Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dickens & David Copperfield...Movie Review

So I have a very dear friend and her favorite book is David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. We give each other book suggestions. I have read quite a few of her favorites and she mine. However I have a tread for Dickens. It might have been that my first introduction to him was with Great Expectations in my Sophomore English Class in High School. I struggled through several chapters...eventually watched the movie and read the Cliff Notes. I have continued to find the task of reading Dickens Daunting.

My friend suggested I watch the 1999 Masterpiece Theater version of David Copperfield starring a young Daniel Radcliffe. For months the book and movie have sat at my home, and this past week I finally watched the movie. It has a wonderful storyline with typical Dicken's twists and turns. It shows characters that are like able and yet flawed. And others who are despicably evil. And others that you truly want to like, can see their potential for goodness and yet they choose poorly and sacrifice happiness. It is said to be a bit autobiographical of Dicken's life which was not always joyful.

It introduces wonderful characters and takes the viewer on a journey of understanding. So I have added David Copperfield to my list of TO READ's for 2011 and I am actually looking forward to reading Dickens.

My sister and I were talking today and we started talking about how as children we disliked certain foods, but now as adults with a different perspective many of our dislikes have been dispelled and now have become more bearable. Maybe like my sisters dislike and now tolerance for cucumbers I too will find a tolerance for the classics of Dickens. I certainly enjoyed the movie.

What are some of your new found book loves...or movies? I would love to hear.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Silhouette Give Away on Kara's Party Ideas

So there is a great give away going on right now on a wonderful blog called Kara's Party Ideas. It closes tonight at midnight, but just in case here is a link to her sight... so you can enter to win a free Silhouette Machine. I totally want one of these. You can go to her sight and enter up to four times. Best of luck.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Gratitude for Creating of Beauty

I have been able this week to be inspired by those who have an ability to create beauty. I wanted to share some of that with all of you.

I went to a concert this week for Dan Cahoon. It was his Senior Recital in Provo. I was so impressed. It was a delightful evening. He is incredibly talented and I left humming his music in my head. If you want to take a listen to a sampling you can go here to Amazon. I love his song "All About You". You can also get his music on Itunes. It is fun and beautiful and I am definitely adding it to my music library.

Dan and Mindy Gledhill performed a duet that was so fun and so I also checked out her music online. It too is so amazing and inspiring. If you want to check out and listen to a sampling go here. I am asking for her CD for Christmas. In fact I watched a YouTube clip of her song "All About Your Heart" and just cried.

I feel so blessed for those who are able to take their creative talents and create beauty that is touching, and inspiring.

Finally, I wanted to share with you a darling idea that I saw this week. My sister-in-law Brynn is an incredibly talented and creative person. I stopped by her home this week and she had such a darling idea. I am going to try and make one and get a picture but for now I will do my best to explain.

She folded a piece of paper it looked to be about 6x12 into fanned sections. You need enough to write out the word GRATITUDE.

She then put white paper on each section with the letter's spelled out G R A T I T U D E

Below each letter a piece of white paper large enough to fill the remaining space, then for each letter she wrote things she was thankful for that started with that letter. It was so fun to read her lists, they were both fun and creative. She had it sitting on the mantle of their fireplace, a daily reminder of being Grateful.

It love that something so simple is really a creation of beauty and thanksgiving. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Creating a Thanksgiving filled with Tradition and Gratitude

We have had some truly perfect Autumn days lately. I love the crisp air, the leaves falling, the magnificent color that surrounds me everyday. We have also started our planning for Thanksgiving. Do you have traditions that make you focus on gratitude?

My family has been providing ideas we would like to try this year and create some new traditions. Here are some ideas that have been tossed around and some I found that I thought were great.

A Thanksgiving Cornucopia: You could really do this all year or just during this month. Have pieces of paper or other cutouts and write down your blessings and fill up a Cornucopia . My brother said it best when he talked about this being an opportunity to recall the tender mercies. And I would add the moments of grace, beauty and love that surround us daily.

A Gratitude Journal: You could add to this every year or even put the things from your Cornucopia into it. A way to remember the blessings and find gratitude where you are.

A 5K run: My sister in law did this last year and mentioned how it provides a way not only to move more but also to show thanks for our bodies and the strength we have or that we have been working on. If you live in this area check out this link for the Bountiful Turkey Trot.

For kids:
A Plymouth Rock Corner: you could put books about the first Thanksgiving. A place to make crafts, I will post some of the craft ideas we are doing later on this month. You could make a Turkey with your hand traced onto a paper. Make feathers of thanks to put on them. How about a vest out of paper bag to decorate, or decorating your own rocks. Years ago my hubbie and I went to Plimouth Plantation and Plymouth Rock and I have lots of pictures and post cards that I could put up on a poster board or you can go online for pictures here.

Take the kids on a nature walk and pick up leaves, acorns sticks or other things and make a collage with them.

We are also doing some service. What a perfect way to show how grateful we are for what we have than to help others who are in need. We have discussed a couple of options that work for our family; the Davis County Safe Harbor which is for women and children are always in need of items. We are also collecting lightweight items to send to the orphanage in Bulgaria where my sister just spend to weeks volunteering.

Simple ideas:
Today we are making a Thanksgiving countdown, you could do this as reverse advent by adding instead of getting something, so each day you could fill up a container with words of thanks or deeds of service.

I would love to hear what you do in your family. May your day be filled with peace and gratitude.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Celebrating the Joy of Thanksgiving

The other day one of my children asked me, "Mom, why do we have to have Thanksgiving anyway, why can't we just skip it and go to Christmas." Then this child followed up with, "Halloween is fun for kids and so is Christmas, but Thanksgiving doesn't really have anything fun to do."

From a child's perspective I can totally understand this logic. I think many times I felt the same way. For awhile I have thought that Thanksgiving kind of gets swallowed up in between Halloween and Christmas. It is really a wonderful holiday it isn't about getting anything or having to come up with something to give. It is about spending time together, offering thanks and gratitude. In our world of face paced living I think November becomes the month we prepare for Christmas. Which I totally get. My Christmas shopping started months ago. But my goal this November is to bask in the moments, and practice gratitude. I wanted to start by decorating my home for Thanksgiving. My other goal not to buy anything new to decorate with. I think I've done pretty good so far. Over the next few weeks I want to share with you, ideas to focus on Thanksgiving and of finding joy in giving Thanks. I would love to hear your ideas.

These fake candles are from the $ store and were for our Jack O' Lantern's. I filled candle holders with dried lentils and split peas (already had) and tied a leaf on the front with Jute.

I love my chalkboard that I made a few months ago from a $ store plate. The metal basket was a $1 find at DI and I filled it with our extra pumpkins and berries I had from last year.

I love the simplicity of white flowers with bittersweet, my milk glass plate trimmed with orange ribbon and left over pumpkins. The one on the left side was one Mini B painted at a Pumpkin Tea Party and she was so thrilled that I would use it on our table.

The mantel I decided to go more simple with a mirror I had, a wreath, pumpkin, candle and flower I already had. I love it and it feels elegant and simplistic.

I made this stitch a few years ago and haven't really ever put it up.

I love this pumpkin. One of my friends brought it to me for Halloween, but it is perfect to leave up for Thanksgiving. It is just scrapbook paper Modge Podged on. I LOVE it and it looks so great on the chair part of my desk. Hope you are enjoying the first few days of November and getting ready for a month of Gratitude.

Much Love and Thanks.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Making it Monday: Caramel Apple Cider and Pumpkin Seeds Recipes

I love fall for so many reasons, the change of season is exhilarating and brings such a richness of color and also flavor as we add soups, and spices to so many things. Here are two favorites that I thought you all might enjoy.

Starbucks has a Carmel Apple Cider to sip and enjoy. It is pure indulgence. I love this and have enjoyed getting one for years. I say one because first off they are pricey and second off they are made with whip cream and caramel so the calorie count is high. Well I found this recipe a few weeks ago on the Roots and Wings Website...if you haven't checked out their blog it has so many wonderful ideas. I have had one almost every day since. So here it is try it and see what you think.

A glass of apple juice or cider
Mix in 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon Syrup (You can buy this at Starbucks...I also heard you can get it in sugar free version it cost about $8 for a large container)

Heat in the microwave until hot.

Serve with Fat Free Whip Cream...drizzled with sugar free caramel. The caloric count ends up being about 130 calories for 8 oz. Depending on how much caramel you use.

So yummy.

Second...we love roasted pumpkin seeds.

Here are two versions we tried today.

Pumpkin Seeds

Separate the seeds from the pumpkin and rinse off.
Soak seeds in water saturated with salt overnight.
Drain water from seeds and pat dry.
Put seeds on cookies sheet lined with Silpat
Roast plain or drizzle with olive oil and seasonings (such as season all, or cinnamon, sugar and dash of nutmeg)
Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until toasty brown.
Let cool and enjoy.

We tried the plain and the cinnamon and sugar this year and both were delicious.

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful Autumn time of year.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review Thursday: Beezus and Ramona Movie

I grew up reading the Ramona books and loved them. I have started reading them to Mini B at night and although they are still a bit old for her she has enjoyed the funny stories and it has been fun for us to read them. I was thrilled and also a bit leery when I saw that they were making a movie out of something I loved as a child. So many spin offs from books I love tend to be either too cheesy or off the wall.

I have to say I would give this movie five stars...
I loved it. It was sweet and happy. Mini B loved it and we both laughed through it. I cried several times and have since watching it have taken extra care as I speak to my little ones. I thought they weaved in many favorite story lines from many of the books so that it felt fresh and not forced.

I liked it so much I am asking for it for Christmas. I loved this movie and would recommend it to everyone. If you saw it I would love to know what you think.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Madeline Theme and a Bon Anniversaries Party

So my little Mini Boden is having a birthday. She decided on the Madeline theme for our cake and ice cream family get together. She also told me what she wanted for decorations. I did my best to make it happen. Here is the party table. The tissue pom, pom's were super easy and the tutorial is on here from Martha Stewart We colored a picture of Madeline we found on the computer and put it in a frame. The french flags came from a party store, as well as the french flag picks for the cupcakes.

The yellow hat cake was fun and fairly easy to make. Instructions are located here at Family Fun.

The entire party table.

I made the banner using white binding off a roll that I picked up in the craft section at Walmart. I stapled red satin ribbon to the top and circle fabric cut outs. The letters I made on my computer and just cut them out.

My son Thing 1 made this Eiffel Tower picture as a decoration for his sister. I love it.

Here is my favorite part. Mini B, wanted a shirt that looked like Madeline's cape with a yellow Eiffel tower on it. We picked up a blue shirt 50% off at Hobby Lobby. For $1.50. I used some of the white quilt binding from the banner and cut it into two pieces. I sewed it on to the neck with my sewing machine. Then we tied the ribbon in a bow and stitched it on as well. I found an Eiffel tower coloring page and cut out a template and used it on some yellow fabric. I appliqued it on with a blanket stitch. It was so fun for her to have this fun shirt for her party. Especially since she designed it.

We cut out pieces of foam core we picked up at the dollar store and two easels. Then Mini B. Painted pictures on them. She also colored a picture of Miss Clavel and twelve little girls from the Madeline book. We put this in a picture frame on display.

We had a great party and had so much fun putting this party together. It was fun, unique and we had a great time together.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween Decorating on a REAL Budget

I love decorating especially for the holidays. I have a small decorating almost nothing. So I have to get creative. Since the homestead is also small, I have a space budget too. One thing I have done to add holiday cheer is to switch out the ribbons and pictures in my front entry way. Here is our new Halloween decor. The wreath is made from a $1 foam wreath I picked up at the Dollar Store, I wrapped it with black duct tape, then hot glued the candy corn to it. It took about an hour while my hubby and I watched a movie. I found the idea here at Woman's Day magazine. For the pictures I took a piece of orange scrap book paper taped a piece of black and white scrap book paper to the orange. I bought two Halloween stamps for $1 each at Michael's I stamped white paper and printed out some sayings from my computer...I don't have a Silhouette so I have to use what I have. Then I just taped them all together and hung them with ribbon.

I love my wreath. I picked it up at Michael's on clearance it was a nautical themed wreath with shells, a wooden sign and and anchor for $5. I took everything off and then used the wreath for our Halloween stuff. The sign in the center I picked up at Walmart for $1 a few years ago. We wrapped it in fake spider webs and put spider rings all over it, then added a giant spider from Tai Pan which was $2 and that was it. Over the years it has picked up dried leaves which just add to the spooky look. The basket on our house we filled with mini pumpkins from a local pumpkin patch.

This isn't a very good picture, they actually look much cuter than they do here. I have three trees that I have to keep on my porch because I don't have room to store them. So I try to decorate them for the holidays. I put orange lights on them, that I had, and little witches buckets that we have collected from Halloween parties.

Our mantel has been fun. Another scrapbook paper and computer print off for the center picture. The skull, crow and headstone are from the $1 store. The pumpkin tree I picked up for .15 cents at a going out of business sale. The boxes say witches, cats and pumpkin seeds and are just painted black.

My favorite part of our mantel is the banner that Thing 1 made for Halloween. I think he did a great job.

I saw this idea here at the Crafting Chicks blog...I took it to a more simple level. I picked up some black card stock, used metallic white paint for our hand prints and white crayons to list the name and year. I think we are going to do this every year and see how our hands have grown. It was so much fun.

I wanted to add something to our downstairs area, so I made a banner. I traced a circle with a vase on the scrapbook paper from our entry way. I used 2 pieces total for all the projects. Then stamped a haunted house and mummy on white paper and printed off the words Trick or Treat on my computer. I stapled the circles on black gross grain ribbon from the Dollar Store.

Here is the banner up close.

I wanted to add my pumpkins that I bought 3 for $1 at the pumpkin patch so I found a vase in my basement, filled it 1/4 full with black and white beans that I had, put in three pumpkins added some black ribbon and a Happy Halloween sign, with scraps of paper and from my computer. I thought it would be fun to trade out pictures of my kids with ones of them in their costumes from last year. They loved it and it made a fun and inexpensive Halloween addition.

So for all my new decor I spent $1.20 on scrapbook paper, $1.00 in ribbon, $3.00 in pumpkins and two stamps $2.00. Not bad for $7.20. Hope you found some ideas to use. Happy Haunting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gratitude Gathering

A few years ago I heard about how Oprah had given a party honoring the women she admired and respected. I thought it was such a wonderful idea. How often to we
tell the people in our lives or from our past that they make a difference. How much better would the world be for these little girls....if they grew up seeing other women express thanks for one another. So for the last three years I have hosted a Gratitude Gathering. A luncheon for the amazing women in my life. I usually invite my family and a few close friends and then I pick a few women from my lifetime that have made a difference in helping me along my journey. My daughter little Vintage also invites her cousins and a couple friends. Here is the 2010 Gratitude Gathering. Our theme was "Bee" cuz we're Grateful for You.

The place settings...all of our photography is thanks to my sister Breanne. Love this shot. I am not sure how she took it.

We picked the color theme from this wrapping paper, yellow with a blue and brown bee. The favor boxes I picked up 12 for $1 at the Dollar Store. I stapled a square of wrapping paper on the front and back. They had a bookmark, two flavored honey sticks and a small bag of bit of honey in each.

The little girls "Honey Bees" each had a sack lunch.
Their favor boxes were made the same way, but Vintage wanted to make little Tic Tac Toe Games, a ballet slipper necklace, pink bubble gum and a rosette hair piece in them.

We had Spinach Artichoke Humus, Pineapple, Peach Salsa and chips.

A super yummy pumpkin dip with ginger snaps and apples. If you want the recipe go here to my sister's Blog Food for Thought

I used the wrapping paper for the backdrop and for a Be Grateful Banner.

Here is the spread. Yummy chicken Spinach Pasta Salad, Bread sticks, appetizers and lemon cupcakes with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting. Delish.

The white fence my hubby built for my wedding 9 years ago. I painted it white earlier this year for my brother and sister in law's wedding dinner. The rule with my hubby is that I have to use it at least twice year to keep it. So I have now used it twice and it has also been used for two wedding open houses this year. I love it.

Centerpieces for the Queen Bee Tables. I found the place mats at Kohl's on clearance and sewed some brown gross grain rick rack on the. The lemon drops were a fun color addition.

The centerpieces for the little "Honey Bee's" table.

The little girls received sack lunches with Triple Decker Berry Sandwiches wrapped in paper basically we used Peanut Butter, Nutella, and Marshmallow fluff on various layers with sliced strawberries and raspberry jam. A package of carrots, and an apple sauce with a Bee label on top.

We had a lovely day. Visiting, eating and giving thanks for the sisterhood of great women. It was a sweet "bee"utiful day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Super Grover to the Rescue

So my maiden name is Grover. Which is so much fun when I get to come up with ideas for reunions or birthday gifts for my nephew. I wanted to do something a little more personal. I found this tutorial over at Make and Take crafts... we also made other versions with my kids the next day. Like a green monster with green eyes and nose. So fun. The puppet was fun to make and then it led me to another idea which was this cute t-shirt. I started out with a white tee from Walmart...$3.50
Then I purchased some fleece 1/4 of a yard cost me $1.71 felt for the eyes I already had. A pink pom-pom (had) red felt (had). I was going to try and wonder under it on, but decided just to pin it on. Then using blue embroidery thread I did a blanket stitch all the way around the fleece. Then I glued on the eyes, nose and mouth with hot glue and then I tacked the nose in place with some stitches.

Over all I think he turned out super cute. Everyone loved it at the party and it was so fun to make.