Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Scream You Scream We all Scream for Ice Cream

Mmmm, ice cream...good till the last lick!

Sorry Mom, I just had to post this it was TOO funny that Zach captured this photo!
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Is your life beautiful?

I have been devouring my latest issue of Life:Beautiful magazine and encourage you to subscribe to it. It is a Christian Based magazine and I copied this information below from their website. I have treasured each and every issue and KEEP them all to refer back to. Very uplifting, informative, and educational.

Check it out for yourself! Drop me a line if you already subscribe to this and your thoughts OR let me know if you sign up I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Take time to enjoy the simple things in life and what really matters.

Life: Beautiful Magazine


Life:Beautiful is a national, inter-denominational, Christian lifestyle magazine that celebrates an active, integrated faith. Built on a foundation of biblical teaching and encouragement for spiritual growth, Life:Beautiful offers relevant information and community for Christian women.

The pages of Life:Beautiful showcase everyday experiences and activities, such as parenting, cooking, decorating, teaching, working, volunteering, resting, traveling and offering hospitality—all of which can be used to share the joy of the Lord.


Life:Beautiful is dedicated to delivering the uncompromised message of the Bible with excellence is journalism, photography, and editorial and art direction in order to offer a world-class faith magazine to the masses.


Life:Beautiful is sold by subscription and on newsstands. To subscribe, go to the Home page and click on Subscribe. Newsstand copies are sold nationwide in the United States at general mass merchants and Christian bookstores.

Belief Statement:

Life:Beautiful is published on a foundation of the following beliefs:

1. We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are the supreme and final authority in faith and life.

2. We believe in one God, the Creator who eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, Mary, and that He was and remains both God and man.

3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His own divine image; that they sinned and incurred physical and spiritual death, which is separation from God; and, as a result of Adam’s sin, all humans are now born with a sinful nature and stand guilty before God.

4. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and that all who believe in Him and receive Him as personal Lord and Savior are born again of the Holy Spirit and become children of God.

5. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into Heaven, and in His present life there for us as High Priest and Advocate.

6. We believe in the blessed hope of the personal and imminent return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells and gives spiritual life to all believers, enables them to understand biblical truth, empowers them to live godly lives, and equips them for service and witness.

7. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting punishment of the unsaved.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Remembering Childhood Fun

Just found a fun website that has FREE paper dolls and paper dolls clothes to print and play with.

My 5 year old daughter Anna will have have a blast with these. I think I will print them off and put them in a tin box with a handle. She can then pick them up and take them to grandma's, on long car rides, or wherever she chooses to play pretend.

Have fun and check out the site!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm having breakfast with a rooster!

Join Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!
Posted by PicasaA rustic rooster stands guard at the table on display at Mary Carol Garrity's shop in Atchison.
Scalloped black & white rectangle placemats are topped of with a collection of red and black & white dishes. Love the tiny creamers at each place setting and the larger one sitting in the front right corner.

A galvanized tower holds a collection of plates and a pretty arrangement in a red tin container.

One tall glass jars held tiny plates which resembled butter pats and the other jar held green glass miniature vases.

I love the rustic two handled urn in the background, it would be gorgeous in my bay window.

Warm summer hugs,


Make these Patriotic Coasters

Found these on the Country Sampler website.

They look relatively easy to do. I love the red ticking napkins they show in this photo as well. Pick up some ticking at the fabric store when you get the fabric to make these adorable coasters.

Country Sampler suggests displaying them in a woven basket on the dining table, using one as padding beneath a glass vase, or feather into your decor in any spot that needs a little patriotic perk-up!

She sells seashells by the seashore

Well not really by the seashore but I got this seashell planter here in Iowa of all places! I found a new consignment shop in Cedar Rapids called STUFF. They have 4 locations in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area.

I picked this up for $2.99 and really love the texture of it.

Here it is on the side of my fireplace mantle with some of my old wicker covered bottles I have been collecting for 10 years or so.

I went out to my garden and picked some hosta, honeysuckle, and porcelain vine leaves for a fresh natural look.

I love the simplicity of the leaves, but you could add white daisies, yellow sweet peas or even blue salvia if you want an added pop of color. Tuck in a small flag for the Fourth of July.

The rope ball I picked up at Walmart of all places!
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What do you put on a shelf?

Here are some of my favorite photos from Ballard Designs which if you haven't heard of before you MUST check out their site and request a catalog. I've used it for years after one of my employees brought in a catalog to my store, A Touch of Country. Thanks Nancy if you are reading this!
The above photo is perfect for your own design studio, craft room, mommy escape room or whatever you may call it! They used a paper towel holder to corral pretty ribbons that are ready to be made into bows and tied on pretty packages for your friends & family. A glass jar hold paintbrushes or you could hold markers and colored pencils.

Don't have money for the fancy artwork shown above? Simply put your child's artwork in black or white frames and poof! You have one of a kind TREASURED artwork!

The above photo shows them in a kitchen. I have a sink similar to this one at the farm we are currently buying. It is sitting on an old metal base in the basement. I have been thinking of installing the sink part of it in our new laundry/mudroom.
The black shelves hold dinner plates, wine glasses and baskets of bottled beverages.
I even love the photos of silverware. Maybe I could find some old family ones and glue actual silverware to sheets of toile paper or maybe burlap fabric. Hmmm...

Here they show 2 of the same size and a small one on top. I would have never thought to do that, but I love how it looks! I really like how they left enough room to add a lamp and some topiaries. Stacks of books and more wire baskets coral odds & ends.

Here the shelves are again in the laundry room. Love the glass jar with laundry soap. I saw a jar similar at Goodwill yesterday for just a few dollars.
Jars hold clothespins and balls of jute string. Ironing spray and an iron are kept nearby and a clock to keep track of the time. Maybe time would go by fast as you iron in this pretty room!

White shelves corral office necessities...books, file folders, envelopes & journals.
So nice, neat and contained.
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New England Saltbox shows its patriotism

We visited the gardens at this absolutely stunning New England Saltbox home that is right here in good ol' Iowa! A grand old flag stands at attention over the doorway. The door is painted black and has a transom window above it.

Isn't she a beauty?!

A rustic bench holds a weathered red basket filled with herbs & salvia. I love the old stoneware jug nestled back in the corner of the basement cellar doors. What an unexpected treat in the corner. It's all about the details people. Another flag stands guard at the back of the house.

Grapevine is rambling along the weathered grey picket fence. Oh the seasonal possibilities of decorating this fence...bittersweet, pumpkins & pinceones for fall; evergreens in the winter with dried queen anne's lace sprayed white and sprinkled with a dose of sparkly glitter for a freshly snowflake effect. YES I know it's only June but a girl can dream can't she?!
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Tropical Tablescape

This fun table is done in aqua blue and greens.
Isn't it so fun & beachy?

Join me as we sit down to this fun table. Raffia placemats were placed vertically instead of the usual horizontal placement. Vintage looking wood trays with ornate detailing are used as chargers. Large oval platters are used for the dinner plates...after all we ARE having lobster ya know! Or if you are in the midwest we could have a big juicy steak.
Large oval serving bowls are used on top of the platter. These could hold an array of items like a caesar salad, dinner roll and potatoes.

Speaking of potatoes we LOVE potato packets on the grill. Simply cut up 1-2 potatoes per person into 1/2" cubes, add some chopped onion, a dash of chicken boullion, a pinch of salt & pepper & a tablespoon of butter. Place all the ingredients in a large piece of aluminum foil. Bring the top and bottom edge together, crimp & roll tightly. Pinch in both ends to seal the packet. Place each packet on the grill. They take around 35-45 minutes to bake. My kids don't like onions, but I still put them in their packets for flavor and make them pick them off...I know I am a mean mom!!

Okay, now back to the tablesetting...I like the fun polka dot glasses for water or ice tea.

Square Aqua Blue casserole dishes are filled with spanish moss and hold faux miniature pineapples, bananas, & palm trees. If you are feeling generous, give these as take home party favors to your dinner guests.

Real pineapples are place around the table for added ambiance and are can be cut open and served with dessert. How about serving grilled pineapple. The heat carmalizes the syrup and is a lovely treat to have. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a sherbert.

A metal tray table is used for the centerpiece. It is tall enough so that your guests can easily talk to each other. Tropical flowers and bamboo are surrounded with red, green & yellow bell peppers.

Dining Table Inspiration

Here Mary Carol Garrity and her staff created a fun and whimsical table
in black, white & lime green.

Round quilted mini check placemats were used, and of course they were black & white!

Mini cloches on stands can be used for a special dessert or take home party favor.

Zinc frogs are dancing gleefully around the table.

Notice the oversized birdcage on the back is filled with ivy and white pottery.
I think her chargers for this table were framed pictures.

Who says silver balls are just for Christmas? No way!! Calla lillies, twigs from the garden and various silver balls are nestled
haphazardly in the zinc planter with pedestal base which adds a dramatic flair to the table.
Black serving trays with antiqued brass handles are used as chargers. Rectangle and square dinner plates are sandwiched
between lime green napkins. Creamy white soup toureens top off each placesetting.

Above the table is this chandlier with aged brass shades.
Don't be afraid to use those twigs! Here twigs are wired onto the ceiling and also the existing chandlier to give it
some added character. It looks like she had pots of ferns wired on to the chandlier as well...but I can't remember exactly for sure.
Wired onto the twigs are clear glass votive cups which resembled an upside down cloche to me. Fill these with clear glass marbles or gems
or simple votive candles in the colors of your tablescape.

Remember to use something that doesn't compete with the flavor and aroma of your cooking!
I suggest Vanilla or French Vanilla....even better would be unscented tealights in clear plastic not the metal tealights.
I sometimes will save my plastic tealight containers after they have burnt out and then reinsert a tealight that originally came in the metal packaging while discarding the metal.
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Blue & White Dishes

Aunt Carol's sideboard in her dining room is
gorgeous filled with silver, blue & white dishes and baskets.

I love the white urn stacked with blue & white ceramic balls.

Her hutch is filled with lovely treasures.
Lots of eye candy here!
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Baby Shower Tabletop

We held a baby shower for Grace and this is the tablescape.
I used Starbucks bottles and hot glued pink ticking fabric in a band
across the middle of the glass bottle. Then hot glued on a pink diaper pin.
The drink was non alocholic Strawberry Daiquiri's and topped off with a pink straw.

Sorry no close up of the diaper cake in the background. My friend Patti made it by stacking diapers, ribbons,
baby washcloths and towels.

The cupcakes were topped with pink frosting and a baby pacifier made with white lifesavers.

We had strawberries, marshmallows and pound cake on skewers ready to dip in the
chocolate fountain. Chocolate is a girl's best friend!

Poor little Gracie...her mommy wouldn't let me give her a taste of the cupcake frosting or the chocolate!
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's a Cloche Party!

Join Marty over at A Stroll Thru Life for a cloche party! Tons of fabulous ideas you won't be sorry you peaked! HeeHee! Anyway, look at my photos below and then click on the cloche link to get in on the party! Have fun!

This one above is from Southern Living At HOME and features a framed photo under the cloche. The cloche is sitting atop of wood with the bark still attached. I have also see these wood circles used as chargers.

Here Southern Living At HOME place a old fashioned clock under the glass cloche. What a statement it makes!

Here in my store, I featured 2 cloches. One is sitting in a grey-green birdbath that has been filled with spanish moss, ivy and a rattan basket weaved ball. Tucked under the table, sitting on a green cake plate is the other cloche that is also covering a smaller rattan ball.

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Ugly bathroom

I am hoping to win a free consultation courtesy of Rare & Beautiful Treasures. The consultation I hope to win will be designed by Layla at The Lettered Cottage.

Both blogs are fabulous, if you haven't checked them out, do so now!

The above shower is NASTY! The tub surround has huge cracks in it that have been patched over with tub & shower caulk. It has leaked so much that it started coming out of the tub surround and cracked the wall on the lower right side.

Previous tenants painted over the ugly blonde cabinetry with even MORE ugly Royal Blue! The countertop is a faux marble and the sink is filled with chips, stains, and rust marks.

The extremely large glass mirror has no personality and YES that is carpet on the floor...can you say "GROSS"! Lots of little pee drips deep in that carpet.....eeewh!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Japanese Steakhouse

Zach in the chef hat at his FAVORITE restaurant, TOKYO Japanese Steakhouse in Waterloo, Iowa. We took him there for his 16th Birthday.

He ordered Steak & Shrimp...yummy!

The chef making a smiley face.

Smiley face on fire! Whoa...what a scorcher!

Chopping our veggies and making an onion Volcano, which he lit on fire.

Zach enjoying his steak, shrimp, rice, noodles, veggies, lettuce salad, and delicious soup....he was STUFFED but cleaned his entire plate...savoring every last bite. Yes that's Tjaden in the background with his mouth full of food...sorry!

Cost for a meal for 4=$78.00 plus tip
Cost for such a fabulous, caring, and handsome son=PRICELESS