My reminder today is: BREATHE!  Such a busy/stressful work day, and in times like these, it’s easy for me to get wrapped up in minutia, and I forget the big picture.  SO, I am trying to take some time to focus on simple pleasures…like taking a bath with Wee One, enjoying a cold glass of water, cuddling….no matter how busy I get, may I always remember to cherish the important “SMALL” things!

QUOTABLES.

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.

Martin Luther

I like the phrase “with tender mirth”.  And yes.  A glad new year to all the earth!

THE WRITTEN WORD.

I found this book online, and thought it looked funny.  But, I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it.  Then, I read it, and was so pleasantly surprised!  LOVELY illustrations, GREAT text, and based on a REAL WOMAN!

You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer!

By Shana Corey

(Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult to find new copies of this book, but I’m sure you could find a used copy….)

Who is Amelia Bloomer?

Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) was an American Woman’s Rights advocate.  She spent most of her life in New York and Iowa, and knew the suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  In her publication “The Lily”, Ms. Bloomer wrote:

“The costume of women should be suited to her wants and necessities. It should conduce at once to her health, comfort, and usefulness; and, while it should not fail also to conduce to her personal adornment, it should make that end of secondary importance.”

I’m not always the biggest fan of the sentiment that clothing should primarily be for comfort and functionality, but Amelia Bloomer is still one interesting gal!

DO RE MI.

I grew up listening to this song, sung by Anne Murray.  My dad had her children’s CD, and I just LOVED this song….then again, who doesnt?

You Are My Sunshine

The version I remember is actually “You Are My Sunshine/Open Up Your Heart” sung by Anne Murray (from the album “There’s a Hippo In My Tub”)

To purchase and download You Are My Sunshine/Open Up Your Heart by Anne Murray, click below:

You Are My Sunshine/Open Up Your Heart

I also highly suggest the entire album!

There’s a Hippo In My Tub by Anne Murray

Lyrics:

(There are actually quite a few lyrics to this song, but I really only like the chorus):

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

To download the easy piano version of “You Are My Sunshine”, arranged by Johnny Cash, click here.  (I also think this piano solo version, by Jimmie Davis, looks nice.)

I was singing this to Wee One, and one of the lines just hit home: “You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you.”  It’s funny, but I don’t think any child can truly comprehend the deep, unending, and unconditional love of a parent…at least perhaps not until that child becomes a parent!

There are a LOT of posters and references to this song, so ch-ch-ch-eck out my Pinterest page of the day for some inspiration!  Here’s just one sample!

NOURISHMENT.

We have no substantial food in this house!!  So, The Mister ran out to get some sustenance for us.  Nothing fancy.  Just some sammies.  Which reminded me of a wonderful sandwich I once had…a vegetarian muffuletta…SOO good!

Vegetarian Muffuletta by This Homemade Life

PINTEREST BOARD OF THE DAY.

January 5: You Are My Sunshine

Follow me on Pinterest.

CELEBRATIONS.

January 5, 2012 is…

National Bird Day

National Whipped Cream Day

Some people are bird watchers.  For example, my Grandpa LOVED birds.  Whenever I see a hummingbird, I think of him.  He was a wonderful man.   I don’t think I ever really noticed birds until recently, when I’ve become more and more enchanted by the variety of birds, right outside my door.  They’re really amazing creatures, aren’t they?  Beautiful melodies, fanciful colors….I’m excited to learn to identify more by sight, and song.  Which reminds me:

I got a book like this for my mama a few years ago, and it’s really neat!  You can see pics of the beautiful birdlings, and then press a button to hear their lovely ditties!  It’s difficult to find the version I got her, but this is quite similar:

For the Western North America version, click below:

The Backyard Birdsong Guide: Western North America

Visit the National Bird Day Website

And whipped cream?  I’m a bit partial to Cool Whip and homemade versions myself….for some reason, the spray stuff in the can just isn’t my thing!  (Which is interesting, since this celebration falls on the birthday of the Reddi-wip founder.)

A typical recipe for whipped cream is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Standard Whipped Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1.  Whip cream until almost stiff.
2.  Add sugar and vanilla.
3.  Beat until cream starts to form, and hold, peaks.

ACTION.

I LOVE watching Wee One laugh…it’s one of the best sounds and sights in the world!  She wrinkles up her little nose, kicks her legs frantically, and chortle is one of pure joy!  It’s so funny…she will laugh, and laugh, and LAUGH at one continuous action for quite awhile…but then, when we try the same thing the next day, no luck!  So, we’ve been trying lots of different ways, and that’s today’s activity:

Find ways to encourage laughter.

One day, it was Grandpa’s funny faces, the next Grammy’s blowing on the mobile, and the next, Papa’s tickles….what will it be today?

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT.

I really enjoyed yesterday’s article on Kristen Wiig.  She is just a wonderful comedienne.  We watched Bridesmaids over the holiday break (it was my second time viewing it, but everyone else’s first), and I couldn’t stop giggling!  If you haven’t seen it, please do.  It wasn’t the world’s most intellectually stimulating movie, but it was funny, and cute.  To buy or rent, click below:

In fact, it starred one of my favorite actresses, Megan McCarthy. I am SUCH a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, which is where I was first introduced to her.  If you have not seen this show, and are a mom or daughter, I really strongly recommend watching it—you may get hooked!

(Did you see her on SNL this year? One word: HI-LA-RI-OUS.  I haven’t laughed THAT hard in a really, really, REALLY long time.  Watch it here.  And, once you’ve seen it, you’ll get this: “There’s a Hidden Valley Ranch party in MY mouth!”)

Anyway, I was perusing VanityFair.com, and this was on the front page:

Paul Feig on the Bridesmaids Sequel, Female Comedy, and His S.N.L. Dreams by Krista Smith

Excerpt:

“When Melissa did Saturday Night Live. . . I got really emotional when I was there. I went for both the dress rehearsal and for the on-air, and I was getting choked up constantly—especially right before they introduced her for the first time, ’cause I know how much it meant to her, and how excited she was.”

“I love the pictures of Old Hollywood, seeing the directors dressed in suits and ties. Even the grips would be wearing ties. But the biggest thing is when I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to be an adult, and I think what happens with most guys is that no one wants to be an adult anymore. So they’re dressing like kids.”

WORK IT.

Wall Squat

(from Prevention.com)

Targets: Hamstrings, quads, butt, and low belly muscles

Basic:
1) Stand with your back and head against a wall. Walk your feet forward about 18 inches, shoulder-width apart. Your arms will be hanging straight from your sides, palms facing into the wall. Keeping your head and back against the wall, slide down until your knees are at about a 90-degree angle or less.

2) Keeping your feet where they are, push your back into the wall to slide up to stand with the legs straight. Pause for a breath, then slide back down to a squat. Pause, then slide up to stand. Do this 15 times, but never squat so deeply that your hips drop below the level of your knees.

Make it harder:
1) Stand with your back and head against a wall. Walk your feet forward about 18 inches, shoulder-width apart. Your arms will be hanging straight from your sides, palms facing into the wall. Keeping your head and back against the wall, slide down until your knees are at about a 90-degree angle or less.

2) Hold this position for 15 seconds.

The challenge:
Repeat the move, holding for 30 seconds. Repeat two more times, resting in between. Later try for 45 seconds, and eventually 60 seconds.

A PICTURE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS.

Puppy love.  CanNOT get him to look at the camera ever…I’ll have to work on this!

WWW.

I have liked this blog for a long, long time.  There are so many great images, DIYs, and recipes—I wish I could be more like her!

Maya Made

One of her most recent craft projects was this super cool Yule Log Tray….you should definitely check it out–it looks pretty simple to make!

HMMM.

How do you find balance in your life, between work, family, friends, etc?

I definitely struggle to try to “do it all”—I mean, I WANT to do everything, and sometimes get frustrated when I’m not able to.  Suggestions?  Thanks, dear reader!

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