Hello Bloggers, Are you ready for the big day? Do you decorate for Valentine's Day? I am seeing more and more people decorating out there for the holiday. I have to admit I'm feeling a bit like taking my snowflakes down already. They have been up since after Christmas and this has been a strange winter. Rain, rain...50 degrees then back to 20, ugh :) It's kind of difficult to feel like having snowflakes around me when the outside of the house reflects something different. I have one box dedicated to Feb 14th . I have confined it to my dining room this year. I tried to do things slightly different this year. I wanted a centerpiece on my table.
Whether it's rain or snow nothing says comfort like a big bowl of soup. I'm a soup person. I could eat soup everyday and never tire of it. Naturally, I would want a little variety in kinds of soup. :) It's my favorite meal to eat in the winter or chilly fall day.
I love this soup. I posted about it last year. Click here to read the post. I think it's worth re-posting. I have some different readers now. I also made a big pot of Simple Perfect Chili, Pioneer Women style last night. (no pics though) I just love her blog, so funny. I like her approach to food and enjoy reading about ranch life. I love her new show on Food Network too. I like that it's not difficult and time consuming. I flip through some cookbooks and think what?? Where in the world am I going to find that? I feel pretty confident in my cooking skills, but not quite Chopped material if you catch my drift. LOL!
It's that warm and cozy time of year. Everyone spends a little more time gathered round the hearth. Since we've adjusted well to having a fireplace, my kiddos come down every morning to bask in the glow of the fireplace. I admit there are things I don't like about it...soot! So messy! However, there is nothing better than snuggling up with a good book or blog :) by the fire. Most places seem to have the fluffy white stuff and then comes those unexpected snow days!
Here's what I've been inspired by lately:
I love warm and cozy socks. I can't get enough cable knit lately. It seems to be making it's way into my house from the candle I bought to the new sweater. I just saw some pillows at Meijer. I love the soft ivory color.
Good morning, I don't know about you but my home always looks a little bare after I take down my Christmas decorations. Don't get me wrong I like the clean uncluttered look of it but I can't help but want to spruce it up a bit! So here is what I came up with for my family room mantel. It's snowing right now so it's perfect! :)
I put one of my little alpine trees on one end and my black shutter as a backdrop, and kept my Christmas snowy greens. Then I added the Lowe's Snowflakes and dollar general pom pom garland. I will have to take pictures of the night look. I buried some little white lights too.
my glittery village and snowman collection
I have two of these snowflake runners and thought the colors in this plate would work well. I bought the candle for 50% off at K-Mart. It smells like yummy vanilla. It looks like a cable knit sweater with a little brown and white ribbon. I just pulled in different things from around the house till I liked the arrangement.
Hello, blogging friends I had a very different post planned, but feel moved to tell you the story of someone I was close to. I began this blog for many reasons but one of them was to preserve my families memory and tell their story. Today I lost one of the last of my families Matriarchs, my aunt.
She was the wisest woman I know besides my mom. At a very young age she began taking care of me. I can remember sitting in her kitchen watching her. It didn't really hit me until recently how much alike we are. Or I should say that I have patterned my own domestic life after her. For example, she always put out a great spread of food. She really knew how to set a table. I see pretty tables capes on other blogs. Let's be honest, they aren't real practical. Although her table was simple, it was perfect. She had the essentials salt, pepper shakers and napkins. She always had some kind of centerpiece. At least one Rooster or two as I recall. She collected them. Then she added place mats that reflected the season. We always had napkins right next to our plate. You never really needed anything because she was the consummate hostess. Her table was always near a window so you could watch the birds. I remember all the feeders she had and I loved watching them. She was very neat and tidy. Her house had to be just so-so. So did her hair ;) Working in the health-care field she knew how important it was to keep things clean and sanitary.
my mom is on the left, my aunt is on the right
I loved talking with her the most. She had so many stories about our family. I loved it when my mom and I used to have dinner with her and my uncle every Sunday. She always wanted to hear about you and your life. From the time I was little until now she listened. She was a great listener. I could go on and on about my memories and how much I loved her. I would like to make a little partial list of the things she taught me. Since this is the New Year I challenge all of you to visit your relatives. Visit them in their homes or nursing homes and just talk to them about their life and memories. RECORD THIS, WRITE IT DOWN. Don't wait!
Little bits of Wisdom from my Aunt Princess (Yes, this is her real given name)
*Live your own life, don't listen to what others tell you to do.
* Listen to Political Candidates and then make up your own mind, don't listen to polls, focus groups and others (pertinent for today)
*Make Pie, she was a baker and she loved to make pie the most.
*Eat dinner with your family every night, it's the most important thing you can do
*Don't allow your children to be disrespectful to you. Don't be their friend. You're not doing them any favors.
*Don't bicker and argue with your siblings, she never argued with my mom. They always discussed things if something was bothering them. Her aunt and mother always fought so this was important to both of them.
*Family is the most important thing.
*Never go to bed angry with your mate.
*Treat your husband with respect and kindness. Do things for him. Make him feel special. (My uncle treated her like a real Princess too)
*Sometimes you have to let things go, anger. Forgive others.
*Focus on the positive in your life. Don't dwell on the negative.
*Having a clean and tidy house blesses your family in more than one way.
*Read the bible daily, and pray. God listens to your prayers.
*Don't waste food. (She lived during the depression and I heard many stories about their life)
*Don't take things for granted. (job, family, house)
*Don't spend money you don't have, pay your bills first.
*Love on those kids they grow up way too fast.
I'm so grateful for the visits I have had with her the past few years I've been back home. I have no regrets. I know she is in God's hands now. He called her home...she is reunited once again with the rest of our family. That is my source of comfort right now. I love you forever Aunt Princess...RIP
What's your New Year's Resolution? Did you make one this year? Do you write down goals? Well, I must say I have a few this year. I actually teach a course for new college students that supports this idea. If you write it down you're more likely to achieve your goal. Here's a rule you may want to think about as you ponder your New Year's Goals. Remember DAPPS for short!
1. D - is for DATED Your goals should be dated. (In one month I will _____________)
2. A- is for ACHIEVABLE goals should reflect something that might be a bit challenging but not over the top.
3. P- is for PERSONAL This goal should be something that you alone desire to achieve.
4. P- is for POSITIVE Your goal should include verbs that show the present. In five years I will own my own business.
5. S - is for SPECIFIC The goal should be specific and measurable. For example, I tell my students that instead of stating they wish to pass the class they should be much more specific. (At the end of the semester I will earn an A in Math 118 and be able to understand key concepts for the next math class.)
My 2012 Goals
Personal: At the end of six months I will make new friends and get together for more social events and entertain in my home. I will also commit to having a date night/lunch with my husband at least once a month.
Spiritual: By the end of the year I will join a new bible study, learn more about leadership roles in my church and help with a mission project. Daily: I will commit to read my bible and take part in a study each morning. I will join a group to help with this commitment.
Physical: By my 40th birthday (July 31) I would like to lose 25 lbs, lose several inches from my waistline and be down at least one size in pants.
Mental: By this summer I will enroll and take a few new classes to refresh my teaching skills. After I have taken these classes I will review my options for my career and goals. I will also blog more aiming for at least 2 posts per week :) I will learn more about blogging by reading tutorials and using other bloggers tips. I would like to have 100 followers by March. Whoo HOO!
I'm going to put these in my planner. Each one will have specific smaller steps. I will also look at these goals from time to time to remind myself. This is often a forgotten step for most people.
So what are you doing this year? Will it be full of New Beginnings? Are you ready for a change? You hold the key...really you do. So I say go for it! Go for that A...or new job, enroll in college, try a new craft or hobby, travel, lose weight... YOU CAN DO IT!
What are your goals?? Please leave me a comment or a link to your blog. I'd love to read all about it :)