Global Discovery Vacations

    Returning from vacation can be stressful. Re-entry into the regular routine slow for me. I keep dreaming of the beautiful beach we saw in Gulf Shores, Alabama. It was our first trip there, it definitely won’t be our last. We stayed at the Plantation Resort, part of Global Discovery Vacations. I call it a travel club. The way it works is you pay a one time fee up front to join, then a small yearly fee. We get two weeks a year at any resort they are affiliated with, anywhere in the world for $189.00 per week for a one bedroom suite with kitchen, living room, laundry, etc. You can upgrade to a 2 or 3 bedroom if you choose, but different rates do apply. It has been well worth it to us. We have taken several vacations in the last two years and they have been great. The facilities are clean, quiet, attractive and very serviceable. I keep forgetting to take pictures of the inside of them, my mind is always on the view. I actually felt sorry for the folks back home in the subzero temperatures. It wasn’t that warm while we were in the Gulf area, but even a cold day at the beach is warmer than a subzero day back home. Eye candy for the soul. The resort had several pools both indoors and out. We pretty much had the entire place to ourselves. There were a few other midwesterner’s around during the off season, but not many. The off season is Jan-Feb. Peak…
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Introducing our Ragdoll Cat: Pixel

Our new Ragdoll kitty has finally come out of hiding. We got her just several weeks ago, but she apparently was a stray and had never been around people. It has taken a lot of coaxing for her to get used to us. We named our kitty Pixel. She is a dilute Bi-color Ragdoll Calico. Apparently the Rag Doll breed is known for it’s loyal, outgoing personality and is generally friendly and cuddly. We will patiently wait while she overcomes her shyness to fulfill her Ragdoll destiny. Did you know that all calicos are female? My son informed me of this tidbit. Where he picks these things up, I will never know. At first, she would just come out in the evenings, and would sit on our lap while we watched TV, but would disappear completely during the daytime. Recently, she has decided that we are okay. She’s been slowly coming into the kitchen or living room, even during the day, but will run and hide the minute she hears any sort of noise. Yesterday, we got snow and she spent the afternoon with me on the couch, staring out the window at the snowflakes. I did have to coax her to stay put with a few little kitty treats, but she spent the majority of the day out of her usual hiding spot. We are making progress, but it is slow. Bribery is my specialty. What feline animal can resist tasty fishy treats? Ragdolls were given their name because they tend to go “limp as a rag doll” when…
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Teal Thanksgiving Decor

    It is snowing here today.  Can’t believe it! We haven’t had a major snow before Thanksgiving in many years. I spent my day dreaming of Teal Thanksgiving Decor by the light of the fireplace. I was thrilled to find the teal accessories I had been dreaming of in the stores this week. Sometimes it’s hard to find the stuff of your dreams, you know? Perhaps it’s just me. I started with these beautiful hurricane candle holders from World Market. They were a bargain at $4.99. I filled them with little pinecones and wooden circles from the craft store. I spotted the teal napkins at World Market as well. I bought a big stack of them for the holiday buffet table. You can never have too many napkins at our house. I love the colored napkins with my white dishes. It’s the only set of dishes we own. They are old and chipped, but I love them anyway. White goes with everything in my book. The cups and saucers are a thrift store find, they don’t match a thing and I like them that way.  I came across the same color teal fabric that matched the napkins at JoAnn Fabrics. I didn’t see a matching teal table cloth in the World Market Store, and buying a table cloth wasn’t really in the budget anyway. I scored two yards of this linen blend for a whopping $7.00 with the weekly coupon. Yes! A tablecloth was born! I decided to not have a traditional center piece this Thanksgiving. The food is…
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Basement Shelves

   The basement renovation project is pretty much complete. It’s not perfect, but for now it will have to do. It’s hard to know when to stop on one of these projects. You could put hundreds of dollars and hours and hours of time into something that you aren’t really sure about. We have a one year lease at this location and will probably move again next summer. It really limits your decor options. My original goal was to have an entertaining space, and a place to watch TV.  This room fits the bill, there are plenty more things we could do, but for the amount of time we plan to spend here, we are done with improvements. I would love to buy new furniture, but in my experience if you buy furniture to fit one location and then move, it never has quite the same effect. It isn’t worth spending the money at this time. Sigh. I wish it was. The last project in the entertainment room is the basement shelving. We considered lots of options, but none of them were very cost effective. My dream shelves are from Crate and Barrel. The dream shelves are retailing at a whopping $1500.00. Needless to say, my dreams are much bigger than my budget. The lower cost option, is just average shelving. We purchased two white metal wall brackets at the home improvement store and several sets of shelf supports for less than $20.00. The white brackets are almost invisible on the white walls. It’s the next best thing to a…
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LIFE Gallery Wall

Have you seen the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?”   Walter’s life is part of the famed LIFE magazine. He lives through the photos of others. His gallery wall was a magazine. We loved that movie. It was so inspiring! Mostly because, we feel like Walter Mitty much of the time. We get to go lots of places in our gallery wall imagination, but when it comes right down to it, we have never really been anywhere. I am sure there are probably many people who feel that way. We have lived LIFE to it’s fullest, though.  I was captivated by the movie, and decided to make “LIFE” a part of our basement gallery wall to share with others. I started with some plain canvases from Walmart that I painted with red craft paint. The letters are chip board, painted with white craft paint, then glued on to the canvases. I am looking forward to hanging all of our pictures on this wall. Our “LIFE”: photos of friends, family, football, soccer games, the crew team, you name it. Basically, this gallery will be LIFE as we see it. I may even add a photo of our recently deceased chicken. Something ate her in the night and we awoke to a pile of feathers in her place this morning. It’s part of our chicken’s life too, being eaten. Sigh. The no-sew pillow is one I made recently with fabric from the Online Fabric Store, I will have a separate post with a tutorial coming soon!

Photo Challenge: Day 18

    Something You Always Wanted Welcome back to the 30 Day Photo Challenge! It’s been a refreshing break for me to just take photos and have time to pack boxes to prepare for our upcoming move. As a blogger I tend to put a ton of pressure on myself to get posts out daily, this challenge has really been relaxing for me. Some days I get a good shot, some days I don’t. On the days that I don’t get a good shot, I don’t post anything. It’s as simple as that. I have found that I really look forward to each assignment, and I am learning much about my new equipment. Today’s assignment: Something You Always Wanted. I have a very short list of “wants” in life. I am pretty much content with everything I have and everything I don’t have. You can have your mansions and million dollar homes. They are not for me. You can have your designer wardrobes. Been there, done that. Don’t need to do it again. You can have your fancy cars and yachts. I wouldn’t even know what to do with one if I had one. But, I do want a kayak. A red kayak to be specific. I just love how the red boats look with the blue water and the white fluffy clouds in the sky. It’s completely a visual experience for me. We learned to canoe when we were kids. We would go out each day on the river where we lived and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The turtles…
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Photo Challenge: Day 17 Technology

  Technology This is day 17 of the Photo Challenge. I have a confession to make, I took this picture 5 years ago. That’s where the Technology part comes in. You see, I took this picture with my first smart phone, the Droid while we were on vacation in New England. I uploaded it to Facebook and completely forgot about it. My old computer that I used at the time to store my photos is long dead, but low and behold FB saved my photo for me. I am eternally grateful. This has to be one of my all time favorite photos. Our two boys were playing in the sand at the beach that day, when they discovered hundreds of little hermit crabs. They thought they were rocks at first, but then the sprouted legs and began to move around. It was the perfect setting for an afternoon of hermit crab races. We had a ball watching them run about. I had a ball taking pictures. I was hooked on digital photography even then. I love that I was able to beef up the colors and make this photo look brand new with my photo editing program. I can’t imagine life before computers. How did we ever do ANYTHING????

What I Wore to the Midwestern Blogger Meet-up

          I had so much fun today at the Midwestern Blogger Meet-up! The big event took place in Lisle, Illinois and was put together by Jennifer Rizzo.  If you haven’t read Jennifer’s blog, you should hop on over and check it out. She’s very talented and as sweet as sunshine.   I was equally charmed by her selection of location for the event: inside an old train depot at a local historical museum. I was able to have some time to explore this quaint museum before the festivities began, I love old buildings. The train depot was amazing, it was built in 1881. I am into train depots lately. And trains. The depot had beautiful architectural features. The inside of the depot was every bit as charming as the outside. Did you know they used to have separate waiting rooms for the men and women? Neither did I. I love the big graphic on the wall. I wanted to take it home with me. My great grandfather had a brass hanging lamp just like this one. So charming. Great grandpa also had a clock just like this.  I loved the train bulletin chalkboard on the wall. The corners of the depot were full of other old treasures like wooden barrels and these lovely trunks and boxes.  The walls in this room were beautiful unfinished wide boards. I loved how rustic they look. It was the perfect place for a bunch of bloggers to meet up. We all took tons of pictures. You can see why. Jennifer…
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