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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Darn Retail – I’m not sure I can do it!

Saturday, I wanted to do something special with the kids.  The counselor was working and I didn’t want to stay at home all day missing him.
I asked them “What do you guys want to do?”
“Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall,” the boy’s begged.  Why?
Because it has House of Hoops - Nike and Footlocker’s concept store dedicated to all things basketball.
This is retail heaven to Chandler and Payson.

Problem is the store doesn’t sell anything for kids, only adult sizes.
It’s fun to look, it’s fun to dream.  Chandler wears a men’s small, so there was hope that he might find something.

Mayer cried for black tube socks, men’s size 9-11, priced at $12.00 a pair.
“But, they don’t fit you,” I told him. 
“I like socks when they come up to me knees,” he tried to convince me when something else caught his eye.
“I like these shoe laces.  I’ve always wanted red shoe laces,” he said.
“Mayer, these shoes laces are 54 inches long.  They’re not going to work for your shoes, buddy,” and I was starting to feel horrible.  Why did I bring a 6 year-old into this place? 

A few minutes into my pitiful conversation with Mayer, Chandler interrupted me.

“Mom, there’s Mike Bibby.”
Mike Bibby; a Uof A graduate and player on the 1997 NCAA Championship team and NBA player with the Miami Heat was standing at the check out counter.
My boy’s were speechless.  They watched, they spied, they wanted to see him, smell him, talk to him.

Mike Bibby!

I had my camera.
I stopped him as he walked out of the store.  I had to ask, for my boy’s sake.  Mike was so gracious, spent a few minutes with them and smiled for a photo.
This was the best part about being at the mall and I’m happy to say we left House of Hoops with minimal retail spending.  The boy's weren't sad about all the things I said they couldn't have because they met Mike Bibby.

We browsed the mall a little longer; the Disney Store, Baby Gap (that was a nightmare), Mayer asked for a pogo stick at KB toys and we spent $20 on Wetzel’s Pretzels.

Do I have the ability to shop retail?

Retail shopping is just so expensive and overwhelming and expensive (right, I already said that).
I didn't find anything great for $1.99 like I can at Goodwill. 
No bargaining like at yard sales, plus I have to pay 7.8% sales tax.
None of my money is going to charity, I'm just contributing to good old American consumerism.  
All the packaging, cheap made in China toys and clothing, what’s a girl to do?

Another thing!  At the mall my kids get a case of the gimmies, and I do too.  

Give me this, Give me that!  

I want this and I want that because everybody else wants this and everybody else wants that when the truth is I don’t need any of it. 
I don’t even know what constitutes as a legitimate purchase anymore.  
I used to like stopping into Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and Z Gallery, looking around but I can’t do it anymore.  
I’m shell-shocked; I almost lose my breath at what things cost.  
I feel out of the loop, like I’m missing something that everyone else gets. 
Everyone else is buying, spending, pulling that mug of the shelf at Starbucks for $15.00 and they’re enjoying themselves. There’s always some lady with about 10 bags from stores like Crabtree &Evelyn, Sunglass Hut, Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works and Papyrus.  How can she afford all that?  Did she buy a $48.00 bra?  She looks happy, but her purchases cost about as much as my car.

So, here’s my question.  Can I pull of another fabulous Christmas wrapping up other people's trash from thrift stores/yard sales and giving it to my kids?

My kids are getting older. They know more.  Last year, Chandler found a Goodwill sticker on a toy I gave his younger brother.  He called me on it.  My older kids want more.  Trust me, I’ve seen their lists and not much of it comes from Goodwill.
This is going to make for an interesting Christmas.
Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meet my new niece, Emma.

I have another new family member (If it seems that has happened more then once lately, it has.  My two sisters and one sister-in-law have had babies this fall, plus I have another sister-in-law due in January). 
Meet my sister Becky’s beautiful daughter, Emma Mariah.
I asked Becky if I could take some newborn photos of Emma, but what about the props?
Welcome to my world of trash, where anything I need, even baby girl photography props can be found somewhere in my house because I’ve just purchased them at a garage sale or thrift store.

So much of the time I buy trash, not knowing why, just knowing I love it and will use it later.

I look in my garage and find some sweet trash.
Eden’s room is full of ideas too.

Here’s what I came up with (not sure if I'll use it all). 

I paid $2.00 for the vanity chair, $1.00 for the basket, .50 cents for the wreath, tweed-knit bird was $4.00, flower pots were .50 cents each, watering  can $2.00 and the green apples came with a vase I purchased for $1.00.
Let's put this stuff to the test.
This little girl is just too sweet.
Becky couldn't be happier.  Both these girls glow.
This is my sister's first daughter.  I'm so happy for her.

Garaging Finds!

Despite the holiday weekend we still went out and did a little garaging. I found a few small items, but wanted to share my favorite purchase with you...I picked up this fabulous wagon for $15.00. Wish I had it in time for Thanksgiving- I would have filled it with pumpkins! Hope you all had a great shopping weekend too. Love, Kelly.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving at the Barn

Several years ago, my older sister Krista moved into a barn with her family.
Her and her husband purchased several acres of land.  The property didn’t have a home, it had a barn.
The barn, well-built and practical, with a lot of work and innovation was converted into a home.

And that’s where they’re raising their family.

You can imagine the dialogue in their home.
“Pick up your shoes.  It’s not like you live in a barn.  Oh wait, I guess you do.”

The barn is gorgeous inside.  Granite countertops, tile throughout, 5 bedrooms, but what they really enjoy is the property.
They spend a lot of time outside with the horses, chickens, riding their quads and just exploring what the previous owner left behind.  It’s been years of work, but their place is so much fun.

This is where my family has enjoyed thanksgiving for years . . . at my sister’s barn.

We do everything outside.  

There's something special about this place.  

Everything feels organic, the kid's run free and time stands still.
We had just a hint of rain, "Hawaiian mist" my brother Tadd called it, because just enough raindrops fell to kiss the ground.  The sky was gray most the day and then at sunset, the most beautiful colors peaked through.
With that backdrop, I tried to capture as many pictures of my family as I could.

My mom takes a few minutes to swing with the princess.

The older I get, the more I realize how blessed I am to have my family.  

One of our traditions is after dinner, we share what we are grateful for.
With a family of 9 siblings, you can imagine this takes a lot of time, but the spirit of sharing is so special, we all just bask in the love we all feel for each other, for God, for country and for all our blessings.
Hope your day was just as special.  Hugs to all of you.

Thanksgiving Table

Just wanted to share my Thanksgiving table with you. Here she is all ready to celebrate...We purchased a 2x10 from home depot and cut it to just over 6'. I painted it cream and gave it a good distressing- This gave a nice elevation for my book page and sweater pumpkins and it really popped on top of the dark burlap tablecloth. Here you can see the Thankful chain printable that I found at Silverbox Creative Studio, the definition of Thanksgiving from Sweet Bits, and the vintage Thanksgiving sheet music from The Graphics Fairy.My favorite part of the centerpiece however, were the fresh hydrangeas- courtesy of Laura. A little while ago she gave me a gift card to Trader Joes. I was so excited when I saw they sold hydrangeas, my favorite flower, that I knew would be perfect for our table- Thank you Laura.
Lastly, I made this little chalkboard out of the frame I purchased for .50 during last weeks garaging. The day was perfect! We had amazing food (cooked the turkey upside down this year at the advise of my friend Paula- tasted incredible- thanks for the tip Paula) great company and a nap- It just doesn't get better than that! I'd love to here your thanksgiving traditions and stories, leave us a comment. Love, Kelly.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Thanksgiving!

Have you seen those cute little book page pumpkins out in blog land? I wanted to make a few for my Thanksgiving centerpiece- Here's my first one...I found a tutorial at Craftberry Bush. The only problem was 20 minutes into the project and I only had cut through 30 of the 500 plus pages with my exacto knife. In steps Mr. Right. "I think if you leave the cover on the book, I could cut that with my scroll saw" With a cupboard full of .50 antique books I figured I didn't have much to lose, so away he went...The original tutorial explains says you can trim all the loose little bits of paper with scissors. A belt sander turned out to be a perfect alternative...I just love my little family of book page pumpkins. Moral of the story- Power Tools Rule! Here's another look at my first book page pumpkin...Not only is it starting to look like Thanksgiving, but it's starting to smell like it too! I've never been one to make a homemade pie- until my good friend Paula showed me how to make pie crust in a food processor- Recipe is here. The one problem- I don't own a food processor. Paula to the rescue- my sweet friend brought her processor over last night and we made an amazing Apple Carmel pie. Look how cute this one is in an apple shaped pie dish
I don't have a link for the recipe, so here you go:
(Make the food processor crust from recipe above)
Peel, core and slice 6 apples (we used golden delicious) and toss with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch. In Medium saucepan mix
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
6 Tbl. Butter
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Water
Bring to boil over medium heat, then turn off. Fill bottom crust with prepared apples, form lattice top, spoon carmel mixture over lattice crust and entire pie. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then 350 for 40 minutes more. Cool Completely.

I can't wait to taste this pie. Thank you Paula! My 19 year old comes home from college today so we'll all be together for Thanksgiving. I'm still working on my centerpiece- I'll try to post pics on Friday. Hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving Day. I'm so thankful to our many readers and especially those who have made the commitment and become followers. We're only 34 away from our big Trashy Weekend Give-away! Enjoy your time with family & friends and count your many blessings. Love, Kelly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ambrosia Salad

I was grocery shopping tonight and I ran into a friend of mine.
My shopping cart was packed.  My friend commented on the 4 bags of marshmallows I was about to purchase.
“What you making,” she asked, “an ambrosia salad?”
I was actually purchasing the marshmallows for this killer brownie recipe I love to make.

I’ve never heard of an ambrosia salad before.
I had to know.  I'm up for it!

She told me the recipe- canned pineapple, canned fruit cocktail, canned mandarin oranges and canned maraschino cherries mixed with coolwhip and marshmallows.

Of course, I had to try it.

I wanted to purchase all my fruit fresh instead of canned.  Pears, pineapple, oranges, grapefruit, grapes and apples.  I can’t wait to try it.
I’m hoping Kelly will come over and be my taste tester.  J

My sweet friend Amberlee had her 5th baby this last week and I’m taking her in dinner tomorrow.
Turkey meatball shish kabobs with vegetables, cheesy potatoes, ambrosia salad and for desert, cupcake brownies with peppermint ice cream.

A funny thing has happened in my life.
I don’t work much anymore.
Sure, I thrift most days, but still, I have all sorts of time I haven’t had in a while.
I have time to cook elaborate dinners for people I love.
I have time to work nights on not one, but two YA novels.
The counselor comes home from work and I’ve already cleaned the kitchen.  The trash has already been taken out.  I’ve actually made dinner.

I miss eBay, but I’m learning to find my way again.
I did finish a dresser this weekend.

Pretty little thing, isn’t she (of course, I'm referring to Eden).
I just can’t get away from this color.
I keep going to the paint store and browsing through the colors, thinking I’ll get something different, something original.

Every time, I pick a slightly different version of this same color, thinking it’s a color I haven’t used before, but when I’m finished I realize it's still the same color.
Maybe next time I'll try something new, like my ambrosia salad, I'm up for it.

Please remember to pray for little Katie.
Katie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia on November 8, 2011.
To follow her blog, click here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My favorite garage sale find? A wig box.

I haven’t been garage sale shopping for weeks and weeks.  With a husband who works most Saturdays, it’s a bit overwhelming to consider taking care of all 5 kids, let alone running around to garage sales.  When the weather cools and every community is having large rummage sales and just a run to the grocery store I'll encounter 20 yard sale signs along the way, it’s easy to see why Saturday mornings I go through shopping withdrawals.  So, this Saturday, with the counselor home, I asked if he’d watch the kids so I could go have some fun.
My first 20 minutes out, I found this crazy huge credenza for $10.00.  This beauty is 98 inches long.   I’m not certain if I’ll paint it or not, but I already listed it on craigslist.
I found Eden a Madame Alexandra doll of her very own for $10.00. 
My favorite find was this vintage suitcase for $5.00.  I laughed out loud when I zipped it open.  It’s a wig box, mannequin and brush included. 
This little dresser was $10.00.  I can't wait to paint it up, maybe a robin's egg blue.
The antique church pew was $20.00.  I think this will go down to the shop at QcumberZ.
Vintage tamborine?  Why not.  Teather ball new in box?  Why yes, thank you.  Vintage clock radio and game all $1.00 each.
Retro bar stool for $2.00.  Love it.
This chair with the original fabric is very Anthropologie and for $10.00, I'm certain I can flip it for a profit.

Note to self:  Never run into to Costco while the car is full of yard sale finds.  It got very crowded in here.
Shopping trash on Saturday was busy, so Eden and I took it easy Sunday morning, browsing the latest Anthropologie catalog.
I loved the great clothes, but Eden loved looking at the chicken and horses.