What time is it where you are?

This is Palm Desert, Ca. time...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bugs, Bugs and More Bugs...

Summer time is chock full of goodies like picnics, sleep-overs, sweet-smelling grass, and BUGS!
Check out all the bugs we collected all over our travels this summer so far!
This is just one of m-a-n-y lightning bugs we caught each night in South Bend, Indiana.
(you can click any pic to enlarge)

These 'walking sticks' fell out of the trees literally as we sat underneath them in the woods where we had our weenie roast!

More lightning bugs...

Little teeny-tiny frogs were everywhere too!

Can you see the little teeny-tiny frog?
(Click to enlarge pic)

And more lightning bugs!

This is a teeny-weenie little caterpillar that looks like a splotch of mustard or bird poop.
It is indeed a baby caterpillar.

*No bugs were harmed during the making of this documentary

Vintage Thingies Thursday #3

This has become my one of my favorite things to write about, since I have discovered more little things around my house that are special! I never realized how many great little things I have that fit the vintage category! I am so excited to show you them as the weeks go by!
If you would like to participate in Vintage Thingies Thursdays, click on the apron lady, on my side bar. She will take you over to Lisa at "Confessions of an Apron Queen" and you can read more about it!
click to enlarge
This is my vintage thingie this week. It is a pencil/charcoal drawing of still life objects in my Aunt Bette's house. Remember last week when I showcased her house for Vintage Thingies Thursday? Well, not only was this drawn in her house, but it was also done by her son, Theodore Devone Shafer. We all called him Thee. He was the oldest of all us cousins, and a supremely wonderful human being!
I treasure this drawing with all my heart! Not only was he a great friend, but I remember being up in his room (my attic room) and he asking me to look out the window and tell him what I saw. He was trying to draw me, and I was too young to sit still. He ended up giving up- (giggle) and if he hadn't, maybe I'd have another picture of myself today!
So here's to you Thee! I love you and miss you! I know you're watching from your kitchen spot!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fashion-ista Me wants to win (haha)

Being a big Target and Walmart shopper does not afford luxury buying like a Coach bag. My idea of a Coach bag is a dusty, worn out baseball bag some little league coach slings over his shoulder before practice!
But a chance to win an honest-to-goodness Coach bag? A REAL one??? Well you gotta go see La Vie De Laurie here, and enter! You could 'win this fabulous brand new COACH SOHO MULTI PRINT HOBO that retails for $298.' Isn't it just super adorable?
Oh I can only dream!!!

Tackle It Tuesdays! #2

Well, today I tackled the NutraSystem cupboard!

I had thrown things up in there and quickly shut the cupboard before they fell back down. Lunch items were in with breakfast, and dinner was hogging up two shelves and just messy.
I also had a delivery of two boxes that needed to be unloaded and arranged neatly in the cupboard also! This was no easy feat as the cupboard was full already.
I also needed a chair to reach the second shelf on up...so up and down, up and down...but it looks great now!



UPS box of food that sat on my dining room floor for almost 3 weeks before I "tackled it"!

Lots of goodies inside! 3 weeks worth of food- 27 breakfasts, lunches and dinners-plus desserts!

Just some of the goodies from 'the box'

...but I did it! WHEW!
A huge thank you to Carolyn over at 5 Minutes for Mom-for doing such a great job and being there for us to help us tackle whatever it is we tackle! (And Janice and Susan!)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Another great give-away!

Guess what?!

Confessions of an Apron Queen is holding a weekly give-away for some wonderful vintage aprons! Come check out her site, then go to her apron site-Rick Rack Attack, pick one out that you like, and go back to her site and leave a comment! Easy as pie!
Look for this symbol and click on it! Good Luck!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm going to make a statement:

I'm a yo-yo dieter. All my life I have seemed to gain, lose, gain lose, gain, lose... you get the idea.

I have struggled with weight all my life and recently made the commitment that by the time I was 40, I would be my ideal weight. Well........ that hasn't happened-yet.
I turn 41 this September and I'm joining my sister in the journey down the path of en-lighter-ment. <----- get it? "Lighter"-ment... (giggle) I have my NutraSystem to finish up, and by then Ill have this 'buying local' and 'organic' thing down pat. I'm reading up on great dishes, and (it may sound funny) I made a Rachel Ray dinner the other night and the whole family loved it! It couldn't have gone better! I'm pledging to: *stick faithfully to my weight loss plan *buy at least $10.00 worth of local produce weekly (FoodRoutes.com)
*research recipes to try- and have my kids help more with making it! (they love to cook)

I'm going to make it easy on myself so that I will stick to this. The more I add, the more overwhelmed I get. I need Simple, Easy, Manageable Chunks.
This is my famous Cod Cakes and Smashed Potatoes recipe from Rachel Ray! And on our 9th anniversary, no less! We had dinner by candlelight and fresh flowers! (My flash made it look bright) Anyone can join me and "pledge" to work on something! Maybe you've been meaning to write a letter to an older relative, maybe go visit someone special, maybe exercise more, could be anything!
Come join me and let me know what you want to "pledge" for the summer! I'll keep you posted on my progress and you can too!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I smell a jewelry give-away! Sniff, Sniff... YEP!!!

I'm announcing this great jewlery give-away from SheScribes! Go check her out and see Michelle Michaud of Park Lane Jewels- Such beautiful jewelry to get lost in!
Hurry and go over to SheScribes between July 24th and August 1st! Check out Michelle's jewelry, pick your favorite, come back to SheScribe and post your comment on what you fell in love with!
This is what you can win! An $88.00 value!

Where do you buy your food from?

I've been hearing alot about food dilemmas. Farmers loosing money because corporations are coming in and taking business away. I have also heard how little framers receive for their food, as corporations buy low and sell higher to consumers.

I found this website committed to helping local farmers get back their business by spreading the word to buy locally. Here is one reason: You'll strengthen your local economy - Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your community. Getting to know the farmers who grow your food builds relationships based on understanding and trust.

We have a Thursday night Farmers Market here in Palm Springs!
Now you might say to yourself, "Oh my goodness! Something grows in the desert? No way!"
But yes! Did you know we grow most of the dates here in the US, and they were imported straight from those exotic places where camels come from?! Yes! There is a whole history here in our Coachella Valley on how we used to grow the most amazing things! (checkout a book called "Images of America: Indio" by Patricia Baker Laflin.
But back to my story....

Last night I found this website called FoodRoutes.org and I pledged to help my local farmers by buying atleast $10.00 worth of local produce. Tonight we walked downtown Palm Springs in the 105 degree weather (not too bad) and we purchased fresh tomatoes grown on the vine, plump peaches, homemade banana nut and cinnamon bread, and handmade crocheted potholders in delightful colors!
I really took time to see each booth, and saw some great things! I wanted to share them with you...

This really cool stone sculpture I never noticed before

What in the world is this?
It's like a tic-tac!
It was so adorable, just sitting there!

Window shopping and saw this darling box purse for a great price!

This lady is awesome! She'll paint the whole family on a pillow with names included! They are a must-have! www.thepaintedpillow.com

"Tikis by Mike"- love this booth!

Incredible paintings by local artists...
as well as handmade pottery, vases, candles, soaps, jewelry, so much we have here in Palm Springs!

If you travel out our way, let me know and Ill go with you! I'm a great tour guide! Come a day early so you can see our Farmers Market in beautiful downtown Palm Springs!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday

Today you are in for a REAL TREAT!

My whole family just got back from a wonderful week of vacation in South Bend, Indiana where we visited my aunt's and uncle's. This trip was very special and we have some more amazing memories to hold deep in our hearts.
We travel back there so much, that is seems like I lived there longer than a few years. We have had some pretty incredible trips and a ton of memories to hang on to and share with each other.
You may be asking yourself, "Why is Beth Ann telling me all this when it is Vintage Thingies Thursday?"
I'll tell you why....my vintage thingie IS in South Bend!
This is the home of two very important people in my life: Aunt Bette and Uncle Ted. They not only are my favorite aunt and uncle, they are also my Godparents, my mother's sister and brother-in-law, the neatest people who have opened up their hearts and arms to all 15 of us- and believe me when I say they are also the most patient!
This past week, we have 'swooped in' and taken over their household...let me explain...

They have a fairytale house with a lot of land (rural is the word, I believe), somewhere between 7 and 12 acres...I always forget. It is the sort of place kids can go wild in, because they can be roaming safely around all day, and you'd never see them until the dinner bell rings.
Nooks and crannies, secret fields and hills to climb, paths to walk and all sorts of bugs to catch.

My mom and dad drove their motor home up there a few months ago- so they stayed in that (on the property) and my aunt and uncle also have one, so they stayed in that (on the property) and the rest of us took over the house!
I am the oldest-married, with 7 year old twins. We took the attic floor.
My brother is 15 months younger than I, has two kids- 7 and 4, and a girlfriend. He took the downstairs bedroom.
My sister is 8 years younger than I, is married and has three kids-5, 3 and 9 months. They took the master bedroom.
I'm explaining all this because you had to see us to believe it- this house has always been HUGE to us growing up... and here we are basically throwing our favorite aunt and uncle out of their house, just so we could come visit! (I'm laughing right now)

Are you ready? Here she is:

From on top of 'the hill' looking toward house
Click on photo to enlarge

Closer view

Side view
See top window under roof corner? Mine.

It was originally built by a doctor who lived in town. This was his cottage retreat when he just had to get out of town! It was then bought by my aunt and uncle somewhere in the mid 50-60's, and they have lived here ever since. Inside she has high pitched ceilings covered in wood, with wood beams traveling across the space. Old lighting fixtures and big stone fireplaces remind me of the 1920's. She truly is a beauty to behold and a one-of-a-kind.

The hanging lights in the living room

The built-ins in the dining room

And just one of the dressers in the house

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of South Bend, Indiana... and I'll see you next week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame....

We just got back from another great vacation in South Bend, Indiana-Thank You Aunt Bette and Uncle Ted!
We have been very lucky to travel with our whole family, each time we go somewhere.
This trip had a purpose-to spend time with my favorite aunt and uncle.
Knowing we would be quite 'rowdy', we came up with creative solutions so we wouldn't overwhelm our aunt and uncle! We each took 'cooking nights' and did clean up... which worked really well I thought!
(see below for the beginnings of a weenie roast)

Here we are picnicking in the garage!
(Aunt Mary- you outdid yourself! Thank you! Did you get all the toys picked up?)

Here Uncle Robb (aka "Mathlete") is teaching my kids how to ride bikes with no training wheels! Thank You Uncle Robb!

Cooling off with alot of pool time!
Note* the little house in the background is the pool house.

Aunt Mary brought out the 'baby toys' she had- and all the kids, even adults, flocked to them and played all afternoon with them!

Uncle Ted's famous bonfire that he starts with a telescope lens- No matches!

All lit and (again) it was the best weenies and s'mores we have ever had!

Aunt Bette playing with the newest addition- Jillian

Grandma taking the kids for a "Sporty" ride.

And this is my favorite picture. This is my view as I wake up each morning. The last night of our vacation, I just stared in awe of the passing lightning and thunder storm- we don't get those in Palm Springs!

Thanks for coming along!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I am so frustrated!

I stayed up late, LATE, on Friday, July 19th, so I could get in some post time on my computer.

I used the feature post options and set the date and time for it to post! How cool was this going to be? Knowing I would be getting up at 4:00am the next morning for an all day plane ride to South Bend, Indiana- and with family...would leave me little time to blog. I figured I had it made when I could create a post in advance, then set the date and time, and voila! It would appear magically, as if I had never been away.

But Nooooooooooo... so I ask you....what did I do wrong? Or what did I not do to do it correctly?

I wrote the post, went to post options, set the date and time, hit the save button, and then post. I am now back from vacation (July 21) and it never posted! In fact I had created two posts, and neither one posted! I am so bummed!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tackle-It Tuesdays!!! My first attempt!

Last Tuesday I decided to make-it-a-go on the kids' toy room being remodeled into a craft room. They are now 7 and were thrilled with my sister's toy room turned craft room, so I thought, "Okay. I can do that too."
I am going to post alot of pics, so grab your favorite beverage, a snack and sit down and relax!

Toy room before. Major battles about putting stuff away and many hours were spent 'supervising' them while they put things back.

Semi-cleaned up but so disorganized. Too many toys and a gazillion plastic worthless pieces from you name it, that should be just thrown away.

Again, picked up, but too busy and disorganized. Some toys on the shelves I don't think have ever been touched!

The new 'mess mat' is a cheap remnant we found at Lowe's and the picnic table will fit perfectly on top of it, for any spills.

After- Some toys taken out, cleaned up bins and moved stuff out we didn't use.

After-with the new 'mess mat' in place and each bin labeled and all the art supplies that were in my laundry room cupboards, now neatly organized in each bin. (Please ignore the pool towels hanging over the door-I'm just now seeing them!)

neat and not so cluttered

Each bin is labeled and organized. (and washed-yuck!)

I even labeled these bins!

Ta-Dah!!!! (bowing to the audiences hoots and hollers...)

Thank you to 5 Minutes for Mom for the inspiration and challenge! I wonder what I will come up with next? Check out their blog and see if you are up to the challenge!