Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Featured at Coastal Charm!

A big thank you to Linda at Coastal Charm for featuring my Thrifty Community Yard Sales Buys in her Nifty Thrifty Tuesday Highlights!  Be sure to head over to Coastal Charm today to see all the lovely thrifty treasures and link up some of your own!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market

The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market opens for the season this Wednesday - April 28th.  The market is held on Wednesdays from 10 AM to 2 PM at the City Plaza on Fayetteville Street.  The kickoff will include BBQ from the Pit and bluegrass music! 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Market Day - April 24th

From the Midtown Farmers' Market

1lb grass-fed beef & 1lb pastured pork sausage (Cohen Farm)
Local honey (The Pleasant Bee)
2 bunches asparagus (Cloverfields Farm)
1 pint strawberries, red leaf lettuce & kale (Rocky River Farm)
1 bunch of radishes (Cedar Rock Farm)
1 bag of arugula (Piedmont Biofarm)
and fresh flowers (Blue Dragonfly Cut Flowers)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kale Chips - Draft Day Snack

Another way to enjoy local kale from the farmers' market - kale chips!  I made these last night for Dave's NFL Draft viewing.  After rubbing the kale leaves in olive oil, I seasoned them with Real Salt, ground pepper and a little Old Bay seasoning (Clayton is fond of crab chips - potato chips with Old Bay).  Delicious and addictively snackable!   

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Waste Not - Local Carrots

Oatmeal Carrot Cookies

One of my homecaring goals this year, is to reduce waste in the kitchen.  Especially when it comes to the fresh vegetables we buy at the farmers' market.  A few of the carrots I bought at the market over the weekend were starting to get a bit soft.  So I shredded them and made a little afternoon snack for the kids - Oatmeal Carrot Cookies! 

For the cookies, I used the Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe as a guide, with a few changes of my own:

1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup Rapunzel organic unrefined, unbleached whole cane sugar
2 local pastured eggs
1 teaspoon homemade vanilla
1-1/2 cup King Arthur unbleached white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup organic rolled oats
1 cup shredded local carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together olive oil and organic whole cane sugar.  Add in local, pastured eggs and homemade vanilla.  Stir well.  Add in flour, baking soda and cinnamon.  Mix well.  Add oats and shredded carrots.  Add additional oil (a small amount) if needed.

Drop dough onto greased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

Please note the preparation time of these cookies will be lengthened if you have to:

A - Help daughter locate runaway caterpillar
B - Build makeshift caterpillar Alcatraz
C- Soothe a tired 3yo who thinks naps are so 2008
D - Inform 5yo that throwing socks into the ceiling fan would not be in his best interest

Cool cookies, then enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dinner on the Grill

Dinner hot off the grill - grilled local sweet potato fries, local asparagus and local smoked jalapeno sausage.  Grilled local yumminess from the Midtown Farmers' Market

FPU Kit Giveaway!

Mrs. A at This Little Piggy Bank Bought A House is giving away a Financial Peace University Kit!  Her family has been so blessed by Dave Ramsey's message of financial peace, and now she would like to pass that blessing onto someone else.  Head on over to her blog  for a chance to win this FPU Kit.  The giveaway ends on Friday, April 23rd - so hurry! 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dressing the Kids for Less

On Saturday, Dave and I got up early and went out to the Spring yard sale at Crossroads Fellowship Church.  Shopping there is a win-win for us.  We can find good, quality clothes for the kids at inexpensive prices ($1 a piece).  And all the proceeds of the sale go to the church's mission programs. 

$1 Ralph Lauren polo shirts for the boys

For the boys, I found plenty polo shirts.  If you peeked into our boys' closet, you would certainly be able to tell that I adore polo shirts (and sweater vests!).  To me, they are the perfect casual/dressy shirt all-in-one.  I bought 8 polo shirts along with 2 t-shirts and 1 pair of shorts.

$1 Gymboree tops for Ashleigh

For Ashleigh, I found 9 tops (mostly short-sleeved and a few long sleeved shirts for cool Spring mornings - like today!), 3 pairs of jeans and 6 big hair bows.  For all the kids clothing, we paid $23.

In addition to the childrens' clothing, I found this small top for myself - $2

2 board games for the kids - Dino Checkers (50-cents) and Hi Ho Cherry-o ($1)

A Vtech V.Smile TV Learning System with two controllers and 5 games for $15 

And a wooden, heart-shaped flag wall plaque for $1

I can't wait until the church's next yard sale!  I've already got my calendar marked.

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm sharing these thrifty buys at:

Southern Hospitality - Today's Thrifty Treasures

Sunday, April 18, 2010

FREE Vegetable Plants!

A big thank you to Grow and Share for the free vegetable plants!  We'll use these to get our small garden going this year.  For those in the Raleigh area, Grow and Share will have another plant giveaway next Saturday and Sunday.  See their website for details and locations.  Plants are given away on a first come, first served basis.

Breakfast of Champions

A great way to start of the day - local, pastured pork sausage patties and local, scrambled pastured eggs.

Local pastured eggs - full of flavor and nutrition!  From the Midtown Farmer's Market to our breakfast table!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Eat Fresh - Local Veggies

From the Midtown Farmers' Market to our table - A fresh salad made with local red leaf lettuce & arugula with sliced, local strawberries along with local carrots and radishes for dipping in homemade ranch dressing. 

Market Day - First Day!

It was so wonderful catching up with some of the familiar faces at the Midtown Farmers' Market and meeting some new ones as well!  I can already tell its going to be a great year at the market!  Here's what we picked up this morning:

2 dozen pastured eggs & 2 bunches of radishes (S & L Farm)
Sweet potatoes (R & V Farm)
2 bundles of asparagus (Cloverfields Farm)
Red leaf lettuce, 1 bunch of kale and 1 pint of strawberries (Rocky River Farm)
1lb grass-fed beef & 1lb pastured pork sausage (Cohen Farm)
1 bunch of carrots & 1 bag of arugula (Piedmont Biofarm)
2 bars handmade soap (Moondance Soaps)
1lb jalapeno smoked sausage (Coon Rock Farm)
and a free REI reusable tote


Friday, April 16, 2010

Simple Pleasure - Bluegrass...with a twist!

I heard this string band (Carolina Chocolate Drops) on our local public radio station awhile back, and fell in love with their music instantly!  Hoping to see them live in concert one day.  Happy Friday Everyone - enjoy!

String Band History

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shopping Smart at the Farmers Market

With our favorite farmers market opening this weekend, I'm looking forward to shopping outside of the "box" (grocery stores) and eating more locally.  Here is a great link from Greenopolis with tips for shopping smart at your local farmers markets

I especially like tip #3 letting the season be your meal planning guide.  We tried so many wonderful new-to-us veggies last year thanks to our farmers market.  I do go to our market with somewhat of a list in mind - pastured eggs and local honey are usually weekly buys for me.  But I'm always open to each season's special offerings.  

Would love to hear from you!  What are your tips for shopping at farmers' markets?   

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yummy Homemade Ranch Dressing

Ashleigh came home from school yesterday excited not about the field trip her class took, but about the carrot sticks she had at lunch!  I normally pack her lunches and snacks for school, but for the field trip I agreed to let her buy the school lunch.  I never would have imagined the school lunch would spark an interest in veggies in our normally veggie-avoiding princess! 

Along with dinner last night, I cut some organic apples into slices for dipping with local honey and organic carrots into sticks.  As a dip for the carrots, I decided to make homemade ranch dressing.  For the dressing, I started with a recipe for a dry ranch mix on the Heavenly Homemakers blog.  To make the dressing, you add two tablespoons of the dry mix to 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 cup of buttermilk.  I didn't have any buttermilk on hand, but a google search lead me to an easy substitute - add one tablespoon lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let stand for 5 minutes.  Worked beautifully.  And the dressing, absolutely delicious!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Midtown (North Hills) Farmers Market - Opening April 17th!

The Midtown Farmer's Market at North Hills is set to open for 2010 this Saturday, April 17th!
Oh, how I've been waiting for this! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thrifty Buys - Community Yard Sale

My husband Dave has always been a thrifty kind of guy. After nine years of marriage, his thrifty ways have rubbed off on me - a natural born spender! Towards the end of last summer, my husband turned me on to yard sales. I was hooked! So now that it is Spring, I'm excited to get back out there and find some thrifty treasures!

On Saturday, we found a community yard sale near our neighborhood. Dave got up early and did an initial survey of the sale.  Then came back and got me out of bed because he found something he knew I would like!  Along the way we picked up the three vine balls and wooden salad bowls for $5 total.  A paper towel holder for .25 along with a tricycle (can't believe I forgot to take a picture!) for $5.  The kids definitely loved that!

An ornamental wall plaque for $3

Wall mounted hooks with crackle finish for $1

And what Dave got me out of bed for - these four old windows for $1 each!  I'm hoping to use one or two of these on our fireplace mantel.   

This coming weekend we will be getting up early to attend one of our favorite church yard sales. 
I can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm sharing these thrifty treasures at:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Homemade Wheat Bread

Homemade Wheat Bread (recipe from Tammy's Recipes)

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  That's definitely been my motto in regards to breadmaking.  My first several attempts, though delicious smothered with butter, were more like bread bricks than loaves.  So I was beyond pleased to finally achieve an actual loaf!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring/Easter Entryway

I know Easter has already passed, but I wanted to share our Spring/Easter entryway.  I've changed things around a few times since I began working on it before Easter.  But thanks to the addition of a few items from Michael's this week, I'm totally adoring the latest arrangement.

I found the colored bunny statue at Michael's this week for 50% off as part of the after Easter clearance.  He has a bit of a sparkle to him with some lettering on his coat (like pages from a story book).  The greenery was also on sale this week at Michael's.  I'm normally hesitant to buy faux flowers, but these look so lovely in the white pitcher, I'm going back to get a few more bunches to use elsewhere around the house.  And of course, there's the chipped bowl

On the lower shelf, I arranged some white baskets (freebies) filled with more greenery with a white birdhouse (Goodwill buy) and one of my birds - from Michael's :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


NC State is my alma mater, but I've been a Duke fan since back in the days of Grant Hill, Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley.  Yay Duke!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Market Day - Holy Saturday

A quick stop by the North Raleigh Farmers Market this morning for 2 dozen pastured eggs, a pound of pastured, sage pork sausage and a pound of grass-fed beef from Cane Creek Farm (Efland, NC).

Mark those calendars - the Midtown (North Hills) Farmers Market opens Saturday, April 17th!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Thursday

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 
And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you.

Luke 22: 19- 20