Thursday, May 31, 2012

Elvis Lives Here Now

What happens when the Sgt rolls home with a 3 foot high velvet Elvis he found along the side of the road.....well, it makes MaryDeluxe realize she married the right man! 

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What happens when Sgt stops at obscure middle of nowhere yard sales so MaryDeluxe can take a peak?  $5 vintage leopard coats happen!

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Nothing's better than a 1970's velvet Elvis in the original frame and cheap vintage leopard coats!  I've never seen Elvis with such a nice tan before! :) I'm so glad it's young Elvis and not old fat Elvis in a sparkle jump suit.  Just sayin'.

Keepin' the kitsch alive here people!

~MaryDeluxe

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Strawberry Pickin'

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, Sgt and I found a great place to pick local strawberries...$1.89 lb!  Can't beat that price and I love romping around on a farm pickin' berries.  It brings back fond memories of my childhood and picking strawberries on my Grand-Pap's farm.   My Grand-Pap was a big fan of underage child labor and we were paid the huge sum of 25 cents per flat of strawberries we picked.  I realize now that if all us grand kids were smart, we would have formed a union and staged a strike for better pay!  If I remember correctly, it was Mom and Dad that did most of the berry pickin' for the strawberry stand where we sold the berries (also known as our front porch), while I spent most of my time eating more strawberries than I actually picked. 

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strawberries

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Because I am now a responsible grown up, I will just say that I didn't partake in any strawberry eating until they were all paid for!  See Grand-Pap, I did turn out okay after all!

Cheerio!

~MaryDeluxe

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Refrigerator Dough Part 2

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When I got home tonight, I decided to whip up a batch of dinner rolls for supper.  I took the dough from the fridge, pushed the dough down, and let it sit for a bit.  I then took out my muffin tin and placed 4 equal sized balls of dough in each cup.  I think the technical name for this type of roll is called the four-leaf clover.  I was excited to see what they tasted like and I'm happy to report they are very yummy.  If you like potato bread/rolls you will enjoy these.  The dough is definitely on the sweeter side in flavor.  The texture is fluffy and moist.


I also did a google search and found a wonderful blogger who did a fabulous post about refrigerator dough and the things that can be made with it!  Please go have a look.... Take a Mega Bite.  I'm sure you'll enjoy her blog!

Yum!

~MaryDeluxe

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Refrigerator Dough Part One: Making The Dough

As of late, I have been particularly engrossed in reading a book I picked out at the library called, "The Complete Tightwad Gazette", by Amy Dacyczyn. The book brings together thrifty ideas from the monthly newsletter, The Tightwad Gazette", that Amy wrote from 1990-1996. The book is full of all kinds of thrifty, frugal ideas! If you are looking for ways to save money, pay off debt, and live within your means, you must check out this book.

After reading the article about how versatile "refrigerator dough" is and how easy it is to make, I've decided to give it a go! I have to say, it was fairly easy to mix up. I also love that you simply put it in the fridge after mixing, where it rises on it's own. Another plus is that the dough will last up to 5 days. I would assume that this would work great for someone who likes to bake fresh bread or have fresh rolls with their meals. It's easy to pull some dough from the fridge, let it rise a bit, and then pop it in the oven! I'm sure you can start experimenting and coming up with all kinds of uses for this dough....cinnamon rolls, pizza crust, donuts....etc!

Refrigerator Dough Recipe
from Betty Crocker

Ingredients:
* 1 package regular active dry yeast (2 1/4 t)
* 1 1/2 cups warm water
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 t salt
* 2/3 cup butter, softened
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup lukewarm mashed potatoes
* 7 – 7 1/2 cups flour

 Directions:
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, butter, eggs, potatoes, and 4 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.

2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 5 days.

3. When you are ready to get baking, remove dough from refrigerator and gently push fist into dough to deflate.  Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Let rise 1 1/2 hours before baking.



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So, this was part one of my refrigerator dough experiment. Hopefully if all goes well, I will be able to provide you all with a part two that details what exactly I made with the dough! Perhaps some of you would like to experiment along with me? If anyone else would like to blog about what they've made from refrigerator dough, I would love to read about it!

Happy Baking!

~MaryDeluxe

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Creative Use For A Toolbox

I found an old metal toolbox a few months ago at an auction.  It's been hanging out in my craft/studio room ever since waiting for a purpose in life again.  It would be so easy to just put a few screw drivers and a hammer in there and be done with it, but lets think outside of the box a little bit...okay brain start thinking!


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That's when I decided to take this manly utilitarian object and give it a feminine twist by creating something to hold my fresh cut Spring flowers. I started by hunting down some appropriate sized ball canning jars that would fit inside the little toolbox. I found some of Sgt's jam jars and was surprised how perfect they fit inside. Then I added some colorful marbles to the bottom to help support my flower stems.


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I then proceeded to go cut some fresh flowers from my garden. My daisies are blooming like crazy right now! I was lucky enough to be in the garden just as a wild neighborhood turkey decided to have a casual stroll across the lawn.... Gobble, Gobble! To bad I didn't have my camera. I brought my flowers back inside and began to fill up the canning jars.

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Looks great on the kitchen table!  I love coming up with creative ideas on how to use objects differently than what their intended purpose was. Do you have any creative ideas to share?

~MaryDeluxe

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Weekend In Pictures

Life has been crazy busy around here lately.  Work, work, work, play, play, play, and work some more!  Never a dull moment around here.  May is my favorite month of the whole year and I love being outside working in the garden.  Even with all the work I've been doing planting flowers, growing veggies, and fixing up the back porch, I couldn't be happier.

The chickens have all grown up and now have free range of the gardens when we are outside working.  They are great gardening companions and I doubt we'll have much of a bug problem around here this year.  It's fun to watch them run around the garden and they each have their own little chicken personalities. 

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I spent the morning on the back porch washing down the siding on the house.  Sgt rebuilt the railings around the porch last fall and I have yet to get them painted.  I decided to start my porch project with a clean slat before I begin to paint.   I have big plans for the back porch this Summer!  My three boys have also been enjoying some relaxing time on the back porch.  Here you see them all lined up from oldest to youngest.  My 16 year old Remy, 3 year old Milo, and 10 month old Vinnie the brat! 

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No matter where you are, there always seems to be a chicken around!  Here's Sgt taking a break from his garden toils only to have a chicken run past.  Usually the chickens like to roost on Sgt when he's sitting still, but I think this time Sgt must have scared them off!  Scary Sgt.

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Sgt tilled a space in the upper garden today so I could get to planting my potato garden.  The potatoes took up to much space last year in the lower veggie garden, so this year I decided to expand the top garden by adding another garden bed.  I'm also hoping to make a space up there for zucchini and pumpkins.  


We have become over run with frogs in our pond.  This morning I counted 8 hiding in various places among the plant vegetation and rocks.  I happen to love frogs, most especially at night when they are singing their love songs, nothing says Summer to me like the sound of frogs and crickets chirping away.

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I've also been having some luck at yard sales.  Yesterday Sgt and I stopped off at one in a retirement area and found this 1950's umbrella.  Yup, now I have three really cool, 1950's, turquoise patio umbrellas.  For some strange reason I keep running across them??  So, I guess I'll just keep buying them...after all, they look fab in the garden! 

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We also went for a short motorcycle ride, did some laundry, Sgt went to the grocery store, and we ate some yummy strawberries.   Not such a bad weekend in my opinion!

Happy Tomorrow!
~MaryDeluxe

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Blue Gardenia




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The Blue Gardenia
1953
Starring.... Raymond Burr, Ann Sothern, Anne Baxter, and Richrd Conte
 Director: Fritz Lang
A telephone operator named Nora, gets caught up in the murder of a womanizing cad.

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  I think this film is definitely one of the big over looked films of 1953.  It has wonderful settings, a strong cast, and is very well directed, but gets overshadowed by Fritz Lang's other movie from 1953, The Big Heat.  It's a straightforward little film noir with clever dialog and murder-mystery/romance storyline.  Also has an appearance by Nat King Cole in the tiki bar.  

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The perfect movie for a rainy Friday night or a lazy Sunday afternoon!

~MaryDeluxe

Monday, May 14, 2012

Amish Sunday

Why so many Amish? Did she attend some sort of Amish rally? Join a new cult? Nah, I went to visit my Mom for Mother's Day and on Mother's Day there is always a Make a Wish truck convoy that takes place on the highway near her house. It always draws a BIG Amish crowd. They hang out on the over pass and watch the long line of trucks go by below them. I thought it was an unusually large crowd this year and Mom and I decided to walk down the road and have a look see. You have to be sneaky when you photograph Amish people. 


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If you're interested in learning more about my Mom's neighbors, the Amish, you can checkout the PA Amish Lifestyle website. 

Until next time,
~MaryDeluxe

Sunday, May 6, 2012

DeluxeVille Visits Dreamville Retro Bake Shop

Recently, Sgt and I where out exploring the back roads of Pa, (on a mission to score some bamboo plants that were listed for sale on craigslist) when we ran across a very cool little retro roadside bakery called Dreamville.  I don't know about you, but MaryDeluxe could not pass up the opportunity to check out a retro bakery called Dreamville!  And of course as long as food is involved, Sgt is completely in.  I asked Sgt to snap some pictures with his phone since I unfortunately left mine at home, and he also agreed to do a little write up of Dreamville for my blog post!  Perhaps "Sgt's Roadside Eats" will become a regular feature here on DeluxeVille?

~Dreamville Retro Bake Shop~
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Road food.  Sometimes you’re hungry and just want a little ‘something-something’ in the belly (the other ‘something-something’ comes at the end of the ride….  wink,wink).  If you’re ever riding around the back roads between Tatamy and Bath, PA (the beautiful, small town countryside north of 22), be sure to check out Dreamville.  If you’re hungry it’s the place to be (especially if you have a sweet tooth!), and if you’re not, you can grab something to go for later!

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Anchored in the middle of a 3-store strip mall it provides a haven to hungry travelers.  The interior has more in common with the farmland that surrounds the small strip mall then the empty store to either side.  It’s interior will provide some sustenance to the soul for those of us who hanker for ‘when times were simpler’ and the food matches the d├ęcor.  Everything is retro-fun!  This is more than road food… this is a deliciously simple lunch menu that packs a wallop to the taste buds, and a dream-come-true for those of us who are looking for that ‘special-awesome’ bakery. 

Make no bones about it: a serious look past the old-school candy laden shelves, vintage wall decorations and mid-century aprons lined up and for-sale, and one sees a ‘Rather-Serious-Bakery’.  Owned by Jess, we were lucky to stop in when she was running the place that day, on her own, while watching her 3 boys, too.  Despite taking an order for a wedding cake, selling the last of her cherry turnovers (that I had my eye on …. rats…), and stopping to run back and disentangle the boys from each other she whipped up a grilled cheese sandwich platter for the Mrs. and an ‘Elvis’ platter for me.

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So here’s where the serious part starts.  Food.  Specifically, Retro Lunch Food.  If you have gone camping you know that a simple bowl of soup followed by a cup of camp coffee and a peach cobbler that’s baked in the coals all night is pure heaven-on-Earth.  Something about that menu is better than if it was made at home.  The same is true for ‘Road Food’.   Except this isn’t your ‘typical Road Food though…. It’s definitely a few cuts above the ‘Old Hot Dawg Stand’…..  This is a Road Side Sweet Shack that delivers the goods, in Retro-style.  We’re not looking for something complicated.  We’re not looking to get overwhelmed by 14 pages of selections like the typical Jersey Diner Menu.  We want a few choices of good, easy, delicious, munchable fares to bring that wonderful fullness to our belly, a smile to our mouth and still leave enough room for a dessert.  There is a breakfast menu which includes waffles and is served all day, a short and simple lunch menu, a fun selection of retro soft drinks and shakes (and malts and egg creams) and desserts.   Dreamville fits the bill.  Especially when it comes to the deserts!  I would almost say that there is too much to choose from…. Almost.  And it’s all baked daily.  It was clear to me that when we stopped in Saturday afternoon, Jess had already put in a full day’s work!  She looked a bit tired, but then, she had shelves of fresh baked bread, turnovers, donuts, cupcakes, assorted cookies, chocolate covered bacon (yes, I said, chocolate covered bacon… dark chocolate!) other desserts, more desserts and desserts I had never seen, nor heard of before!  Oh, and did I mention she had her 3 sons in the back office? 

While Dreamville is first and foremost a dessert bakery, Jess has the foresight to offer a little bit more.  We were there for some lunch and I was glad to have a cup of freshly brewed coffee.  The Mrs. Munched on a grilled cheese made with homemade garlic bread and I  noshed on the Elvis: two, thick carved slabs of homemade white bread holding just the right amount of peanut butter (your choice of 4 types), bananas, and bacon.  All the above is grilled in butter (maybe pressed with a Panini, or an iron griddle weight… can’t tell Jess is like the Wizard of Oz, the magic takes place behind the curtain) and served with a small elephant ear pastry and several types of chips in a metal platter draped with wax paper. 

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Don’t get me started.  I know that if I attempt to make this at home it just won’t be the same.  It’ll be different, just like a bowl of soup, coffee and cobbler at home is not the same as eating around the campfire while stretching out sore muscles from sleeping on the ground all night.  Dreamville offers more than road food, Jess offers good food that makes the road something to remember.  There’s not a lot on the lunch menu…. But there shouldn’t.  It should be simple, creative, and delicious.  And it is.  One could argue that offering a ‘main entree menu’ with 14 pages of desserts, entrees, and side dishes hides the fact that the food is ‘So-So’ at best.  My experience would prove that to be true.  Check out the menu selection on line (see at bottom).  While you might think you want more, think quality over quantity.  If you think that everything on the dessert menu online will be there, think again.  You might want to call ahead to see if she can make something special for you, or maybe just to see if she isn’t sold out (I have to go back for the cherry turnovers and rumor has it the apple turnovers sell out even faster!) There are specials, too: coffee for a nickel between 8 and 9 AM.  This summer there will be fresh pies and ice cream.  All the fruit used in the desserts are fresh, not canned filling!  It’s clear the best ingredients are used by the Wizard of Dreamville, behind her curtain!  All of this and I haven’t even mentioned how reasonable the prices are!  They’re reasonable.  So much that I wonder how she stays in business!  There is a rumor that she is starting a Farmer’s / Flea Market on Wednesdays, too! 

Congratulations Jess, it’s clear that it takes a TON of hard work to make something beautiful happen and to do it well.  Also, for reminding us, that if you do something well, stick to it. And most of all, thanks for the awesome Retro Lunch that made my road trip something to remember! 

I’ll be stopping by again this summer. 

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 Here are four ways to checkout Dreamville Retro Bake Shop!  For my long distance readers, you can even order some yummy Dreamville cookies through Etsy!  How awesome is that!  For my local readers, Dreamville offers a huge variety of cupcake choices, see their website, I would definetly call ahead to see what varieties they have available that day.  You also might want to checkout their facebook page for daily specials!

The Shop:
Dreamville Retro Bake Shop
5753 Nor-Bath Blvd
Bath PA 18014
610-837-7717


Website:


On Etsy:


On Facebook:


*Thanks to Sgt for the photos and the great blog post about Dreamville! Oh and thanks to Sgt for stopping at that yard sale on the way home for me too! :)
Happy Travels!
~MaryDeluxe 


Saturday, May 5, 2012

WWII Air Show

The air show is coming, the air show is coming, the air show is coming!

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I've had the pleasure of attending this event a few times in the past and of course I'm all about the outfits!

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Here was what I wore the second year:
40's ruffle shirt
40's gab trousers
40's red cross shoes 

Reading WWII Air Show 

The year before that I wore this crepe/rayon dress with matching jacket.  I sold this dress a few years ago.  It was absolutely fabulous and I hope who ever bought it loves wearing it as much as I did!

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 Here's what I wore the first year:
Vintage 40's dress
remix shoes
vintage cuban heeled stockings

40's dress with jacket

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 What will I be pulling out of my closet this year?

See you at the air show!
~MaryDeluxe

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Few More Estate Auction Finds

Here are a few more finds from that fabulous estate auction I went to the other weekend.  As I stated in my previous post, this was a very neato estate with an over whelming amount of mid-century everyday items.  My purchases were kind of random at best.  When prices are high at auctions like this one, I generally pick out a few things that I really, really want and then try to obtain them while sticking to my budget.  It's really all about self control, knowing that things won't always go your way and accepting the old favorite MaryDeluxe phrase..."it just wasn't meant to be." There were so many wonderful things up for auction, but these were a few of my favorites.

A 1940's celluloid ring box in that wonderful seafoam green color I love so much.  I've been wanting an old ring box for a long time and don't run across them often at auctions.  I finally have a wonderful ring box worthy of keeping Grandma Fran's engagement ring in.


A box of ties from the 1940's and 50's.  The Sgt wears ties for work and prefers the skinny tie varieties.  There are 61 ties for Sgt to choose from.  That should keep him busy for awhile!


And finally, a new bakelite bangle for myself.  There was quite a good bit of bakelite jewelry there.  I had my eye on a few other pieces but this one fell in my price range so I had to snag it up!

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No more auctions for me for awhile!  I've got to start investing in the projects that need to get done around the Simple Acre this Spring.

Happy hunting, may your adventures be prosperous!

~MaryDeluxe

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Simple


Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are.  When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. 
 ~Lao Tzu