Funky Find

Mom was down a few weeks ago and we love to take a day strolling through consignments shops, junk stores, and antique shops.  Both suckers for funky finds, we are always taking each other into something!!!  I found this little cream and sugar set at one of our favorite places.  I said “It doesn’t match anything I have, perfect!”

There are no markings on either of these, does anyone know what they are. I’m in love.

Spicy Tex Mex Tater Salad

At the request of my mother in law I am going to try and write this recipe down.  This is a spicy, smokey take on a traditional potato salad.  My husband says this really isnt a potato salad, it just happens to have potatoes in it, but I’ll let you be the judge.

Everything is an estimate because I never measure,so just wing it and you will do fine.

6-8 red skin potatoes
4-6 hard boiled eggs
2 celery stalks
1 cup black beans, rinsed
8 slices of bacon
red bell pepper
1 cup of cilantro
1 – 1.5 cups of mayonase
1-3 chiles in adobe
1/2 tspn lemon juice
1 tablespoon of sugar

Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks and boil until tender.  Cool and set aside.
Cook the bacon until crisp and crumble, set aside.
While the potatoes are still cooking dice the celery, red bell pepper, eggs, and cilantro.  Place everything into a large bowl, adding in the black beans.  Fold the ingredients until everything looks distributed.
In either a small food processor, like the cuisinart mini prep, or a blender place the mayo, a little of the sugar and a squirt of the lemon juice.  Typically i will preach that juice from a lemon is so much better than the squirty kind but in this case its perfect.  The purpose of the juice is to cut the mayo flavor back a bit not to really taste the lemon.  Give it a quick whirl to combine the ingredients.  Now add the chilies one at a time, pulsing the mixture several times to distribute the chili.  Before you add another one, taste it! The heat should sneak up on you with a hint of the smokey flavor.  However, if you want to burn your face off go for it.  At this point I just keep adding sugar, lemon and the chilies until it tastes right.
Then, adding a little at a time, combine the spicy mayo with the additional ingredients.

Hint: if you arent going to serve it the same day its made, hold off on the bacon and add it at just before serving. This way it stays crispy and doesnt get soggy sitting in the fridge.

Must Have Monday

I love this fragrance, Persimmon Plum, and the body lotion is divine.  Free of pretty much anything bad you could even think of, its sweet, sultry and smart.  Find it here at Love and Toast. 

Image Credit, Love and Toast

Mermaid Tea Party

Well – It has been several weeks since the mermaid tea party.  I had a complete and total blast from start to finish.  I loved every piece, from the planning to fixing food and of course hanging out with my girl friends. The really are the most spectacular part of any event.  So here is the break down, sum it up, main points of interest and all around good stuff.

The table setting was a compilations of thrift shop finds, white dishes, bits and baubles I either already had or borrowed. I made the old shipwreck bottles myself  as shown here. I wanted it to look like little bits and pieces that the mermaids might have taken off old shipwrecks and stashed about.

 I placed it all on a basic white cotton table cloth accented with pieces of broad cloth in earthy tones and deep teal.  Thank you to my mother in law who let me borrow from her cast iron mermaid collection, they set the tone perfectly.

Food!  I love to eat.  I made scones posted here, orange mascarpone (melt in your mouth) tartlets found here on pampered chef and mini cupcakes with butter cream frosting.  For the savory selection; cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches.  To save time I picked up a local favorite chicken salad the day before.

Of course I had a selection of tea that I had gathered over the past few months. I made a tea menu describing each tea and the caffeine content to help guest make a selection.  Water was kept hot in insulated carafes.  Just a hint, if you go this route splurge on a new one so the tea wont taste like coffee.

Mermaids have to be dressed for the occasion, so as we sipped idly on tea, drifting through conversation we all had little starfish hairpins, made here, for fun.  The hairpins were placed in a little silver dish, a little dressing area set up with a mirror.

As a little thank you for helping to make the party complete, everyone took home a little bath bomb.  I ordered them here from SweetBath Confections.  They were affordable in a box of twelve, and perfect as they were individually wrapped.    I kept a few back for myself and loved them!

Well I think that about does it for the highlights.  Whew, it was so enjoyable.  I cant wait to plan another party!  Any birthdays out there????   HA!

~ Want to see how my mind wanders?  Follow me on pinterest, better yet start with my mermaid party board!

Unravel my Travel – Guest post

KC is a college student who loves to travel and is enthusiastic about doing it on a budget!

He has traveled Europe several times and done so on a college student dime.  He also shared with me that she can do it with ten pounds of luggage!  I don’t think even my purse weighs less than ten pounds!  So, when He asked to share some travel tips I said “yes please!”.   Be sure to check out the link to his blog after the article, He just got back from Europe!  Enjoy!

Top 5 Travel Tips
Traveling around the world is a wonderful experience that can have a lasting effect on your life. Whether you taste a pastry in Paris or a new brew in Germany, traveling can be a rewarding way to spend your time off. There are many beautiful countries to visit and it doesn’t matter which ones you stop by but we recommend that you get out there and see a few. Go ahead; take a vacation, you deserve it. To help you get wherever you need to go, here’s a list of savvy tips to get you on your feet.
  1. Book your trip in advance.
    1. The beginning of any vacation is the plane ticket. The best time to buy a plane ticket is two to three months before your vacation actually starts. Once you buy your ticket, be sure to continue to watch ticket prices because most airlines will give you a better rate if one arises.
  2. Be sure to finance your trip properly-especially for a family vacation.
    1. Do some research and educate yourself about your financial options that are available to you and your family. There are many travel rewards programs through banks, which can be helpful. If you cannot put money down on your vacation, this might be a viable option for you. Finances can be the most stressful part of your life, why worry about that that during your vacation away from stress?
  3. Sleep somewhere outside the city.
    1. If you plan to tour a big city, then be prepared to pay big hotel bills. This is fine if you’re a city-person; personally, I try finding a smaller bed and breakfast outside the city limits. It’s always a little quieter and less damaging to my wallet. Plus, this way I can relax and see how the culture really is and not just how commercial cities look and feel.
  4. Utilize technology, it’ll save you a few dollars and a few headaches.
    1. Everyone has a smart phone these days, why not use it correctly? There are thousands of (free) travel apps, which help plan and organize your vacations. Planning to take a lot of pictures? Upload pictures to an online sharing platform for free in case your camera breaks or is stolen. Family and friends back home can look through these pictures without you and your family being smeared all over Facebook. This is a much safer and more personal way to share pictures with the ones you love.
  5. Flexibility is crucial for any trip abroad.
    1. Nothing is more frustrating than having to follow strict guidelines. Relax. You’re on vacation to enjoy yourself, remember? Make sure you stop and take the time to browse through markets, walk through parks and pose for memorable pictures.
KC Owens has written and submitted this article. KC is a college student who loves traveling, college life, fitness and a good survival kit. He enjoys studying different cultures, meeting new people and leaving his footprint somewhere most people only read about.