Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The BEST Sunglasses I've ever owned!!!!

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Hands down, these are my favorite sunglasses of all time.  I love the shape, love the size, not since I was a teenager and wore big round tortoise Jackie O’ sunglasses have I had a pair that I loved as much as these.  I’ve had them for several years, I broke them, hubby repaired them many times, and on a whim today, I looked at the label, still faintly visible on the glasses, put it under a magnifying glass, and wouldn’t you know, they are on Amazon!  I put these puppies in my shopping cart so fast.  And they’e only $14.95 Prime.  Oh Amazon, how I love you, let me count the ways...

Here’s the link if you like them, too - I’m tellin’ ya, they are awesome.

They also have them in black...

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Same price, $14.99 - what a steal...

Here are the black ones

And yes, I’m snapping them up, too.  These might not be around forever...

Perfect Panera Bread Black Bean Soup

 

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I was thrilled to find the perfect dupe for my very favorite Panera Black Bean Soup.  You can make an entire pot of soup for what one serving in a bread bowl would cost.  And its SO easy. 

Ingredients

1 Onion finely chopped

4-5 Cloves Garlic minced

2 Ribs Celery finely chopped

1/2 orange or red bell pepper

1/4 Cup Chicken Stock

3-3/4 Cups Chicken Stock (this is the remainder of the 32 oz. box)

2-1/4 Cups Water

2 Cups Black Beans dried

1 Can Rotel Tomatoes & Green Chiles 10oz

2 tsp Mexican Oregano, I didn’t have Mexican Oregano, I used 2 tsp. of Italian Oregano

2 tsp Chili Powder

2 tsp Ground Cumin

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Ground Pepper

Directions:

Finely chop onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper and add to Instant Pot.  Saute veggies using SAUTE MODE until they are limp, using 1/4 cup of broth to saute them instead of oil

Stir in Oregano, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper.  Slowly add remaining 2 cups of broth and the 3-1/4 cups of water and stir well.

Rinse 2 cups of dried Black Beans, removing any debris, and add to pot.

Pour the Rotel Tomatoes into the CENTER of the soup and DO NOT STIR.  The Rotel Original gives this a little kick, not a lot just a touch, but if you don’t want the heat, use Rotel Mild

Attach lid, make sure vent is set to SEALING, and set timer for MANUAL MODE for 50 minutes.

Allow to naturally vent for10 minutes before CAREFULLY releasing whatever steam is left - I just make early in the day and let it set for awhile

Using a slotted spoon, remove 1 cup of the beans & veggies and set side.  Using a immersion blender (or regular blender) carefully blend the remaining soup until smooth.

Add the beans & veggies you set aside back in and stir well. 

Notes

Jan's Notes - these were AWESOME.  Next time  think I will use Vitamix instead of Immersion Blender to get smoother consistency.  I followed recipe exactly, used regular oregano, didn't have the mexican..  Fantastic Recipe - SO GOOD! 

Garnish with Salsa, Lime Wedges, or Green Chile Sour Cream if desired. 

This is so simple to make in an Instant Pot.  I have the new 8 qt. Plus size, even for two people it’s not too big.  They’ve been out of stock everywhere in this new version, but you can find the 8 qt. Duo on Amazon.  Same pot, the newer version just has a couple more settings.

Here’s the link if you’re interested, this 8 qt. is a better price than the plus.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, soak beans overnight and cook on low all day in slow cooker...

Friday, February 16, 2018

I'm a sucker for kitchy salt and pepper shakers

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Pioneer woman sold these these fried eggs and toast salt and pepper shakers at The Merc last year, and now they’re unavailable.  But I found them on Amazon.  These are just so cheerful, and they look like spring.
 
Such a silly little thing, but they make me smile.  Do you like them, too?  You can grab them here.
 
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These little polka dot chicks from the Abbott Collection are adorable, too.  I’m also a sucker for polka dots.
 
 
I think I’m just desperate for cheerful, bright colorful anything.  We’ve had so many cloudy, rainy gloomy days this month in Middle Tennessee, I’m weary of it all.  I’m tired of winter clothes and ready to break out the pastels.  I want to grow herbs and plant flowers, but it won’t be long.  Forsythia was blooming today at Panera Bread when we stopped in for lunch.
 
 
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I’ve had a set of these fried egg breakfast plates for several years now and I might just need to treat myself to those S&P’s to go with my plates.  Yep, I think I need these…  πŸ˜‰πŸ™ƒπŸ˜‹πŸ˜πŸ˜œ

52 Week Money Challenge

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I’m so impressed with this idea.  It’s very doable and then if you reward yourself with a long weekend trip, or a splurge that you haven’t been able to quite justify, you’ve got the funds.

The idea is simple: You start by socking away just $1 in the first week of the year, and then gradually increase your savings by a dollar a week throughout the year. So you save $2 in Week 2, then $3 in Week 3, and so on, until you’re stashing away upwards of $50 a week next December.

By the end of the year, if you complete the challenge, you’ll have saved $1,378.

I found this on The Simple Dollar, you can read all about it here...

Monday, February 12, 2018

Awesome Plastic Wrap Dispenser

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Plastic wrap dispensers are, well indispensible.  Okay, it’s a play on words, but these things are just awesome.  I first saw them on Pioneer Woman and was impressed at how well they work.   And who doesn’t struggle with plastic wrap, sometimes I just totally give up because it always clings to the wrap instead of the bowl.  But this little gadget changes everything.  I sit what I’m wrapping beside the dispenser, pull out the wrap, attach it to the bowl and then use the cutter on the dispenser for a clean cut.  Works perfect every time.

This dispenser comes with 250 feet of plastic wrap, you can refill it with plastic wrap from the grocery store and it’s $15 from Amazon Prime.  It’s worth the $15 to just ease the frustration.

Here’s the link if you’re interested in it, too 

I’ll make it easier for you, here it is in action - different pattern, but this veggie one is cuter. 

 But I’m not finished yet, there is also a dispenser for Aluminum Foil.  This one comes with a 12x30 ft. roll of aluminum foil and it’s also refillable.  It has a magnetic closure, there is a video on Amazon’s site that you can watch.   I haven’t bought this yet, but I’m going to, today!

Here’s the link for the foil

You know how much I enjoy kitchen gadgets, and anything that’s a timesaver is worth the money.  This is a really good thing… ~ Jan

Saturday, February 10, 2018

If your hair is thinning, you need this!

Okay, sharing my very favorite finds from this past year.   Yeah, I’m a little late to the game, I keep forgetting (it’s age related) 🀨  We can’t be like Maxine and wear a ball cap, there has to be a better way, well there is and I found it!

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First is dry shampoo.  This stuff is seriously, seriously awesome.  I first started using it last fall when I purchased Herbal Essence Dry Shampoo.  I was using it on day old, or two day old hair since I no longer shampoo my hair daily like I have all my life.  Shocking, isn’t it, but now that I’m older, it’s dryer, the texture is different and I just don’t have to.  When I started using dry shampoo  I immediately noticed my hair looked thicker and it smelled wonderful.  I have tons of hair in the back, it’s just the top and the sides that are thinning.  You know how it is, your part just keeps getting wider and wider.  And you think it’s hopeless, but it isn’t.  Read on...

We were on our way to Lexington to visit Ryan’s family and I realized I had left my Herbal Essence at home, so hubby took a quick detour, I ran into CVS and they didn’t have it.  So instead I grabbed a bottle of Beach Babe and it was a total game changer.

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It smells like coconut, and at first it was overpowering, and like perfume, use it a few times and you barely notice it.  But using this dry shampoo gives you so much oomph, yep, thats the only way to describe it, your hair looks thicker and it has oomph.  I quickly went from using it the next day to using it on wet, freshly shampooed hair.  Then I dry it and I spray even more on it.  And wahlaa, no more limp straggly hair, I use a root booster first on my wet hair, then spray the front and sides liberally with Beach Babe and my first day hair looks decent, the next morning I spray again before styling and it looks even better.  The third day, spray again and it’s FANTASTIC!

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This is the root booster I’ve been using, it’s a good one, I’ve tried a lot of them and when I use this with the dry shampoo I think it’s magic.  But wait, I forgot a step.  When my hair is freshly shampooed the first thing I do is to apply Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oi & Restore Leave-In Conditioner.   
 

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I did a review of this, and here’s the link for you.   You might want to click on my link and watch Elle’s video, she explains it really well.  At first I only applied the Shea Moisture to my ends, thinking that if I put it all over it would make my hair flat like conditioner tends to do, but one day I took a walk on the wild side and applied it to the top of my hair and sides as well.  And it didn’t make it  flat at all, it just made it feel thicker.  After doing this I used the root booster and my holy grail Beach Babe Dry Shampoo and it looked even better than when I didn’t use it.  So now that’s the first thing I do, and I apply it liberally.  This Shea Moisture might not work for you if your hair is very fine, but if it isn’t, give it a try and see what you think.

I know, this is a lot of product to put in your hair, but it’s totally worth it.  Be realistic, this isn’t going to make your hair look like it did when you were young, but it will make what you do have look noticably thicker and not be limp and flat.  Hubby took a new Facebook picture of me yesterday, and you can see that the top of my hair doesn’t look too bad.  But if you could see my hair without any product in it, you would quickly understand what this does.  This is second day hair, I didn’t do much with it, just twisted it up, and also my hair is really long. Middle of my back long, and I debate daily as to whether or not to cut it.  I would never wear it down, I look like a hag, but it’s so quick and easy to just put it up and go, and it’s off my face,  I look at pictures of myself from five years ago when I had a bob and I realize that this makes me look older, it’s not trendy, but I am older now. And that bob with bangs didn’t look so great either, Abby would always tell me, “Grammie, your hair is floppy.”  Out of the mouths of babes...

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These products are very inexpensive, you can purchase all of them for under $25.  If your hair is driving you crazy, too, give this a try, I bet it will work for you, too.  ~ Jan

Oh, links, I have links for you.

Beach Babe Dry Shampoo

John Frieda Root Booster

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave In Conditioner 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sharin' the Good Stuff, Copy Me That!

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Who doesn’t save recipes from the Internet?  We all do it, I have a tons of bookmarks and a badzillion Pinterest boards and it’s a pain in the patootie to find something.  But recently I found a site called Copy Me That, and it’s fantastic.   If you’re on a desktop or laptop, you download a button that you add to the top of your browser and it’s so simple to use.  You can also use this on your mobile phone or your tablet.

First, you go to copymethat.com and create an account and make sure you sign in.  Then if you’re on a computer, you download the button, it’s a two spoons icon and drag it up on your browser, and you’re good to go.  When you find a recipe you want to save, just click on that button and you get a popup on the top right corner of your page that says Copy Me That, and there is a link to View Recipe.

When you click the link it takes you to your main page, and this is the important part, you want to Create a Tag.  In the picture above, my first recipe is Instant Pot Chicken and Rice, so I created three tags for this, Chicken, Grains and Instant Pot.  I clicked on the “Add Tag” bar and created those three tags.  You’re doing this, so that in the future, you can easily find recipes in a category you are looking for.  And once you create a tag, it’s always there, you just Click the Add Tag bar and you will see the ones you’ve already created or you can add new ones.  You can make your settings private or you can share with the public.  Mine is public, anybody can view it.

I’ve explained what I do, but the ladies in the video below will show you what to do.  This is fantastic, the best organizer I’ve found and it’s free. ~ Jan

 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Berkshire Blankets

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Time to share the good stuff.  I was at my friend V’s house and she had this Honeycomb Blanket on her bed.  I ran my hand over it and I was SOLD!

This is the softest, body hugging blanket I’ve ever had.  It’s the perfect weight, not too heavy, and it’s affordable.  So, if you’re in the market for a new blanket, you can’t go wrong with this.  It’s a total winner, hall of fame worthy.

Here’s the link.  Amazon has many styles to choose from, but I wouldn’t even try one of the others, this Honeycomb style is just perfect.

Think of me when you snuggle into this, trust me, if you buy it, you will love it.

~ Jan

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hot Potato Salad

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I just posted this on Jan CAN Cook, but it’s so good that I wanted to share it on the Dish as well.  Total comfort food, totally bad for you, but SO delish!

I made this so often when the boys were little, lost the recipe and thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I just found it again.

We called it Hot Potato Salad, and made it exactly like this using Velveeta.  It was just SO good.

I was thrilled to find this recipe again and to add it here so I will always have it….

INGREDIENTS 

9 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced

1 cup mayonnaise

1 lb Velveeta cheese, diced

1 small onion, chopped

salt

pepper

1⁄2 lb bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1⁄2 cup green olives, sliced

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325F.

Combine potatoes, mayonnaise, cheese, and onion, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Put into greased 9x13 baking dish.

Top with bacon and olives.

Bake 1 hour.

Nutrition

Monday, January 8, 2018

I have a new food blog

 

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It’s the new year, time to rethink what we eat and I have some ideas for you.

I actually started this blog back in October and have steadily been adding recipes, and I’m really picky, they have to be awesome or they don’t make the cut.

You might enjoy looking at it and get some great recipes for yourself.

The name of the blog is Farmhouse Food Made Healthy and here’s the link for you

 ~ Jan

Monday, January 1, 2018

A holiday surprise

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It was going to be such a great Christmas.  Ry and family were coming for six days, I had so many plans, all organized on an Excel Spread Sheet.  The gifts were wrapped, the fridge was bulging with food to prepare, the recipes were all organized,  I was so looking forward to it.  They arrived late in the day on Thursday, we had a nice dinner, I played with the grandkids, went to bed and in the middle of the night I started getting chills.  By morning I had such a headache I couldn’t get out of bed and there is where I stayed the entire time they were here, except for Christmas evening I was up for a few hours.

Talk about the pits!  I didn’t want to make anyone else sick and thankfully I was able to contain the germs to our bedroom.   I had the flu, low grade temp, achy body and that relentless headache. 

I’m getting better, slowly, but now the kids are long gone and I didn’t even get to watch them open presents Christmas morning.  

Then fast forward to New Years Eve.  Our friends, Rich and V, were coming, we’ve spent many New Years Eves with them, and of course that didn’t happen either.  I’m still recovering and the weather is absolutely wretched.  Nothing went as planned this year, nothing!

Poor pitiful me, what a disaster Christmas was at our household...

Monday, December 18, 2017

5 Calorie Russian Tea

 

Fi

I’ve drunk Russian Tea since I was a little girl.  It was mother’s favorite and she made it every holiday season.  Warm, spicy, infused with spices and lots of powdered sugar, it was so good, but it also had a lot of calories.

I’ve recreated it using sugarless alternatives and the result is wonderful and very similar to hers.  She a always made hers with Tang, but it’s hard to find sugar-free Tang, so I substituted Crystal Light with great results.

 

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1.5 cups of Lipton Diet Iced Tea Mix

1 Packet of either Crystal Light Orange Sunrise or Crystal Light Lemonade, depending on whether you want an orange flavor or strictly a lemon taste

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir together and store in glass jars.  Add a teaspoon or two to a mug of hot water and you have a to-die-for drink.  The best part is it’s guilt-free as there are practically no calories in this.

I don’t know which flavor I like most, I made both varieties, one with Crystal Light Lemonade and one with Orange Sunrise.  I drink the orange version and think I like it best, and then I drink the lemon version and think I like it best.  It’s a tough call, so just make both.  Worked for me! πŸ˜€

Happy Holidays, think of me when you drink this

πŸŽ„JanπŸŽ„

 

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