Saturday, January 29, 2011

Love...homemade style.

I'm a big fan of decorating for the seasons. Really. I am.

I have decorations for Easter, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas. (LOTS of decorations for Christmas!)

But for Valentine's Day, not so much.

However, this year, I decided to put some up. Some HOMEMADE ones. You see, my inspiration over at Flowerpatchfarmgirl made these lovelies.

I didn't have a heart punch like hers, so I just folded magazine papers in beautiful colors in half, and free-handed the hearts.

HUNDREDS of hearts while I was watching a movie one day.

It took me an entire 2 hour movie to make these. (Probably would've went faster with a punch...I priced them in the store...but it wasn't worth it.)

I just used my tape runner to attach them all together, and put them on long pieces of embrodery floss I had in my sewing box.

I think I like flowerpatchgirl's are a lot better....but mine do the job.

Then I added some decorations I already had.

Helps that I have red throughout the house anyway.

It's comin' ya'll. The Holiday is upon us.

Don't hesitate to tell your sweetheart/kids/anyone you love them. NOW!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Eleven on the 27th!

Tomorrow my oldest turns 11.

How could it have went this fast? Really.

She was just my baby. My firstborn. The girl we had to drive around in the car for hours just so she'd go to sleep!

We've already started the festivities for this young one.

Tonight at church for her girl's group, she took her turn taking snack. Of course, since it was so close to her birthday, we made it a little more special.

They had pretzels and my buttermilk sugar cookies with buttercream frosting.

Tomorrow she'll celebrate at school with these chocolate cupcakes,

and Friday she's having 4 girls spend the night (plus a friend for Ev) for a "Paris" themed party (pictures will definitely follow in another post).

She'll open presents during breakfast tomorrow, and then we're off for a day of celebrations capped off by supper at her favorite Mexican restaurant.

So before I get all weepy, I'll share 11 things about my 11 year old girl.

1. She has straight blonde hair, and bright blue eyes that one day boys will drool over.

2. She's a naturally great speller (won our school spelling bee and went on to the County one.)

3. Is very tall for her age. (Hope this continues for her sake because it doesn't run in our family!)

4. She's a leftie (and she thinks she's the ONLY one...but it runs on both sides of the family)

5. She's quick to try new things, and is becoming a daredevil.

6. Learned how to drive our 4 wheeler at the age of 9.

7. Has participated in basketball, softball, volleyball, and gymnastics in the last 5 years.

8. Is quick to laugh at most everything.

9. Loves deeply.

10. Plays a mean game of Guess Who? (beats me EVERY TIME!)

11. Wants to be a teenager so bad she can hardly stand it!

That's Grace in a nutshell.

I can't believe God has shared her with us for 11 years already. We are so GRATEFUL!

Monday, January 24, 2011

They totally get me!

I happened upon a website last night by pure coincidence.
You see, I'm looking desperately for a skirt for my cousin's wedding in 3 weeks.
This in itself should not be a hard task, but alas, it is. You see, skirts these days, are made ONLY in mini form. That's right. For those of us under the height of 5'4", there is nothing available. At least that's what it feels like.
So, as I was perusing websites like Garnet hill, J. Crew, the Sundance catalog, Ann Taylor, Macys, etc. (places I thought would have FABULOUS skirts) I came across some tiny print at the bottom of the page. You know, the websites listed at the bottom of other websites as possible OTHER places to look, that I NEVER look at. Well, this time I did. "Hmmm...I wonder what this is," I thought. Turns out, THIS website was made for me. Not only did I find many options for a skirt, I found many other things that made my heart sing.
I'm pretty sure this is the skirt I'll be wearing to the wedding. It has a plethora of things that I LOVE. Beige and gray, long enough, and with plenty of "party girl" attitude.

Of course, I couldn't stop looking there. I also looked at this...
and this...
and this...

and of course with my obsession with purses...this....
Everyone needs one of these too. It was actually a suggestion to go with the above skirt.
As I was checking out this site made just for me, I kept this a joke? Are people really buying some of this? I know I love vintage/retro things, but really, is this for real? Designers make this now? And not in 1970? I just couldn't put my finger on some of this...but then I saw a tablabeled apartment. I shouldn't of looked. I fell in love even more.
Just look at this jewelry holder. Very Paris, very retro, very posh.

And then there were these bookends in my very favorite color

and don't even get me started on the covers of the books!

These cups,

and this lamp...

this purely fabulous sewing kit from my most favorite person in the world, Cath Kidston,

and finally the piece 'd resistance....something I had as a kid and ADORED! I spent hours designing on this toy. I couldn't believe they still made them.

ALL this in one place. Unbelievable! I WILL be back. It's listed now as one of my favorites, and you know when a website makes it onto your favorites list, it's a keeper!

So, all I'm sayin' is this...carve out, oh, say 1-2 hours today just to look at their stuff. You'll be amazed.

(disclaimer...Modcloth DID NOT pay me to say any of would've been nice if they did, but they didn't.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Truth does your garden grow?

I've already started looking hard at the gardening catalogs hittin' my mailbox.

What, it's only January you say? Well, all the more time to plan, right.

I AM a planning type of girl.

In my organizing post the other day I showed you these...

I keep one for canning, which tells me where I bought my fruit from to freeze, how many of each thing from the garden I canned/froze, as well as how much each thing cost for me to buy if I had to buy it, and in what quantities.

The Gardening binder keeps track of my garden layout for the year, what seeds/type I planted, as well as the cost of all that too.

I realize this is a little OCD of me, but it helps me from year to year know what worked well and what didn't. Believe me, it's hit or miss around here with the kind of hard clay soil we have. Some years I've had an over abundant garden, and some years, I've had to plant it 3 times (last year) because our fertilizer either burned it, or we got too much rain, etc.

My garden keeps us in produce for the whole winter. It makes or breaks how much I have to spend on groceries for the winter too. It's awfully nice to go to my freezer and get a box of strawberries out in the middle of February that ACTUALLY taste like strawberries.

You ALL know what I mean, don't pretend the strawberries you buy in the middle of winter actually have a flavor. They don't.

So, as I look through my catalogs: The cooks Garden (, Burpee (, and Park Seed Company ( I get excited.

I plant both flowers for my cutting garden as well as vegetables.

So, as I was perusing the websites today, I thought this might be some of the items for this year...

Jade green beans

sweet peas

2 kinds of butterhead lettuce (heirloom variety)

zucchini (which usually over runs my garden, and usually grows to the size of a small baseball bat because we have so many...)

big rainbow heirloom tomatoes (really yummy!)

red potatoes

and onions (only for Brent...I HATE onions...but that's another post)

watermelon, jewel strawberries ( I have 3 rows that come back every year)

this beautiful new variety of zinnia called red lime

peonies (my favorite)

and cosmos (a flower that comes on strong and lasts for months!)

I'm really chompin' at the bit to get going. Last year I started seeds in my basement under a flourescent light. Some ended up making it, and others didn't.

All I know is that I'm ready to get my hands dirty! How 'bout you?

Monday, January 17, 2011

If I had a MILLION dollars...

If I had a million dollars...heck, if I just had $100,000 I'd already have it earmarked.

You see, combined, my husband and I don't make a ton. Surprising, I know, but we don't. We've always been careful with money, however, and we're not frivolous spenders.

We WANT to be, but we're not. We've followed the Dave Ramsey budget for years. We're paying our bills every month, we're saving for retirement, and we have an emergency fund, but that's about it. Unless we each save our weekly "allowance" for weeks, we don't buy anything big.
We've decided being able to go on a family vacation every year is more important than some other things.

Now, I'm not complaining. We have a happy life. A "homey" home filled with used/borrowed/hand-me down things. Things we've chosen for ourselves. But we don't have the extras.

Try to keep your shock under control when I mention we don't have a Wii, we don't have ANY flat screen tv's, we don't have a gaming system, and cable/dish is just a long-forgotten memory.

Guess what, we're alive. We actually walk among the living without having any of the above things.

Now, don't get me wrong, we would probably enjoy many of the above things, but our kids know they are ok to live without them.

However, it doesn't mean we don't WISH or WANT things.

I get all these wonderful catalogs in the mail, and just drool over the pages. I mainly get the catalogs for ideas. I know I can replicate many of their things on my own, for peanuts, but I like to dream people.

Here are some of my current'll see what I mean.

I was looking through the Garnet Hill catalog the other day. Beautiful catalog, beautiful website, beautiful ideas.

So, if I had a million/$100,000 to blow, I would probably buy the cashmere sweater in the top corner. (Just for the feel alone) It was originally $178, and on clearance it's still $68. The grey sweater is more my speed in price. It was $88, but now retails for $24. Manageable. The skirt, however, is my FAVORITE! It was $138, and is now $39. A possibility....but I'm currently looking for patterns to see if I can make it myself. The rings, lastly, are very cool, but on clearance for $98 a piece, is ridiculous.

I have also long dreamed for a bathroom that I LOVE. I don't have that. Our 3 bathrooms are passable at best, but here's what I found in Pottery Barn. These are much more my speed, if I could only wrap my measly budget around them....

Then, the living room and bedroom.....ah. Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware once again captured everything I've been dreaming of.

The vintage gameboards, the armoire, and the colors of the bedding. Beautiful. You see, we've been using the oak tv cabinet my husband made in shop class in high school. It's 20 years old, and I have a feeling if my husband has anything to do with it, it will die along with us.

And lastly, outdoor ideas have been flashing through my head for the last 5 years we've lived in this house. I would love a flower garden out back, and a pea-gravel patio area or deck with wicker furniture, etc. One of the problems, we have no trees and live in an area surrounded by fields, so things are windy around us. There is no wind break, and I could just imagine wonderful wicker chairs flying all over the yard on a regular basis. Can't help but dream about it, though.

The set with the red umbrella from Pottery Barn is ONLY $699 on sale! And the sconce for the front porch is only $80 on sale. (without the extra cost for numbers). I'll just go right out and buy these tomorrow!

Now, remember, I'm not complaining. I'm NOT. But you can't help but feel a little green every once in awhile.

I have to keep remembering, we can't take any of this when we're gone. We can't. But sometimes it would be fun to have some just for a little while.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My organizing habit

Brent took the kids to church tonight.

I had 2 hours all to myself. 2 HOURS. This never happens. (well, at least I can't remember the last time it happened.)

I didn't quite know what to do with myself, so after I did some laundry and swept, I did what I do best...organize.

I'm not sure why I like to organize so much, but it calms me somehow.

After I read this wonderful blog from my friend Carrie yesterday (well, we're not really friends, but I think we were best friends separated at birth seeing as we have so much in common...)

I knew I needed to show you some of my organizational problems (or solutions if you're looking for some!)

This is part of my craft table. It's one of my most favorite places in the whole house! It's my scrapbooking table, my card writing station, and now my sewing area.

I have some drawers for scrapbooking odds and ends and sewing notions.

I have alot of ribbon, (not as much as some of you, I'm sure) but I have plenty. After I saw this little cutie on a blog the other day, I knew I needed something for mine.

I found these little cubbies at goodwill before Christmas. They do the job.

I have pens, which are organized by color of course.

And old swim locker baskets for idea books and

rubber stamps, and other things.

I have plenty of shelves for books

and CD's.

We have storage for legos (thank you Grandma Sommers!)

and rubber balls.

Not only is there a binder for recipes, but one for canning amounts and gardening ideas.

Yes, I might have a problem, but I can't ever say that I don't know where something is!

If you need some ideas, ask me. I'd love to share them!

Happy organizing!