decorating with dodi

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Almost Time

I have everything prepped for the kids arrival tomorrow. I wanted to get their favors bagged up and hidden away so they don't see them until we are actually setting the table for dinner on Tuesday.

This is what is going in their bags. Of course, they will also get to take home a lot of the school supplies that I have bought to use as table decorations...and, their Rolo pencils.

I bought the red bags at the $ Tree and embellished them with the ruler download from and a clothespin chalkboard from Michaels.

I love the way they turned out and they will definitely help decorate the table.

I downloaded these little signs also to use with our gummy worms. I'm glad I made up a sample as I need another bag of worms for the second bucket. Guess I will add it to the grocery list.

I had forgotten that I picked these up in the clearance aisle at Target a few weeks ago so we will keep them on hand in case we run into a "lull"...I like to have lots to keep the kids busy! Should be fun. I will be sure to take lots of usual. I think I'm ready. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dog Days of Summer!

It is getting close to the start of a new school year but the long, hot days of summer carry on! When I have some yard work to do, I kind of plan to make a day of it! That way, I can get as dirty or as hot as I want. I take lots of dunks in the pool and then usually plan to spend the last of the day floating in the pool or sitting on the deck with a glass of wine and a good book. This plan has kept my summer yard looking really nice-well, this and the help of Mother Nature with our afternoon or early evening rain showers. The grass plugs that we put down were doing fine but then I spread some enriched top soil over it all and now they look fabulous! They are sending out lots of feeders and filling in really nicely. Too bad it looks so good that I got excited and ran out and bought 12 more bags of soil...that now need to be spread as well!

So with my household chores all pretty much up to date, I began my thoughts for back-to-school.

With daughter #3just returning from a long trip to Europe and her design business even busier than usual, she asked if I could help out with the kids this coming week. That worked out perfectly for my plans. They will be here Monday and Tuesday so I needed to come up with a good many ideas to keep them busy. As I looked back over previous years, I realized there isn't much worth doing that we haven't already done. And then I went WAY back in my memory and remembered "Shrinky Dinks". I did these with my girls, our neighbors and scouts many, many times. Then, I repeated the process with my first four grand daughters. BUT, this is one craft I have not done with the three youngest. Imagine my surprise when I actually found Shrinky Dinks still for sale. The last time I looked for them I think I had to use a similar product but not the Shrinky Dink I remembered. Since the kids are so good with the computer, I am going to let them find whatever images they want and then they can have fun with my copy machine tweaking the sizes until they get it just right.

If you have never done these before, they are a child's delight! It starts with a clear (or white) sheet of plastic. Using permanent markers, you draw on an outline and then fill it in with color. Then you cut around the shape and add any holes you will need now. Then, the piece goes into the oven and you must be able to watch. As the piece heats up, it shrivels and bunches and you are sure you have ruined it until suddenly, it flattens itself out. When you remove it from the oven it is about half the size it was and many, many times thicker and, as soon as it is cool, it becomes very hard plastic. These "charms" can be used in so many ways and the possibilities are endless. We still hang ornaments on our tree that we made at a neighborhood party I hosted the first year we moved into this house-43 years ago! Another of my favorites that also get hung every year were our grand children's handprints "shrunken" and then strung with beads on pretty wire.

 We will probably just add a clip to ours this time so the kids can hook them on their back packs but we will see if they have other ideas. My stockpile continues to grow and I think I have more than enough for their goodie bags now. Funniest thing is that as I was shopping for back-to-school, I found rainbow Nerds and huge rainbow erasers. Anything "rainbow" says St. Pat's to me, so I now have a start on that holiday as well!

I think we will use Monday to also make the table decorations and some of the favors. About three years ago we made the "Rolo" pencils and Hudson and Presley were so small that I think we will do those again. We will also make any new decorations and any food that can be done ahead.

Then, we will have Tuesday to swim, play some games and do the "heavy duty" cooking. All three of these kids love to bake and cook so we should have fun. Then, Mom and Dad will join us at the end of the day and we can hear all about Jen's European adventures.

Speaking of which, look at the fun gifts that came our way:

The mugs and chocolate are from Switzerland and the ornaments are from Germany. They are a traditional ornament and the funny thing is that when our children were young-and WAY before computers-we had World Book encyclopedias and belonged to their "Christmas Around the World" club. Every year we would receive a book about Christmas in that year's country, recipe cards, an advent calendar and an ornament. The one we have have from Germany is a miniature of the boy above. I can't wait to pull out our ornaments this year and compare the two.

Presley has her big #7 coming up this week but today she and her friend shared a birthday party at Picasso's Palette- a local ceramic, painting, glass and mosaic studio. Presley loves art and all things related to art so this was right up her alley.

It was no surprise that she chose a horse as her project-she likes them about as much as she likes art!

It seems like it has been a long day already so I am heading off to do some "loafing". Tomorrow is another day and it will be full of list making, scheduling, prep work and shopping. Can't wait! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Double Yikes!!

Not only is the end of summer fast approaching (yay!!!), but so is the start of another school year. Here in our county, the kids will go back to school on August 10 and have meet-the-teacher on August 8. What that means is I need to get in gear for our traditional back-to-school party. Since my daughter is just catching up on so many things after being in Europe for 2 1/2 weeks, I am not trying to pin down a definite date just yet so I am preparing for all of the possibilities. We may have the kids here for a day of activities and then dinner with Mom & Dad at the end, we may only have part of the day and then Mom & Dad for lunch or we may have to wait until school starts and hear all about their new teachers and classes at dinner one evening.

So many possibilities to plan for-but I find fun in that. I have been to Pinterest many times and think I have found some delicious food-some of it that the kids will make if that is the plan and some that I will do and just serve everyone...we shall see. This is the time that I like to try new recipes. This gang eats about anything. Even the kids are pretty adventurous eaters so it is fun to try something new...doesn't always work out but that is how I expand my "favorites"...or not!

So if I'm making a full blown dinner, here is what I am thinking...

...chicken, roasted potatoes, garbanzo bean salad (so those of us who don't eat chicken will still have some protein), ALWAYS steamed broccoli-and LOTS of it-for this gang and maybe even some fresh corn on the cob.

This loaf cake just screams "summer" to me so I think we will try that as well. Or, I may revert back to the traditional "apple" theme...we shall see.

This is what our last three tables have looked like. I guess I am pretty attached to the red, black and yellow color scheme. Seems as if the new things I have purchased for this year fit right in. We will be doing some of the same but adding a few new ideas as well.

I thought I would add a few of these to the table...

...and I already have these printed and ready to go.

If the kids are here and doing some cooking, we might try one of these...

I think I will use this download on a bag as a holder for their "goodies". I think I will start at the $ Tree tomorrow as I have pretty much found everything I like this year at the Target $ Spot. So far I have mechanical pencils, "pencil shaped" erasers, notebooks and Smarties. Can't wait to see what else I can find.

I haven't found a craft idea I love just yet but the day is young. Stay tuned.

Nobody Knows...

I am feeling great! I had one of those "nobody knows but me" kind of weekends. I got LOTS of things off of my to-do list but they are all the kinds of things that nobody but me would even recognize needed doing. You know, things like wash the A/C filters, touch up spots of chipped paint, cut up old tee shirts into rags so they don't completely fill the kitchen cupboard, bleach the fountains, fill the hummingbird feeders, and so forth and so on! I love days like this. It makes me feel so accomplished even if no one else would have a clue that my days have been full of just this kind of thing!

And then, Mother Nature completely gave her thumbs up by holding off our daily summer storms until much later at night-or not at all-and I got to end my days floating in the pool and reading in the shade. I'm not much of a summer kind of girl but these days have been pretty magical. I have a spot in my yard that none of our irrigation reaches and nothing can be done to remedy that so many, many years ago I found a tree sculpture that is also a sprinkler. Being the gardening optimist that I am, I proceeded to plant a garden in this parched area and dropped that tree right in the middle of it. During the summer, I need to put it on 3-4 times a week and it always becomes the gathering spot for all kinds of birds. They bathe in the birdbath and sit in the tree and shower. It is just amazing to float in the deep end of the pool and watch all of the activity-wish I had a picture for you.

This is the area I am talking about-just try to imagine it full of frolicking birds. It really is fun to watch-an immediate blood pressure "lower-er".

I guess I am off to find some more of those "nobody will know but me" kinds of know I love a project. Heading out to our favorite place for dinner tonight to celebrate "living through" two weeks of doctors' appointments and the safe return of our family from a long European vacation. So much craziness in the world these days that I am glad they're back...can't wait to hear all about it and see the rest of their pictures! Stay tuned.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Unfinished Business

This has been the week of LOTS of appointments and I have been home very little. With next week looking to be about the same, I am going to use today and the weekend to their fullest-while still trying to fit in its share of R & R that one would expect on a weekend!

I made a list this morning of all of the little things (and some not so little) that I have left hanging and I am just going to pick a jumping off point and get going!! And lucky you...I am bringing you along for the ride!

The first chore of the day was a no-brainer-although if you read the "hanging instructions" on the back, you might have run away!

The instructions say to use the supplied 6 screws...and there were NONE to go into the 6 holes on the hook...and there were NONE. If I had never hung a hook before, I might have just returned this. I am assuming that they mounted the hook on the wrong backing??? And, to make matters worse, they had the hook zip-tied on so tightly that it made looking at the back of the hook virtually IMPOSSIBLE...and darn near impossible to release from the backing!!

Me being me, I persevered and finally got it loose and saw just what I had expected-a keyhole assembly. That meant just ONE screw and since I was being all righteous, I went ahead and did a bit of measuring and actually got it done with just ONE hole and even used an anchor. I know, I know-I am not usually the queen of doing things right the first time because I really dislike reading directions...but, this time I DID read the directions and look where it got me-lol!

I use the pool a lot in the summer and this is where I hang my towel for an easy grab. I think it is kind of funny that I like everything in its place but, for some reason, this wasn't bothering me...

...until it was. Doesn't this look so much better? Now I know a beach towel hanging in my family room may still not fit decor but I will be happy with it there until it gets too chilly to swim any more this year! Chore #1 done!

Then I was on to painting this safety back onto the new rug in our bathroom. I found this rug that serves as a mat as well as a rug so that it can stay down all of the time. It is soft on the feet but very absorbent and dries really quickly. The only problem is that the hoops tend to be easily pulled and when an 8 month old Golden Doodle gets her nail stuck in it and then decides it could be a chew toy, the rug doesn't fair as well as the dog! Hazel pretty much destroyed this thing but I got out my trusty crochet hook again and re-hooked it. That being said, I DON'T EVER WANT TO DO THAT AGAIN! I remembered this stuff from back in the day. I found it in the rug hooking section of HL and it holds your hoops as well as helps with slipping. Chore #2 done!

Then I was on on to the bathroom window. I don't like a "naked" window although I will admit that I almost went that way with this one. It is the only window in this bathroom and it is small-not to mention that the edge of the window butts right up against a wall so rods are pretty much out of the question unless you use a tension rod and then that would hang inside and cut more light than I want it to. I had seen this idea on Pinterest:

I thought about mounting the hooks on a stained piece of wood like in this picture. I figured it would match the shelves and hooks on the other side of the room. But then I had second thoughts. I thought it might be too visually heavy and there is enough going on on this wall so I just mounted the hooks to the wall instead. I used a small piece of linen I had around. I am O.K. with it but will probably look for something I like better the next time I am in JoAnns. It didn't take any time at all so I won't mind doing it again if the mood strikes. Chore #3 done!

Then I found all of the things I have gathered for this year's Back-to-School party and was just about to start making plans when the phone rang and an unexpected visitor announce he was on his way over. Good friends always trump chores, so that is as far as I will get today. But, thank goodness for the weekend...hope to get more off of my list tomorrow! Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Can't Decide

I am really bad at making decisions. I put down the new rug I bought for the family room. I think I like it...I'm not, I don't think I do....O.K., yes, I like the addition of the gray-which actually reads as more of a taupy-gray in real life. WHATEVER!

I know my "decorator" would say it is too small-that the rug should go under the couch and out to the sides. But the main reason I don't like that is then it will be in the way of the casters on the ottomans-and the monster ottoman in front of my chair is too hard to move as it is. I do like the way the rug brings in the colors on the barn doors and the way it plays off of the tile on the floor.

I think I like it???? Stay tuned.

P.S. All 144 grass plugs got down yesterday-now I'm hoping for LOTS of rain!

Friday, July 15, 2016


When last I blogged I was telling you I would let you know how I made out with my shopping excursion today. We actually had a few things we have needed and today was the day!

These Vera Wang sheets are the BEST sheets I have ever slept on-in my opinion they far exceed my RL and my Macy's Hotel Collection. I am so excited to get another set. Her towels feel as thick and soft as my PB towels so we will put them to the test. All of the Vera Wang stuff was 50% off and then the extra 30% and then $10 off because it was more than $50. Pretty soon they will be paying me to buy it!

I love it when this happens-I actually saved almost twice as much as I spent. AND, did you notice the $40 in Kohls cash that I got. I will totally just spend $40 for something else that we still need. AND, I can actually spend 30% more than $40 because they gave me back my 30% off coupon and another $10 off coupon that are all good at the same time. How do they stay in business operating like this? Lol

I'm off to check out the rug. My decorator daughter will tell me it is too small for where I am going to use it (it's 5'X7') but I don't want a full room size rug. I really just want this under the coffee table in the family room to break up the large expense of floor. We shall see. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Be Careful What You Wish For

As I strolled through Lowes and Hobby Lobby once again today as hubby was at the gym, I realized that this is beginning to be an expensive way to wile away a morning. I am always looking for projects. I actually had two other ideas already loaded in my cart at Lowes but decided to "cool my jets" and just go with another idea that has been percolating for awhile.

I think I posted months ago about hubby and I deciding to use some Weed & Feed on our lawn. Well, it works. But, it isn't necessarily a good idea when most of the green stuff in your yard turns out to be weeds! We made a bit of a mess and were going to re-sod when some of our grass started filling in again. And then, life took over and we were busy and didn't even really think about it until the other day when I looked out back and decided something needed to be done.

And so today I bought 4 trays of St. Augustine sprigs and, for whatever reason, the loader said "if you are buying 4 I will give you 4 for free". Ummm, O.K. Don't know if it was a special promotion. I didn't see any signs, but I grabbed those puppies up-and now we have a project for the weekend.

And, as usually happens, the call of orange and black gets to me every time! Passed these frames on the way to some place else in the store and got stopped in my tracks. Since I couldn't find the unfinished wood frames that I wanted to make these "chalkboards", I decided this might be the next best thing. Not sure if I like the two different colors but I will sit on it for awhile. If not, I will go with the two black frames.

Don't have a clue where these will go but, where there is a will, there is a way.

We had such a nice visit with daughter #2 and her family. Always fun to have my brother and sister-in-law join in the fun as well. We had a yummy dinner and then in the morning got to watch all of the excitement of Morgan's "senior photo shoot". It truly seems like I was just watching her be born and here she is in her last year of school! We have shared so many milestones together and we have been privileged to have been such an integral part of her life but it still doesn't seem like enough. Just another reminder to squeeze every bit of time together with loved ones that you can!

Off to hubby's hair appointment and grocery shopping and then home for lots and lots of over due chores. Tomorrow we are heading to do something we haven't done in awhile- some heavy duty linen shopping. Seems like everyone is having "January White Sales" here in the middle of summer-and we are in need of some new "whites". I have lots of coupons and can't wait to see what kind of scores I can rack up. Considering that I don't usually do food coupons, it is amazing how much joy I can garner from these department store coupons-but, after all, the more you spend, the more you save. Yippee! Stay tuned.