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Friday, September 30, 2011

Dealing With Mature Landscaping

Our recent move has resulted in dealing with somewhat mature landscaping as far as the ornamental garden beds.  This presents a few problems.  First, we have no idea of knowing what spring or fall plants may be there so it is hard to consider those when it comes to replanting.  Second, any mature landscaping locks the gardens and even tree placement into the vision of the previous own, not you

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Late to the Party

I’m always late to the party when it comes to things like this.  But here I finally am… a newbie on Pinterest


If you’re on Pinterest and want to follow along as I pin, click here or click the Pinterest link on my side bar. 


What a clever idea… organizing all things that inspire in one spot.  I’m digging it! 


I’ve been collecting images of kitchens with subway tiles, as I think we’re headed in that direction with our new kitchen.  Late to the party on that one too! 


Hopefully not too late that it will look outdated in a few years.  To me, subway tile is classic.  I  suppose time will tell!  What do you think?  Is it timeless or a trend already on the way out?


On a different note, I want to give a big shout-out to Rebecca Razo for including some of our bedroom and bath images in the Fall issue of Bedrooms and Baths.  Thank you Rebecca!


Planning Our New Garden Beds

When we moved into our then new house a little over four years ago it was apparent that the was a lot of major work to do.  Unfortunately we spent much of those years ripping out garden mistakes as well as vegetation overgrowth.  We put that house on the market eighteen months ago so while we did garden maintenance, added mulch and a couple of raised beds we really did not get to reap the

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our Fall Tablescape {repost}

Good morning everyone!  Today, I am back with my fall tablescape!  I really liked how it turned out and I used it as my inspiration for my new fall header.
I LOVE decorating my tables.  So does my daughter!  I just say, “Grace, do you want to help me decorate?” and she comes yelling, “YEEESSSS!”  She is totally a little me, lol!  LOVE IT!
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We decided to do a very simple and nature looking tablescape today.
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She helped my with the pinecones.
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I just love the simplicity of it!
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I also love these dishes.  I bought this set at a garage sale for only $15.
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The kids loved smelling the cinnamon sticks with me.
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My baby wanted to throw the pinecones, lol!
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That’s ok with me as long as it is not a plate.
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I am really enjoying the straight lines of the plates and bowls.
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The centerpiece is also nature inspired.
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I used more cinnamon sticks, pinecones and acorns.
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I just placed everything into a rectangle platter along with this arrangement.
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I think they go well together.
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Here’s another view.
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And another.
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OK, last one!  I promise.
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So, there is my simple, nature-looking talblescape.
This is not too fancy.  Just simple and fun!
What do you use on your tables?
Have a great day!
Bonnie :)

Our Pear Tree

I was also thrilled to discover a pear tree on our new property.  It is a good sized tree, about ten feet high that was laden with large pears.  I think it is a Bartlett pear tree but will get a positive identification from the nursery.  Like the peach trees, the pear tree likely needs a bit of pruning.  I will be following the pruning guidelines for fruit trees by the Ontario Ministry of

Guest Post: Ring Around the Rosies

Good morning!  I am here today with another guest blogger just in time for fall! Smile
Say hello to Jaima!
Hey, y'all! I'm Jaima, and I blog over at Ring Around the Rosies!
Today, I am going to share with you an old post of mine to inspire a little Fall creativity!
Believe it or not, the leaves are turning colors and the weather is already getting crisp here in Middle Tennessee! You can find the original post here. I hope you all enjoy.
But first, I have to give Bonnie a huge "thank you" for letting me guest post today! It is kind of unbelievable, actually. I don't remember where I first saw the idea, but in prepping for the cooler Fall weather, I decided to do a little decorating today!
I took this...

(sorry it’s blurry, I forgot to take an actual “before” picture, so I had to take this one I took a few months ago when we had our condo for sale)
…and turned it into this…
How’d I do it?
I simply spray painted the flower pot with Rustoleum’s flat black paint. 
For the pumpkin, I decided what font I wanted using plain ol' Microsoft Word and printed it out.
Then I traced it on to wax paper and cut out the “S” with an exacto knife. I taped the paper to the pumpkin and simply spray painted it.
Next time, I will definitely hand paint the letter on, because as you can see, the spray paint ran a little. There's many ways you could do this though. I bought the pumpkin with a 40% off Michael's coupon. This way, I can pull it out year after year, but you could definitely use a real pumpkin too.
P9152544But, I must admit that overall, I really love the new look!
What do you think???
Thanks again to Bonnie!
Please stop by my blog and say hello sometime! 
Thanks so much Jaima!!  What a cute and simple idea!! Smile
Thanks so much for sharing!
Please stop by her blog today and let her know that I sent you!
Have a great day!
Bonnie :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Our Peach Trees

We were extremely pleased to discover fruit trees on our newly acquired property.  The property itself is a smaller, subdivision sized with a good sized house and above ground pool.  This will place restrictions on how we can set up our gardens.  There are some established ornamental front and side garden beds and a good size (about 10' x 20') traditional bed for vegetables.  I will be turning

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Beautiful Summer

The pears are being harvested in the valley, marking the first taste of autumn. 

We had a beautiful summer. It was filled with our favorite summer things, but nothing compared to sharing it for the first time with our son and daughter. 

Here are a few pictures from our summer.  

The four of us. xo

A picnic out by the grape vines under the large fir tree. 

First bouquet of peonies. 

Out by the lilacs. 

Graham and Mike in the hammock. 

First green bean.

Evening light on the porch. 

A bouquet of hot pink peonies from the garden... 

... and all white shelves for summer.

Bombshell hydrangea - a new variety to love. 

Happy Fall! 

7 Quick Takes "Friday" - #26

Even though it's not Friday, I have time now (on Monday) for a "7 Quick Takes" Friday, so here goes.
  1. I've lost 11.4 pounds with Weight Watchers since I started in August- hooray!  This is so doable for real life.  Yes, I'm having to be intentional about it, but it really hasn't been difficult.  I am planning in more veggies, and forgoing extra helpings of bread, starchy veggies, and dessert.  But I still eat VERY well, and have had ice cream or some kind of treat at least once a week... I'm loving it.
  2. Our 14-month old Moses is moving and grooving.  We call him "the Wanderer" because he always is meandering around, checking things out, inspecting cabinets, and generally just a curious little man on the move.  It's so much fun to see his humor and personality developing.
  3. We have about 100 days, give or take, left in America, before we hit the tarmac once again.  Remember that quote in Dead Poet's Society about sucking all the marrow from life?  Well, we're going to spend these days sucking the marrow... enjoying times with family and friends... loving the big sky of Texas... enjoying the ability to find good quality clothes at bargain prices... eating Tex-Mex & Blue Bell.
  4. I LOVE Pinterest.  I need to buy a couch when we move back overseas, and just joined Pinterest last week.  It has helped me narrow down what I'll want to look for-- which is totally different than what I thought I wanted.  I'm so glad to have a place to brainstorm and clarify what I love.  Are you a Pinterest user?
  5. One of the ideas I picked up from Pinterest was using the french knot to embroider the bumps on sheep.  Awesome idea.  It led me to a little project this week-- embroidering John 10:27.  It only took a couple hours, while I talked with Doug and caught up on Project Runway.  I'll frame it in a 5x7 frame, and have another verse for our walls.  I can't wait to do another.
  6. Do you know about my food blog?  It's nothing fancy... just tried-and-true recipes we use and love.  I just added a favorite of mine- Chinese Green Beans.  I could eat them by the barrel.
  7. Have you been watching the Republican Debates?  If you're a long-time reader, you'll remember that I love to talk politics.  Here's what I thought of the last one-- 
  • Perry really blew it.  His answer on foreign policy reminded me of Miss Teen South Carolina's answer about maps... he just bumbled over his words, and tried to throw in as many countries as possible.  His attempted attack on Romney was poorly stated and incomprehensible.
  • Herman Cain is hilarious (and it seems Florida was impressed-- they gave him the win in their recent straw poll, far ahead of Perry or Romney).
  • Romney came off more likable and at-ease than he ever has, to date.  The last debate was a shining moment for him.
  • Newt came across as authoritative and smart, and I think he's raising some important questions and providing some credibility, even though he won't be the candidate in the end.
  • Ron Paul got a lot of cheers, and I heard his sentiments (i.e., audit the fed) echoed from the lips of several other candidates.  His ideas are catching wind.
  • Bachman keeps fading more and more; she pounded the "I'm a mom" pulpit. Instead of looking presidential, she looks like she ought to be running the local school board.
  • Santorum had one good moment- bashing Perry on the college subsidy issue.  He had a lot of smirking and head shaking going on.  He still hasn't established a clear point of view.
  • Hunstman keeps trying to talk as if he has a chance, but has not established himself as a major player.  
  • Gary Johnson had a few good moments, but he's new to the gig and still seems like a long-shot.
  • My main take-away from that debate was that Perry had a REALLY rough night.  Even though not many people watch these debates faithfully, a debate performance filled with stumbles and flub-ups snowball and hurt the candidate's perception by the electorate, and future performance.  By the end of the night, he looked physically spent and sounded self-protective.  I do not think he's going to be the candidate, and I'm glad.  
What have you thought of the Republican field thus far?  Are you leaning in any particular direction?  If you're a Republican, do you feel your candidate has a shot?

As always, I'd love to hear back from you.


Eons ago I first became interested in gardening as a child but a few years later my environmental science teacher hired another student and myself through the school.  Our job on the surface was easy, to help out with the greenhouse.  The real purpose of the job was to teach us how the greenhouse was maintained including all the operational functions.  I absolutely loved it!  I would spend every

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shaklee: What is our Business Model?

Hey everyone!  How was your weekend?  We had  my husband’s parents over on Saturday and played lots of board games with the kiddos today!  We also did some basement organization because we are going to start finishing it in about a month or so.  I will keep you updated.  I need to do an overhaul down there first, lol, seriously!!

Anyway,  do you remember last May when was able to attend Shaklee’s New Director Conference at Shaklee’s Headquarters in Pleasanton, California?

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Well,  do you remember that I told you I did some video recording?

I was in several short clips used at the Shaklee Global Conference in Washington D.C., which was played in front of 5,000 people (I was actually the first video they played to start off the whole conference, so that was really cool) and now I am in another video that is used in our Shaklee iPad app for sharing the Shaklee Opportunity!

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Even though I am only in this video for like 10 seconds,  it is exciting for me so I wanted to show you it.

They asked us a lot of questions and this video was about are business model.  (which I love by the way!!)

What did you think?

If you are serious about working from home and spreading health, I am looking for people who want to make an extra $1,000 a month!  Email me to set up an appointment for more info.
Have a great day!
Bonnie :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Cleaning Schedule: Do you have one?

I wrote this last year and received great feedback so I thought that I would post it again! :
Fall is almost here!!!
I am soooo excited because I LOVE it! 
I love the leaves, the cool crisp air, the apples, the chili, the pumpkins and the decorating!!!

 Another thing that I love is a fresh, clean house!
I showed you my spring cleaning schedule here and now I am going to show you my fall cleaning schedule.

Here is my list:


Wash all windows.. Pick a cloudy day so you can better see any streaks.   I make my own glass cleaner or less than a penny per gallon with Basic H.

Vacuum dusty canvas, cotton, and treated fabric blinds. Use a low setting with a brush attachment. Vinyl shades can be wiped down with a dampened microfiber cloth if they need a little more attention.

Moderately dirty window treatments need a two-step approach. Start by dusting or vacuuming the valance and frame, then vacuum from top to bottom using the upholstery attachment for drapes, and the brush attachment for blinds. Or submerge blinds or shades in a few inches of cool water and two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid (check labels first to make sure this is safe). Take out the metal weights first; they can rust.

If your window coverings are very dirty, check labels for cleaning instructions. Some cotton, polyester, rayon, and wool drapes can be machine washed on delicate. Always send lace, linen, satin, and silk drapes and shades to a professional cleaner.

Clean the walls. Dust, wash, rinse, and dry painted or wood-paneled walls. I wash mine with Basic H all purpose solution.

Clean ceiling-mounted light fixtures.

Vacuum and spot-clean upholstered furniture and cushions. Deep-clean if necessary.

Wipe down the kitchen cupboards. Empty them, wash them down, replace liners (if you use them), declutter, and reorganize.

Dust off the refrigerator condenser coil. Use your vacuum’s brush attachment and gently vacuum it.

Clean the carpets. I use Basic H to clean, Nature Bright to brighten your carpet (if needed) and Basic G to disinfect.  I sometimes add essential oils for a fresh scent.  These are all safe and non-toxic choices.  Carpet cleaners are very dangerous.

Evaluate any wooden floors. Have scratched or dull wood floors professionally scuff-sanded and recoated, or completely refinished. I use a furniture marker on the scratches.

Spruce up your computer. Dust the CPU, clean and wipe down the keyboard, and dust off the monitor with a microfiber cloth.

Straighten the closets. De-clutter and reorganize.  Store away seasonal clothing.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Or install them, if you haven’t yet.

Replace the furnace filter. If you haven’t changed your furnace filter within the past three months, do so now.

Sweep the chimneys. Have the wood-burning fireplace and stove flues and chimneys professionally inspected and swept.

De-clutter and clean out the attic


Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows. Repair or replace as needed.

Check and clean the gutters. Do the downspouts, too.

Clean the patio furniture. Then store away.

Drain and store garden hoses.

Check the exterior paint. Touch up as needed.

Clean out your vehicle.

Pressure wash the houseI use Basic H and it is amazing at getting off bugs.

Drain the pool, if applicable. Close it up for the year.

You can download a FREE copy here!
Fall Cleaning Schedule

Did you start your fall cleaning yet? 

Happy Cleaning!

Bonnie :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Show & Tell: It's Been a Long While

Well, this is a favorite type of post for me, and for many of you-- when I share noteworthy articles, recipes, ideas, jokes and/or favorite links.  Here's a recent picture of our family... and now, let's dive into the links, shall we?


  • Just made my favorite banana bread this afternoon... ripe bananas at the farmer's market this morning were $1.00 for 2 bunches, and then she ended up throwing in 2 more bunches... we had something like 15 or more bananas, all ripe or even starting to brown.  This banana bread is absolutely amazing... if you need a new easy go-to recipe, this is a GREAT one.
  • Last week, I was on a Chinese Green Beans kick, so I wrote out the recipe.  They are so addictive.


Happy reading!  :)

Vanilla Vodka Recipe and Suggestions

This liquor is mighty tasty and easy to make. The ingredients are: real vanilla beans, sugar and vodka. Simple. The result is a strong liquor that goes down pretty smoothly.

Uses for Vanilla Vodka

I like to use vanilla vodka in holiday baking projects too (to enhance pumpkin, spice, apple and nutmeg flavors especially). The vanilla aroma really comes through and it adds richness to cupcakes,

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: How to Make your Own!

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Hello!  How are you doing today?  Anything new?  Did you start fall decorating yet?  What about fall cleaning?  I am about to start!  We have been busy with family but I plan on starting soon. If you follow me on facebook, then you know what I am talking about. 
Most of you know by know, that one of my goals as a Mother, is to create a healthy lifestyle for my family!  I love when we eat healthy and feel great!  I have showed you many of my easy and healthy meals and I am here today to show you another one. 
This is a lunch or snack that we like to make! It is yummy and full of fruit and yogurt!  This tastes like a dessert to them (and me too) because it is so delicious!! Smile 
We love to make our own fruit and yogurt parfaits!
This is what we used today…
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Unsweetened Yogurt (we sweeten it ourselves with stevia or honey)
(You can use whatever you have, ours is always different.)
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I just put everything into bowls for the kids to choose what they want!

This made it very fun! Smile
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I always like to include fresh fruit!
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So healthy too!
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Then we just everything together!
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And enjoy!
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You can also mix it all together if you want.
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Want is your favorite yogurt topping?
Have a great day!
Bonnie :)

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