Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spring Decor That Brings Memories

Decorating My House With Memories

While I was decorating the house for Spring recently, the thought occurred to me that many of the objects I use evoke memories. That's what makes them special and why I put them on display. For instance, the unique flat glass vase that my husband's late Nana gifted to us. I had never seen such a piece and it is perfect for a single bloom...or for Easter egg picks as used here. Nana loved to give us things and would always say, "I think you can use this." I loved when she visited us, although she didn't like cats. She called our Morris,"the whosis," and was convinced during one trip that Morris had "stolen" her pocketbook! To this day, my husband and I laugh trying to picture Morris dragging along a pocketbook behind her!

It wouldn't be Easter without these baskets on the foyer table! I remember when my Mom and one of my sisters worked together on making these. They were going to sell them but I think they ended up giving most of their creations away, including these to me. They remind me of Easter baskets I was given as a child. Filled with chocolate bunnies and brightly colored jelly beans, the baskets were a treat for the eyes as much as the tummy! I don't get Easter baskets now and that's a bit of a bummer, actually. Sometimes, being a grown-up is not much fun!

A Spring door wreath brings much needed color to the foyer door. The wreath is actually an extra large size candle ring which makes a wonderful smaller wreath. The colors are so beautiful and, as always, my eye is drawn to the blue. I used blue as one of the main colors in my wedding 35 1/2 years ago. The royal blues of the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses were such a vivid contrast against the reds, whites and greens of the post Christmas colors. Our New Year's Day wedding presented a bold display of color against the bleakness of that 1983 winter. 

I touch the fabrics of table coverings and am transported in memory to the people who created or gave them to me. The fringe edged napkin that is one of a pair used to hang over the edge of a Longaberger basket gifted to me by my former teaching assistant over 25 years ago. Sandy is a talented artist and created the wooden bunny as well. An able and efficient assistant, she helped me get through those first challenging years of teaching with humor and kindness. I wonder how she is doing? The extra large size crochet doily was hand-crafted by my mother many years ago. I do not remember seeing my mother crochet, so this was most likely made before I came along. I do remember my mother sewing, however. She made clothes for my sisters and doll clothes for my dolls as Christmas presents using scraps of old dresses. I know I had the best dressed Crissy doll ever! Knowing that her hands touched the delicate stitching of the doily makes me feel close to her on days when I am especially missing her. Her hands were as strong and determined as her spirit. They were hands that worked hard, loved sporting a pretty ring and felt cool on my forehead when I was sick. How I long for those hands on my forehead some days. 

This white linen tablecloth, wrinkled and a bit stained from wear, has seen a lot of living, just like the woman who gave it to me. I first met Elma around 34 years ago when she came to volunteer at the preschool where I was teaching. Recently retired from secretarial work at a school in West Virginia, we instantly bonded over shared memories of a state we both missed and a longing for far away family. Our age difference made for more of a pseudo mother/daughter type friendship, yet we laughed and enjoyed meals and concerts together. Our get-togethers became few and far between after I left the preschool for a public school teaching job. Life gets in the way, sometimes. I was saddened when I heard of her passing a few years later. Still, her laughter remains in my heart and when I touch that tablecloth I can still see her smile. 

Like the blooms on a Dogwood, my memories are fleeting as I move about the house adding touches here and there. Although I am physically alone, these objects are reminders that I am never truly alone. The love and memories associated with my decor bring warmth to my home and my heart and can never be lost, even though the objects may not always be with me. 

Tell me, what memories does your decor bring?

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Weekend Inspiration-Doing All From Love

Words To Live By

As you go about your daily life do you ever think what motivates you? Sure, we all have reasons for doing the things we do; we need clean clothes so we do the laundry, we get hungry and want to feed our family so we shop and cook, we want our careers to go well so we go to work on time and follow the company rules. But, at the heart of all these things is the bigger WHY. What is our true motivation in all of this?

I Corinthians 16:14 reveals the answer to the big WHY. No matter how small or mundane the task or how big and important the job, we are to do all things from a place of LOVE. Think about how doing all the different things throughout the day might take on a sense of new importance if we think about its connection to LOVE. Perhaps the drudgery or boring aspects would suddenly disappear. Maybe the irritations with others would lessen. Is it possible that the very act of whatever we put our hands to will suddenly become acts of praise and worship to the living Lord when our motivation in all things becomes LOVE? 

As we enter into holy week, may we go forth remembering the sacrifice made by Jesus for each of us. And may our motivation in doing all things come from this greatest example of LOVE. 


Friday, March 23, 2018

Budget Friendly Guest Bathroom Decor

Bathroom Decor That Won't Break The Bank

Do you know that feeling you get when a room in your house just comes together and you feel good every time you enter the room? That's the way I feel about our guest bathroom decor. It makes me happy each time I look at it!

The decorating of this room didn't happen overnight, though. We've been in our house 15 years and have been working on renovation the whole time. Although this room has been complete for more than half of that time, the decor has continued to evolve. I recently added a couple of touches that has brought the room, in my opinion, to completion. And, I'm happy with the results! All of the item used to decorate our guest bath were either bought on sale, thrifted, inexpensive or of our own creation. Not a bad way to style!

This cabinet shelf contains so many favorite items and is a main focal point of the room. I like combining interesting items that draw the eye. Although the overall theme for this space is beachy a few extra items are included. The sign says, "Imagination has no age limit." I picked it up for a song at Big Lots. The scented cat /music notes pillow has an Albert Schweitzer quote, "There are two means of refuge From the miseries of life: Music and Cats." (So true) The fancy butterfly is actually a broken picture frame that I found laying on a shelf one day at Bed, Bath and Beyond. It didn't even have a price tag on it and when I showed it to a clerk he told me to name my price. I named a dollar! The little blue crab and seahorse are recent finds from Cracker Barrel and each one was only 99 cents! They are actually little salt and pepper shakers, but on the shelf you can't tell the difference.

This picture fits our beach theme and blue/white colors. It was on sale at Home Depot awhile back. Have you ever looked through their wall hangings? They have some cute things!

And this lighthouse scene was a souvenir years ago from a vacation trip. My husband framed it. 

perfect tile for baths and showers

And, speaking of Mr.thisandthat, I'm quite proud of his tile work. He has done almost all of the renovation himself on all three houses that we have owned! He gutted this bathroom down to the studs doing all of the work himself on walls, floor, tiles, fixtures, etc. 

William Ross photos

He's also a great photographer. These are a couple of his pics that I really like. I framed them and hung them on the wall. They add some contrast to the beachy theme.

Inexpensive rug from Walmart

I was so excited to find this rug at Walmart last week. It was on sale for $3! 

Unique uses for baskets

And speaking of great finds, how about this Longaberger basket that I found at Goodwill for one dollar! It works great as a magazine holder. Can you imagine...a Longaberger basket, in pristine condition, for ONE dollar?!

Inexpensive Bathroom Decor

I think "Serenity" aptly names the decor of this room. Every item in this room has happy memories and peacefulness associated with it. It's taken awhile to get the perfect combination, though. I think decor can't be hurried. When I see posts where people move into a home and within a few weeks or months everything is museum looking, I wonder how that is possible. And, perhaps, I'm also a little envious. Every house we have lived in has been a work in progress up to the minute we sold. And, this house has been no different. But, I sure do appreciate it when it all comes together! And when I saw this Serenity sign, homemade by a woman I worked with, I knew it would be displayed in this room! Decor also doesn't have to be expensive. Thrifting and looking for sale or inexpensive items that speak to you is a great way of adding individuality and serenity to any room. Are you into budget friendly home decor? How do you add serenity to the rooms in your house? Hope you'll take a moment to share! I would miss you if you didn't stop by!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

How I Style Tee Shirts with Words after Age 50

Being Inspired With My Clothing

(Not a sponsored post. The aqua Paparazzi bracelet was gifted to me in return for a previous post.)

It has taken me awhile to warm up to the words on shirts trend that is so popular right now. Mainly that is due to some of the types of words that are displayed on the shirts. Some of the words seem silly or too young for someone my age to be wearing on their chest. It's not that I think women over 50 shouldn't wear what they want. But, I don't want to own clothing that I can't feel good in and confident wearing. This tee shirt shares a message that I can feel good about wearing and displaying for all to see. Be Inspired! What a great message!

I was lucky to discover this tee at Target on sale for only $10! It is a very soft tee shirt material made with a woman's cut to be figure flattering. I paired it with my Laura Scott flat front jeans and my
white Gloria Vanderbilt jean jacket. These are all favorite pieces and combine together to create a casual comfortable outfit. 

You'll notice I'm not wearing a necklace because I want the words to be the focal point. The words actually become an accessory with this type of shirt!

I added some color coordination with two silver bracelets which go well with the gray color of the shirt. Both of these are Paparazzi jewelry. I love the aqua stone on the left and the wrap style on the right. The aqua stone was gifted to me when I did a post on Paparazzi jewelry

The last quote tee shirt you saw me wearing gave the Tolkien message that all who wander are not lost. That quote is so true! Today, I'm encouraging you to Be Inspired...with your clothes, with your jewelry and with your life! 

How do you style tee shirts? Do you wear shirts with words or quotes? Do take a moment to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have you signed up to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss a single post? It's easy. You just look on the sidebar for the subscription sign up. It costs you nothing and you won't receive tons of emails. Just an email whenever I post something new. And, I would love it if you share this post on your websites/facebook sites and tell others about!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Weekend Inspiration-An Irish Blessing for St. Patrick's Day

☘A Blessing For St. Patrick's Day☘

Irish Prayer

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow, 🌈
For every tear, a smile,😼
For every care, a promise,🤞
And a blessing in each trial.🌞
For every problem life sends,🌩
A faithful friend to share, 👭
For every sigh, a sweet song,🎶
And an answer for each prayer. 🙏
(Author Unknown)

Blessings to you on St. Patrick's Day dear readers!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

How To Wear Green As An Accent Color

Mixed Greens

This post is not compensated, gifted or paid in any way for mentioning of brands/stores.

using subtle accents to dress for st. patrick's day

You thought this post was going to be about salad, didn't you? I know..the mixed greens part fooled you! I'm actually showing how you can style for St. Patrick's Day (or any day) a little more subtly without going overboard with the green! Green is not everyone's favorite clothing color (including me)  and, if you are like me, you might not have lots of green clothing in your closet. So, I incorporated a green scarf with some green jewelry and got the job done!

emerald ring, scarf and bracelet

I really like this inexpensive scarf that I picked up at A.C. Moore. It has different shades of green, as well as gold, in the pattern which means I can wear it for more than St. Patrick's Day. The shamrocks are a subtle part of the overall design. The green sparkly stretch bracelet has more olive tones than the brighter green of my emerald ring. I think these mixed greens all blend together nicely. I love how the gray sweater makes such a nice neutral background for the green. You last saw this sweater when I styled it with my maroon blanket scarf. This sweater gets a lot of wear as a neutral piece with my outfits!

Haven't seen enough green yet? 

  How about this Medallion Print Shift dress with subtle green and blue green throughout? Such a beautiful dress!

asymmetrical print top tunic
And, I like this Asymmetrical Tunic that gives pops of green along with blue and white! Very nice. And yet, still subtle with the green. 

gauze blouse

And this Gauze Popover Blouse is so feminine and pretty and this shade of green doesn't overwhelm me at all. I think I would wear this with no problem! It's available in blue, also!

It's interesting to think about how to add subtle pops of color to your wardrobe without devoting an entire outfit to that color. Hope this gives you some ideas for shopping your closet and accessories. Have a great day!

Until Next Time,
Linking With:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Touches of Green for March 17

Decorating for St. Patrick's Day

I'm dressing the house in a bit of green this week in anticipation of St. Patrick's Day on Saturday. Luckily, this isn't terribly hard to do since we have quite a bit of green throughout our house anyway. I did add a few touches specific to the special day.

St. Patrick's Day Decor

I created an arrangement in green using silk shamrocks, ferns and green/white ball picks. Some green fabric placed strategically inside the clear square vase adds yet another touch of green while also covering up the wire picks. 

St. Patrick's Day Tablescape

The finished tablescape incorporates the green Blenko vases already on display as well as the little green leaf imprint bowl that I made with my own two little hands at a clay bowl making get together. I also enjoy seeing the green outside the window blending with the green inside our home. More snow is called for this week, but that's March, isn't it? Just like me, March is "a little bit of this and that!" How are you getting ready for St. Patrick's Day?

Until Next Time,

Linking With:
Marilyn's Treats (Over the Moon, Wonderful Wednesday, Thursday Favorite Things)

Friday, March 9, 2018

Cassie Cat Chat: Working My Paws to the Bone!

A Few Cat Tails Fur You

Cassie in Action
"Left paw, right paw,
Swing and POW,
Come on paws
Don't fail me now!"

Oh, Hello! Forgive my not noticing you were here before now. You see, I've been trying to squeeze in a few moments here and there to know, keep up with my paw-eye coordination. A cat can never put too much time into keeping up their catly skills, but, you see...well, I just haven't had as much time since coming to this house to take care of my own needs. I've been too busy trying to take care of my humans, "Love" and "Softie." Since I don't have much time to complete this blog post, I won't go into details again about how I came to name my humans. You can catch up with that by reading my introductory post. Let's just say that after living on my own for over a year, I had no idea how much work is involved in caring for one's humans! 

Not that I'm sorry that I have them, of course. I wouldn't trade them fur all the catnip in Europe, Asia and Africa! It's just that they seem to need so much attention. I'm literally working my paws to the bone! The work starts early in the morning with Love going to the kitchen to fix Softie's breakfast. To assist, I sit on the counter and supervise to make certain she is doing this task properly. To keep her in top form with balance, I will watch for her inattention and then silently move right behind her and lay at her feet. Her dexterity has improved greatly since I have begun doing this exercise with her! She rarely trips over me any more, thank goodness! She is lucky I am here to keep her on her toes. As for her eye/paw errrr.... eye/hand coordination.....I make certain that several times a day as she is putting clothing in drawers or wet clothes in the dryer that I leap and snatch these articles from her thus allowing her to snatch them back from me. I really am quite proud of her progress in these areas! These exercises also allow her to work on her vocalization skills, although I don't understand why she needs to yell my name quite so loudly. I'm not deaf, you know!

And then, I must also care for dear Softie. He is away much of the day, so I must work doubly hard when he returns in the evening. Luckily, I am knowledgeable enough to be able to combine some of my caregiving to fit both my humans. For instance, when Love walks down the steps to greet Softie when he arrives home I race in front of her feet as she walks down the steps and then I do the same thing for Softie as he walks up the steps. Again, dexterity for my humans is so important. I cannot emphasize this enough! 

I have also been working on fur-ther development of Softie's peripheral vision. For instance, just the other day as Softie was watching television while Love was preparing their food dishes, I cunningly leapt onto the placemat and drank out of Love's water dish. Poor Love was not happy when Softie told her what I had done and she dumped out her water dish and fussed at Softie for allowing me to do this. I can only say that, as a cat, I must accept some unintended consequences such as these in order to do what I must for my humans. It is a burden that I gladly bear!

Oh, I don't want to bore you with a detailed list of all of my tasks in this house. It is a long list, I can assure you! There is assisting Love with bed making, guard duty at the back door, furniture scratching to encourage Love's stretching and bending to move me personal favorite....watching ice melt in the kitchen sink. (OK, that last one doesn't necessarily help my humans. I just like to watch ice melt, OK?!)

Yaaawwnn...just talking about all this work tires me out! Maybe I can catch a cat nap on my perch while Love goes to the grocery store. I'll save my other tails for the next post. Wait until I tell you about the pencils...

Until Next Time,
Cassie Cat

Cassie Cat Sitting on "Love's" Lap

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Introducing A New Favorite Author; Elizabeth Berg

When Reading Keeps You Awake At Night

Do you ever get so engrossed in reading a book that you have to keep reading to the end and then it keeps you awake all night? That is exactly what happened to me when I read, "What We Keep," by Elizabeth Berg.  There is something about the characters in this story that grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. Perhaps it was the flashbacks to her youth that we experience with now adult Ginny as she flies across the country to meet up with her older sister, Sharla. These sisters have not seen their mother for 35 years and  are bringing a long estrangement to its end for reasons that are discovered as the book progresses. Or perhaps I was haunted by the character of the mother, Marian Eastman who, as a former wife and mother of the late 1950's, bears the 35 year burden of having made choices that allowed both glorious freedom and sad bondage at the same time. Or, it could have been the mysterious Jasmine Johnson who moves next door to the Eastman family becoming an impetus to life changes in the family that will never be forgotten. Maybe, it was a little bit of all of this, that kept me turning page after page to the end and then.....trying to process the story for hours afterward. 

There is something that is so delicous about reading late at night, sinking deeply into both the pillows and the pages and savoring the story that beckons to you. And it is equally amazing to find an author like Elizabeth Berg who can bring both story and character to life in such a charming way. I discovered Berg's book at our local library and have found that she is a prolific writer. So, there will be many more books to read. How I managed to miss her books until now I don't know but, if you are interested in learning more about her and seeing a list of her books, I am linking to her website. Be sure to let me know if you decide to read some of her books, or if you are already familiar with this author!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Winter Coat Sales and Flowers in Teacups

Winter Coats and Teacup Flowers

(Not a sponsored, gifted or paid post. No compensation given for brand or company names. All writing and opinions are my own.)

Today I'm sharing a little bit of this and that about winter coats and flowers in teacups! Nothing like a little variety in a blog post, right? Let's begin with great sales on winter coats!

We have this great outdoor clothing and gear consignment store in town called, "Second Gear." If you're local, it's in West Asheville on Haywood St. They have super sales on outdoor winter clothing just about this time every year. Mr.thisandthat and I checked it out yesterday and you know I didn't come away empty handed! We actually scored several items but what I'm sharing with you today is this fantastic Patagonia Sweater Coat. I tried one of these on a few years ago and really liked it but convinced myself it was too expensive. Since all winter items were 70% off yesterday I snatched this one right up! I just love the brown color and buttons and this is more of the kind of coat I was looking for when I went coat shopping back in January and wrote this blog post. The site I'm linking to says the coat is sold out in natural but you might find it on another site. It's as comfortable as it is pretty and I'm pleased with my purchase! I love finding quality items at consignment prices with an additional 70% off. You just can't beat that!

To compliment the coat paired with my tan corduroy pants, I wore my chocolate colored Skecher booties

For good measure, I also added these fun Paparazzi earrings that you first saw on the blog here. Now, enough talk about Winter coats. Let's get a little more Spring-like with some pretty flowers!

In honor of the fact that March has arrived and in hopes for more Spring-like weather, I decided to arrange some silk flowers in a teacup. I have recently sent a couple floral arrangements to folks that featured real flowers in a teacup and I thought I would try my hand at creating such an arrangement here at home. I can tell you, it doesn't take long to fill a teacup with flowers! Aren't these dogwood blooms lovely?!

I had several silk stems left over so I popped them in this blue vase with leftover real filler flowers from the rose arrangement my husband gave me for Valentine's Day. Do you ever mix real flowers with silk? I think it works! Love the baby's breath and greenery with the silk flowers! Too bad my pretty roses died, but they don't last forever, do they?!

So, that's my take on coat sales and teacup flowers. What's happening with you? Do take a moment to share. I love your comments! And come back this coming week for more new posts. I have a great book to share with you and I believe that Cassie Cat has been sneaking on my computer to write a new Cassie Cat Chat post that you won't want to miss!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Weekend Inspiration: What Do We Call Our Father?

Our Father Who Art In Heaven

Bear Lake photo by
Yesterday, I sat in front of the television and watched the funeral of Billy Graham. There were a few moments that found me tearing up. One such was when each of his children stepped to the podium to speak a few words about their father. I have always wondered about grown women who, in their sixties, seventies and, in my mother-in-law's case, their eighties, continue to call their fathers "Daddy." This was true of each of Graham's daughters as they spoke about their father. 

If you have ever read the book, The Shack, you will remember that the narrator's wife referred to God as "Papa." Both Daddy and Papa are terms of endearment that speak to respect and adoring love for one's father. That is something I don't really know about in terms of earthly Fathers. I had a Father whom I called "Dad." We were taught to respect him growing up, but I also feared him. He was never a "Daddy" and I sometimes envy women who are still able, as older women, to refer to their fathers this way. Perhaps you can relate to these feelings or at least understand them. So, when I hear people speaking adoringly of their "Daddies" I'll admit I get a little jealous!

The truth is, however, that I do have a "Daddy" in my Heavenly Father. I John 3:1 says:

"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 

On a few occasions, I have tried calling God "Daddy" or "Papa" in prayer. I'll admit it feels a little funny to me. But, it helps me to realize that the love God has for me is the love of a parent looking upon their precious child. Some Christian people also refer to God using female parent terms such as "Mother." I do not feel offended by this as I know that God loves me with an intensity that is both Mother-like and Father-like. And that, to me, is a wonderful gift! 

My Heavenly Father loved me enough to actually come to Earth in the form of Jesus in order to give eternal life to His children. Thanks be to God for this wondrous gift!

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life." 
John 3:16 (The Message)