Ocean Grove, NJ

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We have fallen in love with a magic little town on the coast of New Jersey.  Chris and I drove through Ocean Grove one day and were charmed by the tiny square mile of preserved Victorian homes perched close to the shore.  The houses were impossibly detailed and cared for and the town was beautiful, quiet and slow-paced.  The beach in Ocean Grove was voted one of the world’s 15 best by Fodor’s Travel.  A quick stroll on the boardwalk or over two footbridges brought us to newly revitalized Asbury Park.  We joked that we would have to retire there when our kids were grown.

When I learned about the town’s twice annual Giant Flea Market I marked my calendar.  The drive from Brooklyn took me less than 1 1/2 hours and the first time I went to the flea I was hooked.  Wandering around town felt like a dream and each time I visited I liked it even more.  When I returned to the flea this past May I called Chris to tell him I was going to talk to a realtor.  In the whirlwind that followed we ended up looking at 10 houses.  Our plan was to find a house that we could rent when we weren’t using it.  The house we fell for was built in the 1880s and was owned by one family for more than 70 years.   After talking to many incredibly friendly residents we decided Ocean Grove would be the perfect spot to spend time with our girls while they are still young.

The house at 6 1/2 Heck Avenue is calm bright and airy.  It stands fifth in from the beach and has beautiful ocean views.  Many of the home’s original antiques are in use throughout the house.  The town of Ocean Grove was founded by a group of religious leaders as an ocean side retreat in the 1860s.  Our home feels like stepping back into Ocean Grove’s early days when families would escape to the shore away from busy lives.  The home is simple compared to some of its brightly painted neighbors and we love that it retains its original details and quiet beach cottage feel.  Visit our Instagram feed  @oceangrovehouse for more photos.

We are honored to be able to care for the home at 6 1/2 Heck Avenue and excited to share it for 2016 rentals.  Details for the home can be found here.  For rental inquiries and questions please contact Alfredo Fresnedo at (732)-763-2961, alfresnedo@yahoo.com.  We still feel like we discovered a secret hideout every time we visit our home in Ocean Grove.  So many memories have been made in the short time we have owned the house.  We are so happy to share our home with visitors and hope 6 1/2 Heck will be a place for memories of your own.

Flea Market Finds: Vintage Storage

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I spent the week organizing.  I tackled the upstairs storage room on Monday and gathered five bags of clothes and toys for donation.  I updated our kids’ clothes bins and organized items per child rather than per size.  I filled a giant Ikea bag with shoes and clothes of my own to bring to the consignment shop.  Dare and I worked on organizing the storage room at Josie’s school this morning.  I had hundreds of other things I should have been doing this week, but when my head is swirling with to do lists and I find myself up at 2 am despite a lack of newborns in the house, it is time for me to organize.  Editing, tiding and purging stuff totally clears my head.

I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up a few months ago and of course loved it.  Marie uses a simple system to remove clutter and has clients keep only pieces that bring joy.  I totally agree.  I love her system.  We do not follow her advice perfectly, but when we do it makes daily life with three kids run much more smoothly.  My only hesitation with the book is that Marie does not mandate that the pieces used to store and stack be as beautiful as the items saved.  I think any large organizing job requires the right storage pieces.  If you are going to put in the effort to edit your belongings you should also extend this editing to your storage items.  We often use vintage pieces repurposed as storage.  My favorite trash cans are old enamel buckets.  We use a large wire bin to hold bath towels and antique pitchers to contain cooking tools on the kitchen counter.  I love storage that is beautiful, simple and useful.

The pieces pictured above are available in our Etsy Shop:

*Corner Spindle Shelf, perfect for plants in a kitchen or bath.

*Wicker Plant Stand, for a single pot.

*Green First Aid Box, great Band-Aid spot in the bathroom.

*Huge Antique Ironstone Urn, awesome umbrella stand.

*Vintage Tackle Box, art supply storage.

*White Enamel Pail and Lid, great as a small trash can.

 

Copper Eagle Weathervane

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We found this guy at a yard sale a few weeks ago. We were on vacation with friends on Shelter Island, (one of our new favorite places).  I spotted the eagle’s head amongst some less antique antiques and got excited.  The owners kindly dug out the directions from the garage and we made a deal.  I noticed the original gold paint on the feathers after I laid the eagle in the trunk of the car, (forgetting as usual that we still had to fit a long weekend’s worth of luggage for five people back there).  With some further research I think this eagle was made from copper in the late 1800 or early 1900s.  He is large, with a 24″ wingspan and has one of the most beautiful profiles I have seen on a weathervane.  He is for sale…but he is watching over the girls’ bunk beds at the moment.  I wonder what he has seen up on a roof for so many years.  Did he watch over the boats coming and going from the island?  Did he travel from some other inland town?  We are happy to have him watch over us for the time being.

Fall

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Good morning,

Two children are snuggled under comforters and one is off to school and I have a few quiet minutes to myself.  Fall is here, or at least it was yesterday.  We spent the weekend in Vermont and I was reminded of how dramatically the seasons roar in further up north.  Today will be back in the 70s in Brooklyn, but the memory of weekend snow and burning red leaves is making us feel like change is coming to us as well.

If you have a free weekend, jump in the car and take a lazy drive up to Vermont to see those leaves.  We stayed near Mount Snow, Southern Vermont for a wedding and had some time to wander through the little maple syrup stands and country stores nearby.  We visited the beautiful Honora Winery for the wedding.  The views at the top of the mountain are worth a four hour drive.  We have Vermonter train ride on our radar for next Vermont visit.

Back home I have fall colors on my mind and garden tasks on my list.  This weekend’s agenda includes tucking new tulip bulbs into the soil, adding layers of compost to a yawning garden and consolidating combs to snuggle bees in for the colder weather.  We will start moving geraniums inside, putting new cuttings into bright vintage pots, and planning which bulbs to force for Thanksgiving and Christmas blooms.  There are lots of vintage pots and finds from Vermont and Western New York in our Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeannerondeau

Happy Fall!

451 Clinton Avenue, 1E For Sale

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Good Morning!

It has been far, far too long since I have written on these pages.  I so miss my quiet mornings of photo editing and typing.  Somehow the three girls, two schools, our house, our bees, our Etsy shop, and life have crowded our days.  I am not complaining, just missing this writing, and missing my readers and your sweet words of encouragement.

I write this morning’s post feeling a bit bittersweet.  We have decided to put our beloved apartment on the market.  451 Clinton Avenue was our first home, on a truly lovely street.  The apartment is bright and sunny and full of pre-war details.  Chris and I moved there when I was pregnant with Ada and I was ecstatic about my first real design job in Manhattan.  We lived at 451 until Josie was three months old.  The house is so full of memories for us, and we look forward to finding someone to love the space as much as we did.  Here is the listing:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/451-Clinton-Ave-APT-1E-Brooklyn-NY-11238/79719337_zpid/

 

Flea Market Finds: Cabin Fever

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We are nearing the end of the school year here, and dreaming of slower summer days. We made our first batch of popsicles this week, and the kids have been splashing in the kiddie pool out back. One of my summer dreams is to some day have a rustic cabin on a lake, or a cottage by the ocean. I would love a quiet spot to hide away with the kids for the summer, where they could read books, run around without shoes and sleep out on the porch. A big part of this dream of mine revolves around the decorating. I long to eat off of stenciled Jackson china, cover hardwood floors with handmade rugs and tuck the girls into cast iron beds under vintage quilts. Here are some summery cabin finds we have been stocking up on in the shop:

*Antique Basket

*Vintage Apple Cutting Board

*Vintage Box of Arrows

*Handmade Vintage Doll Furniture

*Four Vintage Hooks

*Antique Ironstone Cups and Saucers

*Bouquet of Vintage Arrows

Spring Flowers

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Spring is my favorite time of year out in the garden. We are on year two of planning a cutting garden, and the bulbs are a thrill to see this time of year. It makes me really happy to run out back and snip some of our own flowers for the vases around the house. I am especially in love with these little checkered Fritillaria, which I think have gotten bigger flowers this year, and the pretty double Narcissus we planted the year before last.  Here is a list of some of the bulbs we planted.  I am a little unhappy with the colors of the Hyacinths we chose, so I have been cutting most of them and bringing their amazing scent indoors…maybe I need to plant more.  There are lots of buds on the Lilac we put in last year, and our tiny little cherry tree from the Arbor Day Foundation had exactly nine flowers last week.  Let’s hope the bees did their job and we will see some little cherries in the fall.  We are realizing that it takes years to choreograph a garden’s blooms.  I started a Martha-inspired garden journal last year…which I promptly forgot to fill in.  So Chris has started using his phone to record the dates and progress of blooming.  We can look back over the year and plan ahead to fill in any empty spaces.  Meanwhile, I am enjoying our little home-grown bouquets.  We have some newly-listed vintage flower pots and vases in the Etsy store if you need any spots for flowers in your space.

*White McCoy Flower Pot with Attached Saucer, So pretty with planted geraniums on a windowsill!

*Weller Jardiniere Vase, I love the matte green glaze.

*1940s Haeger Bowl, Perfect for cut hyacinth or hydrangea.

*Large Nelson McCoy Butterfly Pitcher, Great for long stems of tulips or sunflowers.

Inspiration

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Happy Friday!

We have been having such a busy spring, (thus the lack of activity here).  We escaped the city for spring break last week and spent time in beautiful Vermont and New Hampshire for Easter.  We were excited to return to spring in Brooklyn!  Our flowers are pushing up and blooming in the back yard, the bees are super busy gathering pollen and the tulips we planted out front are opening.  I found lots of great antiques in Vermont and have been listing them on our Etsy site.  Dare is desperately trying to crawl after spending a week with big kids.  Here are some pieces of the last few weeks:

*Cameo Ring.  I found this Victorian ring in a little shop in VT and fell in love with it.  Then I saw that the box was from an old jewelry shop at 1 Market Street in Portsmouth, NH.  Before I moved to NY I worked at the beautiful Flower Kiosk just a block away on Market Street.  Such a small world.

*Pansy Detail, Webber Vase

*Cloudy Drive Out of the City

*Eggs

*Vintage Bingo Cards and Ada’s New Numbers

*Vintage 1950s Arrows in an Antique Pitcher from Greenpoint Brooklyn.  Who knew that Greenpoint was a huge pottery manufacturer in the 1800s?!

*The Most Beautiful Building in the World

*Pretty Cameo Pin

*Jesse’s Snowman, April Snowstorm in Vermont

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*Have a lovely weekend!

Flea Market Finds: The Littles

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We have found some tiny vintage treasures on our hunts recently, and listed them on our Etsy store.  I am not sure what the above cocktail shaker was for, but it is adorable!  It stands 2 1/4″ tall and was made in Germany, probably in the 1950s.  Here are a few other mini vintage finds:
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*Collection of Wooden German Vehicles, Buildings and Blocks.  The largest of the tall buildings measures 3″ high.
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*Set of Six Little Bakelite Knives. These measure 4 5/8″ long. These are from the 1950s and may have been butter knives to a larger set. I love that they are perfectly kid-sized.112WoodAnimalsPencil
*Set of 29 Miniature German Froebel Animals. These are so sweet! The tiny little brightly-painted animals measure around an inch tall.  These would make great Easter basket gifts!

Inspiration

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Happy Friday and Happy Spring!

I think I saw our tulip shoots push up another inch or two yesterday. I need to get out back and remove my over-zealous straw mulching from the fall.  This is our second year of growing a garden and we get very excited when plants actually grow out back.  I think I even see the start of flowers on one of my hellebore plants, which everyone else in our neighborhood seems to be able to grow except us thus far…Maybe this is our year.  One of our bee hives was bringing in lots of pollen this week.  I am so amazed that those girls know when and where to find the tiniest bit of pollen in the otherwise gray landscape.  I need to take a peek inside and see if we need to feed a bit more before the flowers really start providing nectar.  We are keeping fingers crossed for a warm weekend.  Hooray for Spring!

Instagrams from the week:

*Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

*Headband Crown Production for the lovely Acorn Toy Shop

*Ice Cream Weather, Ample Hills

*Long Shadows

*Dare

*Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

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