Everyday is Awesome

I KNOW! Two posts in ONE DAY!!?? Is it true?
It soooo is!

I just wanted to pop back in and say how much I really enjoyed today. Sure, the bulk of it was spent writing the blog post this morning. And, it was nasty outside all day. But, after lunch I took some time to get dinner started in the crockpot and then make some granola.

After that, I got some basic chores done, posted a pair of earrings in the shop, and read some blog posts. Pat joined me in the living room and read his e-book. We sat like that, the two of us is almost utter silence (other than tweetdeck popping up occasionally) just reading. The wind and rain stormed outside while we sat cozily in our house. It was super.

Dinner (if you really want to know) was some Scalloped Potatoes and Ham and the Granola is SO EASY!

OH, and here are the earrings I listed earlier
Drops in the Fountain Earrings

Anyway, I got such a contented feeling this afternoon from the silence and dinner being taken care of and enjoying the simple things like reading together and a good meal that I just had to share! I hope you also get a chance in this busy season to enjoy the awesomeness of the simple every day.

Pushing Myself

It feels as though I've been a bump on a log for WEEKS.

However, I know that's not true. It's just the Holidays. There's always SO MUCH to be done and simply not enough time to get to all of it. I know your list is probably out of control as well.

My focus the past few days has been getting the house in order. I'm doing a pretty good job of it too,  even with the weather being all dreary and overcast. I clean and organize MUCH BETTER when it's bright and sunny outside. Instead, it's so gray and ugly that the streetlights are STILL ON at 11 o'clock in the morning!!

Unfortunately, since cleaning and organizing has been a priority, it means creating has taken a back seat. Don't get me wrong, I have popped in the craft room a bit as well as received a few orders over the past week or so and am really happy about that. But I haven't necessarily been productive.

I NEED to be productive, though. Especially since TODAY is the day those first items I listed in the shop will expire. There's still six of them left. (It's the bottom six of the ones in the sale section.) If you are interested, remember that these items are marked down by at least 20%. I'm not sure when Etsy will take them off the site, but the expiration date is today!!

As far as the business side of things goes, I FINALLY ordered some business cards last night. It's something I knew from the beginning I would need, but have stalled and stalled. I really wanted a unique design, but that'll have to come later. For now, I just need the cards. I've got all kinds of friends and family that have asked for them so they can hand them out and thus help me out. Now I can't wait for them to get here!

Another item was added to the shop, and it's one you've seen before. . .the Lorelei Necklace is now available for purchase.
Lorelei Necklace
Yes, this is the exact same necklace I made for the Lorelei Jewelry Challenge quite a few weeks ago. It's a beaut!

Since I really do have a nice long list to get done at the house, let me go ahead and share some links and be on my way.

~*Craft Links*~  Topic: well, let's get started on the Christmas/Holiday links!
And now for some random links that you might find useful/interesting (I did!)
 Now it's back to the grind!

A Little Something for Everyone!

As I expected, last week was crazy. And, that crazy busy-ness bled into the weekend. Here's the rundown if you're interested. If you're not, scroll on down for other topics. . .

Wednesday I tired myself out with a two year old for nine hours
Thursday was a half day with the same little princess. Then a wine tasting fundraiser event. THEN, midnight Harry Potter.
On Friday I slept SUPER late since I didn't get to bed until after 4AM!!! We went to a middle school dinner theater that evening (close friends' daughter was in the production) before heading out for Margarita Friday!!
Saturday I hit some yard sales (no luck), cooked, did Thanksgiving with the in-laws, watched football, shopped, dined, and saw Harry Potter again.
On Sunday, I was adamant about what I wanted to get done. [See, on Saturday morning I had read this blog post that touched on the subject of geocaching. It wasn't long before I had searched online for caches in our area, downloaded the geocaching.com app to my phone, and made Pat agree to try it out.] So, on Sunday afternoon we went out for a only little over an hour because we had all kinds of other tasks we wanted to accomplish at home, but I can't wait to go out hunting for caches again! I think I'm hooked!

All in all, I've enjoyed the craziness, and I know it's just the START to the holidays. There's lots more to come!

I do have a meal plan for this week and keep going back and forth about whether to share it or not. Right now, I'm going with NOT. It's Thanksgiving week and many of my meals are repeats from last week (because of the craziness meals were not consistently made.) If you do want to see the menu, leave me a comment and maybe I'll share it tomorrow. Maybe.

Even with all the stuff I've had going on, I did take the time to list a few items.
Crystal Dictionary Bracelet
Pearly Presence Earrings

*~Crafty Links~*
Topic: Purse (these are either bags that can be made or items you might keep in your purse!)
 Now for some Made Me Smile Monday links
That's it. . . I hope. It's taken me forever to get this written.
Remember to check what's on sale in my shop. Many of those items will be disappearing next week. Hop on it!!

Eye Candy All Over the Place!

It hit me last week that in two weeks time, the first items I listed on Etsy will be expiring. I think I might have mentioned this. I've been pondering what to do, and for now I don't think I'll be renewing them. Instead, I created a SALE section in the shop and placed those first items (as well as the Halloween ones) there. All the items in this section (so far) have been marked AT LEAST 20% OFF. Some of them have been marked down even more. Here's a sample of some of the items that are in the for SALE section.

Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Turquoise Necklace
SOLD!! Copper Prism Earrings SOLD!!
All Things Bright and Beautiful Bracelet
Desert Waves Necklace
Of course, this is just a few of the items I've placed on sale. You should head over there and see what else is marked down. Please note that the items that are NOT Halloween will be expiring in less than two week's time. So if you want something, you better snatch it up now!!

In addition, I added a two new pairs of earrings to the general shop:
Modern Lace Earrings
Just a POP of Color Earrings
There are PLENTY of other items from which to choose in the CraftyHope Etsy Shop. Head over and check it out!

If you're here for some fun links or Crafty Links, I'd hate to disappoint. Here we go!
*~Crafty Links~*
Today's topic is . . .Home Decor
Now some random links just for fun!
I hope I've met everyone's needs for today. If there's something you were looking for here and didn't find it, feel free to let me know!
As a reminder, the remainder of my week will be a little crazy, so my posting may be spastic.
Now, go look at those SALE PRICES!!

    Meal Plans Really Do Make My Weeks Less Crazy

    I've got a crazy-busy week planned. Today is pretty much my only 'free' day. And, I got a late start on it to boot. However, my main priorities consist of making a meal plan, shopping for it, and sharing it. I've got the first two handled, let me get to the third.

    Please remember to visit I'm an Organized Junkie for more Meal Plan Monday ideas!
    Here's mine for the week:
    B: Cereal
    L: Bean burritos, apple slices
    D: Garlic-Lemon Mahi, Cauliflower gratin, long grain and wild rice

    B: Pumpkin bread
    L: Mini-pizzas
    D: Chicken & mushroom Alfredo, broccoli

    B: Cereal
    L: Hot dogs, baked beans
    D: Chili with rice

    B: Muffins
    L: Tuna Noodles, fruit
    D: Stouffer's lasagna

    B: Cereal
    L: Sandwiches
    D: Margarita Friday

    B: Bacon, eggs, toast
    L: Leftovers
    D: Slow cooker scalloped potatoes with ham, corn

    B: Banana Bread
    L: Grilled Cheese, soup
    D: Pioneer woman fancy mac-n-cheese, green beans

    Since I'm trying to get some things accomplished today, I don't have one of my own recipes to share. Maybe I'll share my chili recipe later in the week. Let me know if that's something in which you're interested. I know everybody has their own recipe, but I really do like mine.

    Now that the menu for the week is done, my week does feel a tad less chaotic. It's a plan!!
    Anyway, off to get something done. . .maybe.

    Too Many Ideas Often Leads to Low Productivity (for me)

    My mind is spinning this morning.
    I have so many ideas, so many tasks I want to accomplish, so many directions I want to take. The problem is, when I have this many options I tend to avoid ALL of them and do something else entirely. Yeah, I can be scattered like that.
    This picture has nothing to do with the blog post, I just like it! :)

    So, what are these options that have me so bewildered? Well, if you must ask. . .
    ** I want to do another giveaway, but first I need to finish making the item(s) to give away.
    ** I need some more pictures for this blog
    ** I have some thrifty purchases and revamps that I want to highlight here
    ** There are some designs in my head that I want to play around with
    ** NINE of the items in my shop will be expiring at the end of the month, and I don't know how I want to handle that. . mark down? renew? try another venue?
    ** I need to take some more pictures of the items I do have completed
    ** My feed reader is out of control
    ** There are so many more that it's pointless to waste time and list them all here

    Now. . . where do I start? I want to take pictures, create, write blog posts, research options, etc. My typical response to having to make a directional decision is to go shopping. Yep, avoidance!!! But. . . I think I'm going to face the music today and really try to bust out the work.

    I guess that means I need to finish up this blog post in a hurry.
    Let's see. . .since I blogged last, I listed two new items in the shop
    Zebra of a Different Color Earrings
    Bright Beauty Necklace

    *~Crafty Links~*
    The 'theme' for today is JEWELRY!!!
    • Craft Gossip's Needlework section shares some images of Smocked necklaces. I know nothing about smocking, but these are definitely inspiring!
    • The folks at Whip Up have a fab tutorial on making a layered felt flower brooch. The possibilities with this are endless!
    • If you've been hanging here long enough, you know how much I love to incorporate buttons into my jewelry. This layered button necklace as shared by Martha Stewart's niece is pretty cool too.
    • While I don't buy fabric for sewing, I do buy it for trying out projects like this one. Intended as a way to recycle fabric scraps, these braided necklaces are just too cute for me to wait for SCRAPS!! I don't sew near enough for that!
    Before I head out, here's some fun stuff for your Friday!
    • Check out this funny church sign. Oh, it's not the message that's funny, it's the name of the church!
    • As a student of psychology, I love this comic that makes fun of Pavlov.
    • Lastly is this video. I like movies where dancing is involved (at least older ones: Footloose, Dirty Dancing, old musicals, etc. . not the Step it Ups of today) In any case, this video is pretty rad!
    Time to hop on that to do list like it's a grenade!
    Happy Friday ALL!!

      My Time in the Sun

      I'm sure I've mentioned it a time or two how MUCH I dislike the time changing. I'm quite a fan of lots of sunshine in the afternoons. I understand that most people don't like to wake up when it's dark. I don't like to either, I just sleep until it's light outside. Okay, okay . . I know that's not an option for everyone. However, I have to let you know that I don't feel half as creative after dark as I do while the sun is out, bright and shiny. So this whole taking away one of my hours in the afternoon is just BS!!!

      Okay, that being said let's get on to the rest of this post. Since I'm back from my mom's I'm trying to get back into my routine. Of course that won't be sticking for long as I'll be spending a hunk of next week taking care of one of my best friends' little girl while her daytime caretaker/grandmother is recovering from foot surgery. That is, after I take the youngest niece to a doctor appointment on Tuesday. I really should take the opportunity I have this week home to bust out some jewelry. Maybe I should get to that now. ..

      First though, let me share the bracelet I listed the other day.
      Key to My Heart Bracelet

      For some crafty links today, here are ones I've labeled as Accessories:
      Lastly, how about some Wild, Wild Web Wednesday links and such
      • Here's some interesting takes on Disney princesses.  WARNING!! These Disney 'twisted princesses' seem to be in comic book form are not the sweet and innocent princesses you know. The girls in those pictures are much more sinister.
      • Weird job interview answers. I know that some of the questions that are asked in job interviews can be pretty unusual, but these answers are just bizarre, especially if you really want a job.
      • Check out this five-year-old singing "Folsom Prison Blues"
      That's all I've got to share today. Now I'm off to take advantage of the sunshine (and time) while I've got it!!

      Resuming My Regular Schedule (Meal Plan for Nov 8-14)

      I'm back home again after the long stint with the nieces. I'm not sure I learned anything about being a parent, but I did learn that I am usually a lot nicer person when I get plenty of sleep in my own bed (not on a couch.)

      Of course, after waking up at 5:30 each morning and then having the time change over the weekend, I was able to easily pull myself from my own bed this morning. I hope this trend continues. I wouldn't mind it at all.

      I started the early(er) morning off with some laundry and meal planning.
      While I've yet to clean out the fridge and finalize my grocery list, I figured I'd go ahead and post my meal plan for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie. I'm glad to get back into the swing of things.
      Here's my plan for the week:
      B: Cereal
      L: Turkey & cheese quesidillas, salsa, fruit
      D: Hope out with friends, Pat on his own

      B: Muffins
      L: Chicken salad sandwiches, fruit, yogurt
      D: Ham and Potato soup, bread

      B: Cereal
      L: Hot dogs, baked beans
      D: Turkey fillets, mac-n-cheese, corn

      B: Breakfast burritos
      L: Soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
      D: Ham and Broccoli cheesy casserole (recipe below)

      B:  Cereal
      L: Tuna Noodles
      D: Margarita Friday

      B: Banana bread
      L: Mini pizzas
      D: Grilled chicken, red potatoes, green beans

      B: bacon, egg, toast
      L: Bean burritos, fruit
      D: Fish, cauliflower au gratin, long grain and wild rice

      So that's the plan for this week. Let me go ahead and say that we had a rotisserie chicken last night and some of that will go into the chicken salad for Tuesday. As well, I made a crockpot ham several weeks ago which I sliced and diced and froze. This will help make my potato soup as well as the ham and broccoli casserole below. I'm just trying to be frugal and use what I've got. One half of a ham makes QUITE a few meals and sandwiches for the two of us. The ham seems expensive when I buy it, but by the time we eat it all, it feels like it was nothing. So worth it!

      Ham and Broccoli Casserole
      1/2 C Mayonnaise
      2 C broccoli florets (fresh or frozen, thawed)
      1 1/2 C Shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
      1 1/2 C Chopped ham
      1 1/2 C Corkscrew noodles (cooked and drained)
      1/4 C Milk
      Seasonings to taste (I add granulated garlic, a dash or two of dill, salt, and pepper)

      Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
      Mix all ingredients except 1/2 C cheese
      Fill 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with mixture
      Sprinkle remaining cheese on top
      Bake for 30 minutes

      The actual cookbook I got this from calls for red or green peppers, but I get heartburn so I've never added them. Instead, I use herbs and spices to give the recipe more flavor. You can pretty much add anything you want I suppose. I like the garlic and dill though.

      It's time for me to get the rest of my chores and grocery shopping done. Let me know if you've tried any of my recipes and how you like them. As well, please check in for other meal plan ideas over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

      Sleepy Hope Doesn't Equal Crafty Hope

      So far this stint with the nieces has been exhausting. And, it's not even them that has me so tired. I just couldn't sleep last night. I might just pass out in a bit. . .maybe . . .hopefully. I did take a short nap this afternoon and that energized me, briefly. The girls have been exceptionally good (minus a few small, tiny, minuscule outbursts. . . of course as I try to write this, they are both popping out of bed like toast in a toaster.. ON FIRE!!!)

      While I just couldn't get into the groove of creating anything today, I TRIED. . .I really did. I pulled out collage materials, beads, buttons, and wire throughout the day and nothing seemed to stimulate that creative nerve. Instead, I wrote the descriptions for the jewelry pieces I have completed and even listed TWO pieces. These:
      Rosy Glow Bracelet
      Breathe Luxury Necklace
      Pretty huh?
      S'alright, I need to go threaten two girls with their lives as I can still hear them TRYING to whisper to each other. G'night!

      Prepping to Help with the Nieces

      "Corpse Bride" on the left and a "Kimono Princess" on the right"
      So Halloween's over now. The nieces had a nice time trick-or-treating with their dad. They got just enough candy to satisfy them, but not so much that we'll be throwing it out in two months. I got to hang out with Mawmaw to hand out the candy and check out all the other costumes. It was a night evening overall.

      Meanwhile, my mom and step-dad have taken off on a cruise for the week. They were even going to dress up for Halloween on the ship. My mom decided to go back to her roots and do the hippie-thing. She even requested that I make a few accessories for her costume. My step-dad was simply going to wear this t-shirt.
      This is the leather headband and LOVE necklace that I made for Mama's costume. 
      Since Mama and Danny are on the cruise, and the girls' dad has to go back to work offshore on Tuesday, I get to move in with them for the rest of the week to help out with homework and school transportation. As such, I'm finking out on the Meal Planning again this week. I have talked to my grandmother and know that we will most likely have tacos at some point during the week. Other than that, I'm flying by the seat of my pants since I don't really know what all my mom has stashed away in her freezerS.

      While I am going to be over there all week, I don't know what my posting schedule will be like. They don't have wireless, so I'll be working from an air-card most of the time. Of course, I also don't know exactly what I'll be working on yet since I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what of my supplies to pack. I've known this week would be like this for MONTHS and have seriously been trying to figure all of it out in that amount of time. You'd think I'd have a plan by now. NOPE! Instead, I have a general outline for what I need to get done today. It looks something like this.
      I. Clean
        A. Wash clothes
        B. Clean out litterboxes
        C. Load and run dishwasher
        D. Clean bathrooms
      II. Pack
        A. Clothes
        B. Electronics and chargers
        C. Craft supplies
      III. Errands
        A. Bank
        B. Store

      And, that's it. That's my day today. Fortunately, I got pictures taken and edited of everything I currently have made. So, I can spend some time this week writing descriptions and listing them, hopefully. I know the girls will keep me busy in the afternoon/evenings but while they're at school I'm hoping to get some work done. I guess I'll be getting a taste of parenthood this week. It'll be interesting. I think it's the early mornings that have me worried the most. I'm NOT an early riser by any means. I've already toyed with just staying up all night working and then napping while they're at school. It could work. . . maybe.

      For now, let me try to get back on a regular link posting schedule. First, some crafty links. The theme for today's link? Crafty Home and Garden:
      And now for a few Made Me Smile Monday links to round things out:
      Okay, I've wasted WAY TOO MUCH time getting this written and really need to hop on getting some tasks accomplished from that vague outline. I'll be back when I can. Wish me luck!

          Bead Box 18 - Reveal

           Hey y'all! I'm popping in to share the completed jewelry pieces that came out of Bead Box 18 . I've actually already stocked an...