Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pumpkin Mania at Trader Joe's

Warning! This post is filled with pictures of delicious pumpkin items that can only be found at Trader Joe's. I really hope you have a Trader Joe's near you or this post may be depressing! (You can go to their website to find a store near you).

I stopped in at Trader Joe's the other day to get another can of their delicious coffee. It's my new favorite brand and a treat for me to walk around the store. While I was there I noticed some pumpkin items were out and the box of Pumpkin O's cereal caught my eye. I bought them to try because I couldn't find anymore Mini Wheat's Pumpkin Spice cereal at my usual stores. Have you tried that yet? Delicious. It's a limited time special cereal.

The cereal turned out to be really Cheerio's on a pumpkin spice kick! And as you can see by the left bottom corner of the box, it's good for you! Only $2.49.

Anyways, my friend Bonnie introduced me to the coffee so I bought the medium roast, the dark roast and the decaf. It is so inexpensive compared to the Starbucks I was buying for $11.99 a bag and the Dunkin' I was buying for $8.99 a bag. Trader Joe's coffee is $4.99 and the decaf is $5.99. Crazy. And you can freshly grind it in the store.

I also picked up a box of their pumpkin cornbread mix ($2.49) because I was going to be making my famous chili. That was really good! Even my son who doesn't like cornbread ate several pieces. It was almost like a sweet bread but with enough cornbread taste to serve with the chili.

I was so impressed with the cereal and cornbread that I wanted to go back and get a few more pumpkin items to try. The store is not far, but not close enough to just run over there, so I made a special trip to have another look.

Wow, did they have a large, eclectic selection! There was pumpkin in things I would never dream of putting it in, like pita chips, and pumpkin in things you'd expect, like bread, muffins and pancakes.

Let's have a closer look....

Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter
So tempting!

There's my cornbread mix and below it, Pumpkin Biscotti

There were Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels and Pumpkin Spice Brittle.

Pumpkin Greek yogurt!

I decided on the pumpkin bars ($1.99) and the Pumpkin Spice Coffee k-cups ($4.49).

Can you see the name of the bars..... "this pumpkin walks into a bar...."! As soon as I got in the car I opened the box. Wow, was that good! It was a soft, chewy bar with an almost creamy filling of pumpkin and spices. The filling reminded me of a fig cookie that literally sticks to the roof of your mouth and fills the rest of your mouth with texture and gooeyness and lots of goodness. Very satisfying.

This morning I tried the coffee. I have been put off by most drinks with the name Pumpkin Spice in it because I tried one of the aforementioned coffee shop's lattes and I thought it was horrible. What exactly is all the excitement over that about??

Anyways, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice coffee was really good. Just enough subtle taste of pumpkin and spices. It helped make it all so festive drinking it out of my new giant pumpkin orange mug!

This may be weird but when I make coffee with a k-cup I always run it through twice. That way I get a larger cup and the taste is still there. I am not crazy about drinking flavored coffee first thing in the morning so this will be saved for mid-morning coffee with a friend or for guests.

I have my eye on those Pumpkin Biscotti and the Pumpkin Spice Cookie Butter for my next trip to Trader Joe's. If I lived closer, I would be tempted to do my weekly shopping there. They have such unique items and all of the things I have tried are pretty good. It has a fun atmosphere to shop in and they give out free samples.

Do you have a Trader Joe's near you? I hope you do so you can try out some of their pumpkin items. If you try something different than I did, please let me know!!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Roses of Inspiration
Coffee and Conversation Link Party
What's It Wednesday
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Freedom Fridays
Flashback Friday
Best of the Weekend
Pink Saturday

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Meet Sprite! Meet Cyrus!

We adopted two kittens and brought them home today.

The whole family was involved. Even my son who said he didn't like cats and especially Miss Kitty. He says now he can start with these two with a clean slate!

I have had cats as a part of my life as long as I can remember. My first kitty's name was Nosey. She was, well, very nosey. She was mostly white.  She spent most of her life with spaghetti sauce permanently stained on her nose.

Yeah, we gave her spaghetti.

It's been a long year since my sweet Miss Kitty passed away in February.

I knew I wanted another kitty but not until Fall when we could all settle inside for the long, cold winter. Another cat would be an indoor cat. My husband grew up with cats also and he agreed. We tossed around the idea of getting two kitties. One for him and one for me.

I have never had two kittens at once. I hear it is a lot of fun.

When it was impossible to decide on just one after going to our local humane society, we dropped the idea of two. It was a little pricey too!

Then my daughter sent me this picture. This little kitten stole my heart! I knew this was going to be my next kitty to love. Her name is Sprite!

She isn't even old enough to adopt here, but I went online to the shelter and applied for her. I was willing to wait. She is a black and white Calico.
Did you know that all Calico cats are females?

This time around our new kitty would be an indoor cat for many reasons. I have never had an indoor cat and wasn't sure I agreed with keeping a cat indoors. Miss Kitty loved prancing around our yard and sitting in the sun with her other kitty friends.

But after multiple cats getting hit by cars, getting lost and then found, and giving me poison ivy every year, it was time.

So I waited, and waited and waited! Three weeks! Sprite had to weigh at least 2 pounds to be spayed. One day before I got the call she would have the surgery, I went back online to see what other kittens there were to adopt.

For my husband. I was just looking.

I found Presley. He is all black. I just knew my husband would love him. He did. He said "get him!"

I called the coordinator right away and told her to add Presley to our order! We'd pick them up at the same time.

It was all too easy. I was already approved to adopt, so they just added a second kitten and reduced the price a little too!

He is a black Burmese or Bombay cat

Presley will not be his name. My husband is changing it to Cyrus, after the movie Warriors, where Cyrus is a gang leader. Sprite will stay Sprite because I love it. A sprite is in the fairy family of creatures and I love that whole fantasy world. Perfect for me.

We picked them both up today.

They did not get along.

Sprite was in a foster home with two older cats that just batted her away as a nuisance. She needed a new friend her own size! Cyrus was in a foster home with other cats and kittens and got along with them all. He had to leave his friend Cecilia behind to come home with us. He needed a new friend his own size! He just wants to play!

One of the first things Sprite did was crawl into the armoire shelf under the TV.

The first thing Cyrus did was to follow her in!

She wanted no part of it! A fight broke out. A lot of hissing on Sprites part. Cyrus just wants to be friends!
Cyrus was left on his own.

My idea of having two kittens is that they play nice together, sleep together, maybe even share the same food bowl. I am sure it will come in time. It is only the first day!

So,  I don't have any cute pictures of the two of them together yet. Tonight will be their first night together in a room upstairs. We have separate litter boxes for them, separate eating bowls and water bowls and we're not sure where they are going to end up sleeping. I made a comfy bed for them but I have a feeling it won't get used!

Have you ever had two kittens at the same time? If you have any tips or advice I would love to hear them!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Best of the Weekend
Roses of Inspiration
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Freedom Fridays
Flashback Fridays

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Random Fall Things

Some exciting things happening around here least for me!

I won the most wonderful giveaway from Tuula whose blog Thrifty Rebel Vintage is one I eagerly read each time she posts. She does the most amazing makeovers and repurposing of unusual items.

This is what I won! A beautiful garden flower art made out of a silver platter and pretty glass bowls.

It came all wrapped up so pretty with a sweet note....

Here are a few close-ups...

It really adds so much to my dying Fall garden!
Also in my garden, my Sweet Autumn Clematis is blooming profusely....finally! It takes 2-3 years for it to really fill out and bloom.

They are the sweetest little white flowers!

New Café curtains in my kitchen....again!
I haven't started decorating for Fall yet and probably won't until the beginning of October, but I felt the need to take the summer out of my kitchen.
I made this pair of café curtains this summer from flour sack dish towels I found at Walmart. They came out so cute and brightened my kitchen up during the hot weather. The post and tutorial is here if you are interested. 

For Fall and Winter I wanted a more neutral, cooler look using the cobalt blue that is already in my kitchen. I thought of mattress ticking and found some sheets, but they were too dark.

While killing time in Marshall's one day, I came upon the dish towels! There hanging on the wall were the perfect set of three. I did not notice in the store that the two on the left were a little different!

I did it once, why not again? I made a plan to use all three towels to make two panels for café curtains.

Towels are so perfect to use because there is minimal sewing. The edges, bottom and top hems are all done! I cut the dark striped one in half lengthwise and attached it to one side of the checked white towel and one half to the vertical striped white towel. One quick seam for each one. I turned the top over for the rod casing and sewed it all down, added another seam for a little header, and done.

It took all of a half hour! The cost? $4.99 + NY state tax = $35. Just kidding! $5.39 to be exact.


A little quirky, a little different, but I like it!

I love my new addition in the window too. I had the bottom half of the kitchen scale and recently found the top part at a barn sale. It doesn't work but I love it. The pitcher is a recent find at another barn sale.

I did take my Fall front door wreath out today and I have been thinking about my velvet pumpkins from last year. I need to style my shutter vignette in the side garden for Fall and add some color to my front porch.

I'm just not feeling it yet! How about you? Does it feel like Fall in your hometown yet?

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties....

Amaze Me Monday
Roses of Inspiration
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Share Your Style Party
What's It Wednesday
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Anything Blue Friday
Bouquet of Talent
Best of the Weekend
You're Gonna Love It Link Party
Freedom Fridays
Flashback Fridays

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I'm in The Saturday Spotlight!

I am so excited to have been asked by Kris to write a post for her Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger at Junk Chic Cottage. Click on over to her blog if you are interested in learning more about the woman behind this blog.....Me!

 AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Best of the Weekend
Pink Saturday
Amaze Me Monday
Roses of Inspiration
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party

Friday, September 11, 2015

It Reminds Me of You....

Everyday things tell a story.

I know we all have them. Those things around your home that take your mind and heart immediately to that someone special that gave it to you.

Every morning I start my day with a cup of coffee. And I store my coffee in this beautiful stoneware, cobalt blue glazed crock, given to me by my sweet friend Michelle. She and I both visited the quaint country store she bought it from many times over the years. It was called The Leaning Barn. The store is gone now so it is even more special to have an item from it.

As a child I received a very special gift from my grandmother, Ga. I have so many things around my home from her, but this Madonna and Baby Jesus statue is my most favorite. It sits on my dresser where I see it everyday.

Surrounding her are other precious pieces of Ga's

For my 50th birthday I threw myself a Mary Engelbreit "The Queen of Everything" party.

  My daughter Jena found the perfect gift...

It hangs by my dresser above a hook for my scarves. I see it everyday.

 Every evening I end my day in bed reading before I fall asleep. And I always think of my friend Darlene who cross stitched bookmarks for all the ladies in our bible study, several times! I am blessed to have two of them and they are prized possessions.

As you can imagine I have lots and lots of goodies that my husband gave me as gifts, but the one thing that is an important part of my day and is useful and practical, is this cute eyeglass holder.
It sits on my bedside table along with my books and pictures of him and my son. It is the last thing I use each night before I go to bed.
I don't get to see my friend Michelle very much anymore. Our lives are on different paths and she is busy being an international artist!
Ga passed away when I was 11 (47 years ago!!) but I have so many reminders of her that I feel her presence all around my home.
I have been told I look like her!
I talk to my daughter almost every day and see her throughout the week, but it is a nice reminder to me that I am the Queen Mother in her life!
Darlene is a knitting buddy of mine and I get to see her big smile almost every Sunday at church.
And of course my husband is the one I get to share my life with every day. He is my Knight in Shining Armor.
All of us Queen's have to have that strong man around the palace :-)
What everyday things do you cherish that were given to you as gifts?
AnnMarie xoxo
I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Which Flea is it??

I have been wanting to go to the Avon Flea Market for a couple years now. It is known in these parts as a big outdoor, pretty nice place to go pickin'.

My treasures for the day.
The only problem is that it is only held on Sundays and it closes by 2 p.m. Not enough time to drive the 50 minutes after church and be able to shop like I want to shop. And, not sure I should skip church to go to a flea market!

We went out to dinner this past weekend with some friends at their favorite Italian restaurant. It was a 50 minute ride. When we got off the expressway, right there down the street were signs for the Avon Flea Market next to a big, old gray building. What luck!

Love this set of three blue and white onion pattern pieces. Marked Japan

It has been hit or miss all summer for church because of things going on so I asked my husband if it would matter if we missed ONE more Sunday to go to the flea market the next morning.

I am not a backslider!

Don't judge me :-)

We went to the flea market.

I was so excited to get there, only to be let down a little bit by the atmosphere and the "junk" to be found. I didn't help that it was humid and 90 degrees.

So pretty!

I did find a lot of good stuff though.

I have never seen a canister set like this. So retro!

I went off on my own while my husband and son had a bite to eat. They started chatting with a couple that told them there was a bigger flea market down the street at the Vintage Drive-In (love that).

We set out to look for it, only to be sidetracked by a small building with junk outside that may have been a flea market.

It wasn't. But another couple there told us they had just been to the drive-in one, it closed at 2 p.m., and that a lot of the vendors were packing up. It was 1:30.

Speaking of sidetracked...I am going to right now. On our way there we missed our exit (I have to ask you if the driver or the passenger is responsible to watch for it??!! I wasn't driving.). We went a half hour out of our way and then had to backtrack.

I was sitting there watching the minutes tick by on my watch.

I really hoped this was all going to be worth it!

So back to the drive-in flea market. It was bigger and nicer and great stuff. A lot of the vendors were packing up but that is usually a good time to get deals. Right away a guy offered a lamp to me as I was walking He didn't want to pack it. I took it!

Pretty, right? It is very heavy and he said it was his mothers.
I was thrilled, till I turned it over.....Made in China!

We walked around a little bit and I got chatting with a nice couple at their booth. I asked them if this was THE Avon Flea market or was the other one it? They said this was and it is called The EAST Avon Flea Market. I never paid attention to that part when I Googled it.

So I skipped church, started the day with a migraine, walked around another flea market most of the day in 90 degree weather and it wasn't even THE one I wanted to go to??

Lord, are you trying to tell me something?!

I did find a few really cute items at the "real" Avon Flea.

Cute rusty tin napkin and salt and pepper holder

And the rest of my treasures from the day are throughout this post.

I am going to church next week, but I may have to skip a Sunday in October to go to the real East Avon Flea Market again. It closes for the year at the end of October.

I just sold one of these Santa squeeze toys so I thought I'd put this one in my shop. Great for your doggy or baby!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am sharing with these great blog parties:

Amaze Me Monday
Show and Share
Thrifty and Vintage Finds
Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party
Let's Talk Vintage
Vintage Inspiration Party
Share Your Cup Thursday