Friday, August 31, 2012

Fabulous Friday - First Impressions, Does Your Home Say Welcome?

Photo via little blue deer
By Patricia

I just love this picture. To me, it says welcome into my busy, full, and happy home.
I think those are the best kind of homes, where families are busy, friends drop by, the wonderful aroma of dinner on the stove. Life isn't always as wonderful as this of course, but we can try, we can make the effort to bring happiness into our homes no matter what the circumstances.

Does your home welcome in your friends and family at the front door? With fall coming on next month, maybe now is a good time to get your entry way in order. Clear out the clutter, put up a wreath, organize, do whatever it is you need to do so that your home says "Welcome". After all, there's no place like home.

Here's a few things from around the web this week, and I hope you all have a Fabulous Friday!!

Are you going to Bumbershoot this weekend? It is Seattle's biggest music festival, and you are sure to have a great time!!

Owls seem to be everywhere these days. Even on a butter dish from West Elm for only $5.99.
So cute on your table!!

A simple, good old fashioned recipe for apple pie. Make this easy and delicious pie with all those Fall apples that you will have.

Go see this sweet little bird necklace on Etsy. It would make the perfect gift for any occasion.

Subscribe to this magazine that has been read and loved for generations. Take advantage of the great deal being offered for a year's worth of issues for only $5.99!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Preparing After School Snacks

Photo from Food Network

~ By Samantha ~

Back to school is just around the corner for us, next week to be exact. This year is my first official "Back to School", my oldest starts Kindergarten in a few days! Yikes time flies! With JJ in Kindergarten I know he will be busy running around all day and when he gets home will be hungry and begging me for a snack. I want to be able to provide him with some great after school snacks to hold him over til dinner. I am always looking for yummy and mostly healthy snacks for the boys and I just love the Food Network. My husband and I are always on the Food Network looking for a great new recipe to try. I found 50 Quick After School Snacks on the site and can't wait to try some of the recipes. They are easy, quick and some are even healthy! Like these Apple Moons. Seriously easy, no baking or cooking, healthy and I know the boys will love them. Super quick and easy, that is right up my alley! If your children are already back to school or about to be do you have any quick and easy snack ideas for me? I would love to hear some!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Donating Old Books To Make A Difference

By Patricia

I have been sorting through the mountains of books I have. I have books stacked all over the place, in boxes, and on my nightstand, and even in my car.
As much as I love all of my books, it is time to pass some of  them on. How many times can I read Amy Tan, Anne Lamott, and Alice Adams.? A lot, it turns out. But I know these books can be put to a better use than just sitting around the house.
Did you know you can donate books to your local library? Many libraries hold book sales or have a for sale rack of used books. This helps to raise money for libraries that often suffer from budget cuts. I believe libraries are an important and vital part of any community. Do you visit yours, do you take your children to participate in the many programs your library may offer?
I hope you do. And I also hope you will consider taking your own books to donate there.
Every book helps.

Monday, August 27, 2012

FALLing for the trends this season

Pictures from Fashionista Trends

~ By Samantha ~

As the weather is starting to change here in Washington we are starting to think about Fall and all of the clothing trends that come with the season change. I love fall because you can mix and match your summer clothes with the new fall and winter trends, a perfect combo if you ask me. All of these Fall combinations are outfits I would wear in a heart beat! My favorite "transitional" outfit is the RED combination in the last picture I listed. A simple white shirt,  jeans with red accents throughout. This has ME written all over it!

Friday, August 24, 2012

$100 Amazon Gift Card Facebook Blast Giveaway ends 8/30

Welcome to another Amazon blast with Makobi Scribe. Today's Giveaway is, you guessed it, a $100 Amazon card!  Good Luck!!

Giveaway runs from Aug 23 to Aug 30 11:59 pm EST 

Loading Entry-Form...

Makobi Scribe and My Vinyl Direct are bringing you this Amazon Facebook blast. The winner will receive an Amazon gift card for $100. The giveaway is open WW

Fabulous Friday - The Passionate Shopper

By Patricia

I used to have a terrible shopping addiction. I blame my Mother.
I know everyone blames their Mom for everything, but in this case it's really true. My mother was a hoarder, but not of trash and junk. She loved new stuff, and she shopped and bought things with a passion. If I needed a new toaster, she would tell me to pick one out from the three brand new ones in the bedroom. Needless to say, this was kind of a problem for her, and it turned out to be a problem for me as well.
I love to shop, my daughters love to shop, and I'm pretty sure my granddaughter will love to shop, too.
We jokingly say we can't help it, it's in our genes.
But since I am on my own now, I've had to say goodbye to Ralph (as in Lauren), and say hello to Will. As in Goodwill. Yeah, it's been rough... But my life is what it is, and I have learned to be a different kind of shopper. A thrift shop shopper, and the truth is, I am loving it!!
My daughters have joined me in this adventure, and the thrill of the hunt is exciting and addicting in it's own way. And I am proud of myself that I didn't fall apart at having to change my lifestyle so dramatically.
The white vase in the picture above is from Goodwill. I love it's classic simplicity, and in the old days I would have bought one similar to it from Pottery Barn. I am perfectly happy with this pretty vase. And it wasn't even $2.99 like the sticker says. That's because it was Blue Sticker Day and all blue sticker items were only $1.29!!
What's that old saying, when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade? Well, I have been making lemonade, and it's beginning to taste pretty sweet!

So here's hoping all you readers out there have a Fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend. And here is a few things I've found from around the web.

Love these colorful Fall Flats for only $16.99. Cute!!

Bumbershoot 2012 is going to be AWESOME!

Love The Barefoot Contessa? Here is Ina Garten's new book that is coming out this fall.

Oh Happy Day is one of my favorite blogs, filled with so much creativity and beauty.

This Etsy Shop has the most darling cases for your iphone!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Making A Delicious Back To School Snack With Del Monte Fruit Cups #SmartSnack #CBias

For as long as I can remember, the real start of the new year was never on January 1st. For me, it's always been the first day of school. A new school year was always a fresh beginning. Those crisp, clear fall days had all the promise of new and exciting things to come.

Whether it was me going to school, or my own five children, the first day of school was always exciting. My kids are all grown up now, but the back to school excitement and fun are not over for me. In fact, it begins all over again because one of my three young grandsons is now starting Kindergarten!!

I have gone shopping with him and his Mom for new shoes and clothes, a new backpack, and lots of school supplies. He is excited about starting school and so am I. I know that when little boys get home from school, they are always hungry. I wanted to make my grandson an extra special and healthy snack using Del Monte Fruit Cups. Yogurt, granola, whipped cream and Cherry Mixed Fruit Cups were all I needed to make this yummy fruit and yogurt parfait. And it was super easy!

I went to Walmart to buy Del Monte fruit cups. We've eaten Del Monte fruit for many, many years and now all my grandchildren love the fruit cups.

Diced peaches, diced pears, mixed fruit and more are all available as easy back to school, healthy lunch or snack options. The fruit cups are great as they are, but you can really get creative by using them with other ingredients. I know some Moms who even bake with them, and make delicious muffins and desserts for their families.

I wanted to make a yummy back to school, special snack for my grandson that he would really like. I decided on a fruit and yogurt parfait because he likes all of the ingredients, and it was very easy to do.
The Cherry Mixed fruit variety would be great in this. I know he loves the cherries, and there are a lot of them in this kind of Del Monte fruit cup.

I assembled the ingredients I needed to make my snack. You can use any variety of fruit cups and yogurt combination to make this. We love vanilla flavored yogurt and I think it goes well with any kind of fruit cup.
You can also eliminate the whipped cream but I always think it is fun and festive to use it. #SmartSnack

It is so easy to make these fruit and yogurt parfaits. You only need Del Monte fruit cups, yogurt, granola, and whipped cream. There are lots of kinds of granola to pick from, and it adds such a healthy and delicious crunch.

Here I have just layered each ingredient, fruit, granola, yogurt, and fruit again. Super simple!

Just keep layering the ingredients until your cup or dish is filled. Top off with whipped cream and a few cherries. I think I will make smaller ones next time for the boys. This is sure one big yummy snack!!

I would say my grandson likes it! And I like giving him a healthy and delicious snack made with Del Monte fruit cups. For back to school, or anytime, Del Monte fruit cups are great to have on hand.

What kind of creative back to school snacks can you make using Del Monte fruit cups? I would love to hear your ideas!    

You can read my Google+ Story about my shopping trip to Walmart for Del Monte.

You can connect with Del Monte on Twitter and Facebook  for great recipes and contests.

*I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Del Monte #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

  • Shirt - Goodwill - 99 cents
  •  Pants - Forever 21 - $17
  • Shoes - Payless - $20
  •  Coach Purse - Gifted
  • Bracelets - Boutique - $2 each
  • Necklace - Fuego - $8.99
  • Earrings - Forever 21 - $4.99

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On My Want List, Paris in Color

By Patricia

I know it may be a cliche, but I have always wanted to visit Paris. With the help of the internet and Pinterest, images of beautiful Paris are easily found.
And it stirs up my desire to go there all over again. When you are young and have a family, one doesn't run off to Paris. And when you are older, and life turns unexpectedly, the chance is still not available.
But I never say never anymore, so who knows, right? I could go to Paris!!

Meanwhile, I have discovered this lovely book called Paris in Color. The author is the blogger Little Brown Pen, and she writes about her life there. Hop on over to her blog for a sweet dose of inspiration and beauty. This book is the very next book on my list to buy and I can hardly wait.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Celebrating my 33rd Birthday

The morning started out with lovely bouquet of flowers from my husband!

Homemade cake made by my wonderful husband with homemade CREAM CHEESE frosting. Yum!

Love the pink and yellow colors! Again made by my wonderful husband, he sure can cook :) What a man!

Here I am with my cake and beautiful flowers. I cannot believe I am now 33 years old, WOW! This is going to be the best year yet, I know it! What a great day with friends and family. Thanks to everyone who came over to celebrate my birthday with me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

DIY Silver Platter Chalkboard

Recently I tried using chalkboard paint for the first time and I found it very easy and creative. I have seen many DIY projects using chalkboard paint on walls and wood surfaces but I wanted to try something new. Without really knowing what I was looking for I headed to the nearest goodwill to either find a wooden box of some sort or just a flat surface to experiment on. As I was walking down one of the aisles this fabulous silver platter caught my eye and I knew just what to do with it. So I purchased this bargain for only $3.00 and started my project!

Here is all you need for a DIY silver platter chalkboard:

  • Silver platter of your choice
  • 1 container of chalkboard paint (a little goes a long way)
  • Paintbrushes, Tape
  • 1 can white spray paint
The first step is to tape off the edges so you don't accidentally spray the sides so you have a nice clean silver border.

After you tape the edges your can begin spray painting the middle so your chalkboard paint will bond to the metal. I did two light coats and then let it dry for about 20 minutes.

After your spray paint dries you can peel the tape off slowly and you'll have a nice clean edge.

I took the tape off before I did the chalkboard paint layer because I wanted to be sure to cover all the white by slowly hand painting it but you can do it either way. After the spray paint has dried your ready to apply the chalkboard paint! I would recommend doing about three layers to make sure there's a nice thick coat on there. 

And viola! You're now the proud owner of a chalkboard silver platter! The directions say to wait a full 24 hours to write on the board so the paint can set. So the next day i wrote a note to myself and put it in my kitchen!
This project is simple and very affordable. Overall I spent around 10 dollars on everything and had a great time being creative and enjoyed making my own chalkboard that is really helpful in my busy life!

-Posted by Megan

Happy Birthday!

Photo by Designer Cakes By April

Happy Birthday to Samantha! We all love you so much. You are an anchor to our family, you keep us all together and we love you!! We hope you have a wonderful day celebrating you. Remember its your day and to enjoy yourself. Thank you for all you do for everyone you love in our big family.
LOVE YOU! love, Patricia and Laura (

Happy Birthday Samantha!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fabulous Friday

~ By Patricia ~

Do you ever visit your local art museum? A lot people only think of them as holding stuffy art collections that only appeal to a certain crowd. This is definitely not true when it comes to our local Seattle Art Museum.

Seattle is a city with many, many wonderful places to visit and enjoy. It's art museum is no exception. Besides housing permanent and visiting exhibitions, it offers classes, movies, children's activities and more. In other words, the Seattle Art Museum is user friendly.
We are also blessed to have the Olympic Sculpture Park right on the water near downtown Seattle. This park is filled with giant art sculptures that are completely unique. On each Saturday through the end of August, there are art classes for kids, Zumba dance lessons, yoga classes, live music and more. All sponsored by the Seattle Art Museum. And on the first Thursday of every month, the museum offers free admittance to all!!

The point is, your local art museum could very well offer some great things to do for you and your family. Check it out, you might be very surprised to see everything that is available.
Hope you all have a Fabulous Friday!!
Here are some wonderful things from around the web this week. Enjoy!!!

Can you help out teachers and kids with needed Back To School supplies? Be a part of Elmer's BAG IT FORWARD right here.

An adorable girls backpack for only $14.99!

Love Pinterest? Check out this book on how to market your company or blog using it.

I want this fabulous cookie jar from West Elm.

Here is the Barefoot Contessa's (Ina Garten) recipe for the perfect roast chicken.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We LOVE Magazines!!!

By Patricia

Ever since I discovered the back to school issues of Seventeen and Glamour magazines when I was in 8th grade, I have loved magazines.
Decorating, parenting, lifestyle magazines, and more have been guides for me throughout my life. I have gotten many, many hours of pleasure from reading magazines, to say nothing of the fabulous pictures in them. And while there are some pretty fabulous online magazines that I like, nothing will ever take the place of a great magazine that you can hold in your hands and read with such pleasure.
My daughter Samantha said the other day that she likes her Kindle very much for reading her books, but will never give up buying and reading magazines. She said online magazines will never replace the real thing for her, and I completely agree.
I have seen in the last couple of years some of my favorites fold. This makes me genuinely sad, and of course worried about the future of the publishing of magazines. I love magazines and wonder if you do, too.
What is your favorite magazine?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

  • Dress - Target - $24.99
  • Scarf -  Value Village - $7
  • Watch - J3LL -Borrowed
  •  Purse/Basket - Medina - Borrowed
  • Sunglasses - Forever 21 - $5
  • Earrings -  Boutique - $30

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hot Pockets Make A Great After School Or Anytime Snack #CBias

With school right around the corner for two of my grandsons, I thought it was a good idea to start having some after school snacks on hand. My five year old grandson is about to start kindergarten and my two year old grandson is starting preschool. I know these little guys love to eat and going to school is sure to work up an appetite on them.

I headed to my local Walmart to pick up some back to school snacks for the special days that I take care of my grandchildren after school. The boys love Hot Pockets, and I really love how good they are and easy to fix. In fact, everyone in the family eats them and the Pizza kind is the family favorite. I think I'll buy some different varieties also this time because Hot Pocket come in so many choices.

I decided to stock up on Hot Pockets while I'm here at Walmart, but who knows how long theses will last! Hot pockets really are great snack ideas, and I love how they contain 8 essential vitamins and minerals and zero trans fats. I am buying a good selection today because not only are they a great after school snack, but are so handy for an anytime, on the go snack as well.

I got together with my daughter and her family and of course my grandsons asked for a snack! These guys love to eat and I love to feed them. So with all those Hot Pockets in the freezer, I knew it was going to be an easy choice. They do appeal to kids and parents because they taste great and are so easy to fix.

My son-in-law takes them to work and heats them up in the microwave for lunch sometimes. We love the BBQ Beef variety, and the Chili Cheese kind is something we've never tried before

Good thing I bought a lot of Hot Pockets so that I will have some left over for our after school snacks.

It was such a beautiful day that we went out on the deck to enjoy our Hot Pockets. I made three different kinds and I bet we will like them all! Lemonade and a little salad made our snack even more fun, though my grandsons don't eat much salad. #HotPocketSnacks
Summer will be winding down soon and the boys will be very busy with kindergarten and preschool.

My grandson loves his Pizza Hot Pocket, and even tried the BBQ Beef variety. This is big for him because he thinks he will only like the pizza kind. I told him I had more Hot Pockets to eat on our special days after school for him and his brother. He was pretty happy about that!

I do like how easy Hot Pockets are to fix, and this can be a big time saver for busy moms on the go.

We are so excited about this little guy starting preschool. He loves eating and loves his snacks. He had two helpings of Hot Pockets and then asked for more. He loved the Chili Cheese kind!

This picture goes to prove adults love Hot Pockets too. My daughter is trying the BBQ Beef flavor and she said it was great. We had a nice afternoon and enjoyed the kids playing on the deck.

Hot Pockets come in dozens of varieties and can be part of an easy to fix breakfast, lunch or dinner, or anytime snack. So if you are sitting at the table or eating on the run, remember that Hot Pockets are an easy and delicious snack.They can be found in the frozen foods section of Walmart and other retailers.

Back to school is coming soon and it looks like I better go back to the store for more Hot Pockets!

You can see my shopping experience at Walmart shopping for Hot Pockets and School Supplies by reading my Google+ story.

*I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Nestle #CBias #SocialFabric All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Be Bold with Color

Photo via Ada and Darcy
Do you love color? I have always been very uncertain of how to decorate with color. How do you incorporate your favorite colors without making them be overpowering or clashing?

Orange with turquoise and pink? I would never put these colors together, but I love them here. I recently bought some cans of colorful spray paint and painted a few things from around the house and a yard sale. I think I love them and I'll share them here soon. I am determined to bring more color into my life.
How about you?

By Patricia

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fabulous Friday - Stirring It Up In the Kitchen

photo via Eddie Ross
Are you ever bored in the kitchen? Do you make the same meals, the same dinners, the same way?
After cooking for a family for 35 years, you can bet I  ran out of ideas!!
Now that my children are grown and I am no longer married, there is a lovely freedom in all this. But sometimes it does feel good to get creative in the kitchen. To do something different. Especially with all the inspiration from blogs and Pinterest. So I am vowing to put my creative efforts in to cooking up something yummy and sharing it here. We'll see what I come up with!!

Here's to a Fabulous Friday, and a weekly round-up of great things from around the web.

The best ever chocolate chip recipe!

Tour this cozy vintage Seattle home.

Chocolate truffles you'll go mad for!

Don't forget to check out Goodwill online for sale days, coupons and more.

Ever heard of Father Rabbit?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Alki Beach

~ By Samantha ~

If you are lucky enough to live in the Seattle area or are here for a visit you should definitely check out Alki Beach in West Seattle. It is beautiful beach with beautiful views and plenty to do. You see people rollerblading, bicycling, playing volleyball, sun bathing and more. There is shopping and plenty of restaurants up and down the main strip. 

The beach is gorgeous and there is a beautiful view of the Seattle Space Needle , of all the ferries , and the Argosy Cruises passing through. My little brother lives right down the street from Alki with his new puppy that we are all dying to see! So before the summer is over we are hoping to make it to West Seattle and hit up the beach a few more times. Seriously check out the area, you will not be disappointed!

*I do advise you to get there early for the day, parking fills up fast!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

  • Shirt - Value Village - $3
  • Levi Jeans - Goodwill - $10
  • Shoes - Gifted
  • Purse - Value Village - $5
  • Bracelet - Boutique Find - $2
  • Earrings - Cost Plus World Market - $10

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reality Decoring

Photo credit SF Girl by the Bay
~ By Patricia ~

I am not a decorator. But in my mind I am quite fabulous at it. I prefer shopping for the home over shopping for clothes and shoes. I love the thrill of the hunt at a flea market or thrift shop in hopes of finding that perfect little treasure for my home. I love the things I have gathered through the years that have special meaning.
I also love the junkie little things that I find at a yard sale.

I love looking at pictures of beautiful rooms, but those rooms are pretty much not going to be something I can duplicate. So I've started searching for inspiration that is more realistic for me, and maybe you too.
These pictures are helping me to get my decorating ideas together.

Photo credit Sacramento Street

Photo credit SF Girl by the Bay

Photo credit Sacramento Street

Photo credit Mod Vintage Life

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend in Pictures

Heart shaped sandwiches and yummy strawberries :)

Bubble blowing by Liam

Cute baby fresh out of the swimming pool and blue crayon on the wall (can you see it).

 A broken Kindle. Can you see it in the lower right hand corner? I accidentally stepped on my "old school" kindle over the weekend and having been crying about it since. Bummer.

Our weekend was spent eating, blowing bubbles, the children swimming in the "kiddie" pool and stepping on a Kindle. What a great weekend, if you don't count the cracked kindle.