A Trip to Architectural Salvage

Yesterday I checked Architectural Salvage of San Diego off of my "shopping bucket list."

Given my love of thrift stores and flea markets it should come as no surprise that this store appealed to me....

Sadly, it's hard to incorporate such rustic touches into my California tract home. (Which is not to say that I didn't make a few purchases.)

Everywhere you looked there were fun collections to rummage through.  (How great is the green, rotating display?  You may recall that I lusted after something similar at the Rose Bowl Flea back in October...)

And how about these old grates?  I could almost imagine taking a few, cleaning them up, painting them, and making a gallery wall of sorts.

There were also horseshoes...

Industrial-sized spools...

Ceiling tile pins...

And lots of old letters!

(I love old letters.)

And check out all of these vintage locks...

I'm not quite sure what one would do with a box full of shoe form fragments...

Or mannequin feet!

(Though they would go nicely with the collection of hands I found at the Rose Bow Flea Market.)

The selection of old windows was to die for.  

Not sure what you would do with an old window?  Check out this Hometalk Board for some great ideas!

This one was particularly stunning...

There were many other fun things to gaze upon...

This place had everything but the kitchen sink.

Um, scratch that.

For my final image, I present you with "Patina," the official store cat who snoozes happily on her well-loved stuffed animal while crazy ladies with cameras roam the store.

If you're interested in knowing more about Architectural Salvage of San Diego or visiting yourself, check out their web page HERE.

And you might want to bring your camera.  (Patina is ready for another close-up.)



Guess the Birthday Party Theme

So here at `a casarella, someone had a birthday last week.  

(And no, it wasn't Taylor Swift.) 

(And yes, I did have to Google Taylor Swift's birthday to confirm that fact.)

(It's December 13th if any of you would like to send her a card.)

Invite a celebrity to your next event.
Cut out a picture, paste it to some cardboard and glue the whole thing to a dowel.
Makes a great photo booth prop.

Nope, here at `a casarella it was my younger daughter's birthday.  And like her older sister before her, a photo booth was a must.  

I let her pick her own theme and in true blogger-daughter fashion, she got creative.

I'll let you look at the next few pictures to see if you can figure it out.

Fill balloons with glitter using a funnel.  Let kids pop them for a fun surprise (outside, of course!)

Use THESE letter/number fondant/cookie cutters to make your clock face.

Did you guess a New Year's Eve theme?  

If so, give yourself a pat on the back.  

(Because it may be August, but it's a new year for her...)

Using my Silhouette to make the names, I turned ordinary bags from the 99 Cent Store into personalized favor holders.

Check out the Pinterest board she created just for the occasion.  In it you'll spy the clock cookies that served as the inspiration for her cake.

And if you enjoyed this post, please check out some of my other party posts below:



Back-to-School Lunch Box Idea Revisited

The following is a repost, in honor of the fact that my daughters will be starting school next week (!) This means that the number of lunches I've made has changed.  (And by changed I actually  mean increased.)  What hasn't changed is the awesomeness that is the lunch box smoothie.  Enjoy!

My older daughter just started sixth grade.  That means, not including this year, she has been in school for six years.  At roughly 180 days per school year, that comes out to 1080 days that she has spent in school so far.  And the number of times she has bought her lunch in those 1080 days?


That's right, I made the other 1079 lunches.  Her sister, who's in second grade, has also bought only one time, bringing her homemade lunch total to 359.

Needless to say, I'm always looking for ideas to spice up their lunches.

So I was intrigued when I happened upon this post from Jessica at Stay at Home-ista:  One Week in Kindergarten Lunches.

I love her lunch ideas and recommend that you go over and check them out.  I was particularly intrigued, however, by her choice of packaging.  She packs many of her daughter's snacks in Ball Freezer Jars, the type of jar one uses when making freezer jam.  

Looking to buy these?  Click the "Products" tab above.

I sent her an email asking about it and this was her reply: "I love the ball jars since they are dishwasher, microwave, freezer safe and they keep things from getting squished."

Well it just so happened that I had some freezer jars tucked away from a little freezer jam experiment of yore.    (Did you know that I have a peach tree and that the peaches all tend to ripen within a four week period?  And if you don't pick those peaches they go splat all over your patio?  Well they do.  And thus, my moderately successful attempt at making freezer jam.  But that's a post for another time.)

And those little jars got me thinking.  They're so... cup-like.  And that made me think of drinks.  But these are cups that you can freeze, so that got me thinking about frozen drinks, like smoothies!  (Because my daughters' school really frowns upon Pina Coladas...)

And that's when it hit me:  I could make smoothies, freeze them in the Ball jars, put them in my daughters' lunches in the a.m. and they would likely be defrosted by lunch.

Yesterday was my maiden run.  

My smoothies include Greek yogurt, OJ, frozen berries and bananas.  I would give you measurements if I had them.  I tend to eyeball it.  One Magic Bullet's worth of smoothie fills two 8 oz. Ball jars.  I made two batches and sent each girl to school with a smoothie. 

The verdict when they got home?  An enthusiastic thumbs up.  Both smoothies were perfectly defrosted by noon and my girls were the belles of the lunchroom.  

So--what are your favorite lunch box ideas?  I'd love to hear them.

'Cause by my calculations, I still have over 3000 lunches left to go...

(I had to include pictures of both lunch boxes.  Fairness is everything...)



Stocking the Etsy Shop

Okay, so I know it's August and all (and some of us are desperately clinging to these last few weeks of summer), but I just had to share the cute little Christmas gift toppers that I put in my etsy shop last night.  
Buyers can choose from golden reindeer...

...or silver reindeer...

(with or without scarves).

So if you're looking for a nice way to top off your holiday offerings, stop by the shop (because with summer almost over, Christmas will be here before you know it)!



$275 Gift Card Giveaway!!

You read that right friends, I'm doing another giveaway and this time the prize is a doozy: a $275 gift card to Target, World Market or Home Goods.

I reaally wish I could enter this one, but since I can't, that just means a better chance for you!

Simply follow the directions in the Rafflecopter link below.  The more actions you take (liking the various blogs on Facebook, following them on Pinterest or Twitter, etc.), the more chances you have to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My First Curated Collection on LOOKSI

Hello Friends!

Today I am excited to be curating a collection of Sharpie crafts over at Looksi.

It's a little ironic given that the only Sharpie-like project I have ever done on the blog was also a total craft fail...

You can revisit this little disaster HERE.

I guess that's why I am so taken by these fabulous projects.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do....

Click on the image and scroll until you see the red shoes.  The next fifteen projects are all Sharpie crafts.

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