Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shop (and Eat) Local: The Barn


The Barn in Lake Alfred, Florida is one of my favorite places ever.  We've been going there for years! The Barn has several shopping options, as well as a cute lunch spot, The Back Porch.  


The Back Porch has a menu featuring sandwiches, soups, salads, deserts, and drinks.  An average price for lunch is about $10.  It's an affordable and fun lunch out.  I love the food because it's at the same time both light and filling. Yum yum.



The Barn Antiques opened in 1969. Their antiques are hand-picked from across England, then shipped back home, lovingly restored when needed, and then sold for an affordable price.  I got this awesome armoire with a full length mirror for about $250.

The antiques side is open seasonally (allowing the owners to go shopping for new treasures abroad in the summer!) and reopens this year on October 4.  Exciting!


There are two shops, The Stable Home Decor and The Seasons Gift Shop, featuring new items with lots of home decor items and seasonal decorations.  I love going there at different time of year to see what new decorations they have out.  My favorite area though is the Back Yard Garden Shop which has lots of plants and yard decorations.  It's such a magical little spot and so many different things to look at!


The Barn is closed open Tuesday- Saturday 10 AM- 4 PM.  The Back Porch restaurant is open 11 AM- 3 PM.  Saturdays are generally *mobbed*... if you can go on a week day, I'd highly recommend it!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn!

Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn!  Even though we don't really get true fall weather and changing leaves here in Florida, it's still one of my favorite times.  In honor of the new season, here's a really beautiful, encouraging verse that I found on BibleGateway the other day....

Joel 2:23 (New International Version)

23 Be glad, people of Zion,
    rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
    because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
    both autumn and spring rains, as before.



And we have definitely been getting the abundant rains for the last week or so here!

 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Finding Peace in the Garden

When I moved in, my yard had some good hedges and basic landscaping, but it needed the finishing touches.  I've been adding little things here and there, mostly yard ornaments and some container plants.  I've been wanting to add some bigger plants for awhile, but putting it off because of cost.  I especially wanted some blue plumbago (below), a pretty blue flowering shrub that is super popular around here.

via Slice of Coastal Life
I had a little health scare this week.  I've had a few weird things going on, then I went to the doctor and she found some lumps.  Based on family history and some other factors, I didn't think it would be serious, but it was still a little scary.  I was lucky enough to get checked out and given the all-clear within 6 days.  Still though, I was very thankful and breathing some sighs of relief after my appointment yesterday.  I think gardening is good for the soul, so I decided to splurge and buy the plants I wanted.

One of my new plants!
And the other one!
I got a few other little ones too. I love the fuzzy balls.  That's the technical term.
Red ixora that was already in my yard.  It attracts so many butterflies!


Like the rest of my place, still very much in progress, but it's a start!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thrifting to Decorate My Kitchen: The Corner Cabinet and the Girl Scout Fiestaware


When I was house hunting, I wanted built-ins.  Oh my goodness, did I want built-ins. I craved cute little fold down ironing boards and bookcases and cute corner hutches.  One of the main things on my house wish list was one of those cute wood scroll things above the sink that were so popular in 50s kitchens and seem to be ripped out constantly on those awful remodeling shows.  Alas, when I found the right house for me, while it did have the original wood cabinets that I so desperately wanted and a nice built-in bookcase in the living room, there was not a cute scroll-y thing in sight.  

A few months ago, my mother and I were at an estate sale (we do love a good estate sale) and I saw this corner hutch.  All the fun scroll work I could handle, plus it looks like something that could have feasibly been built into my 1947 house. It had a few coats of old flaking paint on it, but a fresh paint job and it’s good as new.  Here it is mid-paint job:

personal photo
Around the same time, I scored an awesome stash of Fiestaware at a Girl Scout fundraiser garage sale.  My mom had gone to the garage sale before me and told me that I had to go back.  They had Fiestaware... cheap.  We got there just as they were closing and luckily, they reopened just for us.  There was tons of Fiestaware, much of it brand new and never used.  I scored all of this awesome stuff for about $25.  Super exciting.

And here is my new corner hutch with a piece or two of Fiestaware, some awesome family pieces also by Homer Laughlin, a few other pieces, and my (fake) raven lurking at the top.

Obviously, it’s not totally done looking, but it’s well on its way.  This corner was the catch all for a long time, so to get it to this point is a victory. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vitamin String Quartet: Alternative Wedding Music that Sounds Traditional

Vitamin String Quartet has been a popular choice for wedding music for quite awhile now and their awesomeness is not breaking news.  Still though, I was pretty surprised when I was reading some comments on Rock N Roll Bride and saw that there was VSQ version of the Smashing Pumpkins' Stand Inside Your Love.  I'm pretty obsessed with the Pumpkins, so I was excited by this revelation.  Then, I found out that there's an entire album, "The String Tribute to Smashing Pumpkins."  I went on YouTube to hunt for it and fell down the rabbit hole of VSQ options. 
 

This cover of 1979 is amazing.


Pompeii by Bastille is a fun song anyway, but it is gorgeous in the VSQ cover.

All I Want is You by U2.  So good....

Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance.  So beautiful and the cover has a completely different feel from the (awesome) original.

Wake Me Up by Avicii

And because we love Avicii so much, Hey Brother.

Covers by Vitamin String Quartet are an awesome way for couples to use their favorite pop and rock songs in a way that sounds traditional and pretty, plus doesn't cause elderly Great Aunt Ethel to clutch her pearls.  Although go ahead and use the original version if that's what rocks your boat!

Also, can I just say that being a blogger is awesome, I got to listen to this music all afternoon as "research"....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HOW TO: Make a Fun Rehearsal Bouquet

It's traditional, at least around here, to make a bouquet out of bows from the bridal shower for the bride to carry at the rehearsal.  As the Maid of Honor, I got tasked to make one for my friend Jessica.  It's a pretty goofy, not-supposed-to-be-glamourous tradition, but I still wanted to try to make something cute. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Finding Gems in Chain Stores: Decorating with Pottery Barn Kids and Land of Nod // Land of Nod edition

So, I don't have children and I'm not planning on it.  I'm also not one of those women who loves to ooh and ahh over cute kid stuff.  However, every time we're at the mall, I can't help going into Pottery Barn Kids.  They have some really good stuff, that I could easily see working in an adult space.  It's not always possible to have the time/money/resources to find unique pieces, so it can be super helpful to know where to find good stuff at the big box and chain stores.

Emily Henderson is a great inspiration for using cute big box kids' stuff in not so cutesy ways.  She uses Pottery Barn Kids as a good resource for affordable draperies.  She also did a really great room with the similar Land of Nod. Granted, this room is for nine year old, but most of the stuff I want for myself.

Style by Emily Henderson