Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Healthy Summer Lunch

I love Summer! You can't beat all the fresh fruits and veggies this time of year. One way to cut grocery expenses is to grow your own produce by planting a garden or landscaping with edible plants such as fruit trees or grape vines. Visiting local farmer's markets is another great way to buy fresh produce and prices are usually very reasonable. 

Another way to cut grocery expenses is to use all that fresh produce when meal planning. I am trying to plan at least a couple vegetarian meals each week to cut down on the cost of meat and to use up all the fresh veggies in our garden!

For lunch today I had whole grain crackers, cheese and grape tomatoes fresh from our garden!

I also had some fruit salad made up of cantaloupe, strawberries and red grapes. Unfortunately, our grape vine and strawberry plants aren't yet producing any fruit, so had to buy those. Still, a very inexpensive, healthy and delicious lunch! 

Anything yummy on your summer meal plan?

Monday, June 17, 2013

DIY Burlap Pillows

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon these two small burlap sacks at a yard sale for $0.50 each.

I decided they would make cute pillows! Since three sides were already sewn together all I did was stuff them and sew up the last side. 

They were still a little boring, so decided to paint Mr. & Mrs. on the fronts. 

I really like the way they turned out, and especially since it only cost $1.00!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Crock Pot Mexican Soup

Here is a super easy, tasty and inexpensive crock pot recipe! 

Mexican Soup
4-6 Servings

 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
15oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
14 1/2oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
11oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1-2 cups salsa
1 Tbs. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2tsp. dried minced garlic
Add some water or chicken broth if needs to be more soupy.

1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot. (Can be assembled the night before and put in fridge until the next morning.)

2. Cover. Cook on High 5-6 hours OR Low all day. 
3. Top with Mexican cheese before serving.

*Cornbread or chips and salsa for a side!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sprucing up the Shed

Since starting my business, Thrifty 31 Rentals, I have stored all of my inventory in our shed. Since customers have been coming to look in person, the shed needed a few updates. After the hubby added a light inside, and soon will add a window, I decided the outside could use a little TLC as well. Here is the before..

We first made and hung this wooden flower box made from boards found on the side of the road!

I then lightly brushed some white paint on another board and added my business name to it.

Got an old shutter from a friend and brushed it with a light coat of paint as well. This rusty plant plate was an antique store find and thought it would make the perfect door decor!

I just love how it all turned out and hope it makes it a little more inviting for potential renters! :)

Final before and after...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

DIY Wood Flower Box

One evening while walking the pup around the neighborhood I stumbled upon some old wooden boards in someone's trash. I loved the size and most of them had some chippy white paint as well!

Since I started my business, Thrifty 31 Rentals, I have stored all of the inventory in our shed. Recently my hubby put a light inside and soon we are going to add a window too. I thought the outside of the shed needed a little TLC also! 

I decided the wood we found on our walk would make the perfect flower box! It was super easy for the hubby...just some cutting, nailing together and hanging on the shed.  I filled it with some flowers from Wal-Mart that were on clearance for 50% off!
TOTAL COST: Under $4.00 for the potting soil and flowers. 

I'm in love!! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chatanooga Trip Highlights

The past few days my hubby and I went on a much needed mini vacation. We spent three nights /four days in beautiful Chattanooga! It's probably one of my favorite places we have visited. It's right on the Tennessee river and surrounded by mountains! We stayed in Lookout Mtn. Valley which was about a 10 minute drive to downtown and a little further to all the Lookout Mountain attractions.

The first night we ventured downtown for some dinner. We ate at the Big River Grille and Brewhouse. Yummy food and was walking distance to the river!

 After walking along the river we took the pedestrian bridge across the river to Coolidge Park.  At the park is a large play fountain, carosaul and business district nearby with little shops, restraunts and ice cream!

 The next day we decided to visit some antique stores. We first went to Architectural Exchange, a store with every kind of architectural item you could image...doors, windows, old door knobs, etc. We then had lunch and some ice cream and then headed to Knitting Mill Antiques, an antique store in an old sewing factory.

That evening we took a beautiful sunset cruise down the Tennessee river aboard the Southern Belle Riverboat.  It was so nice sitting on the top deck, relaxing and just enjoying the view!

We spent the following day sight seeing and visiting the attractions at Lookout Mountain! We first stopped at Ruby Falls, a cave with a 150ft waterfall!

Then we stopped at Pointe Park to see the Lookout Mountain battlefield.

Next was the Incline Railroad! A train that starts at the top of the mountain and goes all the way to the bottom. When you reach the bottom, be sure to stop across the street at Mr. T's for some pizza and ice cream!

Last was Rock City Gardens. A beautiful park with lots of rocks and gardens and fun things to do along the trail... such as this swing bridge!

Our last night there we ate at The Terminal Brewhouse - a restraunt inside an old train terminal.

Hoping we will make a trip back again soon! :)