Saying Good-bye To Bailey




If I had known that on that day our time was near the end
I would have done things differently, my forever friend.
I would have stayed right next to you deep into the night
but I thought I’d see you in the early morning light.

And so I said “Good night” to you as I walked in through the door
never thinking of the time when I’d see you no more.
But if I had known that on that day our time was at the end
I would have done things so differently, my forever friend.

– Sally Evans (written for Shoo-Fly)

Two weeks ago, we had to say good-bye to a very loved family member named Bailey.


We got her from a wonderful man named Al in North Carolina who owns and runs Trugrit Bull Mastiffs. His dogs are show dogs and champions, but we just wanted a loving, family pet and boy, did he deliver what we wanted.

She was born in January of 2007 and she came home to us in March of the same year. My boys were 5 and 3 years old at the time and I remember thinking she thought of them as her littermates.


Here they are meeting her for the first time…

I am so sad that she is gone…

She was such a part of our everyday lives and now there is an emptiness and loneliness and an aching that hits me when I least expect it.

I am kind of surprised at how much this is hurting me. After all, she wasn’t my spouse, or my child, or one of my parents. I knew she had a life expectancy of 8-10 years. I’ve had dogs my whole life and had to say good-bye to all of them. Yet I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to her. She truly was, in my case, “woman’s best friend.” She was my whole family’s best friend.

She was there for birthdays…


She was there for first days of school…


She was part of every Christmas…


And the boys always had to snuggle with her before bed…


If we had a hockey tournament out of town, she went to my parents’ house and was treated like a queen and had their dog to play with…



And she went on every vacation with us and even thought she could take over the driving…



She watched as we left for school, or work, or practices, or just going to the grocery store…


And she waited patiently until we came home…


She was sweet and loving and loyal and true. She had a calm personality but was easily excited when family and friends came to visit. One of the things she always did when visitors she particularly liked came over, is find a sock from somewhere and offer it up to them; big, friendly tail wagging and knocking over things in her path.

She liked to play hide and seek with us in the house. We would hide and call out for her and she would search until she found each one of us in our hiding places. And then she would jump around with joy at having completed her task.

She loved to go for walks around the neighborhood and would prance and strut her stuff in her big, strong dog way. Strangers were always stopping us to ask about her and she always had a kiss and a wagging tail for them. I’m afraid she probably wasn’t a very good watchdog, I’d never seen her show any aggression toward any other dog or person. Instead, she just sniffed and wagged her tail at them. I’m sure if she felt we were ever in danger in any way, she would have been there to protect us.

She even knew how to tell time!-She ate at 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. every day and if I was even a little late, she followed me around with a little bark to let me know it was food time. She patiently waited for me to make the boys’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for their lunches and drooled until I gave her a lick of the butter knife.

I can’t even look at peanut butter without getting teary for her.

Her most favorite thing, the thing she was best at, was loving us.

In our busy household, she was always a calming presence, always ready to be hugged and petted. They say petting an animal releases oxytocin into the brain, the feel-good hormone that calms and relaxes a person. Sitting with her, her head on my lap after a long day, was therapy for me.

If my youngest son had a bad day, Bailey was who he went to first, speaking softly to her. Her answer was always licks to the face and a head on his shoulder. Then he was ready to talk to us about what was bothering him.

I miss seeing them playing together in the yard.

If my oldest son was frightened by something, Bailey was there to comfort him also.  Her presence was reassuring as he learned to navigate some independence at home.

I miss seeing them rough-housing together.

She waited for my husband by the door to come home from work everyday, excited to see him, and that now the whole family was home together again.

I miss seeing her greeting him home.

I miss the everyday moments with Bailey.

Like walking into my bedroom and finding this…


Or friendships being formed and secrets being shared, like this…


We all grew up together as a family…IMG_1324


And when our big, strong, mighty dog that loved with all her heart got sick and started to suffer without hope for recovery, we had to do what is the hardest thing to do…

We had to say good-bye.

All four of us held her and cried and told her how much we loved her as she left our world. She can now run free again, muscles rippling, sunlight gleaming on her soft coat. I know deep in my heart we did what was right and just for her. I could not let her suffer another minute.

But, oh, HOW I MISS HER!

We are slowly getting used to what is our new “normal.”

People ask me if we’ll get a dog again…

Not anytime soon, these hearts need time to heal, especially mine. Perhaps someday our home will be ready, but I really don’t know…she would be a very hard act to follow.



Run Free, my big girl, until we

meet again!

In Peace and Tears,



Hanging on to the Warmth and Sunshine a Little Longer


It’s Mid-October here in Chicago…

And you know what that means!!!!

It’s Hockey Season!

Whoo-hoooooo! Time for the excitement and heartbreak and stinky gear and adrenaline filled games and taxi-ing the boys to and from practices, etc.

Not to mention, watching the Stanley Cup Champions and screaming at my television because it’s become way too expensive to even attend an actual Blackhawk game…

Ok, seriously, that’s not what this is about at all.

~It’s about dreading what’s about to come~

The Chicago Winter

The older I get, the tougher it gets. All the snow and cold and worst of all, all the gray, cloud covered days.

But we had a few Indian Summer days here lately and it has been delightful. I just wish it would last longer. So I am sharing a little of that.

sunshine and birdsong

This summer, my neighbors moved to Florida and Gave my family their wicker furniture they couldn’t take with them. I made new cushions for it and some new pillows to go along with.


Perfect place to read a little and enjoy a cup of tea.


If you live in a climate like I do, you know it’s best to enjoy these days because it will feel like a very long time before they’re back!




Peace & Hockey,


Being Happy…

Think about what truly makes you happy…when your soul feels content and all is right in your world.

Would you be happy if you had a bigger house, a better job, a flashy car?

Would you be happy if you were famous, or thinner, or wealthier?

Let’s Be Honest

We are happiest when we are surrounded by those we love and who love us back!

I made a pillow to remind me of who loves me the most, to remind me that there’s a plan for me, for my whole family, and to trust.

I started out with a pair of dishtowels I found at Williams Sonoma on clearance for $3.99 each. Score!


I chose an embroidery design from Urban Threads and added the “I love you”.


Now, mind you, it has been MONTHS since I used my embroidery machine, AKA Marie, so I was a little nervous. But she fired up without any issues…Yay!!!


The towels were super easy to make a pillow from…they measured 16”x16” perfectly so there was no cutting involved. I just added a zipper enclosure and it was done! Super easy project, highly recommend even for beginner sewers. (There are lots of tutorials of how to install a zipper out there on the web, but I feel sew mama sew has some of the best.)

Finished Product


If you like this square towel pillow, check out my rectangular one here.

Never forget who loves you the most and who wants you to live a happy, authentic life.



Sharing at:

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Sugar Bee Crafts

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Adventures Await


Monday Fundays in the Summer

The first in a series of adventures that take place on Mondays in the Summer of 2015

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Summer is meant to be a time of fun and relaxation, iced cold lemonade on the porch, outdoor movies and sand between your toes…lightened schedules and vacations and sleeping in.

(Side note-my children NEVER sleep in. They are up by 6:00 a.m. every morning, rain or shine or snow, spring, summer, fall, winter. Doesn’t matter.)

Anyway, I decided that we should have something called “Monday Funday” during the summer. Something different, out of the ordinary.

Today, in our first “Monday Funday”, we all hopped the train into the big mid-western city that starts with a “C”, ends with an “O” and is the home to the Stanley Cup Champions. Now, we could have driven, but who wants to fight the horrendous traffic and find somewhere to park for only $50/day? This is supposed to be a Funday!  My husband, being the adventurous, handsome man that he is, took the day off and joined us, making it all the more complete.

First stop-train ride! Unbeknownst to me, children 11 and under ride for free all summer. Whoo-hoo! Why did I not know this? (Perhaps because I was too freaking busy all summer to pay attention to train fares…)

(Train fare- three adult round trip tickets=$11.00 each. One kid rides for free.)

The train takes us as far as the financial district downtown so we head southeast (I think), to the Sears Tower, once the world’s tallest building. (It will ALWAYS be the Sears Tower to me, so don’t bother trying to correct my ability to properly name architecture.)


After an hour wait in many lines, security check, and a pleasant little movie about the history of the Tower, we head into the elevator and race up 110 floors in about one minute to the Skydeck.

Beautiful views of the city and Lake Michigan!

View to the South, including the Museum Campuses


All the pretty little boats on Lake Michigan


View to the North


And Then…Holy Crap! Are you kidding me?


A Window Washer, 110 floors up?! My stomach did serious flip-flops watching this guy.


Ummm….I hope he gets paid really well for this job, because you couldn’t pay me ENOUGH!  And I also wish I could interview him for my series on Interesting People I Meet. I could use more people on this topic.

(Sears Tower Skydeck tickets- 3 adults, $19.50 each, one child, $14.50.)

After all the views from the sky, it was time for some lunch! Funday Lunch!

We decided to hit some of the food trucks that were lined up outside the business centers, ripe with Traders and Brokers, Bankers and whoever the hell else works down there in the Loop.

What a variety! And, tasty!


Chicago Beef and Cheese


Pizza, of course…


I had some sort of lemongrass chicken tacos with Srirachi  Sauce and a Coconut Water(-yuck-please don’t ever order Coconut Water. Tastes like warm milk and water.)DSCN3312

And my husband had a Thai dish with pork and rice and I don’t know what else was in there, (scrambled eggs?) but it was good.


(Food Truck Lunches- about $11.00 each)

Next we decided to hop on a water taxi and head up to Navy Pier. I love water taxis, they are so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend them. 

A little Ferris Bueller reference thrown in.


But seriously, it is a nice way to travel along the river and arrive at your destination. But for some reason, there were kayakers also. Ummm, yeah, not sure I’d want to kayak down/up the Chicago River alongside all the boats and ferries floating around…

(Four one-way water taxi tickets from Sears Tower to Navy Pier- Adults=$8.50 each, kids=$4.50 each.)

So we arrive at Navy Pier which is very crowded and touristy and almost feels like a suburban shopping mall. But we head out and grab some fresh lake air and watch the boats go by.

But first, we need some beverages because we are parched! McDonald’s it is. (Did you ever notice how McDonalds’ Cokes taste better than anyone else’s?)

(Four Cokes from McD’s that took more than 10 minutes to acquire-$6.50.)

“Sailing…takes me away, to where I wanna be…” Christopher Cross


There’s also a very pretty lighthouse way out there…How does one get to that lighthouse? Inquiring minds would like to know.


After much meandering and wandering, we decided we wanted to head back to the train station and go home. (We don’t have much endurance, do we?)

But we, meaning I, needed some Haagan Dazs ice cream. Rocky Road for me, oldest son caves and asks for Cookies and Cream.

(Two waffle cones with one scoop each=$16.00!!!) “Seriously?”, I ask the girl ringing us up. “I could buy many pints of Ben & Jerry’s for $16.00!” So she gets the manager and he knocks off $2.00 from our total. So, really- $14.00 for two cones. Am I cheap, or is that just really wrong?)

We hop in a taxi headed toward the train station.

(Taxi ride, in a real taxi and on a real street, including tip=$12.50)

We are just in time for the train to depart after a pit stop to Garrett’s Popcorn. If you’ve never had it, you are really missing something special.

I’m all about the Cheese Popcorn


 And home we head, bellies full and feet hurting, on our first Monday Funday of the summer.

Coincidentally, it is also the last Monday Funday because:

A.) I am broke, and

B.) School starts next Monday.

Thank you for taking part in the first and last of this Monday Funday Series!

But seriously folks, the memories are priceless!




I love these guys! All three of them!





Coming out of my Test-Taking Fog…


So the IBCLC exam is over…hopefully.


July 27th, 2015-the date that I had been dreading since I decided to try to take my career on a new course. All over the world, thousands of candidates were sitting for the IBCLC exam in hopes of a passing score.

I’d like to say I didn’t study that much for the exam, you know, in case I fail.

But the truth is, I worked harder than I had for something than I had since college. I studied very hard for many hours, read textbooks and made notes and then studied those. I looked up current research, used flashcards and even made my own quizzes on Quizlet. I poured over clinical pictures, protocols and case studies and probably did over 1,000 practice questions.

And with all that, I was trying to learn a new job in a new hospital with new co-workers and working more hours than I had since my first child was born…

My social life suffered-I turned down invitations to breakfasts, lunches, drinks, concerts, girls’ night outs…

My hobby life suffered-there was no sewing, crafting, embroidering, blogging, link parties, garage sales, furniture painting, estates sales or flea markets…Heck! I even put away Pinterest-very hard for me to do…

Most importantly, my family life was upended…my house was constantly disorganized, laundry was done in between study sessions, dinners made on the fly…

I constantly felt guilty that when I was studying, I should have been spending more time with my boys and my husband. I was stressed and cranky and not very patient at times. Many times.

With all this studying and preparing, I still walked into that exam very nervous because I had heard from previous test-takers that it was the hardest exam they had ever took. I’m not allowed to discuss test content, but I can say-They were right!

It’s not enough to just know the facts-you have to be able to apply them.  And because it is an international exam, it can become tricky. For instance, we have a tendency in the U.S. to think that our way of doing things is the only way-not the case.

With a nervous stomach, my heart pounding and sweaty palms that could’ve used some Botox injections, I took the train into the city and checked into my exam site.

When I read the first few questions, I felt like this-


As the test went on, I gained a little more confidence. It took me about 3 1/2 hours to finish…and when I did, I felt a lot of relief. It was over.


I walked out into the late afternoon sunshine on a busy city street and felt very discombobulated. I couldn’t figure out which direction to head toward. I actually shook my head back and forth to try to focus! I started walking west, I think, and heard all these footsteps running behind me. Confused even more (and a little worried there was something weird going on), I turned around to see my husband and children running toward me!

Best feeling because all I wanted to do was hug them!

Turns out my mom and sister and niece and uncle, my husband and kids, all planned to surprise me after the exam and take me out to dinner in the city.

How awesome is that!



I had an adult beverage to start with…


Can you blame me? (Truthfully, I really wanted about 10 of these but I do try to set a good example.)

After a great dinner with lots of laughs and pasta, I went home with a full belly and felt both mentally and emotionally exhausted, like I had spent the whole day crying. I couldn’t wait to go to sleep and just sleep peacefully without this exam hanging over my head like a big, black cloud.

I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

But then it happened—I woke up at 4 a.m. in an absolute panic, dreaming about the questions and how I answered them wrong. Trying to remember the wording and if I picked the right answer, trying to remember all the facts and data and wondering if I applied them correctly, thinking about all the sacrifices of time and money and energy that went into this and wondering if I just really  f*#%ed it all up.

Not  good feelings at all. Yucky, icky, stinky feelings of fear and dread.

I’ve been wandering around looking like this

upper lip baby

I won’t find out if I passed till late October/early November. That’s a long time to feel like s*!t.

So I’ve finally started to put on my big girl panties. It is what it is, there’s no changing anything now. I do know that I put a lot of work into studying for this exam and did the best I could. If I fail, it’s because my test taking skills were lacking, not because I didn’t have a head full of knowledge.


I learned so much in the past five months! You can’t take that away from me…and, I’m still helping mommas and their babies and I love it! That’s not going to change. So for now I just have to sit back and try not to focus on it.

Wish me luck!?!?



Saying Good-bye to the NICU after 20 Years…


Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

                                                                            “Closing Time” –Semi Sonic


Yesterday was my last scheduled shift as a NICU nurse.

For the past twenty years, the NICU was my professional “home”.  I never intended it to be…when I was in college, I wanted to be a Labor and Delivery nurse. That, I believed, was where I was meant to be. My clinical rotation in L&D was so exciting and wonderful and adrenaline-filled. New life coming into this world-it was a mostly joyous occasion filled with celebrations. It was hard to comprehend in those moments just before the birth that there was going to be another person entering the world who was created from just two separate cells 9 months before. One minute they are not there, and then one minute later~Boom! There’s another person on this planet.


But I couldn’t find a job in L&D after graduation in the mid 1990s. Everyone wanted “experience” and I didn’t have that yet. I was just a brand-spanking-new- idealistic nurse.

I was offered a job on a Medical-Surgical floor, so I took it. I had to gain nursing experience while waiting for that L&D opportunity to open up.

Yeah, needless to say, that wasn’t my cup of tea. Back in those days, we had nine patients each with one nurse’s aid for the whole floor to help out. I felt like all I did was hand out medications and change bed linens. I didn’t feel like I was ever making a difference in their lives. I never felt like I was making their lives a little easier, a little less scarier, a little more comfortable…who had the time to do that when there was blood to be hung, peritoneal dialysis to do on four different patients, medications to be handed out, charting to complete? I often left in tears because this career that I had worked and studied so hard to join was not what I had envisioned AT ALL.

And then a new couple moved into the apartment below me. The girl was a NICU nurse at a different hospital and said they had a few positions open and that I should apply. I had spent a day or two in the NICU in college during my Mother/Baby rotation, but it hadn’t interested me at the time because it looked so scary.  Truthfully, I was so unhappy at the current job that I did apply and got the job. I thought it would be another stepping stone to finding a job in L&D.

God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?

This “stepping stone” job became my passion, my love, my vocation, my “calling”. I remember walking into that NICU on my first day so full of nervousness, excitement, apprehension and fear. I had never even really changed a baby’s diaper before and now I was going to learn how to help a 500 gram, 24 week gestation infant live?

But I had wonderful nurses there to show me the way. They became my second family, my mentors, the nurses I wanted to imitate, to be like. They shared their knowledge, skills and “tricks of the trade.” After months of orientation, I was on my own.

But not really. If you work in a good environment, you are never really “on your own”.  There is always someone to refer to, to ask questions, to offer nursing advice, to save you from drowning during your shift. Everyone is there with one goal~to take care of the babies and their families as they go through such a difficult time.

And as time went on, I gained confidence and started loving it.

Every part of it.

The adrenaline pumping high-risk deliveries we were needed to be present for if the baby was preterm or distressed in utero…

The first stunning moments a parent sees their child for the first time, and he or she is connected to wires, IV’s, tubes and machines.. or gets to hold their child for the first time…sometimes they had to wait WEEKS for that moment…

The hard times when a sick infant gets even sicker and there is nothing you could do to help…

The good times when a baby who has been in the NICU for months gets to finally go home with his parents…

Seeing a family develop right before your very eyes, tentative at first because of all the uncertainty, but with time becoming more confident…

Developing relationships with the babies who are entrusted in your care…taking care of them like you would like your OWN child cared for if he or she were in the NICU…

Developing relationships with the parents who entrust that care to you…who have to leave their babies in the hospital while all they want is for their child to be healthy and home with them…

Having a part in something greater than anything I could explain…

I loved all of it.

But in the past two years, I have felt a new calling, a new passion, a new love that I would like to pursue.

I have taken a much greater interest in helping new moms and babies learn how to breastfeed. Again, this was not something I ever envisioned of myself doing as a career in the beginning, but now I do. Funny how things change and evolve, isn’t it? At first I tried to ignore it because I felt “safe” being a NICU nurse. It’s what I have always known.

But more and more I found myself enjoying this aspect of NICU nursing the most. I started reading more about becoming a Lactation Consultant. I took a week long course that earned me the title of  “Certified Lactation Specialist”.  I prayed long and hard over what to do, where my next step should be.

Am I scared?

Yes! This is a big change for me. Sometimes I feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff about to jump off and I don’t know if there’s a safety net there.

But I’m more afraid NOT to try.

A few weeks ago, I found this guy sitting on my couch…


It was exactly –17 degrees outside that day in the middle of February, but this guy was on my couch. How he got there, I have no idea.

But he symbolizes change to me. Beautiful change.

I had gotten an email from a recruiter on Linked-in. Out of the blue. He had seen my qualifications on the site and referred me to a position that was opening up. I forwarded my email to his contact. They called me in for an interview and I went and did my best. I was very impressed with the leadership team and really wanted the job! They called me for a second interview, a peer interview.  I was really nervous, but was myself and tried to let my passion show through.

In the end, they are awesome enough to give me a shot at working in the Lactation Department. I truly can’t wait to start.

When I was leaving the new hospital after getting my new I.D. badge picture taken, I passed by their outdoor atrium and spotted this…

metal butterfly

I had to take a picture of it.

I am excited to take on this new adventure, I am sad to leave the old one behind. I am thrilled I will still be able to work with mothers and babies, just in a different capacity. I will never forget how truly blessed I am.

butterfly quote



A Kitchen Towel by any other name…


Think outside the box once in awhile…


I feel like I say that a lot on my blog, but I like to take ordinary every-day items and change them into something new.

I was in Tuesday Morning the other day and saw some cute kitchen towels for a good price. I thought I could use them or improve them even more with a little creativity.


My first idea is my favorite…I took the black and white towels (3 in a pack for $6!!!) and made them into a pillowcase for my new bedding.


This is a super easy sewing project that literally took about 20 minutes!  If you could sew a straight line and know how to use your button hole foot on your sewing machine, you could do this.

All I did was sew two towels together (right side facing) on three sides, leaving a short end open for the buttons. Turn your case right side out and sew button holes on the outside fabric and coordinating buttons on the inside fabric.

I even used some super-cute vintage buttons I picked up from an estate sale long ago.


Seriously, how sweet are they? They are wooden with little arrows on them.

I inserted your standard pillow in it, buttoned it up, and it was finished!


I really like the stripes and the flowers but it really needs some sort of pop of color now. Like maybe a green apple color? Hmmmm……a project for another day.

With the white towel, I stitched out a cute reminder that spring is only one month away. (Please Hurry Spring!)


The hardest, most difficult project was a “bright” idea I got to try and make the orange towel into a handy-dandy make-up bag with some vintage linens added in. Honestly, it did not turn out like I wanted but, Hey! You learn by your mistakes…

It came out all lumpy and crooked and I almost broke my serger trying to sew it up all nice and neat.


It’s still usable, just not what I had pictured in my mind.

I had some orange towel scraps left over so I thought I’d make a little travel soap carrier/loofah.


Another easy thing to sew, and it could be embellished in many different ways. I think it would be really cute if it had a little rubber ducky embroidered on it or someone’s name or initials. Perhaps for a child? Hmmmm….another idea.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas. Now get your bad self sewing!



Sharing with these great link parties

Chic on a Shoestring Budget

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Fat Tuesday in Chicago


Happy Mardi Gras!


One of my favorite, favorite, favorite cities is New Orleans. When you visit there, it’s like visiting a city in another country. There are so many cultures, traditions, legends…not to mention the wonderful food and colorful people.

I’ve been to New Orleans at least ten times and every time is an adventure. My oldest brother lives there so I get to see the city from a local’s perspective, not so much a tourist’s perspective.

Well, today is Mardi Gras in NOLA, the culmination of many weeks of parades, parties, balls and celebrations.

Bourbon Street is a sight to be seen!


Mardi Gras Parades are one of a kind!

mardi gras parade

Each Krewe will host a ball, a black-tie event and the costumes are out of this world!


We don’t have anything like this in Chicago…not even close.

But we do have Paczki Day!!!!


Paczkis are incredibly delicious doughnut-like treats that bakeries prepare the day before Ash Wednesday. They are a Polish tradition and are melt-in- your mouth delectable mouthfuls of sugar, fruit and flour.

My wonderful friend Noreen had a bunch of us moms over this morning after we dropped the kids off at school.

Paczkis Galore!!!!


Chocolate Cream, Raspberry, Cherry, Custard, Apple, Apricot, Chocolate-Chip Cream Cheese filled….Yum, Yum, Yum!




So much sugar and goodness, we had to wash it down with some fresh made cappuccino made by Noreen’s husband.


Needless to say, I was a bit wired this morning!

But I did manage to continue my Fat Tuesday by making a New Orleans dish for dinner…

Cheesy Grits and Shrimp!

(I didn’t snap a photo of this because I was too busy shoving it into my mouth.)

And for desert, Bananas Foster with vanilla ice cream!


You know what all this means?

Fat Tuesday = Fat Kathy

Oh my!


To Mike Eruzione’s Mom…

My Blogging 101 assignment is to write from the prompt the “and all was right in the end.” I think this is a perfect example of that…in the end every experience could be looked back at and decided, “it all worked out in the end”.

Feathers and Dimes

My boys play hockey…

Travel hockey.  Both of them.  To make this even more interesting, they play at separate rinks and separate clubs.  Good times coordinating games, skills sessions, skating lessons, dry-land drills…

My younger is a Mite, the very beginning of competitive hockey, the first level, if you will. He likes to play.  He’s a natural skater, quick when he wants to be, tough on defense, sometimes assertive, sometimes not.  Depends on the day.

My oldest son is a Pee-Wee Minor…birth year 2001.  (Everything in youth hockey goes according to your birth year.)  He’s moved up the ranks a bit, playing on a travel team that competes in several states.  So far this season we’ve been to Nashville, St. Louis, Indiana, Chicago…

He loves to play.  He’s a natural too, but he works HARD.  He has at least 3-4 practices a week which includes ice-time, video sessions and dry-land…

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Valentine’s Projects Galore

The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone.–jane austen

Oh my gosh! No quote could ever be more true to me! I do not pretend to not know how blessed I am to have three (3!) “hims” in my life…my husband, and my two boys.

Most days I take this all for granted. Don’t we all sometimes?

But with Valentine’s Day approaching and being the crafty little crafter I wish to be, I’ve been perusing the internet for heart themed ideas. There is no shortage, let me tell you, and it can become very overwhelming.

So I put together some projects and links that look interesting, fun and tasty.

But first off, a little something from the lyrical genius of Bruce Springsteen that will get you in the mood. This song is beautiful, the words ever so true if you want a long and lasting relationship.

Now that you’re in the mood, how about some food? (Rhyming unintentional).

In my household, pizza is ALWAYS welcome!

Noreen from Picture the Recipe came up with this very cute heart-shaped pizza.


Cupcakes, pies and cookies are always welcome too!

Style Motivation has a bunch of recipes with beautiful pictures, but I like this one best!

20-Hart-Shaped-Food-Recipes-for-Sweet-Valentine-12Wouldn’t those be lovely to receive?

Ok…we need a pretty tablesetting…

Lemon Tree Creations came up with a tablescape I would definitely mimic.

Mason Jars Vintage Valentines? I'm in!

                    Mason Jars and Vintage Valentines? I’m in!

Printables! How could I forget the printables? There are so many wonderful graphic artists out there on the web that sometimes offer their printables for free! Yay!

Tatertots and Jello is one of my favorite blogs and this link will hook you up to some very cute projects and FREE  printables.

Like this one

from funky polkadot giraffe.

     from funky polkadot giraffe.

So now we have food, desserts, tablescape…what are we missing?  Hmmmm…..


(duh, me!)

Whipperberry came up with these very cute homemade Valentines that I think I will try.

Melted Crayon Hearts

       Melted Crayon Hearts

I hope I have left you with some Heart-sy Valentine-y ideas to try this year.

And if all else fails, Hallmark cards work for me!

Right, Babe?

(My husband knows from past experience what happens if I don’t get a Valentine’s card.)

Me without a Valentine's card...

Me without a Valentine’s card…

Love and Peace,