Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Anniversary to Us

So, ON our anniversary, I remembered to kiss my hubby & say "Happy Anniversary" before he left for work. Good thing.  The day went downhill from there.  I woke up not feeling good, but I was hoping it was allergies and that I'd snap out of it.

I ran a few errands.  I talked to my mom and told her I had a little cold.

I talked to my sister, and she said, "Are you sick?"  And yes, by that point, I was feeling it in a bigger way, this head cold.

My daughter came home from school, and I said, "I'm going to bed" -- and basically hoped she would get through the rest of the day without me.

I napped, and woke up, and thought... I just cannot make dinner.  Lucky for me there were french bread pizzas in the freezer.  (Don't judge, remember... I was sick.)  So, I texted my hubby and said, "Can you make this work for tonight?"

He called and said, "What can I stop and get for you?  Ginger ale?"  Ginger ale tends to solve the world's problems around here.  Yes please.  Ginger ale.

And then I called back with the idea of  mentholated cough drops.

And then I texted "pretzels" -- because a girl can only take so much tea and ginger ale without a little salt to break the monotony!

Never let it be said that I can't come up with a good grocery list on the spur of the moment.
Just not all at the same time, apparently.

mmmhmm.  Happy Anniversary to us.  Good thing we were all romantic back in August.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Friday, September 27, 2013

Beginning Again

The season of thankfulness is drawing closer.  I want to be thankful every day.  Every day.  Not just every day of the months leading up to our Thanksgiving holiday.  Most of all, I want to be better about expressing it and not just thinking it in a tidy little "thought bubble" above my own head.  To that end, I will begin again adding my thankful tidbits to the end of my posts during the months of October and November.  Some days, I might list big HALLELUJAH things, and other days, just the obvious DAILY-dailies.  To be sure, there will be days with combinations of both.  I am thankful for things both great and small.

Nothing is too small to be deemed "important enough" to warrant gratitude.

Nothing is too large (the sunshine in the sky!) to show appreciation to the Creator.


Obviously, you and I both know that my inspiration for this is Ann Voskamp.  I wouldn't pretend otherwise. I'm planning to re-read her book this fall, and to more purposefully look for things to be thankful for during my days.

I hope you'll join me (and I know there are others as well) who are making this effort.  Just a small list at the end of a day's post.  Number them if you like.  And... if you don't have a blog, feel free to leave a comment on my posts or on my Facebook page telling me what you're thankful for.  Expressing it is key!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Happy Anniversary to the love of my life.  xo
{I love walking through life beside you!}

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bloggers: Show Your Face!

I am by no means a blogging expert.  In fact, I am totally self-taught in this whole blogging thing... so, I love it when someone shares something with me that is so helpful -- even just on a basic level.

So, in the spirit of being helpful, here is a bit of advice, given from my humble perspective.  I know you didn't ask, but bear with me.

I was just surfing through a bunch of new blogs that someone recommended, and I realized something.  One of the first things that I look for when visiting a blog is a photo of the blogger.  Not because it matters what a blogger LOOKS like -- but because it makes our visit much more personal.  If your photo is on your blog, I feel like I'm making a connection with a new friend  -- like visiting over a cup of coffee or tea.  If there's no photo... well, the visit isn't quite the same.

Also, I am much more likely (I've noticed) to leave a comment on a blog when I've "met" the blogger via a photo and an "about" paragraph or page -- as opposed to a generic bio with limited information and no photo.  I guess I just like to see who I'm "talking" to.

C'mon.  Don't be shy.

Lots of the big bloggers have really professional-looking pictures.  Mine is just cropped from a family vacation photo.  Some bloggers use "selfies."

A profile picture.  It's a good thing (as you-know-who would say).

By the way... I'll be by for tea tomorrow, okay?  *wink

p.s.  Also my opinion, but if you have a FB "page" or any kind of social media account for your blog... your picture should be there too!  It's a great way to connect with your readers, and using the same photo from account to account provides continuity!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Decorating

I'm not an over the top seasonal decorator.  Since we try to watch our spending, I am always looking for items that might translate from one season to the next, so that I'm not breaking the bank for each new season.  In addition to that, I have been known to enforce a "no-spending" season.  A few years ago, we were saving up for a big trip, and I decided that I wasn't going to make any fall, winter, or Christmas purchases for our home. Sound extreme?  Well, it was easy on our budget -- helping us save money for the trip, and it also caused me to get creative with things that we already had on-hand.  I've never been one for a new "theme" every Christmas season -- so I was glad to stick with the old favorites.

This year, I did make a few new purchases -- but didn't break the bank.  The other day at the craft store, I bought the grapevine pumpkin (above), a canister of silk leaves (see them in the above photo under the large pumpkin -- and also below, wrapped around the candle.  Oh, right.  The other purchase was a narrow roll of burlap -- great for wrapping around that candle.  I still have a lot left that I'll be able to use down the road sometime. 

When I was a young newlywed, I thought that when people gifted me with nice things, I needed to find a place for them.  I sort of felt like I had to have everything out all the time.  I soon realized that's not realistic.

These family figurines are a perfect example.  I love them, and they represent our family perfectly.  That said, they've been packed away for a long time as new decor items have made their way into our home.  I came across them the other day, and decided it was time for them to see the light of day again.

No, they're not "seasonal" items -- but that's okay.  They are a sweet reminder of the importance of family -- and that's good all year round!

Do you have any non-seasonal decor items that you've added to the autumn mix around your house?

I'm waiting for a sunnier day to take some more pictures around here.  It's been kind of dreary lately with lots of clouds in the sky.  The sun seems to come out only when I'm away from home -- which... is not a complaint, just a statement of fact.

Hopefully, I'll have a few more pictures to share tomorrow.

Monday, September 23, 2013

An Early Fall Drive

Okay.  It's fall.  I confess that I now have my fall decorating done.

Also (if you follow me on Facebook) you may have seen my conversation about skipping right over the frothy pumpkin coffee-drinks, and heading straight towards the all-things-peppermint section of the grocery store. {No, we don't really have one of those -- but how cool would THAT BE?}

We took a drive this weekend, and enjoyed all of the farm-y views.  Most of the trees are still very green around us, but the cornstalks are out-of-this-world beautiful, displaying a wide range of color -- completely breathtaking as we drove over hilltops, and looked down on the farmland.

None of these pictures really do it justice.  In the spots where I could've had a really good vantage point, there was usually too much traffic to pull over for a photo op.  Drat and double drat.

Many of the fields are freshly mowed, and you see giant circular hay bales like this -- or long white wrapped tubes of hay that stretch across the fields.  Do you know the difference between hay and straw?  Hay is food for the farm animals.  Straw on the other hand, has no nutritional value, and can be used as a mulch in the garden. Don't be too impressed.  I'm just a city girl who looked up the answer!

As I was taking this shot (above) my hubby rolled down the window and said something like, "Hey girls -- we'll let you know if this photo makes it into a future blog-post."  <Great.  Now I've got calls to make!>

Did you have a good weekend?
What does fall look like so far in your neck of the woods?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Just Showing Off!

By far, the biggest show-off in our garden this year is a $5 mid-summer addition --this Purple Queen Bougainvillea!  Since we just planted it this summer, we didn't necessarily expect any big show of color, so we were really happy when we saw how quickly it adapted and thrived!  This baby can grow to 15' tall if supported. Next year, we will definitely need a trellis, as it will have the entire growing season in this spot, which obviously suits it just fine!

I love the color.  It's not really purple, and not quite fuchsia pink -- but somewhere in between.  The flower petals are veined, much like a leaf, and they are delicate, yet strong.  In fact, I haven't seen any blooms fail yet.

Interestingly enough, we also purchased a Bengal Orange Bougainvillea which has yet to see a flower -- and it's planted a mere two feet away from the purple one!  Go figure.  Though it's very healthy, it hasn't produced a bloom yet, so I'm anticipating a show next summer.

Are you enjoying any garden surprises as we head into fall?

Today's the last day to enter the giveaway HERE.
The winner will be revealed THIS SATURDAY, 9/21.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Baby Steps in the Bathroom

Remember the day I was RAMBLING AND VENTING -- ummmm, a while back?  Come to think of it, let's not take note of the date on that post.

In that post, I told you that I had picked a beautiful peachy color called "Autumn Mist" for our family bathroom?  My family wasn't over-crazy about it.  But, I think the color has grown on them, and... we're not planning to paint it any time soon.

I have dragged my feet about everything else in that room because... well, re-doing a bathroom is not on the top of my list when it comes to re-do's.  It just doesn't excite me.  We all share one bathroom on the second floor of our house, and let's just say it is well-used.  So, while a re-do in blog-land often ends up looking like a spa, I know that ours just never will.  Hence, no motivation.  Everything in that room has stayed the same, or remained unfinished (like the light fixture).  Can you say blah?  Yep.  <HELP!>

But lately, shower curtains have been catching my eye.  I'm so ready to be done with a plain white shower liner, and ready to commit.  I know, I know.  It's about time, and today was the day.

So here's my "before" shot.  Painted walls.  Plain shower-curtain liner.

Before I show you the pretty "after" picture, let me tell you about the fabulous shower curtain rings that I found.  Now, I realize that since I haven't done a bathroom makeover in quite a while, that you all might have seen these before, but... they're still fabulous in my book!  Not only do they glide easily because of the beads along the top (yes, I have seen that type before), but also... they "load" a curtain from each side so that you don't have to play games getting the liner and decorative curtain on!  The curtain and liner just slip on right over those little beads.  How brilliant is that?  I think I heard angels singing when I found them!  (Overdramatic for shower curtain rings?  Perhaps.  Whatever.)

Here we go.  Liner on the back side...

And TAA-DAA!  Beautiful shower curtain on the front.  I have carried our "paint chip" around in my wallet for a while now, and today, it finally paid off!  Those colors match up like they were made for each other.  What was that?  Did I just hear angels singing again?  (Imagine how they will sing when I find the right curtains for our living-room windows!!)

I hope it won't be another.... ummmm, lengthy period of time before I show you the next update on this bathroom!  (Baby steps!!)

What a big difference a little shower curtain can make!

Shower curtain: "Coral Vine" by RE Room Essentials at Target
Shower Curtain Rings by Threshold at Target.

Pssssst..... Don't forget about my giveaway HERE.
The winner will be revealed THIS SATURDAY, 9/21.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On the Seventh Day...

Two days at the end of one week, and then five more the following week.  Seven days of school now under her belt, and my daughter came home with the dreaded germs.  ALREADY??  She might have squeaked by with just being worn out, but the football game sitting in a chilly mist and the high school youth group girls' overnight put her over the edge.  By Sunday evening, she was officially sick.  Just a cold really, but everything seems to hit her so mightily.

Yesterday, she came home and said all she could think about was getting in her jammies and going to bed.  She is remembering what we learned at the end of last school year, after a rough battle with germs.  Be good to yourself.  Listen to what your body is telling you.  It's okay to say "no" to things, to people, to all of the events that we think we have to participate in.  It's okay to be disappointed, and even to disappoint sometimes if it keeps you from "over-doing" it.

When my kids were young, I remember hearing a doctor say that the best way to heal our bodies is to get enough rest -- and in many cases, extra rest.  While you sleep, your body heals.

Sleep heals.

I have preached this to my children for as long as they have been able to understand words that come out of my mouth, so, you know... a long time.  However, as you parents also know, understanding and HEEDING are two very different animals.

My sweet daughter is officially heeding, and although I'd like to take all of the credit... it probably has more to do with how crummy she feels.  I hope that as we swing into a new season, new routines, and colder weather that you will be good to yourself and will listen to what your body is telling you!

Take time to take care.

And don't forget to check out the SWEET GIVEAWAY on yesterday's post!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Time for Some Lemonade! (and a Giveaway!!) [WINNER!]

Well, it's the last week of summer.  I intend to soak in every ray of sunshine and enjoy every drop of lemonade, every flower, every last tomato in the garden-- and that lone Bell pepper that's still hanging in there, too!  It's been a good summer.  With a working son, and a daughter now in public school, I feel like we appreciated this summertime at home perhaps more than any other year.  School is back in session, yes -- but I'm still thinking about all of the memories we made this summer.

Pull up a chair, enjoy a glass of pink lemonade with me, and let me share what else I've got up my sleeve today!

Do you know this girl?

If you spend any time here on this blog, you already know that I love Sasha @Lemonade Makin' Mama... I haven't been able to hide that much.  She is one of my favorite bloggers, and has become a sweet friend as well. I love her decorating style and all of her sweet party ideas!  She is one crafty mama!  My goodness, did you see the white deer head that she recently created?  This girl's got talent!

Speaking of talent, Sasha's Etsy shop is a great outlet for her talents, and that's what our GIVEAWAY is all about today.  After taking a summer break, Sasha is re-opening her shop TODAY, and she'd like to give one of my readers a print from her shop (winner's choice).  Squeal!  I am so excited for you!

To enter to win, check out all of the new prints at Sasha's shop HERE.  Leave a comment on this post, or on my Facebook page HERE, letting me know which print you would choose if you win.  Simple as that.  The giveaway ends Friday, and on Saturday, THIS POST will be updated with the winner's name, so stop back to see if you've won!!!

Also, for those of you who have been waiting for Sasha's Ball Jar Towels to return to the shop, here's a coupon code -->  SALLY10  --> which will be good for 10% off anything in the shop.
[OFFER GOOD: 9/16- 9/23/13]


Let's raise our lemonade glasses...
Here's to Summer '13 [*clink], and going out with a bang!

And the winner is:

This giveaway is now CLOSED, but the discount code is good until Monday!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Story of a Lamp

I wonder if you have any crazy shopping habits like I do?  Have you ever spotted something that you really liked, but:

  • you weren't willing to pay the price?
  • you weren't exactly sure where you would use/put it?
  • it wasn't exactly the right color?

I give you Exhibit A:

Exhibit A

I've been loving this lamp ever since I first saw it in the Target sale paper.  Well, I use the term "sale" loosely, because it wasn't on sale at all.  They were simply advertising it with a new line of home goods.  I like the lines. I like the shade -- but, not sure where I would use it (because it's color doesn't really go anywhere in our house), I wasn't willing to pay the price.

So, instead of purchasing it, I just visited it faithfully every time I shopped at Target.  Well, okay -- not EVERY time.  But often.  I was determined to catch it on sale, making it's purchase worthwhile.  I know -- some kind of reasoning right?

Well, recently the little teeny-tiny lamp on my dresser [no picture] has been driving me crazy, and I've been thinking about what I could rotate there from our vast(not) array of lamps around the house to replace it.  The lamp is just there because it has been passed from room to room since we set up my son's nursery (ahem) a few years ago.  {Do you love how I prioritize the decorating of my(our) bedroom?  We take our hand-me-downs from the kids' rooms.  Go ahead.  Roll your eyes.}  Anyways, though we don't love the lamp any more, we have learned to appreciate a lamp in this particular spot.

So, imagine my delight when I spotted "my" lamp and other home goods in the Target paper for this week... ON CLEARANCE!  Yahoo.  I decided to run over to see what kind of deals they had.

When I got to the store, I found... not the lamp with the pretty peach floral shade, but the same lamp with a beautiful greens-and-golds shade in the same print.  Did I mention that our bedroom walls are green?
-- specifically a gray-green called "Gentle Pasture."

Valspar 6003-4A "Gentle Pasture"

Trust me when I tell you that this "paint chip" doesn't do the color justice.  It looks much nicer in our room, and it picks up shades of green from our bedding.

I'm tickled with my clearance purchase -- and it ended up being a much better "match" than I could've imagined when I first spotted that peachy-floral shaded lamp!  Next to the sweet shade, I love the little pull-chain best!

Moral of the story: good things come to those who wait.

Interesting lamp stories seem to run in the family this week, I guess.
Check out what Jill found!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A "Sa-weeet" Sweet Potato Recipe

I mentioned that we visited my hubby's sister and her family on Labor Day weekend.  We had a fabulous visit, and ended up working on a dinner together.  We had delicious barbecued chicken, stir-fried asparagus, and sweet potato chips, along with some fresh veggies.  I think it was my hubby's idea to cut the potatoes up in slices, and then my sister-in-law remembered that she had an amazing "mandolin" type attachment for her KitchenAid mixer.  She attached it, and we started slicing those sweet potatoes.  I mean to tell you... it sliced them beautifully.  Nice and thin, too!

I decided to recreate the recipe at home today because it was so delicious I couldn't wait to do it again!  I didn't have a mandolin type gadget, so here's what I did:

INGREDIENTS: sweet potato(s), olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, sea salt.

1.  Preheat oven to 400F.
2.  Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
3.  Dice sweet potato(s) up into about 1/2" cubes & place on cookie sheet.

 4.  Sprinkle lightly with extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and sea salt.

5.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until they are done to your liking.  When you open the door to check on them, stir them around a little bit.  I let mine get a little brown & caramelized.  Yummy!

This is such a sweet & savory, deliciously simple side dish to make!

Difficulty Level: BEGINNER


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shopping at Day's End

When my son was just a toddler, we used to head to Target when we needed (read: when Mommy needed) a little diversion.  He was a good little shopper, and it was a way for us to get out of the house.  That was back in the day when Target was new to our area, and I was just learning how to shop their clearance items.  His little toddler self would say, "What we're doin' Mom?"  and I'd tell him, "Shopping clearance, Clarence."  No... his name isn't Clarence.  It was just our little game.

Well, all these years later, I haven't tired of shopping clearance at Target.  But this past weekend, my hubby and daughter learned that shopping at day's end at the flea market can also get you some good deals!

On Saturday, I wasn't feeling great and so my hubby and daughter went off adventuring without me.  They came home with groceries, a plan for dinner (gotta love THAT!), and two new-to-me blue Ball jars with an extra glass lid (for a wired jar).  Just $3 for the two jars and extra lid.  People were closing up their booths, and ready to make some deals.  Hmmm, we might have to change the time we visit the flea market.  We used to head out bright and early, but I never thought of the deals being later in the day.

Guess I'll have to come up with a name for this "game" too.


Shop late, Kate!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hanging On By My Fingernails

Today is supposed to be a hot one.  Have I mentioned that it's still summer?  Yep, until September 22 when I will officially give way to fall.  Until then, I am still burning summer fragrances -- though this one might be more like stretching spring...  But you get my meaning.  The real-thing lilacs may be long gone, but the birds are singing like crazy, and we're not closing doors, locking windows, or battening down the hatches just yet.  Not only have I not broken out any fall fragrances yet... I haven't even purchased any.  So there, fall.

Let the lilacs reign supreme until the first day of autumn!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer is Winding Down

Whether I like it or not, it's true.  Summer is winding down.  We've had a bumper crop of Roma tomatoes over the past week from our few plants.  The sun is still hot, and the next few days promise warm temps according to the weatherman, so I'm hoping the "greenies" still on the vine will have time to ripen before a fall chill sets in.

I'm hanging on for dear life.  To summer that is.  Not one to pretend, I won't tell you that there is anything that indicates fall in our home.  Not yet.  Unless my computer screen is lit with Pinterest.  I mean, I am taking notes folks!  *wink

In the meantime, it's time to use up the ripe tomatoes.  I took some to Mom & Dad's the other day where Dad was glad to sample one like an apple.  I told him I'm not sure about the texture of these.  I don't believe my hubby has ever chosen Roma's before, and they aren't as enjoyable (to me) to eat as is.  I've read that they are better as a canning/sauce tomato.  Next year, we'll chose differently, I think -- since we don't do canning and homemade sauce around here.

In the meantime, I made some Black Bean Salsa -- one of our favorites.

Are things winding down in your garden?

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