It turns out that it's easier said than done.
Life for me is busy these days, in a really good way. And, while busy in a good way sounds like it should equal plenty of things to write about, that is the problem. When does a girl find the actual time to do the writing part?
Sandwiching home projects (Installing a new deck ourselves, and front yard landscape work so far..)and family time around working full time at my grown up job doesn't leave a huge chunk of time to begin with. Then, with two more grand babes on the way, (Yippee!!)I am busy helping with plans and projects for showers, and nursery decorating, and all the crafting that goes with it.
I am also working on an entire new line of items for my etsy shoppe (invites, favor and gift bags, hard copy banners and decorated ice cream tubs, just to name a few....)that is keeping me busy, and my mind reeling with new ideas for the shoppe each minute that I work on things.
I will be sharing all of the oodles and toodles of projects and ideas that I am working on...soon!. I just need to get my act together a little better. (Hmmmm...This all goes back to my word for 2012, if you think about it.)
We're getting all the detail's fine tuned for the upcoming company picnic at the end of July, and this week we're going to be giving out the hard copy invitations. They're nice tri-fold style invites that have all of the pertinent details, and give staffers a glimpse at the fun stuff we have in the works. You know, email is great, and having it on everyone's Outlook calendar is fine, but sometimes a hard copy full of information about the event is just more memorable.
That, and the fact that I just love to create real hold-em-in-your-hot-little-hands items like invites, and marketing pieces.
So much so, that I, sometimes, get kind of carried away.
and...I think I might be getting just a tad bit carried away with this year's picnic's new addition. It's a Bake-Off.
Since baking is my love language, I am having trouble not getting carried away with this part of the event. We're doing things up with an old school vintage feel set up for the backdrop for the plethora for homemade yummy desserts that I anticipate we will have covering the table. (Trust me, if last Christmas's Cubical Decorating Contest is any sort of gauge at all, the wildly competitive folks where I work will be all over this Bake-Off contest.)
I can hardly wait to show all the fabulous little touches (soon!) but for now, I'll just share enough to give you a visual...I'm bringing my collection of vintage picnic baskets to add various heights for showcasing the Bake-Off entries, and some vintage cake and tart pans, as well as some charming old kitchen utencils. Oh, and I'm creating charming little numbers on table stands to keep things organized. (Oh, thank God for the wonderful little tools you have left over after you plan your kid's weddings.)
Getting a picture in your mind's eye? I hope so!
I love this time of year when we can enjoy meals on the back deck. Grilling burgers, ribs or chicken, and fresh corn on the cob. (smothered in herb butter, thankyouverymuch.)
Oh! And the fruit available at this time of year....strawberries, and watermelon and peaches. I tell you, it opens up a whole set of menu and table-scape ideas for me, and really inspires me to want to entertain.
Having the right drink to compliment a meal adds to the fun for summer entertaining as well. We're huge strawberry lemonade fans around here, and we also have been known to enjoy a good margarita. Well, this year, there's something new in the fruity-drink department that I recently discovered, at our local Produce store of all places.
It's called Michelob ULTRA Light Cider, and it has a very definite crisp apple taste to it. The bottle has a picture of a green apple (that's what caught my eye in the Produce Market!) and I immediately thought of how cute my green enamelware bucket full of ice and a couple of these would look sitting on the outdoor table at dinner time.
Refreshing, and light tasting, it sorta-kinda reminded me of sparkling cider when I took my first sip of this ice-y cold drink. It's perfect with barbecued chicken, or alone, while you enjoying the afternoon sun on a Sunday afternoon with a favorite magazine.(Again, I would just love looking at them in my green bucket full of ice...I am so visual that I always set things up in little vignette's even when it's just me!)
How about you? Which favorite summer meal or activity do you think would go best with Michelob ULTRA Light Cider?
Do you remember Nurse Ratchet? Well, one of my Rock n' Roll Buddy's most favorite neices graduated with a Nursing Degree earlier this week, and we were privileged to attend her Pinning Ceremony and Graduation, so I made her a special card to hold our gift to her.
She loved it!
It's always fun to make gifts more special by personalizing them, whether it's with a photo of the person you're giving the gift to, or a picture from a movie like I did here.
All you need to do is paste your photo into a WORD document and make sure it is on the bottom half of the page. Add a quote beneath it and send it to your printer...fold in half and you're all set! How easy (and cost effective!)is that?(If you're not able to do that, how about printing the picture and gluing it on to a folded piece of cardstock or scrapbook paper? That works too.)
I jazzed my photo up with photo corners in my favorite photo editor, PicMonkey.( Check it out here. There is so much you can do with your pictures!)
I added a funny quote (I save lots of nursing quotes and ideas, since my daughter is also a nurse)and left the inside blank to leave plenty of space for Ralph and I to write a note from each of us....perfect for her!
My hairstylist recently had a baby girl (Piper! How cute is that name?!)and I knew exactly where I was going shopping for a baby gift.
I don't sew myself, so I am always impressed by these kinds of handmade items. I love the look of this handcrafterd darling onesie, with it's embroidery stitch details on the little fabric applique, don't you?
Just. So. Sweet.
I think I'm just a little obsessed with all things baby these days, with two more sweetie-pies on their way in my family, and more baby love popping up all around me these days!
Let me start by saying that I found true love today at World Market.
You know I am all about one-of-a-kind-thrifted-repurposed-reinvented-or-what-have-you, but mixing in pieces from department stores is not only necessary for certain things. (towels, bedding, mattresses...)Once in a while, I hit the Home Decor stores to see what's new and today on my lunch break was one of those days.
Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, oh my gosh! Have you been in World Market of late? Well, people, if you have a World Market near you, you might want to pop on by there to get yourself inspired. (I was so wishing I had my camera, but no...so pictures from World Market's site will have to do today.)
Be still my linen-loving heart. The sweetest little love seat and coordinating chair, aptly named the "Erin Cute as a Button" set.
The photos are pretty atrocious here, but in person...oh my. They look like a million bucks! Both covered in alinen looking fabric, and tucked backs with assorted printed vintage looking fabrics covering the buttons. So charming.
If only I had a spot in our place to put one of these lovelies.....
If you liked those pieces, trust me, there was so much more...bar stools that I would have grabbed up in a nano second, if I weren't in a convertible VW Bug, (and if my Rock n' Roll Buddy didn't seem to be so attached to the two heaviest-in-America counter stools we already have)and oodles and toodles of accessories that could warm up a corner of most any room.
I came back to work from my early lunch feeling inspired to get home and fluff and decorate. I swear, lunch breaks like that are like taking a mini vacation to Tracey-ville.
I've added something new to my etsy shop!
Are you ready for the 4th, and summertime celebrating, and all that comes with it?
Several of our neighbors have already hung their red, white and blue swags and decorations across porches and windows, and I will be pulling mine out this very weekend.
I'm pretty stoked about that, because little seasonal or holiday decorations around a home make it look so much happier....don't you think?
My favorite (and easiest) touch for the different holidays and seasons is throwing together little tablescapes, even when it's just the two of us at the kitchen counter. It's simple, and festive, and makes any meal a celebration.
How fabulous is this fan as a patriotic detail for July? I can't even tell you how excited I was when I found them! Not only are they charming, they are useful in the summer heat. (Not that I can say we have had actual "heat" yet here in the Pacific Northwest.)
And they fold up skinny so I can stash them away when not in use easily....unless I let my friends take them home as favors from a barbecue. (How fun is that idea?)
You can find these fans for sale in my etsy shop,(by clicking the hot lin here) if you're feeling like adding a little red, white and blue to your home too!
Seriously, how did we get by before there was such a thing as internet peeps?
Thanks to blogging, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest and now Instagram, I can throw a question out there and BAM! Within mere minutes some internet friend has an answer or two, or six for me. Last week I began pinning ideas for an upcoming baby shower with a slant towards bumble bees.
(Not over-the-top cutesy with bees perched on everything, but a few here and there.)
(Not that there is anything wrong with cutesy, it's just not me.)
After seeing someone's party pictures on Pinterest, I googled, and found a darling reproduction beverage server on ebay that resembled a bee skep, so I pinned it to have it on hand to refer to while deciding if I should buy it...(you know, paying shipping and all that....) The next thing I knew, two friends responded to my pin, letting me know where I could find the beverage server locally.
With no shpping fees.
I love it when that happens!
(Thank you Kathy and Sandi!)
Have you had similar experiences? I'd love to ready your stories!
I think it's just awesome, living in these times of cutting edge, creative technology, where we can literally have a hundred-million-kajillion friends. It makes the world a much friendlier place, don't you agree?
...and it's a pretty big deal for a man who's not even had his fourth birthday yet. This life event clearly calls for ice cream.
Cold, and soothing to the throat, and homemade with oodles and toodles of Gramma Cupcake's love. It's hard to read in my photo, but the tag reads, "I got my tonsils out so my Gramma made me ice cream, 'coz she loves me."
As long as I was making my first born grandson a special ice cream treat, I figured his little brother would enjoy one as well.(His tag reads, "My brother got his tonsils out so my Gramma made me ice cream, 'coz she loves me.")
Hope you're feeling better real soon, little man!
The fourth of July will be here before we know it, and this year I plan to be ready. I have come up with some patriotic decorations for my home, and today I am sharing with you the first item, which is my Freedom Banner. (Early next week I will share the rest of my fun decorations for the upcoming Independence Day Holiday!)
I've shared my Freedom banner e-kits for a couple of years now, and they are available in my etsy shop.
My daughter pointed out that while the e-kits are cute and functional, (the gift that keeps on giving I like to say...) some folks aren't into crafting. (really?!)They simply do not have the time to make their own and would prefer to simply buy one, ready made.
Well, okay. I love to make them, so I decided this year to also offer the Freedom Banner in a hard-copy-ready-made- arrives-by snail-mail edition.The banners are a nice size.(I'm sharing this not-so-great photo of the banner above my front doors to show you the size scale...ignore the wreaths that look like two giant lopsided donuts)
They're easy to read, and they add a vintage patriotic feel to any place you hang them.
If you'd like to order one of my Freedom Banners, you can do so by hopping on over to my etsy shop by clicking here.
It's finally that time of year. When a middle aged woman's heart turns to thoughts of finding that elusive diamond in the rough...the weathered hutch that would make a perfect potting bench slash buffet server for backyard barbecues...the Gawd-awful old seventies artwork housed in an incredible ornate frame, just waiting to be re-invented.
This past Saturday I spent the entire day thrifting with four other gals, all in one mini-van. Each time we would stop we would all tumble out of the car at such break neck speed, one of my girlfriends commented that we surely looked like a carload of clowns in a circus show.
I think she was right.
I ended up with the treasures you see above... a Pampered Chef apple corer-peeler for three bucks (a major score!) and a chopping block with cute little bun feet. A mirror for my collection in the family room. Some vintage plastic deer (wait until you see what I do with them....)A cake pan,some holiday poppers and Christmas coasters, and six white heart shaped ramekins.
Oh! And some earings.
Some great treats, but by far, the best part of the day was spending time (it turned into an all day event..) with kindred spirits. Like minded souls that see life through the same rose colored glasses as I do....looking for the deal of the day, feeling the thrill of a discovering a buried treasure, unearthed in a driveway.
Good, good times.