Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Junk Bonanza & Minneapolis 2014 // Day 1

If you saw THIS post, you might remember that I won tickets to a junk show called 'Junk Bonanza'. This is a show filled with tons of vendors who sell antique, salvaged, vintage, unique or upcycled items. Since we have friends who live in Minneapolis (a mere 30 minutes from the venue in Shakopee) who graciously invited us to stay with them for a few days, we went ahead and attended the event. I'm so glad we did!

It was wonderful to see our friends Emy and Matthew who moved to Minneapolis over the summer and get a taste of their life up North! We missed getting together with them for game nights and dinner dates, so it was so great to see them for a few days! As you might recall, we have visited the Twin Cities several years ago, which was a blast (post here), but to see it through the eyes of people who live there... that's a whole new adventure! :)

We left school after lunch on Thursday and drove straight to E&M's apartment, we caught up a bit and then called it a night, I'm really not that much fun after 8 hours in the car! : /
Check out this gorgeous Minnesota sunset! A trend, by the way!
The next day E&M set off to their respective jobs and we headed to breakfast, at a recommended bakery before making the short drive to Shakopee. We stopped at Wuollet Bakery and grabbed a chocolate frosted long john (KC), an apple turnover (me) and two iced mochas to go. The bakery was cute, you could tell it had around for a while. There were so many delicious looking things in their cases! Both of our pastries were good, our coffee was just ok... which is too bad.. but you win some, you lose some. Definitely stop here for desserts and breakfast pastries, maybe get some type of coffee... It's completely possible that I'm a picky iced latte consumer. :)

The drive was easy, we drove past some scenic wetland areas and then arrived at Canturbury Park, the venue, which is a horse racing park. We got there right around the time the doors opened and didn't have to wait too long to get through the doors.
At first Junk Bonanza just needs to be observed. There is SO much to see! Everywhere you look there are old globes, bins of scrabble tiles, vintage linens, costume jewelry and refinished furniture. It is a bit overwhelming but at the same time paradise for someone like me! I got so many good ideas and picked up some treasures for our apartment.
We made it to the second room and entered a raffle to win a gift card. Every six minutes they drew a name. It was pretty hard to hear at times, but KC actually won! :) He received a $25 gift card to a huge booth on the second level where we picked out a vintage card game called Rook, adorable cat book plates (worth $50!) and some fun little Scottish tartan fine bone china mugs. We only spent about $7.50, because the gift card covered most of our purchase! Not a bad way to start the day! :)
After that we found this priceless post card of a group of water skiers with a stuffed bear on their shoulders. It is so ridiculous that I couldn't pass it up! It only cost $1.
Then we made it to a booth that had a lot of more quality vintage items including quite a few things that had a circus theme. For those of you who don't know, my grandparents are members of the Shrine. So every year since I was an infant I have been to the Shrine Circus in our area. My grandfather passed away when I was in high school, but we have continued going. Every year I have become increasingly worried about the welfare of the animals, and after an abuse report just the day after we saw the show this year, I think it will be my last. It makes me really sad to end the tradition... but relieved that I won't be worried about watching those animals yearly. That was a long interjection... but it explains why I wanted to find a piece of memorabilia that could sort of represent the tradition in my life. So this booth was really cool for me, and I ended up finding a bunch of Shrine circus posters from the 1940's! KC and I, after much debate, decided on this really cool piece from a Milwaukee Shrine Circus in the 1940's. It was marked at $55, but the woman at the booth took $49 for it because we were so interested, and also because a small amount of the paper on the front is missing. I think it is going to be such a neat addition to our home, one that will add variety to our wall collages and make me smile when I see it.

What do you guys think?!?

Then we grabbed some corn dogs and cheese curds (duh!) at one of the restaurants onsite and ate lunch out on a patio. It was a sunny day in the high 60's - low 70's, so it was a great treat to be outside during the day! :)

We went in and voted on some lawn decorations with money to raise money for a Minnesota no-kill shelter (great idea! & fun to see the displays!) and then continued looking around.
Before we left we also stopped at a booth from a local store where we found a few Batman comic cover reproductions ($3 each, $9 total), a map of the great lakes from an old book ($4.50), and two Kansas flash cards ($1.50 each, $3 total).
When we left there were a few things I had in mind for the next day... but I felt pretty content with my purchases. :)
We decided to rest our legs and caffienate at Starbucks for a few hours while we each did some computer stuff.
After that we met Emy & Matthew back at their place and decided to get dinner. They decided on Pizza Luce, a local pizza restaurant, not too far from their place. We started by getting the cheese sticks and followed  it up by splitting the Pizza Luce (Sausage, Tomato, Onion, Sauce, Cheese). Both things were super tasty and we had fun splitting a casual dinner. Sometimes I think KC and I could eat pizza 5 nights a week... :)

Then Matthew went out for a bit while KC, Emy and I played dominoes back at their place.

During dinner we kept thinking about the SNL skit called 'The Pizza Eater. It is hilarious and we had to show Emy & Matthew since they hadn't seen it yet! You can find it HERE if you haven't seen it! Melissa McCarthy is so great.
We spent the rest of the night playing games and relaxing at their apartment. We started with this 'new' game I scored at Goodwill for $0.50 called 'Pass the Pigs'. Have you played it? It's crazy, you literally roll two plastic pigs like you would dice! It was really fun, and surprisingly easy to retain the scoring!
After that we played Qwirkle, which is a new favorite. It's sort of a hybrid of Dominoes, Scrabble and Set. I think it's really fun, and very different from the board games that we play most frequently. Plus it's very nice that you can purchase this one for a reasonable price at a normal place like Target. You don't have to hunt it down or shell out $50+ for it!

Then we called it a night before we set out for another day at the Bonanza!

Have you ever been to Junk Bonanza or anything like it?

Have you thrifted anything great lately?

What are your favorite board games?

Stay tuned for finds & food from Day Two!

Thank You for Reading!

XOXO,

Alexandra

Thursday, April 17, 2014

$4 Cashmere & The Case of the Broken Clasp

I know that it's technically spring, and no one wants to see or even think about sweaters... but let's be honest, it snowed in Kansas again Monday... so sweaters really are in the mix for at least part of the country for a bit longer.

Sometimes you hit thrifting gold at the salvation army and goodwill. Seriously, it's possible! I recently found this fantastic bright pink cashmere Izod sweater at Goodwill for just 4 dollars! It is so cozy and fits really well! It will go with so many more things... but it was so comfy paired with my leather leggings. 
Izod Sweater: Goodwill, $4
Leather Leggings: Target, $25
Studded Black Flats: Target, $21
Camisole: Old, Clearance. - gift
Bow Earrings: Icing, $7?
Vintage Necklace: Salvation Army, $3
Purse: Target, $20 - Pictured Below

Outfit Total: $80?
I love this purse. I really wanted a basic everyday, black purse. So I got this at Target for only $20, but within the first week of wearing it, the magnetic clasp on the flap broke. :( So every time I pick it up, or turn a corner in the car and it falls off the seat... its entire contents fly everywhere. I'm sure that if I try, I can find some type of magnet or piece to put in there that will fix it. But I'm a little irritated, because I haven't bought a purse in a while. So I'm choosing not to try to fix it right now... haha.
 This is what happens when KC is shooting pictures of me. :) Silliness. 

Have you ever found a super nice quality piece at a typical thrift store?

I would love to hear your thrifting stories! :) 

XOXO,

Alexandra

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Snapshots of New Orleans & The Road, Days 5 & 6, March 2014

Day 5

Since it was our last day in New Orleans we woke up pretty early and packed up our stuff so we could check out of our hotel as soon as we got back from walking around. 
We passed this mural with whales on it (right next to our hotel) and I had to get a picture before we left. So neat! For those who don't know, I have a major thing for whales. :) 
We decided to eat breakfast at a place called the Ruby Slipper (you know, because we were clicking our heels back to Kansas after lunch..).
 I ordered banana pecan pancakes with sausage and OJ and KC got an omelette with potatoes and an iced coffee.
The food was just ok, I was really hoping that it would be amazing... but mine was kind of bland, and Kyle's was nothing to write home about. The pancakes were probably pretty decent, but I just enjoyed that banana nut muffin so much on Day 2 (link below)!
After that we walked back around near the market, picked up lots of souvenirs for family and friends and took in our last moments in the city.
We walked back through Latrobe Park and admired the gorgeous fountain and statue!
Lastly, we stopped at Faulkner House Books, the house where Faulkner lived in New Orleans, now turned into a book store. 
It is a literary landmark, and a fun little place to visit! We looked around and I bought a little poetry book about food, of course. I felt like I should have bought a Faulkner... but I wasn't sure what I wanted. Also, it's so hard for me to buy full price books. I usually get them used, at Goodwill or library booksales. So paying $15 for a small book feels so excessive! All the same I am glad that we went.  
By this point my feet (that had been killing me daily) were dead as can be. So so unhappy. We made it to the hotel where I parked it in the Starbucks (with the postcards) while KC (so, so sweetly) packed the car, checked out and picked up a muffuletta to go at The Central Grocery for the ride back to Memphis. 
A muffuletta is a sandwich named after the Italian bread of the same name. This bread is sort of flat, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside covered in sesame seeds. The bread is then filled with olive salad (olives, carrots, celery, seasonings and olive oil), mortadella, salami, ham and provolone. 

It is huge and all kinds of delicious! Not only is it as big as KC's head, we really could have just eaten a half of a sandwich! But boy, was it yummy! :) 

Then he picked me up and we hit the road! 
The drive was fine, Mississippi has some really fancy rest stops!

We made it to Memphis and checked into our hotel. I was getting kind of tired and worn down, but we decided to go to dinner and get ribs (Memphis is famous for them!) at Central BBQ
We always think that ribs sound good, but they never are. Anybody else have this problem? Anyhow, we ordered ribs to share, and Full House was on... so that cheered me right up. :) The ribs were actually very good! The baked beans were really great too, they had a jalapeno sort of flavor! :) 

Day 6
We woke up and finished the ride home! Nothing eventful to report. But our kitten sure missed us. :) 
Well there you have it! See Days 1& 2 here, and Day 3 here and Day 4 here. See other travel posts here. :) And as always, stay tuned for more!

Where have you guys been recently?!

Give me suggestions in the comments! I love a good recommendation! :) 

Thanks For Reading! 



XO,


Alexandra

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Olivia // 2014

This is Olivia.
She is 7 going on 27.

She is one of the best surprises of my life so far. (as a sister... not a momma ;) ) 

She is spunky & smart.

She is blonde & determined.

She reminds us all to step back and have fun. 

She's made us into a closer knit family. 

Happy Birthday OE! 

I love you! 

Alexandra 




Friday, April 11, 2014

At Junk Bonanza!

A few weeks ago I entered to win tickets to Junk Bonanza. It was through the Flea Market Style blog (of the magazine which I LOVE) so I figured why not? I didn't really know anything about it & I didn't expect to win.... but I did! Thanks Flea Market Style & Junk Bonanza!
I received two early bird tickets to the event, the most recent issue of flea market style magazine and a free tote bag at the event! Since we have dear friends that live in Minneapolis we decided to go for it! 

We spent our first day taking it all in and enjoying the event! 

Tomorrow we will go back with our friends for round two! 
As a major thrifter and junk lover, this is pretty exciting to me! :) 

Have you ever been to Junk Bonanza?

Do you read Flea Market Style?

Be back soon! :) 

Alexandra

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Snapshots of New Orleans II, March 2014 // Day 4

We woke up and were pretty tired from staying out later than usual, but we made it out and about and decided to check out the French Market!

A beautiful statue of Joan of Arc, a gift from France to New Orleans.
It was SO cold and windy this day... and Kyle forgot to pack a jacket... so it was a little rough. But we made it out to the Market and walked around a bit looking at the different vendors.
 It was interesting, I guess I expected it to be a little more authentic (like the AMAZING market in Saint John!, here), but a lot of it was folding tables with vendors selling run of the mill jewelry, t-shirts etc. This was certainly not the case for everyone! We went ahead and grabbed three mardi gras masks for souvenirs at the tables and then headed back to the start of the market.
We were cold and pretty hungry, so we decided to try out one of the vendors for some lunch. We stopped at a place called 'Mother Nature's Cupboard' and placed our order for a Buffalo Shrimp Po'boy, a Crab Cake Sandwich and a basket of their Apple Beignets(!). :) The service was good, the beignets (which were ready first) were AMAZING! We decided that they were our second favorite! The Shrimp Po' Boy Kyle liked a lot, I am not a fan of bleu cheese... so I would have liked it better in a different style. My crab cake sandwich was also pretty good, the middle was not as 'done' as I would have liked. But the greens and tomatoes were super fresh and everything but the very middle was tasty! Overall it was a good lunch with excellent beignets for a reasonable price.

We then went back up to some of the more unique vendors. I purchased more souvenirs for myself and for friends and family. I found a nice water color of Jackson Square, some pearl jewelry for myself and for upcoming birthdays/holidays and hot sauce for my dad.

My favorite booth was this little table that sold  gorgeous handmade headbands & 'fascinators' (inbetween a hat and a headband) . It is called Bedford Falls Headwear.They were all covered in flowers or sparkles or feathers (if not all three!). I had such a hard time choosing that I actually had to eat lunch before I picked... but I ended up with this GORGEOUS number! I think it's super fun and not too crazy to wear on a regular basis... but nothing like you could purchase at a store. So unique and gorgeous.The woman at the booth was really sweet and helpful. She even gave me a bunch of free post cards since she was out of business cards! :) The lady who was there when I made my purchase was also very sweet. What do you guys think of this lovely headband?!?!
After we were done at the market we headed back out to the quarter through Latrobe Park, which was gorgeous and unexpected! Very small, but really pretty!

We visited some touristy shops on the way back to the hotel and picked up things like pralines (They call them Prah-Leens in LA, but here we call them Pray-Leens anyone else want to weigh in on this? haha), a cookbook for me, a LA spoon for KC etc. 
When we reached the hotel we unloaded our packages and took the car out to the garden district to a bookshop called Maple Street Book Shop. It is a book shop that has been around since 1965 and is housed in two cute little houses (one for new and one for used books). The used book building was being remodeled, so we just visited the 'new' one which contained a little of each. 
As soon as I walked in, I loved the place. So many windows, books and other amazing things to look at! I spent some time in the Children's room and then perused the young adult and adult rooms. The prices (for used books) was not the cheapest (but then again I typically get mine at Goodwill and Library Booksales!) but I ended up with four books to add to my collection! :) 
After that we drove out to City Park and since it was chilly and dinner time we decided to get dinner and beignets at Morning Call Coffee Stand (a beignet recommendation from the women at the gallery from Post #2). It was very fun and cute, it's been open since the late 1800's! The waiters are all dressed up in uniform and fun hats. Ours was very nice, but reminded me of a sort of big city, fast talking guy that you would see in an old movie. So funny. 
I ordered gumbo, KC ordered an alligator sausage and then we shared a basket of beignets and a cafe au lait (we never drink hot coffee... but it was chilly and we wanted to try it!)

Sadly, I am not a gumbo fan. I guess, or perhaps I am not a fan of this particular type of gumbo. It was very fishy for me, but I am glad that I tried it. KC's alligator sausage was tasty. It essentially tasted like a regular sausage with a little more heat to it. 
Our beignets came without powdered sugar, because you have an entire shaker full on your table. So we proceeded to shake, shake, shake until they were perfectly covered and then dip them in our cafe au lait, which had also been recommended as something to shake powdered sugar into! :) It was tasty, but it didn't take the lead from Cafe Beignet
Eating beignets is a messy process... especially when you sprinkle your own powdered sugar... and add coffee. But I think, if it's not messy... you probably aren't doing it right! ;) 
After dinner we went back to the hotel and rested for a bit. I caught up on some travel journal entries & post card writing before we headed back out to the Quarter. 
We decided to visit The Carousel Bar at The Hotel Monteleone on Royal Street for drinks. I had heard about the carousel bar while doing online research before the trip and knew that I had to go. It's exactly like it sounds, a bar that is also a carousel. It spins very slowly as you enjoy your drinks (one rotation every 15 minutes). The carousel is very ornate and gorgeous, not necessarily bright and whimsical like the ones you find in parks etc. The whole lounge is very luxurious and old fashioned looking. The walls are deep green and there are portraits of flappers on the walls. It's a really lovely atmosphere.
We took a table near the bar, ordered our drinks and were sitting at the bar before our drinks were delivered! :) It was really fun. I ordered a Pimm's Cup, because I really like Pimm's but have never had one out. It was really good. I ended up ordering a second one and Kyle tried the Sazerac (a New Orleans-y drink, that is pretty purely alcohol and super strong.) My second Pimm's Cup had strawberries in it, so it was even better and KC enjoyed his Sazerac.
It was fun to enjoy a fancy bar scene; one because the bar and lounge were so beautiful and old fashioned, but two just because we typically don't go out to bars, and on the off chance we do, they aren't nearly so beautiful. We didn't mind paying a little more than we usually would for the experience. (can you spot our reflections in the mirror below?)
After we finished our drinks we walked back to our hotel and called it a night, since we knew we would be leaving around lunch time the next day.

Have you ever done anything out-of-the-ordinary on a trip?

I would love to hear your story and how it went below! :) 

See Days 1& 2 here, and Day 3 here and of course stay tuned for Day 5! :) 

XOXO,

Alexandra