Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Home is...

Home is...


I just found out there's a new weekly (Wednesday) MEME in town...I spied it at my friend Kim's place (she has the most ADORABLE new blog design by the way!)...so decided to join in the fun...


It's hosted by Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer, go HERE to see her post as well as other participants.  and looks to be something right up my alley, because it'll be about a different home related subject each week!  She already has the themes listed (through the end of May) so that helps us get our wheels turnin'...


The subject for today is "a delicious scent in your home"...so, here are some smells in my home, relating to Spring...

I absolutely love the smell of fresh bread baking in my oven at anytime, but...





...for Spring, a favorite bread to bake is Hot Cross Buns...


Coffee is always a welcome scent in my home...even my sweet husband who doesn't drink coffee admits it smells so yummy!

Spring flowers are clipped from my garen and brought into my home as soon as they show their sweet faces!  Roses are my favorite, followed by lavendar!

I love to burn candles for homey scents...this is one of my favorites...Mocha Coffee scented in the hall bath...

There are certainly many, many scents that I love to fill my home with, Lavendar Linen spray and simmering spagetti sauce come to mind! :)  What scents are filling your home this spring?  Pop over to Sandy's place and play along!

Blessings!
Kathy C.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Happy Birthday Surprise! :)


I'm not afraid to admit it....I am now officially 42! :)  Aging doesn't bother me, at least not yet,...and I sure hope it never does.

Sure, I kid around about getting older and the crazy gray hairs that keep popping up, the aches and pains I never "use" to feel,...but I want to always be thankful for each and every day that the Lord blesses me with, and to see each year of life as a gift.

I want to be thankful for the lessons learned in each year that passes, the heartaches that disappear further and further into the past, and the joys and wisdom of the future, that lay ahead just waiting for me to join them!

I hope I'll never forget that.

This weekend, my preciuos hubby surprised me with a really fun birthday adventure... I have to say it was the most fun birthday I've ever had.  I think that is mostly because he surprised me and it was just so much fun, so romantic, and so refreshing...

Saturday morning, he told me that he had a surprise for me that evening.  I thought we were going to go out to dinner, but it seemed he had more up his sleeve than that.  He said we'd need to leave the house by 4pm and that I should dress as if we were going on the boat, but not in the water....and wear shoes that can get wet?????  Hmmmmm, interesting.  I had no clue what we would be doing.

We drove for almost an hour on our scooter, taking in the sweet spring sunshine and pretty houses along the coast....then we arrived...at a Country Club?  We aren't "Country Club" type of people, so I thought we were just taking a little break to stretch our legs.  Mike says "Here we are."...huh?

There was a group of about 10 people gathering in the far end of the parking lot, and he noted that must be "our group", ....huh?

Then he decided to tell me what the surprise was, because he didn't want someone else to break it to me...we were going on a Kayak and Dinner Moonlight Tour....FUN! :)

Once we checked in, we hopped in the back of a truck with one other couple to cut down on cars that were heading down the dirt road to the boat ramp...


When we arrived, 12 Kayak's awaited us, loaded with chairs, grills, coolers and life vests....


We were instructed on how to sit (so as not to tip over), and proper use of the paddle for maximum enjoyment and no shoulder pain...

I sat in the front, so that Mike could handle the "steering of the rudder", which is controlled by your feet.

Mike keeps a sharp eye out for alligators...LOLOL...NO, we didn't see any alligators...dolphins YES, alligators, no. :)

It was a gorgeous day and we peacefully glided along the water...making our way out into the river...


Though peaceful and quiet, we did giggle at the comments we heard from the group of three women that had joined the outing...."I'm soaking wet!"..."Mine doesn't steer right!"..."I think my rudder isn't working!"... LOLOL

We saw some lovely birds...
And even a manatee, but she disappeared so quickly I wasn't able to get a photo.

Once we got out into the river, we came to an island to "make camp"...

Our "Leader" set up all her gear that had been stored on the Kayaks...tables, grills, coolers of food.  Then she began to cook us a gourmet meal...

We took this time to Kayak around the island...


There were lot's of beautiful photos to be taken...

...and birds to see...

When we got back to the Island, our Guide/Chef was busy at work preparing our dinner.  Choice of Salmon or Chicken along with Pasta in marinara, bread, and my favorite, Salad that she picked herself at White Rabbit Organic Farm, which included edible flowers along with homemade dressing.  Of course there was dessert...crusted brownies with chocolate glaze and strawberries!  YUM!

I kinda scarfed my salad before I took the picture, bummer, because it was so colorful and pretty...



As we dined,, we watched the sun go down across the river...


As we enjoyed our dessert, we watched the moon rise high above us...we packed up our chairs and the gear was loaded back on the Kayaks, and we rowed our way back under the light of the moon...it was absolutely breathtaking to see the stars above us, and the moon peeking through the clouds, watching the water shimmer under it's light...



The next morning (my "actual" Birthday)...Mikey made me yummy scrambled eggs for breakfast...


After lunch he got busy in the kitchen with Betty C. and made me a Chocolate with Chocolate Birthday Cake!  Then he arranged the candles in a most flattering combination! :)  hee hee hee


I'm so glad our Kayak trip had been the day before, because this is what it was like outside on my Birthday!

What an all-in-all, wonderful Birthday weekend I had! :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sew What?

I was asked to make some simple sewing videos for a friend, so she could learn the ins-and-outs of her new sewing machine, and I thought I'd share it with you too!

Have you ever gone on vacation somewhere and "bought the T-Shirt"...then never worn it because it basically made you feel like you were wearing a big boxy mans shirt?  No?  Well, I have. 

I have a few T-shirts that I've collected from places we've visited and I'd sure like to wear them but I prefer more feminine clothing, that's when I realized I can do this!

Just in case you consider yourself "Sewing Challenged", I need to let you know that this is a really easy project that you CAN do!

Below is a short video I made to show you how to make this....



Look a little more fitted and feminine! :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

99 Random Things...

99 Random Things

Karen, at Loved and Engraved posted this on Saturday, and it looked fun, so I thought I'd play along...

The post is a list of 99 random things. Bold the ones that you yourself have done.


1. Started your own blog (um, yeah)

2. Slept under the stars (tent with a screen roof count?)

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower (layed on the roof during one, but saw nothing interesting)

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to DisneyWorld (more times than I can count)

8. Climbed a mountain (a few, but you didn't say how big and important)

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped (Fun!  But I wouldn't do it again)

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm (LOVE them!)

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (cake decorating)

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning (Worst feeling I've EVER had)

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables (still do)

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight (of course!)

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping (BC days ya'll)

27. Run a marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse (twice)

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (MANY)

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (Always)

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke (with my sister, so funny!)

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (sweet, I love to do this!)

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Snorkeling)

52. Kissed in the rain (Yes, in Key West with my sweet hubby!)

53. Played in the mud (LOL, yes!)

54. Gone to a drive-in theater (can you believe this?  In High School..wow, I'm old)

55. Been in a movie (A home-movie counts if you were actually playing characters, right? LOL)

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started your own business (sort of)

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen (it wasn't soup)

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies(LOTS!!!!)

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason (yes, still don't know who gave them to me!)

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (even though it makes me sick to have blood taken, ewwww)

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check (can I plead the 5th if an ex-boyfriend cleaned out my bank account?)

68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (still have ZIP the Monkey on my bed after 33 years!)

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt (A few)

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job (young and stupid)

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle (grew up on the back of my Dad's)

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (young and stupid!)

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper (roller blading in the park with my son!)

85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox (6 yrs old!)

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous (Christopher Atkins and John Stamos!  Got their autographs too, lol)

92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo

94. Had a baby (just one precious young man)

95. Seen the Alamo in person (I even have a relative, with his name on the wall, who fought there)96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee  (several)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Mish-Mash...

Today's post is basically just a Mish-Mash of various thoughts that have been bumping around inside my head....care to take a peek? :)

I think I have a problem...I keep thinking of different ways to help people dust things...is this some sort of problem that needs psychological help?  LOLOL

What do you do when a sock gets a hole in it so big that it needs to be tossed?  What happens to it's partner?  Or what about those socks that are sturdy enough to not get holes, but the tops get so worn out that when you are wearing them they slip down inside your shoe and drive you nuts the entire day????....oh, is that just me? :)

Well, here is what I do with those abandoned socks...I use them for dusting.  They make great dusting rags, you just pop your hand inside, spray into your palm and dust whatever needs cleanin'...then toss them in the wash.



Oh, here's the big question.  How do I keep them separate from the socks we actually want to put on our feet?  Just mark them with a permanent marker to distinguish them from the rest of the crowd.  Yup...I'm just a plethora of information aren't I? :)



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm going to be 42 this weekend.  Why do I all of a sudden feel like I should make some sort of "change" or " resolution"...I didn't feel that way when I turned 40...or did I, but then didn't follow through?  Hmmmm.....  What do you think?  What should be my big goal,...or resolution,...or change,...or whatever? LOLOL

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have very straight hair by nature...so what is with this guy?  He just does whatever he wants, goes any direction he chooses,...definitely a rebel...AND he's GREY!  Got enough of those...don't need one waving around, yelling "HELLOOOOO, look at me!" :)



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And...um...I think I took this....



Way too seriously....



What should I make?  I'm getting a little tired of making aprons...need fresh ideas PLEASE! :)

Last, but not least...let's all live by this motto today... :)


"A joyful heart is good medicine..."
Proverbs 17:22a

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday's Fave Fives...


I have been a busy bee this week, and realized I just haven't been a bloggin' gal...so I thought I'd end the week with 5 things that have really blessed me this week...

1.  ...Meeting my new little Great-Neice yesterday...she is just a beautiful little darling and I can't wait to see her again!



2.  Going to see STOMP with my hubby last weekend...it was SO fun...what a great show, so much talent and you never stop wondering what they'll do next...

3.  The sight of gladiolas peeking their tips out from the warm spring earth...I wonder what colors they'll bring to my garden...

4.  Watching several birds chattering away as they splashed about in my fountain.  My first thought was...they're only grackles...but what a blessing they were to watch...



5.  Digging in the dirt...have I mentioned I love spring?  I LOVE spring!  It's my favorite time of year and I find myself wandering out the back door several times a day just to dig around and play in the dirt...:)

I hope you pop over to Living To Tell The Story and find out what other were blessed with this week...Maybe even share your own! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Appreciate those Lips!

Kiss 08



Woo-Hoo!!!! I am SO excited, because I just found out some totally important information!  Did you know that today is "Lips Appreciation Day"?  What?  You didn't know that?  I thought everyone knew that!  Ok, well, I didn't know either until about 2 minutes ago...but hey...learn sumthin' new every day! :)

If you aren't quite sure how to appreciate lips today....here are some ideas...
If you have a Hubby...give him a great big smooch and let him know how much you appreciate his lips!


If you have a teensy tiny sweet little baby, place a tender little Momma kiss right on those precious little baby lips...appreciate that smell of milk breath too!


If you have a little run-about kiddo...hold 'em still for a couple of minutes, wipe off the crumbs from the corner of their mouth, and grab a well deserved kiss before they run off.


If you have a teenager....well, ask them if they've brushed their teeth this week and tell them they have beautiful lips just like their grandma Bernice... :)    LOLOLOL - KIDDING!! Kiss them too!  If you don't, you're gonna wish you did when they are 35 and 700 miles away!


If there's anyone that REALLY  appreciates his lips...it would be Larry...interesting coming from a guy with no lips at all....hmmmmm....





Maybe you need to appreciate your own lips today...how about gracing them with some delicate Godiva Chocolates....that would be a kind thing to do. :)


However you decide that it needs to be done....don't miss this great opportunity to Appreciate Lips today...it's the law!  Welllll, that might be stretchin' it a bit, but it is a holiday...somewhere?


Oh....it's also Curlew Day...but I have no idea how you would celebrate that....just sayin'.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Daybook...


Outside my window...
Gorgeous blue skies, a heavy breeze, puffy white clouds, joggers and dog walkers, warm sunshine calling my name...



I am thinking...
About the full and fun weekend we had...went on a fun date with hubby to see STOMP...bought and planted some new roses...joined hubby's family to celebrate the birthday of one of his brothers...worked outside in the sunshine...


I am thankful for...
My precious husband.


From the kitchen...
Chicken broth simmering...bread rising...making fondant today for a wedding cake...preparing coq au vin for dinner guests for tomorrow...freezing some meals for a new Momma...


I am wearing...
Gee, I could just hit ditto from the last time I did this...same old pink jammie top, with plaid pink n' green jammmie pants, white socks. :)


I am creating...
Working on a design for a grooms cake to model after a specific guitar...fun...


I am going...
Gonna have to hit Wally World sometime today...ugh....the gym tonight with honey bunches...


I am reading...
Nothing in particular at this time...a little of this...a little of that...


I am hoping...
This spring weather to stick around long enough for my peas to produce!


I am hearing...
A truck drive by...wind chimes from out back...


Around the house...
Dusting today...time in the kitchen...

One of my favorite things...Flowers!


A few plans for the rest of the week:  Guests for dinner tomorrow night, going to see my new Grand-Neice later this week (so excited!), plenty to keep me busy around the house...


Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

This is the look I get when she is trying to send messages to my brain...

"You want to give me chicken...you WANT to give me chicken...GIVE ME the chicken and no one gets hurt...UMmmmm, can I PLEASE hav the chicken?  I'm starving to death...see my ribs?  I NEED chicken!!!!  Moooommmmmmmm!"

Do you just love those teeth? LOLOL




Go HERE for more Daybook entries...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What would you do?

What would you do if you ran out of Kitchen Twine while you were about to roast a chicken? Hmmm....gotta tie those legs together, right?


 

Keep going....












A little further....















Are you ready?









Isn't she just adorable? All ready for a HOT date with the oven!

Hey, it's 100% cotton, it's clean (I washed and ironed it myself), I needed SOMETHING! :)


What is the weirdest thing you have to use in place of something else??? I wanna know!

Friday, March 12, 2010

What chemicals do you wash with?

Last night I washed and conditioned my hair for a fraction of a cent, using only 2 ingredients that I easily found in my pantry.  I was skeptical, but wanted to give it a try.  I have very oily hair and didn't think anything but traditional "shampoo" would get it clean, I also have hair prone to tangling, so I was skeptical about being able to comb through it after my shower.  I was pleasantly thrilled with the results.  After searching online I found a few "recipes" for homemade shampoo.



I washed my hair using only hot water and baking soda.  Then rinsed it with water and apple cider vinegar (I added some drived lavendar for scent because I had some), it was super easy.  My hair is totally clean, oil-free and I combed through it with no problem after my shower.  It feels smooth to the touch, but the only downfall is it isn't super shiny...I'll do more research on how to make that happen.

Why would I go to the trouble of doing this?  Read on...

My sister, Debbie, and I have been discussing lately the dangerous chemicals that are in just about every single thing that we commonly put on our skin EVERY day.  Lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shower soap, bar soap, facial products, etc.... 

Do you realize that everything that touches your skin is absorbed into your body? That's a scary thought.  So, I decided to research some of the ingredients in the shampoo's and conditioners that I use most often.  I found mixed results in some cases, so I'm going to give you both.

PLEASE NOTE:  I am sharing websites where I found some answers to my questions, but I don't necessarily agree with everything on these websites, not that there is anything bad on there, but just in case there is some strange info, LOL.

SODIUM LAURETH AND SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE: 
What I read about these ingredients was really pretty scary...not sure I want to put stuff on my scalp that is used to degrease garage floors....hmmm... 

The Big Negative:  Several sites I found claimed that SLS (and SLES) are highly dangerous and can damage hormones, hair follicles, as well as irritate skin and severely damage eyes of children.  It was also noted that it penetrates the heart, brain and liver and stays in the tissue for quite some time.  In addition, there are claims that it causes cancer.  Go HERE or  HERE for more on that. 

The Rebuttal:  I also found a few sites that counterd all that info by saying that it was not true.  Although they admit the irritation properties are present, they play them down a bit.  In addition they play down the cancer causing properties, but don't completely rule out the possibility of carcinogens being present in this ingredient.  Pop over HERE for more on that. 

COCAMIDE MEA:  It appears that this name is a "cover up" for DEA which is a known cancer causing substance that is used in hair care products....read about it HERE.

BENZYL ALCOHOL:  In general, every site I found on this was so negative that I thought there was a conspiracy going on...scary.  You'll have to do some research and decide for yourself, but you can go HERE for some info.

PEG-12 DIMETHICONE: As with every product I searched,it seemed that this one was being defended, while at the same time revealing this information..."According to a study published in the International Journal of Toxicology, PEGs (including PEG 12 Dimethicone) can contain harmful impurities, including: Ethylene Oxide, known to increase the incidences of uterine and breast cancers and of leukemia and brain cancer, according to experimental results reported by the National Toxicology Program; 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen; PAHs, known to increase the risk of breast cancer; lead; iron; and arsenic (Source)."  You can go HERE to read more on this.

METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE and METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE:  I can't even pronounce these, but I freely rub them into my scalp every day!  When I researched these two products, I found many sites that linked them to nerve damage...Read HERE about the first one, and HERE about the second.

Whew!  I'm worn out!  Just to let you know, those ingredients were from a pretty little container of J**N Fr***A Luxurious Volume Shampoo.  I don't want that kind of "volume" if that's the price I have to pay!

If you don't visit any of the sites I listed above, please visit this one...it will open your eyes.  This one lists the top 5 worst of most products for skin and hair...check it out to see if you are using them!

Question:  Is there something you've discovered about a product or food that has made you change the way you live?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Absolutely Precious!

This is absolutely precious...I just had to share...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WFMW ~ Dusting the Nooks and Crannies ~


For some unknown reason, I have decided to share a dusting tip today, LOL.  I don't know about you, but there are places in my house that are just screaming for dust to come and visit.  Nooks and Crannies in chair backs, hutch designs, Headboards, and mirror frames.

(Funny, it actually doesn't look this bad until the flash hits it, LOL)

BEFORE

AFTER

The weather has been pleasant lately and with the windows open we are subject ot little particleees in the air floating there merry way through my home and landing just about everywhere.  I'm not into long pretty nails, but I'd like to keep the ones I want, so using my fingernails to run a cloth through those crevices just doesn't appeal to me.  Here is what I do...

First of all, I don't use commercial aerosol dusting spray, not into all those chemicals flying into the air and not into all that money just flying out of my pocket!  I've labeled a spray bottle for "dusting", fill it half way with water and squirt some lemon oil in there.  That works great for just about all surfaces. For wood that needs an extra helping hand (old or damaged), I use the lemon oil straight out of the bottle. 

This bottle of lemon oil has lasted me SEVERAL years!

 

I dust with a washable cloth and these two little handy tools...A small soft bristle hair brush,...


...and an old toothbrush...

I spray my dusting spray on the crevice areas and brush well, then wipe with a cloth and Voila!  Clean and Happy Headboard!

BEFORE
SPRAY AND BRUSH
AFTER

For delicate wood, or caked on dust (from thrift store goodies), or just deep crevices, I use an old toothbrush drizzled with oil straight from the bottle.

There it is...my handy tip for the day, LOL...What do you find toughest to clean?  What makes it easier?