Thursday, April 25, 2013


 A few years ago, before blogging, I poured a friend a glass of ice water in a crystal goblet (that I found at a flea market). He quickly said "Oh, don't go to the trouble of pouring me water in a goblet, I can take a plastic cup". I quickly responded with, "It is just as easy to pour a drink into a crystal goblet as it is into a Red Solo Cup".  At that moment, the idea for my blog was born.
So often people purchase unique, flea market finds or antiques and put it on a shelf to be admired or in storage to collect dust! Over the past two years, I have decided that part of living beautifully is enjoying pretty pieces on a daily basis! I would rather break something because I used it and enjoyed it, than not use it and just look at it.
I found this lovely reproduction milk jug while in Provence and had to have it. I do keep our milk in it and smile every time I pour some into my coffee. Using your pretty things makes everyday a little more special. Why only pull the nice china out for holidays or for guests?? Let your family (which are your most prized possessions) enjoy it! Obviously I am not telling you to give your two year old a drink in a crystal goblet that was your great grandmother's, who was a princess of some far off land, but, you know what I am trying to say. Seriously though, in the words of my dear friend Iris "Life is too short and too long to not enjoy everyday"...or something like that.
 For those of you who still find using dishware found at a flea market or Goodwill to be gross, remember, you eat off of used dishes every time you go to a restaurant and sleep on used sheets every time you stay at a hotel. Shazaam! Don't be silly about it!
So, tell me, what are you not using that you can start using on a daily basis? I want to hear! Don't forget to enter my lovely giveaway for a vintage, French, canning jar!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vintage, French, Canning Jar Giveaway!

 Yup! I am having a giveaway for this 1 Litre, Vintage, French, aqua colored canning jar! It is from the Lorraine Region of France and we picked it up in Metz at a flea market last summer! Since my readers are so awesome, I thought one of you should have a touch of France in your home! The front of the jar says La Lorraine and is embellished with a thistle on the top and the front! The bottom says litre.  It is shabby, a teeny bit rusty and perfectly beautiful!

 It sells for between $40-$75 online and is my gift to you! 
I would Love it if you subscribed to my blog!
Click the link below to enter the giveaway and to get extra entries!

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send us an email!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Vintage Factory Cart 2 Ways

When I am casting a piece or random object in the "The Ever-Changing Branstetter Barn" Show, I need to make sure it is charming, full of character and can play any role I may need it to play. It needs to be a real beauty, a piece that will steal the show and has many looks.
Yes, my friends, I did just use that ridiculous metaphor.
  I have been doing quite a bit of shopping lately and got this fantastic, Industrial-Period Vintage Cart, that came out of  an Eastern German factory from the early 1900's. You see, we created our pallet table only to use as a stand-in until we found a REAL vintage cart (don't worry, we are still using the pallet table as an out-door day bed). This chippy, yellow, beauty from European Country Living is quite a show stopper. The best part is, it can go in ANY style home... Modern, Boho Chic, Shabby Chic, Contemporary, Industrial or Eclectic!  Check out how awesome it looks with both a funky, colorful, modern style room and with a more Shabby Chic/Industrial Room! I will eventually get a glass top to put on it but love the exposed wood for now! I can picture it as a flower cart on a patio as well!

Here it is with more of a Shabby Chic, Industrial look.

The reason that I am absolutely stoked to share this piece with you, is because my readers in both Europe and in The States can get an awesome piece like this, and other flea market finds from European Country Living, because they are located in both Germany and Alexandria, Virginia!! They can ship too! Matt, the owner, has traveled through flea markets around the world to collect gorgeous pieces and has reproductions for the people who want newer items that are still packed with charm. His site even has helpful hints on how to tell if a piece is new or old, what condition it's in, and how to care for your pieces. 
For the same price as a reproduction piece or a junky particle board coffee table, you can get an authentic piece from Europe, with incredible history and story.
I got my mint dining chairs from them as well and use them all over my home for seating! 

What look do you prefer, funky or shabby???
Head on over to European Country Living and find some goodies for your home and tell them The Poor Sophisticate said "Hallo"!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Vintage Map of Epic Proportions

We have now moved the map to the stairwell behind the pallet bar! Click here for the updated pictures!
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I like things that are a bit over-the-top and pretty quirky!  I recently stumbled upon this INCREDIBLE vintage school map of the Christian Reformation which took place in Deutschland, between 1438-1555. As soon as I laid eyes on this colorful beauty, I knew I had to have it (and a bag of rainbow skittles). The only place this massive beast of a map would fit, is on an over-sized wall in our dining room. It's the wall on the right in the picture below.

This map was made for this wall... That's right, if you thought a map was made to educate people, you're was made for my wall. 

 Check out the colors on her!

I am so crazy about this map...Penny, on the other hand, couldn't care less...

 This vintage map, is my favorite piece of art.

If you live in the KMC area of Germany and would like a similar one, check out they adorable shop, European Vintage Chic in Landstuhl,  and tell the friendly owner, Jurgen, Molly said hello! If you don't live nearby but would like one, I am sure I can find a way to get you one!

European Vintage Chic
Kaiserstrasse 8
66849 Landstuhl

P.S. If you have noticed some changes on the blog, you're right! Click here to see more! You know you want to click it....


I want to say that my heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to the victims and the families of the victims in Boston. I am always shocked when something horrible like this happens... Folks, we can NOT let the enemy win, and we can NOT live in fear but in love, and compassion for others. Let's continue acts of kindness for others and enjoy every moment we have with our family and friends.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What in The Heck Is This "Poor Sophisticate" All About???

The Poor Sophisticate is not about a budget...It is a philosophy, a way of life.
It's about living beautifully and enjoying this moment...right now.
It is seeking and appreciating the beauty and humor in subtle things.
It is about the journey, and exploring the unknown...taking what you have and making the absolute best of it.
It is a place in your mind where life becomes your art...your muse.

Where the details mean as much as the full picture...

Where life is delectable...

Where every alley and canal is an opportunity and a treasure, waiting to be discovered...
Precious memories and comforting environments come from embracing the new, while cherishing, appreciating, and learning from the old. 
The "Poor Sophisticate Style" is a collection of memories, moments and treasures that have been acquired along YOUR journey. It is the scratches on a dining table, the clock that chimed every hour during the dark days of World War I, a sentimental piece passed down from your grandmother or a child's art that make a space and a moment memorable. 

Come, Let's Explore...
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