Pinning Up Love

"Like the butterfly, I have the strength & the hope to believe, that in time I will emerge from my cocoon... Transformed"

“Like the butterfly, I have the strength & the hope to believe, that in time I will emerge from my cocoon… Transformed”

This past Christmas, as a Christmas gift, I was given two lovely scrapbooks and scrap booking paper, so I came to the conclusion that the tickets, cards, pictures, post cards and etc., would have to be taken down from my scrapbooking memo board and put into my new scrapbooks.  That meant, the memo board hanging in my living room needed a drastic make over!  So for weeks now, I have been trying to figure out what to decorate my memo board with and for the past few days an idea has been forming.  I choose to make a “Things I love” theme for my memo board.   Today, I put up quotes, pictures that had no particular belonging anywhere, a post card, a book mark, and other pretty things that I love onto my board.    I am not 100% pleased with my results but I figured I would post what I have done this far and share my ideas about it!

Here is what came out of my idea:

The finishing product!

The finishing product!

Not too bad…

  Maybe my board just needs a few touches to it… really I believe that that is all that it needs.  Of course, I have no desire in having it come out overdone either!

I am, however, pleased with the idea of saving a little space on the board to have a daily new “pin up”.  Every day I will use this little space to share a quote, song lyric, movie line or whatever.  I’ll share with you what today’s “pin up” was…

Quote for today: "Don't give up what you want most, for what you want now"

Quote for today: “Don’t give up what you want most, for what you want now”

Don’t give up what you want most,

for what you want now”

Pretty good advice, especially for having found it online!!!

Cup of tea...

Cup of tea…

  I hope this helps you decide what to do with an unused memo board!  I got a lot of inspiration online (the quotes are from the internet)… just grab inspiration from everything you can so it can help you get your creative juices flowing!  Get inspired and then add your own “zest” to it!  Add you’re own flare, touch, talent, knowledge or whatever tool you have to your benefit!

  Sometimes creativity is something that can be applied to everyday life.  It can be small and simple but it’s intent isn’t always to receive applause or to be awarded a blue ribbon… sometimes it’s intent is more humble than that.  Maybe sometimes it’s intent is to make a smile, touch a heart, inspire a new hope or to just add a little joy to the everyday.   Sometimes, the “little things” all added up at the end of a long life are more important than we think, in the end; because it taught us to appreciate the little things and to take nothing and turn it into something.  Whimsical fun retrains are brains to have a refreshing and joyful outlook on life.

Hope this inspires something in you! 😀

Happy Sunday!

HI- Monoa Falls Trail

HI- Monoa Falls Trail

Something really neat happened to me after I woke up today… I went to the living room with my freshly brewed coffee and sat and stared into the nothingness of life while I allowed my sluggish brain to jump start itself into awareness.  I suddenly came to the realization that I was absent-mindedly watching these alluring and delightful sun rays stream through the dining room window and fall upon a glass angel figurine I keep on the coffee table.  It looked as though God was shining a sunbeam unto this glass angel and it was glowing.  I don’t believe a higher being really was casting  delicate and angelic sunbeams unto my angel figurine, but my point is that is was magnificent and touching to have a little “morning gift” present itself to me so gracefully.  I should have captured a picture of it but I wanted to relax and just live in that moment; when the sun’s glow was resting itself so elegantly and artistically.

Nature is the teacher of art and beauty.  Nature is the master of elegance and grace.  Well, in just my opinion anyway! 😉

I feel happy and blessed right now for so many exciting things… classes awaiting for me to attend this month and the next months to come, things to learn, people to meet, progress to make, things to discover and maybe even adventures to take.

I’m also happy because I am baking a chicken pot pie (one of my favorite foods!) and I cannot wait to devour at least half of the delectable cheese, veggie and chicken pie!

I’m always at some level of love and comfort because my husband is in my life… so that always makes me happy as well!  🙂

For now I think I’ll hush my wandering thoughts and eat pie with the hubby!

Happy Sunday!

P.S.

Please check out my new page at the top entitled, “Quote Garden”!!!  😀

I Need You like a Heartbeat!

I need you like a heart beat!

I need you like a heart beat!

Summer dinner on a rainy winter day!

Summer dinner on a rainy winter day!

On this bleak, rainy, dreary, melancholy day here in Virginia Beach, I was longing for bright cheery sunshine and toasty warm weather.  Unfortunately, that was not to be and not for awhile so I decided I would try and not take for granted another beautiful healthy day.   That was until my husband came home and told me that he had had a bad day at work and that one of his students was giving him trouble.  So, I thought to myself, “Amy, you can’t be blasé about this sullen day, you have to do something about it”.  I didn’t really didn’t know what I was to do at the time but I already had two things planned: tuna casserole for dinner and for a comforting dessert (since it is was so cold and rainy outside) corn muffins.  I already had some good things going on, all I had to do was add to them!  I decided that for dinner, I would bring in some of my own “sunshine” and “warmth”, right to the dinner table.  What I did, I’ll admit, sounds simple, and it is but that’s not the point.  The point is that if you are lacking what you want, through assertiveness you create it and that if someone is down, adding cheerfulness to their day can go a long ways!

I conjured up a few ideas: I would add light side dishes to the tune casserole, a fresh garden salad with carrots and cheese and of the liking and flaky buttery out of the oven croissants.  I took left over Autumn napkins and placed them under the forks, filled our glasses with iced tea, lit orange candles and placed a basket of red apples in the center of the table to discreetly “paint” a bit of color to our dinner.  While we ate, we played classic rock music to bring a more up lifting and energetic feel to the dinner table.  It was therapeutic and fun and above all very much needed!  It’s amazing how taking a little break from a cold, frozen, wintery day, will make you feel rejuvenated! 

   I really wanted dessert to be special, after all my husband was having a rough day, so I had to rack my brain, so to speak, on how to make dessert EXTRA special!  I had a moment of realization that my husband needed uplifting and encouraging words.  I opted to bake messages into the corn muffins (much like a fortune cookie)!  Since my husband is an instructor, I figured that as well as telling him that I loved him and cared about him, I would also include on the back of the messages,  lessons that I had learned from him.  

How I put the messages into my corn muffins:

Sweet nothings!

Sweet nothings!

I first, wrote out the messages on medium sizes of paper.

I wrote six messages, front to back, one side expressing gratitude and love, the second side telling him the things he has taught me.

Roll 'em up in foil!

Roll ’em up in foil!

Next, I folded up the messages and them folded the messages into aluminum foil (several times just to be on the safe side).

Maybe you don't need so much foil!

Maybe you don’t need so much foil!

I quickly realized that it was probably unnecessary to fold up my messages so many times in the tin foil but it is better safe than sorry and better to not have paper and ink all in the corn muffins!  🙂

My messages wrapped up like little gifts!

My messages wrapped up like little gifts!

Here are my little gifts to my husband!

Make the corn muffins!

Make the corn muffin badder!

Here's where the fun part comes in!

Here’s where the fun part comes in!

 I added the corn muffin badder to the bottom of paper baking cups, then added my message wrapped in tin foil…

Don't forget to top it off!

Don’t forget to top it off!

…then I topped off the message with another layer of badder but no too much, as so the muffin can grow in the baking cup!

And then there were six!

And then there were six!

It came out to six corn muffins with two messages each… twelve messages in all!

Pretty it up!

Pretty it up!

I broke out a fine China plate, filled it with muffins, and made apple cider!

Don't forget to warn the eater that there is a message inside!

Don’t forget to warn the eater that there is a message inside!

  See the hidden message?  It baked inside the muffin beautifully!

  My husband loved these and it brought a smile on his face that reached from ear to ear!  Of course I didn’t expect him to eat six muffins in one sitting so I ate a couple with him and when I pulled out a message I read it to him and then gave him the message to keep (he insisted I save all of the messages so he could keep them!)  We didn’t finish all of the muffins but there are plenty to make a snack for when he comes home from work tomorrow, take with him to work or we could have them for dessert again (and that would be one last thing that I need to plan for tomorrow!)

  Brightening someone’s day isn’t difficult or expensive, it is thoughtful, loving, caring and takes creativity.  Today started off as a murky, nonchalant, day but towards the end my husband and I created a few new memories for one another.

“We do not remember days, we remember moments”

– Cesare Pavese

Create for Your Health!

"Living Artfully"

“Living Artfully”

“Create for Your Health” can be in a literal sense or a figurative sense.  In this post I am mostly referring to it in a figurative sense.  Creating doesn’t necessarily mean creating a mural, a Picasso or a symphony.  I love the definition of “create”:  bring (something) into existence.  What a beautiful meaning and it isn’t even quoted from a public figure, it is simply a definition.   You can create by taking art classes, cooking classes, taking up a new hobby, by investing in tools from a hardware store or by buying supplies from a craft store, but you can create in thousands of others ways.  How?  By making a playlist on iTunes, by tucking picked flowers in the creases of your neighbor’s doors, by showing love and affection, by giving a smile to a stranger, or by just bringing something into existence.

Lately, I have been reading a terrific awe-inspiring book called, “Living Artfully” by Sandra Magsamen.  I found this book in the “self-help” section of my library but it’s not really a self-help book in the traditional sense.  This book opens you up to a new and beautiful world of how even the most simple and whimsical tasks are important and artful.  By reading this book you might even discover that you are already creative ( I know I did!).  Even slipping a Hershey kiss into your spouse’s pocket is beautiful and joyful because you are making someone’s day!  I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in putting, at least, a little joy into their lives!

Here are some of the creative ideas that I cherish:

  • Create a spa day!  Devote a day off to taking a warm luxurious bath, with salts, oils, bubbles, loofahs, calming music, candles, face masks, body scrubs, incense or anything else you can think of to create a relaxing day dedicated to who else but you!  Maybe add in a glass of wine, throw a couple towels in the dryer for a few minutes to make them warm for when you get out or invite your spouse to join you to make it all the more special!  Try new things like deep sea mud masks, a new candle or incense, or even buy yourself a spa gift basket to add new flavor!  Pamper yourself, you deserve it!
  • Create a Vacation!  I have always wanted to travel to another country and unfortunately, as of right now, it just isn’t in the budget.  No problem.  “Living Artfully” taught me that money is no obstacle because if you can’t visit the location, you can bring the location to you! Wanting to visit France?  Bring France home!  Learn to speak French through books and audio at the library or take French classes!  Learn new French recipes (and try them out!), read books on France, visit French restaurants, visit a museum that is showing French Impressionism, watch French films, listen to Edith Piaf.  Try  Escargot and frog legs, really give yourself a “touristy” or authentic (which ever you prefer) feel to your journey. Buy wines, cheese and baguettes imported from France!  Maybe after your journey through the culture, food, entertainment and learning of France buy yourself a little souvenir from France, like a beret (or something more authentic) .  There are hundreds of different ways to still experience France and you can still enjoy the comforts of home and forget all about jet lag!  Vive la France!
  • Create a “Hope Box”.  When I was in middle school I use to attend church functions all of the time and one of them was a day in the week devoted to crafts, socializing and having fun!  On one of these particular nights I learned how to make a “Hope Box”.   The idea was to take a box (I used one of my step father’s old wooden cigar boxes), decorate it and fill it with things that symbolized our hopes and dreams.  Although this box was primarily for hope, I took it a step further and filled this box with everything that I loved and thought was beautiful.  I put in flowers picked, fresh peach cores, sheets of piano music, eloquent art prints, sample bottles of my favorite perfumes,   empty lipstick tubes from much loved lipsticks, hand sewn handkerchiefs with my initials embroidered onto them (from friends who had taken the time to sew them), packets of seeds  and so on.  Whenever I felt sad or anxious I would open my beautiful “hope box” and look inside to view my little treasures in hopes that I would feel better.  I would scan over the music sheets, trace my finger tips along the groves of the peach cores, or take a whiff of my mini perfume bottles.

These are some of the ideas that I have used to create a moment of simple bliss in my life.  Not every artful thing has to be profound or award winning and sometimes the best pieces of art are the ones you find right in your own heart, voice, mind or in the company of a loved one.  Maybe you find art in the trees, flowers and breezes or maybe you create art by arranging the dinner you made beautifully on the plate you serve your family or by kissing your loved one good night before you both fall asleep.  Maybe art is in the way your dog curls up at your feet, or maybe it’s in a private prayer you give to God, for the sake of a loved one.  Art is all around you, it’s all around us, it’s community, it’s compassion, it’s love, it’s expression and it is above all achingly human.

I encourage you to find art in your world or create art around you and please comment below what your experience was and how it felt and what it meant!