Friday, November 30, 2012

Blessing #154 - The Bubble Necklace

A few months ago, I found a cream brocade old navy jacket at Goodwill.  I tried the jacket with every colored shirt known to man, but I just couldn't seem to make it work.

That was until I introduced the brocade jacket to the bubble necklace! I love how they look together.

A few weeks ago, I bought a bubble necklace! I've have been wanting one for a while, and when one of my facebook friends posted one for sale, I couldn't resist.  I don't mind paying retail for accessories because the right accessory can make a thrifted outfit look on trend.

 The picture doesn't show the matching earrings, but trust me.  They are cute.

I love this outfit.  It's a good date night outfit....but this guy has been my date all week.

See that guy? He's got a double ear infection, and he is a terrible....TeRrIbLe sick person. However, I'm a terrible sick person too. It must be hereditary.

So my fantastic outfit has not really been seen by too many people, but it made my day brighter,  Besides, my little man seems to like the necklace too.

Note: I'm sharing this post with The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday and Dear Abby Leigh's Dress for the Day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blessing #153 - Mrs. Potter's House

While I was visiting my family in Georgia last week, I got to do something really cool! Remember when I went home and returned inspired to make a bottle bush? This visit, I asked the lady that inspired the bottle bush if I could tour her home and take pictures. For our purposes today, we will call her, Mrs. Potter's House because that's the name of her favorite thrift store.  

When I was a teenager, I was always amazed at Mrs. Potter's House's amazing decorations.  She was the first person that I ever saw decorate with re purposed items.  

Last week, Mrs. Potter's House took me through her whole house, and told me all the stories behind her collections and decorations.  It is one of the coolest experiences.  I'm so glad I did it. 

Here are a few things I took away from my visit with Mrs. Potter's House.  

1. {Collections}

Mrs. Potter's House loves federal mirrors.  I've seen these before, and the never really appealed to me, but when you see them grouped together they are very impressive and beautiful.  Mrs. Potter's House was inspired by a memory of a federal mirror in a relatives house to start collecting these.

Just like my pyrex collection, many of Mrs. Potter's House's collections are linked to a childhood memory.

Because her father was a boot legger, Mrs. Potter's House collects moon shine stills and finds beautiful ways to display them.

Wait! Before I go any further.  Look at this indoor bottle tree she made.  The tree was originally a picture holder, but I like it much better as a bottle tree.  Do you see Shad in the mirror?

Mrs. Potter's House collects scales and uses them as displays around her house.  This was my favorite.

Because of the time of day, I couldn't get the best shot of her green glass collection, but it was stunning with the sun shining through it.

2. {Family Pieces}

Mrs. Potter's House used new and old family pieces all around her house.  From her dining room table decked out in it's Thanksgiving best made by her son.

To family pottery used as a vase.

This old pew from our church has a new life with a black coat of paint.  As soon as I saw the original red cushion, I was taken back to picking at the buttons as my dad preached.

By the way, Mrs. Potter's House made all those pillows which brings me to my next point.

3. {Keep Learning}

Mrs. Potter's House is a great quilter.  This quilt was my favorite in her house.  This quilt was a competition quilt, the ugly fabric quilt.  Participants were given thirteen ugly fabric and asked to make something out of them.  Mrs. Potter's House came up with this.

Mrs. Potter's House even took a whittling class, and whittled this Santa for her Santa collection. She said her hand wasn't quite strong enough for this hobby, but she enjoyed it.

Mrs. Potter's House said that she also took a cake decorating class so that she could make her kids cakes.  She said that class made her realize that cake decorating was hard and she has bought cakes ever since.

4. {If you like it....make it}

When Mrs. Potter's House saw this painting in a magazine, she was in love.  However, when she found out the price, she was shocked! She determined to try to paint it herself from looking at the picture.  I love her version!

Mr. Potter's House is talented too! One year for Christmas, Mrs. Potter's House wanted a piece of furniture, but they could not afford it.  She asked Mr. Potter's House if he could make a copy of it, and he did!

5. {When you make something....put a label on it}

Mrs. Potter's House had so many things in her home that she made herself.  In all of those things, she finds a way to label that she made the item.  On this blanket, she not only labeled that she made it, but she also made sure to include that it took her two years to make it.

She made this step stool many years ago for her kids.   She says she really wishes she would have signed it.  It's so simple, but that was a big lesson for me.  Sign and label the things that I make!

6. {Cross stitch can be pretty!}

I like embroidery, but I have never been a big cross stitch fan....until I saw this in her house.

I fell in LoOoOoOoVe with this cross stitch.  I came home and searched for it on ebay! I want a copy of this with the bright colors in my kitchen!  I haven't found the right one yet, but I'm looking.  I'm patient!

7. {There is beauty in everything}

When I passed by this table, I had to stop and take a second look.

I noticed they were stamps, but I noticed the stamps had postmarks on them.

Mrs. Potter's House said that when she gets a letter, she saves the stamp off of them, soaks them off, and then puts them on wooden eggs.

What!?! Are you kidding me? Who would see the beauty in a stamp.....Mrs. Potter's House! And she made this before Pinterest!

I absolutely loved going through Mrs. Potter's House's house.  I felt so honored to hear all the stories that go with all the pieces in her house.  I'm so thankful she opened up her doors to me.  I absolutely had the best time. Years after I first saw her house, and her style still inspires me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blessing #152 - Favorite Things Party

A few weeks ago, I threw a Favorite Things party at my house.  You can do it different ways, but the basic idea is for guests to bring their favorite dish and to pick one of their favorite things.  They then bring three of that favorite thing.  For example, my favorite things was pins so I brought three pins to the party to give away.

At the end of the party, I had three new favorite things from three other people. I love all of them!

Let me just say, the Victoria's Secret bag did not come from the bath and body part of Victoria's Secret.

All the guests wrote their names three times and placed it in a bucket.  After you shared your favorite thing, you drew three names and gave your favorite things to the names drawn.  The last name drawn is the next person to share their favorite thing.  This system is a little flawed because one guest did not have her name drawn until the very end! I guess you need three buckets to make it work.  Confused? If you want to throw a party just google it.  Maybe someone else can explain it better.

For the decorations, I used brown paper package brown and pink as my colors.  I never get to use pink in my house so I went for it.  I reused my lazy girl paper flowers, and I painted an old window that I had pink.  I then put the lyrics to Favorite Things on the panels.

The bags on the table were brown paper packages tied up with string for all the guests to take their favorite things home.

At the end of the party, I gave the window away as a prize.

For a small sit down game, we used the handout used in this blog post from life in general.  It was a great way to share many of our favorite things.

Being a bad blogger, I didn't take any pictures during the party, but my friend snapped this picture of all the food.

Speaking of food, a big hit at the party was the to go station. Again, I didn't take a picture, but I set out some paper plates and wrap so that everyone could take a to go plate of all the goodies.

After working in this house for a year, I loved having friends over to see all the painting and work we've done.  However, to keep it honest, I placed this sign on the stairs.

Honesty is the best policy, and I don't want to put up a front that my house is perfect.  That day, the upstairs was destroyed.

The entire party was so much fun.  We laughed really hard, and just had a great time together.  This Christmas if you want to do something different for your party, try a favorite things party.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blessing #151 - My Mom's Superheroness

For as long as I can remember, my mom has had a super hero quality about her. It wasn't just that she worked full time, fed us,took care of the people in the church, and still managed to make me feel loved. It was that she really had a little bit of super hero in her. 

When I was about seven, I choked on a gumdrop. Being one who has always handled crisis well, I decided the best way to alert everyone I was choking was to run circles through our living room and kitchen. 

Did I hold my throat? No. Did I try to get anyone's attention? Nope. I just ran circles. My mom with her spidey senses looked at me and said, "I think she's choking!" After she caught me, she gave me the Heimlich and saved my live.

One day as we were driving to school, my mom took a normal turn  on our normal route only to find an out of control transfer truck barreling down the road right for us. The trucks brakes had failed and he moved into our lane to avoid a school bus. Like a seasoned race car driver, my mom swerved to miss the truck, but she made sure not to swerve too  much because there was a steep bank on our right. Somehow, she managed to do this all with one arm. Why did she only have one arm? She used her other arm as my second seat belt.

One of my clearest, earliest memories happened as my mom, my brother, and I were coming home from church.  I may mess up some of the details, but I'm sure my brother will clarify in the comments.  From what I remember, my brother somehow got his seat belt stuck in the door and that somehow opened the door.  The picture that was emblazoned in my memory is my brother hanging out as the car door was open, and my mom holding onto him with one arm, and driving with the other arm.  That's the moment I knew my mom was a superhero.

Apparently, superheroness is not genetic because I have slow reflexes. When I spill a drink, I usually stand there for ten seconds before my brain seems to process, "you have spilled a drink."However, I had an incident in Joanne's the other day that has me wondering.

Because he wants to be a big boy like Brandon, Collin absolutely hates the appearance of anything "baby."  Strollers? He is strapped in kicking and screaming. High chairs? Not a chance. Getting him into the front seat of a store buggy is like wrestling s bear.... a very loud bear. 

One day in Joanne's I was really tired  so I just let Collin ride in the buggy and not strapped in the seat part. As we were checking out, my happy little helper was placing items on the check out. In an instant, Collin reached a little too far, and fell out of the buggy... HEAD FIRST! 

Everyone collectively gasped, and when I realized what was going on there I was holding my two year old upside down an inch above the ground by one belt loop. I really don't know how I did it, but I caught him with one finger by one belt loop.

Once my heart started beating again, I looked at all the other women there and calmly said, "I caught him." One woman said, "Way to go Momma!" Sure, i was so stunned he was still hanging upside down ten seconds later, but I caught him. Collin was so stunned he couldn't even cry. I think he was just thinking,"What just happened?" Nah. Knowing Collin he was thinking, " Hey y'all there's still stuff in the buggy that needs to go on the checkout counter!" 

When it all calmed down, I thanked the Lord for protecting my little guy, and then I thought maybe I have a little of my mom's superheroness in me after all.

Note:  Happy birthday Mom! Hope you like this post, and don't worry ever since the Joaane's incident that screaming bear gets strapped in the seat of the buggy extra tight.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blessing #150 - Canvas Wall

During 31 Days to Love Your Home, I shared the gallery wall in my living room.  I love that wall, but I had another lonely wall behind our couch.  While I was trying to think of what to do with that wall, I won a giveaway on one of my favorite blogs, Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss.

I won an 24 in. by 18 in. canvas from Julie's etsy shop!  At first, I wanted to get an updated family picture taken, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted to use a picture my friend took last year.

It's so special to me, and I have a feeling it will be for years to come. Here is the picture on the wall.

I loOoOoOove it! I used the same little circle frames from Goodwill that I used in the first gallery wall.  This time, I just painted the glass with chalkboard paint. Originally, those small rectangle frames were used in B's nursery.  With a quick coat of spray paint, they got a new life.

The "What I love about my home" print is a free download from eighteen25.  At the same time I worked on this wall, Walgreens offered a free 8x10.  I used an old frame spray painted white, and I used the wrapping paper that I used in my chalkboard dresser as a mat.  Actually, the only items I had to buy for this wall was a can of white spray paint for about $3.50, and the three small pictures for about $1.25.

The couch is a little low right now, but we are putting feet on it soon, and that will raise the height of the couch.

Here are both walls together.....

Slowly and surely, we are getting there! I love my canvas, and how it captures such a special moment of my family.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blessing #149 - Smitten

Today's post is written by my dad! He's written a post before, and for this special day he had to write another post. The fact that he still celebrates this day is a big blessing to me.  

Smitten is an old English word. It is archaic, (no longer used) in most conversations. It has several meanings and the sentence structure determines the meaning. It can mean to hit somebody or something hard; to affect or afflict somebody; but the way I will use it will be to fill somebody with love. So this is a story about a heart smitten with love.

 I had known of Terry (her daddy wanted a boy so they spelled it with a y instead of an i) but had never really got to talk with her. It was at a party on the 25th , the last Saturday night in October 1969 that I got to really meet her. I don’t remember much about anybody or anything else at the party, for once I talked with her my heart was smitten.

 The moon was shining brightly and there was a light breeze in the air given the night an autumn feel about it. I still remember the wrap around blue and brown plaid jumper with the brown turtle neck shirt. The reason all this stood out was because her long brown, straight hair fell across her shoulders in such a way that it shined in the moon light. Her brown eyes sparkle in the night as she smiled with that one little freckle on her lower lip. Yes, I would say I was smitten.

 Later that night after her “friend” took her home, I drove passed by her house. The truth be known I made many trips by her house in the next few weeks in hope of seeing her outside. That was before I had ever heard of stalking. Stalking is a steady pursuit or a steady harassment. My heart was smitten so on my behalf it was a steady pursuit.

 At school I could not wait for the classes to change so I could just get a glimpse of her or to hear her voice as I said, Hello. With each passing day I knew more and more that I was smitten. This was all new territory for me. I did not know what to do. I did not know what I should do?

 Three weeks had passed and it was Friday. Parkwood High school was having a home football game and I knew she would be there. I had decided to tell her how I felt, but what if she did not feel the same way about me. I was so nervous that I was sick on my stomach. That night at the football game, I ask her to be my girlfriend.

 Here we are, after three years of dating, forty years of marriage, two children and six grandchildren we are back to November 14th. I remember this day each year. It stands out above all the other days. You may say, Bill, why is the 14th on November so special. It is because this is the day I found out, she was smitten too.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blessing #148 - Shad's Birthday Adventure

Yesterday, I shared Shad's birthday week, and today is all about his birthday adventure.  One year for his birthday adventure, we explored Philadelphia, and another year we tried to see how many Goodwills we could go to in one day.  This year Shad's birthday adventure was at the gun range.

A few months before his birthday, Shad was talking with our friends that love guns and mentioned how much he would love to go shooting. When his birthday rolled around, I contacted our friends and set up a day when we could go.  I was surprised how excited Shad was about this adventure.  I just did not realize he liked to shoot guns.  Ten years together, and he still surprises me.

When the big birthday adventure day came, Shad did great! He was a great shot.

Our friends we seasoned pros, and even had a competition against each other.

All in all, it was a great day, and I'm so glad Shad had so much fun.......


How did I do?

Oh.  You know. I hit the target my first two shots, and then after that I missed...every time.

In fact, I twitched every time right before I shot the gun, and I leaned back every time I shot.  Our friend tried to help me stand up straight when I shot.

All my life, I have been afraid of guns.  In fact, before this day, I had never shot a real gun.  My mother has told me horror stories of people cleaning guns and they accidentally went off, and that absolutely terrified me of them.  Strangely, my brother who had the same mother collects guns, and always has one on him. Maybe it's not my mom's fault....nah! I'm blaming it on my mom.

Did I overcome my fear of guns in this one trip to the gun range? No, but I would love to try it again.  Especially now that I know how much this guy loves it.

Birthday Adventures 2012


Monday, November 12, 2012

Blessing #147 - Shad's Birthday Week

Last month was Shad's birthday, and we celebrated birthday week.  It happened right in the middle of 31 Days to Love your Home so I didn't blog about it then.

A few years ago, I started the tradition of "birthday week" with Shad.  I've mentioned how much he loves it here.   Last year, I got really sick during his birthday week so this year I knew I needed to make it up to him.

For one week, and only one week, I am an amazing wife.  See, I'm not the world's greatest juggler.  I can only focus on one thing at a time.  If my house looks clean and great, well, I we are probably going out to eat that night.  If I am decorating and making some pretty project, the laundry is probably stacked high.  I try my best, but I really can't do it all.  Birthday week goes a long way with Shad.  For one week, he is the center of my attention and gets absolutely spoiled.

Before the week begins.  I sat down and listed out the surprises he would get every day.  I tried to think of the five love languages and cover each one with a different surprise.  Here are the surprises for this Birthday Week.

On Monday, I made his coffee station.  This surprise covered acts of service.

Tuesday was 60 cent wing night so he had hot wings for supper.  Because Shad thinks that food should be the sixth love language, he was a happy camper.

For Wednesday, I made a Pioneer Woman recipe.  Now, the man will probably never admit this if you ask him, but he loOoOoves the Pioneer Woman.  It all started when she came out with her cooking show. Because I loved the Pioneer Woman long before her show, I faithfully watch her show every Saturday afternoon during lunch on our DVR.

It's my special little time for myself, and I thought it was strange Shad never complained when I watched this cooking show.  Then Shad started to commentate.  "That looks really good.  I would eat that.  Stephanie, she made him a great lunch AND supper."   I've tried to explain to him that cooking is her job, and that's why her husband gets lunch and supper.  Last night, he said, "When she calls her husband whose name is Lad, I think she is saying Shad."  On Wednesday, of birthday week, I made him this sandwich and called him Lad.

I would be mad at him, but I understand.  He had to suffer through comments like that when I watched the Nate Berkus show. (Why did they cancel it? Whyyyyyy?)

Anyway, on Thursday, he got a massage from me.  That covered the love language of physical touch, and that's all I'll say about that.

Friday, I surprised him with a date to Longhorns.  This surprise covered quality time.

Saturday, I put an organizer in his closet for all these fabric boxes he had.  I also got chalkboard labels to label each bin.  That surprise was also an act of service surprise, and that's his primary love language so I wanted to do that one the most.

Sunday was his actual birthday, and I made him no bake cookies. Because he's not a big fan of cake, I always try to make him a "birthday cake" out of something different.  We just piled the cookies up, and put a candle in the one on top, and sand happy birthday to him.

All throughout birthday week, I watch how I speak to him, and try to encourage him to cover the love language of words of affirmation.

One thing I learned early on in giving birthday weeks is to give without expecting anything back.  The first year I did his birthday week, I really held it over his head when my birthday rolled around.  My expectations were so high, he could not do anything right.  What's the joy in having a birthday week when you have to pay for it in six months?  So now, I give birthday weeks just for the sake of loving him without expecting anything in return.  That kind of giving and loving is very powerful.  At the end of the week, not only was Shad happy and feeling loved, but I was happy and feeling loved because he told me so many times how much he was enjoying birthday week and how much he loved me.  

This years birthday week was a huge success, and I'm glad.  Shad deserved it!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday - Fall Festive

In the past, I have blogged about a few of my outfits.  Even though I am home most of the day,  I love to look nice.    I love this blog post by Abby Leigh, she says...

"Dress for the day you want to have...not the one that's trying to have you."

Yes! Dressing nicely brightens my day, and I want to look nice for myself! For the next several weeks, I will be jumping in on What I Wore Wednesday.  I don't know how long I will do this, but for now, I love it.

Plus, I've been 90% thrift for a year now, and love to show off my Goodwill outfits.

Lately, I've been feeling a little festive.  For Halloween, Brandon's school had a parade so I decided to go all out and wear black and orange.

Originally, I just planned on wearing tights, but it was so cold I wore jeggings too.  Collin, being the expert photo bomber he is, had to show off his costume too.

Yesterday, on election day, I was feeling festive again, and had to wear my red, white, and blue.  I know I could vote early, but I love the festiveness of election day. I'm a dork like that.  

Sorry for the wrinkly skirt mom.  I originally had on jeans, but I liked it better with the skirt.  I'm also sporting the best election day accessory, the "I Voted" sticker.

I'll be sharing this post with The Pleated Poppy and Dear Abby Leigh.