Sunday, February 27, 2011

the scenic route.

never fear, we/i have returned! i know the 1 week hiatus had many of you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering as to what could possibly keep me from posting.

well, i was taking the scenic route. from Los Angeles to Austin to be exact.

on this journey east i consumed far too much gas station coffee, ate way too much sonic and fell in love with life just a bit more.

*as an aside, the gas station coffee has seemingly upped the ante as of late, i only felt absolutely miserable after my stop in sweetwater, tx.

i really enjoy road trips and i certainly hope all of you do as well. not a car person? try a short day trip and grow from there. it would do you well to see the stars from an open sunroof with the heater blasting on your feet.

on this short 3 day trip i had the opportunity to visit the grand canyon for the first time. never been? go. been every year since you were 7? do tell! i enjoyed my experience there (as did my best friend and handicapped dog) despite the five degree temperatures. yes, you read that correctly: five. as in -27. as in 'holy crap i wish i had packed 54 pairs of leggings and shoes other than flip flops.' i digress.

the beauty of our surroundings continues to amaze me. if you haven't been to the grand canyon, or even out to mount bonnell, take a day. pack a lunch. go and soak it up. if nothing else, take the scenic route.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

cupid had a point.

i hope this all finds you recovering from your candy heart comas after such a wonderful (right?!) monday!

since the whole valentine's day seems to be somewhat played out and usually conjures up feelings of a)puppies, posies and fairy tale romances or b) bitter, angry resentment towards innocent (?) greeting card companies and seemingly happy couples, i'm going to steer clear from the subject. mostly.

we've all heard how we need to treat everyone like it's valentine's day each day. the argument of 'why should you just show someone you love them on only one day out of the year.. that is ridiculous!' is replayed over and over as an attack on the day cupid became famous. however, what would that look like? no, not cupid traipsing around the city everyday, but actually looking at each day as an opportunity to show little signs of love.

each of us have different things that pull at our heart strings. what is it that tugs on yours? and to further that question, what are you (or could you be) doing about it?

i'm not asking for 7 hours a week at a local animal shelter (which would be awesome) or thousands of dollars a year to a specific organization (also awesome) but something that can be done in the here and now. for me, i like to have little goodie bags in my back seat.

i usually carry anywhere between 5 and 10 with me for those moments where i'm stuck at a light and someone is holding up a clever sign asking for some sort of help. i rarely have cash on me so the goodie bags were an easy and practical solution for me. i keep them relatively simple and generic and, from my experience, they are usually pretty well received. (i did have one incident where applesauce was seen to be not-the-equivalent to the desired pack of cigarettes in which i was actually splattered with the apple sauce as it was flying past my face, but that was in LA and people are crazy. don't let that deter you, ha)

what's in the bags you ask?
-granola bars (i use those natures valley ones because i feel like they taste better longer, plus you get two per package. bonus!)
-peanut butter or cheese cracker pack
-applesauce (although i am a little skittish these days)
-whole wheat pop-tarts. whole grains are healthy for everyone. shell out a couple more cents for the whole grain goodness
- a little note saying something along the lines of 'you are loved' or 'love and be love' which may or may not be used as a napkin. i choose to believe the message is received through osmosis when that is the case
- trail mix packs
(all packaged in a ziplock baggie. not the most eco-friendly, but i figure they can reuse it easier than a paper lunch sack)

basically i pick things that i like and have a pretty long shelf life. now, this is just one tiny example of showing love in simple, everyday ways.

what are some things that you all do? do you have the opportunity to volunteer at a local organization? if so, which ones? i would love to link them on the blog so do tell! do you have date nights with your friends and their kiddos? maybe you offer to watch the chillins one night so the couple can have a dinner without spaghetti being launched through the air. do you tutor after school?

if you aren't currently doing anything, that's okay too. let me know ways that you experience love throughout the day-to-day. i would love to hear about them.

so see, not too much lovee dovee valentines none-sense, right?

i look forward to the days you walk into the shop and we can talk about all of this over a cuppa coffee. until then, love and be love!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

hey sugar.

i love sugar.

this love has, in the past, caused me to take up the hobby of baking. meaning of course, i have been known to throw some flour, sugar and eggs together to come up with some food-coma inducing treats. and what goes better with coffee than pastries, right? i mean, other than scrabble...

in the case of vintage heart, i am putting down my mixer and instead seeking out the trusty hands of fellow austinites who absolutely dominate in the baking world. as a soon-to-be-local coffeeshop, i would love to support fellow locals who are doing things that they love.

so here comes the (ever so predictable) part where i ask you: who do you love? (no i don't mean your puppy or your bff...although i do have a cute puppy..i digress) where do you go when the craving for something sweet strikes? is it quacks? tiffs? hey cupcake? do tell! what is it that you love about their product? what do you always get?

not into sweets? well, know first, that i envy you. i wish i could go a day without pillaging my cabinets looking for something to satisfy the craving. what is it that you pair with your coffee? a bagel? toast? nothing?

me? i'm a scone girl. you can just about guarantee that my favorite days start out with a cup of drip coffee and a (cranberry lemon!) scone. perfect start to those perfect days.

hope this finds you all doing well, and WARM! can we just talk about the crazy weather? seriously, austin. seriously.

let me know you stopped in by 'following'! i would love to say hello to you as well!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

pack your bags.

let's talk bags. no, i'm not talking coach. i'm not talking louis vuitton. i'm talking disposable bags. grocery sacks maybe?

i mentioned earlier that VH is going to try desperately to limit waste and find creative ways to recycle.  one thing i feel very passionately about is limiting what we 'need' and what we use. one way of doing that is through reusable items. i want to encourage the use of 'for here' cups and lessen the rush we typically associate with our morning coffee, but that is for another post. today, let's talk bags.

many cities in california as well as many municipalities throughout europe have imposed plastic bag bans.  usually along with the bans, is a built-in bag tax.  there are several sites dedicated to the specifics regarding the campaign behind the ban, but if you want just a general overview, this is a good place to start.

while in a (seemingly) never ending search for the most planet friendly packaging, i think about 'the bag.' i hope to have a small retail area so that you can all stock up and gift every single person you know with only the best of vintage heart memorabilia, and with those mass purchases, you would obviously need something to carry them in. so i ask you, how often to you bring your own bag?

the popularity of the canvas tote bag has been on the rise and they are available at just about any grocery store and boutique. do you use them? do you find them practical? is it just more of a nuisance? do you like the idea of using them but have a hard time remembering to pack them?

i ask merely because i'm curious, and i wonder how such a ban would work in austin. in most (if not all) of the cities that impose these bans, an additional tax on each bag you leave with is also imposed. what about in vintage heart? what do you think would work? paper bags? reusable bags for sale? a small fee, say $.50 charge? too high? do tell. what are your thoughts?

i know several of the followers and readers of the blog are from various places around the u.s. what do you think? does your city have any such taxes or ordinances? how do you think a plastic bag ban would work in your area? do you already use reusable bags?

i'll keep you posted on the status of vintage heart and it's unceasing search for 'perfect products' but until then, share with me your thoughts. leave a comment and let me know how much you love your canvas tote or despise the idea of being charged for a bag. i'd love to hear from you.

for more information regarding plastic bag bans in other locations:
san francisco
australia and a little more ireland
austin's trying! more here