Showing posts with label Around Our Place. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Around Our Place. Show all posts

Monday, July 31, 2017

What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?

What if I all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between. Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?

The world is such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.

But what if I just don’t have it in me. What if all the striving for excellence leaves me sad, worn out, depleted? Drained of joy. Am I simply not enough?

What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up—

What if I am not cut out for the frantic pace of this society and cannot even begin to keep up? And see so many others with what appears to be boundless energy and stamina but know that I need tons of solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy. Body, spirit, soul healthy. Am I enough?

Read the entire beautiful article at  A Life in Progress.


"All I really want is a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I think it is enough." - I love this quote! If you are a go-getter that is perfectly fine, but for the hubby and I, we want the simple life with 'enough'!



Read my take on finding enough here.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Planning a Graduation Party


Our beautiful daughter, Faith graduated from High School this Spring - so I wanted to have a graduation party to recognize that accomplishment... only problem was, trying to keep it simple, and not spend too much.... here's what I came up with....

Our theme was blue (her school colors), gold, silver, black, and white with pink peonies for a touch of elegance.


                           

The Guest Table - 
We had guests sign a JENGA block with a message. Picture frames hung on the wall. A Vase of flowers, a card box, and a basket for the JENGA blocks on the table. We also had a quiz about the graduate for guests to fill out. You can see the quiz here.

The Gift Table was pretty simple - it was the top of a garage cupboard... I glammed it up with a sign and flowers...



We had her diploma, more pictures and some of her artist work (paintings and drawings) showcased in a bookcase.



Faith Through The Years - On one of the garage walls, I posted 8x10 pictures of our graduate from a baby to her senior year. I used gold stars to write her age on. And used cutout lettering above.



Another section of the wall had a picture of the graduate, along with an Inspirational Speech printed out. You can read the speech here. (This was my hubby's contribution!)



The Food Table was decorated in blue and white table clothes with gold doilies. We hung gold, white and blue table clothes from the ceiling to hide more garage stuff. We hung paper lanterns, paper fans, and blue paper swirls above the tables. 

Our Menu was simple....
We had a Cheddar Cheese ball, Dried Beef Cheese ball and crackers, Mixed Fruit, Assorted candy, and Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes. I also made a layered cake to use as a center piece.... we sprayed the cakes with gold color mist. I used clear plastic serving dishes from the Dollar Tree.





For drinks we had fresh garden mint tea, chocolate and regular milk, and bottles of water. I purchased the milk cartons from the public school and bought 'Class of 2017' labels for the water bottles.



The one thing that my daughter wanted most, was a Photo Booth/Selfie Station. I bought a room divider, hung a sign, and set a basket of props on a chair beside it! For props, we had a mustache, bow tie, masks, boa, top hat, sun hat, sunglasses, necklaces, leis, #DONE, and a chalkboard sign. I bought skewers and hot glued the masks, mustache, and bow tie myself.




  


The tables were covered in blue table clothes with confetti. We bought a helium tank and had balloons around the garage in several places and tied to a pole by our lane and at the walk in door. 



Overall, I thought the party turned out pretty much how I imagined it to be.... the only regrets I have is that I wish we would have had more people show up (out of the 90 invites, we only had 40 guests). And I wish that I would have taken more and better pictures....



Most of our party decorations were purchased at Party City.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5 Best Household Hacks

There are some 'household hacks' that I think just about every body has heard of by now, like heating a bowl of lemon water in the microwave before cleaning it and it will wipe off effortlessly. But then, sometimes as I'm using a household hack, I think to myself, I wonder if people know to do this, because I love it so much!

So, today I'm sharing 5 of my favorite household hacks....


1. Upside Down Laundry Room Towel Rack
How many times do you have a wet rag with no where to put it, so it ends up on the washer, counter, floor, or flung over the hamper to dry until laundry day? Well, I don't know about you, but at our house we go through a lot of wet rags.... I had hubby screw in a towel rod upside down under the laundry room cabinet. It is the best thing ever! Now we hang the wet rags up, and when they're dry, I toss them into the hamper. Having this in my laundry room has made me a happier person!



2. Spinning Spice Rack Pampered Chef
I used to have the little spice rack shelf where every single time you reached for a spice bottle, about 3 or 4 other ones would fall over, creating a domino effect and they would all come falling out. Every. Single. Time.
Now, if I had a huge kitchen with lots of drawer space, I'd love to have the ikea spice rack drawers to lay my spices in. But since I have a modestly small, (just right for me size kitchen), I absolutely love my pampered chef spice rack spinner! (PS. If you need a great Pampered Chef lady.... Rose is awesome! And, no, I don't get any perks for saying that) but please let her know that I sent you her way!
     


3. Plastic Shoe Boxes For Medicine Cupboard
Our bathroom closet used to look like a tornado hit it on a regular basis.... it was chaos to find anything, bottles would fall over, I would end up buying 10 tubes of toothpaste, because you couldn't find the other 6 I had already bought that was hiding out in the huge mess! I took everything out of the closet and bought 6 plastic shoe boxes. Then I sorted everything into piles: slaves and creams, first aid, colds and flu, eyes and razors, teeth stuff, and allergy...... I got rid of anything out dated or no longer used and put each pile into the perspective box, put a label in the front and walla! -Now you can find everything your looking for and the closet always stays clean!


4. DVD Albums
At our house we have 3 kids and 2 adults with vastly different movie preferences. We don't pay for TV, and we don't own any Wii or Ps games or anything like that and do not have a library close by, so for our entertainment - we enjoy watching DVDs. Over the last 10+ years, we have acquire quite a few movies! (Let me insert here that I try to spend no more than $3 per DVD with the exception of season sets). As, you can imagine, I had a whole closet full of movies (both VHS and DVD's). Well, I decided something had to be done, so when our VHS player quit, we got rid of all the VHS tapes, then went through our DVD stash and gave over 70 away.....

Anyway, we were left with still a whole lot of movies, but also ones we like to watch, so I ordered Cd pages, bought albums, and organized the albums by kind. 

Right now our album titles along with the kind of movies are as follows:
Dads (Fast and Furious, Ocean 13, Duck Dynasty, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.)
Moms (Love Comes Softly Season Set, Lipstick Jungle, Fireproof, God's Not Dead, Mom's Night Out, etc.)
Kids (The Fox and The Hound, Secret Garden, Robots, Finding Nemo, American Girl Movies, Horse land, etc.)
Family (Ice Age, Madagascar, RV, Princess Diary's, Flubber, Disney Cars, etc.)
Little House On The Prairie - Complete Seasons Set
Heartland - Complete Seasons Set
CSI - Seasons Sets (we will sell this set after we finish watching it)
Everwood - Complete Seasons Set
Parenthood - Complete Seasons Set
7th Heaven - Complete Seasons Set
Sex in the City - Complete Seasons Set and Movies 1 & 2 (don't judge - its my own personal secret indulgence.)
Gilmore Girls - Complete Seasons Set (another favorite of mine)
Christy - Complete Season Set

This system has made things so easy and the best part is, it has given me back my closet. I can now keep all our movies in the bottom of an end table!


5.  Cutting Curtains
If you like redecorating your home.... I'm sure you know that it can get somewhat costly. I shop second hand stores, antique shops, craigslist, etc. and try to keep my costs down but the one thing that always surprises me with the cost is curtains! Even a cheap curtain panel will usually cost around $18 - $25..... and that is for just one panel. Well for two windows, you'll easily have $80 just in curtains.... While $80 for curtains might not be much for some, for me, that is a whole lot of $$$!

So, in stead of buying 4 panels for the 2 windows, I only buy 2 panels. I measure and cut the panels in half. Then I hem them up where I cut, restitching the rod pocket and guess what? I now have 4 panels!! A word of caution: I only do this for windows that I am using either a blind, shade, or sheers in, as I am just using the panels for decoration. Here is the girls room, that I just made last week.

So, there you have it.... I'd love to hear some of your favorite household hacks in the comments!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Asparagus


This early-spring treat is one of a few perennial vegetable crops, so once you get a patch established, it will give you many years of delicious harvests for little work. Here's my little patch from last year:



Asparagus are fresh, crisp, nutritious, and adaptable to use in many different ways. Asparagus are a good source of the following minerals & vitamins:
Iodine, Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, Folate, and Vitamins A, C and E. 

My favorite ways to eat it are - 

Steamed with Eggs...
Steam Asparagus on stove top... top with shredded or chopped hard boiled eggs and salt and pepper.

 Oven Roasted...
This has to be one of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook asparagus. Just trim the ends, lay out on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, and then bake until done. 


In a sandwich...

We like to use a toasted and buttered bread or bagel. Add bacon, steamed asparagus and a fried egg! *Note: some people put guacamole on this sandwich - I prefer not to, but it's your choice!


Here are some other recipes that I want to make with asparagus this spring...








For more info on all things Asparagus - from different ways to cooking, cleaning, seasoning and much, much more - please visit Quick Easy Cook!

For more great recipe's - Follow our Recipe's/Kitchen board on Pinterest!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Passion Flower Story


The passion fruit is a vigorous, climbing vine that clings by tendrils to almost any support. It can grow 15 to 20 ft. per year once established.




The Story of the Passion Flower 

    I have this beautiful flower climbing on my arch that I walk under on the way to my office entrance. It is so intricate and beautiful, I thought I'd share a little about it with you all. Although it doesn't bloom until summer - it always reminds me of Easter.

    The Passion Flower (Passiflora) is a symbol of Christ’s Passion and Cross: including his scourging, crowning with thorns, three nails and five wounds.

    In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion.  
    • The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance that confirmed Christ’s death.
    • The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ.
    • The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (excluding Peter, the denier and Judas scariot, the betrayer).
    • The flower’s radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns with which roman soldiers crowned him as the “King of the Jews”;
    • The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
    • The 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (1 in each hand and foot and the last one in his chest caused by the Lance).
    • The colors have also have a meaning. Many species are white and blue colors, representing heaven and purity, and purple, which was the color of the robe that Romans covered Jesus after crowning him.

    The flower has been given names related to this symbolism throughout Europe. In Spain, it is known as “Christ’s thorn”.

    German names include “Christ’s crown”, “Christ’s bouquet”, “crown of thorns”, “Jesus’ passion”, “passion” or “Mother of God’s star”.

    For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    –Romans 1:20

    Tuesday, April 4, 2017

    Taking Care of Me - Surgery #1


    Over the last few years, I haven't taken good care of myself, and as a result, my health has taken a hit..... when you have a special needs kid, multiple auto immune diseases, cancer, and chronic stress, I guess its somewhat to be expected. But, since I've chosen to take care of myself this year, my health is a high priority.

    My 1st surgery was Monday, March 20th, 2017

    "Surgery is the treatment of disease or injury by cutting into the body to repair or remove the injured or diseased body part".

    I was extremely nervous. I had never been put to sleep or had any type of surgery before in my life.

    The surgery went well, the worst things about it were the sore throat from the breathing tube, keeping my pain levels down, and the drive home (I do believe we have the worst roads in the US!). 

    I wasn't expecting the affects of anesthesia to make me have insomnia for the first three days. Or that doing simple household chores would make me tire so easily, but Hubby was great at taking care of me after I got home 

    Most days, I have been doing very little and resting with my feet up.... I've been getting lots of reading done! But, each day I feel a little better than the day before, so hopefully I'll be back to myself in another week or so. I went to the doctors today and was cleared to start doing normal activities again...

    My blood tests have been coming back really good and the doctor says it's because of my high quality vitamins, so she thinks that contributed to the surgery being easier for me, than most.

    I'm glad to have my first surgery over with.... I have a long road ahead with my health and choosing to take care of me, but I'm ready to get my health back piece by piece.... 

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    Camouflage Cake

    We don't do big extravagant birthday parties at our house.... but, I do let each kid pick what kind of cake they want and their birthday supper meal. I also get them a birthday balloon (Dollar Tree has them for $1), and we either get them a small gift or go somewhere as a family. I think the whole point is to make it a special day for them to remember!

    I enjoy making and decorating cakes. You can see some of them here, here, and here

    Wyatt turned 10 this week and requested a camouflage cake with a Polaris 500 ATV on top.... I think it turned out pretty good!


    I've had a few people ask how I make the camouflage cakes. It really is easy....

    First, mix a white cake mix and a chocolate cake mix separately. Put half of each batter into separate bowls and add green food coloring to one bowl of white and one bowl of chocolate cake mix. 

    Prepare your pans and spoon a little of each batter in random spots until you have the proper amount of batter in each pan. Do not swirl the batters. 

    Bake and cool the cakes as usual. 

    This is how it looked on top.....


    Decorate the cake.

    Happy 10th Birthday WYATT!

    Here is a photo of the inside of the cake after cutting...


    You can use this for many different occasions - a shower, school colors, holidays, etc. I plan to do a purple, pink, white and blue cake for my 7 yr old's barbie birthday cake in a couple weeks. I think any boy or girl would love to get a camouflage cake!

    See my other cakes here:
    Cake Anyone - Graduation Cake, Cakes for guys and more.
    Cake Anyone Continued - lots of birthday cakes for little girls.
    Even More Cake - Anniversary, Wedding, Baby Shower, Campfire, Candy, and more cakes. 

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

    Taking Care of Me - 2017

    I've never been one for New Years Resolutions....it always seemed kinda silly to me.... So many people make a resolution to change, but so few actually see it through.

    However, I do like to pick on word or thought to be a reminder to me throughout the year.

    The last few years, my thought has been to Choose Joy. We can all stand to have a little more joy and happiness in our lives.... but this year, I was ready for a new thought.... so, for 2017 - I choose to take care of me!


    Over the years as a wife and mom, I often get distracted with the busyness of life and have let myself go. When you have a mini farm, animals, grow and preserve your own produce, home school, run a home business, volunteer, have a special needs son, and in my case have cancer, chronic stress, and multiple autoimmune diseases..... taking care of myself is often the last thing I think of.

    So, this year, I am choosing to take care of me...... I'm having a relaxing soak in the bubble bath as I'm writing this. I am seeing a nutritionist regularly and taking Shaklee supplements and protein to get my weight in check. I am relying on my hubby and kids to help more with cleaning, cooking and laundry.


    We are planning family activities to spend quality time with each other. We have a vacation planned for later this month to relax on an island beach. I am finding time to exercise, and (I promised new bikes for the whole family for my birthday in April.) When I get stressed and have to much on my plate, I am saying no and not feeling guilty about it. I will not explain my reasons to others and will be shameless. I'm going to take more bubble baths, keep fresh flowers on my table, use my candle warmers, watch more sunsets, spend more time in nature and do more things I love. This year, I will not apologize for taking care of me.


    This year, I choose to take care of me!

    Thursday, December 29, 2016

    The Best of 2016

    This year there were 48 blog posts at SRKindredSpirits....  There were a lot of different topics.... Things to say on a job interview, Recipes, Visiting Louisville KY, Getting rid of cookbook clutter, Book reviews, Bookcase redo, Why I don't sell, Making an orb, Crochet Christmas tree skirt, Understanding a INTJ, Adoption, DYT experiment, My first speeding ticket, What Instagram really tells you, How to review a product company, Family quality time, A free health quiz, and much more.

    Here's the top 10 posts of 2016:

    We had our first giveaway here on SRKindredSpirits and it was a success! The Happiness Dare is a highly recommended book!


    Once you try these, you'll be hooked! Easy and yummy... you can't go wrong with these cream cheese roll ups!


    I wrote this post after reading the definition of the word 'family', it will give you a little insight to my life.


    Getting rid of the swimming pool was personal favorite and the relief we felt after the pool was gone was major! You have to click through and read the attached article.... it makes for a great laugh!


    I think everyone could use a bit of a slow down in this thing we call life. Have you ever stopped and thought about all the errands you run or the many places you go?


    Something so simple, but yet, so often, people don't take the time to do these ten simple things. It does make a difference!


    Isn't it funny how most people always want more? From those of us who have been blessed with more.... all it takes to make you happy is enough!


    What things are you great at? I really lay my heart out there on this post....


    A fan favorite. This post has gotten the most talked about over on Facebook!


    And lastly.... this post was the most popular all the way around. How qualified am I really?



    What are some things you'd like to see on this blog in the next year? Leave a comment and let me know!

    Thanks for visiting us here at SRKindredSpirits... please share our blog with friends and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updated posts. 

    Happy New Year! 
    Here's to a great 2017!


    Take your shape in a whole new direction with Shaklee!

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