November 21, 2015

Things that made my week awesome (Saturday Sparks)

1.  This Street Organ.

More about street organs here.

2.  This Post From Embracing Homemaking.

It's a post that's been floating around Pinterest and other blogs for awhile and it's a great start in getting more minimal.  I love the little things Ashley has added.  Give the first 10 items a try and them work your way down the list.  It feels good getting rid of things in my house and we are almost to 150 items from this list, so far.  Check out the full list here.

3. This Travel Kit.
I can't begin to express how great this travel kit is from Murchison Hume.  It comes with four different, necessary, items you would need for traveling.  The surface spray and the everything soap is the best.  You can get this travel kit, with bag, on their site here, for under $40.

4. This Body Oil.

Honest Organic Body Oil . This light, soothing blend includes sustainably grown and certified organic jojoba, tamanu, olive, avocado, and sunflower oils to leave skin silky and nourished. It's great for skin of all ages.

5. This Headboard.
The Mr. and I have been on a lookout for a new bedroom suite.  We've been searching for one that would fit a small bedroom seeing as the house we live in now is limited on space.  This one has made the top of the list for two reasons.  One, it's just a headboard and we can play around with the rest of it anyway we want.  Two, because it's name is Claudette, my middle name.  I like the bird accent on top that's removable too.  This headboard is from Ballard Designs.


• This New Affiliate.

100% Pure is a company geared around natural products.  They use only the very best ingredients in what they make and are now part of the South North South family.  Their ad will can be found on the right-hand side of the page, along with the other great company's that help support this blog.  Give them some love.  Right now, you can get all of their Holiday Gift Sets 20%.

100 Percent Pure

• Don't F-up Craft Beer.
• Dominating 'Guess Who'.
• Cleaning out your ears the RIGHT way.
• Longboard Dancing. Yes?

November 14, 2015

Things that made my week awesome: (Saturday Sparks)

We've had kind of a crazy week.  Crazy in the fact that we've still been adjusting to the time change from being in Arkansas.  Once the sun goes down we get completely confused on what time it is.  We even think the clock is lying to us.  We've decided to embrace it and turn one of our clocks to Arkansas time and just go with it.  We go to bed early and get up early, so what's the harm, right?  It's been sort of better for us anyway.  I think I might go buy another clock, similar to the one we have in our living room, and make a board underneath that reads:  Oregon Time and one that reads:  Arkansas Time.  We'll see though.  Anyway, here are the things that made my week awesome!

1.  This 3D Image:

We've been experimenting a lot lately with different techniques and this one was a blast.  You can see updates on this on the classroom blog soon.  Check out our classroom blog here!

2.  This Garden Shed.

In case you didn't know, we've been on a hunt to buy a new home.  We have been looking in the Valley and even over the Cascades in Eastern Oregon.  We haven't found anything that suits our fancy yet, but when we do, we will be building a small garden shed to accompany my gardening passions (Check out my Pin Board here of ideas).  This little shed was over in Brownsville, Oregon and I loved how it looked.  The French doors on the front are such a great addition.

3.  These Cherry Tomatoes.

We still have a ton of cherry tomatoes.  I am on a frantic hunt on Pinterest to find some great recipes to use them for.  I am also looking to Santa to bring me a good pressure cooker so we can start canning some of these babies next year and add to our doomsday prep items.

Pressure cooker on my list:
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4.  These Canadian Geese.

We see them all the time this time of year.  I love how massive flocks of them fly over our house.  We have a field behind our townhouse here and they land in the field all the time too.  Such a gear thing to see in the fall.

5.  This Crow.

He was hanging out on the very top of this tree in the parking lot of the airport when we came back from our Arkansas trip. In the rain even. 


• This Inspiration Board.

I've been following this IKEA inspiration board on Flickr for a few years now.  It gives great ideas on how to decorate your home.  I don't buy a lot of things from IKEA, but when I do get an idea, I always try to DIY it, or hunt online for something similar at a cheaper price.  Check it out here!  I warn you though, it's addicting!

• This New Shop Item:

Downton Abbey-inspired pendant necklace.  I'm a huge Downton Abbey fan and I am starting to create pieces that are inspired by the drama series.  This pendant necklace is listed for $35 in my shop and soon there will be a section just for Downton Abbey-inspired items.  

• This Flag.

With the recent attacks on Paris, it's nice to see the Seattle Space Needle showing support for France.  It's so heartbreaking that there are people that actually want to cause harm on others.  We as a human race need to fix ourselves before trying to fix others.  Too many people care more about hate than they do about love.  Life is too short to live a life of anger and resentment.  I hope everyone affected by this horrible tragedy finds some sort of peace.  Too much violence in the world lately.

An Arkansas Halloween

This past Halloween we boarded a plane and headed to Arkansas.  This was the first Halloween we spent in Arkansas since we moved 12 years ago to the Pacific Coast.  We had a community Halloween party and also spent a lot of quality time with my family.  We packed up our costumes and took off toward the south.

On our way to Arkansas we landed in Dallas and had a two hour layover.  We ended up getting some late lunch and then boarded the next flight.  If you follow me on Instagram, you saw our dilemma.  The plane we boarded had a malfunction with the anti-skid brakes and we had to disembark the plane and board another one.  Before it was all said and done, and everyone was seated, ready for take off, three hours had passed by from our original take off time.  We were okay with it, but I could tell the other passengers were not happy.  Overall, Southwest did a great job at helping keep spirits high.  All drinks, that were alcoholic, were paid for and snacks and other drinks were given out about 10 times before we landed in Little Rock, Arkansas.  I ended up pocketing about eight snacks from the flight and had myself a little drink.

We always check in with the Earlybird Check-in, just so we can get seats together.  And I had myself a vodka and cranberry once we took off from Dallas.  I was surprised to know that Southwest covered the cost of those, but I guess it was a way of "keeping everyone happy" from what had happened. 

When we landed in Little Rock, Arkansas I was glad to have my feet on the ground.  I felt like we had been flying forever, but we landed and the fun began.  We stayed the first night with my brother and sister-in-law.  They live close to the airport, so it was closer than driving all the way into Hot Springs.  Our rental car got upgraded to a full-sided Chevrolet Truck and the Mr. loved it!  The funny thing was, the license plate was Alabama plates.  We had a few laughs over that.  Good thing it didn't read "Roll Tide" on it, or I think the Mr. would have had a break down.  GO DUCKS!

My feet on the Little Rock Airport carpet.

Driving from my brother's house to Hot Springs the next day, we saw The Mystery Machine.  It was parked in a parking lot when we came down a side road and Skylar thought it was the coolest thing.

The second night we were staying with my brother, we hit a haunted house called "The Torture Chamber."  It was pretty scary at some points and took about 10 minutes to walk completely through it.  They didn't let us take photos inside the haunted house, but I was able to snap these before we went inside.

The following day we stayed at Country Inn Lake Resort on Lake Hamilton.  It was raining a little bit, but ended up clearing up the following day.  We stayed for two days and it was a nice time place to relax, especially after the Halloween party.  I couldn't get over the view on Lake Hamilton. I bet, if it hadn't have been the fall season, the summer time looks great from that place.  Even though the fall season has its own views, boat access and swimming must be amazing from this point!

We got a great view of the Hot Springs Mountain Tower too.  Although it was raining, the view from the car was awesome!

Halloween night we had a great time at the community Halloween party.  It's the party I spent the last five months planning with some other women.  The turnout of people was great!  Skylar was a white and gray wolf this year, and like every year before, we handmade his costume.  It took us a few months to get it right and he loved it.  He ended up taking third place in the costume contest for his age group.

The Mr. and I went as Price is Right contestants.  We thought of something simple and original and it worked!  (Of course, I scoured Pinterest for some great ideas) We ended up taking first place in our age group.  We used silver and bright yellow duct tape for the sides and the numbers, green and red foam board for the background.  Parachute cord around our necks, and for the name tags, we used yellow card stock and a black marker.  It was really that easy to whip up this costume.  If we had thought about it, we could have ordered/made some Price is Right t-shirts.  


My brother and sister-in-law went as Dracula and a Halloween witch.  

Skylar did really good at the apple bobbing and ended up taking less than three seconds grabbing and apple from the water.

We all had a pretty good time.  The Mr. and I spun cotton candy for the kids and were covered in cotton candy, just like every Halloween.  We had a great time giving the kids the cotton candy and everyone seemed to have loved it.

My dad was one of the costume judges and he seemed to have had a blast with it.

My niece Natalie.

My nephew Ryan (left).  My mom (right) made the chili and everyone loved it!

We used to have these community Halloween parties in the past, and it was great to see some of the older kids come to this one.  It was a great time to fellowship and catch up with them and enjoy a great holiday together.

All the decorations were taken down, leftover food was taken home, and the pavilion was cleanup before 11:00 p.m.  There wasn't anyone that came that didn't have a great time and it was nice to spend Halloween at home this year.  Jeff and I aren't sure if we will do another community party, but we have been talking about doing Halloween in Arkansas again.  

I always loved the way my parent's house looked in the fall.  Arkansas falls are my favorite season is autumn.  Oregon falls are just not the same to me.  Of course, Oregon does have it's beauty in the fall too.

We spent the following day, after sleeping in of course, at my mom's shop and around my parent's house.  We enjoyed some picture taking and letting the kids play together.

Skylar loved the tree swing!

We checked out Papaw's Garden and some old army stuff my brother hid in the woods.  The garden was in the cleanup process for the season, but it was nice to see how everything was laid out.  My dad is one of the best gardeners I know.  My brother used to play army in my parent's yard when we were growing up, so it didn't surprise me to have him show us his old "army recruits" in the woods.  Ha!

My sister and me.  We seemed to have the same taste in glasses lately.  

My brother, me, and my sister.  Our heights and age are like a stair step.  I'm always in the middle though, when it comes to them.

My mom and dad and the grand kids.  

My mom and dad with their kids.  I have no idea how my brother got to be so tall!

Standing in front of the store sign.  My mom actually opens her store this month.  We headed back to her store to have some leftover chili and just spend some family time together. 

 My mom's store is coming along slowly, but surely.  She has done so much for this little section of Crystal Springs.  Hopefully, all of my parent's  hard work will pay off this summer and bring a lot of tourist to the area again.

My mom plans on carrying a lot of handmade items in her shop.  My aunt got a jump start and put one of her cow paintings up for sale on the wall.  It fits perfectly with the decor of the shop. You can like her shop's Facebook page here and get notices on when she opens and what's up for sale.  She will also have cafe-type foods too.  

The last day we were in Hot Springs, we met my brother in downtown and spent the day with him.  We liked how the free parking deck was decorated for Christmas already.

My brother took this photo of us at the very top of the parking deak.  I like how he caught me waving at the perfect time.  

I did the same, but you could barely see him.  He is in the middle in the red shirt, waving too.

A view of the Rehabilitation Center from the top of the parking deck.  Such a historic building.  I always wondered if it was haunted.


A view of bathhouses along Bathhouse Row in Downton Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The one with the blue awnings is Buckstaff Baths.

A painting on the building side of Garvan Woodland Gardens.


Hot Springs water tasting in Lamar Bathhouse.
Bathhouse Row is a pretty famous row.  A lot of people used to take advantage of the hot water baths back in the 1800s and 1900s.  The bathhouses shut down for awhile and have recently been renovated and reopened.  Some are gift shops, coffee shops, or information areas for the Hot Springs downtown area.  Only one bathhouse actually gives baths, but works are underway to open up more of the bathhouses in the future.  

We took a tour of The Gangster Museum of America

We saw a lot of history from downtown Hot Springs.  It was fun to learn some of the high end celebrities used to gamble there.  As well as, sing, dance, play music, and even entertain there.

Some of the Notorious "Gangsters" and their respective mugshots. 

The Majestic Hotel in its heyday.  Unfortunately, the hotel is closed and part of it suffered a fire not too long ago.  We drove through the downtown area and saw the hotel.  It was sad to see it in a pile of bricks and not majestic as it once was. 

Old telephone booth and entering into the Capone Gallery.

One of two death masks of Jon Dillinger.

John Dillinger was not a nice man.  Well, none of these gangsters were.

We got to sit with Al Capone.

Skylar likes the Babe Ruth statue and Jeff enjoyed holding the "Tommy Guns."
A little info on the gun:  The Thompson submachine gun (nicknamed the Thompson) is an American submachine gun, invented by John T. Thompson in 1918, that became infamous during the Prohibition era.

This was a replica gun, not a real one.  

A little more history of the downtown area.  I like the connection to the American Indians.

Skylar cracking the safe while wearing his gangster hat.

This would make a great mugshot.

A view of downtown Hot Springs from the top of West Mountain Summit.

Hot Springs Mountain Tower from West Mountain Summit.

We took a drive up West Mountain in Hot Springs to take in the view.  The fog seemed to be lingering a bit, but it wasn't a bad view, even with the fog.

I took the chance to get my brother and Skylar to pose for me with the background of Hot Springs. 

One interesting fact about downtown Hot Springs is their enhancement project of the baseball history of the area.  Green plaques have been put up all around the downtown area to reflect historic events in baseball (and other history around the area) that happened to Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Downton Hot Springs was the "Birthplace of spring baseball." The plaques below are a few of those.

We ate lunch at BubbaLu's Bodacious Burgers and Classy Dogs downtown.  It was one of the best burgers I've ever had.  We watched the cook grill them up right in front of us and boy was she efficient in her movements.  She had everything down to a science with our order and the atmosphere was amazing!

After walking around downtown Hot Springs with my brother, we met up with some old high school friends of mine and had dinner.
It was nice to catch up with them and see how their lives have been since we are all in our 30s now.  I had a great time with them and I hope we can do this again when I fly back home next time.  Skylar got along just great with one of the daughters.  They are close to the same age, so it's no wonder they clicked so well.

We spent one night at my sister and brother-in-laws house and she cooked us dinner.  We ended up having chicken spaghetti, which we've never had before.  We loved it and enjoyed spending time with my sister and her family.

Driving out to her house the sun was setting and it was weird to think that it was still shining bright in Oregon at the same time.  

Skylar enjoyed playing with the kids and the dogs.  I think the dogs loved the attention too!
We ended up staying the night at my parent's house after leaving my sister's. 

We crashed pretty quick.  We were still jet lagged a little and for some reason, even though Oregon is behind in time, we were really tired.

The following morning, I caught up on some work tasks and sat at in the kitchen with the Mr. thinking about stuff from the past.  It was fun to talk about memories of when we lived just down the street from my parents.

Our last night in Arkansas we stayed at my brother's house again and played The Walking Dead Risk: Survival Edition 
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The following day we drove around Little Rock for a bit and then headed off to the airport.  We were sad we were leaving my family and friends, but glad to get back home.  I missed my doggies and cat terribly.  My brother and sister-in-law's dog Lizzie sat at the door and said goodbye to us when we were loading up our cases.

We arrived at the airport and checked our luggage.

Skylar likes to show the TSA his school ID and feel like a big kid.  The TSA workers are always super nice about it and enjoy seeing him being prepared.  I tell him that it's good practice to get into.

We got to the airport early enough to see our plane being hooked up next to the tarmac. 

Skylar wore his HOG nose onto the plane from Little Rock to Dallas.  It was funny to see the other passengers' faces as he walked passed them.

The view from the plane window was so different from Little Rock and as we came into Dallas.  Over Little Rock was cloud cover and as we came into Dallas, you could see the buildings and the sun was peeking out a little.

Skylar loved this little vehicle.  We aren't quite sure what it was used for, but it read "I'm a little pushy" on the back.  We figured it was for pushing the planes back from the gate.

When we landed in Dallas Skylar bought himself a New York Times newspaper.  He said he had always wanted to read one.  I think it was because there was a train on the cover.  

Skylar looked like a total tourist as we walked through the Dallas airport carrying the paper and the camera.  His hat made the look even better.  We stopped and at at Whataburger while we were there.  It was hot and not so healthy, but we were so hungry, we didn't care.

We boarded in Dallas and headed for Portland.

Skylar was entertained with the free TV that Southwest provides.  They even have OnDemand TV shows too.  It was great being able to watch some of our TV shows while flying. The headset he is wearing he purchased at the Dallas/Love airport too.  A Star Wars headset!
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As we came into Portland a great shot of Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson could be seen from our window.

We finally landed in Portland and just had to snag a picture of our feet on the new carpet

We rode the shuttle bus to our car and were finally on our way home.  I couldn't wait to stretch out in my own bed.   

This was a great trip overall though, even with the plane issues on the way to Little Rock.  We are planning a little something for next year too (a little surprise.)  :) Stay tuned for that!

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