Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fifty and Counting...

Fifty and counting.....That is what happened in May. Big "M" turned fifty! No matter what age you are I believe you should have a special day, therefore I set out to plan a very special day for Big "M" to celebrate his milestone in life. For those of you that know Big "M", know that his special day in his eyes would have been just an ordinary day. But those that know me, know that was not happening. So knowing my husband, I knew there was no way to surprise him and I had to have the conversation with him..."Do you want a party or not?" And to my disbelief he said, "Let's have a party." I think he really said yes, because he knew my heart was set on giving him a party.

Fifty and counting....

I was given the green light for a party and the light bulbs started going off. In the planning stages I knew I wanted it to be simple, because that is what Big "M" would want.  I went with a Booze and BBQ theme.  I decorated with his monogram and wood grain, sprinkling in his love for duck hunting and offshore sport fishing.  I chose the colors royal blue, navy and wood grain tan.

The guest list was family and friends. And let's just say that is a crowd. Big "M" has a large family. I did surprise him with having one of his best friends from Illinois to come into town to celebrate with him.

The menu for the evening was very heavy on the bbq side.  Big "M" loves his bbq and I wanted that to show.  We had bbq chicken, ribs, pulled pork and brisket.  And of course chicken tenders for the kiddos.  And along with the bbq we had all the southern sides you could ask for; green beans, corn on the cob, cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni and cheese and potato chips.
The BBQ Table 

Silverware Bags


Party Cups

The dessert menu was even better...  We had a traditional yellow cake with butter cream icing birthday cake, cookies (Tuna and Mallard Ducks) and banana pudding.

Free Spooling - Tuna Cookies

Bag Limit - Mallard Cookies

The boozes was just that.  We set up a bar on the deck with a little bit of everything to suit all our guest taste.  And of course, I got busy and forgot to get any pictures of the bar.  Also on the deck, we set up a salty spot.  I used a vintage wheel barrel filled with galvanized buckets that held; popcorn, peanuts and pretzels.  And here again, I didn't get a picture of the salty spot either.

I found favors for all ages....  The adult only bags were tiny brown bags of mini bottles that read "Take a Shot on Me - Thanks for Coming".  And for the kids I had blue gummy fish and cinnamon hot shots - replica of shotgun shells.

With all the simple planning, it was party time. Our house was full of family and friends, everyone was stuffed and stories and good times commenced. And all in all, Big "M' was excited that we had a party. Here's to fifty and counting for Big "M".

Make a wish....


Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day...

We began Father's Day weekend by heading out of town to my parents house.  We spent Saturday hanging out with my parents and my nephews. 

My dad and I
My dad and my nephews 

 My parents live on the coast, but at the same time on a farm.  Almost all our time is spent outside, because there is always something to explore.

My nephew - "Nolan" 

My nephew - "Hunter"

Pool Time 

The best exploring spot at my parents is my father's garden. Remember last week when I posted my raised vegetable garden, not even close to my father's garden. I have to admit I get my vegetable garden love from my father. He starts all his plantings from seed and of course shares them with me. And then once, the seedlings get of size and the Farmer's Almanac says you can plant, this is what happens. Rows and rows of vegetables.


After many explorations and lots of southern cooking we returned home on Sunday to spend the evening with Big "M's" family. This Father's day is extra special for Big "M" because this is his first Father's day as a "Grandpa".

Big "M" and Nolan

Big "M", Leslie and Nolan 

I hope all the dad's out there had a great Father's Day weekend and especially those very dear to us that watched over us all weekend from heaven (Big "M's" father and my brother).


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our Home - Living Room

Today I'm sharing the heart of our home, the Living Room. This room is where we gather as a family and with friends. It's where we share laughter and tears. It's where most of our collections are displayed. It's where we display our life in photos and memories. Our living room is exactly in the center of our home, making it even more the heart of our home.

Our living room has an open floor plan. The main wall houses our fireplace flanked by book cases. The other main wall is a wall of windows that overlook our deck in the back yard. The other two sides are open to the foyer, dining room and kitchen.

The main wall is the focal point in the room. It houses our fireplace flanked by bookcases and the television sits above the fireplace. The mantle on the fireplace is very narrow, but I love to display seasonal items here along with sentimental items. As you can see in the picture below, I have some Memorial/July Fourth items scattered in with photos, plants and books.
Memorial Day/July 4th mantle

The book cases, oh where do I begin. They're full of all things that we love. The books on the shelves range from favorite readings, annuals, photo albums, interior design, garden ideas, dog training and etc. The photo frames are filled with sentimental moments that I don't want to forget. The duck decoys, are just a few of Big "M's" collection. The blue and white pieces are accent color and every home has to just have some. And last plants. I love to garden, therefore plants in my home are a must.

Book Case

The other main wall is a wall of windows. I have custom drapes from floor to ceiling on each far side of the set of windows. I wanted to leave as much of the windows open as possible, but adding color and closure on each side. This wall is flanked with two side chairs and a antique drop leaf table inbetween. The drop leaf table belonged to my maternal grandmother. I adorn this table with photo frames that are ever changing. It's usally snapshots of things happening in our lives. And of course blue and white and my favorite house plant, A Bird Nest Fern.

The sofa sits on one of the open walls, therfore I have placed a sofa table behind it to give the feeling of an imaginary wall. The sofa is filled with customer pillows made from antique french grain sacks and bosporus toile. The sofa table is home to some of the same items elsewhere in the room; books, blue and white and photo frames.

The one small wall that really is my hall but opens to the living room is adorned with sentimental art work.

With all that said, the living room in our home really is the heart of our home.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Month of May Whirlwind called Life......

Whew..... The month of May was a whirlwind for me. The month started with a major house cleaning that ending in having a yard sale, hosting Mother's Day for our entire family, Big "M's" 50th birthday and party to celebrate, Memorial Day and a mini vacation. Let's just say I hardly had time to catch my breath, so blogging went lacking. Sorry, I left you guys hanging in my whirlwind, but hope to do a better job in June. I promise to share Big "M's" birthday celebration real soon. It will be a full post within itself.

So here's to June. I spent the weekend working in my garden. Vegetable and flower. There's nothing more relaxing to me than throwing on my wellies, gloves and grabbing my garden tool bag and making a day of it. I pulled weeds, dead headed flowers and just freshened things up.

I have four gardens as I like to think of it in my mind...

The front yard, which is mainly shrubs, with a few flowering plants sprinkled around. I like just a hint of color in our front yard for each season. My big bang of color comes from flowering plants that I have placed in urns that are strategically placed throughout the yard.

Front Porch decked for Memorial Day and July 4th 

Flowering Urns

My back yard inside the fence, is home to mostly flowering plants. This is where I go all out with color. I stick mostly with red and white, but also have various other colors to match the season of blooming time.

Limelight Hydrangea

My back yard outside the fence, a work in progress. It's mostly flowering shrubs because the area is so large it needs big shrubs to make an impact.

Chaste Tree

And last my vegetable garden, which is three raised beds with a few pots of herbs scattered around. My favorite vegetables to plant are potatoes, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, onions and peppers. I guess you could say just a plain southern raised garden. But it's enough to keep me and Big M with fresh veggies.

Raised Vegetable Garden

The only chickens allowed in my neighborhood - Concrete


And after a full day in the gardens, I love to take it all in from our deck.

Evening snack for the Hummingbirds

The perfect lounger to view my garden


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Beginning to be a Saturday Morning Ritual.....

The last month or so I have started my Saturday mornings off the same way and that is by hitting Estate Sales. This is a new adventure for me and one that is beginning to be a ritual.

I have always wanted to attend an estate sale, but just never did for some reason or another. About a month ago, Big M was out of town and I was up early, so I decided that day would be the day to attend. I threw on a hat, hit the teller machine for cash and Starbuck's to get my blood flowing with some caffine.

I pulled up at the estate sale about 10 minutes early. It was still cold, so I decided I'll sit right here in my warm car - needless did I know estate sales have a sign up sheet. The clock struck 7am and I made my way up to the home. Not having a clue what I was doing, I walked around lesiurely in the home. To my dismay, things were disappearing and sold stickers were appearing everywhere within minutes.

It only took one sale and I had figured out the ropes. I knew the next time that I needed to arrive early, sign in, have a tote bag on hand to collect my loot and an ink pen for sold stickers. The next Saturday rolled around and I was off. Arrived early and made some scores. I was hooked. From that Saturday on, I have been scoping out the sales and making a plan of attack, which has become my Saturday morning ritual.

Here's some of my scores...
Windsor Chair "Before"

Windsor Chair "After"

Table Cloths, Dinner and Cocktail Napkins

Ginger Jars

Duck Bookends

Nut Nutcracker
The inside 

Blue Willow China

Hope these pictures entice you to find a Saturday morning ritual rummage estate sale!