Monday, April 28, 2014

Thrifting Fun

Last week I hit a couple of thrift stores in the area.  I found quite a few fun bargains and rescued some items. 

I found a 1988 Edition Longaberger Basket.....I paid 2.95 for it and when I looked it up on line, they are selling between $100.00 an $300.00 dollars!!!  Unbelievable.  I am not a collector, but I knew Longaberger Baskets were collectable.  I use baskets a lot and buy them all the time, I mainly like them for storage.  This one needs to be with someone who appreciates that it is a Longaberger...I have someone in mind, and may send it to her.

My favorite find was the Bird Girl statue from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil!  She is a small 15 inch statue, BUT, on my way to the cashier, she fell out of my cart (I had TOO much stuff in my cart) and broke in three places.  Well I still had to have her, for 4.00.....I figured I would just glue her back together, she was just going to go in my flower garden anyway.  When I looked her up on line, I was sickened to know that she cost $114.00 retail!  I feel so bad for breaking her, but she still has a home now!

My Bird Girl, waiting for her glue to dry  :(

I picked up several other serving dishes and fun items such as these Blue Fleur de Lis glasses, made by La Rochere from France. There were only 5 of them, but I love them for $7.95.

I always pick up blue Ball jars when I find them.  Love to use them for decorating and centerpieces.

Just a few of the items in my overflowing cart!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Banana Bread

I've been on a Banana Bread kick for a while.  I make a couple of loaves a week.  Why?  Mainly because my Lyric loves it.  He calls it Banana Cake.

I had no intention of making any this week, but I bought a bunch of bananas and they were going bad....I can't throw them away!  So I made a double batch of Banana Bread this morning.

I wanted to share the recipe.  I have tried other recipes, but they seem to come out dry.  This recipe is one my mother has used for as long as I can remember.  It is simple, easy to whip up and not healthy at all!!

I used to make small loaves of this bread at the first church we Pastored in Glen Ellyn, IL.  If visitors came to service, this was their welcome gift.  Wow....I used to be a good Pastor's Wife!!

1/2 c. Shortening
2 c. Flour
1 1/2 c. Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 or 3 Smashed up VERY ripe Bananas (I always use 3)
Mix ingredients well in the order as listed above.
Bake in large loaf pan for 60 minutes at 375 degrees.
(I use two medium loaf pans.....or 4 of the very small pans,
then check it at 35 minutes and may cook as long as 45 minutes)
I spray my pans with cooking spray
The crust will be crunchy and the inside moist!
I find it odd that you don't cream the Shortening and Sugar, add wet and then flour at the end.....but I have always followed my old hand written, I am not sure if it would turn out different.  But I mix in the order as listed....the batter gets very stiff before adding the eggs and bananas.  I use my kitchen aid mixer, but I used to do it by hand in a large bowl.....because that is how my Mom did it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter!

What a beautiful time of year!!  New life - the tomb is empty!  Christ has risen!

We see how God has reminded us of this biblical truth through nature as we watch the flowers bud and bloom.  We see the dead vines turning green again, watch at the birds and butterflies return to our gardens.  Hope is alive.

I'm looking forward to a blessed weekend.  I will be shopping today in preparation for our Easter meal with our kids and grandkids.  Ashley is hosting this year and we each bring a few dishes.
Our Easter Menu this year is:

Vegetable Appetizer
Deviled Eggs
Seven Layer Salad
Glazed Ham
Hot Pot Cracked Potatoes
Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
Corn Soufflé
Iced Tea
Banana Split Cake
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I'm thankful that my girls enjoy cooking and not only enjoy it, but do very well at it.  It sure makes my job easier as we share the responsibility in both the cooking and the hosting.  I will try and remember to take pictures to post next week.

I'm hoping to finish planting a few flowers and bushes today as well.

Tomorrow I will be putting my baskets together for the grandbabies and maybe a little something for my girls.

Sunday of course will be church...a light breakfast, special Easter Music, an Easter Play and Egg Hunt for the kids.

Hoping everyone has a blessed holiday weekend!

I love the graphics on these old Easter Cards....I have some very similar that were my Great Grandmas from the early 1900's. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rayleigh Joy's 1st Birthday

When Rayleigh was born (4.4.13) I had a list of "firsts" that I was excited to experience with my new baby.  First smile, first giggle, first crawl, first Thanksgiving and Christmas, first steps, first Mardi Gras, and then BIRTHDAY!  Leading up to Rayleigh's first birthday, I had to remind myself "Rayleigh may be growing up quicker than anticipated but she will also be my baby!".  It was an overwhelming process to truly realize that a year had passed but what better way to celebrate her sweet 12 months of life than with a BIG party...and then the planning began.

My mom and I decided with an Easter/Spring theme since this year Easter would be after her birthday.  Thanks to Michaels Craft Store, Dollar Tree, and Hobby Lobby - we got every pastel, egg shaped item you can imagine.  But the biggest tool was Pinterest.  Whenever I find out who invented Pinterest, I am going to attack them with hugs and then scold them for the hours I've spent surfing their app when I could be sleeping at night.

In true Ray girl fashion, we immediately made lists.  List of food, list of decor ideas, list of who to invite, lists of what lists we still needed to make....shall I continue the lists of lists?  But my favorite list was Activities; we decided on an egg hunt (with 144 candy and sticker filled eggs), egg magnet painting station (wood cut egg magnets from Michaels and paint from Dollar Tree), a photo booth (props from Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree), and of course gift opening, cake, and food.  Our menu consisted of chicken salad sandwiches, ham sandwiches, veggies, queso dip with chips, chocolate covered strawberries, and orange salad.  Lest we forget - the favors!  Each child received a personalized bucket (Dollar Tree) filled with candy, eggs, coloring books, Peeps, wooden toys, and more!

The original plan was to utilize my outdoor area but there was a great threat of rain - so Mom and I worked long hours decorating the inside of my house starting 48 hours before the party started.  Just our luck, it didn't rain a drop during her party or the morning of....enjoy the photos below taken by yours truly.  We got so many compliments that this was the best 1st birthday party people had ever attended, how cute everything was, how great the food was....well of course, it was a Ray party :)  And the best part - it was all on a budget, of course!

Click on any photo to view it larger or go into slideshow mode...enjoy!