Sticks, pine cones, and glitter: Part Two


I have to tell you that I have had fun with my decorating this year.  This “stick tree” obviously didn’t cost me anything except for the ornaments that I bought last year on clearance.  The jug and basin go with the dishes that used to be my Grams that she gave me years ago.


Stick stars.  Who knew?


I couldn’t resist picking up this vintage scene at Marshall’s.  Five bucks.



This is the “kids tree”.  I can’t really blame them for wanting to keep with the tradition of having a place for all of their homemade and handpicked ornaments. They had a conniption  got just a little upset when I suggested a different kind of tree this year.  This was our compromise.  It’s fake so that it can make a reappearance next year. :)


Ok, so I kind of love my little tree this year.  There really wasn’t room for a one much bigger anyway.  Also, maaaybe these little ball lights were around last year but this is the first year that I’ve seen them and I LOVE them!  The ornaments I also got last year on clearance.  The tree skirt is actually one of my pink scarves….


And leftover branches sprayed with glitter and tied up with twine and burlap.


And what to do with an old glass jug found in the woods?  Stuff it with pine branches of course!


I know, right?

Sticks, pine cones, and glitter: Part One

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!  And in keeping with one of my recent posts about keeping it simple I began to think about how I could decorate simply without spending a lot of money.  Instead of looking in the stores, I began looking outside!  I think I had way too much fun collecting twigs, pinecones, and slicing branches from the trees.  I’m not kidding you.  Then I gathered a few ideas from Pinterest,  because,  where else does the modern woman get decorating ideas from?

I started with our mantel.  This is the first year I have ever had a fireplace mantel to decorate for Christmas.  It took me a few days but I think I’m mostly finished.



The old window was given to us by Cory’s friend, Greg.  It sat in the barn for a few months before the house was finished and then the barn was eventually bulldozed. It has finally made it’s appearance for our first Christmas here.  Everything else I already had from previous Christmas’ except for the wreath.








The guy at the tree farm found this mistletoe, cut it down and was giving it away for free!  Yes, please.

More to come….




This weekend our firstborn jumped into the double digits. The big 1-0!  I still remember turning 10 like it was, you know, sort of a big deal!  A milestone.

Pottery party, friends, giggles, cupcakes, donuts, fun with Nana and Pop, presents, cards, visit from Gramma T and great-Gram C, more cupcakes, and dinner at Olive Garden (her choice) were what made up the weekend.

She painted her puppy to look like London.

She painted her puppy to look like London.






On my nightstand

001These are daily readings for every day of December.  I’ve read her book “One Thousand Gifts” twice and I’m really looking forward to having a more meaningful Christmas this year with the help of this book.  (see my post a few days ago)




I ordered this book from Amazon for two reasons.  First, because I needed something to come with Emma’s birthday present as a disguise.  Secondly, it was recommended by Elisabeth Elliot.  I figure it must be a worthy read if she highly recommends it!  Something tells me the secret to a happy life isn’t going to be what the world says it is (dream vacations, material possessions, perfect relationships, perfect circumstances, perfect jobs, etc.)  I don’t know, just a hunch.  



Protein Poppers

Wow.  Would you look at that?!  Another post from me so soon!  Well, I have to share this recipe with you who actually read this blog.  So here it goes!

We call them PROTEIN POPPERS.  If a recipe could change my life, this would be the one.  I’m exaggerating of course, but these are really that awesome!  I found the recipe on Pinterest, also known as the site sure to make you feel like a complete loser if you don’t have the cutest clothes (or sew them with your amazing seamstress skills), make your own laundry detergent, create and make EVERYTHING yourself, reupholster or paint furniture, cook gourmet meals every night, and the list goes on.

001My kids will consume these usually within a day, sometimes a day and half if I’m lucky.  But seriously, they eat them for breakfast and snacks!  Yes, I have to make them every day but it has made breakfast and snack time so simple and I don’t have to think about whatever processed stuff they may otherwise be eating.  They are healthy AND they taste good with just the addition of dark chocolate chips and vanilla.

Protein Poppers

1 cup of oats

1/3 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup nut butter

1/2 cup ground flax

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

Mix it together and let chill in the fridge for a half hour and then scoop out into balls.  If you don’t have a cookie scoop you can roll in your hands but that’s messy so I suggest a cookie scoop.  It will make your life easier!




“All of this is self-imposed.  Don’t give into what society tells you to do.”

This is what he (my husband) told me a couple of weeks ago as I huffed and puffed about how overwhelming life can be.  There is always so much to do!  Christmas was just around the corner and I was trying to decide how to decorate for our first Christmas in the house, and I had a birthday party to arrange, not to mention cleaning and homeschooling and groceries, and blah blah blah.

But he was right.  Half of what I think I HAVE to do I don’t really need to do.  This can be applied to many areas of life but since the holiday season is upon us, I have really started to think about how to approach Christmas this year.  For some reason the KISS principle comes to mind.  I don’t mean the band.  Please, no.   “Keep It Simple, Stupid” is what the acronym stands for.


I don’t want to get caught up in the pressure to get the best deals, decorate the prettiest tree, battle the anxious and stressed out crowds in order to check everyone off my list.  I want to keep it simple.

I’ve been pondering this for several days and today I read Ann Voskamp’s latest post at  “When you’re tired and ready for a Christmas Revolution” is the title.

And seriously, yes.  Just call me a rebel.

I’m ready for that revolution.



New York

I had been telling her for years now that I was coming to visit.  “Ok, honey, that would be lovely.” she’d say.  And I knew she meant it.  She would come down from the state of NY to visit us here and I would say, “I’m going to come up there.  I am.”

“That would be so nice.  We will have so much fun!” she’d tell me.

Then out of the blue I texted her and asked if the weekend of the 18th would work?  October.  I want to fly up and I’m bringing Emma.  And of course she said YES.


Emma was more than excited for her first airplane ride and I was thrilled to experience it with her.  Thankfully, we had no problems at all and the pilots on the first flight even let her see inside the cockpit.


Gram was there waiting for us when we arrived in Elmira and what a fun, relaxing weekend we had.  I am so thankful that I was able to finally get up there and also take my daughter.  I knew she would love it and would come back with her own memories of such a special time.

We visited with some of my cousins, my aunts, and my very favorite uncle, all of whom I hadn’t seen in about 4 years.  We went for trail walks and drank coffee and Gram taught Emma to play a song on the piano.  We also went by the old house on Main Street where my mom grew up.  She also bought me a garden flag, because that’s her thing, buying me garden flags.  And I love it.  It fits my new house.

Here are some pictures from our trip.










008Emma hit it off with my cousins right away and had a blast playing with them!

009My favorite Uncle Rusty came by for a visit.



And all too soon it was time to come home but we didn’t leave empty-handed.  We came back with many lovely memories! And a garden flag, too.