The Thrifty Jewell

"Just Do It Yourself…Thrifty Money Saving Tips

I have been wanting to grow out my gray hair for sometime now. I started turning gray in my early 20’s. I started coloring then. I became a hairdresser 30 years ago and have colored my own hair pretty much the entire time. My hair grows very fast and it is thick! I’m just getting tired of the maintenance…every three weeks. Im 50 now and kind of thought I would make this transition around this age.

When Covid-19 hit, everything shut down and I couldn’t get my haircolor, so I took the opportunity and decided now was as good of time as any to start growing it out. I stopped coloring my hair March 2020.

This was the first photo I took once I made my decision. It’s not the best photo, I had just got out of the hot tub, but it’s the first pic.

Second photo. It’s starting to fade a tiny bit here. I was starting to have second thoughts about here..glad I stuck it out.

I started wearing head wraps and hats, lol.

I decided I needed a few highlights this day to help with the blending. I highlighted it myself because the salons were closed. It helped some.

I started getting brave here and stopped covering it up. I’ve actually started embracing this process at this point.

I called this the calico stage lol. I’ve always liked calico cats, now I remind myself of one haha.

This was three months of new growth. I did a light bleach wash to wash out some of the dark red. Bleach, 40 volume and some shampoo was what I used. I also used olaplex to help protect my strands.

This is four months of new growth. I was getting tired of the contrast and needed to blend the line of demarcation.

I used L’Anza cream decolorizer to lift the red to a tweetie bird yellow. Fun stuff…not lol. Bye bye red.

I then toned with Pulp Riot Silver Toner. Look how well it blended the line. I think I might do this one more time in about a month.

This is five months of not coloring my new growth. I have used a silver toner a couple of times and I use violet tinted shampoo once a week to help keep the brass in check. It is so nice not touching up every three weeks. I can get used to this!

Have you ever had grilled pineapple? If not, give this recipe a try! It makes a wonderful light summer dessert, plus, it’s healthy!

I’m doing weight watchers and fruit is zero points. You just have to account for how much honey you use.

Start with fresh pineapple. I like to cut them into spears.

The Marinade:

  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 T Honey
  • 1 t Cinnamon

Mix these three ingredients together and pour over pineapple spears. Make sure they are coated well.

Grill them up, just a few minutes per side.

You can serve them warm or cold. Warm is my favorite.

Serve them plain or with some whipped cream. Mmmmm, they are amazing!

This is a simple but very tasty fruit salad recipe. The dressing gives it a wonderful sweet flavor.

Cut up fresh fruit. I used pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and red grapes.

The dressing is simply, pineapple juice. I used about 1/4 cup, lime juice from two limes, my limes were small and a tablespoon of honey.

Drizzle the dressing over the fruit right before serving and toss.

This would be great for a bbq, a shower or any type of gathering. It’s a crowd pleaser.

This is a recipe I’ve been making for years. It’s great served with tortilla chips. We like to use it as a filling in quesadillas. It’s super easy and can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • As much cilantro that you want, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice from one lime
  • Jalapeño pepper diced, as much or as little as you want
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced

Mix everything together and refrigerate.

Serve with chips.

Use as filling in a quesadilla. I prefer to use fresh grated Muenster cheese. You can also add grilled steak or chicken. Serve with sour cream. Enjoy

We’ve been on vacation for a couple of weeks and it’s sadly coming to an end. We’ve spent the time at our house at the lake in Northern Michigan and it has been wonderful.

We have had wonderful weather and enjoyed great outdoors.

At the beginning of our vacation, we took my grandsons to Dinosaur Gardens. There are 20 something life size dinosaurs in this park in northern Michigan. It was a blast!

Most of the time you could find us lounging on the deck or down at the dock. My dog loves to fish in the lake. She would stay in there if I let her.

The evenings are the most beautiful times. So peaceful.

My dollar tree mug that I decorated with my cricut.

Did a little sight seeing. Outlook over Ausable River.

Got some kayaking in.

My Mother’s Day present got lots and lots of use. I got the solar lamps at Aldi. They give a nice ambiance at night.

We also did a lot of hot tubbing until our motor blew up…ugh…hopefully we get it fixed soon.

My sweet girl loves the water. I added this bird bath with solar fountain to my butterfly garden. It’s simple to install and makes a soothing noise. Here’s the one I got on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UiTY0B

I picked this Tea cup and saucer up at the local thrift. Made a bird feeder. I can’t go too long without gluing or painting something.

Relaxing with my best girl

I took a ton of hummingbird photos. I’m a beginner photographer. I found this very challenging. I will keep practicing. I’m thinking about taking a photography class…

We had family and friends visit us. Good times…good times. The guys caught a few fish.

Snuck in a few snuggles.

Also got to do some driving around on the old dusty dirt roads in my Jeep.

Jeep hair don’t care… haha, my Saphira loves it (so do I)

The line to get in the small local thrift. Ten people allowed in the store at a time due to COVID-19. I was so excited about getting back to the thrift stores. I found a few cool vintage items to add to my Etsy shop. I’ll be adding items when I get back home. Here’s my shop if you want to check it out: https://etsy.me/2PLBBjk

I found this adorable guy today at the thrift. He will bring me a great profit according to ebay, that is if I can part with him…

You can find him here: https://etsy.me/3cAfvYF

We will be heading home in a couple of days and I will get back to crafting. cooking and blogging. It’s been a nice break, I’m refreshed. Until next time…

Memorial weekend has just passed and everyone is getting ready for summertime activities. We have a place on the lake and we love to have bonfires, especially when there’s s’mores involved! I like to make my own fire starters. They are so easy, economical and they work great. Here is how I make them..

Supply List:

  • Paper egg cartons
  • Candle wax
  • Natural burnable materials

First, tear the lid off of the carton

I buy candles from thrift stores for the wax. You can buy already burned ones, it doesn’t matter. Sure, you can buy wax that’s already shaved but it can get costly. I cut the candle up into chunks with a knife.

Put them in a small pot and melt on low heat on the stove. I designate a pot just for this purpose because some wax is harder to clean up.

It doesn’t take long to melt so stay close to the stove.

I like to crunch up pine cones, tiny branches or pine needles and place them in the carton. I have also used crushed corncob to mix in with the wax, it works good too. Once the wax is melted, I carefully pour it into the carton.

Let the wax cool and harden back up.

They are pretty easy to tear apart. Store them in a container and when ready to use, light the carton with a lighter and it will quickly start your next bonfire.

This is also a great gift idea for someone going on a camping trip or someone buying a vacation cottage!

Here is a great recipe for powdered Buttermilk Ranch Dressing/Dip Mix. It can be made into a dressing, dip or seasoning for many foods.

Make up the dry mix and store in a jar until you’re ready for whatever you want to use it for.

I picked up a lot of my ingredients from an Amish Bulk Food Store. They have a huge variety of baking items. I usually find what I need there. If you can’t find powdered buttermilk at your local store, you can find it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Buttermilk-Powder-12-Oz-Produced/dp/B00EQMJFAE/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=buttermilk&qid=1590773280&sr=8-3

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C Dry Buttermilk
  • 2 T Parsley Flakes
  • 1 T Minced Onion
  • 1 T Dried Chives
  • 2 t Dried Dill Weed
  • 1 t Onion Powder
  • 1 t Garlic Powder
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Pepper

Add all ingredients together in a bowl

Mix well

Store in a closed container

To make dip for veggies: Mix two-three (I like mine stronger) Tablespoons with one Cup Sour Cream. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to develop. This is also great served on a baked potato.

To make dressing: Combine two tablespoons of seasoning with one cup of mayo and one cup of milk. Refrigerate for at least an hour. You can also use sour cream instead of mayo.

Add seasoning and olive oil to fries before baking for ranch seasoned French fries.

You can use this in Mississippi Pot Roast

Get creative and try it on different foods. I hear it’s great on popcorn but I’ve never tried it.

We have had so much rain and our lake water is so high! We got a new dock and I was looking at the old dock and suggested to my hubby that we make a boardwalk over the beach area that is covered with water out of the old dock. It turned out great! Here are some pictures.

These first pictures show how high the water is. It is up to the second step and there is a sandy beach under there as well! You couldn’t step on the dock without wading through water first.

He started by putting the first section down, which was fairly easy, the second section was more challenging. He pulled up the third step and laid the dock down and used the blocks to support the dock.

It took some time to level it.

We left the steps under the water to step up on the dock.

My Saphira had fun fishing while he worked.

All finished. Now we have a boardwalk to step on if we don’t want to get wet while using the dock for fishing. We also have another nice shady area to relax.

Admiring his hard work.

We had one more piece of dock left. He put if up a little higher. I thought it might be nice to put a hammock stand on with a little path to walk down to. Maybe next project..

I smoked a whole chicken today. This is a great way to feed a big family a delicious meal on a small budget. I roasted one chicken. You could do more then one depending on the size of your family and the size of your smoker.

I have an electric smoker. You could use whatever kind of smoker you have with the same recipe. Here’s how I make it.

Ingredients:

  • Whole Chicken
  • 1/4 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 T Chili Powder
  • 1 T Garlic Powder
  • 1 T Onion Powder
  • 1 T Paprika
  • 1 T Oregano
  • 1/2 t Salt

Spilt chicken breast bone in half, open and lay flat, breast side down on a cookie sheet.

This helps the chicken to cook faster and evenly.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl

Rub thoroughly onto Chicken.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in fridge for a few hours.

In the meantime, prepare your smoker. I put Apple juice and Liquid Smoke in a pan to place under chicken. I cover the pan with foil for easy cleanup. You can use water or another kind of liquid.

My smoker has a tray for wood chips. If yours doesn’t, you can wrap them in foil and poke holes in the foil to release the flavored smoke. I prefer to soak my wood chips first. I used mesquite flavor.

I have a Bluetooth thermometer that I can check an app on my phone to monitor the temperature or I can just look out the window. I can also set alarms to alert me to certain temperatures. It’s pretty cool.

I place the chicken right on the rack so the smoke can flow through. I place the temperature probe into the thickest part of the meat. When it reaches 165 degrees it’s done.

After the chicken reached 165 degrees, between 2-1/2 to 4 hours depending on the size of the chicken, remove it from the smoker. Let it rest for 10 minutes. You will have the juiciest chicken if you don’t skip this step! Slice and serve.

I’m on vacation right now and I love taking pictures. I’ve been practicing taking pictures of hummingbirds and boy is it challenging! I have a canon 6D and I still have a lot to learn, but it sure is fun!

Here are a few pictures of hummingbirds I caught. I have spent hours and only got a few that care out really good. I love hummingbirds and these are getting used to me standing around, it’s pretty cool!

I used a shutter speed of 1/4000. I used a flash on some and no flash on others.

These aren’t perfect but for a beginner, I’m pretty happy. I’ll keep practicing.

If anyone has any tips on camera settings for hummers, leave me a comment.

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