Homemaking: Songs for Cleaning

What's the Homemaking September ShapeUp! all about?

I added a playlist of upbeat songs to the playlist in my side bar. Tamy contributed Flashdance and Main Event, however I couldn't find Main Event available online. However, this isn't all about me! So, do you have any additional suggestions? I want any and all suggestions! I'll add songs that most people would know to the playlist, if I can find them online.

Now, here's the thing, I LOVE finding new music, and this playlist isn't my typical cleaning playlist. My actual list is so random. The very first song I put on the list is an example of them, I put it first so you can skip it if you want to. So in the interest of full disclosure, and transparency, here's the list of songs in my actual cleaning playlist, yes, it's long! I play it on random:

Homemaking September ShapeUp!

Homemaking September ShapeUp!

Hello dahlings! October, November and December are my busiest months with both work and personal events. So, I'm going to take September to shape up my home and routines to get me through January. Wanna play along? It's always more fun with friends.

What does homemaking mean to me? Homemaking comprises all the little efforts that go into make our houses into cozy homes. This is everything from cleaning and organizing, getting dinner on the table, the small decorating touches, fresh flowers, and all the little things that show our families that we care. So, these are all the little things we'll touch on this month.

I do my best decluttering, cleaning and organizing with music, so I've updated my playlist on the right with some of my favorite house cleaning songs. I like something upbeat with a fast tempo that I know all the words to. It helps to get me going and keep me going, and I love to sing and dance around the house while cleaning. So for starters I'm going to send 3 lovely readers a CD of my favorite cleaning music and some of the documents I've used in the past and I'll be using again this month, just leave a comment here by midnight on Tuesday and I'll pick 3 readers at random and get packages out on Wednesday.

I'm interested in having someone write some guest posts for Week 3 on the Special Topic : Routines with Children. If you are up for only writing 1 or 2 posts let me know, I can split the posts up. I have plenty of topic ideas, but thought it would be good to have someone with experience to share what works for them. Besides I'm hoping this will be a bit of a group effort.

Not everything this month will apply to everyone, so please share what works for you, other ideas and tips in the comments each day. Feel free to write your own related posts and let me know, I'll link up everyone interested in join in for the month, no posts required, just sharing the love! I'll create a Link List in my sidebar just for September ShapeUp.

So here's the plan:
Week 1 : Decluttering
Week 2 : Cleaning
Week 3 : Organizing
Week 4 : Decorating
Week 5 : Relax and Enjoy

Monday : Kitchen
Tuesday : Dining Areas, Foyers & Entrance Areas
Wednesday : Family Rooms, Living Rooms & Rec Rooms
Thursday : Bedrooms
Friday : Extra Rooms (Offices, Craft Rooms, Kids Rooms, etc)
Saturday : Bathrooms & Laundry Rooms
Sunday : Outdoor Spaces

Each week I'd also like to cover special focus topics:
Week 1 : Menu Planning with Tamy
Week 2 : Creating/Updating our Home Manuals
Week 3 : Routines with Children
Week 4 : Reader Requests
Week 5 : Maintenance

What do I need from you?

1) If you are interested in participating, sharing your progress and being linked up, leave a comment on this post.
2) If you are interested in guest posting any posts in Week 3 send me an email, and leave a comment on this post. You don't have to be a current reader to offer to guest post.
3) If you have any specific things you want covered, or if you have an idea for a guest post in Week 4 on any topic, leave a comment on this post.

View the Guide

Homemaking September ShapeUp Guide

What's the Homemaking September ShapeUp! all about?

Homemaking September ShapeUp!Throughout the month of September I am working on getting my home and routines in shape and would love it if you'd join in. It's always so much more fun with friends. Here's the game plan and a guide to make it easier to find what you are looking for throughout the month. And because this isn't just for me, I've left week 4 open for whatever activities and additional things you want to accomplish! This guide will be added to as the month goes on, please give me your input on any topics you may want covered.

Join in the Homemaking September ShapeUp!
What is Homemaking?
Songs for Cleaning
How Do I Clean?

Week 1 - Declutter
Declutter the Kitchen
Declutter the Dining Room
Declutter the Living Areas
Declutter the Bedrooms
Declutter the Extra Rooms
Declutter the Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms
Declutter the Outdoor Spaces

Week 2 - Clean
Clean the Kitchen
Clean the Dining Room and Entry
Clean the Living Areas
Clean the Bedrooms
Clean the Extra Rooms
Clean the Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms
Clean the Outdoor Spaces

Week 3 - Organize
Organize the Kitchen
Organize the Dining Room and Entry
Organize the Living Areas
Organize the Bedrooms
Organize the Extra Rooms
Organize the Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms
Organize the Outdoor Spaces

Week 4 - Decorate
Decorate the Kitchen
Decorate the Dining Room and Entry
Decorate the Living Areas
Decorate the Bedrooms
Decorate the Extra Rooms
Decorate the Bathrooms
Decorate the Outdoor Spaces

Week 5 - Relax and Enjoy
Time for a Project You Love
Me Time, Date Nights, Free Days

Special Topics

Week 1 : Menu Planning and Kitchen Organization with Tamy
Organizing Your Pantry and Refrigerator
Essential Pantry and Refrigerator Items
Overall Kitchen Organization
Menu Planning, Shopping Frugally, Recipes
Techniques to Make Weekday Meals Easier
Cooking with Kids
Family Dinners - Organizing for a Crowd

Week 2 : Creating and Organizing Your Home Manual
Creating a Home Manual
Writing Down Your Routines
Creating a Weekly Routine
In Case of Emergency
Family Calendar
Family Information
Contact Information

Week 3 : Routines with Children
Chores By Age
Chore Chart
Consequences & Rewards
Daily Routines
Creating a Job Jar
Allowances and Chores
Kid's Fun Day

Week 4 : Reader Request

Week 5 : Maintaining
In/Out Policy

Blogger of the Week : Monique

As you well know, I love my readers and commenters. And I mentioned earlier this month that I want to start featuring a blog each week. I love learning more about everyone, and I want to give you the opportunity to get to know each other as well.

EscapeHatch 125x125 DoodlePage 125x125

As Monique is the inspiration for this feature, it is only right that she be the first. I sent her off a list of questions and ridiculous requests and she graciously obliged my silliness and sent me answers and some amazing photographs. She blogs at Escape Hatch and Doodle Page and has become a very good friend over the last few months.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Actually, I had dried fruit this morning for breakfast. More of a snacking breakfast. And a Dr. Pepper which I'm sure completely leveled any nutritional value of the fruit.

Monique - Breakfast

What is your favorite childhood book? and why?
I don't know about favorite, but I loved The Donkey and the Rainbow and Eyes of the Dragon. The first because it was given to me by my Grandmother when I was going through a tough time as a kid. She said I could use a get-away. I threw myself into the book and gobbled it up in 2 days, turned around and read it again. She was right apparently. Oddly enough, I haven't read it since. Now, having just thought of it, I think I will now find and read it to the boys.

The second is the first book by Stephen King that I read. It was given to me by my mother when I was 16. I had just started my first job at Boman Twins Theatre. **Random info: This was on the cusp of theatres going mega. It had 2 screens and both theatres were HUGE. It was dying when I started, but I feel so honored to have been there when I was. It closed a few years after I moved on.**

Stephen King is one of my mother's favorite author's, so the gift was meaningful in that she was sharing her interests with me. She and I struggled at points in my childhood, I spent a lot of it living with my Grandparents while she worked as a bartender and partied her 20's away. The gift of the book was within a year of moving back in with her.

What is your favorite work of art? and why?
Oh My. My favorite work of art, and why. That is a tough question. I have so many different art interests I doubt one could totally do it. Here is my favorite art subject and the why is quite simple, I love motherhood.

Monique - Motherhood

From upper left clockwise: Mother and Child by Max Mannix, Motherhood by Pablo Picasso, Mother Holding Baby by Keith Harring, and Mother and Child by Gustav Klimt.

What is your favorite quote?
I have read so many quotes over the years I think I would find it impossible to think of my favorite quote, so I'll give you one good one and 1 of my all time favorite poems. Deal?

"I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound — if I can remember any of the damn things." - Dorothy Parker

This poem is special because it was one of the first I remember reading on my own. My Grandparents had a wonderful set of books that I now own most of, though some were lost over the years. One was a collection of classic poetry. I was young, elementary school, when I stumbled on it and it became mine that day. This is the one that I always think of. The book itself is mixed in with the many I have stored away, I have nowhere in this house to have them out, which is a shame.

She Walks in Beauty
by George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron

She walks in beauty like the night
of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
meets in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
had half impair'd the nameless grace
which waves in every raven tress,
or softly lightens o'er her face -
where thoughts serenely sweet express
how pure, how dear their dwelling - place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
so soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
the smiles that win, the tints that glow,
but tells in days of goodness spent,
a mind at peace with all below,
a heart whose love is innocent.

What's your favorite super secret website?
LOL Well, I have shared this with you already. I am drawn to the girl's life. http://kalibaybay.blogspot.com

What is your favorite and least favorite chore? and why?
I do not have a favorite chore. I pretty much hate them all, but I respect that they need to be done. If I'm in a position to choose one, I'll say vacuuming. There is something very oddly pleasing to me when I see a room freshly vaccumed. It just has an aire of crispness. My least favorite is easy. I hate laundry, because it never ever stops. I can walk into the bathroom when it is horrid and at least know that in awhile I will be finished. If only for a few hours or a day, it will be DONE. Laundry is never done. Regardless of how many loads I do, there will inevitably be a sock, rag or shirt SOMEWHERE to sit in the empty laundry hamper just WAITING for me, taunting me. UGH.

What makes your house uniquely your home? and why?
Ok, I must be getting tired because the only thing coming to mind is "Because I'm in it" and I know you want more than that.... Soooo.... My next answer would be that it is tidy but does not look untouched. You can see the personality of the people who live here.

Will you share a favorite recipe?
I am pretty much a freak for Tex-Mex food. I've gotten to the point where I cannot stand jarred salsa and make my own. It's so easy and nothing can possibly compare. Unfortunately I don't follow a recipe, I just do it. I'll do the best I can to give an idea, but it is a taste and add kind of thing the first few times you make it. Everyone has different tastes and jalapenos are moody li'l things.

Monique - Salsa

Monique's Salsa
10-12 stewed tomatoes (I buy them canned)
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 a bunch of cilantro
1 large onion
5-6 jalapenos
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime

a food processer or strong chopping hands and a good knife

Monique - Salsa Mise En Place

I suck at the whole "this is how you do it" stuff. I start w/ 1/2 the tomatoes, pulsing just a few times, leaving them chunky. I like the cilantro and garlic finely chopped and the onion just shy of fine. I don't clean the processer out between ingredients, because, why? It's all going to the same place.

The jalapenos can be tricky, you never know if they will be scorchers or not. So just be cautious or daring, depending on what you like. I enjoy the flavor of the jalapeno far beyond what I like in heat ((and I appreciate a HOT salsa)) so I begin by slicing 4 peppers lengthways and removing the seeds to a bowl before throwing the peppers into the processor. I then add a small amount of the seeds, knowing reagrdless of how hot they are, I can handle that much.
Careful opening the processor after these, it will truly take your breath away and if possible wear gloves. (added info: Once before I learned this lesson I touched the skin under my nose after handling the peppers and went into a painful panic looking for help on the internet. What I found? Cream Cheese works wonderfully. It worked and took the burn out of it. I was grateful.)

I use the last of the tomatoes to grab anything left of the others things in the prosessor using the lemon, lime and salt as finishing touches. It takes much more salt then you will think is necessary, and if you taste it and get a sense of all ingredients but it seems like something is missing, it is probably the salt. I am always surprised at the amount of salt needed. Which is also why I don't make this every week.
{Barbara: I think she did just fine explaining}

What homemade project are you most proud of? and why?
I love making halloween costumes for the boys. We've had Peter Pan running through the house, a Hobo, a Dinosaur, a Pirate and several others. My favorite to make was this astronaut costume. Bailey has an ongoing theme in his life, he wants to be a comic book artist or an astronaut. He wanted an astronaut costume for halloween and once I started thinking of ways to create it, I just couldn't stop.

Monique - Astronaut

Monique - Astronaut
{Barbara: I think she did an amazing job!}

What got you interested in photography? Will you share a few of your favorite photos?
I simply cannot remember where it began. I really don't. I do know that I have always been drawn to photographs, tearing them from magazines and keeping them. I've always had a camera of some kind, I even still have negatives from elementary school that are 110's. In my junior high yearbooks, I have a few entries that read "to the girl who takes lots of pictures". It still amazes me that at no time did I even consider being on the yearbook staff. I was content doing my thing.

When I started my first job at 16 I bought an old Minolta 35mm from a pawn shop and wore it out. It was the camera I took w/ me to college. I love that I learned w/ it because it did nothing for me. There was nothing to help me cheat. I didn't have a light meter, no auto to it, anywhere. It was all me and I think I developed better knowing if I wanted this image on the negative then I had better know my stuff.

The images I'm sharing are special because they were among the firsts I took in college. That was the beginning of me saying "ok, this is real and I want to do this" instead of just clicking away happily as a hobby.

"Smokey" This was taken in the alley beside the tiny movie theatre in the tiny college town we were in. I loved his duster and had this image in mind a long time before seeing it on film.

"Fountain" This is a very long exposure of the fountain on Riverside Drive in Tulsa Oklahoma. I was using the camera I mentioned above without a light meter, it wasvery late, very dark and I just did it with the theory that leaving the shutter open long enough would allow what little light I had to burn something on the film for me.

"Riverside Drive" Same night as the fountain picture.... I had a better understanding of what to expect from this shot and have always loved the S curve in the street and wondered what an image would look like fromthe bridge. Now I know, and it is still one of my favorite photographs.

Please visit Monique's blog and say hi! She's an amazing woman, a good friend and she has a fun blog. Her links will be up in the sidebar all week.

Friday I'm In Love {10}

I haven't done a Friday I'm In Love feature in a while, I haven't actively looked at Etsy in a month, which is helping the pocketbook! However, Etsy found me anyway and I just LOVE Robin's shop Nothing Like It. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it.

Giraffe Coaster

This giraffe coaster is her latest creation and her first larger sized coaster for people with coffee mugs like mine! Her whimsical style and sense of humor would brighten anyone's morning coffee. This red dog is one of her standard sized coasters and oh so cute. Reminds me of Clifford, The Big Red Dog.

Giraffe Coaster

She makes other creations as well such as:
Lowat - the Summer Imp (a posable figure, not a toy)
These adorable veggie magnets (each sold separately)
Flat Magnet Critters (shown next to a standard sized pig coaster)
Custom mugs, like this cute Mad Santa Mug (it's sitting on top of a flat elf coaster, but they are sold separately)

They'll be cute Christmas gifts nestled in baskets with some favorite beverage of choice and a few other goodies.

Edited: Oh, I forgot to mention that Robin has a blog too! Go visit her and say hi and look at all of her whimsical posts, her sense of humor cracks me up!

Happy Birthday Erin!

Erin over at Design for Mankind is celebrating her birthday today. Swing by and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Vintage Birthday Party

My Kitchen

Kitchen Overview:

Skip all the details and jump to the pics

Yesterday on my menu plan, Blaze Danielle asked me how my kitchen was decorated and what color it is, since I love to cook so much. So, I thought I'd share a bit about my kitchen. I do have a kitchen post on Kitchen Comforts as well. However, I don't dwell on the decorating aspect of it there.

We bought this house even though there are a lot of things that we want to change. Our thought was that the house would work well until we got around to the remodeling. There is a LOT of blue in this house, I'm slowly replacing the blue floral wallpapers with paint. The last thing we'll do is replace the blue carpeting throughout the main level with wide plank hardwood flooring. The blue carpet and countertop were both there when I moved in and will be replaced eventually. In the meantime, I've accessorized in the dinette to coordinate.

I love the light cream paint on the walls, it warms it up a touch while keeping it light and airy in the main living area. I have scandinavian lace curtains hanging above the window in the kitchen and dinette to let as much light in as possible. There are blinds, but they are always up. The kitchen itself is blue and cream, so I chose red as my accent color.

I use 3 crocks in the kitchen, two to hold my utensils and I have 1 as a cookie crock. I painted the wood lid on the cookie crock red to match the rest of the kitchen accessories. I have a tine to corral things like vitamins and medications, and I keep the phone, phone book, pad of paper and pen on a tray so when cleaning I can quickly move it out of the way and put it back.

My KitchenAid mixer is a workhorse in my kitchen so I leave it out all the time. Many decluttering sites tell you to put appliances away and pull them out only when used. This makes sense if you a) have a lot of extra storage and b) use these appliances infrequently. I leave my mixer and bread machine out, they get used often. I do have a food processor, but I use a mandoline for most meals for just hubby and I, so that is stowed. Do what works for you!

One thing that I do leave out that is used very infrequently is my coffee maker. It's too tall to stash anywhere, but it will be finding a home in the closet off of the kitchen when we convert half of it into a pantry.

 I took the photos below Monday night, you can click on any of them to be taken to my photo album on Flickr for bigger photos and notes.

Counter closest to dinette:

Window above my sink, scandinavian lace curtains and a Swedish paper cut design (intended for Christmas, but I love it and leave it up year round):

The counter between the stove and sink: Utensil crocks, knife block, spoon rest and cookbook holder. Oh and you can see a bit of my gloves, which I think are just adorable:

The counter between the stove and the pantry:

Fridge corner, not visible in older pics:

My everyday dishes are in this cabinet across from the dinette table:

The Revival of Common Courtesy {5}

Tamy over at 3 Sides Of Crazy has started a weekly feature to share common courtesy and etiquette tips. Each week has a different theme, this week is Every Day Manners.

She asks: How were you taught everyday manners? How should manners be introduced in everyday life? At what point do you insist on good manners from children?

I'm sure you'd call it being taught, but manners were just expected. Please, thank you, excuse me... being polite was just a given growing up.

I can't remember the last time I heard a child asking if they may be excused from the table. Obviously it all has to start at home, but beyond that as well I think it's every adults responsibility to set a good example for children to follow. I also think it's the responsibility of the media to show better manners on television as well. I think back to how many times I've watched kids on tv shows get up from the table and storm out of the room and the parents do nothing. Yes, it's for drama and effect, but it's not setting a good example. Growing up, that was NOT an option. What message is it sending to the kids watching?

Menu Plan Monday {20}

Monday - Tortellini with Pesto (both Buitoni's)
Tuesday - Pot Roast
Wednesday - Beef Stew
Thursday - Spinach & Goat Cheese Pizza
Friday - Quicky Quiche, I can't get Allouette here anymore so I'll be improvising a new Quicky Quiche recipe, I'll let you know how it goes
Saturday - Not planning to be in town, so I'm not planning a meal
Sunday - Pantry Cleanout and Leftovers

Join Menu Plan Monday over at The Organizing Junkie

Monday Musings {18} - Angelou

"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness."
-Maya Angelou

Just a Few Things

First, took some time to update my blog roll, I've found a few new blogs recently and hadn't added them yet. Not because I don't love them or check them daily! So take a quick peek if you want.

Second, inspired by a conversation with Monique, I'm going to start featuring some of my frequent commenters and my favorite blogs each week. I started using EntreCard a while back and decided that I'm willing to give a little advertising space to complete strangers, I should do it for my friends too. So, as the inspiration, Monique will be first. It'll take a while to get around to everyone, give me time :)

Third, along with all the blog maintenance I'm doing some house maintenance. Next month, all month, I'll be having a get our house in shape month, with special tasks to do each day, household planners, recipe planning and tips from Tamy. I am trying to get back into my routines, because life is so much easier when they are in place. I'm looking forward to it and I hope you are too.


Happy Birthday Hana Mi!

Hana Mi over at Gifted Hand is celebrating her birthday today. I totally missed it, well I didn't know it was coming up, and I feel terrible this is so late. Swing by and wish her a Happy Birthday or belated Happy Birthday if you come by tomorrow!

Vintage Birthday Party

Front Door Decor {1}

Front Door Decor at Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers

It's time! The first round up of Front Door Decor, first go here to get all the information and the button, if posting on your blog, and your posting options. I'm so excited to see all of your front doors. Remember, the next round up will be a special Halloween edition!

During the summer I go with more of a beachy feel around the house. I like to give everything a lighter feel, including my front door. Here I have a flower bucket, filled with seashells.

Front Door Decor

And a close up of the bucket for you.

Front Door Decor

If you've shared your Front Door, put a link to it here. If you share your door via the Flickr Group or another photo sharing site, link to the image and your blog, so we can visit both! If you link you must share at least one photo of your front door, or your link will be removed.

The Revival of Common Courtesy {4}

Tamy over at 3 Sides Of Crazy has started a weekly feature to share common courtesy and etiquette tips. Each week has a different theme, this week is Thank You Notes.

Too often we overlook the two simple words which can make all the difference in how someone feels about your relationship. Saying thank you lets people know that they are appreciated, and the time and thought they put into a gift or your relationship is appreciated. This is true whether the relationship is between you and a family member, friend, prospective employer, employee, or a complete stranger. Tamy has a list of required circumstances for expressing written thanks and the appropriate methods. However, I still like to express my written appreciation occassionally, even when it isn't always "required". In this electronic age, it's still lovely to get a card, letter or package in the mail.

It doesn't take much to express appreciation or gratitude, just a few simple sentences.

Dear Reader,

Thank you for reading my blog. I love when you take the time to comment and let me know I'm appreciated.

I hope to hear from you again soon.


Menu Plan Monday {19}

Hubby is out of town most of the week, and I have plans most of the week for dinner. So it's an easy week. Usually I save Sunday evenings for Pantry Cleanout and Leftovers, but based on my week I won't have much for leftovers. Since that's the first night hubby's home I'll make him something he'll love.

Monday - Lime Garlic Chicken with Rice
Tuesday - Boy Scout lawn Social
Wednesday - Dinner out with the girls
Thursday - Plans with my niece
Friday - Asian Chicken Salad
Saturday - Turkey, Bacon, Guac Sandwich with Cucumber Salad
Sunday - Beef Stew with Spoon Bread

Join Menu Plan Monday over at The Organizing Junkie

Monday Musings {17} - de Lenclos

"That which is striking and beautiful is not always good; but that which is good is always beautiful"
-Ninon de Lenclos

I'm Back and Another Day (Year) Older...

It's after midnight, so I really should be in bed. Instead I've been up watching movies and daydreaming, is it still called daydreaming even when done at night?

Hubby plans the day tomorrow, oooops today, and I just get to relax and enjoy everything he has planned. So long as it includes me sleeping in, I'm up for anything.

I'm officially back from my bloggy break, and I will get myself caught up soon. In the meantime, while on hiatus I was tagged for a 6 Random Things About Me Meme from Kiy at Rocking Chairs and a Tricycle. Check out her Random Things too, I seriously could have blatantly stolen her list except for #2 and it would all be true about me too. The lists, not the detailed explanations. Hmmmm, let's sub crochet for counted cross-stitch and #2 works for me. Anyway, my random things:

1) I went to college for the first time exactly 16 years ago to the day. Yup, I moved into the dorm on my 18th birthday.

2) I'm a bit of a pyromaniac and love to play with fire.

3) I'm obsessed with trying to switch everything over to more natural products at home, because all the chemicals and preservatives are freaking me out! getting to me...

4) My sister had Tiffany's tape when she was younger, and I used to know all the words to her songs. Tiffany was kinda boy crazy... so was I...

5) I have a pair of green and white striped knee-high's that I wear to UND hockey games. I'm one of THOSE fans...

6) I have my ears pierced, but never wear earrings because they bother my ears. I've always been jealous of friends with earrings that go with different outfits. I still want to be one of those girls... Any suggestions? (hypo-allergenic doesn't help, and neither does wearing gold only, unless I'm just not wearing a high enough karat or something)

I'm supposed to tag 6 people... so... Tamy, Monique, Kim, Sandra, Susan and Michelle

Vintage Birthday Party

Front Door Decor

After consideration of the poll results, I'm going to offer a way for us to share images of the entrances to our homes on a seasonal basis with special editions for Halloween and Winter Holidays. You won't be limited to sharing just 1 image or post, so by all means please share any decorating you do the next time around.

I've created a Flickr group, Front Door Decor, for us to share photos. So you will be able to link to a post on your site, link to an image stored elsewhere online, or upload an image to the Flickr Group. If you don't have Flickr, but would like to have a photo loaded, you can e-mail it to me and I'll upload it for you.

If you upload your image to the Flickr Group, please feel free to link to your blog on the post and include your blog URL in the image description so we can visit your blog and say hi as well! :)

We'll be sharing photos on the 20th of February, May, August and November, with special editions in October and December. This could also be a fun project to share with kids, so I can't wait to see the submissions.

Here is the button! You don't have to use the button, just link back to the front door decor tag somehow so people that want to join in are able to:

Front Door Decor at Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers

To add it to your blog, copy and paste the following into your post:

To add it to your blog, copy and paste the following into your post:

The post that started it all

The Revival of Common Courtesy {3}

Tamy over at 3 Sides Of Crazy has started a weekly feature to share common courtesy and etiquette tips. Each week has a different theme, this week is R.S.V.P.

She asks, "Do you remember to communicate your intentions clearly to your hostess?"

The answer... of course!

I think my biggest pet peeve nowadays is the lack of notice some hosts and hostesses give to their guests, especially if they expect them to come.

Whatever happened to 2 weeks notice of party invitations? I'm not talking about an impromptu BBQ, but for instance a birthday party, a wedding shower, a baby shower, etc. The date of the birthday doesn't change from year to year, and the guests knowing the birthdate can't be expected to keep a few weekends open in that month, just in case the hostess/host picks that weekend for the party. Invitations to tea/coffee or a BBQ or picnic are fine extended via phone or in person with limited notice, I'm not requesting formal invitations to every event by any means. However, birthdays, showers, baptisms, weddings, etc, send an email or invitation via mail requesting RSVP 2 weeks in advance, please.

Also, please don't assume that a general invitation extended at a large group gathering is heard by everyone there. Invitations to future parties should be extended personally, so you know they heard you. These courtesies should be extended to everyone, including family, especially family. Don't be lax with your invitations just because you are related, that's the quickest way to hurt feelings due to misunderstandings.

Monday Musings {16} - Wilson

In the spirit of my short bloggy break:

"A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking."
-Earl Wilson

Happy Birthday Sandra!

Sandra over at Full Bellies, Happy Kids and Diary of a Stay At Home Mom is celebrating her birthday today. Swing by and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Vintage Birthday Party

Awards - Passing the Torch {3}

I've received a lot of lovely awards recently and thought I should take a few minutes to say THANK YOU! and pass them on to the blogs I love. I'm breaking the rules a bit, so I can spread the awards out.

Tamy from 3 Sides of Crazy and Kim from Forever Daisies gave me this:


I'd like to pass this on to Monique at Escape Hatch, Sandra at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom, Blaze Danielle at Blaze Danielle : A Creative Compilation, Anne-Maree at The House That A-M Built, and Kiy at Rocking Chairs and a Tricycle.

I received this from Monique at Escape Hatch:


I'd like to pass it on to Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy.

Then Tamy is so well-loved and gets a TON of awards and has passed many on to me, on to the awards followed by who I'm passing them on to:

I'd like to pass this on to Kim at Forever Daisies.

I'd like to pass this on to Hana Mi at Gifted Hand.

I'd like to pass this one on to Susan at Emperorp.

I'd like to pass this on to Melissa at The Inspired Room

This is supposed to be accompanied by 6 things that make me happy and to be passed on to 6 other bloggers, but like I said I'm breaking the rules a bit... What makes me happy... that I have so many blogging friends that I'm going to run out of awards before passing them all on:
I'd like to pass this on to muralimanohar at Miscellany of Me.

I'd like to pass this on to Linda at Little House in the Big Woods.

I'd like to pass this one on to Liz at Mabel's House, her blog is a new find for me because she left me a comment and she has such a sweet blog, go say hello to her.

I'd like to pass this one on to Michelle at Laundromat.
This is kind of a special one with a back story:
This award was created by Memoirs of a Mommy. It’s a very special award that she created in Honor Of The Donor That Saved (her son) Noah’s Life. Noah received a heart transplant, and she hopes that by passing this award around the blogosphere everyone can help raise awareness of the need for Organ Donation.

The rules of this award are: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog.

**All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipients to do the same**