Saturday, May 31, 2014

Link Party Feature!!

You should see the features at Threading My Way today!  Pam always chooses great ones.
I can't believe it! 
My T-Shirt Makeover made the list!  Yep, I turned a Men's T-Shirt into a Summer cardigan and love wearing this soft wrap especially on those days when it's cool in the mornings, but hot in the afternoon, then back to cool in the evenings!  It is a perfect little layer to even out wacky temperature changes! 

Threading My Way_Featured
Thanks for the feature, Pam!  I love your ongoing link parties!
 My Go-To Place for patterns!

;-)  -Marci

Garden Guest: Nuthatch

There's still time to enter the Summer Gardening Giveaway!

The north side of our front yard is a certified  National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat.  Really!  We have a certificate!  You can do the same by providing food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young.  It is so much fun to see all of the critters that stop by for a visit.  I've begun a new series of posts to show you our Garden Guests. 

If you would like to see more, check my Gardening Page!

This small gray beauty is a Nuthatch.  I love their shiny black eyes!  Our children call them "upside down birds" because you frequently see them working over trees with their heads facing the ground.

They can be attracted with sunflower seeds.  I was thrilled to get these photos as Nuthatches move quickly and are constantly on the go. 
It's been a while since I posted any blogging music.  One of my fave groups right now is The Band Perry.  Here they are with "Done".  I really like the La-di-da part!  Oh, and in case you are wondering, Handsome Husband is not in any kind of trouble, this is a perfect work out song!  ;-)
So, what's happening in your backyard? 
;-)  -Marci

Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Gardening Giveaway

If you would like to see photos of my Backyard Habitat, just take a peek at my Gardening Page and look for the posts titled "Garden Guest".  You've probably heard me say before it is imperative that we protect our pollinators.  Not only do we all need to avoid pesticides, we also should be very cognizant to add plants that nurture pollinators such as hummingbirds, butterflies and especially bees.
I am thrilled to announce a HUGE GIVEAWAY and just in time for Summer!

From Mary,
"In case you missed it, there have been numerous reports over the last few year about mass bee die-offs, CCD and the possible correlation between bee deaths and neonictinoide poisons.  It has been argued that loss of bee populations will put human life as we know it at risk.  Bees are an integral part of nature and human life."
Let's all plant more organic seeds for the Bees!
 Welcome to Mary's Heirloom Seeds!
All of the seeds listed are
open-pollinated, non-gmo and non-hybrid,
non-patented,  untreated, heirloom garden seeds.

Mary has signed the Safe Seed pledge.  
Seed Orders placed Monday-Thursday are shipped within 24 hours, except for holidays.
This "BEE-FRIENDLY" Seed Pack Giveaway includes 
1 full pack of EACH of the following organic varieties:

 For more information on Organic Wildflowers, check out  

 This giveaway is available to anyone in the US. 
Open May 30, 2014 and Ends June 7, 2014 at Midnight.
Sign up for Mary's Heirloom Seeds E-Newsletter

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sew Our Stash {May}

It's time for Sew Our Stash!  (Click HERE to see my January Project and THERE for my February Project.)  If you’re new around here, one of my 20 Wishes is to sew one thing for myself each month so I can participate in Sew Our Stash!  It is the brain child of Marissa at Rae Gun Ramblings and Bev at Flamingo Toes.  They share what they have made for themselves the last Thursday of every month. It started because they wanted to sew more wearables and needed some accountability.  While I'm certainly not at their level yet, hopefully, my skill sets will be stretched throughout the year!
That's the total point of 20 Wishes.  Making time for what I WANT to do and Wish #12 was completely followed on this project!  So, here goes! 

May has been a busy sewing month for me thanks to Justine, the author of Sew Country Chick, one of my FAVE blogs.
She invited me to be part of her pattern tour!  One look at The Ojai Wrap pattern and I knew I wanted to make one!  It's a great shawl collar cardigan with a slight high low hem - a fabulous pattern for beginners!
When I saw this fabric at Hancock's, I immediately fell in love!  It makes me think of a waterfall.  (Wish #12 from my 20 Wishes totally rocks!)  For this version, I added the tab and button detail at the shoulder.  'Nice touch!
I'm wearing it with a black camisole and skinnies from Stitch Fix so the cardigan is the star of the outfit.  For work, though, I wear it with a black top that has a fitted 3/4 length sleeve.  Those black skinnies are seeing the office a lot these days!

 If you'd like to see the other two cardigans I've sewn with The Ojai Wrap pattern, click HERE for the T-Shirt Makeover and HERE to see My First Ojai Wrap.  Everyone on the pattern tour was amazing!  Click HERE to see the Ojai Wrap Wrap Up!

What have you been sewing?

;-)  -Marci

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

LINK PARTY! 20 Wishes {May Update}

It's FINALLY here! Time to link up your May update or get started and share your Twenty Wishes for 2014!  (Here's my original list of  Twenty Wishes 2014 and Twenty Wishes 2013!)

You can read more on why we started this project back in 2013 here, but the gist is that life is too short. Too short to not really strive for those things you really wish to do or wish would happen. SO this year we're all going to make a real effort to mark those wishes off our lists! First you'll write and then link up your list of Twenty Wishes here. In doing so you're entered in this month's giveaway! (There will be a new one each month.) Then you'll work on those wishes throughout this year coming back here the last Wednesday of every month to link up and share your progress. Here's a button to add to your side bar to remind you to come back and link monthly, and to serve as a little encouragement to work on marking off your wishes!!
Truly Lovely
This year we are doing things a little differently. Mostly in an effort to be more organized than last year... But again, the link up will be the last Wednesday of every month. Each month one or two of our ten hostesses will offer a little something as a giveaway for those that link with us. So, allow me to introduce your hostesses for the 2014 Twenty Wishes project...

Kassi & Kayli @ Truly Lovely
Sarah @ SaturDIY
Kristine @ The Foley Fam
Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

We aren't requiring you to follow anyone, the only mandatory entry is linking up to this party with your list of 20 wishes. BUT the more you do the more entries you'll receive and I can personally promise you if you do follow, like, etc andyof these awesome ladies you WILL NOT be disappointed!

So, link your wishes and enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can't wait to see everyone's progress! 
;-)  -Marci

20 Wishes {May Update}

Here's my Original Post of 20 Wishes for 2014!  Below are my February updates in BLUE! March updates in Green!  April updates are in RED!  May updates are in Purple!

1.  Celebrate 28 years of marriage!
Done!  My first post about it is Right Here!
And here is my Second Post about it!
There were actually two posts in April.  HERE and THERE.
The last of the photos were posted right HERE.
2.  Vacation in Colorado.

Check!  You can find a teaser post HERE.  We took so many photos, you'll be reading about our trip for quite a while!
Handsome Husband bought a T-Shirt that did not fit him when we got home,

so I turned it into a cardigan!  Check out my  Colorado T-Shirt Makeover! 

Here's a fun post about Murphy.

3.  Attend concerts.
Some tickets have been purchased for June!

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.

A little setback in this department!  Between being out of town for our anniversary and having a yucky stomach virus, my workouts have been pretty weak in February.
March has been a better month for workouts.  I haven't missed any.  With the Opens going on in CrossFit, there's a lot of added excitement about giving your very best effort.
While on vacation in Colorado, I visited CrossFit Thornton and had a great time with them, working out three times!  It was fun to mix it up a little.  Everyone at this gym was GREAT!  I am so proud of myself for making it to the gym even though we were on vacation!

4.  I want to be a size 4 by May 1 and maintain it thru the rest of the year my life.

This isn't going to happen by May 1, but I'm leaving on the list and will let you know when it does happen!  ;-)
It took me three weeks to lose the weight I gained in one week of vacation.  OY!

5.  Run four 5ks, one in each quarter of the year.

My running schedule has been inconsistent, at best.  I need to either make time for it or scratch this one off the list.  We'll see.

6.  Complete an entire workout with REAL Handstand Pushups, no modifications.

Exciting progress!  I completed a modified workout with my toes (not knees) on a box, the last modification before going for the 'real' ones!  It's hard to describe the sense of accomplishment when progressing to a new level!  I'll now start splitting reps between real ones and toes on a box.

7.  Complete an entire workout with REAL Pull Ups, no modifications.

8.  Complete an entire workout with REAL Toes to Bar, no modifications.

Definite progress here.  Yesterday I completed a workout with Toes to Rings!   Every single one would have counted.  Also, my trainer, Gil, kept encouraging me until I got my first real Toes to Bars this month.  Thanks, Gil!
Toes to Rings keep getting stronger.  In attempting Toes to Bars, the rhythm is still a struggle.

9.  Get stretchy enough that I can do the splits again, both sides.

Did you see my Word of the Year Craft?  It's about flexibility!

If those get accomplished:  Bonus Goals are Double Unders and Ring Dips.  Oh, and I'd like to know how many grandmothers across our great nation are choosing Cross Fit goals?  ;-)  I'm going to need gobs 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!

Sewing Goals

10.  Complete a quilt for each of my children.

One down!  Wanna see it?  Click HERE!

11.  Inspired by Marissa at Rae Gun Ramblings, sew something for myself monthly and join the fun at "Sew Our Stash"
January's deadline snuck up on me, but at the last second, I made a Maxi Skirt!  I love it!
February's project was a Raglan Sleeve Top!
OK, so March didn't happen.  If you read This Post, you'll understand why I'm not being too hard on myself!  ;-)
I've done lots of sewing in May!  It was so exciting to participate in my very first pattern tour of The Ojai Wrap!

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!  ;-)

I have an exciting sewing project for May that I can't wait to show you.  Last night, I went to a fabric store and TOTALLY followed this one.  It took me a  L O N G  time to choose fabric, thread and buttons, but I am so thrilled with my choices, I just can't stop grinning!

13.  Take a photography class.

14.  Learn photo shop.

15.  Make my own herbal salad dressing.

16.  Create and write down 3 recipes for artisan cheese.

17.  Re-Vamp my "Herbs:  A Place to Begin" presentation into a one hour program.

This one is complete, too!  My 30 minute program became a one hour class.  I gave a presentation in January and have been invited to give another one in April!  This time, they want a 15 minute program!  ;-)  Another re-vamp will be needed!  That's OK, though.  Each makeover gives me a new idea.  Did I mention my Word of the Year is about flexibility?  ;-)

18.  Learn more bloggy techy things.

19.  Monetize and grow my blog.

20.  Read and blog about 26 books.

This goal is on track so far.  'Still reading and posting book reviews.  I wrote about my 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime, too!  Do I get bonus points for that?  ;-)
'Still on track!  Being part of Literary Junkies makes it even more fun!
 This goal is looking good.  What can I say?  I {heart} books!  ;-) 
My reading is slowing as I'm doing more gardening in the evenings.

Whew!  It's very rewarding to check off items on my 20 Wishes list!  I hope you'll join us on Wednesday for the link party!  I'd love to see what you've done!

;-)  -Marci

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

LINK PARTY! Tuesdays with a Twist #60

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!
 My feature this week is...  (drum roll please)

Kids Unplugged: 100 Simple Outdoor Adventures

Kids Unplugged: 100 Simple Outdoor Adventures

Barb at  A Life in Balance!  Come on, everyone!  Let's go play outside!
If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.

Back to the Basics

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


Friday, May 23, 2014

The Great Blog Train Results for May

God’s Growing Garden
The 17th GREAT BLOG TRAIN was a blast! - We all safely reached HAWAII - our destination. It was a wonderful trip with 57 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 Winner is: B.
(I have contacted the winner by email)

W   A   N   T   E   D  :

The Great Blog Train by Angie Ouellette-Tower for 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 November & December 2014).

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)

Chocolate Blueberry Muffins

Teacher Appreciation Gift Idea with Free Printable

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Ojai Wrap Wrap Up

Are you as excited as I am that Justine Marie Patterns of Sew Country Chick is releasing The Ojai Wrap Pattern?!  It is a shawl collar wrap cardigan with short sleeves and a slight high low hem. 
Last week's tour was so much fun!  I am always amazed how many things can happen with one pattern.  Each and every creation is GREAT!

Here they are! 
Andrea   Andrea's Notebook

Ojai Wrap by Andrea Pannell from Andrea's Notebook
Renee   Nearest the Pin


Jenn   A Jennuine Life

Ojai Wrap by Jenn from A Jennuine Life

Marissa   Rae Gun Ramblings


Monica   Adirondack Inspired


Abby   Sew Much Ado

Ojai Wrap By Abby from Sew Much Ado

Scary   Shaffer Sisters

ojai-wrap Scary(1)

Erin    Sew Bon


Christina   2 Little Hooligans

Ojai Wrap by 2 Little Hooligans

Melissa   Eco Armoire

Ojai Wrap By Eco Armoire

Bonus:  T-Shirt Makeover!  Marci   Stone Cottage Adventures

Do you enjoy cardigans?  If you were sewing The Ojai Wrap Pattern what fabric choices would you make?

;-)  -Marci

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

LINK PARTY! Tuesdays with a Twist #59

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!
 My features this week are...  (drum roll please)

First up is  Homemade Pie Crust

from Joy at Yesterfood!  Yummy!

How 'bout another dessert!  Take a look at Twisted Tiramisu

from Nicci at Living the Domesticated Life!  What a great recipe!

If you've been featured we'd love for you to grab a button.

Back to the Basics

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