Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thrifting Thursday: Vintage Books & Candlestick Holders

Fabulous Finds: Vintage Books & Glass Candlestick Holders

From: Candlestick Holders at Goodwill. Books at Goodwill/Garage Sale/Local Book Store Sale Bin

Cost: Candlestick Holders: $8 total ($4 each) // Books: $20-ish total (About $2 per book)

What I love: Some of these books are "First Editions" - wonderful finds for only $2! Some are in great condition, some are not...but I enjoy imagining how many other people have held these books before I did! As for the candlestick holders - well, they are just plain gorgeous. I love the color, and they look beautiful even without candles in them. I don't know much about where they came from or who made them (they could be from Target, for all I know - thought I suspect they are not!) if anyone out there recognizes these or can give me more information about them, please let me know! 

So interesting!

Published in 1902!
"To Miss Philopina, from Jenkins. Oct. 1904" - in Rhymes and Roundelays from "Life"

So neat! I just wish I knew the story of Miss Philopina and Jenkins! Were they friends? Secret lovers? Teacher and student? Was Jenkins, Miss Philopina's mailman?? The possibilities are endless!

One of my favorite books to look at is: Front Page / 100 Years of the Los Angeles Times. It is just what it says - the front page of every Los Angeles Times issued between 1881-1981. It is just fascinating! I paid $2.50 for this!
December 7-8, 1941...chilling!  
Not a great photo...but this book is very pretty!
"Miss Lillian Korber, Birthday Greetings, June, 1916"
Written in Strength for Today: A Beautiful Compilation of Thoughts for my Friend
Amen, Mr. Lincoln!

Happy Thrifting!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lucie's 3 Month Photos!

Happy 3 Months, Lucie!

Weight: 16 Lbs 4 Oz. (That was on your 3 month bday - 3/15 - today you weigh 17 lbs!)
Height: 24.75" 

Things you LOVE:
  • Eating!
  • Talking! This month's noise of choice is "gurgling."
  • Laughing hysterically when Daddy sings "The Hokey Pokey"
  • Blowing spit bubbles and drooling
  • Laying on your tummy, now that you can hold your head up
  • Sitting and standing up (with lots of help!)
  • Chewing and drooling on your hand (and anything else we'll let you hang on to)
  • Pulling Mama's hair out
  • Your swing (You finally love it! Thank you again for that generous gift, Erinn!)
  • Your swaddling blankets...I cut them into quarters so you can use them as "birdies" ("birdies" = "blankies" ...I'll explain this in a future post.) without strangling yourself! You carry them everywhere - and now we have an endless supply!

Here is what you looked like at 3 months (OK 3 and a HALF months)...sorry the lighting isn't that great. I'm still a bit hesitant about using the flash in your face, so I do the best I can with our apartment's version of "natural light." Hey, I never said I was a photographer...

Believe it or not, you actually were NOT sad in this photo...this is what your face looks like when you make your "gurgling" noise...pretty funny!

Your Auntie Shelly was singing you "The Hokey Pokey" to try and make you bummed the lighting isn't better! Either way, you were entertained... :) 

See what I mean?? You LOVE eating your hand!

We LOVE you, you sweet, humongous baby!!! Can't wait to see what you do next! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012


Yes, my little family has been sick for the past week...but no, that's not the kind of "contagious" I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the good kind of "contagious." Laughter! This video was taken with my phone so it's not the best quality...but you'll get the general idea. :)

Be still our hearts...we love this kid. Hope this brings you some joy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Is this normal?!

So, my parents came up yesterday to see Lucie and my dad took this video. And I have to it normal for a 3 month old to want to walk so badly?! She seems to be under the impression that she is NOT a baby anymore! This kid ONLY likes to be sitting up or "standing" now (with a lot of help, of course - I'm gonna have arms like Gorgeous George pretty soon here!) - no more "baby" hold for her...good gracious.

And now she has the audacity to believe she can just get up and walk! What happened to my little newborn?! Does she have no consideration for her mother's emotional health?! There used  to be a sweet fetus-like creature around here, but I'm pretty sure she got eaten by the cute little monster you see below. It's all going too fast...sigh... 

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's in a Middle Name?

Hello long-lost friends!

I am so sorry that I haven't posted in a while. I caught a bad cold over the weekend...and the last thing I wanted to do was be near a computer. So rather than post, I sat on the couch (didn't have much choice because of the torrential downpour outside!), watched a movie with John and my sister, sanitized my entire house in an attempt to keep my loved ones from getting sick, and ate lots of food...lots... 

So, this is Thrifting Thursday, right? Right. But, this week is special - so I'll be adding Thrifting Thursday's post tomorrow (Friday).

So - to before I begin, here are the things I owe you:
  • A Thrifting Thursday post (coming tomorrow)
  • Lucie's 3 month photos (which I have yet to take...honesty - even through shame, is the best policy)
  • Photos of my progress on Lucie's room (Progress? Oh ya - that's that thing that happens when you actually do something about the things you want to change...I haven't yet. I told you you'd have to nag...)

Alright, as I said, this week is special. I have an important post to share with you today regarding Lucie's middle name (Zella) and the incredible woman who inspired our choice: John's 88-year old maternal grandmother - or as she is more affectionately known to us, Nana

John and I are house-sitting with Nana this week while his parents on are on a WELL deserved vacation to Kauai (where John's uncle lives...the lucky dog). It has been a wonderful opportunity for our little Sack O' Sweet Potatoes to spend some quality time with her Great-Nana...and I've had a fabulous time documenting all of the festivities with my new iPhone!*

*OH MY WORD. I could write an entire post about how much I love this silly invention, but I'll spare you. I must say though, that my husband bought it for me AGAINST my stubborn wishes - and I was terrified of it for the first 24 hours. It was a full 18 hours before I even took it out of the box. I just sat, scowling at it - meditating on how much I hate change and new technology. Call me a sell-out...but, I AM A BELIEVER! This non-sensical thing is absolutely amazing.  

This woman, bless her heart, is not one to sit and lazily watch the world go by. She is a go-getter...involved in more clubs and societies and organizations than I can keep track of. She is generous to a fault... answering every "Oh Nana, you shouldn't have done that for us" with an "Oh, it's fine! I sold my car!" FYI - she sold her old car sometime in the late 90's... 

She's the most technologically saavy octogenarian you'll ever meet - easily navigating between her cell phone, Kindle E-reader, computer, and complex photo scanner/printer (which I still don't know how to use...she has to explain it to me every time) with ease. She's got gumption (like my maternal grandmother "Gam!") - an adventurous soul unhindered by the restrictions that an 88-year old body might impose. She doesn't let the ailments on this side of heaven stop her from trying...I just love that. She is one of those individuals who should be listened almost nine decades on this earth have yielded a deep pool of knowledge and wisdom. Most importantly, Nana is a woman of strength and of faith...her beautiful spirit and gracious heart are overwhelmingly apparent to all who meet her. Is it obvious yet? I just love Nana.

When I came on the scene...God bless that woman - she welcomed me with wide open arms. 
Nana and I quickly bonded over our love for history, Antiques Roadshow, and other such fun things (i.e. our new shared obsession, PBS' Downton Abbey!). And when the time came, she generously (understatement) gave John her grandmother's diamond for my engagement ring...w-o-w. Talk about overwhelmed. Talk about humbled.

I am so thankful for Nana - and that she has "adopted" me as a granddaughter. She makes the sting of missing my own grandparents a little less painful. But, I cherish the memories with them and treasure the photos that stand in place for times when I was too young to remember. Looking at these sweet photos, I know this will be the same for Lucie. She loves her Great-Nana!

I love this lady very much and am honored that my daughter shares a piece of her beautiful name, Zella.

So...what's in a middle name? When you're named after Zella Cramer...a whole heck-of-a-lot! :)

If you want a good cry (and laugh), check out the clip below. We didn't find Lucie's gender until she was born, so it was such an overwhelming moment to announce WHAT she was (we'd been calling her "it" the entire pregnancy...poor thing). The clip is of John telling Nana Lucie's full name. He taped it for me since I was laying back in the hospital bed - half-dead from labor, but happier than I could have ever dreamed of with my new baby. Ah! It gets me every time... 

We love you, Nana! Thank you for letting us invade your space this week! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thrifting Thursday: Everyday Dishes

Thrifting Treasure: Almost complete set of everyday dishes (I loaned some to my sister, so the photo above shows less than what I had originally purchased)

Found: Goodwill

Cost: $39.99!

Reason Bought: A few months before our wedding, I moved into the apartment that John and I would soon be sharing. We had registered for "nice" everyday dishes at Crate & Barrel, but they wouldn't be arriving for a while. Empty cupboards yielded a need for something to eat off of. You'd think my joblessness would've meant I went with paper plates...but, $39.99 seemed like a very worthy bargain. We've definitely gotten our money's worth over the past three years!

I very much like the simple black and white design...I might've registered for a similar pattern had it been available around the time of our wedding. We actually use these MUCH more often than our "nice" C&B everyday dishes! And the wonderful price means it's not the end of the world if they chip or break (we know from experience)...  

Drinking tea out of a cup and saucer is just so fancy...wouldn't you agree? Today, I readily embrace fanciness! Or imagined allusions of fanciness, anyway... 

Happy Thrifting!

P.S. Happy 3 Month Birthday, Lucie! WE LOVE YOU! (3 Month Photos Coming Soon!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Operation: Finish Lucie's Room

"Hi Mommy! 

It's me, Lucie. The light of your life. The apple of your eye. 

Well, remember when we had that lovely conversation about all the wonderful plans you had for my bedroom? 

And then we laughed maniacally as we discussed how Pottery Barn would be pounding on our front door, begging to purchase your ingenius and earth-shattering ideas for their Spring 2013 Baby Nursery Decor line? And I continued to laugh maniacally at how large your left nostril was?

Well, I just can't wait to find out what you've done with the place! Let's take a look-see...

Oh I supposed to be impressedWhat the heck happened, Mom?!"


"Lucie, my dear, sweet daughter. I can assure you there is a very simple explanation for this. 

You see, as I began decorating your room, I suddenly got hungry. Then, I got thirsty. Then, you got hungry. Then, you got thirsty. Then, I was distracted by the television. Then, I was distracted by the need to shave my legs. Then, I wanted a piece of chocolate. Then, I was distracted by your father. Then, your father was distracted by my unshaven legs. Then, you were distracted by your father being distracted by my unshaven legs. Then, your father was distracted by you being distracted by him being distracted by my unshaven legs. 

Well, by that time, I only started opening your bedroom door when I was "cleaning" the rest of the house - essentially, using it as a secret storage space in which to throw all of the things in our home that I didn't know where else to put. Then I got distracted again. Then, I got lazy.

So, in order to find a cure for Mommy's procrastinatory ways, she is going to show all of her readers your room in its current, shameful state. That way, they can keep her accountable to the promises she made to you. It might be embarrassing, but at this point (three months in and no progress on the decorating homefront), it is more than necessary."

Here we go.

Yeah, I don't know either... 

Shameful, isn't it?!

So, I have decided that I am going to do something about this. Lucie's room is going to be my project for the next week or so, and I'll likely need plenty of nagging to complete it. So feel free to pester me!

My specific goals in no particular order are:
  • Painting would be my #1 goal except we are not allowed to, as we are at the mercy of landlords. Quite sad...but I suppose it is one less thing for me to do.
  • Organize all of the junk and get rid of things that don't belong in her room (i.e. Christmas decorations...).
  • Find some sort of bookshelf (by thrifting, hopefully) - this kid already has a library full of books, thanks to friends and family! Hooray for literacy!
  • Figure out which clothes still fit her (my guess is, there are very few left...) and put them away.
  • Finish framing/hanging all wall art.
  • Finish her ceiling mobile.
  • Vacuum the carpet that I have forsaken since we moved in.
  • Find a way to thank our wonderful friends who gave (yes, GAVE) us their daughter's very recently outgrown crib, dresser, and changing table. Their generosity knows no bounds!
I've already started making the mobile for above her crib. See very early sneak preview below. I am using an old poetry book's pages as the basis for this creation...

I am actually not quite sure what this mobile will end up looking like - but my projects always tend to be a bit "organic" (in this instance, I believe "organic" is a kinder word for "odd" or "scatter-brained."). The folded flower tutorial can be found here, if interested!

I've also hung her A-Z Animal Alphabet Letters...small accomplishment...
Aren't these just adorable?! So colorful and creative! Each animal is doing something ''human-like," for example, wearing a piece of clothing, playing a game, drinking tea, etc. These cute 5x7 alphabet cards can be found here!

By the way, I love the fact that this card set uses lesser-known animals for certain letters. For example, "Quetzal" instead of a "Quail" for the "Q." What the heck is a Queztal, anyway?! Hello, Wikipedia! Here's the link. They're strikingly beautiful!

Quetzal's are found in wooded areas, especially in humid highlands. They subsist on a diet of...wait...

...what were we talking about, again? 

Oh ya, Lucie's unfinished room. My goodness! Distracted again! You have my permission to NAG until I finish this project. 

Happy Wednesday, friends and family! Be sure to stop by for Thrifting Thursday tomorrow!

P.S. "So, this guy walks into a bar with a Quetzal on his shoulder..." AH! See! HELP.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thrifting Thursday: California Pottery Double-Sided Serving Dish

Thrifting Treasure: Vintage California Pottery Double-Sided Serving Dish in Yellow

Found: New Unto Others Thrift Shop on Vermont Avenue in Glendora (such a cool place! Read more about their unique mission here.)

Cost: $11.00 (typically, house ware items at thrift shops are not this expensive...however, someone over there clearly knew this was worth a bit more than the other junky trinkets)

Reason Bought: It's cute, of course!

Fun Discovery: Well, I actually knew what I had discovered before I even left the shop (thanks to my mother). Growing up, there were a few California Pottery pieces in my home - much more rare/valuable than this particular dish - that had belonged to my grandfather. My mom would show me the pieces, colors, and markings - so that I would always know what to look for, as many people donate these items without knowing what they are. 

See "Made in USA" & "No. 101" etched into the bottom of dish. California pottery is always stamped.
Case in point!

So...with treasure in hand and squalling baby in tow (she was so over being in the stroller!), I knew I needed to act fast. In thirty seconds flat, I snatched up the dish, ran to the counter, threw some money at the poor fellow and dashed out of the store to get Lucie home.

I am feeling extremely triumphant right now! I know that this dish would be so great for  serving snacks at swanky dinner parties... someone else's house. 

I am a realistic mother of a baby now. I will not be hosting a swanky dinner party anytime soon. 

Anyone else find any treasures this week?

Happy Thrifting!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Big Day for Lucie!

My little Pipsqueak has been holding her head up for a few seconds at a time here and there for the past couple of weeks...but this morning, she was feeling particularly ambitious! Her squeak at the end is my favorite! I'm so proud...

After the previous "Little Owl" video, my dad sought out to find her a stuffed toy owl that would "hoot" for her. It's kind of hard to hear the owl's noises, so you might have to turn up the volume. Anyway, we got it today and I think she's found a new best friend! :)

Apparently, this morning's holding-up-of-the-head triumph was only the beginning! This video (taken a couple hours later) is of Lucie's first legitimate laugh...and I can't believe I caught it on camera! I honestly don't know if any sound has every brought me more joy (you can probably tell by my cackling in the background)! :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

I blame this on my parents...

Now, before you think I'm one of those people who blames every one of my irrational issues on my sweet parents (I have a plethora of issues...) - I must assure you, that I am not. I can assure you, however, that it is entirely their fault that I am not a good cook. Ok, maybe not entirely. But their shameful behavior definitely contributed to my kitchen-associated delinquency. 

Shall I tell of the travesties my parents committed? Well, since you asked...

My dad consistently attempts to cook and barbecue the impossible. And HE SUCCEEDS. My mom consistently attempts to bake the impossible. And SHE SUCCEEDS. Let me tell you...with my parents at the helm, "impossible" ALWAYS. TASTES. SO. GOOD. The audacity!

So tell me...what choice did my little 6-year-old mind have, but to rationalize: "why on earth would I need to learn to this stuff?!" And thus, began my delicate relationship with the kitchen. As you can imagine, I very quickly took on the role of enthusiastic consumer, rather than adept and agile creator. Since childhood, I have taken this role so seriously, in fact, that there are VERY few foods - ethnic, exotic, or otherwise - that I would ever refuse ("refuse-worthy" exceptions are: pretzels, white chocolate, chocolate/peanut butter combinations...hurl). 

And then I got married. 

Look at that sweet, unassuming guy --------------------> In my frightening grip. Unable to escape. Not knowing what was he was in for, when it came to his new bride's cooking. It's OK - I'll chime in along with you... "poor John!"

Anyway, my husband's loving encouragement helped me to eventually figure out how to at least "fake it." Pretend like I know what I'm doing and pray over whatever I've created. And wouldn't you know it, on many occasions, "faking it" has yielded an edible...or even a decent, meal!

And though I have no issues identifying myself as a sub-par cook, I've always felt comfortable telling others that I'm an adequate baker. 

Then, this morning happened. Apparently, I overestimated myself. 

After charring the edges of this Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake (a fancy "rose" shaped bundt pan created the rough, fluted edges...I'm not that bad.), I had no choice but to pick off all of the sticky blackness, piece by piece. And no, I'm not ashamed to say I ate some of it...I told you I'll try almost anything. Unfortunately, I didn't take a "before-picking" photo, so the shot above actually doesn't look too terrible. But trust me, I almost cried when it came out of the oven. 

This is the cake, "post-picking." The dark spots you see are not burned edges, but blueberries (though the blueberries themselves are probably charred too).

SO, in conclusion - five things for today:
  • I absolutely love my parents, but this morning's baking disaster is their fault! I mean, they were just too darn good in the kitchen and had the gall to feed me wonderful things. Therefore, my lifelong refusal to learn a new skill and better myself is completely logical, right? Don't worry. I plan to explore this issue further in therapy.
  • I love my husband. And, I'm thankful that he still loves me in spite of myself and his bored, aching stomach. 
  • I need a regular bundt pan. Fancy, flute-edged bundt pans are beyond my skill-set. 
  • If you havent already guessed - this is not and will never be a cooking/baking blog. You do not want to be like or listen to me when it comes to that kind of stuff. That said, if on the rare occasion I do have a cooking/baking triumph, I will tell you about it...out the sheer need to shout it from the rooftops.
  • The inside of the Lemon Blueberry Bundt better taste good, because I'm serving it at small group tonight. They're just going to have to deal with it.

Figuring it out - one irrational issue at a time,

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful cousin, Marcie! Would you like me to bake your birthday cake??

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mama & Baby Gift Ideas!

Happy Saturday, Friends!

Before I begin, I must say - endorsing products in not one of the main purposes of this blog. However, as I was reading to Lucie from a cute little book my mom gave me - I realized that it would be a wonderful new mama gift idea! So, I'd like to share it (as well as a few others) with you. 

Oh, by the way, the authors of these books and creators of these products don't know me from Adam. They have NO idea I'm endorsing their creations. These are just things I have really loved, as a new mama. Just in case you were wondering! 

Here we go!

1) The Little Big Book for Moms edited by Lena Tabori & Alice Wong

My mom gave me this book when I was pregnant for my first "Pre-Mother's Day!" It is SO stinkin' cute I can barely handle it! It compiles famous fairy tales, stories, songs, recipes, activities, games, nursery rhymes and poetry for moms and children. It will transport you to your childhood faster than you can say "Pat-a-Cake!" Also, they have "The Little Big Book" for Dads, Grandmothers, Cats, America, Boys, Animals, Love, Life, California, Roses, Brides, and more. NO kidding. Such an adorable gift - thanks, Mom! You can find it here.

2) Prayer Starters for Busy Moms by Tracy Klehn 

My mother-in-law gave me this book and it has been such a blessing! Sometimes, in the thick of cleaning-feeding-diaper-changing-feeding-not-showering-feeding-loving-a-baby, its hard to find time to pray, know how to pray, or know what to pray (other than S-O-S!). Essentially, I become spiritually tongue-tied. Well, for me, this book is has been a huge help. It has short, quick devotions and "prayer starters" to help a busy mama incorporate "scriptural prayer" into all aspects of her life. A great (and for me, necessary!) gift! Thanks, Sue! You can find it here.

3) Rainy Day Onesie & Oh My! Onesie by Baby Neo

My sister's thoughtful boyfriend, Matt, brought this cute-as-can-be Rainy Day onesie to Lucie at his last visit (Emily, he's a keeper - put a ring on it!). I flipped out at its adorable-ness. It is made by Baby Neo, a San Diego-based eco-friendly clothing company. Their products are quite pricey, $22 for a onesie (so I only bought one - but, it is to die for! See below...). This is one of those situations, though, where the quality and responsible production practices warrant the extra bucks, if you have them. You can read more about Baby Neo's philosophy here. Made in the USA, yo!

Lucie will now model the Rainy Day (find it here) & Oh My! (find it here) onesies for you. I'd like to say that they run small, but our sweet 11-week old baby just runs big...if you know what I mean! She's wearing Rainy Day in 3-6 month size...a bit snug, but still cute. The Oh My! onesie is 12-18 month...a little big, but at the rate she's growing, I'm sure it will fit her perfectly by next week. :)

"Rain, Rain, Go Away!"

"Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, OH MY!"

Happy Gifting!