Saturday, February 21, 2015

Vintage Valentines & a Birthday Breakfast

Over the years I've saved and collected some wonderful handmade, 
vintage Valentines and heart shape candy boxes.

This year I decided to venture up into the attic and bring down those 
relics from my past life.  
And scatter them throughout the house.

It's fun to create these holiday themed vignettes around the house.  
Every time I walk past it brightens my day, makes me smile

In the dining room I set up this display switching out my Christmas decorations for Valentines.  I love using an old wood box and soda crate as a shelves for collectibles.

I got this lovely tattered vintage valentine candy heart box from my sweetheart long ago.  Can't help but wonder about the original giver and receiver of such and unusual valentine.  It's made of cardboard and the glue has disappeared with age but I still think it might be my favorite.  
The spiderwebs are cool and give it an air of mystery, don't you think?

Here's another vintage valentine from my collection and a metal candy heart box.

I like to gussy up this old cupboard in my kitchen with vintage holiday themed collectibles sprinkled in with my favorite Jadite and McCoy pottery pieces.

Glass apothecary jars are filled with pretty candies in Valentine shades of red and pink.  

There's red licorice, coral pink heart shaped Runts, 
Jelly bean hearts and gummy kissy lips!

My very Favorite chocolate is Godiva and over the years I've 'collected' so many pretty heart shaped boxes.  Every year there's a new design, you see, and they are all so lovely.  I thought the old packaging on the birthday candles was very cute and went with the valentine theme especially with that little heart on it that says .10 cents.  
Can you believe there was a time when birthday candles were only .10?!
The fella & gal are vintage plastic candy containers.

I have this extra large window in my kitchen over the sink 
that looks out onto some trees and backyards. 
It's a good place to hang suncatchers and my goofy windchime made out of silverware.  
I display some pretty Depression glassware on the window ledge.

Here's a closeup of one side of the little shelves my hubby built on either side of the window.  They are just the right size for spice shakers.

This photo shows the other side of the window.

I'm glad I decided to get the old Valentines down from the attic.  It was nice to see them again and they certainly brightened up the house during 
this very seriously cold winter here in North Carolina.

My firstborn daughter's birthday is a week before Valentine's day and she requested 
a birthday breakfast this year.  
I was happy to oblige, baking her favorite muffins, 
Cappuccino Chocolate Chip 
and having them ready fresh out of the oven for her arrival 
so the chocolate chips are still warm and gooey.

It looks like my kitty cat, Sookie approves.

I made little fruit cups using fresh mango, strawberries, blueberries and starfruit.  
I think fresh fruit for breakfast is the BEST.

I made scrambled eggs with chopped green onions, 
fresh organic baby spinach, 
dried basil, cheddar cheese
and served with sauteed mushrooms.  
We sipped mimosas and nibbled our breakfast treats while she opened all of her presents

Here is the recipe for the Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins.  
I found it years ago, in Country Living magazine's October 1993 issue and they've been a family favorite ever since because that are so good, dense and cakey.


1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
6 T. butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 T. Instant espresso - I used 2 packets dissolved in 2 T. hot water
2 T. coffee flavored liquor (optional)
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or paper muffin pan. Usually makes 9-10 muffins.

In medium bowl, sift or whisk flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In large bowl, beat on medium speed: butter and sugar till light and fluffy. 
Beat in egg and vanilla.

Dissolve instant espresso by stirring into 2 T. hot water.  Then add milk & optional coffee liquor until blended.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with espresso beating just until combined. 

Fold in chocolate chips. Divide batter among muffin-pan cups.  I always sprinkle muffins with a bit of Turbinado sugar mixed with cinnamon

Bake 25-30 minutes or until centers spring back when lightly pressed. Serve warm so the chocolate chips are melted.

Hope you give them a try!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Vintage Christmas Collections - Highlights of My Christmas 2014 Decorating - Part 2

We have this gorgeous antique secretary in the parlor that I've been crazy about since we brought it home with us to NC years ago. It has a roll top, nifty little pigeonhole slots and it belonged to my husband's mother.  This year I decided to decorate it for Halloween and Christmas using our collection of vintage holiday stuff.  I really like the way it turned out!

It's situated in a pretty dark corner so I decided to add a strand of sparkling lights as well as some light up plastic blow molds.

I'm always fascinated by the interesting graphics on vintage packaging and tins, like the pocket tobacco tins that are tucked into a few of the pigeonholes, and all the Christmas lights and ornament  boxes.

I know this photo is kind of redundant but I like the lighting, especially in the cabinet.

Here's a closeup of all the vintage goodies on the bottom and middle shelves with the doors open.  It's just filled with charming collectibles.

The vintage stuff on the top shelf in the background from left to right is a children's book, a box of Swedish angel chimes and a box of unused cards.  The vintage boxes on the middle shelf are both light sets and in the middle is a game where you snag the ring on Santa's mustache.

Not the best photo but it shows the cute box details.  
Don't you LOVE the silver glitter on the reindeer antlers?  

A couple more closeups to show the detail of the spiffy graphics.  I especially like the box details of the Diamond Ray Jeweled Icicles.

A part of me yearns to keep these Christmas cuties up all year.
I'm tempted to do just that because I don't have so many vintage Valentine decorations but I do have a fair amount of vintage plastic bunny rabbits tucked away somewhere in the attic!
They might look interesting grouped together inside this cabinet.