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Lemon House Loves: Kitchen Gadgets February 23, 2011

Filed under: shopping — ravennagirls @ 4:38 pm
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Time to start a new feature around here we’re going to call Lemon House Loves.  These are products that we either have, and well, love, or things we’ve spotted around the web that look especially groovy. And who knows, maybe we’ll buy them, try ’em out, and do a follow up review post. We thought it would be fun to share some of the things that we have or would incorporate into the day to day life of our lil bungalow. {Click here for why we call it our lemon house}.

First up: Kitchen gadgets! We both love to cook and of course, eat, so we thought we would share some kitchen items we couldn’t live without and some that caught our eye around the web this week. Since growing season is soon upon us, its fun to think of all the fun things to slice, dice, toss, and cook those beautiful veggies we plan on growing.

Oxo angled measuring cups. The benefit of these is that you can see your liquid measure from above, so you don’t have to do the hold it over your head and guesstimate mode. We have these in a couple different sizes (including the mini one pictured here) and could not live without them now.

Check out these awesomely fun lego utensils! Perfect for snacks and camping!

You know we love making homemade calzones, this calzone mold pops out perfect beauties everytime (we usually just go for the haphazard fork the edges route).yum.

Ever have trouble transferring soups and sauces? These cute and colorful Slip on Pot Pour Spouts are perfect for transfering liquids to smaller jars or dishes! I notice they say for pots with thin rims, though – anyone have a product that fits on Le Creuset?

This fresh herb grinder looks pretty fantastic. We don’t tend to keep our knives sharp enough to do justice to fresh herbs, and this seems like a great solution. I’d love to try it out to see if it does a good job cutting or if it smashes and bruises the herbs easily.

I love our magnetic trivet. As the advertising for it says, “when the pot moves, the trivet rides along”. This is great when you bring the pot right to the table, no more scrambling for a hot pad at family meals. Plus, magnets make storing on the side of the oven SO SUPER EASY.

So thats it for our first Lemon House Loves. What are your favorite gadgets that transform life in your kitchen? We’ve received some of the best tools as gifts or on recommendation from friends and we’re always looking to try new fun things.

{We were not compensated in any way for the products featured in this post, we just wanted to share with you all what gets us excited.}

 

Cash & Cari January 23, 2011

Filed under: shopping,Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 1:47 pm
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We’ve been seeing ads for the new HGTV show Cash & Cari for a couple weeks now, and been very excited since its right up our alley. I’m actually surprised we haven’t seen more buzz on design blogs about it, but perhaps not as many people are interest in seeing the nitty-gritty behind vintage acquisitions.

In any case, we finally got a chance to watch a couple episodes of the show this week. The show follows Cari Cucksey of RePurpose, who manages estate sales, and resells vintage items in suburban Michigan. Since we hit up so many estate sales, management of the process has always been intriguing to me, and this show both confirms some of my suspicions and sheds new light on some of the clients. It shows me how hard the process really can be (not that I’m surprised), but I also love how her title on the show is ‘Treasure Hunter’. Ha, i’m going to make business cards that say “The Ravenna Girls: Treasure Hunters”. Because while a lot of people think we’re crazy, we know the treasure is out there!

Estate sales can run the gamut from glorified garage sale with not many items that aren’t truly vintage, to a treasure trove of vintage items hid layers deep. Sometimes you can really get a glimpse of someone’s life. The premise is inherently sad, but its also awesome to see what kept people busy over the years. Then again, sometimes you just find houses of hoarders and it can be a little insane. We’ve posted before here about trends we see at estate sales here in the Seattle area (read: Scandinavian gems), so its interesting to see what these sales are like in other parts of the country. In short, they really vary by client, and its interesting to see the strategies Cari has developed for different types of merchandise.

If you have any desire to see what our estate sale adventures are like, this show is really spot-on. Usually we’re just the quiet people in back digging at the back of kitchen cabinets, but sometimes we’re those haggling people too. Hopefully this show will teach us some tips to haggle even better 😉 We might even hit up one or two this weekend, on Sunday when items are typically 50% off. . . who knows!

[Also, here is a NYTimes article from a few weeks ago about estate sale management. Interesting.]

 

All image credits hgtv.com

 

For the mermaid December 16, 2010

Filed under: shopping — ravennagirls @ 12:00 am
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These tights are so cute – in both colors. They would be great for any remaining holiday parties (New Years?) or even into the spring with a flirty skirt.

Spotted over at Design*Sponge

 

Time to get festive! November 16, 2010

Filed under: christmas,crafty,shopping — ravennagirls @ 9:31 pm
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Big News!

the Ravenna Girls have been accepted to our very first craft show. While it might seem like one more thing to add to a crazy holiday schedule, we found a local neighborhood show that should be the perfect place for us to get started with non-online sales.

The craziest part is that it is coming up in just a couple weeks, so we’ve been working to beef up our inventory and with that comes crafting and with THAT comes an early influx of festive music. I’m fully feeling the festive Christmas spirit early this year and already there is so much eye candy around the web to get your mind started. One of my faves so far is the new digital issue of Sweet Paul Magazine. I’ve clipped my highlights to get your Christmas heart a-fluttering!

Bright and cheery wrappings

These wrappings would be gifts in themselves!

Awesome idea for repurposing sweaters

Light and modern ideas for a holiday brunch

Head over to Sweet Paul to check out more holiday delights. Light a fire, turn on your holiday tunes, and get into the season!

Also, if you live in the Seattle area mark your calendars for the Ravenna Holiday Craft Show.

 

Friday Cozy October 22, 2010

Filed under: shopping — ravennagirls @ 9:20 am
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I ordered this sweatshirt from LLBean signature a couple weeks back (on sale!) and it showed up while I was in Norfolk for the weekend – so I get to wear it today for the first time. This is my first purchase from the new LL Bean signature collection (their site dedicated to hipper fashion), and i’m dang happy!

Sailor Striped Sweatshirt

While still the coziness of a sweatshirt, the cut is chic enough that i can wear to the office on a Friday and not feel totally frumptastic. Its warm but not suffocating, and has cute nautical charm that I’m (not surprisingly), all about these days.

Check out LLBean Signature, though – totally cute stuff, I’m a happy shopper so far!

[Complete disclosure: I actually wanted to wear my new Saints shirt today, but I couldn’t find it this morning!! boo]

 

Flower World USA October 13, 2010

Filed under: house before and afters,shopping — ravennagirls @ 9:53 pm
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Doesn’t the title of this post make you want to hum along to the Beach Boys? Hang on to that last bit of surfin’ summer? Well, instead, the purpose was autumn plant shopping at a huge nursery near us, Flower World USA.

One of my coworkers belongs to the e-club there, and convinced me to sign up about a year ago. We still hadn’t been, but a couple weeks back i received notification of their fall sale. All grasses (1 gallon sized) are $5! And, assorted other discounts including 50% off bamboo and 20% off japanese maples.

Autumn leaves at the Flower World Driveway. The landscaping at this nursery is pretty spectacular. Ripe for inspiration.

While most of our major garden work is done for the year (save for trying to salvage our poor munched brassica plants), we also know that fall is a great time to get some great deals on perennials and get them in the ground. We planted almost all of our perennials this time last year and they all are doing GREAT. So, off to flower world we went in hopes of snagging some more tall grasses to fill out our screening wall that we talked about here.

Earlier in the summer we bought two starter grasses for this location, a feather grass, and one smaller japanese blood grass. We’ve received a lot of compliments on the bright red hue of this plant, so we thought we’d keep that color going through our new ornamental grasses garden. So, what did we pick up?

Dwarf Zebra Grass: I have been coveting this all summer, but its hard to find! I found some online, but when shipping equals the cost of the plant itself, its just not worth it. Picked up 2 of these puppies. Although the title implies these would be small, they grow to 48″ which is about the size of screening we are hoping to achieve.

Pheasant’s Tail Grass: We picked up a couple of these for their medium height and vibrant orange/red fronds. These will nicely complement the smaller Japanese Blood Grass we planted earlier in the summer. 

Ice Dance Sedge. This is a smaller, crisper plant that will look nie at the front of the bed. Grows to 12″ in smaller clumping mounds.

Japanese Silver Grass: Similar in appearance to Pampas Grass, but shorter and more manageable. Pretty frosty fronds in the fall and winter, which should add some texture to our off-season garden.

Dwarf Blue Fescue: These are shorter clumpy grasses with a beautiful blueish gray hue. More than likely we will plant these in our front yard to contrast the orange sedge we planted there last year. We are going to reconfigure some of the perennials in this area in the spring anyway.

So, at 9 plants times $5, we pretty much will be done filling out our ornamental grass screening wall for $45. score. Also, we picked up tulips and crocuses for springtime color as well as some indoor supplies for the coming winter months. Stay tuned for those projects.

The funniest part was that we didn’t really anticipate buying quite that many plants and edged up wedging them into the back of my Toyota Matrix. It was a pretty funny sight. Like our friends noted later in the evening, it was like driving in the rainforest! Too funny.

 

These will go on the far side of the patio to frame behind the hostas and to integrate with other grasses aready planted to provide a loose screening wall for our lovely fence. We’ll keep you posted on our ornamental grass garden in the next couple weeks.

 

Raincoat Quest September 26, 2010

Filed under: shopping,Uncategorized — ravennagirls @ 10:11 pm
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 A few weeks back I decided i needed a new raincoat. I have a couple jackets for fall/winter but none of them really fit the bill for the weather that Seattle doles out. I have a couple wool coats, but they don’t have hoods, and when its raining real hard, you just get water logged. I also have some “shell” raincoats, that keep out the moisture (mostly) but aren’t very warm once the coldest of the rain sets in. Plus, they aren’t very professional looking for wearing to work meetings and site visits. Although, now that i think about it, most raincoats don’t really match hard hats so thats probably a moot point.

Anyhow, in August sometime we received our first fall/winter catalog from Boden, which is a British clothing company who has recently expanded to the US market. THey have really cute stuff, most with a retro/mod twist. I spied this jacket below, but since it was still summer, I wasn’t totally ready to pull the plug on a serious jacket purchase.

Flash forward to this week. I went back to the Boden website to check out the options, but the color shown above was backordered 11 weeks. 11 weeks is pretty much 2011, so THAT doesn’t do me much good. I did some thinking about the other colors and patterns, but couldn’t quite commit to any of them, so decided I’d have to seek either options. Let the quest begin!

Stop #1: LL bean.

The go-to for outdoor wear. I found this option, which was affordable, promised to be waterproof, and had a part wool lining, but wasn’t too jazzed about the simple design. Just not much to it compared to the piping and buttons on the Boden option. So, onward.

Stop #2: Eddie Bauer.

Again, for northwesterners, a go-to option. This one looked even warmer, but with the elastic waist I was afraid of the frump-factor. Kept this one in my back pocket, though.

Stop #3: Overstock.com

Overstock had this cute London Fog option that was cut a little more stylishly than the LL bean/Eddie Bauer options, and had a hood, but I was worried that they would be too light weight since the description didn’t pay any emphasis on lining, etc.

Stop #4, 5, 6, & 7: Old Navy, Target, Gap, Piperlime. No Dice, at least not in my price range (you know Piperlime had some BEAUTIFUL options, they always do, but most were $400+ yikes!)

Stop #8: Banana.

Really cute cut and pattern on this one, but no hood! Deal breaker for Seattle gals. Drats. Moving on.

Final Stop!: Sierra Trading Post.

I’ve ordered gear from this discount site before and been very happy with their options, so i thought I’d see what they had. And success (mostly)! I found this Merrell Ava Car coat in muted turquoise. It has a hood with fleece lining and is reportedly waterproof (the reviews were positive). Also, it has piped accents and a cute tie at the waist to lend some flattering shape. I think its the best of all worlds. Plus, i found a coupon code online that discounted any purchase at Sierra Trading Post 20%. Score!

So its on its way. The only problem was that they had one (ONE!) jacket left in this color and its a size larger than i would usually order. Sometimes this can be good to fit bulkier sweaters under in the dead of winter, so i’m hoping I won’t have to send it back.

On the chance I have to send it back, does anyone have a go-to source for stylish, warm, and (most importantly!) waterproof jackets? I’ve exhausted my normal online sources.

Do share!