Saturday, October 31, 2009

Won it, Love it, Woulda Bought it

A few posts ago I told you about a plug in candle warmer that I won.  I promised you that I'd review the item... so here goes...

Buy one. Seriously. I love it.

And I'm not just saying that becuase I got mine for free. And because the girl that did the giveaway was AWESOME (which she was!!).  I put one little square of wax in there, have used it every day this week, and it is still half full!  My house smells YUMMY instantly!  The best part? No flame... and it doesn't take up room on my counter. They have larger, tabletop versions, which I have heard great things about. But I really love that it doesn't take up any 'space'. 

AND since there is no flame, there is no soot.  For reals.  It is awesome. Want one of your own?  Go here!  Tell Alissa I said hello!  ;)

p.s.  No one asked me to do the review... I just loved it so much I wanted to share with all of you!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Costumes and Pumpkins

So last night, my sister calls me.  Her son chose to be Harry Potter... and she had found the robe on Craigslist. Perfect right?  Then the person with the robe kept pushing her off. Her kids had the flu. She couldn't get together. That was two weeks ago. So my sister waited. She got another email... but still no meeting time.  So last night, she was in panic. She had the glasses... she had the scarf. But no robe. HP needs a robe! Aunt Karin to the rescue!! So we met at the local fabric store at 8pm and I went right home, nephew and sister in tow, to make a robe. I would in NO way say it was perfect, but it worked. ;) 

Is he not a perfect Harry Potter?  It was an interesting evening, quickly sewing it up... but it was worth it to see that smile. :)  I had already finished up Haley's costume earlier in the evening. (Nothing like waiting until the last minute!)  Then when my nephew left I decided that I couldn't spend more time on his costume than Davis'.  Davis had chosen to re-use his Spongebob costume from a few years ago... but I decided I could add a few things to it. :)  Hmm... what to do. What to do. The Krusty Krab hat?  I think so!

Okay, I know. It's kind of lumpy.  But have you ever seen the episode where spongebob stuffs the inspector in his hat?  Just pretend that you're watching that episode. ;)  The important thing is that Davis was surprised, and happy. I think he felt special to add something to his costume. :)  This pic is of him at his school party.  Then I went down to see Haley...

My sweet little 50's girl. :)  Is she not just gorgeous?  I'll admit... it was a little weird to go down to her classroom. She is in 6th grade, the oldest in the school.  The parents that planned the party brought prizes, etc. They ran it, and when I was in there, the teacher didn't leave his computer. Before now, all of her teachers have been 'involved'.  I just felt like she was suddenly all grown up. Next year is going to be tough. On me. lol

I also just had to share this. These were posted all over the place, and it just kind of made me giggle. When I was a kid, it was basically "Suck it up and go to school!" lol. Now it's, PLEASE don't get everybody else sick!!!  Haley has already been absent like 5 times. :(  Two of those were for dentist/doctor appointments, but still. Should be interesting to see how many absent days she has at the end of the year!

So then we had to run out to the car... in the rain. Here's Davis and I all wet from running to the car. Haley waited inside. Smart girl. ;)

So since it was raining, we decided to carve pumpkins tonight.  For the first time, someone besides me helped gut one of them. WOOHOO!! Ross is not a fan of doing that part, so I always volunteer. Haley decided to give it a go...

This year they both carved it out themselves. I was pretty impressed! They drew their pictures and then did the rest.  All I did was smile and take pictures. It was awesome.

Davis' masterpiece.

Such concentration.

I think they did a great job, don't you?  I swear, they are getting so big. I know, I am such a cliche.

Just realized that i have no idea if I have candles for the inside...


Last night we finally went to go get pumpkins. Last year we were slackers... got the pumpkins and then never had the time to carve them. So tomorrow... it is ON, lol.  If we don't Davis will never forgive me.  He actually wanted to carve them when I got home tonight and I was a party pooper. ;)

Prepare for picture overload...

How stinkin' cute is he??

Okay, now he's cute... but trying to be a hoodlum? lol Please note is not a hang loose sign, more of a "I love you" sign only crooked?

Awww, now he's sweet again. Hugging his sister!

And now he's trying to suffocate her, lol.

There we go. :)

Haley look so grown up to me in this picture.

And Davis, well, he's such a goof. He wanted to make sure you knew THIS was the one he picked, lol.

Yup, that's still the same pumpkin. ;)

This cracked me up. "Quick Mom, take a picture! The pumpkin is my head!"

Since we were at Post Farms, home of the best pumpkin donuts EVER, we had to get some. :)  Apparently Davis couldn't take a moment from the donut for a picture. Um, I don't really blame him, lol. They are YUMMY.

Still eating, lol. Haley's was long gone by this picture. ;)

And Davis took this one of Haley and I. I LOVE her smile here.  I just wish it weren't all fuzzy.  She is so beautiful it hurts. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leafy Goodness

I love Fall. It is, hands down, my favorite season. I love being able to wear a sweater and jeans and be comfortable. I love walking out into the crisp air.  Love. it.

Last night my kids decided to go out and enjoy a beautiful fall evening, and play in the leaves. I was sitting at the computer, writing yesterday's post, and I hear Davis yell "Mom, you HAVE to see this".  I'll admit it.. my first thought was "Uh oh."

Do you see anything in the leaves?

Oh, there she is!

Seriously, how she was breathing under there, well, I'm not sure, lol.  But I just love that she is patient enough to wait for me to take a picture. ;)

And then of course, it was Davis' turn, so Haley threw on some leaves.

I kind of wish I had taken Haley's this direction too.... I just love it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My plea to you...

I am going to take a big ol' step onto my soap box. Bear with me. I'm really NOT preaching, though it may come off that way.  I'm really just sending out a plea... because if you care enough to read my blog, I care enough about you to say this.

Do you wear a bike helmet?  No?  Do you make your kids, but don't feel 'it's necessary' for you?  Do you not make your kids wear one?

Here's the deal... I realize that when 'we' were kids, we didn't have helmets. We didn't wear seat belts, we didn't grow up in a car seat. And we all made it, didn't we?  But you know, sad as it is to think about, there were alot of young children who did NOT make it.  They died in a car accident because they didn't have a seat belt on. Or maybe they had brain damage from falling off their bike. Or perhaps they died.  I have a relative that was a professor at a university. He often rode his bike to work when the weather was nice. One day he swerved to miss a student... and the next day they were planning a funeral. He fell, hit is head and died.  My mom used to tell me that story when I didn't want to wear my helmet. In high school? Come ON, Mom! ;)

When my husband started cycling a year or two ago, I met so many people that shared my love of the helmet.  It's a must have. Actually, here in Michigan, you are legally supposed to wear one when riding in the street.

Lately I have noticed a lot of careless cyclists and it makes me sad.  Truly. The other night, I ran to the store after dark.  I passed a cyclist on a relatively busy road (speed limit 45) and she had one little blinkie (flashing light) on her bike. She wore no helmet, and no blinkie on herself. Frankly, I barely saw her. It terrified me.  What if I had hit and killed her? Or even just hurt her? Here is my plea to you.  If you are a non-helmet wearer... think of me. Think of the person driving the car. Think if that person will recover from the guilt, if they end up hitting you, becuase you didn't have your helmet and blinkie on.  On the same note... I saw a woman today with a toddler on her handlebars. She even had the seat on the back of her bike, but chose not to use it. One slip, and her child could die from that height.  One swerve, one pebble, one pothole. And he would be gone. The entire family did not have helmets on.

I am not saying this to say that I judge that mother.  I don't. We all have 'our things'.  This is one of them for me.  She has the choice to use it, or choose not to, and so do you. My plea is that you'll choose to use the helmet. Pretty please? I don't want to lose even one of you. ;)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reaping what we sow...

One of my favorite singers is Sara Groves. If you don't own one of her cd's, you are missing out. If you've never seen her perform you are REALLY missing out.... because as much as I love the cd's... they are nothing compared to seeing/hearing her perform live. I love that she makes me think. She writes about everyday things from a Christian perspective. Oh sure, there are praise songs...but there are also love songs for her husband (and not those high school type love songs... real, true, LOVE songs) and songs for her children (which, frankly, just make me cry, because she writes what all mothers are feeling) and songs about the journey of life.

I can't even tell you a favorite album. I own all of them. And each one is a different journey in itself. But recently Haley and I were hanging out in the living room. She was doing a puzzle (I swear, this girl can do puzzles that scare the heck out of me, lol) and I was cutting fabric. So I asked her to go pick a CD and we could put it in and listen together. She chose the Conversations album. First of all... that is just awesome. She didn't pick the Jonas Brothers, or the High School Musical soundtrack. She chose Sara Groves.

Anyway, it has been a while since I've listened to this album... she has made a few since then, and the new ones took their spot in my cd player. But as soon as "Generations" came on, I knew that I was meant to hear this song again. If you don't know the words or the song... well, here you go.

Inspired by Deuteronomy 11:26-28.
I can taste the fruit of Eve. I'm aware of sickness death and disease. The results of her choices were vast. Eve was the first but she wasn't the last. If I were honest with myself, had I been standing at that tree, my mouth and my hands would be covered with fruit. Things I shouldn't know and things I shouldn't see. . Chorus: Remind me of this with every decision. Generations will reap what I sow. I can pass on a curse or a blessing to those I will never know. . She taught us to fear the serpent. I'm learning to fear myself and all of the things I am capable of in my search for acceptance, wisdom and wealth. To say the devil made me do it is a cop-out and a lie. The devil can't make me do anything when I'm calling on Jesus Christ. . Chorus . To my great-great-great-granddaughter, live in peace. To my great-great-great-grandson, live in peace. To my great-great-great granddaughter, live in peace. To my great-great-great-grandson, live in peace, live in peace. . Chorus . Eve was the first but she wasn't the last.

Bear with me. I know this has been a long post. But really think about those words. Generations will reap what I sow. I can pass on a curse or a blessing to those I will never know. She is talking about her grandchildren, and their grandchildren. And those that they will affect. When you smile, when you live life to the fullest, and you teach whatever it is that you CHOOSE to teach your children... that will have an affect on future generations. Do you want them to remember you as a martyr? Do you want them to you remember you as someone that smiled, or one that was never satisfied? Do you want them to be able to go out into the world and do their will... or do you want them to depend on you forever? Sometimes I need to be reminded of this... I'm not "just a mom". I'm helping to sculpt the people that my children will be as they grow older. And the type of parents they will someday be if they choose to have children. What an amazing, amazing job I have. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just one more thing...

So I'm pretty sure I was on the radio this morning. Well, not me, exactly, but I think the writer must know me.  It went something like this...

"We all know someone that can never let the conversation go.  It's always, just one more thing... oh, okay, i know you have to run, but let me just tell you this one last story... etc. etc.  Well, that person... is me.  Good thing I have unlimited minutes and voicemail!!"

LMBO. Seriously. I was cracking up. I don't know how to explain her voice inflection, but she was this mid-western mom sounding lady with a perky tone. Only, it starts out like she MUST be talking about her neighbor. Only, no, she admits it, she is that person.  Well foks, I am here to admit it.  I am a yapper. Yakkity yak yak yak.  If you have somewhere to be... don't call me. Want to get around the WHOLE craft show?  You really should plan ahead and come early... or come and see me last, lol. ;)

On the plus side... my glass if pretty much always half full.  So you will always get a smile, and a perky story. And who doesn't love that, right? ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


So, I don't know if you've taken a look on the right side of the page... but I have a few craft shows coming up. Seriously. As in... 7 in one month, lol.  Yeah, I know, I don't know what I was thinking either, lol. ;)

So if I'm not around, forgive me. I've attached myself to my sewing chair and feel compelled to stay there. :) 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yummy Fall Treat

This time of year I start wanting something WARM to drink.  And when I have a cold, I don't like to drink milk, so coffee (or at least the way I drink it, lol) is out.  So what to do?  Tea?  Well... tea is okay. But I can only drink so much of it.  So I make myself a caramel apple treat. :)

Take a mug and fill it with apple juice.  Yup, just plain ol' apple juice. And put it in the microwave. Yes, the microwave. Well, yeah, you can put it on the stove if you want, but remember, I usually make this for  myself when I want to feel better, not have to do more dishes, lol.  I usually put mine in for a minute and a half to two minutes.  :)

Add caramel syrup. How much? Geez.... you are acting like this is a real recipe or something. ;)  I don't know... squeeze and count to 3. ;)

If you don't have a cold and want to feel extra spiffy, like it's a real drink from one of those wonderful coffee houses I dream about every night... add some whip cream and some more caramel syrup. ;) 

Mmmm... I'm having one right now. It is so yummy.  AND made with things you might just already have in your house! Oh, and you should use your favorite mug like I did. :)  It just makes me smile. I love taking a drink and being reminded that "Everything happens for a reason".  Because sometimes that's just comforting. :)  Have a cozy day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Website

I finally took the plunge and purchased the domain for !  Eventually (after a great show this fall, maybe??) I'd like to pay someone to design it for me... but for now I am designing it myself.  Anyone want to take a looksie and give me some tips? It is still a work in progress... so be gentle, lol. ;)  But I'd love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For Reals???

Shut up! No way! For REALS?? I WON!!! Wooohooooo!!!!!

Okay, sorry, had to get that out. The other day I was having kind of an icky day. No real reason.... just feeling down and out. So I turned to my bloggy world for some perspective. :) As I went through my RSS feed I found my name in link form. What does that mean?? That means that I won a giveaway!! Woot! Suddenly I was smiling. :)

Some of you may know of The Vintage Pearl. Amazing jewelry... inspring blog... amazingly gorgeous children. :) I love reading her blog because it just makes me feel good, and helps keep me inspired. So when she does a giveaway, you know it's going to be a good one! And this time she partnered up with Alissa, who sells Scentsy. Never heard of it? Me neither! lol But when I took a look I was pretty excited! They have candle warmers, which I have seen before, and love... but they also have PLUG INS!!! Woot! How perfect for a smaller home, or for a room you don't want to have something out on the counter/table. So I picked the turquoise one... because, well, frankly, that is just the best color in the world. ;)

And just in time for those stuffy winter months. I got one scent WITH my giveaway (can you even believe that!?) and then I couldn't decide so I ordered one too. ;) I'll let you know what I think when it gets here. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

More Friends....

Yesterday's post really made me think about all of the amazing friends I have. Friends that won't mind that I wrote a whole post about Stacie, and not one word about them. :) I feel very lucky to have the friends that I have. I know that there are people in my life that would drop everything if I needed them to. I have had so many moments in the last year that I felt so HONORED to have met someone. This business has brought me so many amazing people... and for that I am so grateful! And I just wanted to say so. :) You know who you are...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Make new friends...

Make new friends, but keep the old... one is silver and the other gold. :) Okay... sorry... I was a Girl Scout Leader for years... when I think about making friends, that song pops into my mind! ;)

But you know? It really is true. There is nothing like talking to an old friend, who knows you so well, and for so long. My friend Joie is this for me. No matter how many miles are between us, or years it has been since we have seen each other, she knew me 'when'. She will always have a special place in my heart. Then there are friends I've met since graduating high school... the ones that have been around a while, like my friend Kerri. I love her children like they are my own. Truly. But every once in a while, you have the fortune of meeting a new friend... and it's like fate has stepped in. Well.... that's Stacie. :)

One day at Market this gorgeous girl walks into my booth with her even more adorable daughter. And the hairbow this girl has on is freaking AWESOME. It is shaped like a butterfly, and like nothing I've seen before. So of course I had to ask where she got it right? She MADE IT????!!! So what do I do? Convince her to come to the market and come selling with me on Thursdays, lol. I'm like a stalker or something! lol Anyway, it was fate... because the more we talk, the more we realize we were meant to know each other. :)

This weekend we did our first real craft show together, and we had a great time. :) Hairbows and purses...something for mom AND daughter! ;)

I'm really hoping we can share more booths in the coming months... she is a RIOT! She's bubbly, and talkative just like me. :) Which we all know is the best combo, right? lol And... if there were a stranger in front of her in the rain, she'd wait for them. :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Is it really so difficult???

So... I'm going to take a little step onto the proverbial soap box. Forgive me. I hope you will agree with me on this one. Is it REALLY so hard to be nice to strangers??? I totally get that sometimes it's difficult to be nice to your crazy neighbor, or your smothering grandmother or mother, or whoever. I get it. Sometimes being nice can be hard. But is it so hard to be nice to that stranger walking into the store?

Today it is raining here in West Michigan. Frankly, the weather has been pretty *&$#^@ for the last week, lol. So I get it. Everyone is grumpy. But here's the thing... when there is a person walking in the rain, the person in a nice, dry, heated vehicle should wait. Now this did NOT happen to me. I was in my nice, dry, heated vehicle and I waited... while another car shot around me and splashed the pedestrian with rain water. Seriously?

Then I parked and went inside. I held the door for a couple of people. Not one thank you. It's okay... I mean, I do it because it's the right thing to do... not to make someone say thank you, right?

Then I said thank you to someone in the store and got "the look" like I was bothering the person. SERIOUSLY???

So at this point I'm thinking, man I really hope the sun comes out before winter. I mean, if people are acting like this NOW what will happen when it starts to... well.. the s word. I can't bring myself to say it folks, lol. And I got out to my car, pack up my groceries in the rain, and drove out of the parking lot. When I was got onto the main, busy road, there were people waiting to come out of a crowded parking lot. We were at a red light, so I stopped short and let a few people out when the light turned green. Not a single person waved, gestured or smiled a thank you.

You know, it's really hard to be nice when people aren't nice back. :( But I'm still trying. Honestly, I STRIVE to be that person that smiles and makes someone's day. I know sometimes I'm annoyingly perky (though I hate that word, I prefer energetic). But wouldn't you rather annoy someone with your happiness than bring down someone's good mood? So that is my challenge to you today. Be the person that smiles at a stranger. Smile at the homeless person sitting on the street instead of looking away. Open the door for someone that doesn't expect it. Smile at the cash register attendant and say thank you, even when you had to wait in line for 20 minutes. Because you never know what that smile will do. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fulton Market

Yesterday was the last day of Fulton Market. For those of you that don't know... Fulton Market (the location) has been around for MANY years. My mother in law used to go to the Farmer's Market there when she was a little girl. It is an amazing little gem in Grand Rapids. It is an open air market where community just oozes with happiness. :) And about 5 years ago, a brilliant few ladies decided to start an Artisan Market there on Sundays. BRILLIANT!

When I heard about it last summer, I just HAD to try it. So I signed up to vend there one afternoon... and then went back a few weeks later. It is funny... I think most weeks the vendors (all 8 of us) outnumbered the customers. But man did we have a great time! And then Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood (of Craftsanity... the link is on the left!) wrote an article in the Grand Rapids Press. And one of the girls from the board put some information on Facebook... and the first day, we had a turnout bigger than some craft shows I've done. Big craft shows, lol! And this year I was there EVERY week. I didn't miss a single Sunday. And I loved every minute. I can't describe to you the amazing atmosphere that IS the Fulton Market. It just oozes creativity. And comradery. And just FUN! So today felt a little like the last day of summer camp. Lots of "See you next year!" and "I'll miss you!" were heard around the site. And I'll admit it... I will be happy to have my Sundays back, and my kids will rejoice when I unpack some of the stuff I've just kept in car permanently this summer (that I use for market). But really? I will miss my friends. So here are a few pics of my favorite girls...

Sarah R. She is my girl! We love to try to get booths right next to each other and chat the day away. Seriously. lol

Sarah C. LOVE this girl. She can make me smile any day of the week! And since we do a market together every Thursday too... it's a good thing we like each other, lol. Dee is another one that does both markets, and she is a sweetie too... but I had a brainfart and forgot to take our picture, lol.
And Merrie. I admit... I had a hard time posting this picture, lol. I mean.... I am such. a. dork. But she just cracks me up! She is always sticking her tongue out at me... giving me a hard time, etc. And you know I give it right back to her! lol Anyway, this picture just defines Market for me. JUST FUN! I'll miss it... but maybe next year (if you are local) you could come and see me there! ;)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back to Business

Yesterday I did a little show to benefit the Alzeimer's Association. Ross' Grandmother was diagnosed with the disease when we were first married, and died just a few years later. I feel sad that I never really got to know her that well, since I think we would have gotten along. She was a mad pie maker, like myself. ;) Anyway, it was nice to do a show to benefit something dear to my heart. AND check out what was on my table when I arrived! I mean, a THANK YOU for participating? NICE!

My set up... I honestly couldn't believe I fit this all in such a small spot. Man, I am getting good at that, lol. ;)

I ended up doing fairly well at the show... thanks to some WONDERFUL vendors! :) I think we were the only people in Michigan NOT watching the Michigan/Michigan State game... and therefore, the crowd was, well... non existent, lol. Luckily some of the other vendors did some Christmas shopping. I also did some AWESOME bartering. Gotta love getting your favorite make-up in trade for a purse! Woot!

So I was in a pretty good mood when it was time to pack up. Life was good. I made some cash... I did some trades. When I went to get the car and move it toward the door, well... my smile vanished. I had left my lights on. All. Day. Long. Do you think anyone has jumper cables in their car? Noper. So I called my best friend and her hubby, who live blocks away... forgetting that the game was still on. I might not get a Christmas present this year, lol. I called JUST as the game went into overtime. Luckily, we found some jumper cables and they didn't have to come to the rescue. ;) But a note to self... never call when the game is on! ;)