Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lisa and Nikki's Friday Finds New Year Edition!

fHi Friends:

This week, in the spirit of New Years, we are looking forward and sharing the sights, sounds, tastes and one-of-a-kinds we love and hope will inspire you in 2013.

First things first!

Celebrate New Years with a champagne cocktail! This recipe comes to you from Epicurious and is served at hotels and bars worldwide. Ingredients: 1 sugar cube, Angostura bitters, champagne and a lemon or orange peel twist for garnish. Preparation: Soak the sugar cube in the bitters, drop in a champagne flute, add champagne and twist. Toast!

Resolution: Repurpose forgotten and discarded items!

Vintage sewing drawers can bring charm to your most beloved recipes. Complete the look with vintage dividers. So cute!

It might be winter, but you can still bring the outdoors in. We love this beautiful ivy plant that fits perfectly in an elegant, vintage ice bucket.
Nothing says relaxation like aromatic bath salts. Why not store some in a vintage glass cookie jar.

Resolution: Rearrange what you have!

Spruce up your shelving, mantel and side tables by adding items that have architectural interest and lovely patina. 
Vintage Mashers
Early 1900's Women's Barbell
Auld Lang Syne (for the sake of old times):
"Auld Lang Syne" is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.

May hope, love and warmth be in your heart - Happy New Year from Georgia's!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday-Inspired Family Activities!

Hi Friends:

With the Christmas holiday just a day away, we want to devote this blog post to family activities. Enjoy!

Is your shopping done, the stockings hung and presents wrapped? Consider a family trip to a local ice skating rink for some winter-inspired fun and exercise!
Ice skating rink in front of the Bean at Chicago's Millennium Park

Stop for a moment to appreciate the beauty of the season!
Chicago's first snow!
Would you prefer to hunker down indoors?  Why not gather the family together for a rousing game of Bingo! We use one of these vintage sets and award small prizes, cookies or candy to the winner.
Do you have little ones to entertain? Make these adorable candy crafts! 
Supplies needed: Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, green tinsel pipe cleaner, a star bead and a dab of glue to attach the tree to it's base.
Supplies needed: A package of Starburst, white wrapping paper, scrap felt for the hat, scrap fabric for the scarf and paint marker.

From our family to yours, happy holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vintage Salt (and Pepper) Must Haves!

Hi Friends:

You would be hard pressed to find a kitchen that doesn’t have salt and pepper somewhere on the shelves of a pantry, tucked away in a spice cabinet or out in plain sight on the counter. After all, these two condiments are called for in most recipes. There are lots of mills and shakers to choose from, but Georgia's is partial to clear and milk depression glass options. Back in the day, glass canisters and spice jars were included with Hoosier style cabinets. Hoosier salt dips are still desirable today and so utilitarian. How easy is it to "dip" into one of these for that pinch needed for seasoning! 
There are lots of other vintage glass pieces that can easily be repurposed in the kitchen as well. We love this one from Breakstone Dairy. Given away as a promo, this milk glass container was used for storing sour cream and cottage cheese, but works perfectly as a salt (or pepper) dip.
If you prefer shakers, why not opt for vintage Fire King or Hazel Atlas glass shakers. They add charm in addition to being real work horses in the kitchen. 
Shakers such as these often came as part of a larger collection and had matching flour and sugar shakers, spice jars, and coffee, tea and sugar canisters. While there are a range of colors that these vintage shakers came in, I much prefer the white versions because they fit in with any kitchen decor. Although, I have to admit, I find the jadite charming, too. 
These pieces are fun to collect, very functional and so much more charming than their grocery store counterparts. Georgia's loves imagining the kitchens they came from. Why not give them new life in a contemporary kitchen!        

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lisa and Nikki's Friday Finds!

Hi Friends:

This week's Friday Finds is devoted to getting into the holiday spirit! What has inspired and delighted us? Here they are - the sights, sounds, tastes and one-of-a-kinds we loved!
Christmas Campfire Martini? Yes please! This yummy drink from Daydreamer Desserts has us ready to celebrate!

And while we're talking marshmallows, why not make them at home with the help of America's Test Kitchen! They're fun, easy and so much more delicious than store bought.
There's always time for an Affogato! Italian for "drowned," this dessert is simply a shot of hot espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You might as well add a dollop of whipped cream and some shaved chocolate, too, right? Even better, serve it in a vintage dessert glass like this one! 

We love this pop/folk Christmas song by "The Weepies,"  married singer-songwriters.
And, of course, the lights!

With just over one week left until Christmas, we hope you find a few minutes to enjoy the spirit of the season!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vintage Sugar Bowls!

Hi Friends:

Before you start reading this post, do me a favor; open the door to your pantry and take a look at your sugar storage situation. I have a feeling if you are like most of us, it probably looks a bit disorganized with ripped and clipped bags and boxes stuffed on a shelf probably spilling their contents and probably making a royal mess. In-and-of-itself, this situation is not insurmountable. With some heavy duty bag clips or high quality Tupperware, your problem is solved. But, what do you do when you need "just a spoonful of sugar?" Tell me you don't dig into those bags with a teaspoon!
If you do, have I got the perfect solution for you: vintage sugar bowls! They are so beautiful, so unique, so charming and so much easier to navigate when you need just a pinch of sugar in your morning java. Vintage sugar bowls come in every size, shape, and color; but I prefer clear cut glass or crystal, utilitarian versions that fit in with any decor. Clean and classic, you just can't go wrong. Fill up your sugar bowl, keep it on your counter, add a beautiful vintage sterling silver or silver plate teaspoon (for extra flare engrave your spoon with your monogram or last initial) and presto: instant charm and no mess!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Cookies!

Hi Friends:

It's that time again. Christmas cookie time! Everyone at one point or another gets in on the act. We bake with our kids, exchange with our friends and neighbors, bring them to the office, and package them for gifts. Maybe it's the pastry chef in me, but I'm a sucker for all those magazines featuring the "best-ever cookies!" I pour over the recipes analyzing ingredients, technique and appearance in an effort to come up with my choices for the year. This is no small task. Chocolate must figure into the mix along with interesting variations of shortbread, spritz, sugar and icebox. Texture and shape factor in - balls, bars, rolls, drops and wedges are all possibilities. Should I include a bark or a toffee? Most importantly, will the cookie be flavorful. How many times have you been seduced by a beautiful cookie only to find it dry and tasteless! Every year, it seems, I up the ante. Sure, I have my tried and true favorites, but I'm always looking for the next "best" cookie. You can relate, right? 

Well, take a look at a few products that I'm using this year to help create the perfect cookie:  

Fiori Di Sicilia is so aromatic! This citrus and vanilla flavoring is a King Arthur Flour exclusive.
Vietnamese cinnamon! Sweeter and stronger, it offers the intense cinnamon flavor you're looking for. Available everywhere.
Brigitte-Keks Message on a Cookie Cutter set lets you create cookies with a personal message. Simply slide the individual letters into the holder, place into the cutter and press! Available at Amazon and Fancy Flours.
Fred Letter Pressed is a combination cookie cutter and stamp. First you punch out the letter shape and then flip over the punch and stamp the letter. The set includes all 26 letters allowing you to spell out anything you like!
Stretch-Tite Plastic Wrap is the absolute best. This premium wrap, preferred by professionals, stretches and seals reliably!

That's the way the cookie crumbles this year. If you're baking this Christmas, make it fun!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lisa & Nikki's Friday Finds - Stocking Stuffer Edition

Hi Friends:

This week's Friday Finds is devoted to vintage stocking stuffers for the home! What has inspired and delighted us? Here they are - the sights, sounds, and one-of-a-kinds we loved!

Nothing will complete your upscale barware collection quite like this unique jigger spoon with bottle opener. Love!

We love this vintage tin scoop. It measures less than 4 inches long and is the perfect way to add charm to an apothecary jar filled with bath salts.
Need a way to store those beautiful vintage sterling silver and silver plate teaspoons? How about a Princess House Glass Spoon Holder!
These vintage rice molds are so unique and make great spoon rests in your kitchen.
There is no classier way to put out a candle than with a vintage candle snuffer. We love this brass one!