GOTTA HAVE COFFEE

Since listing my spare room on Airbnb, one of my guests killed my Keurig.
I wasn’t upset that the Keurig broke. I was upset that the guy didn’t tell me and the next time I went to make coffee, my counter flooded. Not cool.

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My little red Keurig had survived many moves and I think it was about 7 years old.

I thought about getting a larger Keurig one with a reservoir, but my Keurig sits by my sink and it’s no trouble to dump a cup of water in the top. When I ordered a new one I got the same model in black from Amazon for $62.99. These usually run $99.99. Hopefully this one will last just as long as the old one.

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POPPIN’ BOTTLES

Two Christmases ago, when I first signed up for Amazon Prime, I bought my mom a really great wine bottle opener. I had forgotten just how great until I stayed with her recently and tried it out for myself.

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This baby opens bottles with ease, the top detaches and conceals a foil cutter, and IT’S CHARGEABLE! No fiddling with batteries!

It was only $19.95 and that may seem pricy for a cork screw, but it really is worth it! I now own one for myself and will be buying them for my wine drinking friends.

SMALL CHANGE, BIG DIFFERENCE

Now this may gross you out, but my stove is pretty old. I rent an old cottage that was originally a barn and the appliances are the good ol’ white stuff.

I have done everything I can think of to restore the burner pans and, trust me, they have come along way but they still aren’t fully clean. I don’t like cooking on dirty surfaces. To me it’s like brushing your teeth over a filthy sink.

Amazon to the rescue!

I found these burner pans for only $10.61 and it took my stove from this…

To this…

Here’s a closeup of one of the old pans next to the new ones.

Gross, I know.
Is it weird that just this little change makes me so so happy?

HOW HAD I FORGOTTEN ABOUT IKEA?

There has been an IKEA store in Charlotte now for about 10 years and somehow I completely forgot that it existed. Crazy right?

Well this weekend I finally visited the monumental store and it was actually only my 3rd visit ever and I feel like I made up for lost time.

I had been needing a few things for my kitchen and I was able to take care of all of them in one fail swoop.

IKEA 365+ Wine glass: I purchased these to use as my daily drinkwear. I haven’t had proper glasswear in years and have been using cheap cups because it was easier to throw them away in a move than pack up nice glassware. I fell in love with these instantly and was floored by the price. I purchased 8 of these glasses for a total of just less than $12.00!

SKANKA Frying pan: My mom calls this my skanky pan. I asked her to try and pronounce the name and she came back with skanky. I have beautiful skillets at home, but needed one with the non stick coating. This pan was only $10.39!

LEGITIM Chopping board, set of 2: I’m very excited about these. I recently added to my Cutco collection and had some knives repaired. Part of caring for knives is using a cutting board. At only $3.99, these are the lowest priced cutting boards I have seen anywhere. Such a great value.

SKUREN 20-pirce flatware set: This is something I will be ordering more of. I only picked up one set containing 4 of everything when I should have purchased two. I love the sizes and the feel of this flatware in my hands. I love this modern twist on a traditional shape.

IKEA 360+ Hjalte Soup ladel: Somehow I have been living without a ladel for years. I always make soup and use measuring cups to scoop  and serve. Now I’m a grownup with a proper ladel.

VARDAGEN Potato peeler: I subscribe to Blue Apron and routinely need to peel vegetables. I have been frustrated with my current peeler and at only $2.99, this peeler practically jumped into my bag.

I purchased all of these goodies for a grand total of $100.43! With such savings, I will never forget about IKEA again.

PIE!

My church has a wonderful paster named Sam. He takes time out of every day to bake chocolate pies for the people he visits who are unwell. It’s a running joke that everyone looks forward to surgical procedures and illness because you can be sure Sam will be on your doorstep with a pie in hand.

Not too long ago, Sam and his pies were featured in a Charlotte Observer article and his recipe was shared with the world.

I have a large family and someone is always sick or having surgery so we are steady recipients of Sam’s pies so I had never tried to make one until this week.

I have a friend who is battling cancer and they have moved to a new town and don’t have a group around them to provide regular meals. I wanted to take them something and knew that if whatever else I brought was a flop, one of Sam’s pies would be well received.

These pies are so easy to make and I’m so glad that I will be able to share them with my friend. If you are looking for something to take to someone you care about, try this simple recipe.

CUTCO CHRISTMAS

Grandma was right. Cutco knives are the best.

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I always remember my grandmother having Cutco knives hanging by a magnet high above the counter in her kitchen and I also remember the ridges that appeared in the carrots and other vegetables she so lovingly prepared using her impressive collection of knives. I say impressive because she had many, and I now know how much those babies cost!

My dad had given me a couple of old Cutco knives about 5 years ago and they were in terrible shape. I’m not sure why I held onto them exactly, as both had been badly sharpened by my dad and one was missing its tip entirely, but I’m so glad I did.

For Christmas this year, my grandmother gave me a pair of beautiful white Cutco shears and a knife. I have fallen in love with that knife. It was when I first used the new knife that I remembered that I had two other Cutco knives hiding in a drawer. The little booklet that came with the scissors and knife said that Cutco knives can be sent back any time for free sharpening. I sent them in the mail shortly after and when I told my grandmother what I was doing, she told me that they will probably send me a new knife to replace the one that was missing a tip.

I received my knives back in the mail today after about a week and they did replace my broken knife. I’m ecstatic! I wish that I had taken a before picture, but here is a photo of my repaired knives. The smaller one is style 1721 (the same as my new white knife) and the larger one is style 1729, both in the original color.

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I have a beautiful set of Wusthof knives that I have so enjoyed, but these Cutco knives are the new A team in my kitchen.

Something I am definitely going to do from now on is keep my eye out for Cutco knives when I’m in second hand stores like Goodwill (if they sell knives) because now that I know that they can be sent in and sharpened, that would be an awesome way to pick up a few more knives that will stand the test of time.

Also, my longer knife has a manufacture date on it… It’s from 1989! It’s as old as I am! How great is that!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

My birthday was on Saturday and I hand’t been looking forward to it because I knew I would be spending it at work. It turns out that this was one of the best birthdays ever because my colleagues went above and beyond to make me feel special.

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Chef James of Blue Ginger Sushi  made me the most incredible cake MADE OF SUSHI! It was beautiful and delicious. I ate the whole thing!

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One of the single most busy individuals on the property made me a goodie basket. I am still so thankful for our team and the people I am so lucky to work with.

 Here is the one photo of me from the evening. I enjoyed a delicious Margarita at the end of my work day. That was one late night and an early morning when I got back to work at 7am the next day. All I can say is I survived thanks to the team around me who helped me through and helped me celebrate.