Friday, April 22, 2011

Strange Pregnancy Symptom?


  So, for those of you who don't know, I am expecting my fourth child in July. However, this is only my second pregnancy, so I am still kind of on a learning curve on the subject. For the last couple of months, I have been feeling, almost constantly, as if I am breathing in cigarette smoke. I have never smoked a day in my life, and my husband doesn't smoke, either. No one is allowed to smoke in our home. Could this be some odd pregnancy symptom? The last time I experienced this was when I was pregnant with my daughter. It only happened a few times with her, but I know that every pregnancy is unique.  Has anyone out there ever experienced this?

What strange pregnancy symptoms did you have? Do you have any funny pregnancy stories you would like to share? I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker Hop

Do you enjoy using your slow cooker? I have decided that I need to use mine much more. Let's explore the GBP Slow Cooker Hop together. Then, come back here, and let me know which is your favorite. Looking forward to your comments!

GBP Slow Cooker Recipe Hop  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thank You!

    I want to send out a big "Thank You" to everyone who viewed my blog and left me a comment during the Ultimate Blog Party 2011! If you haven't heard back from me, you will soon. Things have been extremely hectic around here the last couple of weeks, but I hope to get back to each of you, and to blogging very shortly. Stay tuned for more...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011


The Ulitmate Blog Party has begun! You can join me at the party by clicking on the link above. You don't need to have your own can just show up and read what others have to say!

If you're new to my blog, let me tell you a little about myself:

My name is Brandi, and first of all, I am a child of the King. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 15 years. I am a stay at home mom to three girls, and our first son is due to arrive this summer! I have varied interest, but my passion is crafting and home decorating. I love making things for my girls and my home. That's basically what my blog is, friends, faith, and anything else that's on my mind. This summer, I plan to launch my new business making boutique clothing and accessories for girls. You can be among the first to know when this happens by following my blog!

Feel free to leave me a comment. I look forward to meeting you!

~ Brandi ~

Friday, April 1, 2011

Some of my Favorite Things ~ Country Sampler Magazine


  I love so many different types of decorating styles, and I try to incorporate them all in my home in some way. But I think Country Sampler Magazine combines my favorites the best. Country, Primitive, Americana, Colonial, it's all there. You'll even find a few splashes of Cottage and Shabby Chic. 

  Any time I get my hands on a copy, I have a special ritual. First, I get a cup of tea or another beverage I enjoy, find a cozy place to sit, and then begin to flip through the pages quickly, to see what catches my eye first. Then, I go back to the favorites and pour over them, looking at every detail. There are great articles and decorating hints in the magazine, but those usually have to wait. The first order of business is all about the decorating eye candy! As I'm looking at each page, I try to think of ways to recreate the ideas I see, using what I already have in my home. I don't think I have ever looked at an issue of the magazine that didn't inspire me in some way. Finally, I read the decorating tips and articles about the homes and their owners. Eventually, I will tear my favorite pages out of the magazine. I have file folders dedicated to each different type of room. I sort the pages and file them away for the next time I need an extra dose of inspiration, or have a corner that needs to be filled. I have to be careful not to look at this magazine before bedtime, or the ideas swirl around in my head so much that I can't sleep!

  What is your favorite decorating magazine, and how do you like to use it?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Some of my Favorite Things ~ FlyLady

Next on my "Favorite Things" list is the FlyLady system for home organization. What is a FlyLady, you ask? Well, she's a who, not a what. Her name is Marla Cilley, and she developed her system several years ago, while raising her son. Every day, Marla shows members how to declutter, organize, and ultimately, eliminate the CHAOS (that's Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) in their homes 15 minutes at at time.

  I discovered FlyLady a few years ago, before I had children. I was a homemaker, and if I do say so myself, my home was always spotless, thanks to FlyLady's system. Fast-forward about five or six years, and three (soon to be four) children later ~ ~ ~ I wish I could say my house is still always spotless, but that just wouldn't be true. Now, when I need peace in my home the most, I frequently "fall off the wagon," you might say. However, it's nice to have a plan in place when the CHAOS becomes too much.

  One thing I want to mention about FlyLady's system is that she sends LOTS of email reminders throughout the day. I have never really minded this, except for when I have been unable to check my inbox for a few days at a time. I have seen many people get really worked up about this, though. They see it as nagging, or as some kind of reminder of their own mothers being demanding and overbearing. This is not FlyLady's intention at all! She created this approach to home organization, or "home blessing" as she likes to call it, out of necessity. It was trial and error until she found what worked for HER. Now, she kindly shares her gathered information with members as a way of helping them to get started in developing a system that works for them and their unique lifestyle. There are tips for all kinds of different life situations (i.e. pregnancy, with toddlers, working mothers, etc.) on the website.

  Another note about the email you may receive upon signing up with FlyLady: There is an option in the settings section to switch to a daily digest, or even no email at all. You can choose to have the website be your only source of information from FlyLady.

  Want to know more? Click on the photo, and it will take you directly to the FlyLady website!

So, I've shared my favorite home organization tool with you. What is your favorite?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Some of my Favorite Things ~ Gooseberry Patch

Hello, all!

    The first two posts from my blog are actually from last year. They were moved over from another blog. Now, it's time to get this blog rolling! Since this blog is about all of my favorite things, I figured I'd start with a series called "Some of my Favorite Things." Catchy, isn't it? ;0)


                                                                                                        I don't know if you're familiar with this company, but I absolutely adore Gooseberry Patch! I have been an admirer, window-shopper, customer, and all-around cheerleader of their products for several years.

    On their website you can purchase calendars, organizers, and cookbooks with old fashioned charm, wonderful illustrations, and some of the best recipes I've ever tried. Many of the recipes have become staples around our house, and  I have had the honor of having my own recipes published in three of the cookbooks.

    It's not just the products I love about Gooseberry Patch, but the people as well. The founders of the company, Vickie and Jo Ann, make it very apparent that they truly enjoy what they do...and the service is second to none.
    There are many ways to connect with GBP. You can become a fan on Facebook, connect with Twitter, subscribe to their blog and eLetter, and watch their YouTube channel. Once you get connected, there are contests going on all the time in which you could win one (or more!) of their popular products. They even have a whole section of "free goodies" on the website, which includes buttons and badges, like the ones I've used here, desktop pictures, free recipes and ebooks, and much more!

  You can take a look at the GBP website by clicking on the button above. Let me know what you think...I would love to hear from you!

Living the Abundant Life

Lately I've been thinking about what it means to truly live the abundant life that God has planned for me. I know that He does not want me to spend my life so wrapped up in the mundane details of the day, or restentul because of past hurts or failures, that I miss the joy of the journey. If I want to really live, rather than just survive, I have to realize that each day is a gift and take it as it comes. The trials in life are part of the gift, because they have lessons to teach. I must learn to bend with the trial, instead of allowing myself to be bound and broken by it. As for the daily details, they are just not as important as we humans tend to make them out to be. While it is necessary to keep things clean and to pay the bills, and to do all the other "stuff" that life demands of us, those are not the things that we will remember in the end. To me, living the abundant life means that at the end of the day I can answer "yes" to questions such as, "Did I cuddle and play with my baby today?" "Have I let my husband know how much he means to me?" "Do my kids know that I am proud of them?" "Did I forgive the person who hurt me?" "Did I forgive myself for the mistake I made?"

Let me end this post with my favorite verse of scripture. I think it sums up what I am talking about.
    "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."    Jeremiah 29:11 ~ NIV

My Own Little Corner

"In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be..."

  Those are the words sung by Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella as she daydreams about the adventures that might have been, and that she hopes might still be one day. She imagines going to Africa, Japan, and Peru, and dreams of being everything from a milkmaid to a mermaid. She even dares to think of what it might be like to fall in love with the prince. As long as she stays in her corner, her imagination will let her do or be anything.

  Much of my life has been spent the same way, wishing for this or that, hoping my dreams might come true. In the end, however,  I was still in Cinderella's pun intended...wishing. I have since realized that the journey of making my dreams come true begins in my corner, but shouldn't end there. I really CAN be whatever I want to be. I am an adoring wife to my handsome prince, and a stay at home mom to three beautiful princesses. Our castle isn't really palatial, but it's ours, and it suits us very well. I also have a business creating magical clothing, accessories and gifts for other little princesses. Above all, I am a daughter of the King of Kings, and through Him, I can do all things! (Philippians 4:13)

  Faith, family, friends, and fun ~ these are the things that are important to me. You will find them all my own little corner.