decorating with dodi

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Home Again, Home Again...

...jiggity jig!

We have once again been on the go-mostly between two cities attending end-of-the year award ceremonies and a "graduation". I know it seems like there are a lot of award ceremonies, but it never gets old seeing children rewarded for their hard work these days. I think it is a lovely reminder that we appreciate everything it takes to succeed in school. It is not easy and it is stressful and anything we can do to give them a little extra encouragement is O.K. in my book.

So Tuesday morning began with Presley's kindergarten graduation ceremony. I feel like I must apologize in advance for my pictures. I have a new phone and haven't quite mastered the camera part of it, my good camera doesn't have enough of a zoom for distance and, perhaps most importantly, the principal of this school has very strict rules about NOT coming forward to take pictures and he scares me!

Here is Presley giving her "speech" cute!

I loved how the courtyard reception was decorated with the graduates' art. This particular piece was done by the art teacher drawing on the sidewalk and then the kids laying down to look like part of the picture. Each of their pictures depicted what they want to be when they grow up.

Looks like Presley may have been having a bad hair day in this picture!

She's so proud of herself.

After much celebrating, Presley was back in her class and we were on to the auditorium for Hudson's award ceremony.

And then again, after the proper amount of congratulations and celebration, we were on our way to Gainesville for Morgan's award ceremony.

As we drove onto the school property we were greeted with this sign-all freshly painted and cemented into the ground! Funniest thing ever! Turns out it was the senior class prank-and a pretty darn good one if you ask me!

Morgan received 3 awards-straight A's in Pre-IB, Yearbook student of the year and AP English student of the year. Even though she was very proud of herself, she is also very humble and wanted no extra attention drawn to her-hence, no pictures other than the blurry walks across the stage to receive her awards.

I did manage to get over to the school office to snap a picture or two of her Student of the Month board before getting chastised!

We went out for a celebratory meal and then spent the night just relaxing and recouping from our busy day.

On Thursday morning, we were back at Eighth Street Elementary for Harrison's award ceremony.

This is the total group of boys in Harrison's class this year!

And so, we are finally done with all of the fun end-of-year school activities for us this year. We are enjoying a much needed day at home while we try to catch up on so many chores left undone-mostly trying to get enough water on the gardens and lawn after so many days of predicted rain and nary a drop!

I think I will put up 4th of July decor next week...I am getting antsy with my new wreath and the flag holders all ready to go. I'll be back to share. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


...and, anew!

Remember how I tell you that sometimes I approach something I have had in my house forever and suddenly, I see it through "new" eyes-the way a visitor who had never been here before might view it. That is what happened when I approached my front door the other day. In my defense, I don't enter the house often through the front door. I usually come in through the garage. All of a sudden, I saw this:

This arrangement serves as my Easter door welcome. Usually I add a few Easter eggs and then pull them out when I switch to "spring". I have been thinking about doing a new Easter arrangement for a few years but just haven't gotten to it yet. But, why I left it for spring, I don't know. I don't have any pastel colors left in my house so why are they still on my front door?

One quick trip to Michaels and the problem was fixed. I grabbed the last two green hydrangeas and had to settle for the white daisies, but I am O.K. with that. Then, I found the spool of burlap ribbon that I had gotten from one of their dollar bins some time ago and I was done. I am not a flower arranger, but this was pretty much a no- brainer! And, it gives you a hint of what you will find when you enter the house...welcome....and stay tuned.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The "Cheap" Comes Out Expensive

I like that quote. I find it true often when I "fudge" just a little to buy something that is "sort of" like the real thing...but then falls apart way sooner than the real thing ever would. There are times to buy the "real" things: mattresses, furniture, shoes, etc....and, times when a "copy" might be just as good if you aren't expecting to use it forever!

Of course, in this case, none of the above applies. I have been posting recently about how much fun I have had spending money that isn't mine as I help my daughters redecorate their homes. I love to shop and I love to decorate so when I can do them both-at no cost to me- all the better!

But, I did find that some of the places we shopped had things I just couldn't pass up - hence, my cheap experience came out "expensive" since I would be paying for these. I already showed you my new piece of furniture. I love it but I don't like big, empty spaces. And so, when I saw this large basket on a recent shopping trip with the girls, I couldn't walk away. And, it was marked down so far they were almost paying me to take it off of their hands. I really wasn't sure it would work under the new chest but I really didn't care. I would find somewhere for it to go. The girls did their best to dissuade me-mostly I think because they knew this sucker would take up valuable trunk room meaning less room for their goodies, but I persisted! What do you think?

The thing that really blows my mind is that both the basket and the closet area in the chest are still EMPTY. That is unheard of in our house and just goes to remind me how busy we have been. So many possibilities, so little time. I can't wait to get these spaces filled up. Actually, I think the basket still has its price tag hanging off of the back. Oh well, summer is almost here and there will be lots of time to catch up on the little things! Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For...

For more years than I care to remember, much of our yard on our pool side has been "umbrella-ed" by HUGE oak branches invading from our next door neighbor's yard. He has always been a good neighbor and we tended to "let it go", but when we put in the additional stone patio on this side - and, branches were constantly falling on the new gazebo roof- we talked to him about cutting only the branches that hung over our yard. We took our "tree guy" over to talk to him and the expert advised that the tree would not only look better but "live" better if the branches were cut closer to the main trunk. My neighbor did not like that, so we put things off over another year but, when the clean-up from his tree was taking its toll on not only our patio but our pool as well-not to mention my old body-, we had only the minimum branches removed and life went on.

Imagine our surprise when we returned from Gainesville the other day and could hardly get up our circle for the huge trucks lining the street. Apparently our neighbor had decided it was time to get his trees taken care of and out of wires or over other peoples' yards and homes-not to mention his own! I love trees and the huge oaks in our neighborhood are beautiful but sometimes, enough is enough!.

And so, he had his trees "cleaned out". All of those pesky branches that were hanging over our yard, gazebo and pool are now gone. The branches are out of the wires. His trees look so much better-they are not gone but trimmed to show off their beauty! We were thrilled...until we went out to the patio the next morning and realized how much that old tree protected us from the burning Florida sun-haha! We will now have to wait until late afternoon to see any shade. But, our pool man will have tons less leaves to scoop out and I will have so much less work to do out there that it is a more than fair trade-off for me.

I know it is hard to believe, but this is the tree AFTER it was cleaned out!

But, I have found myself perusing my "garden" folder on Pinterest to see what ideas I may have for adding a pergola or covering of some sort over the new patio. Maybe, something like this:

...or this:

or, what about this? As long as I'm dreaming, I might as well dream big!

 We shall see. Be careful what you wish for-haha-and, stay tuned.

Home Again, Home Again...

I think I am starting to like this retirement thing. We are beginning to learn that we really have no schedule set in stone and can come and go as we desire. This weekend we "desired" to head to Gainesville to help our third grand daughter celebrate her 16th birthday.

Her older sister has been planning a surprise party for her for months! All by herself! She choose the theme (Smoke and Mirrors) based on an album by Morgan's favorite band, Imagine Dragons. And she chose that because she was able to get 4 tickets to their upcoming concert in Tampa for Morgs and three guests of her choosing!

The plan was for Morgan to have her 4 best friends over to spend Friday night and then all head to the beach until Sunday afternoon. On arriving home, we (the whole family and many family friends) were all there to surprise her. The surprise started with her being sent to unlock the front door and run around to open the garage because they had "misplaced" the garage door opener. Upon entering, she was pelted with Silly String and blasted with puffs if smoke...maybe these jobs shouldn't have been given to 3 slightly "over zealous" boys. In any case, when she cleared all of that stuff from her vision, she was pleased-never sure how a surprise might work out!

All it took was one look at the mantle and Morgs caught on to the theme right away! Wish I had taken pictures of the rest of the house because Hannah did a wonderful representing the theme right down to band "tweets" of food references for everything she served!

After eating and gift opening, we moved outside where Hannah had more theme related games set up.

And then it was on to making wishes. She must have been wishing for something really wonderful as it took her awhile!

It was really a lovely day and a very special gift from a very special sister!

We spent the night so that we could continue a birthday tradition with Morgs...we check her out of school and re-live things that we used to do back when I picked the girls up from early dismissal every week. This year we headed to one of all of our favorite restaurants, BJ's. We definitely didn't leave hungry!

After all of that, we headed to the mall to "work off" some of those calories! Got home just in time to have yet another birthday dinner and evening of family togetherness.

Now we are home and I am having fun catching up on all sorts of little things. We have a busy next few weeks with all sorts of ceremonies and end-of-year school activities with the kids, so stay tuned!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Oh Happy Day!

I FINALLY have a day that has NO plans other than what I really want to do...and that is craft...although, lately, I have been having an urge to clean out and organize our garage!! What could possibly be wrong with me??!!?

So once the 4th of July vintage flag holders were put together, it was just a matter of painting.

First, I painted them solid white. After the acrylic paint just sort of soaked into the wood, I bought some chalk paint and, because it is thicker, I liked the coverage that I got.

Then, I painted two opposite sides blue.

Then, I added red stripes to the two remaining sides. I was going to tape these off so that my lines were straight but because this is a very primitive, shabby, vintage project, actually, the more rustic the better.

Next, I came back and stenciled a star onto the blue fields.

Then, when all of the paint was dry, I did a lot of sanding to give it a true aged feel.

I thought about using some stain or watered down brown paint to antique the holders but decided against it...I like the true red, white and blue look.

All that was left was the addition of the flag. I used an 8"X10" flag and cut the dowel down a bit.

I love the way they turned out. Can't wait to start my 4th of July decorating and to give these as gifts. Stay tuned.