Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So long, November.

♦ ♦ ♦

You may recall that at the beginning of November I made some little tags for our Thanksgiving favor treats. I had an extra set left over, so I turned it into a little mini-book that I promised would be filled with photos by the end of this month. Well, I did just that, so I'll share just a few of the pages for you to see. :o)

My sister, Valerie and me:

My mom and Carrie:

My brother, Ron and my SIL, Ryann:

My Douglas and me:

Got thanks?
Yes I do!
Plenty of it!

November Attitude of Gratitude:
* I'm so grateful for my collection of scrapbook supplies - it allows me to create little books whenever I want.
* I'm grateful for the inspiration to build this little book early in the month, as putting the photos into it this morning took about five minutes and it's done!
* I'm so very grateful for this little blog where I can show gratitude not just in November, but all year long!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving / Weekend Recap

Thanksgiving at my sister's house was wonderful!
We are still feeling the glow of some great family time.
Wanna' see a few photos?
♥ ♥ ♥

On Friday, Presley and I snuck off alone for a walk through the p-a-r-k {we do a lot of spelling around little brother...}

After taking a bunch of photos of her, Presley asked if she could take some of me.

"Put your hands up in the air, Aunt Deb!" {haha!}
It's true.
I'd do just about anything for that girl.

November Attitude of Gratitude:
* I'm so thankful for a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with my family.
* Oh so grateful for safe travels!
* Thankful for a home to come home to with two cats who were very glad to see us.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rocks I Walk With {Project: Spread the Love}

Some of you may already know that I'm a daily walker.
But did you know that I walk with rocks?

* * * * * * * * * *
I love rocks, and many times I'll find a smooth one at the beginning of my walk and carry it with me during the course of my travel. I like to hold it, rub it, turn it over and over in my hand, and use it as a meditation tool while I walk. When I walk I'll usually find a smooth rock to pick up at the beginning of my travels, then toss it back to the ground with gratitude when I'm close to home again. Last week, I picked up three rocks and brought them home with me.

Since we moved to our new neighborhood I've been faced with a couple of challenges. Challenge #1 is finding my way around and then back home again. One day last week I ended up walking in the wrong direction and missed my mark {home} by a whole mile.  :o\  {Follow the sun, Deb, follow the sun...}

Challenge #2 is that this new neighborhood isn' pretty as the old one. It's an older neighborhood and has no homeowners association and therefore no regular upkeep of common areas {i.e. sidewalk sweeping, grass pulling along fence backs, etc.}. I suppose that's not really a "challenge," but I must admit it makes me a little bit sad that people don't take more pride in their surroundings.

I'm on my own personal mission to make a little difference in this here older neighborhood, so when I saw this idea I knew I wanted to copy it.

I had so much fun painting the three rocks I had collected, so I went out for more!

* I am not a painter. These simple designs were painted on with acrylic paint then outlined with a Sharpie marker.
* It's difficult to draw a smooth line on a not-so-smooth rock.
* And, I was supposed to spray these with a coat of polyurethane to protect the design before I released them, but I just couldn't wait to put one out on the sidewalk in hopes of brightening someone's day.

I put this rock out and watched for a while, hoping I'd see someone pick it up.
I missed that action, but it wasn't long before I noticed that the rock had disappeared.
I imagined the person who found it thinking, "Hey! Look what I found!"
Or maybe a child thinking, "I'm gonna' give this to my mom!"
Well, the process and the idea of putting these silly little rocks around
our neighborhood makes me happy. Here's hoping that my little painted
rocks will make someone else happy too!

November Attitude of Gratitude:
* I am so grateful for healthy legs and feet that allow me to walk every day and even get lost in the process from time to time.
* I'm so grateful for this sweet older neighborhood we live in - it's been loved a little longer than the last one.
* I'm so grateful for the opportunity to help brighten someone's day.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Just a Quote for Friday

"Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful
that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success
stories were created by people who recognized a problem
and turned it into an opportunity."
~ Joseph Sugarman

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The definition of "almost packed"

My idea of "almost packed" =

Doug's idea of "almost packed" =
Happy Thanksgiving to my local {USA} friends!
Wishing each of you a very happy holiday
filled with love and food and fun with family.

November Attitude of Gratitude:
* I'm grateful for a vehicle that is great for road trips.
* And grateful that Doug and Carrie will do most of the driving.
* And so very grateful for all my amazing blog friends. Love!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Last minute flower containers

Please ignore the crazy-daisies-not-quite-complete-flower-arrangement.
These will look a whole lot different with a full fall bouquet.

I'm not a fancy-schmancy flower arranger, but I'm gonna' give it a try this Thursday at my sister's house. When she asked if I would do the flower arrangements I offered to make the containers to put them in as well. I'm always bothered by tall centerpieces that block the view of the person sitting across the table from you, so I went with something low profile to keep the arrangements below eye-level.

I used empty cans and squished them straight down into the floral foam, then eased it down into the can just a bit so it wouldn't be right up along the top of the rim. I used paper from a large roll of kraft paper because, wouldn't you know it? These cans measure 12-1/2" around. My original plan to use scrapbook paper had to be reconsidered.

I stamped a design on the kraft paper before wrapping it around the can, then wrapped a 2" wide brown grosgrain ribbon around them, tied with raffia and they're done.

All in all a fun and simple and cheap project. These would also work for Christmas or any other party, covered with wrapping paper to match the occasion. I'll show you photos of these with the real-deal flowers next week!

November Attitude of Gratitude:
* I'm oh-so-grateful for my sweet blog friends who left me so much love and encouragement in yesterday's post with regard to my employment status (or lack thereof). ♥ ♥ ♥
* I'm so thankful for my lovely family that I will be spending the next five days with.
* I'm thankful for my sweet mom who insists on making dinner for us after our 11-hour drive tomorrow. {Not sure why CARRIE gets to pick the food choice, but whatever...}
* I'm thankful for my mom's awesome Grandmothering to Carrie. ♥

Monday, November 21, 2011

Well, it was a weekend.

Greetings, blog friends.
It's Monday morning alright.
Here's a little weekend re-cap, if you'd care to have a peek...

♦ ♦ ♦

I watched my garden grow. :o) Looking back through the November photo file in my computer, you'd think that this little garden of mine was a new grandchild that I just couldn't stop taking pictures of! Fact of the matter is, I do love it. My basil is going crazy, and my three tomato plants are tall and have sweet little blossoms on them. I'm wondering: Will I really get tomatoes off these plants this late in the year? I've never grown tomatoes so I don't know...keep in mind I live in the desert so we still have some warm weather on our side...

I did some crafting. I'll show you that tomorrow.

I spent some time at the park on Saturday afternoon with my friend Janae and her twin littles. I shot 168 photos before we gave up. Truth is, I did get a few good ones, but the ratio of all three looking at the camera versus not was pretty bad. I just love this photo - it sums up our happy frustration of a photo session with two two-year-olds.

I'm just gonna' say it: this past week I became unemployed. Don't fret. No need to worry. I'm ok, and Doug and I are not freaked out {yet}. But Saturday night found us at our backyard fire pit pretending that we were camping - beer and all.

I'm going to be doing the floral centerpieces for our Thanksgiving tables at my sister's house, so I put together some containers - simple empty cans covered with paper and ribbon. {I'll show you those in the future too...}

We had breakfast Sunday morning with my father-in-law and I was up early enough to bake a batch of pumpkin coffee cake. He was the happy recipient of a mini-loaf.

And there you have it - a fairly low-key weekend around our place.
This week we'll be traveling to California to spend time with our family
and we just couldn't be more excited about that. :o)!!!
It's Thanksgiving week!
Bring it!

November Attitude of Gratitude:
* I'm so thankful for my sweet little garden. I have my own space and my own dirt to nurture.
* I'm so grateful for my friend Janae and her littles - they make for a very fun Saturday afternoon.
* I'm so grateful for the amazing opportunities that are opening up for me right now!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Manly Hand Scrub

I love a man who's not afraid to get his hands dirty.
Many of you know that my husband, Doug, is a painting contractor.
Let me tell you, his hands get dirty during the course of his day.

Doug's paint sprayer sprung a leak the other day and he came home with [more] paint on his hands [than usual]. I handed him a tube of my apricot face scrub and it did the trick, but I'm not supposed to tell anyone that he used a girlie product.

I was inspired by an idea I saw here for this easy sugar scrub and I couldn't wait to make a manly version for Doug.

I've had this juniper scented body wash for the longest time {Carrie, I think it was yours...} and decided to use it to make the scrub. I just combined it with sugar, stirred it up, and it was done. I really liked this recipe because it's the first I've seen that didn't call for some sort of oil to be added. Oil can make for a very slippery shower/bath tub floor.

Some things to note about this process:
* I found it difficult to stir this stuff in the jar, so I ended up dumping the whole thing into a bowl to mix it.
* You need way more sugar than soap. It seemed like it wasn't going to combine well, but the longer I stirred the better it got.
* I used this plastic flip-top container {See? I knew there was a good reason to save it for all this time!} because he'll use this in the shower and I didn't want a breakable jar.
* I used soap I had on hand, but next time I'll probably invest in a more masculine scent.
* This would be a great gift-idea for crafting friends who end up with lots of glue and paint on their hands - tied up in a pretty jar... The possibilities are endless!

Lastly, I labeled it so there would be no question about it being manly.
♦ ♦ ♦

Friday, November 18, 2011

Just a Quote for Friday

{My family ~ Thanksgiving 2009}

"The waiting is the hardest part."
~ Tom Petty

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hey, Doug, it's your birthday!

Happy birthday to the best guy on the planet, my husband Doug.

Before Doug met Carrie and me, there wasn't a whole lot of fussin' made on his birthday.
Well, I suppose his mom made a fuss when he was a kid,
but Carrie and I get to fuss over him as an adult.
He'll say he doesn't want us to make a big deal of it.
He'll say, "Oh, you don't have to..."
But we know he loves it when we do.
So today we celebrate Doug being on the planet.
Hooray for all of us!!!

November Attitude of Gratitude:
* I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I'm so very grateful to have Doug in my life. The angels were really looking after Carrie and me when he entered our lives!
* I'm thankful for a daughter who bakes an amazing German chocolate cake every year for Doug's birthday {he's pretty happy about this one too}!
* Also thankful for same said daughter for writing such a sweet tribute for Doug on her blog today. :o)!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Tags Mini-book

Greetings, Friends.
{and hi Mom! }

When I printed the tags to use on my little cornucopia favors for Thanksgiving, I ended up with an extra sheet of tags. I knew two things: 1) I wanted to turn them into a little mini-book; and 2) if I didn't do it now it would never get done.

I created a simple little book using scraps I had on hand {I'm on a mission to use up a bunch of my supplies this holiday season!}. I left a space on each page for a 3"x 3" photo that I promise to print and slap onto these pages the week after Thanksgiving!

A little note to my family members: Yes, I will have my camera, you will smile, and you will like it. :o) {thank you}

We are so looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my family next week. I always feel a bit melancholy after a family gathering, but I always look forward to uploading photos of happy faces afterwards. And now I'm kind of excited to add photos to this little mini.

It's always good to have something to look forward to.
♦ ♦ ♦

November Attitude of Gratitude:
* I'm grateful for my never-ending supply of scrapbooking stuff.
* So grateful to have something to look forward to {spending time with my fam!}
* Road trip!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

And now it's Christmas? GO!!!

How crazy is it that Thanksgiving is next week?
And I saw Christmas lights on my way home from work tonight!
And the radio station we listen to at work started its
continuous Christmas music today at 4:00 p.m.!!!
What the...?!?!?
Is it just me?
I'm not ready for Frosty the Snowman on November 14th
for Pete's sake.

{and I won't be putting that blog banner up top until after Thanksgiving!}

November Attitude of Gratitude:
* Thanks for letting me vent!
* and something totally non-blog-post related, but I'm super grateful for Doug. ♥

A Cornucopia of Flavors...and favors.

Hi Blog Friends!

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had volunteered to bring favors to my sister's house for Thanksgiving this year. My original idea to make little jelly bean filled pumpkins didn't work out like I'd planned {plus I decided that making 24 of them wouldn't be that much fun...} so when I saw this idea on my friend, Mary Lou's blog I quickly changed directions!

* * * * * *

To create the cornucopia, I steamed sugar/waffle ice cream cones over boiling water to soften them, then curled them up at the end to create a cornucopia look.

Some things to note:
* I steamed three cones at a time because it was hard to keep up with them once they're steamed - they start to harden up right away.
* It took at least 90 seconds before the cones started to soften up enough to become pliable.
* The molding of the cones/cornucopias is grown-up's work - let the kiddos help you fill them once they've cooled.

I filled the cornucopias with Reeses Pieces, candy corn flavored M&M's, candy corn, cashews, and pretzel sticks. Oh yeah, and love.

I made these tags to tie on by using Microsoft Word and the pre-set template for business cards - shaded in the background and used a white font. Easy!

And that's it. I ended up making a total of 28 favors and I'm so excited to share them with my family!
Next week!!!


November Attitude of Gratitude:
* I'm so grateful that Doug, Carrie, and I get to spend Thanksgiving with my family this year.
* I'm thankful for a sister who is hosting T-giving at her house!
* And thankful for same said sister who gives me creative license on favors and flowers.

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