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Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Party!

As 2009 comes to a close, I thought it would be the perfect time to host a party to celebrate the great blogs and wonderful writing that I have enjoyed reading this past year.

And just like the last party with award presentations, the same rules apply here.

All of today's recipients will receive their awards with NO STRINGS attached.  Do with them what you want, decorate your blog with them, pass them on, tell us your favorite things, whatever you want.  My party, my rules!

So everyone, pour yourselves a drink and pull up a chair!

First off, I want to thank Rabbit at RedHead Dancing for honoring me with the You Make Me Shake It Award.  I  love Rabbit's writing style and I have to admit, I'm always a little surprised at what I find at Red Head Dancing but this guy has a big heart of pure gold. You love comments?  He is smart, funny and definitely a one-of-a-kind guy who can point out the humor in nearly anything and just so you know, he can dance!

Another surprise was receiving the Gorgeous Blogger Award from Arizona Momma of Our Daze In The Desert. Talk about a beautiful bouquet of flowers and who doesn't love pink!  I mean have you seen my blog!! If you get a moment, check out this sweet mother of three and her hubby ain't too hard on the eyes either!

This Gorgeous Blogger Award is going right to Sarah of The Stroller Ballet.  Always entertaining and just a little on the edge with a great sense of humor mixed in. Love reading her posts and I know you will too so stop by her place and tell her I sent ya!

From Mama-Face at Blog Ignoramus I was honored with both the 5-Diamonds Award and The Circle of Friends Award.  Mama-Face has a brand new look so if you haven't visited her blog lately, go check out her new stylish digs!

Such a pretty award and I mean face it, who here doesn't love diamonds! So I will be passing these sparkling beauties on to Zenmom of Zen and the Art of Motherhood.  This gal leaves me laughing out loud so go ahead and check her out! If you love to laugh, this is your kinda gal!

This lovely Circle of Friends Award is going straight to Dinah of My Aimless Infatuation and Gayle of Gramme's Blog. These two ladies are just lovely, sweet and leave wonderful comments. Just the gals anyone would be proud to have in their circle of friends and I'm honored to have them be part of mine.

Just what I needed this time of year, more sugar!! Noelle of Elastic Waistbands and Comfortable Shoes, Just Another Momma at  Just Another Day  and A Mom With A View honored me with the yummy Happy 101 Sweet Friends Award.  I love Noelle's writing style and she has a great sense of humor.  Just Another Momma has her hands full now with some bad neighbors and A Mom With A View is so creative, you should see this gal's art! So go check out their blogs and get in the loop!  

This Sweet Friends Award is going to be passed on to Anita at Beyond the Diapers and Spills and Simone at Chocolate Covered Daydreams.  Both of these gals are just the sweetest, nicest, leave the best comments kinda gals. Sweet as sugar pie, if you don't already follow them, go check them out so you can see what you've been missing out on!

I was so thrilled to receive the Superior Scribbler Award from Naomi of Organic Motherhood With Coolwhip.  I've just discovered Naomi's blog and will be checking in with her on a regular basis so why not jump on board with me and see what she's all about. I love the look of this award, so cool, that little guy hunched over his desk, kind of like I am right now typing this.

This Superior Scribbler Award is going directly to Bev at Theological Musings. I love Bev's writing style and I always learn something new and exciting from her posts.  Thought provoking and the perfect read for anyone wishing to explore their New Age or Spiritual side.

Don't be shy about visiting any of these great blogs and catching up on what's going on in their neck of the woods.  Always entertaining and enlightening and while you're visiting, please be sure to press that Follow button!

So now with the formalities out of the way, please join me in congratulating these great blogs and then let's crack open the champagne and celebrate the beginning of a new blogging year!

Wishing all of you and your loved ones a wonderful 2010!!!!!
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

This week, I'm taking a break from my This Old House Series and instead, thought you might enjoy this view from our front door:

From This

To This

We didn't get a White Christmas but sure looks like we will be enjoying a White New Years!
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have a Wonderful Holiday
Our  Company Has Arrived
See you on Monday!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Spreading The Christmas Spirit - Part III

Welcome to Part III of how we spread the Christmas Spirit.  If you want to read Part I, you will find it Here, Part II is Here and the balance of Part II is Here

So now on to the third and final post on how we celebrate Christmas at our home.

My husband and I have been together for nearly 12 years. Before that, he had raised a family with his first wife and during those holidays, very little was given to charity. His ex has since remarried but to this day, is very proud to share with everyone how many items she receives for Christmas. Sadly, she determines her value to others based on the price tags attached to the gifts under the tree for her each Christmas.

It wasn't easy for my husband to catch on to my own disinterest in receiving big ticket items after experiencing the holidays with his first wife. While we were dating, he did purchase lovely jewelry for me but after we married, as long as I had a wedding ring set that I loved, I already had a favorite right-hand ring. Anything else he purchased would just sit in my jewelry box unworn which to me represented a total waste of money. He too was uninterested in receiving gifts from me which I found out when he would roll his eyes at whatever I purchased for him those first few holidays we spent together.

It wasn't long before we realized that going through this charade each Christmas was a waste of our time and money. Then we discovered Kiva Loans That Change Lives.  It was like a lightbulb moment for us and we decided right then and there that this was what we would be doing with any money we felt we wanted to spend on one another during the holidays.

One Kiva story that stands out is one about a hard working mother in Africa who was grinding peanuts by hand to make peanut butter to sell. She could not keep up with the demand for her product as she could only grind a limited amount of peanuts in the run of a day. She applied to Kiva for an interest-free loan to buy a grinder so she could increase her production while at the same time saving her hands. Thanks to that loan, she did exactly that while paying back every cent over the period of one year. She was then able to expand her small business, buy more grinders and now employs other mothers who are now able to provide for their own families. All of this spinoff was created because she was able to borrow the money to obtain a simple grinder.

This is an organization I can stand behind. I have never been a fan of throwing money at a problem or at poverty. The majority of people don't want to be dependent on a regular handout, they want the ability to earn an honest living and support their families which is exactly what Kiva offers.

To date, my husband and I have helped finance 33 interest-free loans. So far, that has amounted to $900 with the majority of those loans now repaid allowing that same money to be re-loaned to others. Not one loan has been defaulted on and we get the story of each individual and also get to choose the country, the person and the business to assist.

So sometime on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, my husband and I will sit down at the computer, sign into our  Kiva account and help finance more loans. I can tell you with complete honesty, the joy I feel knowing we are a small link in a very important chain far outweighs any thrill I would get from unwrapping a piece of jewelry on Christmas morning.

Happy Holidays Everyone!
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Memories of Christmas Past

With Christmas Day fast approaching, I've been thinking about my own childhood memories of the Holidays. I don't have any one particular memory to share but I can tell you that we always felt special on Christmas morning.

While we were growing up during the 1960's, money was tight. My older sister and I did not receive toys on a regular basis like the kids do now. There was no money for the latest fashions, we got by with hand-me-downs and the clothing that our mother would sew for us whenever she had some fabric. If we participated in a Christmas Concert at school, she would sew us a special dress to wear just for that one occasion. Times were tough and there were no agencies at that time to help out or to play Secret Santa for us.

In spite of all this, our mother would somehow find the money to buy each of us one brand new toy and fill our Christmas stockings with a few little goodies each and every Christmas. I remember those hand-held games we would balance trying to get the little silver balls to fall into each hole all at one time. Having our stockings filled and receiving that one new toy made us feel so special on Christmas morning believing that Santa had found even us.

I remember the teddy bear I received when I was about 5, it had gray fur and I named him Boo Boo after Yogi Bear's sidekick. My sister received a brand new Barbie Doll that year and there are photos of us standing under the glittering Christmas tree hugging our new treasures, so happy and so full of the Christmas Spirit.

During those difficult years, our mother taught us that the magic of Christmas was not found in expensive items from department stores stuffed under today's Christmas trees. The true joy of Christmas was in the wonder and excitement that she alone created for us.

We would watch as she set up a little Christmas Village made of cardboard, glue and lots of glitter. Little styrofoam snowmen would be out in front of the sparkling little homes and everything would be set up on fluffy white batting sprinkled with silver glitter. She would decorate our home with big red and green paper bells, painted wax Santa candles and drape long plastic holly vines with big red berries. On Christmas day she would cook a special turkey dinner served on a table that looked so festive with her homemade decorations. She worked so hard, doing the best she could for us with very little. But because of all of that effort, I can not recall a single Christmas when we didn't feel special or more importantly, loved.

My favorite 1960's photo of our beautiful and amazing mum

To Our Mum who we hope will read this:

Thank you so much for making all of our Christmas memories so special. We can't begin to imagine the many sacrifices you must have made to ensure that we always had a beautifully decorated Christmas tree with that one special toy for each of us, how you were able to fill our homemade stockings each and every year and still prepare a meal that was better than any restaurant could have served.

All of this, you accomplished with next to nothing for a budget.

Thank you mum, we are so grateful.

With Love,
Deb and Bev

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Have a great weekend everyone!  See you on Monday!

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Spreading Holiday Cheer!

In keeping with the Christmas Spirit, I've decided to host an award show rather than do my regular WTF Friday post. To be quite honest, I just couldn't find anything to bitch about and what better way to celebrate the holiday season than to give.

And just like the last award show I hosted, the same rules apply here.

All of today's recipients will receive their awards with NO STRINGS attached.  Do with them what you please, flaunt them on your blog, pass them on, tell us about yourself, whatever you want. With  menopause comes the right to make my own rules and after all it's my show!

So let's get this party started!

First up is Corrie from Just Because My Pickle Talks Doesn't Make Me An Idiot who honored me with the My Friends Award. So bright and cheerful and by the way, so is the award!  Any of you who haven't dropped by Corrie's yet, don't wait, and doesn't the name of her blog make you just a little curious?

This lovely little beauty is going to be passed on to KaLynn of Kacklin' with KaLynn who makes me smile. Need to Kackle? Then drop by KaLynn's place!

The next recipient of this little beauty is Noelle of Elastic Waistbands and Comfortable Shoes. Don't even pretend that you can't relate to the title of this lovely blog so take a minute and check her out.

I received this lovely little teacup running over with fruit and flowers from both Tamara of Over the Homespun Hedge  and Holly at 504 Main.  The Heartfelt Blogger Award,  so feminine and pretty, just like these two lovely gals.

This delicate little teacup will be gracing both the Chocolate Covered Daydreams blog and Gramme's Blog. Both these gals are so sweet and leave the nicest comments. Go ahead, check them out!

I was tickled to receive the I Love Your Blog Award from both Tami at Hearts Make Families  and Janie of Life Not Wasted or Lost . Both these gals are so fun and entertaining so please go on over and tell them I sent you.

This little gem is going to be passed on to Bev at Theological Musings.  I really do love this blog, seriously makes me think and I have always been a fan of anything New Age. Bev's posts are entertaining and interesting so drop by and check it out for yourself.

And I have to pass this award on to Erin of The Mother Load. I love reading her posts about the challenges of raising those darling twin girls of hers. They just turned 4 and are certainly keeping momma on her toes!

Connie from Living My Glamorous Life thinks my blog is Over the Top and some days, she's right! Some crazy stuff goes on around here and I'm always taking notes so I can blog about it. Go visit Connie, man this gal can cook and she knows how to live!

I have to pass this on to Mama-Face of Blog Ignoramus.  She cracks me up and I can never be sure just what I'm going to find when I drop by. Over the top, definitely!

One other blog that keeps me laughing is Zen And The Art Of Motherhood so she is also going to receive the Over the Top Award because most days, she is!

And Lissaloo of One Step At A Time honored me with the Hot Shot Award and I have to say I love the vintage look this gal has. Nothing like a pretty dress and a shotgun to make a fashion statement.  Lissaloo is always cooking up a storm of goodies and I think I've gained about 5 pounds just drooling over those sweets she bakes.

I love reading Modern Mom of How to Survive Life in the Suburbs and if anyone can appreciate this Hot Shot Award, it's her! Go ahead and stop by, her posts are hilarious!

I also want to pass this one on to Matty from Matty Thoughts. This gal in high heels holding a shotgun is gonna look great displayed on his blog!

And finally Erin from  The Mother Load passed along this cool 1920's looking gal of the Remarkable Reader Award. So cool and Art Deco!  Love displaying these beauties on my page and if you haven't stopped by Erin's place, don't wait, she is the mother of twin girls, talk about a house full of fun!

One of my favorite blogging buddies and the first one to find me out here is Anita from Beyond the Diapers and Spills and I wanted to pass this lovely Remarkable Reader Award on to her.

The other recipient of this lovely award is going to be Stacey of Stacey's Respite. Her posts are so thought provoking and so inspiring, I just have to pass this on to her.

Everyone, please join me in Congratulating everyone and their terrific blogs.

Applause Please!

Now with the formal part of the show out of the way, let's turn down the lights, get ourselves a drink, crank up the tunes and celebrate!

Happy Holidays!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Favorite 1960's Christmas Cake Recipe

I've been blog surfing these past few weeks and I have seen some wonderful recipes for Holiday treats so guess what, even though I can't cook, I can make this cake!

This recipe has been a Christmas tradition in our family since the 1960's when my mom wrote it down after watching someone prepare it on TV. It is by far the best Christmas Cake I have had, we fight over it and it's now to the point where one of these is not enough for the family. My sister bakes this cake and so do her two daughters and when I'm not around to grab some of theirs, I bake it myself. Absolutely delicious and great for anyone who doesn't want raisins or nuts in their Christmas Cake or who wants a new variety of colorful cake to offer their guests.

So because my niece posted the recipe last year, I'm going to provide the link rather than post it again.  You can go to The Rest of Jacki's Cooking Adventures and Recipes to find the recipe for the Best Cherry and Pineapple Christmas Cake Ever!

Once it has cooled, just wrap it up in plastic wrap, then tinfoil and let it sit for about a week (if you can!) before serving. Yum!  It's the colorful cake just to the left of the blue lid on this pretty tray of assorted Christmas goodies.

Bon Appetite!
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday This Old House

Time for more snooping around my old house. For those of you who missed the last couple of Wednesdays, this series will keep me inside with my camera during the cold weather. I will be taking photographs around our historic home which was built in 1891.

A little recap, we bought it in 2006 and spent 8 months renovating before moving in so just like any other renovation where the owners don't have a clue or help, we did some things right and some things dead wrong. I'll be showing it all and fessing up to my mistakes and making a much bigger deal out of hubby's mishaps.

Last week I showed the kitchen so today we will be taking a look around the dining area that is just on the other side of the kitchen peninsula.

This is the view as you come in the back door to the kitchen and look through to the dining area. We didn't have to do a lot to the dining area. We had layers of old painted wallpaper removed, had all the baseboards, mouldings and trim painted and had the ceiling cracks and plaster walls repaired.

I love the old ceiling medallion and plaster crown mouldings.  Our own brass dining room light fixture looks nice in this home. (Hubby's ex wanted that fixture from their old place but didn't get around to stealing it in one of her many post-divorce raids!)

As you move inside on the kitchen side of the peninsula, you can see through to the foyer. (Note the snow out the front window). This Gibbard dining set is from hubby's first marriage. The ex-wife wanted the bedroom set (including the old mattress yuck!) instead. Is it just me or would you like to sleep on the same mattress with your second husband that you shared with your first husband? Ewww! I was glad to see the back of it along with their bedroom set!

Now you're in the center of the peninsula looking toward the front of the house.  A strange thing happened with this photo.  Samantha who has been following along the tour of my home asked if there had been any paranormal activity because it was built so long ago. I had told her nothing much. Well take a look at that little white spot on the fireplace arch on the right side of the photo. It is definitely an orb. I didn't see it until I downloaded the photos and since it only appeared on this one picture, it's not something that was on the camera lens. Not as easy to see here as when looking at the full-sized photo.

This is the view from the dining room doorway looking at an angle towards the kitchen. I do love the old uneven wood floors in this room and there are some lovely birds-eye maple boards mixed in with the hardwood.

Now you're in the front foyer looking straight through to the kitchen. That fireplace on the left  is all that separates the dining room from the family room behind it and is open on both sides since we removed that entire wall.  This infamous fireplace will be getting its own post later.

Once our 3 1/2 year old is done spilling her food and throwing it around the table, we hope to put down an oriental rug, I'll wait until then to do the drapes. In the meantime, the plantation shutters give it a nice look and allow lots of sunshine in as well as offering privacy at night.

Hope you've enjoyed this little trip around the dining room.  More on the ex-wife later, I could write an entire blog about her!
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spreading The Christmas Spirit - Part II cont'd

Last week I did a post on what I do with the gift card that we receive each Christmas from my step daughter. Thanks to all of your supportive comments, I'm feeling much less guilt about using this card to buy gifts to donate to our local Salvation Army. I'm happy to say that I've done the shopping, dropped off those gifts and thought you might like a peek at what that $100 gift card did for some less fortunate children in our town.

Before I hit the store to spend the gift card, I called up the Salvation Army to talk to one of the lovely volunteers who run the toy drive each year. I always call first to ask what type of toys they are short on. I was told that this year, it seem that most gifts were for girls so anything between the ages of 1 - 17 for boys would be most appreciated.

Now coming from a family where I have only had nieces to buy for, this was new territory. Little boy's gifts? Well, I headed to the store, grabbed a wagon and headed for the toy department. I will admit it was hard passing up all those Barbies and dolls in their cute little matching outfits but sticking to my guns, I headed for the boy's section. Well, I had a ball looking at all the building kits, blocks, airplanes, trucks, trains and tools. So much so that I couldn't narrow my shopping to just the $100 gift card so I ended up kicking in an extra $55 of my own. Again Zeller's came through with an additional discount although this year it was 10% instead of the 20% they allowed last year.

The next day, everything was packed into the truck and dropped off to the delight of those Salvation Army Volunteers. They were thrilled unpacking these shiny new toys knowing that Santa would be visiting some very deserving little boys.

I hope I've inspired you to spread some Christmas Cheer of your own, do some volunteering or just roll up your sleeves and get involved! Stay tuned, Part III of Spreading the Christmas Spirit is coming up shortly!

Happy Holidays!!
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Could You Keep A Straight Face?

There are times when it's nice to live on a quiet street close to the neighbors. I'm not sure this little story is one of them though so I'll let you guys decide.

One sunny Summer afternoon, my mom and I were sitting on lawn chairs out in her backyard having a nice chat. Buddy next door is out in his yard too and because their backyards are side by side, he is less than 40 feet away working around his property in full view. Seems his wife is a big fan of hanging flower baskets and we notice that as he walks under one of them, a long flowering vine clipped the back of his head. This innocent little tap just happened to knock a bumble bee off that vine and right down the back of his collar and deep inside the back of his cotton shirt.

As we watch, we see him pause, wait for the confirmation as he feels it buzzing around inside his shirt and then the party begins! He starts peeling around his yard with his back arched, bellybutton pointing straight up at the sky squealing like a girl with his arms flailing. He's yelping and hollering that there's a bee in his shirt and yes, rather than calmly remove his shirt, he decides to try to outrun the bee instead.

Now, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that trying to outrun a bee stuck INSIDE your shirt would be like trying to outrun one inside the back window of your car. It just ain't gonna work. After a few wild trips around his yard, he stops, starts hollering some more and we watch as that poor cotton shirt of his takes a hell of a beating. He grabs the front, pulls it apart and we watch all those shiny buttons go flying through the air in front of him. He tears the shirt off his back, throws it up into the air, and then goes running up the steps and into his house.

As hard a it was, yes, my mother and I kept a straight face sitting there taking in the entire escapade that lasted all of 30 seconds. Once we moved our butts up off those lawn chairs and into the house though, all bets were off. We quickly shut the windows and then laughed so hard and so loudly there were tears streaming down our faces.

BTW, no he's not allergic to bees, seems he just doesn't like them in his shirt. After seeing what happened to that poor cotton shirt though, we just thank God that bee didn't fall into his pants instead!
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Sunday, December 13, 2009

And The Lucky Winner is......

A BIG thank you to everyone who entered my second Vintage Jewelry Giveaway. This one is for some fabulous bling and hopefully it will arrive at our lucky winner's door in time for the New Year's celebrations.

Now let's find out who won this fabulous 1950's Vintage Rhinestone Necklace with matching Earrings!


I'd like to CONGRATULATE: Julie of 47 And Starting Over

Hey Julie, all you have to do is email me at with your mailing address and I will get this lovely set ready and then ship it out to you!

Everyone, please join me in congratulating Julie and why not check out her cool blog while you're at it!

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Vintage Jewelry Giveaway!

Last chance to get your comment in for my Vintage Jewelry Giveaway, you can read about it and enter Here.  Winner will be announced tomorrow so stay tuned!

Have a great Saturday everyone!

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hubby is a Klutz!

If you want to enter my Vintage Jewelry Bling Giveaway, read about it and enter Here

Now on to a little story about hubby,

I know a lot of you gals have stories that prove what a klutz you married.  I mean, come on now, I've gone out with enough guys to know that my hubby isn't the only one out here.

Thought you guys might get a chuckle and want to share a few of your own stories about the antics our hubby's get up to. Let's just say that mine could start his own blog.

The first story I'm gonna share happened while we were at the cottage. This cottage is all open except for a staircase that goes up to a small loft where the bedrooms are.  When you come in the front door, you can see the entire first floor and right through to the sliding glass doors that open to the deck out back. (sorry for the boring details, just trying to set the scene.)

So hubby is outside working around the front of the cottage and I decide, hey, it's the cottage, I'm going to take a nap (this was before we had our daughter so it was just the two of us). I opened the sliding glass door on the back to catch the nice cool breeze while leaving the screen door closed to keep the bugs out.  I then climbed the steps to the loft and curled up on the bed that overlooks the sliding glass doors out back.

I'm fast asleep when all of a sudden I hear "Son of a bitch!".  Of course, all wives who hear those words know they had better snap out of their sleep in a hurry and see what the hell their husband has done or broken.

I lifted my head up off the pillow, looked down to the first floor where I saw my husband standing in front of the open sliding glass doors.  I probably shouldn't have but the words are out of my mouth before I can stop them "What's the matter?" I called down. He turns around and says "I just walked right through the f#$%ing screen door!"

Of course, I started laughing hysterically and then as many a hubby has done, he say's "Hey, it's YOUR fault, I thought you were out in the back yard!"

Got a Hubby's a Klutz Story? Then don't keep it to yourself, share it with us!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday This Old House

Another of my "This Old House" series, this time a trip around our remodeled kitchen. For those of you who missed last week's post, each Wednesday I will share photos of our historic home which was built in 1891. We bought it in December 2006 and spent 8 months renovating.

Today is a trip around the kitchen.

Although it's small, this kitchen is functional with every square inch being used as efficiently as possible.  I love the layout and how easily I can get my hands on anything I need when cooking.

Now the photos:

Here is the view from the dining room.  This kitchen is not original to the home but was added on around 1935 or 1940. There used to be a small opening over the peninsula which was only about 1/3 as long as it is now with the rest of the opening walled off with two separate doorways on the left. (Note the fancy hot water radiator on the left that was photographed for last week's post)

This open arch is what you get when you can convince your husband to back off and let you do what you want. He wanted to open it up with a straight beam across the top, I wouldn't back down on the arch and got my way.

The peninsula was originally only about 1/3 as long as it is now and used to have a cooktop stove on it. Hardly any countertop space at all before but now it houses pot drawers, dishwasher, and 4 separate recycling bins with a ton of counter space on top with an overhang on the dining room side suitable for stools.

This antique tin ceiling and Art Deco light fixture is what you get when you shut your mouth and let you husband buy what he wants at antique shops. When we bought the house, there was a dropped ceiling in the kitchen which made it feel like a cave. We had that torn out and restored the curve and had this old tin ceiling installed.

This random hardwood floor is what you get when you move away two weeks before the renovation is completed because your rental lease is up and this house isn't ready to move in to. I pleaded with my husband on the phone to just buy more hardwood floor and replace it all but he and the contractor cooked up this mess instead. I still hate it and used every design trick I knew to pull the eye up away from this damn kitchen floor.

When we bought the house, what is now the kitchen was two rooms, a porch and tiny kitchen. We tore down the wall in between where the floors meet to extend the kitchen and there was green tile where the new wood floor is now. I guess that green tile is the only thing I can think of that would have looked worse than this random mess of old and new hardwoods.

This granite is what you get when you send your husband on his own to pick out anything as long as its black. It's called Emerald Pearl although in our kitchen it looks black. Once it was paid for I renamed it Black Opal, I like that much better! The backsplash was replaced, used to be beige with flowers but I had that replaced with nice and glossy white subway tiles. (note my coffee in the microwave nicely warmed up)

The kitchen cabinets are what you get when you reuse the dark oak bases that were already there, shuffle them around, add new cabinets to extend your kitchen into where the porch was and paint everything white. The custom cupboard doors, drawer fronts and fabulous cutlery organizer are what you get when you have a dad with his own workshop who can build anything!

Hope you've enjoyed this little trip around my kitchen!  Coffee anyone?
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Vintage Bling Giveaway!

I had such a great response from all of you during my Christmas Jewelry Giveaway that I decided with New Year's barreling down on us, it would be fun to give away a gorgeous set of 1950's vintage bling!

Anyone who loves glitter will just adore the sparkle created by the vintage pieces of the 1950's. These are so well made compared to the reproductions available today. Each and every sparkling clear crystal or rhinestone has been set in the shiny rhodium backing by hand. These are NOT the glued in stones you see today that fall out the minute you turn your back, these are claw set, ie, sturdy and durable and will last another 60 plus years if cared for properly.

As is usual in many an earring of this era, these sparkling beauties are screw backs so no matter what your lobe thickness, you can be sure to find the perfect comfortable fit. The tops of the earrings are approximately 1/2" x 3/4" in size.  The matching necklace is 13" in length with an additional 2 3/4" in extenders for a custom fit.

Now, the rules:


You MUST leave one comment on THIS POST - That is your entry into the contest.

You may leave Additional comments (entries) on this post BUT only if you:  BLOG ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY WITH A LINK BACK TO THIS POST!

The maximum number of comments (entries) per person is 4 (yes, I will be checking!) and that is ONLY for those who blog about this contest with the link back to this post.  All other FOLLOWERS can enter ONCE by leaving one comment on THIS post.

I will be using the total number of valid comments on THIS post to select the winner using the Random Number Generator.  I will count down the list of valid comments and match the number selected to that number comment and voila, our lucky winner!

Your FIRST comment or comments will be your entry into this contest, all subsequent comments that do not meet the guidelines above will be deleted

ALL deleted comments will be EXCLUDED from the official count when determining the winner.

The draw will take place on Sunday, December 13, 2009 so be sure to check back!  The lucky winner will be announced then and have 48 hours to claim their prize!  It is the responsibility of that winner to provide their mailing information to me at  If that commenter does not contact me within that 48-hour period, I will select another winner.  Any duty or taxes incurred at the time of delivery are the responsibility of the recipient.

So make sure you are following me and leave ONE comment here. Then get busy blogging about this terrific GIVEAWAY with a link back to this post so you can come back and leave 3 more comments!!!

Fabulously vintage and sparkling but I must warn you, enter this contest at your own risk. Collecting these vintage beauties is addictive.  If you don't believe me, just check out my other blog!

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