My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box
somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be
wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From
your thoughts, you can create greatness.This is what I need to remind
myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with
gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes
to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create.
Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but
how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around
you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgmental,
love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are

Sunday, December 1, 2013

confessions of a thinkaholic: Sundays With Buddha

Good Morning, everyone! It's that time of year again, can you believe it?! I. Can. Not. Noah is up getting the lights for the house, now. I'm getting ready to  take all the Fall/Thanksgiving decor down and put up all the Winter/Christmas-time decor. We may even go get our tree this evening! We'll see how tired out I have the hubby...
Well, here is week 32 of SWB. I touch on a sort of unconventional "reason to the Season". Don't be offended if it's not what you think. I may have different thoughts and beliefs than you, but I think we all basically want the same thing. Why not read it first before shooting it may surprise you. It won't take long, and it certainly won't ruin your relationship with your beliefs. For those of you who haven't read yet, you'll be surprised to see it's not exactly what you expect.

So, in advance, thanks for reading, as always, and have a Blessed day!

confessions of a thinkaholic: Sundays With Buddha: Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their own suffering. Some suffer too much, some too little.         ...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

confessions of a thinkaholic: On Another Note...

Hey, there. Here's a very personal post that I have been sitting on and debating on whether or not to share. So, I guess I'm sharing. It is important to me to share what I think is important, if it means it may help someone else. Thanks so much for reading my blog(s). You will never know how much it means to me, but I will always try to tell you.

Have a great week ahead, and be good to each other, and to yourselves.


confessions of a thinkaholic: On Another Note...: I haven't written any other post besides the Sundays With Buddha in a really long time, so I thought now would be a good time to sort of...

Chicken with fresh-from-the-tree Plum Salsa...Yum!

Hi there! I thought I'd share another quick little dinner I whipped up using some of my treasures I got at the annual Peach Festival in Grafton, Illinois at Pere Marquette Lodge at Pere Marquette State Park. After an unseasonably cool summer, this day was pretty warm, but a great day to browse what the local farmers had to offer. We bought a bunch of plums and big juicy peaches, the absolute best I have ever eaten, actually; picked fresh early that morning.

I knew I wanted to do something with those plums for dinner, like a plum sauce with chicken, but I didn't know what. I went on the search and found something that we really liked. I altered it just a little, but you can get the full recipe here

Look how beautiful these are!

             It's a great feeling to support local farmers and get something this beautiful and delicious.

So, this is what I did. The recipe called for a couple of ingredients that I didn't have, like lime juice and fresh basil but it turned out fabulously.
I started with two trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breasts, olive oil and two plump, ripe plums fresh from the tree.

I washed and diced up the two plums and a home grown jalapeno from my dad's pepper plant...


                                                 ...and gathered the rest of my ingredients...

  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin  

  • Now, this is what the recipe called for, and I didn't halve the ingredients for the two breasts I used instead of four, but it made just the right amount for the size of the chicken breasts I used.

     Stir together the plums, jalapeno, onion and 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl and the brown sugar, cumin, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl. I rubbed my chicken with the brown sugar mixture working rather quickly as the brown sugar melts fast. What I did next varies from the recipe, but made the raw salsa very delish!

    I cooked the chicken in the olive oil in a nonstick griddle skillet over medium heat for several minutes on each side. When the brown sugar started to caramelize I turned the heat to low and added a little water to loosen the sugar from the pan. I took the chicken out and added the juice from the skillet to the salsa in the bowl. I folded it until it was blended well and let it sit while I made the rest of my dinner.
    That was just a simple box of Near East Parmesan flavored couscous and Green Giant Sugar snap peas. The couscous literally takes five minutes, just enough time for the peas to steam. When the peas are done you can drain them and serve, but I always sauté them with a little olive oil and salt in an omelet pan. Yum!

    We like our peas right on top of our couscous and our pears right on top of our chicken, and, boy, was it delish!
                 Don't forget, you can get the full recipe and many more at Enjoy!

    And please keep checking back. I will give it my all to get this blog back up and running with more projects, recipes, fun and adventure...promise!

    Have a great week


    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    confessions of a thinkaholic: Sunday's With Buddha

    I've been away for a short while attending to my brother's arrangements. He passed last Friday, July 26th. My sister and I have been in Wisconsin all week to tend to everything and to bring our brother home. I had been trying to get back into the swing of things here with getting this blog back under way. I've been to some interesting places, and seen some interesting things, but have just not had the time to share them with you. I started a couple of furniture re-do's, but, of course, that was put on hold, just for a bit. I will get back to blogging about our 'lighter side of life' just as soon as it lightens up a bit!
    Thank you to all of you who keep checking back. Thanks for sticking with me. I'll be up and running before too long. That's precisely what my post on "Confessions" is about this week, if you are so inclined. It's a dedication to my brother, and also a reminder to live your best life, fully and with abandon.

    Thanks for stopping by, you will never know how much I truly appreciate it.

    Until next time,

    confessions of a thinkaholic: Sunday's With Buddha:   Week 15 You too shall pass away. Knowing this, how can you quarrel?                                                        ...

    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    confessions of a thinkaholic: The Power of Change

    I wanted to write a little about the changes I've gone through this past year and the fears that I have had about it. Have you had a major life event that has changed you and you fear losing friends or family because of it? In this blog post for my sister blog Confessions, I lay my fears to rest.

    confessions of a thinkaholic: The Power of Change: I've had something on my mind for awhile, now. I've been worrying that some of my friends, family and acquaintances might feel that ...

    I want to hear from you! Please don't be shy...I learn from you, too! Your opinion matters to me, but, please, no judgement or hateful words here.Thanks!

    Sunday, June 30, 2013

    Upcycled Telephone Table

    Oh my gosh! How is everyone?! I have been on hiatus for way too long...I do apologize. I really have a lot of projects and adventures to share, I have just had so much going on, it's so hard to find the time to get it all done. I am pretty ambitious, I guess. I want to do it all...right NOW. It sometimes surprises me to realize that I can't do it like I imagine myself doing it. There is always so much that I want to do, I overwhelm myself.

    Anyhoo, I have a lovely little telephone table to share with you. First, I must clarify--I did NOT re-do this table. I found it at the Grafton Flea last month. I had to have it. It's just what I would have done, but saved me all the time and put some money in some lovely gal's pocket, to boot! They had so many wonderful up-cycled things in their booth, I just KNOW they watch Flea Market Flip, like Noah and I do.

    I walked past this booth twice to get a really good look at all their stuff. I immediately set my eye on this table. I checked the tag...$48.

    Whew! A little more than I wanted to pay. I hate to haggle, because I know the work that goes into re-doing furniture pieces, IF they are done right, and not "slopped" together just to make an insane profit. I knew that this was probably an old discarded piece from a garage (free), or at the very least picked up for next to nothing at a yard sale. Heck, they could have even gotten it from someone's curb. I come across a lot of great stuff that way. But, I wanted to be fair. It was done very nicely, and, like I said, exactly how I would have done it. Plus, I'm a sucker for paisley.

    I started my haggling...I asked her if she would do it for $30. Yeah, yeah...I know...kind of a low ball offer. But, I didn't want to run the risk that they didn't primer it first.

    *Note: Whatever you do, always sand and prime your piece before you paint, unless you have a special paint that boasts "no primer needed", and even then, I'm wary. There is nothing worse for a project than peeling or chipping paint where you don't intend it to do so. You can never quite match up a nice big chip unless, of course, you want the piece distressed and then you can just sand that spot down into a distressed spot.

    Ok, where was I? Oh, yeah...haggling. So, thirty was too low, I guess. I got a bit of a grimace. Not too bad of one though, so I knew I had room to keep going. She went $45, I went $38 she went $42. She wasn't moving much, I wanted it, I took it. There you go.

    What can I say? I'm a sucker for paisley AND the work already being done for me...this time.

    I was longing for something to go next to my front door that I could sort of fake as an entryway since the front opens right into the living room. I had been looking for an old dresser, or would have even settled for a new piece with drawers and cubbies for baskets, which is what I really wanted there, storage is always good, but I fell in love with this and it is the perfect place to sit and put on your shoes.

     Here are some close-ups of the great job these ladies did on the very subtle distressing. Just my style, and not too shabby.

    I love how the vintage ash tray's color ties in perfectly with the seat. They are the perfect spot for loose change or keys. And, the paisley really compliments the cut out pattern of the wood in the table front and seat back, don't ya think?

    I set the wicker basket I use for my Better Homes and Gardens right under the table, and since there are only three legs, it's a perfect fit!

    Edana was an instant fan. Then again, she's always an instant fan of anything new brought into the house.

    I have so many other projects of my own to finish. At least two chairs right now and a table or two, and a dresser I'm converting into a buffet for the eat in kitchen. The list goes on and on. Hopefully over the rest of the summer we can get most of what I want done. We are on a week long vacation over my birthday in about three weeks so I have big plans for our "staycation".

    I hope you found some inspiration here for your own house. Until next time, thanks for reading!


    Sunday, May 5, 2013

    confessions of a thinkaholic: Sundays With Buddha

    Good Morning and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

    The next installment of "Sunday's With Buddha" is up at the other blog. Hope you can stop by and check it out with the link below. While you're there, let me know what you think...

    Have a great weekend!


    P.S. I'll be uploading some projects here, soon...I promise!

    confessions of a thinkaholic: Sundays With Buddha:       Week Two “By your own folly you will be brought as low as your worst enemy wishes.” ...

    Sunday, April 28, 2013

    confessions of a thinkaholic: Sundays With Buddha

    Hello, Everyone!

    Happy Sunday. I have really been working on a lot of projects, lately. I had promised a long time ago several posts ago to share the link to my SmugMug account so you could check out more of my photos. I am by far NOT a professional photographer and I use a very modest camera, for now *hint hint*, but I try to capture those moments that make me remember the beauty of the world around us; one of our greatest gifts. I've been participating in Instagram recently and I am amazed at the talent and appreciation for beauty that is shared by so many. If you are on Instagram and would like to see what I've been up to, follow along with me at @nsteindesign.

    I still have so many photos of the Smokies to edit and upload, but there are plenty in there, now, as well as many other galleries of photos. I'd love it if you could check out my SmugMug, and you can just by clicking this link!:

    Well, I really do have a lot of projects that I want to start on and share with you. I'm hoping this rainy chilly weather here in (northern) Southern Illinois warms up and dries up so I can get started!

    I hope you have a great 'rest of the weekend'. Thank you, in advance for stopping by my sister blog, "Confessions", I hope you enjoy the new series!

    confessions of a thinkaholic: Sundays With Buddha: Week One "As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with ...


    Sunday, April 21, 2013

    A Quick Little Dinner


    I hope this finds you all well. I know I've been on a bit of a hiatus, but I'm wanting to get right back into the blogging I enjoy so much. My last post explained a little of why I needed to take a break, and I thought I was going to be back after that, but I guess I just wasn't ready yet. I think I am now, though, and I want to share an easy post with you here. A quick little dinner I made tonight, thanks to a Weight Watchers recipe, believe it or not. And it was quite good. It passed the family taste-test with flying colors. And it really was quick to whip up.

    Here's the recipe:

    Lemon Chicken With Broccoli

          2 Tbsp all-purp flour, divided
          1/2 tsp table salt, divided
          1/4 tsp black pepper
          2 tsp olive oil
          12 oz uncooked, boneless,
          skinless chicken breasts
          1 1/2 cups fat-free, reduced-
          sodium chicken broth, divided
         2 tsp minced garlic
         2 1/2 cups uncooked small
         broccoli florets
         2 tsp lemon zest, or more to taste
         2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
         1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

    Combine 1 1/2 Tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper on a plate. Add chicken and toss to coat. (I cut up the chicken into little chunks)

    Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes (mine did take a bit longer), remove to a plate.

    Put 1 cup broth and garlic into the skillet; bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up the browned bits from the skillet. Add broccoli; cover and cook 1 minute.

    In the measuring cup, stir together remaining 1/2 cup broth, 1/2 Tbsp flour, and 1/4 tsp salt; add to skillet and bring to simmer over low heat.

    Cover and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender and sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in chicken and lemon zest, heat through.

    Remove skillet from heat and stir in parsley and lemon juice, toss to coat.

    Makes 4 servings, about 1 cup per serving.

    And this is how I adapted it:

    I gathered my ingredients. $12. That's it. Believe it or not. Including the 1 3/4 lbs thin cut and trimmed chicken, and I have three breast left to freeze for another meal.


    I chopped the chicken into bite-sized pieces, mixed the flour, salt and pepper, and tossed each piece. Not as time consuming as you'd think, besides, I found it to be a perfect time to think.

    I'm sure I used a bit more than the 12 oz of chicken, I didn't weigh it, but it turned out to be perfect for the amount of flour the recipe called for.

                                                     Fitting snug and perfect in the skillet...


                   The recipe suggested angel hair pasta, rice or couscous. We love couscous, but we always have that, so I thought angel hair pasta would be the perfect match up. I know the pot looks small, but the pasta shrank down quickly and it worked out just fine.


    I added the broth and garlic, scraped the pan, and added the broccoli and let it simmer. This is where I had to improvise a bit. The next step in the recipe says to add 1/2 Tbsp flour to the 1/2 cup broth and add that to the pan, cover and cook until the sauce is thickened. This did not happen...

                                                       Lemon Zest from one large lemon...Yum!

     Anyway, back to my not-so-thick sauce...I uncovered the skillet, added the chicken and zest, and that still did not thicken the sauce. I was afraid that if I let is simmer any longer, my broccoli would turn to mush. So I quickly added another 1/2 Tbsp of flour and viola! Immediate thickness.  Not to mention how wonderful it smelled!

    You can serve this separately, with some pasta tossed in olive oil and a little salt, pepper and garlic....

                                                                 ....pair them side by side ....

    ...or serve on top of the pasta like I did, all tossed up...


    I hope you are encouraged to try this one. I was done cooking and we were sitting down to dinner within 30 minutes. And for just $12 for all three of us, with pasta and chicken left over for another meal, what a bargain.

    I've got a ton more pictures of places and things we've been doing lately, and I can't wait to share them with you, so check back for that. Also, if you read my other blog, I've got some great ideas brewing for over there, as well.

    Thanks for reading today!

    Have a great week...


    Saturday, April 20, 2013

    A new post at Tiny Buddha

    I have a new article posted on Tiny Buddha ( If you head over there you will find a lot of great posts by some really great people.  Thanks for taking the time to read my personal blogs and my submissions at Tiny Buddha.

    Have a wonderful week!


    Friday, April 5, 2013

    A little explination on where I've been...confessions of a thinkaholic: Coming back from a little time for myself...

    confessions of a thinkaholic: Coming back from a little time for myself...: Hello, everyone, I have to apologize for being so absent this last month or so. I've been on a bit of a solitude mission. I haven'...

    I want to hear from you! Please don't be shy...I learn from you, too! Your opinion matters to me, but, please, no judgement or hateful words here.Thanks!

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    Monogram Front Door Wreath

    Well, hello! Did you all have a good Valentine's Day? Noah and I did. Though I didn't take the night off, we went to a nice local restaurant and had a very romantic dinner and the most delicious glass of wine by the fireplace talking about our goals that we are wanting to accomplish this year. For a married couple who have been together this long, being this compatible in our goals and dreams is romantic!

    Anyway, I finished the front door wreath that I had been planning on for weeks now. I love it! It was terribly easy and so cheap! Read on, and I'll tell you how I did it...

    A little while back, on one of my trips to Hobby Lobby, I picked up this chipboard letter while they were on sale. It was about $2.50 at 50% off. Since I don't live near enough to one to go anytime I want, I try to stock up on what I know I'll be using soon while there's a sale going on. I don't want to buy a bunch of stuff that will just collect on a shelf, so I'm glad I live far enough away to plan my trips. That way, I always buy on sale and only buy what I'll be using eventually in the near future. And, since there are always sales going on, I know I won't miss anything and can plan and get it next time.

     So...I had the paint, paintbrush, and little plastic cups with lids on hand-$0.
     I removed the sticker from the front of the letter. (There were two-one on front, one on back. I can never figure out WHY they always do this.) Then I just painted a THICK coat of pewter grey onto the letter. Don't forget the sides and a little on the back. You can paint the whole back if you want, but once it's attached, no one will see that part, so do what ever strikes your fancy.

    Then have yourself a Hersey's Kiss (or two!) while it dries... 

    Then, once it was good and dry I painted the whole thing with a THIN coat of the white. I wanted some of the grey to show through and to really show up after distressing. I used a real hair paintbrush because I wanted the paint strokes to show. However, no matter what I did, and no matter how much I washed and tried to pull out the loose strands, it still "shed" all over the initial. It did come off when sanding, but was super frustrating during the painting process. I'll probably stick to my good 'ol sponge brushes next time and just try to 'dry brush' extra paint (like the grey) for distressing.

    While that was drying completely ( I even popped in the 300* oven for a couple minutes to 'cure' it and make sure it was REALLY dry...but watch it every second, it is made of paper!) I assembled my artificial flowers. Now here's the fun part. While shopping with my sister Saturday, I was at HL and was looking for just the right flowers. They have beautiful artificial flowers, and are always on sale, but that was still more than I wanted to pay, especially since I was going to take them apart. My sister told me to try the Dollarama we have right in town, she said there were great flowers there. So Sunday I ran uptown and found these beauties. All for a dollar a piece. $6!

    I simply pulled the flower heads off the stems and they came right off, staying fully intact. Some I really had to cut the stems off because I wanted to glue them flat onto the letter, so I  reinforced those with hot glue, but that was it. The rest stayed intact and had enough stem to push down into the wreath. These were a great find!

    I just layed them out where I wanted them, sticking them into the wreath and then picking them up one by one, adding the hot glue, and placing them right back where I wanted them. Easy peasy!

    I had bought this grapevine wreath at Michael's a couple months ago, and used my 40% (or even 50%, I can't remember) coupon and it was around $5.

    This is the initial for our last name after sanding and distressing. I used a scrapbooking sanding block because it's so easy to hold and has different grades of sandpaper on each side. It worked SO well.

    Here are some close-ups of the details I got on the corners and edges after sanding. You can see the grey and the chipboard brown showing through nicely. I'm glad it turned out so well. It's really like an MDF type material and I have never used this before so I didn't know what to expect.

    After all the flowers were glued on, I glued the "S" right onto the wreath. I had already layed everything out where I wanted it, so I could assemble everything easily and I would know where the flattest spot was on the wreath for the letter. Then I took a couple of the left over flowers, cut them close, and glued them onto the letter for visual interest to round out the design.

    Here's the finished product. It makes me so happy when I pull into the driveway! It's vibrant and just a lovely thing for the door. I hadn't really wanted any pink at first, I wanted all white, but after looking at the dollar store and found these, they all went together so perfectly. Now I can't imagine not having a little pink! I is my favorite color, after all!

    This is a Pinterest inspired project, of course, and you can see what inspired me here. You can find a lot of inspiration there for a million projects for your home on the cheap. I'd be delighted if you would follow my Pinterest boards. I have a follow button just in the upper right of my blog page. If you haven't already, it's worth a sign-up. But, I warn you, it's ADDICTING!!

    Thanks you so much for reading today, I hope this project inspired you to try something beautiful for your home.

    Have a great rest of the week,


    Sunday, February 3, 2013

    Precious little vintage items

    Hey, Everybody!

    Hope your weekend is going well! I'm working on a lot of things right now, but took a little break and went with my sister to this craft and antique mall that I actually used to have a booth in called the Alton Exchange (you can also check out the facebook page here ). I found a few little things that made me oh, so happy and just wanted to share them with you today.

    I love, love this is so well organized and there are a TON of booths to give you so many options to find something special. Plus, Terry is one of the greatest gals around; she works so hard to make the experience in her shop one that will keep you coming back time and time again.

    As I wandered the rows and rows of unique and ever changing vintage, antique and handmade booths, I picked up a few things that just seemed to pop out at me last night.

    Here's what I got...

    A closer look will reveal a couple of little facts about us, I guess...

    These little 'ashtrays' were just sitting on a shelf together. I got both for only $5! They were pristine and unused. I thought they were the cutest thing for a bookshelf or table. Had to have those...

     I also happened upon a rack with many different pieces of jewelry. These little handmade bead bracelets were only $2! So, of course, I had to have two! Sure, I could make them myself, but I really do love supporting local artisans whenever I can. I think it is super important to buy local and to support the creativity in each other whenever we can.

    I am obsessed always on the lookout for old wooden boxes, cheese boxes, sewing machine and cash drawers, etc. My sister snatched up the sewing machine drawer that we saw at the same time (a little healthy competition is good, right!?) but I found this little guy on a shelf, and it was only about $5! A vintage Wisconsin cheese box--right up my ally. I've got some ideas stirring around for this...

    I seem to unconsciously be drawn to the color turquoise (or teal). I hadn't realized this until I was putting all the pictures together...

    I also picked up a 10 yard roll of burlap garland. Now, I know I just bought some of this in St. Charles that I used on my Christmas tree that you can read about in this post, but this is a little bigger, and it cost half as much...HALF!!!  At only $12 bucks...imagine all the possibilities!

    The other thing I found was just about as random as you can get. Up on a shelf I noticed this Jewish/Hebrew item. It had definitely been used, and I was curious. Noah and I are always on the lookout for unique items to honor his Hebrew roots and this was too good to pass up. It's a napkin holder, of all things! When Noah met us at the Exchange after work (yep, ladies I've got a husband who loves to go antiquing as well as work on Hot Rods in a garage!) I showed it to him and he had to have it. He said "That will look great..." and we both finished simultaneously with "...up on a shelf in the kitchen."
    It's great to be married to your best friend.  :)

    Anyway, I hope my little findings inspire you to go picking through an antique mall in your neck of the woods. Imagine the treasures you could find, not to mention how happy you can make some local vendors, right?

    By the way, I have a big P.S. As you may already know, I have another blog called confessions of a thinkaholic. I also regularly submit blog posts to a fantastic website called tiny buddha, and my newest (and third) post is up on the site. You can read it here, if you're interested. It's titled "Letting Go of Fears and Worries About Getting Things Done." I so appreciate it if you do, but no worries if it's not your thing! Both my blogs are completely judge-free zones; I just want you to enjoy yourself while you are here.
    Just know that I appreciate you and am so happy you stopped by today!

    *Coming soon...Valentine's Day decor!

    Friday, February 1, 2013

    Valentine's Pillow Covers and Wreath

    Hello! Hope your week is going great for you, so far.
    Monday I finally finished up my little Valentine's Day wreath. The pillows have been done since January, because I always like my pillows to do double-duty so I can just flip them around when necessary. It really saves time and space. Less to change out and pack away! I made them the very same way I make all my pillow covers. You can see a quick tutorial here of the original pillow covers I made for Fall and the flip side of these covers for my winter/January decor right here.

    I used muslin as the material for the front and back cover, and a red and white ticking for the front decorative panel, and sewed that to the muslin. Then I used some creamy white chenille fabric and some burgundy wool felt for the hearts. I just cut those out and placed them where I liked them, pinned them to the ticking and sewed them on. I was then able to sew the two panels together, leaving a good enough sized opening at the bottom for my pillow to be slipped in. While it was still inside out, I folded the hem of the opening over and pinned it and sewed that to make a good sturdy hem for the closure. I turned it right side out, and hand-sewed the twine on for the tie closures. All this is detailed in my winter pillow cover post.

    Don't you just LOVE these flowers?! I found a tutorial of these on that Pinning know the one. Here's the link to her blog Ruffles and Stuff, where I learned all about making them. It is a CUTE little blog!

    Anyway, I picked through my fabric stash (I love fabric and buy a yard or two when it's on sale whenever I get around to getting to a fabric store and quite have the impressive bookcase full little stash!)
    I decided on what reminded me of sweetness, romance, love, and Valentine's Day!

     I made them over the course of a week or so while watching telly or having a "crafting moment" on the weekend and made enough for the projects I wanted to complete for February. I will be making a lot more for next months wreath that I want all year 'round on the front door with our initial and some of these flowers in a larger scale. I'm working on that this weekend!

     I had been milling over what type of wreath to make for the front door for a while, and I was actually just going to buy one of those ready made store-bought hearts with all the sparkly red tinsel hearts on it and froo-froo it up, but my husband didn't really like that idea. Truth. He had an opinion about the Valentine's wreath.
    So, I had this grapevine heart wreath for ever and I just decided to pull off the out of date stuff that was on it and use it for my wreath. Kinda perfect, right?

    I started to just pull the old dried flowers off, the hot glue was so old it just popped off without damaging anything. I know it might seem pack-ratty to keep everything, but I have craft closets, and I don't really have that much. Just stuff that will save me a ton of money if I don't have to re-buy it. Do you know how much grapevine wreaths can be? I have a bundle of them that I got at a yardsale for next to nothing, HUGE ones, and all I had to do was take the old decorations off.

    Ok, back to the dissasembly...and enter my "helper". She is just about the most curious cat there is. Loves the sound of tape being torn from anything and will climb a mountain to get it. Completely disarms you of your needle and thread if you are trying to so much as sew a button (like tonight) to eat your thread, and of course, she must try the grapevine stems of your wreath if you happen to be working on the floor. Not that a table would stop her.

    Oh, yeah...she rolled all in the discarded dried stuff, too. And tried to eat it. And attack it. She's pretty spunky for a 13 year old.

    I'm sorry I don't have any assembly pictures, but I can walk you through it. It's pretty self explanatory. I definitely wanted to use the flowers I made, and wanted to incorporate the word love somehow. I found a box of red glittery chipboard letters that I had. They were the perfect size. I would have loved to use that new burlap garland I just bought , but I couldn't figure out how to incorporate it. Plus, I wanted this to be light and airy. I had a bunch of tulle I bough on sale just before Christmas so I cut a long strip of that and weaved it through the wreath. It seemed made for something to be weaved right through there, so that worked out, too.

    Then I tried my letters out until I found the right spot for them and hot glued those down.

    Next, I started laying the flowers around until they looked right. I had more white ones than anything else and one teeny tiny flower, so I placed them by the "L" to use all the flowers and ballance the look. When I decided on the placement, I just hot glued all of those down, as well.

    I really like it! It's not what I was thinking of at first, but I don't think I really knew what I was thinking of. It matches my pillows and I finally used a wreath I've had for years that I didn't know what to do with. The best part about all of these was all free!!


    I truly hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day. If you're a couple, do something nice together. It doesn't have to cost a thing! Make dinner together from a new recipe topped off with a special dessert you both made, and watch a romantic movie at home. One of our favorites is "The Notebook".  If you are parents, take your kids to the movie or have a movie night at home. Look online for Valentine themed party ideas and play some games and make treats with your kids. If you're single, get together with some of your single friends and go to dinner, or a winery, or have a dinner party at home. Watch a goofy, funny, sappy romantic movie like "Date Night" and laugh together. Or treat yourself to an evening of shopping or a trip to the salon. A quiet night at home curled up with a book with the ringer and television off or a glass of wine and an old black and white like "Casablanca" is a great way to treat yourself. No matter what you decide to do, treat yourself, and others well, and spread some Love!

                       Have a great week! Have a great Valentine's Day! Eat some chocolate!!

    With Love,


    “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach”
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning