Friday Finds - nature inspired

Friday, July 29, 2011

Why on earth would I buy a glass pear (.47 cents) with a grape motif on it, you ask?

Because I thought it would be cute as a windowsill terrarium.Photobucket
Don't you agree?

For the terrarium, I washed it and pulled off the grape decorative sticker. Then gathered small rocks, placed them in the bottom and added soil that I saved from a plant that I killed died. (I had Trae put the soil in with a spoon which he loved doing.) I dug up some little weeds that were growing in some of my flower pots and planted them in the terrarium. I also pulled up some moss off the ground, placed it on top of the soil and added a few more rocks for decoration. Instant nature.

And since thrifting isn't all about what I like, I found this brand new shirt for Trae man kanski for 3 bucks. Did you know that some of your favorite retail stores donate their clearance items to Thrift shops? It's true.

More next week.

Have a good weekend!

Linking to Funky Junk

Summer taste

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Watermelon and crumpled Feta cheese with a sprig of mint - a cool, tasty treat.


A Pez dispenser photo tip

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph the activities at a day camp for persons who have mental and/or physical challenges.
Because I don't have signed releases yet, I am unable to show any pictures of the campers. But I can show you how I got them to focus on the camera when I took pictures of their sweet faces.

Thanks Pez and cheap Happy meal toys.

Love where you live

Monday, July 25, 2011

Last week I mentioned one thing I loved about where I live. Besides that, the arrival of Santa to our town square, the college parade and of course, the always enjoyable Hershey's Chocolate free factory tour ride, there are many other family friendly activities in full swing right now. Our current favorite is the free family movie in the park.

The week before last, I had to cover up with a blanket after the sun went down when there was a slight breeze. What a difference a week makes! Last week, I didn't even want to sit on a blanket, opting for the cool grass in the 94 degree heat, even at 10 pm. It was hot, hot but fun.

We love to scout out the local activities in each place we have lived. One of the funniest things we went to was the annual "Spring Ho" in a sleepy, little Texas town. It was actually really fun but it was the crowning of "Miss Spring Ho" that was so funny. Can you imagine having that title?? Hilarious, right?! Or is that just my warped sense of humor talking?

Most communities do a great job getting the word out about their events but if you find that you haven't heard what is going on within your community, just call your local Chamber of Commerce, grab a newspaper, head to the library or google your town's office and look at the community calendar of events.
It's all waiting for you. Go enjoy!

Friday Finds

Friday, July 22, 2011

Last week I found the entry way mirror when I dropped by the new thrift store. That same day I had about 20 minutes between appointments so I stopped by another. I went right to the fabric section to see if there was anything I could use to recover two chairs in my office. And sure enough I found 5 yards of heavy upholstery fabric in colors and a zig zag pattern that I like. Although they were having a store wide 50% sale the next day, I didn't want to wait but still only paid $8.99.

At first I thought it might be too much of a Southwest feel but when paired with a dark wall, which is a paint color I just purchased, it takes on a modern twist.
We'll see how it translates. I am in the middle of prepping the chairs now.

Do you have any new finds?

Have a good weekend!

Linking to House of Grace

A perfect time for a giveaway - enter now!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

When you hear the words "Mary Kay" what images conjure up in your mind? Pink Cadillacs? Mascara?

I think those images have gone through our minds at one time or another. But the face of the Mary Kay company has changed and I'm here to tell you it's a great look.

Meet my beautiful friend, Jodi: Wife, mother, professional and Mary Kay beauty representative.

Recently, I was over at her house having a ball with all of her beauty products. I know people say this all the time, but I have tried so many products, all of the big brands and have paid top dollar for them. My highly sensitive and prone-to-redness skin requires that I seek out the best. While I liked some of the other products I have tried, there was never a clear front runner since I switched back and forth between many.

Even when I go to the make-up counters in the mall, I am still not able to test all of the products that I would like. I have tested make-up there only to get home and see that it didn't suit me. But when I went to Jodi's, we went through basic skincare and then tried foundation until the perfect shade was found. We had so much fun freely testing out all the products. We were like kids in a candy store, as they say. Her goal is to make sure each customer is happy with their product.
One of my favorite purchases from her, beside my liquid foundation, is the liquid foundation brush. Why I waited so many years to use that I will never know. It is the best invention ever and it's only $10.00! I highly recommend it. I am not kidding, my make-up application has never been more even and so quick and easy!

Here is what they say about the brush:
The unique, flat, tapered shape of this brush applies liquid foundation evenly and smoothly and ensures that every contour on the face is covered. The synthetic bristles don’t absorb makeup like a sponge or add excess oil like fingertips, so you actually use less. The end result is a smoother, more perfectly flawless finish. Works well with any Mary Kay® liquid foundation.

"So how does this benefit me", you ask? Well thanks for asking!

Jodi is giving away, right here, a $10.00 girlfriend voucher that you can spend on that very brush or anything else, really.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post with the title "GIMME MK". Be sure to leave your email address if I cannot automatically link back to you so I can contact you if you win. The giveaway will close on 7/28/11. If you win, you just go to her site and use your bucks there, it's that simple.

Also, for every 5 orders placed through Jodi's site, she will continue the girlfriend voucher giveaway here. So be watching for another chance to win!

Go to her site to see all of the great products and/or place an order! If you're in the area, she has all kinds of fun themed parties just waiting for you, so call Jodi, grab your girlfriends and get your party on!

Face fotos

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When I was in college, my roommate coined the term "face photos" for me when she was looking through my pictures and said, "You like to take face photos." Whenever we were goofing around and taking pictures of friends, we would yell, "Face photo!" and everyone would mug for the camera to get ready for their close-up.

I enjoy getting close ups of people, especially children. I know this can be disconcerting for adults. I am the first to admit that. When I was 20, it was no problem but now, yikes! So I understand the desire for a little light airbrushing and not wanting someone to get too close.

But with these photos, had I been far away from my children, I would have lost a little something in their expressions which would have resulted in just a regular photo and not my new favorites.

Trae came into my office in the morning donning his 3D glasses and unkempt hair. He said "Hi mom. I got glasses." Luckily my camera was on the desk and he just stood there letting me snap a few.

I was taking pictures outside when a sudden rain drenched us. I ran for cover since my camera was exposed and when I turned to see if Reese was going to get the door behind me, I saw him standing under the clogged gutter with eyes closed tightly, thoroughly enjoying the deluge.


While Blair was looking out the window, I focused in on her waiting for her to turn. When I said her name, she responded, "Hmmm?" turning toward me but still with the soft expression from what she was observing out the window.


These photos make me happy.

Try to get out and take some happy close-ups for yourself!

Again with the entry way mirror - Friday finds

Friday, July 15, 2011

I noticed a few weeks ago that there was a new thrift store in town so I put it on my radar. I finally got the chance to visit and was pleasantly surprised by their inventory of vintage and antique items as well as most of their prices. Again I was drawn to the mirror and old frame section. I had to put blinders on when it came to the furniture.

When I was looking for a mirror to go in our small entry way, I originally wanted an oval shaped piece since the staircase, wall and doorway are so boxy. Because I couldn't find one, I settled on the rectangular mirror but still wasn't feeling it. Then I found the oval one at the new shop for $2.99 so I took it home to see how it would look. I know bold/ornate patterns aren't every one's favorite but if you were me, which mirror would you prefer?

Have a good weekend, ya'll!

Not a ninja - roadside stands

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One of the things I adore about living here are the small, unattended roadside stands where flowers and vegetables are sold. During my travels I like to stop by these places.

It makes me happy to see them and I am somewhat surprised by the trust that the owner has with their unknown customers.

When I first moved here, I went to the stand in the pictures below which sits to the left of the yard at a sweet little farmhouse. The house was covered with flowers and vines and the porch kind of beckoned you up to it. Since the door was ajar and there was a business sign in the yard, I thought it was a flower shop or boutique. I walked up to the door and pushed it open.

I took a few steps in and saw this beautiful farm table with cut flowers strewn all over. I noticed the creaky wood floors and farmhouse touches around the room. A cat sauntered up to me and started leaning on my leg like they do. She was purring so I bent down to pet her. As I did that, I looked to my right and saw a TV, living room furniture and kids toys playfully tossed about. I quickly stood up and did a double take, realizing that this was no flower shop but that I was a stranger standing in the middle of some one's living room.

"Oh no!" I whispered to myself and began to back out but those creaky floors were loud and the cat's "MEOWing" was even louder. I thought it would give me away. I whispered to the cat to "Shhh" as if that was going to help

I continued to walk backwards for some reason which is when I stepped on a toy truck and stumbled a little, sending the truck skating across the room. Panicked, I turned around and ran my legs smack into a table. I wanted to let out a yell but instead I quickly tiptoed out the door, almost hopping and whispering, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" When I finally got out, I cracked myself up, laughing all the way home.

I am so not a ninja.

I wonder how many people bring back the jars?

Pretty in pink.
Honor system.

Fruits and veggies

There was even a change box to the right of the money
to make yourself change if you needed to. That's my dollar in there.

What do you love about where you live?

Oh, oh, oh it's magic.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trae man thought it was great when his 4th of July glow stick broke
and the substance flew all over the kitchen.
He would turn the light on and off, "Now you see it, now you don't,
now you see it, now you don't...
Wowwww, I'm magic." he'd say.

It was pretty great.

Coming up this week: a new thrift shop!

Framing ferns - quick DIY art

Thursday, July 7, 2011

When Jon saw that I was packing a book to take with me to camp a few weeks back, he smiled and said, "Oh, gonna get a little light reading done?" He was excited for a moment at the thought of me taking time to read, something I love but never can squeeze in any time to do.

I said, "No, that's for my ferns!"

Every few years I like to press ferns for quick art work and since I don't use a fancy flower press, I just use the trusty (and slightly dusty from all the non-reading and I guess non- dusting) books.

This is one I framed in 2003 when we went hiking in Maryland with the kids. I found 3 species that day and put them in 5 old frames which I picked up at a thrift shop. It has kept its color but some of the others have faded which is why I redo them every few years.

I loved that the frames all had their original prices on them. .39 cents for the 5x7s and .59 cents for the 8x10's. You can't even get those prices at a garage sale.

This time I'll put them in white frames which I happen to have a bunch of, just in all the wrong sizes of course. Time to remedy that.

Anyone making nature inspired art? Displaying a beautiful, twisted piece of driftwood, perhaps? Or still keeping that pet rock on the shelf?

Linking to Just a Girl

Somewhat Simple

Tales from Bloggeritaville

Frugal Novice

Fourth recap

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We had a very full Independence day - okay, not really.
The absence of family makes it such that we really don't put effort into a barbecue or anything. So, we had spaghetti. The kids don't mind. All they are concerned with are the pyrotechnics. And being some what of a pyro myself, I look forward to them as well.

We did have a backyard campfire to roast marshmallows and make s'mores. We also hosted a couple of sleepovers for the kids. The neighborhood kids were in and out of our door all day, going between their swing set and ours and grabbing watermelon along the way. It took all my effort to keep Trae from streaking out in the yard. I had to go collect his clothes a few times. He's become somewhat known as the naked baby of the neighborhood.

When the sun went down we were ready for the fireworks display. It was a little late before we got to them which I'm sure made the neighbors happy. Jon lit the fireworks in the middle of the street and all the kids would yell "car" when they saw headlights coming.

It was very mullets and drinking cap-ish but a whole lotta fun.

Kitchen progress

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I was hoping to get to the pallet project that I had drawn up in my mind which is now sketched onto paper. But then we got to talking about the kitchen and how we have to finish it regardless of the cabinet situation.

We are putting in a mix of open shelving and cabinets but unfortunately we have to arrange them differently than originally planned. That now calls for a few more cabinets to install. Specifically, we need to create a surround for the refrigerator and put the open shelving in a new location.

That's where this project stalled. But a fresh perspective put us back on the right track.

So amidst the weekend's holiday fireworks, a sleep-over, play practice and a backyard marshmellow roasting event, we hauled home a pantry that I found on Craigslist for $40.00. I pulled out my trusty mouse sander and went to town sanding enough of the old finish so that the primer could adhere to the surface. Jon took care of the door crevices while I got the high spots.
And after a few coats of primer (Kilz) and paint, we brought it in to get an idea of what it will look like. We still need to finish the overhead cabinet and attach them but one step closer is better than no step.

These pictures serve as inspiration photos for the look we are trying to achieve. I call it fresh country modern but really, we call it "anything is better than the crappy way it was before."

Can you tell we're not perfectionists? Our DIY motto - "Done is better than perfect." (Scott Allen)

Have a great day!

via Country Living
via Traditional Home

source unknown

source unknown

Red, White and Blue inspiration

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4Th of July, America!

Red, white and blue looks good on you.

I love fireworks. This picture is of the Vancouver, WA side of the Columbia River and where I watched the fireworks display growing up - seeing them on the water makes for a great setting.

Be safe!

*Images courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, and Vancouver short