Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Vintage Button Collection

Recently, I recovered these charming notions from a mysterious Christmas tin.
You can imagine my delight when I opened its lid to find hundreds of
vintage buttons in various textures, colors and sizes. 

What would one do with such a find, you ask??

Keep your eyes peeled--I've got hot glue and a masterpiece in mind.

What would you do with a button collection?

xx, Cassie

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Little Things Studio Speaks My Language

A Ship is safe in Harbor (small)

It's not what the world holds for you
I happened upon this sweet blog the other night and was immediately smitten. 
What's not to love about red, yellow, patterns and typography?

Go here to visit Little Things Studio on Etsy.
Great news!!  In honor of Kate's cat's first birthday, you can receive 25% off your entire purchase until midnight tonight!

Have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

{Sigh} Worthy

I'll take one of each of these, please! 

I love this color so much that I want to hop in the car, pick up a few gallons {in a slightly richer tone} and make a serious statement in my living room or entry. I'd do it if I didn't believe Husband would send me straight back to the paint store to get the supplies to paint over it.  Maybe he'd let me do it in the girl bathroom??

I'm linking up to Friday Pretties
Go on over to I Love Pretty Little Things to see more beautiful things!

3. the cupcake blog

xx, Cassie

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Little Things

Tilling, planting and tending to our first real garden.
Brooklynn's thrill of her tiny potted plant that's sprouting. 
Anticipating my Black Eyes Susans flowering.
Watching the kids ride their tractor all over the property until the battery is drained. each. and. every. time.
Our puppy.  He is our perfect furry match, and I've taken quite the liking to him. 
Cleaning house!  De-cluttering cleanses my soul. 
My studio...in the making.  I said I'd show you, but suddenly a month flew by and now it is a mess.  My Etsy shop is partially to blame.  I've got treasures strewn about waiting to be photographed and listed!
Meeting our neighbors.  We had a garage sale last weekend to rid of a ton of stuff, and we did!  We also met neighbors galore, and I am happy to announce that they are as pleasant as we hoped.  We even met a young couple with young children up a road!  Heaven-sent?  Most definitely.
And lastly, envisioning summer afternoons spent like this--

You, me, out front, underneath the apple trees?
Oh summer, wont you join us, already?

What are your little things?
Care to share with us? You can join this Thursday series by
linking up on the right side-bar.
Please do visit the others linking in!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Country Living & Reclaiming My Femininity

When Husband and I first started dating, he made the comment that I was always "dressed to the nines."  I remember this, because when he said it, I looked at myself and didn't see the way I was put together as anything extravagant, but the norm.  But for a country boy who wears camouflage and Carharts many days of the year, my accessorized outfits were something different than he was used to.  I have to laugh at what I wore on our first date to Motocross--pretty much bangles and a lace cami at a dirt convention.
Fast-forward six years and you get this:
It wouldn't be an understatement to say that some things have seriously changed.

Here is more proof:

1.)  I spend more time in my tennis shoes than I ever have in my life.
2.)  I have only worn jewelry about five times since we moved in. 
3.)  I haven't painted my nails in quite sometime, and often have dirt under my fingernails.
4.)  I've caught my first frog and garter snake for the kiddos amusement--not mine.
5.)  I'm now going on almost eight months since I had a haircut.  I don't know how it happened, but it did.

The truth is, I've been getting a wee bit concerned.  Just the other day, I asked my brother-in-law, what has happened to me?  He had no words.  I asked my girlfriend the same thing, and she blamed it on country living.  It is true.  It is true.  I've let country living take over my femininity and what I love about being a woman.

So today, I'm reinventing what's been lost for a while now. 
I'm getting ready to the nines, just like old times.  I'm making a hair appointment and painting my nails, and I'm going to leave the weeds in the garden for tomorrow and treat myself to iced tea and a magazine on the back porch.  I may live in and love the country, but I love all that goes with being feminine most. 

But you wont see me wearing wedges as often as I used to. 
It's still about comfort in the country--hence the flip flops.   
At least I haven't traded in my Sevens for Carharts?

Mom?  Did I just hear you let out a sigh of relief?


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chasing Lovliness.

I've had irregular sleep since me moved.  So when I woke up at four this morning wide awake, instead of tossing and turning for an hour or two, I figured I'd make the most of the morning while the family was fast asleep.  I planned to put on a pot of coffee, read my book and Bible and maybe do some writing until the sky began to lighten from its deep blue night, and sit on the porch to welcome the sun in its rise.

Unfortunately, I didn't last to see the sunrise, and instead, woke to Asher climbing onto the couch to snuggle in under my blanket, and Husband making the coffee.  However, the sun is here, today, beaming in its fullness, and there isn't a cloud in the sky. 

While reading this morning, I came across a Bible verse that is particularly fitting for The Little Things series:

For the rest, bretheren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things {fix your minds on them}.  Phililppians 4:8

Though, life takes its turns, taking account of the little things has brought the blessings in my life to the forefront.  I've found the more I acknowledge said moments, the beauty is easier to see, and the more I realize how much there is to be grateful for and celebrate in this life.  

A few of the little things...

the pursuit of chasing dreams.
watching my girl be led off to the classroom at Kindergarten Round-up, without knowing another soul and being as happy as can be. 
belgian waffles.
the color that is blooming around the property.
old beautiful things.
friends who drop by to visit and know they need not an invite.
the surprise baby Koi in our pond.

{How I hope to purchase a couple rockers like these very soon!}

What are the little things that move you?
You can join this series by linking up to The Little Things on the right side-bar.
I'd love to have you!
Please do go visit the others, too!

photo via pinterest

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some Rather Exciting News.

I have a new labor of love and she comes in the form of

Believe me when I say, I have more treasures than I know what to do with,
or have the time to list! 
Please do hop on over and take a peek around.

Do you have an Etsy shop that I don't know about??
Tell me about it in the comments section and I'll come visit and add you to my circle!

Keep your eyes peeled for my Grand Opening Giveaway!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Primrose Bakery's Lemon Cupcakes

I'm a sucker.
...for all things lemon that is.
But most of you already know this.

So, when my good friend whose birthday we celebrated this last weekend, said she, too, loved lemon, I was all over it.

Fresh Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting
Makes about 16 cupcakes

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temp.
1 C. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 large eggs
1 C. self-rising flour*
3/4 C. plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 C. 2% milk, at room temp.
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. sour cream
Grated zest of 1 lemon (you need 1 tsp.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until mixture is smooth (may take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer).  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.
3.  Sift the flours together into a separate bowl.  Mix the milk, lemon juice, and sour cream together.  Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well.  Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again.  Repeat these steps until all the flour and the milk have been added, incorporating the lemon zest with the last third of the flour.  Don't work if the mixture starts to curdle: simply add another spoonful of all purpose flour and beat well.
4.  Carefully spoon the mixture into the cups, filling them about two-thirds full.  Bake for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and *golden brown.  To check if they are cooked, insert a toothpick in the center of one of the cupcakes--it should come out clean.
5.  Remove from oven and leave the cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool.  Once they are completely cool, frost the cupcakes with lemon buttercream and decorate with a candied lemon slice or a little finely grated lemon zest.


This recipe makes a perfectly citrus denser cupcake.  Husband and I were a tad surprised when we shared one on the way to the party.  They were good, but didn't have the spongy, moist texture that I am used to.  This makes me curious if all of Primrose's cupcakes have this same texture? 
*They don't need to get very golden brown before they are done.  Mine were fairly light in color and were plenty done.
*I used only all-purpose flour.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough to frost 15-20 regular cupcakes or 1 "two-layer" cake

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest on 1-2 unwaxed lemons (you need 2 tsp.)
4 1/4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted

1.  In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest, and half the powdered sugar until smooth-this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer. 
2.  Gradually add the remainder of the powdered sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy.  If needed, thin with additional lemon juice.

Now enjoy! 

Do you have any favorite lemon dessert recipes?
I'd love to know about them!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Three Big Years.

It was BBQ, balloons, a Spiderman cake decorated by Dad, and a new John Deere tractor for our little man's special day.
He played, played and played harder all. day. long.
Though the celebration was small,
at the end of the day, he said, "Thank you for the party Mama.
It was the best birthday ever!"

He is the best boy ever.


P.S. Did you notice the little black furry thing? 
His name is Jet, and he's the newest member of the family
and Asher's new wrestling partner!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Today, it's an early run, cupcake baking (a new flavor that I can't wait to try and share with you), a friend's birthday celebration, house cleaning (it truly never ends) and a visit to family.  I also plan to plant my green beans and sunflower seed this weekend, too.  I need to get them in the ground already!

Up to anything fun this weekend?

P.S. I stumbled upon this sweet image on Etsy this morning.  You can find more great images here

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Today He's Three

I can hardly believe it.
It's been the Adventures of Asher for the last three years,
and really, I couldn't imagine having more fun
 or being blessed any more than we already have.
He's truly a blessing; an irresistibly sweet and treasured blessing.

Celebration pictures to come!

This post is in lou of The Little Things.
Feel free to link up your list on the right sidebar.
I do love reading them!

NOTE: Thank you to all who left comments on this post.  Somehow they mysteriously disappeared. :(

Monday, May 9, 2011

Love, Lavendar and Icecream

I hope all you mothers out there had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Mine was my best Mother's Day, yet!  I got lots of love and the kids really went to town for my celebration!  Brooklynn created a "Mother Head Hunt" game for us to play which had us finding paper heads scattered about the house.  I found one in the fridge and in the freezer the night prior to the festivities, but pretended to be unphased by their location.  When it came time to play, we hurried around, excited as could be, for our girl was off to the races finding her own hidden pictures.

Then, with the leftover cake from Brooklynn's birthday, Husband lit Brooklynn's requested five candles and the family sang me Happy Mother's Day to You, and Brooklynn blew the candles out.  Then we topped off the kids' excitement with the hugest piece of cake and scoop of ice cream, and let them go to town.

This was all before 9:30am.

Later, Husband surprised me with a lavender plant and I am so happy with it.  I love lavender and am thinking of the perfect location to plant this sweet gift.  I only hope I don't need to go and buy about five more!

The rest of the day was spent enjoying each other, a visit with our Mom, a nap and a huge bowl of our new favorite vanilla ice cream. 
It was a great day, indeed, and I am still feeling the love today.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Little Things Make Life Sweeter

My big five year old asking for a kiss.
Entertaining my children with dancing and singing,
and enticing them to join along.
Watching my son peer over the rocks into the pond as he searches for frogs.
A fresh cut yard and manicured flower beds.
Maintaining a 9 min/mile pace for five miles, just like the old days,
and doing so back pain free!
BBQ hamburgers.
My Nikon camera.  I am in love and she's in the shop. 
I can't wait to get back to doing the things we do.
The Book, The Alchemist.  Have you read it?  I am due for a re-read.
Juicing.  I love how organic the taste.
Dreaming up my hanging plants--
perhaps in these colors.

Did you gather a list of your own that you'd like to share?
Please do! You can link in on the right sidebar.
I'd love to come visit and read your list of inspiring moments.

xx, Cassie

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

I found this recipe about a year or so ago, adapted it some, and it is a hit every time.
It's easy, delicious, and it stands to make your mouth water all day while it's a cookin'.

Now go get your crockpot.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

You'll need:
2.5-4 lb. rump roast
1 (10.5 oz.) can beef broth
1 (10.5 oz.) can condensed French Onion Soup
1 (12 oz.) beer--choose your fav.
Hogi Rolls or bread of your choice
Butter for spreading on the rolls
Sliced Swiss or Mozzarella cheese (I found both to be delicious)

1.  Place rump roast in the slow cooker.
2.  Add beef broth, onion soup and beer.
3.  Cook on low setting for 7-8 hours.
4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5.  Split Hogi Rolls and spread with butter.  Bake for 10 minutes.
6.  Adjust oven temperature to broil letting bread toast.  Watch carefully.  Should only take 2-3 minutes tops.
7.  Remove rolls from oven, and top with sliced Swiss cheese.  Place back in oven to melt cheese.  Watch carefully.  Should only take 1-2 minutes.
8.  Slice the meat on the diagonal, and place on the rolls.  It will be very deliciously tender.  Serve the sauce for dipping.

C'mon.  Could it be any easier??
Or tastier??

Because I am not a food photographer, image via That's Some Good Cooking.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today She's Five.

And they've been the best five years of my life.

Happy Birthday Brooklynn!
I couldn't be more proud of you and the sweet spirit that you are.
xo, Mom

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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