Sunday, May 30, 2010


I want to wish everybody a happy Memorial Day!  I was sitting by the pool at my neighbor's today, watching my children swim, and couldn't help but think how lucky I am.  I'm not a millionaire, or even slightly rich.  We're always worrying about how we're going to get through the next holiday or clothes-buying excursion.  But, everybody in my family is healthy, we're all together, my husband has a good job, we have a roof over our heads, and we're able to pay our bills.  Life is good right now for me and my family, and I'm thankful.  I am thankful for all the service people who make the sacrifices they do while I go on with my everyday life, sometimes forgetting how lucky I am.  

I stopped by Laurie-Anna's Vintage Home today.  She had a wonderful story she shared with her readers for Memorial Day that I wanted to pass on to my readers.  It's a very touching story.  I hope you enjoy it. :)

Now... on to Vintage Summer Mondays!  This will be my first time participating in Vintage Summer Mondays, and  I'm very excited about it!!. I wanted to thank Melinda at Alabaster Rose Designs for hosting this wonderful link party!  I just found Melinda's blog yesterday and fell in love with it.  If you haven't already, you should definitely go check it out.

Let the vintage loveliness begin!!  I hope you enjoy it. :)

My favorite vintage cup.

A vintage business card.

One of my favorite little finds...a vintage recipe box.

One of the vintage recipes from the box above for drop chocolate cookies.
Yummy!! :)

A vintage flower frog holding a vintage business card, a vintage key tied around a jar of pea gravel,
and a vintage enamelware coffee pot on top of a vintage wooden box.

A collection of vintage white ironstone.  The pitcher is filled with vintage folding rulers.

That's all the vintage goodies I have to share with you this time...until next Monday! :)

I hope that everybody has a wonderful Memorial Day!!

Oh, and I just wanted to add that I finally have 100 lovely followers!!  Thank you to everyone who has visited my little blog and spread the word by adding me to your blog list or perhaps telling a friend.  I certainly wasn't sure when I started out that anyone would be interested in what I had to offer to the "Land of Blog" (as I like to call it). :)   You have all been so kind and generous with your comments.  It has been a pleasure getting to meet so many wonderful bloggers and visiting your lovely blogs.

'Til next time...

:o) ~ Jo

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


This is my first White Wednesday post.  I've been wanting to do this for some time... here I go.

White bower vine.

Here, I have a white marble base for the glass cloche with white stones and a white candle.

Behind that, I have a white pitcher sitting atop some books that are all about decorating with white.

My favorite white, chippy painted box...

...with a white enamelware coffee pot (or is it for tea?) sitting on top
 and a vintage key tied with white ribbon on the jar of pea gravel.

A collection of white ironstone pitchers.

I heart this white, chippy painted urn filled with variegated ivy. :)

I love white, chippy painted boxes...with more of my white ironstone collection.

I just can't get enough of this white bower vine...LOVE it!

That was FUN.. oh, how I love WHITE!!

Have a great day everybody!

'Til next time...

:o) ~ Jo

P.S.  I am chaperoning my daughter's field trip today, so I  ran out of time.  I'll have to provide the link when I get back. (I almost made it!) :) 

OK, I'm back.  It's about 4 in the afternoon, but better late than never.  Here's the link to Faded Charm's White Wednesday.  It seems like everybody under the sun has already checked it out, but if by chance you haven't, you should definitely head over there! :)

One more note...
So many of you had commented on never hearing of a white trumpet vine that I began to wonder if I was calling it the wrong thing.  I went looking for the tag to discover that it is actually called a white bower vine.  Sorry for the misinformation!  I've since fixed it in the post. :) 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


With summer just around the corner, I wanted to give my living room a little fluffing.

 These are some roses I brought in from the garden.  They're called Scepter'd Isle from David Austin
Roses, and I LOVE them.  This is their first year in my garden,  and look at the gorgeous flowers I
got off of them!

I wanted to do  a little fireplace redo to make it feel a little lighter
 and have more of that summer feeling. 

I was actually inspired by Donna from Funky Junk Interiors to get the old garden gate we had laying
around outside and bring it in to use as a summer fire screen.  I love the rustic grey patina of the metal.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Donna and the gate she used for a headboard for her bed.
Thanks for the inspiration, Donna!!

Prepare yourself...I'm going to show you a before picture.

I warned ya!!  Of course, I wasn't actually taking a picture of that ugly fireplace,
but of my two adorable daughters on Christmas morning. :)

This before picture is not before the "fluffing," obviously,  but before the remodeling a couple of years
ago.   The brick went floor to ceiling and window to window!    My husband tore out all the brick
(thank you hubby), and we reused it to rebuild our new fireplace.

Here ya go.  Sorry to have done that to you. 

I designed the fireplace by taking different elements from inspirational photos that I liked.
Our contractor drew up plans and built it.  He did a great job!   My husband and I added the bead
board around the base of the fireplace.  We love the way it turned out...heck, anything is an
improvement from what it was before!

I thought I'd show you a picture of my entertainment center.  This is a piece we bought from Pottery
Barn, oooh, about 13 years ago.  It used to have doors that opened out, but that doesn't work very
well for traffic flow, so we took them off.  There are no drawers for organization of all our movies, so I
added a skirt to hide the mess. :)

Some of the details.

This is how the table looks when I don't have my beautiful roses to fill the pitcher.

It's amazing what a little bouquet of flowers can do!

I wanted to thank all of you  for the many encouraging and uplifting E-mails and comments I received 
this past weekend.  I appreciate each and every one...they help to keep me motivated!!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Until next time.

:o) ~ Jo

I'm linking this post up to Donna's SNS link party over at Funky Junk Interior's.  Head on over there
to check out other fabulous ways to use gates in your decor.  This link party is good as of June 18th.
Have fun!  :)

Friday, May 21, 2010


The weekend is coming and it's a sunny 77 degrees outside. 

My hydrangeas are blooming.

Life's simple pleasures...

...are everywhere I turn.

This weekend's planting project

I'm so grateful for my little slice of happiness.  This weekend I'm going to enjoy the simple things life has to offer...spending time with my family and working in the garden.

Thank you for all your lovely comments.  I enjoy reading them all and visiting your blogs to learn more about YOU.

I  hope you all have a beautiful weekend and take time to enjoy the simple pleasures.

:o) ~ Jo

P.S.  A little note for some visitors who were wondering...One way to grow a garden on a tiny budget is to buy very young plants.  They only cost about  $4/ea. and will be full size within a couple of seasons.  Another is to buy plants that self propagate, such as allysum.  You'll have plants popping up without any cost at all! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


GARDENING....oh, how I love it!  Before we bought this home, we owned a home in town on a city block with a very small yard.  We lived there for 13 years, so I soon ran out of space to add new plants to my garden. 

When we bought this home on 5 acres of land, I thought...finally I'll get my large country garden!
This home had a small yard when we bought it which was completely surrounded by orange trees.  We immediately started clearing trees to make room for the garden.   When I say we, I do mean my husband and I cutting down at least 50 orange trees and burning brush over the course of a couple of years. was exhausting!! 

 So, now I have about 1.5 acres of land to garden.  Sounds great, right. we have to fill all that space with a very small budget and only two people to work the land.  It's very difficult at times, and I wish I could finish it overnight to see the vision I have in my head spilled out into my garden.   Sometimes I feel like we have more weeds than we do flowers (hee, hee), but my passion for gardening keeps me going. 

This is the second spring since moving here that I have had the pleasure of enjoying watching new buds form on all my plants and gradually open to the beautiful blooms they behold within.

Here are some images from my two years young garden. 
 These wonderful blooms are what keeps me going!!  Hope you enjoy! :)

Mexican primrose, roses, hydrangeas, and allysum.

Ivy geranium.  This is one plant that started out with white blooms.  It has gradually started putting out pink blossoms.  Gotta love Mother Nature!!

Purple and white lantana, and our beloved cat, Sunshine.  :)

Heritage roses.

More ivy geraniums.

I hope the sun is shining wherever you may be (we have clouds again)!!
Have a great day!

:o) ~ Jo

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Hi everyone!  I hope you're all doing well.  Today, I finally have some before pictures to share with
you.  I had to take pictures of actual printed pictures, so the qualities not the best, but I think you
can still get the idea of just how horrible this place looked before.

This (above) is after we took out the pantry cabinets (below) and moved the frig.

Before... great storage, but the frig HAD to go there.

Yikes... so scary!! Before we tore out the bar, painted the cabinets,added a farm sink,
granite counters, new hardware, etc., etc.

After we tore out the bar... I like my antique island much better. ;-)

Before (above)... creating a larger opening into the laundry room.

Aaah... much better.  Let there be light!

We took the doors off the cabinets for display  and to give it more of a cottage feeling.

You can barely tell which way is up in this picture... lol!

My ex-husband doing more demolition (above)... this time outside.   My precious daughters
HAD to help their Daddy. :)

After... we took out the garage door, changed the siding,  and added french doors.   Below,
you can see where this french door takes you.  Unfortunately, I don't have before pictures of
the mudroom, but I'm sure you can imagine how ugly it was just from the other before pictures
I've shared with you. ;-)

Well, that's it for today.  If you'd like to read more about the details of our kitchen remodel experience,
you can do so by clicking here.  You can click here to read more about the mudroom.  Thanks so much
for visiting!

'Til next time...

~ Jo :-)

P.S. I'm linking this post up to Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seeds as of 7/29/10.  Go
check out this fabulous link party! 

Monday, May 17, 2010


Here we are in the middle of May, and it's raining today.  All I want is some beautiful weather to be able to go outside to enjoy my garden.  

Since I'm unable to do that, I thought I would take some pictures of some of my collections that  give me that spring feeling. 

I  love this sweet. :)

A vintage business card.

Luckily, I cut these a couple of days ago, before we had bad weather.   They're holding up spectacularly!  These were clipped from the same bush that the picture is of at the top of my blog.  They're called French Vanilla...yummy!!


These bunnies are so sweet.  This is an antique painting I purchased from Good Goods.  It's about 100 years old.  I have it hanging in my mudroom.

I'm planning on visiting Good Goods soon to take some pictures of their wonderful shop to show all of you. 

Here's how I've displayed one of  the business cards.  I especially love the eggs in this one.

I hope your having better weather wherever you are.  If not, hopefully these pictures have added a little sunshine to your day. 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I love to hear from you!!

:o) ~ Jo