Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Year....

Hello everyone! Yes, I've been gone for quite some time. Seems like I just got in a blogging funk and had nothing inspirational, creative, or just plain "read worthy" to post. So I took a much needed, long blogging break. And I've decided I will not commit to making myself blog if I don't want to. I will blog when and if I feel like it and I think that will work out just fine for me. :)
Hard to believe that in a few hours, a new year will be upon us. I've not set any unattainable New Year's resolutions for myself. I'm just going to take one day at a time and be the best person I can be each and every day. We'll see how that goes! Ha! I hope to be more consistent with getting and keeping my home better organized, craft a little more (I miss that!), and honing my cooking skills. Which means I'll be sharing more good recipes with y'all as I come across them. I still have a crappy point and shoot camera so my pics will probably not be the best, but I'll try!
So, if I have anyone left that still actually reads my little blog, my wish for you in 2013 is love, peace, and happiness. Be yourself in everything you do and never miss an opportunity to make someone else feel special. Happy New Year!
Until next time...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Just Hanging Around in the Living Room. . .

Hello friends! Woke up to 40 something degree temps in the mountains here in Virginia this morning. That can only mean one thing ~ fall is quickly approaching! It's my favorite time of the year. As long as I don't dwell on what comes next, which would be snow and cold, cold temps. Oh well, we won't think about that today! Instead, why don't we focus on walls today. I thought it'd be fun to share some of the wall vignettes around our living room. Come join me for a tour!
I love changing out my wall vignettes and I get lots of inspiration from some great blogs! Here's what you see when you walk in the door to our simple little (and I do mean little!) cottage:
This is hanging above my couch which is currently flanking the far wall which faces the door in the living room. A simple print depicting a covered bridge and horse drawn buggy flanked by simple candle sconces and a vinyl "Welcome" greeting. Our living room colors are currently burgundy and tan. But, I am excited to announce that we have FINALLY agreed on a new sofa and recliner set in a sage green color so I will be incorporating some of that color in my future wall vignettes, I'm sure. I will post pictures of that at a later date.
This next vignette is what is hanging over my television and is the wall to your right as you enter our home. A floral print flanked by small iron candle sconces with burgundy candles and some wall iron art above.
And this is what is hanging over our fireplace, which is the wall opposite of the television:
I found the large mirror at Lowes of all places, and the prints flanking the mirror were gifted to me by a family member. Another iron art piece above the mirror and I found the "B" at Hobby Lobby a while back and adhered it with a command hook. I tied a bow out of some burlap and burgundy ribbon for enhancement.
And finally, this is what I have hanging to the left of the front door, and is what you would see when you are leaving our home. My wonderful "Amazing Grace" sign I bought on line several years ago, a small mirror, and a shelf with hooks for our keys. I am a huge lover of the Willow Tree figurines so I plopped one down on this small shelf.
Thank you for joining me on this small tour of my living room wall vignettes. I'm joining Marty over at A Stroll Thru Life for her Table Top Tuesday Party. Click here to pop over and see lots of inspiration!
Until next time. . .

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pinned It, Made It Monday

Hello all! Yes, I've been away for quite some time. Let's just say it was time for a much needed bloggy break for me. I will explain more in a later post.
Tammy over at Country Girl at Home, hosts a Pinned It, Made It party every Monday and since I get so much inspiration from Pinterest (don't we all!), I thought it'd be fun to join this week.
As most of you who read my blog probably know, the hubby and I did a makeover on our laundry room a while back. Well, of course, I've been doing some tweaking to it since then, which I will share in more detail in a future post, but this little project is one thing that I have wanted to do since I saw it over on Pinterest a long time ago.
I don't know about y'all, but it seems like my dryer eats socks! And I always seem to have a pile of unmatched, lonely, sole mateless socks after every load. So I pinned this picture as my inspiration and I got to work:
I just loved the play on words on this little sign. I have decided to try the "use what I already have on hand" approach for a while as far as my craft projects go, so I shopped the house and came across a piece of wood that I had put back for making a sign "someday". I painted it a creamy color (again, using craft paint from my stash)and had hubby attached a length of black chain that we had laying around from a previous project. I then painted some ordinary clothes pins black and glued some scrapbook paper to the fronts of them. Then I attached them randomly across the bottom of my board with some hot glue. Then I just took a Sharpie marker and free handed the words "Sole Mates Wanted!" across the top of my sign. Now, it is definitely not perfect, but I don't mind because none of us are perfect and when we are searching for our "sole mate" in life, they have to understand that! :) I am pleased with how this turned out:
Sorry I couldn't get a better picture for you. My laundry room is tiny and I wanted to take the picture with it hanging up so you could tell how it is supposed to look. I may do another one in the future using some stencils, but for now, this will suffice just fine. And it's a lot easier to match these socks up with their true "sole mates" this way than it is to go through a pile of mismatched socks on top of the dryer.
Please click on the button below to hop over to Tammy's party and check out all the other Pinterest inspirations.
As always, thank you for visiting me and until next time. . .

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What Am I Up To Now???

What does this:
And this:
Have in common? You'll have to wait and see!! :)
Until next time. . .

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Hello everyone! I've been seeing several bloggers blogging about making homemade laundry detergent. It piqued my curiosity, but I must admit, I was very skeptical. So I did what any responsible blogger would do. . .research, research, research!! I read every blog post I could find on it and it seemed like the overwhelming census was that it got the laundry clean and cost only pennies to make. So I decided to jump in and give it a try!
Most of the "recipes" for this concoction are basically the same, but I decided to go with one I found over at the blog StoneGable.
Here's a look at my ingredients:
Click on the StoneGable link above to get the exact measurements and recipe. I would list them all here for you, but I've already thrown away all the boxes! The total cost to make a batch of this detergent is around $30. And it makes a huge tub of the stuff, let me tell ya! All you do is grate your Fels-Naptha soap (it looks like cheese!) and then pour all the other ingredients in and mix, mix, mix!
Here's what mine looked like after I mixed it all together:
Since you only use about 2 tablespoons per load, this batch should last me about a year! Thirty dollars for a year's worth of laundry detergent ain't too shabby, if you ask me! I used it for the first time today, and I really like it. My clothes came out fresh and clean without smelling perfumey. I don't have a HE front load washer, but all the info I read on this product states that it is safe to use in these types of machines. Also, it doesn't make hardly any suds so if you try it, don't think you aren't using enough. I used 2 tablespoons in the load I did today and it didn't suds up hardly any at all. But my clothes came out wonderfully clean! I did use my regular fabric softener but think I may now be on the hunt for a homemade version of that, too!
Have any of you tried anything like this? If so, I'd love to hear about your experiences.
Until next time. . .

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Simple Project

Hi everyone! I have been seeing rope wrapped vase projects all over blogland and on Pinterest. Since simple is what I do best, I decided to give it a try. I gathered my supplies, which consist of a dollar store glass vase, rope I purchased from Lowes, some faux hydrangeas, and my trusty well used glue gun and got to work.
All you do is wrap your rope or twine around the jar, gluing as you go.
And this is what it looks like when you are finished:
So Pottery Barnish looking, don't you think? I plopped my faux hydrangeas in it and, viola, a cute, summer look for just pennies! The most expensive part of this project was the rope. I think I paid around five dollars for it and the best part is, I have plenty left over for future projects. So for less than ten dollars, I have a stylish piece that is going to go into my "new" master bedroom. I'll share more on that with y'all in a later post.
I apologize for the quality of these photos. I did this project at night, while watching some mindless television. I think the whole project took me about an hour from start to finish.
I'm linking up with these parties this week:
Sizzle Into Summer over at DIY by Design
Wow Us Wednesday over at Savvy Southern Style
Share Your Creations Party over at Kristen's Creations
Until next time. . .

Friday, July 6, 2012

Having Fun at a Wax Museum

A couple of weeks ago, my sweetie and I took an overnight trip to Pigeon Forge, TN. Which is really not news in and of itself, as we tend to go there a lot for overnight weekend getaways. It's only about a three hour drive from where we live so it makes for a nice little weekend drive.
The last time we ventured down that way, we noticed they were building a new attraction but we couldn't really tell what it was going to be. Well, this time they had it finished and we decided to check it out. It's called The Hollywood Wax Museum. The hubs and I both decided that it was probably meant more for families with children, but it was very hot when we were down there and we figured we'd check it out since it was probably air conditioned! Much to our surprise, it was an awesome attraction where visitors are encouraged to interact with the wax displays. A couple of shots of the outside of the building:
Once inside, we had our photo taken with King Kong and then we were ushered into the museum for a self guided tour.
Lucy made me try some Vitameatavegamin.
Meet Agent J, Agent K, and my favorite man, Agent S.
Jeannie took me on a tour of her bottle.
Then I received a crash course on how to become one of Charlie's Angels.
Meanwhile, hubby tried to block Michael Jordan's shot and shared in a victory with race car driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Leonardo made my heart go on and Forrest was kind enough to share his box of chocolates with me.
By this point, we were getting pretty tired, so hubby tried to get Spock's crew to "beam us up".
What a fun way to spend a couple of hours on a hot afternoon! There was lots more that we saw, but I won't bore y'all with pictures of everything. And there was also a couple of other additional attractions, like a haunted castle thing, and a King Kong experience, neither of which we did.
Sometimes it's fun to just let everything go and be a kid again! If you ever get a chance to visit the Pigeon Forge area, this is an attraction that I highly recommend.
Until next time. . .

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

Thank you to all the service men and women around the globe who sacrifice so much to keep us all safe. Happy birthday, America!!
Until next time. . .

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Super Simple, Super Yummy Summer Salad

Wow! Try saying that title three times fast! I was browsing pinterest the other night and came upon this delicious looking salad from Paula Deen. I immediately pinned it and decided to give it a try tonight for dinner. I'm all for a simple, quick to fix salad and this one did not disappoint! The verdict: definitely a keeper!
Cucumber, Tomato, & Onion Salad
2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 Vadalia onion, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill for at least 10 minutes, preferably longer.
I'm sharing this over at Kristen's Share Your Creations party.
Until next time. . .

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Visit to San Antonio - Part Two

Day two of our visit to San Antonio was a very exciting day - GRADUATION DAY!!!! We boarded a bus near where they guys and gals did their Airman's run on Thursday and were transported to the parade grounds. We got an early start so that we could get good seats and we were rewarded by this beautiful sunrise on our way to the base. Once there, I got my Mom settled and then took a little self guided tour of the parade grounds. There were a lot of these big, old planes around. I guess that makes sense, this being an Air Force base, huh? :) On the back of the building sheltering all the dignitaries and special guests, this was what I found. "I am an American Airman, I am a Warrior, I have answered my Nation's call" "Integrity First, Service before Self, Excellence in all we do" The back of the grandstands were lined with all these colorful flags and plaques. Soon it was time for the graduation ceremony to begin. The Airmen marched out onto the parade grounds and lined up in formation. Each flight group was recognized and all the MTIs (Military Training Instructors) were introduced. Brandon's flight, along with his brother flight, Flight 350, were chosen to carry the American flags and all the US state flags. What an honor! Brandon carried Hawaii's flag. After hearing from a few keynote speakers, including one of the highest ranking Generals in the Air Force, the graduates were pronounced Airman Basic! No more trainees! Woohoo! They then marched around the entire parade grounds in front of all the proud family members. After reciting the Airman's creed and taking the Air Force oath, the graduation ceremony concluded with a fly over from a fighter jet. I didn't get a picture of that due to the fact that my camera is not a very high tech one and that plane flew by pretty fast! My newly graduated Airman Basic, Brandon Scott Rash!!! I love this child with all my heart and I am so very, very proud of him and all that he has accomplished these past few months! In a future post, I will share some of the fun stuff we got to do during our visit to San Antonio, so stay tuned!!
Until next time. . .

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Visit to San Antonio - Part One

Last month, my son, Brandon, graduated from Air Force basic training in San Antonio, TX. I was fortunate enough to get to fly out for graduation weekend. I flew out on Wednesday and flew back home on Sunday. The graduation festivities began early Thursday morning with the mile and a half "Airman's Run". This is a run in which all the flight squadrons run in formation for a mile and a half. The families are invited to line the road side and cheer them on. A lot of us made signs to show our support for our Airmen. This picture is Brandon's flight, Flight 349. They were the "Bulldogs". Don't ask me which one he is. They ran by at a pretty good pace and I had no idea where he was in this picture. The only way I knew it was his flight is because each flight had a "bear", which is the person who carries a flag in front of the group. The flag has their flight number on it. The run was an awesome thing to watch. All the guys and girls running were singing "jodies" as they ran. A jodie is a chant or song. They did the run at 7 a.m. due to the hot temperatures in San Antonio. A bit later in the day, we attended the coin ceremony. This is where each Airman is presented with a symbolic coin, signifying their transition from a trainee to an Airman Basic. My son is the Airman in the center of this picture. After all the Airmen were presented with their coin, they were dismissed by their trainers to spend the rest of the day on the base with their families. But before they could be allowed to break formation, they had to be "tapped out" by a family member. This means that they had to be tapped on the shoulder by someone before they could break formation. Here's me tapping out Brandon. By far,the BEST moment of the entire weekend!!! There were lots of tears from me and from him since we hadn't seen each other in over two months. The rest of Thursday was spent on base doing fun things. We went bowling, caught a movie, shopped at the BMX and mini mall on base, and ate a LOT of junk food! This was the first junk food they had been allowed to have since they arrived for the beginning of basic training. I think Brandon ate just about everything you could imagine. It seemed like he never got full!! It was hard to leave him on base on Thursday evening. But I took solace in knowing that I would get to see him on Friday morning, all dressed up in his dress blues for the actual graduation ceremonies. Check back tomorrow for a post on that! I'll leave you with this picture of my Airman with his very proud Momma! Until next time. . .

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Pool Noodle Wreath!

Hi everyone! Debbie over at Debbiedo's is hosting a Pool Noodle party and since we all know how much fun Debbie's parties are, I decided to join in by making a pool noodle wreath. I wanted to challenge myself by seeing how inexpensively I could create this wreath. I purchased my noodle at the Dollar Tree then shopped my craft room to see what other goodies I could find. I found some gingham fabric along with some scraps of coordinating solid fabrics, some buttons and some yarn. I felt like my wreath was lacking in something so I decided to try to create a banner that would hang across my wreath. I looked and looked for something to use as my banner pennants but could come up with nothing that would work. Then the hubs and I were walking through Wal Mart the other evening past the paint section and the proverbial light bulb went on over my head. Paint chip samples!! YES!!! So I grabbed a few of a couple of colors and raced home to put my wreath together. Here's my supplies I used: I started off by taping my noodle together with some packaging tape I had. I didn't cut any of my noodle before doing this step. Then I tore strips of my gingham fabric and wrapped it around my noodle, hot gluing here and there as I went to secure it. I then created some simple flowers by taking a cookie cutter and tracing around it onto my solid fabrics. I then made some rosettes out of the opposite colored fabric and hot glued them together. I embellished each one a little bit different using buttons and scraps of yarn. I created my banner by cutting triangle shapes out of my paint chips. Using a hole punch, I punched a hole in the top corners of each triangle. I used a black sharpie pen to write a letter on each triangle, spelling out the word "welcome". I then took some yarn and used it as my twine for the banner. I threaded it through my triangles and simply tied it onto my wreath. I then tied two little bows out of yarn and hot glued them on each end of my banner. Here's my finished wreath: So cute!! And I only spent $1 and about an hour of my time making it! How cool is that?? I've already bought another pool noodle and can't wait to make another wreath. I took my wreath to work with me yesterday to show my friends, and one of my co-workers fell in love with it. Since her birthday is at the end of this week, I gave it to her as an early birthday present. No one at work was able to guess what I made my wreath out of and when I told them, they couldn't believe it!! I love projects like that, don't you? I am linking up to Debbie's Noodle Party. Just click here to visit Debbie and check out all the other creative projects people have come up with using pool noodles. Until next time. . .

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Laundry Room Makeover!

Yes, it's been quite a while since my last post. I was feeling a little burnt out and not the least bit creative so I decided to take a "blog break" for a while. There's been a lot happening in my life these past few months, and I'll share some of that in future posts, but first, I'd like to share a makeover my sweetie and I completed this past weekend on our laundry room. I'm gonna take the plunge and bravely (or stupidly) share with you the "before" photos. Just please promise you won't call in the producers of "Hoarders" when you see these pics. My laundry room is small, only roughly 5 feet by 8 feet so my working space is very limited in there. Keep that in mind while viewing these photos. So much clutter on this shelf! Mercy! Shoes, coats, and more clutter on this side. Can you say ugly??? We started by taking everything out of this tiny room and stripped off the wallpaper border. Then we began painting. I used a color by Valspar called Evening Eclipse. It's a blue/gray color and I love it! Paint going up! Next, we laid down some new flooring. I love the black and white tile look and found a piece of vinyl flooring at Home Depot that fit the bill. I also wanted to keep the room from being too dark since we have no natural light in this small space, so I decided some beadboard and trim would work well for that. A closer look at the trim we chose: To pull the black from the floor up into the room, I went with some black wicker baskets, which also help keep laundry tools and supplies organized. These baskets were purchased from Lowe's. I shopped my home for most of the other accessories I used in this room. And I rehung our coat rack to use for our seasonal jackets and to hang my ironing board. I did purchase this plain little jar at Wal Mart for my laundry detergent and spiffed it right up with some scrapbook stickers and a pretty little bow. I am thrilled with how this tiny room turned out! And it only cost $186 to make this room over!! Can you believe that?? Eventually we will be adding some crown moulding and my sweetie is going to build me a "clothes folding" table which be installed under the coat rack to help make that job a little bit easier. Here's the finished (for now) room: Not too shabby for less than $200! Now all I need is a new front load washer and dryer. Oh well, a girl can always dream, can't she? I'd love to know what you think of my laundry room makeover! I'm joining up with these parties this week:
Pin the Tail on the Blog party over at Debbiedo's; Your Cozy Home Party at Cozy Home Scenes; Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life; Flaunt It Friday at Chic on a Shoestring Decorating.
Until next time. . .