family (10) giveaway (4) gumption (28) home (10) June (3) Local (10) monday mashup (3) nurse (1) outside (1) Restoration (6) style (17)

December 10, 2013

and the winner is....

Thank you so much to those of you who entered the yarn wreath giveaway! We have a winner!
Erica repurposed an old milk crate as a wine rack/storage! So gumptious! 

 Disclaimer: Because I know all of the entrants,
 I had friends of ours who knew no one select the winner.

Have a happy day everyone!

December 2, 2013

small business saturday and a giveaway!!

Happy belated Thanksgiving and beginning of the holiday season!  I don't know if anyone got out there on Saturday and shopped at any local businesses, but happy Small Business Saturday!! 
To celebrate, I'm featuring a small business close to my heart, my sister, Erin's, homemade wreaths!  She used to sell them out of a small shop in our hometown, 
but now only does custom orders as they come in.  

 The wreaths are primarily yarn-wrapped, so they offer more of a cold, wintery look to them.  So, because of that, the holiday season, and because Small Business Saturday just passed, I would like to offer one of these wreaths at no cost to one of you (including shipping)! 

Here are a few samples:


**The winner will get a choice between the beige striped wreath
 and the blue wreath with maroon flowers**

To enter, just leave a comment below about the most creative way you reused something or the most "gumptious" item in your home.

The winner will be picked next Monday, December 9!

Aaaand as a bonus, if you are interested in having one custom made to match your colors or as a gift for someone this holiday season, let me know, and I'll connect you with Erin.
They are $25 and shipping is FREE to all gumptious readers!

**happy December and thanks for stopping by**
**good luck**


November 22, 2013

accessories, part 3: hand warmers

In another attempt to expand my warm winter wardrobe (prior projects here and here), I decided to "scissor" another thrifted sweater and make a pair of hand warmers!
I started with this 100% wool sweater...

Brody wanted to help.

I simply cut the sleeves off and cut a small hole for the thumb. 
BUT....the sweater sleeve isn't snug enough to stay up on my forearm...

So I bought some multicolored yarn (also for a flare of color!) and stitched the yarn into the "cuff", tailoring it to fit my arm.  I also stitched yarn around the thumb hole because it had a very unfinished look to it.

And then, because I didn't want to just stop at fitting these sweater hand warmers to fit, and finishing the thumb hole, I decided to add a little femininity to the look by throwing some yarn-stitched flowers to the front of the hand warmers!


 Good thing these hand warmers are done tonight-
 it's supposed to be in the 20's and snowing on Sunday!!

*have a fabulous weekend*


November 17, 2013

she's 60!

A few weeks ago my mom had a big birthday, 60!! For such a momentous birthday for our mom, my sisters and I decided to take her to Baltimore, MD for a weekend out. We stayed at a hotel in Inner Harbor and enjoyed a weekend of eating fresh seafood, shopping, and enjoying each others company with great conversation and loads of laughs.
It is weekends like this that refresh my soul and recharge my batteries.
These women remind me exactly who I am and exactly who I want to become all at the same time. 
Some highlights:

 ^federal hill^

#thankful for family
#Happy Birthday Mom
#had a great weekend
#thanks meryl for the pictures


November 13, 2013

life lately

Well, I am finally sitting in the couch with warm soup belly (any How I Met Your Mother fans out there?) catching up on various blogs, websites, social media, and news.  I really love doing this.  After about a week or two of not having the time to actually sit and meander around the world wide web it feels so great.  
I haven't had much to write about lately, and frankly, I haven't really had any time to work on projects.  That's a lie- I am knitting a deliciously warm woolen scarf that I can't wait to add to my "I just moved north and need as much warm clothing as possible so I'm not miserable this winter" wardrobe!

And so, because I don't have many projects to share, I'll show you in pictures and write in words about what has been going on in this little corner of the world.

1. Our house in North Carolina is under contract and in the process of selling! This not only means that we are cautiously ecstatic, but also that we are starting our search process for a new house and we are talking about it 24-7! We can't wait to see what is next in store for us.  I'll keep you posted!

2.  Hypocrisy, thy name is.....
Yes, I dyed my hair to cover the grays....
not ready to be gray...
to see my thoughts on this 6 months ago, see this post.

3. Even though it is quickly turning in winter here, fall is hands-down the best time of year. I have really enjoyed the tastes, sites, and smells of the fall this year.

4. Yoga has been a integral piece into my sanity this fall. I've done yoga sporadically for the past several years, but when you live near such great resources to encourage you, it's hard not to get hooked.  The instructor at the local community center in Ohiopyle where I go once or twice a week was featured this week in the paper (HERE)!

Other than that, we are busy for a lot of other AWESOME reasons and I couldn't be more blessed this fall!

**hope you are doing well**

October 31, 2013

how do huck and brody like southwestern PA?

After about 7 weeks here, we are learning to love our surroundings. I couldn't be more blessed with a gorgeous drive to work through the mountains, we live about 45 minutes from Ohiopyle, the great town of kayaking, yoga, and friends, and we have endless hiking trails around the give us and the boys some good exercise! It's a wonderful place for our little foursome.

Here's a little taste of what the boys have been feeling about living here.

^huck is a blur of excitement^

^can we go out again?^

Aaaaand one of the best days of their life....they got to celebrate their friend, Bruiser's, birthday! 
Not only did they look so cute in hats, they got a cake (homemade for pups) too!

^i love this^
(Thanks Mandy and Sherpa for hosting and thanks Colleen O'Neil for the pictures of the party!)

*be well- thanks for stopping by*

October 29, 2013

hands free mama blog and work-life balance

I am going to direct you first to a new blog that my dear friend, Lauren, recommended to me. 
Reading this woman's blog and her ideas of life and how we ought to be living it speak a lot to me, and I appreciate so much her writings and her intentions to bring her children into a world in a way that says no to expectations, thoughtless living, overuse of electronics, and to-do lists.

Today I am thoughtful about my time away from work. Sometimes I feel like my life is split between this type-A nurse that is so busy she hasn't peed in 8 hours, and this person who sleeps in a bit, lies around lazily with the dogs, reads, runs, does yoga, crafts, blogs, and spends quality time with loved ones.  I think I try so hard to not be so rushed and relax on my days off to balance the crazy work days.
And I feel more thoughtful today because I don't like to live such a dichotomous life. And because after today, I work the next 7 in a row, and that thought leaves me admittedly a little melancholy (but please don't misunderstand, I enjoy my job, it can just be a little exhausting. And I imagine I'm not alone in these feelings towards my work?)
So I'm asking these questions today:
What if I could take some of that peaceful presence into my work life? 
What if I didn't "save" all my enjoyable activities/hobbies for days off? 
What if I changed my perspective about work to be one
 that remembers that this profession is one that I chose? 
That I'm good at? 
That I am honored to be doing?
I work in a very fast paced emergency room in southwestern PA.  In any 12 hour shift, I may have the opportunity to meet 15-20 patients of all various ages and complaints.  There is definitely a spectrum of hygiene and health knowledge, and I enjoy (mostly) trying to connect with each person, even the most uncooperative and unappreciative of them.

Those days may require more energy and of course I am at the mercy of the patients and the flow of the ER that day.  But doesn't each day, whether at my job or at home or wherever, deserve the same amount of respect going into it?  And isn't what we do with our time outside of work that influences our energy, intention, and ideas going into the work we do?

I am thankful for my work today. 
And I am really thankful that I'm still in my pajamas with a cup of coffee, too.
I read a Bible verse this morning, Micah 6:8, that continually speaks to me about how I believe we are called to live, and I am trying to remember that verse as I think about my life, my work, and what I do with my time.

what do you do to maintain a good work/life balance?

**And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.**

Micah 6:8

October 24, 2013

tips of buying (or not buying) other people's stuff

Let's be real here.  There are just things that you should not buy secondhand for various reasons.  I've done a lot of secondhand shopping in my day, and I can tell you from experience that I've created a little list of things I refuse to buy so I just sail right past those racks.
Here's a little list of said items:

1. Undergarments. Of ALL kinds. Bathing suits, Underwear, Pajamas of any intimate nature, like Lingerie-
Believe me.  I'm a nurse.  I've seen a lot of people...intimately....don't do it.

2. White shirts.  Unless they have the tag still attached,
they are almost surely sold with starchy, yellow thanks.

3.  Anything un-washable in HOT water with detergent. This rule most often applies to hats and purses...if you don't know where it's been, nope.

4.  Work-out gear.  Let's not share sweat...

5. Electronics.  I am all for saving money and not having to have the best, newest thing when it comes to electronics, but I have not had much luck with any kind of electrical items, except for a few lamps that were already LIT in the store.  Most likely the items were donated or sold for a reason.
6. Lastly, if there is anything I am looking for specifically that I need in a timely manner and don't have time to really peruse the aisles of Goodwill, such as a dress for a wedding, I will scratch secondhand to make sure I can get what I need in time.  

 Anyone else have any advice or rules you follow when shopping secondhand?

**thanks for stopping by**

October 14, 2013

the bird that started it all

 As a kid, I always loved art class- making things, coloring, doodling cartoon characters in middle school, painting the worst self-portraits in high school (I still have one and it's so bad!). 
 I suppose as an adult, I still have that desire and need to be artistic, to use my brain in that way.  Often, I think, as a woman, it comes out in style- how I present myself, what I wear, colors for my nails or the style of my hair. But every now and then, the need to be artistic can only be satiated by a paint brush and blank canvas. Since I don't have an art studio in my house (or a house right now!), these times come so rarely.  It's really not a big deal to get my art box out and unpack some paint, but perhaps because it is so outside the realm of my usual activities, it doesn't happen often.

A few years ago, I had one of those "I need to do something artistic" days.  I unpacked my paint, squeezed the colors onto an old plate, and looked at the blank canvas, unsure of what I would actually paint.  I think I had seen some silhouette paintings somewhere and liked them or remembered them, but somehow, I came up with the idea to just paint a plain black bird on a bright blue background. 

It didn't take long, maybe an hour or two, but I decided that I really liked the outcome! I love the blue background, and the simplicity of the bird. The little painting has been transitioned from room to room throughout our old house, fitting whatever mood I had for the room in that season.  There's always been a good place for it.

This bird painting, as simple and unimpressive as it is, inspires not only my artistic side and need for "artistic days", but also a drive to make things and be inspired. It's so nice to live in a day and age when I can drive to awesome stores and shop for really great decorations and clothes and things, but it's a nice reminder to remember that we have the ability to be creative and make things that are custom to our individual styles.
 And I guess that has branched into this little blog hobby of mine.


So, this is the bird that started it all.

**happy monday**