Monday, January 30, 2012

Just a little time to rest (and play)

Shocking, I know ... but I am taking a blogging break for a few weeks. Just a little time to rest, see some friends and drink lots of tea.

See you soon.

image credit

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sugar and its' ugly twin ... white flour

It has been months since I have eaten any sugar or flour. Months and months ... not a single drop during my birthday, Christmas or New Years. 

Oh. my. goodness ... last week I decided (I have no idea why) to have a scone ... just one lemon scone from my favorite bakery in Chicago. (Bake) 

INSTANTLY I wanted nothing but ...more sugar especially with yummy white flour.

I need to make a decision ... I felt great when I had no sugar and no flour. Really. really. great.

How about you?

image credit

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Perfectly Imperfect Home ~ a book review

Jenny and I were having a lovely browse at Barnes and Noble,when I came across a new book. It was truly love at first sight. The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate & Live Well (by Deborah Needleman), had my name written all over it.


A few of my favorite words:

     * jollifiers - sentimental things that spread a little joy everytime you cast your eye upon them.

     *mollifiers - stuff that you allow into your home because as awful as it may be, it makes someone else happy.


     *cozification - those things that add dimension to our space, like rugs, textiles, throws and patterns. In fact, without decorating cozification, a hot drink or blazing fire would not feel quite as welcoming.


     *glamification - things that add surprising boldness, sparkle, shine, color and pattern to our home. (Remember, simplicity and glamor go hand in hand.)





A few favorite ideas:

     * place a lamp on your kitchen counter

     * frame the art of children, including their words and doodles

     *put a few things "where they aren't supposed to be." These small whimsical touches show that you do not take your home too seriously. (Stick a snapshot into the edge of an antique mirror.)

     *add an out of scale piece to a room (a giant palm tree)

     *use flexible furniture, like an ottoman (coffee table, foot stool, or seating)


Some favorite advice:

     *drag your whole lamp into the shade store and try on shades like outfits, to see which looks best.

      *the implicit promise of upholstered furniture is pleasure and comfort, and every home needs a few chairs that just beg to be sat in.


     *it is wise to start with a furniture plan before you shop, but don't be afraid to rearrange, and then rearrange again and again.


     *throws look best neatly folded, hanging over the arm or back of an armchair. Use them, though: they are corny when just for show; stuck like a Band-Aid to the arm of a chair.


OK, I love this book. It is full of practical, homey and cozy advice. Yesterday, I spent about an hour sprucing up my home ... using a few ideas I had learned from this amazing book.


The beautiful illustrations are by Virginia Johnson and many of them are from real homes, like Kate Spade's home and Rita Konig's home. 


Here is my advice ... go and buy this book TODAY.

image credit: 1, 2, 3, 4           


 

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Winter Walk


I love walking with Dave ... even in Chicago's cold temperatures. Have you been out for a walk with someone you love? 

image: Christy took this cool picture ... not sure how she did it ... but I love it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pillow Talk


My love language is ... TALK. And I love to get in bed at night for a long cozy talk with my husband. Dave likes to talk too, but he falls asleep the second his head hits the pillow.

A few weeks ago we had this conversation, as I was in bed reading and he was falling asleep.


Sleepy Dave to wide awake Glenda: " Hey babe, I keep forgetting to tell you something. Remind me in the morning to tell you about this book I am reading. It is about  ... pruning and our dating life."

Wide awake Glenda to now almost asleep Dave: "Really Dave, now you have me super curious ... pruning and our dating life? At least give me a little hint."

Dave: "Good night, babe."

PS. Issues with blogger. I have heard from several of you that you have been having problems leaving comments on my blog. I have also been having problems with spacing ... my draft looks perfect ... then when I post it ... blogger changes the spacing and I can not fix it. Come on blogger ... help us out here. (pretty please!)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Presents from England are oh so cool


When we picked Christy up from the airport for her visit for the holidays ... her suitcase was heavy and we were banned from looking in it. There were 

*I am home presents.

*Birthday presents for Jenny and me.
*Christmas presents for all of us for Christmas Eve.

*Stocking stuffers . . . all from ENGLAND


 
A lovely tray for my birthday.
 Goodies from the Cath Kidson outlet.
 Piles and piles of Tetley Tea ... here a travel sized version.
Fun reads from British authors.
Oxford University sweat shirt ... in pink!
And just for the record ... the Chicago contingency came through with really fun gifts, too. Thanks Dave, Christy and Jenny.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Those Pesky Goodbyes

I like it (a lot) when the four of us are in the same city ... and even more the same house. Christmas has come and gone and we had a brilliant time. I quote one of our daughters, "It is ridiculous how much fun the four of us have together."

I totally agree with Charlie Brown, "I hate goodbyes. They make my throat hurt. I need a lot more hellos."

Christy has returned to England, Jenny is back to work and Dave is beginning a busy work season. I am so grateful to God, for the wonderful three weeks we had together.

How were your holidays

Linking with the lovely Suzanne at Privet and Holly.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cowboy Caviar


Cowboy Caviar is my go-to recipe when I want something delicious and fresh. We enjoyed this on New Year's Eve this year. Serve it with tortilla chips and celery sticks for dipping.

Cowboy Caviar

1 can black beans
1 can white hominy or chickpeas
1 can yellow hominy or navy beans
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Dressing: 1/2 cup olive oil, juice of 2 limes, salt and pepper and 1 or more cloves garlic, crushed



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Solving Problems at ... The Container Store

The day before Christy flew back to England, we made a quick dash into The Container Store, for something she needed. I have driven by that store so many times and was rather afraid to go in ... I love organizational things and did not want to get sucked in.

But this day was perfect ... we were in a big hurry and I had only 10 minutes to do a quick browse. I was not looking for anything in particular, but for under ten dollars, I solved two problems that had been bugging me for ages

Dave likes to keep his keys here 
Our keys now have a happy home here ... which we both like.

Happy home on fridge
My delicious sea salt from Penzeys Spices came in a zip lock bag and it would not zip shut anymore. (Spices were really important and added lots of flavor on my recent diet.) I found an adorable mini canning jar ... perfect.

tiny cuteness
 I wish that all of my issues could be solved for ten dollars at The Container Store.

Do you have a favorite organizational store near you?

Monday, January 9, 2012

How I Lost 30 Pounds

Me 30 pounds lighter

It seems that each January as I think about the new year's goals, I always have at the top of my list ... lose weight. Well, this year, I am starting the new year 30 pounds lighter than last year. And it feels quite lovely.

The Diet

Just before we moved from Seattle, I heard about the 
hcg diet from a friend's chiropractor. But we were busy packing, so I did not have time to think about it. Later, I started seeing friends on facebook and some blogging friends, tell about their success.

I started doing some research on line, including some medical people that I respect. I called a few friends who had done the diet. I decided that it was the right diet for me and my lifestyle.

The hcg diet requires every meal to be cooked from scratch, and you do it in 21 day day increments. So I looked at my calendar and found a quiet 21 days and ... went for it.

I love this diet. The food is good. You are never hungry. And the weight comes off quickly. It also has a good maintenance plan, which is essential for me.

Note: If you are interested, click on the hcg link above and Lori and Kelli will take great care of you. They offer the homeopathic drops. These are becoming harder to get, so order soon.

Nutritional Support

I took a lot of supplements to support my body during the process. 

Losing weight releases a lot of toxins into your body, so I wanted to support my liver. I took NuSkin Detox and drank a gallon of water every day.

I also took Vitality for extra energy. (Dave said to me often, "You haven't had this much energy for years." Extra energy is good.)
I absolutely would not do the hcg diet without these supplements. (just my opinion)
 
Note:If you would like to place a monthly automatic order for these products, and get them at wholesale, you can contact my friend, Marshall Brand. (952.897.0544) Tell him Glenda sent you.

 Emotional and Spiritual Support 

I was also interested in pursuing the emotional and spiritual side of overeating. I studied a great series (book and video) Made to Crave. It is so well done. 


Well, that is my story. If you have any questions, feel free to e.mail me.

ps. Later this year I will start another round and work on the last 20 pounds. I cannot wait.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Church Bells

My husband has his alarm set to ... church bells. They start out very quiet and gradually get a bit louder. It is a very pleasing sound and makes me happy every morning.

I learned to love the sound of church bells during our many summers of travel in Europe. We took students on short term mission trips with Royal Servants

We tented around Europe. I always said that we got to see, smell and hear the same wonderful bits in each beautiful city, as those who stayed in luxury hotels. 

Laying in our cozy tent beds, surrounded by fresh air, and hearing a church bell off in the distance was always a thrill for me. (Now, I dream of hearing those same bells from the comfort of a luxury hotel.)

One can never forget the first time you hear the church bells in Amsterdam ... the same bells Anne Frank wrote about hearing, while they were in hiding during World War II.

Here in our vintage Chicago apartment, I can periodically hear church bells when I am running our laundry up and down the outside back steps.

I love church bells.

What do you wake up to? 

image credit: church bells  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

30 things to do in January


We have been talking about all the reasons that I love January. I know that for some of us it is a hard month. So I thought you might enjoy a little jump start, thus ...  30 things to do in January. Are you ready?

1. rest

2. sit by the fire and read a fun January magazine



3. organize your junk drawer

4. read a book to learn something new


5. read a book - just for fun

6. explore a new restaurant


7. do a puzzle


8. go to church 15 minutes early and enjoy the quiet

9. invite a neighbor in for tea


10. write a letter (shocking, I know, but people still enjoy receiving a hand written letter)

11. treat yourself to a delicious hot chocolate



12. enjoy a winter walk

13. pay attention to the beautiful winter sky (I just rearranged our furniture to create my morning quiet time spot in front of our huge dining room windows. I love watching the morning sky change from dark, to dark blue, to light.) 



14. pay attention to the sun ... days are already getting longer (an encouragement for us that live in cold climates)


15. meet a friend at a favorite coffee shop

16. build a snowman (My brother Tim and his gang build an igloo every winter. They even hang a string of twinkle lights. This year, they decided that the day they build it, they are going to have pizza delivered ... to the igloo.)

17. memorize a chapter of the Bible


18. enjoy a scented candle



19. fix simple meals, but set the table every night with a tablecloth and a candle

20. buy warm and cozy merino wool socks

21. start a creative project




22. finish a creative project that you began last year


23. hold hands with your honey


24. watch your top 10 favorite movies


25. make soup


26. hang a string of twinkle lights over a bookcase


27. try a new tea (celestial seasonings chai tea is great)   


28. turn the computer off on the weekends

29. go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night

30. write Lamentations 3:23 and 23 on an index card and read it every morning when you first wake up

Have a wonderful month.

What are your favorite January activities? 

image credit: snowman, fireplace, hot chocolate, winter sky, candles, yarn 
   

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