Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Getting ready for Birdsong and other crafts

This weekend I'll be off to Kansas for Karla's Birdsong event. I've signed up for a "frilly birds swap" and while I've picked a bird to embellish, I'd better get busy and get her dressed for the occasion!

I'm off to Hobby Lobby today to get some additional supplies and I'll post a picture of my finished birds probably next week. I don't want to spoil the surprise for the ladies I'll be trading with at Birdsong. The other frilly birds are sure to be amazing and I can't wait to see what everyone has come up with.
I also signed up for a "Secret Garden Tag Swap". Mine will be mailed off today so I'm just making it under the deadline. It's funny how I think up an idea for a tag but somehow the finished product looks *nothing* like my original plan.

Isn't this little guy cute? He is only about two inches tall and the second one I have made. Doug has the first one that he carries around in his pocket and he says it gives him a smile. Me too!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finished Patio

So, I've been blogging for a while now about having a few projects done around the house. One of the big projects was that we wanted to do something with the back patio. The old patio shown below was a small slab of concrete that made it difficult to really do anything with. It was too small to comfortably put our table and chairs and because the patio is on the west side of the house, the sun doesn't get to that part of the grass until afternoon which made for sparse grass and a real muddy mess.

After much back and forth we decided to pull the trigger and add the extended flagstone patio with walkway.
Here is the in progress:

And here it is complete:

Obviously we have to fill in the newly created garden and re-seed the grass up to the patio and I can hardly wait to get my planters out and filled with flowers. We love the way our patio turned out, don't you?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Tag Swap

As I mentioned, I partcipated in an Easter Tag Swap hosted by Sandy at 521 Lake Street.
I love participating in these swaps - they are always so much fun!

For my partner Linda I picked out a glittered bucket with a vintage bunny to put all her goodies in.

Inside the bucket I put a couple sheets of stickers, small pink flower glitter, chocolate bunnies, Reeses pieces in a carrot shaped bag, small letter rubber stamps, an ink pad and a chickie inside a paper mache egg that I decorated.

This is the tag I made for Linda. I applied book paper to the back, painted the scalloped edges, stamped and colored the Easter chick, and added a shrink plastic tag and the cheesecloth that I hand dyed.

My partner Linda sent me an awesome package of goodies with a chick theme. I just LOVE everything she included in my gift!

Don't you just love the little chickie bag that held some of my treasures? Inside the bag were the vintage Easter postcards, chickie stickers, a chickie sticky note pad, a floral notepad and floral note cards. Oh - and don't forget the candy! :)

Look at this sweet tag she made for me! The little girl on the front is just precious and how cute are these chicks! Although I couldn't capture it in the photo, the little chicks are sparkly as is the grass. The blue gingham with the buttons and the little woven bow on the front of the tag just make it feel so happy.

The back of the tag is so cute too - love the rows of chicks and the nice tag label that is tucked nicely at the bottom.

Can you believe this beautiful Easter apron she made for me!?! If you look at the top photo you will also see the matching pot holder. Perfect! And just in time for Easter this Sunday...

Linda *COMPLETELY* spoiled me!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wonderful trip to Connecticut

Our trips to Connecticut are always so much fun and filled with so much laughter and it makes it hard to leave my family
I could write pages and pages on all the things we packed in to our time there but here are the highlights.
I took Doug to the Connecticut shoreline -

his first time there and we took a few "self-shots"-

swapping glasses:

We ate LOTS of Italian food - YUM! One night we went to Pepe's for pizza and one afternoon we went to Modern Pizza. Pepe's is usually my all time favorite but I have to say that this time Modern was my favorite. And of course, we went to Libby's Italian pastries and got about a dozen cannolis - the best you will EVER eat. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the cannoli's because we ate them so fast there was no evidence they were even around...
We went out to dinner at a Japanese Hibachi restaurant one night. There were 15 of us and I didn't even take any pictures - I'll have to see if I can get my sister to send me a few. We took up two whole hibachi tables but thankfully we were all facing each other with the two chefs in the middle cooking. We had fun watching each other trying to catch flying food with our mouths and a few of us (not me!) were even brave enough to have Saki squirted into our mouths from the hibachi chefs. It was amazing to see who could hold the most saki in their mouths. It was a lot of fun and the food was really good too.
Look at the pictures below and you will have to agree that I have two of the most beautiful nephews on the planet. My sister Amanda's baby Joao has the most amazing eyes and such a charismatic little personality. Amanda calls him "Bug" and he is one of the cutest little bugs I've seen in a long time.

Here is a cute picture of Joao getting a bath - he loves the water and was kicking and splashing and having such a fun time.

My sister January's baby Garrett is so calm and so sweet. He's two months younger than Joao and not quite as "busy" as Joao but just give him a little time...

I got to see my friend Wendy. She came to Garrett's blessing and then she wanted to visit my Mom's grave since she hadn't been there since we had the headstone installed. Wendy and I have been friends for twenty-something years. We've seen lots of ups and downs together and I'm so happy we could catch up with each other this weekend.

Doug and I met my Gram for breakfast one morning and went to see her cute little "old-lady" condo. She must have had her hearing aids turned way up because she didn't have any trouble hearing me this time. :) My voice is kind of high and so many times she just can't seem to hear me - when I call her on the phone I always have to yell and even then she doesn't hear me - but she did really well this time.
I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff but I got home really late last night and didn't sleep well so as I remember stuff I'll post it.
I've got so much to blog about this week so stay tuned for some fun stuff like the Easter Tag swap I participated in, pictures of our finished patio, and a few other exciting things. :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Enjoying time with my family

I'm blogging from my phone and for some reason I can't upload any pictures. Hmmmm.
Anyway, I'm having lots of fun kissing on my two sweet nephews, eating at my favorite restaurants, laughing until my stomach and cheeks hurt, and just having a great time! It's hard to live so far away from my family.
We've been lucky with some sunny weather even if it is a little chilly - but at least we missed the big storms back home last night.
Tonight we are celebrating some birthdays and Sunday is my nephew Garrett's baptism. Oh yeah, and Saturday night Doug and I are babysitting sweet little Joao. Can't wait! :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back from Vegas!

We got back late last night from Vegas and I've got a million things to do today but wanted to give a quick post about our trip.
We stayed at the Palazzo in a very nice room that overlooked part of the strip.

In the lobby connecting the Palazzo and the Venetian was an animated butterfly. As people walked by her wings would flutter and she would bat her eyelashes.

Butterflies were the theme and they had all these amazing sculptures covered in beautiful flowers.

These poppies were at the Bellagio and the fragrance was amazing!

We saw Barry Manilow on Friday night and I have to say that was the absolute highlight of the trip. My only complaint is that I wish he could have stayed on stage and sang about 20 more of my all time Manilow favorites. :) He told stories of when he was young and how he came to be a musician and he also sang a song from his soon to be released, brand new CD with *original* songs. The way the lighting is done in the show didn't allow for very good pictures from the audience. I'm going to try to edit a couple that I took but I'm not sure if I will post them.
After the show we ate at a restaurant called Mon Ami Gabi. The food was absolutely delicious!
We did some shopping, lots of people watching and a little gambling and over all just had a great time. It's always nice to get back home though and we picked up the dogs this morning so I've got to go love on them a little bit. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beautiful Butterfly

Being a Monday, I woke up a little crabby this morning. We had storms and howling winds in the middle of the night and that meant an extra dog in the bed and a little less sleep for me.
In the middle of getting myself ready for the day, the contractors for my back porch arrived. I was mad at myself for not clearing the area yesterday when it was sunny and warm and instead would have to run out back with barely dried hair and move all that furniture.
Well, as my mom always told me - Things happen for a reason...
As I was shlepping the furniture across the grass, out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a butterfly. (hey- a rhyme!)
Sure enough, there was this beautiful Monarch and he appeared to be struggling and very tired. As I looked closer I could see that he was tangled in the grass and couldn't break free. I didn't want to pull on his wings and hurt him so I pulled out the entire clump of grass and brought him inside to untangle him and let him warm up. I went to get a container to put him in and by that time he was trying to fly but could barely lift himself up to go in a circle.
I put him in a glass container with an open lid to allow him to rest his wings and get warm and I put a tiny drop of water in with him so he could have a drink. He started to look a little bit more perky so I took him back outside to place him on my azaleas so he could drink some nectar. When I opened the container he was like a new little butterfly and I watched him test out his wings and then fly off into the distance.