Retro Rentals – Austin

So the rental prices in Austin are super high. But you can still find a few single family homes instead of just leasing from an apartment complex. Some of these are cute old vintage homes from the 1930s thru 1960s. Some are little garage apartments located behind big houses which are also a great way to get into nicer neighborhoods on a budget.


1108 Ruth Ave is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house. Buildt in 1948 and still retains a charming retro kitchen. Wooden cabinets with dark hardware. Ceramic tile top which might be a replacement as the sink appears new. Hardwood floors throughout. Cute wood siding house with an adorable wood screen door on the front.


Hooray for colorful kitchens! These tiles might be new but are a pretty aqua blue with a darker teal border. Wood upper and lower cabinets appear original to this 1960 home. 4906 Gladeview Dr is a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home. One solution for non-matching appliances is painting the fridge. I believe Rustoleum makes a special appliance paint.


A very cute 3 bedroom home with 1 bathroom still retains its classic white ceramic tile. 4907 Majestic Drive was built in South Austin in 1959. Still has original wooden cabinets. The tile may be new as is the faucet I think. Kept the theme going with white tile in the bathroom and the original bathtub.


Here is a house with a super cute pale blue ceramic tile and pink trim in the bathroom. Floor tile is blue hexagon tile as well.  1500 Justin Lane was built in 1953. The kitchen also still has some original features like the wooden molding and upper cabinets. Sink look new but is a farmhouse style and it has a new penny tile backsplash. Hardwood floors throughout.



Next is a house with a charming 1920s kitchen which even has an archway into the living room. Seems to be the original wooden upper cabinets with glass insert and the wood lower cabinets with ivory ceramic tile counter top. Also has the original sink and wall mount faucet. 4211 Avenue B was buildt in 1926 and is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath. Located in historic Hyde Park neighborhood. Even still has a claw foot bathtub. Original front door and windows with wood siding.





Retro Rentals – San Antonio

So, looking at real estate listings on Trulia. San Antonio has a surprising amount of vintage houses for lease. Many have the original colorful tiled bathrooms from the 1920s thru 60s. A few even have the original kitchen cabinets, faucets and countertops.


137 Beverly Drive is a 3 Bedroom, 2 bathroom house. Built in the 1950s in a neighborhood called Monticello Park and is a ranch style house. One is a peach and mint tile bathroom with original art deco style bathtub. The other is a royal blue tile with a hexagon floortile. Original bathtub, medicine cabinet and sink. Kitchen has orginal wood upper cabinets but bottom counter and sink are new. Hardwood floors in most rooms and sort of a knotty pine addition.


Another house for rent is 1822 Lee Hall. Built in 1926 and is a 3 bedroom, 1 bath. Retains a charming 1920s kitchen. White ceramic tile counters, original wall mounted sink faucet and wood cabinets with glass panel doors. Cute black and white tile bathroom with original medicine cabinet.



Some of the older houses have been remodeled. These tend to be hit or miss. Some people go the quick and easy way and slap up the cheapest plastic surrounds or put floor tile up on the walls and counters. Sometimes people get it right…. Case in point 236 Claudia Street. A 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom portion of a triplex house. The kitchen is light and airy. They kept the art deco upper wooden kitchen cabinets. These might be original to the house buildt in 1907 or perhaps they were added in the 20s or 30s. The wall mount kitchen faucet was kept as well. Bottom cabinets are new but well done and try to echo the same style. The butcher’s block counter was also a nice choice. Hardwood floors in a beautiful dark finish and neatly painted base boards, 5 panel doors and windows. Bathroom looks to have new 4in white ceramic tile above the bathtub. New pedestal sink instead of some awful vanity. Bathroom floor might be the original tile or at least a modern version of a classic pattern.


Not all retro bathrooms were colorful. Even in the 1950s and 1960s some people were into neutrals like beige and tan. 437 Rittiman Rd is a 5 bedroom brick house from 1960. The bathroom is covered in beige wall tile and countertop with white inlaid sink. Ironically, beige comes in so many flavors it can be as hard to match as pink. As you can tell by the patched border.😉 Here’s a suggestion, if you are going to replace with a totally different trim color maybe splurge and go all the way around.



And last but not least a pink bathroom for rent. 4822 Creekmoor Dr. Cute 1950’s ranch style house with  3 bedroom, 2 bathroom. Has original pink ceramic tile walls and countertop. Original white sink and bathtub as well as stainless steel towel bars, toilet paper dispenser and soap dish.


Thrift Store Review & Haul

Thrift stores are quite popular these days. Finding actual vintage items gets harder and harder. Keys to success: shop on weekdays as they are usually less busy, shop often and be sure to look carefully through everything. This weekend I went to my local Goodwill and though I’d share some finds.

Goodwill – Oak Hill (Hrs M-Sat:8am-9pm; Sun: 10am – 8pm)

Address: 7100 U.S. 290, Suite C, Austin, Texas 78736 (Southwest side of Hwy 290 & Hwy 71)

This Goodwill is located in a nice neighborhood and has tons of parking. It is behind the Jim’s Restaurant and next to the Planet Fitness. About 2 yrs ago it was remodeled and expanded. So this is a large, bright and airy store. Employees are always very friendly. This one doesn’t get as crazy crowded as the ones downtown. They have a big selection of both men’s and women’s clothing and shoes. Huge area of books. A nice amount of dishes and appliances. They have a moderate area of furniture. A small area of sheets, blankets and comforters. They don’t have color tag sales and rarely have specials. They do have weekend auctions for higher priced special items.

Click image to enlarge. Descriptions below.


What I Found:

Vintage Hitachi Automatic Food Steamer / Rice Cooker Chime-o-Matic in a beige likely from the 1960s, 70s or 80s. These go for $30 to $45 on ebay and etsy.

Cobalt Blue Glass Canisters – Set of three with wire top clamps. May be vintage or modern? Very pretty and I think octagonal. Going for $40+ on ebay.

Ravioli Maker / Raviolera / Ravioli Press – Vintage or modern? This one is from Italy and makes small square ravioli and comes with a little wood rolling pin. This is the only item I actually bought. These go for $25 or more on ebay.

Retro Red Pot / Pan with Lid and double handles by National. Most likely from the 60s, 70s or 80s. I couldn’t find any details on this brand.

Harvest Gold Bundt Pan – by Northland Aluminum Products – Minneapolis – Also from the 50s, 60s or 70s. I actually already have one of these. They are heavy weight which is good for cooking. Paint tends to get scratched with use.

Crock -Pot by Rival with beige outside and orange inside and a design of onions and veggies. Circa 60s, 70s and 80s. These go for $30 to $45 on ebay.

Coffee Dispenser / Percolator in Avocado Green – circa 1970s, common in offices and churches.

I was strong and only bought one item. So the rest are still there if you get there quickly enough.



New Austin ReStore from Habitat for Humanity

So, the Austin Restore has a brand spanking new location! Now located at 500 W. Ben White Blvd. Just north of Hwy 290 access road and 1st Street.


This new building is located just north of Hwy 290 on the access road and 1st Street. It has ample parking. It is bigger, brighter, cleaner and a little more organized. They also accept donations. See my previous two reviews of the charming original Habitat for Humanity Restore here   and here.

Sooo, while I love the new store….it does lack some of the charm and rock bottom prices the original warehouse seemed to have. But it still supports a good cause. And of course every visit is different as new treasures roll in.

As you enter, the first section is used furniture. They seem to have a wider selection of good quality pieces. However, the are priced more like a Goodwill (aka a little steep).IMG_6064IMG_6065

Further in you come to light fixtures both used and new. Tons of old doors, old windows, new floor tiles, new paint, new ceramic bathroom tiles. Reclaimed plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilets and bathtubs. As well as some new plumbing fixtures. Since Habitat’s main business is building houses for low income families, they have a lot of fixtures and supplies which they buy in bulk.

Some of my favorite things are old antique doors. I grew up in a 1920s house so am partial to the solid wood paneled doors. This time they had a adorable exterior kitchen door with a glass upper section. Best part , it was salmon pink! Second best part, it was only $65! New these doors can go for $200- $500 at a big box store. If you can even find the style and size to fit your old house. If only I was a home owner! They also had a beautiful full glass panel wood front door. Stained dark and with the original wobbly glass, circa 1880s thru 1930s. They also have more modern and new doors.

The other thing I love are old appliances. While when I went they didn’t have as many as the old store did, they still had some cute ones. I don’t know if people are snapping them up as soon as they come in or if people haven’t gotten used to donating to the new store. They also had a few commercial grade ovens and RV type stove tops. Click the images below to enlarge.

I would love to hear what treasurers you have found at your local architectural salvage place.

Aladdin Thermos Set in Red


Aladdin Thermos Containers

So, I’ve been collecting Aladdin thermos sets for a few years. (That’s Aladdin the company not the movie). Jeez, they make good products. These plastic insulted thermos from the 1960s and 1970s (and 80s and 90s) work well and still look nice!

But in an effort to reduce my ever growing horde….I’m selling these on Etsy.

These are all my Vintage Red & Cream colored Aladdin food storage set. Lot includes HY-LO thermos bottle, extra lid and stopper and 3 insulated food containers.

Marked on bottom with “Aladdin Industries, Inc., Nashville, Tenn. U.S.A. ” which means they were made between 1965 and 2002 when that plant closed.


Aladdin Hy-Lo Thermos

Quart Hy-Lo Thermos with Red cup / top lid and red base, beige rippled side with a handle. It’s very clean inside. Insulates coffee or soup to keep it hot hot hot or for cold liquids. Thermos measures just over 11 in tall. Great for picnics or taking your lunch to work. I use the thermo jars for yogurt, manly men use it for soup.

See more photos of this item on my flickr

Qty 2 – No. 240 cup / lid in red
Qty 2 – No. 44 stopper (screws on) in beige
Qty 1 – No. 060A filler (metal piece vacuum flask on the inside of the thermos)
Qty 1 – WM1060P plastic thermos in beige Quart Size, Wide Mouth
Qty 2 – #7000 Thermo Jar (beige / cream) (Urethane Insulated) 4 in tall
Qty 1 – #7000 Thermo Jar (beige) (Foam Insulated) 4 in tall
Qty 2 – Red lids for #7000 Thermo Jar with classic script Aladdin logo
Qty 1 – Red lid for #7000 Thermo Jar with modern block Aladdin logo

Circa 1960s, 70s or 80s. Very good used condition. One jar has a scratch on a seam.

My jars are from 2 different time periods. The 2 older ones with the script logo are ever so slightly a different color beige (kind of cream/ pleasant yellow). I never noticed until I took the photos. The older ones are marked Urethane which is simply the scientific name for the foam that is internal. Jar lids are “refreezeable” and have permanent liquid internally.That is some cutting edge 1960s Mad Men era technology.

Anyone, know when the Aladdin logo changed from a script to the block type with a slanted “A”.

Vintage Cookbooks from the 1970s

I love vintage cookbooks, as I’ve mentioned before. I’ve actually banned myself from buying them at Goodwill anymore. But I was at the Goodwill Outlet and couldn’t pass these up. Ended up buying 14 books; half of which were cookbooks but for such a steal! Plus, I feel like I’m rescuing treasures from being thrown away.


I got a signed Justin Wilson cook book, first printing of Cookin’ Cajun – Cookbook #2. I’ve got that up for sale on Etsy since having lived in New Orleans I’m pretty good at the cajun recipes already. Love his TV show too, what a character!


This one is published in 1978 but the recipes are a blend Southern Comfort food, French techniques, seafood and creole flavors.

Here is his recipe for Beef Étouffée

Ingredients: 3 – 1/2 or 3/4in shouder steaks, 3 slices chopped lime, 2 cups chopped onion, 1 cup chopped bell pepper, 1 cup sauterne wine, parsely, garlic, lemon-pepper, soy sauce, red pepper, salt

Instructions: Season meat with lemon-pepper, salt, red pepper and garlic. Put the meat in a pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook over low fire. Get it real hot to start, then turn down and cook it slowly until the meat is done. 

Sounds pretty easy, huh? The Sauternes wine he refers to is a sweet white wine.


I also got a cookbook called Kitchen Magic: Cooking with Common Grains from 1974. I enjoy baking and am just getting into making my own bread.

IMG_2544 IMG_2546

I also got a cake decorating book. I have a few frosting tips but haven’t tried them since high school where I recall being absolutely horrible at it. I’ve heard you can practice piping with instant mashed potatoes to save a little money. This is a 1974 Wilton Yearbook of Cake Decorating.


IMG_2562 IMG_2563  IMG_2561

I’ll save the other cookbooks for another post. Maybe I’ll try my hand at some kooky 70s recipes in the mean time.

Do you have a favorite classic cookbook? Let me know your suggestions.

Thrift Store Finds – Old Kitchen Appliances & more

So, thought I’d share a few thrift store finds from a couple of months ago. These are just some random items I thought were interesting. I was strong and didn’t actually buy any of them.

Check out this huge ceramic Asian lamp! Amazing, these fit a decor that are both retro and modern. They can run several hundred dollars. This one was like $50 which is a little high for a thrift store but still. I believe these are called ginger jar lamps. This one has a white lattice work cut out of a tree.


Here is another classic avocado green Crock Pot. This one is a Princess Pot-o-Plenty. This one was marked down to like $10. This is from the 1970s and even has recipe info on the front.


Here is a bit of a woddity. An electric peeler for vegetables. This is a GE Peeling Wand. Below is an ad from a 1978 newspaper showing the wand which sold for $23.



They also had a pristine couch with a geometric yellow print. This style was popular from the 1950s thru the 1970s.


Here is another 1970s kitchen gem that has mostly disappeared from modern kitchens. A Rival Meat Grinder for making sausage or meatballs. This one is a bright yellow.


Another thing that has gone out of fashion. Cloth wall calendars. This one is from 1974 and has a rooster and sunflowers on it. My grandma always had one of these, even up until the 1990s. But as computers and smart phones have taken hold calendars are less used.


Here is a Sunbeam waffle maker in stainless steel. This is a classic and they were build to last. Great for breakfast or even grilled cheese sandwiches. This one was marked down to $8. Guessing from the cloth chord this one is from the 1960s or 70s.


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