Saturday, June 19, 2010

Even In The Rain

Even though there has been crazy amounts of rain the last few weeks, my roses found a way to withstand the wind and water to produce this:

I so wish this post could be a scratch n' sniff - these roses have the most fantastic scent! If I could bottle it and sell it as perfume I would indeed be a millionaire. It is out of this world.

And the gorgeous color just makes me swoon every time. It's called Sterling Silver.

When I was 9 years old, a neighbor on my grandparents block had one of these roses and every year it bloomed I would tell my grandma that when I grew up I wanted a sterling silver rose for my first home.

When hubby and I got marrried 7 years ago, she and I went to pick out the first plant for my garden - a Sterling Silver rose. It was my house warming gift from her... and now that she is no longer with us, it is my daily reminder of the special bond she and I had. How much she loved me. How special she was to remember a wish from my little 9 year old heart.

Sweet memories!

What special memories are you contemplating today?

All photos taken by yours truly.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blog Swap: The Country Chic Cottage

Today I am super excited to be blog swapping with Angie from The Country Chic Cottage. So read on down about her cute projects, and and then head over to her blog and check it out. 

Hello all!  I am Angie from The Country Chic Cottage.  I am thrilled to be here on Too Blessed to Stress!  Have y'all seen my decor balls...
I am also a mom to 3 great kids -- including a teenage diva.  Well all teenage divas need to smile and love... 
 I got these 70s signs at a thrift store for 49 cents each. 
 Yes in the back they are actually molded with a 1976 date.  Too cool!  Anyway, painted black they make the perfect addition to her room... 
 Y'all come on by the cottage for a visit any time!


Angie, thanks a bunch for swappin' blogs with me today!

And just in case the rest of you were wondering where I've been... I've been suffering from a lack of photos with a dead battery in my camera and no charger to be found... But have no fear! The mom-in-law let me borrow her's for a bit. Momma, you are a blessing to this little photo loving heart of mine!

See ya all tomorrow!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Major Overhaul

Home Sweet Home Again!
Just got back from a fantastic vacation with Hubby's side of the family. Wonderful time with loved ones, boating, swimming, games, s'mores, and yummy food. I LOVE family time! And although I hated to leave our lovely water front cabin {gorgeous view!}, it does feel good to be home.

I missed this sweet little pup!

So here's the deal. 
I am hoping someone can shed light on this for me:

What is it about coming home from a vacation that gets me all motivated to deep clean the house? Do you feel that way too? Or am I the only goofball out there? Once the laundry is in the wash, I'm rady to tackle the rest of the house with cleaning furry!

When it comes time for a major decluttering of a room, I like to arm myself with these decluttering weapons:

~ piggy bank for lose change - I don't let change keep floating around after cleaning, it needs to be rounded up right away... that way it's ready for a rainy day...or a last minute garage sale.
~ trash bags - one for trash and the other for recycle
~ ziploc baggies - snack, sandwich, quart and gallon sizes to store "junk drawer" items neatly
~ a box for Goodwill items - If you don't love/need it and are not going to give it so someone, donate it and let someone else enjoy it {totally preaching to the choir here *sigh* I am getting better though!}
~ magnetic paper clip holder - you have no idea how many paper clips I find hanging around
~ a return/to-do basket - Library books, borrowed items that need to find their way back to rightful owners, etc.
~ containers of all sizes - large for storing items, small for sorting little things like hair clips, pens/pencils, bills/receipts, etc.

Once everything has been sorted, stored or returned it makes the actual cleaning of the space so much more enjoyable.

What tricks do you use when decluttering a room?

All photos taken by yours truly.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Where It's At

Just so you know... I am back froma fantastic family vacation and have a pile of wodnerful posts to share... but have lost the charger for the camera. UGH!!!! Why does this always happen on a day when there is no time to waste looking for for something lost?

Soooo.... I'm getting the "must do" work done as fast as possible... and then I'm off to see if I can borrow a camera from my mom-in-law.

So stay tuned! There is much wonderfulness to come! {and yes that is a word... even if it's only in our home.}

Thursday, June 3, 2010

When Simple Is Enough

Yesterday over at Reluctant Entertainer, Sandy was talking about keeping a simple tablescape and instead investing a little more effort on the food that leads to the best part - fellowship around the table.

And really fellowship and connection is what it is all about.

Truth be told, I actually love tablescaping {is that even a word? Now it is!} And I really enjoy fancy table arrangements.... but not every time. Those are saved for special occasions, or when I have time to prep and plan ahead. But for everyday living, I enjoy simple things like a collection of candles, fresh flowers in a mason jar, roses in bud vases, etc.

Just a few weeks ago, hubby and I took advantage of the great weather and ate every meal over the weekend on our patio. We kept both the food and decorations simple. The focus was on each other - enjoying the sounds of the outdoors, enjoying the warm weather, enjoying each other's company. Bliss!

Little things made this afternoon extra special:

Homemade french bread...

Fresh salad with homemade dressing...

Dishes from a dear friend who is no longer with us...

A plate of hot sauces and spicy peppers for hubby...
{too spicy for me!}

Candles that flickered into the night...

And a ribblet bone that flicked off the rib hubby was eating and landed right into his goblet! It was a perfect hit. Couldn't have planned it better if he tried. We laughed till our sides hurt and then of course I took a picture! Document the special moments, right?

When it comes to making memories around the table, do it up fancy or keep it simple - whatever makes you happy. Just remember to keep the focus on each other. That's where the memories are made... that and ribblet flicking!

Want to read more on keeping it real at dinner time?

Be sure to check out other spring tablescapes and other wonderful "Home Is" posts here.

All photos taken by yours truly.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Get Out The Red Carpet

Rose from our garden last year.

I had no idea that I would need to get out of my jammies and put on the diamonds and white gloves to blog this morning... but then I read Kitschalicious' post here and realized that I have been given an award! yippie skippie! Suddenly my sweats and t-shirt don't seem fancy enough. Please excuse me while I change into red carpet attire.

{runs to dust off "real" cubic zirconia jewelry}

Thank you sweet Adrienne for the award, you have totally blessed my heart and started off my day with a smile and a happy dance!

And I needed that.

After a wreestless night dreaming about having to feed 80-100 women turkey and tuna sandwiches {strange combo} and not starting to make the sandwiches till they were seated at their tables, and having to flee from an angry, hungry mob... well let's just say that I just needed that little pick me up this sleepy morning!

And yes I know, I have the strangest dreams. Lucky me, I also seem to remember most of my dreams. *sigh* Time to hit the coffee.

Well, I do believe that it is time to say 10 things that make me happy and pass the award on to another wonderful blogger.

1. My hubby - he makes me laugh every day with his silly antics. Seriously, someone asked me to put all his goofy quotes and "Ballads from the Pallate" {that's what he calls them} in a book and sell it. He is a hoot!

2. Family and making memories - I can not even begin to express to you how much of a family driven person I am. Family is a safe place - a place to establish roots and stretch your wings.

3. Crafting. I heart crafting. It is so rewarding to get a half-baked, fully-crazed idea and see it come to completion. Ahhh, so rewarding!

4. Bargain shopping - Specifically the Goodwill and Fancy store. As I always tell hubby, nothing says love like discount prices! 

5. Long weekends with my hubby - Getting to be home together for a whole day - pure bliss!

6. Hosting get togethers - I love opening my home to friends and family.

7. Home cooked meals - Both making them and eating them! haha!

8. Sunggling with our fluffy pup.

9. Home improvement projects - just give me a sledge hammer and I'm ready to go! ok just kidding, I'm really more of a "make-a-gazillion-holes-in-the-wall-with-a-single-nail-while-trying-to-hang-up-that-picture" kind of girl.

10. Blogging - I love sharing life here at the "too Blessed to Stress" nest and learning from all of you.

So I am thrilled to pass this award on to The Tablescaper. Have you seen her tablescapes? Stunning! Brings a smile to my face for sure :)

Enjoy the award, and feel free to pass it on if you like.

And thanks again, Adrienne, for the award! You are too sweet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Before a Party

You know how much I love hosting parties. As I have shared before, I would host a party everyday if I could... but we all know that there is not enough time, money or patience from any one husband to support that craziness!

So when we do get a chance to host a get together, there are a few things I like to do ahead of time to make the "day of" preparations go even smoother.

~ Have a menu written out. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've sat down at a table and half way through the meal realized that the dinner rolls never got rolled or salad didn't get chopped. And while it is not the end of the world to skip a missed dish, sometimes it is the one dish that rounded out a meal and without it you are left with only gravy, peas and salad on your plate. All it takes is 5 minutes to write out a menu from snacks to dessert and stick it in your pocket for quick reference. That way you can greet your guests with ease and not feel like you have to stress over the upcoming meal.

Have a few extra minutes? How about using a dollar store chalkboard and chalk ink marker to write out a quick menu for all to see on your pretty table. It will be a special touch, and help you remember what all you have planned!

~ Last minute list. Yep, here I am with the lists again. Every gathering, big or small, will have several things that can only be done last minute - as in the night before or day of the party. So for every get together I make a short list on a sticky note of last minute things to do and/or delegate. A Birthday party list will often look something like this:

Pick up balloons {dollar store}
Fresh flowers from corner store {sale this week!}
Move cars to street, make room for guest vehicles
Turn on music
Light candles - don't forget the patio lights.

Check each item off as you go. Add in little reminders of where thing are stored or where you want to purchase an item. Not only will your mind be at rest, but you will have a quick reference for when people ask "What can I do to help?"

~ Set out serving dishes and platters. Get out any serving dishes the night before. That way when your kitchen is swamped with helpers you don't have to ask them to constantly move so you can dig in that back cupboard for a pickle dish. Get the bowls and platters out, dust them off, stack them up to look all pretty... and always get out a few extra. You never know when someone will show up to brunch with a yummy last minute addition of doughnuts that need a platter.

~ Start off your gathering with an empty dishwasher. Grab all the stray dishes first thing in the morning, stick them in the dishwasher real quick, and unload it at some point before company comes. That way it is all ready to receive a full load of dishes before the evening is over and the pile in the sink will be less daunting the next morning. This seems like a small thing to do... but trust me! It makes a world of difference.

~ Make your bed. Even if your room is messy, you have no intention of showing it to guests, and you need to seal it off with hazardous waste stickers - make your bed. After a long day of eating yummy food, playing games, and enjoying your company the last thing you will want to do is clear off the mess that gathered on your bed and untangle a knot of sheets. It feels so good to fall into a freshly made bed after along day. Even if the rest of the room looks like a piggy pen, at least your bed is comfortable and ready for you to sink in for a long night of sweet dreams. You need your rest... after all, tomorrow you need to get up and clean you room! heehee!

What simple things do you do to prepare for a party?

All photos taken by yours truly.