Thursday, January 27, 2011

Randoms from the Week

It's been a busy week, and I have had little time to blog or even comment on your blogs out there. Hopefully I can now get to reading! Here is a smattering of random photos from lately to illustrate a few things that have been going on around here.

I did a lot of driving this week---as always. My families were awkward ones this time around though so the week has seemed to drag on. Not my easiest lot of subjects. The weather was lovely though and the roads were dry and clear. Few deer dotted the fields and the sun shone most days. I grinned as I sped down the highway. Lots of cows to greet me as I drove those backroads this week too. Oh how I love them!

Field after field, now with its snow melted, smelled of Spring. I do not mind if more snow falls, but I also do not mind if the green stuff starts growing and the air warms. I will take either happily.

My sister and I have been planning a big ski weekend soon. I'm so excited to get away! A few weekends ago we went out with my Dad. Here is my cat looking over our gear before we left. :) I look forward to heading out again.

I decorated my mantel with re-used Christmas ornaments for this month of January. I liked all the bright color for the New Year. Quite soon it will be changed out for the colors of Valentine's Day. I love switching stuff out each month.

My happy little rocking chair. I've been cuddling up in places like this around the house as I motor through Jane Eyre. With the new movie coming out I am revisiting the story. I love it! (And Mr. Rochester in the movie is a fox! Mmm!) Notice my illuminated grapefruit plant. Once the Christmas tree came down we missed the glow, so I strung lights on this little guy to surprise my sister. :)

Speaking of that grapefruit, it has started to flower. Oy! It flowers twice a year and it makes me so allergic! The blooms have exploded on this plant, and even though my eyes itch and I can't stop sneezing they smell AMAZING. It produces this smell like Summer and rain and all that is good. So I have left the blossoms. :) I can't help it!

Those are a few tidbits from my strange week. I will now try to catch up on comments and go read what you all have been up to!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mosaic Monday: Bedroom Details

I am joining up with Little Red House for Mosaic Monday! If you have not visited this woman's blog, please do so! She has charm coming out of her ears! I urge you to go look at all the other Monday mosaic participants too. My idea this time was to display some of my favorite things about my bedroom. I've made it extremely girly these last few months and am loving it. :) Some favorite details? My new Eiffel Tower and Big Ben wall art that serve as part of my "headboard," my silver vanity set with mirror, brush and comb, my blue and silver bedding, and framed black and white photos I've gathered over the years. I never thought I'd end up with a real bedroom theme, but I have fallen in love with these colors. Black + white + silver + blue = sweet dreams. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"Stained Glass" Valentine

So over at one of my favorite blogs, Flower Patch Farmgirl, she created some really pretty melted-wax, stained glass hearts. I couldn't resist this super fun craft! So, tonight, I went in the basement and rummaged for a box of crayons. I picked out some pinks, reds, oranges, and purples, and after stripping them of their paper clothes began to shave them with a little plastic crayon sharpener.

Well, after a crayon or two, my little sharpener broke. So, next I used a butter knife. Now the shavings were too small, so I ended up cutting pieces off with a pair of scissors. This worked nicely! After I had an assortment of wax shavings, I sprinkled them on a sheet of parchment paper. (The first time, I used a lot of wax and the hearts came out thicker and darker. The second time 'round I went light on the shavings and the hearts are more pastel.)

After applying another sheet of parchment over the crayon pieces, I took a hot iron and ran it over the surface. Immediately those little pieces of wax spread into a gorgeous, multi-colored design. I moved the iron around until I had a large, flat piece of wax.

After letting it cool, I drew hearts on the paper and cut them out with scissors. Using a toothpick I punched holes in them and am stringing them up with thread to hang from my kitchen window. These are soooo easy to make and they really are pretty when you put a light up behind them. You should all try this fun craft! I can hopefully get a picture of them tomorrow when the morning sun comes in my window. :)
Thank you Flower Patch Farmgirl for giving me the idea! :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oh, Real Housewives...tsk tsk

Ok, so while I was home enjoying the house to myself on Monday, I happened across the Real Housewives of Orange County. Generally not something I watch, but I thought, "heck, let's give it a shot. I'm feeling frivolous." Well, I can guarantee you that I learned very little from the show, however, I have been left with a feeling of gratitude toward my parents and my childhood. Please allow me to thank my mother for the following:

1. Thank you for NOT buying me a Mercedes on my 18th Birthday.

2. Thank you for laying down actual rules while I grew up, and being a Mother FIRST, and a friend SECOND.

3. Thank you for making ME pay for college.

4. Thank you for not letting me dress like I'm 25 when I was 10.

5. Thank you for teaching me what real beauty is, that it's beautiful to age, and that our worth is not dependent on how many wrinkles we have (or do not have).

6. Thank you for not competing with me, dressing like me, and trying to be me as I went through high school.

7. Thank you for not wearing that much eye make-up and looking like a hooker.

8. Thank you for giving me real role models with you and Dad, two people that I'm NOT embarrassed to be seen with.

9. Thank you for taking us on fun family vacations, filled with mishaps, funny moments, perfect joy and silliness. And not just buying us a yacht. So you could feel like your in your 20s again.

I had a heck of a good childhood and it didn't revolve around money and mansions and fancy cars! High school went just fine without having a pool or a bungalow over Laguna Beach. I made friends without having to host huge parties. I had good grades, kind boyfriends and I respected my parents all along the way. You Real Houswives are about as "real" as your boobs. ;) And you couldn't pay me enough to be a part of that lifestyle!

A Montana Life Gave me an Award!

Yes, my dear mum over at A Montana Life has given me the Stylish Blog Award. I'm excited! It's my first award and I don't even have a speech prepared! Give me a moment while I make my way to the stage and try not to trip on my dress. LOL. Part of accepting it requires me to tell you seven things about myself and then choose another winner for the award. Cool! Ok here we go:

1. I have a habit of buying fancy shower curtains. I can't get enough! I have one for each season, holiday and mood. I love changing them out and changing the mood of that room. :D (I just did about a half hour ago!)

2. I love to travel and my adventurous side was spoiled two summers ago in Peru. I want to make a habit of leaving the country on interesting excursions. Run with the bulls in Pamplona? Climb Kilimanjaro in Africa? Eat cheese and chocolate in Switzerland between ski runs? They're all on my list, and I intend to start checking them off! :)

3. I graduated with a Chemistry degree a few years ago. I have always loved science and during my Junior and Senior years of high school, I fell in love with Chemistry. It was a challenging major in college, but definitely worth it. I just love numbers and molecules. :) A photograph of my graduating class hangs on campus and I am proud of to be one of a very small group of people who made it through successfully.

4. I have a roly, poly 4 year old cat named Bear. She is a Russian Blue/Manx so she looks like a bowling ball with legs. Her tiny tail is only about an inch and a half long and she uses it much like a dog would, wiggling it when she's happy. She is a handful for sure, (I definitely know why she's a stray...) but I love her to bits and she is a great other "roommate" in our house.

5. I could play board games ALL day long. I love them! Growing up, we had a ton of them in the house and we'd play them often. Nowadays we still get together as a family for games on the holidays and I just adore it! I could go for hours. :) Favorites? Scattegories, Pictionary, and our newest one Buzz Word! Go to my mom's blog for her post about the newest game we played. :)

6. I love cake. Ask anyone in this entire town, and they will know the biggest cake fan in the county. It's become a joke! I bake 'em often and try to get creative with the decorating of them. They're so easy to make, so good to eat, and so fun to decorate and share! I think it's why I like going to weddings so can't get better cake than that! :)

7. I love crafting with paper or cloth. I enjoy scrapbooking and cardmaking, and also sewing and cross-stitch. For my age, I tend to get made fun of for the latter, but I find it so relaxing and fun. I like having outlets for my creative side and I find glue and glitter, thread and fabric so relaxing to work with. :)

I hope you enjoyed those little tidbits about myself! Now it's time to pass the torch. I love all the blogs that I follow--and there are a lot! I find something wonderful about each, and each blogger has something new and interesting to teach me or show me every time I visit. I made a list of some of my all time favorites and from that list have chosen the winner.

The Stylish Blog Award goes too....(can you tell I just watched the Golden Globes??)

Stacey! At Design Addict Mom. She is such a stylish woman with a very stylish blog. She is a very kind blogger, who leaves the sweetest comments and writes a delightful blog. She loves home decor like I do and never fails to get my imagination going with her artful posts. She has a lovely family and is one of the dear bloggers who have made having a blog so much fun! Please hop on over to her blog to take a look and say hello. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Small Town Steeples

I've been driving through snowflakes this week. The roads are shiny with ice and the sky can't decide between clouds or blue sky, changing its mind constantly. Snowflakes fell yesterday as I got in my car and I looked up into an endless blue expanse. Where was this snow coming from? Another magic trick of winter. I had a few extra moments on my last trip down the Bitterroot Valley so I decided to go see the old St. Mary's Mission, and took a photo. As I wandered the town I found other churches and snapped a few pictures. I love churches with steeples. They are so picturesque and classic. (And even the smallest town has at least 5, I swear!)

Not too much else to report from the road this week. Just keeping my toes warm, my eyes wide, and dodging the deer and fog as best I can. Though I have more trouble dodging parked cars...but that's a story for another day....

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Clouds Rolled In

Today found itself wrapped in a warm cloak of clouds. Fog filled in the valley in shades of morning blue, afternoon white, and evening grey. It rained, and froze, and my little world became one of icy glass. Safely off the road, I took comfort indoors with a pane of glass between me and the mess. A beautiful mess though. I looked out my window at one point and the mountain that normally rises beyond was gone. All I saw was white. The fog may have "come in on little cat feet" but it knew enough magic to move mountains. :) As the evening ducked behind the invisible hills, and night came swiftly in, I poured myself a cup of coffee and continued to observe the day from my cozy home. My remaining colored lights outside twinkled beyond their water droplets and passers by leaped like ballerinas over the ever-growing puddles. I could almost picture Spring for a moment, but then smiled as I remembered tomorrow's forecast: 100% chance of snow. Ah yes, it is still January. There are many more cozy days ahead for coffee and magic...

Today's storm brewing yesterday...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Has Me Smiling

Right now I'm am quite pleased by many little things:

1. The fact that it has been snowing quite consistently for DAYS. I can't tell you the last time it snowed for DAYS. Maybe when I was a kid? I am loving it and recently heard that this La Nina year may meld into next year and then we'll have a double La Nina winter. Holy cow! That'd be awesome! :) If you haven't guessed yet, I LOVE snow.

2. My newest package that I received in the mail from one of my favorite bloggers. She just started her own line of organic products like lip balms and body scrubs. I'll blog about it soon so check back!

3. When I looked out of the shower curtain this morning I found my cat on the bath mat near the tub. What was she doing? Bathing of course. Apparently we're on the same morning schedule. I bet she wonders why I require so much water when I bathe though!

4. Grocery shopping! I really, really love my big shopping day when I restock the whole house. Paper towels, soap, scrubbies for dishes, new toothbrush, more food, tissue boxes, etc. I love when all the shelves are full again and whenever I need something it's there.

5. Best friend baby updates! My bestie is prego and it has been very exciting! I think it's just plain fascinating too. Every week she sends me a link to a site that says what's happening in her belly that week. Things like when baby's joints start working, his or her eyes can detect light, how much he or she weighs. I love knowing what's going on! I also love her personal updates on what foods she suddenly can't stand and all the changes she's noticed in her body. Cool!

6. Really good cereal. I don't like many breakfast foods, and sometimes pass up this meal simply because there's nothing good to eat. I really get excited about a new box of yummy, yummy cereal though. I look forward to it when I wake up! :)

7. My highway drives. Work has me on the road, as always, but lately it's been extra beautiful. The houses this week meant winding up skinny roads between boulders as big as houses. The cold weather has produced beautiful frost on all the heaps of snow which have sparkled like gems in the sunlight. Wind has been light so there are still caps of white on every fence post, pine bough and hay bail. The diamond-like days have melted into warm, pink sunsets and then the stars come out. And not just any stars! Bright, white ones in the darkest sky I've ever seen. I went out into the boonies this week, further than I've ever gone before and after getting out of the car was actually startled by how brilliant the sky was. I was so far from city lights and noise. It was amazing!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winter Through My Sister's Eyes

My sister, and roommate, is a lover of Winter. Just like me! She is a snowboarder (I am a skier) but she one-upped me this year by becoming part of Ski Patrol at one of our local mountains. (Well, Snowboard Patrol I suppose...) She gets to snowboard at least 2 days a week all season long. And she gets PAID for it!! So not fair. :) She likes to take her camera along when she's out there and has captured some really beautiful winter scenes so far this year. Below are three of my favorites I wanted to share with you folks. Aren't they great? Winter can be so beautiful! I hope you all are enjoying the rest of your weekend. We've had big, puffy flakes of snow falling since I woke up this morning which has been lovely. Though it means I'll have to shovel twice today!!

They call these snow rainbows "Sun Dogs"

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