• decorating,  junk,  thrifting

    The Painting I Rescued From the Trash

    Here’s some advice to live by: always go for a walk around the neighborhood the night before garbage day. Trust me! You never know what treasures you might find just sitting on the curb waiting for the garbage truck to be discovered. Earlier this fall I took one of these walks. It was late afternoon. The air was crisp. The leaves were still glorious. There wasn’t a soul in sight. That’s when I spotted it. Do you see it? A painting sitting with a pile of trash at the end of someone’s driveway. They’d left it there to be collected by the garbage truck. Or me. Their intent could have gone either…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #98

    Ho, ho, ho and happy Friday! I’ve been waiting all year to say that! You’re welcome. This week I shared my chalkboard globe advent calendar. The idea for it came from a lot of thought, planning and preparation. Just kidding! It came from sheer desperation. I also shared the Peg Doll Place Cards that were painted by my 11-year-old. It was the neatest way to personalize our Thanksgiving table. If you don’t like to paint, you could always convince my 11-year-old to paint some for you! I’d love it if we connected on social media too! I’m on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Earlier this week on Instagram I shared a…

  • Crafts,  holidays

    Peg Doll Place Cards

    In November I gave my daughter a set of unfinished wooden peg dolls. My original request was that she paint our family on peg dolls as a Christmas present to me so I could put them in a shadowbox frame. She loved that idea. I loved that idea. The peg dolls arrived just as friends flew in to stay with us for Thanksgiving. That prompted an even better idea! Peg Doll Place Cards for Thanksgiving Dinner. I asked my daughter and her friend (they are both 11 years old) if they would paint peg dolls for every person joining us for Thanksgiving. Instead of place cards at each table setting,…

  • Crafts,  holidays

    Chalkboard Globe Advent Calendar

    If I’m being really honest, some of my creative ideas are the result of sheer panic or parental guilt. Case in point. My kids have been asking since Halloween if I had purchased chocolate advent calendars. It’s one of their favorite holiday traditions. “There’s plenty of time,” I said. No. No, there’s not plenty of time. In my defense, my grocery store does not sell advent calendars, so I haven’t been able to make an impulse buy that would avoid all this parental guilt regarding the holiday tradition I started. Last week I decided I needed to get serious about finding chocolate advent calendars because tick-tock goes the clock entire…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #97

    Hello, hello! Have you decorated for the holidays yet? I haven’t, which makes me a terrible blogger! I do plan to put up a tree this weekend and I’m feeling excited about it! This week I shared a big list of what my kids have read in the last couple of months that I would recommend for various reasons. We go to the library 2 – 3 times a month, and at least a dozen books come home with us each time, but not many make it on the list. Thank you for all your positive feedback on those posts, as I know they aren’t relevant for everyone. I also wrote…

  • Crafts,  holidays

    DIY Leather Christmas Trees

    We had a very special visit from my dad and The Junk Whisperer this fall and they brought me presents. I LOVE PRESENTS! And by ‘presents’ I mean they cleaned out a drawer and brought me a treasure I would have coveted had I known it was in that drawer. I clearly need to do a better job of snooping when I go home for visits. Anyway, back to the gift! The Junk Whisperer brought me a whole stack of emu leather! She knew that I’ve been on a leather crafting kick lately. (See this map, this paperweight, these drawer pulls and this pumpkin.) And then because I’m a super grateful…

  • education,  Family,  gift and learning

    Books My Kids Are Reading Part 10

    I’m back on this lovely Cyber Monday with the tenth installment of what my kids have been reading lately. My kids are 8 and 11 years old. That’s 3rd and 6th grades. I have one kid who goes to school with a book to read on the bus. I have another child who is ‘forced’ to read 25 minutes a day for homework. It’s a bit of a mixed bag in our household, but I still LOVE to read out loud to my kids and they enjoy that too! All of these books should be available in your local library. If you’re shopping online for children’s books this holiday season, please…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #96

    It’s Black Friday, so I’m not sure anyone’s going to be reading this post today, but I still have things to share! First, I do hope all my American friends had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I’m swimming in leftovers and not sorry about it! Second, this week I shared one of the things I’m thankful for and also how I answered another one of the hard questions my kids threw my way. I’d love to hear about the hard questions you’ve fielded from your children and grandchildren. Now, without further ado, here’s the Happy List. WINTER COAT I’m toying with the idea of a new winter coat and the cut of…

  • Family

    Thankful for Friends

    When we moved back to the U.S. this summer to a place we’d never lived before, I anticipated Thanksgiving would be a quiet affair with just our family of four. We’ve had several of those quiet Thanksgiving dinners. I don’t really mind them. The hardest part is to keep the twinge of missing out at bay. Those type of feelings defeat the entire purpose of being thankful. Then, much to my delight, friends from Georgia said they wanted to spend the holiday with us. So let me get this right… These folks want to travel on the busiest week of the year to eat turkey with us? Uh, HECK YEAH!!!…

  • Family

    Mom? Do Bad Things Happen to Everyone?

    97.8% of being a parent is answering an endless stream of questions. Most of them come in the form of… “Can I have…?” Or “Why?” Or my favorite, “Why not?” Sometimes there’s just a long “mom” or “dad” with a question mark at the end repeated over and over in increasing volume. Mom? Mooom? Mooooommmm??? When kids discover their voice they sometimes forget they have two legs and can get up to come find you. Then there are the weird questions. Case in point, I was recently asked, “Mom, how does a person become a god?” Uh… That’s what I get for letting my kid read a book at the…