Thursday, September 30, 2010

2 a.m. rantings with purpose

"If Jesus gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion if only we'll let Him finish the work. I fear, however, that we are so attention-deficit that we settle for bearable when beauty is just around the corner."
Beth Moore

     The last few days have been thought filled. The kind of thoughts that snow ball more thoughts and end up bringing you to so many conclusions and realizations that you're left overwhelmed and exhausted. Its a good place to be at the end of it, when you can kind of make a little sense of it all... and here is some of the sense I made:

     Life is hard. Its overwhelming and its beautiful. Its filled with so many moments that are so hard to push through and it's offset by all the little beautiful  moments that make it all worthwhile. Its a struggle to live selflessly... to get that bottle at 2 am for your screaming baby after you work, have clients, clean and make dinner... when all you want to do is sleep.
     I worked the coffee shop after hours the other night for a bible study group, and in listening to Pastor Jim (of who knows what church), i realized that i am the same stupid Israelite that is whining in the desert after being rescued from slavery in Egypt. God parts waters for me. He destroys armies of men for me. He provides what i need. He displays his provision and love for me day after day... and i look back at slavery longingly because "at least i knew what to expect everyday". I struggle with the same tendency the Israelite's did also when they took more manna than they could eat (which led to the manna spoiling) instead of just trusting that God would take care of them the next day and the days to come.
      I listen to a lot of people spill their guts out to me  while working at the coffee shop about the complications and hardships going on in their lives (baristas are kind of like bar tenders that way, and its one thing i have learned to absolutely love about the job description). One common theme that i see is the issue of money. Just in a few instances in my personal life lately i have learned to hate the stuff also. It makes life harder. It hurts and ruins relationships, it destroys whole communities, governments etc... Even the best of men fall prey to its sticky little green fingers. Through their stories, i learn a little more about how i want to live my life and what i choose everyday to make important in it. I don't want to live my life for money. Im tired of stressing about it, im tired of seeing my husband and my family stress about it. Im tired of seeing the world hurt for it. So im going to start changing my focus. I'm going to start living the beautiful, crazy, unexpectable life that God has for me right now and work to see money as just a means to an end... not the end all be all, or the thing i work my life away to obtain... because even though me and the rest of Americas lives would be a lot easier with it... Gods obviously has got it worked out a different way. I'm going to start trusting him to bring my manna a day at a time, even if it doesn't seem like much, or isn't something that i can forecast for days to come.

 So i know life is hard... hang in there. Breathe. Remember that oppression and self pity are dangerous webs we weave. "Poor me" leads to never rising above and realizing that the beauty that God intends for us is just around the corner.  Reassess, change your focus... and trust him!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nuture and Stimulate your Childs Creativity

Children are fragile creatures, and most parents really have their work cut out for them. Why? Not because the child cries a lot or demands constant attention, although this may be the case. The parents have their work cut out because the way in which they interact with the child now can affect the way child lives his or her life in the future. Of course, other people have a role to play in this as well as the parents, such as teachers, friends, and even siblings.
Up until around the age of eight the child's mind is at its most creative, and what the child learns and picks up from birth to age eight can have a profound impact upon his or her future. Creativity is particularly important for a range of reasons. Creative activity can:
  • Improve the child's imagination
  • Provide a foundation for the basic skills that the child will need throughout life
  • Enable the child and parent to bond
  • Provide the child with activity that is both educational and fun
It is important for parents to actively encourage the child to use his or her mind and imagination at every opportunity. Interaction is important, and will help the parent to both stimulate and nurture the child's developing mind, curiosity, and creative skills. Research suggested the following guidelines to stimulate creativity:
  • Ask open-ended questions to involve your child in general discussions. For example: what would happen, if there were no rivers? Such questions will stimulate free-thinking and provide scope for many possible answers, but none of them is wrong.
  • Involve your child to challenge the assumptions underlying the ideas presented by you.
  • Involve your child in the activities, which stimulate creativity and fantasy. For example: Present some meaningless similarities, ' I am a horse', and let the child find out how it is possible.
  • Involve your child in exploring activity, like make a list of as many problems as possible related to environment, or list of things around you.
  • Present some statements of observation to explore the possibility of its reversal, for example 'The rose is red' 'Red is the rose'.
  • Provide your child with as many activities and opportunities as possible, for the expression of ideas, which should be continuous, and in the area of children's interest.
  • Whenever possible provide your child with supplementary materials, books and other experiences, you should avoid emphasizing the textual information.
  • Provide your children with activities and projects which interest them and give them openness to think originally and express their ideas in their own way.
  • Encourage your child to pursue their hobbies.
  • Appreciate openly when ever a child expresses creative behavior like asking usual questions, giving unusual ideas and taking self initiated action etc.
  • Appreciate the child when he/she makes ambiguous statements.
  • Encourage the child to make as many as guesses as possible about the solution while solving the problems.
  • Do not always insist on correct answers. Allow the child to think and re-think the correctness of the answer. Do not evaluate the goodness of the answer but insist on the number of ideas. Quality of the answer is automatically taken care of when the child examine all the possible answer of each question.
  • Take care that child is not taunted by his friends or brother/sister for his answers to the questions posed by you.
  • Do not make sarcastic and insulting remarks in front of the child or on the child.
  • You should discourage self-criticism.
  • Allow your child to think and express freely and find the facts for themselves. Do not tell them every thing.
  • Let children do their best in finding the solution to the problem without giving any hint.
  • Do not encourage rote learning or memorizing the facts. Allow them to pursue as much as they want without bothering themselves about giving the expected solution or answer.
In addition, there are many resources available for parents to help them to stimulate their child's creativity, and it is important that parents make the right choice when it comes to selecting toys for their child. Today's toys offer fun, activity, and educational value to a child, and this can prove invaluable in giving the child a head start in life on an educational level. The toys and recreational products of today can help a child to learn basic numeracy, literacy, and creativity. Your child can learn about everything from number and words to colors and textures, all through the world of stimulating yet fun toys and recreational products.
And with the selection of games, books, and toys available today, parents and children can have fun, and at the same time can help to inspire creativity. Some of the tools and products that can help to stimulate the child's mind and creativity include:
Books
Books have always been a superb way to develop imagination, creativity, and literacy skills in your developing child. You can get everything from picture books to children's novels, which makes it possible to stimulate creativity in children of all ages. It is important, particularly with younger children, that you get involved as much as possible, but at the same time allow the child to remain very involved. So, for instance, when reading a book, you could start off the story, and then allow the child to try and finish the paragraph or story with you as a guide.
Puzzles
Puzzles can prove very useful in stimulating the child's mind as well as his creativity. Depending on the type of puzzle, your child will have to use basic skills such as numeracy skills to work through the puzzle. Your child can also learn more about colors and textures from some of the puzzles around today, and will be required to use basic cognitive skills to work out the puzzle.
Board games
Board games have been around for generations, and even today they can prove invaluable as a tool for interaction and creative development. You will find a vast selection of board games that can prove ideal for the whole family, including your child. And you can even get special board games for younger children, which are filled with bright colors exciting features and sounds to help them make the most of their creativity and imagination.
These are just a few of the tools and products available to help you to stimulate your child's creativity. You can also get other great products such as coloring books, art sets, chemistry sets, stickers, glitter pens, and a whole lot more. But remember, you as a parent are integral to the successful stimulation of your child's mind, imagination, and creativity. Click here to find wide range of creativity stimulation products.


Find more articles like this one here

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Canvas

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canvas uses natural materials from around the globe to create unstructured, interesting textures and materials. understated yet elegant

Wall Hung Felt Picture Frames

16" Round Felt Cushions

felt frames and seat cushions, wooden bowls and soapstone serving dishes aren't all that canvas has to offer... check their site out  here!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall is here

"For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."    -   Edwin Way Teale 

 This collage i made explains my love for fall!    
I love the decorations: here are a few cute ones to get you started cute yarn fall wreathfabric leavesfabric leaf pillow

throw a wine and cheese party! suggestions here

mmm pomegranates!! beautiful for decorating and eating... get a delicious recipe her



smores: Cosi restaurant offers a little smores kit if you want a cute date idea


pumpkin spice lattes: yes i work at a coffee shop and technically i could have these year round... but i always wait till fall to order my first pumpkin spice latte of the year! 




pie: recipes here!! apple crumb pie,  pumpkin pie


and i saved the best for last... 


"When the bold branches bid farewell to rainbow leaves - Welcome wool sweaters."-   B. Cybrill 





Tortilla Crusted Chicken with Monterey Jack Cheese Sauce

I was inspired by a tortilla crusted chicken dish on my recent cruise to mexico and this is my best attempt to duplicate it! 


Ingredients

half a bag of tortilla chips
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can beat them or cut them in half thin-wise)
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup butter
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Preparation method

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degress C).
2.Start by crushing tortilla chips until they are fine like breadcumbs. (Place in a bag and use a rolling pin... or jump on em ha).
3.Coat chicken in milk, then egg.
4.Place chicken breast in tortilla crumbs and coat thoroughly. Place in a non stick pan, cover with foil.
5.Bake for 30 minutes; remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes uncovered.
6.10 minutes before to chicken being done, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in shredded cheese until melted. Mix in sour cream (you could add jalepeno and corn too) and cook, stirring occasionally just until heated through. Do not allow to boil.
7.Remove chicken from oven.
8.Top with cheese sauce or use as a dipping sauce.

I served it with some beans and rice... excellent! 

Cute

This little lady bug costume is an adorable, EASY way to dress up your little ones. This simple lady bug is comfortable and innexpensive... Dont spend 30+ dollars on a flashy overdone costume at a store... improvise and have fun with your little one!! Get instructions to make this little bug here

Friday, September 17, 2010

ahhh restoration

Gears, Handwoven baskets, and indian cart coffee table... doesnt get much better than this! 

 Love the Vintage brass hourglasses and antelope horns!!

visit restoration here!

Michelle Lane Jewelry

My new favorites!! Very pricey but wouldnt be too hard to duplicate... so maybe my next project??

I got a cute ring from san fran, made from an antique fork bent around a turquoise stone. I love it. Here are some others i've had my eyes on...

rings (clockwise from top left), rettore at barneys, zulasurfing at etsynektar de stagni at marissa collection, zulasurfing at artfire
Lovin the fools gold rings! here is a diy fools gold cuff bracelet:

  • wire cuff (mine is from an antique store)
  • 15-20 pcs (1/2″-1″)  pyrite
  • aleenes jewel-it glue (the best)
  • a few toothpicks, and paper plates for glue
begin by placing 1-3 rocks, starting with your larger (and favorite) stones in the center, working towards smaller at the ends.  arrange to fit like a puzzle.  glue the back and sides, and allow to dry overnight.  repeat.  i leaned mine against a basket to dry, standing up.  mine took about 5 nights total, with a few stones placed each night.
images via veridiaum jewelry
images via ken + dana design

Friday, September 10, 2010

CB2

While in San Francisco, ive of course gone into most every store off market st... Crate and Barrel included. Well here is a cute little store called cb2 (Crate and Barrel 2). Its got a little more of a retro feel, i love it... enjoy!

This Wagon Wheel Mirror is a cute, rugged idea to deepen your space!

LOOVEE these Knitted Poufs. Cute, and good for extra seating in a pinch!

This Marimba rug is just one of pretty much all of the rugs i like at cb2
Ive been seeing tons of these wire racks around too... 

And here is a link for all of their table top decor- its all so amazing!
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