June 29, 2011

Starfish In A Bottle

I recently picked up this old bottle at the flea market for $5.00


starfish bottle

I pried off the top and it left some rust marks even after I ran it through the dishwasher.    So I wrapped the neck with some jute twine and hot glued a starfish in the “neck”.    








I love the way it turned out and only took about 10 minutes.    I stood at the kitchen counter and made it while watching Bravo….yeah, I’m addicted to that channel!    (I bet ya’ll watch some of those shows too!).

I have soooo many things I need to work on:   finish recovering the headboard in our bedroom, stain and stencil a wooden crate, finish pressure washing the adirondack chairs and paint them, clean off back patio, clean out my junk room so it can get painted and repurposed as a 2nd guest room, and that’s just the tip of the iceburg!    By doing a little project like the starfish bottle, I feel like I got SOMETHING accomplished!!!

I know I promised I’d be posting a great little recipe this week and I haven’t forgot….look for it by the weekend.

June 27, 2011

The Beauty of Books

No one loves books more than I do….I’m always reading one.    But books are more than for reading enjoyment, they are a staple in my decorating arsenal.    For years I’ve used them to elevate objects or just display them for their beauty.     Recently I’ve been using them in vignettes around the house by tearing off the covers and binding them with twine and/or ribbons.     I know many of you have too!      Guess we’re in good company because even Pottery Barn uses them in mass in their catalogs…


…and theirs are $39.99 per bundle!

book bundles



You can find them in the den….

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And since that picture I’ve moved those books and replaced them with this one…


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…an old medical book I got at auction…


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I love the texture and color of the spine (and yes, I know the other book is upside down but the cover is torn and it’s the only way it will stand upWinking smile)

Here are more in the kitchen on the 3 corner cabinet…

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And on my baker’s rack….

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On Sunday I made a set for our bedroom.     I’m still working on pulling our room together and slowing but surely it is finally getting there!    Lots of whites & creams with accents of robins egg blue.    I’m recovering our headboard and I’ve made drop cloth drapes.    I want to add something special to our swing arm lamps, just have to find the time.      Okay, enough blabbing about that, here’s my dresser vignette..


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I printed off our initial and cut it to fit in this Dollar Tree frame


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There are so many options when using books to decorate.        What is your favorite way to use books in YOUR home?


I’ll be back later this week for a quick but delicious recipe I recently found that is big in taste and low in calories.   

June 26, 2011

Party At The Lake

On Saturday we celebrated my mom’s 91st birthday at my sister’s lake house.     I know how fortunate I am she is in such good health and sound mind.     She’s slowed down a little bit but hey, at 91, if that’s her biggest problem, we’re lucky!

We’re all about food whenever we all get together and there was no shortage of anything.     I had planned to make my favorite cake (recipe found here) but when we got to the lake,  my sister had bought a cake so I didn’t bother.    Then everyone fussed because they said they wished I would make the cake but I just thought it would be too much.    So I’ll make it next time….


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fresh tomatoes and cantelope


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fruit “bowl” made by my sister


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she used her antique dough bowl


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Son manning the grill.    My sister’s husband wasn’t at the party because he had to check his mom out of the hospital and take her back to her assisted living home.    (When he called the assisted living home, they told him they didn’t admit anyone on the weekends….he said “well, we pay ya’ll $7,000 a month for her care so you WILL take her….and they did!).    Yep, folks, assisted living is a great way to get care for your loved one but it ain’t cheap.    My mom is fortunate in that she receives VA assistance but she’s still short each month, thus the need to sell her house ASAP.




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Barbeque chicken and baked beans…


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Mac & cheese…


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…tater salad and my marinated vegetable salad (recipe here)


My son and nephew have “twin” red nose pit bulls….both named Ruby!    I know pit bulls get a bad reputation but these dogs are so sweet and gentle…

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After lunch I went with my son to get his boat out to bring back over to the cabin…

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He rents a “garage” for his boat….and let me tell ya, it’s not easy getting that bad boy in OR out of that space.   


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My son works hard and he plays hard.     He loves cars and boats and he was lucky enough to be able to recently buy his latest toy thanks to his hard work paying off.  I’m so proud of him!

Once we got over to the boat ramp and put the boat in the water, the boat wouldn’t crank.     After about an hour in the hot broiling sun, we finally had to pull it back out and take it back to storage.      I don’t think I’ve ever been so hot!     When we got back to the lake house, I was wringing wet and looked like a drowned rat!     He was so frustrated because he’s only had this boat about a month and it’s a 2011!    I’d hate to be on the receiving end of the phone call he’s going to be making to the place he bought it (thankfully it’s under warranty).    


Mama was ready to go back to her assisted living place by that time and all I wanted to do was gulp a huge glass of tea and get in the air condioned car.     She needed to stop at Wal Mart and pick up some “feminine items” and toilet paper.     Hubby was sweet enough to offer to go in and buy it for her because I was just about passed out in the car from being so hot.



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I just had to take this picture of my mama and hubby as he walked her back to her room.        



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Notice he’s holding her purse and all the “feminine” stuff in her bag!


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My mama loves David and he is so good to her


What plans do you have for the 4th of July?   We will probably go to the lake and try to stay cool!

June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday & A Recipe






Last Wednesday June 22nd my mama turned 91 years young!   I can’t even imagine all the changes she’s seen in her lifetime.    We had to move her to an assisted living facility 18 months ago and she has adjusted beautifully.    She gets her nails done on Mondays and plays bingo 2-3 times a week….don’t dare try to go pick her up to go somewhere when it’s bingo day or manicure time!

So this weekend we will be celebrating her special day at the lake.    My sister and I are furnishing most of the food but everyone is bringing enough chicken to grill and drinks for their family.     The only downside is my daughter and her family will be on a pre-planned pre-paid vacation so they won’t be there.Sad smile

One of the dishes I’m bringing is this tried and true marinated vegetable salad….so easy to make and so yummy in the tummy!    I got this recipe from a friend who caters dinners at my mom’s church.    Everyone always loves it so I thought I’d share it with ya’ll.



  • 1 – 11 oz. can white shoe peg corn
  • 1 – 16 oz. can french green beans
  • 1 - 16 oz. can green peas
  • 1 med. onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. celery finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. pimento – diced

Drain vegetables and mix all together



  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Heat well until sugar dissolves.   Pour over vegetable mixture and keep in refrigerator overnight.

We’re  having BBQ chicken, baked beans, potato salad, marinated vegetable salad, assorted fresh fruits, fresh tomatoes, and rolls.     AND I’m making this cake when I get to the lake!

After lunch I’ll be sitting on the dock, sipping a strawberry daiquiri, then taking out the boat for a nice long cruise around the lake!

What are YOU doing?

June 20, 2011

Wanted–Grain Sacks

I’m hoping someone can help me find a grain sack to use on the back of a chair.    I’ve found a few on etsy but they are quite expensive.    Here’s what I need:   a grain sack with black writing, preferably in French.    The dimensions I need at a minimum are:   26” in width x 27” in length.   I want to use it to recover the back of a chair and will cover the seat in a drop cloth (or black denim – thus the need for black writing).    The back of the chair (which is not seen) will be covered in the drop cloth.    I’d really like to keep the cost of the grain sack UNDER $50.00.

I’ve even thought about making my own out of drop cloths and ironing on an image, but I can’t find a source for that.       I’m very open to this idea if you know of a source that sells these downloadable images.   

Put your thinking caps on and help a girl out!

June 18, 2011

Happy Father’s Day!



My daddy passed away on January 4, 1980.    I think about him often and still miss him.  

I was the first child of my parents for five years.    There might have been a little spoiling going on!     I always thought I was his favorite child, although he loved all 4 of us.    He called me “monkey” or “monk”….not sure why, maybe because I loved to climb up on his shoulders and comb and roll his hair (in pink rollers no less) while he was watching tv.     I was the first daughter to get married and had the first grandchildren.     He thought the sun rose and set in my son.      

He was a child of the Great Depression.    His mother died in a house fire when he was 3 years old.    He says it must have been around Christmas time because he remembered getting a toy drum she had hid  for his present that year.      He and his two brothers, along with their father, farmed.    He told me his daddy went to the bank and borrowed $100 to see them through the winter!       He joined the Air Force at a young age and rose to the highest rank of a non-commissioned officer.      He became a very successful businessman after he retired from the military.

If you are lucky enough that you still have your daddy, don’t forget to tell him you love him and give him a big hug on Father’s Day.    I wish I could do the same.

June 13, 2011

Fajita Caesar Salad

I don’t know about where ya’ll live but it’s so hot here in Alabama you could fry an egg on the sidewalk…..it’s like 103 heat index!     So I’m not really interested in turning on the oven or doing much cooking.     This evening I wanted something light and tasty so I fixed this simple salad.


Here’s all you’ll need….



Tyson Grilled & Ready Fajita Chicken Strips

Romaine Salad

Ramen Noodles


Caesar Salad dressing

I normally don’t use the Ramen noodles and strawberries but I wanted something crunchy and sweet so I added the noodles and strawberries.     Several years ago when I was on Weight Watchers (for the first time !) I would toast the ramen noodles instead of eating potato chips.    Just spread the noodles on a cookie sheet, give them a squirt of I Can’t Believe It’s Butter, and broil them for just a minute or two, until they are slightly brown.   (I don’t use the flavor seasoning that come with the noodles when I’m toasting them).   They make a great snack when you’re in the mood for some crunch & munch!      I also added the strawberries since we had some that needed to be used.



This is such a quick and simple meal that I think I’ll be eating it a lot this summer.




Bon Appetit’! 

June 12, 2011

My Pottery Barn Look Alike Lamp & Moss Monogram

A few days ago I posted about my Pottery Barn look alike lamp I bought while out of town.    I couldn’t wait to get home and place it “just so”.    I  couldn’t wait to take pictures so I  didn’t style these photos at all.….so without further ado, here “she” is in her new home in the den…


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OMG, I’m in L-O-V-E!!!!


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The lamp reminds me of an Aidan Gray lamp.    Here’s one I found on line similar to mine:



aiden gray lamp


Theirs:   $371.25 (!) and it’s out of stock!


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Mine:  $39.99!!!   Yippee Skippee!


Now with the lamp off..


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I’ve been making several sets of these books….just tear off the book covers and tie up with twine, ribbon or whatever you like.    I always buy my books that I’m going to tear up from the thrift store for around 50 cents to $1.00 each….I think PB sells theirs in sets of 3 for $39.99!


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Don’t you just love it?   

The clock on the dresser is an old family clock that is over 100 years old!   It was used in my grandparents home when they first set up “housekeeping” as my grandmother used to say.    I was so lucky to inherit it when my moved out of her home.    I plan on taking it to a clock repair shop and get it in working condition.


You might say that I’ve been in a DIY mood lately.    I  made a moss covered monogram last weekend that I’ve moved around the house.    Hubby says it reminds him of Elf on the Shelf….you never know where you’ll see it!    (He’s a real joker)…….

There are so many how-to’s on making the moss covered monograms.   It’s really very simple.    I found my letter at Joanne’s and bought the sheets of moss at Hobby Lobby.    The only thing is this project took LOTS of hot glue and I may or may not have uttered some bad words!   


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How do you like my fancy-schmancy work table?


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On the sideboard in the den….


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On the baker’s rack on the deck….



On a tray on top of the refrigerator….



On the baker’s rack in the kitchen



….and one more time.     (The silver shells were another little project I’ll share another time.)


I’ve got a couple more projects I’m working on….a large basket from my mom’s house that holds our firewood in the winter that’s getting a makeover


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I sprayed it this gray color but I’m going to white wash it and  then stencil two sets of numbers on each side….39 & 14 which was her house number on her street (3914).     When I finish the basket I will be sure to share it with ya’ll….


…..and I have a vintage crate from her house that will get stained and stenciled (do you see a pattern here?) to hold magazines.     It’s pretty big and I might even add wheels to it so it’s movable….I have tons of magazines!


DIY antique crate



That about wraps it up for this weekend….hope everyone has a good Monday.   I’m planning on finishing the basket and crate….wish me luck!

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