Friday, August 29, 2014

Fun Friday Finds #25

I wasn't even planning on going to any yard sales today.  I have family coming in tonight and I had lots to do to get ready for them coming and the kids and I were just going into town to get groceries.  Believe it or not, yard sales hadn't even crossed my mind.  BUT...on the way to the store we passed a yard sale sign and I whipped out a u-ey right quick.  Before the kids even realized what had happened we were pulling in the driveway and they were saying "Oh mom!" :D

It turned out to be more of an indoor estate sale.  I found a couple of things and dickered back and forth with the guy on the price and finally settled.  I dug out my $1's and scrounged for quarters and paid him.  As we were walking out I noticed the table and chairs.  I figured he would be asking at least $150 for the set, but out of curiosity I asked him how much.  "Wellll...my wife was really wantin' $65 for 'em, but she ain't here so I guess I could take $50."  "For the whole set?!?"  "Yap."  I poked and prodded and checked for wobbles, I looked for a brand (found an original paper tag under one chair) and decided this was a really good price.  And it just so happened that I had exactly $50 cash left.  I almost never have that much cash on me that isn't already designated for something else, but there was some left from a check I had cashed from one of Hubby's side jobs.  I figured he wouldn't mind.  :)




I did a little research on the brand after I got home and found that just the chairs can easily sell for $50 each!


Like I said before, one chair still has its original paper label on it. 


Add in the two chairs I got free from the side of the road a few weeks ago and it makes for a mighty decent set.  Now don't get me wrong, I still want my huge 10ft, rustic, chunky, handmade farmhouse table someday, but until we can make that happen this will suit us just fine.  And after eating off of a plastic folding table for over a year now it'll feel great to have a "real" table again.  

You might remember me mentioning that I got another dining room table for free a few weeks ago, and that I've been working on refinishing it.  I was planning to use that table to replace the folding table, but it doesn't have any leaves with it and can only seat 4 people comfortably.  When I saw that this one had 2 extra leaves with it I was sold.  I still plan to finish the other table, but now I'll just try to sell it on Craigslist and recoup the cost of what I spent on this set.


At the same sale I also got this piece of artwork.  Other than the gallery wall in the living room we have absolutely nothing on our walls and I've been on the lookout for some art.  I liked the simplicity of this, it felt "farmhouse" to me.  This is what the seller and I haggled about before I saw the table.  I was offering $2, he wanted $3...we settled on $2.50.  : )


I plan to hang it above the buffet in the dining room.  I think the red strawberries will pair very nicely with our red gingham curtains.

I got a few other smaller things as well that I plan to list on Ebay and in my Etsy shop, but I'm in a hurry today with company coming tonight so I decided just to share the two things I was most excited about.  

And remember, you're always welcome to share pictures of your Fun Friday Finds over on the Facebook group page.  We love seeing everyone's good deals!

                                                                      

Monday, August 18, 2014

A DIY Knock-Off Makeover

I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who took the time to leave a positive comment on my last post.  I really had no idea what the reaction would be, I just knew I needed to write it, come what may.  All of your sweet and loving comments sure meant a lot to me, so thank you!  I've taken a couple of blogs off of my reading list that were making me feel less than content after reading them, I don't need that pressure in my life.  I haven't been perusing Pinterest quite so much either, wishing and wanting and feeling poor because my house isn't magazine worthy like "theirs."  And you know what?  I've been better for it.  My whole attitude is so much more positive and I just feel happier and more "in the moment."  I will always love decorating, that's just who I am, and I'll always love projects and yard sales, I can't ignore that side of me.  But...when a thought starts to come to mind of, "Man I wish I had...." I just stop it right there and focus on what I do have.  I still have things I want to do to the house, but all in good time.  I no longer feel so anxious about it.

Anyways....on to today's post!

I've slowly but surely been plugging away at the kids' bathroom makeover.  I put up a mini-gallery wall in there a couple of months ago, but I've never shown it to you because 1) I'm a terrible procrastinator and the frames STILL don't have pictures in them (I finally ordered them though!), and 2) I was missing the last piece of the collection.

I knew I wanted that last piece to be a small wall clock and I found this cute retro one online and just loved it.  It had the perfect look and the perfect size.  BUT....

(source)

It cost $60!!

There was absolutely no way I could afford to pay that much for a small clock, nor would I do it even if I could afford it.  That's a bit much for my taste.

So, a few weeks went by while I pondered my dilemma and then I came up with an idea.  A few more weeks went by before I finally remembered to look at the clock section at Walmart.  (Procrastination....air-headedness...see the pattern?)

  I was thinking I could probably find a basic clock for around $10.


I was pleasantly surprised to find this one for only $4.



I brought it home and took it all apart.

I don't have pictures of the next few steps because I was figuring it out as I went, but basically I found an image online of a vintage school clock that I liked.  I uploaded the image to PicMonkey and edited the clock hands out of the picture.  Then I brought the image into my Print Master program on my computer as clip art, enlarged it to the correct size, and printed it out on card stock.  I very carefully cut it out, made a hole in the center for the clock mechanism to fit through, applied a tiny bit of glue stick to the back of it and laid it in place.  

I put it all back together...


and ended up with this!

                                                Before                                                                                                 After

I'm pretty happy with my newly "retro" styled clock.



The only thing I need to change is the second hand.  A friend suggested that I paint it red like the inspiration one, an idea that hadn't even occurred to me before that.  I love the idea and I plan to do it....probably a few weeks from now.  :D

The pictures for the gallery wall should be in soon and when I get it all put together I'll be sure to show you.  There are some other changes on that same wall that I've kept a secret as well, and I'll reveal it all together.

Until then, I'm quite satisfied with my $56 savings and loving my new little $4 "vintage" clock!

                                                                 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Some Real Life Thoughts

Today's post is going to be vastly different than my usual ones have been.  I've had so many thoughts on my mind lately that I felt the need to express them, to get them off my chest so to speak.

I don't know how well you've been keeping up with all that's been happening over in the Middle East or not, but it has really had a profound impact on me.  I've read the articles about the hundreds of Christians who are trapped in the mountains in Iraq because they refused to convert to Islam and couldn't pay the fine for not doing so and so they had to escape.  Now they're dying of thirst and hunger up there.  I see the pictures of the bloodied bodies, even small children shot through the head, murdered for what they believe.  The family executed together with their Bible nearby because they wouldn't refute their God.  The hundreds of charred bodies burnt alive in a Catholic church in Nigeria I believe it was, simply because they were a religion other than Muslim.  It hits a little more close to home with us because my husband was in Iraq 3 times, putting his life on the line, and now all their work has been for naught.  The Iraqi soldiers he made friends with are mostly likely dead, buried in a mass grave by the ISIS.

I read those articles and see those pictures on one website and then out of habit I click over to Pinterest and I'm struck with how shallow and inconsequential that is.  How can I care about the color of paint on my walls when I see blood spatters on their walls?  How can I care about my outdated green carpet when theirs is soaked with unrepenting martyred blood?  How can I care that my couch is a little saggy in the middle when theirs holds their murdered bodies?  

It's simple.  I can't.

So many things about my life feel so petty and unimportant compared to the things that are happening to my brothers and sisters in Christ over there.  I simply cannot bring myself to care about decorating right now.  It doesn't matter in the long run.  What matters is my heart and the hearts of my children and my husband.  Serving our Lord to the best of our ability, and having a faith so strong and a love for our God so great that we, too, would rather face the end of a rifle than to say we no longer believe in the Christ who died for us.

All of these things have been consuming my thoughts the past week or so and I find myself slipping into a quiet pensive state.  I know there's nothing I can do for them but pray, and I have been.  As well as for our own country and for my own family.  It would be very easy for me to become overwhelmed with these thoughts and even become depressed.  So how can I avoid that?  For the sake of my family.

By being thankful for what's right in front of me.

Decorating and creativity are my passion.  Dreams and visions for my home consume my thoughts more hours of each day than they should, and I find myself focusing only on what I don't have.  Only on the projects that are yet undone.  On the things that work perfectly fine, but that don't match my vision and so I think they need replaced.  I find myself feeling uptight and anxious about this "to do list" because living on only one income is very challenging.  We don't have any extra to spend on these projects.  It's important to us that I be at home raising our children and providing their education, and we have to make sacrifices every single day to make that happen.  I didn't just decide to stay home because we could afford it and I didn't need to work.  It was a choice we made for the future of our children and for the good of our family as a whole.  It requires sacrifice.  We do without a lot of things, we don't really go out to eat, sometimes our meals get creative that last day or two before the next paycheck.  It's just not in our budget to replace all the things I would like to and complete all my dream projects.

The other day the kids and I were driving into town and I was doing some thinking.  I had been a little snappy that morning, irritable with the kids for no apparent reason.  And as I thought about it I realized that my soul felt unsettled.  The fact that I have this big list of dreams for our home and no money to do it with was literally making me feel physically anxious.  I prayed as I drove and I told the Lord how I was feeling and in that instant I heard that still quiet voice saying, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything give thanks."  Wow.  Be thankful.  For what you have right now.  Don't focus on what you don't have, learn to love what you do have.

But you know, you can tell a child she needs to do something but does that mean that they will?  Not necessarily.  And it doesn't mean that even if they do try that they won't struggle with it.  That was me.  Even though I knew I was supposed to be trying to be thankful I was still struggling with not thinking about all the other things.  I'm weak like that.  And then I read {this} and I cried (and laughed).  It was exactly what I needed.  To view my home through a new set of "perspectacles."

So here goes.  I'm sharing my real life perstectacles with you.  I picked up my camera this morning and started snapping pictures of my kitchen, just as it was.  No cleaning.  No staging.  No straightening.  Not one single thing changed.  Just real life.  I didn't even bother with editing the pictures to make the lighting "just right."  I don't have time for editing today.  I told my little girl we'd go into town and look for butterfly plates for her birthday next week.  Now you tell me which one is more important?

So come take a walk through my real life kitchen, seeing it through eyes that are now thankful for what I have and trying very hard not to focus on what's not there.


First off, I'm thankful for appliances that work, well most of the time anyways.  The fridge has given us a few fits, but it's been working great the last couple of months and it has food in it to feed my family.  For that I'm thankful.  I'm thankful for an oven and stove to cook good meals on, and for a microwave that makes my life just a little bit easier.  I'm thankful for my vintage apron hanging on the side of the fridge that keeps my shirts clean.  I'm a messy cook.  I'm thankful for cute second hand decor that makes me smile.


The side of the fridge holds artwork made by my precious daughter and pictures of fun times with our family.  I am grateful each and every day for them.


The front of my fridge has smudgy little fingerprints all over it.  At times I have been so shallow as to resent this stainless steel fridge.   I didn't ask for it, I didn't want it, it came with the house, and "stainless" steel is sort of an oxymoron since it shows everything.  But seriously, how shallow is that?!?  Most people would love to have a stainless steel refrigerator and I've had the audacity to be unhappy with mine.  Smudgy little fingerprints means I have children that are healthy and capable of walking to the fridge and getting their own drinks and their own snacks.  Not every mother can say that.


In the corner is a baggie of leftover homemade hot dog buns.  Remnants of a meal eaten together as a family.  I'm thankful for Lucy, my KitchenAid mixer.  She whips out homemade bread, buns, pizza dough, and a batch of 100 cookies with no problem.  She makes my life easier.  The toaster sits out where my husband left it this morning.  He had waffles.  My 3 year old little boy and I had fun making a boat load of waffles together the other morning and we put all the leftover ones in the freezer.  Hubby was able to eat a couple for his breakfast this morning.  No matter that he didn't put the toaster away.  He never does.  It's a man thing I guess.  He also leaves his socks on the coffee table more often than not.  But he's my husband and my best friend, and I am so very thankful to have him in my life.  Dirty socks and all.


The light over our sink isn't the newest trend in farmhouse lighting that certain big name magazines make us think we have to have.  But I bought it for only $11 and it works just fine.


Plus, it gives off the warmest coziest glow that I just love.  I love to sit at the bar early each morning and drink my coffee in that warmth.



I'm thankful for my big window over the sink that looks out on our big beautiful back yard.  I'm thankful for colorful little pots that have herbs sprouting up in them and that cheer me up with their colorfulness.  Especially on a rainy morning like today.


A hummingbird feeder sits empty because I've been busy with a good life and it just hasn't been a priority to get it refilled.  Clean dishes drying from last night's yummy supper.  Perpetual dirty dishes in the sink are signs that I have a family and that we have food to put on those dishes.  A scraping tool leans up against the wall from the table I've been working on.  A dining room table I got for FREE.  I'm thankful for that for sure.  I was tempted to change out the dirty scrubber in the jar for a clean one, but I didn't.  Real life people.  Real life.  I use my cast iron skillets, a lot, and so my scrubber gets blackened. Deal with it.  Even the messy towel thrown haphazardly over the door makes me smile.  I normally take the time to fold it, but as I was drying dishes last evening my son came running in and said, "MOM!  You HAVE to come see this!!  My monster trucks are about to race!!"  He had his little trucks all lined up on the living room floor with croquet mallets making the racing lanes.  So of course I didn't have time to fold that towel.  It was more important that I NOT miss the start of that race!  : )


I'm ever so thankful for all that counter space!  There was a time that we lived in a house that had the world's tiniest kitchen, so this one feels like a mansion compared to that.  I'm thankful for plenty of room for friends and family to gather.  I've wished that I had bar stools that were more on trend and more industrial style instead of the dated oak.  But I need to be thankful that I have bar stools at all.  I didn't when we first moved here.  It took several months before I found these at a really good price on Craigslist.  I'm thankful for Craigslist.  : )


On this end of the counter are some greasy mower parts.  That means I have a hard working husband who cares about our home and works hard to save us money by fixing the mower himself when it breaks down.  His old phone lays there waiting for me to list it on Ebay.  That reminds me that we have family that loves us so much.  They paid for us to upgrade our phones.  Something we wouldn't have been able to afford to do.  I'm even thankful for that silly little Betta fish.  He's spazzy and quirky and quite easily the funniest little fish I've ever had.  He makes me smile.


Over here we have my son's cars lined up on the counter.  I was working on the computer when he woke up and he loves to be near me so after a few minutes of snuggle time he brought his cars out and played next to me while I worked.  The chicken salt shaker left on the counter because we ate dinner on the bar last night because the kids had so many craft supplies from their little project on the dining room table there was no room to eat.


Lots of creativity going on here.  I just didn't have the heart to make them clean it up. 


Sunday School papers laying there mean that my children still have the freedom to worship in a church of our choosing.  A new magazine, fresh from mailbox, means that I have a mother-in-law who loves me and who ordered that magazine for me.  A commentary and notebook lay there from my devotional time, again, I have the freedom to worship the one true God and to study His word.


On the other side of the kitchen we find this old dilapidated bookshelf that holds extra pantry items.  Do I wish I had something nicer, something like an old pie safe or a Hoosier cupboard?  Yes, I have been guilty of wanting more.  But I'm also thankful for this little shelf.  I only paid $5 for it 4 years ago and I've gotten every penny's worth out of it since then.  It holds extra food and snacks for my kiddos.  I'm always thankful for food.  : )


I have gorgeous flooring in my kitchen that I love with much love and I'm certainly thankful for that!  I'm thankful for our pets, for our 10 year old pudgy little Jack Russell who's been the absolute best dog we could ever hope for.  And for our little 4 month old playful kitten that makes us laugh every single day.

There are so many things about these pictures that sadly I was ungrateful about before.  But from now on I'm going to do my best to focus on real life and to be thankful for what I already have right in front of me.  There are so many who have far less than I do, who don't have the freedom to worship God, and who are dying for their beliefs.  The least I can do is not focus on wanting more.

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Philippians 4:11

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." 
Philippians 4:6 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fun Friday Finds #24

Welcome back to another edition of Fun Friday Finds! 

 I was excited to get out in search of some yard sales today as I had read about a big one being held in an old factory/warehouse a couple of towns over.  The ad said "truck loads of stuff" and they weren't lying.  There really was a lot there.  The kiddos and I headed out right after breakfast and we had a productive morning.  I didn't find a whole lot of great vintage treasures, but still found some other fun things and things that we've been needing and all at good prices.  

On the way to the warehouse sale we stopped off at a few other sales we came across.  Some were a bust.  Like one, where they had so much junk in their yard you couldn't tell what was for sale and what wasn't.  We just got back in the van and left. 


But at another sale we found this beautiful costume dress for only $1.  My daughter loves to dress up and I thought this would be a fun addition to her collection.


At another sale I found this great set of wooden stamps for $1.  I have a similar set already, but they're a much smaller font so I was happy to find them in a larger size.  These sets are originally about $18.


At the same sale I also found this great wooden bowl for $2.  It's not antique or anything, but it's still beautiful, don'tcha think?


And still at that same sale I also got this DVD player.  Our other one broke months ago and we've never replaced it.  With money being tight it just wasn't a priority.  But I found this one with the remote and all the cords for $8.  I've spotted other ones before at other sales, but they've always been a little sketchy looking, or they seemed to be missing wires, or didn't have a remote, or I just didn't feel like I could trust the person that claimed it worked.  But on this one it had all its components and I felt the man could be trusted.  And I was right, it works perfectly.  I had to snap a quick cell phone picture of it when we got home because my kids were so anxious for me to get it hooked up so they could watch a movie on it.  : )

I always give each of my kids $1 of their own to spend on something they want.  It keeps them occupied and happy to look for things they can spend their money on.  Well, when we finally made it to the warehouse sale we spotted this little car mat right off the bat.  My son has been wanting something like this for a long time.


He was SOOO excited!!  I wish you could have seen his little face and heard his enthusiasm when I spread it out for him to see and told him it was Radiator Springs from the Cars movie.  He was ecstatic!!  With a huge grin on his face he rolled it up and hugged it tight the rest of the time we were in there.  He wasn't even interested in anything else.  He found a dime on the floor and I told him he could probably find another toy on one of the tables for 10¢, but he said, "Nope, I don't need nothin' else.  I got my rug!"  


At the same sale we also picked up this adorable little car light for 25¢.  I want to do his room in an automotive/cars theme and I thought he'd really enjoy this.  


They had TONS of books and they were priced 10/$1 so we got a big stack with some for each of us.


One of them I found was this old book about the world's greatest detective, Big Max, and the King of Pooka Pooka.  As soon as I saw the pictures the memory came flooding back that I had had this book as a child.  I had completely forgotten about it, but as soon as I started flipping through it I instantly recognized the pages.  Funny how that works after probably 25 years or so.


The last item I picked up from the warehouse sale was this big metal storage unit for $5.  They actually had 3 more of various configurations that were $10 each, but I only had room for one.  I texted pictures to Hubs asking if he wanted one for his workshop and he said yes, so we lugged this baby in there.  Actually, there was no "we."  I just watched as 3 strong men loaded it for me.  :)  Hubs wants to have his own mechanic shop/business some day so this will be a great piece for holding various odds and ends of tools and such.  Who knows, we may end up going back again tomorrow and getting the other 3 if they still have them.


My last find of the day was this little excavator for only $3.  My son absolutely lives for digging in the dirt!  Whenever he's outside he's got his cars and trucks and little loaders and backhoes and he's digging up some roads or some such thing.  We've seen these kind of things at parks before, but they've always been too big for him to operate.  This one is just his size and the tracks actually move.  He can sit in the seat and put his feet on the tracks and move it around by moving the tracks back and forth with his feet.  It has a crack on the back of the seat, but it doesn't affect the function of it at all and I knew he wouldn't care a bit about that.  All he wants is to dig!  It was pouring down rain when we got home so he couldn't try it out and he just stood at the window staring longingly at it outside asking when he could play with it.  : )

Well, that's it for me today!  No great vintage treasures, but still a very productive morning and I'm most happy with our finds.

What about you?  Have you found anything great this week?

                                                             

Friday, July 18, 2014

House Updates

There haven't been any major changes around here lately, but a few things that have been languishing in an unfinished state for months have finally been completed so I thought I'd give you an update.

A few months ago I packed my kiddos off to spend a week with their grandparents and I had a 12 hour a day paint-a-thon while they were gone.  At the end of the week I shared these pictures of all I had been able to accomplish.  I got a lot done, but there were still some unfinished parts that I hadn't been able to finish up.  If you follow me on Facebook then you might have seen me post about my sister staying with me last week to help out with some painting projects.  She was my minion for the week and finished up a lot of the things I wasn't able to get to.  It was probably the first time in my life I've been able to boss my big sister around.  :D

(These are the "before" photos.)


The upper trim in the school room had been caulked and primed, but I never got the chance to finish edging it in and put the top coat of gloss on the trim.  She finished that for me.  I didn't get to the trim around the window either.  She primed it, I followed behind her and caulked it, then she finished it off with it's glossy top coat.  She also got all the baseboards primed for me, but we didn't have time to do anything more than that to them.


Same routine with the trim around the front door, she primed, I caulked, she put the top coat on.


This little alcove had never received it's coat of tan paint, nor had the trim been addressed.  She put the first coat of tan on, I did the 2nd coat, I painted the ceiling and primed the upper trim, she primed all the doorway trim, I caulked everything, then she went back through and put the top coat on all the trim.


Same routine again for the trim around the sliding doors, prime, caulk, top coat.

I've only got 2 "after" pictures to show you because I still need to do some final touch up painting in some places before I can get everything put back together.  But you'll get the general idea.


Here's the living room view now.  Not only is it much improved with the dark foreboding trim gone, but it also looks like people actually live here now with pictures on the wall and such.  : )


Front entry way lightened up.  (Notice the baseboards, primed but not finished yet.)  This area needs a lot of help, it's very plain and boring.  But...this door almost never gets used so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do with this spot.  Anyways, at least the dark trim is gone now.

We probably could have made a lot more progress during the week if I had been able to help out more. I did all the caulking, but she's the one who did the majority of the painting.  Why you might ask?  

Because I was busy working on this project.


Another "grain sack" shower curtain.  

This time it was a custom order for someone.  She had seen mine here on the blog and loved it and wrote to me asking if I could make her one as well.  I designed a more personalized layout for her and spent the week sewing, setting grommets, and hand painting it all.  I'm happy to report that she loves it!

I'm contemplating listing these in my Etsy shop as a customizable/handmade item.  What do you think?  Do you think they'd be a good seller?  Would people be willing to pay a higher price for something personalized and custom made?

Anyways, that does it for my house updates.  A great big THANK YOU goes out to my sister for all her hard work and being willing to paint what probably felt like miles and miles of trim work. 
 Love you Ethel!  :D

                                                                

Monday, July 7, 2014

Simple Patriotic Decor & Table Setting

I know July 4th is already over and most bloggers share their tablescape pictures a month in advance so as to give their readers ideas to copy, BUT....I didn't really know what my table and dining room would look like until about an hour before it was time to eat.  So...you're getting pictures after the fact.  : )

My sister and her family came to stay with us a few days and we all celebrated together.  
I kept the decor really simple, but it felt festive and fun just the same.


You might have noticed the curtains.  Those are new.  I finished making them a few weeks ago, but I hadn't shared them yet.  I love them!  They add so much life and color to the room, and it's nice to be able to block out the hot sunlight.  You might have also noticed the buffet.  I've never shared it either.  It's a dresser that I found on Craigslist and I talked the guy down to $60 for it.  This is its "before" look.  I have plans to change it up.  You can also see that we are still using a plastic folding table as our dining room table.  But that won't be for much longer.  Last week I scored a table for FREE as well as the two darker wooden chairs you see.  It needs a makeover, but I hope to get it done soon so we can eat at a real table again.


For the table setting I used a plastic tablecloth from Walmart, then folded a small gingham tablecloth that I already had and laid it across the middle.  The wooden box napkin holder is always on our table.  I didn't bother with a centerpiece.  I used our everyday white plates and our everyday flatware (that I've had for 12 years!) and just bought small flag themed dessert plates to put in the middle.  My sister brought the cute colorful napkins.


Next to the adult table I set up a kids table, with paper straws as a quick and easy centerpiece.


I already had the game board, pitcher, and rooster set up.  
I just added a few paper decorations from the dollar store.


The game board was a yard sale find from a couple of years ago, and the pitcher was a recent thrift store find for $1.99.


My rusty rooster has made his return finally.  He was a $1 yard sale find a couple of years ago as well.  
I love him with much love!


Above the table I hung two more paper thingy-ma-bobs from the ceiling fan chains.  You can see my collection of aqua Mason jars in the window in the background.  You can also see raindrops on the glass.  Just as I started taking pictures the clouds rolled in and it started to pour.  My husband had just started grilling too.  I did the best I could with the lighting I had, and he still turned out some yummy hot dogs and hamburgers even though he says he risked his life by grilling in a storm.  : )


Festive colorful decor doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.  Quick, easy, and cheap can still look great and it leaves you plenty of stress-free time to enjoy the day.

My sister and her daughter have stayed on a few extra days and while the cousins are having a blast playing their hearts out together, my sister is helping me finish up some painting projects around the house.  It'll feel good to have a few more things finished up!

                                                                     
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