Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Favorite Things in My Town - Linky Party

For those of you who follow Centsational Girl you know that she is hosting this awesome linky party

And if you are not following her you are missing a great blog!!

I have really enjoyed reading all the posts about all the wonderful places her followers live.  Sort of like a mini-vacay on your computer.

So I thought I would brag about my town a bit.  I will start off by saying we are transplants.  I am a Mississippi girl born and bred.  My Honey was in the Navy so in 9 short years we lived in  San Diego, California;  Orlando, Florida;  North Chicago, Illinois:  Virginia Beach, Virginia; and finally here to Oklahoma.  We liked it here so much that we decided for our family it was best for him to leave the Navy and make it our permanent home.  Never will it be a decision we regret.

Now onto the introductions

For a small town we have GREAT shopping

Great boutiques and clothes on Campus Corner - not too mention lots of great food in this area

In old town Norman there are lots of vintage shops, antique stores, and more boutique type stores.  And even more great food. 

We even have a little mall - and our mall now has ....drum roll please - JoAnn's!!

There is always something to do

Great concerts - like U2

Lots of city sponsored festivals like Norman Musical Festival where downtown is shut down for a week-end and dozens upon dozens of bands play in different venues.

Live theater

Great museums

And with our favorite season starting this Saturday - woo hoo!!!!  One of the best things about living in Norman

Love us some OU football!!!
But seriously - the University gives the entire town a sense of unity - everyone has pride in OUR university.  And it is a beautiful campus

But the best part of living in Norman is the people.  You can truly find someone you "click" with here.  Probably due to the fact that being a university town such a wide variety of people live here. 

Seriously - come on down for a visit - the SOONER the better
(You knew I had to do it!!)

Now go to Centsational Girl and link up your town.

PS - all the photos that are not mine came from the city of Norman website

Happy DIY'ing


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Gallery Wall

Well first of all it is very hard to take a picture of the side of a stairwell.!!  The spindles from the stairs really get in the way.  But I will give it my best effort.

I love crosses.  I love that they represent the grace and forgiveness that encompass me.  My friends and family know that I love crosses so I am blessed with many as gifts.  I have them spread through out the house but decided the stairwell wall would be a good place to showcase some of them.  I am very pleased with the results - just not with my pictures.

I know this is not the conventional gallery wall where the items "match" so well - but these "match" in their own way.  This wall is what you see when you walk in from the garage door and to me is such a welcome home.  I especially love that I have not purchased any of these.  Every cross on this wall was a gift from someone close to me.  So not only do they represent His love for me, they represent that I am truly loved here.

Some of my favorites

All 3 of these my youngest daughter has brought back from her trips to New Mexico.  They are so vibrant and colorful and really help this area to pop.  They really remond me of her with all their color and uniqueness.

My oldest daughter and her hubby brought this back to me from their honeymoon in Progresso.  It is hand carved and makes such a statement.  I felt so special that they thought of me on their honeymoon.

My friend Susan had this made for me.  (Not only does she have a great name - she is a great friend)  She just surprised me one day with it - so sweet.

My brother and his wife brought this back from Ireland when they were there tracing her roots.

This one started this wall.  My Honey was working out of town and found this in a local gift shop there.  He thought of me and brought it home.  I just love that!! 

I could go on and on as each cross has a story, but you get the general idea. 

I thought about "framing" some of the crosses, but was not sure about the look.  What do you think?

Happy DIY'ing!!


Linking up
I'm topsy turvy tuesdaysAnything Related

Creative Kristi DesignsPhotobucket

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Fall Ya'll!!

Well ok - not really.  I had this idea that even though it is still over 100 degrees that if I worked on a fall craft it would make me feel cooler.  Guess what - I still feel like it is over 100 degrees!!  But at least I have a cute little wreath.

I actually went shopping Thursday - pick yourself up, I really did.  I decided after seeing so many incredibly cute porches on blogland that I will decorate mine for fall this year.  And more than one carved pumpkin!  So off I go on my merry way.  And guess what - even though every store that I went to had tons of Christmas on the aisles, all of them said that they had not put out much of their fall yet.  Really??!!??  I - the non-shopper  - make the effort to actually spend the time shopping and I can't.  I was able to pick up enough items at the dollar tree to make a wreath.

So here is what I did while paint was drying - literally - on the stairs

It is an 18 inch wreath form from the Dollar Tree and all the picks except the sunflowers came from Dollar tree, too.  The feathers are left overs.  I disected all the picks and glued them in.  So easy - and only cost about $11 for the wreath.  Woo hoo - I guess score one for ht enon-shopper

Now - if we could just get some cooler weather so I can put this on my door!!

Happy DIY'ing!!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oh what a week!!!!

So perhaps I jumped into the DIY and blogging wagon a little too fast.  Obviously from my lack of posts I have been a bit behind - or perhaps overwhelmed.  Who knows.  But today was the first day since before the luau that I have had a chance to work on my stairs.  And you know what...

I have really, really missed working on them.  I have discovered that DIY is a great creative outlet.  And I have always known that I need a creative outlet.  So the past two weeks with all their flurries of activities have left me lacking.  Today felt great!!  I did not have an incredible amount of time, but I was able to

-stain and start varathaning the upper level hand rail
-caulk and touch up the paint and stain on the lower stairs
-caulk the trim and baserail on teh upper level

woo hoo!!!!!

Falling back to my crafty roots this is how I touch up paint and paint the caulk

My honey thinks it is insane, but using my little brushes makes me feel like I have better control.  Especially in the tight little spaces like under the treads.  But it takes a while...  ok - a long while.

Now I have a dilema----

The trim above the frog tape is my dilema

This one shows the distance from the lower stairs to the trim I want to paint rather well
 These pictures show the upper level handrail at the top of the pictures.  I want to paint the trim underneath the handrail in the off white that I have used on the beadboard and spindles.  Uhmm...  It is really, really hard to get to.  I have put some of the adhesion primer on by leaning over the handrail, sitting on the second floor landing and leaning through the spindles, and stretching up from the lower stairs.  I have not come close to "cutting" in to the handrail.  I am terrified of destroying the stairs by putting a ladder on them.

Soooooo... any suggestions?

But on to other things...

Both girls start their new schools tomorrow.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news to all of you with young children who think that you will have more time when your kids are older, but this was the busiest back to school week I have ever had!!  Oh my goodness!!  Both girls had mandatory orientations that they were supposed to bring a "support person" to.  Long...very long...orientations.  Then both girls needed books.. lots of books

oldest daughter's books

Youngest daughter's books
Yep - that is alot of books.  And we actually have 2 each of youngest daughter's books.  We bought all that she needed at the college book store - $585 worth.  Then someone told us about Textbook Brokers.  So we went there and the prices were so much better that we bought them all again.  $403.  Nice savings!!!  Now we just have to return all the ones to the college book store.

And since they have so many books, plus their laptops, etc.  We had to go shopping for new backpacks - the industrial type.  Oldest daughter had to get a rolling back pack AND a regular back pack.  Poor kid!!  Youngest daughter found one made for actual back packing that has lumbar support and crosses over her chest.  Once she gets it on - she seems to be ok.  Heaven help us if she falls over backwards, it will take a football team to get her back up right.  She chose to have all of her classes back to back with no real break to make her day shorter, so she has to carry everything with her all day.

Then there was school supply shopping.  And back to school clothes shopping for youngest daughter.  Oldest daughter will go in 2 weeks "clothes" shopping once she gets her assigned scrubs.

Uhm....  maybe one day they will outgrow back to school shopping, but I am not holding my breath!!!

We had a big cook out for the kids on Thursday.  And to add to the chaos
son-in-law had to have surgery on Friday.  He did not do well with the anesthesia at all.  Poor guy was at the hospital ALOT longer than they had said he would be.  He had to have more work done than the doc had anticipated, too.  So he has been in alot of pain.  We tried to help out as much as we could Friday and Saturday.  (Other than the pain - he is fine now~his body is functioning normally now)

I also spent an evening with youngest daughter finding all the back roads/traffic avoiders for her college commute.

So - those of you with young children - do not get your hopes up about all the extra time you will have.  But do enjoy it ~ they are very, very enjoyable - ok, most of the time - at this age.

Ohhh - I finally relented and went birthday shopping with my buddy.  One of the things she bought was

SCORE!!!   I loooovve it!!  It will eventually go in my bedroom which I plan to redo.  Sometime if  after I finish the stairs.

With that...

Best wishes on back to school

And Happy DIY'ing


Creative Kristi Designs

Monday, August 15, 2011


I have a confession - a nasty little secret.  I. hate. to. shop.  There, I said it, it is out in the open.  I hope that you do not think too much less of me

  I do not enjoy shopping with very very few exceptions.  I enjoy shopping at bookstores with my daughters - we are all avid readers and all really, really enjoy getting a cup of coffee and reading book jackets.  We can do this for hours.  One of our favorite book stores had a nice sale going on 2 weekends ago - we went 3 times.  We bought 45 books for ourselves and grandson.  Yep - we are a little zonkers about our books.

I also enjoy shopping with my sister.  She is a speed shopper - which if you are going to shop, it is the only way to go in my opinion.  And she is a total nut.  To be honest, we can enjoy doing most anything together.

Maybe I hate to shop because I have a fear - a deep,life long fear - of crapification.  My sister says it started when I was about 2.  If my mom took me to a house that was cluttered, I would de-clutter for them.  The great and wonderful story that everyone loves to tell is that when I was 3 I took all the crap excess items from the guest bedroom at my aunt's (who could probably be classified a hoarder) and threw it in the neighbor's dumpster. I do not think I was her favorite niece

But - whatever the reason - I hate to shop.  I have thoughts sometimes that one day it will happen -I will enjoy strolling through stores and purchasing things for no particular reason.  But it has not happened yet.  I also have visions that I will start going to garage sales and finding wonderful home decor items and furniture that I will refinish.  I seriously doubt that will happen anytime soon - but I do daydream about it occassionally.

I did venture into a thrift store recently.  That probably won't be happening again anytime soon either.  The prices I saw were really high - as in higher than retail.  And then there was the man who followed me around the store telling me that God was going to "unbless" me because I would not take any of the 8 kittens he had in his shopping cart.  For a non-shopper this was not a wonderful experience.

But the few hundred trips I have had to make to the local improvement stores for the recent DIY project has had a couple of added benefits.  I shopped - yes, me - I did it.

I have been wanting new chairs for my front porch.  I really wanted vintage metal ones to refinish.  But after 4 months of scouring craigslist and putting out feelers with my shoppy friends, I had no luck.  Then one day - it happened.  I was in Home Depot right when they marked their remaining outdoor furniture for clearance and I bought 2 of these
For $12 each - woo hoo!!  They had each been almost $40.  Score one for the shop-a-phobic!!!!  And this has inspired me to go to the new Jo Ann's soon to get material to make cusions for them.

And then a few days later I was in Lowe's and these were on clearance
I had really been wanting lanterns for the front porch for Christmas.  These were marked down to $2 each.  Yippeee !!  I bought 6!!!  Score another one for the shop-a-phobic!!

So DIY'ing has more benefits than just a great sense of accomplishment.  It also has shopping as a benefit !!

And just to re-iterate my point.  One of my closest friends is taking me shopping this week.  It is what she wanted to do for my April.  She is not really that happy with me.  Pray for me, or for her, whatever you think is best.

Happy DIY'ing

Saturday, August 13, 2011

ALOHA!!!!! That is Hawaiin for picture heavy post

It has been a whirlwind say the least.  Last week-end I decided to host a surprise 45th anniversary party for very dear friends of ours.  Uhmmm..this week-end.  Yep - in the house with only a partial stairway.  Oh well - I am a roll with the bunches kinda' gal.  So the week was spent conspiring with their daughter - and mine - to pull this off in just a few days. 

The J's had a small ceremony all those years ago, but honeymooned in Hawaii.  So the theme I came up with was vintage luau.  As my daughter said - a geriatric tiki party.  (She is still for sale - price dropping continually).  Once we had a theme away we went ----

At the front door everyone was greeted with a  tacky  cute little tropical scene - it is a luau, so you can get away with a little of this.  Tee Hee. 
On the entry table were their original wedding book and a framed copy their one and only wedding picture (photographer lost all their photos).  We scattered some flowers that fell off were gently removed from floral stems  and added a tropical scented candle in a crystal bowl

In the living room we hung a banner made of vintage Hawaiin post cards that I found on Google images and printed on card stock.  Intermixed were pictures of the J's and their family through the years all printed in sepia.  It was a great focal point and conversation starter.  They had not seen some of the pictures in years and, of course, many of us had not seen some of them at all.  I got the inspiration for this banner from Roechel at the DIY Showoff  and her graduation party.

Aren't they just too cute!!??!!

While we are on the subject of banners... we made a banner from scrabooking paper in muted tropical patterns and card stock that hung from the landing as you enter the living room

Notice the almost completed stairs - woo hoo! And the green frog tape still in place - LOL

To add to the festive feel there were baskets of leis for the guests to enjoy - which everyone did seem to enjoy

my son-in-law and grandson

my 2 girlies

Well - I guess not everyone

This is NOT her happy face

We found "tropical" flower stems at the Dollar Tree and used vases,vase fillers, and rafia that we had on hand to make arrangements on any vertical surface we could

And borrowed daughter's scarves from the beach

With the one and only wedding photo
We even were able to sneak items from the J's house to use as decorations

We "borrowed" shells from their bathroom and their vases - they never noticed - blahahaha
 And of course there was FOOD!!!!  At our house - would you expect anything less!!

appetizer/dessert table

Everything had cute little tropical labels

main course

Ka-bob buffet. Ahhh - I love my white serving pieces

You knew they were somewhere - tissue paper poofs

Chilled garlic/lime shrimp
Tropical fruit salad
Pita chips with homemade jezebel sauce

Main Course
Make your own ka-bob
Teriyaki chicken
Hawaiin chicken
Mesquite steak
Baja shrimp
red/green/yellow bell peppers
cherry tomatoes

Pineapple upside down cake
Pina colada pie


The ka-bobs on the grill were a huge hit!!  With just the few ingredients there were endless combinations so everyone seemed to get exactly what they wanted.

And of course there was a "tiki" bar in the kitchen

I put out a huge fruit platter and swizzle sticks for everyone to add to their drinks - FUN!!
I kept the blender going with orange and strawberry julius knock-offs from here
Somewhat Simple

They were good enough to be the meal.  So yummy!!!

A few random decorations:

Copy of wedding announcement

Basket of leis

vintage hawaiin records - "borrowed" from the J's
My youngest daughter and her boyfriend set up the easy up in the backyard, hung tissue paper poofs from the center, tiki lanterns around the outside, and set up tables with my white vintage table cloths and candles.  But it was so chaotic I did not get pictures.  bad,bad blogger.  But I did get this pic

Youngest daughter doing a "hula" dance with a flash light - too cool!
The party was a huge success - the J's were totally surprised and had a blast!! So that is all that counts
Happy 45th!!!

Grandson spent the night afterwards.  So we spent the day playing. And I spent the evening cleaning and cleaning!!

So - for now - Aloha - that's Hawaiin for Happy DIY'ing
A few more random pics

Linking to:

Join us Saturdays at for
 the weekend wrap up party!