Featured blog post

I was featured on A Nifty Disposition

Check out the post, If loving organization is wrong I don't want to be right, on Brandi's blog by clicking HERE


Current Obsessions: October

Current Obsessions: October

1. Announcing that we're expecting!!!!
 Our precious baby will arrive (on or around) April 20th, 2012!

2. Halloween, of course, and all that the holiday encompasses!

3. Finally getting to wear cardigans, sweaters, tights, boots, scarves, etc! Yay, autumn weather, and YAY layers!

4. Pumpkin patches, apple orchards, cider mills, and corn mazes!!!
Michigan is loaded with places like these, and I adore them all!
image c/o Pure Michigan 
5.Celebrating our fourth anniversary on October 26th!
Dinner, carving pumpkins, corn mazes, pumpkin patches- oh! so much fun getting married at the end of October!  (pictures in a later post!)

6. Halloween films!

7. pumpkin flavored anything!!
 For my super yummy pumpkin related recipes, click HERE.

8.thethriftshopper[dot]com national thrift store directory that locates all thrift stores near you, so handy!

9.Michigan! Never thought I would say that, but I do love it here!

10.reading about Patti Smith's early life- swoon!
 Patti Smith photo source

Let it be known that I've always hated the way ANY and all Febreze scents smell, and I never buy them. But upon not being able to run over to Bath and Body Works for refills on Autumn Leaves... I just picked up some Febreze at the store while grocery shopping. It. Smells. Amazing! Ugh, but it's only available for a limited time being a "holiday scent" and all :( 

 12. Autumn in Michigan!!! 
SO insanely beautiful everywhere you go. Autumn is my absolute favorite season, and I'm so glad to be celebrating the exquisite autumn foliage once again! 


bits of lately

  1. The "Halloween" DIY version of these creepy thrift store paintings.
  2. Acorns and damp autumns leaves on the balcony in the early morning fog...
  3. Edgar Allan Poe on vinyl 
  4. some of my Halloween decor
  5. view of autumn foliage from our living room
  6. hot chocolate, journals, and searching for new places to visit via my GPS

Vintage Halloween

A few interesting and perhaps slightly morbid vintage Halloween pictures...

All images and sources can be found HERE.


Thrift Score

I finally got to go thrifting since moving to Michigan. Did I mention that there are at least ten thrift stores within 3.5 miles of where I live?! Insane! So today we hit six of them. Some were a bust, others completely awesome!
Now I know it's been said to be "tacky" to say how much you spent on something... but personally I like to see what others paid as compared to maybe what I paid or what prices I've seen for said item on Etsy and the like.


Lots of vintage art work that match our other wall art- prices ranging from .40 cents to $2.00; vintage crewel flower framed wall art- paid .99 cents. With a new paint job on the frame it will look great on our wall!

I scored this vintage Pyrex carafe for $2.00 at some random Christian thrift store!!!! I was pumped, but credit for the find goes to my hubs who looks around for pyrex in thrift and antique stores (he knows my weakness). It's the gold diamond and star-burst design, circa 1960s. I've seen prices for this exact one range from $15.00 to $50.00!

White ceramic bowl with mid-century gold design on the outer rim and inside the bowl  made by Georges Briard -paid $1.00!!! The majority of his stuff goes for an obscene amount on Etsy!!! I tried to research this bowl and could not find one like it online. THIS is the only thing I've found close to it, at least it's the same design. (my bowl is designed and signed by Georges Briard).

Vintage clear glass candy dish (had to purchase it was only .99 cents). They still make these, but the majority I've seen are plastic.

Large vintage wooden canister- $2.00 hubs purchased this to store his coffee.

(not pictured) A new with-the-tag-on-it grey long cardigan sweater from The Limited, fits like a glove!- $4.99. AND a late 1970s paper towel holder, wooden, paid .70 cents. Will repuropse this by repainting!

We didn't find any furniture... which was a bummer. I was looking for a few tables to repurpose for our new place. And maybe a vintage couch. We seen one, but decided against purchasing it. There are still TONS of thrift stores we have yet to hit, not to mention all the antique stores as well! Now everyone knows how I'll be spending my Saturdays! :)


Greetings from Michigan: an update

Oh my goodness...
We've had such a LONG and tiring few weeks.
Packing, packing, packing, and driving across the country... hotels, long days of driving, getting our new place, starting the new job, unloading cars and uhauls.... unpacking, unpacking, unpacking, rearranging, decorating, shopping, unpacking, endless unpacking and decorating...

The weather is cold and the foliage is exquisite!
I adore our new apartment, because it does not look or feel like an apartment!!!! It's vintage architecture (reminiscent of 1970s Manhattan) is nestled in the woods, so we're surrounded by all sorts of trees and even a stream that leads to a large pond/lake. You cannot even see the other apartment buildings for all the trees- so nice!

Starting next week I'll have new posts up (with pictures)! Finally, something to look forward to on this site, ha!


Recipe: Pumpkin Banana Bread

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Prep: 25 minutes   
Bake: 45 minutes    
Cool: 10 minutes   
Stand: overnight   Oven: 350°

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cooking oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. apple-pie spice or mix of 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2/3 cup apple cider or water
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1 medium ripe banana, mashed (1/2 cup)
1 6-oz. pkg. dried cranberries (optional)

1. Grease bottoms and 1/2 inch up sides of four 7 1/2x3 1/2x2-inch or two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a very large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed beat sugars and oil. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, soda, salt, and pie spice. Alternately add dry mixture and cider to sugar mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin and banana. Stir in cranberries, if using.

3. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes for small pans or 50 to 60 minutes for larger pans or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. If necessary, cover with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. Makes 4 small loaves or 2 large loaves (32 servings).

MAKE AHEAD: Seal cooled bread in an airtight freezer container or plastic freezer bag; freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator or 6 hours at room temperature.

Per serving: 152 cal., 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 26 mg chol., 199 mg sodium, 24 g carbo., 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g protein.

ORANGE VARIATION: Add 2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel with the pie spice.
SUBSTITUTION: Use chopped toasted nuts instead of the dried cranberries.

content © Annalee Hodges

Follow on Bloglovin


Full Moon October

Full Harvest Moon – October This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.
This is the month when the leaves are falling and the game is fattened. Now is the time for hunting and laying in a store of provisions for the long winter ahead. October's Moon is also known as the Travel Moon and the Dying Moon.

Other Names of the October Full Moon:
  • Colonial American: Hunter's Moon
  • Chinese: Kindly Moon
  • American Indian (Cherokee): Harvest Moon
  • American Indian (Choctaw): Blackberry Moon
  • American Indian (Dakotah Sioux): Moon When Quilling and Beading is Done
  • Celtic: Harvest Moon
  • Neo Pagan: Blood Moon
  • English Medieval:  Blood Moon


  & packing.
  & packing.

Professor Higgins is scared that he'll get left behind.


Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Prep: 45 minutes   Bake: 30 minutes   Stand: 30 minutes
Cool: 10 minutes; 15 minutes   Oven: 350°F


1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 recipe Browned Butter Frosting (see recipe, below)
1 1/4 cups chopped, toasted pecans
Ground cinnamon mixed with ground cloves or pumpkin pie spice (optional)


1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 8x1 1/2-inch round cake pans; set pans aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl stir together buttermilk and pumpkin. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour into prepared pans, spreading evenly.

3. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks.

4. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread top with some of the Browned Butter Frosting. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining Browned Butter Frosting on top and sides of cake. Press pecans into frosting on sides of cake. If desired, place a pumpkin stencil on top of cake. Place cinnamon-clove mixture or pumpkin pie spice in a sieve and sift spice atop cake; remove stencil. Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 687 cal., 29 g fat (12 g sat. fat), 77 mg chol., 271 mg sodium, 105 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 4 g pro.

BROWNED BUTTER FROSTING: In a small saucepan heat 3/4 cup butter over medium heat until melted. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue heating until butter turns the color of light brown sugar. Adjust heat as needed to maintain a simmer (reduce heat if butter spatters). Remove from heat; let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. In a very large mixing bowl combine 6 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add browned butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on medium to high speed, adding additional milk, if necessary, to reach spreading consistency. Frosting may set up upon standing. Beat in additional milk if it becomes too firm to spread. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

content © Annalee Hodges

Follow on Bloglovin

Featured on Tasty Tuesdays


Banned Books Week


September 24−October 1, 2011

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.
This blog has tons of information on banned book, I do recommend checking it out.
Also, click here or here for more information on Banned Books Week.
To learn more about banned authors, click here.

On July 21, 1998, the Radcliffe Publishing Course compiled and released its own list of the century’s top 100 novels, at the request of the Modern Library editorial board. The following list are said books.

In honor of BBW, as an avid reader, I'll underline each of the banned books that I've read. 
Of course there are lots more banned books, these are just the classic novels.
  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses by James Joyce
  7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  9. 1984 by George Orwell
  10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
  12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  13. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  17. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
  23. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  27. Native Son by Richard Wright
  28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  32. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  37. The World According to Garp by John Irving
  38. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
  39. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
  40. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  41. Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
  42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
  45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  48. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  49. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  51. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  52. Howards End by E.M. Forster
  53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  56. Jazz by Toni Morrison
  57. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  58. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  59. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  60. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  61. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
  62. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  63. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  64. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
  65. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
  66. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  68. Light in August by William Faulkner
  69. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
  70. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  71. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  72. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
  74. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  75. Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
  76. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
  77. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
  78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Tokias by Gertrude Stein
  79. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  81. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  82. White Noise by Don DeLillo
  83. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
  84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  85. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  86. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
  87. The Bostonians by Henry James
  88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  89. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  90. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  91. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  92. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  93. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
  94. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
  95. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  96. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  98. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster
  99. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  100. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

 Other banned books (some may be repetitive to the list above) that are more widely known. I'll do the same as the list before by placing in bold & underlining the banned books I've read.

  • A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain
  • The Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follett
  • Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  • The Pigman by Paul Zendel
  • Halloween ABC by Eve Marriam
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • How To Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  • Where The Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak
  • Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by mark Twain
  • All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  • American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
  • The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
  • Anastasia Again by Lois Lowry
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl
  • Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? by Judy Blume
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolf Anaya
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Call of The Wild by Jack London
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Bridge of Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Christine by Stephen King
  • Cujo by Stephen King
  • The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
  • The Face On The Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
  • Women on Top by Nancy Friday
  • The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Collier
  • Lord of The Flies by William Golding
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  • The Holy Bible
  • A Light In The Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • In The Night Room by Maurice Sendak
  • Jay’s Journal by anonymous
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
  • The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  • A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  • Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin
  • The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice
  • Goosebumps series by R.L. Stein
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  • Native Son by Richard Wright
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Howl by Allen Ginsberg
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
  • Ulysses by James Joyce