Sunday, April 7, 2024

A Happy Easter Weekend Until it was Not

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter last weekend, I know I sure did;  but anytime I get to spend time with the grand babies is a happy time, and add to that celebrating our resurrected savior together makes it extra special!

We drove down to Indianapolis to spend Easter at my daughter and son-in-law's home.  The weather was only in the 40's in Wisconsin when we left but it was a balmy 78 degrees by the time we hit southern Illinois.  The warm sun felt wonderful.

The grandkids were so excited to see us again.  That makes me feel so loved and special.  They were pushing aside the curtains and watching out the windows when we arrived.  By the time our car pulled into the driveway they burst out the front door and ran out to greet us.  My husband said, "This must be just how Jesus will feel when He comes to get His bride."

After all the hugs and kisses Atticus says to my husband "I missed you so much Grandpa Todd.  It was too long since we saw you".  That made me want to cry.  The last time we saw them was at Christmas.  It's hard being a long distance grandparent.

After an eventful evening, we had the grandkids open their Easter baskets on Saturday night because I bought them new Easter clothes to wear to church the next morning and they were in their baskets.  Sorry the photo is so blurry.  I've been trying to take less photos and "live in the moment" more but then I don't get the nice photographic memories either.  It's hard.  I don't want my grandkids to grow up with a phone in their face, but I want the precious memories preserved too.  

My daughter is eight months pregnant so I brought the baby a gift.  It's an adorable onesie that says "Someone in Wisconsin Loves Me".

My son came with us on this trip as he was able to get some time off work.  The grandkids loved seeing him again too.  He's nice to have around for when the grandkids wear us out with play, he can play with them a bit and give us a break 😁

The next morning we went to my daughter and son-in-laws church.  They always do a nice Easter breakfast.  I couldn't believe how much food little Elisha could put down.  Yes, he ate almost everything on that plate.  My daughter and son-in-law are going to have one huge grocery bill feeding three boys!

Atticus did not appreciate having his meal interrupted to have his photo taken 😂

Both of my grandsons are crazy in love with their Grandpa Todd.  This little guy ran right past me and straight for Grandpa Todd when we arrived at my daughter's house and pretty much stuck to him like glue all weekend long.  Part of me feels bad that they prefer their grandfather so much over me, but then another part thinks it's the sweetest thing in the world how much they adore their grandpa.

Alethea and I however have our own special bond.  She loves her Grandpa Todd too, but there's something special between a grandmother and granddaughter.

The church had a little photo background set up where families could take selfies.  That's always nice when churches do that.

I just loved the tulips, they are my favorite spring flower.  I forgot to mention that when we were driving to Indiana what joy it was to start to see green:  green grass and some bushes were already leafed out.  Then we started to see lots and lots of white flowering trees, and by the time we arrived in Indiana all the daffodils were in bloom.  It's still quite brown here in Wisconsin, although my daffodils have pushed out of the ground.  I'm not sure if they will bloom though as we've had freezing temperatures plus over 8 inches of snow since they budded.  But we will see.

My gorgeous daughter eight months pregnant.  Don't you love her dress?  It's not even a maternity dress.  She bought it at Shein.  She buys all her dresses there.  I've never shopped from that site but all her beautiful clothes tempt me.

When we got home from church we had a quick lunch of sandwiches then we began the annual Easter Egg Hunt!  The kids have so much fun hunting for Easter Eggs!

The next day, we visited a local park.  The area my daughter lives in has so many great parks to visit.  

It was nice to have Jordan around so he could get into the playground equipment with the kids. 😂

Atticus has become quite the climber!  This kid will be scaling mountains soon!

And I couldn't believe Elisha was brave enough to go down such a tall slide!

He sure enjoyed it! No fear at all!  Just look at the smile on that face!

After a day like that, we wore the kiddos out so it was time to settle down and watch a movie, of which Elisha fell promptly to sleep.  😄

The next day it was time to drive home and the weather looked terrible.  I considered staying another day, but it did not look like the weather would improve until the weekend and we couldn't possibly stay that long.  The boys both had to be back at work, plus I only set out a few days of food for my cat, not a full week, so we just had to brave it up and go.  For nine hours we drove through every type of weather extreme there was:  torrential downpours, high winds, sleet, hail, ice, fog, and snow.  I kept thinking we would drive out of the rain in Indiana and Illinois, but the farther north we drove we ended up driving into a winter storm.  It was awful, and it was NOT even forecasted so I was not dressed for it.  I only had a sweatshirt, jean jacket, lightweight sweat pants, and ballet shoes.  I checked the weather on the Friday before we left and it said "sixties and clear".  How could the weather change so drastically in three days?  

But eventually we made it home safely and thankfully we left early enough that we beat the worst of the storm because later that day people were posting photos on FB of cars and semis spun out in ditches and highway traffic blocked for miles.  We only saw one car in a ditch on the way home.  I set my alarm for 5:00 am that day and ended up waking up abruptly at 4:00 am so I just decided rather than try and get back to sleep to just get up and go home.  The good Lord must have woken me up knowing that the roads would get worse and worse as the day went on, because we got through the worst part of the drive before the worst part of the winter storm.

When we finally arrived in our neighborhood, we went directly to vote because it was our state's primary.  That was weird.  Drive nine hours in a horrible storm, then show up to vote frazzled.  Good thing we did our research beforehand and knew exactly what was on the ballot so we were prepared, a lot of people were not.  Then when we got to our house, Jackson was so happy to see us.  He, like the grandchildren three days earlier, was also eagerly waiting at the window 😂.  When we entered the house all the kitchen cupboards were open because apparently the little guy ate all his food and was looking for more! So it was a good thing we came home, or he would have been one hungry kitty.  I don't know what happened there, I put more than enough food out for him.  Either he over-ate or a mouse ate got in his food.  I felt so bad for him and I will definitely leave out even more food for him next time.

So what about you?  How was your Easter weekend?  Have you ever had to drive a long distance in bad weather?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Handmade Easter Cards and Tags

It's almost Easter weekend and I am so excited to not only celebrate Easter, but also to see my grandchildren again.  I always bring them an Easter basket filled with lots of treats and good things (check out THIS POST for ideas of what I put in their baskets), plus I made them each their own Easter Card.  Here are the cards and tags I made this year.

First up is Elisha's card.  Elisha is two years old so I thought he would like this big bunny card.  The image is from MFT and is not from a traditional Easter stamp set.  This card is a good example of how you don't need a stamp specifically designed for Easter to make a card for Easter.

To make the card I stamped the bunny image onto white card stock, colored it, and cut it out.  I used two sheets of coordinating designer paper for the background:  the green and white background and the dashed lines one behind the rabbit.  I cut the oval shapes using Spellbinder's Nestabilities.  I wrapped orange ribbon around the card and tied it with a bow.  The rabbit was popped up on dimensionals and the flowers were stamped twice, cut out, and also popped up on dimensionals.  The eggs are 3D stickers.  I stamped the sentiment onto white card stock, cut it with a tag die, and added an eyelet.

The large bunny tags that have all the children's names on them, were purchased already in the bunny shape but I added the detail myself, and glued google eyes and cotton balls on them.

Next up is Atticus' card.  Atticus is four years old.  For both boy cards, the one above and the one below I tried to use more earthy, neutral colors.

To make this card I stamped the bunny image and flowers onto a white base and colored it with Copic markers.  The Easter basket was stamped separately, colored, and cut out then popped up with dimensionals.  The butterflies were also stamped separately, colored, and popped up.  The bunny and flower vine are from retired Stampin' Up! "Tender Toile" set.  The Easter basket is from retired Stampin' Up! "Spring Gifts" set.  The sentiment is unknown.  The butterflies are from MFT "Adorable Elephants" set.  The "basket weave" background was made using an embossing folder and Cuttlebug machine.  I used and MFT die to make the white and green arch shapes.  Everything was adhered to a beige card base.

My last card is for Alethea, a six year old girl,  so I was able to use softer pastel colors.  Alethea's card is a combo Easter/spring card.

To make Alethea's card I used a floral stamp that has to be colored with water based markers before stamping.  I used Stampin' Up! water based markers.  Once I stamped the image, I added bunny die cuts which I cut with a die from "Memory Box" then I drew some detail on them.  The umbrella was cut with a Circuit machine and I tied on a sentiment tag.  The rain drops are epoxy stickers and the eggs are little buttons which I cut the back off and glued onto the card.  The main image panel was adhered to a blush card base.

The bunnies and umbrella were both popped up with dimensionals.

 Have A Great Day and Happy Easter!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

How to Style "Pantone's Spring Colors 2024" with Ageless Style

Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women of all ages.   Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.  This month's theme is "Pantone Spring Colors 2024" and was picked by Bo.

I'm so excited Spring is finally here, although in Wisconsin it was ushered in by colder temperatures.  Such irony!  We've had such a mild winter, with some days even in the sixties, and then when spring finally arrives on the calendar it gets cold again.  Anyway, you're not here to talk about the weather but to hear all about our latest style challenge which is "Pantone's Spring Colors 2024".  

According to Pantone's Color Experts, there are ten stand out spring colors and I think I'm wearing most of them in this post ha ha!  You can see all ten colors in THIS POST, and in some of my outfit photos below.

Let's start with the "Mint" color which I'm wearing on the top right.  First of all, I don't know why they are calling this color "Mint", it is more of an "Emerald Green" to me, and frankly because it's a jewel tone, I consider it more of an autumn color.  However, there is a lot of green in spring, so I'll placate Pantone and accept it as a "spring color" ha ha.

I styled my Emerald Green top, eh, sorry "Mint" top, 😂 with white pants.  Everything I am wearing in both outfits is from TJMaxx.  It's just my go-to shopping place right now where I find the right clothes for me in the right price.  Only my shoes, bag, and jewelry are from other sources.

I really do love this color and I have another top in this color but it has 3/4 sleeves so I wear it winter.  I also have a cardigan in this I must really love it if I keep buying things in this color.  I think the color is very complimentary on all skin tones, and it looks great with white pants, black pants, or navy blue to name just a few.  I chose white pants for this photo shoot because it looked the most "springy".

My next outfit I will be wearing for Easter, I mean, why not?  It's got all the colors of Easter plus it's super comfy so I'll be able to hunt for Easter eggs with the grandkids with ease.  I will probably change out the flats for heels when I go to church and then slip the flats back on when it's time to play.

If it's cold, which it probably will be, especially in the morning, I will add this white cardigan.

I believe I am wearing most of the Pantone Spring Colors in one outfit and here they are:  Vibrant Capri, Lemon Drop, Marlin, Desert Flower, Chambray Blue, and Orange Ade.  The only ones I'm missing are Rooibus Tea and Watercress (which I also think are fall colors and not spring colors) and Pastel Lilac.  I'm a walking Pantone Fashion Color Trend in this outfit! 😂

For accessories I chose a simple rose gold pendant necklace since there was so much going on in the top already, and a rose gold bracelet and earrings.  I carried a neutral thrifted handbag.

Did you hear Pantone's Color of the Year is Peach Fuzz?  So expect it to be in all the stores and see everyone wearing it in about three years! ha ha!  JK, I have always loved the color peach.  Peach was my wedding color.  I couldn't be happier about it being chosen as the color of the year, but  it does take awhile for the color of the year to trickle down into all the markets.

Be sure to see how the rest of the ladies in the group are styling their spring colors and link up with us as well!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Sunday, March 17, 2024

How to Freshen Up Your Home for Spring!

I love spring!  It is my favorite season.  I love to see everything pop out of the ground, turn green, and come to life.  I enjoy seeing all the birds come back home, from robins, to swans, sandhill cranes, and so many more!  I like to shed the winter coat and heavy sweaters and bulky boots and put on lighter, prettier clothes.  Spring is a time to renew, to refresh, to restore;  perhaps that is why we all get the urge to spring clean our homes.  We want to freshen everything up just like Mother Nature is waking things up outdoors.  
Every spring I not only clean my home of the soot from the indoor wood stoves, but I also like to lighten up the look from the dark colors of winter to the light airy colors of spring.   Here are some ways I freshened up my house for spring:

                Purchase New Accent Furniture

Now I don't buy new furniture every season, ha ha, but I have been looking for the perfect accent chair for a corner in my sitting room for years.  It's not a very big space so not many styles of chairs will do.  The chair needed to be small, but also comfy.  So many smaller chairs are so uncomfortable to sit in for long periods.  And of course the chair had to match the room! I waited patiently for the "perfect chair" for many years.  Meanwhile, I had an old dining room chair sitting in this spot, until one day I would find this "perfect chair".  Well "one day" finally came.  I walked into Home Goods and there she was!  Sitting right in front of the store on display.  It was love at first sight.  I knew I finally found my chair.  Only, I was unprepared to buy it that day so I said "If it's still here on Sunday when I have a bigger car and my hubby with me, it was meant to be".  Hubby and I swung by Home Goods after church and I couldn't believe she was still there!  And hubby loved the chair as much as I did; that's a rarity!  I thought he'd give me grief about buying such a girly chair.  So he sat in it while I went to pay for it and would you believe two other women approached him as he was sitting in the chair saying "they wanted to buy it"?  It's a miracle this chair was still there five days after I saw it.

I love everything about this chair!  It's the perfect size, I love the style, the color, and guess what?  It even swivels!  The swivel aspect is PERFECT for this room because the chair can swivel to face the tv, or it can swivel out towards the other two chairs in the room so people can converse.

The tag on the chair says the color is "mint".  Apparently "mint" is a hot, hot, hot color this spring.  However, what designers are calling "mint" and what I consider "mint" are two different things.  This subject came up with my "Ageless Style" group too because this month our clothing style challenge is "Pantone Colors 2024" and they have a Emerald Green color on their swatch which they are calling "mint".  Nope, neither the Pantone Color nor this chair is "mint" to me.  I would describe the color as a moss green or a sage.

Anyway, regardless what name one wants to call this specific shade of green, it screams spring to me!  It really freshens up the room just in time for spring!

Buy New Throw Pillows

Another easy way to freshen up a space is to purchase new throw pillows.  Most of my throw pillows were pretty dated (like the burgundy one on the far left) so I donated them.  I found these two new pillows at TJMaxx.

I have never met a bird print I didn't love.  I am instantly attracted to anything with birds on it.  I love this pillow and because there was some burgundy in my new bird print pillow, I kept my old burgundy pillow but placed it in the background.  The colors in the branches and steel cage also coordinate well with the seat cushion too.

Did you know Granny Squares are really in right now?  While shopping I saw so many Granny Square quilts and pillows.  If you can make one yourself, go ahead, but it's not my gift so I purchased one instead.  This one was on clearance for $16.00.  The colors are so perfect for spring.  Did you notice that moss green (or shall I say "mint" 😀) is in the pillow too?

While I was taking these photos I noticed the beautiful shadow on the wall created by the lace curtain panel.  Isn't it lovely?  I don't think I ever noticed this before.

Change Out Your Bedding

I always change my bedding in our main bedrooms every season.  I remove the puffy, down-filled comforters and replace them with a white, lightweight quilted bedspread.  For the guest room, pictured below, I simply added my new quilt I just finished this winter.  I just folded it in thirds and placed it at the end of the bed.

Buy New Accent Pieces

Did you know in addition to "mint" green, mushrooms are also really "in" right now?  I sure didn't, till I was out shopping and kept seeing mushrooms everywhere!  I normally don't buy knick knacks because I have no place to put them,  but when I saw this glass mushroom for only $12.99 I had to have it.   It has a battery powered light and looks just as pretty unlit as it does lit up.  I love the glass and coloring, and the fun shadows it makes on the wall when it's lit up.  I'm not sure I found the perfect spot for it yet in my house, but for now I placed it on a shelf in the guest room.

Decorate for the Holidays/Season

And finally, the last thing I do is take down all the winter colors and florals and replace them with spring ones.  First, I decorate for Easter, but after the holiday is over, I replace them with spring items.

This is a tiered tray I decorated for Easter.  I decorated it just like I have in previous years (see this post HERE), but this year I added mushrooms, because they are so "in" right now.  Do you see them poking out of the grass with their yellow and blue caps?  So cute!

Once Easter is over, I remove all the Easter items from the tiered tray and I do a "Lemon Theme" for the rest of spring/summer.  You can see my Lemon Tiered Tray HERE.

For my china cabinet I replace all the holiday dishes with spring ones and then I decorate the top of the cabinet with more Easter decor.

                 Change Out Your Dinnerware

As the seasons/holidays change, I always change out my plates.  I have a plate rail all around my dining room which I use to display my plate collection.  Here are some of my favorite Easter/Spring plates.

So what about you?  Do you decorate for the holidays/seasons?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!