Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A little bit of crazy

The best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up.

 -Mark Twain

I think I need to really take this quote to heart....it's time for some serious cheering up. I'm feeling a little "crazed" at the moment...

I'm working too hard, too long, and way too stressed.

I don't really like "me" that much right now.  I'm tired, grouchy, and overwhelmed.  Do you ever feel like this?  Dumb question, right?  Life can just be so heavy sometimes...work gets in the way of all the fun.  I'm looking for that balance in my life right now that is so important.

I haven't had any time to be creative, and it's wearing me out, physicallyl and emotionally.  My spirit is a little crushed at the moment and I've got to make a change...fast! 

One of my favorite things to do these days for fun and inspiration, is what I like to call "blog-browsing".  There are so many clever, talented, creative women out there with the most amazing blogs...I thought I'd share some of my favorites. 

This first one, I just found today, she is an amazing food photographer and baker, and only 19 years old!  (She was  even on Martha Stewart today, although I haven't seen the episode yet) The Whisk Kid

This next blog chronicles a mom of 5 kids, she writes funny, touching stories and also shares her photography, which is gorgeous:  Whatever

Here is another great, inspirational blog I frequent often: A Bushel & A Peck

This is a fun blog I found recently that is great for decorating ideas, she seems especially gifted at finding great deals:  A Place for Us

This last blog is from a "friend" of mine I met online.  She has shared countless ideas, recipes, etc. w/ me and her readers.  She is kind, generous and creative, I really appreciate how helpful she has always been: Glorious Treats

These are just a few of the many blogs I like to check out regularly, for ideas, inspiration and sometimes just a good read. 
Hope you have time to check them out and enjoy!

Mary always cheers me up

Well, I think It's time to put things in perspective and remember all the positive things in my life. I think cheering someone else up might be just what the Dr. ordered...now, just who and how?

to be continued...

Cheerful days and Happy Thoughts,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Fever

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Yep, that's me...I've got it, the old Spring Fever.  I don't know what to do first...plant my garden, finish those overdue projects, Spring clean the house...ugh...too much to do and not enough time!

I've ony had one full day of my Spring break at home so far...and with only three more left, I'm probably not going to get it all done, but I'll try...I'll kill myself trying! 

I love this time of year, more than any other. 

My roses are starting to bloom, everything is green, the longer days, kids playing in the park again after a long, cold winter.  The whole feeling of renewal...it makes me want to eat better, exercise, start something new.

Tomorrow my garden is really going in...I'm a little late this year, or it feels like it anyway.  I usually don't wind up putting it in until Spring break, which was later this year than last.  Right now, I have piles of clippings, weeds and dead plants around my backyard, waiting for space in my always full "green" can.  Tomorrow I'll call my neighbor and see if hers has room, she's always so nice about letting me use it. 

My yard is about a third of an acre, most of which is landscaped one way or another (there's still a hidden corner of the property that is overgrown w/ weeds this time of year).  I do not have a gardener.  I do all the yardwork myself.  I don't mean to "toot my own horn" here, but it's a lot of work,  I really do enjoy it though.  I find gardening very theraputic.  I have the best conversations with myself when I'm mowing the lawn...not sure why, maybe it's the repetition, or the steady roar of the motor.  I come up with all sorts of great ideas while I mow...unfortunately sometimes I've forgotten them by the time I get back in the house :)

Yesterday I cut the very first spring blooms of my roses.  I have a lot of rose bushes now...it makes for a lot of pruning in February, but once they've been pruned and fertilized, they are really easy to upkeep...and so worth it!  I love being able to go outside and cut my own bouquet, filling up an empty spot somewhere in the house.

I find it hard to sleep in at this time of year too, I'm always so anxious to get up in the morning and get outside...I love the quiet in the early morning, when the sun is first rising and no one else is up yet. 

Ahhh Spring...

Wishing you Spring Fever and Happy Thoughts,

I've just participated in my first "Show and Tell"...check out My Romantic Home

Monday, April 5, 2010

My little Loves

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained” 
-Winston Churchill

I have been spending the past few days with all my favorite girls...my sister, Lori, my nieces, India & Sahara, and my own girls Kristil & Alyssa.  Being around little ones again is filling my heart with so much love and joy.  They are so precious, I wish I could take them home with me.
My sister and her husband are separated and she does not have family living close to her.  She doesn't get much of a break from full-time mommy duty, and all of you mommies of toddlers out there know how exhausing that can be.

I am thrilled to be able to help her a little, I only wish it could be more often.  Tonight they will be staying w/ their dad, and it was a difficult parting.  I have just one more day of fun with these two little munchkins, and it makes me sad.

Sunday night, my sister and her girls and I all slept together...she has a huge king size bed that easily fit us all.  My youngest daughter told me she was cold during the night and didn't have me to tuck her feet under...how cute is that?  What more could a girl want than her nieces and daughter fighting over who she will sleep with.  Last night I split the night with them...I guess I'm kind of playing musical beds :)

On Saturday I had the girls all to myself...I took my oldest niece with me shopping for groceries (Trader Joe's & Henry's) and to Target.  We were gone for hours and she was an angel the whole time...I spent a bit more than I intended and the girls had new Tinkerbell nighties when all was said and done.  We got home, unpacked our groceries,  made homemade cupcakes and frosting, then I fixed dinner, we ate, cleaned up and the little ones and I took a walk in their neighborhood.  We ended the day with coloring eggs and we were sure to remember to leave carrots out for the Easter bunny.  It was a wonderful and exhausting day!  Sunday morning was Easter and we got to watch them go on their Easter egg hunt.

I will be sad to leave my daughter who is back at school and my sister and her girls...my heart is so full of love for all these beautiful little and big ladies.  I am blessed to have them in my life.

Happy Thoughts,

Thursday, April 1, 2010


"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
-Albert Einstein

Over the past week, I've had some big changes at work.  I eluded to what was happening a little last week (or so).  This past Monday was my first day in my "new" position, and although it is temporary, I will be in my new job for the next several months for sure. I am being given an opportunity to learn a lot of new things at work, that could eventually help me earn a better income.  Unfortunately I was left with no training, but luckily I have a supportive boss and understanding staff at the school I work at.  I will definitely have "hands-on" training on good days, or "trial by fire" on more challenging days.

Our entire staff is facing challenges of it's own with the budget crisis California is dealing with, and in particular the cuts being made to education.  We are losing several wonderful teachers on our campus and many more district-wide.  It will be a bittersweet end to our school year, one that will affect us all in one way or another. It's so important we all try to remain positive to help keep the morale up. 

With the changes I'm dealing with at work, and the chores I have in my garden with spring here, I have had to make some decisions about what I have time for and what I don't.  I've decided that my baking is going to have to be put on the back burner for a little while.  Several factors helped me make this decision...1)  Too many sweets hanging around my house, lots of "taste" testing and leftovers.  2)  Time -  there's just never enough...baking is time consuming and messy.  3)  Priorities - I have a lot more responsibilities at work right now, with a lot more to focus on I may need to stay late sometimes while I'm learning the new job.  It's a little overwhelming right now, which can wear a person out...so standing on my feet baking and cleaning up from it for an addtional hour, or two, or three after I get home from working an 8+ hour day is not sounding too apealing right now.

As a single mom, I already struggle with finding the time and energy to spend quality time with my kids and get all the house and yard chores done each week.  I usually spend most of my weekends on these tasks, but I also know it's important to have some "down-time" too.  I have been trying to make time to read  more like I used to, and I'm still working on my  custom candy bars, which I can work on before I go to sleep at night or very early in the morning before work.  I'm finding my 6 hours of sleep aren't always giving me the rest I need to work all day, fix dinner, tackle a few chores.  Getting to bed definitely needs to be a priority, as is finding time to exercise more.  With the weather warming up, I like to spend more time outdoors, and baking does not go along with that...I still love to bake, but the pressure of taking orders and  having a deadline are more than I want to deal with, for now, at least.

I'm excited for this week to be over, as my youngest daughter and I are taking a little road trip and will head to Southern CA to visit my daughter in college and my sister and nieces.  I love these four girls and can't wait to spend a few days hanging out with them.  When I get home, I hope to work in my backyard and put in my garden, it's all cleared out and ready for planting.

I wish you all many positive opportunities...no matter how difficult they seem.

Happy Easter, Happy Spring, and Happy Thoughts,

This is my sister, Lori on the left, isn't she gorgeous?  And not a drop of make-up even!  With her, and below is my beautiful little niece India.
Here are all the girls, mom/grandma included.  That's me in the turquoise, next to my younger, skinnier sister :)