Rice Pudding!

Friday, June 29, 2012

I love, love, love Rice Pudding. When I used to go to the old local diner with my grandma as a child, I would always get the rice pudding served in a glass sundae dish.

I found a great healthy eating blog called Peace, Love and Snacks and the blogger, Stan Starksy, has a fabulous recipe for a healthy rice pudding with coconut milk (or almond milk). I just made this earlier in the week with vanilla almond milk. YUM!

Just because you are a healthy eater doesn't mean you have to skip dessert. There are so many wonderful recipes out there these days that are not only delicious, but super healthy too!

Thrift Shop Finds

While the boys were at camp this morning, I decided to head to the Salvation Army here in Irondequoit after coffee. I didn't expect to find what I did today (sometimes my gut tells me it will be a great day at the SA; today it didn't).

I found some clothes that fit well--some of which are still available online:

White House Black Market skirt; still had tags on it! $4.99 with another 50% off!

Little black dress with white trim by Ann Taylor Loft. $6.99 with 50% off!

Linen blend pants from Lands' End -- $3.99 and tagged with blue, so another 50% off!

Have you found any bargains lately???

A treasure

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My friend Stephanie gave me a treasure the other day: a Good Housekeeping magazine from September 1927. She thought I might be able to do some sort of crafty project with it (and I do have plans already!)

I have been thumbing through the old magazine since she gave it to me. What a treat.

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite ads and articles:

I love this. It says that if you have oily skin, it "needs vigorous scrubbing with hot water, Ivory Soap and a good rough washcloth....several times a day to keep it clear and fresh."

And,  for hair care advice:

"Strangest of all is the idea that cleanliness is bad for the hair. The most modern skin and scalp specialists urge frequent washing -- three of four times a month."

Toilet paper that is "soft as old Linen".

A new fridge....

I had to laugh when I saw the ad for Manlius. My strict grandmother sent my father there for a couple of years as a punishment as a teen for egging his teacher's Virgin Mary statue on Halloween....

"Nervous, backward and mental defectives." This was a REAL ad!

A school to train your boys to become a man?

I loved this one, too!!!

Thrifty & Fabulous!

Sometimes I am a "bad" blogger and don't post for weeks at a time. Life happens, what can I say? And sometimes life happens so fast that, even with the best of intentions, I will start a little bitty thrifty and fabulous project and before I know it: Oops! I'm done. And I didn't document it with pictures!

Such is the case with today's post.

I was recently browsing the clearance aisles at Michael's craft store when I saw some adorable fabric flowers in bright colors and polka dots. (I don't know if you've heard, but, I love me some bright colors and polka dots!)

Ideas drifted in and out of my head about what I could do with them: Fasten them onto some barrettes for Lulu...? Glue them onto a frame...? Aha! I know! I will make some sassy refrigerator magnets out of them and give them away in sets as small tokens to teachers, my Mom because she just rocks, and so on. Yes! That's what I will do, I thought.
And, yes, that is what I did!

I bought several colors: hot pink, bright blue, black and white and white and black. (Heh.)

(I did manage to take two photos at some point during the process!)

While I was still at Michael's, I found a package of round peel and stick magnets for $1.99 at the check-out. I knew the flowers would need something more adhesive than that though and I had my handy glue gun at home. 

So, a bit of hot glue-gunning later and voila!

(small, round magnet glued to the back of the flower.)

They aren't going to win a crafting contest, but a set of these magnets are a cute, cost effective (for about $12.00 total I made 5 sets of 4 magnets) hostess gift, teacher gift or just because gift. It couldn't be easier!

my [almost] vegan update

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So it has now been a full month since I have been meat and egg free. I am not sure attempting to go Vegan cold turkey was the easiest way to go about things, but I am still in the transition process.


*I have had shredded cheddar on my broccoli salad once.
*I had feta on a salad once.
*I have had some half & half in my coffee when I am not at home to put almond milk in it.
*Twice, I have put romano on my pasta.
*I have NOT "indulged" at my favorite local ice cream shop called Indulge. I miss the Cake Batter ice cream.

Those things out in the open--I have some observations.

*I really feel so healthy and energetic when I consume no dairy at all.
*On days I have even a small amount of dairy, I experience bloating in my belly.
*After a month meatless (and without eggs or seafood), the desire to have any of those things is completely gone.
*I have not worn any foundation in the past 2.5 weeks. Not even tinted moisturizer. Just a sweep of powder with SPF. My skin is that much more clear with this type of eating.

I have to tell you that your emails and Facebook messages with your own Vegan/Vegetarian experiences have been really encouraging. I do not think I could ever go back to eating meat.

Other thoughts:

Smart Bacon tastes awful.  I mean TERRIBLE. Do you know what Beggin' Strips are? The dog treat? I think that Beggin' Strips would taste much closer to bacon than this yucky stuff. It's awful (my opinion...)

On the other hand, Soy Boy Not Dogs (made in Rochester!) are actually pretty good and my kids will even eat them. I would like to try their Vegetarian Franks next time.  My Wegmans was all out of them.

I have been having fun experimenting with Vegan recipes.  I've found success using Bob's Red Mill Textured Vegetable Protein in recipes.  

Yesterday I made the most delicious and moist Vegan bread.  It's Chocolate Banana bread and I found the recipe via  Pinterest. It is DELICIOUS! Try this!

I have some questions for my readers.

If you have changed to a Vegetarian or Vegan lifestyle, what are some positive changes you have noticed?  Would you ever revert back to your prior way of eating?  Any advice for those of us transitioning to Veganism?

The {green} apple of my eye

Monday, June 25, 2012


I've long been a fan of the green apple line at Juice Beauty. The one product that I wasn't too keen on because of my sensitive skin was the Green Apple Peel. I was lucky enough to be sent a Green Apple Peel in the Sensitive variety and I have been using this now. It is the PERFECT peel for those of us with sensitive skin without being weak or minimally effective.  It is gentle and truly brightens the complexion.

That is because of the benefits of Green Apple to the skin. Green Apple contains a high amount of a natural fruit acid called Malic Acid.

Malic Acid is a much gentler acid than its cousins Lactic or Glycolic.  It is still effective, though.  It can help to gently fade sun spots, even out uneven skintone, reduce the signs of fine lines, and give a radiant glow to nearly all skin types.

Here are some of my other favorite items with Green Apple.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive -- tried and tested and ADORED by this blogger.

100% Pure Green Apple Hydrating Body Scrub in Green Apple is Gluten Free and All-Natural.

Desert Essence Organics makes a fab green apple shampoo for under $5 at Vitacost!

Rustic Art Organic Baby Oil in Green Apple combines natural botanical oils to soothe baby's skin.

Episcencial Soothing Cream is affordably priced and contains green apple.

Eminence Pear and Green Apple Body Wash smells fresh and amazing for summer.

Such a cute green apple tote from Sephora!

Easy Peasy Friday!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Today, I'd like to share a vegan chili recipe with you. I like to make a big batch because we can use it for chili, then have the leftovers for chili "dogs" over veggie dogs, and as a fun snack of tortilla chips.

How does one make a nice "meaty" chili without meat? Easy.  If you haven't tried it before, try Textured Vegetable Protein. It's also known as TVP and I only recently became introduced to it. I like Bob's Red Mill, as it is non-GMO. You need to rehydrate it, which simply involves pouring boiling water over it and letting it sit for a few minutes. Easy peasy.

I also prefer my chili to have a warmth and cinnamon tinge a la Cincinnati chili. I've been tinkering around for the past few weeks to get a recipe that gets my family's seal of approval. My husband loves a beefy chili and my 8 year old also loves chili (my 6 year old, not so much!).

Here is my recipe:

2 cans black beans, drained
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 diced onion
1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
1 can (4 oz.) mild diced green chiles
1/8 t. ground cloves
2 T. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 t. cocoa powder
3 T. ground cinnamon (this seems like a large amount, but gives a really comforting flavor!)
1/2 cup to 1 cup TVP (which needs to be soaked in the same amount of boiling water that you used for the TVP)

Combine all in a crock pot on low for 6 hours.

Now, I don't know about you, but I just cannot eat my chili without cheddar on top. That's pretty hard when you're not eating dairy. So, folks, I cannot say enough about the Daiya cheddar style shreds. I put this on my chili. Yum!

Alicia Silverstone for Juice Beauty Review: Part 1

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I adore the skin care products from Juice Beauty, particularly the Green Apple line.  I also adore Alicia Silverstone. I was tickled pink when she featured one of my DIY projects on her blog, The Kind Life, and I also can credit making this transition from being an omnivore over to Veganism to her book.

I was excited when the folks at Juice Beauty asked me to try the new Alicia Silverstone for Juice Beauty line. I was sent some beautiful products and will be reviewing 2 of them today.

First of all, I'd like to tell you more about this line.  The entire Alicia Silverstone collection is Vegan.
They are full of wholesome, antioxidant-rich ingredients, and the packaging is derived from 95% post consumer recycled materials. Like all Juice Beauty products, these are without any of the questionable nasty chemicals found in most beauty products.

Simply Pure Chamomile Cleanser ($22 for a 6 ounce bottle) is the first product I had the chance to try out.  It is wonderful. So gentle! It isn't creamy, nor is it a foaming formula. I love that this is more of a lightweight gel. It has a very light scent from the chamomile and echinacea, but it is natural and ever so faint.

I only needed a dime sized amount for my face and neck and it very gently, yet thoroughly, removed my eye makeup.  My skin felt clean without feeling stripped. My face felt immediately calmed because of the aloe juice. The ingredients in this really are stellar, as there aren't any cheap fillers and harsh foaming agents.

Here is the ingredients list:

Organic juices of aloe barbadensis (organic aloe leaf juice)*, pyrus malus (organic apple juice)*, vitis vinifera (organic white grape juice)*, decyl glucoside, carrageenan, vegetable glycerin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C), citrus medica limonum (lemon bioflavonoids peel extract), citric acid, tocopherol (Vitamin E), panthenol (Vitamin B5), sodium PCA, passiflora incarnata (passion flower extract), vitis vinifera (champagne grape seed oil), camellia sinensis (white tea leaf extract), sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, essential oil blend: anthemis nobilis (chamomile) and echinacea *certified organic by a USDA approved agency

My Grade: A 

Simply Nourishing Moisturizer ($36 for a two ounce bottle) -- Oh, how I love this gentle moisturizer. I know I've used the word gentle a few times already in this review, but these skin care products truly ARE gentle and soothing and ideal for everyone.  I love the ultra lightweight texture. It has been super humid in the middle 90s and the last thing I want is something sticky and heavy on my skin.

This formula is so light, but still nourishing. I think that even if you are very oily you will adore this. For reference, if you have used another lightweight moisturizer I have recommended before, the 100% Pure Tomato Lycopene Face Cream, this one is lighter than that. 

This sinks right into your skin and leaves it feeling pampered and soft without feeling greasy in any way, shape, or form.

What I love most? The ingredients! I think that the folks at Juice Beauty (and Alicia!) added all of my favorite skin care ingredients from aloe to cucumber to cranberry to grapeseed to hyaluronic acid and squalane. This has so many nutirents that I cannot say a single negative word about anything it it. 

I also want to say that I love the packaging used. Not only does it look lovely, but it is much more convenient than other lines in terms of the structure and ease of use. Way to go on this!

Organic Juices of aloe barbadensis (organic aloe leaf juice)*, pyrus malus (organic apple juice)*, vitis vinifera (organic white grape juice)*, helianthus annuus (organic sunflower seed oil)*, vegetable glycerin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C), butyrospermum parkii (organic shea butter)*, theobroma cacao (cocoa seed butter)*, vegetable squalane, persea gratissima (avocado oil), tocopherol (Vitamin E), linum usitatissumum (flax seed oil), ethylhexyl palmitate, glyceryl stearate, cetyl alcohol, euterpe oleracea (acai berry oil), olea europaea (olive fruit oil), vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry seed oil), prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond oil), hyaluronic acid, cucumis sativus (organic cucumber extract)*, panthenol (Vitamin B5), passiflora incarnata (passion flower extract), vitis vinifera (champagne grape seed extract), lecithin, glycine soja (soybean protein), xanthan gum, algin, phenethyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin, essential oil blend: anthemis nobilis (chamomile) and echinicea *certified organic by a USDA approved agency

My Grade: A+ 

Stay tuned for reviews of the powder, highlighter, and lipstick early next week! 

Disclosure: I was sent products to review. This in no way affected the outcome of this review and all opinions--good and bad--are my own.

Hair Care Bargains!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Who says you need to spend a fortune on professional hair care products and services to look good?

I've done some hair care shopping on Drugstore.com over the past couple months and have 5 new staples that I am loving.

For $19.99, I have been using Tint of Nature Highlights. Instead of messy, horrendous smelling ammonia-laden home highlighting kits or $150 a pop foils from the salon, I'm loving Tints of Nature! This Ecocert certified brand is free of the nasties and barely has any odor.

I'm currently loving The Lemongrass & Argan Stem Cell daily shampoo from Acure Organics, as well as their Leave In Conditioner. Both are around $10. I hate to say it, but it has replaced my previous favorite natural shampoo I've been such a fan of. I had been so loyal to it, but I love this one even more and it costs less. What do I love most about Acure's hair care? It is Vegan, Sulfate Free, Cruelty Free, Gluten Free, PEG Free, Petrochemical Free, Paraben Free, Silicone Free, and Phthalate Free.

Styling wise, I recently switched to a brand I was unfamiliar with called Not Your Mother's. I recently got a hair cut and the back is cropped like a pixie and the sides are longer and textured and flippy. It's fun and sassy and I don't need my flat iron anymore. I finger style it and am using the Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray to separate the layers and mess it up.  When my hair is dry, I add shine with the Rise & Shine Silky Smooth Shine Mist. Both products are just $5.99 each. These are the two products I recommend from the line, as they do not contain parabens or DMDM hydantoin. The other items in the line aren't as ingredients-conscious.

All 5 of these products were a really good deal and I will keep using them!

[coconut oil]

Monday, June 18, 2012

I adore anything coconut. I love the smell, the texture, appearance, and taste.

My favorite variety of coconut, though, is coconut oil!

Why?  Coconut Oil (I like the virgin variety) is a wonderful multi-purpose skin treatment.  I use it on my arms to help alleviate my Keratosis Pilaris (those darned red bumps).  I use it on my children as an all over body moisturizer.  I use it around my cuticles.  I use it on the ends of my hair.  I love, love this oil!

There are many skin benefits of coconut oil.

Coconut oil is rich in something called Lauric Acid.  In fact between 40-50% of coconut oil is actually Lauric Acid.  This is a very promising natural treatment for acne.  Not just for acne, coconut oil works on dry skin and on skin with eczema and flakiness.

Here are my favorite coconut oil products from Etsy:


Buying Guide:

Marie Dean Hair Souffle, $20
Ginger Made Soap, $4
Spa Goddess Body Scrub, $20
Ancient Winds Lip Balm, $8
Bee Silk Naturals Foot Butter, $12
Free Love Facial Wash, $9.50
Deo Dad Deodorant, $ 6

All About Almonds

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I love almonds. I love the taste of them. I love to use almond oil on my skin and I also adore almond milk.
In fact, since I changed my way of eating, I am putting Almond Milk in my cereal, in my coffee and in smoothie, too.  I even made a homemade vegan ice cream with it last week.

Since I have pretty much eliminated dairy (I did cheat and have some parmesan on pasta the other night, as well as a homemade carrot cupcake from Cheesy Eddie's) from my diet and quite eating meat (since Memorial Day on the meat!), my skin is brighter and even softer. Health-wise, my blood pressure (which has been high for 3 years requiring daily medication) is NORMAL these days! I still require my medication, but for the first time I continuously get normal reads on my blood pressure monitor instead of all the crazy ups and downs.

I really love the taste of almond milk. I like it better than soy or rice when it comes to taste. Health-wise, it is really food for you:

*Almond milk is rich in potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E.
*Low in carbs, calories, and gluten free!
*My favorite, the unsweetened vanilla coconut almond contains just 45 calories and has 45% of the RDA of calcium in each glass.
*No saturated fat
*Heart healthy
*Can help lower cholesterol

Let's talk about the benefits of almond in skin care today.

Almond for the skin truly is a food for your skin.  Rich in antioxidant vitamin E, products made with almond oil and almond milk help to protect the skin for environmental damage.  Products with almonds can help to nourish the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  It also is ideal for very dry and delicate skin. Almond oil can give a shiny and silky appearance to the hair, while almond milk is soothing when applied topically to the skin. Crushed almonds can be mixed with natural vegetable oils to make a scrub for rough, cracked heels. There are just so many wonderful benefits to this simple nut!

(not so) Mellow Yellow

Monday, June 11, 2012


{etsy love}

Friday, June 8, 2012


Art print from Type and Image, $20
Glass rainbow necklace from Constant Baubling, $35
Vintage Iris Earrings from Loubird Handmade, $17
Ring from  psfairy, $45
Bracelet from Bluebirds, $55
Briolette dangles from Beaded Treasures by Sue, $21
Moon Star ring from Isidrio, $26
Rainbow wedding necklace from astash, $135
Vintage rainbow posts from MASHUGANA, $28.50
Chakra bracelet from Primal Painter, $30
Baby booties, 5 Packs Crochet, $19.95

{Food for Thought}

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

C & G has gone Vegan....and I am on day 6 today. Is it permanent? I don't know, quite honestly.

Going Vegan

I never planned to do this. I have tried going vegetarian before and have made it a few weeks until that "I need a big fat juicy cheeseburger" feeling hits and I find myself running to Cheeburger Cheeburger moments later.

I have a love-hate relationship with food. Always have...I love food. I love to cook. I love cheese....I love ice cream. I love an occasional burger. I like bacon....I love chicken wings. Or I did.

It's funny--Memorial Day weekend a long weekend of cooking out with our friends in the neighborhood. We had sausage, brats, chicken, ribs, a turkey in the roaster, and everyone's dish to pass included bacon. I swear....with the exception of my caramel apple salad and my neighbor's peanut butter trifle, EVERY side dish had bacon in it.

That last cookout of the weekend, my body was sending me signals. I could barely eat my turkey. I didn't take a bite of the ribs. Since that day, I have had a major meat aversion.

Last week, I made grilled chicken with feta and spinach.  This is a favorite in this house. I took one bite and felt sick.  I just do not want meat.

I haven't had a bite of meat since then. Last week, I told you about a book I am reading called the 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart by Dr. Neal Barnard.  I am reading that in conjunction with The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.

I will level with you. I thought this was going to be HARD. As in, I am the girl who eats some form of cheese each and every single day and gets a thrill from buying cheese at Rubino's.  I honestly expected myself to fall off the wagon, eat some gouda and say, "Well, I'm a Vegetarian today, not a Vegan."

Not so. I am eating REALLY good foods....as in pasta, rye & pumpernickel bread, any fruit under the sun, peanut butter, veggie burgers, burritos (sans cheese & meat,but yumolicious!), and more.

This fits in really well with the green smoothie kick I have been on. Eating a plant-based diet has made me FEEL great the past few days. Perhaps it is a coincidence, but I am sleeping better and just feeling energetic. Also, my carpal tunnel symptoms are actually not nearly as severe as they were even at the end of last week.

You know, as someone who has written about being mindful of what we put onto our skin for the past nearly 5 years and someone who is conscious about what I eat, it only makes sense for me to become even more mindful of my eating in terms of the meat and dairy. Maybe this will last my lifetime.  Perhaps it won't. I can't predict the future.  All I know is that I am feeling fabulous (and down 2.5 pounds) and my body just feels healthier and less bogged down by the meat and cheese.

One thing that I immediately missed? Ice cream.  We have a new ice cream shop in town called Indulge and it is FABULOUS. I adore their Cake Batter ice cream. This girl needs her ice cream fix on warm nights, so I found something super yummy online on  this website. I made a couple changes/additions, which are in green, and here in my version. It is for a super duper, easy peasy homemade ice cream.

Rich & Creamy Vegan Ice Cream

2 bananas
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 generous tablespoons peanut butter
5 tablespoons sugar (I used 4 teaspoons of Sugar in the Raw)
6 T. soy milk (I substituted Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Milk)
Small handful of slivered almonds 

 This part is for my mom.  Mom, I love you and I know what you are thinking: you think that if I don't drink milk that I'll break my bones.  Although when I fell down the stairs and had that nasty break, I was at my milk drinking peak...

Did you know that there is calcium in dark leafy greens and in tofu?  Plus, I am still taking my Calcium & Vitamin D each day, along with Vitamin B12. Do not worry!

A reader asks....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One of my dear readers sent me an email and explained how she is a budget-conscious, ingredients-conscious & in store type of buyer.

She said:  

"I hate waiting for my orders to arrive. I like good ingredients but as a mom, I like to save money. Ideally, I can spend $200 to completely overhaul my beauty routine. I need it all, sunscreen and shampoo and makeup and skincare. I don't want any bad ingredients. Can I get the whole kit and kaboodle at Walmart? I know it might be a stretch in this budget. PS, I also need a couple new makeup brushes!"

YES! Yes, here is my shopping guide. She can do it! All of these items can be found at Walmart. I have never really been a Walmart fan, but let's face it--sometimes it is easier to drive a couple miles and get everything done while out running errands.  Plus, Walmart has been brining in many healthier beauty brands lately.  All of the products below are free of parabens and artificial fragrance, as well as other nasties.

The total cost of everything here--makeup, hair care (even the ceramic round brush), sun care, nail polish, and bath & body:  $190.54 

My reader told me that she is currently using Clinique for most of her makeup. She said she'd like to get a summery new nail color, replace her Estee Lauder sunscreen and self tanner, too. I was able to replace everything on her list that she sent me and replace it with healthier options AND at budget-friendly prices!

Note: most brands may have coupons in your Sunday paper to cut out or printable online to cut and use as well.


Physicians Formula Illuminating Powder Duo $12.67
Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Concealer $11.63
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara $6.97 (Rollback!)
Physicians Formula Organic Wear  Eye Shadow $5.97
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Bronzer $12.37
Juice Organics PomPinkLip Amplifier $5.99
Essie Nail Polish $7.75
EcoTools Brush Set $9.98

Makeup Total: $73.33


Burt's Bees Baby Bee Fragrance Free Body Wash $8.97
Burt's Bees Cocoa and Cupuacu Body Lotion $7.97
Burt's Bees Sunscreen $14.97
L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Sunless Tanner $8.48
Juice Organics Brightening Shampoo $8.99
Juice Organics Brightening Conditioner $8.99
Giovanni Weightless Mousse $7.97
Conair ceramic round brush $8.97

Hair & Body Total: $66.32


Juice Organics PomFacial Kit with Exfoliating Cleaner and Peptide Moisturizer $9.99
Dickinson's Witch Hazel $2.97
Juice Organics Brightening Serum $19.99
Burt's Bees Fragrance Free Sensitive Skin Eye Cream $14.97
Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm $2.97

Facial Care Total: $50.89

Thrifty & Fabulous!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Straight away I will offer that I can't take credit for this post.  I can say I was well aware of a several of these tips, but, not all, so I owe this one to my Mom! (Props to you, Mom!)

She sent me this... it's one of those mass email thingamabobs. There's no way of know exactly where it originated, but, man, these are some share worthy, thrifty & fabulous tips!

Coffee Filters rock! 
(And, you can totally buy them at the Dollar Tree.)

Here we go...

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome... Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters..

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them.. It soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers.."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliquéing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18 Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car..

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a zip-lock plastic bag until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book.

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.

26. Great in the tool room when separating nails and screws then use in to bottom of containers to remove moisture and prevent rust.

Here is where I throw in my 2 cents:

They can be used to make some seriously lovely crafts! Just look at these coffee filter flowers and wreath.

I will tackle one of these projects soon for another Thrifty & Fabulous post.

In the meantime, make use of this handy, everyday item!

Friday Thoughts

Hello, readers!

I admit it's been a skimpy writing week here on the blog and I do apologize.  My carpal tunnel has been especially bad this week and I have been needing a bit of a tying break....and I still prefer to use my trusty keyboard as opposed to blogging on my tablet's touch screen (takes me three times longer).

So what's new?  I have some random musings I'll share with you today.

#1 -- I took several new pieces of my handmade jewelry to Tanvi's boutique, Peppermint, on Park Avenue in the city. Look for pin-up girl rings and some new necklaces that I've made while you're browsing her fabulous shop! By the way, Tanvi has a new intern this summer at her shop named Emma.  I met her on Tuesday and she is fabulous, so be sure to say "hello" to her as well!

#2 -- I am reading a really good book right now called the 21 Day Weight Loss Kickstart by Dr. Neal Barnard. I first was introduced to the book on Alicia Silverstone's website, The Kind Life (which has featured C & G on it!).  I decided to read it after having a sudden aversion to meat--all meat--a few days back. I am listening to my body, which has been sending me a "no meat" signal once again like it did a couple years back.


#3 -- I am on the green smoothie bandwagon lately.  Who knew that spinach in a smoothie really would be good?  You cannot even taste it and I am eating several cups of spinach daily this way! This is a creamy, yummy peanut butter banana smoothie with a hint of cocoa and cinnamon. Yum! I've tried so many green smoothie recipes and finally created one of my own that you will love. My super picky boys even drink this (and have no idea that there is spinach in it):


  • 1 small frozen ripe banana, peeled (keep some of these in your freezer for convenience)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 T. creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free soy yogurt
  • 11/2 to 1 t. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • dash cinnamon
  • ice cubes if desired

#4 -- I have to tell you about this product that I was sent for review -- it is the most awesome AND affordable natural deodorant on the market.  I have tried many over the years and have been using Soapwalla Kitchen's deodorant with great results.  My skin has become more sensitive lately to several essential oils, so this product now causes me redness and itching under my arms.  So while they are clean and fresh, they are now sore.  I am now using Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal (fragrance free) and am loving it. When I first apply it, it feels wet, but it instantly dries AND keeps me dry (and fresh) all day. You can find it at most drugstores, Target, and Walmart for a comparable price to chemical-laden deodorants.

#5 -- I have a new favorite paraben free lipstick for this time of year and it was $9.99 at Target: Sonia Kashuk Barely Nude. As much as I adore my more natural lippies, this one will stay on almost all day and is creamy and feels luxurious.  This is the closest lipstick I have used to Nars and Chanel without a ton of crap in it -- or without spending $25.

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