Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordy Wednesday - Watching



Love, love this movie.
Laughed, cried, made me want to run home and lay a big one on Sweet Man.
Emma and Ryan are my favorite parts, but really the whole thing is great.


This show has been on British TV forever. Seriously. The series began in 1997 and is still running.
And they are almost all on Netflix instant que.
I love how mellow this show is. I love the quirky little British towns and the affable Inspector Tom and his wife who doesn't know she is a bad cook, and his grown daughter who has a new job in almost each episode. This is what I put on while I am surfing Pinterest or folding laundry. The pace is steady, soothing almost. 


This is a Hulu Plus original show and I really like it.  The central character is a  Russian Chess champion who has agoraphobia and won't leave the 5 Star Hotel he is living in, but he soon runs out of money so he starts solving mysteries/murders for the guest & staff. Wylie loves this one too, so it has become a fun treat for us to snuggle up and watch it together.

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In other news...

We have a potential buyer coming to look at the house today. 
We cleaned and sorted and fluffed the house, and left lots of happy vibes this morning...
Regardless of what happens today, tomorrow we have some big decisions to make. 

Our  sweet 13 year old  dog Chloe is not doing well and we are going to the vet this afternoon.  I am dreading it. Pretty much cried myself to sleep last night. 

I will post more pictures of the house re-do soon. I got a new (to me) big girl camera off Craigslist last night so now I need to learn how to use it.
Had a fun meeting with another creative gal yesterday nd I think there maybe some crafty retreats/workshops in the near future. So many ideas swirling around,  so may possibilities...

Have I mentioned lately how grateful I am for you? That you read my blog? That you come to visit? That you leave comments and say prayers for me and my sweet family?
Well I am. More than you could ever know.
xoxoxo


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lent on Tuesdays- Listening, Singing


Over the next few weeks I am going to dedicate Tuesday to the things I am observing during the Lenten season. Sounds, taste, words, textures, sights.



We come in pieces
We come in fragments
We come discolored
To the foot of the cross
Our Maker sees us
All that we have been
Bonds us together
The Image of God

My soundtrack for this Lenten series is the small four song CD by Christa Wells and  Nicole Witt.
The words of each song touch a chord in my heart, seem to echo different elements this Lenten season in my life. Where I am, where I think he is leading; the confessions and the blessings.
You can purchase it here or listen to several selections for free here or on Spotify 

Monday, February 27, 2012

taking a bite out of the breakfast blues


today at Beautifully Rooted

come on over and read all about it

make-do and make lovely monday- bathroom


Trying to sell this house has been a journey for Sweet Man and I.
A journey that is not over yet, a journey that often feels like it is just getting started.
A few weeks ago I decided that I could no longer just sit around and do nothing.
I needed some projects to keep me occupied.
So we decided to re-paint some of the brighter, wilder hued rooms,  choosing to replace them with calmer. softer, more neutral (for us) colors.
Over the next few days I will take you on mini tours of these three rooms.
Today we will start with the bathroom.



In the bathroom we took the walls from a bright ocean blue to a pale celery green.
The color was a mixture of a quart of green I bought at Habitat for Humanity and some of the blue I had leftover from the kitchen  re-paint.



I also repainted the cabinet and mirror which were previously black.
I need to replace the faucet but I haven't found one that I like for the price yet.
Probably should just bite the bullet and buy a simple silver one.


The walls looked a little too bare with nothing on them so I added one small nail to hang this great boot painting by my pal Jeanetta.


I added a thrift store shower curtain (Martha Stewart for Kmart from back in the day)



Some linen lampshades for the sconces.
This is my favorite look in the whole room.
I adore the tall vintage looking light bulb with the white shade against the white mirror.


Vintage strawberry printed hand towel, a favorite garage sale find.



And one lovely vintage bath towel


I am pretty happy with the bathroom in general. Like most everything we have done it looks great but it doesn't really feel like hour house anymore.  The walls are so empty and I have started packing up little bits here and there, so as Sweet Man says "there is starting to be an echo" in the house.




Thursday, February 23, 2012

antsy pantsy


Well I have many things to say. Lots of thoughts rambling around in my head.
But I keep getting distracted thinking about how I would like a new camera.
But that is not a high priority. And I am not complaining. I am just, well I think antsy is the word...Yes. I am antsy.

The past 10 days were exhausting and beastly but productive.
I am taking the next few days off to regroup, hopefully take some good pics in decent light and come back Monday refreshed and inspired.
                 And then maybe I can show you what all I have been up to lately...

Till then,
all my love
J




Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday's Smiles-Shrove Tuesday


Today in some parts of the world it is Fat Tuesday,  the day before Lent & Ash Wednesday. The day when all the serious partying culminates before all the fasting & repentance begins.
In other parts of the world (often European non-Catholic parts) today is called Shrove Tuesday or the less romantic titled Pancake Day.   The idea is to use up all those decadent ingredients -eggs, butter, sugar , that were restricted during serious Lenten fast.



If you know me at all you have probably guessed that when it comes to serious partying I will choose the Pancake tradition of the  Beads-4-Boobs tradition every time. It's not even a question.



Shrove is derived from the the term "to shrive" which means to confess.
Therefore Shrovetide is the marked time proceeding  the confessions of Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. It is also a great excuse for making pancakes for supper. And maybe eating them with Fried Chicken. If you were so inclined...which I am.

My Favorite {Easy} Pancakes

1 cup Multi-Grain Mix (I use this one)
1 cup Bisquick like mix
1 1/4  2% Milk
2 Eggs
2 tbsp Sunflower Oil

Mix well and cook up over a hot, well greased, pan until edges are crispy.
Serve with melted butter and hot syrup.


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Will you be making Pancakes for dinner tonight? What about Lent? Will you or your family be observing this year?




Monday, February 20, 2012

make do {and make lovely} mondays-thrift store lamp


What is it with mustardy-yellow these days? Have we all fallen under the Taste Makers control?
I think so. I have no illusion that I just suddenly love mustard. As if I came up with this on my own.  No, it is the new black for me, and I have been seduced into loving it by Pinterest, Anthropolgie, Country Living and a thousand other influences..
I have and always love robins egg blue, white, pink, celery, cherry red.
But other colors seem to come and go as my accent colors, my "pop." 
Right now, it's mustard. Or Farm Equipment Yellow as my spray paint calls it.
In the past it was black. Then bright aqua. Now it's mustard.



When Sweet Man and I went on our little impromptu getaway a few weeks ago I picked up this lamp at the Goodwill in Springdale. We needed a new lamp because the aqua one that sat here before has wacky wiring and needs surgery. Honestly with everything going on around here these days it was just easier to pay $8 for this one and be done with it. Also, when when Black comes back or Brown is in the color-about-town I can just whip out another can of pain and presto! New lamp!
For now, I am happily under the spell of Mustard and I love the bright yellow color against all the pale blues and soft whites I have going on right now. It cheers everything up a bit don't you think?  





PS- What color have you fallen for recently?


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday's Confessions-The Knotty Life

Welcome to Thursday's Confessions. A weekly feature where I confess, before you my sisters and brothers, the silly, the ridiculous and even at times the shameful. Why? Because confession is good for the soul. Even in Blogland. 


Confession: Sometimes I worry about not fitting in. About you not liking me. About you making the wrong assumptions about what I think or believe or feel.  That if you really knew me you may not like me as much. Or that you may like me more. And then I worry about what I should or shouldn't say out-loud, in print, around here.  I worry that I should be bolder, brasher, calmer, happier, more transparent, less transparent. And I worry about worrying about all this.
I get all knotted up thinking about these things.



A while back I got the very best email in the world from Heather at Life Made Lovely.
She emailed and asked me to join her and a few other ladies in a new adventure called Beautifully Rooted. My first reaction was YES! OH MY YES!  I was excited and flattered to be ask.  It was a little like being asked to the cool kid party. I was delighted.

For quite a while I have longed to be on the front end of an online community, to be a contributor, to find a way to share my words and ideas with a broader community outside of this here wee blog. So when Heather asked I jumped at the chance.


But then I started to fret. I started to ponder. The knots started popping out: 
 What I gotten myself into? Who were the other contributors going to be? What kind of gal's were they? What if they don't believe what I believe?  What if they are more conservative than me? What if they venture off in totally directions than I ever would? Sure there is the common thread of faith. The common thread of  Christianity.  But that sometimes is the only thread. The only thin bit holding us together, plunging us into the same category.  The truth is that there are many expressions of our faith, many -often polarizing- theologies, practices, habits, beliefs, and choices within the family that calls itself Christian. There are many fractions and knotty places, many parts that don't always look like  or feel as if they will fit.  Thinking about all this  I couldn't help but wonder about  the gals who I had agreed to take this online and public journey with.  I continued my fretting: What if I don't like them? What if they don't like me? What will my readers think of this step? Will people stop reading my blog because I am a part of this group? Or will people like me more?  Will they think I am different than I am? 


Eventually I had to stop. I had to stop the questions. I had to stop the knots. I had to take a deep breathe and remember that we are all uniquely original, even in our expressions of faith. There are as many ways to find connection to God, to each other and to the world around us as there are stars in the sky.  I believe that if we open ourselves up, if  we take those first steps, if we reach out our hand and open the clenched fist to show what is it is we have been holding onto for fear of rejection, then so often that is when we find the deepest connections. After all, what makes us different is often what brings someone else comfort and relief. The sharing of our stories and our journeys is what can create a lifeline for someone else who thought they were all alone in theirs. Practicing acceptance, love and generosity of spirit does not just apply to those who agree with me, or who are less fortunate than me, or need my help or my advocacy. Practicing acceptance and love and generosity of spirit also means leaning in and listening to those stories I think have nothing to do with me, nothing to teach me, nothing to minister.  Oh the arrogance of my uppity heart.
Practicing love and generosity also means being willing to open myself up to being misunderstood or unfollowed. It means being willing to risk rejection by 100 for the benefit of the 1 who really needed to know they are not alone. 


So I decided that I better join the party, despite all the strangers and different-than-me folks I might meet along the way. I decided to come to the table of faith and community with my dancing shoes on.
I decided to show up with my thoughts, my questions, my ideas, my practices, my unique perspective and slightly odd fashion sense.  And I decided to listen. To read each word written. To soak them in. To try in earnest to take my ego and my opinion and set them aside, and to learn all I could about these gals I have now hitched my wagon to.  To look for the individual beauty in each branch, bud, wisp of moss, &; cluster of lichen. After all, as Martin Luther said: God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.
And I would add  in each other.
(As if I could add to Martin Luther!)

So today is the big day. My first post at Beautifully Rooted. My first spin on the dance floor.
I would be so delighted if you would come join the fun- After all the more branches the more blooms!









Photobucket

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

make do & make lovely [tuesday edition] - how the valentines cookie crumbled



Today is Valentines Day. How did that happen?
I sorda forgot. I remembered two weeks ago that it was coming, and then I forgot.
Which meant that  I forgot to make my kids valentines gifts & cards.
I forgot to make my Sweet Man anything lovely.
I forgot to bake a batch of sugar cookies for my friends, my co-workers, the girls we carpool with...
This whole month I only put up one decoration in the whole house ( but aren't they cute? They are my Daddy's valentines from when he was a little boy-isn't that great??)
I meant to get the box down from the attic with all our other decorations, but somehow we never did.
I meant to make handmade valentines projects that I found on Pinterest ( I even wrote a whole article about for At Home!) but I never did. 

Instead my head has been stuck in house buying/selling land.
Instead of crafting and baking my heart out, I spent the whole weekend painting the kitchen and kitchen cabinets. (We are taking our house off the market briefly to get some interior painting done and then we will "re-launch" be prepared for before & afters soon!) 
Instead of thinking sweet thoughts of love about my Sweet Man,  I have been thinking things like "this better be worth it" as I squeeze into tight spaces behind the appliances to paint trim that will never  again see the light of day. 
Instead of making adorable & punny cards for my kids parties I very gratefully accepted an opened bag of conversation heart candy and Angry Birds tear -n-fold cards from a good friend who had extra to spare and sent those with my kids unabashedly this morning.

For someone who is writing a book on creating traditions through cooking and crafting I am a lousy example this year. But this is real life people. Sometimes this is how the cookie crumbles. Even heart shaped ones. 

At first I was feeling lowly about all this. About my loser-mom status in the V-Day department. About not being able to do all I had hoped to do. But then something grabbed ahold of me. Common Sense and Grateful Heart gave me a quick swift kick in the pants.Was I really going to be defeated by Pinterest and Martha and my own ideal-expectations for the day?  I wondered Or could I  make-do and make-lovely instead? I decided then and there  that despite my lack of originality creativity or   I was not going to completely fold, there was still time to salvage the day.  So I came up with a plan.  Tonight I will cook a frozen lasagna because it is Wylie's favorite and there is no time to make one from scratch in a kitchen still half-torn apart. The boys will get to drink Sweet Tea for dinner - a rare treat - and there will be slice and bake cookies in honor of Miles' sweet tooth. I will throw together a fresh salad for my sweet man who tirelessly painted the hallway last night while I was off having dinner with friends and we will all picnic on a blanket in the living room, under the banner of my daddy's cards and watch Castle on the DVR. 

Homemade or store bought,  I am pretty sure there are worse ways to celebrate this day, than surrounded by my 3 favorite boys, in our warn, dry and safe home, eating hot yummy food.

I hope whatever the day brings you, you are able to find a way to make-do and make-lovely too, even in the small, simple and  perhaps even store-bought.

Happy Valentines Day friends! 
Much love to you all.



Friday, February 10, 2012

Fly Away Fridays- Chocolat

(click on images for locations)


For this week's fly away getaway I propose we fly straight into France and nestle ourselves into a Chocolat inspired existence. What do you say?  Shall we go?



We could walk down old cobblestone streets and get lost a midst the maze of ancient buildings, all crumbly and dreamy.


We could dance with perfectly charming gypsies and drink a smidgen too much wine. 


We can shop for amazing vintage finds. After all if it is French that means it is that much cooler right? 


Then we could go for a picnic with our handsome gypsies, who would serenade us in non-cheesy ways.

Of course our picnic would be packed in only the cutest baskets, filled with only the cutest linens and thermos of soup, with crust bread to go along. 



When not hanging out with our gypsies we would find this shop and plant ourselves  there all day. I would get to know the locals and learn funny french sayings and you would make pals with all the dogs and spend hours sketching all the funny shoes the old grand dames wear.


And we would eat chocolate. Lots and lots of amazing chocolate.
We would eat it, drink it, bathe in it if they would let us...

And on our last night we would be throw a great party, a huge feast, to thank everyone for their hospitality. We would cook all the dishes we had been taught in the kitchen of the old french chef, blinded by old age, who was glad for our hands and eyes to help him bring his masterpieces back to life.


We would also, in our charming American way create the french flag out of cheese and grapes, paying tribute to the magical time we have had.

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If I was living Chocolat...





Thursday, February 09, 2012

Thursday's Confessions - Strategic Plan

Welcome to Thursday's Confessions. A weekly feature where I confess, before you my sisters and brothers, the silly, the ridiculous and even at times the shameful. Why? Because confession is good for the soul. Even in Blogland. 



(poster found here)

Confession: I am not good at sitting around twiddling my thumbs. Not really.
I mean I can for a while. I know how to nap. Believe me. I know how to lay around and putter on Pinterest and read great books and watch whole first seasons of TV shows on Netflix in one sitting.
But that isn't what I am talking about. 
What I am talking about is not having a project. Not having something between vegging out and work.
See, this do-nothing limbo waiting game we are stuck in  is about to drive me MAD.
I believe that everything will work out. I do.
And I do not think that I can force anything to happen.
But in order to not go nutso I need to be occupied. 
So I have a strategic plan.
I'm gonna do something.
Brilliant huh?

(an all time fav pic- Edie's old kitchen)

Wanna know what that something is?
Painting. I am going to paint.
The kitchen, the bottom cabinets, the dining room, the hallway...



(all paint colors can be found here)

I have no illusions that if I paint the house will sell.
But I do think that if I paint I will feel better.
Things will feel fresh and new and clean.
And it is Doing Something.

The truth is, I was going to paint regardless. Moving or staying I have been ready for a change.
Ready for new colors and new ideas and new challenges.

(picture found here)
My house, lovely as it is, has been the same colors for 8 years and it is time to move on. I am lucky to have it all cataloged and frozen for all time by Cottage Style & At Home in Arkansas and this blog.  So whenever I miss the red dining room or the yellow kitchen all I have to do is flip open a magazine or boot up the computer, and voila! There it will be, a lovely rainbow of color that told the story of my life for almost 9 years. 

I think I am finally ready for a new chapter and it starts with light blue/green paints...


For more Thursday's Confessions click here

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

word wednesday-it's a SWEET{haven} Party


Making new friends has been one of the most amazing gifts that blogging has given me.  Truly.
The encouragement, commonality, inspiration and warmth that I have found out in Blogland has been more than I could have wished for.

I have also loved getting to be a part of the journeys of these new friends. Traveling the roads of marriage, parenthood, homemaking and calling (just to name a few!) together.


Courtney Walsh is one such amazing, creative, intelligent, and encouraging friend.
And I have been honored to be in on her her journey of publishing. It has been so great to have a pal going through (though a little further ahead) some of the same emotions and questions that my publishing journey has had.

I am so excited to celebrate Courtney's latest work of creative exuberance and talent (and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!)

(click image to order)


This is Courtney's book and it combines so many of her favorite things...friendship, the beach, scrap-booking.
As she says "The story of Sweethaven centers around a faded scrapbook...one that's full of secrets and stories of years gone by..."

To celebrate her wonderful new accomplishment Courtney is  celebrating with a scrapbooking themed giveaway.

You would not believe ALL the goodies she is giving away to celebrate this major accomplishment! 

(Can you tell that I am so proud of my girl I could just bust??!!)

To join in the launch party and see for yourself all that she is giving away you will have to go and visit her blog yourself.

And remember to wish her the best of luck!



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