recipe revival: rhubarbettes

Last week at work, while thumbing through a vintage Bisquick cookbook, I stumbled upon a recipe for rhubarb muffins with the most charming of names.

high plains thrifter // vintage bisquick rhubarbette recipeI’m not awesome with numbers, but I’m pretty sure it’s scientifically proven that adding -ette to anything makes it 1,000 times more adorable? Drumette. Luncheonette. Dari-ette. Farmette. Rhubarbettes. Obviously, resistance was futile. I had to make them ASAP.

high plains thrifter // vintage bisquick rhubarbette recipe In the era of over-the-top everything, this recipe embodies everything I love about old-fashioned cooking. It’s so dang simple! A couple stalks of rhubarb, a few pantry staples and about ten minutes of hands-on time are all it takes.

high plains thrifter // vintage bisquick rhubarbette recipeThe resulting muffins (er, muffinettes?) are light and delicate in texture, and just a tad sweet. Since they’re not strong-armed by a heavy glaze or excess sugar, the pucker-y taste of the rhubarb shines through like the star that it is.

high plains thrifter // vintage bisquick rhubarbette recipe Just add a cup of tea and a good read, and the tone for a pretty much perfect spring day is set.

Wishing you all wonderful Mondays!



Disclosure: During the day, I work as Senior Editor on via MSP Communications. This post is not sponsored by, or affiliated with, that work. I just love Bisquick, baking and Betty so much, I talk about it even when I’m not paid to. :-)

the beauty thrifter is in!

tumblr_mufgyv5Ed51qiflw2o1_500‘Tis the season to simplify, and our daily makeup regimen should not be immune. If spring’s got you in the mood to streamline, head on over to Beauty Bets to learn about a two-in-one wonder-stick that’s quickly become one of my favorite Sally finds of all time. The best part? It’s only $5! For the full scoop, head on over here.



Photo c/o: Simply Sassy


spring looks i’m excited to thrift

The spring thaw is in full swing here, and holy crap, I forgot what a joyous time of year it is. Sure it’s muddy, slushy and ugly out there, but there’s also humidity in the air and puddles on the sidewalk, heck, I even opened my windows this weekend! All that good stuff aside, spring in Minnesota can be a horrible season to dress for, with 50-degree temperatures in the afternoon and snow flurries a few hours later. (Happened just yesterday, in fact.) To get inspired for the mercurial month or two that lies ahead, I rounded up a few key pieces I’m scoping out the thrifts for that will hopefully make the transition easier.

Leather moto jacket: A tea bag once told me that intentions create your reality, and so right here, right now, I’d like to say that 2014 is the year I intend to thrift a perfectly fitting, cropped leather jacket, any color will do. C’mon manifest destiny, do your thing!

high plains thrifter // spring looks jacketsPhoto sources: The Little Magpie / Maritsa / unknown / The Locals

Belts + midis: High-waisted, belted midi skirts and dresses are a mainstay of mine year-round, but I still can’t wait to be able to wear them sans tights.

high plains thrifter // spring looks beltsPhoto sources: unknown / unknown / Inunomimi / Wonderland London

Slouchy pants: I’m lazy about trying stuff on at the thrift, but I’m going to have to suck it up and face that fitting room if I ever want to find pants that’ll fit right or a jumpsuit that doesn’t give me camel toe.

high plains thrifter / spring looks pants

Photo sources: unknown / Emma Dime / Stockholm Streetsyle

Sweaters + midis: I’m sick to death of ALL my winter coats, which makes me favor skirt and sweater combos like the ones below, which will keep me warm, unencumbered from my heavy jackets. And yep, more below-the-knee length skirts.

high plains thrifter / spring looks sweaters

Photo sources: Bethany Marie / Who What Wear / Fab Sugar

Belted trench: The only trench-like coat I own is a yucky mauve color (not sure what I was thinking with that purchase), but I’d love just a plain ol’ tan one.

high plains thrifter / trenchesPhoto sources: Glamour Mag UK / Gal Meets Glam / Blue Montana / Etsy

Other things I’m on the lookout for: old leather booties, brown leather flats (to replace the ones I wore out last year), vintage Twins gear, silver jewelry always, ’60s/’70s maxi dresses, denim vest (seeing as I misplaced my favorite one), more blouses for work and short-alls and cute bathing suits since summer’s coming!

Are there any particular pieces you’re hunting for this spring? I’d love to hear what you’re scouting out!



spring cleaning

Obvious fact: Today is Wednesday. Ash Wednesday to be exact, the very first day of Lent. Since high school, I’ve had an odd attachment to this season. (Odd only because I’m about as Catholic as a clam.) Off and on since I was 17 or so, I’ve given up various vices for Lent, including, in no particular order, smoking, beer, TV, McDonald’s ice cream, trashy gossip rags, chocolate, etc. After 40 days, some habits I left behind forever (as was the case with cigarettes), while others naturally ventured back into my regular routine (as was the case with everything else).

This year, I’ve decided to do a bit of a seasonal reset of the eating variety, based on Mise En Place, a cleansing plan recently released by Andrea Duclos & Amanda Williams. Their approach in a nutshell? Eat a whole plant-based diet instead of food with labels. (My addendum: Try not to die.) It’s not the most flashy of plans, but the guidance is sound, sensible, friendly and affordable, i.e., exactly the kind of love my winter-worn spirit needs.

{new!} some snacks for winter brightness // the first mess

To get myself psyched about cooking VEGETABLES, I’ve been gathering inspiration and saving it here, including a few glorious-looking recipes from The First Mess, a few of which are pictured above. I’m sure many of y’all are familiar with Laura’s blog and her insanely beautiful work, but hot damn, it’s just too pretty to not share again. Speaking of pretty, tonight’s dinner (aka tomorrow’s lunch) was a real looker I have to say, and tasty to boot. Here’s hoping the next 39 days are equally yum-filled!

What about you guys? Any other non-Catholics out there giving up something for Lent? (BUELLER?) Regardless, let me know how you’re getting ready to boogie your way into spring/summer. It’s bound to be here soon right? (Fingers crossed.)



P.S. This is about all I’ll be talking about my Lenten veg-fest adventure around there parts, but please feel free to check out my ‘grams or search the hashtag #ohdearcravings for updates.

Photos c/o: me +  Oh Dear Drea's IG + The First Mess.

how to: make reed diffusers using thrifted vases

Come mid-winter, I straight-up yearn for open-window weather. I love the sounds of my neighborhood, but more than anything, I crave fresh air. Since we have at least a couple months to go before it’s warm enough to crack the windows, I’ve been keeping things fresh at home with these easy-to-make reed diffusers. Crafted out of with Goodwill vases and few ingredients—including a few you probably already have on hand!—this project comes together in about 15 minutes, and costs a mere fraction of store-bought air fresheners.


  • 2 thrifted vases — I looked for vases with narrow necks that were no more than five inches tall
  • Mineral oil — available at your local pharmacy and/or hardware store
  • Vodka
  • Carrier oil — sweet almond, jojoba and safflower oils will all work great
  • Essential oils — single-note oils or blends are both great options
  • Wooden reeds — I found mine at Michael’s


1. Start by gathering up your supplies.
diffusers step 1
2. Measure ½ cup of mineral oil into a glass measuring spout.
3. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vodka. It’s naturally going to separate, so give it a good whisk to ensure it’s emulsified.
diffusers step 3
4. Now it’s time to mix up your scents. To keep it simple, I used two of my favorite essential oil blends: Veriditas Botanicals’ Good Samaritan blend and Aura Cacia’s Creative Juice. The sky’s the limit when it comes to essential oil combos, so feel free to play around! As long as you’re stay around 20-30 drops per ¼-cup carrier oil, you should be in good shape.
diffusers step 4
5. Using a small funnel, pour the carrier-oil blend into a vase, followed by half the mineral oil-vodka mixture. Repeat with your second vase.
6. Insert a handful of the reeds into each vase, stirring the oil around. After a few hours pass, flip the sticks over, so the end that hasn’t been dipped gets a turn in the oil. For the most fragrant results, flip your sticks every few days. Depending on the size of your vases, these diffusers should stay fragrant for at least a month or two.
Are you a fan of homemade air fresheners? If you have a good method or recipe up your sleeve, please do let me know!
A version of this post first appeared on the Goodwill / Easter Seals Minnesota blog.

heads up: discounts for donations at ARC’s value village

high plains thrifter // discounts for donationsIt’s no secret that spring cleaning is good for the soul, and now through May 15th, ARC’s Value Village aims to reward your labor with one heck of a deal. Simply bring in a paper grocery bag (or box-sized equivalent) filled with clothing, household items, books and the like, and they’ll hook you up with a 30%-off coupon!

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Value Village Thrift Stores accept donations seven days a week and all four locations have convenient, drive-up drop-offs where they’ll help you unload your stuff and hand you a tax receipt on the spot! It’s almost too easy. (If you have something funky you’re curious if you can donate, here’s a handy A-Z list of items they’ll accept.)

Let the closet clean-out commence!



spring into summer giveaway

I recently thrifted the most perfect striped sisal tote.

And since it’s been 10,000 years since I’ve done a giveaway, I decided to stuff it with beachy treats and give it to one of you.

What’s inside? Just some things to make your summer a little more skippy. Including…

Heart-shaped wood veneer sunnies from Tumbleweeds Oddities (a $75 value!!)
 Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray
L’Oreal’s Sublime Sun Liquid Silk Sunshield-SPF 50+
Hawaiian Tropic Shimmer Effect After Sun Moisturizer
Summer Fruits lip balm by eos
“This is Not Chick Lit,” edited by Elizabeth Merrick


Want to win all this goodness? Just leave a comment below, telling me one thing you’re excited about doing this summer. That’s it! (Tweet about the giveaway and I’ll give you an extra shot at winning.) I’ll announce the lucky winner Friday…good luck!



purple haze all in my brain

Yesterday I was walking Finn through the alley, and saw a tiny glimpse of purple. A little scrubby patch of violets growing in cracks of the concrete next to my neighbor’s garage.

I get sloppily sentimental when I see violets. Why? Because I know that right now, the front yard of my mom’s house in Wisconsin is completely & unabashedly awash in them. Her entire front yard is a veritable sea of purple, and I’m missing it. Violets will forever put a smile on my face, even if I’m eight hours away from that pretty purple lawn.

To ease my yearning, here’s an random assemblage of violet-colored pretties.

Isn’t this handmade amethyst & bullet (!!) necklace super cool? I want one of Dinosaur Toes’ creations BAD.

I love V-neck dresses, and especially heart the flattering cut and comfy cap sleeves on this one. Fact: Sally Jane Vintage has the best finds.

I really need to get some violet nail polish. Like yesterday.

Magical millinery from my favorite headband shop Splurge on this violet confection here if you’re feeling flush. As in $350 flush. (Ooof.)

Or opt for this reasonably priced ($35), but also totally adorable one, also by

Violet tights keep the chill off bare legs, but also look spring-y. In Minnesota, that’s what Martha would call “a good thing.”

Blake Lively looks lovely swimming in violet ruffles.

These violet centerpieces are so sweet. Yet another great design*sponge tutorial, found here.

A unexpectedly harsh “roses are red” verse. Burn!

Geez, four hits on the drum, and I’m already rocking. Q. Is there anyone cooler than Jimi? A. Of course not sillies, we’re talking about Jimi Hendrix!

And last, but not least, my ultimate favorite: A pretty posy of violets in a vase. [insert heavy homesick sigh]
Simply pretty.

Nails, Blake, poem & violet images all found here.

Well, I’ve got nachos to make and Etsy-bound threads to measure. Happy Thursday!



P.S. Here’s a silly snap of me trying to work the self-timer of my new camera. While sitting at a stoplight.
Someday I’ll learn how to work the damn thing. Just not today, and definitely not while driving.

springtime wants

Good morning dears & happy Friday!

Here’s a quick list of things I’ve been wanting this spring.

A pretty pair of vintage clogs.

Although my eyes have been peeled while thrifting, I have yet to find a pair as perfect as Rhiannon’s from Liebmarlene Vintage. Aren’t they adorable? Isn’t she adorable??

A simple turquoise cuff.

The sterling/turquoise cuff I’ve had since I was 11 broke last spring and I’ve been missing it hard as of late.  A simple bracelet like this one would be perfect.

Paint-by-number paintings.

Here are some Etsy-found floral paint-by-numbers that caught my eye. I’m always looking for these when I thrift, but think I’ll have better luck at some upcoming flea markets. Either of these pretties would fit right in my pink-is-more bedroom.

Music DVDs.

I love watching concert DVDs and it’d be nice to own a handful more. These are a few I’d love to add to my collection: (1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.)

I love you Jimmy Page.

Pretty plaits.

Braided ‘dos are gorgeous, don’t you think?

I’m so stealing this look from Emily, of See Emily Play. So unfussy.

Fresh underthings.

My blog’s not a month old and here I go, blabbing about undies. Ah well, there’s just something about spring that makes me want to shake things up in my lingerie drawer.

How cute are these ruffly unders from the UK-based line of aptly named lingerie, Beautiful Bottoms? Simple & girly equals one irresistible combo.

I’d have sweet dreams in this set from Naomi Lingerie. Totally want it.

Well, that wraps up my list of lusts. What are you longing for this spring?