Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sunshine in a Box

Last month I signed up for "Sunshine Pen Pals", a fun exchange where you send a little box of fun stuff to someone to add a little sunshine to their day, and you get a box from someone, too.  You contact your person before you put their box together to find out what kinds of things they like, and then you use your creativity to come up with a box filled with sunshine for $15 or less. I thought it sounded like fun, so I gave it a try.

My partner that I sent a box to is a sweet lady from Maine named Katherine.  I had a great time thinking of things to go in her box, and I included some things I made in it.  If you want to see what I sent her, you can read her lovely post about it over at her blog, "My Maine Blog".

Yesterday I received my box from Heidi (you can click here to go to her blog). When we exchanged e-mails earlier this month, Heidi and I found out we have a few things in common. We both love old books and cats, we're both from the Pacific Northwest but we live on the east coast, and two of our favorite TV shows ever are Dr. Who and Psych. So, you can probably guess that I got a fantastic box from her! Haley helped me open it, and pulled the things out of the box while I read the hilarious card (complete with Dr. Who quotes and Psych references) with the explanation/inventory.  Rebecca watched and laughed with us. Here's what was in it:

Three "shiny tubes of deliciousness"
An old book to add to my collection. Its a super pretty green color, and I already started reading it. And of course it has the "old book smell".
She crocheted a hair bow for me in my favorite color (which "could also be a very cool bowtie", haha) and a cute daisy bookmark.
 Here's what she said about these things: "lotion for the smell of lavender, sea life erasers for whimsy, a daisy mirror because it called to me, pushpins because I was being impulsive".
Also, a jumbo kitty eraser! I love this thing.  It looks exactly like my naughty little stripey monster kitty when she was a baby!
Oh, and tea...the box was literally packed with tea! I love tea, and I usually drink at least one cup every day in the winter, and lots of glasses of iced tea in the summer. These are Heidi's "homesick" brands of tea from Seattle and Portland. Ahhhh, I'm in tea heaven!
Thank you, Heidi, for such a fun box of sunshine!!! I love everything!
If anyone is interested in joining the fun and signing up for next month's exchange, just click the button below!  

Sunshine Pen Pals

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Front Porch

One of my favorite things about my house is the front porch.  It's a nice big front porch that wraps around one side of the house, and it's perfect for sitting at any time of the year.  My husband and I especially like to sit on our porch and enjoy our morning coffee on summer mornings before he goes off to work.  We love our two person rocking chair, the shabby chic single rocker found in a thrift shop, the cute little side table (also thrifted), and the chair I found across the street last year during community clean up week and painted white (I sanded it a bit so it would be shabby chic, too.)  

This summer I made some pretty porch pillows for the chairs.  They are made from inexpensive vinyl tablecloths and stuffed with stuffing from some old pillows I had in the attic.  They turned out so cute, and they add a nice pop of color to the white furniture.

 Some pots of bright flowers help add some cheerful color, too.

We needed a new doormat, so I bought a plain one at WalMart and stenciled "Shalom" on it.  I love it!

Just some simple little touches make the porch even more welcoming and cheerful, and it's one of my favorite places to be.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Renewing Our Wedding Vows

Last month we took a family vacation to Niagara Falls. The first thing on our agenda was a wedding vow renewal! My husband and I decided a while ago that we wanted to do something special to celebrate our 25th anniversary, and a big party with friends and family just wasn't practical since most of our friends and family live on the west coast and we live in Delaware.  So we decided to renew our vows in a small ceremony in a special place.  We visited Niagara Falls a few years ago and we just loved it.

For the vow renewal I wore a silver dress.  We included our daughters in the ceremony, and they wore matching red dresses.  Robert wore a silver tie with his suit, and a red boutonniere to match my red bouquet.  The girls had silver bouquets and silver shoes and I wore red shoes.  The bouquets were made of fabric roses that I made myself.
Before our little ceremony, we had a photographer do a photo session for us. Telina of Telina Fishbach Photography did a fantastic job!  Here are a few of the photos she took:

Aren't they great? Telina was very sweet and fun to work with.

We had our ceremony in the same beautiful park as the photo session: Oakes Garden Theatre, which overlooks the Falls.  We had written out our vows in advance.
We read them to each other and sealed our renewed covenant with a cup of wine (grape juice, actually), and we exchanged new silver rings with the Hebrew inscription, "Ani L'Dodi, V'Dodi Li", which means, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine".
We borrowed the meaningful Jewish wedding tradition where the bride and groom are under a chuppah(canopy) or tallit (prayer shawl). Robert covered me with his tallit in a canopy of protection and love, symbolizing that no one will ever come between us because we are bound together as one.
Haley did the duty of "best man" and held the rings, and Rebecca held my bouquet during the ceremony. At the end, Rebecca said the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) in English, and then Haley sang it in Hebrew. Later we signed the handwritten copy of our vows, and the girls both signed as our witnesses.

After the ceremony, we went on a horse and carriage ride!

Then we had dinner at "Elements on the Falls", a restaurant that overlooks the Falls, where we had a window table.  The view was beautiful, and the food was delicious!
 The girls wrote on our car window:
The day ended with fireworks over the Falls.
It was a very special and meaningful day!