Tuesday, April 28, 2015

French Girl

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a song already playing in your head? Sunday mornings are "alarm free" so we can sleep in a little. Ha! Like our internal clocks and the ever-earlier rising sun peeking through the east window would ever allow that to happen! Normally we wake up to music - that infernal beeping annoys the heck out of me. So Sunday morning, my brain decided it would wake me up with internal music. Why this particular song? I have no idea! 

I'm not a French girl, at least not literally. 
Did this song influence my outfit choice for the day? Perhaps a tiny bit.
When I think about what a French girl might wear, what comes to mind is a pastel sundress with a full skirt and a skinny belt, with a lacy short sleeved sweater over her shoulders and a long scarf tied about her neck. She would have simple strappy sandals on her bare feet and a floppy hat upon her head. And of course, a bright smile on her pink lips.
It was cold here Sunday morning, so the only thing pulled from that image is the long scarf.

Outfit details: Cato top - thrifted; Spiegel skirt - thrifted; scarf - gift from SIL; Nurture shoes - thrifted
Can you picture me riding a scooter in this outfit? I can see me falling OFF a scooter in this outfit! Actually, I doubt it would matter what clothes were upon my ungraceful self; I'd fall off the thing regardless. 

Sure, my need for another jacket in my closet equals my need for a hole in my head, but I was unable to resist putting in a bid on the eBay auction for a pair of Cato jackets. The khaki one looked nice with Sunday's outfit, although it didn't keep out the stiff north wind we had that day. You'll see the black-and-white print jacket here one of these days.

Of course I had to add a vintage pin to the mix. This one has an interesting story how it entered my collection. My mother-in-law gave my daughter a large box of beads one summer when she was about 10 years old. Mom G put this fishy pin in the box, thinking Min would think it was funny and use it in one of her bead creations. I don't think my daughter ever noticed the pin, but I did when I helped sort beads once. This happy fish has been swimming on my lapels ever since!

After wearing these shoes all morning, I realized that my foot didn't hurt one bit, and it still felt fine the rest of the day after I swapped the shoes for mocs. However, yesterday...much pain! Not sure if wearing a heel is a good idea or a bad one. I'll have to do more research, I suppose. If I'm stuck wearing this pair of Mary Janes every day, though, I don't think I'll mind!

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Sister, at a Spa, in Stripes

Sounds like a suggestion in a whacky game of Clue, doesn't it? Ha ha ha!

Today's post is brought to you by Salt City Hausfrau, aka Sister B. She writes:

After a "spa day" put on by some of our sweet ladies at church I needed to pick an outfit that would go with my newly painted nails.  I knew just what would work!  A few days ago I had gone shopping with our youngest sister and had gotten this cream and black striped skirt and the coral and gold necklace at Gordman's (I LOVE that store!).  I paired it with a basic black Sonoma tshirt from Kohl's, a cream and metallic gold Merona cardigan from Target and Merona black flats from Target as well.

Sis, your outfit looks comfortable and pretty - I especially love the striped skirt. And such a happy color of orange you chose for your nails! Thank you for popping in to Peace & Crumbs today!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Gingham, a Vintage Dachshund and BABIES!

Oh boy oh boy....I had hoped to post something each weekday this week, but that did not happen. On Wednesday, I went to town (wearing the outfit below) and it completely wiped me out. What did I do? Not that much...returned some things at Target, made a quick stop at Bath & Body Works (to use a coupon for a FREE full size product - love when they offer those!), did a not-so-quick trek through Walmart (stood in line FOREVER at the deli counter...sigh...), ate two slices of cheese from the pokey deli while I zipped over to Dillons (loaded up on groceries there) and then went home, completely forgetting to go pick up my baby chicks at Orcheln's.

Outfit details:  Christopher & Banks top - thrifted; vintage pin - antique shop;
jeans - thrifted

It's not like I ran a marathon or anything, but I still haven't recovered from Wednesday. Good grief, you'd think I was OLD! I've got my little GreenAir diffuser pumping out "alertness" right this minute, trying to work up the energy I'll need for today's busy schedule.

Somewhere out in Blogland, I saw that gingham is THE pattern for spring. Florals are also big, according to others. Happily, this shirt has both! Some Postman saved this lavender gingham shirt from the donation pile last year. I thought it was too boxy on me, but he said he liked it. He so rarely says anything about what I wear, that when he does, I don't get rid of that item until it falls apart!

Wearing one of my many vintage pins makes me happy, and this one especially so. Isn't it adorable? This little Doxie joined my collection last year for my birthday. I spotted it while we were out antiquing, and my dear husband bought it for me.

While my clothing choices made me happy on Wednesday, they didn't aid my memory much. Can't believe I totally forgot to pick up the baby chicks! And so we had to go back into town yesterday when Some Postman got home from work. It turned out fine, of course. Since we didn't have any other shopping to take care of, we took the opportunity to look at bathroom cabinetry at Custom Wood Products and check out landscaping rocks at MCM. Those are next on the list for The House Project. While I'm looking forward to an all-new bathroom, the process getting there causes me a bit of anxiety. How long will we have to bathe in the kitchen sink? Will we need a port-a-potty? Projects like this ALWAYS take longer than expected.

Look at the babies we brought home!

Six adorable, fluffy Black Sex Link pullets! They are so cute and such good little babies. It was too cold to leave them out on the porch last night, so we put their box in the laundry room. I thought they would peep all night long, keeping us awake (or me - SP can sleep thru most anything), but they were quiet and peaceful. Etta Pooka was VERY curious about them the first hour or so, but she calmed down and left them alone after that. Next week, a pair of ducklings will join the chicks. My husband cannot resist ducks! He ordered a couple of female Rouen ducklings, which will arrive on Tuesday.

There are more babies on the farm, too! Our little barn cats are blessing us with a supply of mousers. Candy had her babies last Saturday; Cookie will have hers in another couple of weeks, at my best guess. Candy made the hen house her nursery.

So many babies! And guess what....there will be a new GRANDBABY in our family! This Grammy is thrilled! Our daughter is expecting Baby #2 in early October. Boo said he wanted a baby brother at first, but then he changed his mind and decided a sister would be fun. We'll find out what he's going to get in a few weeks.

Happy, happy, happy!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Melissa Garden

My dear friend Robin gave me a most lovely birthday gift at church this past Sunday:  a Melissa garden.

What is a Melissa garden? The name "Melissa" is of Greek origin and means "honeybee". This container garden features herbs of the same name and of course, a miniature bee hive figurine. The herbs are Lemon Balm, Bee Balm, and Peppermint. I can harvest them to make a refreshing tea. How amazing is that?!

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) - on the left side of the planter - is a "seasonal delight to be enjoyed while the weather is mild and the plant is green." I hope it lasts all summer long! Kansas weather isn't known for its mildness, so I may need to bring my little garden indoors eventually, once the heat and humidity arrive.

Peppermint (in the center) is a refreshing addition to many dishes and drinks. It's also useful in banishing a headache or freshening one's breath. Perhaps I ought to feed a handful to Etta Pooka daily. She has terrible dog breath!

Bee balm is the leafy plant behind the bee hive figurine. It will produce flowers as it grows, which are as edible as its leaves. The flowers are noted for their fragrance and attract bees.

One of these days, probably when The House Project is finished, Some Postman will build an herb garden for me. We chose the location already; he will use stone taken from the old fireplace to build a raised bed. I look forward to growing my favorites basil and lavender in it, and now I'll have a Melissa garden to add to it!

Thank you, Robin! Your gift is lovely and perfect!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Maxi Dress and a Yawn

This same exact outfit has appeared in this blog before. I'd go find a link to the past post, but I'm too tired just now. Honestly, it would not take much for me to keel over and take a big ol' nap!

Outfit details: Faded Glory dress - Walmart; sweater shrug - Dressbarn; earrings - thrifted; vintage artisan bracelet - antique show; BOC sandals - Vanderbuilt's.

Wearing this maxi dress reminded me how very comfortable they are, and yet how put-together they look and feel. I'd like to add another maxi dress to my wardrobe, but it's a bit challenging to find one that fits well. Recently I purchased a t-shirt style maxi dress from Target.com; the price was so low, there weren't many left and I had to go up a size in order to get one at all. Sadly, the dress was enormous on me! Even my regular size would have been too big. The hunt continues...

And now, I'd better go take a spin on my bike to wake myself up.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Never Any Befores, Only Afters

So the other day, I organized my sock drawer.

Really! I did!

It was the last portion of my dresser that needed attention after the seasonal clothing swap / purge. Each spring and fall, I get out the new season's clothing and put away (and sort out) the past season's items. This is a project that has been squeezed in here and there over the last couple of weeks, and finally I got to the sock drawer.

This is what it looked like after:

And of course, I didn't think to take a photo of it before. It wasn't too badly bungled - socks were still sorted by type (ankle, crew, knee) but they'd gotten all out of color whack. Just like my shirts, skirts, pants, and dresses, I like to keep my socks in color order. Makes it easier to find what you're looking for in the morning.

While sorting, I realized that I no longer wear plain, solid color socks. Fun socks are so much more interesting and entertaining! I did keep one pair of black, one white, and the three little "foot covers", but otherwise, all my socks are FUN!

Organizing my sock drawer was quite enjoyable. Organizing my craft room is not, but it's in sad need of doing. Ever since we had to empty the master bedroom a few years ago due to The House Project, my craft room had to take on the role of office and catch-all closet as well. We finished the master bedroom almost a year ago, but only recently moved the office out of my craft room. Now it's time to sort through the catch-all stuff, as well as my sewing and stamping supplies. It turns out that I don't miss stamping all that much, having been unable to access it those many months, so I'm getting rid of a lot of that. Sewing interests me more again, so I need to get my act together and organize my supplies.

It's a bit overwhelming, that job, so it's going to be a while before you see an "after" photo of the craft room. Perhaps I ought to take a "part-way" shot...it's too late for a "before". Again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Gift That Keeps on Giving

Look what arrived via the Box Man last Friday...my birthday present from Some Postman. He put it together for me that same day, and we've both spent some time testing it out.

This is a Marcy Air 1 Exercise Bike. After trying out the one my neighbors bought earlier this year, I decided that I'd rather have one of these than a bicycle. While I love being outdoors, I do not enjoy bike riding all that much, nor do I enjoy wearing a helmet or bike shorts. A stationery bike should be perfect for me, especially since this one has moving arms.

No, I am not on a quest to shed 25 lbs or train for a long bike race. I have two goals in mind:

  a) regain muscle tone
  b) improve sleep

This morning, since it's early in my use of the new bike, I weighed and took measurements (arm, chest, waist, hip, thigh, calf). After six weeks, I hope to see some reduction in the measurements. I'm not counting on any weight loss; exercise has rarely had any effect on my weight. And I'm fine with my weight and size, honestly. I'm far more interested in the health benefits of exercise, and I've missed being able to work out since my foot injury.

My friend Rox told me I should name my new bike so she can ask me "have you ridden ____ yet today?" Har har har! Well, she's already got "MARCY" tattooed on her side, so perhaps that ought to be her name, although Rox wants her to be a him. :D Nah....I think I'm going with Marcy. Of course, one of these days as I'm pedaling and rowing away, inspiration may strike with something more imaginative.

If you're a regular reader, you may have noticed that Marcy is sitting in one of my usual spots for outfit photos. Well, Marcy has those two little wheels on the front, so I can move her around if needed. Hopefully Some Postman will be able to do outdoor outfit photos for me, with the warmer weather. But the wind does play havoc with us a lot...we shall just have to see what unfolds!

Friday, April 10, 2015

First Yard Sale Day of the Season!

The last Saturday in March was the first time Some Postman and I went out to hit the yard sales this season. The weather was downright perfect for saling - sunny, not too windy early on (it picked up by mid-morning, of course, as it usually does in Kansas), and only cold if you hung out in the shade. We also visited the local thrift store and collectibles shop while out and about. This was most of our loot:

Tupperware Quick Chef Chopper, $5
 Yes, I already have one of these in blue, but the price was right and I could not pass it by. If mine shells out, then I'll have one to replace it. Or, if my daughter develops an interest in cooking more complicated meals, she might need one. A mother can hope!

Bumbo seat, $5
 Yes, there will be a new baby in our family soon! My daughter will bless us with a second grandbaby in early October. I'm regretting selling Boo's Bumbo seat last summer (his was in better shape than this one), but this one will do for using at Grammy's house.

Whirling Earth pottery bowl, $1

A couple of years ago, there was a pottery kiln in town called Whirling Earth. They made some beautiful pieces, many of which I would have loved to purchase, but the prices were a bit steep for me. Lucky for me, someone decided to part with this heart-shaped bowl for only a buck! Note the little heart-shaped hole for hanging at the top.

Old milk can, $7
The old  milk can was Some Postman's big find of the day. He picked up some other stuff, too, but not as interesting as this!

Vintage pins
 The spool/needle/button pin was purchased for $1 at the same yard sale where SP found his milk can. Isn't it cute? :) The other two pins were purchased at a downtown collectibles shop. I'm not sure what vintage the cat pin hales from, but it makes me think of the Egyptian revival period of the 1920s. The poor Road Runner pin will forever be chasing himself in circles; someone else purchased the Wile E. Coyote pin and left Road Runner behind! So, so sad....but maybe I'll find one on eBay someday. No luck yet, though.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Favorite Skirt

Do you have a favorite skirt? The George cotton skirt that I bought at a thrift store and altered to fit me is one of my favorites; in fact, it's probably my most favorite skirt. It fits perfectly, so it's comfortable. The colors and print patterns make me smile. Until this combination worn on Palm Sunday, however, I've only ever worn a coral tee with the skirt. It's good to branch out and try something different, and I do like the way this outfit turned out.

Outfit details:  Christopher & Banks sweater - thrifted; George skirt - thrifted;
Fergalicious peep-toes - thrifted; hoop earrings - JCP;
vintage tulip pin - local shop.

See? Smiling! More or less. With my kid-sized mouth, it's difficult to make a big, full-on smile. It's also a challenge to get dental x-rays. They have to use the kid-sized bites on me, and even those hurt. I think my mouth is about the only tiny body part I've got. But I don't let it stop me from gabbing! Ha ha ha!

Well, I certainly didn't see that topic coming up in today's post. Where DO these rabbits come from?! Back to something relevant to the subject at hand - the vintage tulip pin. Every time we visit an antique shop or consignment store, I peruse the vintage pins. Most of the time, I'm drawn to animal pins or bold flowers. This attraction to vintage pins began a long time ago, when I was a newlywed. My dear mother-in-law gave me a few of her pretty pins when I took a job at a pharmacy. After having been a waitress wearing a uniform prior to that, it was fun to "dress up" for work and add jewelry to the mix. My collection of vintage pins has continued to expand over the past 25 years. I told Some Postman that I've got so many now, that I should wear one every day, even around the house! He wasn't too sure that was a good idea, but I'm pretty sure it is. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Edible Easter Memories

Each year for our Easter meal, I like to make a gelatin salad of some sort, in memory of Some Postman's mom. She made those special salads often, not only for holiday meals, but also for many Sunday dinners, church potlucks, family reunions and funeral lunches. Gelatin salads aren't part of my regular menus, but I do make one in honor of Mom G on Easter.

Please forgive the unappetizing photo below. Despite my numerous attempts to capture this salad in all its glory, I was unsuccessful. It really does taste much better than it looks!

Gingered Orange Salad

1.5 cups boiling orange juice
1 (6 oz) pkg orange gelatin
2 cups ginger ale
2 (15 oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained
1.5 cups cottage cheese

Stir gelatin into orange juice until well dissolved; cool to room temp. Stir in ginger ale. Chill until slightly set; fold in oranges and cottage cheese. Chill until fully set.

Of course, I did not follow the original recipe exactly. For one thing, it called for 1/2 cup chopped celery, which I did NOT add. Celery does not belong in jello, if you ask me! Because I didn't add that, I increased the amount of oranges from 11 oz cans to 15 oz cans. Also, I didn't measure the cottage cheese; I just plopped big scoops of it in until it looked right. I'm not big into measuring. Oh, and just a hint....if you chill the ginger ale first, it's really going to fizz up when you pour into into the gelatin mixture! Of course, maybe it fizzes a lot even if it's not chilled, but that was my experience. So it might be a good idea to use a big bowl in the first place. That way you won't have to quickly dump it from a smaller bowl into a bigger one before the stuff spills over the brim all over the place. (Yes, I avoided disaster, but only just barely!) 

Somehow, I doubt my mother-in-law had the same troubles in the kitchen as me. She probably followed the recipe.

And so we raise our spoons to you, Mom G! Thank you for all the sweet memories shared around your table and in your kitchen. I'm doing my best to feed love to our family and friends in the same way, around the same table. I love that connection I still have with you, even though you're in heaven now. Food is love!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Blessings!

Happy Easter! Jesus is risen! Alleluia!

To keep the joyful celebration going, my goal is to post something HAPPY each day this week. If it doesn't make it here on the blog, it will be on my Facebook page. Lent is over - Easter has arrived! Spring is sprouting! Burn season is almost over! Happy, happy, happy! :D

Today's "happy post" - my impromptu Easter outfit. I'd planned to wear the same dress from a couple of years ago, but when I put it on Saturday night for a test run, it just didn't feel right. The fit was fine, I just wasn't feeling comfortable in it. A skirt and flowy top seemed like a better idea, and so this is what I put together:

Outfit details: St Johns Bay top - JC Penney's; Worthington skirt - thrifted;
scarf - thrifted; belt - Rue21; Fergalicious shoes - thrifted;
earrings and butterfly clip - from MIL's collection.

In order to keep the scarf to the side, I added this vintage springy butterfly clip that my dear mother-in-law gave me many years ago. The butterfly is a classic Easter symbol of new life, and since the clip was a gift from my MIL, it brought fond memories with it. Part of our Easter meal was made and eaten in memory of Some Postman's mom as well, but that's a story for another day.

Might as well address the state of those hose, since their flaws are glaringly obvious in the above photo. They are Victoria's Secret control top pantyhose, which I thankfully purchased at Goodwill for 99¢ (new in the package, of course!). If I had paid retail price in the VS store, I may have returned them. Note the snags at the top of my foot where the shoe rubs...those snags aren't from these shoes, but from the first wearing of the hose at our niece's wedding, while wearing my fancy silver heels...that didn't even rub at the top of my foot! Also, the hose have a bad habit of sliding off my waist to ride on my hips, and despite the fact I have short legs, it took a lot of tugging to get the crotch where it belongs. Goodbye, VS pantyhose! I'll stick with my usual No Nonsense hose when the need arises.

At the last minute, I decided to carry my vintage apple green "pocketbook" bag. It added another pop of happy color to the outfit. Why is it called a "pocketbook"? My great-aunt Lola always called them "pocketbooks", and this one reminds me of the bags she carried, which is why I call it by that name. But really...what IS a pocketbook? It doesn't fit in one's pocket, and it's not a book at all. Things that make you say "hmmmm"....

And so I Googled it. Jonathan Walford's Blog has a very informative post on the subject here. Fascinating stuff! I've found both fashion history and word origins absolutely entrancing since high school. How fun to combine the subjects! Catch y'all later - I'm off to chase some Google rabbits....

Friday, April 3, 2015

Recent Thrifting Finds

Welcome aboard my bloggy time machine! Today we're traveling back about 2.5 weeks...maybe 3?...to my most recent visit to Goodwill and Grand Old Trunk. I was quite thrilled with my finds, and didn't want to skip sharing them with you all.

Lands End Swimsuit
 With the limitations in workout choices my foot has given me, I'm anticipating taking a water aerobics class this summer at the city pool. While my retro-style red-with-white-polka-dots suit is super cute, it's not very practical for flailing about in order to burn calories. This Lands End two-piece offers durable fabric, good support and (hopefully) the ability to stay ON. Lucky for me, the lady who donated it was pear shaped; the top is a size smaller than the bottom. Perfect! I am a teensy bit concerned that the bottom might be a tad loose in the waist, but that's easily fixed with a tuck or two. The first test run in the pool, I'll be sure to have a safety pin handy just in case.

Shoes for Crews black leather oxfords
 Despite my nagging efforts to convince Some Postman that he needed new dress shoes before we traveled to Arizona for our niece's wedding, we did not succeed in purchasing him a pair. It didn't help that we spent a solid two weeks hacking and coughing and generally feeling like road kill, and only just recovering in time to board the plane. Some Postman's compromise was to trim the tassels from his old dress shoes, which did help the looks of them. But I still wanted something less '90s for him to wear with his suit....and found these black leather oxfords after we returned home from the wedding. Ah, well, better late than not at all! They did have shoestrings, but one was mutilated, and they do need a good polishing. But, lucky me, they were half price! Very doable for three bucks!

Rosetti gray handbag & unknown brand brown purse
 In the last year or so, I've been drawn to classic handbags with many pockets, and prefer the durability of leather. However, the price of new leather purses nearly causes me to have a panic attack. Even used ones on eBay go for steep prices. I've found a couple of lovely leather bags at Goodwill at prices that I'm far more comfortable paying. Neither of the above pictured purses are real leather, but they are good quality faux leather and sturdy canvas. Of the two, I like the gray one best, mostly because it has a boat-load of pockets.

Set of four small tortilla bakers
And finally, something completely frivolous but fun - mini tortilla shell bakers! I've seen the large ones in stores, but never these little ones. As I'm a sucker for anything miniature, I could not resist these cuties. I've used them once already and love them! They make perfect little hand-sized taco salad bowls from soft corn tortillas. Yummy!