I hope all my readers in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was simple and enjoyable. I baked pies (as I usually do) and made up a delicious chanterelle mushroom gravy for Lucy and I to eat over potatoes and rolls since we don’t partake in the Turkey eating. We truly have so much to be thankful this year, mostly for our health, but also for all that has happened over the past year. It has not been an easy one, but it has been one of growth.
Over the weekend we took a little trip to the Christmas tree farm, where our little cowgirl had fun romping through the trees and watching animals. Watching her charge between the trees while picking up sticks and fallen branches was one of the biggest joys of the long weekend. I am thankful for these moments.
It has been a very, very long time since I took a trip alone. I had a few solo drives from San Diego to San Francisco and back about six to eight years ago to visit my best friend and my mother, who both lived in the area at that time. I have always enjoyed that drive. It takes about eight hours, but it can be incredibly beautiful if you take the longer and more scenic drive up the coast. About ten years ago I drove from San Diego to New Orleans to stay with some family and celebrate my recently achieved 21 year old status during Mardi Gras (whew, I am thankful to no longer be in my early 20s!). Back then I had such a liking for my time on the road and the solitude that driving long distances brought. That of course was during my Kerouac phase. I’m sure in my young, impressionable mind I thought I was super adventurous for driving eight hours in the car and had visions of partying with Ken Kesey and the like. Oy.
While this time I wasn’t really alone, after four hours (much less, six, eight, or ten!) sitting on your butt in the car, passing off toys, crayons, crackers, reciting five little monkeys, and listening to ‘In the Mood’ by Glenn Miller on repeat for two hours straight (seriously, that is her favorite song–the only song!), the moment she fell to sleep I felt so alone. Three hours, driving through the flat desert land of Arizona, a sleeping toddler, and no laundry to fold, no dishes to clean, no dinner to start, and no dogs to walk, a lot of thoughts can occur. Not to mention, I couldn’t crank the Blondie and sing at the top of my lungs like I would have done on past solo road trips when these lingering feelings of boredom or lonesomeness started to creep in. It was an odd sensation, and one I truly hadn’t experienced in a really, really long time. My mind was so free, I had real, uninterrupted thoughts. I had thoughts of joy and thoughts of doubt. I thought about everything I have, and much more that I don’t.
In the end, I realized how thankful I am for my busy toddler/mama life. Most days I am so consumed with our simple goings on, that these feelings of self doubt and thoughts of “the bigger picture” don’t really take up much space in my mind anymore. I have always been of the opinion that living a more simple life is the true road to happiness. Simple routines, less technology, a little time alone, and some amazing meals can real work wonders on your soul. This trip truly reminded me how important it is for me to work towards simplifying all aspects of my life.
While we were visiting I truly fell in love with the small town of Taos. Here we are at the Rio Grande bridge with my beautiful sister, and our amazing family friend Chee. They (along with my mom) showed us such an incredible time, small town style, and I loved every minute of it. I am longing to return again soon.
Double Take had the most fabulous selection of bakelite I have seen in a long, long time. I spent a good chunk of time standing over that case, daydreaming about walking out with every single horse head brooch and a stack of bangles on my arm. Nothing quite lights my fire in the antique stores like a case of brightly colored bakelite!
There was also an incredible selection of vintage clothes (mostly Western), which I unfortunately forgot to photograph, because I was too busy pulling things off the rack to try on (well, that and trying to chase around a very bored two year old!). I tried on a few beautiful squaw dress sets, and was ogling over the stunning selection of hand-painted Mexican skirts, but I ended up leaving with only a sweet little dress for Lucy.
The upstairs in Double Take is devoted to the house wares and furnishings. I had to speed through this section, because Lucy refused to get back in the ergo, and letting her off the leash (so to say, we do not actually use a leash!) would be like a bull in a china shop. There were some incredibly pieces upstairs though, just look at all that Fiesta ware! I was also excited to see the Red Wing dishes, which I featured a while back in one of my vintage dinnerware posts.
If you ever make your way to Santa Fe, New Mexico be sure to check out Double Take, it is a vintage/western lover’s heaven!
Here is a super easy and festive vintage holiday craft. I first made these trees about a month ago, but thought mid October might be a little too soon to be flooding the blog with Christmas related posts. Be thankful I was out of town, otherwise the Christmas posts would have began on November 1st!
All you need for this project are:
Bottle brush Christmas trees (available at craft stores)
Make sure to do this craft outdoors, as the bleach fumes can get a little overwhelming. Fill a tub or bucket with bleach, place trees in, turning regularly until color is gone. The smaller trees took about two minutes, but may take longer for you. Just watch, while turning, until almost all of the green has faded.
Place finished trees in a tub of water. I soaked them all in water for a good period of time, then rinsed and re-rinsed three or four times after. During the initial soaking I also used my tongs to swish them around a few times, which removed the majority of the “snow” on the needles.
Allow to dry overnight.
Tape off the base of the tree (unless you want it the same color as the tree).
Spray paint. I did about three coats, just to make sure they were fully covered.
I had been to Taos twice before, once as a very young girl road-tripping to Oklahoma with my family, and then again four years ago with Russ to visit my mom, shortly after she moved there. Though the latter trip was enjoyable, both he and I left feeling unimpressed by the town.
This trip was different though. Maybe it was because my mom has lived in Taos for longer and knows the town a bit better. Or maybe it is because my sister is there with her now, and she and I share more common interests. Or maybe it is because I have a different outlook on life and am more appreciative of the different kinds of beauty this vast country takes on. Whatever the reason, I really, really fell in love with the beautiful small town of Taos, New Mexico.
While the most fun parts of the trip were spent cooking dinner with my sister and having wild, spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen, we also had a lot of fun out and about in the town. We stopped into a lot of little “cowboy” shops, and this was one of my favorites. Horse Feathers had an excellent selection of new, vintage, and antique Western wear as well as incredible lamps and decor. I actually ended up stopping by this shop twice, because I couldn’t get my mind off a great little 60s cowboy print, which I will share in another post. The owners were super sweet, and really fun to talk to about all their vintage pieces.
If you are ever in Taos, I definitely recommend stopping by Horse Feathers.
Thank you my dear readers for your patience over the past few weeks. I had a family matter I had to tend to, which required me and Lucy to drive out to Taos, New Mexico (a 14 1/2 hour drive from San Diego, not including stops). It was intense and in the days leading up to travel I was majorly stressing out. The furthest we have traveled with Lucy in the car is to just outside the Santa Barbara area (a four hour drive), and even then we traveled in the evening when we knew she would sleep, and both parents were in the car–so one could drive and one could distract.
This though. This was Lucy and I, on the road, alone–for a very, very long time. To say I was scared was an understatement. In the days leading up to travel, I planned all the activities I would offer her, filled the front seat of our car with all the snack (junk) food one could possibly imagine, and booked the most fabulous looking hotel close to the mid way point between San Diego and Taos New Mexico–The Wigwam Village Motel #6.
In the end, Lucy ended up doing amazingly. It definitely was not easy (are long road trips ever easy?), but with lots of distraction, the promise to stop for bagels, a nice long car nap, and the help of my iPhone, we made it to Holbrook, Arizona in one piece and with very few tears (on my part).
I had really been looking forward to this part of our trip. I have always been enamored by roadside attractions and 1950s Americana. I knew I wouldn’t be happy staying in some humdrum motel. After looking up a few different routes and motels, I kept coming back to the wigwam motel, I mean, look at it! Who wouldn’t want to stay here?
The hotel was very fun to stay in. It was nothing fancy, but it was affordable, historic, and made for some great photos. I couldn’t ask for anything more in a motel! We will definitely be staying here again on our next road trip to Taos.
Here is info and a brief history of the wigwam motel/s.
Hi friends! I briefly mentioned in my last post that posting would be a bit slow in the coming week or two, and it will continue to be. I just thought I would post some of my favorite vintage finds from last week.
I hope you all had a great weekend and had some great finds of your own!
I made a macaroni loaf. A macaroni loaf.
Something like this would never, ever occur to me as something to make and serve people, but after seeing the title in one of my vintage cookbooks, I thought it might be a fun little change from the norm. Admittedly, I am not much of a pasta person. Sure, I enjoy it here and there, but as an ingredient, pasta really doesn’t inspire me. In fact, if my husband didn’t enjoy it so much, I may never buy it to keep in our pantry. I prefer saucy things, vegetables, beans, curries, spices, served over rice or with a warm tortilla or bread (or cold from the refrigerator when I am starving mid day). That’s just my style.
While I almost find it offensive to lump this lump into the pasta category, it was actually pretty good. I pulled the recipe from Meta Given’s Encyclopedia for Cooking. I followed the recipe pretty closely (though in my snobby ways I substituted real cheddar cheese for the processed American cheese they suggested). I did mess up. I originally started layering things in the pan, as suggested in the recipe, before realizing I had forgotten to mix in the bread crumbs. I decided to just mix everything together and put it all in the pan that way. It worked well, but stuck a bit at the top, nothing a little tomato sauce couldn’t hide!
I had hoped on getting the delicious extra sharp cheddar cheese for this recipe, but it wasn’t available. I ended up using medium cheddar. If I make this again (and my husband wants me to!), I may try to spice it up, maybe use pepper jack or the amazing jalapeño cheddar I buy on occasion. Either way, I think this is a pretty tasty basic recipe for something that one could get quite creative with.
- 1 (8 ounce) package macaroni
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 quarts boiling water
- 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped pimiento
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 pound cheese of your choice
- tomato sauce
Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water, as instructed on package. Drain and rinse. Saute pepper, onion, and celery in butter in a saucepan for about five minutes, just to lightly soften. Add pimiento, eggs, milk, bread crumbs, salt, and cheese. In a greased loaf pan or ring mold, pour in 1/4 of the noodles, and layer in an equal amount of the cheese mix. Continue layering until all ingredients are used. Bake at 325°F for one hour. Turn onto a platter and top with hot tomato sauce.
On an unrelated note, I have had some things come up that are going to need my full attention in the coming weeks. Posting might be a bit sporadic for the next two or so weeks, though I am going to try my hardest to keep up with it.
Happy day, it is Friday again! This week actually sneaked by me pretty quick. I meant to get a blog post up yesterday, but it completely slipped my mind.
I am looking forward to this weekend because my mama is coming to town! I haven’t seen her since earlier this year when my grandma had her stroke. When I’m not spending time with her I am going to be finishing up Lucy’s Halloween costume and working on a set of paintings I started this week.
Onto my favorites, it is a bit of a short list this week. I haven’t had much time to spend in front of the computer. Have a happy weekend!
Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadews sound and look delicious.
This Nirvana Enchilada Casserole sounds insane, in a good way.
How about this Pumpkin-Pistachio Kale Fried Rice with Maple Tofu Cubes? Yum.
So, I collect Barbies now.
Though I hadn’t given her much thought since I was 12 or so, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for that busty beauty. Recently my Barbie love has grown. About four or five months ago I purchased my first vintage Barbie (well, her friend), Alan, whom you can see in my photos is pant-less (one of these days I will make him a proper pair of trousers). For those unfamiliar with the Barbie family, Alan is Barbie’s best friend Midge’s boyfriend. Since finding him, I have become a little enamored with the history of Barbie and have done a few searches here and there to learn more about the different dolls.
The week before last I stumbled upon Midge in a sassy pink satin coat, and my Barbie love truly took off. I started looking up the different friend and family members, outfits, and the different versions of all the dolls. I bought a used book from Amazon so I could have a little bit of a reference, and some fun eye candy. I even went so far as to splurge and buy myself that cute little blonde bubble cut Barbie online (though, I found her for a steal!). Then, over the weekend, I hit the jackpot.
I had walked the length of the swap meet once, but it wasn’t until the last row of vendors that I found the Ricky doll (the young boy), and the 70s twist and turn Skipper. I was pleased as pie, but figured I should do one more walk through. On my second time around I came across the case of dolls at a vendor (who I had stopped by the first time, with no finds), that had just put out this case including the Ken doll, brunette Barbie, Skooter (in the pigtalis), and tons of clothes. I snatched them up, and ran (or drove) as fast as I could home, so I could play Barbies.
Skooter needs a little TLC to remove the green from her face, but I am pretty excited about this purchase.