Featured

These are a few of my favorite things. What are yours?

I have decided to participate in a 52-week blog challenge. I hope that it will get me to where I need to be with this blog. I must admit, this post was fun.

For my 52-week blog challenge, I am using some prompt s that I found on Pinterest. This is one of those prompts: What are your favorite things?

How many of you have thought about what your favorite things are? I really hadn’t thought about it in those terms but I find that there have and/or things I really like to use. I feel enjoyment from them.

As I was planning this post and thinking about my favorite things, I really wanted to create a different aspect of favorite things. So here are 6 of my favorite things; things I find enjoyment in using and things I use frequently if not on a daily basis.

Dr. Grip by Pilot Gel Pen

The smallest thing on my favorite’s list is an ink pen. I really like this pen and use it daily. I actually have several on hand at all times. I even have a couple hidden away. It seems as if there are several people who also like this pen once they have written with it.

The pen that I am referring to is the Dr. Grip by Pilot. These pens have a thicker body and a rubberized grip. I find them comfortable to hold and write with. They come in various colors so you can choose the one that appeals to you.

Do you have a favorite pen?

Nikon

The next item on my list of favorite things is my camera. Several years ago, when I was planning an Alaskan Cruise, I upgraded my point and shoot camera to a DSLR. At the time I didn’t know much about them, but I knew I wanted something with a bigger lens so I could get closer shots during my vacation. When I went shopping for my new camera the salesman lead me to the Nikon.

I really liked and appreciated the fact that the lenses were interchangeable with all Nikon camera bodies. I have upgraded cameras a couple times since my original purchase and still can use the same lenses.

I took a correspondence course through NYIP and have been hired occasionally to take the pictures for weddings, senior pics, and family photo shoots. Photography opened up a whole new world of creativity for me.

Do you take many pictures?

Current planner

The third item on my favorites’ list would be my planner.

For the past few years I have ordered my yearly calendar through Plum Paper..

This planner is customizable which I love. I can decide what I want the cover to look like and what I want written on the front. The writing is further personalized by my choice of font, the area surrounding the wording, and the colors.

Not only is the cover customizable, so are the contents of the planner. I choose the orientation of the layout and the sections I want in my weekly breakdown as well as the sections I will use.

The planners begin with a two-page yearly spread The next two pages breaks the year down into months with space under each month to list goals or anything important that falls within a particular month. Then the months are broken down into tabbed sections..

2nd page of weekly spread

Here you can choose a vertical or horizontal spread. In my personal planner I chose the horizontal layout for the monthly pages. After the two-page monthly spread, I chose an horizontal spread again for the weekly breakdown of the month. These weeks can be personalized with columns that are headed with your choice.

For my choices of headings on the columns I chose kids, meals, blogging, crafts budget and notes for the last two columns. The headings are your choice.

Next you can chose various sections to be put into your planner. The sections I have put into my planner includes blogging, sales, social media, and notes. I use the notes sections to keep various lists.

Other sections available for you include topics such as :Budget, Lifestyle, Fitness, Coloring, stickers.

Check out this planner. You will not be sorry.

Do you have a favorite planner that you use?

Cricut Explore Air 2

The next item on my favorites’ list is my Cricut Explore Air 2. My husband bought this for me two years ago for Christmas.

I was like many people. I was a little intimidated by it at first. But I have found a multitude of resources and videos available for learning how to use it. When I get stuck on a project I hop over to youtube to watch a video on that specific problem.

There are also many crafters out there who be glad to answer questions you may have. Once of the crafters, Jennifer Maker, is an excellent wealth of knowledge on the Cricut machines.

After getting my machine my crafting has improved a couple of notches. Love my machines.

A couple of years ago I purchased a Shark Navigator. My Kirby had finally bitten the dust after a 20+ stint. I could not afford to replace the Kirby at that time so I ordered the Shark hoping it would last longer thank a few months. (Apparently, we are pretty hard on vacuums.)

I immediately fell in lover with the Shark. I even liked it more than the Kirby.

I wrote a post about the Shark. Click here to read more about this amazing machine.

The final item on my favorites list is my refrigerator.

We recently went from a side by side to a bottom freezer. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love his kitchen appliance.

The first couple of refrigerators we own we ones with freezer on the top. This were ok, but made it difficult to get things in and out of the frig. Also, the freezers were not very big.

I had the bright idea to replace the top freezer with a side by side. I grew to dislike this model quickly. It could not hold bigger pans when having get togethers and the freezer was difficult to organize. I felt they were a little small for my needs.

Finally I have found a refrigerator that I absolutely love. My current refrigerator has the freezer on the bottom. I was a little unsure when I purchased it, but I love it. The freezer has a drawer in it and I place items I use more frequently in the drawer and everything else in the bottom. It is really awesome.

The frig has adjustable shelves so you can customize the shelfing to meet your unique requirements.

What type of refrigerator do you have? Would you recommend it to others?

Those are some of my favorite items. Do you have favorite items or just some things that bring you a lot of joy when you use them? Let us know.

My life verse.

Featured

Don’t make resolutions Make goals: My III 101 Ultimate Goals to accomplish in 1001 Days

My III 101 Ultimate Goals to accomplish in 1001 Days

As I have done twice before, I am listing 101 goals I would like to accomplish in the next 1001 days. Hopefully these goals will keep me on track through January 10, 2023.

This list is a little bit behind getting done. I guess since this is the third list I found it harder to write.

Do I really expect to get all the items on my list completed? Not really, but they are items that I have thought about doing. However, they are all obtainable.

By listing them, I think it makes them seem more obtainable.

So here they are:

  1. Read the Bible through. – I have listed this as number 1 on the last 2 lists and have not completed it yet. This year I have joined with my sister and daughter plus a few others in reading the Bible through using an app. This will help give me that extra push to get it done.
  2. Take a photography workshop.
  3. Write a book.
  4. Maintain weekly blog posts.
  5. Begin the blog’s email.
  6. Make a book review page on the blog.
  7. I would like to monetize my blog.
  8. Design a freebie for the blog.
  9. Secure a sponsored post.
  10. Create a blogging schedule.
  11. Try a new recipe weekly and put it on blog.
  12. Create a frugal series for the blog.
  13. Complete a 52 week blogging challenge.
  14. Develop a blogging schedule.
  15. Post consistently on social media.
  16. Participate in at least 2 blogging courses.
  17. Develop a course for my blog.
  18. Attend a blogging conference.
  19. Increase savings by at least $2,500.
  20. Put $10 in savings for every goal accomplished.
  21. Be debt free by the end of the 1001 days.
  22. Take a New England cruise.
  23. Go see the Giant Redwoods.
  24. Visit every state in the US.
  25. Read at least 35 books.
  26. Make yearly books with the pictures I take.
  27. We would like to cement the lower pool deck.
  28. Purchase 2 lounge chairs or regular chairs for pool deck.
  29. Replace diving board.
  30. Recover the cushions in the shelter.
  31. Add at least 2 more ceiling fans to shelter.
  32. Make a tall porch sign for front porch.
  33. Refinish the porch swing on the front porch.
  34. Blacktop the driveway.
  35. Fix the steps on the deck.
  36. Redecorate granddaughter’s room. – This is the Christmas present she received from me this year. We will be picking up the paint some time this week.
  37. Replace granddaughter’s ceiling fan.
  38. Make a new bedspread for her and for her brother’s room.
  39. Replace the closet doors in the kids’ bedrooms.
  40. Replace window in grandson’s bedroom.
  41. Replace flooring in bedrooms.
  42. Buy a new stove top.
  43. Buy a new range hood.
  44. Install new kitchen counters.
  45. Put decorative framing in dining room.
  46. Replace light in dining room.
  47. Replace the fireplace screen.
  48. Replace sink in main bathroom.
  49. Replace floor in main bathroom.
  50. Repaint interior walls.
  51. Have carpets and living room furniture professionally cleaned.
  52. Buy new sheers for living room.
  53. Purchase new tables for living room.
  54. Reupholster chair and ottoman to place in living room.
  55. Make throw pillow covers for various holidays.
  56. Replace floor downstairs.
  57. Build a supply closet off of my office/craft room.
  58. Make a small bookbag for grandson.
  59. Handmake as many Christmas presents as I can for 2021. – This past Christmas I only bought 5 gifts out of a list of 35 people. The rest I made.
  60. Better organize office/craft room.
  61. Upgrade sewing machine.
  62. Purge teaching supplies I no longer need or use.
  63. Put some items (clothing and craft items) on Facebook marketplace.
  64. Knit a pocket scarf.
  65. Make some soft flannel pjs for my granddaughter.
  66. Make new curtains for bay window.
  67. Make new curtains for kitchen.
  68. Clean the kids’ play house.
  69. Paint the kids’ table.
  70. Reupholster the chairs.
  71. Make a sign for the barn that houses my granddaughter’s rabbits.- “Bunny Barn”
  72. Put gates on the Bunny Barn.
  73. Make more crafts projects so I will have plenty of stock for summer vendors’ shows.
  74. Learn and make bath bombs.
  75. Attend a craft fair, either as a vendor or a customer.
  76. Open a booth at a consignment craft store.
  77. Make a new Christmas wreath for front door.
  78. Make a seasonal decorated tree in foyer.
  79. Do a weekly/monthly craft and put directions on blog.
  80. Put in a small raised garden bed for Shyla to tend to herself.
  81. Plant a couple of apple trees.
  82. Put in a grape arbor.
  83. Go to Bronson, Missouri.
  84. Visit the Florida Keys.
  85. Take a road trip around Ohio.
  86. Go to Dogwood Pass.
  87. I would still like to get a white Pomeranian. – I had originally planned on finding one after I retired, but I feel as if I am still too busy for a puppy right now.
  88. Become more consistent in attending church. – This will depend on the COVID crisis.
  89. Attend a sunrise Easter service.
  90. Attend an outdoor drama.
  91. Go to a Renaissance Fair.
  92. Paint a picture of a tree for the dining room.
  93. Purchase a gun.
  94. Detail car.
  95. Buy a new car.
  96. Update the will.
  97. Have a monthly game night.
  98. Have a monthly movie night.
  99. Eat supper together at the table once a week.
  100. Design and purchase new planners each year.
  101. Make a new list when this
My life verse.
Featured

November- It is the month to be thankful.

For several years now, friends have used Facebook as a way to remember things they are thankful for. They will make a short post each, up until Thanksgiving, to list items they are thankful for on that specific day. I decided to up this practice and write a weekly post of things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for a relationship with God.God comes first.

Week 1

God commands that we put him first in all that we do, so keeping that directive in mind, I am thankful for God and my spiritual journey.

First and foremost, I am thankful for God, my Lord and Savior. God is and has always been there for me. He is not too busy to listen to my concerns or trouble. Better yet, I don’t even have to contact Him physically to converse with Him. I just need to start talking and He is there listening. I just need to be quiet to hear Him talk to me. It’s really awesome.

This brings me to the 2nd thing I thankful in my walk with God. That is prayer. One of the most valuable possessions that I am thankful for in my spiritual walk is the Bible, God’s Holy Word. I am often asked How I know what God is saying or expects from us. One can just pick up the Bible and He begins to reveal Himself. God has provided us with His written word so we can know His desires and expectations and we are to fulfill them. God gave us His intentions for our lives through His word in the Bible. We only need to use it.

I can always pray and I know that God is listening and is more in tune to my concerns, wants, and needs than I can ever be. All that is required of me is patience. I am positive He will answer my prayers, but He will answer them in His time. He knows what’s best for me, even more than I do.

I am thankful for Christian friendships. Being a Christian in today’s wporld can be difficult. Many people don’t understand your your values or reluctance to participate in various popular activities. When you have friends who understand and practice the same values that you do, it makes your friendships so much easier and enjoyable.

What is your favorite day of the week? Mine is Sunday. Sundays are great day if you want them to be. I am so thankful for Sundays, the Lord’s day. God rested on this day from the huge task of creating our world and mankind. He commands us to use this day to slow down from the demands on our lives. I am very thankful God sanctified this day.

These are a few of the things I am thankful for in my spiritual journey. Throughout this month I hope to post weekly about different areas in which I am thankful for. Stay tuned.

What are you thankful for?

Featured

Here we go again!: “When at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

We have all heard that phrose in our lifetime, whether it was from teachers, coaches, or friends. At least, I have heard it all my life. But have you ever applied it to anything in your life?If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Then quit. There’s no use being mule-headed about it. In 1956 an article in the Sunday newspaper magazine “The American Weekly” attributed an instance of the remark to the comedian George Burns: 14 “If at first you don’t succeed,” says George Burns, “try, try again.

This phrase is attributed to the comedian, George Burns, in 1956. I’ll say that year has a special meaning in my life. You’ll have to just guess why.

So, even though I have had this blog for a few years now, it has not really gone anywhere.

So, I need to ask myself why. But, I know the altimate answer: I have not treated it as a job. It has just been something on the side that I worked on when I felt like it or had extra time for.

I had not made it a priority and made time for it in a very hectic schedule.

So I am going to take the advice of George Burns and try again.

You will see me more often and hopefully be entertained, educated, and inspired by what I write and what you choose to read.

What to you need to try again?


Featured

2020 Word of the Year: Focus

Home: Although it is number 7 on my list it is certainly not the least of the areas I want to focus on this year.

Do you start out your year with a word of the year? I have been doing this for a few years now. Last year my word was determination. I was determined to get certain things accomplished. I did get some things finished and/or started some I did not. But that is not going to stop me. I think almost everyone fails to accomplish all the resolutions that they set out to do. The trick is to just begin again and focus. Hence my word for 2020, FOCUS.

I have been attempting to brainstorm how I wanted this post to go. Particularity since it is the first post of the year and what I hope is a new start to this blog.

One of the blogs I regularly follow is Pretty Neat Living. A couple of days ago I received an email from Jen that was explaining her new youtube video entitled New Years Goals and Reflections/2020. She talked about her word of the year, her past words, and the areas in which her word would be applied and how it would help her grow in the these areas. Her video gave me the inspiration I was looking for in reference to my own word of the year and the areas of my life I am going to focus on.

I have chosen 7 areas in which to focus on; creative, memories, writing/reading, finances, relationships, spiritual, and home. I chose 7 because I perceive 7 to be the perfect number. God created the earth and man in 6 days and rested on the 7th day thus creating the number 7. These areas are not in any special order.

AREAS

  1. Creative: In this area I want to focus more on this blog and my various art projects. As far as the blog goes I want to post at least twice a week this year. I also need to add some pages and work on some of the legal aspects of the blog. Many of my readers are aware of the many art and craft projects that I am continuously working on. My goal in this area is to participate in a vendor’s fair. This is something I have wanted to do for quite some time.
  2. Memories: Are you into paper of digital scrap booking? I used to scrapbook a lot. I have made paper scrapbooks for 2 of my children for presents as they got older. Maybe you are more into digital scrap booking. I have done these also for various family trips, granddaughter’s birthday, and grandchildren. I want to begin doing yearly photo books with the pictures I take throughout the year. My husband is always complaining that he never sees the pictures I take any more. It all takes planning and focus to stay on top of this goal.
  3. Reading/writing: I used to be an avid reader. I have never lost my love for reading; I just lost the time while I was working. Now that I have retired I have begun reading again. You will see the book reviews of the books I have been reading. I have also joined an online book club that my sister started. I not only like to the feel of the paper book, I enjoy reading books on my Kindle app and listening to books on Audible while commuting. One of the biggest goals I have had forever is to write a book. I have a partial story line, the first few pages and the title done. Now all I have to do is focus on getting it written. In order to help with this endeavor I have joined a writer’s guild at our local library.
  4. Finances: I recently retired so my income has dropped by 50%. This has made money a little tight, but not unmanageable. In order to help in this area I use several couponing apps and am constantly looking for sales. I have cut out all impulse buying.
  5. Relationships: I want to be more focused in fostering good relationships with those around me. My sister and I along with our husbands are planning on taking a cruise together. I am planning on patching a broken relationship with my brother.
  6. Spiritual: Currently my husband and I are attending a small country church on Sunday evenings. Although we feel very welcome there, neither of us are really involved in the church. I have not been involved in extra-curricular church activities, which I really miss. I need to begin my own daily devotions again also.
  7. Home: Although it is number 7 on my list it is certainly not the least of the areas I want to focus on this year. I am currently decluttering and then I plan on organizing cabinets, closets, and my craft room/office. I have just today donated a trunk and back seat load of things. I have found a few more things that didn’t quite make it to the boxes.

These are the various areas I plan to focus on this year. A couple of years I composed a list of 101 thing to do in 1001 days. This was my 2nd list. I don’t get everything done on these lists but it has proven to offer a guide for life goals. Click here to read the entire list.

Featured

Acrylic Pours

This post my contain affiliate links from which I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Acrylic Pours

I found this art technique on Pinterest when I was searching for art projects for my Special Education students. When I found these I then went to the various You Tube channels to watch various artists making their art. My next step before introducing it in the classroom was to attempt one of the paintings myself. I was hooked. These are such fun to make and I recently discovered a new product that can be made with the leftover paint. I will briefly touch on that at the end of this post.

I have learned a new art technique that I am totally in love with doing. It’s fun, messy, and most of the time, very pretty. It can be customized with any colors you like. And best of all, it’s hard to make a mistake.

Supplies needed:

  • Canvas: The size is optional. Just remember, the bigger the canvas, the more ingredients and paint you will need.
  • Sargent Art 22-8827 Pouring Medium Acrylic, 128 oz
  • Acrylic paint in your choice of colors.
  • Silicone (Click here): Acrylic Pour Oil for Art – 100% Pure Silicone – Large 6 oz. Size – Highest Grade – Magical Cell Forming Silicone Oil – Great Value
  • Paper cups
  • Plastic or rubber gloves: I used disposable gloves.
  • Craft sticks: You can use anything you have available to stir the paint. Just remember that whatever it is, it will be unusable after you finish your acrylic pour.
  • Measuring cup
  • Large thumb tacks or
    Hyde Tools 43510 Painters Pyramid (10 Pack), 1, Yellow
  • heat gun or kitchen torch

Measurements:

To accomplish this step, I use clear plastic cups although you could use type of small cup. I also use craft sticks to stir the paint after I have put in all ingredients. I use 2 oz. of the pouring medium, 2 oz. of paint color, and a few drops of the silicone pouring oil per color of paint that I will be using per canvas. I incorporate 3 to 4 colors into a painting within a single painting. This will adequately be enough paint to complete an 8 x 10 canvas. (With some left over paint for another project that I will explain later post.)

Directions:

Before beginning to pour the paint, you need to place your canvas on something that will elevate the canvas. At first I used extra large thumb tacks. The were just a little hard to remove from the canvas frame. Then I discovered the painters pyramids. These are available on Amazon.

After all paint has been mixed, I began this pour by pouring a little of the white onto the canvas. Then I chose the next color and poured it slowly into the middle of the white. It does not mix together, but layers the paint. I continued this pattern until I have used all of the colors.

You are now left with a colorful glob of paint on your canvas. At this point you can use the heat gun or kitchen torch to heat up the paint slightly. Be careful not to burn your paint or canvas. Only do this for a few minutes at the most. This will bring out “cells” throughout your painting.

Laying your heat source to the side, at this point it is advisable to wear some disposable gloves. You are going to get very messy. Take your canvas in your hands slowly tipping it back and forth to move the paint around the canvas. Make sure to let it drip over the edges creating a border. It is perfectly acceptable to pour more paint around the canvas in places that need more paint to cover the entire canvas.

It became obvious as I was maneuvering the paint around the canvas that I needed to add more paint.

As you maneuver the paint around the canvas make sure to cover the sides also. This is why it is advisable to wear disposable gloves. It does get very messy.

After the canvas is covered with the pattern you have coaxed it into making, place the canvas back onto the pyramids to dry. This may take 24 to 48 hours.

Have fun with your pours. I hope you will share yours with us.

Featured

Meet My Family

Boy, I have really been slacking. No posts since October. 2019 WILL be a better year for my blog and for me personally. Although I truly love my job as an Intervention Specialist (special ed teacher), I have just started on the last 5 months of my career. I will be retiring on Sept. 1 after having spent 25+ years in the classroom. I am really ready for this next phase of my life.

That being said, let’s get on with the topic at hand. As my readers my know I have previously introduced them to my oldest daughter, Amanda, and her family. I have also written about my youngest, the only son, Kelsey, in a two part introduction. First I introduced his family and then filled in readers about the chronic foot problems that Kelsey suffers from. I began with the introduction of my youngest daughter, Hilary, and her family.

I saved the introduction of my second child and second daughter until last because she has been in the midst of some major life changes. At last, the changes have been made and I am proud to introduce Breanna Lyne and her family. Breanna’s name takes on parts of my mother’s middle name Ann and her father’s name Lyne.

Breanna Lyne

Breanna lives the farthest away from us, but it is only a little over an hour’s drive. She resides with her long time boyfriend, Kevin.

Brea, as we call her, is finishing her training as an esthetician. You can view her work on her Instagram page at breanna.lyne.esthetics.

I now have a person in the family that can wax my eyebrows for free. A frugal win for me. She has also worked on her sister’s eyelash extensions. Brea is fantastic at her job.

This is the perfect career for her due to her background in art. She is a fabulous artist and is very creative. You can view some of her art on her Instagram at breanna_lyne.

Kevin is also very artistic. He owns and works at his own tattoo shop. You can see some of his work on Instagram also.

Breanna has one daughter who is currently working at an IHop. Savannah is a lovely, young lady with a bubbly personality. She graduated from high school a couple of years ago and is still trying to find a career path that fits her unique abilities and interests.

Both Brea and Savannah are animal lovers and have adopted three rescue dogs between them.

Savannah and Breanna

This completes the introduction of my large extended family. My husband and I currently have 4 children, 4 bonus children (spouses and boyfriends), 12 grandchildren, and 3 great-children. We get together frequently and it is always a blast.

Thank you for letting me introduce my family to you. I would love to meet your family.

I hope to see you back to hear more about the antics of my large, loving, and lunatic family.

My life verse.