Friday, 28 February 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!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!

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There is a brilliant tutorial on The Cards We Drew to make this pretty spring pinwheel wreath.   While I would not choose these exact colours for the background/ribbon, this is a really sound idea and I can envision how very pretty it would be with other colours!  It's really simple to make also.  I love simple!

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A whole host of  printables for a movie party just in time for the Oscars.   You can get them at an instant download at Dimple Prints.  I love the bright colours, and $13 isn't an awful lot to pay for a set like this.   There's popcorn bags, invitations, labels, decorations, the lot!   Of course it doesn't hage to be for an Oscar's party.  It would be great for a teen movies party as well, or any kind of film based event.   There are a lot of great printables on that page even if this doesn't grab your eye.   Do go and check them out!

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I couldn't find a source for this, but I have fallen in love with this idea.   Drawer fronts decoupaged with different fabrics from your fabric stash.  You wouldn't even have to use a different one for each drawer.  You could use the same one on each drawer, or even fabric that matches your bedspread, etc.  What a delightful way to add some colour to a room!  I love it!

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I adore this magical fairy tale looking armoire from Straight Line Designs.   It makes me think of Angela Lansbury the singing teapot in Beauty and the Beast from Disney.  It looks like it will just start dancing at any minute. Oh, I know I could never afford to buy anything like this for my home, but that doesn't stop me from falling in love with it.

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Kind of like this fairytale bed from Little Miss Liberty.  It costs a bomb, but how sweet is this!   A little girl's bed obviously, but how very charming.  Perfect for little princesses and fun to dream about!  I wonder what it would feel like falling asleep in something like this?

Miniaturized it would also make an adorable doggie bed!  For the pooch that has everything.

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Ok.  I am officially in love.  You know how much I love red and white.   And how much I love toile.   And how much I love gingham.  Polkadots.  Pompoms!  This footstool has it all!   I found this on Work Room Intelligence.   It is a custom piece, but there is some real food for thought there I think!  One of these days I just may surprise you all!

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How to make your own pattern.  If you are a sewer this is fabulous.  Also if you have ever had a shirt or some such that you absolutely love and have no hope of ever finding another one just like it, this is just the ticket!  Make your own pattern using your own clothing as the guide!  Fab tutorial on Sweet Verbena.   I love it!

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Twelve surprising uses for Vicks Vapo Rub on Divine Caroline.   And you thought it was just for when you have a cold!   Surprisingly it is good for all sorts!  Including getting rid of nail fungus (yikes!) and repelling mosquitoes!  Vicks Vapo Rub is the scent of my childhood!

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And finally, how to clean that oily sticky residue from off your kitchen appliances.  This is something I wish I had known about a long time ago.   Find out how on  A Real Life Housewife! FABULOUS tip!

And that's it for this week.  I hope you found something useful here along with something new to try out!  That's what it's all about.   Sharing.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, 
so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. 
To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. 
To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over 
the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. 
~David Thoreau
✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. ✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ..  

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In The English Kitchen today . . . a deliciously different Waldorf Salad.   Light, easy and very pretty. 

Have a great day today!  It's Friday already.  How did it come around so fast???  It's amazing how quickly the weeks fly by!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Old barns and old people . . .

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 A stranger came by the other day
with an offer that set me to thinking.
He wanted to buy the old barn that sits out by the highway.
I told him right off he was crazy.
He was a city type, you could tell by his clothes,
his car, his hands, and the way he talked.
He said he was driving by and
saw that beautiful barn sitting out in the tall grass
and wanted to know if it was for sale.
I told him he had a funny idea of beauty.

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 Sure, it was a handsome building in its day.
But then, there's been
a lot of winters pass
with their snow and ice and howling wind.
 The summer sun's beat down on that old barn
'til all the paint's gone,
and the wood has turned silver gray.
 Now the old building leans a good deal,
 looking kind of tired.
Yet, that fellow called it beautiful.

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 That set me to thinking.
 I walked out to the field and just stood
there, gazing at that old barn.
The stranger said he planned
to use the lumber to line the walls of his den
in a new country home he's building down the road.
He said you couldn't get paint that beautiful.
Only years of standing in the weather,
 bearing the storms and scorching sun,
only that can produce beautiful barn wood.

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It came to me then.
We're a lot like that, you and I.
Only it's on the inside that the beauty grows with us.
Sure we turn silver, gray too...
and lean a bit more than we did
when we were young and full of sap.
 But the Good Lord knows what He's doing.
And as the years pass
He's busy using the hard weather of our lives,
the dry spells and the stormy seasons
to do a job of beautifying our souls
that nothing else can produce.
And to think how often folks holler
because they want life easy . . .

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They took the old barn down today
and hauled it away to beautify a rich man's house.
And I reckon someday you and I'll be hauled off to Heaven
to take on whatever chores the Good Lord has for us
on the Great Sky Ranch.
And I suspect we'll be more beautiful then
for the seasons we've been through here . . .
and just maybe even add a bit of beauty to our Father's house.
~Red Johnson

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I have always loved old barns, and when I found this I just had to share with you.   There is a lot of beauty to be found in something or someone whose been around the block a few times.   Yesterday I remarked to my hairdresser as she was cutting my hair that I seem to look more grey each time I get it cut . . . but that's okay with me.   I rather like it that way.  It shows that I've lived, and I'm not a very vain person anyways.  Being the me that I am is just fine. 

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

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"Do not think that love in order to be genuine 
has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love 
without getting tired. Be faithful in small things
because it is in them that your strength lies."
~Mother Teresa

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Hawaiian Hots!  Scrumptious! 

Have a great Thursday! 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Simple Woman's Day Book

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  FOR TODAY February 26th, 2014

Outside my window...
The sun is rising in the east, or at least the light is.   I don't know if it will shine today or not.   Here's hoping!  We could use some really dry weather and wind to help to dry up the ground.

 I am thinking...
 "The garden of the world has no limits
Except in your mind.
It's presence is more beautiful than the stars
With more clarity
Than the polished mirror of your heart."

Think beautiful thoughts.

I am thankful...

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I am so very thankful for the good friends in my life.  They mean the world to me.  This is Lura.   She is a dear sweet friend and still needs your prayers so very much.  She had her gall bladder removed around Valentines Day, was sent home and was back in the hospital within a week with a severe infection and absess on her liver.    After treatment, thinking she could go home, another CT scan showed it had gotten bigger.   Please let us build a prayer chain and hold her up in our deepest most heart felt prayers for comfort and healing.   I know she must be feeling very discouraged by now, although she remains upbeat.  Let's get her back on the road to recovery, healed and home!  I believe in the power of prayer.

In the kitchen... 

Baking in The English Kitchen this morning, a delicious Blueberry and Almond Breakfast Bake.
So very good!  You know how much I love blueberries!

I am wearing...
White flannel nightie with pink trim and flowers on it, my brown shoes.   Will I ever crochet those slippers?   I sure hope so, but don't hold your breath on that one.

I am creating...
Are any of you familiar with that new ap for the iphone and ipad called Waterlogue?   I got it the other day and have been having fun turning some of my photographs into watercolours.  They would make brilliant cards for my own personal use.

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First I did this one.   I was really pleased with how it turned out.  It's such a fun ap!

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Next I did this one.  I just love it.   It's so much fun picking out quotes to put onto them.   I love quotes anyways, and I love watercolours and photography.   Combining the three is a lot LOT of fun for me!

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Then I did this little Austin-like girl.   She just popped out and then I found the quote for her after.  Normally it is the other way around.  I find the quote first and then paint to fit it.  It's not usual the painting happens first.

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And then a little missing you girl.  A nice sentiment I think.  I do so enjoy painting little butterflies.   Perhaps one day I will do a butterfly one with nothing but butterflies on it.

We shall see.

I am going...  
Having my hair cut this morning.   That came around very quickly.  It doesn't seem all that long ago since I had it cut, but it was 7 weeks or so ago already.  Next week it is Mitzie's turn.  I like the cut when it is done, but my hair dresser always leaves my face etc. full of hair clippings and I can hardly wait to get home and wash them all off.  It drives me crazy.   I don't know why she does that.  I need to remember to carry a wet one in the car so that I can wipe them off right after this time.

I am wondering... 
It's a lot brighter out now than when I started this post.   Is the sun going to shine?  It looks dry so far!

I am reading...  

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Diana, her true story, in her words, by Andrew Morton
I had always admired the late Princess Diana.  I can still remember exactly where I was when I heard that she had been in the car accident and how I felt when I learnt the next morning that she had died.   Those moments have been thoroughly etched in my brain.   I had always resisted reading about her, but then the other day I saw this in the Kindle store and downloaded it as it was not very expensive and I thought it would make for an interesting read.

So far the first chapter has been the most interesting part of the book for me, and I suspect that it will be the only really truly interesting part of the book.   I am about a third of the way in by now and I have to be honest, Diana comes off as being vapid, boring and dull.  A real whiner and not very intelligent.   And supposedly these are her own words that are used in the book, except for Andrew Morton's additions which are set in brackets.   I do not like this character which is being presented to me.  She sounds very immature.  It's just sad.  I hope it improves or I don't think I will be finishing it.   I loved Princess Diana very much, but I find myself asking, was this who she really was??   A dumb tragic blond with rampant bulimia and severe mental problems?  It's just all so very, very sad and tragic.  I am not sure about this.  I am hoping that the strong woman I admired and looked up to emerges soon.

I find it also jumps around a lot.   There doesn't seem to be much of a sequence to it.   The Royals, if anything, come off much worse than she does, which may be it's only redeeming quality.

I am hoping...
Yes!  The sun is shining!  I am hoping that it stays all day! 

Makes me Smile...  

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This photograph of Maryn always makes me smile. I can see so much of her character in it.   The mischeviousness and intelligence in her eyes, that charming little smile.  It makes me want to know what she is talking about because it looks like, whatever she is saying . . . it is something which I would really want to hear.  I may be biased, but i think she is beautiful.

I am learning...
That the more I think I know it all . . . the less I really do!!

Around the House ...   
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i know they are not real piano keys, simply painted ones, but it does make me smile to think of tip-toing and prancing up a stair case painted thusly.  Oh, I know . . . my prancing days are long gone, but that doesn't stop me from imagining myself prancing up these stairs . . .

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I am a bit of an enigma when it comes to such things.  I love, LOVE colour and then I see a picture like this and I fall in love with it.   Shades of white.  Is there such a thing as shades of white?  I don't know.  I am in love with those mirrors, and the pristine beauty of this room.

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Can you imagine having a conservatory this size and shape?   I know!  Isn't it magnificent!  It looks and feels like a cathedral to the sun!

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And yet, at the same time I quite simply adore the simplicity of this dining area.

Yes, I think I am an enigma. 

I am pondering... 
"The place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you."

 What is that called?  Divine something or other, this idea that we live the lives we chose to live prior to our coming to this earth.  I am not sure about that.  I think we certainly may have chosen to develop certain strengths and overcome certain weaknesses . . . but the rest is all a bit of a mystery.  I mean, given the choice, who exactly would choose to be born in a mud hut, living in extreme poverty in a third world country?   Perhaps they are the choicest spirits of all . . . if they did indeed choose that, instead of us who chose the easy way.

A favorite quote for today...  

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The flower that follows the sun does so even
on a cloudy day.
~Robert Leighton  

 One of my favorite things...   
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Downton Abbey.  Need I say more?

A few plans for the rest of the week:  
I am going to a pot lunch lunch with the girls tomorrow.  It will be nice to get out and about.  I don't think men are quite as sociable as women, but  I could be wrong about that.  I have a LOT of work to do for the cooking blog, so I must get all of that done.   And I have some art work to do for someone as well.  So pretty busy.

A peek into my day...   

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One is most lucky if they can always feel that their husband is courting them.  I am a lucky woman, yes indeedy.

 ⋱ ⋮ ⋰
   ⋯ ◯ ⋯ Take time to enjoy the small*´¯`.¸¸.☆
   ⋰ ⋮ ⋱ blessings in life.*´¯`.¸¸.☆
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Wherever you go and whatever you do I hope there's a wonderful day planned for you!


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Thoughts on faith . . .

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When our lives are overcast
with trouble and with care
Give us faith to look beyond
the dark clouds of despair.
~Helen Steiner Rice  

I am not going to do my usual daybook entry this morning as we are going to the Temple today and I won't have time to do it.  It does take a lot of time.   This is the poem that was in my Daily Inspiration book this morning, so I thought I would talk briefly about that.

I have a daily book of Inspiration from the poetry of Helen Steiner Rice and each morning there is a verse of her poetry and then a question to go with it.   Today's question  was . . .

When was your faith last stretched?

I think my faith gets stretched almost every day.  Faith is not a dead thing, it is living and breathing and it is always growing, stretching . . . morphing into something bigger and better I hope!  It starts off as a tiny little seed at first, and then . . . every time you exercise it and stretch it . . . just like a muscle, it grows. 

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And . . . like most exercise, there are times when it's not very pleasant.  I am not a person that loves exercise and it shows.  Tough times . . . they give our faith the most exercise of all.   We all have them.  There is nobody who is exempt from them.  Faith is what helps us to get through them.   Grace.   It's not the light at the end of the tunnel.  It's the light  that helps to get us through the tunnel.  

My faith gets exercised every day.  That helps to keep it in good shape, so that when I really need it, it will stand me in good stead.  How about you?

A thought to carry with you through today . . .


“Walk with me for a while, my friend . . . 
you in my shoes, I in yours . . . 
and then let us talk.” 
~Richelle E. Goodrich



Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . a Simply Tasty Tomato Soup.   A bit of a cheat, but so very delicious.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, 24 February 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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The past three years have just flown by.   Today is Maryn's third birthday!  It's hard to believe.  This is a photograph I scooped from FB.  She is admiring her Birthday Cake.  It looks like a Dinosaur.   She must be into dinosaurs now.   I wonder if she liked the present I sent.  I wonder if she got the present I sent.  It was a bumble bee dress up set that I had bought on a whim right after she was born from a designer site I belong to.   I have waited three years to be able to give it to her, and I don't even know if she got it.  Perhaps when she is older she will be able to communicate with me herself.   I am hoping that she will want to.  I pray every day that she will want to.  I firmly believe in the power of prayer.   Happy Birthday Maryn.   I hope you have a very special day.

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This picture of a kitten wearing a sombrero made me smile.  Kittens and puppies are so cute and when you do something silly like put a sombrero on one and take a photograph of it, well . . . it just makes them even cuter!  

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See what I mean???  It's just not fair!  I should be so lucky!   If you put a sombrero on my  head I doubt it would make me cuter at all . . . then again I don't like wearing hats at all.   They give you hat hair.   I don't like hat hair.  I love looking at hats though.   I used to have a hat when I was a little girl to wear to church.  It was like a wide hairband and it pinched my head.  It hurt actually.   Nothing felt as good as my head did when I was able to take it off after church!

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Spring.   It's getting closer.   The verges are filled with blooming snowdrops.   Can the crocus be far behind, and then the daffodils?   I think now!  When our Camelia bush blooms, Spring is springing, and it is blooming.   Todd saw our fish yesterday.   Well, he saw three of them anyways, so we know that there are still three rather large ones in the pond.  We had a couple of really nice sunny days to end the week on last week.  It is back to rain this week again.   That's part of the reason this country is so beautifully green.   All the rain.

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I found this picture on how to send a message in an egg.   I would never have thought of that.  It's a brilliant idea!  Easter is coming folks.   Are your wheels turning?   Mine are!

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When we lived at the Manor, the gardener used to get me some branches of forsythia each year that I could force in the house into bloom.   They are so cheerful.  We will have to plant a forsythia bush me thinks.   They are so cheerful during the season of yellow.   That is what I call Spring . . . the season of yellow, or at least the beginnings of spring, with the forsythia and the daffodils . . .  yellow crocus.

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 We are going to the Temple tomorrow.   This time we are going for sure.  NOTHING is going to get in the way this time around.   It's been a long time since we have been together.   I love to go to the Temple.  It's such a beautiful place.   The gardens at the Preston Temple are simply beautiful.  I love the feeling of peace and serenity there.    I love to just sit in the waiting area and think beautiful thoughts.   I love to sit in the chapel and read the scriptures.   I love to sit in the Celestial room and drink in it's beauty and feel of it's comfort.   I love to sit in the Celestial room and hold my husbands hand as we partake of the special feelings there together.  This is what eternity feels like.   It's a beautiful thing.

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I spent some time the other morning going through an old photo album which we started together when I first moved over here to the UK.   My heart smiled a lot as I looked at the pictures in it.  We have built such happy memories together.    I love my husband so very much.  I wish we could have had a family together . . . that would have been nice.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

The only way you may 
correct the 
bad things in your past 
is to add better things 
to your future.
~Shiloh Morrison


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There is another small and wonderful thing in The English Kitchen today . . . Easy Goji Berry Granola!  Goji berries are small and pretty wonderful things!

Have a wonderful Monday.  I hope you are blessed with lots of small and wonderful things!