Vintage Record Player Turned Bar Cart

This amazing before and after bar cart transformation is one to remember!

I’m so excited to finally share the transformation of this vintage record player turned bar cart! If you’ve been following me on Instagram for a while, I’ve shared snippets of it’s progress off and on.

I found this old record player stashed away in a dark corner of the basement of the house I’m currently flipping and knew immediately I wanted it restored. Although at the time it was super dingy, I knew after a little TLC (and a lot of woodworking!) it could become my new staple entertaining piece that I’d keep for generations to come.

All I know about the record player is from its label “Stradivara, Known For Tone.” Although I have seen some players from the same name around the internet, I have YET to find this exact one and I have no idea what date it could be from… My estimate is at least around 1920s-1950s. If anyone has that information though, please let me know!! I’d love to find out more about it’s origin.

Let’s take a look at this record player in all of its original glory:

This amazing before and after bar cart transformation is one to remember!

Pretty great right? Thankfully, I had the help of the ladies at Wasted to help with this transformation. Dawn and Jess, the duo behind Wasted, believe that just about everything can be recycled, re-purposed and re-loved, so I knew they were the perfect team to help me out with this project. Here’s the low down on what was fixed to turn this vintage record player into the bar cart I dreamed of:

This amazing before and after bar cart transformation is one to remember!

• I had two first thoughts- where to keep the bottles of liquor and where to stash the wine. Thankfully, this piece is huge and there was enough space to have two separate locations to keep different types of alcohol. I envisioned the liquor bottles going on the top-middle space of the cart, along with other trinkets. To achieve this, Dawn and Jess removed the top door and record player piece (I did keep the top door though just in case- which was also painted black.) The wine storage was a lot trickier but thankfully, it could be done. The girls replaced the slanted pieces in the center with custom-built wine holders, perfect for 12 bottles of wine.

• My next thought was additional storage for glassware. Dawn and Jess added shelving on both sides of the cart behind the doors.

• Black and gold will forever be my favorite colors and match my home decor perfectly, so detailing the bar cart in these colors were a no brainer. The girls painted the cart black and added gold to the feet and hardware of the cart.

• Additional woodwork: where there were once two big empty circle spaces now is additional space on top of the cart for trinkets, drinks and bottle storage.

• Elements I kept: Although this cart underwent a big transformation, I wanted to keep a few elements of it’s former self. Keeping the “Stradivara- Known For Tone” label was important, as well as the old record player handle on the right side.

This amazing before and after bar cart transformation is one to remember!

This amazing before and after bar cart transformation is one to remember!

This amazing before and after bar cart transformation is one to remember!

I am SO SO pleased with the turn out of this bar cart. I still can’t believe it started out as a vintage record player collecting dust in a dark and dingy basement. I really couldn’t have done it without Dawn and Jess at Wasted- be sure to check out their other work  and send them some love!

I can’t wait to continue filling up this cart! As you can see, I still have eight more spaces left for wine and I need to add liquor bottles to the top. Since it’s currently in Iowa at my mom’s apartment though, I’ll wait to do that until I get it in my own home back in New York.

Are there any pieces that you’ve restored currently in use in your home?

ALSO- I ALWAYS ALWAYS make an effort to spell check my posts but I can’t believe that I forgot to cross my ‘T’ on my “Life Is Beautiful” water color sketch… So, here’s to hoping no one notices!! I’m hoping you’re all so entranced by my bar cart transformation that you didn’t notice the written typo! Guess it’s time for a glass of wine.

This amazing before and after bar cart transformation is one to remember!

This amazing before and after bar cart transformation is one to remember!

30 Minute Pasta Verde

Pasta Verde 01

Throughout my military journalism career, one of the big jokes/lessons I heard over and over was to never start an article by mentioning the weather. Well hey,  I’m breaking that rule today because seriously I am SO happy with spring finally being here! Who’s with me?

All this wonderful T-shirt weather has me excited for fresh spring produce and the beginning of outdoor market season. I love that spring is the time where we start to transition from heavier dishes to lighter and fresher meals (at least in my household)-. I loved being held down by a warm and hearty soup in the winter, but those days are over! Bring on the light but satisfying salads with fresh avocados, bring on the sweet and tangy lemonades and cocktails!

Pasta Verde

Not only are fresher foods pretty tasty, most of the foods are also on the lighter side and are easier to whip up. This is one of the reasons why I love this 30 minute pasta verde.

Pasta Verde

Although it seems like there’s a lot going on here ingredient and step wise, it’s actually quite simple and goes pretty quickly if you make sure you have everything placed and ready before you begin (a phrase called Mise en Place.) This 30 minute pasta verde dish is great as a side at your next summer barbecue or dinner party at home.

I love that it could be served warm or cool, and that it packs a flavorful punch while maintaining a light texture. Also, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the color!

Pasta Verde

This is kind of an afterthought, but I think adding some baked or grilled chicken or bacon would compliment this dish nicely if you prefer some meat. Let me know if you try it- I think I might next time I make this dish!

Pasta Verde

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No More Rainy Day Hair Styled Shoot

No More Rainy Day Hair styled shoot

Part of being a blogger and photographer is expanding your knowledge and getting out of your comfort zone. As some of you might know, photographing food is definitely my comfort zone. I’ve been itching to branch into styled shoots and getting back into portrait territory- of the human form! I have to admit it’s been a little difficult to balance blogging and photography when my big project and main priority is finishing the house flip, but I take opportunities where I can and am thankful that I’ve been able to do what photography shoots have come my way (and for the people who believe in me!)

So when Maritza of Beauty for Bloggers approached me to photograph her latest hair tutorial, I definitely accepted the opportunity. It was perfect actually- I was in Iowa doing house flipping duties anyways, and Chicago was only a drive away. I’d been following Maritza and her crazy cool hair tutorials for a while and I was so excited for the opportunity to connect outside of the internet.

The concept of the hair tutorials was to show that your style doesn’t have to suffer during a downpour. Maritza styled the hair of Katie of Little Black Blog, Rachel of RD’s Obsessions and Emily of Isn’t That Charming. I loved working with all of these blogger babes and really learned how styled shoots work- it really takes a lot of collaboration and planning but I think the results came out great (Camille Styles thought so too!) I hope to see more styled shoots in my future and hope to collaborate with more bloggers in the future!

No More Rainy Day Hair

Katie’s hair tutorial featured the cutest upgrade to a ponytail I’ve seen (I mentioned to her she had Jasmine hair!) See Katie’s hair tutorial here.

No More Rainy Day Hair

Rachel’s tutorial works best with longer hair and would be perfect for wedding season too. See more of Rachel’s hair tutorial here

No More Rainy Day Hair 4

You’d never guess how easy Emily’s tutorial was. This hairstyle would be a great way to transition from rain to work. See more of Emily’s hair tutorial here.

It was such a pleasure to work with all these ladies! Blogging truly is a small world so I hope to work with them again!

No More Rainy Day Hair

No More Rainy Day Hair

Spring Inspiration

Spring Inspiration Roundup

With teases of warmer weather poking through, I’ve got spring on my mind. Fresh flowers, light meals, fruity drinks and a pastel color palette are my ultimate inspirations right now and I’m itching to travel (Dominican Republic, Paris and San Fransisco, I’ve got my eye on you.) I’m also really excited about the warmer weather coming through (even though it just snowed a bit in NYC last week!) so I can start running outdoors again instead of being confined to my apartment or the gym.

Since I’m craving warmer weather, I’ve gathered some spring inspiration and covetable fashions to get you through the next few weeks!

1. SHOP • This little floral lace number has spring written all over it // 2. INSPIRE • Fresh flowers instantly make any room look and feel complete. These arrangements are making me dig out my mason jars // 3. INSPIRE • Say yes to blush, gold and pattern mixing for the ultimate outfit // 4. SHOP • Although a bit pricey, the floral design on this Ted Baker suitcase has me in the mood for spring traveling // 5. SHOP • Loving this patterned plant top from ASOS // 6. SHOP • This Rebecca Minkoff mint bucket bag is a pastel staple // 7. INSPIRE • Out with the old, in with the new!- there’s nothing like updating your tresses to make you feel fresh for spring  // 8. MAKE • Strawberries and mint, the perfect spring drink combo // 9. MAKE • This peach, feta and pecan salad is the perfect solution to a light, spring lunch // 10. SHOP • Take a leisurely Sunday stroll through your neighborhood with these Nikes // 11. INSPIRE: Warmer weather is the perfect excuse to get moving // 12. SHOP • These Dolce Vita wedges were made for looking stylish // 13. SHOP • This JCrew necklace has me ready to show off my neckline // 14. SHOP • Make a statement with this blue Baublebar necklace // 15. SHOP • Get in tune with spring with this Flowerbomb perfume // 16. INSPIRE • Amanda’s honeymoon to Mexico is enough to motivate me to head to the beach

What are you currently inspired by? What makes  you think of spring?

Cafe Milo Photoshoot

Coffee Shop Photoshoot 8

The last two weeks have flown by so quickly- sometimes life kicks into full gear when you least expect it! Last week, I was in Iowa for house flipping duties but unfortunately, I didn’t get to work on the house as much as I had planned due to an unforeseeable bout of food poisoning. Thankfully, I was feeling better toward the end of the week and was able to meet up with the lovely Alex of Everlasting Love Photography for some head shots for my media kit. Alex is an amazing photographer and her work is beautiful, so I knew from the moment I saw her work I wanted her to photograph me. (Check out her recent shoot which was featured on Inspired By This!)

There are several reasons I actually wanted a photoshoot, but most importantly I needed to get some professional shots of me for my media kit and for my blog/social media handles. I knew I wanted some shots of my typical workflow routine- shooting and editing photographs and working on my computer- as well as a few professional headshots- that would show me in action, doing what I love to do (being creative!) But I actually wanted this photoshoot for myself too. This last year I’ve gained a lot weight (I think due to lack of discipline, medication and stress between losing dad and working on the house.) Although I have been working on losing said weight, I wanted to do something for me where I could show myself that I’m fine the way I am and to stop being so hard on myself (those close to me know I’m like this!) Another point- as a photographer, it’s good for me to know what it’s like being in front of the camera instead of behind it. I must say, it’s pretty nerve wracking, but I hope as my photography grows I’ll be able to learn how to direct poses better knowing what it’s like being the one photographed.

Coffee Shop Photoshoot 1

Coffee Shop Photoshoot 4

Coffee Shop Photoshoot 3

Coffee Shop Photoshoot 7

We shot at Cafe Milo in Ames, Iowa, a comfortable little coffee spot where Iowa State University students and Ames residents frequent. The atmosphere was quiet, and I fell in love with all of the brick walls and concrete flooring. Alex did such a great job of portraying me in a work environment and now I’ll also have some great pictures to look back on.

Coffee Shop Photoshoot 2

Coffee Shop Photoshoot 5

Outfit Details: Sweater: Lou & Grey (at LOFT)  on sale! • Jeans: Express • Watch: Michael Kors • Shoes: Dolce Vita, similar • Rings:  Baublebar, Madewell,  similar, similar

In the next coming week(s) I’ll be sharing a styled shoot I did with Maritza of Beauty For Bloggers in Chicago, as well as another photoshoot of myself and Jay. I also have some really exciting news to share about a new venture I’ll be working on with a well known lifestyle website.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out Alex at Everlasting Love Photography! Seriously she is AMAZING and I really hope I get to work with her again.