When a Small Gift Returns

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July.

I hung my flag outside of our home the first thing in the morning.

So fortunate to be born and live in the USA.

Sometimes we forget!

Just a quiet 4th for us, no invites, no guests.

I did decorate a bit, it is just something I like to do!

Last week when shopping with my sister, we found a cute dog bandana filled with stars and stripes.

We immediately thought of our favorite dog, “Denali”, belonging to my niece, my sister’s daughter.

I wrapped it up and mailed it to him for his 4th of July apparel.

In the afternoon, during our uneventful 4th, my phone beeped.  It was a video of our favorite dog prancing around, modeling his new scarf.  Soooo cute!

Oh my gosh, what a really simple sweet moment!

Me and my husband watched the video over and over, laughing at it each time.  It made our day special.

The video was our gift of thoughtfulness returning!

Do something simple and sweet for someone you love and watch it come back.

Love to all!

 

 

Let’s stay home!

Once the weather turns warm and wonderful, our yard and back porch become an extension of our living space.  We spend much of our time outdoors including having meals.  Even when it is hot you can find us sitting under one of our large shade trees, one or both of us usually napping.

Staying home is just part of our lives now.  My husband just cannot go and do so much anymore, his difficulty walking and low energy level just does not allow it.

Since this is how our lives must be it is important for me to make a fun, colorful space, that we love and enjoy!

A happy place!

Thanks to a Walmart gift card I have tucked away since Christmas, I was able to purchase a couple of inexpensive items from a Better Homes and Garden galvanized line, especially designed for easy outdoor dining.

A beverage server for only $12.48, and a tiered server only $17.88.  I also found some very reasonably priced outdoor dishes ranging from $.98 to $2.48.

Beautiful, bright colors.

The tiered server saves me many steps in and out of the house, I keep it stocked and close to the back door for use anytime.  You can find the beverage server filled with lemonade for us to enjoy throughout many hot afternoons.

Summertime, bright and beautiful long days, warm, just so happy!

Kick back, relax!

Warm loving thoughts for all of you this weekend.

Filling My $2 Basket

Every morning before the sun is too hot I have been working in my yard, potting, planting, weeding, just enjoying the alone time.

So much yet to do, but no complaining.  My home is my happy place, my place just “to be”!

I found this twiggy basket at the thrift store and immediately knew what it could “be”!

The $2 tag was hard to pass up.

I lined the inside with an inexpensive foil pan, poked holes in the bottom for drainage, and filled it with garden soil, geraniums, and vinca vines.

To finish up I added more soil to cover the foil pan.

The thick twig handle is what I noticed first and sold me on this basket.

The pink and white geraniums are so beautiful and I knew that this basket would be just a lovely welcome on my tiny front porch. On my trips to visit my brother in New York City, I loved all the small shops that sold flowers, the ones that lined the fronts of their stores with pots and baskets of plants and flowers.  No doubt my $2 basket could be displayed perfectly in front of any lovely, sweet, flower shop.

New York, NY: flower shop

Have a lovely Friday, hope you “fill” your day with joy and love!

 

Creating a Recipe Binder

Last week my dear husband ask me to make his favorite chicken recipe.

As it turned out, it took me longer to find the recipe than to make it!

My recipes are here, there, and everywhere!  Enough!

It is simply crazy that at my age my recipes are not organized, so I decided to put together a recipe binder to end the chaos.

I chose some colorful binders that provide a clear front insert area for a cover page.

Making one for myself, and a couple extras as gifts.

Pinterest helped to make this a really simple and fun project with all the free printables offered by so many talented people.

I decided on these clean, classic, black and white binder printables.

I love the font used and the extra sweet comment under each category page heading.  There are eleven category pages.

After I printed out the pages on white card stock paper, I inserted each one into sheet protectors and all my recipes as well.

Using sheet protectors allows recipes to be kept clean during preparation. Simply wipe off any spills or finger prints and put pages back into the binder for next time.

Click here to download your FREE recipe binder printables!

Offered by Lauren McKinsey (http://laurenmckinsey.com/).

Thank you Lauren!

Just a quick way to get organized and so very easy to put together.

Christmas might be lean this year so making a few extra binders would be a gift most folks would love to receive.

Oh, my husband’s favorite chicken recipe, Santa Fe Baked Chicken, yummy!

Grateful for all of you every single day!

Note Cards For Moms

Yesterday was a beautiful Mother’s Day, I was so blessed to be able to spend most of my day with my son.

My son is my special gift from God, the one thing in my crazy up and down life that I got right.  He is special, a good and decent human being, and oh I love him so.  Jim is so very good to me, unconditional love.

Since my mother has gone to be with the Lord, my sister plays a huge part in my life.  I was thankful to be able to spend some time with her as well on this beautiful day.

Also received Mother’s Day wishes, with love, from my nieces, and to end my wonderful day, a call from my sweet brother.

Every Mother’s Day I try to reach out to friends to let them know they are appreciated, especially single moms, what an unbelievably difficult job they have!

Many times I have mentioned my lack of extra money, so I try to make simple gifts, costing very little, whenever I can.

This year I decided on note cards with a personal touch.

My cards were made from photos I have taken over the years.  Photos from vacations, family gatherings, special visits, or celebrations.

The cards were so very easy to make.  Simply select the photos you like, tweak if necessary, lightening them up or cropping, and print out on white card stock.

I cut them down to a 4 x 6 note card size and folded.  Purchased envelopes, and finished up by tying with ribbon or twine.

The note cards were just so fun to make.  Looking through all the photos I have saved over the years gave me endless ideas. A personal gift for so many occasions, for so many people in my life.

What fun around the Christmas season tied up in a bright red ribbon!

Maybe I am old-fashioned, but in this tech world we have lost something by not actually writing and sending letters and notes.  Love going to the mailbox and finding a card or a note from folks in my life.  Too busy, everyone is just too busy!

I love when a gift comes back, I just received a warm call from one of those single moms who received her cards, a former co-worker.  She loved them!

Hope your Mother’s Day was as special as mine, filled with love.

 

Repurposed Plant Stands

I’m “loving my new simple” passion of repurposing discarded items.

Breathing new life into old, forgotten objects.

It is amazing how fun and rewarding it can be to turn something someone no longer wanted into an amazing repurposed or the word I really like to use is reloved item.  Yes, there is such a word!

Found these old, dirty, rusted, plant stands at the thrift store for $2 each.  My thought at the time was to use them on my back porch.  They have been stored in my garage for months.

When planning my niece’s bridal shower I was concerned about side tables for drinks during lunch and playing games.  Buying new tables was out of the question, I simply could not afford anything new.  I searched online but any I found, goldtone, were at least $100.  Too much!

I thought of my plant stands in the garage.  Cleaned and sanded both, spray painted with my favorite gold paint, and I was so pleased with the outcome.

The gold paint added a bit of formal to the stands and the hairpin legs are so popular right now on many tables.

To complete the stands, I purchased two clear glass plates which fit perfectly into the top.

When not using as side tables, I will use for my plants in the living room area.

Hope you all have a great weekend, why not find something to relove!

Enjoy everything fun and loving in your life!

 

 

Living With MS – Our Last Dance

My last post highlighted a bridal shower given for my dear niece.  We celebrated the wedding this past week.

How wonderful it was for our family to be together at such a joyful time.

At the reception, music was playing and folks were dancing to all the usual crazy songs, including oldies.  I love to watch everyone dance.  It is obvious you don’t have to be a good dancer, you just get up and dance, do your own thing, and just have fun!

The DJ played a slower song and asked that all couples take to the floor.  As the music started my husband said to me “let’s dance, if you don’t mind me leaning on you a bit”.  So sweet!

He suffers from progressive MS, and he is getting worse as the months and years pass.

Walking is impossible without using a walking stick to steady his balance.

Our marriage has been far from perfect and he has not been the ideal husband, but every single time in my life I needed him, he has been there for me.

During this season of our lives we need one another more than ever.

I can’t see into the future, but with no cure for this disease, I thank God for this special opportunity, and ask Him not to let this be our last dance together.

Cherish special memories and moments in your life, I will cherish my husband leaning on me!

Love to all with a grateful heart.

 

Gold and White Bridal Shower

My spring cleaning had an extra special purpose this year, co-hosting a bridal shower, with my sister, for her granddaughter.

Our sweet bride to be requested the shower be at my home, so I wanted everything special.

Today I am going to share some of the highlights.

I decided on a simple but elegant gold and white theme.

Decorations again were simple, using banners of white with gold glitter dots. So easy to make, using purchased card stock, gold ribbon, and a hole punch.

Once you decide on the size and cut out a template, simply punch holes on each end and run the ribbon through, under and over.

I used the banners everywhere as you entered my home, in the entry, on my dining room hutch, behind the table, our focal point.

Gold and white napkins found at Hobby Lobby were perfect, only embellished with the word “love” in script.

Our cake was simple as well, white on white, with dots.  It was beautiful enough to be used as a wedding cake.

Since our cake was ordered plain with just the dots, we needed a cake topper to complete. I found this elegant gold cake topper on Amazon.  Gold script, “love”.  Perfect!

To bring in a little more gold I spray painted thrift store frames gold, framing photos and favorite sayings.

We served punch, both plain, and spiked with a bit of vodka.  Serving punch was a must for me so that I could use my $3.00 thrift store punch bowl.

Isn’t is gorgeous? Seriously, only $3.00.

Served the punch in my stemless wine glasses along with gold and white straws. Although not shown in this photo, I made a fruit filled ice ring ahead of time which is always a must when serving punch.

We served a light lunch, small sandwiches, turkey, chicken salad, roast beef, and egg salad, also a colorful bowl of cut fruit, veggies and dip.

While we were all enjoying lunch we played a video, a “he said, she said” thing!  We ask our bride questions and played the groom’s answers. It was so cute!  Questions like, favorite song, movie, and what attracted you to each other.

At Christmas gatherings we have been playing a gift pass game, passing gifts when the words left and right are mentioned.  My Sister wrote a sweet story of the bride and groom’s first meeting using the words left and right. Everyone selected a wrapped gift, some large, some small. Guests passed the gifts to the left and to the right, at the end of the story the gift you ended with was yours to keep.  We did allow everyone one chance to steal another guest’s gift before the end.

Other games included, an ongoing Ring Game.  Guest with the most “bling” won!

Who’s Got the Groom.

Using a template of a tuxedo, I added heads of famous people including the groom.  Placed each one in an envelope with a gold glitter heart, opened at the very end of the shower, guest with the groom won!

Big Screen Romances.

Name the movie, the actress, and the actor.  Guest with the most correct answers won a beautiful turquoise bowl for popcorn and of course, popcorn!

The last game was an older one used at many showers over the years, but we wanted to bring something sentimental to our shower so we used our Mother’s apron as a prop.  Mother is with the Lord now, she was such a force of love in all of our lives, including our bride’s.

Filled the apron with many things, had our bride wear the apron walking around the room for a few minutes, guests then had to write down as many items as they could remember.  The guest with the best memory won!

As our quests were leaving we gave favors as a “thank you”, hand soaps from Bath and Body Works, and a cute pack of embellished “tic tacs”, easy to make by printing on adhesive backed paper used to cover the Tic Tac logo.

Our shower was simple, elegant in ways, fun, and so very special for our bride.  When love is involved special things happen, this shower was filled with love for my niece, my sister’s granddaughter.

The wedding is in a couple of days, the family is gathering, it is a wonderful time for all of us.

Love to all today, hope you enjoyed the highlights of this “love” filled shower.

 

Simple Kitchen Message Board

Saturday was another really dreary day, no sun at all!

I need sunshine!

Decided to make my own “sunshine on a cloudy day” by working on a fun “find it, fix it” project.

A simple message board for my small kitchen.

Found this piece at a community church yard sale some time ago, broken, and missing a section, but I saw potential.

By simply adding a fresh coat of chalkboard paint to the top piece, and a new cork piece, most of the project was completed.

There were many options I could have used for the missing piece on the lower area, adding a small shelf, a wire basket, but eventually decided on just adding a smaller piece of wood, painted, with knobs, hooks, and a large wooden paper clip to hold my post it notes.

The folks at my Home Depot cut the piece of wood I needed.  They will make simple straight cuts for you when you purchase wood at their stores, which is so awesome!

So very pleased with the outcome of my “find it, fix it”.

We all need places to pin things, recipes, notes, reminders, and even a sweet photo to spark a bit of joy to our hearts when noticed during our busy days.

Hope you have ways of adding your own “sunshine on a cloudy day”!

Sometimes simple ways of adding “sunshine” are the best.

Have you ever just stopped what you are doing, grabbed a notepad, and begin writing down all the things, at that moment, you have that add “sunshine” to your life.

Try it!

It works!

Love to all.

 

Finding Green!

Cold, rainy, sleet, thunder, and even tiny hail fell today, St. Patrick’s Day.

In my husband’s oatmeal bowl this morning I left him a little something green for a treat.

His grandparents came from County Galway, Ireland, as I wrote about last St. Patrick’s Day.

He is weary, his brother is very ill in a hospital in Arizona. There is much on his mind.

He smiled as he found his surprise, and enjoyed his shamrock cookie with his coffee. The smile was enough right now.

On my weekly visit to our local thrift store, I found a little green myself, a sweet bowl for 25 cents.

Loved the shape and the scalloped edges.  It was marked on the bottom, E. O. Brody Company, Cleveland, Ohio.  Checked listings online and found my little bowl selling for as much as $20.  Just love it, and I will use it every year around St. Patrick’s Day.

Most of us collect or accumulate special treasures during our lives, I have added the little green bowl to mine!

Happy findings today, whether it is enjoying a cookie, or just sharing a smile with someone you love!