Valentine’s Day Easy Dessert Ideas

Sweets for your sweetie, or your sweet tooth!
These super easy no bake dessert recipes are two of my favorites!  Why?  Because they are super duper easy, they whip together in no time, and no need to fire up the oven or use multiple pans and bowls!  Less dishes = more time to spend doing what you want or love to do.
Chocolate Eclair Dessert:
This is a recipe my grandma made for me all the time, and is my absolute childhood favorite.  I thought she invented it when I was little, until I had it somewhere else, but was glad to know I could hunt down the recipe on the internet later in life.  I’m so glad that it’s now one of my husband’s favorites too.  And I think I’m going to have to make it really soon.
It’s always better the next day so it’s a great recipe to toss together ahead of time.
I’m linking this recipe to allrecipes, but my gramma always made it with French Vanilla pudding and it adds a little extra if you can find it.  She also put a semi hard glossy chocolate on top, which I sometimes do too.  I think the chocolate she used has long since been discontinued, but I add a few handfuls of melted milk chocolate chips to the can of prepared chocolate frosting to get it to a more fudgy consistency.
My next recipe is an easy truffle candy that uses just three ingredients!
Oreo Cookie Ball Truffles
This is one of those recipes that you can have some fun with too.  I discovered it trying to make some truffles for my gramma since she loved them so much.  I’d always buy them for her on Valentine’s day, and then when I started to get a little savvy in the kitchen, I wondered how to make them.  I found these, and have been bringing these to parties ever since.  I just love how you can add little decorations, or colored chocolate to get as fancy or as simple as you like.  These are so easy to devour, and never last long!
Enjoy making these easy desserts for Valentine’s Day or anytime!




Valentine’s Day Decor

Valentine’s Day, I thought, would be easy to decorate.  I have a lot of pink stuff, and a lot of girly stuff.  But when I shopped my home for items to display, I found it difficult to make the items look like they all fit in the same tone.  I ended up putting together this vignette which I am not IN LOVE with, but until I can collect a little here and there, it will have to do!
These are, of course, thrift and estate sale treasures I have found in PA and FL.  This Crush bottle was at my wedding (please let someone else see the humor in the “crush” bottle for valentine’s day), and the little girl with the fan I found just the other day here in FL.  She was hanging around for months at a local thrift and I kept picking her up, and putting her back.  Finally I bought her.
The doll behind her was also a find at a church rummage sale I blogged about around Christmas.  She’s a 1950’s Vogue doll, with little hearts on her jumper.
Also that day, I found this hankie at another church sale.  Good day!  That pink lace tablecloth was my gram’s and this pink jewelry box was at my bridal shower.  Of course a book about vintage valentines, and wedding cake toppers from my collections are here….
That card box was a find from the same sale I got the hankie.  The little creature is doing the “he loves me, loves me not” thing.  That little egg ornament in the front is fit for every season.  I had it displayed at Christmas, it fits here in Valentine’s Day, and of course on Easter coming up!
My pink phone found at a yard sale, plus these two sharing a toast to happy days on this little trinket plate, and more wedding cake toppers are putting the icing on this valentine red velvet cupcake!
One last thing… it’s my 2nd blog anniversary!!!!  Even though I’ve just started my new blog purpose and vision as of late, I started sharing my thrift and estate sale finds right off the bat when I started.  Happy 2nd B-Day to Nicolyndime!!!

Vision Boards to Boost Your Behind


Is everyone back into a routine yet?  After writing last week’s post, I was pumped to take on 2017!  I had to take a deep breath and get back into a NEW schedule in the NEW year.  I’ve been wanting to tell you all about my exciting news, but was holding off until it was a for sure thing.  Anyway, here it is:  I got a job as an adjunct faculty dance teacher for my OWN class this semester.  Last semester I served as the substitute for the current instructor’s maternity leave for only half of the term.  Over the holiday break, I was asked to teach at another campus.

I’m doing a lot of reflecting on these times, as more and more exciting things are happening for me.  But it wasn’t always that way.  Less than 10 years ago I was so depressed, I didn’t care if I woke up in the morning.  And no matter how many times people told me to just cheer up, my future looked grim.  I had been hearing about this whole “power of positive thinking BS” and figured I didn’t really have anything to lose.  Armed with the words my gramma always told me, “God has a plan for you,” and a new book called “The Secret,” I reluctantly began to rehabilitate my thinking, and created a vision treasure box.  In my wildest dreams I wouldn’t have believed the abundance of the gifts that I have been given, and it is my true belief that it was my vision board that helped clarify that for me.

Here are my tips for creating a vision board that will give you a boost:

1.  Decide whether you want a physical or digital board.  A physical board may take you longer to find and gather the images, but for me, that’s the best part!  As you are seeking out that image, you are putting your heart into that one memento that will represent this dream you wish to attain.  That’s a powerful thing!

2.  Make a list.  Put every thing you want on that list, no matter how small or how big.  Add it!
3.  Find images that you really love.  If you don’t love it don’t add it.  It’s easy to think that you have to put something in to fulfill this particular want or need, but don’t add something you’re not 100% in love with because that nagging feeling will be remembered and linked to that thought process.
4.Find something separate for every need on your list from number 2.  Don’t get lazy and assume that this one image conquers 5 items on your list so you can accomplish that task more easily.  Remember, the idea is to really focus on one goal process.  Your image is your ticket to that focus.
5. Don’t paste it with no heart behind it.  Meditate on the end result of attaining that goal.  Get excited about adding the visual image to the representation of how you would write your life.
6.  “You gotta believe.”  In watching my yearly binge on The Twilight Zone New Year’s Marathon, a little boy tells a boxer named Bolie that he’s going to make a big tall wish.  The trick however, is that you have to believe or it isn’t so.  Your intention in pasting that image, has to go with you throughout the most mundane and amazing tasks of your day.  Carry it with you and be reminded of that intention when you look at your board.
7. It’s a vision board, not a top selling artist work.  That doesn’t make it worthless.  It’s priceless TO YOU, because it’s about YOU.  It should contain everything that lights you up and would get you excited to greet every day.  Worry less about the end result of the board and just get started already!  What are you waiting for?
8. Don’t overwhelm.  You might have a list as long as the Empire State Building, but you don’t have to tackle it in one day.  Start with what you want to be the most immediate concern to you.  Even if it’s the biggest order of business on your list.  This will give you more time to put that positive energy into making it happen.
Lastly, this isn’t a magic trick.  You’re not going to paste images on a paper and, like a Twilight Zone episode, have them magically come to life.  Plus remember what lessons we have learned from every fable about getting everything we wished for the easy way?  That never works out in the end.  You have to work for these things!  Your vision board is a visual representation, a road map of sorts, in what you will do to make these goals happen.  If you want that dream job, put it on your board, but then start applying, or going back to school to get the degree you need!  Love’s not going to find you sitting in your home, making a dream board, you still have to get out there.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and allow your dream board to be your spring board!
Now if you are pumped about getting started, I suggest you join my email subscriber list!  It’s free and I’ll be sending out bonus content like where to find free images for your vision board, book suggestions to get you started, and more insight into creating a board to boost your behind!
If you already are a member, you can look for that email in your inbox by Wednesday 1/18/17.  If you aren’t CLICK HERE and join.  Time is limited!  After that email is delivered on Wednesday, you can’t get it if you haven’t already joined!

8 Easy Ways to Keep Your New Year Goals

We all have our own aspirations and outlooks for the new year.  It can be a daunting task to write those resolutions.  I still remember that assignment each year in school.  Rarely was there a follow up or a check in to that assignment.
So I’m going to give you 8 ways to better tackle your aspirations for 2017.
  1.  No Resolutions!  You’ll notice that I’m very careful not to call them resolutions.  When we make New Year Resolutions, we tend to distance ourselves from that word, reserving it only for the New Year.  I like to use the words; goals, aspirations, and plans, but not resolutions.  We tend to relate more to these words and I think they can carry throughout the year.
  2. Don’t make a goal without a plan.  If your goal is to “learn Spanish” (one of mine actually) then it’s not enough to say, “I’m going to learn Spanish in 2017.”  How do you plan to do that?  You’ll need a road map.  Now the hardest part to this is that sometimes you really don’t know what you should be planning for.  I’m still having serious struggle with this as far as my blog goes, mainly because I don’t know the tools available or what steps would be the most appropriate or efficient to get from point a to b.  Talk to people who have accomplished this goal, ask in facebook groups, and research like there is no tomorrow.  For the “learn Spanish” goal, I want to use a free service (naturally) and Duolingo is going to be my how to my point b.
  3. Too broad a plan.  It might be unrealistic that I learn to be fluent in Spanish by Dec 31, 2017.  So in order to avoid giving up, or becoming discouraged, I need to realize that I get where I get, when I get there.  If I think about checking into Duolingo daily, and see where the road takes me, I’ll be pleasantly surprised at my progress, instead of my frustration that I’m not a master at a second language.  Which brings me to…
  4.  A major goal needs sub goals:  Learn Spanish is a big goal to me.  So for me, I’ll need to break that down into easier to handle chunks.  I’ll start out by visiting Duolingo daily, even if that is to revisit lessons I’ve already completed just to reinforce what I have learned.  I’ll not be in a rush.  And once I’ve completed every Duolingo lesson, I’ll search for a better option based on my level of comprehension.  However, I know where I’m starting (small) and where I can go next if needed.
  5. Is it Hocus Pocus?:  I miss that movie already.  I miss the holidays already.  And it’s scientifically proven that we actually get more enjoyment out of the planning of an event, such as a vacation or party, than we actually do living that moment out in time.  It makes sense when you think about it. The anticipation brings us joy.  So, let’s use this to our benefit!  Journaling and dream board creations work.  There are books and websites solely dedicated to the law of attraction, and therefore it is a commonly accepted term nowadays.  Like attracts like.  You get what you send out.  Creating vision or dream boards, and journaling in the correct way, can be really good for us.  Start thinking about what you want and be as specific and creative as you like.  Journal daily or weekly, but always with the mindset that you already have what you want.  You’ll get the feel good anticipation endorphins, and you’ll also send that notion into the world.  If you need help getting started with this, be sure to join my list, because I’ll be sending out an email to help you grasp this idea.
  6. Put some silly goals on the list.  Start out with some goals you know you can accomplish.  Wash the car.  Clean out the junk drawer.  They don’t all have to be long and laborious goals.  As you cross off these more manageable goals, you will get the motivation to accomplish your larger goals.
  7. Uh Oh.  I haven’t logged into Duolingo in a week, 2 weeks, a month, 2 months, and I feel like just giving up.  DON’T!  “Better late than never”, should be your motto if it’s something you really want to accomplish.   I would rather be a 6 month Spanish learner, than a zero month Spanish learner.
  8. Priorities, Priorities, Priorities…..  Everyone is busy.  There are those people that tend to get more done in their day than others, and you wonder if they have some time machine that’s adding a few hours to their timeline somewhere.  But here’s the non sugar coated reality.  If you really wanted to make a change in your life, and it’s really an important goal to you, you’ll make the time to do it.  Think of it as a job, think of it as life and death, put it before something you HAVE to do if necessary.  Do 5 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch time and 10 minutes at dinner time, and 5 minutes before bed.  That’s 30 minutes right there… and you can manage that!  If you don’t see this as important, it will get overlooked.  If it’s not important, it probably shouldn’t be on your 2017 goal list.  So if it makes it there, it’s important.


Last Thrift Haul of 2016

What better way to start out 2017 than to show you all my thrift finds over the break?
There was way more stuff at Goodwill after the break.  I stopped in two days after Christmas, because I was looking for a handbag.  I can’t even believe I can say that I needed one, but I did.  I have a zillion handbags, but only one that I found at a garage sale that fits my Happy Planner (and everything else I schlep around with me in an emergency) nice and orderly.
Maybe someday I’ll start filming again ( hey, a new years goal) and I’ll show you what’s in my bag.
But staying on track….I went to Goodwill looking for a replacement purse for my current one in which the strap was literally hanging on by a thread.  I thought I found a bag, which didn’t work so I exchanged it for other stuff, resulting in a second visit to the Goodwill.  All in all I found lots of good things!
Remember how I said I have a zillion purses…. add one:
It’s cute, it’s a Betsy Johnson, I liked it.. sold.  It was $6.99
Also you’ll see at the top of the photo my favorite find in this grouping, a kitschy vintage blue swan towel holder (.99) a pale green ceramic spouted dish with a handle (.69) a little incomplete child’s tea set that I’ll probably actually use, in my favorite 50’s shades of pastel pink, blue, green and yellow (2.99) and a jar of little quotes in the cutest little envelopes ever (.99).
This rather regular looking pie plate was alerting my spidey senses.  I picked it up and realized it was a white whale….. A real flamingo pink pyrex dish that is in perfect condition.  I actually thought someone was going to see it and snatch it from my hands.  I looked around really quickly and gasped a little at my findings.  At just 1.99 I’m sure someone in the back didn’t realize what it was, as those Goodwill employees can sometimes be highly knowledgeable about what is popular and what is in high demand!  If you follow me on instagram, I gramed this the second I found it!  Check it out there to see a photo of the bottom. 
Also above that, a soap dish that was .99.  I liked the vintage farmhouse look of it.  The red lidded item is a sugar dispenser, I think.  I was drawn to the red, to put in my Valentine’s Day vignette.  It was only .69.
If you haven’t done a thorough loop yet of Goodwill… always do one more final round.  I found these vintage elf knee huggers in that final loop.  They were lassoed together with two more vintage Dakin and Company stuffed animals, that I think will end up in the shop.  The entire set was only .99.  I like who was in the back on this day just haphazardly pricing items to get them on the floor!  I also found this tree topper that is likely ready to be classified vintage in a few short years, if not already.  I have a mini collection of these.  It doesn’t light up, which could be a bad bulb, but I don’t care.  I loved the three candles in the center.
I ended up finding some tinsel still in the box (just the way I like it, and exactly how I plan to display it next year) for 2 for a quarter at a church thrift store.  I forgot to take a photo of it before packing it away.  Plus I found a pink wicker magazine rack for the bathroom… the vintage kitschy pastel guest bath.  It matches my scale and trash can from an estate sale perfectly!
On the second trip to exchange the purse that didn’t work, I found more stuff….a new to me dance bag for $5.99, and this:
It’s from Cracker Barrel, and it is a sweet retro snowman lighted wall decoration.  Just $1.99, I didn’t even have to think about it.
I hope you all enjoyed your break, or have made some New Year Goals.  I admit, I took a little break from the blog, and hopefully can get back in the swing of things soon.  I have a lot of potentially exciting things on the cusp of happening, and as soon as they are a green light, I can share the news with all of you… but I don’t want to count my chicks before they hatch!