Look who has won

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Congratulations to Jennifer @Muse Lodge and Chris @Nuffin Special on their one-year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Please e-mail me at with your address.
Thanks to everyone who participated. I have some fun things coming up so stayed tuned for another chance to win!

A little thrifting is good for you

Friday, October 29, 2010

Isn't it?

I was at the thrift shop last week on a mission to find some Halloween costume items. I scrapped that and went to the big box store where I bought them off the rack. It was just easier that way.

But while I was at the thrift shop...I did find a few items.

Scarves - You can always find nice scarves and if you look for a signed one, that is even better. Many people get them for gifts and never wear them so they end up at the thrift shop still in mint condition. I've seen vintage de la Renta, Claiborne and Bill Blass for only $2.00 which can fetch $44.00 in vintage clothing shops. If you ever see a Jean Patou, let me know.

This one was only $1.00 so it came home to be a table runner. I just fringed some burlap, threw on the scarf and it was done.

Serving tray - The other I had was too small for the large ottoman. When I saw how well made this was with metal handles and the price only $1.99, I didn't hesitate.

And after a coat of paint, it takes center stage with a Homegoods vase and those leaves that I glue to things.

The biggest purchase was this super large series of school maps. There are 38 total from 1950 and are all in good condition except for the front cover. It needs to be repaired. They are mounted to a steel rod that used to hang up in a classroom. I have been toying with the idea of wallpapering a wall in the family room with maps or painting one. My kids love maps as well as Jon and I. When I saw this I had to get it just in case we end up going that route.
Ha ha, no pun intended...

And so ends my wrap up of thrifty finds. What have you found out there lately?
Have a safe and happy night of trick-or-treating!
Oh and there's still time to win that magazine subscription...

Stop on by The Thrifty Things' Making Friends Monday


Want to win? Enter for your chance

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday...what to write about...hmmm...

I think it's a good day for a chance to win something, Don't you?

So let's get to it!

I am giving away two (2) free subscriptions for a year to one of my favorite shelter magazines and one that seems to have stood the test of time these days -
Better Homes and Gardens.
It's full of design ideas, great recipes, crafts and gardening tips and it's just waiting to be sent to some lucky people.

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered. Please make sure you give me your e-mail address also. You can either e-mail me with that at or put it in your comment.

The give-a-way will close on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at 8 pm EST. and the winners will be chosen at random. I'll let you know who the subscriptions will go to the next day. Good luck!

What are some of your favorite magazines?

Images from BHG

Wax on - crafting with leaves

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Each year as the leaves are in full swing of changing colors, I gather some and take them home to begin my ironing wax marathon. The neighbors are used to me scouring their lawns for different varieties.
Sometimes I frame them for a quick fall decoration or glue leaves and acorns to branches for a nature inspired table centerpiece. Or, I just send them out to family.
This year my sister requested some ironed leaves for two of her kid's school teachers. They saw some she had taken home from the East coast and wanted their own to decorate with in the classrooms. I'm all for using natural elements and helping out a teacher, well, that just goes without saying.

While they do have pretty fall colors in Northern Utah, they don't have as many of the hardwood maples which produce the vibrant reds.

So today I gathered freshly fallen leaves and began my ritual of Autumn: waxing leaves.

The only items you will need for this are: an iron, ironing board, wax paper and a cloth. Oh, don't forget the leaves.

First - hunt and gather

Next, lay the cloth on the ironing board and put the leaves right side up on the cloth.

Then lay the wax paper over the leaves with the waxed side facing down on the front of the leaves. Covering the leaves and paper with another cloth, I use a hot iron and "wax on" like the Karate Kid.

I remove the ironing cloth to see how well the wax melted on to the leaf.

Then I carefully peel back the wax paper to see the result...

and it's a nice flat leaf which still has dimension but with a hint of shine.

This will preserve them for quite a while.
Without this they would have been crumpled and curled up the next day.

Now I'm off to the post office where they'll be shipped across the country. Maybe I'll even throw in some candy. I'm sure they haven't had enough yet.

Happy leaf hunting!


linking to

House of Hepworths

5T - a birthday

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dear Blair,

You're another year older and have hit the big milestone - 5 years!

Time has flown. You're pudgy baby face features have changed and I can tell you are nearing the end of the toddler years. It's bittersweet for me.

I love it when I pretend to cry about you getting all grown up and you take my face in your hands and tell me, "It's ok momma, I'm still your baby but I need to get big." You do need to get big. Get big and do all of the fun things you are meant to do.

But for now I want you to play and sing like a little girl. I want you to continue to be my buddy and accompany me all over. I want you to ask me to paint your nails and do your hair and then you do mine...and Trae's. I want you to continue to be a chatterbox and tell jokes that don't make sense. I want you to continue to be you your whole life.

You have been such a pleasure to raise thus far. One of my favorite things about you is that you are a thankful child. Whether it's a small gift, a trip to the grocery store or a ride down the slide at the park, you act like it's Christmas and thank everyone for making your day.
That will get you far in life.

You are my favorite 5 year-old.

I love you,

Perfectly fall

Monday, October 25, 2010

It was a fun weekend around these parts.
I hope yours was good too.
The weather made for perfect fall days.

It was football playing and homemade doughnut eating weather.
We did lots of both.
How could we resist their beckoning?

Fall parade

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One thing I enjoy about living in a small area are the those town traditions that may seem a little podunk compared to big cities. They are always easily enjoyable and make you feel as if you had just stepped out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Take, for example, last weekend's Homecoming parade for our local college. It's just a few blocks away from our house and lasts 15 minutes tops. Our kind of parade. The kids get excited for this because it means collecting all of the candy that the parade people toss. They even walk by and hand out candy bars and not just to the kids. I had a few things lining my pockets as well.

It's just plain fun to get out and do something, don't you think? Meeting up with some friends at the creek and then walking a block to the parade route was the perfect way to spend the morning. The slight wind gave way to sunshine and it turned out to be a nice, warm autumn day.
And all the candy was gone an hour later.

We'll do this again at Christmas, just with more fanfare, and I can't wait.

Local high school marching band

College football and baseball playoff discussion

Handing out the candy

One of the college floats


Good thing they drive slowly around here.

Taste test

Trading some loot

The end.

While I wasn't looking - Part two

Friday, October 15, 2010

With a lot of work to do I let "Umizoomi" babysit and this is what happened...

Can you guess the culprit?

Yup. That little one right there trying to look innocent.

I took a picture this time, just for you Tauna,
since you asked if I had taken one of the red pen incident!
Let's hope he gives me better photo ops in the future.

Ignoring you - my bad

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mom working on the computer.

One red marker.

A two year-old boy.

A blank canvas of a couch.


Frightful candies and Halloween memories

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trae's not Halloween mask. He just wears it when the mood strikes.

I was just reading about the 5 worst Halloween candies. One for example is the fun-size Butterfinger. It boasts 100 calories per bar and 4 grams of fat. Luckily, I don't eat those. It's replacement it says should be the fun-size Three Musketeers bar. Eating three of them is only 63 calories and 2 grams of fat. I do like those. So that seems like a no-brainer.

I remember as a kid going trick-or-treating. We lived out in the country so we would drive to all of our "neighbors" in the valley, which numbered about 10 of us total. Our neighbors dotted the sides of the hills and down into the valley. Walking to each house would take all night so we drove. And it usually rained too so trick-or-treating by car was the best method.

Everyone gave out large candy bars because each family only got about 8 trick-or-treaters total and 4 of them were from my family.

Then we'd drive over to my Aunt's and to some of my parents' friends houses to show off our costumes. Again, it was always the big candy bar give-a-way. By now we had about 15 large candy bars. We thought it was great but we wanted a whole bag of goods. It was like me explaining to my toddlers now that a dime is worth more but they insist on the penny because it's bigger.

After that we'd finally get into town and hit some real housing developments where we would get the chance to score lots of candy. And later we'd dump it all out on the living room floor and assess our loot, wincing at the Pears and Sucrets that some people gave.

I liked pears but they had to be crunchy. And the Sucrets were always cherry which I didn't like but they were better than the Hall's Mentholatum that we got too. Some grandmas were just trying to make sure that we stayed healthy I guess.

I still look forward to Halloween. It's fun but what a weird holiday though - sending our kids out in costumes and begging for candy, right? They always say "trick or treat" but no one has ever requested a trick from them. I guess in some parts that would mean something different but I'm talking about a prank, an optical illusion - something of that sort! I guess I should teach them a card trick just in case they are finally asked...

So if you participate, what is your favorite item to hand out?

I actually wouldn't mind getting Sucrets or Hall's this year. There's a cold coming on...

Love looks good on them - a family photo session

Monday, October 11, 2010

I've been behind in posting some sessions so let me begin to catch up by showing you this beautiful family.
When we were talking about locations, Mary suggested a covered bridge. It was music to my ears. I have been wanting to work at this location for a while knowing it would provide for a great backdrop. But photographs aren't just about backdrops, they are about emotions and capturing a feeling at the precise moment.

When I was taking a portrait of just Travis and Mary, I told them to pose how they would normally, just goof around with the kids and pretend that I am not even there. Sure, it's easy for me to say but not easy to do when there is a camera in your face.

So Travis picked up Mary and gave her a piggy back ride. They said, "This is how we play!" and he carted her around for a bit as Mary's infectious laughter let you know it was a genuine moment.
Love looks good on them, don't you think?

As requested, I needed to get an individual picture of the kids. I wholeheartedly agreed. I think every family member holds a special place within their family so each needs a place of honor in a photograph. For the following shots, I held a conversation with each child. Here, B is telling me about her love of dance.

I asked W what he would do if he were me and what he would have me do. He said, "I like this tree. Let's go there." And then he started telling me about school.

I. was running all over so I told him that we could race to find the best rock to climb. I snapped this just before he darted off and then we looked at those rocks.

D. is so cute and liked to play. I remembered the red chair so we told him it was reserved for red-heads. It was his special seat. So he climbed on and I don't really remember how he started to laugh but I think they were making fun of me by making rabbit ears over my head. Anything for a laugh and what a great one he has.

I love that this family loves to laugh and play. Somehow a game of red rover started and jumps across and falling in the creek happened and I was lucky enough to witness it through the lens.

You could win this give-a-way

Friday, October 8, 2010

I wish I could win this prize package.

My kids love to go to hotels even when we live close by and have a mini vacation. Why am I saying kids?? I love to go on mini-vacations even in my own area! Don't you? So why not give this a's super easy to enter.

The details...

My husband's company is giving away a 2 night stay at their hotel in Hershey, PA (no airfare included) 4 park tickets to Christmas Candy Lane at Hershey Park, 4 tickets to the Hershey Trolley Works, 4 tickets to the Hershey Story Museum, and a 15% off coupon to Dafnos Italian Grille or Fuddruckers to a lucky facebook fan! They also give away things like free chocolate and other fun stuff throughout the year. You don't have to be in our area to win these prizes but you do have to become a Facebook fan to be eligible for these and future give-a-ways. Go to their page and become a fan by pressing "Like" at in order to be eligible.

If you win, you will have a great time at all of the Christmas attractions that Hershey has to offer. And then you can go back and relax in the nice Comfort Inn At the Park and take a dip in the indoor pool. Make sure you stop by and say hi to my all-time favorite GM.

Good luck!

Home and office

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I envy those women whose husband's work from home. Jon has returned to work after a week and a half of vacation time. It was so great. We accomplished a few things around the house and were able to get some canning of green beans, applesauce and salsa done. I love to have him here. People say I would get tired of it but I know I wouldn't.

Ever since we got married we dreamed of his commute being just steps away to the office down stairs or on a laptop as we vacationed in Greece. Maybe someday.

It's a lot better than it used to be when he was in the military, though. Those "commutes" took him overseas where I wouldn't see him for months at a time. So I can't really complain or wish too hard - Military wives and husbands are the ones who deserve to have their beloved work from home.

Weekend thrift

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm back with some thrifty finds and do I mean thrif-ty, as in free.

But first, I was taking Charley to play practice early Saturday morning and since I was close by, I thought I'd go to Saturday market. I did a quick run through because sometimes the booths are not that great and I don't like to waste time. I did see some good things but at antique shop prices. I always stop by to see the lady who has nice prices on her vintage jewelry and I found another cameo and an initial pin for Belen - 4 dollars total.

On the way home, I spotted a garage sale where I picked up these Pyrex beakers. One has a rounded bottom but I can use it as a hanging vase. I took all 5 for $2.00. They will be vases for the bathroom. I love their chunky lip and etched polka dot.

For 2 dollars I also picked up this black tray with silver trim. It needs a polish but I'll use it to hold my cooking oils. Right now I use an antique silverware tray to hold oils but I've been using it for 10 years so it's getting worn. In the mix of vintage tools, I spotted a heavy, steel domino. I was surprised to find it was just 25 cents. Items like that are always interesting shelf accessories or a weapon. It is a hefty thing!

Since I was on a roll, I thought I'd head to the thrift shop. There I found this cute planter in the shape of the United States and a Robin on it. I'll use it for a napkin holder in Spring and Summer. For $2.00 I couldn't pass it up.

Ok, on to the free part...A while back I signed up with Freecycle so I could get rid of stuff. It works out well. I set items at the curb, e-mail an announcement and it's magically gone a few hours later. So anyway, my e-mail in-box is always full of announcements and one happen to catch my eye about a metal grate. So I drove about a mile from my house, thinking it wasn't going to be much but then I found this: A huge, heavy iron grate. And some people say nothing in life is free. I can't decide which is my favorite find, can you?
I hope you have a good thrifting week. Let me know what you find!

Living room tents

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Conference bingo game compliments of someone on the internet.

Charley taking notes

Every one wants to lead a hymn.

Today is our church's World General Conference. It's a time where the leadership of our church get together and give uplifting talks to a worldwide audience. When I lived in Salt Lake I was able to attend the sessions in person which was a lot of fun. But I also enjoy watching them from my living room via cable television and we make it just as fun for the kids. Because let's face it, when you're young the last thing you want to do is listen to a bunch of boring speakers.
Ok, even when you are old, you still don't like boring speakers.
Luckily, these people aren't boring, to me anyway. This day is a little different than our normal church services. For example, I can hang out in my pajamas if I want to and Trae can go around without clothes.

So in order to keep them a little focused during the talks, and keep it from being "snooze conference 2010", I have a packet for each of them with bingo games and word puzzles. The bingo games are out the whole time and when the kids hear a word from a talk that corresponds with the word on their game, they use a candy to mark the square. And for blackout, they use a twizzler or a pixie stick.

This is all done under their "tent" that they make out of blankets and string across the room. The kids love to make the tents, play games and listen to the speakers. My 13 and 15 year-old even get into it. It works every time. Not always without interruption or bouts of noise but usually for at least a talk or two.

Thanks to my friend Alysa and her great idea, we have been enjoying this tradition for some time now.

I hope you are having a great Sunday too!