Showing posts from 2010

Happy New Year...

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad New Year to all the earth.
~Martin Luther


This is the view from out front yard this morning. Yes, that is snow in the mountains. Quite the excitement around these parts. Lovely view but none of the hazards of driving in the stuff. And it should be melted by late afternoon. We had lots of rain last night and they said we would see snow at about 2000 feet and we did. This happens every couple of years. This picture was taken about 8:30 this morning.
A slightly different view from our drivewary at about 10:45.
It is cold and windy today (but sunny). I will likely need to turn the heat on when my husband gets home. It's 65 in the house now and will probably get colder when the sun goes down and he won't like sitting in a cold house. I just bundle up during the day but I am sure I'll enjoy the heat tonight. A cozy fire in the fireplace will be nice, too.

LM is outside playing right now. We took Smokey for a walk a little while ago and that's when the wind started kicking up. I love how none of the cold and wind both…


As this week slowly slips away into 2011 I have been thinking about New Year's Resolutions. Yep, it's that time of year again.

I have a love/hate relationship with resolutions as I am sure many other people do. I love the idea of a fresh start but kind of dislike making resolutions because I know that many of them won't be kept. Like the 'I'll lose 30 pounds this year' one. Insert any number in there - it's just hard. Or the 'have more patience' one. Lovely idea for sure but hard to keep up as you go through life and deal with multitudes of people. Or 'I'll exercise more'. That's always a fun one. Because we all love to get up at 4:30 in January, in the pitch dark and freezing cold to run a few miles (add in the coyotes that come down from the mountains each night here in AZ and it is downright scary). How about 'I'll get organized this year' - famous last words, right? If you're like me you have a room that looks wors…

Merry Christmas...

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

O Christmas Tree..

Our tree is up and decorated. We have a pre-lit artificial one. We had a real one for the first couple of years we lived in Arizona but they dried out quickly and I always worried about fire safety. Artificial is just easier and we can keep it up longer. And I LOVE the pre-lit aspect, as I was always the one to put the lights on the tree and didn't really enjoy it.
We have a mix of ornaments - no one particular style. Just things we have collected over the years. LM made the ones below. The brown ones are an applesauce spice ornament which smells wonderful. The white ones are made from homemade play-doh (she made them in the kids area of our local grocery store).

My great aunt gave LM this ornament on her first Christmas.

My grandma gave me a bunch of these fluffy teddy bear ornaments when I moved out on my own and had my first tree.

The candy cane is a memento from our Polar Express trip last year.

I love sitting in the living room at night with just the lights from the tree…

The Mantle...

I finished my mantle and am happy with the way it turned out. Our TV hangs over the mantle so I will spare you those photos. I'll share the 'pretty' part.

I put some candy canes in a canning jar here. Simple but pretty. I think I'll be replacing the candy canes soon as my husband has already eaten one ('take it from the back', he said, 'no one will notice.')
My mom gave me the pot with twigs for a Halloween tree a few years ago. This year it has been given a new life. LM added the silver balls to the twigs. Last year the balls were used here.
My Dillards cake stand (I love the touch of blue) with the silver balls again and the monogram balls from Michaels ($1). Same silver ribbon I used last year. I did spring for the pretty red votives this year - $4.99 @ Kirklands.

I made this little advent tree at my scrapbook retreat in September. I am so happy it's finally time to use it. Red vase lifted from my sister's house (also has silver balls…

The theme...

Every year I like to have a theme for Christmas. Sometimes it's a 'thing' - reindeer, snowmen, bears. Sometimes it colors - gold and burgundy, red and white, silver and gold. This year I started off with a red, pink and light blue theme. It slowly morphed into a red, white and light blue/candy cane theme. Our tree is usually the same - all of our ornaments collected over the years. The 'theme' usually ends up on the mantels and small vignettes throughout the house.

The second year we were married we had moved into a new house and I was so excited about Christmas. We had a beautiful sun porch with windows on three sides over looking the water (it was fabulous). We were on a corner lot so as you drove by our house you could see the lights from the tree through the windows.

My sister-in-law and her husband were visiting for the first time and I worked really hard to make everything look nice. I took special care with our Christmas gifts - all wrapped in my go…

Candy Cane Christmas- Darius Rucker

You know I love Darius Rucker. I was so thrilled to hear his song 'Candy Cane Christmas' on the radio the other day. A very sweet song.

I am working on my own Candy Cane Christmas here @ September Acres. I am changing up my decorations this year - using a lot less. Adding lots of candy canes. Lots of red and white - and light blue. A change. I never realized how hard it was to find regular candy canes. You know, the red and white ones - the only ones I remember as a kid. I had to wade through lots of strawberry, blueberry, cherry, Spongebob, Sweet tart and others to find the little red and white gems on the bottom shelf at my grocery store.

I have spent longer than I care to admit working on my mantle. I think I have it where I want it so I can share it. But I may wake up tomorrow, take one look and feel I need to change it.

Let's hope not...

A yes is a no...

I was catching up on my Tivo'd Nate Berkus shows this afternoon and saw the episode that Troy Dunn (from the show 'The Locator') was on. He was explaining to a viewer who was doing too much (she was like most of us-2 preschoolers, husband, home, home business, PTA board member, Friends of the library board, room mom, etc. Sound like anyone you know?) that 'a yes is a no'. What exactly does that mean?

According to Troy, when you say yes to an outside activity, PTA for example, you are saying no to your husband, you kids, your house, your business. Likewise, when you say no to an outside activity you are saying YES to those things. Makes a lot of sense doesn't it? It's not like we're saying no to outside activities so we can sit on the couch eating bon bons all day. We're saying no so we can spend time on our priorities, the things that really matter.

Something to keep in the back (or front) of our minds as this Thanksgiving week is here and we w…

My Favorite Things...

It's time for Melissa's Favorite Things Party again. It was hard narrowing it down to just a few but I did it.

To keep me going through the busy Christmas season I am loving the Peppermint Mocha at Startbucks. I like to think I am working off all the calories during the day as I run around like a crazy lady. We'll see next time I hop on the scale!

I LOVE the Almond Oil Hand Cream @ the Body Shop. It's not too greasy and has a lovely scent.

My husband and I discovered this Stoneleigh wine at a restaurant in town a while back and fell in love with the PinotNoir. Truly the best wine I have tasted. It is from New Zealand and I am on the look out for it at the store so I can take a bottle or two home with me.

Keihls eye cream with avocado is my favorite eye cream. If you are at the age where you need eye cream you should give this one a try. It feels wonderful when you put it on and that little jar lasts a long time.

Pop over to see Melissa and join in the fun.

Preppy Pilgrim...

LM had a school project to do this week. The teacher sent home a clothes pin and the kids were to decorate it to look like a Pilgrim or an Indian. LM picked a Pilgrim and this is what she came up with...

Very preppy, don't you think?


I am joining Kelly's Show Us Your Life series. Today is bathrooms. Hold onto your hats -our bathrooms are about as boring as they come. This is our master bath. Very small but at least we have one. Actually the 'master' bath in our last house was MUCH smaller-it had a small shower (about 4 ft square) a toilet and a very small vanity. It was pushing it to have 2 people in there. So this one is palatial in comparison. It has a huge window - it almost seems like it could have been a door.
Our vanity and medicine cabinet.
Close up of the vanity.

Cute pics I loved at Kmart. They were $17 each and I just loved them. They were perfect for the 'theme' I wanted when we remodeled. When we bought this house the vanity was dark with a marble top and there was carpet in the bathroom -honestly, who ever thought that was a good idea?

Below is LM's bathroom which doubles as our guest bath. Again, very small but serves it's purpose. It's the only room in the …

And they called it Puppy Love...

Last week Oprah had a show about 'teen idols'. Her idol was Jackie Jackson (Michael's oldest brother). At 13 she planned to marry him. As we all know it didn't quite work out that way. While she and her producers were putting this show together the producers surprised her with a visit from Jackie. Can you believe that Oprah had never met him? She was like a giddy teenager when they met.

When I was younger I planned on marrying Donny Osmond. My best friend Debbie also planned on marrying him. We had long discussions on what our plans were and how we would go about meeting Donny. She even tried to negotiate with me and persuade me to marry another Osmond. HA! The thing with Donny never did pan out but I had a 'plan B'. I would marry Shaun Cassidy instead. He was on Oprah last week also. He even sang a medley of his hits from back in the day. Remember 'Da do ron ron'? His concert was the first I ever went to. I must have been about 12 or 13.…

Wish Book...

Remember the Sears Wish Book? My sister and I were always so excited when it arrived each year. I would spend hours looking through it deciding what I wanted Santa to bring me. I remember this cover...

I loved Barbies and while we had a lot of Barbie stuff I don't remember the gymnastics equipment.

I do remember all the camping gear and I remember being sooo excited when I got my first Malibu Barbie. Don't the Malibu's have darker tans now? Look at these prices!

As I got older I spent time not only looking at the toys but also the clothes. How groovy are these tops?

Last Sunday there was a toy insert from Kmart in our local paper and LM enjoyed looking through it. It reminded me of our days with the Sears Wish Book. I told her how much we enjoyed looking through it and eagerly waited for it each year. 'Sears has toys?' she asked me. Yes, they do. We only have a Sears appliance store here so she doesn't know about the big Sears stores and all that they c…

Off the Grid...

It's been a rough week here. It's only Thursday. Often times I think it would be great to live off the grid. Of course, LM and the hubby would have none of that so here we are dealing with all that is life in suburbia.

Lots of craziness that I know we all go through. We all have good days and bad. Monday & Tuesday I was dealing with a pulled muscle in my back. On Tuesday morning I literally could barely move. Everything I did all day was a struggle. I thought about what it would be like to live like that every day of my life, as I know some people do. Knowing the muscle would fix itself I was suddenly thankful to be healthy (actually, I am always thankful for my health but in the moment I sometimes forget that) knowing that there are many, many people who do not have a fraction of what I do. So I stood up straight (as hard as it was) and carried on.

Today has been much better physically but our school district is dealing with the consequences of an override not being passed…


Apparently, one of these little guys has joined our family. I heard a rustling noise yesterday morning and thought something was in a cabinet so I woke my husband up and told him to come check it out. Of course, he hears NOTHING. Isn't that the way it always is? Like when I hear a sound in the car and ask him to drive it and he doesn't hear it. It's the same thing here.

So I call the exterminator, wanting them to come over and fix this situation lickety split, and have to leave a message. They call back and ask a few questions, determining that we likely have kangaroo rat (mouse) in a wall in our kitchen. Gross, I know. GROSS. I have no earthly idea how the little critter entered our home. The exterminator gave me tips on how to figure out how he entered, what traps to use etc. He said it would cost a fortune to have someone come in and do this for us. GREAT. I have done a bit of research and there are rat specialists out there so I'll call around this morning. 'Cau…

Is this how it's done?

My friend H had her annual Halloween party on Sunday and all of us here at September Acres dressed up and headed over for dinner, friends and some trick or treating. Here is LM in front of the bloody pool. You can see a bit of the dry ice, too. She was a witch but quickly lost the hat. Our group of trick or treaters heading out to collect some loot. This is the first year that LM has been 'real' trick or treating. We usually go to the 'trunk or treat' at our church where people give out candy from the trunk of their (decorated) cars. With Halloween on Sunday this year our church skipped the trunk or treat in favor of a cookout and games. The kids could come dressed as their favorite saint or as themselves but not in traditional costumes. This didn't go over well with LM who had already picked out a costume (not a saint) so we decided to head over to H's party instead. While we were out LM asked my husband, 'Is this how it's done, Dad? Is this how…

Shop at home...

Times are tough out there but that doesn't mean we don't like a new look in our homes every now and then. I like to think that I am pretty good at re-purposing things around the house. A coat of paint can change everything. Sometimes you don't even need that.

When I bought this barn star @ my favorite store it was cream. I painted it blue (Sea Breath by Valspar @ Lowes) and hung it on the brown wall in my kitchen. I then moved it about 6 feet to the white wall between the kitchen & dining area (pictured below).

Yesterday morning I got the urge to move it to the hallway/entryway on a beige wall. I quite like it. A lot.

I pondered painting it black and putting it in the newly painted, light blue hallway (I have yet to show you that but promise to once I get things put back on the wall) & still may do that. So forget Target, Michaels, even a garage sale. Shop at home... I am linking up to Wendy's Frugal Friday again. It doesn't get much more frugal than free!

All That Candy...

It's that time of year when all parents ask 'What do we do with all that candy?'

We don't want to let the kids eat it all (or eat it all ourselves) & I feel horribly guilty tossing it out too soon. I have heard of people who let their kids eat all the candy they want for a couple of days and then pitch everything else. I haven't done that one yet.

I heard of a great idea this year. It's called Halloween Candy Buyback. Dentists buy back the candy from kids (I have heard some are giving $1 for each pound of candy but the amount may be different for some dentists) and donate the candy to Operation Gratitude. Operation Gratitude then sends the candy to US Military serving in harm's way. Go to the Halloween Candy Buyback website, put in your zip code and a list of dentists close to you will pop up. Drop off the candy there and they take care of the rest. What a great way to get rid of the sugar and do a good thing at the same time. It sets a great example f…

The most wonderful time of the year...

Yes, it's that time of year when Starbucks has their fabulous Pumpkin Spice Latte's. I had my first one last year and fell in love. The calorie count is insane, like a meal. But totally worth it on some days. I don't do whipped cream so that helps and if I remember to ask for non-fat milk that lops off a few more calories. If you want to see the calorie counts you can go to the Starbucks website. But is that really necessary? Maybe we should just enjoy it!

Yes, I am....

I am totally in love with Nate Berkus. We go way back. I was beyond thrilled when his new show started this season. I have to confess that it was not quite what I expected and I wasn't sure if I would love the show as much as I love him. Well, after being on the air for a month or so I have decided that, yes, I do like it but it's just not what I thought it would be. If the producers had only called me for advice...

One day last week Jenny McCarthy was on. I have a love/hate relationship with her. She is a little (a lot) crass for me which is the hate part. However, I love what she has done as a mom for her son, who has autism. She has been a champion for him and other kids with autism. I was totally impressed with her dedication to making his life better. You have to respect a woman who will risk everything for her child. I'd like to think all moms would do that - I know I would. I just didn't know she had it in her. (disclaimer: I don't agree with ho…


So, I say to my husband the other day, 'what is the possibility of you taking down the fan in the dining room this winter and putting up a chandelier, then putting the fan back up next summer?' I wasn't expecting much, I thought he would look at me like I was crazy and that would be the end of it.

'That shouldn't be a problem,' he says.

'I would want to change it out each season,' I say.

'Sure, it would be fine.'

Okay then, I want a chandelier. I would like it to be up all year long but it is so blazin' hot in the summer it's just not possible. Our 'dining room' is not a separate room at all but really part of the kitchen so it's hot when I cook. And in the summer we need a fan or we will pass out while we're eating.

I found this chandelier pictured above while I was perusing the Pottery Barn catalog. It's what prompted the conversation. And it's on sale until the end of the month.

But it gets better, my mom asked me w…

Potato Famine...

I had to run to the store on Friday to pick up a couple of potatoes for the corn chowder I was making. Easy enough, right? Two potatoes was all I needed.

I entered the produce department and head to the potatoes. Lots of sweet potatoes but someone beat me to the last two russet potatoes. The last two potatoes. I started to wonder if we were having a potato festival this weekend and I just didn't get the message. Luckily, I found a bag of russets on sale so I could still make the chowder.

I wasn't at my usual store. I stopped at this one to also get this beautiful $7 fairy tale pumpkin. I still can't believe it was only $7. I just love it. (Please excuse the half dead plant below!) This wasn't the prettiest pumpkin there but it did have the BEST stem. I really think a pumpkin is all about the stem.
So, the whole potato famine was worth it to get this pretty pumpkin...

Pottery Barn knockoff...

I loved these chalkboard rocks I saw in the Pottery Barn catalog. I didn't love the price - $16.00 for four. But I have chalkboard paint and the desert is full of rocks so I thought I'd make my own.

I washed the rocks and let them dry.
I painted them and let them dry. The paint dries pretty quickly.

Above is the completed product. They're not as smooth and polished as the PB ones but I like the rugged look. And the rugged price!

Here they are on the mantle. I am thinking about making more...
I'm joining Wendy today at the Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday.