antique · country life · Crafts · Decorating · Family · Recycle/repurpose · Shopping · Surprise · Vacation · Vintage

It’s Antique Week,

Today we are heading down for Antique week. Follow us on Instagram for our sisterly adventure this week. We will share latest ideas, news and fun over the next four days with you is Instagram. Woot woot…let the adventures begin!

Decorating · Family · Organization · Shopping

Spring Cleaning

Mancave Closet

I have the spring-cleaning bug. Yep, I got hit hard this year with it. I have already tackled my office and our guest room. I am talking including rearranging the furniture. Luckily my husband loves when I get like this. What was a little bit of a surprise is that I was ready to tackle our big storage closet in the mancave.

Closet Before

Ever since we had it built, we have talked about really getting it organized. We had put up a couple shelving units in it, but it wasn’t working. We had way too much stuff and no organization. It was hard when holidays came around to get to the decorations. We had bins on shelves, bins against the walls and stuff just stacked on top of more stuff. We are the curators of his family history so one shelving unit was just for that.

We finally decided it was time for us tackle the closet. After my husband took some measurements, I made an appt at the Container Store. If we were going to do this, we were going to do it right. I used the Container Store to the closet in my office. So, I met with the designer and we worked up a plan. After a little tweaking with my husband we had them order everything. My husband was out of town when everything arrived, so I was going to have to wait until he was home to get started.

Elfa Shelving from Container Store

After removing the contents of the closet, I cleaned up the floor and walls before we got started with the installation. This where I love having an engineer for a husband. He laid out the plan and got to work measuring where the supports were to go. With this system, I decided on mesh bins to put things in. A total of 32 bins that slide in and out like drawers. These bins can be taken out of the system so that you can take the contents where ever you need it. I was so excited! These bins hold as much as those big bins we were storing our decorations and stuff in.

What a mess
Closet Installation

I was able to get everything except his family history organized and put up. I am planning on making labels to attach to the bins. I still need to go pick up a few bins to store soft goods on the shelves. The family history is going to take a little time to go through. His family has kept their history well documented.

For now, I am in a holding pattern with my closet. I have done all I can do. It is so nice to walk in there and be able to find what I want without having to dig or move bins to get it. When we finally get through the family history and I get my labels attached I will show you the final project.

Cooking · Family · Food · Shopping

A Spice in Life

By now, you all know that I love to cook. For me, cooking is like art. I am always amazed by the flavors, aroma and beauty that is created. It doesn’t matter how simple or how complicated a recipe may be, it is the end product that entices me. I love shopping local farmers markets, butcher’s shop or fish market when I get a chance. I have been known to drive hours to shop at a specialty grocery store. Nothing gets my creativity going like finding something new to try.

 
One of my standard gift requests is for my daughter to send me spices from Central Market. I just love Central Market. That trip to the specialty store I mentioned, that was to Central Market in Austin when I lived in Houston. HEB had not graced Houston with one yet. That was a very long time ago. This past year, once again I asked for spices for Christmas. But to my surprise, she gifted me a year of spices from a company called Piquant Post.

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During one of our conversations, I let her know that I had received her gift. I didn’t know how to respond because I knew nothing about Piquant Post. I looked at the little packages of spices and the recipe cards included. They came in this plain brown envelope, nothing exciting. The spices are finely ground so I couldn’t really tell much about it. It lacked the visual interest of spices not ground so finely. The first recipes were things I already make or had made before. I felt bad because all I could say is that it was interesting. I am a little bit of a snob when it comes to food. So, when the next shipment arrived, I took the time to really look at the recipes. These had more spice and creativity of food combinations. Ok, I thought I can work with that.

 
Living here in Florida, we have amazing Caribbean food. So, I decided the first recipe I would try was going to be the Jerk Chicken. I followed the recipe exactly as the card instructed using chicken breast. I decided to serve mine with yellow rice and fresh tomato slices. I was so surprised that I really like it! I mean, I could have made it hotter, but it was a great combination. I cooked mine in the oven and used the broiler to give a little char. My husband agreed with me that it was very good. I made a note of the recipe card of our rating. This is one I will want to make again.

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Now, Piquant Post does not have an online store for gift subscription receivers to order more spices from yet. But you can email them your request according to their website. My daughter can order since she sent it to me. I will investigate the reorder process and see what happens. You can’t remake the recipe if you don’t have the spice combination they provided.

 
Lacey did a good job surprising me with this one! Tonight, is Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork.

Family · Fishing · Food · Hunting · Shopping · Wedding

Amber & Chris Part 1

 

Let’s talk about the wedding! We arrived a couple days before the wedding so we could spend time exploring and to help where needed. We volunteered to pick up the cake and cupcakes which meant a trip over to League City area. Pick up wasn’t until late afternoon which meant we had a lot of time to kill. After a little breakfast we grabbed our coats and off we went.

 

 
I took my husband over to Carter’s Country there in Spring. I had not been to this location, so it was going to be something new for both of us. If you like to shoot or hunt, this is a must stop in the Houston area. The Spring location has a shooting range! Absolutely gorgeous location and as always Carter’s Country doesn’t disappoint. Luckily, we only left there with a new pair of boots for my husband. But I know he had his eye on a few new things. Christmas present ideas already for him. Next, we headed towards Kemah. We stopped at Marburger’s Sporting Goods in Seabrook. They have been around for a very long time and have a great selection for hunting and fishing. My husband enjoyed reminiscing about fishing in Texas.

 
Next it was to Kemah Boardwalk for lunch at Landry’s Seafood. Love the view of the water, even if it is a dreary winter day. Lunch was great as usual at Landry’s. A nice cup of gumbo helped to warm me up before exploring the boardwalk.

 

We walked around and finally stopped at Bayside Grille for dessert. Now this is a must for me. I don’t care how full I am, I will always have room for beignets! We sat down with coffee and an order of beignets. While my husband caught up on work, I worked on devouring a couple of these warm pillows of heavenly goodness. Bayside Grille makes them fresh right there where you can see them. Some people add honey, but I just love the powdered sugar. A good cup of coffee and a beignet and I am set folks! We walked off my beignet high as we continued to explore the boardwalk. We watch a few people ride some rides, but the dreary cold weather kept most people away. After a few more shopping stops we headed over the Cavendar’s.

 
Woo hoo, it was finally time to pickup the cupcakes and cake. Craved Creations Bakery in League City is a tiny little shop. But oh, what an incredible place! We laid down the seats in my Explorer and loaded over 200 cupcakes in it. I decided I better carry the cake on my lap. My husband carefully drove us back to the hotel so we could unload our bounty and grab some dinner. How exciting! One more day y’all and wedding time!

Crafts · Decorating · Family · Gardening · Shopping

New Year New Ideas

 

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season. I am already working on a few projects. We have a quite a few things happen in January. Marie is going to be a grandma! We have a few parties Marie wants to do this year, so we are starting the plans for those. Amber and Chris get married in a few weeks and you will see the cake stands I have been working on.

 
During our Christmas visit we were able to squeeze in a little shopping. Just wait until you see what I am making! I picked up a lot of new goodies and so did Marie. From Fort Worth to Mineral Wells, we hit the best places and came home with so many new ideas. Hang tight y’all, we have a lot going on to share with you this year. I am so excited!!!

 
I am always interested to see how people plan the new year. Some I know make resolutions (I don’t). I am already deep in the planning stages for what I know I am doing this year. I am sure Marie will throw me a couple more projects along the way. But I am one of those that likes it all planned out to some extent. I don’t like deadlines or to be rushed. When it comes my art, nope, can’t do those hard deadlines. I must feel it people (I am laughing so hard right now at that)!

 

So, do y’all stock up on your next year Christmas craft supplies after the holidays? I did it before because I was afraid things would not be there after Christmas. So glad I did because a lot of things were gone! I have yellow stickies on things, so I can remember why I bought them and the ideas. Marie and I were both trying to get last-minute decorating pieces and found the stores were out way before Christmas was even here. Sad but also good for those of us who are already working on the next seasons ideas.

 
Well folks, hang tight and get ready for what we will be sharing next. Marie is hunkered down on the ranch trying to keep warm. It’s a little cold there in Weatherford Texas. I am sitting here in a sundress and barefoot. It is a lovely 85 degrees here in Saint Cloud. I have tomatoes ripening on the vine and new blooms on my little lemon trees already! I bet Marie is happy she had that green house built last year.

 

Happy New Year Y’all!!!

 

 

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Clothes · Crafts · Decorating · Recycle/repurpose · Shopping · Vintage

Vintage Market Days

Vintage Market Days Kissimmee

While my husband was off hunting, I went to the Vintage Market Days in Kissimmee. It was my first time to one of their events. I was excited to say the least. I had purchased the early shopper pass so that I could go before the crowds. And it was worth it!

 

I arrived about 30 minutes after it was open. I knew exactly what I was hoping to find and was excited about what surprises there could be. I am one of those methodical shoppers too. I must go a certain direction and down every aisle. I take my time and inspect everything. One of the first booths I hit had furniture and some antique linens. Yep, you guessed it. I picked up a couple things like table clothes, napkins and doilies to replenish my stock used for the wedding. They tried to talk me out of one of the table clothes because of a rust stain. No problem for me, I have my super-secret cleaning solution to take care of that. So that lovely little thing came home with me.

 

I found this adorable banner at Well Red Design booth. It is made from vintage postcards! So adorable and I know Marie will love that hanging at her house for Thanksgiving. Of course, now I will be looking for vintage postcards when I go my adventures in antiquing. What is even cuter is the little notes on be cards. The history behind them just makes it even more precious.

Vintage Market Days Tournesol Tribal

At the Tournesol Tribal Booth I picked up the cutest ring and earrings. I also picked up bags of stamped metal and buttons. I have great ideas for these in the future. I love when you see different things like this that inspire me creations.

Vintage Market Days Jewelry

I found everything from antiques and collectables to jewelry and clothes. There was something for everyone! I ran into the Stained Glass Lady from here in town where I learned to do stained glass. She is a great teacher and moved into our downtown area being revitalized here in Saint Cloud.

Vintage Market Days Cans

I fell in love with the old vintage windows and milk cans. This booth had also had oil cans and shutters just to name a few things.

Vintage Market Days Jacquelyn Delia Desgins
I met a jewelry designer from here in town, Jacquelyn Delia Designs. Her booth was packed so I didn’t get any pictures, but she had amazing turquoise jewelry. She had her own design of the tobacco leaf jewelry and cigar rings. And converts vintage jewelry with her modern designs to bring beautiful contrast of old and new. Just loved it!

Vintage market Days

As you can see from the pictures, there was amazing vendors. The two days that followed they were crowded, and people left with car loads of goodies. I can’t wait until my next adventure with the Vintage Market Days.

 

Cooking · Decorating · Family · Food · Shopping

Heading Home

On my way home, I stopped in Houston to see my daughter. Nothing puts a smile on my face like Lacey. We had dinner at one of our spots called James Coney Island. The memories we have made eating hotdogs there will always stick out in my mind. Thanks for another memory Kiddo!

 


I stayed a couple nights so that I could also get a chance to see Amber and Chris. I am so excited…they get married in January!! So proud of these two and the amazing future they have together.

 


I headed to downtown Houston so that I could go to James Avery and do some shopping. I love their jewelry and always find something for a gift or myself when I go. I picked a few things and headed over to Central Market.

 
HEB is a Texas chain grocery store and their specialty stores are Central Market. I wish Florida had an HEB, let alone a Central Market. The fresh squeezed orange juice puts all others to shame. You will find five or six different kinds of potatoes to exotic fruits in their produce. My mind just goes crazy with ideas when I am there. I want to take it all home. They have a butcher shop on sight as well as fresh seafood. A bakery and freshly made foods to take home, all kinds of spices, coffee and teas are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can find. I fill my basket with all my favorites that I can’t get anywhere else and spices galore. I think I picked up at least 4 lbs. of Texas Pecan Coffee. If you ever get a chance to shop at HEB, you will love it. And if you get a chance to shop at Central Market, bring a cooler!

Central Market 1

 

After my little shopping spree and lunch, I headed over to Half Price Books in Pearland. I love the book store and lose time when I am in there. Then I made a stop at my favorite antique store there in town, Brows’ Aroun’ Antiques. They have been there since 2001 and I have been going there since they opened. I love finding new little treasures when I shop, and they never disappoint.

 
I had to make this visit short, but I will be back again soon. I made a stop in Port Allen LA on my way home to stock up on my Cajun favorites for cooking. Bergeron’s Boudin and Cajun Meats is where I pick up my tasso and andouille. Wait until you see what I cook with them!

Family · Fishing · History · Shopping · Vacation

Gloucester Ma

Gloucester 66 Red Building

Our last morning in Massachusetts was spent in Gloucester. The drive from Beverly was absolutely beautiful. The homes and landscape as we passed reminded me of why people love to go up north to see the changing of the foliage.  The curves of the road draped on each side by tall majestic trees. The stones and architecture of the homes graced our eyes as we passed. I could have driven for hours down the back roads.

Gloucester 56 Dry Dock Mama Tried

My husband talks about the Perfect Storm from time to time. I personally have not watched or read it. I have a fear of the ocean and to think of what happened terrifies me. As clear as the water is here in Florida I know what lies beneath. But for him, this was a trip he wanted to make.

 

As we arrived in town, we passed the Fisherman’s Memorial. What these men do and what these families endure, I know is hard and dangerous. This town has been through a great deal and yet it thrives still today.

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We stopped at the Crow’s Nest. The bar is mentioned in the movie. We took a few pictures of my husband before stepping in to look around. It was a little early for drinks but I could have handle one I think.

 

 

Across the street from the Crow’s Nest is the harbor and beautiful boats being stored or worked on (dry docked).

 

 

We went down to Captain Solomon Jacobs park and walked around. Got a quick look at the Schooner Ardelle and pictures from the harbor.  Ten Pound Island Lighthouse is just a speck on the horizon today. We head over to Main Street for a little shopping but most were not open yet.

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Gordon’s Seafood is located here too. For 169 years it has been in Gloucester and is there to stay. I remember eating Gordon’s fish sticks as a kid. You couldn’t get me to eat any other brand.

Gloucester 22 Gorton's

We stopped for coffee on our way back to Beverly to drop Jamie off. It was a great quick trip and next time we will plan on staying longer. Now back to Orlando because I am on my next adventure in just a couple days. Are you ready?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family · Food · History · Shopping · Vacation

Salem MA

Salem MA Hawthorne Hotel
Hawthorne Hotel

After our Marblehead adventure we dropped Jamie off and headed back to the hotel. I love the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. When we got back that evening it was bustling with wedding guests and people arriving to have dinner in the restaurants at the hotel. From the beautiful flowers in the lobby to the friendly staff, it was a welcoming sight. Bewitched Salem episode was filmed here and that is just a speck in its long history. I love the brass mail shoots that remain between the elevators. I wish we there was time to sit and people watch. But we needed to rest and grab a snack before going to see Jamie perform.

We had a lovely room. I love the simplicity of the décor and the bed was so comfy. The large windows lend an awesome view of Salem Common from our room. We ordered room service and shared a meal while we rested before the show. The food was incredible and the staff so friendly. But what made me smile was seeing on the room service menu food for your dog. Oh, my goodness! They will actually prepare food for you dog. I love it!! I love hotels that understand our pets are family too. Actually, everywhere we went while in Massachusetts pretty much dog friendly. But I digress. This beautiful historic hotel has so much to offer including adjacent homes they owe for staying. Gave me ideas for visits with my sister in the future (a girl can dream).

Salem MA 9 Salem Witch Museum
Salem Witch Museum

After seeing Mamma Mia the night before we spent the day exploring Salem. We did a self-guided tour of the city starting with the Salem Witch Museum. With a brief history of the witch trials and the history of witchcraft we set off about town. There is much to see and one day will not be enough to get it all in. Right outside of the museum is a statue of Roger Conant, the founder of Salem.

Salem MA 11 Roger Conant Founder
Roger Conant – Founder of Salem MA

We missed the tours of the New England’s Pirate Museum, but I did get my husband’s picture with a couple locals.

 

The Old Burying Point Cemetery didn’t get much activity on my ghost tracking apps, but this tree sure had people interested. We watched as locals (in costumes) took photos in front of it, so I had to take some of it. Do you see what I see?

 


After walking through the Witch Trials Memorial and visiting the Salem Witch Village, Witch History Museum and the Salem Wax Museum I had enough of witches and we headed down towards the waterfront.

 


I poked my head in a few shops like the New England Dog Biscuit Co. before sitting down for a drink and snack at the Sea Level Oyster Bar and Kitchen.

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Sea Level Oyster Bar & Restaurant Salem MA

 

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Sail Loft weathered beauty

Right next to the restaurant was the Salem Maritime National Historical Site. I loved the look of the Sail Loft replica. I could just imagine the wharf busy with boats and ships as goods were delivered and checked at the Custom House across the street. I love the National Parks Service website and apps. It gives you so much of our history at your fingertips. I always check it when I am exploring new places or on one of our adventures. When we went to Gettysburg, I was overwhelmed and in awe of this hallowed ground. I strongly suggest checking out our National Parks Services.

Salem MA 7 Sail Loft
Sail Loft Replica at the Salem Maritime National Historical Site

Not far from there is The House of Seven Gables. As we continued to explore Salem while dodging rain, I made a little stop at Ye Olde Pepper Company. It is America’s oldest candy company since 1806. I indulged a little, ok a lot on their chocolate covered orange and lemon peels. Love, love it!! After getting an assortment of chocolates we headed back to the hotel before picking up Jamie for dinner. I made a little stop at the Old Naumkeag Antiques and Gallery next to the hotel. Extremely tiny place but incredible antiques. I picked a few things of course. If I had a truck, corbels and antiques would have filled it up!

It was a short visit and dinner at Finz with Jamie between her shows. But the next day, now that adventure was for my hubby…

Clothes · Family · History · Shopping · Theatre · Vacation

Marblehead MA

Marblehead MA 17

I love taking trips with my husband. I really do have a lot of fun with him and we work well together. So, when we planned our trip to visit his daughter we made a long weekend of it. I had never been that far north on the east coast, so I had no idea what to expect. But our love of history and historical places made it a lot of fun.
We flew into Boston and that was all I saw of Boston. We will be planning to do Boston on another trip. After getting our rental car we headed to our hotel to check in and then we would go pick up Jamie. We decided to stay in Salem. I chose the historical Hawthorne Hotel when we made our reservations and I thoroughly love it. After checking in we headed to Beverly to pick up Jamie.
For those who don’t know about Beverly, I suggest you check it out. Not only is it home to the North Shore Music Theatre where Jamie performed, but is the birthplace of our Navy. Ok, it is a rival of Marblehead for that title, however it is where the first ship of our Navy was built and set sail from. Anyway, it is a beautiful city and you will not be disappointed visiting.

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We head to Marblehead (settled in 1629) for lunch and take in the sites before Jamie’s show. I will be honest; my head was whipping from side to side trying to see everything. The beauty of the architecture made me excited and I just wanted to touch and look at everything. My obsession with corbels had me wanting to get a truck and take as me home with me as I could pack in it. The beauty of these hand carved wooden wonders used in the architecture of the time still exist today. I mean they are still there from before the American Revolution people! The houses and buildings still exist. Historical markers on the homes and the layout of the city make it easy to imagine how it must have been in the early years of our country.

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The Barnacle and Jamie

We decided to have lunch at The Barnacle, a quaint little bar/restaurant on the waterfront. The view was amazing, and I will admit they make a damn good Bloody Mary too. I know people probably were staring at me because I just was just like a kid at Christmas taking in the building. I found myself staring at the huge wooden beams. The bar was stacked with patrons and the dining room filled up quickly. I have lived on the Gulf coast of Texas off and on all my life but the beauty of the terrain here was so new to me. After a delicious lunch we head out to explore the town.

 


This was a walking tour and shopping for us. There are no straight roads and parking is not easy. You would miss all the wonders of this town anyway if you don’t walk. Carriage houses turned into garages and cobblestone driveways make these homes so endearing. I love the dental molding on this one yellow house that was being restored. And I must admit there was this pink or blush painted house with cream trim that made me smile. Maybe my sister needs a pink house on the ranch? I have always wanted to have a home like these where the history and simplicity of the times was still used with of course modern convenience. But the lack of air conditioning in most of these was where I would have to draw the line. I was amazed how many still did not have it but then again, it isn’t like living in the south. Taking such care of these historical homes and buildings is not an easy task and the pride of the owners taking on this responsibility shows everywhere. I applaud you and thank you!

 

 

Marblehead has museums and galleries as well as shops and local artists with work on display. We stopped in some of Jamie’s favorites called She as well as Bobbles and Lace where we proceeded to try on the cutest clothes. The Paris Galerie and Ship Shape caught my attention and the buildings themselves made the experience even better.

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With 369 years of history and beauty, Marblehead left a lasting impression on me. I want to go back and spend more time exploring the incredible history of this amazing town.