Retro Tuesday My New - Old Dining Set

>> Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So my mom calls me up and says "Katherine's kids are finally cleaning out the house. They're having an estate sale and there is the dining room set that is sort of Danish 50s or 60s looking I think. They're asking $100, do you want it? The cushions match your house..."

While my heart is screaming "Yes, yes, YES!" my brain is saying "You can't, don't spend the money. UGH Brain, you're killing me- NO, don't do it!" So I told my mom no, heaved a heavy sigh and went off to tell Ed about the fabulous deal that I had just hung up on.

The next morning my mom calls me again and says "Well, I made enough money yesterday at MY yardsale to buy the dining set for you. So I did. And we'll bring it down later this afternoon, okay?"

OH. MY. GOSH. SHE. DID. WHAT? OMG OMG OMG OMG YES! "I'll cook you dinner!" I shout. And with that, this charming little dining table and chairs came to live at my house.

I am not really sure what style to call this, I'm no expert. Is it Danish looking? We think the wood is walnut, there is no maker's mark that I can find but it is really sturdy and in great condition for it's age with nary a scratch or ding anywhere...

In any case, Happy Retro Tuesday, blogging world! Go visit Tracy over at Crazy Suburban Mom for more retro goodness.


A few more photos from Aidan's birthday...

>> Saturday, October 23, 2010

On Thursday, we celebrated Aidan's actual birthday with a dinner of his choosing (homemade mac and cheese and birthday brownies!) and he received a few more little presents. First off, we got him a Narragansett Mariners jersey with his brother's name and number printed on it so he can wear it to the games and support the team. (He didn't wait for today's game, he wore it to school on Friday, lol!)

And he also received this adorable little book.

I won it in a giveway on the blog My Kids Are My World.
The book is from Frecklebox- which is this site filled with all sorts of clever kids items that can be personalized for your child. (Great for birthdays, holidays, etc). I picked this book about zoo animals.
As you can see, the title is "Aidan Goes to the Zoo" and the whole book is directed at him and engages him to read and explore, looking for his name hiding in all the images.
It's great because he's a first grader and just learning to read and the text isn't overly complicated, so he can read it by himself!

We were also able to personalize the inside of the book with an inscription, so he'll always remember when he got it for as long as he owns it!

Thanks again to Jenn at My Kids Are My World for offering this giveaway and helping us make Aidan's birthday that much more special! Also, thanks to Mark at Frecklebox for expiditing my order and getting it here in time for his birthday. We appreciate it!


Giveaway Winner!

>> Friday, October 22, 2010

Thank you all for entering to win the Blue Heron ornament from The Nutcracker Suite! I used and set my max at 28 because some of you did more than one entry, but in the same comment- so if you see the number discrepancy, that's why. Anyway, on to our winner!

Lisa- Alterity Button Jewelry said...
I am already a follower (does that count?)

Oh, I almost forgot the story:

We keep the German tradition of the pickle in the tree. The green blown glass pickle like in your blog photo. the prize is always a box of chocolates, but it is just so fun to watch the kids furiously scanning the tree trying to find it!

Congratulations, Lisa!

I have another giveaway coming on Monday... stay tuned!


Happy Birthday Aidan A Before and After and Giveaway Reminder!

>> Thursday, October 21, 2010

Whew! Tons of stuff to talk about- it's been a busy two weeks! So sorry to leave you all hanging with no new posts, bad blogger!

First, a very happy birthday to my big boy, Aidan, who turns 7 today! We had his Super Mario Brothers themed party on Sunday and he had a blast! Here are some of the highlights

Today is his actual birthday so I left him a good morning message he couldn't miss!

A little side story first... Maybe you remember before, I had this really odd really odd wall thing in my dining room. Waaaaay back when, it used to be a window. And then the previous owners covered it up when they built on the garage addition. But they didn't just drywall it. For some reason, they left the window surround and the wife painted this tree thing in the middle of it.

My quick fix was to paint it white and fill it with photos

A year of that was enough for me, and I decided I needed a change. I bought a pot of chalkboard paint and got to work. We now have this giant chalkboard the kids can color on and practice writing and math- two things they love to do!

What do you think?

And finally, don't forget to enter to win this beautiful glass ornament- today is the last day!


A Christmasy Vintage Thingies Thursday and a Giveaway!

>> Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hello to all my vintage and retro lovin' friends visiting from Vintage Thingies Thursday over at Coloradolady! I've missed VTT these past few weeks and am happy to be participating again today!

I'm stretching the meme a little this week, because I want to share with you all a very special place... this is a photo heavy post, apologies to those with slow page loads!

Welcome to the Nutcracker Suite!

The Nutcracker Suite Christmas Shop is located on historic Mill Street in downtown Newport, RI. Since it's inception in 1981, it has been housed in the Thomas Brown House, built in 1860, a home on the National Register of Historic Places AND the Newport Restoration Foundation, founded by Doris Duke.

Today, the Nutcracker is run by shop owners, newlyweds and cherished family friends Cheryl and Kevin Whittaker, who purchased it from the original owners in 2009.

Cheryl and Kevin are a fun loving couple who clearly have a passion for what they do- in the short time since they have taken over the store, they have started a website, brought in tons of new stock and carried on the time-honored tradition of literally decking the halls (and the walls and the ceilings and the mantels) with the most beautiful displays of Christmas cheer you could imagine.

To me, it doesn't matter if it's the hottest day in the middle of July- I step over the threshold of the air conditioned store and am immediately drawn in by the spirit of Christmas.

They have decorations for every taste. From vintage and traditional to modern and flashy. Small and delicate to large and ornate!

They have sports themes, music themes, snowmen themes, angels, Santa Claus, Carolers, Smokers, Nativity sets, Ornaments for bird lovers, wine enthusiasts, Newport/nautical themes

and of course- they have Nutcrackers. Oh yes, they have Nutcrackers!

One of the things that I love is that they are working hard to bring in beautiful ornaments made by local artists (of which I am but one). They have many talented RI and New England artists featured in the shop- they have hand blown eggs featuring paintings of famous Newport sites, striking ornaments made by RI company Chemart and a gorgeous sampling of other items hand painted, etched and engraved locally.

Shameless self horn tooting for a second here...

And while I definitely want to encourage everyone who is local to Newport to go visit this amazing store, I really and truly most wanted to share with you the joy I feel every time I step through their door. It is impossible not to catch the infectious spirit in this place! I have YET to walk out without a newly purchase ornament in my bag.
My favorites in the store have got to be the glass ornaments made by Merck Family's Old World Christmas. I think these have all the charm of the true vintage glass ornaments I collect.

A personal favorite is the glass pickle. Though no one seems to quite know the true origins of the pickle, they have been being manufactured and imported from Germany since the 1880's and it is thought to be a German (or at least German-American) tradition. The pickle ornament gets hidden deep in the tree and whoever finds it on Christmas morning is blessed with a year of good fortune. In my house, we have altered the tradition that the child who finds the pickle gets to open the first gift!

Old World Christmas has literally hundreds of glass ornaments each equally as beautiful as the next. I am collecting the nautical, sea life and bird pieces for our family Christmas tree.

I can't wait to get them onto my tree this year and now -thanks to the Whittaker's generosity- one of my awesome readers gets to enjoy one of these beautiful ornaments as well!

I am giving away this stunning Great Blue Heron ornament. He is approximately 5 1/2 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches wide with soft, shimmery blue wings and he stands in vibrant green marsh grass. Oh, I wish I had brought one home to put on my tree... hmmm... maybe next visit over to Newport?...

Anyway, to be entered in the giveaway, simply leave me a comment! Maybe about a tradition your family has or a favorite ornament on your tree? A special holiday collection you have? Whatever, just share with me and you're entered!

Now, because I'd like to give you all a few more shots at winning, I'll do the "extra chances" entries:

1. Become a public follower of my blog
2. Tweet or post to Facebook about this giveaway
3. Visit The Nutcracker Suite's website and tell me what your favorite item is.

This contest will remain open until Thursday, October 21st (Aidan's 7th birthday) at midnight. Winner will be chosen using

Good luck!


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