All posts by Ann

Road Trip To Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Getting ready to leave on a girls’ getaway. Oh, those words have a sweet sound in my ears. The word getaway is like medicine right now and the phrase girls’ trip always puts a thrill in my heart. I can put the frustration of things not happening fast enough out of my mind and get a fresh perspective moving forward.

It’s a road trip and we’re headed south for three days in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Blooms should be bursting forth even more there than they are here and when I return I anticipate the leafing of the trees to be in full swing. Love this time of year, don’t you? I’m taking my “good” camera and promise to share photos of my trip in a future blog post.

But for now there’s this.

I’m happy I get to enjoy the blooms of this three year old magnolia before we move.


I find it interesting that the younger the bud, the more saturated the color and as it grows and unfolds it becomes a paler shade.


Next week I’m going to share what I’ve been working on for the past few months. I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to tell you.

I’ll be on Facebook while I’m gone and would love to connect with you there. Just click on the little “f” to come over and chat.

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1853 Wine Cellar Video Tour and Honest Ramblings

cog·ni·tive dis·so·nance
noun [PSYCHOLOGY]: the mental stress or discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values; when performing an action that contradicts existing beliefs, ideas, or values; or when confronted with new information that contradicts existing beliefs, ideas, and values.

Hello readers! Going all pyscho on you today (pyschological that is, not psychotic). I seem to be spending a lot of time in my head. So many changes going on and transitions that need to happen and I feel stuck in limbo. The one foremost on my mind that I was supposed to put out of my mind (self mandate) is the fact that I’m ready to move but our house hasn’t sold. A couple of probable sales that turned out to be no sales have left me weary of the process.

The cognitive dissonance is perpetuated when i get online and look at houses for sale (not 5 times a day) even though ours isn’t under contract and I can’t seem to stop myself. Where’s self-control when I need it?!

Cognitive dissonance is sort of like that scripture that says:

“For what I am doing, I do not understand.
For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”
Romans 7:15

Getting it all out here on the blog might help.
Truthfully the best help is to keep my mind renewed and I’m doing that too. Sometimes.

As long as we’re on the subject of my house, I’d like to share a video tour of our wine cellar that I put together. I’m also including a link to the house listing if you’d care to check it out and share.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. I’ll be enjoying a pedicure and some friend time.


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Ombre Vase Fillers

A few years ago I put together these ombre vase fillers for a quick spring project. With spring coming soon I thought it would be a good time to re-post this project that was originally a part of my Girls Want Pearls series. It was a lot of fun choosing the colors to use and creating a custom look using my own shading.

Are you as ready for spring as I am? I’m done with winter and to prove it I’ve got a fresh new pearl project to welcome in warmer weather when it finally gets here. Welcome to Girls Want Pearls #29!
I want to show you a super easy project with high visual impact.

You’ll need:
3 straight skinny clear vases (you can find them at most dollar stores), pearls and beads in various colors, water, and 3 flower stems.
I love ombre shading! I knew I wanted to create an ombre effect with dark to light colored pearls / beads. I went to shop for the perfect combination of colors but wasn’t quite coming up with what I needed. What do you do when you can’t find what you’re looking for? You make it!
I did some paint mixing with my craft paints to create 4 of the colors in my design: the cocoa brown, the bright green, and the two lighter shades of pink. I would have much prefered to buy what I needed, and I’m sure you can find the exact right colors online, but in case you can’t, or you like to dabble in paint mixing, here’s the solution I came up with. I placed a dollup of the mixed color in a small plastic container with a lid (butter tub, coffee can, etc.). I dropped in the desired amount of white pearls, put the lid on and shook them up. Then I poured them out on waxed paper and let them dry, jiggling them periodically to keep them from sticking. If you want a more translucent color, add a little water to the paint.


Once the pearls are dry, place them in the vase, add water and flowers. BTW, I did get lucky when it came to my flower purchase. I knew I wanted light pink tulips for this project. Any color would be lovely but that’s what I pictured. I went to Walmart and they had them! Exactly what I needed at the first place I looked! Bam!
So there you have it, an inexpensive way to bring a good dose of spring to your home using pearls.

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Healthy Eating ~ Paleo PBJ

Hello! I’ve been away for a few weeks and feel like I need to explain my absence. I was hit with a long, drawn out case of flu, followed by sinus infection. That, combined with putting our house back on the market last week really took its toll on me. But I’m happy to say that, other than a lingering cough, I’m over it! The post I’m sharing today is one that I began working on in time to post for Valentine’s Day. Even though it’s late, it will hopefully be good information for everyday healthy eating.

I’ve never been a health nut until my husband’s recent diagnosis and subsequent discovery of a relevant diet. One of the things I miss since changing our eating style is an occasional PBJ. It’s not that I used to eat them a lot but once every few months I would get a craving for one and it was something I enjoyed for a change of tastes. I have come up with a substitute and it’s pretty satisfying, albeit different from my old version.


I started with this Paleo roll recipe. I have made these a few times and they are a decent substitute for bread. For the PBJs I made them a little more flat, more like biscuits. I really didn’t like the way they came out and will go back to making them roll-shaped.

We can only eat tree nuts (no peanuts) so I buy almond butter or sunflower nut butter with no sugar added. I mixed the sunflower nut butter with a few drops of stevia to sweeten it slightly. Then I spread it on the biscuit and added sliced strawberries in place of strawberry jelly. They weren’t as sweet and juicy as I hoped, I think it will be much better when they are in season.


Sliced bananas or sliced grapes would be good, too. We are allowed fruit in moderation and berries are the healthiest fruit, especially the dark ones. I’m sure I’ll make these PBJs again. I might even cook the berries and add stevia to be a closer substitute for jelly.

Just a quick note to all my readers that I’m hanging out on Facebook more often and would love to connect with you there.

Just click the little button above to start or join a conversation. :)

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DIY Pearl Daisies

Here’s a quick DIY project that you can do to bring flowers into your décor while you wait for spring to bring the real deal. I originally posted this DIY Pearl Daisies project as part of my 52 week series,
Girls Want Pearls.

For today’s project I raided my button stash and grabbed some pearls, wire, and twigs from the yard to create…


To create the daisy I simply threaded the wire through the back of the button and, using one long continuous strand of wire, threaded pearls on and looped each petal, twisting together in the back before creating the next loop. Then I attached the flower to the twig with wire.


You can glue on lace or burlap leaves to complete the look.


I like the juxtaposition of the rustic twig with the fancy pearls. I placed mine in a “vase” of corroded copper pipe to give it even more of a rustic feel. The look can be easily changed up by using buttons in various styles and colors. Have fun with it!

I’m really ready for winter to be over.
I miss my bicycle.
And green grass.
And fresh air.

Only 39 days until spring!

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Heart Shapes in My Home

I’ve had the thought for a while that I wanted to go around my house and property in search of heart shapes to photograph. A few years ago I did a similar thing by looking for and photographing cross shapes in my house and posted it on a Good Friday. So this week I got a chance to look for hearts in time for Valentine’s Day. Some of the more obvious ones I was aware of but I was surprised by a few heart shapes that I found.


This is one of a pair of French chairs that I found at the flea market several years ago. They were covered with bulky, poorly tacked on pieces of embroidery when I found them and I was thrilled to discover the heart shaped backs and (sort of) seats. The oil cloth is starting to come off and I need to decide what to do with that but I love them.

heart_shapes_candelabraA scrolly candelabra.

heart_shapes_sewing_machineThe side of a sewing machine that I inherited from my mom.

heart_shapes_iron_fence_2A cast iron fence piece used for garden art.


Bet you have had these heart shapes in your home at some point, too.


This metal stool is another flea market find. It sits between my kitchen and dining room.


Hope your week is filled with love.

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