Happy Easter dear friends.
I have a very vague memory of this. 
Taken when I was 3 , my brother Tom is 2 and my brother Tim was about 10 months.  The year was 1960.
My parents had 5 more kids after us. Four more brothers and a sister.
We were living in Peoria, Illinois at the time.
 I was born there and many of my extended family (on my Mom's side) still live in that area.
What I remember most is how we always dressed up for Easter.  We always went to church and then my Grandma's house for dinner.
I always had a new Easter hat or bonnet. Sometimes a purse, gloves etc. to match.
When I was a little older and we were still living in Illinois we would sometimes spend Easter in St. Louis.
I remember being in awe of the big arch. 
I remember having dinner with my parents on a Riverboat restaurant that made us kiddie cocktails and our menus were printed on a deck of cards.
Today will be a little quieter.
My Dad is passed on but my Mom will be with us.
Sometimes it is very hard to get us all together but I do have a brother joining us for dinner as well as my daughter and step-son, grand-daughter and daughter's boyfriend.
Missing my Arizona family.
Happy Easter to all of you.


Shabby Easter Table and egg coloring fun!

Hey friends.
Are you all ready for Easter?
I have the stuff all ready for my grand-daughter, sent the other grand-daughter her goodies in the mail and I have a table set but that is about it.
I am calling this my shabby Easter table because well... it is a bit shabby! hehe.
I made napkin rings out of green burlap and added green rick-rac to some napkins I already owned.
I purchased the Momma bunny with carrots at Hobby Lobby.
The basket was also from there.
I made the centerpiece with things I already had from previous Easter's.
I made the green burlap runner and just added a ruffle from fabric scraps.
I am loving the green burlap!
And I have yellow too.

Those plastic bunny and chick plates are from Michael's a few years back.  My grand-daughter loves them and I think they add a bit of whimsy to my shabby table.

When I first took pictures that bunny candy dish was full!
Now look at it.
Easter candy is my downfall for sure.
I had to scrunch up the runner a bit but it will be the perfect length when I add another leave for our Easter table.

Addison and I colored Easter eggs yesterday.
She was so proud!
It's a bit messy with a 2 year old but oh so fun!

She was so proud she wanted to show Lily our kitty her creations!
I left the room for a minute, came back and she had pealed her egg and was eating it!
Ha...she has never cared for hard boiled eggs.
I guess it helps when you make them yourself.
There is still a lot of snow out there as you can see.
I guess we will be doing an indoor Easter Egg hunt around here.
We are going to see about 50 degrees tomorrow which sounds like a heat wave right now.
To all of you have a blessed and happy Easter.

Tablescape Thursday @ 


Spring Fever is biting me in the behind!


While most of the country seems to be warming up we seem to be caught in perpetual winter here in the upper Midwest.  Spring fever has got me bad and I am starting to feel a bit cranky.
So I will dream about pretty flowers that I hope are hiding under all that snow. (well perennials anyway_)
I will dream about sitting out on my front porch surrounded by flowers, flowering hydrangea  and a cool summer drink.

I am looking forward to taking a trip to some of our farmer's markets.
The one shown here in Madison, Wisconsin is one of the best in the country.

And lilacs, oh don't get me started!
I have a love affair with lilacs!  And when they are in bloom I fill my house and every vase I own with their beauty.

And instead of seeing piles and piles of white stuff, I am looking forward to this view instead.  It actually snowed again a little today and yesterday and the day before.
And as I write this, it is snowing again right now.
Come on southerly winds please head up our way!

And simple spring time tables.
I am looking forward to setting table's like this.
In the mean time, I will just have to pretend that it's Spring inside my house.
And right now it's taking a lot of imagination to do that.


A face-lift for our Cottage.


 Hello friends,

I just realized that I recently had passed my four year blog-i-versary!
I thought it would fun to re-post this since it seems to have become my most popular post.  And although some of you may have seen it, many of you have not.   Blogging has been such a great adventure and so rewarding, not to mention all the wonderful friends I have made. 
Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for your continued friendship and support.

I though it might be fun to combine some of my previous posts and show you the transformation of our humble little cottage.  We did all the work ourselves and with hubbies great carpentry skills and  vision we are able to save a lot of moola!  Above is a before pic when we were looking to buy.  I wish I had more before pics but I think some may have been accidentally deleted.

A little side view.   We loved the stone, the front porch, the big windows and the 2 acres surrounded by woods but our vision was a lot more color and a little more character .

This picture was taken the first winter we lived here .   We had more snow than I can remember and it seemed like Spring would never arrive.

Finally spring is here!   It's April, and we have 2 months to get things spruced up and ready for our two graduating seniors.  This is probably the ugliest time of year, when things haven't really started to grow and bloom .   The first thing on our agenda are shutters.  I have always wanted board-n-batten shutters.  Hubby goes to work making us some and we decide to paint them an Apple Red. 

I think one of the neatest things he made was this sign.   He has a computer cad system at school with some new programs he wanted to try out.  The sign is not just painted,  the letters are also three dimensional.   Dan designed and built it in between finishing up a home his students were building.  I love the idea he had with the apples.  

A view from the road.

Our home originally started out as a cabin and was added onto at various stages.  This side has river rock hauled in by the original owner who also happened to be a mason.

Old ladders work well for climbing clematis.

The shutters are going up and things are finally starting to bloom and green up. 

All the doors receive a couple coats of Apple Red Paint.   The front and back porch railings are scraped, primed and painted a Spiced Sugar. I love the name of that!  More shutters are going up and things are starting to look a lot more like our vision.  The hardest part for hubby wasn't making the shutters but figuring a way to mount them on stone.  He finally found a good way using drywall screws.   Even the old bench from Wal-Mart gets a new coat of red paint!  In fact nearly everything that doesn't move gets a fresh coat of Apple Red paint.  Graduation comes and goes, we are exhausted but happy with the results.  There is still one little thing that just doesn't quite click........
Too brown, too boring and not very cottage. We both love the look of wooden carriage doors so we scan the Internet for ideas and prices.  We are a little taken back by the big price tag and figure something else will have to do until my talented Hubby declares he has a plan .  He will build and install them right over the steel doors.  He studies and plans his design and after a little R and R  he's off and running.

He designs and builds the frame to go right over the steel doors. 

A view of both doors framed and ready for the next step. 

This was without a doubt the most time consuming and tedious part of the project.  Dan cut, primed, painted and screwed on more than 220 separate pieces of white pine. 

The Work Zone.   He even cut and designed pieces to resemble wrought iron out of wood.   How clever is that!

 Another look at the wood he designed and cut to look like wrought iron.

He spent over 80 hours on this project!  It didn't help that most days 
were in the upper 80's to low 90's with a high amount of humidity. Total cost about $200. 

The ugly gold lights are removed and spray painted black.

A side view.  What a difference it makes!  We get a lot of comments from friends and family who love our new look.

A close-up of the gold lights spray painted black.  They look ok but I want something with a little more substance. 

We found these new lights for the amazing price of $6.00 a piece.   It was one of those lucky finds that make bargain shopping a joy!

When our phlox are in bloom...I love this time of year!

This view just makes me happy!

Our kitty Cocoa likes the new view.

A few little decorative touches.....

Thanks for coming by, I hope you enjoyed the making of our cottage.    

Joining these link parties.
Between Naps on the Porch Met. Monday
A Stroll thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
A Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow us Wednesday
Stone Gable for Tips and Tutorials

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Snow bunnies and Easter bunnies can they get along?

These are the kind of bunnies I am dreaming about these days.  They are soft, furry and white and surrounded by pastels.
But in my real world........

It looks like this.  And although I think my hubby Dan is a pretty cute snow bunny, I think he would be more than happy to retire that shovel for the year.
We have a plow too but he still has to shovel around sidewalks etc.

But outside our cozy little stone house I see piles and piles of this.
When March comes I am so ready for this to be gone.
 I would have to  say snow becomes a four letter word at this point.
So whats a girl to do?  Pretend.  And try to make it Easter and Spring inside.
My so easy to make diy Easter centerpiece.
I found the little basket at Hobby Lobby for pretty cheap.
I had the eggs in my stash and I see they still have these in their store's.
I used one of those foam shapes to hold artificial flowers in the middle and just poked everything in. 
To cover I added some moss and I glued some cute Easter ribbon around the basket and made a bow and tied it on the handle.

My inside bunny.

I found the bunny pic at Hobby Lobby too.
Easy peasy centerpiece and inexpensive too.

So what are you all doing to make it Spring inside?
Or has the real Spring already showed up?
Seriously this is the time of year I have trouble looking at Southern bloggers posts.
I get a little green with envy.
But when Spring shows up around here, I am so very appreciative.