Winter Outfits in Review

My plan this week is to begin going through my closet and dresser, pulling out the heavy winter pieces to store away, and cull anything that doesn’t spark joy. Today I prepared the bedroom for such activity by dusting and sweeping up dust bunnies. Of course, the weather this week is chilly and damp, more suited to keeping those fuzzy sweatshirts handy. But I am determined…I can wear layers, after all.

A few weeks ago, while hunting for something among the totes in our storage area, I ran across a tote full of winter clothing that I’d missed back in October. Inside were some long sleeve tees, fleece lined leggings, and a sweater dress! I managed to squeeze in two wearings of the sweater dress before it warmed up too much (and I could probably wear it again this week, considering the chill). This reminded me that there are a few winter outfit photos in my blog folder that were never published. And so I’ll squeeze them in now…

This outfit is one that I would actually wear right now, but it was late October when this photo was taken.

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Outfit details: LuLaRoe Carly dress ~ eBay; denim jacket ~ Christopher & Banks; scarf ~ thrifted; boots ~ Target

Here’s a dressy-casual outfit worn to church one Sunday in November:

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Outfit details: dress ~ zulily; scarf ~ Walmart (I think); LuLaRoe leggings ~ Facebook group; Vionic boots ~ eBay.

My wardrobe has undergone a shift towards the casual end of the spectrum over this past winter. It seems silly to have so many dressy clothes when 95% of the time, they simply hang in the closet. The discovery of the comfort and ease of LuLaRoe clothing could not have come at a better time for me!

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Outfit details: LuLaRoe Classic T and leggings ~ Facebook groups; sweater ~ thrifted; scarf ~ JC Penney’s; boots ~ JCP.

This is what I wore to have one last coffee date in late January with my dear friend and former next-door neighbor before she moved out of state. Miss you, Cassie!

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Outfit details: dress ~ Target; tunic top ~ Amazon; LLR skirt worn as a scarf ~ FB group; LLR leggings ~ FB group; boots ~ JCP

Once again, this LuLaRoe Carly dress made an appearance, this time worn to church the Sunday before Valentine’s Day. I love, love, LOVE this dress, and have worn it many times. I hope it is exceptionally durable, because it’s going to be worn a LOT more and I don’t want it to wear out!

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Outfit details: LLR Carly dress ~ eBay; cardigan ~ thrifted; underdress (barely peeking out) ~ eBay; LLR leggings ~ FB group; Born ankle boots ~ Vanderbuilt’s.

 

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Maple Oat Date Scones

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Despite knowing that it’s best to focus on what one is eating during a meal, I like to read while having my breakfast and lunch. (Hubby is home for supper, so we watch the news on tv.) I love to bake yummy things for our breakfasts, especially things like these scones, that makes a big batch. Half goes directly into the freezer, so Some Postman can have a quick but tasty meal before he is off to deliver the mail.

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Scones are so easy to make, and can be changed up simply by varying the add-ins. I found a basic scone recipe on AllRecipes.com and altered it to suit my tastes.

Maple Oat Date Scones

1 large egg

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp maple extract

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup quick oats (not instant; can use old fashioned, tho)

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Cream or half-and-half

Coarse (turbinado) sugar

Heat oven to 425°F. If using metal baking sheet, line with parchment paper. (I use a well-seasoned stoneware 11×15 pan, so it doesn’t need any pre-treatment.)

In a 2-cup measure, stir together the egg, buttermilk, maple syrup and extracts. In large bowl, stir together flours, oats, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. Drop in chunks of butter; cut into flour mixture with a pastry blender. Add dates and pecans (if desired). Make a well in the center. Stir in liquid ingredients with a fork, just until all dry ingredients are incorporated. May need to add a tablespoon or two more buttermilk if the dough seems too dry.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to make the dough hold together. Divide in half. Pat each half into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel, cut each circle into six wedges. Place on baking sheet. Brush each scone with cream; sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes:  Instead of buttermilk, this time I used regular milk that had gone sour. It worked just as well, and made good use of icky milk. Also, Some Postman doesn’t like nuts in his pastries, so I make half with fruit only and add the nuts to the other half just before kneading it. And, of course, the measurements for the add-ins (dates, pecans, even the cinnamon) are approximate, since I just toss in however much looks good at the time.

You can easily change up the flavor of the scones by subbing out the dates with raisins, dried cherries, dried peaches, or chocolate chips. I like to make a tropical scone using dates, dried pineapple, and coconut (no coconut for Some Postman).

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Book Review:  Life After, by Katie Ganshert

Book Review: Life After, by Katie Ganshert

Earlier this year, I signed up to be a part of the WaterBrook & Multnomah book launch program. The first book for which I was invited to be an advanced reader is Life After, by Katie Ganshert. My copy arrived a few weeks ago, and I finished reading it last night.

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Life After is the story of Autumn Manning, a young woman who is the sole survivor of a train bombing in Chicago. She struggles with survivor’s guilt and is haunted by the victims who didn’t make it. Paul Elliott’s wife was one of those victims, and when Autumn and the Elliotts’ lives intersect, both must overcome their fear and grief to find the answers for which they search.

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Life After is the first book of Katie Ganshert’s that I have read, and I enjoyed turning every page. Her novel is beautifully written, capturing your heart from the beginning to the end. The characters are well developed and authentic. The story could have been taken from today’s headlines, making it very relevant to our modern lives. It is touching, heart-breaking and heart-warming all at the same time.

Even if you’ve not been the victim of a tragedy such as this, it is easy to relate to the characters in Life After. Everyone has questioned their purpose in life at some point; this book explores that purpose, and offers hope and meaning when we struggle to see either. One of my favorite quotes in Life After is towards the end of the book, when Ina May, who was widowed by the Tragedy on the Tracks, says, “We worship a God who might not give us the miracle, but He will always give us the comfort.”

Life After is available for pre-order at http://wmbooks.com/LifeAfterBook and if you order before March 16, 2017, you’ll receive some lovely bonus gifts ~ a signed bookplate, a beautiful bookmark, and a copy of Everything Beautiful coloring book.

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(Note:  I do not receive any compensation for my review, other than getting an Advanced Reader Copy of the book free. All opinions are my own.)

Adventures in Thrifting:  A Good Haul Week!

Adventures in Thrifting: A Good Haul Week!

The Thrifting Fairies must have scattered some pixie dust on me this week! If you’re a regular thrifter, you know that sometimes it’s like fishing with a dead worm and coming up with an old boot. Other times, it’s like when Jesus told the disciples to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, and they caught so  many fish the boat started to sink! I came home with a good haul this week; not quite sink-the-boat big, but better than an old boot!

On Monday, I visited Goodwill during my weekly grocery trip to town. I’ve been in the habit of stopping in there each week ever since I found a few pieces of LuLaRoe clothing about a month ago. I keep hoping whoever donated those pieces will clean more out of her closet (she hasn’t yet). Here is what I found this week:

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I’m not a huge fan of polka dots, but something about this Quacker Factory jacket appealed to me; the red tee with stars looks cute with it. Add jeans and there’s an outfit! The blue Aztec print top is made from super-soft material – the exact blend as LuLaRoe leggings – and it’s Bobbie Brooks, a brand from Walmart. Apparently I really love olive green tunic tops; this one joined three others already in my closet. (One of which got culled, because I like the newest one with the lace hem better.) The purple print boho top is Mosimo from Target, and is similar to several other tops of the same brand I found at a yard sale last summer. They are cool and breezy for summer.

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Do you wanna read ABC books with a snowman? Ha ha ha! Olaf will be a birthday gift for a certain niece of mine who loves the movie Frozen. The vintage-looking (but completely modern) letter shape books will be a birthday gift for my grandbaby Miss Pie.

I stopped at the mall on Monday, too. While JC Penney’s is a department store, NOT a thrift store, occassionally one can score a very thrifty deal, especially when combining clearance sales with coupons. I spent a total of $3.00 for everything seen in the two photos below:

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Outfits for Miss Pie

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Valentine pin for my collection; card of pins to add to niece L’s birthday gift.

Remember the $1/bag sale at the local thrift shop I mentioned in my previous post? Well, the sale is now in the history books, but I did get over there for the first day of the sale. In fact, I was one of the first people in line. I came home with three paper grocery sacks filled to the brim! Much of that will be eBay fodder, but I did get a few pretties for myself.

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The black hooded swing-style all-weather coat is a tad big on me, even though it’s a size medium, but I love it enough that it doesn’t matter. The floral top is another of those Mosimo boho tops from Target. Pretty plates speak to my heart, and when I find one as sweet as this fruity one with gold trim, it’s an easy purchase. Books are another easy purchase…and when I saw one of my favorite Nancy Drew titles, of course I had to buy it! Three bags cost $3, and since I bought about 30 items, each piece cost a neat dime. Not too shabby!

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While placing The Hidden Staircase on my bookshelf, I thought it sure would be fun to get a few more of the first books in the Nancy Drew series. And so I went hunting online…and found a listing on eBay for the first five books in perfect condition! I’ve put in an offer, so we’ll see if I get them.

Today was the monthly sale day at the Catholic church in another town; normally, I would have gone to the sale with my daughter. However, our early spring weather is taking a break and allowed Winter to remind us that she’s not finished yet. It’s snowing and cold. Bleh. So my dear daughter went to the sale by herself. She shared some pics of the goodies she found:

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Laundry sign

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Shirts for Miss Pie

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For a future birthday party

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A yellow pail for holding chalk ~ She has a chalk wall just around the corner.

If you’re out thrifting this weekend, I wish you happy hunting!

Adventures in Thrifting: What a Dollar Got Me

I’ve gotten out of the habit of documenting my thrift shopping finds, and it’s time to rectify that situation! This weekend, the local church-run thrift store is offering all their merchandise for 50% off. Yesterday was the first day of the sale, so I stopped by while I was in town for a meeting.

This is what $1 bought:

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The purple slippers are brand new; so are the vacuum bags, although there are just two in the package. The book has a similar-sounding title to this month’s book club selection. Not the same story, I’m sure, so I’d better keep looking for the correct book. This book looked interesting to me, though!

My purchases may have been few, but I am happy with them. The primary reason I didn’t buy more is because next week the thrift store will have their $1 a bag sale. That’s when people line up at the door before they open, and I’ll be joining the crowd. Even though paper sacks are provided for shoppers, I always bring my own reusable grocery bags. They are about the same size, but have the benefit of long handles. This way, I can carry the bag over my shoulder and cram stuff in it.

There’s another little shop downtown that is on my frequent shopping rotation. It’s not a thrift store, but the propriator does offer a selection of vintage jewelry for fair prices. I love to stop in and see what’s new in the glass case of vintage pins and brooches, and nearly always leave with a treasure. This little show-off rooster pin came home with me yesterday:

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He reminds me of Napoleon, my Banty roo!

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What thrifty treasures have you found lately?