Fun Easter Projects and Traditions…..

Easter is soooo early this year!

I’m not quite ready to think about it….but I better get with it.

Here are some of the fun projects we enjoy doing at Easter….you can click on the title of each to be taken to the post with the how-to’s, etc.

Just this weekend I gave these to a lovely group of teen girls that spent the weekend with us…..here’s the how-to….

Vintage German Easter Egg Treats

basket of vintage easter eggs 2

This is our favorite way to dye eggs…..I just love the colors:

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

naturally dyed eggs on silver tray

Ever know the stories behind Easter Traditions?

I shared some in this post:

Easter Traditions

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We had fun making these last year, too….

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs

Vintage Sheet Music Eggs main

Here’s the recipe for

Easter Story Cookies

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Have you started looking for the

Pine Tree Crosses

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I shared about our

Easter Egg Tree …… and how you can make your own….

easter egg tree

And we love the yearly tradition of doing a

Passion Tree

passion tree 2011

Well…those are some of our fun yearly traditions that we enjoy…..do you have any special Easter traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

Blessings~

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Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z,  Serenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo

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The Way Things Are Remembered…….

A while ago I was telling my 3 children about the wonderful, huge closet I had when I was young.  I explained how it was so tall I couldn’t see the ceiling…and I pretended it was my castle. I told them that it was so big sometimes I felt like I got lost in there and that I created entire worlds.  It was so big that when I pretended it was a store….I had departments! I was sharing how I wish we had closets that big in our cottage so they could have fun in them like I had fun in my huge closet.

My Mom was there when I was telling this story.

She chuckled and I asked her what she snickering about.

She said that she thought that was so special that I remembered my closet that way.

I was perplexed….I mean it was the ONLY way to remember it. It’s how it was.

And then she said that she thought it was so special that was my memory of my magical closet…….because in reality that closet was so teeny that her and my Dad had to bend down to get in…and there was not even enough room for them to fit in it without turning sideways.

I said “Uh. uh. !!!”

“No. way.”

And she said ….. “Oh, yes…that’s how it really was.”

Wow.

Even after being faced with reality…..I still remember how big that closet was. I was the princess of the entire kingdom. I knew my kingdom, after all, you  know.

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{source}

After that conversation it got me thinking….I wonder how my children will remember things. Will the teeny closets be huge? Will the things Handsome and I see as hindrances, inconveniences, and ‘less-thans’ be remembered to them as wonderful things?

When we remember we are seeing with the heart. Our heart always overrides our eyes when it comes to memory. We remember not so much how things were or how they happened….but how they made us feel.

That teeny closet made me feel like the princess of the castle….so it will always be remembered that way.

I see our growing as a family over the years as a necklace. From the very beginning each special memory is a bead. As our children grow and eventually launch out on their own I hope we will be sending them out with a beautiful, full necklace.  Full of gigantic closets, feelings of being Princes and Princesses, having the best home in the world………not because of how it was decorated, but how they felt inside it. Loved.

I hope they will maybe remember those days over the years that I’ve thrown a crazy MomFit as their Mom was so fun she actually put on a circus for them. {OK. OK. I know, that’s pushing it…but memory is a powerful thing…and it could be possible. Right?}

I hope to send them out with a beautiful necklace…years of wonderful feelings of being loved no matter what. Years of great memories. A necklace they will cherish all the years of their life. One that even when I tell them how small the closet actually was it will not tarnish or lose its shine. It may even get brighter.

Your closet Princess~

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Finding the Lovely ….. {Week 3}

I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day! We’ve been busy around here with some fun projects…..but aren’t quite finished yet.

This was a hard week. Anyone else been there? But….there were still many lovely things happening in the midst of the hard.

Finding the Lovely Week 3

1. My favorite store! 😉

2.  Heart-shaped BoBerry biscuit. If you do not live in or are from the South….this may be foreign to you. I implore you to try them one day when you are passing through.  I only have them once-in-a-while…but the week of Valentine’s each year they are in a heart shape. An extra lovely:  see the little hand?

3.  A bowl full of lavender-filled hearts.

4. Vintage Valentine’s

5.  Pillows….waiting….

6.  Two crazy sisters that fight over the front seat daily!

7. I’m forgiven……so I’m dropping my rock.

8.  Woke up to beautiful tulips on Valentine’s Day….my favorite! {How did he know???}

9.  Went to change the toilet paper on Valentine’s Day….and found this. =) God was sending me a message…even in the toilet paper. I’m loved. I’m His favorite Valentine. 😉 hee!hee!

What are some lovely things from your week? Anyone else have a hard week….but could still see the lovelies?

Hope your weekend totally refreshes you~

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Finding the Lovely {Week 1}

Last year for the month of February I had fun with a weekly post called ‘Finding the Lovely’. You can check out last year’s Finding the Lovely posts here.

It was part of being intentional about finding and SEEING the loveliness each week and capturing it spontaneously….on my phone’s camera. To stop and SEE all the fun, lovely things that happen each week. It’s fun…why don’t you join me!? I lt was great at the end of the week to look back over what I’d quickly documented…..and have proof of all the wonderful, lovely blessings that have happened throughout the week. Even if I feel like it’s been a rough or ‘bad’ week…..when I look back over what I’ve documented, it’s proof that even rough weeks are full of loveliness.  And at the end of weeks that I think have been wonderful….I get to look back over and remember. There is always loveliness to be noticed…it’s everywhere.

I challenge you to try it. As you go through your day capture things on your phone’s camera….anything that makes you smile or that you think is lovely, fun, etc. At the end of the week go back and look through all those things. Focus on the lovely. The gifts. The blessings that find you each day.

For the next several Fridays I thought I would share my Finding the Lovely right here.

For this week…….

Finding the Lovely - Week 1

Art brushes….they make my heart sing!

Getting the first spoonful of peanut butter =)

A little spring on the table on a super cold day….

Words of comfort and encouragement

A gorgeous sky on my early morning run

Getting to do some mini art with my new art pencils for someone that needed encouraging

A wonderful gift of 48 vintage, wooden, folding chairs….have always wanted some of these!

A barn full of treasures…waiting to be loved again

A daughter’s beautiful music….it always ministers to me

Belgian waffles for dinner

A fun daughter….love spending time with her

Having a frappuccino girls’ afternoon date!

A fun game of Chinese checkers with the whole family

Ice crystals sparkling

Chinese delivery in front of the fire during an ice storm

Daffodils saved from the ice and sitting on the sill

May you have a weekend full of finding the lovely~

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I Have This Strange Habit…….

I didn’t really realize it was strange….or out of the ordinary. I’ve been doing it forever. It works. Gets the job done. I’ve never had any disasters.

Until the day that I spontaneously did it and my mother-in-law was in town. When she saw me do it she burst out laughing….I thought she was going to cough up a lung!

My strange habit? When something needs to be hammered I grab whatever is closest…that is hard….and use it.

strange habits

I’ve used trophies, rocks, Yankee Candles, paint brushes, statues, frames, etc. If a hammer isn’t handy I just grab whatever is close and hammer away!

So, the day my mother-in-law was visiting and we were walking out the screen door….I saw a nail that was hanging out, grabbed the Yankee Jar Candle and hammered it right back in. Isn’t that what anyone would have done?

The funny thing…..I was walking past my youngest daughter’s room the other day….and she was hammering a nail into her wall with a paperweight. ha!

I think this habit may live on to other generations……

Do you have a strange habit?

Oh, come on…you know you do…spill it!

Hammering away~

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Fun in Atlanta….

 

Back in the autumn we took a fun trip to Atlanta, GA. We’ve gone to Atlanta many times ….. we have family there; but I thought I would share a few, fun little things to see and do while you’re there for anyone that may be going for the first time.

We started our fun at the Country Living Fair…..if you have never been to a Country Living Fair, put it on your list of ‘to-do’s’! There is one in the spring in Ohio and one in the fall in Atlanta. It is definitely worth it.

My Little One thought this was definitely the best way to see everything…on the back of Grammy’s scooter!  {You can read my 25 Things Atlanta Version Post here.}

Country Living Fair in Atlanta Country Living Fair in Atlanta

Another great spot that you cannot miss {if you have never been} is the Georgia Aquarium. It is the world’s largest aquarium….and it is truly a treat. Handsome and Grammy had never been and they were in awe……so fun!

Georgia Aquarium

One of my favorites are the moon jellies…they glow in the dark…..

Georgia Aquarium Jellyfish Jellyfish at the Georgia Aquarium Georgia Aquarium

Right outside the aquarium is Centennial Park….the center hub of where it all happened when the Olympics were held in Atlanta in the 90’s. {CNN is another great place to visit.  We did that a few years ago and it was a lot of fun.}

Centennial Park

The walkways are paved with pavers that have messages on them from people that donated to the building of the park…..

Centennial Park in Atlanta

The week that we went to Atlanta was a little over a week after my grandmother passed away…and we happened to find a brick with this message. I called my grandmother Ma-Ma…..so it was special.

Centennial Park in Atlanta

In the same block as the Georgia Aquarium and Centennial Park is the World of Coke. A treasure trove of all things Coke.  You can watch Coke being bottled and taste Coke products from around the world.

World of Coke in Atlanta

Here’s the Coke couch from American Idol….

American Idol Sofa at World of Coke

This is the very first Coke dispenser…..

First Coke Dispenser

No trip to Atlanta is complete without grabbing a bite to eat at The Varsity! Serving great food here since 1928. “What’ll ya have” is the first thing you’ll here when you step up to the counter….and you better have your order ready, they won’t wait!

The Varsity The Varsity Counter, Atlanta

Downtown Roswell is another really fun spot to spend time and play……it’s a treasure trove.

Downtown Roswell Downtown Roswell

{Source for Roswell pics}

While you’re in the area another one of our favorite places to explore is Marietta…you can read my Marietta post here.

Yours truly in Marietta with the famous pistol that Scarlett O’Hara used in Gone With the Wind…..

Oh the thoughts running through my head! {No worries…I haven’t acted on any of them!}

Scarlett O'Hara Pistol from Gone With the Wind

Do you have any tips on anywhere you’ve been lately? I would love to hear them, because we love to travel and learn about new spots!

Blessings~

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Our Annual Christmas Party……..

For the past 18 years we have hosted an annual Christmas party at our home. The first year we started No. 1 Son was only a few months old and I had him in a sling all night. We initially began the party because we had just moved into Oak Cottage and didn’t know anyone…..we thought it would be a great way to get to know the neighbors. That first year we had around 50 people. We enjoyed it so much we decided to make it an annual tradition. We now have over 200 people coming through here each year…..it is something that our whole family looks forward to all year. For the past several years there are always many overnight guests after the party….our kids’ friends…..so it almost turns into a weekend celebration.

Our family is at its best when we are all together and have a home full of people. Handsome and I knew that hospitality was one of our ‘things’….but it has been neat to see that it is actually one of our whole family’s ‘things’. We love opening our home to others…whether it is just one person for coffee, or hundreds for a big party. Hospitality is wonderful ministry….and we love doing it together.

Here’s some little snippets of the preparation, etc. of our party last week.  I added in a recipe or two……

We use a whole lot of Stonewall Kitchen products around here…and one of our favorites is the Cranberry Horseradish Sauce. We mix the whole jar with 8 oz. of cream cheese….and it is the best dip ever! They also have wonderful syrups…it is the only kind we use. {No, they have no idea who I am…I just like their stuff, and so I am sharing it with you. :)}
cranberry horseradish sauce

Making these mini apple pocket pies is so much fun. To make them I use mini pocket pie molds from Williams-Sonoma, my favorite pie crust recipe, and Comstock apples……I mix lots of cinnamon and sugar into the apples, and then also sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the outside right before baking.

mini pocket pies

Love making cupcakes…regular-sized and these mini ones……I usually make a white cake with white icing. It helps with the Steeped Memories…. 😉

mini cupcakes

I am a list-maker…but also free-spirited, SO that makes me a free-spirited list-maker! ha! I have long used this fun pad of paper called The Entertainment Pad. It’s where I make lists of what will be served, what dishes will be used for each dish, what needs to be done 3 days, 2 days, day before, day of…..you know, it’s where it all happens. One year I accidentally left this out in the kitchen…and I noticed lots of people hovered over something on the counter, taking notes. When I walked over I realized they were checking out the pad of notes, etc. ha! They said that they learned a lot. {Probably a lot about my slight insanity……..}

entertainment pad

Some of the fun treats ready and waiting…..

party collage

Do you enjoy opening your home to others or do you prefer it to only be filled with you and your family?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! We have a party or two and then all 3 of our kids are performing {violin} at a Christmas Tea for the historical society in a lovely old, historical home. Can’t wait to see it!

Warm Christmas Wishes for your weekend~

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8 Fun & Easy Christmas Decorations to Make

We are in full Christmas swing here…how about you? I thought I would share a few of our fun little Christmas touches we’ve added this year….really easy ones.  {I also listed with the links at the end of this post the other ideas from last year with the how-to’s…}

I do not like the labels that come on most products….like jar candles, plastic storage boxes, etc. I’m that crazy person that when I see someone has left the label on the plastic storage container I have to hold myself back. I just want to run over and pull it off! Truly. It is all I can do to keep from doing it. And, if I know the person, I actually do it. ha!

SO, to cover up our jar candle labels I used upholstery webbing…..ya gotta love upholstery webbing. It usually comes in red, a dark forest green, or black.

covered yankee candles uphostery webbing

For this little project I just cut the webbing long enough to overlap and hot-glued it together. It forms a little sleeve that can slip off and be used on another jar candle when needed. {But be sure to glue it tight enough that it doesn’t slip down.}

yankee candle cover yankee candle covered

Another way I used the webbing was to add a little fun to the pillows that we have on the porch swing…..

webbing on pillows

Another fun, quick project we did was make some little word labels for two of our vintage silver foil tabletop trees.

vintage silver tree with labels

Using craft paper….we printed some fun words, cut them out, outlined then in German glass glitter {my favorite!}, and then glued hangers on the back. For the hangers I just used wire ornament hooks and straightened them out, then curved them to make a hanger for each word.

hangers for word tags word tags for tree tree labels

I am noticing that I really liked using the word ‘fun’ in this post. Fun!

Here are some other Christmas projects from last year {just click on the title of each one to be taken to the post with the tutorial and any free printables}:

Snow Balls with No Snow! Includes free printable!

snow balls on porch in basket

Initial Wreath

Initial Wreath

Russian Tea {Great for teacher or neighbor presents!} Includes free printable!

Russian Tea and TeacupBaby Jesus’ Bed….a fun activity for the whole family

baby jesus' basket bed

Christmas Journals

art journaling

I hope you all are having a great week so far…..the days are just flying by, and I’m trying so hard to slow them down.

Blessings~

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Sharing with:  Tip JunkieBetween Naps on the PorchThrifty Decor ChickFunky Junk InteriorsDIY ShowoffHome Stories A to Z a.k.a. DesignSerenity NowSavvy Southern StyleMy Romantic HomeJennifer Rizzo