Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ten Years Later

It seems I blink and it's time for a new Little Things post!  I thoroughly enjoy documenting the little things in my life and it is nice to share them with you.  I can honestly say, since I began writing these lists, I've become more positive and grateful. 

I was thinking yesterday, as I talked with a friend about God and how He gives each of us gifts and talents, that I'm thankful that God has gifted me the ability to find awe and comfort in His little things.  Just ten years ago or so, I was a completely different person, battling depression and lacking hope.  My faith was different, too.  I wasn't sure what or how to believe as far as religion went, even though I grew up in a very religious family.  I wanted to know God, but to know Him, you have to believe Him and all He has promised for our lives--and I hadn't the first clue where to begin.  I had felt so sad and broken for so long, and believed that I was less for various reasons, that I kept everything that I'd learned about God at arms length.  How could it be--that He would love me, care about me, want the best for me?  How was I worthy of such unconditional love when I didn't even love myself?

Though I have much to say about the epidemic that is bullying, today it is about the little things, and the way God pours out his love in the surroundings and people of our lives.  The little things embody hope and happiness.  They are the things that make my life overflow in an abundance of inspiring and special moments.

Recent Little Things...

~My daughter's compassion for her father, and wanting to take care of him when he is sick.  Yesterday he had two wisdom teeth pulled and some other work done at the dentist, and before Husband returned home, Brooklynn had a bed made on the couch, an icepack, a heat pack, a cup and paper towels ready on the coffee table.  I think she even had the remote set aside for him!
~The surprise parcel of housewarming books from my dear friend, Ann.  I've spoken of her before, as I met her at the Olweus Bully Prevention Conference last fall. 
Her son didn't make it through his abuse before he took his own life. 
Even through the subject of bullying takes on a very personal meaning to Ann and her family, she is an ambassador of hope, and her kindness speaks multitudes of the very person she is.  She is a gift.
~The smell of campfire.
~A sunny Fourth of July forecast ahead!  It usually rains here in the great state of Washington on the Fourth.
Piecing together bits of our home and finding inspiration for the one-days...
~Camping.  I. need. a. camping. trip.

You too?

Would you like to join The Little Things series?
I host every Thursday and would love to have you join!
You can link up on my right sidebar, and please do visit the others who share their joy!

xx, Cassie

image via pinterest

Monday, June 27, 2011

Risk & Peonies

And then the day came,

when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

Today, the Peonies bloomed,
and they nearly took my breath away.
I had to share them.

A lovely Monday to you.

xx, Cassie

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Weekending!

What are your plans this weekend?

We're planning to take the wee ones to see Cars 2, and will be celebrating my close friend's graduation from Naturopathic school with a BBQ on Saturday. 
I'm also planning on visit two to Bikram (hot) Yoga.  They say returning after the first time is the hardest since you know what to expect! 

Have a good weekend lovelies!

xx, Cassie

H&M Home via Black Eiffel

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Little Things Around the Property...


It's the quiet during nap time.
The kind customer service agents on the other end of the line.
The sun that keeps poking its beams out.
Crossing off my list of to-dos.
The calmness that God has given me today, even while dealing with what could be stressful scenarios.
Brooklynn's creativity and the book she is illustrating.
My new yellow 'honey pot' drink dispenser that my dear friend surprised me with because she said it screamed my name!  She is so thoughtful!
Margarita Pizza with fresh basil from my basil plant--one of my favorite happenings this summer thus far.
My new Nikon D90.  Since Best Buy couldn't fix my camera, they credited me and I upgraded a bit. 
Camera love--it's a wonderful thing.
A few more recent little things in pictures...

It's rusty, was here when we moved in and I'm loving it.
I think it's an old swing set with additions. ;)
It carries this lovely box that I can't wait to plant more flowers in.

Under the canopy of the trees in the front yard.

Husband and Uncle Timmy just hung a tire swing.
The kiddos are sure loving this place.
Another rusty yard piece.  I think it's some sort of old tractor...
And our puppy, Jet, looking awfully curious.  I just love him!

Would you like to join The Little Things series?
I host every Thursday and would love to have you join!
You can link up on my right sidebar, and please do visit the others who share their joy!

xx, Cassie

Monday, June 20, 2011

A DIY Vintage Button Lamp Shade

Hello!  Did you have a great Father's Day weekend?  Friday, we headed to Long Beach, Washington, to visit Husband's parents, and we stayed up talking and laughing late into the evening.  Saturday, we lounged around watching documentaries. We loved Surfwise.  Have you seen it? And yesterday, the kids and I treated Husband to coffee, Dutch Babies (family recipe here), and a garden stake sign and heart banner taped across the doorway made by the kiddos to express their ginormous love for Dad. 
It was a good, full weekend.

While Husband was taking in a Father's Day nap, I worked on a project that I've had in mind for weeks.  Remember those vintage buttons that I found?  Or the fab idea that I said I had for them? 
Finally, a project has been brought to fruition.

A DIY Vintage Button Lamp Shade
Scour flea markets and garage sales for some vintage buttons,
pick up some great lamp bases and shades--I got mine at Home Goods,
and grab your glue gun!

 After much consideration and no opinion lended from Husband, I settled on the green/gold/silver buttons--most of which are patina covered, with their edges worn and rusty. 
I was afraid to bring in too much color, especially since our bedding has a lot of color.
I used hot glue to adhere the buttons, and to make for a smoother side to apply the glue,
I used my metal cutters to remove any backs of the buttons that wouldn't allow them
to lay flat against the lamp shade.
Then I went to town, rotating various shades and sizes of green, gold and silver.
I am happy that I started with only one line around the base,
because that is all my collection would allow!
I was near the end of my supply.
What do you think?  I think they are a perfect accessory for my Anthro bedding.

Did you do any fun projects this weekend?

xx, Cassie

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

  Thanks for all your lovely comments regarding my new shop!!

The $15 Huntress shop credit goes to.....
# 9. 

Tammy June 13, 2011 9:24 AM
I like you on Facebook!

Tammy--I'll get you the details on your shop credit!  Congrats!

xx, Cassie

the little things...and pewter love.

whimfully baking chocolate chip cookies.
the happiness of my kiddos when their John Deere tractor is going full-boar around the property.
the tiny sproutlets in my herb planters.
my chiropractor brother who is able to return my pesky ribs back to where they belong.
a $20/20 visit Groupon deal to hot yoga!
teaching my friend the basics of sewing--she's a natural!
a sunny forecast ahead, and days at the beach on the calendar!
finding the most perfect charms for some new treasures.
all things pewter.  My collection ideas are growing...

Set Of Vintage German Country Pewter Cups

Sweet & Shabby Chic Cream/Pewter/Wood  Distressed Candle Holder

TREASURY ITEM:  Vintage Ornate pewter/silverplate Glass Wine, Cordial or Shot Glasses
This one isn't pewter, but isn't it lovely in silver?!
Vintage silver pedestal tray with glass dome display

Would you like to join The Little Things series?
I host every Thursday and would love to have you join!
You can link up on my right sidebar, and please do visit the others who share their joy!

xx, Cassie

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Awesome Portobello Mushroom Burgers

It's summer...right?

The sunshine may not be here to stay, yet, in the northwest, but one thing is for sure--it is staying light out later!  I do love how the days seem longer during these summer months.  Though, there is a problem...I haven't easily adjusted to having dinner at a normal hour!  Seems we are out and about or  out in the yard until dark these days.  Anyone else eating at 8 o'clock pm lately?? 

Tonight we're eating Portobello Mushroom Burgers, and since they are just about to hit the grill, I thought I'd post the recipe and the photo of them in their marinade.  I've made these 2-3 times already, and they have proven to be a summer BBQ hit!

The marinade is easy and delicious. 
I have become quite a fan of balsamic vinegar added to recipes.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

4 portobello mushroom caps
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
4 (1 oz.) slices of provolone cheese


1. Place the mushroom caps, smooth side up, in a shallow dish.  In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour over the mushrooms.  Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, turning twice.

2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.

3. Brush grate with oil.  Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting.  Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until tender.  Brush with marinade frequently.  Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

4.  Add mushroom to your favorite buns--toasted if you'd like and add the rest of your favorite fixings.  Mayo, Dijon mustard, lettuce, tomato, avocado etc.  
They're bound to be a favorite!

Thank you Bob Cody from for this recipe!

Have you entered the giveaways yet??  It ends tonight, so get your entries in!  I'm giving away three $15 shop credits to my new Etsy shop, The Huntress, and YOU could be a winner!


Monday, June 13, 2011

The Huntress--A Giveaway!

Good morning!  I hope your weekend was full of fun festivities!  We BBQ'd, went to a Portland Timbers soccer game, set up camp in the yard and slept in a tent one night with the kiddos, had two bonfires, and had a perfect Belgian waffle breakfast Saturday morning.  The weekend was long, full and quite enjoyable! 

Guess what?!  Today marks the beginning of my Etsy shop, The Huntress' Grand Opening Giveaway!  I am giving away three $15 shop credits to my store and a 10% discount code for all of my dear readers that can be used now until Sunday night.  Use the discount code 'prettythings' at checkout. 

Ways to enter:

1) Follow A Serenade for Solitude and leave me a comment saying that you do.
2) 'Like' The Huntress on Facebook (via my Etsy shop) and leave me a comment saying that you have.
3) Tell me your favorite shop item.
4) Re-blog this giveaway to share the love, and feel free to use the giveaway button with a link to this post. Don't forget to tell me you've done this in a comment!

Giveaway ends Wednesday night 11:59pm.  Winner announced Thursday!

Want a shot at winning the other two $15 shop credits?  Visit A Little Bit Biased and Baby Night Night for details!

Looking forward to your comments and feedback!
And keep your eyes peeled--I'll be adding more items throughout the week!

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Little Things

The aroma of homemade bread in the oven, and then promptly enjoying a warm buttered slice upon its baked completion.
A sewing date this morning.
Finding the most beautiful picked bouquet from our yard on the kitchen table. 
Making headway in the weeds. 
Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I'll ever conquer this place?
Slipping my wedding ring back on my finger after a long day of yard work.
and more simply--
Freshly vacuumed floors.
Two friends graduating this month!  One from dental hygiene school and the other will officially be a Naturopathic Doctor!  So proud of these girls' determination and work ethic.
Lastly, happening upon beautiful typography with sweet sentiments--

Would you like to join The Little Things series? 
I host every Thursday and would love to have you join!
You can link up on my right sidebar, and please do visit the others who share their joy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Today (a definition)

To-day (adv.): 1. a quiet rise with children fast asleep; 2. joining Husband on the porch to bask in the already 55 degree am sunshine with our personal preference of caffeine; 3. jumping in my workout clothes and hitting up the trail for a five mile jaunt by the water; 4. returning home to two happy children and a Husband tending to the garden; 5. Husband sending a message to me via my five year old to say, "you wont be a country girl unless you get off the computer!"; 6. work, work, work in the yard; 7. witnessing a mass tadpole population growing in our upper pond; 8. farmers tans; 9. an afternoon drink on the shady porch with Husband and talking about our good friends and how blessed we are; 10. anticipating another full house of visitors this evening so we can celebrate the sunshine BBQ-style.

Now, I'm considering what sweet treat I could make to top off this perfect day?  Any suggestions?

How are you spending your weekend?

xx, Cassie

Thursday, June 2, 2011

a morning in my life.

Like many mornings, today I woke to Asher's footsteps making their way into our room and ending as he climbed under Husband's and my covers.  Being greeted by his sweet little face and infectious giggles over nothing is the most pleasurable way to wake.  We stare at each other for a moment, but quickly the stare turns into smiles from each of us.  I'm captured by his dimples; one on each side of his soft cheeks.  How'd a boy get so beautiful?  God made me that way, he explains.  I like to claim his dimples, just as my Grandma has claimed mine over the years, but it was God, he reminds me, it was God who went and planted two perfect indentations on his sweet face.  You have pretty eyes, Mama, he says while we snuggle.  I nearly melt into the mattress and pull him closer.  Never mind the fact that I have eyeliner smudged about my eyes because I failed to remove yesterday's makeup before bed.  I envision him grown, on the verge of manhood.  An assurance that our bond will always be close fills me; that his love and hugs will never end, and that his respect for me will never cease, because there is nothing more important to his father.  For a split second I consider the day that he will find his own woman to love and cherish, and I think of a handful of women who have given their boys away to be loved by another woman; a woman who will enrich his life and give the utmost love, respect and encouragement.  Horror scenarios of overbearing and nosey mothers flash into my mind, but quickly I move on, because I will never be these things.  My son will know a good woman when he sees her, and if he chooses to make the investment, she'll be a blessing to us all. 

Ten seconds pass, and Asher's back on the floor.  He opens the sliding glass door, and the cool, quiet, country air flows in.  The drapes are mostly closed, but through one end I can see lush branches of evergreen trees cascading down from the sky.  I'm here.  Laying in bed with the man that I love, with one puppy running up and down the hallway after two rested children, who are laughing, yelling, being the funny little souls they are.  I'm happy.  God is good, and it is the only explanation I can come up with for having the life that I have.

French toast? Husband asks, as we head into the kitchen.  I shoulder-shrug, as I think about last night's 10:30pm french toast feast.  Husband doesn't want to hear my complaints about food and what I should and shouldn't be eating.  I think I'll make some eggs, I respond.  I look out the kitchen window and see a bunny hopping near the edge of the grass.  We need to put that gate up in the garden, I say.  The stories of Peter Rabbit and Mr.McGregor have truth, I've learned.  Those little rabbits are all over the property, and a 20 x 15 foot garden is like an organic supermarket for those nibbling, white, cotton-tailed creatures.

Fifteen minutes unfold, with one child in her room for timeout until breakfast, one racing his monster truck around the kitchen, a full plate of cinnamon french toast, and Husband hurrying around the house.  Aren't you going to eat, I ask.  No, I've got to go, he says, retracing his steps in search of his watch.  He allows her out from timeout, kisses her, kisses him, kisses me, and off he goes. 

I reheat the griddle.  I cut up french toast and holler for the kids.  I call Husband on the phone to ask him, how do I like my eggs, again?  Over medium, he says.  Do you remember how to do it?  He tells me the steps again, and we hang up. 

Two eggs over-medium, one french toast, one happy family
and another morning that I'm happy to say I'm alive.


Do you have little things that you'd like to share?
Please do by linking up to The Little Things on right side-bar.
And please do give some love to the others who share their joy!

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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