Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mama Has Bling Baby!!!!

A while ago now, I was admiring the items at Lynn's shop "The Vintage Nest". She has so many lovely items! I stumbled upon her page for switch plate covers and was in love. Remember, my Prince is a certified cowboy, so my world mainly takes on a more masculine, western, muted tone. Real cowboys don't do bling, well at least not white linens, floral print, glittery, rhinestone goodness kind of bling. You know, the kind I admire in everyone elses blog and homes. It's ok though, small price to pay for the love of your life. So, while I was admiring the pretty ones in Lynn's store, I knew that there was no way Prince was going for any of that here. No sir. Then it struck me, I wonder if she could do some custom ones that would fit in a bit more with our decor and not cause grounds for divorce. Something western with a "touch of bling". Can't hurt to ask right? Well, being the kind, creative, genious she is got right to work and sent me loads of absolutely perfect things to choose from. See, I want to redo my bath that was formerly occupied by the Princess, and as it happens to be the "guest" bathroom, I wanted to make it a bit special.

Mere days later I had an email they were ready and on the way. Now, if I were a good blogger, I would have contained my excitement and taken pix of every delicious step of opening the package. Feast for the eyes I tell you! Pink goodness, adorable tissue with little nests adorning it, and then it just got better. Now, in my defense, I did take some pix to share, so here we go on a tour of my goodies.

Hey, at least I thought of it after the fact. See that yummy pink sticking out! Was such a beautiful presentation!

Not exactly your pro photographer, so this is blurry, but you get the idea anyway. Tucked among my purchases were these, a lovely note from Lynn, a delightful tag, LOVE it. So after I carefully (who are we kidding I had paper flying faster than you can imagine) unwrapped my goodies I found this:

Now folks, I saw the background pictures prior to receiving them. I settled on two that are movie adds as my Prince is also a former stunt man and I thought that would help swing him to my side of this little folly. But no way did I expect anything to look this terrific!

This was my initial special request as the room has a double plate at the door. I want to go with a semi western theme, with silvertone accents in the room. So look at what I got will you?! Genious I say, come on, face it. A outlaw movie with a Marshal badge and a silver boot!

This was the second one I chose as I felt it really went on the same theme with the first one. Same movie kind of deal. Plus Prince worked on the TV show Gunsmoke, so hello, not a stretch for him to like it right? Love the leather circling the photo!

Then because she just gave me too darn many choices, I had to get this too. How clever can you be to use this for adornment on a hat add? My kitchen is in black and white, so may use it there. Or I may be selfish and put it in my home office. LOVE IT!!

So I sigh very contentedly, but then I see the note, and what appears to be more tissue. What the heck? I open the note to see this lovely woman sent me an extra~! Originally I had admired some of the pix she sent of the old time ladies in all their dress glory, hats, jewels etc. I figured Prince wouldn't go for that, better be safe with the cowboy deal and be happy. So Lynn being the kind, generous soul she is sends me Mae West in all her glory as a surprise!!!!!!!

Would you look at the lovely lady sporting BLING!?! Blue rhinestone bling! She is stunning!

Now you tell me, won't any of these be more beautiful than what I have been living with?

Or this?

Thank you Lynn from the bottom of my heart! They are more than I ever imagined possible. Western, cowboy, and yet a touch of bling! Then to receive an extra from you was SO unexpected and I shall cherish it forever! By the way, the Prince is very pleased which is no small compliment, trust me! Thank you for my own special switchplate covers, and I am so happy to have my own bling! I hope to have the bathroom decor finished soon so you can see them in the room.

If you haven't visited Lynn yet, please drop in a view her wonderful shop of vintage treasures at

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thanksgiving is coming

Now that Halloween is over, it seems like the rest of the holiday season comes at me full blast without even knowing what hit me. Thanksgiving for us always involves travel to see the MIL for a fast and furious feast. Gatherings have ranged from around 15 people to upwards of 40 at her home, but every year it is a joy to spend time with those we don't get to see on a routine basis. The menu rarely varies, the traditional foods we know and love-turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, veggie tray, a stray veggie tucked in for good measure. It becomes a family collaberation over the years with one SIL always bringing the turkey, the other handles either potatoes or a delectable ham smothered in honey mustard, her daughter handles the veggie tray, MIL does the gravy, etc. Some years ago I somehow became the designated desert gal, perhaps after a poorly timed comment about store bought pumpkin pie not quite up to par... Anyway, I started slowly at first with just 4 pumpkin pies as we travel the 600 miles usually the night before the big day often arriving in the wee hours of the am. That way I have time for a nap, whip out the pies, and retire to the couch until dinner time.
Somehow over the years, (ok, I know how it happened but I love the Prince in spite of his big, volunteer the wife mouth), the REQUIRED selections have grown. First it was apple pie, then came pecan, with a variety of others over the years. Now I don't mind the apple, heck I make that a couple weeks ahead, freeze it wrapped a million times, then after the journey there it is partly thawed and it can fly in the oven while the pumpkin mixing happens. Nice deal actually. Well, the pecan thru me for a loop as it just flat isn't the same if you make it ahead and reheat it. Not in my book anyway. So, selfish me has to give up another few moments on the couch to add another pie. Last year someone had the nerve to request a cream pie be included. Folks, while that is REALLY my own kind of pie, I have to draw the line somewhere. That requires fresh milk, heating ingredients on a stove, etc, etc, etc. NOT what I want to tackle on a holiday where the nearest grocery store is 90 miles one way on dirt roads. No siree, no way no how. See, we call before we head to the desert, and usually get the standard no we don't need anything. Yeah, right, the milk is usually gone by the time everyone does their things, you know how it goes.
So, this gal is sticking to the standards yet again. It will be 4 pumpkin, 2 apple, and 2 pecan this year. Unless the head count rises as it always does as the days grown near, in which case reality will be double those amounts. MIL's home is VERY small and was built by her father in the early 1920's. She has a rather large kitchen which the children added on to the home around 1970, really went high class in the 80's with the addition of an indoor bathroom. Yeah, you heard me right and the date isn't a misprint. The outhouse still remains and gets frequent use during family gatherings.
Anyway, given the size, we still manage to make it work to get the whole gang indoors for the meal at the same time. Floor space is fair game, chair/couch is a luxury, first come first serve. We rarely go all out to decorate, since no one sits still long enough to do much but eat. I manage to always find some way to spiff things up, usually the table where the food is served, until we run out of room with the variety of foods. I found the ideas below and thought they may spark your interest. I would do most of them if we ever manage a sit down affair for the holiday. Maybe someday...
I love this simple, crafty idea for place cards. How cute would this be? Simple flower pots, a bit of felt, glue and markers. I think the kids would have fun helping with this one.

One word-FABULOUS! Seriously, a napkin folded into a bow! How elegant would this be for any holiday? I am seeing sparkly napkin rings centered in this baby, or simple velvet strips.

I really like this simple centerpiece idea too. Recycle your pumpkin from halloween, a cheap flower bouquet from the grocery store, cut short, stick in the pumpkin. Big bang for little bucks, my favorite kind of deal!

I am always on the look out for new ways to do this. Again, simple, cheap, effective bang for your buck. But hey, don't stop here. Why not use a bird seed mix for variety, or sunflower seeds, or raw popcorn, even colored pasta may be another way? Check out the dried food isle, dried beans come in a million sizes and colors too, or rice, tuck in a few leaves, sky is the limit.

Martha Stewart
My kids have fought over wishbones since they were old enough to know what the heck they were. To avoid the fight in the middle of carving, making gravy, etc., I resorted to sticking the darn things on the knob of my cupboard over the stove. They couldn't go near it, and I didn't have the time to ref a wrestling match. One year in a moment of genious, I said that the wish bone only works the next year. Fast forward to the next year, the silly kids remembered and low and behold the darn thing was still hanging on the cupboard door. So, after they ate, they got to do the wishbone, and we saved the new one for the next year.
Greedy kids they are, this "tradition" grew to include chicken, cornish game hens, any feathered friend that graced the table got added to the mix. The collection grew to two cupboard knobs and often threatened to overtake the kitchen. Yeah, I know, not exactly sanitary hanging poulty bones in the house like a idiot, but hey, saved my sanity! Period. Go figure why now both kids have moved out and I still have wishbones hanging on the cupboard door? I had a fleeting cleaning frenzy once and thru them out, kids didn't speak to me for a month and refused to eat the chicken I cooked unless they could break the wishbone in the middle of my attempt to cook dinner. So, the bones are still there and likely always will. Isn't it crazy how this stuff starts and you keep doing it anyway?
But really, ONLY Martha can come up with an idea like this! See, hoarding chicken bones all these years wasn't such a dumb idea after all now was it? Ok, don't answer that but you gotta admit this is a cute idea. Clean the bones and paint them whatever the color of the day is, wrap some thread or ribbon on the ends to make a loop and slide in the napkin. Now if that isn't a thrifty option folks I don't know what is. Suppose the kids will notice if the wishbones suddenly change colors? Nah, regardless of the age they are in it for the fight, I mean wish! HA! (PS, my ex taught them how to cheat at this so it really is quite a sight to see them both cheating, cracks me up when the center literally falls on the floor and poof, Mom's wish is granted).

Martha Stewart

Another "why didn't I think of that" idea from Martha. Plus, I don't have to ruin my favorite table cloth or the table "pretties" such as leaves. Put down your cloth, lay on the pressed leaves (ya, right, like I have time for that, can you say fake ones from the craft store please) and overlay the table with a sheer cloth or fabric. Great effect with half the mess.

See, holiday meals at MY home are more like a battle ground at times. I did teach table manners, but hey, gotta pick your battles in this world. Even on the best day, a spoon falls out of the gravy, a lump of potatoes is "misplaced" on the table, the dreaded cranberry sauce dives off the fork, crusty bread pieces run amuck. Sounds like we are the Beverly Hill Billies doesn't it? Seriously, I prefer people in my home feel relaxed, welcome, and can eat whatever, however they please. It means I have NO pristine linens to worry about, no anxiety over the dreaded gravy spills, no sweat.

The last two years the drug store Longs had these neat organza table cloths, brownish-bronze shimmery deals. they wanted 20 bucks or some crazy things, but thrifty me snagged them two years running in the clearance isle near Christmas for 99 cents a piece. So yeah, this idea will sneak into my home this fall season. But it could be even more fun for a birthday if you laid the table with some photo copies of the birthday boy/girl and overlay with some sheer fabric. I found some great ones at Joanne's while shopping for the didn't-happen-wedding-event. Use the coupons, shop the clearance racks, I got some seriously cheap deals that would have been over 20 dollars a yard for a mere fraction of that. Or throw in that lovely table confetti with words, shapes etc. New Years will rock with streamers, confetti etc. When dinner is done, just shake off the bits into a bag (if you reuse them) or the trash, or the compost pile with leaves.

So, I hope some of these simple things will inspire you for not only Thanksgiving, but any other event you may need some fast, easy ideas to add a little special touch. May all your days be filled with joy, love, and beautiful things!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pretty things for blogs

You must check out this site for a terrific assortment of goodies for your blog.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Movie suggestions please

OK Blog friends, I am need of your assistance. See, things have been just a tad too stressful around the old homestead these days. Frankly, my mind and body are plain worn out. I am ready for a good old fashion movie marathon. You know what I mean? The kind where you get out of bed only long enough to make fresh coffee, snacks, get more tissue, etc, etc. and just sit and watch movies til your little eyes bug out of your head. My kind of marathon for sure.

Anyway, I belong to Netflix (mostly because it is far cheaper than the late fees my procrastinating soul pays for not returning things on time) and I belong to the three at a time club as I call it. SO, here's the deal, if you could watch ANY three movies, back to back, non stop in one sitting, what would they be? Second, if you could watch any three movies, back to back, non stop that were complete tear jerker, blubbering idot, maybe happy ending all around kind of movies, what would they be?

I have a few favorites that I can and often do watch over, and over, and over again and every darn time I either cry, laugh, or remain otherwise glued to the screen start to finish. VERY few movies can do this for me, but there are a few. While I like movies with a real plot, I tend to get easily distracted and miss the part that is the ultimate key to the whole movie plot moment which leaves me frustrated and throwing the remote. What my overload head needs right now is mindless, gut clenching, thoughtless, emotional, knock your socks off love/hate/live happily ever after kind of movies.

Let me give you some examples:
1. Mask- with Cher and Sam Elliott. Now frankly you can put Sam Elliott in ANYTHING and I will be riveted like a hormonal teenager to the screen. But this one, oh be still my married heart. Prince knows all Sammy would have to do is bat his lashes at me and I'd be all over that man in two seconds flat. Not what your hubby wants to hear from his wife, but hey, he's been warned. Makes it worse when he tells me they worked together many times and he is as nice in person as he is to look at. Pathetic aren't I? Hey, at least I'm honest here. Back to the movie though, I can not watch this EVER, regardless of who I am with that I don't break down into near hysterical tears, not attractive in any form. The story gets me, the characters get me, the whole darn thing gets me each and every time.

2. Pretty Woman-please, must I explain why the mere thought that a lowly prostitute from now where ville can capture the heart of a rich hunk and still have it turn out great? Julia's laugh, rubbing the saleclerks noses into their own stupid assumtions, pure joy. I laugh, I cry, I sigh.

3. Life as a House-forgive me, but movie names, actor names, all far too much trivia for my little blonde brain, but another that gets me every single time. A broken family comes together for the good of the seriously messed up son, much laughter, many tears, and a ending that is both tragic and satisfying.

4. August Rush-a new must have to my list I admit. I own VERY few movies, in fact I only purchased ones that either I had to wait too long to rent, or I must admit we own most Disney and other children's selections. But this one is on my must buy list after seeing a few weeks ago. I let Princess "borrow" it before I saw it which was a huge mistake as they kept it for OVER a month and I literally had to pry it out of her DVD player to get it back. The first day they watched it 5 times in a row, non stop. I thought, great, that means I'll hate it. WRONGO!!!! A rather slow beginning about a boy in a orphanage who is convinced his parents will be there to get him. Slowly you learn that everything in his world is seen and heard in musical terms. He ultimately runs away to try and find his parents and his own perception of his world come to light in musical terms. Along the way he stumbles upon a rather disturbing Robin Williams who in his twisted way steers him along the wrong and right path to musical discovery. The sounds in the movie are awe inspiring, the story is emotionally charged, and I too wanted to watch it again and again.

5. Shall We Dance-this one makes me want to take dance lessons, cry, laugh, and cheer for the good guy every time. The story, the music, and Richard is pretty darn good to look at too!

So, now you see what I like. Tell me blog pals, what are your favorite choices for the days when you just want a good laugh or cry? What movies really get to the heart of your soul? What do you turn to on those days you would just rather not get out of bed?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I hope everyone in blog land will exercise your right to vote today. While your choices are personal to each and everyone of you, the larger issue today is the simple fact that you have the ability to make choices. Our wonderful nation allows each person the right to chose to vote, not to vote, and make selections based on your beliefs, values, and ideas. Many men and women have faithfully served our country for years to protect freedoms just like this one that we often take for granted. Many more men and women are serving this great country now to continue to protect our land that fosters this collaborative spirit of choice.

Please take the time to vote, regardless of your choices. Serve your country in this very important way today. Just vote.