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Interior Motives

Decorating and DIYing our house to make it a home.

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Good Enough To Eat

Tried and true recipes my family loves.

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Life Lessons

Navigating motherhood through life's little lessons.

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I Heart Pinterest

When all else fails, go to Pinterest!

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Pretty As A Picture

Photography tips and tricks for the average person.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

House Hunting...Again

Speaking of blooming where you're planted...we're house hunting. And before I get into that, I still wonder where exactly I'm supposed to be blooming... Midwest? East Coast? Down South? I've left the details to God, because as long as I'm with my family, it doesn't really matter.

House hunting is fun, but it can be incredibly stressful as well. Weighing the pros and cons, pondering what decision is the best one can take a lot out of a person.

Like I said, I don't delve into those details, I have enough of daily living to do and between Little League, softball, my work and oh, being married and raising three children and an enormous dog, I've got lots of stuff going on.

Because I'll use any excuse to window shop on the web, I thought I'd share some of my favorite design ideas. I love beadboard. Anywhere. Kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. Doesn't matter. It's beautiful, simple, elegant and yet home-y.

I didn't mean to pick a kitchen with more beadboard, but I did, and I adore this banquet eating area. I want a "warm" kitchen. A place to hang out, with kids, while on the computer, with friends, etc. And can someone tell me why on earth I seem to spend so much time in the kitchen anyway? Hmph.

I also like the neutral paint color of the above pic. I've learned with all our moves (9 times in 16 years) that if you stay neutral in your main rooms, you have more flexibility to change it up during the different seasons. 'Cause I like to decorate and move furniture.

And how could I talk about home and decor without talking about Pottery Barn? I told my husband when we win that million dollars...we are shopping at PB for everything. There isn't a single thing there that I don't like. (Amazing how they make a stack of messy books look good!)

Well, that's just the start of my decor dreaming, I'll keep you posted on how the hunting goes...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bloom Where You're Planted

After the snow thawed, my littlest went into our backyard in a desperate search for flowers. She picked these. I told her that if she picked them, they wouldn't grow anymore, so she came back with these next:

Roots and all. Destined to continue in their growth, she reasoned. She's right, they're still growing, in the same plastic container with exposed roots and daily watering by me. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Winter Wonderland

Taken today: Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Hooking up with: 5 Minutes For Mom

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ten Minute Monday Makeovers

Mondays seem a little daunting to most. It's the beginning of another week, full of activities and possibly surprises. But 10 minutes can make a difference in every area of your life, whether that be for your home, for your kids or even just for you. Ten minute makeovers don't have to cost anything either.

What haven't you done because you thought you didn't have the time? Did you really only need 10 minutes?

With my kids off for Spring Break this week, I'm pledging to start taking 10 minutes today to do one of the following things:

- read a daily devotional
- play a card game with my littlest
- re-organize that closet space
- call someone I haven't talked to in awhile
- sit and listen (to whatever - the birds, the quiet, other people...)

How can 10 minutes change your day?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How Music Moves Us


I bought a new song on iTunes today. It's called "Blessings" from Laura Story. (Check it out!) I have always loved Laura's songs. I heard the song on the radio and called the radio station and asked them to tell me the name of the song.

The first song I ever played and sang at our church was "Mighty To Save." In this new song there's a line that says "What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?" Hmm...

American Idol

We were watching American Idol last night and I liked how many of the contestants decided to forgo advice from their music mentor and sing what they wanted.

I think it was pretty clear that when you sing something you really believe in, it can resonate with the audience. I'm not saying those who poo-pooed the expert's opinion, are going to win, but to use the overly used phrase: "be true to yourself". I think you can have less talent and less ability, but mesmerize your audience because you are singing straight from the heart.

Children With Special Needs

I just read how special needs children are very responsive to music. They may even be nonverbal and yet, music can be a non threatening way to communicate with them. Doesn't surprise me in the least.

Easter Sunday

This Easter Sunday, our family will still serve up chocolate bunnies and hidden eggs, but we will also be at church, celebrating the true meaning of Easter. The meaning will be clearer to me this year. Hopefully the song that I will play and sing with two friends ("Glorious Day" by Casting Crowns) will resonate with many people there.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Cook And A Baker

I was flipping through one of the Barefoot Contessa's cookbooks when I read that people are usually either a 'baker' or a 'cook,' but not both. After last year's plethora of desserts (read this post) I realized that I am a baker.

My husband is most definitely the 'cook' in our house (even though I cook the majority of the meals.) His ability to throw ingredients together and make a dish astounds me. I cannot cook on the fly. It only comes out bad.

When I bake, I'm so careful with my measuring. I even remember someone telling me, when I was really little (either my mother or my neighbor who occasionally babysat me) that when you stir the ingredients, you need to stir 'only in one direction.' Still not sure why.

This past week I baked a chocolate snack cake from scratch and cookies for our son's class. My husband has had burgers and pork chops on the grill since the weather has finally warmed up a little.

So that's my question, are you the cook or the baker? Or is it possible that you are both?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mommy's Time Out

I told my BFF yesterday that as I grow older, it seems I need more quiet time. Funny, when I was single and in my twenties, being alone was the last thing I wanted.

But how does a mom of three find quiet time? In the scarce minutes of solitude, I guess. Either in the wee hours of the morning before the sun is up or in this case, the 15 minute hike to school. Yesterday, the warmer weather enticed me to don crop pants, forgo socks, and walk to school to pick up the kids. I brought my camera, which I rarely do, and stopped to take a few photos.

As I looked down, I realized that I was standing in a chalk-drawn heart. How appropriate, I think it's my heart (soul) that needs the quiet time. A 'time out' of sorts, so I can reflect and reminisce and organize the multitudes of thoughts floating around in my head. It's been hard on all of us, seeing that even though the calendar says it's Spring, we still have remnants of snow mocking us.

The buds on the trees encourage me. The birds singing in the early morning perks me up a little. Funny how the change of seasons means so much nowadays.

As we welcome Spring, I look forward to what it's ushering in; my neighbor's six day old baby, Spring Break for the kids and the true meaning of Easter.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pondering Prayer

I'm finishing a book about God. It's taking me a long time because I've finally learned that it's okay to "chew" on words. And that it's okay to turn back and re-read passages. So, it's taking me awhile. Something that leapt off a page for me was when the author wrote about prayer coming from her written word. Wow.

I read one of my favorite blogs this morning and she posted about prayer being manifested in many ways, including in the written word. Hmm.

I've been journaling about my prayer life since January. I've learned that half the time, I don't even recognize answered prayer. I've learned that praying on another's behalf is uplifting. It's been a humbling experience.

'A Field Guide To God' by Patty Kirk

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Confetti Biscotti

When you're counting every penny, things like treats are few and far between. But this past weekend, I was itching to bake (and eat something sweet!) So with my 2 girls we came up with this recipe.
Confetti Biscotti

Makes 12-16 pieces

2 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar  (*used brown sugar, we ran out of sugar.)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 bag of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (*had a few chips left, but used cookie sprinkles also, which gave us the new name!)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, soda, salt and chips (and sprinkles.)

Add eggs and vanilla stirring until blended. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 8-10 times. Form into a 2x16" log.

Place log on baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove, cool 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.

Place on a cutting board and cut with serrated knife in a sawing motion into 1/2" slices. Place cut side up on the sheet, bake 10 minutes.

Turn slices over and bake an additional 10-12 minutes until golden. Place on wire rack to cool.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pink With Sparkles

Tonight as I popped popcorn for the fam, my youngest watched. She wants to help, so she does, a little. Lately, I find myself looking at her, really looking at her, and telling her how precious she is. I need to do this more often I think, for more people. But it's easy with her, it just pours out.

I call her my "Mini Me" and she eats it up, like her pink birthday cake from last year, wanting so much to be like mommy. So I tell her, "You're so precious."

She wrinkles her brow, "What does that mean, mommy?"

"That you have a very special place in my heart." (tug, tug.)

"Is it pink? Your heart for me?"

I nod, "Yes."

"With sparkles?"

"Of course."

She beams. It was the right response for this girly-girl.

And I wonder why it's so easy when it's our own children. And I wonder about others, others whom we are also called to love. And I wonder about those special needs babies and their parents. I wonder about someone close to me who I spoke to today about her autistic son.

Yes, my heart is spoken for. And it is just that, pink with sparkles.

With A Thankful Heart

About a week ago, our church participated in the community's 'Night of Worship.' This annual event brought all churches, all denominations together. It was marvelous. When we, as people of faith, can put aside our differences and come together as a family, it is a beautiful thing. Because let's face it, in every church, in every community, in every family, there are differences.

Music, which has held a special place in my heart, has been a strong area of praise for me. I'm so thankful for the truly gifted people who are able to move others through lyrics and melody.

A special thank you to my bloggy friend Dana, who provided this amazing photo of what praise and worship can look like! (I am incapable of taking photos at night or in a dark auditorium...) I'm participating in Ann's 'Multitudes On Mondays.'

Friday, April 1, 2011

Making Chocolate Your Life's Work

If you're a lover of books AND chocolate, then I recommend this book:  Discover Chocolate - The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Tasting, and Enjoying Fine Chocolate by Clay Gordon. It was an indulgent read (he he.) But I learned a great deal, which in turn could only enhance my monthly cravings for all things chocolate.

This book delves into a great amount of detail, including the making of chocolate and the difference between chocolates. (Like, I don't eat the generic Easter stuff, it tastes like sweet plastic. But I have yet to endure the strong stuff, like the chocolate with 85% cocoa, pictured above.)

Reading this book will teach you the finer points of chocolate enjoyment. And since I'm a nut about what's on the net, I had to go to the author's site.

The Chocolate Life is a network of "chocophiles" in love with all aspects of chocolate. Wow. Now that's paying some serious homage to chocolate!