Wednesday, February 29, 2012

For Spring (from Pinterest)

I saw this adorable little corsage on Pinterest last week and couldn't stop thinking about it until I had made my own. Such sweet little Primroses.

I saw the original picture here.

Such lovely weather today -- all the kids were in short sleeves and I had my windows open. The smell of fresh air is just the best! But, it seems the allergies have started. What kind of allergies could be out right now? I cant figure that one out.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pinterest in the Laundry Room

Pinterest is certainly my best friend right now. Perhaps because I am such a visually-oriented person. (Ever notice that my blog is usually more pictures than words :).

This idea, for a lost-sock line, is something I just saw on Pinterest and had to implement as soon as possible. I think it will help me to keep things under control! I normally keep a basket on top of the dryer to hold all single socks. But, I only get around to matching those up every few months. This will force me to match things every time I do the laundry!

The photo above shows that my laundry room is one of the few rooms in the house that never made it past the contractor beige. Wouldn't it be simple to paint? I bet it could look so bright and cheery in there! I should probably look on Pinterest for some ideas.

Part of my problem is that I have so many ideas and I don't have a priority list of what to do first in my home. I think I should make something and put it on paper somewhere (oh, and go over the list with Michael before I get attached to it). And then there is another side to: what things should I just be content with as they are now. Life is never very straight forward.

And here is a picture of the little munchkin, proudly wearing her brother's slippers. Today, as David read his reading lesson, Laura was happy to copycat each word as he read. I think he might have been a bit annoyed......

The sun is out, the mercury is up, and sometime this week I need to get my kids outside on a hike!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bubbly on Your Budget

I recently finished reading this book: Bubbly on Your Budget by Marjorie Hillis. Originally published in 1937, this book was a fun little read and offered an interesting look at money-saving advice for the average female living in New York City in the 1930's. I thought I would record some of my favorite quotes from the book here on the blog:

"The one thing you ought to be ashamed of is economizing grubbily. Nobody who matters cares a pouf what your income is these days, but people do care how you live and how you act about it. The scale isn't important, but the effect is."

"We are not putting forth the Pollyanna-like theory that you can have just as much fun with very little money as you can with a lot of it -- though everybody knows plenty of poor people who are happier than the rich ones, to back up even this unpalatable notion. We are claiming that, given the right point of view, you can have enough fun, and it doesn't have to be dowdy fun or dimmed by a forced making-the-best-of-it attitude, which spoils anything."

"It all sums up to the fact that economy should be as nearly invisible as possible....The thing you can't afford is letting economy stand out like an ugly patch on a well-ordered life, drawing everyone's eyes away from the attractive features."

"It is therefore our hard-boiled advice, if you come to a stretch when you have to get all the meals and get them as inexpensively as possible besides, to make this little chore your hobby and to do it with an air. Nothing can be duller than uninteresting food on a drab table."

"Have a budget, and follow it, but don't have too severe and sternly sensible a budget. If you do, it'll ride you. You ought to ride the budget."

If you have little or nothing in your pocket: "There are a number of things you can do, and one of them (we warned you that this was going to be a sermon) is to go to church. Church is an excellent place to think, though thinking is something that takes practice, and you my have to go to a good many services before you get into the swing of it. Clear and honest thinking is one form of worship (and not the lowest form either), and no one who does it sufficiently is permanently out of a job. But this doesn't mean going to church and waiting, however patiently, for the service to be over. Worship is an active and not a passive process, though the activity may consist in slipping into a back pew in an empty church and sitting there. But not in sitting there in a coma, waiting for a light to descend upon you. You've got to make a definite mental effort, and it may take some time to see the results, but they are usually worth waiting for."

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Embracing Winter: Find a Hobby

Winter is my favorite time to pursue many of my home-based hobbies. The pace of life usually slows down and one has more time at home.

Starting a new hobby is a great way to perk up the winter days and add excitement to life. I can already hear the words, "I don't have time for a hobby, let alone a new hobby!" That's what you think, but it may not be true.

If you have little extra free time, you need to take hobby thinking out of the box. Find a way to make something you have to do into something you want to do. If you have to cook everyday, turn it into a hobby. If you like coffee, make a goal to try 20 different kinds. If you have to lay on the couch everyday due to illness, become a window-watcher or a bird watcher. If you have a long commute to work, make a hobby out of studying the cars you pass, the architecture you go by, or how many different routes you can find.

If you do have time for more traditional hobbies, make the most of that! Check out this list of hobby ideas. I'm sure you've never even heard of some of them!

This week I had fun showing two friends how to felt sweaters and make flowers.

We had a most delightful afternoon together making beautiful things.

If you enjoy a hobby, share it with someone else!!! Think of all the children around who would love to have an adult outside their family take an interest in them and show them how to do something. I have very fond memories of a lady who invited me to her home each week to cook and bake. Another woman taught me how to make lace.

Hobbies help us to relish life, relax, and bring joy to other people. I hope you will find some time to pursue your own interests!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Latest Flowers

I sent out my latest flower order last week. Lots of beautiful things for spring and summer and the rest of the year too.

Roses are my new specialty. I am so drawn to them and love how they look pinned on an outfit.

A dozen red and white roses were sent and others in different colors as well.

I've been trying to put more flowers in my Etsy shop.

These flowers can be found at The Wooly Ewe in Texas, and I'm working on a new order for The Village Yarn Shop here in Zionsville.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Last of the Valentine Pictures

These will be the last of the valentine pictures. As I said before, valentine's day dominated the last few weeks around here.

I participated in my very first craft swap this valentine's day! It was so much fun. I signed up over at Natural Suburbia and then was paired with Sharon, a blogger who is in Canada. We exchanged little packages of homemade goodies. I received a knitted wine cozy with an adorable knitted heart ornament, Canadian pins and some bubble bath. I especially liked the little "Handmade for you" tag that was attached.

Emily hosted a tea party at her apartment for a group of us ladies. It was delightful. We ate delicious food, drank tea, had great conversation, and exchanged handmade valentines.

Pink tea is beautiful!

We spent a morning of school making homemade valentines and it was so much fun.

Everyone had a different design to try.

Laura just sat around and licked her lollipop.

David bravely stuck it out to make something like 22 or more valentines.

Rach had the hardest project -- chocolate kiss roses.

I had two friends over for tea one day. It was fun to set up a valentine theme.

And make pretty place settings:

Christina's hutch was all decked out when I stopped by for something.

And on Valentine's Day the neighbors congregated for snacks and valentines. I got to try these cute heart hotdogs from Pinterest.

And now everyone's thoughts have moved onto St. Patrick's Day -- at least everywhere I go that is what I see.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Embracing Winter: Add Yellow To Your Life

Yellow is the color of sunshine, of warmth, of happiness. What better way to perk up our winter days than to add a bit of yellow to our lives.

I once read in a book of a decorator who liked to add something yellow to every room she decorated. Looking around my home, I think I'll have to add a lot more yellow in order to have something in every room.

Here are some ideas for adding yellow to your life:
--make a stack of yellow-spined books
--set a bowl of lemons on the table
--buy daffodils
--find some yellow hand towels or dish towels
--buy a bar of yellow soap or yellow soft soap
--have your kids draw pictures or make art with yellow construction paper
--buy a yellow throw pillow
--put a yellow tablecloth on your table
--set out yellow candles

--where something yellow
--use a bright yellow mug, teapot, or teacup
--buy yellow fiestaware
--put a yellow wreath on your front door
--dye eggs yellow and use for a centerpiece
--use a yellow handbag
--wear a yellow belt
--make yellow cupcakes
--buy yellow fruit: banana, pineapple, lemon,
--have a yellow dinner: eggs, cauliflower, roasted potatoes, tropical fruit salad, summer squash

--surprise someone else with a bouquet of yellow flowers
--buy a yellow vase
--find a work of art that showcases yellow
--draw your own yellow picture
--make lemon tea with hot water, lemon and honey

If you keep your eyes open, you will start to notice more and more yellow and see if it doesn't make you happy!

"How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun." --Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


The celebration of Valentine's Day is different every year -- depending on opportunities, health, time, and life in general. This year circumstances aligned and there were many celebrations! Here are a few pictures:

I had so much fun collecting ideas on Pinterest. I picked out four different valentines for the kids to make. Rachel got to make candy roses:

Andrew made arrows:

David made these cute pencil valentines,

And James made lollipop butterflies.

Our celebrations included a family dinner after church on Sunday.

Mom always makes sure we have flowers on the table.

And valentines were laid at everyone's place:

There were chocolates gifted by friends:

And candies I found (do you see the peas and carrots candy?):

The sour cherries were the best:

The meal was delicious: roast beef, potatoes, green beans and salad. I had no dried cranberries left for the green beans but found a little bag of frozen red currants in my freezer, picked from our bush this past summer. They were perfect! I can't wait to recreate this dish again.

Sitting around the table is my favorite thing in life I think........

Gluten-free angel food cake with strawberries and cream.

And along matters of the hearts.....Laura had a great report from her cardiologist this morning! She did not even require an echo and can have another appointment in 6-9 months! YAY!

More pictures to come.......

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you all have a special day!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Embracing Winter: Celebrate Valentine's Day

Celebrating Valentine's Day is one of the best ways of beating the winter blues. Set perfectly between Christmas and the beginning of spring, it gives us something to look forward to, plan for, and be creative with.

Oh I know some might say it is an over-rated Hallmark holiday. But, if you can use it to bring a little joy into someone else's life or your own, then I say make the most of it!

Valentine's Day need not only be for romantic lovers. It is a day about LOVE. Love is at the heart of the Christian faith because it is the heart of God as demonstrated to us in Christ. Surely we should all be looking for more ways to show love: to our friends, neighbors, coworkers, family, spouse, children, strangers.

There are so many fun things to do for Valentine's Day. The trick is choosing which, of the many, you will use for your celebration. Pinterest is my new favorite way to get inspiration and I've collected a board just for Valentine's Day (you can find me on Pinterest by clicking the button over on the sidebar).

Some of our favorite ways to celebrate are: decorated sugar cookies, homemade cards, heart pancakes, a special breakfast on Valentine's morning, tiny gifts at each person's place, a tea party, sending cards in the mail (especially to people who might need an extra bit of joy in their day), a Valentine party, Valentine games, heart-shaped foods, and making a Valentine mailbox for creations to be deposited in prior to Valentine's Day.

If you are all alone on Valentine's Day, don't let yourself get pitiful and depressed. It's not the ideal situation, but you have to make the most of it. Joy is here for the taking, but sometimes one has to fight for it. Take matters into your own hands: buy a few flowers to brighten your home, make a list of 25 things you are thankful for, think about five people who have shown you amazing love over your lifetime, buy something red to eat, think of someone who might be very lonely and write them a letter. Consider even the tiny things in life as gifts from God especially for you.

Oh, and I do think chocolate is nice, whether it is hot chocolate, one square of dark chocolate, or a big slice of chocolate cake!

I don't think any of us says "I love you" as much as we should to those that are close to us. This is another opportunity to do so.

Make your kids feel treasured and give them memories that will help them to spread joy to others when they grow up. Write a tiny little valentine for each child. Hide a valentine under their pillow for when they wake up. Buy your daughters flowers. Have a family tea party.

If you are married, then you have been given a very special gift. Make your spouse feel loved and appreciated.

Reading valentine stories is another very fun thing to do. It is the older books at the library that I always find the most whimsical and full of delight. When we were young my mother had us write our own valentine stories, and I think we even acted some out!

Having a Valentine dinner party is one of my favorite things to do! It can't happen every year but it's a special treat when it does.

I hope you find a way to make Valentine's Day special this year!