Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Here's what made me happy today....

This arrived in the mail today!!!!

Yeyyy!!! You wouldn't expect anything less right? For someone as addicted to Distress Inks as me lol! I saw the release post by Tim Holtz on my birthday and was super excited, but when I tried to buy them everyone was out of stock already :( But then, I think it was a couple of days later and I was doing my usual morning thing of checking Facebook and Twitter on my phone when I woke up, and I saw a tweet by Simon Says Stamp that they had a few left in stock!! Well, I've never actually purchased anything through my phone before- but you bet I clicked that link right away and bought me a set :) Hubby was very confused when he turned over next to me and I told him I just bought that seasonal Distress Ink set I wanted lol! As a bonus, when they arrived today, SSS has included a pack of pink rhinestones- could a little package in the mail be any more exciting to open!! I can't wait to get my stamps inky with these new colours!

I also picked up a great find in the Dollar Store today...
I've wanted to try my hand at making those painters tray wall decor thingys for a long time now, and when I spotted these for just $1 each, I couldn't pass them up! I almost took all of them- but I figured I had better actually try making one first, as even at a $1 it's silly to spend that if I won't use them. I have all kinds of ideas running around my head for some great gift ideas for Christmas, and I'm going to do a few holiday decor ones too!

Another thing that made me happy today?

 I ordered The Help through the local library system a couple of weeks ago, and I think I was something like 35th on the waiting list! I figured maybe I'd get to read it by the end of the year lol, but it came in this week!! I plan on taking a nice hot bath this evening and try out my new bath soak from the Watkins stuff I shared yesterday, and starting the book. Have you read it yet, or seen the movie?

You might have noticed I change my profile blurb yesterday- after all I had to update my age at least :( lol! I mentioned a new addiction I have developed over the past year..... couponing!! Yes, I am one of those annoying coupon ladies hehe!! Well, I'm no where near as extreme as those shown on Extreme Couponing- which by the way, is very exaggerated for TV- and I refuse to buy junk just because it's cheap, or even free! I don't get huge savings, and don't even buy the Sunday paper to get the coupons anymore (as it's mostly full of junk food coupons), but the savings really do add up, plus I enjoy researching and working out the deals. It's nice to get my brain working now and again lol! So, I decided I will share my couponing adventures here from now on, as well as everything else I have been over sharing lately lol! I had a disappointing trip to Rite Aid today as they didn't have what I wanted in stock. I'll go back on Friday when I'm next in town, so no biggie :) I did a little shop in Walgreens though while picking up a prescription.

This is by no means what I would call a big haul- I didn't have a coupon for the trash bags, and only 2 for the carmex- but still they are things we use and needed, and they were a lot cheaper than usual.... The trash bags were on sale for 5.99 and with an in store coupon I got $1 off that, so $4.99. They are usually around $8-9 I think. The Carmex is usually $1.79 each, and there was a coupon in the ad for 3 for $3. I had 2 printable coupons for $0.30 off one, so got all three for $2.40, or $0.80 each.  So, with tax I spent just over $8 and saved $7. Again, these weren't awesome stock up prices, but we had 3 trash bags left and hubby will only use Carmex, and only the squeeze tube as he gets coldsores a lot in the winter. This is stuff I would have to buy anyway, and I saved almost 50%! Do you coupon?

So those are the things that made me happy today! I'm also excited for the new Modern Family and The Middle tonight... and Grey's Anatomy tomorrow!! We had been talking about cancelling our satellite all summer, but now with all my shows starting back up I think it might just have to stay!

Hope you had a happy day too!

Lynsey x

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A fortnight in review.....

Wow! It's been a busy couple of weeks since I last posted! Here's a quick roundup....

Sept 10th- Woken at 5am by LOUD thunder right above our house- eeek!!! I love storms, as long as hubby is home with me, and the power is out... and a new condition that will be explained in a long as they are accompanied by lots of rain. We spent a little while watching the lightning out of the window and then as it passed over us, we headed back to bed. Just as we were falling asleep we both sat up with a jolt- 'I smell smoke!!' We headed back to the window and see flames, not too far away at all, and start to panic. We get up and dressed and after a few minutes standing outside watching, Jase heads out to take a look. Luckily, he reports back that lightning stuck the ground at one of the ranches nearby, but that the firefighters got to it quickly and had it almost out already, phew!!!

However, as the morning went on, we heard more and more news of fires that had been started in the area by the lightning. We tuned into the radio scanners and listened to the fire crews strategize who would go where and which fires were higher priority. We hear from a friend, on the edge of the community, that their house is being threatened and they are evacuating. Then we get notified that the whole area has been put on precautionary evacuation. This just meant we had to be ready to leave if needed, so off we went around the house, room by room, determining what was irreplaceable and had to come with us if needed. We got important papers, photo albums, my wedding dress... and veil... and shoes lol and little things like my first teddy, aww, and packed them all up ready to go. By the end of the day though things were still looking pretty good. There was a fire down the side of the mountain still, but the wind was blowing in our favor.

Sept 11th- After a looonnnggg day of stress and not much sleep the day before, we slept in late on Sunday and lazed in bed watching some of the 9/11 anniversary shows on tv. We decided not to turn on the radio scanners that day, as all it did was stress us out even more. The skies looked clear, and there was no sign of fire on the horizon so we figured everything was fine. After all, we'd get a call from the emergency system if needed, and I was following updates on Facebook. By the afternoon though, it hard turned from a nice clear day, to this...
The wind had changed direction, and was now pushing the fire up the mountain.. towards Stallion Springs! There was ash landing all around us and the smoke was giving me a headache and affecting Jase's breathing. Then came the phone call!! We were notified that we were now under a recommended evacuation, and that they might not have time to notify us again if it became mandatory. Eeek! This being our first fire experience up in the mountains, by now we were pretty freaked out! We talked to our next door neighbours and they said they were packed up ready, but wouldn't leave until they saw fire cresting the hill..... our 'behind' neighbour has lived here 20+ years and told us he wouldn't be leaving either, and was instead watering down the dry grass around his property just in case. But, then we spoke to the family across the street, who it turns out has a friend who is a firefighter, and they had asked him if they should leave and had been told it was better to be safe than sorry... We watched them leave, and another family across the street with young kids, and decided we would go too. It was unthinkable that the fire would reach our home- look at how many houses it would destroy to get to us- but, fire is an unpredictable beast, and with all the ash falling around us we didn't want to take any chances. We also knew it was going to be a battle to round the cats up- crawling under beds and into closets to get them- and fight to put them in their crates to leave. Plus, who's going to get any sleep when one of you has to be on fire watch all night!! So... we packed up our cannot live withouts, followed all the evacuation tips (ladder against the house, hoses hooked up and visible, doors and windows locked, automatic garage door opener disabled and left unlocked) and headed down the mountain to stay with friends for the night. It was still a restless night, with the cats being unsettled, and being in an unfamiliar bed, and worrying about what was happening. But at least we knew we were safe, just in case.

Sept 12th- Over the course of 2 days the fire had grown over 20,000 acres!! But we were relieved to read that it was now starting to be contained. We called our neighbours who said everything was fine and the smoke was a lot better than the day before. The evacuation order was still in place, but there was talk of it being lifted for our part of the community. So, we packed up our poor cats again and headed back up the mountain. It was a little scary, driving into town and seeing the hundreds of fire trucks and firemen every where, but it felt so good to be back home. Late that afternoon, the recommended evacuation was reduced back down to precautionary and we heaved a sigh of relief and went out to eat heaps of Chinese food :)

Phew! What a weekend.How ironic that after my last post about how much we love the mountains, we experienced the not so fun side of living here! Seriously though, it was good preparation for if/when it happens again and we are maybe more in danger- and in my true 'dancing in the rain' attitude... we got to know our neighbours better :-) Luckily no homes were destroyed in the fire, just someone's back deck and a lot of beautiful land. I saw a photo on a friend's Facebook page of her neighbours house and the fire had literally burned her property up to about 4 feet away from her home!! Those firemen did an amazing job. There was over 1100 personnel battling our fire alone that week, and there were 40 others burning in the area- they came from as far as San Diego and Laguna Beach. I heard that many of them, after being relieved from our fire were reassigned to fly to Texas to help with their awful fires also. These men and women truly are heroes.

Last week was a little less eventful, and more cheery!

I celebrated my birthday on Sept 14th (I turned 29, shhhh!), and spent a nice relaxing day with hubby shopping (with coupons lol- got some amazing deals!!!) eating Indian food, and visiting with friends. I was very spoiled with lots of lovely cards and gifts arriving from family and friends. Hubby had even secretly gone into my craft room and made me a handmade card, awww!

He decorated the envelope too, see!

The rest of the week felt like one long birthday celebration :)

On Thursday I got another package in the mail... my first Watkins delivery! Look at all these natural products and yummy packaging goodness...

I can't wait to try them all out!! There's cleaning products, foot care, facial care, bath soak, shower stuff, first aid thingys, and spices, extracts and BBQ sauce!!! And that's not even a 10th of the products they offer!

 I can tell you already, the Warming Balm (in the white tube with red stripes) is amazing and hubby says it has really helped with his bad back at night. It really does get warm and soothes aches and pains, a little bit goes a long way... and it's all natural :) Love it!!
As I get to try more of the products I will be sure to share those that I love with you on here. It's also my 1st blogiversary coming up next month, so I plan to do a fun give away incorporating some of my fave stamp sets and Watkins products :)

Last, but not least- the highlight of the past craaazzzyyy two weeks was on Saturday (when I forgot my camera so we had to make do with my phone!).

We ate lots of crab, while sporting very fashionable bibs, lol!

And sat 20 rows from the front at a Rascall Flatts concert- yey!!!!!!

So, that's us all caught up on my past couple of weeks!

Lynsey x

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Neigbours...

(side note... I can never decide if I should use UK or US spelling in my posts lol- oh the trials and tribulations of being an English girl in America :) )

We've been living here in Stallion Springs, just outside of Tehachapi, for six months now. Wow, time has flown by! We've had so much fun experiencing our first summer living in our very own little home in the mountains, and we're both eagerly awaiting our first fall, and winter and all the new experiences those seasons will bring. Time for this girl to learn how to put on snow chains- eek!

Best of all over the past few months though, has been getting to know our new neighbo(u!)rs. Friendly waves as you pass on the street are common place here, and as we start to recognize these faces we feel more and more at home. Recently I've been getting involved in some new projects in town, and am starting to make more new friends- and so feel even more at home and part of the community. We are truly blessed to have found our little corner of the world, and to have been able to buy our home and start setting down roots here.

Our most treasured new neighbours however, are those of the four legged, and winged variety! I never really thought about it when we were in the process of moving up here, but of course when you live out in a small community in the mountains, you share your neighbourhood with lots of other little residents. We've had all kinds of visitors to our back yard, and frequently see them when we're out on early morning, or evening walks. We've got quite a collection of photos from this past six months of our encounters with creatures great and small just outside our door. I thought I would take a moment to share them with you today :)

Now, remember, I never claimed to be a photographer- and these pics are taken on a point and shoot, often rushing to get the pic before the subject ran away lol! I'm trying to say they are not great quality lol, and that I want a good camera for Christmas.... please Santa!! hehe!

Aww, I know some people see them as pests in a garden- but I just love my little rabbits and squirrels that hang out daily in our yard.

 Can you see our next visitor up in the oak tree?
How about now?! lol!

A few nights later, our cats were making all kinds of fuss by the patio door and Jase went to take a look and see what was going on...

Ok.. now that's a little close for comfort Mr Raccoon!!

We also discovered the other night that we have a skunk living under our shed!! I'm sure you'll understand we didn't try to get close enough to photograph him!!

My favorite neighbors of all though, without doubt, are these guys...

I love living in the mountains :-)

Lynsey x

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Feeling Vintage

I'm just going to pretend I didn't go missing for a month again, ok? ok... I promise I will fill you in on what I've been up to over the next few weeks- it's been a busy and exciting few weeks!

Hubby went to visit with a friend this afternoon, something about cars, guns and just generally getting oily and sweaty lol! I opted to stay indoors in the cool, with the ceiling fans running and take some time to catch up on bloggy land and do some creating.

I was feeling in a vintagey (is that a word? If not, I'm making it one!) mood since we spent Friday evening wandering around town exploring the local antique stores. We're starting a little collection of antique finds and like to rummage around to see if anything stands out to us. Jase loves anything old military, or old toy trucks etc. I love anything old style with a country or vintage home feel. How stereotypical are we? hehe! Anyway, we didn't find anything on that adventure, but got to meet some lovely new people in town which is always fun.

Another thing that's got me into a vintagey (if I use the word twice in one post, then it definitely counts as a word- whether spellcheck agrees or not!) mood, is my new venture... but more on that in a minute!

Firstly, and of course most importantly, here's my vintage feel card that I created this afternoon.

I used the current Hero Arts color challenge to inspire my color choices, and reached for my HA Make Your Own stamp, to ink it up for the first time... with Distress Ink of course! I stamped onto kraft paper and then distressed and inked the edges to add to that worn, old look. I then stamped HA Dots and Flowers onto a piece of burnt red cardstock and distressed and inked the edges of that piece also. I used my crop-o-dile to add the eyelet and threaded through a piece of ribbon that I had dyed green using more Distress Ink. These pieces were then adhered to a piece of sandy colored card, and matted onto some green cardstock. I inked the sentiment, from HA Thank You For Being My Friend set, lightly with Stazon so that it wasn't as crisp and bold as usual when stamped, again adding to the aged feel of the card.

So, my new venture.... let me ask, do you remember Watkins?

Maybe this picture will help jog your memory?....

If you grew up in America, then depending on how, erm... vintage.. you are, you probably remember your grandmother, or mother using J.R Watkins products in their baking. You might even remember the Watkins man coming door to door, delivering all kinds of lotions and potions and spices and extracts?

I don't have these memories unfortunately, having grown up in the UK. But, I was happy to stumble upon this company, and their products recently at a local country craft day in town. I was drawn in to the stall by the display of all kinds of bottles and tins and boxes, packaged in this old fashioned design which we've established already that I am increasingly a sucker for :) I was told the story of the Watkins man, and about the award winning Vanilla, and Black Pepper and Cinnamon. Then, when I took a closer look at the products, I became even more intrigued..... the array of personal care and cleaning products I saw before me amongst the spices, and mixes, and extracts, were all natural!!!

If you know a little about me, you will know that since being diagnosed with Endometriosis, I have been on a mission to eliminate as much processed food, and chemicals and preservatives as possible from our home. It turns out that Watkins' mission is to produce natural products that are good for us, and the environment.

Natural products? Vintage packaging?

I'm sold!

After talking to the lovely lady manning the stall (Hi Sandy!!), and finding out that I could save 25% on these all natural, beautifully packaged products just by getting the membership package and becoming an Independent Watkins Associate, I decided, hey, this sounded like something I might be interested in! So I signed up! (something you may have been well aware of well before getting to this point in the post seeing as I have a badge declaring this fact right at the top of my blog, hehe!)

Here's the thing.... I don't want to put you off, thinking I'm now going to be aggressively pushing these products down your throat. I don't intend to do that at all. However, I'm excited for this new venture, and to try some new products that will hopefully help me in my goal of using all natural products in my home and improving my health. When I try these new products, if I love them as much as I hope to hopefully you won't mind me sharing them with you and sharing links to these products so you can try them too if you wish. From time to time, I will share offers with you and incentives for hosting catalog parties etc. Best of all I hope to offer regular blog candy- and we all love blog candy, right?!!!

If you are interested in Watkins, and what they have to offer- either in terms of products, or the chance to save 25% and start a home business of your own with no minimum sales goals like other direct sales companies, then please take a look at my Independent Watkins Associate site Natural Living with Lynsey.
The new catalog will be released in October and I will be offering incentives for anyone who would be interested in hosting a catalog party with their family and friends, and earning free product- a great way to save on Christmas gifts this year :-). If you are interested, or have any questions, please leave a comment here, or email me at

I hope you will join me in my excitement in my new venture! Tell me, do you have memories of Watkins? Do you use Watkins already and have a favorite product you couldn't live without?

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend!

Love Lynsey x