Friday, November 30, 2012

Sheila Bear Bakery

Sheila had been acting a little "off" since March, but we discounted it as various different things.  In May, she had a trip to the vet for some blood tests.  She has Cushing's Disease and has to have her different levels tested every six months.

While we were there, we told them that she'd been having some problems with her leg/foot.  She'd been limping a little off and on.  Her foot was a little swollen then, but they just assumed it had somehow gotten infected.

We were sent home with the first round of meds.

Her foot didn't get better.  Summer came and went.  She had to have surgery to remove a salivary gland, and still the toe didn't get better.  The X-rays looked ok though, and the cultures didn't give anything away.

Finally, in September, we did another culture and they realized it was cancer.  In her sweet little puppy toe.

We took her in for surgery.

Look at your hand.  Look at your middle finger.   See how there are 3 digits?  The tip with the nail, the middle section, and the end that attaches to your hand.  Dogs have a similar set-up.

Sheila had the tip/nail digit removed.  They sent it out to the lab.  It was verified as cancerous, but they believe they got it all!  Whew!

Poor little thing was bandaged in a cone for about a month while it healed completely, but she is doing great now!  :)

Our vets are really wonderful.  We so appreciate the care they show our dogs.  In appreciation, we made them two dozen cupcakes.  Erik designed this cool label for the box:

Way cool, right?  :)  I absolutely love it!



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Out West Jewelry

I have the BEST Mother-in-Law!  :)  She let me come over last weekend and dig through her HUGE, HUGE, HUGE bead stash.

If you aren't familiar with Kim's work, she is the artist behind Out West Jewelry Designs.  She makes these gorgeous beaded necklaces, bracelets, earrings, even spurs!  This one is absolutely fabulous!

See the Etsy listing:  Click Here
She does all different types of things.  Recently, she was hired by an author to create a necklace for a fairy tale he had written!  Here are some of my favorite new earrings and bracelets she's been creating recently:

Stackable Bracelets

Seriously, how cool are these?
Gypsy Earrings
Love these too!  So pretty and feminine!  Every single thing is hand made.  Check out her etsy shop here:  Out West Jewelry Designs

We had a great time on Thanksgiving, hitting Michael's after dinner and then she let me pillage her bead stash over the weekend, so I'm ready to go!  I can't wait to start putting together lots of pretty things!



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Our Nativity

Playmobil Nativity Set

When Erik and I decided to buy our first nativity, we decided it needed to be FUN!  The Playmobil Nativity seemed perfect!  The set came with the usual suspects... Mary, Joseph, Baby JC, 3 Wisemen, some manager critters.  You know, the usual.

Santa brings a football for the new baby!

The toy store decided to market Santa Claus and Roman Soldiers on the shelf nearby, so we just assumed those should go with our set too!

Roman Soldiers encroaching on the baby shower

Pimp Cup or Holy Grail?  You decide.

I'm pretty sure Playmobil didn't have "Pimp Cup" in mind when they accessorized this Wiseman, but he sure looks like the life of the party, doesn't he?

Thanks for taking a peek at our nativity!  Send me links of yours!  I love seeing them all!



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Take a Peek in the Bag

Since it's fun to see what other people are carrying around, here's a peek in my bag:

Itty Bitty Buggy Pin
You might have noticed my cute little Bug Pin near the purse strap.  This teeny tiny little guy is from the Goodwill Glitter Sale.  It's always good to have a little sparkle!



Monday, November 26, 2012

Down on the Farm

Erik's mom, Kim, lives in the sticks.  She has a small farm outside of Seattle with a barnyard of furry friends. Her pride and joy are the Longhorn Cows.

We went to visit this weekend and spent some time out in the yard with these guys.

They are huge!  You don't realize just how big that horn span is until you're right up beside them, while they're snuffling in your ear, looking for treats.

Playing in the yard

Kim loves these guys like children.  Really, they're like big puppies.  Very sweet and playful.   They are probably the most loved, most spoiled cows you'll ever meet.



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Decorating for Christmas

Erik has been spending the last two days decorating for Christmas.  He loves pulling out the bins, untangling the lights, and stringing them up, Griswold-style.

This year, he's been lusting over these new LED Icicle lights from Target.  They're pricey, but on sale this week!  He was positively giddy to add them to his collection today.  I have to admit, they really are seriously cool.

As I type, the front yard is turning into a Christmas Wonderland of lights.  Even the puppies are helping!

Miss Sheila Claws

We haven't started decorating inside yet, but I'm sure that will be coming up soon!  



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday, my Belles!

Adorable Foxy Ornaments from Target

We love Black Friday in our house.  I mean, like, A LOT.  Erik and I discuss and prepare for Black Friday like Generals going into battle.  We stalk, our favorite Black Friday site, starting in September.  We pour over the ads for our favorite stores, make notes about what time each one opens and which order we need to visit each store.

In the end, we usually end up getting a few DVDs, some socks, underwear, and maybe a couple of video games.  :)  We seem hardcore, but mostly we're in it for two things:

  1. The Planning
  2. The Experience
I count Black Friday as one of our shared interests.  We just have a good time thinking it out and planning together, deciding what to go after, where to go first, second, third. 

The past couple of years have gotten more complex.  Now, rather than just figuring out how early you're getting up, you have to decide if you're going to STAY up and go all night... or what?!

Our Plan:  Black Friday 2012 --

Thursday night:
  • Hit the Michael's sale.  The Thursday ad was actually better than the Friday ad this year!
  • Try to score a 50" LCD tv from K-marche

Friday morning:
  • Best Buy - DVDs and possibly video games
  • Target - DVDs and whatever strikes our fancy
  • Walmart - DVDs and whatever strikes our fancy
  • Fred Meyer - Dutch Oven, Video Games, Xmas decor

Friday night:
  • JoAnn's - jewelry making stuffs!

We were mostly successful.  No 50" tv found its way home with us, but we did drag Erik's mom, Kim, out into the fray for the first time.  She'd never done a Black Friday style line-up, so that was new and exciting.

The ladies in line at K-mart were cuh-ray-zay!  They were in line for JAMMIES and lord help you if you got in their way!  One tapped me on the shoulder to let me know she had been told to mow people over for $4.50 Jammies.  Duly noted, and we kept clear of her Crazy Pants.

As we filed into the store, this family shoved their teenage daughter ahead of us in line.  She had a hooded sweatshirt with her last name printed on the back, "RICE".  The Crazy Jammie Ladies started screaming, "RICE!!  No cuts!!  Get to the back of the line!!  We see you, RICE!!!"  They were a little scary.

Friday morning, we hit Best Buy, Target and Walmart.  Fred Meyer was kind of an afterthought, but turned out really well.  No one had the video games we wanted on sale, but FM had 20% off ALL video games until 11:00 am.  SCORE!!

I also picked up my new Dutch Oven at Fred Meyer.  We've needed one of those for years!

All in all, a successful day and lots of fun with my sweetie.  :)

All of our loot!

Hope you had just as much fun as we did!  Happy Thanksgiving!



Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap and Shopping!

How was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was great!  Erik (The Thanksgiving Chef) cooked almost everything himself, and it was delicious as usual.  His mom, Kim, joined us for dinner, visiting and shopping.

The dogs went nuts over all the delicious smells.  Here's Sheila trying to mind meld the turkey.
Seriously.  Give me the turkey, lady.

The Menu:
  • Maple Brined Turkey
  • Sourdough Stuffing
  • Marscarpone Mashed Potatoes
  • Cranberry Orange Sauce
  • Canned Cranberry Sauce (We thought this was Erik's Mom's preference.  Come to find out, none of us like it!  Oh well.)
  • Parker House Rolls
  • GBC (The Infamous Green Bean Casserole)
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Cheesecake

I love this table because it has all of my favorite things:  Colorful FiestaWare + a thrifted mosaic candle holder + a little green bubble candle holder from Paris.

Oh please, oh please!  Tuuuuuurkey!!!!
After the people ate, the puppies each got their own Thanksgiving dinner:  Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Rolls and Gravy!  Yum!!

To round out our evening, we hopped in the CRV and headed up to Michael's at Smokey Point.  I've been lusting over their "Bead Gallery" brand.  The whole line was 50% off + an additional 30% off your entire purchase.  Needless to say, I went a little nuts!

So many pretty goodies!
Can't wait to get to work building pretty new things with all of my fun new beads!!  

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Wishlist 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you're having a wonderful day with lots of good food, family and friends.  Special days deserve special outfits.  Here are some of my current favorites.  Love these colors for fall!

1. Sheer Top
2. Creme de la Creme Necklace
3. Dressed to the Rhines Necklace
4. Bow Mint Earrings
5. Guest on the Panel Bag
6. Committee Top

The Committe Top has a Mad Men feel. I feel like it's a modern version of something Peggy might wear it if she were invited to Thanksgiving at your place.  Such pretty fall colors!



Tuesday, November 20, 2012


It's funny how something as mundane as soap can be inspiring.  The other day, I realized all of our shampoos are teal colored.  Then I realized my living room (when the decorating is complete) will be teal with touches of red.  My favorite FiestaWare color is a teal-ish shade.  My favorite Thermoses (in my vintage Thermos collection) are teal.

All of these things I like and enjoy are in the same color scheme.  Thinking about how pretty they are together makes me want to group them all up for photo shoots.

So something as simple as a bunch of soap reminds me of all these things I can share.  Weird.  Cool.  I like it.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Early Thanksgiving with the Fam

Since my family is going in all different directions for Thanksgiving, this year, we decided to meet up a few days early for a big meal all together.

We only live a few hours apart, but with everyone's schedules it's so hard to get together.  It seems like the kids are always two feet taller than the last time we saw them.

Miss Lindsay is the funniest girl.  She's the definition of goofy and wacky, rolled into one.

Javan "Mr. Swoop" is one month away from being 2 Years Old!  He's going to get his first real haircut on his birthday.  Until then, he's rockin' the Swoop!

After Dinner Play Time
I'm not sure what the game was this time.  It's usually princesses or ponies or something equally girly.

I'm thankful for my family and so glad we were able to all get together for Thanksgiving.  Hope your T-Day is just as wonderful!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Roo Man Choo

Well hello!

This is the sweet face that greets me every morning; my Rusty Roo Man.  The Foo Man Choo.  Rusty has many names and many aliases.  Roofus.  Red Manuel.  Foofy.

Perhaps his most sneaky alias is Rustifer "Bill" Jones, Insurance Agent.  We're absolutely certain that when we head off to work, he heads to the office too.  Briefcase in his mouth, business cards at the ready, Rusty is off for a day of hard work in the insurance game.

 He's smart and crazy and lovable and great.   He always wants to be a part of the action; he loves adventure!

He's fast.  If you have a tennis ball, he will get it!  He's a speed demon and goes careening around the yard at the speed of light.

He's the fanciest dog you'll ever meet.  If you have a pearl necklace -- he wants to wear it.  If you have a princess hat -- he wants to wear it.  A collar?  He wants it!  He'll sit in front of you and duck his head, as if saying, "Put it on me!  PUT IT ON ME!!"

He's always ready for a new experience.  If you've got his collar and leash, he will follow you anywhere.  Love my Red Man!



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Surplus Sale Deals!

The local Housing Authority is having a Surplus Sale today.  Mostly, it's old junk, but you never know what you'll find.  It seems like there's always some kind of treasure just waiting to be unearthed.

Autumn at the Housing Authority

At the last Housing Authority sale, I got a whole bunch of industrial size cupcake tins.  One tin cooks 48 cupcakes at a time!  They also had some really pretty vintage milk glass planters.  I got one and repurposed it as as crock for kitchen utensils.  Super cute!

Love these chairs.  Orange is one of my fave colors, and so retro-cool.  One gentleman bought all of them to send on a cargo container to Africa.  He looks for these kinds of deals and fills containers to send to those in need.  It's nice to know they'll be used again, instead of heading to the landfill.

The big excitement at the sale today -- guitars!!  They had a whole tray of straps.  Such pretty patterns.

Erik really wants to learn to play.  They started the day with about 8 guitars.  At the end of the day, there was one left -- this one.  I played "Let's Make A Deal" and snagged it for $50!!  Woohoo!

Erik's excited about his new toy, and me, well I'm always excited to get a good deal.  :)


Friday, November 16, 2012

Rite Aid - Cheap Stocking Stuffers

Rite Aid has small, carded .5 oz bottles of perfume/cologne.  These are scattered randomly on end/hanging displays throughout the store.  There's a large gold price sticker on the packaging that says, "$2.99 / $4.00 VALUE."

Print and use the $2.00 off coupon HERE.  Final price:  $0.99 each!

Coupon has been reported to work on English Leather and British Sterling, manufactured by Dana Classics. It is good on any of these brands:

English Leather
Love's Baby Soft
Black Lace
Heaven Sent
Toujours Moi
British Sterling
English Leather Black
No Limit

If you have a Gold (20% off) or Silver (10% off) discount, an even better deal!  With Gold, your final price is $0.39 each!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Walmart Finds for Bitty Boys

We typically hit up Walmart for all those random items we need in life.  Spray paint, Scotch tape, Scented Candles (you know, the necessities).  We don't typically shop the clothing section, but sometimes something just reaches out and smacks you in the face.

We hosted a Murder Mystery party at our friend Alex's house a few weeks ago.  Before the party, we stopped by Walmart for a few last minute things.  We were transitioning from Ziploc baggies to shot glasses, when we both - simultaneously - serendipitously - caught sight of the cutest little boy outfits!

As Erik said, "Hey, look at the ---," I saw it and actually squealed out loud.

"Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!  ZOMG!!  So cute!!!  EEeeeeeeeeeee!"

It was this adorable print that caught us both by surprise.  "OMG, Javan NEEDS this!" I told Erik.  (Javan is our adorable nephew.  Javan needs all cute little boy things.)

Then I realized they were outfits.  Mix and Match!  It was Garanimals brand!  So cute!  We put together these outfits for Little J.

It has a built in thermal for winter!  Too cute!!

And this one.  How adorable are these guys?

I am IN LOVE!  They are adorable!  So much personality.  Plus it's Walmart, so they're all really reasonably priced.

We can't wait to get them to Javan.  Hope his mom loves them as much as we do.  :)


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DIY Wedding Aisle Runner

When Erik and I were planning our wedding, we agreed that the most important thing was for our friends and family to have a great time.  We wanted to host a great party for them as a thank you for being part of our lives.

Customizing everything to represent our day was also important.  I loved the idea of Monogrammed Aisle Runners, but choked at the thought of paying hundreds of dollars for someone else to make it for us.

In my DIY searches, I found Heather's Blog.  She has fantastic, step-by-step instructions on how to create your very own custom aisle runner.

There are just a few things I would add to her instructions.

  • For me, the easiest way to make the template was in Word.  Under Advanced Printer Properties, you can choose to make your template print in "multi-page/poster print".

  • Be very, very careful not to drip or smear your work.  There's no "delete button" when you're painting on an aisle runner.  I can't stress this enough.  I probably started over three times because I kept smearing the paint.

  • If you can, paint your runner using Paint Pens.  I recommend it.  My colors (pink and orange) weren't conducive to paint pens.  (I couldn't find the right shades of pink and orange in paint pens.)  I used paint brushes and it was very challenging to paint within the lines.

It was very careful and slow-going, but in the end I was so pleased with the way it turned out.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stay gold, Ponyboy

Obligatory Cute Shoe Photo

Here in Seattle, fall has descended in a big way.  Just a week ago, there were pretty reds and golds in the trees.  But everything's brown and crunchy now.  It always reminds me of that scene in The Outsiders where C. Thomas Howell recites that Robert Frost poem for the Karate Kid.  (Like how my poetic references are pop culture oriented?  That's why it's important to keep up with the kids.)

Nothing Gold Can Stay - Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay. 

Jeez, why so dark, Robert?  We've got so much to look forward to!  Thanksgiving is a little over a week away.  Turkey!  Dressing!  Cranberry sauce!

Then it's Black Friday and early morning shopping with the crazy people.  (Love "crazy people watching" at Walmart on Black Friday.  We stay out of the way and enjoy the sights.)

By then, it's practically December.  Parties for work, parties with friends!  Holiday decorating.  Holiday gatherings with family.

Before you know it, it's New Year's!

The leaves are gone, but this is just the beginning.  :)


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Miracle of Soft Heels

I don't know about you, but I have the driest heels.  It doesn't matter if my toes and the soles of my feet are baby soft, my heels still get cracked and raw.  I have this sneaking suspicion it has something to do with the edge of my Mary Jane Crocs rubbing the skin raw.  (I guess if you're too klassy for Crocs, this does not apply.  ;) )

Anyway, my heels:  Dry, Cracked, Painful.

I was surfing the web late one night and read that someone's doctor had suggested using VapoRub to heal the skin.  OMG miracle cure, I swear!  You have to try it.

Super simple:  Before bedtime, slather on a healthy amount.  Cover every cracked area; rub it in good.  If you want to keep your sheets clean, put on pair of socks.

I swear, after two nights, my feet were brand new!  There was such a noticeable difference, it was incredible.  I don't know how/why it works, but I'm living proof.  I'd post before/after pix, but nobody wants to see that.

If your heels aren't as soft as you'd like, give it a try!  Let me know how it works!  Best of luck!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 Goodwill Glitter Sale

The 2012 Seattle Goodwill Glitter Sale is this weekend!  If you haven't been already, get there!  It's only once a year and can't be missed!!

If you've never been, the Seattle Goodwill saves up all of their best stuff for this sale:  Vintage and designer clothes, shoes, handbags, beautiful jewelry, accessories, pretty much all the good stuff!

This the 29th year of the Glitter Sale and the BEST YEAR YET.  Seriously, they did a great job running the sale this year.

While they do replenish merchandise throughout the sale, I firmly believe the VERY BEST stuff is there for the first people who come through the door.  This is only our second year going to the Glitter Sale, so we're still refining the way we "do the Glitt".

The plan was to get there as early as possible.  We live about 40 minutes away from the store.  We were out the door by 6:40 am and arrived at Goodwill Seattle right around 7:20.  The line already stretched the length of the store...

Around the corner, down the side street...

...and continued around the next corner behind us.

Some people showed up at 1:30 am to be first in line!  The doors didn't up until 9:00.  The wait, though cold, was entertaining.

A Goodwill employee came around to let us know how the sale was going to work this year.

  • At 8:00 am, Goodwill employees and volunteers would start handing out numbered lanyards.
  • At 9:00 am, everyone would be allowed into the store to warm up.
  • Numbers 1 - 300 would be admitted in one large group into the Glitter Sale area just after 9:00 am.
  • As the first customers filtered out, more lanyard holders would be allowed into the sale area.
  • Once inside the Glitter Sale area, numbers would be called in numerical order for people wanting to look at jewelry.  Each customer would be assigned their own personal shopper to show them through the jewelry cases.

At 8:00 am, volunteers in glittery, gold hats came around with giant boxes full of lanyards.  We scored number 341 (me) and 342 (Erik)!  Darn, just beyond the "Golden 300".  Oh well!  

After numbers were handed out, everyone got out of line, hit the port-a-potties, took quilts and folding chairs back to their car, made a quick run to the food truck and got back in line.  It was really nice to have a number and not have to worry about saving your spot.

While we waited for the store to open, Goodwill sent around a few characters to entertain us:

Photo by Lauren Wolfe (laurenloves253)

Drag queens in all their glittery goodness, of course!  Who else would you expect at the Glitter Sale?

Our friend Doppler from the Seattle Storm came by to pose for picture, tease shoppers, and bang on the port-a-pottie door while I was trying to get my tights back up.  Have you ever tried struggling back into your stretchy tights inside a port-a-pottie?  The only way to "up the game" would be by adding a hidden camera to the equation.  I'm pretty sure.  

At 9:00 we all gave a little cheer when the doors opened.  Everybody streamed into the store to start warming up.  We browsed around for a little while, and then found some comfy chairs and sat down to relax until our numbers were called.

Once the first group started leaving the glitter sale, it went fast.  We were still reclining when our numbers were called.  I went from dozing off, to UP LIKE A SHOT, and busting a move across the store.  

And we were IN!!!!  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!  I grabbed a blue shopping bag.  The security guard asked if Erik needed a bag.  "He needs a bag!" I said and pushed one into his hand too.  **TIP:  Always bring a friend.  Always make sure your friend has a bag too.  The more storage space for holding Louis Vuittons, the better.

Mission One:  Find the Blog Items and Designer Shoes.  Last year, there was a whole wall dedicated to designer shoes.   I quickly found the Blog Items rack.  There were a few designer shoes there, but most of them were mixed in with all the regular shoes.  It was truly a hunting mission for shoes this year.  They were organized by color, but not by size.  I sped through the shoe racks and stuffed anything that looked promising into my bag.

Mission Two:  Find the Purses.  They were on racks, three high, separated by color.  I didn't mess around with the "brights" (you can get those cheap at the outlet mall any time), but went right for the neutrals.

Mission Three:  Find the Scarves.  I love silk scarves and credit myself solely for bringing them back in style.  Hehe.  Obviously, because I wear them, they're popular, right?  It's all me.  Yup.  Shhh... let me keep deluding myself.  ;)

I had a few moments to grab Erik and start sorting through our bags before they called my number for jewelry.  They do a great job keeping the jewelry shopping running smoothly.  Volunteers take customers one at a time through the cases.  You can take as long as you like trying on different pieces.  I love this part.  It feels so glamorous to go through the cases of shiny, pretty things.  I'm pretty sure I tried on every ring they had.  Mostly, it's costume jewelry, but they do get a few "real" pieces.

Once we were done with jewelry, we sorted our goodies one more time, headed to check out, and then jetted down to Stanford's at Southcenter for lunch.  Love that place!  It always smells soooooooooooooo good.

Because I have the patience of a four year old on Christmas morning, I had to bring my jewelry into the restaurant.  I have a little bit of an obsession with cocktail rings.  Here's what I got:

A more refined person would wear them one at a time, but what fun would that be?  :)  I also got the bracelet (lower corner), a cute broach and sparkly earrings.  Love the shiny bling!

When we got home, everything got dumped out to pose for pictures!

Top Left:  One of my new silk scarves, 
Top Right:  New with tags Talbot's animal print skirt.  Price on the tag is $134!!!
Middle Row:  Furry/Sparkle shoes, Lacey Shoes, JOHN FLUEVOGS -- OMG!!!!! EEEEEE!!!!, Cute, brand new, electric green flats
Front Row:  Pink Coach tennies, French sparkle slippers

Perhaps I previously failed to mention that I love Fluevogs.  OMG.  When I saw that pair sitting there, I couldn't believe it.  Can I be the only person in Seattle who knows this brand?  What else could explain them just sitting there on the rack waiting for me?  This is probably my most exciting score.  I've wanted a pair for about 3 years, and there they were.  Sigh... Fluevogs.  <3  

The Purses!!  Originally, I had a bagful of Coaches, a couple Guccis, a Betseyville, and a Prada, but they were kinda spendy and not really my thing.  I narrowed it down to my two favorites:

A cute Fossil crossbody bag, and a Guess hobo handbag!  Love them!!  

We had the most fun, perfect day.  It was cold, but we were comfortable.  It was exciting, and a mad dash.  We came away with some exciting deals.  We spent a fun day together.  Me shopping, him being my personal sherpa.  He's a good man.  It was a good day.

One more picture before I leave you.  This is my Rusty Roo man in his new Glitter Sale silk scarf.  Very handsome, no?

We hope you get a chance to hit the Glitter Sale before it's over this year!  A few hours are still left!  Best of luck!  Hope you get some goodies!