The Babe picked this pin out on our last trip down to Walt Disney World that features little Tinker Bell and a cute jar with cork in the top of Pixie Dust.  She wore it on her lanyard the entire trip and now it adorns the pin board that has somehow survived staying in the dining room of our place for like the past two months.  Nat must have bigger fish to fry or else this thing would have been booted upstairs faster than you can say 'post haste'.

I found these sweaters at an Estate Sale in Elmhurst and thought really hard about buying them.  No real reason, other than I was drawn to them.  Kinda strange, right?  Just look at that one above.  The 1966 across the chest?  That's just rad, isn't it?  And look how trim/slim it is??!?

And these below?  The orange one is awesome because of the orange.  Then add the chevrons on the arm, the pins on the letter in the middle?  The v-neck??

And this cardigan?  From the Glee Club?  Pretty awesome.
Alas, they didn't come home with me but I'm hoping that they went home with somebody.  And that they didn't end up in the garbage dump.
I've posted about all the various brass critters that we've come across and (most of the time) picked up at garage sales, estate sales and antique malls/stores.  This one, an elephant that is rearing it's trunk up was at the Naperville antique place on Ogden.  Earlier this year, I posted a couple of candle holder brass deer critters here on the blog.  These have always been gifts for my sister-in-law, but at some point, she said that she had *enough* critters, but now that she's moved into her big, beautiful house, I think we're back on in terms of getting her more critters.
Dr. Jeff brought over this Terreux Fruct Passion Fruit Berliner Weissbier from The Bruery for one of his beer tastings recently.  There aren't enough ratings over on Beer Advocate, so it isn't rated, but based on the other things he brought, I'm guessing it will rank pretty highly.  I tend to like these fruity-wheat beers (that's what this is, right??? I'm *so* not a beer sommelier!), and this one was interesting.  Can't drink tons of it, but enjoyed my half-a-glass.
As you can see, they were asking $12.50 for this beauty of a beer pitcher from Schlitz.  The slogan at the bottom reads - as you know - "The Beer that made Milwaukee Famous".  We don't have a house, let alone a place to put big glass pitchers like this, but if it is still around when we go back, I think I might grab this to start our barware collection that could reside in a potential butler's pantry.
Another weekend, another garage sale find.  This one is a book that I picked up for the girls.  And with our trip planned for Paris, this Madeline booked seemed super appropriate.  And look at the adorable drawings inside:

And this little intro blurb - that isn't an intro blurb:

But...*this* is what sealed the deal!  Look at this adorable little note that one young lady wrote to her 'new friend Susanne' when she gifted her this book.  Get together and talk about it at the Medina Pool?!?!  How awesome and perfectly entitled is that?!

Added this one to the "vintage books" tag page here.  Check it out to see other posts featuring some garage sale/estate sale finds we've had in the book category.
Consider this the second in the series of Snapple Chicago Bears "Real Facts".  Here's the first one on the blog that features a little nugget about their 2002 season that was spent down in Champaign at Memorial Stadium.

Seems like a totally random campaign, doesn't it?  Are these 'facts' localized to the NFL markets?  Don't get me wrong...I love me some Diet Snapple Half/Half and Peach Tea, but this weird campaign?  Not so sure.

But, back to the fact.  They moved into Soldier Field just back in 1971?  Hard to believe, right?  The Chicago Cardinals used it before the Bears it seems, while the Bears played at Wrigley Field from 1921 to 1970.  

Recently, I found myself in Southern California for some meetings and as one is wont to do, we ended up at a pizza place.  This place wasn't a local outlet, however.  It was one of the outposts of the Grimaldi's Coal-Fired Oven 'chain'.  I say 'chain', because I didn't know it was a chain.

I've read and heard all about Grimaldi's and Patsy's (and presumed they were one and the same!) and have recently dug around to understand the current dynamics and who *exactly* is behind this current Grimaldi's.  Turns out Patsy Grimaldi founded Grimaldi's, but then sold that place to a dude back in 1998.  Patsy is still in the pizza biz, but under another name.  From GrubStreet:
Christening a restaurant is never simple. But the question of what Patsy Grimaldi would call his new pizzeria was further complicated by the fact that he was legally barred from following the long-standing tradition of just naming it after himself. He couldn’t call it Patsy’s—he had called an earlier place that and been sued by the restaurateur who owned the rights to that name. Nor could he call it Grimaldi’s. For business purposes, his last name belongs to one Frank Ciolli, to whom he sold his iconic pizzeria under the Brooklyn Bridge in 1998. In the end, the 81-year-old chose to call the place Juliana’s, after his mother. It helped that the trademark was unclaimed.
And that the place called Patsy's (the original one, that is) isn't from Patsy Grimaldi, but some guy named Pasquale Lancieri.  And the name has been licensed and used all over the place.  From Serious Eats:
You see, when the original Patsy, Pasquale Lancieri, died in the late 1970s, his widow, Carmella, sold the pizzeria to longtime employees Frank Brija and John Brecevich. In 1995 Nick Tsoulos (owner of the Angelo's and Goodburger chains) made an arrangement with these new proprietors to license the Patsy's name and chain out a number of them. 
All the while, the original Patsy's in East Harlem would operate under its own name, doing what it had always done since 1933. 
So, yes, the mini chain Patsy's bought the name and branding, but that's the only way it's related.
So...with that out of the way, let's talk about pizza and this outpost in El Segundo, California.  Turns out, Grimaldi's has over 50 locations in the usual pizza places for chains like Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas.  Guessing that's because there's a ton of NYC retirees.  This location is in a corporate office park, but is a huge restaurant and nicely decorated.  Didn't feel terribly vanilla on the inside.

The menu shows off the blistered, coal-fired pies in all their glory.
You can get three sizes, but the 12" personal pie is just about right for everyone.

We ordered a few different pies including this pepperoni and mushroom.

And a margherita.  They were cooked perfectly.  Well done to the pizzaiola.

And here's the upskirt:

Was it the best pie ever?  Nope.  But for being a chain in a suburban California office park?  Not too shabby.  Here's my review of Coalfire in Chicago.  Does this place stack up?  Not really, but like I *is* a chain after all.
That above is a cabinet of little vintage Christmas items that is located in a booth in the Great Lakes Antique Mall in Coloma, Michigan.  I've documented this very cabinet for the past few years.  I don't appear to have taken a photo of the cabinet in January of this year, so this one is about six months later than normal.

Here's a post showing what the cabinet looked like in January of 2015.
Here's the photo from our 2014 trip.'s a photo of the case from 2013 trip.

I've looked back and forth between today's image and the one from January of 2015 and I see VERY little difference.  Wonder if the stuff isn't moving?  The shelf in the middle looks a bit more crowded, but I can't confirm that there are indeed, more or less.  Can you?

We've grown potatoes over the years, but I don't recall any of them blooming like the ones we are growing this year where they have big, white flowers.  I believe that these flowers are coming off just one of the two varieties - the purple ones called Magic Mollies - that we planted this year.  See this post to see them both.

The girls are excited to see the tubers throw up their shoots and now flower and The Babe learned all about the structure of flowers in Kindergarten, so she was happily pointing out the stamen and such to me all last night.  
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