All posts by Pamela Petrus

Easter Goodies.

Rather than folding and putting away laundry, which was on the to-do list for yesterday afternoon, I decided to make some Easter goodies! Matt wanted to take Easter candy to the front desk folks at TP Outdoors, and I wanted to make some goody bags for our girls at Salt & Pepper.

Easter CandyI had an Easter pail, bags, and grass already, so I just ran and picked up some candy. Then, I pulled out some old scrapbook supplies and made tags. I took it a step further by making little eggs for each of the tags. I used butterfly stickers to attach the tags and flower stickers to close the bags. (I’ll admit that I got a little carried away…it’s what I do.)

Easter tagsEaster GoodiesSometimes you just gotta blow that to-do list and do something else that strikes your fancy. Today, I fancied making Easter goodies for people we love. I think it’s worth it, especially to put a smile on someone’s face. I’ll get to that laundry next week. I hope you all have a happy Easter!

Much love!
Matt & Pamela

Spring Market 2013: The Purse Fence & My Big Mistake

Building the purse fence for Spring Market 2013 brought its share of challenges, so I thought I’d share the process. There’s a pretty funny story here, so be sure to read to the end.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the hubby had a great idea of building the purse wall into a fence to fit with the outdoor theme I was going with. We purchased 1×8’s at 10′ long to be tall enough to fill most of the wall space in our booth. I was going to use pipe pegs as we’ve used throughout our store, but we decided to cut pegs from 1×2’s instead so it wouldn’t be so heavy.

Supply list:
9 1×8’s at 10′ long
4 1×4’s at 10′ long (to connect the fence)
27′ of 1×2’s to create 27 pegs at 12″ long
54 L brackets
Screws
Drill
1/2 gallon paint
Brushes

Fence postsPegs with bracketsMatt put the individual slats together while I was at work. As you can see, he cut the corners of the tops of the 1×8’s to look like fence posts. Then, he cut the 1×2 into 12″ pegs and measured how far apart they needed to be in order to hang purses. He screwed the pegs in from the back of the 1×8 and added an L bracket for extra support. We decided the pegs needed a bracket on the top as well, so I added them later.

Adding two brackets

My first injury of the day.
My first injury of the day.

For some reason, we were both seeing green when we talked about the fence, so we went with this great green color. My mom came down on a Saturday to help me get everything painted. She was sick of seeing green by the end of the day!

Green paint.

The transformation begins...

Icee...yum!
The most important tool on the list!
Mom painting.
Mom hard at work….she’s going to kill me. Seriously.

Me painting.

My green hand

Fence posts in the tree.And here’s the finished project! (See the full Spring Market post here.)

Spring Market 2013
I was pretty shaken up by the events of the day (see below), so I ended up putting the connecting boards in the wrong place. Ideally, there would have been boards going horizontally across the top so that it actually looked like a fence. Instead, I put them on the bottom, behind the tables, where you can’t see them. Sorry honey!!

Spring Market 2013So…as I mentioned earlier, there would be a funny story at the end.  Well, I said that we made 9 fence posts, but if you notice in the picture of the booth, there’s only 8. What happened to the other one?? Well, what had happened was…. (Isn’t that how all of the good stories start?) …my nephew and I came to my house to load up the fence boards and got distracted by gathering supplies, unloading lawnmowers, etc. So…we ended up leaving the house without closing the door to the cargo trailer. Yep, you read that right…I drove from my house to TP Outdoors (approximately 2.5 miles) with the door to the trailer down. Luckily, the trailer wasn’t damaged along the way, but we did lose one of the fence posts. Oops! If you happened to see a random 10′ long green thing in the middle of the road somewhere along Park Ave./Riverside Dr. or on the Louisville Bridge….that was mine.

(Disclaimer: I swear that I don’t usually do such air-headed things. I’m going to blame this one on exhaustion and the madness of Spring Market.)

Anyone else ever done something this utterly stupid? Please share if you have so that I don’t feel so dumb!

Spring Market 2013

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but work has gotten in the way. (Silly job!) We just wrapped up Spring Market 2013, and it’s taken up practically all of my time the past two weeks. Soooo…since Spring Market has been my life recently, I thought I’d share!

At Salt & Pepper, we are known for doing things outside the box. Our Spring Market booths are no exceptions. Here are a few pics of years past. As you can see, we don’t roll in slat board racks like most do. Of course, we’re going to do things the hard way!

Spring Market 2010 - Our first year!
Spring Market 2010 – Our first year!
Spring Market 2010 - Hate this sign was ruined in the flood =(
Spring Market 2010 – Hate this sign was ruined in the flood =(
Spring Market 2011
Spring Market 2011
Spring Market 2011 - rusted tin
Spring Market 2011 – Boy, that tin was a pain to haul in and install!
Spring Market 2012 - pallets galore!
Spring Market 2012 – This was an awesome year! Wish you could see all of the little details.
Spring Market 2012 - railroad timbers
Spring Market 2012 – Those timbers were HEAVY!

Last year our store was closed while we were waiting on the new building to be built, so getting ready for the market was much easier. The hubby built us those amazing pallet walls and hauled in the railroad ties to build that awesome clothes rack. (I often tell people that I married him after I saw how talented he was. Hehe!) On a serious note, Spring Market 2012 is where Matt & I got our start. He helped design and set up our booth, and I was amazed at how well we worked together. Who knew that we’d be married by Spring Market 2013!

We used the pallets and railroad timbers in the new store design, so we were back to square one on this year’s market booth. Purses are always tough to display in the booth, so I knew we needed something similar to the pallet walls, to make use of the wall space. I like to fill up every possible inch!

During our brainstorming dinner, I decided to go with a spring yard theme…as if you were hanging out on your front porch. I had a flower project that I wanted to try from Pinterest, and we had some unused astroturf rugs from a previous project. I finally decided to just prop some 1×8’s with pegs on the wall and use those for purses. Then, the hubby had the genius idea to make that into a fence…fitting perfectly with our outdoor theme! I tell ya, I think he has to be the smartest man in the whole world. (I’ll post more about this process and the flower project later this week.)

So, here we have it! Another successful Spring Market at the Monroe Civic Center!

Spring Market 2013
Why didn’t I notice that one box of shoes out of place before now?! What a shame!

Spring Market 2013Spring Market 2013Spring Market 2013Spring Market 2013I have to scream a huge thanks to my hubby for his building skills; my nephew, Cody, for helping to set up; my sister for running the store while I was on lock down at the Civic Center; and our FABULOUS staff for working late nights and long hours to pull this event together. I am pretty blessed with an amazing team!

So, what do you think of the booth??

Update: See more from our Spring Market booth here.

Big Things

Little things are big things journalSince Matt & I have been married, I’ve been in search of the perfect journal to keep notes about our adventures. Both Matt & I have pretty awful memories, so I’m afraid that we will eventually forget about a lot of the great times that we’ve had.

I’ve literally searched for months, looked practically everywhere, and not found anything that felt right. (Plus, Matt vetoed most of them!) I’ve even looked at genuine leather, custom made books that were hundreds of dollars and still didn’t feel like I’d found the right book. Well, this week I stumbled across this little fella at none other than TJ Max and thought it was perfect! And to make it even more exciting, it was only $5!

What do I plan to do with it? I don’t plan on actually journaling the events. I won’t write detailed accounts of everything. Instead, it’ll just be quick notes about what we did and why it was special. For example, I’ll include things like this: May 2012 – the time that we sat on the floor in his living room and talked for 4 hours.

This was a turning point in our relationship and the day that we both knew there was something different about our relationship. There are several little things like this that I don’t want to forget, and I know there will be hundreds more. Now, we have a cute little book to jot them down in to provoke our memories if we start to forget. I think this will be a treasure to have one day when we’re old and gray. It’ll also be useful on those days when we won’t really like each other! We can use it as a reminder maybe??

See why this book is so perfect? It will be full of “little things” that are actually big things for the two of us. Be sure to celebrate these little things in your relationships. They’re often the most important.

Blank pages waiting to be filled
Black pages for writing lots & lots of special memories.

This type of book would also work well for jotting down special memories of your kids. They’d love to read it later on! If you have kids that are older or you’re years in to a relationship, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve missed too much already. No way! It’s never too late to start. Even if you’ve missed several years, it’s better to have something to look back at rather than nothing. So, go ahead…get started! Find a little notebook like this one and starting jotting things down. You’ll be happy to have it later and so will your loved ones.

Anyone already do something like this?? I’d love to hear about it!

I’ma Do Me.

I’ma do me.

I all to often worry way too much about how my decisions and actions affect other people. I spend time analyzing everything that I say and do…wondering how it makes other people feel or what they’ll say about me. (I’m a chronic worrier…just ask my husband.)

My shadow.Well, on my walk to work, I came to some harsh realizations. I’m given one life. Just one. And what I have so far is a pretty amazing one. If people out there, friend or foe, don’t want to support me, stand behind me, love me for who I am, and encourage me, then so be it. I’ma do me.

High voltage.
If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

I still have a lot that I want to see and do, but I can’t help but feel like I’m at my prime. I’m a newlywed with a husband that I’m crazy about. I have a growing, thriving business. I’m embarking on new adventures everyday (real estate and this very blog, for example). I have a cute little house in the perfect neighborhood. Lets face it…I love my life!

All too often I reel in my own excitement for fear of what other people think or for fear of making others feel unfortunate. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m not going to let somebody else’s thoughts, fears, insecurities, ideals, or opinions affect the way that I want to live my life or the way in which I’m excited and proud of where I am right now.  No longer will I let the disgruntlement and opinions of others put a damper on my accomplishments. I’ma do me.

(Yes, this is a play off of a rap song. Rocko said it best in “Umma Do Me,” and this song played over and over in my head while I was walking. Along with “This Girl is on Fire” by Alicia Keys.)

Kicking ass and taking names!
I’m kicking ass and taking names! (Pardon the French…it’s just how I felt.)

This is my one life and right now I’m on top of the world. Feel free to follow along. Or don’t. Either way, I’ma do me.

On top of the world.
I’m on top of the world! (It’s really the top of a ditch on the side of the road, but still.)

I’ma do me.

Walk to Work

Running Shoes in the GrassI walked/ran to work today. Well, not to actually work…that would be gross. I decided at the last minute to squeeze an ad into the new Bayou Life Magazine and had to get outfits together for a photo shoot. (Look for Salt & Pepper in the April issue!)

I live about 2.5 miles from the store, so it wasn’t too bad of a trek. Besides, it’s a beautiful day and the perfect opportunity to get in some exercise. I ran about half of the way and walked the rest. (I didn’t want to be a total mess when I got there!)

Ouachita River from the Levee

Lea Joyner Bridge on Foot
Crossing the bridge on foot was a tad scary with those grates moving up and down as cars passed! Yikes!

This walk was one of the best ideas I’ve had in a long time. It was a chance to clear my head, a chance to admire the beauty and serenity of my surroundings. During this commute, I thought through some things for work, relaxed a tad, wrote this blog post (and the beginning of another one), and solved a few of the worlds problems, not to mention the actual exercise…multitasking at its finest!

Dandelions

Dandelion in the Wind
I tried to capture me blowing the dandelion into the wind. It was only somewhat successful.

Most importantly, this walk got me back to my happy place. A place where I feel good about life. A place where I am happy and content.

The weather man says tomorrow is going to be just as pretty here. So get out and enjoy it! It doesn’t matter what you do…just go outside and do something that makes you happy and soak up this wonderful sunshine!

Cleaning Out Your Closet

The night we came home from Memphis, I unpacked my suitcase and went into beast mode in my closet. My darling husband convinced me to turn an extra bedroom into a closet (Why wouldn’t I marry him after that?!), but I’ve spent months trying to get it set up properly and more efficiently. Something on the ride home made me determined to make it happen.

This room is a work in progress, so I’ll be sharing more about it as I go along. This post is about cleaning out your closet. (That could also be about cleaning negative things out of your life, but I meant it in the literal sense.) You must clean out clutter before you can get an area organized.

Honestly, it’s quite sad that I had an entire room for a closet, and I still didn’t have room for everything. Every area was spilling over, and it felt like I could never get everything squared away. I decided that I needed to get rid of more stuff. This is the 3rd time I’ve “cleaned out my closet” in the last 4 months. Even though I’ve already gotten rid of a ton of stuff (3 storage tubs and a big box full + a few garbage bags), I still felt overwhelmed by the amount of clothes crammed into one room. Somehow I still managed to purge 2 full garbage bags of stuff.

Garage Sale PileThere are tons of suggestions on the Internet for how to clean out a closet and I’ve tried a few of them. After all, this is a very daunting task for me…I hate getting rid of anything! So here’s how I finally did it.
1. One of the most important things to think about while cleaning out a closet, is to get rid of anything that no longer fits well, isn’t flattering, or is damaged. Don’t keep a shirt with a hole in it even though the tear could be covered with a jacket. If it’s stained, throw it out. Period. Even more importantly, don’t keep anything that you don’t feel great in. One of the most common bits of fashion advise that I give is to only wear things that you feel great in. If those jeans are just a little too tight and give you even the slightest muffin top, get rid of them! If that shirt fits just a little too tight across the midsection and makes you uncomfortable, don’t keep it! It’s much better for you to wear the same flattering pieces over and over again (in different ways of course), than to wear things that don’t make you look your best. Being brutally honest with yourself in this area will help you to get rid of things that you shouldn’t be holding on to. It doesn’t matter what brand it is, how pretty it is, or how much you paid for it. If it doesn’t make you feel like a million bucks…get rid of it!!

A purging hindrance can often be weight fluctuation. You don’t want to get rid of things because you might lose/gain weight and be able to or need to wear it again. This is another area where you have to be brutally honest. And let’s face it, thinking about your weight can be brutal. It’s a good idea to keep a few pieces in a size up/down from what you’re currently wearing, especially if you fluctuate regularly. However, do not make a habit of keeping things that haven’t fit in years.

2. The second strategy that helped me was to pick a storage area for certain pieces and get rid of any that wouldn’t fit there. For example, there is no reason that my yoga/lounge pants shouldn’t fit in one drawer. So, I picked the best place for them to go and narrowed down the collection until they all fit. (Remember, you don’t want any drawers, etc. to be too full or you’ll be less likely to keep things in order. Nothing is worse than trying to cram things into an overly full drawer.) When I realized how many would fit, I got rid of a few of my least favorite pair to make it work. Realistically, why do I need more than two pair of black yoga pants? I always gravitate to the same two pair anyway.

Folded Storage
Storage tip: fold items and store them this way rather than on top of each other so that you can always see your options. I’m also a fan of color coordinating…it just looks more attractive!

I’m going to share more about closet organization soon, but you must start by getting rid of extras that you don’t need. Don’t forget rule #1. If you wouldn’t wear it on a day when you wanted to look top notch, then don’t keep it in your closet.

Anybody have any tips that’s worked for them? This is a constant battle for me, so I’m always open to suggestions!

Memphis: We Love to Eat!

Eating and trying new restaurants is possibly one of our favorite out-of-town activities. Having worked in the tourism industry, I always make a point to try local places.

I gave an account of BB King’s in this post. The following morning we had a DELICIOUS brunch at Aldo’s Pizza Pies. I don’t have any pics, but the food and atmosphere were great. It seemed like all of the ingredients were superbly fresh. I swear that these croutons were the best I’ve ever had. (I’m a sucker for croutons.)

You can’t go to Memphis without going to Bryant’s Breakfast. (Shout out to my maiden name! I tried to buy a tshirt, but they didn’t have any. Grrr.) Bryant’s has been in business since 1968, and it’s one of those places everybody goes to. We both had the Breakfast Special…the homemade biscuits are to die for! If you’re ever in Memphis, this is one of those places you must go. Tell them Pamela sent you. I’m kidding…that won’t mean a thing.

Bryant's Breakfast - MemphisBryant's Breakfast - MemphisBryant's Breakfast - MemphisBryant's Breakfast - Yum!I’m also happy to recommend Central BBQ. (I was able to buy a tshirt there!) The environment was so laid back that you felt like part of the family. The owner was working the register and chatted with us like we were old friends.

Central BBQTheir homemade seasoned chips were yummy…and rather addictive! I stocked up on extras to bring home for the girls at Salt & Pepper. I tied little name tags on them to make the girls feel extra special. =)

Prizes for the girls at S&PWe also had dinner at Texas de Brazil (not a local place, but our first time to go there). All I can say is show up hungry! For those of you who don’t know how it works, they bring around huge skewers of every type of meat you can imagine, prepared every possible way. You have a card with a red and a green side which you flip to signal whether or not you want more meat.

Texas de Brazil - MemphisIf you’re ready for more, you flip the card to green and the cycle continues. Lamb, chicken, sirloin, meats wrapped in bacon…you name it, they had it. (Sorry vegetarians!) One of my favorite things about this restaurant was the amazing salad bar. It seriously had the freshest of everything you could possibly imagine.

All in all, we tried some fantastic restaurants. I’d be happy to get to go back to most of them. I must give props to my husband – he talked to coworkers and did his research preparing a list of the best places to go. (This is a good thing because I would have just shown up and wandered in to places that looked cool. This is another reason why we are a good team.) Thanks for doing such a good job planning our trip, honey!

So…there ya have it! This sums up our Memphis trip in a nutshell. Have you tried any of these restaurants before? How about other local places you love? I’m always looking for a new restaurant to try!

Update: Read about how our trip began here. We also shopped, saw a broadway show, and hung out on Beale Street

 

Memphis: Shopping!

Anyone who knows me, knows that we will squeeze in some shopping on every trip…especially at antique stores/flea markets.

On day 3, we loaded up and drove out to Rossville to check out the Rusty Propeller. Heather over at Vintage Sale gave us some pointers on what stores to hit up. This one was just as cool as I’d hoped! I loaded up on things for our house and for the store {link}. We made several rounds through because there was so much cool stuff to see! Not to mention that the folks there were soooo nice. We could have stayed and chatted all afternoon.

IMG_1076Next, we rode over to Collierville to check out their awesome downtown. It was such a great little area! Of course, I’m a sucker for a cool downtown. We couldn’t pass up the cheesecake shop. Matt had chocolate raspberry and I couldn’t resist trying the chocolate covered strawberry.Downtown Collierville

CheesecakeCheesecake Smiles!The part I loved the most about this downtown was the cool park in the center.

Downtown ColliervilleDowntown ColliervilleThe coolest thing about it was that it offered wifi! I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a park with wifi. I took a pic of the Tennessee Bank that provides the free wifi…it’s so tiny!

Free WifiTennessee Bank_free wifiAlso in Collierville, was the Sheffield Antique Mall. I can honestly say that this place had it together! It was huge with tons of cool stuff, but the most noticeable thing was that it seemed so well run. They were having a storewide sale, which I’ve never seen at a flea market. They were also having a Mardi Gras party that night. Free food, drinks, and a live band until 10pm. We couldn’t attend, but I thought it was the coolest thing! You just don’t see flea markets with such spunk!

We loaded up on cool stuff at this store. Possibly my favorite find of the trip are these vintage sling back pumps. Being that I wear a size 4 1/2 (Crazy right?!), I don’t usually stumble upon shoes that fit me. Needless to say, I snatched these vintage beauties up!

Tiny vintage shoes

Cool, old mapsI was also pumped to find these cool map prints to hang over Matt’s desk. I’ve been really into maps and globes lately, and the wall behind his desk needs some love….these will be perfect! We also came across an old Mary Poppins record and since we saw the Broadway version (our first Broadway show) on this trip, we knew we should snatch it up! As of today, I’m thinking I might hang this one in my office.

Mary Poppins RecordOf course, vintage shopping wasn’t all we did. We had to hit up some of my favorite stores in Germantown like Anthropologie, Free People, Loft, & Banana Republic. You just can’t pass up these stores!

Overall, we had a great time exploring the surrounding areas of Memphis and found some pretty cool things to bring home. Have you ever been to any of these places? Where are your favorite places to shop when you’re out of town?

Update: Read more from Memphis here, here, here, and here

Memphis: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

When we learned of the Orpheum Theater, we knew we had to go to a show! We were lucky to catch the last showing of Mary Poppins, and it was phenomenal!

This was the first broadway show that we’d ever been to, so we were both blown away. The sets and costumes were so elaborate, and the talent was amazing. Matt worked behind the scenes at a few productions at Louisiana Tech, so he found the sets to be particular interesting. I was just amazed by all of the movement and how the scenes switched so seamlessly without the audience even hardly noticing. Plus, bright colors, singing/dancing, and flashing lights are plenty to keep a girl entertained!

My handsome hubby wore a bow tie and suspenders (which I loved!), and I wore one of this winter’s dresses from Salt & Pepper. I seize any opportunity to get all dressed up! I planned on taking more pictures, but we just didn’t get around to it.

Bow Tie & Suspenders

These aren't very good pics, but they're all I had, so I decided to post nonetheless. Forgive me.
These aren’t very good pics, but they’re all I had, so I decided to post nonetheless. Forgive me.

It wasn’t just the production that was amazing though. The theater itself was a sight to see. It was like stepping back in time to a theater from the early 1900’s. Everything was so intricate and detailed. I didn’t get to take any pictures, but you can check out their website  for a peek. (I’m not one of those people who will stop the movement of a crowd in order to snap a few pictures. In this case, I “took them with my mind” as Matt says.) If you go to their site, be sure to read the history. It’s such a fascinating place!

Mary Poppins
Again, not a good picture, but it’ll do…

If you’re ever in Memphis, make a point to see a show there. I just can’t describe how beautiful it is. Have you ever been to a broadway show? What was your experience like?

Update: Read about how our trip started here. We also hung out on Beale Street. Ate a lot and shopped!