Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I HAD AN OLD TABLECLOTH...

I had an old vintage tablecloth that I got for $1.00 a while back at a local thrift store. It must have been well loved and used for at least a thousand special occasions. It was time worn and thin...

I also had an old accent chair that I bought for $15.00 at Salvation Army several months back.  It has been patiently sitting in the master bedroom waiting for a little updating...





The chill in the air and the wind forced me to stay indoors last night, so...I got out that old tablecloth and that old chair; and well, the rest is history...

I cut that old vintage tablecloth apart...oh what a shame, you say...




I pinned and sewed a few seams...




































I even had some of that old tablecloth leftover for future projects...




and in about an hour that old chair was sporting a beautiful new vintage slipcover...























It turned out soooooo lovely!  It's too bad I can only give you a small peek today.  The one thing I didn't have was daylight or time to take proper pictures but...I will be back later in the week to show you all the pretty details.

Until then, have a fabulous day!  Ciao



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ROSES & FEATHER REED GRASS...

Happy day y'all!

Well as promised I am back with some details about the roses and grasses I planted in the planters along the front of the house.

I am super excited about finally getting these planters filled with some pretty stuff.  It's been A LONG time coming.  We have lived here for almost 4 years and I have never planted these beds.  I had to wait until the house was painted and some problems were fixed before I could take full advantage of these lovely raised planters...and, I will be truthful...I was unsure for along time as to what I was going to plant here.

These are very narrow planters (only about 15-18 inches wide) and they are 9 foot long.  I knew I wanted perennials because I don't want to be planting these beds every.single.year. That's too costly and time consuming and I wanted plants that were pretty much maintenance free.  I'm also lazy!! hahaha.

So, I needed plants that were somewhat compact but somewhat tall and bushy too (I want them to fill in and spill out but not be too big). Plants that would come back every year and not have to be fussed with.  Oh and of course they needed to be pretty!

Whew, that's a pretty tall order now isn't it!

Well I found the perfect plants to fill my HUGE list of requirements...







A new breed of shrub roses (the name I don't remember but I will try to find it and let you all know what it is later) and Karl Foerster feather reed grass.













The shrub roses are similar to knock out roses only they are more compact.  They will only grow to 2 foot wide and 3 feet tall and they never need pruning.  However, you can cut them back if you wish to shape them.  They are the perfect size for these beds.




































The Karl Foerster feather reed grass is also a compact version, growing to about 2 ft. wide.  The grass itself only reaches about 2 ft. tall and wide but when it flowers in the summer the flowery plumes will reach somewhere in the 5 ft. range.  Again the perfect size for these beds.








I found some information about this particular grass that I thought was neat and wanted to share with you. This grass was discovered by a German nurseryman, Karl Foerster.  He cultivated it and it became available for sale to the public in 1939.  That's the same year my house was built! I think it is so fitting that I plant this particular grass in these 1939 planting beds, don't you?

There is another planting bed that I am getting ready to tackle this weekend.  You may have noticed it in one of the pictures above...







Though you can't see it, this bed runs from here all the way around the screened porch and to the back door.  It's a BIG bed.  I will only be tackling this section of it this weekend. I will be digging all the grass and weeds out, spreading some mulch and planting some yellow Daylilies here.  This is another project that has been long overdue but I have to do things as time and money allows.  Can I get a witness?

Oh and here's a picture of the lights along the sidewalk...





I really like them and they were very inexpensive for such large lights.  I got them for $1.79 each at Aldi's of all places.  They are pretty high quality...at least as good as the ones that are $4.00 a piece everywhere else. So, if you are in the market from some good pathway lights check out your local Aldi's soon.  They will sell out FAST!

I hope to be planting some mums down the sidewalk over the weekend.  Well, that's if I can fit it in among all the other stuff I will be doing.

Everything is really coming along now and I am finally starting to see my vision for this place come to life.  I love it!

What have you been doing around your place to make your vision and dreams come true? Anything?  Do tell!

Have a fabulous day!  Ciao



Monday, April 28, 2014

WORKING ON THE SIDEWALK...

Well the last time you saw the sidewalk in the front of the house it looked like this...







Halfway edged and looking pretty pathetic, but I was sooooo TIRED I had to stop.  I'm tellin' ya this job was kicking my butt behind!!! So, the hubs helped me finish it...THANKS HUBS...




































Saturday we were able to fill in with mulch...




































We bought our mulch in bulk form at a local nursery.  Stanley's in St. James.  I know a lot of people buy it in bags from places like Lowes and that's great if you only need a small amount.  However, when you need a LOT like we did, buying bulk is the only way to go.  Besides, I like the thought of supporting our local small businesses.

We paid $35.00 for an entire pickup truck full.  Now that's CHEAP! Plus, it was way EASIER than buying and loading a gazillion bags of it ourselves.  We simply pulled the truck up to their mulch mountain and they dumped it in for us.


I took less than an hour to mulch down both sides of our 50 foot long walk...


































Ahh, now that looks good doesn't it?  The best part is that we eliminated the job of weed eating around this sidewalk every time we mow.  I have added some lights (which I will show you later in the week) and I hope to be adding some mums this next weekend.

If you squint you might notice that I added some small shrub roses to the front planting beds.  They are a new, smaller breed of shrub roses that are perfect for small, narrow planting beds like mine. I have also added feather reed grass in between each rose bush since taking these pics.  I will be back with pics and more information about all those things later in the week.

Until then, have a FABULOUS week! Ciao



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A GIFT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS DAY...

If you happen to be an administrative professional (a fancy, schmancy title for a lowly secretary), then HAPPY ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS DAY to you!

I happen to be one of those types and was surprised to receive this lovely bouquet of flowers from my boss this afternoon...





What a nice surprise!  What did your boss surprise you with for Administrative Professionals Day?



Monday, April 21, 2014

1 EGG, 2 EGGS, 3 EGGS, MORE & AN EASTER WEEKEND PROJECT...

Good Afternoon all.  How did your Easter go?  Did you do anything special?

Other than attending Easter services we pretty much just stayed home.  The weather was great so we barbecued instead of cooking the traditional ham for Easter dinner.  Earlier this week though I was super busy making these for the church fundraiser...





Chocolate covered Easter Egg shaped pound cakes...





They are SOOOO delicious...





The church I grew up attending in Illinois started the tradition of making and selling these scrumptious cakes. It was all started by my mom and my best friends mom in the '70's in an effort to raise funds to support our assembly.  They have been sold every year since and are still selling them today nearly 40 years later.  I introduced them to our church here in Missouri and we are now making and selling them for Easter each year.

We sold around 30 dozen cakes this year so I made a LOT of these...





So many I think I had them coming out of my ears.  Of course I didn't do all of them, the other ladies from church helped and we got them all done just in time for Easter.

Just looking at them makes my mouth water.  Are YOU hungry yet?  We will be making them again next year if you think you might be interested in ordering some.




I would give you the recipe in case you would like to make them for yourself, but...it's a SECRET, so if I gave it to you I would have to kill you afterwards.

Just kidding!  Here is the recipe:


























After the Egg cakes were all finished and delivered I got outdoors and did a little yard work.  I cleaned out our little pond and got the fountain going.  I cleaned up the birdbath and filled it up so the birdies could do a little splish splashing.  I planted some lab lab seeds (I will explain what those are once they start growing and I can get some pictures of them)... I also dug up the front yard...





































Well not the entire front yard...




































I edged along the sidewalk to make some planting beds.  Mowing and weed eating in this area has always been a real booger so I figured this would make that job a lot easier.  I hope to have them ready to fill with plants and mulch by next weekend.  That is if I have enough energy and strength left to do it.  The edging alone has been enough to nearly kill me but I know the end result will be worth it.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WHAT $5.60 WORTH OF FABRIC CAN MAKE, AND OTHER RAMBLINGS...

Happy day everyone!  I hope your week is going swell.  Mine, great!

I don't know if you will remember but WAY back in December I promised to share details of my new (and perfect) curtains with you.  I have never done that. SHAME ON ME!  Truthfully though they were NOT perfect...hence the reason you have not seen them.  Once again they were too short...just like all of the other store bought curtains I have tried over the past 3 1/2 years.  I had intended on lengthening the new ones with the extra panel that I purchased but I just didn't like the idea of having a noticeable seem on the lower one third so I changed my mind.

Truthfully, dressing the windows in this house has been a VERY frustrating nightmare for me.  All of which is completely my fault.  You see I could have once again made my own curtains like I've done for all the other houses I've lived in but I really just wanted the convenience of store bought curtains.  You buy them. You hang them.  You're done!  BOY WAS I WRONG!!!, and it took me three tries and lots of money to figure that out. Now I will tell you that I could have purchased curtains in the right color and right length...IF I had about $400.00 to spend on curtains.  That's right! The right ones, the perfect ones, are too expensive; so, I decided that I would go ahead and make my own after all.  In hind sight I wish I would have just made my own to begin with.  I could have saved myself so much time and trouble.

Anyway, after searching for fabric for the past couple months I finally stumbled across just what I was looking for at good ol' Wal-mart.  Can you believe it was on sale for $1.00 a yard?  The problem, there was only 5 2/3 yards left on the bolt and I had two windows to cover.




































I wasn't sure it would be enough but I bought it anyway.  After all I would only be losing $5.60 if not.

HALLELUJAH IT WORKED!




































I had just enough to cover both the dining room and living room windows...



































I even had enough fabric to give them a nice wide hem.

It feels really good to finally be DONE with this curtain issue...and not a moment too soon since the photographer from the National Historic Society is coming on Thursday.  WHEW!

In other news, LEO'S BACK...





I can't help it.  As outdated as he is (or at least that's what some people say), I like him there over the mantel.  It just doesn't feel like home without him.  Besides, it's my house and I should get to decorate it with what I love, even if it is outdated, right?  So he's back...




Maybe someday I will find a suitable replacement for him.  Until then, he stays!

Since I put the faux greenery (which I know is a decorating no-no) back on the mantel with Leo, I decided to balance everything out by adding a little greenery to the side tables as well...



Yeah, I know it's not real but it doesn't look THAT bad.  Besides there's no watering required. Hahaha!

Also, I did get that frame and huge mirror that my MIL gave me, and that I told you about a few weeks ago, fixed....



Now I am waiting for it to be hung.  I need help with this one because it weighs at least 50 lbs.  We are going to try to do that tonight and then Wednesday night is cleaning night.  I have to make sure this house is spotless before that photographer gets here.  Oh the pressure!

See you soon!



Monday, April 7, 2014

WHAT'S ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE?...6 MUST HAVES!!

I have a confession to make, I am TERRIBLE at styling bedside tables.  Of course you probably have noticed that if you have seen some of my recent master bedroom posts.  I'm sure you have spotted my fan...that old eyesore...who could miss it, right?






































And I'm certain you must have seen that horribly ugly digital alarm clock too.  Well, therein lies the problem as to why I am terrible at styling my bedside tables.  I need my fan (I must have white noise or I can't sleep) and I need my digital alarm clock...with it's large red numbers...not necessarily for the alarm but so I can see what time it is in the middle of the night.





To be truthful I have had bedside table envy for years.  I have seen at least a MILLION beautiful bedrooms with their perfectly styled bedside tables in magazines that I would love to imitate but no matter how hard I try it just never works out.







Here's the reason why. Those bedrooms are not styled to be useful or user friendly.  They are simply styled to get a GOOD picture.  You will never see one that has an alarm clock that an actual person would use, or could use.  If you do see an alarm clock it is always one of those cutesy kinds that would be impossible to see should you were to wake in the middle of the night, without your contacts in, and want to know what time it is. You never see one with a half drunken bottle of water and a bottle of headache medicine.  And it is for certain you will never see one with a fan..adorned with little dust bunnies!






  So that's it, I guess I will NEVER be able to have a perfectly styled bedside table.  Of course I guess I could take all the necessary stuff off of them, leaving only the pretties, just for the sake of taking some nice pictures; but nah, that's just not my style!  I say leave it all there and just be real...



























Real can still be pretty, don't ya think? Have I ever told you that I love how my master bedroom is coming along? The colors are just so soothing and serene. I love going to sleep there and waking up there now. It's such a change from what it used to be.

Now in case you have been alluded by the perfect bedside table stylings too, here is a list of 6 must haves for every bedside table....according to the EXPERTS, from my Google research...whoever they are...

  1. Lighting---you should have some sort of lighting on your bedside table either in the form of a lamp, candle or flashlight.
  2. Alarm Clock---you should have something on your bedside table that shows the time and that has an alarm. 
  3. Water---you should have a small glass of water or bottled water at your beside in the event you wake with dry mouth or a cough.
  4. Reading material---not necessarily a must, but you might want to have some sort of reading material at your bedside in case you have trouble falling asleep or need a little down time before turning out the lights.
  5. Tray---you should have a small tray on your bedside table to corral small things such as a wrist watch, jewelry, wallet, keys and change.
  6. Sentiment---you should have something personal or sentimental on your bedside table such as a wedding photo, photo of your children or some other item that makes you happy.  This could even be fresh flowers.
So, what's on your bedside table?  Do you have a bedside table must have that's not on THE list? Do tell!




Thursday, April 3, 2014

IT'S ALMOST TIME TO DINE AL FRESCO STYLE...

Happy day before Friday everyone!  How are you enjoying spring so far?  The weather has not been very cooperative here to do much of anything outdoors yet...it's been chilly, dreary and rainy for the most part, but it won't be long until those warm, breezy days of spring are here to stay.

The one thing I am most looking forward to this spring is getting the chance to do a little al fresco dining...I just love eating in the great outdoors, don't you? There is something about it that is so invigorating, yet relaxing at the same time. I guess it's breathing in all that fresh air.

Now most of us, or at least those of us in my social circle, when we talk about eating outdoors, we think of bbq or picnic food with paper plates and red solo cups...can you relate?...and there's NOTHING wrong with that.  However, I'm thinking that this year it's time to take al fresco dining to a whole new level at my house.  It's time to make the family feel as special as guests.  In the words of Emeril...it's time to "KICK IT UP A NOTCH". Let's break out the tablecloths, linen napkins, stemware, good china and fine silver and have dinner, lunch or a graduation party...OUTDOORS...

I have conjured up some lovely photos to give me a little inspiration in this area.  I thought you might enjoy them too.

Fair warning....Hang onto your seats, because you are about to get INSPIRATION OVERLOAD...

























Now this is FINE outdoor dining/living.  What what beautiful place! The pavilion I am trying to rent for Sis's graduation party looks kind of like this, only it doesn't have the fancy furniture....but I think I could do something nice with it.


But you don't have to have a fancy place to set a nice outdoor table...or have fancy things for that matter.



I love this idea of using an old tool caddy for herbs and using terra cotta pot bottoms for serving salad.




My outdoor table is round.  Perhaps I could do something like this.




Or maybe I might set up a little area under the carport we added to the garage last year.





Perhaps I might be able to sneak in an al fresco dinner for two sometime when it's just me and the hubs at home.




Or perhaps a little garden party with friends might be fun.




























Now this place, this is a place I would love to dine.  To me this would be finer dining than the finest restaurant in the world.  It's so serene and peaceful.  This is what I would picture heaven to be like or maybe this is the hidden garden of Eden.




I don't have any wisteria dripping from the rafters of my garden but wouldn't this be a lovely place to eat.  I bet is smells divine.




I don't have any views like this at my house but I live in MISSOURI so I know of several places like this where I can set up a nice picnic dinner for the family.



I might not have dripping wisteria but I think I could have some paper lanterns dripping from the trees in the backyard.  Now that's an idea!












Even just a morning cup of coffee out on the porch would be so nice.  Especially if I get to share with a friend.





























Boy oh boy, I need to plant me some wisteria...perhaps I could let it climb up the legs of the carport and by the end of summer could throw a little party like this.

But if not, I can still do a little al fresco dining...It doesn't have to be fancy...and I suppose paper plates and red solo caps will do as long as I get to spend some time with family and friends outdoors this year. The weather's warming up and IT'S ALMOST TIME TO DINE AL FRESCO SYTLE.  I can't wait!



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