Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vintage Highchair Makeover

While browsing through a thrift store I stumbled upon this old vintage high chair. I had seen them before, but always for $50.00 or more. I didn't see a price tag, so asked the owner what she wanted for it. She said she would have to call her husband to check (meanwhile I'm thinking if she is calling him they probably want a lot for it). She gets off the phone and says, how about $10.00?.... YES PLEASE!! :) I was so excited because I had been looking for one for awhile but didn't want to pay a lot for it. 

 I painted her up and used some sand paper to do a little distressing. I just love the way it turned out!

This is now the newest addition to our Thrifty 31 Vintage Rentals inventory! If you haven't already, be sure to check out our website and "like" us on facebook! I'll leave you with a couple pictures I took today of our little shop...

Friday, July 26, 2013

DIY All Purpose Cleaner

I am planning to slowly replace all of my household cleaners with homemade, green ones as I run out of the others. This all purpose cleaner is very easy and cost very little to make. I bought a gallon of distilled white vinegar for around $4.00 at Wal-Mart. I also chose to buy some Lemon Grass essential oil at Hobby Lobby, but it's optional for this recipe. I just like the smell of it.

All-Purpose Cleaner

1 cup white distilled vinegar
3 cups water
10 drops of essential oil (optional)

I make this cleaner in a 32 oz. spray bottle. Fill your bottle with 1 cup of vinegar. Next add three cups of water and essential oil. Put nozzle on bottle and shake to mix contents together. Label bottle and get to cleaning!

I use this on kitchen and bathroom counters, mirrors, stove top, etc.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kielbasa & Veggie Grill Pack

One thing I love about summer is all the fresh fruits and veggies! And, since we have a garden, almost all the veggies we eat are FREE making our meals lately... pretty inexpensive!
Here is a yummy grill pack we made for dinner and all we bought was the Kielbasa! We only used half the kielbasa for this meal, so we have enough for another meal too!

Get a large piece of aluminum foil. Fill it with your kielbasa and veggies of your choice. We used green peppers, green beans, zucchini and grape tomatoes. Then toss with some olive oil, garlic salt and we used Country Bob's seasoning. Any seasoning you like would work fine too. Wrap it up really tight and toss on the grill. We cooked it about 5 minutes or so on each side. 

Perfect summer meal! Enjoy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Crock Pot Vegetable and Pasta Soup

Here is an easy soup made with things I already had at home or in my garden! What I love about this recipe is that it can easily be altered to your liking or what you already have in your pantry. Just change out the spices/herbs or vegetables and make it your own!

*Makes 6 servings

4 cups homemade vegetable stock
1 Tbs dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can red kidney beans, not drained
1 cup baby carrots, cut
1/2 cup green pepper, diced 
1 cup fresh green beans, cut (from garden)
1 cup potato, cut (from garden)
1 tomato, diced (from garden)
2 cups pasta, uncooked
Shredded Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, if desired

Throw everything in the crock pot together except the pasta and cheese! Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

 The last 30 minutes or so before you eat, toss in your uncooked pasta. Set to HIGH and cook until your pasta is done. Top with cheese before serving.

We had cheesy bread for a side.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Vintage Tool Box Tray

While browsing through an antique store the other day, I stumbled across this old rusty tool box tray for $5.00! 

It was the perfect mix of greens and aquas to match my living room.

Not sure if it will stay on this table or not; been trying to think of some other cool thing or place for it. Either way, I love it!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

15 Inexpensive SPRING/SUMMER Date Nights

The hubby and I love having date nights! We try for at least once a week to do something special, just the two of us. Here are a few ideas for some free or inexpensive date night ideas for you and your sweetie this spring and summer! 

UPDATE: Check out Fall Date Nights and Winter Date Nights too!

1. Picnic - have fun packing your picnic lunch together and then go to a park and just have fun! Don't be afraid to swing or slide on the slides! 

2. Free concerts - lots of towns have free concerts, especially during the summer. Bring your blanket and picnic along!

3. Goofy Golf - only cost a few $$.  Make it fun...loser has to make breakfast in bed or dinner the next night!

4. Bonfire - we love roasting hot dogs and marshmallows in our back yard! Play some yard games too!

5. Farmer's Market - head to your local farmer's market and then take all your goodies home to make a new dinner and dessert recipe!

6. Batting Cages - at our local batting cages you can hit 20 balls for $1.00! Great fun! 

7. Bowling - we always find coupons for FREE games of bowling at local restaurants.

8. Exercise - Go for a hike or bike and great for your health!

9. Camping - in your backyard for free or only a few $$ at a local campground. Don't forget the smore's stuff!

10. Beach Day - Plan a day at your local beach including a yummy picnic lunch and fun making a sandcastle together! 

11.  Movie - Go to a drive in or rent a movie and stay home! 

12. Star Gazing - Find a star map and take outside to locate different stars and constellations! Bring along a blanket and some wine!

13. Game Night - Play your favorite board games on the porch or on a blanket in the back yard.  

14. Homemade Ice Cream - If you don't already have one, borrow a homemade ice cream maker from someone you know. Shop for the ingredients together and have fun making and eating your yummy creation! 

15. Water Gun Fight - grab some water guns at your local dollar store and let the water wars begin!

Feel free to share your free and inexpensive date night ideas too! :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

$15.00 Porch Facelift

Here was our porch before...not very attractive or inviting... 

I bought this new rug and it was my inspiration to make the porch feel a little more "homey". I really liked the brown, green and pink together.

First stop was Dollar Tree to pick up a couple pots and then Home Depot for some geraniums on clearance!

Next, Target for some new garden tools and gloves, also on clearance!

These cute little watering can hooks, the birdie and the metal/twine flower below were at Hobby Lobby. All of their Spring & Summer stuff in currently on clearance as well! 

This rusty plant basket was a 25 cent yardsale find! 

We already had this shelf and items on it at home.

Just a few more shots of the porch...

I like it much better and it only cost a few dollars!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Homemade Vegetable Stock in a Crock Pot

Vegetable stock is a great way to add some flavor to lots of things! I like to use it in soups or use instead of water when cooking rice.

It's super easy to do. I just save all of my vegetable scraps in gallon freezer bags. By scraps I mean anything left from a vegetable you would otherwise throw away. The stems, the tops and bottoms you cut off, the peel, etc. all goes in the bag! No need to use new, fresh veggies. Just save your scraps and it's FREE! :)

Once you have a bag or two full, just toss all your frozen scraps in the crock pot. Fill crock pot with water to fully cover all your scraps plus a little more. Set on HIGH for 6-8 hours. When finished pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. 

You can freeze your vegetable stock in bags, containers or ice cube trays for a few months. Refrigerate is fine, but should be used in a few days. Personally, we like to can ours because it saves room in the freezer and will last for a long time. 

I love easy, green and free recipes!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Red, White & Blackberry Cobbler

Here is a little 4th of July inspiration for ya! I found this centerpiece idea on Pinterest to wrap a mason jar with a piece of burlap, tie with some red and white ribbon and fill with red geraniums. 

We are having my family over for dinner and then going to watch fireworks!  Since my sister has Celiac, I always like to find desserts that she can eat too. These are made with Kellog's Gluten Free Rice Krispies. Marshmallows and M&Ms are already gluten free so this was simple and fun to make!

For lunch we will be with Derrick's family so I made a blackberry cobbler made from blackberries we canned last Summer! 

Check out the recipe below and hope you all have a fun and safe 4th!

Blackberry Cobbler

- 3 cups blackberries
- 2/3 cup sugar (I used Splenda)
- 1 Tbs flour
- 2 Tbs butter
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- Premade crust

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Combine in saucepan and heat to a boil: blackberries, sugar, and flour
3. Place hot fruit in bottom of 8 inch baking dish
4. Dot fruit with butter
5. Place crust on top and sprinkle with cinnamon
6. Bake cobbler about half an hour

Monday, July 1, 2013


 DELIGHT - To take great pleasure in.

One of my favorite verses and probably one of the first that I memorized is:

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Pslam 37:4)

For the longest time, I thought that this verse was saying, if I delight in the Lord, then he will give me EARTHLY desires of my heart. (great family, good job, health, etc)

I finally came to realize, that this was not at all what the author of this verse was saying.  If we truly delight ourselves in the Lord, trust Him that His ways are good, then the greatest desire of our heart should be HIM. To really take great pleasure in knowing HIM and having a relationship with HIM.  

How do we do this? By spending time in the Word and in prayer and by worshiping Him who saved us eternally through Jesus Christ.

Not only should we delight in Him and want to know him more, but He wants the same. He wants to delight in US.

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” ( Zephaniah 3:17)

Wow.  How awesome is it that we have a God who loves us and takes delight in us. He quiets us with His love when we are anxious and worried and He rejoices over us with singing, because He delights in us. 

I'm thankful that I have a God that loves me even when I fail, even when I don't deserve his forgiveness.  That I have a God who wants to delight in me and have a relationship with me.

I pray that we will all desire Him more than anything else, that we would delight ourselves in Him...and He would give us the desires of our heart.