Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Texas Coast Trip

We just got back from the coast - Port Aransas, TX - we (Bruce's brother Barry, Bruce, and myself) took my mother-in-law, Bonnie, to celebrate her birthday. We had the best weather ever with clean beaches and warm water! Perfection! We had a blast! I have lots of pictures to share. Hope you'll read to the end as I have two wonderful things to share with you!

What's trip without a stop at Buc-ees? It was my first stop at this giant gas station/convenience store. It is something to experience. Trust me.
hamming it up with Buc-ee
 Finally, we got to Port Aransas. A quick ferry ride over and we're there!
Bruce and Bonnie enjoying the ferry ride
It was too early to go to the condo, so we found a place to eat lunch. Yum...our first taste of seafood!

After checking into our condo, we headed to the beach - nice! The beach is going to be perfect! The guys grabbed their fishing gear and we changed into swimsuits and enjoyed the water!
Barry, Bruce, and Bonnie
Then we went into town and bought groceries. Made reservations at a restaurant too. Yum, our 2nd taste of seafood. We had a spot right by the water. hm, Bruce has that picture on his camera. Oops!

That night there was a full moon. How pretty the moon looked as it rose past the clouds.

Me and Bonnie
 The sunrise the next day was just a spectacular:
 I snapped some pictures of the flowers growing in the dunes
We dropped the guys off to fish at the jetty while we went shopping. Now I see why we had to eat out if this is all they were catching. LOL. (Bruce really did catch a bigger fish the previous day- he let him go though and of course, we didn't have our cameras on us).
We ate lunch out again trying yet another restaurant. This time, Bonnie got her coconut shrimp she wanted. Yay! The birthday girl is happy!
That evening, we took a Sunset/Dolphin cruise. We found a large pod of dolphins as we got close to the lighthouse. They entertained us by coming close to the boat and even jumping out of the water!

sunset over the lighthouse
on the dolphin cruise...wonder what Bonnie is looking at. :o)

 Found out, we could have been on the pirate ship! I think we had the better view of the dolphins though. Haha, it was funny to watch.

It was so much fun. We ate seafood until we couldn't anymore and truly enjoyed our stay! Maybe Bonnie will want this to be a yearly tradition. I could go for that! :o)

I'm very excited to share two things with you -

First is my friend Cecilia Lynne over at My Thrift Store Addiction's e-book - "When The Glass Slipper Shatters". She is having a special promotion - please go by and read about it. It is a wonderful book on letting go and moving on. I think anyone who has suffered from anything that created bitterness could benefit from her wisdom. Hurry though, there's only a few days left.

Second,  the upcoming  Fall Tour Oct. 3rd - 7th! There are 20+ Texas bloggers that will be sharing their Fall decor. I will be showing you my city home on Tuesday, October 4th. Be sure to visit Katie at Let's Add Sprinkles on Monday, October 3rd for the start of the tour. I hope you will join us!

I'm going to be taking a short blogging break until the first week of October. I'll be back though to share my city home decked out for Fall.

Until then,

Sharing at these lovely parties:
Thoughts of Home On Thursday

Monday, September 12, 2016

Awkward Layout Solved

I've been enjoying the all the Fall decor out there in blogland. It's pretty awesome. But can I confess something? I see all that pretty and I feel, well I mean, I know I shouldn't compare my house with others, but it's hard sometimes not to think, "oh, mine doesn't look as nice". Especially right now as this place is still a work in progress. But you know what? It doesn't have to be fancy or look like other places. I truly love this little house. Quirks and all.  We're making it ours and that's what matters. So, I'm really ok.  :o) Let's get on with it!

Our farmhouse is a cozy 1250 sq. ft. house. Not tiny but smaller than what we have in the city. I don't mind...I'm ready at this stage in life to downsize.

It was pure country when we found it. Brown paneling, brown cabinets, brown floor...lots of brown. Yay for paint!

In the living room, the fireplace sits on a diagonal at one end, creating this awkward layout with this really high shelf for the mantel.
 And the room is about 14 ft. wide, with the front door opening directly into the living room.
What's the focal point? How do you arrange furniture so that it makes sense? How do you create a sense of an entryway? (What do you do with that shelf?) Where should the sofa go?
All are issues to figure out!

I definitely didn't want the sofa on the lefthand wall close to the front door - it would be smack in the traffic pattern!
Of course, we started with the couch on the  righthand wall (why do we do that?) but it really didn't make the room feel cozy. Plus, it left us with putting a tv where everyone would walk in front of it. Bad.
sofa facing the lefthand wall
So next, I tried pushing the couch in front of the windows and placing the chairs in front of the fireplace. Better, but the fireplace still felt like an after thought and it felt cramped! And now my view out the window was blocked by the couch. Again, bad.
That chair by the fireplace and wall felt crammed in there. The other one didn't really work in its spot.

Oh dear! I needed fresh eyes on the space. So last week when my friend Mira came up to go to Canton, we spent that afternoon editing, cleaning, and rearranging both the living room and the dining room.

We tried things here. We tried things there. We made a mess. Then at last, success! The dog kennel was the main obstacle in the placement of a chair so it got moved by the back door (hopefully in the future, it will be in a completely different room but this is reality for now).  Of course, that started a chain reaction of moving things in the dining room. ha!

Back to the living room: The couch got moved from in front of the window to facing the righthand wall, creating a walkway from the front door to the dining room and hallway. Now when you walk in the front door, there's a definite pathway and it feels like an entryway.

I need a rug! Plus I think the ladder and throw need to be moved.
Wow. It's amazing how big the room feels! The furniture makes sense and the tv is not in the traffic pattern. And the biggie -  the fireplace now feels like a part of the room!
When I sit in the chair by the fireplace, I can see out the window on my pretty view!
And the tv is easy to see from both the couch and chairs! Yippee!
The table that used to be by the front door got repurposed for the tv stand:
 While the old chippy toolbox now holds all our movies (Instead of sitting empty most of the time):
They fit perfectly!
Of course, we had to decorate for Fall:
 Fall sign and pretty faux foliage:
And the book page decoupaged pumpkin along with other Fall decor:

A big thank you, Mira, for helping me figure this out! Sometimes you just need a friend who's willing to help you see things differently and then help you move things around until it's just right.

Someday it will undergo another transformation (when we move here and bring our permanent furniture). But for now this works and gives me a blueprint for the future.

My takeaway from this? Keep moving things around until it works. Don't be afraid to try out different layouts or to completely remove some items. And if that's not enough, bring a friend up who can see things with fresh eyes. Sooner or later, something will click.

Sharing at these parties:
Redo It Yourself Inspirations Homemade and Handcrafted

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fall and Happy Times

I did it; I caved in and pulled out my Fall decor yesterday. What can I say? I love Fall and I needed to do some serious dusting so why not switch out the decorations while I was at it? Ha.

I've had these glass pumpkins forever - 1 large and 2 small. My twin sis gave them to many years ago. She bought them from Target.
 I love how the candle light glows through the glass! I also added my owls - this mercury glass one is a favorite:
Then I added sunflowers and Fall leaves to my galvanized flower bucket on the buffet:
On the table, I added 3 more glass pumpkins I got shortly after my sister gave me the others. I placed them in a woven basket casserole carrier:
For my place settings, I used my red plates from Pier 1 on my woodland chargers, adding these cute squirrel salad plates (also from Pier 1):
Isn't he just the cutest thing ever?

The farmhouse also got a dose of Fall. A big shout out to my friend, Mira, who helped me get the living room looking the way I wanted. She and I went to Canton Market Days as well. It was hot but we had a blast! I didn't buy a whole lot this time although I did find some gifts. However, I'll share all that in another post.

The most exciting thing to happen this past weekend though? If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you know already! My daughter got engaged! We are so thrilled. Her guy is the sweetest ever. We are so happy for them. And I haven't quit smiling yet. :o)
Engagement party!
We're going to have a busy year getting everything ready but it should be fun. It will mean lots of projects!

How was your Labor Day weekend?


Hello! Let's Catch Up!

 Good morning! Goodness, it's been a long time! I've missed all of you. Let's catch up, ok? We moved to the farm full-time 2 yea...