3.31.2011

The Thrifted Kitchen {Applesauce Cake}

Alright, y'all. Today I'm real excited to start a new series that I've been thinking on for a bit. I'm wanting to get some more thrift-related content on here, as well as food, so I thought I'd marry the two for a fun weekly bit I'm calling The Thrifted Kitchen. Some weeks it'll be recipes I've thrifted & made; other weeks will be an extended Style Spots, where I'll reveal cool kitchen gadgets I've picked on my outings! Sound like fun?! (I hope so!)

Today's inaugural post is from a recipe box that I picked at an estate sale. It's chock full of stained, worn and well-loved concoctions, most with very vague directions and/or measurements that I'll have to fudge through and cross my fingers that it's a success.


This particular one is for an applesauce cake, given to the previous owner by a lady named Anna Kidd. It must've been one she made frequently because this card has clearly seen some action, and at the bottom in parentheses it says "good cake."

For the most part I agree, with the exception of two things: 1) it's a little dry, so I might suggest a little more applesauce; 2) definitely make some frosting to go with it (as she suggests at the bottom). I didn't do this, and I think it would benefit greatly from the extra sweetness. The nutmeg and cinnamon give it a "fall" kind of taste, but the lemon extract flavor virtually disappears after it's baked, so you might just add more vanilla, or maybe sub the lemon for almond?

But why don't you give it a try and see what you think?

Applesauce Cake
1/2 cup fat (I used butter)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup mashed sweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon (baking) soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Cream fat and sugar. Add rest of ingredients. Beat two minutes. Pour into loaf pan lined with wax paper (I just used some Baker's Joy). Bake 50 minutes in a moderately slow oven (I baked it at 325 degrees and it took about an hour). Cool and frost. 

{Image and design elements by me}

Shacking Up With the Styleses {Guest Room}

So we're almost finished with the first floor, which means I need to get my rear in gear over the weekend to make the upstairs presentable. It also means that today I'm going to show you our guest room! This is probably the biggest blessing of our new home because we can offer out-of-town guests a comfortable place to stay. There's a full bath right next to it, and since we're sleeping upstairs, whoever is staying in this room will hopefully be spared the hubs's snoring. :)

View from the door that connects to the dining room

From dining room door, to the right

From where the blue chair is (door is a closet)

We'll probably be adding some curtains to it at some point, and another night stand for the side of the bed near the windows. I also have some things to hang on the walls, but other than that it's fairly finished. (The blue chair isn't staying, we just had to shove it somewhere for now.)

View from the blue chair to the right (windows overlook backyard)

View from the windows (doors, left to right: to the hallway, to the dining room, closet)

View from windows to the left

The New

> The sheets (which you can't really see, but they were a good sale score at Kohl's)

The Thrifted

> All the throw pillows on the bed came from various estates sales (one from a thrift store)

> The blue chair was a find on Craigslist in L.A.

> The lamp was one of the hubs's scores from a Goodwill in Santa Monica

The Gifted

> The duvet set was a wedding present from our family friends in Texas. It is seriously sooo nice and soft and has served us really well. It's originally from Crate & Barrel.

> The entire bedroom set was mine when I was in high school, and my parents graciously relinquished it when we moved back to the Lou.

Oh, I almost forgot. I snapped a shot of one of the doorknobs, which are the same throughout the house. I love the detail on them!


Hope you are enjoying the tour. We'll finish up this floor tomorrow! 

{Images by me}

3.30.2011

Shacking Up With the Styleses {Kitchen}

Okay my dear readers. The next stop on the house tour is our kitchen. Let me just make a note that from here on out, we'll be getting into progressively less-finished rooms, so do pardon some of the still-unpacked boxes. :)

View from little hallway between dining room and kitchen

View from dining room to the left

View from the pantry/door to the back staircase

Anywho...the hubs and I really do love our kitchen, which is important because we love to cook. My parents and cousins came over a couple weeks ago to make dinner, and we could have up to four or five people in the room and still not feel cramped (love!).

View from the cabinets (door on the left is a pantry, door on the right goes to the back porch)

View from the butcher block

View from the pantry/porch door

View from the sink

I will admit though that at first I felt the openness of the design was a bit odd. I'm used to refrigerators being tucked into little nooks that make them even with the wall; and the same with stoves, really. But that kind of design became common much later than when this house was built, and in the past month I've come to hardly notice it.

Pantry next to the back door

And the storage we have...good gracious. Not only do we have that wall of cabinets where the sink is, but two walk-in pantries! I've settled my small appliances and serving pieces in one, and the other is a sad sight; we've put all our dry goods and canned goods and the like in there, and it only takes up one of the five shelves.


But by far my favorite feature is the window above the door to the back porch (anyone know the technical name?) that we can open to let the heat out while we're cooking.

From the kitchen onto the upper back porch

To the right on the porch

My little windowsill where one day more plants will grow

The New

> That trash can by the refrigerator (I know...so glamorous!)

> The dish rack (that you can hardly see)

The Thrifted

> All the little lovelies on the windowsill (except the monogram mugs, which everyone knows are Anthropologie)

> Our sugar and coffee cans on the counter (for the hubs's morning brew)

> The snowflake and Amish Pyrex patterns in the pantry (the Gooseberry was a gift from my great-aunt), and the bright yellow Dansk sauce pot.

The Gifted

> That rolling butcher block island was in my parents' basement, and it's been a Godsend for when I want to bake (and as an extra place to chop things for dinner).

> The stand mixer (a.k.a. every girl's dream) was a wedding gift from my lovely sister-in-law and her husband.

> The tea kettle was another wedding present from our dear family friends. It's originally from Bed, Bath & Beyond (and is the Paula Deen brand, I believe).

View from the porch to the puppy below

Some things we're thinking of doing include a new blind or curtain for the window by the sink; new hardware for the cupboards; shelves over the butcher block to house my cookbooks; something on the wall above the stove (possibly an art print or a pot rack); and maybe a shallow breakfast bar/counter and stools on the big wall to the right as you walk in.

The porch we're really excited about for the coming warmer months. We're on the hunt for some comfy patio chairs and a little round coffee table; we'll also going to do some planter boxes along the rail for an herb garden; and I want to hang some white lights along the ceiling. There are also hooks where we could hang shades if we want a bit of privacy, and I might like to try my hand at sewing some. Anyone have a good tutorial or experience with that?

Any other ideas??

Thanks for stopping by!

{Images by me}

Etsy Love {Ice Cream Social}


As warmer weather draws near, I've got ice cream on the brain, and this is one social for which I'd love to have an invitation. Click here to take a closer look at the Etsy gems!

3.29.2011

Shacking Up With the Styleses {Dining Room}

Today we're taking a peek into our very unfinished dining room. Right now it has furniture, which is the most important part to me; it means we can at least have people over for dinner and they have a place to put their pants. And I love how big it is; we have the table fulled extended and it hardly makes a dent in the space.

View from the living room

To the right from the living room

View from the hutch

View from the kitchen doorway

Closer look at the buffet

Closer look at the hutch

Some details to look forward to are curtains, new drawer pulls on the hutch (and maybe a wallpapered back splash to give it a pop of color), a bar set on top of the buffet, a new pendant light, and something interesting on that giant expanse of wall to the left of the record player.

Right now I'm recovering the chair cushions. The set came with four chairs, and then we found four more at a Value Village that are the same shape and maker, just a different back. It's been a very cathartic process because I get to use a staple gun and there's instant gratification. :) I really like the navy with that blondish wood, and this will be a starting point for bring other bits of color into the room.



The Thrifted

> We picked the dining set from Craigslist because we loved the style and shape of the pieces. The wood is also lighter than the trim, so even if it's a lot of brown, it's different shades.

> The speakers hooked up to the record player were scored at a Salvation Army in Pasadena. The hubs spotted them, and then snatched 'em up when he saw they were 50% off.

> The big frame on the buffet came from an estate sale in Playa del Rey in California. The frames on the hutch came from a lot being sold on Craigslist that I bought for our wedding reception decorations. I don't think any of these frames are staying where they are right now; I just wanted to put them somewhere. :)

The Gifted

Most of that beautiful Butterfly Gold in the hutch came from my mom and dad as a Christmas present. They found out we had started collecting the pattern and bought a lot of it off eBay, making my job a lot easier.

Well, that's what we've got so far in there. I'd love to hear any ideas for wall art or ways to bring more color in, so be sure and leave your suggestions in the comment section (as long as you have something nice to say, that is). :) 

{Images by me}

Sustainable Style: Fair Trade Gathering Baskets

Last week I thought spring had finally sprung: The weather was gorgeous, trees and flowers were blooming...then it snowed this weekend! Bah! All is not lost, however. During the few sunny days we were graced with, the hubs and I started making plans for a raised bed vegetable garden in the backyard. From there my mind drifted to getting something to carry and store our tools, then getting something to gather our (hopefully) glorious veggies. And in both scenarios I knew we already had the perfect thing: a gathering basket I bought in the Lodwar market in Kenya.


This beautiful handmade basket is also extremely sturdy because basket-weaving is one of the things for which the Turkana people are known, and one of two things their region depends on for revenue (the other being tourism, which doesn't happen much since the area is very dry and drought-stricken). They could fetch a fair price for them in markets in Nairobi, but since they can't afford to make the trip, buyers come from the capital, get them for dirt cheap, and then resell them to tourists for three times what they paid.

So, as I use this basket in the coming months, I will remember our beautiful friends there, especially Agnes and Sara, who helped us navigate that crazy market (see photo below). And I will hope that some day soon their art can be appreciated and available to more people.


Right now there is no organization that has been able to help them set up a fair trade type of business for it, but those of us who went on this trip are hoping to to figure something out in the future. We are all on the board of a nonprofit started there called The Unembraced, and have had our friends ship some baskets to the States as a way to raise money for it (mostly smaller baskets and trivets, as pictured below). So if you're interested getting one, let me know! :)


I know that most of you probably don't have one of these baskets lying around, but there are numerous fair trade sites where you can purchase one and help the people who make them earn a living. Just search "fair trade baskets" and it will give you almost more than you can handle (pun intended). :) 

{First two images by me; Ghana baskets courtesy of Baskets of Africa}

3.28.2011

Shacking Up With the Styleses {Living Room}

Heehee. Sorry (but not really) about the title of this post. Couldn't resist. :) I thought this week I'd start sharing some peeks at our new home now that things are a bit more settled. I've mentioned before that I am absolutely in love with this place. It has so much character to it since it was built in the 1890s, and we've been having a lot of fun decking out the little nooks and crannies that abound.

I think the biggest adjustment has been not feeling overwhelmed by all the space. Those who have lived (or still do) in California know that square footage is expensive, and most normal people live in tiny apartments or duplexes. So we went from a two-bed, one-bath, one-floor "condo" that was about 800 square feet to a three-bed, two-bath, two-floor 2,500-square-foot place that also has a basement, a garage and a backyard.

Needless to say, it's been a major blessing to have this extra space. We have a room for people to stay in when they visit from out of town; a formal dining room that seats eight, so we can have friends over for dinner; and we turned the third bedroom into a craft room/creative space for me, which is a dream come true.

Today, however, we're going to start in the living room — because it's the room that's farthest along. Please pardon my camera-hungry pooch. She can never resist a chance to be the center of attention. :)

View from the entrance hallway

View from the dining room

Wider-angle view from the dining room

Right side of the room from the dining room

Left side of the room from the TV

View to the left from the corner on the right of the windows

View from the other corner (where the plant is)

The New

> The couch is the first new piece of furniture the hubs and I have ever bought. We definitely lean more toward a mid-century style, and we loved how clean the lines of it were. It was on sale at Macy's and it's a beautiful pear color.

> The 5x8 white shag rug came from Home Depot. It's a great length (as far as pile) and it's not bright white, which helps dirt stand out a little less.

The Thrifted

> The coffee table and matching end tables came from a St. Vincent thrift store, and they were a great score because we had coupons for 50% off. They were manufactured by Lane, and they go perfect with our mid-century style (I love how long and narrow the table is).

> The end table next to one of the yellow chairs is from Craigslist. We went to pick up a record cabinet and she also had this. It has sliding doors and I luuuv it.

> The chairs are originally from Crate & Barrel, but I poached them off Craigslist in L.A. for a ridiculous (as in ridiculously good) price. The couple had only had them for a year and were redecorating, so their style change was my gain. They're well-made and super comfortable, so I don't think they're leaving us for a while.

> The mustard ottoman came from another St. Vincent thrift store, where I also used a coupon (I think it ended up being $7). It's on wheels, so it's a great go-between for those two chairs.

> The white lamps came from an estate sale and were a great score because it was a Sunday and everything was half off.

> The corn plant next to the exposed brick was one a rescued from in front of a dumpster in Santa Monica. The previous owners had apparently given up on it, so I dragged it home and nursed it back to health. It's kind of like my child, and get a lot of jealous glares from the hubs. :)

The Gifted

> The clock was a wedding present from my brother and sis-in-law. It's originally from Crate & Barrel, and it is sooo perfect there because it covers this weird cement obtrusion that exists from when one of the previous owners closed up the fireplace (that's what the exposed brick is).

> The antique steamer trunk was given to my parents from one of the sisters in my great-aunt's convent. They had it in their basement and were nice enough to let me poach it. Not sure if that's where it's going to stay, but it works great as a TV stand for right now.


So clearly the room is far from finished. Right now I'm trying to figure out what the heck to do with all that blank wall space in the last photo. Possibly a collage of photos/art prints in frames. I also have this beautiful (and large) piece of fabric I bought when we went to Kenya (and a canvas that's the perfect size for me to staple it to). But I just don't know until I play around with it.

What do you think? Maybe shelves would be more helpful to display some knick knacks? I would seriously love your thoughts and ideas!

Until tomorrow! 

{Images by me}

Style Spots: Pre-Estate Sale & Kansas City

Happy Monday all! I hope your weekend was good (and warm!). We had some chilly weather, even snow, these past couple days, which definitely deflated the hopes I had of spring being here. But it's cool...I'll just close my eyes and picture myself back on the beach in sunny Santa Monica; that's enough to get me through...right? :)

If you tuned in on Friday, you know I went to Kansas City this weekend for our friends' wedding, and we had so much fun catching up with people we knew in college, dancing and making use of that open bar (hehe). The wedding itself was beautiful and we were so glad to have been their to witness them take this next step in their lives. So exciting!

Naturally, I had to hit up some thrift stores while we were there, and I came back with four purses, three wallets and two dresses (not bad!). I know they'll be a hit at Indie Craft Revolution, which is coming up quickly at the end of April (if you're a local, stop by and say hi!). Speaking of, I know I'm a bit light on merchandise in my Etsy store, but since this is my first time being a vendor at a craft show, I'm nervous about selling too much online and depleting my inventory. But I guess the more I sell, the more money I have to replenish the inventory...I don't know, but I'd love any advice from those of you who are experienced craft show vendors!

Okay...onto the goods. This first set comes from a pre-estates sale that my dear friend Amber hooked me up with, and I am forever grateful to her! She answered an ad on Craigslist for a lamp, and when she got there she found out this lady was getting things together for a sale the next day. She asked if she could look around, and then asked if she could call me and so I could look around. I found some stunning '60s dresses straight out of "Mad Men," some purses, jewelry, two old pickling jars (I think that's what they are!), and a set of Corning Ware casserole dishes in pristine condition.












I made a quick stop by a St. Vincent and a Value Village in the middle of the week and found a owl picture, some little metal wall mirrors, two awesome old clocks, an old makeup mirror, a dress and a purse...







And then here's the loot from KC!








I love that little Princess Gardner wallet with the diamonds and gold lines! What about you? Did you find any goodies this past week? I would love to hear about them! Also be sure to check out Thrift Share Monday, Flea Market Finds and The Penny Worthy Project if you want some more eye candy! :) 

{Images by me}
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