Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cup of Jo

Meet Joanna Goddard!!!

This gal is one of my favorite bloggers, she has opened me up to a whole new world- you know that bike rack, totally her find! The book covers? You guessed it! Her again! I love how her blog is full of random fun information- its always good for a pick me up! And another fun fact...she spent many of her growing up years in good ol' Michigan too!

If you've got a minute check it out- its worth it!

Becoming Somone Else

This is a campaign called: "Become Someone Else" by the Lithuanian Agency Love

They say:
"When one reads books, he/she starts living it and identifies (or not) with main hero. These print ads for the Mint Vinetu bookstore, which sells lots of classics, focuses on the idea of becoming someone else. And provokes people to try on different personas."

I know its true for me- If its a well written book once I get to reading, woo-wee!, I definitely start identifying with and becoming the character.  Ask my husband, I am in another world when I am reading. (He calls it book lag or if he is feeling a bit spiteful- brain lag). How about you- when you read something do you "become someone else" too?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Building Bike Rack

 (Picture via here)

Is this the coolest bike rack you have ever seen!?! Some people are so ingenuitive! (my computer says thats not a word, but I swear! It is!) There are similar versions of this sweet bike rack here.
“Good ideas are common - what's uncommon are people who'll work hard enough to bring them about.”

-Ashleigh Brilliant

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Daffodil Principle

As you may know I am now a distributer for It Works! and what a fun and inspiring company to work for, this is a little story I got from their blog which describes not only the It Works! way of doing things, but a good way to do everything in life.


Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come and see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. Going and coming took most of a day - and I honestly did not have a free day until the following week.

"I will come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove the length of Route 91, continued on I-215, and finally turned onto Route 18 and began to drive up the mountain highway. The tops of the mountains were sheathed in clouds, and I had gone only a few miles when the road was completely covered with a wet, gray blanket of fog. I slowed to a crawl, my heart pounding. The road becomes narrow and winding toward the top of the mountain.

As I executed the hazardous turns at a snail's pace, I was praying to reach the turnoff at Blue Jay that would signify I had arrived. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these darling children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."

"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears - and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car. The mechanic just called, and they've finished repairing the engine," she answered.

"How far will we have to drive?" I asked cautiously.

"Just a few blocks,"Carolyn said cheerfully.

So we buckled up the children and went out to my car. "I'll drive," Carolyn offered. "I'm used to this." We got into the car, and she began driving.

In a few minutes I was aware that we were back on the Rim-of-the-World Road heading over the top of the mountain. "Where are we going?" I exclaimed, distressed to be back on the mountain road in the fog. "This isn't the way to the garage!"

"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."

"Carolyn, I said sternly, trying to sound as if I was still the mother and in charge of the situation, "please turn around. There is nothing in the world that I want to see enough to drive on this road in this weather."

"It's all right, Mother," She replied with a knowing grin. "I know what I'm doing. I promise, you will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

And so my sweet, darling daughter who had never given me a minute of difficulty in her whole life was suddenly in charge - and she was kidnapping me! I couldn't believe it. Like it or not, I was on the way to see some ridiculous daffodils - driving through the thick, gray silence of the mist-wrapped mountaintop at what I thought was risk to life and limb.

I muttered all the way. After about twenty minutes we turned onto a small gravel road that branched down into an oak-filled hollow on the side of the mountain. The fog had lifted a little, but the sky was lowering, gray and heavy with clouds.

We parked in a small parking lot adjoining a little stone church. From our vantage point at the top of the mountain we could see beyond us, in the mist, the crests of the San Bernardino range like the dark, humped backs of a herd of elephants. Far below us the fog-shrouded valleys, hills, and flatlands stretched away to the desert.

On the far side of the church I saw a pine-needle-covered path, with towering evergreens and manzanita bushes and an inconspicuous, lettered sign "Daffodil Garden."

We each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path as it wound through the trees. The mountain sloped away from the side of the path in irregular dips, folds, and valleys, like a deeply creased skirt.

Live oaks, mountain laurel, shrubs, and bushes clustered in the folds, and in the gray, drizzling air, the green foliage looked dark and monochromatic. I shivered. Then we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight, unexpectedly and completely splendid. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes where it had run into every crevice and over every rise. Even in the mist-filled air, the mountainside was radiant, clothed in massive drifts and waterfalls of daffodils. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow.

Each different-colored variety (I learned later that there were more than thirty-five varieties of daffodils in the vast display) was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.

In the center of this incredible and dazzling display of gold, a great cascade of purple grape hyacinth flowed down like a waterfall of blossoms framed in its own rock-lined basin, weaving through the brilliant daffodils. A charming path wound throughout the garden. There were several resting stations, paved with stone and furnished with Victorian wooden benches and great tubs of coral and carmine tulips. As though this were not magnificent enough, Mother Nature had to add her own grace note - above the daffodils, a bevy of western bluebirds flitted and darted, flashing their brilliance. These charming little birds are the color of sapphires with breasts of magenta red. As they dance in the air, their colors are truly like jewels above the blowing, glowing daffodils. The effect was spectacular.

It did not matter that the sun was not shining. The brilliance of the daffodils was like the glow of the brightest sunlit day. Words, wonderful as they are, simply cannot describe the incredible beauty of that flower-bedecked mountain top.

Five acres of flowers! (This too I discovered later when some of my questions were answered.) "But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. I was overflowing with gratitude that she brought me - even against my will. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"Who?" I asked again, almost speechless with wonder, "And how, and why, and when?"

"It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory.

We walked up to the house, my mind buzzing with questions. On the patio we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman, two hands, two feet, and very little brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

There it was. The Daffodil Principle.

For me that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than thirty-five years before, had begun - one bulb at a time - to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. One bulb at a time.

There was no other way to do it. One bulb at a time. No shortcuts - simply loving the slow process of planting. Loving the work as it unfolded.

Loving an achievement that grew so slowly and that bloomed for only three weeks of each year. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world.

This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration: learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time - often just one baby-step at a time - learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time.

When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

"Carolyn," I said that morning on the top of the mountain as we left the haven of daffodils, our minds and hearts still bathed and bemused by the splendors we had seen, "it's as though that remarkable woman has needle-pointed the earth! Decorated it. Just think of it, she planted every single bulb for more than thirty years. One bulb at a time! And that's the only way this garden could be created. Every individual bulb had to be planted. There was no way of short-circuiting that process. Five acres of blooms. That magnificent cascade of hyacinth! All, just one bulb at a time."

The thought of it filled my mind. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the implications of what I had seen. "It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My wise daughter put the car into gear and summed up the message of the day in her direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said with the same knowing smile she had worn for most of the morning. Oh, profound wisdom!

It is pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson a celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use tomorrow?"

Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I love watching home improvement shows and skimming through magazines that have the room makeovers in them- its so neat to see what people come up with! I always say to myself "I could do that!" though I never do... BUT I still love seeing other people's results!  And now I have stumbled upon the perfect site for me!

Before and After

Check it out! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This Bear has SKILLS!

Haha! Phil showed this to me and I loved it, the top video gives you more information, but the bottom video has better tricks!
Its amazing, isn't it?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We make a living by what we get, 
but we make a life,
by what we give. 
~Winston Churchill

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yummy Saturday Morning Breakfast!

Husband was so good to me this morning, I woke up to him rubbing my back, I rolled over and said- you know what sounds good this morning crepes! And that wonderful man asked for a receipe (which I didn't have) so I looked one up and he made them for me! 

They were delish! 

He used this recipe here:


  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter, flour sugar and salt until smooth.
  2. Heat a medium-sized skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Grease pan with a small amount of butter or oil applied with a brush or paper towel. Using a serving spoon or small ladle, spoon about 3 tablespoons crepe batter into hot pan, tilting the pan so that bottom surface is evenly coated. Cook over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes on a side, or until golden brown. Serve immediately
Husband had his rolled up with a fried egg, and I had mine as my friend Julian from Slovokia recomends...rolled up with Nutela! 
What a wonderful Saturday Morning! 

Friday, April 15, 2011


I love skorts! You can wear them anywhere- You can go for a morning trek, head to the museum, and finish the evening in a nice restraunt. You can start a spur of the moment game of tag with the kids on your way home from church and maintain your dignity while doing it! 

I have been told they are especially handy when touring Europe because some of the cathedrals women cannot go in unless they are wearing a skirt, but the skort aspect allows for all day/all weather excurions without the concern for a Marilyn Monroe scene! 

Here are some of my favorites from Athleta:

I think this one is my favorite, because the length and flow of the fabric is so versatile.  I see this one matched with a cute white tank and sweater for church or a date, maybe with some chunky black beads. But in all honesty I would probably wear this skort to the grocery store, work, and anywhere else I planned on going- this one is a keeper.
 This one is great for golfing, a walk with the girlfriends, or shopping. With a little polo for the power outfit or a little crochet thing for a softer look. This one has a slight feel of winter, I think paired with some wool tights, tall boots, a warm jacket and red mittens and scarf this skort could make the transition to fall and maybe winter as well!
The perfect skort for hiking, a pick-nick, actually just about anything and the classic lines with the neutral color allows for so much flexibility in creating your look. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Give me books, fruit, French wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors, played by someone I do not know." 
--John Keats
  photos courtesy of google search

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A friend of mine introduced me to something that, well... changed my life.  
The Fly Lady. 

The Fly Lady encourages you to start where you are and take baby steps to get where you want to go. Her everyday mission is to help you straighten your house, but once you start applying her principles it straightens you life right out too!

Are YOU living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) like Franny in the pink sweats? Do you feel overwhelmed, overextended, and overdrawn? Hopeless and you don't know where to start? Don't worry friend, we've been there, too.
Step through the door and follow FlyLady as she weaves her way through housecleaning and organizing tips with homespun humor, daily musings about life and love, the Sidetracked Home Executives (SHE) system, and anything else that is on her mind.

Check out her website here.

Check out her facebook page here.

 I have not been "FLYing" lately, but I think I may have to pick it up again, it makes life much more smooth and enjoyable!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our weekend at a glance...

As you can see it is spring here in Virginia and we are doing our best to enjoy it! We have gone rowing in the new row boat, walking on the local trails, and we even tried to fly kites (the wind just would not behave) 

We hope to have more adventures and plan on sharing them with you- do you have any ideas of new things we should try?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Message in a Botttle...

So the CRAZIEST thing happened yesterday to Phil. He was fishing at lunch and you would not believe what he caught! (Ok you would becuase I gave it away in the title... oops!) He caught a message in a bottle!

picture found here.

He had to break the bottle to open it, so we have no pictures
of our intact bottle, but here is what he found:

In a blue mineral water bottle (stoppered with a wine cork) were the following items:

1- drywall screw
1-cotton ball
1-small artificial flower
approx. 12- lentil seeds
1- manuscript written on yellow paper

Another crazy thing about this whole thing is the day it was found/caught was 1 day after the 17th year the letter was dated. In the letter there were 2 authors and you can tell who wrote which paragraph by the pen that was used.

Get your thinking caps on, here it is!

(Kitchen) A simple look into the past,

Sansalone) When looking for love, I've been searching in places that don't love back. Back to what? To Me? I feel its not a matter of who, its a matter of how.  But I stop to think. Think clearly.  Think opaquely.  When the sword makes the cut, the impact it makes will shake the dust.

Kitchen) And when it comes to that point, then you look that moment in the eyes and act boldly.  When that moment of love found me, well, I didn't know how to really act.  I didn't know what to do or say.  I was taken back.  I couldn't say anything.

Sansalone)  But here's what I did.  I gave the Gables away!  I ate the candy, shot the canvas.  A canvas of hope, so much hope that it burns away all copper and slate.  How do I know?  The better question is: Why don't you try?

Kitchen) But you have to be careful with love, because you will let it into your heart and without warning BAM!!! It will crush you heart, and then you will*( hey look, both wills are right under each other) :-) And thats it.

Sansalone) For your heated discoveries enclosed are tools to inspire and protrude.  Much quality to be had!

Sansalone) Just peel back the orange skins of your ambitions and embrace the flavor savor.  Does that mean to completely abandon all logic? Quite the contrary:  Cling close to the spacious...DESTINY!

             S. SANSALONE           4/4/1994            K. KITCHEN
* In the original texts both "wills" appear directly above and below one another, hence the parentheses, and following sentence
Isn't this just the craziest/coolest thing ever?!?!?  BUT! I am a bit disappointed by the message and bottle contents--- what the heck does it mean?!!? Are they song lyrics? Someones thoughts? Why the lentil seeds?!?! I have so many questions! Do any of you have any idea what they are trying to say?

We tried to track down the 2 guys last night. Husband and his buddy found S. Sansalone -they think and later that night when we looked we think we tracked K. Kitchen down to TX and we left a message on his phone, we will see if its the right one!

Stay tuned for more updates! If you have any ideas message me or leave a comment, we can use all the help we can get!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It Works!

Hi all! Do you want to be health, happy, and trim? Check out It Works!  Their product line includes supplements, skin care, fitness, and body contouring products

It Works is a Grand Rapids based company. They sell several products but their "flag-ship" is The Ultimate Body Applicator" It is a wrap that "tightens, tones and firms in as little as 45 mins" - it also detoxifies your cells- the end result is usually inches lost  and its not water weight!

My whole family has jumped on board with this one and it has made such a difference in our lives! The wraps have shown amazing results with us, up to 5 inches with one wrap!

We are also using the supplements, specifically Its Vital and Greens. We usually get really sick at least once every winter- this year? No Way!

I am just so pumped about this! My next order I am planning on starting in on the skin care products, I can't wait to see the results! 

Check out the significant results in this before and after picture after just ONE wrap! I got from here.

If you would like to learn more you can check out the It Works! website here or you can email me!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The message is clear: plan with attitude, prepare with aptitude, participate with servitude, receive with gratitude, and this should be enough to separate you from the multitudes.


~Krish Dhanam

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I love lole!

Last year Phil started buying me lole as a special somethin-somethin... I love it! It is some of the best fitting, most versatile clothing I have ever worn!

Comfort and Style! What more could a girl ask for? More lole of course! Here are some pieces I have and others I want...

I have been able to layer my lole pieces, wear them to church, to work, for our Saturday adventures and you would not believe how packable they are! Give them a snapping shake when you pull it out of your luggage, pull it on and your ready to go! No wrinkles! Holds its shape! Love it!

You should definitely check it out! I have never actually shopped from their on line store, but I know Bass Pro Shop carries Lole and so do many small outdoors/hiking stores and ebay seems to have many sellers of lole .
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. 

~Bill Meyer

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." 


- William Morris