Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Slow Days

My favorite part about the way we celebrate Christmas is the down time we give ourselves.  Working for ourselves brings a big perk the last 2 weeks of the year.  We're able to take time off and just live.  Live as if the idea of work doesn't exist.  We put ourselves into our own Lala Land, but also know it has an end.  It helps (a bit) to make up for the added stress that owning a business brings the other 50 weeks of the year.  When the rush of our lives slows down, I feel the pressure and intensity that owning our business has brought into our lives.  Little by little, as it has lifted off the last week, I see the many layers it all has piled onto us.  Although, we love working for ourselves and that's just the type of people we are, there are positives and a lot of negatives to that.  It has worn on us over the years and it shows in so many aspects.  I realize how much we rush through our days.  I wish that could change, but most of everyone lives the same.  Life has gotten itself in a big hurry.  These slow days the last 2 weeks of the year are exactly what our souls need.   

These days brings us lazy naps, hot cocoa for him, tea for the lady, a messy house, chores forgotten.  Time to gather our thoughts, find inspiration for the new year and to watch the clock tick.  Something that normally doesn't happen any other time of our lives.  For now, right now, we just are living.  Slowly and with out much direction.   The way I wish it was more often.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finding Festive

The last few weeks have left me feeling a bit uninspired and I truly despise that.  I caught a cold that transformed itself into bronchitis with a nice scoop of walking pneumonia on top like a cherry.  When they say 'walking'...I get it.  You can truly get around.  I worked and carried on with my days, but man, did I feel beat down.  24 days later, I finally beat it.  Wish I would have just gone to the doctor the first week of it.  However, I'm thankful that the rest of my family didn't catch it.  I'm kind of turning into a germaphobic and getting crazy with the hand sanitizer.
Although, I'm feeling better I'm still having a rough time bouncing back into the spirit of the season though.  I like to put the blame on the dreary weather, but it's not even at it's worse yet.  Trying to stay upbeat and positive at this time of the year is always a challenge.  I want to hibernate instead.  I don't do well in cold weather and with each passing year, I wonder how hard would it be to swap houses with someone this time of year?  It happens in the movies.  :)
On top of lack of inspiration, we have a lot of obligations to attend in the next 2 weeks which doesn't exactly help my outlook.  Just one year I want to blow off all of the celebrations and do whatever I'm feeling at the moment this time of year.  Although, my house is decorated for Xmas, I'm just not feeling it this year.  I did manage to take 3 Christmas's down to 2 instead.  Whatever happened to the days of celebrating just one time?
Whenever, I feel the cold season is getting the best of me, I decide to either let it take me down or to try and take it on.  This year, I'm torn.  As I'm writing this now on another gray day, a ray of sunshine just snuck in through my window.  Okay.  I get it.  Perhaps, she is trying to tell me something.  I like how she works.  Maybe I should just take a step back and not try so hard to stay inspired and festive this time of year.  Let the day just take me on its course.   The fact, that I'm about finished with my Christmas shopping just helped me a lot.  Just look what a little sunshine does for me!
On a more positive note, I did find some time last week to bake some cookies.  Hey, that's festive, right?!  Here is a photo of my baking assistant.  Mid project he gave up and started messing with everything in the kitchen drawers.  It's so hard to find good help!

Hope you're feeling more festive than I am this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Decorating

We decorated this year the day after Thanksgiving. Visually, there's a lot going on in our house during the winter months when my forest of plants come inside, but squeezing our Christmas tree in there just adds to the eye catching chaos.

 That white feather boa is supposed to be snow.  I like a good excuse to throw in a feather boa when I can.  :)

I love nutcrackers!  Just running out of room to collect more right now.

Some of those birds in the tree have already taken a beating from our crazy cat attacking them.  I'm glad that Gadisa has at least left the tree alone!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011


It takes waking yourself up to realize this and strength to follow it.    

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reaching Goals

I'm excited to share this fundraising project in Malawi.  I was contacted a few weeks ago through my Etsy shop about a sale of some of my necklaces.  The necklaces are to be given as thank you gifts for donations made to a school construction project called The Beehive School in Malawi in Africa.  I was commissioned to make a quantity to send on its way and was so excited to do so.  I love stuff like this!  The cause, the giving....the making of jewelry for something bigger.  The exact reason I started Morning Sparrow jewelry.  The best part...the sale of these has allowed me to make my first Kiva loan through Morning Sparrow!  I was getting antsy that I hadn't been able to make a loan yet, so this is very exciting stuff to me and is inspiring me to get busy in these next few days and weeks and get some more pieces made for my Etsy shop.  Right now, all my jewelry is at Fashionista Exchange & Boutique in Overland Park, KS for holiday shoppers.  So, I have my work cut out for me to get busy and get some pieces back up on my Etsy shop to keep raising funds.
Check out the Beehive School project:  https://www.facebook.com/notes/beehive-school-project-mzuzu-malawi/beehive-school-malawi-holiday-newsletter-2011/10150472858886202

Morning Sparrow's first Kiva loan went to a group of women in Uganda that own a shoe store business.  These funds (combined with other lender's funds to reach the target loan amount) will assist this group in growing their business and paying for school fees for their children.  Here is info about their business and loan needs: http://www.kiva.org/lend/362924.  If you are interested in contributing to this loan, it just takes $25 to get started in lending.

It's refreshing to see my original goals of my jewelry designs come to life.  It's been almost a year since I started this and at times I was overwhelmed with all the other responsibilities & projects in my life , but now I see how much balancing it all means.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


As I was sitting on my porch in the 60 degree weather on this Thanksgiving Day, I became so overwhelmed with gratefulness I thought I would burst. My family was on it's way to eat up the deliciousness that my husband was busily preparing. I had a moment with my son to gather my thoughts and send my daily thank yous out to the world. I am thankful for so much I don't know where to begin. I say my thanks to all that is every day, but today I felt especially blessed.
For the big things... the roof over our heads, our health, our business. The important things...our son, my husband, who hit the floor running bright and early this morning and prepared the majority of our Thanksgiving meal...he is amazing! He does so much for me by just being in my life. For the little things...the sunshine today, the smells of the house, the music of the wind chimes. It was a perfect day. Everyone got along (!!) and Josh's cooking was amazing. That's all we needed. Great weather, delicious food and each other's company. Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I hope you had a moment to be filled with happiness and good company.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rush Hour

Two days a week I have become part of rush hour.  It's a mini rush hour in this little town of mine, but rush hour all the same.  I don't like the traffic, the noise or the disgruntled faces that pass, but on Monday all I could see and feel was the sun set.  It drowned out the rest of the chaos.   Then, I remembered that it happens every day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cutting It Myself

All day yesterday my hair was driving me crazy.  It was just too much.  Long and all over the place. I called up my stylist and then remembered they are closed on Mondays.   Plus, getting in takes a few weeks.  I couldn't live with my frizz o' rama head for that long.  So, I decided to try and cut it myself.  Not really a trim, but restyling all of it kind of hair cut.  I've been known to do some daring things with my hair over the years.  I've colored it and permed the hell out of it so badly one time that it felt like rubber and started breaking off instantly.  I had to cut it all off and then twisted it all up into trendy little Gwen Stefani knots and refused to take it down for a good 6 months.  I'm not lying.  For about the first 6 months Josh and I dated, he never saw my hair down.  I even slept with those silly, little knots.
Then, there was the time I just hacked it off after getting into an argument with my husband.  I was just annoyed and wanted something to change, so I just cut about 1/2 of my hair off.   It was sort of a movie moment...you know, when a woman just chops her hair off in a stubborn "I'll show him" movement.  What the hell was I showing him?  That I'm an idiot?  It was a choppy, hasty, "Girl, your hair does NOT look good" kind of a hair cut.
So, when it comes to my hair...I kind of just jump into it and then thank my genes for having fast growing hair to make up for the disaster.
Yesterday's experiment was a different tune.  It turned out quite good, I have to say.  I cut out a lot of the thickness, reshaped the style and added a lot of layers.  Thank god for You Tube!  I just got on there and searched for a few tutorial videos and then scurried off to the bathroom with a few weary looks from my husband behind me in the dust.  30 minutes later...ta da!  New hair.  Saved me $50!  Now, if only the hubby will let me cut his hair.  I've been dying to do so for years.  Mainly for the pure fact he trusts me enough to really do it.  I'm quite excited about this new found skill!

Look at that!  It's just so, well...ewwww.  That sums it up.

Layers!  I could see myself getting pretty carried away with some layers.  Gotta pace myself!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Birthday Sun

This early darkness greeting us is always a hard adjustment.  I want to ignore daylight savings time and not conform.  I want to wear my pajamas more often.  I think I will.  Just as the season's change, I will make this pajama season.  Today, instead of the gloom that's greeted us, the sun is shining this morning.  Today is going to be a great day.

 Today is Oliver Gadisa's birthday.  2 years old.  He is still asleep and I was going to sneak his present in his room so he would wake up to it, but creaking floor boards were giving me away so I aborted the mission.  His birthday is bittersweet for me.  I'm happy for him.  I'm happy for us, but across the ocean I can only wonder what the emotions are on this day.  He is growing so fast, they wouldn't even recognize him.  Happy Birthday to my favorite person that I've ever met!

Monday, October 31, 2011


We decided to eat veggie on this trip. I wasn't aware of this change. Josh just announced that was what he was doing when we got in the car and headed out there. I decided I would join him and am really glad I did. He used to be a vegetarian for 7 years and I have always been a true Kansas meat lovin' gal. However, Boulder offers so much variety for a vegetarian diet. It's going to be a little trickier eating that way here at home, but I'm determined to give it a try for awhile. Already I feel lighter and more energetic. Could be the buzz I still have going on for me from loving my trip so much.
I like how traveling makes you feel all gooey and inspired inside. I feel refreshed. Like a giant reset button has been hit. I am happy to come home, but already missing the newness of a city I really love. I'm looking forward to this fall and winter (yes, my least favorite season and I'm looking forward to it). I have made some changes in my life and I'm excited. I'm inspired. I'm thankful for this trip and for how it reminded me that the choices I have made have all lead to right now. And, I am really loving right now.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Beloved Boulder

Ahhh...nothing like my beloved Boulder to give us a refreshing change of pace in life right now. We ventured off for the 8 hr drive on Tuesday morning. I vowed to take lots of photos and to take lots of photos of us especially. We used to do that a lot back when we first met and with the handy switch around camera view on our Iphones, we're back in business! The first day we arrrived, the anticipated 8-12 inches of snow hit it's mark and knocked out the power at the bed and breakfast we stayed at. Only the glow of the fireplace and random candles were our light and no phone service or electricity. It was a blessing in disguise for us tech junkies. It only added to the adventure of the trip. Yesterday, we moved on over to a little apartment that's in a house close to Pearl St...where all the shops and downtown life are. A good move. I like to change things around in regards to where we stay when we travel. It just adds more activity to a trip. It looks like we will be coming out again to see a band in March, so we're looking forward to that trip and a visit again to Boulder. For now, we're enjoying our last evening here before we head back to Lawrence, KS tomorrow. Such a great trip. Such a great adventure together.

Hittin' the road! This photo cracks me up. I feel like we should be sponsored by Ray-Ban.

Me on Pearl St.

The view from our room at the Alps Boulder Canyon Inn. Such a great place to stay!

Our photo we sent home to Gadisa. I'm craving that little guy right now. Miss him so much!
He needs to make this trip with us next time! He is home with his nana this time.

Portishead! I had waited 14 years to see this band from the first time I heard them. They rarely tour the US. They did not disappoint. Such an amazing night. Me and my boy and getting reacquainted with some great friends that used to live in Lawrence.

More Portishead.

Pearl St.

Pasta's Jay restaurant. Our favorite place to eat in Boulder. It's an Italian place. I love the atmosphere and the red checkered tablecloths. Please put one in Lawrence!

Nature's art. I love it.

Us before the concert.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lost In The Snow

Lost in my world...in a coffee shop...in a city I love to visit. Yes, this snowy day is working out just fine for me. Even if we have no power at our hotel and the snow is still falling.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kitchen Rehab - Phase 1

We have had a really productive weekend. We started phase 1 of our Kitchen Rehab project.
We painted our cabinets. Finally! We've lived in this house for 6 years and have hated the out dated kitchen the entire time. Painting cabinets is a ton of work, but well worth it. The project started on Wednesday when I started taking handles off and we had to deep clean the cabinets in 2 rounds to get all the gunk off. Thursday was for sanding them down. Might I add, that I LOVED the sanding part! Yep. Hand sanders are awesome! On Friday Josh took off work and we got to painting. We had to prime them and then paint 2 coats of the base color and then all day Saturday finished that part. Once the paint was dry we rehung the doors and I started glazing them to give them a weathered, distressed look. Handles went back on and and TA DA...new cabinets!
We used a light blue base coat (Ancient Silver - Satin finish by Glidden paints) and a gray glaze (Elephant Skin - Eggshell finish by Behr paints).
Next up will be solid, black counter tops and white subway tile backsplash. Then, my favorite part will be putting the finishing touches on this kitchen of ours...a FARM SINK and a new faucet to match. I can't wait to see the ending result! Even with talk of moving, this kitchen HAD to be redone. I'm pretty proud of our work. It looks weird without the counters and backsplash being done, but all the more reason to motivate us to hurry up and get those steps started. It's nice to be done with this by Sunday morning. I got hit with a nasty cold on Wednesday so every step of this project came with me constantly sneezing, blowing my nose or just looking pathetic and exhausted in general. Gadisa took a well planned vacation of his own this weekend and went off to see cousins. We would not have been able to complete this at all with him running around. I've got a lovely brunch to go to mid morning with a friend and then my energetic bound of joy will be making his way back to us this afternoon. Pretty great weekend if you ask me!





Midway through...base coat. I was really worried about them looking baby blue, but that's where the glaze comes in and tones that down. They turned out EXACTLY like we wanted. Whew!

Close up of the effect the glaze gives.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Home Eye Candy

I've been daydreaming about building a country farmhouse. The idea of living on some land with room to roam around and let the dogs explore is exciting. We go back and forth whether we should move to the country or stay in town, but when I look at these pictures I do think farmhouse living would definitely be something we'd be into. Check out these photos I've found for inspiration. Eye candy!

Wide floor boards.

I can think of a cat or two that would love this window seat.

Utility laundry sink.

Italianate style home.

A sunroom/greenhouse. I just want to sit here, drink tea and write!

Recycled, exposed wood. Really brings that farmhouse feel to life.

A modern spin on a chicken coop.

Rustic bathroom...love the faucet.
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