Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Welcome to Bailey's Haus

Today we're joining others in their DIY show-n-tells, although mine will be more like a DIH (did it herself) as I am on vacation. While I'm visiting family and friends in toasty Texas, I'll be highlighting the creativity of those near and dear to me. I married into a family that is crazy-talented. I love seeing their latest creations, and you will too! Off we go to our first Spring show-off on our Texas trip...

Bailey girl is our furry little Texan cousin. She lives a simple, yet somewhat shabby and luxurious lifestyle. Bailey is quite lucky in that her mama is very talented. In fact, her mama (aka AJ) makes Martha Stewart nervous. She cooks, paints, quilts, sews like a champion, and even builds houses. Tiny houses fit for a pooch, that is.

So a week or so ago, AJ decided that it was time for Bailey girl to have her own space. Off to Lowe's she went, and this is what she came up with...

I never thought that our furry cousin would get a cute beadboard house with a hot tin roof before I did, but I can keep dreaming. Someday...

Bailey's mama even keeps her special treats in a shabby manner...

And her food bin looks scrumptious...

Her bedding is also on the chic side, even if she's worn it out a tad...

Bailey's mama is raising her the right way. She's a sweet simple girl, who now has a space for entertaining guests, the Southern way.

Have a very blessed weekend as our World celebrates Resurrection Sunday!

And now, here's who we're linking up to...

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

The Trendy Treehouse

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm Talkin' Texas

So I drove…

And drove…

And finally arrived…

In the great state of Texas!

To find much warmer temps…

Friendly faces…

Old places…

And amazing spaces.

And I plan on sharing them all with you!
Stay tuned as we take a fun and funky look at all things vintage…

in Texas!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Packin' up The Beast

Just wanted to put a little note on here for our shop followers. If you click on our Shop link, you'll get our "vacation" notice that we're away for a few weeks.

We're currently packing up our monster-sized Suburban (aka The Beast) and headed to the Great state of Texas for a few weeks. My poor cold pasty winter bones can't wait to soak up some Texas sun! My flip flops are all lined up and ready for wear. I also have my extensive list of Austin restaurants handy...I can just smell the TexMex now!

We will be blogging along the way, so stay tuned as we say hello, Texas style.
'Nite Neighbors.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Top O’ the Mornin’ To Ya!

A good thanks to all ya Bettys and fellas for joinin’ us t’day, as we give a nod to all things Green! I have to say that this is one of the easiest blogs I’ve ever created, as my favorite color is….green! I’m not the Kelly green kinda girl (sorry Saint Pat, but I’m truthful), I’m more a lover of the lime & retro greens. Now, onto the sharing part. I was going to post this fun-filled blog with Mr Linky this evening, but I just got an emergency hair appointment for this afternoon, so I’m posting now. My white trash roots are screamin', so my priorities have changed a bit.

Let the Saint Paddy’s Day big-girl show-and-tell commence!

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things…”
Now you’re thinking, “what in the world does the Sound of Music have to do with Shades of Green? “. Well, remember those adorable little frocks that Maria so cleverly (and quickly!) made for the kids to play in? Made from curtains! …she was a frugal mama as well and she may just have copied Scarlett here... Well, those are definitely one of my favorites today!

Here’s some current stuff that I promptly display in my house…have fun perusing my green stuff…can’t wait to see Yours!

First up is my most precious retro Fiesta serveware in chartreuse. Also note the cute tablelinen that it’s sitting upon – a gracious green find from Germany.

Next is my prize luggage. It doesn’t look so green in the picture here, but trust me, it is. I bought the larger piece at Goodwill and the smaller one was picked from a garbage pile in Germany. Free is always fabulous!

My green shabby little picket fence. This beauty is hanging on the wall of my craft/work room. One of these days I’ll post pics of my fun little work space – right now it’s cluttered with piles of fabric and other fun stuff…

My favorite tee just happens to be green. For you Texans out there, you may recognize the logo for Amy’s ice cream. Seriously amazing ice cream!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recognize this little beauty. My precious little sewing basket, purposely picked at a flea market in Paris. That was one amazing thrifty day!

This is my daughter’s bed that was also rescued from a trash pile in Germany (I promise to blog on my trash pile days at a later date!). It was a screamy red and now it’s a perfect lime green, fit for my princess.

And of course, it’s only fitting to end my Shades of Green with a photo from this week’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade, here in our home town – loads of fun!

Thanks for letting me share with you and I look forward to looking through your green day blogs as well. I just linked meself over to Cuisine Kathleen http://www.cuisinekathleen.com/2010/03/sharin-of-green.html as she is havin' some green fun as well!
Be off with ye now and have a blessed week!

I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who posted your fun St. Pat's Day blogs here. When I deleted the Mr. Linky box, it unfortunately deleted all the links with it. (groan...) Like I've said before, this whole blogging/techno world is new to me. Please have patience with my learning curve and I'll take any tech tutoring that you have to offer! Hope you all had a fun-filled St. Pat's week!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tippin' our Hats to Shades o' Green

Evenin’ Bettys and fellas. How's the craic?
Just a quick jog to the noggin’ before I hit the scratcher. Our Shades of Green bloggin’ bash will begin a ‘morrow on Saint Paddy’s eve. Follow the Mr Linky prompts and have your blog a gawkin by all! This ole lady is jaded. Better sign off for now as I wouldn’t want to wake as a bibe. Be off with ye now!

(For those of you who may not be familiar with Irish slang, here is the translation of the previous paragraph: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. What's going on? Here is a brief reminder before I am off to bed. Our Shades of Green blog initiative will begin taking your blogs tomorrow evening, March 14th. If you enter your information into the Mr Linky prompted block, your blog will be linked on this site. I am very fatiqued. I am now heading to bed as I do not wish to wake in the morning, a cantankerous woman. Good evening.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Tiny Texas Storehouse of Treasures

I just found out that most favorite all-time, top secret Texas auction house will not be having an auction during the weeks that I'm visiting Texas. As a tribute to any of you living (and thrifting) in the Central Texas region, I'm going to actually list their link. This is one of my sources that I've never revealed before, because I do like having my own little secrets in the world of antiques. But, since I'm no longer residing in that Great State, this is for those of you who are!
http://www.rangelauctions.com/ (for some reason I can't get it to actually link at the moment, but that's no surprise - I'm technically challenged as it is...)

So anyway, about this auction house. It's in the dinkiest little worn-down building and the place is always jammed to the walls with stuff. Best of all, it's my kind of stuff. Not high end Louis-era antiques, but junky little finds that are begging to be rescued and restored.

The family that runs this auction house are what make this little venue so special. I guess they've been running this family business basically forever and they're good at it - they're so good at it, that it's borderline hysterical to watch. The humor that flies between the auctioneer and his assistant (brothers!) is something you should have to pay for. These people are hysterical!

If you get to visit these great folks, I'm jealous, but in a nice way. The pics here are a few of my favorites that they have on the block this weekend. Hope you all have a happy thrifting weekend!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Our Shades of Green Show & Tell

I guess I’ve never outgrown my love for “show and tell” like we had back in grade school. Even today, my poor sweet friends that stop by the house just to say ‘hi’, often fall victim to me showing them my latest thrifty find or crafty project. I just can’t help myself. I like to share! So with this showing and telling in mind, I would like to invite all blog mamas (& papas?) out there to join me on Saint Paddy’s day as we showcase all things Green!

Write about anything green…your mom’s green station wagon that (most unfortunately) daily picked you up from school, your favorite groovy green messenger bag, or maybe a time when you were green with envy. Whatever strikes your fancy, join us as we blog on the topic, Shades of Green.

This coming Tuesday evening, I will have the Mr. Linky’s magical widget thingy here for you to link your blog. Until then, as we approach good ol' Saint Paddy's day, get your mind on all things green and join us for this grown up version of Show and Tell. See you soon!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Here, and I'm not There...

Oh, this is bitter-sweet. This weekend marks a very fun time for thrifters and frugal mamas residing in western Europe, specifically the Kaiserslautern area. Once a year, the German American and International Women's Club hosts a very fun thrift event known as the Pfennig Bazaar. The Pfennig Bazaar is so much fun and I was really unfortunate to learn about it only in my last year of living overseas. Basically this women's club collects donated items all year round, then has one big hoopla sale every Spring.

The sale is hosted by Germans and Americans and the funniest part is that the prices and deals you get vary among which nationality you're dealing with. Here's what I mean - I found this adorable hat rack (it's on my kitchen wall now) and I asked an American lady what the price was - she said, "oh, that's an antique - I would say 8 euros". I wasn't happy with paying 8 euros, so I continued to walk around with the hat rack until I found a German lady and asked her what the price would be. She replied, "Oh, that's junky - 3 euros would be fine". SOLD! It's funny how different opinions run on "junk" in Europe. When we were living in Germany, we realized that most of our German neighbors were living in homes that were built in the late 1800's, so they wanted the interior of their homes to look modern, crisp, and new. Thus, what we consider to be a fine worn antique item, is of no use to them - it's merely junk. So goes the saying, one man's trash is another man's treasure!

The bitter end of this is that the sale is going on without me being there - get out your violin, here comes the whining. There is a sweet side though...my bestest bud Angela will be there shopping for me! Woohoo! Go Angela! Don't take their first offer! Shop strong!

If you want the details of attending this event, my fellow thrifter Angela has done an impeccable job of telling you all you need to know on her blog here http://europeanmarketjunkie.blogspot.com

Hope you have a nifty thrifty weekend!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Beat That Soccer Mom Rap

While I tend to stick to writing about antiques, vintage, and home d├ęcor, today I’m venturing into the world of fashion for a change. I wouldn’t say that I’m a fashionista, but I do have a degree in fashion (yes, those do exist. Cool, huh?), and I try to pay attention to what’s out there.

This blog goes out to moms or ladies over thirty who may be feeling a little frumpy today. No worries – we’ve all been there.

So this morning while perusing my new issue of InStyle magazine I recalled a conversation that I had with a friend a few years back. She had come to me in distress over her wardrobe and overall appearance. She was a mother of three (little ones) and was tired of just looking like a mom on the go. I knew exactly what she meant.

I’m a mother of two (ages 5 and 3) and I’m 42 years old myself. We moms get so focused on just trying to clean, feed, clothe, teach, and love-on our families that we tend to neglect ourselves in the process. I’ve had those moments of looking in the mirror and remembering that cute spunky college girl that used to stare back at me. Those days are long gone (seriously long gone) and I am a mom, but I still want to look relevant – I still want to look like the real ME. I married and had kids late in life and I always promised myself that I would try to avoid the “soccer mom” label.

Here’s wikipedia’s definition of a soccer mom: “The phrase soccer mom generally refers to a married middle-class woman who lives in the suburbs and has school age children. She is sometimes portrayed in the media as busy or overburdened and driving a minivan. She is also portrayed as putting the interests of her family, and most importantly her children, ahead of her own.” The latter portion of their definition is what I’m getting at – great ladies who have little time for themselves.

So, back to my original story, this is the advice that I gave to my wardrobe weary-friend.
My advice for her in five easy steps:

1) Get a copy of InStyle magazine. There is a plethora of fashion mags out there, but to me, InStyle is the most practical for everyday gals. I’m just a normal American mama who goes to the grocery store, shops now and then, goes out to lunch occasionally and takes the kids to museums and parks. There’s no need for couture in my closet!

I also don’t have the time to read InStyle every month, so I wait until they publish one of those big FAT issues and then I buy it (March 2010 is a good one!). Get your morning cup (cups!) of coffee and sit and flip through it. You will get about a third of the way through and you’ll know exactly what to look for on your next shopping venture – they do a nice job with repetition and I need repetition (my kids interrupt my magazine time about every 3 minutes, but I still get through it – you can too!).

2) Get a good pair of jeans that fit well. Shopping for jeans is no easy task – to me it ranks up there with bathing suit shopping- it takes a lot of time and patience. And when I say GOOD jeans, I don’t mean expensive jeans. I’m not all-about the $150 pair of jeans – that’s money I could be spending on shoes (a shoe intervention is another blog I’ll get to – I’m addicted). I’m a frugal mama – I can find a $25 pair of jeans and spend $20 having them altered and they look amazing.

Trouser jeans are perfect – they look great on anyone and you can dress them up or down – a nice investment. Darker jeans are also more slimming and can also be easily dressed up. Great jeans go a long way – keep reading…

3) Shoes! I am a shoe freak, but I’ve had to tone down my freakishness since getting married and having kids – the funds don’t flow as freely as they used to! So, I decide exactly what types of shoes I’ll need (see your InStyle) and just focus on those. After reading through it this morning’s issue, I’ve made my decision that I will need two pairs of new shoes for this spring and summer - a pair of chunky strappy sandals and a pair of cute updated flats.

Now, some of you are screaming, “TWO PAIRS, only TWO??!!”, but like I said, I’m on a budget and I do have other shoes from last season that will also work just fine. Don’t panic. And if it is in your budget to go shoe crazy, by all means do (I’ll be a bit jealous, but in a nice way).

I’m compelled here to put in a little note about those ever so popular, stark white chunky running shoes. If you’re trying to look cute and updated, try not to wear these with anything other than your running clothes. New Balance, Puma and several others make some adorable athletic shoes that are both comfortable and cute. TJMaxx and DSW have a slew of these. (rant over...)

4) Purses & Accessories. Big chunky bags are not only “in” but they serve an awesome purpose for us moms – you can pack an entire artillery of family items in these bags and look great toting it around. I never carried an actual diaper bag – all those supplies went right into my cute chunky shoulder bag.

Earrings & bracelets can be found anywhere and for CHEAP. Find a few favorites that you can switch around and they will last through this season and probably next – Target has some great stuff this Spring – take a look.

5) Hair & Makeup. - I dream of the day that I have my own hair stylist pop in my home from time-to-time, but until then, this is all I’ve got! Try and save your pennies to get a good cut and I’m ALL about highlights/coloring to really bring out the best of your God given skin tone. Yes, it can be pricey, but again, this is one of those things that goes a LONG way.

If I’m on the run, my hair goes up (I know,there are some fashionistas out there in total disagreement over this, but in my defense, French women have MASTERED this – that’s another blog). There are a ton of great hair bands and scarves that make putting your hair up easy & cute – thank goodness for that!

I’m also a 5 minute makeup mama. I rarely spend much time on makeup, but I do make sure to use concealer, a light base (mineral foundation is quick & amazing), blush, mascara, and lipstick or tinted lip gloss. If I’m actually going somewhere special, then I’ll add all the other steps in there, but for on-the-go, that’s all you need.

So that’s the five steps: You run out the door in a great pair of jeans, a cute top, purse & accessories that are adorable yet cheap, groovy shoes, and enough hair/makeup that you don’t scare anyone. No more wearing sweatpants or plain o’l pony tails with no makeup - that’s a no-no that will slap that soccer mom label right on your forehead. I would say that it even gets easier during Spring and Summer when you can throw on a cute sundress or skirt and be on your way – my favorite time of year!

Below I’ve noted some fun things that I found in this month’s issue that I’ll be on the lookout for. I hope this helps any of you wardrobe-weary ladies (or perhaps a wardrobe-weary friend!). If any of you do decide to venture into a mini self rebuild, take pictures and send them over – I would love to see what you’ve done & cheer you on!

Tcheuss! (see ya later in Deutsch)

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