Tuning in With...

Happy Wednesday, all! I am SO excited to share this week's Thrift Mix with you. It comes from Rhoda, who writes one of my go-to thrifting blogs, Southern Hospitality. When I first learned of her blog, I was just heading over there to link up to her Thrifty Treasures posts, but each week I found myself staying just a little longer...checking out her beautiful DIY projects, or drooling over homes in her Feature Friday posts. And now I can't imagine my Google Reader without it! :)

This woman, to steal her own words, is certainly a "GRITS" (girl raised in the South) who has a strong voice, an amazing eye and an inspirational story (she just started a new series about her blogging adventure that you should absolutely read!)

Today she's been kind enough to share a mix inspired by one of her thrifted outfits, and it's full of the kind of music I love: classic, jazzy and soulful. Let's hear what she has to say about it!

From Rhoda...

"I'm an old-school girl when it comes to music. My musical tastes stopped somewhere around 1982 or so. :)  Not completely true, but I seriously love the old stuff and think it was the best. Anything that is new and sounds old will get my attention, like Duffy's 'Mercy.' I love jazz and interesting melodies."

Rhoda's mix was inspired by the below outfit, which she thrifted with her keen eye. It's a top from Ann Taylor top and Chico's skirt (that's right, you can get brand-name clothing at thrift stores!) and might I just say she looks stunningly sophisticated? :)

Thank you so much, Rhoda, for sharing with us! :)

Come See Me at Artrophy!

{Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus}

Good morning all! Today is gearing up to be a busy one as I get ready for the Artrophy show this Saturday! It's been put together by the Show Me Etsy team (of which I am a proud member!) and will take place at the Regional Arts Commission in University City. So for those of you in the St. Louis area, do come on by and say hello!

There will be lots of vendors selling handmade goods (except for me...I'm the only vintage!), and everything there would make perfect Christmas presents...perfect local Christmas presents. :) And you'll walk home as happy as that lady in the photo up there...

We're also serving free wine to attendees (until it's gone), and we've hired a couple acoustic bands to play throughout the day, so it should be fairly lively!

The Artrophy Facebook page has all the information you need. The short version, however, is this Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Regional Arts Commission on Delmar.


Sustainable Style: Present and Correct

{Office in a Jar}

Now, I know I might be a bit bias, but I do feel strongly that using vintage items is a way of recycling. Things that someone think are old or out of date, that they might otherwise throw away (and add to the mounds of post-consumer waste we already produce), I think to find a home for them, or a way to reuse or repurpose them. And I especially love when the vintage item is some sort of ephemera.

A lot of the time, these old bits of paper have awesome graphics or really stunning typography that's worth preserving somehow, and I love the playful take that Present and Correct has taken with it. The store isn't exactly new to Etsy (opened in 2006), but it's new to me, and I think their whimsical take on paper is worth sharing!

My favorites are the "office in a jar" idea (pictured at the top) and the tag books (pictured below), but they have a lot of really cute and creative things that will catch your eye, so make sure and pop over to the P&C store and follow them on Twitter!

{Tag Books}

{Images courtesy of P&C}


Style Spots: Such Great Distances

Happy Monday all! I don't know about you, but I took yesterday as a day of relaxation after a crazy busy holiday weekend: eating way too much on Thursday, seeing The Muppet Movie on Friday (followed by eating way too much leftovers), Saturday morning breakfast followed by some thrifting, Saturday night 10-year high school reunion, and Sunday morning estate sales. By yesterday afternoon, I was ready to veg (instead of taking photos of my new items like a good vintage reseller would), so you can thank my comfortable couch and a cozy blanket for such a late post today. :)

The one estate sale I went to on Saturday was a bust...it was a really beautiful old house in Kirkwood, with some amazing vintage/industrial farm items inside, but the prices were way too high for this girl. Undeterred, I skipped over to the Goodwill on Manchester in Crestwood, but left empty-handed there, too. As a last-ditch effort before heading home, I stopped at Value Village in Kenrick, and finally found some buy-worthy items! I picked up two Target dresses for myself, as well as these bowls...

I have a matching platter that I thrifted years ago in California and I hope to slowly collect a set. It's by a British company called Sheffield.

I also came home with these amazingly awesome (and super 80s/90s) boots, which will be up in the store later this week...

Then yesterday morning I drove all the way out to St. Charles for an estate sale. I had a good feeling about it since it had listed lots of "retro" items, and I wasn't disappointed! Everything was half off since it was the last day of the sale, so I got a great deal on all this stuff...

Some nice mid-century gold birds for your wall? They'll be up in the store this week...

I grabbed this vintage white Christmas wreath for our house. I'm going only red and white this year.

An ornate vintage wall frame that will be going up in the store.

And two really pretty silk-blend pillows that will be going in the store.

On the way home I stopped by the Goodwill in St. Charles, and then the one in U-City on Olive. At the former I picked up this set of four teal/aqua Depression glass goblets...

And at the latter I picked up a vintage women's coat, a Vera Neumann tablecloth, a purse and some Pyrex...

Love the colors!

How about you? Did you find time for a thrift break during the holidays?

Linking up with:

Flea Market Finds
Magpie Monday
The Penny Worthy Project


Parsimonia Online Store Is Open!

Yay!! After many (many) long hours and a really late night last night, I am happy to announce that the Parsimonia online store is open for business!! It's broken into three sections: vintage clothing, vintage accessories (think purses and wallets) and vintage home decor (anything from a candle holder to fabric napkins). I still have another page of accessories and home decor to get on there, but for now there is plenty of eye candy! :) Here are some shots of the inventory...

Currently you can only access the store on your home computer, but we're working with the developer to speed up the process on an eCommerce feature! So hold tight all you on-the-go shoppers! :)

Also, I would SO LOVE if you could help spread the word about this new project via your own blog or some Twitter and Facebook lovin'. Speaking of Facebook...I think now is the perfect time to recap the grand opening giveaway!!

I'm packing two vintage coffee jars full of vintage items I've thrifted over the past year, and here's how you can enter for a chance to win one: go to the Parsimonia Facebook page and "like" it, then leave a comment on the wall telling me which item in the store is your favorite. That's it!

I'll keep the giveaway open for one week, then announce the winners on Monday, Dec. 5! Good luck!


Parsimonia Store Grand Opening Giveaway

Hey all! So the big day is almost here! I've been going through several sleepless nights this week getting the online store all ready for the launch on Friday, and it's going to be such a relief to see it go live! Above is a sneak peek at homepage, and tomorrow I'm going to give you sneak peek of some of the inventory; but today I wanted to tell you about the GIVEAWAY!!

First, we have to take a walk down memory lane...remember these vintage coffee jars I thrifted back in March?

Well, as much as I want to keep them forever (and believe me, I would), I've decided to give them away to two lucky winners next week. What's more, I'm going to be stuffing each one with various vintage items that I've thrifted over the past year. I'm keeping those items a secret until they're ready to send, but trust me, it'll be some good stuff! :)

Hopefully you're wondering how to enter this little giveaway, and the answer is easy: Just hop on over to the Parsimonia Facebook page and give it a like. Then, while you're there, write a wall post telling me what your favorite item in the store is. That's it! Easy-peasy!

I'll make sure to do lots of reminding in the next week, and I'll announce the winners on Monday, Dec. 5.

Good luck!

Tomorrow Is Thanksgiving...

{Print by Hen and Co.}


Sustainable Style: Adopt-a-Turkey Project

Today's post is going to be short and sweet. It's a bit off the path of the usual Sustainable Style posts in that I don't have something super cute for you to consider purchasing that also makes a positive impact somewhere. But this project does change lives...it's just that it's turkey lives, not people. And some of these turkeys are kinda cute! :)

The project is called Adopt-a-Turkey, and it was started in 1986 by Farm Sanctuary. I first learned about this organization during an episode of Ellen, because DeGeneres has been a big supporter of the nonprofit, which seeks to save farm animals from some pretty miserable (and oftentimes inhumane) conditions.

Since they started the Adopt-a-Turkey Project 25 years ago, they have saved thousands of turkeys from things like debeaking, detoeing and an overcrowded pen that leaves them 3 square feet of space in live in (that's just the bare bones of it, you can read more about the plight of the turkey here). Once these birds are plucked (pun intended) from such conditions, they are then placed into sanctuaries throughout the U.S. until they're found a permanent, loving home.

I know what you're thinking...turkeys as pets?? But ask anyone who raises chickens (I'm talking independent people, not companies), and they'll tell you that these birds become great companions, and turkeys follow suit. So if you're interested in taking one in, check in with Farm Sanctuary and see when the next Turkey Express adoption event is. As for the rest of us, there is a list of some pretty cute turkeys you can sponsor at the sanctuary, where the money will go to support their feeding and care while they're there.

{Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary, from the Celebration FOR the Turkeys event}


Style Spots: Good in the Hood

Happy Monday, all! Are you in the throes of getting ready for the big feast later this week? And perhaps some abbreviated work days? :) I'm bringing a couple dishes over to my parents' place since they're hosting this year: mushroom risotto served in roasted acorn squash bowls, and my pumpkin-chocolate chip whoopie pies! What I'm most looking forward to though are the mashed potatoes...they've been my favorite part since I was little, and that's what I usually go back for seconds for (sometimes thirds...eek!).

This weekend was pretty crazy busy for me. I've been working some long nights trying to get everything ready for the big website launch on Friday, and yesterday my friend Kristi helped a ton with shooting some photos of the inventory. I think we worked from like 11 a.m. to about 8 p.m. or something crazy like that. But I love how they turned out and am so excited to get this project finished!

I did manage to sneak out for about an hour on Saturday morning since there were two estate sales within five minutes of our house. The first one had a ton of architectural salvage, and I walked away with two old beveled mirrors that I'm hoping the hubs will help me attach chains to and we can hang them in the hallway. They're still packed in the car, so I didn't have a chance to shoot some photos of them, but I definitely will once they're on the wall!

The second sale was kind of sad...a house that was jam-packed with stuff in a house that belonged to an elderly lady. I've been to several of these before, and it makes me mad when other people rummaging through the items kind of make fun of the person who just passed, or remark about how they can't believe she let herself accumulate so much stuff. I think it's such a disrespectful thing to do, and a couple times I've said something back to these people, because who are we to judge? You don't know what that person's last years were like, if they had any friends or family, if they were happy or lonely. Have any of you experience the same thing?

I, for one, was grateful to this lady because I left with several pieces of clothing for the store, a really cute old GE kitchen clock (the kind where the cord runs down the wall, pictured above), and a roll of contact paper with a nice mod floral pattern. Want to see?

Your turn! Did you thrift any goodies this week?

Linking up with:

Flea Market Finds
The Penny Worthy Project
Magpie Monday


Sunday Meditation

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day,
to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

— e.e. cummings

{Illustration by Smalltalk Studio}


DIY Idea {Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Kit}

So this Halloween, I was one of the late planners who went to the garden store the day of and bought a slew of pie pumpkins (that were on super sale, mind you) to decorate the porch. The next day, I was left with six sad little guys, wondering if they were just going to sit out in the cold forever.

Eventually I plucked one and brought it inside, baked it and scooped out the flesh to make pumpkin puree. It turned out great, but I didn't want to make a year's worth of pumpkin puree for us, and I didn't want them to go to waste, so I decided I'd incorporate them into a little pumpkin whoopie pie kit to give to some friends. I made this whoopie pie recipe some weeks ago and they turned out amazing, so I thought it would be fun to pass it along, DIY-style.

The only thing I had to go and buy were some pint-size Ball jars, but they don't cost very much if you get a whole case (which I did...because if you don't use them all for this, you can use them as glasses or candle holders...they're so versatile!).

While I was out I tried to find some chalkboard labels, but couldn't. I had some leftover chalkboard paint at home from the board the hubs made me months ago, so I hopped online to see how to make your own labels. I found this tutorial and, lucky me, we had some mailing labels in the office. It was really easy to do, and the dry time is SO short I was able to start using them within hours.

As the labels were drying, I traced the jar seals onto some card stock I had leftover from our wedding and placed the cut-out circles on top of the seal and under the screw-on part so the tops would be pretty.

Then I measured out all the ingredients and separated them by which ones can be mixed together. So I put the pumpkin puree in one, brown sugar in another, then combined the flour and other dry ingredients in the third. The last one I filled with chocolate chips so the baker can put in as many as they want. Then I cut out my freshly made labels and put them on the jars!

After that I printed out the recipe and put it all on a thrifted platter (which I included in the gift so they can serve the whoopie pies on it after they're made!). All the recipient has to do is supply the wet ingredients (eggs, oil and milk), and since everything else is all measured out, it'll come together in a jiffy. Plus they get four jars with labels they can reuse!


DIY Friday

Yay! It's Friday!! I honestly thought the end of this week would never come! But now that it has, I'm ready to cozy up at home and work on some projects for next week, perhaps most importantly the finishing touches on my online shop, which will open (fingers crossed) a week from today, Black Friday!

Speaking of, I'm sure a lot of you are planning on hitting up the massive sales the day after turkey day, so I thought I'd give you a whole week to make your own reusable shopping bag (or bags, for you big spenders)!

I've rounded up five tutorials that even a novice sewer like me can do (which means you pro stitchers can make your own adjustments to show off your skills!), and I think it'd be a great way to help reduce some waste during a day when plastic bags are going to be handed out like Halloween candy.

Let's take a look!

{via Delia Creates}

{via Made}

{via Honestly WTF}

{via Very Purple Person}

{via Say Yes to Hoboken}

Cute, huh? Be sure and come back this afternoon for a little recipe DIY I put together with my leftover Halloween pie pumpkins!


The Thrifted Kitchen {Pumpkin Pecan Pie}

Last week I was thumbing through my stack of vintage Better Homes & Gardens issues when I landed on what seemed like the perfect storm of Thanksgiving desserts: pumpkin pecan pie. I mean, think about it...those two pies are probably the most frequently made baked goods this time of year, so why not bring them together in culinary bliss and see what kind of baby they make?

Well...I did. And this baby is goooood. The texture of a classic pecan pie with a nice pumpkin taste and crunchy pecans on top. Ooooo-weee!

It'd probably be even better with a homemade pie crust...but this lass is a wee bit overloaded at the moment, so a pre-made crust just had to do. Feel free to save your sanity and do the same. :)

Pumpkin Pecan Pie
Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens, October 1965 issue
Recipe by Mrs. Leland Southern of Azalea, Oregon
Makes one 9-inch pie

3 slightly beaten eggs
1 cup canned or mashed cooked pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell
1 cup chopped pecans

In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Pour into unbaked pastry shell. Top with chopped pecans. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) about 40 minutes of until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Chill; serve topped with whipped cream. Makes one 9-inch pie.

Parsimonia in Country Living!

Yesterday afternoon we got home from our trip to L.A. — and a big ol' pile of mail. The one bright star in between utility bills and credit card applications was the newest issue of Country Living. After we unpacked, I got cozy on the couch and started flipping through it, only to find my face on page 12 along with all the other Blue Ribbon Blogger Award winners!

Surreal? Yes... I think so.

The hubs is already picking out a frame, I think. :)


Tuning in With...

Good morning all! I am SO excited to have Elissa from Dress With Courage sharing her mix with us today! I've been reading her blog for a while now, and I so value her thoughtful posts, her honesty and her willingness to share so much of her life with us. She also has an amazing series on how to identify and date vintage clothing that you must check out! For now, though, she's put together a great mix inspired by one of her thrifted blouses, so let's hear how that came together!

From Elissa...

Hi all! I’m Elissa, from the blog Dress With Courage. I blog about personal style, body image, vintage and thrifting, and I was so flattered when Beth asked me to contribute to this project.

I’m intrigued the concept of using a thrifted piece of clothing to inspire a music mix. Considering that most of my thrifted pieces are from a wide range of eras, using that influence to create a mix can yield some pretty eclectic results. Luckily, my music tastes are pretty much all over the map, so thrifting works well for inspiration. 

For this project, I decided to use this vintage 1940s beaded blouse I thrifted a few months ago from Goodwill. It’s delicate and pretty, the color is soft. It’s also the kind of piece that looks great dressed up or paired with jeans for decidedly less glamorous tasks.
Here’s a music mix that this blouse inspires me to listen to!
"Helena Beat," Foster the People: The perfect song to listen to while getting ready for a night out. It’s upbeat and impossible not to smile to. I saw Foster the People at Austin City Limits back in September, and let me tell you, those guys know how to party. 

"Dreams," Brandi Carlile: Much like this blouse, this song never fails to make me happy. Unearthing it was kind of a dream thrifting score, so this song is definitely appropriate!

"Upside Down," Paloma Faith:
This song is a mix of musical influences, from jazz to blues to pop. It’s the musical equivalent of this beaded blouse paired with jeans. Unexpected, but it works.

"Love On Top," Beyonce: I first heard "Love On Top" when Beyonce sang it during this year’s MTV Music Video Awards. She wore a sequined tuxedo jacket and looked radiant. Now, I associate any sequined and beaded pieces with it.
"Nothing Brings Me Down," Emiliana Torrini: Thrifting is my guaranteed happy time, even when I don’t manage to find anything as special as this blouse. I always think of this song while thrifting. It’s a lovely devotional to the little joys in life.

Hand in Glove," The Smiths: I love me some Smiths. Love, love, love.

Wish You Were Here," Pink Floyd: This has been my favorite song since high school. Back then, I’d listen to it on my yellow Walkman — which was approximately the size and weight of a brick — while I thrifted. I thrifted out of necessity then, scraping together my babysitting money for Levis. I would have died if I found this blouse back then.

Music has always had great value in my life. For years I had aspirations of becoming a professional musician, spending both high school and college in music conservatory. During that time a lot of the joy of music was absent — I was too competitive and stressed to enjoy it. But now, I see music as a refuge.

Thank you, Beth, for the opportunity to be involved in this project!

And thank you, Elissa!! :)
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