Friday, March 23, 2018

Annual Huge Book Sale & Lunch

I finally got a chance to go to the annual VNSA Book Sale...and it is HUGE since moving to the Phoenix Valley!!!
Since 1957, the VNSA has been annually hosting this HUGE book sale!
VSNA originally started out as the Visiting Nurses Service Auxiliary (non-profit) to Volunteer Non-Profit Service Association.
Their mission is to provide financial resources to our Arizona Maricopa County human service agencies through their annual used book sale.
Over 130 volunteers are responsible for a section...from children's books, romance to travel.  When the sale closes on Sunday, all of the books not sold are stored in boxes and shipped overseas or sold for scrap paper.  None of the books are saved for next year's sale.  It is so well organized and the volunteers are super helpful and nice.
Thanks to Kate who arranged this trip to the book sale, Gin and I went crazy picking up books that we were interested in.
This picture only shows you some of our books we came home.  There are more in the back seat.  Kate spent a whopping $50!!!
We went on Sunday, which was their last day of the sale and everything was half-priced!!!
It was a little overwhelming for me because it was crowded, and I don't do well in crowded places, but I think I managed to stay cool and get myself oriented and browse through some books I was interested in.
Ever since reading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, I have always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island.
I picked some books for Hubby, but mostly for myself.  Being the last day of the sale, most books I was interested in were slim pickings.  I was really interested in getting a ton of Amish books by Shelley Shepard Gray, but there wasn't one to be available.  I found out that these type of books are super popular right now.  I just recently discovered her books and can't put them down!!!
I also bought a stack of Little Golden Books for a project I'll be working on in the near future.
I came home with a big canvas bag full of books for a total of $8!!!  Most books were originally for $0.50 to a $1.
Next year we plan on going back, but with a wagon big enough to haul more books!

All that shopping made us hungry, so on our way back...
we stopped at Grand Canyon University's Canyon 49 Grill for lunch.
I was super impressed by the whole experience.  GCU is a beautiful campus, and their restaurant was really nice and the food was excellent, even though we just had a hamburger.
This would be a great place to stop and have lunch or dinner anytime.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Girls Day Out, Wine & Painting

From left to right: Sue, Moi, Gin & Kate, enjoying our first of wine tasting before painting.
Back in January us four Girlz attended our first wine & painting class and we had a great time!  I believe it was a first for all of us.
  We each painted two winter snowy scenes with cardinals on wineglasses.  Here is my one and only perfect cardinal on my two glasses.
Sue supervising Kate's artwork, and 
Gin and I super happy after our third or four glass of wine!
We really enjoy our wine and painting class, and plan on attending another class where we get to paint on canvas.  We are very lucky that these type of classes are held super close to our home at the Winery 101.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mani/Pedi for Spring

I finally decided to give myself a mani/pedi treat using the gel nail technique, and I have to say I love it!
~via Pinterest~
Not my nails, but an inspiration for my nail person to kind of copy.

  My sister's mani from her fabulous Nail Tech Tiffany, which I always love admiring.  She has been going to Tiffany's for the last seven years.
So I decided to go with Tiffany; but she is currently away on her honey moon!
My pedi and ...
 mani not by Tiffany.
I couldn't wait for her to get back, so I just got them done by another nail tech.  So as soon as she gets back in two weeks from her honey moon,  I'll make sure I see her for a refill.
In the meantime, ...
 I'll be making sure I wear my cute rubber gloves to protect my nails.
I found these adorable rubber gloves at the 99 Cent Store.  These gloves are pretty good quality and darn adorable!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Welcome Spring & Stamping

~Stunningly beautiful~
 I received this beautiful orchid plant from Hubbie on Valentine's Day.
I just can't believe how beautiful it is, and that it is still so full of flowers.

These are my four cards I made at Vivian's March Make-&-Take.
Which one is your favorite?  
I think this is mine...that is if I don't change my mind!
I usually can never leave Vivian's without placing an order...I can't help it!
I love using the grid pad of paper while making cards or other projects.  Five new in-color ink pads, and my newest scalloped tag topper punch.  It will be a breezed to make tags and bookmarks now.  The Party Panda set of stamps was a freebie for placing an order!
I love good and cute free stuff!
Free printable from Ann Sutton at On Sutton Place
I know Valentine's Day came and went, but I still love this pretty printable.
Share Your Cup Thursday #285

Monday, March 19, 2018

New Coffee Mug Tree Rack

This is our little coffee station nook in our tiny kitchen showing off its new coffee mug/cup tree rack.  Finally all of our coffee supplies are in one spot.
The Longaberger lidded basket holds our coffee filters.  We still have a small 4-cup coffee maker and it does the job for us since we are just morning coffee drinkers.  Lately though I've been getting the itch to update to a single cup Keurig machine.
Our coffee of choice for several years now is Medaglia D'Oro Espresso Italian Roast ground coffee...delicious!!!
I found it at Walmart, and I love it! 
As of right now it's holding an array of different cups.  My plan is to hang seasonal/holiday mugs according to the season.  I plan to be on the lookout for these type of mugs at garage sales or thrift stores.
While I was at Walmart, I got a glimpse of the Pioneer Woman's new collection of cups and I really love the bright colors and design, and I think they would fit perfectly with our kitchen.
I needed a spoon holder for my coffee tray, so I recycled a used candle votive by simply adding this pretty burlap and lace ribbon.  I used hot glue gun to adhered the ribbon.
This is the candle votive I recycled...from Dollar Tree.

This cute Cinnamon spice jar is a recent acquisition.  I found it a garage sale for 25 cents!!!  I also came home with the Paprika and Nutmeg spice jars.  At the bottom of each jar, Made in Japan is stamped.
I just recently got into the habit of adding a sprinkle or two of ground cinnamon to my morning coffee.  It's super tasty, and apparently cinnamon curbs the appetite.  I sure hope so!!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have thorns.
~Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Don't get pinch,
Wear your GREEN!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Our Easter Porch

Lately our mornings by the front patio have been sunny and warm.  I decided it was time to clean it up and have our daily morning coffee here and greet the day.
I brought our Bunny Welcome stand and spruced it up with a new burlap chevron ribbon, new grass and eggs.  The lantern is a new-to-me from a garage sale, as well as the white bunny.  I brushed and cleaned the lantern as best as I could, and gave it a new life by adding a burlap polka dotted ribbon and made a bow from a small piece of recycled springy ribbon.
I brought out our hurricane lamp from indoors and gave it new life outdoors.  I simply added grass and eggs surrounding an old bunny (atop an inverted plastic container for added height).
The "HELLO" rock is a new acquisition from Michaels.  I thought it would be a whimsical way to greet our guests.
While Hubby and I enjoy our morning java, our babies get to enjoy the sunny warm mornings as well.
I recently found the folded screen gate at a garage sale for $10.  It was my lucky day!  I had been looking for something similar to this gate for a while so we can keep our pets close by and protected from any coyotes going by.  I never leave my babies out of sight just in case coyotes get any crazy ideas!
Share Your Cup Thursday #285

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bunny Hop & Cleaned Windows

I made a little sign using our Scrabble tiles and rack to announce the very near celebration of Easter in our TV room.
Hubby and I used to play a lot of Scabble years ago.  So I have decided since our board game is simply collecting dust, I must as well use the tiles and racks for something constructive.

I'm recycling my Bunny Banner one more time.  I just think it's so cute!
I made this banner maybe three years ago and never posted about it.  I believe I got the template from Pinterest, and then traced it on polka dotted scrapbooking paper, strung it up on baker's twine and added a fat cotton boll for its tail.  It was so simple and easy to make.
You can read about my framed bunny silhouette here.

Continuing with Spring Cleaning:
Window Washing...yuck & broken nails!
I was going to break down and have some window cleaning business clean all of our windows this spring.  I considered how much I was going to spend, and finally broke down and decided that I could do it myself.  Money saved I can use it for my monthly mani/pedis, and hair and eyebrow waxing and golf, get the picture...LOL!
Here is the first window of five in our TV room that we can finally see through; and 
...our kitchen window that can let lots of sunshine in!
I have some more windows to clean, but I will try to pace myself and not break anymore nails!
I just hope we don't get a crazy out-of-the-blue dust storm before the summer gets here!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rose & Milk Glass Pedestal Plate

Our first beautiful spring rose from our garden.

Our life is like a thorny rose, not perfect but always beautiful!
~via Pinterest

I needed a small plate pedestal to hold my hand lotion and other "stuff" right next to the kitchen sink.
While I was recuperating from my fall the last couple of months, I watched lots of YouTube tutorials/videos, and copy this quick DIY.  
I sacrificed this pretty and simple Milk Glass plate from my collection for this handy plate pedestal.  The candle stick is from the Dollar Tree Store...there was no way I was going to use one of small sacrifice per DIY!
I glued the candle stick to the bottom of the plate and let it dry overnight just to make sure it sticks and holds tightly.
It keeps everything tidy now and not all over the place.
Love it!

Note: The picture frame behind plate pedestal is in the progress of being a DIY/upcycle/recycle project

Product Recommendation:
I use this kind of glue for most of my DIY, crafts, altered art, and so on.  I get it at the Dollar Tree Store, and I really love it!  The best part is that it really works, so I keep extra on hand!
Share Your Cup Thursday #285

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Rosemary Scented Hand Soap

Our rosemary bush is growing so fast I cannot keep up with it and it smells so good as you brush by it or come near it!!!  Two nights ago it rained here in the Valley, and in the morning when I open the back door to the patio, the aroma of fresh rain mixed with the rosemary scent was intoxicatingly sweet.
Here in the Arizona Desert, rosemary grows like a bush, and around this time of the year it grows non-stop!  I been cutting it back and trying to use as much of it in recipes to no avail.
So while watching a YouTube video/tutorial, this lady suggested adding a sprig of fresh rosemary to your hand soap.
So I followed her advice, but with a twist.  I used the hand soap that I already had (I think it was lime scented) and added my freshly cut rosemary sprig.  In order to see the sprig inside the bottle, I simply removed the labels (front & back of recycled bottle)...and voila...easy peasy
and my hands smell so good, especially after chopping onion and mincing garlic!

I noticed that the hand soap liquid has changed in color, after a day or two with the rosemary sprig added to it.  I think that the scented hand soap is overpowering the rosemary scent so far.
My plan for next time is to refill the soap dispenser and I will simply use plain unscented hand soap with the rosemary sprig.  I'm also thinking of bruising or gently crushing the rosemary sprig to release its oil and scent.
I think it just adds a little charm to my plain see through dispenser.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Printable & Bunnies

Home is the nicest word there is.
~Laura Ingalls Wilder
Free printable via Ann Sutton at On Sutton Place.

  These are just a few bunnies in my collection.
I have received all of these bunnies as gifts, except for the little blue plate.  I found it at a thrift store many years ago.  I think it is used as a chop stick holder.   In the picture you can see my late father-in-law as a child (in the white little outfit).  
  The Norman Rockwell's "The School Teacher" collectible plate is a recent acquisition.  I paid $1 for the plate and stand at a garage sale.  I love Norman Rockwell, and I especially love this piece of artwork by him.  I would have loved to have been a school teacher, but instead I married one & I also worked for a school district for 27+ years.
This little nook is in our living room.  I love to sit here and read in the is just feels so cozy and comfortable.
I made the book page wreath  several years ago around Thanksgiving.  I just recently noticed how the pages are turning yellow as time goes by; giving it an aged look.

We are so lucky that we are enjoying the best weather possible here in Arizona.  I'm soaking it up and loving it!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Life is like making tea...
Boil your ego, 
Evaporate your worries,
Dilute your sorrows,
Filter your mistakes, and 
Get a taste of HAPPINESS.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Shrimp Gumbo & Pink Saturday

For Valentine's Day Hubby and I usually stay home and celebrate with a homemade dinner.
This year I cooked our dinner: Shrimp Gumbo 
and I loved it.  Hubby not so much.  Shrimp Gumbo is more like a soup, and Hubby prefers his soups thick like stews.  Oh well...
This was the first time I had ever made Creole-Style Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo ever.
The ingredients were easy to find, and I had most on hand.  I didn't realized how labor intensive it was to make it though.  Preparing all of the ingredients was the easy part.  Once you start making the roux which is the first step to gumbo, you basically have to be by the stove/pot just about til the last step.  Anyways after several hours later standing by the stove, I was done and exhausted, but worth making it!
A tip for next time I make Shrimp Gumbo: Make it a day ahead!!!  Not only you will be rested on the day you serve this dish, but the flavor of the gumbo will taste so much better...yummy!
I call it the "Cooking Bible".
I followed the recipe from this cookbook that weighs a ton.  Hubby and I agree that the recipes in this book are the real thing, but you must follow them to a "T".
  ~Creole-Style Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo recipe~
I used the andouille sausage instead of kielbasa.
I also like to make little notes after each recipe I make for future reference.

Needless to say I had a lot of gumbo I shared it with my Golfing Girlz at our Happy Hour after golf.  Kate who was born and raised in the South gave me the "thumbs up" for the gumbo.  She said it tasted just like to my ears!  The other Girlz loved it, and have requested I make it for our next Happy Hour here at my place.  Yeah!

 Now for Pink Saturday...
a tiny bouquet of pinkish flowers and my china with pink cherry blossoms, ....and the pink shrimp!