Thursday, March 31, 2011

inspiration : thursday thoughtfuls

Well... here's the second edition. Who knows, maybe this will become a trend afterall... ;) There's always hope, right?

One of the reasons I love quotes and sayings so much, is that so much of the time, I'm in need of advice, motivation, or maybe just a reminder to keep on keeping on. It helps me to see past the short-term hurdles and instead see the long-term goal. Why do I always seem to lose focus of things? Why do I always seem to forget the reason I started whatever it is that I started? I have no idea, except that I am human. I err. But, looking at some of these great quotes and sayings, I'm reminded of what my intentions are, what me reasons are, and what the outcome will be. So here's to re-motivating ourselves, knocking down those hurdles & taking another step towards the finish line. Go for it. ♥

Don't wait... go accomplish.
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image via source unknown. please leave a comment
if you know the source so I can credit properly.
No reason to be fancy. Sometimes, making a list is the first step.
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Yep, exactly.
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image via source unknown. please leave a comment
if you know the source so I can credit properly.
Ms. Angelou, you are so wise.
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image via source unknown. please leave a comment
if you know the source so I can credit properly.
Amen. Amen.

Anyone have any other thoughts they'd like to share? You know how much I love quotes and sayings so I'd dearly love to hear them. Happy Thursday all! ♥

Spring Fever : winner

Hi all! Well, the Spring Fever Giveaway is coming to an end. What a fun ride it was. Beth, thank you so much for sharing part of your world with us and for being so generous to provide a $10 Gift Certificate to one lucky reader. According to random.org, the winner is comment #13 by Sue of MYSAVIOR. CONGRATULATIONS SUE!!! Please contact Beth at pinkberrypie on Etsy to claim your prize. :)

And now, I feel I need to clear up something. I feel that I've been deceived. Lied to. Bam-foozled even. This is not acceptable. I have discovered a truth, and now, I must share this truth with you.

On television, when someone is sick with tonsillitis, they show them propped up in bed eating ice cream and popsicles and happily watching TV without a care in the world. This is not reality. I've been fortunate enough to get tonsillitis this week. [insert your jealous feelings here] This is how tonsillitis really plays out:

Day 1: Fever. Exhaustion. Vomiting. Very little to no eating. Drinking lots of ice water. LOTS and LOTS of sleep. Extrememly sore throat.

Day 2: Weakness. Fatigue. Drinking lots of ice water. Constantly clearning throat of "junk". Eating soft food like mashed potatoes. Extremely sore throat. Headaches. Some nausea.

Day 3: A little worn-out feeling. Stiffness. No fever. No nausea. Extremely sore throat. Eating soft foods. Constantly clearing throat of "junk". Drinking lots of ice water. HUNGER.

Day 4: Still a little sore and stiff. Constantly clearning throat of "junk". Extremely sore throat. Drinking lots of ice water. Dreams of mexican food feasting post-tonsillitis.

This is the reality of tonsillitis. Do no believe the lies on TV. It's not as glamorous as they show.

But, aside from the extremely sore throat, here I am on Day 4 and I feel pretty good. I'm even planning on re-starting my walking in the afternoons again. My sore throat doesn't feel any better at all, and I wish they would just remove my tonsils. But, I'm not a doctor, so what do I know. But at least the rest of me feels better so I can live with the sore throat for a little bit longer. Besides, I've lost about 7 pounds on the tonsillitis diet so hey, there's a positive. ;)

Anyway, thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

2 Week Reflection : goodies for good

March 11, 2011. It's been two weeks since the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. First there was damage from the earthquake, then there was the devastation of the tsunami, and now there's the fear with the nuclear crisis. According to Yahoo! News today, the death toll has topped 10,000 with 17,500 still missing. It's a horrible situation and my heart and prayers go out to those who are suffering, hurting, missing, or even just stuck in the situation of not knowing. There are a TON of places where you can donate money to Japan Relief, and Etsy has lots of items where people are donating portions of the profits. However, these items below are from shops that are donating 100% of their profits to one of the various funds for Japan Relief. Be sure to visit them and consider making a purchase that will do more than just get you a new item, but that will go towards helping all of these people when they need it the most. ♥


And a few more...


There are lots more items and shops out there to look through. Maybe you can get a birthday present or an early Mother's Day gift or early graduation present checked off your list while also sending help to the people in Japan. Just go to Etsy.com and search for items tagged "joyforjapan" and/or "artistaid".

Happy Friday & I hope you have a delightful weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

inspiration : thursday thoughtfuls

Sometimes, I get these ideas for a post and then I come up with a catchy name and I think to myself "That's IT! I'll post that every week! It'll be one of my 'things'" And then it happens once more, maybe more, maybe less, and that's it. So today, I'm not doing to delude myself into thinking this is going to be some regular feature. Maybe it will, or maybe this is the only one.

In either case, whether there are more posts like this, or not, it doesn't take away from the specialness of this post. You see, I've always loved quotes and sayings. Yeah, I know, lots of people do. No, I LOVE quotes and sayings. I hear awesome quotes and sayings and such and I write them down in my journal, or print them out. In high school, I took a piece of cardboard, covered it in wrapping paper, and then wrote out quotes and sayings in various fonts and styles on various colors of paper and taped them to that board. At the top I wrote "Words of Wisdom". It hung over my bed until I moved out. It's still hanging in the same spot (only there's no bed underneath it anymore) so the next time I go home, I'll take a picture of it. It's nothing fancy now, but for what I did with what I had at the time, it's pretty cool. Also in high school, I used to tape fortune cookie fortunes on my desk. Why? Because I liked the saying. And because I wanted to know if my "fortune" was correct.

I guess I say all of this to really say, I love words. I love the written word, the spoken word, and even the unsaid word. I love how a string of words, put together just so, can reach into your soul and touch you in a place that you didn't know you had. I love that your sleepy creativity, or worn out heart, or even your bruised spirit can be awakened, rested and healed by a word or by a few words. I love quotes and sayings not because of who said them or why they said them. I love quotes and sayings because of what they can do for me, and how I can use them to do that same thing for others.

So today, allow me to share a few thoughtful sayings with you, and I hope at least one of them touches you, deep in your heart of hearts, where you need it most.

image via source unknown. please comment if you know
so I can give proper credit.

Isn't this just lovely? This is what I mean when I say some words touch you just so.
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image via source unknown. please comment if you know
so I can give proper credit.

Don't feel guilty when you need time to get inspired.
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image via myseedfactory.com

I wish I would have heard this about 6 years ago.
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image via sadielucille.com

I'm trying to commit this to memory. I love it.
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image via source unknown. please comment if
you know so I can give proper credit.

What a smart, little 8 year old!
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What about you? What's one of your favorite quotes or sayings?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Fever : Giveaway

the source of this image is unknown.
please comment if you know so I can give credit.

Hi all! Are you getting tired of me going on and on about spring yet? I sure hope not! I've always liked and appreciated spring, but for some reason this year I'm just madly in love with it. No, I'm head-over-heels kind of madly in love with it. I just can't stop looking at all things springy and pretty. Maybe it's because I just love the color pallette of spring. I love faded-ness, but it seems to be really over done lately so I'm finding myself really appreciating all things rich in color and cheer.

Every now and then, you stumble across someone online and you know there's a connection. You know that if you and that person were neighbors, you would be constantly at each other's home, nestled in for a good movie or even chatting lazily over coffee, swapping recipes and "how-tos". That's how I feel about Beth. Beth is the owner, designer and creator of all things sweet at Pink Berry Pie. I've only talked with her a few times via convo, but I know... if she were my neighbor, she'd always let me borrow her new shirts and I'd always let her borrow my new shoes. Because, of course, if we were neighbors, we'd be the same size in everything. But enough of me speaking for her, how about we let Beth tell us about herself:

image via Beth

Tell us about yourself.

My happily ever after is just beginning. I recently married the sweetest guy there is. Since the whirlwind of wedding planning is over, I had to find something to keep myself busy and so Pink Berry Pie was born. Besides starting a shop on Etsy, I've been settling in and decorating our new home. I simply love flea marketing, vintage aprons and baking. And I live for summer vacation.

{If Beth and I were neighbors, we would spend our Saturdays scavenging the local flea markets and antique shops before coming home to play around with a new cupcake recipe we found.}



Tell us three *random* facts about yourself.

*I've become obsessed with baking and decorating cupcakes.

*The one thing you'll always find in my purse...pink Orbit gum.

*I absolutely adore white, chippy paint.

{I know, she sounds like a load of fun and good cheer with cupcake icing on top! Right?}


Where do you get your inspiration?
 I love visiting the fabric shop, taking my time walking up and down the aisles searching for just the right patterns. I'm always drawn to ginghams and polka dots. So sweet and simple. They remind me of a summer night spent on the porch swing catching fireflies.


{It's like she already knows what my childhood summers were like.}

What's your favorite thing about spring?

Spring is a fresh, new start. The weather warms up, the trees turn the perfect shade of green and flowers bloom. It just makes you feel alive.


{Exactly.}


I know, she's super sweet right? Well besides being super sweet, Beth is also super talented. Check out these cute things from her shop: 

 

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Just darling aren't they? And there's even more cute stuff at her shop that I didn't post.
Now, are you ready for the best news? The ever-so-lovely Beth of Pink Berry Pie (gosh, even the name of her shop is sweet, it's almost too much! almost...) is so generously giving away a $10 gift certificate, good at her sweet little shop, to one of my always-fabulous, lucky readers! I know not all of you out there have little ones, but I'm sure you know someone who does or is expecting... ;)


Isn't that marvelous?

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Here's how to Enter:

**Make sure you leave 1 comment for each of your entries.**

1) Follow my blog and leave a comment that you are a follower. {1 entry}
2) Go to Beth's shop: Pink Berry Pie & tell me which item you would select if you won the gift certificate. Leave a comment with a link to that item. {1 entry}
3) Tweet or Facebook about the giveaway with a link to this blogpost & leave a comment with a link to your tweet or post. {1 entry}

Alright, that gives you a total of 3 possible entries. And they're super easy entries too. Well, picking a favorite from Beth's shop might be a bit tricky... 

I'll post the winner next Wednesday, March 30th!
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Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful day!
If you haven't heard, I was a guest blogger at my friend Ashley's blog yesterday. It's a fun post full of some pretty awesome DIYs. Check it out HERE.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy First Day of Spring!

Hi everyone! Happy first day of spring to YOU! When you forget about the fact that it's tax time... UGH... and the allergies spring really is a great season! lol. And in honor of this wonderful day, how about some beautiful, colorful pics for you? Yes, I think so too! :)

via original source unknown but watermark says JRP
Siiigh... aren't daisies the friendliest flowers?
Anyone want to come watch "You've Got Mail" with me?
I've only watched it once this month... so far....


via original source unknown. leave a comment if you know.
I don't really know what a macaroon is, but these sure are pretty to look at!

visit the above blog to see the tutorial on this lovely banner 

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Earth laughs in flowers" : winner

Good morning all! I hope you had a most lovely St. Patrick's Day. I worked, didn't wear any green and didn't drink any green beer or eat any cabbage. I feel like I let down my Irish ancestors on that one. haha. BUT, I did decide that at some point in my life, I would like to spend St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. Wouldn't that be awesome!?! I've added it to my list of things to do and hope that it actually comes true.

Now... on to the good stuff... the WINNER of the 'laugh' bracelet:

random.org generated #2 as the random number

comment #2 was by: ASHLEY!!!

Congrats girl! I'm pretty sure I have your address, but you'd better email me just to confirm! vivatreginacrafts@yahoo.com

Thanks to everyone who entered and a big hug and WELCOME to all of my new followers!

And now, one more funny story, courtesy of the kiddos.

A Lesson in Makeup
[LG & LB are watching me while I do my makeup.]
LG: What is that?
Me: mascara
LG: Your scara?
Me: No, not MY-scara. It's MA-scara.
LG: Oh... YOUR-scara.
Me: No... it's called ma-scar-a.
LG: your-scar-a
Me: Well, alright then. I guess so.
LB: It looks like you have spiders on your eyes.
Me: Then that means I have enough.

HAHA... oh those kids!
Everyone have a great weekend!

Monday, March 14, 2011

This little guy...

This little guy is such a sweetheart. He's kind, he's funny, he likes to dance and jam out to music. He also loves to help put groceries in the basket, put them on the belt, unload them from the car and put them away. He doesn't like carrots, shopping or croutons. He's a splasher in the tub and a lover of playing in the dirt with toys.

This little guy also needs your prayers. He's getting glasses this week, hearing aids in a month or two and we found out today he has exzcema. Any of those would be rough for a typical school kid, he's dealing with all three. He also has a really bad ear infection, but we finally got him some antibiotics so he's on the road to recovery in that area. He's seen more in his short lifetime than some people ever see and we're starting therapy tomorrow for that.

This little guy is a good kid. He loves giving hugs, watching cartoons and playing with his sister. No kid deserves what has happened to him and what he's going through. I'm just glad that he's finally getting all of the help he needs and that I get to know him and be part of his life. ♥

PS - Notice the patio table in the background that has been turned into a sandbox. Oh well, it happens. ;) hahaha...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Earth laughs in flowers" : giveaway

"The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter." - Mark Twain

"Earth laughs in flowers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"If every word I said, could make you laugh, I'd talk forever." - Forever by The Beach Boys

"A laugh is a smile that bursts." - Mary H. Waldrip


I love laughing. I love making people laugh. I've always tried to get people to like me, or to put people at ease, or to interact with children by getting them to laugh. I feel like it's the easiest way to bring people together. I love these quotes on laughter, don't you? I especially love the "earth laughs in flowers" quote. I envision it to be the way your face blushes with laughter, the earth springs forth flowers with laughter.

So, in honor of laughter and flowers and all things good, let's have a giveaway! YAY! I'm excited! This is my first giveaway on my new and improved bliggity blog. ♥

The prize is a beautiful bracelet, handmade by Yours Truly.
It is made with cubed, aurora borealis (AB), glass beads; puffed, dyed howlite beads; toggle clasp; and a lovely little charm that is stamped with "LAUGH".
The colors are bright a fun and it's just one of those bracelets that go with lots of outfits and can brighten your day.


How to Enter:
(You must do at least one of the following)

1) Follow my blog and leave a comment that you're a follower.

2) Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment with a link to your tweet. (this way I can also follow you on Twitter YAY!)

3) Post the giveaway on facebook and leave a comment with a link to your post.

This should give you up to 3 possible entries. Remember to comment each entry in a seperate comment. I'll post the winner here on my blog next Friday. Good luck!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh well, it happens. #3

-- Well... it's happened. I've crossed over from being one of those smart, sensible parents of publicly well-behaved children to being one of those embarassed, flustered parents of publicly acting out children. I knew it was going to happen eventually, it always does. I was just hoping to prolong the inevitable for as long as possible. --

Sunday morning was a crazy morning at church to say the least. First off, instead of getting to nonchalantly ready myself & the kids for church services at 10:00, I had to wake up, ready myself & the kids, and fix a fruit platter in time to be at the church annex at 8:30 for a Continental Breakfast to honor our preacher (and his wife) who is stepping down as our Pulpit Minster so he can go back to prison. (As a chaplain! haha.) And although I got everyone out of the house looking very presentable and in plenty of time, I still felt rushed and hurried.

The Continental Breakfast was lovely, but I was running back and forth making sure platters were full, getting the kids fed and hydrated (I swear Little Girl (LG) thought she was going to thirst to death as much as she was asking for water, milk, orange juice, anything), and keep an eye on them so they didn't do anything they weren't supposed to or start annoying people excessively. [I only do this because I've been in situations where parents let their children roam free and annoy everyone excessively and I will not be that parent. Well, for as long as I can help it.] So needless to say, I was feeling rushed and a bit frazzled by the end of the breakfast situation. Then we were off to worship services.

For some reason, we didn't have Children's Church this Sunday. If I had known about this, I would have brought crayons, books, toys, etc, to make services go more smoothly for them. But alas, I didn't know this, and therefore wasn't prepared. (You can tell I'm a newbie huh?) As we were standing up and singing at the beginning of services, I turned around to check on LG since she was supposed to be sitting with a youth group girl. I didn't see her at first, only because she was at the end of the row of chairs and crawling happily across them. This is not allowed. Once she reached me, I picked her up and firmly set her down and told her she was not supposed to do that. After the songs ended and we sat down, I sat her in my lap. This is exhausting. She moves, she wiggles, she squirms, she leans back, she leans forward, she twists, she turns. It's just exhausting. She asked if she could go sit with Natalie, a girl in our youth group who was sitting next to Little Boy, who was sitting next to me. I said okay and she crawled around on Natalie for a bit. I look away and when I turn back around to check on her she is running full speed onto the stage. I'm embarassed, flustered, upset that not one of the youth group kids thought about stopping her (I know, not their fault, but they've been so good before it just surprised me), frazzled.... Once on the stage, she turns and looks at everyone, then I catch her eye and give her the "Come here" signal. She starts back towards our row but I meet her at the end, grab her up in my arms and become the parent that takes their kid out of church. I take her to this side entrance foyer, sit her down and tell her very sternly that she isn't to do that. We go sit back down. More squirming, more wiggling, ugh... Oh well, it happens.

It was a rough morning. Before, during and after church services. But, I never lost my temper. That's a victory in my opinion. And just when I'm so thankful that it's dinner time and about to be bath and bed time, because I need a break, LG makes me bust out laughing while we're all sitting around the table eating dinner. Some of the laughter was just her usual chatter that cracks me up. But then she swindled me. She played me and my system and she won.

Most of the time, for dinner only, after the kids have cleaned their plates, they get a treat. Sometimes it's grapes, sometimes it's yogurt and sometimes it's something AWESOME like those small chocolate-covered donuts. That's what it was last night. LG & LB finished their bowls of food at the same time. LB wanted more but LG said she was done and wanted a donut. I got LB more food and LG a donut. After LG finished her donut she wanted more food. That's right, I totally set myself up for that one and she suckered me right into it. Then, after she finished her seconds she expected another donut. Well, needless to say fool me once... etc. lol. She didn't get another donut. But we laughed a lot because she's a little smarty who figured out exactly how to work the system to get what she wants, when she wants it.

All in all, it ended up being a good day. Rough at times, infuriating at other times, hilarious at times and just downright grand at other times. She's a handfull, a pill, a chatterbox, but she's still wonderful and I'm thankful for the time I'm getting to spend with her.

Friday, March 4, 2011

march : spring : inspiration

I know where you are you may still have snow, but here in west Texas, it's been warm for weeks now and I can't help but think that Spring is HERE! Of course, this being a la nina winter, I may be counting my proverbial chickens before they hatch, but like I said, I can't help it. At night it still gets cold enough that in the mornings and evenings you need to be warmly dressed with a sweater at least. But during the day, it's hot. Hot enough for flip flops, shorts and daydreams of summertime plans. Disneyland anyone?

 So here's some lovley photos to carry you from frigid winter, to lovely spring....


via jenniferstuartdesign.blogspot.com

via ffffound.com 

via Traci French on Flickr


"There is so much that enchants me in this spare, silent place that I move softly so as not to break a spell." - Peter Matthiessen

Wishing you silent places of enchantments over the weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oh well, it happens. Part 2

Some of you may remember this post, where I proclaimed my "Mom Mantra" of "Oh well, it happens." It's been a good mantra to live by so far. It's gotten me through Little Girl waking up early on a Saturday morning, finding some of my lipstick in my office (which she's NOT supposed to be in by the way) and deciding to apply it to herself, her pajamas, the walls, etc. UGH! It's gotten me through Little Boy rolling his eyes when I'm talking to him. And he's not even a teenager yet... what the heck?!? It's gotten me through Little Girl and her moods. It's gotten me through the screaming, the messes, the exhaustion, the runny noses and everything else. And when I feel like this is getting to be too much, that I'm not sure what I'm doing, I get this...




Sorry for the blotted out faces. It's the law. You can't post pictures of foster kiddos on the internet. But, it's an adorable picture. I've started taking more pictures of them and later this month I'm going to start on their scrapbooks. I'm making each of them a scrapbook of our time together as well as making one for me. I'm excited to get started on them. Oh how I love scrapbooking! :)

I don't know if they will get to keep them forever or if their families will throw them away or something, I don't know. But I have this vision of them looking back on the scrapbooks throughout the rough times of childhood and teenage years, and the ups and downs of adulthood and remembering that somewhere, at some point, there were/are people that loved them a lot and only wanted the very best for them.

I know people are very curious about the situation and if we're adopting or not and the answer is no. They're probably going to be adopted by family members. It'll be hard when they're gone. I love them and I'll miss them when they aren't with me anymore. But I look at it like we're a bridge between their old life and their new life. And, for me, I'm totally fine with being that bridge.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Color Crushes: Mustard Yellow & Olive Green

I'm not sure if it's allowed to crush on colors, but I totally am anyway. My "IT" colors for spring this year are mustard and olive green. I'm SO in love with this colors right now. I love the brightness of mustard. It's got the warm, fun feeling of yellow, but in a more sophisticated shade. And during a time where everyone is thinking emerald green because of St. Patrick's Day coming up or pastel green because of Easter and spring, olive green is getting overlooked. But not by me. I love the subtleties of the color and again, it's a very sophisticated shade.

So... here are a few goodies from Etsy featuring my color crushes:







Anyone else crushing yet? That mustard tote is totally my favorite! I'm hoping that if I sell a couple things in my shop I'll hop on over there & buy it. It's perfect!

So what are your "IT" colors this spring? If you post about it link it up, I'd LOVE to see it!