Wednesday, July 31, 2013

We took at least 20 pics the other day modeling these dresses and these are the only two that were deemed post worthy. I am grateful for the years my current camera has given me but I am excited to upgrade to a DSLR soon. Tons to learn on the photography front!

Forever 21 Dress
INC dress (Goodwill)

I have a friend visiting from Chicago and today we went to downtown Quincy, parked the car, and visited all the antique and thrift shops. Who knew there were that many goodies on one street? We also checked out the Homestyle Foods store ran by the Amish in Kellerville where you can buy a bag of flax seeds for $2.30. Tonight we celebrate Mr. Chaney's 10th birthday with hamburgers on the grill and a homemade chocolate cake. Life is good.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Re-claimed, Re-loved, Re-used Sundays

I had a couple of tag-alongs this past Friday. It is not often that I get Paytan and Kerrigan to take off with me on my treasure hunting but sometimes (when the moon is full and cats walk backwards) they accept my invitation. One of the downfalls of yard-saling on a Friday is that while there may be 30 listed, half of those will be in the morning and half will be in late afternoon. I may be a junkie but I am not waiting all day to hit a yard sale, so I have to choose. This particular Friday, I must have picked the wrong time frame because we didn't find much. I am completely okay with that though. Makes the (flashing neon lights) DEAL (flashing neon lights) all the better when you find it.

1. Half apron in the cutest red and white print.
2. Box of vintage Christmas Cards.
3. Vintage wrapping paper. Who will be the lucky recipient of this??

Now that I am finished at John Wood, I am going to make Mondays my flea market/Goodwill day. This could be good :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Birds of a feather......



Modcloth - Out of Stock :(



These two suits are obviously not bird themed but they are so darn cute, I couldn't resist including them!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Do I get an A for effort??

I recently came across an article titled “50 Things that you should Know How to Do”. I missed knowing all 50 by a narrow (it’s my story!) margin. Mine are highlighted in yellow. How about you? How many do you know how to do? 

      Build a fire – Can I use a match?
      Operate a computer 
    Use Google effectively Pretty good at this one since I use it in my field Every. Single. Day.
     Perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver – Once upon a time I knew how to do this but I never had it put into practice.
      Drive a stick shift
       Basic Cooking
    Tell a story that captivates people’s attention – Well, I sure hope so otherwise this whole writing fiction thing is pointless.
      Win or avoid a fistfight – Run.
       Deliver bad news – not so good at this. I either just blurt it out with no warning or avoid telling it altogether.
   Change a tire – I think I may be the only female in America who does not know how to do this. Go ahead - rub it in She-ra.
  Handle a job interview
   Manage time Pretty good at this one.
   Speed Read
  Remember names I use a mnemonic device. Holly has hairy hands.
   Travel light
   Handle the police – I am easily intimidated by a uniform, so this would be a no.
  Give driving directions – I am ashamed to admit that I do not know North, South, East, and West. So I can tell you forward, backward, left or right but beyond that…..
  Perform basic first aid
   Parallel Park – with minor fender damage, yes.
   Recognize personal alcohol limits - I have practiced this one.
   Select good produce
    Handle a hammer -I put up my own pictures people.
  Make a simple budget 
  Speak two common languages – does pig latin count?
   Do push-ups and sit-ups properly –  only if I can do the push-up on my knees.
  Give a compliment
  Negotiate – Does negotiate mean to try and get others to see things your way??
   Listen carefully to others – Working on this one.
 Recite basic geography – What is geography?
    Paint a room – Oh Lord no.
   Make a short, informative public speech
 Smile for the camera
   Flirt without looking ridiculous – HAHAHA! How you doin?
   Take useful notes - Queen of note-taking!
    Be a respectful house guest
   Make a good first impression
  Navigate with a map and compass – Map yes. Compass, see # 18.
   Sew a button
  Hook up a home theater system – Um. No.
   Protect personal identity – I don’t give out my SS # but I am sure there is more I could be doing.
  Implement basic computer security – I have a brother –in – law who does this for me.
   Detect a lie
  End a date politely – Date? What’s a date?
   Remove a stain -Yeah, cut it out.
  Keep a clean a house Once upon a time, I was good at this. Perhaps I shall be again.
  Hold a baby
  Jumpstart a car – “Jake, my car won’t start!! Come get me!!”

P.S. - It has been near impossible to get decent wardrobe pictures from Paytan and Kerrigan this past month so we will postpone (again!) until next week.  


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Link Love

Of course I love books for reading but I also adore book art. These two artists are so talented:

Russian Artist (Book installations):

Etsy shop – art prints over old book pages:

This Vintage ad still rings true :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Re-claimed, Re-loved, Re-used Sundays

Emerson and I took off Friday to hit some yard sales in Jacksonville. It was as hot as Hades out there. I think we averaged about 2 minutes per yard sale just so we could run back to the air conditioned car. One unadvertised sale held the motherload of old paper ephemera and 70s household dinnerware. In normal weather, I probably would have stayed at this sale digging through boxes for at least an hour but Miss Em had abandoned the toys after a couple of minutes and was sitting under a shade tree next to me. I knew that it was time to go if toys didn't hold her interest. Still, I managed to walk away with some awesome finds!

Here are a few things we found this weekend.

1. Old blue bottle with Emerson Drug Co. stamped on it. 
2. 3 bright porcelain coffee mugs (70s?)
3. Red snap closure purse in excellent condition.
4. Set of vintage toys - most are soft squeakies.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dress to impress

I love all manner of dresses. Here are a few I found on Etsy that I need want.

How cute would this be at a lake gathering?? 

I would feel so prim and proper in this.

Little Outdoor cocktail party dress.

Looks like a grocery shopping day. Never know who you may run into :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Living Fearlessly

I have been wanting to write about living a fearless life for some time but whether I hesitate because I don't know exactly what that means (there you go being fearful) or because I am not sure what I want to write, I don't know. And I don't care anymore. (Take that!) My newly adjusted way of thinking is to act on anything that I try to talk myself out of. Now, this doesn't mean that I am going to go jump off the Dosh bridge any time soon but I have definitely found that when I am nervous or scared to do something in life is when I reap the most rewards. I have wasted too much time already not following my whims and doing things just because I wanted to. I am still learning. I am still telling myself that it is okay to create, to be, to enjoy, without there having to be a tangible/financial/practical reason. So, here is a list of a few "fearless" things I want to do:

  1.  Wear a dress every single day for a month (or maybe a year)
  2.  Learn photography and post my pictures (even if they are sub par) on different social media
  3.  Write a book. 
  4.  Face rejection when trying to get said book published.
  5.  Travel alone.
  6.  Eat alone. I have a good friend who eats in restaurants by herself. This has always fascinated
     me and I think it takes confidence to do this. 

If you had asked me ten years ago if I was fearless, I would have told you Yes (for the most part).  It would not have been true. I acted with fear in a lot of ways....fear of failure, fear of what others thought, fear of rejection, fear of loss. I am not sure one can ever live completely fearless and I kind of wonder if that is even a good thing anyway. Fear has a role. I just don't want it to be a starring one in my life.

What is something that you want to do but may be scared to do it?

Happy "Almost" Weekend!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Black Licorice on Date Night

I am staring at a box of black licorice candy and I can feel the smile slowly starting to spread. It starts at the corners of my mouth and soon you can see my teeth because it has become so wide. By the time it is in full swing, my cheeks are aching and I can feel the bubble, the promise of a laugh building in my gut. Normally, while I love licorice candy, I do not have this kind of reaction to it. But this specific box of ‘Crows’ (as they are so fabulously named) recalls date night with my husband this past Saturday. We have been together for many years but just recently wed. As a bit of a refresher to our relationship, we decided that it would be nice to start date nights every month or so…..a little respite from the kids and hopefully a not so subtle reminder of why we chose each other to begin with.

This particular night started with a nice, quiet dinner. All of our date nights start quietly. It is as if we must acclimate to each other’s presence for a period of time before we can shed our other roles and become wife and husband, lover and friend, boy and girl again. Inevitably, we look around at other people, stare too long at the menu, make small talk about something we have already discussed before. And then, as sure as I know that I love this man, a shift happens. For me, it may be the way he holds his mouth or the still foreign glint of a ring on his finger and I am no longer sitting across from a person that I see every single day and make dinner for every night. Instead, I see him. I see the man I would choose over sleep when we were dating, staying up way too late just to be near one another. I see the man, the only person, who can make me laugh when I am at my worst.  I see the person I am walking through this life with and I cannot possibly be happier.

So, there are two points to my little tale. The first is that date night works. The second is black licorice rocks. Take away what you will.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Re-claimed, Re-loved, Re-used Sundays

I didn't find any "exceptional" deals this weekend. It was still a nice time though...not too hot and I had my lovely hubby for company. On Friday, we went to Jacksonville and hit some sales there. Saturday we headed over to a thrift shop that I pass every day on my way to work. This place never seems to be open so when I saw the sign stating 'Open Saturday 9-2', I knew I wanted to check it out. It is one of those places where there are piles of merchandise leaning haphazardly over the aisles. Dust and dirt are commonplace and you cannot shy away from digging through crap to unearth a great find. I LOVE it! I had Emerson with me and while Jake was supposed to go in order to help me with her, he quickly found the manly stuff and I lost him for a good half hour. I will have to re-visit this shop solo in the future :) 

Found at various Jacksonville yard sales.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Basil Overload

I have just recently started using herbs. I mean, sure I would add a tad of oregano or cinnamon when a recipe called for it, but if said recipe asked for thyme or curry.....I would just skip it. Surely it couldn't be that important, right? Yeah. I know. I wonder about myself sometimes too.

Now since I actually like my food to have a bit of flavor, I decided to plant some basil in my garden this year. I have learned two things. 1.) Basil is really easy to grow. 2) One basil plant is enough to feed three families.

I have more basil than I know what to do with. I started adding it to almost every recipe since I "thought" it would go unnoticed but after adding it to some meatloaf, Jake caught on. "Why does this taste like salad?", he asked. Salad? For the record, it DID NOT taste like salad but then again, I can count the number of times my man has eaten a salad on one hand. So, maybe to him it did. Anyway, I digress.

I have decided to just freeze some of this basil for future use. After reading a few tutorials online, I found it is super easy to do.

Step 1. Gather up some basil leaves. I have used around 20-25 leaves here.

Step 2. After rinsing them off, stack them into a pile. Using a large chef's knife, chop the basil finely.

Step 3. Place the basil in a bowl. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the herb and mix well.

 Step 4. Place the oil and herb mix into a freezer bag and spread out the herb so it will lay flat in the freezer.


Whenever you need some fresh basil, break off however much you will need and re-freeze the rest.

Easy Peasy!

P.S. - Please bear with me as I learn to take better blog pictures. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Front Porch Blues

My girls and I love to shop. I just don't like spending a lot of money when I do. I will choose a thrift store or Goodwill (GRRR....still upset on their new higher pricing) or TJ Maxx over a mall-store anyday. It is not just about getting a deal for me though. It is also about the massive amounts of waste and the ever increasing attitude to have more, more, more. In a sense, I am guilty of this just as much as the next guy. But if I must accumulate "stuff" the least I can do is re-use and re-love a piece that in most cases is near new.

I will always remember a piece I read a few years ago about a woman who loved a particular white oxford designer shirt. She would pay a premium price of $400.00 for this shirt. Once she wore it, she would discard it and buy a new one. She claimed that it was never the same after it was washed or dry-cleaned. Seems to me there could be a better way to drop $400.00....... but to each his own, I guess.


One of my weekly features will showcase some of our second-hand finds modeled by my daughters. It's a win-win situation for all....they get super cute clothes, I save some money, and we are helping in various ways by re-using a great piece of clothing. 

Dress - Hollister

Monday, July 8, 2013

Links of Awesomeness

Here are some cool things I found online:

End of the Road - a virtual visit to road ends around the world -- borders, shorelines, dead ends and overlooks using Google Maps. Pretty cool!

A book as object - A wonderful take on treasuring the physicality of books: Oh, the stories these old tomes tell!

Clothes Heaven -
A really cool store selling celebrity “second-hand” items. Still a bit too expensive for me but fun to look around.

Love vintage clothes? - This site has a HUGE selection categorized by decade and/or style.

This Plate!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Re-Claimed, Re-loved, Re-used Sundays

I have been working on an editorial calendar for the blog and while I am not sure about some of my wacky ideas, the following feature is one I knew I wanted to include from the get-go.

I love finding treasures and I thought it would be fun to highlight those extra special items I pick up, thus Re-claimed, Re-loved, Re-used Sundays is born! 

1. Cool Owl art made out of thread for my oldest daughter's room.
2. Vintage clown invites for my baby girl's future carnival birthday party.

3. Magnetic Poodle memory board.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Dress for July

   There was a time when women wore dresses everyday. I may revisit this.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Transitions Pt. 1

I have been on vacation from work the past two weeks. This has allowed me a bit of insight into what daily life may be like once my time is up at JW.

Suffice it to say, I have issues.

My husband is already second guessing his desire for me to stay home. I just don’t understand why he cannot line up his shoes properly in the closet and is it that much to ask for him to wipe down the shower when he is finished ;) 

Seriously though, this is reminiscent of how I used to be. I learned to let go once I started working because there was no way I could keep up with the house and a full time job and the kids. Now that my domestic diva is back in full force, I am a bit too anxious to start changing things up again. I didn’t realize that it was going to be such a cause of concern but after mopping the floors for the third time this week, my manly man took me aside and said, “We need to talk. You cannot do this. If you proceed, I will be forced to sleep in my kennel with the coon dogs.” I thought about it for a moment….I’m not gonna lie. 

So I have to scale back. This need to clean is a need to feel necessary. To have something that shows results of hard work and if I will not be filling this need in libraryland for a time, then I need another outlet. Housecleaning need not apply.  I am going to create a weekly agenda that puts other important things, like writing and spending time with my daughters at the forefront. And after some time, I am sure we will have a system that includes keeping the house orderly.  I find pleasure and peace in a tidy home so I do not want to exclude it. I just have to make sure that I don’t drive my family insane in my quest for tidiness.  

 I have three weeks left. I am starting to get nervous. After I have done all those projects that have set by the wayside , like organizing my pictures and painting the “office”, will I long for my job back? I need to remind myself that this is not permanent.  Everything is possible. Enjoy where I am at this moment.  This is where I am supposed to be.

 Have a great weekend!!