September 11, 2014

Early Signs of Fall - Posts From The Past

Looks like everyone is ready for fall but it's still so sticky hot here we'll be into October before it even begins to cool off. I'm starting to make preparations for putting out some fall things but until I do here's a few pictures from years past.

These are from different years (I believe 2009-2013) so it's kind of a mix of things I've done over the last few years.   Hope you enjoy them!

I couldn't find any "baby boo" pumpkins so I bought mine at Dollar Tree and spray painted them white!   I think I'll go over them with some brown-ish stain and/or watered down paint to take off some of the shine.







Here's a collage I made of things inside and outside the house.

Inspired by Nell Hill's, I made my own "DIY stamped linen napkins" (they reverse to a bird's nest)


I found this cute little tureen at a flea market years ago and think I paid something like $8.00 for it!   It's perfect for the two of us and I serve my chicken tortilla soup out of it...wonderful for a cool fall night.


Kitchen table vignette last year....I topped a chippy black urn with a candle ring and placed a spray painted faux pumpkin on top....this is easy to move off the table when it's time to eat


A few years ago I decided to spray paint a pumpkin turquoise and it has been one of my favorite things I ever did....kinda different but I love how it turned out





You can see some of the orange peeking thru the turquoise but I don't mind

Here are my DIY curtains I made with sheets and drop cloths....easy and oh-so pretty!


The same year I did the turquoise pumpkin, I also spray painted some white...I put some moss around the neck of the stem to make it look more realistic




I made this "Fall" burlap banner a couple of years ago


I added a faux garland from Hobby Lobby and some white Christmas lights....I love how this turned out and it can stay out from early fall until time to decorate for Christmas.

I don't plan to buy anything new this year (I have tons of things up in the attic too) but I am making some pillows for our front porch.     I've been wanting to make these for a while so I finally did this year.

Here's what I've done so far....just a little peek!   I'll be sharing these next week (hopefully)!




Hope you all have a great week!












August 25, 2014

Personalized Monogram Wreath

Seeing as how football is just around the corner (this coming Saturday is the SEC kickoff!) I felt it only right to honor the tradition by making a personalized monogram to add to a boxwood wreath.

I bought this oversized monogram in Birmingham last year. I wish I had picked up a couple more for my daughter and DIL so I'll do that next time.



It's been spray painted more colors than I can remember so when I got the idea for personalizing it for our favorite football team, I figured one more color couldn't hurt!

I wanted my monogram to reflect our love of our Auburn Tigers....blue and orange.   So I picked up a can of Oxford Blue by Krylon.



Here it is after 2 coats of paint.    When it came time to add the orange dots, I knew I wasn't artistic enough to free hand them so I put on my "thinking cap" to try and figure out what to do.....then it came to me......buy some round sticky dots and add them!    Genius, I know (LOL)!!!    


The only problem was I had a hard time getting all of them to adhere to the wood monogram....especially around the edges.   I finally ended up gluing some of them on but I was pretty happy with how it turned out.


 And that's my secret to "perfect dots"!

We (hubby) attached the monogram to my boxwood wreath with fishing wire.  


I don't know why the dots appear yellow or washed out here......I would blame the camera but more than likely it's my lack of photography skills!   You can see the reflection in the glass door of the orange on the flag....in person the dots are that orange too


I "hid" our address...never know when some crazy stalker might drop by!   (Good grief, I need to get rid of the cobwebs and clean my porch)!!!!

It's great to be an Auburn Tiger!

Here are the pillows on my bench...these are the covers I mentioned in my last post that I picked up at Hobby Lobby.

 


War Eagle!  

And that, my friends, is my early fall/football porch.   I will be adding some flowers later next month when this heat wave subsides and they stand a chance of surviving until November. 

Have a great week!

August 24, 2014

My "New Normal"

Over the last few months/years I've shared about being my mom's full time caregiver. Almost 5 years ago we had to move her into an assisted living residence from her home of 40 years....it got to the point that it was no longer safe for her to live by herself. She was falling quite a bit and after spending too many nights in the ER, she agreed it was best to move where she could live safely yet retain some independence.

We were lucky to find an assisted living home for her very close to our home. She settled in and eventually called it "home". It wasn't a bad way to live...her own room and bathroom with her own furniture, round the clock care and meals served in a dining room with tablecloths, china and silverware. She had 16 people in her cottage and some of them became like family to us. About two years ago she broke her arm in two places. She had to wear a cast for 10 weeks but finally the doctor operated and put in pins and screws to hold her 92 year old bones together. Then in March of 2013 she fell and fractured her hip. Another surgery followed that and she was wheelchair bound. All through these ordeals she bounced back better than people 20 years younger!

Then back in the spring of this year, she took several falls very close together. In mid-June she was admitted to a hospital for observation as her care level at the assisted living residence had increased dramatically and she was "acting out" and we were concerned she might be suffering from early stages of dementia or possibly was just depressed. At the hospital we found out she had low potassium levels and that was treated. She then entered into a 20 day stay at a rehab facility to see if physical therapy would help her. At the end of that time, the assisted living facility advised that she would not be able to return to her cottage as she had already maxed out at the care level they could give her....and the cost would have increased to the point that it was not feasible for her to stay there even on a temporary basis. So our only option was a nursing home.....something we had feared for a while. You hear all these horror stories about nursing homes.

My first choice was the nursing home affiliated with the rehab facility where she was but that door was slammed shut.....also I had a very harrowing experience with one of their office staff during her stay there and at the very end. I won't go into that because I'm trying to be a bigger person and move forward. What I will say is that once again, when one door closes the Lord always opens the one you should walk through. That's where we are now....she has been in a nursing home two weeks now. It was my second choice but now I am so happy that's where she's ended up. They did have to admit her as a rehab patient but will be living there permanently after that. Our entire family is extremely impressed at the level of care at this facility. It's so clean, bright and a happy place for her. We've met so many residents there. There have numerous activities and a wonderful activity director. In fact, I go by a lot of times to go to those activities with her!

The downside is now I've got to start the application process to get her approved for Medicaid. I've started gathering documents (i.e. 5 years worth of bank statements to start!!!!) and no telling what else. I met briefly with a the financial person there and next week I hope to get further along in the process.

So now you know why there have been so few decorating projects/posts around her for the last couple of years. I'm doing good to get a little bit of seasonal decorations out....I can't believe I'm telling ya'll this but part of my Easter centerpiece is still on the dining room table! I removed the bunnies and it doesn't really look Easter-like but still.....!

I did get started on decorating my porch for the upcoming football season...some pillows and my Auburn flag....I'll post pictures of that soon!   Here's a little project I did to get started on my fall football porch.....


I made the monogram for my boxwood wreath on the front door...next week I'll share the secret of the perfect "dots"!

I'm soooo ready for football and fall weather.   It's unbelievably hot here now....the temps have been close to 100 this past week and it will be a while before it cools off.

In anticipation of the fall, I lucked up and found this gorgeous wool throw the other day in grays, creams and yellows.   

I was wanting something with oranges but when I saw this one I immediately fell in love with it....the colors will work perfectly with some galvanized pails/pots and mums.   It's so soft too!



Have ya'll see these pillow covers at Hobby Lobby?   They have a big selection and are very reasonable.   I've been picking them up all summer in different colors...one time they were 50% off and I might have gone a little nuts buying more than I wanted needed.

Now a little good news to go along with all the "gloom and doom" I seem to always be posting about lately....my daughter is now 20 weeks along with her pregnancy and we found out it's a little boy! You can read about that here  and here   I've been picking up baby things whenever I'm out and about and several of her friends are planning a baby shower sometime in October. So we have a new little baby to welcome into our family in the New Year!

Thank you all for continuing to visit me here even when I don't have pretty pictures or projects....I know I've said a dozen times that if my life ever settles down, maybe I can get back to decorating and sharing all of that with you.

Have a great week!

August 17, 2014

Spinach, Ham and Cheese Quiche

I love quiche but hardly ever make it....when I found this recipe I couldn't wait to try it. There were few ingredients and not many steps.

NOTE:   The original recipe was for two quiche's but I reduced some of the ingredients to make one
 
Spinach, Ham and Cheese Quiche

Ingredients 
  • 1 frozen deep dish pie crust
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4-5 large eggs
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Bake empty pie crust according to package instructions (about 5-10 minutes on my oven)
  • Combine the ham, onions and spinach and place mixture in bottom of pie crust
  • Combine eggs, milk and cheese in a bowl and whisk to mix
  • Pour dairy mixture over chopped ingredients
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes
  • Reduce oven to 300 degrees and cook until done (not runny in middle) for approximately 30 minutes (time will be determined by your oven)....mine was around 45 minutes
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool
 (Original recipe found here)




 I served ours with cantalope and mixed berry muffins....it was so good!

I'll leave you with this cute cartoon....


Enjoy your quiche!

August 14, 2014

It's a ......BOY!

If you've followed my blog recently you know my daughter is expecting baby #3 in January (or late December). Her twins turned 10 on May 21st and she made the announcement two days later. Ever since her first doctor's appointment I've been on pins and needles anxiously awaiting the announcement of the gender. Monday she and her husband went to the doctor for her regular scheduled appointment and they did an ultrasound to determine the gender but she wouldn't tell anyone until Tuesday night at a "gender reveal" party....something these new mommies are doing!





Just as soon as granddaughter Taylor and her mama cut into the cake I could see what it was....


....baby boy!   I was convinced it was a girl all along but was I wrong!

We are all soooo excited!   Shannon said her husband now believes he'll have two Alabama fans with his two boys (our family is a "house divided...most of us are Auburn fans but he and Jackson are Alabama fans)....we'll see about that!


19 weeks and counting!


Taylor is so excited to have another brother....Jackson, her twin, just wants the baby to hurry up and get here!

I'll be back later this week (hopefully) to share a great recipe for a quick and easy meal.


 

July 27, 2014

A Few Of My Favorite Things

A while back I posted some of my favorite products with the hope that I would do a weekly "favorite things" post....but that just isn't possible for me right now. So I hope that you'll take whatever little tidbits I can toss out and maybe you'll find something new to you to try that you will enjoy as much as I do.

Before I list my new "favorites" let me tell you how some of these products came to be for me. Recently I was contacted by an old friend from high school telling me that we needed to get together to see if there would be any interest in having a class reunion next May/June.   We've been out of school for a number of years.  According to my kids, I'm "older than dirt"!   When my friend contacted me I knew I had to get my game on since she is still as beautiful now as she was in school.   I wanted to step it up so I looked like I had it together after all these years. My husband sweetly said I didn't have anything to worry about but of course he'd say that (if he wanted to continue living here ---ha ha)!.

I started my search on Pinterest for the best mascaras. I rarely wear mascara and was amazed at all the different ones available.   I ended up buying Maybelline the Falsies Volume Express.
This stuff really delivers!   I brushed on a couple of coats and wondered if I would even be able to put my reading glasses on.   It didn't clump and I liked how full my lashes looked.   So this gets an "A" in my book.

The next item I bought was for the bags under my eyes.   These have recently developed and I think it's partially because I'm not sleeping good.  I think a lot has to do with my stressing over the situation with my mama....plus I've heard the older you get the less you sleep.    I usually turn out the light between 10:30 p.m. and midnight but then sometimes wake up around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m.   I've heard a lot about this next product and bought a tube of it but the jury's still out on the results....so far I haven't seen a difference in my "bags".


For the last couple of years I've been using an eye pencil as my eyeliner but with all the humidity we have here, it doesn't take long for me to get "raccoon eyes" and I'm just not into that!   So when recently shopping with my daughter she picked up some liquid eyeliner (her eyeliner always looks good) and I used to wear the liquid liner so I got one too.   I'm really happy I did because it stays on all day without smudging and I don't have to keep re-applying it.   Here's the one I use:


L'Oreal Telescopic Waterproof Eyeliner in Black/Noir

For my base I recently switched from Merle Norman to Neutrogena Healthy Skin makeup.   It's a little lighter than the one I used from Merle Norman and I just want a little light coverage.   Although the Neutrogena covers very well, it's just not as heavy to me as Merle Norman.


I've been reading a lot about skin brighteners/primers and while looking around for the eye products the other day, I saw one that sounded interesting and made a lot of promises so I picked it up too.    Wow!   This stuff is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!    A little goes a long way.   I found (on Pinterest) the points where you should apply face illuminators and followed those instructions.    I can't recommend this product enough and will NEVER EVER be without it!


This product states it is a 'light infusing primer; instant illumination and enlightened complexion'.   It truly delivers what it promises.   But don't get carried away with it....a little goes a long way.

Another product that I'm loving is by Suave.    


It's their Moroccan Infusion Dry Body Oil.   I squirt this on my legs and arms for a little healthy glow.  I also will squirt on some of the L'Oreal Magic Lumi on my shoulders and down my arms with the Dry Body Oil....makes your skin gorgeous!   My granddaughter Taylor tried it at the house the other day and loved the smell (like a day at the beach) so we got her a little bottle too.

I also believe in using a good moisturizer.    I featured the one below on my first products review and still love it.    You can't beat the price point either!



I also like this next product and mix it with the St. Ives moisturizer.   It comes with a day and night serum.    Saw this one advertised on Dr. Phil and bought mine at Target. 


One product that my hairdresser recently introduced me to is by Redkin.    

 (source)

 I like to use this along with my regular hairspray when I need a little "poof" to my hair.   I bought mine at Ulta with a coupon...makes it a little more reasonable.

If you decide to try any of these products, I hope you love them as much as I do.   Also, please feel free to share any products you recommend....I'd love to know!   I don't spend like to spend a ton of $$$ on my beauty products and I think most of these are affordable for anyone.   I know there are a lot of crazy expensive products and they may be worth every penny but I don't know if I'll ever make that kind of investment.  

I do plan to research other products that offer some maintenance programs for "mature" skin and will share my thoughts on those when I add those to my beauty routine.     If you'd like to check out some of my pins about beauty products on Pinterest, you can see those here.   I am by no means an expert on any of this but I have found a lot of helpful information and inspiration on Pinterest and of course, my own experience with these products.

Oh, and for the record, we had our first reunion meeting the other night where we had about 8 classmates there...3 girls and 5 guys.    I'm happy to report that I got a lot of compliments and one of the guys said it looked like I'd been drinking from the fountain of youth!    So now if I can just lose about 20 pounds by next summer....I'll be good to go!








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