Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Goods

I've added a few more things to Back to You Vintage.

More to come as I feel well enough to clean everything and take pictures.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mirror DIY

I picked up this ugly ugly UGLY mirror at an estate sale for $5 a few weeks ago. I walked by it the first time and thought, naw, it's too uggo.

After a second look I realized a couple coats of paint would make it a fantastic addition to my mirror wall.

And, whaddayaknow, it is!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sarah's Fabric {in Lawrence}

I think I've mentioned this store before...have I not? I should have. It's THE best fabric selection in an actual store that I've actually seen.

And the charm of the storefront doesn't hurt, either.
Take a look for yourselves!
The only downfall for this professed cheapskate {cough, cough, ahem...yeah, me} is lack of sales and lack of coupons, but I can't blame Sarah...the rent on Massachusetts is rumored to be astronomical.

If you're ever in town, it's worth stopping for a minute. Or an hour.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Today has been a great morning! I went to an estate sale and scored big time and then when I got home I checked my blog reader and found that I had won a HUGE stack of fat quarters {18"x22" cuts of fabric} in a giveaway I entered this week. HOORAY!!!

I'm in love with this new line by Sandi Henderson {these pictures are hers, by the way}, called Meadowsweet and am SO excited to be among the first to try it out.

My weekend could end now and I'd be happy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So...It's been a few weeks...And the Sparks Flea Market

And I've had all the time in the world to upload pictures and edit them and provide an update on the Sparks Flea Market and White Cloud Flea Market....but I didn't do it. Yesterday when the sky never reached the color blue that would indicate the sun, in fact, would shine.
{aren't these so cool?! I passed one up the other day at Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $5 - I mean, neat, but where would I put it?}

{I had one of these when I was little}

{gorgeous furniture}

I've finally taken the time to weed out the bad pictures and save a few of the good.

As I look through some of these pictures I'm kicking, seriously KICKING{!}, myself for not looking at things a bit more. Look at those cute picture frames below!
{I don't think we stopped here!}

{everything from this vendor was really expensive - I'd go as far as to say it was overpriced}

All in all it was really fun. We have some awesome friends that came with us and it really made the day that much more fun. Tom collects old soda bottles and he made out like a bandit. Hands down, he was the winner of the day.

All four of us will probably go again to the market in the spring. I'm really excited and can't wait to go again.

Oh, and Ryan's favorite part was the smoked turkey leg he bought. I think Thunder would agree it was the best part, too. OH! and they had the cutest puppies there! We held one and for about 3 minutes thought about bringing one home with us. More meaning to 'flea market' but we ended up realizing that a puppy is a lot of work and we don't want to be labeled as 'dog people'. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. We're not those people. At least we try not to be.


I have SO many pictures to share. I have close to 3 posts started {the one that qualifies as 'close to' only has a title} but haven't uploaded pictures for editing yet.

But I will share one with you! I keep talking about how fantastic Dempsey's is and I finally remembered to take a picture before I scarfed down my hamburger and truffle fries.

mmm...I really want one....NOW.

Instead, I'll be enjoying a delicious dinner of beef stew.

I'm coming to realize that I like simple cooking. There are a few meals on rotation that I can pull together in a pinch, don't require a recipe, are delicious {that's key}, and turn out different each time.

Tonight was beef stew. Really, all you need is a general knowledge of how soups thicken and simmer themselves into a stew. Contrary to belief, they don't take all day. I started mine at 5:30pm and it's now 7:08pm. It's been ready to eat since 6:45. So, what is that...45 minutes?

Tonight's contains a full day's helping of vegetables, includes minimal beef, and is delicious and TENDER. The tenderness of the beef was from the cut that I purchased. I think it was tri tip something or other. It was the 'manager's special' section beef, which I've come to love and know as the 'cook with me tonight or freeze me or I'll turn on you in two winks' section. Instead of paying $8 for the cut, I paid $3.20. Awesome savings and I used it immediately...win-win.

So...on top of the fab cut of meat, here's what I did:

Start with a pot - somewhat large

1/2 c. diced onion
2 stalks celery - also diced
a few carrots
1 clove garlic

turn on medium heat with a little olive oil and let cook for a few minutes. Meanwhile,

dice 2 potatoes,
2 cups fresh broccoli florets,
1 cup yellow zucchini squash
1/2 cup zucchini

the last two vegetables should be sliced into medallions.

Still with me? Good. Now, the onions and celery should be quite translucent at this point and the rest of the vegetables should be getting nice and tender. Add enough water to your vegetables to cover them by one inch. Turn on high and let boil for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.

Move to the beef. Cube your beef. It's best if it's a nicely marbled cut.

Throw cubed beef into a cup and a half of flour mixed with about a tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 tsp salt, a pinch of pepper, and whatever other seasoning you'd like to toss in there. I added a bit of thyme {because I lurve it}. Now mix all those together and coat each of the cubes of beef before throwing the whole lot of meat into a medium-high pan with a little olive oil. Brown thoroughly. Shouldn't take more than 5-8 minutes.

Alright, while your beef is cooking away, check your vegetables {I cringe at the word veggies - dunno why, but I'd love it if the world used vegetables forevermore}. Turn to a medium-low temp on your stove and add everything from the beef pan. Juices and all. This will help thicken your stew.

About this point I added a little beef bouillon to enhance flavor.

And there you go. As soon as all your vegetables are tender you can serve. If it's not thick enough for you, take a bit of flour and a bit of cornstarch, use liquid from the simmering stew and make a paste. Add more liquid to thin out and get rid of lumps. Add to the stew and voila! Thickened.

Maybe I'll get a picture {I'll be having it for lunch} and tease you all.

Today also included a good sweeping of the house, under all the couches even, and vacuuming of the carpets. I even managed to clean the kitchen and unload the dishwasher AND switch out the loads of laundry. 2 Points for me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Something Is A Little Off

According to my newly purchased {hours ago} oven thermometer, my preheat gauge went off, indicating my oven has reached 350 degrees F, and it was 100 degrees off.

Yup. Thermometer reads 250 and it's supposedly 350. Explains so much!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mantle Help

This is what our mantle looks like:

I'd like to have a grouping of three something-or-other on the right side. I've been looking for little pine trees that I could have there year-round, but the gentleman at the nursery said they wouldn't really thrive indoors and I'd be lucky if they lived a year. Boo.

Then I realized I could make something myself out of moss, foam, a few floral pins, and a pretty container. Something along the lines of this:
Now, I just have to find the containers and I'd be set. They're proving to be the most difficult to locate around here, so I'm adding Tai Pan Trading to my list of places to stop at while we're in SLC for the holidays {along with Costco for some uncooked tortillas}.

What say ye? Any other suggestions instead?

Monday, September 14, 2009

What I've Been Up To

There are those days where you feel like crawling back under the covers and going back to sleep. Then there are those days when you get out of bed at an unusually early time and you go-go-go all day long. That was me today. I felt productive and it felt great. Although my idea of 'productive' involved a lot of driving to and fro, the house is still picked up {mostly} and there are just a few dishes in the sink, all from dinner tonight. I even managed to fit in a trip to the movie theater.

So instead of ending another post picture-less, I'll show you some scans of a couple books I found at a recent estate sale.

This one is called Ice Cream is Good, by Lois Lenski. It was commissioned by the National Dairy Council in the late 1940s. It's an actual children's picture book {32 pages is the standard length of a picture book} but it's teeny tiny and in paper.

Obviously, I'm not putting the whole thing up because it would be an obnoxiously long post, but I will also add the second book by Lois Lenski that the National Dairy Council commissioned as a follow up. This one is called My Friend the Cow. It's really cute and shows the process of milk's journey from the farm to your table.

I ended up with a little stack of each, so a few will undoubtedly find themselves available for others.

Tomorrow I'll aim to take pictures of the latest finds and finish the post I started last week from the flea market.

Friday, September 11, 2009

4 Years Ago

This is what Ryan was doing. In my kitchen. In my heels.
{Thanks to Mandi for the picture!}

Our first kiss was the night before and our first date was the day after.

{That's how we roll.}

Four years have flown by but it seems like we've been together forever.

Love you!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fabulous Friday Find

Today I'm off to both the White Cloud and Sparks Flea Markets. {By the time you read this, I'll be on the road!} I'll take lots of pictures--note to self, don't forget camera--and post my findings and great bargains. I just emptied out my bank account with all my 'spending' money, just in case....

I'll be stocking my Etsy store with the goods during the slower winter months.


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Is September Too Early?

Halloween is just around the corner. It might be two corners, but now that it's officially September and around here Fall is creeping in on the cool breeze and the changing leaves, I can start thinking about it! I went simple with decorations last year, but this year, I'll do a lot of things differently!

These are some of the pictures I've found and tucked away to pull out when the time is right. Well, it's almost that time.

{images 1-5 from CountryLiving}

{from martha stewart for grandin road}
{from pottery barn}
{from design mom}

and of course my favorite from me: