Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sweet Spots II

I just love pretty things.  I love green ivy and pretty bowls and glass-top tables, freshly Windexed.

I love birds.  Today, I kid you not, I had one quiet moment, a single one.  Want to know where I was?  The McDonald's drive-thru.  I was waiting in line, and it was raining and yucky and I was irritated for reasons I won't go into here.  And then…well, I heard a bird chirping.  Not singing, but chirping, and he sounded so happy and full of himself.  Yes, even in the McDonald's drive-thru you can transcend!

There is something wrong with this Home Goods chicken.  Looks like he's sticking his tongue out.  I wanted to do that (or worse) a couple of times today.  Maybe that's why I like my Home Goods chicken.

I've taken two decorating classes in my life, and the lady who taught them had crystals hanging in her kitchen window.  They were magical with their little rainbows.  That's what I learned in my decorating class.  Have a few magical crystals and enjoy the rainbows.

Color makes me happy.  I probably wouldn't do well in New York City.

Sweet babies—oldest daughter who is now 22 on the right, and youngest daughter who is now 10+ on the left.  Life goes fast.

My dear friends had this plate made for me the Christmas after my first hardcover novel, Artichoke's Heart, was released.  I cried like a baby when I saw this lovely gift.  I also cried like a baby when I broke the original version of it.  Ever so kindly the same artist made a replacement the following year.  I was told quite firmly NOT to break this one.

Plates, plates, plates.  The other day I saw these gorgeous plastic plates, and for a moment I stood in the store and thought about it.  Yes, I actually considered hanging plastic plates on my wall.  I solemnly swear to draw the line at paper plates, however.

A lantern to light the way.

A painting my hubby bought years before he met me.  Honestly, I love the frame as much as the painting.

A silver brush and mirror that once belonged to my MIL.  You can't see it here, but her monogram is engraved there.  She would polish these, but I like the time-worn look of tarnish.  Okay, I am way too lazy to polish silver.

My grandparents were farmers.  One Christmas my husband surprised me with this painting.  I am amazed every time I look at it.  Such a gift to be able to paint like this!

This glass bowl of fruit came from Home Goods.  I love it.  I don't know why.

Blogs are great, but there is nothing like flipping through those pages again and again.

You are supposed to notice the painting, but perhaps some of you will spot the cobweb.  This creation was purchased at a church art show.  I like to think it was painted by some retired lady who finally fulfilled her dream of becoming an artist.  Guess that's the writer in me.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Office/Workout/Laundry/Play/Music Room

Our old house did not have a basement.  It had a creepy, spidery, cob-webby, floody, icky cellar.  I miss a LOT of things about my old house.  I do not miss the cellar.

When we purchased our new-to-us house, we asked the seller to finish the basement.  The budget was tight, as there were lots of wants on our wish list, but I'm pretty happy with what we ended up with, at least for the most part.  And, best of all, my girls have a place to hang.

We painted the walls banana cream because this typically chilly space needed warmth and light.  Though we do have small windows, it still gets a tad dark in here.  The cheerful paint scared the contractors, but in the end they actually liked it, too.  Everything you see is something we already had, leftovers from our old house, flea market finds, rehabbed furniture, hand-me-downs, etc.  The floors look like real wood, but they're actually laminate.  We ruled out carpet because of the dogs.

I just refinished that coffee table.  It used to be scratched and water-marked and yucky dark brown.  Inspired by so many bloggers, I redid it with ASCP.  I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

This bookshelf was a cast-off from my hubby's office.  We have so many books!

These chairs were purchased on the cheap at a flea market.  Several years ago I had them recovered.

The sofa is slip-covered, and while I love the theory that you can "simply" rip off the covers and wash them, I find that this is more time-consuming and not as "simple" as magazines suggest.  Frankly, it's a pain in the neck.

Love the needle point pillow.  The table was a hand-me-down from my MIL when she down-sized several years ago.

This tulip lamp is one of my favorites.  I found it at Home Goods quite a while ago.  The original shade wasn't nice enough, so I replaced it and bought a pretty finial.

The little white table came from an antique store.  It reminded me of the furniture in my childhood bedroom.

We had tons of family photos in our old house, but no real place for them here.  This long, empty passageway seemed like no-man's land at first, so I turned it into a gallery—sort of.

One of my favorite finds when I was decorating was this horse picture.  All three of my girls ride, and I knew they'd love it.  It was yet another very inexpensive Home Goods find.  My two youngest daughters made the flag paintings over the TV.

This tattered hand-me-down rug brightens the space and doesn't show dirt!

The basement is also where the American Girl dolls do their primping.

In my perfect world, we would have a massive bookcase on this wall to store things like this.

The basement is also where I work out when it's too yucky to run outdoors.  I purchased this Stair Master years ago.  It's a nice set-up and out of the way, thankfully.  Workout equipment just isn't pretty in my opinion.

One of my best girlfriends gave me this plaque years ago.  It inspires my workout:-)

Just to keep it real, there is usually a major pile of laundry heaped on the floor.

I love bulletin boards.  I also like the fact that I can see these pictures while I work out or attempt to tackle the dirty clothes pile. 

My girls love to make things.  This table was in the breakfast room at our old house, but since this house doesn't have that kind of space, we set it up here as a place to draw or paint. The ledge above the table is perfect for all those treasures my girls make at school or art camp.

The space is not perfect by any means, and if my budget were limitless (it is not), I would create something much sleeker and cleaner and maybe more sophisticated.  Still, though, I like that it's cozy down under and bright and cheerful, too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Little Changes = Big Happy

Okay, that title doesn't even make sense, but whatever.  I have piles of laundry still to do, and the kids aren't in bed yet.  I'm determined to do a post, though, and catch up on all my blogger buddies.  Even when I'm not posting or visiting, I am still thinking about y'all.  More on that in a minute.

A few weeks ago, I made a some small purchases, but these rather simple things made me happy.  In fact, they are still making me happy.

Pansies on the porch make me happy.  Given the heat we've been having, they may not last long, but I am enjoying these while I can.

The daffodils on the north side of the house are still in full bloom.  OH, you little happy flower!

See this cute, little Frenchie guy?  He was $5.00 at the local antique store.  Looks perfect in my kitchen window.  Yep, happy!

And look at my little bird!  Isn't he sweet…er…happy?  He was under $5.00 from Tuesday Morning.  He's moved a few times.

Here's a closer look.

Finally, I totally copied Kim at Savvy Southern Style with these canisters.  I love her kitchen, and I'll admit I've studied her decor more times than I can count.  Anyway, when I inquired as to where she got her canisters, she was kind enough to tell me.  These came from the Container Store, to the tune of $12.00 (each) or so.  It's so much easier to bake with the sugar and flour in plain view.

The little vase you see was around $3.00 or so.

Hope all of you are having a happy week!  I want to say thanks for taking the time to comment or follow me or just stop by.  I had no idea what this blogging thing would be like.  I was worried it would take up too much time or become a pain or no one would like my house or taste.  Something nudged me forward, however, and I promised myself this would be FFO, For Fun Only.  And it has been fun, thanks to all you kind, thoughtful, TALENTED, people.  Please know that I am truly grateful for your company and friendship here.  xoxoxo

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Whirlwind

It was a whirlwind, but such a good one.  We started spring break by packing up and heading to North Carolina, specifically, the Outer Banks.  Now I won't lie and tell you it was the perfect vacation, although in many was it really was.  The weather was so-so, chilly, windy, and sporadically sunny at best.  We did get two decent beach days, though.  Really, I was going just to relax, rain or shine, warm or chilly, and spend time with the family (sans oldest daughter who had to work). And we did just that!  Plus, I got to read and watch movies and exercise every day.  Heaven!

We always stay at Corolla Light (sounds like a beer, I know).  It's very family friendly, and my girls can be somewhat independent, biking for ice cream or shopping without mom and dad hovering like the helicopter parents we are.  The other great thing about an OBX spring break beach trip is that the condo prices are so much cheaper than they are in the summertime!

The sisters had time to reconnect, too.

Family lunch.  Yay!  No packing up school/work lunches for an entire week.

The trip was a blur, over in a flash.  But I can honestly say I rested, something I rarely do.

We arrived back home the Saturday before Easter.  Lots to do for the holiday.  This was the view from my bedroom window on Easter morning.  Breathtaking, and because I was still in relaxation mode, I actually stopped to soak it in.

The decorations were up before we left, obviously.  And I went grocery shopping as soon as the car was unpacked.

These cute eggs were from Michael's.

We have a tradition in our family.  The Easter Bunny leaves a trail of jelly beans from the girls' bedroom doors to the living room, where the filled baskets await.  The girls gather them up on their way down.  And, yes, they eat them, dust bunnies, dog hair, and all.  

A few more decorations, also from Michael's.

Still sleepy:-)

Who doesn't love a crazy girl in sponge rollers?

Off to church, of course.

Then it was time for the egg hunt.  Ninety-eight eggs filled with junk.

The girls found ninety of the eggs.  The rest will be shredded by the lawn mower, I suppose.

Just what we needed—more food.

Now it's back to reality, and y'all know what that means—laundry, cleaning, more grocery shopping, work, bills, etc.  Such great memories, however.  I hope every single one of you had a blessed holiday.
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