Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Treasuries = Compliments

My online shop Polka Dot Poppy is currently being featured in this soft and pretty treasury: She Scatters Kindness.  How lovely is that.  And what a great title.  These little pretties are featured there.
I love when a random stranger finds your work and likes it enough to comment on it.  I think that is the best compliment ever.  Whether it is on your favorite craft, your work, your photography, your writing, or your children, when the little bit of favorable wind blows in your direction and it happens to come from someone who feels no need to boost your ego or pop your bubble, it just feels, well, awesome!

So that is my little moment of self promotion.  I will go back to putting on my mommy hat and my hosting hat since all my beautiful sisters happen to be under one roof at the moment, and that roof happens to be mine.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Budgeting Tips from Planet Green

Great Budgeting Tips from PlanetGreen.com

Love this website.  Today they posted this great little list on their Facebook page.  Most of them make sense, and when you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you HAVE to do the majority of these things it totally make sense and makes you wonder why you didn't do this from the beginning anyway.

Some of the items kinda cracked me up though.  Like #7 - really, honestly, who today can even afford to have a housekeeper come in.  I will say the thought of it is awesome, but I honestly couldn't see myself watching someone else clean my house.  And #8 would be nice also.  I have only had that done a couple of times in my life.  It was heaven.  But trying to stay on a budget and having three children to feed and clothe, the idea that I could go do this monthly was a little silly to me.  Unless of course I want to go back to work, ummm nope, thanks, I can paint my own fingers and toes thankyou!

#10 I have seen in action.  A gentleman I used to work with did this experiment a couple of times.  Once he refused to spend any coins for one solid year.  All the change he received as coins he took home and put in a jar.  By the end of the year he had 600 smackaroos.  He was so excited by it that the next year he decided to not spend any one dollar bills he received as change.  He switched jobs before the year was out so I have no idea how much he saved up that year.  We have also done this ourselves but not as drastic.  We planned a family vacation one year and told the kids they could have all our change to save up before the trip.  We didn't make a HUGE pile-o'-dough but each of our three kiddos ended up with about 90 bucks each.  Not too shabby!

Anywho, enough rambling from me, just thought with the way things are going today everyone could use a few helpful little hints for budgeting.

Where oh Where is Spring? Week 3

Where oh Where is Spring?  Week 3 of 52

Location: Near Estes Park, Colorado
Subject:  Horse

So I am officially done with winter and thought I would be enjoying more springish weather.  But winter decided to have another hoorah and so here we are freezing our patooskies off and looking at snow.  AGAIN. Grrr.  So instead of going out and photographing more snow, I decided to post a photo with some actual green foliage in it.

This is from last May when we went to visit a friend up in Colorado.  She took us up the Rocky Mountains to a very cool little town called "Estes Park".  This was near a shop we stopped at on the way up.  Beautiful horses in a corral right off the highway.  My daughter and I were beyond excited.  Her and I both love horses.  These were extra cool because of their heart shaped brands.  Very appropriate we thought.

Enjoy our little friend and hopefully next week I will have something springish from our own area to share with you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Waiting on Spring

So this weeks weather report really zapped all the joy of spring right out of the air.  Last week was mostly gorgeous.  This week we are rainy and more snow is in the forecast.  Boo! Hiss!

So today, to remind ourselves that yes, it IS spring, we went seed shopping for the garden.  YEAY!  Menards is having a super awesome seed sale right now and most of our seed packets were only 35 cents.  I think we got most of the items on our list but we will have to shop around I guess for some of the more unusual items.

So this is the whole pile of yumminess that we bought today.  Still missing a few things but I think we got the bulk of it.  Now I have to be patient and wait a couple of weeks before I plant them in their little greenhouse to await actual ground planting.

Salsa Section

Here is the salsa section.  Still trying to find red onion seeds because I like those much better than yellow.  But I found tomatillos!  Yeay!  Now we will just have to see how well they grow.

And we got these for their awesome color.  How cool will it be to eat a purple carrot.  Maybe I can get the kids to eat a better variety of veggies.  They all do really well with it now but I would like to increase their taste for fresh veggies.  When I was a kid we spent the summers outside and we would pull carrots right out of the ground, rinse them off with the garden hose and munch away.  And the sunflowers are for Rachel.  This pack has lots of colors.  Now we are busy planning where all of the flowers will be planted.

It is going to be a very busy spring.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring is Coming - Week 2

American Goldfinch
Spring is Coming!  Week 2 of 52 Captured Moments

Location:  Mecosta, MI near Pretty Lake
Subject:  American Goldfinch Females
Spring is coming in slowly here in our neck of the woods.  Confirmed by a nesting pair of Robins in our yard.  They are sneaky little things though so I haven't gotten a post worthy photo yet.  But the woods surrounding our house are filled with all sorts of bird calls.  So pretty when you step outside.  To hear that is, this time of year is not what I would consider pretty.  The pretty snow is gone, leaves have not yet begun to bud, and since snow is rapidly melting everything is muddy.  All of which equals - brown!  Easy enough to bear since we know what is coming.

Enjoy the birds, hopefully by next week I will capture a photo of that Robin or of the Bald Eagle that I spotted nearby.  Wouldn't that be fantastic!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Let the Gardening Begin!

Interesting Things to Compost  Check out this site, so many things you can use instead of throwing away.

So composting at our house has officially begun.  Garden will be tilled in under two months.  Seems so far away, I can't wait to eat the produce of our labor.  So composting has begun and in one month seedlings will be started for planting.  I am beyond excited for this. 

I started my garden wish list.  We shall see what actually makes it into the garden.  I think we will be able to fit it all.  Salsa section is a must!  I love making fresh salsa, so yummy.  And up here in Michigan it is extra important since yummy mexican food seems to be hard to find.  So salsa section is going in no matter what.  Complete with tomatillos for my middle guy who loves green salsa.

Have I mentioned how excited I am to be able to have a garden?  So much to do this spring and summer.  It is going to be fun and so worth all the extra work we have to put in.

Anyone want to come up for fresh veggies?  We got plenty of room and are anxious to see all of you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lighthouse in Winter

Ludington Light (Ludington, MI on the shore of Lake Michigan)
The Hubby has been in Ludington all week doing the required education hours to obtain his builders license.  The rest of us joined him Saturday afternoon to spend the weekend with him.  It was VERY windy on Saturday and so, so cold.  Our first stop was out to see the lighthouse.  So beautiful.  It was such a grey day so it was very hard to get a good contrasting photo.  I did get some pretty good ones though.  This is not my favorite one but I love it just the same.  Can't wait to visit Ludington in better weather, it really was a very cool beachy town.

Interstate 10 takes you straight to the lighthouse, through an old historic downtown with lots of cool antique shops, consignments shops, cute little eateries, of course the typical beach wear shops, and some sporting goods shops for surfboards and such.  We quickly discovered that this is not the best place to visit in the wintertime for shopping.  We stopped at a very cute consignment shop called "Ceder Chest Consignment".  We chatted with the owner who was full of information and super nice.  We decided to hold off on any more shopping until Sunday.  This is where the bad part comes in - everything, and I do mean everything was closed on Sunday.  This is definitely their off season.

All in all a great weekend spent with people I love dearly.  So glad that I moved my family here.  Away from the pressures of the city.  Being here has already made certain things more overwhelmingly clear for every single member of this family.  And for that alone I am so very grateful to my wonderful hubby who finally agreed that we could move.  I love him more than anything!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Red Berries in Winter - Week 1

American Bittersweet

Week 1 of 52 "Captured Moments Project"

This photo was taken on the shore of Pretty Lake.  The American Bittersweet is great food for wildlife throughout fall and into winter.  NOT for human consumption :o)

I love the twisty little vine like branches and the pop of the red berries against the snow!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Girly Girls and Wedding's

Weddings are so much fun! We went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago. A childhood friend getting married. Most guys dread weddings. They hate getting dressed up, hate the process of the girls getting all dolled up. Us girls on the other hand . . . LOVE it!

The Hair!
Rachel's long golden locks with pretty cascading curls.

Mine all upswept with cute little flower pins.

A.'s in a simple soft pony with messy curls.

The Makeup!

So normally I only let A. wear minimal makeup with neutral colors. But this was a wedding! I let her wear some green eyeliner. Her eyes are so beautiful!

and of course - The Friends!

The Blueberry Buddies

This was L.'s first "witness" wedding. So in between the wedding and the reception her and Little R. decided they needed hair make-overs. So this is the Blueberry Buddies again after they gave L.'s hair a glamorous updo!

Me and the Rachel's (the Little R. would not take a normal picture so this is what she gets)

Rachel and Tamara

Such a fun night. Little R. started the night off refusing to dance and ended the night begging the rest of us to keep going! Silly little girl!