Thursday, March 31, 2016

New House New Perennial Garden

One of my favorite things at our home back in Minnesota was my perennial garden. I loved spending my free time out there pulling weeds and cleaning it up. It brought my heart a lot of joy. Not only that, it gave me some wonderful time in prayer!

When we went back home last July, I really wanted to bring some of the plants that were meaningful to me, back to Maryland. One of the plants close to my heart was my boys' great grandma's hosta. I'd gotten some splits from it when we moved into our first home in Annandale. That was 18 yrs ago! I also had some irises that I think were hers, too. The other ones that came with us were my Jacob's Ladder and peony.

Unfortunately, while we were still living in Fred's old house, my hostas started going bad. When I was finally able to plant them at the new house, they didn't make it. I believe there are still some hostas back at the old house, so I'll probably try getting one or two of them another time.

Now, that being said, it's been exciting watching the little garden come to life! It TOTALLY looks like my peony made it, and is starting to sprout! It's brought my gardener's heart a lot of joy. It's such a great plant!

I have a several bulbs coming up and I have NO clue what they are. I'm excited to find out what they'll bloom into. The irises are coming to life, and they are such a gorgeous flower when blooming. They're giant ones, so their blooms are fabulous!

Back home I only had 1 Jacob's Ladder. My sweet friend JoAnn split it into 4-5 containers, and they all made it! Sakes alive those are hardy plants! I'll have to either give them away or replant them around the house.

Then...I have some things that are coming up through the ground, and I haven't got a clue what they are. They're barely showing themselves, so it should prove to be an interesting spring, no doubt.

We went to Lowe's a couple of days ago because Fred had told me their garden center was packed! And packed it was! I have a lot of plants I want to get into my garden, but it's still a bit early to start trying to establish them. We're supposed to have a freeze this weekend. I'm actually going to have to cover my little plants! But, at Lowe's I got a couple of variegated hostas. I can't wait to get them in the ground. I'll definitely wait until next week.

In the next week or so, the electric company will be coming out to mark our yard for digging. We'll be putting in a fence, but even more than that, I'll be getting a spot ready for a vegetable garden! I've got a LOT I want to plant in there, too! So much exciting stuff going on outside our house this spring. I can hardly stand it!

What's your favorite flower?

Mama’s Losin’ It

The Prompts:
1. List 6 hot topics being discussed on your Facebook page right now.
2. Write a blog post inspired by the word: garden
3. You have one wish…what do you wish for?
4. Share 7 gifs that best express how you’re feeling today.
5. Write about the last thing that scared you.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Gifts For The Lady In Your Life Giveaway

If you've seen my posts the last two days, you know that I was getting ready for a giveaway! What's great is, the Lugz Zrocs and PJ Harlow pajama set are perfect to give as gifts to the ladies in your life: sister, mom, or friends! Don't you hate scrambling for a last-minute gift? We have the solution for you! You know what they all love, so if you have these tucked away ahead of time, you'll be ahead of the game.

Welcome to the Gift Closet Giveaway Hop, an event sponsored by Savings in Seconds. Each participating blogger wants to help you save time, money, and a little sanity by stocking your gift closet! Just hop to all the participating blogs for your chance to win great family-friendly prizes. Be sure to enter the Grand Prize giveaway, sponsored by Pfizer. Good luck!

I'm giving away a pair of Lugz Zrocs (RV $59.99) and PJ Harlow Set (RV $152) to one lucky winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: The Gift Closet Giveaway Host & participating hop bloggers are not responsible for sponsors or self-sponsoring bloggers that do not fulfill prizes.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Get Into Your Pajamas With PJ Harlow

Pajamas are one of those stables in a wardrobe that I feel like I could never have enough of. I used to have the most wretched pajamas. It was pitiful. Everything mismatched. Quite sad, to be honest. Now, that I've realized how much I love matching sets, and ones that are made with quality in mind, I'm in love with pjs!

I reached out to PJ Harlow to because when I came across their selection, I couldn't believe how wonderful they looked. Now, the hard part was, letting my daughter review them, instead of getting them for myself. I can't be jealous of my daughter, though, right? lol She's way cuter in photos than me anyhow!

First of all, let me give a shout out to PJ Harlow for being Made in the USA! This is such a big thing for me! You pay more, but you support industry here in our country, and it makes me feel SO good about what we're purchasing.

Brieanne was sent the Mona Elastic Waist Knit Pant and Lucy Oversized Rib Sweatshirt to try out. Ok, I'm secretly jealous. She's an XS in pretty much everything, so the color that was available was the black. Not an easy shade to take a photo of. Sorry that you can't see the details of the ones she actually got, so I'm going to show them to you from the site first.

We like to do modest with our clothing, even our pajamas, and the Lucy/Mona combo gave us exactly that. When I talked with Brieanne this morning, she said they are "so comfy and soft!" Exactly the way I like my pajamas. I know it's going into warmer weather, and they have the Mikel, which is a satin drawstring short, as well as the Jolie which are satin capris.

Here's my girl in the set she was sent. She cracks me up always doing her trademark thumbs up! I just had to throw it in here.

One of the things that I love are the sleeves. I've got long arms, but she doesn't. I don't think she minds because of those thumbs up. Finding long enough sleeves is pretty much the bane of my existence when it comes to tops! This Lucy top, I'm loving every part of it.

See the scrunch by her wrists? Doesn't it make your heart go pitter patter? If you have long arms, you get me.

The pants fit her perfectly. These Mona pants have an elastic waist. I also love the Jordan with the fold over top. I think those are the adorable. I'm also a gal who has a long inseam. These would be a touch short for me, but since they're pajamas, and I'm only at home in them, that would totally be ok. I'm one of those people who likes her bottoms skimming the ground. I think it stems from all of the high waters I had to wear growing up. lol First world problems, eh?

I love that PJ Harlow describes their loungewear as "buttery soft knits." Who wouldn't want those to sleep in or hang around the house in? Have I mentioned I'm jealous of my daughter? lol I've decided that the first set I want to get is the Norah & Jordan! They'd be in Morning Blue.

Guess what's also fabulous about these pajamas? I'll be giving away a pair tomorrow! Be sure to get a jump on it by following PJ Harlow on their social channel of Instagram.

What is your favorite thing to lounge around in?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Getting My Kicks With Lugz

I don't know the last time I got new sneakers. It's been quite a while. Do you remember when you were young, and you got a new pair of shoes? Were you anything like me, and thought you could run faster? I have no idea where that came from, but that was my most favorite part of having new sneakers, running faster. Oh, and the fact that they were stark white!

Earlier this month, I reached out to Lugz to see if I could review a pair of their shoes because I kept seeing them in ads everywhere, and wanted to get to know their shoes better. I actually only thought they did boots. Turns out they have much more than just boots. They agreed to send me their Zrocs!

The Lugz got here a few days ago, and I'm loving them. No, I haven't tried to see if I can run faster. I'd probably sprain an ankle or throw out my hip. HA! They are gleaming white, and fit perfectly! My size is somewhere between a 7 1/2 and an 8, so they sent a size 8, and it was definitely the right choice.

The cushion on the inside has made wearing these so nice and comfortable. Then there's the cute, metallic "L" inset on the outside of both sneakers.

For the Women's Zrocs, they come in three color options: white/raspberry, white/mulberry, and white/yonder blue. There are even Men's Zrocs. I have fallen in love with their Tallulah Hi winter boots. I know, I know, we're just out of winter, but they're so fabulous! I also am head over heels for their Laurel suede slip-ons. Now, they probably wouldn't stay in my closet for long, because my oldest daughter loves these kinds of shoes. In fact, she'd probably live in them if she could.

Now, here's the exciting part, on Saturday, I'll be giving away a pair of these sneakers in a wonderful giveaway! Be sure to check it out, and enter. Please follow them on their social channels as well: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

What were the last new shoes you bought?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Kohl's Cares For Easter

Have you started putting together Easter baskets yet? Have you even started thinking about them? You know you have less than a week right? If you're anything like me, it's no sweat. lol You work best under pressure.

My boys are older, so I don't do baskets any more, but get them Easter outfits that make them even more handsome than they already are. Yes, I'm a mom who loves to brag about her kids.

On that note, one suggestion I have is to make a non-candy Easter basket. A great place to do that is at Kohl's. They have something for everyone! They reached out to me asking to share about their Kohl's Cares Spring 2016 Collection. My mom and I love the Kohl's Cares line. They're collected throughout the year, and she has them for the kids who come with their families to mom's annual Christmas party for her co-workers.

Kohl’s is offering books from renowned author/illustrator Leo Lionni and soft toys priced at just $5 each, with 100 percent of net profit benefiting children’s health initiatives nationwide.

The Kohl’s Cares collection is available at all Kohl’s stores nationwide and on now through early April.

Can you believe how adorable these are? These came today, and my youngest son, being on spring break, went outside and took some pictures for me! He's such a little helper! The chameleon and frog are bright and soft. The books, will make a wonderful gift!

What non-candy are you planning to add to your child's Easter basket?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Summer Fun Giveaway Sign Ups

If you are a company or brand who would like to take part in the event as a Grand Prize sponsor please email me at:

Andersons AngelsThe More The Merrier, and Woven by Words are hosting the “Summer Fun!” Giveaway Hop from June 12th at 12:01 am EST thru June 28th at 11:59 pm EST! If you're a blogger, be sure to add your blog name to the linky below! The Summer Fun Giveaway Hop is free, but there will be a $25 prize minimum. Don't have a prize, who can't use a gift card, so that counts, too!

Summer Fun: What says summer to you? If you can dream it, you can review it! Reach out to companies who fit a summer theme or have a summer product, and get them to work with you! Some ideas: beach blankets, lawn games, coolers, bathing suits, and more!

Check out our guidelines:
  • Each blogger is responsible for securing their own prize and running a giveaway 
  • You can have more than 1 winner, but please make sure each prize group is a minimum of $25 worth of prizes. 
  • You must add the linky for the hop to your giveaway. We will be hopping through everyone's posts to make sure everything is done completely. We'll contact you to make sure you remember to get your post up, or if something isn't right. We want everyone to succeed! Not posting required information will result in you being removed from the event.
  • Once your giveaway is live, please email the direct link to your post so that it can be added to the linky. Remember, if your post isn't up or correct, it's affecting the next person in the hop.
  • We would love it if you would share the sign up post, as well as put the button on your sidebar! It will help everyone in the long run. The more we get to sign up, the more traffic, the more we can do in the future! More, more, more. And more is good, right? ;) Put social media to work for you (and everyone participating).
  • DEADLINE : Sign ups close on June 8, 2016. Details will be emailed by June 10th or you can grab it in our Facebook Group anytime! If you have any questions about the event, we're available to help!
  • Have a question you don't want to ask in the group? Email us at Trista:, Kay:, or Mimi:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring In The USA Giveaway Event

Hooray! Spring is officially here! That is good news to my state of mind. I've been waiting for the grass to grow, and bulbs to pop through! It's our first year in the new house, too, and that means a lot of newness!

Spring dresses, baking with windows open so the neighbors get jealous, and lots of cooking with my new tools. I want to share that my excitement with you in our Spring in the USA event! All of the bloggers in our hop are giving away items made in the USA!

I'll have two winners! Winners will be random, and I can't guarantee you will get the prize package you'd like.

WINNER 1: $50 Gift Certificate to Via74

WINNER 2: Kitchen tool set $50 e-gift card to Earlywood & Beehive rolling pin to Vermont Rolling Pins

After you enter my giveaway below, be sure to click through to the next blogger and enter their giveaway as well! Have fun, and happy spring! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Vermont Rolling Pins & A Pie to Honor My Friend

When I was in my early 20s, and my girls were wee ones, my sweet friend, Jan, taught me how to make a pie. I'd had her pies at our small group, and various other occasions, and they were wonderful. She was like a big sister to me, so one day she had me over with my girls, and I learned how to bake an apple pie!

Miracle of miracles, it came out amazing. Beginners luck, eh? Turned out, I could consistently make good pie crusts! I couldn't believe I had done so well to make the pies! She was such an encouragement to me. She even had me convinced I could sell them to people. Don't think I didn't give a good long thought to it. Of course, I didn't think anyone would pay money for a homemade pie. Guess I should've considered it a bit more!

As I got older, I started collecting items that made pie making more enjoyable. I had a Pampered Chef party, and bought a pie shield and pie server. So long tin foil lining and forks for removing a piece of pie. I had a rolling pin, but the ends kept coming out. I had never really looked into getting a newer one.

When my girls were old enough, I taught them how to bake pies so they could enter them in the County Fair. They got some great ribbons with their pies! It was so wonderful to pass that skill onto my girls. To watch them bake pies made my heart happy. I hope when they have little girls they'll pass on their skill of baking pies.

Now that I'm in the new house, I can FINALLY bake again! It's been almost 2 1/2 yrs. As I was looking for a new rolling pin. It was time for me to get one that would be around for a long time, and maybe even be one I could pass down to one of my grandchildren. I reached out to Vermont Rolling Pins, a made in America company, to ask if I could review one of their rolling pins. If you're a baker, or a baker at heart, you will melt when you see their rolling pins.

Is it possible that something as simple as a rolling pin could make you long for a new kitchen? I can wholeheartedly say, "Yes!" Ok, so maybe not a new kitchen entirely, but to redecorate it so I could have a wall for rolling pins. Plural.

I decided that the Beehive was too beautiful to stick in a drawer, so I bought the hand forged hooks as well. I knew I couldn't display it like I wanted, it would have to go under a cupboard, but it had to bee seen. It's that gorgeous. Once we have our peninsula installed (hint, hint honey) I plan to hang a column of rolling pins! That way they become heirlooms that can be given to my one day grand babies!

To go back to baking pies, wasn't as easy as I had hoped. One of the things Jan taught me is dough can be finicky. The weather/humidity can affect the dough. Today, when I was making my pie, for the life of me, I could NOT get the flour/salt mix to hold any moisture. I definitely added too much water, but if I hadn't I wouldn't have been able to make doubt balls for the crust. GAH! There was no happy medium.

I could also tell as I was rolling out the dough, that it was way too stiff. Thankfully, the Beehive has a great weight to it, and I was able to roll it out. It wasn't easy to say the least. It's clear I'm going to need to work on my crust making skills.

Since I hadn't been to the grocery store recently, the only fruit I had lying around were frozen strawberries and raspberries. They had to do. lol Oh, and I must've left my dough sheet back in Minnesota. I was disappointed I wasn't able to find it. I'll have to get a new one, although most of the time I just used flour on the counter.

Mixing the berries together made me think of all the pies I used to make back when the girls were young. I loved taking them to the berry farm, picking raspberries, and making pies. Those were some very special days. I hope we can find somewhere to pick berries around here! Heck, I'm hoping my raspberry bush that we brought from MN will grow. Guess who isn't holding her breath?

The best part of baking a pie, aside from eating it when it's finished, is the house smelling like something yummy is baking! I was so anxious to see how it was going to turn out!

It looks great, but have to be honest and tell you the crust is too hard, much like I expected it would be. I'm used to my crusts being flakier. And I mean golden, buttery flakey. I guess that just means I have to keep trying. I think my next pie will be apple. We have a group of young adults coming over on Thursday, so I'll have to try it again.


Like I said earlier, I bought the hand forged hooks and I also got the bee oil to take care of it. See, I wasn't kidding when I said I want this to be an heirloom! Vermont Rolling Pins also has a countertop stand, and there are a couple other options of displaying them vertically.

One of my favorite elements of their rolling pins is the option of personalizing them! YES you can do that. It's totally a thing! Imagine giving it as a gift! It's a special feature that only leaves a hint of the personalization. I'd actually like to get my next one...probably the Monster, to have the name Noble Est 2015, on it!

They're not limited to rolling pins! They have serving tools, rolling pins for children (still rolling pins, I know), and a pasta roller. There's even pizza tools!

Now that you've been introduced to them, it's time to follow them, and enter my giveaway tomorrow! Check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

What do you have that you consider an heirloom?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Earlywood Utensils

Have you ever wanted to grab all of your mismatched kitchen utensils, and throw them all away? Start over with ones that match? I never have until this week. I was sent a set of Earlywood's utensils for review, and have fallen in love. This is NOT an exaggeration. You won't understand what I mean until you've held them in your hands.

As I was looking for companies whose products were made in the USA, I stumbled upon Earlywood. If you're anything like me, you see a product, think it might be nice to introduce yourself to them, and see what you think once you experience them. I can't begin to emphasize how far off the mark I was. I was happy that they agreed to work with me, sending me the Trifecta and Long Server. I was head over heels when the box came.

I pulled them out of their wrapping, and they were smooth as butter. The Earlywood name is imprinted on each piece. Just holding them in your hand, you KNOW you've got a quality utensil that you will use pretty much every day.

Keep in mind as I describe what I received that each of these utensils is available in each variety of wood. The ones I received came in each variety so I'll be explaining the ones I received.

This Terra Scraper is made of Mexican Ebony. It looks black in the photo, but it's just a very dark wood. This piece that I received seems to have blond and red highlights. It's much heavier than you expect, and feels completely solid in your hand!

At first I couldn't decide which utensil to use first. I was literally deciding on recipes based on the utensil. The Trifecta has the flat sauté, scraper, and spreader. I also received the Long Server. Where to start, where to start?

I killed two birds with one stone by making a cheesy potato soup that called for bacon as a garnish. I cooked the bacon using the flat sauté. Can I just tell you, breaking these in was really hard simply for the fact they are all so pristine! This utensil is made from the jatoba wood. This is going to probably be my go-to item of the kitchen.

From there I made the cheesy soup. I used the long server through the sampling and scooping of the soup. Don't you just love the color of the bloodwood? Whatever you do NOT tell Earlywood that I left it in water...Read their wood care page, and you'll find in every point they mention NOT leaving it in water. Shoot me now! Guess who won't be making that mistake again.

I haven't had a chance to use the scraper or spreader. The spreader is a gorgeous hard maple. This handy little kitchen tool will probably be my most versatile one! Having only had these a couple of days, we've been going, going, going, I'll just have to keep planning on different uses to experience them all. I know they'll be part of our every day cooking. Getting rid of what we've been using all this time won't even make me bat an eyelash.

Not only that, I've already started making a list of all the items I want to fill my kitchen. I'll have to slowly work Fred into my list because I could easily tell him to go to Earlywood, and just get me one of everything! I've already decided I'm going to get my brother the tasting spoons for Christmas. Yes, it's far away, but those are something he and Lora will love!

Be sure to follow Earlywood on their social channels: Instagram, Facebook, and check out their Pinterest page. On Sunday, I'll be giving away a $50 gift certificate to their site, so you better start looking at what you want to win!

What is your go-to kitchen tool?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Paint Night With The Ladies

You've seen them all, right? All the ladies getting together to paint an owl or a street lamp? I'd seen them, and thought it would be fun, but truth be told, I never wanted to paint either of those things. Where would I display such a painting? lol

Our women's ministry for church was doing a fund raiser for our mission trips that are coming up this year. I waffled back and forth on whether I wanted to go or not. On one hand, I wanted to hang out with a bunch of ladies. On the other hand, it was $40. On the one hand, it was for missions (of which I'll be doing one). On the other hand, did I really want to paint? Decisions, decisions.

Obviously I decided to go or this post probably wouldn't exist.

The thing that put me over the edge of deciding to go was that they were painting a male and female cardinal. Cardinals are my favorite bird. How could I say, "no"?

I wasn't sure I was going to know anyone at the event. I showed up just to paint. Then familiar faces started showing up, and I was thrilled. I sat near one of the young adults, and then across from me one of the gals from a Bible study we just joined. She kept cracking me up throughout the whole night. One of the ladies to the right of me was on our mission team last year. I met a lady named Regina, and she was delightful to paint next to.

Let's get down to the business of painting. So, we started off with a blank canvas. Novel, eh? The instructor had everything set up when we got there. She also had 2 assistants. We began by mixing our first color to make the background color. We then determined where our cardinals would be. After our BB8s, er cardinal bodies were, then we painted the background.

I haven't painted since high school, and my mom used to go on and on and on about how great I was at art. I kid you not, she probably STILL has a cougar picture I made in high school on her work wall. I knew I wasn't going to do such a great job, but once I had the cardinal bodies circled, I realized it was probably going to be worse than I thought. lol My birds weren't as big as I had hoped, but c'est la vie. Nothing I could do about it at this point.

I have NO idea how this is going to look like the original painting that's supposed to be our example. Needless to say, the entire process had several of us in stitches. Jessi was sitting across from me, and her faces kept cracking me up.

So, when it came to blending the colors...first, I ran out of space on my paper plate. lol I had a hard time blending colors. The instructor was doing a good job. I was just really critical of the colors. hahahaha Of course, I also think literally. Her female cardinal was very yellow. Female cardinals are more of a flesh/cream color. I wanted to follow the instructions, but my brain convinced my hands to go a lot lighter. Hey, they were supposed to be "our" conception of the painting, right? lol I was making it mine.

The crest on my male cardinal turned out "meh", but the female one...hahahaha the highlighting and crest did NOT work out so well. I kept trying to fix it, but it just kept getting worse. Do you see the dark green spots that could be the female's feet? somehow I ended up with a line of yellow there. No clue how I did it, but thankfully I had some left over from the earlier painting of the background. I think at this point, we were all getting a bit critical of how our birds were turing out. =)

This is the finished painting. My branches ended up looking more like lilac petals than cherry blossoms. I just started going nuts with the paint brush. Once I realized my flowers weren't looking like cherry blossoms, I plopped my paint brush all over the place. It was a bit freeing after following all of the directions over the past couple of hours. Now I look at it and realize having gone more towards a lilac, that the flower clumps should've been a bit bunchier.

I was glad to go back at the end and try to "fix" areas that I was unsatisfied with. Adding white to my female cardinal was hard because the yellow was still wet through much of the painting, and every time I tried to add white, it just became yellow again. lol In the end I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Have you ever painted with a group?

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.