My Jar of Crayons

I love color, anything colorful makes me happy, makes me smile!

All of my life I have loved crayons.  As a child, drawing and coloring would always brighten a lonely day.

I keep a large jar of crayons in my craft area, not only as a fun, colorful, display piece, but for the memory it brings to mind every time I see it!

My father was from New Jersey, so for many years we would take our family vacations there, we loved the ocean and the boardwalk. Fun times for us!

One year we went to visit one of my father’s cousins, she had a daughter my age.

Her room had everything a little girl could ever want.  The most beautiful dolls everywhere, but the something that I focused on, was a very large box of crayons, larger than a shoe box, every color, and just so many of them!

She noticed my interest in the box, grabbed it from my hands, and threw the box aside spilling and breaking many.

Did she have so much of everything, that they meant nothing?  I think so!

Have you ever noticed that the sweetest, nicest, most grateful folks, are those whose lives aren’t filled with everything they could possibly want.  The folks that need to work hard to get extra things.  Giving them a gift brings the giver joy knowing that they are truly thankful.

I try to remember this, “something for nothing, means nothing”.

Have a bright, colorful, thankful weekend.

Musical Note Plates

One of my nieces introduced me to a wonderful antique mall and flea market.  She and her husband have a booth in the mall selling vintage toys.

It is a really large mall and takes hours to get through the hundreds of booths.

It’s heaven!

On my last visit I found these unique, fun, dessert, salad size plates.

Aren’t they great?  I have never run across any like these before.

There were only 6 in the set, but enough for any small party or celebration. Can be used for dessert, or as side plates on a table setting for accent pieces.

The black and white will go with so many other colored plates and napkins.

Finding items like these fun plates is really why I love antique malls and flea markets. You really never know what you will run across.  They were inexpensive, but now very valuable to me!

If I see that I have a free day I try to visit the mall.

When I tell my husband that I am going, it’s sweet how he says,”take your time, enjoy yourself”.  Maybe it’s “music” to his ears!  Alone time?

I cannot read music but I am sure the notes on these plates has to be “Happy Birthday to You”!

Don’t you think?

Hope your day is filled with beautiful music and love!

 

Creating a Cleaning Bucket

When my home is a mess, I’m stressed!

I love a clean home, but the truth is, I would rather take a beating than clean.

It never ends, the same thing over and over again.

Having my products all over the house made my everyday cleanups worse, so I created a cleaning bucket.

Bought a simple white, 5 gallon bucket, at Walmart for less than $3.00, but of course, it was too plain for me.

I put some fun into the project by adding a little black paint to the handle, a strip of black at the bottom, and at the top.  Love it, if you can love a cleaning bucket!

Looked around for a bucket to buy at the usual stores, but they were either too small, or way too expensive.

Filled my bucket with the products I use each day for my everyday quick cleanups, and those weekly more involved jobs.

Everything is now all together in one spot, I just grab my bucket and move room to room.  It really does save me a bunch of time.

I have quoted before, from a sweet little book I found at a thrift store some time ago, Being Home, by Gunilla Norris.  Meditations on everyday living.

Love this little book, that is now falling apart!  It is filled with really wonderful simple, black and white photos.

Gunilla writes, “if I leave a mess, I will find what I left sooner or later”, I must try to remember this!

To end this post, Gunilla writes, “When we clean and order our homes, we are somehow also cleaning and ordering ourselves”….”How we hold the simplest of our tasks speaks loudly about how we hold life itself.”

“Buckets” of love to all today!

 

How to Carve a Watermelon Basket

It’s only the 9th of July, lots of summer still left to enjoy.

I thought you all might need an idea for something to take to a family gathering or cookout.

This is my most popular pin on Pinterest, pinned hundreds of times.

Here are the instructions from a previous post.  http://lovingmynewsimplelife.com/wow-them/

This is seriously so easy to do, and a show stopper on a food table.  Love the scalloped edges!

Can be filled with colorful mixed fruit, or simply cut up watermelon chunks as I did in the top photo.

When putting this post together I thought of my first memory of having watermelon.

I loved to spend time with my grandmother in the summer. There was a truck that would come down the street selling fruits and vegetables, and on one hot day, she grabbed her little black change purse, and we went to the truck and bought a watermelon.  Grandma cut it up, and we enjoyed it that hot summer afternoon.

My oh my, what a sweet memory for me!

Make some sweet memories this summer, and also try carving a “sweet” watermelon basket.

Love you all this July afternoon!

 

DIY Chic Desk Organizer

Yesterday I gathered together several items from my thrift store, dollar store stash, to make a chic desk organizer.

It was a fun, easy project, that I was able to finish in one day!

The wood tray and the file box are from the thrift store, and the jars from the dollar store.

I love that the inner section of the jar lids can be removed, but the jar rings can stay, allowing the jars to be open at the top for scissors and such.

Cleaned the file box, sprayed painted it and the jar lids with my favorite gold paint.

Sanded the rough spots on the wood tray and spray painted white.

To tie the items together I added angle brackets to the corners of the tray and painted the same gold.

The set looks great on my desk.  I love the way it all turned out!

Right now in my life I really feel the need to create and accomplish little things every single day.

Makes me happy!

I have a sweet little book written by Gunilla Norris, Being Home, in it she writes, “As I age, each and every day appears more and more as a gift. I want to live every one of them.”

That’s me!  Every one of them!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Live!

 

 

 

When a Small Gift Returns

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July.

I hung my flag outside of our home the first thing in the morning.

So fortunate to be born and live in the USA.

Sometimes we forget!

Just a quiet 4th for us, no invites, no guests.

I did decorate a bit, it is just something I like to do!

Last week when shopping with my sister, we found a cute dog bandana filled with stars and stripes.

We immediately thought of our favorite dog, “Denali”, belonging to my niece, my sister’s daughter.

I wrapped it up and mailed it to him for his 4th of July apparel.

In the afternoon, during our uneventful 4th, my phone beeped.  It was a video of our favorite dog prancing around, modeling his new scarf.  Soooo cute!

Oh my gosh, what a really simple sweet moment!

Me and my husband watched the video over and over, laughing at it each time.  It made our day special.

The video was our gift of thoughtfulness returning!

Do something simple and sweet for someone you love and watch it come back.

Love to all!

 

 

Let’s stay home!

Once the weather turns warm and wonderful, our yard and back porch become an extension of our living space.  We spend much of our time outdoors including having meals.  Even when it is hot you can find us sitting under one of our large shade trees, one or both of us usually napping.

Staying home is just part of our lives now.  My husband just cannot go and do so much anymore, his difficulty walking and low energy level just does not allow it.

Since this is how our lives must be it is important for me to make a fun, colorful space, that we love and enjoy!

A happy place!

Thanks to a Walmart gift card I have tucked away since Christmas, I was able to purchase a couple of inexpensive items from a Better Homes and Garden galvanized line, especially designed for easy outdoor dining.

A beverage server for only $12.48, and a tiered server only $17.88.  I also found some very reasonably priced outdoor dishes ranging from $.98 to $2.48.

Beautiful, bright colors.

The tiered server saves me many steps in and out of the house, I keep it stocked and close to the back door for use anytime.  You can find the beverage server filled with lemonade for us to enjoy throughout many hot afternoons.

Summertime, bright and beautiful long days, warm, just so happy!

Kick back, relax!

Warm loving thoughts for all of you this weekend.

Filling My $2 Basket

Every morning before the sun is too hot I have been working in my yard, potting, planting, weeding, just enjoying the alone time.

So much yet to do, but no complaining.  My home is my happy place, my place just “to be”!

I found this twiggy basket at the thrift store and immediately knew what it could “be”!

The $2 tag was hard to pass up.

I lined the inside with an inexpensive foil pan, poked holes in the bottom for drainage, and filled it with garden soil, geraniums, and vinca vines.

To finish up I added more soil to cover the foil pan.

The thick twig handle is what I noticed first and sold me on this basket.

The pink and white geraniums are so beautiful and I knew that this basket would be just a lovely welcome on my tiny front porch. On my trips to visit my brother in New York City, I loved all the small shops that sold flowers, the ones that lined the fronts of their stores with pots and baskets of plants and flowers.  No doubt my $2 basket could be displayed perfectly in front of any lovely, sweet, flower shop.

New York, NY: flower shop

Have a lovely Friday, hope you “fill” your day with joy and love!

 

Creating a Recipe Binder

Last week my dear husband ask me to make his favorite chicken recipe.

As it turned out, it took me longer to find the recipe than to make it!

My recipes are here, there, and everywhere!  Enough!

It is simply crazy that at my age my recipes are not organized, so I decided to put together a recipe binder to end the chaos.

I chose some colorful binders that provide a clear front insert area for a cover page.

Making one for myself, and a couple extras as gifts.

Pinterest helped to make this a really simple and fun project with all the free printables offered by so many talented people.

I decided on these clean, classic, black and white binder printables.

I love the font used and the extra sweet comment under each category page heading.  There are eleven category pages.

After I printed out the pages on white card stock paper, I inserted each one into sheet protectors and all my recipes as well.

Using sheet protectors allows recipes to be kept clean during preparation. Simply wipe off any spills or finger prints and put pages back into the binder for next time.

Click here to download your FREE recipe binder printables!

Offered by Lauren McKinsey (http://laurenmckinsey.com/).

Thank you Lauren!

Just a quick way to get organized and so very easy to put together.

Christmas might be lean this year so making a few extra binders would be a gift most folks would love to receive.

Oh, my husband’s favorite chicken recipe, Santa Fe Baked Chicken, yummy!

Grateful for all of you every single day!

Note Cards For Moms

Yesterday was a beautiful Mother’s Day, I was so blessed to be able to spend most of my day with my son.

My son is my special gift from God, the one thing in my crazy up and down life that I got right.  He is special, a good and decent human being, and oh I love him so.  Jim is so very good to me, unconditional love.

Since my mother has gone to be with the Lord, my sister plays a huge part in my life.  I was thankful to be able to spend some time with her as well on this beautiful day.

Also received Mother’s Day wishes, with love, from my nieces, and to end my wonderful day, a call from my sweet brother.

Every Mother’s Day I try to reach out to friends to let them know they are appreciated, especially single moms, what an unbelievably difficult job they have!

Many times I have mentioned my lack of extra money, so I try to make simple gifts, costing very little, whenever I can.

This year I decided on note cards with a personal touch.

My cards were made from photos I have taken over the years.  Photos from vacations, family gatherings, special visits, or celebrations.

The cards were so very easy to make.  Simply select the photos you like, tweak if necessary, lightening them up or cropping, and print out on white card stock.

I cut them down to a 4 x 6 note card size and folded.  Purchased envelopes, and finished up by tying with ribbon or twine.

The note cards were just so fun to make.  Looking through all the photos I have saved over the years gave me endless ideas. A personal gift for so many occasions, for so many people in my life.

What fun around the Christmas season tied up in a bright red ribbon!

Maybe I am old-fashioned, but in this tech world we have lost something by not actually writing and sending letters and notes.  Love going to the mailbox and finding a card or a note from folks in my life.  Too busy, everyone is just too busy!

I love when a gift comes back, I just received a warm call from one of those single moms who received her cards, a former co-worker.  She loved them!

Hope your Mother’s Day was as special as mine, filled with love.