Mother Dearest

>> Wednesday, January 28, 2009

As children, we can't comprehend or fully realize the meaning of a mother's love. How wise she is, how much patience she has, or how much guidance she gives us by her example and by her helpful caring ways. Years go by before we know and understand the depth of her concern and the love in her protectiveness. But as we mature we do finally understand and we can look back and see through older eyes and wiser hearts her unconditional love, devotion, and family loyalty. It's these and many other things that make us realize how lucky we have been and how lucky we are to have this amazing woman - mother, grandmother - as the centered root of strength and love in our life. Tomorrow as my mother under goes triple bypass surgery, I will be reminded of what an amazing person she is and how lucky I am to have her raise me to be the person I am today. I love you Mom.
Today, I looked in the mirror;
Curious as to what I would see.
I expected to see my reflection
Staring back at me.
But as I looked, I saw something more
In the face that was there.
I saw the reflection of my mother;
A woman filled with care.
Each year is another year closer
To looking like my Mother.
I see her in my reflection,
In one way or another.
I may not look like her
But, I reflect her heart so well.
For, it's full of love and kindness;
God's goodness in a nutshell.
Another year closer to looking like mom,
That only makes me glad.
For, I love my beautiful Mother.
She's the best reflection I've ever had



>> Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I realized I don't put enough of "me" stuff on here. I put a lot of stuff I like, enjoy and crafts I do.....but do you know me?

Here are some random facts about me.

-I have two middle names (Christine-Marie)
-I have had my ears, nose and navel pierced
-I LOVE old muscle cars (dream car is a 69 Camero)
1969 Camero Pictures, Images and Photos
-I'm so cold all the time, seriously....even in summer I get cold and have to wear a sweater
-I love to sleep, I still try to get my boys to nap so I can nap with them
-I'm currently obsessed with learning how to knit
Yarn Pictures, Images and Photos
-I have a goal to do a tri-athlon
-I will be 29 on my birthday this year (ahhhH!!!!!)
-and being 29....does that make me too old to love One Tree Hill and Twilight?
-and Twilight.....I so have a huge crush on Edward!!!
-My Ipod touch is full of classic rock tunes.
classic rock Pictures, Images and Photos
-My favorite color is red
-One thing I do every morning is put eyeliner on- no matter what!
-Oh and lotion....totally obsessed with lotion
-I feel that I have a lot of friends, but only very few that truly know me
-I hate confrontation, but will blow my top if pissed off enough
-I wish I could tell my cheap side to take a hike and go ahead and buy that Boden jacket I want
-I get excited when I go to the thrift shop and find a deal.
-I love thrift shops!!!! and yard sales and Goodwill's...Oh MY!
goodwill Pictures, Images and Photos
-You all know I love to garden, but I also really enjoy the getting dirty and sweaty part, it makes me feel like I'm actually doing hard work
-I really like feeling like I'm doing my part to save the earth I live on and love
-I love noting more than to laugh
-I get distracted VERY easy. Maybe I have some sort of disorder (something called 2 preschool boys)

Ok- thats enough for now....and also because again, I'm distracted! Fringe is on and gotta watch my Fringe.


Feed it to the birds

>> Monday, January 26, 2009

I love my fury and feathered friends. I think of them often, especially since we have had below zero temps in my neck of the woods. I worry about them and get concerned that they can't find food or shelter. Since I can't invite them all into my warm house, I feed them. I've posted before about birdseed ornaments and since the animals loved them, the boys and I make them weekly. I have still kept up with my composting, but instead of throwing my compost in a bin, I put them in a big bowl on my porch. We have all our bird feeders hung and filled. Most of all, the excitement the boys and I get from seeing the birds come or catching a rabbit munching on old lettuce is priceless. SO....I was very excited to find a post on one of my favorite blogs about fun ways to feed our birds. I have some cranberries in the fridge that would be perfect for this suet. Can't wait to try it out tomorrow with the boys. Check out this site for some other pretty easy ways you can help keep our animals fed this winter.

Cranberry Suet
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup real cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 teaspoon sand
1 cup lard (or ground suet)
Mix first five ingredients in large bowl. Melt lard in a double boiler. When in liquid form, pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon mixture onto piece of waxed paper and let dry.


Haiku Friday

>> Friday, January 23, 2009

Haiku friday
"Courage does not always roar, sometimes it the quiet voice whispering go ahead and try"

This week has brought some surprising thoughts of change. Some that I'm not quite ready to share with the world.....but soon!

A few sleepless nights
thoughts swarming my head like gnats
Courage is needed


What works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, January 21, 2009

LOST Pictures, Images and Photos




>> Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a day to remember and to be apart of (thanks CNN!).
Inaguration Obama Pictures, Images and Photos


Better than......

>> Monday, January 19, 2009

Well....these cookies are just about better than anything! I would have pictures but the cookies didn't last long enough. They really are that good! I will never make plain jane chocolate chip cookies again. I bet you don't either.

2 Pkg. Bakers Semi-sweetg Baking Chocolate
3/4 Cup Firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter (slighly softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Cup flour (3/4 Cups if not adding the nuts)
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
2 Cups Walnuts (optional and you know I didn't add them)

Preheat over to 350, Coarsely chop 8 squares (1 pkg.) of the Bakers chocolate an set aside. Microwave remaining 8 squares (other pkg.) in a large microwave bowl on high for 2 minutes~stiring after 1 minute. Stir until completely melted. THen add sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir until blended. Then add flour and baking powder, mix well (note: I did all the mixing with a wooden spoon- no need to break out the heavy mixer at all- another reason I love this recipe). Then add the chopped chocolate (and walnuts). **Note: If not adding the walnuts, up the flour to 3/4 cup

Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. The dough will be very wet, but don't worry.

Bake for 12/13 minutes or untl the cookies are puffed and shiny. Cool for a minute on the sheet then move the cookies to wire racks. Again, the cookies will seem gooey and not done, but they will set up. Cool completely and enjoy the best cookie to ever touch your mouth!!!!


Baby its cold outside....

>> Friday, January 16, 2009

Howell, Livingston County Airport
Lat: 42.63 Lon: -83.98 Elev: 961
Last Update on Jan 16, 9:56 am EST
Wind Chill: -21°F (-29°C)
Humidity: 84 %
Wind Speed: SW 6 MPH
Barometer: 30.52"
Dewpoint: -11°F (-24°C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi
So cold that most schools in MI are closed today.
So long for the weekend as I tend to my igloo of ice and my little eskimos

igloo Pictures, Images and Photos

**Sidenote: I'm getting the heck outta here and heading to NC as soon as my fingers and toes thaw!


What Works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All about me
Check this out....

Find me on Polyvore


Sickness comforts

>> Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Isn't it an odd thing that when you are sick, you crave certain things. A certain kind of kleenex, certain medication, certain juices, etc. Well, I'm sick. The good ole' common cold times 50. My head feels like a bowling ball on a match stick and when I'm laying down my stomach aches from all the coughing I do. Ugh! So since I'm sick, I require my "comforts"...

Down comforter
Grandia Down Comforter Pictures, Images and Photos
Hot tea w/lemon and honey
You are a hot tea Pictures, Images and Photos
Popsicles (I know its crazy to want popsicles when its 20 below outside..but I can't help it!)
Popsicles Pictures, Images and Photos
Chicken Egg Noodle soup
Chicken Noodle Soup Pictures, Images and Photos
Homemade bread (toasted)
Homemade Bread Pictures, Images and Photos
Warm fire
fireplace logs Pictures, Images and Photos
My glasses and fleece jammies all day long!(hey- keepin it real folks)

Mommy needs sleep Pictures, Images and Photos

Sleep Pictures, Images and Photos


Recap of the holidays

>> Monday, January 12, 2009

Just a few pics to recap our holidays!
Homemade Kids tree
and lastly......I'm so sick of snow!!!


Blog worthy

>> Thursday, January 8, 2009

The sky is falling! Yes, I feel a like an overly dramatic Chicken Little. And I wish it were true considering recent congressional legislation is about to crush the life out of the handmade clothing and toy industry. I'm talking about H.R. 4040, the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) signed into law August 14, 2008, and the ramifications it will have when it goes into effect February 10, 2009 (now being popularly referred to as National Bankruptcy Day). Make no mistake. CPSIA was necessary in principle and has noble intentions, keeping our children safe and holding companies accountable for importing toxic toys. We all demand safety for our children and this is the intent of CPSIA; specifically to ensure safe levels of lead and phthalates in all products manufactured for children under the age of 12. Unfortunately this legislation lacks common sense, is ambiguous and fails to take into account the handmade industry.What you see is not what you get with CPSIA. There is no distinction between big, small, or even micro one-person businesses. Whether it's a large-scale manufacturer importing apparel to be sold in big box stores, or a work-at-home mom (WAHM) selling customs on ebay, the legislation applies the same to all. Unit testing will be required on finished products, regardless if the components are natural materials or if you have documentation from a vendor stating that buttons, for example, are certified lead-free. As it stands, H.R. 4040 fails to recognize that textile products are inherently lead-free. Why then is an organic cotton shirt being tested for lead exactly? Unit testing is extremely cost prohibitive to small business, but worse, it is unnecessary. In fact, it is completely redundant if the components that comprise the whole have already been tested and due diligence can prove they meet the guidelines. To put a real dollar amount to testing one of my products, I solicited a lab quote. I was told it was $75 to test for lead per garment component and each substrate. Coated or painted items such as buttons are $100. So my Little Red Riding Hood Shirt, a 100% cotton knit shirt with an appliqué made from 7 cotton fabrics and 2 buttons eyes would cost $625 to test for lead. Flammability testing is also required and is either $50 for a certificate per component stating it meets weight code or $100 for actual testing. So add another $400-$800 for a grand total of $1,025-$1425. in testing costs for a shirt that retails for $40. If the shirt is offered in another colorway, the same testing is required despite the fact that the same fabrics are used throughout. Small manufacturers have no way of absorbing the price of such redundancy. And all manufacturers will be required to test a finished component/item from each batch. Easy to do in mass production—simply pull one sample from a lot of thousands. But how does one comply when your "batches" are made-to-order batches of one? SKUs will also be required for each product with a permanent label on the item itself.CPSIA will be retroactive and takes a guilty-until- proven-innocent approach with extremely hefty fines for violators. As written, any product used by children 12 and under (such as toys, footwear, carpets, clothing, bedding, luggage, lamps, toys, books, magazines, baseball cards, consumer electronics, school supplies, office supplies, jewelry, housewares, sports equipment and so on) without the newly required certification would be deemed hazardous, whether the item poses an actual threat or not. So on February 10, 2009, any unsold merchandise (in big box stores, the corner boutique, your fabric stash, Good Will donations, etc.) will be deemed "hazardous goods" and illegal to sell unless 3rd party testing proves otherwise. By the way, there are only 14 said labs currently in the United States.Think you won't be affected? I hope not, but the sad truth is that hundreds of thousands (if not millions) will be. Do you make children's clothing, toys, jewelry, hair bows, accessories, furniture, artwork or anything else "intended for use by children age 12 and under"? Are you a retailer of children's goods? Do you resell used children's clothing or toys on ebay? Do you participate or shop at craft fairs? Do you donate used children's items to needy organizations? Do you belong to a church that has rummage sales as a fundraiser? Does your child play sports and get their uniforms from a local screen print shop? Are you a consumer shopping for alternatives to mass-produced toys? If so, this law takes away that freedom.Surely this legislation can be amended by incorporating some common sense and still make it possible to ensure our children's safety without further hurting the US economy. According to the 2002 Economic Census (the last survey of its type), small U.S. clothing manufacturers (with fewer than 20 employees) contribute over $900 million dollars [consider: nearly $1 billion dollars] annually to the economy and comprise 68% of total apparel manufacturing in the U.S. This is clearly a vital and contributing asset to our economy. Multiply this fallout exponentially when you take into account the myriad other manufacturers, retailers and businesses that will be hurt or ultimately driven out of business.So, why should you support amending this legislation? Because the CPSIA isn't fair and will not function as written. It inadvertently punishes American industries unrelated to toys and will ultimately result in fewer alternatives to mass produced merchandise made in China. The concept that small producers should be subject to the same rigorous standards but with lesser regulation (and common sense) has already been fought for and sustained in the food industry, which is why your local farmers market still exists. Now this same idea needs to be applied to children's products. (The Sky is Falling - CPSIA Issue December 17th, 2008 Article by: Heather FlottmanOwner/Designerliliputians NYC)

What can we do?

1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman 888-531-9070. Comments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30, 2009.mailto:Sec102Compon entPartsTesting@ ....

2) Email or snail mail your representatives.http://capwiz.%20com/americanappa%20rel/issues/%20alert/?alertid=

3) Call your representatives. For their contact information just enter your zip code.http://capwiz.%20com/americanappa%20rel/dbq/official%20s/

4) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue. The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.http://www.change.%20org/ideas/%20view/save_%20handmade_%20toys_from_%20the_cpsia

6) Spread the word! Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same.

7) Join others in fighting this cause.Facebook groupTwitter searchhttp://cpsia-%20central.ning.%20com/notes/%20Notes_Home

8) Join the etsy community in the virtual chat with CPSIA Small Business Ombudsmen

9) Send a handmade children's item that will become "hazardous goods" as of 2/9/09 to Bobby Rush, founder of H.R. 4040. nces-consumer- pr-3056/Etsy Thread

save handmade Pictures, Images and Photos


What Works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Goodbye 1980's old and nasty wallpaper and tile

Hello Behr Mississippi Mud Paint
(completed project pictures to come....
you don't want to see what the mess looks like now
Trust me)


Grin & Bear it days

>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I swear I'm not turning into one of THOSE bloggers that only blogs once or twice a month. In my defense, things around my new home-sweet-home is a little topsy turvey. Lots of stress, two boys, tons of projects and not enough time. Don't loose faith in me yet, friends. I have some interesting pictures and stories to post soon. Very soon.

Its just been a "Grin n Bear it" two weeks!
Grin n Bear it


New Year, New Choices, New Mojo

>> Friday, January 2, 2009

As I rang in the new year on my couch watching a very old Dick Clark count down to midnight, I was contemplating 2009 and what this new year has to bring me. I then turned my focus. I remember sitting at a motivation conference once where the speaker said "Choose your attitude". This made me realize that 2009 won't bring me anything, its what I will bring to 2009. What will I do this year to make me live lighter? Lighter in my step, lighter in my mind, lighter in my wallet. What will I accomplish to make my health goals, my "green" goals, my overall personal goals? What will I do to further my children and their passions and their education? The answers to these questions are endless and bursting with words of expression (hence too deep for this little ol' blog of mine), but I will make 2009 a fantastic year!

I'm addicted to quotes and on New Years day I go digging through all my quote books that I love and find a quote to stick on my mirror, my whiteboard, and my fridge that motivates me. I like to read words that touch my soul and seem to add fuel to my inner fire. So, to kick off this year full of ideas and promises, here is my mantra or as I like to say my "mojo".....

"Promise yourself today to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind, to make friends feel there is something in them. Look on the sunny side of everything and make your dreams come true. To think the best, to forget the mistakes of the past, and press on to greater things. To give so much time to improving yourself that you don't have time to criticize others. Be too large for worries, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this force to the world, not in loud words, but in great works." ~Christian D. Larson



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