Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Go there: Gus's Fried Chicken.

When you ask someone where you should eat in Memphis - the stereotypical "Memphis" establishments, most times you're going to get a bar-b-que reference of some sort (Central? Interstate? Neely's? BBQ Shop? Cozy Corner?) and a shout out to Gus's Fried Chicken.

Gus's recently opened an East Memphis branch of their empire and so Thanksgiving weekend made for a good excuse to go visit. Gus's is known for its fried chicken being rather spicy and crunchy. Personally, I go with the tenders because of my eating-things-on-the-bone complex, but Jake got the plate. We also opted for fried pickles because I happen to be obsessed:

Definitely not an every day kind of meal, but a great place to visit with out-of-town friends or go on a fun destination night out. For fried chicken, Gus's is the place to go!

In fried pickles,
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Browser Window Shopping: Summer Avenue Antique Mall.

I love to share my treasure finds with you all. Last week, Jake and I went to one of my favorite treasure spots, Summer Avenue Antique Mall, (on Summer Avenue, if you couldn't guess). I snapped a few pictures of fun finds to share.

One of the first booths we saw always is a go-to for Pyrex and vintage finds. It had this great cherry red Pyrex mixing bowl and pie plate. I don't have that size bowl or a pie plate so those would be lovely under a certain Christmas tree.

A few booths down, there was this Pyrex serving piece. I might have a casserole this size already but had to share this anyway - isn't the server set up neat?

In the back we spied this awesome desk. I don't think we'd have anywhere for it in our house but it didn't stop me from lusting after it for someone else. I think it is just super cool, especially in a hallway or other kind of makeshift office spaces.

And, of course, I couldn't help but share these bowls of my favorite Pyrex print. The whole side section of this store is retro/vintage classic in perfection and is always fun:

Vintage Lily, anyone? This one is a size 10 and in great condition.

In the more cluttered part of the store, I spied this doll house. It is a complete house with furniture and dolls. I would have DIED when I was younger (who am I kidding, I still want it).

The last area we came across was this fabulous retro set-up. In another house and decor setting, I could totally rock this turquoise couch. You can barely see, but there were orange side chairs with it too. Love it.

Thank goodness for the ability to pretend shop by taking pictures because otherwise I would have bought more than I needed to - I fell in love with so many things. 

In antiques, vintage finds, and retro fun,
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Go there: A-Tan.

A-Tan is an East Memphis (Midtown? U of M area?) restaurant that specializes in three distinct things, depending on where you sit  - you can have hibachi at the family style tables, sushi, and/or Chinese fare. We've been going there for Chinese food since I was little and more recently added both sushi and the hibachi to our routine.

The reason for this post, though, is to spread the news of the Happy Hour sushi specials they have during the week. The other day we needed a quick, healthy meal out that was cheap and this was our solution:

Their Happy Hour for sushi has a limited menu but there were plenty of options:
Happy Hour is 5-7pm (and 11-1pm for lunch) on Monday through Thursday. Nigiri is $2.00 and Rolls are $3.00. It is a great deal - definitely worth trying out. 

I didn't opt for sushi but instead got my favorites - the dumpling appetizer and the stir-fried garlic green beans:

Both are great choices for the non-sushi crowd. The atmosphere in A-Tan is casual but refined. Could be a good go-to for a week night but can be classed up if you want a fun dinner out (like hibachi for a birthday!):

A-Tan is located across from Poplar Plaza behind the Perkins in a little strip mall. It is family owned and a lot of times you can see the owner running the show. I definitely recommend checking it out, whether for the sushi happy hour or for a general dinner time visit. 

In white rice and soy sauce,
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wreath Tutorial.

I love being a little crafty - it really lifts up my spirits to see the fruits of my efforts in front of me. I fell in love with felt wreaths and figured I could try my hand at those. The first one was for baby Gwin and was a yarn wreath.

To make a yarn wreath, you buy a wreath form (the ones I got at the craft store were straw and I kept them in their plastic and wrapped the yarn over the plastic). I used an entire roll of yarn on this one wreath - I wrapped it twice but wrapped it very tightly. Some people recommend three wraps. You can see in this picture below what the process is and why you need two layers - there will be gaps.

So the process of wrapping your wreath itself isn't too difficult but I did have several people ask how to do the felt rosettes so I have a little tutorial below for that. I wanted to make a different kind of wreath this time, so I got a wooden grapevine wreath and green and cream felt.

You take the felt and cut it into a small square (smaller for a small rosette, bigger for a bigger one):

It helps to have sweet animals as helpers:

From the square, you cut the edges off the felt to make a circle and then begin cutting a spiral into the circle:

Once you are done cutting your spiral, leave the end a small circle - this will be your base for the rosette:

(this particular rosette wasn't very good - I didn't cut off the edges and so I had to trim that entire last piece)

Next, starting at the skinny end, start rolling the spiral up to form the rosette.

You'll want to have your hot glue gun heating up this whole time because now you are going to hot glue the base to the rosette (this holds the whole thing together):

You'll continue this process, making yourself a little stash of rosettes (it goes faster the better you get):

Once you've got a lot of the rosettes, you can start experimenting with positioning. In this situation, I tried one positioning and decided it was ugly and so I had to make about 8 more rosettes:

After a bit more crafting, I came up with my final product - well worth the $10 spent and hour of time:

Now go make your own felt wreath!!

In creating things,
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Thursday, November 24, 2011


After a drive, a huge lunch with family, another drive, another dinner with family, and lots of laughter, we're back home tonight. As I sit here with my man next to me (me on facebook/google reader, him on xbox - it is all about indulgences of choice, right?), I just have to think about how thankful I am for what we have.

Thankful for a house that is safe, clean, cute, and happy:

Thankful that we finally unearthed the dining table from all of that clutter:

Thankful that we were able to renovate our kitchen and remain sane, all with the help of family, friends, and the government's money (holla at your homebuyer's tax credit!):

And most of all, thankful for the three dogs, one cat, and one guy that I share this place with:

Here's to one of only a few days a year when being cheesy and corny is truly accepted. Until next time, I'm thankful and content.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Etsy Spotlight: Hoopdaloop

I love etsy. Crafts? Shopping? Cute things? I'm in.

I found this site (which, disclaimer, is one of my friend's etsy sites), and fell in love with everything. Hoop da loop is an etsy shop that sells "whimsical wedding shower and party decorations" but she has so much more too! She's got paper goods, cute embellished bobby pins, and more.

I'm loving everything, but in particular...
Paper Garland

Custom Invitations

Gift Tags
Vintage Bobby Pins

Isn't Allison's shop just the cutest thing ever? And on top of that, she is legit - she makes a lot of sales (I'm not surprised!) and runs a very effective business. She sells party packs with paper garland, cupcake toppers, invitations, and confetti that coordinate - I think that is just super smart.

You should definitely check out hoop da loop!

In crafting,
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Unpacking (still?).

We've lived in our house for two years now. And yet I still have things in my room at my parents (henceforth known as my room, not the guest room my mother intends for it to be). She keeps forcing "stuff" on me, even though our house here is very full.

The latest box she bribed me into taking was filled with dishes. See, I'm that college kid that was out buying cute vintage dishware at Goodwill while all the other kids were sleeping off their hangover. I found this set of yellow dishes at Knoxville's Goodwill and bought them for the "someday" to come:

I also unboxed my green glasses set from my Grandmother. I've had these in the attic waiting on me until I had my own house and I'm pretty excited that they are now on display in my new cabinets:

So I guess unpacking those boxes wasn't a bust after all... but really - I'm running out of room!

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