A patched together lifestyle of thrift and charm...

Feb 27, 2015

Gathering Valentine Party Decor Supplies...

Tomorrow night we're hosting a belated Valentine or 'couples' Party.  
It's still February - so it counts right?

Weeks ago I finished embellishing little wooden hearts 
that I picked up at a thrift shop.   My red paint was too thinned down 
(yard sale find) - took forever to get enough coverage!
But alas - they're done.  Should be 1 ornament to send home per couple.
 I've also a few remaining flowers from My Love's bouquet to me 
and 2 packs of Dollar Tree plastic hearts.  Hopefully
 in all that there's some table decor hiding somewhere.
  Guess we'll find out in the next 24 hours!

Feb 23, 2015

A Kid's Play Cottage...

Today I'm sharing a little small business love.  
I'd like to introduce you to this awesome kid's cottage
 that can be assembled by the kids themselves.  
Is that genius or what?
 What a great way to foster creativity and working together...

And what child doesn't love a great play house?
These are available in pine or cedar - just adorable.
Business owners Matthew and Jeremy would be
 happy to answer any questions I'm sure.
Check out their Kid Cottage Kits website.
 And one more parting shot of all that cuteness...

Photos used by permission.
Yay for the God-given ability to design and learn.
 What a fun 'toy' to keep at Gramma's! ~Joyce

Feb 22, 2015

Mountains and Love...

There are many types of love... and many things that can thwart it.  
But for the Christ follower - there is a pure love that
 we are called to bring to this world.  

 Love does not always look the way we think it should.  
It may mean sacrificing self, it may mean having 
a difficult conversation, it may mean just a hug.  
Ask Him to show you and then rely on His Strength!
 Who can you love anew today?  ~Joyce   

Feb 21, 2015

Our Valentine Dessert and Chocolate Icing Recipe...

Sometimes (many times actually) simple is best. 
 Because I largely eat gluten and dairy free with very limited sugar - 
a baked dessert tastes just glorious to me!   So for Valentine's Day - 
I figured my diet could be 'fudged' a little.

Using my heart shaped pans (from a yard sale I'm sure) - 
a gluten free yellow cake mix was simple and easy to prepare.  
I topped it with the best chocolate icing ever and gave it 
a border of red sugar granules.  The best part?  
There were leftovers.  So now I have some pieces
 frozen for the next time I allow myself to cheat. 

Incidentally - I'm on this diet under the care of a Nutritionist to correct a horrendous 
skin issue that erupted about a year ago.  Today I am all cleared up and even my very 
thinning hair is growing back.  I'm SO happy God has allowed this improvement!  
After a very strict diet for 6-9 months - I'm now allowed to cheat every 4 days.
 The plan is to continue and see how it goes.  So far so good!

Fluffy Cocoa Frosting

3/4 c. cocoa
4 c. confectioner's sugar
1/2 c. margarine or butter
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. milk

Mix and beat till fluffy - several minutes on High.  Makes enough for a layer cake.  
For a 9x13 cake or for 1 batch of cupcakes - make half of recipe.

Feb 19, 2015

My Studio Couch & Storage Room...

A few years ago - I inherited a couch.  It came as a big surprise.  

Apparently many years ago when visiting this friend -
 I had mentioned how neat I thought her 'couch' was.
  It was unique with no sides or back in the most
 wonderful brocade fabric.  
I barely remember that conversation - but she remembered.

She contracted cancer and decided she wanted me to have her 
'studio couch' upon her death.  Oh my -how does one accept such a gift?
We weren't even related.
But she had the unique gift of giving - and accept her gift I did.
I moved it to my 'overflow' room.  A room that had
just become empty because my daughter moved out.   
It's my 'play' room - and inventory storage room.
And although not properly decorated - 
I'm going to give you a tour anyway.  
The music stand is my daughter's; waiting for her to
 reclaim it when she has the space...
 The crib was a too good a deal to pass up ($25 I think).  
And after I worked so hard to find a mattress for it and cover it - 
I'm having trouble parting with it - so here it is...
 More treasures and leftovers from other rooms reside in the corner...

 There are actually 2 rooms here - but one will do for today...

The dress belonged to my grandmother - her wedding dress.  
I never knew her, nor did my mother - but maybe I'll
 save that story for another post...
 A few more goodies reside in the dormer...

 ...and we're back to the studio couch niche.  
 And guess what?
Just yesterday - for the first time - someone slept on my little couch.
And they liked it!  I can't tell you how good that felt.
Maybe my storage room can be a guest room too!

After all - memories live here - good memories.  
And I'm thinking that's what makes a room after all.  Blessings to you!~Joyce

Feb 15, 2015

Our Winter Vacation...

Most people go south to warmer climates for winter. Us?  
Well - it was a bit milder where we went - but it sure wasn't south!

Enjoy  just a few photos of our recent trip to the state of WA.

Ever hear of Leavenworth?  It's an adorable recreated 
Bavarian town right here in the ol' USA.  The town was dying 
in the 60's along with their logging industry.  Taking a cue from
 their landscape - they went 'Alpine' to bring in tourism.  
And it worked!  We loved this town (notice I found a thrift store)...

 And the countryside of Leavenworth is equally charming.  
Its best to have an all wheel drive vehicle as you
 never know what conditions you may encounter.
 In Seattle, we visited Pike's Place market.  I found a stand that
offered gluten free baked goods and happily paid $5 for a big cookie!
 We also visited my dear big brother who is an organic dairy farmer.
That would be me and My Love on the left and my brother and sis-in-law on the right

 He also co-pastors a Mennonite church they moved out to help start.   
It is doing well - it's always exciting to see God changing lives.
We're back on PA soil and it is brutally cold.  But as always - 
it is good to be home.
My next project is a Valentine themed couple's party.
Join me this week as I continue to plan and work on details.

Feeling thankful!  ~Joyce


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