Don't Sweat The Small Stuff


I am writing this today straight from my heart, I am THANKFUL.

Thankful for the beauty of family and the complexities of it too.

I grew up in a small cluster, My Mom, Dad, Sister and myself.

Even as I write this I find that my sentences are short and small.

A symbol of the tight and tiny unity that we shared.

Growing up on a farm in Idaho, far removed from the rest of the world,

I was sheltered, protected, and nurtured.







My sister grew up.

I grew up.

We left the safety of our parents and our home.

I went on to marry and have a family.

My sister moved away and married.

My sister went on a boating trip, she never returned from that trip.

Only one of the four people who went boating in Puget Sound that day did.

He was not alive.

That was 38 years ago.






Naturally, there is not a day that goes by that Sandra is not in my heart and thoughts.

I always wonder how different all of our lives would have been.

I wonder who and what her children may have been like.

I miss her.




This tragic experience forever altered my little family's  response to situations, attitude, expectations,

mind set and behavior.

We were forced to focus on what we had, because what we had lost was so great.

We became increasingly aware, with a deliberate mindset, of what we had to be THANKFUL for.

We prayed, we read, we prayed some more.

We worked, and continue to work on learning how to cast aside-

sweating over much of the small stuff.






Now we are in full Holiday mode and there are many sentimental triggers for most of us.

We are swinging into Thanksgiving, and then Christmas is just around the corner.

As much as we embrace these times of gratitude and thankfulness, it is very easy to become

overwhelmed with family expectations, old hurts, sweet and sad memories and loss.


"To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest

ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being."

~John Lubbock





During my usual morning routine, while drinking my coffee and folding clothes.

(This darling tin apron, which hangs on my laundry wall, thank you Samantha!)

Got me to thinking about how all of us, every single one of us...has a messy life.

Those of us who are buying Turkeys, making pies, chopping celery for the stuffing.

We are all a mixture of our messy life experiences, but we can change ourselves and the scars

in our memories by going with a deliberate and conscious mindset into each day.

We have the beautiful opportunity to create new experiences, new memories, and stronger

bonds by choosing to live a life with thankfulness, inspiration, forgiveness, and letting go.


"Experience is not what happens to a man.  It is what man does with what happens to him."

~ Aldous Leonard Huxley





Today I am thankful for all of my family, for those who have gone to be with our Heavenly Father.

For my beautiful children, grandchildren, and step children.  Your lives have enriched mine.

I am thankful for having the complexities that go along with  having you all, to call you mine, to be

with you, to walk with you, to love you.

Happy Thanksgiving Dear Ones, with all of my love.

XOXO








Creative Christmas Jar Projects

I have been seriously thinking of giving some creative Christmas Jar's to some of my friends

and family members this year.

If you are finding that you are looking for an amazing way to use jars, all types of jars, mason,

pickle, jelly or salsa.

You might just discover that you are going to love these creative ways to incorporate jars into your

Christmas decorating and gift giving agenda.  I know I did, I became smitten!





                                                                       Source

By adding a little greenery, cranberries, water and a candle to a mason jar

an illuminating holiday jar is created.
                                       



                                      Snowy Pinecone Candle Jars by crafts by Amanda





Such a cute, cute idea using a jar as a manicure set and then topping it off with a fabric bow.

Lets not stop here, let's personalize it by adding the recipients name with a paint pen!


                                   Peppermint Brownies in a jar from Skip to my Lou.org



                           Sharing this pretty and tasty Jar gift from A Pumpkin and a Princess




                                                                          Source
                                 
                       Some sand, some candles and some jars create such a dreamy glow.



                     The Graphics Fairy has shared a tutorial and some printable jar labels

                     for these fun and whimsical candy jars.







        Beach Blues  has created some one of a kind distressed shabby chic pint sized jars.



                                                                      Source

          Create simple earthy beauty by wrapping bark, twine, twigs and greenery around a jar.




                                                                   
                           Sparkles and a Stove  created these cute little snowmen gift jars.


                          Weidknecht  has created a Mason Jar Christmas Candle using coffee beans.




Grab a mason jar, some yarn, a Christmas ornament or two and a LED votive and you

have a sweet little Christmas decoration for your mantle or table.


Please Join Me~

Cozy Little House


xoxox




Outdoor Thanksgiving


This Thanksgiving means so much to me because I am going to be preparing the traditional

meal at our home for my children and their families.


We might even have an outdoor Thanksgiving!

This is the year we will all be together under one roof or star lit sky and my heart is singing.





My theme for my outdoor Thanksgiving table is a combination of rustic and traditional.

I have incorporated pine cones, burlap pumpkins and natural pumpkins into a rustic iron

basket along with some ribbon and Fall leaves.




I am  mixing some china and fall patterned dishes together along with some new porcelain

dinnerware I just purchased, linen napkins and yarn napkin rings.


Reflecting on my childhood Thanksgiving I remember how my Mother prepared well in advance for

Thanksgiving by using the bounty from many of the crops that were grown by my parents.

We had the best, best, russet potatoes ever,  which came from our farm, apple pie made from

McIntosh apples from our apple tree. (yes McIntosh apples are best for sauces, but Mom's

pies were the absolute best.)




To this very day I can see her standing over the stove stirring gravy, mashing potatoes

or  making one of her signature homemade cakes, cookies or pies from scratch.

A pure symbol of her love was preparing and cooking a meal for her family.




In preparation for Thanksgiving day, I have fluffed up some pillows and planted some petunias.

The menu is planned, traditional right down to the creamy mashed potatoes, and you do know they

are the tastiest made with real butter, half and half and some grated Parmesan cheese.

I have taken a dry run on setting our table and creating an outdoor Thanksgiving tablescape.





So, all that is left is to show you the new dinnerware I just purchased.




I am drawn to  dishes with a pattern, but I know that off white is so clean and universal.




I am looking forward to mixing and matching my china, whipping up those tasty

mashed potatoes and preparing a meal with much love for my family, just like Mom did.



Will you be having your Thanksgiving outdoors or indoors?

Please Join Me~

French Country Cottage

Worthing Court

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson



xoxox







french country cottage

Vintage Yarn Napkin Rings DIY

The sweet simplicity of these vintage napkin rings is the key ingredient to their charm.



My oldest daughter made them for me during her childhood days, one year for Thanksgiving.

I have packed them all around the United States, for a minimum of 25 years,

I think they have held up really well.




I have gathered a few acorns from our old oak tree, picked a few last blooms of orange zinnias,

just to add a little earthy zest to my Thanksgiving Table this year.




I think it would be fair to say, that one could use twine, jute or burlap if they wanted

to trade out the yarn for something else.




The form of the napkin ring may be made out of any pliable cardboard.

I would suggest Kleenex boxes, a cover to an old tablet, cover to a catalog etc...





Cut the ring form into the size and shape you would like, securing the ends together with either

craft glue or hot glue, then wrap the napkin ring form in masking tape.

Use the material of your choice and wrap the ring until it is well covered securing with glue.

Add a petite bow, bell, really the embellishment of your choosing and presto... magic!





I love them...

Will you be using any nostalgic keepsakes in your home this Thanksgiving...


Please Join Me~

Ivy and Elephants

Cozy Little House


xoxoxo







Fashion Friday Coats & Boots


Good Morning Dear Friends, I hope you are all staying warm and safe with this cold weather that has

engulfed the country, it looks like it is going to be an early year to start hibernating and if that's

the case let's do it in style!

Can you believe it is the coldest November on record in nearly 100 years.


Here in the Lone Star State we hardly even get a whisper of a Winter.

With scattered snow flurries in the forecast we are happily trading a brown Winter for a

hurry scurry cold speckled White one.

So if and when Winter comes our way, we all get a little giddy and we wear boots and coats,

Seven days a week and if we could 24 hours a day.








Oh, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that this cold spell, will get rid of these

pesky mosquitoes which have been big enough to tote us all away.




Seriously enough, this is true and yours truly is on the giddy high just like everyone else.

Coats and boots have never looked so good, there are so many styles to choose from and

this year North Texas gals will be wearing them around the clock with our temperatures dipping into

the 20's at night.





We are in celebration mode because we get to wear Winter clothing-finally.

So, I will be doing a little shopping  this weekend looking for the sharpest coat and boots and

of course the best deals I can find.



I am wishing you a safe weekend, and a warm weekend.

Please remember to  always, always believe in yourself, love as much as you live,

and if you find a super cute coat and boots let me know...


xoxoxo








Thanksgiving Printable


Just seems nearly impossible that Thanksgiving is just a little over two weeks away.

It seems to me we can become so busy, pressured, tired and even overwhelmed with

the preparations to make the big day lovely for family and friends that it is very easy

to loose focus on being Thankful.


So, I have designed this little printable just for you, and for me.





I have been so inspired, enlightened  recharged and thankful by a recent Bible Study class which

lasted for 9 weeks over the  Book of Thessalonians 1 & 2.







Did my heart good and my attitude too, sometimes we can become curmudgeons, especially

when we don't stay focused on being Thankful.






So enjoy the printable, have hope always, give thanks and know you are loved.


Dwellings




xoxo








Lets Grow Amaryllis

It is time, time to plant our Amaryllis bulbs so we will have gorgeous blooms just in time for

                                                                 Christmas.


I just planted my bulbs yesterday, and I am so thrilled - they are going to be pink!




I am starting mine from scratch, here are some instructions on how it is going to work.

It is so easy and so neat to see what happens in the upcoming weeks.

I make no promises on success....winky...but after all of the reading I have done,

I feel certain we can do this!







So, lets get started.

Soak Amaryllis roots in warm water for three hours prior to planting.

This speeds up the growing process by softening up the roots, just soak the roots though, not the

entire bulb as we don't want the roots to rot or the bulb to mold.



I chose not to purchase a kit because I wanted to see what sort of bulb I was getting.

It is important to choose bulbs that look clean, are disease free

and have marginal leaf and stem growth.




We want all of the effort that the Amaryllis is going to put into being beautiful

into the roots, in the beginning of the growing cycle.








































Because Amaryllis roots are susceptible to root rot under soggy conditions it is important to

choose a pot that has good drainage and a potting mixture that drains well and retains moisture.

I chose a moisture control potting mix which protects against over and underwatering.





Amaryllis can be grown alone or together, I have read several articles which suggest that Amaryllis

like a little company, so I planted my two side by side.

I believe that the criteria is adequate spacing.

Pot size for one bulb should be around 7 inches deep and 2 inches wider than the top of the bulb.



Fill the pot 2/3 full with potting soil and make small indention's with your hands to nestle

the bulbs in.  Being careful not to disturb the roots.  Gently yet firmly press the bulbs into place

leaving the top third of the bulb uncovered. Do not cover the entire bulb with soil, it will rot.





Water the soil around the bulb well and move to a bright location with a minimum

temperature of 60 degrees.

Water sparingly until growth appears, then keep moist but do not over water.

Turn pot around to keep it from growing crooked, as the Amaryllis tends to learn toward the light.




                                                                  Source


Now that we know what an Amaryllis bulb likes, we can grow them easily and

expect magnificent blooms in 4-6 weeks after planting!




xoxoxoxox



Thanksgiving Burlap Wreath

It seems I am always the last one to jump on the bandwagon of trends, just when they are fading out,

I discover wonderful uses for whatever that trend may be.

Burlap is one of those trends, I have gently creeped into using it, although I always loved the way

everyone else has incorporated burlap into their homes.




You know me and wreaths...

I actually had an Etsy shop for awhile, and I certainly enjoyed working in my little shop.

I was ever so fortunate to sell several wreaths, but sadly enough the shipping costs were too high.

So, I am back to happily making them for myself and anyone in my family who requests one!



Since this is a Thanksgiving wreath,

I began to think what was on top of my list of being thankful for this year.

~Gentleness~


Gentleness of spirit,

words,

and actions.




So, this burlap wreath represents gentleness with it's flowing lines,

fringed fabric,

muted oranges and browns,

buds of burlap,

frosted acorns.





I will hang this Gentle Burlap Wreath on my front door.






Welcoming family and friends with a gentle mind and spirit.





And here is the  Tutorial on how to make a Thanksgiving Burlap Wreath.

Once it is all finished it measures 24 inches.







Any questions or clarifications I am here!

Please Join Me~

French Country Cottage

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Ivy and Elephants

Cozy Little House

Worthing Court

Dwellings



xoxoxoxoxox