Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful






I thought you might enjoy a peek into my kitchen!  This sweet little banner was created just after Halloween when I was taking down my SPOOKY Garland!  Some of the leaves were actually in both!



Using the same paper, punches, stencil and raffia, it's pretty much a twin of the one from October.


It hangs over the kitchen sink as a gentle reminder of gratitude.  Today in the US, it is Thanksgiving.  Lots of families will gather and ask the question, "What are you thankful for?"  I feel very blessed to have folks stop in to visit me thru this humble little blog.  Thank you!  This blogging thing has been a big surprise for which I am very grateful.  And you?  What are you thankful for?  I'd love to hear about it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

;-)  -Marci

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

LINK PARTY!! Tuesdays with a Twist #86


Welcome to Tuesdays with a Twist!

Back to the Basics


We're your co-hosts:
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured.  Be sure to check all of our blogs!
 
 Y'all make choosing features so difficult!  There were GOBS of great links last week!  Thank you!  My feature this week is...  (drum roll please) 

A very charming Peter Pan Collar tutorial



How to make a DIY custom Peter Pan Collar and pattern 

from Michelle at Sew Sweet Vintage!  BTW...  that adorable top began its life as a regular sweatshirt, but now it's glamorous!


If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.
We all love comments!  Please hop around and show some love!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features. 
And now for the party!

;-)  -Marci 
Follow on Bloglovin


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Great Blog Train Blog Hop {November} Winner and Features!

GREAT ANNOUNCEMENT!!


We have some news!!
The Great Blog Train has 3 new Engineers (a.k.a. Hosts)


Please welcome:


Cathy from "A Peek Into My Paradise"
Lisa from "Feathers in the Woods"
Heidi from "Heidi's Wanderings"


We also have some sad news -
Angel from "Sew Crafty Angel"
will no longer be Hosting The Great Blog Train but we have loved the Engineering work that she has done for us over the past year & we certainly hope that she will travel with us as a passenger in the future.
Thank you Angel!
_________________________________________________________


 Great Blog Train
The 23rd GREAT BLOG TRAIN was a blast! - We all safely reached our destination: ALASKA. It was a wonderful trip with 37 boxcars!! We (the Engineers) would like to thank all of you for travelling with us and we hope that you all had a wonderful time!
The Giveaway Winners are: M.L.
& D.M. (I have contacted the winners by email)
Congrats!!!


W   A   N   T   E   D  :

The Great Blog Train by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo BlogTrainDestination_zps2925d251.jpg

(Being a "Destination Cohost" means that you get to pick our next destination!!  It also means that you will post The Great Blog Train on your blog on the first Wednesday of whatever month you will be cohosting (1 different cohost per month).  We (the engineers or hosts) will provide you with the html code for the blog hop & for the Giveaway - all you will have to do is add into that post some information on the destination that you picked (like population, known for, location etc - basic family friendly facts) and add a few pictures.  Also, if you cohost we ask that you promote it on your social media sites) (We are now scheduling for 2015).

If you are interested in being a Co-host for the Great Blog Train then please click HERE and fill out the form (THANK YOU!!)

We are now featuring the top 3 Boxcars!  (These are the links that received the most clicks)
Pumpkin Bundt by The Tumbleweed Contessa
Slice of Pumpkin Bundt with ApplePumpkin Sauce Streusel

Classic Chicken Pot Pie by Turnips 2 Tangerines



My Two Little Princesses by This Day I Love.....




Please join us for the DECEMBER Great Blog Train
on December 3rd, 2014!





Thursday, November 20, 2014

One More Reason to Love Books

We love this bookish Christmas tree! Are you building a book tree? If so, post a picture and share it with us... we'd love to see other creative creations!




Photo source: http://www.howto.fantasticcleaners.com/christmas-book-tree-2760/

One of my friends shared this on Facebook.  The link for photo credit did not work, so I'm not sure who deserves The Clever Award for this tree, but I absolutely love it!  With all my gardening books, I could easily create a green tree!

What do YOU love about books?

;-)  -Marci

20 Wishes {November Update}


Another year is flying past me!  ;-)  'Not a lot of updates this month, but GEE, I better get busy if the last few are going to be accomplished!  December Updates are in RED.

1.  Celebrate 28 years of marriage!  I've written about it five times!  LOL!  My first post about it is Right HereAnd here is my Second PostThere were actually two posts in April.  HERE and THERE.  The last of the photos are right HERE.

2.  Vacation in Colorado.  Yep!  It was wonderful and I've only just begun to publish the pictures PLUS there was a cool sewing project related to the trip!   Check out my  Colorado T-Shirt Makeover!  There's a fun post about Murphy and WindmillsDo you like birds?  At Garden of the Gods, we photographed this Mexican Jay and some Magpies.


3.  Attend concerts.  We saw Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Dan + Shay AND Neil McCoy in Little Rock!  It was a GREAT concert!  For some reason, I forget to post about local bands.  We recently saw Jed Clampit.  He is still wonderful!

Fitness Goals - Last year, one of my 20 Wishes led me to a Cross Fit gym.  Working out has taken on a whole new meaning for me and I am usually in the gym five days a week.  Since beginning Cross Fit, I've gone from a size 12 to a size 6!

So, in the month of July, I went shopping for a new gym.  Looking for the one that is right for right now.  I contacted 6 gyms via email.  Everyone was super nice.  Two didn't have a class time that worked for me and one is still being built.  So, I actually tried 3 different gyms and was very happy at all of them.  One gave me a 2 week pass and the others gave me a 1 week pass.   It was a fun little journey and I chose another CrossFit gym.  I am loving it!  'Still loving my new gym.  I am usually there each morning, Monday thru Friday.

Arlene Oney's photo.

4.  I want to be a size 4 by May 1 and maintain it thru the rest of the year my life.  'Not there yet, but the needle is moving again now that I have a new gym.  Sometimes, you need to make a change.

5.  Run four 5ks, one in each quarter of the year.  This just isn't going to happen.

6.  Complete an entire workout with REAL Handstand Pushups, no modifications.  Progress continues.  I can hold a handstand for 1 minute now!  Yay, me!  I've been goofing around with walking on my hands.  'Kinda fun!  Done, October 21!!  Now, that's what I'm talking about!  (Big Cheesy Grin)  Done!  Again!  November 17!  Yay, me!

7.  Complete an entire workout with REAL Pull Ups, no modifications.  Slow Progress is better than no progress, right?  ;-)  I am so close to doing REAL pullups!  I can get my nose above the bar, but not quite my chin.  It's exciting!  Guess who can do a pull up without a band now!  I am so excited!  So far, three is about my max at a time, but WOW what an improvement from where I began!  Done!  Just yesterday, October 28!!  S W E E T ! !

8.  Complete an entire workout with REAL Toes to Bar, no modifications.  I keep trying and am getting really close!  The rhythm is getting much better, and some can be strung together now instead of just one at a time.  This is going to happen soon.  A new movement was recently introduced that is really helping my grip strength.  I love the diversity of Cross Fit skill proficiencies.  We had Toes to Bar in our workout yesterday,  I couldn't quite get all of them done.  On some of my reps, my toes were just a couple inches from the bar, but I didn't have the strength to close that last little gap.  'So close though.  I still have a month to get this one!  ;-)   

9.  Get stretchy enough that I can do the splits again, both sides.  (You might be asking "Why?" on this one.  I have absolutely no idea.  'Just want to.)  It's going to happen!




I'm going to need lots of support and a whole lot of tenacity.  Those are going to be tough to achieve!  If you have any quotes, tips or advice, please send them my way!

I am consistently getting Double Unders, but only one at a time. 

Sewing Goals

10.  Complete a quilt for each of my children.  One down!  You can see it HERE!

11.  Inspired by Marissa at Rae Gun Ramblings, sew something for myself monthly and join the fun at "Sew Our Stash"  This has been a GREAT goal for me!  I am gaining so much confidence in the sewing department!  I've made a Maxi Skirt!  Raglan Sleeve Top!  3 of The Ojai Wrap! and a couple of Commuter Cowls!  This Easy Pink T is getting lots of wear.  Here is a Vintage Baseball T created in July!  August was a little Lacy Number!  'Didn't get anything posted for September.  Bummer!  I have really fizzled on this goal.  'Just haven't felt like sewing clothing for myself.  Hmm... 

12.  Inspired from Adventures in Dressmaking,  follow Susannah's Sewing Resolutions.  Basically, I should fuss and worry over my pattern and fabric choices for ME just as much as when I am sewing for someone else.  Well, DUH!  ;-)  This wish ROCKS!  Here's a fun little post about Why I Sew.



These goals are being brought forward from my 2013 list!

13.  Take a photography class.

14.  Learn photo shop.

15.  Make my own herbal salad dressing.  I've been goofing around with this one, but not ready to post anything yet.  So, I made some, but really didn't like it.  If at first you don't succeed... 

16.  Create and write down 3 recipes for artisan cheese.  Cheese and yogurt making seems to be something I like to do in the fall.

17.  Re-Vamp my "Herbs:  A Place to Begin" presentation into a one hour program.  Done, twice actually!

18.  Learn more bloggy techy things.  Hmmm...  Surely I've learned something?  I am working on adding a new page to the blog!

19.  Monetize and grow my blog.  I've been working on a Pinterest Board.  My humble little blog continues to pick up new followers here and there, and I *LOVE* meeting new people from around the world!

20.  Read and blog about 26 books.  Definitely on track and I love the monthly Literary Junkies parties!  If you like to read, please join the fun!  Jan Karon is currently my favorite author.  I continue to plow through her series of books and have loved them all.  Fall Women's Bible Study just began again two weeks ago.  Our group has lots in common and we are having a ball.  I {heart} books!  The card I use most in my wallet is my Library Card!  ;-)  This goal has easily been reached.

Whew!  So, what have you been doing?  

;-)  -Marci

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

LINK PARTY!! Tuesdays with a Twist!!

Welcome to Tuesdays with a Twist!

Back to the Basics
We're your co-hosts:
Each co-host will be sharing her own picks for Features. This gives everyone a better chance of being featured.  Be sure to check all of our blogs!
 
 Y'all make choosing features so difficult!  There were GOBS of great links last week!  Thank you!  My feature this week is...  (drum roll please) 

A very compelling argument for Keeping a Fitness Journal


Fitness Journal 
from Olivia at 10 Years and Counting: A Weight Loss Journey!  Thanks, Olivia!  I need all the help I can get!

If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.
We all love comments!  Please hop around and show some love!

The party starts every Tuesday at 7am EST and will continue until Friday at 11:59pm.  Feel free to stop back any time and "like" your favorites.  Please visit other blogs if you have a moment. 

Share older posts as well as new ones.  No limit on links!
*Pictures should be your own* 
By linking up you give us permission to use these photos
 (with proper link backs) in our features. 
And now for the party!

;-)  -Marci 
Follow on Bloglovin


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Review: Home to Holly Springs

by Jan Karon
A partial synopsis from Good Reads:  Jan Karon enchants us with the story of the newly retired priest's spur-of-the-moment adventure. For the first time in decades, Father Tim returns to his birthplace, Holly Springs, Mississippi, in response to a mysterious, unsigned note saying simply: Come home.

My thoughts:  This is my favorite book of the series so far.  Father Tim's childhood home town calls to him and so he goes.  We learn much more about his youth, as well as the other members of his close family.  Why did his father limp?  Where did Peggy come from?  What happened to Tommy?  All of these questions are answered in this edition.  I must admit I needed several tissues, especially when reading about Peggy.

What stories would you write about your childhood?

;-)  -Marci