Sweet Little Treasures

Thought I would share a few of the teeny sweet goodies I’ve picked up here and there in the last few months.

Acorny Bird
This little birdy came from Bazaar Del Mundo in Old Town.

He is cast in resin or ceramic or something – not the carved wood I usually prefer, but the hat!  I love his little acorn hat!  So sweet.  He makes me happy.

acorn hat bird

Hammered Heart
Continuing the bird theme, this two-sided hammered brass and decoupaged heart is also from Bazaar Del Mundo.  It was part of an after Christmas sale, but it’s really rather perfect for Valentine’s Day.

brass heart

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Cigar Box
I bought this cigar box at a Salvation Army thrift store.

When I first saw it, I picked it up and examined it for a long time.  There was nothing wrong with it and the price was right, but what would I do with it?  I put it back on the shelf.  Such a mistake.  When I spied it in someone else’s basket a few minutes later, I felt really disappointed.  😦

cigar box

I even briefly stalked watched the other shopper browsing ahead of me and I thought about the Mary Randolph Carter book I recently received from my mom-in-law:

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I had stopped to think about the cigar box.  Shopping fail.  Fortunately, the other guy changed his mind and plopped it onto a shelf near the registers.  I scooped it up and felt lucky for the second chance.  After the 50%-off-day discount, I paid a meager $0.75!  Ha!

That Book
And speaking of that book above, it’s great.  It’s really fun to learn about other people’s collections and obsessions.  The pictures are true eye candy and the writing is very engaging and thoughtful.  Over all, it’s a delight to read or just browse through.  It’s a large, thick, heavy, well constructed coffee table volume that I am eager to share, but will likely never give away.  I am enjoying it so much!  It’s a keeper.  Thank you, Jenifer!

Bundting Baby
I also added another fabulous large Nordic Ware specialty bundt pan to my collection.

fairytale cottage bundt

These things are generally $20 to $40 in stores or online, so I always snap them up when I find them.  This one was pristine and only cost me about $5 at the local Goodwill bookstore.  It’s called the Fairytale Cottage Bundt Pan.  It holds 10 cups of batter.

I actually put this one to use right away with a cream cheese pound cake recipe.  The cake was good and it helped me to learn a few things about using the pan.  That said, I’m not as concerned with function, as I am with form, when I buy these bundt babies.  I just like the way they look and feel and I enjoy putting them on the wall or stacking them in my kitchen as decoration.  I have a lot of them…you know?  A lot of them.  🙂

Kokeshi Dolls
And last, but not least, here are pictures of something I’ve been hiding away for over a year.

kokeshi shelf

I got this collection of kokeshi dolls from my sweet friend, Leighann.  As part of a spontaneous cross country move, Leighann and her family shed half their belongings a year and a half ago.

kokeshi babies

They uprooted their entire lives and trekked thousands of miles with two kids, two dogs and a u-haul in less time than it has taken me to display these kokeshis!  And really, I’m not done with this.  The wall will eventually be painted and the shelves rearranged with a few more items, but you get the idea.

The real reason I think of this as a recently discovered treasure, is the fact that those two little minis in front were a surprise to me this week.  They were stored inside the two mamas on the right and left and I didn’t even know!  Such a sweet discovery, from a sweet friend.  Thank you, Leighann!

That’s all for now.

Happy Sunday!

P.S. What little treasures have you added to your collections this season?

♥♥

 

It’s officially a collection.

I bought another Bundt pan.

That’s two in two days.

This one is more modern than the others.

It’s non-stick, silver, heavy, and made by Wilton instead of Nordic Ware.

And it’s beautiful.

See?

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It’s already on the wall with my red and blacks pans.

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Yesterday, I raised my eyebrows in wonder and slight disgust over the condition of the chippy yellow pan I bought on Sunday.  Someone was mean to it.

This one, on the contrary, was treated like the beauty she is.

The pan has clearly been used, but it was basically clean, and the previous owner had even kept the flimsy plastic insert to protect the pan’s interior.  Amazing.

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You can see some dust on the plastic piece – this is after I washed it with warm soapy water.

It was really gross, but the pan beneath it was happy and safe.

Now, I just need an occasion for popping these pans into the oven.

Send me your favorite Bundt cake recipes.

I also bought a few more children’s books and a teeny patchwork pumpkin.

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A few days ago, I swapped out all the books on my son’s display rack.

We now have enough Halloween books to read a different one every day in October.

Our Thanksgiving titles are in shorter supply though, so I was happy to find a few at the thrift store today.

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The display rack is mostly for seasonal titles.

He has a couple of tall bookcases in his room for other books and some of his toys.

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Heh heh.  I just noticed that Wreck-it Ralph is in the hospital.

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Brundibar is a Maurice Sendak book that I’ve had on my wish list for a while.

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It’s always nice to find a $20 hardback picture book in perfect shape and marked just $2 at Goodwill!

Can’t beat that!

I can’t really imagine paying full price for a children’s book – not when Goodwill actually has its own bookstores.

Unless you’re looking for a new release or a specific hard-to-find item, it pays to go second-hand.

My favorite place to buy books is the DAV thrift store on Elkelton in Spring Valley.  They seem to have a permanent half-off sale – all books and magazines too.

And their prices are low before the discount.

Anyhoo, here is a close-up of my little patchwork pumpkin.

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I am really quite ready to usher in the Fall.

In fact, I can’t wait to see miniature pumpkins at the grocery store.

They make me happy.  🙂

That’s all.

Well…except for here’s my kid and my messy house:

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Happy Tuesday!

♥♥

Chocolate Book Collection & The Gilded Bee

Chocolate Cookbook Collection

If you recall that I am a cookbook collector and that I have recently resolved to focus only on books about chocolate, then you will understand my shock and awe and utter joy over the Christmas present I just received from my brother.

He brought over a big box today and all of these were inside:

Amazingly, I had only one of them already in my collection and it was a paperback in poor condition.  The new one is a hardcover.  A nice hardcover.

My brother is far more skilled and patient in preservation than I, so he swaddled each one of these in a clear cover for me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you sooooo much, Billy!

I love you for doing this.

You rock!

The Gilded Bee

Remember that pretty ribbon I found last week?

It comes in other dreamy colors.  Swoon.

I like that it’s called Chess Pie Ribbon.  So charming.

The minute I found it and browsed the rest of The Gilded Bee’s etsy shop, I caved to frilly, girly weakness and ordered this and this too.

Happy.  Smiley.  Ribbony.  Lovely.

And then there’s this:

Have a great weekend!

♥♥

Long Beach Flea Market

I don’t know how often I can come on here and say the same things.

Life is hard.  And easy.  And ugly.  And beautiful.

Life is hard…

because my autistic son needs everything to be a certain way and, despite the good intentions of everyone in my life, very few really understand how insanely difficult it is to parent him.

He seems so incredibly normal – whatever the hell “normal” is.  He is beautiful.  He is smart.  He is talkative and cheerful.  He is happy and animated and very cooperative.  Until he isn’t.

Over the two-week break, he hit me a few times.  😦  He pushed me too.  On one of the days he had a meltdown like I can’t even describe.  He screamed, he broke things.  The usual.

He yells about everything.  “No take the plate to the kitchen!”  “No mama say!”  “No mama singing!”  “No music!”  “No.  No.  No!”

And then there’s the OCD stuff…

He has a thing about the pantry door.  He has to close it a certain way, at a certain time, repeatedly.  He chants his little chants, he swings it shut and pulls it open and swings it shut and pulls it open and swings it shut and pulls it open and SLAMS it closed.  And all of the things that hang from the inside of the door go crashing to the tile below.  LOUD.  LOUD.  LOUD.

And the bathroom door.  He closes and opens it too.  All the time.  Just because.

He writes math problems for himself every night.  He leaves the papers all over the table.  He does this when I am in the pit of the day’s fatigue.  Consequently, his math papers never get picked up.  Our house is an overwhelming wreck.  It depresses me.  I am tired and life is hard.

Life is easy…

because I have three fabulous moms and a good friend who listen to all of it.  Life is easy because husband knows how it is and he’s here everyday seeing it, feeling it, and being in it with me.  And when he isn’t here to make it easier on me, he’s out there to make it easier on me.  He works so that I can take care of our kid.  And our house.  And our laundry.  Our never ending, steaming mountains of laundry.

Life is ugly…

because of stupid, evil, mean people who make me sick with worry for my son…and his future…and the potential dangers that await him.

Life is beautiful…

because the yelling, pushing, screaming, toy throwing little boy is also sweet and kind and funny and he makes up songs about silly things like my jiggly arms.  😀  I love him.

Life is beautiful because I get to see my good friend every few months and we always have a great day together somewhere.  On Sunday, we went to the Long Beach Flea Market and I bought a water fountain.  It’s perfect for our little yard, but it weighs a gazillion pounds.

Life is beautiful because the vendor wanted $75 and we talked him down to $50.

Life is beautiful because my friend carried the dirty top part of the fountain a great distance to my car for me.

Life is beautiful because there is ibuprofen to ease the pain and stupidity of carrying the lower section of the fountain by myself.  Day four and I am still achy breaky.

Life is beautiful because we had a very pleasant lunch at Bono’s Long Beach with the best creme brulee I have ever tasted in my life.  The portion was HUGE and my friend didn’t want any.  🙂  Thank you, silly friend.

Life is beautiful because I also found a book for my brother, a liquid timer for my son, and some Bit-O-Honey candy at Powell’s (best old timey candy store ever) for my husband.

I got these guys for me:

Their bodies are hinged so you can sway their little legs back and forth if you want to.  I know you want to.  🙂

Life is life.

Happy Wednesday!

♥♥

Best Magazine Ever!

When Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion magazine called it quits a few years ago, it broke my heart.

Those lovely pages were such a sweet delight in my humble little life.

I guess the decision broke a few other hearts too, because now Mary and the gang have decided to try again!  Yippee!!

I hope they don’t mind that I am sharing the graphic from their e-mail blast today.

Click on this link to find out more!  😀

Happy Friday!

P.S.  Just one more day of the little boy’s Fall break from school and then I will start mending my wounded routine.  Look for more posts soon!  😀

♥♥

Animals I Love

The Mellowest Cat Ever

I love him because he playfully grabbed my fingers and purred at me like we were old friends, just sitting on the floor of our living room.

But we were at Home Depot, he was in a shopping cart, and I was a stranger.

I might have stolen him…

if his owner hadn’t been so sweet and funny and obviously smitten with her little feline friend.  She told me that Kitty is easier to shop with than her children were when they were young.

Good Kitty!

Llamas & Rabbits

My son and I love the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney.

We have three and can’t wait to get the others.

Dewdney’s latest is on the right – Llama Llama Home With Mama.

Here is a sneak peek at one of her charming new illustrations – hope I don’t get in trouble for sharing!

You can’t read this title online as yet, but you can peruse the others with this link to wegivebooks.org.

This site offers a great way to donate books to children who need them, but you don’t have to donate just to look.  Don’t worry if a donation message pops up.  Just click the “x” to finish.  Unless you want to donate!  🙂

While you’re there, check out Nobunny’s Perfect too!  We have only read it online and it’s already another of our favorites.  The bunnies have a few behavioral issues in common with my son.  😐

A Sly Squirrel

I don’t remember where I got this little fellow – maybe a gift from the lovely mom-in-law??

Every year, I forget that he’s in the closet, waiting patiently with the other decorations.

When I open the box and find him inside, I always feel like I’ve bumped into an old friend.

He is my favorite little bit of Fall.  🙂

Happy Monday!

P.S.  Someday soon I’ll post more pictures of the things my son tapes to the walls in our house.  He does it so often that we almost don’t notice anymore.  Almost.

This thing was taped up across from the laundry doors for over a week.  😐  It was really in the way and we never understood exactly what it was, but we left it alone.

What can I say?  The boy loves paper and tape and weird little stuff (just like his mama) and he does everything with such purpose.  If he thinks it needs to be on our wall, then it’s pretty much gonna be on our wall.

♥♥

Early Saturday

The boy and I made a schedule for the weekend.

Today we were up at 6:00 a.m. and out the door for Crispy’s Donuts (not Krispy Kreme!) in less than twenty minutes.  That’s what the boy wanted, so that’s what we did.

I tried to exercise a little more restraint this time.  We still got the whole pink box, but I only nibbled on small chunks instead of inhaling half the dozen like it was my very last meal.

I did eat most of a croissant.  I had to.  Crispy’s makes the best croissants around.  Don’t argue.  That’s the flat out truth.  You can’t just buy one and leave it in the box.

The boy mowed the glaze off of his selections and threw the carcasses in the trash, as usual.

He did that for lunch and snack time too.

By 8:15, we were at the park.

Clearly, a couple of tweenage girls had been there too.

Do girls still just love to write their idols’ names and draw hearts and stuff, or is there some bigger picture here?

Does Justin Bieber actually ♥ Justin Timberlake?  I’m so out of the loop.

Maybe the girls were a little goofy on birthday fumes.  Not sure what to make of that monkey.

Though it may explain this:

Really, piggy park users?  There’s a trash bin less than twenty feet from here.  😡

The boy was in a funny mood today.  His very purposeful stare was cracking me up.

 

After sliding, the boy wanted a push on the swing.  I hung the camera around my neck and turned it off.  Or so I thought.

 

We had a good time.  😀

Now it’s almost 2:00 p.m. and the little boy is at the table, cutting out nouns from a workbook and stapling them onto a paper he made.  He loves to do schoolwork and will design it himself if there is nothing more to finish from his teacher.  We have a pile of workbooks that he has dismantled and rearranged and learned from in the last several months.  He’s such a smart little boy.

And now he is asking me to help him with his fluency time, so I have to wrap this up!

Happy Saturday!

P.S.  I’m going to see The Help tonight.  I can’t wait.  The book was sooo good.  Have you read it?  Have you seen the movie?  What did you think?

♥♥