Monday, April 30, 2012

Missing in Action/Happy Birthday Bro!

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Wow, lots to mention today!  First, my brother's birthday.  

Wishing you a Happy 44th Birthday Len!  

We hope you have a great day!  .  

I will be missing in action for a few days but I do have my posts scheduled to publish.  My Mom and I are taking a road trip to Thunder Bay (Ontario, Canada) in the morning to help Lucas move from the dorm on campus to his first apartment in the big city.  He has been actively looking for summer employment.  Please keep your fingers crossed for him!  His girlfriend Sarah and him will share an apartment for the summer and into the next school year.  It will be a first for the both of them .... including living with a significant other!

Mom and I will be taking lots of pictures to show you how it all went. Let the adventure begin!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday's Blessings

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This week I loved the ....

Smell of : fresh mowed grass
Sound of: buzzing bees
Taste of:  rhubarb
Sight of: blue skies
Feel of:  green grass beneath my feet

Things I am Thankful for this week ...

-  my new camera
-  my internet friends
-  hot tea

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday's Snaps

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Remember to give your loved ones a hug!  Have a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Needle Nanny!

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A while ago, I found this cute little craft that Cath over at Bits and Bobs made and I just HAD to make one for myself.  On the look out for something that struck my fancy, I found this in my button box.

I always sew while sitting on the love seat in the living room.  Usually the evening ritual is watching my favorite t.v. shows and sewing so a Needle Nanny would be perfect to have on the side table. My needle will then have it's own 'home' when I brew another cup of tea during commercials.

I won't bore you explaining the process as Cath did a wonderful tutorial however I do want to mention that my button was different.

My button had a metal backing with the loop to sew it on a piece of clothing so that had to be removed....but the button then fell apart!  

With a liberal amount of glue, the button was secure once more.

Also metal buttons do not work.  This button was only metal on the back, the rest was a type of plastic.  I tried with a metal button first and the magnet and the metal do not mix well as the needle would not 'stick' to the button once made.  

This is so easy to make and I had all the supplies in my stash.  After 10 minutes (including picture taking) my Needle Nanny was complete!

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

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Time for Thrifty Thursday!!

Buttons!  I found buttons!  I love buttons ..... I love playing with them and letting them slip through my fingers.  I imagine the people who wore the clothing they came off of and the clothing itself ... was it a fancy skirt, a trusty, worn out cowboy shirt or a blouse that was regrettably out-grown.  

I also love the tin that they came with and the wooden box that holds the bigger buttons.  Unfortunately the wooden box is missing a side piece or I could have decorated it a bit with some paint, fabric and some ModPodge.  Oh well, I can't always be lucky!

Tin with buttons - $ 2.99    Wooden box with larger buttons - $ 2.49

Now to find something to do with them!  Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Soap Update

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It has been three days since I mixed up my first batch of blender soap.  If you missed it, here is the post.

I was too excited not to take a peek each day so I did and was very pleased with what I was seeing!  The soap hardened nicely and smelled wonderful.  I used lavender essential oil and since Debbie over at Homespun Living mentioned that she didn't think she added enough to her batch, I doubled the amount.

In order to get the soap out of the mold, (I did spray it liberally with cooking spray before pouring the soap in) I had to use an icing knife to score around the whole outside of the pan.  Then I had to use a metal spatula and carefully slid it under the center of the soap.  Once I did this, it came out easily. 

See that little oopsie at the top while it is in the container?  The blanket that was covering the soap for the last few days fell into it at the beginning.  UGH.  Oh well, this first time making the soap is for learning all the tricks.

The instructions indicated that now was the time to cut the soap into bars.  With my lack of confidence beginning this project, I didn't think this far ahead!  I now wish I would have used more of a square brick sized container.

My bars of soap were not as thick as I would like but seeing this is the first experimental batch, I tried to let the little imperfections slide off my shoulders.

As you can see, the bars are not uniform in size.  The little end pieces will be used up first once the soap has cured.

They don't look too shabby for my first successful batch, if I do say so myself.  I cannot wait to try it in 3 1/2 weeks.  Once I can use the soap and if I like the texture, feel, lather and moisturizing quality of it, another batch will be started immediately.  Now I just have to wait .... and patience is not one of my strong points!

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

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Every morning I go for a three mile hike.  It is my daily routine.  If I have to miss it for some reason, I feel out of sorts all day. Walking is beneficial is so many ways .... it helps relieve stress, clears the mind, gets the heart pumping and whittles away the waistline.

The biggest problem I was having during my morning walks was my shoelaces on my sneakers always coming undone.  I would have to stop, bend down, tie them again and then try and find the momentum I had before the laces decided to misbehave.  It was annoying!

One misty morning, I didn't have that problem.  The ground was saturated from the rain we had during the night so my sneakers were also getting damp while I trucked along on my regular trail.

Then it hit me......

If your shoelaces are always coming undone, dampen with a spray of water before tying.

My shoelaces had not come undone once during that walk and it was because the shoelaces were damp.  

So every morning before I head out, I give mine a quick spray with water (from my plant mister) and away I go.  My momentum now stays true and strong .... unless of course I run into a skunk. LOL

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Monday, April 23, 2012

It Might Just Work!

Pin It Making my own homemade soap has eluded me for years.  I had tried Rhonda's recipe over at Down to Earth a couple of times.  I followed the directions exactly, being careful of the measurements and quality of ingredients, only to have the final product fail again and again. It seemed as if I was never destined to make my own homemade soap.  I was coming to the realization that if I wanted to enjoy the wonderful scents, feel and lathers of natural, down to earth, homemade soap, I was going to have to purchase it from someone who knew what they were doing.

Alas, I follow Debbie's blog over at Homespun Living and she posted a new technique on soap making.  Could this be the one?  Could this be the technique and recipe I had been searching for that would bring me success?!

One rainy afternoon about a week ago, I had about an hour and a half to kill before dinner .... not that we ever have time to kill ... right?  Anyhoo, I grabbed all my ingredients (I had them on hand from previous attempts at making soap) and thought now was the time.  Now was the time to try the technique that Debbie had posted about.  She had said it was quick and only made a small batch. 

I measured, I weighed, I measured again.  I poured the ingredients in, turned the blender on and waited.  I checked.  I turned the blender on again.  I checked.  Again and again I followed this procedure.  It seemed to take forever, whereas in reality it was only a couple of minutes.  Then I checked again.  The trace stage was starting!!!!  I COULD. NOT. BELIEVE. MY. EYES!!!  With shaky hands I added a lovely lavender essential oil to the blender and mixed again.  After a few seconds I poured the concoction into the waiting pan that I had greased with Pam, covered it as indicated in the directions and put it on the shelf. 

Cleaning up my area took approximately a half an hour then I couldn't stand it.  I had to peek.  Yup, sure enough, when I removed the cover I could see the soap was already beginning to harden.  I was so excited!!!  I imagined bars and bars of homemade soap with different fragrances and ingredients ..... oatmeal, spices, coffee, even chocolate!! 

The soap needed to sit for three days before I could remove it from the pan and cut it into bars.  Stay tuned!

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday's Blessings

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This week I loved the ....

Smell of : bacon
Sound of: the wind blowing through the pines
Taste of: strawberries
Sight of: baby deer in the yard
Feel of:  the sun on my face

Things I am Thankful for this week ...

-  a full pantry
-  my sewing machine
- my free time

Saturday, April 21, 2012


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Twenty-two years ago I celebrated the best day of my life.  After a gruelling 28 hours, I was blessed with my son Lucas James weighing in at 9 pounds 12 ounces.

Unfortunately I do not own a scanner and cannot show you what a beautiful baby boy he was ... but here he is now with his girlfriend Sarah.  Sorry, the picture isn't very clear ... I had lost the picture off my camera and had to use the one from Facebook.  LOL

and here is a picture of the two of us together this past Christmas  .... he grew into one tall, young man .. 6 feet 7 inches.  I miss him so much while he is away at school. 

Love you honey.  I cannot wait to see you in a week and a half!  I hope you have the best birthday ever!

Friday, April 20, 2012

We Have Seedlings!

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Here in Minnesota we cannot plant our garden until the end of May because of frost .... some people believe you shouldn't plant until after the full moon in June!  I just pay attention to the weather. LOL

With having such a short planting season, we definitely have to start seeds in the house at the end of March to give some of the plants an opportunity to reach maturity.

This year I started tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower.  We don't have a LARGE garden for these seedlings, but last year I was still able to harvest over 300 pounds of fresh vegetables from this little round garden!  Our large 20 foot by 60 foot garden is strictly for potatoes and onions. 

So far so good, the seedlings are getting taller and will soon be re-planted into bigger individual containers.  I did have to plant tomatoes for the second time though ... for some unknown reason, the first batch did not sprout.

With Mother Nature playing cruel tricks and giving us some snow yesterday, I don't think I have to worry about getting these babies outside too soon.

Do you have to start seedlings and if you do, how are they doing?

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

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It's Thrifty Thursday!

I love Peter Rabbit.  When my son was small, his whole room was decorated in Peter Rabbit.  I still have a few pieces from when he was a baby and they are kept in the china cabinet waiting patiently to be passed down to the first grandchild.  The other day I saw this at Goodwill and just had to add it to the collection.

and I just couldn't pass up this cute little ceramic doodad .....  just too cute for spring!  Sorry for the blurry picture .... I just couldn't get it any clearer.

Adding a small potted plant I had transplanted a couple of weeks ago and Peter Rabbit is complete!

Peter Rabbit - $ 3.99  Ceramic ducks - $ 0.99

Remember to give your loved ones a hug!

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