June 2014 archive

Summer Concert Series- Miranda Lambert’s Automatic

It’s time for a little thing I like to do every summer.  It’s sort of my summer concert series, if you will.  I will feature my current favorite new songs (because most of what I love isn’t new) and create an outfit to go along with the artist.

Weird, I know.  Fun, definitely.

First up is Miranda Lambert’s Automatic.  I’ve written before about how I really think going out with this girl would be a great night.  She seems down to earth and has a sassy personality. And just a touch unrefined.  🙂

And I particularly enjoy this song, not only because she somehow stole my pick up for her video (if I get one, you can be sure I’m having my midlife crisis), but because the lyrics speak to me about how life used to be so much simpler before all of this Facebook, cell phones and Internet.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all those things.  But they lead to insanity.

Without further ado, here is the video-

And here is my outfit-

Summer Concert Series- Miranda Lambert


Summer Concert Series- Miranda Lambert by stylefromthesticks featuring asos jewelry

Diamante jewelry
$4.21 – colettehayman.com.au

Asos jewelry

Park It On The Porch

I really love my porch.  It gives my house some character and it also gives my family shade on a hot day.  But mostly, it’s a place to talk with friends, watch the kids ride bikes and play and its a great place to relax.

I love decorating it.  And every year it looks a little different.  This year I had the opportunity to own these metal chairs.  When I got them, the paint was peeling and much of the rust was showing.  Now, I’m no professional.  These chairs could have been sandblasted and repainted to perfection.  But I’m not about perfection.  Life’s too short.  And my wallet is too slim.

I got out the power washer and started peeling away the many layers of paint.  And then I also had to steel wool them.  Then they had to totally dry.  Lastly, I sprayed them the color I wanted.  Many, many coats.  They are still rough on the seat.  And if the rain comes in just right, the water pools in there and could potentially rust them again.

But they are vintage and remind me of sitting on my own grandma’s metal furniture.  And therefore I love them.

Metal Chairs

Metal Chairs

Here they are, ready for someone to park it on the porch!

Painted Green Thumb

I do not possess a green thumb.  A painted green thumb, maybe.  Anything that requires tender loving care will surely commit suicide on my watch.

In my home, houseplants are a joke.  I used to have one hearty houseplant named Oscar that was brought with me from across state lines.  And then one day my mother thought he needed a trimming and he officially bit the dust.

With kids around, life is more about making sure they are fed and watered than any plants.  And some days that is hard enough.  Plus I worry that my babies may eat something poisonous.  Perhaps we’ll have houseplants again when I’m in my 70s.

Meanwhile, the same concept goes for my potted plants outside.  Last summer everything died.  Of course, even my hostas that were planted in the rich Iowa soil died.  Everything was bone dry.

But this year I was bound and determined to have something living and beautiful on my front porch.  So off I went to my local greenhouse, Holland Hill Blooms, to showcase to the owner my knowledge of killing green living things.

I brought out my gigantic planters to the greenhouse.  The owner will pot the planters for you!  It’s the ultimate in laziness.  We went around together and tried to choose plants that would not only survive hot and windy conditions but also…me.  We also talked about things like color schemes and my likes and dislikes and chose the plants we wanted to put in the planters.

Then comes step two.  I have this small rock bed that runs along side our front walk.  I’m not sure why there were never any plants growing in it but I thought it would be the perfect place for a flower bed.  Not only is this area exposed to the hot dry wind, but it also encounters countless soccer balls and occasional trampling from little feet.  Whatever I was going to plant there needed to be HARDY.

All of these things taken into account, plus the size of the rock bed, my flowers were chosen.  What’d we pick?  We picked daisies.

I was kind of worried about how long the stems were.  Would they hold up under such extreme conditions?  Here’s the answer-

Flower Bed

Flower Bed

They have really done well!  I’m surprised but pleased.  I should probably be dead-heading all of this stuff, but who has time for that?

And here are my potted plants-


Potted Plants

Potted Plants

I have two of these beauties.  And they are doing remarkably well, inspite of me.  What can I say?  This month we have been gone A LOT.

So next spring you want to plant some flowers, and you’re like me and have to paint on your green thumb, if you get a chance, visit Holland Hill Blooms!



Personal Rant

I can’t even describe the technical difficulties I have overcome lately to post on this blog.  I don’t think you’ll believe me!

Not only was I having trouble with uploading photos and editing them on this blog, but I’m trying to renew my driver’s license online.  Um, completely not helpful or working.  I downloaded the app.  It went crazy.  I went online.  It wouldn’t recognize my new address.  Beyond ridiculous.

And then my family went on a quick trip to Des Moines this week so we stayed in a hotel. And the internet kept going down on me!  I think they have some sort of timer on it.

I CAN’T EVEN EXPLAIN MY FRUSTRATION.  It was almost comical.

But I powered through it.  And instead of posting in the morning, things had to wait.  And I might actually just visit the DMV instead of screwing around anymore with this online nonsense. Technology some days!!!!

I will get my post out to you later!  When I have overcome my loss of patience!


Hutch Turned Bookcase

I have a problem.  You too may suffer from the same disease I suffer from, decorating clutter.

I love collectible things.  But there comes a time when I look in a magazine and say, “where’s all the clutter?”  True, there isn’t papers and toys and someone’s shoes left in the photo like there would be at home.  But the difference in clutter I’m talking about is the “stuff.”  There’s Grandma’s dishes and that Willow Tree figurine your mom gave you on your anniversary and flowers and all of your treasured “finds.”  And suddenly you realize that it has become Grandma’s house.  A lifetime of stuff jammed in so that you can’t appreciate even one of the treasured items.

Such is the disease I suffer from and am constantly taking my medication for- uncluttering.

My hutch sits in the living room mainly because at the current time there is no other place it’ll fit.  So I turned it into a bookcase and it houses all my clutter.

Here’s a picture of what it looked like the last time you saw it-

Hutch Turned Bookcase

Hutch Turned Bookcase

It was all dressed up for the winter.

This baby gets changed a LOT.  But I’m purposely trying my best to eliminate clutter and give each item some space to breath and to be appreciated.  But still have a seamless and cooherant look.

Here is what it looks like now-

Bookcase Close Up

Bookcase Close Up



Books and Basket.

Books and Basket.

It’s refreshing isn’t it?  The only bad part, this is only one set of shelves that have had a dose of medication.  And just when I think I’m done, the process starts all over again with the next season!

Do you too suffer from the clutter disease?

End of June?


End of June

End of June

“Month” by arztsamui via freedigitalphotos.net

Hi there!  Remember me?  I’m back!

Did you know that June is almost over?  Whaaaaa????

We have done some seriously fun things lately.  Last week, my family and I went to the Field of Dreams for the 25th anniversary of the movie.  It was my father’s day gift to my hubby, even though he’s not my father.  🙂  Our family loves that movie and we watch it annually every spring.  And my kids were excited to be at the place where the movie was filmed.  The most exciting part of our day was when my boys got to play catch with Kevin Costner.  That was soooo cool.

Last week I was lucky enough to get to spend some time at a friend’s cabin.  I brought a some members of my family that could escape for a few days, since it was during the middle of the week.  So no Mr.  But we had a good time.  We rented a boat and hit the beach and took in the local food flavors.  Thank you friend!

This weekend I attended a church convention and met a few awesome ladies who are excited about my church’s women’s group.  It’s nice to know there are other young women who care about doing the Lord’s work in their communities and through out the world.

The next few weeks are looking pretty hairy too.  My church has a new pastor coming and we have a week of farewell receptions, moving his family in and also installation services.  Not to mention a little thing called VBS in the middle of it all.  And the 4th of July. Did I mention we have a float in the parade?

Oh and I forgot, my husband was supposed to go to France for a week-long work trip in the midst of it all but that ended up getting cancelled.  A word to the wise, don’t let you passport get anywhere near its expiration date if you’re planning on traveling.

And that’s how my June has gone.  Getting out of school the first week of June sure sets summer into hyperdrive.  I can’t complain because we’ve had so much fun but I wish it would slow down.  I want more time to capture the moments at t-ball games and soak in the days of swimming lessons at the pool.

I know you are busy too.  It’s pretty remarkable to write down all you have done and have coming up.  It makes me feel better when I can no longer walk through my laundry room and wonder how it ended up that way!

This week, I’ll be showing you small projects around the house.  I wish I could say I have more done than I have, but there’s always July…


Swim Season- Maternity

Swim Season- Maternity

I hate to almost say this, but these are the best of the worst maternity swimsuits.  In my search for maternity suits, I came up highly disappointed with the results.  I can understand.  Most ladies either try to get by through the few months of swim season in their regular suit, or find one secondhand.  It’s not like a maternity swimsuit gets worn out from overuse.

But in this day and age, of all things fashionable, and star studded designer maternity wear, I would think there would be more options.  This is what I’ve found.  Seriously thinking about starting my own line…

Suit number one, Asos really has the best grouping of maternity swimsuits, second only to Target.  Surprise!  At least they are both affordable lines.  I like this one because of its fun colors.  What seems to be lacking out in maternity swimland is detailing.  Sure, no one wants to focus on their big belly, but does that mean we have to slip into a world of drab?  I also like the stripes.  I mean, if you’re ever going to wear gigantic horizontal stripes, might as well be when your belly is big for a reason?!

I love this second suit because it’s my favorite color.  I also appreciate its cute little skirting on the bottom.  Is this the best time to be flaunting your behind?  If it is, good for you!

This third suit is my favorite and one that I purchased.  It’s from Target and I got a size larger than normal so I could wear it more like a swim dress than a tankini.  I’m like a moth to the flame with this color…

I also really like this fourth one, from Target as well.  It has such cute details on the cups and I like the bold black-on-white floral print.

And lastly from Asos again, the print on this suit draws your eye away from the belly and up to the tie on the top.  I think this is a really adorable color combination.

One other thing to mention, and this goes for both maternity and regular swimwear, it is going fast!  So if you want a suit like the ones pictured, get out and purchase!  Don’t wait!

I hope you enjoy the swim season as much as I will!



Swim Season- Maternity by stylefromthesticks featuring a halter one piece swimsuit

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