Monday, October 11, 2021

Kutztown Revisited


Kutztown Revisited

Our wedding anniversary is January 8th....but after our 40th my dear husband had the great idea to celebrate in some small way on the 8th of EVERY month.   Sometimes it is something simple like going out to lunch, or the movies, or getting ice cream...or taking a ride.  This past Friday we decided to take a ride to where our story began...Kutztown, Pennsylvania.   We met there and have so many happy memories of that time.  I was a student, he had just graduated from Penn...and though we did not date when we first met, once we connected there was no looking back.  The other reason we wanted to take a ride to Kutztown was to find Bear Claws.  Bear Claws are wonderful buns with cinnamon, icing,....kind of like bread with icing.  But, there are other pastries called Bear Claws that are more puff pastry with almond paste inside...good, but not the kind we were craving.  We had been searching for good Bear Claws and striking out at all the markets here.  We remembered there were REALLY good ones at the market in ROAD TRIP!

Our first stop was Renniger's Market.  We used to visit all the time when I was a student there in the 70's.   

The first thing that greeted us as we entered were these beautiful mums...

I was so tempted to buy one...but our screened patio gets very little sun and I don't have any luck out there with any live I passed.

We made our way into the market....looking for the elusive Bear Claws.
Along with lots of food ( produce, meats, etc.) Renniger's is famous for antiques and collectables. That part of the market is BIG on Saturdays, with just a few stands open on Friday...

But I spied this Hess Brothers hat box - How I loved that store in Allentown, PA....gone now, jut a memory.

At my age I did not think I suffered from PMS any longer...but it looks like I still do !
We turned a corner and THERE THEY WERE!   Joy! Rapture!  See the doughy bread, the streusel like crumbs, the icing....We bought 5 - 4 to take home and one to eat right then!

Covid is still spreading in our area, so we took our drinks and treat to the car...

SO good!

They were as delicious as we remembered.

We split one...but truth be told, I could have eaten the whole thing...maybe more than one!

We went to the Kutztown Market...because there you can find food and antiques.  Renniger's has several market locations...not all have food.  You can check them out on the link above.   After our treat we headed into downtown Kutztown and Kutztown University for a stroll down memory lane.   I will share that on my next post.  Until then...let me know if you have ever been to Renniger's.  Or if you have a baked good or treat that you remember enjoying years ago and are trying to find.  Please leave a comment below - I love hearing from you.  And now, on this October Monday morning I am off to do my to do list and turn it into "Ta Da"!  Thanks so much for stopping by Our New Vista - have a fabulous week!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Ready for Halloween!

Ready for Halloween!

Can't believe we have flipped the calendar over and it is October!  I love the fall weather and decorating for Halloween is always fun.  When we downsized to "Our New Vista" 4 years ago we discarded/yard sale sold/donated many item.  Lots of dishes and out door items - but I held onto all of the seasonal decorations for inside.  Each year I try to think "ok, do I need all of this ?  Do I really need 3 totes of Fall decorations, 1 tote of Halloween, and another tote of Thanksgiving items ?"  Yes....I do!  Our storage unit in the underground garage is not overflowing and there is plenty of room for all this "stuff" - so I am holding onto it and enjoying "playing house"!

The ghost wreath is several years old...I made it with a scrap of white fabric, half of a Styrofoam ball, and some ribbon.  I found the little Happy Halloween sign in a gift shop and it adds a nice touch. 

This welcome sign is perfect in the foyer with some scary, glitter spiders from Dollar Tree.

The wine rack gets some decorations with a cork pumpkin that was made by a friend, some old books painted black and decorated with silver letters from Dollar Tree.  The Bat Wing bottle and Spells book are also from Dollar Tree.  The other two bottles are from vanilla and worcestershire sauce.  The color looked good...I have to find some corks for the tops!

This Jack O Lantern - and the ghost - is SO old.  Back in 1977, when  I was first married, I went to a ceramics class and made these.  The Jack O Lantern used to sit in our front window to welcome the Trick or Treaters. 
There is no electrical outlet near where it sits now on our server - between the living and dining areas - so I put a battery operated candle in it and it works great!

A little candy corn filler and friendly ghost cheer up the dining table!

A little Halloween décor on the coffee table and some Halloween napkins for when we have treats.

Added the small Jack O Lantern and the ghost to our mantel....hoping it will scare those Philadelphia Eagles into winning!  So far, no luck.

This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE decoration.  My dear Aunt Mamie made this for me when she was in her 90's and started taking ceramics classes.  She made this and asked if I wanted it to light up...she can figure out how to do that.  And she did.  She made several for our family and each year we love to get out "Aunt Mamie's Ghost"!   God rest her soul...she lived to be 97 years old and her memory is a blessing!

Going to finish here with a little pillow I found in a gift shop several years it!   
Do you decorate for Halloween?  Inside or outside?  Both?  Please leave a comment and let me know - I love hearing from you.
Thank you for stopping by Our New Vista!


Monday, September 20, 2021

Falling into Autumn

Falling into Autumn

Since Fall starts this week I thought it was time get the autumn items out and decorate for the season.  I love Fall... and the wreath above is one of my favorites.  I make all of my wreaths and am so happy that now we are in an apartment and the sun does not fade the wreaths.  I really like the way the fall colors of this wreath show  up against the blue door. So...come on into Our New Vista....

Since we downsized I have not purchased any new Fall items...I find I have more than enough to decorate and use the items I have in different ways.  Here in the foyer I added some silk mums and a pumpkin to the area  - the jug is an old whisky jug from my grandparents "saloon".

I added some sunflowers to the fall items...

As well as this wonderful print  - thanks to Ann 

                                      of On Sutton Place

A small candle on the server...

Dining room centerpiece is a placemat found at Pier One years ago, some small faux apples, silk leaves, sunflower and a candle.

Added some Fall to the kitchen...

And added little touches of Fall all over ...

The pillow is several years old from Kohl's...but the throw I just found while waiting in line at Marshalls.  It was there in the checkout area and I loved it....SO soft!

A small hammered bowl from Ross with some Dollar Tree items and a votive holder...

The mantel area is all decked out for Fall...and for our Philadelphia Eagles!

Pulled out my Susan Branch Autumn book...such fun to read and find good recipes and cozy ideas.

And I really like pulling the Fall items out onto the screen porch...I change the pillows to autumn colors...

Add a pumpkin...

And some pillows and a throw....the perfect place to enjoy a cup of pumpkin spice coffee and a good book!
Thanks for stopping by Our New Vista - love hearing your comments and how you decorate for Fall!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Recycling Candle Jars


Recycling Candle Jars

I enjoy burning scented is my signal to relax.  Each evening after dinner we put the dishes in the dishwasher, wash and put away any thing that did not make it into the dishwasher, wipe down the counters with a granite spray, give a quick vacuum to the kitchen floor area and a once over to the living room....and then, I light the candle and it signals my brain to STOP - sit down and enjoy the evening.

Last night the Fresh Cut Roses candle burned down to the it's time for some Fall scents.  I love a pumpkin or spiced apple scent for this time of year.  Most times I burn a Yankee Candle as I can usually get one at a good price with a coupon, or at the local Yankee outlet  - but I also purchase candles at Ross, Marshalls, etc. 

I sit the candle on a Susan Branch pan that I used for has seen better days and looking at this photo I can see that it needs some TLC!

  I  only burn one candle and I keep it on my stove so that any soot does not get on my walls or ceiling.  And I use one of those "soot collector" lids on the candle, too !  But, once the candle has burned away it seems a shame to get rid of those nice

I peel the label off of the front of the candle...

then carefully use a small, sharp knife to remove the wax at the bottom.  Once the wax is out I cut it into little pieces and put it into a wax warmer that I keep on the bookcase in the living room.
There is still a bit of scent left in the wax and I don't want to waste it.
I fill the jar with hot water and dish soap and let it sit for a bit...then give it a good scrub and let it dry thoroughly.

And then...reuse them!  Our tradition is to have one piece of dark chocolate each night as we watch the national news at 6:30 - so the first jar I recycled I used for our chocolate stash!

The jars are pretty air tight and so I use them for pasta or rice...

or any special sweetener I keep in my baking area.

I also keep one in the laundry room on the counter to hold all the recycled batteries.  We have a trash room in our building that has a bin for the used batteries, so when this jar gets full we just empty it into the bin and start again.  We were using a lot of batteries for our motorized shades...they lasted about a year but when we replace them we had a lot of used batteries.  Now waiting on new parts for the shades that are rechargeable!  Will do a post on that when the parts arrive and are installed.
And the clean jars that I have no use for yet sit waiting on the top of the freezer in our laundry room. question for you is - do you recycle your candle - or other "good" jars ?   What other uses do you have ?  Any tips ?  I am thinking I fill them with treats ( might be too small for Christmas cookies, but some kind of treat) then decorate and give as a gift.  I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know your ideas. Thank you so much for stopping by Our New Vista - have a great day!

Kutztown Revisited

  Kutztown Revisited Our wedding anniversary is January 8th....but after our 40th my dear husband had the great idea to celebrate in some sm...