Sunday, February 28, 2010

My First Adventure in Estate Sale-ing

Saturday morning I joined my mom on a buying excursion. We visited several estate sales going on in Atlanta this weekend. This was my very first time estate sale-ing-- and I am ADDICTED. We had a great time and met a lot of interesting people. Some sales were incredible and others were just...interesting. Regardless, we walked away with lots of great stuff. I found that the hardest part was talking myself out of keeping everything for my own home!

Check out what we found:

We picked up a few seasonal items to add a hint of Easter to the booth.

We found some great serving pieces. Add a touch of polish and they are as good as new. A simple cut glass vase in the front. In the back left, a unique silver ice bucket. I absolutely love the metal bowl with the goose neck handles. See close ups below.

Wouldn't this ice bucket be FABULOUS on a bar?

The goose detailing is so unique.

We stumbled across a few decorative accents that would look great in bookshelves or on a mantel. The cross stitch piece is of Savannah. We plan to make a custom pillow with the cross stitch as the focal point.

This banana leaf basket made for bottles might need to stay at my house. I fell in love with this at the second house. We also came across a lot of traditional delft pottery. Being that my family is Dutch, delft holds a special place in our hearts. We found that 1950s gin bottle on the right selling online for $70! We were able to bring it home for a fraction of that price.

Crazy quilting was popularized in America in the 1880s and caused quite the stir at that time. We found this beautiful, large framed antique crazy quilt at sales #3.

Finally, one of my favorite finds of the day. Doesn't this remind you of something straight out of Anthropologie? The red bamboo frame accents the embroidery perfectly. I wish I had a home for this artwork. I am sure it will not last long at the booth.

...and that is what we found. I would say it was a success! What do you think?


Friday, February 26, 2010

Giveaway at Simplified Bee

One of my favorite bloggers, Cristin, over at Simplified Bee is having a fabulous giveaway this week! Simplified Bee covers a range of topics from design to home organization. She has all sorts of great finds and great ideas for the home. I definitely recommend that you take a peek.

Back to the giveaway...She is giving away a Lady Jayne Office-To-Go tote to one lucky reader. Here's a sneak preview of the bags:
Now, get on over there and try to win!

Good luck!


Friday Recipe: Seafood Salsa

In light of yesterday's posting about the excitement surrounding the approach of Spring. I decided to post one of my ALL-TIME favorite Spring/Summer recipes: Seafood Salad. My mom has made this forever, and I have no idea where the recipe originated. I don't care. It's just good.

A few tips:
1- If you have a vegetable chop, like this one from Williams-Sonoma, this recipe is a breeze! I love mine (a gift from my mother-in-law), and I would highly recommend it!

2- I like the salsa best after it's been refrigerated overnight. It's fine to eat it right away, but I think that the flavors meld together better with a little time.

3- This recipe makes a ton!

½ lb small cooked shrimp (often called salad shrimp, very tiny)

½ lb. crab meat (I used canned but they do sell fresh containers in the seafood department)

2 Large tomatoes, chopped

1 Large yellow or green pepper (Yellow is prettier if they are not too expensive)

2 T. chopped onion

1 (7 oz.) can diced green chilies

½ c. fresh lemon juice

⅓ c. chopped cilantro

View full recipe

Mix & chill. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring Is Coming: Decorating the Deck

Atlanta felt a hint of Spring this past weekend and it put the entire city in high spirits! Temperatures have since dropped off, but that taste of warm weather was all we needed to start preparing for the sunny season!

We love to entertain and really enjoy grilling out in particular. We added on a large deck last Fall with the help of our amazing friends. However, we never quite added the finishing touches we had planned due to the onslaught of rain we experienced. As Spring approaches, we are antsy to finish the space.

The main items left on our list:

1- Paint the railings to match the trim on the house
2- Find/Build a buffet piece which will be used both for serving and to house the cable box for the outdoor television
3- Build custom cabinets for the Big Green Egg
4- Add decorative pillows to brighten the existing brown/bronze furniture
5- Purchase outdoor lamps to make the deck feel more like an outdoor living space

The good news? Pottery Barn just released a buffet in their Chesapeake line that matches our patio table. This is a much easier and inexpensive option than the built in. We already put one on order. I LOVE it! Check it out below:

(I only WISH that we had a pool too!)

Plenty of space for the cable box, servingware, glasses, etc.

I hope mine looks stocked like this all the time.

I will post pictures when the buffet comes in and continue to update on the progress of the other items.



Monday, February 22, 2010

Birthday Weekend

I had a wonderful birthday weekend. The presence of my family and friends was enough to make the weekend great-- but I want to mention a few of the gifts I received that I thought would be interesting to my readers.

First, my husband bought me a tripod for camera. I hope that this results in better photography for the blog. You can be the judge of that!
My parents gave me a great book on gardening in the Southeast. (I am going to do a future post on this topic-- stay tuned.) They also gave me the gourd lamps for my bedroom project. Yay! The lamps are not in yet, but I will post photos of the bedroom transformation as soon as they arrive.

Finally, my sister-in-law Paige made me an AMAZING clutch on her new sewing machine. Please note, we have the same sewing machine. I got mine for Christmas. She got hers for her birthday in mid-January. Mine came out of the box this weekend. She has already taken classes and produced creations. Not just any creations-- but fabulous, wearable items. I am a little behind to say the least.

How great is this clutch? Notice the yellow lining peeking out...

The clutch closes with this button. Isn't the tapestry fabric beautiful?

Here it is opened up...

Up close shot of the lining. I LOVE this fabric!

She said that she got the idea from this book by Amy Karol, who writes the blog Angry Chicken. I flipped through the book over the weekend and I just might have to add this to my collection. Maybe I will actually start sewing?

Thanks for a great birthday weekend!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Recipe: Birthday Cake!

In honor of the day of birth of yours truly (which just so happens to be today), I have decided to make the Friday recipe of the day BIRTHDAY CAKE! More specifically, one of my favorite family recipes: CARROT CAKE.

The secret to a really moist carrot cake is using Gerber baby food in the recipe. Please note that I might be just the tiniest bit partial. My grandfather (who was just simply amazing and loved by all) had a long, very successful career with Gerber Baby Food. As a result, my family loves all things Gerber. Baby food is a great secret ingredient in a lot of recipes!

[Note: Check out the picture below of the antique Gerber peas can and Gerber train. My mom collects Gerber memorabilia. That's her as a baby in the swing. My grandpa took that picture when babysitting her. I just love it. Love my family.]

Anyway, back to the recipe...

Gerber Carrot Cake


4 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 jars junior Gerber carrots (Gerber doesn't use jars anymore. 2 plastic containers=1 jar)

1¼ cup oil


½ box confectioner’s sugar

3 ounces cream cheese

¼ cup butter, softened

½ teaspoon vanilla

Mix wet ingredients first. Mix dry ingredients together and then add to wet ingredients. Pour into greased sheet pan; bake 45 minutes at 350. Cool.
View full recipe

Frosting: Beat together all ingredients.

Frost cake once cooled.

My mouth is watering just thinking about cake! Happy Birthday to me!

Have a great Friday--


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dwell Studios for Target

I admit, I was lurking around checking out their new Spring shoe collection. However, what I discovered was even better than an inexpensive pair of heels!

Target is featuring some amazing new items in their home line, Dwell Studios. Their stuff is SO cute. Their bold fabric prints add a fabulous pop of color to any room. I cannot wait for these items to arrive in store. (According to the website, shipments should arrive in about two weeks.) As is the norm with Target, their prices are incredible. I selected a sampling of items below, but you should check out the full selection online. Happy Shopping!

Love this yellow and gray pillow. It would look great with the Swedish furniture look. (Only $24.99!)
I am a sucker for birds. This unassuming little gem is also only $24.99.The Eastern influences of this print really stand out to me. This is not my normal look-- but I just think the pattern is so eye-catching-- $69.99.
My FAVORITE. This reminds me of my wedding (aka, the best day of my life). The yellow color, rosette flowers, and just overall girly-ness of this pillow make me want it right now. (Where to put it though?) The best part? Check out the amazing graphic pattern on the back. Ugh. So great. (Side note: Apparently this is already out of stock, but not even in stores yet?? I guess I am not the only one who likes it...sad.)

This beauty might find it's way into the girly guest room. Right now, that guest room is all whites and neutrals-- so I could totally add this for a little bit of fun. (Not to mention, my husband rarely goes in this room, so it is the perfect place for a bird! For those of you that don't know, Ryan is not really keen on my love for birds in decor...) The back of this pillow is amazing as well. Again, only $24.99
How sweet is this bedding? It reminds me of sophisticated clouds. Just $69.99

Let me know if you find any great steals for future posts!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Scotland Yard Booth Additions

As promised, my trusty partner/mom sent the images of our most recent additions to the booth at Scotland Yard. We had some great finds this weekend (and a lot of fun too!). We ventured out to our favorite spots despite the cold, snowy weather. All of the items below are available at the Chapin Group booth at Scotland Yard in downtown Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Love, love these test tubes and holders. They make a GREAT, eclectic vase. Check out the example below from Brooke Giannetti's blog, Velvet & Linen. Great minds think alike! Also, note the antique Singer oil can. The vendor told us that these came from an old lingerie factory. So neat! This would be a great accessory on bookshelves or a side table.

[photo via Velvet & Linen]

We purchased several of these fabulous glazed Chinese Shiwan tiles. They are approximately 12''x12" and would look great as wall hangings.

This antique clock box did not photograph well. It is great in person. It would make an interesting shadow box or a beautiful jewelry box.

We cannot keep these ballister candlesticks in stock! Their interesting lines and finishes really add character to whatever room you place them in.

Enjoy! Please stop by any time.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Master Bedroom Curtains

Remember how back in October I talked about adding drapes and new lamps to my master bedroom? Well, the drapes were finally ordered and they are in! {Yes, I realize that it is four months later. And, yes, I realize that I still don't have new lamps.) However, we are making progress towards a comfy, cozy master bedroom.

In my earlier post, I planned to try out a chocolate brown velvet drape to add deep tones, texture, and a little drama. I tried the chocolate, and I hated them. The problem was that our blinds are a dark brown as well, but they have a reddish hue to them. Trying to match that hue was challenging and the dark brown was just too...well, dark. I wanted our bedroom to feel soothing and relaxing. The chocolate brown was just too much drama. Luckily, my mom spotted a middle-toned velvet drape at Pottery Barn that was PERFECT! It was darker than the wall but lighter than the blinds. These drapes offered just the right amount contrast, softness, and texture.

We hung the drapes over the weekend. Check out the difference that the softness and warmth of draperies makes in our room:


[View from the door]


[I hate that this is so dark. I was trying not to use the flash to keep the photo from overexposure.]


[Sitting area]


[Again, dark]


[View of the bed from the door. Sorry about all of the tools!]



[I used the flash in this one. As a result, the photo is overexposed and you can't see the contrast]

[Note: I should have lamps to add soon! Stay posted!]

What do you think?


Monday, February 15, 2010

Snowy Weekend!

I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend. Ours was spent enjoying the 4 inches of snow we received in Atlanta! What a fun surprise! The snow did not keep us from visiting Scott's this weekend, of course. Look for a posting on our weekend finds later in the week! We also FINALLY hung drapes in our bedroom. I took pictures to share-- so look for those in tomorrow's post. Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Friday Recipe: Ebelskivers!

For today's Friday recipe, I decided to feature one of our new weekend brunch favorites. My husband bought me an ebelskiver (read: stuffed pancake) pan from Williams-Sonoma for Christmas this year. The pan looks like this:

We finally got the chance to try out this new toy a few weeks ago. I used the Williams-Sonoma ebelskiver mix he bought me to go with it, but you can use any ebelskiver recipe or regular old pancake mix. Here's how it works-- you fill each opening with one tablespoon of mix. Next, you put a drop of whatever filling you so desire. They suggest jams, hazelnut spread, cheeses, etc. We decided to be extra creative and stuffed the first batch with banana slices. SO good. I don't even really want to try anything else. Anyway, after depositing your filling, you top each opening with another tablespoon of batter. The process looks like this:

You then let the ebelskivers cook for about 3-5 minutes. Next, you take chopsticks and roll the ebelskivers over to cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. See below:

And....they're done! It's that easy! I would highly recommend this pan.

Ebelskivers also make great desserts. For our second batch, I made a chocolate batter and filled it with banana (again) and peanut butter. Ahh--mazing. I love the creativity that this simple pan inspires.

We plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with a big homemade brunch this year, since it falls on a Sunday. I definitely plan to incorporate ebelskivers into the meal. Any filling suggestions?

Also, Williams-Sonoma now has a recipe book full of ideas.
[photos via Williams-Sonoma]

Happy Eating!