What? Picnik is Closing!!

Every once in a while I get the comment, "your pictures look like they should be in a magazine."  I'm not sure if people are just saying it to be nice or what but either way that has got to be my most favorite comment ever!

But the truth is it has nothing to do with my picture taking skills.  I don't have a big fancy camera, I use a Canon Power Shot SX IS digital camera.  It's actually Picnik that make my pictures come to life.

For any of you who may not know what Picnik is, it is a website that lets you upload and edit your pictures for free.  Or for a small fee of 24.99/year you can upgrade to get even more features.
I have been using picnik ever since I started this blog in April of 2010. Every Single Picture on my blog has been edited using Picnik.
Here is an example of one of my first pictures posted on this blog:
Obviously the picture on the left is the before ( for some reason my pictures are always slanted. Straighting them out is always the first thing I do).  The Picture on the Right is from the Magic of Picnik
Ok So now is the sad part,  I may have to hold back some tears while I type this.
I woke up this morning to a e-mail from Picnik announcing that it will be closing on April 19, 2012 so that they can focus on even awesomer things...Whatever that means.

They are processing Full refunds to all of their customers, even to those on their very last day,  Which is Way Cool of them.
They are also making their Full website, including the premium upgrade, FREE to everyone from now until they close.
So if you have never tried it out - Do it now while you still can.

I just can't imagine my life with out Picnik.  Awe the memories of sitting on the computer, drinking a huge mug of coffee and listening to my Emily's playlist while editing  pictures for hours and hours.
I think that the only way I'll ever get over Picnik is if I can replace it with another awesome photo editing software.  I don't even know what is out there, Photoshop? what version?
What do you all use? 
Any Suggestions? I need one that is not too complicated. Thanks!

Good Bye Picnik!  It sure was fun while it lasted.
Love Always,

Decorating with Straw Hats { Part 2 }

If you follow this blog regularly than you should know exactly what this post is all about.  But if not, you can catch up in this post here which is all about decorating with straw hats. You'll also find lots of great inspirational pictures.

I LOVE straw hats because they remind me of my Grandma Nora who has recently passed away. I did a little contribute about her in this post here.

 Well I'm pleased to say that I did get my Grandmas straw hats.  I feel very blessed to have them and I will Cherish them forever.  They will always remind me of her and the kind of person she was,
 Hardworking, Healthy and Happy.

My favorite hat is the one to the far left with the red edge.  My brother had found it in my grandma's potato pit.  He says he thinks it's the one she wore most, and probably had hung it up down there for the last time.

As you can see, I have brought my collection of straw hats into my bedroom.
They are hanging from a piece of salvaged wood above my bed.

Although It's hard to see from the pictures, the bed sheets are a Navy and White stripe.  I recently saw them at Target (Cotton Jersey set in a bag) for $24.99. They had my name all over them, so I just had to have them. If you haven't noticed I have this thing for a Navy and White Stripe. And to prove it, I brought in a few pillow cases and a rug from around the house and took a picture.  Plus I'm sure you can find a lot more Navy and White stripes hanging in my closet.
 I love it! 

In closing, I thought I'd re-share this picture of my Grandma Nora wearing one of her Straw hats. 

{ I Love you and miss you so much}.

Thanks for Stopping by,

A Cute Way to Display Dish Towels

I found this picture on ...........  You Guest it, Pinterest!!  Where else do you find such fabulous pictures, Right?  I so love Pinterest.
Anyway, I thought this was such a cute way to display dish towels.

So I tried to sort of copy it.
Here is my version.  I wish I had more cute and vintage dish towels. Mine all get used and are pretty dingy and gross, but I did find a few good ones, including the cute bird ones I got for Christmas.

 I think I may find them to be pretty convenient sitting right  there.  In just a quick reach I can clean up what ever mess comes my way.  And maybe think twice before grabbing a paper towel..... I said maybe,  because I really hate laundry.

Thanks for stopping by,

Out with the Old - In with the New

 I realize I haven't blogged since before Christmas.  I've wanted to, but have just been so crazy busy lately that I haven't had a second to spare.  But I just can't hold out any longer. I was starting to get Blog Withdrawls! 
Not Good!
One of the reasons I've been so busy is because I have this habit of starting my Spring Cleaning early.  The Moment I come home from being away for Christmas, I start going to town.  I first find a spot for all of my new gifts and then I start organizing every nook and cranny of my home.
It goes with my theory:
{ for every New item you bring into your home, You need to get rid of something old } 
 So when putting away new clothes, it turns into cleaning out my closet and drawers. When putting away my boy's new toys, I first get rid of some that they don't play with anymore....  and be very discrete about it!
etc. etc. etc.
It's a lot of work but it feels so good to get rid of stuff.  I have boxes in the garage, I'm still deciding if I want to donate it all or hold on to it for a big spring yard sale.
I still have a lot of work to do,  but I've made a lot of progress. Plus, I've also been busy taking down all of my Christmas decorations,  which I also organize first. Every year I end up with new decorations, so I also get rid of some of the old ones before I put it all away.  I'm sure this may be hard for some people to do,  we tend to want to hold on to those Christmas memories.
I'm sure I'll be posting more about all of my organizing but first I thought I'd share some of my Christmas Presents.  I got a lot of great thoughtful gifts this year and thought I'd share a few favorites. 

 First I got these beautiful bird printed flour sack Towels.  I love them. They are really big,  I could and may even turn them into throw pillows.

And then Liam made me this calendar in kindergarten,  which I Love Love!  I already have it filled up with birthdays and holidays for this coming year.

 What girl doesn't love Jewelry and Gift Cards, Right!

 This was an Awesome Gift to get.  It was from my Sister as a White Elephant gift.
She put together this All Natural Cleaning basket,  which included homemade surface cleaner with a instruction card of how to make it.  She also put together a list of other home made natural cleaner recipes.  I'll have to remember this one for next year, could make great neighbor gifts.

Jake's grandpa is an artist and he painted us this beautiful blue morning glory painting.
We are getting quite the collection from him.  I'm thinking of grouping them all together and displaying them on my fireplace this spring.

I got tons of new Clothes.  Here is one of my favorites.  My Mother in Law buys me the cutest clothes,  All of my friends and sisters are always so jealous!

This gift from my mom is really sweet.  Of course is was packaged up all pretty ...well at least it was before I tried to wrap it all back up.

She had put together these jars full of spices. There's a nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla sugar (that she says took weeks to make).  They go into this cute wire carrier.

The picture is of my Great Grandparents,  it's actually a card that opens up with a little geneology and information on my Great Grandmother.
On the back of the card is a pocket that holds a Cherished family recipe.  The recipe calls for some of the spices I now have in bulk.

Thank you everyone for my lovely gifts!

And then as I'm taking down my Christmas Decorations,  and organizing the heck out of my home.  I decided to re arrange the living room.
so I moved the couch from in front of the fireplace, back to the other side of the room.
It was fun to have it there for a change,  but it definitely looks better now.

Do you think I have a Throw Pillow Problem? 
I think you can never have too many pillows.

Abby has claimed her new spot.

And Then I switched up my shelves.  Took out the Christmas and brought in a more springy look.

I made me a little Terrarium out of a big jar and a plant I had. 

ok, now back to organizing!
I want to thank everyone who has stopped by from All free holiday crafts who is featuring my Christmas Card Gift Boxes.
Happy New Year!