more flea market treasures!

Nick and I visited his parents over the weekend and made a stop at our favorite flea market. We weren’t expecting to come away with any treasures since it was a bit cold out and there weren’t as many vendors as usual, but we actually scored some great loot — for a grand total of $6.

The first thing I spotted was this awesome oversized art instruction book. It is filled with amazing diagrams, instructions and promotional ads from the Bureau of Naval Personnel. I can’t find a year of publication, but it is most definitely old and I would love to frame some of the pages as prints someday.

Might I draw your attention to the female figure dressed in her demure swimsuit, and her male counterpart wearing a…thong??? Good times.

The same vendor also had these awesome “walkie talkies” that I couldn’t resist. (The quotation marks are part of the name, see?) I love the leather casing and the little accessories — I think they’ll be a great conversation-piece when we find the perfect place to display them.

For these two items, we paid the vendor $6, and I guess he liked us because he located another old art book in his collection and gave it to us for free. So nice!

I love my strange and obscure little treasures. Flea marketing is going to be a whole new ballgame when we have a house and more room for furniture, but for now I enjoy finding little things here and there.

friends and “Friends”

When “Friends” first came on the air in 1994, I was immediately hooked. I recorded each week’s episode (on VHS, holler!), and my mom continued taping it for me every week when I went away to college four years later. (TV-watching was at a minimum while I was stressing myself out until graduating in 2002.)

I know I am certainly not the only person who loved this show… but for me, it wasn’t just that it was funny. I loved the relationships that the six friends had with each other. I loved that their lives were intertwined, for better or worse; they supported each other in all of their endeavors (Joey’s bad plays and Phoebe’s strange songwriting included); they argued and disagreed, but still loved each other at the end of the day. They had open-door policies at their apartments, celebrated Thanksgiving together as a family, and hung out together whenever possible.

I know it was just a television show, but as a teenager, it was what I imagined my twenties would be like.

I still catch episodes of “Friends” often, as it’s in syndication for eternity, and a while ago it finally hit me: I am now older than them. At least, older than they were throughout a good majority of the show. (I’m not the only one who had the same recent revelation). And relationships in my twenties did not, in the slightest, resemble those of the six friends.

Don’t get me wrong: I have some amazing friends. I spent 70% of my twenties in a stable, loving, wonderful relationship with someone who I now call my husband (and we never broke up like Ross and Rachel). We have couple-friends with whom we enjoy getting together from time to time. We have friends we’ve known forever, and some new friends who have come into our lives more recently…but we don’t have that one, single group of friends who we do everything with or see all the time, or any neighbors we can hang out with at the drop of a hat. Most of our friends don’t live close enough that we would ever just “stop by,” so our time between visits is usually much more spread out, and we have friends from all different areas of our lives who don’t all know each other. We are lucky to have great people in our lives, but it is so different from what my teenage “Friends”-loving self thought my social circle would look like.

Do you have a close-knit group of friends that you see all the time? Did you expect that relationships in your twenties would look more like the friendships of Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross?

Saturday’s market

Last weekend I did some flea marketing with my mother-in-law while Nick and his dad did some manly stuff. While we normally love to hit up the Sunday market at Williams Grove* when I’m in town, this time we tried a new (to us) flea called Saturday’s Market*. We decided that Williams Grove has better loot and better bargains, but I still came home with a few treasures… mostly due to the fact that Nick wasn’t there to talk me out of anything!

I spotted this vase in the indoor portion of the market, which mostly had items that were “crafty” (read: crappy), and some more “antique-y” (read: expensive) than the outdoor market. This little item was only $5, though, and I bargained down to $4. I know… somebody stop me.

I love old signs and this bad boy caught my eye about two minutes into our trip — perfect for a kitschy kitchen like ours. It was marked as $3, but the guy called me “dear” and gave it to me for $2. I’ll take it. (And doesn’t it look fun against the teal wall in our kitchen? I just have to secure it somehow.)

I managed to find this one even before I saw the Cafeteria sign — maybe 30 seconds into the trip. I loved this tacky-yet-delightful little rooster from the moment we set eyes on each other, but his $12 price tag was too hefty for me. I kept him in the back of my mind and ever-so-casually stopped by his table again as we were leaving, and I managed to bargain him down to $8 (it was the end of the day and I think they just wanted to get rid of stuff). Holler!

Have you done a lot of flea marketing this summer?

*websites created circa 1997… and clearly not updated since

if you really knew me

We have established that, in terms of my television viewing tendencies, I am essentially a teeny-bopper trapped in the body of a 29-year old woman (see also: SYTYCD obsession, love of Pretty Little Liars). We have also established that I am a crier (see also: me since birth). On the surface, those two factors alone make it pretty clear that If You Really Knew Me on MTV was pretty much made for me… but in reality, I’m pretty sure you’d have to be a cold-hearted snake to not feel some sort of connection to the kids on this show.

The run-down: If You Really Knew Me is a documentary-style show, chronicling the experience of high schoolers across the country as they experience Challenge Day, run by an organization whose “mission is to provide youth and their communities with experiential programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth, and full expression.” Each week on the hour-long show, a different high school is featured, and different kids share their deepest feelings and find unexpected common bonds with one another. The jocks, nerds, popular kids, and bullies discover that they’re not so different after all.

There are some things that haven’t changed since I was in high school — drama with friends, relationships, family turmoil, bullying — but one thing that is extremely clear is that the way the internet and cell phones have changed how kids communicate with each other (and bully each other) is pretty alarming. It’s hard to imagine what they go through now that we never, ever had to worry about. I mean, AIM was just catching on during my senior year in high school, and no one had a cell phone back then (except maybe our parents who had them for work). It was just a different world, and that’s kind of crazy considering it was only 12 years ago.

In case you don’t remember high school or were one of those rare people who never dealt with drama when you were younger, teenagers can be cruel. I mean, I’ve seen the internet be a threatening and scary place for grown adults who get bullied by strangers online — I just can’t fathom what teenagers deal with as Facebook, Twitter, Formspring and texting have all become commonplace means of communication and bullying. It is sadly not surprising to me that teen suicides as a result of online bullying have become an unfortunate reality in our society.

Personally, I had a pretty average high school experience. There were highs, and there were lows. I wasn’t the most popular, but having gone to school with the same kids since kindergarten, most people in my grade knew who I was (I think). I was never the victim of serious bullying. There were times when I didn’t know where I fit in, but there were also amazing friends who came along and made it all worthwhile for me. I was a fairly well-adjusted, well-behaved, and well-liked person. I was not faced with any major losses or tragedies in my life. I was lucky.

Hearing the stories of so many teens with real pain in their lives on If You Really Knew Me has me in tears every week. The show has kind of restored my faith in the youth of our country — maybe they don’t have an unrealistic sense of entitlement, after all. Maybe they get that life isn’t fair, and being kind to others is one of the greatest things you can do in life.

Have you seen this show? What was high school like for you?

Don Draper makes smoking look cool.

I, personally, have never smoked. (Nope, not even one cigarette. Yes, I am a goody-two-shoes.) And I know that smoking is wrong. I do not condone smoking in any way.

But I swear — Don Draper makes it look oh-so-right.

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Really… can you argue with that?

Don’s behavior so far on this season of Mad Men has not been very… charming… but I still love him and I’ll give him a “free pass” for at least a few more weeks in the hopes that he cleans his act up a bit. Roger Sterling makes me laugh the most, but when it comes to the looks department, it’s all Don Don Don. What do you think of this season so far?

what I’m watching

You all know that I love my shows. I admire people who don’t own televisions and spend their spare time reading and cultivating new skills… but I will never be one of those people. I admit it: I love television — my shows make me blissfully happy — and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. So there :P

Growing up, summer tv used to be all about the reruns. Now, there are more non-traditional seasons on many networks, which means new shows to dig into throughout the year; summer reruns also create the perfect opportunity to catch up on shows that were new last season that I haven’t yet seen. (When new seasons begin, it’s hard to know what is worth watching and what will be canceled within a month… so sometimes, I wait to hear what the buzz is before I start watching!)

Right now, this is what I’m watching:

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (Season 7)
This is an obvious one as I’ve been a die-hard fan since season 1, but it’s still worth a mention. Ever since superstar and clear front-runner Alex Wong got hurt and had to leave the show, season 7 has become anyone’s game. I think it’s safe to say that I’m rooting for Lauren to win, as she impresses me more each week and I think she’s an absolutely stunning dancer. I love Kent because he’s just so darn cute, but I don’t think he’s the best dancer (although the tween girl votes will most likely push him into the finals). If José doesn’t go home soon, I might seriously lose my mind. I’m sorry, but he has no technique and does not belong on that stage anymore! Otherwise, I love watching each week and I especially love seeing the all-stars perform (I think a Twitch and Allison show would be my dream come true). What are your thoughts on this season so far?

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

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I heard some really positive things about this show via Twitter, and I admit to having been intrigued when I started seeing commercials a few months ago before it premiered. Don’t let the fact that it’s on ABC Family fool you into believing it’s for teeny boppers — seriously, this show is amazing. Great drama, great characters, and juicy mystery. The story revolves around four high school friends after the disappearance of their “queen bee,” and follows their lives a year later (complete with flashbacks that give a glimpse into what really happened). I have been DVR’ing and finally just watched the first several episodes last weekend, and I am hooked. So good! (Any other fans out there?)

MODERN FAMILY  |  THE MIDDLE  |  COUGAR TOWN
I was late to the party on these three Wednesday night gems; Nick and I caught on towards the end of the season and fell fast for these hilarious comedies, so we’re doing our best to catch up on all the episodes we missed. I don’t know what I love more: Cam and Mitchell’s banter and general adorableness on Modern Family; every word out of Brick’s mouth on The Middle; or Jules’ goofy circle of friends on Cougar Town and their wine-guzzling ways.

MAD MEN

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Okay, so I’m cheating a little — this hasn’t started yet, but in just a few hours season 4 will finally begin and I. CAN’T. WAIT. How will things go with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce? Will Betty come back to Don, or is she with her new beau for good? Will I still loathe Pete Campbell? What will Joan be wearing, and could she be any awesomer? I would watch this show for the sets and clothes alone, but the fact that the writing and characters are amazing is just the cherry on top. Welcome back into my life, Don Draper!

What are you watching this summer?

my very own toy story

Last night, Nick and I went to see Toy Story 3 in 3D…. and there were no shortage of tears that resulted. I am a fan of the Toy Story series in general, and all of the movies have had touching and tearful moments (well, at least for me — I’m a crier), but this was some serious, I’m-sobbing-and-I-hope-no-one-can-see-me-behind-these-giant-3D-glasses kind of crying. If you’ve seen the movie, you probably know what I mean. (Or you just think I’m crazy and hormonal. Also true.) I’m not going to sell him out, but let’s just say that someone sitting to my left may have also had tears running down his face.

What can I say? We’re a bunch of saps.

I won’t ruin the ending of the movie for anyone who has not yet seen it, but the premise of the film is that Andy, the toys’ owner, is all grown up and going off to college; Andy no longer has the same need for Woody and Buzz (and the rest of his beloved toys) as he prepares to move on to his exciting new life. It’s true that we all grow up and lose some of the emotional attachment we once had with our toys, but I’m pretty sure that we all had our own Woody and Buzz at some point; those toys that represent our childhood, our innocence, our happiness.

For me, those toys were my CPKs — my Cabbage Patch Kids. My two best friends — Jill and Denise — and I were totally in love with our CPKs. We went over to each other’s houses and had CPK school, CPK parties, CPK dance recitals… CPK everything. We had piles upon piles of clothes and accessories for our kids. We were enamored with them and they truly were like our own children.

My first Cabbage Patch Kid was Carol — she had orange yarn for hair and she was one of the original dolls when the CPK fad first hit in the early 80s. I adored Carol, and she came with me wherever I went… including one fateful trip to the store with my mom where Carol was accidentally left behind. I was heartbroken when we couldn’t find her, but never fear — Carol 2.0 soon became mine and all was right with my world again.

me with the original Carol;
please take note of my stylish Strawberry Shortcake shoes

and the delightful shag carpeting

flea market finds

On Sunday, we visited a huge flea market near Nick’s parents’ house (and “huge” may be an understatement; it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before). It is nothing short of awesome, and while I brought home a few treasures, there were many more that I left behind. As soon as we have more space, I can’t wait to pick up more vintage goodness! (Nick is rolling his eyes as he reads this.)

I picked up this set of 3 children’s books, published in 1959. No, we’re not expecting, but I just couldn’t resist the charming stories and illustrations (and they’ll look cool in a baby’s room someday!)

Apparently these books belonged to Ricky… should I call him?

We also found some cool old postcard books. I love the detailed illustrations and the colors; you just don’t find postcards like this anymore.

What’s your favorite flea market find?

Handmade Nation

image via buyolympia.com

Last night I attended a screening of Handmade Nation, an indie documentary by Faythe Levine about the craft movement. I bought the book by the same name last year, but seeing the artists’ stories played out on screen was delightful and re-inspiring.

If you are an independent artist or interested in pursuing a craft, I highly recommend seeing this film to get your creative juices a-flowin’. It’s available on DVD or there are screenings nationwide. Or, pick up the book!

image via Handmade Nation on Flickr