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June 16, 2014

thrift shop SCORE!

In honor of the World Cup going on right now, let me share with you my "hat trick" of finds at the thrift store that are great for the kitchen. 
Originally, on this journey towards living more secondhand, I was so against thrifting anything for the kitchen! I was nervous about picking up some bacteria, or just the thought of someone else's food or mouth being anywhere on something just grossed me out.  But hey, it all gets washed and maybe it would do me good to expand my mind a bit and check out what sweet finds the kitchen section may have.
Here are the 3 great finds I've scored this month for the kitchen!
1.  A small non-stick skillet, perfect for making scrambled eggs ($1) which we desperately needed!
2. Set of six napkin holders that are real wood and look to be in great condition ($1)!
3. A set of four cutting mats, each with a cute picture to show you what food you should cut on it ($1.50)!  They also have a nonstick backing to stick to the counter when you're cutting away!

^^aren't they fun? The other 2 are for fish and beef and 
since I've gotten these mats, I haven't made fish or beef.^^

I will admit that these cutting boards would have been especially questionable had they not been in pretty great (most-likely unused from what I can tell) condition.  But I definitely have learned that there can be some really nice finds, even in the kitchen section of Goodwill.

*have a good monday and thanks for reading*

June 4, 2014

olfaction satisfaction

One of my favorite things about a kitchen is the smells.  I love the smells of chocolate chip cookies in the oven, a savory casserole baking, or fresh coffee brewing first thing in the morning. And in the same vein, the kitchen can produce some HORRENDOUS smells- think food scraps in the sink drain, meat packages in the trashcan... the trashcan in general.

I recently had the pleasure of trying my hand at homemade soap.  It's something I've been wanting to do for a while, but turned out that my sister's bridal shower favors were a great place to start.

I started with organic goats' milk soap base (found on Amazon here).  (I may still try my hand at working with lye, but having been in a time crunch, already made base was great!) After melting the base in the microwave, I added dried lavender and about 20 drops of pure essential lavender oil (this was mixed in the amount of soap base to fill a 9x13 brownie pan with 1/2 inch thick soap).  I also made a lemongrass/ginger tea soap, and eucalyptus/sugar scrub soap.  All three flavors(?) have an exfoliating element that are great for your hands, too.

I will say over the past several weeks, the essential oils have been keeping the freshest smell in my kitchen. And that wonderful soap base is pretty soft on my hands and makes them smell good too! Aaaaand of course you can choose the smell of your choice by getting creative (coffee, lemon, etc.)

^ looks like butter^

^^sorry for the poor quality photos- after I can prove I won't break a nice digital camera, 
the pictures may improve!^^

The other great idea that I've heard of involves filling a small container (mason jar or smaller) 1/4 full with baking soda and about 10-15 drops of essential oil.  Let the container be open to the space you want it to fill and it will slowly emit the lovely smell for your satisfaction!  I haven't tried this yet, but came across it recently and loved the idea.

**thanks for stopping by**

June 2, 2014

June and a theme.

I am happy to announce that this month I am working on a themed project, the first of a few, focused on one room in the house and/or one aspect of life that could be more gumptious. This month we are starting in kitchen! Over the next 4 weeks, projects and posts will be focused on ways to be more thoughtful, less consumptive, and more resourceful in the kitchen.
To kick start the month, I am going to go brew a pot of coffee from a local roaster in Pittsburgh.  One of my favorite grocery stores features primarily local products, from veggies to candy, to pickles and coffee. And I am going to make a commitment to shop there on a weekly basis for our food needs.

What are you doing in the kitchen that is gumptious?

**happy june**