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Friday, February 28, 2014

Four Things For Friday 2.28.14

Hello Friday!!

Again this week I've gathered a few of my thoughts in one place. And this is the last Four Things For Friday for February. (Say THAT ten times fast!)

1.) I think I probably mentioned already that due to snow days, holidays, and teacher in-service days this was going to be the kids first full week of school since before Christmas. We got through the first half of the week without too much problem. But as expected, by yesterday things got pretty difficult in the morning. One particular child had a really hard time getting up and if he was getting up, he was determined to wear his pajamas to school. Oh the joys of having a child with a six-year-old mind trapped in a 14-year-old's body. It can be so frustrating....for all of us. But honestly, who can blame the kiddo for wanting to stay cozy in his jammies when there are sub-zero temperatures outside? 

2.) This week my oldest son has been able to listen to some Spring Training games on his iPad. I didn't realize how much I missed hearing the sound of baseball coming from his room. Silly, but it felt familiar....and hopeful....and is just another reason why Winter can be hard for some, I guess.

3.) This week I have been super thankful for, friends, teachers, youth leaders....who get our kids, or at least try. We've encountered people in the past who didn't and I'm sure we will in the future as well. But for right now we are blessed to be surrounded by so many people who have taken the time to get to know our kids and accept them just as they are.

4.) Okay, file this under useless, yet interesting information.....well, at least if you're a Downton Abbey fan like me. I was watching TV a couple evenings ago and saw a commercial for the new Liam Neeson movie, Non-Stop and I thought I saw somebody familiar. Last night when the commercial came on, I payed closer attention. Sure enough, Lady Mary is on that airplane with Liam Neeson! I Googled the trailer this morning and it's kind of funny to see Michelle Dockery who plays Lady Mary in a modern-day action/adventure movie. I had to smile though, because she still had that chronically concerned look on her face. But I suppose I would too if I was on a plane with Liam and it was being highjacked.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend everybody!
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Treasures

I have a couple new little treasures to show you today!

These beauties arrived in the mail yesterday. (Sorry for the lousy photo. I was excited.)  They were my very first Etsy purchase. The pattern is called Strawberry Hill and they were made by Syracuse China, a big maker of restaurant china. When I saw them, I knew that they would be great for my Christmas and Valentine's decor. Unfortunately they were a little late for this year, but just wait until next year!

I found this particular Etsy seller through the Mustard Seed Pages. Do you know Miss Mustard Seed? If not, you need to rush right over there and check out her beautiful blog! She just recently set up the Mustard Seed Pages to help bring together people who are looking to buy and sell beautiful things.

Then yesterday, I decided to stop in at the Goodwill Store....the same store where I found my first piece of ironstone. I didn't have big hopes. I mean, what are the chances? But what do 'ya know, I found another pretty ironstone pitcher! I couldn't believe it!

This one has, what looks to me, as a cherry blossom pattern. I need to do a little more research, but in the quick image search I did, I didn't find anything with the exact pattern. 

**UPDATE: After a little more searching I have learned that the style of this pitcher is called Forget-me-not.**

It's no secret that I like to decorate with pretty dishes. I love it when I can find little treasures here and there to do that.....especially when you can get things really inexpensively.

Have you found any new treasures lately? 

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Trying To Find Some Inspiration

I'm here!

Here I am!

Just in case you were worried I fell off the side of the earth....nope. I'm still here.

I hate to admit it, but I think I've just been trying to survive February. At least as far as this blog goes. I haven't felt too inspired. I mean between sickness, snow days, Hubster traveling, and the Polar Vortex, I've just been trying to keep warm and make it through, 'ya know? I think my lack of inspiration kept me from taking photos. No blog post.

As I said, Hubster was traveling last Sweden. Yep, SVEEEEden. When he left, I jokingly said, "Bring me back something from Ikea!"

Well, he did even better than that. The day after he got home, while the kids were in school, we went on a little road trip to the closest Ikea...about a two hour drive...and I got to have a little shopping spree!

Talk about inspiration! Have you been to an Ikea before? It's almost inspiration overload. But what fun!

So the last couple days I've been at it again. I've been moving, switching around, and inserting new things into our decor. And I've added a little "early Spring" too. Nothing crazy. Just enough green to give some hope that Spring really will be coming this year. (Although the weatherman said yesterday this may be one of those years we go from Winter straight into Summer. Hmm.)

So at Ikea I found some great little faux plants and metal containers to put them in along with this round woven placemat and made a new little arrangement on the coffee table.

Once I got the coffee table figured out, my creative juices got flowing for the rest of the living room.

 I tend to put our some more "girly" things out for Spring, like a little lace and some of my tea cup collection. Under the glass cloche I have a cup and saucer from each of my grandmothers. And if you think things look girly all the time, you ain't seen nothin'! In our old house, our living room was painted pink. Hubster affectionately called it "Pigtail Pink." True story.

All the Valentine red is pretty much gone. In the basket on the TV cabinet I exchanged spools of twine and red ribbon for some eggs.

I love this sweet little Blue Jay. He was a Hobby Lobby find a couple years ago.

I've been wanting for some time to replace the frames that the kids portraits were in. The were blue, leftover from my country blue period....which coincided with the pink living room. (Yikes!) I wanted something more simple and classic and I found these great frames at Ikea for only 7.99 each. I thought that was an excellent price. They are a very basic frame, but much better quality that the ones  I had (which I believe were from WalMart several years ago.)

I kind of like the way they look just leaning against the wall for now, but I think I will eventually hang them over the piano.

So finally, some inspiration to keep me going through this Winter. All it took was a short road trip to Ikea to get me jump-started. And I did get a couple little things for the kitchen too, which I will show you at some point.

I have to say though that the best thing about our spontaneous road trip was getting to hang out with my Hubster for the day, just the two of us. It's a rare thing and we had a lot of fun.

Linking up to The Scoop at Stone Gable.


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Friday, February 14, 2014

Four Things For Friday 2.14.14

Happy Valentine's Day!!

It also happens to be Friday, so here we go!

I have to confess that as I was thinking about what I wanted to share today, the things in my mind starting going pretty negative.....I have a cold, Hubster is leaving on a business trip out of the country, I have a lot on my plate this weekend. You see where this was headed. Instead of a Valentine's Celebration, this was turning into a pity party for me!

(If you'd like to read about last Valentine's Day when I was feeling a bit more Valentiney, you can click HERE.)
So in an effort to "turn this frown up-side-down" and get my head in a better place, here is my reworked Four Things.....

1.) I am so thankful for people who have the gift of helping! Our family is often finding itself in the need of help and I am just grateful for family and friends who lovingly come alongside us to give us a hand.

2.) Next year our oldest son will be heading to high school. This coming week we will already be choosing and scheduling courses. Although it makes me feel a bit old, I am excited for this new adventure in his life and the opportunity for him to explore new subjects that hopefully set him up for a career that will give him satisfaction and provide for his needs in the future. It's an exciting time.

3.) We're already starting to plan our vacation this Summer! Yeah! We will be heading to the beach in North Carolina in June along with my parents and my sister and her family. We've spent many vacations there together in the past, but because of finances, kids growing up (or NOT, in our case), work schedules, etc. we haven't all gone for a few years. We are all looking forward to it.

4.) On this "Day of Love" I hope that you will remember most how much God loves you and how much He deserves our love and devotion in return.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend spending time with the ones you love!
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Art Of Improvisation: A Kitchen Cart Makeover

Back a few months ago, I started seeing a new trend on Pinterest....refurbished Cosco kitchen carts from the 1950s. I actually remember my Grandma having one of these in her basement.

I started to think that having a cart in the kitchen might help with a little storage problem I have.....besides looking cute.

So I was keeping my eyes open for one, checking Craig's List and eBay occasionally. Then last Sunday on the way home from church, we passed by my favorite used furniture store. You know, the one where I found my coffee table. And there, out in front of the store it was....a kitchen cart. I didn't have time to go look at it that day and since the store is closed on Mondays, I had to wait until Tuesday to go back.

So I brought it home on Tuesday. Interestingly, I looked at an original Cosco advertisement online and the carts originally sold for $12.95 to $14.95. I paid a bit more than that, but much less than some of the carts I've seen on eBay.

Structurally, the cart is in good condition, however it did have some rust, especially on the top shelf. I bought it knowing that I would have to do some work on it and I would probably pain it. 

I spent some time the next day cleaning all the grime off of it and working at the rust with some steel wool. The legs actually cleaned up pretty well. While cleaning it up though I came to the realization that I wasn't going to be able to paint it until the weather warms up a bit.

So I decided to improvise. I'm very good at improvisation. No, you won't find me in a comedy club or on Whose Line Is It Anyway? But when it comes to things around the house, I'm good at making things work in spite of....whatever.

I had some parchment paper and I cut a piece to fit the top shelf, covering up the rusty parts. And I brought out the cute Vera Bradley placemats that I received for Christmas for the lower two shelves. It's looking pretty good, I think!

I would've loved to use the cart as a hot beverage station. But I really only had one place to put it in the kitchen and there was no outlet for my Kuerig machine. So I opted to make it a little breakfast center. On top I put large jars of our favorite cereals, plus a cannister of raisins. (I LOVE raisins on my cereal!)

The second shelf has a wire basket for keeping packets of oatmeal and some of my extra white dishes. And the bottom shelf took care of my storage crockpot. I use it a lot and I have been keeping it in the back of one of my lower cabinets. It really was a pain to get it out. Now I have much easier access to it.

And here's what the cart looks like in front of our chalkboard wall. I'm really happy with the way it has turned out (who knows if I will ever paint it) and I think it's a fun addition to our kitchen.

Linking up to.....


Furniture Feature Fridays
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Making Things Special: A Valentine Table

We've never made a big deal out of Valentine's Day, Hubster and me. Sometimes he will bring me flowers, but we've nevery really gotten into giving each other gifts per se. With the kids it has varied. Some years I find little gifts (like maybe a leftover stocking stuffer from Christmas that didn't quite fit in the stocking) or sometimes it's just some candy. But I always try to do something for them to celebrate the day.

For some reason last year, I was feeling a little behind on doing ANYTHING to make the day special. I didn't have any little gifts or anything. I decided to scrounge around in my "stash" to see if I could come up with anything. Surprisingly, I was able to put together a cute table for our dinner with only things I already had. It was nothing me. Kids don't care about fancy anyways. It was simple, but enough to be special.

First off, I cut placements from this cute red and white chevron wrapping paper. I had bought it at Christmas time but never used it. It was perfect for Valentine's Day though.

 Down the middle of the table I used three votive holders. I filled two of them with red carnation blooms from flowers Hubster had given me the day before (so I wouldn't think he forgot).

I used my white plates that you've seen before. They really are great because they go with everything. White plates....they're a good thing!

The red polka dot glasses were a find at a local discount store.

I found some leftover classroom Valentines and used them as little place cards. I also had some Valentine napkins that I got on clearance YEARS ago.

 For dessert I served these cute little frosted hearts that I got at the grocery store bakery that day.

So you see, it was all pretty simple.....but from the heart.  And it made the day special and memorable. It doesn't take much to do that. (And it made it worth keeping all those things that I stashed away and didn't know if I would ever use.)

So do you have anything special planned for your family for Valentine's Day? Or any special traditions that you have? I would LOVE to hear about it!
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Friday, February 7, 2014

Four Things For Friday 2.7.14

Happy Friday, Everyone!

It's time another edition of Four Things....Friday style!

1.) This morning when we woke up the temperature was -1 and the wind chill was -14. No snow day. No two hour delay. Nothing. I think this winter is making us hardier. We don't need no stinkin' snow day!! Ha!

2.) I'm excited for the start of the Olympics. How about you? Winter is my favorite. The kids have been looking forward to it too. I'm only disappointed that so much is shown on the cable channels these days. We only have basic cable.....bummer. And with it being half-way across the world, most of it that is on the network is on long after the kids are in bed. But we will see what we can tune in over the weekend. Go Team USA!

3.) I'm looking forward to sharing a little project with you that I've been working on for the last couple days. Next week. Tune in!

4.) And finally.....tomorrow we will be celebrating the 11th Gotcha Day of this guy....

Eleven years! Yikes!

I knew he was "ours" from the moment I saw his picture. But I didn't fall in love with him until I heard his sweet giggle in person for the first time.

He's come such a long way in those eleven years and he's becoming such a wonderful young man! His intelligence, sense of humor, and positive outlook on life never cease to amaze me.
I am proud and humbled that he has been entrusted to our care.

Have a great weekend everybody!
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Paint The House Red: Valentine's Day Decor

When I showed you my heart banner yesterday, I teased you with a little peak at what I've done to spread some love around the house this month. Today I'm going to show you what I've done by just adding some touches of red here and there.

I have a lot of pictures to share, so I'm going to try and keep the words to a minimum.

You may have noticed that I have a new preserved boxwood wreath on the mantel. It's a bit larger and fuller that the old one. I scored that at Target for 50% off after Christmas. Woo hoo!!

I couldn't resist filling my Tom's jar with these jumbo marshmallows I found at the grocery store. They're GINORMOUS!

On top of the coffee table....

As you can see, things haven't changed too much from what I did in the living room in January.  All it took was adding some Valentine red!

Linking up to.....

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

An Easy Valentine Banner

Well, it's February and you know what that means. Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

If you're on Pinterest at all you've probably seen many, many cute Valentine's Day banners. I was particularly inspired by a banner I saw that was simply white heart doilies strung on baker's twine. But I decided that it would be best for me to make one that was a little more substantial and less likely to tear.

So I was on the lookout for some small felt hearts. Like those pretty cutout felt placemats.....only smaller. Usually I get something very specific like that stuck in my head and then why I try to find exactly what I'm looking luck! But while in Florida, we did a little shopping at JoAnn's I found EXACTLY what I was looking for. That never happens folks!

So all I used were the felt hearts (aren't they pretty?) and red and white baker's twine. The hearts came packaged as a mixture of red, pink, and white hearts so I had to buy several packages to get enough red. Oh well, someday I'll be glad I have pink and white hearts.

All I did was string the hearts on the twine, spreading them out evenly, and then I put slip knots on the ends for hanging, simple as that.

Here's a little sneak peak of what my banner looks like hung across our mantel. Come back tomorrow and I'll be sharing all the little touches I've added to help the house feel festive for this lovey-dovey month.
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