Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pier 1 - Literally - In The House . . .

Ok, so I imagine by now, you might be sick of me talking and blogging about Pier 1 but sorry folks, that's what's on my mind these days (I know, sad!). So I ran with my little coupons (I had the on-line one for 25% off all dinnerware and a 20% off 1 single item) to my local Pier 1 yesterday and could have had a field day! Here's what I got SO FAR . . . 

This is the pillow I really like and think I will keep
and get a couple more.
This is the pillow my oldest likes and wants me to keep.
This is both pillows together and I think the colors work
together, but not the pillows.
Thinking I could get 2 of each and put on separate chairs
in separate areas of the patio and still look great.
This is going to be the chaise lounge pillow.
I agree with my oldest that I don't love the
purple in the stripes but I can live with it.
Kudos Pier 1, this outdoor pillow is crazy soft!
Usually the outdoor fabric is rough and not cozy.
My little stash.
In the spirit of using only cash and trying to be good, I bought 4 dinner plates and bowls and a set of the stackable wine glasses, in addition to the 3 pillows. My plan is to buy a few more every time I get a coupon or they go on sale.

I so wish I could use all my goodies this weekend and chill by the pool but I have got big plans instead. I am taking 14 girls and 6 adults to Savannah, Georgia, for Girl Scouts so I will share with you all our fun, but that is for another post!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's Totally a Sign from the Shopping Gods!

Ok, so looky what I just got from Pier 1!!

I "Liked" them on Facebook and bingo-shazam! I get a coupon for the dinnerware I coveted.  Remember me droning on and on how I want new stuff for my backyard? Now I did read the small print (barely with my aging eyes) and am not 100% sure this is for the melamine stuff but yes, you got it right, I am hauling myself there after picking up my oldest from stupid early release (that just really messes up my schedule and I am glad it is going away next year!). I also have a coupon for 20% off one regular price item so I just might start on my pillow collection and see if I really do like it in the backyard. Happy shopping for me and I will let you know, but that will be for another post!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pier One Love . . .

Ok, so normally, Pier 1 is not my go to store. I like it, and have shopped there, but it's not in my Top 5, if Top 10.  However, I was wandering through the other day, killing time during soccer practice, and I saw that they have outdoor cushions and I started paying more attention.

Hello, I have been looking for some fun cushions for my bar stools to add a pop, or lots of pops, of color to my downstairs patio area, by the pool.

Just as a reminder, this is what our deck looks like.
Now also bear in mind, I was going to go for a classy look but with my husband's outdoor "man cave" looking like this . . .

beer signs and beat up license plates and  . . .
(ignore the paint job on the front of the bar, that is going to be fixed!)
a Hogbreath's sign and a "Beware of Pickpockets and Loose Woman",
classy was never going to happen down here.
Let's go for fun and festive!
What do you think?
I think this may be a winner. I love all the colors, it blends
beautifully with the decking and pulls the blue from the pool tiles.
Is this a winner?
Now, remember my "more is more" mantra, I could NEVER in a million years, have non-matching pillows. In fact, as of right now, all I have left are faded Restoration Hardware (yes, RH, your fancy-dancy outdoor pillows fade - major FAIL!) pillows with a pale green coloring. SO, let's get some new ones to match my "really want" new bar stool cushions!

The have fun matching pillows -
(I really need want 2 of these for around the fire pit)

- basic stripes -
(I really need want 2 of these for the other chairs by the firepit)

- really fun stripes -
(I really need want 2 of these for the chairs by the bar/overhang)

 - must have lumbar support -
(I really need want 2 of these for the chaise lounges)
With all that being said dreamed, I decided to dream even bigger! Why not replace E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.?
Aren't these adorable melamine plates?
Plates are important but wine goblets are THE. MOST. IMPORTANT!
Did I mention these are stackable?

These sippers are fun for the little kids or the big kids with frozen drinks.
I really wish there was a way to register as an old-married-couple and be able to get new things. Did I tell you that I added all this up, plus some matching serving platters (mine have faded or been stained from meals of years ago, honestly though, I have had this stuff for the past 9 years!!) and the total was over $750!?! Not gonna happen! Anyone have a coupon I can have? In the past, when I order large ticket items at Pottery Barn, I have bought coupons off of eBay but right now, the best I can find for Pier 1 is 20% off total, which is good but that is still too much to spend. Mama needs a BIG sale!

P.S. I did eliminate a bunch of stuff and got the total to $371 before 20% off coupon (which I totally would buy). Did I mention I would qualify for free S&H???? Did I also mention that they have two pieces of furniture that I think might work great in my foyer?

This is one of them. I like the gold accents and studs.
Heera Cabinet
The other cabinet is a bit more primitive looking
and for some reason they don't have it on-line.
Guess I need to run by Pier 1 and take a photo.

You are killing me Pier 1! Well, enough dreaming for now. I am off to pack for our Girl Scout trip this weekend but that is for another post!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Father's Day Flashback . . .

Ok, so I went to pull up the blog post I wrote about our Father's Day project/gift last year and apparently I never blogged about it - maybe, just maybe, that was because we JUST finished it this weekend. Yes, I know that is sad and pathetic but alas, it is done.

My hubby has always wanted a sign that has arrows that point every which way to some of our favorite destinations so I figured we could make that for him easily. My Go-To-Guy (GTG) had rough cut a bunch of different size and shape arrows (exactly what we wanted) using leftover wood we had from previous projects. This is something I could have done but he was already at the house working on another project so he said he would do it.

The girls painted the arrows solid colors on both sides to start. 

My youngest after breathing too many paint fumes!
Getting a little silly!
The girls painted them with paints I already had -
yes, you read that right.
I like color and I am not afraid to say it!
Presenting to daddy on Father's Day morning.

With all the beautifully painted signs.
TAAAAA-DAAAAA. Finally the finished product.
We had a major debate if we wanted to be accurate and
have the arrows point in the right direction (before we painted).
We decided NO, too much thinking and honestly,
almost all the destinations are south or east.
(NOTE: the mileage amounts are correct according to my kids.)

I bought a fence post at Home Depot and a pretty finial and just stained them. We did polyurethane the arrows before mounting them to help with weathering. We found it easier to nail the arrows in while the post was up. We had extra arrows cut so we can easily add any new and exciting destinations. This was a super inexpensive project and we think it adds great color to our backyard, as well as, reminding of us great memories.

Wonder what we will do for Father's Day this year? That will be for another post (probably in November!).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

First High School Party . . .

Ok, so last night we hosted our first high school party for my daughter and her friends. We got a little apprehensive about the party as we had heard rumors about kids coming "to party" (and not in the innocent way) and we were not really equipped for that. Not sure how to proceed, I spoke to my mom and a good family friend (both having raised three girls) to get advice (thank you ladies!). Hubby wanted to cancel the party (he's a lawyer so that explains a lot). I had to fight him hard but we decided to have a Come to Jesus talk with our daughter. We explained that we would not hesitate to check backpacks or cups for any signs of alcohol and that we would make "unannounced" trips through the party to check on everyone. Her job was to spread the word that parents would be very visible and on High Alert. Needless to say, everything went off fine. The kids got rowdy (90% ended up in the pool even though it was cold and it was not a pool party!) but everyone behaved age appropriate (boys will be boys) and no laws were broken! Thank God!

So with that being said, I wanted to share a little bit about our party decor. My daughter wanted no decorations or food other than chips and sodas. She swears no one eats and she did not want it looking "all pretty" like we normally do. She did want it to be a neon party and wanted black lights and glow necklaces for everyone.

Me being me, wanted a bit more so I talked her into letting me make some glow stick decs.

Found these at Wal-Mart.
They were in a section where everything was marked .97
but their bin had no label. I bought them all thinking
that was a good deal but they were $2.97 a bag,
still not a deal breaker though.
This is how they looked.
We decided to use the lanyard they provided to hang them.
Once it was dark, you wouldn't see the string anyhow.

I did add some more colorful bowls and glow sticks
laying around the table. I was going to break them open
and pour the liquid out but decided not to because of the food.

Once it turned dark, the kids had fun breaking the glow sticks so
they would light up the night. It was a nice touch and looked festive.
I didn't get any pictures of the party (promised my daughter I wouldn't) but the kids all had a great time.  I will say, my daughter was right in that the 40 kids who came to the party, hardly touched the chips but they did eat the 9 pizzas we ended up buying (mom was right!).  Best part about the party, when I got up this morning, my daughter and her friends who spent the night, were already up and cleaned up ALL the mess downstairs. 

I am super proud of my daughter and her friends and would like to add that she didn't want any presents from her fellow party goers, all she asked for was donations to the Relay for Life and she collected over $200!! 

I guess we can count this party as officially over. I am off to sit by the water and read and hope the cabana boy my hubby brings me an adult beverage. Time to relax and get ready for another SUPER busy week but that's for another post!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Caitlin

Ok, so my oldest daughter turned 15 yesterday. I SO can't believe that (and I still haven't lost the baby weight)!! Her first order of business was to get her Learner's Permit. She was adamant about getting it on her bday. Caitlin passed her test on her first try (most of her friends took three tries - I really don't want to be on the road with them!) so my hubby raced to the DMV to get her picture taken and here is the final result -
She even looks great in her permit photo!
Because she had elective oral surgery (so not fun),
she did not receive a lot of gifts, her new smile was her BIG gift!
We got her a pillow from PB Teen that she really wanted.
The color matched her room perfectly and
Italian is the language she really wants to be fluent.
(Does that read right? Wants to be fluent? In?)
She also got the movie Pitch Perfect
and a couple of gift cards.
Boy, we will sound like parents of the year
when she tells everyone she got a pillow for her 15th birthday!
I made a red velvet cake for her to share with the
Relayers last weekend. She loved it so much,
she wanted one for herself.
This is the recipe to the cake I made for her that turned out really well. I used a 9x13 instead of the 2 round cake pans. I ended up having to bake it for around 10 minutes longer. I also didn't have cake flour so just used all-purpose and apparently it only affects "the crumb" of the cake (don't really know what that means but has something to do with the outer coat).

Red Velvet Cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus one tablespoon  cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons to 1 bottle red food coloring
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 cup buttermilk

Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl,  beat the sugar and oil together until well blended. A standing or hand-held mixer works best for this.
Add eggs, one at a time, blending well between additions.  (Blend the last one in until the mixture is smooth.)
Blend in food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Scrape bowl down with a rubber spatula.
Alternately blend in flour and buttermilk , (starting and ending with the flour)  using about a third of each at a time and scraping sides of bowl a couple of times. Make sure not to over beat or use the electric mixer on high -- this will toughen the cake.
Immediately pour into prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
On a wire rack, cool cakes in pans for 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely on rack.
Fill and frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-ounce package cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (at room temperature)
16 ounces confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Milk, as needed
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
Add butter and continue to beat smooth and well incorporated with the cream cheese.
Beat in the sugar a little at a time, then the vanilla.
If frosting is too thick to spread easily, beat in cold milk a tablespoon or so at a time until of spreading consistency.

(Note: Source for recipe: http://www.acakebakesinbrooklyn.com/2010/08/best-red-velvet-cake-in-world.html - I like that she cooks with wine, not in the recipe though!).

So that's it for my beautiful girl's birthday. We had a nice dinner at Chili's (completely her choice but I had a coupon for a free appetizer, so of course we had to get 2 starters!). Happy Birthday Caitlin, now for your party tomorrow night, but that's for another post!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston On My Mind . . .

Ok, when in doubt, you can always turn to Mister Rogers  . . .

Sending prayers and thoughts to Boston and all their special helpers.

More to come from Life in the Carline, but that is for another post.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Relaying for a Reason . . .

Ok, so my oldest daughter, Caitlin, is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, better known as Pediatric Liver Cancer, at the ripe old age of four months. She turns 15 later this week and has been cancer free for over 13 1/2 years! One of my sisters, Becky, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011 and has been cancer free for the past year. Needless to say, cancer has truly affected our family but we have a LOT to be thankful for and that is why we participate in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. Actually this year, we are participating in two Relays, this one in Gainesville, and one in St. Petersburg where Caitlin is chairing her own team for the first time (May 3)!

Our beautiful survivors walking their Survivor Lap.

Caitlin's Story
Some of Caitlin's friends came with us.
Doesn't our campsite looked great? Becky was in charge of it.
 Unfortunately, it was too windy to
put up the facade but our campsites theme was
The Wizard of Oz. 

Caitlin with my parents.

The whole Caitlin's Crusaders Team.
At night, the Relay for Life holds a Luminaria Ceremony. Everyone is quiet, they turn off all the lights and we walk the track without talking. This year, a bagpiper played Amazing Grace while we walked. I have yet to walk this lap without crying. I just can't help myself. It is wonderful to walk and see all the luminaries lit in Honor of survivors. Unfortunately, there are still so many in Memory.

We are thrilled the Relay for Life is part of our life and look forward to doing it again in a couple of weeks. If you are interested in making a donation to Caitlin's team, please go to the following link:

You can also sponsor a luminary for someone who has battled cancer.

Now off to continue working on the backyard, but that is for another post!