a perfect flower.

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It’s called “Happy Satchels” and they have all kinds of neat ideas for decorating cupcakes.

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The above are the decorating tips that go in the frosting bag.  They cost $29.00.  It’s fun to watch the video to see how they do it.  It’s fast and easy.  Cupcake wars on the Food network program would be won with a tool like the above.

Fashion Find

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I really like the above trench coat from Calvin Klein.  It looks almost identical to a different brand coat that costs $1799.00 and the one above costs $152.00.    One of my favorite fashion bloggers had the $1799.00 trenchcoat on her blog for must have Spring fashions and I found the above coat that would be expensive for me but nice to have for Spring that is fashionable and looks just like the very expensive trench coat.

Photo Landscape

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I love to look at seed catalogs and plan a garden.  The above photo is Barefoot Contessa’s Long Island garden.  I love how she puts hedges around clusters of flowers.  It just looks like a million bucks and something that you would see in Paris, France.  It probably cost her plenty to do, but it could be copied for not too bad.  I just love it.  I love the picket fence as it just looks so classic.

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An old fashioned flower that I love is the hollyhock.  I got a John Scheepers kitchen garden catalog that has the seeds to grow hollyhocks.  Martha Stewart gets seeds from John Scheepers.  I get all the seed catalogs that Martha uses as she gave out the names of her favorite garden seed catalogs on her website at one time and they are easy to request on the web to be mailed free to you.

Inspiration

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I like the above inspiration.  I sometimes copy stuff like that and put it in a plastic holder that has ring holes to fit in my organizer.

To make you chuckle

I saw on the news today that a couple in northern Vermont had a burglar break into their house to rob them.  The owner of the house took a hatchet and hit the guy aside the head.  Anyways the guy got out of there fast and of course the police caught the burglar.

A comment on the news story said the guy could tell in prison how he got scalped in an attempted robbery.

Household Tip

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On the DIY website SettingForFour.com it shows how to make the above potting bench with a sink and running water and all kinds of neat stuff.  I love it.

So for cloudy, dull days it’s nice to think that only one more day of February.  Tomorrow it will be March.  Almost as bad but we’ll get through it.  Spring in about 21 days.

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Changing Blog

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Just as you need a command center in your home to stay organized, I’ve decided to organize my blog with a few ideas that I have picked up here and there.

I live in Vermont.  It’s a beautiful state with clean air and four seasons.  That’s where I have my passion.  The four seasons for a year in Vermont.  I want to have a chance for sharing ideas and finds for a more interesting and fun day by using resources that anyone, anywhere can use.

I like to make the most of a budget.  So each post I want a Frugal find.  Then I want to have a seasonal recipe.  Next I want to have a Fashion find.  Then I want a photo of the day for landscape.  Then an inspiration.  A little something to cheer up a day.  Household Tip.

So that is where I am starting and will add here and there sometimes.  So here goes:

Frugal Find

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Sewing can be a lot of fun.  I have heard that it can also stop depression.  I have a nice sewing machine but no table.  The above table is $129.00 at Walmart on line.  It costs twice that for the very same table most anywhere else.  It is rated 5 stars.  Well worth the money and it will save you money by being able to make tailor made clothes in latest fashions as well as neat things like quilts, covers for appliances, curtains, place mats and table cloths and the sky is the limit on creativity.

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I like the above chicken that holds those plastic bags that you get at the grocery store.   There are all kinds of patterns to make similar holders.   I use those plastic bags by recycling them for lining my small garbage can.  I just put two bags together and it saves me buying plastic liners.  Works really good for me.

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The table folds up like the above which makes it nice.  There is a shelf underneath to store your sewing machine.

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I like the above style chair.  It’s from Wayfair with free shipping from on line.  It’s on sale for half price but about $200.00 anyways which is expensive.  The way I look at it, it’s a beautiful piece of furniture that will last.  Would look so nice for a chair for the sewing table.  I would use my income tax return to be able to get it.  It’s my taste and everyone has their own taste.  Just use your creativity on the style you like.  Wayfair is an awesome website.  And Walmart on line has some neat finds sometimes.

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Another view of the chair.  It could double as an office chair.

Seasonal Recipe

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This time of year soups are always good.  I like Free styling a soup or make it whatever you want soup.  Some ideas are 3/4 inch pieces of carrots, fennel, celery, leeks, winter squash, potatoes or parsnips, cooked beans, lentils or chickpeas, sliced kale or green cabbage.

Then add chicken if you like.

I use unsalted chicken broth in my free style soup.  I start out by sauteing chopped celery, onion and carrots.  Then I add the broth and veggies and some kind of canned beans that I rinse.  And I like to add herbs de province or any herbs that I have on hand.  Sometimes I add kale or power greens.

A little artisan bread with it and a nice garden salad with the dressing that I like with I put in a little mason jar and shake it up.  I like vinegar, mustard, olive oil and herbs.

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I like those Olivia Organic Power Greens.  Then those rainbow cherry tomatoes, red onion and baby bella mushrooms.  A little shaved parmesan and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fashion Find

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I like the style of that top.  The necklace is cute also.

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Also the above pocketbook is real leather and only $29.00 at Target on line.  It’s a crossbody and so fashionable.

Photo Landscape

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The above photo is near Stowe, Vermont.  Vail from Colorado just bought the resort at Stowe.  But my dream would be to have a view like that and have a house built just the way that I like it on a piece of land like the above.

Inspiration

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Cheer Up thought

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Something to think about as winter is winding down and Spring is only 21 days away.  All the garden seed catalogs are out now.  It’s a fun time to plan a garden.

Household tip

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A nifty trick that will keep your tulips upright is to put a penny in bottom of vase and then fill with water.  It keeps tulips from drooping.

So that is a start on how I want to organize my blog to make it helpful and interesting.  I hope that it is interesting to you and helpful as well.

 

Spring Around the Corner

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I think that winter waterfalls are beautiful.  Just something about them, the way they look so ice cold.

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It was unseasonably warm today but it is still winter.  People were not wearing jackets and the snow was melting.  In the higher elevations there still is quite a bit of snow.

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St Patrick’s day is in a few weeks.  I like the cute little captured Leprechaun idea for a centerpiece for a St Patrick’s day  tablescape.

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Love the tablescape idea.  The white candles and green plates are so pretty and I love the little pots of gold.

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I pinned the above St Patrick’s day recipes on my Pinterest St Patrick ideas board.  Some fun ideas.

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I like the white daisies combined with the green carnations idea.  That would make a nice bouquet to have for the table on St Patrick’s day.

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I pinned the recipe for Shamrock Shake Macarons on my Pinterest St Patrick’s day ideas.  Such a cute idea.

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I saw a recipe for Irish Berry Scones that sounded nice to have on St Patrick’s day.  I also pinned that recipe on my Pinterest.

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What a neat breakfast of oatmeal and scones.  Love it!

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Then I saw a recipe for Irish Potato Bread that was for a bread machine and it had Rosemary butter with it.  I pinned that recipe on the St Patrick’s day ideas also.

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I also saw a cute idea of using a Martha Stewart craft punch to make four leaf clovers using a baby spinach leaf.

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They put the clover leaves over mashed potatoes that they just mixed some pesto in.  So cute!

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Just last week waterfalls looked like the above.  Totally frozen.  It’s like a thaw today.  It has been a strange winter this year.

And that’s my thoughts for today.

Surprises

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A dozen roses for me yesterday.  What a surprise as I did not expect them this year.  Sigurd has been really busy with keeping up with all he has to do, but he found the time to think of Valentines day in spite of everything.  Warmed my heart.

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I took a ton of photos of the roses.

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Love them.

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I found a box like the above for Valentine cookies for Sig.  He loved them.  I also got him some chocolate covered strawberries and I made a photo card for him.  The card came out really good which was another surprise as it was not easy for me to make.

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It wasn’t supposed to snow much today but the snow is coming down heavily and covering the cars and sticking to the trees.  Another surprise.

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It looks like the above outside today but they predicted just maybe an inch or two of snow.

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The Sugar Houses are making maple syrup already and have been for several weeks.  I saw a really neat recipe for maple sugar candy that looked really good.  They made the snowflake shape from silicone molds that you can buy on Amazon.  I pinned the recipe on my Vermont recipes board on my Pinterest.  The snowflake mold is on Amazon.

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I saw a video where Martha Stewart visited the Harlow Sugarhouse in Putney, VT and made some of that Maple sugar candy.  I couldn’t find the recipe on her blog or website, but this is the recipe on the video:

Ingredients:

2 cups fancy maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon milk

Directions:

Bring the maple syrup and milk to a boil in a saucepan until the temperature is 242 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat and stir while hot.  Pour into a mold and let it cool.

You can get those silicon molds in all shapes.  They had heart shapes, maple leaf shapes and sap bucket shapes.

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I like the above dresser.  I had one that was similar to the one above that my grandmother gave to my mother and my Mom gave it to me.

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I like the style of Aiken House & Gardens that is in Nova Scotia.  What a beautiful winter afternoon tea.

There is a tea house near Stowe, Vermont at the Trapp Family Lodge that Sigurd and I went to one time and they served afternoon tea out on the deck with a view that was just gorgeous.  They closed the tea house and I think I recently saw that they are going to refurbish the tea house and open it again.  If so, Sigurd and I want to take a trip up there this summer.  We had so much fun there.

They have cross country ski trails at the Trapp Family Lodge and in the summer you can hike along the trails.  Just a beautiful area.

And that’s my thoughts for today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentines Day

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I don’t have the Le Creuset heart-shaped little ramekins, but I have a similar heart shape ramekin and I think that it would be fun to make some little chocolate souflettes for Valentines day.  And then some Cherry-vanilla ice cream with them.

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Also little Chicken-pot pies in a heart shape would be neat to make.

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Then a roasted beet salad with the beets cut out heart-shaped.

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I like the ideas that people have for tablescapes.

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The ultimate idea of chocolate covered strawberries and Champagne.

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I get inspiration from cute ideas on decorating heart-shaped cookies.

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Sometimes I get roses on Valentines day.  But I can remember when I was working in an office where there are cubicles and everyone gets roses on Valentines day delivered.  Everyone but me.  That is an awful feeling as it makes you feel like you are the only one that doesn’t count to someone.  And it’s just that it hurts and even a single rose would have meant the world.  Maybe a carnation from the grocery store, even.  Just something.  But I lived through it.  That was one way a certain little thought would have meant the world.

I get roses when I can’t even feel important about it.  That’s life.  The girls would say, “what did he do?”  Like it was a guilty gesture.  Oh well.  It could be worse.

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I usually would console myself by pretending a coffee mug was from my special someone.  I guess I’m silly that way.  There are more important things in life like making other people feel special and not worrying about oneself.

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I love the above photo of Vermont.  It really is a beautiful state.

And that’s my thoughts for today.

 

Snow Day getaway

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We had a kind of snow day today, but it wasn’t as bad as further south of us in Massachusetts.  It was a light snow that didn’t stick to the trees as it was like a powder snow.  But all the schools were closed and the roads were slippery.

The above photo is a chalet in the French Swiss Alps.  That would be my dream escape to really clear the mind.  No TV, no phones, no internet and just total relaxation.

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Can you imagine a hot tub with that background?  Wow, how awesome.

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And then a sauna with that view.  What a dream place.

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The inside would have open beams and a stone fireplace.

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A reading nook with soft pillows.

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The above little kitty cat has the right idea of just it’s own escape.

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It would be fun to cook some comfort foods.

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Have a fancy afternoon tea by the fireplace.

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Have to make some mac and cheese, the ultimate comfort food.

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Then to go for long walks and enjoy the cute wildlife along the way.

I get so tired of the stressful issues that are on the news all the time lately.  Then the weather is warm and raining with ice one day and freezing cold and snow the next day.  It’s not been a very fun winter.

So I made up a dream winter get away.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.