Parsimonia Gets Sweet!

Hey all! So I apologize for getting a little distracted from the blog the last couple days. I was so proud of myself, too! I felt like I was finally back on track with life after all our travels this summer, and then this week hit me like a truck! So many things are happening in the next three days: Holly and I will be at the Shrewsbury Fall Festival on Saturday (stop by and say hi!), Sunday is my birthday (hello, 29!) and Monday morning Holly and I are traveling to the Channel 2 studio to be on the Tim Ezell show (exciting, but I'm totally nervous!).

So, I hope you can understand that my mind (and brain power) has been elsewhere, but I didn't want to go into the weekend without sharing some more exciting news. I'm sure a lot of you crafty folk out there are familiar with the magazine Mollie Makes (if not, you need to check it out...it's awesome!). Well, the company that publishes MM contacted me several months ago and said they're launching an exciting new magazine called Sweet, all about "cakes, bakes and pretty makes," and they wanted to know if I'd share one of my Thrifted Kitchen recipes on it (of course!).

So thanks to my friend Kristi, we remade one of the cakes and shot it in my kitchen. Then I did a little Q&A with one of their writers, and the editor said my article is going to take up five pages (!!). The inaugural issue went on newsstands in the UK on Sept. 21, and they sent me a copy of the cover (above) and one of the articles to share with you all (below). Since you can't really read the text very well on the blog, click here and it will take you to a PDF that you can download.

Isn't this magazine dreamy and delicious?? Now I'm just waiting for them to send my copy across the pond so I can see everything else!


Vintage Love :: Retro Typewriters Turned USB-Capable

At my first Soulard show this summer, a couple young ladies came in to the trailer to check out a vintage typewriter I have for sale. I asked them if they wanted to use it for crafty purposes, or just to embrace the old days of type-written letters, and they said they were collecting them to turn into keyboards for iPads.


I thought about this the other day, so I went online to see if they had started selling any, and while I didn't see anyone from St. Louis doing it, I did find a website called USD Typewriter (which I think is the original idea-hatcher), and its Etsy store, in which you can buy a kit that comes with instructions for how to turn your old typewriter into a keyboard for either your iPad or your desktop computer.

It does require a somewhat lengthy list of tools you'll need to do it, but I'm seriously thinking of putting the hubs to the task (sorry, hubs) with a beautiful aqua typewriter I was going to sell but can't quite get it to work.

Pretty neat, huh?


Fav Freebie :: Halloween Libations Labels

Today begins the day that I start breaking into Halloween-themed things. Not that I have a bunch of them lined up to share; I'm just saying in general I deem this blog ready to start talking about what is most certainly my favorite holiday. I always put decorations up, even if we don't ever have anyone over to celebrate, and this year, now that we have that wonderful bar cart I salvaged from someone's trash pile, I'm loving these free libations labels from Cathe of Just Something I Made.

I spotted them in the recent issue of Country Living, and I really like that weathered vintage vibe Cathe gave them; kind of makes things a little extra creepy. And those bottles! I'm going to have my eyes peeled for some while I'm out and about on my thrifting adventures.

But what liquor to fill them with? I think I'll leave that up to the hubs. Maybe having some input in decorations for once will keep him from rolling his eyes when I bring out my glitter bats. :)


Style Spots :: New Shop Additions

Hey all! So this past weekend was one of the rare ones where I didn't go to any estates sales or thrift stores. It's a weird feeling, I'm not gonna lie. I always get stuck thinking about all the good stuff I might have missed, but I think it's good every now and again to take a weekend off. Plus, I am already overflowing with inventory for the two shows coming up this weekend and next.

I've been working on getting it all priced and tagged before loading it into Holly, and I've even started to resurrect my Etsy store (at last!). My goal is to get at least three things a day uploaded, although I've decided to not sell breakables on there anymore. Having dealt with too many possible scammers, plus the time it takes to pack it all, I just don't have the patience for it anymore. So that's good news for you local folk who have a chance to come out and shop Holly in person; her shelves will be lined with glassware and other delicate gems for your personal perusal. :)

There are only a meager 18 items in the online store right now, but I'm working on it, so keep checking back! I've also started a new section called Little Vintage, which will be stocked with vintage baby and kids clothes (most of which are too cute for words!). Here are some of the newly listed pieces:

And here are some wonderfully colorful housewares I put up over the past few days:

And just a reminder, I'll be at the Shrewsbury Fall Festival this Saturday (check out the calendar listing on the sidebar), so if you're in the area, Holly and I would love to see you!


How Very Pinteresting...

Summer is coming to a close, and I'm happy to report that this week looks like it will consistently be in the 70s (yes!), which means it's time to start breaking out the cardigans, tights and boots. But before we welcome fall with open arms, doesn't that picture above look like the perfect way to say goodbye to the fun we've most certainly had over the past four months?

Here are some other things that caught my eye this week...

This tutorial makes me think I could attempt embroidery someday.

If you love zebras, let it show!

This dress has renewed my love of chevron.

Something a lot of us will be using over the next three months.

Love this idea for updating those tired kitchen chairs we all see at thrift stores.

A great way to spice up quinoa and get some protein while you're at it.

I hope this hairdo is as easy as it looks!

Black-and-white stripes done oh-so right.

Love this vintage Disney poster.

Heaven in the form of cookies.


DIY Friday

Happy, happy Friday! I can't believe this week has already blown by, and I also can't believe I haven't done a DIY roundup in so long! I definitely need to remedy that, starting now. Here are my favorite projects I spied this week...

1. Metal Flower Brooch by Fellow Fellow
3. Homemade Beeswax Candles by A Beautiful Mess
4. Dip-Dye Decor by Sweet Paul
5. Painted Baskets by The Marion House Book

Aren't all these projects amazing? I am especially loving those painted baskets!

And now...off to a day of chores and errands (oh boy!). Have a wonderful weekend!


The Thrifted Kitchen :: Turtle Cake

Sometimes you come across a recipe that, just by the ingredients, you know is going to be bad news — as in bad news for your hips, bottom, cholesterol, arteries or all of the above. Unfortunately, from my limited life experience, I've found that these dishes are also the ones you just can't resist, and your fork keeps going back for more and more. And this, my friends — with all the gooey, chocolatey, nutty goodness you see pictured above — is one of those recipes.

It's called turtle cake, and I plucked it from a stack of old recipe cards I thrifted last year. These cards, plus loads of others I've picked up, have finally reached a point where they were screaming to be organized, so I've been going through and weeding out the meat-centered ones (sorry, hubs) and setting aside the special ones I think you guys might like to see on here some day.


Let me just warn you about two things when it comes to this turtle cake: 1) It's really easy to make, especially since it uses cake mix, and 2) It's one of those pour-me-a-giant-glass-of-milk desserts. So when you find yourself making this over and over again and then see an increase on the milk portion of your grocery bill, don't say I didn't warn you.

The only addition I made to the recipe itself was an extra helping of chocolate chips and chopped pecans on top...you know, for good measure. :) So give it a try and, when you come out of that chocolate coma, let me know how you liked it!

Turtle Cake
Yields one 9 x 13 cake

1 package German cake mix (plus whatever you need to make it, per the box)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup butter
14 ounces caramel candies
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (plus more for top layer, if you decide to do that)
1 cup chopped pecans (plus what I said above)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 glass cake pan.

Prepare cake according to package directions, and pour half the batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Refrigerate remaining batter while first half bakes.

Combine evaporated milk, butter and caramels in a saucepan and melt together over medium-low heat. Stir frequently so caramels don't burn to bottom of saucepan.

Removed cake from oven after 15 minutes and pour caramel mixture on top. Layer chocolate chips and pecans on top of caramel, then top with remaining cake batter. If using, sprinkle additional chocolate chips and chopped pecans on top of cake batter. Bake for another 20-25 minutes.

Let cool on wire rack for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Vintage 101 :: "Man in the Moon" Photos

Last week I was uploading some of our wedding photos to *finally* get some prints to hang up at home, because, you know, it's only been two years. Perfectly reasonable amount of time to hang up some happiness. :)

Anyway, when I logged into my account, I saw a bunch of photos we printed for my grandma's birthday party a couple years ago, all black and white, from various stages of her youth. One of my favorites is her, her sister and one of their friends sitting for a "Man on the Moon" photo (pictured above), a sort of iconic setting I've seen a lot when looking at old photos. But it got my wheels turning...how did this photo fad start?

I did some digging around online, and found this Flickr discussion group that was asking the same question. One of the people commenting shared what he knew, saying it was an American trend that started in the late 19th century and reached its height of popularity in the 1920s. He also said the following about some of the sociology behind it:

"What I find really interesting about them is that they seem to have been a real departure from the formal studio portraits of the late nineteenth century. The portraits were cheap enough so that anybody could afford to have one taken. Besides studios, more informal "Man in the Moon" portrait booths could be found at arcades, carnivals and county fairs. Many of the people posing on the paper moons were obviously having a good time -- smiling and sometimes cavorting for the camera -- something that was almost never done in studio portraits of the day."

Another commenter has a theory that since these moon portraits were popular around the same time as the popular 1902 French black-and-white film A Trip to the Moon (which he/she said was influenced by the 1865 Jules Verne novel From the Earth to the Moon), that those two pop culture happenings might have had some influence as to how this backdrop ever came about. Seems pretty possible to me!

Do any of you have any family photos with this kind of backdrop? Or seen that movie? Or read that book? I'm kind of compelled to do a little reading and watching myself!

Where Will Holly Be? (September)

Hey all! Pardon the shameless shop plug, but I wanted to give you an update on Holly's happenings for the next few weeks. I'm still working on developing a more daily/weekly schedule, but until then there will be lots of opportunities starting this month through the end of the year for you to haul your little buns out to meet her (and me, if you like!), and to shop glorious amounts of vintage goodies I've been carefully curating. :) I've started unpacking and organizing the fall/winter clothes for the next show, and there are some definite gems you won't want to miss! Hope to see you at the following shows!

Saturday, Sept. 22
2012 Shrewsbury Parks and Recreation Fall Festival
12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Shrewsbury City Center
5200 Shrewsbury Ave. 63119

Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 29-30
Strange Folk Festival
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (both days)
Community Park
401 E. Fifth,  O'Fallon, IL

P.S. Just in case you haven't seen it, I put a little calendar on the sidebar on the right, so you can always check there, too!


Fav Freebie :: Printable Monogram Stationery

I always love anything that happens over on The House That Lars Built. Brittany is one talented lady, and just recently she posted some free monogram designs you can print out at home for some easy-peasy stationery cards. Blue and yellow is one of my favorite color combos, so it's like the "B" was made for me! :)

Click here to get your monogram!


Style Spots :: Stockin' Up for Fall!

Well kids, I'm just going to go ahead and say that this week might be a bit scatter-brained. I've been called to jury duty, and since the wifi there is apparently less than stellar, that means I'll have to work nights this week, which I already know is going to sap my energy. I'm going to do my darnedest to stay on top of things, but when I have to get up at 6 a.m. every day, well, let's just say it isn't a pretty picture (says the spoiled girl who works from home...I know).

Anyway...this weekend I found ample time to hit up some estate sales and thrift stores. On Saturday I went to one sale in Glendale, then another in Affton. The first one was in this gorgeous sixties house and had a lot of MCM things in it, but the prices were a wee bit elevated, so I left with some small stuff. The second sale was packed, but not with much that floated my boat (although I did find some things). Whenever my haul is kinda low after the sales, I usually stop at a thrift store to help boost morale, so I went to the Value Village in Shrewsbury and found some good stuff for the store, and for me. Then Sunday, while I was running errands in U. City, I paid a visit to the Goodwill on Olive and found some great clothing for the store.

Here's what I brought home!

Your turn! What goodies did you thrift up this weekend??


How Very Pinteresting...

So I've been trying to figure out a way to share the fun things I come across during the week, from recipes I want to try to outfits I like, and it seems like the easiest way to do it is to share what I've been pinning on Pinterest! If you haven't yet signed up for this website, well, you should. It's a great way to keep track of things that catch your eye as you're running amok on the web, and you see pictures of what you essentially bookmarked, instead of a list of URLs in your web browser.

Anyway...let's get to the good stuff!

Next time you see an abandoned dresser, you might want to snatch its drawers.

The shape and shades of these shoes (pictured above) are gorgeous!

A great way to offset your white iron headboard.

Love this playful pattern.

This font has me thinking of the birds and the bees!

Getting into bangles again, and would love to adorn my wrists with these bracelets.

These boots are made for...me. :)

Waiting for this unicorn cardigan to (hopefully) be restocked!

Shut your pie hole with one of these doughnuts.

A quick, easy and wonderfully whimsical idea for strips of paper.

The preppy, mountain woman in me wants this whole outfit.

Can't wait to try this style on my hair!

What have you found this week that's totally inspired you?


The Thrifted Kitchen :: Butterfly Pancakes

I've been wanting to do something a little more breakfast-y for The Thrifted Kitchen as of late, with the hopes of landing on something that makes me more motivated to partake in this most-important meal. I must confess, dear readers, that there are a lot of mornings that go by where I have nothing to eat before lunch. Okay, maybe a cup tea of...if I'm lucky. It's a terrible habit to have gotten into, but for the past few months sleeping in those extra 10-15 minutes has just been too irresistible!


There I was, standing in the kitchen, peeking into our walk-in pantry, which is quickly getting to the point of crazy when it comes to the amount of cookbooks and booklets and recipe card boxes I have crammed onto its shelves. With so much to sift through, and looking for such a specific course, I decided to crack open So Quick With New Bisquick, printed by Better Crocker in 1967.

First, we must address what "New Bisquick" is. According to the intro, this new formula used wheat flour to make it "finer and lighter." It also had "livelier leavening" for added fluff; real buttermilk solids for more flavor; more shortening; extra sugar; and, of course, some salt.

Now...I can't say I've ever really been a fan of this shortcut pancake/biscuit mix. I really only ever use it to make dumplings I drop on top of simmering stew in the winter time (thank you Grandma for teaching me that technique). But since I had some in the cupboard, I thought I'd give it another go.

I decided to make a super easy recipe called Butterfly Pancakes. You literally just make a regular pancake, slice it in half when it's cooked, and place the "wings" on either side of a sausage link (I, of course, used the frozen veggie sausage variety). Boom. Done.

But, since they were suppose to look like butterflies, I thought I'd add a little color with some food gels I had leftover from another recipe. I remember making a beautiful teal color once, so I went for it again, mixing the coloring into the batter after I had it measured into a 1/4 cup measuring cup. I thought they turned out pretty and whimsical, so I tried my luck with what was suppose to be a rose color, but it had a little too much red in it. Then I cooked it a bit too long, so the darker-winged one looks a little more muddled. The last one I tried was a swirly orange, but to me the end result looked like skin-colored ears, so I decided that batch wouldn't make it into the photos. :)

As far as taste, well, the end product was...edible. I added a bit more milk than the recipe called for so the cakes would be thinner, but it's just so hard to eat Bisquick pancakes after you've had really good homemade ones, or ones from a really good mix (yes, I know...I'm being a snob). So I might try this same thing with your favorite flapjack recipe, because the styling of the food is what this post is really all about.

Butterfly Pancakes
Courtesy of So Quick With New Bisquick, 1967
Yields 18 pancakes

Make the recipe for pancakes found on the back of the Bisquick box. To color, add drops of food coloring to batter already measured into a 1/4 cup measuring cup and mix until combined to your liking. Then pour onto hot griddle and cook according to directions.

To serve, cut each pancake in half. Place curved sides together to resemble a butterfly. Place a cooked sausage link in center for body.


Vintage 101: Life Savers Suits

I've finally started leafing through all those Glamour magazines from the '50s that I thrifted some weeks ago, and brought a couple with me to Austin this past weekend. I find I like reading and looking at the ads more than the articles (which, by the way, the ad/article ratio back then was about what it is today: too much of the former and not enough of the latter!), and one ad in particular caught my eye...

Did any of you know that Life Savers, the company that makes those little jeweled rounds of candy we all know and love, dove into the textile industry for a bit? It looks like they partnered with Kirkland Hall, a company that produced tailored women's suits, to make special suits in the colors of Life Savers candy! What's even more interesting is that I couldn't find a lick of information about it after (literally) hours of researching online. The only thing I could find were Etsy and eBay listings for the actual suits, and some old newspaper ads on Google...

I went ahead and emailed some of the press contacts at Life Savers to see if they could shed any light, but haven't heard back from them. So, until then (and if at all), do any of you have any extra information about this fun little venture? I think it could be a cute in today's market if the company partnered with Ruche or someone else who sells retro-inspired dresses to make some inspired by the Life Savers colors. I'd love one in cherry or passion fruit...oh, and what about their mints? An orange mint one (white with specks of orange) could be cute. What color would you want?


Snapshots From Austin

I wanted to start the day with some snapshots from our recent trip to Austin to visit the hubs's family. Our trip was two-fold: to celebrate Aunt Stef's wedding at a gorgeous ranch about 10 miles outside of town, and to meet our new niece, little Phoebe!

As always, we had a ton of fun, and I have to say this city is definitely on my list of favorites; there is always good music to be listened to, and amazing food, everything from vegan restaurants to food trucks to fine dining. We were lucky enough to experience both, as I finally got to try Elizabeth Street Cafe (and while we waited for a table I checked out an adorable boutique across the street, where I got a necklace I'll show you on Friday...). I fell in love with the restaurant from afar, mostly based on its website design and what looked like a wonderfully eclectic interior, and the real thing did not disappoint. I got a steaming bowl of pho filled with veggies and tofu that was delish, and next time I definitely want to check out their breakfast pastries and breads, all French and all looking scrumptious. As for the music, Saturday after the wedding we headed to the Long Center to listen to Del Castillo, a Latin rock band that was really good. And during the show, there was this gorgeous dancer doing all sorts of tumbling on a huge strip of fabric hung from the top of the center; it was really beautiful to watch.

There were also a couple rounds of relaxing in my sis-in-law's swimming pool with cervezas, an afternoon of thrifting, and on our last full day we slept in before heading to Kerbey Lane for late breakfast/brunch. I got a dish there that I can't wait to try and replicate at home; it involved two zucchini cakes topped with poached eggs, hollandaise and roasted cherry tomatoes (the tang of the tomatoes really set off all the creaminess of the dish). I also decided by the end of this meal that the hubs and I should start a Tex-Mex breakfast tacos cart that also had a huge vat of delicious queso, because we haven't really found either of those things since moving to St. Louis.

Once all was said and done, yesterday morning came much too soon, and after four visits now, we haven't even pushed past the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring all that Austin has to offer. Have any of you all been there? What are your favorite places to haunt?
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