it’s been far too long…

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I’ve needed to post.

Desperately.

So here it is.

In photographic form…

A taste of the last six months.

Yeah for summer!

What have you been up to?

enjoy

xo

so much trash

There is so much trash in the world. I see it on the side of the road, on the beach, in parking lots, on sidewalks – it’s unfortunately, everywhere. Though some of the ‘trash’ I see at my local transfer station is not really trash at all, well, at least not in my eyes...

It’s actually perfectly good stuff no longer wanted or needed by its previous owner. And our wise town transfer station has created an area specifically for these hand-me-downs…everyone wins. The town saves money, the earth is spared (at least a little) and goods are recycled, upcycled and simple re-used by another.

Brilliant.

Here are just a few of the fun things I’ve come across this summer…my house is filled with free stuff. It’s actually quite amazing what people throw out…

baseball mittdump truck

letter holder

monkey clock

pop-up book

glass candlesticks

free dishes

clock

So before you get rid of something, think of donating or giving it away. You just never know, your trash could very well become someone’s treasure.

Enjoy.

 

out with the ‘old’, in with the ‘new’…

I thought I’d end this year by talking about my favorite place – the freebie barn!

The freebie barn, swap shop, transfer station, call it what you will, it’s a fabulous resource!

Granted, not all transfer stations allow ‘shopping’, and that’s a shame. Mine does and I call it the ‘freebie barn’, though the sign on the outside calls it, the ‘swap shop’…

Why not set aside a space for residents to drop off unwantedbut good stuff – for others to use…instead of trucking it away, to be dumped into a large hole in the ground (planet earth), to only eventually leach out into everything…? Why not invest in a ‘swap shop’ area?

Wouldn’t a space such as this help a town save on expenditures for removal of said stuff? All the while allowing residents to utilize perfectly good stuff someone else simply tired of – thus, maximizing the re-use of already consumed goods, which in turn minimizes consumerism? Which, ultimately, lessens our impact on the world around us?

I realize a resource such as this improves things ever so slightly, yet, it’s a step in the right direction…how can anyone disagree with that?

Every piece of ‘junk’ removed by another resident (recycled) vs. an outsourced company, is so much better for everyone…why not have an area designated for this?

Finn and I visit our transfer station once a week (at minimum). It’s the place we take our trash and recyclables as well our time to visit the ‘Swap Trailer.’ I love this place.

I’ve picked up such cool stuff here.

And not only is everything being recycled, it’s also free. Free and recycled. What a fun combination!

I also realize not everyone shares my sentiment about re-using, and that’s ok. Everyone’s different. If you don’t want to ‘pick’, don’t.  But do drop off your good stuff, versus just chucking it in the trash. Don’t have a local transfer station, why not consider donating?

I’ve shared photos of things that I’ve found over the years, though I’ve never shown the space in which I find my treasures…it’s quite the place…Here’s one of the signs viewed upon entering.

swap trailer

enter at own risk

And here, is another…

The swap shop is a trailer. A tractor trailer, an 18 wheeler kind of trailer, but on the ground.

One end is open, with double doors. Each door proclaiming a sign…that’s the entrance.

Various shelving is found along the two long walls…

shelf of stuff

books on shelf

And things are piled in, around, and on these shelves…clothing, shoes, utensils, ice skates, skis, furniture, toys, books, candle stick holders, glassware, dishes, books, small appliances, instruments, picture frames, baskets, cameras, rugs, framed prints, tools, lamps, curtains, baking pans, gardening tools, boots, antiques, mirrors – are a few of the things one might find on any given day…the list is endless – seriously.

I have found SO many great things here!

Granted, some things really should be trashed, like the badly chipped vase viewed in the photo above…though, that’s my opinion…I guess someone could argue it’s still usable – I wouldn’t use it, but that’s my opinion… who’s to say what’s trash and what isn’t?

One man’s trash is another’s treasure!

You just never know what you might find…

tic tac toast

mask

Below are a few more recent acquisitions…love ’em, especially the metal ice cube trays…and the vintage pyrex mixing bowls!

metal ice cube trays pyrex bowls + metal mixers

turquoise pyrex

muffin tins + baking sheet

I wish I could have taken this (imagine it, cleaned, painted and with new hardware) from the outdoor covered area – too bad I had no where to store it! What a sideboard it could have made!!

side board

Do you like to recycle and go ‘junking’? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

All the best to everyone in 2014, may it be a prosperous and peaceful year for all!

Happy New Year!

Enjoy!

recycling at its best

Recycling.

A lot of people do it.

And, unfortunately, a lot of people, don’t. Why one wouldn’t is beyond me…

Anyway, I am someone who does. I love recycling, repurposing and general re-use of good quality items. Why not right?

My town has a brilliant concept – it’s called a swap trailer. It’s a place where townspeople can drop off unwanted but good items, for another townsperson to take home and use. Brilliant.

The photos you see above are some the recent finds I’ve scored over the past few months…to see more treasures, go here.

The swap trailer is conveniently located at our local transfer station…so people can drop off their recycling (cardboard, cans, bottles, etc.) their trash as well as their unwanted stuff.

I love our swap trailer (aka freebie barn). I have found some great things over the years, so much so that the NYTimes took notice…it’s still surreal that my house was in the NYTimes…

Regardless of who takes notice or not, it’s a resource which is beneficial for people of all income brackets as well as the planet. Simple. Brilliant. Fun.

Try starting a swap shop of sorts in your town…you just never know what you may find!

Enjoy

the versatile frittata…

Frittatas are a lot like quiche, without the crust. No crust, means they are that much more convenient to prepare. The built in bonus – they are versatile. I love versatile…

1.fritatta eggs

Fresh eggs and veggies. Eggs and meat. Eggs and cheese. Combine all three or more or less, and you have a frittata.

Simple. Inexpensive. Quick and Healthy.

Frittatas are perfect for house guests, a potluck or brunch. They can be served warm or cold.

Expecting company and want to serve straight out of the oven?  Prep veggies the night before and then simply heat, add herbs, mixed eggs and cover. Voila, a beautiful breakfast/brunch/meal is ready to be shared… freshness and scrumptiousness served up in minutes -and for a fraction of going out.

What’s not to love?

Artichoke heart and goat cheese frittata

Print this recipe!

*adapted from Patrie Grace, in Potlucks.

What you’ll need;

2.fritatta ingrediants

1 bunch spring onions or scallions, thinly sliced (substitution – 1 medium onion, chopped and browned)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 cup basil, finely chopped

1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted and sliced in half

3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 medium tomato, chopped)

1-2 good pinches of sea or kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 large eggs, well beaten (preferably farm fresh) (:

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (I substituted brie for the goat – I was out of goat – it was great too!)

3.brown onions

Cook onion in olive oil in a large oven proof skillet – cast iron works great – until onions are soft and brown. Add the garlic, cook briefly.

4.ingrediants added

Add the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil. Stir gently, until all vegetables are heated through.

5.top with egg

Reduce heat to low and pour the beaten eggs on top, covering all the vegetables.

6.cover with lid

Cover skillet and cook until eggs are firm on the bottom, about 5-7 minutes…give it a little shimmy to see how firm it is on the bottom. If more time is needed go on a minute to minute basis…

7.cooked

Uncover and place under the broiler, watching carefully until frittata is lightly golden. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and return for 1-3 minutes.

8.top with cheese

Slice, then garnish with ribboned basil or freshly chopped chives and serve.

9.enjoy

Enjoy with a light green salad and or pan fried potatoes.

Serve with soup and salad.

Eat warm or cold – either way, it’s delicious!

enjoy the weekend!

P.S. Fun fact –  the cute rooster plate I found at my local freebie barn – actually, I found an entire dish set for four, including, tea cups, saucers, side plates and dinner plates – plus, the lovely green bowl the eggs are photographed in … I love that place! (:

simple living

If you’ve been with me for awhile, then you know I love cooking, baking, gardening and the dump!

Yes, the dump.

Well, it’s not actually the dump, it’s actually a transfer station, but I lovingly (though incorrectly) refer to it as the dump. It’s just what I call it.

It’s where I take my trash and recyclables. I’ve lived in a few areas (and states) where residents can choose to use a service or take care of their own trash, meaning, go to the transfer station (dump) themselves.  I’ve always opted for the later. Why?

Well, first off, it’s free, secondly, it’s no big deal for me to take care of myself (and my trash, which, by the way is quite minimal…) and usually, there is an area for ‘free’ items.  It’s an area where residents can leave unwanted, yet good items, for others to take and enjoy…what’s not brilliant about that? My town has such a place.

I call it the ‘freebie barn’. I love it. Lots of residents do. I have found countless items there…toys, shoes, dishes, beach toys, chairs, tables, televisions, radios, rugs, silver ware (real silver), glasses, fabric, grills, telephones, old cameras … the list goes on and on – sometimes I look around my house and think, ‘Wow, I’ve scored so much cool stuff, for free!’ I love the dump.

It’s second hand stuff, without the price tag. Squeamish about second hand? Well, if you’ve ever eaten at a restaurant or slept in a hotel – you’ve experienced, ‘second hand’… get over it.

More areas need this resource. There are too many things being wasted. Lots of people would just love to have what others are ‘throwing away’ – too many good things (and well made things) get ‘tossed’ simply because another tires of it…thankfully, where I live, good things don’t go to waste.

So, the next time your driving down the road and see a table or chair on the side of the road and it’s got great lines, is well built and could use a good clean or a fresh coat of paint – don’t think twice. Pick it up. Fix it up. And enjoy it.

Why not? You’ll not only save yourself some money, (while adding to or changing your living space), but you’ve repurposed a completely good and useful piece of furniture or whatever it may be, that someone else simply tired of...don’t let well made items go to waste. Use them and enjoy them!

Here’s a look at a few things I’ve recently scored for free from my local transfer station…

fisher price elevatorVintage toys are always fun to find. This piece is great. All parts work, the bell dings (without batteries!) while the elevator moves up (and down) and it’s great fun for Finn to push his cars up and down the ramps while allowing ‘passengers’ on and off the elevator.

beach chairsWhen you live near the beach, one can never have too many beach chairs. I love how low these are – perfect for sitting at the waters edge…cocktails anyone?

glassware

I have scored such a variety of glasses from the dump and here’s a few more I’ve added to my never ending collection…one can never have too many glasses either…I love entertaining and having a plethora of glassware to choose from – and if one breaks (which, they inevitably do), I don’t fret…I will always find more…again, cocktails anyone?

his and hisNow, these were a fabulous (and serendipitous) find. Finn has been enamored with mowing the lawn (and we have a BIG lawn to take care of)…though, he’s only 3, so no real mowers, for a long time…though he’s been asking for a toy mower (his own mower)… most are plastic and I didn’t want to buy plastic (there’s too much plastic as it is, without consuming it, new!) so when we found this one (above) – he and I were so happy! He, because he finally had his mower and I, because we’ve recycled it (despite it being plastic), and we will recycle it, again. The red mower in the back, I also picked up! It needed a new spark plug and that’s it – it started right up – $200 mower, free. Love it!

mower + wheelbarrowHere’s the real mower again and the wheelbarrow in the back, was also, you guessed it, free.

tool tray

This (plastic – I know) tool tray we also picked up with these fun tools (below)! I know, more plastic (frightening!), but at least it’s being re-used – even the drills (below) still had (good) batteries in them! What?

tools

Now, I much prefer wooden toys (that is all I choose to buy) so when I spotted all these (below), I had to pick them up! Great additions for play dough play…not only does Finn enjoy working with play dough, but he also enjoys helping me make it! It’s very simple (and fun) to do, see here.

wooden toys

So while second hand may not be for everyone, it is for me.

It’s great for the planet and great for my wallet. You don’t have to spend a lot, to have a lot.

Do you love second hand things as much as I do? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

Share your thoughts, finds and most favorite ‘scores’ below.

enjoy.

these old drawers

0. drawer in place

While walking past the wood pile, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted two drawers. Two drawers that were obviously old, yet useful and practical for what I had in mind.

These beauties in disguise were tossed atop dilapidated doors, scraps of wood, disintegrating decking, bait tainted pallets, broken chairs – wood rubbish – they were part of the enormous pyramid shaped mound of wood – known around here as the ‘wood pile’.

2.drawer 1  3.drawer 2

I knew, instantly, I had to have them. They had to come home with me. Just like this had to come home with me a few weeks ago too…oh, the things I drag home…

So, I stepped carefully onto a few bits of heaped rubble and then steadied myself while leaning in to reach them. I picked each one up, inspected more closely and decided, yes, they are worth taking…they were haggard (obviously), but I saw their potential; train track storage.

1.both drawers in place

Finn loves trains. Train play is so much more fun now that Finn has a train table (Michael built it). Assembling wooden train tracks on floors which are anything but level (we live in a 200+ yr. old Maine farmhouse), is a struggle no child or parent should experience – children’s train tracks should not require shims…nor elicit tears…

So, now that the train table has been built (thanks Michael!), a whole new love of train play has ensued and more storage was needed…especially since we’ve recently scored all this track and plethora of bridges; also picked up for free during one of our weekly jaunts to our local transfer station

free track

We had quite a bit of track and accouterments already, though train play can always be expanded upon…

In come these old drawers…

They were the perfect width, depth and height to fit under the newly built train table. And the best part of all was that one of the drawers already had partitions! Organizing the  track types, while making them easily accessible has never been easier!

4. inside drawer 1

Yeah for the dump! (:

A bit of wood putty, a light sanding, two coats of paint, a little help with the castors and some fun contact paper and Finn now has some super cool track storage, which fit perfectly under his custom train table…and best of all, they make organizing and accessibility easy and fun – especially for a three year old!

Recycling and re-inventing at its best!

6.castors going on5.finished 7.drawer in use

stuff

1.both drawers in place

Try this idea under a bed or anywhere low drawers would fit…storage solutions made affordable, easy and fun.

enjoy!