Friday, April 18, 2014

Out Now: Finding Vivian Maier

Last weekend, I saw Finding Vivian Maier and I was delighted by it. I had been waiting since February 2013 to see this movie and it was so fantastic!

If you're not familiar with it, check out the trailer below - you will be intrigued, I promise!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vintage Caravan Style Book Review and Giveaway

For years, it was my dream to open up shop in a vintage camper. I had dreams of finding the perfect hidden gem on Craigslist, magically having a car that could tow it, magically having all the skill in the world to rehab it, then magically opening up shop and living a bohemian-vintage-shop-owner lifestyle with not a care in the world!

Well… that was definitely a big dream! I would still love to have a camper, but now my dreams are of taking our future family on adventures. Since it's just the 2 of us and we don't have the ability to travel right now, I can dream and drool over Lisa Mora's new book Vintage Caravan Style (available May 31 on and imagine a future in which we're a bohemian family on the road. (Ok, so we both love security too much to do that…but it's fun to imagine!)

Vintage Caravan Style details "buying, restoring, decorating, and styling the small spaces of your dreams." Each chapter breaks down what you need to know and do in order to make the vintage camper of your dreams come true Along with the great information, the photos are incredible and will have your 50s-and-60s-loving-heart soaring. From the opening pages, you are transported to a magical land of campers and old pick-up trucks. As you flip through this book, beautiful teal campers, vibrant red trailers, and every color in between fill the pages and your heart!

Lisa describes the historical importance of caravans as a form of travel and later in time, as a means of adventure. She captures the allure that campers have on us - the dream of a simpler life full of beauty and exploration. Along with the whimsical, Lisa gives practical tips on finding and bringing home a camper - and even includes "before" photos that will boggle your mind. I'm so in awe of people who have a vision and the know-how to turn a falling apart trailer into something beautiful and useful! She addresses specific problems and how to approach obstacles such as water damage and wheel issues.

Every page is full of amazing photos of campers - a huge assortment of caravans ranging in style - each with its own unique flavor. It's amazing to see the transformations of these vintage trailers into cozy & comfy spaces.

As the editor of Vintage Caravan Magazine, Lisa is incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of campers - not only refurbishing, but the practical matters of taking a trip with your trailer. This book is such a great resource for anyone who wants to take on the camper lifestyle - or anyone who dreams of being a caravan'er! Even if you never imagined having a life on the road, the charming photos of vintage styling are sure to please.

See more about the book from other bloggers - click here to see the full schedule of the Vintage Caravan Style bloghop!

If you'd like to win your very own copy of Vintage Caravan Style, leave a comment on this post saying what you'd do with a vintage camper if you had one! The contest will end Monday, April 21st at noon central time. The winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Best Gardening Book EVER

The title might exaggerate a little - but this is the best gardening book I've ever read.

I never had an interest in gardening outdoors, but this year I am determined to have a flower garden so I can cut flowers and bring them in to enjoy as bouquets.

But, as a total novice, I haven't been sure where to start or what to do. That's why the below book has been so revolutionary for me!

Month by Month Gardening in Tennessee and Kentucky has everything you need to know if you live and garden in one of these wonderful states. The book is divided ingeniously by types of plants - houseplants, veggies, shrubs, roses, etc and then further divided by each month. The chapters detail what you should be doing each month for your plants - from fertilizing to dividing to mulching, etc. It's super easy to understand - there's even a glossary in the back. (The first time I read a gardening book and it talked about "deadheading" but didn't explain what it was...I was so confused!)

The author is super relatable and very down-to-earth. I have a love/hate relationship with Martha because she is the queen of everything, but her gardening books go way over my head. Not so with this book - everything is explained so well.

If you don't live in KY or TN, I would recommend googling to see if a similar book exists for your area. It's so helpful to get specific advice for your zone - especially when it so clearly tells you what you should be doing based on the month!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Songs of Heartbreak and Redemption: Jason Isbell on PBS Live at Lincoln Center Tonight

Do you all love Jason Isbell? If you don' should! I mean, he's really really good and tonight PBS is showing his Live at Lincoln Center concert at 9 eastern. 

Get a taste of his music below with a 15 min concert at Garden & Gun. (Speaking of G&G - this magazine keeps showing up everywhere - I feel like I need to read it but the name turns me off - but it's just so SOUTHERN and classy, I feel like I need it.)

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Need to get film developed? (Plus - happy surprise!)

We found 20+ rolls of undeveloped film at Andy's dad's house. We had NO idea what was on them, but I knew I had to find out.

I started googling where to get film developed since you can no longer just walk into any store and get it done. (Side note: have you ever been to the Honey I Shrunk The Kids playground at Disneyworld? There's a giant roll of 35mm film and a few years ago I overheard a mom trying to explain what it was to her 4 year old. Kids are going to be increasingly confused by all our old technology!)

Anyhoo, I found a ton of places that will develop for $10 a roll - pretty steep when you have SO many to work through.

Then I found - they offer lots of photo services but the one I'm most interested in, of course, is film development. Here's how it works:

You request mailers from them and an envelope of 3 mail-able bags show up at your house. You put one roll of film (or even a disposable camera) in each mailer and mail it back - postage is free both ways! Within 24 hours of receiving your film, they email you and let you know your photos have been scanned. You then pay 19 cents per photo to "unlock" your photos and see them.

At that point, you can browse through the gallery and order prints or you can do what we're going to do - wait til they're all scanned and order a DVD of photos.

So, I mailed my film on Friday and got an email Monday night that said my photos were ready. There were only 23 and I was disappointed that out of 3 rolls, only that many photos turned out. They were from the 90s when Andy's brother was a college cheerleader. Lots of photos of him being a boss and holding girls up!

I had been hoping for childhood photos, though, so I was a little disappointed. (No offense to Michael, I was impressed by his cheerleading photos! I just really wanted to see baby Michael and baby Andy!)

Then yesterday, I received another email- more photos were ready! WOO! I was so pleasantly surprised that more had turned out.

I was even MORE pleasantly surprised when I saw the photos were from a 1980s childhood trip to Disneyworld. This is like GOLD.

 Andy holds on tight to Michael!
Andy meets Winnie the Pooh!

I was giddy all day. Vintage Disney is the best - and people you LOVE at Disney in the 80s? The absolute best.

I'm super pleased and ordered many more mailers so I can get these rolls of film developed even faster. I also was able to bring home his old Minolta SLR camera - I haven't shot on film in forever but I'd love to play around again - I took a few photography classes in high school and college and loved it. 

So, one note - since the film is majorly expired - the development is off and the photos were tinted purple. My incredible friend Emily helped us out and restored these photos for us in Photoshop. She's the best and they make me super happy!

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Monday, April 7, 2014


I've been quiet.

There's no easy way to say it. Two months ago, we lost Andy's dad. It's still incredibly hard to believe and painful and it doesn't feel real.

I've been cocooning. I've been a hermit and I've been throwing myself into trying to create beauty around us. When things feel so hard and sad, I like the reminders that life can be beautiful.

I'm no uber-Pollyanna, but I do try to find the positives in most situations. Even in such a hard time, I try to focus on the good. We've been able to spend so much time with Andy's family and hear so many stories and go through so many old photos. I've found some favorite family photos that have really made me smile. My absolute favorite is one of Andy's dad when he was about 3 years old.

It's so joyful. I made a copy and had it printed and it's in our living room now. It makes me smile.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Movie Recommendation: Austenland

We've had a really hard month, so I've been on the lookout for things to make me smile - open windows, new plants, cute movies, and new books. I probably shouldn't be trying to fill the hole in my heart with these things, but it really does make me feel better to focus on beautiful things.

I recently rented Austenland from Redbox and watched it...then watched it again... and maybe again! I loved it. I'm a sucker for cheesy Jane Austen-y movies.

Watch the trailer:

It was adorable. Surprisingly funny and romantic. If you love Jane Austen things and cheesiness, you'll love it!

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