A New Year, A Fresh Start!

January 4, 2021

Welcome to the first week of 2022!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s celebration!

As I look back and reflect, I can’t help but smile and think about some of the wonderful moments of 2021. Some memories are sweet and simple, others very meaningful. It’s been a year of changes and challenges. 

It’s that time of the year when many people make resolutions. However, I always find myself never sticking to those resolutions. So, several years back, I picked a “word of the year.” That word was “Intentionally.” This word helped provide me with an intentional framework for my actions throughout the year and kept me focused on a vision I had for myself. I wanted to do things with purpose for myself, for health, and a good state of mind. I think this “word of the year” kept me going and made me holdfast to doing things intentionally, with a purpose in mind.

So, what if you found a word that would inspire and motivate you for an entire year?

I’m not knocking resolutions if that is something you like to do but choosing a word of the year is powerful and can cover many aspects of your life and those often-broken new year resolutions.

No, I haven’t picked my word of the year just yet… but I am looking for a word that will help me choose my actions based on the vision I have for myself. Kind of putting the assessment first, then the lesson.

When I do, I’m expecting it to be easier to create habits that will support the vision rather than simply following a resolution.

Just something for you to ponder.

While my pencils are still sharp…

There is an on-going brainstorming session going on… I am currently working on setting personal goals, contemplating my “word of the year,” and do some planning for the new year. Like, where is this blog of Rustic and Refound going?

I love the freshness that a new year brings to the house and new ideas and implementing my creativity. It feels crazy that we have already been in our new home for almost a year and a half.

Mr. M and I have been working on plans for our yard, which side of the house we want to finish first, ideas on outdoor pavers vs. concreate, and looks for a gas firepit.

For now, I’m planning on doing some deep cleaning in the house-cleaning above cupboards, cleaning grout, etc. Maybe do some decluttering. Something about a new year… it always leaves us craving a fresh start.

I know that I love being inspired… Inspiration helps me organize my home. Being inspired helps me create. You know? I may have just found “the word!”

I hope my ramblings of a “word of the year,” resolutions, & goals, have inspired all of you in some small way. I want to thank all of you so much for all of your support in 2021. I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store!

A little Comfort and Joy!

December 31, 2021

The door may be hitting you in the butt 2021.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m keeping it simple. This month has been a blur. It’s now, out with the old and in with the new. It’s time to make New Year’s Resolutions and set new goals. Do you have new goals?

If you live in Northern Nevada, you know the wind has been blowing for days, and has drifted the snow a lot! Well, I think the wind is blowing the old out to bring in the new.

New Year’s Eve is a time for reflecting on the year and looking ahead to a new one.

It is a time where you set new goals and dreams and make a plan to work towards them.

I Created a New Year’s Table Just for You!

A friend said, “Hmmmm…… Something sparkling.”

You know living in a rural area, sometimes things need to be repurposed, reused, maybe a little rustic and refound.

Repurpose that Old Christmas Garland

I gathered up my old gold garland, no need to toss that garland and come up with something new. A Midas touch is the perfect touch for a New Year’s celebration.

Well of course, I still had a wee tree left out from cleaning up Christmas. Using a silver bowl, that became the centerpiece for the Christmas tree.

I simply draped the gold garland in and around the base of the wee tree, leaving some to trail on the table.

Things that Shine!

More things that shine gold were added to the table. White plates lined with pretty gold details, golden & copper goblets, golden Christmas ornaments, and napkins tied up with golden-velvet ribbon.

A little on the Midas touch.

Cheers to A New Golden Year

A silver ‘Cheers‘ that I quickly sprinkled with glitter and a couple of white bells that help say, “Lets ring in the New Year!”

Rustic and Refound

An old/new bucket was added for the sparkling champagne and cider….

and some silver rimmed champagne glasses.

Twinkling Lights & Flickering Candles

Twinkle lights were added to the centerpiece for more sparkle.

Gold mercury glass votives were added for more twinkle & sparkle.

Candles are always great for ambiance.

This NYE table has a lot of Christmas leftovers and ambiance, & I’m okay with that.

To dress up a NYE table a bit for the holiday- look around and see what you can repurpose from Christmas. Grab all that sparkles and shines to add to the festivities.

A Little Western Flair

This NYE table wouldn’t be me or complete if I didn’t add a touch of something western. A favorite western flair tea towel that I made helps set the table.

I leave you with some found quotes that I love.

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”  – Jim Rohn

“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller This is my resolution for the new year. Wishing you a fabulous new point of view for 2022.

Happy new year. “May your days be painted in gold. May your life be filled with diamonds. May the stars shine bright on your world. May you have a fun-filled year!”

Farwell to the old, welcome the new, Be healthy & happy & may all your dreams come true.

Happy New Year!

A Warm Welcome!

December 30, 2021

Christmas may be over, but winter sure isn’t!

Come in from the cold to a warming cup of hot cocoa.

Hello friends!

Hope you all had a great holiday!

Since the weather has been quite frightful…

I decided to whip up a welcoming Hot Cocoa Station/Hot Cocoa bar.

A Quick and Easy Hot Cocoa Station

I went around the kitchen and pulled as many items as possible out of my pantry and cupboards to create my station. Using a vintage enamelware pot for hot water, I added cups and maybe even some oversized cups. I stacked and added as I went. I filled Ball jars… with my homemade hot chocolate mix and candy canes. Poured a bag of mini marshmallows into a glass container and added some small tongs for serving. Offer cinnamon sticks for an additional fun garnish.

Amp Up the Hot Cocoa Station with Treats

Fill a small cake stand with peppermint bark and add a plate of freshly baked goodies.

Get as creative as you like and just move things around until you get the look you like.

Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

Make your own hot cocoa mix in under 10 minutes. With just a few simple ingredients you will have your own cocoa mix ready to go in just a few minutes. Not only is this recipe easy, but it also makes creamy, rich hot chocolate that everyone will love! 

Hot Chocolate Mix with Cocoa Powder

Ingredients for Hot Chocolate Mix

  • Cocoa Powder: This recipe is for hot chocolate mix with cocoa powder so be sure to use a high-quality cocoa to make the best hot chocolate.
  • Powdered Milk: Dehydrated milk will add creaminess to your homemade hot chocolate mix.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar: This light and fluffy sugar will sweeten your mix. It is preferred because it dissolves easily into hot liquid.
  • Salt: Salt helps balance out the sweetness of the mix.
  • Toppings: Top your hot cocoa mix with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, or candy cane for a festive addition!

HOT CHOCOLATE MIX

  • 1 1/2 cups quality cocoa powder
  • 2 cups powdered milk
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

How to Make Hot Chocolate Mix

  1. Sift together cocoa powder, powdered milk, confectioner sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk gently to thoroughly combine.
  3. Transfer the mixture to your jars or other container.
  4. Add a cute gift tag if you’d like.

*To make the hot chocolate, stir 2-3 tablespoons mix into 1 cup of hot water or steamed milk.

Enjoy!!!

Dainty Teacups & China

December 29, 2021

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Can you believe that we are days away from a new year?

Just prior to Christmas day, the thrift store was calling my name. Loudly!

When I go, I sometimes I find nothing, and there are the days when I find the perfect little something.

Well, that was the day when I found these sweet little teacups and saucers with little bowls.

Awe, yes, an incomplete set I know, but it was sweet, dainty, delicate teacups & saucers. There were four of each. They were embellished with dainty holly and a gold trim!!! Perfect for the season! For me, there was no walking away. They had to come home with me. I didn’t even ponder on where I would put them. I didn’t even ponder on what Mr. M might say. I paid the clerk $8 and brought them home.

My mind raced over my teacups, saucers & bowls. They were all so sweet and joyful! What a pretty element they will add to a dessert table. Just mix them in with white plates, and you’ll be all set!

Sooo… you know…

I am completely loving them, and the saucers and bowls are getting put to good use somewhere too!

Have some tea in them! Use the bowls for a dessert.

For me this just added to my comfort and joy!

You know, there is always room for one more teacup!

Happy Holidays my friends!

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Parfaits

December 19, 2021

An easy and delicious recipe for enjoying this holiday season- this pumpkin and salted caramel parfait recipe is the perfect addition to your holiday dinner menu, from a fall – Thanksgiving treat into the Christmas season.

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Parfaits

These Salted Caramel Pumpkin Parfaits are layered with vanilla wafers, pumpkin pudding, and salted caramel sauce. You can either make your own salted caramel or take the easy road and use a pre-made.

This recipe is super easy to customize. A great no-bake desert.

Perfect for a quick and easy holiday treat.

The main component of the parfait is an incredible pumpkin pudding made with vanilla instant pudding, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and with an added layer of Cool Whip Cream Cheese Frosting to create some fluff and contrast against the bright orange pudding.

These parfaits have a nice, thick consistency, FULL of pumpkin flavor!

Just check out how gorgeous the color is.

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Parfaits

40 vanilla wafers, crushed

 1 – (5.1 ounce) package Jell-o vanilla instant pudding

1 – (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (This is pretty pumpkin-y. When making this again, I will reduce to 3/4 of the can)

2 cups cold milk

1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

1 – (10 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed

Cream Cheese – Cool Whip Frosting

1 – 8 oz brick of Cream Cheese

3/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

Beat together and fold into the Cool Whip

Ingredients
Crushed vanilla wafers

To Assemble the Parfait

In a large bowl, combine the instant pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and milk, and beat with a whisk for 2 minutes. Gently fold in pumpkin puree and set aside. Layer about 2 tablespoons of the crushed vanilla wafers into the bottom of serving(parfait) cups. Top the vanilla wafers with a layer of the pumpkin pudding mix. Add a layer of the cream cheese – Cool Whip frosting. Drizzle with a spoonful of the salted caramel sauce. Repeat the layers twice with remaining ingredients. Garnish the tops of the parfaits with extra salted caramel and crushed vanilla wafers. Refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving. Right before serving, I used a whole vanilla wafer for an additional garnish.

For the Salted Caramel

2 cups granulated sugar

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes

1 cup heavy cream, room temperature

1 tablespoon sea salt

First prepare the salted caramel: 

Add the sugar in an even layer to a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When the sugar begins to melt, use a whisk to stir the sugar until it is completely melted. Continue cooking the sugar until it becomes deep amber in color and reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. I recommend using a thermometer. As soon as the sugar hits 350 degrees, carefully add the butter all at once, whisking until the butter is melted. Be careful, the caramel will bubble up at this point. You can switch to a wooden spoon now if the sugar is getting stuck to the whisk. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stir until the cream is incorporated into the sauce and the caramel is smooth. Add the sea salt and stir to combine. Allow the caramel to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before using. 

Side Note: The extra salted caramel can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Just heat it up before serving.

Pumpkin Parfaits topped with salted caramel sauce and crushed vanilla wafers

Recommendation: To make this an easy dessert, skip the making of the caramel sauce and buy one.

For all of us pumpkin lovers, this is an easy and decadent treat. Another way to skip the pumpkin pie with an easy to make and a no-bake dessert.

How I Got That Rustic Vase

December 1, 2021

How do you feel about that rustic look or “aged old world” finish and rustic patina on pottery?

It seems that vintage, rustic pottery is the trend. Any and all that hold that rustic look are popping up all over and are readily available in American upscale home furnishing and retail stores. The best of the best resembles true found treasures. For me, one of the biggest issues of the vintage pottery is that it can be very pricey. So, I have kept my eyes peeled for a good bargain, one that will be the centerpiece of my styling. Well, then there is always the alternative of a DIY old world pottery look. There are a ton of influencers creating this look. This inspired me to create my own “aged old world” patina on a large vase.

In The Beginning

High on glaze and shine a $15.00 purchase from Home Goods became my DIY experiment.

Step 1:

After cleaning the outside of dust, I (primed) spray painted the vase using matte black spray paint. I completed this step so additional paint would adhere better.

Step 2:

Once dry, using gray paint mixed with baking soda as the base, I began applying the paint with a brush.

Step 3:

I made sure that I got the texture that I was looking for in an old-world vessel. I continued to apply paints, (in a dry brush fashion). Using a little black, a little brown, and a little coppery-red paint all mixed with baking soda. I wasn’t concerned if the paints were mixed together in spots on the vessel. Hoping it would add character.

I added baking soda to the paint for a finished-by-hand look and to achieve that timeworn antique.

Set It for the Season

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Rustic vases add an element of charm and character, and I wanted this one to have more character with more “aged old world” farmhouse charm. With added red berry branches, my DIY earthenware vessel becomes a unique centerpiece set for the holiday season.

I’m loving the matte finish and timeless shape. It’s the layers that make it feel authentic and timeworn. Although not a hand-glazed earthenware vase, it has the dark color, texture & somewhat aged look that I was going for.

Alone or arranged in groups, they make the perfect styling piece for shelves, consoles and tables.  They will add some history to your space. I can’t wait to try more and different techniques on additional pots! I’ve always loved the look of ancient pots, but I don’t want to spend a million dollars on one…this is a perfect solution for a budget friendly old pot! I’m looking for a more collected look, by placing multiples together, and bringing them to life with favorite botanicals. Maybe with some foraged flora.

In different lights, my rustic looking vase takes on different tones and shades of color.

I hope I’ve inspired you to give this painting technique a try. It was a fun DIY. I wasn’t worried about messing it up… I just went for it. Remember, it’s just paint, and you can keep changing its color.

Always sharing my wild west stylin’ for my wild west livin’.

Thanksgiving Greetings

November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Day. A day filled with family and friends, and much gratitude.

A Simply Charming, Vintage Find.

When I found this sweet vintage ironstone gravy boat, I knew that I wanted it to grace my Thanksgiving table.

I simply fell for it’s beautiful brown and sepia colonial scene.

Sitting on the table amongst a Thanksgiving bounty, it will make the perfect holiday statement.

Please Pass the Gravy!

This little work of art will fit in so seamlessly with white dinner and serve ware. 

This sweet pitcher is a definite attention getter! 

With its rich brown colonial scene, and stately form…perfect for serving my Thanksgiving gravy.

It is rooted in history.

Thanksgiving Day is all about being grateful. Thank you for joining me on my blogging journey. It means the world to me. Wishing you and yours a beautiful Thanksgiving!

What’s For Dinner? Ranch Beans, In a Little Stoneware Pumpkin Serving Dish

November 4, 2021

There is just something about a warm pot of beans in the fall. To make it even better, add in a slice of French bread and you have yourself a meal.

Beans Served in A Stoneware Pumpkin Serving Dish – Perfect for Fall Entertaining

Growing up on a ranch in Northeastern Nevada, my family ate a lot of beans. My mom made the best pot of beans ever and I’m proud to say that! When I was a kid I didn’t really want to eat beans. Like most kids, I’d rather eat pizza or tacos. We sometimes had tacos, and rarely did we have pizza unless we went to the big city. Mom usually served up a pot of beans with her fresh baked bread.

I had to share this post, because I purchased this stoneware pumpkin serving dish from Target and haven’t had a chance to use it. So I served my pot of beans in it. My husband came home and said, “You’re getting pretty fancy this evening.” This made my heart a little happy.

A Sculptural Pumpkin Bowl

Shaped like a harvest pumpkin, this charming lidded bowl is made of stoneware and finished with a white glaze. So pretty and would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving table filled with a tasty side-dish.

This ceramic pumpkin dish is seriously so cute for fall entertaining! While not in use it can be displayed as a decorative accent.

This isn’t a paid posting, but it should be! Lol!

A Great Fall Food!

My Beans – Made Like Mom’s

Ingredients –

-Pinto Beans (2 1/2 cups)

-Water (enough to cover the beans and ham/ham hock)

-Ham, ham hock, or bacon

-Onion (1/2 to 3/4 of an onion)

-Garlic (clove)

-Kosher Salt (personal preference – salt & pepper to your taste)

-Pepper – freshly ground (personal preference)

Directions –

  1. I start my beans a day ahead. Before going to bed, put the beans in a pot, cover with cold water, a lid and let soak overnight.
  2. The next day. Drain and rinse the beans, then put them in a large pot. Cover the beans with water and add the ham (ham hock or bacon), garlic and onion. I like to make sure that the ham hock is mostly covered as well.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low (simmer boil) and cook until the beans are tender, 2 to 3 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally. You don’t want your beans to stick to the pot.
  4. Check the water level as well. I’ve often needed to add a little water.
  5. When the beans are done salt and pepper to taste. I don’t salt or pepper the beans before cooking as I like the ham/ham hock to do it’s job first.

Serve your beans up with bread, French bread, warm biscuits, or corn bread. Any of these are great!

Easy and tasty! A homey kind of ranch meal!

Beans are a healthy food!

I hope this post made you hungry and you make a pot of good ole’ ranch beans. Put them in your special serving dish, or this Target ceramic pumpkin dish.

Do what makes your heart happy!

A Creepy Chic Halloween Tablescape

October 30, 2021

Halloween time is here!

Dem Bones Are Being Served Up In Style!

Halloween is such a festive time for kids and adults alike. Whether you decide to keep it just fun or add some scary thrillers, there are some fun, ghoulish ideas sure to please your friends.

Today, I wanted to throw your way a little spooky and fun table decor ideas if you plan on hosting a Halloween party.

Let’s get started!

When it comes to the Halloween party tablescape, you have to think of a couple different areas on the table: the centerpiece and the personal set up. The centerpiece should be a cluster of spooky items such as a skull and bones served up on a silver platter.

Try and think elegant with an eerie presence.

Layer It On!

Start with the table centerpiece.

Maybe a dark table runner of most anything. Let your imagination be your guide.

Maybe a platter of bones.

Creep it real my friends!

Add Another Layer

A very easy way to go from cute to creepy is just to use candles. 

Remember that ambiance I have talked about?

Glowing candles can be the candlelight for the romance formula or add that spooky, haunted chilling factor. You decide!

Keeping the lighting moody with candles and strings of lights.

When setting the table, try to stick to black, gold, or even silver plates. Feel free to do them all one color or alternate colors of black and silver or black and gold. Use vintage glasses and silverware. I used silverware with a worn patina. This will add in that chillingly creepy look. If you can stick with hauntingly beautiful decor pieces, it will create a creepy chic effect.

Can You Tell My Theme?

No bones about it!

Black dinner plates, small skeleton plates for appetizers, gold rimmed goblets for glam,

and vintage silver. Creepy chic table decor.

I brought out some vintage silver and mercury glass votives to hold more twinkling candles.

I added the black ravens for more of that touch of spooky.

A simple spooky and a little bit elegant Halloween table.

Don’t forget to add some other Halloween charm to your table, like a hairy spider and a black velvet pumpkin.

This is my simple, creepy chic Halloween table.

Happy Haunting!

DIY Autumn Leaf Luminaries

October 27, 2021

Autumn Luminaries

The Autumn season is the gateway to those long chilly winter months where the days are shorter, and we head to the house to get cozy. Around my house that means candlelight and warm fires in the wood stove.

So these DIY Autumn leaf luminaries just seemed the things to make. They are the perfect project for this time of year and they look elegant!

These Autumn luminaries would be a fun project to do with your littles.

How To Make A Luminary

What you will need:

-Leaves (varying colors)

-Wax paper

-Iron

-Thin towel/rag – (flour sack type)

-Tape or hot glue gun

Step 1:

You will want to gather leaves that are somewhat freshly fallen- not crispy. (Find varying colors.)

I folded my sheet of wax paper in half. I made half size luminaries. Approximately 6 inches tall.

Step 2:

First, lay out the size of wax paper that you want your luminary to be. Using the glossy side (waxy) side, lay your leaves out.

You can lay the leaves in whatever design you choose, but I just laid them out randomly.

Step 3:

Then place another layer of wax paper with glossy side toward the leaves or fold the wax paper over.

Step 4:

Iron the wax paper sheets together. (Place the towel/rag on top of the wax paper.) It is better to use a thin rag in between your iron and the wax paper so you don’t get any wax on the iron.

Step 5:

Roll in a tube shape and secure with tape or hot glue. I used hot glue by over-lapping the edges and glued.

Place over a candle (battery operated is safest as wax paper can/will burn)

They really are so beautiful and elegant for Fall decorating!

I hope you enjoyed my simple DIY and have inspired you in some small way.

Happy Fall!