Monday, May 15, 2017

A Flea Market Kind of Mother's Day

The flea markets are just starting up around here so I wanted to get to one as soon as I could.

We planned our outing for Mother's Day. What better way to spend Mother's Day than indulging my pickin' passion?

"We" included my husband, son and I. They are such troopers when it comes to things I want to do that they may not necessarily choose. They got to pick the restaurant for dinner though....more on that later.

We had to drive an hour and a half to the flea market I chose, since it was in Clarence, NY, which is near Buffalo. I was attracted to that one because there were supposed to be tons of vendors outside and lots of indoor flea markets too. As you can see the skies were a little ominous, so the turnout was not great.

We ended up dodging raindrops in between the sun and downpours, on and off most of the day. Only in NY.

I had my cart in the truck and I was all ready to go, rain or shine. My husband made it a little game for me. My mission, should I choose to accept it, was to spend as much of this wad of money as I could while we were there. He wouldn't tell me how much was in it and I was not allowed to count it. And, I had to give back whatever I didn't spend. Oh boy! Easy peasy!

Or so I thought. I found a lot of stuff but couldn't help being thrifty minded even though I wasn't spending my own money! I passed by a lot of good stuff that was too pricey for me to buy and resell, even though it would cost me nothing. Believe me, by the end of the day, that changed and I spent with abandon!

Here are some of my finds. I realized once I went through them all that I had a variety of different styles of vintage, which I love. I didn't purposely look for different styles, I just picked what I love.

Some industrial finds included two oil cans, a red fan blade, a GE fan that works and a rustic turquoise box.

I never pass by Christmas items, any time of year, if they are a good price. These were.

My Farmhouse finds....

I think I have to keep the paper mache rooster basket/planter for awhile and I am definitely keeping the tablecloth.

After I found the turquoise wicker shelf I found the green one. Why not? I love them both.

I always grab feed or potato sacks when I see them. They sell well in my Etsy shop.

Here are my girly girl finds. The wicker vanity and hand mirror are so unique and the turquoise zippered bag has gold handles.

One of the first things I found was this vintage gold daisy bracelet. My favorite flower is any variety from the daisy family so it was a "gotta have it" purchase. It is a keeper.

When it started raining too much to keep walking around, we went into some of the Antique stores. I found some unique and very pricey items that were fun to look at but not to buy!

Yup, it says $14,500

It was time to head toward the restaurant for our reservations. Guess what kind of restaurant my husband and son chose? Steak and seafood of course! I don't eat red meat so I was hoping to find something I would like on the menu. I did.

It is called Lobster Mania.

I don't think an explanation is needed.....

The restaurant is a rustic cobblestone fine dining place where they make your soup and salad table side and cut your meat to order table side. My son couldn't resist sitting in the chair in the front.

Speaking of my son, he gave me the sweetest card and gift. A few weeks ago we both had our hair cut by my daughter at her salon (girly) and after I wanted to go to a kind of girly shop nearby to see what they had. Michael was a trooper and came in with me. I found the most delicious smelling candle called Dancing in the Rain. The owner was hinting to him what a good Mother's Day gift it would make. Fast forward to this past Friday night when he asked my husband to take him to go get it for me.

That picture of us was taken about 10 years ago!

So how do you think I did spending the money?

I did not spend it all but put a good dent in it. I reluctantly handed the remainder back.

When I counted up what I spent compared to what was in that wad of money, I'd say I did pretty good. I felt a little guilty for how much I spent.

For about a minute.

I know, I'm spoiled.

I prefer to think of it as being blessed :-)

Now to inventory all my treasures and decide if they are going on Etsy or to my booth.

Woe is me, how will I get through it all ;-)

To those that celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday.

One last thing to share. Have you heard of the bitmoji app for your smart phone? You make an avatar of yourself and then it is attached to all kinds of emoji's that you can text to anyone.

Does it look like me?

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:
Amaze Me Monday
Let's Talk Vintage
Share Your Cup
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Vintage Charm Party
Friendship Friday Blog Party
Friday Feature Linky Party
"Anything Goes" Pink Saturday

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Sweet Gift to Myself

Today I received a very special package in the mail all the way from Oregon.

I have been waiting for a chance to have one of these treasures so I treated myself to one. It is a hand made collage made on a loom with colorful fabrics and pretty appliques and buttons.

A personal note was included.

Some close ups...

The sweet daisies caught my eye. They are my favorite flower.

I originally thought it would go in my kitchen but when I saw it in person, it has all the colors in my bedroom wallpaper and quilt.

I hung it where I can have a view of it every night while reading in bed...

And I will pass by it every time I shimmy around the blanket chest by the window and the end of my bed. Yup, I get to do that in the dark in the middle of the night too!

I wanted to share it with you and where it came from as soon as opened it. If you follow Nancy at A Joyful Cottage then you may already know that she just opened a new shop featuring her charming collages and prints of her husband Dennis' paintings.

Here is sweet Nancy in front of a beautiful handmade rug....

Her shop, A Joyful Cottage Shop, has the tag line "More than a name. It's a lifestyle". Nancy calls herself the cottage lover and her newly built and decorated cottage home is a lovely example of how she and her husband live their lives, cottage style.

This is her blog header

When she first started showing her sweet collages on her blog, I instantly wanted one. But, I live in New York and she lives in Oregon. She recently had a Spring show in her town and I so would have been there if it wasn't on the other side of the world!!

I am currently threatening to visit someday though. I have never been further west than Ohio. Sad, I know.

I am so excited for Nancy and her new adventure with her shop and there is such a great variety of her husband's beautiful watercolor and oil prints.

Her blog is equally charming, where she shares cottage living in the great northwest. She has a feature every Saturday called Living Large in Small Spaces where she finds the most unique, eclectic and beautiful private and vacation homes to take you on a tour of.

I hope you will visit this sweet lady and enjoy her simple way of living and her beautiful handiwork, around her home and in her handmade treasures.

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

"Anything Goes" Pink Saturday
Happiness is Homemade Link Party

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Science of Flowers

I love flowers in my garden but I don't pretend to understand the science behind them all the time.

Last year I was so discouraged.

My tulips didn't bloom. My Lilac bush didn't bloom. My Hydrangea bushes didn't bloom. Then we had somewhat of a drought and everything dried up and died.

This is not usual for Upstate NY. Although we don't really see the rebirth of flowers and trees and leaves until now, the end of April, once Spring starts there is a nice mix of sun and rain to fill everything out.

This year, I think some flowers are confused and others are glad to turn their faces toward the sun again!

We moved our lilac bush to the other side of the yard because it had not bloomed in about 5 years. Look at it now! Those dark purple buds are all going to be luscious smelling lilacs. I have been waiting for that sweet smell and now I will have it each time I walk out my side porch door.

I live about a half hour from Rochester, which is known worldwide for it's Lilac Festival in Highland Park in May. The weather doesn't always cooperate but the lilacs are heavenly just the same.

Last Fall I had my shovel ready to dig up the 35 red tulips I had planted several years ago. I planted them in 7 groups of 5. They bloomed once! I am so glad I didn't! Imagine my surprise to see the buds pop up last week and this week there they are in all their glory!

Spring clean up has just begun around here so you are seeing last years mulch and dead leaves. The new mulch has been bought but there won't be any planting or mulching until Memorial Day.

Even these yellow tulips, that were here when we bought the house 21 years ago, are re-blooming.

So last Fall I did decide to pull out my Hydrangea bushes. They were beautiful and full but there were no flowers for a few years and even then there were only a few. They were supposed to be purple but no matter what tricks I tried, they came out pink. The stumps are all that is left now and we are struggling to get them out.

Oh boy, was that a mistake? Considering that my long lost tulips and Lilac bush are finally blooming, maybe the Hydrangea would have too?

Too Late.

I have a plan. I bought these gorgeous Ranunculus to plant in the front of the plot of garden just outside my side porch, and I plan on putting varying heights of Zinna, one of my favorite flowers, behind them.

I am always thrilled to see the Forget Me Not's return every year.....

As well as the Grape Hyacinth....

A sure sign that Spring has arrived in my area is the blooming of the Forsythia....

This thing takes up the whole corner of our yard and you can see it from Main Street when you turn onto our street. I am just sad that the flowers do not last long.

The Fairies have little purple flowers outside their door....

And the Hostas are emerging all over my side garden....

Some flowers are confused, I think.

My Bleeding Heart does not usually bloom now....

...but it's pretty all the same..

This Brunnera does not usually bloom till early summer either.....

The winter's are pretty harsh here so to see anything come up is such a delight, let alone the flowers that haven't bloomed in years.

My birdhouse has weathered into a vintage treasure and watches over the whole side garden.

I find myself getting discouraged when our weather is still cold and I see all the beautiful flowers blooming in my Southern blogging friends posts.

But then I remember that in July and August when our weather is gorgeous and our gardens are lush and full, it is so hot in the South that the only way to survive is to be in air conditioning 24/7. Kind of like our winters and the 24/7 furnace!

I guess it is all in what you are used to.

Happy Spring! I am hoping that this coming weekend will be nice enough weather to get my garden put together. I have a basement full of garden décor!

How does your garden grow?

AnnMarie xoxo

I am sharing with these fun blog parties:

Share Your Cup
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Share Your Style Link Party
Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Baked Chicken Kabobs

Every week it's the same thing....

"What do you guys want for dinner this week?"

I let my son and husband choose and then I make something healthy for myself!

So my son requested chicken kabobs on the grill for dinner. My husband doesn't like to come home from work during the week and have to grill.

Since it is Wednesday and rainy and chilly out anyways, I googled for a recipe for Baked Chicken Kabobs and I found one!

WOW were these ever good! This is actually a meal I would eat along with my guys and although there were only three of us eating, there wasn't very much left over!

Click here for the printable version of the full recipe. It is lengthy but really not hard to make. I cut out a lot of it by opting to make mine without the skewers (see #11 NOTE on the recipe) and I doubled the marinade recipe.

Here's how I did it.....

Early in the morning I cut up my extra large chicken breasts (found at Aldi's) into chunks and put them in the original marinade recipe and then into the fridge for the day. The longer they marinate the better.

I cut up the zucchini, peppers, red onion and mini potatoes. The mushrooms and grape tomatoes stay whole. The recipe tells you to line them all up in the pan like they were on a skewer but it didn't all fit so I just threw it all in together. I added the snow peas for color.

This recipe makes a lot. The pan above is a lasagna pan and I needed another 9 x 13 to fit the rest of the chicken and vegetables.

When both pans were full I poured and brushed another batch of the marinade over the top. Into the oven at 450 degrees for 35 minutes and it came out SO good.

The chicken stayed tender, not dried out like it can get on the grill, and the veggies were crisp. Served over rice with the marinade from the pan and YUM!

I did not miss the grill marks on the chicken at all and my husband didn't have to get wet :-)

I will definitely be making this recipe again.....rain or shine!

AnnMarie xoxo

P.S. It is so hard photographing food! Is it just me?

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

Monday, April 17, 2017

Flea Market Pickin'

I find the best stuff when I'm not lookin'.

It has been so barren and uneventful in the pickin' department around here lately and I have been confined to the local Goodwill and flea markets. It is just about garage sale and yard sale season, but not quite yet.....

This past Saturday was another one of those times when I was out running lots of errands around town and decided to drop into the local flea. It just happens to be right across the street from the bank and the post office.

It is usually hit or miss most of the time there, but I was happy to see that Brenda is back!

Brenda is one of those crazy, thrifting ladies (like me) that loves to chat away about all her finds and where she got them. I don't know her personally but have followed her around the different places she has had shops. She moved south for awhile and now she is back and set up shop in Bob's Flea Market right in town.

She and I have the same taste in vintage treasures.

I really didn't make it much past her booth!

The first thing that caught my eye was this super heavy cement squirrel...

Not sure what I was thinking because I hate squirrels!! Okay, hate is a strong word....I strongly dislike them! They have overrun our yard and invade my bird feeders to the point that I can't feed the birds anymore.

I thought he was cute though. He is from an estate sale down south and probably from the '60's.

Here is all the stuff I got from Brenda's booth.....all except the stool. That one was Bob's, the owner.

I was in the mood for buyin' and Brenda was in the mood for bundlin'. I got a great deal on all my treasures.

The frog is from the same estate sale as the squirrel and he is also heavy cement. He is pretty chipped up but I think he is a keeper. He will keep my other rusty metal frog company for awhile on the front porch steps.

I can never pass up a wooden stool or a wooden tool caddy. I will be listing this one in my Etsy shop soon.

I cannot pass up a pitcher or creamer either....especially an ironstone one. And the recipe box is an FTD flower planter from 1985. It is cute and retro and has a faux wood look with raised flowers and letters. Pretty kitschy!

I was thrilled to see the set of three aqua Butterprint Pyrex dishes (I am thrilled with finding anything aqua!). The refrigerator dishes have their lids but the casserole does not. They are sold as a set in my Etsy shop here.

Then there is the wooden stool. Oh, how I cannot pass up a vintage looking stool! It is heavy, sturdy and nicely scratched up. It was probably a milking stool and is a great farmhouse décor piece to use as a step stool. It is available here.

One last item that thrilled my heart to see today. My daughter texted me that she saw a yard sale on her way to work this morning......on a Monday?

It was on my way home so I had to stop. Lots of high priced furniture and stuff I didn't want but then I spied with my little eye, this wooden aqua tool chest. I asked how much and the guy said, in a voice that sounded like he was afraid it was too high, "$4?" I kept my cool and said okay, "I'll take it."

What??!! Happy dance in my head!

The top is marked "tip up". My daughter and granddaughter informed me that tip ups are the things you use in ice fishing to signal when a fish is on the line.

I learned something new today too.

I think there is a better use for this fabulous about some potted plants in there with the lid up?

I am happy for now. I saw a few signs for sales coming up in town later this week and my favorite, a church rummage sale, next week.

I like to stick close to home. So far it works for me!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

Let's Talk Vintage
Share Your Cup
Vintage Charm Party

No Rules Weekend Blog Party