A little batch of New Years Eve crows? (Hanging out around place settings around a dessert buffet?)How adorable would that be?
Or surprise a friend with a birthday crow! Oh, I think that could be fabulous! I just may need to do up one of those myself!)
Relationships are challenging sometimes (Often times. Men and women are very different animals.) and yes, I know that setting a charming table and serving up comfor food doesn't actually change lives. There is definitely a world of difference between men and women, an how we express (or don't) express our feelings.
Still, it's sometimes hard finding the right communication style with someone who's love language is Chick O'Stix.
On a different note, but oddly, still very much related to relationships, I am rather tickled to share that I have a booth space in the "Plucky Maiden's Get Hitched" Bridal Fair a week from Sunday. (Don't you love the name?)
I will be showcasing my line of bridal printables, and sweet little details. I've got my booth layout all planned in my head.
I have it broken up into themes: A Vintage theme in creamy whites, and glitter, with old book pages and touches or robins egg blue, An Autumn theme, in mustards, mochas and grays, with mittens, scarves, and pumpkins as part of the details.There will be a cheerful red and turquoise picnic buffet theme.
I'll be sharing more this week, as I get things photographed!
I get a little weary at times, from spending so much of my time seemingly having my character built.
Or maybe it's just that I need my head examined.
Or my heart.
If you've read my blog for very long, you have to know that I am incurable romantic of epic proportions. In a rather odd sort of way, I think that is what saved me when I found myself suddenly single... ohmygosh, exactly eight years ago today.
(Seriously, I didn't notice the date on the calendar until just this minute.)
I can still remember that moment, when I realized that life had changed for me forever. It's a moment frozen in time, and yet, one that I rarely think of these days.
Time heals they say. I think it just gives you perspective.(And it leaves you with a pretty gnarly scar.)
Still, when you are on the terminally romantic team, you have a little flame of hope, and an ever so tiny sliver of optimism that if you have faith...if you just believe...God's plan will slowly but surely show itself and the sun will come out again.
And it does.
In lots of ways.
I've been beyond blessed to have so many sunny moments to be excited and happy about.
Way back, when I first found myself suddenly-single, there were newly formed friendships with gal-pals for midnight deep talks and commiserating and even falling asleep while one of you is still talking(I will always adore you for those, Anne) and a little later on, new faces in the family...first there were weddings, and then those babies. (Oh! All of those precious sweet babies!)
All the while going through the sunny moments as time was creeping by, I remained the ever hopeful romantic (truth be told, actually hinging on sappy) and you know, I think that when you're like that...like me...you don't ever feel quite like you unless you are half of a we.
(Does that make any sort of sense to you?)
And as time moved on, there were those kinds of girl-meets-boy sunny moments for me as well. Only things are very different after so much time being on your own, flying solo.
Everybody that has been single for a number of years and is...ehem...a bit more mature, has their own ways of doing things, and coping with stress, or simply the way they manuever through everyday life can be immeasurably different than the way we are used to doing things.
A charming little romantic tablescape at the cozy kitchen counter, complete with votive candles to accompany their favorite comfort food for supper after they've had an unuually rough day might be a sure-fire-heart-mender for a love-is-all-there-is type like myself, but not even be noticed by a used-to-eating-by-the-mood-lighting-cast-from-the-big-screen-tv-beau, let alone, making them feel oh-so-loved and-cared-for.
Aparently, some days even a pretty tablescape doesn't make life pretty. Or even a little easier to get through.
(Nor will a homemade three-cheese grilled cheese on sourdough with a side of tomato soup)
(I did not realize that.)
I'm not at all confident that I will fully master any all of this complcated romance (or lack there of) stuff out, but I can guarantee you, I am still getting my character built.
Although I don't seem to do it as often as I have in the past, or would like to, I've got a passion for entertaining, and table scapes in particular.
No, that is not my guilty pleasure confession. You already know that about me.
Now that we have Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, I can log on and find inspiration any time of the day or night, so...for the most part, I don't purchase magazines anymore.
For the most part.
There is one publication I can't get enough of, and I find myself checking the magazine rack at the store whenever I know a new issue is due out. It's called Mingle. (How perfect is that name for an entertaining mag?) It's one of the fabulous Stampington publications.
It's been out for a couple of years now (I think) and each and every issue is loaded with over-the-top-and-think-way-outside-of-the-box entertaining inspiration.
I can't get enough of this magazine.
(I even love the feel of the paper they use for this publication.)
The photography is always such that I find new inspiration each time I flip the page. (Even after looking it over fifty gajillions times.) The features strike something in me that makes my heart skip a beat, and I begin thinking of new ideas for table settings, and soirees, and details to make any event or meal-at-home special.
Today when I was looking through this latest issue of Mingle, I realized something. (You know that moment when you suddenly see something for the quadrillianth time but with suddenly new crystal clear clarity, and wonder why you hadn't known it before? Yeah, like that.) While I get oodles and toodles of inspration from this magazine, I do not take the steps to move it from the inspiration stage to reality. It's strange, because I used to be much better at following through on this, (I looked back in my blog archives, here, and here...and here. Oh, and here...) and I am wondering what the heck happened to me along the way.
That is something I am going to work on changing. AFter all, I have come to realize that life is very much shorter than I first assumed it was, and because of that very reason alone, I want to make the most out of each and every day from this point moving forward.
So, thanks to Mingle, I am (hopefully) going to do more of what makes me happy, which is, in part, entertaining...making the ordinary..extraordinary. I am going to make the most of life's little moments (Like a breakfast of pumpkin walnut oatmeal with coworkers, and sweet little themed lunches with grand-babes) and put into action what plays out in my head after meandering through an issue of Mingle.
I'll be sure to keep you posted!
Find this kit in my shop, here.
They'll be making their dabute in my Booth Case at Camas Antiques later tonight...
...and this weekend I'll be adding a printab;e kit for party hats and little signs in my etsy shop for those of you who would like to foofy up your own crows for yourself, or friends and family.
Some are done up in traditional orange and black, while others are ready to whoop it up in more formal (yet vintage) attire.
How fun would it be to surprise a friend at work with a lil' buddy on her keyboard, or to to use one at each place setting in a spooky table scape? How about on a mantle, atop some big ol' pumpkins?
Oh, yes. I can think of about a gajillion things to do with these tiny creatures.
It's turning out to be a LOVE-hate relationship.
I love how cute the old blue '52 is, and how people wanna give me thumbs up when I drive by.
I hate the all-too-ridiculously-frequent stops at the gas station to fuel up, thanks to the eight miles a gallon I am getting. (although it is rather fun when the guy fueling up next to me wants to give me a thumbs up and ask all about it.)
I love how great the upholstery job came out, and the snazzy new black snap on cover for the truck bed.
I love the original cutie-patootie sun visor.
I love how all of my pals at work wanna ride to lunch in old blue, 'coz it's just so danged much fun.
I hate that I am getting a whopping eight miles to the gallon. (Maybe I already mentioned that.)
Thank goodness my Rock n' Roll Buddy has (way, way) more patience and ingenuity in the area of working on improving the mileage challenge, as well a tinkering on lots of the little things that need some sort of attention. He says with some adjustments and improvements I can look forward to getting upwards of twelve miles to the gallon possibly at some point.
Apparently driving something this sweet has its' price.
And I am okay with that.
You can't put a price on cute, after all.
In addition to my charming mode of transportaion, I am feeling pretty blessed to have somebody by my side that not only sees my vision of a dream car, but is happy to see what all needs to be tweaked, adjusted,tightened, polished, painted or sanded...yep, I am one lucky girl.
Tonight the Legion of Boom kick things off with a home game against the Packers, and we'll be kicking the season off here at home, with a few (Twelve? Fourteen? Oh, I've lost count.) of our friends crammed into the living room to watch the game on the big screen.
We'll be having my homemade chili with all the fixins at halftime, and there will be no shortage of sideline comentary going on throughout the the entire game.
Oh yes, football season has arrived, ans the 12th Man is alive and well in sweet little Camas.
I whipped up a batch of banana pudding parfaits, which until recently, I assumed all Mom's in America had in their dessert recipe arsenal.
It turns out that a lot of folks here in the Pacific Northwest don't know about it.
So I thought I'd share it here today.
It's easy peasy, an takes only a few minutes to make. Simply take on package of instant banana pudding (make it according to directions and place in the refrigerator. Cut up one banana and open a box of Nilla Wafer cookies. (Now, I usually serve this yummy dessert all on one larger bowl, with the original sized Nilla Wafer Cookies, but for the cutie patootie parfait glases, the mini Nilla Wafers were a no-brainer.) Layer the banana slices, nilla wafer cookies, and pudding.
It's total comfort food.
Have you ever made this dessert, or some version of it?
Where did the time go? Can it really be..?
My two first-born grands, just a month apart, are heading off to kindergarten. Their respective younger brothers are heading off to pre-school.
Oh, I am so excited for them all! I have some special little somethings for them to make the big day even more special.
(Okay, I got them all underwear.) My grand daughter will be wearing a uniform at her school, and I was stumped on what could work universally for all four of them...underwear seemed like a logical choice at the time.
Don't judge me.
They're Super-heros underwear....for the boys anyway. Ms. Cutie-Patootie got fun prints in various shades of pinks and her favorite color...purple! That should garner a small amount of hoopla I am thinking.
(I am hoping it does, at any rate.)
I thought it might turn out to be another new family tradition.
(Although, I am not sure how this will be going over when I am buying boxers for 15 year old grands.)
A Gramma can hope, you know?
For now, I am looking forward with eager anticipation to hear how those first big days go! (and having really cool underwear from your Gramma Cupcake just might be the icing on the cake.)
Okay, probably not, but I want them to all know I am thinking of them on their big day.
I convinced my Rock n' Roll Buddy that we needed a shed last fall, and we placed it strategically in the yard to become a focal point as our backyard landscape is evolving. We painted it to match the house (I love the rich gray and white. So New England looking to me!) Now, I am having fun searching our treasures to foofify up the exterior.
I am still debating on whether I should make a planter bed along the side there, but for this summer, I am happy with my old vintage French table full of pots and such.(What do you think?)
I wish I were a better gardener, but my squeamish nature at the sight of any kind of worm, slug, or snail makes it a little more challenging for me. I go along fine until the sight of one of those little creatures, and I am done for the day.
I am still perfectly content with the neutral color palette as a backdrop for my potted flowers and tablescapes. This works great for adding whatever punch of color I might want to use when entertaining.
I tossed my much loved old crocheted blanket throw on the loveseat for texture and a vintage touch. I got my cutie patootie pillow at Camas Antiques (of course) and the striped gray toss pillow covers are from Ikea. Oodles and toodles of mason jars filled with tea lights add ambiance after dusk.(I like to fill the bottoms of the jars with birdseed, but I am currently out of it!) Pretty welcoming, no?
What are your favorite tips and tricks for cozying up your outdoor spaces at home? I would love to read and be inspired!
Over 10,000 cars on display all over Reno and Sparks, everywhere you looked.
I have experienced Hot August Nights many, many, many times, as I lived in Reno for over two decades, but for my Rock n' Roll buddy, it was a first.
There was more to see than cool old cars. There was live music.
This guy danced like nobody was watching.
I have pretty much decided that very nearly everyone that went to high school in the 60's or 70's is now an old car enthusiast on some level.
It makes sense. We've raised our families, the economy is improving, (slowly, but steadily) we've got the time. and it takes us back to some fond memories of cars we had, or our parents or grandparents had, back in the day. In some cases, the guys that have restored these cars have had them since they were in high school.Such was the case with this guy... he originally bought the car for $20 while in high school.
He took his dad for a test drive in it before he bought it and his dad said, "Honk the horn."
He did, and it was loud.
His dad then said, "Heck, the horn is worth twenty bucks! Buy it!" and the rest was, as they say, history. (Granted, it didn't look like this back then. It was a rust bucket jalopy that needed some TLC and clearly this was just the guy to provide it.)
If I knew then what I know now.
I would have hung on to my midnight blue '71 Superbeetle that I bought on payments through my Mom's credit union for $800 after high school.
Such charming little creatures.
You may know that my affection for chickens is not really new, as I shared here a few years back. I know I am not alone, as raising chickens has become pretty popular these days, even in urban settings.
If you pay attention, you'll see that they all have their own personalities. (Some share better than others, for example.)
We saw chickens and roosters everywhere...they were enjoying the beautiful lush landscape when we stopped at the lookout point...
...and we had fun watching them sunning themselves, poolside. It was even more fun to watch other people watching them cross the road.
According to some folks, the reason for the incredible number of these birds everywhere was due to hurricane Iniki, back in 1992, but other people say the Polynesians brought chickens to Hawaii in the canoe voyages, and they just kept multiplying.
However it is that these fluffy foul arrived, there's definitely no shortage of them anywhere you go on the island.
We also discovered that they develop a fondness for french fries at an early age when we stopped for lunch at Bubba's on our way to the airport.
Say it ain't so.
(Insert huge bewildered sigh here.)
(True confession here, there is a teeny-tiny part of me is incredibly homesick. Do you feel that way at the end of a trip? So sad for it to end, wondering where the time went, and longing for home at the very same moment?)
Okay, back to my story.
We rendezvoused at the baggage claim in Lihue last Wednesday at noon, and while we didn't have any sort of real agenda or schedule for our time on the island, my oldest-dearest-bestest gal-pal since fifth grade and I managed to make the absolute most out of every single second in the tropical paradise that is Kauai.
The sun, and the sand. The pool, and the steam room, the hot tub, the restaurants, and the quaint little towns nearby. We even experienced one real life up-close-and-nearly-personal celeb-siting.
(We saw Pierce Brosnan shopping for produce at the local Big Save grocery. We held back on taking selfies with our cell phones with him in the background, let him have his space, and his strawberries.)
We drank our share of grown up drinks with pineapple wedges adorning the rims, and scarfed down pulled pork sliders, and a gazillion several orders of chili pepper chicken wings (So yummy!) while discussing everything from grand babes to boyfriends, to career choices and challenges.
We laughed. A lot.
Not wanting to waste one precious minute, we woke up early and stayed up late, and spent all most of our time eating and drinking, or talking about when and what we would next be eating and drinking. (Melissa, our favorite poolside Nashville-born-and-raised-waitress, was never more than a nano-second away from filling our food and beverage needs with a smile and an adorable Tennessee drawl.)
We reclined on side by side chaise lounges close enough to the water to jump in and cool off when the sun hot. We debated the pros and cons of mix and match two piece swimsuits,(that seem to neither mix nor match) discussed and debated our assorted weight and exercise challenges,including, but not limited to, what to wear to Zumba.
We talked about our bucket lists, future vacation ideas, recipes, coffee makers, and quite literally, everything in between.
Today we will leave the island, and fly home. Back to daily life, and reality, with our phones full of photos to take us back to this magical escape at a moment's notice.
Truly, the eye candy never disappoints.
There is always inspiration, and mind-boggling creativity that I can only aspire to.
It always makes me want to scurry home and revamp, and rearrange, and fluff, and clean.
And it's just down the hill from my home.
Oh, I am blessed!