PILLOWS A-LA-MODE blog

I was scrolling through some emails and I came to one from the PILLOWS A-LA-MODE blog.

I was sad to read that Katherine, the author of the blog, had died right before Christmas of breast cancer.

I, like others who commented, never met her, but I always enjoyed reading her posts when they arrived in my email inbox.

The Internet (blogs, Facebook, etc) has definitely expanded my view of the world.  Before Christmas,  I read a post on Facebook stating that there was going to be a heatwave in Australia on Christmas day and the next post was about how people were dealing with the freezing cold temperatures in Nevada, etc.

So, even though there is a lot of negative information on the Internet I hope I add something positive to what is available.

Later – Heather

 

Favorite clothing / fashion blog #1

Well, a long time ago I posted my favorite blog #1.  It was one of the first blogs I had found, but I haven’t seen a new post from her in a while.

Since I have multiple interested I figured it was best to start multiple favorite lists.  This time it will be a clothing / fashion blog.

Grace & Beauty:    http://www.cyndispivey.com/

I can’t even tell you where I found Cyndi’s blog, but I love reading her blog in the morning.  Besides giving fashion trends, etc she has a Beauty for the Heart (Bible Verse) at the end of each post.

I love when she does a series – 27 Days of Spring was her latest.  I just saved the latest series to a Pinterest board so I can review them again.  Hopefully I can come up with some new clothing combinations for Spring/Summer without having to buy new clothes.

Cyndi’s personality comes through the blog and we have communicated through email a few times.  I wish we lived closer, but it is a long way between Kentucky and Nevada.

Can you believe another post in one month?  Maybe I am back to blogging…

Which clothing blog would you recommend?

Later – H

 

 

Mom’s house and will you take a challenge?

Have you ever come across an article written by someone you don’t know, but you think you could have wrote it (or at least something very similar)?  Well, I saw this on Facebook the other day and it definitely range true with me.

‘I Went 200 Days Without Buying Anything New and Learned How Toxic Our Need for Possessions Is’

Which lead me to her blog:    Green High Five

This year has been rough, as you probably know.  During this past winter Mom said she wanted to live closer to us and was willing to go to a doctor if that was required (which was a shock at the time considering she hadn’t been to a doctor in about eight years and had refused to go every other time we said it was needed to move into a independent / assisted living place).  In hindsight we should have known that mom thought she had a health issue.  Well, two plus months later my mom died (after living in an apartment in the independent living place) and I was abruptly the executor of her estate (which included her independent living apartment [and all the items in there] and her house in another state).

So, at first my time was taken up with notifying people, companies, dealing with her prepaid burial insurance (which I am so glad she did since I didn’t have to make as many decisions), getting death certificates, clearing out her independent living apartment, etc.  Then I took a break so my family could celebrate our daughter’s graduation from college (went to her Senior project day, went to graduation, etc).

Which brings us to the beginning of June and starting to clear out mom’s house.  Mom had been slowly been giving items away, but there was still a lot of items in the house.  I first tried to contact a local company that would hold an estate sale (I could not handle the idea of doing a garage sale by myself), but the company never even called me back (I found out later that they were starting to focus on high value items – which mom’s would not fall under anyways).

Luckily, the neighbor said they were interested in buying the house and said they would be willing to take any and all of the large pieces of furniture (beds, couches, refrigerator, washing machine, etc) that we did not want.  They even agreed to be ‘Mr and Mrs Junk’ if they decided that the items that were left needed to be recycled, donated or trashed.  (This was a huge blessing since I was going to have to pay a company to take away most of the items.)  So, the big items were avoided and left for the end.  (This also made it possible for me to stay at Mom’s house when I went over.  Was that tough? Semi, but it did allow me to work from  early morning to late at night, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea since I definitely was overdoing it).

So, it was decided that the other small items that were not wanted (or thrown out) would be given away.  Since we know some young families and I see on the Facebook groups that there are always people looking for items (clothes, blankets, pots & pans, etc) I thought giving the items to a thrift store would be ‘easy’.  Well, that wasn’t always the case.  I was told a few times that my favorite thrift store was full and not taking any donations.  I luckily found a local church this summer that was holding a large rummage sale so they took a large portion of the items that were actually brought to me house.  Remember me saying I over did it?  Well, due to that we had to box up a lot of items and bring them to my garage so I could go through them little by little (which I am still doing, but the pile of boxes is definitely getting smaller).

So, after a few months of random trips I finally got the last items out of mom’s house at the beginning of September.

Oh, and as a side note the neighbors did decide to buy the house ‘as is’ (needing new paint, flooring, some repairs, etc) and escrow even closed last week.

So, what did I learn from all of this?

a) I want to give activities OR items I know a person wants as a gift.  Reason: I found multiple items that I know were given to our Mom as Christmas presents (some of them I had even given to her).  At the time she was really happy to receive them, but then they were put away either in a cupboard or in a random box (some of them not even opened).  I know some of this was due to mom’s age, etc, but some of the items were things we thought she needed (and I guess it turns out that she didn’t).

b) There is just a lot of ‘stuff’ in this world. Have you ever thought about how many items are sitting in your house, thrift stores, storage units, and then new in the stores?  I am not saying you have to be a minimalist, but maybe it is time to really think before you buy your next new item (could you find what you need used or could something else be used instead)?

Oh, and before you complain at me (since if you know me you know that we just bought a new vehicle) you need to know that it was a necessity AND we keep our vehicles FOREVER (i.e. the vehicle that we are replacing is 20+ years old!).

c) I want to work on my projects.  I have plenty to work on (sewing, scrapbooks, around the house, etc) so it is time to spend some of my free time working on those instead of shopping for items we really don’t need.  So, I am hoping to not buy any new ‘fun’ projects (at least for a while) and only items that will help me finish some of the ‘fun’ projects I already have.

d) After realizing what I am going through and our Mom even had a trust, prearranged burial, etc it is time for me and my husband to start putting our wishes in writing.  So, in the next year I hope we have everything in place so our family doesn’t have more headaches than I have had in the last few months if/when something happens to us.

If you read the link to her blog you will see that she is doing another 200 day challenge (only buying the essentials new – food, medicine, etc) and wants everyone to do it with her.  I admit I am not ready to commit to that (at least not at this time), but I do know that I have been reviewing everything that we have been buying to make sure it really is needed.

My challenge to you is to really think about a purchase before making it:

  • is it a quality item; i.e. will it fall apart the first time I use it?
  • can I find it used? (you might find that the older version actually lasts longer than a newly made one)
  • can I modify something I have and make it work?
  • can I borrow it?
  • do I really need it (versus want it)?

I would love to hear if you are taking either the Green High Five challenge or mine.

And, if you made it to the end of this then I applaud you.  I haven’t written a long blog post in awhile, but this topic really spoke to me.

Later – H

One of my favorite blogs #1

I saw that another blog posted about one of their favorite blogs recently and realized I would like to start doing it also.

So, I only started following blogs a few years ago.   One of the first blogs I found was  ‘While Wearing Heels’   http://whilewearingheels.blogspot.com/

I wasn’t even sure what post first caught my attention so I just went looking on her blog to figure it out.  I think I first found one of Amy’s posts on Pinterest.com and was hooked from then on.

Some of the first ones that I pinned:

a) Framed postcards – I have been sending the daughter / us postcards from vacations for years.  I usually put the postcard in the scrapbook (using removable photo ‘ears’ so we can take it out and read the back), but I loved the idea of actually framing the writing on the postcard and an associated photo.

http://whilewearingheels.blogspot.com/2013/04/frame-personalized-postcard-souvenirs.html

b) United Scraps of America – I love this idea, but I plan on making it special for us.  I want to make a wall hanging and fill in the states as they are visited.  There are many that would be filled in right away between traveling for work and for fun, but it would be fun to figure out which states are still on our ‘bucket list’ (and to figure out if we can find  a reason to visit those states).

http://whilewearingheels.blogspot.com/2012/09/united-scraps-of-america-grand-finale.html

c) Steampunk Art – I thought this idea was so cool and when the Father-In-Law was selling old pieces of tractors, etc I saw piece that would be perfect.  I still have the piece and need to get it finished so I can get it displayed.

http://whilewearingheels.blogspot.com/2012/03/switching-gears-steampunk-art.html

So, what are some of your favorite blogs?

Later – H

Happy Father’s day and Subway art

First I want to wish all the Fathers a Happy Father’s Day!   We hope to spend the day going to church, going out to lunch and then spending the afternoon with Pepper (the Golden Retriever) and family – either hiking or taking her swimming

So, for a present I decided I wanted to make the husband a Subway Art using some of words of his favorite things.  First I was looking at making a Canvas Artwork, but ran into problems getting the words to fit correctly on PicMonkey ( http://www.picmonkey.com/  ).  I use this site to add the Watermark (blog name) to the photos I own and post.

So, then I started doing some Google searching to figure out how else I could make a Subway art.  I found a few references to Wordle ( http://www.wordle.net/ ).  It is a pretty easy site to use (I do suggest you read their FAQs before you start out).  I did save my word list in a document first so it was pretty easy to modify.

I was able to make and print out my personalized Subway art (in black and white) this morning – now I need to put it into a frame so I can give it to him.

Sorry for no pictures this time, but they are currently in the new phone (which I have to figure out to get them posted).  I figured it was better to send out the idea now in case you wanted to make one and post photos next week.

And you add a comment if you get this?  I tried to email a couple of posts to myself to I could forward them to a friend and I realized I never got them.  Not sure if it is our email account with the problem or if the posts are hiding from people.  thanks!

Later – H

First perk from having a blog

If you don’t know it I made no money from this blog.  I know – shocking 🙂

I do it since it is fun and I hope useful to someone.  That being said I am getting my first perk from having it – Free books to review!

Have you ever heard of BookSneeze.com?  Bloggers (with over 30 followers) get free books for agreeing to do a review.

The first book I requested is

It’s A God Thing: When Miracles Happen to Everyday People

I had heard about this book from K-Love and was hoping it would (someday) be available at the library.  When I was just accepted by BookSneeze.com and was able to see the current list of books available I jumped at the chance of reading (and reviewing) this book. It has been requested and now I am waiting for the physical book to arrive (BookSneeze.com said it takes usually takes 6-10 days to arrive).

So, look for my book review after I have finished reading it.  Oh, and I guess I need to figure out how to add the BookSneeze.com badge to my blog.  That will be one of the next things I need to learn.

Later – H