Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Decorating with Coke-a-Cola


When I was a young girl, my family would gather at my Aunt Margaret's house for Christmas. It was an amazing house, and my aunt decorated the house with gorgeous furnishings. The game room was a Coke-a-Cola Mecca, and it inspired me.

As an adult I started collecting Coke trays and signs. I decorated the kitchen with my limited items. It looked pretty good, but then I got a call from Aunt Margaret. She was going to let me pick out items from her Coke treasury. 

My kitchen was never the place I wanted to display the trays, signs, and tins, but it worked well. Since we just moved into our very own home, I had a different idea for my kitchen. The Coke stuff needed a new place. 

The back stairway to our office is a blank canvas, and it is the perfect place to house my Coke-a-Cola collection.

Happy Decorating,

Amanda

Monday, August 18, 2014

10 Tips and Tricks for Moving

The gypsy spirit has bit this girl again. We decided this April that we were not going to move for another year, and then things happened. Kevin took a job working from home, and we suddenly needed an office. With a baby on the way and the need for an office, we were starting to climb on top of one another. So, we decided to look for a house and found the perfect one.

I have moved a total of 17 times in my life, so there are a few things I've learned to making moving a bit easier. Yes, I am one of those people that keeps boxes. You never know when you will need them to move again, people! However, this time we are hoping to stay for a very long time.


Yes, I did put my Initial Wreath on the front door the first day.

Tips and Tricks:

1. Purge. As soon as you have decided to move, start purging. Throw away trash, shed unneeded paperwork, donate unused or gently used items and clothing. Host a garage sale, post items on Offer Up and Craigslist. The less you have to pack the better. If you don't use it, then get rid of it.

2. Make a list. Write down everything that needs to be accomplished before you move. Utilities will need to be turned on and off, deposits paid, truck or movers reserved, boxes, tissue paper and bubble wrap, mail forwarded, and the list can go on. After you have made your list, prioritize each line item. My husband created a spreadsheet with each task, date, accomplished, confirmation, contact person, and cost. He is spreadsheet happy, but it works. You can use your phone notes, post-its, spreadsheet, or a notebook. Keeping a master list will keep you organized.


3. Pack in order of necessity. Pack the wall decor and other non essential items first. Work your way toward packing the things you use every week and then every day.

4. Wrap tape around hangers and place them in the bottom of the garment boxes. This will keep your hangers from getting tangled.


5. Bedding. Put every one's bedding (clean sheets, pillow cases, comforter, bed skirt, and blanket in a bedding bag. Label each bag with the assigned room, and you will have fresh bedding ready for the night you move in. We were able to put beds together with fresh linens without having to dig for any sheets. When we put the beds together, we put the bed skirts on right then to keep from lifting the mattress again later. After sweating all day and moving, you want to take a shower and fall into a bed with fresh sheets.

6. Label Boxes. Write the room the box is going to and also label what is in the box. When you are searching for mugs and coffee the next morning, you will be able to find it without destroying the house.

7. Cleaning. Have the house professionally cleaned before you move. This will allow you to start unpacking right away.

8. Stretch Wrap. Using stretch wrap is a must. We used it to hold items together we didn't want scratched. It works great for furniture, mirrors, artwork, and odd and ends that will not fit in boxes. We placed bubble wrap between to pictures of the same size and wrapped them in stretch wrap.

9. Unpacked boxes. Check with your new garbage pick up company to see if they pick up boxes free of charge. Some companies will do a free pick up for the first two weeks. Speaking of which, I need to go unpack some more boxes.

10. Basket of linens. The night before we moved I washed a load of towels and washcloths. I put the basket of clean linens in the back of my van. After the move was complete, everyone wanted to take showers. I had clean towels for everyone and didn't have to search for them.

Planning ahead will save you time and keep you from adding to the stress of moving. I can't wait to share pictures of my new house with you.


Happy Moving,

Amanda

Friday, July 25, 2014

Etsy: French Cottage Kitchen

For the last five years I have decorated my kitchen with Coke-a-Cola decor. It's time for a change, and the new kitchen in our new house (super excited) is yellow.  I had trouble deciding between lemons and limes or French cottage. Yes, I know they are completely different themes, but I have come to a conclusion. The French cottage look has won me over, and I'm drawing from these amazing finds on Etsy for inspiration. I can't wait to show you the final results.


We will have a window seat in the kitchen nook, and this pillow from Devine Imagination would look fantastic.


This framed chalkboard from Revived Vintage is the most beautiful menu board ever! It might even make the food taste better. 



I usually do not like the blue and white porcelain plates, but this plate from Sweet Resale is gorgeous. The plates with flowers and birds are my favorite. I would love to have a small collection of these to put on the wall beside the breakfast nook table.  


When I saw this towel ring from Veritas Inspired, I instantly fell in love with it. Can you fall in love with a towel ring? You can if it looks like this beauty! Package it up, and ship it asap.


There has to be something equally as fabulous to hang on the perfect French towel ring. French Rosebud Cottage sells this beautiful, embroidered tea towel.  


I was looking for something to hold wooden spoons, and this pitcher from Marias Farmhouse popped up. I love that it can be used for utensils or a centerpiece.


Don't get me wrong, I have canisters that work perfectly. There is just one problem. They have poinsettias on them, and I have never liked them. So, since we are moving I am using that excuse to get new ones. These canisters from G Pearson 55 are perfect. 

What do you think of the French Cottage Style? If you are more of the lemon and lime kind, then I can respect that too.

Amanda

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Not Giving Up on a Dream

Just like any career, being a writer has its ups and downs. It has taken a very long time to call myself a writer. Most people think of me as a stay at home mom first (and rightly so). Writing isn't considered a profession until you sell books and a lot of them. 

I used to question, "Can't everyone write? Doesn't everyone have a vivid imagination?" If that were true then I guess no one would get paid, and it wouldn't be considered a career.


Currently, I am writing for a school curriculum company. Children are holding my writing in their hands, and that is an amazing feeling. I handle social media for a church, and it is gives a sense of accomplishment to help those that are helping others. My eBook was written to help parents potty train with less stress. 

All of this is wonderful, but I am hungry for more. There is a manuscript saved to my desktop that is ready to be published. Sure, I could hire an illustrator and publish the book myself. There is just something alluring about getting a book deal from a publisher.


To date, I have received five rejection letters. Although it's almost impossible not to take the letters personal, I have to keep submitting. My determination is stronger than my bruised ego. So, I research more publishers and keep a running log of when and to whom I have submitted my manuscript. I don't want to give up. I can't give up on my dream. 

Do you have a dream that you are working toward? Have you succeeded in reaching a dream despite failed attempts?

Amanda 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mommy, How Do You Get the Baby Out?

 Photo Source Unknown

My oldest son is five, and when I was pregnant just 3 short months ago he asked how I would get the baby out. You have to understand J. He is analytical, and a vague answer will never do. Since he is so young, I didn't want to dive into the birds and bees. I told him that we had to go to the hospital to get the baby. Most of the time he would look at me with a question in his eye. He knew there was more to it, but didn't know how to ask. 

Photo by Rachel Bobbitt

For several weeks, I avoided the question. Finally, he couldn't stand it anymore. J asked me again how the baby would come out. I started in with the hospital bit again, but he quickly dismissed my answer and wanted more specifics. He said, "No, mommy. How does the baby come out of you?" While I was thinking of a clever and age appropriate answer he added. "Does your tummy crack like an egg?" 

My face lit up with motherly pride. This kid is smart. He didn't know the answer, but he was willing to try out his problem solving skills on something that he completely didn't understand. I explained that since I am a human I give birth like mammals do. I went on to explain that birds and lizards lay eggs. 

That child is always surprising me, and I love his imagination. Even though he hasn't experienced much, he will try to understand despite limited knowledge. Hopefully he will never lose his sense of wonder, drive for learning, and endless creativity. 

Do you have an original way of explaining the birthing process to little ones?

Amanda

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cleaning Make-Up Brushes

Cleaning make-up brushes doesn't usually make the weekly cleaning list. I know you are supposed to clean them at least once a month, but let's be honest. The only time I think of cleaning them is when the brushes have caked on eye shadow. Fortunately, it doesn't take much time or supplies to clean make-up brushes.  


Supplies: Dirty make-up brushes, plate, dish washing liquid, olive oil, and a paper towel. 

My blush brush is supposed to be white on the ends. They might need to be cleaned just a bit.

Pour equal parts of dish washing liquid and olive oil in a plate.

Swirl the brush in circles to combine the oil and soap. The soap will clean the brush and the oil will keep the brush from drying out.

Rinse the brush under cold water facing down. Try to keep the water on the brush hair only. If water gets into the handle of the brush, it could mold.

After thoroughly rinsing the brushes, allow them to dry for 24 hours.  

They look good as new.

Do you clean your make-up brushes on a regular schedule?

Happy Cleaning,

Amanda

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day Dreaming of Furniture

Have I mentioned that we are moving? I'm so excited about our new house, but I am not looking forward to the packing and moving. If I could, I would sell my furniture and buy all new furniture to be delivered to our new house. I dream big!

My sister and I went furniture shopping this past weekend, and these are some of the items I would love to have in our new home.

We spotted this TV console from across the showroom, and I instantly loved it. The price tag on this beauty is outrageous, but it gives me inspiration. 

There is something grown up about having a sitting area in your master bedroom. Most of us use it for piles of laundry that need to be folded, but if we wanted to sit down and read a novel this is the love seat for the job. It has a feminine look to it with a neutral color.

We have an olive green couch right now that we purchased before having children. It has seen better days, but it is holding up. Whenever we decide to buy a new couch, it will be like this charcoal couch. Beautiful!

When it's time to move, do you sell your furniture or take it with you?

Amanda


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