My goals this week: 
Get up at 6:15 every morning for tea and scriptures, AND
get more structure into our days (=happy babies, happy mama).

We have been having some seeeerious discipline problems lately with the smalls (disobedience and whining are the main things, any tricks?) and have decided to try cutting out most processed snacks/unnecessary sugars AND also cutting way back on how much Netflix time they get. Day 1 went unbelievably well.

The other night I had this really strong impression: make them feel loved, make them feel valued, and then your problems will start to disappear. It's true -- when I disappear into my own little world -- my book, blogs, cooking, whatever -- these little ones start kinda wigging out and doing whatever they can to get attention. Including whining and disobeying. And fighting. And breaking rules. And just sort of being monsters.

Book, blog, cooking, art journaling, long phone conversations, whatever, they all have their place. And  I do believe that kids need to be used to playing by themselves. It's finding that balance, and the balance is always changing...

Anyway -- I don't have a tidy conclusion for this today. It's all sort of a mess in my head. But I will say that getting up early helps my head feel a little neater. Early morning watercolor sessions with the early riser of the house help, too.
 Even though she drank the paint water when my back was turned. 


bathroom remodel inspiration: mint, gray, sunshine, + glass

We're saving our pennies for a major kitchen overhaul, so in the mean time I am going to give our bathroom {we only have 1!} a little facelift. A little paint, a nice picture or two, and some little finishing touches are gonna go a long way. I'm pretty smitten with this color palette, but I'm curious -- do you have any pet color palettes lately?

I can't wait to get started -- my dad is coming for a visit + to help with this + a bunch of other projects in a couple of weeks. Eek!


little things

We've been in this house for 3 months now, and despite zillions of pins on the home dec front 
(and that's not even the room-specific pins!), 
I keep resisting any/all decorating urges, usually along these lines:
it's just going to get drywall dust all over it.
we're painting this wall soon anyway.
but this wallpaper is coming out eventually.
Yesterday I finally did what I should have done the day we moved in -- put up a few buntings, propped up a few favorite Katie Daisies, dug out the globe, and said ahhh.
The little things really do make a difference. Now if we can just get those baseboards in...


blimey, it's lemony and limey!

I have had a big thing for citrus lately. That bright, tart-sweet loveliness that fills your mouth and your memory with warmer days. This winter has been unbelievably mild around these parts, but I am starting to itch a little bit for some bare feet in the grass, know what I mean?
Two recipes I've been loving this week: lemon poppy seed muffins and lime marmalade.
Now that I think of it, I haven't tried eating them together. Time to remedy that?
Some notes on both...
I never use tin liners for muffins, but in this case I should have. They are pretty delicate. I made a couple of changes to the recipe -- I rubbed the lemon zest into the sugar before creaming, and then at the end, I poked lots of holes into each muffin top with a fork before applying the glaze with a pastry brush. That way the glaze gets really deep into the muffin {yum}. 

The marmalade was a total impulse thing {hmm, it's 3 pm, let's can!}. The last time I made this was in like 2005 in Ramona's little basement apartment that we rented FOR FREE. Those were the days. You can eat it on muffins or scones or whatever, but we eat it almost exclusively on corn muffins {you seriously will not find a better recipe than this one; your grandma is really nice, but this kicks her cornbread's trash} when we're having chili or taco soup.

Muffin time for this mama. Again.  


do. good quilt ::for rachel::

Yahoo! Rachel's got her quilt! So I finally get to share this block. {yay!}
And seriously, the finished quilt is amazing. Go check it out. Stat.
Rachel is amazing, and I am so happy that someone had the idea of giving something back to her.
I have since stepped out of the do. Good Stitches bee, purely to simplify the different demands currently on my plate. All the same -- thank you, Rachel, for working so incredibly hard to give us all the chance to make a difference!


the light in their eyes

This Sunday I got a special treat -- at church I got to hang out with the Young Women (ages 12-18) for part of the meeting. Their spirits are so refreshing and beautiful. There is so much light in their eyes.
We shared in the total joy of one of my favorite very messages to women, and now it's time to pass it on. 
Print it up, pass it out, hang it up!
{They're the perfect size to stick in your scriptures. Just sayin.}
{click on either image for a bigger, better, more printable version.}

Happy Monday + happy new week -- it's gonna be a good one, I can feel it.

His triumph

A thought for Sunday. 
That part -- we can tell Him nothing -- struck me so much.
It's so true.
He already knows my troubles, and yours. 
My happinesses, my wonderings, wanderings, my hard things --
He knows.


art journal: recent pages

{wanting to dive into mandalas but feeling indimidated. tons of inspiration here.}
{heart of romaine printed with acrylic over watercolor.}
{silver gelly over acrylic. practicing blending blue + red into purple.}
{recipe via eating for england. the best lunch!}
{mod podge is my very favorite adhesive/sealer/transfer medium/all-powerful magic spell so far.}
So loving this art journaling. 
I feel a little bit freer every time, and I find myself expressing thoughts and feelings that for some reason, I never would have written down in a traditional journal.
Especially when it comes to babies and things.
{august, y'all.}


gimp girl tutorial: rounded photo corners

Happy Thursday, lovely Marigoldlets! 
Here's a simple way to add vintage flair to your photos: round the corners.
Takes less than 30 seconds, once you get the gist.
Ready, go.

{new to gimp? it's like photoshop, only free. start here and here.}

First, open an image using Gimp.

Next, Select > Rounded Rectangle.

The Rounded Rectangle dialogue box will appear.
You can play with the radius percentage {how curvy your curve will be}. 
I set mine to 25%.

After hitting OK, you'll notice that part of your image {the larger part} is selected.
We want to get rid of those tiny triangles in the corners, so we'll invert the selection.
So, Select > Invert.

Edit > Clear and say goodbye to those triangles.

Now Select > None...

...now you're ready to add some deco tape and call it a day.

{you know the only reason I do this is to subject you to otherwise irrelevant but crazy cute pictures of my offspring... right?}


valentine's with the kidlets: graphing conversation hearts

Little-known fact: 
I am the {extremely} math-challenged daughter of a professional {and extremely gifted} math teacher.
So I think my mom will be very excited to see me {me!} teaching my offspring to graph stuff at such a tender age. 
Lizzy jumped on it and rocked the graphing. Maren, well, takes more after me.

Once the graphing was done, there was that terrible yearly disappointment when you eat that first conversation heart and you remember how horrible they really taste...


26 praises

{ink and watercolor}

I loved Daisy Yellow's creative experiment earlier this month: 
pick a word, any word, and write it 25 different ways.
I picked my word for the year {praise}.

To be honest, I wasn't feeling very praise-full at the time,
and began with a grudging heart.
But the challenge was too much to pass up, and after getting over the hump of praise 15 or so,
I suddenly saw how many ways there are to see praise.
Everywhere! Everything!
Suddenly the least object or idea was a potential subject of praise.

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name..."
{psalm 92:1}


dancing days

These girls are about 45% dress-up, 25% dancing, 25% coloring, and 5% chasing the cat.
I like the view from here.

Most-requested dancing tunes: Kingdom Dance from the Tangled soundtrack, the overture from Le Nozze di Figaro, The Nutcracker Suite (aka "Clara music"), God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by the MoTab, and Almost There from the Princess and the Frog soundtrack. 

{We have been listening to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen every. single. day. since. July.}

Happy Friday, friends. We're looking forward to pizza night, windowsill painting, drywall finishing, church going, and some good ole r&r. Amazing weekend ahead, yes?


valentine's merrymaking

I promised myself that this year I'd be better about decorating for the smaller holidays.
I've made 4 garlands {and a bloggy banner! click over, Google Reader peeps!} for Valentine's Day so far, and you know what?
It makes the holiday so much more exciting to have cute little decorations up.
The girls are so excited about Valentine's Day, even though they don't really know what it's all about,
except they think that "Mommy, can we get these blueberries for Valentine's Day??" might just work.
{it didn't.}
So it's time to seize the day and craft it up, right? What am I missing?

Valentine's Rice Krispie Treats via Babies, Paper and Song

I have the tissue all cut up to make those votives but just haven't gotten around to doing it yet. And I am totally stealing that entire V-day menu... the girls are going to flip.


whatever the weather...

Remember, dear ones, that it is always better to look up.
I hope you find some peace tucked away in your sabbath day, whomever and wherever you might be.


process: gesso and glitter

All this discovering and experimenting with new forms and mediums and ideas is so idiotically exciting. 
speedball? gesso? india ink? brayer? huh??
Every time I hear about some new thing my heart beats a little faster, like the wind that
speaks to Vianne "of towns yet to be visited, friends in need yet to be discovered, battles yet to be fought..."
only about art supplies.
Ok bad comparison.
I did make a fabulous discovery regarding glitter that I hope to translate into a tutorial very soon.