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2011 September

PCC Flea Market

We are lucky enough to have not one, but two amazing flea markets in close proximity. I had heard about the Rose Bowl Flea Market before we moved here, but only recently found out about the Pasadena City College Flea Market, which is held on the first Sunday of every month. It was marked on our calendar, and yesterday we went to check it out!

In the Bay area the big one is the Alameda Antiques Fair, which I went to with my dear friend Steve a time or two, but, sadly, always when it was really really cold. Since the fair is held outdoors, there’s nothing to do but shiver and try to find shelter from the wind behind a headboard or a chest of drawers.

In Pasadena, we feared that we’d face the opposite problem, since it has been so hot this week. Thankfully, the geniuses behind this fair put most of it inside a parking garage, so you are shielded from the sun: glorious! I also liked the layering effect–meandering through the fair, you feel like you are slowly peeling the skin of a crisp antique-filled apple. (Our apologies to the vendors located outside–we will come visit you when it gets cooler!)

We didn’t have to look far to find an inspiring array of beautiful and interesting things: bright colors, vintage designs, and all kind of curiosities were everywhere.  I think we only lasted about an hour; the eyes can only take in so much!

I asked Eric to be on the lookout for some buttons, since I have been searching for some for a few projects I have in mind. We came across a stand with all kinds of tiny lovely little things, and while I was looking through old Scrabble and Mah Jongg tiles, Eric hit the motherlode: buttons galore! I picked out some pretty blue and green ones, and he found a bag full of shiny ones, several pounds at least, for only $3!

It was just as much fun talking to the seller as it was finding these treasures. She told me about where she had found them, and how truly antique many of them are (I am putting in an image of her card, just in case any of you are looking for buttons or antique Lego pieces!).

I have a soft spot for old things, to be sure, and I love to imagine the former lives of the things I pick up at thrift stores or antique fairs. It makes me happy to know that my buttons were hard at work before my grandmother was even born–a thought that certainly makes me pause and wonder at the curious power of everyday objects not only as repositories of specific and personal memories, but also as tiny encapsulations of entire eras. Beautiful.

The Red and the Teal

When I first starting putting outfits together, I wore an awful lot of red and black. No joke, I used to quiz my colleagues as to which Stendhal novel I was dressed as (I know, I know, I am the queen of nerds, but you will just have to believe me that most people found it at least mildly amusing!) I still love that combo, but I try to mix things up too, since I’m a die-hard fan of color blocking.

I have always loved red and teal together, but I was most recently inspired by Vanessa’s outfit over at Snappy and Savvy. It’s not hard to be inspired by her, and indeed, hers was the first style blog I found that I really loved and felt I was learning tons of cool stuff from; I wrote lots of ecstatic comments on her Chictopia page, like, “You are completely amazing!” And she is:)

I thought her red and teal look was so gorgeous that I had to pay a little homage! This red dress, again, no joke, was given to me by my best friend way back when we were in high school. She has given me so many amazing hand-me-downs! The sweater vest is from my favorite thrift store of ALL TIME, the Bargain Barn in Memphis (pity that I only get to go twice a year at best!) The necklace is from my favorite clothing exchange party in Oakland (I miss it so much! Pasadena/LA ladies: want to have a clothing swap party?!) And the heels are my highest Nine West stilettos, retrieved from abandonment at my husband’s old apartment, and always ready for wobbly walking action!

White Peach Baked Oatmeal

It has been a really busy summer. Thankfully, in a good way! My husband and I both graduated and celebrated my brother’s wedding, and then about a month later we got married too. After a month and half or so of wedded bliss, we moved to a new city. Whew! While I wouldn’t have changed a thing at all, there are certain things that have fallen by the wayside, like…breakfast.

My sweet husband is perfectly content with cereal and toast (though he won’t turn down a waffle!), but I crave things that are warm and hearty in the morning: scones, pancakes, muffins. I’ve been eating bagels for a few months straight, and now that we’re finally getting settled in our new home, I was more than excited to start making real breakfasts again.

I was intrigued by my BFF’s success with baked oatmeal, which she wrote about here, and I couldn’t wait to try it. I have actually already made it twice, it is so addictive! The first time I gave it two layers of cherries (mmmm…), and it was so good that I wanted to duplicate it this week, but alas, the cherries didn’t look so hot, so I bought white peaches instead. It turned out just as delicious! You could really use just about any fruit you have on hand, or whatever is your favorite.

My BFF says this is the best oatmeal she’s ever had, and I do not disagree!

White Peach Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from Heidi Swanson‘s Super Natural Every Day

2 c rolled oats
1/2 c walnut pieces
1/3 c brown sugar (This gives it just a touch of sweetness; you could definitely add more or tone it down based on the sweetness of your fruit.)
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 c milk
1 large egg
2 Tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled
3 white peaches, sliced (or 2 1/2-3 c of your favorite fruit)

-Preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch square baking dish.
-Line the bottom of the dish with peach slices.
-In a mixing bowl combine the oats, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over the peaches in the baking dish.
-In a mixing bowl (the same one if you like doing dishes as little as I do!) whisk together the milk, egg, and butter. Pour over the baking dish, letting sit for a minutes to ensure that the milk is soaking into the oats.
-Top the baking dish with another layer of sliced peaches.
-Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden, the peaches have browned beautifully, and the oat mixture has set.
-Sprinkle with extra nuts or sugar if you like, and enjoy!


Pretty Bold

This is the first dress I made on the sewing machine I got for my birthday last year. I didn’t even use a pattern, but instead just traced the form of my favorite shift dress, which my best friend sent me from Korea. It’s a simple form, and I was pretty pleased with how it came out!

Still, I wanted to do some pattern mixing and add a belt for a tighter silhouette. The plaid top came from my favorite clothing exchange party (ah, how I will miss thee, now that I’ve moved away!), and the belt is from my favorite BB Dakota dress.

The bracelet came from the best wholesale jewelry spot in the world, right in Memphis, Tennessee: Jun Lee, where my awesome mom and I usually go for annual field trips to stock up on colorful bling. And, of course, I put on my most fun brown heels:)

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