:: Feeling lucky ::

Do you know people that have
extra large hearts..
hearts with so much love to give
it's almost as if..
they have a never-ending well of kindness
and generosity inside of them.
you know the ones..
they're always giving and giving
and constantly
thinking of others before themselves
and taking the time to say
and do kind things
in the most generous
{and usually quite surprising}
ways that bring smiles and happiness
they are full of life..
noticing the beauty in everything around them
{and the best part...they share it with the rest of us..)
I have been so incredibly lucky to become friends
with one of those super extra special beautiful people
and when I say beautiful..
I mean utterly gorgeous inside and out
thank you for being my friend. 


:: Letting go of the clutter ::

For a long time now I have considered really cleaning up my life. And, in recent weeks, I have been feeling a strong urge to create more space in my life and really let go of clutter, both literally and mentally.  Part of this is coming from a deep desire to make room for being more creative and artistic, but, I'm also wanting to have more adventures, more experiences, maybe even a whole new lifestyle. I'm growing out of some of my normal patterns and behaviors thatno longer feel right, and trying to develop some new ones that do. And I think this could be a really good thing for me. a few things I'm doing...

Eliminating the junk and impurities out of my diet and embracing  more wholesome and healthy foods that nourish me and leave me feeling light, energized, and clean.   

Drinking enough water every day.  

Sorting through old clothing, shoes, and anything else I am not using and donating them to charity. Putting outfits together of whats left. And, making a list of what I really do need..

Switching up my exercise routine and trying new things like a kettle ball, and weights, and Pilates with my yoga.
  Saying no to social functions and other activities that I don't really want to attend,  and instead treating myself to an artist's date or just a relaxing night at home.

De-cluttering my cubicle at work adding plants and items that will calm and soothe me.
   Avoid gossiping, complaining, and small talk and seek out genuine conversation.
  Using organic/eco-friendly alternatives whenever they are available.

  Checking into volunteer opportunities. 
  Keeping track of how long I am online and limiting myself when it comes to sit-down time. 

That is it for now, but just this little bit is really helping a lot, how do you create space for yourself?


:: It is dark and gray ::

It's been dark and gray for days. The snow has been falling for a long time. 
My mood is beginning to reflect the weather. But it really shouldn't be. 
Why am I feeling so very gray? Doesn't make sense.

You know me. Or, at least by now you should. I am usually a fan of winter, 
of watching the snow as it dances over my yard, and across the road and onward 
until it reaches the river, great big fluffy white flakes falling heavily from the sky, 
swirling and twirling, spinning and hopping as they fall. 

I love the way a blanket of white covers and brightens the world and 
 the way that the moon shines it's silvery light across the great open areas 
in the wee dark hours of the night. 

I love watching how the stars seem brighter from the cold winter sky and the 
way that my breath wisps and dances before me. I love the quiet of the snow, 
the hushed blanket surrounding me and the way that I simply cannot
help but feel transported to a whole new world, alone in snowy woods. 

Cold, real cold, makes its own twinkly lights in the luminescent shapes 
of frozen water drops and ice cycles, they are like hundreds 
of little mirrors reflecting a cold and chilling beauty. 

I love all of this, and I love the way it makes me really appreciate all the 
comforts of my home. The way that it calls for the pleasure of warm socks, 
hot cocoa, hearty stews and the smells of homemade breads baking - 
then gently smeared with butter. 

So I'm trying to keep my spirits up by reading a lot, and journaling more, 
by snapping photographs  as often as possible, and by eating copious amounts 
of pastas and stews, and by learning to make proper oatmeal with 
blueberries and nuts, for those dark mornings. 

I'm still making myself workout even if I'd rather be hiding under my 
warm sheets and blankets and surrounded by tons of fluffy warm pillows. 

But, all in all, do what I may, however, in the quiet moments of my mind, the 
heartbreaking longing for winter sets in, for it is in these magical moments I can 
reflect and remember with great joy - the happy winters of my childhood.



:: Thankfuls 2 ::

:: thankful for so many things...

  • That I have no obligations to be anywhere today. Sometimes a day (or two) wearing sweats really is balm for the soul.
  • For my new nail polish. Great gift. Perfect color. 
  • For winter and it's ability to slow us down.
  • For art and creating and all the ways it breaks me wide open.
  • That I'm having so much fun planning a trip this year. That's half the fun. 


:: Wandering around a small town ::

Just a few things I love about small towns:
abandoned buildings, discarded junk, peeling paint, rusty stuff, crumbling brick, overgrown windows and doorways, marquees, history etched on every sidewalk, memories paved in every street, the present and the past holding hands, and unlimited possibilities around every corner...


:: Pieces ::

Are there times you can't go home, and times when you just can't look back? I want to believe in my better self, in my ability to trust, to love, to forgive. We all want to be brave like that. I think. But we're all a little broken, a little lost. It's hard, all those broken little pieces. Pieces that have no voice but still they hide, deep in depths of our eyes.And, what is that from you ask? I would answer that it's about the way we love each other, or betray each other, forget each other, and even forget ourselves. It's about the relationships we are simply just tumbling through - trying to untangle ourselves and about how the people we choose to be with break us, just rip us apart, and push us into places where we don't recognize ourselves anymore. Which leave us holding questions that simply have no answers. The good news is that every person we meet has the potential to help us find our way again.
Remember, there is something to be learned from each person who crosses our path. It would be a shame to turn away without ever knowing......


:: Sparkling moments ::

Well, this week hasn't been one of them. I know during winter, it is much easier to get a little down, let life kind of stress you out a little more. Friends at work being very ill with the flu and what-not, eating, and snacking all day at work - with very little movement going on at all besides the occasional sneezing and coughing. Sad.That is what it is. How am I supposed to maneuver around all this joy and happiness?

Lately, I have also found some other ways to keep myself occupied as well. I just turn off my mind, begin using my hands, and in the end I have a delicious, but good for you treat as well. It is the ultimate relaxation. I call it "Stress Baking". And, I can sure bake a mean loaf of bread now!

I've also been playing a little game with people lately. I've been doing the exact opposite of what I would normally do. For instance, a co-worker asked if I would like to join her and some other co-workers for a drink and some shopping after work. Instead of the usual no thanks that I have given over 500 times, I said yes. Honestly, I thought she was going to have a stroke. But, the night was great! We had tons of fun, and no doubt, I will say yes again.
Have you done that? Just out of the blue decided to do the exact opposite of what you normally do....for no reason at all? Rather fun isn't it?  : )


:: Things that hurt my heart ::

Scribblings {First Love}

I find that he slips into my dreams more often than I care to admit.
I drift off and there he is, does that sort of thing ever happen to you?

Things {that hurt my heart}

your smile
tender kisses
the sea
spring time
a shoulder to rest one's head on
a garden
how my hand fits perfectly in yours
the woods
a long evening drive with the windows down
reading poetry aloud together
when I am with you the whole world stops
dark summer nights
lying in the grass and looking up at the stars
morning texts
an escape
falling asleep in your arms
the right words
saying goodbye


:: Make it a spa day ::

Are you in the mood for some Grandmother - daughter - granddaughter 
mother/daughter bonding? {you know what I mean}
How about pampering your little girls with an at home spa day? 
How to begin you ask?

 Start with a skin softening banana face mask

followed by a honey hair treatment   

Now, just follow this step-by-step guide to prepping and primping those adorable 
 little piggies at home!

For your hands, a manicure. begin by shaping your nails as you would like them. Then...

Now,  Rinse
With the scrub still on, dip your hands back into the hand soak and rub until the sugar 
has dissolved. Finish rinsing under the faucet until your hands are completely clean.

Gently dry your hands with the clean towel. Rub your cuticles with edge of the towel 
to remove excess skin and loosen the cuticle area.

Push back cuticle
Use your cuticle stick to gently push back the cuticle of each nail. You can also use the 
stick to remove excess skin and dirt from under the nails. Be careful with cuticle trimmers. 
The best thing to do is leave cuticles alone as much as you can and simply use the trimmers 
to remove loose skin and hangnails.

8. Lotion, Lotion, Lotion
Before you start your manicure, have a delicious lotion all picked out. Rub a large amount 
of lotion onto each hand and slowly massage it into your palms, the tops of your hands, 
your wrists and forearms. Take some time to massage the lotion into your cuticle area. 
You may even want to do a second coat on your cuticles and let the lotion sit a bit 
to smooth any rough patches.

9. Apply O.P.I. Polish {I love this stuff}
Problem; What color? Your on your own here. But some suggestions;

And while all this is going on, don't forget to be playing a little bit of music that
everyone can enjoy and get excited about- choose songs that everyone loves to sing to! 

And food, did I mention food? There MUST be food. 
And, you probably should make it healthy right?
Here some ideas;

Lastly, curl up that hair. Now, wasn't that fun! Now, you need to go shopping or something...
you look marvelous darling- so go show off a little bit!


:: Mondays ::

Mondays. The typical rotten Monday things happened just as usual, but then, I came home and I went right to my new yoga class. The instructor really seemed to be emphasizing breathing tonight, talking about it at length... and about slowing down, and about learning to ground yourself. And, although I'm pretty sure she said the same thing last week, and maybe even the week before, this time, I really seemed to hear it. I came home and I ate my dinner slowly at a candle lit table... not in front of the tv. Some soft music playing in the background. I stopped and lost myself for just a moment, but then I heard her voice in my head gently reminding me once again "forget about whats next, just remember now".


:: Thankfuls ::

Loving the winter sunshine as it makes its way through the windows
Having tea with sunshine and...
Noticing the patterns that the light makes everywhere
Loving light, in a way that I have not loved it before..interesting


:: Another beauty by Taylor ::

:: Yes, it is that kind of a day ::

It was a waffle kind of morning at our house today. This type of breakfast is usually reserved for a special weekend … and it was! I invited my son, Sara and Lily over for breakfast and a day of fun. I actually thought this idea up about waffles last night as I was falling asleep, I then woke wide awake so I called them to ask them over. I knew they would be happy. Dinner is one thing, but breakfast? Well, that is extra special indeed. I do tend to go overboard, but, it's such fun! I did stick to just waffles, but I added delicious large sausage links, some bacon, fresh fruit cups, and 3 different types of syrup to choose from. With milk, orange juice, coffees and teas for drinks. It was, fabulous. If you don’t have a waffle maker, you should consider getting one. They are fun and delicious.

Here is a really good recipe to use. Easy. Healthy. Enjoy!

3 eggs
1 3/4 cups of milk
1/4 cup canola oil or melted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Put everything in a bowl and whisk (just) until combined.You can choose to mix dry and wet ingredients separately and then combine, but I've found it unnecessary. Ladle batter into your iron and serve when golden.

*Recipe found on mayamade HERE

a picture by my granddaughter... she's really good!