Friday, July 29, 2011

A Good Read: Learning

It appears all I am doing this summer is reading. Oh and it's wonderful!! I have been doing a lot more than reading, really. I actually have been working on a couple projects around here I just haven't taken the time to post them. They're coming though. Promise.
My most recent read was Learning by Karen Kingsbury.
The second book in the Bailey Flanigan series. Another incredible book. If you've read any of the Baxter Family series or Bailey Flanigan series you know what I mean when I say this book was incredible. I don't know that any of these books could disappoint me. It's like hearing from a friend after months of silence. I started the Baxter Family series, which includes 18 books, about five years ago. You meet Bailey Flanigan in the last books of that series and the Baxter's show up from time to time in Bailey's series. So it really is like catching up with friends from long ago.
I hope you find a little time to do some reading this summer too. I've already started my next book, so I'm off to curl up with my coffee and book.


Monday, July 18, 2011

A Good Read: Uncharted TerriTORI

I read Uncharted TerriTORI back in June but never got around to sharing about it. Some may laugh and say "Really?" when I say I love Tori Spelling. I know she's not an incredible Christian author, she doesn't write about grace based parenting or how to be a woman of Christ. Tori Spelling writes about real life. Real life for her anyway. And I love it.
I've also read her first two books, sTORI Telling and Mommywood.
Tori Spelling's books are fun, easy reads. I usually read through one in a day, two maximum. She's funny and so incredibly transparent I can't believe it. I'm a nobody and I don't know if I could be as open about myself as she is.
So if you're looking for a book that doesn't require you to reflect upon yourself or dig deep into your own issues, read one of Spelling's books. You'll laugh out loud at some of the stuff she writes. Enjoy!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Good Read: Choosing to SEE

I just finished reading Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman. What a book and what an amazing author. This book tells Mary Beth's story. From being a young girl in Ohio to marrying singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman, to losing their youngest daughter in a horrific accident involving their youngest son.
I love reading memoir's, but this was definitely the hardest one I've read. I found I read right through the first twenty chapters rather quickly. It was the chapter titled May 21, 2008 that brought my reading to a halt. I often had to pause, grab some tissue and get myself together. I just couldn't imagine losing a child, especially in a tragic accident involving another of my children.
The Chapman family is enduring such a struggle but through it all show so much hope and faith it's almost inconceivable. I recommend this book to anyone. Just keep your tissue close and keep reading.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Thus Far

I realize it has been one month, today actually, since I made any posts. Life has been crazy busy around here and I've been running short of inspiration. We had rainy weather the first couple weeks of summer then gorgeous blue skies and 80 degree temps. So I've been enjoying summer while it's here.
My camera is kind of on the fritz or maybe it's just my SD card. The card/camera only holds about eleven pictures at a time then I have to clear it. Pretty ridiculous. I have been using my phone instead, not great quality but captures the memories either way.
Here are some pictures to catch you up on our summer thus far...
We started by making an hour and a half drive to pick up this cute little Terrier Mix, Piper. She's almost five months old and ALL puppy!
This sleeping beauty turned the big 1-0!!
Grandpa let her pick out a brand new bike! Lucky girl!
We had a garage sale & lemonade stand.
I had to buy some fencing materials to keep little Piper from eating all our lettuce.
We spent some time at the lake.
We're trying to make some progress on this Summer Bucket List.
I scored this pair of solid wood rockers at a yard sale for $20!! I'll be stripping them down and repainting them for our front porch.
Also picked up these lamps at a yard sale. Both for $5. They'll be getting a paint job and I'll be sprucing up the shades.
The chicks and I tried on shoes at Target. It killed me to be frugal and walk away without those aqua wedges. They were $8!!!
And just last night I caught my girls in Piper's crate.
Look at that crazed look on her face. Yikes!
The Tall Man and I have also been playing softball on our churches co-ed team. The Tall Man also got a new to him car. We've named it Gladys. I'll share pictures later and you'll see Gladys is a fitting name.
So that's what we've been up to this summer. I'll try and keep you posted on my projects and what we'll be doing the rest of this summer.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer for Sale

Until the last few days the weather around here has not exactly felt like summer. Or spring for that matter. It's felt like February. But inside our house I'm pretending it's summer. At least as far as scents go. The smell of summer is coconut and vanilla or coconut and lime. The other day a friend of mine stopped by for a minute and she said my house smelled good, like the beach. I give the credit to this, Bath & Body Works Vanilla Coconut Wallflower.
I love Mary Kay's Coconut Lime Body Care Set.
I had this Island Colada candle from Bath & Body Works burning for weeks before the sun decided to come out.
Here are a couple more bottles of summer from B & B Works.
And of course the bottle of sunshine that takes me back to my teen years. When we would boat all day long, swim across the lake and jump off the rocks. Back before I had any sense at all and wasn't afraid of anything {like skin cancer.}
Do those scents take you back anywhere? I hope you're all getting some sunshine where you live. We have sun for the first time in what seems like forever so I'm heading outside to soak it in!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ready for Sale

I know I'm not alone when I say I get a little overwhelmed when thinking about putting together a garage sale, yard sale, tag sale, whatever you want to call it. Lucky for me {and you} there are several blogs out there who have recently posted their secrets and tips for a successful sale.
So here you go, a short cut to some fantastic blogs with all the stuff we need to know about sales...
Brown Paper Packages has some good ideas & some little chicks selling juice.
House of Grace is SO unbelievably organized when it comes to a garage sale. Heck she appears to be organized when it comes to EVERYTHING.
I wish I could channel some of her energy. I also wish I could shop her garage sale.
All Things Thrifty has her own tips and some pretty eye catching sign ideas.
There ya go. A few great blogs with several even better tips. Now I need to get to work preparing for my own garage sale.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Farm Chicks

On Sunday my friend Jamie & I went to Farm Chicks Antique Show in Spokane, Washington. This antique show started in 2002 and is full of vintage goods, handmade loveliness and tons of vendors. We found out about it last year and weren't able to go so this year Jamie and I vowed we were going!
So after church she picked me up, we grabbed coffee and were on our way. It was $7 to get in and you could browse and snap pictures all you want. So that's exactly what I did. I didn't have my camera so I had to use my cell phone.
Here's a little peek at a few of my favorite things...
This birds sign had faucet handles for hooks. Super cute for a garage or garden shed.
Jamie loved these lockers! Perfect for a mud room.
I loved the ginormous letters the Vintage Barn had.
This isn't a great picture but these lights were SO cool!!
Tissue poms made from patterns! Brilliant!
I loved the pink and white of this booth. There are ladders holding up the fabric and twinkle lights. Adorable!
If you haven't been to the Farm Chicks Antique Show I'd suggest you check it out next year!


Friday, June 3, 2011

12 Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Some of you have already started summer vacation. My preschooler had her last day yesterday, but my grade school chicks still have a week left. That means we still have time to put together more teacher appreciation gifts. I thought I'd share some of my favorite gift ideas for the teachers in your life.
The ladies over at Brown Paper Packages are so creative! They have a few ideas that I'd love to replicate.
A Sweet Gift of hot fudge, you can put an end of the year touch by saying something like "I hope you have a 'sweet' summer!"
A simple Thank You jar filled with the teachers favorite treat is super easy!
I love this 4x4 block for pencils & pens.
Eighteen25 shares a cute way to give those coffee cards.
{BTW I've talked to a teacher or two & I hear these are a favorite!}
Ucreate has another back to school gift that can easily be turned to an end of the year gift.
Write "Hope you have a smooth summer!" on the tag.
Lisa Storms had a cute & thirst quenching idea with these lemonade cups.
This Crayon Initial by Frugal Life Project is super cute!
And here are the teacher appreciation gifts my little chicks and I have put together in the past.
Caramel Corn Jars easily turned into "For a POP-ular Teacher" jars.
And my most recent gift for the chick's teachers, a little thank you for helping them grow.
I hope you've found some inspiration on how to show your kiddos teacher's they are appreciated.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thanks for Helping Me Grow

It's that time of year again. School is almost over so it's time for Mommy to get creative with a teacher appreciation gift. My little chicks have been SO blessed this year with teachers. In the past we've had some... well... uh... not so great teachers. But this year, oh my goodness! Each of these ladies have been absolutely wonderful to my chicks. I would love to go all out and give coffee cards, movie tickets, gift cards for yummy restaurants but when you multiply all that by 3 it equals one broke North West Nest.
I wanted to do something different than last year. You may remember our Clipboards for Teacher. We've also made note pads and signs. The jars of caramel corn and pots of goldwere holiday-ish {seen the "we're gonna be sisters" episode of Hannah Montana?} but you could probably put an end of the year twist on them.
We decided to go with a live plant and a cute little saying. Over the weekend the chicks and I ran to Lowe's {my fave home improvement store} looking for houseplants, pots and potting soil. We saw some cute cactus but I decided they wouldn't be so "cute" to transplant. Then we saw a table of Bromeliads already in a weathered looking terra cotta pot for about $7 a piece.
We thought these would be a great pick because they are a pretty hardy plant that's not going to flower once and die. Bromeliads are also considered an "O2 for you" plant. This means they generate oxygen and will add humidity to a room during dry conditions. So they're low maintenance, requiring only an hour or two of indirect sunlight per day and they purify the air! I think that sounds ideal for a classroom setting!
I used a small foam craft brush to apply a couple thin coats of Valspar's chalkboard paint in a rectangle on one side of the pot. Then used my chalk ink marker to write "Thanks for helping me grow!"
Ta Da! Done!
These will be easy for teachers to keep home during the summer months and bring back for a little color in the fall and winter months. When the Bromeliads grow they'll look like these.
I think they're very pretty and my little chicks are excited to share them with their teachers on the last day of school.


Linking to: House of Hepworths

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Wishing you all a happy Memorial Day. I pray you're enjoying time with loved ones. For those over seas fighting for our freedom, I pray for your safety.