Ramsign Giveaway

Welcome to my very first blog giveaway!  

I am so excited to be offering a house number sign from RAMSIGN a small Danish company that manufactures classic enamel signs.

These signs are truly beautiful.  In fact, I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves:

Now, I could spend a bunch of time telling you about the process.  I could tell you how the stencils are cut by hand.  Or I could tell you that two to four stencils are used in the production of each sign.  I could even tell you about the ceramic furnace where the signs are burned at 820 degrees Celsius.  

But I'm not going to do any of that.

Nope.  What I'm actually going to do is direct you to their website:


Seriously.  Go poke around in there.  The signs are beautiful.

Are you back?  Good.  Now that you've done that I'm sure you want to know how to win a sign of your own.  Here are the details:  

The winner can choose any one to five digit house number sign.  (That's up to a $99 value!)  (Sorry, name signs & address plaques not included.)

Click on the "ENTER TO WIN" tab in the Rafflecopter Giveaway box below.   (It might take a moment for the Rafflecopter box to load.)  Then follow the very simple prompts. Even if you already "like" my page on FB or follow me via GFC, you still need to indicate that within Rafflecopter as that is how the winner will be picked.  Thanks!

Friday, May 4th at 12:01 (EST)

Anywhere! Ramsign offers Worldwide FREE Shipping.

One lucky winner will be selected using rafflecopter.com and announced on Friday, May 4th.  The winner will also be contacted via email (so don't forget to have yours listed).


Snapguide: A Tutorial Tool

My brother just alerted me to this free iphone app.

I haven't played around with it yet but I feel like it has a lot of potential for bloggers who do tutorials.

It's called Snapguide.

Find it here: Snapguide.com

And if you use it, leave me a comment with a link to your tutorial.  I'd love to see it.

(P.S.  This is not a sponsored post.  I just thought I'd share the knowledge.)


I Suck...

...at gardening.

I really suck at gardening.

Well, I shouldn't say gardening, that's not broad enough.

What I actually suck at is anything plant-related.

I am a killer of plants.

Send me your beta fish, your dachshund, your four-year-old daughter.  No problem.  I can totally take care of those guys.  Ask me to watch your philodendron?  Yeah, you're going to regret that.

Except there seems to be one type of plant that is immune to my plant-killing super-powers: 

The mighty succulent.

I discovered this quite by accident.  You see, whenever my in-laws come to visit, we play this little game:  They buy pretty plants to put in the planter by my front door.  They take care of the plants during their stay.  They leave.  The plants die from my gross neglect.  They quietly replace them during their next visit.  

But on their last visit?  Well, something miraculous happened.  

They bought a succulent.  

And it lived.  

This was a revelation.  Positively inspiring.  So much so that when I recently saw this footed bowl in the Wisteria Catalog, I immediately envisioned it filled with succulents.  (Hmm...  now that I've pulled the link, I see that they have it pictured with succulents inside.  So much for "my" vision...)

Anyway, the bowl arrived last week and I was able to get to the garden store yesterday.  

First I picked out these: 

At the recommendation of the saleswoman I also picked up a bag of this:

Then I took my bowl (isn't she pretty?)...

...poured in a little soil...

...and started arranging the plants.

(Beyonce watched with interest through the pool fence.)

And here's the end result.  

(Much like my first daughter, my first plant is overly-photographed.  Plant #2 can attend therapy with daughter #2 after they look through the family photo albums in twenty years.) 

So, there you have it.  I'm hoping this will be my first successful attempt at plant ownership.

Second if you count my in-law's purchase.  

Well, third if you count this guy...

That's right.  While everyone else on earth has gotten rid of their Poinsettias (this being April and all), I can't seem to kill this one for the life of me.

Go figure.

(3/20/13 Update:  Come see my most recent succulent creation here.)


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The 2012 Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Hello!  If you're linking up from the 2012 Ultimate Blog Party I'd like to welcome you to `A Casarella.

I'm kind of new here in the blogosphere, in fact I've been blogging for exactly three months today.

I call myself a mommy-blogger (because, well, I'm a mom who blogs) but ironically I don't write much about my kids.  If you'd like to learn what I do blog about allow me to direct you over here, the post in which I tell you how it all began (ninety looong days ago ;).  Or I perhaps you might stop over here, where you can learn more about my blog goals.

If you want to know more about me as a person, why not pop over here or here for a little history lesson. 

(And if you're still with me after that?  Well then I consider you a lifer ;)

Before I sign off to look through everyone else's blogs I thought you might be interested in reading some of my more popular posts, like this one.

That little project went viral on Pinterest.  And that made me a little big for my britches.  (For about two days.  I'm recovered now.)

This one was also popular.  And it's easy.  People seem to like easy.

Oh, and this one is tasty.  People also seem to like tasty.

And finally, this just happened today.  I'm still kind of giddy about it so I just had to share!

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to getting to know a whole bunch of new (to me) bloggers!




This makes all of those hours spent on Pinterest seem somehow worthwhile ;)

(Probably makes sense to link to my boards.  You can find them here.)


Laundry Room Art

As some of you may remember, my recent trip to the thrift store was full of fabulous and interesting finds.  You might also remember that I brought very few of them home.  In fact, the only item that did come home was neither fabulous nor interesting: a bag of vintage wooden pants hangers.  

As promised, I will now show you what I did with them. 

But before I do that, I need to show you my laundry room:
Well one side of my laundry room.  (The machines are on the opposite wall.)  As you can see, it's not terribly exciting.  In fact, some might even call it a little bit depressing.  (For starters, I have to do the laundry in there...)  And while a major laundry room overhaul is definitely on my list of things to do, I won't be getting to it anytime soon.  

But that doesn't mean I can't pretty it up a little in the interim, right?

Here's how I used the thrift store hangers to do just that.  

First I gathered my materials, starting with the hangers:

And some cardstock:
(I chose a package of assorted cardstock in neutral colors.  I'm sure I'll be able to use the rest of it for other projects.)

And some Command Hooks:
(You can read more about my love of Command products here.) 
Once I had those, I spent a little time trolling the internet looking for cute laundry room art to print out on my card stock.  I happened across this site which had two printables that I loved.  I really wanted a third piece but couldn't find one that I liked.  Then I had an idea: I did a search on "clothespins" and clicked on images.  That brought me to this site.

Once I had selected my images, I printed them out on the card stock and inserted them in the hangers:

I hung them here, using the Command Hooks:

As you can see, the new pictures inspired me to gussy things up a teensy bit.

And for those of you keen-eyed readers who want to know more about these...

...I am going to direct you here or here or here.  Because, frankly, while mine are fine for holding bits and pieces in the laundry room, they didn't actually turn out that great.

But the pictures did :)

(Dontcha think?)


From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

Oh the lure of the thrift shops...

Last week I happened to be in the vicinity of one of my favorite thrifts.  Though I didn't have much time I just had to stop in for a look around.  Despite my rush I decided to take pictures of the items that caught my eye.  Here they are, from the ridiculous to the sublime:  

Falling squarely in the ridiculous camp was this dachshund dressed as Elvis. You know what's even more ridiculous?  The fact that I regret not buying him for $3.00.  As a "dachshund aunt" and former dachshund owner myself I should have just ponied up the three bucks.  Oh well...     

Also ridiculous?  This life-sized model of a human skull.  Okay, I'll admit, it was actually kind of cool and a cursory look around ebay seemed to indicate that I could sell it for a profit, but do I really want to be a skull peddler?  (Notice that I'm not actually answering that question...)

Probably the most ridiculous thing I saw?  Yeah.  Silly, silly.  

Now moving on to the sublime (otherwise known as things I considered buying):

As I mentioned back in this post, I began my thrifting "career" looking for little girls' clothing.  One of my favorite brands to find was Lilly Pulitzer.  Her shift dresses are adorable and always sold well for me on ebay.  Since I'm not selling much on ebay anymore, I left her there (sniff).  That took a lot of willpower.   

This was also hard to leave behind: four canvas panels which, when put together, made up a map of the United States.  Originally sold by Pottery Barn, they were in excellent condition.  They didn't fit with the decor in either of my daughters' rooms, though.  If they had I probably would have picked them up.  

I know I've discussed my love of Pyrex in previous posts.  This Snowflake Blue Casserole was beautiful, but a little pricier than I might have liked, so I left her behind.

Also left behind?  This bad boy.  And if you hear a faint thumping noise it's the sound of me kicking myself for not buying it.  The truth is that I need to be careful when thrifting.  Once upon a time I thrifted with reckless abandon.  The result was bins full of things that seemed like a great idea while I was shopping, but turned out not to be.  That has made me extra cautious while thrifting, especially when the item in question is expensive or unfamiliar to me.  I tried using my ebay app. to research these while I was in the store.  They seem to sell well but I didn't know enough about this particular model to risk spending $24 so I ultimately left it (and its case) behind.  It sure was cool, though.

At this point you might be asking yourself, "What did she buy??"
And here is your answer:

For three dollars I bought ten vintage wooden pants hangers. 

I've seen many great Pinterest projects that use these and I plan to do one of my own soon.  
Stay tuned for that in a future post.    

UPDATE: Click here for my hanger project.


Linking here:


Be our guest! Be our guest!

...Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cherie
And we'll provide the rest...

Did you read that in your best Disney voice?


Because this week's been all about the hospitality.

And Disney.  

(As in Disneyland.)

You see, this week is spring break for my kiddos.  

And while one kiddo is off on an adventure with her aunt, the other one needed a little somethin' to keep her occupied.

And that's where living in Southern California comes in handy.  Hop in the old minivan and you can be at Disney in under two hours.  Seriously.  Handy.  

And though we're back at home now, today I'll be accepting a little more hospitality.  

This time it will be from The Frugal Girls where I'm doing a guest post.  It's my first time guest posting and I'm really excited to be sharing a recipe that I love:  

Mediterranean Chicken. 

So, not to be inhospitable or anything...

But, why are you still here?!  

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