Saturday, October 13, 2012

Girls @ the Flea

2 times a year Sister, Chelsea, and I hit the road in search of unknown What Cheer, Iowa. While I love any chance to go to the flea market there, the one in October is by-far my favorite...fall is my time of the year. It has just the beginning comfy, cozy feelings of the holiday season!
We try very hard to fit Jaarsma bakery into our journey. It's in Pella, Iowa (technically on the way) and has the most delicious baked tasties around! My focus was, of course, on a giant, frosted pumpkin cookie...couldn't bite into this beauty fast enough.

Let me just say that this particular day was the coldest one of the fall season so far. Not only was it cold...but the wind was just cutting right through us. Luckily we dressed for the occasion...even though my head wrap came from a garage sale we hit on the way in. Sister was mortified...all she could think about was the possibility of head lice dancing around in my hair from some stranger's winter gear. I didn't care...I was cold!

I'm pretty sure I started running when I spotted this little lady. Her name is Josie...and she's a corgi...just like our pup, Milo. Look at those eyes...those ears! Oh, my...

Probably the strangest purchase of my day was this vintage bed pan. A friend, Abby, had literally just texted me about spying out some treasures for her new bathroom re-do...and then there it was, in a sea of boxes filled with trinkets, tea cups, plates, scary get the picture. I was so excited to find it...and only $1!! Not sure if she will end up using it...but so fun, nonetheless!

Still all smiles at the end of the day! You can catch a little glimpse of Sister's negotiating skills piled in the back-end of the truck. She had talked a lady into selling all of her pumpkins (staging for her stand) for only $20. Now that's a deal!

One of my favorite finds from the day were these vintage Christmas ornaments. I decorate w/ old, chippy things as much as possible...and Christmas-time is no exception. Only...vintage bulbs can be pretty pricey. I got all of these for only $1 (only had one casualty on the trip home). I know they look rough...but to me, that's all-the-better. Now...if only it were closer to Christmas...

I'd like to say I got all these flowers there too...but, alas, I did not. The jars (except for the big one), though, I did. Plus...7 others! The same woman Sister bought the pumpkins from, sold all her blue Ball jars (20 in all) for only $30. I ended up splitting the haul w/ Chelsea...she's just starting her collection. I was so excited to get all of them. The look lovely all grouped together...or filled w/ whatever I have lying, pens, colored pencils...dominoes.
I'd say the day was a success. I got a few other be shown-off another day. :)  It's always fun to find the little things we didn't know we needed...but also, just to spend the day together...walking, talking...and laughing.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm Still Here...

So...I pretty much haven't blogged in a zillion years. Ok...a slight exaggeration...but I do know it's been a really long time. Why?? I really think there are a few contributing factors: 1. it takes a really long time to upload my pictures from my iPhone to my computer (seems lame...but I get irrationally angry almost every time I try and do it), 2. The hubs and I have been working on so many projects this summer...something just had to give. was this little bloggy, and 3. I really felt like I was starting to sound repetitive and a little not-like-myself in my blog posts.

Anyhoo...I'm gonna give it another go...b/c I really do like the concept of a blog...and the feedback that I get from my posts!

Here are just a few of the things we've been busy w/ over the last several months...

Starting in about March of this year, we began planning/working on almost a complete re-do of our main level. We had our walls, ceilings, kitchen cupboards and built-ins painted. After that was done...we finally got new flooring!!! I have been dreaming for so long about getting rid of our nasty baby blue carpet...and it actually came true this summer. While we did hire out all of the took up so much of our time packing stuff up and making sure everything was out of the workers' way. I don't do well when things are out of this was kind of a trying time for me... All's well that ends well, though...and I L.O.V.E., love, the results!!

Also on my to-do list for the summer was helping my very best friend, Jill, plan her parents' 40th anniversary party. I was so honored to help her decide the feel and design of the party. The color scheme played off the original wedding colors...and was so bright and cheery!

We did get to do a lot of relaxing after all the planning...but vacations can be just as much work as regular life...
Now that things have settled down a bit...I'm hoping to get back into sharing my daily thoughts and experiences w/ you all.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Recent Favorites...

Alright...I might have a slight problem. might be thrifting a little too much. The thing about thrifting have to do it a lot to find the best stuff. Since all the 2nd-hand stores I know of put new things out daily (sometimes a few times daily) behooves a person (such as myself) to visit often. Or more than every a couple times in a day. *Ouch*...that even hurt me to admit! frequenting of the Goodwill's and Salvation Army's of the greater Des Moines area has lead to some fantastical finds!

Now...I must say...this waytoocute board game from the 1950's did not come from a thrift store, perse...but from an extremely random estate sale. I say it was random b/c it was literally held by 2 women, selling all their hoarded possessions (read: me in about 40 years), in a 19th century house that was completely torn down to the studs. So...not only was I surrounded by decades of really cool stuff...but I was pretty much in heaven in this dilapitated structure. *sigh...*

I couldn't snatch this beauty up fast enough when I spied her on a side-shelf at Salvation Army. I had almost given up hope on this trip (on which I dragged 5 other people who do not enjoy thrifting)...thinking I wasn't going to find any treasures. And then...I saw a yellow dish. At first I thought it was was so shiny! So...I reached out a pensive hand, only to be so wonderfully surprised! Pyrex!! Not only Pyrex...but a 1950's hostess dish...including the lid! Eep! I have my grandma's red hostess
(sans lid) I was thrilled to be able to find this on intact. Oh yeah...she was only 99 cents to boot!

Now...this trio (sadly missing the 2nd biggest bowl)...was another last-minute find at Salvation Army...only a different location. It was actually the first time I'd ever seen the Americana (harvest colors w/ a white band around the top). The bowls aren't in the best condition...but I was able to snag all 3 for less than $5. I'm pretty sure I can get 'em all cleaned up...getting rid of some of the scuff marks.

I am really super excited about this thrift. We're basically redoing the main level of our house...painted walls, cupboards, and new flooring. So...I'm wanting to change the decor up a bit too. I don't necessarily have any kind of a budget for that, though. When I spied these battery-operated paper lanterns (originally from Pottery Barn) at Goodwill...I knew they would be a great addition to the space. They were still in the boxes...and all work (had my fingers crossed on that part). I got a lot of style for under $8!

I know that thrifting isn't for everyone...and it takes a bit of consistency and effort...but I totally think it's worth the time. I've found so many things that (with a bit of elbow grease & lots of soap), have helped me to make our house a lot more stylish...w/out spending a lot of money. I also like the thought of giving really cool things a new home...a new purpose.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

MyCityAntiquing you all know...I love to treasure hunt for fabulous, rusty antiques. I also happen to love traveling. What could be more helpful, then, than a handy-dandy website that is full of the best antique stores in cities across the U.S.?? Well, a mobile app...that's what!

That's where comes in. It's a website you can visit to see where all the cool kids are finding the best treasures in many different cities. Not only that, you can add your own special info...if you're willing to share your favorite spots. ;)

So...if you haven't already...check this site out! For sure download the's shouldn't even question it!

Happy treasure hunting!!


Monday, July 30, 2012


My sister...honestly...if you had asked me up until the age of (oh about) 24...was my nemesis. We really couldn't have been more different growing up...she's a social butterfly...I'm a homebody. She was really good at sports...I played golf. She was always pushing the limits...I was all about rules. Not to mention all of the fights we had...they never ended in my favor..."I was older...should know better."

After our dad died, though...everything changed. Our little family was suddenly even smaller. If we didn't lean on each other...who could we count on? It turns out...Sister and I actually have a lot more in common than we had thought. A lot of that was probably just growing up, though...

I am so happy we decided to not only be sisters...but to be friends. Sister pushes me to be a better person...inspiring me w/ her constant energy chasing around Miss most-adorable 2-year-old niece. 

I'm so happy we put the petty differences of our youth behind us (sorry about that hole in the wall from a flying bottle of nail polish, Mom). Now...instead of fighting...we can enjoy each other's company...doing just about anything! Although...I'm still a homebody...

Thanks for being a great sister, Ashley!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

40th Anniversary Party

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to decorate for a party my friend Jill was having in honor of her parents' 40th wedding anniversary. First off...the venue for the party could not have been prettier. It was held at the Iowa Historical Building on the Cafe Terrace...with downtown Des Moines as the! We decided the theme should incorporate some of the color palette from their wedding (we picked out shades of yellow w/ white and green accents) and that it should feel "country chic."

Now...the way I usually decorate for parties stems from what I have I can transform those items into centerpieces & table-scapes. For this party...I used every mason jar I could get my hand on, in addition to larger glass pieces I have (a cake stand and various vases).

Every table had a sheet of craft paper, plus a combination of vases w/ flowers and mason jars. I filled the jars w/ rice (it was the cheapest thing I could think of) an l.e.d. candle, and a teeny-tiny chalkboard w/ love notes written on it. The jars were also wrapped in add to the country feel. I incorporated yellow into the mix with both flowers and lemons. I will say...I loved the look of the lemons. They were really natural...and added a great pop of color!

Jill and I planned this party for quite a while...from the very start, though...I knew I wanted s'mores as the favor...for people to enjoy after. The hubs and I wrapped grahams, mallows, and chocolate squares...tying them all up w/ twine and a little note card that said "to many s'more years." Awww.... The sign was painted by my friend, Abby, who also made one for the main level of the help point guests in the right direction. 

I had to come up w/ a last minute idea for something guests could sign. Decided on a large piece of foam board (I was lucky to find it in black)...and just had folks use chalk markers to write their names & well-wishes.

I love the banner! It was a great addition of color...and on a large scale. Jill made the numbers (covered in vintage pics of her parents) and they turned out great...gave everyone something to look at while they picked out their tasty desserts.

Just a couple of old friends...

I was so relieved when everything was up to be enjoyed! What a beautiful way to enjoy the party...and all the hard work.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Instagram + PostalPix

For the record...I'd like it to be known that I was on/enjoying Instagram well b/f it became popular. Since it has turned into a picture-taking sensation, however, I've been using it a lot more to transform my pics. While it's fun to have all these visuals on my share w/ many people all over the world...I wanted to be able to have the pictures in real life. Then along came PostalPix. What a wonderful & ingenious thing! All I had to do was download the app on my iPhone, create an account...then pick which pictures I want to have printed. I use my PayPal account...making the whole process seamless. Once I upload the only takes a couple days for the pictures to reach me...yay!

Now...I'm not a big fan of picture frames (plus the shape of the Instagram pics wouldn't really work in them) I came up w/ another way to display all my snapshots. I used baker's twine (suspended between a couple nails) as my base...and then ordered some baby, tiny clothes pins to hold the pics up. The entire process took probably 15 minutes.

I love the finished product! Plus...I can change the pictures out really easily when I get new ones (which I most assuredly will do).

*Our dining room has a little something special now!