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.....happy haunting........

photo from Country Living

Are you ready? I just returned from Target and bought LOADS of candy. This year I adopted a new strategy....wait to purchase candy at the last minute so I don't gain those pre-Halloween 5 pounds.

My girls are SO excited. My little girl is dressing as Laura Ingalls - warms my heart as I dressed as Laura Ingalls back in the day. My tween girl's costume was a last minute decision, seems it is important to have just the "right" cool costume in 5th grade along with a few friends to go as something together. So she decided she would be a "nerd" - since when are nerds cool? I am learning to not ask questions and just run with it. We DID have a great time (and alot of laughs) at the thrift store picking out just the right, most nerdy clothes we could find!

What kind of trick o' treating neighborhood to you live in? Do you get lots of little ghosts and goblins coming to your door? We do! Ours is the neighborhood that everyone comes to that does not live in a neighborhood! It is fun to both go out with the kids for a bit and then come home, poor myself a glass of red wine and answer the door.

Wishing you a Happy Halloween!

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~burlap, buttons and santos....oh my, it's Christmas!

My weekly Ballard Designs catalog showed up today in my mailbox.

Usually I flip through it quickly, remember that the merchandise does not typically change that drastically and promptly toss the catalog in the recycling bin. Sorry Ballard Designs.

Today however was different. I really found inspiration in their Christmas items.

Are you like me? Have you hidden from your children every red and green tacky Santa that has found its way into your holiday repertoire? Every jingle bell and snow globe?

I definitely have adopted a less is more approach to decorating for the holidays, preferring natural elements to themed doo-dads. I guess I want my house to look like my house, just more festive than your average Monday.

And before you think I am a bad mommy and hide the kids snow globe collections and the tacky stuffed Santa dolls that my mother-in-law gave my kids, don't worry.....I let them display them in their bedrooms.

So what do you think of a burlap, ivory buttons, crowns and santos themed Christmas? Tonight, I am loving it! Way to go Ballard Designs.

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~ shopping and store events~

I have enjoyed some recent opportunities to get out of the house and visit some of my favorite local home decor shops. Just Thursday evening, a close to home favorite antiques and home decor store called Petunia's in Excelsior Minnesota hosted a fall open house.

The open house featured a demonstration by a local stylist (Tom Brandt) on creating your own fall harvest centerpiece. Tom's work was amazingly beautiful.

The centerpiece's foundation was two vintage swans which were surrounded by all sorts of natural elements - cabbage, pepper berries and even brussel sprout stalks!

Then a couple weeks ago I took a little solo road trip to a store that I had heard about and wanted to visit for some time. Called the Round Barn Potting Co. the store is housed in literally a round barn. The owner Lori, has filled the store with all sorts of vintage and new treasures for the home.

Lori is particularly fond of Halloween so the store is just decked out! Lori is warm and friendly and has such a great style and abilility to pull it all together in such a cohesive way!

How cool is the Elm St. sign?

Hope you have the opportunity to get out and enjoy visiting your favorite spots this weekend!

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Flea crazy nirvana!

Today I am joining Flea Market Style and their "Fleamarketeer Party". And if there was ever a perfect party for me to attend, it would be this one. Let me just put the proverbial vintage lampshade on my head and take it away!

I am a lover of all things vintage from way back. Even in my 20's when my friends were decorating their first apartments and homes with contemporary furnishings, I was at the flea markets outside Chicago "hunting" for vintage Fiestaware (long since gotten over that collection). Back then, my now husband and I were dating and he would happily accompany me on my my collections, that too has changed!

I get almost giddy with anticipation when going to flea markets. I suppose it is the thought that you never know what you are going to find.

My purchases lately have tended to be smaller and more thoughtful. I love graphic items - this stamp for example, spoke to me with its perfect sentiment - with just one word.

Vintage bingo cards just say "happy" to me in a stylish graphic you can't go wrong with black and white.

Clocks......I can't explain (and believe me, my husband asks everytime he spots a new one)....perhaps I just like their simplicity.....

I love that flea markets can give life to your inspiration. Not long ago, I was seeing lots of images of basket pendant lights and really loved the texture they brought into a kitchen. I was inspired to find two either vintage or vintage looking baskets that I could wire for pendant lights over my kitchen island.

I went to the Farm Chicks Antiques Show inspired to find my baskets.

In true Oprah-esque law of attraction style, I found my baskets and created pendant lights that now hang over my kitchen island.

Below is a photo of most of my Farm Chicks finds, including the baskets in their original state. Please remember, I was limited in my one BIG suitcase as I had flown to Spokane. Which brings me to another point....

Flea markets are best when shared with girlfriends. This is probably another reason I so love to go to flea markets. Some of my best memories with my girlfriends are of us getting up crazy early, heading to Starbucks and standing in lines to pay our "Early Bird" fee and oohing and ahhing over what awaits. I know we are going to be friends if that too is your idea of a good time! Remember the photo below?

These are some fabulous vintage stools my girlfriend scored at one of her MANY (sorry for calling you out Allie!) antiquing excursions....She took the picture with her phone and sent it to me because she knew just how much I would appreciate and celebrate her great find! That is friendship....for the love a good flea market score!

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Northwoods Getaway...

A big part of the culture of living in Minnesota is "heading up north" to a cabin, preferably on a lake....

We are lucky because we live in lake neighborhood right here near the city...unique, yes.

Never felt the need to go anywhere else for my "lake fix"....

Recently my parents purchased my dad's childhood home, that happens to be on a lake, up north...

The work of bringing grandma and grandpa's home up to date has started....

My kids have the next two days off of school so we are heading "up north" to help where we can, painting, sanding restore a home and preserve it for the next generation.

These pictures are MY version of what I would like it to look like.....but since I did not buy the home myself, I don't get much say in the decor. Does it surprise you to find out I am not a fish hanging on the wall type of gal? I am not a knotty pine paneling or buffalo check kind of girl? These pictures reflect the inspiration I would use if I was redecorating a cabin, but I am not, I am just helping and then enjoying....

Don't worry, I will share pictures....particularly of the kitchen which I am going to help transform with virtually NO budget. I know it can be done because, well because I read your blogs and see the amazing things you do.

Stay tuned and have a restful weekend...........I will.

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More than you want to know........

Thanks Tricia from "Life at the Zoo"! I am honored to receive the above blog award. Unfortunately, I am very late in fulfilling the duties that come with the award. However, today is your lucky day....

10 Random/Honest Things About Myself:

1. My first job was at McDonald's when I was 16.

2. I met my husband (of 18 years!) on a commuter train. Although not perfect, I am proud of our long and happy marriage.

3. I regard having my two daughters as my greatest accomplishment.

4. I wish I was better at saying "no", especially when it comes to volunteering at my children's school (does that make me a bad mother?).

5. Sometimes I miss my former career and the personal satisfaction it brought me.

6. Since turning 40 I feel a renewed sense of confidence and optimism - it is so freeing.

7. I will "retire" in Oregon - I will not live forever in Minnesota.

8. One of my many more frivolous goals is to have my home featured in a magazine (if there are any left)....someday.

9. I dream of having my own business (see #6).

10. I only like to watch movies in the theatre - I find it difficult to sit still for that long in my own home (these are supposed to be random, right?).

Ok, now I am supposed to pass this along to SEVEN bloggers who have "brilliant content and/or design" or those who have "encouraged me". are mine....

1. Kim at Mimi Chamante

2. Kasey at Lola B's

3. Melaine at My Sweet Savannah's

4. Cammie at Daffadowndilly's
5. Lanette at Cottage Elements

6. Tracey at Comfort & Luxury

7. Chris at Just Beachy

Have a splendid day one and all...........

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Promises Kept

I'm back..... I have missed this little blog and my communication with those of you (all three of you, including my mom) who take the time to visit.

The last few weeks have reminded me that just when you think you are going to have all this luxurious time to yourself when the kiddos go back to school....think again.

Obviously I have some catching up to do. I thought I would begin today by finally showing you my exciting Junk Bonanza purchases. Honestly, don't get your hopes up to be wowed and amazed by the perfect cupboard that I have been looking for, for like FOREVER to be pictured here....well, because it was not to be found at the Junk Bonanza. I know, sad. I had such high hopes of finding the perfect 60 inch long by 33 inch high and just 11 inches deep cupboard to rest on my dining buffet but said cupboard is not showing up just when I need it to. "My" cupboard seems to have lots of friends out there - there is "Miss 45 inch" and "Mr. 36 inch" and "Mrs. A bit too Primitive".......all perfectly nice cupboards but not MY cupboard.

However, remember these industrial stools that I fell in love with?

Sold by a "to the trade only" showroom in Atlanta, these stools, or something similar was what I was looking for to replace my perfectly fine Crate & Barrel beauties.

Well, look what I found at the Junk Bonanza! And they didn't come with the high "to the trade only" price!

I am so happy with my former school science lab stools! I may or may not have a linen slipcover sewn for each one. Right now, I like the wood seats.

Also from Junk Bonanza, how could I resist a new cream colored clock? The one I bought has a more art deco feel, love it.

And finally, I purchased this little vintage owl framed saying. Besides loving what it says, I thought it made a nice addition to my Halloween decorations.

I really showed restraint at the Junk Bonanza, I tried to be more purposeful in my shopping, buying just what I knew would "fit" perfectly in my home.

It worked for me this time, can't say it does all the time.....

On a separate note, snowing at my cottage about yours?

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Blogger Break

I am feeling guilty, super guilty....I have been neglectful of this little blog this past week.

I have so many posts....up in that idea swirling head of mine - great Minnesota stores to check out, a blog award to talk about that requires I list 10 random things about me (oh, you just wait for all the dirty details you will discover), oh and that little issue of sharing my great scores from the Junk Bonanza.....just to mention a few.

But oh dear loyal readers, you will have to wait....

You see, a little thing called "life" gets in my way of being a loyal blogger...especially this last week....parents visit, kids get sick, hubby travels, soccer tournaments....Calgon take me away!

Be back the meantime, thanks for your patience!

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