Chocolate – and the pleasures of life

I like chocolate in just about any form… candy bars, white chocolate, hot cocoa, ice cream, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, semi sweet, cocoa, Nutella, cake, cookies, cocoa nibs… the list is endless!

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It’s really, really easy for me to just keep eating/munching/sipping on chocolate. Admittedly, when you’ve had enough, you’ve had enough, like with super rich, amazing hot cocoa.

It helps that chocolate, especially the darker it gets, is actually good for you! I don’t feel as guilty munching on it then.

Which brings me to something I’ve slowly come to realize… even when food is good for you, you don’t need to pig out on it!

This is something I’ve come to realize from reading French Women Don’t Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano. She points out that you don’t need to have lots of something to enjoy it, and often your treat tastes best in the first few bites.

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What sparked the idea for this blog post was a bag of dark chocolate chips on the table, which I naturally took advantage of by putting some chocolate chips in a little cup and munching on them while I worked on a few things in the kitchen. What’s strange is that, practically from the beginning, I planned on getting a second helping before leaving the room. I was nearly done with my first batch, when I suddenly realized I didn’t really feel like having anymore! Naturally, I wanted more, but I had had enough.

I have fallen into the bad habit of thinking I need more to really be satisfied… and that chocolate, or something else, is the only thing that will satisfy me. As Hannah and I realized recently, and laughed over for about 10 minutes, was that we fall into the habit of saying the extra collection we get of some treat (weather it’s chips, chocolate or fruit) is our treat, and all the rest of the munching didn’t really count!

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Food is a good thing – well, most of the time. And there is nothing wrong with eating! As I have mentioned before, cooking makes me happy… food makes me happy!

But one problem I realize I’ve had is relying on food to make me happy.

I have just as much, if not more sometimes, pleasure in the company of friends and family, or the early blossoms of March, or a nice cup of tea, or finishing Northanger Abbey, or taking a walk, or loving my dog, or listening/playing music. I don’t need food, even chocolate, to make any of those things better than they already are.

What about you? What are some of your favorite simple, awesome pleasures? I’d love to hear about them!

Hope everyone continues to have a great week!

Sarah

 

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DIY Dishwasher Detergent

Over the last few years the acronym DIY (or Do It Yourself) has been floating around the internet. When I first saw it, I got annoyed at it – kinda dorky word! But then Abigail, Sarah and I realized that it’s no different from what we’ve always done – work with what you have and make up little projects or crafts or food dishes or cleaning supplies or – well the list goes on – and my mind runs blank. 🙂 There are too many things that we’ve done to list them all.

So to celebrate my continuation of creatively finding solutions for little everyday problems, I’m making a blog post about it! And maybe we’ll do more blog posts about our own version of DIY.

Ok, so the problem was we just ran out of dish detergent tabs and kind of need to run the dishwasher – we use a lot of dishes in one day, people! And since I’ve been curious about making my own dish detergent for a while now, I decided to look one up. I found a couple that looked pretty similar. (First one I found was on Tipnut and the second, which is the one I used, was on DIY Natural)

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DIY Dishwasher Detergent

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid
  • 1/2 cut Salt
  • 3-4 drops essential oil (optional)

Mix it all up, making sure to evenly spread the essential oil. I used lavender, but you could use lemon, orange, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemongrass essential oil.

Use about 1 tablespoon per load, or more if desired.

 

 

 

This stuff is sooo white! It’s all powdery and clean smelling – until I added lavender, and then it smelt all pretty!

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An added bonus for me was using up a few things we have in the cabinet. Like this stuff – we found the regular salt in the back of the cabinet – does salt go bad? What little I tasted of it just tasted like regular salt. But since I didn’t want to use it in cooking, this was the perfect thing! 🙂 And I used up the sour salt – or citric acid. Don’t really use sour salt for anything else.

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Then I put it into my handy dandy jar, and there you go! And of course, always use the Collaborator – that’s the word we girls use for a big funnel – don’t ask why!

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Just ran the load with it – looks pretty good to me! Nice and clean!

Has anyone else tried a homemade dishwasher detergent before?

What did you think of the results?

~Hannah~

Favorites of the Week

I’ve been having fun finding fun things on Etsy, so I thought I’d feature one of my favorites of my favorites from every day of the week (I hope that sentence made sense)

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Monday

I keep seeing needle felting things that are absolutely wonderful. But to the left is a wonderful pink lamby that I totally fell in love with.

You can find this lamb, along with cute little bunnies, cats and dogs on the Etsy shop:

FeltTale. Check it out, it’s so much fun!

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Tuesday –

This wonderful, beautiful bird can be found on the Etsy shop:

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You can find a variety of things on this shop, including more birds and animals, flowers and scenes, fruit and figures.

It’s a lot of fun to look at, and the beautiful bird on the left is just the beginning! It’s definitely worth taking a look!

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Wednesday –

Another thing I noticed I’ve been liking a lot on Etsy, and I’d love to have, is pressed flowers or dried flowers. And the gorgeous necklace on the left is one of my favorites!

You can find this on the Etsy shop:

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I loved looking at this shop because there always seems to be something new and beautiful, and you even get to choose what color you want in some cases!

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And then there are these absolutely wonderful Pysanka eggs! Seriously, you have to check out this shop because it is so amazing!

You can find these etched chicken eggs on the Etsy shop:

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I might even have to contact the shop owner and find out if they do quail eggs, because those are so cute!

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Friday –

What I’ve discovered about Etsy is that it wouldn’t be Etsy without some wonderful vintage shops.

To the left are some beautiful vintage tins, with lovely flowers on them. We have a collection of tins (somewhere) but I just love these! You can find them, among many more beautiful vintage items, on the shop:

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il_570xn-915897127_67lvSaturday (because I just wanted to feature this item)

I’ve also slowly realized I like bike things. Bike scarves, bike paintings, and then there’s this bike pillow. I love it! It even has birds!

You can find this – one among many fun and unique pillows for any style – on the shop:

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You have to take a look at these shops! They are all, individually, unique and fun. Looking back at them, they supply a great look at all the shops you can find on Etsy, from vintage to handmade and completely original. I had a lot of fun putting together this blog post.

And I hope everyone had a great week – and more importantly, will have a great weekend!

See you next week!

Sarah

 

In with the new!

Wow! we’re a little more than half way through the first month of 2017! I didn’t see that coming.

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I have tons of plans for 2017! I usually have to think about them for a while before getting going on them, and talking about them beforehand really doesn’t help me.

However, I’m going to be daring… and make a sort of resolution.

It’s not an actual resolution, because that makes it sound boring. Anyway…

I’m talking about it here – first of all, because I’d love to share it a little with you – also, hopefully it will help me keep to it if more people know about it.

It’s recently come to my attention that I really enjoy playing music. I always had trouble figuring out how I wanted to play with music, but I miss it, so I really hope to get back into it during 2017.

img_2348I’m sure it’s been mentioned at some point that I play the violin, guitar and piano. I have less experience and knowledge with the piano and guitar, but they’re both very understandable instruments and I love all three of them.

So… I’ll be pulling out the guitar and violin to tune them! I’m especially interested in working on hymns, because I know several pretty well and enjoy them, and we’ll see where I go with that!

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Technically, this might not be the best time to be picking up another, time consuming thing. I can juggle a few things, like Etsy, eating, sleeping and thinking. But not much more.

However, I feel ready to try something new (or old). Plus, music is a wonderful, essential language. So, I am looking forward to this year, and praying that I can incorporate music comfortably into my life.

I’d love to hear what everyone has planned for the new year! Do you have anything that you’ve been wanting to get back to or a new adventure you’re thinking of trying?

Welcome to 2017 everyone! It’s still a new year, and I’m praying it’s a great one for everyone!

Sarah

Monkey Bread and Dinosaurs!

I was reminded this year of how strange life is. You’d think I’d remember that sooner!

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We have lots of wonderful Christmas movies to watch (starting tomorrow evening!) but there just doesn’t seem to be enough Thanksgiving movies!

Someday, I’ll put together a list of good Thanksgiving movies. If anyone has suggestions, please share!

However, I remembered recently the movies we have watched close to Thanksgiving, and definitely not always related to Thanksgiving.

One movie we thought up that seemed a little related to Thanksgiving was You Can’t Take it With You. Somehow, being directed by the same guy that did It’s a Wonderful Life seems fitting for this holiday.

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It’s a very good movie, and probably very good for Thanksgiving, and I’d recommend it to you.

For a seemingly totally-not-Thanksgiving movie, last year we watched Jurassic World the day before Thanksgiving. I enjoyed it more than I expected, and having monkey bread to work on was a good excuse for looking away if it got too bloody 🙂

I decided to look up Thanksgiving Movies on Bing – after all, there’s a list for everything – and was reminded that Spider-Man (2002) featured an uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner, so maybe we’ll watch that this year 🙂

Putting movies aside, there are various things I remember doing around or on Thanksgiving Day. Several years ago we delivered some monkey break to our friends at nighttime. There’s nothing quite like driving at nighttime when it’s cold outside!

Of course, nothing can beat waking up to the smell of smoking turkey (he tried to quite cold-chicken, but it didn’t work) and for some reason working on the dishes after dinner has become a favorite in recent years. A couple years ago Abigail and Hannah were writing madly and abandoned me to work on all the dishes. It was surprisingly fun! (no, this is not a guilt trip, sisters!) And then, of course, there’s the tradition of trying to clean the bar for extra room.

img_2008Last year we went for a walk after dinner and met at our park. It was extremely cold and Annie (on the left) was really happy. She laid down and we buried her in leaves and we had a panting, happy pile of leaves!

A few things I plan on doing tomorrow is:

walk. I really enjoyed it last year and look forward to it this year.

I will not munch beforehand. I think I’m going to challenge myself not to eat anything, unless I need to test it (which really is necessary!)

I will be happy. Of course, just saying you’re going to be happy, and plastering a smile to your face, doesn’t work, but I will remember to breathe and not worry.

This month has gotten a little out of hand, and really crazy, and it seems like there are a lot of things we have to deal with. But maybe that makes it an even better time for Thanksgiving, when we can remember what we have and that, in the end, everything will be OK.

So, let me wish you an early Happy Thanksgiving. May you have a wonderful day, full of happiness, new traditions or oddities and peace.

Hope you have a great holiday weekend,

Sarah

P.S. please share your interesting stories! I heard about a lady that married on Thanksgiving so she wouldn’t have to cook the big dinner. It didn’t really work. Do you have any of your own stories?

Sewing no more…

I come here today to tell everyone about a change I made just before the craft fairs we participated in. I meant to get to this sooner, but I forgot 🙂

il_570xn-1110553623_p1hgSadly (sort of) I’ve had to change my shop name. There’s already a Sally Sewing out there, who looks thoroughly official and amazing.

It made sense to change to something distinctive and separate, so no one gets us mixed up.

It was fun trying to come up with a different name, and also look.

I thought it would be fun to go with something either related to my birth month – February. My birthstone – amethyst. Or birth flower – violet. I couldn’t really think of anything related to any of those, or I didn’t want people to be mistaken and think I was selling jewelry or flowers.

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Anyway, I finally talked about it with Abigail, who tends to be able to come up with that sort of thing more easily, and she narrowed it down to some very fun ideas, including:

Sally Haberdasher

and Princess Eyelet

I loved the Haberdasher one, but admittedly it is a little… hard to remember.

But I always thought it would be fun to go with something related to my name – Sarah.

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Sarah means Princess, or Lady, or Friend. So I had fun trying to come up with things related to that.

However, in the end, I decided to go with………………..

LadyEyelet

I love how it sounds and it’s easy to remember (although, my dyslexia keeps kicking in and I keep spelling it: Lady Elelet, so be ware!)

I’ve also changed the look of my shop. My banner and icon have a pretty background of eyelet fabric (I used a white eyelet jacket I have) and a fun font in a pretty color. I really like the way it looks!

So, this is a very important change for my shop, and I am very sorry to confuse anyone. So, share the news with your friends, make notes of it everywhere so you remember, and repeat it to yourself three times before going to sleep. Fortunately, if you saved the link to my shop already, it has probably already changed to the new name, so there’s one less thing to worry about.

Hope everyone continues to have a great week,

Sarah

 

Thankfulness Thursday: Fluffy White Cattails!

I would have published this on Thursday, like it should be… but WordPress was being weird. So – better late then never, right?

A few days ago, in the morning I went walking in the woods. I went with most of my family and my good friend and her mother. We went to see the last of the autumn leaves, but besides seeing some lovely fall colors, we got another little delight – cattail fluff!

And that is what I want to feature for my Thankfulness Thursday! (Or Monday… doesn’t quite sound as good though!)

The picture below shows how we found these simple little delights, on the stock and ready to play with. Little did we realize how fun they were going to be!

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I’m sure, if you’ve ever played with these funny little things, you know how much fun you can have. Pinch one end a little and what looks like half an inch of compact tan colored semi-solidness then suddenly and softly explodes in your hand and becomes a practically weightless white cloud of fuzz!

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Personally, it was rather nice to get away from the political weirdness of the world and the other stresses of life, and I was very thankful to be able to enjoy one of the simple pleasures of life, that of my senses – and my imagination – being tickled by the joys of fluffy cattail clouds.

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Sometimes you don’t need that much to be entertained.

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My good friend, Addie, who had a lot of fun playing with the silly whiteness!

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We all got covered in the fluffiness – it got everywhere!

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They got on Abigail’s new red cape! (Abigail, you need to show the whole outfit later to all of our readers! I can’t wait to see it all together!)

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Also – I can’t help putting more than one thing for my Thankfulness Thursday post – I’m so thankful for my friend! Addie is very dear to my heart, and almost as close to me as my wonderful sisters! All of my sisters – both blood and sister in the Lord – I am very thankful for!

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The wonderful, fun, sweet, lovable, patient and dependable Sarah!

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Abby, the delightful and kind, the generous and wise, the thoughtful and caring! Both such an amazing abundant blessing to me! I love you too!

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So there you go! Take a walk in the woods with family and friends and enjoy the simple things of life! There’s so much to be thankful for in just these things alone!

Hannah