Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Building Character: a Lancaster city treasure

You may be thinking that this is a post about how to build character while shopping in Lancaster.
Wouldn't it be great if shopping produced character?! Other than patience. Or self-control when restraining oneself from buying that fabulous dress that is WAY out of your price range!!
But that's not quite the direction I was thinking of taking this. I wanted to introduce you to a favorite new spot of mine, which my sweet sister introduced me to: a place called Building Character, located in downtown Lancaster. What a discovery it was!!!

It's a warehouse of over 40 shops filled with an assortment of vintage, handmade & recycled items.
It's a one-of-a-kind experience, and a blast to browse through this treasure trove!
Some stands had a collection of vintage furniture and reclaimed items.
There were a few pieces that I would have loved to have brought home with me!
Unfortunately, I'd already spent my allowance.
Hence, the character-building...aka: self-control!

The best part of this experience was sharing it with my sister, Fredi, mom, sister-in-law, Rachel and our kiddos! Fredi discovered this through a friend who is a vendor here
and knew that I would love it as much as she does.

The displays were so creative!
Loved this old washstand filled with handmade pillows.
My sister's co-worker created these items, and they were adorable!

I wanted this dresser! Isn't the finish fantastic?

I was drooling over these vintage cash registers, telephones and a fan that I also found.
If you love thrifting for antiques, you would love this place!!!

They even had thrift stores with clothing in this building!
Those weren't my favorite, but we browsed anyway.

Upstairs, there were lots of old windows, shutters, doors and corbels.
Oh, the possibilities!!!

The displays were tastfully designed and a feast for the eyes.
Do places like this inspire you as much as they do me?!

The only problem with finding this spot is that I now want one right here in Harrisonburg!

There's a Ladies' Night Out planned for March the 15th, with free mini cupcakes, live music, wine and free chair massages!!!
Anyone else interested in making a trip to Lancaster?!
Happy Tuesday, dear friends!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Time Keeper

I've been anxious to share one of my favorite organization tools with you:
I found this handy-dandy organizer through a favorite blog of mine, the Money-Saving Mom
and discovered that the author was someone I knew from PA!!!
I ordered my first copy of her planner last year,
and I loved it. 

I've always had a "thing" for planners, beginning back in high school when our teacher gave them to us to keep track of our assignments! {Do I qualify as a nerd?}
There are weeks when I feel like my brain can't handle all that I'm trying to remember, and this is wonderful in keeping all that information categorized.
There's a place for everything.
A calendar-type page is at the start of each month, with a place on the right for monthly goals.

Then there are weekly pages, with space for daily activities and plans,
a spot to write your menu,
and a column on the right for notes. 
It's so helpful for me to write down the projects I need/want to complete each week, as well as keep a daily log of our activities. 
If I get inspired, I'll plan my menu in advance for the week and jot that down as well.
If not, I'll write what we ate for that meal,
and star our favorites!

There are shopping lists, which I haven't used as regularly since I have a memo stuck to my refrigerator and haven't gotten in the habit yet of writing it in here.
But it's perforated, and you can easily tear it off and put it in your purse when you're ready to head to the store!
There's a place for notes, a pocket for random cards/information,
and even a page to jot down gift ideas for your family & friends!
Can you tell how much I love this?!
It's made me so much more organized, 
which keeps me sane. ha!
These planners are only $11.75 + shipping, and you can order yours here.

So there you have it! 
What's your favorite organizational tool?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Brunch for my Valentine

You know, we don't need Valentine's Day to celebrate the people we love the most.
But it helps me to be intentional about doing just that!
I like to have a special meal for my man,
although it's easy to miss it in the whirl of planning our youth's annual Sweet Sundae Shoppe.
So when I found some strawberries on sale,
I knew just what I would do with them!

I present to you:
Strawberry Nutella French Toast!!!
It was heavenly.
But then, I'm a little obsessed with anything Nutella, and adding strawberries just takes this over the top!

This is the French Toast recipe I used:
6 slices cinnamon raisin bread
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla & cinnamon, dip bread in mixture and fry in butter until golden.
Cut bread into a heart shape, slather on some Nutella {make sure you're generous!} add the strawberries, and top with the second slice of bread. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.
Enjoy with the ones you love!

Just looking at this makes me hungry! 
I think it's time to buy some more strawberries....
What's your favorite Valentine's brunch/dinner?

Much love to each of you!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Vacation in St. Augustine

A week after arriving home from our much-anticipated vacation,
I am finally getting some pictures posted!
It's been a crazy busy week getting back to reality and catching up on all those projects that have been on the back burner, along with fun birthday parties & baby showers to attend!

Our vacations are always a combined anniversary trip/getaway,
and this year, we celebrated 6 years of marriage!!!
Can I say that time flies?? I know - such a redundant phrase - but so true.
I love to look back and see how far we've come from where we were as newlyweds!

Every year, I appreciate my husband's wisdom in choosing February as our wedding date.
Not only is it the best time of year for him to comfortably leave for a week,
but it's the perfect time to leave the frigid temperatures behind
for a sunny beach!

We chose to go to the northern part of Florida, to a town called St. Augustine.
We enjoy traveling to new places,
and loved this location, even though the weather was a few degrees cooler than what it would have been farther south in Sarasota.
Eddie's brother & wife went along as well, and it was fun to spend the week enjoying our vacation together!

We stayed at a beautiful condo not far from the beach.
The master suite was lovely,
and I especially loved this master bathroom!
If only I could have taken it along home with me...

A sweet neighbor allowed us to borrow this little car, which was perfect to push Hadassah to the beach. She thoroughly enjoyed playing in the sand, chasing seagulls, and running into the waves!
It was so fun to watch her experience the beach for the first time.
But then there was the sand.
It was quite the job to get her all cleaned up.
I'm not especially crazy about the mixture of sunscreen and sand, just sayin'!

There were pools, which was where I spent most of my afternoons!
Laying out on a chair with a good book and my ipod
defines bliss.
Take me back!!!

We enjoyed taking walks along the beach in the evenings, and got up to watch the sunrise one morning! More accurately, Hadassah woke us up and we just decided to make the early morning worth it :) Babies don't understand the word "vacation"!!!

It was worth it!

Those moments become priceless memories that I'll always cherish!

St. Augustine is one of the oldest towns in the US, so it was packed with history,
which Eddie & I both appreciate.
I got absolutely giddy with excitement, exploring this old town!!

It was especially magical at night,
with old buildings and quaint shops at every corner.
Oh, the delight!!!

We stopped at Sara's Crepe Cafe for brunch one morning,
and I ordered this crepe.
It was heavenly!!!

The gorgeous Spanish architecture made me drool! (not literally)
I could hardly get done snapping pictures
of these old churches!

We toured Castillo de San Marcos, an old fort in downtown St Augustine,
another beautiful old structure with so much history!
The men loved this, and soaked up every bit of information available :)

View through an old lookout tower on the fort

Fantastic wooden doors, an obsession of mine!

For our date night, Eddie & I toured the town, stopping at random little pastry shops and pizza parlors, ending up at none other than Sara's Crepe Cafe!!! {Can you tell we loved that place?!}
But this little French pastry cafe was the bomb.com.
They had macaroons.
It was my first experience eating them, and they are like a bite of heaven.
Crispy on the outside with a creamy filling.

My man was not at all impressed at the price for one of these cuties,
until he took a bite.
Then he willingly bought six more!!!
They really are that good.

The shop itself had the most adorable decor ever! I couldn't stop snapping pictures :)
I want to live in this place!

This date night was one of my favorite ever.
It was random, it was fun, it was romantic...and I felt like a love-struck teenager again!
Every couple needs a few of those times, yes?

I love this man.
And I'm thankful for the years God has given us together.
Happy Anniversary to us!!!