Antique Treasures.

I love just about all things vintage – cars, music, furniture, dinnerware, clothing, shoes (particularly vintage Nikes), accessories, jewelry trays, you name it. 

When I lived in Memphis, one of my favorite weekend pastimes was shopping for antiques with my mom. We'd wake up early Saturday morning, grab breakfast and then spend the rest of our day traveling through Midtown on the hunt for some of the most quaint, one-of-a-kind, charming and inexpensive pieces we could find. 

I've sort of gotten away from my hobby since I've been in Nashville.  But this past Sunday afternoon, I made it a priority to head to Wedgewood and check out the flea market as well as a few antique shops in the surrounding area.

Now I wouldn't call myself an expert just yet, but I can say that there is a technique to this kind of shopping (I've done my research).  If this is something new for you, here's a routine that guarantees me the best experience:

  • wear comfortable clothing and dress appropriately for the season

  • bring a cold bottle of water during the warmer months

  • don't be afraid of the dust (as many things can be dry cleaned, polished, etc.) 

  • have patience to sift through cluttered merchandise

  • throughly inspect items for discoloration and other unfixable things before purchasing

  • avoid wearing blatantly expensive clothing as this may affect your ability to bargain with vendors on pricing (remember almost everything is negotiable), plus you don't want to risk getting dust on your clothes

  • create a budget beforehand and take cash to ensure staying within budget  

  • have a mental list prepared of things you are looking to buy but keep an open mind to other items that may catch your eye while there

And as far as the flea market, if there is absolutely something that I am looking for and have to have no matter the cost, I try to get there as early as possible on the first day of the market for first dibs. Otherwise, I wait until the last day of the market to shop as my chances of negotiating prices may be greater.


Summer Blooms.

Having fresh flowers on display in my home is a must. The instant elegance they add to any room in the house (bedroom, living room, kitchen, office etc.) as well as the natural fragrance they exude bring about such positive energy, which is very necessary for a homebody like me. 

My weekly routine usually involves purchases from the supermarket, where I can find flowers at bargain prices (3 bunches for $12). 

Side note: Not all supermarkets are created equal, as far as floral quality. I definitely have my picks!  

If my husband and I are expecting out-of-town guests or maybe hosting a get-together, I'll make a special trip to a local wholesaler or a flower shop for the more exotic or seasonal blooms, which tend to be more on the expensive end but worth the price, since they can make quite a statement.

My floral arrangement style is very similar to my personal style – neutrals, neutrals, neutrals! Even when it comes to nail polish and makeup, I go for mostly anything that's understated and minimal. Every now and then I like to step outside of my comfort zone and go for something a bit more daring, offbeat and multi-chromatic, especially in the summertime.

This past weekend, I grabbed my straw tote and just shopped around. I had a few ideas but I didn't have a set look in mind (and I don't really follow the rules when it comes to floral arranging).  I knew that I wanted to include a mix of florals with variations in size and that white peonies would be the base flowers. I picked up a bunch from the wholesaler and then headed to a flower shop and the supermarket for a rose, some carnations, gerbera daises, mini hydrangea, delphinium and a few fillers (leather leaves). 

As soon as I got home, I unpacked the flowers and lined them up by size, snipped the stems accordingly and bunched them together (starting with the largest flower). Then I secured them with a medium sized rubber band (pushed up far enough where it was not visible) and immersed them in a vase full of fresh water. I keep a collection of vases stored to fit any type of arrangement.  I even use mint julep cups and Mason jars as vases whenever I want to create a more Southern feel. 

And voilà! I can get at least a week of life (two weeks for hydrangea and carnations) out of most blooms by trimming the stems and replacing the water in the vase every two days.