Show & Tell – Resources to Help You Create Your Ideal Home and Life

Welcome back to Show & Tell where I share resources that will help you create your ideal home and life. I’ve got quite a few for you today, so let’s jump right in. Lifestyle Life – It was 2:00 a.m. when we pulled up in front of our house after a whirlwind trip to NYC. […]

3 Simple Ways to Calm the Chaos in Your Life

As I drifted off to sleep, I couldn’t get over how relaxed I felt, and how the relaxed state of my body allowed my mind to also relax, which was such a stark contrast to the feelings of anxiety I’d recorded just a couple of days prior. I’m just so distracted by life…my Dad and his slow […]

He Calls Me By Name

Every year as we enter into Advent season and prepare our hearts for Christmas, I say a little prayer. Nothing long, nothing fancy, just a simple prayer. Several weeks ago, as the movie credits were rolling, I took my cell phone out of my purse to check for messages when I discovered this text from […]

Dear Krista: An Open Letter to My Niece

Dear Krista, Your first bridal shower, and the first in our family out of the grandkids, is today. Usually at bridal showers, there are blank cards for guests to share advice with the bride. Since I cannot be there today, consider this letter my card from the shower… I’ve always been so proud to call you […]

The Invitation of a Three Dollar Carafe

It was as if the gift cards gave me permission to fill my cart with all the items I’d deemed too frivolous in the past. “I can get by without new t-shirts.” “I can’t afford this chalkboard right now.” “I don’t really need this carafe,” I would reason with myself. But this time was different and 2 t-shirts […]

The Redemption of Summer

The Reunion Finally wearing the maxi dress that had hung unworn, tags and all, in my closet for years, I slipped into the passenger seat of our beat up car and headed to Pine Hall at Amber Springs where my thirty year high school reunion was being held. Earlier that day, I’d gone to the hall to fill vases with flowers, […]

When Life Changes in an Instant

Today is my Dad’s 67th birthday. Normally, my family would hold one celebration for all of the July birthdays in the family, but this year we’re breaking tradition. Dad has been in the hospital since suffering a severe stroke on Saturday, June 25th. And just two days ago, after what seemed like an eternity to […]

He Thought Her Beautiful

He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink.  ~Virginia Wolfe I had trouble falling asleep Saturday night, so I got up and eventually found myself “shopping the house” to accessorize my latest living room arrangement. (I was having family over […]

About a Boy

As I was lying in bed the other night, my thoughts were about a boy; a former student of mine whose mother worried over him. In different conversations, she would mention certain observations and behaviors that concerned her: loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, fatigue… As I thought about our conversations and began piecing together the […]

That Time I Changed My Answer

I remember the first time it happened. I was in first grade, about to turn in my worksheet, when the girl who sat next to me stopped me. She insisted that I had the wrong answer on one of the problems. So, I changed my answer. And from that moment on, anytime in life that […]

The Dish Towel That Changed Everything – An Unexpected Life Lesson

Every time I passed by the kitchen, this dish towel caught my eye.   There was something about it; the easy way it hung, its folds and wrinkles…that I found comforting. I knew there was a life lesson waiting in that dish towel, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I recently read […]

The Hidden Benefits of a Salt Cellar

Sometimes it’s the little things.     Like the other day when I was chopping and stirring and seasoning…there was this moment of surprise, just as I was I sprinkling a pinch of salt from the salt cellar into the pot, when everything was right with my world.     I was so pleased by the […]

Bloom Where You Are Planted

knockout roses, pruning trees and shrubs, gardening

Bloom where you are planted. That phrase used to conjure up an image of a field in bloom; row after colorful row flowers beaming toward the sky. But recently, I wondered about the seeds that don’t get good soil, or enough water, or are subjected to some other poor conditions. In life, we don’t always […]

Sleeping Bags in the Hallway: A Success Story

I was on a roll: cleaning out closets, getting rid of stuff, reorganizing…then I stopped.  I started watching Downton Abbey on Netflix, went to a new bible study, finished a book, got a massage, and went clothes shopping. But, I was having a hard time enjoying it because of the sleeping bags and the place […]

Grace in the Dirty Dishes and Misplaced Rolls of Toilet Paper

My Christmas decorations have been strewn all over the kitchen island for nearly a week. And, since my island is covered in nutcrackers and ornaments, I didn’t cook last week…except for the night I made Sloppy Joes from Manwich sauce which I don’t think can really count as cooking. As I stare at a pile […]

The Comforts of Home

I saw this quote on Facebook today.     And I thought, “Amen,”  especially when you love the home you’re with. Wishing you the comforts of home. See you in class,  

Greasy Stove Tops and Black Flip Flops

  True story.   The other night I subjected my family to a hormonal hissy fit. “I’m not the maid,” I declared. “No one appreciates me,” I cried as I raced to get my purse and keys.  I needed to a time-out. Until I realized I was barefoot.  “What if I wanted to browse somewhere,” my […]

Recommended Reading – Priceless Moments

I read Jen Hatmaker’s post “When Is It Time to Walk Away” months ago, and was reminded of it again as I stared at my computer screen earlier this week and thought to myself, “I just don’t want to do this.” What I’ve learned is that when I’m tired, my motivation goes out the window. […]

Recommended Reading – You’re Not Alone

Last week when my daughter and I were school shopping, we planned to go to a couple of stores before going to Target.  As we made our plans she said, “But even if we find everything we need at the other stores, we can still go to Target. I love going to Target and just looking […]

Creating an Everyday Table Setting

“Are we supposed to use these,”  friends have asked as they remove their cloth napkins from their plates. “Yes, I will just throw them in the wash later,” I reassure them.     After everyone has left, I enjoy reliving new memories as I gather crumpled napkins, wash dirty dishes and put serving pieces away for […]

Recommended Reading – Gut Checks and Crash Courses

I came across Momastery’s post Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt on Facebook the other day and shared it on my own page, asking if you ever feel this way. Post by Mrs. Hines Class. As I went about the rest of my evening my mind kept going back to that article and I […]

That Time I Bought My Man a Banana

Mr. Hines had a curious look on his face as the checker scanned the lone banana. “That banana is for you.  I got you a banana.  I thought you’d enjoy a banana today,”   I said. Mr. Hines and our daughter looked at each other and started laughing.   Now I was the one with […]

Recommended Reading – Relatable Life Stories

We were getting dressed last Saturday morning when I asked Mr. Hines, “Are we beach bound?” He answered back, “Are we beach bound?” “Yes, we’re beach bound.” We keep the trunk of our car loaded with beach chairs, mats and an umbrella, and our beach bag packed with sunscreen and towels. So, as soon as […]

Recommended Reading: On Silliness, Stories and Staycations

Have you ever laughed out loud in the middle of the night when everyone else was sleeping?   That was my reaction when I read Kirby’s book review.  If you are familiar with Kirby and her blog, then I don’t have to explain.  If not, please go visit.   She has the best sense of […]

Recommended Reading: Live, Laugh, Love

  The house is quiet, except for the clanging of dishes as my daughter finishes her nightly chore. Mr. Hines is studying and Nicholas Sparks’ “The Longest Ride” is laying next to me.  I started it on Father’s Day while at the beach; my favorite place to read, and be.  Anyone have a beach house […]

Recommended Reading: Love and Marriage and a Baby Carriage

When Mr. Hines and I first got married, I intended on being the perfect wife; cooking delicious dinners every night, keeping the house sparkling clean…   I have felt like a failure for the better part of 16 years; going weeks at a time without preparing a meal or running the vacuum cleaner. Then, a […]

Recommended Reading – Don’t Give Up

Mr. Hines is running a marathon today! It’s one of those things that was on his bucket list, and he decided that this would be the year to do it. He’s never run a marathon before. He didn’t formally train. But, he plans to finish. I’ll tell you what, that’s what I call dressing up, […]

Starting Today

  Today I’m feeling like I did every year on the last day of school.   It’s the end of this month’s Heart to Heart series, and there are so many things left to say.   I wanted to encourage you not to give up on your New Year’s Resolutions, and remind you that it’s never too […]

Recommended Reading – Life, Billy Bookcases and Dishes

Good Saturday morning, friends!  This week’s Recommended Reading is short and sweet.  So, let’s get right to it.   ~One of my favorite organizers, Helena Alkhas, is starting a new series called “Life Skills to Create the Life You Love.” This first post was very insightful and thought-provoking. I can’t wait to read the rest […]

Recommended Reading – Having Enough

Last week I started a new series  where I share inspiring books, quotes, messages, etc that I discover throughout the week.    This week I was challenged. I was encouraged. And I was delighted. So, it is with great pleasure that I bring you this week’s recommended reading.   ~As I watched the trailer of Tsh’s […]

Recommended Reading – Things of Value

Many students think that their teachers know everything. The truth is that we have our own resources to help us stay one step ahead. That’s true in life as much as it is in the classroom. Life is a classroom, after all. I find that throughout the week as I browse the internet, and read […]

Gift Cards, 2 Dollar Bills and an Extraordinary Day

My daughter had just gone to bed after getting her things ready for school when I  read “get PE clothes” scribbled across her bathroom mirror.   A slow smile spread across my face, one of pride yet conflicting emotions over the end of the Christmas break.  It was two relaxing weeks and one extraordinary girls’ day filled […]

your way to a better home

  Wow, October was quite a month!  I didn’t realize when I began the 31 Days challenge that it would be such a personal journey.   Motivated by the messes all over my home, I set out to finish what I started.   Right off the bat, I realized that if I wanted to accomplish […]

A Family Portrait

Last week I read a post at The Yellow Cape Cod about meaningful home decor.  After looking at her wedding photos and hearing the beautiful story behind the fall wreath that graces the door every year, I knew.   I knew exactly what special meaning home decor I wanted to share here.  I have many […]

There’s Always Something to Be Thankful For

video tutorial, natural elements, craft, DIY, centerpiece, P. Allen Smith, candles, greenery, Thanksgiving

Today, we’re being treated to a little inspirational quote from Laura. If you haven’t met her before, Laura is the woman behind the blog Inspiration for Moms where “you’ll never know until you try.”    I love that can do attitude! Today’s post is no exception.  Take it away, Laura. For me and my life, I try […]