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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Opposing Juice

A few months ago, I realized my family was out of control with juice.  When one of my children was thirsty, juice was being poured instead of water.  When the juice was gone, it was a huge meltdown catastrophe for one particular four year-old who I was concerned about the most.  It wasn't just the cost of juice that had me concerned, but my kid’s health and teeth.  And when I read about arsenic in most juices, I’d had enough.

One day we ran out of juice and that’s when I decided no more.

But my kid's were addicts, so I started out slowly.  I purchased juice boxes and they could have one a day.  My four year-old Reef had a hard time.  Over a few days and then weeks, he learned the new rule and although he tried his best to obtain more juice boxes by climbing into the pantry and sneaking it, he started to understand.

Then, I had an idea.

I started with purified water and steeping several Celestial Seasonings blueberry tea bags and Calli mint tea by Sunrider in a large container.  

Sneaking in the Calli tea was very important to me.  Calli has done wonders for my health; from treating bronchial asthma to reoccurring phenomena, helping with morning sickness from pregnancies past; also weight loss and clear skin.  It detoxifies like nobody's business.  I can't say enough great things about Sunrider Calli tea.

Next, I mixed it a few teaspoons of Stevia; a natural sweetener that is an herb in the Chrysanthemum family which grows wild in parts of Paraguay and Brazil.  Then, I mixed in a packet of Trader Joe’s pomegranate cherry drink mix packets, made with dried hibiscus and black carrots.  
It had the look and rich color of juice and it tasted great.  I called it special juice.

It’s so cute when Eden requests her special juice and my heavy drinker Reef doesn't even know the difference.  
This is Reef on hair gel.

I have it in the fridge at all times.  My kids have been particularly healthy during this horrible flu season.  Even the counselor is hooked because when he drinks it he knows he’s doing something good for his health. 
Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

End Table Makeover

I found this gorgeous end table last weekend garaging.  
I knew it was amazing quality the minute I laid eyes on it and it is heavy.  The home owner said he paid over $200 for it, but when his daughter spilled fingernail polish remover on it and ruined the varnish top, he pulled it in to the give-a-way/garage sale pile.  
For $20, it was now my problem/blessing.

I brought it home, along with these heavy lonely cabinet doors I found at another garage sale for $5.00.  I just love the architectural design.  
Both needed a little make-over.
Thank heavens for the miracle of paint for helping this table become beautiful again.
And giving these cabinet doors a new look.
Date night fashion included a $1.00 Goodwill CAbi sweater (retails for around $130) and a $2.50 Plush and Lush Victoria's Secret black skirt (retails for around $48).
My little Tuscany table now sits at Antique Plaza and the gorgeous doors are at Qcumberz.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nathan Pacheco and Love

My mom re-introduced me to Nathan Pacheco; amazing singer and performer.  You see, when I lived in Herndon, Virginia as a teenager, Nathan’s family was a member of our church congregation.  Of course back then he was just an adorable little boy, not the famous talented songwriter he is now.
For Valentines Day, I asked my love to take me to see Nathan Pacheco at the Mesa Arts Center.  The counselor and I had no idea what we were in for.  Nathan started the evening singing the theme song from Avator.  
I was taken out of my somewhat crazy life and let love song after love song fill my heart.  My favorite song of the evening was Caruso.  Nathan explained the story of Caruso, how near the end of his life he reflected on his experiences; his travels, fame and money when all that mattered to him was the love he felt for his wife. 
I love that Nathan took the time to explain each love song he sang; after all most were sung in languages other then English.

I started to realize what we do for love, how we search for love and how we rediscover love.  The most beautiful songs in the world are sung about love; the most profound books are written about love and the most meaningful movies are portraying love. Love is a universal language.  It’s something we all desire.

I have a friend searching for love.  He’s dating here and there, not really sure what he’s looking for.  He recently started dating a girl who has other “guy” friends.  This bothered my friend; as he wanted an exclusive relationship.  He was ready to give up, he wasn’t sure where he stood because really in this game called love the rules are sometimes vague.  I reminded him what men have done through the ages to win the heart of the girl they love. 

“Have you ever watched a Disney movie?” I asked him.  “All though animated, there’s plenty to learn about love in these plots.  Most of the time the prince carries a sword.  Why?  Because he has to fight for his love.  He has to fight off a fiery dragon and cut through a forest of thorny bushes.  He has to find his love in hard-to-reach towers and awake her from near-death sleeping spells.  He has to hope her father or harder yet, animal friends will accept him as good enough.  And lastly, he has to be able to sing.”

Love; the purest of gifts that all deserve takes incredible determination and constant work to maintain.  I feel something that takes such work to obtain will be cherished and treasured.  I reminded my friend that God made it this way.  Why do we call it “falling in love?”  It does take a leap of faith.  With falling in love comes a bond that is unbreakable.  
The counselor carries on our Valentine’s Day tradition by planting me flowers.
Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock

Monday, February 18, 2013

70th Birthday Celebration

I wanted to share a few pictures from my friends 70th surprise birthday party.  I was thrilled to do the decor and be a part of this afternoon luncheon...

I've been hanging on to this frame for a while!  It's big and chunky and ornate.  I used an overhead projector and traced the information onto the chalkboard (my handwriting is atrocious).  It highlights some of the important milestones in Diann's life.    I sold this chalkboard just 2 weeks later at an vintage show for $95
The sign-in table featured an old treadle sewing machine base that we painted and then added a planked wood top.  
 This frame was picked up for a few dollars at a garage sale, painted and outfitted with twine to hold birthday messages.  I sold the frame at the same vintage sale for $20.
 Centerpieces were kept simple with tiffany blue barn wood boxes- made by Mr. Right, Hydrangeas and antique sheet music.
 Photos from Diann's life were displayed for all to admire.
 The menu included chicken salad sandwiches and veggies.  Delicious cupcakes and color themed candy were a sweet ending to a beautiful afternoon.  Surprise Diann!  Love, Kelly  

Friday, February 15, 2013

$3.00 Coffee Table Makeover and $3.00 Jeans

What do you do when you find a $3.00 coffee table at a garage sale that weighs about 100 pounds?  
What do you do when you find it covered with cigarette burns, spilled fingernail polish and skateboard stickers?
You buy it, of course?
Sand it, prime it and paint it cream.
It sold this week at Antique Plaza.
Date night Goodwill fashion?
These Levi jeans were $3.00 and my Lucky shirt was $2.50.
Little girl in $3.00 Roxy dress?  Priceless.
Make it a great weekend.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Misaligned Ill-mannered Perfect Swing

I had these two old swings given to me.

I hung them on our tree in the back yard.  Eden spent more time swinging then I knew possible.  Problem was I noticed the swing smallest and easiest for her to get on her own twists when she goes too high.
I’m not sure where I went wrong.  Either I didn't hang it, tie it or space the ropes correctly because it’s a wobbly ride.  Eden starts out fine, but after a few pushes, she’s twisting and twirling. 

This was a problem
I had done it wrong.

I am not the handiest person.  I had spent over an hour getting both swings up in those hard-to-reach branches and now, I concluded I needed to undo all my sophisticated Boy Scout knots and start over.

I procrastinated.
I was in denial.
Certainly a crocked swing could correct itself overtime?

Besides, I had already done the best I could do when one afternoon while pushing Eden on our demented and slightly-challenged rockabilly swing (and thinking for the 100th time I need to take this swings down and start over), I noticed how much she loved it.

The higher I pushed, the more exciting the ride.

She was giggling as the unbalanced swing pushed her from side to side; unsure where the momentum would take her next.  It was anyone’s guess. It was better than a Disneyland ride.

I was so caught up in my error that I didn't see the real picture.  Eden loves her perfect dysfunctional swing.
I guess a swing’s fun no matter how you hang it and sometimes our best is good enough.
Happy Valentines Day and remember to love yourself, even with all your beautiful imperfections.
Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Yellow and Gray Dresser

I love writing, but find after a couple hours of intense typing, I need to walk away and let my mind rest.  Lately, I’ve been doing a whole lot more editing then writing.  I have a love/hate relationship with editing; specifically, I hate it.  I know it’s part of the process, but for me it takes the fun out of writing.  I’ve heard if you’re a good writer, you’re a horrible editor and vice versa. 

While at a writer’s conference, I heard a writer say sometimes she would get annoyed because life was so busy because she rarely had time to write.  Then she paused and added, “But, if it wasn't for my hectic life I’d have little inspiration about what to write.”   

The counselor, who just finished reading the manuscript for My Dear Lucy has seen my frustration with the editing.   Last night he threw out the idea that he could do some of the editing for me.  I was speechless, for about one second before I said, "Really? O.K."  And I gave him a big kiss.     

When I step away from writing, I do a number of things to relax.  I am a cookie mom; specifically chocolate chip oatmeal.  I am not a housekeeper mom, so you won’t find me tiding up until it is absolutely essential.  Essential is a broad term, isn’t it?  I also love to go on walks with the kids and of course shop at thrift stores. 

I found this little beauty and painted it with some ying/yang colors.
Painting dressers; another way to get away from editing.
I love how it turned out.  The counselor is taking it down to Qcumberz.  Let’s hope it finds a happy home this weekend.
The Memory Catcher went to press again.  Thanks to those of your who've emailed me with your impressions and thoughts on the book.  It was an absolute pleasure to write and the editing? Well, my mom did most of that.  
Order your copy here or here

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Love in Disguise

I was doing homework with my seven year-old Mayer a few days again, teaching him how to tell time.  We were multiplying by fives, when Mayer stopped and looked up. 
Outside where I work, I had left my radio on K-LOVE; Christian radio and Mayer could hear the music.
“I love this song,” he said, listening for a moment and then went right back to counting out the minute hand on his worksheet.
The song Jesus In Disguise was playing; a song about seeing those who need love, who need help.  About reaching out and doing what He would do.  That’s the way to see Jesus.  Jesus is in disguise all around us.
And here was my son singing the lyrics to this perfect message. 
I didn’t even realize he had been listening to these songs on the radio, let alone memorizing the lyrics, but he plays outside near me while I work.
I used to listen to talk radio, political commentary and local news, but I found myself unenlightened.  Although I want to be informed, the bantering of one political group to another got me no where but stressed out about things I can’t control.  There’s a lot going on in the world I don’t like and if I let myself get caught up in it I feel discouraged, but I can control what I bring into my home.  My home is my sanctuary.  My home is my domain where I love and laugh and cry.  Listening to Christian radio has made a huge difference in my day.  How happy I am it streamlines into my little children’s minds too.   

Friday, February 1, 2013


Sometimes when I’m out thrifting, I find a lonely top hutch without a home.
Perhaps you’ve seen something like this sitting on a cold, dirty linoleum floor at your local thrift store; a top bookshelf for a desk or a china hutch for on top a cabinet. Because there’s little to no use for a lonely hutch, I can pick them up for cheap.  Then, I see if I have a dresser that needs something special; that little extra touch.
Since I painted them the same color, they look like a perfect pair; a match made in up-cycling, repurposing, shabby chic heaven.  
I took it down to Antique Plaza and the set sold in a week.
I found this wood vintage bookshelf at a garage sale for $5.00 (don't be fooled by the picture, it was in bad shape).  
I painted it and matched it up with this cute little Drexel dresser.  
I think it turned out pretty dramatic.
I also mismatched my date night outfit with something borrowed and something used.  These $5.00 XCVI pants (new they sell for over $100) are from Goodwill, while the shirt was borrowed from my sister-in-law.
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