I Heart Faces: People's Choice

{Photo Fun!}
Want your voice to be heard? Head on over to I Heart Faces, be inspired, and vote for your favorite face photo!

Food Inc. & Lens Love

My eyes have been officially opened.  Ever wonder where the food you buy really comes from?  Ever heard of a GMO?  I'm not a health guru, but like most people I try my best to eat healthy and feed my family food that is suppose to be good for them.

I'll never look at meat or the food I buy the same again.  "Food Inc." is the name of the documentary.  I streamed it through Netflix {which we love}. 

Here's a little sneak peak...

{Lens Happy}
And on a completely different subject...I got a new lense! {Thanks for the applause!}  Its not anything fancy, just another 18-55mm but this one has VR which I'm excited about!  {VR=Vibration Reduction, you know, camera shaking}

I am happy. 

I never realized just how much I use my camera or how theraputic it is for me to take pictures.    Isn't it so great to just stop what you are doing and take a minute or two to cherish a moment?   Those few minutes I spend with my camera in hand keep me on my toes, keep me sane, and I love it.

{Bakin' and Stuff}
Winter is a great time to spend in the kitchen.  And with Bob gone pretty much M-F with school and work, the boys and I have been baking up a storm!

Not much compares to a piece of nice, warm whole wheat bread straight out of the oven with Cinnamon Honey Butter spread on top.  Its up there with the scone and honey butter at Chuck-O-Ramas.

Here's the CHB recipe I used...and I love it!

Cinnamon Honey Butter

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Beat until light and fluffy.  Super yummy.

And I have the best helpers...well, helpers with the best intentions...

{Pizza Box Report}
Kindergarten rocks. Reindeers are so much cooler than I ever knew.  Do you remember your first animal research report?  So fun.

{Next to Baking}
And the next best thing to do inside during the winter is sew!  Ethan and I have been busy.  I sew, he stuffs.

And then we play...

How about those legs? ;)

Now, how about these?  I'm working on a fun new tutorial as we speak! 
Like your little sneak peek?:)

{Kelly wins}
Lest I forget!! Comment #7--Kelly--you win the custom Thank-You card! Just email me which one you'd like and a photo and I'll do the rest!  Congrats!

And goodbye January!

I Heart Faces: Innocent Wonder

{Photo Challenge}
I love "I Heart Faces".  If you're into taking pictures than you might too...its educational, inspiring, and geared toward photographers from rookies to pros.  They host a photo challenge each week and although winning it is like winning the lottery, I LOVE exploring other people artwork creativity in photography.  If you have a spare minute that's a great place to spend it.

Yeah, I'm throwing this one into this weeks challenge.   Aidan was in complete awe of our 1st snow day this year...

Little Laughs + Julie's Idea

{The News}
Every now and then while I'm making dinner I can convince the boys to let me watch the news.  Curious George holds strong at the 5 o'clock hour in our home, so I have to take every chance I get!

A few days ago I got lucky {the boys were busy playing}, so I turned on the news and heard,

"  ...research has shown that it is officially the most depressing day of the year." 


So as I was gearing up to write this post I remembered these cartoons that I had saved in my little "funny" file.  I figured it was time to share them with you.

I'm still giggling.

You'll be happy to know that my new lens is on its way!  Thanks to all of you who have contributed to my little paypal account by purchasing my patterns...it was just enough to cover the lens and shipping.;)  I have some fun things coming, so get ready! 

And speaking of thank-you's... just after Christmas I was emailed by a gal named Julie {I had made her a Christmas Postcard} who had a great idea.  She wanted me to make her a "Thank-you postcard" that she could have printed through Vistaprint to use throughout the year!


She sent me the photos and lookie here!

How cute is that?  Then, her friend emailed me and asked if I'd do the same thing for her. 

How sweet!

And then I threw this one together.

Such a fun idea! Thanks Julie!

If you'd like me to make you a Thank-You card now is your chance!  Just leave me a comment and let me know which design above you like the best!  I'll have a random drawing to see who the lucky winner is!

{More Funnies}
I had to post these.  I can't forget them.  The little pieces of paper I jotted these down on are sure to be lost soon. 

So, for your further enjoyment.  "Ethanisms".

-While talking on the phone someone asked what I was making to eat.  Ethan said so matter-of-factly, "I'm having leaves for dinner." {Ethan was calling spinach "leaves" there for a while.}

-The boys were wrestling one day and I hear Ethan yell, "NO EATING PEOPLE!"

-Ethan was sitting as his little table playing legos when Aidan sat down by him and wanted a piece of the action.  He grabbed a bunch of legos and Ethan gently took them back and said, "Patience young one."

-One day when Ethan was really mad at me he went and started playing the Wii.   I noticed he was making a Mii person...a big ugly, fat lady with really crazy hair.  When I asked him what he was doing he said he was making me.

-One morning I went to comb Ethan's hair and he said, "Mom, please don't poke my eye in."

-Ethan: "I wish my mouth was big like yours so I could eat alot like you."  I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry.  But then a while later he said, "Mom, you're skinny....like Woody."    ;)

-Last summer Ethan and his cousin Lucy were in the back of the car riding together when the following conversation took place:

"Lucy, you can't make somebody to do something. pause. Well, unless you have a remote control."

Okay, just a few more...

"Ah, you just made my heart beep."

"Just pretend like you are in a spa...lay down and put pickles on your eyes."

While trying to figure out where we were reading in the scriptures...
"We are on level 5 of the Book of Mormon."

After almost 8 years of marriage and baking I actually found a killer deal on a Kitchen-Aid and got one for Christmas.  The 1st time we made cookies Ethan was mesmerized by it.  After we were through he said, "Whoever invented this: Thank-You!!"

After school one day Ethan told me that on the morning bus one little boy was kicking a girl.  Then he solemnly stated:    "Mom, I'm pretty sure he is turning to the dark side."

And I'll finish with this one.  Its moments like this that make every tantrum, late night, or timeout worth it.

Ethan: "Do you want to know who I think the most beautiful girl is?"
Me: "Yes."  I was curious to see what of his little friends he would pick.
Ethan:  "You."

I know. I could go on and on.  The life and love of our 6 year old.

Hope I got a smile out of ya'!  If not that's okay.  Maybe you'll smile knowing that the most depressing day of the year has already passed...;)


Elizabeth The Friend + Owl Love

{Elizabeth: The Friend}
I don't know you, but I wish I did!  You are such a good friend.  And good news...you win the cute blue hoodie!:) 

And I have to say...the rest of you are pretty darn cool too.  Thanks for your inspiring comments.  We all have so much to be grateful for.

If you missed it, Elizabeth said...
"My dearest friend (who is also a co-worker) is having a 12 hour pelvic reconstruction on Tuesday--was in a horrible car accident last April with a shattered pelvis---bug bummer. Bigger bummer--this means my workload doubled! But bright and good things? My kids are healthy, we made the 1/2 way payment on our house, and my friend will be all better (we pray!) in a few months.

That blue pullover? It would look awesome on her little boy!"

Way to look on the bright side. Email me so we can get it to you ASAP!:)

If you happened to miss the post about these Pottery Barn pillowcase train sweatshirts here you goWe are loving Aidan's!

{Sweet Babes}
I'm not much of a pink person--well, not since the 3rd grade--- but I'm loving this next photo.  Last fall Ethan collected these little acorn caps near the bus stop, and with the help of a hot glue gun we made these little babes. 

You can find them in his Etsy Shop...SticksandThings

I love them.

And speaking of babes...

Little Jonah.  Born January 6.  My newest nephew.  How sweet is he.  Congrats Matt, Kathryn, & big brother Ezra!
{My sister Margo took this shot...isn't it great? My camera is still lens-less after the big break, darn it.}

{Little Owl}
Here you go.  This printable is from last year, but I didn't think you'd mind if I re-shared it!  Especially if you're looking for a less-pink valentine...

To get this card/gift tag you can click here. 

{Yes, More}
I had to add these to my "happy" pictures. Couldn't help myself.  I also decided to throw in a little commentary for these ones...for posterity's sake.;)
{Summer Lovin'.} 
Growing up in Oregon I totally took for granted the fresh produce that grew like crazy all over the place.   Once I heard that the early settlers would joke that if you planted a broomsick in the NW if would sprout.;)  Ah, those silly pioneers!

Well, I prefer berries over broom sprouts.  So do the kidlets...

The Pioneer Woman recipes = the tipping of the scale. 
Last summer I attempted my 1st blueberry pie.  It worked.  I'd highly recommend this one to skinny people or those with enough self control to stop themselves from eating the entire thing.;)

{The Thinker} 
This kid has to get to the bottom of it.  From the wheels on the dishwasher racks to the how trains work...I love to watch him explore and try to conquer the world.  I also love blowing kisses all over that belly.

{August 7}
I love the fun, bright colors in this "party" picture + the great memories.  Aidan's 2nd Birthday. 

{Back to Berries} 
Add wild blackberries from my parents yard + the Pioneer Woman's Cheesecake recipe = Mmmmmm. 

That lady knows her stuff.

I guess I'm officially a grown-up.   I love cheesecake and I actually made one.  I think I just put on 5 pounds writing this post...

We have my brother, "Uncle Travie", to thank for this one.  He took Ethan to the dollar store and this was what he came back with...

Love it.

One of this Toad's favorite treasures...The Coast.

My 3 "funny" brothers once jokingly said,

"Toad so loved the beach that she took her only 2 sons..."
yeah, I'd better stop there before I offend someone. 
You get the picture. 
Ahhh, brothers.;)

And I'll end with this...

Do you ever feel like you are just one little flower lost in a crowd of many trying to grow and find their way?

Just remember...we all bloom and shine on our own timeline.

Some may bloom earlier, bigger, or taller,
       but each of us has our own unique beauty to offer.

You are beautiful.


More Happiness

{Not finished}
Nope, I'm not done photo-posting yet.  I just love these pictures.  Some of them are easy to understand why, and others may get you wondering, but either way I hope you get a little happiness in your heart.

PS I've been hunting out items around here to sell on ebay...I think I'll have that new lens sooner than we think! Cross your fingers!:)

Which one is your favorite? I'd love to know...if you have a second, leave me a comment! 

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