We've Moved!!

01/09/2012

 
We've Moved!

Hi Everyone!  Due to technical difficulties I've been having with this blog, we have headed on over to blogger.  Feel free to browse around the archives on this site, but for new content, please find us at the new

Stuff I Love

Thanks!
 
 
This past holiday was filled with swaps of all kinds.  Gloves, gifts, shop items and miscellany.  I'm beginning to think that I participated in just about all of them.  And I had a blast!  Not only was it fun to get treats in the mail, but I was also able to swap for some really useful services from other shops and blogger.  I had so much fun, that I want to make this a regular event!

Therefor, on the first Friday of every month, I'll be hosting a swap linkup.  I'm going to attempt to keep it open all month (or as long as the linky tool will let me) so that everyone who wishes to participate can. 

On all the odd months, we'll be swapping goods - Christmas presents you didn't love, surplus items from your shop, crafting supplies you no longer need, clothes you are tired of (but are still in good shape), books you've finished reading, brand new toys your kids refuse to play with - pretty much anything goes!

On all the even months, we'll be swapping services - sponsor buttons on your blogs, blog design editing, guest posts, product reviews, shop promotion - pretty much anything you can do for someone else. 

The only rules are:

1) Keep it Legal - please don't offer to swap anything untoward or illegal
2) Keep it Nice - it's ok to say no to a swap offer, just do it tactfully
3) Keep it Fair - don't ask someone to swap a $40 necklace for a bag of M&Ms.   Make exchanges equitable. 

How it Works:
1) Take pictures of all the things you want to swap.
2) Write up a nice post showing them off and describing them.
3) End your post with a list of things you're interested in trading for (yes, it's ok to just say 'send me an offer')
4) Leave your contact info somewhere easy to find - or specify that all offers should be made in the comment section.
5) Link up here with your post - include a snippet of what you're offering in your title if there's room.
6) Search other posts for things you want.
7) Get in touch and start swapping!

That's it!  I'll have my post up in a day or two - I'm sure it's going to be chock full of fun things (we're doing spring cleaning a little early around here).  I hope you'll join me!!

Also, please include this button in your post so that everyone can participate.  Thanks y'all!!
 
 
It's another "get real" day here on the blog.  Another post where I tell you who I really am.  Good stuff.

For most of my life, I've tried to be all things to all people.  I try to blend in, go with the flow and be a part of the crowd.  But I think that sometimes I'm so eager to please that I lose myself.  Things feel "normal" for a while until I suddenly catch a glimpse of who I really am.  And then I get a crazy yearning for some self-exploration.  A little "me" time to decipher just what it is that I really like, what I really think, where I'm really most comfortable.

When I was younger and my friends were 'goth,' I painted my nails black and wore funky fishnets. 
I exerted a TON of effort on my schoolwork because I thought academia was the be-all end-all and I had to be smart like everyone else.
My sporty friends know I do yoga, my posh friends see me in trendy boots and makeup, and for my nerdy friends I wear lots of woot shirts.
I learned all about classic rock for my husband, read all the "Shopaholic" books for my inlaws, and have seen just about every tv show/movie about space that there is. 
 
And it's not to say that I don't enjoy these things.  Because I find joy and value in all of them.  (Well, maybe not so much the black nails and fishnets...).  They bring me closer to the people that I care about (and come on, Big Bang Theory is pretty stinkin' hilarious).  They force me to broaden my horizons.  But if I'm really, truly honest with myself, THIS is who I am:


* I order nachos when everyone else ordered salad.
* I crank up Christian Alternative music and drum on the steering wheel when I'm alone in my van.
* I have a walk-in-closet stuffed with clothes, but only wear 1/3 of them because I don't know how to wear the rest. 
* If it were up to me, I'd never read anything but "home and garden" magazines.  In the bathtub.  With a bunch of pretty candles lit...(are you relaxed yet?)
* I think The Princess Bride is about as good as it gets.
* I much prefer "social" board games to "strategy" board games - I want to get to know people, I don't want to have to think.
* I understand the value of minimalism, but I am most definitively a 'nester.'
* Sometimes I just need to call my closest girlfriend and talk about absolutely nothing.  Or complain till I'm all worn out.  Just let out all the 'me' that's been bottled up inside. 

I don't mind putting on all the different hats.  I went into acting because I like exploring other personalities and different perspectives.  But I've also known a soul or two who's gone a little off his rocker because in all that exploring, he lost touch with his true self.  So every now and then (like when I'm singing along to Disciple in the mom-mobile on my way home from a playdate-planning session) it's nice to allow myself a little self-indulgent rumination.  To think about hanging out with my roommates in college listening to the music I loved, reading the books Icouldn't wait to pick up, wearing the clothes I'd purchased on impulse because the just felt so 'right.' And sometimes I allow myself a day to be unapologetically me.  Even if everyone else is eating salad and wearing pearls and talking about running marathons.  I'll just sit there in my jeans and Uggs and snarf my nachos and nod along.  I'm glad I'm not just like them.  I'm glad they're not just like me.  Can you imagine what a boring world it would be if we were?
 
 
Today I am officially kicking off this year's Think Thinner Thursdays!  Every Thursday I will be hosting a link-up where you can link to your weight/health related posts.  Almost anything goes - menus, weight-loss, fitness plans, diets, body-image posts - whatever you have to say about your relationship with health and weight.  On a journey like this, we can use all the support we can get - am I right? Let's follow each other's progress and cheer each other on.   I'll be sure to read and comment on everyone's posts!

You can find my post about my health goals for 2012 linked up below at Thinner Not Sicker.  Thanks y'all!
 
 
This is a recipe I've been making since I was a kid.  Sometimes it's fun to change up dessert a little.  And once- just once- I was even allowed to eat this for breakfast.  Whatever time of day you decide to make it, this treat is sweet and delicious!


Breakfast Dessert

4 cups vanilla ice cream
2 cups Frosted Flakes or Special K
4 cups strawberries, chopped
chocolate syrup (optional)

Divide ice cream into 4 bowls. Top each with 1/2 cup Frosted Flakes and 1 cup strawberries. Garnish with chocolate syrup if desired.
 
 
Welcome to the first weekly Wednesday Wander!  Every week I'll be offering you an opportunity to link up your blog/shop and/or social media so that we can all gain some new fans!  I'll be sure to check out your link, so you'll get at least one new follower.  Don't forget to visit a couple other blogs as well and leave some love! 

Here's the Wednesday Wander schedule:

Week 1: Blog/shop
Week 2: Facebook
Week 3: Twitter
Week 4: bloglovin' &/or google+
 
 
We don't watch a lot of tv in our house.  In fact, the only tv we have is in the basement and gets no channels (we only use it for dvds).  I'll admit to occasionally plunking the kids down in front of the laptop to watch some trains or an episode of Peppa Pig (and they're increasingly interested in Grandma's tv with satellite and Netflix), but in general, they have gained all their knowledge of popular cartoons from the books we find at the library. 

This week's favorite hard-bound cartoon series is Bob The Builder.  The books are, essentially, just panels from the show, so they seem very 'realistic.' And through the adventures Bob and his crew have, my kids are learning about teamwork, kindness, ingenuity and hard work.  They play "Bob Builder!" with some frequency - puttering around the house in their hard hats and tinkering with plastic tools.  They claim to be building porcupine tunnels, mending fences and making cat houses.  They can't wait until they are old enough to use real tools and build real projects.  What fun to see my kids exercising so much creativity, all because of some books we read. 

I highly recommend that you check out this series - especially if you want to limit tv time.  There's nothing like some snuggling on Mommy's lap with a good book to unglue the kiddos from the tv set. 
 
 
Welcome to our inaugural Tuesday Top 5 link-up.  Every Tuesday I will be posting my top 5 something and inviting you to link up with your top 5 on that topic, too.  This week, we're talking top 5 actors.  Whether that's 'top 5 best actors' or 'top 5 hottest actors' or 'top 5 actors you want to look like' etc is totally up to you!  I'm linking up with my top 5 below (the holidays just ended, so yes, I'm cheating and using a past post).  Feel free to link up, or just leave your list in the comments section.  Looking forward to seeing who makes your list!
 
 
Happy 2012 everyone!!  As you can see, I had a very blessed New Years Eve.  It's tradition that my husband and his college roommates (and now their wives as well) all get together to celebrate the new year.  We're scattered all over the country, but once a year we still manage to make the trek to see each other.  It's a real blessing to be with good friends again.  And this year, we just happened to meet up at gorgeous South Beach in Miami.  After two non-stop years of night-wakings, diaper-changes, and whining toddlers, it was so incredible to have a little r & r. 

While I was away, I did a lot of thinking, too.  I decided I need to add one more goal for the year. 

#11: Learn to like myself just the way God made meThe Lord has a purpose for me.  He knows what He wants me to accomplish with my life, and He has made me perfect for fulfilling that purpose.  When I find myself disastisfied with myself, it's usually because I'm trying to fulfill a purpose that is not my own.  No, I'm not gorgeous and fashionable - but I'm not meant to be a supermodel.  Sure, I'm struggling with sales in my etsy shop, but I shouldn't be envious of the women I know who are great successes.  Perhaps their shops are what the Lord has in store for them now.  He wants me to be focusing my efforts on other things (though I'm not giving up the store, it's just a hobby).  I'm not "cool" or funny.  But my friends seem to like shy and nerdy.  I'm not Supermom.  But she doesn't really exist. 

All I need to do is let go of what I think I'm not and begin to embrace what I'm made for.  I have a nice, soft lap for snuggling with and reading to my kids.  We have a warm home that our kids aren't afraid to explore and learn in.  I genuinely care about nearly everyone I meet, even if they don't all want to be my friend.  I'm a decent cook, get the bills paid on time, can make my husband laugh.  I want my kids to be happy and to learn responsibility - though I'm still working on the execution of this one. 

Goals 1-10 lay out a plan to change a few things that I think will make me better at fulfilling my purpose.  Goal 11 is my permission to let go of everything else.  All the emotional 'stuff' that weighs me down.  God loves me just the way I am, and that's what really matters.  Now it's my turn to learn to do the same :)

How did your New Years Eve go?  What are some of your goals for 2012?  I'd love to hear what you're all up to!
 
 
I've got lots of plans in store for 2012 and I am so excited!  I just wanted to give you all a rundown of what to look for in the upcoming new year!  I'm tweaking my post schedule a little.  I'll still have my regular posts, but I'm also adding some fun link-ups as well.  Here's what things will look like beginning in January:

Monday: Stuff I Love
Tuesday: Stuff I Don't Love and/or Tuesday Top 5 linkup
Wednesday: Book Of The Week and Wednesday Wander linkup
Thursday: Recipe Of The Week and Think Thinner Thursday linkup
Friday: Free Friday (anything goes) and Swap It To Me linkup (once/month)

I'd love for this blog to be a starting point for all of us to get to know each other better and share our knowledge and resources.  So I'll be giving you guys opportunities to share your opinions, gain new followers for your blogs/shops, share your best fitness tips and trade goods and services. 

AND the BIGGEST news it - we're going to be moving!  Lovely as weebly is - it's just not the very best place for us.  I'm in process of having a lovely designer give my old blogger site a brand new facelift!!  Starting in February 2012 we'll be moving back to blogger (I'll keep this site up so y'all can come visit the archive anytime).  I'm sure I'll have some kind of fun grand reveal.

So that's what we have to look forward to next year!  I'm signing off until 2012.  I hope you all have a really lovely, blessed and safe new year celebration! 
 
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