I'm on vacation from my vacation...

  Well, first I'll start off by saying I'm not very fond of the new blogger format....it's very unfamiliar to me and kinda of "stark" looking, I know I've been gone too long but all I have to say is ICK. I'm not even sure if I'll stick with this background but I was feeling pink last night when I chose it. I'm trying to surround myself with loveliness and JOY since I'm very sour about the election results....I'm sure it was a steal, if you know what I mean. I personally feel America took the wrong turn at the fork in the road but I can sleep well knowing I had no part in it and whatever happens the Lord is in control.

   My vacation back to New England was...how shall I put it....the worst vacation I ever took in my adult life. I hadn't been back to New England in 10 years and I was so excited to see not only my family, but my husband's family as well. My son went with me, the last time he was in New England was when he was 6 so he really didn't remember much about it. I, on the other hand, was born and raised there and didn't move away until I was 32 so I had SO MANY places I wanted to revisit that brought me so many great memories. I was sad to discover that the quaint little New England town that I remembered was no longer quaint or little....growth made it boom into a town I didn't recognize and I swear to you there was a Dunkin Donuts about every half mile as you traveled down the roads (roads that used to be single lane in each direction but now were widened to two and three lanes in each direction, some even rerouted entirely). You know when you have fond memories of something and it always stays the same whenever you think about it? I kind of wish I didn't go back because now, when I think of my hometown, I think of how I saw it last and not how I remembered it...or expected it be...the same.  I'm very nostalgic, I remember smells, feelings, sounds from a certain time and place and I keep the silliest things as souvenirs ...I think this is important, it's important to hold onto something that once was because you will never get it back.  Sometimes you can't go back and then there are times when you should not go back.

   Family also changes, people in your family have their own lives, their own problems and worries, and you may even discover they no longer share the same values.  I found myself in the company of a lot of unhappiness and let me tell ya, I'm pretty happy-go-lucky but if there's an elephant in the room I will be the first to acknowledge it and ask about why it's there (that doesn't always go over so well).  I've never been the kind of person who dances around a subject, if I have something to say-especially if it concerns someone I love-then I say it.  Sometimes, to find out if someone needs help, you need only just ask.... but then, there are times when you have to realize that there is absolutely nothing you can do because once a person has it in their mind to be miserable...then you have to accept that and walk away.

  I have my own family, my own worries and my own day to day issues.. but from this experience....this vacation...I realized just exactly how happy I really am. I had an "Ah Ha moment" from a horrible vacation....and so I believe my vacation had to be that way...to show me just how Blessed I am.  It served it's purpose I suppose....that's what God wanted me to see.

    So...in a nutshell....there you have it.

  Here's my kitchen Christmas tree we just put up....after it got knocked over 3 times by the cat and dog, we put it in a #5 Redwing shoulder crock.  I love it!  I am slooooowly eeking out my Christmas decor...how about you?

Have a Blessed Weekend!

I'm back

...been back for a while, just been neglecting my little blog. It's late night right now and after picking out a new background for my blog I've decided it's too late for a long winded blog post. I'll be back on tomorrow night (Fri) Catch up with you then and I'll talk about my vacation and whatnot. :) ~Robin

Private Spaces

I just thought I'd give you a peek into one small part of my bedroom....this space includes a vintage dresser that I repainted and adorned with some vintage lovelies.  This old dresser used to be Mr. Bittersweets when he was a child...it was dark brown, then a turquoise blue, mossy green and now it's an ivory color but I distressed it so all the colors from it's previous life are visible.
I also changed out the hardware because at one point, when it was green, my son was using it as a dresser in his room and I wanted it to have a more updated feel.
Right now, it's acting as a catch-all..it holds craft and wrapping supplies.  I have a desk in my room that I use for crafting but it doesn't have as many drawers as it should so this dresser really came in handy for me.
I recently picked up an antique cast iron soap dish at a local antiques store so I thought it made a nice holder for my collection of old skeleton keys.  I placed a tattered piece of lace between the keys and the dish to make the keys stand out a bit.  I adore old keys don't you?
A vintage bell jar holds a collection of white and pearl antique buttons.  Some are from my Great Grandmother's collection.
Some of you may remember my assistant Charlotte,,,she used to sit on my desk and help me craft but while on a recent foray at Goodwill I found her a boyfriend.....
...actually I found this boy AND another Charlotte.  I was very excited and snapped them right up!  Actually, the busts are Louise AND Alexander Brongniart the original busts were sculpted by Jean Antoine Houdon and are on display in the Louvre. ( I have an extra Charlotte (Louise) in my Etsy shoppe if anyone is interested)
Love this tiny little painting on silk...I bought it to resell but I haven't been able to bring myself to part with it!
A beautiful rosewood box that holds my heart  topped with some lace and antique books.....
..these books belonged to my Great Grandmother Emma who is pictured in my header.  They mean so much to me.
I love this vintage creamer, it has just the right amount of patina on it...it's the perfect resting place for this glittery pink fabric rose. Another item I bought to resell but couldn't part with.
I've had this vintage print of a painting for over 10 years and before that it spent 25 years hanging in a shop in Connecticut as part of the decor and before THAT it was purchased at an antique store.  I recently found out it is a painting of Lady Emma Hamilton who lived from 1765 to 1815...very cool indeed.  I also adore the  pillow sachet I have on the dresser top, made from an antique monogrammed handkerchief...stuffed to capacity with lavender..... it smells so heavenly.

I hope you are all having a lovely week....

It is what It is

When I walked into my bedroom this is the first thing that I saw....
..you're probably asking yourself what that is.  That is the flat sheet hanging down over the bed skirt on my side of the bed.  If you look really closely you will see...
that it's a hole in the shape of a heart that a certain someone...when left unattended....has left for me.
Now I don't know if it's token of love or an act of defiance.....we've gone over this before many many times and I really thought we were clear on this....but I guess being really cute and only 9 months old allows you a leave of your senses to get away with such nonsense.  The chewing of the bedding and shoes is something we have revisited many times and obviously warranted another discussion.
I did all the talking....and he pretended to listen....all the while avoiding eye contact.
The problem is...he always returns to the scene of the crime to examine his handiwork....and this time I must admit I was very touched about the torn sheet resembling a heart...but it is what it is.

For the love of Pinterest

  I found this recipe idea on Pinterest....one bag of frozen chicken breasts, one can of crushed pineapple and one bottle of either Hawaiian style barbecue sauce or marinade....add these 3 ingredients to your crock pot and cook for about 5 hours.  I made this tonight for dinner and it was VERY good and VERY moist. I like recipes that don't have eleventy-million ingredients because sometimes I don't have all the time in the world to prep and cook dinner...especially in the hot summer months.

  I also made these donuts some time ago.....
...technically, these would qualify as a forbidden food item but this recipe looked so easy I had to try it.  You cut out the center of the uncooked biscuits and then fry in oil until done.  I had a really hard time with this because I never fry ANYTHING...so I had quite a few donuts that were done on the outside but still raw on the inside.  The ones that were cooked through were very good but only when they were still warm...once they cooled I found them not to be palatable at all.  Oh well.

I also made these little cuties on Easter
I'd like to add that this is NOT my photo, but the inspiration photo from Pinterest.  Mine came out kinda similar but most of them looked severely deformed and really not worth the effort so I doubt I'll be doing this again.

I also made Fried Pickles...that are baked and NOT fried
..these were very good...so good that I had them as a main course one night.....yummo!

...and what a great idea for a NO BAKE cookie that all you have to do is assemble?
Acorn cookies made from Hershey kisses, Nilla wafers and a peanut butter chip.  Adorable!

On the upside, I pinned a LOT of whole wheat recipes that I have yet to try.

I found this clever idea for gift bags/wrap and I found the bags for purchase on Etsy...LOVE them :)
...my son used one to wrap a Clint Eastwood Western DVD to give to his Dad for Father's Day.

Soon, I will be making this lovely...
..it's just one of those black rubber floor mats spray painted and hung on the wall....LOVE it!

This also....a bench made from an old dresser....
LOVE the color...very shabby cottage-ish :)

One clever soul made a lamp out of a vintage cake tin...

...and if you want to go GREEN and save  a tree, I LOVED this idea of using a stack of books as inspiration for a Christmas tree....
great for small spaces and just think...you are re-using the trees that have been used to make the paper in the books to make a new tree :)

I also discovered the BEST shower cleaner EVER...
Heat up white vinegar and add Dawn blue dish liquid...WOW. I'm never buying anything else to clean the tub and showers...this worked AMAZINGLY well.

Keep your burned out night light bulbs or Christmas bulbs and add some glitter for beautiful Holiday bowl fillers....

I also thought this idea was very clever...
...adding photos to gifts in leau of gift tags.  I used plain brown kraft paper and bakers twine last year with rustic gift tags...I do think the photos dress up the packages a bit...don't you?

My local Goodwill has scads of canning jars for very cheap so I think I may try this idea at Christmas...
...very rustic and simple.

There are some very clever people out there who are so inspiring...do you Pinterest?
This is me...if you'd like to share ideas and pins....http://pinterest.com/bittersweetpnkn/

Only 24 more days until I go on vacation!!

Housekeeping and the Fourth...

  I am finding that having a curly haired dog is not so good for my housekeeping.  My pink Dyson is getting a daily workout...sometimes twice a day.  Walter is very cute and has lots of energy at 8 months old, but every time he runs through the house I think he loses a pound of fur.  Lugging the vacuum up and down the stairs has become quite the chore and my back is beginning to notice....my husband asked me if it would be cruel to shave the dog...it's beginning to look like a great idea to me. :)  Makes me miss my Sadie Mae that much more, she was a short hair and the only time she ever shed was when she was sick.

I am really just puttering around the house....waiting for the sun to come out, it really doesn't seem like summer to me here in the Pacific Northwest..as other parts are getting the high heat...we still have rain and fairly low temps.  SO looking forward to my New England vacation in August!!!  I have some kitchen chairs I need to repaint...hopefully the weather will be nice this coming weekend so I can take them outside to sand and paint them..and give my kitchen table a darker coat of stain.  I'll post the before and after pics when I do.

  There's been lot's of "test" fireworks going off all around us, as fireworks are legal in this state..and the good news is Walter hasn't batted an eyelash at all the booms and pops.  These same sounds would have sent Sadie shaking into the closet.....but I guess the true test will be on the 4th.  We have no big plans, the neighborhood usually has a lot of fireworks and we can hear the fireworks display next door at the lake, although the trees are too high to really see them well.  We bought our fireworks from Costco this year, which was WAY cheaper than buying them at one of the Fireworks stands.

My thoughts and prayers have been with all our friends in Colorado Springs, many of our friends and former neighbors have been relocated to safer areas.  So sad to see all the devastation, some landmarks we used to pass by on a daily basis are now gone....businesses and homes.  I pray they get this fire contained before too much of that beautiful state gets devoured in it.

Hope you all have a Blessed Fourth.

Undressed my Window

You may remember I put up a curtain when a neighbor moved in next door....it worked for a few months but I felt too closed in....felt the need to air out the kitchen and let a little more light in. I don't get direct sunlight in this window but keeping it covered made it pretty dark in the downstairs living area.  I decided to put some of my wooden cutting boards to work and propped them up in the window sill...they act as a bit of a privacy screen while letting a LOT more light in than what I had before.
The other houses are just so darn close.  Someday I'll have my house in the country but right now I have to work with what I have.

I LOVE vintage wooden cutting boards....they are easy to decorate with as well as being functional.  One of my cutting boards was made some years ago by my daughter...she made it in school and presented it to me for Mother's Day.....I believe she was in Middle School.  I loved it and used it all the time....ALL the time....so much so that over the years it started to show a lot of wear and tear and finally separated where she had joined the pieces of wood....
...I stopped using it and put it aside until I came across an Etsian who makes cutting boards and asked him if he could repair it for me.  It meant far too much to me to leave it broken and unused....after all it was made with love from my girl.  The Etsian I found was David from Darbynwoods and after sending him pictures of my cutting board he agreed to repair it for me.  For a small reasonable fee...David returned the cutting board to it's former glory...and he even put some rubber feet on it and a sawtooth hanger in case I wanted to hang it on the wall.
I was beyond thrilled.  I've decided to just use this as a display item...it was hanging on the wall for a bit and for now I have it grouped with my vintage boards.  I cannot say enough about the quality workmanship and care that Darbynwoods put into this restoration and I am so thankful for all the work David has done for me.

I highly recommend David's shop, as he is a master woodworker who handcrafts an array of wooden items ranging from cutting boards, candle holders, bottle stoppers, pizza wheels, bowls and many many more.

Darbynwoods offers many styles, sizes and varieties of wood. His items make GREAT gifts and his prices are fantastic.   Thank you so much David!!

Last Day of School

I am well, just wrapping up the end of the second semester and all that comes with it.  Next year my boy will be a High School Senior.  Where does the time go?

Monday the 10th is our last day of school and there will only be one item on the docket....an Algebra II final...then, our school year is over.  Thank you Lord....it was a quick school year..not the easiest, but quick.  Only one more year to go.

I am going home to New England at the end of the Summer...it's been 9 years since I've been back...I think it's high time-don't you?  I can't wait to see my Mom, my sister Liane and all the rest of my siblings....it will be good to be on the same Coast instead of the opposite one.  I am most excited as I have been very lonely for my family.

Blessings to all for a great week!
Me (and my thumb) having fun with the camera :)