Bonnets of Blue

On my morning commute into work, I have these brief moments of creative brilliance. For instance, this morning, I was sitting at a red light, as one does when driving in the city, and I came up with several bullet points for a blog post. I knew for sure, I would remember them and be able to jot them down as soon as I got to the office. But once I stepped into my office and sat down at my desk, I was suddenly mind blocked. Work things started taking the place of creative things. Which is probably a good thing, since work things pay the bills and creative things only entertain me. But it’s a bummer when I wanted to record those creative things for later use. Staring at a blank note pad, pen in hand didn’t bring the thoughts back either. So, they’re lost…until tomorrow on my next morning commute.

All that to say, I don’t have anything cool to say. But, I do have lots of photos to share…

Remember in this post I promised lots of bluebonnet and wildflower photos from my trip to the great state of Texas this past April. So here we go…

We went in early April, so it was a little early to see a lot of different wildflowers and I really didn’t get to see the sea of Bluebonnets like I had envisioned. But I still got to shoot lots of them despite how sparse they kind of were that time of year. On the bright side, the route we took gave us a good tour of the Texas hill country.Texas as a whole really is one of my favorite places, but I seem to have a special place in my heart for central Texas and the hill country in particular. I can’t explain it, but it just feels right.

We left fairly early on a Monday drove through New Mexico, West Texas, and finally arriving in the Austin area. From there we went south to New Braunfels, because Buc-ees, I’ll have to tell you about that later. It’s not just a gas station by the way. From New Braunfels, husband and I decided it was time to move further north, so we headed up to Waco. Which by the way is a super charming town, and had me at all the great eateries (Health Camp anyone?) Then sadly, it was time to head home. But today, lets focus on the reason for the trip, the flowers!

These were taken lakeside in Waco…

solobluebonnet

bluebonnet

BluebonnetsTree

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butterflybluebonnetsNotice the butterfly in the center of this photo? I didn’t have a macro lens to properly capture that quick moving sucker. Maybe next time.

bluebonnetfield

These were taken outside Austin at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. An awesome stop if you ever get the chance. They have beautiful grounds.

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stonebluebonnets

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I have tons more photos of these beautiful blues. But for now this is what I have to share. I’ll be talking about the little Texas towns I had the pleasure of visiting along the way. So there is more to come!

Also, any of you know of an easy to use photo editing software? I am using a pretty clunky system now, it’s very time consuming, and apparently I can’t seem to get my watermark to be consistently less intrusive. I have played around with Photoshop and enjoy using it, but it’s so expensive. I’m leaning towards purchasing Elements since it’s a little more user friendly and not as costly. Any thoughts?

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The Open Concept

Nearly 3:30 AM New Mexico time, perfect time to write a post wouldn’t you say? Most people would say this would be the perfect time to be snug in ones bed dreaming of new paint choices for the spare room, but not my little brain. She thinks 3:30 in the morn is the time to babble on about nonsensical things, like…well…she can’t think of anything nonsensical enough to share at the moment. Maybe, it is too late for my little brain, or too early…there are people in the world who will be getting out of bed in a couple of hours for that morning run, I call those people crazy. They call me crazy for staying up past 10PM. But hey…someone has to YouTube silly cat videos.

Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot besides not getting enough sleep and youtubing silly cat videos. Over the 4th of July weekend (has it really been that long since I blogged about something other than dogs? Or blogged at all? Sad day…), Bubba left me home alone for a full 12 hours. And , I may have done something drastic with all that quiet time in an empty house….

moldywallI seem to have misplaced the memory card that held any before shots, but this is in my kitchen, the wall between the kitchen, utility room, and a small coat closet. Previously, there had been a cabinet in this space, hence the white outline of said cabinet. That’s really how this all started out, I wanted to move the cabinet that we dubbed the “buffet”, which is little more than a cheap free standing piece of cabinetry one finds at Home Depot, to the other side of the stove which currently had only one 3 ft section of counter space adjacent. This would be so much easier if I could illustrate with photos.

Anywho, after moving the cabinet, I began work on a simple wall patch and paint project. Or so I thought, the one little hole seemed a bit soft, so I pulled on the dry wall, and found mold. I was dismayed, and freaked…mold is never good, and is always disgusting. Especially, when you see it in a piece of cheese you’ve just bitten into, but even more so when it’s found in your wall. So, I pulled out a hammer and started to take out more drywall…and then more..and more…until I was left with this huge hole. Then I realized there was mold in the closet too.

This is what my living room looked like when I had to pull the contents out of the closet to remove nasty, green, and slightly frightening drywall…

messylivingroomOy and vey!!

And since no post is complete without a dog photo, here’s Goldie helping me through the process of nasty drywall removal…

goldiehelpingGood dog…

Apparently, there is an old washer hook up that still has water running to it, which I theorize caused the mold and the leak. So, a few days after my “simple patch job” and a good scrubbing with bleach and water, Bubba recapped them and everything seems to be staying pretty dry.

After having removed drywall from the kitchen side and the closet, I was left with the task of covering my newly formed “open concept”  with new drywall.

crookeddrywall

Apparently, I can’t cut a straight piece of drywall. Good thing, I’ve got a day job. The crooked drywall stayed in my kitchen for a couple more weeks mocking me, and my inability to properly use a utility knife. Until Bubba came through, saved the day, and installed some nice even drywall.

fixeddrywallNever mind the mess, nor the spare key on the wall. Bubba wanted to ensure the safety of our vehicle by placing the key in an inconspicuous spot.

So, here’s the straightened out drywall, I did the mudding (is that the proper terminology?). I’m quite proud of it, as you can tell I’ve babbled on about it for nearly 600 words. But darn, this one little project has kicked my butt. Maybe, it’s lack of time and patience on my part, but this project has taken entirely too long for my liking.

We still have to make it pretty, I would like to put some bead board on this wall, with some crown molding. Similar to this..

Via Clarendon Lane

In the mean time, I’ve been finding, shall we say less challenging projects to complete, in the hopes they will fortify my confidence levels.

halfpainted

I’ve now finished painting the front room, took me two weeks including procrastination time, but darn it, I finished something. The new color is the greeny-blue and the old color is that beigy-peach, so technical, Benjamin Moore should hire me to name all their paints! I’ll post photos of this room someday, maybe tomorrow. The room is back together again, so there is something pretty and complete to show you. And since I am currently enjoying annual leave, I’ll have time to take those shots while the sun is still up and pretty. *Insert Dance of Joy*

All this to say, I don’t think my husband will be leaving me home alone again for fear of what I might destroy next. He just doesn’t appreciate the open concept. Who needs walls, we’re all family here.

 

Honey Bears and In-laws

So, I’ve finally been going through the zillions of photos I’ve taken over the past several months and came across a trip Bubba and I took down south to Las  Cruces over the long President’s Day holiday. Yeah, I know it’s June, and these shots were taken waaaay back in Feburary, let’s just say I’m behind, and losing at the game of catch up.

Instead of getting all wordy like I always do I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

organmountainsriogrande

Okay, I lied, I am going to get wordy, but only to explain the photos, because some of them really can’t speak for themselves. Well, they can but I’m a chronic interrupter. So anyways, that sandy stuff in the middle of this photo is the Rio Grande River.  And those mountains are the Organ Mountains, very pointy.

organmountains

Here’s another view of the Organ’s set in contrast to an alfalfa field.

nmsugardens

Here’s where we almost got married. From another view you don’t see the green houses, but instead see the surrounding gardens. The grounds are operated by the local college, and quite often you’ll see some pretty interesting plant life. One year they did an entire ornamental pepper garden. It was gorgeous!

beyoncegiantmetalrooster

And here’s a giant rooster. Bubba wouldn’t let me bring him home. Maybe one day I will surprise him like the Bloggess (may contain four letter words, and I don’t mean words like “skinny jeans”) did for Victor.

fordtailgatebench

And here’s a bench made from a Ford tailgate. I couldn’t fit it into my trunk so it got left behind.

church

And an old church, I love old churches.

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This one is in Old Mesilla, Basilica of San Albino, gorgeous church.

While we were in town we stopped by to visit my Bubba-in-laws.

grandpababy2Father-in-law with Bubba niece.

neiceyIsn’t she the cutest? I couldn’t get an un-blurry shot though, the little rascal moves like lightening.

momandbabyHere she is with her momma, enjoying some chocolate cake.

motherinlawSpeaking of momma’s, here’s Bubba’s mom.

After visiting with family it was time to head home and bail our brat girls out the kennel, which is actually considered a pet boutique. Yes, I’m that weird dog lover that can’t bear the thought of my beloved pooches spending any amount of time in a kennel. This place allows free range dogs, so the girls are part of herd while we are away. I think they like it…they come back exhausted as one usually does when away from home and ones favorite chair.

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Or ones most prized sunny spot near the fridge….

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Anyways, getting on with it…

helencorbittbrowniesSince the three day weekend fell around Valentine’s Day Bubba made my favorite brownies from my favorite cookbook by Helen Corbitt. The recipe can be found here.

As I munched on the most delectable of brownies and decided skinny jeans just weren’t in the cards for me I enjoyed gazing at the red tulips that Bubba surprised me with.

valentinetulips

And unloading all the sweet honey goodness I found while poking around a farmer’s market while visiting the southern part of the state.

teenyhoneybears

I couldn’t resist the teeny honey bears.

And now I’ve run out of pictures and words…how’s that for an eloquent ending?

Pretty in Pink

Since apparently I have taken to posting once a week, and that once a week happens to fall on what I call Friday Eve which also happens to be Thrifting Thursday around these parts, I’ve decided to give Thrifting Thursday a break for a little while. It’s not going away forever, heck, you might even see it next week, but I want this blog to be more than just about thrifted goodness. Yeah, I could post more than once a week, and I always plan to, but then life and work come into the mix. Honestly, after staring at a computer all day at my 9-5 ,the last thing I want to do is look at another screen once I get home. Okay, I do look at the TV and that’s considered a screen, but you catch my drift.

So this week, let’s take a look at what’s going on in the backyard. Particularly, the magic that’s happening with my apricot tree.

pinkblossom1

Here she is mid-March, in all her pink blossom goodness.

blossomsonagraysky1

A little over watering has caused some shoots at the very top, I’m thinking they should probably be trimmed at some point. But for now they make for a dramatic shot reaching towards the sky.

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Here she is in early April, just about ready to show her summer green.

Iapricotleaves

I haven’t gotten out there to take a picture of her this month, but she’s in her full summer greens now.

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Which means the dogs can wrestle under the tree without worry of knocking off any pretty in pink blossoms.

Spring has Sprung

Happy Spring everyone!!  As most of you know, today is the first day of spring, and honestly I couldn’t be happier about it. I am certainly not a winter girl, the cold short days really take their toll on me. But now that the days are getting longer, warmer and the opportunities to get out and play in the sunshine are more abundant, I can shake those winter blues like Annie shakes off the dead winter grass from her back. It’s quite exhilarating, shaking the winter blues that is, not shaking grass off my back.

With spring upon us, I’ve been enjoying a few spring-y touches around the house.

yellowdafodils

Daffodils, they’re so sunny and bright, they almost smile.

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They make me smile right back at them. I’ve also discovered glitter covered eggs from the dollar store.

glittereastereggs

They maybe a little tacky, but at least my table looks Easter-y.

Recently, I’ve been seeing my sweet momma a lot, and finally got to give her the Valentine’s gift I’d stitched up for her.

momandgoldie

The scarf came out huge, apparently I have gauge issues.

laughingmomandgoldie

But sweet momma tried it on, anyways. Under Goldie-dogs watchful gaze, of course.

Oh, and spring not only brings with it daffodils to my table and finally a grass free dog, but also new birds to my yard!

northernflicker

A male Northern Flicker Woodpecker.

northerflickwoodpecker

Guess the bugs living in between the stepping stones didn’t stand a chance. I couldn’t get a shot of him flying, so I borrowed a shot taken by Laura Meyers, who obviously has a quicker shutter finger than I do.

Via

Doesn’t this guy have a gorgeous undercarriage? The one munching on bugs in my backyard had more of an orange-y undercarriage than the one pictured above. But he still took my breath away. It’s not too often we get birds other than pigeons and doves hanging out back there.

Now that spring has sprung and the sun is shining brightly, I’ll be taking my leave out of doors. (And maybe cut back on my BBC viewing.)

Happy Spring Everyone!

Idea Stores

Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder. I’ve really missed blogging these past couple of weeks, and I haven’t even been all that busy. Just lazy I suppose, at work there is not much time to blog, plus I really don’t know how ethical it is to use company time to do such things. Then when home time comes around, all I want to do is sit on the couch and attempt to watch TV, but instead I wake up 2 hours later to find the local news filling my head with current headlines. Let’s just say I’m tired.

But a couple of weeks ago I was able to drag myself off the couch, and visit a couple of my favorite “idea” stores. You know those kinds of stores where the merchandise is too pricey (at least for this cheapskate) to actually purchase anything, but instead steal their ideas and buy something similar at your favorite thrift or discount store.

Well, Potty Barn and Anthropologie are my idea stores. And here’s what I found:

anthropologiedisplay

I really don’t know what I like best about Anthropologie, the gorgeous smells or scrumptuous eye candy.

anthropologietable

I love this table, I don’t know if it was truly old, but those wheels are awesome.

anthropologiequilts

These quilts had me at, “Hey, I’m 100% cotton!” My favorite is the white ruffled one second from the bottom.

colorfulglasswareanthropologie

Have I mentioned all the eye candy that Anthropologie has to offer?

cornergalleryanthropologie

I loved this corner gallery. It might look odd in a main living area, but perhaps it would work in a bedroom?

glassthinganthropologie

And these weird little glass balls. I thought they were a light fixture at first, but I still like them. They bring a little shine into a space.

shinyglassandprettylampsanthropologie

Aren’t these  bright lamps the coolest?

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Oh, and they had owls!

owlcookiejarsanthropologie

Lots of owls…

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weeniedogletterholderanthropologie

And not just owls, they also offered weenie dogs that would hold letters for you. I thought about buying this for my sister, but alas, $30 was too steep for my tight little wallet.

upholsteredchairanthropologie

This chair is so cute, I could see one of my thrifted chairs getting this treatment.

pillowascushionanthropologie

All I need now is a cute euro pillow. And some time away from the couch.

After indulging in all the eye candy that Anthropologie offered it was time to see what Pottery Barn had in store for me.

potterybarneastertable

I love their table settings at the Barn of Pottery. They’re a little too busy for my everyday life, but still fun to gaze upon. I did however, get some ideas for my own Easter table.

colorfulplatespotterybarn

A bunny holding colorful plates anyone?

potterybarnglittereggs

How about a cheese dome displaying pretty Easter eggs?

bunnynapkinpotterybarn

Or cute bunny napkins?

I also noticed a trend in both stores:

colorfulglassespotterybarn

bluebeveledfootedglassesanthropologie

Colored and textured glassware. Which I’m completely on board with, evidenced by my favorite colorful glasses purchases from one of my favorite thrift stores. You can read more about those here.

peachbeveledglasses

Normally, when visiting my idea stores, I just come away with ideas. But this time, I actually purchased something. My very first purchase from Anthropologie. It was like a little present to me and from me.

spoilsfromanthropologie

fancytape

All wrapped up with pretty tape! But what lay beyond that pretty tape?

candleanthropologie

Why, a yummy candle. I can’t remember what flavor it is, but I snatched it from the clearance section for $15. Now, every time I light my gifted to me candle, I pretend I’m walking around one of my favorite idea stores. Of course, then I wake up and realize I just fell asleep on the couch again.

Weekend Happenings: Wide Angles

YAY! We’ve made it to Wednesday or as I like to call it, Friday Eve Eve!

Even though I’m on the tail end of Wednesday, and well into the work week, I’ve still got the past weekend on my mind. In particular, a new toy that I received this weekend. It’s got me doing a little happy dance every time I think about it.

Amazon

A Sigma 10-20mm F/4-5.6 Wide angle lens for Canon. It’s something that my Bubba and I have been wanting ever since we purchased our first SLR on e-Bay two years ago. Coincidentally, this lens was also purchased on everyone’s favorite auction site as well, and a pretty good deal if I do say so myself. When it finally arrived in the mail on Saturday I felt like Ralphie when he finally got his official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time. And I would have slept with the lens too, if I hadn’t been afraid of rolling over on it and breaking my precious. Sorry honey, but I take my toys very seriously.

Once we both hurriedly opened the box to reveal our newest prize, I quickly hooked it up to my camera and took some random shots.

viewfromthecouch

Never mind my abnormally large leg and the wonky vents on the ugly wall heater, apparently this lens distorts  certain items that happen to be at the edge of the shot. Or things have gotten distorted through editing and sizing down the original photo. Or there’s a worm hole hidden in my living room that could cause a rip through time and space. Or maybe it’s time to cut back on the Doctor Who re-runs. Also, don’t judge me for still having my Christmas decorations out, it’s still Christmas in my heart. And another thing, this is real life folks, no fluffing of the nest going on in this shot. Hence, the pile of coats on the rocker and various other piles of clutter here and there. We pile in this house, it’s how we organize.

teenyannie

I love this lens, it makes my backyard look HUGE! It also makes Annie-dog look so small and alone. On a side note, I think pea gravel will need to be put under the tree this spring, my poor grass is barely making it thanks to all the dog traffic and shade.

dukecity

I’ve discovered the wide angle lens captures so much more when shooting landscape shots.

sandiafoothills

cactussandiamountains

I have also discovered that New Mexico is pretty brown and crunchy during the winter months. Actually, it’s pretty brown and crunchy during the summer months too, but at least the weeds and cacti have a little more color to them.

bubandgoldie

bubandann

Oh, and the wide angle is perfect for portraits, especially when you want to capture the setting. Ya know, because our couch is picturesque.

Have you gotten any new toys you’er especially proud of recently? Or are you still battling with the remaining Christmas cheer around the house?

Thrifting Thursday: A turtle and a gingerbread man walk into a bakery…

What says Christmas more than a gingerbread man on a pretty plate, a glass turtle, one random Glade candle, and a dough bowl full of pumpkins and onions??

gingerbreadman

Not much I’d say. So far, this is my Christmas table. A little sad and so not very jolly, but at least there’s the lone gingerbread man. I named him Sam right before he met his fate with a glass of milk and my mouth. No, I didn’t bake him, I don’t have the kind of patience for gingerbread. I am still on the look out for a super easy and edible recipe. If you know of one, please share!

gingerbreadmanonpinkplate

But back to the cookie and the plate, mainly the plate. I love this plate, when I’m grabbing a snack I always grab for my pink ruffled plate. It kind of dresses up a not so fancy meal. Plus, it makes me happy.  Bubba picked the plate up at a nearby thrift store for less than a dollar, apparently it’s from Hazel Atlas and the pattern is called Pink Crinoline. This is the only piece I have from the collection, but if I ever come across more of the set, it’s certainly coming home with me.

anchorhockingturtle

And this turtle? My Bubba found him at the local Humane Society thrift store. He’s Anchor Hocking, and either from the late ’50’s or the late 70’s I couldn’t really tell from the patent I found online.

glassturtle

I think he’s meant to be a candy dish or similar, but I think he’d look cute as a trinket holder.

glassturtlebox

If I don’t get busy jolly-fying the house, I’ll be up chocolate creek without a popsicle stick! (Name that famous gingerbread man!)

Tablesetting Tuesday:Christmas Edition

With Christmas less than a week away, I am FINALLY in the mood to think about all things holiday. Which is odd for me, usually the tree is trimmed and most of my Christmas shopping is done the week after Thanksgiving. Not this year, I don’t have one present picked out and the tree has only been trimmed a couple of days. In fact, I’ve been tripping over a ridiculous number of those ugly red and green bins the past week in the hopes that having to walk around and over those things would force me to open them up and pull out all the sparkly goodness. The plan didn’t work, just a few minutes ago I pulled out the “special” items and  finally put the bins away. I guess the rest will have to wait for another year.

All that to say, I shot a Christmas themed table setting for you. It was a warm day outside, and I wasn’t up to moving the ugly red and green bins in the kitchen to make things a bit more presentable. So, how about a holiday meal in my backyard? Also, I realize it’s Wednesday, but Tablesetting Wednesday doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

evergreeninmilkglass

The evergreen sprigs came from my Pinon tree out front, everything else I already had on hand. The vases I found at various thrift stores around town, the mercury glass candle holders came from a Joann’s that was shutting down, they were a quarter each. Now that’s something this sparkle loving cheapskate couldn’t resist.

christmasdinnerfortwoThe red and green plaid table cloth came from swanky Wal-Mart a few years ago after Christmas.

plaidchristmastableclothAgain, all dinnerware is pretty old, and came from several sources. I can’t really remember where it all came from. But I do remember the flatware and plates were Christmas gifts from my sweet Momma. Thanks Mom!

goldmercuryglassAnd another shot of my sparkle, also do you see someone photo bombing in the reflection? (How YOU doin’?)

So, how you fairing this holiday season? Is the tree up, have the stockings been hung with care?

Thanksgiving Recap

So, here we are nearly a week after Thanksgiving and I haven’t provided a full and complete run down of my day of thanksgiving! Are you ready to be bombarded with too many pictures of pumpkin pie and faux gourds? No? Well sorry, you’re gonna have to endure this picture laden post, or not. This is the internet afterall, I can’t force you stay and watch my virtual slideshow as I detail each and every event that is documented within each and every photo. Maybe I should make some virtual queso so you’ll all stick around and listen to my babbling. (Can you name that Rotel commercial? Wait, I think I already did. Such a party pooper aren’t I?)

This Thanksgiving, much like every Thanksgiving, was spent at my mothers house. I got to pretty up the table.

I just used what Mom had around the house, nothing new here. The covered cake dish that I used for the base of my pumpkin extravaganza, was given to my mother for Christmas one year by me, her favorite child of course. The clear dishes have all been collected over the years from various garage sales and thrift stores. My mom has an even greater weakness for pretty glassware than I do.

The table linens were all purchased at Wal-Mart after the holidays many moon ago, at a pretty steep discount. That bargain hunting runs deep through my veins thanks to Momma. (Don’t you love how it’s all about me?)

And what Thanksgiving would be complete without the Thanksgiving fowl?  No, not the one in the oven, the fowl of the decor variety. The hen and rooster are usually floating around Mom’s kitchen somewhere, but that little turkey in the middle? She’s made her annual appearance for the past 4 or 5 years, no Thanksgiving is complete without her nearby.

And did I mention that Mom has a weakness for interesting and vintage glassware?? I love this piece, and it was in brand new condition. Apparently, it’s previous owner never used it. Mom was able to pick up a few pieces from the same household that were all equally unused, and in perfect condition. If only I had thought to take a picture of these stunning pieces, but alas, dinner was calling my name.

After we feasted on our roast beast and Who-pudding, it was the doggies turn for their Thanksgiving dinner. Let’s just say that didn’t sit around the table and talk about the things they were most grateful for before chowing down.

Pardon the fuzzy pictures, excited dogs are hard to photograph at dusk.

And the best part of this holiday, ya know, aside from the thankfulness and the spending time with family, the left overs.

Don’t they taste so much better the next day?