I received 2 blogging awards this past week, from 2 great blogging friends. Karen @ http://somedayarediamonds-karen.blogspot.com/ and Susan @ http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com/ Karen lives in Southern California and she would like to live where there is 4 seasons, specifically Colorado. She also wants snow, lots of it! I don't blame her on the 4 seasons but the snow, well I'm not so sure. We have snow and lot's of it so the pics below are for Karen and anyone else that likes snow! We had 4 more inches on Thursday, which was down from the 6-8" they predicted. I got caught driving home in it and it was coming fast and furious at 1-2 inches per hour and sideways to boot! I was about 50 miles from home and at one point I had no idea where I was on the road. I had gotten off the freeway and took the back roads to avoid total white outs from the passing semi's . To say the least, it was a bit harrowing however we're used to driving in it so I just took it easy.. Below are pics taken around my yard yesterday. Fresh new snow for Karen! LOL. My other award was from Susan at a southern day dreamer, she hosts the wonderful Outdoor Wednesday which is one of my faves and she is so gracious and sweet. Check out both of these ladies blogs, you will enjoy them. I would like to pass these awards on to anyone that follows my blog. All of you are just wonderful and I really enjoy your friendship. The awards are at the bottom of this post so please take one if you don't have it already and take my thanks for all your nice comments. Have a wonderful week-end. Cindy in cold and snowy Wisconsin. The Patio.

Side view of Applestone Cottage.

This is where our fire pit normally is. He He, who would know?

These are the big pines in the front of our yard. I do love these!

Patio Snow, I want Patio Flowers and Green!

Please take award.

. Please take award!


I Don't Have a Tablescape/But I have a Chair!

I've been looking for a new rocking chair for our living room. I wanted a upholstered one with a cottage/country feel in blues and yellows. When I started looking I found prices from 500-900 to get even close. Not in my budget right now, so I turned to Craig's list.
The Craig's list around here is pretty slim pick ins so I aimed for the Twin Cities. Well, I found it in a consignment shop. It looks brand new and the price tag was in my budget. $189.00. I just had to talk hubby into fetching it with me. Well he is a good sport and he likes to save money so off we went. We had to tie it into the trunk of our Mercury Sable. No small feet but Hubby and my Brother Matt who lives near there, got it done. I think it works well in my cottage/country living room. Thanks for stopping, Cindy


Sunday Favorties/Outdoor Wednesday/ Mackinac Island and more

Welcome to Sunday Favorites with our lovely hostess Chari! It's been so much fun getting to know Chari over these's last several months. She has a beautiful blog with so many interesting things that you will want to stay a very long time. Thank-you my friend for hostessing this meme! I have been so busy getting ready for my son to visit that I haven't been up to posting much. I haven't seen him since last October and it's been tough. I will keep you all posted on our visit. My DIL and son fly into Minneapolis tomorrow and then it's about a 2 hour drive to our home. I can't wait! I hope you all are having a lovely weekend. Cindy

This is my 2nd go at this, so please let me know if this works. I have been having trouble with my blog all day. Welcome to another Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by the lovely Susan http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com/ please check out all the other great outdoor Wednesdays.While walking the streets of Mackinac Island, Michigan last summer we came upon this little boy and his dog. I swear he looked like he was right out of central casting and he wasn't posing, he just happened to be sitting there with his dog.

The Mackinaw Bridge is 5 miles long and the longest suspension bridge in North America. It's longer than the Golden Gate. If you have a fear of bridges, as I do a bit, then this drive will be quite the rush. On one side of the bridge you will see Lake Michigan, on the other Lake Huron. The bridge connects residents from the UP to the mainland.

A small section of some of the gardens at the Grand Hotel. They are incredibly lovely!

A view of Mackinac Island as you are coming in on the ferry. There are only about 600 year round residents, however summer is very busy! If you ever get to visit, this is one magical place.

A side view of the beautiful Grand Hotel. We would have loved to stay here, however rooms start at $450.00 per night and coat and ties for the men and dresses for the women are required after 6:00 p.m. The movie, Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour was filmed here. They have an annual lilac festival every June and I sure want to get there again this summer. Thanks for visiting, Cindy



Welcome to another Met Monday hosted by Susan @ http://betweenapsontheporch.blogspot.com/ when your finished here, be sure to check out all the amazing makeovers posted by some lovely bloggers. When we moved into our present home 18 months ago we knew we couldn't spend much on our kitchen but could do a mini-makeover. Below shows a before pic, (click on any pic to enlarge)

Another view, the appliances,flooring and counter tops were only year old and the cupboards were still in pretty good shape. Some of the pics are a little dark, sorry about that.

First order was the curtains and paint. We painted the walls a combo of cotswold green and a soft patina from the Laura Ashley/cotswold stone collection. The curtains I ordered from J.C. Penneys.

I painted the old bench off white and made a cushion and some pillows.

We changed out the light over the dining area and added a more old fashioned looking one. Another big project was getting rid of the ugly faucet and replacing it with a rubbed bronze one. I'm lucky that hubby can do electrical and plumbing work too. In the 11 years we've been married, we've never had to call one.

We changed the other light in the kitchen area, it had been a big ugly fluorescent one. We found some white knobs and pulls for the cupboards which were fairly inexpensive but seemed to add a lot.

A closer view of the paint color.

One of my favorite things was the back splash my hubby did behind the stove, and on this side of the kitchen. Its a copper color and I really like the vintage look it adds. They are panels that you buy at Home Depot etc. but then they need to be cut and placed together in a match up pattern, kind of like hanging wallpaper.

Another view of the back splash and knobs and pulls.

Just recently we painted the other back splash with a tea leaf color and hubby added a few of the strips he had left from the other side.

I wanted this part to stand out a little more but keep the expense low. Because we do all the work ourselves we only spent about $500.00 for everything which includes paint, curtains, new light fixtures, new faucet, new knobs and pulls, and the copper back splash.

Thank-you for stopping by and don't forget to check out the other wonderful Met Monday posts. Cindy


Tablescape Thursday/ or a Country Brunch

It's time for another Tablescape Thursday hosted bySusan, the Diva of Tablescapes. When your finished here head on over to http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/ for a great variety of beautifully done tables. I wanted to do a spring time table but when I woke up this morning and looked outside this is what I saw. Yap--more snow!
In keeping with the winter theme, I decided to do a Sunday Brunch, or casual supper table. Most of what is featured here are items I already owned. Below a pic of the table set for a Sunday Brunch. ( You can click on pics to enlarge)

Here's a view in the evening with the candle lit. The tablecloth, place mats and napkins were already living in my hutch. I made the brown toil table runner from $3 a yard fabric on sale at our local fabric store.

I shopped my house for the centerpiece. In keeping with my country theme, a little sheep, birdie and candle.

A closer view of a table setting. The plates were on sale at TJ Maxx for $3 a piece. They are Royal Stafford, so not a bad deal. I got 6 of them.

A closer view of the plates. I love the country scene.

I found these oh so cute napkin holders at Hobby Lobby for $3 for all 4. I think they are really cute and kind of old fashioned looking.

The glasses are from my Hubby's Grandmother.

Here's my cute little sheep. I took him off my mantle.

Thanks for stopping by and now I need to go check out all the other beautiful tables at Susan's. Cindy


Outdoor Wednesday/ Cotton, Eagles and fruit!

It's time for another Outdoor Wednesday hosted by the lovely Susan at http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com/ if you haven't seen her blog yet head on over and you will be in for a treat! I love to post pictures that show some contrast to each other. This first pic was taken while we were visiting Arizona. I believe we were somewhere near Tuscon and the cotton field in the desert really caught our eye. ( click on any pic to enlarge)

By contrast, this next pic was taken in Northern Wisconsin last summer near a little town called Spooner. The majesty of the bald eagle sitting alone in the tree, seems to suggest he's taking in this great land of ours.

My last pic was taken near Traverse City, Michigan. It was the week of their annual Cherry Festival and their Cherry Trees ( which they are famous for) were in full bloom. Cherries are my favorite fruit and I was in hog cherry heaven! Cherries everywhere to see and to eat and to buy ( cute cherry decor etc.) What a treat! Thanks for stopping, Cindy

Wordless Wednesday /Books

This week's Wordless Wednesday subject is books. Wordless Wednesday is hosted by Dixie@http://frenchlique.blogspot.com/ head on over and check out some amazing pics.

Advice Needed, Baby Shower Ideas--Help!

I'm having a baby shower in March for my little sister who is expecting a baby girl in April. I want to use the colors of the baby outfit (above) I purchased for her and the table runner I got yesterday at TJ Maxx. I would like it to be more chic and not too cutesy. I'm looking for ideas on decorating the table, recipe ideas, games that aren't your traditional baby shower.
Cake ideas, beverages, etc. If any of you wonderful creative bloggers have ideas, please let me know. I would love to hear them! I have several pink candles, dishes etc.

I thought I could use this little bunny/candle holder too and then carry my table over to Easter! The shower is planned for March 21st. Thanks in advance for any help/ideas you have. Cindy


Wedding Photos and Precious Memories.

With love in the air, I thought I would share some wedding photos with my blogging friends. My hubby and I were married in 1997. This was a second marriage for both of us and we became an instant blended family. My teenage son Joshua, my daughter Katie and my step-son Jacob. Katie and Jacob are the same age, only 4 weeks apart! To see them all grown up, scroll to the bottom of this blog. We were married at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. This church was made famous by the song Little Brown Church in the Vale. Every year thousands of couples are married here or return to renew their vows. ( click on any pic to enlarge)
A friend of my Mom's recently sent me some old slides from my parents wedding. They did not have the money for professional pics , so I was really happy to have them. The slides had deteriorated a bit, but were still not too bad for 1955. My dad passed away 2 years ago next month so I was really thrilled to get these. I have six brothers who all resemble him in some ways. Thanks for joining me on my stroll down memory lane! P. S. ( the 1st song on my playlist was their song, Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers )