pushin’ along

We raised an impressive $500 through the Petal Pushers fundraiser last week for our Bike MS: City to Shore team!  Just a gaggle of ladies happily arranging flowers while making a difference…

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4278

I am so grateful for this community, family and friends for all of their support!  We couldn’t have done it without our fearless leader and professional floral designer, Renee Tucci, the mastermind behind Petal Pushers.

We have about 6 weeks to go until the actual Bike MS: City to Shore ride and most of our riders have met or exceeded their minimum fundraising goal.  You can check out our team’s progress here.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4291

Multiple Sclerosis is a real part of our everyday life and business journey.  Those things are closely intertwined therefore I choose to share personal updates such as these here.  I hope to educate or empower someone by letting you in on our lifestyle.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4289

Ryan’s MS diagnosis has shown us that life truly is a gift.  MS has taught us to live for today and not put things off for ‘someday’.  We’ve become more adventurous and courageous.  Within reason, of course.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4282

It has been a year since we moved to Cape May and slowed down our pace of life while eliminating some stress and ‘stuff’ along the way.  A year!  Already.  And two years since Ryan’s diagnosis.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4288

I’m not sure that I ever made it explicit but Ryan has officially come on board with Circa Dee.  He is doing very well in this new lifestyle that we chose.  It seems to agree with him.  And me too.  Although change can be terrifying at first, it is certainly good and not to be feared.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4281

try something new

Oh, August!

This month has snuck up on me and it is moving way too fast.  I feel both a sense of panic and a sense of relief at this point in August.  Mostly just panic though.  The summer days are dwindling and there are far too many things I’d like to accomplish in the next two weeks.  It has been a busy summer nonetheless but there is still time to squeeze more in and try new things.  Cook new things.  Explore new places.  Take more pictures.

Please summer, don’t go!  We’re just getting acquainted…


One of my friends dove into milk painting this week.  She is an experienced furniture painter but wasn’t into the notion of mixing her paint – a common objection with milk paint that can easily be overcome.  Well she decided to try new things and it has really paid off for her!

Check out this beautiful washstand done in Apron Strings.

Apron Strings Washstand

Apron Strings

This coffee table went from mid-century to farmhouse with Mustard Seed Yellow.

Mustard Seed Yellow Coffee Table

Musard Seed Yellow milk paint

This evening is the Petal Pushers floral design workshop at The Rhoads Garden in North Wales, PA.  We still have a few spots open and would love to have you if you’re local.  Come early so we’re sure to have a space set for you or send an email today letting us know you’ll be attending.  Try something new!

Petal Pushers Bike MS Fundraiser


petal pushers

Have you ever thought about taking a floral design course before? Have you cut flowers from your garden and wished that you could do more than just haphazardly plop them in a vase? Do you have any idea how you can make the cellophane wrapped supermarket bouquet look like a million bucks?

Now is your chance to learn how from an award-winning, professional floral designer!  And for the mere cost of a floral arrangement which, in turn, will be donated to our Bike MS: City to Shore team.  The funds, not the arrangement.  You get to take your floral arrangement home!  Fresh flowers and a good cause.  Does it get any better than that?

If you’re local to North Wales, PA, I hope you will consider Petal Pushers and join us for this awesome fundraiser on August 14th.  Please register in advance as space is limited.  As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Petal Pushers Bike MS Fundraiser


P.S. Pennsylvania friends, I will be conducting a milk paint demo on Sunday, July 20th at 1 pm at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

more fundraising

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for the Fab Four Flea in Cape May a few weeks ago.  We cleared out a ton of stuff and sent many treasures to new homes to be adored, as they should be.  Naturally we had a blast doing it regardless of the 5 am wake up call.

Fab 4 Flea

So much fun that I’m hosting another yard sale this Saturday.  This time in PA.  Montgomery county.  That’s right, another multi-family yard sale (with other families) where we pawn more of our long forgotten about treasures off on you for next to nothing.  We’re practically giving it away all in the name of charity once again.

vintage treasures

All of the funds from Saturday’s sale will benefit our Bike MS: City to Shore fundraiser.  (Ryan’s offline donations need to be updated, if you’re keeping tabs, but they are growing!)

bikelogoThe great purge of 2014 continues…expect more vintage, some furniture, lots of kitchen items, sporting good equipment and just general household items – some old, some new.  You can view our ad here and find out where to go on Saturday morning.  As always, early birds welcome.

save the world buy vintage

We have another Team Recanize fundraiser event planned for later this summer.  I will be sure to share details ASAP.  I think you’re going to like it.  It does not involve buying any of my old junk.  I mean junque.  Stay tuned…

While I am shamelessly self-promoting our events, please note that I will be hosting another free Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint demonstration on Sunday at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.  Let’s talk paint.

free MMS milk paint demo


a yard sale fundraiser

So this is happening.


It’s that time of year again.  Time for our multi-family yard sale, also known as the Fab 4 Flea, where a group of my friends purge only their best stuff.  The stuff you’ve been looking for.  There will be furniture, dishes, games, mirrors, art, designer clothing, china, books and yes, loads of vintage that I need to unload.  Everything is priced to move.  And early birds are welcome!

There is a twist this year…  Ryan and I will be fundraising via the sale.  The proceeds from all of the merchandise we sell will go to our Bike MS: City to Shore fundraiser.  You know this is a cause near and dear to us.

bikelogoOur team is working to meet our fundraising goals so we can bike together this September like we did last year.  Side note, if you want to join Team Recanize and ride with us in September, we’d love to have you.  Sign up here.  If I can do it, you can…

Bike MS finishline

We hope you’ll come out and find a new treasure while supporting our cause.  It is a win-win!  If you are going to be in Cape May on Saturday morning and want to visit our sale, send me a message for the address or look for our ad in the Shoppe. You’ll know it when you see it!



riding for a cause

Wow, what an incredible weekend we had!  This is my favorite season for so many reasons including the warm sunny days free of humidity followed by cool crisp nights and the subtle fall coloring that is settling in.

But this year we added a new reason to the list.  On Saturday, we rode our first Bike MS: City to Shore Ride.  It was a wonderful experience.  A tradition that we’re hoping to continue year after year.

Just one year ago, Ryan and I went to Ocean City, NJ on this particular day to see what the ride was all about.  MS was completely new to us.  Ryan’s diagnosis was all of about 2 weeks old and we were still wrapping our heads around what Multiple Sclerosis is and would mean for us.  Immediately we thought that we needed to get behind this cause and rally a team to ride with us.

Bike MS team

We came up with a solid team of 10.  We had 8 riders on Team Recanize.  Six of us did the initial 25 mile ride.  And 2 of our team members went the distance with the 150 mile round trip from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City and back!  They made us look good!

Plus, we had 2 team volunteers who rallied at the finish line.  This event wouldn’t be possible with out all of the volunteers along the route.

Bike MS team volunteers

I think we did pretty darn good for a rookie, start-up team.  Between the 10 of us we raised over $6000 toward the overall fund of over $5 million.  $6000!  I’m so proud of all of my friends and family who rode with us and also those who made generous donations making our team possible.

On a personal note, I have to admit that a 25 mile bike ride is not something that I would’ve thought I’d accomplish just a few years ago.  I’m not terribly athletic and have always had to work hard toward this sort of thing.  I’m more comfortable as a beach cruiser.  But this was an important goal for me.  Crossing that finish line felt like such an accomplishment on so many levels.  #recanize

Bike MS finishline

Ryan, on the other hand, could have done laps around me and will most likely go more than 25 miles next year.  It’s been a crazy year and I’m so proud of him too.  Here he is channeling his inner BMX rider…or something.

Bike MS

We’ll be back in 2014! Bigger, better and definitely branded.  Stay tuned, friends!

If you are in the PA/NJ/DE area, we’d love to have you on Team Recanize.  You can join us here.  Registration for the event is only $20 until October 4th and then it increases.

my PSA

Well, it’s that season again. That time of year when everyone is getting their groove back after carefree, unplanned summer days. The time of year when structures are put back into place.  Calendars are filling up.  As well as the reinstatement of an early bedtime. (I could use one.) Plus, new shoes, new backpacks and…don’t forget about new wares for your home, too!

Sunday kicks off the first fall Clover Market of the season. Always a treat, both to shop and work. Surely there will be treasures as far as the eye can see in Ardmore. But it is one day only so be sure to join us! Details below.

Clover Market

Sunday is a busy, busy day around here.

Our wonderful friends are graciously hosting a fundraiser at their bar in Ambler to benefit our MS bike ride team.  Our ride is in just a few weeks (I’m nervous!) so please consider supporting our cause!  Bar 31 will definitely show everyone a good time.  Details below.

My husband’s diagnosis came a year ago next week.  Life has changed drastically including a much healthier diet, more exercising and even a new living arrangement for us.  (More about that soon.)  And although I’ve happily shed a few pounds in a our new lifestyle, it hasn’t been all fun times thanks to this unpredictable disease.

MS can take away someone’s ability to walk and to see clearly both physically and mentally.  It’s hard to believe but Ryan has been affected in all of these ways at one point or another in the past year.  It would be fabulous if we didn’t have to worry about these symptoms creeping up on us again.  No one would have to worry about them if there was a cure for MS.  So that’s why we fund raise!

bar 31

And if you’re still looking for things to do this weekend and happen to find yourself in Doylestown, you’re in vintage luck.  Circa Dee is currently running a sale on many items at Serendipity to make room for new fall inventory!  Look for mark downs now through the weekend.  We’ll be re-stocked next week including a new shipment of milk paint!

Serendipity Shops of Doylestown - open daily stocking Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint
33 S. Main St. Doylestown, PA

That concludes my public service announcements for today.  Thank you for listening and, of course, for your continued love and support!


Oh my goodness, I have been running non-stop this fall.  We were out and about at various local antiques events every single weekend including our own monthly sales.  In fact, a dealer we met at one event likened it to being a carnie.  It is so funny because it is true.  I think I’ve become an antiquing carnie this season.  And for some crazy reason, I love it.  Yes, I’d give up a stable corporate desk job for this gig.  Call me crazy.

Source: evokingyou.com via Els on Pinterest

And wouldn’t you know that I have this weekend off but we’re having a party at our house?  A circus themed party none-the-less!  I kid you not.  Funny thing is that the theme was decided months ago before my carnie status set in.  Oh the irony.

Because my life has been a circus lately, why not embrace it and invite all of my friends and family to join as the sideshow for a day?  I’ll let you know how that theme plays out.  Missing Halloween this year (due to the storm) definitely has us in the costume party spirit.  Actually, Ryan and I (Wilson too) are always down for a costume party.

While gearing up for the circus party, I’m also preparing for the holiday season this week.  It seemed to come on strong and early this year.  Shops are decked out for the season and having holiday open houses already.  Our shop’s holiday season officially starts on November 17th when we re-open.  In fact, we’ve added lots of hours and we’ll be in the shop until just before Christmas with vintage and upcycled gifts, tons of holiday decor like wreaths, handmade stockings, ornaments and more.  Plus there will be milk paint gift baskets for the DIYer in your life.  Be sure to pop in over the holidays.

As for fall, we had a great season.  We closed it out yesterday at a chilly Clover Market. Regardless of the burr factor, my mom and I had a great time again.  Clover has such a wonderful community of vendors and shoppers.  Seriously is every city this small business friendly?  We’ve got some of the best artists and dealers around here along with some seriously savvy shoppers.  It amazes me how supportive all of the vendors are of one another too.  I love it!

I couldn’t be happier with everyone’s support in our efforts to raise money for MS research one Mason Jar Soap Dispenser at a time.  We nearly sold out of them again.  I say “nearly” because I’ve gotten better at forecasting how many to bring.  Thank you so very much!

Let me leave you with an image of what I believe is a unique treasure that the ‘rents and I found while scouring what seemed like the entire Eastern seaboard on Saturday.  Yes, you better believe I scooped up a 2 gallon Ball jar drink dispenser!  You know how obsessed we are with mason jars around here.  How could I not?  This will be filled and proudly displayed at our circus party this weekend.

mason jar soap dispensers for MS

I’m writing today with content that is different than my usual vintage treasure or DIY project.  I want to tell you a little bit more about us and a cause that we want to get behind.  In fact, it really is a DIY project after all.  A DIY fundraiser…

In September Ryan was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  It has only been a few weeks since we received confirmation that he has this autoimmune disease that is attacking his central nervous system however he has been suffering from symptoms for several months if not years.

Although this is not the diagnosis we wished to receive, we are happy to be able to develop a treatment plan that works to keep Ryan’s symptoms in remission.  We’re remaining positive and adjusting our lifestyle as needed.  That includes walking, cycling, ballet & yoga.  Yes, ballet and yoga.  You should seem him in yoga pants!  Kidding but he has mastered first and second position in ballet.

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that Ryan is an instrumental part of Circa Dee.  While vintage, styling & repurposing are my passions, Ryan has been a driving force in the projects that I come up with.  He has lent his carpentry skills and knowledge in many projects.  Ok probably all of them.

And that’s not going to change.

You may be familiar with our popular mason jar soap dispensers.  They have been a great seller since we introduced them earlier this year.  It all began after Ryan made just one for our home.  Next thing you know we sold them like hot cakes.

I continue to source the vintage canning jars.  I particularly love the very old ones with imperfections in the glass like air bubbles.  We tested several style pumps this summer and settled on an industrial style one that is compatible with hand lotion, hand soap and dish soap.

Ryan has consistently made every soap dispenser lid even while experiencing numbness in his hand.  Throughout the summer we did not know the cause of the tingling sensation.  Now we have a diagnosis for it although there is no cure, only the hope that the symptoms stay in remission with the right treatment.  Ryan has found that making the soap dispensers is therapeutic for him because it helps to strengthen his motor skills.

Moving forward we’d like to make a $1 donation to MS research for every mason jar soap dispenser we sell. 

Mason Jar Soap Dispensers for MS.  We’ve set up a DIY fundraiser with our local chapter of the MS Society where the donations will be deposited monthly in Ryan’s name.  We’ve already made a deposit for September’s sales!

Currently the soap dispensers are available at our Brick & Mortar shop, Etsy, West End Garage, Phantastic Phinds and any popups you can find Circa Dee at around the Philly area like Clover Market.

Research for this disease is near and dear to us for the obvious reason of finding a cure but also because Ryan is a Scientist by trade.  Yup, he’s not all blue eyes and brawn around here.  He’s a smarty pants too.  Ryan has a PhD in Immunology & Microbiology.  In his post-doc, he conducted stem cell research which is also a current therapy for MS.

We’ll certainly be looking for other ways to get involved in finding a cure for MS and raising funds to do so.  You can expect to see us on the MS City to Shore bike ride next fall and maybe at a Zumbathon (in yoga pants), who knows!  Let me know if you’d like to join our team for the bike ride.

Thanks for listening!

Linking to Funky Junk Interiors