Emily and I have a place we go to in the Southwest suburbs. It's sort of funny... we leave the city, hop on an expressway, and within 15 minutes we start to see open fields and farmland. I really love it. And then you have some towns pop up, and a bit of new construction, and that's all good, too, Secretly I'd love to live out this way, away from it all, so to speak. But I think I would ultimately choose the quaint old house in the downtown area of the old towns, not a new construction. City Mouse? A little bit always, maybe.
Anyway, this couple in this little neighborhood sell their vintage finds from their home (front porch and garage) and Emily has the goods on their advertisements. So it was the second time for us and we had a ball as usual. I love seeing bloggers have, those who collect vintage pieces. I personally love a little bit of old and chippy, but I lean toward the rustic as opposed to vintage. Well, sometimes you just have something speak to you and you just don't care if it's a part of your repertoire, it's the beauty of feeling something in your heart and soul. I'll share a few items later...the lady was quite negotiable and we were pleasantly surprised with our loot for the amount we paid. We each got one of these windows for ten buckaroos. And me, vowing to never get another window! They are just so fun to dress up for the seasons and holidays.
This vintage scale was what actually brought us here. See the stork? Oh my, is this not 50's or 60's retro love?! Emily didn't believe me but I actually thought I was delivered to my family by a stork! Those images were everywhere in my baby days. So, we are having a baby shower for my daughter in law, Mary Clare, in early January and once we saw the stork scale, the wheels turned and we decided to do a retro theme. Neither of us have any "retro" or "vintage" decor, but don't let that stop Blondie or her creative little dreamer/designer daughter!
Horrible picture (and I hope Kelli doesn't mind), but I searched Etsy for "Vintage Baby Shower Storks" and up came Kelli's shop. This is now our official theme. Isn't this little tag adorable? I have the invites coming in this design and font and a few little decorations (I want to keep it all a secret for the big day and I'll share right after).
I'll also give links (in care any of you are expecting the stork).
We are planning a small party (25-30 ladies) here in my home. Since space is at a minimum. we are not having a sit-down luncheon...more like a finger food/cocktail party. Some savory and sweet offerings; some bought, some make by moi. A signature drink or punch and a bit of wine. Coffee and tea. Just intimate and fun. I'll definitely keep you posted. And yes, in addition to Christmas, my mind is reeling in a few directions. But I have to be used to this by now.
After our visit to the lady with all the vintage things, we went on to a relative of Emily's husband. M had recently lost her father sadly, and had an abundance of furniture and belongings from the home he shared with her late mother. She had given Emily several items recently and had more. What a neat lady! I took a few snaps of her outdoor Christmas decorations. Aqua is her signature color this year. I love this cute "take" on the vintage bike she dresses up seasonally.
M is a self taught fashion stylist, one of the many "hats" she wears, and works at a consignment shop in her little downtown area. She helps the ladies dress stylishly with the clothes offered...many of them looking or wanting to dress nicely for employment. If you look closely at this picture or enlarge it...all of the boxes are from Marshall Fields, that iconic Chicago mainstay until about 10 years ago. In fact, the square box in the lower right corner held her late mother's wedding dress. Yes, it was a vintage day and gave me a whole new perspective on the treasures we can find from the past.
Back to the present...I was so tired of looking at those messy plastic bags and containers of Thanksgiving leftovers, I actually took everything out on Saturday and re-bagged it all so it looked neater (my OCD problem rears it's ugly head again). I searched Pinterest ideas for leftovers and many were quite good; I love the idea of using puff pastry to make a tart with leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Next year, I was fresh out of puff pastry.
Turkey Teterazinni has never been very appealing to me. I've made it and found it really tasteless. Sort of bland and dry. However, on Monday night I was especially wanting to get rid of those ugly plastic bags and I have a huge conscious about wasting perfectly good food. I searched and found a recipe at Daily Waffle and I'm sharing the link. But...you have to jazz this dish up or it tastes like...well, tasteless. Here's my take in addition to the recipe:
Dot the first layer of noodles with butter and a lot of salt. A tablespoon of herbs won't hurt. You choose.
Salt the next layer of shredded turkey (use half dark meat, it's the juiciest and even if you don't like the dark meat, you'll never notice). Give that a few dots of butter.
I layered a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach on the next layer, it adds color and makes you feel like this is a healthier dish. lol!!
You will make a white sauce to pour over. Be liberal with the herbs of your choice. And a traditional white sauce has nutmeg...this recipe forgot that. Don't you.
After you top the whole thing with bread crumbs and Parmesan (and be liberal, don't measure), dot with butter again.
Salt, salt, salt and more salt...or a substitute. The worst thing about this dish is that it is dull. I think my tips will take it to the next level. My family loved it. You may just find yourself going out for one of those rotisserie chickens. Face it, you only make this meal when you have leftover cooked meat, and this rarely happens. There might never be another occasion, and before I gave you these swift ideas, you never wanted one.
I still haven't packed up my fall stuff, I bet that will only take about two trips downstairs but it looms. Instead I started a new novel after not picking up more than a magazine over the past few weeks. I'm enjoying this one (I'll put it on my sidebar soon). Set in Australia, a wife/mother/everyday (sigh, for lack of better words) woman goes on a tangent and rather than writing her generic, always cheerful holiday letter, which she sends out to over 100 family and friends every December 1st, she instead lets it all pour out. Her trials and tribulations (personal and financial) and the stark truth of her feelings about her family members and life in general. In a terrible twist, the letter (or should I have said email) accidentally gets sent out. Oh, my. This sets the stage for a page turning story. In my mind, and I wish I had more time to elaborate...have you ever wanted to write a post, email or letter and say exactly how it is? What is frustrating to you? How the people around you disappoint or aggravate you? How life is SO not a bowl of cherries? This book makes you think.
The Husband deposited the "Christmas Funds" for me to get started on shopping. Remember the Christmas Club (was there another word for it?) your bank had 40 years ago? You made a deposit of about $5.00 a month and lo and behold, in December you had your Christmas funds! I loved that. And how precious that you could do it within that amount! My ever frugal guy sets a budget and I find it a challenge to stay within it (I have very little budgeting talents at all and I'm grateful, not resentful, that The Husband takes charge of this...lest I seem to sound pathetic) And Ooh la la, if I stay under, guess who benefits?!! :) Hope you are off to a good start with your gift shopping and if you are finished and sitting in front of a roaring fire with your favorite beverage in hand...don't tell me. ;-D
An update on the happily engaged couple, son Jeff and fiancee, Deirdre. They have made plans to get married this August. Tell me how I'll survive with a new granddaughter coming in February and a wedding for 400, yes 400 guests in 8 1/2 months? But as my daughter, Abigail, pointed out, it's not about me. I hate this younger generation, they have quite a way with words. So, full steam ahead with trying to lose the weight, dress fittings, wedding showers and dinners, travel arrangements (yes, they chose a place 5 hours away in a harbor town along Lake Michigan). I keep chanting. "Glass half full, glass half full."
I'm setting the alarm for early, getting some shopping and wrapping done, bringing up some decorations, and maybe at least getting the mantel pretty. Glass half full...glass half full. :)