Happy Easter!

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Last year I didn’t get all of my Easter decor out because I had basically just moved in here, and I couldn’t bear to unpack and repack one more thing in it’s entirety.  But this year, I have gone all out for all the holidays.  I got out all the Easter decor, and I think it looks so cute all together.
All of these decorations are thrifted or from my gramma and my mom.  Because I’m constantly drawn to the style I grew up with, my grandma’s and my mom’s  decor, it’s hard to tell what I thrifted and what is originally theirs.
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These bunnies are all hanging out together.  They waited a long time for the Easter Bunny to arrive.
A few of these are from my mom.  She had a cardboard German egg, and this year I found the one with the ducks on it at an estate sale here.
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Almost everything in this kitchen corner is new.
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If you remember, I talked about my little odd ball find at Goodwill, of this cute little tea set.
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After I showed a photo to my sister, she sent me her set.  I can’t believe she had the same set!  Sadly a few of the pieces did not make it, BUT the tea cups and the additional settings did, so now I have an extended set.  It’s really cute, but I didn’t have the space to set it all up.  I think it would make an adorable center piece to a cute Easter table one day…..
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A close up of all my moms small treasures.  She collected these in her travels.
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I hope everyone had a nice Easter weekend.  Short and sweet post to close the holiday weekend and start off your week!
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Pink “Thrift Store” Finds

With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, I figured I would show off some of my recent and not so recent pink thrift store finds!  Ok, that’s a lie, because a lot of these were at garage and estate sales too, but they are still “thrifted.”
First is my most recent pink find… these three pink Cuisinart pots.  I still have my entire set of my wedding pots and pans, still in the plastic, stacked in my cabinet.  But I needed these pink ones!  I often use the same skillet, and the same stock pot.  It’s just two of us so I never really need more than two burners going at once.
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Next is this pink repro pay phone.  I wanted one of these really bad, and I almost bought a red one at an estate sale for $25.  That was before I knew they made this in pink.  I passed on the red one, but happened to be perusing craigslist for garage sales when I spotted this phone in the back of a listing’s photo.  I rushed out there, and this beauty was still there.  I paid $15 for this one.  The previous owner was a 16 year old who was selling this to raise money for shoes for prom.20170213_083211_resized
These next two go together but were found at two separate garage sales.  The pink bridesmaid was in a box with several other colors.  I’ve kept one of each, sold a few in my etsy shop, and still have a few left.  The bride and groom were at an overpriced garage sale.  I felt grateful to find this shabby chic beauty for just $1.
This pink hat was found somewhere in Pittsburgh at a large second hand sale that was held in a convention center.  I negotiated the price down because I bought a few different vintage hats and bundled.  Instant collection!
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The last few photos are not thrift finds but I felt like I had to show them off here.  This painting was actually done by my husband.  He made this in high school, long before we ever met, but this shabby chic piece of art is perfect for my style.  And it’s like this big pink vintage style crock with the delicate flowers he painted were done just for me!
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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, my gerbera sprouted three beautiful blooms.  I have to showcase them here:
And furbaby wants you to know she has a pink dollar tree find too.
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Enjoy Valentine’s Day tomorrow!

Easy, Affordable Valentine Dinner with Dessert for under $30

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Hey all!  If you take note of the post schedule… I’m late.  But mainly because I was asked to do this guest post on a blog, and was unsure of when the post would go live.  My post on their blog isn’t up yet, but I didn’t want my readers to miss out on my Valentine Dinner plus Dessert for under $30 idea with V-day right around the corner!
So here it is:
Sometimes simpler is better. But when relationships are new, sometimes money is no exception, and we pull out all the stops with lavish gifts and elaborate dates. Then one day you may realize it’s the simple things that should be cherished.
Eating out, especially for Valentine’s Day can be really really expensive. Not only do you have to pay for the food, but also gratuity and the cost of getting to and fro. It’s an expense that can be too much for those that are watching their bottom line, and most everyone is these days!
So, let’s cut out the middle man and make a date night in, super easy and super special! You can even get all dolled up if you want to… or not…. whatever is your fancy.
So, you know I’m going to talk about my #1 budget conscious grocery store option… Aldi. I love Aldi so much! Even the employees are nice, which makes it even easier to shop there.
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With Aldi shopping, a “surf and turf” meal plus dessert for under $30 (yes that’s for the two of you) can be on the menu for your date night in. Assuming you have a few cooking staples, your Aldi bill will be under $30. So, what’s on the menu for tonight’s dining? Tender beef filets, shrimp, mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, sparkling water with frozen fruit as beverage, and cheesecake for dessert.
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Yes, you do have to cook this yourself, but I promise you, it’s one of the easiest meals to make, but looks so indulgent you won’t even believe it!!
Ingredients:
Exact pricing may vary by location, product type, and season.
Cattleman’s USDA Choice Bacon Wrapped Beef Chuck Tender Filet. 2 in a package for approx. $5
Sea Queen Easy Peel Raw Shrimp. Varies based on size and area approx. $5
Fresh Garlic 99 cents
Bag of potatoes. Varies by type and area, approximately $4
Broccoli $1.69
La Vie cans of sparkling flavored or original water, approx. $5
Frozen strawberries $2.09
Two pack slices of frozen cheesecake $2.09
  1. Wash and chop your broccoli. Toss with a few teaspoons of oil and add some garlic salt (optional). Place on baking sheet and roast in 400 to 425-degree oven until roasted to preferred doneness. Start this first as it can take the longest.
  2. Chop potatoes and place in large pot of salted water to cover the potatoes. Boil until soft. Drain water from potatoes when done. Heat milk and add the warm milk and butter to potatoes. Use a hand blender to whip potatoes and make them soft and fluffy. I add a little milk at a time until I get them to the consistency I like. You can also add a nice chunk of butter to melt in too. Again, start this along with your broccoli, as this can take the longest.
  3. Thaw per package directions and remove the shells and legs from the shrimp and rinse them in cold water. In a small glass dish, spray the bottom with a light coating of nonstick cooking spray or coat with oil. Lay shrimp in single layer, and add some dots of REAL butter, along with some minced fresh garlic. Place in preheated 375-degree oven, and bake until pink. They get done fast so save this for after your broccoli is done. You can keep your broccoli in the oven while the shrimp cook to keep it warm.
  4. Cook the beef filets per the directions on the back of the package. I like to use the grill pan, but you can use a skillet and/or finish them off in the oven to your preferred doneness. Make sure to let them rest before cutting.
  5. Pour your sparkling water and add frozen strawberries
  6. Be sure to take cheesecake out of freezer to thaw with ample time before consuming.

Here are some ways to make it extra special:

Shop your home for a special tablescape. Add an appropriate tablecloth, or even a fashionable scarf to your table.
Bring out the “good dishes” and wine goblets.
Do you have cloth napkins? Bring those out too!
Add some non-scented or complimentary scented candles. Everyone looks romantic in candlelight!
Lastly, take a cue from your elementary school days. Take a piece of paper, and fold it in half to cut out a heart. Take a minute to write down the things you love about your partner. We always enjoy hearing the specifics about what our partner loves about us, and it’s important to let them know too.
Bonus tip: Leave the dishes and the mess for tomorrow! Enjoy your night together, and don’t fall back into your old routine, at least for one night. Take this night as a time out, to enjoy time spent together!
(Photo credits: Aldi.us and morguefile)

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:
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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
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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….
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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!
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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!!!

Christmas Decor, Vintage and Nostalgic as always!

Warning!   This is a really picture heavy post.  As a result I won’t babble on about a lot, but I have to say a little bit.
I have a lot more space in this home to get almost all of my vintage goodness out.  I made a lot of vignettes, so here goes…..
First the main tree.  This is the one that holds all of my mom’s vintage ornament collection.
Beside the tree, in the kitchen, is the antique oak ice chest displayed with my nostalgic 50’s era santa, mrs claus, and other collection.  I got that tiny tinsel tree at Hobby Lobby and I love it here in this spot.

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Here are all my Christmas chotskies in the kitchen area

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Plus this little scene beside my hot drink bar
Coming through the rotunda I have my grandmas vintage putz house collection all set up
Santa is checking his list while keeping an eye on that village.  (santa came all the way from PA, spent the first year in Florida in the storage unit, and then finally got his debut in the house.  I didn’t want the elements harming him after his thousand mile journey.)
Remember that shelf I got on the side of the road….?
This is the true meaning of the season, and I had to squeeze my mom’s manger scene in here, along with my vintage manger scene collection.
In my crafting studio, I have a little pastel vignette.

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Even the bathroom has a little vintage in it.
The icing on the cake this year was finding this on Craigslist for a song:

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It’s a tinsel tree, (I just missed a real aluminum tree for $75 bucks) but as a result of looking for another one, I found this vintage color wheel plus tinsel tree for $40 bucks, and then all these vintage bulbs plus tree topper for only $12.
I love seeing all of my vintage Christmas memories and collections all over the house!
A walk down memory lane:
Last year’s holiday home tour
Holiday Nails
Christmas 2015 Recap

 

 

 

 

Christmas Gifts from Nicolyndime

Toot Toot!  I’m tooting my own horn today in this feature of… ME.
I’m showcasing some seasonal products from my shop, Nicolyndime, on etsy.
First, there’s still time to get your Santa letters and you won’t even have to pay for, or wait for shipping.  You get an instant download once I create this customized and unique letter for your child.  I use the information you provide to me, so the more detailed you can be the better.

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Prize Puffs, which are vintage inspired surprise balls, are abound in the shop!  I even have some special decorated ones this season!
I also created some vintage inspired putz houses, that I am really proud of actually.  I think they look pretty authentic to the originals, and would be a great new collection, or an addition to your already existing one.

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Plus I have a lot of vintage treasures that would make great gifts for your vintage loving friends and family!
Visit the shop today!  I’ll be adding more stuff frequently, so check back often.