Friday, February 28, 2014

thrifting treasures and friday chat

 During my outings the past couple of weeks, I've popped into Goodwill a few
times and came home with not only two pairs of Champion yoga pants
that look brand-new ($3 each!), but a summer top and these things for my home ~

This silver container is very heavy. Has a little sticker on the bottom that says
it's made in India. I filled it with cotton balls and it's in the hallway bath.

I love this bowl. Aren't the colors beautiful? This bowl has a sticker on the
bottom that says Design Guild, made in Thailand. I can't find anything online
like this.  I'd love to know more about this bowl, if anyone has any insight. 
I'm using it as a fruit bowl in my kitchen.

Found this small mirror - cool design, ugly color. Will be easy to spray
paint and make it pretty.

Of course, couldn't resist these cat bookends!

I love this cubed shelf ~ I'm hoping to use it in Tim's room, AKA the the guest
room when I decorate it. You can hang it either this way...

or, this way. I think I'm going to hang it this way because what could you put in
a diagonal cube except small books or CDs? (Which I hardly have anymore of,
anyway. Most of my music is digital.)

This was a brand-new lampshade, still wrapped in its original cellophane, from
Target. I thought I'd try it out on a lamp base in the living room, but nope.
Not right. Darn.

It definitely needs a white lamp base and I'm not sure if I want to paint
this one.

Here's the original lamp shade to that base, which looks much better.

Well, I scheduled that root canal. It'll be next Friday morning. I go between
feeling calm about it, to being very nervous. I hate any dental procedures
and have never had a root canal, so I suppose some of it is the fear of
the unknown. I did go online to read about it and that helped. I'm at the point
where I just want it to be over.

I went for my second acupuncture treatment for my shoulder a couple
of days ago and so far, so good. It has really diminished the pain, but I
still have a ways to go with range of motion. We're hoping just two more
treatments does the trick.

We think we've found a used car for Tim. There's just a few questions that
we had where we're waiting for the answers, then the possible negotiation
begins. Tim recently had two job interviews and we're hoping he gets hired
at one of them since he lost his job last Christmas. He's a full-time college
student but still needs that part-time job for living expenses. We're hoping
and praying this all comes together soon: employment and a car - which he'll
need to get to his job!

Brian got some good news the other day at work. His supervisor is taking an
early retirement and they automatically appointed Brian to take the position
temporarily until they officially hire someone. He was very honored to be
chosen - even if it's just temporary - plus it comes with a 8% increase in salary. 
Will he officially go for this new job? He's not sure. The positives are the salary
increase and that the job is Monday - Friday, 7-3. He has never had a M-F
job. He's always been in the field where he's worked rotating shifts. It's rare
that he has a weekend off. The negatives? He's not sure at this stage of his
life if he wants the responsibility of being a supervisor. Like he said, sometimes
that's nothing more than being a glorified babysitter. But the biggest negative
is that he could easily lose his job as a supervisor. The field he's in (sorry I
can't be more specific - I'd rather keep these things private on social media)
has been consolidating with other towns, making one big department. One 
department only needs one supervisor. Sooo...lots to think and pray about.

Have a good weekend, everyone. I still don't have any good weather news
for you in my neck of the woods. It's been frigidly cold all week again, with 
temperatures in the single digits during the day and below zero at night.
And guess what's coming this weekend? Yep, more of that nasty white stuff.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

new vignettes in the living room ~ and other "fun" stuff

 Do you ever take a good look at some arrangement you've done and think
maybe it looks too cluttered? Maybe it was also because I was looking through
a decorating magazine and saw a feature on a home focusing on minimalism
(that would never be me with decorating, that's for sure). I sometimes have to
remind myself that "less is more". I also wanted to lighten things up a bit for spring.
Even though spring seems like a long way off around here. We're going down
to below zero temps again tonight. Can't even talk about it.

Anyway, first I decided to tackle this area of the living room.
This is the before.

And here's the after. I took out most of the heavy, gold accessories and 
added a couple of white ones. I also removed the brown birds and brown 
candle that was in the narrow basket.

 Made a new vignette on the buffet with clear bottles. There had also been
a wooden bowl filled with books and pine cones on the right, and I changed
that out for a stack of books with a framed mirror and my grandma's clock.

 I added some white accessories to the table in the entryway.

The fun stuff is over. Now I'm off to make a call to an endodontist (need
a root canal), fold laundry, clean cat puke out of the vent (Clementine has
great aim), and research natural ways to get rid of ants (tried the cinnamon
thing I found online earlier - doesn't work). And then tonight, we get to go out
in the bitter cold to a car dealer and look at a couple of used cars for Tim!
Still haven't found one and we are sick and tired of dealing with people we've
found on Craigslist. We've been looking for six weeks and Tim needs a car
ASAP as it looks like he might be getting a new job and needs transportation.
Happy Tuesday.

Friday, February 21, 2014

my happy place

 I love this room. It's my quiet, happy place. This is where I blog,
read and write email, work on scrapbooking or card making,
read, or sometimes watch a little TV in the evening.

I was never a fan of yellow until we had the room painted this color.
With two windows, this room gets a lot of natural light and is so cheery.
Depending on the time of day and how sunny (or cloudy) it is, the wall
color looks different...from soft yellow to a brighter hue.
I know I need curtains - and I do have a couple of pairs from IKEA sitting
in the closet - but I'm not sure if they're the right ones for this room.

I am surrounded by things that make me smile - our family portrait on canvas,
 books, my cat figurine collection, a pretty quilt, and plants.

 It sounds wonderful to have a room of my own, but how this  room came to be
 mine isn't a pretty story. This used to be Phil's bedroom. If he were still alive, would 
he still be living here? Who knows. He'd be 25-1/2 years old now. All that's left of him 
in this room is his memory shelf. Even though I say this is "my" room, we still
call it Phil's room.

Phil obviously left his quiet, gentle, sweet spirit in this room.
Zippo seems to agree.

Do you have a room of your own? Or even just a quiet little niche that
is all yours?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

coffee talk

 I love my cup of coffee first thing in the morning. It's what I go for the minute
I get out of bed. And I'm a bit of a coffee snob. I like to grind my own beans
fresh every morning. And only two certain kinds will do: Either Dunkin' Donuts
or Trader Joes Breakfast Blend. I've also discovered the beauty of making
coffee via the french press. It makes the most delicious, deep-tasting cup of
coffee I've ever had. I was lucky enough to find this personal french press at
 Goodwill last year. Since I'm the only coffee drinker in the house, this single-
serving press is perfect for me.

 When Brenda of Cozy Little House was talking about home coffee bars
a few days ago and is talking about coffee again today on her blog, I thought
I'd jump on the coffee bandwagon. I do have a coffee/tea/hot chocolate bar
in my kitchen, but not on my counter top. There's not enough room. But I
found a wire shelf in my stash of home decor and put it on the counter to
hold my two favorite winter mugs and some creamers.

The beverage bar is across the kitchen on the butler's table. You'll see a larger
french press. I found that one at Goodwill just a couple of weeks ago. It'll
come in handy when I have company. I do have an automatic drip coffee maker,
but like I said, I'm hooked on the french press right now. The coffee tastes
so much better. Once in awhile, I'll have a cup of tea in the afternoon or
evening (I usually just drink water all day after my morning coffee) -
plus Brian's a tea drinker - so I have an assortment of teas in a
vintage glass jar. And if anyone prefers hot chocolate, I have a homemade
mix - as well as peppermint sticks.

Here's the whole look on that side of the kitchen. As usual, I have a photo-
bombing kitty. That's Clementine under the butler's table.

In other non-coffee news, these past couple of days have brought sunshine
and 40+ degree temps. It not only feels wonderful, but it's melting some of 
that snow. However, tonight into tomorrow we're supposed to get a lot of rain
on top of all that melting snow. And you know what the means: flooding! I'm worried
about our basement. Brian's going to work on shoveling the snow away from the
foundation when he gets home from work today.

I had my first acupuncture appointment this morning for my rotator cuff
impingement. I went through a month of physical therapy in December and
it didn't do much good. It felt good during the therapy, but once therapy was
over, the pain and limited movement came right back. I do the prescribed PT
exercises at home every single day, too. Plus yoga class and yoga at home.
I will not get a cortisone shot unless absolutely necessary. I would like to say
never, but you know how that goes...never say never. I'm a natural health person
and have read a lot of information on the dangers and risks of cortisone - not
only to your soft tissues, but the effect it has on your heart. No, thank you. I will
go the natural route first. I've done acupuncture in the past - for my back. And it
helped tremendously. I have to say that just after today's treatment, I'm a little
sore but my range of motion is already much better. I also had a headache when
I went in and she was able to take that away immediately with appropriately-

Monday, February 17, 2014

weekend visits with family and monday business

 Hello, friends ~ how was your weekend? It sure was good to see Tim this past
Friday. We helped him with his taxes, took him grocery shopping and for a haircut,
then went out to dinner at a 50's-style burger place. I also brought him a bunch
of frozen meals. When I cook dinner at home, I package up the leftovers in freezer
bags or containers and then take the whole lot to Tim's place when we visit. He's
not a cook, so he appreciates some good home cooking. I enjoyed seeing some of
the projects Tim's been working on in school, including pinhole photography and 
print-making. He's a really talented artist and photographer ~ can't wait to see where
it all takes him someday.

 On Saturday, I spent the day with my mom. I helped her with some decorating
ideas, then we went to a thrift shop (didn't find anything) and went out to lunch.
Mom has a lovely house and it's decorated so pretty, but she likes when I help
her with organizing and rearranging - my strong suits. Here's one of her
bookcases in the family room. Books and decor scattered willy-nilly and piles
 of paperwork that don't belong in a bookcase.

Here's the after when I was done cleaning out and rearranging...

And I have to show you the dressers that Mom just re-did. They're amazing.
My parents had these dressers forever. I don't remember them ever having any
other furniture in their bedroom. I only have one "before" photo - of the tall dresser.
You can see how beat up it was.

And here's the "after". Isn't it beautiful? Mom has photos of my dad, some of
his favorite books, and his valet box (oops, her dainty teapcup is photobombing)
as a memory grouping on top of this dresser.

Here's the longer dresser. I just can't believe the transformation. They look
like totally different pieces of furniture. 

Showing you some things in Mom's house wouldn't be complete without a
photo of her darling dog, LuLu. Doesn't she look like a stuffed animal?
I swear that pup is smiling.

I know we're all sick of seeing it, hearing about it, and shoveling it, but that
nasty white stuff just started again. We're in for 4-8" and it's going to be
heavy and wet. I always worry about Brian driving home from work in this
weather, especially since he has a long commute. I'm staying home and
getting things done around the house, including making a quinoa salad and
a pot of soup. Happy Monday, everyone.

Friday, February 14, 2014

eternal love

Happy Valentine's Day! Brian got the day off work and we are heading out in a bit
to spend the day with Tim. While Brian helps Tim work on his taxes, I'll head
to Barnes and Noble and get a cup of coffee and browse the books and magazines.
We'll then take Tim grocery shopping (he's without a car ~ we're still helping him 
look for one) and then we'll all go out to dinner at a Thai restaurant. I'm looking
forward to spending my day with two of the people that I love most in this world.

Speaking of love and family, you might recall my post from January 13th where I
announced that I won a giveaway from The Moski Homes blog. I got to pick a
fabric-wrapped wire word from Jane at Planet Joy. I wanted a word to go over the
family photo in my office and asked you all for some suggestions. Thanks for all
who offered their help and lovely thoughts. I ended up choosing the word, "eternal".

Isn't it beautiful?

I haven't hung it on the wall. I just have it propped on top of the picture for now.
Haven't decided if I'm going to leave it this way or hang it a little higher.

Jane also sent me two hanging hearts, which I have hanging from a dresser knob.

Yes, love goes on, even in death. 
Eternal love.
Philip will always be with us.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

lighten up ~ changes in the living room

 I know it's still 36 days until spring (yes, I'm counting) but I was getting kind of
tired of the heavy tabletop look in my entryway. I wanted to change out the dark
tray and bird and the thick, gold candlesticks.

I used the new thrifted basket and a couple of white candle holders
to lighten up the space. Sorry for the grainy photo - it's cloudy today.

 I decided to change the vignette on the buffet in the living room, too, especially
after being inspired by Penny's miniature book cloche...

Here's my buffet will notice I had pine cones and brown decorative
balls under the cloche.

 And here's the buffet now with mini books under the cloche. I also traded the
gold clock for a gold and blue bowl, but I think I like the clock better.

Thanks for stopping by ~ it makes my day when you leave such lovely comments!

Monday, February 10, 2014

  It's another frigid day here in the Chicago suburbs: -7F when I woke up.  So when it
 warms up to 31 whopping degrees on Thursday, it will seem positively balmy, right?

 How was your weekend? I ran into a couple of resale shops and also saw the 
movie August: Osage County with a friend. One of my favorite actresses is Meryl
 Streep and she certainly didn't disappoint in this movie. But, talk about a
 rather depressing movie! It'll make your own dysfunctional family seem almost normal. 

I only found a few things on my thrifting adventures this weekend, but that's
OK. The one "big" thing I found - which I will share near the end - was thrilling
enough for me. 

I love this wire basket. The checkout lady even said how pretty it would be with
 glass bottles full of flowers in it. I told her that's exactly what I was planning on 
doing with it. 

Since I love hearts, this wooden Swedish heart caught my eye. I'm not
sure what it says...I ran it through the Google Translate site and part of it 
comes up as "No matter where I am" and "happiness in God". If anyone out
there is familiar with Swedish and can translate this, please let me know.

Another thing I love and collect...nesting dolls. I thought these Santas were
really cute.

I had to dig through bins full of silverware to find all the matching pieces, but
I loved the hammered ends on this silverware. I only have one set of everyday
silverware and seems we are always running out of spoons. I figured I could
use this extra silverware for now, and then someday when Tim gets his own
place, this set could be his. And the entire set was less than $2!

So, here is my big find. Target donates their leftover clearance items to a local
Goodwill store. This table had the original Target sticker of $79.99 on it and a clearance
sticker of $55.98. Goodwill's price was $14.99 but I had a 30% off coupon, plus 
another 5% off for spending $20 in total purchases, so I got this table for $10!

I walked by it a couple of times, trying to decide if I should get it or not. I noticed
a couple of other people eyeballing it too, so I grabbed it before one of them
could make off with it. I wanted to use it somewhere in my living room, but after
playing with it in a few different spots, it just didn't work in there. So I'm going
to use it as a nightstand in the work-in-progress guest room.

Now I must get busy with some things around the house and a quick errand.
I have yoga class tonight so I want to make a pasta dish and salad ahead
of time. Happy Monday - enjoy your day.