Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Simple Thank You....

To me, the words "thank you" are very important.  They not only convey thanks but also appreciation for something that has been given to you, in one form or another.

I have been writing this blog for 2 months now.  I would like to thank each of you for taking a little bit of time out of your day to read and comment on my posts!  I would also like to thank my husband, who has not only been proof-reading these posts for me, but also sharing them on his Facebook page and making the odd comment here and there. :-) 

He has been very supportive of my endeavors.  He has also provided us with beautiful homes in Alabama, Texas and now here in Tennessee.  I am very grateful for his hard work!  I am also grateful to the new friends I've made here in the blogging arena.  They have been extraordinarily kind by sharing their "pearls of wisdom".  I never realized how much work went into a blog, but am quickly learning.

Comments, page sharing, compliments and a thank you along the way mean the world to each and every person who writes a blog.  But it also goes for the readers.

For if it weren't for you, why would we write?  Happy Tuesday!


Monday, March 30, 2015

The Spirit of Welcome

A little over 20 years ago, I met an author who had a profound influence on my life.  I had read many of her books when I met her and have continued reading them long after she retired from speaking and writing.  My bookshelves contain most of her books and I've started passing some of those books down to my granddaughter, so that she can receive the same influence from this lovely woman.  Her name is Emilie Barnes.

I'm sure many of you know her work.  I am also sure that there are touches in your home or the way that you do things that were influenced by Emilie.  She is such a wonderful lady who is gracious and kind.  She is exactly what you would imagine if a teacup were a living thing.  I've decided to write this post, as well as a few others, as a small series from her book The Spirit of Loveliness (which you can purchase here).  My book cover looks like this.  It was republished in the late 90s with a different cover.

The cover is worn and tattered and the pages have been earmarked, highlighted, and written upon.  I frequently use it as a study guide, if you will, of what I would like for my home to be.  After all, a house is wood, brick and metal.  A home is what grows inside, within the walls.  The first chapter of this book is entitled, The Spirit of Welcome.  Emilie states that home is a state of the heart and spirit, a place of refuge.  So what can we do to make our home welcoming to our family and to others?  Here are a few tips she offers. They require little time or effort but make a huge impact.

Make sure your entry way is clean and inviting.

Clear the path for those who enter by removing clutter.  If you need a place for shoes, coats and other gear, there are all sorts of wonderful entry way ideas on the internet.

Find the one that works for you and put it into action.  Light a candle for a welcoming scent.

 Let your home be an extension of you and your personality.  With so many home decor blogs, websites, Pinterest boards and advertisements, it is easy to think our style doesn't measure up to someone else's.

Fill it with things you like -- mix colors, textures and styles!  Not everything has to be a perfect matching set nor does it have to be brand new!

Monitor noise levels.  Turn OFF the TV, radio, iPod, and any other electronic you may have around.  Relish the quietness.

I know this is sometimes difficult, but I find that I get easily over-stimulated with all the noise of electronics and really enjoy the peace and quiet.  Kids will probably appreciate being "unplugged" occasionally once you get them used to the idea.

Get organized and have a sense of order in your home.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  Yes it is difficult with our busy schedules, yes it is hard to do with small children, but it can be done.  Start by at least making your bed every day.

If you get nothing else accomplished, do this one thing.  It will encourage you to keep other things neat and tidy.  Put things away and tidy up before bedtime. Let children participate in putting their toys away at the end of every day.  You will be creating good habits for them and preparing them for when they have their own home.

Display family photos.  Family photos welcome other people into your home and into your life.

They are also great conversation starters!

Be a blessing to someone!  Make sure your home is also - invite someone over for coffee or dinner.

I know this is a little lengthy but I do hope that some of these will be a blessing to you today... sharing a little something from my home to yours!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Marching To The Beat...

....of a different drum.  I always have.  When others are going right, I go left.  I'm usually the same way with my home decorating.  I'm not a spring and summer type person.  I much prefer fall and winter.  The air is crisp and cold.  Everything always seems cozy and comfortable.  Now that is not to say that I don't enjoy certain aspects of warmer weather.  Outdoor parties, grilling out, relaxing on the porch -- all of those things are nice, especially the sounds of cicadas at night.  Even with that, my preference will always be fall and winter.  I know it is crazy to be pining for fall right here on the verge of spring!  But nothing can beat those fall colors.  That's why, when I saw these little gems at HomeGoods the other day, I just had to get them.

I can't wait to use them for some hot apple cider or warm hot chocolate. I also picked up a few other little treasures.

One being this broken tray.

I took it to the manager because it had nails sticking out of it and I was afraid that some kid was going to get hurt.  I have personal experience with trips to the ER for tetanus shots and didn't want anyone else to have to endure that horror!  He thanked me and was going to take it away to parts unknown.  I asked if he would sell it.  He said sure, offered a price and I countered.  He accepted.  We each walked away thinking we had gotten the better end of the deal.  Once I got it home, I surveyed the damage and knew that I could fix it, or at least was fairly confident that I could.  I had planned to use only 2 tools, but I realized I couldn't read the glue label without the third tool -- and that was with my contacts in!

A little bit of glue, some clamping to hold it in place and 2 hours later, a tray fit for decor.  My husband said he couldn't understand why I would bother repairing it when all I was going to do was cover it up with stuff decorate it with lovely items.

I really wanted photos of those 2 mugs with the copper pitcher I already owned.  They looked perfect with the tray and some of my fall-colored books.

Don't you just LOVE those little copper cups??!!

And then, it just happened.  I couldn't help myself.  I just had to see how it was going to look...with these adorable pumpkins!

I didn't mean for it to happen.  The thought just popped into my head and it wouldn't go away until I had snapped at least 2 7 8 10 photos.

I'm going to bet that if all of this beautiful copper had been sitting in front of you, you would not have been able to resist pulling out the pumpkins either!  Oh, and didn't the repairs to the tray turn out well?  ;-)

Happy FALL y'all!!?  :-) 

PS.  I also found these great napkins -- perfect for the 4th of July!  :-)


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hippity, Hoppity...

...Easter's on its way!  I've finally added a little bit of Easter to our home.  I don't like the bright, bold colors for our home.  I prefer the softer, muted colors.  Most of the furniture in this room is white, so I think these colors blend with everything better.

I've had the eggs and rabbit for a few years; a sweet purchase from Hobby Lobby.

The other items were purchased at Kirkland's.  The tray, which came from HomeGoods, has a story behind it.  You will read about it in a later post.  You can tell there is a recurring well-worn trail in my shopping -- Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods and Kirkland's.

Don't you just love this rabbit??!!  You may still be able to find him at Hobby Lobby.

He is so vintage looking.  He stays out in public all the time.  I just move him around the house.  The eggs all have a nice vintage color as well -- very soft.

I found these little carrots at Target. I thought they were adorable!

Not only chocolate, but hazelnut chocolate!

Thanks so much for stopping by to see this little taste of Easter decor.  Have a great day!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Tick, Tock...I Love Clocks

Hickory Dickory Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory Dickory Dock.  

I know you all remember that annoying little mousery rhyme from kindergarten.  I don't like the mouse part, but I do love the clock part. As a matter of fact, I love clocks (except for cuckoo clocks -- they give me nightmares). I have clocks all over the house.

In the office.  My mother gave me this sweet little clock.  He ticks loudly.  Reminds me of an old movie, "The Mouse that Roared".  I don't like mice, but do love the clock.

In the "odd corner".  A very discounted purchase from Kirkland's.

On a barrister bookshelf. This one is a two-fer -- a clock and a camera.

On top of the kitchen cabinets.  Two HomeGoods finds.

On the bedroom mantle.  The large one is a Kirkland's discounted product and the small one is a purchase from Pottery Barn about 10 years ago.  He stopped working and is beyond repair.  I love him anyway.

In the master bathroom.  Another HomeGoods find.  I left this one in color so that you could enjoy the red. :-)

I still wear a watch. So does my husband.  The "boyfriend" style is my favorite.  I found this on super sale a few years ago.

Yes, all of my clocks are male.  I don't know why, they just are.  Some of the clocks work.  Some gave up a long time ago, but they are correct at least twice a day, right?  It makes no difference to me.  I enjoy the collection.  I'm currently looking for a nice large clock to hang in the empty space by my desk in the office.

I also love our collection of vintage cameras, but that's a post for another day!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It's Beginning to Look Like...

Spring and summer!  Well, for a couple of days anyway.  Our weather will turn cold again this weekend, dipping below freezing.  Which means most of the flowers currently blooming will die.  It seems that it is always this way before spring finally stomps through the door!

Have you ever wondered what we did before Pinterest?  I was posting the photos from my previous day's blog to my Pinterest boards when I stopped to look at one of the boards I had created.  I found all sorts of wonderful things on that board.  I would like to share a few with you and let you guess which Pinterest board you think these belong to.  The person who guesses correctly will get an ice cream sandwich shipped to their front door! ;-)

DISCLAIMER:  I am not responsible for your binge-eating while reading this post.  I've already had to stop once to lick the ice cream off the keyboard.  I do not want this to happen to you!  You don't deserve it!  With that being said, here is where we begin.

With these....

Are these not the most adorable things you have ever seen??!!  They are Champagne Popsicles.  Two of my favorites combined - silver stemware and Popsicle!  I do not like champagne but would happily use any other drink (Mt. Dew) to make these.  I would give you the recipe. Unfortunately, the site that shared these little gems is written in a language that I cannot read, write or understand.  And YES, I know there is Google Translator available, however, I am choosing not to translate so that I can stay away from temptation!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these little skewers!

They are absolutely adorable and look so appetizing.  But here are my questions: (1)  How long does it take to wrap that pasta around each skewer?  (2) How many will I have to eat to get full? Do I get 2 or 20 - because I'm going to need a full plate of these?  (3) Can I have a bowl of Marinara sauce?  (4) And do I really want to eat it after someone's fingers have been running through the pasta noodles for a few hours?

Don't you just love popcorn??!!!  This display is really cool, with the apple baskets and brown paper bags.

There are so many flavors available now, it's ridiculous!  I prefer the salty sweet flavors of Kettle Korn!  The hubby likes it with extra butter...lots of extra butter.  I don't like butter.  It tastes like, well, butter (and red wine tastes like vinegar butter).  Needless to say, we have separate tubs when we eat popcorn.  And I don't like wine!

While all of these eats are wonderful and tasty, this is my killer.

The thing that has fifty thousand bazillion carbs and calories....BREAD!  I could eat loaves and days of bread dipped in flavored olive oils.  If this were at a party, you would see me stuffing my pockets, purse, shoes and bra with bread and olive oil!  I would be carrying the oil around in a brown paper bag like the village wino.  But I would be the village oilo!

This is also a killer for me.  Ice Cream! And more ice cream!

I love this display and thought it was just perfect for a spring or summer party. The little jars that contain the ice cream are so vintage, along with the tub.  Needless to say, I love vintage items!

A little side story on the ice cream subject.  My oldest son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter were visiting over the weekend.  I asked Gianna (my granddaughter) if she wanted an ice cream sandwich.  She made a face and told me no (she's 5).  She said she didn't like ice cream sandwiches.  Blasphemy!  Everyone loves ice cream sandwiches.  I told her she needed to try one before declaring such a thing, so I grabbed one out of the freezer.  She took a bite and immediately fell in love, as I knew she would.  After a few questions about why she didn't like them at first, we finally determined that she thought I was asking if she wanted an ice cream SANDWICH -- ice cream smeared between two pieces of regular bread!  YUCK!  I wouldn't want one either!

So, can you guess what Pinterest board these are pinned on?  You can check it out here.

Am I avoiding working on the Stool Pigeon?  Yep!  Do I love the word LOVE and enjoy using lots of exclamation points?  Yep!

Now go eat and be happy!

Photo credits: Champagne Popsicles (livingathome.de), Spaghetti Skewers (dallasnews.com), Rustic Popcorn Bar (eighteen25.blogspot.com),  Bread Dipping Bar (blovelyevents.com) and Ice Cream Bar (theinspiredroom.net)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Outdoor Spaces...

....need to be inviting places!  Don't you think?  I believe that a comfortable, inviting outdoor space is just as important as what is on the inside of a home.  Once spring arrives, it is great to be outside.

I received my weekly email from Better Homes and Gardens.  It was full of Vintage Outdoor Living ideas.  Check out a few of these and then hop on over to BHG to see the rest of them!

These shabby chic pillows are so adorable...

And this little area is so festive.  Reminds me of Cinco de Mayo.  Margarita time!

I love this red.  The color just pops! I think the old vehicle in the back was perfect for this photo.  It makes the red stand out even more!

This porch is so wonderful for a picnic....full of all things spring and summer.  Can't you just feel that gentle breeze across your face?  I would definitely eat out here!

I don't know why, but when I saw this photo, I immediately thought of a vintage, convertible Volkswagen!

And what a lovely idea for this cabana!

I don't know about you, but these outdoor spaces definitely have me pining for some warmer weather!


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