Friday, February 10, 2017


Valentine's Day came early here. I received this pretty vintage pink and brown Brother sewing machine from my hubby.

The seller was nice enough to thread the machine so whoever bought it would easily be able to figure it out even though a manual was also included. While I've seen these machines on the internet, I've never seen one in person. If you happen to own one of these or know anything about the history of these machines, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me by clicking the "Email Me" button in the right-hand sidebar of my blog. Thank you, hubby! He also gave me this cheerful vintage granny squares lap blanket that was on my wish list.

This new/old machine will be the perfect addition to my freshly organized sewing room. If you read my blog, you know I've been parting with a lot of fabric lately—16 bags to be exact! They all went to a very good home—a local organization that teaches inner city residents and refugees who cannot afford fabric how to sew. I knew it was the perfect place when I saw that their offices are also home to two friendly cats! What a good feeling it was to give to those in need. 

To reward myself for finally getting through my fabric stash (a huge accomplishment for me), I decided to splurge on a dress I'd been eyeing at one of my favorite stores, Anthropologie. Two years ago, I made it a goal to wear more dresses after being inspired by one of the hosts of a cooking show that I watch. I've been wanting to find more long-sleeve dresses to wear in the fall and winter and it seems like they are harder to find than sleeveless or short-sleeved ones. I was immediately smitten with this one on display in our local Anthro store.

I go to this store because I not only like their clothes but their great customer service. I like this dress's nice comfy, loose fit. I'm sure I'll be wearing it for years to come! You might have spotted my new iPhone in this photo. It will be a shock to all who personally know me as I've lived with a cheap TracFone for years and vowed never to buy a smartphone. Well, my husband decided it was time to get me a better phone and promised me he could find a reasonably priced service. Ours is $35 a month. If any of you who have iPhone have found a cheaper service, please let me know! This is my very first smartphone and it's probably a waste of money as I rarely use it but I have learned how to take photos with it. 

In other but totally unrelated news, I was really excited to find a dairy-free cheese. For those of you who are lactose-intolerant like me, finding alternatives to regular cheese isn't fashionable—it's necessary if we don't want to get sick all the time. I can still eat some cheese but have to be careful about the type and amounts I consume. When my sister was here visiting back in August of last year, she told me about some almond cheese that she really likes. I just found this cashew cheese that tastes equally good. Just thought those of you who are also lactose-intolerant might be interested in this.

This happy find inspired me to start a Dairy-Free Living board on my Pinterest page. Can you tell I have a weakness for pistachio ice cream?! It's great to have a dairy-free option, although I am hooked on the Halo Top brand. 

I finally received my replacement Cuisinart blade after hearing about the recall late last year. So I can now once again make my raw brownies. Just mixed up another batch this morning! I use unsalted walnuts in mine but pecans also work well, however, they are more expensive than walnuts in my local stores.

And last but not least, I wanted to share something about Winnie, our most recent addition to the family. I've received eight emails asking where he got his pink nail caps. Here is a photo of my sweetie. Like his brother Figaro when he was younger, Winnie loves to sit on my lap while I work at the computer. It must be a phase of their youth since Figgy has since outgrown it.

Winnie got his nail caps installed at our local kitty boutique, Smitten Kitten, in Des Moines. We've been going to this boutique for two years and love the service we receive. I got the cutest pink cat carrier here. The clerk called me as soon as they came in and held on to one for me.

This is a darling shop and one of the only ones I think in the area dedicated to our feline friends. They have a large selection of nutritious cat food and will be glad to help you select the right one for your kitty. We've been getting Winnie and Figgy Orijen chicken-flavored food here.

There are two resident kitties, Walter and Lola. I'm not sure which one of them this is as they look very similar except for the fact Walter is quite a bit larger than Lola.

The owner fosters kittens for Furry Friends Refuge, so at any given time, there are lots of sweet kittens running around. Be careful to look underfoot if you visit! An added bonus is that Creme Cupcake is right next door. I love their cake bites and lemon bars. 

Speaking of sweet kitties, I want to tell you about a very special guy up for adoption at Boone Area Humane Society in Boone, Iowa, where we found our Winnie. We are sponsoring this kitty so you can adopt him for free if approved. His name is Mr. Magoo and he is completely blind. I'm so glad the shelter found him as he was wandering the streets of Boone terrified and alone. In case you're wondering, yes, he can find the litter. The shelter says he uses it like a champ. If you'd like to find out more about this sweet guy, you can contact the shelter at 515/432-6112 or visit him at 226 W. 16th St. in Boone!