Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So, What Are You Thankful for?

I saw this posted on a friend's Facebook status the other day and decided given the time of the year it would be a great blog series. Join me if you like, reply with a comment and your blog link!

Can you do this? Every day until Thanksgiving, post one thing you are thankful for. "Today I am thankful for..." The longer you do it, the harder it gets! Now if you think you can do it then repost this message as your status to invite others to take the challenge, then post what Y...OU are thankful for today.

Today I am thankful for the country I live in (U.S.A.). It's Veteran's Day so I am thankful for those who have served and currently serve our country. I may not always agree with the military minds of our nation, but I am proud that I live in a place where I am free to disagree. A freedom our military helps protect.

Some other things that I am so thankful for in the U.S.:

- Our national parks. Seriously, how lucky are we? Thank you Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, Stephen Mather and countless others who had the vision to push to set-aside and protect lands and our scenic treasures. And thank you Ansel Adams for taking so many amazing photographs for generations to appreciate.

- Diversity. One of my favorite things about traveling in the U.S. is the amazing diversity among our people. I don't just mean in geography, but sitting and listening to the people around me. I love to see how many languages I can identify, how many accents, foods I can sample. It's amazing how we not only have distinct ethnic differences, but those have evolved and blended to wonderful, distinct regional flavors.

- Our Cities. I'm a country girl really. I mean, I grew up in a rural area and have chosen to raise my kids in a rural area. But I had the good fortune to have parents who liked to travel (and not expensively (lots of car trips & camping). But I've visited 18 of the 30 largest U.S. cities and each has a personality all its own. Makes me even more excited to go to New York and Washington, DC this week!

So, what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two & a Half Months!


I haven't blogged in two and a half months! What is wrong with me? I'd like to blame it on end of summer vacations and back to school but I think that really only accounts for two weeks. SIGH.....

Tomorrow I will be back with a new blog post, I promise!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I have not fallen off the face of the earth!

I'm on an extended car trip with my kids. If you want to read my travel blog here's the link.

But since it is Wednesday and I do have wi-fi I'm going to participate in YouKnowThatBlog's Silly Haiku Wednesday. This week theme is Friends.

A good friend listens
to the story they've heard ten times
then gives shit for repeating

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Silly Haiku Wednesday!

What? A week went by already? Here I am gearing up for a trip and lose all track of time.

Well, it's Silly Haiku Wednesday again! If you have no clue what I am talking about then visit YouKnowThatBlog. Here's today's entry, the them is Cupcakes:

Cupcakes, phew I say,
chocolate chip cookies kick
your ass sideways, dude!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Day Late (but NOT a Dollar Short)!

I've still been neglecting my blog a bit, as well as following the Silly Haiku Wednesday from YouKnowThatBlog. But here is my entry The theme is birthday woes/joys.

40 here you are
Ya know, I don't look half bad
you don't suck too much

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Day For Some Painting

Ahhhh..... I've finally been able to sit down and do a little painting today. I have the house to myself, been listening to music on Pandora and podcasts of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me", and just loving the day.

Here's the newest item I just listed in my shop.

If you have a moment, please visit
Hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Amazing Trust

“We're never so vulnerable than when we trust
someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust,
neither can we find love or joy”

- Walter Anderson

My husband tossing our seven year old son in the air, just as he's done since he was about six months old. My new favorite photo. The trust your child puts in you is something you should never take lightly or squander.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eco-Tuesday: Worked Up Into a Lather

I have to admit about a week ago I decided I'd start a weekly feature on environmental topics, products, recycled/upcycled items, whatever struck my fancy at that moment. The idea was really ways to broaden my own mind, as well as tips I could use in my own home to become "greener". I mean, I already practice all the basics -- recycle, avoid unnecessary driving, conserve water, shop with reusable bags, compost (vermicompost, actually), avoid products with extra know the drill.

While I was in the shower one day I started thinking about bar shampoo and how I should try it. After all, it avoids packaging from the get-go (one less plastic bottle to recycle), and can easily be purchased in an all-natural ingredient version. Then I began wondering what else I could change to reduce waste and the idea for this feature was born.

I started seeking out items, reading articles, and here's the resounding reality. I have fallen down the rabbit hole! I've been so deluged with information and options and ideas that I don't know where to begin. So....I'll begin at the beginning.....

With bar shampoo! I, of course, started with my favorite place, Etsy. If you search for bar shampoo you find lots of great options. Today I'm featuring one from Besem Natural Scents. This is their "Ultimate Travel Bar" that they describe as...

Made with neem oil, tamanu oil, jojoba oil, kaolin clay, and all sorts of other goodies that make it the perfect shampoo and body bar. Neem oil is know in India as "nature's pharmacy". It is soothing and healing to almost any skin condition, including: psoriasis, eczema, ring worm, and poison ivy. Tamanu oil has very similar antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, while still being extremely soothing and gentle. We have also added a good portion of white kaolin clay, so this makes an excellent shaving soap, as well. If you are feeling adventurous (or trying to only bring a carry on), this works well as a tooth soap, too. It is 100% natural with no added fragrance oils or dyes. These bars are also loaded with cocoa butter, which makes rich, moisturizing bubbles. We do not need to add any artificial foaming agents (ie. SLS). The natural glycerin is retained in each bar, and the combination of rich oils and moisturizing, protective butters, provides loads of fluffy lather.

10% of our profits are given to orphan relief. See our website for more information

Pretty cool huh? They have lots of lovely scents, including a rosemary & mint one I'm especially interested in. So, please check out their shop by clicking on the links above!

Have a product, idea, article you might like to see featured in Eco-Tuesday? Please visit this post and add your item to Mr. Linky!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Extreme Blog Neglect!!!

I admit it, I've been sucked into the world of Twitter. I said I wasn't going to do it, but I caved, and now I'm hooked. But in my defense I've been doing some marketing work for my husband's business, Green Mountain Soil, as well as some major cleaning/organizing at home. Sorry to have just disappeared!

I'm working on my "Eco Tuesday" blog post now! See you all soon!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Eco Tuesday

Have an eco-friendly product you'd like to share? I'm looking for items to feature. So please either leave a link to the page the item resides on (please, only one link) or leave me a comment below! Thanks!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Small Town Parade, Alburgh, Vermont

Please click on the collage to see a larger version.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Since my husband has no vacation time this summer and my good friend is divorced, she and I decided we are heading out on a Moms & Kids camping trip in early August. Our destination....the Great Lakes. Yup....all of them if we can! I've seen most when I was a kid, but other than work trips to Chicago, never seen a one since. Let me just start by saying that I'm very blessed with awesome car travelers in my sons. My husband and I have fostered this because when each of us were growing up with both did tons of car trips with our parents, including trips across the whole U.S.

So our crazy little gang with be me, my two boys (7 & 4) and my friend Melanie and her girls (7 & 5). Our kids get along great.

Since I am totally unfamiliar with this area of the U.S. I'd love any input you can provide. Any "must sees" along the way? We both believe in if we get some place the kids love, we'll just stay longer and adjust accordingly. We really hope to get to Madison, WI because I do have some friends there, and I've just heard it's a cool city so I want to check it out. I love Chicago so that must stay on my list and I've NEVER been to Toronto so that's staying too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Silly Haiku Wednesday

Ok, today is the FIRST EVER Silly Haiku Wednesday. This is totally up my alley! Here is my contribution for today.

Today comfy jams
Rain and gray go away NOW!
Butt, get off the couch!

Join the fun!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday!

Lost River Gorge in North Woodstock, New Hampshire. The kids and grown-ups both loved it!

Monday, June 29, 2009

And 40 More TV-Free Activities for Kids

This rounds out the list of 140 TV-Free Activities for Kids this summer. Please check out the other posts as well: Fifty TV Free Activities for Kids and Fifty MORE TV Free Activities for Kids

And don't miss 83 Things to Do on a Rainy Day!

1. Play mini-golf
2. Put a hammock up in the yard
3. Put the baby pool at the bottom of the slide
4. Recycle bottles and donate the money to a local charity
5. Rent a projector , hang a white sheet in the yard for a "drive-in" movie
6. Run (or walk) a race
7. Run through the sprinklers
8. Set up a lemonade stand
9. Sign up at library for Summer Reading Program
10. Sit under a shady tree
11. Sketch a picture of your house from the outside
12. Sleep on a bed of moss in the forest
13. Slip on the slip & slide
14. Spend time with your grandparents
15. Stargaze and track the moon phases
16. Start a band
17. Start a club with friends
18. Swim, swim, swim
19. Swing on swings
20. Swing on the rope swing
21. Take a big, cold drink right out of the nozzle of your hose
22. Take a ferry ride on Lake Champlain
23. Take a Gondola ride
24. Take a letterboxing hike
25. Take a walk and record the sounds
26. Take an outdoor shower
27. Take photos
28. Take swimming and/or diving lessons
29. Throw a cultural heritage block party
30. Throw rocks in the river
31. Use a compass or GPS to map your neighborhood
32. Visit a farm
33. Visit a local public flower garden
34. Visit a National Park
35. Visit a water park
36. Visit another country
37. Visit the Montshire Museum
38. Visit the ocean for a day or two
39. Wash mommy’s car/daddy’s truck
40. Watch a fireworks display

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I Asked for Quirky

And I got quirky! Having a little creative crisis, so I asked Etsy sellers to show me their stuff. Here are just a few of the lovely, quirky, items suggested to me. Don't worry, more to come!

First up....The Bra Bag from MissKnits. Ever have one of those mornings where you wonder where you left your bra? Well, now you know! That is, if you haven't lost your purse. I LOVE IT! You can check out MissKnits shop in the link above or her blog by visiting here

Next we have one representative from a myriad of great characters in RoseLullabyDolls shop. New friends with great names like Candice, Colin, Arthur, Persephone, and this wonderful fellow, Clive. I love the description of Clive....

Clive is only a head and a neck, he lost the rest of him a long while ago. He doesn't really like to talk about the circumstances but he's always happy to talk about anyone else's problems.He's happiest hanging around on the edge of a bookshelf, not because he likes to read but because he's very proud of his tie and doesn't like it getting creased.

Doesn't he seem like a great companion for any studio?

And last but not least is a bag I could not resist. One of my all time favorite commercials (as a kid) is the "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?". You know the one, where they ask Mr. Owl and he takes the pop and goes "ah One....ah Two....ah Three (crunch)" and then exclaims "THREE!". I still quote that all the time. That along with the "Thank you Easter Bunny!" from the Cadbury Cream Egg commercial. Glad to know I'm not the only one who remembers this stuff!

Anyway, this lovely little bag of Mr. Owl comes from ArelelDesigns. Click on the link to visit the shop or you can visit her blog at

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm BACK! And looking for Quirky!

More details to come about my whirlwind weekend away. I drove 11+ hours each way to PA for my great-aunt's 100th birthday party. With two boys in the car! They were wonderful. Then this week I'm helping with Bible camp, so I haven't had a moment to think or create.

So I'll rely on what you have created!

I'm looking for some quirky items to feature in a future blog post! Show me what you have! I can't promise everyone will be featured, but I'll get a few in that's for sure!

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Time for a Little Planning & Reflection

About three weeks ago I made this post Thinking Ahead to Summer. In it I outlined some of our family plans for the summer, but also some of my own short-term goals. Sadly, I'm not doing as well at focusing on these things as I'd like, but at least I'm making some progress. Here's an update....

1. Make something totally girly for myself - Hmmm.....well I have a lot of fabric I've purchased and ideas in my head.

2. Have a spa day - Uh, yeah. I've now had to reschedule one planned spa day three times over a three-week span due to general life craziness! Maybe in September when the kids are back in school! Today I think I'll paint my toenails though.....they need some attention.

3. Derive some enjoyment out of cooking again - I'm making an effort in this area. I think the trouble is I'm just not loving my kitchen much these days. I don't have enough storage space and my husband's project of moving the washer & dryer OUT so I could have a pantry has come to a screeching halt. But I have been baking a bit and made a few nice dinners. Not sure I can say I've "enjoyed" it though.......sigh....

4. Paint my toenails - This should be easy right? Last time I did it was Memorial weekend, red, white & blue. That has got to go!

5. Pet my cat more -- CHECK!

6. Get my but out of bed for an early morning walk - Um.....what am I thinking? When is my 4yo going to finally sleep through the night consistently? When will I stop being such a night owl. I am working on this....truly I am.

7. Listen to more music at home -- CHECK! No TV on makes this much easier. Pandora I LUVS YOU!

8. Enjoy the moments of peace and quiet more - CHECK! TV on. Even my kiddos are playing better together. Who knew?!?

9. Surprise one of my friends with something completely unexpected. -

10. Lose five pounds (isn't this always on my list?) - Well, since Monday I've been eating better. Except for that strawberry rhubarb pie I made for my husband's birthday yesterday.

I'll keep on, keeping on!

Do you have any short-term goals you want to share?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Game of Pounce Featuring New Etsy Sellers!

Before I get started I just wanted to thank all of you who helped me with my quilt quandry, and for your kind comments about my lily-of-the-valley watercolors. I so appreciate the kind words!

I like to poke around on the 'pounce' feature on Etsy. Today here are a few new Etsyians I came across and loved their work! Since I've been in the wrong place at the wrong time on snagging a treasury lately I decided to do a blog feature on some of them. So, here goes!

These lovely little guys are from Il Grande Albero. This bunny really spoke to me. I hope he finds someone to play some ball with him! He looks like such a friendly fellow. I'm assuming he's a he, at least he looks like a he to me. If he was my bunny I think I'd name him Charles or Winston, as he has an aire of distinction about him. I have to admit, I'm concerned about our little friend because later we find Sir Charles/Winston in this predicament. What did he do? Did his ball blow out to sea and he went in after it? Did he leave his boat at home and had to sail back home and this was the best method? Little bunny, I want to know what happened!

But seriously, artist Sara Cancian has some cute stuff that deserves some attention, so please check out her shop when you have a moment! Il Grande Albero

I'm not usually a big purse/bag kind of girl, but this "Sweet Summer Dreams" clutch from EightSeasons grabbed my eye. They have a few of this type of bag, but in different colors and designs. I like what the artist has on her shop description....

"If you like feminine touch, luxury,
exuberance and bold style, you are in the right place!"
Can't we all use a little more exuberance? Check out their shop!
Our next shop feature falls in an area I've rarely roamed....miniatures! I am totally fascinated by artists who work in small mediums. For some reason even the most mundane article of everyday life becomes quirky and darling when it is teensy. Fittingly enough since it is a miniature, the photo is small. This actually reminds me of a wonderful vacation I took to Spain years ago. The Spanish certainly do love their ham and all things porcine. So, if you are setting up your very own teeny-tiny Casa del Jamón you must visit this great Etsy shop, Annie's Miniatures. Oh, and Annie has lots of cool other things, like itsy-bitsy bowls of fruit salad, for the good Irish customers, miniscule black pudding rings, and even petite cucumber sandwiches.

I'll end my post sort of where I started, with bunnies. No, I really don't have a thing for rabbits. OK, maybe tonight I do! But I just liked the look of this print. Maybe it's because she has redhair (like me), maybe I envy her cute short cut. But I think it's because she looks like a fun chick.....after all, she's wearing bunny ears. She and some of her friends reside at a lovely little shop called The Art of Emma. Please stop by and say hello to her and her pals. Maybe they'll invite you to their party.

Please check out all these new shops if you have some time! These favorites are also posted (among others) at the very bottom of my blog page. Go take a looksee!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Basking in Batiks

Before I launch into my quandry I have to share a few thoughts about my morning before they slip out of my head. First, for the billionth time I asked myself "How did I get so lucky?". I hope you have these moments too. This morning what brought it on was my younger son asking me to snuggle. So as we cuddled up on the couch, me kissing his head and smelling his freshly washed hair I asked him "Will you still snuggle with me when you are 16?" and he said "Yes, Momma". Then I asked him if I could have that in writing.

Now for my blast of color. Some very great friends of ours are expecting their first baby in July. They are expats, living in Chile now and I think appreciate the unconvential and funky. I'm a batik FAH-REAK. I just love the vibrancy of the fabrics. So I decided to make them a batik baby quilt. Enough with this wishy-washy pastels or cutesy prints. Let the baby bask in some color!

But now I'm second guessing myself. I put together a bit of the quilt (a tossed nine-patch pattern) and I'm worried they are going to get this and think "this is the ugliest baby quilt I've ever seen!"......sigh.....

Is it too "out there" for a baby quilt? I look at it and love it and then look at it again and question if they will love it. So it goes with anything creative, right? Please keep in mind I am not a professional quilter. I've made a couple of small quilts in the past but it's not my area of expertise. I still like doing it though!

Thoughts? Please be honest.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fifty MORE TV-Free Activities for the Kids This Summer!

Here is a continuation of my list of fun things you can do that are all TV FREE!. My kids gave me lots of ideas, I searched the web, asked friend, and also a big THANK YOU to Gina from Unpink Life for her awesome list from last summer, as you can see many ideas came from her. I'm the compiler here, hoping this will help other parents.If you haven't already seen it, please check out my list of Eighty-Three Things To Do on a Rainy Day.There are more ideas coming, stay tuned! Some of the ideas are specific to my area, but you get the idea!

1. Have an ice cream sundae party
2. Help an elderly person with house or yard work
3. Hike at night
4. Hike up a mountain and let kids take pix
5. Host a teddy bear or favorite stuffed toy themed picnic
6. Host a yard sale
7. Join the library reading program
8. Jump on a trampoline
9. Keep a summer journal of places visited
10. Lay on a blanket and watch the clouds out
11. Lay out at night and watch stars
12. Learn or teach a new sport with someone
13. Learn some new outdoor games
14. Light a sparkler
15. Make a campfire in the back yard
16. Make a dam in the brook behind the house
17. Make a movie
18. Make a new kind of sandwich
19. Make a popsicle stand
20. Make a scrapbook of everything you do this summer
21. Make a teepee out of big sticks
22. Make an obstacle course in your back yard
23. Make chalk paint
24. Make clover or daisy chains
25. Make dinner for your family
26. Make fairy houses
27. Make homemade ice cream
28. Make homemade yogurt pops
29. Make juicy ices (with paper cups and sticks)
30. Make lemonade from lemons
31. Make s'mores
32. Make snow cones
33. Make some new window boxes for mom and plant with flowers
34. Make stepping stones for your garden or yard- or to give as gifts
35. Make your own letterbox
36. Make your own soccer camp
37. Make/work on outdoor play fort
38. Organize a scavenger hunt
39. Pick blueberries
40. Pick strawberries
41. Pitch a tent in the backyard and have a "camp out"
42. Plan a tricked out staycation for the kids
43. Plant a garden
44. Plant a tree in your child's name
45. Play badmitton
46. Play Frisbee
47. Play hopscotch
48. Play in the sand
49. Play kickball at the playground
50. Play Marco Polo

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Few Morning Sketches

Today is one of those magical days where my boys are playing together so nicely, not pestering to "go do something" or wanting to watch TV. I've probably jinxed myself by saying this. But at least this morning allowed me to do a couple of sketches. These are watercolor paint and pencil. It's still very much spring here in Vermont.

Lily of the Valley is one of my favorite flowers. I wish I had more of them in my yard. They are just so dainty and fragile looking. But who am I kidding, I've rarely met a flower I didn't love.

It seems my scanner is acting a bit wonky. The images came out much more faded than they actually are. But since I'm not completely done with them yet, I'm not going to worry about that.

I haven't done much watercolor painting in the past. Usually I work in acrylics and mixed media or jewlery. But it's fun to try it out. I love the simplicity of watercolor. It's nice to know that I can easily take my watercolors along with me on an upcoming camping trip. I'd never think of dragging acrylics along.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. What are you working on this weekend? Yesterday my son had his class picnic at a friends home who has a spectacular garden, yard and view of the mountain. I took a few photos while I was there, as well as some others from driving around the roads of Vermont over this week. I'm anxious to get started on paintings from the photos I took.

Uh oh, see I jinxed myself. The natives are getting restless! I guess I had better gear us up for some type of saturday adventure. Somehow they don't think sitting in the yard and painting is as much fun as I do. Happy weekend all!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Work/Cultural Exchange Program

I have a new bee in my bonnet. In my recent restlessness my husband and I have been toying with a way we can live somewhere else, yet not completely give up our lives where we are. Aside from the fact that my husband has a good job, he also runs his own small vermicomposting business. So, life is busy. But we both have the desire to travel and experience another culture without really being on vacation (know what I mean?). Rather than being somewhat removed as a tourist, to really get to know people in some other area, even if it is just in the good ol' U.S.A.

So the other day my husband emailed me with this link - Here's a description from their website.

HelpX is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience. In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 4 hours per day and receives free accommodation and meals for their efforts. This time range can vary considerably depending on the tasks at hand and the host’s preferences. Some hosts may require just 2 hours per day for accommodation only, and ask you to provide and cook your own food. Others may expect 6 hours per day in return for meals, your own room and sometimes other benefits such as free Internet use, horse riding, kayaking, bikes, local sight-seeing trips, yoga or English lessons, etc. Some will give weekends off, while others might allow you to put in 8 hours one day and later take a full day off. Helpers often live with the host family and are expected to join in and offer a helping hand with day-to-day activities.

This really sounds like it could be a fantastic adventure for our little family to go on. My husband thinks if he puts all his leave together he could squeek out a month. If we stay state-side he may even be able to roll in some telecommuting and/or work site visits so he wouldn't be so disconnected from his job. Personally, I'd rather go abroad, but maybe something on the other side of the U.S. might be a good introduction to the program for us.

Have you ever done something like this? If so, I'd love to hear your stories!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fifty TV-Free Activities for Kids This Summer

Here's a START to the list of fun things you can do. My kids gave me lots of ideas, I searched the web, asked friend, and also a big THANK YOU to Gina from Unpink Life for her awesome list from last summer, as you can see many ideas came from her. I'm the compiler here, hoping this will help other parents.

If you haven't already seen it, please check out my list of Eighty-Three Things To Do on a Rainy Day.

There are more ideas coming, stay tuned! Some of the ideas are specific to my area, but you get the idea!

1. Act in a play
2. Adopt a Webkinz
3. Arrange a bouquet of flowers
4. Attend a concert
5. Attend a first aid class
6. Backpack overnight
7. Bask in the sun (wearing the proper SPF, of course)
8. Bike, bike, bike
9. Bird watching
10. Blow bubbles, lots and lots of bubbles
11. Build a campfire
12. Build a sandcastle
13. Build a tree house
14. Buy a boyscout badge book and work on badges
15. Catch butterflies
16. Catch catepillars and keep them until they turn into butterflies
17. Catch frogs
18. Clean up a nature trail
19. Collect donations and volunteer at a local animal shelter
20. Create a terrarium
21. Decorate flip flops
22. Decorate some plain canvas sneakers
23. Decorate special outfits for the Independence Day parade
24. Decorate white tshirts
25. Dig for fossils
26. Feed the ducks at a pond
27. Fly a kite
28. Gather tinder, kindling and fuel for a night fire
29. Go camping
30. Go canoeing
31. Go on a scavenger/treasure hunt
32. Go outside and find five different kinds of flowers
33. Go to a ballgame
34. Go to a carnival in the evening
35. Go to a farmer's market
36. Go to the Drive-In
37. Go to the library then sit under a tree reading in the afternoon
38. Go to the Saturday movie nights at Ben & Jerry’s
39. Go to the zoo
40. Have a bonfire
41. Have a bubble gum blowing contest
42. Have a daylong science camp @ home with friends
43. Have a drawing contest on the sidewalk with chalk
44. Have a good ol' watermelon seed spitting contest
45. Have a paper airplane contest
46. Have a picnic
47. Have a root beer float dessert night
48. Have a splash party at home with the kiddie pool, water balloon fight, etc.
49. Have a super-soaker fight
50. Have a winter theme party

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sometimes You Need a Fairy House!

I wish I could say I woke up this morning and was completely over yesterday's sour mood. But general restlessness is not the kind of thing you can just forget about in a day. But at least I didn't cry or feel so frustrated with my self.

I think a good productive day would have probably done wonders to boost my mood, but instead I had one of those bounce from place to place kind of days. You know the type....take my younger son in for a preschool screening test, come home and prep for an art history lesson for my older son's class, go to school to teach that (running late of course), get a snack, hit the libary, pick up older son from school, go home briefly to get everyone fed, then to the vet to pick our dog up from surgery he had today. Not much time to sit down and think, or create, or anything that my soul could have used after a day like yesterday. But I did accomplish stuff, just not the visible things that you can look upon at night and be proud you finished.

As promised, I will be posting my very long list of activities for kids (TV Free) in another day or two, so please stay tuned! But tonight I'm going to focus on one thing I'm excited to to make. I think because I have boys and this seems wonderfully "girly". Not something I get to do around here very often and it's on my own to-do list of summer goals. But I mentioned the idea to my boys and they actually seem excited about it!

We were at Disney World about a month ago during the Epcot Flower Festival. There was a lovely little "Tinkerbell's Garden" during the festival that my sister-in-law and I dubbed our serenity spot. For anyone who has ever been to Disney, you know serenity spots are few and far between, but also very much needed. In the garden there were lovely fairy/pixie houses. I was quite captivated by them and cannot wait to make a few of my own from materials found in the woods around my home. The photos here are a couple that we saw at Disney.
I just want to shrink down and crawl inside and watch the big, ol' world from my twig framed windows. Oh yes, and have tiny wings and be able to fly. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One of Those Days

UGH! Ever have one of those days where you are just down in the dumps for no really good reason, just general disappointment about your perfectly good life? I mean, I'm really lucky. I have a great husband (who sometimes doesn't get me), two kids, lots of friends, we are all healthy, have a roof over our heads, etc. So why am I discontent?

Then throw in some rainy, cold, gray weather, add a mix of crossed wires that results missing out on lunch with my husband, and BOOM = I'm sitting in my car in a puddle of tears.

Am I having a mid-life crisis?

Probably. But that's so trite. All I know is today I'm not happy and I've been restless for a while. I want to shake off the things that I hate about myself, and move forward to new challenges. Trouble is......I don't have the slightest clue what kind of challenge I want. Enter frustration.

I don't even know why I'm writing this down. I don't know that it will be read by anyone but me (hopefully down the road from a very different vantage point). But here it is.

Sorry to leave you with what is a sort of depressing state of mind. But at the same time there's some hope in feeling this way because I guess it means some sort of change is coming.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

He's FOUR!

On Wednesday my little man turned four (sniff, sniff). Actually, it's bittersweet because while he was the sweetest baby, he's also developing into the most interesting little man. He's got a great sense of humor, is creative, and keeps me laughing. I look forward to every new year with him and what will unfold.

But today while my husband has trucked off with our two boys I am off on a mission to get ready for the E-Man's birthday party (on Monday). My little fickle man has gone through several iterations of a birthday party theme (Star Wars, a campout sleepover - nixed by mom due to age of buddies, pool party, etc.). He finally landed on the multiple theme of..... Scooby Doo Dinosaur Mystery Splash Party. It was a last ditch effort on my part after I bought a whole bunch of Scooby Doo books as party favors and E announced he wanted a dinosaur party. You are killing me kid! So, anyway, one thing I wanted to do was make a little song list fitting the theme of the party. Any suggestions on tunes?

Also, if you have any great, inexpensive, party favors or games to suggest I am all ears!

Off to shower and shop. Have a great day all!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Eighty-Three Things To Do on a Rainy Day!

In preparation of my TV-free summer I've been asking my boys, combing through internet sites, and yes, even pilfering great ideas from other bloggers on things to-do. Special thank you to Gina from Unpink Life for her awesome list from last summer, as you can see many ideas came from her. Some of the rest are mine, but mostly this is just a compilation of ideas from lots of places. Please feel free to share yours! I love to hear more and I'll add them to the list to benefit all! And stay tuned for the even longer list of things to do on nice days!

I must apologize, I made my list specific to my family, but I think you get the picture!

Rainy Day Things to Do

1. Bake a pie with fresh fruit
2. Bake banana bread
3. Bake cookies
4. Build a time capsule
5. Build with Legos
6. Compare a book to a movie
7. Cook dinner for friends and surprise deliver it to them
8. Create a new world
9. Create fun “to-do” chore jars
10. Create your own holiday
11. Cut up an old greeting card picture and make a puzzle
12. Dance in the rain
13. Design a family flag
14. Discover a new favorite author or book series
15. Do “spontaneous problems” from OM
16. Picnic with a blanket on the kitchen floor on a rainy day
17. Donate some of the toys and clothes you no longer use
18. Go bowling (http://wwwkidsbowlfreecom/)
19. Go out for ice cream
20. Go to story time at the library
21. Have a family game night
22. Have a handmade pizza party
23. Have a music/house cleaning party
24. Have a pillow fight
25. Host a tea party
26. Invent a new dance
27. Invent your own board game
28. Keep your brain going (with brain teasers)
29. Learn a new word Use it
30. Learn about a new place and have a meal based on that area
31. Learn about fireworks
32. Learn the Greek alphabet
33. Learn to crochet
34. Learn to play chess
35. Learn to sew
36. Learn to sew
37. Make (and eat!) Crash Hot Potatoes
38. Make a bird feeder
39. Make a bird house
40. Make a cd mix and burn it for the car
41. Make a collage from magazine words and pictures
42. Make a cool 100 chart for younger sibling or friend
43. Make a craft out of recyclables
44. Make a fire safety plan
45. Make a nighttime cd mix
46. Make a tech deck park
47. Make funny faces
48. Make home-made play dough
49. Make ice cream sandwiches
50. Make pancakes
51. Make pirate costumes
52. Make rock monsters for the garden
53. Make silly putty
54. Make something from recyclables
55. Make strawberry freezer jam
56. Paint a portrait of your best friend
57. Paint your face
58. Play dress-up
59. Practice spanish
60. Print some pictures and decorate plain frames
61. Put notes inside of balloons and hand them out to friends
62. Read a story to someone
63. Redecorate boys bedroom for a new school year!
64. Research your family tree
65. Scrapbook photos taken over summer
66. Send a postcard
67. Share your favorite movie with a friend
68. Start a collection
69. Sword fight
70. Take airplane rides on Daddy's feet
71. Tell ghost stories
72. Tint some shaving cream, spread it in a baking pan, and doodle or write words
73. Travel in time
74. Turn a big box into something cool
75. Visit ECHO on a rainy day
76. Visit the library
77. Visit the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory and build a new friend
78. Wash your hair with shampoo in the summer rain
79. Wrestle
80. Write a fairy tale
81. Write a letter
82. Write a poem
83. Write a song

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thinking Ahead to Summer

Today I announced to my kids the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad news that I was implementing a TV-Free Summer in our household. My seven year old didn't seem fazed, as he's not much of a TV freak anyway. But my four year old started to get a little teary-eyed. No reaction could have better cemented my feelings on why we need to do this. But I immediately followed with my "let's make a list of what we DO want to do this summer" and within a few minutes we had 45 things with a promise to list 100. I'll share that list later.

But now I sit here and think, what do I want to do this summer? I have to admit, I'm one of the worst offenders in the family TV addiction. I get sucked into something mindless rather easily and blow what little evening free time I have. I could be doing something so much more productive. Or at least putting a tiny dent into the mountain of books sitting on my nightstand.

So I just sat down and looked at the calendar and realized there are only 79 days of summer (for my kids school break). I guess I could really consider the TV free days starting now, since today we packed up our DirecTV receiver to ship it back (yay, saving some money per month too). So, starting from tomorrow through school getting out and starting back up in August we have 105 days. That's a good chunk of time to do so many wonderful things.

So here today I am going to begin MY list of what I want to do. These aren't change your life things, some are only do once. I figure I can commit to doing something once at least, can't I? goes.....

1. Make something totally girly for myself
2. Have a spa day
3. Derive some enjoyment out of cooking again (I know....tall order to fill)
4. Paint my toenails
5. Pet my cat more
6. Get my but out of bed for an early morning walk
7. Listen to more music at home
8. Enjoy the moments of peace and quiet more
9. Surprise one of my friends with something completely unexpected.
10. Lose five pounds (isn't this always on my list?)

So, that's my start. I'll add more as I need to. It may only be 50 degrees today, but LET SUMMER BEGIN!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

To all the moms out there, I hope you are having a spectacular day. My husband took our boys out for the day to give me some peace & quiet. I told myself I would clean and organize my studio. So, I better get on that. But since it's been ages since I blogged I figured I'd take a few minutes to do so. Today I'm focusing on serenity. That's why I need to bring order to my creative space.

Trying to get back to normal life after a two week vacation in Florida. We had a wonderful time but with visiting family and a week at Disney I don't know that I would have called it relaxing. I'm actually glad to be home to have a little bit of quiet! The two weeks I was there I didn't have a moment to myself, which for me is really difficult.

But there were some days of pure perfection, like going to the beach with my boys. So for today I am leaving you with one of my favorite photos and keeping it fresh in my mind as I start weeding through the disaster of my studio. Peace to all! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!