Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Letting go of Summer...






I know that it is still quite hot out for some of you, in certain parts of the country, but here in the Midwest, it is getting quite cool. Getting down into the 40's at night. At first, I was embracing Fall and all it's glory...and I do love Fall, the Indian Summer kind that is...

But, the last few days, it has been raining, and cloudy, and, well, cold. "Oh blustery day," would be an appropriate phrase as of late.

And I feel my motivation to do things slipping a bit from it's usual full throttle...

My creativity even seems to be "stuck" a little.




Does anyone else get this way?

Funny how the weather can do that to you...affect your mood and motivation...

Thank goodness I have all of you to inspire me and keep me on track! I would love to hear what you do to stay motivated through the cold months...

{images: paleandinteresting.com, landstil.com}


Tracey






Saturday, September 26, 2009

The men in my life...







In honor of my son's birthday being this week, as well as, my husband and I celebrating our 10th anniversary, I thought I would share with you some pictures of my boys...




They weren't terribly excited to pose for me, but none-the-less, I bribed them a little (*wink*) and was able to snap a few good shots...

The hubs and I were kid free on Friday night thanks to my mom and dad, and we were able to go out for a nice dinner and spend a little "quality" time together.




My little Braden is now 5 years old! He is smack dab in the middle of two girls, and quite possibly the sweetest boy you will ever meet. I've been thinking and reflecting about him all week. You see, this angel of a boy changed the course of our family forever...





By the time Braden was 2 months old, he was throwing up constantly - at least half of what went in, came out! But the worst part was the horrible rash that quickly developed ALL over his body. He would literally scratch himself bloody, his skin was so inflamed and irritated. I was beside myself with what to do. I repeatedly took him to the pediatrician, who assured me it was "just eczema," and suggested that maybe we should put him on some medicine for acid reflux. All the while, he was getting worse, not better. It was excruciating to see him so uncomfortable, this baby of mine who was so mild mannered and good and sweet. Dear Lord, help me to figure out what is wrong with him, is all I could keep praying.

I couldn't just sit by and watch him suffer, so I launched a campaign, as my husband later put it. I was determined to find some answers. I poured through books and spent endless hours researching ways to eliminate every toxin, irritant, and "bad" substance from our homes and lives. Here is where I/we started "going green."

After prompting from a friend, I eventually insisted on a referral for my son to see an allergist. We figured out that Braden had a dairy allergy, the kind that requires carrying an epi pen and is life threatening. We finally had our answer. But the suffering of this poor child was not in vain. We are forever more a changed family. I firmly believe we live a better, healthier life thanks to his suffering all those months as a baby.






I have come to realize, and accept, over the years, that there are trying times in our lives...times that we look back on, and just don't really know why the good Lord sent us down that tough road. But my son's allergy is one of those trying times that I have complete clarity on God's greater plan for us...

We live a better life today because of Braden...because of God's beautiful love for us...

Happy 5th Birthday sweet Braden! And, thank you darling husband, for giving me your heart...


Tracey



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Honest Scrap









I received my very first blog award this week, twice! Becky over at Farmgirl Paints and Queen Bee both kindly awarded me the Honest Scrap Award! Thanks so much girls, I truly enjoy and love both of your blogs :)








So here are the rules...



1. Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award.



2. Share "10 honest things" about myself.



3. Present this award to 7 other people whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.



4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded the HONEST SCRAP AWARD.



So as not to bore you too much with more of my random facts, I'm going to smatter some lovely pictures throughout my list...because I like you guys so much :)








1. I had rheumatic fever when I was 12 and spent half of my summer break stuck in bed. Part of my "regimen" to get better was taking 8 aspirins a day. I had a thing about swallowing pills back then, so my mom had to crush each and every aspirin on a spoon and feed it to me with an apple juice chaser. This went on for weeks! To this day, the taste of apple juice, even the smell, turns my stomach and I cannot drink it.



2. I enlisted in the Air Force after graduating from high school because I thought I was going to be the next Clarice Starling. Well, no, not really, but I did want to be in the OSI (Office of Special Investigations) which requires you to be in the Air Force. I thought I would attend college while in the Air Force. Then the Gulf War started and that threw off my plans. So I changed my mind and decided to go to college and get a Criminology degree instead. Fortunately, they let me out of my enlistment agreement. I did get that Criminology degree, but never did work in that field.


3. I adore my husband. Honestly and truly he is the love of my life.



4. I gained 50 lbs. exactly with each of my 3 pregnancies. My stomach was so large that people always asked me if I was having twins...after awhile I would tell people, "no triplets" just to have a little fun!







5. I've gone "green." I buy organic foods, practice organic gardening, and even make my own non-toxic cleaning supplies. Oh I could elaborate on this one, but we'll save that for another day!


6. I have OCD...obsessive compulsive decorating disorder. It's an inherited trait from my mother. I have a constant need to redo and redecorate things...rearranging furniture weekly, sometimes daily, is nothing out of the ordinary around this house!






7. I do at least 50 push ups on most nights before I go to bed.


8. Gardening has become a passion of mine, one I discovered after becoming a stay-at-home mom.





9. I did not go to my senior prom because no one asked me. Sad I know!


10. I don't like to play with my children. Too many years babysitting and being forced to play barbies for hours on end I guess. I love to be with my children and hug them and kiss them throughout the day, but I just don't really want to play Thomas the Tank engine or school, or grocery store, or....you get the idea (don't judge me, I'm just being honest).





Thanks for sticking with me girls (see the pictures helped, right?!). Now I present this award to the following blogs I'd love for you to get to know if you don't already...


Ashely at Emersyn Lane
Tara at Blondie n sc
Koralee at Bluebird Notes
June at Laughing with Angels
Paige at Simple Thoughts
Janet at It's an Evolution
Jackie at Wren's Nest


Please visit these amazing blogs, I promise you won't be disappointed!




{images 1,3,4: betterhomesandgardens.com, 5-7: countryliving.com}




Tracey

Monday, September 21, 2009

Country Living Fair...






H-e-l-l-o girls!!! I'm back from the Country Living Fair. It was fabulous! Wonderful weather, talented women, and time spent with new and old friends!! I'm still in recovery mode and am dog tired, so I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to make this short and sweet and get straight to the pictures (sorry I didn't take all that many, I was too busy eating deep dish cobbler and salted caramel ice cream)...






That's me, pretending to be "glamping!"

































And, yes, we did manage to find an Anthro in Ohio that carries shoes...had to pick up a new pair of lovelies...mine are the brown ones and Kasey's are the blue ones!









I couldn't have asked for a better traveling partner than my sweet, generous, and often down right hilarious friend Kasey...thanks girl for being such a great friend, you're the best!!! Check out Kasey's blog for more pictures, as I do believe she snapped quite a few more than I did.

As for what I bought, I'll have to show those picks later because I hear the pitter patter of little feet coming down the stairs...and those babies have missed their mama :)

Oh, and the winner of the magazine and Starbuck's card is June from Laughing with Angels! Email me your address and I will get your mag and card right out to you!


Tracey

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Coffee and a magazine...






Well, first things first...I realized the other day that I've hit 100 followers! I'm still in shock every time I receive a new comment or follower. I can hardly believe that someone, anyone, wants to read my random dribble, let alone leave me sweet and encouraging things to say about it! I mean seriously, I love and enjoy every single comment! So to say thank you for making me feel so welcome in this world we call "blogland," I am having a little giveaway...yep, another one! Here's the deal...




The new issue of Jeanne d' Arc Living magazine (yeah - in English) is on it's way to my house as we speak. Since I love that gosh darn magazine so much, I want to give one away to one of you. And really, who couldn't use a little coffee to go along with their magazine? So, that same winner will also get a $50 gift card to Starbuck's! All you have to do is leave me a comment, any comment, by midnight on Sunday. I will draw the winner on Monday when I return from my girl's trip to the Country Living Fair.




Speaking of which...is anyone else going to the CL Fair? This will be my first year and I am extremely excited! But, as you know, going out of town can have it's drawbacks, like...
making sure there are enough groceries in the house, so that the hubby doesn't have to experience what it's like to try and grocery shop while keeping a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and a 7 year old out of trouble...lest he call you while you are on your girl's weekend and insist you come home early to take care of the wild animals you left him all alone with (surely you know I'm joking, kind of)...

Speaking of the grocery store...

I have a short, slightly random story (seems to be my specialty) to leave you with...






You see I have been doing A LOT of painting around my house lately, mostly furniture. For whatever reason, my son has taken a liking to watching me paint. He enjoys firing questions at me, I mean chatting ever so constantly with me, while I work. When I was done with the kitchen table the other day, I started sanding the edges, you know, to give it that aged appearance.






My inquisitive little boy asked me what I was doing..."Well, I'm making it look old," I told him, seemed straight forward enough.

"What's wrong with new," he asked me in return.

hmmm...

"Well nothing sweetie, it's just that mommy likes things that are vintage, or at least look that way."

Oh those little wheels were turning inside his head..."What's vintage?"

I saw that one coming from a mile away...Let's keep it simple I thought. "Vintage is something that is really old and worn looking."


Now fast forward to today.

As I was saying earlier, stocking the house with groceries is part of my long list of things to do, in order to be able to "get away" for the weekend. With my rowdy bunch in tow, we headed on over to our local grocery store. We managed to get everything we needed, despite the incessant whining and an almost run in with the pickle jars, and were standing in line to check out. Just when I thought we were gonna make a clean getaway, a little old lady walked up and stood in line behind us...

Yep, my angelic little boy took one look at her, and the many lines and wrinkles on her sweet face, and then promptly pointed his finger at her and announced to all those within in ear shot..."Look mom, she's vintage! Right?" (insert look of horror on my face here) "Mom remember, you said really old and worn means vintage?!"

Now that one I didn't see coming...fortunately she was very kind, and a little hard of hearing I think, and didn't take offense at what he had said - yikes, I need a vacation!


I'll miss you guys while I'm gone :)

{images 1 -3: those are me playing with my camera, 4 and 5: swedishinteriordesign.co.uk}


Tracey

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What I learned this weekend...



Here are a few, VERY RANDOM, things I learned this weekend...

I am bored with almost all of my magazine subscriptions. Is is just me, or are the magazines all getting thinner and the ads getting more numerous? I can find more inspiration and decorating ideas off of the internet, and the many amazing blogs that I read, than I can from any of my magazines (with the exception of my beloved Jeanne d' Arc Living magazine...still loving that one).






French Brie might taste good, but it is just too stinky to serve at a party (trust me on this one girls)!



If you want to make your own burlap table runner, cut your fabric outside, or your dining room will be covered in a haze of burlap dust.




If you buy a container of chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe and think that you will only eat one or two pieces, you're fooling yourself! (these are dangerously good)





Allowing a 2 year old to play with a ball outside, will ALWAYS result in the ball rolling into the street, so don't even try to sit down and relax.







And lastly, I learned that after having 3 kids, I should stop asking the sales woman to bring me both the size 8 1/2 and size 9 shoe to try on, because as much as I want to, I just don't fit into an 8 1/2 anymore (why must our feet get larger after having children?)!

I told you they were random...


Our weather is glorious here in the Midwest, hope yours is too! Enjoy what's left of your weekend!!!


{images: swedishinteriordesign.co.uk, countryliving.com, elleinterior.no}


Tracey

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Little Things...








I love to go to flea markets. Let me say that again...I LOVE TO GO TO FLEA MARKETS! And I have been going to as many as I can this Summer. But some how, as the season starts to wind down, I'm realizing that I haven't really bought that much this year. Well, I guess I did have a business to invest in, and so I tried to be frugal with my money. And, maybe I'm just not very good with making "big" purchases at the flea market. But, actually, I've noticed that what makes me happy, is finding the little things. Those special little pieces that just bring a smile to my face, but don't necessarily break the bank. So I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite little things from this Summer's flea market excursions...


I have been collecting vintage prayer cards for awhile now. And last weekend I was fortunate enough to hit the jackpot of old prayer cards. To me, their beauty is so calming and peaceful, and I consider them very special...








I adore old frames. The larger one came already with that lovely shade of gray, and the little one I painted as she was in desperate need of some lovin...









I purchased quite a few vintage rosaries this Summer, but this child's one is my favorite. It's so sweet and delicate...and it hangs on my daughter's christening gown in her bedroom...










I'm thinking of putting these old clock faces in the teeny tiny office I mentioned I've been working on...











And last, but not least, the little French seedling cups that just bring me joy.

Zinc + French = LOVE!










What are your favorite little things? I'd love to know...









Tracey


Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall...







Happy Labor Day! I have been reading about Fall on so many of your blogs, and it certainly feels like Fall here in my neck of the woods. Now, I love the month of September. It is usually a beautiful month here in the Midwest. And, I enjoy adding little touches of Fall to my decor...
















However, orange just isn't in my color palette. Oh, I tried it once, about 7 years ago, in our last house. It was popular at Crate and Barrel at the time, and I hadn't really started my obsession with white yet...so I informed my husband one day that our dining room was going to be orange. Yikes, was that a disaster! If you were driving past our house, at any time of day, and happened to glance through our front window, all you saw was an orange glow illuminating from somewhere within our house. It was ugly. And no matter how I tried, I couldn't fix it. And nothing matched with it, except at Halloween. So ever since then, I have sworn off orange. And that includes my Fall decorating. I just think white works, anytime of the year...










Too cozy things up, I add a little more candlelight around the house. Maybe some dried greens and twigs from the garden. And, of course, some white pumpkins. At the same time, I am drawn to adding a few more rustic touches, that might include a bit more linen and burlap. And then, I balance that out with my love for mercury glass...






























I hope you've enjoyed my version of Fall decorating. Keep on showing me your orange pumpkins, because I do think they're wonderful...they just don't fit in at my house!



And the winner of the $150 giveaway is Six in One Hand. Thank you to everyone for participating. It will be so fun for me to go around to all of the new blogs this week that entered the contest! I'm off to make a pot of "pasta e fagioli" for dinner...





{images from: Country Living.com, Better Homes and Gardens.com, Pottery Barn.com, Butik Sophie.dk}





Tracey