Vintage Picnic Basket Holding it's Weight

Holy mother of greyness! I just finished drying my hair (I rarely do these days) and as I was drying I saw all these grey hairs...more than the usual. Eeeck! I may look like a ratty Chihuahua with my hair up in a wad every day, but at least I am living in an ignorant grey-free bliss. So I had to blog today to make myself feel somewhat in-the-know and young(er) again. The two pimples on my face are helping me feel a bit younger too. Junior High here I come again!

I wouldn't say this is the most hip of ideas or objects, but it is my recent obsession. I have really been in to baskets lately and I think it stems from trying to create some sort of order in my life AND keep things tucked away and out of reach from my increasingly curious daughter. This is my favorite basket find I have in the house right now. And it turns out, it was right under my nose hidden in our pantry. It was my grandfather's old picnic basket that I snagged years back after he passed away. I am sure there are a ton of stories that go along with it, but sadly he isn't around to tell them. Some of my favorite pieces I own are of my grandparents on both sides. Just by looking at them, you can see that they have had more adventures than the average person. At the moment, I am using this basket to hold all of my workout weights away from little one-year-old hands. Viv has been curious to lift the lid to see what's inside, but after falling in and not being able to get out, I think the scare was just enough to keep her at bay.

I am constantly repurposing things around the home as our lives evolve. If it's something that is of good quality and design it can have as many lives and stories as we can find for it. I encourage you to always think of what you have in your home that could use a new life. Who knows, maybe your grandchildren will have it one day and treasure it as well.


Reclaimed Wood: Floors, Tables and...Walls?

My husband and I went out to dinner last night to Frank's Oyster House and Champagne Parlor and what a treat! It was a low-key evening there, but it was a Tuesday so what can you expect. The vibe was ultra cool and not something you see everyday. What really caught my eye was the floor to ceiling panels of reclaimed wood. They were all in different shades, widths and depths. The overall effect when looking from afar was almost like zebra wood which is uber cool and elegant. However, when looking closely, it was very rustic and casual. I thought it was a fantastic idea and something that could easily be translated in to the home. A small powder room would be amazing with this treatment, paired with some crystal chandelier pendents - can you imagine?! Hmmm...we have a small bathroom downstairs that isn't finished. Wonder if I could apply this idea down there? The hamster is spinning on his wheel ;)

Another room I could see it in, is a basement family room that needed some character. Add some white porcelain antlers to the wall accompanied by a painted antique occasional chair in a modern fabric and you have some major style going on! The possibilities are endless.

Aside from the visual appeal reclaimed wood offers, we forget where this wood once stood. It often is from old barns that hold a multitude of american farming tales and history. See this site on "Old-Barn-Wood" for a little more history. What a cool conversation piece to have in your home.

Oh, did I mention the food was delicious too?


Wheely Bug: Big Fun for Little Ones

If this is not the cutest children's ride-on toy I have ever seen! We got Viv the cow Wheely Bug from Prince Lion Heart for Christmas and she has the cutest smile when we push her around on it. Her legs are still a little too short for her to push herself, but she is close. And we got her the small one! I am tempted every time I see the little thing to go scooting around myself, but don't want to find out in horror that I crushed it. I have managed to stay away, but I think it's only because my knees are too creaky to bend down that far now.

They come in small and large for older kids and in addition to the cow, they come in a lady bug, bumble bee and mouse. All four are equally cute. I found mine on Amazon. Also, what I love about them is they are very well made, easy to clean and light weight to carry around. It is something that will definitely last through much use and is something I would save to pass down. The only issue I have with it is they don't make one for grown ups!!!


Hickory Dickory Dock Birthday Wishes

Vivienne in her cute party hat complete with a glittered mouse and feathers to top it off!

I can't believe my baby girl just turned the big ONE! How this last year flew by. Despite my daughter's birthday being right after Christmas, which gives me zero down time in between, I had fun planning her birthday. Thankfully I had pretty much everything planned out in my head before Christmas so that once the holidays were over it was just a matter of pulling it all together. I wanted to have an underlying theme to the party, but I am not usually one for "smack you in the face" sort of cheesy themes so it had to be subtle for me to even go there. I am a sucker for nastalgic things from my childhood so I perused through Viv's Mothergoose nursery rhymes and found Hickory Dickory...you can do a lot with clocks and mice! On a side note, I realized that the majority of old nursery rhymes are all a bit twisted or morbid! It was hard to find one that wasn't depressing. I digress.

I had fun creating her invitations which spun everything else off of that. As always, I wanted to keep everything as simple and understated as I could in terms of food and decorations, but still have a cohesive vibe. I believe a party is in the details and the creativity and time you devote to it... in addition to good behavior by your guests ;) After designing the invites, I was inspired by a template of letters from Martha Stewart to create custom garland. Printing them out on different colored paper, cutting them and stringing them on to some black and white ribbon was a cinch! The rest of the details included custom glittered mouse confetti, cone shaped chip baskets with silver pipe cleaner handles with matching wrapped cutlery, soft flowers, balloons and giant chocolate peanut butter cookies wrapped in wax paper sealed with custom monogrammed stickers.

I found these straws a while back and can't even remember where. I am huge straw fan and I think I may have been the only one who used one, but that means I have more for myself later!

I tried finding colored tissue paper that worked within my color scheme, but to no avail. Bleached wax paper was the next best option and I am happy with how the packaging turned out.

Oh, did I mention that a party was all in the details and the creativity? I still maintain that point, but it's also hugely dependent on the FOOD!!!! I am a vegetarian so picking out a meat dish is always a challenge for me. It has to be something that has minimal hands on requirements! So honey mustard mini drumsticks came to mind...make the marinade. Dump bag in to marinade. Done. The rest of the menu consisted of lemon arugula pasta salad, sugar snap peas with sesame oil, Terra chips (for the cute little chip baskets!), movie popcorn (we have a movie popcorn popper at home - so fun!), applesauce spice cake with cream cheese frosting, hot mulled cider and the giant cookies for people to take home. It was simple yet familiar flavors and I think, or hope, they all went well together.

I made the cake in to a clock with the help of my husband's steady hand. A round cake I can manage...anything else? Not so much.

You can sort of see the mice confetti dispersed on the table.