retro soul searching

I love modern amenities, but I am a retro gal at heart. I’ve mentioned my love for oldies music and that retro affection overflows in to furniture and décor. Finding older unique gems for our house makes my heart happy. The love for the gently used items stems from childhood when I spent summer days going to garage sales, flea markets, antique shops, etc with my Aunt Marie. Aunt Marie was a teacher and, thankfully, was willing to spend her free time in the summer with her hellion nieces and nephews. Summers at the Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home meant my brother and I were under Harpo’s supervision. While most of our friends were at the pool or watching TV in the air conditioning, we were Harpo’s full time employees. If Harpo sees and idle kid, he puts them to work. Ask any of my cousins.

Aunt Marie would save us from a day of child labor and load me, my brother and cousins up in the van to treasure hunt. She scouted the newspaper for the garage sale locations and our squad hit the road. Upon arrival at each destination, Aunt Marie threw the van doors open and all us kids would scurry like rats to invade a stranger’s driveway and garage. If we found anything worthy of her attention, or if we just wanted it, we’d drag her over to show it to her in hopes that she would give us the nod of approval. Aunt Marie could probably work on the PBS Antique Road Show because she could tell you why an item is a worthless piece of junk OR why we’ve struck gold. I don’t know why she took us with her because I doubt we ever found anything with any future value for her. Us kids were more interested in the old McDonald’s happy meal toys for five cents. Bless her heart for tolerating us heathens on those hot summer days because, without those experiences, I never would have developed an appreciation for the older, used, worn, vintage things in life. One man’s trash is my treasure.

The first piece of furniture I bought for our house was our 1960’s Danish dining room table. I was doing some late night Craigslist surfing and as soon as I saw it I had to have it.

Besides Craigslist, I have a few shops in St. Louis that I like to hit up for funky finds:

  • TFA – The Future Antiques (it seems TFA’s website is under construction, but check out this profile on
  • Treasure Aisles
  • Rocket Mid Century

I found this chair at TFA a few years ago and it is a keeper. Originally I thought I would have the chair recovered but nixed that idea once we found out the price of re-upholstering. Um, $400 to give a $150 chair some cosmetic work? We’ll pass, thanks. IMG_4113

The most recent purchase was this slatted bench. IMG_3854

Why did I purchase the above bench? Because ever since I set eyes on the below entryway on Amber Interiors design blog, I knew I needed a bench like that in my life. I mean, that mirror…that bench… those white walls… I’d give up Bella.. and maybe Chuck… to see this as I enter our house every day.


Instead I am greeted by poopy brown walls, dingy carpet and two dogs bouncing off the walls begging for my attention. IMG_3874Well, I found the bench at Rocket and the tree at Patricia’s grocery store in Odessa (Dean was oh-so-pleased when I told him the plant was coming to St. Louis with us). Now I need a lot of white paint, light wood floors, that giant mirror and well-behaved dogs. I can make all of the above happen except the thing about the dogs – not holding my breath on that one.IMG_3869

I sense a basement entry way project coming on…

it’s Friday. 

So let’s have a laugh…. 

A recent text from my brother, JP. He is almost as funny as I am…. almost. 

And my cousin Sarah shared this gem with me today and all I can say is I want to be friends with this gal. Anyone who can say all that with a straight face is awesome in my book. 

Have a happy and hot weekend! I’ll be floating in the lake with a beer in my hand. Cheers! 

meat with some heat

Sooooo, June is done. How did that happen so quickly? I already hear people saying “only 6 weeks of summer left” and I see that all my “books” are already cramming fall down my throat. Why are we in such a rush to move on to the next season?! Heck, with all the rain I feel like “summer” is an illusive mythological figure of my imagination. Great for my electric bill… NOT great for my mental health. I need sunshine and heat! I promise I won’t complain about the gawd-awful insufferable Midwest humidity. Just pretty please let us have summer!

June was so busy I think I went to the grocery store maybe twice. This is rare for me. I was home in Odessa a few times so I tried to shop at Trader Harpo’s. The old man has caught on to me though…. as I was packing my car to drive back to STL I made a move towards the FREEZER OF BOUNTY and he said “Kim, you stay out of that locker”, obviously referring to massive freezer in the garage that holds all the frozen meat. Fair enough Harpo. I figured I’ll lay low for now and I reluctantly left Odessa without my usual cooler full of steaks and ground beef.

Well then I remembered that I had purchased this lovely little pork roast a few weeks ago and figured it was time to get it out of the freezer to make dinner….IMG_3882I scoped out the pantry and found a few other things that might perk this roast right up… say hello to mis amigos de Trader Joe’s: Spicy, Saucy, and Zesty.IMG_3880The mariachi bands were playing when I mixed these three together in the slow cooker. I was about to add the pork when suddenly, I saw a ghost….

WAIT who is this?! QUIEN ESTA?! Why it’s your long lost amigo, el fantasma enfuego (fire ghost in Spanish). Oh yeah – one dash of this ghost pepper powder and your temples will be crying tears of mercy. Call me crazy, but mama loves her some spice. Just enough spice to donkey kick you right in the taste buds. So if you aren’t a fan of heat, skip the ghost pepper spice and maybe stick with cayenne pepper or nothing at all. The Hatch green chile salsa has just the right amount of mild heat. IMG_3885All the mixings will make a nice bath for the pork. 
Add the pork, turn the cooker to high and eight hours later, you’ve got yourself some meat with heat! About 20 minutes before eating I added two cups of frozen corn kernels. I topped it off with shredded cheese and slices of avocado and DIOS MIO it was delicioso! The pork shreds beautifully and the spicy sauce leaves you sweating. Was even better considering it is currently 65 degrees ON JULY 8th in STL. Perfect for all seasons!

technical pity party

If a lap top is six years old in human years, how old is it in computer years? This is not a joke. I have no punch line. I’m genuinely curious. Computers age faster than dogs.  Although I have gotten more years out of this one than any Dell I previously owned. 

Tough to blog when the Mac takes ONE MILLION YEARS to wake up. It’s like trying to wake my brother up and get him to do manual labor. It DOES NOT happen. Then, once awake, I am taunted by the little spinning rainbow circle. If that thing made sound it would sound like a cartoon chipmunk laughing its’ happy ass off. I lack the patience to deal. Period. And NO I’m not proud of myself but I CANNOT BLOG LIKE THIS. 

So in the mean time I’ll be blogging from my iPhone. Wah wah first world problems. 

And on that note…. my thumbs are barkin’ at me. And that little spinning color wheel is saying “Ha good luck typing with your man hands on this tiny keyboard Kim!” 

My friend Taylor (@taylortholen) posted this quote and it seems fitting for this post:


Poor Dean.