Introducing Shop Your House

Getting ready to host a blog party is just like getting ready to host a live party in your home.  You find yourself looking around your place (ie.your blog) and trying to finish all of the little things you’ve been saying your going to get to PLUS the party prep…
- Party favors - in the form of a button :)
- Entertainment --- in the form of a good post
- Welcoming entry --- in the form of header touch ups
- Well organized games --- in the form of McLinky
- And then also figuring…that someone may always need to use the upstairs bathroom --- sponsors, sidebar, archive
Well…I’m far from ready, but just as they say…you didn’t come to see my place…you came to see people – in this case…for me to see all of you!!!

So…with all of this other fretting, plus getting ready to do the opposite of shop…have a garage sale...I have done very little “House Shopping”, but I’ll show you a small shelf that was empty and lost when I brought it home and by shopping the house I found it some friends in 15 minutes – literally!!

The newcomer shelf:
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The semi-final resting place:
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It’s far from the most beautiful creation ever, but not bad for 15 minutes and if you’ve been seeing my office/guest bedroom turtle-paced makeover then you can see it fits in perfectly!

So…let’s go shopping piece by piece…
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Tell me these don’t make your heart go pitter-pat.  I bought the set while I was pregnant and I read them allowed to baby each night. He’s getting to be a little man now and these looked a little out of place among the monster trucks and hot wheels. Sold.

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These were already in the room.  They add an eclectic not planned look to the shelf.  The color flow of both items pair well with the other accents. Sold.

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These were in the hall under a bench.  They looked good there, but the hard metal shelf needed warmth and texture.  You really get the homespun feel in to action playing off the books.

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As you can see in the first photo…I added the plate.  I didn’t shop for it…I stole it!! Right off the dining room table (which is still set from the tablescape)  -- We have been eating…on the porch!

  I’m not sure why I grabbed the plate…I’m thinking I liked the white, but it will only work if I add a little something to the mix.  But, that’s the great part of shopping your house --- the return policy is VERY flexible :)

Blog 278Next week…I’ll be sharing a few tips for shopping your house…

But for this week think of the definition of “shop” according to Webster’s: to examine or buy an item.

Start examining what you already have with the same eager eye that you have at Pier 1, Target, the flea market, etc…

Thank You So Much for coming…by now you know party etiquette…so I’m going to simply ask that you don’t put your elbows on the table and please link back.

Oh…and no one likes to sit next to the guy who never stops talking about himself , so be a good listener and see what the other guests have to say by visiting their blogs.

Take a party favor if you like and put the Shop Your House logo in your sidebar…

And a polite thanks for having us in the comments would absolutely thrill me!!

I WAS SO WORRIED that I wouldn't get the Linky right that I posted before I got my code linked up so pretty please check back for the code or just use link it as a pic!!

So here you me YOUR dirty hands!!

PS...Scroll down to see "Sidebar Sensation"
Tell Shalom you found me here and she will give you 20% back on your purchase!!

Linking to:
Beyond The Picket Fence
Colorado Lady

Sidebar Sensation!

As a new blogger, I change my sidebar more often than anything on the blog.  I’m still trying to find contentment over there,  but two things have been the same nearly since the beginning…

Two buttons:  One is my cool friend Amy who inspired me to get started and is my ever patient, always available, sounding board, good idea girl and blogging friend! 

But this isn’t about her --- sorry Amy.

It’s about the other button…this one!!

Shalom has been with me from the beginning!

Shalom’s Cottage Home is an incredible online shop that I was thrilled to bring to my brick and mortar.  She specializes in very cheerful, unique, cozy-yet-contemporary art for the home. 

I can’t wait to use her personalized invitations for my upcoming garden party!! 

You’ve also seen her note cards turned into artwork in one of my earliest posts…Sticks & Stones  
card sets

I think it would be so great to throw a shower…use her  personalized invitations, decorate the table with framed note cards, give journals and mini notebooks for favors and prizes…and then give the showered friend the matching artwork for a keepsake!!!  Who wants to let me throw them a shower???

Go over and visit Shalom’s Cottage Home…she frequently gets visits from friends who have gotten their hands dirty and loves it every time!!!

I love this quote from Shalom…
“Here’s to designing your own life and not being afraid to take risks - it's totally worth it!”

PS…if you think it makes sense for your blog, shop or biz to have a spot on my sidebar…get in touch with me…

Eclectic Weekend

The weekend itself was eclectic for my dirty hands…I’m not sure I finished anything! but…I made progress on many things…

We had rain, rain, rain…

I did make it to a good number of sales in my best friend’s small town city wide sale Saturday.  I will post most of my finds down in my “rust and moth” corner, but I wanted to show you a few things:

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Although the walk was dry at this point…note the red rain boot as proof of the weather…

Worth the rain though. I paid only $5 for this adorable desk!!!Blog 276

Now little man has a place to work in the office with me…

Blog 254Also made a stop at the Goodwill
and picked up these vibrant bags…

As my work from home is growing and growing…so is my need for organization.  I “Shopped My House” and stole this mirror with hooks from my dressing room upstairs (it was holding towels which can easily hang on the over the door hook)  I will label these bags and use it to keep my files, writings and magazines in.  Then I can easily take my work to the porch and back again.
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The desk and the bags are  just a couple more pieces to the puzzle of my Over the Top Vintage office/guest room.

Here’s a few other pieces coming together…
Please join me on Wednesday for my first Shop Your House party!!

I am linking to:
Vintage Thingy Thursday at Colorado Lady
100 projects under $100 at Beyond the Picket Fence

More from the flower fixer

In our culture, we send flowers to hospitals and funerals…we hope for them for special occasions…and we use them to say I’m sorry…flowers can fix a lot!! Ask any husband :)

My favorite way to adore flowers is in a growing container!!

Because I can only have so many containers in my yard before I look like a crazy plant lady…I’m sharing my l-o-ve with you!

But before I fix your flowers…see my work…

Here are a couple of containers I have designed:

For shade…
Begonia Basket
5 plant recipe

For sun…
Sweet Gerber Tropics
10 plant recipe

A “flower fix” includes a custom design, planting instructions, and a shopping guide. Plus…satisfaction guaranteed :)

To get started…email me at

You can also buy my recipes here

(An easy start is the five dollar flower fixer…) email me!!

Oh…and if you live local, I’m pretty inexpensive labor and would love to plant it for you!!

Or…If you live in a far away exotic, warm place…if you throw in travel expenses…I’ll throw in labor free! :)

Happy spring everyone!!

Cooking in Haste

I want to tell you about Abigail.  Abigail was a beautiful, smart young lady.  She was married to a real scoundrel though…

A king was traveling through the woods near Abigail’s house and the king’s servants approached that scoundrel to tell of their coming. Well…being a scoundrel…he didn’t care!  But when Abigail found out she knew that she must protect her household by endearing the king. 

So Abigail got busy…she “made haste and took 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of figs, and loaded them”

OK…now that is cooking.

How about us??? Could we even feed an extra 20 people if needed??? She served an entire army!

I think one of the biggest differences in cooking long ago and cooking now (besides that they had to cook to live!) is that we have been taught to follow exact recipes instead of being creative and thinking about the texture and taste and working with what we have. 

They had to make what they have taste yummy! If we think like that…we will enjoy cooking more, save money and it will taste better!!!

What I really l-o-ve about this recipe is the ingredients are so easy to substitute….I can change it up with what I have on hand and it comes out delicious every time!!

The original recipe (shown later) calls for 9x13…I half it in this…
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Boil 1/2 bag of packaged egg noodles (or as many as you’ll need to cover the bottom of your dish) Remember we’re being flexible :)
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Layer noodles in casserole dish and add chicken breast pieces on top.  I use frozen pre-cooked breast strips…

Then mix 1 can of “cream of” soup…the recipe calls for cream of mushroom…I’ve used mushroom and celery too…
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Mix that with 1/2 cup of cream cheese or sour cream

Layer the creamy mix on top of chicken and noodles.

Top the casserole with cracker crumbs…I’ve also used canned bread crumbs and crushed frosted flakes…Blog 244
Helpful Hint:
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Crush the crackers in the package!! No mess.

Drizzle melted butter on top of crackers for a real crunch!

Again…you can use olive oil, cooking spray, or melted margarine

Top with poppy seeds or leave them off – you pick.
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Bake at 350 for 30 minutes…and…dinner is served.

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The leftovers are good in red igloo too.

Here’s the original recipe…

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My meat and potatoes man isn’t much for casseroles and truthfully neither am I…but we both enjoy this casserole that a church lady made for us when little man was born.  (Church ladies always cook yummy food!!!)

What about you?? What’s your favorite flexible recipe?

A place to sit – front porch style

I was spoiled in our last house.  Spoiled.

We had a beautiful, beautiful front porch.

We have a very nice front porch in this home too…although the floor needs replaced! 

I have been waiting for the front porch  to “come together”
3 years later…it has arrived! (except the floor)

I’ve had these very sturdy, very comfortable, very ugly pieces on the porch.  I was so excited to pick them up for $30 at a flea store (not big enough to be a market, too dirty to be antique). 
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I questioned my vision and tried to sell them in a garage sale, but others must have questioned my vision also – they did not sell.

I finally listened to my neighbor who has been a believer of the vision from the beginning and painted the chairs (in the dark.)

Getting better, but not sold….so I left the chaise red.
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Over the winter, I bought fabric to make a cover for the cushions (the cushions are very sturdy…you can’t buy them like that anymore!) Sewing is a good winter project. 

I instead stayed up late sewing on a beautiful spring day.

I also painted the chaise, but I will leave the table red for my own whimsical pleasure…(and to drive the neighbor crazy!)
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She was right though…it was very easy to sew!!

And it looks really great!!! 

To sew these…I just laid the cushion on the fabric folded it over. Cut the fabric and sewed a giant pillow case.
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Moral of the story:  If you wait long enough for it to “come together”…magic happens…the magic is lo-v-ing what you already have!!!

Do you l-o-ve my palm planter??
Look for more secrets on this coming soon!!!

Cost of 2 chairs, 1 chaise lounge and side table - $30
Cost of fabric – 2.5 yards $8 (HUGE SALE!!!)

Now I must go and nap on my front porch!
Before I do though…remember to come by
DirtyHands, BeautifulLife next Wednesday for my first
Shop Your House party….
Linking to…
Beyond The Picket Fence


Always Nesting

Thrifty Fashions

This is a different kind of “thrifty” post than I normally do, but I’ve been busy working on this…Blog 196
…or supervising little man’s work on this anyway :)

You will have to wait to see the rest of the story…
This morning while getting dressed…I was so excited about my new spring outfit! 
Then I was even more excited when I realized how cheap it was!!

I decided maybe it would make a good thrifty tips post,
but as I turned back in the house…I saw this…Blog 197

THIS is why I L-O-ve that song “From My Front Porch Looking In

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Now understand that if I hadn’t just listened to a sermon that touched on vanity…well…I would have cropped my face and hair right out this pic…it did not look like this in real life…or at least I’m telling myself that!

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…maybe I missed the real point of the vanity thing…

…and…what do you know
…these two handsome men are dressed in thrifty finds too… 
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Here’s a few random tips…
- Rely on thrift items for basics…other than jeans…
Notice when your basics are getting worn…and begin looking for your size in that color of pant, short, skirt…
- Go often…
If you only have a little time…choose to only look at a few sections each time
- Leave empty handed sometimes
Only buy what you love and what will work
-For yourself -make sure it “fits like a glove”
If it is a little too long, short, tight, big…leave it there!
-For your little ones…stock up!
I buy clothes ahead of season and store in boxes by size…some things will not work out, but I will resale them now problem…I rarely HAVE to go shopping for the little guy…I just go the closet
-For your man…just hang it in the closet.
If he’s anything like mine…he won’t even notice the new additions…he’ll just grab his dress clothes and put it on.

Well…I could go on, but my hard working man needs me to push the gas pedal in while he tunes the carb…this is the only time he opens the door for me before I get in…so see ya!

Oh…wait…to redeem me from the Sears Catalog looking photos…here’s our thrifty Easter pic…Spring and Summer 2010 005

Please stop by next Wednesday for my first "Shop Your House" linky party!!

(Oh and..Did you see my new button??)

Linking to...
Thrifty Mondays at Southern Hospitality


Pillow talk – decorative

I’m so tired this afternoon that all I can really think about is my pillow.  This pillow in fact…
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Ahh… the way it will feel under my resting head as I swing in the warm breeze outside during the few minutes left of the afternoon.

But before I enjoy a pillow for it’s BEST purpose…I have to admit that I was among the last in the world to give in to the impact that throw pillows can make. 
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Like everything though…when I do anything…I do it Big.

 I had one throw pillow in the house for over 5 years! Now I have so many pillows that I don’t even know what to do with them!  I am NOT hoarding pillows…just thoroughly enjoying them.

I’ve even given in to 2 talking pillows.  I thought I would never do it, but…I did…

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…now off to shut eye therapy!

Do your pillows talk?
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