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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just a little fun around the house!

I take photos of just about everything now that I’m a blogger! So here are a few from the past few days in no particular order! Just a few of the fun happenings at the Lavender Cottage!

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I ordered some bracelets from Shanti and even the package was FUN!

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Visit her Etsy store HERE if you want some cute jewelry hand made by Shanti!

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They looked pretty all gift wrapped.

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I only opened one of them (so far) ! I’m saving them for a special occasion! I’m funny like that!

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But here’s how I looked with my ID bracelet on that says, U CAN DREAM 4 EVER !

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I’ll show a close up of my necklace, too! My girlfriend, Della made this shell necklace for me! Isn’t it perfect!

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Visit her Etsy store, Del’s Shells HERE!!!

I had a visitor in my doll room a few days ago.

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My best friend’s granddaughter came to see my dolls. She has Chip or Dale on her head…I’ve forgotten which! heehee!

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I gave her a little bunny and she made me a sweet Thank You card. It made my day just to have her visit!

And since this is a hodgepodge of subjects…

Do you think a yellow diet is good for you? I didn’t mean to serve everything in the yellow family last night but when I realized I had….I took a photo to share! Grilled hamburgers with cheddar cheese, grilled crookneck squash, grilled onion slices and yellow corn!

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My giveaway is still going on for a few more days!

Enter HERE !

And please visit Diane’s Dream Designs and let me know what you think of my latest venture! And a special thanks to everyone who ordered this week!

Everything is IN THE MAIL! ♥♥♥

Sunday, February 26, 2012

“An Art Show” Mosaic Monday

We walked over to the auditorium for a community Art Show yesterday and it always amazes me to see how many talented people live right in my own neighborhood!

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I fell in love with so much of the art, especially scenes of Florida!

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These stood out as some of the most beautiful!

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So what did I buy? Some cards of course and this!

I wish I could buy the original but for now I will be happy with a print!

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I’m joining Mary at the dear little red house

for Mosaic Monday! There’s still time to join us!

I’m sewing up a storm! I’ve had a few custom orders that I’ve had fun designing and some other new designs for my shop to finish this weekend.

Visit Diane’s Dream Designs for the latest and greatest!

And please enter the friendship GIVEAWAY…

 HERE !!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

“Florida Sunshine” Giveaway

I thought we could have a quick little giveaway and I could send someone some Florida sunshine! We’ve had such a beautiful week with warm temps and lots of bright sunshine.

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The last time I ordered bracelets from Mystic Knot Work they sent me one extra bracelet to give away on my blog! Thanks to the sweet people at Mystic

Their website starts out….

“We all have a love of the sea.  Some of us sail while others surf.  Friends swim and tan on the beach.  Of all the images of summers in the hot New England sun, the traditional sailor knot bracelet completes the picture.”

They have lots of pretty colors and styles and I love wearing them…nautical and fun!

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I made a little pouch that would be good to put jewelry in to travel or keep safe in a drawer. I will put the bracelet inside and a little bag of seashells…some Florida sunshine…chosen just for YOU!

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If you would like to have this little token of friendship, just leave me a sweet comment!

And if you take a peek at my new shop,

 Diane’s Dream Designs,

and tell me which bag is your favorite,

that would be great, too and I’ll give you an extra entry!

I’ve added one more bag this morning! So look at the top three posts!

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I’ll announce a winner next Friday, March 2nd!

Do YOU need some Florida Sunshine?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

‘Let’s take a Daycation!’ Thrifty Living Series

The Macmillan dictionary defines daycation as “a day trip or short holiday that does not involve staying away from home overnight”.

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When you’ve worked hard all week, it’s nice to know you can spend at least one day on the weekend ‘getting away from it all’…getting out, being active, getting the exercise you need.

Pack a picnic, take lots of snacks and water and take a daycation!  Packing your food saves money and time! You won’t have to leave your fun destination early to find a restaurant.

Be prepared. If you enjoy walking, take a day pack with water and snacks. We carry our cameras and binoculars when we hike.

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Small towns are wonderful to visit for the day, too. Use a search engine on the internet to find active, small towns in your area. You might even discover a specialty shop you would enjoy or a great restaurant or coffee shop. If you’ve eaten your picnic lunch, it’s nice to have dessert at a café or shop.

Of course I can’t live in Florida and not mention the beaches! We can drive to the beach and spend the day and be home by dinner time. That is one of the reasons we moved here. I am drawn to the sea and it’s my most favorite daycation. When I lived in Arkansas and Texas we enjoyed spending time at the many lakes. There are so many websites for parks and family friendly destinations.

Most of our day trips require only one expense….a full tank of gas. I know gas is expensive but I think an adventure is worth the expense.  One of my favorite quotes…

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” by St. Augustine 

After a day spent on an adventure, the work week and every day tasks are easier to face.

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I enjoy researching the internet for activities and events in my area. For seniors there are all kinds of discounts to take advantage of….for parks, arboretums, museums, amusement parks, etc. It’s nice to check the internet before you leave home.

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My dream is to travel to Italy…and I still hope to some day. But for now there are a lot of places I’d like to see right here in my own backyard.

(Photos on this post taken at Sholom Park.)

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Please join the other Frugal Five

for their Daycation posts!

Brenda of Cozy Little House

Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Elaine of Sunny, Simple Life

Jen of Muddy Boot Dreams

Do you feel refreshed when you spend a day out and about? What do you like to do? Where do you enjoy going?

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

‘Guest post’ by Trudy Abood

I’m welcoming Trudy to my blog today to give us her ideas on healthy choices!

“Eating healthy generally makes us feel good, right? And feeling good usually makes us want to make more healthy choices, like exercising and taking care of our bodies and minds, doesn't it? So why don't we all do it more often, and why do some of us try and fail so miserably?

For many of us, the holidays can be a difficult time to stick to a healthy eating plan or to keep to a regular schedule. Even outside of the holidays, any type of celebration or vacation or spontaneously change in plans can take someone from their normal routine and throw them for a loop. Parties involve, by nature, a bit of overindulgence, and in turn our healthy eating plans often turn into eat-whatever's-quick-and-easy-or-right-in-front-of-me plans. Who doesn't love a little cake on everyone's birthday, chicken wings at football parties, or some chocolates on Valentine's Day? And then of course there's the holiday gift baskets from clients sitting in the office break room, taunting you at 3:00pm, overflowing with every type of sugar or tasty snack that you're determined is the only thing that could possibly get you through the day.

When we're stressed for time or just feeling frazzled or overwhelmed, we think less about what we're putting in our mouths. When we feel tired or unbalanced because of our not-so-healthy diets and out-of-whack schedules during these busy times, we often don't find the time to exercise or take good care of ourselves in other ways either. Our bodies shut down and we get sick, and the vicious cycle follows us throughout the year and there doesn't seem to be a thing we can do about it.

But what if we could? What if someone started a Happy (Healthy) Holidays plan of action, and it caught on like a fashion trend? What if we stopped treating holidays and celebrations as excuses to overeat and overindulge? What if we found new ways to spend quality time with the people we care about, and made a promise to be more active and healthy in our celebrations? Maybe it's not such a bad idea. Maybe we'd end up with healthier, happier America.”

About the author; Trudy Abood is the VP of GourmetGiftBaskets.com, one of the top suppliers of quality gift baskets. She is a mom of 2 boys, one of which founded GGB and the other is also VP at the company. She formally owned Chalifour's Flowers in Manchester, NH; the largest flower shop in the state.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wristlets are the RAGE!

Well, I think they are! I carry one everywhere I go!

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They are small enough to put on your wrist and walk anywhere. I put a few things inside and I can shop to my heart’s content…hands free, and without the weight of a handbag.

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Then when I’m back in the car, I tuck it inside my larger handbag. (the one with the camera, phone, etc.)

I’ve listed the ones I have made on

Diane’s Dream Designs!

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And I am working on others!

Thanks so much for the orders

and for your encouragement and support!

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I love sewing but I’m certainly not a born salesman!

Here’s my button!

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I hope you’ll put it on your sidebar and spread the word!

Please visit my new shop HERE! Thank you!

And thanks hubby for getting up early and making me a button!

Monday, February 20, 2012

EXCITING NEWS!!! My shop is OPEN!

Introducing Diane’s Dream Designs!

I’ve worked for months making pretty bags to sell!

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And now before I put them on ETSY,

I would like to offer them to my blog buddies!

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So I have a new blog with my BAGS FOR SALE!

This afternoon I’m going to work on a post with the Wristlets that I’ve made and they will be on Diane’s Dream Design tomorrow!

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Please give me your thoughts and ideas!  Do the photos look good? Are these bags you would carry and enjoy? How do you think the prices look? I need some feedback and maybe just a little bit of encouragement!

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Stay tuned! I’ll let you know when I have added to the items for sale! Prices on my new blog HERE !

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Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me!

WHEW! It’s a bit scary to put yourself out there!

Please visit Diane’s Dream Designs !

Will I succeed? Tell me what you think!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

“My week in mosaics”

One day at the Park…

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several days at the sewing machine!

I hope you’ve had a good week!

Mine has been wonderful!

I’ll reveal some of my sewing projects soon!

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I still have some ‘tweaking’ to do!

Are you a perfectionist? Do you ‘tweak’?

I’m joining Mary at the dear little red house

for Mosaic Monday! Hope you’ll join us, too!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spring time in Florida gives me sewing fever!

We have enjoyed such beautiful Spring weather this week! We even walked around Shalom Park one day.

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But I have sewing fever! 

It seems that I go along decorating, reading, enjoying the outdoors and then all of a sudden,

I get sewing fever!

I’ll show you what I’ve been making SOON!

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I’m excited! It feels so good to CREATE!

Enjoy your weekend!

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HAVE FUN!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thrifty Living Series “Saving on Groceries”

This is something we all want to do whether we shop for a big family or for only one or two!

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(I love my canisters!)

One thing we’ve found as a retired couple living in a smaller house, there are many items that we don’t buy in bulk any longer. That was a good option for our family when we had a house full of kids but it is not practical now. We have limited storage and we live only 10 minutes from Walmart and our grocery store, Publix. I bought groceries yesterday and here’s an example of my purchases….3 potatoes, 1 onion, 1 pepper, 1 tomato, 1 avocado, a small bunch of broccoli, a handful of green beans, 4 bananas, 3 apples, a head of Romaine lettuce…etc. Just enough for the week…or less! We can always stop at the store in a few days for more fresh veggies and fruit. If we buy too much, it spoils before we can eat it and that is wasteful!

So we don’t buy bags of potatoes or onions….or even apples or oranges. We buy fresh and eat it while it has the most vitamins and flavor.

One thing nice about Publix, is the online weekly ads and coupons that you can print out. You might check your own grocery store and see if it has this available. Walmart has the best prices overall but the sales at Publix are better. And we only buy our meat at Publix or Fresh Market.

I used coupons a lot more when my 4 sons were all at home. Now I don’t find as many that we can use. But it’s worth looking online for products like coffee and paper products.

Another thing we do that works for us is to cook our favorite big meals and freeze portions. We always freeze spaghetti sauce and chili and these packages sure come in handy when you need a quick meal. Even when you’re cooking for only 1 or 2….always make your favorite recipes. I love to bake and I might freeze some but I also like to share with my friends and neighbors. Baking 2 loaves of fresh bread is just as easy as one….and what a nice gift it makes for someone!

Now the BIG TIP I have for saving on groceries involves what to do with that fresh produce when you get home with it! I rinse everything off and put it in a colander or lay it out on paper towels. When it is dry I put it in Green bags! I’m a BIG believer in Green bags! I could be their spokesperson!

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I’ve been using them for years and have bought boxes for family members! They WORK! (I put a paper towel around the item and it keeps the moisture at a minimum and that’s what causes things to spoil in the fridge.)

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They really do keep fruit and veggies fresh longer! You can buy them from Amazon or even many retail stores.

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It’s worth it to eat well! The food we eat is what gives us the energy to work and play and nutritious food keeps us healthy! In the long run that is the most important thing to keep in mind when you shop!

Please join all of the other Thrifty living ladies…or “Frugal Five” for their posts on this subject!

Brenda of Cozy Little House

Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Elaine of Sunny, Simple Life

Jen of Muddy Boot Dreams

What are some of your money saving ideas for groceries? I would love to do a whole post on all of the great ideas you give me each week! Thanks so much for participating!

UPDATE…I had an anonymous comment come through that asked if we have some canned goods and staples stocked up. I guess I take it for granted that everyone knows to have a well stocked pantry. We have a large pantry in our kitchen so we have plenty of space for non perishables…canned goods such as soup, tomato sauces, beans, etc. And we keep a few extra 5 gallon bottles of Spring water in reserve, too.

Eat right…to stay healthy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

“A Special Meal” Time to grill!

We love to grill and here in Florida, you can grill just about any day!

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Here’s something that works really well on the grill!

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My hubby does all of the prep work AND the grilling, which might explain why this is one of my favorite meals!

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After the shish kabobs are cooked

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he puts everything in a bowl.

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Then we put the meat, peppers and onion in toasted pita bread and serve it with rice!

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And even though there’s an alligator in the photo and we live in Florida…

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I promise you….this is BEEF! heehee!

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It’s very yummy and easy, too!