Finding the Perfect Bench


Finding the Perfect Bench

There really is no one perfect bench. I have never met a bench I didn’t like. Isn’t it a matter of the right bench for the right spot? This summer I have been looking for a bench to put in one of my flower beds and so far have come up empty. Last year, I came across an amazing bench in an antique store; except I didn’t buy it. Does that ever happen to you? You find the perfect item, don’t buy it, and then spend copious amounts of time looking for that “ideal item” that has now disappeared? When will I ever learn? The search continues….

At any rate, I was looking through my sabbatical photos of last fall’s trip to Europe and was inspired once again by the charming array of benches we found there. Of course, I just couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to share them with you just in case you are looking for some bench inspiration too!Continue reading

America, the Beautiful


America, the Beautiful

With the Fourth of July holiday this week, I have been thinking about our country and what it means to me. When thinking of what makes this country great, I cannot help but take time to think on all those soldiers throughout our country’s history who fought to create and maintain our rights, liberty, and freedom. Although, I have never been in the armed forces, my dear sweet parents raised me to love my God and country with fervor.

My appreciation of our military grew recently as I witnessed first-hand a military salute at my father’s graveside. With such dignity and reverence as I couldn’t have imagined without experiencing it myself, Manti American Legion Post 31 performed the graveside military salute for a veteran with pride, precision and honor. And what could be more patriotic than a military salute?Continue reading

My Dad’s Shop


My Dad’s Shop

We each have a special place in the world that in our hearts feels like home. A place that reminds us of precious moments in time where we feel that we always belong. Somewhere that regardless of what else is happening to us in the world, just being there makes everything seem like it will be alright. For me, that place is my dad’s shop. I love the sights, sounds, and smells of the old workshop where my Dad would build a sheep camp trailer, or design and weld wrought iron patio furniture, among other projects.Continue reading

Summer Moroccan Tablescape


Summer Moroccan Tablescape

The beautiful summer days are upon us. The time when we begin to have lovely gatherings with our friends and families as we come together to share friendships and a good meal.

While visiting my sister Ruth’s house in Arizona this past spring, I fell in love with her amazing selection of eclectic dishes. So we decided to put this Moroccan Tablescape together just for you to inspire yours and my summer parties! By myself, I couldn’t have put a table like this together, as I decorate a bit more monotone! One of the things I love about Ruthie is that her decorating clearly expresses her vibrant personality. I love every element in this tablescape and wish I could have just taken it all home with me. So I guess I will join you in recreating it this summer!Continue reading

Charming Arbors and 5 Great Climbing Plants that Love Them


Charming Arbors and 5 Great Climbing Plants that Love Them

I can’t think of anything better to liven up a yard quite like an arbor, with a beautiful climbing plant winding its vines, greenery, and flowers around its structure. Have you noticed how many gardens you admire have these magnificent, green clad arches?

So you are ready to build an arbor! What materials should you use; what shape should it be? Should your arbor have a gate or a bench? And once the arbor is in place, what climbing plants should you use? Here are a few pictures to view as you contemplate and answer these questions.
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Visiting Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France


Visiting Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France

When I think of May, I always think of two things: mothers and flowers. One of my all-time favorite flower gardens that I’ve ever visited is Claude Monet’s lovely garden in Giverny, France, an hour train ride north of Paris in Normandy.

Today, I will take you on a tour of these gardens. And the bonus is that all these pictures in today’s post were taken during this month 3 years ago, so are very representative of a “May garden!”Continue reading

Free Printable Mother’s Day Gift Card Sets


Free Printable Mother’s Day Gift Card Sets

Ah, Mother’s Day, the day of the year we have the best opportunity to tell those special women in our lives just how much we care about them, whether they be our mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, or friends. One of my favorite holidays of the year. When I think of my own dear mother, I think about note cards, post cards, and thank you cards. Any type of card, because Mom loves sending out cards.

So today’s post is all about the cards. Note cards, gift cards and postcards of Italian Frescoed Paintings that you can print out for any occasion.
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Bubble Wrap and Duct Tape Mattress Tutorial


Bubble Wrap and Duct Tape Mattress Tutorial

So I’ll bet that title intrigued you a bit :) What exactly is a bubble wrap & duct tape mattress, anyway?

Have you ever stopped and wondered what it might be like to be homeless? How do you stay dry and sleep at night? I personally can’t even begin to comprehend what it must feel like and what challenges they must face. Even with a sleeping bag, it is a challenge for those that are homeless to stay warm and dry. Having a barrier to the cold AND moisture, such as a bubble wrap mattress, might just make all the difference to how comfortable you night will be. Although over time the “bubbles will pop”, they will still provide a barrier for the blanket or sleeping bag from the moisture-ridden ground.

So how did I get involved? For a group I’m part of, it all started with a birthday wish. All Tracey wanted for her birthday was to make mattresses for the homeless in Portland, Oregon. She had learned about this amazing concept from the story described here. So Tracey’s close friend, Jacki, who is founder and President of Mother’s Legacy Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “build a legacy of hope, voice, change and compassionate influence for our world family,” planned this amazing activity where 32 bubble wrap mattresses and pillows were made.

As it turned out, making Bubble Wrap/Duct Tape Mattresses was an easy and fun activity that, with a bit of planning, can be a huge success if you are looking for an opportunity to serve others in need, or even make a couple of roll-up mattresses for your own use.
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