Positively Friday: Thrift Store Finds, Roasted Strawberries and a Big Relief!

Positively Friday: Thrift Store Finds, Roasted Strawberries and a Big Relief!
Friday sure came around quick for me this week thanks to our Labor Weekend holiday.Did it for you, too?

Tuesday, I hit up a few thrift shops and found some real treasures. I bought some jewelry at a charity shop I’d never been to before. They sell mostly dishes, books, knick-knacks, home decor and the like but the bling is what I stopped in for.

Among other things, I found this unusual feather necklace that reminds me of Stevie Nicks. I’m already referring to it as my “Stevie” necklace. It’s got a boho vibe that I instantly liked.

After the charity shop, I decided to drop by my favorite Goodwill. I found a wool coat just hanging there all by itself at the end of the denim aisle. The moment I saw the label, I knew I had to buy it.

As much as I wish I’d heard of Aquascutum prior to finding this coat, I hadn’t. The fact that the tag makes mention of “H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother” was enough for me to know I had  found something special. When I arrived home, I immediately Googled ‘Aquascutum’ and confirmed my hunch. Special and then some!

Some vintage Aquascutum coats fetch quite a high price tag! Much higher than the $5.99 I paid.

It needs a little tightening on the buttons and a good dry cleaning but otherwise, it’s in excellent condition. I did a little research on the label, a suggestion of Alicia’s, and found that this coat is from either the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. Maybe 1967, the year of my birth. Wouldn’t that be nifty?

I am looking forward to some cold weather so I can wear my new find. I am sure I will feel like H. M. Queen of the Thrift Stores while wearing this regal coat.

Are you familiar with Aquascutum?

~ Wednesday morning I went to the county court house for jury duty selection. I tried to look on the bright side of jury duty: it’s an opportunity to give back to my community, a chance to read a book without feeling like I should be doing something else and a potential learning experience. But truthfully, I did not want to be there.

My wish to not be there came true. After watching a video and listening to dozens of names being called off  – none of them mine – I was dismissed! I spent just 40 minutes at the court house then had the rest of the day to myself.

This was my fourth time being called in for jury selection and my fourth time being dismissed. Have you ever served on a jury?

~ We are fortunate to have a strawberry patch here in our tiny town that is open from late spring to sometimes as late as November.

I often stop and buy several baskets to take home to snack on and to freeze for smoothies. They’re gorgeous berries, full of flavor and so fresh.

I had a sweet tooth the other evening and wanted something fruity for dessert but I didn’t want plain old berries. I saw a few recipes for roasting fruit online and decided to try roasting a few pints of berries.

I used BR Cohn white balsamic vinegar, sweetened it with agave syrup (about 1/4 cup total, 1:1 ratio) and poured it over strawberry chunks spread on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I put them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until they started to bubble a little.

Once out of the oven, I let them cool to room temperature then served them over plain Greek yogurt sweetened with sugar-free Torani vanilla syrup. It helps the yogurt stay firmer if you put it in the freezer for about half an hour.

~ You might recall earlier this year I applied to be genetically tested for the BRCA gene. My mother had breast cancer at a young age but my family history did not show enough evidence of the BRCA gene and I was turned down for testing – twice. The last option was to have my mother tested. If she was positive, then they would test me.

I asked my mother if she would do this for me and she didn’t hesitate for a second. Over the last two months she has gone through the process of getting tested. It wasn’t easy. Many were reluctant to give her (cover the cost of) the test. She talked to a lot of people, made many phone calls, wrote letters and drove all over the Raleigh-Durham area to make it happen.

By the end of August, she had the test done and on Tuesday the results came back negative for BRCA. This means, according to the genetic therapist, I do not have the BRCA gene either. What a relief!

I am certainly not going to be cavalier about these results and I do realize I need to continue my annual check-ups and mammograms but it sure is wonderful to check BRCA genes off my list of worries.

Thank you, Mom, for your persistence. And for taking the time and making the effort to do that for me.

Tell me, what’s been positive about your week?
xo, Adrienne



  1. September 6, 2013 / 1:45 pm

    Wow on the coat! You really never know what you are going to find in a consignment/vintage store. My girlfriend and I were out yesterday and she found a classic Burberry trench, literally looks like it has never been worn. Not for $5.99 mind you, but for $200 …quite a bit less than the $1700 that they want online for it.

    Funny enough I too have been called in for Jury duty. The first time in my life. I go on Sept 30th. With all of the medical issues I’ve had as of late though I’m not sure if this is going to be the best timing for me. I’m not enthusiastic about it.

    I’m glad to hear you don’t have the gene. One less thing to worry about.


    • September 8, 2013 / 12:56 pm

      Wow! Lucky friend – Burberry coat for $200. I would have grabbed that, too.

      I think what I like least about the jury duty isn’t so much the duty itself but the open-endedness of it all. You don’t know if you’ll be chosen, if you’re chosen, you don’t know how long you’ll be there, and it’s hard to plan. I guess I have become a planner in my old(er) age!

      Hope you don’t have to go to your jury duty with your medical issues right now.

  2. September 6, 2013 / 2:23 pm

    Adrienne, if this coat were not your size do you think you would have purchased it to resell? I’m so happy for you that it is quality vintage and your fit – now I also want the weather to cool off as you’ll look smashing!

    Jury Duty – called 4x, jury 2x, foreman 1x. If chosen, your sense of duty makes the time away from real life go by quickly.

    • September 8, 2013 / 12:59 pm

      Hi Linda,

      I don’t know. I don’t have an etsy store or anything and I really don’t like doing ebay but I may have bought it for a friend if it was in a different size. In fact, I am having some issues with sleeve length and am thinking maybe a friend who lives in a colder climate and who is not as tall as I am would use it more than I will. Still mulling that over.

      I bet once the jury duty ball gets rolling, it’s quite fascinating. It’s all the before stuff that people find a pain!

  3. September 6, 2013 / 2:27 pm

    I was once called into a jury but was dismissed because as it turned out, one of the parties involved was a client of the insurance company I worked at. I would have been totally biased I suppose. Love that necklace by the way! You wear it well.

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:00 pm

      Thanks, Diane! I love the necklace, too. My husband doesn’t but oh well…he can’t like everything I buy.
      That was luck of the draw for you about your jury duty.

  4. September 6, 2013 / 2:47 pm

    wow, fabulous coat and I love the Stevie necklace too! I have been called for jury duty three times, but never selected for a jury. I did get to read a lot of books. : >

  5. September 6, 2013 / 2:49 pm

    Awesome find on that coat! I love that your mama didn’t hesitate to go get tested. I didn’t even know you could test early for that sort of thing. You would think that is something that should be available to all women. Such a shame!

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:03 pm

      I was pleasantly surprised by how diligent my mom was about getting this test. They kept telling her no and she wouldn’t accept that as an answer. She is a lot more persistent that I am!
      I agree it should be available to more women – maybe that will change now that the company that does the test can’t have a patent on genes. Not sure what’s going on with that these days.

  6. September 6, 2013 / 3:59 pm

    Big relief about the BRCA test and so great that your mom was so determined to get it done for your sake. Love your finds and am anxious to see the coat on you. I’ve never been called for jury duty, and I sort of wonder why? I’ll probably get summoned this week now that I’ve written this. In LA it’s a terrible, long drive to the courthouses – I’ll have to plead insanity.

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:05 pm

      I can’t believe you’ve never been called up – hoping that doesn’t change anytime soon. Downtown LA with all that traffic – EEK!

  7. September 6, 2013 / 4:18 pm

    Happy Friday to you Adrienne! Such a lovely post my dear! I will say it again… you are a true thrift shop whisperer! First the coat this week… now the necklace… the treasures You can find!

    Can’t wait to try out roasted strawberries with greek yogurt! Ii appreciate your step by step directions to such tasty and healthy treats!

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend my friend!


    • September 8, 2013 / 1:07 pm


      I just love that “Thrift Shop Whisperer”! So funny!
      I hope you’ve had a great weekend. We are roasting up north – like a pan full of strawberries!

  8. September 6, 2013 / 4:34 pm

    Most of my positive week was spent in Chicago…which was both beautiful and great! Roasting strawberries sounds like a good idea. I recently have roasted red seedless grapes (tossed in olive oil, balsamic, herbs de provence, pink salt, pepper) and served them with slices of brie cheese–it was delicious!

    Great find with the coat! Love the color. Now you just need to find a Launer handbag to go with it. : )

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:08 pm

      Sounds like you had a great time in Chicago!

      That grape dish sounds tasty. Especially with the brie cheese, which I adore.

      What is a Launer handbag? So many classic designers that I don’t know about. Jeesh!

    • September 11, 2013 / 7:00 am

      Launer makes HMQ’s handbags. Very classic styles, beautiful bags.

  9. September 6, 2013 / 5:30 pm

    Kudos to your mother for being so diligent about the test. I’ve never heard to this label, but the coat is jaw-droppingly beautiful. And those strawberries, be still my heart. Have you ever dehydrated strawberries to eat as dried fruit?

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:11 pm

      Oh good..I am not the only one who had never heard of Aquascutum.
      I don’t have a dehydrator but would like to get one. The only thing is that they are typically pretty big and I don’t know if I would use it enough to warrant giving up the space. Do you have one?

  10. September 6, 2013 / 8:16 pm

    The coat was only $5.99? What a steal! As I have mentioned before, our Goodwill’s in San Diego are ridiculous on their pricing…I saw an Old Navy t shirt one time that was priced higher than your coat! Go figure.

    My husband and I get called for jury duty all the time. I almost was put on a double murder case about 5 years ago and I was losing sleep worrying about it. Luckily, after serving 3 days they didn’t like my response to a question and let me go. My last jury duty was federal court, you are basically “on call” for a month which I absolutely hated. Never knew until 6:00 p.m. the night before if I had to go in. I finally did near the end of the 30 days and was dismissed that day. For now though, I have a valid excuse having to be available for the in-laws. Oh darn! 😉

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:36 pm

      There is a thrift shop like that in Sonoma on the plaza. They sell junky stuff for very high prices. Old Navy shirts that are outdated in poor condition for $8.00 – so silly, I never shop there.

      Your jury duty experiences sound dreadful! Especially the federal court. A month of on-call would drive me crazy! I hate being in limbo.
      You do have a very valid excuse right now should you be called up again – that is a tiny little silver lining.
      Yes, big relief about the BRCA test. Big!
      xo, A

  11. September 6, 2013 / 8:18 pm

    P.S. Great news on your Mom’s test results! I bet you breathed a big sigh of relief.

  12. September 6, 2013 / 8:56 pm

    I have heard of Aquascutum, I think Duchess Kate was photographed wearing one of their scarves (this was when they came to Canada after the Royal wedding). So of course I’ve been looking them up on Ebay. 🙂 Your coat was an incredible find!

    Love your Stevie necklace, it’s totally Stevie-like. I’ve always liked those moon necklaces she wears (Tai Babilonia wears them too). And, of course, the shawls.

    Glad to hear about the test results!

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:38 pm

      I would not be surprised if Kate wore Aquascutum. It’s got such royal history!
      I like Stevie’s unique style. I wouldn’t go full boho like she does but a necklace here, a fringe scarf there I can manage.
      Tai Babilonia – now there is a name I haven’t heard in a long time!

  13. September 6, 2013 / 9:32 pm

    When my dad was called to do jury duty for the first time he tried telling them that he doesn’t want to do it to which they said: oh but Mr. it’s a great American privilege to be able to participate in the judicial system. He said: If it’s a privilege then it is something that I should be able to chose to forfeit, coming from a communist country (then Ukraine) I am very familiar with forfeiting my privileges. They said no, he cant. He told them then it’s not a ‘privilege’ but a ‘requirement’and that in Ukraine there is something VERY similar to that and it’s called “forced volunteering” and he did NOT come to America the land of the free to be ‘forced into volunteering’ again just like in the Communist Ukraine. He went on for a bit with the lecture until they just told him he can go. 🙂

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:50 pm

      Your dad had a very good point – a privilege is not a privilege if it’s required. Forced volunteering does sound like a more accurate name for it!

  14. September 7, 2013 / 12:47 am

    Beautiful photos. The collar and coat are beautiful. And the strawberries … mmmmm.

  15. September 7, 2013 / 2:31 am

    Congratulations on your exquisite find – a lovely coat and I think red is so pretty. We should wear a lot more colors!!
    The strawberries look delicious and I could pick them right there from your picture – if that were possible – and munch on them here in Austria 😉
    Happy to hear the result of your mom’s test.
    All the best and have a very HAPPY weekend! 🙂

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:16 pm

      Thank you, Happy!
      I agree, we should wear more color. It’s so easy to just always buy black.
      The strawberries roasted and served over yogurt is very tasty and not too sweet. The berry flavor really comes through.
      I hope you’ve had a great weekend in Austria, which is a country at the top of my list of places to go.

  16. September 7, 2013 / 4:04 am

    Fabulous post Adrienne. Firstly so pleased your Mum doesn’t have the gene and you can cross that worry off your list; must be such a relief.
    As for your coat find, being a Brit I know Aquascutum very well. Used to be categorised years ago with Burberry, until Burberry upped it’s game and started marketing to a younger market. It’s a well renowned label -especially with the “country set”. What a gorgeous color your find is.
    As an ex-Criminal Psychologist I am not allowed to be called for jury service, but Hubs was called twice and my Dad three times and both of them really enjoyed it because they both had really juicy cases at the Crown Court (equivalent I think to your Supreme Court).
    Finally those strawberries look to die for. I will certainly try them altho’ I think agave syrup is banned in Europe (not 100% sure through).

    • September 8, 2013 / 1:57 pm

      Interesting that Aquascutum was similar to Burberry. I still can’t believe I had never heard of it before. They were recently purchased by a company out of Hong Kong (I think?). Have you noticed any changes to the brand? More modern perhaps?

      Lucky you that you don’t have to worry about jury duty though getting a juicy trial would make it all worth the time and energy. Bill was on a trial earlier this year but it was a dull real estate trial. Not very thrilling.

      You could use honey or even sugar to sweeten the vinegar. Or even stevia extract if you want to go sugar-free. I will try that next time.

  17. September 7, 2013 / 7:39 am

    Good news that your mom does not have the BRCA gene. Now you can breath a huge sigh of relief! Lucky too, that you didn’t get called for jury duty .. what a hassle that is.

    Beautiful thrift shop find Adrianne. The coat looks warm and I love the color. ..and those berries! This looks and sounds delicious. Nothing like fresh, sun kissed berries from the local fruit stand.

    Have a nice weekend.

    • September 8, 2013 / 2:00 pm

      The coat will be very warm – am thinking maybe too warm for our mild climate. Just carrying it around feels heavy. I can’t imagine wearing it unless it’s around 40 degrees out or less. I’ll give it a go this winter and if it’s too bulky, I will give it to a cold climate friend.

      We are so fortunate to have the berry stand here in our little town. We have berries about 1/2 the year or more.

  18. September 7, 2013 / 9:19 am

    Great coats!! Congrats on the good health news for you and your mother 🙂

  19. September 7, 2013 / 9:38 am

    I was logged into my personal email, and created havoc with google. 🙁 So, I think I lost my comment.

    I love the story about the coat, and I love the color, too.

    So glad about your news, too.

    • September 8, 2013 / 2:09 pm

      Thanks, Leigh. Sorry about your comment going poof!

  20. September 7, 2013 / 10:11 am

    What a great week for you, especially getting the negative on the gene test! But on top of that, the magenta coat! I had heard of Aquascutum before, but had no idea they had an appointment by the Queen Mother! That is quite a score, as is that fab necklace.

    My week’s been good for working on some craft projects that have absorbed my attention. I’ll post some pictures soon.

    • September 8, 2013 / 2:10 pm

      Looking forward to seeing your craft photos. I am so not crafty that I am always very impressed with other people’s craft accomplishments. A little envious even.

  21. September 8, 2013 / 12:10 am

    Loving the coat! Was in Aquascutum shop yesterday and the current collection coasts are 700£… Wish I had your luck with finding such bargains!

    • September 8, 2013 / 2:12 pm

      Oh my gosh! That is a ton of money! I would love to shop in an Aquascutum boutique.

  22. September 8, 2013 / 4:48 am

    Hi there! Really good news on the BRCA gene results, so pleased for you and your mum. Of course the coat is a stunning find and red for me is a gorgeous colour for a winter coat, can’t wait to see you wearing it! Hope you’re having a good weekend xx

    • September 8, 2013 / 2:13 pm

      Sharon, I will wear it the moment it gets cool enough – probably November. I don’t know that I need such a heavy coat in California. It’s definitely made for cold UK winters!

  23. September 8, 2013 / 7:31 am

    First and foremost I am so glad about your mother’s medical result and happy for you!

    Second, the coat is awesome, what a great find! Even black and beige coats (of which I have numerous ones…) are classy and basics, I promised myself to go for a bright colour for my next coat.

    Annette | Lady of Style

    • September 8, 2013 / 2:14 pm

      I always go for camel or black with my coats. But last year I deviated a little and bought a burgundy Burberry – best wardrobe decision ever!

  24. September 9, 2013 / 9:21 am

    Hello my lovely. How have you been? Shopping no doubt. hehe. Haven’t been here in a thousand years. You look divine and well turned out as always from the posts here. The coat is smashing. Adore the colour and the necklace is such a delicious treat;-)

  25. September 9, 2013 / 12:09 pm

    Adrienne dear-I’m just catching up following our big wedding weekend for mom. I remember we talked about your mother and the testing when we met. I am so relieved to hear such a positive outcome for the test results. This is good news for both you and your mom. Big sigh! On a less serious note-you scored with that coat.
    You have a fabulous eye girl!
    xx, Heather

  26. September 16, 2013 / 3:53 am

    Great find with that Aquascutum jacket. I too found an Aquascutum tweed jacket at a local thrift shop, and I am constantly amazed at the quality. You will love this jacket for years to come. And it’s pink…very on trend this season!

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