Saturday, January 22, 2011

I {heart} Clearance Items!

Peter and I were out this evening and I found some great clearance items. I've already admitted to my weakness to the red stickers at Target. Those little suckers just pull me in.

I've seen this apron before and thought about getting it. At $3.74, I just couldn't resist. Surprisingly, that's the only thing I bought at Target. My husband can attest to the fact that this is certainly not the norm. Although I do have my eye on some other home clearance items that I'm hoping move from 30% off to 75% off in the next few weeks...

While at Joann purchasing zippers to redo our current non-Christmas living room pillows and a few other random supplies, I happened upon their 90% off Christmas section. I couldn't believe there was still stuff left! Tons of wrapping paper. Too bad I'm trying to use up my current supply before purchasing more. I have a love/hate relationship with wrapping paper. I love it because I can find tons of cute paper, but I hate it because it seems so wasteful. I have resorted to many boxes/bags that already have Christmas pictures/scenes/prints on them so that no paper is needed. Thanks to the Dollar Tree at 50% off, those can be pretty cheap (10 cents each or so) and many of my family members save them for reusing themselves or just give them back to me haha. I digress...back to Joann.

I picked up a few ornaments. None that I actually plan to use as ornaments, though.

I thought this little star/bell was super cute to just put on a shelf somewhere. I love the country-ish feel to it and super love the metal. Peter asked if I was going to use it to decorate for the 4th of July. I hadn't thought about that, but now that he mentioned it, I think it could be cute mixed in with some red, white, and blue. Good eye, hunny! :)

It was originally $9.99. Thanks to 90% off and a coupon for an additional 20% of, I snagged it for a mere 79 cents! Now I'm wondering if there were more and if so, why I didn't get them. This may warrant another trip to Joann this week.

This little metal heart with "FAITH" on it is cute, but I actually liked the plain backside of it better. Originally $1.99, I got it for 16 cents!

I plan to use it on my hurricanes. Looks super cute, right? I think I need to change the wooden beads out for the red ones again as a shout out for Valentine's Day.

This cute little tree was the same as the heart with "FAITH" on the front. I again plan to use this on a hurricane at Christmas time. I'm thinking red beads, green twine, and this cutie hanging on the front. I have several things to use on my hurricanes at Christmas time so I'll be switching things around, hanging them from knobs on furniture and some may even be wrapped around candles next year.

All of my purchases tonight came to a whopping $5.36. Can't beat that!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tortellini Soup Recipe

A few weeks ago, Peter and I had lunch at a friend's house where she served a delicious tortellini soup. It was so good that the next week I had to get the recipe from her and I've made it several times since. I did make some adjustments based on personal preference and this is the version that I use. It's an awesome soup - hearty and perfect for cold, winter days and nights. I just made some tonight and plan to freeze a small portion as a test to see if it's a good freezer soup.

Ingredients (Parentheses contain more specifics, but you can use any type of the item):

12 oz. package of (Alfresco) Sweet Italian (Chicken) Sausage
64 oz. (Nature's Basket Organic) Chicken Broth
15 oz. can (Nature's Basket Organic) Diced Tomatoes
8 oz. Carrot Chips
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
8 oz. sliced Portobello Mushrooms
Italian Seasoning
4 c. Water

1. Boil water to cook tortellini.
2. Remove sausage casing and cut into bite sized pieces.
3. Dice the 1/2 green pepper.
4. Combine sausage and pepper into pan with olive oil. Cook until sausage is browned. Remove from heat.
5. Cook tortellini as usual and rinse. Set aside.
6. In the same pot used to boil the tortellini, combine the broth, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, and italian seasoning. Add sausage/pepper mixture and water. Bring to a boil.
7. Turn down heat and let simmer 20 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked and carrots are slightly soft.

**Tip: I put the amount of tortellini I want in a bowl and add the rest of the soup to that. If you add the tortellini, then it soaks up a lot of the broth and becomes soggy. I also store the tortellini separate from the rest of the soup.

Makes about 10-12 bowls