Monday, July 30, 2012


My sister...honestly...if you had asked me up until the age of (oh about) 24...was my nemesis. We really couldn't have been more different growing up...she's a social butterfly...I'm a homebody. She was really good at sports...I played golf. She was always pushing the limits...I was all about rules. Not to mention all of the fights we had...they never ended in my favor..."I was older...should know better."

After our dad died, though...everything changed. Our little family was suddenly even smaller. If we didn't lean on each other...who could we count on? It turns out...Sister and I actually have a lot more in common than we had thought. A lot of that was probably just growing up, though...

I am so happy we decided to not only be sisters...but to be friends. Sister pushes me to be a better person...inspiring me w/ her constant energy chasing around Miss most-adorable 2-year-old niece. 

I'm so happy we put the petty differences of our youth behind us (sorry about that hole in the wall from a flying bottle of nail polish, Mom). Now...instead of fighting...we can enjoy each other's company...doing just about anything! Although...I'm still a homebody...

Thanks for being a great sister, Ashley!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

40th Anniversary Party

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to decorate for a party my friend Jill was having in honor of her parents' 40th wedding anniversary. First off...the venue for the party could not have been prettier. It was held at the Iowa Historical Building on the Cafe Terrace...with downtown Des Moines as the! We decided the theme should incorporate some of the color palette from their wedding (we picked out shades of yellow w/ white and green accents) and that it should feel "country chic."

Now...the way I usually decorate for parties stems from what I have I can transform those items into centerpieces & table-scapes. For this party...I used every mason jar I could get my hand on, in addition to larger glass pieces I have (a cake stand and various vases).

Every table had a sheet of craft paper, plus a combination of vases w/ flowers and mason jars. I filled the jars w/ rice (it was the cheapest thing I could think of) an l.e.d. candle, and a teeny-tiny chalkboard w/ love notes written on it. The jars were also wrapped in add to the country feel. I incorporated yellow into the mix with both flowers and lemons. I will say...I loved the look of the lemons. They were really natural...and added a great pop of color!

Jill and I planned this party for quite a while...from the very start, though...I knew I wanted s'mores as the favor...for people to enjoy after. The hubs and I wrapped grahams, mallows, and chocolate squares...tying them all up w/ twine and a little note card that said "to many s'more years." Awww.... The sign was painted by my friend, Abby, who also made one for the main level of the help point guests in the right direction. 

I had to come up w/ a last minute idea for something guests could sign. Decided on a large piece of foam board (I was lucky to find it in black)...and just had folks use chalk markers to write their names & well-wishes.

I love the banner! It was a great addition of color...and on a large scale. Jill made the numbers (covered in vintage pics of her parents) and they turned out great...gave everyone something to look at while they picked out their tasty desserts.

Just a couple of old friends...

I was so relieved when everything was up to be enjoyed! What a beautiful way to enjoy the party...and all the hard work.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Instagram + PostalPix

For the record...I'd like it to be known that I was on/enjoying Instagram well b/f it became popular. Since it has turned into a picture-taking sensation, however, I've been using it a lot more to transform my pics. While it's fun to have all these visuals on my share w/ many people all over the world...I wanted to be able to have the pictures in real life. Then along came PostalPix. What a wonderful & ingenious thing! All I had to do was download the app on my iPhone, create an account...then pick which pictures I want to have printed. I use my PayPal account...making the whole process seamless. Once I upload the only takes a couple days for the pictures to reach me...yay!

Now...I'm not a big fan of picture frames (plus the shape of the Instagram pics wouldn't really work in them) I came up w/ another way to display all my snapshots. I used baker's twine (suspended between a couple nails) as my base...and then ordered some baby, tiny clothes pins to hold the pics up. The entire process took probably 15 minutes.

I love the finished product! Plus...I can change the pictures out really easily when I get new ones (which I most assuredly will do).

*Our dining room has a little something special now!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On the Cheap

The hubs & I had a b-day celebration for his dad waaaaay back in May. It was just supposed to be a laid-back get-together (b/c our house has been torn apart from projects since late March)...but I couldn't leave the table naked. So...I pulled together a few things I've thrifted recently and a few snippets from our yard.

The table cloth (a vintage sheet) and the crystal cut glasses are all from Salvation Army. I picked up the super-de-duper frog @ a flea...I couldn't resist his wide-open mouth and chippy green paint. Back in the day (when we first got married) I was very into Fiesta...the s&p shakers are remnants from then. I should probably put those dishes back into my regular rotation...what a waste, otherwise.  Last, but not least...the "flowers." We don't really have much for pretty flowers, etc (we will next year!!!)...but I do have quite a few hosta. A couple leaves from those...and cuttings from a purply plant (how scientific)...voila!

The total cost of this table scape...less than $5. :)


Monday, July 9, 2012


Bend low again, night of summer stars.
So near you are, sky of summer stars,
So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars,
Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl,
So near you are, summer stars,
So near, strumming, strumming,
So lazy and hum-strumming.

--From the poem "Summer Stars" by Carl Sandburg

Been having a fantabulous summer around here thus-far! We've already finished 1 of our 3 vacations...looking forward to the second in the next couple of weeks! I've been working on a lot of projects...hoping to get some of them up on this bloggy...maybe even this week! I'm also helping one of my dearest friends w/ her parents' 40th anniversary party this weekend. Pictures of that to come for sure!

*Corn fields outside of Spirit Lake, Iowa...filled w/ wind turbines. They look like some kind of mythical giants to me...

Hoping everyone else is enjoying all the fun things summer has to offer. Remembering slow down a bit and savor the sounds, smells, and relaxation of the season.


Monday, July 2, 2012

What the Pho?

A couple weeks ago, I had a very long day @ the ol' job. The last thing I could possibly think about was cooking dinner. Eating out sounded so wonderfully delicious...and easy. to Taste of Thai the hubs and I went. (I pretty much have to merely mention the word Thai...and he's already backing out the car).

This little piece of street art was on a building in the restaurant's parking lot. Idk why...but I couldn't stop laughing at it...just thought it was super clever!

Pho...the tastiest soup you will ever eat. Ever. How to pronounce it, another story entirely. Since I'm never really sure how to say it...I make a big deal of saying it. Then...if it's seems like I meant to do it. Ya follow??

And...on the way home...this menagerie. Not only were 2 full-grown adults cruising on this bike...but so was their Pommerenian. No worries...there were so many straps on his cage...he wasn't moving for days.

So...w/ a belly full of Pho (now tell did you say it in your head??)...we ventured home.