Monday, January 31, 2022

January Finds


January Finds!

This paper bag ended up holding some found treasures.  The community where we live hosts a kind of garage/rummage sale called "Cash and Carry".  People donate all kinds of items and the cash goes to the community charity fund.   The sale is held in the auditorium of a building in the community.  Residents can donate items all year long, and then volunteers sort and price the items.  A sale is held several times a year.  The sale runs for two days...first day everything is the price it is marked.  Second day is half price sale for the first hour...and then...the last hour is $2.00 Bag Sale.   You purchase a bag for $2.00 and anything and everything that fits in the bag is yours...for $2.00 ! when we moved here, we downsized, cleaned out lots of "stuff", had a yard sale, and made many trips to donations centers to get rid of anything we no longer needed.  So, by that theory, I should not even think about going to Cash and Carry to buy things that other people discarded.  Right ?   Let's face it, I cannot resist a bargain. H
Here is what I was able to stuff into that bag...
First was a cute Valentine themed dish towel.  This looked new and like it was never used, so it went into the bag.

This jar of crystal fillers was marked at $2.00 - way too much.  But since I can always use more of these for my containers, in the bag it went!

These placemats looked brand new - marked at $4.00.  I don't use those colors in my dining room, but thought they would work for Fall tablescapes, so into the bag.

This was a great find!  My husband is a big Eagles fan ( as you can see from the container of Eagles paraphernalia that sadly is stored away until next year as the Eagles did not make it after the first Wild Card match up) and this travel mug looked brand new.  I checked the inside - never used.  It still had the NFL tag on the bottom.  SCORE - into the bag! 

This Melitta pour over looks a little rough, but I ran it through the dishwasher.  I have a single cup version that I just love.

This larger one will work great with the coffee pot I found a few years ago at Pottery Barn.  I love the pour over method of making coffee.  I heat the water in an electric kettle and it is so nice and hot.  And when guests are here it allows me to make regular, decaf, or tea...without making an entire pot of anything.  And I don't have a single cup machine cluttering up my counters.

Then I spied these...not sure if they are wine or champagne glasses, but I liked the look of them.  There were 5 - so I stuffed them into the bag (between the towel and placemats) and figured I will use them for something, someday.
Last thing to make it into the bag were these little lotus dishes.  Once again, only 5 of them - but perfect for dipping sauce, apple sauce as a side, whatever.
By this time my bag was clinking and getting heavy so I happily carried my finds home!
Other January purchases came from Amazon and Target...
We drove friends to the airport and stopped at a SUPER Target where I found some great things in the Dollar Zone -
This set of two containers for $5.00 

I used the larger one to corral the stamps and stampers I use most often...

This set of two risers (again, for 5 bucks) will be used a lot as I change things around.

A great artificial plant for the rooms where I don't get much light...

I loved this tray for 5 bucks...I like to arrange things on a tray on the coffee table and dining table.  I like the clean look and black metal on this one. Thanks to Kathryn from Do It On A Dime for the great Target ideas.  After seeing your video blog I had to get to Target!
Then I had to get some filters for the Melitta...Amazon to the rescue! -

I found the correct size for the new pour over and also found some filters for my percolator.  I really LOVE perked coffee!

This little tool has been getting a lot of mentions on some "best of Amazon" posts so I added that to my order.  It should be good for cleaning those little nooks and crannies around the house.

One last thing...the roller in the main bathroom started to show wear. It is a little thing, but it bothered me...

Amazon to the rescue!  It cost only $1.39 and was delivered the next day.  Looks much better now - even if we are the only ones who see it!
What have you purchased lately?  Do you go to yard sales, thrift shops, or rummage sales?  I would love to hear about your finds.  Leave a message below - I really enjoy hearing from you and making new blog friends.
Thanks for stopping by Our New Vista...have a great day!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Soup Weather!


Soup Weather !

"The weather outside is frightful..." - but soup is so delightful!  Pardon me for messing with the lyrics, but when the temps plummet we like nothing better than to enjoy our cozy home and settle in with a bowl of hot soup.  I have a few recipes for soup that cook all day in the crock pot or slow cooker.  We love chicken noodle soup - and you can see my version of that soup here - 

Chicken Soup

Yesterday I made Split Pea soup - and it was the perfect meal for a cold winter night.  I found the recipe a few years ago on a blog called Simply Happy Foodie, and you can find the printable recipe on that blog - Simply Happy Foodie Split Pea Soup

I make a few changes to the recipe to suit our taste and diet - and it turns out great.

First I chop three carrots...I don't chop them too fine as I like to see the carrots in the soup...

Then one onion...

Three stalks of celery...and I usually chop up the celery leaves, too.
Rinse and sort through the peas...then add them to the crock pot.

Once you rinse them they kind of stick together, so I break them up in the pot.

I usually use vegetable broth, but with the supply chain issues I have had trouble finding veggie broth in the large size, so I bought a few of the low sodium chicken broth until I can find the veggie version.  The recipe calls for 7 cups of broth, but I used two containers for a total of 8 cups.

Add the chopped veggies to the peas and broth, then stir in 
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 teaspoon of Thyme leaves ( I just eyeball it....)
1/4 teaspoon of salt - I use kosher and put it in with other spices
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper - once again, just eyeball it
Turmeric - this is not in the original recipe, but I have been adding it to all my soups.  It is supposed to have great health benefits and we don't notice any taste difference.  Once again, I don't measure...just shake some in!
The original recipe calls for bacon, a leftover ham bone, or diced leftover ham  - or all three. We don't eat that much meat anymore, so I just leave that out.  The recipe calls for liquid smoke, but I don't use that either.

Mix everything together - and I usually spray the pot with olive oil spray or Pam so nothing sticks...

Put the lid on, set to low, and cook for 7-8 hours.
And that is it....all day long you can smell the soup cooking and you just know you are going to have a warm, healthy meal ready for dinner!

After 8 hours this is the finished product.
I serve a big bowl topped with some croutons and a little sprinkle of chopped up turkey bacon - if I have any on hand, but it is a fine soup without any additions.  We enjoy it with some crusty bread...usually those big whole grain seeded loaves at Costco.

And here is the best part...leftovers.  The original recipe says it serves 8-10, and I am guessing that is smaller servings.  With the big soup bowls we use I find you can get 6 good, dinner sized servings.  So the other servings are put in containers from Dollar Tree and my husband's job is to label them...These two are labeled "Dry January Pea Soup" and "Eagles vs Bucs Pea Soup"!  Dry January because we have been reading that is a "thing" - and after our anniversary this weekend where we had mimosas, wine, champagne  - we are going for a dry rest of the month.  And Eagles vs Bucs....the Philadelphia Eagles are in the playoffs and we are hoping for a good outcome this weekend.  I love the way he labels the food for the freezer - we have a small upright freezer in our laundry room - and I always get a giggle when I go to find something in the freezer!
Today is another very cold day!  John has requested Toasted Cheese and Tomato Soup for dinner.  I checked the pantry and I don't have any cans of tomato soup and I am not venturing out in 13 degree weather for a can of soup. the back of that freezer is a container of chopped up garden tomatoes.  We don't have a garden - never did and being in an apartment we won't now.  But our community has an area where residents can rent a garden plot for 5 dollars a season.  Many of our neighbors do, and we often find fresh produce at our door as they have a bountiful harvest.  One day our neighbor gave us a big bag of tomatoes...I just chopped them up and froze them - and today I am going to turn them into soup.  If it works out I will post how it went on a later post!
Thanks so much for stopping by Our New Vista today - please leave a message below and let me know if you have a good soup recipe...or what dishes you like to prepare on these cold winter days.  Have a great week and stay warm!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Cozy Winter Time


Cozy Winter Time!

As much as I love the holidays and all the Christmas decorations....I enjoy the day it all gets packed away until next year - and the cozy winter time.  We usually "un-decorate" on New Year's Day while watching the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy channel.  Wow, some of those are SO good!  This year, since Covid and Omicron made the holidays another scary time we decided since nobody else was coming to visit we would take everything down and store it away earlier.   I know a lot of people go right into Valentine decorations, but maybe it's because I taught school for so many years and my school library had two display cases that I changed each and every month...I like to do a January/Winter/Snowman decor for this month. The little bird above is a clearance at Target a few years ago.   This seems like a good time to pull out all the blue items that have been hiding away...and I added a blue snowflake from a pack of decorations at Dollar Tree.

The larger candle jar of the same design is on our server...once again, both purchased a few years ago on clearance at Target.   The little snowman was a gift...
Snowflake pillow from Hobby Lobby....

And the bottom of the side table holds the Eagles snowman, ball and bobble bring the Eagles good luck.  Which they need!

I like to tuck in little snowflakes all over...

Some little snow features at the sink...and Meyer's SNOWDROP hand soap.

The door out to the screened patio also has some snowmen...

A little bit of blue and silver on the mantel...

The corner of the kitchen gets some snowmen, too.  I have had the tin leftover from cookies for years and I love the snowy scenes.

The top of the wine rack gets a few snowflakes and this little snow girl..
Here is a better look at her.  This ornament was a gift from a dear friend this year, and it was too darn cute to pack away - It came with a red ribbon hang tag, so I just switched to a blue ribbon to fit the blu-ish theme I have going.

Simple dining room centerpiece...a candle holder I found in a local Thrift Shop and the "snowballs" are ornaments found on clearance at Lowe's!

Coffee table gets a tray with glitter balls ( and you can see I need to dust often!) and a candle to add some sparkle with the blue beads!
The rest of my snowman collection - and another "snowball" decorate the foyer.

And our front door gets a snowman wreath.  I made this years can see what it used to look like in older posts.  But, the hat was blue and when we moved here with a dark front door it did not work.  This year I finally changed out the scarf, mittens, and hat..and added a few more snowflakes.  
Do you take your Christmas decorations down now or wait until later in January?  How about winter or snowman decorations ?  Or do you go right to Valentine's Day?
Please leave a comment below and let me know - and thank you so much for stopping by
Our New Vista.
Wishing you and yours a blessed, peaceful, HEALTHY 2022! 

Trip !

  TRIP !!! And not the trip we were looking forward to...out for a walk and waiting for the crosswalk to say WALK.  A tractor trailer turned...