in the Zone

Happy Saturday! Guess what.  I'm writing this at 11:58 instead of 12:58. :] We are in Iowa this weekend visiting some of Brad's family (this family to be exact). They have a big farm and graciously opened their house to all of us for Thanksgiving and just a long weekend.  It's been fun!  It's about as cold here as in NY, but no snow.  I'm actually slightly distracted writing this because I looked out the window and saw a teeny tiny brand new calf trying to stand up for the first time on it's wobbly little legs!  He didn't succeed...and I'd hate to miss it when he actually makes it! Anyways, back to the zone.  Apppppppaaaaaaarrrreeennnntttlllyyy everyone finds it ridiculous that this is my first time going to a different time zone. 

woop woop! little baby cow out there made it up on his own four hooves! One small victory is won. :)

So I wouldn't say I'm a sheltered 25 year old.  I just say I did all my traveling on the east coast thus far! I kept talking about "coming west" this weekend, and I guess to "most" (who even wants to be most) people this is more mid-west.  But its pretty west to me! Lots of flat land and farms and gravel roads. But it's pretty cool! We've just ate some good meals, hung out, I think the fellows explored around the farm, and yesterday we went and visited a very fun little coffee shop.  And questioned for the millionth time why there is not a coffee shop (like evening, hang out type) in the Penn Yan area!  

Last night we went out to town for a little so Lyndsi could meet up with someone from Ellerslie.  We drove around to a few places while we were waiting, one of them being Stuff, etc. There is a real place called that! It's kinda like salvation army, meets goodwill, meets playtos closet I think. Unfortunately we only had about 20 minutes there before it closed, so I didn't wanna get to involved.  Buut I think we are actually going to go back today so we could shop a little more and so Lyndsi can see it.  I didn't get real involved last night, but while I was roaming the outskirts of the store I found a BEAUTY of a treasure. I was quite trilled.  
Here he is. :) 
When I bought him he had some floral decor stuff around his neck, but I just snipped that off and returned him to his natural state as a reindeer. :)  I feel like He will probably receive a new coat of paint, and probably some gold glitter somewhere.  I'll have to update his new groove when it happens.  When I brought him home and presented him to Brad, he just wasn't as enamored with him as me, I can't imagine why ;)

And, if you notice all the pizzazz on that picture, the photo editing app 'a beautiful mess' fiiiinally made a version for android! It is just a fun thing that adds text, phrases, borders, etc to pictures, created by these girls . I'm gonna do my best to not overdue it, but beware of my Instagram feed for a bit until the newness wares off. :D 

mmk.  I'm gonna go socialize now, and then head off to Stuff, inc. Maybe find some more treasures to drag home to our new house that is waiting so patiently for us to move in!  I just can't wait. :)

decorating + budget = possible

Let me just go off on a rant real quick.  I have been avoiding blogging because (as always) we are reaching the peak of our internet data limit before the end of the month.  Neither of us understand it, with our computers off, our phones not always connected to WiFi, how can we burn up data like it's going out of style?  I have bitter feelings towards Verizon because they will NOT allow us to get Verizon DSL where we are, even though the neighbors kitty corner behind us have it (they say that doesn't count because their street address is on a different road) AND the neighbors 2 houses up on the SAME road as us have it.  I don't think they have a good excuse for that one.  So frustrating, throttled internet is.  I have high hopes for finding something better at the new house.  I would seriously send Time Warner a Christmas present if they would just get on the ball and service the little area between Penn Yan and Dundee that they refuse to. I am.  I said " you know what dumb little blinking Verizon internet card that gets more than half our morgage some months? YOU will not stop me from blogging.  So THERE!"

Back to the root of this post. I speak truth people.  I know it can be tempting to run to Hobby Lobby (or Hobby Knobby as Grandmother Stoltzfus and I refer to it as) or Target or where ever it is that YOU go and decorations for each holiday season JUMP off the shelves and into YOUR cart.  Totally not your fault right??  That little money-wise voice in the back of your head is probably trrrrryying to remind you of the box(s) of decor you have from the same season in the attic/garage/closet.  No way dude. I NEEEEEEEEED this!!

Ok. I might be being a bit dramatic.  And I actually wouldn't say this is a huge battle that I fight, because I actually enjoy making decorations. But I will admit I tend to be a grab-any-strands-of-lights-for-sale-at-yardsales/salvo type of girl. :) I should probably stop that now, I think I could string up the white house quite nicely! Probably my bigger problem is I don't aaaalways remember exactly where I've put the decorations I used last year for this same season.  I guess I should get a bit more organized in my attic, but I'm hoping when we move I will get a handle on that. (You may snicker at me here and say it will only get worse in the throws of moving, but I remain optimistic!)

**insert huge gasp as my computer screen disappears and my computer "configures an update" I think angry thoughts about windows, ignore it for a few minutes and work on plugging numbers in on our monthly budget, glance at the computer screen and the post is back.  I'm sorry for those thoughts Windows!**

SO.  Our church had a little thanksgiving fellowship meal last week, and this lovely & I were asked to set up and decorate for said event.  We both agreed, chatted a little about it, but both had a busy week to finish out so we decided that we would get together the day before to really do the planning.  I am here to prove to you that you CAN decorate for an event of 50-60 people spending little to no money (we did buy paper supplies for the meal itself)

This was our dessert table and what we dubbed the "center focal point" since we wanted to keep the decor on each table lower so people could interact easier. The strands of lights came from my a fore mentioned collection.  the chalkboard sign was something Alicia already had. 

On Monday we went foraging for most of our naturey decorations.  The red berries were from a bush that is intertwined in our apple tree.  The white and gold sticks used to be old boring brown sticks, is true!  It's amazing what a little spray paint will do! And don't even get me started on the magic of gold spray paint...aaaahhh.  I love it. :]

That serving tray thing was something Alicia had, and the pinecones were picked out of my yard.  The little pumpkins were something that I snagged from my friend Grace after the secret engagement party (success!) that she planned for her sister.

(wrinkley doilies and all) We just scattered doilies (mostly from the collection of linens I found at my new house, so fun!) around on each tables to act as a center piece feel but not get in the way of conversation, and with plenty of room so the hot food could be set on the table (the meal was family style, not buffet). Alicia also supplied the candles.  Makes me feel like I should be keeping my eye out for those el-cheapo at yardsales, they make such nice soft light :) 

EEEEP.  Gold leaves.  We collected these from a raked leaf pile, and Alicia sprayed them with *GOLD* spraypaint.  I just loved them. Next year I may try to gather some leaves a little earlier, and maybe wax them do or something to prevent them from crinkling, and then paint them.  Or maybe I'll just go spray paint the trees when they still have the leaves on, cause that would be awesome sauce!! Anyways, at each place setting we set a gold leaf on top of the plate.  Here you could do as little or as much as you wanted.  We toyed with the idea of tying twine or something around each leaf and napkin, but decided that would be a bit much for the size of the crowd. 

The wooden block, another Alicia possession. Moral of the story, go raid her house if you need to have a party.  Just kidding.  She actually said a lot of those things were from decorations at her wedding.  Which that is legit, I have quite a few random things I usually throw in when decorating that I had picked up prior to my wedding as well. Those red berries were from a bush that LaReta told us about along the highway.  I went and got some muckboots, braved the 3 in deep ditch, and snipped some. :) Even got some catttails for my friendy on the way back!

Most of these vases came from the new house that we bought, but I think most people could find them around. I love how they looked with pinecones or pumpkins stacked in them.  So fall-y! Not to mention the gold leaves. Again. :)

These little flags I made out of washi tape and toothpicks.  Easy peasy!

Here was my attempt at the "whole room" picture.  We decorated in the morning, so obviously when the actual dinner was happening it was not this bright so the lights looked way cooler, plus candles lit on each table.  

So simple.  Woven basket, red berries.  Love it!

I cut up burlap coffee sacks in triangles (ish, don't look too close) and stitched all around the edge of each one, since the burlap tends to want to unravel. Then just wrote each letter with a black permanent marker, and strung them on hemp.  I've done these banners for other events to, I'm excited to be able to reuse this another year! 

That was it! I know everything did not come from nature, but most people have a few strands of lights and a vase or two around.  Think out of the box by thinking what a coat of paint could do to something (even a vase...I tried that once and didn't have the best luck but I think it could totally be done!).  Also keep your eyes out for cheap bargains - lace doilies at yardsales for $.25 , a cool little stump that is on your husband's wood pile, or you could make a banner out of felt.  Before you go to the nearest department store and get the latest and greatest, go into your very own attic or to your very own yard! You might be surprised :)

Well here I go to try to finish making my Christmas cards...that I started in October.  I knew I needed to start early or it would never happen. :) Hopefully the fact that I should immediately turn off the internet after publishing this post will keep me on task.  ;)

Happy Saturday!!


Be prepared for a stack of pictures on this post!  I attempted to take before (and will attempt to take after) pictures at our new house.  Not sure how well I did in properly giving you all a virtual tour, but it's as good as it gets.  I wish I had done it before we started doing ANYTHING, but I guess it would still look about the same.  
[begin slideshow by scrolling down ;)]

 The above three pictures is our guest bedroom...just kidding.  It's actually the H   u    g    e    downstairs bathroom.  We could probably host a concert in that thing. 

 There is hardwood floor in the dining room, and room area.  Hard to know what to call that section because it's almost like 2.5 rooms, but you get the point.  Back to the floor.  It had a very glossy finish that was flaking, and because the basement at gotten wet at some point the boards were a little rippled.  We decided to go ahead and tackle sanding them...and we are SO glad we did! The wood underneath the finish is soo beautiful!  Props to all the man labor that went in to that project, between Brad, his brother Jared and my Stepdad Mike.  I'm sure they all ended up with some sore arms last week! I can't wait to see how it looks once we stain it ( We are going to go a bit darker) and then put a flat finish on it. 

Kitchen area. I'm planning (at this point) at eventually having a white on white with light blue accents kitchen.  My mom begged me to keep my "beautiful cherry cabinets" and told me how hard it would be to paint them...but I'm not sold yet. :) 

There is a 3-bay garage there, the third area was the previous owner's antique shop.  Lets just say, maybe one day I will revert back??  But that's in the future. :)  There was quite a lot of junk treasures left behind, but luckily most of it was in the garage, and not scattered throughout the house.  I wouldn't have made it my first priority to tackle that stuff, but it happened sooner than later just because it took about a week to get the water running at the house, and I didnt have much else I could do.  I made a trash pile, a yardsale pile, and a "keep" pile, which I'm sure will be sorted again.  In the keep pile are some cool dishes, tonnnnns of picture frames (including some of those chunky gold!) and just misc.  I think it will be fun to go back out there once we are moved in and "shop" my own stuff!

This is the downstairs bedroom, which was the newest addition.  (And that is my mother's hiney. :])  The bedroom has a nice closet (score!!) and even a little patio off the back.  I'm excited to make that a cozy space for us!  My dad will have his room upstairs to begin with (quick backstory, (can't remember if i've shared this before) my 80 year old father is moving in with his, which is a large part of the reason we looked for a bigger house in this stage of life) but it's nice that there is a downstairs bedroom option for later down the years if stairs become an issue for him. 

First floor laundry....thaaaank you!! We looked at some houses that would have this setup in the please! 

Here is where the wallpaper begins.  Yes, the pattern could be worse.  Yes, I'm glad it's upstairs and not down.  YES, one day I plan to remove it. :)

So excited about the prospects of this room.  It faces the North, South, East, or West direction (I'm SO terrible with that, just know that it gets GREAT sunlight in the afternoon!!) (secretly I think it's the South-west, wouldn't that make sense?), and I can see it being an awesome craft/storage room!

This is the teeny tiny upstairs full bathroom. Full meaning you can shower, brush your teeth, and use the bathroom without even having to lift your feet. :] I could see future expanding happening there as well. 

And that's what I've got! I should do a better job with the after pictures, and show the fun little redbarn in the back, and the cottagey front of the house, and the closed in porch that will perfectly house Shear Swagg!  Not to mention the other cute nooks and crannys inside the house.  Unfortunately with Brad's busy work schedule and other things going on will are not planning on painting before we move in, just to save time.  Brad installs solar, and being the end of the year he is busier than ever! His schedule should slow down some in January, so maybe that's when we will work on the "fun" stuff.  The plan at the moment is to finish those floors, and make sure that the cold/hot water is all working properly, and the propane tank is fueling the furnace with  no leaks and the stove in the kitchen, and then start moving in.  We will probably leave the "unnecessities" packed for awhile so the painting process would be easier.  I'm not a huge fan of that, if it turns into months and months, but I'm trying to be optimistic that it won't be long term. I also don't look forward to act of packing and unpacking, but it's all for a good cause I'm sure. :)

Wow, this is a totally boring post for those if you that don't give a rip about new house projects.  But it's something I wanted to document, and so here it is!  This week was busy with housey things, my mom and stepdad were here for the week and they pitched in and got a lot of things done. There was lots of raking in both yards (insert plea to the neighbors of our old house to PLEASE rake their leaves since I'm pretty sure 50% of the ones in my yard came from their trees) (Not the fun neighbors, we love the Underhills.  The unknown neighbors :]) 
They left Saturday, and Brad's family had a work day at our house, with a few extra helpers as well and BOY did a lot get done.  The boys were up on the room cleaning the gutters and raking (yes, raking the roof) and Brad's dad mowed the lawn while my dad did some serious work getting ALL the leaves out from around the house.  The women were busy inside, Brad's mom spent the whole day shampooing carpets while the rest cleaned walls, widows, screens, you name it it got cleaned!  I'm so blessed by it, because without them it would be a HUGE task!!

Well, its Sunday Funday so I'm going to spend a little time out from behind the computer screen.  (Translated, I should go make myself presentable in case someone sees me)
Keep smiling!


Magazine subscriptions.

I don't know where I stand on them.  I feel like I would really enjoy one or two, if I could find the one fit for me.  I'm not speaking from an "I've tried all kinds and been dissatisfied" view, I'm speaking from an "I don't want to waste my money" view.  I think the last subscription I had was to American Girl Magazine, for the win. :]

So. Please, give me suggestions! I looked up a few online, but I didn't find where I could virtually flip through a few pages, it was just a written "about".  I gotta see it to believe it honey.  One friend of mine let me in on a tip, the library lets you borrow magazines!! So I'm definitely going to go in there and get my hands on a few and see if they "fit".  But still, freedom with having my own subscription means marking/tearing/ripping/...all of the above.

I promised I'd be quick.  My dear Husband asked me if I wanted to go on a date tonight, which I accepted. :)  He has been one hard working man these last few days    this last week the last few months so purposeful quality time has probably been pushed to the back burner more than it should! We thought of staying in since he's been on the go so much, but again, if we stayed home it would be too easy to eat, and then get into our own projects.  So Mexican it is. :] I was contemplating going in my sweatshirt and jeans [mostly because its been SUCH a chilly day and I feel like I've fiiiinally warmed up my clothes that I've worn all day], but I decided I should get off my tail and change for the occasion.

Quick. right. onelastthing. My mom and husband Mike are flying in tomorrow to be here for a week to help with the new house.  Excitingg! I'm putting on my mental worker's hat, since usually my mom works circles around me. :]

bbye now!

WYBDW [what you been doin Wednesday]

Yes.  I made up that acronym.  That's not illegal, right?

Helloo! It is a lovely autumn day and I for one am excited to get out there! I am planning on doing some raking at both of our properties (yes that sounds weird) today, but I figured I should write a few lines my seriousness about blogging shines through ;]

Lets talk about raking leaves for a second.  As much as it can be a dreaded chore, it is one that is so fulfilling to me.  I do have a bit of bad luck usually, in the way of raking too soon. Which means either a) more leaves fall or b) the neighbors leaves make their way into my yard.  But every year I feel like this happens...I can only take the leaves crunching under foot for sooo long, I just want to see the green grass again!  Especially knowing that before long, it will be brown! Remind me how enthusiastic I was about this in a couple days when I'm complaining about sore shoulders!

Here is a stack of books that I borrowed from the library.  I was trying to get inspiration from Pinterest for kitchen colors, dining room colors, all of the above.  I hate to say this, but Pinterest kinda failed me!  Maybe I wasn't typing the right key words into the search bar, but the pictures popping up just weren't doing it for me. As much as I love books, I don't know why I don't go to the library more often.  It took me awhile to find the section I was looking for, but obviously I found it!

I was at Walmart on Monday and although we don't necessarily plan to purchase paint from there, I wanted to get some paint cards to have a visual of the colors I was thinking in my mind.  I decided to draw a (not accurate scale) downstairs floor plan of the new house, and tape the paint colors on so I can see it all together.  I think it will be fun to look back in a year or so and see how much I actually stuck to this original plan! I've never done much painting (except things I can take outside and attach with spray paint) so I am a little nervous, and I feel like I could air on the side of caution just so I don't "mess up" with color options. I've decided to make up my mind and be bold with colors, because I think in the long run even if there are some "do-overs" it will result in an awesome outcome! I'd also love to make an idea board, but I will obviously have to purchase some magazines or something that I'm allowed to rip up. :]

Here is my "currently reading".  I'm not usually a read-more-than-one-at-a-time gal, so I mostly feel torn. :] Blog inc has been very eye opening, and I'm glad that I purchased that one because I'm sure it will be one that I will refer to more than once. I have a confession about Pride and Prejudice.  I started reading it thinking it was Jane Eyre (which I'd still like to get my hands on) but after a few chapters I was confused, and then checked the title.  It all made sense then :] I love old looking books, and I don't usually buy them just for the look, I love when they are actually classics worth reading.  Young House Love is a library book, so I had to add that to my currently reading list since it has to be returned.  There are some really fun projects in there, I imagine I will borrow it again when we are further along in the process and could actually tackle some, or need some unique decorating ideas.  I hear that they also have a blog here , so that would be a good outlet for ideas. 

A busy afternoon is on the horizon for me, so I'm going to wrap this up.  I feel like there isn't much much meat to this post, but I guess too much of the main course can make you fat, so a little salad never hurt anyone. ;]

I'll leave you with this cute furface!


I suppose it's time I come clean about this.  It's been going on for some time, and I think I'm ready for it to be out in the open.  I wasn't even the least bit ashamed when I did it.

I have a secret Pinterest here

There. The secret is out. :]

Here is the whooooole story.  Once upon a time I was getting married in 2012, along with everyone and their grandmother (It's true, my grandmother got married in 2012!). I wanted to keep some of my wedding brainstorming ideas private.  This was before secret boards (I'll try not to think I influenced that idea), and so I created a Pinterest account on gmail account that I had set up for our wedding RSVP's. Then, when invited myself from my original account to join the club. Genius, I know. ;] I even used Husband & I's middle names, hence GraceEric.  I know I could change all that now, but I've just left it.  With the blue egg picture and everything.  I probably had full intentions of switching back to my "regular" pinterest once the wedding planning was over, but by that time I had spend so much time on the "secret" account that I had good material there!

It probably sounds much more dramatic that it is, but sometimes it just tickles me that I went through all that trouble for "original wedding ideas". HA! As if pinterest counts as original ideas, and as if you can do original wedding things in a barn reception.  I'm thinking it's mostly been done by now.  Not taking away from anyone's big and special day (including my own), I'm just arguing that virtually we all do roughly the same things, with a different outcome.

Anyone else done something so scandalous?

Don't be alarmed if there are a number of layout/template changes taking place over here in this little space.  I've had this blog for a few years, but was never a regular updater.  Blogging is something I'd like to get more serious about, and so I'm trying to find MY look.  I decided to order Blog, INC in attempts to learn a few things...and I really am! I can see that it is the type of book that I will refer to as I'm progressing on my blogging journey.

Happy Sunday to you, dear reader.  I hope you enjoy a cozy day in a warm corner snuggled with your honey/cat/book...whatever floats your boat. ;]