Monday, June 28, 2010

To Market, To Market, We GO!

Very exciting.
It's finally here.
Summer market time, that is.

My two favorite things about my business are markets.
1) the market time where I buy everything for the store, and
2) the markets where I sell everything from the store!

In this case, I'm talking about selling at outdoor markets over the summer. I do like the convenience of selling online, but nothing beats meeting people face to face and seeing the look of glee on their faces, as they walk away with a new treasure that I found for them.

My two favorite Texas markets are Wimberley Market Days and Austin's SOCO Market on first Thursdays. Very fun places and very fun people.

This coming Saturday (July 3rd) I will be selling at A Paris Street Market in Littleton, Colorado. Could the mere name of this market be more perfect for my wares?!

I was thrilled to find this market as I'm finding that there are very few shabby or retro inspired markets here in Colorado. (If I'm wrong about this, please email me and give me the skinny on some good markets...I'm in need!).

Ok...back to work. There is much to do before the weekend...sewing, ironing, labeling, dusting, name it. The excitement is building...

Come on out this weekend to the "Paris of CO" and say hello - we'll be there!

Come Link Up With Us!
Tuesday Tag-Along

Friday, June 25, 2010

Some Frenchy FooFoo

Here’s a little France-inspired decor that occured in two parts.

First an ugly stage, then ending with a happy-dance finale.

The first of this little venture occurred when I was in a hurry and my creativity was low. The inlaws were coming for their first visit to our home here in CO and I needed to get curtains up ASAP.

I feel like all my free time (what’s that?) has been spent on curtain-creating since we’ve been here.

Lots of windows = lots of curatains, but lots of windows = lots of light during the winter, so I won’t complain.

I bought this fabric at the fabric district in Paris. It was a very fun day to say the least. I had no idea what I was going to do with this fabric, but I knew it had to come live with me.

I especially couldn’t walk away as it was a mere 5€, or @ $7 per yard. Woohoo!

So, here was the initial creation. Ewwww.
SEW not creative and so not me.

A few days ago I had another fun guest visiting, so I decided to get these babies in shabby-shape.

I had a contrasting fabric that I purchased at the same time, so I cut a chunk of that to go with it.

I then purchased this awesome foo-foo trim from Hobby Lobby for almost nothing – I think the entire spool was half-off, so it was maybe $1.50. Nice.

I married the two fabrics together. They were thrilled.

Then topped the seam off with the foo-foo trim (as a wedding gift).

Here’s how they turned out…

I still need to get a nice chunky rod for them to go on (adding more Frenchy flair of course), but I’m in a non-spending mode this week, so this rod will do for now.

I’m also in the midst of working on a pennant banner (bunting thingy?) for a show I’m doing this coming week. I LOVE doing outdoor markets & shows so I’m uber excited – but I guess that’s another post!

Totally random, but I want to mention that Raven Brook (one of my favorite Etsy mamas) has her domestic diva gloves on super sale this week.

I have two pairs of these from her and I LOVE them, so I thought I’d pass the info on to all you domestic divas out there.

Stay cool, keep creating, and have a blessed weekend!

Here's who we're playing with this weekend. Come play with us!
Funky Junk Interiors

Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!
New Friend Fridays

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dreamy Lime Green

Oh how I love the shade of lime green. For any of you Fiesta collectors out there (like me), it's also known as chartreuse. I have quite a collection of chartreuse-inspired spray paints sitting in my garage, just waiting to be used.

Here is a lime-y chair that I redid for the business about a year ago. I used Rustoleum's American Accent's spray paint in Green Apple, satin finish (Hobby Lobby).

This is the before. Putrid.

And, this is the after. Precious!

I'm always amazed at the transformation that a little paint can offer.

So, I have this thing for chandeliers and I really wanted one in my kitchen. The only thing holding me back was the fact that I'm in the midst of converting my not-so-pretty kitchen into a kitschy retro theme - lots of red, lime green and retro blue.

How could I possibly fit a chandelier into that setting?

My two greatest backups always work - paint and Mod Podge!

So here is the chandelier that I did surgery on (yes, this is a stock photo).
It cost me a whopping $10 at the Habitat ReStore. Three cheers for the ReStore!

My trusty Mod Podge...

And here is my cute new lime green chandelier!

Check out the cute socket covers!

Just perfect for my new kitschy retro kitchen! For this chandelier, I used Rustoleum's Painter's Touch spray paint in Green Apple, satin finish (Home Depot). I'm a total believer in Rustoleum paints - on the other hand, I have had horrible results with Krylon paints...just an FYI.

I don't get to do DIY's as often as I would like, so I was thrilled with this little accomplishment. I've also done some Frenchy-inspired curtains recently...they are dreamy. That post is coming soon...after laundry.

I hope you are all having some fun with home decor this week. If you're ever stuck on what color to choose...lime is always dreamy choice!

We're linking up with some fun folks this week...join us!

Show and Tell Green
Tales From Bloggeritaville

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Can Explain...

Oh my. I cannot believe how the days have flown by! I have so many posts ready to fly, but have had no time to edit and get them in front of you all.

This week was recital week (yes, literally it was recital week) so that has been the focus.

On top of that, my sweet infantry soldier is training cadets at West Point at the moment, so I'm flying solo these days!

There's some good stuff in the making - stay tuned!

I'm off to see what you all have been up to on these hot summer days...


Monday, June 7, 2010

Paris, Anyone? Part 4

We’re back! Finally. Life got in the way this past week, so I’ve been somewhat absent from blogville.

If you’re just now joining us, we’ve been chatting about how anyone (that means You) can travel to Europe, and on a frugal mama’s budget! We’ve covered the general info and then dove into the details of travel and lodging.

This week we’re taking a peek at where to eat while in Europe.

Mama Mia…this subject always makes me hungry.

When in Rome, do as the Romans. In other words, while in Europe, eat like a European! Europeans are natural foodies (well, most of them are…) and they truly enjoy food.

My last trip to Paris was an all girls trip (actually it was an all mommies trip!) and believe it or not, my favorite part of the trip was our nightly evening meal. We spent hours over our meal with lots of wine and dessert included. We talked and talked and talked, with no interruptions. It was bliss.

So be ready to relax a little over meal time – Europeans cherish food and good conversation and you should too!

Here is how our food is typically mapped out within a day. Remember that this is the frugal mama way to tour, to get the best bang for your Euro budget!

Breakfast: we grab a wonderful cup of coffee and a pastry from the local bakery (there are @ 3 bakeries on every corner) and we’re on our way!

Lunch: if we are in more remote area, we stop that morning at a local market and grab some bread, tasty cheese, fruit, and water (or wine!) and pack it with us for the day. If we’re in a more metro area, we eat off the streets! (no, not literally…). We find the most delectable paninis, crepes and such, made right there in little street stands - they are wonderful and cheap!

Dinner: We only have about two actual nice sit-down dinners a week. Most nights we will stop at a walk-up restaurant or grocery and purchase fresh baked chicken and scrumptious salads…oh, and of course wine and dessert!

Eating this way will save you a ton of money, you will enjoy a great variety of foods, and you will actually be eating like a real European!

Here are some notes about Food by Country, based on our experiences:

Switzerland Favorites

KaseKuchen. In Germany this is their version of cheesecake (I’ll get to that later…), but in Switzerland, this is an amazing thin-crusted cheese pie. It’s a nice combo of emmental, gruyère, and appenzell cheeses and it literally melts in your mouth. Here’s a recipe that I found that looks pretty close to the real deal.

Poulet Curry Sandwich. This is just a basic curried chicken salad served on some tasty bread. Most bakeries carry this and it’s a perfect grab for lunch!

Laugen bretzel.
These are basic pretzels that have been split and made into a little sandwich. I literally eat my weight in these – I can’t stop. These are found in local bakeries.

Bircher Muesli. This is a must-have for breakfast. I’m not a big muesli girl, but this is a major exception. A mix of muesli, yogurt, fresh honey, juice, heavy cream and fresh fruit. Most tea rooms and hotels serve this. You will also see it in little yogurt cups at the grocery, but that’s not the real deal.

Last on the list for Switzerland (and most important) is a visit to the Sprüngli store. They make the most killer macaroons. I’ve tried them everywhere I can find them and nothing compares to the Sprüngli version. Tons of sugar, but not too sweet and they melt as soon as you bite into them. Besides sending your taste buds through the roof, look how cute they are!

The best advice for Italy, is to stay away from Italian restaurants that advertise a lot or those that are in the heart of touristy areas – go to those found in side streets that don’t have many tourists eating there – eat with the locals!

Gelato: all I can say about this is eat as much as you can possibly stuff down! I realize that there are gelato shops in the States now, but there’s nothing like a scoop of pure Italian gelato- and for only 1 euro per scoop!

The fresh fish on the menu is always tasty and if you order a steak, it will actually be a side of beef – they believe in big portions!

For coffee, order a Latte Macchiato (tiny bit of espresso with lots of foamy milk) – it’s the perfect pick-me-up.

For olive fans, there are Turkish olive bars all over the place. I accidently spent a whopping $22 on olives the first time I stopped by one (my husband was not amused). But trust me, it’s olive heaven.

The pastries are not as good as they look – they don’t use much sugar in them, so their flavor is very floury. Their cheesecakes look divine, but the looks are deceiving . Try one if you like, but your best bet will be a pastry that includes some good ol' German chocolate.

For breakfast, milchreis is amazing. It’s a version of rice pudding that is both filling and sweet.

A note about pizza – in both Germany and Switzerland, pepperoni is actually banana peppers. If you want our version of pepperoni on your pie, you have to order your pizza “mit salami”.


If you’re in a more metro area (Paris!), a quick bite can be found at Brioche Dorée. This is a little in and out café that has something for everyone, and you’ll see them all over the city. Prices are very reasonable and the food is always fresh and tasty. This is a no-frills eating experience, but if you’re looking to get back to the shopping district in a flash, this is where you’ll want to eat!

My personal favorite food in France is the Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame. Let’s just say it’s the gourmet version of a grilled cheese.
The Croque Monsieur is the simple version,

and the Croque Madame includes a fried egg on top.

My husband was the brave one to first order the Madame version and we ended up fighting over his sandwich. True story. It was worth the fight.

The Croque Monsieur/Madame is amazing for either lunch or dinner, and you can find this little foodie in both walk up cafes and nice restaurants as well.

So our trip down Euro-foodie lane was more extensive than I had planned, but it was deliciously worth it. Be sure to take a peek here next week - it's all about the frugal way to shop Europe. You won't want to miss this one!

Now that I’ve been through all these favorites, it looks like I’m heading to the store to stock up on some Euro cheeses. Mmmmmm…..I can’t get enough. Now if I could just find some Turkish olives as well…

Marketing Mondays with Trendy Treehouse Folks!

hi friends.
Today I'm linking up with the Trendy Treehouse for their Marketing Mondays fun.

I promise I have at least two fabulous blog posts that are in the works this week...
Paris, Anyone? part 4 is in the making and I have a fun new DIY project that is finally finished.

Stay tuned for more fun comin' at 'cha this week!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

So Proud.

Today was my yearly yard sale and I seriously purged for this one. We have so much stuff that it’s really getting to me lately. Our closets are bursting at the seams and I just don’t see the need for all of this stuff.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m a frugal mama and most of our things have been the blessing of hand-me-downs from great friends, but enough is enough. I’m domestically challenged as it is, so all of this stuff is not helping my condition!

I purged the kid’s playroom about 5 days ago, and would you believe that they never even noticed that anything was missing?! They actually played in there even more as things were tidier, and there was less distraction.

Last night my husband had the chat with the kids that there would be a lot of toys and clothes in the yard sale that they might not be expecting to get rid of. They protested at first until he told them that the toys had already been taken out of the playroom several days prior, and they never even noticed!

So today they were somewhat solemn at the start of the sale, but then they had fun showing other kids their toys and really helped in making some sales. They are only 5 and 3 years old, so I was both shocked and so proud in how they chose to handle this little lesson in growing up.

Sometimes parenting can really wear me out, but it’s days like this that I feel like the lessons that we are constantly teaching and preaching are actually taking root in our little monkeys’ hearts.

Thanks for letting me share my proud parent moment…

Hope you all are having a beautiful & blessed weekend!

Friday, June 4, 2010

I Need a 10 Hour Nap...

hi Friends.

I just had to stop life for a moment and say hello briefly!

Tomorrow is my mega yard sale here in Colorado and I've been working like a dog trying to get it all organized.

No time for real blogging.

So sad...

I'm tired, but I do have big hopes that by tomorrow afternoon I'll be doing the happy yard sale dance due to making some good ol' cash!

My motto this summer is purge, purge, purge!!! We all have wayyyyy too much stuff, don't we?

Oh, and if any of you are wondering if my yard sale includes vintage items from the store, the answer is no way!

So wish me some good yard sale vibes and hopefully I'll be back in blogville by Monday or so...we'll see!

Have a great weekend!
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