Pasadena Shops, Rose Bowl Flea Market & South Pasadena

Husband pulled some solo parenting duty this weekend.  I escaped to Pasadena  to meet a friend.

I needed this little break so much.  Thank you, husband!

Pasadena Shops

I arrived late Saturday afternoon, checked into the Courtyard Marriott on Fair Oaks, then dashed down the street to hit a few of my favorite little shops.

I made it to Maude Woods with ten minutes to browse before they shut the door.  This shop is a little pricey, but it’s beautiful and serene and I thoroughly enjoyed the quick walk-through.  It’s an interesting mixture of home and garden and other little wacky things.  This was my first visit to the store and I didn’t really have time to find a treasure I couldn’t live without, so I moved on.

Next on the list was Mignon, thankfully open until 7:00 p.m!  I love this chocolate shop and I go to it every time I’m in Pasadena.  It’s an interesting departure from the See’s I am used to.  Mignon has a rich and fascinating family business history too.  Go to the Mignon website to check it out and then go to the shop to eat the chocolate!

Lula Mae was open the latest of the three, so I went there last.  It’s a teeny place with a ton of stuff.  I always wish I had a lot more time and a lot more money to spend in Lula Mae.  There’s a whole bunch of cuteness in there!

I bought a bag of sea salt caramels and a little glittery chickadee for my friend.  Yum.  Sweet.

I bought this amazing dyed silk ribbon for myself:

It looks great with orange paper too…

I love Lula Mae.  ♥  I want to go back there right now.

Rose Bowl Flea Market Finds & A Celebrity Sighting

On Sunday morning, I raced to the Rose Bowl to join my friend for a day of wandering and lunch.

This is what I bought:

an antique French butter mold

a small car with wind-up key

a little painted plaster duck (can’t get a good pic of this for some reason)

Friendly Hen print

another color plate of animal drawings (I have two others already framed from the same book)

and a small potted plant watering bird

On the way out of the Market, I spotted Joy Bryant, who plays Jasmine on Parenthood, one of my favorite shows.  She was just coming in with her friends.  She is even more beautiful in person than she is on t.v.

Happy shopping, Joy!

South Pasadena

After the Flea Market, we headed to Zinnia in South Pasadena.  Oh. My. Gosh. I. Love. This. Store. And. The. Giant. Pretty. Kitty. Who. Lives. There.

I bought a funny flat paper donkey, some beautiful yarn and a pile of teeny felt balls.  Love.

I also bought two jumbo sized fuzzy pipe cleaners for my son…I’m not sure why…they just made me think of him for some reason!  😀

We skipped across the street to Hodgson’s Antiques too.  There is so much to look at in this shop that I was overwhelmed.  I would love to return to Hodgson’s on a weekday and take my time looking.  It is full of unbelievable treasures, but my claustrophobia kicked in a bit when we were there.

We had lunch on the patio at Mike & Anne’s, where a shortage of sourdough proved lucky for me.  A delicious cinnamon walnut raisin bread was substituted and it absolutely made my grilled Swiss cheese, tomato and carmelized onion sandwich.  Garlicky mayonnaise and a pile of sweet potato fries were a great side dish.  The place was packed, so it’s surely a local favorite.

Unfortunately, my friend didn’t fare as well with the bread substitution.  Her pesto didn’t really go with cinnamon and raisins.  😦  That aside, we enjoyed an hour on the patio and had a nice conversation with our waiter about where to go for dessert.  He didn’t have a clue, but he was funny.  (Do you have a clue where to go in South Pasadena for an exquisite dessert?  Please let me know!)

We left and headed for Marz, Rue de Mimo, Camille Frances de Pedrini and the Dinosaur Farm toy store on Mission Street.  Marz was my favorite.  It’s a wacky gift shop that has a little bit of everything.  It is connected inside to Mimo and Camille, both of which have beautiful clothing and jewelry.  The Dinosaur Farm reminded me of Geppetto’s.  I enjoyed it a lot, but I didn’t really see anything I hadn’t seen before.

Somewhere in this very full schedule, we also went to Out of The Closet Thrift on Fair Oaks.  In the back of the store, I found an amusing, hideous animal drawing marked $10.  I picked it up in disbelief and promptly dropped it, shattering the glass to pieces.  The whole incident knocked me off my game, so it was probably good that the day was almost over.  I paid for the ugly painting and we left.

And that, my friends, was a wonderful, lovely weekend!

Thanks to beautiful Leighann for spending the day with me and for giving me a huge bolt of gorgeous upholstery fabric and this amazing Mr. Bunny chocolate mold:

Happy Monday!

What did you do this weekend?

♥♥

Just Emptying The Brain

I got a $135 rebate on my new washing machine.

I got a $133 delinquent registration fine on my van.

I want to go back to Pasadena and stay for a long time.  And while I’m away, I want a team of cleaning specialists, carpenters, painters, electricians, and pretty people from HGTV to attack my house.

It’s so depressing to return to an unorganized, inefficient, stressful mess.  I am back to the ever-burning questions – have there really been faded sheets hanging over my windows for the last ten years and why do we have so many wires everywhere?

My fattest boy cat is snoring soooo loud from his perch across the room,

that I keep checking the sweet girl next to me to see if it’s her.  It isn’t.

The little boy slobbered and slurped, then abandoned his Lula Mae spiral sucker on the desk last night.

I have already gotten stuck to it once.

I am sweating.

There is a five dollar Denny’s coupon on my printer.

The cat stopped snoring.  Is he dead?

Last month, the little boy taped a pencil to the wall in our hallway.  It stayed there for almost two weeks and a couple of times, when I threw my dirty laundry down from the landing above, my undies got stuck on the pencil and hung on the wall for over an hour.

While I was gone this weekend, husband blew up every balloon we had.

The child wrote words and drew faces on most of them.

And on this yellow one, he wrote the word “clear.”  Backwards.

We don’t know why.

But for some reason, it’s beautiful to us.  🙂

Meeting a friend soon, so I gotta go.

Happy Tuesday!

♥♥

Rose Bowl Flea Market Purchases

I buy ribbon and rickrack everywhere I go.  This pile of generous bundles cost only $10 total.  I love the blue with the red and white.  They’re kind of fitting for the season, don’t you think?  😀

I also buy Little Golden Books.  I got these three and the colorful little book below for a total of $3.00.

The Little Small Red Hen book was wrapped in a plastic bag when I saw it, so I knew it was probably badly damaged inside.  I was right.  There are pages missing and others torn, but I love the colorful cover and there are a few additional color plates inside that charm me anyway.  And really, the title is so sweet.

I’m not sure I know what to say about these next items.  I collect buttons and dominoes, but the buttons aren’t the greatest specimens and those two dominoes are all I got – not a set.  Don’t know what I was thinking.  Guess I don’t care since it only took $2.00 from me.

Arthur Burdett Frost’s Br’er Rabbit has been in my dreams for months.  I saw these twin reproduction art plaques of him at the market in January and have been wanting them ever since.  Now, they’re mine!  I’m glad they were near the exit.  Once I had these heavy boys to carry, I turned into a complaining nightmare.  “Oh, my aching back!”

I bought this bag to put them in and it made a big difference!

This bag is HUGE and made of super lightweight fabric.  I wish I had bought more than one.  😐

I also bought our initials.  Each ten-inch letter is cut from thin metal, then painted.  I’m not sure where I’m going to put them yet, but I am sure I will buy another letter or two every time I go to the market.  The guy who makes them just tosses them all on the ground and people walk on them and kick them aside to find the colors and letters they want.  All that rough handling gives the letters a good scruffy salvage look to them.  He makes smaller and larger versions and there are also numbers and some funky three-dimensional flowers too.

I can’t wait to add more to my collection.  I feel an art installation brewing, maybe for the wall to the right of my stained glass window??  You know, this wall:

Can’t you just picture it with a sea of letters swirling about like the curly waves in the window?  I can!

Last, but not least, here is the teeny bird I bought at Goldbug.  He’s very sweet, but extremely difficult to photograph.  My friend got one just like him, but with less of the green patina.  I love him.

I feel like I’ve forgotten something.  I will check my treasures and let you know!

Oh, I also bought four magazines on this trip.  Four.  Because this was MY weekend and I like magazines.  Woohoooo!

Happy Monday!

P.S. I forgot to mention that I also went to Mignon Chocolates.  I have to confess, I am a diehard See’s Candies loyalist, but I would happily eat another of Mignon’s Amaretto truffles if I had to.  😀

P.P.S.  The little boy seems pleased with my one and only purchase from Lula Mae this time:

♥♥

What a Lovely Weekend

I spent last night alone at the Marriott in Pasadena.

I drove up by myself, walked all over Old Town, popped into a few little shops, and took myself out to Il Fornaio too.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy eating all by myself in a nice restaurant.

It’s so fun to people watch, and somehow, the solitude makes you really savor the textures, colors and flavors of your food.

I started with a Caesar salad.  It was very fresh and just the right size, but I was not a fan of the croutons.  There were only three and they were almost too crunchy to eat.

The bread that came with the meal was similarly crunchy and also difficult to eat.  The olive oil and balsamic vinegar helped.

Next, I enjoyed ravioli filled with butternut squash and walnuts.  It was served with brown butter, tomato sauce, and crispy sage.

The sage was great.  It was actually dipped in something a little denser than a tempura batter and then fried.  It was unusual and a very welcome addition to the plate.

My only disappointment with the entree was the amount of the tomato sauce.  The ravioli needed a little more oomph, but there wasn’t a lot of that sauce to do it.  The flavors were all wonderful, just not quite proportioned properly.

Of course, none of that stopped me from cleaning my plate. 😀

I got dessert too.  I ordered by sight from the cart and really didn’t know what I was in for.  To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.  It was possibly the best chocolate mousse I’ve ever eaten.  It included a layer of fresh raspberries and it came in a pool of cream fraiche and raspberry coulis.  Another raspberry sat on top.  Delicious.

The entire day was delightful.

And long overdue.

I haven’t needed a break that badly in quite a while.  😐

This morning I got up early, ate some cereal in my room, then drove to the Rose Bowl to meet a friend for the monthly flea market.

We both had some cash to burn this time, so it was a lot of fun.

When our feet could take no more, we drove back into town, bought a couple of teeny bird figurines at  Goldbug, ate a very pleasant, leisurely meal at Mi Piace, and then looked at every single item in Lula Mae.  I LOVE that place.  So sweet.

We parted company around 4:00 p.m.

On the way home, I stopped at Cost Plus World Market to finish out my fun.

Now, I am exhausted and ready to hibernate.

I’ll post pictures of my new treasures in a couple of days.

I hope you had a good weekend too!

Happy Sunday!

♥♥

Rose Bowl Flea Market and Pasadena

I met two friends at the Rose Bowl Flea Market yesterday.

It was a long day and the weather was chilly, but we had a great time!

One of my friends knows the market like her own backyard, so she played navigator.  That worked well for me, because I got turned around at the end of just about every aisle.  😕

We shopped for hours, saw very few things twice, and still didn’t cover even half the venue.  The Rose Bowl Flea Market is BIG.

The parking is free and plentiful.  The 9:00 a.m. general admission is only $8.00 and worth every penny.  You can pay more to get in with the early birds, but my friend cautions that sometimes vendors are still unpacking before the regular crowd gets there.

Deep in the rows, there is a lady who makes caramel apple muffins from scratch in her own kitchen and sells them for $2.00 a piece.  My friend buys one every time and raves about them, so I was happy when the three of us arrived at her booth well into the morning and still found three muffins left in the basket!

They were really delicious – sort of an angel food cake with a center of brown-sugared, tender, appley goodness.  Yesterday was nothing, if not a thoroughly delightful food day.  More on that a little later.  😀

Another vendor sells art plates from old books.  There are stacks and stacks, black and white as well as color, as beautiful and varied as the people who buy them.

The bibliophile in me grimaces at the dissection of what were surely amazing whole volumes, but I appreciate the art in the single leaves and I couldn’t go without this page:

Not far from the front entrance, there is a vendor who sells colorful tablecloths from Provence.

French linens are very cheery, usually made well, and have always appealed to me, but they are typically out of my price range.

I stopped at this booth because she also has a table full of batik stamps!  Woohoo!  I chose this one for my collection:

I also picked up this teeny little rabbit for my blue and white family:

a tiger clicker for my son:

and a small gift for a friend. 😀

As always, there were a few things I regret leaving behind.

Most of those were slightly out of my price range, but are regular items that I could acquire with better planning on a future visit.

Some were unique items I just wavered on and will absolutely never see again.  I guess that’s okay.  If I waver, then they’re probably not meant to be mine.

On our way to the exit gate we stopped by the food vendor area to say hello to my mom and Lou, who had also driven up for the market.

They arrived after we did and were taking a quick break, but were heading back in for a little more shopping after we headed out.

Departing from the Rose Bowl was an adventure.  😐  I lost my car, worked up a sweat looking for it, and finally had to call my friend to enlist her navigator instincts to find it.

Then I sat sheepishly behind my wheel and watched as she deftly moved a giant traffic barrier by hand just to get me pointed in the right direction.  So embarrassing.  😳  Funny, but embarrassing.

At least this all helped me to warm up after being so chilled by the cloud cover.

I followed my friends into Old Town Pasadena for a little more shopping and some late lunch.

My favorite store this time is Lula Mae.  Teeny, charming, colorful and packed full with “gifts of wit & whimsy” –  this is definitely my kind of place!

My friend and I both left with Andy, the Black Sheep:

I love him.  He is made of cast iron and weighs a LOT.  Don’t ever wanna drop this boy in my tiled house with my bare broken feet nearby.  Oy.  Gotta find just the right place for him.

I was amused when I got home to find that Lula Mae had wrapped Andy in French Fry tissue.  So funny.

From Lula Mae’s clearance bin, I picked up this hand-stitched house ornament:

and this cloth Tooth Fairy bird:

I love the idea of this, but I will probably just hang him from my Christmas Tree since we have something else for our son’s Tooth Fairy exchanges.

I rounded out my Lula Mae purchases with two yards of wired chenille ribbon.

I have a definite weakness for pretty ribbon, especially when it has a drastically reduced price.  🙂

That about covers my purchases for the day, but the treasures I brought home also included two amazing gifts from my friend.

She gave me this spectacular chair:

and this gorgeous, charming butter dish:

I am in love with this big Sun Lion.  In love.  The colors, his face, his swirly handle tail – all of him.  In. Love.  Thank you, Leighann!  😀

And the chair.  It’s beautiful.  😀  In fact, it’s officially the nicest thing in my house.

The most unusual shop we visited is definitely Gold Bug.

I’m not sure the merchandise is my taste exactly, but it is very intriguing and I wish I’d stopped in on a slower day and hadn’t felt so claustrophobic.  It’s a very small shop and there were a lot of people in it.

If you’re in the area, particularly on a weekday, you should definitely stop by.  It’s unique and has a lot to look at.

For our very late lunch we went to Mi Piace, one of my favorite places in Pasadena.  Wait, have I been anywhere else?  Who cares!  Mi Piace is really good.

Unfortunately, they were completely out of the Butter Nut Squash Ravioli with browned butter and sage.  Big, disappointed, collective sigh.

We buried our sorrows in good hot garlicky bread chunks served with balsamic and olive oil.

I ordered Fettuccine Alfredo with julienne vegetables. It was priced a too high and would be more enjoyable with a small green salad (priced separately – grrrr), but it was extremely good.

For dessert, I ordered this Mi Piace Special:

It was three layers dark and white chocolate mousse and cakes, topped with black and red raspberries and accompanied by a beautiful puddle of kiwi and strawberry coulis.

My only complaint with this dessert is that it came with that completely white, unripe, unappealing strawberry.  I would have left that off the plate.  I just pushed it aside.

I devoured the rest of it, feeling only mild guilt for denying my husband any leftovers.  They wouldn’t have kept on the three-hour drive home anyway, right?

My friends and I parted company shortly after our meal.  I headed south and they headed back to the high desert.  We all had a great time and I can’t wait to do it again.  Maybe in March or April??

Love you guys!!

P.S.

The best moment of the day was when Bob Harper from Biggest Loser (or his clone??) finally left his table facing ours, so that we could relax and eat without his fitness guru-ish-ness monitoring our mouthfuls. 😦

The worst moment of the day was the insane coughing fit I had on exiting Lula Mae.  😳  Mortifying.  It was the kind of thing that makes strangers pull their kids in close and flee.   Embarrassing.

The stupidest thing I did was forget to bring water into the market.  $5.00 per bottle if you want to buy it there.  Ugh!

The smartest thing I did was bring my big purple purse.  Not super attractive, but it’s lightweight, cavernous and durable – perfect for shopping!

P.P.S.  While I’ve been typing this morning, the little boy has been stapling paper and drawing scenes from his computer games…

wearing my two oversized sweatshirts at the same time…

eating cheetos…

and being very sweet.

I sure love this little boy.  I missed him yesterday.

Gotta go play now.  Catch you tomorrow.  Maybe.

Happy Monday!

♥♥