Posts Tagged With: Winter

I Should’ve Known…

Seriously, I was born here and except for a few years gallivanting all over the world, I’ve lived here since then. You would think that I should know that just when the snow melts, that means we’ll be getting more snow. But, alas, I guess I have not yet learned. Guess I’m just slow to catch on. But last night, it snowed again. When I was watching the weather last night they said that it would be 1-3 inches but most places would get 1 inch-ish. Yeah, that wasn’t us – 3 1/2 inches here. It was really wet snow which makes things slippery (boo) but it also sticks to everything so it can be really pretty (redemption).

Bella and Bristol decided this morning that I didn’t need to sleep past 5:30. Bella likes to wake me up by cuddling and licking my nose and Bristol runs across the bed. Michael sleeps right through the whole ordeal. I’m not at all a morning person, but I do love the low key time…and they are so lucky they are just plain adorable. So, I got up and got my day started. While the “kids” were eating, I added some wood to the fire (since snow brought cold and I wanted to stay warm), shoveled a path to the curb so we didn’t miss garbage day again and decided to take some pictures. Last night the hubs had me testing some cameras again and I found one that I liked, but I just had to know how it took pretty snowy pictures. So for those of you in warmer climates, here’s your snow!

My pretty red watering can

I love our deck in the winter (I also love it in the spring and summer to0)

 I love that we have about a bagillion trees on our 1/3 acre in town

Guess who left her clothespins on the clothes line all winter…that’d be me. I think I’ll need new clothespins in the spring, but I kinda like this picture for our laundry room so I guess it all evens out right?

We need to go get a load of firewood soon…especially since we kinda forgot to cover this up before the snow last night. Oops

Our lilac bush(?) I think this might be it’s last winter right there.

Remember the great big beautiful maple tree that holds our swing? This is what it looked like this morning

Now it’s time for a cautionary tale. Do you remember the dining room chair swing that I drug out into three posts (here, here and here)? Well I did two things wrong. 1- I didn’t seal it with an outdoor sealer 2- I left it up through the winter. Look at the difference!

This is definitely a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do thing. Wanna guess what I’m going to be doing in the spring?

The weather here changes pretty quick. One minute it’s melting and the next minute it’s freezing

I can’t wait for my Hydrangea to start blooming again

Replacing this railing is on my to do list along with painting or doing something to those front steps.

The frogs are waiting for their little birdie visitors to arrive

I brushed the snow off the suet feeder so maybe they will come soon. The Suet usually doesn’t last long in this thing, but it seems like we don’t have birds that like this hot pepper one. We may have to switch back to peanut or pecan

I know this won’t be the last snow of the year…mostly because snow is actually in the forecast for three days from now, but I’m hoping not to be awake at 5:30am to take pictures. Anyone interested in cluing Bella and Bristol into this? For those of you in the warmth, I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures of the snow. If you got snow too, I hope you don’t have to go out in it today. Happy winter everyone!




Categories: It's Our Life | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A little More Christmas

I’m not sure if it’s the procrastinator or the decorator in me that saved gift wrapping to the bitter end. Remember the pom poms that I made instead of bows for our gifts this year? While sitting and watching Revenge one night, I just made poms so when I started to wrap gifts, I would have them. Between Michael and I, we have 6 parents, 7 brothers and sisters, 4 of them have spouses/significant others and between all of them there are 10 nieces and nephews and 6 pets. That’s a lot of poms! Since I needed a place to store them, they found a pretty little home in my trifle bowl. Most of the time I fill it with something edible, but I pulled it out of storage and filled it with poms.

Image from Pampered Chef

This fall when I wasn’t ready to admit that winter was coming, I found some felt snowflakes. While I wasn’t sure what our Christmas colors were going to be, I firmly believe that a can of paint can cover a multitude of sins uncoordination so I picked up three of them. Design rule: Decorate in odd numbers – one, three, five. It adds interest to a space. Then while I was outside one day ORBing (oil rubbed bronzing) my fall soap dispenser, I decided that one of these snowflakes needed the ORB treatment too. Being the resourceful gal I am, I took down our suet birdfeeder (temporarily) and hung up my snowflake

You know I will always share with you my “what I would have done different” stories and this is one of them. There are a couple ways I could have done this differently. The first being that this is felt meaning very porous…very porous. This baby soaked up a lot of paint and turned this into a $5 project instead of the $1 I paid for the snowflake. I should have sprayed it with a sealer first then my precious ORB paint. C’est la vie. You win some, you lose some. Option number two would have been to buy a piece of hardboard at good ol’ Menards for $7 for a giant sheet and used the snowflake as a pattern. Then I would have taken it to my McDad and begged him to cut out some snowflakes for me with his scroll saw. It probably would have cost me a few bags of M&Ms or some ice cream, but would have been worth it. Hmmm, next year! Regardless of the resources, I still liked how it looked with an ORB treatment

Felty but metallicy. This snowflake found it’s way to our dining room table too. It sat underneath my trifle bowl filled with poms

So, what do you think? Procrastinator or Decorator? I choose decorator, but I know it’s probably more like procrastinator.

And you’re not going to believe this, but I have picked out our 2012 colors for Christmas. Thanks to some after Christmas deals, I’ve gotten a good headstart on our Christmas decor for next year. Pictures to come soon!


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A Pretty (Ruffly) Christmas

In our house we do a lot of repurposing. I’m currently trying to talk Michael into letting me move his dresser into the entry room/kitchen. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t make him go downstairs to get his clothes, we would be repurposing it for something completely different. I love a good upcycle don’t you? Last week I was about to throw away some tulle when I stopped myself about 2 feet from the trash can. A few weeks ago I made a tulle tutu for my niece Reygan for her 1st birthday (post here). If you read that post you might remember that I went searching for a blog with a tutuorial (see what I did there). I was looking for the size of the tulle and I only followed one of the measurements. The tutu was way too big. Poor Miss R couldn’t even walk without falling. Totally should have listened to Angie. For fear of being stripped of my “Fun Auntie Amy” title and having it be replaced with “Mean Auntie Amy”, I didn’t make her wear it for our Birthday day of fun. Instead I took it home and trimmed it so she could wear it for her birthday party

That left me with some pretty little pieces of tulle that were approximately 6 inches by 3-4 inches. Have you seen these strings of lights on Pinterest?

I had a string of 35 mini lights laying around. Seriously, where did we get all these lights from? Regardless, I had my lights and I had some tulle. So one day while I was spending some quality time with Nate Berkus (the show, not him…but how ahhhmazing would that be), I started tying. Gotta tell you that I didn’t get very far. Turns out that the number of pieces of tulle needed to make a tutu is a lot less than it takes to cover a string of 35 mini white Christmas lights. I only had enough to get to light number 7. Turns out I needed 5 times the tulle that I had. When I figure out how much it will actually take, I promise to let you know. My best guess is 2-3 yards right now. How terrible am I, not giving it to you now. Truth be told, I’m so in love with my 20% finished ruffly lights that I just couldn’t wait to show it to you. Here’s the eye candy

It’s so pretty. I think it’s going to get put away until spring though because it’s really spring-y colors but it’s just gorgeous…especially right next to my coffee filter wreath.

The Christmas tree will be going up later this week. I went shopping yesterday and got some great fabric for our stockings. Today I started wrapping presents. A few finishing touches and I’ll share with you my Christmas colors and theme. Anyone else done some great Christmas decorating? I’m thinking that all of you are waaaay ahead of me.

Update (July 2012):For my brother & SIL’s wedding we did a string of lights for the head table. I thought I would show you the amazingess that ensued. The lights aren’t on, but they still look way cool

Here they are on my dining room table all lit up and fabulous

So lovely!

Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , | 34 Comments

Cold, Fluffy and White

I’ve lived in Iowa almost my entire life. Except for a few years when I thought I needed to travel the world and meet some fascinating people, I’ve been here. Every year as winter gives way to spring we shed our gloves, hats, scarves and winter coats and pack them away dreaming of warmer days. Every year, I seem to lose my gloves, hat, scarf and winter coat and as fall turns into winter I end up freezing my tail off for the first 2-3 weeks of winter in a hoodie and sweatpants. Judging by this forecast, I need to go do some coat hunting

Last night our temperature got down to 18 andI know that comparatively speaking 18 isn’t cold. Nothing like the weather that Ana and her family have been building the Momplex in. Sidenote: If you’re not following Ana White, you should be – I’m totally addicted to watching the progress on the house that her and her husband are building for their mamas in Alaska. Seriously, addicted. I even had a dream one night that I flew to Alaska and helped them build…that might be a little creepy.

Our second dusting of snow made it’s appearance yesterday. Literally it was a dusting, but it put me in the mood to make a little something wintery. With  a wooden wreath form I picked up for $2 at Michaels

and a package of coffee filters

and my trusty glue gun and I went to work. I crunched up a coffee filter to make a “flower”

Then, just for kicks I flipped the coffee filters over and crunched up the coffee filter the other way

By turning the coffee filters inside out first, the flowers were fuller, so that’s what I did. I made a pile of flowers

Then I started gluing. First I’ll show you what I did and then I’ll tell you what I would do if I had to do it over again. Deal? So, here’s how I started gluing. Notice how I made a little flat spot on my badminton birdies? Two lines of glue and then the flat bottoms found their permanent home around the outside of the wreath

Then around the inside circle of the wreath and when I flipped it over it looked a little something like this.

Then I added two rows of flowery birdies to this side of the wreath. Here’s the look after taking 40 of these guys and making them pretty

Then I decided to try a new pattern with my next 40. I filled in the entire inner circle of the wreath (glued to the back of the wreath form) then started adding my two rows on the front of the wreath form. Here’s the look after another 40 (80 total)

After 120

Then I finished off the package of filters with the last 40. I wasn’t so bored doing this that I was counting the filters as I crumpled them. The filters were just already separated into 4 sections in the package of 160. This is what the back looked like as I was putting the final outside layer on

And all finished just chillin’ in the dining room

It’s so white and fluffy! So there you have how I did it. If I had it to do over again, I would have glued them all the way I did second half of the wreath – inner circle, two rows on the front, outer circle. Don’t worry about squishing the flowers on the front while gluing the outer circle. I had no problem with it at all. Also, I would have painted the wreath form the color of the wreath. Since I don’t plan on painting this whole wreath, I would have painted the form white. Love a good price breakdown?

  • 12″ wooden wreath form – $2 at Michaels
  • 160 coffee filters – $2 at Dollar General
  • low temp hot glue gun – $4 at Michaels
  • mini glue sticks – $2
  •     Total – $10 if you have to buy it all

I know it’s not Wednesday, but how’s that for holiday decor under $10? I love it and it’s going to look great on our mantle…or above the mantle. I haven’t decided yet for sure.






Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Enlightened Tomatoes

Are you ready for a Christmas craft that will set you back less than $10? These are sooooo cute too! Last year we took Beau, Bella and Brady out to look at Christmas lights. Crazy right? I mean do cats really care about Christmas lights? Well, two years ago when we were working on the house, we occasionally brought Beau and Bella to the house while we were working to help them get used to it. We noticed that every time we would get to one of the little towns between the old place and the new place, Beau would stand up and look out the window. He followed the Christmas lights on the houses as we drove by and then when we would leave the town he would cry. So last year when our town did a lights festival, there was no way we weren’t going to take our (very spoiled) boy to look at lights and make his brother and sister go along too. We drove around for an hour and when we got back home, Beau Beau cried as if asking for more. It seems that his favorite lights were the ones that were in tree form. I looked last year for some lighted trees on clearance to put in the front yard so Beau could sit in the window and look at them, but didn’t have any luck. Those things are expensive! When I saw this idea on Pinterest I knew that I would be making these for my Beau

Fortunately, my mom and McDad had a couple tomato cages that they let me borrow.

Did you notice that one of them was taller than the other one? Since my plan was for these to go in place of our pots that sit in the front of the house, they needed to be as close to the same as I could get. I was working in the garage by myself so I started looking through all the drawers of Michael’s toolboxes. There had to be some wire cutters in there somewhere but I couldn’t find any. Then I saw this thing

I’ve seen Michael use this about a thousand times. It didn’t seem all that difficult, just a lot of sparks, so I got out a piece of scrap wood and started cutting. I laid the shorter cage next to the taller cage to get the approximate size I needed to cut off the top. Don’t worry, before I started cutting, I called my mom and asked her if it was okay. I’m not into destroying other people’s property. I didn’t get any pictures of it cutting because I was pretty much thinking about keeping all my fingers, but here is basically what it looked like after being hacked off.

If I had been buying lights for this project, I would have probably bought green wire lights. You know I’m all about using what I have so when I was getting out the Christmas decor I found a brand new box of white wire mini lights.

After checking them to make sure they still work (I think they are about 5 years old) I started wrapping them around the cage and immediately thought I was going to have a problem. See how the lights are looking more triangle-ish and less tree-like?

But from the side it didn’t look so triangley. This is after just one 100 light string

As I started wrapping more lights onto the “tree” it started looking more round. I used some icicle lights that we had so I wouldn’t have to buy more lights, but if you’re going to make some of these, you’ll probably need 3-4 strings of 100 mini lights. Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll need

  • Tomato cage – $2.50 at a garden center
  • 100 mini light strands – $2.50 each and you’ll need 3-4 depending on the size of your tomato cage
  •     Total – $10 each

Here is what one completed one looks like all lit up in the garage.

When I get them both out in front of the house, I promise to post another pictures on my facebook page and I’ll update this post too. I’ll have that done by this weekend.  Even though we had to say goodbye to Beau in September (see posts here and here), we’re still going to be putting up lights just like we had planned. We know that Beau would have loved the lights on our house.

Michael and I spent some quality time in the garage on Monday building something for the dining room that just makes me smile.

It’s begging to be painted today!





Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s baaaack…winter, that is

Okay, spill it. Who invited winter back? I arrived home from work Friday night to a dusting of fresh snow in our yard which turned into a blanket by Saturday morning. It’s not as much as we saw just a month ago. Check out that drift in our driveway!

Michael and I spent a couple house working together just making a small path for my car to get out of the garage.The snowblower was not happy about having to take on this task. We had to break it up then run the snowblower through. This is Michael standing on top of the solid 3 foot drift in our driveway – standing and not falling into a deep snow.

The day we closed on our house in December 2009, there was big snowstorm. Our first act as new homeowners was to shovel…yay! This picture is from January 2010, but this January wasn’t too much different.As we shoveled this much drifted snow, it has been decided that we need a snow fence, but I refuse to have an ugly orange plastic fence in my yard. So part of this summer’s outside work is going to be a fence…if we can agree on one. Wrought iron? Cedar picket? We still have some decisions to make. What do you think?

Categories: It's Our Life, Tour | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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