Happy Resolutions

It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect on last year and the years before and ponder how it could have gone better. What resolutions need to be made? Lose some weight, get up earlier, keep the house clean, make more money….

My resolution this year is simply to just be happy. I want to enjoy life by embracing and appreciating what I have now.

Aren’t we all a little too hard on ourselves? We beat ourselves up over little things we feel like we are not accomplishing everyday. No one is perfect. I realized this when I found some old pictures recently and thought wow… I was so pretty and skinny back then! Funny thing is that “back then”, I was always thinking my make up wasn’t done well or that I could lose a few pounds. And I never in a million years would have called myself pretty before – ever. I was always just too critical of myself. Geez, I would love to look like that now. I just didn’t grasp what I had when I was younger.

This year, I am throwing all the resolutions to the wind. I’ll still try to be the best me I can be. I’ll hit the gym more, be a good wife to my husband and spend more time with my family…but I’ll also relax on the challenges I commit to. Setting specific and unrealistic expectations is just a recipe for failure. And failure only makes us feel bad about ourselves.

One thing that ensures happiness is a positive attitude. I read The Secret a year and a half ago and although some theories in the book are a little cheesy, the overall concept stuck with me changed my life. Now I always think of every day and each situation with “the glass is half full” instead of “the glass is half empty” mentality.

2011 was a beautiful year where so many good things happened to my family and I. I have no doubt that 100% of this was due to our positive outlook. We tackled every obstacle, even losing one of our jobs and having to move across the country as a “great opportunity”. And we weren’t just deceiving ourselves – thinking of these situations as benefits actually opened our horizons to new opportunities. Those incidences ended up being some of the best things ever to happen to us. And…we are healthy, happy and have all we ever really want and need in life!

In the years to come, no one will probably look back on 2012 as a bad year. We will all probably only remember the good things that happened so might as well appreciate them now.

Those are my resolutions for this year…and probably every year forward.

Be happy. Be positive. Let go of all the rest and rejoice with what I have now.

A “Just Because” Apron

My family gives each other birthday gifts and thoughtful “just because” gifts but we don’t exchange Christmas gifts anymore. It’s not a religious belief or anything of that nature. We just decided a few years ago that exchanging Christmas gifts for so many family members was too expensive and stressful on everyone.

You see, I have a family full of procrastinators. We all waited until the last minute to shop, and then had no idea what to buy each other in a frantic rush. One of us finally had the genius idea that we forego all the stressful shopping drama and only get together at Christmas for a good time. We still buy Christmas presents for the all the children in our family but not a single adult receives a gift. We think it’s the best way to spend Christmas because more money and energy are spent gifting the kids. Making Christmas special for the kids is really what’s most important to us. Now we have a fun happy carefree Christmas… and the presents aren’t missed one bit.

We celebrated Christmas this year, at my middle sister’s Becky’s house (there are three of us sisters and I’m the oldest). It was a fantastic pig out session full of turkey, loads of creamy carb loaded delights and most importantly…Becky’s famous cornbread dressing.

It also involved washing a million dishes afterwards. When my sister and I we cleaning up, my nieces and nephews teased me about wearing an apron. Let’s just say they didn’t think it was too hip. The fashionista I try to be could have cared less because I love aprons. Ever since starting to wear one a few months ago, I’ve been addicted. Aprons are a necessity for me now because they keep my clothes spot free when cooking and cleaning.

Becky joked that if she ever wore an apron, it would have to be some sort of waterproof apron because she is really messy when it comes to spilling water liquids on herself. Waterproof?!? That got me thinking…

I instantly knew what she needed : an oilcloth apron.

And that’s how the the idea for a special just because gift for Becky was born!

I had been saving some oilcloth for months for a purse I envisioned in my mind and wanted to attempt to make. Since I didn’t have the hardware needed to make the purse, I decided to sacrifice the oilcloth and make Becky her much needed waterproof apron.

And BAM, here it is!

By the way, if you haven’t heard of oilcloth before it’s a fabric material that is coated on one side to make it waterproof. The coating is oil based, hence the name “oilcloth”. I discovered it on a vacation in Mexico where it is commonly used for tablecloths.

Here are the instructions for making your very own waterproof apron. All that’s needed are basic sewing machine skills, hot glue, clear nail polish and ribbon (two sizes: wide and narrow).

THINGS NEEDED:

1 yard oilcloth

7’5″ of 1.5″ width ribbon (for neck loop and waist ties)

14′ of 3/8″ width ribbon (for exterior trim)

Clear nail polish

I started off drawing a pattern for the apron by hand. This was probably my first ever free hand pattern and it couldn’t have been easier. An apron is basically a rectangle with concave cut outs at the top of each side. The concave cut makes the top of the apron narrower and frames the chest. My apron was approximately 27″ by 36″ (the wider section for the sides). You can either attempt free handing or use another apron as a pattern. (I’ll also try to figure out a way to create an apron pattern that can be download off our blog sometime in the future).

Cut the large width ribbon into the following lengths: two 33″ pieces for waist ties and one 23″ piece for the neck loop. I cut all the pieces with a straight edge except for one end of each waist tie which was given a slant cut shown below. Those two slant ends will be the loose ends of the waist ties. The slant cut gives a more decorative edge and also helps with unraveling. (The straight edges will be sewn to the oilcloth which will also help against unraveling).

To further stop unraveling, I used a dab of nail polish on the ends of all the ribbon pieces, even the ones that will be sewn. Clear polish works great but since I had a dark blue color that almost exactly matched the dark navy ribbon, I used it.

Sew the neck ribbon to both sides of the top of the apron using a 2/8″ seam. This is necessary so that the 3/8″ decorative ribbon covers the stitching later.

After that sew each tie to the top of each side.

Next hot glue the thin ribbon to the entire perimeter of the apron. I used a piece of paper underneath to protect my table from hot glue.

Glue flush to the oilcloth edge making sure to cover all stitch marks. Use only trace amounts of hot glue so that it doesn’t ooze under or through the ribbon (Only a tiny bit of hot glue is necessary). I cut the ribbon at the corners to give it clean lines.

Once the entire perimeter has been covered with the trim ribbon the apron is complete.

That’s it. Very simple and took about 45 minutes to make.

Now go make yourself one or give it as a gift just because.

What’s On Our Minds??

Carrie’s inspiration this week:

Doors

I want to makeover my very tiny laundry room. I spend way too much time in there as it is and I’d really like to have a fun, little room. It’s a constant source of traffic, from shoes to backpacks, washing to folding, and kenneling up sweet Bella.

I have a couple ideas and my first thought is to switch out the door. I’d like something interesting with maybe glass on the top half of the door. Or something distressed and rustic to offset my matte black pantry door on the other side of the kitchen.

I could totally distress the current door to save money but I’m not a fan of the panels. I want something with a little more character, a little fancier.

Source: Uploaded by user via [email protected] on Pinterest

Source: oneofeverything.tumblr.com via [email protected] on Pinterest

Source: myworldispink.tumblr.com via [email protected] on Pinterest

Source: theinspiredroom.net via Casey on Pinterest

Source: dreambookdesign.com via [email protected] on Pinterest

What do you think? Spice up of the laundry room door??

Do you want to see what my laundry room looks like right now? Be afraid, be very afraid….

Angie’s inspiration this week:

Memory Jars

I discovered these memory jars on Pinterest this week and my mind has been racing with ideas on how to replicate these for our home. What an innovative modern take on the old concept of shadow boxes. So many options to play with including different shapes, sizes and colors of glass.

(Courtesy of Pinterest)

I adore the idea of using jars instead of deep picture frames to capture memories. The jar symbolizes a little world where you can picture yourself back in time and get a rush of pleasure remembering how happy you felt and the good times experienced there.

Using jars to capture vacation memories touches my heart. If you have followed our blog, you know I used to live in Mexico and part of me always wishes we were still there. You also might remember my husband and I cashed in our life savings last year and bought a vacation home in Ixtapa-Zihautanejo, Mexico. I am thinking of making a memory jar as a reminder of our times in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo filling it with sand, driftwood, seashells and pictures. These wouldn’t be just objects… looking at them will take us back in time with where we’ll visualize our long morning walks on the beach, the hours we spent hunting for seashells and the excitement we felt the time we discovered baby sea turtles.

(Courtesy of Pinterest)

If you’ve lived in different places, making jars for each city or house would be another idea. I could make a jar for the years we lived in Los Angeles, Texas (Austin and San Antonio) and Mexico City. I think it is something that would bring happiness to not only myself but my husband as well. And it would be a compelling conversation piece for guests that come over.

Here are more ideas for memory jars:

Making one for each year or a period in time.

(Courtesy of Pinterest)

Jaden, with Steamy Kitchen, jots down memories as they happen throughout the year on colorful post-its in her memory jar. This is a quick and much easier than keeping a journal!

And Brooke, with Inchmark, probably has the sweetest memory jar. Brooke writes down funny or sweet things her children say. Children always say the funniest things and as hilarious as the statement was…it’s easy to forget a day or year later. Now Brooke’s children’s phrases are captured forever in her memory jar.

What’s For Breakfast :: Immaculate Baking Scones

These scones are by far my families favorite thing to eat for breakfast, which are quickly finished off as after school snacks.

I’ve bought Immaculate Baking Co. organic cookie dough and we love them. And after that huge recall of my husband’s favorite cookie last year, I really try to make cookies from scratch or in a pinch, buy refrigerated dough.

It was only recently that we tried the scones…I was hesitant because my husband grew up on sweet, sugary cinnamon rolls every weekend and I thought no one in my house would eat something called ‘scones.’

But let me tell, these scones are no joke. The cinnamon chip are nothing short of perfection but the Blueberry Scones are to.die.for.

Real blueberries…not fake.

Have you ever read this about the so-called ‘real’ blueberries found in muffin mixes, cereal, and breads? Check it out…you’ll never look at a box of muffin mix the same.

Immaculate Baking Co Blueberry Scones, sprinkled with turbinado sugar before baking, cooked to perfection with a cold glass of milk…perfect start to the day.

We love them! And they are all natural…nothing funky going on inside, thank you very much.

immaculate baking company cinnamon chip scones

Here’s a little history of Immaculate Baking Co…I like reading things like this.

The History of Immaculate

Any history of Immaculate Baking begins with Scott Blackwell’s story. At 7, he sees the movie, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and sends away for the “Make Your Own Wonka Bar” Kit. Scott peddles his handmade chocolates to neighbors out of his wagon. His great-grandmother teaches him how to bake, and his love for chocolate, baking, and whimsy are solidified!

Scott later uses his baking skills to pay for college with a cash-only pie business, serving 28 local restaurants. While building pie boxes one night, Scott sees 2 wacky guys on tv named Ben & Jerry. 3 months later, Scott is the 9th distributor in the country for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

In 1989, Scott sells his Ben and Jerry’s distribution, moves to Columbia, SC, and opens Immaculate Consumption on Main Street. The restaurant sells all natural sandwiches, baked goods, and fresh roasted coffee and espresso. Always resourceful, Scott makes tables out of old doors and uses leftover furniture from the previous tenant to make counters. A 1950s, avocado green refrigerator purchased from a salvage yard houses the prep ingredients.

In 1993, Scott sells the restaurant and moves to Flat Rock. Working out of his garage, he roasts artisan coffee and bakes cookies – packaged in plain brown bags – to sell locally.

The early days in the cookie business are a little tough for Scott. So, to clear his head and regain perspective, he takes a few road trips around the South to visit some friends. Along the way, he discovers folk art, and his life is never the same. Scott is drawn to the spirit of folk art and artists, to their innate creativity, their resilience and resourcefulness. He decides to celebrate these artists by featuring their work on his cookie and coffee packages.

Scott attends his first trade show in 1997 at Atlanta’s AmericasMart. On a tight budget, he builds his booth by hand in his backyard for a total cost of 27 bucks. The booth design wins Best in Show!

Scott takes the cookies clear across the country for their West Coast debut at the NASFT Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. It’s a true success, considering a man named Chuck Williams exits the show with multiple Apple Pie cookies in his pocket. Scott receives an order – at his garage — from Williams-Sonoma the following week.

Marking the 1999 birth of Liam, his first child, Scott creates Leapin’ Lemon, Immaculate’s lemon white chocolate best seller. The following year, Leapin’ Lemon wins the award for Most Outstanding Cookie in America at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.

After realizing that a much-needed packaging machine is too tall to fit in the garage, Scott begins a frantic search for a real bakery building. He moves from the garage into an old metal shop in downtown Hendersonville, NC. The building is outfitted with industrial ovens and even has an office!

Around this time, Scott reaches back to his pie baking days and creates Key Largo Lime cookies, a tribute to the Key Lime pies he made and sold to pay his way through college. Increasing in both staff and production, Immaculate begins building a 12,000 square foot facility in Hendersonville.

That same year, Scott established the Folk Artist’s Foundation to give support, aid, encouragement and exposure to artists working in the folk art tradition.

In the middle of a 2002 snowstorm, the folks at Immaculate move to the new bakery building. Here, Scott develops the award-winning Edible Art Box, a cookie kit celebrating Immaculate’s love of baking and the creativity of American Folk Art. Immaculate is recognized as North Carolina Business of the Year.

Research and development begins on a super secret project, codename WBC. A flurry of extraordinary activity takes over the back warehouse. WBC is code for . . . . World’s Biggest Cookie! After many, many months of preparation and trial baking, the World’s Biggest Cookieis baked on May 17. The cookie weighs in at 38,000 pounds and measures over 102 ft. long!

Immaculate’s Artreach Van is created in 2004 to help fulfill an outreach program pairing folk artists with kids young and old. Scott takes the van, and artist, Leonard Jones, to Mt. Pleasant, SC to bake a 10 foot cookie at Earth Fare and share Leonard’s paintings with the children gathered at the store. The Soul Food Fund is established to support, nurture and celebrate creativity. Ten foot cookies continue to bake around the Southeast (and in Chicago!)

In 2008, Paul Nardone comes on board as CEO and frees up Scott for more innovation. And innovate, he does. Scott is passionate about food and develops all of Immaculate’s recipes himself.

Aside from his overwhelming interest in Immaculate, Scott remains an avid folk art collector and has even dipped into the world of filmmaking to complete the 10-year documentary project about Southern folk artists entitled “All Rendered Truth.”

The company has grown slowly, cookie by cookie, but the past few years have seen an explosion of creativity and production: we’ve launched a full line of natural and organic cookie dough, brownie dough, buttermilk biscuits, and scones. We’ve made debuts in more stores than ever, gotten some amazing press, and connected with folk artists for baking and packaging inspiration.

And here we are, almost 15 years later – still committed to premium ingredients, folk art, and fun. You find our cookies on airplanes, in supermarkets, and club stores – and hopefully, you’re keeping these treats in your own kitchen.

******

So interesting, right? Love it.

I just wanted to share what our family eats for breakfast these days…on busy mornings especially, they are just what mama needs to get everyone out the door with full tummies.

Enjoy your day, friends!

My journey from an accountant to a barista

I have some exciting news to announce: my husband and I are opening a coffee shop!!

It’s been dream of ours for many years. The dream developed roots back in 2006 in Austin, Texas. My husband and I were living downtown on 13th street and this out of the world little coffee shop popped up two blocks away. The coffee shop was named Caffé Medici and they served “real” coffee. High quality coffee and handmade espressos. Caffé Medici’s coffee was an artistic and a culinary experience. It blew our minds and taste buds away.

We weren’t aware that coffee could taste so good. We had previously had spent our coffee years away drinking frappuccinos and sugar laden lattes made with inferior coffee from the big national chain not knowing there were other options. After experiencing Caffé Medici, we dove deep into an intense coffee education. For those of you that don’t know, there’s a whole other coffee world that is as complicated and diverse as wine. We quickly learned that coffee wasn’t just a caffeine injection, it was a culinary treat. We bought a home roaster and played with roasting and grinding our own coffee. We sampled coffee from all over the world and made coffee and espresso in ways we never imagined.

For years, terms like single origin, country and farm origin, tasting notes and micro-roasters filled our dialogue. After we moved from Austin to Mexico, our coffee exposure increased exponentially.

In Mexico, we were located close to good Mexican coffee farms like those in Chiapas. Another thing in Mexico we experienced was the art form of making espresso. As in Italy, most places in Mexico make coffee and espressos the old fashioned way…handmade. They still use espresso machines but the barista plays a big part – they are almost 99% responsible for how the espresso shot comes out. Baristas have to control by hand the water pressure and the quality and amount of the coffee grinds. You might see baristas at the big chains in the United States frothing some milk but what you don’t see behind the scenes is that they usually push one button that automatically grinds the beans and spits out poor quality espresso shots.

When we moved from Mexico to Los Angeles, there were more decadent coffee experiences. The five years we spent in Los Angeles consisted of indulging in local indy coffee shops experiencing new surprises and ingredients like soy, almond milk and green matcha lattes.

When we moved to San Antonio in August, our coffee consumption came to a screeching halt. We live in what is considered one of the most innovative and progressive areas of San Antonio and there wasn’t one single local independent coffee shop in sight. And there were only a few of the famous coffee chains…and even they weren’t located close by either. Two months into living in San Antonio, we decided that the fact that there weren’t any coffee shops must be a sign that we had to finally start our own dream coffee shop. In October we found the perfect retail location. For the next month, we filled out application forms and created a business plan. Luckily both our application and business plan were approved by the landlord and lease contract negotiations started. Negotiating the lease took 3 months!! Everything from what specific items we intended to sale, hours of operation to construction remodeling details had to be outlined and signed off on. This week, we finally received our signed lease contract. Now everything is legal and we can start the next phase of renovating the retail space.

I never imagined when I quit my job last April what a whirlwind of happiness would be bestowed upon me. I was terrified to quit my career in accounting and give it all up for the unknown. Thank goodness I finally took that leap of faith because now I’m able to enjoy all my passions in life. In June, two months after quitting my job, I started Malibu Dog, an online dog supply store.

If you have followed our blog for a while, you know our two Havenese dogs (Oscar & Arnold) are our children. When they were first introduced into our lives, my husband and I had a hard time finding well-made, safe pet products. I started Malibu Dog to offer other pet owners the best products we had found in our own pursuits and make them available for their pets. Malibu Dog is still in its infancy stage but it’s slowly growing and has been quite an education in creating an online business. Quitting my job also allowed me to dive deeper into the blogging and the design world with Carrie, building more on TwoFriendsTwoCities and also starting our new vintage store Lizzie + Luckett.

Like Malibu Dog, Lizzie + Luckett is in it’s infancy form – (it’s actually only a few weeks old!) but we have huge plans for it in 2012. Some things we are planning are expanding our offerings, working with other vendors, making our own online store in addition to our Etsy store and participating in some antique trade shows.

And now on top of all that…I’ll soon have a coffee shop!

The coffee shop isn’t going to be a walk in the park. We have lots of hard work ahead of us. There are complicated city permits, construction work that needs to be managed and planning out all the intricate details like menu, supplies, equipment and labor. But we hope our dream of having an Italian-caliber coffee shop will be success and a labor of love.

We decided on the Revolución Coffee + Juice. Here’s our logo!

As much as we love coffee, we feel selling juice is an important healthy concept and will help expand our product offerings. And we also really love juice. We chose the name Revolución because it signifies a new way of doing things. We are going to have a new concept in coffee offerings and provide healthy eating options. We also chose to spell the word Revolución the Spanish way with a “C’ as a special homage to the incredible time we spent time living in Mexico. The Spanish spelling also fits because many of our coffee, juice and food items will be influenced by things we experienced living in Mexico including using cajeta and condensed milk in some specialty drinks and playing with fruit juice combinations.

I am sure many people might think I’m working too hard and all over the place with my business pursuits. Dog products, Interior Design, Blogging, Coffee + Juice…. But I was always immersed in these subjects before so might as well work in them. They already consume my life, each in their very own ways. Back in my accounting career days, I constantly read business strategy books. I remember an excerpt from one of Donald Trump’s books that stuck with me. Donald was commenting on the fact that he gets lots of criticism from working too hard and he basically stated that he loved what he did so he never thought of it as work. That’s how I feel now. I worked like a dog with my accounting career – long hours and days full of stress. Now, I am working and doing more than I ever did as an accountant but it doesn’t feel like work at all. I am excited and loving all I do.

The coffee shop is not going to take time away from blogging with TwoFriendsTwoCities and I hope you will follow me on my journey with it. Since my husband and I are on a tight budget with the coffee shop and because we love designing things, we are going to be doing most of the interior and construction design ourselves. That means making our own tables, creating art, decorating and painting and a slew of other DIY projects. And food. I have lots of recipes to test and share with you. Scones, granola, juice and smoothie experimenting. I can’t wait to share all these things with you!

Viva La Revolución!

Friday’s Happy Things

Happy Friday everyone! I am so ready for this weekend. It’s been a long crazy week!

Carrie and I have been working on adding new content and recurring themes to TwoFriendsTwoCities and are eager to share our new blogging schedule with you:

Every Monday, we’ll post interior design ideas that inspire us

Tuesdays will feature DIY projects

Wednesday will still be our What’s For Dinner Wednesday series where recipes are featured. It’s hard to believe but we’ve had this food series since November 2010! Since the series is weekly, that’s at least 60 recipes we’ve shared with you. What an we say…we Texas girls love food and testing out new recipes. Lately we’ve been becoming more aware of what’s hidden inside packaged foods and it’s quite shocking. Eating healthier and eliminating artificial ingredients in our diets is big on our personal agendas for 2012, so you’ll start seeing more of these type of healthy recipes and discoveries on What’s For Dinner Wednesday.

Thursday will be personal blogging about whatever is going on in the world: the news, our lives, whatever floats our boat (or your boat!). So if you want to hear about anything particular or have always wanted to know something about us, now’s your chance! Just let us know and we’ll do our best to fit it in.

Friday will simply feature things that make us happy. There’s always been small things or subjects we wanted to share with you…just little things we come across like a funny statement or a new find on Pinterest. However we’ve been hesitant and not shared them because the subject matter didn’t seem worthy enough for an entire blog post. Well, that’s where our new Happy Friday Things comes into play. Now we can cram all these little random things in one post for a fun Friday read.

We started our new schedule this week and so you might recall some of these themes already.

So now for Friday’s Happy Things…

The main thing that makes me happy this week is that I was able to hang out with Carrie last night!!!! Carrie and I talk on the phone, blog and text with each other every day but it’s been almost 3 months since we were able to spend time face to face. The last time we were together was at the Round Top antique fair in October. Carrie arrived in San Antonio yesterday to work on a project and we were able to sneak in a little time together. After she finished working, we headed to Paloma Blanca for some mojitos! It was so nice hanging out with her and I can’t wait to do more of it this weekend. After Carrie finishes working today, we have plans that involve Mexican food and margaritas at Soluna (a delicious Mexican restaurant next door to our future coffee shop!) and then Saturday we are headed to some estate sales! There’s nothing like antique shopping with my TwoFriendsTwoCities and Lizzie + Luckett partner!!

Other things that make me happy at this moment are the great finds I scored estate sales last weekend.

With estate sales, you never know what you will get. Some have crazy good bargains with just the type of décor you love and others are horrid expensive let downs. What I love about San Antonio estate sales are that they are real estate sales. In Los Angeles, it was always a big trick. They would classify a sale as an estate sale in the paper but when I showed up, it was nothing more than a junky garage sale. I love a good garage sale but there is a a big disappointed in expecting antique furniture and instead seeing someone’s old clothes and unwanted refrigerator parts. I had quite a bit of good luck at estate sales the first few months I moved to San Antonio but the last few months haven’t been so hot. Perhaps people weren’t having as many estate sales due to the holidays? I am not sure why there was a slump but I think my good luck is back because I scored such a good deal last weekend, I can still hardly believe it.

All of this glassware: one cake cloche, one wine decanter, one crystal bowl and five large heavy red wine glasses…

and this 8 piece set of gold rimmed porcelain…

….all for a whopping! $23!!! I had been shopping for cake cloche stands for our future coffee shop, and found most to be priced from $40-100 plus shipping. The fact that I got 16 pieces of glassware (including the vintage cake cloche) and porcelain for $23 is unbelievable isn’t it? I bought the decanter to serve juice at our new coffee shop and the crystal bowl was also for the coffee shop and will be used to serve mints, biscotti, etc…

I ended up paying quite a bit for these electrical insulators but I justified it since they are for resale on Lizzie + Luckett. They are so beautiful I catch myself constantly staring at them.

I love how the light reflects through them. They are currently for sale on Lizzie + Luckett but if they don’t sell in the next few days, I am seriously considering pulling them off Lizzie + Luckett and keeping them for myself. I have lots or orange and teal in my home décor and these fit right in.

If you had not heard of electrical insulators before, they were originally made to keep telegraph and telephone wires electrically insulated from wooden telephone poles (especially important in the rain). With the additional needs of rural electrification, there was a big insulator boom in the early 20th century, peaking from the 1920s through the 1940s. Insulators are now highly collectable and the three I found are made by Hemingray. They are at least 70-90 years old and were a superb find because they are like new without a single crack or chip.

Since most of the things I bought at the estate sale were for Revolucion Coffee or Lizzie + Luckett, I decided I needed a little retail therapy myself. I bought this messenger bag at Tumi. I feel like such a cool hipster when I wear it!

That’s what made me happy this week! How about you?