A New Look For My Wall Rack

If you’ve been reading along, you know I’m a bargain hunter. Hunting for goodies at thrift stores, Cost Plus World Market, and Marshall’s for home decor is my hobby! Okay, maybe not but I really enjoy doing it.

One knows that you can never have enough wall racks in your bedroom. I have two but it’s weird how my clothes still like to leave a path on the floor of where I walk. Does that happen to you too? Strange right?

Recently I came across a wall coat rack at Marshall’s for $10 in the clearance area. It was on sale because someone had put some nail polish paint on the corner and a knob was missing. I couldn’t pass up such a good deal and had to have it!

Marshall's Find

All I saw was potential!

Marshall's rack

I love the grain of the boards and the marbling of the knobs. I didn’t reuse the knobs for this project, but I’m going to save them for something else. Nowadays there are so many decorative knobs. The Anthropology knobs are swoon-worthy, but for $8 a knob, that’s almost the price of my wall rack! Nope… cannot. Fortunately I went to Cost Plus World Market and came across adorable knobs for $1.99 a piece. Done!

Knobs I love the colors of these knobs and how they are different. The blue helps bring them all together.

First off, I sanded down the rack so that new paint could stick and so that the nail polish paint was gone. I put a fresh coat of paint on the wall rack, a light and sheer white to make it a lighter color. The sheerness also allows the grain detail to show through. Then I took off the old knobs and screwed in the new colorful ones. This is the final product:

Done!

It’s hanging in our bedroom, and it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. I just need to be careful to not put my delicates on the rack so that guests don’t see!

What do you think of the revamped wall rack? Is this something you can do? How many coat racks do you have in your bedroom, and do you need more too?

Happy deal hunting,
Jay
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White Frost Acrylic Paint by FolkArt

  

Tea Ceremony & Shopping Trip

Weekends seem to go by so fast. Dinner on Friday. Run a few errands, and it’s already Saturday night. Go to church and take a nap, it’s Sunday evening and you’re prepping for Monday already. Don’t you feel the same?

Friday night was date night. MG and I went to Cheesecake Factory, and I totally forgot how delicious this place is. First off, that dark brown bread is YUM. I’m pretty sure I had two full loaves, oops? Then I reunited with the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, and we found ourselves in love again. So maybe date night wasn’t actually with MG, it was with Cheesecake!

My church was hosting a women’s event on Saturday. I had breakfast with a few girlfriends, and afterwards we headed over to Hakone Estate & Gardens in Saratoga for a tea ceremony. This garden has quite a view!

Hakone Garden

The tea ceremony is a traditional Japanese event, usually a casual time for the family to serve guests. The Japanese culture is extremely detailed, a very big contrast to American traditions. I always feel like I’m on the go all the time and things move so fast. But the Japanese culture is very particular, and I am impressed at how they appreciate the little things. For instance, before you drink the cup, raise it because it shows appreciation to everyone who has prepared the tea. Also, the tea cup has a front and a back. The front should be facing you in the beginning. When you are about to drink, rotate your cup 180° so that the guests are now looking at the front. When done, rotate it again so that the front is facing you. This is so that you can appreciate the artwork on the cup. Now that’s meticulous.

Tea CeremonyThe powdered tea is shipped from Japan. You whisk the powder into hot water until it foams. In those three sips of tea, there are 3 oranges worth of calcium. Pretty cool right?

Of course no weekend is complete without shopping! Especially since it’s October that means 1) I need to start prepping for the Fall (yay dark jeans, boots, jackets, and scarves!) and 2) summer sales! As you might have been aware, I am a JCPenney shopaholic (my love also described here). Look at my awesome goodies. You’ll definitely be jealous when you see how much I paid for things!

Clothes - deals!White tee for $3. Levi’s shorts for $5. Cute pencil skirt for $5. This pencil skirt is perfect for dressing up with a fancy shirt or dressing down with a t-shirt. 

Peephole dress
Peephole dress for $14. Adoring the print and color of this dress.

Faux Leather Jacket
Vegan faux leather jacket by Joe Fresh for $49.

I’ve been trying to find a leather jacket for this Fall season, but I can’t justify spending $300-$500 on a jacket. I simply can’t though I really wish I could. This jacket from JCP is the perfect find for me. Great cost and a great looking jacket. I’m excited to put the dress and the jacket together with some cute boots. Now… where to find those boots?

Don’t forget that if you shop at JCP, there are coupons every weekend. MG also bought some things, and we spent over $100, which means I also get a $20 discount. Have I enticed you to check out JCP yet? Are you also craving cheesecake now?

What did you do this weekend?
Jay
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Joe Fresh Vegan Leather Jacket

  

Reece’s Pieces & More Pieces

Candies

Cleaning is fun when you find random surprises. The best is when you find money! Though I didn’t come across any cash, I did find a 25lb box of Reece’s Pieces. You might not be so lucky, unless you had a roommate that owns a yogurt shop. Because that’s what happened to us and fortunately winner, winner, chicken dinner… err Reece’s Pieces, you know what I mean.

25lb box

Obviously snacking is a good choice for these little, circular goodies. Also baking!!!

If you don’t bake often, here are a few helpful tips.

  • Mix the dry ingredients separate from the wet ingredients.
  • Butter and eggs should always be at room temperature.
  • In case you’ve forgotten to take the butter and eggs out to sit, you can heat the butter in the microwave in 5 second bursts until it’s softened. You can also submerge the eggs in warm water for 5 minutes for room temperature.
  • Freeze the dough if there’s too much! That way you can always bake cookies when guests come over or if you’re craving freshly baked cookies.

Onward to two delicious cookie recipes for you to try.

CookiesRegular Reece’s Pieces cookies on the left. Reece’s Pieces Muesli Cookies on the right (I call them my healthy cookies).

Reece’s Pieces Cookies
(makes 4 dozen large cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups Reece’s Pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  4. Mix the granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Then blend the butter into the sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Blend the eggs and vanilla into the sugar mixture. Add in the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix in the Reece’s Pieces.
  7. Form dough balls onto a baking sheet. I like to make bite-sized cookies, so I use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to help me form the dough balls.
  8. When the oven is ready, put the tray into the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Eat them!

Reece’s Pieces Muesli Cookies
(makes 2 dozen large cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of muesli
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1.5 cups of Reece’s Pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (at room temperature)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  4. Mix the granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Then blend the butter into the sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Blend the eggs and vanilla into the sugar mixture. Add in the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix in the muesli and Reece’s Pieces.
  7. Form dough balls onto a baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

These recipes are amazing. When I make them, my husband can eat a dozen in a sitting, and people are always grabbing for more!

With so many Reece’s Pieces, I had to make a Reece’s Pieces cake too.  I baked chocolate cake from the box, put on frosting, and then places the Reece’s Pieces on top. This is going to be such a hit for Fall.

CakeIsn’t it so pretty?

Cake

What else should I make with Reece’s Pieces? Any ideas?

Get in my belly,
Jay

  

The Legendary Steak

Who doesn’t love a nice piece of meat?

Steak with butter

If you’ve ever been to our house, you might have been lucky enough to have MG’s fricken awesome steak. After having this for dinner, I honestly don’t care to go to steakhouses. We’ve been to a few restaurants for steak since, but I still compare it to the one we eat at home.

I’m finally willing to share the recipe with you! If you follow these steps, your steak will turn out amazing every time.

First off, get a nice piece of meat. I love bone-in ribeye – it has a good texture and enough fat for a flavorful steak. If you’re willing to splurge, get the Prime cut at Costco. If you’re really willing to put some money down, find a butcher for a dry-aged piece of meat. Whole Foods sells their dry-age ribeye for ~$22/lb. Five Dot Ranch has mind-blowing cuts of meat, you can find them at the Oxbow market in Napa Valley, ~$25/lb for dry-aged, but totally worth the cost.

Whole Foods - Steak^^^ This is at Whole Foods

Let’s get started! Preheat the oven to 500° F.

As you’re pre-heating the oven, sprinkle McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning onto the steak, not too much because you want to still taste the meat flavor. I also love Gibson’s Seasoning Salt (a steakhouse located in Chicago), but for this recipe, we’ll stick to McCormick’s.

Favorite Seasonings
^^^ My two favorite seasonings

Sprinkle

Once the oven hits 450° F, heat up your cast iron skillet on high. Get it as hot as you can (if this is a used skillet, the previous oil residue will start to steam, which is a good indicator that it’s hot).

Once the skillet is hot, hot, hot, add a slice of butter onto the pan. When the butter is melted, place the steak onto the skillet. Sear each side for only 30 seconds. Searing helps to keep all the juices in.

Melt the Butter

Sear the Steak

Other Side

The oven should be at 500° F at this point. Place the entire skillet into the oven. Bake the steak 2 minutes on each side (this is for 1 inch steaks only). If the steak is thicker than 1 inch, place the steak in the oven for 3 minutes on each side.

Baking

Last step, after taking the steak out of the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes. Basically this lets the steak soak up all the juice. And yes, a juicy steak is where it’s at! This is the hardest step since your house probably is filled with mouth-watering smells of steak.

SteakLook at that char!

Now savor every bite of steak because it’s probably amazing, and juicy, and flavorful, and all kinds of goodness. As I’m typing this, I feel like I can smell the deliciousness.

Delicious Steak

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served

Few tips:

  • A cast iron skillet is best because it allows you to sear the steak with some char, which adds some crispiness to the texture.
  • This is a little trick I learned from an outdoors man that I used to work with. Poke at your thumb nugget to gauge how well done the meat is.

Doneness of Steak

  • Wine? Pshhh… I love eating steak with milk. The milk is so sweet, and steak is the perfect match. Anyone else like to do this?
  • To clean your cast iron skillet, soak up the oil with a paper towel. Simply use hot/warm water and scrub off residue. Add some salt and scrub to get stubborn food remains. Do NOT use soap. You want your cast iron to become “well-seasoned” to prevent rust.

Washing the cast iron

What do you think? Is this something you will try?

Are you hungry now? Cause I am!
Jay
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I have the Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet in Caribbean from Macy’s