Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Birds Are Back!

Spray paint!
Oh, how I've missed you!
The weather has turned a corner, and I've been a spray painting fool!
Here is a super quick project that I got accomplished this week.

I spray painted some chipped (damaged) birds that I got at GW a bright, cheery shade of aqua.
...spray painted a nasty GOLD (ugh) candlestick that I got at GW




What to use as a nest???
You all know I'm a curb picker... a few years ago, I grabbed two hanging baskets off the curb.  I removed the chains, added white twinkle lights and threw them out in my garden. 


I thought these would be perfect, so
I removed the lights, layered one with leftover burlap.
Added Spanish moss.
The birds flew in.
Closed the two baskets with garbage ties.
...yes, garbage ties.



It is sitting next to our back entry.
Love the pop of color!


A quick easy project.
...okay, really I just wanted to show you that I was FINALLY able to spray paint again!
Happy Spring!

Excuse the mess on the porch.  It hasn't been warm enough to power wash yet!
...just wait--- the word from my secret source (the weatherman) indicates we might reach 70 degrees this week.
Oh, happy day!

Thanks to all of you that have joined my Facebook site for my event planning company!
Pink Cricket Events!  As soon as I hit 100 fans, I'm going to have a giveaway over there on the FB site!

Linking up with Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for SNS!
and with Susan at BNOTP for Met Monday!
Also at Cindy at Cottage Instincts for her fabulous Make It For Monday party!
And with Kimba at A Soft Place To Land for DIY Day!
~Amy

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hello Again!

It's so nice to be back in the blog world!
I've cut my tax season short because my mom had a knee replacement surgery.
All is well, and she is up and walking around.


I've been trying to keep up with you all.
Your blogs kept me going through a rough tax season!


I don't have a whole lot to report since I've last posted...
but here's a recap...


The snow has melted!
I handed my Hubs and son over to the golf course.
No, really.
I drove them out there, walked them in...
I told the owners... "Here they are, I don't want them back for a few months."
You would've done the same if you had boys swinging golf clubs IN THE HOUSE for the past few months.
The owner of the golf course is also a City Council member in our town.
She and I laughed over what a great headline it would be...
"Local woman turns over husband and son to the golf course".....
I know!
... its not a bad idea.
Monkey (yes, he a lefty) teeing off at the driving range yesterday.


I POURED over the new Flea Market Style magazine.
WOW!


I did a little thrifting.
(Thanks to Goodwill for being open late!)


Monkey started reading.
Hooray, but sniffles.
Will he still want to sit on my lap to read a book?


AND--- this is a big one....
... my hair is long enough for a ponytail again.
SWEET!!!

Okay- and one more little, tiny, thing....
After many years of throwing parties and planning events for myself and others--- my friends and family finally convinced me that it was time to turn it into an actual business.
I'm S.C.A.R.E.D!
Anyhoo... I started a website (read: blog). 
I made a page for it on facebook... if you are into facebook, would you be a 'fan'?
Geesh, I can't believe I'm asking... its just that... well- I haven't asked any of my 'real life' friends yet...
and wouldn't it be lovely if I already had some fans to start with before they saw it?  My friends would say, "Wow, who are all these people?".  And I would say, "They're my blog friends, silly."............

Go HERE to check out the facebook page.
Okay... I'm going to hit 'publish' now. 
Holding breath....

~Amy

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Do Taxes. AUGH!

Hello!
Sorry I haven't been out there stalking you...
I do taxes for a living.
STOP!
No reason to be jealous. 


A pic from the garden last summer.


Anyhoo...
a few of you have sent me messages
asking if I'm still out here.
I am.
Well, I'm not here.
I'm stuck behind a desk.

I've been saying this is my last year to do taxes.
...for the past 3 years.

I have nothing to share...
I've accomplished nothing in my house...
unless you can count one load of laundry and...
nope, thats it. 
Nothing else has been done by me.
Thank goodness for Hubs.
He fed me and put me in bed tonight.
For real.
Told me I looked tired.
Polite way of telling me I look like pooh.
Hmm...
It was nice to be tucked in.


























I'll leave you with
the most important tax advice I can give you...

ALWAYS sit down and talk to your tax specialist.

You would be amazed at all the deductions/credits, etc. people are missing
out on.  Shame on all the tax preparers that sit behind a closed door.
They are doing a huge disservice to their clients.

I'll be back in blogland soon.
Miss you,
~Amy





Saturday, January 23, 2010

Supermarket Chic!

Hubs used to buy me flowers in the beginning of our relationship.
...then we went almost 2 years without flowers.
Hmmm...

He overheard me telling a girlfriend that I don't waste money on flowers...
because I cut them out of my gardens.
...IN THE SUMMER!
Hubs got it, and now comes home frequently with little bouquets from the supermarket.

Now, I have nothing against big, formal arrangements.
I love them.
I do.
However, I love to have fresh flowers all over my house.
Most spaces in my very informal house would look a little strange with elaborate arrangements.

When I got home from the tax office today...
there were two, sweet little supermarket bouquets waiting for me!
Thanks Hubs.

I love to arrange them in glass vessels...
but sometimes...
I like to use things out of the ordinary.

In my pretend life, when I'm not being a RockStar...
I own a flower shop.
... I wish!

What was the grocery store selling today?
Mini- carnations.
Oh STOP!
Quit being a flower snob!
Carnations last forever, and smell lovely.
So, knock it off.
Quit giving them a bad rap!

 I cut them, divided them...
...and I present...
Supermarket Chic (or cheesy)















Start with two $4.00 bouquets...





















Add them to a glass dish with shells.
(This will go in the Master bedroom.)





I use baby food jars ALL the time!




A closer view of the flowers.



Sitting in Monkey's first pair of Chuck's.
...on top of the dryer.
Adds a smile to my face when doing such a dastardly chore!
(again in a baby food jar)




Found an old flour sifter at a garage sale.
Free box!
It normally sits outside and holds flowers in the summer.
Line the sifter with a zip-lock, add water and flowers!
This is now sitting in the bathroom.
Love the crusty, rusty against the silver and white!




Two little baskets that hang on a side of a cabinet in the kitchen.
25 cents for both baskets... oh, how they need spray paint!
Line the basket with a zip-lock bag, and add water and flowers!






















Look what was harvested at the farm today!
This will go up to Monkey's room. 
Will he give a hoot if there are flowers in his room?
No.
But, I'll enjoy them!

And there you have it!

Do you ever buy flowers from the supermarket???

~Amy

Linking up with Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special.
Get your fannies over there and join in her 1000 Followers Extravaganza!

Also with Susan at Between Naps on The Porch for Met Monday
Fabulous projects over there!

And with Cheri at Its So Very Cheri for Its so  very creative party!

And Kimba at A Soft Place To Land for DIY Day!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tree Hugger

I'm not a tree hugger.
But I do hug trees.
I love them.
I could ramble on and on about all the benefits from trees...
but you already know all of those things.


Why do I get so attached to trees?


Its the strangest thing.
My parents say it started when I was little.


I begged my dad to plant apple trees...
which he did, because he is a gardner and lover of trees and plants.
I also got a cherry tree.  She was a beauty. 
Unfortunately, she had a date with a lightning bolt.




My two apple trees.
This fall I'll share with you all of the wonderful items we bake!



Monkey with his Grandpa.
Standing in front of the tree that was planted when he was born.
We take a picture every year...
Can't wait to see how big Monkey and the tree are this summer!

I have two trees on my property that I am seriously attached too.
One, is an evergreen that sits outside of our large dining room window.
Two cardinals live in the tree all year round.
When Monkey was a baby, we sat his bassinet in front of the window...
I am telling you-- the cardinals would sit in the tree and look in on him.
Really.

The second tree I'm attached to lives in our backyard. 
She is huge.
And a great beauty.
I find comfort and peace when I look at her.
She provides shade for our whole yard...
...but she doesn't shade the garden.
How does she know that I don't want shade in the garden?
I have been watching this tree for the past 9 years...
...she has doubled in size....reaching way into the sky.
She is a home for bats (don't be afraid), several birds, and several squirrel families.
I need to stop going on about her...
I will take pictures of these two trees when the weather is nicer...
...and properly introduce you to the two ladies.



See how she doesn't shade the garden?


I've said good-bye to my fair share of trees, and I am always upset about having to do so.
We lost a tree on our property a year and a half ago when a little tornado ripped down our street.
All houses were spared.  Only trees were lost.  Isn't that amazing?
I was thankful for the houses being spared, but of course, sad about the trees.

My parents lost a tree yesterday in the ice storm. 
A beautiful tree in their front yard. 
A tree that was planted 13 years ago to replace another tree that didn't survive a storm.
(yes, we have real weather in Iowa) 


Their tree split right down the middle and them peeled off in 4 parts.
Monkey found out, and he cried. 
He was bound and determined that he, Daddy and his Grandpa could save it.
He got the glue and tape and his hammer out. 


Sweet boy.
I was so pleased...
... not that he was upset.  (Don't send me any hate mail)
But that he felt a deep connection with a tree and nature.

~Amy

PS - It is a day about trees.  On the children's tv show, "Big, Big World"  they discussed the importance of trees.
And the beautiful and hilarious, Annie at The House That Jade Built, discussed her new found love of trees today.  Go check it out!

Also, one of my dearest friends, Shannon, (since we were babies) is saving trees in Charlotte, NC.  If you're in the area, check this out. 
Wonder if our love of trees is from all the hours we spent climbing trees when we were little???

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Please... I'm Craving Cute Shoes!

We are getting hit.
Everything is covered...



in ICE!
Clearly, Mother Nature is still ticked off.
Sigh...



I won't complain...
I won't.
But I just would like to send a message along to Mother Nature...
plead to her...Woman to Woman.

I WANT TO WEAR CUTE SHOES AGAIN!



NO, not these...
Yes, they have kept my toes warm...
They were stylish a few months ago...
they were.
Now they are beaten down.
They are tired.
They want to take a rest.

I have these cute little things...
just sitting in the closet...
















Chocolate and Turquoise peep-toe....
Actually, it's only fair to tell you that we are in a fight.
Last time we went on a date...
I slipped them off my feet, reached into my purse...
and pulled out turquoise beaded flip flops...

These little babies took great offense.

I tried to explain that while, yes... they are super cute-
I was standing... for hours...at a party...on concrete...at a slight slant...
KILLER
(Not to mention it was my 15th Year Class Reunion)
UGH

Anyway...
You see, Mother Nature, I need to make up with my little pretties.
Even if it is a quick run to the grocery store...
I NEED to wear these shoes.
And all the other little pretties sitting in the closet...
missing their momma.

Please get over your tantrum quickly.

~Amy

I'm joining Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Frugal Laundry Tip!

A quick laundry tip...
At one of my 'Mommy Groups'...
We learned how to make homemade cleaning products.
Truth be told, I only enjoyed one of them.

Homemade dryer sheets.

You need:
water
liquid fabric softner
sponge
container



















You take 1 part fabric softner to 2 parts water
I make batches of:
1 Cup of fabric softner
2 Cups of water

Pour mixture into container. 
Shake to mix.
Cut up a new, clean sponge and drop them in.



I use a Vintage Tupperware Pic-a-deli to store it.




















Take the sponge out of the liquid and throw into the dryer!
Sqeeze excess out.


























This is how the sponge will look when it comes out of the dryer.
The mixture lasted about 4 months for our family.  (7-10 loads a week)
And for larger loads, I throw 2 sponges in the dryer.
So, this is super thrifty!
I will not go back to dryer sheets!

For more wonderful household tips, visit The Thrifty Decor Chick for her

Update-
Several of you have sent messages with questions:
YES I use this for whites.  NO I've never had any problems with the fabric softner staining the clothing.
My dryer is about 6 years old.
I squeeze the sponge a quick squeeze until it is no longer dripping.
~Amy

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Junk Bar From The Curb!


So- in the popular home catalogs they always show swanky home bars.
Hubs and I don't really have the need for one...
and we definitely don't have the space...
Or do we?



This is the area over by that stupid window that I now love...
It is off of the dining room, at the bottom of our stairs.
It isn't a room, it doesn't belong to a room...
it's just there.
I normally just have a bunch of pictures there...
(someone needs to paint that wall!)

Hubs had a few buddies over for a drink before they attended an event.
I decided to turn the area into a little bar for them.


I grabbed a few things out of the garage and basement...




Mugs, matches in an apothecary jar, liquor (of course)





Golf balls...




Some old jugs that I've thrifted over the years...


The gold/rusted stand is from the curb. 
It normally holds plants during the summer.
The galvanized box is from the curb.
The big picture is of my Hubs, his best friend, and my Dad...
...golfing in their tuxes...
The day of our wedding reception.
I love our photographer!


Hubs thought it was pretty cool. 
I loved it because it kept the idiots out of my kitchen! 
I am thinking about a girls night...
... change this and SASS it up!


Cheers!
~Amy

Linking up to:
Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for her wonderful Met Monday!
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special!
Cindy at Cottage Instincts for Make It For Monday!
Cheri at It's So Very Cheri for It's So Very Creative!
Barb at Grits and Glamour for Tabletop Tuesday!
Kimm at Reinvented for Trash to Treasure Tuesday!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake???

Have you ever encountered those moments where you stop and think-
Holy Cow!  I'm a parent.
???
I remember the first time we took Monkey out to Trick-or-Treat.
I felt like I was out of my body looking down on us...
It really hit me that I was 'the mom' now.
Yikes.

Over the past 4 years, there have been other 'I'm the mom now' moments...
and I just encountered one of them.

Monkey had his very first birthday party that included his little friends.
Until now, its just been family.
Oh...
we were so excited.
He debated over his cake...
Batman?  Spiderman? 
Decisions, decisions.
Here is what he ended up with...




Didn't I do a good job?
...ordering the cake from our local bakery, that is.
I was a little concerned about the gray/silver icing.
It reminded me of the 'Steel Magnolia's'...
the armadillo groom's cake...
Anyway-

So the party was in full force.
Kids were running around, having a grand time.
Presents were opened.
It was time for the cake.
Took the picture of Monkey with his cake, lit the candle, sang the song...

Time to cut the cake.
No big deal.
Cut the cake.
Put a piece of cake on the plate.
Put some ice cream on the plate.
Put a spoon on the plate.
Give to kiddo.

Right.  Not so easy.
Turns out, I have no clue how to cut a cake. 
Um... my mom has always done it.
And Monkey has had cupcakes at his previous birthday parties...
But here I was...
it was my show now.

Oh, how I failed.
Some pieces were big, some were small...
What a mess.
Another mistake---
I gave the kids choices....
chocolate or white cake?
strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla ice cream?
STUPID.
From now on, its white cake/vanilla ice cream.

Oh the pressure.
The kids were crowding around me, tugging on my shirt
there were other moms there (probably laughing at me)
My mom and dad were there... NOT helping
Poor Hubs was scooping the ice cream, and trying to keep me calm.

Fortunately, the kids loved the cake
everyone survived...

Party number two was rolling around... the one for family.
This time, we just got a simple little cake from the bakery.

Several family members ended up sick, party postponed.



Now what to do with the cake???
I sat and looked at this stupid cake.
I probably even swore at it.
Know what I did???
I cut it up.
Yes I did.
I cut it up.


Even without the pressure, I still couldn't get the pieces to end up in equal sizes...
AUGH!
Oh well, we ate it anyway.


We finally got to have the family birthday party last weekend...
what to know how the cake turned out?
Forget it, we went to the local pizza parlor!

On a sidenote--- I was so frazzled after the cake incident at the friends party,
that I forgot to hand out the goody bags.
Real nice.

Note to self-
Cupcakes for Monkey's Birthday party next year.

~Amy


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just a test post

Test post.  And a picture of a bee going in on one of my dahlias. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vanilla With Red Sprinkles!

So you know that Hubs painted for me...
a nice, lovely shade of...
vanilla!

I know!
I know...
But here is the thing-
I've been doing some decorative soul searching
I checked books out of the library
I poured through magazines
I stalked your blogs


It finally dawned on me.
I LOVE color.
I do.
I am easily seduced by it
HOWEVER-
and this is a big one---
I get bored easily.


I like to change things...
OFTEN
So, when I'm seduced by a color and paint it on a wall...
I get stuck.
I will love it
...for awhile
then, when I get bored and want to change things around...
I can't
It won't flow with my wall color.


I was so proud of myself for coming to this conclusion
until
my mom spelled it out for me...
As I was getting ready to tell HER...
SHE told me
"Amy, you should paint your walls a light neutral.  You have all your pretty things that you like to put out and change all the time."
Um....


Of course Mother knows best...
Gosh Mom...
Why didn't you tell me this before?
(how about 4 wall colors ago)


Wonder when she's going to tell me what I should be when I grow up?

So, the last time I painted,
I went with a light blue...
loved the whole blue/brown look...

Today, I'm feeling RED
Perhaps in honor of Valentines Day.
Give me a month, and I'll be bored again...
But for now-
I'm going with this---


Do you see Hub's Vintage golf clubs?
Homemade apothecary jar with buttons.


The whole vignette.
Forgive the magnetic letters.
Monkey is learning how to spell and when he discovered
this metal box was magnetic, he took it over!


Oh look, I made something!


The blue was lovely for the first two months...


Same spot- I brought out my crusty window. 
I forgot how much I love this window!


My little red and white chippy chair from when I was younger.
And the picture hanging is Monkey
 when he was about 5 weeks old. 

So... there it is.
My new, vanilla walls with red sprinkles.
This girl couldn't be happier!

I'm linking up to Funky Junk Donna's Saturday Nite Special over at Funky Junk Interiors!

And to Susan at Between Naps on The Porch for Met Monday!

Also, to Cindy at Cottage Instincts for Make It Monday!

And to Barb at Grits and Glamour for her first Tabletop Tuesday!

Also to Kimba at A Soft Place To Land for DIY Day!

~Amy

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

She Must Be Stopped

Oh, she is a beauty.
Mother Nature, that is...



(Taken in my backyard tonight)


But, she sure is wicked.
Somebody (probably a man) has really ticked her off.
I sure hope he apologizes soon...

~Amy

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog

I am a football fan.
HUGE football fan.
I even understand the game.
I do.
I could give a tutorial on football...
Important things all women should know about football.
Don't worry, I won't.
 Oh, but wait-
You should know this...
The cute guy on the team is usually the quarterback.
No, really.
It's like a pre-requisite or something.
Must. Be. Cute. To. Be. The. Quarterback.


Elway, Marino, Brady, Farve, Montana
See---
Told you so.


Anyway, love football.
And REALLY love Iowa Hawkeye Football.
So tonight my dear bloggy friends I will be away.
My Hawkeyes are playing in the Orange Bowl.
Can I get a, "Go Hawkeyes"???



Monkey in Aug. '09
Patiently waiting for football season!

Really, don't be sad that I'm gone tonight.
You wouldn't want to be around me.
I yell.
I kick.
I have been known to throw stuff. 
Our poor doggies hide when we watch the games at home. 
They do.
They run upstairs and hide in the closets.

I think Monkey's first words might have had something to do with the Hawkeyes...
I won't repeat them.
They aren't nice.
And would definitely get us a phone call from his teacher if he ever said them at Preschool!
It's not his fault.

Monkey 8 Months Old

So you see, you don't want me around tonight.
Unless, you are an Iowa Hawkeye fan...
In that case---


See you tomorrow.
Wish my Iowa Hawkeyes luck.
Unless you are a Georgia Tech fan...
in that case, YOU are the enemy today. 


~Amy

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hubby's Gift

It worked!



Pictures soon!
~Amy

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Gave Hubby A Gift

I gave my hunky, hubbalish a present.
Hope he likes it!





~Amy