Here There and Everywhere

Time to share a bit more Christmas around here!  Please forgive me if I have not responded to some comments...having an issue with blogger.  Those who are always so faithful about commenting, rest assured, I will get to you sooner or later.  Today I am sharing our family room, breakfast area and kitchen.  This is where we live, and I chose to have it be merry, bright and fun.  If you missed my first Christmas post, you can find it HERE.

Our mantel decor got some updates this year.  I found the flocked, pre-lit garland at At Home and combined it with the cotton stem garland from my Fall Mantel...love how it looks!

 I use to collect snowmen, adding one each year, but haven't added any for quite some time.  I adore the ones I have and find new ways each year to display them.


Lots of Christmasing Going On

Hey everyone!  Long time, no blogging; but I am back and ready to share!  In case you are wondering, "Christmasing" is definitely a word....at least around my home, and I've been doing lots of it.  I seriously pulled out all the stops this year and used everything I had, plus a few new things.  And, you know what?  It took me over a week, but I enjoyed every minute of the process.  And, isn't that the way it should be?  Well, anyway, let's get this show on-the-road.  I promise I will TRY  not to be overly wordy.

I've never had this tree in this location before, and The Man and I are loving it!  This is the view as you walk into our entry.  I wasn't sure it would work, but there is ample room to walk around either side of the tree....well, maybe not for me after I ingest a few too many Christmas cookies!


Feeling Fall and Had to Share

Yes, I know I said in my last post, that I didn't know if I would be sharing anymore in blogland;  but, hey, it's almost Fall, my home is decorated, and I just had to share.  One big thing I have learned in the month and a half that I haven't posted, I can seriously get a lot done!  On the flip-side, I really do miss all of you so very much; and trying to stay in touch through IG or FB just isn't the same.  All that being said, you'd better grab a snack (is it cool enough in your area for a Pumpkin Latte?) because as usual, this post is photo-heavy!  I truly am going to keep the chit-chat to a minimum, I promise.  So, what are you waiting for, come on in!



A Difficult Decision

Dear Friends,

I have thought long and hard about this decision I've finally made, and it has not come easily.  I've decided to walk away from blogging, at least for now.  I began this blogging adventure in September of 2010 and have had lots of fun along the way.  Blogging in those first couple of years was joyful....there was kind of an innocence about it.  The friends I made (and still have a few) were so kind and eager to share just the simple everyday things of life.  Very few had sponsors, and most of us were just eager to share with each other.  

Sadly, many things have changed in this "Blog World."  There is such a competitive vibe now.  For many it seems, they have to be constantly changing something or buying something to make their homes more picture-perfect.  And there are so many "fashion bloggers" now....if you don't shop at Nordstroms, well...!  Please don't think this is "sour grapes" on my part...maybe it's my age, who knows.  I just find it very annoying to attempt to read someone's post and have ads popping up between every paragraph or photo.  I realize  those of you who have sponsors have no control over this, and God bless you if you need to go this route to have additional income for your family.  I truly wish you much success.  I just miss the days when it felt like good friends chatting over coffee or hearing the latest news over the back fence.  I guess it does sound like an "age thing!"

I don't regret any part of these last 10 years, and the very close bond I've made with some of you bring tears to my eyes.  You've warmed my heart more than you can imagine, and your kindness when I was battling cancer gave me so much strength.  I will forever be grateful.

All that being said, I cannot totally cut the apron strings.  I'm not shutting down my blog, but it will be inactive.  I've decided that sharing on IG might be the best thing for me, and if you want to follow me that way, you can find me HERE.  I'll be always grateful to hear from you.

Most truly yours,


Boxes and More Boxes

Hey everyone!  Yes, I'm back after being MIA for over a month...maybe "once-a-month blogging" is my new normal.  Who knows!  

You might be wondering from the title of this post, if we are moving.  NO, we are definitely not moving!  So what's going on?


It was a sofa delivery!  Not exactly the normal way to receive a new sofa....well, not normal unless your sofa is coming from IKEA!  Box after box came through our front door....a total of 7 large and 3 small ones.  We are now the happy owners of the EKTORP Sectional in Lofallet Beige!

The instructions were quite good, and everything was well labeled.  It kind of goes together 
like a puzzle.

Even ironing the slipcover was not bad...this fabric is so nice and the wrinkles just melted away.
It only took about two hours, start to finish, to put this sofa together!


The Man and I are both so happy with this color.  It took some effort on my part to convince The Man that this was not too light, but now he is as happy as I am.  Light is good, but white would have looked terrible in here.

We also really like that we can buy another slipcover in a different color, should we 
want to do so.  Oh, the slipcover is washable, too!

We also purchased two of these EKTORP ottomans.  I put glides under the feet of both, so they can be moved around very easily....great storage inside, too!

This room had been very awkward for furniture arranging until we decided on this sectional sofa.
We are so HAPPY!

Even though we are several hours from the Pacific Ocean, I still like to add some beach 
elements to my Summer decor.

This is pretty much all I am doing for July 4th this year.  

I'm actually quite pleased with this mantel arrangement and will probably leave it up for 
most of July!

Complete change of topic here, but I promised several months ago to let you know whether I like this foundation or not.  The answer is YES!  I wanted to give it a really good try before I said anything.  It has felt great on my face during cool-dry, hot-dry, and very hot-dry weather....we will have to wait and see how it holds up during our Monsoon season!  It's available at ULTA for $38 here in AZ, but I just recently bought a backup using a 20% coupon...YAY!

Now, just for the "cute factor."  Miss Abby had a urinary tract infection recently and was on an antibiotic for two weeks, and this is what we had to do to give her medicine.  Yes, a kitty burrito!  The Man would wrap her up and hold her while I squirted in the meds; and then he would just hold her like this for awhile....I think she actually liked this part, too!  Good news, she is all well now!

Thanks so much for stopping by and for not giving up on me.  No promises that I'll be posting often, but posting when I have something to share.  Hope everyone is having a great Summer.  Can you believe this year is half over?  Where does the time go?  Don't waste it!


I hope to be joining some of these lovely ladies this week:

Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop
Carol at The Red Painted Cottage for Share Your Style Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home


No Idle Hands or Mind Around Here

Hey everyone!  I told you I’d be back soon with another post and let you know what I’ve been doing to keep busy and out of trouble...HAHA!   Well, I've spent quite a lot of time over the last couple of weeks, purging and reorganizing some closets....don't tell me you're surprised!  One of those closets is my craft room closet.  It wasn't really bad but did need some tidying up.  I would love to take off the doors, but there just isn't a good place to store them safely, and some day they would need to go back on the closet.  That being said, I tried to create my storage accordingly.


Left side of closet is all things fabric-related....sewing/quilting, patterns, trims, etc.
Right side is paper-related...seasonal scrapbook/cardmaking supplies, plus the printer and
all of its related items.  Yes, of course everything is labeled!

I picked up some new cloth-covered boxes at IKEA to replace the old file boxes with lids (also from IKEA), because they were looking rather tattered and didn't completely fill the cubies like these do.  These come in several colors, but I liked the white and the polka dot the best.


I am thoroughly enjoying my little seasonal tree!  It's dressed in vintage-mode for now....birds,
fabric yoyos, garlands, etc.

Do you know about travelers' journals?  I'm guessing these journals were intended for just what the name implies, but I use them for daily journaling.  I've been having fun making my own since last Fall.  I prefer one per month, each with about forty pages to write or create on.  There are so many 
fun tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest, showing how to make these from scratch or even with recycled materials.  You can also find them all ready made up in a plain Kraft paper....these are super simple to cover with scrapbook paper you've been hoarding collecting.

You can be just as creative as you want, or keep them simple and filled with your daily thoughts.

I like buying these faux leather binders that come with 2 or 3 of the plain Kraft paper journals inside. This way I can store 3 of my finished journals in each one....I still need to add some tags with the month and year.


I saw this cute printable and idea from Bev at Flamingo Toes and just had to make one!  I haven't embroidered in eons, but these stitches are easy.  This is going somewhere in my craft room, but I just haven't decided where....isn't it cute?


Finally decided to dedicate this Raskgog cart to my Project Life card sets, with the second basket down, holding my photos and any collected ephemera I want to put in a scrapbook.  The bottom
basket is up for grabs...right now it's holding a crocheted basket full of homemade pompoms, because why wouldn't you want a delicious little supply of those fuzzy cuties?  Just sayin'!

I adore decorating the top of my Kallax, but it seldom remains the same for very long!

I have a little crush going on with flamingos right now!

I just recently changed this little shelving unit to hold a few wood stamps, some jars of paper flowers, and some other cute little jars filled with "stuff!"  Anything that makes me smile is a good fit in my
"Crafty Happy Place!"

Catching up on my scrapbook albums can be time-consuming, but it's something I absolutely love doing.  These pages were from last Thanksgiving when our son and family were with us.  I'm almost
completely caught up!

I haven't changed too many things decor-wise since Spring, but I did put together a fun
vignette for the kitchen island.

So what are you all doing to keep busy right now?  I know many of you have finally started having Spring-Summer weather and are probably moving your activities outdoors.  Here in the AZ desert, we've already had some triple-digit temps and moving most activities (unless they are water-related) to the indoors.  Early morning and evening temps are still feeling good, but that won't last for long!  Well, it is what it is!  Hope you all have a wonderful week!


I hope to be joining some of these lovely ladies this week:

Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop
Carol at The Red Painted Cottage for Share Your Style Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home


Choosing to Change

Hey, everyone!  Wow, it's been almost a month since I blogged and that was a post about my back pain issues....ugh, who wants to hear about that?  Well, some of you have asked, so I'll just quickly bring you up-to-date.   I had my 3rd epidural this past week, have been doing physical therapy for 6 weeks, and I'm feeling much, much better!  I may need one more injection, but enough about all that.

For those of you who have known me for awhile, you know I was a "redhead" (from a bottle) for more years than I can remember and every shade from dark auburn to strawberry blonde.  Well, a couple of years ago, cancer and chemo took care of that very quickly;  but I was prepared for losing my hair and kind of excited to see what my "virgin" hair might be when it grew back.  As many of you know, either firsthand or otherwise, that new hair might be curly or all white and is as soft as a newborn baby's hair.  My hair came in very, very dark ash-brown, curly (that was short-lived), very little gray and super fine.  I truly did not recognize myself in the mirror and really did not like what I saw.  When my hairdresser decided my hair was strong enough, she finally caved to my whining and agreed to highlights....at least that would give my hair some body.  I lived and worked with this "weird" hair for a long time, but even after finally finding a cut I liked, I still did not like my hair.  Then one day, I had a "lightbulb" moment after seeing a woman with lovely red hair....I REALLY MISSED BEING A REDHEAD!  Even though I wasn't born with red hair (my natural hair color was medium brown with red highlights), I do have skin coloring to carry it off...plus, I'm pretty good with makeup.  I discussed it with The Man, and he said, "Whatever makes you happy, makes me happy!"  Now, is that a smart man or what?  Sooo....last week I did it!  Wanna' see the new me?


No Pictures This Time

Hi everyone! Well, April has been a month of new experiences, some challenges, and lots of hope and positive thinking for active and fun-filled days ahead. For some time now, I have dealt with back and sciatic pain. For the longest time I pushed myself at the gym, thinking that just keeping myself moving was the end-all cure-all. At my bi-annual oncology checkup (all is good!), I shared how my back and sciatic pain were just getting worse. My doctor had some of the same issues and suggested I see someone at the Nova Spine Pain Institute. She had had some very good results... and I take recommendations from any professional at MD Anderson without hesitation.  

I had my first appointment two weeks ago and could not have had more confidence in the doctor and how he suggested we proceed. The first new experience was an MRI...to say I am claustrophobic would be putting it mildly, but after acting like a crazy lady, they agreed to sedation (apparently there is a shortage of this drug in the entire "Valley of the Sun"). The pros doing the MRI could not have been nicer and very considerate of my phobia...probably heard about the "crazy lady" thing! 

My next new experience and recommendation from the doctor, was physical therapy. I knew from day one that this was not going to be easy, pain-free or possible without my complete participation and commitment. I've had four sessions, each being 90 min. to 2 hrs....painful, but I am seeing results!  

After meeting again with my doctor about the MRI results, he suggested Epidural Steroid injections to be given in 2 to 3 appointments. They have a fully-staffed treatment room for the procedure, and they strongly advise sedation...heck yeah, bring it on! They use an Xray guided protocol to get the medication in exactly the right location. I had my first injections today, and while I am pretty sore right now, I am very hopeful that these shots along with my PT, will give me a much better quality of life. I actually would like my "Golden Years" to be truly "Golden," so my attitude going forward is positive. Sorry this is so long; but from past experience, you should know how I like to share stuff that might be beneficial to some of you. And I will keep you posted!

Okay, posts without pictures are really boring, so I will give you one little teaser pic of my Spring-to-Summer craft room tree....I haven't finished it yet, but it's already pretty cute!

I am so sorry that some of you are still experiencing crazy cold and snowy weather!  I hope you will be getting Spring-like weather soon...at least before the calendar says it's Summer!  Take care and be safe.

Hugs to all,


Hippity-Hoppity Happening

Can you believe Easter is less than a week away?  I thought I'd better get my tush in-gear and share my Easter/Spring decor.  Life has been and continues to be rather busy around our home, so it was now or never....well, probably not never; just much later!
The Easter Tree in all it's fluffiness and fun!

 I've been adding more pinky-blush and love how fresh and calm it feels.

There's been some paper-crafting going on....there are tons of free patterns on Pinterest for making flowers of all sizes and types!

 I'm loving these pink cherry blossom stems!

A birdcage filled with old book pages tied together and a bird and bird nest 
equals simple Spring perfection.

These two show up every Easter, often with a re-glued ear!

 This sweet scene on the foyer table welcomes one and all.

 Love hydrangeas!

 More paper (cardstock) flowers...so much fun to make!

This is a FREE printable from Anne on Sutton Place.  It was part of my
St. Patrick's Day decor, but I love this Irish Blessing, so it's staying for awhile!
with walls for the wind,
A warm cup of tea 
by the fire.
Those you love near you,

I had some fun decorating my breakfast nook buffet!

I'm feeling the lure of live plants, like these orchids, above and below.  Got them at our grocery store (WINCO) for $7....I know, right?  Fingers crossed that I don't kill them!

 Perfection....God's handiwork.

Very simple mantel.

Well, there you go....my Easter/Spring decor.  I kept things fairly simple this year, except for my Easter Tree, which is just wild and crazy!  I'm really enjoying the pretty pastels and could easily keep this look going through Summer.....probably, well, not very likely!  Bloggers have to change stuff...nothing stays the same for very long.  I do hope to keep this look at least through April, but we will see!  Anyway, hope you enjoyed this photo-heavy glimpse of Easter/Spring around our home.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter!


I hope to be joining some of these lovely ladies this week:

Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday
Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop
Carol at The Red Painted Cottage for Share Your Style Party
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home

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