“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.”
- Francis Bacon

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Follow me into my pretty, pink potty on this Pink Saturday morning!

Several people were surprised last Pink Saturday to find out that I had a pink television in my kitchen. Well, if you liked that, I wonder what you're gonna think about the pink toilet seat and pink clock in my downstairs powder room. The clock was made nearly 40 years ago by an elderly friend of mine. When she found out that I loved pink, she insisted that I accept it as a gift. I have to tell you, it is one of my most precious items, not because it's pink, but because of who gave it to me.

This pink quilt is hand-pieced with the tiniest of stitches and then machine quilted. It is hanging on my dining room wall next to the chair I generally sit in when I am reading or doing hand-work. I'm not sure how old it is...all I know is that I love it to bits. One day when I was browsing eBay this gem popped up on my screen with not one bid. I was able to get it for under ten dollars. Every now and then you can find something for a steal, literally. That doesn't happen often for me, but when it does I feel as though little fairies flew over my head and blessed me.

Not entirely pink but mostly pink and something that I just love. I have this jar filled with little Tootsie Pops. The filled candy dish/whatever dish sits on my kitchen counter for the grandkids, and the grown kids, who stop by the house. These pops are the tiny/midget ones so I don't spoil appetites for the dinner mommy has prepared.

Of course, the mommies enjoy these, too, along with the daddies. Little people always leave my home with one in hand and one in a jacket pocket for later.

I have no idea why I didn't share this on Valentine's Day Pink Saturday but it just slipped my mind. The little heart hangs on a hallway door knob and was made by braiding fabric scraps. I love to hang things on my door knobs...don't ask me why...just do! I think it adds a special touch to a space when you least expect it.

I went thrifting this afternoon at my local Goodwill Store and found some of the sweetest goodies for Easter and of course, most of them are pink. I'll be sharing those with all of you next week and also something special that I made a few years' back that I wouldn't part with for a million bucks...well, maybe a million, but not a hundred!

Be sure to stop by Beverly's at How Sweet the Sound to visit all the great blogs this Pink Saturday. You just never know from week to week what the ladies have decided to share. Such fun!
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Friday, February 27, 2009

If your walls could talk, what do you think they would say?

What would your walls say about you if they could talk? If someone walked into your home when you weren't there and walked from room to room, what do you think your walls would say to them?

This one is on the wall to my family room. A little reminder to the parents that Mimi keeps all the secrets told to her when the grandbabies are here for a sleep-over!

The other day I was cleaning and realized that my walls would be able to speak for me if a stranger came into my home and took the time to read my walls. How about you? Do your walls talk about you and share how you feel about life, family, your home or faith?

Think about it. I just bet that you'd be surprised at what you discover.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

How about a FREE room make-over courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens?

Better Homes and Gardens just opened their Save My Room contest. Wouldn't it be fun if you won or someone from a blog that you visit won the make-over? It's totally free to enter and with the way our economy is spiraling out of control, anything free is a good thing, as Martha would say.

photo: www.bhg.com

photo: www.bhg.com
Simply enter a photo of a household room needing some decorating help and you have a chance to win a room makeover from the master decorator Stephen Saint-Onge. The makeover includes painting, furniture and accessories, and the winner’s room will be featured in the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine and on the website. The rules of the competition are fairly straight forward. Want to see your competition? Here they are in all of their glory.

The cottage-style rooms Saint-Onge has designed are absolutely lovely! Take a peek!

photo: www.bhg.com
I think I'm going to enter. How about you? After all, there's nothing to lose and everything to gain and your could share your new room with all of us in blogger-land.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Help! The world is spinning out of control, what should I do? Eat a Chocolate Mouse!

I read more blogs than any one person should in any given day and what I find so often are recipes that literally make my mouth water. Sometimes I get busy right away gathering the ingredients from my pantry to bake or make what I found "in the blogs" because I just can't wait to taste the yummy goodness someone shared in their blog. A friend shared this recipe with me and I thought it was worthy of sharing in my blog. You can choose to use only a few of the ingredients, or all of them. I guarantee you, if you leave anything out you will miss the full flavor and aroma waiting for you in this journey of ours...LIFE! (Enjoy making the chocolate mice with someone you love.)

Help! The world is spinning out of control, what do I do?
A recipe for a healthy life...(and a little something extra)
  • Take a 10-30 minute walk every day and while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant. You'll be surprised how many people smile back!
  • Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life. Lock the door, take the phone off the hook, turn off your cell.
  • When you wake up in the morning say to yourself: My purpose is to______today. I am thankful for______.
  • Eat more foods that grow on trees and on vines and in the ground. Eat less food that is made "in" a plant and not on it.
  • Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli , almonds & walnuts.
  • Try to make at least three people smile every day beginning with yourself.
  • Don't waste your precious energy on gossip or the energy vampires: issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive, present moment.
  • Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out credit card.
  • Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  • Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  • Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does.
  • You are not so important that you have to win every argument, agree to disagree.
  • Make peace with your past to have a peaceful present.
  • Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea where their journey has taken them or where they will be going.
  • No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  • Frame every "so-called" disaster with these words: 'In a few years, will this really matter?
  • Forgive everyone for everything, beginning with yourself and everyone you love.
  • What other people think of you is none of your business. What you think of them is only yours.
  • However good or bad a situation happens to be, it will change with time.
  • Your job won't take care of you when you are sick, your friends and family will, so stay in touch!
  • Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  • Each night before you go to bed say: I am thankful for____. Today I accomplished _____.
  • Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed. LET GO, LET GOD.
  • When you are feeling down, think about your many blessings. You'll see the hand of God everywhere in your life.
It's Ash Wednesday today. A good time for all of us to get back to the basics in life and in thought. Spend more time with everyone you love, and sometimes don't love, because it's the little things that mean a lot. Talk to GOD in everything you do. He's interested, really. As our Holy Father He wants to be included in our lives just as you are interested in the lives of your friends and family.

Our world may seem to be spinning out of control but remember...it rests in the palm of His hand.

I'm ending this blog entry of mine with a recipe for something that will fit in the palm of your hand, but not for long or it will melt, besides they taste just too good...trust me! These are quick, easy and oodles of fun to make with kids. Remember, it's the little things that mean a lot...

Little, chocolate mice
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (Oreos work great)
What you will need to bring the little guys to life
  • 1/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (to roll your mice in for their fur)
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar (for white mice)
  • 24 silver dragees decorating candy (for the little eyes)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (for the ears)
  • 12 (2 inch) pieces long red vine licorice (for their tails)
  • cinnamon candies for their noses. I like to save some from Valentine's Day to make tiny, heart noses
  1. Melt the chocolate, and combine with vanilla yogurt. Stir in 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until firm. I like to keep most of the dough in the fridge and just a little on my work surface as I make these guys. Once the dough gets too warm it's a bit messy.
  2. Roll by level tablespoonfuls into balls. Mold to a slight point at one end (the nose).
  3. Roll dough in confectioners sugar (for white mice), and in chocolate cookie crumbs (for dark mice). On each mouse, place dragees in appropriate spot for eyes, almond slices for ears, and a licorice string for the tail.
  4. Refrigerate for at least two hours, until firm.
If you don't have the yogurt handy, you can use peanut butter for an especially yummy variation. Once you have the basic dough made, use your imagination!

For presentation, you can line a shoe box with foil for a little house. I've placed my mice in toasted coconut (shown). You can also sprinkle chocolate jimmies here and there to make it look like they've been in their box for a while.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Dieting? Scale doesn't move? Big, fat hips? Give yourself a boost and put on some old boots!

I've been sharing here on my blog for several weeks but one thing about me I haven't shared is that I have been on a weight-loss journey for the past few months. Now, before anyone gets all excited and thinks I'm going to share some magic pill, Snickers-diet way to drop 100 pounds in a month, maybe you'd better go read another blog because I am doing it the old-fashioned way. I am watching my calorie intake, logging in each and every morsel that goes into my mouth and moving my body more than I have in the past. When I stopped smoking my lungs got bigger and better but at the same time my hips got bigger...but not better. But that's not the point of this blog entry. What I want to share with you is the fact that a little known fact about weight loss took place right in my very own home...to me...regular, ol' me!

OK, I know things change when you lose weight. I know you take your measurements and compare the numbers at intervals to check your progress and to encourage yourself to stay on the right track. I know that. I read that. I know that if you are a good kid and stick to your plan the numbers on the scale will get smaller and smaller. I get it. But...my FEET?

For the past two years my warmest and most comfortable winter boots, the ones with the warm, fuzzy lining, made of soft, supple leather and nice, long laces have been off limits for me. For two winters I'd put them on, say a little "don't hurt ME" prayer, go outside, walk to the garage for my shovel and feel like a cripple in a matter of minutes. They'd pinch and poke and scrunch to the extent that I'd rather be barefoot in the snow than wearing those things. So, sadly, I'd limp back into the house using my snow shovel for a crutch, change into my less than stylish boots and go back outside to finish my shoveling. But I kept those boots, yes, I sure did. They cost me an arm and a leg a few years ago and at today's prices, they'd be at least two arms and a leg, so I kept them, determined that they were mine and no one else could have them.

So, I'd end up outside wearing my old clunker boots (the ones that my dog, Freyja, chewed on when she was a puppy) shoveling snow with cold, wet feet and feeling like I just lost my best friend. I'd be out there hoping that no one saw me, and if they did, they didn't offer me a buck or two thinking that I didn't have enough money to buy myself some new boots. Of course, that made for some pretty rapid shoveling so I could hurry back into the house to warm my feet and to hide from my neighbors, but it did nothing for my self-esteem.

The other day it was cold, and I mean cold (less than zero), outside, so I thought that I'd live with the pain just to keep my feet warm while I shoveled snow. I slipped those sweet cutie pies of mine on and...well, what-do-you-know...those boots, the very same boots that made me feel as though my feet were in a vise-grip FELT GOOD! I wore them out in the snow and I spent almost three hours walking around in them and they felt NORMAL! I even shoveled more and better than I had in years. I was a snow-shoveling marvel! My gosh, my feet lost weight...they really, honestly, for sure DID get thinner or smaller or more svelte (if you can call a foot svelte)! And the best part...my boots, the ones that were warm and cozy and soft, fit again!

I had read a while back that shoe size could change with weight loss (or gain) but I thought...um, aw, heck, not me. Well, yes, me! ME, ME, ME! My feet lost weight, size, stature, whatever you want to call it. My tootsies now fit into my favorite, stylish, warm-as-heck winter boots! This almost makes shoveling snow worth it...but lest I get carried away, I STILL DON'T THINK SHOVELING SNOW IS FUN, not really.

So, if you think you've been at a stand-still with your weight loss and the scale isn't moving and your hips are still the same size...try on some boots from the back of your closet! Heck, it's worth a try! And, at the very least, you'll burn some calories crawling around on your hands and knees checking out the closet floor!
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

I've become an obsessive "peeping blogger" and I just...can't...stop myself!

My gosh, this has to stop...it just has to stop. My brain is on sweet, cute, pastel, gorgeous, homemade, craft, precious OVERLOAD! I sit down in the morning after feeding my dogs and cats (thank goodness I still do that), boot up my laptop and get lost in the world of blogs! And, I mean LOST! I travel from blog to blog to blog looking at this pretty room and checking out that delicious recipe and noting how this blogger did that craft and making notes in my head about design, color and gardening. One blog runs into the next blog and I can't remember where I began or why! My mind runs in circles, twirling this way and that way...my tummy gets upset and I get nervous when I can't remember if I bookmarked what I just read that I thought would save the world, or at least make it cuter and sweeter and more adorable.

Have I become an obsessive compulsive blog peeper? Are there enough hours in the day for me to see it all, even if I don't sleep, or eat, or answer the phone? It's bad enough that I hold my "wee" until I can't stand it anymore and walk hunched over to my first floor powder room all cramped up. This just has to stop! I've got my notebook and computer and index cards loaded with ideas that will keep me busy for the next fifty years.
(Note to self: take vitamins so you can live for another fifty years).

Right after this post I am shutting down my laptop, putting it in its case and walking away. I have to learn to walk and to talk and to think and to cook all over again. My brain has turned into frilly, fluffy, soft, cuddly, sweet, darling pudding!

Wait, I think I just heard the ping that tells me another comment just posted to my latest blog entry. I'll read that and then shut down the laptop...really, honest, I will...I will...sigh. Right after I limp into the powder room...I...really...have...to...go!

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