Grazing the newsstand on a regular basis, I find myself leafing through magazines that are all too familiar. It has become apparent that many magazines are rehashing, revising & rerunning content that has been seen before.
But wait -- an accidental look see while at Barnes & Noble Kitchen, I was intrigued by the cover of a magazine Where Women Cook. I had never seen this before. I picked it up. The weight of the pages... the beautiful photos & styling ... it had soul. I prefer the feel of paper. It is easier to share with a friend & dog-ear pages for future reference. It's not just what you see but how it makes you feel--its connecting to the pages.
It truly has become my new favorite magazine. It has recipes, home design & inspiring women doing what they love. Does it get any better than this?
Go ahead, go to Barnes & Noble. There is nothing like the sweet scent of a well made publication that changes all the prospects on the magazine rack.
Big little idea - Create - for the sake of the sheer enjoyment & create is my word for this year. This singular idea is really more of a philosophy. It is an expansion of where I will let my mind & hands take me.
I made slipcovers for my potholders. When other people see my potholders they probably think, "What a gnarly bed of E Coli she has in her hand - I hope it didn't touch the food!". Entertaining over the holidays was an inspirational turning point. I had purchased new potholders, but knew they would end up looking like a science experiment. They never weather laundering well.
So, I had to do something. I went to the fabric store, bought some potholder fabric & viola' - the idea was born. Now this idea was not as clever to the rest of my family as it was to me. I was quite proud of my ingenuity. They all seemed to think my pilot light had gone out.
These potholders are significant because they catapulted me into the idea of doing things for myself. How often do I do things to impress other people or because it is expected? I did these just for me. But the best part of these innovative little mits, is the other ideas that they have now sparked. I have made applique artwork, repurposed linen scraps into table napkins, & am working on fabric remnants for quilts - and that is just the start.
My big little idea has also infiltrated my menu. My goal is to try a new recipe each week. It doesn't have to be fancy or exotic, but something different. This week I tried chicken fried cauliflower. It was a new approach on an old favorite. Next I am looking for something new with cabbage then maybe a delicious new technique for beets. I am living on the edge with produce!
Change makes you sharp. Let your brain wonder to different places & ideas. Let your ideas expand & let one notion lead to another. It is an act of personal kindness. Do You!
There is a story to share in this picture of Margaret Tucker (auntie Margaret) first row on the right & 21 children & young adults who she has taken in & loved as her own. They were orphaned as a result of the civil war that took place in Sierra Leone from 1990 to 2001. Margaret is a widow who continues to care for these orphans with with only a small amount of help from the government. Friends, Tom & Becky Brockelman, became a part of this story when they moved to Sierra Leone in 2010 & this is when our journey with this amazing woman of faith & her beautiful family began. Over the past 5 years, mission teams & organizations visiting & working with Tom & Becky have provided encouragement & support in the way of giving rice, funding school fees & supplies, digging a well, & making improvements to Margaret's small home where she lives & cares for this family of 21. It is through this amazing woman, who has been & continues to be the example of God's love these children needed. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29: 11)
Lovingly, Kathleen Robinson
See their blog at A Life on Mission
I thought I had irises! This year the bulbs were extraordinary in Historic McKinney. Nothing compares to the Summers Cottage garden this year. She has antiques, ruffled, hybrid - a sea of unusual colors & sizes - Amazing! Most of her irises have been collected through trading & sharing with iris lovers.
Her poppies are two different varieties that cam from the same seed. Yes, Mother Nature had her way!
Having every summer off allows me time for home projects. I have a mental list of goals & expectations of what I want to complete. Originally I wanted to paint my kitchen & dining room, which I did -- TWICE. The first color was too dark, the second was too light. I was beginning to feel like Goldilocks. I could not find my just right. Subsequently, all of the samples were either too blue or too gray or too something. I really needed to step back from it all. So I did, for a YEAR! It's bad when the background of Christmas photos looks like the Sherwin-Williams sample wall.
My previous summers were filled with painting every wall in my house, to the point where my husband joked that we had lost square footage. It was a place I could go "project-wise" and know I could get it done. The realization that a familiar deed, somehow, turned on me & left me in the lurch. What to do? When it's bad it takes all the joy out of the project!
I was stuck! This never happens to me. I make a decision & live with it. This situation however threw me for a loop. It may have been the paint or the lack of a paint decision that sparked this, but there were subtle life shifts that brought me to this place. I gave myself permission to finally be alone in my home & to think - to take pause. The best way to describe it would be a mental rebellion. I didn't read books, I didn't work on projects, I just was. My youngest child moved away & I got a minute to think. That minute ended up turning into an entire summer. It was the first time in my adult life to be alone in my home with only my husband (who thankfully went to work everyday).
There wasn't the frantic rush to complete project after project & entertain the masses. Being married to the eldest son of a large family, in close proximity, creates an extended household. It was not uncommon for us to have a sibling living here. Not to mention friends of the children coming & going (and eating). But last summer, it was all about me & Netflix. Call me a binger!
I felt satisfied in allowing myself time to ponder the paint. It took me a year to realize that it wasn't the paint that had me stuck. It was me. I needed time to adjust from being the mom to being me. It is natural to be in the mom role. The hard part is rolling out.
This summer, I made a decision. It feels good to get paint on the walls & move forward. The familiarity of the instant gratification of paint helped me to finally re-establish my sense of being. Paint & Neflix are now balanced -- all is good in the universe!
We went to the Vintage Market Days at Southfork this weekend. While there, we were bedazzled by one particular booth, JoAn's! The first thing that caught our eye was a large vintage photo of an elegant woman. . . hearkening to heels & pearls in the kitchen!
Our first tastes of their signature mustard on a pretzel & salt on watermelon, left us speechless (and that is hard to do!). We wish we could have stood there & brought everyone in to taste test & buy. Not only did we love & purchase the products but were intrigued by the back story as well.
Our sales rep happened to be JoAn's daughter in-law. These were JoAn's own secret recipes to enhance foods of all kinds. She used them while entertaining and was known to carry them in her purse, when traveling. A "don't leave home without it" attitude! We feel the same way . . .
We were intrigued by this story because of our appreciation of our own mothers' in-law kitchen skills, who indeed felt the same about their mothers' in-law. We see a trend. Using your MIL's recipes, is a great way to celebrate family traditions. Following it "as is", or a loose interpretation, honors the family foodie legacy. Whether living nearby or long distance from the in-laws, this gives your children an opportunity to connect to their heritage.
Beg, borrow or steal - keep that cookin' in the family. It is an act of love that needs to be shared!
Thanks JoAn for reminding us . . .
We are all worthy of feeling satisfied about where we are in our homes. Our approach to the adventure is as important as the results. The journey of finding our design ideals shifts with seasons & people passing through our lives. We are more likely to enjoy the creative process when things are made easy and How To Love Your Home's passion for finding & sharing tools, tips, & triumphs is here for simplifying the journey to a commonsense approach to homemaking & design!