Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What's been keeping me busy?!

I wanted to show ya'll what I've been up to and what's been keeping me busy.  My Etsy store, Pressed Clovers, has been hopping with specialty orders.  Having the customer come up with the requests usually leads to GREAT ideas that I wouldn't have thought of on my own, but I then fall in love with - precisely what happened with these. I'm going to share a few pics from the recent books, but you can see more at the Pressed Clovers Blog, or PC Facebook page. Or heck, visit the store and make your own request for an awesome book!

This mother has taken a photo of herself on Mother's Day since her first son was born - and it was time to give him a book (which you know will be passed down to his daughter) of his mom on Mother's Day.

Want to see more of this book? Click here to see the PC Blog which will show you more!

The next request was from a mom in PA that keeps a scrapbook of her son each school year, which includes the holidays.  She wanted the ability to put more than one photo on each page, so I worked up 13 pages of cuteness for her son.

To see more of this book and the holidays included, Click Here for the blog post about it!

I had a close friend want a baby girl scrapbook for a special child that the parents have prayed for and wanted for many years.  Blessing has been granted and special delivery will be here soon!

Trust me, I know some of these pics are less than stellar, but sometimes I'm in such a rush to ship, I just need a few pics to get approval from the customer. No Internet at the house sometimes makes life difficult. :) 

Are you ready for the last book today?? It's an ADORABLE Halloween book, which just turned out C.U.T.E.  This mom is putting all her son's Halloween costume pics in one book, with journal pages to write about her memories of each one. Love this. 

See the rest of the book by Clicking Here. I really do love these ideas that folks have been coming up with, and plan on using what I've learned on my new projects.  So exciting!

What are your thoughts?  Ideas for books, likes/dislikes, recommendations??? Please share!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Final Farewell.

You may know I write for a small newspaper/magazine in my community, where I often mentioned my cat, Muffin.  I know you are sick of hearing about my cat drama, so this will (hopefully) be my last post about it.  I felt like I owed it to my readers of the column to let them know Muffin had passed, so here is that article.


Those of you who have been reading with me for a while now are probably familiar with my cat, Muffin.  My faithful sidekick, my buddy, my furbaby, my pal.  The only way to describe Muffin would be larger than life – both in personality and physical attributes.  Small wouldn’t describe her at all.

Just before my family packed up and headed to the beach, I had to make the very difficult choice to put Muffin down.  She became sick and we tried to fight it together for about a month, but there wasn’t any improvement and only decline.  I’m so thankful I had a great vet who helped me through it all and made it easy on Muffin, too. 

Muffin and I had been together for some 12+ years or so.  When I first moved out, my mom insisted I would need a friend to keep me company.  Just so happened someone dropped this little kitten off at a vet’s office and never came back for her, so she ended up becoming mine.  Well, actually, mine and my sister’s, as we were housemates.  Katie was still in college and wasn’t home much, but Muffin belonged to both of us.

While she started out small, she showed her big personality from the very beginning.  When Katie picked her up as a homeless kitten from the vet’s office to bring her home that first day, she managed to find a way out of the box and sit on Katie’s lap, paws on the steering wheel as she helped Katie drive home.  We should have known then she would rule the house and we were simply there to serve her whims.

Katie and I had her together for 10 years.  During that time, Muffin expressed her opinions on more than one boyfriend with the swipe across their head as she eyeballed them from the back of the couch.  Come to think about it, she was pretty much spot on in her opinions.  When Katie got married, Muffin became mine.  If Katie was getting the husband, I was getting the cat, so Muffin and I settled in to daily life for three more years.

I think that’s what I miss the most.  As annoying as it was to have an obese cat stomp all over me in the middle of the night, I also don’t have her snuggling on my stomach purring when it was a bit chilly in the house.  I miss her waiting on the bath mat beside the tub while I grab a shower in the mornings.  I miss her sitting on the side of the tub while I soak in a hot bath.  Or curling up in the recliner while I watch tv.  Or covering her eyes when I have the light on and she wants to sleep. Mostly, I miss her greeting me at the door, letting me know she’s happy I’m home.

Quite frankly, it sucks to be Muffin-less.  But I also know I made the best decision in her care.  I just couldn’t see her suffering so I’d have a buddy.  But I will also admit it was very lonely walking into my door after being gone for a week and having no kitten to greet me and welcome me home. It’s been a tough loss, but the kindness, understanding and support from my family and friends makes all the difference.  I’ve gotten flowers, food, cards and lots of love.  Katie and I joked we should set up memorials to the York County Animal Shelter because Muffin had so many fans.  Even the deployed soldiers I’ve written to would send mail back to Muffin.  Despite her rather grumpy and ill-tempered nature, she’s touched quite a few lives.  And sometimes those touches involved claws.

I’ll get another sweet kitten, just not right now. When I’m ready for a new friend in the house, I think I’ll adopt from the county shelter.  I’ve been checking out the cats and dogs that need a home and I swear, they are so stinkin’ cute.  (Ya'll, go check out your local shelter - I'm deleting info about my local shelter b/c most of ya'll aren't from my neck of the woods.) I really don’t need to adopt right now, but I hope you’ll consider looking at them and seeing if there is one right for your family.  The joy an animal can bring to you and your family is priceless.  A pet is a treasured part of a kid’s childhood or like me, a companion for someone at home alone. 

I know many of you understand my loss and I appreciate your sympathy through a difficult time.  I felt like I needed to let you, my readers, know why I wouldn’t be mentioning her anymore in my column and that she’d passed.  I never knew how much something the size of a shoebox could impact my life until she was gone, but I’m thankful for the friendship we had while she was here.  Go give your sweet furbabies a snuggle for me.  And please consider finding a forever home for an animal looking for a family. Many thanks. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Listen. Pray. Faith.

Sometimes it's amazing to me how I see the same message over and over. It's like God is telling me - HELLO!! Wake up girl and get this in your head!!

Do you have those moments, too? Or am I alone in this?

Some of the messages I keep seeing are:
1) Listen to God. Find His path for you and stay on it.
2) Worry about nothing, pray about everything.
3) Have faith. If you believe in God and believe His is always in control, have faith when you don't understand why something is happening or when things looks bad.

I told my sister this week I just feel like something huge is on the horizon and I'm holding my breath that I won't fail the test. And then again, I am not God, therefore, I cannot see the future and I'm just basing this on the fact that maybe if I'm prepared for a huge shoe to drop, I'll be ok when it does.  Which, once again, is not showing the faith I have. Or should have. *sigh*

So anyway, I know I've been a wee bit absent. I've been reading blogs, thinking of what to write and this is where I am at this point. Not that it's a bad place, I hope you don't feel that's what I'm saying here.  I'm learning, slowly, and absorbing and growing. So it's good. :)

Anyone else out there in this same place with me?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday's Letters

Love this store - find them here

Ya'll, today is Friday and can I just hear a THANK YOU from the crowd. An AMEN?! Yeah, I'm pretty sure we are all glad it's Friday. :)   woop Woop. 

So let's kick off some letters from the week: 


Dear Brother and Sister-In-Law, I'm SO EXCITED about the awesome media cabinet you brought and installed for me. Seriously, love it. Crazy about how it looks in my living room. THANK YOU for your generosity. :) :)  Want to see a close up of the picture? I blogged about it. 

You can download this printable FREE here
Dear Paulene, the thoughtfulness of this gift touched me so much.  Sharing sympathy about the loss of Muffin and encouraging me with uplifting words - it had me bawling with tears rolling down my cheeks as Dad was driving us to get something to eat and I was talking to Mom on the phone. I had just scooped up the package and hopped in the truck, and was knocked off my feet when I opened it.  Thank you so much for your friendship. 

Dear Bachelorette, You are killing me by sending home Zak.  I liked him. I thought he was the most REAL man out of what you have left.  I am baffled by your interest in Brooks? Really? 

Dear Kate & Co., I am SO not a fashionista.  However, I think you have some super cute clothes for people who are skinnier than me and fashion forward.  I'm promoting you here because I think you have a market for your clothes and I believe you can do it, girl. So go for it! And ya'll go visit her page and see what you think! :)  

Dear readers, Thanks for coming along for the ride!  Say a prayer for my Mom as she had to put her dog down this week just after I had to put down Muffin.  So it's been sad  but like I said before, we are blessed! 

Ya'll have a GREAT weekend, count your blessings and GRAB for your joy!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Troubles? What Troubles?

I bought these cards last night and thought they were so pretty! They are MUCH prettier in person - I love Dayspring. And I love Hobby Lobby for carrying them. :)

Anyway, I was all down yesterday and posted a down in the dumps post, which I went back and deleted because I don't want to be a Debbie Downer.  Poo Poo on Debbie Downers.

So yes, we have troubles in the family. Who doesn't have troubles in the family? In the grand scheme of things, we are doing just fine.  We have lots to be thankful for, lots to be happy about, so many good - even GREAT - things in our lives!

1)  We have each other! I adore my family, my brother and sister-in-law are coming to the house today to bring me a piece of furniture they are giving to me (how nice!!) and I'm making supper for them.  Katie is really cleaning her house OUT and bringing stuff to me to sell and I get to keep the money (hooray! I can really use it!).  Mom and Dad are doing ok which is just fine because it could be so much worse.

2)  I have wonderful friends who are so amazingly supportive.  Friends who are always up for dindin and convo, friends who send me surprises because I'm having a tough time, friends who make pies (oh yeah!), who pray for me and my family consistently, just really awesome friends that inspire me all the time.

3)  I have FAITH! So so important, and I'm learning more every day. It makes me happy to learn, to have people around me encouraging me through their lettrs, texts, tweets, messages - to see others who are also praising God and believing in Him. It's truly wonderful.

So yes, we have troubles. But it's ok because My God is bigger than my troubles. I do worry sometimes, but I try to remember that All Things Work Together For the Good for Those Who Love God and are Called According to His Purpose.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday's Letters.

Dear brother, Happy (belated) Birthday, Bro! :)  Enjoyed seeing you and Angela last night for a small party.  It's always good to get together with you two.

Dear Rain, What's the deal? 7.25" in 11 days. Daily monsoons are the norm around here these days.  It's just odd, since we are normally in a drought.  Anyway, all this to say, can you send me a wee bit o' sunshine so I don't lose my ever lovin' mind? Thanks. 

Dear Scrappy People,  Interested in winning this little 4.5" x 4.5" paper bag scrapbook? All you have to do is comment on the picture at my company's Facebook page.  Find the original posting where I mention the contest and make a comment before Monday! 

Dear new Instadaily and Instaweather apps, I know I'm driving everyone crazy with pictures like this posted on all my social media outlets.  Sorry! But you are so much fun to play with! Now I need one more that makes cute wording and hand drawn elements for trendy pics!!

Dear Macy,  You are HILARIOUS to me - always making me smile. I'm so thankful for you, I love you and pray for you all the time. Precious little girl, you are just too cute! :) #SweeetNiece

Dear God, I have SO much to learn and I'm making mistakes every day (and every day You forgive me and show me You love me!).  I see the same theme over and over again in my life: Don't compare myself to others because You, God, have made me to fulfill a specific purpose in Your plan! Why would I want to change that?  There is a purpose to the struggles. There is no need to worry! To pray more and worry less.  I see these messages, and I'm learning so slowly.  Thank You for being patient with me!

Dear readers, Thanks for your support during my disappearing act and the loss of my furbaby.  I still miss her, expect her to be waiting on me when I get home.  :(  But ya'll have been awesome. 

I'm linking up with Ashley. :) 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Purpose of Registries.

Let's talk for just a minute about wedding gifts.  No, I'm not getting married, but I do want to chit chat with brides for just one minute.  (Well, actually anyone receiving a gift, please read on.)

On the radio this week, brides were calling in all ticked off because people were BUYING THEM GIFTS that weren't on their gift registry. I know, how dare they.  How dare they take their hard earned money and BUY YOU A GIFT that you didn't already pick out for yourself. *gasp* Horrific of them, I know.

SERIOUSLY?!?! You must be kidding me, right?

Holy cow, I about flipped my lid and put my car in the ditch when I heard that attitude. Whew. Ok, let's review: 
  • I work hard. 
  • I earn a limited amount of money.
  • I have bills to pay.
  • I thoughtfully review your registry and what I would like to purchase you for your wedding. 
  • I realize I either a) can't afford your registry or b) would like to buy you something else not on your registry. 
  • I spend my money on you, purchase you a gift that I found to be a thoughtful gift to celebrate your upcoming marriage.
  • I take an afternoon of my time to attend your bridal shower and share my gift with you. 
  • You open it, fake smile about it, and secretly seethe about me not going by your registry. 
  • Umm... can I just have my gift back and I'll exchange it for something I want? Thanks. 
I think we have lost something in our society these days.  Like the thoughtfulness of the gift?  I understand registries - and please don't give me the drama of how hard you worked to play with the scanny thing in the store to make your registry because seriously, I've gone on those trips more than once an it's not a hardship. But registries, in my opinion, are suggestions and not ultimatums.  

Please folks, let's remember that people are investing their dollars into gifts for you. They are thoughtfully giving up something in their budget to share joy with you. Let's keep it all in perspective and appreciate the loving thoughts that are shared through a gift of any sort.  What a blessing that someone wanted to gift you with anything! 

Ok, I'm stepping down from my soap box now and my breathing will hopefully return to normal soon. And PS - that poor couple at the top have nothing to do with this - I just found them on the web and really liked their looks. :) 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Letters of Love to Strangers.

As ya'll have known, because I keep telling you (haha), I've been a bit down after the passing of my sidekick, Muffin.  We've had a bit of a rough year in my family... maybe more like a year-and-a-half to two years, and after a while you just get worn down. And yes, I'm focusing on the drama instead of all the triumphs and highlights we've seen, because we've had a lot of these, too!

Anyway, I joined this group that writes "love letters" to people, flooding a person with well wishes and good thoughts when they are at their lowest.  I mean, these people have seen so much more than me and are trying to come out the other side.  Cancer survivors, divorce, loss of loved ones, raising kids and juggling jobs. Someone who loves them requests for them to receive random letters of love from strangers.

I have only written to one guy - a fellow battling cancer who just touched my heart.  But this week I sat down and wrote to several of these people.  Courage was one word that came to mind as a single mother, recently divorced, cancer survivor, mom to twins, she's just trying to get life back together around her.  She's courageous. And she'll come out ok, she just needs someone to tell her that.

I wrote another - Light was my word for him - a preacher who as ALS and, as his daughter put it, has written love letters to his church for 30+ years in the form of sermons.  I was overcome with the realization that God is still using his life to touch others, hundreds, maybe thousands of others in the way of this group that sends random love letters.  How amazing is that?!

The interesting this is that as I write these letters to people who are down and out, it's only lifting my spirits to share with them how awesome and inspiring they are to me! It's a rush, a high, a great feeling to share with someone else how wonderful they are. And I've never met them.

If you are curious, you can check out the More Love Letters page and see the letter requests.  The cool thing is you don't have to wax poetic. You can sound a bit like a fool. It's ok. They don't know who you are and you'll never meet them. But whatever you tell them, they'll be grateful. I imagine this person on the other end just marveling at how many people sent a piece of themselves in this envelope just because they care about a stranger. I don't know, it's cool to me.

So there. There is your Tuesday inspiration from Whiskey Tango Hello. haha.  Now I'm off to dinner with a good friend and maybe on the way I'll think about what to write to you tomorrow. :)

Monday, July 8, 2013


I love this. You can get it here

Mondays just aren't the same without my trusty sidekick, Muffin, so I thought I needed to do something new for Mondays.  I'm not sure what it will be yet, but something will come to me. 

I've been struggling lately with how someone "hears" God.  Like - how do you know you are doing what His will is, or that you are on the right path?  How do you listen? 

Sometimes I think I've got it - as is the case with this message that has been hounding me for two weeks now.  I've been tied up in knots, not sleeping, just worrying worrying worrying. About any and everything.  It's driving me crazy. And in several devotionals and random places in my life lately, this is the scripture that keeps popping up.  

Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again; Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksigiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philppians 4:4-7)

I like this one too!! See it here!
Or another translation (just verse 6)

Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.    

So yes, I think I'm getting the memo.  It all but written in neon lights on my bedroom wall!! HAHA! So, I need to stop worrying so much and have faith that everything is in His hands. So give it up already! It's not like I really have control of any of it anyway. :)

I'm learning, despite having a very hard head. And it makes me feel so much better when I just get the memo.

So there. That's my Monday morning blog.  Ya'll so enjoy your Monday, your week, and I'll see you back here at some point.  :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Home of the Brave

Happy (late) Fourth of July! 

My family and I had a nice fourth, canning green beans most of the day and enjoying a quick cookout for lunch.  I started my morning with a thank you to those who have served in the quest for freedom, past and present, because that's what it's really all about.  So thankful for these brave men and women who made freedom their mission in life. 

Here are a few pictures to celebrate with the cutest patriotic babe in the South! 

I just loved her little outfit.  Too precious!   From her birthday party a few weeks ago. Just in time!  She's really walking now, doing the balancing act with her arms out beside her. It's just adorable. Can you tell I'm totally loving on my sweet niece? Adore her. Glad I was able to spend some time with her, reading "Llama Llama Red Pajama" and "Where is Love, Biscuit."

Today, it's back at it, so I suppose I should get started. ... in case you are wondering, I'm feeling a bit better.  Despite the fact it's poured rain and I haven't seen sunshine since I left the beach. I'm in a bit of a ditch or hole, but I'm finding my way out. I know, we bloggers don't talk about stuff like this often, do we? But I think every one of us have experienced it at one time or another. I just had too much bad news and stressors to deal with at once, but God carrying me through it.  :)  The down times have a purpose, too, so I'm trying to focus on that. 

Ok, I'm gone for the day.  Ya'll have a great weekend and I'll see you back here next week!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Life's a Beach.

A few weeks ago, my coworker's hubby was unexpectedly hospitalized for a week.  He was supposed to go to the beach, but obviously he missed that trip.  We felt really bad for him and knew he needed our special brand of cheer.  Therefore, brought the beach to him. :) 

We picked up one of those folding display boards from the Wally World, used the scene setter door covers from the dollar store and lots of rubber cement to make it beachy.  Cotton balls for clouds, a fire truck (he was going to a fire convention at the beach), a hot babe in the truck, birds - we made it as close to paradise on paper as possible.  The tray contains actual sand, shells, margarita glass, shades and the beach ball and sand bucket completed the decorations. 

Oh yes.  We asked his wife to wear a bikini to take it over the top, but she refused. Darn.

We had this huge scene setter left over and so we decorated our office with it.  Yes, this is what I'm looking at these days.  You get used to it but I'm sure the people who come into our office are baffled. I mean, it's huge flamingos. Well over six feet tall.

I kinda expected them to be gone when I got back from my vacation, but nope, it's still there. I think we all are still in need of a vacay. So maybe this is what I'll day dream about today...

And I wonder when it will be taken down?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day Dreaming.

I'm trying to find my groove again - beginning my morning with the ritual visit with Sweet Niece #2 definitely helped out.  I read "Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons" to her and it was a perfect start to my day.  If you don't know Pete the Cat, you need to meet him.

So now that you have met Pete, be sure to check out his other books.  Trust me when I say this is the perfect gift for children about four to six-years-old because they totally love Pete.

Anyway, it's pouring down rain here and I needed something to help me refocus and be happy again.  So I went to Etsy, of course, and day dreamed about items I wish I could run out and purchase right this minute.

1)  Soap from Soap For Your Soul.

I didn't make it to a Carolina Blogger get together but I did pay to have the gift pack mailed to me.  Included was a sample bar of soap from Soap for your Soul.  Oh my gosh, it smelled SO GOOD. Looks like they are having a sale, so you should check them out.

2)  Notecards from Leen Machine:

I love Paulene's stationary, but I'm really drooling over these.  How adoarble?!?! The ones that she made for Sweet Niece #2 - oh my gosh, they were darling little girl cards.  You gotta check her out. 

3)  Pottery from CatsPaw Pottery.   

I had a small square pottery plate with the edges that tiled up just a bit. I used it on my stove as an additional spoon rest or I put a cup in it to dip the grease out of ground beef and it helped keep my stove clean.  I broke it. I glued it back together.  Night before last, I pretty much destroyed it and will need to replace it.  Isn't this one cute?? So fancy. And when I saw the name of the company was Cats Paw Pottery - *love!!*

Ok, I've day dreamed on this pretty much all day.  And now it's time to day dream at home in a hot bubble bath with some soothing music and a trash novel.  I'm toast for today. So ya'll have a good one and maybe we'll meet back up here tomorrow?  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Disappearing Act

I know, I know, I disappeared for a while there and took some time off from blogging. I'm sorry, truly, but I just needed a break. I'm so sad and I miss my Muffin cat. Mondays are worse because I miss Muffin Mondays. :( I never realized how my life revolved around one overweight cat until she was gone.

 Immediately after losing my sweet kitten, the family packed up and headed to the beach for a week. Holy cow, I had no idea how much energy would be zapped out of me by an 11-year-old and a 1-year-old. Wowzers. I've been home since Friday night and I'm still so tired my eyes are crossed. I must say, I live alone and I didn't realize how much I loved my house until I wasn't there for a week. So as much as I loved vacation, I loved coming home, too. Enjoy some pictures of my family enjoying some beach time together!

Folks, I'll try to get back into the habit of blogging.  I have missed ya'll and keeping up with your blogs.  I just haven't felt much like myself and I have just been lazy lately.  Recuperating is what I'm calling it... :)  Glad to be back! 
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