December 21, 2012

Celebrate the Light

Keeping up is tough, especially this time of year. It seems like there's just not enough time to do everything. Sometimes you just have to let go and realize you can't do everything. It's just not possible. I always have a running list in my head of all the things I want to accomplish and of course a few written lists around the house. Somehow instead of things getting crossed off, the list just seems to keep growing and getting longer.

I hope that you can take time to slow down and enjoy the gifts that surround you. Not the gifts that you're getting Christmas morning but the gifts that are present in your life everyday. I know this time of year can bring mixed emotions for some people. I pray that you can focus on the Light, that was brought to this dark place, long ago in a lowly manger.

December 16, 2012

More Chipmunk Fun

That last picture of the flying chipmunk was captured while spending hours watching the critters enjoy the new feeder I put out. I laid the window down and Blanca and I just sat and enjoyed. It was wonderful fun. I couldn't seem to pull myself away and I took a ton of pictures.

December 6, 2012

Christmas Cards

Have you sent out your Christmas cards? I haven't even come close yet. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do this year. I love to send something handmade or at least cards with a photo I've taken.

I thought I would share what I did last year in case there's someone out there still searching for an idea.

This is a great way to use up scraps of paper or even old cards. You just need pretty patterns and colors. You can choose a theme or go completely random.

1. Cut your paper into long strips. It doesn't matter if it's perfectly even or not. 

2. Apply glue to one side of your strips of paper and overlap them. 

3. Glue them down onto a thick piece of paper or old card.

4. Once all the layers are glued down cut out the shape of a triangle. You should be able to get quite a few out of one piece. 

 5. Keep repeating the steps until you have enough triangles as you do cards you want to send out. 

Finally you just need to attach your triangle to the front of a card and make a tree adding a trunk and a star at the top. You can get as creative as you want with decorating your tree. Have fun with it!

December 4, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday (for the birds)

Once all the leaves have fallen off the trees things look and feel pretty lifeless. One way to bring life back during this season is to feed the birds. They are in a hurry to prepare for the cold weather. It's so fun to watch them. It always brings a smile to my face when I drive home from work and see a scurry of critters running and flying to hide, leaving the feeders swinging violently behind.

If you don't have a bird feeder or you just want to add another one, use a basket. I got that idea from my husbands Aunt in Vermont. Just look around your house for a basket that you don't use often and get some durable string and tie your basket from a branch or a stand of some sort.

One day I spent hours watching the critters enjoy the basket. Of course every time I would move to take a picture they would fly away. It's been hilarious to watch the squirrels to try figure out how to get up there. This stand was here when we moved in and the previous owners put metal on the bottom to prevent the squirrels from climbing up. It seems to work pretty well. They have resorted to hanging out under the feeder and catching everything that's dropped.

November 21, 2012

Live Thanks

Around this time last year I created a board on Pinterest called Live Thanks. The goal was to pin at least 365 things to the board that I'm thankful for.  I started out strong. Pinterest is a great place full of inspiration. Unfortunately it can for many turn into a negative thing. It often makes you desire things that you can't obtain due to lack of time or resources. I often find myself comparing my own life and abilities to that of others that may or may not even be reality. I thought when I got on Pinterest if I turned my focus to what I was thankful for that would help keep it positive. Well I only pinned 107 things to my board. I didn't meet my goal but I'm gonna keep pinning things I'm thankful for. If you want you can join me. I would love to follow your Live Thanks board and we can help keep each other focused on Living Thanks.

If you still want to create something special for your Thanksgiving table maybe the picture below will inspire you. I grabbed an old wooden cheese box from the basement and filled it with acorns. Then I added 3 baby pumpkins, left over from a project I did at school with my students, and two candles.  I love it's rustic simplicity! So start searching your own home. Is there anything you can gather together?
Thanks so much for stopping by today,  I'm so THANKFUL for you!

November 15, 2012


This weeks photography challenge is all about capturing brown and or food. In my case this is also the finale. What a fun challenge this has been, even though I did struggle to find time to capture and share each theme.

The leaves on the trees have all fallen and things are looking pretty brown around here. To be honest it can be kinda depressing especially if the sun isn't shining because then it's brown and grey. There is HOPE for the future though. I'm so thankful to live in an area where we get to experience 4 distinct seasons. The pictures I'm going to share remind me of that HOPE. They were taken toward the beginning of Fall when the leaves were just starting to change.

Do you know what this is?
This is something that was left behind by the previous homeowners. Thankfully they told us what it was because we had all kinds of other interesting ideas.

If you guessed an apple picker than you were right! I still can't believe we have our very own apple trees. We have 4 total. I don't really know much about apple trees so I'm learning as I go. Apparently we have 2 trees with apples for cooking and 2 for eating. One tree didn't produce any apples at all this year.

When I get discouraged over the barren lifeless land that this time of year brings I think back to the time when we picked apples from our trees.

Blanca enjoyed the apples too!

Of course I had to make a special treat with all those apples.

Pie meets cake and had a party in a skillet.

Are you drooling yet? I bet you want the recipe. Well lucky for you I'm sharing.

It's pretty simple really. First you need a cast iron skillet. If you don't have one, you need one, go get one immediately. Basically you make up an mixture for the apples to soak in. Then you mix up a batter. You butter up the skillet, pour the batter in and then spoon the apples over top. Then you bake it until deliciously golden on top. Still need more details? The full recipe is below. Enjoy!

November 7, 2012


The most recent photography challenge was to capture the color purple and or Halloween. This year we didn't really do anything for Halloween so I'm going to focus on the color purple. A little while back we were invited to participate in a grape harvest at a local vineyard.

 The grapes were perfectly ripe and the Autumn day couldn't have been better for picking.

We filled buckets and buckets full of grapes.

It was peaceful at the vineyard and so much fun to try something new.

 I was delighted to find a birds nest among the vines that a few grapes had fallen into.

 One of the perks of volunteering to help a winery harvest their grapes is the loot! 

November 3, 2012

For those who are Hurting

I woke up early this morning delighted to find patches of blue in the sky and the sun peeking out between the clouds. We have lots of work to do this weekend. There are so many leaves to clean up and on top of it the destruction Hurricane Sandy left behind. While the sun was out I wanted to get some pictures to document the damage on our property.

Yeah I know it's not a big deal especially in comparison to what others have suffered. It's absolutely heartbreaking to see and hear of what people have lost. No matter what your loss big or small it's still difficult. We just bought our first home and we're living in a new state. We are clueless as to what to do when something like this happens. I suppose we learn as we go. Just the little things produce anxiety. Like how do I clean all this up and where do I take all the pieces, does someone come and pick this stuff up? As I was walking around taking pictures I discovered another home that was lost but this home belonged to a bird.

As I thought about this beautiful nest, the following song came to my mind and I found it so encouraging.

Peace be to those who are hurting you're in my thoughts and prayers!

October 30, 2012

Thankful & Monster Eggs

Hello Friends! I hope each of you is doing well. Sandy has come and is slowly leaving, at least for us in PA. We are thankful and in praise to our Father that we are safe and have power. The power went out many times but by God's grace it always came back. We have quite a few fallen trees and branches scattered around our property. There were times last night when the wind sounded like a freight train. Unfortunately a shed in our backyard was damaged pretty badly, but we hadn't even begun to use it. Now we just have to figure out how to clean everything up. My prayers go out to those who are still dealing with Sandy and her aftermath.

In case you still need to make a special treat for Halloween consider making these Monster Eggs that I blogged about last year. Read all about them HERE. 

October 28, 2012


For this week's theme I have only one image to share because I think it should stand alone. A couple weekends ago we made an impromptu visit to Arlington National Cemetery since we were in the area. This is where my husband's grandfather was laid to rest. The leaves were just starting to change. As we walked in silence between the rows of those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms we came across a breathtaking symbol. One vibrant red tree stood alone shedding it's leaves, one by one.

Nurture Photography Autumn 2012 Photo Challenge

October 24, 2012


As the chill of the season increases it's incredible how warm I feel. The colors of fall sooth my soul and make me feel so cozy. Here are a few images I captured for the photo theme this week Orange/Warmth.

Of course I can't help but share a few more images from our Fall falls hike. The colors were spectacular! It was the perfect warm Fall day and there were hints of orange everywhere.

If you get a chance you should stop by  Bumbles & Light or Live Out Loud  and be inspired by all the gorgeous images people are sharing.

October 18, 2012


Well I barely made the photo challenge this week, I believe the yellow/light theme ends tomorrow. This is one of the most beautiful times of the year to take photos. The colors here in PA are so vibrant! I took a walk around our property to capture this theme. There is a forest behind our home that lights up during the golden hour.

You can't help but be drawn in by the light and the glowing leaves. When there's not someone bow hunting in these woods I love to wander my way through them.
In the middle of this mighty stand of trees is a pond.
 The light shining through the yellow leaves is mesmerizing.
I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such beauty.

I found this interesting leaf and couldn't tell which tree it came from. I didn't find any others like it.

Lastly, I'll leave you with a sneak peek of some pictures I'll have to share in the future. The past weekend we went on a Fall Falls hike and saw over 20 waterfalls! It was glorious.
Enjoy the season!

October 15, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday (transforming furniture)

There's no better furniture to experiment on than the free kind. When we purchased our home we were blessed with a variety of pieces of furniture left behind by the previous owners. One of the pieces was a small rolling cabinet. I decided to try my hand at a rustic finish a.k.a. crackle finish.

I'm thrilled with the way it turned out! It really adds interest to the room. 

I left the inside and feet the solid color. It works really well as a printing cart/station.  Having a wireless printer is handy because the printer doesn't have to be on the same desk as your computer.

Of course changing the hardware is a quick fix. Don't you love these fun squirrel knobs?

This was the first time I've done a finish like this and I would say it's pretty much fool proof. So if you're looking for a fun way to update a piece of furniture without worrying about being perfect than this technique is for you.