Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Once we had finished the parlor bath painting and stenciling, I had an idea for a wall hanging.  I looked and looked and finally went online to find exactly what I was looking for.  I wanted to incorporate another piece of my estate sale silver plate pieces in the design.
This wall décor cost about $19.00.  Considering that I already had the silver on hand, it was a quick set up.

This is the idea but a bit of elbow grease will clean the silver with some polish.

The filigree of the iron compliments the stencil on the wall in the room.

I need to wait for Mr. Thrifty to hammer the nail into the stud on the wall.

Here is the parlor bath with the stencil.

Once the metal display rack was on the wall, the silver plate piece looked better being vertical as opposing to horizontal.

 With the champagne bucket for a trash can, the ornate rectangular mirror sitting on the back of the toilet and the display rack now gives the bath a cohesive look.

This was one of these projects that I had dreamed up a few years back.  It is so satisfying to see the results and still feel good about the design.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


I wrote this posting in the height of softball season, but this casserole is good for any time that your schedule seems busier than usual.

I have been looking for easy prepared casseroles to make ahead since softball season has begun.
I found this one on the Internet and made it already.  There was something lacking, so I decided to change it up to achieve more flavor.  Here goes my updated recipe:

Here are the main ingredients. I forgot to put the shredded mozzarella in the group(I use about 2 cups of it).  We have  1-2lb.  bag of frozen cheese ravioli.  I guess you could use meat ravioli, but if I want to make a meatless meal for Lent, I would just eliminate the sweet Italian sausage. Also, have on hand one jar of pasta sauce(I love any brand of the Tomato and Basil), 1 package of sweet Italian sausage, 1-14 1/2 oz.
diced tomatoes(undrained), and 1 carton of shredded Parmesan cheese.

Cut sausage into slices and sautée them in a Dutch oven. Once cooked, add 1 jar of tomato and basil spaghetti sauce.  (Any brand will work.). To this mixture, add 1-14 oz. can of diced tomatoes and juice, and 1/2 c. water. Your sauce is done!

In a casserole dish, spray Pam.  Put about 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of the dish.  Layer about 1/2 of the frozen cheese(or meat if you like) ravioli.  Layer half of the sauce and another layer of ravioli.  Top with remaining sauce.  Sprinkle 8 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese on top.  Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 40 minutes. Remove foil and add some shakes of grated Parmesan over the top of the casserole.  Place back in oven and bake 15 more minutes.  

The top should be golden and bubbly.  Ready to serve.

 Since my family members arrive home late after dinner, I can cut a piece of the casserole and warm it up in the microwave.  Serve with crusty Italian bread and a tossed salad.

Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and a fresh garden salad.  On a side note, have you tried Olive Garden's Signature Italian Dressing now sold at the grocery stores?  This dressing goes great with this meal.

Sorry about the lack of photos.  Just follow the easy instructions.  I think you will enjoy this flavorful make ahead dinner.

It doesn't get much easier than this!

Saturday, May 21, 2016


This is a Christmas in May idea for your next Christmas season.  It is amazing to take an inanimate object and put a Christmas spin on it.

One of my Dad's hobbies in his retirement was to make wooden toys.  He really enjoyed the time making all sorts of wheeled vehicles.  Because of our military background, the jeep was close to my heart.  In order to create a coffee table arrangement, I started with a shabby ornate white frame to use as a tray.

Using a scrapbook paper of weathered lime green barn wood filled the base of the frame.

A few lime green bottle brush trees filled the bed of the jeep.

A Jolees 3 dimensional wreath was attached to the grill.

A sprig of evergreen was placed to the side of the jeep.

It was nice to use the jeep since my girls never had any desire to use the jeep as a toy.


Thanks Dad!  And its a great coffee table decoration.

Monday, May 16, 2016


Mother's Day came and I found a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on the library table. 

Instead of leaving them in the Lennox vase, I thought about using my silver plate tea service.  It sits out most days.  What better way to display the beautiful blooms.  When I don't have fresh flowers, the coffee server usually holds the faux lavender.  It looks fine, but nothing is better than fresh blooms.

See what I mean?

Instead I moved them to the foyer.  The colors of the flowers compliment the grey walls.

Upon entering the front door, the fresh blooms welcome you in. 

This tea service was picked up at a Good Will for $30.00 12 years ago.  It looks pretty elegant even though it isn't a high quality set.  It is great to expand the uses and the flowers do the trick.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


 Every time I come across a loaf of day old Italian bread, I seem to snatch it up.  I always need an easy meal to have on hand while we are in the midst of softball.  I always have a quick snack for those late night softball games.

Wikipedia gives the history and background of the Muffaletta.

The ingredients that I used are:  one loaf of Italian bread-unsliced, a package of Genoa salami, a package of honey ham, one package of each- sliced mozzarella and provolone and a jar of Italian olive started.  Ready? (I love to use Grandpa's scale from the Butcher shop).

Here is a close up of my meat and cheeses.

First, slice through the loaf horizontally cutting the loaf in half.  Set two sides in a cookie sheet.(that's for later.)

Next, I pull  out most of the guts of the loaf itself. If I had time, I would crumble these on another cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for bread crumbs for another recipe.

Using the entire jar of olive mixture, I spread half on each of the two sides of bread.

The advantage of putting the oil/olive mix in first is that it will soak into the crust. On one of the halves, I placed the salami and on the other, ham.

Then I follow with the provolone on one side and mozzarella on the other.

Carefully, place one half on top of the other.  Since the olive salad is at the bottom, flipping the two together will have a minimal mess.

Using the bag the bread originally came in, I carefully fill the bag with the readied muffaletta.

Secure the end of the bag.

The last step is to place the loaf into a casserole dish just in case some of the oil mix comes out.

Place it overnight or even two nights in the fridge.

To plate the sandwich, I pulled out these nifty picks from World Market.

Attaching a grape tomato and an olive to each pick, I pierce the loaf prior to cutting a piece.  All the layers remain stationary.

A closer look at the layers.

Enjoy your ready made feast for a late dinner or it would be great for a picnic if kept refrigerated.

Mr. Thrifty likes to cut a slice off the loaf and microwave it for about 30 seconds.  The warmed sandwich reveals more intense flavors.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


I won't be able to say Happy Mothers Day to my Mom or sister this year.  To think that in one short year, this has all come to pass.  

However, as I say that, I know 
that all that I am has come come from my Mothers, Grandmothers and other strong female relatives and friends who have helped to mold my life.  How lucky can we be?  Instead of having melancholy thoughts today, I sit here and and realize how lucky I am to have such amazing matriarchal figures touch my life and give me such life lessons.

Thanks  to all of you here and those in heaven. The gifts you have shared are boundless and I hope to pass them on to my own daughters. 

This morning I would like to share a picture that I just took outside of the perennial bed.  The red peonies you see were transplanted from Grandma Roth's house in Peoria. Since the house there was built in 1939, these peonies could be 77 years old.   I think they symbolize that generational gifts that flows from one grandmother to a granddaughter to her daughters.  Let us not break the chain of maternal love.


Thursday, May 5, 2016


 Here is a quick 10 minute fix to a bunch of faux flowers.  I have to give credit for this idea to my sister Karen and her sister-in-law Liz.

When I visited her home in November, I saw a beautiful vase filled with faux flowers with a twist. She had inserted tree twigs into the vase and it really made the flowers seem more life like.

When I returned home, I pulled the bunch of tired hydrangeas from my cabinet and set them in my large porcelain blue and white vase.

Then after going outside, I trimmed some dried twigs from the birch tree out back.  A quick job of inserting them into the vase really perked up the vase.

To Karen and Liz, thanks for the inspiration.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


It is hard to believe that it is already May.  The backyard perennial bed is full of blooms. The peonies are exploding but I wanted to wait until the glorious red flowers pop before showing you a picture.  In the meantime, 
I found this precious tag on Pinterest.  It completely described my feeling about special friends and family.  Those precious to us completely decorate our life.

I try as often as I can to make each card personal and special.  But I thought it would be wise to make these in duplicate to have on hand for the year-thus, the annual birthday card was created.

While cleaning out my sister Terri's house, we came upon numerous stamping and card making supplies.  I wanted to use these items as often as possible to keep Terri's spirit with me.

This darling punch can be used in various ways.  By changing the design of the scrapbook paper, the message becomes more specific to the birthday individual.

I used this cute pastel pink gingham to adorn this card.

Thanks Terri!!!