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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Haagen-Dazs: The Honey Bee's Knees

I picked up a scrumptious pint of ice cream tonight at Whole Foods...

I can see what the buzz is all about. It's delicious. I love simple ice cream flavors. My favorite flavors are most anything with a vanilla base and just a few slightly sweet or salty additions such as caramel, nuts, etc. So the touch of honey added to this creamy vanilla goodness is such a fun surprise and makes my choice seem a little less...well, vanilla!

To top it off, there is even a worthwhile cause behind each spoonful.

Honey bee colonies are disappearing at a steady rate, and since we rely on bee pollination for one-third of our food supply, this is a bit of a crisis. Check out helpthehoneybees.com to find out how each bee built flavor helps Haagen-Dazs fund research to save the bees.

I can't think of a more delicious way to do my part!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pretty Polka Dotted Thumbtacks

I'm a little too enamored with these lovely polka dot thumbtacks I spotted at Paper Source.

{Fabric Thumbtacks in Forest Mushrooms -- $8.95 for a Pack of 25}



I just love the pattern and the grey & orange hues. They are perfect for a vintage frame I snagged, repainted and planned to make into a cork message board for the kitchen. I think I'll stop by and see if they are at my local store this weekend.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vintage Bits and Brooches

Yesterday, I did a quick sweep of the vendors at the Do It Your Own D*mn Self sale here in Logan Square in Chicago and came home with an unexpected stash of vintage brooches and costume jewelry! I got such a steal on a small lot of "vintage bits" and I also splurged for two other pieces, but altogether I spent $16 for a fun little collection.


{THE STEAL}

This little box of "vintage bits" was marked 2 for $1, but when I started digging through and grabbing nine or ten of the pieces, the kind seller said, "You can have the whole box for $2." Well, ok! I'll take it! So I got about 20 pieces of unique, mismatched vintage costume jewelry for less than a tall latte.


{THE SPLURGE}

Since I was on a high from my mega-steal, I apparently left my negotiating skills in the dust as I headed to the next vendor who had a few much larger vintage brooches on display. I immediately gravitated towards two, beautiful enamel floral brooches and was quoted $6 for one and $8 for the other. They were much larger, and in good condition, so I too-willingly forked over $14 for the two.

White, Green and Gold Vintage Enamel & Rhinestone Floral Brooch - $6
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Pink and Yellow Vintage Enamel Floral Brooch - $8

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Here's the entire stash:

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So what do I plan to do with it all? Well, I said I went there to get inspired and indeed I did. I never expected to come back with what I did, I thought it was more likely for me to find paper or fabric, but now I have a few ideas for how to use vintage costume jewelry. The idea I'm most excited about is the possibility of putting together a brooch bouquet!

I found some nice inspiration pics on wedding blogs and floral sites, like Ruffled, Offbeat Bride, and Fantasy Floral Designs with their entire blog dedicated to brooch bouquets. However, since I am already married, I'd rather create individual stems to keep in a vase around the house or to add in here and there to fresh flower bouquets at home. I'm thinking all I need is some green floral wire and tape. I probably do need a few more pieces though for a full display, unless I just do a few in some bud vases. Hmm... I'll let you know how this pans out!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

do it your own d*mn self 2010

On Saturday, the Chicago Craft Mafia is hosting their annual Do It Your Own D*mn Self sale. This is where Chicago crafters come to sell their extra craft supplies to the general public for super cheap.


I attended this last year, but my browsing time was cut short when my friend who attended with me had her tongue suddenly turn black and we had to leave in a hurry. Funny story... it ended up being a harmless side effect to a medicine she was on, but still scary none-the-less and hilarious after the fact.

This year I am leaving Miss Black Tongue behind and will attend with my sister, who will hopefully be able to pick up some extra fabric scraps for some sewing projects. I just hope to find some inspiration. To make it even more appealing, this year's event is located just a few blocks from my house!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

St. Louis Style Gooey Butter Cake

My husband's work is having a "bake-off" tomorrow so he commissioned me to make something that will knock their socks off. Desiring to be a little more creative than a basic cookie or brownie, we thought we could take this opportunity to introduce those Chicagoans to a St. Louis staple, Gooey Butter Cake! You know one of the staples that is featured on my favorite St. Louis Style print that I have...

There are a variety of recipes out there, but this one is quite simple and the one my mother has been using for years straight from our parish cookbook.

Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1lb. powdered sugar
Directions:
Mix the following, then spread into ungreased 9X13 cake pan (this part will be thick):
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick melted butter
2 eggs, beaten

Beat the following with a mixer until smooth, then pour over the thick batter:
8 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1lb. powdered sugar

Bake @ 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cool and serve cut into squares to resemble a lemon bar or a coffee cake of sorts.

Before:
After:
I think the gooey center pieces are the best. It's rich though, so make sure you have plenty of people to share it with. Enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Few Springtime Delights

I was doing some online window shopping last night and came across a variety of cute spring things that I definitely don't need, but thought were fun & shareworthy none-the-less. Here are my finds:

Bird Napkins Rings from Zgallerie -- Set of 4 for $19.80

Farmer's Egg Crate (in Sky) from Anthropologie -- $14.00


Marimekko ® Kimara Tablecloth from Crate & Barrel -- $39.95 - $109.00 depending on size


tweet bird feeder from cb2 -- $29.95


Enjoy!

Link Love from Fine Diving

Well what a fun surprise! Diana over at Fine Diving in Chicago featured my Card Catalog in her Six Degrees of Card Catalog post today.


First of all, thanks for linking to me! Second of all, what a truly small world!

This is the seller that I bought my vintage chandelier from last month at the Vintage Bazaar. Remember how I had to leave her my address so that she could mail me some of the beads that had fallen off so that I could restring them? Ends up her daughter's boyfriend lives in my building, saw me on the elevator with it when I was bringing it home that day (I briefly recall this encounter) and they all later put 2-and-2 together to figure out that I had just purchased it from his girlfriend's mom! Talk about far less than six degrees of separation.

So now we are blog-buddies :-) Gotta love the blogosphere. If you don't follow her blog, you should. She features great before & afters of the "tossed & found".

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cards / Brewers in Milwaukee

Tomorrow we are road-tripping to Milwaukee for a Cards / Brewers game!


vs.
Along the way we'll also make a pitstop at The Brat Stop for some fresh, Wisconsin brats and of course, cheese curds...


Although I'm a Cardinals fan, I do have to admit that Miller Park is a really great ballpark with an awesome tailgating lot and scrumptious food vendors.

I can't wait! I love baseball season.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

To everything there is a season...

Although the reason that I was home in St. Louis this weekend was a somber one, I was uplifted by a few things such as reminiscing with family, sorting through old photos and by the most beautiful trees that were in full bloom there.

Particularly gorgeous were the Flowering Dogwood (the Missouri state tree), and also the Bradford Pear trees. These photos were taken from my phone through the car window, but I still think they are just gorgeous.

Being that we had snow flurries in Chicago today, I'm really longing for those spring blooms, the sunshine and the warm spring breeze, but I know it will come soon.

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to reap;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...

Friday, April 2, 2010

We'll miss you Grandpa

This morning my grandfather passed away. If there is a silver lining here, it's that he did not suffer which is perfect since he lived such a vibrant life.


He is a World War II Veteran, retired from Anheuser-Busch and retired AGAIN from my uncle's company just a few months ago. He loved Budweiser second only to his family... in fact, he taught me how to hold my beer without ever dropping it (pinky finger under the bottle of course). He lived 90 long years, was married for 67 years (wow, can you imagine!) and left behind an amazing legacy and a large, beautiful family.

Please keep my grandmother and my entire family in your thoughts & prayers.

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About Me

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I'm a St. Louis native, but I have been living in Chicago since 2005 and am loving every windy minute of it. I enjoy cooking (more-so eating), home decorating and really anything creative. I'm a supporter of DIY & handmade goods, a fledgling foodie and a connoisseur of kitsch. I spend my days filling online shopping carts, emptying them and repeating the process all over again. Most of all I love spending time with my husband, Dave, our first child, Claire and my dog, Louie.

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