Friday, February 26, 2010

you won't believe this

Have you ever found something hidden within a thrifted treasure? Well I have. And some of you remember the story... when I found a marquise diamond wedding ring set inside a vintage purse. Oh and forever losing my diamond in a pair of jeans at Goodwill. Read those stories HERE. And then there's the piano that friends gave us, that came with a dead mouse. But this latest find could seriously beat all. This may go down as the most unusual hidden find within a thrifted treasure.
You won't believe it.
Ok, you've seen this picture before. Truly one of my all-time favorite yard sale finds. Love this hutch. Purchased several years ago for $40.00. Well, today I needed to pull out the heavy-laden drawers so we could lug it outside while we start demolition on our kitchen.

And this is what I found.

I KNOW! What in the world is a black strapless bra doing smashed behind the bottom drawer of my beloved hutch!!

And what do you suppose were the first words that came out of my husband's mouth?

"LUCY, you got some 'splainin to do!"

I've been laughing about it all day!!

But you can be sure that Randy & I have had more fun surmising how that bra got there from the questionable past we've created it to have. My poor hutch. I shutter to think what she's been party to.

SO, can you top that?!
Tell me what you've been surprised to find inside a favorite find?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

my kitchen mainstay

I have spent this week packing up my kitchen & dining area in preparation for D-day. That would be Demolition Day. We'll be raising the ceiling, exposing the attic and removing pop corn before the new kitchen is even installed. So everything had to be cleared out. It's sort of like moving, but it's only going into the garage. But here's the deal... it's forcing me to reevaluate and weed out and reassess my possessions, and ask myself "What do I really want back in my shiny new kitchen?" See, when you don't move very often, things just accumulate. But here's another thing... I became aware of some things that I do not want to live without. Things that I've lived with for a very long time.

Handi Wipes- I have used Handi Wipes for most of my 30 years of marriage... thanks to my Mother-in-law who introduced them to me. I use them to clean, scrub, wash & dust. I could never go back to those thick, bulky dish rags... that smell real bad after one use. These can be used over & over... plus laundered. They function better than anything else I've ever tried. A keeper for sure.

Toaster oven- We used the same toaster oven for the first 28 years of marriage and then it died. So on the way home from church a week later I found a toaster oven at a yard sale for $5.00. I can honestly say that I use my toaster oven most every single day... way more than I use my microwave.

But what really took my toaster oven to another level was purchasing the Pampered Chef bar pan. Ideal for chicken fingers, appetizers and sandwiches. Great for reheating leftovers, too. Fits in most toaster ovens. 8 3/4" x 6 1/2".
Btw, I did not grow up with a toaster oven. In fact my Mom got her very first one this past Christmas. And she's almost 80. So it's never too late to explore new time-saving, life-changing gadgets.

The very first wedding gift we received was a package in the mail from Randy's Aunt Ruth. A harvest gold hand-mixer. I used that hand mixer at least a couple times every week for over 25 years before it died. And it was quickly replaced with another. I seriously could not imagine my kitchen without one. And I even have a stand mixer... that I rarely ever use.

And last, but certainly not least... the Pampered Chef Quikut Paring Knife. You know the knives I'm talkin about. Truly the biggest bang for your buck! And guess what, they sold for a buck! I think they're $1.75 now. Anyway, I've acquired several over the years while hosting Pampered Chef parties. They invariably come up missing, so you can never have too many.
Anyway, these knives are the best. Super sharp. In fact I was reminded of my high regard for them while slicing mushrooms for Beef Stroganoff last night. Which btw, was most likely my last meal in my old kitchen. Kinda sad...

SO, what is something, maybe slightly out of the norm, that has been a mainstay in your kitchen over the years? That you couldn't live without? That I've been living without, that could potentially change my life!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

my Dad's birthday

Four years ago we gathered together to celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday. It will long be remembered as one of our favorite family gatherings.

We knew that Dad was in the early stages of Alzheimer's and so we wanted the event to be all the more memorable for each of us to reflect on someday. And it was. And we do. I came away with images & memories that remain vivid to this very day.

My Mom & sisters spent the morning of the party watching my Dad and my three brothers clear and burn brush near the cabin. What a sweet memory. I was reminded of my Dad telling us that he did field work the morning that he & my Mom got married in 1950. So it only makes sense that my Dad would do something like this the morning of his birthday party. He always did love working outside.

We had a John Deere themed birthday party. I found those framed JD tins at Walmart. I bought one for each family member and had pictures of Dad & his favorite JD tractors over the years, inside each tin.

And then the sewing sisters got busy. We sewed & sewed. And talked & talked. And then...

... got up the next morning and went to a farm auction. But first we put on layers of clothes. Lots & lots of layers... over my Dad's long-john thermal underwear... and thick, heavy snowmobile boots. Because it was 6 degrees. And because you can never be too warm.
But my toes still froze.

But I love, love, love auctions. Even auctions at a bone-chilling 6 degrees.

Happy Birthday Dad. I miss you.

(clic each pic to enlarge)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Emolyn's 2!

Happy Birthday Emolyn Kate! She turns 2 years old today. Her Mommy & Daddy had a party for her over the weekend and she was a picture of sheer joy and delight. She really is the sweetest little girl.

She simply adores her Mommy & Daddy. And they really are the best parents.

She also adores her Aunt Miranda & Uncle Tyler too. So much so, that she gave her Aunt Miranda a back massage and manicure when the party ended. I'm not even kidding you. I can already tell that Emolyn has the gift of serving. We actually got her a pack of Handi-wipes for Christmas, cuz she loves to clean so much.

Ok, so Elmo just may be her favorite of all. Her Elmo cupcake was a big hit. Watch as she's about to dive in.

And she does it with such grit & determination.

And I must say, she wears her frosting well.

Emolyn happens to love crocs (all shoes for that matter) and owns several pair in every color. So when I found this baby doll wearing purple crocs, I knew it would be love at first sight. She was smitten all right... but mostly with the purple crocs.

Crocs on... crocs off... crocs on... crocs off...
Notice the earrings that Miranda got her. Also came with a necklace & bracelet. Oh how Emolyn loves her bling.

I found an unfinished pine bench that I painted for her. I love that Emolyn can easily pick it up and relocate from kitchen (to bake) to bathroom (to wash hands) and be her Mommy & Daddy's best little helper.

But to be honest, the watering can that Tyler got her was the biggest hit of all. First of all, Emolyn loves water. I mean, really loves water.

And even though it had been pouring rain, she insisted on having her Pop pop fill her watering can over & over so she could water her Grandma Becky's backyard.

Emolyn was so giggle-happy watering the already soaked grass that her Mimi could not help but capture her every move.

Emolyn, you are truly a miracle. And we're all the better for having you in our lives.
Read about her miraculous birth HERE and holding her for the first time in the yellow blanket HERE.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Em 'n Em

Emolyn and her great-mamaw Emolyn got to hang out together Friday morning. And Emolyn could not have been more excited as her Daddy & I drove her out to Surprise! She loves her Mamaw... and sunglasses with bling. Have I told you that Emolyn has to be one of the most loving and affectionate little girls I've ever known? And she's so nice and kind and so pleasant to be around. Oh, and yesterday she sat perfectly still and quiet next to her Mommy during the hour and a half church service... all the while watching her Daddy play lead guitar, her aunt Miranda sing and her Pop pop lead the worship band. So. Precious.

Nothing makes Mamaw happier than spending time with her name sake... watching her play the piano so gently and singing songs ever so sweetly.

Love my two favorite Emolyn's in all the world.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

my Valentine sweetheart

This picture was taken a year ago at the Valentine's Dinner & Dancing fundraiser hosted by the A Time For Us marriage ministry at our church. Randy & I are a part of the teaching team and have seen God free marriages to live in health & truth through the awesome material we use. We have another marriage retreat coming up in a couple weeks and I am so excited to see how God restores & reignites the couples that are attending. It's truly one of the most humbling experiences that we get a chance to witness.

31 years ago Randy asked me to marry him on Valentine's Day. For those of you that may not know the whole story, you can get the scoop HERE. Oh and you have to come see what Randy got me for Valentine's Day 25 years ago that made me (and someone else) very, very happy.
Have the sweetest day!
Thanks to Sandi Shipley Photography for the sweetheart portraits!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm a basket case

I am. What can I say... I love baskets. This just happens to be my picnic basket collection. I know! I'm a mess. But they're not just for decoration. Trust me, they earn their keep. Like I've said before, I'm all about storage. So each and every one of these beauties store something of importance. My goal now is to actually label them so I don't have to open each of them to find what's inside.

One of them contains all my cupcake decorating goods. Another has toys for my granddaughter to play with. One of them is filled with my vintage hankie collection, and another has special cards & letters that I've received over the years. You get the picture.

I don't think I spent more than a dollar or two for each of these either. Which makes it all the more fun.

Hey, check out these sites for more inspiration-

***Show & Tell Friday

***Frugalicious Friday

*** Thrifty Thursday

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

thank you Debbie!

My dear friend Debbie from MY VINTAGE DAYDREAMS sent me the sweetest gifts! She knows my love of all things aqua and sent me this gorgeous vase. I love it! And then I open up the box that says Southern Living at Home and I could not believe my eyes! Inside were two of their signature square plates!! Oh my gosh, and what a beautiful shade of aqua! Thank you sooo much Debbie. We both share a love of decorating using thrifted vintage finds. I am so envious of the amazing treasures she uncovers at thrift stores and flea markets throughout CA. Thanks Debbie!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

favorite thrifted coats

We buy all our coats in Wisconsin. At thrift stores and yard sales. In the dead of summer.
Why, you ask? Cuz everyone is selling their perfectly good coats. And here's my theory as to why... because they wear their coats every single day for months and months and they get sick of them and most likely buy a new one every year. So, we are the beneficiaries of those coveted coats every time we go thrifting back there.

My favorite thrifted coat stories of all time-

*** Many years ago we were visiting my brother Gary and his family in Appleton and spent the day yard saling. We arrived at this one sale and Randy saw the jacket of his dreams. A dark brown suede bomber jacket with fur lining. (probably retailed at $150.00 or more) It fit perfectly and was priced at $25.00. I rarely ever pay what they want... so I encouraged Randy to go up to the lady and offer her $20.00 for the jacket. So he did. She about had a cow! "Oh my gosh, NO, it's TWENTY-FIVE CENTS!" So I told Randy to offer her twenty cents. JUST KIDDING! We quickly gave her 25 cents and got out of there before she came to her senses!

*** Same day. Randy finds the leather jacket of his dreams. And I mean, real leather. That soft quality leather that we could never afford. The guy wanted $5.00, we offered him $4.00 and while he is taking our money this gal is telling him that his wife is going to have a cow when she finds out he sold his leather jacket. Needless to say, we ran lickety-split just as his wife was coming out of the house. We did not want to be witness to the melee that was surely to come.

*** Same day. We check out a Catholic Church rummage sale. We're talking a basement sale. Need I say more... church basement sales are the best. So, I see the coat of my dreams. A down-filled jacket. The down-liner zips out and becomes a rain trench coat. And it's below the knees. They wanted a dollar. A dollar! My only hesitation was that it's going to take up a ton of room in our already overstuffed van. This is back when our kids were young and traveled with all their toys and dress-up clothes. We would now be bringing back three big, bulky coats. Well, this is the part that still makes me laugh to this day. My brother tells me that everything is marked half-off the next day (Sat.). So I sleep on it and the next day my brother goes back to the sale and gets it for 50 cents. It was meant to be. Hey, I'll make room for a 50 cent coat.
As a side note...
#1- In Wisconsin they often have a cow rather than a fit.
#2- Randy & I wore those jackets for many, many years. You see, we rarely wear our winter coats here, so we rarely get sick of them. Randy recently walked out the door wearing that brown suede jacket and I was reminded of that warm summer day many years ago when we bought three amazing coats all for under $5.00!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

my yellow ranunculus

Yesterday I came upon a yard sale selling potted flowers. Beautiful blooming potted flowers. I had to come home with this beauty. A yellow ranunculus. I love flowers, especially flowers with roots. They aren't going to die... you know, like cut flowers. It least I hope not.

I have always loved Peony and Ranunculus flowers. And then yesterday the Pioneer Woman posted about her love of Dahlias and I remembered that I love them too. Ok, so I love most every bulb and tuber ever created! Anyway she posted some gorgeous images courtesy of iStockPhoto. And I will leave you with one of my favorites. Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

buried treasures

I thought I would show you a couple treasures I uncovered yesterday while reorganizing my laundry room. I love my laundry room and it was THE reason I fell in love with our home 16 years ago. It's big. And I am all about storage. But it has become a major catch-all. And we need it to become our make-shift kitchen during the remodel, so I had my work cut out for me.
But it actually became more like weeding through a real awesome yard sale. I found some cool treasures I did not even know I had!

I can't even say for sure where I got this. But I'm quite certain I stuck it away thinking it was pretty worthless. But yesterday I googled it just to be sure. And man oh man was I surprised! What I had was a piece of history!!

Beer mug celebrating the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt and the repeal of Prohibition, c. 1933. Glazed ceramic, in the shape of a beer keg.

*** $45.00!!! I WAS SHOCKED!

Then I found these- googled Bodum and found out these were Bodum espresso cup & saucers.

espresso glass and saucer, set of 2

*** $54.95!!! Again, SHOCKED! They are so tiny!

I had never googled this little conversation piece. Mine is pretty worn, unlike this one that I found posted HERE.

Vintage Hand Carved Wooden Smoking Pipe
Anri Italy Figural Bearded Man Face

*** $49.99!!! As you can imagine, even more SHOCKED when you consider I only paid a quarter!

Whatever will I uncover today? I'll keep you posted.

My Romantic Home is having Show and Tell Friday. So if you like what you see here, check out all the others HERE. And I'm also linking you to Frugalicious Friday and Show Off Your Stuff. Come on, join in the fun! Inspiration galore!