Wednesday, July 30, 2008

a love-hate relationship

Anyone else have a love-hate relationship...with Wal-Mart??

Am I gonna get sued for using their name??

I don't prefer to shop at big-box retailers and Wal-Mart is frequently in the news for controversial nonsense, plus they're notorious for bad service, long lines and dirty stores. Or is it just me??

I crack up over the commercials where they ask someone what they love about Wal-Mart. Let's face facts, folks. They've got a lot of stuff and they've got it cheap. THAT'S why people go back. Simple. And, of course, those facts draw...well, a certain type of person. You know who you are (or aren't). I'd love to be in a place in life where I didn't need Wal-Mart anymore. I'd be buying produce at the local farmer's market, sewing my own clothing and making trains for my son out of recycled wood. But that day is not today. It's too hot for farmer's markets, I don't sew and, well, Thomas the Train ROCKS.

To give credit where credit is due, the store I went to today (with my friend/boss, just the two of us, sans kids--what a treat!) was bright, well-stocked and easy to navigate, and the cashier was pleasant and friendly and wished me a "blessed day." BUT, that experience is certainly the exception.

More times than I care to admit, I'd find myself fuming in the check-out line, promising myself and anyone within earshot that I'd never come back. It could've been the main item I'd come for being out of stock...not finding a sales associate when I needed one...or just the fact that I'd been in a line of 15 people without moving for thirty minutes. Someone was paying with an out-of-state check, no doubt. And it was the cashier's first day. And she only had one arm. Of course, I'd also have a screaming, tired toddler in the cart who can't have a candy bar at 9:00pm.

But before long, I'd find myself running tight on grocery money at the end of the month or needing items that the average grocery store doesn't carry, and good ol' Wal-Mart would beckon me back. So I'd go and on my way out, I'd look at my receipt and say, "Oh, yeah. That's the Wal-Mart way."

They got it all and they've got it cheap.

Case in point.
Check out the photo below.
They have stuff there that #1, is cheaper than anywhere else in a twenty-mile radius or #2, I just can't find anywhere else.

That Dove body spray? I've been wanting one but our closest Walgreens stopped carrying it when they reduced their deodorant selection. Oh...kay! The one on my way to church carries them but I'm not typically in a position to stop when I'm driving to or from church. But Wal-Mart had it!

"Ohs" cereal? Mine and my son's favorite. Our favorite grocery store doesn't carry it! but Wal-Mart does! So I got two.

The generic Crystal Light we drink every day? They've got it, of course--more than a dollar cheaper than anywhere else.

I snagged some tape for under $1, my organic cane sugar for my coffee, and the mini M&Ms that no one else seems to carry (they're a potty training reward). Of course, I got a cart-worth of other stuff, too (including dirt-cheap school supplies for, like 22 cents and 88 cents each), all for $88.

I love you, Wal-Mart!!! You bastards, with your convenient one-stop shopping at unbeatable prices!

So I got home to find that my hubby, who'd worked the early shift, was home in bed so I put our son down for a nap and headed for the library, where I snagged two new books from my favorite authors (pictured above). Woo-hoo!!!
Hope your hump day has been even half as exciting as mine!! :)
I'm off to read one of my new books and enjoy a cold drink!


Mom and I made a few more cards at her house yesterday. She had this stamp set we'd forgotten about so I made these cards with the paper I had left over. They're so summery!!

I also used up the last of this fabulous paper to make a couple more generic cards. I think I'll get more of this paper--the colors are luscious! Plus, I love me a stripe/floral/polka dot combo!

Today is looking like a low-key kinda day. Hopefully my boy will nap so I can clean up around here and recover from the weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend report

I have a lot to report!!
It's been a busy end-of-the-week! My mom and I "packed it in," as we say, including a major crafting session with my friend who does Stampin' Up! and came to share her goodies. Mom's "thing" is flip flops so she made a pageful to have on hand. Ain't she cute?? :)

We did make it to Hobby Lobby. All their fake food was on sale so I snagged this fake cheese to goon my Goodwill cheese plate. It amuses me. **Proof-reading this, I saw my "goon" that was supposed to be "go on." It made me laugh so I'm leaving it.**

THIS was my big score. Yup, it was less than $12. Marked down from $34.99 to $23.99 to $17.49 to $11.98. The top lifts off so I figure I can fill it with lots of fun stuff seasonally.

It's home for now is in my entryway. My hubby walked in from work and greeted me with, "Hey, I was thinking. You know what we need? A rusty old birdcage. Oh, look, you got one!" Hil-AR-ious, Dear. This is how the entry looks now.

To top off that shopping trip, my Southern Living At HOME liquidation order arrived in just five days from Alabama! I've eyed this painting since is premiered in fall 2006 and was $100. I got it, WITH tax and shipping, for under $20. It's wrapped canvas and has real brushstrokes so it looks pretty darn good and are SO my colors! I'll take more photos when it's hung.

My hubby and I took advantage of my mom being over and had a date night. Since we used gift cards for our dinner and movie, he treated me to this polka dot scrap book album and "Papercrafts & Paper Fun" book. It has a ton of neat ideas on everything from origami to folding napkins.

And, of course, I made some cards. My Stampin' Up! friend offered to put together some stamp sets I've had for years and had never used. I made this set of tea-themed cards with some new paper. It says "You warm my heart." The tea is glittery, of course.

I used her tag punch for these and have borrowed it to make more. These are "Friend" and "Thank You." You'll see some punched out flowers, too. Nice touch.

Then I attended a 13-year-old "coming of age/Titus" party Saturday. Her mom informed me that she likes brown and blue, so I ordered this pouch on Etsy. I was thrilled to find what is practically an exact match in wrapping paper at Target, and matching ribbon on clearance for 99 cents. I think I need more pouches, just so I can wrap them in this paper! The party guests and birthday girl were impressed, too. That, to me, is the ultimate in "fun."

These I made today with my brand new Amy Butler paper. I call them "elegantly funky." The play of colors and patterns please me. Plus, they're double-sided, which is my favorite. I'm kinda in love with these. They'll be hard to give up.

And there ya go! I hope your weekend was fun and productive, too!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This Sunday


naps...and hopefully some crafting! Then a good hour or two of home caring to recover from the weekend and prepare for the week ahead. Not very exciting!
This is what I made today, though! Tea cards with Amy Butler paper. Mmm.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I got the kit to make these (plus one more) WITH matching envelopes--all nice, thick paper plus the embellishments--for 98 cents at JoAnn's. The "v" is satin ribbon the the silver brads were included, too. It was marked $1.98, which was darn good! I looked at my receipt when I got home and, hey! An even better bargain! So I went ahead and whipped them up so I could give them to friends at church tomorrow.

A dollar well spent. I need to go back to look better and snag a few more steals!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sneak a peak...

...into mom's "Coffee and Cards" time this afternoon.
Flip flop/beach card for my aunt and uncle's anniversary.
Ya can't tell but there's a rhinestone in the middle of each flip flop strap and the sun and flops are raised. My mom's first of the day!!

Friday's Find

My mom is on summer break so she made the long trek across town to stay here at our house, which we've nicknamed "Lavender Lane Bed and Breakfast," for a few days. I wanted her stay to be as relaxing and fun as possible so I got her lots of goodies to enjoy while she's here, including THIS . It's chenille "minky" washcloths and facial pads, for taking your make-up off at night. I think it's the perfect "something I wouldn't buy for myself" kind of thing. She and I both have multi-step routines for washing our faces at night so I think she'll enjoy using this. Here's the pictures from the listing on Etsy. I got my mom and I each a set, one brown and one pink, in each size.

She wrapped it so cute--even mine! I love those special touches.

Check out Antoinette's Boutique by clicking on the link below. Treat yourself or someone you love!

Antoinette's Boutique Shop link

I'll be taking pictures of mom's accomodations and her welcome basket, etc. soon!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lavender Lane Bed and Breakfast

a.k.a. "my house." My mom is coming to stay for three days, two nights starting tonight. I've been working busily (and working up a sweat) getting ready today. Here's her welcome basket and magazines, plus a carafe and water. The basket holds lots of goodies, mostly for pampering, plus some "short read" books I thought she'd like paging through. She's an early riser so I have to have something to keep her occupied in the morning before we get up.

Here's where she sleeps. The picket fence headboard is new--I love it!! She sleeps really well here for whatever reason. It's probably the combo of a good mattress and a black-out shade!

And in case you're curious, here's the rest of our son's room/guest room.

I modified my "coffee and tea station" to be more visitor-friendly. I'll just pre-set the coffee pot for her the night before. There's a personal tea pot and a couple choices for tea, in case the mood strikes her.

This is closer to how it normally looks, and how it'll look tomorrow morning, since we'll be having "coffee to go." I have to keep my vitamins there, too, so I don't forget!!

I'll be posting more about my mom's stay soon! I loooove having company!! Tonight she's arriving quite late so all we'll have time for is some Oreo ice cream cake and a pampering foot treatment! Stay tuned!


Butterfly Straw template link

Monday, July 21, 2008

This is...what makes me happy.

Sunshine through the rain...

Cute cupcake finds...

Toes in the sand...

And fresh, white sheets.


The Aqua House

I love touring model homes. I've toured...dozens. Many, many dozens. Then I dream about them, do you do that?? Execept in my dreams, it's a weird house with strange hidden hallways and basements with an entire apartment I didn't realize we had. And there's always the room I hadn't noticed before or it's decorated perfectly to suit my taste.

Anyway, I fell in love with this house a few months ago because my new favorite color is AQUA. It is fresh, soothing and quite neutral. Case in point: THIS MODEL HOME. I'd toured it with my SIL once before but we returned Saturday with the camera so I could add the photos to my dream house file. It's not the house I love--it's the colors and decor. I just want to move in! I love every inch of it, every accessory, every piece of artwork.

Join me in "oohing" and "aahing," won't you?
It's worth mentioning that ALL the walls are two shades of aqua. Some rooms have an accent wall, one was half and half on each wall, one was stripes, etc. Very creative. Those poor painters.

Formal living/dining room. Useless, in my opinion, which is why we're looking at the colors and decor and not the layout! :)

The dining room chairs had matching pillows in the adjacent sitting room. Niiiice.

Cool lantern, huh?

Here's a close-up of the fabric on the window treatment. That's the palette i'm talkin' about. I love the design, too, actually.

Kitchen. Notice how it incorporates the yellow, green...even red! And the aqua pops against the cabinets, which are almost the exact same color as mine.

Mm, mm, mm, I love those colors!! The placemat is a pinkish-red color. Then the napkins have the yellow, brown, aqua, etc.

Here's a den/game room. Notice the two shades of aqua that meet in the corner. See the painting?? I love ALL those colors.

Kids room #1. I adore the brown bedspread.

Here's the fabric on the window--awesome!! Mostly an orange color, with the shots of brown, yellow, aqua and red. I believe it's the same pattern and colors of the bedspread, just sort of reversed.

Kid room #2. Horizontal stripes. Oh, yeah!

The landing. So bright and airy.

This fabric ROCKS!!! Sage, paprika, aqua, red and taupe.

Bedroom #3. Some serious color, folks. But, see?? It even works with bright colors and metallics!! The walls in here have both colors on each wall, divided right down the middle.

Adorable fabric, almost "groovy." This designer had a blast choosing fabrics.

Bedroom #4. This one had a fish border along the ceiling (no, thank you). But cuuuute!

I like the addition of a little pink :) plus the orange and lime green.

And now...the moment you've all been waiting for...

THE MASTER BEDROOM. What could easily be my favorite room of all time. What is it...The windows? The breezy feel? The mix of colors and textures? Brace yourself. It's nothing fancy, nothing ridiculously over-done. It's just delightful.

I would've never put the gold color with aqua but, oh, yeah. It works.

This pillow is probably my favorite fabric in the whole house. The stitching is a little metallic and has a texture to it. Aaaaaah.

Check out the aqua walls with the tile floor with the wall paper. Whoooooa. How'd they find tile with a hint of aqua in it?? Or maybe it just picks up the color.

The colors and pattern in the wallpaper remind me of a kilm pillow. The towel colors are yummy--that shade of golden brown is awesome.

The best part is, my home is already painted in khaki, paprika and sage green. The color scheme in this house is all three aforementioned colors--plus aqaua! And a little yellow, too, which I do enjoy is small doses. Of course, many of the fabrics are a clever combo of one or two colors or different hues of the others, like orange, turquoise and chocolate brown.

So. I'd love to figure out how to add more aqua to my home withOUT repainting it all. I already have a few pieces of turquoise, thanks to THIS that my hubby brought home years ago. I love it. We have a mirror the same color but little else.

So some aqua/turquoise colors would certainly work.

And this niche, for example, is still "builder white." We can't figure out what color to paint it!! I'm thinking maybe two shades of aqua. Well, one shade of turquoise, one of aqua. I thought dark on the wall and light around the outside, but my hubby suggested the opposite and I like that idea. Whaddaya think??

So I'm going to print of the pictures of the model...look around my house...and come up with a plan. A couple gallons of paint and some lucious fabrics would go a long way. Maybe I'll get your advice when I do my home tour...coming up this week! :)