Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh Seattle, how I hate you

Last night we had a small dinner party to mourn my Jackie moving to Seattle.

Our friend, Gwyn made delicious cupcakes from a Nigella recipe, and they didn't last long (they say "We love you Jackie")...

These are my three best girlfriends in the world. We tried to get a picture together, but we couldn't compose ourselves...

And it only went downhill from there. Once the silent, doubling-over hysterical laughter starts, there's no return...

It was a fun night, and Jackie, we are going to miss you like crazy, but there will be lots of visiting and Skype-ing!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I saw this site, Awkward Family Photos, mentioned over on A Cup of Jo, and it is truly funny. More than a few of the pictures made me laugh out loud, which I really tried not to do since on the day I was reading it, every breath carried the possibility of an excruciating coughing fit. These were worth the risk:

The caption on this one killed me. It said, "Never before has a birthday cake photo been so chilling."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Estate Sale Saturday

We hit the yard and estate sales pretty hard on Saturday (we have a problem). The finds that excited me the most:

A pretty little jar, complete with cotton pads...

Cloth napkins! I'm building up a collection of no-fuss washable napkins to eventually do away with paper napkins when we have larger parties...

And my most favorite - 2 iron plant stands scored for just $2 each. I can't wait to find some pretty pots and cascading plants to put in them!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I just couldn't get my blogging rhythm this week. I have a cold.

I almost never get sick. Really. It's been over two years. I attribute this fact (perhaps falsely) to my lack of germaphobia. I will stick my hand in/on just about anything and then rub my face. Normally it works for me. But something has gotten in, and it makes my head feel like it's stuffed with cotton. I'm giving my immune system the bird.

So I'm home with my tissues and my tea, but this is making me feel better...

And so is this...
I hope you all enjoy your long holiday weekend, and I will be back Tuesday (or possibly before) with lots of new posts, including that giveaway!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Party time

I love parties. I love going to them, and throwing them. It can be stressful, but the planning is such fun for me. I pour over my entertaining books and cookbooks to come up with a theme and menu, then I pull together goodies from all over our house (and sometimes buy a few new things) for decor.

We usually have one or two big parties during the spring and summer, because it allows us to entertain outside, and therefore invite more people since our house is so small. And we have a few smaller gatherings throughout the year, as well as usually hosting Thanksgiving (although my mom does most of the cooking!).

So with the weather warming up, my mind has turned to parties. And more specifically to how people store their entertaining arsenal. Aren't these pics inspiring?:





I don't remember the sources of these next two. Sorry!

I hope to have a butler's pantry or some other way to beautifully display my entertaining supplies in our next house, but for now our party stuff is spread throughout the house.

Most of it is in my office closet, since Mark so kindly built shelves in there for me. He's very handy. I think I'll keep him.

My candles are in a drawer of an Ikea chest of drawers in my office.

Some of my party books on another Mark-built shelving unit in my office:

Cookbooks, etc. in the kitchen:

And another closet in our house full of enetertaining stuff. I didn't clean it up for the pic, cause I'm keepin' it real:

So while my set-up is a far cry from the first set of pictures, it is possible to find places to store your entertaining goods.

How do you guys store yours? Are you lucky enough to have a spacious pantry?

Monday, May 18, 2009

The weekend

The hubs and I had a yard sale on Saturday. We were much more organized than our first yard sale a year ago. We set everything out on our driveway behind our gate the night before, so everything was wet and covered with dew, but hey, at least we weren't setting things out two hours into the sale like last time. It was slower than last year (the economy is even hitting yard sales!) but we managed to get rid of every last thing either by sale or giving it away. Our objective this time was just to make it all go away.

I made cupcakes to use up some cake mixes I had, but I made my own buttercream (and I mean butter!) frosting. I can't remember where I got the recipe, but you have to try it.

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 cup butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream

Mix sugar and butter on low speed until well blended, then increase to medium speed for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and beat for another minute. So good!

Then on Sunday night, my friend Jackie took me to dinner. She's moving next month to Seattle for her husband's job, which doesn't make me happy. We've been friends since 6th grade, and I will miss my Jackie terribly! But, it does give us an excuse to finally go to Seattle, which we've wanted to do.

We went to Napa Rose which is a restaurant in the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland, and I can honestly say it was the best restaurant meal of my entire life. It was four courses and I ate every last bite of each one. I was seriously nauseous by the end, but it was worth every heart-stopping calorie. There were things like lobster sausage, scallops in a lobster vanilla sauce, truffle mac 'n cheese, strawberry soda as part of the dessert. It was amazing.

Poor Jackie. I kept taking pictures of her while she was eating.

There was even an earthquake during dinner. It was fun to hear all of the out-of-staters oohh and gasp. Good times.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy dance

I was just doing my ritual morning blog reading, and I discovered that I won a blog giveaway! I enter these things and forget about them, because I never win, so I was pretty shocked to read my name.

I recently came across Rachel's beautiful blog, Heart of Light and fell in love. She's a thrifter, reader, tea-lover, and her pictures are gorgeous. I visit her blog daily to soak in the loveliness. She posted that she would be giving away a package (I don't know what it is yet, but I know it will be awesome) to 5 of her readers, and I am one of them! I can't tell you how excited I am!
My comment was picked from this bowl:

Heart of Light

And this giveaway comes with very cool strings. I must now come up with something lovely to give away and choose 5 of my readers to send it to. So stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for that post. And, you have a very, very good chance of winning on my blog since I barely clear 5 readers! Lucky you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


These are just a few decor things I see EVERYWHERE, including blogs I adore, that I wish would go away.
Fu Dogs:
Sunburst mirrors:

Ceramic animals:

Faux coral and coral patterned things:

They just drive me bananas.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


So far, so good. Our veggie garden is doing something. There are no actual vegetables yet, but everything has emerged from the ground or doubled in size.

Even the seeds we had to start indoors are finally sprouting! I had all but given up on these, but every single one has started to come up, and the grape tomatoes are really going for it. I think they will soon be ready to be transplanted outside.

And our flagstone path has grass! It's good to know we weren't inhaling manure for nothing.

Now if the bees would just go away so I could weed without having to run around in circles screaming every five minutes, that'd be great.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gimme my bifocals so I can watch the Golden Girls

It's no secret that I am obsessed with old-lady-type tea parties, because while I may look fairly young on the outside, I'm a good 75 on the inside.

So when we went to an estate sale on Saturday (another apparently old thing to do, as evidenced by the 30 or so card-carrying members of the Geriatrics Club in front of us in line), I couldn't pass these beauties up...

I had seen these in the email we received about the sale and knew I had to have them, and when we saw all the people in front of us Mark said, "I think you're gonna have to break some hips to get those."

Luckily I move pretty quick when I'm on a mission, and I was able to snag my 3 favorites before the bitties descended and wiped out the rest. I could have gotten more had Mark not taken the box to hold our finds and run for the garage like his feet were on fire as soon as the gate opened, but that's another story.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Farmer's Market Friday

Every Friday night from 5-9pm, our city has a farmer's market. They shut down the main street and vendors sell their handmade goods and the farmers sell produce. That's why we go.
It's always packed and it's a lot of fun.

I just had to get a picture of these. I had to take it from this weird angle because I didn't want to get the makers of these atrocities in the picture. They are liqour bottles filled with glass beads and made into lamps! Gotta give them props for recycling, though.

These were in the window of a super-cute kids' book/toy store on the street. Sorry for the terrible glare-y pic, but there were people sitting on the ledge beneath these so I couldn't get any closer without standing in their laps. They're a bunch of baby shirts strung on a clothesline that have cute, funny sayings. I loved the middle one that says, "I take the joy out of shopping." I told Mark they should make those for men.

I just love this door to an architectural salvage shop. And the address on it just happens to be my birthday :)

This is our absolute favorite place to have breakfast on the weekends. It's small and gets crazy packed, so if we don't make it by 9am there's a wait, but it's so worth it. They make this waffle with bits of bacon inside and fresh strawberries on top that is heaven, and I've never found a better chai latte.

These guys were selling some pretty gorgeous bikes...

and I fell in love with this green one.

One of the people selling the bikes is a former customer of Mark's business and told him she needed something else done to her house, and asked if they could work out a deal where she would pay a reduced price and give us a bike. So that baby might be mine!

But the real reason we go to the farmer's market is the produce (and the junk food).

Mark buying dinner...

He got potato balls filled with beef and cheese and they came with plantain chips.

Then he had to have this (I'm proud to say I did not partake. I've really been trying to limit the sugar.)...

Then on to buying our fruits and veggies...

I don't know what this is, but isn't it beautiful?

Since we go most weeks, I'm thinking about making Farmer's Market Friday a regular post, but mostly pictures and much shorter from now on.

Anyway, happy weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to my mommy readers. I've never been more appreciative of my mom on Mother's Day than I am this year. If you can, hug your mama!