March 2017

March 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

This was last year. And probably the last time all my grandchildren will be together on Halloween. I love that my grandsons live walking distance away. But I hate that my granddaughter lives in New Jersey now. Long distance grandparenting is hard.

Halloween 2016
Jonah (6); Reya (3 months); Elliott (10)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Quick Trip

One of many lavish
fall arrangements in the City.
Last week we drove to Branson, Missouri for a two-night stay at the Chateau on the Lake. I've always wanted to stay at the Chateau and decided my 66 birthday was a good time to realize that dream.

In my 30s and 40s I often visited Branson with girlfriends in the the fall for Silver Dollar City's fall festival. Whenever I saw that magnificent resort on an Ozark mountain, I longed to stay there one day.

Turns out the Chateau is relatively budget friendly, especially if you do one of their packages midweek. Our package included two-day tickets to Silver Dollar City and a $50 food credit for any of the Chateau's restaurants.

It was a good trip. We enjoyed our stay at the Chateau, the City's fall festival, the Grand Jubilee show, and good midwest Missouri food. Less than four hours away, we will definitely keep Branson in mind for future quick getaways.

Our view as we approached
the Chateau on the Lake.
Our view of Table Rock Lake
from our balcony.
Don't know how I resisted bringing
home one of these cuties.
This huge cornucopia was
my favorite display in the City.
A tour of Marvel Cave is a must
when visiting the City for the first time.
Touring Marvel Cave turned out to be
a good workout. I mean, who would
imagine sweating in a cave!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

So Much Better!

The new setup in the hobby room makes crafting so much easier. The main thing the old setup lacked was not enough surface space for spreading out all parts of a project. Now, in addition to the craft table, I have the surface space of the twin bed. I can spread out paper and embellishment options on the bed, leaving the entire table open for assembly.

Of course, it also helps that I've recently purged a lot of craft tools and supplies. Having less stuff makes it so much easier to find what I need and want.

My first project in the new space was to create a Thanksgiving card. I found all the supplies for seven cards in my stash and used my Cuttlebug, which I've had for years, to do the embossing.

This is a simplier design than I've done in the past, but I like it. I feel it's indicative of how I now want my life and home, simple yet functional.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Great Progress!

The hobby room, which is now a guest room too, isn't finished. But I'm so excited about the change so far I just had to share.

After much swatching, I finally decided on a wall color and hubby painted the room today. It's just as I imagined. I love it!

Earlier in the week, I cleaned the antique Jenny Lind bed with Old English furniture polish and washed the foam mattress cover. The tag on the cover clearly states it shouldn't be removed, but I went for it anyway. We've been concerned about bringing cat dander up to the main floor, because the bed and mattress were in the basement for many years where our sweet Rupert spent most of his last six years. I washed the cover on gentle in cold water and it did just fine.

I'm still shopping for bedding. I'm not sure about color, but I do know I want a quilt. In the meantime, I'm using a queen quilt I've had for years. Since the bed's a twin, however, there's a whole lot of quilt bunched up on the wall side.

Once I get the bedding, I'll decide on the window treatment. Right now I'm thinking of white shears because I keep imagining floral bedding.

Lastly, I'll need to decide on a few pieces of wall art. That's the scariest part for me because I hate putting holes in newly painted walls. I've used Command Strips before, but without much luck. Either they end up not holding or, when I remove them, they take off chunks of paint.

So there's still much to do, but the biggest job is done. The dark maroon walls (which you can see here) are gone!

Taken from the door.
Still need one or two chairs for the craft table. 
Taken from the craft table.
My daughter's bed is back where it was
for years before she got married and moved out.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Struggling

I'm having a tough time going back to low-carb eating after our cruise. Staying away from bread, potatoes, and noodles isn't the problem. I think the main struggle is the switch to cool weather fruit, which means no more melons and berries. Not only are apples and pears higher in carbs, they're also not nearly as appealing to me as watermelon and blackberries.

And to make matters worse, my favorite neighborhood grocery store, Aldi, just closed for four weeks to complete their remodel. Now I have to adjust to a more expensive store or drive 40-60 minutes roundtrip to the next closest Aldi. Until I "get over it" our refrigerator is seriously lacking in any available fresh fruits and vegetables, and I can't seem to get through a day without some chocolate!

At least, as of last week, I'm back to my regular gym schedule after fighting a virus the week before. Now that I think about it, I suppose being sick also jeopardized my low-carb plans.

Despite all of the above, however, on Saturday the scale did register a one pound drop. But we all know how easily one pound can come and go.

I need to do some serious meal planning this week. The kind of planning that makes healthy eating appealing again. And I need to find a new grocery store. Ugh!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

More Redecorating

Last month I redecorated our spare bedroom. That redo cost just $50 because I mostly shopped our home for what I needed. Read all about the why and how behind that redo here.

This week I'm redecorating my hobby room, which used to be my daughter's bedroom. (We have a three-bedroom ranch home.) As soon as my daughter moved out over 16 years ago, I claimed her room. I used to do a lot of traditional scrapbooking and other various paper crafts, and had a lot of tools and supplies. I was thrilled to finally have an entire room where I could store everything and spread out my projects.

Over the last few years, however, I've switched to digital albums, using Snapfish. I now easily and quickly create albums of our trips on my lap top while watching television. I also do less paper crafting now that my grandsons are older. Jonah, the seven year old, still enjoys doing projects with grandma, but sadly it doesn't happen very often because he's so busy with school, scouts, piano lessons, and other various activities.

In other words, I don't need or want the massive amount of craft supplies I used to have. I started purging my stash a few years ago, but got a lot more serious about it this year. I've done such a good job there's now space for either a bed or reading nook, or both.

Here's where I started on Monday. Yes, I know, what was I thinking with that wall color!



And here's where I am today.



I cleared out the closet enough I was able to eliminate one of the three bookcases. I then moved the remaining two bookcases and put the table up against the wall. I grabbed two of our dining room chairs to see if Jonah and I could craft together. We tested it yesterday and it worked great!

The bench is now sitting where Emily's childhood bed will go. It's a beautiful antique Jenny Lind twin bed I never could part with. It's just been sitting in the unfinished part of our basement all these years. I plan to sell the bench.

With the addition of the bed, the hobby room will have more purpose. I'll set up the bed with a lot of large comfy pillows, making it an inviting place to sit or lay down while reading a book during the day. And when the boys sleepover, one can have the bed while the other can use the air mattress in the finished area of the basement. And I still have plenty of supplies and space to do paper crafting when I get the urge.

This redo will cost more than $50, but hopefully no more than $500. I'm currently shopping for chairs for the craft table, a twin mattress, bedding, and lots of pillows. But first we'll be buying paint. I can't wait to see those dark walls painted over with a very pale green.

Stay tuned for the reveal, which I hope is only a few weeks away. Once I have a vision, I absolutely hate waiting for it to happen!