Friday's Happy Mail

I got some happy mail yesterday. I love coming home to find goodies. I had ordered some shoes from Kohl's. I had a $10 off coupon so when my order totaled, I actually got these for $1.99. I love the wild pattern.

My Thirty-One conference is in July and we are staying at hotel two blocks from the event. That means we will be doing a lot of walking from the hotel to the conference center and from the center to the arena and any downtown sightseeing and dining we want to do. So I researched and read reviews on various Skechers since that is my favorite shoe. I read about these and they seemed like it might be what I needed. Then one review said "I am flat footed and have trouble with my feet. After wearing these shoes all day doing a lot of walking, my feet don't hurt at all." Since I am flat footed as well, that made my mind up. They are extremely comfortable.

I also got my shipment of the preview items Thirty-One is having as the June and July special. This duffel bag is just too cute for words. 

But I absolutely fell in love with the new Mini Canvas Crew Thermal. It is so amazing. I just love it. 

This is going to be my favorite thermal that they ever made. Hubby got me these for Mother's Day; it just took a while for them to get here. 

I love Happy Mail Days.


The Decorating is Done....

We had awesome fun last night decorating the sanctuary for Vacation Bible School. I was amazed at how PVC pipe and a few stacked chairs could create the waterfall effect.

We stacked some of the choir chairs in to stacks and covered them with black sheets. I turned a card table upside down and put cardboard on top of the leg bottoms and bent the cardboard a little in the middle to give the "roof" a pitch. We draped the sides and front with some fish netting from the Dollar Tree. The Pastor loaned us his lantern. I covered paper towel rolls with brown construction paper, punched holes in the ends and then threaded jute through the holes to create a tree house ladder. We sat the trees from around the sanctuary around the tree house for foliage. Very, very pleased with the finished product.

We used construction paper and string to create a swinging bridge from the tree house to the waterfall.

I bought two different rolls of wire mesh. I cut two pieces and then wadded them up in the middle and secured them with a pipe cleaner. Another pipe cleaner and some pom poms created the antenna. Since butterflies are part of our theme, I made several of these to be incorporated into our set design.

I was so happy with how they turned out. My own creation. Didn't have to Google it or look it up on Pinterest. Just sat down and thought "Wonder if I can make butterflies with this mesh?".

Check out the flowers and trees we made. 

The flowers are upside down relish trays from Dollar Tree. We hot glued them on pool noodles (cut in various lengths). We bought those old fashioned bathroom plungers with wood handles and inserted them in the pool noodles so they would stand up. We also bought colored bowls and turned them upside down. We bought round white labels and stuck them on the bowls to make them look like mushrooms.

We took another pool noodle and ripped the bottoms out of brown paper lunch bags. We slid the bags up over the pool noodle. Then we cut leaves out of tissue paper and using glue dots, we made the leaf "veins" out of floral wire. Then we inserted them on the pool noodle using push pins. And look how cute the trees turned out. 

We put tissue paper in a florist vase and surrounded it with logs to create a fire. We stuffed cotton in sleeping bags to make it look like someone was camping out.

When it all came together, we had the effect we had hoped for. 

Now we just wait for Sunday night to kick off VBS as we Journey Off the Map. I will be working with the Kindergarten class this year. My main job for the class will be the crafts. I have everything ready and now just to get some rest for the next two day. It is going to be a fun-filled week next week.


Not off to a good start....

Tonight we start decorating for Vacation Bible School in the sanctuary at church. We stayed over last night so the men could bring the main part of the decorations down. It is a "tomb" that we are going to cover and make as a "waterfall" and will be one of the main structures in our set. Everything we are doing has been planned around that structure.

Imagine my dismay when the men all come back to the stage without the "tomb" and they tell me it totally shattered when they picked it up. I went upstairs to look an sure enough it is not salvageable. Our youth pastor asked "How bad did you need it for the decor?" I guess the look on my face convinced him it was pretty important. 

Everybody started thinking and one of the youth boys (about 11 or 12) said "I have an idea." We were willing to listen to anything. He said he saw PVC pipe upstairs and wondered if we could build something out of that and cover it. 

Where there is a will there is a way...as long as there is a young boy to give you an awesome idea. 

Thanks, Alex!



I love finding new ideas to use something you might have or find for something it wasn't originally meant for. I am obsessed with mini muffins right now and keep looking for someway to store my cute little muffin pan liners. Love the idea of the mason jar. 

These are spice racks that are used for nail polish storage instead of spices. Having over 60 bottles of nail polish, this is a great idea for me.

I have so many pairs of various size scissors but I can never seem to find them when I need them. I like the idea of the magnetic strip. I think I will check out where to find this.

Who would ever have thought of an old magazine rack for muffin pans. I need to do this. I have so many muffin pans and cookie sheets and I am forever digging for what I need.

I see so many beautiful wine cabinets but I don't drink wine so I always wonder what you could do with one. Well, check this out. I never thought I would say "I need a wine cabinet." But apparently I do. My yarn needs to be more organized.

Check out this dessert pedestal. It is two plates and between them is a spray painted tin can. I love it.

I have always wondered what could be done with old coffee containers. I love the shape of them but never thought of a way to use them. This is awesome. 

Repurpose Folgers plastic coffee cans for new decorative kitchen storage with a bit of paint! 

What items have you repurposed around your house?


Weekend wrap up

I love three day weekends. On my way to work Friday, I went by a friends yard sale and scored this adorable coffee cup with a rooster for just .25 cents.

On my way home from work, I stopped at my mailbox and realized that it was a beautiful view of the mountains so I stopped to capture the moment. A good sign that it would be a pretty weekend. 

When I checked the mail box, I found some Happy Mail. 

The Thirty-One package was an order for one of my friends, but the priority boxes were two Pyrex trades I made. I scored the spice casserole dish (a pattern I just found out even existed) and my 401 Colonial Mist mixing bowl. Just need the 404 to complete the mixing bowl set. But I need the white with blue version and I hear that is extremely hard to find.

Saturday,  I decided to try some Lemon Pound Cake Mini Muffins with Glaze. If you want the recipe, let me know and I'll post it later this week. Super simple but absolutely delicious. I took them to Sunday School the next morning for our brunch.

It made 96 mini muffins so I did keep some at home for me and hubby. I put a glaze on them using a spout bottle so the glaze was just drizzled on and went where it wanted.

That evening, I cut up the red, white, blue strips and punched out the little stars to make the sample and get things ready for our craft for Children's Church on Sunday. 

I got up Sunday and did myself a little patriotic manicure. It isn't perfect, but it turned out okay. I have a scrapbook heart hole punch so I punched out a heart on washi tape, taped it over the dry blue nail and painted white nail polish on the tape, covering the heart. When it dried, I gently peeled it off and wah-lah, a little white heart.

VBS decorating starts this week at church. Somehow I got myself talked in to designing and helping with the decorating of the sanctuary and main stage. Oh what have I gotten into. We do have some great ideas. I got started on a few things Sunday afternoon that need hand made. Like covering paper towel rolls with brown construction paper to make a "ladder" to the "tree house". I'll have to show you pics after all is said and done. We are doing a rock mountain, a water fall, clouds, a swinging bridge and lots of flowers and greenery. Our theme is Journey Off the Map.

Later Sunday afternoon, I decided I wanted to make a Swiss Chocolate Cinnamon cake with chocolate frosting. It was delicious. After that, I went to church and after church we moved the choir chairs off the stage and I was able to walk around to get a feel for where we would put the decorations for VBS. 

My friend Sherrie and I go shopping every Memorial Day if my hubby has to work, which he did this year. So we went to Turkey Creek in Knoxville. We had lunch at Steak and Shake, one of my favorite places to eat.

We went to the Dollar Tree and I got 8 plungers. Yes, that's right. I got EIGHT plungers. No I don't have a plumbing problem, but I did have a problem trying to figure out how to make pool noodles and relish trays stand upright. You'll understand better when we get the VBS decor done.

My favorite find of the day was the sitting hen that I have been looking for. I found her at Hobby Lobby. She was $29.99 and was repriced to $10.80. The cashier guy said he was confused on the sticker. He couldn't get it off to scan the bar code so he entered in manually and then let me use my 40% off coupon, because it didn't register as a sale item in the system. So I got the $29.99 hen for $6.48. SCORE!

After Hubby got home from work, we had a light supper and vegged out together to watch some TV. It was a great weekend.


Happy Memorial Day!

In loving memory of all those who have gone on before.


My upside down life

When I was a little girl about 10 years old, I got an autograph book for Christmas. I remember Daddy writing in it something that I still think was funny today. He wrote "You must have been born upside down. Your nose runs and your feet smell." 

Over the years I have been such a contrast. I have been a tom boy, yet I have been the daintiest of little girls. I love running and playing while at the same time, I love frills and bubble baths. I love beautiful high heels and gorgeous dresses but I am just as happy in raggedy jean shorts, tank tops and barefoot.

When I was younger, I loved playing dolls and Barbies with my sister. We would build our "playhouse" and play with our dishes and mini appliances hours on end. But at the same time, some of my other fondest memories were me and Jack playing marbles, racing Matchbox cars or riding our invisible ponies all over the yard and hills at our house.

I loved make mud pies and playing baseball. I loved being outdoors. Whether we were running and playing, chasing lightning bugs, or simply laying on a blanket under the old oak tree reading a book.

I rarely remember wearing shoes when we were outside playing in the summertime. I remember walking up and down that old dirt road barefoot or in flip flops. I remember playing outside late at night. We lived out in the country where there were no street lights. Daddy had a couple of outside lights on the house, but we mostly played with just the sun going down and the moonlight coming out. I remember coming in the the blackest grungiest feet because I hadn't worn my shoes most of the day.

I remember being country before it was cool to be that way. Barefeet was just a way of life. Running around the hillsides was just a way of life. The "gang" from the ridge would always gather at somebodies house and there was always a mixture of boys and girls and we all got along great. No lines were drawn and nobody was left out because of their gender. We were all just "one of the gang." 


It's the big 40.

Wow. Forty years ago today the world of The Garretson family changed. My sister had a beautiful baby girl and became a Mom for the first time. My mom became a grandmother for the first time. And I became an Aunt for the first time.

Today, my precious niece, Christy Dawn turns the big 40. I can't believe it's been 40 years. She was our first baby in the family. I would "steal" her every chance I got and take her places or bring her home to stay all night. Here are some of my favorite pics of her growing up.

From the "no hair" days

Through the "baby fine" hair days....

...to the "finally has hair" days

...to the big hair days.

To the long hair beautiful hair days.

She is a true beauty in and out and I love her with all my heart. I hope you have a very happy birthday Christy. You still hold a piece of my heart and forever will. You were our first baby in the family and I love the fact that even after 40 years, you still remember to call and text me. 

Happy birthday, we love you.