Vintage Finds in my Basement!

I’ve mentioned in a previous post about why I love winter months. One of the reasons is that I am finally able to work on things inside my house vs all the yard and garden work I have all spring, summer and fall.

I have been unpacking boxes of my parents and grandparents things that were handed down to me or that I found in my parents attic and house after they passed.

In my post about the refinished hutch, you saw some of the dishes that I have. Some. Notice I said you saw “some” of the dishes. I have much more. I can’t possibly show you everything in one post, so I will have to show you some other things later.

These gorgeous tumblers that my parents had in the basement bar, otherwise known as the party room! They loved to entertain and had lots of parties. I certainly inherited that gene!

These glasses and matching pitcher were just everyday glasses that I remember my parents using. Since they have pheasants on them, I like to use them for autumn and Thanksgiving.

This is my favorite find. My parents dishes and good utensils that we only used for holiday dinners. I remember setting the table every holiday. I think I was channeling Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa even at that young age!


What I did not realize… these dishes are actual china! I was shocked, I really had no idea. Now I use them when I have family or friends over for dinner.


Then there are these beautiful, hand crafted “rag rugs” made by my grandmother and her sister.

I remember as a child, the huge loom they had set up in a room. I was always amazed at the contraption! And I say it was huge, but I was pretty small at the time so maybe that’s why it seemed so large. I do remember that it took up most of the space in the room though.

They both worked in a sewing factory, so they were able to bring home discarded fabric. I believe that is what they used for these rugs. They really are beautiful. Unfortunately, they are older than me and the threading is starting to fall apart.

The colors do not go with anything in my house, but I really want to use them as long as I can. And, my kids won’t use them either so I might as well!

I washed one in the tub, it had already started to come apart so I thought the washing machine would just make it worse. The others I did on delicate and they turned out pretty good, some of the fringe fell apart but other than that, they are still in good shape.

And, I remember my Grandma telling me and my brother not run in the house when we were kids. I can assure you we did not listen because every time we ran across those rugs we ended up hitting the floor with a thud and then my Grandma would say “I told you kids not to run in the house!”

Then there is this baking dish. I find myself using this more than my own baking dishes. I just love cooking with it, knowing my Mom also used this for her meals. It warms my heart.

These glasses are quite special to me. They were my Grandma’s. I remember her giving me Coca-Cola in those glasses when my tummy was upset, or Hawaiian Punch (which was my favorite so she always kept that at her house!).

I believe they were jelly jars, or peanut butter, had a pop off lid maybe?  I love using them.

So those are just a few of my vintage finds from my basement. I’ll share more later!

Have an awesome day!

Delicious Mocha Smoothie

Hi! My name is Kim and I am addicted to chai lattes.

And I am being serious!

You might have coffee when you get up in the morning, but for me it HAS to be a chai latte.

But, I didn’t have any chai in the house this morning. None.

So after I stopped crying and pulled myself up off the floor, I whipped up this Mocha Smoothie.

I do love a good mocha. Thankfully. Cuz I am also addicted to mocha!

But instead of just a mocha coffee, I made the mocha smoothie. I was hoping the healthy Greek yogurt wiped out the sugar from the chocolate. That works, right?!

I put about 1 to 1-/1/2 cups of ice in my smoothie blender, added about 2-3 oz of Greek Yogurt, or about half of one of those 5 oz cups, and about ½ to ¾ cup of cold coffee.

Once that was well blended, I added about 4 tablespoons of chocolate syrup, and I eyeballed that 😊

I may or may not have added more than 4 tablespoons….

You could also blend in about a ¼ cup chocolate chips, but the syrup is enough for me. I have done the chocolate chips before, but I didn’t really care for the bits of chocolate as I was sipping so no more chips for me! Just give me the syrup!

When I make this smoothie for on the go I do not top it off with whipped cream, BUT if I am enjoying it at home I not only top it with whipped cream, I also add a little drizzle of chocolate syrup too!

Mocha Smoothie

1-1/2 cups of ice

½ to ¾ cup of cold brewed coffee, do not use coffee grounds

2-3 oz plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup chocolate chips, optional

4 T chocolate syrup, more or less depending on your preference

Add the first 4 ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.

Add the chocolate syrup and blend again.

You can top this drink with whipped cream and more chocolate syrup.


My Favorite Cabinet Makeover

I have to say, I absolutely love this piece of furniture that I just finished.

It’s the second piece I’ve done, and I love this more than the first. I made some mistakes on this piece too and learned a great deal from those mistakes.

This is the before picture, it was painted a colonial red.

I wanted to stain the top so I started hand sanding it, wasn’t long before I realized I could not do that! So off to the hardware store to purchase an electric hand sander.

My first mistake was thinking that the brand-new hand sander I bought, with the bag to catch the yuck, would “actually” do its job.

I quickly and happily got to work with my hand sander.

In my house.

In my craft room.

I was almost completely finished with sanding the top when I realized that little bag on the end does absolutely NOTHING! My craft room was coated in red dust. *SMH

So, I managed to hand sand the rest of the top. There was a small area of red that I could not sand off, and by that time I was so frustrated that I didn’t really care. And the stain sort of hides it. Sort of.

Then I started to research a primer to paint over and cover the red for the rest of the cabinet. I wanted to paint the base of the cabinet a creamy white. Thankfully, I found something that worked beautifully. I used two light coats of the primer and did a very light sand in between each coat.

After the priming was done, I went to work on staining the top. I played around with layering different stain colors on a piece of scrap wood that I had. I had a few small cans of stain on hand and figured I could save a little money and use what I have.

I finally got the color I wanted and did the exact same thing to the top of the cabinet.

After 3 days it was still tacky. Back to researching!

What I should have done was mix the stain in a different container, not add layers of different colors. I also should have wiped the surface after each layer. Thankfully it was only two layers but still…..

I used mineral spirits to remove some of the stain, and it worked great!

Next came the sealer. Believe it or not, I did NOT have any problems. I have 3 coats on the stain and I am really hoping that will be enough to protect it.

Then I put 2 light coats of paint on the cabinet, and again doing a light sand in between to help keep the finish smooth.

I put the doors on next, I still need to try to fix one of the doors, it doesn’t seem to be level and I am not sure how to fix it. I checked the hinges and the screws, I might have to just live with it.

I went with glass knobs vs the wood knobs that was originally on the cabinet. Just love the look. What do you think? This step was not without its challenges. I needed to use some washers to get the knobs secure.

The only way to keep the cabinet doors closed is with a small piece of wood that turns, holding the doors closed. I was hoping to come up with an idea to use something else, but I have not found anything I like yet.

I have 3 coffee tables, 2 side tables and 2 chairs to refinish. The piece I am working on now is a chest of drawers that I will store my craft and sewing supplies. I am getting a little creative with this one, I can’t wait till it’s finished! I’m looking into stencils so while I am trying to make my decision, I may have to start working on one of the tables.

The pictures are not the best, my phone doesn’t take the best pictures and the light in my living room is not the best. It didn’t matter how I moved lamps around to try to help, it just did not work.

What do you think of the finished product?

Baked Cinnamon Apples

Did you ever buy apples and when you get them home and bite into them…. They are not very tasty, hard to bite into, just not at all what you expected?!

And then you are wondering, what the heck! Now what do I do with all of these apples?

I just did that, they were on sale at my store so I thought I would give them a try. What a disappointment.

And this is not the first time this has happened. I have even bought my regular tried and true favorite variety, but they were not tasty at all.

When this happens, I usually make apple pancakes, or sauté them and put them in maple syrup, or make baked cinnamon apples.

These baked apples taste like an apple pie without the crust. You can pour these over ice cream, French toast, pancakes or waffles. They are delicious over yogurt and oatmeal too. And I am sure there are a bunch of other yummy ideas that you can come up with

You could also make a crumb topping and turn this into a crisp.

I prefer the apples peeled for this recipe. I “rough” peeled them, meaning that there was some random pieces of the peel still on the apples. I did not like it! The apples were soft and the skin was tough

If you don’t have the cardamom, that’s okay. They will still be delicious without it. But I love cardamom so I almost always have some in my pantry and if I have a recipe that calls for cinnamon, I like to add the cardamom too.

After the apples are cut into 1 inch chunks and peeled, put them in a bowl and coat them with the juice of half a lemon. Make sure you zest the lemon first! Set the apples aside and put all of the spices, brown sugar, salt & pepper, lemon zest and cornstarch into a small bowl, blend well and then pour over the apples coating them evenly.

Now, let’s chat about the pepper for a second. You do not need to add the pepper BUT… Did you know that the pepper “spices” up the cinnamon and cardamom? When I make my chai tea, I toss several cracked peppercorns in the mix to really kick up the spice level.

Okay, so next you are going to put the apple mixture into a greased 8×8 inch baking dish and dot the top with cubes of butter. Cover the dish with foil. It’s really important to cover the dish with the foil! It helps to steam the apples and keep them from drying out.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the apples are tender. I check on the apples at 20 minutes and then check about every 5 minutes to make sure they are perfect and not over baked.

I hope you give these glorious baked apple a try!

Baked Cinnamon Apples

6 apples, cut into 1” cubes, skin removed optional

1/3 cup brown sugar, heaping

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cardamom

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 T cornstarch, heaping

Salt and pepper

Lemon zest from one lemon

Lemon juice from half of a lemon

2-3 T butter, cubed

  1. Place apple chunks in bowl, coat with the lemon juice and set aside.
  2. Put the brown sugar, nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, cornstarch, salt and pepper, and the lemon zest in a small bowl and mix together.
  3. Pour sugar mixture over the apples and coat evenly.
  4. Place apples in an 8 by 8 inch greased baking dish, spread evenly in the dish.
  5. Dot with butter and cover with foil.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender.


Pretty Little Crocheted Dishcloths

I love winter for several reasons. First and most important is there is no more suffocating heat! I can walk outside and not break into an immediate sweat. I’d much rather be bundled up in a warm sweatshirt or coat. That said, I do not like the frigid temperatures and artic winds either.

Second, and probably just as important as the first, I have a break from tending to my gardens and yard. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my gardens and yard. But it is hard work for me; not only am I single, so that means I do everything myself but, I also have several different types of arthritis. The RA and the arthritis in my spine being the worse. Every joint in my body has arthritis, I am far from crippled and I stay active but, I do hurt.

So by August, I am ready to stop the yard work. I just need a break from the work and doing it in that awful heat we have.

Two other reasons I love the winter months are that I finally have more time to focus on my hobbies and work on things inside the house.

For the last few weeks I have been working on these crocheted dishcloths. I love them!

They are made with cotton yarn so that makes them perfect for washing dishes and then being tossed into the washer and dryer.

They hold up remarkably well. And the colors don’t fade.

Unfortunately I used a smaller hook than the last time I made them so they are little too stiff, I may use them as pot holders for a bit until they loosen up a little.

Some people prefer them this way but I like them to be a bit loose, that makes washing glasses easier. But these are also great for scrubbing plates and maybe a pots and baking dishes if the food isn’t baked on too bad.

I sometimes sell them on Etsy although right now I have absolutely nothing in my shop and I have closed it for the time being.

I also have a shop on Shop Handmade, my shop name there is LillyBug Designs, named after my dog Lilly. I do have a set of knitted dishcloths for sale, along with scarves and other items. Now I crochet, I think crochet goes faster and I seem to like it better as the stitches are easier.

I am looking forward to working on some new patterns for dishcloths in the next few months while I am snuggled on the sofa with Lilly.

Turkey Noodle Soup on a Cold Snowy Night

It has been snowing here in south central Pennsylvania since about 1pm.

They initially were calling for 1-3 inches but I’m pretty sure we now have just a little bit more than that.

Can you find my little snowpup nugget? She absolutely loves the snow!

For tonight’s dinner I was just going to have some leftover stir fry from last night but after watching the snow all afternoon at work, I instead pulled some leftovers from the freezer.

I still had a little bit of turkey from thanksgiving that needed to be used, I had some buttered corn left from one of my Christmas dinners, and I always have chicken stock and some sort of noodles in my pantry. Oh, and I still have some thyme!

I have my herbs in a pot up against my house. My rosemary and thyme are still good!

There’s nothing better on a cold snowy night!

A nice bowl of noodle soup, a blanket and my pup.

Have a great evening!

Furniture Refinishing

I have often admired the beautiful pieces of refinished furniture that I would see on Pinterest. And I secretly wished I would have the talent and time to produce the lovely painted tables and chest of drawers.

One of my favorite things to do is to browse through some local antique shops, over the summer I found a hutch with glass doors that I just loved! Except for the color of stain. Soooo that was my first piece to transform.

I learned a lot, and mostly from my mistakes.

The hardware on the hutch is the original, they were very tarnished. And nothing I used on them was working well at all. I was very upset and frustrated. Needless to say I ended up soaking them and then used a scouring pad with some cleanser and white vinegar. It helped some but I now have some scratch marks on them.

Below is the after picture, I forgot to take a before picture. Seriously! *smh

This picture is how I have it decorated for Christmas. Each shelf has a small string of fairy lights wrapped around the dishes and the decor.

A small, slightly mismatched nativity set. My Grandparents had the full set, but I found these few pieces in my Dad’s attic. It was always one of my most favorite things at Christmas when I was little!

I also have a lot of family heirloom glassware that I filled with Christmas ornaments.


I have my Grandparents everyday dishes in my possession, and usually this hutch is filled with the entire set but for Christmas I am only using 2 pieces. I wanted to use some of the other heirloom pieces I have for some Christmas décor. So, one of the serving bowls from my grandparents set of dishes is filled with snowflake ornaments.

My Mom’s Christmas Princess House glassware. Remember those?

A set of snowman mugs and a cookie plate that I used when my kids were small.

The rest of the décor are things I have collected over the years such as the bottle brush trees, the snowflake ornaments, the glittery star, the Santa’s and greenery.

The reindeer on the top of the hutch I found a few years ago, they have a texture of paper-mache but had some gold leafing on them. I spray painted them copper and just love them now!!

The greenery that they are sitting in was actually used around the entrance to my dining room but the area is too small and it seemed cluttered so this year I used it for the hutch.

I am just about finished with my second piece of furniture. I’ll post it soon, I need to find new door knobs, I’m leaning to clear glass knobs. Stay tuned!

Lemon Ricotta and Roasted Red Pepper Fettucine

I have to admit, this dish turned out to be wayyyy more delicious than I had anticipated!

I love ricotta in my recipes but I have never used it as the main “cheese” ingredient, so I was delighted when I tasted the first bite!

And the roasted red peppers are ALWAYS yummy in my tummy. Red peppers are so good for us and are filled with vitamin C. I love buying the jarred roasted red peppers, one of those shortcuts I will never give up.

So, what started the idea for this dish? I have often read recipes using ricotta as the only cheese in pasta dishes but was never brave enough to actually try it. One evening I was nosing through my pantry and fridge trying to decide what to make for dinner.

I almost always have a jar of roasted red peppers in my pantry. I had the fettucine noodles too.

In the fridge I had some spinach for a salad that was looking a little sad. I also had a small container of ricotta cheese that I had planned to use to make a small lasagna (and clearly did not!). And I had a few lemons that were looking a little sad too.

I put water on to boil and went to work preparing all the ingredients I was planning to use. I zested the lemon and cut it in half, and chopped the roasted red pepper.

I used half of the box of fettucine noodles.

This recipe is so quick and easy, and I eyeballed everything but I do have a recipe below if you need it. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready to go because you will need them all at once.

Just before the pasta was al dente, I heated up my non-stick fry pan over a medium heat and added a little oil. I love using avocado, but olive is also a good choice here. Oh, and make sure you use a large fry pan.

To the oil I added about one and a half roasted red peppers that I had chopped. You don’t need to add this much, one would be just fine. But since I love them so much, I added the extra half.

I seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked them on low until they were heated.

Then I turned the pan to a low heat when I was ready to add the pasta to the pan. Just spoon the noodles in, its okay if some of the pasta water goes along because you are going to add more shortly.

As soon as the pasta is in the pan, add about one cup of the ricotta, and a large handful of spinach. Start with one ladle of the pasta water and start to work the pasta, ricotta and spinach around. Add a little more pasta water as needed but do not go overboard with it. You only want enough to soften the cheese and wilt the spinach.

Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to lower the heat even lower so pasta does not dry out. When the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted, turn the heat off.

Last, you will need to add the zest and juice of one lemon. YUM! Serve and enjoy.

Lemon Ricotta and Roasted Red Pepper Fettucine

½ box fettucine noodles

1 cup ricotta cheese, you can certainly add a little more if you want

1 to 1-1/2 roasted red pepper

1 lemon

1 large handful of baby spinach

Avocado oil, salt and pepper

  1. Cook fettucine noodles to al dente, make sure you salt the water.
  2. While the noodle are cooking you will need to zest a lemon and cut in half, set aside.
  3. Chop the roasted red pepper, set aside.
  4. Make sure your spinach and ricotta cheese is ready to do, this dish comes together quickly.
  5. When the noodles are almost al dente, using a large fry pan add some avocado oil and saute the chopped roasted red pepper, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the cooked noodles to the red peppers in the fry pan, also add the ricotta and the spinach.
  7. Add 1 ladle of the pasta water and start working the noodles, cheese and spinach around so the cheese melts and the spinach wilts
  8. If you need to add more water, only do about a half ladle at a time so you don’t overdo it!
  9. Turn the heat off and add the lemon zest and squeeze all the lemon juice into the pasta.

This serves 2 and only takes about 15 minutes to prepare.