Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Sometimes I dread things that really don't need to be dreaded. Like the grocery store. Or packing for vacation. Or waking up with cranky kids who woke up too early this morning. But I wanted to look at the good side of things today so I thought I would find the positive in all these things.
1. The Grocery Store - It's not so bad. Sometimes I see people I know, so that is fun. OH, and it isn't the first of the month yet, so I can't even go today! Ya, that's great :)
2. Packing for vacation - That means that vacation is coming soon! That's nothing to complain about!! Sure packing is a little stressful and exhausting, but it is worth it to make the vacation extremely enjoyable!!
3. Waking up with cranky kids - This is a tough one. Um, they aren't cranky for too long. And maybe this means early nap time, and then early bedtime! And I'm looking at them right now, they are doing elephant noises back and forth to each other, laughing and having a great time. I think I may join the fun.
So, what about you? What are you dreading today and what's the positive about it? Please share :)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Who doesn't love free stuff? I have been discovering that there are tons of giveaways on blogs out there, so I thought I would share a few. First of all,
They do lots of giveaways, and they also like to share about other bloggers who are having giveaways. Their current prize is Apple 4G iPod Nano in Silver! So head there and check it out. Their blog is all about supporting one another by commenting on blogs.
Next head to
From what I have seen, every Friday they list some freebies they have found on the web, or that fellow bloggers are giving away. They have a fun site with lots of great info for the "earthy mommy, brainy mommy, crafty mommy, hip mommy, etc." It's a fun one to check out.
There are so many fun blogs out there, and I admit, I like to spend some of my quiet mommy time checking out what other people are up to. It's almost like people watching at the mall, except you get to read a little about what they are thinking.
Posted by Megan at 7:11 AM
Friday, July 25, 2008
Here it is, the first contest/giveaway on our blog!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Now, start at the top shelf. This is mostly my photo/video shelf. The grey box on the right holds greeting cards that are organized by category. This is a great thing to have for birthdays, weddings, etc. We buy cards on sale or I make cards and they are on hand when we need them. The maroon box is full of pictures. The Rubbermaid box on top is for Peyton's craft stuff, the one below that is full of old videos and pictures from high school (very embarrassing box) next to those are old yearbooks, photo albums and scrapbooks. Mainly stuff I don't look at too often but don't want out in storage.
Next shelf down is obviously towels. I don't know why we have so many colors and sizes but we do and it makes a huge difference to have them stacked and folded neatly. In about 2 weeks they will be shoved in there like a big mess but for now, they look nice!
Next shelf is bathroom stuff and decorating stuff. The metal container on the right holds my candles and other little things for decorating.
Next one is obviously movies, I like to have them lined up somewhat by category. On the left I have TV shows on DVD (notice my Little House on the Prairie collection..only 5 seasons to go:), then comedies, chick flicks and action/boy flicks on the right. This helps when we go look for a movie knowing what genre we are in the mood for.
The bottom area is for scrap booking/crafting supplies. The tall Rubbermaid in the middle is my "fire box" even though it is not fire proof:) but it is the container I would grab in case of an emergency. It has our wedding picture negatives, other negatives, all of our home videos and CD's of all of our digital pictures. (I store my digital pictures on my camera for a month, at the end of the month I make sure they are all on the computer and then I delete from my camera to make room for the next month. After about 2 or 3 months I make a CD. If anything happened to our computer I would DIE if I didn't have these discs. That would be 2 years of LOST photos!!) The grocery bag (lovely I know) is our gift bag. Inside are things we collect or buy through out the year that can be saved as presents..there are some sweet Starbucks mugs in there that you'd be lucky to get!! It's just great for last minute gifts or during a month where there are lots of bdays on not so much money:) Don't worry, we don't re-gift...too often:) hehe
And now you know what is in my linen closet and how I organize it. About every month I have to redo it because over time, when I'm in a hurry random things get shoved in there:) Oh and a fun idea if you have an ugly linen closet door like we did (thanks 70's) we took the door off and put a curtain there instead. It's much more cute and we don't deal with a squeaky door anymore:)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
(I don't force people to sit where their name is, I just think name tags add a cute little touch
simple name tags tied with ribbon.
I like mixing papers that are different designs but in the same color scheme.
I bought fake gerber daisies and put them in a vase with the moss and wooden pine cones at the top. They are obviously fake flowers but again, they are inexpensive (Craft Warehouse has them 2 for $1) and I think they are cute. The tile is a wonderful gift my friend Alison gave me. She gave me the tile, stand and a dry erase pen. So I can write whatever I want on it! It's great!
I like having a black tablecloth and white plates because it gives you a very basic table to dress up with accessories and color.
(excuse my wrinkled tablecloth..my iron is broken)
Hope this gives some inspiration the next time you set a table for an event. Try new things and have fun with it.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
We are trying to get a feel for what you enjoy most about our blog, so please take the poll and let us know! Also, leave us a comment here if you want to explain your poll choice, or if you want to select more than one topic. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for choosing to bloom with us!
Posted by Megan at 1:18 PM
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I tend to be a pessimist by nature. I look in the mirror and see bags under my eyes. I look at my yard and see weeds. I look at my house and see messes everywhere. I start a vacation and think about it ending. I look at my day and see all the dirty diapers I will change, the snotty noses I will wipe, the messes I will clean up.
Over the last several years I have worked to change this thought process. To see the positive side of things. The bad will always be there, but why dwell on it?! I have made some strides but I still have some work to do in this area.
I often think of how I worry about others seeing the bad in me. I worry that when friends come over they will see all the spots on my floors that I see so clearly. I worry that if people step into my backyard they will immediately focus in on all the blemishes that I can't help but see. Then I realize that I don't pay attention to these things when I visit friends and family so why would they notice it at my house? They probably don't! So I am turning over a new leaf. I am challenging myself to see the positive in myself and in others. Do any of you have a hard time with this? If so, join me in moving in a new direction! I want to glorify the Lord with my attitude and everything I do!!
Posted by Faith at 9:55 AM
Friday, July 18, 2008
"An essential tool, for use in public, is the parental signal to the child that he is getting into trouble. One tries to avoid humiliating a child in front of others, although there is a stage in life when most children consider the mere fact of having parents to be humiliating, and not much can be done about that. Every parent should have a particular facial expression that looks pleasant to observers - it is usually some peculiar type of smile - but clearly conveys to the child that if he doesn't stop what he is doing this instant, the minute he is left alone with his parent, he is going to be sorry."
Posted by Megan at 8:55 PM
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
napa cabbage/romaine leaves
4 chopped green onions
1 pkg chicken flavor ramen noodles, chopped
2 T margarine
1 packet seasoning from ramen
1/4 c slivered/crushed almonds
1/4 c sesame seeds
1/2 c oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1 T soy sauce
Brown ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds in margarine and chicken seasoning., let cool. Add to bowl of chopped cabbage and lettuce. Mix dressing ingredients together and chill well. Pour as much dressing as you like on salad. Also good with grilled chicken on top.
Monday, July 14, 2008
This was my first year to try my hand at making jelly and it turned out pretty good, so I thought I would share the recipe. I didn't want to add all the sugar that the recipes call for so I followed the advice of a good friend and made it without sugar. This recipe substitutes the sugar with natural fruit juice. I guess that the natural sugars react with the pectin setting the fruit, or something like that. Anyways, here's what I did:
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
The main purpose of this website, Choose to Bloom, is to encourage us as women to embrace our current situations and to bloom right where God has us. Constantly wishing for things to be better, easier, or different has the potential to cause a lot of bitterness in our hearts, and sadly we can miss precious moments and incredible opportunities happening around us! Faith and I will be sharing a lot of what we are learning as we embrace where God has us, but we also hope to share stories from others who are encouraged to bloom. We wanted to share an email we received last week. We hope you are encouraged as much as we were by what Bridget has to say. We would love to share your story as well so send it along (see side bar). Embrace and bloom!
I really like yours and Megan's new blog. You guys have given me new encouragement to bloom where I'm planted. I'm over in Seoul, South Korea for at least 1 more year with the Army, and then maybe to Colorado (my husband might do grad school there), but only God knows. I have a deep desire to get back to the North West and start a family and a garden, but right now God has other plans. And I do complain a lot (about the lack of a yard, about the terrible driving, and how these people like to hawk up phlegm) and say all sorts of I wishes (for acreage, for the same friends year after year, and my list could go on).
But, I just wanted to thank you two and let you know that I'm enjoying having some kind of fellowship with some girls from home (even if it's over the internet). My roommate from college and I would have what we called "susie homemaker days", and I love reading your stories, so keep them coming!
BTW do you have any recipes? I'm always looking for easy and quick healthy dinners.
God Bless you!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
We get to choose how we treat our husbands, right? We choose our attitude toward them. We choose to be warm, loving and respectful or cold, rigid and disrespectful. How do you treat your man?
My husband currently has 2 jobs and works hard at both of those jobs without complaining. If anyone complains it is me. When Bryan first started working so many hours a week, I often felt sorry for myself. I was frustrated that I was home with the kids so much by myself, that some days I felt like a single mom. I would get angry when he would help someone with a project or yard work. I didn't like it when once in a blue moon he would go play tennis or golf with a buddy. I wanted him and his time all to myself which is very embarrassing to admit. I lost focus and forgot that he needs and deserves a little time to himself after a long week of hard work. And how could I get angry when he helped others? I should have been praising him for being so giving of his time when he had so little to give! I was just caught up in my anger I couldn't see past it. I soon realized if I didn't complain about these things and instead encouraged him to go do them that I got a much happier man in return, and was much more content and happy myself.
I'd like to think I have grown up a lot in our 5 years of marriage. One of the ways I feel I am constantly growing and learning is in the way I treat Bryan. I daily seek to respect him, uplift him, encourage him. I don't always do a very good job at these things but I know it is a process. I would encourage all of you wives out there to really examine the way that you treat your husband on a daily basis. Maybe you have a bad attitude towards him, maybe you have built up resentment, maybe you are a nag, maybe you're still angry because he didn't take out the garbage. As women we have a way of getting upset over stuff that really doesn't matter. I would encourage you to work through these things. It is true that we have so much power over the mood of our entire home and family. Do you want your husband to rush home because he can't wait to see you and spend time with you or do you want him to avoid coming home like the plague? I'll personally take the first choice!
Our husbands don't ask for much. They want to be fed and respected. They want to have fun with us, laugh with us and a few other things I won't mention!:) A little praise and admiration goes a long way with them. It's our choice to give them these things or not. Believe me when I say that if you at least try to do these things you will get SO much in return, it will blow you away. I hope this encourages us all to look at ourselves, our mood and the way we are affecting our families and homes.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Looking for something fun to do with your family or friends this weekend? Go online and find a local hike. Then pack a snack, some water, the camera, and enjoy a fun mini adventure! Some hikes have paved paths so that you can bring your stroller. There's no hurry, so take your time and look for bugs and flowers! Keep in mind what would make the hike fun for the whole family, and then enjoy the time outside together! The great thing about local hikes is that they don't have to be all day adventures, they can even be between nap times!
Here is a good site to help you find a hike near you!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite restaurants down in Southern California. It is a great one for the summer - bbq a little extra chicken one night, and then the following night you will have the start of a quick delicious dinner!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Hi there! I am Faith, the other co-author of this blog! This is my story.
In 2003 I married my husband Bryan. We have been friends for about 15 years and have been together for 8 of those. In December of 2004 we welcomed our beautiful dark haired daughter Peyton Grace into our family. Peyton is sassy, smart, independent, friendly, talkative, sweet and a whole lot of fun. In September of last year our little man Luke Delane joined our family. Luke is laid back like his daddy, he cuddles like crazy, he's shy, adventurous, fun and all boy. I have the wonderful privilege of staying home and raising my kids all because of my man. He works very hard to provide for us and for that I am grateful.
I love to use the creative part of my brain and hope to someday make a living decorating and/or organizing, maybe even through some fun collages I make. (I will post about those later:) I love blogging, watching movies and reality tv, being with friends and family and going on vacation even though I rarely get to! I love being with people and people watching but I thrive on my alone time.
I am really looking forward to what this blog has to offer all of our readers as well as myself. I hope we can all learn from it together! Thanks for visiting and please come again soon!!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
(Tips collected from a few websites and a little bit of experience.)
1. Bury tomato plants deeper than they come in the pot, all the way up to a few top leaves. Tomatoes are able to develop roots all along their stems. You can either dig a deeper hole or simply dig a shallow tunnel and lay the plant sideways. It will straighten up and grow toward the sun. Be careful not to drive your pole or cage into the stem.
2. Remove Bottom Leaves. Once the tomato plants are about 3' tall, remove the leaves from the bottom 1' of stem. These are usually the first leaves to develop fungus problems.
3. Pinch & Prune. Pinch and remove suckers that develop in the crotch joint of two branches. They won’t bear fruit and will take energy away from the rest of the plant. But go easy on pruning the rest of the plant. You can thin leaves to allow the sun to reach the ripening fruit, but it’s the leaves that are photosynthesizing and creating the sugars that give flavor to your tomatoes.
4. Water Regularly. Water deeply and regularly while the plants are developing. Irregular watering, (missing a week and trying to make up for it), leads to blossom end rot and cracking. Once the fruit begins to ripen, lessening the water will coax the plant into concentrating its sugars. Don’t withhold water so much that the plants wilt and become stressed or they will drop their blossoms and possibly their fruit.
5. Tap the stem. When you see early blooms, tap lightly on the stem. This will help with pollination and earlier fruit.
6. Invest in a good cage. I like to stake and cage my tomatoes for extra support (see photo).
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Blooming where you are planted and embracing the stage of life you are in can be a very difficult concept. Bryan and I got pregnant with Peyton 6 months after we were married. Although I wouldn't trade Peyton for anything in the world, I often wonder what life would be like if we had just waited a couple more years to start having kids. Could we have travelled? Would we have more money? Would our marriage be different now? These thoughts and many more can consume me at times so I try and not even let them enter my mind.
Instead, I stop what I am doing. I don't think about the laundry and dishes piling up. I don't worry about the floors being perfectly spotless. I forget about all of the pressure from the world to be the perfect wife, perfect mom in the perfect size 4. I ignore all of these distractions and I instead cuddle with Peyton as she climbs in my lap to read a book, I watch Luke's face light up at the sight or sound of me, I feel his tiny hands on my feet waiting to be picked up. I have a conversation with Peyton about how she wants to be a mommy just like me someday. These are the moments when I realize that God has me right where he wants me, right when he wants me there. His timing is perfect. Who am I to question it?
If we spend our time thinking about what could have been we lose focus of what is. We miss out on what we have. The last 3 1/2 years with Peyton have flown by, I don't want these precious years to pass without realizing how privileged I am to be a part of them. So I encourage everyone, no matter where you are in life, to embrace it and live it to the fullest. God has you there for a reason and will do amazing things with you if you allow him. Just stop and realize how blessed you are and don't give into the idea that life is greener on the other side, because it is not.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I'm sure you have all seen these before, but they are worth watching again. These are precious babies and precious laughs!
- When possible, bring furniture away from your walls. My favorite way to arrange living room furniture is by placing my couches and rugs at an angle. This gives great dimension and character to your room. It also provides a warm atmosphere for your guests.
- In each room pick one or two pieces of furniture as focal points. In my living room, the TV armoire is the focal point and the couches, coffee table, etc. are arranged around that.
- Place wall hangings at eye level. This looks more natural than hanging them right below your ceiling:) Pay attention also to the furniture below the item you are hanging, there shouldn't be too much space between the two, I usually leave about 1 1/2 to 2 feet open.
- When possible, have someone designated to help (not suitable for small children:). They can hold a wall hanging while you take a few steps back to decide where it should go. This is especially convenient when you are screwing something into the wall. You can easily avoid getting out the Spackle and paint for filling in holes!
Hope these tips help you get started, check back for more easy decorating tips!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
It's my story, megan, one of the co-authors of this blog. I am a stay at home mom with a husband who is gone a lot right now. He works so hard to provide for our family, but sadly that means we don't get to see him much. I daily have two choices. To be bitter about life, frustrated that I am often raising our kids on my own (which is by the way a lie because I always have his support, prayers, and love), complain to my husband when he gets home, and let my frustration leek out to my kids, OR I can embrace this time and figure out how to be used by God in this situation. When I choose the latter, embracing and "blooming" in my circumstances, I see God using me. My times together with my husband are sweeter because they are few and far between. My evenings putting the kids to bed are blessings because it is in these tender moments that I see our relationship deepen. So, as hard as it is some days, I refuse to complain. I will not be enticed by the lie that "if only things were different I would be happy." I thank God for what He is teaching me and how He's growing me as I embrace each day and do my best to bloom.
Have you ever said to yourself, I would be so much happier if... if my husband was more of a leader, or if my kids were out of diapers, if my kids could be in private school, if my kids would quit whining, and the list goes on! The grass always seems greener on the other side. That kind of thinking leads to a lot of complaining, not to mention missing out on the good stuff from day to day!
Our challenge on this blog is to "bloom where we have been planted" and we welcome you to join us by reading along and sharing your stories. We (Megan and Faith) want to enjoy the phase of life we are in, and do our best each day to bloom where God has placed us. We will be sharing ways we are choosing to bloom from day to day, along with stories from other moms who are joining us in this journey. We will also be sharing decorating hints, gardening tips, recipes, helpful resources, funny stuff, and so much more. So, enjoy our website, come here often, smile about your current circumstance and choose to bloom!