Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,
Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"

             ~Dexter Kozen


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Super fast and easy charming gift wrap job.

**Pardon the grainy photos..I used my old Generation-Whatever iPhone at work to snag these shots**...

I love fancy packages with beautiful gift wraps and ribbons and bows, but I have whittled down all of my gift wrap supplies these days. (smaller homes require creative thinking and more sensible purchases...) These days I have opted to go with a more neutral wrap job that can be changed with the color of tissue and the style of gift tag. I now use only brown craft paper (the kind you buy to mail packages in...) and I have a stash of two sizes of an oatmeal colored handled gift bag.
Yesterday I bagged up a gift for a friend that is retiring, and I wanted something charming and simple, but vintage looking and pretty. I got it all in about four minutes time. 

A bit of tulle, a strip of pale Robin's egg blue ribbon (My favorite! So yummy!) and a  hand written (with a fine point black marker)tea dyed manilla tag (I actually dye them in large quantities in a tub of uber hot instant coffee, and let them air dry on cake cooling racks.) Some matching blue tissue and a little sprig of milnery flowers from my collection finished it off.

If you keep your wrap supplies simple, and organized, it will be a snap to make any present look like a million bucks, and will make your recipient feel oh-so-special.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Four times the love.

Be still my heart. 

These shots are the only ones (out of several dozen) that came out even close to clear from the lil' cousins visit last week. (I'm not sure why it seems each time I get a picture sweet Mr. Coen there has his shirt off.) Can you tell it was after dinner and they were all engrossed in a Mickey Mouse episode on TV?
It's very nearly impossible to photograph four little Grands all under the age of three!(More sweet pictures here!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Settling in..

We have had a very productive couple of weekends, indeed! (Working Monday through Friday makes it pretty hard to get too terribly much done on weeknights...)

Last weekend, we managed to get some things unpacked, go to our favorite place for a band gig, and entertain out of town company (The Sewing Queen of Northern Nevada was up to meet her newest great grand babe!) for an overnight, breakfast and the 49er game.

This weekend we managed to get a bit further...or I did, at least, by reorganizing all of the kitchen cupboards. (...which was no small task, let me assure you.) We had more company (my grand babes from the Biggest Little City were in town with their Mama and Daddy, followed by a friend from out of town who came  to watch the some of the world series, along with a couple of good football games.)

I've discovered that the easiest way, for me at least, to feel moved in is to tackle a room at a time, starting with the rooms that look like they will be easiest, (Putting toiletries away in the bathroom, setting up the guest room...) followed by the rooms I live in the most. (And I do consider myself somewhat of an expert on this topic after all of my moves...)

The living room is still half filled with boxes (Many of them are his now-displaced items from other rooms, not mine, which makes me feel not-so-bad) and duplicate items that we have put on craigslist for sale, or are waiting to be put away or donated. The entire dining room  is pretty much hidden beneath more boxes and oodles of Rubbermaid tubs of holiday decor.

(Oh-me-oh-my, that will be an adventure in itself, digging through our combined Christmas decorations...)

I got the laundry room reorganized to hold all of the additional crafty items and supplies I brought along with me. The guest room is all dialed in for the most part,(waiting for a couple of decorating projects, like fresh paint!) and the kitchen is three quarters of the way there. (maybe not esthetically just yet, but storage and organization is looking good...)
The family room was a team effort and it is starting to feel more cozy to me. I basically set up my mirror collection in the same fashion as it was in my last two places that I lived, with some new additions that belonged to Ralph....
....I think it feels inviting and warm; a little bit me and a little bit Ralph. We hooked up all of his electronic gear in  my antique wardrobe closet. (I am leaving the doors off so we can see the TV, which for some odd reason looks small in this photo, but in actuality it nearly fills the shelf it sits on.)
My chairs with his sofa. His reel to reels, speakers, and record albums with my mirror collection. (A few more mirrors are needed, as the room has a very high ceiling.)
Little by little, box by box, things are beginning to take shape. With any luck at all, just a couple more weekends of unpacking and I can start having fun with some fabulous decorating projects I have in mind...I'll be sharing them with you, right after I run them by Ralph!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oh me oh my it's time for pumpkin pie.

Well, almost. Thanksgiving will be here before we know it.

Autumn chills and shorter days are here, and I'm ready to start baking up some different pumpkin goodies, even though I should be spending every spare moment unpacking... 


I usually make my my Pumpkin Maple cake several times each fall and this year I have added another amazing (and easy!) pumpkin dessert to my list of pumpkin recipes.

A friend at work made this for a Potluck and I simply had to have the recipe. I've made it twice in the past week.  (Earlier this week for a family dinner, and then again yesterday as we watched Game 4 of the World Series with an out of town friend!) I think it's going to be a staple in my home for the rest of the season, and I wanted to share it with you!

Pumpkin Crunch

1 package yellow cake mix
1 large can (30 oz) pumpkin pie mix (Not 100% pumpkin)
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
½ t salt
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup melted butter
Whipped topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 9x 13 pan.
Combine pumpkin, eggs, sugar, evaporated milk and salt in large bowl. Pour into pan.  Sprinkle dry cake min evenly over pumpkin mixture.  Top with pecans.  Drizzle with melted butter.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Serve with whipped topping. Refrigerate left overs  (if you have any!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A pretty lil' contest reminder.

Boy, do I heart this mascara.

If you haven't entered already, make sure to go back and enter the Covergirl contest to win a $50 gift card to! I shared all the info at the end of this post......

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Here's your sign.

** Let me start off by saying that since Ralph posted a sweet lil' comment on yesterday's post, I will now feel free to call him by his real name here on my Blog, and, for the most part, lose the "Rock n' Roll Buddy" part when I refer to him here.**

Now that the most hideous part of moving is behind me, and my belongings are all piled a mile high at my new home, my mind is literally whirling with decorating ideas. 

My oldest daughter asked me several month ago if I was attempting to "domesticate" Ralph. We both laughed, but, I guess for lack of a better term that may be the case. Call it what you like; the change from bachelor pad to a couple's nest is a pretty decent sized leap, but I think it's all going to come together fabulously.


That brings me to my blog topic today (I bet you were starting to wonder what the heck my post title had to do with what I am yammering about.)

Signs with famous quotes, motivational sayings, and cute quips have become wildly popular in home decor, and that got me to many art pieces are too much?

Here's the thing- I see so many great ideas that I even have four different boards of them going on my Pinterest Page, and I can visualize them in many spots around the house, adding a lot of personality. Let's say the back deck for example...
...or the kitchen...

 .....the laundry room...
....the family room (You know, Ralph is in a band, and so these only seem not only appropriate, but show our personalities...) 

...and any number of other spots around the house...

The thing is that I don't want it to be over-kill. It's a fine line between cool and cheesy, you know. 

So....How about you? Are you into word art? Do you enjoy it here and there, not at all, or all around the house??

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why does less still FEEL (And look) like MORE?

Thanks for all of the "moving" love yesterday.

The movers came last night after work, and during probably the heaviest rain we have had in six months, loaded me up in Vancouver, and unloaded me, back in sweet lil' Camas.

You know, with each move I have made, I have moved to smaller, more compact places, (from a nearly 5,000 square foot home, down to less than 1,000 and everything in between!) and I have tried to get rid of things I do not use or need. 

It's hard for me, because I always think I am going to do "something" with pretty much everything I come across. This last move I was determined to be brutal with myself and truly pare down. 

After three full truckloads of items to GoodWill, giving oodles more things to some of my fellow vintage  booth friends,and selling a few items on craigslist over the past year, I was feeling pretty lean and mean and proud of myself....

So.......... if I got rid of as much stuff as I thought I did,then why are there are boxes,(and boxes, and boxes, and boxes...) and baskets, and furniture, and you-name-it from the floor to the ceiling in each and every room at Mr. Rock n' Roll's house today?

*sigh* I've got my work cut out for me. (Aaaah! I so love a decorating challenge!)

P.S. For the couple few several  readers that were somehow puzzled and thought my Rock n' Roll Buddy was Gay (Really? Really?!)...

Well,I myself am  puzzled that you were puzzled,'coz I kinda pride myself on my communication skills..(I had a good laugh about it at any rate..) I can only guess that you are mixing my Rock n' Roll Buddy up with my best Buddy from Camas Antiques...

...and I believe that confusion came from an old post where I said, "A big gay man in a camouflage hat and a straight guy in a rock n' roll band can turn out to be your best girlfriends in your new town." (See? They are definitely not the same guy, but two very different-and-wonderful-in-their-own-ways guys...)Anyway, I hope that I have now added some clarity on this topic.

Monday, October 10, 2011

NEVER say never.

Never say never. Isn't that what they say?

I know for me, any time I have ever uttered that word, it has come back to bite me in the behind.

I will never let my baby have a pacifier.

My kids will never do that. (throw a tantrum in public, stay out past curfew, you fill in the blank here….)

I would never go to WalMart in my slippers. (Okay, I only did that one time, and my slippers kinda-sorta looked  like wanna-be Uggs.)

I’ll never be divorced.

I’m not moving ever again.(I said it when I moved to Norman Drive in the biggest little city, and three more times since...)

In my family, we will never live with someone without marrying them.


Those last. three. nevers.

Not all that many years back, I recall voicing my holier-than-thou opinions loudly when each of my three children were getting serious with their now spouses/fiance' and decided to move in with them. Each of them politely listened to me lecture from my decoupaged soapbox,(Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, marriage is a sacred thing...) and they then proceeded to make their own decisions and choices on the matter. 

(I should add here that at the time of this last "never" speech, I myself was married to their father, and was thoroughly convinced that I was well on my way to the finish line in the happily -ever-after race.)


(Well, we all know how that turned out.)


Since then, I have come to realize that the things that are truly important in life aren’t things, that following your heart is the best GPS for finding happiness,and that you should never say never....

I’m moving.

And I’ll be sharing my new home (and my heart) with my Rock n’ Roll Buddy.

I feel for the first time in a very, very, very, long forever, happy. Content. Equal parts comfortable and excited, looking forward to what comes next.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

…or do you? I recently got an e-vite to attend my thirty-fifth high school reunion.

Wait.  That’s wrong. I mean… that can’t be right... can it?  Let’s see, take 1975 from 2011… carry the one… ehem…. Yes, it seems to be correct.

My first thought (after completing the math…) was, “Oh. My. Ga. What will I wear? Do I have time to drop those nasty six …or sixteen pounds I have managed to accumulate over the past decade?  Will anyone recognize me? Do I look older than I am?!”

Now, normally I would not say that I am a vain person, but the thought of facing 100 or so of my peers from a point in my life that can only be described as the dorky years makes me feel like I really need to pull out the big guns before facing this crowd of grown-up kids that potentially could look either amazing or appalling. Seriously, it makes the hair on my neck stand up.

It occurred to me that attending a class reunion is a rare opportunity to make a great first impression… for the second time.  I am well aware that my genes weren’t swimming in the same pool as Ali McGraw’s, but I want to look (and feel) the very best that I can these days, with or without the help of the genetic makeup the good Lord gave me, and any and every tool man has created to enhance my appearance, within reason.

Thank God for COVERGIRL.

I may struggle to drink my gallon of H2O each day, and avoid that Jillian Michaels Shred DVD as much as I can, but makeup is a girl’s best friend in the fight to continue to look and feel attractive.

Case in point, my COVERGIRL LashPerfection™ Mascara. It never lets me down. My lashes look long, full, lush, and it doesn’t ever run. The simple fact is, that when we look our best, we feel better. Our confidence goes up six bars and our energy level soars.

It may sound funny, but after passing the half-century mark, a girl needs to feel attractive and confident while facing everyday life, especially when it includes milestone events like the 35th class reunion of the graduating class of 1975 from Silver Creek High.

While we’re on the subject of make-up and looking great, you might want to check out the “Looking Your Best” [ ] posts in the Life Well Lived section of There are some great application tips and ideas for switching up your look for fall!

Want a chance to win a $50 gift card to In the comments, tell me about a time when using makeup gave you the added confidence you needed for an important event in your life.


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d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.The Official Rules are available here.Enter between October 4th – November 4th.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Everything in it's place and a place for every thing.

...and if you can make it cute, all the better. ( can quote me on that.)

I think a long time ago I shared with you that I collect greeting cards when I find ones I like, and I store them  in a lil' basket so I am ready at a moments notice with the perfect card for the right person,at just the right time... but I never actually showed it to you.

It started years ago with me accumulating a few extra cards...and a few more...and...well, at some point in time I realized I had so many cards that I needed to actually file them by event, so I could find them as I needed them. You know, birthdays, Christmas, Blank, etc... and that has worked really well for me. When ever I see a card I like, I buy it and put it in my card file so I will have it when I need it.

That was the original plan anyway. (And we all know what they said about the best laid plans...)

Over time, I have gotten sloppy, rushing in and plopping the latest cards into the front of the basket, thinking I'd put it in the correct category it later. After doing this a million and six a few times, I managed to create a pretty unorganized basket of cards. Something needed to be done, and I decided that today was that day.

As long as I was going to the trouble to reorganize, I might as well update the look of my system, I thought. Seriously, I am so over the hot-pink-with-screaming-taxi-cab-yellow labels I had created in the early 90's (I think this must have been around the time I was busy puff painting over-sized Tee shirts and sporting really big hair...)
I decided to go with a simple look, using my favorite old typewriter font. I printed my dividers on manilla folders that I cut to be the size of a sheet of computer paper.
All I did was set up 2 columns in WORD, and printed my paper in "Landscape". I cut the paper in half once it was printed and I was ready to put them in place. Within a few minutes I was back to being organized, and it all looked clean, tidy, and cute.

Now, let's see if I can keep it this way.

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