The Thrifty Jewell

"Just Do It Yourself…Thrifty Money Saving Tips

July 4th is one of my favorite summer holiday’s. We like to spend it up at the lake. We usually have family up and we like to snack! I like to have lots of different finger foods that are easy to serve up. This is one I plan on making this year. It’s easy and for the most part, healthy and it’s patriotic. I will make a bigger one for the fourth, this is just a sample one. Just rinse the fruit and form them in the shape of a flag on a tray. This will look so good on the table this year!


Here’s a thrifty Craft tip. Don’t pass up canvas art from thrift stores and garage sales.

I bought these large canvas art pictures at a thrift store for .75! I’m going to do something different with each one.

I took this one and painted it with chalk paint.

I brushed these three colors on in layers.

After this dried, I stenciled the words with acrylic craft paint in black.

It’s not perfect, but I feel like farmhouse decor needs some imperfections sometimes. Now, what to make with the other two??

Need a really fast, delicious green bean recipe? Here it is.


  • Frozen Green Beans
  • Olive Oil for stir frying
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/3 C Slivered Almonds
  • 2 Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Slices Chopped Bacon

Start by stir frying the beans in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Keep stirring until beans are cooked through. This takes about 8-10 minutes total. You can absolutely use fresh green beans but you will need a longer cook time.

These beans are so full of flavor and a great addition to summer bbq’s.

I make sun tea a lot in the summer. I thought I’d try adding some peaches this time. We also use Monk Fruit as our choice of sweetener. It’s low carb and has zero calories. It’s very sweet.

I used about a cup of frozen peaches and 8 tea bags. This is a two quart pitcher. I filled it with cold water, leaving a little room for the simple syrup.

I sat it in the sun for about six hours. Today was warm but it’s even better when it’s hot out!

While it was brewing in the sun, I made Monk Fruit Simple Syrup.

I brought one cup of water and one cup of monk fruit to a boil and then turned down to a simmer. Then I added a pinch of xanthan gum to help thicken. Stir until all is dissolved and then remove from heat.

Add The simple syrup to the tea and stir. You’ll have to test to see how much syrup you want. We use one cup for two quarts.

I like to put ice cubes in the tea that I make from tea. Freeze tea and place cubes in a bag and store in freezer. It keeps tea from tasting watered down.

The peaches gave the tea a great flavor. I’m thinking next time I’ll try raspberries.

I am so in love with this new (vintage 1976) furniture I got for my master bedroom at the lake!

I got a Queen Anne Highboy and a nightstand. I got these beautiful pieces for FREE a friend was giving them away. I knew the second I saw it, I wanted it. I’m now on the hunt for another similar nightstand to redo.

This is what it looked like before. Very pretty but didn’t go with my lake decor. I went with Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue and her Dark Wax.

This was by far the most challenging piece of furniture I have done! It was a lot of work but worth it!

This is the paint only, before the dark wax was applied. So bright, I know! But I had a vision. This paint is amazing. It covers well, no sanding needed! I just used Awesome Cleaner to wipe off any residue, that’s it. I painted two coats of blue then applied the dark wax.

This was after the wax was applied but before buffing.

This is after buffing.

All finished!

Here’s the nightstand.

The tools I used:

These brushes. The big brush is a chalk paint brush. I used it mostly. The others were for small detail areas.

Awesome cleaner from dollar store…it’s well, awesome!

I wore a mask while using the Awesome. It has a strong odor.

The paint and wax I used. I used a soft cloth to buff the wax.

Here’s the link for the nightstand makeover:

This rice dish has amazing flavor and would be delicious with any main dish meat. It is an instant pot recipe and cooks up super quick! This serves 4-6 people and can easily be doubled.


  • 2 C Rice (I used Jasmine, so fragrant)
  • 2-1/4 C Water or Broth
  • 1/2 Diced Onion
  • 1 T Minced Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Juice From One Lime

1. Rinse Rice

2. Set Instant Pot to Sauté, add olive oil to cover the bottom. Sauté onions, garlic and rice for about three minutes.

3. Add water or broth and stir. Set lid on place, vent to seal, set time for four minutes. After time is up and instant pot beeps, let it naturally release for eight minutes. Then carefully release excess steam.

4. Fluff rice with a fork.


I have my own online clothing boutique. I also sell clothing on Poshmark. I’ll link my websites here in case you want to check them out.

My Boutique:

My Poshmark:

Being organized is key when running an online store from home. I have a TON of inventory! My basement is my home office. I needed clothing racks!

I was shopping online for clothing racks and couldn’t believe the prices! I needed something sturdy so I showed my hubby some ideas from Pinterest and this is what he came up with.

He built me three of these! They are made from galvanized plumbers pipe and let me tell you, you could do chin ups on these things!

He measured and drew up some plans then we went to Home Depot. We went to the plumbing department and an employee cut all the different size pipes that we needed for FREE! All we had to do was go home and screw them all together.

Maybe I can get my husband to list the dimensions for me and I will add them on here.

These are some different angles.

These hold a lot of clothes. I have some really nice clear dust covers I found on Amazon to put over the clothes.

These would also be great in a laundry room or in a room with no closet. And they will not break under all the weight. our total cost for one rack was around $70.

Stainless steel cookware is awesome. It’s durable and last for years. You can find it a lot of times in thrift stores but usually they look very undesirable.

Don’t throw out or donate those pans! I want to share my tip on how I clean my stainless steel.

This was my skillet this morning. Butter and oil can cause this unsightly brown residue, but with a little elbow grease and my friend, you can make it good as new.

No I’m not a bar keeper but this is my friend. I use it a lot around the kitchen.

Just sprinkle the powder onto your surface .

Use a damp cloth to scrub.

Rinse and dry and you have a beautiful, shiny, polished pan! I even use it on my stainless kitchen sink.


Same sure to scrub with the grain.


This is a great dinner! You can make it ahead of time and put it in the fridge to bake later. This would be a great giving meal for someone who just had a baby or surgery. You could throw in some tortillas and you’re good to go!


  • 4 chicken breasts cut into cubes
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper flakes
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 4 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • Jalapeño chopped
  • Fresh cilantro chopped
  • Lime
  • Salt

1. I use separate color coded cutting boards for my meats and veggies. Cube chicken into bite size pieces. Season with cumin, salt, pepper flakes and garlic powder.

2. Chop tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, garlic and cilantro. Season with salt and lime juice.

Place chicken in oiled pan. I like iron skillets for baking casserole’s.

Top chicken with the fresh made salsa.

Top with Muenster cheese. At this point, you can refrigerate it until ready to bake or bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

It will have some liquid because of the tomatoes. You can drain it or if you are having rice you may want the liquid. Serve with warm tortillas or you could serve over rice.

My Dog, Saphira, has food allergies. She is a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and it is pretty common for Wheatens to have allergies. We know she is allergic to chicken and possibly beef. Her veterinarian recommended venison, bison or salmon for her diet. She does very well on venison and sweet potato dog food. It’s not cheap! Venison treats aren’t either. So I make her treats. My husband is a hunter and we usually have venison in the freezer. I also make sweet potato treats, dehydrated in the oven. She loves them as well.

Here’s my beautiful girl! She is 1-1/2 years old. She super smart and great with everyone! She’s also very pampered and spoiled, of course!

Here’s how I make her venison chews:

1. Cut the venison into thin strips then into bite size pieces. I find it easier to cut the meat when it is partially frozen. NO seasoning is added.

2. I use a Cooke sheet and a cooling rack that fits inside. I lay the meat on the cooling rack. That way the air can flow all around the meat. It’s good to spray a little non-stick spray on the rack because venison is lean and tends to stick. Place in pre-heated oven, 200 degrees for 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on the size of the pieces. Check often until they are a firm but not crisp texture. You want the texture of jerky.

Here’s the finished product.

Place them in a jar or baggie and refrigerate. Your dog will love them!

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