Month: October 2016

Dresses, Dresses and More Dresses!! Big Thrift Haul!

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I have not had a coupon for a while, so these prices are all as originally priced, but I am still quite happy with my finds.  This is a collective haul from three separate trips to Value Village and wouldn’t you know it…it’s all dresses!

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This green Cynthia Rowley dress was marked only $7.99.  What a steal!!  The sleeves have slits in them and I think I can wear it in the fall or winter with boots.

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At only $10.49 this dress is a little more pricy than I usually spend on a dress full price, but I love the lilac purple colour.  It has pockets, yeah!

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This printed black and white dress was $9.99.  I have already worn it only to discover that it needs to be taken in.

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This green Talbots dress was only $8.99.  It needs to be taken in a bit as it is huge on me, but I like the colour and the cut of the dress.

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This black and white dress was $9.99 but is huge and me and I am going to slim down the skirt as well.  I like the top part and the fact that the skirt has pockets, the holy grail for dresses and skirts.  It will be featured in a future refashioning post.

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This white dress was $9.99.  It has a tie on the back that I will probably remove and take the dress in.

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This last dress was in the ethnic clothing section for some reason.  It was marked at only $7.99.  It is far too big and shapeless on me, but I like the style of the neck and the print and colours so I am going to see if I can work with it and make something that I can wear.  What do you think of my beautiful new dresses?  Cheers and happy thrifting, Michele

Homemade Bibimbap!! Korean Deliciousness!

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So lately I have been watching a lot of Youtube videos of Korean cooking as I have been craving it and I got inspired to make my own Bibimbap which is one of my favourite dishes of all time. I won’t give all the recipes for the various toppings and the side dishes as I got them all from a lady named Maangchi who is an amazing Korean cook and shares her recipes on Youtube, in her cookbook and on her website at www.maangchi.com.  You should check her out!

Bibimbap

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First you need a well-seasoned heavy stoneware or cast-iron pan.

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Then make some short grain rice in the usual method that I have shared several times on this blog.

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I already made some Kimchi yesterday and it is already fermenting, yeah science!!

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I made some seaweed salad as a side dish as well.

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And a daikon radish and Korean pear salad too.

For the toppings, I made the following:

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Julienne carrot

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Zucchini

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Steamed sweet potato

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Preserved turnip that I bought at a local Asian store.

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Steamed bean sprouts

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Sauteed Shiitake mushrooms

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Enoki mushrooms

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Thinly sliced pork with seasonings

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Thinly sliced beef with seasonings

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Lotus root sautéed with garlic and green onion

So once my rice is well cooked, I heated up my cast-iron pan over medium high heat add some vegetable and sesame oil and add about 4-5 cups of cooked rice.  Then I arranged my various toppings on top and place a raw egg yolk or three (since there are three of us for dinner tonight) in the centre.  Once the rice starts to cook on the bottom and crackle and sizzle and steam will rise up from the pan.  Then I removed it from the stove and stirred it all together at the table.  The point is to stir in the ingredients and the heat of the hot rice heats them up.  I decided to err on the side of caution and cook the meats up before adding them to the Bibimbap but traditionally the meat goes on top raw and cooks in the sizzling hot rice.

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Here is the hot pepper paste that I served with our dinner.

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Here is the finished product!!  Gorgeous, delicious and nutritious!!!  It was very well received by my daughter Kate and her fiancé Chris.  Definitely a repeatable dish.

I hope you try out making some of the recipes from Maangchi’s website and Youtube videos.  She is a wonderful cook and teacher and is quite enjoyable to watch.  Cheers, Michele

Refashioning A Shower Curtain Into A Wrapskirt!!

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I know, I know, I always seem to refashion weird fabric sources into new clothes for myself, but I like the challenge and buying fabric from a fabric store can be expensive.  I like to have unusual fabrics for my refashions. And this refashion took less than 1/2 hour. I bought this black and white fabric shower curtain for 30% off of $4.99.

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It is a standard size shower curtain with button holes for the shower hooks.

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I don’t often make skirts and I am sure you are rather tired of the same t-shirt style dress I always make and love, so I decided to go a different way with this refashion.  I used my dress maker’s mannequin to help me measure the length I wanted the skirt and then pinned the cut material on to check the length.

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Then I hemmed the bottom.

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To take the waist in and hide all the button holes except for the two on each end, I folded the fabric so that the button-hole was in the centre of the fold and stitched down the waist band with a quarter-inch seam.

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Luckily I had some beautiful black and white buttons rescued from a previous refashion.

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Then I pinned it back on the dress maker’s mannequin and figured out where my two buttons should go.  I sewed them on and tadaaa!

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My skirt is finished.  It looks much nicer on than on the mannequin, but I had no one to help me take a photo of the skirt on.  I think it will look fabulous in the spring and summer with flats or in the winter with high boots.  The fabric is nice and crisp and I love the pattern.  I have enough left over that I might make a top with the rest.  Stay tuned for a possible future refashion.  Cheers, Michele

Why I Still Love To Thrift Shop!!

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Here are some reasons I love to thrift, anyone who is a thrifter will understand and hopefully some future thrifters will be inspired.

  1. I am a thrifter from my childhood and there is nothing like walking into a thrift store feeling the anticipation of the next great find.  Even after years of thrifting, I still feel that buzz of excitement in finding a great piece or pieces.
  2. The knowledge that I can find unique pieces that not everyone would have or even wear is always exciting to me.
  3. The vintage pieces are worth the hunt.
  4. The quality of the fabric and construction of vintage pieces.
  5. Saving wonderful pieces from the landfill.
  6. The people I meet in the thrift shops.
  7. The money I save, even though the prices at thrift stores have gone up way too much
  8. The staff at the stores that I frequent.
  9. Blogging about my thrift finds.
  10. Finding things that I can refashion.

What are your favourite things about thrift shopping?  I would love to hear from you.  Cheers, Michele

More Favourite Books!! The Joe Ledger Series by Jonathan Maberry!

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Jonathan Maberry writes some of my favourite zombie books and he also writes comics and other fiction.  I love his Joe Ledger books about a special agent in a secret government organization who takes on the ultimate bad guys, apocalyptic scenarios and zombies as well.  I highly recommend this series as great escapist reads.

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They are full of action, monsters, terrible bad guys and apocalyptic warnings.  Joe Ledger is the ultimate bad good guy who has lots of dark secrets and rough edges.  They are a great summer or anytime read.  Happy reading, Cheers, Michele

Peanut Butter Granola!! Gluten-Free And Yummy!

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This peanut butter granola recipe is my own version of several other recipes cobbled together and is being posted on my blog at the request of my daughter Katie’s boyfriend Chris.  The main recipe source is from www.breakfastdramaqueen.com so kudos to that blogger for a great starting recipe.  I have added more ingredients because I like my granola with lots of different flavours.

Image courtesy of www.breakfastdramaqueen.com
Image courtesy of www.breakfastdramaqueen.com

Peanut Butter Granola

Dry Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if required)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3 Tbsps flax seeds or flax-seed meal

3 Tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

You can add dried fruit, but add it together with the finished baked granola so that the fruit doesn’t burn.

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsps coconut oil

2 tsps vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper.  Mix all dry ingredients well in a large bowl.  In a large microwave proof dish or 2 cup glass measuring cup add all wet ingredients.  Microwave on high for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes til liquid.  Stir together well before pouring over dry ingredients.  Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.  Divide mixture between the two pans and spread out evenly.  Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes depending on how brown you want your granola.  Rotate the pans every so often to allow to bake evenly.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container.  Serve with yogurt and fresh fruit for either a delicious breakfast or dessert.  It also makes a great topping for a fruit crumble.

I hope you try this granola out, it is super easy and delicious and much more healthy than the store-bought cereals.  Cheers, Michele

NYX Butter Gloss Lipcolour Collection Review!!

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My daughter Kate loves these NYX Butter Gloss lip colours.  They come in two types, the basic Butter Glosses and the Intense Butter Glosses.  The basic Butter Glosses are more sheer and obviously the Intense ones are more pigmented. She only has a few of each type, but here are the ones she likes and has kept.

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Here are the basic Butter Glosses from left to right, Eclair, Meringue, Tiramisu, Vanilla Cream Pie and Angel Food Cake.

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Here are the swatches again with the same order as above from left to right in the top left hand pictures and then following down top to bottom, left to right for the lip swatches.

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The Intense Butter Glosses from left to right are Toasted Marshmallow, Chocolate Crepe and Tres Leches.

 

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Here are the swatches again from left to right (top left picture), top to bottom, left to right on the lips.

They all smell like candy or cake and are very nice in their colour payoff and finish.  Easy to remove, not staining or sticky.  you should try them out.  Cheers, Michele