Friday, May 28, 2010

it's nice to share :)

Chiffon Flower Tutorial
(click above to go to Cut Out and Keep)
I love how the crafting and cooking community is all about teaching and sharing as well as selling. There are bloggers out there who pass on their skills with crafting tips, food ideas, decorating inspirations, etc.
I really enjoy a blog called Cut Out And Keep, which has thousands of craft instructions, recipes and tutorials, and you can sign up and submit your own crafty ideas , recipes and instructions as well! I recently tried one for making these kind of flowers, but I used felt and it came out good too!
And, I think those cookies sound easy and delicious, I shall have to give them a try!
Take a browse, and I am sure you will be inspired to try something new!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

No- Oven Summer Recipes!

scene from yesterday's morning walk

and another
As soon as the thermometer reaches 90 degrees, I become allergic to using the oven! My house is a 1913 Bungalow with high ceilings and poor insulation and although the AC keeps it pretty cool, oven usage seems to heat the joint up for a few hours. So...needless to say, I try to find some non baking ideas for dinner. Today I found this Disney site, with tons of cool summer meals and I plan to try some out.
(BTW, I have exercised 8 out of the last 9 mornings!)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

only passing through

Making the spotlight got my creative juices flowing, so I made a collage for a wall in my living room that was bare. I used scrapbook paper I had and a piece of foam board along with modge podge and put this together with the words, "we are only passing through"
After gluing the shapes on the foam board, I coated the whole thing with modge podge which had some brown acrylic paint added to it to give it an aged look.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Brownstone Beauties

I love all these brownstone scenes! Maybe it's all the "Cosby" show episodes and movies like "You've Got Mail"that make me think that it would be fun to live in one. I mean you could walk to cafe's, deli's, bookstores and delicious coffee houses or just sit on the stoop
(all you northerners know what I mean by stoop) waiting for the ice cream man!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 5 with Leslie Sansone, I thought it was too hot and muggy even in the early morning, to go for "my out in the real world" walk, or maybe I was psyched out by the forecast of 94 degrees today! Either way, I chose to do the Leslie Sansone Walk at Home 4 Fast Miles dvd. And let me tell ya, it was hard! I figured I would just keep moving for the entire 50 minutes, walking in place, doing kicks and knee lifts and just kept walking during the jogging parts. It obviously uses different muscles than outside walking, so I immediately felt the burn!
I did this workout,before showering, in the living room, trying to be quiet with the sound way down low so as not to wake anyone up!
Don't worry, I won't keep annoying you with my exercise updates! I am just trying to establish new patterns in my life and this helps me. I have to make hay while the sun still shines!
( or my best workouts before Mother Nature brings me my monthly gift, which causes all activity to come to a screeching halt)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day Four!

taken this AM with cell phone, if you click on it to make it bigger it will look awful!

Another morning I jumped out of bed, and BEFORE showering, went for a 50 minute walk! It was more muggy out today, so it felt harder, but I kept pushing myself, telling myself that I could do it and wouldn't die or anything if I kept going! Thanks again so much to all the encouraging comments! You have no idea what they mean to me! Let me know how you are doing too!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sweet Summer Deals At Ikea

Flower Pot With Holder 7.99

Cake doily set of 4 for 1.49
Tray for 5.99
I love a bargain, and sometimes Ikea has the best deals! If you live near one, check out their summer stuff!

Day Three

along the merry way this morning
So, today I went on another walk for 43 minutes this time! It was rainy out this morning and I thought maybe I would do a video or something, but something miraculously happened in my head and I jumped out of bed to get dressed for a walk! I didn't even shower first because I didn't want to waste time before it started to rain and I missed my window of oppurtunity to shower before the working folks had to get ready for work. If you know me, you know that I never do ANYTHING before showering first, but today I brushed my teeth, washed my face got dressed and hit the pavement!
I actually couldn't believe I was doing it, but the encouraging words from comments left yesterday were rolling around in my head telling me I COULD do this!
Thanks so much guys! I had a great walk and made it home before it started raining! A MIRACLE I tell ya!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

All Things Are Possible!

Well, this morning was my second day of going for walks for fitness! I am usually NOT a morning person at all, I had been using my exercise bike for years now, usually in the evening for a half hour work out. But evil sciatica hit me a few weeks ago and it seems that the incumbent bike irritates that area. And I am pretty much terrified of getting it again, so I thought I should lay off the bike for a while!
But...I need very badly to exercise, I need to lose weight and get my cholesterol down, and...I am not getting any younger, so miraculously, and I don't use that term lightly, yesterday I awoke, showered, got dressed and headed out into the historical district which starts a block away. The walk was very refreshing, it was still cool, the birds were chirping and flitting around the trees and shrubs, it was shady, and such pretty houses to look at. There are little hilly parts too which make me work harder and I also need that challenge.
A neighbor even offered to walk with me sometimes, telling me that she lost 40 pounds during a summer of early morning walking and that inspired me some more. I don't mind walking alone at all though, it is a good time to pray, meditate, sing songs in my head and think about the day.
And, early last evening my daughter and Rachel wanted to walk/jog and I went with them for about another half hour, but they are young, so alas, I walked back before they were through. But, I was happy to have put in an hour of vigorous walking all together and it made me want to do it again this morning!
Now, for all my fellow "seasoned" ladies out there who know what hot flashes are, you also know that this seems like a rather dumb time of the year to start this routine. I am hoping that early enough in the morning will be tolerable for me, but I can always do some exercise videos at home. ( I have a bunch of them) But, I definitely felt like it was a better workout to walk out in the real world, so... I would appreciate any prayers for me to continue along these lines! Thanks guys!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Antique Alley, Antique Shmalley!

happy donkeys along the route

stuff along the road

one of the set ups closer to our area, we bought that green table on the left!

Well, I had been really looking forward to this past Saturday's trip up Antique Alley towards Chattanooga for months now! I posted about the local area of the event a few days ago, saying how it was more busy than previous years so I had even higher hopes for the further north locations!
Let me tell ya, it was practically a total bust! The locations set up closest to home ended up being the best! We drove all the way into downtown Chattanooga, because all along the route before that seamed more and more sparse, so I thought , surely Chattanooga in the fine ole touristy state of Tennessee would have great things set up for sale, but I guess Chattanooga didn't get the memo! Absolutely nothing was set up there!
So my husband and I got some delicious Clumpie's Ice Cream and headed back home! It was fun just being together and the ride was absolutely beautiful, so all was not lost! On the way back we actually picked up a few things at some sites near our area, but nothing really great! One nice thing was a green metal patio table for our back deck that we got for $10.
Who would have thunk it that the best set up and variety was right in our own back yard? Sometimes the grass is greener on this side!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Antique Alley Day One!

a vintage plaid thermos, plaid lunch set which includes a plaid bag, thermos and plastic container, sifter, vintage fabric napkins and salt and pepper shaker!
Each year since I have lived in Alabama, I have gone to Antique Alley on a Saturday with my husband! It is one form of shopping that he doesn't really mind in fact enjoys! There are always some manly things for sale along the way all rusty and metal-y. Traditionally , I always check out the route that runs close by our area on the first day of the event which is Thursday, making a fifteen to twenty mile loop checking things out, stopping to rummage through some yards along the way. It is usually pretty quiet and dull on the first day, but I have gotten a few good things through the years. Well, this year was totally unexpected, as there were way more yards and vendors and shoppers with many goods to look through!
The picture above is what I snagged to sell in my second etsy shop The Lilly of The Valley and I couldn't have been more pleased! I will be getting them listed within the next few days so check it out!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I never thought I would end up HERE!

all gone!

the big ole sycamore!

On my last visit to Florida, I passed the property we lived in before moving to Alabama. I said property, not house, because all that is left is a huge sycamore tree that was on the side of the house. The county leveled our house in order to widen the road!
Several years ago my mother in law moved in with our family after having a stroke and needing a little looking after. She quickly recovered from the effects of the stroke but we wanted to be able to keep an eye on her to make sure.
When looking for a home to buy around 5 years ago, we needed a four bedroom, with one of them big enough to have a sitting area for Mom who loves cats which I am allergic to, and space for a TV since she is more sports crazy than my husband and needed a nice size space so as to not feel claustrophobic.
The realtor showed us several houses, but only one had a Florida Room type porch that had real windows, air and heat and was a pretty decent size for Mom and Kit. So we purchased that house which was on a side street that bordered what we thought was a moderately busy street that was very busy between 2:30 -3:30 when the schools down the road let out. Traffic would be at a standstill right at our side yard every weekday.
It didn't actually bother me so much, but when I would see it , I would joke with my husband that the county would probably want to widen the road and offer to buy our house and we would probably make a huge profit! He would chuckle at me, saying that that was silly, the county surely wouldn't be doing that, and I would joke back that if I was right, he could just make me a prophet!
Well, low and behold, after less than a year of living there,we received the first of several letters from Hernando County, first about POSSIBLY widening the road, would you be interested in selling, but not sure which side of the road to buy, then choosing our side, then beginning the negotiation process, closing on the house , then being allowed to live in it RENT FREE for 10 months before vacating!
We had purchased our home in Florida during the real estate boom when house prices had jumped significantly and our mortgage, insurance and taxes were very high, and cooling off such a large area gave us very high utility bills, so the house sale was just what was needed! We made a significant profit on the home while property values were dropping all around us!
I really do know that Divine leading was going on for us at that time!
Meanwhile, a good friend of our daughters moved to Gadsden, Alabama and we went to her wedding there, then visited when she and her husband bought a home. I went to Alabama with her mom to help paint their new house, and a while later, visited again to go to her baby shower and each time I was there I just loved the town, the houses, the climate, the mountains, etc. When her parents who lived in Florida right down the street from us purchased a home there we began to seriously consider making a move there. After much prayer and consideration we felt that was the right move to make and we looked for a house there and moved right at the end of our 10 month rent free time in Florida.
Our mortgage is very low (including taxes and insurance) and my husbands business is doing better than it ever did in Florida. He started it from scratch here, just pulling in to car dealerships and giving out business cards!
The only drawback is missing Christina and her husband and my adorable grandson! We hope for them to move here as well, but the housing market in Florida is not very cooperative! So, we visit them every 6 weeks or so and learn to enjoy every minute with them!
That's the story! How we ended up in Alabama, which many of our friends laugh about, but they just don't know how really beautiful this state is!
(Oh, and by the way, we moved here with my daughter Jenny, Rachel who has lived with our family for over 10 years and is like our third daughter, and Mom, who is thrilled because she has her own apartment at the Baptist Retirement Village which is only three miles from our house and has plenty of room for herself and her cat!)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

really bored huh?

I just thought it would be a great idea for my husband Ray to start a blog, so I kind a talked him in to it this morning! He is very wise, loving, smart and witty and I really did think that it was a good way to record his musings about life so there is something chronicled to look back on. He also loves music and plays a mean guitar, so it is a chance for him to post some links of his favorite guitar players. He is a real man's man and doesn't want me to fancy up his blog, so this is it! Click on the title below to go to his blog!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I want,I want, I neeeeed!

For all you "What About Bob" fans out there , you know that is one of the classic lines from the movie. Well, I want, I want, I sorta neeeeed each of these adorable handmade shoes! I just can't wear uncomfortable shoes anymore, guys! I have been wearing the cheapest, poorly made stuff for all my long life, but now I realize that I have "low arches" after taking the Dr. Scholls thingy in Walmart. You know, you have to take your shoes off and stand on this thing and lean forward and lie about how much you weigh, and it tells you what your foot needs are and tries to sell you a fifty dollar insole. Which, I am not totally opposed to if I could continue to wear my poorly made shoes, but after buying one pair of comfortable, well made shoes and totally noticing the difference, I am inclined to think that now is the time to bite the bullet and start buying better shoes! Wow, this is hard for me....I am finally so old... I need well made shoes! Sorry, but no orthopedic ones for me, no sir!
I would love to get one of these pairs with the memory foam insoles, they are sooooo cute, but I am used to buying shoes on mega clearance, like under ten dollars if possible, and not even being able to try them on seems risky! Well, maybe one day I will be courageous and take a giant leap of faith, forking over some cash for one of these really really cute shoes! Maybe...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I almost forgot to remind you!!!!

click on picture twice to enlarge

On the backroads of Appalachia for 502 miles

from Meridian, Mississippi to Bristol, Virgina.

The sale is always the weekend after Mother's Day in May.

The 2010 sale is May 13th - 16th

This event goes right through our town and this will be me and my husband's third year of partaking of the fun! I personally like it better than the longest yard sale in August, mainly because it isn't in August! It is also less hyped , so the crowds are more manageable traffic wise. Last year we found all of our treasures over an hour away, just north of Fort Payne, where the drive became more scenic and bargains were a plenty. We scored several ladder back chairs, all less than 10.00 each, among other misc. fun things! If you live near highway 11m you should definitely make a day of it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Whole Note", you complete me...

a collage of the dining room

Gabriella's lovely home

more home pics

Sometimes, the word restaurant, just isn't enough to describe a place. A place that has feelings, emotions, warmth, coziness and homemade delicious food at reasonable prices.
There is a small, (hardly even noticed when driving by), restaurant in Florida that is only open Tuesday through Friday from 11AM to 1PM, serving a limited menu that has hardly changed in the two decades we have gone there. "Whole Note Acres" my friend, is my favorite of all time place! I took my daughters there for lunch numerous times when they were little, as we only lived about three miles from it. Each day, a different quiche and soup were offered, with a fresh side salad with delicious yogurt dressing and sunflower seeds always available, and at least four different desserts served daily. For a base price you get one item which includes free home baked white bread, whole wheat cinnamon oat bread, home made apple butter, coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade,( as much as you want of one or all), and than only a dollar extra for any additional item!
The restaurant is attached to the owner, Gabriella's, home, and is round in shape, like a whole note in music. Every room in her house is also round and is the cutest most unique house I have ever been in. Gabriella allows anyone who wants to, to walk through her house which is filled with an eclectic mix of antiques and home made decor. I walk through it every time, because I always get a warm fuzzy feeling from it!
The owner is in her seventies and has more energy than me! She has eight children, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren and you have a sense of love and warmth and family in her home and dining area.
A few years back I bought her cookbook with great anticipation, so I could make my favorites at home and I especially appreciate that, since I live in Alabama now and only occasionally get to visit this special place! Perhaps I will soon post one of her recipes so you too can taste the "Whole Note" goodness!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happiness 101

My daughter kindly passed this happiness award on to me after she received it, so here is my list of 10 things that make me happy! (Before starting, let's just say that my husband, daughters, son in law and grandson give me the greatest joy and happiness, but this list will be a bit more frivolous!)

1. I love a bargain!- Thrift stores, yard sales, antique shops, whatever, when I find something I like at a cheap price, I feel instantly alive!

2. I love to create things! -Also makes me feel very alive when I learn a new stitch or craft and actually make it, it makes me very happy!

3.Drives in the country!- Right now, we live really close to beautiful scenery and any time we drive a back road where there is mountains or rivers or lakes, I am happy!

4. Good Coffee! - I have mentioned before how much I love a good, fresh, strong cup of jo especially in the morning!

5. When my grandson calls me "Nan"!- Just hearing him say that, sends happy chills down my spine!

6.Any time my whole family is together! - When Stina, Suj and Kavi visit us in Alabama it feels like life is complete!

7.When my children and husband are happy!- That is when I am happiest, knowing that they are really enjoying something or having a good time!

8. When my husband comes home from work!- I usually hear the sound of his truck backing into our driveway and I am instantly happy!

9.Indian and Thai food- I know I just copied Christina, but we do have the same taste in food! Love the curry flavors and the unique dishes both cuisines have to offer!

10. Gilmore Girls!- Me and my daughters all loved this show and still watch the reruns even though we own all the seasons! Love the houses, the Inn Lorelai runs, the town, the crazy characters, Luke's Diner!

So, these are some of my likes and loves, what are yours??????

Monday, May 3, 2010

Consider The Coffee's Craft Corner (so proud of my baby!)

My husband and I just got back from a lovely visit to my daughter Christina's home in Florida where we got to spend time with her, her great husband and adorable son Kavi! I may have mentioned him before? Maybe a zillion times? It was a wonderful trip and I have a few things to share from it so I thought I would start with her craft corner! Stina, as we all call her, makes beautiful pillows and jewelry in this small but functional space, and I felt inspired to create more, just watching her at work. To me the color is perfect, not McDonald's orange yet not old lady peach either! Cheerful and colorful decor adds to the livliness of the space and gets those creative juices going!
Christina's Blog:
and etsy shops:, for jewelry, for pillows