Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Taking Time Out...



We are enjoying some wonderful warmer weather! Instead of worrying about the overflowing basket of laundry, the floors that need vacuumed or the film of dust in the bedroom we have been heading outside. Long walks, swinging, sliding and stopping to smell the flowers are top priorityfor the rest of the week.

With the busyness of life and Easter I hope you remember to slow down and smell the flowers!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Eating Healthy: Carrots

I am still on the quest for healthier eating. What I have learned so far is that it is going to be a long hard process. I have been reading food labels and am not liking most of what I see. I am really having a hard time understanding why food manufacturers feel the need to add so much to our food.

One argument of eating healthy is that is takes too much time or cost too much. I admit that I have used the argument that it takes too much time. Not anymore! I recently had a five pound bag of carrots. I cleaned and peeled them all at one time. I was able to cut some carrot sticks for snacking, dice some for soups, stews and side dishes and then cut some for pot roast.


I have always been a big fan of canning my own food. Carrots are something that I am adding to my list to can. If you buy frozen carrots your are getting just carrots. If you buy canned carrots you are getting carrots, water, salt and calcium chloride. Growing my own is not something that has worked for me. I can never get a large sweet carrot. The plan is to watch for a great sale and then put them up. I will know the quality of carrot and exactly what is in each can.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Stuff

I hope that everyone had a great weekend. Our Saturday started out with one of my favorite things...


breakfast out! The rest of our Saturday was spent at my sister's house. They are remodeling their basement and we have been spending the bulk of our weekends over there. Drywall is up and I hope our time over there is will be less and less. Not that I mind helping, it is just hard to be away from home for so much of the weekend.

Yesterday evening I was in the office doing some things on the computer when I keep hearing Megan saying "Sticky hands. Sticky, sticky hands." Of course I had to go investigate.


I found Megan and Daddy making Rice Krispy Treats.

I always wonder how things can become so much of mess when you have barely been home. My kitchen is in need of major pick up and cleaning.


The forecast for later in the week is close to 80*. Yes! With that I figured it was time to switch out clothes. All of the hand me down summer clothes have been tried on and washed. They are waiting to be ironed and put away. Have I mentioned how much I love hand me downs! I guarantee that Megan wouldn't have an overflowing basket of summer clothes if we had to purchase all of those.

My week is looking to be very full. It is spring break which means I will have two extra children in my care for the afternoons. Top that off with a trip to the grocery store, a doctor appointment and hosting a Good Friday dinner and egg coloring. Whew! I am tired already.

I hope to post more then today, but if not you will know that I am just busy living a full, blessed life!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Preserving Child Artwork

It seems that I can't get my act together and blog everyday. Life is moving along quickly and I can't seem to get my projects complete and my act together. I hope to remedy this problem very soon!

I am sure that I am not the only one with my everyday challenge of what to do with all of Megan's artwork. She is a very crafty girl. Painting, drawing and creating is one of her favorite things to do.

Some of her work ends up on the board in her room, but most of it ends up on the frig. With a little guy in the house that is crawling and pulling up on everything this was no longer working. Some special pieces ended up destroyed.

My solutions was to make her artwork part of the decor.


Using a piece of scrapbook paper for the mat I cut out a shape that went with the decor in my home. I used the pattern of prim star. I then cut out part of her painting to fit in the frame.


This is still a work in progress. I plan to use a total of four frames. I will be painting them black and then finding a home for them in my kitchen. Once I have it all together I will post a picture.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Welcome Spring!

Ah, Spring. I welcome you with open arms! Sunshine, warming breezes, rain showers, greening grass, garden planting, birds singing. Everything fresh and new. This is my favorite season. It just makes my heart sing!

Come in and see my springtime touches.


A basket filled with some vibrate silk flower. I hung this basket using some black and white gingham ribbon. This is a new love of mine! I love that this basket will be able to stay up all through summer.

My kitchen window. (Please excuse the lighting. The bright spring sun made it hard to photograph.)


A S-P-R-I-N-G banner, cute wooden bunnies and some pansies added to my flower pots.

I finally decided what to do with my bread board. I thought staining it was best. I like how the wood grain shows and think over time this will look old and well loved.



I picked up the Farm Fresh Produce tote at Jo Ann's. I added three Mason jars filled with some fresh spring flowers along with a gingham bow. A homemade kitchen towel, some bunnies and a berry candle on my cutting board.


I keep the kitchen table very simple. A glass bowel of speckled eggs sitting on my Lazy Susan.


A stacking hat box bunny on top of my hutch.


As you step out the front door this little guy is there to wish you well.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Happy Spring!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Making Your Home A Haven: Drawer

The task from Monica this week was to tackle a drawer. This drawer had been on my list for a while. It is Megan's sock/tight drawer.


As you can tell by the picture it was just plain and simple... messy!

I weeded out socks she refuses to were (oh yeah, my girl has very strong opinions... don't know where she gets that!) and took out the tights that she was outgrowing. Chuck was kind enough to cut me some cardboard dividers and they were covered in some scrapbook paper.


I love, love the way this turned out. It is now a pleasure to get into this drawer.

I was so motivated by this that I tackled another drawer. I had way to many dishtowels and was still hanging onto bibs from when Megan still used them.


I had lots of towels that had been ready for the rag bag for a while. I took those to the garage and then saved a few bibs for the little guy that I watch.


Now we have a drawer that is neat and tidy. Oh, and it is no longer so full that it gets caught on the drawer above it! I am feeling very motivated and have another drawer or two on my list.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Baking Powder Biscuits

For the past few days Chuck has been off work due to a minor procedure he had on his foot. It is always nice having him home. He made breakfast yesterday and I cracked up when I saw that he had made these.


Oh the memories these brought back. As a child my dad would often make dinner. It seemed that every time Daddy made dinner he made these biscuits. I remember sitting in the living room doing homework or watching TV... either The Brady Bunch or The Flintstones... while dinner was being made. I hadn't thought about it for years. Thanks Chuck for triggering a great childhood memory!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monster Cookies



While watching Paula Dean I saw her make these cookies. The peanut butter and oatmeal along with a the touch of chocolate made these delightful. I can see these being a go to cookie for family gatherings and pot lucks. Go here for the recipe. Enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Joyful Things

Since I have been working on finding my joy I thought I would post some things that bring me joy.


A pile of fabric... the possibility for crafting, sewing and creating is endless.


Spring flowers... although they are not in bloom yet they are starting to wake up.


Spring showers... they smell heavenly and it is delightful watching Megan play in the rain.


Sleeping child... so tired from play she barely makes in on the bed.


Eating healthy... it is hard but I know the end result will be worth it.


Daddy and his girl... I love a man that loves his daughter with his whole heart and isn't afraid to show it.

I am learning to stop amid all the chaos of life to find joy in the simple things. Take a few moments today to savor a joyful moment.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Finding Joy

I remember when I first became a full time homemaker and then Miss Megan came home. I found so much joy in everything! Not only the new, sweet moments with Megan, but in all things. My home was in order, neat and tidy, dinner was a joy to prepare. I hate to admit it, but I seem to have lost my joy.

I am happy and wouldn't trade the life I lead for anything. I am finding myself feeling overwhelmed with task. There is so much to be done and quite frankly I just don't want to do it! Yes, I know I sound like a toddler having a temper tantrum, but that is where I am.

My intentions are great. It is the follow through that is lacking. I will get in the cleaning, organizing mood and get a couple of task complete. I just can't seem to find the motivation to keep going. Then things fall into a bigger mess and sometimes it is easier to just say forget it. Then that leads to the overwhelmed feeling.

I don't like this feeling at.all. I want to get up each morning and embrace a new day. Be ready to face all of the challenges of life with a joyful heart.

I want to find joy in dusting... everything shining and clean along with a fresh scent.

I want to find joy in laundry... fresh clean clothes hanging in our closets ready for use instead of a mountain of dirty laundry.

I want to find joy in balancing the checkbook and paying bills... we have money that needs balanced and are able to pay bills.

I want to find joy in cooking and baking... providing a tasty meal for my family and making treats for my hard working husband.

I want to find joy in reading and playing with Megan... to find joy in this and not feel like I am going through the motions.

I know that life is a cycle of ups and downs and without some down time it hard to really enjoy the good things in life. I am on a mission to find my joy again, to truly enjoy all things big and small.

***This post was written a few weeks ago. I am slowly finding my joy again. Chuck saw this quote "Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful" That could not have come at a better time. I find that I tend to be my worst enemy. I am extremely hard on myself.

Chuck has been a huge help. He has made me realize that he doesn't care about perfection and that the way things are at home are fine. That we are living life, I am not only caring for my family, but also the children of two other families and that I can not be expected to do it all. I think that is a hard thing to accept. I really want to be able to do it all. I am finding that it is better to do a few task with joy in my heart then to try to do it all and have no joy. I am sure that this is a journey I will be taking for some time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

Signs of Spring have been everywhere the last few days. This picture was taken on Tuesday. You can see that winter is trying to hang on, but spring is letting it's presence known.


These are my lilies and crocus. The daffodils and tulips are also making their presence known.


This was the temperature yesterday afternoon. With a temperature like this it won't be long before I will see some blooms.

I know that we are bound to have some days that seem more winter like. That makes the nice days even more enjoyable. I have been making the most of them.


Opening windows and letting in the fresh air. Oh, how I love this!


Putting Mr. Grill to work. These pork chops were wonderful!

I am making my spring cleaning list and Chuck and I have been talking about the projects we would like to complete this year. A shed, back porch and playhouse all need a coat of paint. It looks like paint might be a theme this year!

I feel like I have been neglecting this little blog. My days seem to be very full.


This is Abe. The little guy that I watch full time. He just turned 7 months and it seems like he has taken off overnight. Literally! He started sitting up and then scooting within a couple weeks of each other. He is now a full fledged crawler and is starting to pull up/push up on things. I have a feeling he will be an early walker.

Between doing fun things with Megan and keeping Abe out of trouble I haven't had much time for anything else. Just the normal day to day stuff. Some days it seems crazy around here but I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Ball Product Testing

This weekend we had our first real signs of spring! The birds were singing. The sun was shining and the temperature was around 50*. It made my heart sing! Spring is my favorite time of year. I love that everything is beginning fresh and new.

Besides enjoying the heart warming sun I was able to do something fun. I went to a local middle school home economic room and tested some products for Ball Canning. Fun!Fun!Fun!

After testing the products I walked away a little cash, some great coupons and products to sample.


Unfortunately I am unable to tell you the items that were tested. What I can tell you is that it looks like some old favorites are going to be updated. How is that for vague!?

It looks like the spring like weather will be sticking around this week. Temperatures in the mid to high 50's are forecasted and so are some spring showers. I hope the remaining piles of snow will melt away this week. It is still early and I suspect we will still see a flurry or two. It is Indiana and as all good Hoosiers know there will always be a touch of winter until the high school basketball tournament is over! I know what is on the way so I know I will make it!

Laundry and a kitchen floor in need of a good mopping is calling my name. Have a great Monday!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

And the Winner is...


Mandy from A Mayberry State of Mind. Congratulations Mandy! Please send me your address to heartalwayshome@aol.com I can't wait to see how you display your goodies.

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to visit and comment on this give away. It means so much to me that you take the time to visit!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Shelf Makeover

I have slowly working on making some changes in my living room. I already had this shelf and decided to paint it to match the lower half of my wallpaper. I looked for a before picture and could not find one. It was previously in this spot and sported a natural wood look. I would love to update it even more by getting rid of the hearts. All in good time.




I took a basket that flowers were delivered in years ago and added a black and white gingham ribbon. A jar filled with old wooden spools of thread and a crock on the other side.


On one end there is this plate that I picked up at Flower Factory. It says "Family -all because two people fell in love."


The other end of the shelf holds the star that Chuck and I made. I love that the only thing purchased for this makeover was the plate.

If you haven't signed up for my giveaway be sure to scroll down to yesterdays post.