Monday, 30 June 2014

Small and Wonderful Things . . .

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  "The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard  

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life.   It's the small things in life which truly mean the most.  Simple abundance . . . it's the best.   

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Here we are one year old Cameron!  It's hard to believe a year has passed since he was born, but it has.  His mum is back at work now and I expect he is at the child minders with his sister when Amanda and Tom can't be with them.  It must be such a wrench to go back to work after having had almost a year back at home with the children.  I am so grateful that I never had to do that for the most part.

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Day one . . .  Maryn looks enthralled with this wee baby who has appeared . . .

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He's grown to be such a handsome boy . . .

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I think they are friends.   That is as it should be.

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My little sock monkey . . . the hat, it fit perfectly.

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This wee one has such an engaging personality.  I love her to bits.   She looks like a lover of life.  The best time of all was last year when I got to spend several hours with her on the day I was flying back to the UK.  We played in her play room.  I had a hand puppet which was hungry and she kept bringing things for him to eat. It was fun.  I wish I could do things like that more often, but I suppose one good thing about me not being able to is that I cherish the times I can all the more.  

 The opportunity I have each week to partake of the sacrament and renew my covenants.   It seems like such a small thing and it probably is, but it means the world to me.   It is a special time for me, when I focus on the Saviour and all that He did for us . . .  a time to remember Him, and to honor that remembrance by partaking in that special ordinance each week, and beginning a new week afresh.  Little mini washing cleans . . . small and wonderful . . .  yes.

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Visiting my friend Doreen and bring her some of these scrummy doughnut muffins.    I knocked up a quick batch after church yesterday just prior to calling my mom.  Doreen just loves them and I thought she would enjoy them.  She was pleased to see me and to see the muffins.  I visit her several times a week.   It doesn't seem like much, but to an elderly woman who has a very limited world, those visits mean a lot.  I hope that when I am old I have someone who comes to visit me, and who brings me muffins from time to time.  Is there someone in your life or neighborhood that you could bring muffins to or spend a few minutes with?  Someone whose life you could bless with your presence and attention from time to time.  It's a small thing, but it's pretty wonderful, both to the visitor and to the visitee!

I've been saving my pennies and guess where I am going this afternoon!  Yeppers, Todd and I have a date to go and see Jersey Boys!  It's the last days when it will be at the cinema, today and tomorrow, so we booked it just in time!  Whew!  I love, LOVE the music of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons.  I am really looking forward to this film.  I know we could have waited for it to come out on DVD, and most likely when it does we will purchase the DVD.  We love musicals and we thought this was one we wanted to see on the big screen.  Well, I thought it was one I wanted to see on the big screen I guess!  Todd's just going along for the ride.  He'll enjoy it anyways!

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That little wet nose that taps on the back of my calves each morning when I walk into the kitchen to get her breakfast ready.   My early morning companion.  What would I do without her.  I fear I am smitten beyond measure.  She has woven a spell around my heart that I will never ever escape.   I love our Mitzie so much.  She is small and she is pretty wonderful.    

And that is it for this week.   What were some of your small and wonderful's over this past week?   I would love, LOVE to hear about them!

A thought to carry with you through today  . . .


"Let me live, love and say it in good sentences."
~Sylvia Plath


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Over in The English Kitchen today . . .  Easy Bacon and Egg Tarts.  Seriously simple to make and quite delicious!

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I wish for you a week filled to overflowing with small and wonderful things!


Sunday, 29 June 2014

A few of my obsessions . . .

Today I want to talk about something which I have loved since I discovered it about two years ago.  Pinterest.   If you don't already pin you should.  It's so much fun!  You collect photos from all over the web and curate them into one place on separate "Boards."   These "Boards" are like virtual bulletin boards, except there's no mess, they don't take up any space and they are yours to do what you want with.  It's a way of fueling your passions that doesn't cost any money or occupy any space in your home . . .  downside being, it's also a great time waster, and quite addictive.

 It's a great insight to people personalities I think.   The boards they choose say a lot about someone . . .  their loves and interests and passions.  As usual I am over the top with mine.   I have 186 boards, with over 30,000 pins and almost 15,000 followers.  (Yes you can get followers on Pinterest as well.)  In contrast I only follow 263 people.  I am very discerning I guess.  If I follow you, you just know I think that you're the best!  If I don't, I just may not have discovered you yet!  One day I will, I am sure.

 I have one board on there that is totally dedicated to things both red and white.   I have always loved that colour combination and now I have a whole little collection of red and white things to look at and to love.   There is everything on that board from the picture here today to red and white china, and everything in between.   And I haven't spent a penny.  (That makes Todd happy.)

 I love, LOVE brooches.  I only have a few in real life, but on Pinterest I have collected no less than 128, with a new one being found every so often.  I only pin brooches I would want to wear.  Not just any old brooch will do.  I am partial to antique looking ones and ones with a bit of glitter attached, like this pretty blue bird.   I am a bit like a crow.  If it sparkles I love it!


 I am also slightly obsessed with angels, and I have a board which is filled with them.  Angels such as this one here, but mostly stone angels which reside in church yards and cemetaries around the world.   Most are so beautiful . . . frozen in time . . .  God's messengers . . . they speak to me in a special way.  They touch my heart.  I'm also obsessed with fairies . . .  but I am sure you already knew that.


You might think that this folder lies under the heading ot cookies or pastry, but it doesn't.   It's all a part of my obsession with hearts.  Yes, it is all things heart shaped. There  are cookie hearts, and felted hearts . . . bejeweled hearts and naturally formed hearts. Mosaic hearts, embroidered hearts, any kind of heart at all.   If it is even remotely shaped like a heart, its in that board, and beloved by me.  


 You know my faith is a big part of who I am and so it goes without saying that I would have a board dedicated to that as well, with quotes which inspire from the different conferences, special crafts and lesson helps that I might one day need to use in Relief Society, or Primary or Young Womens. . . . words from the scriptures and the prophets.  I am an open book, and I love live by the book.



I may only have ever had one or two dolls when I was growing up and I may only have one or two now, but on Pinterest I have  324 dolls.   Each one interesting and beautiful to me.   Antique, and rag, and designer . . . and, yes . . .  I finally DO have my Chatty Cathy!  And don't get me started on Blythe.  I wish!


I can't remember when I last looked for a recipe on or FoodTV.   I look on Pinterest now.  I've discovered a lot fo really good food blogs that way, and some not so good.  I have about a bazillion food boards, for everything from soup to nuts to snacks and tea parties.   At first I just pinned to a general recipe book, but after a time it became clear that I would never be able to find anything that way and so I categorized them according to the meal, the type of food, the occasion.  Much, much easier, and a wealth of information.

I have household tips and cleaning tips, beauty tips, etc.   In short I have almost everything about anything that I could ever want to know at my fingertips.   I love Pinterest.   I don't spend as much time on it as some people do, but I do love to peruse it at least once a day to see if something new is happening.  I love also being able to "pin" things to my boards as I surf the net.  Much better than bookmarks in my opinion.  Do you Pin?  If so I would love to follow you. Leave me a link below!  

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In  keeping with the Nursery Rhyme theme, I did this yesterday afternoon.  Not sure what I think of it yet.  I think I need to add some sheep.  Sometimes doing art is a bit like owning your own homw.  You are never quite finished with it, always wanting to add this or to add that.  The trick is to knw when to stop.

A thought to carry with you through today . . . 

"Don't postpone joy until you have learned all of
your lessons . . . 
Joy is the lesson."
~Alan Cohen ✻ღϠ₡ღ✻✻ღϠ₡ღ✻  

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Baking in The English Kitchen today  . . . Snickers Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies.  Seriously addictive.  Naughty naughty things they are . . .

Have a wonderful and a blessed Sabbath!  May it be filled with light and love!

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Morning Glories and other things . . .

I have always loved "Morning Glories." There are over 1,000 kinds of "Morning Glories." I was really surprised to discover that.   I thought there was just one . . .

Most morning glory flowers unravel into full bloom in the early morning. The flowers usually start to fade a few hours before the "petals" start showing visible curling. They prefer full solar exposure throughout the day. Some morning glories, such as Ipomoea muricata, are night-blooming flowers, or "Moon Flowers," as they are also known.

They are not all blue in colour, and according to the Victorian language of flowers . . .  they mean "love in Vain."

 No matter the name or colour, they mesmerize me with their ability to open and close according to the time of day . . .  like clockwork . . .  or magic.  

I love the Morning Glory legend about how that works, but then again, I am a fairy tale kind of girl as you know.

Once upon a time there was a Princess who used to enjoy sitting in her garden amongst the flowers.  Because she was a very delicate Princess, she had to return to the palace each day before the sun became too hot, and so there were several kinds of flowers she never got to enjoy, because they didn't open up until the sun shone upon them.

This made her very sad and one day as she was returning to the palace, her tears fell to the ground . . .  each one turning into a tiny seed as they hit the ground.  A few weeks later, as the Princess walked in her garden, early in the morning, she was surprised to see a beautiful new flower growing all around her . . .  clambering over walls and trellis's . .  . twining around the trees and cascading over arches.

This gave her much joy and ever since that day the Morning Glory is the name been given to that flower which sprang from the tears of a Princess's pretty blue eyes.

I just adore these legends and myths.   Don't you?   I always loved the fairy tales and poems for children when I was small, like "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary," and   "Old Mother Hubbard."  I've been working on a series of pictures based on them and this is my latest one . . .

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I got this little lady done yesterday afternoon while I was waiting to go to the hospital for my x-ray.   I am really pleased with how she turned out.  What do you think?  I really and truly want to know.

Well, the x-ray is done now and I have to wait for a week to ten days to get back to my Doctor's to see what's up and what they can do for it.  It's been five weeks this Sunday since I noticed a change in it and it's been getting gradually worse with each week that passes.    I cannot bend it at all now, and it locks if I try.   It's very painful.  I had a difficult time yesterday working on this piece of art as I had some cutting to do, which involved holding a piece of paper between the thumb and forefinger of my left hand as I cut with my right hand.  I hope that they can fix this as I am not wanting it to be like this the rest of my life!

And with that I will leave you with a thought for today . . .

The world is full of vibrant color. 
 Don’t let it lose an ounce of its luster. 
Assume this day is going to be good, and it will. 
God made it so.
~Max Lucado 

We're feasting on Strawberries over in The English Kitchen today, with some of my all-time favourite berry recipes!

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Have a Wonderful Saturday!  It's quite dull here and most likely will rain.  ☺One must take the bad with the good.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Friday Finds . . .

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A few of the wow moments, or things I discover each week that tickle my fancy.  I hope that they may inspire or tickle yours too!  

Okay, now this is absolutely flippin' brilliant!  I don't know who thought of this, but I want to shake their hand.   What a fabulous idea!  You quite simply seal a plastic bag with the top of a water bottle or any plastic bottle and the lid.  You could do this for anything you have opened and want to store!  I am so excited about this!  Can you tell??


 I found this on All Things Homie.  It's a brilliant way of making an ugly wall monitor into something not quite so ugly.   Frame it!

Twinkle lights in Mason Jars.  How very lovely!  Such a simple idea too.  Found on All Things Heart and Home.  People are just so darned inventive don't you think???   I am amazed at the ideas I find that are so simple and yet I didn't think of them first!  Clearly I am not as inventive as I think I am!


 Did you know you can print on paper bags????   I didn't either!  But apparently you can, and I found a tutorial on how to do that here, on Oh Happy Day.  The implications are fabulous!  Party bags, lunch bags, etc. etc.  Valentines Day Treats.  Halloween Treats.   Christmas Treats.   There is no end to what you can do with this idea!


 Isn't this pretty?   Do you know what they are made from???  The bottoms from soda bottles!  I know!  It's so amazing!  Eco friendly Blossoms by Michelle Brand found on iDiY.  Fishing line would be the perfect thing to string these together on I think.  I think they are just gorgeous.

A Birthday Calendar Rolodex.  Brilliant.  You can buy one ready made from Scrap and Stamp with Mary, or you could quite simply make your own, depending on how handy you are!  I need one of these.  I have so many Birthdays in my family it's hard to keep them straight!  I think you can pick up a rolodex thingie at Staples.   I have lots of extra papers etc.   I think I am going to do this!

 A complete tutorial (plus many others) on how to make paper feathers!  I found this on Todolwen, Old to New.   She has used pages from old hymnals for this.   It looks very easy to do and you could use them for all sorts of decor.

 Do you know what this is?  It's approximately 97 grocery bags.   They've all been folded in a way which means that they take up far less room.   Instead of having huge piles of them, shoved here and there, you can fold them into these little triangles and then store them neatly.  I found this on Pinterest, but it led me to Polka Dot Pineapple.  I am all about saving space where and when I can!


Something for the kiddles to help you with.  A Garden Rock Caterpillar!  I found this tutorial on Nellie Bellie.  Isn't it cute?   This would keep the kids occupied for hours and would be a lovely addition to the garden I think!   I'm not a kid but I just might do this myself!  I love it!

And that is it for this week.  I hope that you were able to find something here that you might like to do!

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿ ✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿✿¸.•*¨`*•..¸✿
"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; Remember
that what you have now was once among the things you only hoped for."
~Epicurus, Greek Philospher
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You have two salads today in The English Kitchen . . .  this delicious Bacon and Tomato Pasta Salad and . . . A Balsamic Roasted Potato and Red Onion Salad.  (With Bacon curls!)

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Have a wonderful Friday everyone!  Hasn't the week just whizzed by?  It's crazy!  I am going for an x-ray on my thumb today at five pm.  (I know . . .  weird time!)  One step closer to having it sorted.  I was in so much agony with it yesterday.  It kept locking on me.  You know what it feels like when you get a charlie horse in your toes?   It's like that only it's my thumb and it locks.  It's not very nice and it makes it difficult and excruciating to do all sorts of things, including pulling my pants up and down!!!  (Did I just tell you that??  I think I did!  Oops!)  


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Five more things about me ...

(Mary Engelbreit Art)

Yep, it's another five things about me post!  I hope that you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy writing them!

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I hate having my photo taken.  I've always hated having my photo taken.   I have never thought I was very attractive and I have never thought I was very photogenic!  This has gotten worse since I have gotten older and . . .  ahem . . .  larger.   As a consequence of this there are very few photographs of me.  I have almost none of me with my children.  This is largely due to the fact that I was normally the one taking the photos.  Nothing has changed.  I am also still the one taking the photos.  I do force myself to allow a photo every now and again however.   My maternal Grandmother never liked having her photo taken either and there are almost no photographs of her.  As her granddaughter I wish that there were, and so upon remembering that fact I do allow a photo of me every once in a while, just for my posterity's sake. ☺

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I don't have nice feet.   They are short and they are wide.  I have bad bunions on each foot.  I have had bunions since I was a girl.  When I was 22 I was told that they needed to be operated on and removed or I would not be able to walk when I got old,  but I was pregnant for my youngest daughter at the time.   I never ever got around to it.  I am old and I am still walking.   My bunions don't bother me half as much as the arthritis does.  You cannot cut out arthritis like you can a bunion.

I have never had a manicure or a pedicure.  I've always secretly wanted to get a manicure, but it has always seemed like such an extravagance, and so I have never had one.  I secretly admire women's pretty finger nails.   Dainty and so elegant.  I did book an appointment to go and get fake fingernails (or whatever it is they call them these days) prior to my daughters wedding, but then I canceled it at the last moment.   I was afraid that I would ruin the nails I have and that I would not be able to afford the expense of keeping it up.  I am glad that I didn't go through with it.  I have heard so many people say since then that their nails were ruined.  I used to bite my fingernails at one time.  I don't anymore. I haven't done so in years.  When Todd and I met, I had nice long fingernails.  I cut them all off when I started cooking for a living.  Long finger nails and cooking don't mix that well.  They are not very hygienic.


I believe in Happily Ever After. Seriously when I was a child I believed in fairy tale endings and frogs turning into princes and fairies into queens.  I thought that when Princess Diana got married to Prince Charles it was like a dream come true.   I still believe in Happily Ever After even though they did not find theirs.  It took me three tries but I did find mine.   I know when I'm lucky.  I count my blessings.  My cup does runneth over, and I know it.

I have always (since puberty) had a problem with facial hair.  Not quite as bad as this picture, even though some days it feels like it!  I can remember in Grade 11 a girl on the bus announcing to everyone on the bus that I had a mustache in a very loud voice.  My sister was sitting next to me and she then announced that this girl had a very big mouth, also in a very loud voice.  (She's always had my back.  Thanks sis!)  The girl's name was Colleen Stewart.  I will never forget it. That was an extremely humiliating experience.   I have tried dying it and bleaching it.   A blond mustache is still a mustache.  I had an upper lip for years that smelled like rotten eggs.  (Thank you Neet!)  Now I wax.  I've never been able to afford electrolysis.  I am not sure I believe in any type of permanent solution anyways.   My mother's been having electrolysis for years.  I would like to find Colleen Stewart now and let her know I now have a beard to go with the mustache, along with peach fuzz cheeks.  Getting old . . . yes, it's got many a down side, and excess facial hair is one of them.  Sigh . . .

And there you have it five new things about me.   Hope I made you smile.  I know I made me smile.  ☺

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

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"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, 
known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of
the depth."
~Elizabeth Kubler Ross  *´¯`.¸¸.☆*´¯`.¸¸.☆*´¯`.¸¸.☆*´¯`.¸¸.☆*´¯`.¸¸.☆*´¯`.¸¸.☆

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There's two things cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . .  butterscotch pudding from scratch (so good!) and  . . .

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  These are just wonderful!  Best ones ever!   You can find both recipes here.

Have a wonderful Thursday!!

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