Do You Like Farmers' Markets?

Hey everyone!  Do y'all go to Farmers' Markets?  We don't go every week, but they really are fun even if you aren't buying produce.  We have a Farmers' Market every Wednesday right here in our neighborhood, so we like to go and snoop around once in awhile.   


The Planner Craze!

Hey everyone!  Do you use a "planner" of some kind -- a Filofax, Erin Condren, Franklin Covey or any one of the other popular brands out there?  I do and have since the 70's (okay, don't call me old -- I'm just very mature and have been around the block a few times) when my children were in grade school, and I was one of the few "stay-at-home Moms."  Being in that small and very select group meant I was the chief volunteer for everything that went on in the school -- PTA President, room mother for both kids, Chair for all fundraisers, cookie baker for all parties.....well, you get the picture.  Of course, this was on top of keeping up with Scouts, soccer, piano lessons....whew, I truly had a full-time job that I did not get monetarily paid for, but I did it for my children.  I was involved in so many things that I knew I had to have a way to keep it all organized.  I bought my first planner at that time, and it was not much more than a small notebook to which I had added a calendar; but it saved my bacon many times.  This was kind of the start of my OCD about being organized.  I discovered that I REALLY liked having a place to write all this "stuff" down & even started taking some classes on being more organized.  As I got more into this organization thing, my "planner-needs" grew, and they continued to grow as my children got older, and I joined the ranks of "Moms working outside the home."

Classic Simulated Leather Magnetic Binder - Black
Over the next few years, I went through numerous planners, then Daytimers, & then entered the world of Franklin Covey.  Now these were not cheap, but once I found the binder that I liked, I had it for about ten+ years.  I simply replaced the calendar inserts every year.  I was running a small business at the time, so my FC was by my side at all times.


Happy Randomness

Hey everyone!  The last several days have been kind of a whirlwind of activities with some out-of-town family.  We had a great time, saw some sights, ate too much, DID NOT have TOO MUCH wine, and just had fun!  I was downloading photos and just decided to share some of our randomness before, during and after our company was here.
The skies opened and the angels started singing -- we finally retired our old bbq after 30+ years of great service to our family.  The old girl survived a few years in the Oregon rain and was then subjected to many years of dust storms and constant baking in the sun here in Arizona.  She was made of cast aluminum, so there was not a speck of rust, but she was not cooking very evenly anymore and having a few other struggles.  Poor thing kind of looks like the "ugly stepsister" to Cinderella, her shiny, all stainless steel replacement!


Cinderella is definitely a beauty with four cooking controls and a side burner.  We are hoping she performs as well as the faithful one she replaced.


This beauty is hanging over our back wall from the neighbor's yard.  Does anyone know what this is? A couple of people on FB thought it was a Butterfly Bush, but it really does not have the same shape flower as that bush does.  It's beautiful and I will enjoy it for as long as it wants to hang out!

Our company arrived on Wednesday -- The Man's brother and SIL.  They wanted to eat at our son's restaurant, so off to True Food we went.

True Food Kitchen in the Scottsdale Quarter
True Food is in the Scottsdale Quarter.

Just one catch -- Little Miss and Littlest Miss were there, too!  
Aack!  Littlest Miss says this all the time!

This is the Quarter's new Restoration Hardware -- yep, that sucker is 3 stories!  It is HUGE!  Not a place I shop, but it is fun to snoop around.

B & J had never been to Casa Grande Indian Ruins, so this is how we spent one of our days.  I wrote rather extensively about the ruins HERE, when we visited this amazing place with some other visitors.


Notice any similarities?  BTW, our sweet guide, Libby, was just delightful and so very well informed and knowledgeable. 

We were starving after our travels and headed for Joe's BBQ.  If you live anywhere in the Phoenix metro area, a drive over to Joe's in Gilbert is well worth the time and gas!  Sorry, I was hungry and forgot to take a pic!

I don't know about y'all, but when we've had company and enjoyed that camaraderie for a few days, it's a real let-down when they leave.  We've just kind of puttered around the house today, not really doing too much of anything.  

An idea came to me this morning over coffee for a new vignette for our breakfast table.  I used my old tool caddy, added a very old cream and sugar that had belonged to my great, great grandparents that I filled with some stainless and napkins, then added in an older salt & pepper set,

Plus some little skinny jars filled with some flower clippings.

I'm really liking how it turned out!

This is my current iPhone wallpaper -- so cute!

And this is my iPad wallpaper.  You can find these and many other selections for FREE at 
Becky Higgins Freebies.  Just scroll down to Project Life Mobile Wallpapers if you are interested.

This is kind of strange or weird, but we bought this large selection of deli meats and cheeses to have when our company was here.  Well, this morning I thought I'd better repackage it and toss this huge container that was taking up so much space in the fridge.

The tray part of the package just looked way too useful to toss, so I took it to my craft room (after a good wash, of course).

I placed a 12x12 scrapbook paper pad inside so you can see how big this tray really is.  It has just a 3/4" edge around the perimeter, so I'm thinking it will be perfect for some crafting -- you know, containing glitter, bling, or just random stuff.  I always look at things with an eye for recycling.  Do y'all do that?

Well, I have probably worn out my welcome and overloaded you with pics, but it was just that kind of day.  Oh, just so you know, I did do laundry and remake beds!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and are, hopefully, enjoying some warmer weather wherever you are.



Kitchen Organizing -- More Please!

Hey everyone!  If y'all have followed me for any length of time, you know I love nothing more than tweaking and/or organizing things in our home.  It seems my craft room and the kitchen get most of this, and today I am sharing some changes I made in the kitchen.  The Man use to grumble a bit when I changed things in the kitchen & he couldn't find something.  Now, he just goes along, because I do almost all of the cooking, and he realizes that I need to change things up in order to remain motivated in my cooking endeavors after almost forty-five years!  My latest challenge involved my dried herbs & seasonings.  
This is what I had going on prior to the changes.
This was a gift from The Man several years ago after we had finished a complete kitchen remodel in our previous home.  It was a much better fit in that kitchen to have this out on the counter.

I Got One!

Hey everyone!  Do you remember back in December when I was asking for opinions regarding Dutch ovens?  Well, I spent quite a lot of time looking, reading and querying lots of folks and finally decided on one.  So, YAY, I am now the happy owner of this beauty.......

I chose this beautiful red and a 5.5 qt. size -- plenty big enough for our needs & not so heavy that 
I cannot lift it into the wall oven.  That is a major plus!

Lodge is the original cast iron maker right here in the USA.  I queried a friend who actually belongs to a "Dutch Oven Cooking Club," and the Lodge is the one that he uses and the one used by most of the group members (large group).

Beautifully smooth inside and there has been absolutely no sticking.

I am very happy with my choice.  It is a perfect "work horse" addition to my kitchen!  An added plus is that The Man didn't have to take out a "2nd" on our home to buy this!

Now for just a bit of randomness.

Have y'all heard about these or use them?  Cannot remember where I first heard about these, but I was immediately on a mission to find them.

I have double wall-ovens, the top is self-cleaning, but the lower one is not.  Guess which one almost never gets used?  It is enough work and very stinky to get the self-cleaning oven thoroughly cleaned; so I have avoided using the lower oven except for keeping something warm -- big waste!

With these liners, I can use both ovens and only have to pull out the liners and wipe them clean if there is spillage.

These liners cover the entire bottom of the oven, & they sit under the lower coil.

I really hate running the self-clean cycle.  It takes a long time, heats up the house, and is just
so doggone stinky!

  The Man found these on Amazon (just do a search for oven liners if you are interested), but they also have them at Bed Bath & Beyond.

I'm a happy little "Suzy Homemaker" now!
I may be partying with some of these fine bloggers this week:

The Tablescaper at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Karen at Sew Many Ways for Sew Darn Crafty
Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Kathryn at The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Mondays
Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons for One Project at a Time
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
Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop
Karin at The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday
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


Simple Changes

Hey everyone!  I don't know about y'all, but when it comes to diys and home projects, we have to do some prioritizing.  Putting things on the "back burner" is not always very easy for me, but I can usually get myself busy with other things and try not to let little things bother me.  Some times I can even wait until it becomes The Man's idea.  We made a lot of light fixture and ceiling fan upgrades when we first moved into our home, but the only thing that changed in the breakfast room was the removal of a very tacky light and replacing it with this lovely one that had been in the dining room.  It was originally some awful coppery color and The Man spray-painted it when we painted the table and island.  We had also replaced the globes, so it wasn't truly awful, just not what we wanted; but it was not on the priority list.......until last week.  The Man was in Lowe's looking at something else and ended up looking at light fixtures. 
He came home and got me to take a look.  Well, obviously replacing this light fixture had moved up on the priority ladder and I was all for that!


Littliest Miss Turned "3"

Hey everyone!  I'm very late in posting about this very special birthday, but better late than never, right?  Right!  Cannot believe this little charmer has been in our lives for three years now.  Avery is an absolute delight -- funny, sweet, happy and quite the daredevil!  

And did I mention how adorably cute she is?  Well, seriously, just look at her!  Am I a prejudiced Nana?  Not in a million!

Short sleeves and barefoot -- that's how we roll February 1st in Arizona!  

I created this little bag as part of her present and filled it with the sunglasses, bangles, rings & other girlie stuff!

The little denim purse was something I picked up at Michael's years ago & just needed to decorate it up a bit.  It was quite the hit!

Love the bangles, and those glasses are a riot!

Mom made her cake, of course!  Those are fondant animals decorating the top and sides.

I think big Sis was just about as excited as Avery!

This was a pizza party with all of their neighbors & kids invited.  Our son was manning the pizza oven and Ally was trying to wrangle about ten 3 to 5 year olds in a game of musical chair.  It was hilarious.  I'm not sharing pics of anyone else's children since I don't know how their parents would feel about that.  Take my word for it, a fun-time was had by all!  It certainly reminds us "elders" why we had children when we were young......lol!


I've Been Very Spoiled

Hey everyone!  I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who wrote such sweet and very complimentary Birthday wishes to me.  Y'all really know how to make my day!  I had a really nice birthday, and The Man spoiled me even more than he normally does.  Would you like to see?

I know some of us like diamonds and pearls, and I do like those things & The Man has given me those kinds of lovelies many times in the past.  Then there are those times that you just want practical, right?  Well, that's where I was this year.  I LOVE to cook, so I wanted "appliances!"

I really wanted a NINJA, and we had seen these at Costco for a really good price.

I love that this has one unit that sits on the counter and then has all of these other attachments.  It has a blender, food processor, & individual blender cups & travel cups for smoothies.  This Bad Boy replaced my "thirty-something" blender, Cuisinart, & a very crappy smoothie maker.

These wicked-looking blades & the ones in the individual smoothie-maker attachment can actually turn ice cubes into snow!  You know how "juicing" is the new trend in health, and this machine is fabulous for that.  My most favorite attachment so far is the individual blender-cup which makes my afternoon coffee smoothie!  Yep, I'm sold on the NINJA!

The NINJA was not a surprise, but my other present was a surprise for sure!

This is the cooktop that came with the house.  It worked fine (& I love cooking on gas), but it had been badly scratched from someone (before me) trying to clean it with something very abrasive.  Those scratches were then like magnets to any spills or spatters, and I was constantly cleaning them and making little headway.  Soooo........

On my birthday, The Man announced that we were going shopping for a new stainless steel stove top!
This "beauty" is from IKEA and got installed yesterday.  It is so beautiful!

As if all the above were not enough, The Man stopped at TJ's on the way home so I could get some flowers.  He knows TJ's is my favorite store to buy fresh flowers.

TULIPS -- they just make me so happy!

My other favorite flowers are Hydrangeas, and this sweet thing was from my son and dil.

Yep, appliances and flowers -- I could not ask for anything more!

                                         Well, okay, dinner at one of my
                                      faves -- BJ's Brewhouse!          

This was my entree, and it was DELISH!

BJ's Cobbler Dessert
This was dessert which I chose prior to ordering my entree, but I actually took it home & savored every bite once I put some elastic-waist pants on......heehee!
Berry Cobbler w/Vanilla Bean Ice Cream & Spiced Pecans

Yep, becoming "65" was pretty darn sweet!

Thank you so much for indulging me and allowing me to share my Birthday "happies" with y'all!

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