Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Monday Mentions: bits and curiosities from the web

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope your week is off to a great start!  I'm looking forward to filling the rest of the week with Christmas festivities...

Perhaps beginning with a surprise evening for the littles.  Golden tickets and all!

Baking sugar cookies is an annual Christmas tradition in our house.  So is this and this.

This festive run has been dubbed the "ugliest 5k on the planet."  Sign me up!

Such a perfect advent craft.  I just love A Beautiful Mess!

Calling all book lovers!  This wrapping paper is for you!

I have a blogger crush.  She writes poetic and beautiful, and stirs deep each time she posts (and as I was writing this, I learned she is the newest blogger for the Huffington Post!).  This this essay is relateable, heartbreaking, and wise.

Cat Cafes, Cuddle Cafes and other Japanese cafes that are just plain odd.  I don't find anything merry about this.

Tender advice for what you should do when love arrives, stays, and when it leaves...

A Christmas Prayer.  Such beautiful words for dark times.  We're praying for you Sandy Hook.  xx

Since the staff party I attended on Friday, I'm now on the hunt for the best chocolate truffle cake recipe ever.  Obviously, the caterer didn't cooperate when asked about her recipe.  Let me know if you know where I should turn!  For now, this one looks like a good place to start.  Because you know, I'm going to be baking chocolate truffle cakes until I get it right.

Oh yeah, today marks the beginning of my Paleo eating regimen.  So baking weekly chocolate truffle cakes is out.  Dang. 

Now that the littles are done with school till after the New Year, I can't wait to take them here.  I sang there many times as a teen.  So festive!

Be merry, friends!


pastel cookies

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shoppity, Shop, Shop.

Friends!  My shop, Between the Lines, is stocked full of handmade goodies for your tree, Christmas gifts, your kids' teachers and more!  Please do pop over, heart your favorite items, add me to your circle, etc. if you feel so inclined.  I'd love to connect with you!  Also, if you like Between the Lines on Facebook, you will find a 15% discount code that is good until Thursday.  Shop it! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

he loves home, and other little things

 it's friday and the little things are pouring over...

pretty blouses.
messy side buns.
lemon Lara Bars.
coffee shop work time.
husband bringing his slippers to me as he heads out the door to work,
(not because I don't have my own, but because he knows I prefer his).
my children singing along to radio worship music.
listening to Brooklynn read.
having the dentist say Asher was "shockingly great," during his appointment.
our dog, Jet, returning home on his own accord, after he's taken off up the mountain--
he must like home.
husband saying he loves being home.
it's words like these that make a homemaker swoon.

cowboy boots.
the random folk song on the radio.
talking writing dreams with a friend.
old friends moving home.
my 8 year old WSU sweats.

racing the crossfit clock.
short texts from my sister saying, "I'm shopping and wish you were here!"
my teacher friend who keeps me updated on her class lessons
and leaves the door open for me any day that I visit.
salted carmel lattes.  today, that was delightful.

What are your little things?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Today is World Kindness Day!

I just caught wind that today is "World Kindness Day."  What a great day!  Since Oprah made the "Pay it Forward," random act of kindness pretty big a few years ago, I've wanted to take part in a day like this.  I'm racking my brain on what random act of kindness I can do, today, that might make someone's day--something small and smile provoking. 
What about you?  Any plans of your own today?  Have you ever been the receiver of a random act of kindness?  I'd love to hear!  Once, a stranger handed me a $20 bill at the grocery store as I was walking to checkout.  She handed me the envelope, smiled and walked away.  I was stunned, while it warmed my heart.
Thank you, Ann, of Jeremiah's Hope for Kindness for keeping up on all things kind in the world!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Mentions: bits and curiosities from the around the web

Happy Monday, friends!  I've gathered a few links that may perk you up this morning.  Mondays tend to need an extra element of excitement and curiosity, no?

These 18 color coded bookshelves that will make your heart sing.

It's chic, cheap and all the craze, so why not express your love or decorate your favorite mug with chalkboard art? 

Fear.  It can be an illusive subject to tackle.  I contemplated and shared my best 10 tips for overcoming the scary and daunting over here.  Tell me what you think in the comment section!

Sometimes we, writers, need it socked to us.  Here's Dear Sugar's advice on how not to write like a girl.  Thanks, Candace.

Does anyone else find ordering cappuccinos whilst standing in flood waters peculiar?  I'm in awe over this "Floating City".

Rainbows and books make great art

Hey! Ex-Anthro display designer!  I'm now stalking your blog

I'm pretty even keel, but I was pissed when I read this.

Want to learn how great bloggers are taking great photographs?  Me too.  This e-course just landed on the top of my wish list.

I was moved by this beautiful Veterans Day tribute.   I'm so thankful to all the veterans who have sacrificed so much being of service to our country.  There aren't enough thanks to give.

I hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thanks

I've been posting daily thanks on my personal Facebook page this November.  Since that page isn't public (but this one is!) I thought I'd document them here, too.  There is an abundance of things to be grateful for, and just like documenting the little things, writing them down helps keep my heart full of gratitude and happiness.

Day 1.  I'm thankful for my handyman. ♥ He can fix just about anything and it sure makes life easier.
Day 2.  I am thankful for and love my spiritual mentor. She sends me home with pocketfuls of wisdom and hope each time we meet.
Day 3.  I'm thankful for the majority of the year that we aren't sick! The flu is no fun.
Day 4.  I'm thankful for my brothers and sisters on both sides. Everything is way more fun family-style!
Day 5.  I'm thankful for friends. The ones that I've bonded with over country living, English essays, blogging, getting fit and The Word; those I've known since the second grade, the ones who saw me through the college years, the ones who now teach and celebrate my own children and me theirs, the ones across the country, in another state, those hours away, and the ones down the street. I'm even thankful for the friend who is crashing on my couch tonight for his bi-annual month-or-two-long visit (you never know with him). Friends--you are grand!
Day 6.  I'm thankful that the election is over.
Day 7.  I'm thankful for sun breaks on rainy days.
Day 8.  I'm thankful for Crossfit workouts that push my "limits" mentally and physically.

Have you been documenting 30 days of thanks? If you have a link, please share!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Apple Harvest & Sour Cream Apple Pie

One of my most favorite things about living on this piece of property, is the apple trees out the kitchen window.  Here, as I sit on the couch, I can see tree limbs weighed down by golden bursts of fruit, and it near sends me into a frenzy as I don't want any one of them to go to waste!!

Last week we had just the opportunity to use said apples.  We made last-minute dinner plans with friends, and because the days have felt short and crazy lately, I opted for this slow-cooked meal and decided it was time for an apple dessert or bust! 

{Insert heaven in a pie pan.} 
{Insert another reason why I need Crossfit this holiday season.}

So upon Husband's return from work that day, I sent him and Uncle Tim to the trees with the golden bursts of fruit, and told them dessert was in their hands, and they did not disappoint.  Nor did the littles.  Which is why we made two pies!

Adapted from All Recipes 
1 unbaked 9 in. pie crust                              2 1/4 C. diced apples
3/4 C. sugar                                                          
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour                               TOPPING:
1/8 tsp. salt                                                  1/3 C. sugar
1 C. high quality sour cream                          1/3 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract                                   1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg                                                         1/3 C. chilled butter, diced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Press pie crust into and up the sides of a 9 inch pie pan OR use Marie Calendar's ready-made pie crust like I did.
2.  In a medium bowl, stir together 3/4 C. sugar, 2 Tbsp. of flour and salt.  Mix in the sour cream, egg and vanilla until smooth.  Add apples, and stir to coat.  Scrape the mixture into the pie shell.
3.  Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and continue baking for 30 minutes more.
4.  While the pie is baking, prepare the topping in a medium bowl.  Stir together 1/3 C. of flour, 1/3 C. sugar, and cinnamon.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
5.  After the 30 minute bake time has passed, cover the top of the pie with the crumb topping, and continue to bake for 15 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned.  Allow the pie to cool, then refrigerate until chilled before serving.   Serve a la mode with vanilla ice cream or with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.  

Do you have any apple recipes that I should know about?  Do share!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Would you like to receive a parcel of handmade Christmas goods from Between the Lines?

Friends,  there is a great online auction beginning tomorrow, November 2nd at 10am and runs through November 7 until 10pm PST.  All proceeds will benefit the Salisa Bana project with Hope for the Children Orphanage, located in a village outside of Kinshasa.  My friend, Chelese, who has adopted from the DRC (Congo) has helped coordinate this auction and has a great missionary and mother's heart for those children.

Check out the album of items being auctioned--from Amazon and Build a Bear gift cards to Coach purses, Etsy shop gift cards and much more!  It's a great time to shop for Christmas gifts, too!  You do need to be on Facebook to be part of the auction/to view items. 

The above items are what my shop, Between the Lines has donated and will be auctioned beginning tomorrow.  I'll also be adding a few little surprises, so if you're interested in some handmade holiday cheer please do bid!  I'd love to bless a reader and a giver with some treasures from my shop!  You can see details on size/dimensions of items online.

Lastly, keep your eyes peeled for Etsy shop updates!  My holiday line is beginning to trickle into the shop.  Stay tuned by adding Between the Lines to your Etsy circle. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks so much for helping me bless the orphans of Africa!  You guys are awesome!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Wellies: a story of lust and practicality

Today marks 500 published posts!
It has been raining here in the PNW since the beginning of time October, or so.  Which means indoor projects are piling up all over the place since it's here that we'll be spending the next seven months, AND because and I don't want to look at my blue wall that shouldn't be blue, or the three different kinds of texture in my living room, or the sporadic missing baseboards throughout the house any longer.  Wait, these are my problems, not yours.  But the rain is a heavy subject for many of us, and it's the exact reason I wrote, '5 Ways to Embrace the Rain This Season'.
The rain is also what inspired today's topic: Wellies.  
You know the weather has changed when you're excited to spend your Nordstrom gift card and then some on a pair of rubber boots.  Not on a blouse, jewelry or on the MAC makeup that you would like to re-stock, but boots. Rubber boots.  And I'm not talking about the kind of rubber boots like the $15 pair that you bought last spring at Walmart and wear into your chicken coop.  
Those boots serve a different purpose--like walking in chicken poop. 
I'm sure wellies have been around since before I was born, so I'm not sure why I never connected owning a pair and wearing them regularly while living in the Pacific Northwest.  It's like simple math.  Where it rains = wear wellies.  You can wear them anywhere--grocery shopping, to the mailbox, to and from the kids' bus stop, while on an afternoon stroll through the neighborhood, Christmas shopping in the city, or to retrieve your dog from the neighbor's, after his 213th unscheduled play date with their dog, in the rain. 
You can even wear them in the snow!  Husband did you hear?!

Style:  Simple.
Practicality: Awesome.
Variations: Plenty*.

*I just happen to love the Hunter version.

Have you been considering a pair of rubber boots?  Here's a great review on the pros and cons of Hunters by Sunday Love xo  Glad to know that I wont be complaining if/when I get my hands on said boots.

Are you lusting over a fall clothing item that you want to see in your closet?  
If so, what is it?

Edit:   I have been informed via A CUP OF JO that Hunter has recently released collapsible boots.
Now you wont have them taking up half your suitcase when you travel!  Genius!

hunter boot images via pinterest

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Picking at Joe's Farm

I'm loving my pumpkin spice candle, creamer and have been eyeing plenty of pumpkin treats on Pinterest lately, but I must admit something--I haven't pulled any of my fall decorations out, yet.  Then, I found myself thinking about Christmas today (maybe it was the eggnog I saw at the store) and how excited I am to put up the decorations that I made last year...but then I stopped myself.  Back up.  What?!
Leave fall in the dust?  This is so not like me.

So while the pumpkins are still orange, I'm going to keep talking about fallish things.  Deal?  Deal.

Last week, I went to the pumpkin patch twice in one day.  First, with Asher's preschool class and then after Brooklynn got home from school with Husband and my brother & sis-in-law.   I decided that my girl most definitely needed to search out her own pumpkin, and since she's "outgrown" the school pumpkin patch field trips and because the weather was headed for more gray skies and rain, we decided it had to be that day that we returned to Joe's Farm.
 So we did, and all was well in pumpkin land.
We were finally able to update our pumpkin patch adventures
with a new family photo, too.  Thankfully!!

We went on a hay ride, ate farm apples,  purchased pumpkin butter and more apples even though we have an apple tree...?  Husband wasn't there for that part or he would have reminded me, I'm sure of it.
The weather did indeed turn on us, near the end of our visit, so we are so glad we were able to go when we did.  Do you make an annual trip to the p. patch?

Hope you have a festive weekend, friends!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Walk With Me

 "Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."  William Cullen Bryant

This morning, I'm meeting deadlines, helping in Brooklynn's classroom, chasing down a wet dog and searching for a curious kitty.  I'm pretty sure I can hear her under the house.
A walk in the rain sounds nice, too.  It's quite peaceful in the rain.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jeremiah's Hope For Kindness Day: A Pledge To Be Kind and Wear Yellow

Yesterday afternoon, as the kids and I drove into town for pizza before the presidential debate, Brooklynn started telling me about a boy on her school bus.

"When he got off the bus," she said, "he yelled, I just can't take it!"

Of course, I needed to know more, so I started to ask questions.  What couldn't this boy "take" anymore?

"Were kids being mean to him?" I asked.

"I don't know," she said.  "Maybe."

I told her that I hoped not, and that if kids were being mean to this boy, it was wrong. 

"What if kids were being mean to your friend, Summer on the playground?"  I asked.

"I'd take her away, and tell her come play with me if they are going to be mean."

"Wouldn't you say something to them?"  I asked.

"No.  Because then they might be mean to me."

And so the cycle goes--the human instinct to avoid confrontation--even when it is necessary.

"You have to say something," I say.  "You have to tell them it's wrong to treat people that way."


Sixteen years ago, at age fourteen, I went through a lengthy period of regular and traumatizing peer abuse.  I wrote about it here and in a handful of other places, while I also talk about the self-worth issues and depression that have trailed me over the years.  What has come from my experience is my heart for struggling teens; teens who deal with bullies, teens who bully and those who are affected as they watch abuse happening around them.  The reality that his happening to some extent in each school is vicious and real.  Human nature i s flawed, and as much as people want to look the other way and pretend it doesn't exist, it will continue to run rampant hurting hearts and hurting lives.

Two years ago, I became a certified Olweus Bully Prevention Program trainer.  While I was in Seattle, I met Ann.  I wrote about her and her story when I returned, and it was these things that solidified my purpose and my heart for bully prevention efforts.  I knew my experience, how it changed me, rocked me and left me yearning for something greater, but I'd been having a hard time seeing the bigger picture.  Until Ann and Jeremiah.

You see, Monday marks the six year anniversary of when Ann's son, Jeremiah, completed suicide.  I still recall Ann's soft words as she shared the heaviest of burdens a mother could ever carry.

Over the last two years, I've watched Ann forge a fierce fight for bully prevention efforts in her hometown in Minnesota, even in a school Jeremiah attended, through her non-profit organization and large Facebook page following, Jeremiah's Hope For Kindness.  She is tender, bold, achingly passionate, carries a strength unmeasurable and a longing heart for the boy that she lost and for the others who are battling a similar fight.  She truly is a mentor to me and I'm so happy to be able to work with her on the board of JHFK.

In honor of Jeremiah, Ann and her family and the many other lives that are affected by bullying, I invite you to take part in Jeremiah's Hope For Kindness Day, October 22nd.

From Ann:

Jeremiah's Hope For Kindness Day 
On October 22, 2006, Jeremiah Gettis completed suicide at age 21.  He wrote that he no longer wanted to live in a world in which people were so cruel. He also wrote about the devastating effect being bullied had on him. 

On Monday, October 22, we invite you to wear yellow, Jeremiah’s favorite color, a symbol of hope and your commitment to spread kindness. 

Also, please resolve to begin a new daily ritual of kindness and become part of the kindness movement!  

More info/ideas at: 
How you can be involved:

You can show your support by joining this event on Facebook, sharing this event on Facebook, and changing your profile picture to a yellow ribbon or this JHFK profile badge.  Please visit Jeremiah's Hope For Kindness on Facebook as well.

  150x150 badges:

Blogger friends:  I invite you to join the cause by sharing your own experience/thoughts on bullying, a link to this post and an image on your own page.  We hope to see yellow everywhere on Monday!

220x220 JHFK Day button to link to this post:

Thanks for your support!  It means so much.

“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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