Trader Joe’s and Roasted Seaweed

While in California a few weeks ago I went to Trader Joe’s  for the first time (and naturally forgot my camera).  It’s always interesting to walk into a place you’ve heard about but never visited and see how it lines up with what you imagined.

I loved their cut flower section.  The selection in Newport Beach was gorgeous.  I wandered around and picked up a few things here and there for us to try.

When I was down in Escondido, this is what I went back for:

When I was a missionary years ago I lived and worked with many Korean people and grew to love them very much.  For lunch we would often eat seaweed and rice.  The seaweed was paper thin, small enough to eat a sheet in one big bite, and we would wrap it around a bit of rice with our toothpicks.  Call me crazy, but I remember it as one of the best meals I’ve ever enjoyed.  Simple but delicious.  I’ve never been able to find seaweed since that is as thin and tastes the same as what I remember eating.  Until now.

I’m excited to have found one of my favorite snacks again.  At 99 cents per package, I brought 20 of them home with me to savor over the coming year.  My two oldest boys also love the taste of it and beg for it daily but the rest of the family grimaces when we get it out.  Even my husband, who loves sushi, wants nothing to do with it.

That’s fine with me.  It merely means I get more!

Have you ever been to Trader Joe’s?  If you have, what’s your favorite thing to buy there?

Hopeful Homemaker

Vintage Pop Shoppe Bottles

A fun way to dress up any gathering is to serve food or drinks in unusual containers.  It gets attention, looks festive, prompts conversation and generally makes everything more fun.

Don’t you love those red labels?  They had me at first sight.

I bought these bottles at a yard sale years ago and we’ve used them countless times.  They’re perfect for birthday parties, barbecues and the 4th of July.   I bought an entire crate of them,  24 bottles in great condition.

I store them in my pantry with a towel over them to protect them from dust.  They’re ready to pull out at a moment’s notice.  After using them I simply run them through my dishwasher.   I’ve learned that the easiest way to use them is to serve drinks in a large dispenser with a small spout for easy refills.  We add straws and have fun!

A simple drink table becomes a festive spot with the addition of these bottles.

Yard Sale Finds

While in Denver for Memorial Day weekend, we couldn’t resist hitting some yard sales on Saturday morning.  We drove into town around 2:30 a.m. but my eyes popped open at 7:30 and I was wide awake, ready for the fun.

It was fun to see which of my children were interested in joining us.  These two brought plenty of humor to our morning.

I scored two awesome deals that morning.  The first was these four vintage chairs for…. $15.00!

This kind of chair was the only thing on my wish list.  I was hoping for two, but would happily have settled for just one, and I expected to pay a decent amount for them because they’re rather popular right now.

I would happily have paid that price for just one, but a set of four for only $15?!?  Rather than let my chin hit the floor when they told me the price, I put the cash in their hands fast so they couldn’t change their minds.  They’re in great condition and the caning is still perfect.  Wow, talk about a deal!  I am so excited to refinish them.

The other amazing find was this vintage dresser, still wearing its original paint.   It was a steal at $15.00.

It’s so beautiful.  (To me, that is.  My husband, who came with me for the first time EVER, was NOT impressed with the “junk” I was hauling away.  It was kind of a funny moment, and perhaps I should have yielded,  but I knew I’d never see another piece like this.)

I love the oval detail on the front of the piece, and the hardware is amazing.  It’s missing one piece, and the bottom drawer is damaged, but I’m still in love with it.  I also love the detail on the bottom and the legs are beautiful.

Our van isn’t built for the kind of maneuvering and hauling that yard sales require, so it was kind of a pain to be driving it.  We also kept the back seat in, which meant we had no room for the dresser (another reason for my husband’s disgust with my purchase).  Gratefully, my sister and her husband graciously packed it in their truck for a crazy, windy drive with a big load to their home in Logan.  Now it’s waiting for me there, and I just have to find time to go and get it.

Can you believe it:  five awesome pieces for $30 total.  Fun, fun, fun!  Welcome summer!

Hopeful Homemaker

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