Happy Birthday America!

Hey everyone!  We are having some seriously HOT weather here -- like 120 degrees, so I've decided it's a good time to take a bit of a bloggy break.  I think maybe my brain is melting, making it difficult to come up with some creative posts.  It always seems good for me to just step back for a bit, take a breath and recharge.    I've never re-posted a post before, but thought I'd give it a try and share last year's celebration with all of y'all.   I hope y'all have a wonderful, safe, happy and fun 4th of July!

This post is from July 4, 2012:

I hope everyone is having a wonderful, safe and very Happy 4th of July.  We had our daughter and family over for the first 4th of July celebration in our new home.  Our son and family are in San Diego, enjoying the beach and cooler weather, while he launches another True Food Kitchen restaurant.  They were missed but we know they are having fun, too.  I don't have a lot of decorations for this holiday, but put together a few things.

Let's start outside, shall we?

Not our typical blue sky, triple-digit day.  We had rain off and on & temps in the 90's!


"Patriotic" -- My Way!

Hey everyone!  Well, I think summer has pretty much arrived across the country now -- for sure it has settled in here in the Arizona desert.  I cannot believe July is almost here;  actually, is anyone else scratching their head over just where this year has gone?  My goodness, it's already time to show some patriotism and pull out the red, white and blue.  Just let me say, I am as patriotic as they come and tears can easily fill my eyes at the sight of our beautiful flag and what it stands for.  But......those traditional colors get a bit of a twist inside my home, so I thought I'd share "Patriotic" -- My Way!

This is one of my favorite places to decorate seasonally.  You can see I used some of those adorable blue ball jars to each hold a single faux Gerbera daisy.  My silver roo looks rather regal keeping watch over his domaine.

This was a free printable from someone last year (sorry, I don't remember who had it), 
but I really like it.

I added dried lavender to the jars so the stems would stand up which equals good smells, too!

I love my "Pears" print, but it was looking a bit too Fall to me, so the "summer banner" was my way of 
tying the pears to the rest of the decor.

Now, into the family room.

As you see, I am not yet tired of my coffee filter wreath.  Heck, I may never grow tired of it!  Anyway, I thought I'd keep the mantel very simple.  The giraffe is a favorite of The Man's, so I brought it into the family room so he could see it whenever he is watching TV.  I need something to perch on the sweet little footstool that belonged to my mil, but haven't figured out what I want to use.

Used two more of the ball jars.

I twisted some baker's twine in cherry red and turquoise around my battery candles.

I made the scrapbook paper flowers last year.  If you want to see my "Happy Birthday, America" post from 2012, you can go HERE.  The jars are filled with small gravel.

I used this sweet printable from the Graphics Fairy last year.  
You can see how I used it on my very non-traditional 4th of July mantel HERE.

Happy Summer, Y'all!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I truly appreciate each and every visitor, so please be sure to let me know you were here.  You are always welcome!

I love to party with these fine bloggers:
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Karen at Sew Many Ways for Sew Darn Crafty
Manuela at The Cultivated Nest for The Creative HomeAcre
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Dawn at Creative Cain Cabin for Budget Decorating Party
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Leslie at House on the Way for Twirl & Take a Bow
Mary Beth at Cupcakes and Crinoline for Project Inspired
Karin at The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday
Angela at Hickory Trail for Efforts and Assets
Kelly at Live Laugh Rowe for Live Laugh Linky Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home
Pamela at From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
The Feral Turtle at The Feral Turtle for The Aloha Blog Hop
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Oh, The Places I've Been
Jody & Stan at Rooted in Thyme for Simple and Sweet Fridays 
Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading


Blue Ball Jars and Baby Ducks?

Hey everyone!  Happy weekend to y'all!  You may be wondering what the heck Blue Ball jars and baby ducks have in common.  Well, even though we live in a well-maintained, well-manicured planned community, we are just a stone's throw from massive feedlots (upwind, thankfully), horse ranches and mini-farms well-stocked with chickens, goats and ducks.  We live in a town (please don't refer to us as a city, we are not and do not want to be) only a few thousand shy of Scottsdale's population of 220,000, and with more than 1/3 of our citizens being under the age of 18.  Yep, lots of large, young families who like the idea of teaching their children a little about "living off the land" and tending a few farm animals.  Sorry, I'm not quite as "side-tracked" as you may be thinking, so just hang in there.

Anyway, when the announcement that Ball had reissued a special Blue Canning jar, I knew I wanted some and started searching around.  Where I ended up was Ace Hardware, which we seem to have in abundance around these parts.  I thought it was kind of strange that this smaller, rather old-fashioned store could still be existing considering all of the Lowes and Home Depots that are springing up all over the place.  Well, apparently this "youth-filled" area we live in, still prefers this more intimate hardware store over the big box ones.  I was a bit dubious about whether my little Ace would have these beautiful jars that I was seeking, but I went anyway, and lookie what I found.....

They were even prettier in person, so I bought 2 boxes!  I'll be sharing some of my plans for these little "pretties" in the not-so-distant future!

Have y'all been in an Ace Hardware in awhile?  Well, I certainly hadn't and the first things I noticed were "farm smells and farm noises."  What?  As in......

Lots of containers like this one, teeming and peeping with little "quackers," baby chicks and
even some baby turkeys (guess we know where they will end up.....lol!)  I grew up on mini-farms where my dad raised a few head of cattle, a horse or two,  chickens, and a large garden.  Well, that is not a life I want to repeat, except for the garden, but I was truly fascinated.  A baby "anything" (except those of the reptilian variety) will stop me "dead in my tracks," and I had to stop long enough to snap a pic, touch a sweet little soft head, and listen to "peeping."  This store also boasted small quantities of just about anything "hardware-related" you could possibly want, and the worker bees knew exactly where to direct their patrons to find whatever they were looking for -- now I could get used to that!

So.....mission accomplished!

While out and about that day, I also popped in Michael's and found these

Little beauties on their 70% off aisle -- SCORE!  I even made a quick stop at Joann's for that pretty piece of fabric that will be part of a little guest bath redo.  More on that later!

It was really a fun day!  Thanks, everyone, for stopping by.  Please know you are always welcome!

I'm partying here:
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Oh, The Places I've Been
Jody & Stan at Rooted in Thyme for Simple and Sweet Fridays 


Would You Believe?

Hey everyone!  I hope y'all are having a wonderful Father's Day.  My home smells so delicious right now with a pot roast cooking in the slow cooker and The Pioneer Woman's Blackberry Cobbler has just finished baking!  There will be mashed potatoes, baby sweet peas and a big bowl of "fresh from the garden" cherry tomatoes , too!  Our son, dil and the two little ones will be coming over for one of Mom's "tried and true" family dinners, and I can't wait!  It will be another hour or so before they get here, so I thought I'd put together a quick post.  The reason for the title of this post is because I have once again "tweaked" my Momma-Cave.  I know, you must really be tired of seeing this room by now, but I'm lovin' what I've done and y'all know you want to see!  Really?  You do, don't you?


44 Years Ago

Hey everyone!  This wonderful week is winding down, and with it comes a BIG celebration for 
The Man and I.  

Way back so many, many years ago, when these two were just sweet, innocent babes, little did
they know that one day on a warm Spring day, they would meet and fall in love.

    Little did they know that one year later, on June 14th at 10 o'clock in the morning, they would come together with their family and friends to exchange the sacred vows of marriage.

Little did they know that in just four short years, their little family would be complete with a sweet baby girl and an infant son.

Little did they know, but truly hoped, that those sweet babes would become such wonderful adults
with babes of their own.

Little did they know, all those years ago, they would some day have the most wonderful gifts ever.

And little did they know, all those many years ago, that they could possibly be happier
today and love each other more with each passing year.


I love to party here:
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home
Jody & Stan at Rooted in Thyme for Simple and Sweet Fridays 
Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading


Coffee! Coffee! I Love My Coffee!

Hey everyone!  I hope y'all are having a great morning.  My morning has to start with a great big mug of coffee.  Do you love your coffee, especially your morning brew, as much as I do?  Well, some of you probably do.  I didn't even start drinking coffee until I was into my twenties -- like a gazillion years ago!  I've given up caffeine a few times, but always come back.  Now I don't have a fancy-shmancy coffee maker, just my Hamilton Beach Thermal coffee maker, but into that 10-year old machine goes a good quality coffee and all the little extras that make it my special "cuppa."  Well, when you have these special accoutrements, you need a place to have them conveniently available  displayed, right?  Hence, "The Coffee Station" was born!  Thanks to blogs and Pinterest, there are more "coffee station" ideas out there than you can shake a stick at -- from super-simple to the "extreme," from very practical to "this is so pretty no one can use it," and everything in between.  So, today I thought I'd share what I've come up with over the last couple of years.

Well, obviously, this was before I ever saw my first "Coffee Station," because this is super-simple!  I have my coffee maker, coffee canister, my Fiesta Cream & Sugar, and a small ramekin for my spoon.


The Farm at South Mountain

Hey everyone!  Hope y'all are having a great weekend!  I wanted to share a "new-to-me" place here in the Phoenix area.  It's called The Farm and is one of the most charming places I've ever seen.  The story and some of the pics are directly from their website -- sadly I only had my iPhone that day, so my photos do not do this wonderful place the justice it so deserves.

The Man discovered this charming place quite by accident
and knew I would love going there.  So, a couple of weeks
ago, we decided to go have breakfast -- it was still cool 
enough to enjoy being outside, so we took it all in!


This is what you see as you enter the grounds -- 
                 lots and lots of pecan trees.

One of three restaurants sits to the right of this pecan grove.  
This one is called The Farm Kitchen, and you can order
sandwiches & get them packed up in a picnic basket to take
out into the grove where there are lots and lots of picnic tables.

The Story of The Farm at South Mountain
In keeping with the early philosophy, the ten acres just south of Southern and 32nd Street was planted with 100 pecan trees, and for over 40 years was nurtured by a retired cattleman by the name of Skeeter Coverdale. Ultimately Skeeter determined it was too much work to care for the trees and harvest the 5,000 pounds of nuts each year. He wanted to move to Punkin Center where he could buy a trailer, "drink beer, swat flies, and tell lies" - and that's what he did! 

Today, the owner, A. Wayne Smith, has preserved the wondrous sense of rural tranquility and vision of sustainability with independently owned businesses that contribute to the cultural, educational, restorative and economic environments that thrive on the historic land. According to Gourmet Magazine, dining beneath the pecan trees at The Farm "... is a spiritual experience for those who journey to this 12-acre organic oasis." 

This is Morning Glory Cafe where we had breakfast.  About halfway through our meal, almost every table was in use!

This was the view from our table -- part of the organic vegetable garden and 
Maya's Farm, a small, sustainable operation which produces high-quality specialty   vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs for local markets, restaurants and schools.  They were loading up the most beautiful bundles of sunflowers to take to various markets the day we were there.

This was a succulent garden with some of the most unusual plants 
I've ever seen.

The Artists' Studio is a fun little place to buy something very unique and special.  Memorial Day weekend was their last day of the season, 
but they re-open in September.

 This is another restaurant, Quiessence, a 4-star charmer that usually requires reservations.  We couldn't get any closer, because it was being all set up for a special dinner.  Over to the far left is a pizza
or bread oven.  You can have your own private table in front of it.

 I was truly on "sensory overload," and just couldn't get enough of the wonderful serenity of this place.

All of the restaurants will be closing this month (too hot to eat outside), but will re-open in September.  I'm looking forward to visiting again.

I'm partying here:
The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Oh, The Places I've Been
Jody & Stan at Rooted in Thyme for Simple and Sweet Fridays
Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading


Just Some Randomness!

Hey everyone!  I hope y'all are having a great week and a wonderful start to your summer.  We've jumped right into hot weather around here, but "it's a dry heat, ya know!"  I took off for a little "retail therapy" this morning.  I haven't done that in quite awhile, and I NEEDED it!  I decided Hob Lob would probably give me a pretty good "fix," and they seldom let me down.  

Y'all know I love to scrapbook and one of my favorite scrapbooking "geniuses" is Becky Higgins of Project Life fame.  She has wonderful products which have been available via Amazon, but now are in some retail markets -- yes, you guessed it.....Hobby Lobby!  So that was my main reason for going to HL, and they did not disappoint.

I bought the Honey Edition Core Kit.

The colors are really fun!  I can't wait to get started!

If you like to scrapbook but aren't familiar with Becky and Project Life, you should go to her blog HERE.  If scrapbooking isn't your thing, just ignore my gushing!  

What was really so funny, and I don't know why I was so shocked, but I was.  On my way back to the scrapbooking area of Hob Lob, I decided to take a spin through the first couple of aisles where they generally have the current seasonal displays.  Well, there was one aisle of Patriotic items for the 4th, but then I turned down the next aisle and "What to my wandering eyes should appear?"...............

Fall and Thanksgiving have arrived!

Who knew it was just around the corner?

Hmmm.....don't we have Summer to enjoy?  Well, some of you get to enjoy it;  here in AZ, we just tolerate it and try to survive.  So maybe these Fall displays aren't so far off the mark.  What do you think -- YES?  NO?  MAYBE?  You certainly have plenty of time to budget and buy just an item here and there.  At least they didn't have any Halloween spookiness or bags of candy yet!

To conclude my Wednesday afternoon randomness, I just had to share some cuteness!

Abby likes to sit on the back of my TV chair -- that's why there is a cover!  The Man took this one with his cell phone, so not such a great pic.

I took this one and the next with my iPad over my shoulder.  She has kind of a "ho-hum" attitude about having her picture taken!

She's not "Grumpy Cat" just "Sleepy Cat!"

With that I will bid you a great afternoon.  I'm thinking a tall iced coffee latte is in order and some scrapbooking with my new stuff!  Hope you are enjoying your afternoon.  Thanks for stopping by and remember you are always welcome!

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