Friday, September 28, 2012

Jacob Wants A Family

I have an acquaintance who is advocating for this sweet boy, featured in Holt's Hi Families, Spring 2012 issue.  Her daughter was Jacob's foster sister and keeps asking if he has a forever family. 
The article states, "Jacob is outgoing and happy and his social workers state that he is 'loved by parents, teachers and classmates alike.'  In the four years since he entered foster care, Jacob has seen three of his foster siblings join adoptive families.  He still keeps in contact with one of his foster sisters - who joined a family in the US - via Skype.  This former foster sister describes Jacob as a funny boy who enjoys telling jokes and watching the Power Rangers on TV . . . He would definitely love to join a family with siblings."

Jacob has repaired cleft lip and is ten-years-old.  (Let me tell you, ten-year-old boys are SO MUCH FUN!  They are still so sweet at that age, curious, fun, energetic, and entertaining!)  Without help, Jacob struggles a bit in school, but is also described as industrious and respectful of his teachers.  He speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and is learning English.  His foster sister shares that is a healthy, happy and outgoing boy.  He has a good imagination, he loves playing with other children.  He eagerly participates in group activites and his foster sister has many happy memories of playing together with Jacob.

From personal experience I can tell you that the orphanage where Jacob is from seems to have a positive outlook on the importance of transitioning a child into their adoptive family.  Jacob is currently on the shared list. 

Jacob wants a family!  Could that family be yours?  Look at that sweet face!  Is this your son?

Please pray that Jacob will find his forever family soon!  It's Jacob's turn!!!

Beautiful family rooms

Hello all! Hope you had a fantastic week and have an even better weekend planned. I’m looking forward to some time with some girlfriends and perhaps some pumpkin picking? The weather is supposed to be fabulous.

Why do I always talk about the weather? I don’t know. It’s my thing.

Anyway, today I had to show off some of the LOVELY family room spaces you all linked up last month at the August Show Us Your House party. I looove family rooms. LOVE. them. It’s all about cozy and comfy for me and I so enjoyed looking through these spaces.

Let’s kick it off with KariAnne’s spectacular DIY chalk board made from an old window:

chalkboard from old window

Isn’t that amazing? SO cool. And you’ll just die when you see what they did with extra panes from the window. Brilliant. Doing it. Someday.

I love the warm stone around Kelly’s fireplace, mixed with the bold striped drapes:

striped drapes

When I saw the close up shot of her mantel, I thought it was an inspiration shot from a magazine, no lie.

OK, I am drooling over Sita’s beautiful white molding wall in her family room:

white paneled wall molding

Her pillows and fireplace and sofas and rug and lamps don’t hurt anything either. ;)

I’m digging the mid-century modern feel of Kelly’s family room:

gray and yellow family room

I am drawn to this look for our basement – love it. All of the white accessories in the shelves make a beautiful statement too.

I think I’ve shown you Kelly’s (yes, that would be three Kelly’s this time. Kelly’s must just have pretty family rooms in general.) space before, but for some reason I don't remember this gorgeous console:

red console

Oh my, that is just a fantastic piece. I love looking at her space – SO many cool touches in this room.

Kristen’s mantel full of candles shows the power of simple pieces in numbers:

rustic fireplace

Don’t you just want to curl up on one of those chairs with a throw in front of the fire? Kristen, we’ll be right over. ;)

I really loved all of the COLOR I saw all over the place, and I was especially swooning over Erin’s ottoman in her family room:

colorful ottoman

I LOVE that print. What a great statement – check out the whole space here!

As always it was hard for me to pick just a few rooms to highlight. I love this series and getting a chance to peek into your homes!!

Have a GREAT weekend and stay safe! See ya Monday!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mini pumpkins three ways (fall linky!)

Well HEY! I’m back to finish up our series of fall linkies – this time we’re sharing easy, inexpensive, quick fall decor ideas here at TDC!:

fall linky parties

I’ve already shared a few of my simple fall decorating projects this year – the pumpkin wreath took less than 30 minutes because I just stuck everything in and called it done:

pumpkin wreath

And even making the new wood trough for fall goodies in the family room was quick:

fall decorating ideas

This time we’re going SUPER easy. And we’re using little bitty pumpkins.

Simple? Check.

Quick? Check.

Cauuute? Check. :)

These ideas are not earth-shattering, but they are not hard to incorporate into your own home. That’s the goal here. :)

I already kind of showed you this idea on the patio last week, but it’s worth showing again. Take any kind of vessel – a bowl, a basket…a pedestal even. And pile in some pumpkins (OK, gourds too):

decorating with pumpkins

You can add some extras like leaves or beady things too, but I’m drawn to the simple look of these as they are. And I LOVE the combo of the wood next to the pumpkins!

Simple idea No. 2 – I took a glass container and a big candle and filled in the sides with the itty bitty pumpkins:

easy fall decor

Of course light the candle at your own discretion. I would not, just because it would stress me out a bit. ;) But it took about two minutes to throw together.

Recently I saw an idea in a magazine where they filled the vessel with water and added flowers to the top, instead of the candle inside. LOVE that idea too.

Speaking of magazines – the inspiration for this one was taken right off the cover of the latest BHG mag:

decorating with pumpkins

I used a former brass clock (Goodwill find) and turned it into a cloche. (I showed you how here.) I just laid some fluffy moss inside and piled a couple pumpkins on top. I love the contrast of the deep green and the orange of the pumpkins!

I loved the simple version, but had to go just a big bigger – my cheese plate dome-turned-cloche was big enough to hold even more of the cutie pumpkins:

decorating with pumpkins

I added some more of the moss around the edge of the cloche and l LOVE this one even more! Too cute!

Now I want to see your ideas!! Like always, I appreciate a link back to this post or my blog and you can use this button and code to do so:

Fall Party
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Fall Party" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Fall Party" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Now let’s see your projects! :

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Decorating the mantel for fall

fall mantel decorating

Hello all! How are you this fine fall day? Sorry this post is later than usual – I was sidetracked by a quick (if two hours there and two back can be considered quick) trip to IKEA. WHOO!

I’m back today with our fall mantel and will be linking up over at Kate’s shindig:

fall linky parties

Since our new, big mantel is still new to me, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it this fall. I knew I wanted something tall in an old vase I found antiquing last year and that was about it.

The starting point found me this past weekend when a friend and I visited a fall festival at one of our favorite shops. My local blog friend Angela was there and I found these ahhhhmazing floofy things in her shop:

fall mantel decorating

We don’t know what they are, but they scream fall to me. They are SO. COOL. Fluffy and soft and long and lovely. I put them in the vase at one end of the mantel, then started playing with colors, heights and textures as I went across:

fall mantel decorating

The wood frame was from Target (filled with a pic of the Bub from last Halloween – fitting I thought) and the copper pumpkin was a find in the dollar spot a few weeks ago as well. The deep metallic tone was just the pop I needed!

I loved the pumpkin wreath I made for the patio so much I ended up bringing it in. I have something in mind that’s a tad more neutral for this spot though so this one may go back out soon:

fall mantel decorating

I just hung it from a piece of burlap (that’s hot glued to the top of the frame).

I was at a BFF’s house the other day, lamenting that I have NO driftwood to decorate with. What kind of decor blogger doesn't have driftwood I ask??


Until she was all, OH, I have a pile of it from our trip to the lake! Huh? Do I even know her anymore? How was I not aware of her plethora of driftwood?

I used some of it in the middle of the mantel because I ask you…what says fall more than driftwood from the beach?:

fall mantel decorating


I’m pretty excited about the next part people. I found some hydrangeas at Trader Joe’s last fall that I fell in LOVE with – and low and behold, the hydrangeas on my pretty Pee Gee trees in the back turn into those exact ones! The colors are fantastic:

fall mantel decorating

I can finally say…I got those beautiful flowers from my yard. Awesome. :)

The candlesticks were Goodwill finds I used in my Christmas centerpiece last year. I just spray painted them a copper color to tie in with the little pumpkin on the other side. And I finished it off with a big rattan pumpkin I’ve had for years, I think I got it from Target?:

fall mantel decorating

I adore all of these colors – I mean. LOVE.

The greens, creams, oranges and touches of metallic – they are what fall is all about around here: fall mantel decorating

I took some of these pics  yesterday on a sunny day, and some today when it was dark and chilly. (My favorite.) Perfect excuse to get a fire going:

fall mantel decorating

I love how everything works with my wood art I showed you last week:

fall mantel decorating

This is not the time of year when less is more for me…that comes in January and February. :) Now I crave warm colors and a cozy feel in our rooms, and our family room feels so cozy to me right now.

Like a fall hug.

Awwww, gosh.

Even the dog likes it:

fall mantel decorating

But he likes pretty much everything. :)

I can’t wait to see all the beautiful fireplaces and vignettes over at Kate’s! And don’t forget to come back and link up on Thursday when I host our last party – it’s all about easy, simple ways to add fall touches to your home. Anything goes! As long as it’s simple and easy. Or fall themed. Whatever.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fish And Friends

Show me your friends and I'll show you your future.

We are blessed to have a friend who is also a professional fishing guide. (Do we know how to choose our friends, or what?)  On multiple occasions he has invited us to fill an open spot on his boat.

Yesterday, we hit the jackpot when he invited us to fill the entire boat. 

It was a first for Kim,


and Lan Lan.

And the professionals had an awesome time too!

Vu and Mei Mei stayed home with me (one can only impose on a commercial fisherman with a certain number of lines to be tangled!).  We had Vietnamese food for lunch and then our own fishing adventure, the 3D movie, Finding Nemo. 

I heart Dory!  We share the same memory challenges!  Twins separated at birth!  I'm telling you, she and I could be the best of friends--if only we could remember each other's phone number! 

My children were reminded, "Fish are friends, not food!"  But it didn't stop them from eating a whole lot of salmon for dinner! 

Papa's Best Salmon Recipe
Place salmon fillet in foil, cover with butter.
Add salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice.
Wrap foil over top and place in baking dish.
Bake at 400, just until flaky (about 25 mins).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Show us your basements (fun spaces)

Well hello there! I’m back on this beautiful (chilly!) Monday with another Show Us Your House link up! This time we’re sharing basements, playrooms and rec rooms. (Does anyone call them rec rooms anymore? How old am I?)

show us your house

As many of you know, we finally finished our basement this year. I say finally because we’ve lived her for 8.5 years and every four months or so of the past five we’ve said, “now we’re going to finish it!” And never did. :)

I thought it would be fun to show you some before, before pics of the basement, back when it was truly storage and a DUMP, and then show it now. Just because before and afters are my favorite. :)

I’ll start with the grody stairs:

When we decided to start using the space (years ago), even while it was unfinished, my first goal was to make those steps safe for my boy, who was just a wee one back then. We had cheap carpet installed and a I painted the walls, which helped a ton.

But now it’s even prettier with new (nice) carpet, new paint and light. Oh and a wood wall:

DIY wood planked wall dark stain

Like I said, for years the basement was purely storage. Storage for the insane amount of crap I didn’t need:

I organized that area and made it into my craft room:

messy basement

But you can tell by that pic that it rarely stayed organized. I had a STUFF problem. :)

Now, that spot looks like this:

Mohawk carpet honored tradition

Hallloooo…so. much. better!

Here’s where the real scariness began:

Told you. :)

And here is that same area now:

basement carpet

It actually looks even better now, cause we got furniture! WHOO! It’s made a HUGE difference down there. Can’t wait to show you.

And the amazing amount of stuff continued around the corner:

I have to tell you – I have gotten rid of an INSANE amount of clutter over this process. It has been a true eye-opening experience for me. For years I would purge the basement, and then it would become a pit of despair again…and I would do it all over. It made me aware of just how much stuff I don’t need – I don’t miss much of it. If any.

Now that spot looks like this:

basement blue gray walls

Well, it did a few weeks ago. I’ll show you the new furniture soon. :)

Here’s another before shot looking back into the space:

And here it is when it was finished:

Mohawk carpet honored tradition

(Can you find the little photo bomber?)

I say “finished” lightly – still so many things to do. The bathroom is still only about a third done. I’m getting anxious to get that moving – I’d love to have it done for the winter movie nights we plan to have down here. :)

We LOVE this space and I have so many plans for decorating it! I’m trying to force myself to get the bathroom done before I start on more fun stuff. :)

You can see more of our basement over the years and the finishing process here. And you can see more of our loft, (including the book nook!) which used to be the playroom, here.

Now let’s see yours! I love spaces like this – playrooms and basements are my FAVORITE. I have lots of favorites. :)

I’d appreciate a link back, especially if you’d like to be considered for the highlight post:

Show Us Your House
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Show Us Your House" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Thrifty Decor Chick" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Here you go! Can’t wait to see your spaces! (And meet me back here tomorrow to see my fall mantel!)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Poop List And The Paperwork Pile

I am learning a lot from my organizational consultant.  One is to keep an "Anti-Procrastination List," aka, "The Poop List." 

The Poop List is a place to write down any item that has been on the "to-do" list too long.  Mine currently has a variety, everything from "seal kitchen counters," to "make adoption announcements for Mei Mei," to "fix Paul's screen" (which needs fixed because a couple years ago Paul and his friend had this great idea of trying to shoot a bird out the window--with an airsoft gun--and the screen was in the way so they decided to just CUT A HOLE!!!  What a great idea?  Yes?  Please tell me that not all twelve year old boys have brains that think this way!  And please tell me they really were trying to shoot a bird, which would be bad enough, and not a brother!). 

I've also listed "catch up blog posts," so this week I plan on adding quite a few.

You like this anti-procrastination idea.  Yes?

Every Saturday I have to choose at least one item to work on for at least one hour. 

It's amazing what can be completed in one hour.

One item I have crossed off my list is create medical folder.

(I just love how I can even cross it off on my blog!)

Adding two kids while simultaneously switching to high deductible insurance resulted in a pile of medical paperwork that was threatening to give me a stroke!  Seriously!  It was one of my biggest stressors!  And having 40,000 kids resulted in a bit more memory capacity than I had!  I couldn't remember who needed what appointments--when!

Note:  If you are a naturally organized human being, read no further.  You will laugh that it has taken me this long to create a basic medical organizational system.  If you are not naturally organized, let me tell you that having a system is like a HUGE breath of albuterol!

I created a 3-ring binder for medical/dental/ortho/speech.  It holds a section for each child where I can list the date they had an appt, the provider, medication/instructions given, follow-up needed.    I keep a 3-hole punch to add lab results, immunization records, etc.

In the front I have a section for bills pending and bills paid, plus a tab for authorizations.  I keep a special section for insurance/billing issues that require ranting calls of frustration sweet conversations to the insurance company--complete with contact names and dates.   I also have a place to track our health savings account.

I keep the binder right in my hall closet, so when the mail comes in I can immediately stuff anything medical into the "to file" pocket. 

The only thing that is lacking is a prescription to take before diving into the bill paying. 

It's probably no surprise that medical/dental is one of our biggest expenses.  Sigh.  And we are blessed to have very good insurance. 

Whose idea was it to have all these kids again???

But oh, how I love them!  They are worth every penny and all the paperwork nightmares!  Enjoying ice cream last weekend after a final summer trip to the cabin.  Yum! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Antique Farm House

**This giveaway is now closed. The winners have been contacted via email.


What is UP? Hope you had a lovely week! This week has been just crazy around here – I am SO looking forward to the weekend! It’s supposed to be unseasonably cool here (60 degrees?!) so we may have to get a fire roaring at some point. Bliss.

This weekend I have some goodies for you from one of my favorite online shops, Antique Farm House:

logo (1)

Antique Farm House is sales event kind of store -- they have several “events” going at once (with different themed decor) and about every other day a new event launches at 11a.m. (EST) and an older event expires. Their prices are pretty fantastic too.

If you love the look of antiques but don’t have a shop nearby, or if you just plain don’t want to leave the house, this site is for you. ;) I LOVE this stuff.

They have some beauties and I wanted to share a few of them with you. One of the newer events is one with a bunch of different repurposed suitcases:

repurposing old suitcases

I just saw a photo online today of an old suitcase repurposed into a dog bed – how cauuute! Love that idea!

This light fixture is one of my favorite items they’ve carried:

wire basket light fixture

How cool would that look above a long farmhouse table? Swoon!!

I have a serious love of anything industrial lately – I love these pieces mixed in with a traditional look to mix things up a bit:

industrial decor

I adore those stools! The aqua color with the wood seat? LOVE.

These metal number signs are always popular over at AFH too:

I think they would look awesome lined up in a mud room with hooks underneath. :)

Of course there are a ton of accessories to pick from too – one of my BFFs shops this site and finds the CUTEST stuff. These all look like her:

I love that roman numeral clock…a LOT. I think she needs it. And I could borrow it. ;)

I love that you’ll find piece on AFH that you won’t find in stores. (At least I haven’t seen their items anywhere.) Like this iron mustache hook:  How cute is that! I love funky touches like that. Maybe for hubby’s coat and umbrella? :)

As always, I save the best for last…this weekend they are giving away two $50 credits for two of you to spend as you wish at Antique Farm House!

Here’s how to enter to win one of two $50 credits to AFH:

1. Leave a comment here. What’s up this weekend? Football game here, mixed with a little marching band. And I’m moving some furniture around…can’t wait to show you how it turns out. :)

2. Visit Antique Farmhouse here. Check out the different events (“current sales events” tab at the top) and come back to let us know the item you love the most.

3. Visit their Facebook page and “like” it here. Let us know you did in another comment. (If you already like it, leave a comment telling me.)

4. Subscribe to their email list here (you’ll get notices about the new deals) and if you do (or are already on the list), leave one more comment here.

* You can enter one, two, three or four times – it’s up to you! All options are not mandatory to win – they’re just extra chances. :)

* Remember if you comment anonymously or you have a private blog, please include your email address in each entry, and spell it out with “at” and “dot” to avoid any spammy emails coming your way.

This giveaway is open to the contiguous US only. It will be close this Monday, September 24 at 9 a.m. EST.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!!