Monday, July 24, 2017

Tropical and Refreshing!

When I blogged about the amazing tropical bar cart set up from OKL last time I said I was off to search for some tropical drink recipes that would be refreshing and delish!
I kept my word!

First, I headed to a favorite tropical spot -

 The Florida Keys.
Yes, it really is that beautiful
Every time.
These photos have not been edited.
Just iphone pics.

 Then Mollie and I set off to find the "best in The Keys" of one of our favorite drinks - 
The Mojito.
There's nothing like it on a hot, hot day!

We did our due diligence. We sipped in several picturesque locations...

And then we discovered the best one ever!
We went back again - just to confirm and to be sure there was honesty in reporting.

For sure. 
The best Mojito was at Lazy Days in Islamorada.
And the bartender willingly shared the secret!
 She uses Parrot Bay Key Lime Rum.

Image result for parrot bay key lime rum

Using this rum cuts out the need for simple syrup
 (which sometimes makes Mojitos too sweet and #calories)
And it is sooooo easy.
And light and refreshing.

All you need to do is:
1. Muddle fresh mint in the bottom of the glass
2. Fill a tall glass with ice.
3. Add Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay Key Lime Rum and fill with club soda.
4. Garnish with a lime.

Image result for mojito

And just so you don't think we just ran around sipping Mojitos all day long- we found an amazing Smoked Wahoo Fish Dip at the Zane Grey Lounge.

Delicious and look at that presentation.
If only going to Happy Hour and reporting back was a full time job!


PS. I am not affiliated or compensated by any of the companies mentioned in this post. 
I'm just happily sharing great finds!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Everything I Love Plus...

I ran across this picture the other day as I was wrapping up a hot, sweaty mission trip 
and I couldn't take my eyes off of it!!

It's everything I love plus more!!
It just looked refreshing and relaxing to me given the fact that it hit 100 degrees that week.

It's from One Kings Lane.
It is everything!
The article is called "How To Host Cocktails In The Tropics."
I'm in! 

You can shop their site for a lot of gorgeous tropical accent pieces
or if you are like me- you need a high/low version of this fabulousness!

Let's dissect, shall we?
Let's start with the wall paper.
Cool, gorgeous green palm background. 
If that one doesn't do it for you I happen to like this one a lot, too.

Close this window

It's on sale for $69.99 a roll vs the over $100.00 for the one in the pic. 
A little high/low wallpaper action.
 And to be even more economical you could frame a 24 x 36 remnant and hang behind the bar cart if wallpapering the whole wall isn't an option. Or you are a renter.

white bar cart is the major player.
Bar cart options are everywhere and I've talked bout my love for bar carts here and here.
They are everywhere - new, reproduction and vintage for great prices. 
It's all preference and what you have space for. 
My preference would be to hunt for a vintage piece to use.
 I saw a white wicker desk last week in a Goodwill for $10.00. Perfect condition.
 It would have made a perfect bar and brass castors could have been added if rolling around was desired.
Get creative. Look around.
But if setting up a bar cart situation to mimic this one needs to happen now
 here is an economical option:

This white wicker bar cart is on sale for $83.99 with free shipping. Or if white is not a must-have this one is $100.00 from World Market:

And if money is no object then check out what Serena and Lilly or the vintage sites like Chairish have to offer.

Next up in this high/low quest to recreate my dream relaxation spot:
The wicker elephant with a plant.
He has nothing to do with actually getting a refreshing drink from the bar cart
 but he's too fabulous to leave out!! 
We love elephants at our house. Proof here and here!

Again, you can search around and find these guys at tag sales, vintage shops and more. 
But if you are going to recreate this right now, here are some high/low sources:

This guy is $205.00 right now making him more than the bar cart 
but pretty fabulous none the less.
But I like this option, too...
If you wanted a little trash receptacle near the bar you could purchase this guy for $55.20, put a plastic trash bag inside and put him next to the bar. 

Home Decorators Collection Animal 16 in. W Laundry Hamper in White

The soft green lamp with the black and white striped shade is too fabulous not to copy. 
I'm sure that you can find a lamp that color from a million sources online but you could also easily find a high/low option at thrift stores 
and big box stores like Home Depot and Wal Mart.
What about this lamp with a great b/w striped shade?

Now for the shade:
 I googled and found a lot of options for $65.00 and up. 
That's more than I would want to spend for lamp and all.
So the high/low option for me would be to copy this idea:

Image result for black and white striped lampshade

How easy is that!! 
Just buy a few yards of black grosgrain ribbon (Wal Mart, Hobby Lobby, etc)
 and glue it on a white drum shade! 
You could paint the stripes as well if you wished
 but ribbon is super easy and makes for perfect stripes.

I covered this lampshade with fabric for my "Black is Back" Library One Room Challenge.

You could easily use black and white striped fabric to cover 
a straight up-and-down drum shade.

Next up, the parrots.
because what are the tropics without colorful birds.

This print is $99.99 framed from
Not bad for a framed picture ready to go, but...
you can visit The Audubon Society website and print any of the Audubon birds for free!! 
Yep, free. 
Or if you want something a bit bigger, send it to your favorite photo printing company online and you are set. 
Find a fabulous bamboo frame at a thrift shop and you have tropical bird art.

All the frames below (from my last ORC) are thrifted and then painted with my favorite gold spray paint.

And if parrots/macaws etc. aren't your thing there are a ton of shore birds to choose from. 
I love all the pink Audubon birds as I've mentioned before.

Here are a couple of tropical birds that could be added to the bar cart set up. 

The bronze parrot was a thrifting find last week and the green parrot pitcher was purchased a few years ago at a discount import store. 
Keep your eyes open - I see tropical accent pieces like this all the time!

Small, but still something I love, is the turtle shell.
There was a Nate Berkus one at Target a few years ago that I did not buy and while I try not to have regrets - I really wish I had just spent the money and gotten one. #rats
They are around on eBay for $50.00 and up.

This is the least expensive resin turtle shell I could find for my high/low quest. 
It is $36.00 and could be removed from the stand to hang on the wall 
and even dry brushed with white to mimic the one in the picture. 
There are some gorgeous high end options available from Grandinroad and Houzz. 
I did see one in a consignment shop a few months ago for a good price so keep your eyes open. And if Nate does another big, fabulous turtle shell I'm buying it on day one!

There are bamboo trays and shells and such mixed in with the bottles and vintage glasses. 
All of these are easy to find in thrift stores, vintage vendor booths, in etsy shops online and the IG accounts that feature vintage items.
Just start looking...

(some of the vintage trays and accessories at elizabethandpayne at Westside Market Atlanta)

That bamboo picnic organizer would be fabulous on a bar cart filled with swizzle sticks and statement napkins. Or bottles of mixers and such.

The bamboo wine rack could sit beside a bar cart or on the bottom shelf
 if there was enough height.
And you can never go wrong mixing in some blue and white. 
Use the bowls to hold limes and lemons, munchies like nuts and cheese straws or pour salt in a small saucer to use to salt glass rims.

The inspiration pic is just a starting point. 
Get creative and style up a bar cart to help you feel like you are on a tropical get away.
There's plenty of Summer left!

I'm off to search for some great tropical drink recipes...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Finders, Keepers, Elizabeth and Payne

If you follow along here or on Instagram then you know that 
Mollie and I love to go out "finding" 
(thrift stores, estate sales, yard sales, online, in person, the trash... you name it!)


We have had some great luck!



We have found some awesome items.
And for the most part we have been "Finders, Keepers!"
We want to keep going out there and finding.
But we feel that we might be on the verge of moving from "Finders, Keepers"
to being featured on an episode of "Hoarders." 

So we are (slowly, very slowly) in the process of starting to sell our great finds and our chinoiserie artwork.

We have leased a spot of our very own at Westside Market in Atlanta!!
(We might be a little excited!!!)

Please continue to follow my personal feed 
and add @elizabethandpayne to your daily scroll as well.

We know all about branding yourself and not starting a new venture until you have business cards and everything is ready to go with a seamless launch 
BUT that's not how we are rolling. 
(Life is a bit nuts right now).
We have a business plan: Find amazing stuff and sell it for a great price. 
Be nice and fun and ask people to bear with us while we get it together!!

If you are local please pop in and visit our space
 and all the other great vendors at Westside Market!

We started "moving in" to our spot on July 1st! . So many goodies for sale:

(More to come - just getting started!)

Please follow along and we'll have a great time while we figure some of the details out!

( We hope to be able to ship to those of you who aren't local at some point in the near future!
And if anyone has shipping carrier advice, please share. 
We don't want shipping to cost anyone anymore than it has to!)

We have some great items ready to post on @elizabethandpayne so please keep an eye out. 
We will give you a heads up on @madebymolliesmom and @elizabethandpayne 

Now we are "Finders. Sharers!"

Monday, July 3, 2017

In a Pickle...

If  you've read one blog post or seen even one IG post of mine you probably already know I'm a Lowcountry gal at heart. Charleston born and proud of it!

I consider myself "stuck" 5 hours inland :)

I have ingrained that love of coastal South Carolina, Charleston and all the Southern goodness that entails into Mollie!

(IOP beach house with colorful chairs and Coast hat!)

A friend from Ohio once purchased a t-shirt for me after knowing me only a short while. 
It said "GRITS"
*Girls Raised In The South.
I loved that shirt!

One of the things that Mollie and I like to do when we are in Charleston is have lunch at Jestine's Kitchen. 
After we stroll through the shops on King. 
After we stock up on candles at Candlefish and buy some candied pecans in the Market.
 Then we are ready for a hearty lunch!

This spot is perfect for a completely, undeniably, deep fried Southern lunch.
Mollie thinks Jestine's in Charleston, SC and Michie Tavern in Charlottesville, VA have the best fried chicken evahhhh!!!
I'm all about the okra gumbo. Okra anything, really.
But we definitely agree on this - the little saucer of pickles that they bring to your table when you are seated is fabulous.

We were reminiscing about Jestine's Kitchen the other day 
(be sure to read the top 10 questions tourist ask them!!) 
and I decided to "google" Jestine's pickle recipe and give it a try.
Here's what I came up with (just in time for Fourth of July snacking!)

I bought some fresh cucumbers from Trader Joes.
Any pickling or regular salad cuke will work.

I used a vegetable peeler to remove some of the skin. 
I like the striped effect it makes on the edges of the pickles.

I sliced them very, very thin on my old Pampered Chef slicer.
 It's been around here a long time and well used!
Some recipes indicated you could make them any thickness you prefer
 but we like how paper thin the pickles are at Jestine's.

Then I sliced a small onion paper thin as well. 
I dice my thin sliced onion because I personally like the onion to be smaller.

Next up - peppercorns. To taste. I put a lot (like a lot!!) in my pickles.

We use an antique industrial cabinet to hold our multitude of spices.
And fitting for this post - to the left you can see a favorite lino print by Charleston, SC artist Stacy Bradley of Perlaanne Press. 

And then you add sugar.
 I combined a couple of recipes that stated they were similar to Jestine's. I chose to do about a 1/2 cup of sugar to my 6 small cukes. Some recipes suggested 3/4 of a cup. 
That's up to your pickle sweetness preference :)
 The pickles aren't just sweet pickles - they have a tart side too but they aren't dill pickles. 
They are just really, really yummy!

Stir it all gently and then fill your clean glass jars with the cucumber mixture. 
Be sure that each jar has plenty of peppercorns and onions 
mixed in with the cucumber slices.

They are so crisp and fresh looking.

Pour white vinegar to the halfway mark of your pickles.
Then fill the jar the rest of the way with water.

Put a lid on the jar and shake gently to be sure everything is well mixed.

Then simply put in the refrigerator over night so all the flavors can blend together.

They are delicious as a starter like at Jestine's, on sandwiches and more. 
The small jar will be a hostess gift when we join friends for a Fourth of July cookout.

We will enjoy the other jar at home.
Jestine's pickles will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two -
if they last that long!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Red, White, Blue and Bamboo.

The Fourth of July.

It's all about the Red, White and Blue.
And bamboo.

(Just add blue checked napkins and this combo from February works for July!!)

And it's all about the food and fun.
How fun are these straws?? They would make even a glass of water fun to sip!

(From the Dollar Tree!)

For years we did the Marietta Square Parade, checked out the craft and food booths, went home to cool off in the pool and then to a friends' home in the Marietta Historic District for a cookout and fireworks. The kids were young and ran around and had so much fun. 

Image result for free images of july 4 parades

As Mollie got older our plans became more flexible. 
We have rented cabins, joined friends at their places, traveled home from Hawaii one year on July 4th and spent one Fourth of July in England.
One of our favorite travel quotes comes from that trip.
We were in a pub in Reading, England waiting for our next train. 
We popped in the pub to have a ploughman's lunch. 
When we went to pay the tab I noticed the date and said, "Oh, it's July 4th!" 
(You lose track of the dates when you travel!)
 The bartender said, "Happy Independence Day!"  
We said thank you 
and then he paused, got  funny look on his face and said, "We lost, you know!!"
We laugh about that all the time.

Related image
But, I still miss it when we don't start the  July 4th celebrations with a parade!!
Do you love a parade?

Do you decorate?
This house went all out. 
I'm at the other end of the holiday decorations  spectrum.

Image result for house with bunting flags

And this patriotic little pooch is adorable
( but my two Golden's think July 4th is awful once the fireworks start.)
Image result for golden retriever with red white and blue

We do love sparklers though!! 
We always do a few packs of sparklers since they don't make a big, loud noise!

So, however you celebrate - have a safe Fourth of July holiday and maybe have some cake!

Image result for july 4th cakes with sparklers in a cake

Image result for july 4th cakes with sparklers in a cake

Image result for july 4th cakes with sparklers in a cake

*all images from google images except the dinner plate and Mollie with sparklers