Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Paper Pumpkin That Made Him Smile - Day 7 of GIVEAWAY

Two nights ago, hubby and I were chatting about anything and everything - goals, blessings, disappointments, encouragement, love, hope. It was a wonderful time to connect and get all caught up on our busy lives. I realized half way through that is had been so long since we talked about some of these things. Important things, silly things, funny things and some of them we needed to talk about. Some were things that we needed to make sure we were on the same page about; we needed to know that we were standing together and that our home was not divided.

Some things were ligthhearted, others brought us -ok fine, me - to tears. But in a good way! Healing tears, ones that needed to be shed. Soon our chat turned from lighthearted talk into a long night of deep sharing. We needed that. It was refreshing to take time to acknowledge the other for making sacrifices, being loving, doing the small things that often get unnoticed.

And that is when hubby said this, "I love to come home and see touches of you everywhere. It makes me feel like I am at home and can relax when I see you injected in everything in my home. I walked in the door and saw the paper pumpkin you made and it really made me smile. I realized that you make a big effort to make our home a nest and I love it."

Yes, feel free to grab a kleenex - is he not the sweetest man ever! And let me just say that I needed to hear that. It came on a perfect day when I needed uplifting and encouragement. One where I felt like my whole day had been an upwards battle and I had made no headway. Those simple words brought life and feeling back into my tired discouraged little body. It was just what I needed to hear.

It has always been a goal of mine to take time to compliment, encourage, uplift and acknowledge those around me. I may not always succeed, but it is a conscious effort I try to make daily.

And sometimes, I need to hear those words too - directed to me. Let's just say that I have been living off of those wonderful words from hubby for three days now and the feeling has not left.

Sometimes those we love the most are the ones who most need to hear words of acceptance... and often times they are the last ones to hear it. They need to hear a simple, heartfelt:
"I love you.
You are important.
Your effort has not gone unnoticed.
I value you.
You are a treasure.
You are a blessing from God.
I can't imagine life without you.
You are just what I need.
I am blessed to have you in my life.
Thank you.
I appreciate you.
You light up my day."

Simple words... but when spoken with sincerity they will breathe life and joy into the ones you love.

Who do you need to speak words of life and love to? Who goes unnoticed in your home? Your work? Your neighborhood? Your church? Who needs to hear your voice say the words "YOU are important to ME!"

To get you jump started with these expressions of love, today I am including a pack of pretty note cards in the giveaway. They simply say "Thank You."

Thank you's aren't just for when someone gives you something. They are for acknowledging something unexpected, encouraging someone to continue going forward in the everyday tasks they do.... like making a house a home with paper pumpkins.

For today's entry in the giveaway, would you share about someone that has touched your life and that you need to thank or acknowledge them for their efforts? Someone who may not realize that they have impacted your life? Who needs to feel your love and acceptance today?

PS. Giveaway winner announced Monday. Tutorial for all those pumpkins on Monday as well.
All photos taken by yours truly.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Confusion and DAY 6 of GIVEAWAY

Ok, I don't know how it happened but I goofed up the number of days on the giveaway. Those of you who are good with numbers will have noticed that I had two days labeled as Day 3 of the giveaway. So I guess that instead of skipping straight to Day 7 we will extend the drawing by another day. How does that sound? So that is an extra day for you to enter and one more day for me to wonder where my little brain wandered off to!

Actually I know where it is... back at the beach. Listening to the waves crash and churn, smelling caramel corn down the street, enjoying antique stores till my little hearts content. *sigh* Sounds wonderful, right? Well that is exactly where my wonderful, handsome hubby took me for my birthday.

Remember I shared that he took the day off and we hit every Boutique{Goodwill} and Fancy Store {Goodwill Outlet} in town? Well the surprise turned out to be even bigger! After shopping till we dropped, we headed over to the Oregon Coast and stayed there right on the beach for two nights. It was glorious!

Little White Church Antiques - so sweet!

 The town was small, full of charm, lots of antique and home decor stores and delicious food from places like the Cow Bell Cafe. Hello! How cute is that!

We laughed so hard at this sign, it says:
This job is a test... It is only a test.
Had it been an actual job, you would have received bonuses, raises and promotions.

Well it was truly a spectacular vacation with my love. Unfortunately, that is why the giveaway days were all messed up! I got on the internet once or twice but most of the time we spent out and about, enjoying each others company.... and maybe an ice cream cone.... or two. Yummmmm.

Hubbster and I love road trips, and one thing that always seems to come up on any trip we take is how blessed we are. We talk the whole way there and back about anything and everything... and how grateful we are for even the simplest things.

That is what inspired me to have a thankfulness tree in our home this year. It is a simple idea, but has such meaning.

Remember the tags that were included yesterday as part of the giveaway? Well here is how you use them. Find a central place in your home where you can display a vase filled with some branches. Any branches will do. Just grab some from the backyard, give them a good shake  and "plant" them in your vase. Anchor with florist foam, rocks, potpourri, etc.

Later at dinner {or whenever you have family time} ask everyone in the family to think of at least one thing that they are thankful for and have them write it down on a tag. Encourage them to thing of something other than the obvious family, friends, and faith. Those are a given, and you may just want to make a tag right from the get-go for those.  Try to think of those things that often times are taken for granted. Freedom, abundance, warm cozy bed, a safe vehicle, mentors, neighbors, provision, health. Maybe it is something super simple like the joy of warm muffins fresh out of the oven, the family walks that encourage bonding, a favorite park, a vacation that was special.

Then ask everyone to chose a branch to tie their tag {or tags} on to. Watch as your thankfulness tree begins to blossom. It will be a daily reminder of how much you and your family have been granted. Once the season is over, take the tags off and preserve them in a scrapbook or keepsake box.

Repeat the tradition every year and see how life changes, kids mature in their "thankfulness"and how faithful God has been.

Today, I want to encourage you to be purposeful about your "attitude of gratitude." See the everyday blessings in life... and make a point to acknowledge them.

Here are the 18 tags... waiting for you and your family
to fill them up with things you are thankful for.

While we were on vacation, we stopped in at the most wonderful little shop called The Buttery and they had the yummiest smelling soaps ever! Of course I could not resist picking out one for myself and one for you too! Today's addition to the GIVEAWAY is a darling little bar or Lavender Fig soap. It is heavenly!

For today's entry, leave a comment below sharing one or more things that you are thankful for. Think outside the box... what are the unexpected blessings that you could acknowledge today?

All photos taken by yours truly.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Power Of Words - DAY 3-5 of GIVEAWAY!

It constantly amazes me how much power our words carry. Simple phrases spoken, sometimes without a second thought, will impact someones life in a tremendous way. Our words have the power to build up or destroy. They can lift someones spirit as high as the clouds in the sky, or cause it to come crashing to the ground.

One word. That's all it takes to imprint a feeling or emotion. There are simple words and words oh so eloquent.... either way, they will affect both your life and the lives of those around you.

In our home, words are to be spoken in kindness and love. They are to be uplifting, challenging, wholesome, encouraging and sometimes even correcting. And the walls in our home reflect that. We both love to surround ourselves with words and phrases that inspire us to be better individuals, better spouses to one another, and better friends and family to those we love.

There are silly words that make us laugh on a dreary day...

By the way, this one was a gag gift from my mom to hubby several years ago. He thought it was so funny that he hung it up himself. And yes, I do let him express his opinion to the management :)

Words that evoke fond memories of loved ones...

Recipe cards in my Grandma's handwriting.
She put these in my stocking one year for Christmas - so special.

Some are just for fun...

Others display heritage...

And some that help you remember your lunch... while practicing Spanish vocab at the same time! haha!

Others are meant to uplift and challenge us ...

It doesn't matter where we go in this world, we will be bombarded with words... and sometimes they are not the most positive. It is a breath of fresh air to come home and know that it is a safe haven - even the words on the walls are safe, warm and inviting.

What words do you like to surround yourself with.
Are they funny, uplifting, reminders of love and hope?

Take a look at the wall hanging below.

See that empty space in the middle? It is waiting for the words of one lucky winner. The words that the 7 Day GIVEAWAY winner chooses will be printed and placed on that hanging.

For today's entry in the GIVEAWAY, let me know what word or words you would want on the hanging should you win. I can't wait to see what you come up with! {and I think this goes without saying, but please keep them clean :)}

Also, if you have been entering everyday, you will have noticed that I missed the last two days of the giveaway. Well it's a fun, long story that I'll share tomorrow, but let's just say that it involves vacation and the beach!

So here are the other two additions to the loot that one lucky Winner will receive:

Harvest Recipe Cards. Perfect for starting a tradition of documenting family recipes!

And your very own set of 18 "Thankfulness Tags." {made by yours truly!} If you are wondering just what these are be sure to come on back tomorrow to see... I assure you, it is a wonderful addition to your home for this time of year and cute to boot as well!


So comment below to be entered in the giveaway and don't forget to enter the other days as well. Just click below:

All photos taken by yours truly.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Scents of the Season - DAY TWO AND THREE of GIVEAWAY

Thank you everyone for all the wonderful birthday emails and messages yesterday. You all just made my day!

Yesterday was a wonderful birthday. I turned... well let's just say that I turned one year older than last year. ahem. :)

The sign outside a boutique we went into. LOVE it!

Hubby took the day off and planned a wonderful time doing of one of our favorite activities.... Thrift Store Shopping! It was a blast! We hit 8 boutiques {Goodwill} and even a Fancy Store {Goodwill Outlet}. It was huge! We found some great deals and I just had the time of my life with my sweetheart.

Thank you hubby for a wonderful day...
and for making me laugh so much along the way!

Unfortunately we were gone all day, and I couldn't post Day 2 of the Giveaway. So today I'm giving you two ways to enter and adding two prizes to the Giveaway Gift.

As I've mentioned, fall is truly my favorite time of year. I love all the wonderful tastes: pumpkin spice, warm apple cider, hot coffee on a cool morning. And then there are all scents: the fresh smell after the rain, cinnamon sticks, and my favorite candle scent ever... Warm Apple Pie by Mainstays. It has an amazing scent that fills the whole room. I actually burn this scent year around.

So today I want to know what your favorite scent or taste of the season is. What puts you in the mood for Autumn? Leave a comment below to be entered in the Giveaway!

For second way to enter, become a follower of "too Blessed to Stress." Leave a separate comment below so I'll know. Already a follower? Just let me know in the comments below.
The first gift added to the Giveaway is my favorite scent: a small jar Warm Apple Pie candle. It is too yummy for words!

The second gift is one of my favorite tastes: $5 gift card to Starbucks. Treat yourself to a yummy pumpkin spice latte or a salted caramel cider, or whatever taste makes you feel all warm and cozy.

So let me know, what are your favorite tastes and scents of the season?