Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summertime Simmer

As you probably know by now, we are trying to sell our house. This has been going on for a solid 6 months and is beginning to wear on us. We are experiencing a strange enigma of having 3-4 showings every week for 6 months with no offers to speak of.

A few days ago, we had someone coming for a second showing, which always gets my hopes up a little bit. But I feel a little better because I don't think the lack of offers is a result of anything I have neglected to do. This time, I even set out to deliciously scent my entire house. Here's how I did it:

  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • Juice from the above lime
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Combine all these ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for as long as you want! Replenish the water as it gets low.

I simmered mine for about 2 hours before I felt compelled to clean up the kitchen. We left for the evening and returned about 4.5 hours after I had stopped the simmer. The house still smelled lovely and fresh!

{Linked on My Pinterventures, Huckleberry Love, Carrie This Home, Uncommon Designs, All Things Fee, I Should Be Mopping}

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Co-Hosting Social Media Mixer!

Welcome to the 5th week of the Social Media Mixer, a brand new social media link-up started when the Weekday Mixer and Social Media Sunday joined forces. Thank you to everyone who joined us for Week 4 - we had 141 blogs and numerous social media link-ups!

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The Social Media Mixer is all about networking and making connections. Also, you can gain exposure and increase your social media following! Link up your social media accounts and mix it up with some of the other linkers. Each week, the Weekday Mixer will start on Saturday nights at 8:00pm and go on until Thursday night at 11:59pm. One linker will be chosen each week each of the hosts and guest hosts and featured in the following week’s link-up! If chosen, a brief summary about yourself and your blog/website and all of your social media accounts will be featured. It’s a great way to stand out among the crowd!

Welcome your hosts!

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Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Angel from Sew Crafty Angel | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | Teresa from Crafty Wife | Julia from Minivan Dreams | | Liz from Look by Liz Lewis | Kaitlyn from Three Sisters and Us | Shana from Technotini | Anni from Grapefruit Princess | Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life LaughterCe Ce from A Chicago Mom |  Jillian from Baby Doodah | Brittany from | Holly from Southern Mom Loves

Shana from Organized Chaos has left us due to personal reasons...we hope to have her back soon!

And welcome your guest hosts for July!

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Bonnie from LadyBlogger | Chelsea from That's So Chelish... | Tara from Anything & Everything | Aysh from Words n Needles | Amanda from Old House to New Home | Krissy from Hot Commodity | Jen from Twenties Chic | Victoria from Giveaways 4 Mom | Maria from Simple Nature Decor | Breanna from Brepurposed

A big giveaway...

There's still a couple of days left in the So Happy It's Summer Giveaway...have you entered to win??

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We’re giving away $600 in Paypal cash + some more great prizes! Enter to win here!

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And here are the Featured bloggers from last week's Social Media Mixer...

" has been on the Internet since 1999. It is a family website with crafts, recipes, tips, printables and old fashioned fun. Our website has grown and changed numerous times with the goal being to provide fun and smiles. Enjoy your visit and play with our toys – we don’t mind sharing!"
Immensely Social

"I am a creator, writer, and freelancer. I’m an avid learner who believes in constant expansion and growth. My goal in life is to inspire others to live the best lives they’re capable of. Happy lives of passion, purpose, and fun. This crazy, beautiful life is amazingly brilliant. I hope you will join me on my journey to love completely, live passionately, and have loads of fun in the process!"
Jenn's RAQ

"We are a homeschooling family and are actively involved in several groups to keep us sane and socialized! I stay at home with our children and have enjoyed being able to see those little lightbulbs go off when they learn something or acquire a new skill."
Structure In An Unstructured Life
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"Welcome to Structure in an Unstructured Life! I am a full time working mom to two adorable and energy-filled boys, ages 7 and 4, and the wife of a football coach. As you can guess, life gets crazy and chaotic around our house at times! But being a lover of order, organization, and simplicity, I am constantly trying to find calm amidst the chaos! In the posts of this blog, you will find the ways I create structure in our often unstructured life. My quest for structure is intertwined with my quest for happiness, so besides meal planning and organizing tips, you will also find my thoughts on happiness, parenting, marriage, and life. Thanks for stopping by!"
Home Is Where The Heart Is

"Home Is Where The Heart Is is my personal blog on news and tips on many topics in every day life in the home. My two toddlers keep me busy. When I’m not also cooking, cleaning, or working, I love to take some me time and write. You can find me writing about kids, health, fashion, my favorite recipes, ways to make your home better, and so much more."
Life In the Wilde
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"As a single mom, I have a VERY special bond with him and I just love watching him learn and grow. I am a foodie, and nutrition fanatic which leads to some serious “should I or shouldn’t I” anxiety. I work full-time as a Managing Director for a boutique staffing company. I love to write, blog and vlog. I am passionate about sharing my heart and story with strangers. Sounds weird but, true."
Pretty Thing and Co.

"Pretty Thing and Co. is a beauty blog written by two cousins looking to find the best in makeup, skin care, vintage markets, inspiration, diy’s from Richmond, VA all the way to Rome, Italy – and of course everywhere in between."
Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

"I'm a mama who lives in the Pee Dee. I blog about the many adventures that occur simply being a homeschooling mama to 5 small people."
Life's Little Projects

"My name is Amie Jo.  I married the man I’ve loved since I was 17.  I am a mother to 2 remarkable children.  I am a former teacher turned stay at home mom, and loving it, even when I am not.  I am so glad you are here.  What you will find here at Life’s Little Projects: You will find crafts and activities that you can do with your kids. Recipes that my family loves. Even the picky eater. DIY projects for you home as well as for kids. I will share things that inspire me, tips to make life easier, and a little about the craziness that goes on in my home. You will see pictures of my kids and others in my family but I have chosen not to show their faces to the whole world. I do hope that you understand. I am sharing a couple of pictures on this page so that hopefully my blog feels a little more personal. I also plan on sharing how real and messy life can be."
Simple Stitches by Rachelle

"I am: a professional photographer, a seamstress, a crafter, a busy mom to 6 children, religious, a blogger, an organizer, a singer & a volleyball player!"
I'm Not a Trophy Wife

"In late 2013, this little blog, my tiny corner of creativity, my therapy (taking place on a social media platform and not on a couch) started to gain national attention from a few (kind of) famous people and several national brands and companies. All of which had one thing in common: each found me and my writing style to be honest, creative and entertaining. Creating and managing content for brands on social media/and national websites is a great way to balance the contract driven demands of real estate and small business ownership. And, I love it!"

If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!

Social Media Mixer
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Are you ready to start mixing it up?? Then, let's go!

Make sure to add the button below to your sidebar to invite even more people to join the fun!

Epic Mommy Adventures
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Reading List

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough by Wayne Muller

I'd love to hear what you're reading too! Come be my friend on Goodreads by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I haven't been posting this week. I'd like to say it's because I'm busy (and I am), but it's really because I'm just drawing a blank! Every day, I gaze at my blog and try to think of something creative and crafty to write about... but I've got nothing! So instead, you're getting a jumble of randomness that is my life this week. Enjoy!

What I'm Working On.

Christina over at Pretty Distressed shared my Space Saving Ideas post on her blog earlier this week. Hop over to her blog and check it out! She's got some great stuff going on over there!

I'm going to be guest posting on A Peek Into My Paradise in a week or two. Here's a sneak peek at my project:

Oh yes, that's piping. But no, I won't tell you what it is yet. You'll just have to wait until the post goes live! (The suspense is killing you, I can tell.) But apparently this project has used up all my brain power, but it's probably because...

It's the Last Week of School.

Since we're on a year-round schedule, Eddie is in school until next week. This week he gets to dress up like an animal of his choice for the end-of-year program. He chose a bat, so I made him a fun little costume, but he won't pose for a photo in it. My inspiration came from Dana Made It. Hopefully he'll let me get a photo of him on the day of the program. Sometimes kids are difficult, which brings us to...

The Terrible Threes are Upon Us.

The 3-year old in our house has turned from a sweet and funny girl into a monster (still sweet sometimes, and occasionally still funny). I should've seen it coming, but I admit it that I was blinded by her cuteness. She wants to do everything herself, wants me to read her mind, and refuses to do normal things simply to spite me. Which is why she has not yet modeled the super-cute bandana skirt I made for her using the tutorial I found on DIY Candy. I even made a matching tie for Eddie, but since Violet refused to wear her new skirt on Sunday, I haven't been able to get a photo of the two of them looking festive and patriotic together. Maybe it'll happen this Sunday. Who knows?

It's Officially Summer.

And I finally conquered my anxiety about taking my kids to the pool by myself. We went yesterday and it was a lot more fun than I expected. We'd be there again today to beat the heat, but...

We're Stuck at Home Today.

Because my Violet isn't feeling so good. Not sure what she has yet. I think it's "my parents were planning to leave me with a sitter tomorrow to celebrate Daddy's birthday"-itis. Do anyone else's kids get sick every time they have plans? Mine frequently do, which is why I rarely plan things in advance. But it's not my fault...

It's This Guy's Birthday Tomorrow.

Hipster Batman, aka Dave, is turning 34 tomorrow. I have been working hard all week to arrange a sitter, get movie tickets, plan some s'more pie, and convince the children to make him a present (and keep it a secret). Now these plans might be foiled. Happy Birthday to Dave! And sorry if it doesn't turn out as we've hoped...

And that is my life this week! What are you up to?

Friday, June 20, 2014

8 Great Embroidery Patterns & Tutorials

I'm on an embroidery kick these days and wanted to share some of the awesome free patterns and tutorials I've found! (Click on the image to go to the original source!)

Bee Happy by Follow the White Bunny

Blue Wren's Nest by Cinderberry Stitches

Embroidered Photo Art by A Beautiful Mess

Hot Air Balloon by Spool and Spoon

Life is Beautiful by Baker Court

Make a Wish by While Wearing Heels

Negative Space Embroidery by Feeling Stitchy

Star Wars Embroidery by Wild Olive

Monday, June 16, 2014

How to Restore, Repair and Finish Almost Everything

We spent the weekend at my hubby's family cabin outside of Oakley, Utah. It was cabin clean-up time, so the whole family gathered to clean out the cabin and the surrounding woods. It was a fun time for everyone to get together, and we were so busy cleaning, we didn't take any photos. One of the best things to come from this get-together was this gift from my mother-in-law:

Earlier this spring, my husband's maternal grandmother passed away, and since then, my mother-in-law has been going through Grandma's things and trying to determine where all these things should go. That is how she happened upon this book, which she then decided to pass on to me!

Now, I realize that most (or all) of the information in this book can probably be found online, but I love books for a multitude of reasons (the least of which is that they smell fantastic). Plus, it's nice to think that Grandma and I have similar interests. So I plan to hang on to this one.

Besides, I think this gluing chart could be very handy. I have honestly never thought about gluing fabric to glass or paper to leather, but now I might. This chart is giving me ideas...

And I especially can't wait to read this section:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thinking Thursday -or- My All-Time Favorite Books

If you know me personally or just frequent my blog, you probably know that I love reading. I am almost always reading something, and I'm often reading more than one book simultaneously. So this week, I thought I'd share some of my all-time favorites. I am always looking for recommendations, so please share your favorites in the comments!

(These are in no particular order because they're all awesome in their own way!)

Favorite Classics

Jane Austen's Persuasion

I love all her novels (Emma least of all), but I especially love Persuasion. It is a wonderful story about love and loss and I think it's a bit more "grown up" than the usual favorite, Pride & Prejudice. Don't worry, I still love that one too.

Charles Dicken's David Copperfield

When I was in college, I studied the works of Charles Dickens for a semester and loved every minute of it. David Copperfield is especially great because it's not as inaccessible as Bleak House and not as overdone as Oliver Twist.

Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged

I have enjoyed all of Rand's fiction, but I always find myself returning to Atlas Shrugged. Her characters are not sympathetic at all, and her political message is unforgiving, but I love this book for the story itself. I love the idea of John Galt being just that - an idea. If nothing else, this book will make you think about how you think. And that's a good thing.

Joseph Heller's Catch-22

Satire is fun to read, as long as you get it. This book, though wildly irreverent, is one of my favorites because it shows the complete absurdity of war while also showing the horror of it. This is a complex read, but also laugh-out-loud funny at times.

Favorite Non-Fiction

Harriet Lerner's The Dance of Anger

I am not big on self-help books, but this one helped me better understand my negative emotions and learn to deal with them in a constructive way. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone! I also thoroughly enjoyed Lerner's The Mother Dance.

Sue Monk Kidd & Ann Kidd Taylor's Traveling With Pomegranates

I enjoy reading memoirs, especially those dealing with self-discovery. I particularly enjoyed this one due to the many themes that resonated with me: depression, writing, travel, family relationships.

Favorite Juvenile Fiction

John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice

This is an entire series that I loved. The Ranger's Apprentice, and the spin-off Brotherband Chronicles are fun adventure stories set in a medieval world with memorable characters. They build upon each other, so they're best read in order.

Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me

I absolutely loved this book. It is funny and quirky, and it even made me cry by the end. This is the story of Miranda and her best friend Sal. Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes that will ultimately help her save the life of someone she loves. Read it. I don't think you'll regret it.

Grace Lin's Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

This one is a beautifully written fantasy based on traditional Chinese folklore. It is filled with surprises at every turn, magical creatures, and a lot of love.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

5 Great Kid-Made Father's Day Gifts

Father's Day is just around the corner and if you're like me, you've given it very little thought. It's not that I don't love my husband or appreciate his efforts as a father. It's just that I'm busy. And forgetful. And already have a lot of unfinished projects in my closet.

Of course, Father's Day isn't about celebrating my husband... it's about my kids celebrating their dad... right? So this round-up came to be in an effort to find ideas of things that my kids (or yours) can do for their dad to make the day special. Enjoy (and click the images to go to the source)!

A Book About Dad

My son wrote a book about me for Mother's Day and I absolutely love it. There is no better way to capture the stage of life that your kid is in at this moment than to let them write and draw about you (or your spouse).

A Book About Dad from The Measured Mom
Daddy's Coupon Book

Everyone likes having nice things done for them, and having your kids make a coupon book for their dad is a great way to encourage gifts of service within the family. Better yet, this one is printable, so just print, staple, and give!

Printable Coupon Book from Seven Thirty Three
Lego Cufflinks

These look like an easy DIY that older kids could do. And these are totally better than normal boring cufflinks.

Lego Cufflinks from Dream A Little Bigger
Magnetic Photo Frames

Kids love painting and gluing, so this project could work for preschoolers as well as older kids. You could also change them up a bit to be desktop frames for Dad to take to work.

Magnetic Photo Frames from Titi Crafty
Printable Tie Bunting

For the kid who loves to cut paper, print out this great decoration and let them do all the cutting! Dad will appreciate it even more if it's not perfectly done.

Printable Tie Bunting from Amanda's Parties To Go