Monday, January 31, 2011

Project Monday - Auction Album

(Front Scrapbook Cover)
A few weeks ago I covered this scrapbook album. I have been making these albums for years, as in 17 years... wow! I can't believe its been that long. I first got the idea when my college roommate and each of her sisters were given photo albums covered in shirts that had belonged to their father. He had passed away after his body rejected the heart he had received in a heart transplant. A family member of theirs made amazing albums for all 4 of the girls and I was so moved by the simple idea that I decided I wanted to make them for people that are special in my life.
(Front & Back)
I started making them for weddings, then for babies and now I make them for donations as well. The company I work for does an annual 'After Christmas' Party in January in lieu of a Christmas party in December.  Instead of dinner and dancing all of the employees donate auction items.  Some are hand crafted, others are purchased gift cards and somethings are gift baskets, some are even regifted/recycled Christmas gifts.  We all gather for appetizers and check out the items in the silent portion of the auction. There is also a raffle where we can purchase tickets and place our purchased tickets into the box for the item we hope we get drawn from in the raffle portion. Then after dinner we hold an actual auction where we bid on the higher dollar items. 

(Scrapbook Back Cover)
This year my company raised over $11,000 for our local Meals on Wheels chapter. As a company we vote, usually in Novemeber for the local organization we want to donate our proceeds to. I think this is such an amazing idea. Every item is donated and then purchased by employees and or spouses of my company.  It still blows my mind we raised $11,000 buying each others donated items! 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Simple Sunday - Milky Way Cake

(Photo Courtesy of the Web)

So I stole this from Glenn Beck and I am not ashamed to say it.  I haven't even tried it yet but I don't think I need to, to know that it is heaven on earth.  Mostly I am just scared right now that it would be a great big calorie no no for me.  One delicious taste and there is no doubt I would eat the entire thing.  I love Milky Ways and I love Milky Way Midnights even more.  So if I made it you can guarantee I would be altering that portion of the recipe. 

If one of you makes it and tries it please comment and tell me what you really think, really! 


Thank you Glenn Beck! Too dreamy sounding to not pass on....

For all of eternity, man has dreamed of a way to fuse the caramelly yumminess of Milky Way bars, and the moist deliciousness of cake.  Though science has tried and tried, it has failed and failed…until

Live, love, laugh, eat, and fall asleep in the hallway before you can get to your bedroom because you just ingested 45,000 calories in 4 minutes.

(Photo Courtesy of the Web)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick unsalted butter
6 regular sized Milk Way candy bars [cut into 1 inch pieces]

Melt the butter and candy bars together in microwave, stirring occasionally.  
Mix well.  
Prepare the cake mix as directed.  
Stir in Milk Way mixture.  
Bake as directed in a bundt pan.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Current Event Saturday - Wine Tour

(Barrels in the basement)
The region in which I live is rich with wine.  I hear we have ideal growing weather for the wine grapes and it must be true because they are everywhere here.  Let me tell you, nothing is more heavenly than the smell of early September in Southeastern Washington!  The grapes are all ripened and ready for harvest and the evenings are still warm from the summer sun.  Its like the aroma just floats across the nightime air.  Its simply delicious. 

(Ladies on the Limo Bus)
Today was a birthday wine tour with the ladies.  Here are some photos of winter in wine country... and a group shot of all of the ladies.  Many think that wine invites the wine snobs, but the best part about Eastern Washington, its just one great big vast farmland and dressing up is wearing your best pair of jeans paired with a new dressy top.  I love this region of the country and really enjoy days spent with friends sampling the local flavors.  

(Winter in Washington Wine Country)
(High Desert Winter in Wine Country)
(Old Residence in Washington Wine Country)
(Patio View of Winter in Wine Country)
(Our Sweet Ride, the Limo Bus)
(Ladies at the 2nd Stop of the Day)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday - My Sister, My Nephew

(My Sister & My Nephew)
This is one of my most favorite pictures from last summer. This is my sister and her son, my cuter than cute nephew. I call him Bubs. This kid has the greatest laugh ever.  He sounds like Woody Woodpecker, when he truly belly laughs. Its one of the greatest sounds ever.  He is almost always happy and is a joy to have and be around.

My sister and I decided that we aren't friends, we are sisters which is soooo much better! I love her and this picture represents everything I love about her. She makes me laugh, she is an amazing mom and looks great without make-up. Most of all she is my sister and she is my most favorite one on the whole wide green earth at that!

This picture was taken at our dad's property on Labor Day Weekend. The last camping trip of 2010.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Bloggers & Washers? Huh?

I always seem to be a day or two behind. If you ask my sister she'll tell you that is normal. Many may think its because I am lazy or selfish, but I have to be honest that's not the case. Its something a little more simple.  I am one of those people who try to cram as much as I can into pockets of time.  An overachiever of sorts I guess.  That is why I am ever so thankful for my washing machine and the dryer too! 

(My Teeny Tiny Laundry Room)
Where did that just come from you ask, well, I like many of you get so tired of doing laundry all. the. time. And I have such an awesome hubby that I don't even do his laundry (unless you include moving it from the washer to the dryer to our bed for him to put away). But I was thinking about it today and what came to mind was how nice it is that for the most part laundry is one of those things that with the amazing inventions of the washer & dryer it pretty much cleans itself.  I mean thank goodness I don't have to scrub each item by hand in a tub with a washboard like back in Little House on the Prairie days. Seriously Carolyn Ingalls was a hell of a woman!  More on my affection for Little House in another post someday. 

Back to the laundry, all you have to do is sort it, start it and then hang or dry it.  The pain in the butt part is putting all of the clean stuff away.  Ugh... I used to think it was because I had too many clothes but that is nonsense.  A girl can't have too many clothes, especially a versatile one like myself.  We need dress up, dress down, sweats, warm weather clothes, cool weather clothes, hunting clothes, camping clothes, fishing clothes, shooting clothes, work clothes... ok I could go on but I think you get it.  So naturally keeping all of these clothes cleaned and put away takes some finesse and some time.  My point, yeah THANK YOU inventor of the washer & dryer!

As far as bloggers... A Reel Lady & 3 Krazy Chics both have given me the Stylish Blog Award and I want to thank them!  You sure know how to make a girl feel good.  Thank you for being loyal follwers and loving my ramblings.... like today for instance.  Check out their blogs.  Either click their names or look to the right hand column of my blog over there ---> and their links are both in my side bar.  You ladies are awesome!!  Don't expect me to follow the steps in the near future, refer back to my 1st paragraph about always being just a little bit behind....  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Project Monday - Bridal Suite

This Project Monday includes the Deer Artwork from my last Project Monday.  You can see them hanging in the tent. Critter and I were married this last June in the National Forest.  I had the idea of having our wedding where we set up each year for deer camp. The forest is simply beautiful and we both love being up in the mountains. There was no other choice for us.  

The planning of our bridal suite was a project all in itself.  It was months in the making and I was extremely pleased with how it turned out!                
Our little piece of camping heaven in the woods
(Wedding in the Woods Bridal Suite)
Critter and I have a 12x14 canvas wall tent I decided to turn into our bridal suite.  Months worth of thought went into the decor of the wall tent as a bridal suite. I didn't want it to be too fancy, we were in the woods and needed to transport the items a couple hour drive from home.  Then again I still wanted it to be bridal suite special.  I've never been a girly girl and I ended up piecing together the perfect blend of old school camping, rustic and wedding in the woodsy.  I believe they call this glamping? Call it what you want, we just say it was perfect.  

Welcome to the Bridal Suite
(Photo Cred: Tom Russell)

Full Bridal Suite Shot
(Photo Cred: 6ix)

Newlyweds in front of Bridal Suite
(Photo by: Suwanee Photography)

Woodland Bridal Suite w/Lake Front View
(Photo by: Suwanee Photography)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Simple Sunday - My Parents Were Awesome

I follow a blog called My Parents Were Awesome.  Its very simple really, people send in photos of their parents, before they were parents.  Because before they were parents they had lives, they were young, they were cool, most simply they were awesome. 

Sometimes it isn't until we become adults that we realize how awesome our parents were and still are.  As kids we hit that age where we think its impossible that our parents could have ever been cool.  The sad selfish thing about thinking that is that somehow we think they sacrificed their coolness for us.  Finally somewhere in our mid 20's we realize they really are awesome! Life can be tough and regardless of where they are now and what they are doing they love us unconditionally.  

So yeah... my parents although they went their separate ways when I was 17 they are both still pretty awesome.  What is even better is that I now have a 2nd set of awesome parents, I get to call Critter's parents my parents too!  

(Critter's Parents Circa 1967)

(My Parents in 1972)



Saturday, January 22, 2011

Current Event Saturday - Antler Velvet

Call me new but I saw this article the other day and was amazed that someone would even think of it. Here is the first paragraph of the article so you understand what I am talking about. 

'They harvest the so-called velvet antler (a soft coating that covers deer antlers) in New Zealand, freeze-dry it and then grind it into a powder. It then gets shipped to the United States, where it gets put into either capsules or liquid extracts that can become a simple mouth spray. You can buy it for $68 a bottle.'

Apparently professional athletes are using this as a performance enhancing drug? I guess I would have never thought about it so it amazes me.  The article goes on to state that since the velvet is a natural substance it is extremely difficult to detect in humans and can only be detected by blood testing at the exact right time.  So fascinating.

(Photo Credit:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday - Critter

Critter's cousin sent me this photo of him a while back and I've just been dying to share it.  I have seen a lot of photos of him as a kid but this was one I hadn't seen.  He was such an adorable kid.  Blonde, which throws me a little since his hair is now natrually almost black, but adorable none the less. 

(Critter Circa 1977-ish)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Garden & Gun

Today I am thanking my friend D'Lynn.  She is a loyal Doe follower and a friend from many many years ago.  Her along with her husband and two boys live in Texas now.  The other day I recieved a message from her about a magazine that was up on Groupon Houston for half price.  The magazine one from down south: Garden & Gun.  The name alone just puts a smile on my face!  She said she immediatley thought of me when she saw the Groupon offer and passed it along to me.  I have to thank her in advance but I am excitedly awaiting my first issue of Garden & Gun.  It sounds just like my kind of publication and I cannot wait to get my hands on my first copy! Thank you for thinking of my D'Lynn!!

PS- And if the awesome magazine wasn't great enough there are blogs!!
Southern in the City

Monday, January 17, 2011

Project Monday - Custom Deer Art

About a year or two ago I wanted to find some unique artwork for Critter and my bedroom. I couldn't find what I had spinning around in my head so I just decided to create something on my own.  Our bedroom walls are painted a deep olive green with a color called Pine Brook. 

It keeps the room feeling warm, cozy and dark. Since our room is small and all we really do in there is sleep we wanted a room that would stay dark even when it is light outside.  It worked. However, we still wanted to decorate the room of course. Its just one of those things. And although we have yet to complete the room decor we do have painted walls and we have art! 

I freehand drew a sillouette of a buck and a doe. They are a bit abstract, which is exactly the look I was going for. I wanted a bit of whimsy. I then found material scraps in the colors I liked and using the drawings, I cut out the deer. I then stretched and stapled material onto some old poster frames I had in the garage and then gave it a few coats of paint.  After the paint dried I glued the deer onto the canvases I created and did a light watery silver paint wash over the top. Then I aged them with some of Critter's boot polish. 

 Here's how they turned out hanging on our pre-Pine Brook colored walls. They hang above our headboard.  

(Doe & Buck Pictures)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Simple Sunday - Shop Safety

This is not a 'Simple' Sunday post but I want to tell this story today after being inspired by some photos I saw on Facebook this weekend. A former college classmate of mine posted a series of photos of his son's finger that he cut severely with a band saw in wood shop.  By severely I mean he was super super lucky he got to keep it.  It was literally hanging.  Disgusting photos I have to say.  Seeing this took me back to a time when I had my own very close call in my dad's shop.

(Doe - 2nd Grade)

I was 7 and in the 2nd grade.  I was a tomboy (I guess I still kinda am).  As a kid I spent a lot of time with my dad in his shop.  He taught me so much out there.  He is a machinist by trade and has several big machines in his shop.  He has a lathe, milling machine, drill press, table saw, jig saw, grinders... and tons of power tools too.  For as long as I can remember if I could dream it, he could more than likely make it. 

This story, however has to do specifically with the drill press.  My Sunday school class had plans to make mobiles.  My dad volunteered to drill holes in the doweling we needed to make the mobiles.  As usual I was in the shop with him and he was teaching me how to drill the holes.  We marked the dots in pencil where the hole needed to be drilled and I would secure the dowels in the vice, then lower the handle down and put the hole right in.  It was fun for a kid like me who loved not only being helpful but helping out in the shop. 

As you can see from my 2nd grade photo above I had bangs and two ponytails just behind the rest of my hair hanging long in the back.  Although you can't see it in this photo the length of my hair was almost to my little skinny waist.  Dad was standing just to my left at the workbench and I was on a stool drilling holes.  I got hot, so I wanted to take my sweater off.  Instead of switching off the motor as my dad taught me, I accidentally turned off the machine's light switch instead.  As I turned to step off the stool I flung my head around and my hair flew out, my left ponytail getting wrapped up in the still spinning machine.

I screamed and my dad turned and to his worst horror sees his child up against a spinning drilling machine.  He turns off the motor and picks me up.  I was horrified and my dad completely freaked out.  He ran me into the house where my mom was giving my little sister a bath.  Mom got my sister dressed and we all got into the car and headed to the hospital.  There wasn't much they could do for me.  The nurse gave my mom scissors and she started to chop off my hair (I was kinda excited about this as I had been begging to get my hair cut short.)  I guess they also gave me a tetanus shot and then sent us home.  I had a scratch on my upper cheek, (you can still faintly see the scar if you really look) a bump on my forehead at my hairline and a little scratch in the now bald spot where my ponytail used to be. 

(My Bald Spot)
I don't remember crying although I am sure there were some tears.  I am pretty sure however that most of the tears came from my dad.  He was devastated and I cannot say I blame him one bit.  Thank the Lord above that it wasn't worse than it was.  My dad still has some little hairs on that drill press to act as a reminder of the dangers of machinery.  The moral of all of this being... you can never be too cautious or careful around machines.  The whole experience hasn't kept me out of the shop, it think it just made me stronger.  I did eventually get my super short tomboyish haircut but I refuse to post those photos.  I had no idea how bad short hair looked on me.  I should've stayed with the shoulder length locks like in these photos.  (See the little scratch on my cheek?)

(The new fancy do)
(My 2nd Grade Comb Over)
The owner of the local beauty school fixed me up with a, yep, you got it, a comb over!  Ha!  My mom would braid my hair over the side to cover the bald spot then eventually as the hair grew out I got a short hairdo that I didn't end up growing back out until the 8th grade and its been long ever since!  You'd never know today, my hair is as thick and long as ever. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Current Event Saturday - TRAC Upcoming Events

If you aren't too late reading this you can make it to the Gun and Antique show being held at the TRAC (Trade, Recreation and Agriculture Center) facility in Pasco, WA today and tomorrow.  The doors are open today Jan 15th from 9am to 6pm and tomorrow the 16th from 9am to 3pm.  Admission is $6.00.

I also want to spread the word about the Tri Cities Sportsmans Show next weekend at the TRAC .  Usually its a pretty good showing. This year you can expect:

Retail outdoors merchants, factory reps, outdoor clubs and organizations, taxidermists, wildlife art, fishing boats, ATVs, and fishing and hunting guides who will be available to help you plan your vacations.

The latest outdoor equipment, trophy antler collection from Washington and Oregon, kids' fishing pond and casting contest, free air rifle range, hourly hunting and fishing seminars, retriver demonstrations and so much more!

Also don't forget:
     *Indoor 3-D archery shoot  - Set up and sponsored by Colyak Bowhunters
     *Outdoor cooking camp hosted by Cee Dub Welch
     * Door Prizes given away daily & the first 150 thru the doors each day receive a bonus prize

AdmissionsOne time daily admission gets you in all three days for one low price!

General AdmissionAdults: $8.00
Children 6-12: $4.00
Children under 6: FREE

Special AdmissionsFriday - Seniors 60+: $4.00
Sunday - Family Day: 2 adults, 2 children (6-12): $18.00

Friday, January 14, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday - Bouquet

The photos for Favorite Photo Friday this week are the inspirations for my bridal bouquet and then my favorites of my actual bouquet.  I love, love, loved my flowers!  I bought 4 bunches of white mini ranunculus from a local florist.  I added some small cattail grasses and tail feathers from some of the pheasants Critter has shot over the years.  I arranged the flowers according to height, added the grasses and feathers then wrapped floral wire around the stems to sturdy and secure the stems and added the brown velvet ribbon to match Critter's brown corduroy vest.  Perfection for our Wedding in the Woods!

PS- The Butterfly in my bouquet was my something borrowed.  My best friend used it in her bouquet a year before.  I loved it then and was honored to not only have the honor of carrying it down the aisle with me but to have her standing up with with me on my most special of days! Love you 'T'!

(My Feather Inspiration)
Photo: Web

(My Ribbon Inspiration)
Photo: Web

(My Flower Inspiration)
Photo: Web

(Put it all together for My own Inspiration)
Photo by: Suwanee Photography

(My Bouquet)
Photo by: Suwanee Photography

(A close up)
Photo by: Suwanee Photography

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Gratitude

Today my thankfulness resides in you. Yes, you, reading my blog! Thank you for taking a moment in your day to put yourself into just a little bit of mine.  It is in sharing the even smallest of moments where others can find their own inspirations.  I know I find inspiration in the ideas and thoughts of others and I hope I offer the same to you all as well. It is with great gratitude that I thank you for your time and interest in my little tiny part of this big world.  Thank you for helping me not take for granted the things I have however large or small and for not finding dispear for those things I do not have (or need for that matter). 

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  ~Epictetus

Please remember this as I am going to be needing reminding now and again, thanks in advance!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Project Monday - Missing Child

(Lindsey Baum)
The project I have today is one in which the parents of missing Lindsey Baum (10) are asking in desparation for your help.  Lindsey went missing on June 26, 2009 around 9:30 at night on her way home from a friend's house in McCleary, WA. McCleary is a small town about 20 miles west of Olympia, the state capitol.  Lindsey's parents are hoping that hunters can help them scour the area and possibly locate and bring Lindsey home.  Please pass this information along to others you think could help. If Lindsey was your child you would want the same.  Go here or click on Lindsay's photo to see the full story. Help bring Lindsey home!

The non profit, all volunteer group CUE, is asking for area hunters to adopt a piece of land and or property that they are familiar with or hunt on regularly to search for missing Lindsey Baum; registration will begin on January 10, 2011 and run throughout the month. Hunters may call in directly to the center at (910) 232-1687 anytime or visit CUE on the web at and click on “The Hunt” where they can enter and submit information; during the effort a map will go up coloring in areas that have been adopted. “We are also extending invitations to forestry and park personnel as well as land owners in the concerned areas of focus”, said CUE founder, Monica Caison.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Simple Sunday - Decor Designs

My post today is needing to be way more lighthearted after the bomb I put up yesterday.  Hence the reason Simple Sunday follows Current Event Saturday.  With current events you never know what you are going to get.  So... here we go with today.  I was on Etsy one of my most favorite sites EVER, so I'm on it quite a bit.  I adore having one of a kind things and unique items you won't see your friends showing up having too.  You can guarantee if its not something someone else has, I'll probably want it.

I draw much of my inspiration from the ideas of others, but I love to take those things and do something to make them different, find ways to make them personal to me.   

My find for this Simple Sunday post is Etsy vendor, Decor Designs.  There is no doubt Critter wouldn't at all like these awesome vinyl wall art creations I found, but that doesn't change my mind one bit.  Oh the extra bedroom/future baby room ideas that have been coming into my creative mind... I think its pretty obvious I like deer and I have always had a love with trees in art.  So here are some of the favorites I found at Decor Designs' shop.

(Deer Herd)

(Drinking Doe)

(3 Deer Heads)

(Winter Trees)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Current Event Saturday - Tragedy

I had something completely different in mind for my current event post today.  Funny how certain events are bothersome enough to derail our happy thoughts.  The two current event stories I have today are more than just, 'current events.'  The shooting involving Congresswoman Giffords and the deaths of innocent political function attendees in Tucson, AZ this morning and the unfortunate deaths of Seattle residents Jesus and Kate and 3 of his family members. 

These deaths are all extremely disturbing acts of violence by obviously unstable individuals that stole the lives of innocent people.  Why, why do people do the things they do?  Why are people so involved in their own feelings that their acts of selfishness have to take the lives of innocent people just living out their lives?  Regardless of political affiliation regarding the incident in Tucson, violence and killing is NEVER the answer.

I ask that you keep the families of those who have lost their loved ones in your prayers.  Not only the ones that are in the news but all of those around you who have lost loved ones for reasons unjust.  Take a moment to count your blessings and tell those close to you how much you love them.  It only takes a moment before unfortunate turns of events could change the very world in which you spend your precious days.

(Judge John Roll 2.08.1947-1.08.2011
Photo via: My Fox

(Christina Taylor Green 9.11.01-1.08.11
Photo via: My Fox )

(Kate Donahue with fiancee Jesus Sanchez
Photo via: My )