Welcome to my blog! Here is where you'll finding me rambling about a variety of subjects, including my family, vintage, thrifting, Etsy shops I love, and more!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dinner in 15 Minutes

There are so many yummy and healthy meals you can make, literally, in 15 minutes!

Here's what I made tonight!

Sprinkle seasoned salt and black pepper on one side of tilapia; on the other side more pepper, and some of my red pepper seasoning (love the heat!).  Add a little butter and olive oil to a pan, put on medium high heat, add your tilapia, cook on the higher setting for a few minutes, then lower it for another minute or so, flip it over and do the same thing.  Cover it on low for another minute or so.

While that's cookiing, saute red onion and yellow pepper on medium high heat (also with a bit of butter and olive oil), for a few minutes until the veggies are a bit tender.  Then add cut up mango for a little sweetness!  Another minute or so on a lower temp, then throw in some white wine (just about 1/4 c). 

Top your pretty veggies mixture over your tilapia and you're ready to eat!

See...in about 15 minutes, from start to finish, you have a great meal!

Change it up with whatever you like!  Tilapia is a nice mild fish for beginners!  Use chicken breasts instead.  Use whatever veggies you like, maybe for another fruit you could add pineapples!

Cooking's fun!  So is eating!  Oh-and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon on your meal too!  I also love drinking plain lemon water!



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vintage Metal Serving Trays

I've got quite a collection of metal serving trays in my shop!  I love the textures and colors, and even the wear and scratches (gives them such character)!  (I have a lot of character too!)

Aluminum trays are my favorite!  I just found the cutest Kensington tray today.  Love the nautical design on the handles!

I have brass and silverplate too.  They're great for serving appetizers or petit fours.  A collection of brass, alumimum, and silver trays would be beautiful for a wedding shower!

Also perfect for a retro mad men bar!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Quick & Easy Chicken Dinner

I love to cook, I know I've told you that before!  I love to watch cooking shows (my favorite lately is Lucinda Scala Quinn's Mad Hungry show), and I love to read all the cooking magazines!

I ate this dinner so quickly (or is it quick?) that I didn't get a chance to take any pics of it, but here's what I did:

I took some frozen chicken breasts (boneless, skinless).  Only thaw it for a little bit, that's the secret to making it easier to slice it into thin strips.  After thawing it for just a bit-you guessed it, I sliced it into thin strips.

Seasoned it with seasoning salt, italian seasoning (this is where you can make this dish your own, using whatever spices you like.  I also added some red pepper (I love a little heat).

Cooked it on one side with olive oil and butter, flipped it over and cooked it for jus a bit longer (still pink inside) then sealed it with foil (of course you can use a pan cover too).  Cook until the pink is gone.  I happened to have leftover rice, so I added some of that, about 1/4 C of heavy cream, 1/2 C water, and let it cook on low for awhile (sealed again).

While that was cooking I sauteed onions and mushrooms (one of my fav combos). 

After the chicken mixture was heated through, I put it on a plate, added my lovely onion/mushroom combo, and wow!  I loved it! 

Have fun cooking, make this recipe your own, but switching out items you love, maybe egg noodles or pasta instead of rice, and whatever veggies you like.  If you want it to be a lower calorie meal, leave out the cream and butter. 

Bon Appetit!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Think Spring!

Okay, so the forecast for the next 5 days is high of like 30 degrees!  But, like my husband say's "at least there's no snow!".  That's so true!  This is usual spring weather for Cleveland, Ohio, so I should be used to it, but it just gets tougher!

Next week we could have a foot of snow, it happens!

So I'm still going to think spring!  Here's a few spring-like items to get you excited for spring!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's Your Problem?

Like everyone, we have problems.  Day to day annoyance.  Things that frustrate us.  They seem like big things at the time. 

But I'm watching the catastrophe unfolding in Japan.. The devastation is unimaginable.  I watch all of this happening and I think of my own family.  This could happen anywhere.  My 18 yr old daughter, Katherine, so fun and full of life.  This is Japan, they are Katherine's suffering right now.  Their life revolved around their friends, now it  revolves around surviving.

It's not right.  We can all help. We would want people to help us.  Help then now.  Whatever way you can.

Be grateful for your bad hair day, traffic jam, whatever; be grateful!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Queen for a Day!

Last Tuesday night I had quite a surprise at spin class!

At the end of class the instructor, Katy, said that Karen and Debbie had a presentation to give, and then she said "for Jen"!  I'm like, what-the-what!?

They presented me with my very own pink crown!  Not only that, but an engraved silver star "Jen, Spinning Queen"!  How cute!

But if even gets better!  Debbie (she's been taking cake decorating classes) made the most yummy chocolate cupcakes for the entire class!

It all started because we had a spinning contest at our rec center.  I came in 2nd and my prize was some cheap old halloween candy (that's what I'm guessing anyways); it was weird and funny at the same time!

So my friends decided to present me with these wonderful gifts!  What they don't realize is just how much I appreciate the time and effort they put into doing these things for me!  For me! Wow!!

Katy took a picture of me with my crown on (oh-great-right after spinning with my lovely sweaty self) and put it on her facebook page!  I won't give you the link to that!

Friends....so dear!

Thank you so much Debbie & Karen!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!  No green beer for me today, but probably tomorrow.  JK (just kidding)!  Don't you love how cool I try to be by using initials like my 18 yr old daughter Katherine does, but then I have to say what the abbreviations are!?

Anyways, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy St Patty's Day!   If you do drink, please don't drive!  I'm a bit of a fanatic about that!

Go green!

My next blog is going to be about the most thoughtful spinner (as in bike spinning) friends I have!  They surprised me big time this last Tuesday night!

Have fun-stay safe!


Friday, March 11, 2011

International Shipping Form

International Priority Customs Form
Form #2976-A

Shipping overseas is not difficult at all!

I explained earlier how anything under 4 lbs can ship 1st class international.  You can get shippng cost  information for a particular country at http://www.usps.com/ .

Anything weighing over 4 lbs has to ship priority mail, which can really bring the cost up!  When I'm listing an item and know that it will weigh close to 4 lbs, I will add a note in the description for the international customer to contact me with their country information so I can get an accurate shipping cost for them.  If it is well under 4 lbs, I will add the shipping cost for Canada, and then click the "Everywhere Else" shipping and add the cost (I usually use Australia, since I know there's is one of the highest).

If you are shipping international priority, you will need the large customs form (#2976-A). To order a quantity of these, just go to http://www.usps.com/ (you'll need to register an account) , there will be a place to order this form, as well as other items, such as priority mail boxes, all for free!

The form is pretty easy to fill out (if I can do it, anyone can!).

#1 Enter your name info
#2 Enter your address info
#3 Enter the recipient's name info
#4 Enter the recipient's address info (this can be tricky since some of the international addresses can be crazy!)
#5 Detailed description, the quantity, weight, and the value.
On the left, below the description info, is a place to check "merchandise".
Below that is a place to enter "EEL" or "PFC".  I always add the EEL, since my items are under $2500.
#6 Sign and date
On the bottom right is a place to check-this is important: I always check "return to sender" if non deliverable.
There's some other stuff about insurance info on top right, I haven't used that .  With international priority mail, your package will automatically be insured for an amount (can't recall what it is right now-maybe $80).

That's it!  Take it to the post office, hand it to the clerk, they'll do the rest (well, except you have to pay for it)!

Try it-it's easy!

Happy Shipping!


Thursday, March 10, 2011


Westmoreland milk glass candleholders
Milk glass vase collection
Aqua and gold roly poly glasses


I haven't forgotten that I promised a post on filling out the larger Customs form!  I'll try to get that on my next post.

Right now I wanted to let you know I sent a UPS box to my daughter (she had a wish list of things she wanted from my shop http://www.jenscloset.com/ -in case you didn't know my shop name)!  So I thought I'd pack up a few things for her and ship via UPS to see how it goes!

I've heard from a few Etsy vintage shops that they've found that UPS shipping can be cheaper, so I wanted to test it for myself.

I just opened an UPS account, and then entered the shipping information to Lindsey's address.  Of course I have my own handy dandy USPS scale to weigh my packages.  It was super easy to print my label online.

I dropped it off at my local UPS store, I'm know I can also have UPS come to my house and pick up the package.

Now to see how long it takes, and how the box and the items look after making their journey!  It isn't a long journey, from Cleveland to Columbus!

In this case, it would have actually been cheaper to ship via USPS priority mail.  I think if I'm shipping somewhere farther away, like TX or CA, UPS might work out to be a better deal.

So that's what's happening today!  Oh-on a different note!  I just had my nails done-the Shellac process!  I did it 2 weeks ago and was very happy with it.  With all the cleaning I do on my vintage items, it stood up well, and no chips on the nail polish!

I'll keep you informed on the UPS saga!

Best wishes!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thinking Spring

I know everyone is ready for spring!  I thought I'd show off a few things from my Etsy shops to help us get through the rest of this winter season!

Think spring!


Libbey Country Garden

Harmony House Crinoline

Vintage Floral Framed Prints

Bright Green Retro Viking Dish

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Katherine!

My baby Katherine

What a smile!

Lindsey, Katherine, & Mark

Quirky girl

One of her formals (Lauren & Katherine)

Katherine & Lindsey (check out Lindsey on her tippy toes)

Katherine & Mark

We spent a fall day having fun at the park, taking fun pics!

How could it be that my baby turned 18 today!?  Katherine was just born yesterday, or so it seems!

I am so proud of all three of my kids, Mark, Katherine & Lindsey!  They're good people, and that's what counts the most!

My Katherine is an amazing young woman!  She's super-duper smart (and the fact that I am using the word super-duper means she did not get her brains from me)!  But...what I find even better than that fact, is that she is still such a fun, ditzy (I use that word in the most endearing of ways) girl!  She has a fantastic sense of humor!

I swear if she can make a living going to school formals, she would do it!  She's managed to go to about a billion (maybe a little exaggeration) this year, from a bunch of different schools in the area.

She has an amazing flair for fashion, as does her older sister Lindsey (who happens to have a fashion design degree)!  I'm always surprised at how she manages to put together such cute clothes, from all the stuff on her bedroom floor!

She's loving and thoughtful and I am so lucky! 

Happy Birthday Katherine!  I know your future has so many possibilities, and you will make the best of every moment!