Thursday, May 29, 2014

Contest time.

I'm giving away a Pyrex 043 Blue Doily!

It is in fantastic shape and is waiting to take its place at your families' table.

To enter you must comment on this post telling me which Pyrex piece is your absolute favorite. To an additional entry follow my blog. If you make an entry on your blog about this contest and link back to it it gets you an extra entry. For every 25 re-pins you also get an extra entry so get pinning. :)

This contest is only for those in the U.S.A. and ends on Monday June second at 6pm PST. I will be announcing the winner on Tuesday June third. The lucky winner will be chosen at random, if you're the winner you will have 48 hours to respond to my message.

Good luck!

Italian cream soda

             It gets really hot here, like 120F hot. I love finding different cold beverages to drink during    the summer. This one is so pretty it makes me feel like twirling a parasol. 

     Italian cream sodas didn't originate in Italy, they're actually an American thing. I think they're called "Italian" cream sodas because most of the time people use Italian syrups to make them. I made my own syrup. I picked blueberry because I love them and purple is my favorite color.

 To make the syrup you need one part filtered water, one part sugar and two parts fruit. You can use any fruit, if it's a high water fruit though I'd use a bit less water. I used one cup, one cup, two cups for my blueberry syrup.

 Bring the water to boil, then pour in the sugar. Stir until it's dissolved and then add the fruit. Boil for about 10 minutes, stir every once in a while. Put the heat on medium and  cook for another 5 minutes.

I've never been accused of being good at pouring, let alone doing it while taking a picture of it.
Strain them and press on the fruit with the back of a spoon a little to make sure you get all the syrupy goodness out.

Put the syrup in the fridge until it's nice and cold, I put mine in the freezer for a bit because I'm impatient.

Get your tall glass and syrup.

Put in one or two tablespoons of the syrup, I opted for two but I live life on the wild side.

 Add the club soda, about an inch from the top.

 Oh so fizzy!

 Add your tablespoon of cream, or half and half. If you wanted to make this vegan you could use full fat coconut milk instead.

 Beans got a little excited when it was time for the cream.

 I added some home made whipped cream to mine. Garnish with a bit of the fruit you used to make the syrup then stir a little bit.

 I added a bit more syrup on the top.

Put the left over syrup in a jar and store it in the fridge for future use.

Happy slurping! I mean, uh, being lady like and taking delicate sips, twirl those parasols girls.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thrifting, the lost lid, DIY coasters and some exciting news.

I normally go thrifting every Thursday as I've previously mentioned, it's discount day. Last Thursday I found some cute things and a something that meant a whole lot to my Grandmother.

 These are a pair of boots I got for $6, I love them and they fit like a dream. They're all leather and I think the most comfortable things that have ever been on my feet.

 I love these cute glass plates to hold tea things, a lid for a Pyrex 475 casserole and a glass insulator.

 My mini insulator collection.

 Jeffrey acted like I was nuts when I grabbed the bag of jar lids and rubbers, uh they are a DOLLAR. He asked if that was a good deal, heck yes it is silly man. There was also a bag of cookie cutters I need to have.

 There were some interesting ones in there for sure!

The lid. While we were at my Nana and Papa's for Mother's day I noticed that my Nana didn't have the lid to her kettle...and then I thought back and realized she never had it for as long as I can remember. I asked her what happened to it and she said it vanished a long time ago. I told her that if I ever find one in a thrift store I'll get it to her, we both knew it was a long shot and I've never seen on before but hey, you never know. Last Thursday I spotted this and yelped, I called her while I was still in the store, she was so excited! 

Today was a lazy Tuesday, I decided I wanted to do a little project.

 Scrabble tile coasters! All you need are the things pictured above.

Go through your tiles and decide what message you want to send to the world through your coaster.

 Geronimo was sitting to my left and every time a tile would drop he'd pounce on it.

 I'm aware of the fact that I'm slightly predictable. Cut the cork to size and then glue the tiles on to it.

 And you're done! You can seal the tiles if you want to as well, you can just use some Krylon clear varnish.

Last but not least I became an Aunt again over the weekend!

His name is Colin Michael and he is the sweetest little thing. I'm going to be doing a newborn shoot for him in the next couple of weeks.

Happy thrift hunting, DIYing and cat cuddling. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sweet tea and sorbet

Did you guys know that June is national iced tea month in the U.S.A? Here are some recipes to get you going.

 You're going to start with two cups of filtered water.

Now it's time to boil the water, we don't want a rolling boil, just as it starts to boil pull it off. 

 Grab some of your good quality loose leaf black tea.

 Put in 6 teaspoons, give it a stir with a spoon to get the tea leaves moving and let it steep for 3 two 5 minutes. I like my tea strong so I steeped mine for 5.

Strain in to desired container, I'd advise against plastic for obvious reasons.

Add your sugar ( 3/4 cup ) and then stir until it's dissolved, then add 4 cups of cold filtered water.

 Stir, stir, stir.

 Add 3 cups of ice.

Then sip and say ahhhhh.

Next up is sweet tea and raspberry sorbet.

 I used frozen raspberries as finding good quality ones in Vegas is somewhat difficult. I whizzed mine in my blender and then strained all the seeds out.

 All the raspberries and juice should come to about a half a cup.

 Two cups of sweet tea.

I put it in my ice cream maker attachment for my kitchen aid and let it run for 20 minutes. It's really hot where I live, I did this at night and it was still 85 degrees so it wasn't very frozen yet. Put it in a freezer safe container and let it sit in there over night.

 Aaaah yes, it came out well though! The raspberry obviously colored it beautifully but the sweet tea taste is still very present. It was very refreshing and light, perfect for a hot summer day.

Happy sipping!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why I collect vintage

I've always been a nostalgic person, I've always been a collector. When I was little I collected rocks and fossils and as a teenager it was Sailormoon cards. As I got older and got my own home I decided I wanted to fill it with good things. Things that had history, things that are made to last. I've always been interested in kitchen things.  I love to watch cooking shows, I love seeing how delicious and beautiful food is made.  I was instantly drawn to vintage Pyrex, it reminded me of happy memories. It was used at every major family function from a 4th of July BBQ to birthdays.

One of my favorite and best finds, a complete unnumbered primary bowl  set ( 1940's ) that I got from Goodwill for $9.12

 Hot air balloon chip and dip set ( made in 1958 ) I got the smaller bowl from a sweet old lady that dropped the larger bowl right before I got there. I was slightly traumatized and wouldn't stop lamenting over it so my Mom got me the chip bowl for my 24th birthday. I found the cradle locally. One of my absolute favorites, it's so whimsical.

Fire King jadeite swirl bowls and teacups, it took me two years to find these! A sweet old man was selling off his wife's collection, she had recently passed and he was moving in to a nursing home. He was a charming character. A great thing about collecting something is that you get to meet some of the most interesting people.

One of the best things about collecting something is the hunt! I love going to thrift stores and go once a week, normally on Thursday as that's discount day. I drag my Husband out with me and we troll through aisles hoping to find some goodies. Once I lifted a Pyrex bowl over my head like it was the Heisman Trophy. I often make very embarrassing squeaks of excitment as well. It's amazing how a crappy day can blossom in to an amazing one if you find the right piece of history waiting to take it's spot in your kitchen.

 These are some of my most recent finds from an estate sale I attended this past weekend. It was rare for Vegas to have a sale like this, most of the stuff was in a massive old barn. We had to wait in line for 45 minutes in the hot sun, everything was dusty and it was crowded but it was worth it.

 I adore these glasses! The riverboats made me think of sitting on a big wrap around porch and sipping ice cold sweet tea. They were made by Libbey in 1968 for Southern Comfort. 

 When it really comes down to it though there is one very simple explanation as to why I collect vintage, vintage to me is watching my grandmother stir the chocolate chips in to the cookie dough and giving me some of the dough on a spoon to nibble on. Vintage to me is sitting at the Thanksgiving table and looking at all the wonderful food my Mother and Grandmother made for my family. Vintage to me is eating that peanut butter and jelly sandwich and listening to my Grandparents talk about how they first met.

 That brown casserole at the top was my Nana's so it gets top billing that thing has seen many a yam.

 Last year's Christmas display.

 Also during last Christmas, I found that casserole at my favorite antique store named Goat Feathers in Boulder City, Nevada.

 My Beanie cat, in my opinion vintage and cats just go together.

For the curious I'll tell the story of how they met. My Papa had recently graduated from university and was in the ROTC program. He went in to the military as an officer. He was to be stationed in Germany and took a boat for his journey. My Nana was an officer's daughter, her father had also recently been assigned to Germany and as fate would have it they were all on the same boat going over. My Nana was 16 and bored, my Papa was 23 and awkward, they met up every evening to play cards. My Nana said she she immediately was taken with my Papa, she said she first noticed his handsome hands. They grew smitten with one another but realized that when the boat ride was over so was their budding friendship. Papa was being stationed in a different part of Germany than my Nana's father. They said their goodbyes, my Nana said she thought a lot about him in the following weeks as they got settled in to their new lives. Then one day on the street she heard someone call out her name, she looked around and saw my Papa. His situation had changed, he had been moved to Heidelberg, where she and her family were now living. A shortly after that they were married and a year after that my Mom was born.

Here is a picture of my Grandparents flirting shamelessly before they got married.

Their wedding, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year.

 Fill your home with things you love, happy hunting.