Tuesday, June 26, 2012

4th of July beer tasting.

For the last four years, we've hosted a beer tasting on the 4th of July. The first two years we taste-tested different cheap canned beers, but now we're moving into more specific themes. This year we're tasting Minnesota beers!

I've built up quite a few red, white and blue party decorations over the years. We use a few 36" red balloons, flag cupcake toppers and patriotic knick-knicks I pick up at the thrift store. Last year I made a cute paper globe garland a la this one from Sally Shim, but it only lasted a day before the intense humidity made all the balls droop. [Insert drooping-ball-joke-of-your-choice here.] It survived the party, though, which was all that mattered! I'm going to try to squish them back into shape, but I'm not optimistic. 

I also made a bunch of these paper straw sparklers from Say Yes to Hoboken, which started out as centerpieces in vases until the kids discovered them. This weekend I'll probably make a few of these 3-D star decorations from Martha, but that might be the most of my craftiness this year.

For food, Aaron makes a ton of pulled pork, which we serve with buns, coleslaw and chips. Guests bring appetizers and sides to share. If the weather cooperates this year, I want to make a big s'mores spread for people to eat around the campfire, but I am also well aware that I cannot resist any occasion to make cupcakes so I'll probably do that, too.

Aaron also makes a boozy punch of some sort for folks who don't want to drink beer all night (whaaat?) (just kidding, that's me), and of course we have water and such available for nondrinkers/kids.

Speaking of kids—you might think that kids have no place at a beer tasting, but you would be wrong! We hosted our first tasting just a few months after Iris was born—she floated around the party in a red wagon most of the night, when she wasn't being passed from arm to arm. As she and her friends have grown up, sprinklers played a big role in the kiddo entertainment. And sparklers, of course!

And I always, always make sure the kiddos are decked out in their finest red, white and blue vintage outfits. Sailor suits are very popular!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Minne the lake creature & a shop sale!

Minne the lake creature surfaced in Wirth Lake last week! I first spotted her when we were driving home from dinner on Friday night, hence the dark and grainy phone shot. Apparently she was in Lake Harriet a few years back when we lived just a few blocks away, but I had no idea at the time. She's in Wirth Park all summer and she even has a Twitter account! Welcome to the north side, Minne.

I have a giant armful of stuff I'll be adding to the shop this week—I just need to find time to shoot all of it! And here's something fun: from now through the end of June, everything in Potato Cake Vintage is 10% off with the code MINNE. I'll announce it in the shop in a few days, but wanted to give blog readers a headstart!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wayback machine.

Iris. by AnneRosso
My daughter about three years ago in some vintage knit bell bottoms, which I totally adored!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I hunt for treasures pretty regularly, but sometimes it's hard to move beyond the racks of kid's clothes! This is especially true if I have the kids with me because I know my shopping time is limited and I want to focus on updating the store. But every once in a while, I get to look at adult clothes and household items. Here are a few things I've found recently:

Vintage fabric. Once upon a time, I made quilts and clothes for my kids. I haven't made time to work on any sewing projects since Arlo was born (save a fast baby quilt for my best friend) and yet I still can't pass up good fabric like this. Someday I'll get back to my sewing machine...hopefully soon.

I found the fabric at the Goodwill in Rogers, Minn., after the Blue Dot warehouse sale last weekend. The sale was a bust, but I actually had a really pleasant time sitting outside in the sunshine beforehand, reading my library book, drinking coffee and chatting with the woman sitting next to me, whose husband works with my neighbor, we realized. Love those small world moments.

A Thonet-inspired bentwood stool. This was $4 at Value Village, scored over my lunch break. I am pretty sure the kids will stand on this and punch through the top any day now, but it's nice to have a  side table in the living room, at least for a little bit. Funnily enough, just yesterday I noticed this in the new Serena & Lily catalog:

Awfully similar, huh?

Um, yeah, macrame. We live in a '50s ranch house and I'm not quite sure we can pull off something like this, but we'll see. It's actually really pretty and I love the hoop it's on.

A Thonet-inspired chair. Free because I rescued it from the street! I cleaned it up with Murphy's oil soap and some wood wax, and now it's in the kids' room.

A dress for me! I think this was $8 at Value Village. I hardly ever find vintage dresses for myself because I am super picky (they must be short-sleeved, high-waisted, knee-length and made of cotton). Even as I was carrying this to the dressing room, I was 99% sure it wouldn't fit. But it fits perfectly! I was shocked. A lucky find for sure.

And then there's this awesome neon jumpsuit! I added it to the shop this morning. :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Back into the groove.

I am really loving summer so far. Everything is a little lazier and slower, the veggies are amazing, the kids can burn off all their energy outside, the light is so much more cooperative with my limited photography skills—it's all perfect.

My husband and daughter camped in the backyard Saturday night. The weather was ideal—not too hot, breezy, no rain. We ate s'mores by the campfire and then they crawled into their tent (which my husband stuffed with a HUGE air mattress). The baby and I slept inside, which is exactly my speed. Camping only runs on one side of our family. :)

We tried to watch the Mad Men finale last night, but a storm interrupted our cable! Frustrating. So we set the TV to record a later showing and instead watched a few episodes of Girls. (We have HBO temporarily so we're frantically recording everything we can find!)

I put a few new things in the shop over the weekend, including this ridiculously cute strawberry Baby B'Gosh romper. Ah, I can't stand how cute it is! Look for a few more things to trickle in later in the week.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Heading into the weekend.

Happy Friday! Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? We got our first CSA share of the season and we're having friends over for dinner tonight to enjoy it. I just made a batch of rosemary vinaigrette and some hamburger buns in preparation. All we have left to do is wash the salad greens and roast some potatoes! (And cross our fingers it doesn't rain—I want to hang out on the patio!)

Tomorrow I'm going to try to hit the annual Blu Dot warehouse sale. If you live in Minneapolis and you've been to the Room & Board outlet, it's kind of like that times 10. You have to wake up early to stand in a very long line, and then it's every man for himself when the doors open. I bought a desk two years ago (which I'm using right now, actually) and a few bar stools last year. You never know what you'll find!

Keep your eyes peeled for some new dresses to hit the shop this weekend, plus I'm going to have another little sale pretty soon!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Four-year-old POV.

Iris's pictures. by AnneRosso

These are a few shots from the camera we gave Iris for her birthday a few weeks ago. It's a fun time of year for her to have it, as daycare and her extracurriculars wrap up for the season. The quality of the pictures isn't anything to write home about, but I never worry that she's going to break it and she's pretty much mastered all the controls already. Plus, I really love watching her take pictures! It's completely adorable.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The weekend.

Happy weekend! Do you guys have anything fun planned? I know my last post was about the end of our birthday celebrating, but we're sneaking in one last little family party for Iris over with my parents and brothers tonight. Just dinner, cupcakes and presents and then we'll zip back home.

The rest of our weekend is wide open and I plan to fill it with picnics and walks and parks and yardwork. Aaaaaand maybe a little thrifting, if I can!

That's Arlo above with some of the chickens his daycare provider raises. She is just introducing some  chicks to the flock and my daughter is IN LOVE with them!