Fall Estate Sale Finds

I love estate sale-ing in the fall. The weather is gorgeous, so it’s a great time to be out and about around town.

I’m rarely happier than when I’m driving between estate sales on a cool morning, with a Diet Dr. Pepper from McDonalds in the cup holder and the XM Politics channel on the radio. I’m a simple girl. And a huge nerd.

I’ve lucked on some fun finds recently too. Here’s how I’m using them.

Blue and white planter

I’m loving blue and white. I have my eyes peeled for it always. It’s so classic that it works with anything. Doesn’t it look great paired with fall colors?

Blue and white planter with mums and pumpkin

I swear every other item on my grocery store receipt these days is a mum or a pumpkin.

Case in point: this brown and white bowl with a toile pattern that turned out to be perfect for…mini pumpkins.

Brown and white toile bowl

The pattern on this bowl is also on the inside, which I absolutely love. I guess it would have been nice if I had taken a pic of that, huh? Trust me, same gorgeous pattern on the inside.

Brown and white toile bowl with pumpkins for fall

More brown and white, this time a tiny English transferware plate.

Small transferware dish

My mom taught me that little plates make great coasters, so that’s how we’re using this one. It’s in the living room next to where Tom sits with his coffee and the paper every morning.

Vintage plate as coaster

I can’t pass up one of Ina’s cookbooks. This is her first, published before she had her Food Network show.

Original Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Confession: I occassionally make one of Ina’s recipes, but mostly I read her cookbooks for entertainment.

Barefoot Contessa cookbook

They’re like big, beautiful picture books for adults. And there’s so much more in them than just recipes.

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

And this. This blanket stopped me in my tracks.

Eddie Bauer Plaid Wool Blanket

Once I checked the tag and saw that it was an Eddie Bauer wool blanket and that it was machine washable (I’ve never seen that before in a wool blanket), I scooped it up.

Plaid wool blanket detail

It’s going to be great for tailgates, sitting around the fire pit, or even just wrapping up on the couch when the weather turns cold.

One last thing: Are you on Instagram? Are you loving it like I am? I’m the last blogger in the world to have gotten on Instagram, but I’m all in now. That’s where you’ll find me in between posts.

Other things I’d like to know: Is your grocery cart full of mums and pumpkins? Do you read cookbooks more than you cook from them? Are you a huge nerd? (Please say yes.)

P.S. Here’s more about how I shop estate sales.


  1. I own almost all of the Ina Garten cookbooks, but not the first one! They do make great reading, and once in awhile I do actually make one of her recipes. This summer I was in East Hampton, and parked in front of her house to take a peek at the real thing. The house and property actually seem larger on TV. But it was one of the highlights of my vacation.

    1. Sherri, you are the house stalking queen! I actually love that her home and property are smaller in person. Such a fun memory for you I’m sure. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Oh, yes! I’m a nerd, too—we’re the best, don’t you think?! Gee, I go to the wrong estate sales in K.C.-I never see these great finds. But then again, I don’t get there at the crack of dawn either-I’m either at work or you know….sleeping! Once I did snag some great silver pieces though. I love silver and crystal-they make a room or table look so elegant. I, too, like to read cookbooks (and try some recipes, too!), but I’ve never really gotten into Ina Garten’s for some reason. I see them at Costco and always browse through them quickly, but for some reason they just don’t do it for me. Have you checked out P. Allen Smith’s Garden recipe book? Gorgeous pictures, great stories woven in and of course, recipes using fresh garden ingredients. By the way, when you are at Nell Hill’s store in Atchison, check out her bargain basement downstairs. I found/bought a gorgeous, elegant end table at a bargain price, over this summer. My sister found a beautiful inlaid, small round dining table also for a bargain price (under $200 each) about a month ago. Check it out and enjoy!
    I’m always loving your blogs. Take care.

    1. Nancee, I have not seen P. Allen Smith’s cookbooks but my aunt is a huge fan, so I’m aware of him. I’ll have to check it out. And THANKS for the Nell Hill’s tip. I haven’t been to the Atchison store in ages, but I’m going to plan a trip now.

  3. You have a great eye! Love the blue and white.

    We have an estate sale here this weekend that is from one of the city’s founding families, and can you believe . . . I’m not going to be here!!!

    1. Oh, that’s a killer, Leslie Anne. Hope you’re going to be somewhere fun.

  4. You found some great items! Yes…I read cookbooks too..and occasionally, actually make some thing! And yes…I admit to bring a nerd…but then isn’t everyone about something? 😉

    1. Definitely, Donnamae. 🙂

  5. Janet Berry-Johnson says:

    I love it all! And I totally agree about Ina’s books. I can just curl up on the couch and read one like a novel while I imagine having a life that would allow me to cook all of her amazing recipes!

    1. Perfect description, Janet. They kind of transport you, don’t they?

  6. Yes – I do read cookbooks for enjoyment, probably more so than trying to get a new idea for dinner. The 641 section of the DDS is like a magnet to me when I go to the library. A couple of years ago we cleaned out my in-laws house, and my mother-in-law had a sack set aside with my name on it that was full of her cookbooks and clippings from newspapers and magazines. I’m still going through them, slowly, and enjoying it so much.

    You found some beautiful items. My oldest son recently was laid off and he’s been working with an estate sale company while looking for another job. He’s come across some interesting, and useful, things, but unfortunately he hasn’t developed the eye of beauty like you have. Vintage Star Wars for himself, and he’s brought us an upright freezer that through a mix-up was free. I need to show him your pictures and maybe he’ll look for deals through a different lens:)

    1. Karen, a woman who talks about the DDS the way you do is one cool chick! I’m laughing about your comment about your son. I’m guessing to him that Star Wars = beauty.

      1. You guessed correctly:)

  7. Julie, you definitely found some great items! That EB blanket will be great for Christmas, too.

    Like so many others, I’m a big Ina fan and have all 9 of her books. I think her first and second books are my favorite. I’m looking forward to her 10th book next year. I keep hoping she’ll do a holiday book.

    I’m almost embarrassed to admit how many pumpkins go into my car each year. I choose them very carefully and only buy the ones with long, twisty stems…love them! ~Jillian

    1. Jillian, we don’t have pumpkins with long, twisty stems here. I would be all over that too. And a holiday book from Ina would be great. I think her Paris book is my favorite but, again, I don’t cook from it. lol

  8. Have I seen you at these estate sales? I have been going almost weekly throughout this summer and loving it. The pennies on the dollar prices have completely spoiled me for retail and so many things to choose from! I’m willing to go from Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, Indep. to Johnson County for a good estate sale. I’m going to start looking for you.

    As far as reading cookbooks for entertainment – nope. Instead I have a framed quotation in my kitchen that is attributed to Rita Rudner that reads, “I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and think, “Well, that’s not going to happen.” Too true.

    1. Great RR quote, Linda. I’m sure our estate sale paths have crossed as some point. I completely relate to your comments about the prices and selection. It’s definitely changed the way I shop too.

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