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Sunday, January 24, 2010

“I’ve learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."”

Maya Angelou

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Because I Just Can't Help It!

I know she's mine, and I'm totally biased, but she's just SO darn cute!!!

For the Grandparents ;)

Our girl is 3 months old now! The time is already flying fast.

Enjoy Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, & Papa!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stir Crazy!!!


Here I am, having disappeared from the blogging world again, with a confession to make.

I suffer from S.A.D. every year- and the toughest stretch of it for me is right now, in the depths of the winter freeze.

I usually do pretty good through fall (love that season!) and even Christmas- it's just that last leg of winter that really gets me!

Thankfully I've found that, for me, light therapy helps a lot.

So, I try to get out for a daily walk (hard to do with such little babies and kids around everyday, and temps as cold as they've been here this winter), and do my best to either sit by a sunny window (UGH! haven't even seen the sun here in a WEEK!!!) or somewhere that I can have my little HappyLite light box shine on me (hey, I'm not at all above tricking my brain into behaving!).

But, I still have days like today (and the last couple of days leading up to today)- days where I'm pretty much a crazed basket case.

The serious starch and sweets cravings are attacking, all of the unfinished and un-begun home improvement projects are starting to loom up around me, and I just pretty much feel like an out-of-control emotional mess. I try hard to "self medicate" by throwing myself into a project or two, but this year my beautiful, wonderful, miracle-baby bundle of joy is here- which has helped, I think, ward off the worst of the symptoms so far, but also makes it nearly impossible sometimes to really get into a project. (But, I am NOT complaining about her! She is my- our- greatest blessing!) :) No, not complaining, just admitting that lately it's all just a bit difficult for me.

So, that's what's turned me quiet here in "Paradise". ;)

All of this, on top of having my font stuck somehow on italic today- it's almost more than a girl can handle! So, I finally decided today, as soon as Pete got home (that sweet hubby of mine! more on him later.), that I was going to have to distract myself with a project of some kind. I've been blog-browsing over the last couple of days, and so I'm going to share some of what I've been enjoying/dreaming of doing. Hope you find some it useful too- or enjoyable at the very least! :)

This piece of canvas wall art:

It's (ah-ha! no more italics!) called "Tree of Life" by Jill McDonald. I found it here, but, ouch! $144.00 is a bit beyond my budget! Not sure how I'm going to make that one happen yet, but the wheels are a-turnin'. We shall see...

I'm also really enjoying The Copy Cat Cottage blog! I'm so glad my friend Melissa shared a link to it on her blog. Stacy is such an inspiration! She's decorating her home beautifully on a budget- my kinda gal. ;) I already have plans to be a copy cat myself and make some of her chalkboard tags for the various toy and daycare storage baskets we have around here. Because of her I've decided to go ahead and dig out my old home improvement idea/inspiration binder- and have some Pottery Barn catalogs on their way here, that I'll be ripping ideas out of to try to duplicate (on the cheap) in our home.

And, last but not least, I've been enjoying watching some of DIY Wasted Spaces on It's when I find programs like these that I'm especially thankful that we don't have a t.v.- I'd become an extremely unproductive couch potato, just sitting there, watching these great home improvement shows and daydreaming. ;)

So, tonight I've busied myself by rearranging the playroom shelves (trying to see if I can get all of the toys in there with it still looking neat, not cluttered, giving us more open space in the living room), moved some baskets around to give the art storage area in the dining room a nicer look to it, thrown out a lot more of our piled up magazines, and decided that- just as soon as it's warm enough to open the house up a little for proper ventilation- I'm going to finish the painting projects I've been meaning to get to for so long now!
(I get a bit manic and frantic during these S.A.D. days at times!)

On the painting list:
-finish painting the kitchen drawers and cupboards white & apply new hardware
-paint the kitchen (this will mean figuring out how to patch the big lathe and plaster hole in the wall- hubby be ware!)
-painting the living and dining room one color to unify the two
-painting the bathroom a much lighter, airy-er color


-very possibly painting the outside of our front door and applying a new (read "prettier") door knob/latch.

Plus, hubby's supposed to start the remodel (one of these days) on Regan's room.

As for the aforementioned sweetness of the hubby, he came home, saw the state I was in, and not only bought and prepared supper for us, but also came back from the store with chocolate. Just for me.


Ahhhh. :)

Now, off to bed. Wish me luck getting up and continuing on with this all in the morning!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Simple Thoughts Sunday (only a day late!) ;)

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

-Teddy Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Small Change

So far, so good!

I'm doing well, so far, at getting rid of a few things each day. I have to say, it feels really good to actually look for things to either toss or stick in the garage sale box in the basement!

Today's five were:
Junk Mail, Small Drawstring Bag, Left-over Diapers (disposables! I'd never toss my cloth!), 2 Broken Toys, and 7 Magazines.

I realize that's actually 12+ items, not 5, but I was a bit behind from Sunday. ;)

It's kind of fun, getting rid of things- it's sort of like being able to take a deep breath.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Feels so good! :)

On another note (well, pretty related actually), this sounds pretty cool!

Our change for January? Sewing our own cloth diapers instead of buying disposables or buying pre-made cloth. This is good, because we aren't spending as much (per diaper), we're not contributing to adding grossness ;) to the landfills (and, by extension, water supply), and buying cloth diaper fabric online once a month uses less fuel to be delivered to us than when we were ordering a couple of diapers a week to add to our stash. I can make several diapers out of one yard of fabric, which is one delivery trip from the postal service rather than several a month.

How 'bout you? Wanna join in the fun? Go sign up at Hip Mountain Mama!

I'll let you all know how the diaper sewing goes (gulp!).

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Clutter Challenge!

So, my own personal New Year's Resolution is to live simply.

That means, I have GOT to get a handle on my CLUTTER!

I know that, for me, a cluttered environment equals a cluttered mind.
I feel frazzled and stressed.

Unfortunately, my "frugal" side (save it, we can use it again/later) conflicts with my need for a well organized environment. Add to the fact that in our truly "blank slate" house we have next to "nil" built-in/ready-made storage (you know, things many people take for granted, like an entire set of kitchen cabinets instead of just two, or a linen closet instead of... well... nothing- that kind of thing!), and it all adds up to a recipe for disaster! A cluttered, messy house.


Okay, my moment of self pity is over (for now- wink, wink!)- the question is, what am I going to do about it?

Well, one of my favorite magazines, Mothering, issued a clutter challenge for the new year that I'm hopping on the bandwagon with! The "Five a Day for Thirty Days" challenge is a great idea- get rid of five pieces of clutter a day for a month and, if a new item is brought into the home, five extra things have to go. Even I can accomplish five little pieces a day! I'm hoping to continue this for well past a month though- my goal is to keep it going until I truly have a place for everything, and everything in it's place.

Wish me luck! So far, several things have made their exit from our home, including daycare toys that were never played with, two cooking pots and a skillet, and lots of junk mail (hey, I figure junk mail can at least count as one item!).

Wanna join me in the challenge?

Here's to a year of much less STUFF!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Simple Thoughts Sunday

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,
to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean,

why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience ... ~Thoreau

Friday, January 8, 2010


Well, I'm a week late in sharing my New Year's Resolutions for 2010, but that's because I've been thinking long and hard about them. About what I want this year- about what I want out of life in general. I've discovered that I'm inspired by the blogs/lives/pictures of others- other women (mostly here on the web) who are working at home, being with their families, raising their children, making it by hand, baking it, making it from scratch. Reading their words and looking at their pictures makes me feel more....centered. Gives me a clearer vision of what I want our life to be.

And so, here goes:

In 2010 I Want:

-To begin to truly learn what it is to live simply.

That's it.
But, to me, it's a biggie. And, I think it entails smaller resolutions like the following:

-To pare down our belongings.
(Do I really need three great big cooking pots? Or 10 flower vases, when I rarely put out fresh flowers? Hmmmm.)

-To live by the "Less Is More" mentality.

-To create things by hand.

-To start recycling again.

-To find a way to work ourselves into a daily rhythm- one that involves a regular housework schedule.
(Ahem! That's something that's rather spotty around here!)

-To stay home more.

-To grow (and tend to!) a food garden.

-To (successfully) can or freeze our extra garden produce.

-To cook and bake more.

-To spend less.
(On everything. Food, clothes, entertainment- all of it.)

-To stay on our (very strict) budget.

-To remember that "it" won't be this way forever.
(I have many "it"s- feeling frazzled and overwhelmed from running a daycare and caring for a small baby of my own, keeping up with the house, the budget, the schedule, etc., etc.)

-To knit more.

-To sew more.

-To make sure it's not an option to NOT do something I LOVE everyday.
(It makes me a happier person and, by extension, a better wife & mommy.)

So, what about you?
What are you resolving to do in 2010?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

For Pete

Because we miss you....