Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Thanks Board

As the holidays approach, I've been brainstorming ways to teach my daughters (and myself) greater humility. 

'Tis the season for overindulgence,  and the "Whaddya want for Christmas" attacks have already begun. 

As I toss a pile of stuffed animals back onto my daughters' snuggly warm beds, I've been finding myself thinking about those who have less...
those who face incredible hardships every day.

We often forget how truly blessed we are, huh?
So this month, we're focusing on gratitude.

My girls have a white board next to the table where they dine. 
Every morning, I ask them to think of something they are thankful for, and we add it the board. 
I love their responses. 

Our pillows seem softer this month, our showers more exhilarating.
Our wonky Internet connection is less irritating, and shots at the doctor's office seemed less of a battle this year. 

We have so very much to be grateful for every day.

It's important to change perspective from time to time— to switch from wishing for things we don't have in order to better appreciate all that we do

This little "Thanks Board" has had a big, positive effect on our family this month, and for that, I'm truly grateful.

What's your strategy for embracing the true meaning of Thanksgiving this year? Send us new ideas!

"Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world." 
-John Milton

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Dorm Room Art of Yesteryear

Back in those rowdy undergrad days, let's just say...
things used to happen in my dorm room. 

Oh, so many things.

Never one for awkward silences, I used to conjure up "activities" to make my guests feel at home. 
A doodler by nature, I'd whip out art supplies, flip over a laundry basket to use as a makeshift table, and my buddies and I would get into art and conversation. 

And what art we created!
With each visitor expressing his/her own unique style, the cinderblock walls of my dorm room were adorned with original masterpieces that I will forever treasure.

Each piece represents so much to me—

the colorful expression of our young adult beginnings,
the perception of a world that was ours for the taking,
the blending of our now and then lives.

Amazing what some paper and color can pull out of a person, huh?

Special thanks to the unforgettable friends who came and went in ol' Johnson Hall—
who hooted in the stairwell
giggled in the elevators 
and colored all my memories with YES.

The pages of that history will always have a place in my home and in my heart.
Much love to you all...
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Use Leftover Paint for Furniture Makeovers

Got some old furniture in desperate need of a fresh makeover?
I think this bookshelf has been hanging around since I was a tot, and the chipping white paint was starting to look awfully shoddy. 

To spruce this shelf up for a new look, leftover paint from one of our recent projects gave it an updated, neutral gray color that will better compliment our current style. 

I'm keepin' it! 

Leftover paint is ideal for revamping outdated furniture that might otherwise end up getting tossed. 
Now that I'm into it, I have about 4 more pieces in the lineup for a makeover. 

Loved this quick, easy and fun rejuvenation project!
P.S. Here's a cool trick my fella taught me to make clean up a breeze.

Instead of pouring paint directly into a tray, wrap the tray in a plastic bag first.

When your job is complete, simply remove the bag and throw it away instead of scrubbing paint out of the tray. Easy peasy!

Get creative, friends!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How to Keep Leather Laces Tied

I LIVE in my Minnetonka slippers...

so much so that I keep a spare pair over at my folks' house so's I's gots me slips when I come a' knockin' over there. 

But the dang leather laces!
Always coming untied on me. 
Can't be having that. 

Gotta love the interwebs.
With a little research, and some gabbing with my girls, I found solutions to keep us from trippin' on loose laces. 
how to keep Minnetonka laces tied
According to the Minnetonka Product Care page:
The natural oils and attributes of leather causes laces to easily untie. Tips to keep them laced:
  • Slip into your footwear and adjust the laces to a comfortable fit. Soak the bow (not the whole shoe) in water; this will shrink the leather slightly. Let the bow dry naturally and your laces will remain tied.
  • You can also apply a small drop of superglue underneath your bow’s knot for extra security.
I also found this YouTube video, "The Ultimate Knot for Minnetonka Moccasins," if you're looking to get all Eagle Scout on the job. 

Several sites recommend dabbing clear nail polish or white glue (which will dry clear) on the tied knot if you don't have superglue handy.

Preferring milder remedies, I soaked my laces last night and they've stayed perfectly put. Will report if I need to up the ante to try a more aggressive solution in the future. 

Any other solutions I've missed? Add tips to the comment list.
Keep 'em nice and neat, friends!
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Frame THIS

This idea couldn't be easier for quick, festive decor for any occasion.

Grab some fancy wrapping paper (find AMAZING styles here) and cut it to fit inside frames of your choice. 

For our daughter's "Rock Star Party" this weekend, we used framed guitar wrapping paper to add a bit of edge to the groove. 
Try this with beautiful greeting cards as well.

Or take wrapping paper even further with these creative ideas from Lemon Drop Shop.
Lemon Drop Shop has great ideas for wrapping paper art.
Get artsy, sweet friends, and have an amazing week!

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Monday, November 4, 2013


When my fella and I graduated from college, we decided to spend the summer driving across the country. We needed a vehicle with some serious muscle.

Enter "Andy Capp," our brawny Jeep Cherokee—aptly named for its trademark red visor and well-suited for our nearly 6000-mile adventure.
donate car to charity
Only some bagonzo off-roading to Gold Bluff's Beach in California took him out of the game for repairs. 
Andy Capp, driving through some Redwoods
Up and running again in no time, Capp was a strong road warrior indeed...
eager enough to keep on truckin' for countless adventures beyond our X-Country trek.

But as ten venturous years passed, like any poor aging sap, Capp started getting a little... rusty.

You know.
Things stopped working.
Like a lot of things.
Nearly EVERYthing.

It was time to let Capp go. 
donate car to charity
But how to do it?

Sell him? 
Junk him?
Trade him?

Donate him!
donate car to charity
After much consideration, and a little research, we learned that you can donate vehicles to many charities.

We contacted our local Autos-4-MS chapter at the National MS Society here and arranged a pick-up.

A few days later, Capp was towed away for auction.
Once sold, the profits will be donated to "help drive MS away."

The MS Society will send us a letter to inform us of the Jeep's auction worth which we will file as a donation in our annual tax report.

Everybody wins!
donate car for charity
Goodbye, old friend!
If you have a "beater" that has met its end (and a little love in your heart), consider donating your vehicle to a charity of your choice.

If money is tight but you still feel like giving, research other options this season.

Check out previous posts Three Reasons to Donate Your Hair, BIKE MS, and The Best Gifts We Gave This Year to learn more about how we've worked to "give back" in 2013.

Let me know if you make any thoughtful donations. I'll happily spread the word about your awesomeness!

Giving feels good. Get into it, friends!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours

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