Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas past...

Here's what I have done in the past in order to make the kitchen feel Christmasy on no budget. No budget as in no money to spend. This year I eyeballed the cranberries again and decided to wait and see if they go on sale! HA!

A couple of dollar tree ornaments and a bag of cranberries

make the holidays feel bright...

Already had the oranges and cloves at home, so I made a bit of no cost decor for the other countertop:

Cloved oranges make the kitchen smell like Christmas...

We've got our decorations starting to go up, but I have to admit they're not nearly as beautiful as yours!

Update: Just got in from Tuesday Morning and found a great frame for a pic I took of my Snew yesterday. Have to wait for a new computer so I can print it. Did I mention I broke my lap top?Twice. (I'm operating in safe mode right now, ugh. )

Pretty as a picture...

Monday, November 24, 2008


Whew, what a weekend!

First some very exciting news: The F.W. Springstead Marching Eagle Brigade, my own sweet Snew included, placed 4th at the FMBC's! Woohoooooo!!!

Name in lights at the Tropicana Dome - Home of the Rays

They just left it all on the field...

We are so proud of her.

We took advantage of her Dad being in town to celebrate his Birthday and Thanksgiving together. At 10:30 am Sunday when I hadn't even gone grocery shopping yet I didn't think it was going to happen. Thankfully we pulled it all together and we all spent some much needed time sitting around together and being thankful for eachother.

Birthday/Thanksgiving celebration...

Birthday/Thanksgiving Cake...

I think we're going to it this way annually because it was lots of, in addition to pumpkin pie, I got to eat chocolate cake, yum yum.

So, I'm officially done with Thanksgiving Day and am ready to move on to Christmas time. We're packing up all the Fall Decor and sending it over to my Mom's for her celebration on Thursday.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with those you love and who love you.

I'm thankful that so many of you inspire me daily with your blogs!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Is it too early to give you your card?

(Click on card for larger image)

(Inspired by SGM. )

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It is a cold morning...

and tender tropical leaves are yellowing,
desperately waiting for
the sun to warm them.

Tropical Tranquility...

Thankfully, he has now arrived, and is doing just that.

Now it's time to warm my soul by reading all your blogs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fun with paint...

I went on RateMySpace today hoping for a little get up and clean inspiration...instead I painted my master bathroom's water closet. Ooopsie.
I used all left over paints and ended up with a color I'm really happy with.

I started out with this color:

Glidden's Cool Dip in daughter's bathroom

(ignore that print - it's temporarily there...which means it'll be there for years and years and years)

mixed in two plops of Martha Stewart's Shiraz (from front door), and one plop of Behr's Tate Olive (accent color in family room) and ended up with this shade:

greyish-pale-robin's egg but not really blue

It goes nicely with the Glidden Sea Sponge in the main area of the master bath and bedroom. We had painted it a chocolate brown color that made it too dark/dank/depressing. I love chocolate brown rooms, but it just didn't work in this little closet of a space.

Great way to use up leftover paint. Some might even call me green.

Have you ever mixed up your own paint colors before? Or do you have any favorite paint color stand-bys you use regularly?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Excuse me, Mr. Turkey & Ms. Fall, you have mail...

Here is what Li was working on while chatting with her family in the Republic of Georgia on Skype:

She blows me away with her creativity and sweetness.

Here's my first attempt at One Pearl Button's pen project that I saw on Living Locurto:

Don't look too closely...

I also attempted JustaGirl's grateful garland's not exactly photoworthy just yet. I'll post it after some tweaking.

Are you getting crafty with your Thanksgiving decorating?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

58 degrees in sunny FL means...

snuggling in front of this:

burning logs are so darn pretty...

and enjoying a few of these:

more s'mores please...

Now that it's actually pretty chilly around here it is dawning on me that I should probably start planning our Thanksgiving meal.

Snew's Dad is coming down to Spring Hill to watch her perform in the FMBC's, and we'll be having our Turkey Day festivities on Sunday so he can participate. She's really excited!

I'm also working on a variation of JustaGirl's autumn leaf garland where each leaf has something you're thankful for written on it...except I have no we're having to make some adjustments. If you haven't checked out her blog yet please do, sooooo many great ideas.

What're you doing to stay warm?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Give a girl some ribbon...

and it becomes the gift that keeps on giving.

You might remember the pretty ribbon FawnDear had tied my prize with, and you might've noticed that it made an appearance tied to the little witch hat sign on this post...well, it's found yet another new home.

Here's our entryway topiary decorated for Fall:

with dollar store bittersweet vines and a pretty bow...

Close up of ribbon...

I've got Azorean beef stew simmering in the crockpot (has cinnamon & all spice in it...delicious), and Li just baked some chocolate chip almost feels like fall around here...almost.

Thank you to Restyled Home for inspiring me to get out there and decorate my urn!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dreaming of...

I'm also dreaming of winning Jewel Street Designs' giveaway. Wouldn't those just be perfect to wear on my mini-getaway to Sarasota?

What indulgences are you dreaming of?

pssssst! I'm on Twitter, are you? Tweet me sometime!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day...

First and foremost, a thank you to all who have served, and are serving, this beautiful nation.

Thank you.

Snew had the day off today so we went over to Pine Island, which is just a few minutes from Spring Hill, for a bite to eat at Willy's Tropical Breeze Cafe. It is this adorable little beach cottage building surround by a deck with picnic tables, located right on the beach on Pine Island, that serves the yummiest food. It is shocking how good the food is. Beyond fresh, beyond yummy...beyond words. Just perfect. And unexpected.

Willy's Tropical Breeze Cafe, Pine Island, Hernando County, FL

Snew had a hot dog, I had coconut shrimp (best I've ever had anywhere...try it, you'll see) and Josh had crab cakes (o...m...goodness they were delicious). Sitting there in those beautiful surroundings while enjoying a delicious lunch with two of my most favorite people was a perfect way to spend an afternoon with my baby girl home.

I'm the wind beneath her wings...

Here are a few more images:


Palms and covered picnic tables...

Didn't spot any sea turtles today...

But there were lots of Sandpipers...

How'd you spend your day off today?

Monday, November 10, 2008

YOU could totally make these!

Genious crafty gift ideas can be found by going here:

Join the fun!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lush tropical landscaping...and a little lime in your coconut...

Happened across a great post over at Lime in your Coconut today which was very timely for me.

Whilst out on morning errands, which consisted of stopping by our 4th little investment property, and doing a drive-by photo session on a home for a BPO (broker price opinion), we drove past a home that made me a little green with envy. Okay, a lot a palm frond.

Image found at HGtv

It was a small, older home. I mean older in terms of Spring Hill. We're talking 70's. That's like ancient around here, lol. Nothing that would normally knock your socks off except that leading from the driveway to the front door it was a tropical oasis. The likes of which I have coveted ever since first spotting such beauty when visiting my aunt in Fort Lauderdale. I wanted to pull into their drive way. Fix myself a bellini. And casually stroll up that walk way feeling like an exotic goddess with a hibiscus flower carelessly perched behind one ear.

image found at HawaiianDays

Now, you're probably thinking "why not just do that at your house, Nat?" (I like that you call me Nat because we're cool like that.) Well, I want to. Believe me, I want to. Issue I have is that I bought a home in a deed restricted neighborhood. Plus side is that it is soooo pretty in here, and everyone has to keep their landscaping and homes in good condition, no rusted out cars on lawns, etc., etc. Negative side is that I can't create a tahitian jungle in my front yard. I'm ever so slowly creating one in the back (shhhhh! I only told you that because we're cool, don't snitch on me, k?) but I have to behave with the front. The pic in my header is my home and you can see that I've added a palm tree and a bird of paradise and am working my way to "controlled tropical" I'm calling it.

Please head over to Lime in your Coconut to read her post, and check out her beautiful tropical landscaping and home while you're there. If you want the full effect grab a little peach nectar and proseco on your way. Or maybe just a sweet tea.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

WHAT???!!! (Top Design Spoiler)

Do not read any further if you haven't watched the finale yet and are intending to.

Last warning.

This was my reaction to the winner:

I was totally pulling for:

Preston Lee

In my search for a pic of Preston, I came across this post.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's here, it's here!

Guess what arrived! It's WICKED AWESOME! lol

My Wicked banner that I won in Art-n-Sewl's give away came in, yay!
Being from MA, wicked is a part of my vocabulary. I thought this was normal for a big part of my life. I now know it is not. Things can either be wicked pretty or wicked ugly...wicked small or wicked tall...wicked cheap or wicked get the idea, right? It's a little added spice to absolutely any adjective. Wicked handy.

Here's my wicked pretty prize hanging on my mantle. It's so pretty it deserves a much nicer mantle to hang on:

by Art-n-Sewl

My poor photo taking skills are not showcasing this properly. I'm looking at it now as I type and the letters are sparkling, and that green fabric....oh, I could live in that fabric, it's that pretty. Please visit her Etsy shop, where you will not only fall in love with her work, but will find that she's offering 20% off right now. Wicked cool.

Monday, November 03, 2008

If you like busts...

and who doesn't? Please go here for a chance to win a wonderful prize!

And while you're there, help my contest winner, Mommy2LilGems, select her prize from A Fanciful Twist's Etsy shop! She's having a hard time choosing (can't say I blame her), and wants your input.

Here's one that reminds me of where we were at yesterday, Weeki Wachee!

The Sirens One Wish - A Fanciful Twist

St. Augustine, FL...or maybe not?

Josh and I are trying to figure out where to take our annual mini-road trip to this year. We did Key West last year and are tempted to head right back down. I've heard great things about St. Augustine though, and think it might be the way to go.

Have you been there? Any suggestions?

I'd love to hear them!

Update: Just realized it's quite a bit north of us...being that we'll be going to celebrate my B-day at the end of December this could mean chillyness. My life is all about avoiding any weather where I can't wear my flip flops so I might need to re-think this.

Any suggestions for alternatives in points south?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Taste of Jazz...

Just got in from Weeki Wachee where Snew and the Springstead High School Jazz Ensemble performed at the HCFAC A Taste of Jazz. So much fun, so much food, and so much jazz to groove to. This is totally going to be an annual thing for us. If you live anywhere near Spring Hill, FL, it should be for you, too.

We enjoyed Thai Chicken with Rice, Hummus, Tzatziki, Tabouli, Chicken Parmesan....and there was soooo much more we didn't sample yet but will be sure to do so next year. Oh my goodness was everything yummy.

Once we were good and stuffed (I think it cost us under 10 bucks for the 3 of us and we had quite a variety!) we made our way over to watch the Jazz band. This was their first venture out of school grounds to perform, and I'm hoping it won't be their last. Super talented kids. We were grooving. Girl from Impanema was Li's favorite song.

Once I get the pics off my camera I'll post a couple. Li bought the most beautiful mermaid, of course...we were at Weeki Wachee after all!

Go here for more info on the Hernando County Fine Arts Council, and all they offer.