Vintage Shopping at Reminisce

I found myself with a few free hours last Saturday afternoon, so I jumped at the chance to explore a new vintage store that just opened in a neighboring town. I mentioned in a previous post how I wished to have a list of go-to thrift and vintage stores, and I’m slowly starting to uncover a few local gems thanks to my friend and fellow thrifting enthusiast Natasha.

Reminisce

Enter Reminisce in downtown Pitman, New Jersey. Pitman is a unique small town in that it still has a bustling main street full of quaint restaurants, boutiques and even a thriving theater scene. Reminisce was opened in January by owner Jessica who has curated one of the best collections of vintage decor and novelties I’ve ever come across. I’m used to walking into a thrift store and digging through junk in the hopes of finding a rare diamond in the rough. At Reminisce, I nearly squealed with excitement at every turn. A vintage Hershey’s Kisses tin, upcycled guitar-turned-shelf, glass door knobs and an array of old glass bottles were some of the first treasures I encountered. And that was just in one small corner of the store.

Jessica truly has a vision for her burgeoning store, and I have a lot of respect for the mom of four who is working hard to make her dream come true. I love that she hasn’t rushed to fill up her shelves with less than stellar goods just to make the place feel packed, but instead chooses to sell only the pieces that she truly loves. I snapped a few of my favorite finds to share with you.

Join me for a virtual tour of Reminisce.

Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage cream and gold plate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Shabby chic molding and tins at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage glass bottles from Philadelphia, Pa at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage Tetley tea tin at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage Pepsi bottles in carrying crate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

A variety of old novelty items in a vintage Pepsi crate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Poppies chalk paint at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage clutch and shabby chic bowl at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled cane back chair and guitar-turned-shelf at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter from Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled table and vintage Coca Cola print and tin at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled cane back chair and vintage Barbie print at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled chest of drawers at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Are you hopping in the car and heading to Reminisce yet? Isn’t it amazing! I felt like I died and went to heaven, and my mind was racing with inspiration. It was so difficult to choose what I wanted to take home out of all this great stuff.

After about an hour of admiring every nook and cranny of the store I landed on four items that I couldn’t leave without.

Vintage coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter

As soon as I saw this vintage 50s Tom Thumb typewriter I fell in love. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I’ve wanted to own something like this for a while. When I saw the Tom Thumb in this perfect coral color I almost couldn’t believe it was real. I mean, c’mon. That’s MY COLOR! I have pops of this color throughout my house. My living room pillows, a frame, a glazed vase, books, prints… The list could go on. I nervously asked Jessica how much this typewriter would set me back, and when she said $20 my jaw dropped. It was SO going home with me.

Jessica’s mission to make these vintage goodies affordable is the icing on the deliciously sweet cake that is Reminisce. Everything in the store was priced to sell and much less than I’ve seen both online and in other stores.

Vintage glass bottles, ball jar and coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter

I also decided to take home two glass soda pop bottles from Frank’s Nectar and Hires root beer. Not only was the color spot on, but the bottles were from Philadelphia so I loved the local tie. Don’t they look great on the shelf above the Tom Thumb? They fit perfectly in the square shelves of the Ikea entertainment center in our living room.

Vintage Palmolive soap ad fits perfectly in the master bath

Last but certainly not least I snapped up this vintage Palmolive soap print that already came with a navy mat. The old soap ad was aptly themed for a bathroom, and the navy mat worked perfectly with the navy, gray, cream and light blue color scheme of our master bath. The wall above our towel bar had been previously bare, so I thought this was the perfect finishing touch.

Vintage Palmolive soap ad fits perfectly in the master bath

The print cost just $12 and I found the grey 11×14 frame at Christmas Tree Shops for $6 – a steal for this perfectly-themed art.

Natasha and I also visited a few other thrift stores the next day close to her home in Salem County, but I didn’t have much luck. The visit made me realize just how special Reminisce is, and I know I’m going to be a regular. Do you have any vintage pieces you’ve uncovered while thrifting? Have you pined for a typewriter like my prized Tom Thumb? Any furniture upcycling stories to share like the awesome repainted and recovered cane back chairs above?

Psst… This is in no way a sponsored post and all opinions shared are truly my own. I fell in love with Reminisce and wanted to shout it from the rooftops! None of the links included in this post are affiliates. 

Psssst… If you love Instagram like I do and live in the Philadelphia area, follow Jinxed Philadelphia @jinxedstore for some awesome vintage and thrifted finds. They’re constantly posting new merch for sale on Instagram as soon as it hits the store and you can purchase right from your phone. But act fast, I totally lost out on my dream coffee table because it went in less than an hour. Happy thrifting! 

New Couch & Chair

If you’ve been following us on the vlog, you know we’ve been shopping for new living room furniture for about six weeks now. The couch we had was less than a year old, but it wasn’t quite big or comfortable enough to make us happy. After weeks of saving and searching for just the right thing, it’s finally here!

Neutral sofa and paint with pops of persimmon and yellow

Isn’t it beautiful?! It’s much better than the old couch. Let’s compare, shall we? Pardon the crappy-quality iPhone photo, but you get the gist.

Living room before

Let’s rewind even further back to what this room looked like after we first moved in.

Old living room layout

Yes, this living room has certainly come a long way. But let’s get on with the tour of the new furniture! Take a look at the new chair, and don’t mind the blurry Cody in the photo below. He loves being in the middle of anything new.

Long living room layout

The chair is so comfortable, and its low profile allows for full visibility of the TV from the desk behind it. This is the view you see down the hall when you walk in the front door, so I’m loving all the visual interest this chair brings to the space. I know the print is busy and probably not the ‘safest’ pick, but I have a feeling I’m going to love it for the long haul.

Check out the living room now from a few different points of view.

The layout makes this long living room work

Long living room layout

I’m sure there will be some tweaking happening over the next few weeks as I get settled in. Our coffee table could really use a refresh (the wood top is pretty beat up) and the stain on the side tables doesn’t match perfectly, but I think this room has really come a long way. It feels comfortable, eclectic and collected to me, so it really represents my design sensibility, even if it’s not perfect.

See those yellow pillows on the couch? They’re looking extra fluffy, right? Our couch came with these throw pillows that just aren’t my style.

Ugly throw pillows

Totally not me, right? But these pillows were much better quality than my original yellow ones. So a light bulb went off in my head. I could take the stuffing out of the yellow pillows and throw the cover over these fluffy-but-ugly new ones.

Check out the ho-hum stuffing in the yellow pillows.

Poorly-stuffed yellow pillows

Pillow stuffing

Bad, right? No wonder the pillows always looked a little lifeless no matter how much they were fluffed and straightened.

Here they are now. Proud as a peacock.

Yellow and red throw pillows

So don’t count out your old pillows. Some new stuffing can work wonders!

Well, what do you think? Doesn’t the lighter couch color make the room feel bigger and more airy? I can’t get over the way a new piece of furniture can make the whole room feel so different!

Easy Art

I’m always on the quest for new odds and ends to decorate shelves and tables, and I wanted to share a quick 10-minute art project that I threw together Monday night while I was putting the finishing touches on my dining room sideboard. I’m a big believer in keeping old papers, posters and even wrapping paper because you’ll never know when you can reuse them. I wanted to replace my Valentine’s Day printable with something more neutral, so I went digging in my crafting supplies to see what I had on hand. This is what I came up with.

Easy Art Not bad for being free, eh?

I cut the middle image from a poster I had in my bedroom in college. The edges were ruined from sticky, oily poster tack (since I didn’t want to spring for a frame back then) so I didn’t mind cutting it up. I sliced it down from a poster size to an 8×10, and I think it looks great.

Italy poster

 

Cutting poster to fit frame

 

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When I fished the poster out of it’s round holder, a few pieces of leftover wrapping paper also fell out. I purchased it at a boutique while I was living in Philly (also during college) and kept the scraps because I love the print and colors so much. I chose two of my favorite flowers and cut them to fit my frame. The frame is double sided so I can reverse it depending on where it ends up in the house.

Floral wrapping paper

Wrapping paper scraps

White poppy art

Red dahlia art

What an easy, stylish update, right? I think this art will definitely come in handy to fill in some empty spaces while I search for more ‘forever’ pieces. To quote an anonymous pin, I think a room should feel collected, not decorated. So these easy art pieces will serve well in my collection for now.

Have you repurposed anything old into something new lately? What are your cheap and easy art tricks?

 

 

New Dining Room Chairs

I’m so excited to share my latest update to our dining room!

Dining room layout

Don’t mind the veeerrrryyy bright light. I guess I didn’t realize it was on full blast when I snapped these shots. But doesn’t this layout make the dining room feel so much more open than it did when I posted my house tour?

My new, smaller dining room chairs fit so much better around our table than the older, more weighty set. My nana graciously gave us her set of five Ballard Designs dining room chairs and they served us very well during our first few years living together — especially since we didn’t have the budget to purchase quality chairs like those on our own. Even though the chairs are beautiful and very comfortable (the two against the wall in the photo above are leftovers from Nana’s set) one of the chairs was pretty badly broken and it always annoyed me that we had to break out a folding chair to accommodate a sixth dinner guest. Not to mention the fact that the big chairs took up all the extra space in the dining room making it feel cramped. Needless to say, I was constantly keeping my eyes open for a deal on new dining chairs in the hopes of getting something more functional for our space.

As I’m sure you know, dining chairs aren’t cheap. So, when I stumbled upon a treasure trove of SEVEN brand new still-in-the-box dining chairs at Ikea in the as-is section marked down to $35 a pop, I almost had a heart attack. Picture me guarding them hoping no one else would discover this awesome deal while I flagged Mike down to come take a look. He wasn’t convinced, but I loved the style and said, “trust me, this is a great deal!!!” And in the cart they went. Just four of them, that is. I hope those other three beauties found a home.

$35 Ikea chair steal

I’m sure you can guess what I did that night, right? I spent what felt like a lifetime putting all four chairs together. Damn Ikea furniture. So cheap but such a pain in the butt. Oh well, it was worth it. I even bought a hex drill bit to speed the process along, but of course my drill couldn’t fit in the teeny tiny space they left to tighten the screws. So cranking them by hand was my only option. Here’s a look at my setup:

Chair assembly tools

Chair in box

Half assembled chair

Chair assembly

See that enormous stack of trash in the background? Yeah, that didn’t get cleaned up until the next day. I was up into the wee hours of Sunday morning finishing the fourth and final chair, and by the time I finished it I was at my wits end. But boy did it feel good to have gotten all four of these chairs for $150.

Just to refresh your memory, this is what my dining room used to look like. So sparse. So lacking in style and interest.

Dining Room

The foundation was there, but it just wasn’t quite hitting a home run. But the new look is starting to fit the bill. I’m psyched!

Dining room layout

Dining room layout from right

Dining room layout from left

Dining room sideboard

The sideboard used to serve as a sofa table in the living room way back when the sofa sat in the middle of the room. When I switched up the living room layout for the holidays the sofa went up against a wall and the table sat awkwardly on the opposite wall. Another recent living room update (post to come) kicked the table out of its awkward corner position and my brilliant husband said, “hey, let’s use this table as a dining room sideboard.” Wow, does he surprise me sometimes. It was perfect!! I love the way the white breaks up the heavy dark chairs and table and plays into the light color in the art above. And it will be perfect for serving food or drinks during a party.

Do you have a war story from the Ikea as-is section? Did you try to hide your finds from fellow bargain hunters when you couldn’t get those deals in your cart fast enough? Commiserate with me!

Weekend Thrifting

I was itching to go thrifting since I started following Better Homes and Gardens East Coast editor/producer Eddie Ross on Instagram and he posted three to-die-for finds in the past few weeks. You can see them here, here and here. That bar cart and those shelves painted white or a fun bright color? Yes, please. Sign me up.

I’d love to have a lengthy list of thrift stores to hit up on the regular, but I haven’t uncovered many stores in my area. Why can’t there be a database of these diamonds in the rough? Wait, is there? Am I totally missing out on some amazing black market thrift store list? Is ‘thrift store’ a section on Yelp? If so, you better bring me up to speed in a comment!

Goodwill

My options were limited, so I headed to the good ole Goodwill last Saturday afternoon with visions of vintage treasures dancing in my head. As is often the case, reality didn’t live up to  expectations and a quick pass through the furniture section was sorely disappointing. A few folding chairs, an ugly TV and some sad 80s lamps were all that was left in the desolate section that’s usually packed with piles of quirky cast offs. It must have been an off day. But as you can tell from my photo above, I didn’t leave empty handed.

Old Books

Some of my favorite things to look for at a thrift are cheap, beautiful hardcover books, and I found three that fit the bill during my shopping trip. Those plastic covers can be very deceiving, so you have to look behind them to see what you’re really working with.

Hardcover Books

Hardcover Book

Ta da! How great are they?! The spines are even better.

Book Spines

Pair a stack of these beauties with a frame and a piece of glassware (hello, Mason jars) and you’ve got a stylish shelf in no time. I like to choose books based on their color and title. If the title resonates with me in some way, I’m smitten. These books ended up on a shelf in my dining room.

Books on Shelf

The best part is the thrift store price. I got all three books for just over $8. You can’t beat it! That’s what I call affordable decor. Have you scored some awesome thrifting finds lately? How have you been styling your shelves?

Freshening Up the Laundry Closet

There weren’t many things I really loved about our old apartment. The position of the laundry closet five steps outside our bedroom door was probably one of the best perks of our one-bedroom place, so when I climbed the stairs of our townhouse while we toured it for the first time I was elated to see the laundry closet positioned just steps away from our master bedroom. A second floor laundry was one of those perks I wasn’t expecting to find in a house but quickly became one of the many reasons I knew this was the place for us. Now, nearly a year after moving in, it was finally time to give this functional space some much needed TLC.

This is what I started with…

Laundry Before

I know, right? Yuuuck. This closet looks the same way it did just weeks after we moved in and I shoved all those cleaning supplies and other random stuff on the shelf. Not functional at all. Nope, the clutter and dust had to go.

Speaking of dust…

Dusty Shelf

And in the spirit of keeping it real, here’s a close up.

Dust Close Up

Yup, totally horrible. I knew it was bad but when my clutter was no longer hiding this grime I was pretty appalled to find this shelf such a mess. G-to the-R-to the-O-to the -S-S. I was suddenly SO GLAD I decided to spend a random Saturday afternoon tackling this closet.

Cleaning Supplies

After emptying out the closet and sorting through all the cleaning supplies, light bulbs, sewing gear, detergents and even a spare shower head, it was time to de-dust all up in there. Thank goodness for the super suction Dyson handheld vacuum that my Mommom got me as a housewarming gift. I like to think I’ve adopted her knack for keeping these sparkling, though you wouldn’t know it by the state this closet was in. Ugh…

Dyson

The walls and floors were just as dusty as the shelf, so I spent quite a bit of time vacuuming before I was ready for round two. I mixed together a trusty concoction of hot water, bleach and Fabuloso and wiped EVERYTHING down – from the shelves and appliances to the walls and floors. It was sparkling!

Laundry Closet Progress

With the dust gone, I was determined to make the closet way more functional than it had been before. I really can’t stand clutter and I’m a big believer in not storing anything that I know I won’t use. I’m a vicious purger of unused things and I’ll tell you what – I rarely miss things I give away. It’s freeing. I recommend it.

I picked up two plastic storage bins at Target to wrangle the things I decided to keep in here.

Clean Laundry Closet

The bigger bin houses all of my cleaning supplies.

Big Bin

And the smaller one keeps my rubber globes and scrub brush out of sight.

Smaller Bin

So, there you have it. All in an afternoon’s work. I’m pretty proud.

Laundry Before & After

I’m even more proud that I’ve kept it this way for more than a week now, through at least three loads of laundry and one bathroom cleaning spree. That’s what happens when you make things more function. You stop. The. Chaos. I love it!

Oh, and this happened too.

Master Closet Before & After

It was a good Saturday, that’s for sure. I have big plans to add even more style to both the laundry closet and the master bedroom’s walk in. I know these spaces are rarely seen by guests, but they’re spaces seen by me every single day – so they’re definitely worth some beautification. I’m thinking about adding a stripe of color in the laundry closet for a fun surprise hiding behind those bi-fold doors, and maybe painting the ceiling of the walk-in closet a moody navy blue and adding a fun light fixture for some added panache. We’ll see what happens. But either way, I’m happy to have these spaces clean and organized for now. That’s more than half the battle.

Have you undertaken an organization project lately? What are your favorite tips for keeping closets clutter free?

Here Comes Cupid

I decorated the house for Valentine’s Day! What a cheery task. I had so much fun framing a few love-themed art prints, digging out my heart-shaped plates and gathering all the pink and red decor I could muster from around the house to create cute little nooks.

Here’s what I came up with for the kitchen. Notice the poinsettia leftover from Christmas? It matches my kitchen so well I figured I’d keep it for a while longer and I love how cute it looks in this Valentine’s Day vignette.

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Bee mine art print

And the dining room. Ready to serve a Valentine’s Day cocktail fit for Cupid himself at a moments notice.

Love, Love, Love art print

And finally the living room. Spotted: another squatting poinsettia. I had to let him stay, too.

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Happy Valentine's Day art print

I also love how a few pieces of existing decor ties so well into my Valentine’s Day pieces making the house feel festive and sweet without being overkill or corny.

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it. But first up, the Super Bowl! Are you excited? I can’t say that I am, but it’s usually a fun day nonetheless. Go team!

Small Victories

Winter is in full swing on the east coast. And so is my lack of motivation. I’m sure you can tell by my absence here that I just haven’t been feeling very inspired lately. The difference between ‘try’ and ‘triumph’ is just a little ‘umph’, they say, but there’s no ‘umph’ to be found ’round these parts.

Lazy Cody

There are plenty of things on my to do list, but lately it seems like the only items that actually get crossed off are the bare essentials – just barely. There are closets to be organized, walls to be repainted, trim to be caulked, and a tricky elongated living room begging for just the right furniture placement that I haven’t quite come up with yet – not for lack of trying. I’m coming for you, 21×14.

It doesn’t help that our third snow storm of the winter just left town. My commute home from work on Tuesday was 4. hours. long. 4 HOURS to go 35 MILES! The snow started much earlier than predicted and by the time I got out of a meeting nearly an inch was on the ground. The swiftly falling snow compounded by the early rush hour that started around lunch time due to the fact that everyone and their mother was trying to make it home before the heavy stuff really hit made for the commute from H-E-double-hockey-sticks.

Snowy commute

The snow is becoming less of a novelty and more of a schedule-ruining pain in the behind with each storm. I love working from home once in a while, but I’m starting to feel cooped up, and the more I sit at home the less motivated I become. It’s a vicious cycle that has me counting even the smallest victories as a win this week.

I kept the whole house clean, cooked homemade meals and had a nice dinner out with friends. Win, win and win. I mean, c’mon, who wouldn’t want poached eggs on a toasty slice of whole wheat baguette topped with mango salsa, Sriracha and cilantro for dinner on a Tuesday night? Amiright?!

Poached eggs

It’s all about the small, wholesome, delicious little wins this week. And I’ll take it.

Clover Leaf is the New Stripe

I’m definitely suffering from a case of the winter blues. The weather has been swinging between 50 degrees and raining to freezing single digit temperatures. Yuck. I just can’t deal – but I must. With the holidays behind me I’m refocusing my attention on the house, and I wanted to update you on some new additions to the master bedroom. I love how small details can really help pull a room together.

pillows

I was given a giftcard for Homegoods for Christmas and I was chomping at the bit to use it. Mike and I were furniture shopping last Saturday so I twisted his arm to stop in and see if anything caught my eye. I happened upon a pair of white pillow cases with a gorgeous graphic navy pattern on sale for $14.99. Score! I had picked up a pair of velvety navy throw pillows by Nate Berkus at Target a few weeks ago and I knew the new pillow cases were just what I needed to pull the whole look together. I’m SO happy with the result!

pillow close up

bed

I’m equally excited about the second new addition to the master which was a Christmas gift from Mike. The stool that I DIY’d to upgrade by vanity back in September was just a little too tall (note to self, keep a measuring tape in my purse while shopping). I needed something a little more comfortable and this cushioned cloverleaf stool was just the ticket! How cute is it?! I love how the white of the cushion ties into the drawer pulls and the wooden legs match my gorgeous 1920s cherry dresser perfectly. So it was in with the clover leaf and out with the stripes. Don’t worry though, the striped stool is currently being repurposed in the office (post to come).

clover leaf stool

vanity stool

Much better than my old setup, right?

New Navy Vanity

Next up on my project list? I want to tackle some smaller finishing touches like closet light fixtures and paint touch ups, and we’re also saving up for some new living room furniture. I can’t get enough of customizing our house to make it really feel like a home.

What are you doing to beat the winter blues? Any projects of your own in the pipeline?

Easy Breakfast Cups

Work is back in full swing, and so is my attempt at prepping meals to get us back on track after a holiday season full of heavy food. Making three meals a day from scratch (two of which that are also portable enough to drag into work) is nothing short of a miracle. I’m trying to make an effort at providing us with three balanced meals to curb cravings and keep hunger pains at bay throughout the hectic work week, so I put on my thinking cap and came up with an easy breakfast that’s perfect for our busy lifestyle – using ingredients I had on hand, no less!

Easy Breakfast Cups

I’m sharing the deets of this genius idea with you, just in case you struggle with healthy meal planning like I do. Okay, maybe not genius (I’m sure there’s hundreds of pins on Pinterest with similar breakfast recipes), but I’m pretty proud of myself. These breakfast cups were inspired by a crustless quiche recipe that I got from my Mommom, but even more lightened up. I used a cupcake pan to make 12 yummy breakfast cups using just six eggs and three small links of sausage. A serving size for Mike and I will be two cups, so one egg and a quarter of a sausage link each, but they’ll taste yummy and curb our cravings for a heavier breakfast sandwich. The protein should stick with us throughout the day, too.

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to make them yourself:

Ingredients

  • Small Sausage Links, sliced (3)
  • Eggs (6)
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Chives

Process

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the sausage links into very thin slices (or use ground sausage) and sauté in pre-heated skillet until cooked.

Crack six eggs into a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle a generous amount of paprika, garlic powder and chives (dried or fresh) onto eggs and beat with a fork until combined. Feel free to add a little milk to this step for fluffier eggs if you’d like. I didn’t have any on hand, so I omitted it for this recipe. I also omitted adding salt and pepper to the eggs because the sausage would add enough seasoning combined with the other herbs and spices.

Divide cooked sausage slices among the 12 cups in the greased cupcake pan. Pour egg mixture over sausage until cups are half full. Place in oven and bake until eggs become fluffy, about 10 minutes.

Cooked Breakfast Cups

Allow breakfast cups to cool in cupcake pan and divide into grab-and-go single-serve freezer bags. Freeze until ready to eat. Then, pop them into the microwave until warm and enjoy!