Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodwill Nativity Set

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We we were able to get all the lights up on the house over the weekend but haven’t even started on the inside yet. Our First Year College Student daughter doesn’t want to miss out on decorating the tree so the plan is to buy the tree the weekend she comes home which should be around December 16th and do the big tree with her then.

In the meantime, I still have two other trees to get started on. I have a slim tree for the dining room which I have to admit is my favorite. I like to collect ornaments that look like food and I like to put them on that tree. The other tree I like to put in the bay window in our office because you can see it from the street when you drive by. Both of these are fake trees. We save the real tree for our “family” tree and that is the tree I put all of the ornaments the kids have made over the years. Hopefully we can get started on the inside of the house sometime this weekend.

I popped into the Good will on the way to work this morning and look what I found! A white porcelain nativity set for $4.99. It is so pretty and simple and of course it represents the true meaning of Christmas.

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Let the decorating begin!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Burlap and Black

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I am not much of a “Black Friday” shopper. I hate crowds and there is nothing I want to buy bad enough that could tempt me to get out of bed at some crazy early morning hour to go shopping. Nothing! Even if it was were Free. And that is a powerful word “free” and I kindly say “no thanks, I’ll sit this one out”. Somehow I think there will be bargains enough all through the month of December to satisfy my holiday shopping. With that said, I did stop by the Goodwill this morning (at the civilized hour of 10:00am) after I went to the post office. :) It was a great time to shop. Almost no one was there. They were all out standing in line at Walmart, Target, and Best Buy!

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I found a few things that I picked up for cheapness. One of which was this set of 5 black square picture frames for only $4.99. And they already had the picture wire attached on the backs for immediate hanging. I decided to do something with some of my leftover burlap. So I removed the glass inserts and stretched a piced of burlap that I cut out over the piece of foam board I found in the middle of the frame. Then I simply used my stamps and stencils along with some black craft paint and made some mini pictures with them.

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I created 3 of them and will wait to do the last two until the new stencils I ordered off of Etsy arrive. I can’t wait to get them and show you the last two after I finish them. So stayed tuned!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Table

Can you smell the turkey roasting in the oven yet?

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Here is my Thanksgiving centerpiece made from my white Goodwill bowl and the FREE gift from American Greetings of a burlap bag with decorator balls.

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And here are my cordial glasses tea lights. Yes another Goodwill find and they were only .99 cents each. I placed a tea light in each one and set one at each place setting.

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Love the Autumn Leaves pattern.

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Oh and did you notice my Pottery Barn Napkin Rings???? I love them!

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I found the dishes at Pier One Imports a couple of years ago.

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Here is a close up of my “almost” free centerpiece.

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The table is set and the only thing missing is the turkey!

I wish you and your family a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cordial Glasses And Tea Lights

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I swear my blog is starting to turn into the “Goodwill Rehab” blog! Yes I found these delightful cordial glasses at the Goodwill last week. Perfect for this time of year. I decided to add little tea light candles to each one and I am going to set one at each place setting at our Thanksgiving table.

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I only paid .99 cents for each little glass.

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Love the leaves and how perfect they are for this time of year. They have a gold rim around the top that the camera is not catching. Too cute!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece And It is Almost FREE!

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I stumbled on a great idea for a centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table today. And I usually don’t worry too much about a centerpiece. Usually I just light some candles but today I found a great centerpiece and it was almost for FREE! (and Free is good!) This also gives me a chance to show you another one of my Goodwill Finds. This time I was shopping in High Point, NC and saw a Goodwill store that I had never been in. It was very small and not much to pick from. It was nothing like the one closer to my home. But, I found a beautiful white bowl and it looked like it had a French fleur de lis motif. $1.99 is all I paid for it and I love it. That was a few weeks ago and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it until today.

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American Greetings is having a FREE gift with the purchase of four cards. They are giving away a burlap/jute bag that is tied off with raffia and it is filled with an assortment of decorator balls! All of them are “earthy”. One is a ball covered with jute twine, a few look liked dried seed pods and some have a grapevine look to them. All of them are fabulous!

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I wanted my centerpiece to look full and like the balls were spilling out of the bowl but it was a bit big and all of the balls were barely coming to the top. I needed more “spillage”.

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So I made some loosely formed balls out of aluminum foil and put them in the bottom of the bowl and then added my “pretty” balls on top. Problem solved.

I hope American Greetings is having this same offer all around the country. I needed cards anyway and was so happy to get a “freebie” too! I found mine at my local Harris Teeter grocery store but I would bet you could find this offer anywhere that sells American Greetings Cards. Good Luck! And I hope you find them!

No Shortage of Trays

There seems to be no shortage of trays at the Goodwill. Every time I hit the Goodwill it seems I find another tray just begging me to take it home. I can’t leave them there when the prices range from$1.99 and $3.99. I don’t care how ugly they are just so long as they are sturdy and in good condition. These are two of my my latest finds.

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The tray with all the fruit on it is nice and big and has a nice weight to it. It was well made. I paid $3.99 for it. The snowman tray…very cheap and I had to Gorilla Glue some of the pieces that were coming apart but I only paid $1.99 for it . Both were grubby dirty so I washed them up and dried them thoroughly before I took them out to the backyard where I gave them each a couple of coats of Rust-o-leum Black Spray Paint.

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After the paint was dry I picked out my paper to decoupage to the bottom of the trays. I have a lot of beautiful sheets of scrapbooking paper but I just can’t seem to get away from the black and white harlequin pattern! I just love how this paper looks on everything I decoupage it to! The big tray was going to require an odd size of paper and one sheet was not going to be enough. So I decided to cut each of 2 sheets in half and then I ended up using 3 of those sheets.

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I applied Mod Podge to the bottom of the tray with a foam brush and then one at a time, I brushed the back of each sheet of paper as I was working with it and applied it to the tray. I was having a tough time with the third sheet as I was decoupaging it to the tray. I had way too many air bubbles that I just couldn’t seem to get out so I decided to scrape it all out and re-do the third panel. That is what the mess in the photo below is. Things don’t always go as smoothly as they should!

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Matching up the papers was not going to be easy to do so I simply left some space in between so that each sheet looked like it had a black border. And here they are almost dry.

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And now after a full day of spray painting and decoupaging I am ready to sit down and relax. Cheers!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Little Bit of Silver

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I found this beautiful and almost contemporary looking silver and glass pitcher at the Goodwill. And I only paid $2.99 for it! I have to admit that it was tarnished and it had some dried white stuff on the bottom of the pitcher but there were no chips in it and I just couldn’t leave it there!

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When I got it home the first thing I did was wash it and I used my kid’s favorite science experiment…vinegar and baking soda to bubble up the white stuff stuck on the bottom. Then it took me about 5 minutes of elbow grease and some silver polish to get the tarnish off the handle and the top of the rim and spout. It shined up beautifully!

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I come across silver bowls and candy dishes all the time at the Goodwill. And I have some silver pieces but truthfully they are still in same box the movers packed them into from our last move and they are somewhere up in the storage room. Someday I will bring them out and shine them up when I decide where I might want to put them. But, I have no intentions of growing a silver collection unless I come across pieces that I know we will use. And I do believe we will use this pitcher. Pitcher of iced tea or orange juice on the weekends? A pitcher of Cosmo’s or Pomegranate Martinis perhaps? Yes please!

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(See that little lamp next to my pitcher? I picked that up a few weeks ago for $6.00 at a consignment store.) Have a Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sunflowers Wrapped in Burlap

One of my favorite flowers especially this time of year is Sunflowers. You can still get them fairly easily and inexpensively and they bring a little bit of summer back into the Fall. I absolutely love this photo from BEADBOARD UPCOUNTRY where the sunflowers are wrapped in burlap and tied off with a big yellow ribbon.

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If you are lucky enough to live near Brenham Texas you can visit the Beadboard Upcountry shop yourself. If you are like me and you don’t live anywhere near Texas, you can enjoy it right on your laptop! It is a fun blog to visit and she blogs about all kinds of things but every now and then you can get a peek at what is in her shop.

Be quick. The amount of time left to enjoy sunflowers is running out. It is just a matter of days before the Poinsettias take over!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bye Bye Brass

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One of the things that I never believed about spray paint was that it would stick to shiny surfaces. It really does and each time I spray something I am just as amazed as the first time I tried it. We have had this brass lamp probably since we first got married. Shiny brass was very big in the 80’s. It is a great lamp and it gives off a lot of light.

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It’s the same lamp I mentioned in an earlier post when I mentioned that it “buzzed” when you turned it on. We tried to replace the socket on our own and it still buzzed after we were done so it was then time for a professional. Well, I took it to a local lamp shop and had them put a whole new socket it in it….good as new. Almost. It was still UGLY. And the lampshade had a drip of dried paint on it from when we painted the living room and turned it into an office.

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A can of Rust-e-oleum Metallic spray paint is what I used to bring it up to date.

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See how shiny it was?

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I taped off the cord and the socket area and gave it couple of coats of spray paint.

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And wow did the details become more noticeable!

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It is amazing to me that I can get that oiled rubbed bronze look with a can of spray paint!!

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I picked up a new shade for it too. I am loving anything Burlap these days and found another shade that was bigger and I love the whole look. I re-did a floor lamp a week or so ago that I found at the Goodwill…remember the “danglies”? Well I decide to move that one to the family room and put my new re-do in it’s place in the office. It is a bit bigger and gives off more light and it also just looks better in there!

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Another miracle created with the help of Rust-o-leum. :) (I know...I need to start hiding my cords.) :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And the Winner Is….

A special THANKS to all who entered my very first GIVEAWAY! Csnbaby. com , which is a great source for all your baby needs including Nursery Furniture , generously offered a set of these 3 wall plaques which make a great baby or shower gift and are perfect for decorating a “little one’s” nursery.


The Winner was selected using the Random Number Generator at And the winner is……

LAURA at THE ROAD AHEAD!!!!!! Laura has a great blog and is currently in the process of adopting a baby girl from China! Congratulations and Best Wishes to Laura and her family as they travel “The Road Ahead” and I look forward to reading all about it!

(Thanks to everyone who entered and I hope I can do another Giveaway some time soon!) :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What’s for Dinner?

Ham and Cheese Potatoes

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Everyone in my family likes it when I make this for dinner. I like to buy the Ham Steaks you can get at Costco for this. They come 3 steaks to a package and unless I am feeding the neighbor’s kids or the First Year College Student is home, I can usually get away with 1 Ham Steak per meal but sometimes I make two so that I can use the leftovers in a quiche or a Jambalaya the next day. This is a simple dinner and easy. I like to grill the Ham steaks outside on the BBQ if the weather is nice. I steam the green beans in a little bit of olive oil and garlic and then comes the potatoes. The potatoes are what makes everyone’s eyes light up. These are so good and so easy. They are great served with dinner and they are also perfect if you are serving a big breakfast. Do your see that golden brown crunchy piece in the potatoes? That is my favorite part!

Cheddar Cheese Potatoes

1 package (32oz) frozen Southern Style Hash Brown Potatoes (I like Ore-Ida brand), thawed

1 Cup milk

1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter, melted

1 teaspoon of dried Onion Powder (sometimes I add more):)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bow, combine the potatoes, milk, Cheddar Cheese, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix together and spread in a 13 x 9 casserole dish that has been sprayed with Pam Cooking Spray. Drizzle the melted butter over the top. Bake 1 hour until bubbly and golden brown.

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Mmmm! This is a keeper recipe. I am going to post this over at Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.


And don’t forget to enter my Giveaway. The Giveaway ends at midnight on Friday, November 14, 2009. Hurry and enter today. See my sidebar and click on the blue gift box for more details. Good Luck!! Winner will be announced on Sunday, November 16, 2009.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bright Red Geraniums In Big Black Pots

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I don’t know what I did to deserve such beautiful Geraniums this year! They were big and bushy and I had tons of blooms. And unbelievably to me, this is how beautiful they still are and it is November!! The remnants of Hurricane Ida started blowing through here yesterday and today it is cold, windy, and rainy. Last night we brought all the pots off of the front porch in so that Ida could not tear them apart.

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I have them sitting in the front window of our living room converted to an office. I wish I had a hot house to keep them in for the winter. Are there any gardeners out there who have had luck keeping geraniums alive through the winter????

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I buy my geraniums at a great family owned Nursery in Brown’s Summit here in NC called A and A Plants usually near the end of April each spring. I always have great luck with them but this year they were exceptional. I planted them in Miracle Grow Potting Mix and our summer was not as hot as it sometimes is and believe it or not I don’t think I watered them as much as the previous year. Go figure!

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Here is one of the pots next to my front door.

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They look so pretty sitting in the front window.

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I just hate the thought of loosing them them to the winter time! I have heard that you can winter them over…that they go somewhat dormant…and you can keep them alive in your garage in the winter. They will look like they are dead but come springtime when you move them back outside they will spring back. Does anybody know if that is true?

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My geraniums are protected from Hurricane Ida for today. Tomorrow it is supposed to be sunny and in the 60’s so I’ll be able to move them back to the front porch tomorrow. But sadly I think their days are numbered! :(


I am also linking up to Outdoor Wednesday over at A Southern Day Dreamer. Stop by for some fresh air!