Friday, April 29, 2011

I (heart) Garage Saling!!!

This morning I had the privilege of going garage sale shopping with my sister at the annual Oaks of Shenandoah Sales!

I love garage sales!

They make my heart beat fast, my adrenaline pump, and my feet move fast!
When I see a "Garage Sale" sign, my first instinct is... run!
And run fast!

I have always loved garage sales!
Call me thrifty, call me frugal, call me a junker, who cares... call me whatever you like!
Truth is... I have been snagging deals for years at places like the Goodwill and garage sales and honestly... I am proud of it!

The majority of stuff I buy lately is for the store... aka... Louise's Basement. But sometimes I pick up a lil' somethin' somethin' just for me!

Check out what I scored today...

This little beauty is truly amazing!

I have already nick-named her Stella!
As in "How Stella Got Her Groove Back!" - because that is exactly what this girl is about to do! haha.

When I saw her sitting in a driveway I knew I had to have her!
Her upholstery is tight, her fabric is mostly clean, her color is perfectly vintage, and her back and legs are strong!
When her and I locked eyes... we knew we were kindred spirits!
 But besides Stella, I got this whole pile of stuff as well!
What you are seeing here is 2 chairs, 3 big frames, an end table, a cute little lamp, a couple of cork boards, some milk crate with glass jar/flower thing (which is for me!), a dance costume which we will use for dress up for Greta, a cute fish sign for Tuck's last and final bare wall, and oh yeah.... the game Taboo... for .10 cents people!!!
 Then in this pile is a very promising upright mirror, a shelf/cabinet thing, an old vintage fan, and 2 night stands!
What you don't see pictured is a dresser and kitchen table I have yet to go pick up! lol

Ahhhhh, nothing better than a successful and sunny day out at the garage sales!

Hope you all had a great week!
It's Friday everyone... woo hoo!

Chat later,


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kitchen Shelves!

Ok, so I only have a minute!
The babes are finally napping and I still have to make dinner and take a shower!
- it's 3:00 in the afternoon you say?! I know... shut it!
Any mother out there knows what I am talking about! Getting in a shower is hard when you are home with the babes and your hubby left early early for work!

Enough rambling... I have a post to share!
Or should I say.... New Kitchen Shelves to share!!!

Now to all of you that were at Tuck's Party you got to see the new shelves first hand... or maybe you didn't?! Maybe you just didn't notice them!
Any hoo... to you who have not been to my house yet... or don't plan on stopping by any time soon... here are my new kitchen shelves in all their barn lumber glory!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take a peak...
Just look at how gorgeous they are!!!
And really they were fairly easy to make! - well I didn't make them, Loren did. But I know he said they weren't too hard at all!
All he did was take pieces of barn lumber... good ole' Butler, Missouri barn lumber and nail them to that bottom cream board (the board you can hardly see) then he just drilled that board into the wall and painted it the exact same color as our bead board wall!
I have wanted this project done for just about a year now and we finally decided on what we liked, what we wanted, and what he had laying around! And the answer was this and all that barn lumber and scrap wood was just hanging out in the garage waiting to be put to good use!
And by painting that bottom board, the one that is flat against the wall, it looks like the shelves are floating! Which is what I wanted all along!
Once they were up I just started filling them with half practical things and half pretty things! :)
Numbers are pretty popular right now and this clearance plate from Target is one of my favs!
Also, those white ramekins get used multiple times a day! Great for dipping sauce or applesauce for the babes!
And that mason jar full of a cinnamon and sugar blend... a must have if your children devour toast like mine!
I have also been trying to lighten things up around our house!
Must be because spring is desperately knocking at our door and I thought if the weather isn't feeling warm and light then at least the dark colors could leave my house and I could soften things up with a bit more white/cream!
Now when I walk into our kitchen or stand at the stove making dinner I have something absolutely lovely to look at!
This is one of those projects that just makes me smile!

Do you have any recent projects that have you jumping for joy?!
Remember projects don't have to be big to make a big impact! Do something for yourself and your home that makes you smile!

Now speaking of making dinner... I better get a shower and get on that!

Chat later,


Oh and P.S. - if you do decided to tackle a project like this... always feel free to ask any and all kinds of questions if need be!
I want my projects to inspire projects of your own! :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuck's 2nd Birthday!

Well, my crazy busy weekend of house guests, a birthday, birthday party, and Easter are finally done.
I would have gotten on here to blog about it sooner... but no more than the day after my busy weekend came to an end... did I get sick with some 24 hour bug... and now Loren and Greta have it as well! - boo!

But it is true... over this past weekend Loren and I became the proud parents of a TWO year old little boy!
Our very own, Mr. Tucker Loren Appleberry, left the world of babies and one year olds and dove head first into the world of two year olds! - oh boy!

My babies birthday's are always such a bittersweet day for me!

But lucky enough... the day of Tuck's actual birthday was the day of his party!

So this past Saturday we had a rip roarin' time as we kicked off his party with a 1950's Soda Shop!

If you remember this post you will see the vision in which I wanted to take this party!

Below is actually what happened and came to life....
(I will warn you now... you are about to scroll into picture overload! - the best way to capture a party is with a slide show of pictures!)

 I was definitely inspired by the 1950's robin's egg blue and cherry apple red and so those were the colors that I wanted to feature and take through out the party. But mainly I wanted to capture the real feel of a soda shop!
 So here is the soda station!
Complete with grenadine and cherries to make your own flavored sodas!
 Our kitchen really started to take on that soda shop/diner feel with this great wall decal of old fashion bar stools! And above the bar stools is where I started to add personalization with a tribute board to Tuck! Twelve pictures that document Tuck from in the womb (the first was an ultrasound pic) to his most recent days!
 The decorating didn't just stop in the kitchen! The 50's feel went all through out the house. We had music notes and old cars all around, along with a super fun 1950's big hits CD playing in the background!
 Since this theme was originally designed to fit Tuck... the boy who loves to help me cook... I wanted to give him and all his little friends a real spot to play, cook, take orders, and have a Soda Shop of their own!
 So our porch was turned into the mini version of Tuck's Soda Shop! With a kitchen, cook station, and restaurant style tables to play at!
 Once the party got started and all the kids were decked out in their apron's and 50's cook hats... they set out and did their own made to order personal size pizzas!
 My boy in his element! Cookin', mixin, makin' it, and plain old lovin' it!
 While the kids pizza's were cookin' our soda shop cooks (Loren and his Dad, Loren) got to makin' the adult menu... burgers on the grill and homemade french fries!
 The only way to do burgers and fries is with lots and lots of fixin's! So our spread included things like lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle, jalapenos, chili, and cheese! And let me tell you... the chili and cheese on homemade fries was to die for!
 After dinner we moved onto presents! Tuck was so excited to open all of his gifts... along with the help of his big sister! - of course.
 After presents we shifted our soda station to the sundae station!
 Ice cream sundaes with any and all the toppings you could imagine!
 And who could have a party with out cake! So a batch of cake balls was made to go along with every one's sundae's!
 This little boy was lovin' every minute of his party and that big ole' sundae! - you can tell by the hot fudge drool! haha.
 And finally as everyone was leaving, we wanted to make sure they knew how much we appreciated them coming and sharing this wonderful and exciting day with us... so they all got suckers...
 and bags of popcorn for the road!
 And on the way out guests were able to sign our chalkboard wall with something special about Tuck! - just another way to mix theme with personalization!
 At the end of the day... we were one big happy family! - with a brand new TWO YEAR OLD!

From Loren and I, we just wanted to give a big shout out to his parents who were our pit crew!
They helped so much with the prep, set up, and food!
And also a big thanks to everyone who came out that day and helped us celebrate our baby turning two! You never sit in the labor and delivery room and wonder what your life, your baby, and his party will be like in two years... but I'd have to say... things are lookin' good and I am one blessed Momma!
We had so much FUN and hope you all did too!

So there ya' have it!
Those are all the details of the party!
I would say my brainstorming and theme paid off nicely!

This week I hope to blog a little bit more about Tuck and his path to becoming a two year old. And also share a little bit of our Easter pictures with you all!

Hope you're having a great week and dodging this bug that's going around!

Chat later,


Decoration List:
*Red & White Paper Straws, Paper Cook Hats, Popcorn Bags, and Red Cupcake Liners bought from Bake it
*Toddler Size Aprons, Red & White Bunting on soda station table, Red & White Ribbon for balloons, and Old Fashion Suckers bought from Oriental Trading
*Music Notes and all Wall Decals & Scene Setters, ie:cars, bar stools, etc. - bought from Party
*Burger Baskets, Red & Blue Cups, Red Vinyl Table Cloths, and Balloons all bought in store at Party City.
*Robin's Egg Blue Chalkboard, Popcorn Crate, "Make Your Own Soda" Frame, Sundae dishes, Malt Shop Cups, Glass Jars, and Apron all bought or sold by us at the lovely Louise's Basement!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Random Ramblings...

I have decided to launch a new title for random posts and I thought "Random Ramblings" fit quite nicely!

I have some other titles that I go to and use frequently, like "Recent Discoveries" or "Things That Make Me Happy" or "Greta Says" and they are a great way for me to document a certain style or grouping of things.

Now, if you are like me.... busy, frazzled, constantly thinking, always have something on your mind, appointments to attend, events to throw, constantly overloaded by inspirational ideas, projects and crafts you either have to or just want to get to, and sick kids....... then you know how my brain can feel at times.... totally and completely over loaded with random!

At times, or actually most times, I have a billion and one things, events, or ideas running through my head. Sometimes it's a good thing, other times it is a sickness.
I have a terrible time falling asleep (which is why I probably stay up to 1 am every night doing things) and I have a terrible time at shutting off my brain!

Does anyone have this sickness or is it just me?!?!

So for the sake of getting some stuff off my chest, head, whatever... here are thee completely random things that are rambling through my brain as we speak...

1. I love this new site... Pinterest! 
It's like a site that is your own pin board where you can store all the ideas and things you are interested in!
I found it to be quite like window shopping!
You just get to look and look and look at all these other boards that other people have posted! - all full of things they are interested in or at least have peeked their interest. Then you get to "pin" things to your board and come back to all the fun ideas and inspiration you found! It is a super fun site. I can see how I could get addicted fast!!! - or maybe I already am! - crap!

2. I got my hair cut last night by a completely random person and a salon I had never been to before.
It was kinda scary at the time but I actually like the hair cut! Now I don't have to look like "that" washed up, drippy mom, at Tuck's Birthday Party this Saturday!

3. Speaking of that... I need to dye my hair and go tanning! - oh the stupid things us girls do to make us feel better about ourselves! It's really about confidence right?! - and I am pretty sure I would feel much more confident about life with a fresh bottle of dye slopped in my hair!

4. I still have all of the grocery shopping to do for Tuck's party but I have a good grip on the decorating and other stuff! It is coming together so nicely! I am loving the 1950's Soda Shop Theme... it has been so much fun to work with!!! - I'll post pics next week after the party.... don't worry!

5. I just changed up my living room decor a bit!
Do any of you ever feel like you are locked in to what you have in that very space at that very moment?! And if you ever wanted to do any kind of change whether big or small... you'd have to move and start completely over?!

Well I feel like that all the time!

I do such cute stuff to sell at Louise's Basement but feel like half the stuff I do I love, but it wouldn't "fit" into my house!
Well over the last 2 days I have been trying my best to switch it up at our house.
I grabbed an empty box and went around my living room and pulled out every bit of red I had in there! Except for the plaid chair and sofa table... those are red and staying that way.
Anyways... I pulled out all the red and actually it really helped me feel like I had a cleaner pallet to work with! Once the red was out I started bringing in some lighter springer things and colors... like blue and whites and such!
I really just shopped the house for stuff I had and made something work!
I don't know if I am in love with the "new look" of our living room but it definitely looks a tad lighter and brighter then when all that red was in there!


Ok, so I think that's enough for today!
Wow, a little rambling sometimes really makes you feel better!

Sorry this post was random, kinda long, had no pictures, and was full of rambles... but you know what... so be it! It said it in the title so I guess you should or could have expected this! haha.

Well thanks for listening to my rambles!

Hope you all are having a great week!

Now if you'll excuse me... I have a house to clean, in laws getting into town, and a killer birthday party to throw! - oh my gosh... and wonderful Easter to celebrate!
Will my son ever get to have his party on a non busy, national holiday weekend?!

Ok, I better not start... I said enough rambling!

Chat later,


Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups

So I randomly concocted and made these last week for the "Thursday Night Gang."

I love my Mom's recipe for Chicken Lasagna but in all honesty it takes quite a bit of effort to do all the different layers and it is not cheap considering the 4 or 5 different cheeses the recipe calls for.

While craving that recipe I shopped my frig and pantry to come up with a very similar, bit easier, and cheaper version!

I am not one to really follow a recipe and since I kind of made this one up I was just wingin' it!
But for the sake of them being so good and the girls wanting to know how to make them anyways... I figured it was a recipe worth sharing!

So if you don't mind wingin' it, here is a rough recipe for
Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups...

First I took about 4 frozen chicken breast and threw them in a pot of boiling water.
Once the chicken was done I pulled them out of the water and diced them up on my cutting board.
You don't want big chunks but you don't want the chicken shredded either.

After chopping up the chicken I grabbed a bag of frozen spinach.
- I do not use the typical kind of frozen spinach. I just always buy a fresh bag of flat leaf spinach to add to our family's meals or salads. By the end of the week when the spinach is about to go bad, I just throw it in a Ziploc bag and freeze the remaining spinach. That way I have frozen spinach on hand to cook with the following week! (true frozen spinach just tastes dirty to me!)

Dice up the frozen spinach ( I used about half a bag... maybe 3 or 4 cups) and add it to the bowl of chopped chicken.
Then throw in a whole container of ricotta cheese. This makes the chicken/spinach mixture turn into a paste... which is exactly what you want!

Once you have mixed your three ingredients together (chicken/spinach/ricotta cheese) - then add about two handful of mozzarella or Italian style cheese, about a half cup of Parmesan cheese (all I had on hand was the stuff in the shaker!) and salt and pepper to taste. Oh... and lots of garlic powder!!!

Your mixture will then look like this...
Next, Boil/Cook up a box of lasagna noodles. (actually, you should probably have the noodles boiling while you are making the chicken mixture.)

Once the noodles are done, start laying some out length wise on your cutting board. (you want to make sure you use the best ones. The ones that are completely in tact with no rips... so be careful or they won't roll up.)
Then just take a handful or so of the chicken mixture and start spreading it down the noodle. I did this whole step by hand... way easier.
Like this...

Then roll those babies up!
As you are rolling if the mixture starts coming out the sides just start smushing or tucking it back in as you roll! You will quickly get a feel for how much mixture is too much. Just adjust according to what works for you.
Once they are rolled just start placing them in a sprayed baking dish.

 My mixture made exactly one dozen lasagna roll ups!
Then just take one jar of Alfredo sauce and pour the whole thing over the roll ups. To thin the sauce so it didn't get so pasty while baking, I added half of a small container of heavy whipping cream and poured that right over the top of them as well. (see the pan in back)
And that was it!
I covered the whole thing with tin foil and baked it at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes pull it out of the oven, uncover, and sprinkle with the remaining bag of Italian style shredded cheese. Put it back in the oven and bake for a remaining 15 minutes till the cheese is melted and bubbly!

And in typical fashion... I forgot to take a picture of them once they came out of the oven!
With in minutes they were plated and served up to our hungry Thursday night crowd with a Caesar salad and garlic bread!

They were completely random, completely thrown together, but completely delicious!!!

Next time you are lookin' for a quick but fancy lookin' meal... give this one a try!
The ingredients are nothing fussy and the recipe itself is pretty simple!
I realized I hadn't posted a good recipe in awhile so I thought this one seemed fit!

As usual... hope you had a great weekend and let me know if you end up giving this one a try!

Happy Monday!

Chat later,


Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants!

In a post I did earlier this week I made reference of our trip to Build A Bear and the bear Ms. Greta designed.
... and boy is this bear unique!!!

If you are familiar with build a bear then you know that when you first walk in you get your choice of about 20 different bears.
And actually there are not just bears!
You can choose from dogs, cats, bunnies, and just about any kind or color of bear you can imagine!

As we started to look it was clear that Greta has quite the eye for style and flair!
She immediately was drawn to any and all bears/animals that were in color! - I mean who wants a super cute boring brown or tan old fashion looking bear?!
But even the blue bear, purple sparkly bear, and the pink bunny with daisies didn't hold a candle to the bear that she saw way down at the end of the line.

That's right... this bear... Greta's bear... couldn't just be a solid color, she wanted thee most colorful bear in the store!
And that is when we landed on this baby...

The ultra colorful blue peace sign bear!!!

Like a good mother I reminded Greta of her others options... but in Greta fashion she wanted nothing to do with those other bears. She had made up her mind! This colorful bear had grabbed her attention and that was that.

After we picked out the bear then it was time to dress her!

I thought this was going to be fun!
Even if I couldn't persuade Greta into getting a cute, old fashion, looking teddy bear I was sure we could find an outfit that would make this colorful bear work!

I of course had my eye on a gorgeous solid pink dress that would compliment and calm down all the colors on Greta's bear... but Greta had different plans!
She had her eye on this gorgeous yellow dress!

And I guess, how could you not want to pair your blue peace sign bear with a yellow Beauty and the Beast dress?! hahaha.

After lots of laughs, a couple of "oh my" moments, multiple options shown and even a Buzz Lightyear outfit in the running... this was the bear and outfit we had landed on.

And you know what... Greta absolutely ADORES this bear!

While we were in the store I found myself saying... "What am I thinking?!"
"Who am I to tell my little girl what bear she can and can not choose!"

Just because I don't think the colorful and tacky peace sign bear goes with the Beauty and the Beast dress doesn't mean Greta didn't like it!
And after all... it was her day... her bear... and her choice!

She obviously saw something that I did not.
And that is when this thought kicked in...
"The heart wants what the heart wants" - right?!

And honestly, I can't help but laugh and smile every time I see this bear around our house!
This bear represents Greta to a T!
My Greta would not be Greta if she didn't pick out a bear that looked just like this!

So let this be a lesson to me;

Let your daughter be her own person. A person who follows her heart and likes what she wants to like!
As long as it is not hurting should not hurt me. Greta is going to make choices that I don't agree with, but as long as she follows her heart and does what makes her happy everything else I have taught her should fall into place!

"The heart wants what the heart wants!"

I guess that saying rings true in so many aspects of life!

How about your babes... have they made any choices that have left you shaking your head and laughing?!
Chat later,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Sale Up At "The Basement!"

So, I left out on yesterdays post that over the weekend we made our delivery for the April Sale at Louise's Basement!

We have been working like little spring elves painting, spray painting, and distressing ourselves silly!

Really the best way to show off our delivery is through pictures... lots and lots of pictures!

Check out all our goodies!

Lots of gorgeous spring colors! Notice the theme of blues, greens, and all things spring?!

 We have tons of great signs this month! - This is one of my favorites!
And we still have some of these beautiful pieces of furniture...

And last but not least we have a ton of our popular Mason Jar Soap Pumps!
And the best part is.... They are on SALE for the month of April!
Head on up to Louise's Basement and you can grab one of these babies for just $8.00 instead of $10.00
Seriously, such a great deal... and they make GREAT gifts!

We have some other fun things not pictured and all the other girls brought some great stuff as well!

So, make a nice little weekend drive out of it...
and come on up to Louise's Basement to check us out!

You can head over to the Louise's Basement Blog to grab times, directions, and see more photos!

Hope to see you this weekend!

Chat later,


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