in with the old: shabby love.

shabby love antlers shabby love birds shabby love green cabinet shabby love lamp shabby love registershabby love leah2 shabby love leah calCopyright © 2012-14 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

old country: shabby love.

shabby love signI had this Ziggy tee shirt when I was a kid, and I probably wore it 360 days of the year for like three years. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it was one of those shirts that, as soon as Mom washed it, it was back on my body. Now, as a mom myself, I find myself taking certain garments out of rotation at laundry time because I’m so dang sick of seeing that Angry Birds shirt.

But we all have things like the Ziggy tee shirt. Things we cherish and can’t seem to let go of, even when they’re tattered and no longer even fit us. When that happened, Grandma got out the sewing kit and I ended up with a new Ziggy pillow. Shabby as it was, I loved that shirt. It was soft, and it was familiar, and it was Ziggy.

There are other shabby things we love. Brandy’s Dale Earnhardt coffee mug, which belonged to her grandmother. Also her sofa: somehow the torn fabric and stuffing sticking out all over has made it more comfortable and lovable. When your $4000 mattress gives you a backache, where do you end up? That’s right – on the shabby 1973 sofa you pilfered from your childhood home.

A child’s blankie gets pretty shabby. There’s usually one corner of it that spends more time in the kid’s mouth than the rest of it… that part’s extra faded and permanently wrinkly… but those (seemingly disgusting) details are what define the blankie as “MINE!” and no one else’s. Special. And pants. We all have a pair of shabby sweat pants, jeans, yoga pants, pajama bottoms… in fact in my house, it’s not uncommon to hear, “Man, I can’t wait to put on my shabby pants.” We love shabby.

Old people, too, get kinda shabby. Now, I don’t mean that in any derogatory way. I feel I’m allowed to talk about old people because I was raised by an old person. I can also speak freely about nerds and awkward people because I belong to those groups. But when you visit an important old person in your life, and you smell her White Shoulders perfume and you see her shabby easy chair, the dent of the cushion reflecting the shape of her backside perfectly and you see her Desert Rose dishes and the rabbit ears on her Magnavox, admit it: you are tranquilized by nostalgia and you don’t want to leave.

And when you yearn for old things in your not-so-old life, so you can enjoy a feeling of nostalgia before you’re old enough to actually experience it… or if you ARE old but you unfortunately got rid of all your cool nostalgic belongings already, you can capture that feeling… at Shabby Love.

shabby love Leah1 shabby love kitchen tableShabby Love specializes in reclaiming, upcycling, and refurbishing old, otherwise unwanted stuff. And I don’t know about you, but I think things that have been rescued — buildings, pets, furniture, books — have a special kind of beauty. I walked through the store — with its wooden table and blue chest and green china cabinet and red side table and cheese grater light fixture — and I just wanted to take all those beautiful orphans home. To add to the personality of the furniture, each piece that’s been painted has a name. I met “Edna,” “Stan,” and “Maggie,” and they all certainly spoke to me.

shabby love blue dresserWe saw an old typewriter and old suitcases made of wood. WOOD. Who would want to lug around a solid wood suitcase?? Practical or not, those things are gorgeous. And saw beautiful lockets and pendants, necklaces and brooches and bracelets, hanging there… waiting.

shabby love necklace shabby love necklacesIf you’re curious about the paint they use, it’s called Chalk Paint, and you can even attend a workshop at Shabby Love on April 12th. Just sign up and bring a (reasonably sized) piece of (preferably rescued) furniture. They’ll supply the rest! And your life can be a little shabbier. Turns out shabby’s not too shabby after all.

shabby love chalk paint shabby love library shabby love mirrorCopyright © 2012-14 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

catching fire: bella luna.

Bella Luna sign2I’m just gonna cut to the chase. Harrisonburg has needed a wood-fired pizza place FOREVER. And we finally have one!! And it’s AWESOME. And beautiful, as you can see from Brandy’s photos here.

Brandy and I had a lovely day with the kids recently. We planned to meet at Bella Luna for lunch. Of course, when we got there, we discovered that Shabby Love, a new store with all kinds of cool vintage items located next to Bella Luna, is also now open! We went in there first and pretty much drooled over every single item in that place. So you can expect to see some gorgeous photos of that place soon, too.

If you haven’t been in Bella Luna yet, let me set the scene for you. It’s located on West Water Street just down from Beyond and Cuban Burger. They’ve done a superb job of renovating that building: a bright atrium behind majestic wooden doors greets hungry patrons; beautiful exposed brick preserves the building’s history; tall windows let in exorbitant natural light; a warm, welcoming bar lines one side of the restaurant; wooden columns and rafters explain why they won a well-deserved Design Excellence Award; and the kitchen, including the shiny, modern wood-fire oven, is open and visible from the dining area. It’s pretty fancy, in an unassuming way, for a pizza joint. But the menu has something for everyone, no matter how sophisticated their taste.

Bella Luna barBella Luna wood-fired ovenbwI can’t say enough about how happy and positive and accommodating the staff is. There’s not a bad seat in the place, but for the purpose of photography, we asked to be moved to a seat near the window with brighter light. The hostess didn’t even flinch and just moved us over. Once settled in our seats, our waitress came right over. Of course, before she could get two words out, Cal challenged her to a staring contest, and because she was the nicest server I think I’ve ever had, she happily obliged. She also lost the contest, but she didn’t hold it against him. In fact, a bit later, she was kind enough to take Bree and Cal over to the pizza oven for a tour. They loved that.

Bella Luna awesome serverbwWe stuck to pizza, beer, and an appetizer. Our appetizer was this lovely deviled egg dish with fresh, local greens and prosciutto ham and some kind of yummy dressing. When the server brought over the pepper mill, Cal asked, “Is that a chess piece?”

Bree and Cal split a cheese pizza, and Brandy and I devoured a more meaty variety, every single bite, plus finger licking. Bree quickly exclaimed that it was the best pizza she’d ever had, adding that she loved the lightly charred edges (she’s not usually a fan of charred food at my house) and that “we are definitely coming back here.” Cal didn’t say much. He just stuffed it in.

Bella Luna deviled eggBella Luna pizza1 Bella Luna pizza3We were so comfortable in there I feel like we’d hardly waited at all before the food arrived. But we ate leisurely, knowing we didn’t have to be anywhere else immediately and enjoying the time to sit, sip, chat, and get nourished. I mention this because if you happen to work downtown, you should know that it’s entirely feasible to get a meal during your lunch break. If you’re not pressed for time, it’s a lovely environment in which to take your time, enjoy a bottle of wine, and relax.

I’ll just let the photos tell the rest of the story. You should, right now, look at your calendar and plan a trip to Bella Luna. We’ve waited this long for wood-fired pizza; to wait any longer would just be ridiculous. See you out and about!

Bella Luna bread Bella Luna bright light Bella Luna dinersBella Luna pizza 2 Bella Luna happy kids Bella Luna outsideCopyright © 2012-14 · All Rights Reserved · ilovemyburg.com. Written content by Katie Mitchell. Photos by Brandy Somers. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.