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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Playroom {Brainstorming}

By now you've probably realized that I haven't shown you every room in our house. And for good reason, trust me. Case in point, the room we affectionately call "the playroom." I'm so embarrassed of this room that I'm not even ready to show you photos of it. I sometimes refer to it as a used furniture store. It always becomes the resting place for furniture we're not sure what to do with but aren't ready to get rid of and other things we don't know where to put.

Our current living room is an addition that was added onto the house in the 90's. The room we have used as the kid's playroom is the small original living room. When we first moved into our house (about 10 years ago now), our kids were preschoolers and so this room became their place. Even when we moved in I had grand plans for this room....bright colors, cubbies for storage, a table for projects. But time, finances, and well, little kids kept me from really making this a great space. About three years ago we did paint the room and I bought new curtains for it's big picture window. I was hoping to get some new furniture. But those plans stalled as well as I started to concentrate more on our actual living room and kitchen. There was a bathroom makeover in there somewhere too.

And now the kids are teenagers. We still call it the playroom, but it doesn't see as much action anymore. The room is mostly used for watching TV and Hubster and I recently talked about this space being used as home office.

A big re-do isn't really in the budget, but now that I know what we really want to see this room used for, I'm starting to gather some inspiration photos and I've created a Playroom board over on Pinterest. Take a look!

My #1 goal is to make this room comfy and a place that we will want to hang out. It's not going to happen overnight, but at least when the time comes I will have thought through how we will use this room and what I want it to look like.

You can see that there are some common elements in a couple of my inspiration photos. First off, a nice comfy sectional. The room is not large so it would have to be a smaller piece, but I would love to have some nice, comfortable seating.

Storage! I kind of have a love affair with the Expedit line at IKEA. We already use some of this in our kids rooms. It is so basic....and fairly inexpensive compared to other storage units....and can be dressed up in so many different ways depending on what type of bins, baskets, and accessories you use. I would love to be able to house books, DVDs, office supplies, craft supplies, etc.

**In looking to provide a link to the Expedit series, I discovered that IKEA is phasing it out!! Say it ain't so IKEA! It is being replaced by a similar series call Kallax. BUMMER!

We also need something to put our TV on. It is currently sitting on our piano bench....OY!

You can also see that I love the globe trend. I'm really drawn to those colors so that may be a jumping-off point for the color scheme of the room. We'll see.

But for now, I'm just dreaming and gathering inspiration for the future.
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Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! We enjoyed ours immensely!

Fortunately, Hubster had the day off on Good Friday. That afternoon, we celebrated Easter with his family so that his sister who lives out of state and her family could be with us. We enjoyed a good meal and then headed outside for the annual Easter egg hunt for the kids.

I must say that the weather this weekend was just gorgeous. It was so nice to be outside in the sunshine and not have to be all bundled up. After this winter, I was just thanking the Lord all weekend for such glorious weather.

The kids love the egg hunt. It's been tradition at Nana and Grandpa's house since they were very little. All the grandkids are growing up though, and so the egg hunt's years are numbered I'm afraid to say.

Our Saturday began with Easter baskets at home. Yes, on Saturday. This has become our tradition over the years. It really began because honestly, we were usually so busy on Easter Sunday that we didn't really have time for baskets. It has worked out well though because now our Easter is more focused on Jesus instead of the Easter Bunny.


We never made a huge deal about the Easter Bunny when the kids were little (most of that kind of stuff entered their lives via school.) One of the first years we did baskets on Saturday, they were so excited about the Easter Bunny coming to our house. but we told them he wouldn't come unless they took a bath. So they all got in the tub and while Hubster was giving baths, I hid the baskets. For a couple years after that they thought that the Easter Bunny only came while they were in the tub. Worked out great for us! Ha!

Now they know it's just Mom and Dad hiding the baskets and so they huddle in one bedroom while we hide them and then come out and search. We don't have many great hiding spots in our house, so the search is very short. But it's tradition.

(I'm such a bad blogger. For the rest of the weekend the camera was pretty much forgotten about.)
The remainder of Saturday was spent getting the house ready for our guests for Easter dinner the next day. My sweet Hubster even went out and bought some flowers to plant outside by the door to welcome everyone. 
Easter Sunday started early for us. At our church, the youth plan the early service (formerly known as the Sunrise Service). Since two of our kiddos were involved in that this year, they had to be at church especially early. Hubster drove over with the kids while I came a little later to do a few last minute things at home.
The kids and our Youth Director did a great job. It always feels so right to start out the day joyously celebrating that Jesus is risen.
That service is followed by Easter Breakfast....scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, muffins, fruit, juice, and this year, a French Toast casserole....YUM!
Next came our main service. The choir sang in this service and my parents, long-time choir members, recruited our middle guy to sing in the choir for Easter. How sweet it was to see his face buried in his music trying his hardest to follow along. I also had to privilege to be part of the worship team this morning. It's always wonderful to be able to lead people to worship Jesus, but it was even more so on the day when we celebrate the Resurrection.
After church, we headed home for lunch. (Don't know how we had any room for lunch, but we managed. Ha!) What a fun time we had around the table. We always do. Mom, Sal, and I had all contributed to the meal and everything was delicious. Here's our menu in case you missed it.
We finally relaxed after lunch by all sitting around and watching Frozen. Yes, all eleven of us! Those of us who had seen it a time or two or more sang along. Fun times!
Shortly after that the party broke up. Hubster and I cleaned up, put the kids to bed, and collapsed in front of the TV to watch the Amazing Race. 
Our weekend was full. But these are the times when I look back and realize how full our life, family, church, home, friends.....and even more important things like love, hope, and the Giver of it all.
I hope your Easter weekend was blessed as well!
Before I go, I want to tell you about a great giveaway that Sal is having over at Drinking From My Saucer. She's talking about Spring and mason jars today and has a set of green Heritage Ball jars to give away. So if your house is still needing a little Spring in it, head on over and you could win a set of those beautiful green jars!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Table For Easter


I'll be hosting my family for Easter dinner this year. When I'm having company, I always like to do a "dress rehearsal" of my table. I pick out my tablecloth, dishes, napkins, serving pieces, and put together a centerpiece. I like having it all figured out ahead of time so I'm not pulling things together at the last minute. Much less stress that way.

So here's what I came up with for Easter this year.

C'mon over and take a closer look!

I had a hard time deciding on dishes. It was between our original Pfaltzgraff Garden Party or the new Asiatic Pheasant. The Garden Party dishes are very Spring-like with their tulips and violets, but in the end the new dishes won out.

I made cloth napkins out of this bright yellow fabric that I found in fat quarters at WalMart. Making my own was much less expensive that buying cloth napkins and I hadn't found any I like anyway. The fat quarters were almost the perfect size (18x21 in.) and I just had to cut off a little to make them square. I'm so glad I went this route. If I had bought fabric off the bolt, there would've been a lot more measuring and cutting....and the cost was about the same.
Since I don't have a sewing machine, I decided to fringe the edges instead of hemming them. I learned this from my mom. When we got married, she made cloth napkins to go under the centerpieces on all the tables at our reception. Mom helped me fringe the Easter napkins too. It's very easy to do, but fringing twelve napkins wound up being more time consuming than I thought it would be. Thanks Mom!
For the centerpiece, I used all my latest ironstone finds and filled them with pretty purple and yellow Violas. I love how it looks.
I also used a couple small metal planters that I found in The Spot at Target. I filled them with Easter basket grass and some yummy chocolate eggs for [hopefully] AFTER dinner.
So there's how our Easter table will be set. Our menu is set as well!
Green Peas
Easter Eggs
Cheesy Garlic Biscuits
Chocolate Éclair Dessert

So now that the plans are made for our Easter Dinner, it's time to clean the house a bit!
Are you hosting an Easter Dinner at your house? What are your plans?


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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Welcome To April!

April is upon us and that means a new calendar up on the chalkboard.

I couldn't resist adding a couple pretty daffodils. Hopefully they will be showing themselves around here soon.

So did you survive April Fool's Day? Hubster woke our oldest son up at 2AM and told him it was time to get up and get ready for school. He had adjusted his clock the night before. It's a good thing our son is such a good sport. I don't think I would have been so kind at 2 in the morning.
April 1st is actually the anniversary of when Hubster and I got engaged. Seriously. He asked me to marry him on April Fool's Day. He had purchased a ring and it was burning a hole in his pocket. He couldn't wait so he asked me to marry him on April 1st. True story!
I hope this new month is starting out well for you!
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Treasure Hunting

Last week was our kid's Spring Break. We didn't do anything grand. We mostly just hung out at home. It was a good week. But by yesterday when the kids returned to school, I was ready for a little "Me Time."

So I decided to head out for a little treasure hunting at a couple of my favorite haunts. It was a beautiful day to be out. The sun was shining and it was warmer than it has been in a LOooooNG time!

First stop....a local thrift store just around the corner from me. There I found the ironstone sugar bowl you see on the left....for 90 cents. At that store I also found a globe, which I plan to use in a future project.


Next I headed to the Goodwill Store. I don't know what it is about this store, but I am 3 for 3 at finding ironstone there. I spied a large set of what appeared to be ironstone....a platter, a couple serving bowls, cups and saucers, a creamer and what seemed to be a sugar bowl with lid. They were marked Independence Ironstone Castleton Japan. I don't know a lot about ironstone yet, so I took a chance. I really just wanted the platter and creamer, but I felt badly about breaking up the sugar and creamer even though something just didn't seem right about the pair. It turns out that the sugar bowl may just be a piece by itself and that the sugar bowl that went with the creamer was much more slender with handles that matched the one on the creamer.

I also discovered after a little research at home that this pattern may have been produced as recently as the mid 1960's. So it is actually fairly me! But it is still a very pretty pattern even if it isn't old.

I decided that the sugar bowl from the first store actually suits this sweet little creamer better even though it has a little more heft to it and the pattern isn't exactly the same.



My next stop was Target. I had a bunch of things I need to get there, but I was also hoping to find some clearance goodness. No luck though. I got what I needed and headed to HomeGoods just down the street
My first reason for going into HomeGoods was to look for inspiration for our Easter table since I will be hosting my family this year. But my second reason was to look for some specific plates. As you've probably seen in many of my photos I have a couple of these black and cream Asiatic Pheasant dishes that I purchased there a while back. I've grown to love their toile-looking beauty. So far, I have just used them decoratively, but I have been hoping to find more dinner plates so that we can actually use them some time.
Since I hadn't seen them at HomeGoods for a while, I had even checked and was shocked at the price. I told myself that if I ever spotted them again at HG, I was going to grab them while I could. Well, yesterday was the day! They actually had a good number of them and so I bought eight more to add to my collection. I was a happy girl.
My last stop before heading home was the Salvation Army store. I have just recently started stopping in there, but a couple weeks ago I saw a pair of end tables that I had been thinking about ever since. They were an awesome deal at 19.99 for the set. I had huge plans for them. But the day I saw them I just couldn't commit.
So yesterday I decided to stop in and see if they were still there.....and of course they weren't. (I was actually surprised to find that all the furniture had turned over since I had been there which surprised me since there were some pretty big pieces, like large sofas and china cabinets.)
Anyways, it just wasn't meant to be I guess and I could just kick myself. I left empty handed.

So I feel pretty good about my thrifty finds and I had a fun time doing something I enjoy. Just FYI, I don't have aspirations of having a huge ironstone collection. I mostly find myself drawn to pitchers and little creamers and so I wouldn't mind finding a couple more of those and will have fun hunting.
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