Fun at Farm Aid

On Saturday, September 22nd, Bob and I had a full day of music and fun at Farm Aid.

Farm Aid is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep family farmers on their land.  Farm Aid accomplishes this mission by:

Promoting Food from Family Farms

Growing the Good Food Movement

Helping Farmers Thrive

Taking Action to Change the System

Farm Aid is in its 27th year, and features the best that music has to offer, while remaining true to its mission.

As a farmer’s daughter, Farm Aid is definitely a cause I believe in, and I am married to a musician and music lover.   So, it was quite a combination to get to support a great cause and getting to listen to amazing musicians at the same time.  The line-up was jam packed with musicians including: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Jack Johnson, Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson.

We had great seats and it was a beautiful day to spend with about 30,000 other people.

Grace Potter

Jack Johnson

Kenny Chesney

Dave Matthews

John Mellencamp

Neil Young

Sorry, no pictures of Willie Nelson!  I was too tired by that point in the evening, plus I had no desire to sit in the car while 30,000 other people tried to leave the parking lot too.  🙂 It was a great day, awesome music and I am so glad we got to be a part of Farm Aid.  If Farm Aid is ever in a town near you, I highly recommend getting tickets the day they go on sale!!

Happy 4th Birthday Puddy!

Today, we are celebrating Puddy’s 4th Birthday.  It is hard to imagine that he is 4 already.  He still is so much like a puppy that I don’t think of him as getting older.  But, when I need a reminder I just look at the pictures from the weekend we brought him home.  He was a 3.2 pound little fluffball!

Even in these pictures, he is about 11 weeks old.  He was so tiny and he missed his brothers and sisters so much that he just walked around squeaking, which was his cry.

But, soon enough he made himself at home.

To this day, he still can be found sleeping like this….most of the time its in the middle of our bed!!

Happy Birthday to our 4 year old!

Does anyone else celebrate their dogs or other pets birthdays?  Do they get a special treat?

Current Projects

I keep saying that I am working on some other projects around the house, and I am, but I have come to realize it takes me much longer to have them ready to share than I thought it would.  So, I thought I would give you some hints of what I have in process, so at least there is some proof that I’m working on it…slowly.

I bought these sconces for $2.99 each during one of my summer trips to Salvation Army.

This is when they were prepped in my spraypainting station, aka my backyard with a drop cloth and some boards.  They are now a new color and hung in the basement, I just need to find the perfect candles so I can take pictures and share.

My second project in process is a $5 table that I bought during our neighborhood yardsale.  It needs a little makeover.

It has been stripped, sanded and stained.  I just have to give it another coat of stain and some poly…oh, and decide where it is going to go in the house!

My last project has been completely FREE!  I found this solid wood unfinished corner stand when I was shopping a neighborhood yardsale…the person had packed up everything else, but left this corner stand and some baby items at the end of the driveway for free.  I walked back to my car as fast as I could and pulled up in front and loaded it up.  I also got a high chair and exersaucer for free for my sister.

I used chalk paint for this piece.  I won a quart of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White at the Haven Conference and decided to use it to give this corner stand a new life.  It worked well and as soon as I get the shelves decorated, I will take some more pictures and share.

Until then, I should step away from the computer and spend some time on my projects. Does anyone else underestimate the time it takes to complete a project?  Any other yardsale freebies or good deals?

Simple Fall Decorating

I really was trying to cling on to the last bits of Summer, but the weather is changing and it is almost officially Fall.  Plus, blogland has become filled with Fall decorating ideas, so I thought I should begin to decorate our house as well.  The leaves really haven’t started to change here yet, and I haven’t gone out searching for pumpkins and gourds yet….although I did pass a farm stand that was new to me in my work travels today, so I may have to go back there.  But, since nature has not helped me yet in my decorating, I started to work with what I already had.  I had picked up a few new to me Fall items at yard sales this summer, so I did have some different decor to work into what I have used in the past.

When I pulled out all my Fall decor and supplies, I found several picks that I had yet to do anything with.  So, I took the easiest route first and just put them under glass to see what I thought, and it worked for me. 

I added the leaf holding a candle, a recent yard sale find, and the large candleholder which I stole from my everyday decor in the basement. 

I knew I needed something else with height and none of my other Fall items were tall.  I remembered I had some Fall themed scrapbook paper that I had forever and never used, so I pulled that out and popped it into one of the random frames from my closet.   I added some ceramic pumpkins and called it a day….well, after I moved them all around several times and waited until this morning to decide that it would work for me.  Its not as beautiful and detailed as some Fall decorating I’ve seen, but its simple and seasonal, so I think our foyer now is ready for Fall.


I also worked on changing up the dining room table centerpiece as well. The centerpiece had been the same, for the most part since Easter!  Before Easter I had collected some willow branches on a walk during my lunch one day knowing that I wanted to spray paint them and put them in a vase.  I did just that, and then for Easter I hung colored eggs from the branches and put it between some candlesticks and on top of a colorful runner.  After Easter, all I did was remove the eggs and it stayed like that through the Summer. 

I decided to keep the same structure and just update it for Fall.  I pulled out our neutral tablerunner, took the branches and rocks out of the vase.  I replaced the rocks with corn and put the branches back in the vase.  Then, I used more of the picks I had on hand from yard sales and ripped them apart.  I used the leaves and acorns from the picks and their individual wires to hang them on the branches.  I added two painted craft pumpkins and swapped the white candlesticks for wooden ones to give me a simple Fall tablescape.

I did add a few other Fall touches to the house, but I’m sure I will add more once I can bring some pumpkins and gourds home.  Anyone else work with what they have to decorate for Fall this year?

The Lettered Cottage

Storm Damage

I was so excited to have absolutely nothing planned last weekend.  I thought I finally would make progress on some of my projects that I have in process.  On Saturday, rain was expected in the afternoon, but it was a nice morning so I decided to go yard sale shopping while it was still nice.  I know that yard sale season is almost wrapping up around here, so I wanted to take advantage of a free Saturday morning to shop at my leisure.  I knew of a neighborhood sale, so I headed that way and found some other sales along the way.  I was doing pretty well and found some small items.  I even purchased a box of K’nex for my nephews, because after playing with them at the Science Factory they wanted to have some of their own, so I was told to be on the lookout at yardsales.  I found them a box of 325 pieces for $5.  I have yet to deliver it to them, but its in my car waiting for them the next time I seem them.  After I was done at the yardsales, I also stopped at one of my favorite consignment shops…the 75% off sign was out front, so I knew I could get some good deals on some new to me clothes.  After that, I went home and still no rain, so I managed to quickly get the yard mowed too.  When I was done, Bob was done his morning errands too, and we decided we could retreat to the basement and maybe squeeze in an afternoon nap.  We managed to doze off and were awakened by some terrible noises…sounded like our roof was getting ripped off!!

Bob ventured upstairs and I waited until he said it was clear to follow him.  By then the wind was dying down.  But, sadly the damage was done.  We knew it had to be bad, because our neighbor across the street was calling us.  The front of our house looked like this:

Unfortunately, we also  had damage at the back of the house too.  Our patio set was stacked up like a deck of cards.  Our glass table didn’t fare so well.  Our crape myrtle was lost as well.  The pretty tree that looked like this in the morning:

Now looked like this:

We spent the remainder of Saturday afternoon cleaning up glass and debris.  Our plans for a relaxing evening of grilling and sitting on the patio quickly changed to escaping the house for a dinner out.  Sunday, we spent several more hours cleaning up.  We removed the tree, as it was split completely into the ground and would not survive.  We also continued to pick up glass pieces from our patio table.  And, since we were in clean-up mode, we got a head start on some of our Fall shrubbery clean up. 

The storm was nasty, but I know it could have been much worse.  We were fortunate no one was hurt and it was only material things that were damaged.  But, it is still sad.  We really enjoy our patio and landscaping and its just not the same now.  We are working to get it back to a new normal….just waiting on the insurance adjuster to let us know how to proceed.  There were several homes in our neighborhood with similar damage, some worse, some not hit at all.  It was a crazy storm.   Anyone else experience storm damage recently?

I’m hoping that I will soon have a “normal” weekend so that I can get some projects done.  It is difficult to find enough time to even justify starting to work on them, when I know I won’t have time to finish.  But, it will soon be time to decorate for Fall, so I need to get moving.

Labor Day Weekend Picnic

Bob and I decided to host our family for a Labor Day Weekend Picnic on Sunday, September 2nd.  And, we also thought it would be a great time to recognize my Mom’s recent accomplishment of completing her Associate’s Degree.  So, we invited everyone like a normal family picnic, but then I sent out a supplemental evite to everyone except Mom informing them that it would also be a suprise graduation party for Mom.  We were very excited that Mom’s siblings (she is one of eight!) and spouses could all make it, and of course my siblings and their families too.  So, we were expecting about 35 people.  Fortunately, we lucked out and the weather cooperated and we had a nice day….it rained before the picnic, but cleared up in time to set everything up and enjoy.

I thought everything was going well, and then my sister and I were finalizing our cake and cupcake decorating and Mom just walks right in the kitchen before the picnic was supposed to start.  I just looked at her and laughed, when she walked right up to us and asked what we were doing!  So, obviously not a very good surprise.  Mom just said that now that she was college educated, she was smart enough to sort of figure out something was up!! 

My sister made the cake.

I made the cupcakes and then we coordinated the decorating. 

The little graduation caps on the cake and cupcakes were my first pinterest inspired creation!  Yes, its terrible that I have not implemented anything else I’ve seen on pinterest, but I finally had a reason. 

This was my inspiration:


I modified slightly by using the Reese’s, a fudge covered cookie, M&M, and then twizzlers.  They aren’t nearly perfect, but I think they made a cute addition to the food and decor.  I also added the Class of 2012 ribbon to the cupcake stand.  Even though we had planned the surprise for a few months, I failed in shopping for graduation decor in June when most stores had a good supply.  So, many of the items we were just working with what was available in August and also what I had on hand.

I made the Congrats Grad banner with some Congrats ribbon from the Dollar Tree, pre-cut stars from the craft store, and then I used my Cricut to cut out the letters. 

Even though she wasn’t too surprised, Mom still enjoyed the celebration. 

We had quite a crowd filling our patio.

We also took the opportunity to get some family photos.  These are my seven nieces and nephews.  There is an eighth one on the way thanks to my younger sister and her husband! 

Mom also enjoyed some cards and gifts from our generous family.  This card was made by my sister and her children.  Her son cross-stitched the cap for the card.  I will be putting my Cricut to work and creating a scrapbook of the pictures from the event as my gift to Mom.

We are all very proud of Mom.  She obtained her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education, and maintained a 4.0 GPA!  Congratulations Mom! (I hope you at least read this 🙂 )

Summer Life

I know I probably have only a few readers out there since my blog is so new, but I also didn’t want anyone that has been reading to think I started this blog and abandoned it already!  The truth is, I’ve just been busy enjoying what is left of summer life.  Fall is approaching all too quickly for my liking.  I do enjoy Fall, but I am not ready to start thinking about it too much yet.  I would rather cling on to what is left of summer. 

So, this is a glimpse of how I have been spending my time lately.

Puddy enjoying the ride to the beach.

Sitting on the beach at Assategue Island watching the horses just wander by.

My Mom and Dad after my Dad’s 3rd place finish at a local tractor pull.

My niece and nephews in the corn at the tractor pull.  These are the poses I got when I told them the picture would be on the internet. 🙂

My niece and nephews at the Lancaster Science Factory.  I enjoyed a day off work and we all had fun at the science factory. 

Puddy on a recent trip to Lowe’s with me. 

I have been working on some small projects around the house, so I hope to have something home related to share soon.  But, in the meantime I am preparing for a Labor Day Weekend family picnic at our house tomorrow.  Puddy was just helping me get flowers to replace the ones I have neglected as summer fades away.