Monday, May 31, 2010

Today’s Questions…Getting to Know You


I hope you all are having a nice Memorial Day Weekend!  Our’s is pretty calm and laid back.  Our problem is that we don’t plan ahead.  So before we know it the weekend is upon us and we aren’t quite sure what to do with it!  But you have to love a 3 day weekend don’t you? 

It’s Monday but it feels like a Sunday so I thought I would participate in Mannland5’s Getting to Know You Questions for Today.  A day late and a dollar short…

Here we go:

1.  Have you ever snooped around someone else's house?

Yes, and now, not without their permission.   I was once at a party when a friend grabbed my arm and said “C’mon, let’s take a look around.  Together we poked our heads into all the rooms upstairs and I didn’t feel right about it.  Haven’t done it since.  I love a  good house tour as much as the next girl but would only “snoop”  now if I was given permission and told “Go ahead and take a  look around”.  But I would never open drawers or anything like that.

2. Can guys and girls be friends? ( thanks Jen!)

Yes I think so.  but it’s a different kind of friendship.  You can’t do all the same things that you do with your girl friends. It’s just different.

3. Can you curl your tongue?  Yes, I can and so can my husband and kids.  Not sure about the dog though…

4. Have you ever stolen anything?

Indirectly.  I was shopping with girl friends when I was in Junior High and one of them put something in my shopping bag without me knowing it.  She asked for my bag when we got out of the store and there it was.   I was shocked!  I wanted no part of that in the future and held tight to my shopping bags from that day forward.

5. Would you rather talk on the phone or text?

Hmmm…I don’t like talking on the phone much….it just takes way too much time.  I like to text but really only do it with a purpose like checking up on my kids.  I like emailing because the other person doesn’t have to answer right away and it gives me time to check my calendar or respond when I have the time. 

6. Memorial Day plans?

No sad to say none this year.  We are moving our daughter back to college for the summer session in just a couple of days and so we will be shopping for a used dresser and a new bed.  BORING!  But today we’ll be having a BBQ.  That’s about it. :(  I would much rather be out on a lake somewhere or at the beach.

7. What do you do to relax?

I like to surf the web, read blogs and magazines, watch TV,  bake something or take a walk with the dog. 


8.  Do you do anything to honor those that have died fighting for our freedom?

We fly our flag.

Saturday, May 29, 2010



Greensboro, North Carolina has discovered GELATO!  Or should I say Gelato has discover Greensboro.  Either way, there is a new gelato cafe in town called GNAM, GNAM and opened in one of the shops next to The Fresh Market on Lawndale.   It’s a stylish and quaint little shop that also serves salads, sandwiches, espresso, pastries, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, shakes, and beer and wine.   It’s been open for a short while and we finally stopped in last night.  Incredibly good!  I had 4 mini scoops that included pistachio, lemon, tiramsu, and nutella!!  All 4 flavors were unbelievably good.  It’s healthier with less fat and tastier than regular ice cream.  Healthier!  This could be trouble with a capitol “T”.



And look at this masterpiece.  It’s called Spaghetti Gelato!   That is vanilla gelato with strawberry syrup and topped with shaved white chocolate!!  Eating one of these is going on my bucket list. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Education – The Movie


One of the things that I love is finding a movie on Netflix that I unexpectedly love.  “An Education” was such a pleasant surprise.  It is set in the early 1960’s in England and is something of a coming of age film.  It was thoroughly enjoyable.


The look of the film, the clothes, the music, and most importantly the hair all made this picture stick in my mind and had me watching it a second and third time. Alfred Molina does a superb job of playing Jenny’s father.


Just look at those coats and hats.  Carey Mulligan, on the right in this photo plays the lead part of Jenny so perfectly.  And just as perfect in her role is Rosamund Pike the beautiful but a bit ditzy blonde in the white hat.  (Both of these actresses played the sisters Jane and Kitty in the Pride and Prejudice version with Kiera Knightly just a few short years ago.) 

image image  

The scenes in the bar were hip, the music jazzy the liquor was hard, and everyone smoked.

image image

Peter Sarsgaard, the only American Actor in the film, plays the part of David perfectly.  Mysterious, sexy, and a bit creepy in an immature kind of way all rolled into one.


Carey Mulligan plays the 16 year old Jenny so perfectly.  She might remind you of Audrey Hepburn, at least she did me…the clothes and hair might be half the reason why.  You can so easily believe why this older man takes such an interest in her.  Overall, I found it to be a really good film.  Worthy of my top ten list for this year…that is if I see enough films this year to even make a list.  And you can be sure and at the same time, sad to say… the majority of what I see won’t be seen in the theater.  I really need to do something about that. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Just a Little Bit of Shopping

  Sandals 003  

The cutest sandals in North Carolina are right here and they are mine!

Sandals 010   Sandals 011

How cute are these???  Picked them up at Belk.  Paid more than I wanted to but I couldn’t resist their cuteness factor.

And then when I got home the UPS man was at the door with this from QVC…

Handbag from QVC 021

It was a good day. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Desk…Finally!

Desk Finished and Cupcakes 011

Oh Happy Day! The desk is finally finished!

Goodwill Desk and Pillows 002 Desk Finished and Cupcakes 010


Goodwill Desk and Pillows 002 Goodwill Desk and Pillows 005

It was a proud and happy day when I dragged this desk home with me from Goodwill several weeks ago.

I removed the dated hardware, scrubbed it up and gave it a spray painted coat of primer. I let it dry in the sun for several hours. A few days later, I gave it a coat of latex white satin finish paint…with a paint brush. And let it dry for many more days. I wanted it to “cure”. I only sanded it in the areas I wanted it to look “distressed”.

Miscellaneous 1 018 Miscellaneous 1 005

Then I wiped on some Minwax “Provincial” wood stain and quickly wiped it off. I tried to work it into any nicks or crevices along the way. And I let it dry for several more days. My plan was to take furniture wax and rub it into the entire desk and then buff it off just like I saw it done on a blog post by Cindy over at My Romantic Home. This girl knows what she is doing! Anyway, I started to apply the paste wax to the desk and I saw that it was removing the wood stain I had applied over the white paint! So I immediately stopped, touch up the stained spot with the old stain rag that I used and let it dry for several more days. I was gun shy after that so instead of going the paste wax route, I applied a coat of clear poly. Because, I was tired of waiting and it was time to get it done!! The poly coat dried in a day. :)

Desk Finished and Cupcakes 013 Desk Finished and Cupcakes 015

Next I added the new hardware that my daughter picked out.

It was starting to look like a real piece of furniture now!

See all the distressed marks?

Desk Finished and Cupcakes 009

Oakley supervises all home improvement activities at our house.

Desk Finished and Cupcakes 011

So much fresher and cleaner.

Desk Finished and Cupcakes 017

I lined the drawers with some decorative papers that we tacked down with a little bit of tape.

Goodwill Desk and Pillows 002 Desk Finished and Cupcakes 010


This desk is leaving for Chapel Hill later this week. I’ll be sure to take a picture of it in it’s final destination in my daughter’s new apartment. And my husband is delighted because he thinks he is getting his garage back. Ha! That’s what he thinks. I have a few more projects to tackle before that happens. :)

I am linking up to Nifty Thrifty Tuesday over at Coastal Charm. Amazing bargains were had this past week! Stop by to see them all.

I am also linking up with Maryann's Power of Paint Party over at Domestically Speaking. Impressive makeovers to be seen here!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Questions for Today

Here are today’s questions for the Getting to Know you series over at Mannland5.  Stop by there if you want to read more answers by lots of other people.  She mentioned on her blog that last week was a record breaker for participants.  The questions..

1. Do you have a fetish?

Nothing kinky.  Sorry to disappoint!  I like magazines and have lots because I don’t like to throw them away.  I guess that counts.

2. Do you sing in the shower?

Occasionally.  And if I do it’s when no one else is around and it’s usually because I have a song stuck in my head.

3. Who was your first crush?


I would have to say…and I am showing my age here…David Cassidy.  I loved him and the Partridge Family show. Bobby Sherman was cute too…Donny Osmond never really did it for me.   And in real life, I remember liking a little boy named Ricky Hanna.  He had asthma and moved to Arizona before I hit the first grade. :(

4. What do you think is the best manly trait a guy could have?

Being able to fix things is very high in my book.  And my husband tries…he really does!   I also appreciate the “gentleman” factor along with kindness, and the enjoyment of children!

5. Do you sleep naked?

Not much.  Too many teenagers in the house.

6. What do you do when (you think) no one is looking?

I check my teeth to make sure I don’t have lipstick on them, food isn’t stuck in my braces and if I am having a glass of wine I check to make sure my teeth aren’t purple. 

7. What's the first thing you do when you go online?

I usually check my email. 

8. Summer is.....?

Easy.  It’s growing tomatoes and basil, ice cold beer, bon fires, steaks on the grill, corn on the cobb, making pickles, a trip to the beach if it’s a good year and trying to keep track of a teenager and an almost 20 year old.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Pillows for the Porch

Porch Photos 002

I finally found some new pillows for the front porch this week.  I know I really need to invest in some nice cushions that have a “Sunbrella” fabric on them but they are too expensive for me right now.  So, I will throw my money away on these less expensive cushions that I found at TJ Maxx this week.  They didn’t have a matching bench cushion so I improvised and placed two single seat cushions next to each other on the bench and it works fine.  I am happy with the black and white fabric and it works with the big green pillows I picked up at Costco a few weeks ago.  The former cushions were almost flat and so faded.  It was time for them to go.

 Geraniums 2010 007

Here is the porch “Before”.  See how faded and flat the cushions are?

Porch Photos 003

And here it is “After”.  I think the new pillows make a huge difference. 

The fire fly shows haven’t started quite yet.  I give it another few weeks and we’ll be able to sit out here and watch the fire flies.   I guess tonight we’ll have to be content watching the dog.  Or the thunder and lightening if we get the storms as predicted.  Either way it will be entertaining. :) 

I hope you have a great weekend.  My plans are to finish the desk that I have been working on for our daughter’s new apartment.  She moves in next week.  And I would like to get my tomatoes planted.  I haven’t waited this long to plant ever.  Something about all the weeds needing to be pulled first has kind of dampened my enthusiasm! 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stairs or Escalator?

I thought this was great!  If we could just find more ways to put a little

more fun in our days we would be a lot healthier.  Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

101 Things That Make Me Happy

Having a good hair day

The smell of fresh ground coffee

Arctic Orange Smoothies from The Juice Shop

The Outer Banks in North Carolina

Getting together with my friends from college

Parrano cheese

Winning a round of Mah Jong


Making Bruschetta

Visiting my daughter in Chapel Hill

Finding shells on the beach

Making a great tennis shot

Sitting on the front porch with my husband

Stacks of magazines

Growing basil

My vegetable garden

Black Spray Paint

Dragging a treasure home from Goodwill

Lemon Bars

When my husband washes and vacuums my car

Mocha Frappachino from Starbucks

Big black pots with bright red geraniums


finding a new lip gloss color I like

crisp white shirts

clean sheets on the bed

when someone else unloads the dishwasher

when my husband preps my coffee the night before

listening to The Dennis Miller Show on the radio in my car

Watching Pride and Prejudice…the BBC version with Colin Firth

The Camille Salad at Pita Delite

Fresh strawberries

Discovering a new blog to read and follow

Making a batch of pickles and giving them away

Handmade cards from my kids

Taking a really good photo of something or someone

Jamoca Almond Fudge from Baskin Robbins

Really good bread

The smell of a real bakery

Overhearing someone speak French and understanding what they said

Sitting by the bon fire

Watching Oakley wiggle on her back in the sun

Pink nail polish on my toes

The look of a French Manicure

Looking at old photos of our kids

Getting an invitation in the mail

Planning a party

Seeing someone I know in the newspaper

Watching our son play Lacrosse

Pellegrino Sparkling Water

Having dinner when all 4 of us are together

Going to the Farmer’s Market

Spending the day on a boat on a lake

Taking the dog for a walk

Playing cards with the kids

Reading a really good book

Discovering a new blog

Catching up with my friends from High School

Browsing in a book store

Watching Dolphins at the beach

Purple Iris’

The sound of a lawn mower on a Saturday morning in the summertime

The smell of fresh cut grass

Filling a basket with vegetables from my garden

The smell and taste of a cup of coffee in a really nice restaurant

Learning how to do something new on the computer

Seeing something I like in a catalog and thinking “I can make that!”

kittens and puppies

Making things

Reading  a new cookbook

Getting ready for Halloween

Walking in the woods in the Fall

Touring newly built and decorated homes

Watching Pelicans fish in the ocean

Playing golf with the neighborhood girls

Visiting Washington DC

Buying flowers

New sandals

Shopping in a kitchen store

The smell of a lavender plant

Making things and giving them away

Ice cold beer that’s been sitting in a tub of ice

Making a big pot of soup in the winter time


Getting new catalogs in the mail and reading them on the front porch

The smell of suntan lotion

New sunglasses

Trying a new restaurant and liking it

A drawer full of matching socks

Donating big bags of clothes and stuff to Goodwill

Remembering how my kids used to pronounce certain words like “paga’s for “pretzels”

getting a foot massage

Seeing a turtle

Unexpectedly picking a good movie from Netflix

Playing Euchre

Finding someone who knows what Euchre is and likes to play

Watching the dog play in the creek

Having a really good waiter or waitress and leaving a big tip

Driving up to our house at night when it is all lit up at Christmas with lights

Picking strawberries

Trying and liking a new kind of cheese

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cottage Cheese and a Shoe Box



Me: I’ll take “Trash to Treasure” for $500 Alex.

Alex Trebeck: Black spray paint, an old shoe box, and an empty container of cottage cheese?

Me: What is How to Entertain Yourself on a Sunday afternoon! You too can make a black box for holding your “stuff” and a new mini planter!


I’d like to say that I am always searching for ways to recycle but the truth is I am just having fun with “free” stuff that I already have. Don’t you just hate throwing away shoe boxes? I do and I just couldn’t part with this latest one because it was so sturdy and the lid was “hinged” or attached to the box. I am not sure what I’ll put in it just yet but believe me there are mini piles of stuff looking for a home all over my house and so the word “stuff” seemed more than appropriate.


. I am especially happy with my new little “grow” planter. The best part is that the lid makes a perfect tray or saucer for the pot. I used a knife to cut 4 “X”’s in the bottom of the pot for drainage and the pot sits perfectly on the saucer and will catch any water that drains out the bottom.


I am going to save myself a couple more containers so that I can have a set of three that say “Grow”, “&”, “Bloom”. How cute would that be? You know you’ll be the first to see them when they are done. I am adding more cottage cheese to my shopping list as we speak!

I am linking this post up to Nifty Thrify Tuesday over at Coastal Charm. Come see all the other creative posts!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Questions for Today

Here are the questions for today over at Mannland5 and I thought I would play along for two reasons.  One, it’s kind of fun to read every one else’s answers and to write my own and two, I don’t have much else to write about today! Not much fun on the Sunday agenda today except maybe some weeding of the garden.  I don’t think you want to see photos of my weeds and the invading Bermuda Grass so I’ll just answer a few questions.  Feel free to play along.


The questions..

1. The most expensive thing hanging in my closet is.....?

Hmm, that is a hard one to answer.  I am not a big spender on clothes, handbags, or shoes.  Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things but spending hundreds of dollars on one handbag just doesn’t happen for me.  I haven’t seen anything I like that much and besides, I like variety too much.  If I spent the big bucks on one item then I would feel obligated to use it forever. 

2. Have you ever played a team sport?

Yes I am a former tennis junkie!  I started playing after we moved her to North Carolina because I have always loved the game.  I spent almost all of my free time playing on a women’s league and played for years until about 2 years ago when I stopped cold turkey.  I found a part time job and the pettiness of the women of the tennis world was too much to take any more so I decide to move on.  I am MUCH happier these days playing occasionally with my husband and a few friends. 

3. If you were a bug, what kind would you be?

I guess a lady bug.  I don’t like bugs much but I don’t like to kill them either.  If they get into my house, I usually catch them in a plastic cup and set them free outside.  Why be cruel? And, who wants to clean up bug guts??

4. Where on your body is the worst place to get sunburned? (thanks Ian)

I think the shoulders are the worst. Because then your bra straps sit on it and it’s painful. 

5. Are you happy?

Yes, Very. :)

6. People are always abbreviating..are there any abbreviations that make your skin crawl when people use them?

I wouldn’t use the expression “skin crawl” but I guess I have to go with “ROLF”.  What is this?  For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what it stood for. I think it means something like “rolling on the floor laughing”?  Can anybody help me here???

7. Do you love where you live..or could you live anywhere?

I do love where I live.  Greensboro, is a family friendly town and it’s been a great place to raise our family.  We will relocate again someday after our kids are in college and somewhat on their feet.  We will either move for my husbands job if a neat opportunity arises and we would like to move closer to the ocean when we retire.


8. What, if any, extreme measures do you go to to keep yourself from overeating when you're full?

Mannland5 said that this question arose because she saw  that Kim Kardashian sprays her food with Windex to prevent herself from eating something.  I can’t say I have ever done anything that extreme.  I’ve left ice cream out to melt before forcing me to throw it away so I guess that is my most extreme other than just finishing something off…you know so I won’t be tempted later.

C’est tout!  Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Can’t I Please Just Put Some Numbers On It???

Our daughter is home from her first year in college.  Her “stuff” is everywhere!  But, it’s nice to have her home even though it is only temporary until the apartment she and her friends are moving into becomes available on June 1st.  Then she is going back to take a summer session class and to work at her part time job.  She is going to need some new furniture like a bed and I am happy to say that I am almost finished with re-painting the desk I dragged home with me from Goodwill a few weeks ago.  I had big colorful and creative plans for that desk.  I wanted to try my hand at painting it a bold color like “aqua” and then maybe trying my hand and “antiquing” it with a glaze of some sort.  That’s not going to happen. “:(  The “Just Finished Her First Year of College College Student” wants a white desk.  WHITE with no bells or whistles.  “You know I could paint it black and put some numbers on it…would you like that”?  No…just white.  So…..I am complying with her wishes and white it is. 

Goodwill Desk and Pillows 002 Goodwill Desk and Pillows 007

As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago I cleaned it up and gave it a coat of primer.  Yesterday I gave it a coat of white paint.  It’s rather boring but it’s clean and pretty now and my daughter is happy with it.  We ordered a piece of beveled glass for the desk top which was my daughter’s idea.  She wants to be able to put a bunch of her snap shot photos underneath the glass. I thought that was a great idea and the cost of the glass for anyone who is interested the piece of glass was $35.00 for a 40 x 17 inches pieces with a beveled edge.  The plan for today is to pop by the Home Depot to get some new hardware for the drawer fronts, get some fine sandpaper, and to buy some paste wax to use as a sealer.

I found this wonderful tutorial on how to paint wood furniture off of a beautiful blog called My Romantic Home by Cindy.  If you think you might want to try and paint your own piece of furniture,  this is one of the best tutorials on how to do it that I have come across.   Today, I learned that she likes to use a latex indoor paint like I used but that she likes to let it “cure” for a about a week.  She also, lightly sands her pieces with a very fine sandpaper after the paint has cured for about a week so I have added that to my Home Depot list for today.   And Cindy doesn’t use a polyurethane sealer but instead rubs her pieces with paste wax to get a professional finish.  I am going to give this a try!    Here is the link for the How To Paint Wood Furniture tutorial.


Goodwill night stand 007

Now look at the latest “find” I dragged home from the Goodwill this week!  It’s a filthy dirty end table/night stand.  But as “they” like to say it has good bones and HUGE potential.  It was manufactured by Henredon, very solid, and it only cost me $10.00.  It too will probably be making it’s way to my daughters apartment.  It will either end up in her room as her night stand but since I haven’t seen her new bedroom yet I am not sure if it will fit.  But I am confident we will find a home for it somewhere. 

Stay tuned!  I don’t mean to string you along but this is a slow process!  I hope to have finished desk photos for you later in the week.  And I am sad to say, don’t count on seeing any numbers on this one. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2 The Beach

Crab Stepping Stone 016

I think this is my most favorite stepping stone so far!  Today was a nice day and it was spent with my friend “M” in celebration of her birthday.  Her birthday was last November.  So we were celebrating it 6 months after the fact.   Six months ago I had a great day planned but was pulled away at the last minute to fly back Michigan after a dear childhood friend passed away.  It is a crime that it took this long to put a day like this together but we finally did and it was a lot of fun.  “M” requested that for her birthday she wanted “to make something”.  Hmmm……I wasn’t quite sure what she would want to make but in the end we settled on this stepping stone.    

Crab Stepping Stone 003    Crab Stepping Stone 005

After painting a large garden stone with black spray paint, we pulled out my stencils and got to work.  I have a new craft paint that I like to use for my stones that is made for the outdoors.  We used Folk Art’s Outdoor Opaque paint in “Wicker White”.  I love this paint!  The stone turned out better than I had hoped and “M” was very happy with it.        A VERY belated Happy Birthday!

Crab Stepping Stone 017

“M” and her husband have the most marvelous beach house that they rent out called 2 The Beach on Emerald Isle in sunny North Carolina.  It’s beautifully decorated and it makes for one of the most relaxing and fun vacations.  We stayed there last year around this time and had the most fun.  If you are looking for a new vacation spot this year you might want to check this one out.  Here are some photos of their place.     


The kitchen opens up to the great room with vaulted ceilings.  And look at that mini bar painted like a Zebra.  It’s the cutest thing and was painted by another friend and neighbor of ours.



And the kitchen has everything you could ever want or need.

image image 

Here are the bedrooms.  Clean, comfortable and with a decorator “beachy” decor. 

image   image image

There is a game room on the lower level and easy access to the beach.  The house is part of a duplex and although it’s not ocean front…which costs the big bucks…this is only one lot away from the beach and the beach walkway is directly in front of their house. 

image   image


The beaches are not crowded and we saw dolphins and pelicans daily when we were there.  It’s a beautiful spot.  If you would like more information you can check out the website for “2 the Beach” East”…and they rent it directly through VRBO.  (Vacation Rentals by Owner).