what I do

what I do

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

True Praise

I found this quote in my drawer today. I have no idea where I got it. But I like it.
"True praise is unconditional. It's not an attempt to manipulate God into producing the precise results we hope for. Instead, it helps us accept our situation as it is, whether or not He changes it. Continued praise helps us reach the place where we can say, "Father, I don't want You to remove this problem until You've done all You want to do through it, in me and in others."
It brings to mind a book I read years ago,  Mimosa: A True Story, by Amy Carmichael. It the story of a little Hindu girl who gets just simplest information about God one day. All she can grasp before she is taken away, is that there is a living God, a heavenly Father, who created the whole world that loves her. Despite the hardships and persecution she experiences throughout her life, she clings to this Heavenly Father, trusting in His love and believing that whatever He gives her is enough. The book is profound, challenging and life-changing. You can purchase the book here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eviction Notice


1. Not yet having arrived, happened, or been done, though after the expected time.

For all of you anxiously wondering what is happening ... 

N-O-T-H-I-N-G yet!

But if you are in the mood for some lovely ginger cookies (they haven't done 
their job but they are yummy), here is the recipe:

Labor Inducing Gingersnap Cookie Recipe

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 tablespoons (or 1 stick) margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar (will also need extra sugar to roll cookie dough in)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup molasses
2 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and cayenne pepper in small mixing bowl.  Set dry ingredients aside.
Then blend margarine in large mixing bowl.  Stir in brown sugar and granulated sugar slowly.  Add the molasses, then the egg whites.  Finally, add the dry ingredients to your mix. 
Roll dough into ¾ inch balls.  Roll cookie balls in sugar to lightly coat each cookie.  Place balls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Fall colors

Tomorrow is the official beginning of the Fall season. As I do most years I added a little Fall color to my garden. But this year, my colors are different.

In honor of the little girl who is soon to arrive ...

   I added pink! 

It may not be a traditional Fall color ...

But it is definitely my color of the year and I think just perfect for this season now. Oh, I know that Pantone chose hot pink (or honeysuckle as they called it) as their color too ... but I am declaring it mine. 

I even brought a little Fall color inside ...

Can you tell I am just a little excited about pink?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nursery update

Well, I took lousy photos (the lighting was all off) and there were too many things still undone in the nursery (they were painting the inside of the closet today and things were everywhere!) to show the final reveal. So I will just show you snippets.

This client wanted pink. A lot of pink. And a nursery fit for a princess, on a less than royal budget ...

The crib belonged to the older brother and couldn't be changed but it dressed up well. We hung new drapes and added a beautiful chandelier ...

We used ready-made drapes that matched the crib bedding (from here) and I added a contrasting fabric to the bottom of the longer panels to make them long enough. 

The walls were painted the softest pink (Benjamin Moore Aztec Lily 2080-70) and the wallpaper is from here.

{chandelier from overstock}

We are still waiting for the rug which is backordered ...

And a mirror which is in transit ...

Photos need to be placed in the frames (I'm thinking a black and white of this little girl's feet for one) ...

{frames from Ikea}

Knobs to be installed on the existing dresser ...


And this chair and matching ottoman were covered with all the contents of the closet so it was futile to try to get good photos:

I am learning to be patient! 
And so is my daughter. Today is her official due date. We are still waiting!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Waiting for baby

Today is my last install day before I take some time off to spend with my daughter who is due to have a baby any day now. Ironically I am putting on the finishing touches of a nursery for another sweet little girl who decided to come into the world a month early.

This nursery is all soft and pink and perfectly fit for a little princess. (I hope I get some nice photos to share with you later).

Original nursery mood board

But there is another nursery that is waiting in the wings ... waiting for the big move in day which is going to have to wait a little while after this little girl arrives.  But in the meantime ...

The newly painted crib arrived today! It is beautiful and exactly the way my daughter was hoping it would turn out. We started with a slightly used Bellini crib (well, very used actually by three darling little girls but in very good condition) which was generously donated by one of my lovely clients. And also generously painted by my lovely painter (THANK YOU Steve Radl!!!). We used Benjamin Moore's Tropical Teal #734. 

This was our inspiration for the crib / nursery

It is proudly being photographed in the humblest of settings right now - my garage / laundry room where it patiently awaits moving day. 

And I am trying to be just as patient as at the end of this day I am officially on 'baby watch' ... her due date is tomorrow ; )

Monday, September 19, 2011

My mouse pad of paper

I saw this over the weekend while I was perusing pinterest ...

It is originally from here and you can purchase it as a T-shirt. Now if you know me personally, you are probably thinking it would be the perfect gift for me. Take that out of your mind now! 

{via RedBubble}

But I have to admit it does describe what goes on inside my head very well. Apparently it is an inherited trait. When my youngest daughter was about two and a half, I think, we were at a local restaurant waiting for our food and I watched her looking at all the things cluttering the top of the table (the salt and pepper shakers, the sugar packets, etc.). As we sat there waiting, she proceeded to rearrange it all; lining everything up into neat little rows. When she was finished, she sat back and let out a big sigh. That is when I knew she had the same thing going on inside of her. 

It is not a bad thing. In fact, I have been able to channel it in positive ways. I have learned not to be (too) obsessive about it ... but I do function better when things are neat. Especially my desk top. One of the things that helps is my mouse pad notepads. My daughters bought me one for Mother's day - it was from Anthropologie. I checked and they don't have them anymore - but before they sold out I picked up a nice stack to make sure I didn't run out. My sister bought me some as well ...

          These were from Michaels. They call them Calendar Memo Pads.

What I love about them is that I always have a place to write down a note, a phone number or a reminder for myself without having to search for something to write on and my desk stays neat with less clutter (one pad / two functions). It has really helped these last few weeks as I have tried to get caught up with all of my projects as we await the new baby (yes ... we are still waiting). I can't tell you how many times I have gone back to my mouse pad to grab some information that I have scribbled down while talking on the phone or listening to a message. And when it looks to messy (I doodle) I just tear off the page and start fresh. Nice and neat ... just like I need like it ;)
Happy Monday Everyone!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday quotes ...

"Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.

Aim at earth and you get neither."
- C. S. Lewis


Monday, September 12, 2011

Cleaning out the garage

We had a garage driveway sale on Saturday. In a way I was dreading it. I had visions of mean people, a lot of work, and too little profit.  It was my daughter's idea (the one who is moving and about to have a baby) and I wanted to help her.

 We cannot have garage sales in our neighborhood. So we had to trek it all over to my mom's house; she generously let us use her driveway, and more generously let us store the stuff in her living room for a few days until the sale.  I so wish I had taken photos - really, you would not have believed it if you had not seen it in person - you could barely walk through the room it was so packed with stuff.

We spent Friday evening sorting and pricing most of it and came back early the next morning to start the sale. It started off with a bang. Literally. We had a crazy and unusual (and very loud) thunder storm complete with hail just as we were setting things out and the first crowd (yes, crowd) of people started to arrive. Thankfully we were under a covered carport.

The people were for the most part really, really nice. We undersold a lot of things but our goal to get everything sold (and out of our house) was successful. A bit after noon when things slowed down and we had very little left, we put up an "everything under $1" sign, waited a while and then packed up what was left and took it to the closest donation center. We were cleaned up and home by 2:00! We sold most of it and came away with much more profit than I could have imagined. All and all a good day. 

Here is what we would have done differently:

1. Have everything out and priced by 7:00 AM. Even though we put 8:00 AM as our starting time (we advertised on Craigslist and the Pennysaver) the professional garage-salers all come EARLY.

2. Get rid of the emotional attachment and just sell the stuff. We had offers for certain things we felt were too low at the beginning and wanted to hold out for higher prices. We ended up selling them later for even less.

3. Leave room for bartering. No one wants to pay the price you ask. Put a slightly higher price on the item so you can go down.

4. Research prices. We found out later that a few things we sold for a quarter were worth around $30 on Ebay - oops!

What we did right:

1. Make sure you are able to accommodate last minute weather changes

2. Just have fun and remember the goal is to get the stuff out of your garage! 

Happy Monday everyone!

cartoons via here, here and here

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An alternate plan

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 

That quote resonates with me because there was a time that I thought I had my life all figured out. And then something happened that caused a 180 degree shift in my thinking.  I found myself in a place that was not a good place to be in and it was obvious that I was not doing a very good job of running my life. I had relied on my intelligence and my capabilities and yet it wasn't working ... my life was a mess. I had always believed in God. But what I had always done was put myself out in front and then when I got into a mess, I asked Him to help me. One day I stepped back and surrendered completely to God's plan for my life - I gave Him the permission to take over (kind of a "Jesus-take-the-wheel" moment). I told Him that He could be in charge from now on and that I would listen and follow and would stop trying to play God myself; He could be out in front. It was surprisingly easy which is not normal for me because I like control. And yet what I found was that it was freeing to give that up and learn to just follow. And trust. And it changed everything. It was not a magic fix. My circumstances did not change immediately for the better. But my perspective changed. And that changed everything. I realized that if I follow the One who I believe loves me with all perfect love and has my best interest at heart at all times, then whatever happens is supposed to happen. That gives me something I never had before .... peace!

 "The LORD is my shepherd;
         I shall not want.
 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
         He leads me beside the still waters.
 He restores my soul;
         He leads me in the paths of righteousness 
         For His name’s sake. 
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
         I will fear no evil; 
         For You are with me ..."    -Psalm 23:1-4

And I found that I do not have to worry about anything. I am not the one that has to take on that burden. I just have to be willing to be still and listen so that I can hear that often very quiet voice leading me. I thought I was a good shepherd. But what I discovered is that being a 'sheep' is a lot nicer way to go.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

Friday, September 9, 2011

Color addiction

Do you tend to gravitate toward a certain color? Last year, when Pantone declared turquoise as the color of the year I had fun introducing a little of the color into my own house.

I used it for wrapping gifts ...

And table settings ...

And even for Christmas decor ...

But I guess I didn't realize how much that color influenced me until I started looking back on some of the projects I worked on this year.

That is a lot of turquoise!