Palm Tree Background

I think this photo from the trip would make a fun background for an invitation, card, or who knows what.

All about John Deere

Here's to enjoying life's simplest pleasures.

And life's craziest combinations.

Milk and Cookies

Amazing paper creations by Matthew Sporzynski. I am always blown away by what you can do with a few simple tools and a lot of creativity.


Art Closet Organization

Wish I had a photo, but here is a link to a beautifully organized and decorated art closet by the wildly talented Tara Whitney.

I want an art closet and I want it to look this welcoming!

The Green Ship

If I ever have a huge yard I will figure out how to plant and cultivate a green ship in my yard.

We just discovered The Green Ship by Quentin Blake, and I was truly captivated by the magical real life adventure and the idea of seeing this idea become a reality. I love books.

The hardest part . . .

Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it.

~Harold Hulbert

How true this is, but how hard it can be to do. Sometime I feel like misbehavior is nothing more than a cry for attention and affection, so I am going to do my best to remember and follow through with this extra love when it is especially needed.

Pretty Tarts

I love berry tarts, and am actually planning on making the first tart of the season tonight. While I am more likely to overload mine with lots of berries, these tarts are delightfully beautiful in their simplicity.
scanned from the latest MS Mag


I think it is always good to change your perspective up a bit. You never know what you will discover.

He is growing up so fast. It is truly bittersweet.

Upfront Marketing

"What makes Apple different is that marketing leads the effort and doesn't follow it. Most companies develop a product and then think about how to sell the darn thing. Apple thinks of that upfront, and that is why their offerings typically capture more excitement."
Technology analyst Rob Ederle in Entrepreneur Magazine



Everything about this room is so bright and inviting, and using the screen as a headboard is a great idea. I have always loved screens, but feel like they are a hazard with kiddos, and this would solve that problem.

Covering one with wallpaper or fabric is a fantastic way of making a dull inexpensive one unique and classy.
scanned from Martha Stewart Living - May 2008 issue

Unique Cement/Grass walkway

We are considering an "alternative" approach to our cement walkway, and while I don't think this is quite it, it is a great example.

scanned from Martha Stewart Living - May 2008 issue


Choux Beignets with Apricot Curd

Oh how I wish this was my picture and that I had eaten these Choux Beignets for breakfast!

I just discovered Tartelette, and I am pretty excited about it. The author shares this delightful quote in her profile:

"Seize the moment. Think of all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."

Erma Bombeck

I like her already.


Fantastic Essay

My Mom emailed me this essay and it is something else I want to save, but I am not sure how copyright rules go. I will paste everything I have and hope this works. It is definitelyworth reading.

This I Believe

I believe that we need to be kinder to ourselves. We need to treat ourselves with the compassion we share with friends and the gentleness we show to children. This spring I became particularly aware of how hard I can sometimes be on myself and how so many people I know share this trait.

A close friend and I used to take walks together, often bemoaning the five pounds we eternally wanted to lose, but never did. This Spring, we finally lost that weight.

My two-year-old son was diagnosed with an aggressive non-metastic tumor; her husband with stomach cancer. In essence, we lost our appetites.

Neither of us was overweight. On the contrary, we are healthy women who never really exceeded the recommended weight limit for our 5'3" frames. Yet, like so many women, we were constantly critical of ourselves, most notably, our physical selves. This eternal drive to lose “the last five pounds” was simply a manifestation of that endless quest for perfection, and with that, an underlying dissatisfaction with our naturally flawed selves.

Our bodies got lighter as our hearts became heavier. I attained that desirable number on the scale, but what I really wanted was to roll back time.

I wish I had worried less about those five pounds. Here are some of the numbers that were more worth focusing on: the pound of butter on her husband’s homemade perogies in the winter; the liters of champagne we drank for each New Year; the traditional 4-pound Prime Rib we used to celebrate every birthday; the 25 pounds of pregnancy weight I gained that yielded 7 lbs of perfect joy-not once, but twice.

I want to give thanks for all the pleasure I took during those moments that nurtured me into the extra five pounds I used to own. They represented happiness and peace.

By the end of the summer, our stories were resolved. We all avoided the dreaded chemotherapy that loomed in the possible future for us. For my son, his tumor went into spontaneous remission. For our friend, his tumor killed him.

I believe we should be kinder to ourselves, less critical of our flaws and more thankful for the ability we have to create and enjoy pleasure in our uncertain lives. Every scar tells a story, every pound bears witness to a meal well savored and shared, every wrinkle reminds us that we are living a long life.

Contributor: Annabelle
Location: Moab, UT
Country: United States of America
Series: Contemporary

Parenting Advice

My sister had emailed me this awhile ago and I wanted to save it but also want to clear out my email:

Just remember to give M positive attention when he is doing appropriate things and make sure to praise this behavior. When he is behaving in a way that you deem as inappropriate either ignore if the situation permits, or immediately apply a negative consequence.

Basic stuff, but it is always nice to have the reminder. My sister's pursuit of a PhD in psychology is obviously working out well . . .

Label Templates

Free templates for eye-catching labels? This could come in handy in the future . . .

"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen."
-Ernest Hemingway

I am terrible at interrupting people.
I need to step back and keep my mouth shut.
Half the stuff I say doesn't need to be said (or heard) anyway.


Hudson Furniture

It would truly be a pleasure to eat at one of these tables . . .

They makes my previously loved dining room table feel so blah. These tables just feel so organic and natural.

And sure, you could order a smaller own, but the size is part of what makes them so stunning. Plus you could have all your friends and possibly even their kids over for a fun dinner party. (Thinking about that much family at one table makes me a little nervous, but I am sure it would be fun too!)



A friend shared a challenge to share ten things I am grateful for.

Today is probably the best and worst day to do this. Best because I am feeling kind of cranky and could use the change of attitude, and worse because I'm kind of cranky and don't want a change of attitude. I just want a good nights sleep. And maybe a massage. By a handsome . . . .

It has just been a long day, so this list won't be as deep as it should be and will possibly be sassier than it should be, we'll see. Either way I think this is something I should try to do monthly, I am very blessed and need to remember that. The challenge included stopping complaining, so I am viewing this as getting stuff off my chest so that I can wake up happy, refreshed, and complaint free.

So, I am grateful for . . .

The occasional solid 8 hours of sleep a night. Oh so very grateful.

Modern conveniences: dishwasher (no, not Trevor, the machine) washer and dryer, indoor plumbing even when my 4 year old thinks it is cool to try and avoid it, modern medicine and doctors that don't have to trek through 10 miles of snow to bring my child the equivalent of Tylenol, computers and internet, phones, electricity, you name it. Although today is Earth Day and I should probably be writing a post about how all this stuff is going to kill us in the end, but oh well.

Good health. Even though we seem to have more than our share of minor illnesses over the last few months, they are simply that, minor.

The Ocean. It is truly magical. I am grateful that my son seemed to have caught a glimpse of this on our recent trip to Coronado Island. I am even more grateful that we were able to sit side by side, watching the sunset together for close to an hour. M told me that he likes the waves. It was a magical evening (My new favorite picture of him throwing sand in the sunset was taken that night.)

Spring. I have decided that it is my favorite time of year. I have been desperately waiting for my trees to blossom and it has been pure joy watching and appreciating them. I am amazed at how gorgeous the blossoms are and am perplexed as to how to take a photo that would share that beauty. I am grateful for the abundance of mature flowering trees in my backyard; I feel that the abundance is what makes the whole scene so stunning. I am not so thrilled about the geese and the ducks honking on the occasional morning, but I am grateful for our pond and I did buy earplugs today . . .

Really good food. Local produce and unique, not mass-produced food items. A husband that appreciates this also and who will eat his veggies and even eat vegetarian fairly frequently. I am also grateful that said husband appreciates the effort that goes into a truly delightful meal, and wouldn't be satisfied with a TV dinner. His patience with the occasional droughts of good cooking are nice too.

My little family and the knowledge that we can be together forever.

Books. You can find anything you need or want to know in them.

Good design. I just wish I could afford it.

Delicious water. There is really bad water out there, and there is nothing more wonderful than a cold, crisp glass of the good stuff in a real glass. Good water does not include bottled water, sorry. Plastic tastes nasty and supposedly even Wal-Mart (Yes, even Wal-Mart) is banning bottles that include BPA, so that should say it all. We have a local well I need to check out . . .

The innocence of children. I think my eldest is starting to leave this stage and I am realizing how much I appreciate it.

Now start making your own gratitude lists!

Why am I marrying him?

'A' wants nothing more than to sit in my lap and cut up paper, so I am enjoying the discovery of some interesting websites. One in particular led me to this series of photographs by Kate Hutchinson, titled, Why Am I Marrying him? It is fascinating. Kind of makes me want to ask "Why did I marry him?" and try to capture it with our 7-year anniversary just weeks away. Something to think about.

There are much "deeper" photos than this one, but this just sort of sums up how I am feeling right now.

Pineapple Slices and Frozen Peas

Great Art

I like this painting, it is interesting.

I believe that one of life's greatest risks is never daring to risk.

-Oprah Winfrey

Just a good memory . . .


Puppy Bouquets

My Grandma took me to see my new baby sister in the hospital (I was 2 1/2), but didn't want us to show up empty-handed. She took me to a floral shop and let me pick out anything I wanted, and what my 2-year old mind wanted to bring my Mom and new sibling was a flower bouquet in the shape of a poodle. I still remember this and while I don't think we have any photos of the actual bouquet, I can visual a few scenes from this day in my mind. I have to wonder if it is my very first retained memory since I can't think of anything else from that far back. When that same Grandma forwarded me an email full of puppy bouquets I knew I wanted to write down the memory to preserve it.




Here's to wishing we were still there, and not here, while realizing that it is much more important to appreciate the here rather than pine after the there.

Understanding Wisdom?

"Although our ability to learn and remember gradually declines throughout adulthood, there's mounting evidence that our skill at making sense of important information and experiences increases. This is what's known as wisdom, and it's something that scientists are just beginning to study. Its classic elements include sound judgment, psychological insight, long and diverse life experience, emotional control, empathetic understanding, and, of course, knowledge."
Thomas Crooks, PhD, via Prevention magazine


Tea Pots

I love herbal tea, specifically peppermint tea.  I think I would like to fancy up my tea time, and am now officially considering an upgrade from my stainless steel kettle and generic mugs.

Just looking at these "Zen" tea sets make me want to have a few minutes of "me time."  I need to start taking yoga . . .

Not quite my style, but I love how perfectly pretty they are.  I can just picture the fancy tea party now . . .

Somewhat of a Subtle Hint

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. 
Motivation determines what you do.  
Attitude determines how well you do it."

-Lou Holtz

"Humor prevents a "hardening of the attitudes.""

-Joel Goodman

"Life can be wildly tragic at times, and I've had my share.  But whatever happens to you, you have to keep a slightly comic attitude.  In the final analysis, you have got not to forget to laugh."

-Katharine Hepburn


Oooh . . .

I love this couch/daybed/???  It would be fantastic in front of a large window and next to a large shelf of books.


Arghh Matey!

Shiver me timbers!

You should see his sword skills - I would definitely just opt to walk the plank.

Unsolicited Advice

Never ever let 2 four year old boys play unsupervised in your recently reorganized basement. Not enough if you are feeling good about all you are accomplishing upstairs with no one around.

They can undo in minutes what took you hours, even days to accomplish, without so much as breaking a sweat or even making much of a sound, effectively negating anything you accomplished during this time period.



I love this Op Art from Kenneth Wingard and just can't choose a favorite.

The Dark Ages

T was tearing out our front yard (yes, he is going to be T now. It is quicker and less personal!) and cut our internet cable; not just once, but four or five times according to the repairman. When we first realized what happened the company told me that would not be out to fix it for FOUR days and I just about went into shock. Four days without the internet? What was I going to do? Yes, I have a problem.

After getting over the initial withdrawal period I was actually excited - What was I going to do with these extra snippets of time? Read more, lay on the grass, cuddle my kids that much longer? Hooray for the freedom! Our www-free time was being enjoyed. Then the company called and informed that someone was on their way and I must admit to feeling kind of disappointed. Sort of like my vacation had been canceled due to inclement weather. Sort of like my computer was a ball and chain.

So . . . I had already formed my own personal internet anonymous group and had started distancing myself from checking email multiple times a day, and I am even more motivated to stick with the plan and make it through all the steps so that I can claim that I am Holly, and I am NOT an addict. Sure, I love the internet. It keeps me informed of what goes on in a world outside of mine. I also have to use it for a few different things I do, and while this blog isn't a need, it is just pure pleasure and helps me feel like I can get out a coherent thought, so that is ok. The occasional mindless 'net surf? Probably not so great. A book would be better, but I am making progress. I'll find that happy middle ground between pasty computer shut-in and the me that enjoys my own reality, and I'll enjoy it.

Candy Basket Cupcakes - Easter

I know this is quite late, but the talented and lovely Sheye Rosemeyer took this photo of some of her Easter cupcakes, and I loved the candy basket idea on top of some of the cupcakes and wanted to remember it for next year.
image via Sheye Rosemeyer photoblog


Loved this

"For me, photography is in many ways a universal language that not only enables a moment to be suspended in time - it is one that everyone can understand. The beautiful thing about photography is that it transcends cultures; it bridges language and cultural gaps. Capturing the essences and nuances of light and emotion is both intimate and powerful, and it can be evocative if done well."

Another lovely and inspirational thought of hers:

"Nothing is more important than connecting with the moment, and by being comfortable with my equipment, I can dedicate myself to doing just that."

Excerpt from interview in the March issue of Rangefinder Magazine

Kitchen Island Lighting

Fantastic lighting ideas.


The PicoPad is so perfectly me and I need to remember to order one. I am constantly jotting down notes on pieces of paper, so I love how small, portable and organized this would be.


Apple-Cheese Boats

So, lots of thoughts. Lots of ideas. Lots of stuff to figure out over the next little bit. Starting with fun little apple-cheese boats.

I decided this would make a fun reality and when M saw the first one he just grinned and excitedly said "I want to make one." We spent the next half hour making all sorts and sizes of boats to replace the ones that got shipwrecked and eaten by sharks or octopuses. Thick slices of apple, cheese and toothpicks are all you need for a very fun and very healthy snack. Multiple toothpicks and different sizes of cheese sails make for some pretty intense pirate ships!

We are going to start posting ideas like this on tutus & turtles so I decided I might as well stick my initial on photos that will be posted there. That is what that little smudge in the corner is!