Welcome to my blog....

here I will be musing about my passions in life which include all things vintage, baking, decorating, gardening, my family, faith........

oh, and the wonderful world of selling on Etsy.....

My shop NaNa's Things is a collection of vintage items I have treasured and wonderful new old finds from local thrift and estate sales.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Christmas Decorating Dilemma

Debby Ray of My Favorite Things sent me this. Too funny!
 I can't believe it has come to this.
The decision had to be made.
After years and years of decorating for Christmas to the nines, it is just NOT going to happen this year.
No bottle brush jars and beaded tree on the parlor table. No more vintage red tree decked out in Victorian style. No more window seat nativity scene and village (there's a small peak of both in the background).
No more snowman tree (with a cool new tree this year).
No more hubby's tree (with a cool new tree this year!).

   No more decorating the dining room bench.
        And especially no main tree in the living room!
So why, you ask?
Because of him....Cyrus the Terrible!
I know he doesn't look terrible but he already took down the window treatment from the bay window over my couch. He knocked over my antique brass lamp and broke it. How many more disasters can my heart take?
It is so hard to be mad at him for long, because, like a baby, he is so sweet when he is sleeping.
I could try this.....
 But I may try this instead....

or this...


We have double pocket doors in the living room that the tree usually stands in front of. It would still have to be high enough because Cyrus can jump pretty high.
Not crazy about those ideas though.
Putting all common sense aside, I am still on the fence about getting a main tree, even with the window treatment and lamp disasters in the same room the tree would go! I really, really, really want one but I just don't want to get it all up and then regret it and then have to take it all down.
The decision has to be made soon! Instead of beating the crazy crowds for Black Friday,
we are usually out in the woods picking out a tree. It is supposed to be in the 60's on Friday, not snow as usual!
There are all kinds of tips online to keep a kitty away, like orange peels on the base, or dryer sheets. Neither one sounds appealing to me to have laying around.
Next year should be fine because both kitties will be 1 1/2 years old. But for now I don't think having two 4 month old kitties and a Christmas tree will work!!
Can anyone help me decide? Do you have horror stories of cats and Christmas trees that would steer me away from the idea? Or maybe you had no problem with cats and trees....convince me that way!
Any suggestions or help would be great!
AnnMarie xoxo

Many blessings to you and your family for this Thanksgiving Day!

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Roses of Inspiration
Wake Up Wednesday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Best of the Weekend
Pink Saturday

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Highlights of Fall

It feels like Fall is over. The mornings and nights are chilly. It is dark at 5 p.m. The wind is very chilly and strong so there are no leaves left on the trees. There have been snow clouds in the sky!

But did you know that it is Fall until December 21st? The astronomical Fall in the Northern Hemisphere is September 23rd - December 21st.

In the Northeast, we have winter way before December 21st and are usually hoping for more snow by then to have a white Christmas.

We did have snowfall one day this Fall so far....

but it was gone by that evening.

As I was thinking back over Fall this year some things stuck out in my mind.

There were the many Pumpkin Spice products that hit the shelves in everything from the typical coffee to Pumpkin Spice Butter to Pumpkin Spice marshmallows. I was wowed by the display at Trader Joe's.

I always decorate with a few pumpkins on my porch. I found these three very unique ones and love how they look together on my paint splattered stool.
Speaking of pumpkins, my son mentioned that he wanted to carve one this year. He never has and he is 17. This year I said why not? Looks pretty good for a first try.
Driving home one day I was taken by the scene in front of me....kinda eerie with the clouds and the lighting that day.
I stopped at a cute country store in Chesire, NY and was amazed and happy to find this Pottery Barn pillow cover for $5! It goes perfectly in my colors of Fall dining room.
Driving around the town of Canandaigua, NY, I came upon two blocks that are lined with these HUGE trees. They are light tan and look like they have been scraped with a vegetable peeler. Notice the car at the bottom of the picture.

 I go by this pretty pastoral scene of sheep grazing a lot but never took a picture of it. It looks like a rural pasture far out in the countryside. It is actually on a busy road in a residential area of the next town over.
One of the new treats I tried this Fall. Oreo Candy Corn Bark. It was great!
My dining room Fall centerpiece is holding up great, being that it is a selection of gourds, pumpkins and a Mexican Hat Squash. I just love the natural look of the Fall vegetables next to the metal basket.

I happened to look out my parlor window and a flash of reddish pink caught my eye. Looking closer I realized it was two flowers that had bloomed on the branch of a large bush that has no leaves left on it. This tree (can't think of the name right now) blooms in the Spring! Can anyone explain this to me?!

And finally to help get us all in the mood for winter and the holidays with all it's festivities, I had to take a picture of this dress on a mannequin at an Arts and Crafts Show I went to recently.

For the right party, I'd wear that!!
For 5 minutes!
How was your Fall? Are you looking forward to winter?
AnnMarie xoxo
I am linking up with these great blog parties:

 Roses of Inspiration
Wake Up Wednesday

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Goin' to Grandma's House

I have such wonderful memories of going to my grandmother's house and her cottage at the Thousand Islands.

This view looks exactly like the one I had as a kid looking out onto
the St. Lawrence River from my grandparent's cottage

We called her Ga because that is all my oldest sister could say as a toddler. We lost her to liver disease when I was 12 but I can still describe her home and cottage (right down to the décor items!)and the things we did there.

I want to make those memories for my grandchildren.

I have a big, old Victorian house with lots of charm and cozy comfort. The kind of house you think of when goin' to grandma's house.

My grandchildren Cassidy, Chloe and JC are here at least once a week, sometimes more. There are routines they have here and familiar things in my home that I hope are creating memories for them for years to come, even though they may not realize it now.

This is the walk up to my front door.....NaNa's house

This is the door that they press their noses up against to see if I am coming yet to answer it.

Chloe said "NaNa! Why are you taking a picture of us coming in?!"
They usually go straight to the toy chest, which really doesn't look like one when there are no grandchildren around....

But open it up and there's all kinds of kid stuff that needs to get organized!

Usually lunch follows soon after they arrive. Chloe likes to wait and eat lunch at NaNa's. I bought this great, 1950's red Cosco step stool/chair to sell but as soon as Chloe saw it in my kitchen, she claimed it as her own. JC soon joined in with a toddler seat on a dining room chair.

After lunch Chloe will go off with her bag of animals and go into my dining room to play. This solid wood truck was a decoration in my son's room when he was little. Chloe likes to put her animals in the windows and the driver seat.

Making memories.....

This is the spot they are not supposed to go....behind the chairs in the parlor. Lots of fragile things on the shelves on either side and vintage dolls, NOT to be played with. I know, I know, I am tempting them, but I want my things out where I can see them! They will learn not to touch as my girls and my son did. We have already survived the pulling down of the vintage Victorian lamp from being where we weren't supposed to! 

And, of course, there will be memories of going to NaNa's to see the new kitties. Cyrus is tolerant of children, Sprite is not. She is not anywhere to be seen when they are over.


There are the seasonal things I like to do with them at my house, like decorating pumpkin cookies before Halloween. I hope they remember that and carry the tradition on to their children.

For Cassidy, who is 10, there are different memories being made. She already experienced all that the younger kids do now, but now likes to go on the computer when she comes over and play with my ancient flute. She does her homework here and sings silly songs with my husband.

When Chloe is older I hope there will be memories of prancing around in my garden in the summer.


Or petting the deer...

Or playing in the little red and yellow car that both Cassidy and Chloe have played in, and JC will this Spring...

Mostly I hope they remember the love and hugs and time they spent with me, my husband, Nonno to them, and my son Michael (he doesn't want to be called Uncle yet!).

There is nothing like having a special Grandma in your life.

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:
Show and Share
Share Your Cup Thursday
Freedom Fridays With All My Bloggy Friends
Best of the Weekend
Pink Saturday

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October One Day at a Time

I haven't written a "one day at a time" post since Spring so I decided to do it for October, my favorite month.

October 1...

The perfect way to start Fall......a barn sale. These are my treasures.

October 2
My crazy girlfriends and I celebrate each other's birthdays, usually with a day of shopping and lunch. Kim came up with a fun birthday purse to bring to each get together filled with dress up items for the birthday girl. Colleen was all into it and put on almost everything in there! She is silly! Happy Birthday Sweet Colleen!
 October 3

I finally started to decorate for Fall with a little vignette at my front door. I found the fabulous branch/stick in my front yard. Benita, it's because of you that I picked it up!
October 4
It has been 8 days since we adopted Sprite and Cyrus. They are getting along like true kitten buddies and we are having a blast with them! Here they are in one of their more serene moments.
October 5

 We have been pulling out overgrown shrubs and trees from along the south side of the house little by little all summer. I wanted to move my lilac bush over from the shade where it was not blooming. On a whim we decided to cut down the 8' cedar tree by the porch. It looks so much better. Now I need to fill in the ground all around the replanted lilac. I stopped at the garden store today and bought two purple Anise Hyssop plants and two pink Creeping Phlox to plant now. The rest can wait till Spring. That gorgeous mum is the prettiest pink and is a true hardy mum. We will see if it comes back next year after the winter's we usually have!

October 6

Just put the finishing touch on these two sweet stools. The Barn Sweet Barn stool started out brown. Lots of layers of chalk paint, antique wax, finishing wax and elbow grease on these and I think they came out great! They are listed in my Etsy shop.

October 7

Today I took a ride with my daughter Jena, granddaughter Chloe and grandson JC to Naples, NY. It is a quaint town at the end of Canandaigua Lake, known for it's vineyards and wine. We went for the goodies to be found at Joseph's Wayside Market.  I bought gourds, concord grapes, apples and a piece of grape bar, something I always get there. Chloe LOVED the pumpkins!

October 8

Still enjoying my favorite summer lunch....fresh tomato and cucumber sandwiches....on toasted whole grain bread. YUM!!

October 9
My son still likes the same school lunch he has had since elementary school....he is a senior now! Even today when he is home sick. The sandwich is a pb & j (homemade strawberry!).

October 10

My sweet bloggy friend Benita from Chasing Quaintness sent me this cute pumpkin filled with scented beads as a Fall gift. It is hanging on the cupboard at the entrance of my kitchen, where I can catch a whiff of it each time I go in....and think of her sweet, funny self too. Visit her blog for a fun read each time you visit!

October 11

I am so excited about finally finding a vintage wire egg basket. I found it in Naples on our day out at a cute country store. It was only $12 and when I went to pay for it the lady sighed and said "that would be my husband", implying that he underpriced it!! Yup! I filled it with the giant pinecones my sister in Florida sent me.

October 12

I had to go for my yearly (dreaded) mammogram today. It was in a new facility and the bright spot there were these fabulous decorated bra's on every door! I had to take a picture of them all and show them all to you! They were decorated for a hospital event and now adorn each door.


October 13

On the 13th of every month my husband and I celebrate our wedding day (July 13) with a little gift for each other. This is what I found on the kitchen island this morning....

The note on the candy corn says "Happy Anniversary...some seeds for you" and on the bird seed it says "some seeds for your birdies". He knows me so well!

October 14

My sister Michele is visiting here from Florida so we had a girl's day out with my other sister Rosanne. Eating, shopping and laughing all day. What else do you do with your sisters on a girl's day out? :-)

Oh, take bad selfie photos!

October 15

MMMmmm, yum, yum, breakfast! I'll eat a little from my bowl....

.....and a little from her bowl....and a little from my bowl....and a little from her bowl....and a

October 16

Today I treated my friend Bonnie to lunch for her birthday. She picked the restaurant and the shops to browse and it was a nice day. She bought yarn to make socks for her daughter at the yarn shop, we both bought cute socks at the boutique and we ate at a bakery café that has fabulous coffee and sandwiches on homemade bread. And of course, a stop at Trader Joe's pumpkin aisle. I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE!! I can show you the cute socks I bought and the gift I gave her.....

October 17
I went to a movie and dinner today with three of my most favorite people to hang out with....my husband Frank, 4 year old granddaughter Chloe and son Michael.
Chloe was keeping us entertained.....when I told her to hold her horses because she was bugging me for something she said "I don't have any horses!". At the end of the meal I asked her if she wanted an ice cream sundae and she said "No, I want it today!" Ba dum bum ;-)

 October 18

We had our first snow today! I have plants waiting to be planted! It's too early!

October 19

No words needed....okay, maybe one...PRECIOUS!

(On a side note but exciting for me....I hit 1,000 sales in my Etsy shop today!!)

 October 20

I like to change the top of my old dining room cupboard with the seasons. This is how Fall inspired me this year....

 October 21

Time flies when you're a Grandma! JC is now 13 months and big enough to play with the block table. It was my son's favorite toy (now 17) and then Cassidy's (now 10) and then Chloe's (now 4).

One thing I look forward to in the Fall.....a wall of burning bushes dressed in their Fall red surrounding my front porch.

October 23

Today my son had the day off from school so we planned a Mom and Michael Day. We went for lunch at  Joe's Brooklyn pizza, where we ate the best Sicilian pizza I have ever had. Then off to Power's Farm Market where they have these cool, huge teepee's made of corn stalks, with a surprise inside.

They are huge! See the girl at the bottom of the picture?

There are hand carved, lit pumpkins on shelves all around and all the way up to the tip of the teepee. There were even some hanging down the middle.

We picked out a great pumpkin for Michael to carve. He is 17 and it will be his first. We do not participate in Halloween so he never had the interest until now. He picked out a design and created this...


October 24
Our community theatre group The In Your Face Players performed at Artisan Works, a renovated factory building that houses many facets of art. Incredible is the word that describes this place!
There is literally wall to wall art in there, and lots on the ceiling too!

October 25
It was a full moon tonight......pretty eerie looking too...


 October 26

Been craving some kind of candy bark and since I have a bunch of candy corn around I decided to make Candy Corn Oreo Bark.  I needed something to blog about too. The recipe is in a post here.

October 27

I had a very productive day today. I baked two things (one made two), glued three things and painted one thing.

Apple Crisp and Pumpkin Cranberry Chocolate Chip bread
October 28

Wednesday is my day with Chloe and JC. Chloe is in school now mornings while JC takes his nap. They come to NaNa's for lunch and play time. I am the referee!

 October 29

I went on an adventure today with just me, myself and I. It was rainy this morning but the weather cleared and the sun came out as I made my way to Naples. The drive is just gorgeous and I wanted to visit some antique shops, get some apples and see the pretty leaves again. This is the scenery on the way down....

and these are my treasures....

October 30

I started a Fall tradition with Cassidy about six years ago decorating homemade pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Last year Chloe joined in. In a few years JC will also come over to NaNa's to decorate the cookies with peanut butter or buttercream frosting, candy corn, mini M&M's, raisins, chocolate chips and sprinkles. They take home the ones they decorate.  I eat the rest.

October 31

The only thing we have around the house that's a little bit Halloween is our Black Burmese kitty Cyrus. He looks like the typical black cat you see in vintage Halloween ads. We adopted him and Sprite 5 weeks ago and they have grown so much! They are very naughty but we love them!

 That's my October....one day at a time!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Best of the Weekend
Amaze Me Monday
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Pink Saturday