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March 29, 2013

March Charity of the Month Wrap Up - Grace Centers of Hope

Grace Centers of Hope
March's Charity was the Grace Centers of Hope.  

Grace Centers of Hope is a Christian out reach program dedicated to helping out the homeless, addicted, and unwanted of society. They believe that by encouraging community, teaching new life-skills, acceptance, and forgiveness; change and hope is always possible.  
 
With the Charity of the Month Program, each month I will donate $1 for the first 50 new followers to my blog to the current Charity of the Month.  You can follow in any way that you choose, just pick an option, or if you already follow one way, add another:


This month I added over 100 new followers.  That translates to a $50 donation for the Grace Centers of Hope!  Thank you very much for your help and support.

Don't forget to check in on monday for the April Charity of the Month

In case you were wondering, I am counting this as my 52 Weeks of Kindness for the week.  Don't forget to also check out the other linkers at My Three Bittles' 52 Weeks Project.   


   








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March 28, 2013

Shopping Bag Storage Container


I have those pretty little fabric shopping bags, that I always seem to leave sitting on my kitchen counter or in my car when I actually go shopping.  I think the little bear tends to use them more in his play kitchen than I do in my real life!  

Which means I also end up coming home with paper and plastic shopping bags.  I have learned through the years to re-use these as much as possible.  A brown paper bag works for us as a container for the recyclables before they go out to the can in the garage.  The plastic bags actually make great doggie poop bags, both on walks and for collection in the back yard.

The only problem I have always had with the plastic bags is the mess in storing them.  They always just got balled up and thrown under the sink.  Usually once every few months I would get sick of the mess and throw half of them away, only to repeat the process on a continuous loop.

The other day as I was eating my oatmeal and looking at the now empty container wondering if I could re-purpose it, an idea was born that would hopefully solve the mess of plastic bags - make a storage container for them ding dong!  Seriously, what have I been thinking to not do this years ago?

So here are the easy peasy step by steps:


You'll need a large oatmeal container, a couple sheets of 12x12 scrap paper, double sided tape, and an exacto knife.  Just cut out an opening in the bottom of the container big enough to pull out a bag with ease.  When done the bottom of the container will become the top of your dispenser.  Then cover the side, lid, and bottom of your container with the scrap book paper.  You could glue it, but I just used double sided tape.  Stuff your mess of bags into your container, leaving a bit of space so that the bags are not packed too tight.  Pop the lid on and now you can store your bags in a third of the space!

I love my new container.  Seriously the space under my sink is huge now.  I used to have to keep my stand mixer in the basement, but now that I have those bags under control it fits under the sink!  Yippee!
 
  

   



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March 27, 2013

Oh What A HAPPY Day Link Party

Welcome back to the Oh HAPPY Day Link Party!

Time to celebrate what is giving us JOY and making us HAPPY this week.  It is so easy to get bogged down and lost in the negative.  Let's take a moment and celebrate the positive.


Easter Bunny Joy
 

This week I am happy for the short work week.  I am also happy to announce that I have joined with Mandi @ All My Happy Endings for an pretty awesome GIVEAWAY.  After linking up, don't forget to hop on over to All My Happy Endings to enter!

I'd also like to once again thank all the lovely bloggers who joined up with us here for Oh HAPPY Day last week.  We had 33 in total!  Yay!  Congrats go out to Jenn @ Jenn's Random Scraps and Gin @ Keepsake Moments for having the most views last week.


Now onto the party! 

The rules are pretty simple: 

Have fun and say HI to as many other party goers as possible.  =) 

If you would like to spread the word, please grab a button and put it on your blog.  If you are interested in being a co-host, then just let me know!   

 

not done growing









   








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March 26, 2013

Simple Gifts

Following on our meditation theme of simplicity for this week, I have been thinking a lot about the Shaker song "Simple Gifts" written in 1848 by Elder Joseph Brackett.

This song has always spoken to me, even as a child when I was living a simple life.  The little girl I was would sing this in church as loud as possible, yearning to dance in the pew.  To this day when I hear it I am filled with hope, joy, and peace.


  
Now that I am older, and living a slightly more complicated life I have found the words as moving and inspirational as the tune.  Jewel's Version above speaks to the older me. 
 
Tis the gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free, 'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained, To bow and to bend, we will not be ashamed, To turn, turn, will be our delight, Till by turning, turning we come round right                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_Gifts

To see life as a gift every day.  To find joy and peace in waking up with just what you need, because your needs are SIMPLE.  To be free from the "rat race" and mass consumerism we all to often find ourselves in.      

These days the line about coming "down where you ought to be" stands out.  It is a line of hope.  You may not be in the right spot now, but that place is there waiting for you.   

I am also moved by the second verse, and how opened and agreeable it is to compromise.  It is a good reminder that some times even if you are faced with a set back or a delay, just keep turning/adapting/moving and you'll be right again.       

 








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March 25, 2013

Meditation Monday

Happy Monday.  It is a short work week for me and I am already counting down until my day off on Friday!  

life is simple

This week I'd like to focus my meditation on simplicity.  I mentioned on Friday how I have been trying to get all the stuff in my house organized and thinned out.  I think it is time to bring this idea to a higher level by incorporating simplicity into my personal philosophy.  It's still a work in progress... but a week of meditating on living a more simple life can only help!

   








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March 22, 2013

52 Weeks of Kindness

Happy Friday!  I have been looking forward to this all weekWe have a busy weekend planned with Easter Egg hunts, breakfast with bunnies, and my little bear's last swim class.  It should be a fun one.

52 weeks of kindness

It is also time to link up with Amber at My Three Bittles for her 52 Weeks Project.   

This week I donated a ton of stuff to Goodwill.  I have been packing and sorting stuff for a few months, trying to simplify and streamline my house.  The funny thing is that it's not making me feel any more organized or pulled together.  I think that I am organizing my stuff to avoid making some decisions in my life.  At least my procrastination on the hard decisions will benefit those in need at the Goodwill!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 


   




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March 21, 2013

Craft Day - Photo Book

a year in my life project
Each year I make a photo book for my little bear.  We take so many pictures of him through out the year, that just sit on the computer and never get used.  When he was 6 months old I made his first book.  It was a perfect little album that can be stored easily, so a tradition was born.  

Now I make a new book after his birthday in August each year.  So each book ends with the birthday party pictures.  My little bear loves to read the books and look at the pictures of himself.  He calls them "the stories of me."

This year I used  My Memories Suite to build the book.  I really do love this program.  I use it all the time, but this was really the first time I actually made an album.  I thought the whole process was simple and great.  
 



Once I had the book finished, I uploaded it to Persnickety Prints and used them to print the book.  Again, the process was easy and the results were wonderful. 

I discovered Persnickety Prints a few months ago and have used them for all my photo printing needs ever since.  I have used other online photo places in the past, but none of them compare to the value and quality that I get at Persnickety.   
Back Page

I highly recommend them.  Plus they have so many great free digital scrap booking kits.  It really is worth checking out just for that.  


   
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March 20, 2013

Oh What A HAPPY Day Link Party

Welcome back to the Oh HAPPY Day Link Party!

Time to celebrate what is giving us JOY and making us HAPPY this week.  It is so easy to get bogged down and lost in the negative.  Let's take a moment and celebrate the positive.


winter fun This week I am happy that it is almost Easter.  The little bear asks me at least once a day if it is time to go and collect some eggs!  He is so excited for Easter and for Spring in general.  He keeps telling me that in the spring he will wear his short sleeves again and we will go camping!  I keep telling him we may still have to wait for summer to go camping... he gives me his "yeah whatever mom" look and just keeps making plans for warmer weather.  He is my little ray of sunshine even if it is almost spring and only 25 degrees out side today! 

I'd also like to once again thank all the lovely bloggers who joined up with us here for Oh HAPPY Day last week.  We had 26 in total!  Yay!  Congrats go out to Erica @ We Three Crabs and Furita @ ChiChi PomPous for having the most views last week.


Now onto the party! 

The rules are pretty simple: 

Have fun and say HI to as many other party goers as possible.  =) 

If you would like to spread the word, please grab a button and put it on your blog.  If you are interested in being a co-host, then just let me know!   

 

not done growing






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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March 19, 2013

Happiness

The other day I stumbled upon an inspirational pin about happiness that got me thinking a lot about how we define happiness and how it effects our lives.  

Pinterest Source

On the surface this is a pretty straight forward quote - basically the less you fight your life and the more you accept it, the happier your will beOK, I can buy into that.  I mean lord know I will never be a six foot tall runway model, so there is no point in killing myself to try to look like one.  Accepting my body as what it is will most definitely increase my level of happy.

dictionary.com
The more I thought about it though, the more this quote also rubs me the wrong way.  Is just accepting and making the most of things the secret of being happy?  What kind of world would we live in if no one challenged the status quo?  If everyone just shrugged their shoulders and said "eh that's life why fight it"?

I will never be a model but that does not mean that I should just accept that I will always be a little overweight and out of shape.  That type of acceptance just makes me sad.  I like to think that we have more choices and more control over this life and our happiness.  

Pinterest having the infinite wealth of inspirational quotes that it does, here is one a little more suited to my style of happiness!

Pinterest Source

I would say that the secret of being happy is KNOWING where you are in life, and then CHOOSING to make the most out of every day.  How about youWhat does your definition of happiness look like?
 
   







Don't forget to stop back tomorrow and link up with the Oh What a HAPPY Day Party.  We can choose to be happy and share our joys together!
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