Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring In a Bottle

I am so ready for Spring, but I've told you that already, haven't I?

Little bits of spring decor here and there are helping me to get that warm fuzzy spring is almost here feeling.

If you have never been to a Goodwill Outlet, then you have missed out on a very unique experience.
You have to be able to dig and grab with the best of them…and I mean the best because these people buy this stuff by the cartfuls, I assume to resale.
There are big bins FULL of anything you can imagine.  I have only been twice and both times left with a few pretty cool things.
This trip,  I found these three beauties!
bottles 1
Can you tell that these are wine bottles?
Can you believe it?
bottles 2
I had no idea that wine came packaged so pretty.
I mean this is my favorite color, you know.
bottle 3
I went outside before the torrential rain started this morning and brought in a few pretty branches with little buds beginning to form.
branches 2
I love the way they look in these bottles.
bottles 4
Can you see why I call them my spring in a bottle?
bottles 5

I am partying over at Jennifer Rizzo's for a spring party she is hosting.
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Mr. Sun, Please Shine Down On Me…

mr sun 1

mr sun 2

mr sun 4

mr sun 5

“Mr. Sun", I NEED you.”

Really and truly, I do.

Are you as ready for spring time as I am?

Has this winter seemed to have lasted forever?

I am a little weary of cold and rain and am ready to feel the sun beat down on my back.

***

Just wanted to let you know that I am having so much fun collecting items for  my upcoming Etsy shop.   I will be at the Nashville Flea Market tomorrow with my eyes open and you in mind.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Gift From My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

I recently won a giveaway from Kristen at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and was able to order something from Urban Farmgirl’s Etsy shop.  Do you know what fun that was?!  Mary’s Etsy is to die for, in my opinion.
As most of you know, I love pops of bluish green throughout my house.  When I saw this great  tool box in Mary’s shop, I knew it was calling my name.  Why do I have such a thing for tool boxes?  This one was a great color and size and I loved it.

tote 5
sec
sec 2
Can I just tell you how many times I have changed up this secretary?
I love this piece of furniture because it too was my nanny’s, but I am never quite satisfied with how it looks.  It can very easily be way too busy.  For now, though, the white pitchers are filling it in nicely and I love the old sewing drawer that holds wonderful old family photos. 
Can you see the white rope on the bottom shelf?  That is a dog toy that I bought at the Dollar Tree.   I love it!
I want to thank Kristen again for her giveaway and Mary for stocking her shop so beautifully.
Thanks, ladies!

Linking up over at Faded Charm for her beautiful White Wednesday party.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kitchen Cabinet Update and a Little Note

Remember me sharing with you all the other day about my oak kitchen cabinets and that I am learning to be very happy and content with because they are off limits when it comes to paint?

I also showed you how I had taken the glass doors off of a couple of the cabinets to have that open look that I really like.

Well, in great blogging friend fashion, I had a couple of you who had a great idea of how I could at least lighten up the inside of those open cabinets.  You rock with your ideas and how you so sweetly share them with a girl in need.  So thank you to Red Gate Farm and Anita at Going A Little Coastal for your suggestions.

This was the before…

cabinet 1

And the after…

 laugh

full cab

I bought my foam board at Target and painted it the color of my kitchen walls and then just popped it right in.  Of course, I measured it first.  I think it looks great in there.

This was so easy and so cheap, which is just what I love.

Thanks again to my friends for their suggestions!

***

**I wanted to also let you know something that I have been praying about for quite awhile now and that I feel like God is confirming that it’s okay for me to jump into.

Sometime in March, I will be opening up my own Etsy shop!!!

I am hoping to stock my shop with unique treasures from all over but especially from the beautiful farms and homes of Tennessee.

Many of you have commented on the great things I get from my treasure hunting uncle and I would love to share some of his finds with all of you.   I will also be scouring the flea markets, yard sales and estate sales with all of you in mind.

My shop will consist mostly of vintage items but will also include some beautiful  handmade items as well.  Oh, I think you will like what I have.  I sure hope so.

I will keep you all posted and let you know when the shop will be open.

See you there!!

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Grandmother’s Old Handwritten Recipes

No need for formalities when I’m with friends, right?
I will forever more on here call my grandmother by the name that I called her my whole life and she would want you to also, so…
When my nanny passed away over ten years ago, my dad gave me so many of her things.  I’m talking furniture, beautiful old pitchers, wonderful black and white family photos,  jewelry, old lipstick tubes, purses, precious handwritten letters and recipes…you get the picture.  My dad didn’t want to throw anything away, no matter what it was, so I got it.  I even got old talcum powder and hair brushes.  You name it, I got it and I loved it all.
Of all of the things I got from her, I probably love the handwritten things the best because they were written by her sweet little soft hands.
Until recently, I have kept all of her recipes tucked away for safe keeping.  And then the other day I saw Urban Farmgirl talking about a sweet blogger from Our Hiding Place who had done a neat project with some vintage envelopes she had purchased.  As soon as I saw what she had done with the envelopes, I knew what I was going to do with some of my nanny’s recipes.
recipe  1 yes
recipe 3 yes
Oh, how I love having these in my kitchen.  I love the crumpled, dripped on, worn out paper.  I love that my nanny used these to cook up some of the best meals I have ever put in my mouth.  This lady could cook up a southern meal like nobody’s business.
recipe 2 yes
This little project makes me oh so happy. 
This is one of those things that makes my heart skip a little beat every time I look at it. 
Can you tell that I love my nanny so very much?  Boy, I do. 
And, I miss her…
I am sharing this project over at (1) Beyond the Picket Fence, (2)DIY By Design (3)Common Ground (4)The DIY Showoff, (5)The Lettered Cottage
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

“Celebrate Friends”

Is it wrong to be so excited over gifts?

If it is, then I’m sorry, but I have told you before that I love gifts even if it’s a pack of chewing gum.  I love the thrill of getting a package through the mail and seeing what’s in it.  Surprises make me smile!

Is it strange to be very thankful for a friend that I have never actually met but truly feel like God has brought our lives together?

I know it’s not really strange to any of you because through this adventure of blogging, I think many of us have experienced the same thing. 

Friendships can be started in all sorts of ways, can’t they?

I just had to share with you, my other friends,  the neat gifts that I got today from my sweet friend Becky at Buckets of Burlap.  Don’t you just love the name of her blog?

This is what I got to open…

wrapped

You know she already had me at the burlap tie.

This is what I found inside…

towel etc

and…

one of my favorite things that she remembered that I loved…

jar

I love these blue Ball jars.  I use them all over my home and she was thoughtful enough to remember that. 

I thought I would take another quick minute and show you what I did with my pretties…

book

towel rack

fan

 

table 1

Thanks to my sweet friend Becky for putting a huge smile on my face today.

I do celebrate all my friendships and am thankful for each one.

tag 2

I hope that you will celebrate all of your friendships today and take a minute to tell a friend how much they mean to you.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Small But Sincere

heart yes 
My wish for you this Valentine weekend is that you will be filled to overflowing with love.
(My oldest daughter made the heart one day out of a bread tie and just laid it on the counter.  She saw something little, I saw something perfect)

Heading over to a new party at The Charm of Home
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Sweet Award From a Beautiful Blogger

A beautiful blogging friend who lives  a long way away from this Tennessee girl, (like Norway far), awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award.

It’s funny, because I’m not sure what constitutes being a stylish blogger or blog, but I humbly and happily accept this award from Margitta from White As Linen.

I get to share with you a few things about myself that I don’t think you already know.  Bless your hearts, you probably don’t care, but bear with me.

***

1.  I can’t sing, but love to.  I love to sing praise songs and I know God loves my voice.

2.  I have homeschooled all three of my children throughout their school years except for one year at a Christian school.  We graduate our first this year.

3.  I absolutely love teenagers!  My husband and I have been youth leaders in our church for almost eighteen years now and we love it.  Teenagers keep us young and keep us on our toes.  I truly believe teens should be respected, built up and loved. 

4.  I have held a children’s consignment sale twice a year  for the last fifteen years called Wee Swap Children’s Consignment Sale.  This has been the first year for me not to do it as I think I am ready to “retire” from it and pass it along to a younger family to do.

5.  Cleaning, organizing, and projects are calming to me.  I don’t like idle time.

6.  I have had a Diet Dr. Pepper in a bottle everyday for the last three years. (I may have missed a couple of days, but not many)  I try to eat healthy most of the time, but this is my one indulgence.  I am also a creature of habit and this is a habit I don’t want to give up.  I know they are bad for me, so you really don’t have to tell me all of the reasons I shouldn’t drink them.  :)

7.  I do not like to fly at all.  I haven’t flown in over eight years, with the last time being a flight where they had to de-ice our wings.  I would fly if I was offered a trip I couldn’t pass up, but I would have to do a lot of praying before hand.  My husband flies all the time on business trips and loves it as does my son who travels with him often.  It’s a fear I know I need to conquer.

***

Now I get to pass this award on to seven other bloggers that I find stylish.  Again I say, not sure what that means, so I am just going to send it to seven blogs that I love to read.  BUT, there are so many more blogs that I absolutely LOVE and I HATE to only be able to pick seven.  I guess another thing about me that you should know is that I am a people pleaser and I hate to think that I would leave someone out and it hurt their feelings even just a little bit.

Okay, here are seven of my special friends that I love and would love for you to meet as well.

1.  Becky at Buckets of Burlap.  (This lady has become a special friend of mine and I WILL meet her someday.  Her home is gorgeousness all around and she homeschools, and, and,and!!)

2.  Laurie at Welcome to the Turner Farm.  (Laurie is a chef and I so want to eat one of her meals. I am thinking that she is an amazing cook.  She is also sweet beyond measure and has some amazing decorating skills especially in her kitchen.  She has got some great things going on over at her blog that you really should see)

3.  Michelle at Shell's Shabby Shack (Michelle has a beautiful home and she has a beautiful spirit.  Great combination to me.  You will love her decorating style and her sweetness)

4.  Debbie at Words on Wheels (This lady can write like nobody’s business and the things she writes about always suck me in.  She gets me at line one and keeps me the whole way through.  I can assure you that you will love her)

5.  Kolein at Kitchen Table Productions ( Kolein is hilarious!  She has a sense of humor that you can’t help but love and just makes you want to spend time with her.  She has not just one, but two blogs.  She is also a homeschool mama, so we have a lot in common.  You, for real, will love her contagious spirit)

6.  Lisa at Fern Creek Cottage (Lisa is a neat lady with some great ideas.  She is  very creative with making things over and really pushes me to think about what I could do different around here.  I love people who push me to think outside the box)

7.  Lynda at Happenstance Home (Lynda seems to be a very multi talented lady.  Her recipes look great.  The gifts she creates are so creative and the Christmas tree she decorated for her hubby’s mancave was outstanding.  I love versatility in blogs and she offers it)

***

Okay, this was so hard for me.  I can’t  share something about myself without sharing something about these ladies as well.

It was also hard because I left so many people out.  I tried to remember that lots of ladies have already been given this award so I wanted to spread the love around a little.

Now I must ask…Did you really read all of this stuff I wrote because I know I wrote a TON!

You are a sweet sweet friend if you stayed with me and if you didn’t…well you are a still a sweet sweet friend and I do understand you giving up along the way.

Now, take a minute more and go check out my friend’s blogs.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

What I Had With My Coffee

No more coffee posts after this one, I promise.

I just wanted you to see what I had for breakfast this morning with my perfect cup of coffee.

muffins 

We love to have muffins for breakfast and I had just found this recipe from Old Farmhouse Cooking so I decided to try them out.

I am so happy to still have blueberries in the freezer that the kids and I had picked this summer.  I have loved being able to have blueberries readily available anytime I want them.

Today, those berries were used to help create these Oatmeal Berry Muffins.  They were delicious and easy to make.

I want to share the recipe with you in case you are interested in trying them.

***

Oatmeal Berry Muffins

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour    (I like to use half white and half wheat and lots of times just use wheat)

3/4 cup rolled oats

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 beaten egg

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cooking oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup fresh or frozen berries

In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in the center.

In a small bowl, combine the egg, milk, brown sugar, oil and vanilla.  Add to the flour mixture all at once.  Stir just until moistened. (batter will be lumpy)

Gently fold berries into the batter.

Spoon batter into greased muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.  Bake for 16 to 18 minutes in 400 degree oven. 

Cool for 5 minutes before removing.

***

A lot of you reminded me that there is a filter that goes with my new Keurig coffee maker that allows me to use my own coffee grounds  to make coffee.  This will certainly help keep costs down.  Just thought I would let you know that.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Little Luxury In the Kitchen

My sweet husband just gave me my early Valentine’s gift and I had to share it with you all.

coffee 1

This Keurig coffee maker is wonderful.  It makes great tasting coffee and is so easy to use.

I like it because I am basically the only coffee drinker in our house and it enables me to fix just one or two cups of coffee at a time instead of a whole pot.

The luxurious part is that it’s really not all that economical.  How do I know that?  Because my sweet, computer minded, highly intelligent husband loves to do spread sheets and he figured it out.   

But, he got it for me anyway because he knew how much I would love it.  He’s right.

I will tell you that he bought ours, brand new, off of EBAY for much less money than it would have cost us in the store.  He is a smart shopper who does lots of research before he buys.

coffee 3

Let me tell you a little about the coffee.  You can buy it in bulk at places like Costco and Sams, but you can also order it on line.  After much research, (remember the husband likes to do research) we decided that one of the best places to get it was Coffee For Less.  I was able to order it in bulk and they had all sorts of flavors to choose from.

I really feel like I am drinking coffee from a coffee shop every time I fix me a cup. 

Maybe some day, you and I can chat in person over a nice cup of hot Caramel Vanilla Cream, French Vanilla, or simple French Roast.  They are all so tasty.

Happy Valentine’s to me from my sweet sweet hubby and happy early Valentine’s to you.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Minus Wallpaper…Plus Neutrals

I so wanted to participate in Jennifer's Style Evolution Party this week because my style has changed tremendously over the last couple of years.

I was sharing with my friend  Becky at Buckets of Burlap the other day that I think I have really just discovered what my style truly is. 

I have spent the most part of my married life trying to decorate my home with other people’s personalities in mind…not mine.  Does that make any sense at all?

Most everything I had was dark, heavy, and probably bought at Kirkland’s.  I’ve told you before that I have absolutely nothing against Kirkland’s, it just really didn’t represent who I was and what I wanted my home to say.

I also read something the recently that said you shouldn’t hang anything on your wall that didn’t mean something to you or have some special significance.  That one comment has really stuck with me.

When my “style” began becoming more clear to me a couple of years ago, the first thing I had to do was take down loads of wallpaper that had been hung in our home ten years ago.

I want to show you today just a few photos of one of the first rooms that got really changed in our home.  I would love to show you few more photos of the room, but right now it is covered in some awesome vintage goodies that are being prepared for a new adventure I am going on. 

***

This is my dining room a little over a year ago…

DR Before

dr before 2

After the wallpaper came down, it looked oh so much better…

Like breathe easier better…

 

buffet

server

cabinet

I would love to eventually show you every room that has been transformed.  I think that would actually be every room in my house except for my husband’s study.  The decor has changed in there but the paint color has remained the same.  It began as a deep Brafferton Blue which looks blue/black sometimes and blue/gray other times.  That color is still great for us!

***

I would love to say to you that you need to make your home who you are.  Pick things that are special to you and make you happy. 

***

I am learning to simplify.

I am learning to scale down.

  I am learning that I don’t have to have everything out that I own just because I have it.  There are a lot of things up in my attic that I love that will take a spot in my home at the right time but right now may not be the right time. 

I have a lot to learn, but I am learning.

***

Remember to be true to yourself in all that you do, even when decorating your home. 

 

I am heading over to Jennifer's now. 

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Extended Pantry Challenge

I am challenging myself to eat and cook from our pantry and freezer a little longer this time around.  We still have plenty of food to make it work, so why not?

I also have not cooked quite as much over the last few days because of not feeling very well.  I have been a slacker and we have been eating easy meals.

My list on my fridge of things needed to buy is growing longer and longer, but we are still doing well. 

There are a lot of things I will not buy again until the challenge is over.  There are other things, however, that I will restock even while I am still in the midst of this.

Things that I am continuing to purchase are pretty much obvious like milk, juice, fresh fruits and veggies, 9 grain and seed bread and some natural cereals, if they are on sale.

*A side note about the bread.  I went for  a long time where I only made my bread.  I keep wheat berries on hand at all times.  I even have a grinder to grind my wheat.  I still grind my wheat to make pancakes, muffins and such, but the bread became a real chore for me and I just never became “great” at it.  Therefore, I have taken a break from bread baking and am trying to buy the most affordable bread I can buy that is hopefully somewhat good for us.  I usually order five or six loaves at a time from our Kroger deli and freeze it.   If you are interested, the name of what we eat is  Wholesome Harvest 9 grain and seed bread.  It is delish and hearty and we all like it a bunch.

I did have a sweet blogging recommend a book called The Book of Bread that will hopefully help me out with making my bread a little better.  I bought the book but haven’t  used it yet.

So, that’s where we stand today.  I am still keeping with my $25 a week, sometimes going a little under,  sometimes a little over.

No one is starving or even going a little hungry. No one is complaining.

This is so doable, my friends.

  I am saving money and cleaning out and still fixing a good variety of foods even after not going to the grocery store for over a month now except for my few essentials.

Try it!  It might make your husband happy like it has mine!  He LOVES to see me saving money and using what I have.

Hope you are all safe, warm, and feeling great!

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