Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day weekend celebration...

Memorial day weekend is here!  I hope everyone celebrates this weekend as a time of remembrance of all the loved ones who are not here anymore, especially our solders who fought for our country and lost theirs lives doing so.

Abigail and I made homemade festive brownies for our cookout today.  I  got the pinwheel cupcake decorations at walmart for $2.00.  Aren't they adorable?

Can you see that she put her dress on backwards??

You can kind of see my kitchen cabinets in this picture.  I promise I will show the whole kitchen when its finally done!

Homemade Brownies with frosting


1 stick of butter w/ a pinch of salt - beat well.
1 heaping tablespoon Cocoa...
then add confectioner sugar {I usually use almost a whole bag}
and milk until it's the right consistency.

of course, you can make a wonderful white frosting too by just omitting the Coco~ :)

Brownie recipe~ (I double this)

2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar

mix dry ingredients - set aside.

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil

beat eggs - gradually stir in dry ingredients. mix well
pour into square greased pan
Bake @ 350 for 20 - 25 minutes

Friday, May 28, 2010

Im SO loving Jadeite green...

I bought an old china cabinet from my neighbor Amy for $40.00 (thanks Amy).   I plan to start sanding & painting it sometime this weekend.  Im painting it the same color as my kitchen cabinets (swiss mocha by Behr). Its a white tone, similar to the hutch pictured below. 

Last week, I bought a Martha Stewart vintage green paint (called sea glass) to cover the inside back wall of the cabinet. 

Sea glass color tones in the picture below, blogged by jadeite kate look similar to the color I choose. This picture is in this months issue of Better Homes & Gardens.

Sea Glass by Martha Stewart

 And, slowly but surely, I will fill it with jade-ite & vintage dishes.  

picture courtesy of

Another cute vintage hutch, filled with green.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Refurbishing an old table

Another project we finished this weekend was my old kitchen table.  I found an old table at a garage sale, & John took off the legs and put them on my original table (which had straight legs). Then he sanded down the table to bare wood & I painted & distressed it.  We still need to conquer the chairs... which Im dreading!!!

Ignore the old chair pads.  They need to go in the trash.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Birthday invitations...

I got the cutest idea on great birthday invitations from Just Beachy.  They are not your ordinary generic invites, they are bags filled with candy!  When I showed Alex, she just loved them! I reserved a hotel "suite" for the girls to go swimming, hang out, and do girl stuff!  I think this may be her last "invitations" for a party. She will be "13" next year (oh, maybe I will do one more year. ;)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My garage sale finds this weekend...

I went to some community sales yesterday, and Im SO glad I did!  I found Abigail a Pottery Barn bedding set (which came with everything... curtains, quilt, sheets, dust ruffle, throw pillows).  I only paid $20.00 for it!  I also found a cute vintage dresser ($20.00 also!).  You cant find this kind of furniture in a store (with an old patina). Not sure where that's going yet, but I'm sure I will find a place for it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Vintage kitchen in May's Better Homes & Gardens issue...

I just love this kitchen from May's issue of Better Homes & Gardens.  Its EXACTLY what I'm going for.  I can't wait until everything comes together.  The counter top guy just called me to verify some measurements.  It shouldn't be long.

Wish list...

Jadeite Green cake stand

A birthday present, maybe?? 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kitchen demolition...

I went to Lowe's Sunday evening to order our counter tops!  Kind of disappointed that it will take about 4 weeks to get them in.  I guess that gives me time to get other things painted & the cabinets finished.  Here is a picture of our kitchen bar, or what used to be... John demo'd it.

A hand-me-down dress...

I took these after we picked strawberries the other day. I just finished editing them.  This was Alex's dress, when she was 3 years old.  It seems like yesterday, but it was 8 years ago!  I got it at the Gap for her to wear on Valentines Day. Now, Abigail is wearing it to pick strawberries.  Its a classic style that could be passed down for years.

Before my photography skills... (Alex - Circa 2002)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Musings from a clothesline...

I always wonder what it would be like raising my children back when my grandparents were young.  Times have dramatically changed, from how to cook, clean, how many cars a family has, & our styles!  Wow, thats a big one.  When I was a child, I can remember hanging our clothes on a clothesline that my father made.  I wasn't allowed to use the dryer.  I HAD to hang them on the clothesline when it was nice out. It saved money, and back then money was important. Today, in my neighborhood, clotheslines are BANNED!  Banned??

Could you imagine a clothesline being banned in 1950?  With our global environmental "crisis", saving energy should be a priority for the health of our planet. Right?  Now everyone is more worried about what their houses & yards "look" like, and don't seem to care if they pay $150.00 per month in energy bills. Where did our freedom go? Where did our senses go?

 I love how charming clotheslines look with blowing sheets hanging from it, in the back yard. The smell of fresh air!  Maybe, one day I will own a clothesline of my own.  I found this story online, about the history of clotheslines and what they told us. Its so neat to think that something as simple as a clothesline could tell us what a persons occupation was, about how many kids they had, what their status was, etc...

Here's the article...

This sentinel of the prairie, standing upright and proud (or maybe crude and unsteady) stood year after year in resolute service to its owner. Each Monday morning, weather permitting, the family wash was sorted, boiled, scrubbed, rinsed and wrung, then carried to the clothesline in baskets and hung out to dry. 

The number of persons in the family at any residence could be quickly determined by noting the number of wires in the line’s construction.After a quick swipe with a wet rag to clean rust and dust from the line, heavier articles were hung close to the ends and lighter items near the center to help prevent sag. A few hours later, depending on humidity, breeze and temperature, the family’s clothing was once again clean and sun-freshened, ready for re-use.

Such information is old hat to all who recall using clotheslines. Now, let’s get down to the real significance and psychology of this utilitarian device. First, the construction and condition of the clothesline offers clues to the pride of the owner and especially the powers of the “little woman” within the family. A well-constructed clothesline usually meant the wife had great persuasive qualities with her husband.

Second, by viewing the placement of the clothes, one could deduct the discipline exercised on the washday chore. A prop stick in the middle of the line revealed the woman was short in stature and needed a boost to raise the line after hanging clothes. Doubled-up hangings might mean a shortage of clothespins. A small, lower line to the side meant the small children were meant to hang up socks.

Third, the number, age and gender of family members could be determined merely by counting the hanging garments. A door-to-door salesman knew to call on Monday when the family would definitely be home. Before knocking on the door, he could learn valuable information about potential customers merely through careful study of the clothesline.

Basics in the facts of life were often revealed clinging to the clothesline. Questions by inquisitive youngsters and budding romantics could be answered merely by close examination of the odd-shaped garments waving in the breeze (when no one was looking, of course).

A full line contained many clues as to the owner’s occupation. Heavy, coarse work clothes and long handles indicated a farmer, mechanic or mill worker in residence. Cowboy shirts, bandannas and Levi’s pointed to a rancher’s abode. White shirts, dress pants and undershirts suggested a banker, shopkeeper or clerk made his home within.

Last and most important, the family’s financial wellbeing could be determined through close scrutiny of the personal display. Light-colored, silky underclothes with elastic waists meant the family was enjoying prosperity. Homemade drawers of rough fabric with string ties meant the fortunes of the family could be better. The ultimate indicator of financial status was determined by counting patches. The more patches, the harder the times.
I was too young to pay attention to early-day Trew clotheslines, but I have no doubt there were a lot of patched, flour- and feed-sack drawers flapping in the Texas Panhandle breeze.

Delbert Trew is a freelance writer, retired rancher and supervisor of the Devil’s Rope Museum in McLean, Texas. 

Fresh laundered sheets, blowing in the breeze...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pickin' strawberries...

This morning, Abigail & I went out to the strawberry patch to see if any were ripe and ready to pick.  We got a small bowl full to enjoy at breakfast.  Im anxiously awaiting more to ripen so I can try my skills at strawberry jam.

Last night we attended the middle school academic awards ceremony.  Alex has been an all A's student (minus the one B she received this year from advanced math), since she started kindergarten.  She received the "Honors Roll all year" award at the ceremony.  We are so proud of her, and hope she continues to strive for excellence. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

First semi-formal...

Saturday, Alex went to her first semi-formal dance at the middle school gym.  Last week, I took her to Kohl's to get her dress & jewelry.  She borrowed some of my dress shoes.  All of the girls looked so pretty as they arrived with glowing smiles on their faces.  Alex had to rush into the school (we were running late), since she is on student council (who sponsored the dance) to collect the money from the students. She was so excited, and has been anxiously awaiting this night for quite a while now. After the dance, Alex was invited to a slumber party, with about 9 of her closest friends.  She is growing up way to fast for me!

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