What makes a Happy Home? I love to take care of my family. For me, creating a home that is warm and inviting, where everyone feels welcome is pure joy! The smell of fresh laundry just in off the clothesline, a neat and tidy home and garden, a good home cooked meal, a few desserts here and there, the love of family, friends and fellowship all help to make our home a Happy Home. Join me as we celebrate the holidays, the birthdays and the every days!

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm late to the party...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

Congrats to our Fireman!

He is living the life he imagined! Our Fireman was given the Fireman of the Year award today! I dug out this photo, added the text - it was perfect for his card. We are so proud of him!
 Love my big hair?!! LOL!!

Sorry that I've been incognito for these past 2 weeks. I haven't been feeling well and just barely getting through my have to's - like going to work. Hopefully this flare-up will pass soon.

Tomorrow is Saturday - so glad that it's the weekend. The weather has been beautiful - mid 80's and low humidity. Love it!

Hope that you have all been well! I'll be around to visit soon. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Blogland Tour Continues


Jann from Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen contacted me a few weeks ago asking if I'd like to participate in a Blogland Tour.  Of course I said yes!
flowers 2

The moment I happened upon her blog I felt as if I knew her. Jann shares her life and stories from the heart. Her gardens are so beautiful - both the flowers and the veggies.


She loves to go junquing at thrift stores and hit yard sales. I love seeing the treasures that she finds! It would be so fun to go together! She also hosts Share your Cup Thursday - a party where you share things in life that make you happy. It's also a great place to meet new bloggers.

Now a little about me...

What am I working on?

Well I've always got some sort of craft project going. 

I just finished our nieces scrapbook for graduation (of course I forgot to snap photos of it before giving it to her). 


 Since, The Old Parsonage will be turning 100 in just 2 years there are always home projects going on here. 


Last year it was painting the back porch, and this year it's the front porch (still haven't started it yet).



See the floor? Ugh!

How does my work differ from others?

My blog started because of my love of Christmas. I found a group of women who had blogs dedicated to my favorite holiday and they encouraged me to start a blog. At first, that's all I wrote about because yes, I admit it - I think about Christmas and prepare for it all year long:)


But then my little blog started to evolve. I began to share more and more about our daily life and it led me to where we are today.


 I love to craft, cook and take care of our home - The Old Parsonage, as well as dote on my precious family! I also work full time as an account executive at an advertising agency, so there's some creativity in my life at all times.

How does your writing process work?

You know me, I'm a list maker from the get go. I have a list of blog topics that I try to snap photos of during the week - this dictates the content for the upcoming week. I always try to use my own photos. This way I know there won't be any problems. My favorite topic to write about is my family - they are my world. I'm so blessed to have the family that God gave us. 


If you've been here awhile then you know that I also love to cook and bake, so you'll find quite a few of those kind of posts too.


There are also a lot of photos and posts from around The Old Parsonage. Our home is my refuge and it makes me happy to clean and decorate it - just like my intro states  "For me, creating a home that is warm and inviting, where everyone feels welcome is pure joy!" 


I was asked to choose a few friends (fellow bloggers) who would like to continue the tour. I know that many of you are busy and really can't commit the time, however the following two ladies have agreed. Here's where I'm going to break the rules...if I didn't contact you and you'd like to play along, please feel free!

Jeanie has written The Marmelade Gypsy since 1998, writing about travel, art, creativity, food and life in general. Retired after 32 years in public broadcasting, she's finally having all the time she needs to create mixed-media art, catch up on her reading, enjoy travel with friends and family and time at her northern Michigan cottage. I first met Jeanie while doing a swap (handmade tags) through Karla Nathan. Jeanie is such a joy to get to know. Her blog shows her love of family and friends. She is a talented artist and a world traveler (I'm jealous).

Jill from Bella Rosa Antiques worked in the televisions industry as a writer/producer for 16years. She married the love of her life and is now a wonderful Mommy to her sweet Bebe girl. Jill buys and sells antiques both on-line and in person. I'm in love with everything she has listed in her shop. We are kindred spirits in our love for vintage treasures! I wouldn't want to part with any though (wink).

Please pop over and visit their blogs. Their tours will be published on August 4. I'm sure that you'll love getting to know them.

Thanks again Jann for inviting me to play along!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Rudolph Day and Christmas in July!

Happy Rudolph Day everyone! I'm so glad that it's Friday and it's a gorgeous day to boot. My kind of summer day - temps in the low 80's, low humidity and a cool breeze this am. Last night I made a double batch of chocolate chip cookies for our niece's graduation party tomorrow. Tonight I making a few batches of peanut butter cookies too. It's hard to believe that she's off to college in the fall.

Late Wednesday night I decided to make her a scrapbook. I poured through all of our photo albums looking for candid shots. I have all of her school pictures in the same picture frame - those were easy to find. I have all of her school photo pages done, now I just have to do the candids and the front and back cover. 

When our little Texans were here they thought it was funny that I had Christmas decorations sitting around in spots. I told them that the magic of Christmas is in you heart all year and these are just little reminders. So, what am I doing for Rudolph Day? I have to work today, but I do plan on designing our Christmas cards on Sunday. I may play some Christmas music or watch a Christmas DVD (not that it has to be Rudolph Day for me to do either of those) tonight while I bake. We'll see...

If you are new here and wonder what Rudolph Day is click here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A day trip to Valley Forge

There were a ton of day trips while our Texans were here. Our Fireman's Flame wanted the kids to have fun, but also get a little educational time in too.

Valley Forge National Park was first up. There used to be a ton of deer roaming around and they started to cause major problems, so they had to cull the herd. Can you pick out the one in the woods above?

Our little Texans got to see log cabins that soldiers stayed in (they are all 20th century reproductions).

It was a gorgeous day for walking around and sight seeing.

Can you imagine sleeping in these types of conditions in the middle of winter waaay back then?

I love the park. It has a fantastic walking/bike trail and is a great place to take the kids for a picnic and a little history lesson.

What kind of historical places are around you?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wisdom from a 90 year old - not really she's in her 50's

I love these little pearls of wisdom from Regina Brett...

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5.. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

At the museum

I had a meeting last week at the Michener Art Museum. It's in Doylestown, PA in the cultural district, directly across the street from the Mercer Museum.

Both of the buildings are gorgeous - love the stone work. I walked around the grounds to see the Steve Tobin exhibit.

This picture is deceiving, the sculptures are huge!

You can get a sense of scale in this and the following photos. Can you see the wall and building in the background?

I love seeing the diverse exhibitions that the Michener offers visitors. Remember the Grace Kelly exhibition that I told you about? That is my all-time favorite!

Speaking of favorites...this is my favorite sculpture from this exhibit. It's so cool. Look closely. Can you see the individual letters? It's cast and bronze. 

Do you go to museums?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Monday and a Weekend Recap

We had a wonderful weekend. Mr OP got up bright and early to go fishing, so I got up and started my day early too. I was at the market and home by 8 am. Woo hoo - I still had the entire day ahead of  me. I like to plan a week's menu at a time so that there aren't multiple trips to the market during the week. It saves so much time by planning the meals ahead of time. Not only by not running to the market every few days , but knowing what we are eating and preparing things in advance if we can.

I did some much needed deep cleaning around The Old Parsonage. I moved furniture around in the living room and brought down a coffee table that we had stored in the attic for a few years. It took a bit of wrestling to do it by myself, but I did it! Not sure why I waited until the temps reached the 90's to decide to bring it down, but it's here now. I have new curtains for the kitchen that I've been wanting to hang for a few months, but need to paint the woodwork in there first. That's on my to-do list for next weekend.

We were running low on laundry detergent so I got out the zote soap and my handy-dandy Cuisinart (not just for food) and went to work. This is so much faster than how I used to hand shred the soap using an old-fashioned box grater - which works, but takes forever.

If you are interested in making your own here's what you'll need.

  • 4lb box of Borax
  • 4lb box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  • 4lb Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
  • 3 Bars of Fels-naptha/Pink Zote or Ivory Castle

 You'll also need a big bowl or container to mix it in. Pour all your ingredients in the container and then grate the (3) bars of soap. I love to use my Gram's yellow ware bowl to mix mine in. She would have loved knowing what I was mixing up! Yes, I know this photo shows Fels-naptha - it's an old photo, so are my other soap photos. I didn't snap any this weekend of my laundry making efforts. I was more in the moment than thinking about taking a photo.

Choose a storage container with a tight fitting lid to keep out moisture. You'll only need to use 2 tablespoons per load. For a little over $10 we'll have laundry detergent that lasts about 6 months. I do about 6 loads a week on average, but then there's the additional spring and fall cleaning when all the curtains and other linens in the house are washed. Oh yeah, it smells wonderful too!

I did manage to sneak in a bit of junquing too. This booth was just gorgeous (photos above too).  The display and colors made my heart go pitter pat - such soft and romantic colors. The dishes are calling my name. I didn't buy any, but there's always next time!

What about you? What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

All Souls Trilogy

   You know me and my love affair with shall we say teen/fantasy literature and TV shows -Twilight, Charmed, Vampire Diaries, etc. Well when Vicki from Life in my Empty Nest mentioned the All Souls trilogy I just had to check it out.       

We both love Outlander by Diana Gabaldon so I thought for sure that I'd love these as well. I was immediately drawn into the first book, it had witches, vampires and daemons, plus an added historical charm that I just love. Speaking of the Outlander series the newest book is due for release soon and so is the new Starz series - can't wait for both of them.

The Book of Life is the last book in the All Souls Trilogy and it's due to be release next week. I'm all set for the rest of my summer reading with these 2 new books and a few magazines that I've been hoarding. I love to read out on the porch with a glass of ice water or a diet coke over ice with lemon, as long as there is a breeze. If there isn't a breeze then I'm in the house.

So what have you been reading this summer?
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