October 31, 2012

Ellen for a Day

I lost count of how many kids asked if they could be on my show. I told them all yes. :)

Where's Jack?

Being Halloween and all, I thought it'd be fun to do a Where's Jack? game in the same vein as Where's Waldo? Can you spot Jack, the Jack-o-Lantern in the photo below? 

Hope you found him. Wishing you a night full of fun and a Happy Halloween!

October 29, 2012

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Flavor

These are just a few pictures of my niece's Hunger Games themed birthday party (She's the one in the glasses, and yes, we have lots of birthdays this time of year). My sister made an awesome "last feast"-- the stew (not pictured) was soooo yummy. She and my niece planned some inventive games: building the best costume out of strange materials, popping balloons to see if they were poisonous berries or not (only six survived that one), hand-to-hand combat with ladles, and archery contests with dollar-store bow and arrows.

I was laughing the entire time. And I have tons more pictures than this, but I'm showing restraint by only spotlighting five. I love cupcakes, so her cupcake-cake was perfect to me, complete with mockingjay rings for all the party-goers (I was tempted to steal one, but I didn't. ;)

I absolutely love creative parties like this. The weather cooperated and the day was perfect!

October 24, 2012

4 Simple Goals: {Part 1} Hula Hoop-ing

As you probably remember from this post, I joined Elsie's challenge to accomplish four simple goals before 2013. One of my goals was to hula-hoop as often as possible. Each of my kids has a hula-hoop like the ones below; large and wrapped in really cool tape. I decided to start using one of them to get myself moving.
photo by Circus Mafia
My plan was to hula during commercial breaks, in-between projects and any patch of minutes I wasn't involved in something. It started out well, I brought it into the house and used it. I loved it but it seemed that no matter where I did it or when, there were complications: people couldn't get around me to the kitchen or it was distracting from chores or homework to see Mom hula-hooping. So I leaned it against my bookcase and it became somewhat immobile. Then a strange thing happened. Seeing it there everyday was a reminder to get up, to do something, to move. I started doing little stretches or short walks through the house or a bit of housework in-between projects. What happened was that even though I wasn't hula-hooping, I was moving! The hula-hoop became an icon of movement; my exercise logo.

So hopefully it isn't against the rules (sorry Elsie), but I'm tweaking this goal; it'll now be to move as often as possible, and if that sometimes includes a hula-hoop, then I'll happily oblige.

October 22, 2012

I Went Pixie and It Wasn't for Pan

Soo, I cut my hair again. And before you think this has turned into a hair blog, let me explain. New hairstyles invigorate me. At the age of twelve, I received my first major haircut~ Farrah Fawcett style. Up until then, my hair hung in a long straight line sitting across my bum with bangs just as straight across my forehead. Seeing long strands of hair hit the floor sent a thrill of excitement mixed with terrification. I watched the woman snip bit by bit around my face, shaping it into layers. Then she dried it and flipped each piece back. It fell beautifully. I thought I'd stepped into a new, improved me.

Thus began my love affair with haircuts.

Before the age of eighteen, I went through perms, bi-levels (don't say I had a mullet), and super curly bobs of the Pretty-in-Pink variety. I was addicted. The only time I purposely refused to cut my hair was the year of my wedding; I wanted princess tresses, (gah!) which were promptly axed a month after getting hitched. Thankfully my husband loves short hair. He's endured a lot of it.

For me, cutting my hair signifies a new beginning. It's like morphing into a new person. Or simply adding a bit more to the core you. You're you, but you've added a nice slab of cheese on top. For me it's a new chance, the stage is set and I have another role. I step out with my sparkling new costume and life suddenly seems bright and possible and full of opportunities.

So the first cut wasn't quite short enough, the pixie is what I needed. It was simply time to morph. It'd been two years since I'd tried a new style, because I thought I should grow my hair out one more time before I get too old for it. And then one day I realized, "I'm not a long-hair girl. Why do I have this mop?" And boom! I chopped it (twice). And now I feel like me, all brand spanking new.

Do you have something that gives you that boost?

October 19, 2012

Remember to Play

A playful work in progress

Sometimes it's easy to forget to play. I bought bubbles for my daughter's party and it cracked me up how much they used them. We adults sometimes get so caught up in surviving life that we forget to enjoy it.  I'm wishing you a weekend full of playfulness!

{Also, the lovely Rachel Awes is graciously sharing a few of my paintings on her blog today! Hope you'll check it out!}

October 17, 2012

5 Etsy Gifts for Knitters

I love knitting. I say that loosely because I've only ever knitted a long scarf-like thing that was horribly uneven. But I loved doing it! I have, however, wonderful knitters in my life who I think would love these following gifts. Enjoy!

1. This lilac yarn knitting bowl is a perfect for keeping a ball of yarn stationary while knitting. The bowl is from Blue Room Pottery for $32.00.

photo by Tallow and Pearl

2. Need to mark your spot? Try doing it with one of these flower stitch markers from Tallow and Pearl, priced at only $8.50.

photo by Fiore Jewellery

3. This adorable silver knitting needles necklace would be the pride of any knitter. Offered by Fiore Jewellery for (approx) $45.52.

4. I love these fun ball of yarn earrings by Sierras Sunshine for $8.00.

5. This knitter's coffee mug is hilarious! It's by Wine Maker's Sister for $13.95.

Hope you've enjoyed this {very}mini series of 5 Etsy Gift ideas! If you missed last week's post, it featured 5 Etsy Gifts for a Seamstress.

October 15, 2012

The Fallacy of Being Right

My daughter's party was so fun! We had an adorable One Direction cake (compliments of big sister). Lots of friends, lots of food, lots of laughter and screaming (at the Haunted House). It was almost perfect. Almost...
Except for the fact that I stole some joy. I didn't intend to, I didn't set out to; but I did. Sometimes I get sidetracked with being right. And in those moments, I'm so wrong.
During the party I assumed my daughter was being cliquish. Later, I found out my assumption had been wrong. But in that moment, I thought I was right. I whispered to her about it, and a look of hurt crossed her face. I'd misjudged her. I'd assumed my perspective was right. But I had been wrong.
In moments like this, instead of caring about the person in front of me, I care more about looking knowledgeable, wise, or right.  I end up only showing my ignorance; caring more about appearances than loving.  I should have asked questions, assumed the best, and sought to understand her perspective. But I didn't.
Sometimes I get sidetracked with being right and miss the chance to love.

October 11, 2012

Let's Watch Movies in a Living Room Tent

Sometimes the best remedy to life is tucking yourself away from the world with the ones you love.

We have fun, busy plans this weekend. My sister is coming in town with her kids for my daughter's birthday party Saturday night. We're doing it up spooky this year with a haunted house mixed into the birthday agenda. And tonight we're going to a wedding ceremony for two precious friends. I can't wait to see it! Even though our weekend will be a little hectic, there will still be plenty of time to rest and relax. I'm looking forward to it!

Wishing you a happy, relaxing weekend; one that might include hiding in tents watching movies!

I Forgot Who I Am

I forgot who I am. I got busy trying to find my place on the internet.  I tried on faces. After awhile, I forgot who was underneath all those layers. Now I'm taking them off. I'm looking into my soul and remembering what is there.

Just myself; little ole me.

I'm not a fashionista, or a crafty genius, or a parenting guru. I'm not skinny or athletic. I don't keep a gorgeous house or have a thriving career. I'm not at the top of a great career. I'm not a great planner. I'm not young or wrinkle-free.

I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a visionary, a searcher, a thinker. I like to put honest thoughts into the world. I'm simple and silly; I tell stories with paper and canvas. I'm messy and messed-up. I want readers to feel safe to share honestly here; so I'll start by sharing honestly first.

I'm going back to my roots. My blog will be simpler, honest; hopefully artistic and helpful too.

I hope you don't mind the shift, but even if you do, it's one I need to make. Thank you for understanding.

October 10, 2012

5 Etsy Gift Ideas for a Seamstress

For the past few years, our family has tried to reduce our spending on "stuff" at Christmas time and instead focus on thoughtful gifts (like cleaning the garage, or painting a room) or handmade (something from the heart made by our own hands or picked from a quality handmade vendors). I love that Etsy is one of those places you can go to online to support handmade and to find gifts that completely fit the person you want to lavish gifts on. If there is a seamstress in your life, today's ideas are adorable. In fact, I'm so excited about them that it makes me want to sew! :)

photo by Extra Toppings

1.  This mending kit is so colorfully adorable! Something about mixed patterns and trim make me swoon! This kit by Extra Toppings is only $9.50.

2. Isn't this the cutest flower pin cushion?? I'd love to have that sitting out...if I was a seamstress (or maybe just because). It's from Evergreen Garden and is priced at $12.00.

3. Okay seriously, SO adorable! This necklace says it all, right? I mean every seamstress has to have an incredible pair of scissors. This sewing scissors necklace is by What a Novel Idea for $26.00.

photo by Chatnoir77

4. How fun is this sewing machine bookmark? Just right for all the sewing books and instructions a seamstress is bound to have. This is from Chatnoir77 priced at $14.00.

5. This is such a darling whimsical, yet classy brass sewing machine necklace! I love the colors together. It's by Cherry and Violet, priced at $25.00.

There'll be more gift ideas next Wednesday for the Knitter in your life! Last week's feature was 5 Etsy Gifts for Crafters.

Do you sew? Or are you like me, full of sewing envy?

October 8, 2012

{You} Lift Me Up

Friday was tough. It was one of those, stick-close-to-home-because-I-might-cry days. I used to hate those days because I felt so weak and out of control. But the older I get, the more I realize there's a need to embrace the grief and hold onto these moments. I find the quicker I let it flow through me, the faster it lifts.

My daughter came home with a book on Thursday night that my husband's raved about for years. She asked me to read one chapter to help her see what she was missing (she had to answer a few more questions on a worksheet). I love helping with these types of homework assignments--I relish a good book. The book happened to be Night by Elie Wiesel. Yes, I knew before reading it that it was about the Holocaust and that it would be dark. I read one chapter and helped her find the answers she needed. But then I was hooked. I started at the beginning and stayed up reading the entire book.

Obviously, I didn't sleep good; it took me forever to even fall asleep. Dark stories take a hold of me. I'm thankful that they do; it should grieve me. But they leave me with the never-ending question I don't like to be left with:


Why do dark, horrible things have to happen? Why do millions of people die in evil premeditated ways? Why do good friends have to die of breast cancer? Why do they have to be taken from a beautiful life?

Most days I have a weird, rebounding faith in good and in God. My hope seems to float through really terrible moments. I think that's why days like these seem extra dark. I don't want to stay here. I wanna jump off the horrendous ship as soon as possible. But sometimes the ship has to take it's journey and land on the other side before you can get off. And this time was one of those. Those dark clouds are still around, but they're not so near now.

Thank you for being so precious. I gave just a little blurb about feeling down on Friday, and you jumped in with sweet comments. Thanks for that. You always lift my spirits, and I'm forever grateful for you! *hugs*

October 5, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte {Up Close}

Feeling low today, so I'm reminding myself of something happy, a pumpkin spice latte! You may've seen this painting in my loving lately feature, but I wanted to show some close-ups today.

Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

October 3, 2012

5 Etsy Gifts for Crafters

With the holidays around the corner, I thought it'd be fun to share some Etsy gift ideas to encourage buying homemade. 5 Gifts will be a new feature for the next few Wednesdays where I'll focus on gifts for different types of people. Today's feature is Crafters! Here are 5 gifts for the crafter in your life:

1. Crafters half-apron created with vintage fabrics by The Salvage Yard.

2.  Adorable "Handmade" gift tags 25 for $10.00 by McMullin Fiber Co.

photo by Sam's Natural
4. Sam's Natural Crafter's Mend lotion, non-greasy lotion for crafting hands for $11.95.

photo by Cloth and INK
5. Craft Cozy Tool Roll, perfect for keeping all those tools that seem to get lost at the wrong moment for $24.00 at Cloth and INK.

Do you have any cool crafters gifts to add to the list?

October 2, 2012

Why did the Goose Cross the Road?

To get away from the crazy camera lady.

I was waiting for my daughter and happened to see a flock of geese just mulling about in the grass and road ahead of me. I couldn't pass up a chance to photograph them so I got out of my car and slowly crept near. They were on to me though, and didn't stay sitting pretty like I wanted them to. They hurried away across the street. After getting a few shots of them, I just sat and observed their little tribe. Nature is fascinating to me.

What would you pull over to snap a picture of?