Sunday, January 31, 2010

I got some great shots around our house today...this one was at just the perfect time to catch the sun going down between the branches of this cherry tree in our yard. The lighting has been amazing all day. From the soft pastels of the sunrise to the fiery drama of the sunset, it's been a beautiful snow day. We got plowed out around 2:30 this afternoon so we went out for a ride around town and to drop my daughter off at a friend's for a sleepover (since they already called school for Monday). Tripp's friend came over, too so all are happy to end the cabin fever with a play date and another day off school!

Sat. photo-Mudroom Mess

Well, I uploaded my photos from yesterday and they looked especially blurry, so I reshot it this morning! Of course, the mess was still sitting right there...
These are some new sleds my hubby picked up for the kids on Friday before the snow. They are called Snow Boogie Air Slick's and they apparently worked great! The tag that was attached to it is almost the same size as the 4x6 cards that go into the Project Life kit so I think I might have to use one in the album...

Saturday Post

I am making one of my random postings this morning because I fell asleep before I got a chance to upload a photo of the day for Saturday. I got some housework done early in the morning and proceeded to finish adding the photos to my December Daily album (I hadn't even printed them out until this past week). That was a huge accomplishment for me! It is way boring compared to some of the lovelies posted on the Ali Edwards flickr site...but it is still a true and accurate account of our month and I am so proud of myself for following through with this to the album's end. As I have mentioned in many posts, it was this album which made me realize I could do the Project Life picture a day challenge. I am eternally grateful to Ali Edwards for getting me to "scrap" again. It has been years!

We ended up getting about 10-12" of snow! It was a great day to go out and sled, but I was happily sitting on the craft room floor for hours. I am ashamed to say I didn't go out to take pictures of the kids even once! I am definitely going to make up for that today! I like sledding, hopefully we'll have so many great ones from today that I end up including more than one photo for Sunday.

I'll upload the picture from yesterday in just a few...

Friday, January 29, 2010


This is the view out of my car window while driving home from school this afternoon. Area schools were released at 1:00 today. Our school doesn't follow the same schedule so we stayed in until 2:45. By the time I got to our road, this is what the conditions were like. We had to call my husband to tell him to get on home (he was at the movies) or he might not make it up our mountain. He made it just in the nick of time. The kids spent the afternoon sledding. I filled up all the birdfeeders and enjoyed watching them eat all of the seeds that I scattered on our front porch. It looks like we are getting anywhere from 8-10" and will be stuck up here for several days. That's fine by me because I have lots of scrapbooking and jewelry-making I want to do this weekend...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kiss the cook

Kiss the cook!
There are some days when I get home from work that I am just famished-so hungry, so tired-and to be welcomed home with a piping hot plate of food is just the best. Nothing says "I love you" like cooking joyfully for someone. I am so lucky that my hubby loves to cook (and his father before him). With my teaching schedule I am not home to prepare our dinners most days so the responsibility falls on him quite frequently and he does a great job with it. Tonight's dinner was something not on the planned menu-he created a low-carb surprise, almost like a crustless quiche and it was the yummiest comfort food! Thanks're the best!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Project Life

I am in a Project Life frenzy! Since I got my kit yesterday, I uploaded all of my photos of the day and had them printed out overnight so they were ready to pick up this morning. I have been busy journaling and adding in the days contents...still more to do, but I am having a ball. I stayed up way past my bedtime last night getting the initial kit set up and am doing it again tonight-yikes!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It Came!

After waiting ever so patiently for Project Life to be available for sale on kit has arrived. I am delighted because I don't teach on Tuesday afternoons so this means I am free to ooh and aah over the contents all evening! I am off now to watch the video tutorial that Tammy Morales posted on Becky Higgins site to show how to set up your album.
So if I'm playing with my kit and hanging out online, what's for dinner? I already know the answer to that of course, because I am a menu maker! We're having this awesome Pakistani Beef dish called, Kima. I found this recipe several years ago by typing "what to do with a pound of ground beef?" into Google...isn't it hilarious what you have access to on the net? I'm trying a lower carb version tonight and using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Clean kitchen

I thought that today's picture would be me holding up my new Project Life kit, but it didn't come! So, instead of playing around with that I did the after dinner dishes instead and set the coffee pot for the morning (neither of which I have been doing lately). Boy, isn't it nice to wake up to the coffee already made and the kitchen clean? Flylady would be so proud of me for shining my sink!
I'll let you in on one of my kitchen secrets. Caldrea cleaning products. They are having a clearance sale right now so it's a good time to have a looksie and pick up some wonderfully aromatic cleaning products that really make housework a joy (well, almost). My favorite scent is Lavender Pine. I just purchased my teacher gifts for next Christmas from their 60% off clearance scents. I also bought myself the handsoap and candle in the Cypress Bergamot fragrance. It smells great-so fresh and clean like a walk in the winter woods. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


It has poured buckets all day! So it has been the perfect day to snuggle in with loved ones and watch movies together. Here you see 3/4 of the family modeling their Snuggie's right before watching the family classic, Babe.
The ingredients for the perfect day (so far) have been:
1-not getting out of our pj's (that seems to be a consistent theme around here)
2-a fire in the fireplace
3-some family time (a great movie)
4-some alone time (Libby and I made some earrings, set up an etsy store)
5-banana nut bread (recipe courtesy of

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meet the Baby

Awww...we hosted a "meet the baby" shower today at our house for a darling baby named Inga. She is one of the luckiest little girls in the world because she has not one, but two wonderful mommies!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Nap Time

Well, no time for an afternoon nap today! My daughter's bed sure makes it look tempting, though. This is the first sunny afternoon we've had in a while and the temps are above freezing so I was going from room to room opening up the curtains to let a little light in...the lighting just struck me so here's the picture of the day.

Everything I buy seems to have a little story behind it, if it doesn't it probably doesn't matter all that much to me. You've already learned that I am a bird nerd. I have trouble not buying things with birds on them. This little pillow was featured in Better Homes & Garden magazine a few years back as an "ideal" Christmas gift, so I immediately ordered it (for myself, of course). It came wrapped in brown tissue paper and was tied up with a little ribbon and a tiny little cloth blackbird ornament. What a sweet might still be able to find it at Bayberry Cove.

Libby's lovely bedding came from the clearance aisle at World Market. This little pillow just looks beautiful in her room so I was glad to share it with her.

Last but not least, the big news of the day is that I was able to order my Project Life kit off of amazon! Yay! It will be here Monday so I can start printing off all of these pictures I've been sharing with you.


It was a long, long Thursday so I was too tired to blog when I got home from work. I promptly put my pj's on after dinner, kissed the family good night, and went downstairs to read. The sampler says it best, "Seek Home for Rest for Home is Best".

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A new attitude-Picture of the Day

I find Buddha statues very soothing and calming. I am not Buddhist, but I do understand and agree with some of the concepts of Buddhism.

I went around snapping pictures for today and was simply looking for texture and cool lighting. This picture won.

Here are some thoughts on Buddhism to ponder:

About Buddhism

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.

Atisha (11th century Tibetan Buddhist master)

Yesterday-Picture of the day

I'll be honest, I took my camera with me yesterday and forgot to use it. I had dinner with some friends after our PTC meeting at school and really wanted to have a dinner out picture to add to the album but it will have to wait 'til another time.

I am in a seriously grumpy mood today and I don't really know why. I am trying to improve it-this picture helped. I have had this little vignette sitting on the left side of my mantle for several years. I have changed it around a few times, but always come back to it. I do change my mantle decor seasonally for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but this is pretty much up there the rest of the year....

These little elephants remind me of circus trains. I picked them up at an estate sale for next to nothing. They have the color orange in them-so naturally I am drawn to them!

The little books are pretty special, too. One of them I purchased myself from a thrift shop. My hubby gave me the other two for a Valentine's Day gift one year. They are signed and dated inside by the original owners. The pink one is titled Annie Lyon, the inside cover page says "Annie Lyon or the Secret of a Happy Home". Maybe I need to read that one today..LOL! The dark green one is titled "The Crown Jewels" and is inscribed inside with the date 1871.

Click on the picture to enlarge it-the detail and texture is pretty amazing!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meet the cats.
I decided to jump up and take a picture of the cats because Zoe, the one in the foreground, was cracking me up. This cat will play with anything! At the time that I went to grab the camera she was playing with a water bottle she got out of the recycling bin. Skittles, the one on the hearth, was just calmly sitting there watching her. When I snapped the pictures of Skittles posing, Zoe decided to come chase the flashing red light on the camera. (That's why she is looking at the floor-I was laying down to take this shot). Never a dull moment when these two are around!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Picture Wall

The "before" and "after" pictures of our photo wall. We put this in our craft room/play room/mudroom area. I am so delighted with the result! I need to buy lots more frames and print out more pictures though because these photos are several years old...

There is a great tutorial for creating a picture wall on the Pottery Barn website. We started with the two main pictures and really just played with it from there without too much precision and very little measuring.

This has been a project weekend and it was totally spontaneous-the best kind!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pizza Night courtesy of Papa John's. Shown here are my daughter, Libby, my son, Tripp, and his best friend, David. David and Tripp have been buddies since 3 year pre-school. They are now in 6th grade. Unfortunately, they are no longer at the same school, but we still have David sleepover at our house just about every other weekend. David is also included in just about every camping trip, or boat outing we take. I hope they will always be such good friends because David is totally a part of our family!

*Must add that I was in my pj's the entire day and didn't feel like cooking or going out so ordering pizza and chicken strips (for my non-pizza eater, Libby) was sooo easy and worth every penny!

Friday, January 15, 2010

What Not To Wear

Always a Friday night favorite at my house...What Not to Wear. Thank goodness the new season is back on the air! I was so bummed that TLC didn't show re-runs during the normal Friday night time slot. Every other Friday is either book club or game night so I always look forward to the Fridays when I get to snuggle into my pj's and watch the show in bed. Usually my daughter watches it with me but tonight she is at a friend's for a sleepover.
I must say that I find the fashion on the show fun and inspiring but I think I am more drawn in by the emotional and pyschological side of the transformations. I can totally relate to the guests who don't want to be seen or who don't know how to dress their new bodies after weight loss. I can relate to not recognizing the person looking back at you from the mirror. Many years back I lost a whopping 62 pounds with Weight Watchers and I still struggle with a bit of an identity crisis from time to time! I am thankful that I lost the weight and rediscovered my "old" body, but I am also grateful for the experience of being overweight so that I might be more empathetic with people who struggle with obesity.
The underlying theme and message is to love the body you have and buy the right clothes to fit your shape regardless of the size. That's what tailors are for! I think that clothes don't make the person, but they sure do change the attitude of the person wearing them (and perhaps those you encounter while wearing them). I am sure that all of us can attest to the magical qualities of the perfect outfit and the powers we possess when we wear them!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Picture 14

Oh, Happy Day! Inasmuch as yesterday stunk today has been great! I got tons done around the house which freed me up for other work stuff and have been pretty successful with that, too. What a difference a day makes, huh?
I am also thrilled because today was a good mail day. I had purchased a couple of things from ebay and they both arrived. I had also purchased a book that I am really excited about off of amazon.
First things first, today's photo is of one of my purchases. These adorable snowman mugs are made by Luminarc. I got them to add to a set that I already own. I received 4 as a Christmas gift from a dance student that I taught when I lived in California many years ago. Even though I was so young and just barely setting up housekeeping during that time (and had several pretty tumultuous years following), miraculously I still have them. That was back in the early 90's. So now my children get to enjoy them all winter long. I know that they will be a treasured memory when they are old and gone. The set was down to 3 and one of the remaining ones is chipped so I decided to go look on ebay for them and lo and behold-I found them! Actually, I found 3 different sellers offering them. So I bid on the one that had two available and as you can see-they are here and safe and sound in my loving care until the kids break another one.
The book I got is called 5 and is written by Dan Zadra, who apparently has written several other inspirational-type books that I am yet unfamiliar with. The book is about creating a 5 year plan and has some worksheets and thought provoking questions. I'm sure I'll be posting more about this later. For now, it seems like a great way to start off my 40th year!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Well, this was one of those days that just started out bad and got progressively worse. I awoke to find that the water wasn't running. Now, this wouldn't have been nearly as big of a deal if we hadn't just spent almost $1000 on Monday having our submersible well pump replaced. We have had temps in the teens for weeks on end and it finally just gave out. At any rate, all fixed and it lasted for 24 hours. Then, I discover while loading the kids in the car for the ride to school that Tripp never even took his book bag in to do homework last night (he's in 6th grade so I didn't bother checking after him). Needless to say, he was in trouble. On the way to school I received a phone call regarding his behaviour yesterday at lunch....Day just getting better and better. Poor Tripp went in having been scolded by me and knew he was going to have to have a talk with the principal, too. I hated sending him off that way!
So, I just sulked in front of the computer and put off chores that I had to do-like wash the pile of dishes accumulated during the water outage. Finally, the water was back on by 10:30 and I was out of steam due to my bad mood. I bucked up to the responsibility and just got it all done. I didn't want to come home to a dirty kitchen one more day. I also procrastinated about some work stuff I needed to do-mainly finalizing song selections for the dance recital. That is always so hard!
When I left for work, I left a note on each child's door just to say "I love you" and luckily by the time I got home this evening everyone was in a much better mood, including me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This cool metal "Eat" sign hangs in our kitchen above the cabinets at an odd angled section of ceiling where the vault meets a wall. It is available through the Sundance catalog by following the link: Eat
So what did you eat for dinner? I made a family favorite-Shepherd's Pie. It was a low-carb version with mashed cauliflower on top instead of mashed potatoes. This is my simple recipe:

Brown 1 lb. lean ground beef with diced onion and garlic, drain
Mix beef with 1 bag of cooked frozen peas, corn, or green beans (you can use canned vegetables)
Cook cauliflower until extremely soft, drain, then mash with a bit of cream cheese, goat cheese, or sour cream to flavor and smooth to the texture of mashed potatoes.
Spread beef and vegetable mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish and spread mashed cauliflower on top. Sprinkle with grated cheese of your choice and cook at 350 for 30 minutes.


Day 11-

It is a real challenge to find pictures that I think are "meaningful" to me, yet interesting to someone else. I am trying to remember that the scrapbook these photos will ultimately be going into is supposed to be reflective of my everyday life. Keeping that in mind takes a little pressure off. Monday night's photo is of our happily napping dogs lying on the rug in front of the fireplace. These dogs are normally outside dogs and they have a special place in the garage for sleeping on cold nights, however it has been too cold to let them sleep there for the last month! Luckily they are both house-broken and are pretty well behaved when inside. They provide a great source of entertainment for our two spoiled rotten cats. This picture is a treasure for the future because it is of our sweet furry family members. Steady, the white dog is an American Eskimo bought on to help mend our broken hearts when our old dog Murray passed away in 2006. The black dog, Bandit, is our pound puppy and he is a Spanador (a cocker spaniel-labrador mix.) We rescued him from our local animal control to give Steady a playmate in 2007.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 10-Sunday

Any fellow Simpsons show fans out there? This photo was taken at the end of last night's episode and right before the 20th anniversary special.
I didn't start out as a Simpson's fan watching when it first aired. I did watch occasionally during the early 90's but didn't seriously watch until I met my husband who was a huge fan. It has been a part of my Sunday night for years now and even my kids are old enough to watch with us (sort of). I cringe sometimes at things they say on the show-but it is an opportunity to discuss some subject matter they may not otherwise come up. That can be a good thing. What an institution this show is for viewers around the world. It is something we may have in common with more people than we might be aware of...

To view last night's episode follow the link: The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Soup du jour"

I love soup! I make it several times a week during the winter and depending upon the recipe freeze some for later. This soup that I fixed tonight is a modification of several different recipes for Canellini and Kale soup. It is so easy to make. The following recipe is what I do to make enough for 2 servings.

1-15 oz. can canellini beans, drained and rinsed well
2 cups of shredded fresh kale
2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
olive oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 onion, diced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese

Heat a little drizzle of olive oil in a medium saucepan and then saute the onion and garlic until tender. Next, add the kale and cook until bright green and wilted. Add the beans, broth, seasonings, and tomatoes and let simmer for about 15 minutes. That's it! Now, you can add fresh parsley and cheese to each serving. Delicious! Soup is such wonderful comfort food and considering how quick this one is to fix, it is definitely a weekly favorite for a meal in a hurry. Tonight, I used a Sargento Bistro blends cheese mix (parmesan, provolone, mozzarella w/Italina seasonings) and it was wonderful...ENJOY!

*Kale is very high in beta-carotene, vitamins C and K, and lutein. It is considered a powerful anti-oxidant and cancer-fighting food

Day 8-

Girlz Game Night

Friday was the first girlz game night of the new year. This lovely group of ladies was assembled by a dear friend who no longer even lives in the same town as us, but we're still going strong after 3 years! We set our schedule to meet the second Friday of each month and a different member hosts each month. We all bring a snack to share and our beverage of choice. The hostess gets to pick what game we play. Last night, we began the evening with a chocolate tasting by my friend, Connie, who is now a Dove Chocolatier. Check out her website here. It was yummy! We sampled the Chocolatini's, chocolate covered almonds, and delicious gingerbread chocolate chip muffins. Then we pulled out the other munchies and played a fun game of Taboo. It's always a hoot when you have so many people together laughing and playing.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Seriously at a loss for a picture tonight. So I walked around the house looking for anything to photograph and found two of my favorite things hanging by the back door...why not? I thought to myself-this is supposed to be about me!

The mirrored coat hook is from Sundance catalog circa 2005.

The purse is something I had to have from the mono store in Amsterdam. When we were visiting there last April, we walked past the store after it had closed on our last night in town. I was so smitten by the store's window display that I made a point to rush back there before we left to catch the train to Brussels where we had pre-paid tickets to catch a fast train on to Paris. Time was of the essence but we made it! The funny part of this story is that I arrived back to my little town in the mountains of NC to discover that one of my student's mom bought the same "one of a kind" purse when she was there! What are the odds?! Anyway, I love this bag. It has two little zippers on each side of the purse which are great for storing your car keys or cell phone so you don't have to dig inside. It also worked great to hold subway tickets when traveling.

The shawl is another something I had to have from a store called DeJaVu in Florida....(they are having a great sale right now). Very Boho style clothing and accessories if you're into that sort of thing. The store where I found this was in PierPark in Panama City, FL. It had the most beautiful sign (with a little birdie on it) and displays outside of the door just beckoning you to come inside. Everything was so colorful and whimsical and I went a little nuts over the place! I ended up buying this shawl even though it was probably 90 degrees outside. I knew it would be a staple for the chilly fall weather and I keep it on that coathook so that I can snuggle with it anytime I want. Just so you know, the original store is in the beautiful city of Seaside, FL. It is definitely worth a visit if you are ever doing the 30A trail on the gorgeous gulf coast.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In my introductory post, I listed one of my interests as "bird watching" so here is the first of probably many bird pictures and postings. I am a certifiable bird nerd. I just recently replaced some empty suet feeders and replenished some of the other feeders in our yard and the birds have been flocking to dine. I have also tried to put hot water into the bird bath each day since they are frozen solid right now. Our high temperatures for the last 5 days or so have hovered around 20. YIKES! The snow is still covering the yard in spots where the sun doesn't hit so I've been watching to see what little birds are out braving the cold. I happened to notice a disturbance in the curtains this afternoon and found my cat stalking these adorable little Carolina Wrens in our yard. I took lots of photos of them through the glass and this isn't a great one, but I loved that you could still see him hopping through the snow. His mate was never far from his side. There was also a nuthatch, and a red-bellied woodpecker hanging out closeby.

Surprisingly, many birds do not migrate in the winter. This time of year good shelter, food and water supplies are difficult to find. If it has snowed recently, their food supply is covered up and they really need you to provide it for them them. You can fill hanging feeders and sprinkle seeds and nuts across the snow for those that are ground feeders. Water is most important and is often overlooked. I don't have a fancy heated bird bath but you may be interested in investing in one of these bird baths.

Although, I only planned to post one photo a day, I can't help but show you the pretty woodpecker, too.

So remember to take care of the feathered friends in your neighborhood!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 5

"Family Game Night"
Tuesdays at our house are usually family game night. This doesn't mean we don't play games on other days, but Tuesdays have become a ritual for us over the years mainly because I take the afternoon off. I have always loved playing games of any kind and I am a good sport whether I win or lose...I really do just love to play! This game of Sorry shown in the photo above was a gift from Steph and Hans for Christmas. We have a collection of these vintage sets in wooden boxes that store on a bookshelf easily. We have Scrabble, Monopoly, Life, and Stratego and I think there are a few more still to get.
I hope that my children look back on their childhood and treasure the memory of how often we played games and spent time together just hanging out as a family.
One of my favorite quotes is:
Children spell love "T-I-M-E".
I think I do, too!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 4

Tea for two? This photo journal for the Project Life kit is really supposed to be about me, my life, my home, etc. Anyone who knows me knows that I love tea. I drink tons of iced tea in the spring and summer months and hot tea every day no matter the season. I really like just about any kind of hot tea...In this picture, you see my whistling Chantal tea kettle (I would have preferred it in orange but hubby couldn't find one) however, I love it anyway because it matches our dishes ever so well! The cool, old-looking sign sits on the cutting board shelf beside our stove and it is an old favorite of mine that I picked up at T.J. Maxx years ago. The pretty little silver oil decanter is a Paris purchase from Oliviers and Co. Their fabulous olive oils and spice blends are available in the U.S., too!

I leave you with a few quotes about TEA that I couldn't agree with more:

"There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea."~Ralph Waldo Emerson Letters and Social Claims

"Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage."~Catherine Douzel

"There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea."~Bernard-Paul Heroux

"Tea is a cup of life."~Author Unknown

Day 3 Photo

Aagghh, To sleep perchance to dream. This is a photo of my bed. I almost forgot to take a picture of the day to add to my post from Sunday. Luckily, I thought of it right before going to bed, so naturally the subject matter was the bed. That was all I had the imagination for...

I love our bedroom. It is truly the one room in the house that is ALWAYS clean and peaceful. We have the pleasure of an in-suite bathroom and that is where the closet is so there are never clothes strewn about or anything that needs to be dealt with. I love that! The walls are painted the softest sage green. The bedding is a vibrant cinnamon with a paisley swirl. This set is an old Martha Stewart for K-Mart bed-in-a-bag set that I bought probably 8 years ago. It has held up so well and although I have changed two guest room sets of bedding and both children's bedding 2 or 3 times since then, I still love this set so much and haven't wanted to change it...pretty amazing for me! We have a wonderful Tempurpedic-type mattress with a pillow top so it is heavenly to sleep on. Whenever we go on vacation, we miss this bed terribly. To make sleeping ever so comfortable, I cover my soft down pillow with a vintage pillowcase that is such an amazing silky threadcount I cannot find anything to compare when I shop for a possible replacement. I also squirt a lavender scented linen spray on the pillow right before I begin my nightly reading and it is never long before I am asleep with a book in my hands and the lights still on.....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Make a Menu!

In my ongoing quest to be organized and provide my family with good food I have discovered that one cheap little tool makes this a lot easier....

A weekly planner.
This little magnetic calendar is available in the $1 bin at Michael's craft store all year long. Each weekend I write the menu for the week, check recipes that I'd like to try, check food supplies in my home, and then create my grocery list. I love to get up and go grocery shopping on Sunday mornings when the stores are dead quiet and before my family even wakes up. Then I am free to come back home, slip back into my pj's and act like I never had to leave in the first place. This Sunday shopping is a life-saver in that our cabinets and fridge are stocked for the week, there is no scrambling to fill a lunch bag on Monday morning, or a discovery that we are out of creamer for the coffee (not a good way to start a work week).

My goal for each week is to try a new recipe or make something a little more labor-intensive on Tuesday or Friday afternoons-my days off. I am also a stickler for cooking a real breakfast for my kids-you will find no pop tarts or Eggo waffles in my house. I am also against putting what I call "filler foods" in their lunchboxes everyday. This isn't to say they never have Goldfish or pretzels, just not on a daily basis. By making a menu and grocery shopping on the weekend, I feel organized. The whole family can reap the benefits of good nutrition.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

~Day 2~
I don't know if I cheated by having my hubby take a picture of me pretending to take a picture or not...but here's my picture of the day anyway. I often find myself behind the camera so I am not always in the pictures. I like being a memory preserver.

Today we traveled to the pretty city of Aiken, SC for a family funeral. We remembered the life of our sweet little great grandmother, Jessie Timmerman Berry. Our trip took us through beautiful countryside filled with cotton plants, bare peach and pecan trees, hay pastures and stately old homes that probably look much like they did 50-100 years ago. It was a day of family memories. It was a lot of time spent in the car but we enjoyed the ride. Our GPS took us off the interstate so that we were able to get to see this area of SC that none of us had been through before. We followed where the GPS led us, right to the intended destination but via an alternate route and what a lovely drive it was because of the change in plans. It brought up a good discussion about how many beautiful places are within a couple hour's drive of us and that we need to get out and explore more. Since my word for 2010 is "explore", this prompted us to make a goal of picking a destination city or event to go to one weekend each month in the coming year. It is so easy to hole up at home in the freezing winter months and just sit by the fire in our pj's all day. Although, that is necessary recuperation from a hectic school/work week, it isn't very exciting and we therefore challenge ourselves to experience and explore the world around us a little more in the coming year....

R.I.P., Super Grammy!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My first picture of 2010, notice the time on the screen...pretty amazing shot!

Day 1 January 1, 2010

My name is Tamara and this is my daily blog. I am brand new to this so be patient with me, please!

First let me introduce myself. I am a wife and mother of 2 lovely children (a 12 year old daughter, Libby and an 11 year old son, Tripp). I own a small dance school and teach there 4 days a week. I also spend a lot of time volunteering at my children's school.

This blog is inspired by several people and things:
1-The book Career Renegade, by Jonathon Fields. This book is helping me better my quality of life by allowing me to do what I love and have more time to spend at home with my husband & children.
2-Becky Higgins, Project Life creator and master scrapbook artist. My 2010 goal of taking a photo every day and journaling about each picture with the help of her Project Life scrapbooking kit.
3-Ali Edwards, scrapbook artist, and her "One Little Word" challenge. My word for the year is EXPLORE.
4-My upcoming 40th birthday.
5-and many other things I find inspiring and beautiful in everyday life....

This blog will be a photo-journal of the year starting with 1/1/2010 going on until? It will include tidbits of information, recipes, project challenges, and many ideas for you to use related to the things that I love....

arts and crafts
food and drink
books and book reviews
home decorating

When my husband asked me what I really wanted to do with my life, my answer was to help people be happy. To help them organize themselves and simplify there lives in such a way that they knew what was truly important in life and freed themselves to "live" it....really live it! Seems like a big undertaking, I know. This blog is step one of my journey.