Thursday, January 24, 2013

Finding Your Vintage Style

Whether it be Furniture, home decor or clothing often older is better! Not to mention oftentimes you may even get a bigger bang for your buck in the long run when you purchase vintage goods from local sellers as opposed to new items you find at any big box store.  I know through experience finding your taste in vintage style takes time, effort and at times a little trial and error before you master the perfect comfortable feel that you longed for.I found that my biggest problem was trying to figuring out where to start and how to get the ball rolling. Hopefully sharing my experiences will give you a little push in the right direction and before you know it you will be out measuring items and snapping pictures of potential vintage additions to your home.

Great! You have decided that it is time to make some vintage additions to your home or office but now find yourself with the posing question of where to start. You may be among many people that have never purchased vintage items and have relied on the big box stores for all their home decor needs. Don't be embarrassed by this, the major retailers have you right where they want you. Shoving knock off vintage items down your throat and into your living rooms. The thing about this that saddens me is that these major retailers do not giving a second thought that they are driving down the value of true vintage with their knock offs and copies. These retailers have over-saturated the market and peoples homes to the point that unique pieces with flair and style have become mainstream and common. This sounds bleak and horrible to the vintage enthusiast but at the same time they have created a great opportunity for us to go out and find outstanding vintage items that will stand the test of time.

Back to a starting point....  so there is this thing out there called Pinterest that you may of heard of. If you read my last posting you will know that change and I do not really go hand in hand. My " To Do List" friend tried to introduce me to this Pinterest phenomenon which of course I fought purely because I did not think it was something i could make time for. Fast forward a few months to a warm and rainy Sunday morning where 2 pots of coffee and 4 hours of pinning I was hooked not to mention a little jittery! She had described it so accurately in saying it is like having the ability to build your own magazine of everything you like, want to read and most importantly try. Not to mention it gives you a wealth of knowledge, some useless but it is still knowledge and there is that saying that "Knowledge is Power".  I have been able to answer a multitude of questions for people and when questioned how did I know that I credit Pinterest by saying... Oh, I read it on Pinterest.

Maybe at this point you are asking what does this have to do with revamping my style and putting a little more pizazz in day to day existence. Pinterest can be that jumping off point to help you choose your likes, dislikes and give you a reference of items that you would like to have in your own home.  This can all be accomplished from the convenience of your home computer or if you have a smart phone by using the mobile application and virtually any place you find yourself sitting in wait you can be discovering new style. If this is a new concept for you I found a wonderful tutorial at The Daily Digi called "Pinterest 101: A Tutorial" that will walk you through just about every aspect of Pinterest and get you on your way to building your dream style.

During the next week get your account set up and start looking at all the possibilities that are out there. Start your own board and pin those items that caught your eye and keep in mind that this is the point that more is better. Eventually we will sort through your choices and pick out those items that are your true love and before you know it your home will be a showplace of your own personal style and character that guests will marvel over and you will feel comfortable in. One thing to keep in mind while you start this process is that this is not about the taste of others but what you find comforting and exciting.

Next week: Vintage Styles and Eras ... what's your favorite?

Last week I promised that I would share an incredible dinner with you so here it is. I said earlier .... sometimes older is better and that is the case with Beef Stew recipe. We have all heard about the evils of bad nutrition but sometimes we have a craving for something that is satisfying and filling versus green and leafy. This may not be the best for us but we eat it anyway and then either feel guilt over our full satisfied bellies or go to the gym for an extra half hour the following day to ease our minds. Whatever the case may be enjoy this fantastic stew in moderation and you will get that comfort food satisfaction that you may be craving at this frigid time of the year.

The Best Browned Beef Stew ..... EVER! 
4-6 servings

1 -1 1/2 lb cubed beef stew meat
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use Olive Oil)
1 onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, chopped fine
1/4 cup finely chopped celery, with a few minced leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 pinch thyme

1 pinch rosemar
3 1/2 cups beef broth
2 medium potatoes, diced (I use Baby Reds in big chunks)
2 carrots, diced (same thing.. big chunks)
2 onions, diced 

2 cups petite frozen peas


1 Put flour, salt and pepper in a large ziploc bag.

2 Heat oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven.

3 Place meat in bag with the flour and shake until well coated.

4 Shake off half of the meat pieces and add them to the oil and stir until slightly browned,. Remove from the pot and place on a plate. Repeat with the remaining meat. Once slightly brown add the first batch of meat back to the pot.

5 Add remaining flour from the  bag and the finely chopped onion and stir until well browned.

6 Add finely chopped carrot and next 5 ingredients.
7 Cover and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours (stirring every 15 minutes).
8 Add diced potatoes, carrots, and onions, cook for another 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
9 Add 2 cups petite peas 15 minutes prior to serving.
When I prepare this recipe I buy a few large crusty rolls, scoop them out into bread bowls and pair it with a winter green salad.




  1. I'm really excited to think I might be able to create the look in my home I've been dreaming of. I can't wait to learn more!

  2. Yum! Sugarcookielady says to add a wee bit of red wine to the stew. Miss you, friend!