Book List: Books Read in March & April

My book list is serving me well this year.  I haven’t been disappointed yet and hope that the rest of the list follows suit.  Here are the books I read in March & April (along with a couple not on my list) and a few thoughts about them:

The Hiding Place: This book is nothing short of inspiring.  Unfortunately, I didn’t read this as a young adult, it somehow slipped under my radar all these years and I’m grateful I finally happened upon it (or happened upon online recommendations to read it).  Continue reading

Catching the worm

There was a time in my stay-at-home-mom life when I was waking before the sun.  I’d relax with tea or coffee, make breakfast, exercise a bit, cross off multiple items on my to-do list.  All before anyone (be it dog or person) woke.

And then one day I decided to sleep in.  Soon 5:00 or 5:30 became a distant memory and my mornings became a blur.  Continue reading

Book List Reads: March Update

In the new year, I’ve made some progress on my book list and it has worked out pretty well for me.  Although I’ve gone through magazines every spare minute I get (the purge continues!), I try to drop the mags and relax with a book at night instead.  Nothing like a good book at the end of the day to ease you into a slumber (well, and red wine…I’ve heard)–except that when the book is engaging, I don’t want to turn off the light and dear, sweet sleep is sacrificed.

I’m also currently reading books which aren’t on my list (I couldn’t resist!), but here are the books I’ve read from my book list thus far and a few thoughts about them:

The Forgotten Garden: Read More

DIY Project: Homemade hair detangler

When I discovered hair detangler last year, I knew instantly I’d be eternally grateful to Hair Product Developers of the World.  Trying to comb through my little girl’s head of curls each morning was no small feat.  Even if I brush it while giving her a bath, the morning is still no fun.  And I had no idea this gift from the Hair Gods even existed until that fateful day at Target.

Cut forward a month and I was going through detangler at a rate that was not making this mama too happy.  I don’t know why I decided to check the ingredients, but I did and I realized that the detangler is essentially watered down hair conditioner.  Interesting…and then not one, but two blogs I read posted about making homemade detangler.  Word.  Up.

And this is all you need to make your own detangler:

Yes: water, squirt bottle, and conditioner.  And since you only need a smidge or two of conditioner per bottle, I used up a sample I received in the mail.  How frugal of me.

You will need:

  • Warm water
  • About 1 to 2 tablespoons conditioner
  • Spray bottle (I used an 12 oz. bottle)


    • Squeeze the conditioner into the empty spray bottle and fill with warm water.  Shake bottle until mixed.  Spray on hair and brush through gently.  ahhh.

I’ll see how well I like it after using it a few times.  Also, I think I’d like to research a bit and use a conditioner I feel more comfortable leaving on my little girl’s hair.  Until I perfect the homemade version (get the right scent and the safest ingredients I can find), I’ll use this as a back-up when we run low on our store bought version.

DIY Project #1: Complete!

My 2012 DIY list

Photo credit

Let me just say this:  I am not crafty.

Crafting and DIY projects simultaneously scare and excite me.  I can usually follow directions and come up with a pretty good replica of a simple craft, but there have been failures.  Many failures.

But this is the year I take the bull by the horns and go for it!  I’ll be proud of myself for trying, but I also hope to “succeed” in some crafty projects this fine year of 2012.

It might not be pretty nor pleasant, but I will try each project on this list.  I just might not show you each final product…:)

I’ll do a couple each month which gives me plenty of time to research (beg friends and family for help) and prep each project.  I love working in the kitchen so my DIY list involves bunches of cooking.  I’m going to split the Food DIY into 1 per month.  I figure those projects have a better chance at success than the others–that’ll give me a boost of confidence and the will to go on when I want to throw measuring tapes, Mod Podge, yeast, and scissors through the windows.  I have a bit of a temper.

You might notice how simple many of these DIY projects are…ridiculously simple.  And I like it that way.

Since I have to go with what I’m “in the mood” for, I haven’t decided when I’ll do each project.  But I’ll let you know what I do each month.  Here goes…


  • Embroider a “vintage” dishtowel/bathroom handtowels
  • Sew curtains for our powder room
  • Sew curtains for laundry room
  • Make a chalkboard frame
  • Sew basket liners
  • Make chairpads
  • Make seasonal placemats
  • Create Family Picture Gallery



  • Create a digital family cookbook (I bought a Groupon for this and it expires soon!)
  • Homemade dog biscuits
  • Sew a phone pouch


  • Sew a cuddling pillow
  • Make hair detangler
  • Make a clip holder for daughter’s room
  • Embroidery to frame for daughter’s room

Because I’m determined (but unproductive thus far) to complete a scrapbook this year, I’ll also be continually working on that.  I’ll add that to my weekly goals and do a page or 2 (or 10?) when I have time.  I’ll also be slowly decorating and cozying up our home which will take me all year.  Or all decade.  eep.

Do you have any DIY projects you’re hoping to tackle this year?  What projects have you already completed?  Love to hear about your DIYs!

A little kick in the pants

English: Signatures of Mark Twain
Image via Wikipedia

Today all I wanted to do was finish up my errands in a jiffy so I could get home, put my pjs back on, and do…well, nothing.  And then I didn’t even get to my errands.  Not exactly my plan for 2012.  “Waste Days by Doing Nothing” isn’t a bullet point on my goal list.

After breakfast I was going through some old books on my packed bookshelves and came across one of my favorite gems from that sweet chap Mark Twain.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Oh, Mark.  Way to guilt me into living.

I think I’ll post this on my fridge so I’m motivated to do more than stand like a penguin in front of the open fridge door, waiting for food to find its way to my mouth.

New Year Ramblings

Only 10 days into the new year and I’m feeling like 2012 is going to be an above average year.  Nothing has happened, but I think nothing happening is a good thing.  I don’t thrive on excitement–I like a little adventure, but my idea of adventure is going on a hike and picnic with my family or testing out 5 new recipes in a week each starring a different protein.  Not exactly the mind-blowing, electrifying adventures people crave.  But that suits me just fine. Read More