Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book #5

An interesting story and an emotional ride as I finished this book today. I'm not sure if I would recommend it or not. Probably not though because it tugged on heartstrings in a way that caused my heart to rip open and forced a reality check I didn't really want to make this fine Sunday morning. On to the next...

Update: January 2012!
I have not forgotten my 35 goal at all! Here are a few of the books I've enjoyed lately:

Heaven is for Real- awesome! This book is great and I think the way my friend pitched it me was perfect. She said, "I'm not all churchy and stuff and I don't like when people shove religion down your throat. This book is about answering those questions you might have about what happens when someone dies." She was so right! I've said my prayers much differently since I read it.

The Help- if you didn't read it this fall, what are you waiting for? The movie even did a great job of getting the themes in the book across to the viewers. It's a rare thing for books I usually enjoy to be movies I like as well!

Throwaway- a quick, winter break read. A great escape from reality. One of my guilty pleasure books!

There's A Light In the Attic- read aloud to my class this summer during early start.

Because of Winn Dixie- best book EVERY written. I love to read this one aloud to my kiddos. When we watched the movie they brought tears to my eyes with how much they knew from the book! It was divine!!!

Finally Home from Florida

I wish I had walked along the beach and selected these shells and goodies but that isn't the case. The niece that lives here now got a week long reprieve from the freezing cold Illinois weather with a trip to see her grandma in Florida. Lucky girl!!!
A new centerpiece on the dining room table welcomed friends as we had our first meal after the niece was home. She tried a macaroni pizza at pizza buffet so I was feeling inspired to recreate it. She said I was pretty close...and the whole dish of pasta and crust yumminess disappeared before the dinner was over.
This little birdie came from a garage sale around the corner a couple of summers ago. The tray was a couple of bucks at an estate sale in our neighborhood last summer. The shells and garage sale finds of summers past make me so ready for June. The colorful picture in the background between the windows was a gift from my mom last year for our anniversary. So thoughtful!
A piece of my grandmother's crystal takes center stage. Easter was one of her favorites to decorate for. Going through my Easter decoration, most of which were hers, is always a bittersweet event for me.

I missed having a teenager here so much while she was gone. So glad she's home and has already enjoyed a good night's sleep in her bedroom. Neither of us are particularly happy about returning to school early in the morning.

More Pink!

The pink paint NEEDED to be on the inside of these boxes. All these pieces were just hanging around my craftroom...which will soon be my "studio"...and I love the way they look in here. It was like I picked each piece thinking it would belong in this set.

The jar has "Geo Gridley Druggist Bloomington ILL" stamped on it. I wonder how this plays into the history of Bloomington being that the Gridleys played such an important role in the development and scandals of early Bloomington. Very interesting!

Little Pink Houses

Blocked. Stumped. Uninspired. As spring break started I was hoping to get so much done in my craftroom but couldn't get started. I love pink! So I mixed some red and white paint until I had a color that inspired me. The paint flew onto the various items that were waiting for me to love them. The bases looked natural and I felt they complimented the pink wonderfully.
Once the pink was on the rest of the Little Pink Houses came together easily. Some stamping, punching, pearls, lace, buttons and inking brought the homes to life.

I hope a little birdie comes along with a friend. One can INSPIRE and one can DISCOVER. However, these homes are in my mudroom and I don't think we'll be welcoming any birdies there- and the dogs definitely won't fit!

Check out the other great creations at Between Naps on The Porch. Thanks to Susan for hosting this great party every week!!!
Another place that tickles me PINK is the Sundae Party at

The entries at Funky Junk Interiors are always amazing!


Candlelight Dinner

I know. It's a little late for a Valentine's Day post of our tablescape. But...this was the last meal we had as a family-of-two being that we gained the teenager during this week. That was a pretty sweet Valentine's Day present! That kid makes me smile everyday!!! Since Valentine's Day was also the first day of Parent Teacher Conference week, Emily made a delicious dinner for me to come home to when the long day was finally over. The steak was cooked to perfection and reminded me that spring was right around the corner. There were candles throughout the first floor of our home and the glow warmed my heart as I came in from the chilly evening. It was a very unexpected surprise! I knew that dinner would happen that evening but had no idea it would be so quaint and perfect.
I had previously set the table so the tablescape wasn't a surprise. But aren't the lit candles wonderful to come home to? Using paper napkins this year has been a trick I've used so that my friends feel more comfortable using the napkins in my home and it lets me use all sorts of colors in my tablescapes. The small cup on the top (with the candle in it) was a Bromen Thrift Store that I got for pennies. When the bed and breakfast down the street closed, I bought the crystal bowls at the estate sale. I've used them almost weekly since buying the set of 10 for less than $20.
Loved the candles everywhere! The giant shoe is really a wine holder that I got when I bid on a Wine Basket at a benefit for my friend's father who passed away from pancreatic cancer. Notice the card on the sideboard- Thanks Mom!
These were all taken post dinner! I didn't have a chance to take pictures before because I came home to dinner on the table and wine in the glasses. Works for me! Every Parent Teacher conference week should start like this!
I don't love to eat the Valentine's conversation hearts but I do love to decorate with them! The small pieces of papers had sentiments of love on them and I made them to go along with the cards I made for the loves in my life. The leftovers were a fun addition to the table. Can you see the icicles hanging from the chandelier? They are flirting in the top of the pictures. Putting away all those beautiful ornaments at the end of Christmas is really difficult so I find little ways to use them as winter lingers on.

Now, let's keep this sunshine coming and the warming trend can keep on happening as well!

Check out the other great tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not so physical...

With a niece living here, softball season, a construction project in the basement, taking orders for framed artwork and a plethora of other excuses I can 35 minutes of daily exercise has diminished steadily. I've gotten in three workouts a week but I know I need to put more effort into this goal of 35 minutes daily.

I love the Facebook challenge a friend has set for doing push-ups and sit-ups daily along with cardio workouts throughout the week. The group is also supporting each other with healthy eating habits. It's been a very supportive environment and has gotten me motivated!

So, for March, I'm counting the three hours of practice as my daily minutes. Some days I did more than just coach-while at practice I ran with the kids or threw batting practice. I feel good about the physical activity in March but look forward to kicking it up in April!

#4 Book

I have the most talented friends! The fourth book I read in my challenge is a novel that a budding author hasn't even been published yet and I got to enjoy it. Actually, I devoured it!!! So very good and I can't wait until the next one is finished. If she is so inclined...hmm, mmm...she'll add a comment here and tell you more about it!

35 New Things

I have had a very new thing: my niece moved in! She's now living at the "bed and breakfast" which means my one room for playing bed and breakfast has been taken over with the nestings of a 17 year old. I love, love, LOVE that she is here. Since I haven't had children of my own...yet...there have been many new things. Here are some of the things we've gotten to do during the two months she's lived here:
1. Find a prom dress- that took us to new stores and I cried when we finally found the perfect one.
2. Bought a pair of silver shiny heels- they are for the perfect dress of course!
3. Went to Ultimate Tan for a package to prepare for the perfect dress :)
4. Been awake by 5:30 for an entire month! Now, I'm planning to use that time a bit more wisely than just trying to function!
5. Had someone to tuck in each night
6. Watched Mean Girls while holding a crying teenager and eating pizza
7. Seen Jersey Shore. Wow. I hope that doesn't happen again!

In addition to new things with the teenager, there have been other things during March:
8. Went to all the thrift stores in Bloomington in one day.
9. Ate at The Shack in Clinton
10. Welcomed a former player onto our coaching staff
11. Went to the Goodwill in Peoria, up Grandview Drive and to the park at the zoo

So, lots of changes around here but tons of fun. The best part of having the niece here is that we laugh so hard we cry almost nightly. She's an amazing kid. We are so blessed!

Well, some of the new things that we had during the summer where moving a teenager out and having a broken heart about it. That was so hard but she's doing great and so are we...being aunts is much better! We did have some fun standing in line at an estate sale on morning, and can cross that off the bucket list. 2011 was pretty tough as we discovered Gracie has seizures and Otis ran away from home. We also lost our Aunt words for that one. I had my gall bladder removed during the fall. Not sure if that goes in the good or bad column. But we had a beautiful ceremony in our yard with all our loved ones, enjoyed becoming the resident artist at Kelly's, and hosted our first Tea Party! So, the good and bad balanced out in the end!!! We also got Eddie, the cat, as a Christmas present and he is filling voids we didn't know we had! The 35 New Things were not a challenge to accomplish at all!