Living In The Moment

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How often are we ever truly living in a moment? All senses tuned, full concentration engaged?

I feel like our society is one that doesn’t innately teach us how to live presently. It seems we are either being driven by a sense of regret or blame (living in the past), or else one of guilt, stress, or discontentment (living in the future). Perhaps our minute-to-minute feelings aren’t so black and white as that, but are we always keeping a mental to-do list running on loop in the background of our consciousness?

Today, I want to encourage you to BE. Pick a moment. Whether it is at a mealtime, or on a coffee date, while you’re walking through a park, reading your child a book, wrapped in your husbands arms, or even just sitting at your workspace.

Open up your senses. Feel the world around you. What do you see? Smell? Taste? Hear? Touch? How does your heart respond to those things?

What fades into the shadows during those moments of present-living? It’s a beautiful thing…being fully there. Your soul will be imprinted with those moments forever. Your heart will soften to a place of gratitude.

It’s how to grasp onto life, instead of letting life run you over. Will you give it a try today? This weekend?

Be.

**Don’t forget to enter to win a May Day Basket of spring goodies from me this week! Just a little thank you for being a faithful reader.~ If you haven’t already, you can enter HERE.

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Come, Share Life…

petalsThese pictures were taken during a simply beautiful night. A night filled with a peaceful drive in the country, sweet friends, masterfully created lego cars, adorable doggies, lessons in chicken farming, tales of unfortunate bee stings, and the most delicious calzones you’ve ever had.

Just sharing life…

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It’s the Simple Things – Sacred Waters

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It’s amazing how rejuvenating a good soak in the tub can be. Not just your utilitarian scrub-a-dub, but taking the extra time to make your bath a true retreat.

As your draw the water, light some candles and fill the tub with bubbles, your favorite salts, or a few drops of essential oil. Turn on some soft music, fix yourself a snack (fruit and chocolate, perhaps?) and close the door. Make your bathroom a technology free zone – the phone can wait for a few moments.

Invest a couple dollars in a bath pillow, and bring your favorite recreational reading material with you. If there is salt in the water, be sure to pour a cool glass of drinking water to replenish the hydration that the salt will draw from your skin.

Breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Let the stress of the day melt into the water.

I’m always amazed at how refreshed and peaceful I feel after an unhurried time in the tub. I don’t do it often enough, but it is healing to the soul.

It’s the simple things.

The Beauty of a Handwritten Letter

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Is it just me, or is there a gentle, pleasant, comforting, sentimental aura evoked by a beautifully written letter? A real letter. The kind that comes by post and is scripted in ink…

I’m often accused of being old fashioned. Of bucking technology (ironic that I’m a blogger, isn’t it?). But part of my heart is old. The part that loves pearls and lace and peonies. The part that adores antique stores and old books. The part that delights at the sound of a Victrola playing. That same part thrills at the sight of a hand written envelope sitting in my mailbox.

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There is such romance attached to the thought of a tactile object making long journeys to find its intended recipient. How much of the world that prosaic little folded rectangle of paper has seen! Sometimes crossing oceans, mountains, countries; sometimes just rumbling across town.

But no matter how far it has traveled, it always carries with it, beneath the carefully sealed flap, a small part of the heart of the sender. And in this world of electronic everything, I often crave the tangible. Something to hold in my hand; a little piece of paper that connects you to a someone as an e-mail never could. I love slowly soaking in the words, then displaying it on my nightstand- to catch glimpses of and smile, and later tucking it away in my letter box… And because such things are so rare these days, they have become priceless treasures.

I was talking to a friend recently about how, in our ideal world, we would sit by the fire after dinner every night; sipping tea, and catching up with all our friends via post. But that just doesn’t happen nowadays, does it? Sad. What can we rearrange in our lives to allow more time for this “vintage” form of communication? Will we who love words, who love pen and ink, who love gorgeous stationary, who love connection, revive it? Or is it really just going the way of the dinosaur…

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I’ve recently been conscious of making sure I’m able to spend a little time each day with some pen and paper. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, and truly, it’s almost like therapy! Something about slowing down, meticulously forming letters, letting your thoughts drift toward the person to whom you are writing as you catch them up on the latest goings on…it’s good for the soul.~

Do you enjoy “snail mail”? Do you still send/receive it?

 

A Handmade Gift for Your Man

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Men are hard to buy for. They just are. Perhaps with the exception of the avid fisherman who will predictably be delighted to death at the sight of a new lure each and every birthday/gift-giving occasion.

But for those of us whose significant others don’t fish, here’s a quick and easy idea for you to whip up for you guy:

The $2 Date Bowl

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Inspired by The Dating Divas, I made my husband his own bowl for Christmas, and he sure has enjoyed it :-). All I did was print off several date ideas (maybe 10 or 12) that cost roughly around $2 each onto a piece of computer paper. Then I cut each date idea into a strip, rolled it up with two $1 bills, and tied it with a ribbon. That way, whenever hubby is in the mood for a fun little surprise, all he has to do is pick a scroll, unwrap it, and we both get to enjoy whatever activity he drew out of the bowl!

Some ideas to get you started:
*Enjoy a flick at the Dollar Theater
*Head over to a local bakery to grab two fresh donuts
*A trip to the Dollar Store where each of you picks out a special gift for the other
*Choose a movie from Redbox, and buy a bag of popcorn kernels (the make-your-own-on-the-stove-top kind!)
*A free massage (to be given by you), where he can use his $2 for a “tip” 😉
*A relaxing chat at the coffee shop while you share a cup of the daily brew

You get the idea… There are so many fun little $2 dates you could create. It’s the gift that keeps on giving looong after you give it (say that 10 times fast)!

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Got some other fun $2 Date ideas? Please share them in the comments!

Refresh Your Life – With Flowers

IMG_6518It’s a month after Christmas…the winter doldrums have set it…and you’re longing for spring…

It may be bleak and blustery outside, but one sure way of breathing the freshness of spring into your home? Flowers! In most parts of the country, your garden (like mine) is still fast asleep- so let’s turn to our local grocery store to help us get our “refresh” on! I love spray roses. You get so many flower heads out of just one bunch, and if you get them when they’re just starting to open, they last a good week or more! My favorite place to buy flowers is, hands down, The Fresh Market. In fact, all of my sister’s wedding flowers came straight off of their shelves! A dozen roses for under $10? Yes please :-). The spray roses I purchased this week were actually only $5 a bunch. So I got two.

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Rather than make one large stellar display, I prefer to make up loads of mini bouquets so that every room of the house can have a fragrant touch of beauty. On the bathroom sinks, window sills, nightstands, piano…all little breaths of spring! Mini arrangements work perfectly in my home because the backdrop is  neutral, and my house is casual and small.

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If your home is larger and more formally decorated, you may want to focus on larger bouquets in order to make an impact. Mini nosegays might just get lost in a spacious room with grand furnishings.

For some seasonal interest, you could add some evergreens and herbs from your yard to the bouquets:

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So go add a beautiful bouquet of flowers to your grocery list this week!
It is certain to help refresh your home and your spirit!

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