Monday, November 30, 2015

Cyber Monday Vintage Sale- 50% Of My Personal Collection of Vintage Treasures

Time for a clear-things-out Cyber Monday Sale! Looking for something special and unique for Christmas gifting?

Check it out here. I'll be adding more items throughout the day and month. Then after December, EVERYTHING will be GONE. If you have any questions, send me an e-mail. Happy Shopping to you! /Comments Off
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Friday, November 27, 2015

Our First Star Party: Star Gazing Floridan Neighborhood, Camping and Lollygagging

I recently participated in my first star gazing party since 6th grade. From 4th to 5th grade I was in Astronomy club, on special night's we'd camp out in the school and stay up until the morning hours to gaze at Jupiter and Saturn through a massive telescope. We even e-mailed (new technology!) what the teachers said were "astronauts in the stratosphere". I haven't been tent camping since even longer, I think I was six or so?! It was fun to attempt star gazing with friends recently.

Amber's adorable tent set-up. I crashed on the ground next to her air mattress. 

We drove past Gainesville to enter an out-of-the way neighborhood that, fascinatingly, had amateur observatories EVERYWHERE! We'd never seen anything like it. The area had no street lights and was far enough from the city to ensure amazing star visibility. Once night falls, you can't use anything but a red-tinted light because you're eyes don't have to re-adjust to the dark with it.

Not far from our tent, one of the many amazing at-home observatories.

The campgrounds had cute star buns and details. The showers had an appropriate name!

And this was the star party go-cart.

We ended up getting a discount on our stay there (From $40, yikes!) to $5.00 each because the night was a bust! The previous night was warm with gorgeous visibility, the night we stayed with completely cloud-covered and cold as hell! I wore two pants, three pairs of socks, three scarves two jackets, a sweat shirt and a hat and I still felt some chill! Mark, who didn't pack layers, was bouncing around to warm as the night got cooler.

Edit: There was some confusion, the photos below were created the night we went camping. They're made in-camera with a technique known as "light painting".

So what do when it's cold and there's no stars to gaze at? Take silly pictures (the dark photos above were taken with a camera on a slow shutter speed and our red lights), drink a little beer, tell ghost stories, and make silly pictures with our red lights! We'll camp again, but not until the warm weather, me-thinks! /Comments Off
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Chia Pudding for the Holidays In 3 Steps + Boosts Digestion

Too lazy to make a whole pumpkin pie this year? Perhaps you want a healthier, lighter alternative or something that aids digestion to add to the end of your meal? Try this easy chia pudding! The pumpkin puree makes this recipe irresistibly creamy and rich. To make, simply combine:

- 2/3 Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Cup almond, coconut or any vegan milk (I make my own with this recipe)
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup chia seeds (1/3 cup for a thicker pudding)
- Coconut Sugar or Stevia to Taste

Optional: Pumpkin Spice or Cinnamon to Sprinkle on Top
Optional Topping Ideas: Ground Pistachio, Flax or Pumpkin Seeds, Raisins, Rose Petals

Step 1: Combine your pumpkin puree, sugar or stevia, almond milk and seeds in the bowl you'll serve your desert from and stir these ingredients together.

Step 2: Let your pudding thicken for about 15 minutes

Step 3: Top with your delicious toppings and serve. I are all my nuts and raisins (oops!) so mine is topped with brown coconut sugar and delicate rose petals. The rose petals give it a middle eastern look and flavor.

Tip: Adding ginger, clove, nutmeg, or marshmallow root powder will boost this pudding's digestive-boosting powers.

This is a simple light desert that's easy to make and loaded with protein, omegas, vitamins and minerals. I've packed this in my tiffin lunch box and enjoyed it for lunch on the go more than once. You could even prepare it pretty much immediately before serving at a holiday gathering.

With all the chopping and baking and harder cooking going on for the holidays it's nice to have something that's easy on your body to digest, nourishing, and easy as hell to make!
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Monday, November 23, 2015

Creator's Collections: Tiny Thrifted Miniatures Collection. Toy Food and Road Signs.

I love looking at and sharing the collections of creative people, or just collections in general. They say a lot about the people who have them. I'm going to creep around taking pictures of people's collections and sharing those of volunteers around the world, but I'm starting with a small one of my own. Often you can buy pre-made collections at flea markets, yard sales, and thrift stores, and that's what I bought with my little minis collections.

If I didn't make it clear by Sampuru adoration, I like mini plastic representations of almost anything. I love the miniatures. They're fun for crafts and for styling editorial and product photos. A tiny prop can really help show scale and brand your website or online shop.

You'll notice the road signs have a little hole at the top, I turned these into jewelry pieces once! They were cute and quirk but I decided I'd like them better as props.

That way I could stage silly scenes with them.

Like this! I'm going to use the tiny car one for a write-up photo soon. It's metal and the lid lifts! It's my favorite.

But my favorite little collection is this mini food one. Some of the pieces are from my childhood doll house (and I have more of those to excavate from the attic one day, I always loved the little food way more than the dolls!) but most were purchased from a friend at a yard sale.

And to give you a scale on size, look how tiny! I forgot to take a picture of the adorable little metal shopping basket that goes with these perfectly. You can see a dinosaur holding it in this post. Speaking of which, where's the little mini singer sewing machine? I loved that thing!

What do you collect? If I see good minis, I'll nab them. Right now I only buy: low-cost stuff for my businesses, rare aromatherapy/herbalism books, unique retro-looking or retro clothes, and anything truly interesting/low-priced to decorate with.
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Friday, November 20, 2015

Palm Coast Garden Center for Apartment-Dweller Garden Inspiration and Dreaming

I love my apartment but I'm not gonna lie, I'm tempted to move to a house sometimes just so I can have my own garden!  My indoor container gardens are fun, but there's nothing like customizing your own outdoor space. That won't happen for possibly years to come but until then, I can always visit garden centers, join a community garden, and cultivate friend's backyards! This charming garden center was a stop in Palm Coast Florida. Nearly anytime I see a roadside one I have to stop in for Plant Therapy. Being surrounded by healthy greenery is so good for the soul.

I especially a sucker for the lights on the tropical bungalow, the herbs, and those fish statues. I'm a fish-a-phile and those goldfish garden statues are a weird weakness! The canopy of tall trees made exploring this space very calming. I can't have my own outdoor garden yet, but maybe I'll have my own indoor herb garden soon! I'm working on it. /Comments Off.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Recipe: Good for Digestion + Just Good.

I don't know about you this Thanksgiving, but this year, I'm cooking next to nothing! Bwahahaha! I've got multiple homes to visit! I have some light dishes and beverages planned to share with friends and family this year as opposed to the usual heavy holiday fare. I'll share these recipes on the blog as the holiday approaches. First I'm starting with something simple and delicious (that will make your home smell AMAZING while you make it) that's actually good for digestion!


1/2 TSP All Spice
1/2 TSP Cardamom
1/2 TSP Dried Ginger
1/2 TSP Fenugreek (optional)
1/2 TSP Orange Peel Powder (DIY here)
1/2 TSP Ground Nutmeg
1 to 2 Cinnamon Sticks
Coconut Sugar, Brown Sugar or Stevia to Taste
6 to 8 Black Tea Bags or 1 to 3 Tablespoons Loose Black Tea to taste


Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add all of your ingredients save for your black tea, reduce to medium heat and boil for five minutes.

Add your black tea bags and cook on low for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let your black tea steep. The longer it steeps, the more caffeine your tea will have.

This makes the whole house smell amazing while it cooks!

Strain your tea with a fine mesh strainer, sweeten to taste. Add 1 to 3 cups of milk. (Read here for tips on making your own vegan nut milks.)

This tea tastes amazing served hot or cold. I like to refrigerate this the night before and have it in the morning with vegan creamer or milk. The high amount of black tea makes it a great coffee substitute!

/ / / / / /

This tea is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cold-fighting, slightly detoxing, anti-gas (add 1 tablespoon fennel to increase that potency) and all-around healthy and good for you, especially during the time of year where it's hard to resist that extra brownie or cookie. Sip because it's delicious, guilt-free, and good for you!

And if you want it to be bad for you, I think it would taste good with kahlua as the creamer. Juuust sayin'...

What are you making and/or doing for Thanksgiving? I'm formulating a light green bean casserole, perhaps a desert, hmm....
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Monday, November 16, 2015

Better Homes & Gardens Decorating Book: A Look at Mid Century Modern Style

I know it sounds crazy considering how I much I talk about donating all the time, but I still have a little more vintage that's part of my personal collection I'm willing to part with. (Not the often-requested ceramic dinosaur or lamp.) This "Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book" from 1956 is one of a few items I may put in a mini online vintage sale. I've held on to it for some of the pictures and tips but meh, it's no good reason to keep a book for me. I've been meaning to show peeks from it, let's take a look at some genuine Mid Century Modern styled spaces:

The book opens with a gorgeous one! If I ever end up in a house, I want a mid century modern ranch like that. The wood paneling is so warm. Something I notice about every MCM space from this era, there is always at least ONE fussy detail I'd remove from the photo. Usually several. You can certainly see the 60s sneaking into the 50s style spaces in these shots.

No bad, I don't like the fussy plant cage thing or geometric pillows but it's a pleasing arrangement...wait...are those fish above the windows? Wa- Why are there fish above the windows? Ah, such fun kitsch! Another room had those hideous clown paintings we see at thrift stores above the couch.

If you peek at the before photo in the upper right of the page, actually a nice tip there on widening the space with drapes. Mod mixed with traditional colonial happened a lot in the late 50s early 60s.

Dividers, wall-shelves, and build-in shelving to dream of.

The wall shelves! I'm going to build some like that one day. It's a severely uncomfortable looking space thought. This is a house and not a waiting room? The backless couches look uncomfortable. The pillows remind me of ones I saw in children's spaces in the 80s decor books I looked at as a kid.

I'd move right into either of these spaces, changing very little. The fruit on the table and precariously balanced in a bowl above the shelf (?!) needs to go.

Love the use of natural materials in MCM spaces as suggested in this post.

Or here, let's move here!

Or here! Those windows and exposed brick are amazing!

And the layout tips are cute. They did a traditional one with shaker/colonial furniture and this more modern MCM style space for the "casual" family. Matching couch and curtains!

And then 1 million accessories and a bird cage and you're done! I'm noticing a lot of intentional off-centeredness with the pictures on walls. Operating on rule-of-thirds I suppose? A modern space would work to balance the photo above the fireplace so it was lined up exactly with its edges or centered.

The before/after here is quite good too. The goal was to open the space and make it feel wide and open. Using grey throughout helped the affect.

It's modern and clean but still homey and comforting.

The expanding with light trick is near one I hadn't thought of. The lamps here are gorgeous! It's a dramatic before/after, taking you from a traditional Victorian look right into MCM.

A nicely balanced space, I like the painting and the lamp. It feels a bit like a hotel room and that's appropriate, it's a guest bedroom with a fold-out couch.

Each section has a different Super-Mod illustration. This one is my favorite.

I'll finish with a space that looks startlingly current. This is a modern bohemian classic. There's an attic apartment somewhere near you that out there that looks highly similar to this, I know it. Or a record store? Perhaps a trendy clothing shop? The western element really brings it home as skulls and antlers are still trending.

What's your favorite space here? I like elements from a lot of them. It's a neat little book. I'm selling it for $7.00 if anyone would like it send an e-mail.
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