Fall Has Landed in Our Family Room!

Hey everyone!  I hope ya'll are having a great weekend.  My "To-Do" list is mainly inside today as our temps have decided to climb back into triple digits -- OUI!  I'm hoping this is just a very short trend, because we have more company coming this next week from the northwest, and I would truly hate to see a "melt-down!"

Anyway, today I thought I would share our family room all dressed up for Fall!  Hope you enjoy!

This shows the "center of attention" area of our family room.  This is a nice built-in space, but the entertainment space on the left was intended for one of the antiquated, behemoth TVs.  The Man already has a project in the works that will add a cabinet & bring the flat screen forward, but that project is 4th or 5th down on his list.  The 3 large baskets across the bottom 
hold toys & games for the "Grands."


Easy Scarf Dyeing -- Who Knew?

Hey, everyone!  I don't know about ya'll, but I cannot believe it's Friday already and September is almost over!  Our weather here in the AZ desert is into the "big swing-time" -- some cool down in the mornings and evenings but still pretty warm during the day.  Friends and neighbors are definitely starting to pop their heads out of their air-conditioned homes to spend more time outside; and we know it will only get better from here on into next May.  So, "YAY" to those of us who survived the summer, because we are about to be rewarded!

I wanted to share a really quick post (I truly mean that....lol) about a super-fun and easy-peasy project.  Here in our development community, we have recently started a women's group.  We are testing the waters in several different directions & having fun every step of the way.  We met this past Wednesday at the Ranch House (one of our community centers) for a "Scarf to Dye For" class.  What transpired is not at all what I was expecting.  I took plastic gloves because I was thinking "tie-dyeing," but this was so much easier.  I took all the photos with my phone, so the quality is not the best -- sorry.

We had 2 ladies per table & the tables had been covered with plastic.  Then we were each given a nice, 
white silk scarf & colored tissue paper.  We could use whatever color combo of paper we wanted and could tear it into any shape pieces and lay it out on our scarf.

Some of the ladies really getting into laying out their paper.  

Mine is on the upper left.  I chose the colors of Fall, but also wanted some white showing.  My table partner didn't want any white showing, so she completed covered her scarf with tissue pieces.

After it was laid out the way you wanted, you simply spritzed it with water and the tissue paper started bleeding onto the scarf.

This is how mine turned out.  Once you see the tissue edges starting to lift, it's time to start removing the pieces.  Once the scarf is dry, you need to heat-set it with your iron on silk & use some paper towels on the top and bottom just incase it bleeds through -- mine did not.

This is how it looks.  Just ignore the model, she likes to pop in and take pictures, but.......

She's not very good -- couldn't even get her hand out of the way, GEEZE!

So what do you think?  I'm pretty pleased with how it looks, and I love the colors.  My mind is spinning with other possibilties -- I would like to try doing some cut shapes or tearing the paper into strips and making stripes.  I'm also thinking these would be fun to do with my older granddaughters.  I think the possibilities are as unlimited as your imagination will let you go.  If you are interested, HERE is a link to a place to buy the silk scarves -- no I'm not getting paid!

I hope you enjoyed and thanks for stopping by.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!


I'm linking to the following parties:

Katie at Katherine's Corner for Thursday Favorite Things
 Kristen at Kristen's Creations for Share Your Creations on Thursday
Heather & Vanessa  At The Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday


Organizing -- A 14 Week Plan!

Hey everyone!  Just reading the title of this post, I'm sure many of you are doing the old "eye roll," right?  Sorry, but the "OCD Organizing Elf" is at it again!  If you have followed my blog for very long, you know that I love to organize "stuff," I truly do.   I probably could have made a career of this, but too late now, I'm retired from the work-force.  What I enjoy equally as much, is seeing how others organize their homes; so when my friend Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons put together this 14 Week Home Organization Program," I had to join in.  Toni is probably one of the most organized people I've ever known, & she has such good ideas.  Truly, you should go visit and see her brand new home, too.

I won't be participating in every challenge, but only in the ones that are pertinent to our home.  Since we just finished our kitchen redo (you can see that HERE), it seemed like the perfect time to tweak a few cupboards & have my kitchen well organized as we roll into the holiday season.

This is just an over-view of how our kitchen is laid out.
As you can see, it's a fairly large kitchen with quite a few cabinets, plus a nice desk/buffet and pantry.


I've Been "Pump-kined!"

Hey everyone!  This is a very impromptu post because some very nice ladies invited me to a party, and I'm nothing if not a "party girl"......holy cow, I'm making Pinnochio look good!  Let's put it this way, I love to blog, so when someone invites me to a blog party, I'm there!  Linda and Carol at Two Succulent Sisters are hosting a "Thirty Days of Pumpkins Party" HERE.  Looks like a lot of fun to me, so be there or be "round like a pumpkin".......ouch, that hits me too close to home!  Anyway, I put together some snippets from here and there and hope you enjoy.

First I wanted to share a little craft project that I did last year. 

I'm sure ya'll have seen these fabric pumpkins using a roll of TP for the base.  I've made a few in past years using batting or fiber fill for the padding, but the ones I made this time are padded with plastic bags!  Can we all say "RECYCLE?"

I didn't buy anything new for this project, just depleted our TP supply a little bit!  I searched through my fabric scraps & found a couple of different pieces that I liked.  It's easiest if you cut your fabric into a square or close to it.  Size is up to you.  This one was about 24" square.

Just pile your plastic bags around your TP & adjust the number as you go.

I scrunched an empty TP tube (I hope I'm not the only one who has some of these in her stash....lol!) & pushed it into the center just enough to hold my fabric as I worked my way around the pumpkin.  Then I pushed it in nice & tight & wrapped the tube with jute twine, hot gluing as I wrapped.

I added a couple of velvet leaves & several loops of different ribbons, and.......

for now it is sitting pretty in this old wooden bowl surrounded by pinecones.

Of course, I couldn't stop at one.....seriously, the glue gun was already hot so I had to do another!

This one actually has a real pumpkin stem.  I saved a few from last year's fresh pumpkins.  You do that, don't you?  

I simply grabbed a few loose "faux" leaves, some jute twine & a short piece of brown ribbon
to decorate the stem.

This one has now found a new home on this old wreath that I transformed.

And finally, I thought I'd share a collage of some of the other pumpkins that are currently decorating
our home.

Talent in blogland is boundless this time of year, so please go check out THIS PARTY
and have some "Pumpkin Fun!"

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Thanks so much for stopping by!


I've "Fallen" in the Kitchen, & I Can't Help Myself!

Hey, everyone!  Oh my gosh, I do hope no one actually thought I had taken a tumble.  I assure you I am steadfast on both feet.  I am, however, not crazy about doing anything on a ladder which is difficult if you are short and your cabinet display shelves are "HIGH!"  But those are the lengths we will go for our blog friends, right?  You really should have seen the "look" I got from The Man when he walked into the kitchen & saw me on the ladder taking pictures of the displays on top of the cabinets.  Something was mumbled under his breath as he left the room -- don't know what it was and probably don't want to know!  Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the special touches of Fall that I've added and hope you enjoy the tour.

Top of the fridge and no "dust bunnies!"

I actually keep stealing pumpkins from this display to use somewhere else.....lol!

I know you've seen these before, but I was up on the ladder anyway!  These pieces belonged to 
The Man when he was a little boy -- long, long, long time ago!

I love the new lighting.

I simply added some pumpkin picks to some potted greenery that I picked up at IKEA.

Wrapped the pots in burlap & tied with jute string.

You can kind of see the shelving that The Man made for all these above-the-cabinet spaces after adding the crown -- otherwise, all my pretties were sitting too low to be seen.

I picked up the little stacked cloth pumpkins in the $ section of Target a few years back.

I just keep refilling this metal teapot with whatever fits the season.

The pumpkin patch sign is one of very few new things I've purchased this year.

Doesn't Mr. Roo look like he's sounding the early morning "wakeup" crow?

I just placed a few of my "fallish" dishes in this cabinet, because it makes me happy to
see them through the glass.

Most of these pieces came from Walmart a couple of years ago.

The Man picked up a few groceries for me at Sprouts and surprised me with a sweet bouquet.

Who needs cake?

I'll eventually trade the pasta for some candy corn, but I like that sugary treat way too much
to make it so available this early!

I transformed an old wreath that I've had for many moons (and didn't much care for anymore)
and came up with something I like.

I added my own cloth pumpkin, the scarecrow, faux leaves & pinecones.

Well, that's a wrap for today.  I do have more things to share in the next few days.  We just had a lovely visit with dear friends from out-of-state and have more visitors coming in a couple of weeks.  I'm so happy that I did my Fall decorating early -- our home just feels so warm and inviting as we share time with our friends.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I'm trying to keep up with comments and visit as many of your blogs as possible.  If I haven't popped in to say "Hi" in awhile, please just give me a "nudge."  I don't want anyone to feel that I'm not giving them a fair share of attention.
Here's wishing you an early "Happy Weekend!"


I'll be happily linking to the following parties:

Katie at Katherine's Corner for Thursday Favorite Things
 Kristen at Kristen's Creations for Share Your Creations on Thursday
Heather & Vanessa  At The Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday


It's Smashing!

Hey everyone!  Is it starting to get cooler where you live?  For us here in the Arizona desert, we are into that "temperature roller-coaster," with the mornings & late evenings cooling down a bit but still getting quite hot warm during the day.  We at least see great weather on the horizon -- yay!

Today, those smashingly-wonderful ladies, Ricki Jill at Art at Home and Miss Angie at My So-Called Chaos, are hosting a Smashing Summer {Smash Journal} Link Party!  I got confused (don't tell me that never happens to you!) and kind of "jumped-the-gun"with a post about my Smash Book in early August which you can see HERE in its entirety; but "in brief," I had been reading about these delightful little books, but just hadn't gotten around to checking them out until I read about this party.  They are available at Michael's, Hobby Lobby & JoAnn's, which is where I found the best selection & could utilize a couple of coupons -- yay!  Well, the wonderful party hosts suggested sharing a photo or two about how you used your Smash Book; but if you've followed my blog for very long, you know I rarely stop with just a couple of pics....lol!  So here goes!

As you see, I couldn't just have one book going, I "needed" to have 2!
My reasoning is this:  I'm a "tad bit" OCD (actually that's The Man's new nickname for me....lol), so it's very difficult for me to just simply "stick" things in one of these books.  I'm very "left-brain" driven, if you will.  Soooo....I decided to have a book that would appeal to my very organized & orderly side, & another for my "right-brain," forcing it to be more spontaneous, messy & creative.
If you are interested in how I use one of these books as my Daily Planner & the other for creativity, you should go HERE for the details.

Now, if you are thinking 2 "on-going" Smash Books would be enough -- WRONG!!!! -- I've added 
Smash Book 3!!!

I love to scrapbook and make cards; so over the years, I have amassed a large huge collection of magazines on the subject, plus books.  I have started going through the magazines, cutting out any photos or notes that really interest me, and putting them into my "Scrap It" Smash Book! 

I'm not just cutting things out of the magazines, I'm adding notes about things that are pertinent to my style of scrapbooking.

This book isn't organized (cough cough gasp gasp)!  I am literally "smashing" things in 
wherever they will fit.

Here I had a multi-page item that I folded over a piece of card stock that I had 
stapled to one of the pages. 

I'm just going through a few magazines each night as The Man & I watch TV.  The "pen" that comes with the Smash Book is so nice to write with but also has a glue stick on the other end, making it  much easier to work on my little "lap project."

I just love these Smash Books!  I still have one more unused one, but the "Scrap It" is working out so well, now I'm thinking I might do the same for my quilting magazines......hmmmm?  Well, I'm not deciding that today....lol!  I hope you will take the time to check out some of the other "smashing" ideas in this Link Party because everyone has a different take on using these books.  It's just so much fun!

I can't believe the weekend is almost here!  Our son is coming over on Saturday to help The Man with the garden shed, and I will be watching over Miss Little & Little Miss Busy (Mom is taking a class).  I'm hoping it might be cool enough to walk over to the park, but I'm not counting on that....lol!  I'm feeding "the Chef" a good ole home-cooked family favorite (pot roast, mashed potatoes peas w/carrots and a fruit cobbler).  Ya' know what, he will love it!  

We have also been getting ready for company; good friends from out-of-town will be coming on Monday to stay with us for a couple of days.  I always "bust my butt" getting things all spiffed up when company is coming.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this....LOL!  We just love this couple.  Patty and I have been good friends since high school -- you know the kind of friendship where you might not see each other for a couple of years, but just start talking like you were never apart -- yeah, that kind of friendship is what we have.  Fortunately, Mike and The Man have always been good friends, too!  We are looking forward to good food, good wine, & great conversation (more like non-stop gabbing for Patty & I)!

Anyway, this will probably be my last post until some time next week, but I may get in a few visits here and there.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and thank you so much for stopping by!




Looky What I Won!

Hey everyone!  First let me just say, "Thank You" for all the wonderful comments I've received on my kitchen redo.  Ya'll have said the nicest things, & I truly appreciate it!  A little something arrived in the mail yesterday that is the perfect addition to my kitchen.  I won a give-away over at The 2 Seasons, where this "Mother (Janet) & Daughter (Jordan)" team share some wonderful experiences with all of us.  You can check out their blog HERE.  The give-away was for a custom vinyl from Allison at her Etsy Shop, Single Story -- go check it out HERE.  Allison is just delightful, & she was super-patient with me while I tried to decide what I wanted & how big, etc.  My package arrived yesterday, & I got to work immediately.

Doesn't it look great?

This was my first experience with the vinyls, but Allison's instruction sheet made it 
so simple.

I love it, and so does The Man!

Thank you so much for stopping by, and please come again very soon!



The Kitchen Reveal!

Hey everyone!  I've been talking about this big project that we've been working on for what seems like a very long time, so I hope I haven't created a bigger build-up than it deserves.  You just have to keep in mind that we are older, move slower, & take longer to make up our minds about "stuff."  This was definitely how it went with our kitchen.  This is going to be a long post with tons of photos; so grab a snack, something to sip, & please keep all sharp objects locked away in case you feel like harming yourselves because this post is soooo.... long!  Here we go and you've been warned....lol!


You Just Never Know Who Is Watching!

Hey everyone, & happy weekend to all of you.  I received the following email yesterday from a Kohl's representative regarding this Post "Retail Therapy -- Better Than a Spa Day?"  Apparently they liked that I mentioned Kohl's in my post, & wanted to offer a special little discount to my readers.  I highlighted the pertinent info in the email, so you can easily grab the code for your shopping pleasure.  I'm not getting paid to do this, but thought it was nice of them to make this offer.  We can all use some discounts & bargains whenever we can get them, right?  This just proves the point that you never know who might be reading your blog!


My name is Stella Rafaelidys and I am working with Kohl's Department Stores, making sure that they are accurately and effectively represented online.

In your recent post titled "Retail Therapy -- Better Than a Spa Day?" at http://cas-anoasisinthedesert.blogspot.com/2012/08/retail-therapy-better-than-spa-day.html you mention lingerie you found at Kohl's. Therefore, I would like to share the Lingerie page with you in the hopes that you will consider adding the link to your post for the convenience of your readers: 


I noticed that you offer your readers great homemaking advice. Therefore, I also wanted to share an exclusive 10% off code for kohls.com. You can use the code UBLOGTEN now through October 24th and stack your savings with one other department specific code as well. Feel free to use this code and share it with your readers!

If you have any questions or need any further information, please feel free to contact me via email or phone.

Thank you!


Stella Rafaelidys
on behalf of Kohl's
111 E. Wacker
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312.739.0858
Email: stella.rafaelidys@performics.com

I know it's hard to believe that I did a post without any pictures.  Well, don't get too comfy with that, because my "kitchen project reveal" is all ready to be posted on Sunday -- rest up, lots of pics in that post!  So for now, here is wishing you a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by.



Hot Outside, Fall Inside - Part 2

Hey everyone!  Is this week going by fast for ya'll, because it certainly is going fast for me.  Anyway, I promised Part 2 of my Hot Outside, Fall Inside post & here it is.  If you missed Part 1, you can find it HERE.
The Sitting Room
Our old entertainment center that is now a bar, is still one of my favorite pieces of furniture.


Hot Outside, Fall Inside! Part 1

Hey everyone!  I hope ya'll are having a wonderful & safe Labor Day.  We are going over to our son's home to celebrate the day and 5 birthdays -- yep, we get swamped between early August & early September, but it's all fun!  Before we leave, I wanted to share some of what I've been doing in between working on some "home renovation" projects.

As you know, our Arizona desert does not get a Fall season so we have to fake it.  By the end of August, I am "stick a fork in me & call me done" with the heat (even if it isn't done with me yet) & have to begin my "fake" Fall.  I gathered all my Fall through Thanksgiving storage boxes into our guest room for easy access and have been playing with my treasures for the last few days, when I had a few minutes to spare.  All the Halloween and Thanksgiving things are sorted and staged into some nice boxes in one end of the guest room closet, and will be brought out later.  For now, I only want my "Fall" things.

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