Monday, January 31, 2011

Autumn In My Heart?

Hi everyone...
I want to try using english now. [I hope I can do it properly]

I do not know what happened. Suddenly there is a fall in this chest. What fall?
I do not know ... I told you

Just imagine the leaves that fall from its branches in the fall. that's what I feel now.

The feeling is beautiful. No no, this is not love or romance. This is not heartbreak or disappointment. It's like feeling that I don't know what's the name, but it feels like falling leaves in autumn.

Yes, indeed little weird.

Follow Me On Cuidder 

Scentsy Giveaway

Sweet and pretty Jordan Buerschenk, an escential consultant for Scentsy contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I had ever tried Scentsy products. Scentsy is a type of wickless candle product where the wax is melted using the heat of a lightbulb. I had heard of Scentsy and I have friends who have them but I had resisted buying one telling myself that I already own enough candles to light and smell up a small city. Jordan kindly offered to send me a plug-in to try so that I could give an honest review.
I choose the Taro which is so pretty during the day and night.
I plugged it into the wall of my dining room. A few hours later I was delighted to walk into the living room and smell the wonderful aroma that had filled both areas of my home. When I walk through my front door I am now greeted with a delightful smell and the best part is that I don't have to worry about blowing out a candle when I leave the house.
I'm very happy with my Scentsy and now one of you lucky readers will be able to own one too! To enter all you need to do is leave a comment. You can get bonus entries for :
1) tweeting about the giveaway
2) subscribing to Jordan's newsletter on her homepage
Jordan will send the winning reader a Groovy White Plug-In + The following three Scents : Enchanted Mist, Cucumber Lime + My Wish.
If you don't want to wait to see if you win, or if you want one and you're not feeling lucky, or if you already own a Scentsy and want to buy more products, Jordan has generously offered my readers an additional 10% discount (for all orders received by February 15)! To be eligible for the discount, you will need to click on the 'email me' tab on her home site. Make sure 'JOY' is in the subject line and your order is in the body of the email. Everything will be an additional 10% off in February for Scentsy - so this is a great chance to get the products at 20% off!
The giveaway will end
Saturday, February 5th at midnight(MST)
Winner will be announced Monday, February 7th

Good Luck!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful.

 image source, Babiekins

Well, it's been roughly a month since I've signed into this blog to write anything. I can't really explain why it's taken me so long to get back to it except that I felt a need to be quiet and really had nothing overly interesting to share. Every time I thought about writing anything I was met with a blank wall, which may have been a reflection of my January state of mind or the fact that I was working very hard to finish up the gardening magazine I was writing...over 144 pages of container gardening stories and info and well, I think my mind went into sleep mode and so did I. It has taken several emails from sweet readers wondering where the hell I was to nudge me into logging in.

As I mentioned after Christmas, I received a new and improved camera as a present and it seems to have scared me into never picking up a camera again. I bought myself a new, pretty camera strap (which still hasn't arrived!), a camera bag, a 50 mm lens, and an instructional DVD. The fact that I did all that and still haven't taken more than a few photos speaks to my current lack of ambition/courage. I have vowed to at least put the DVD in the player and watch a few minutes as soon as the magazine is finalized. Then maybe I'll become brave enough to actually post a picture of something. 

Until that time, I decided I am better off sharing a few photos and links of things I have found to be lovely, annoying or curious and see what you think. Some are things I purchased as Christmas gifts for others, others are pretty people or homes/decorating, and others are just plain dumb.

Please, January, just hurry up and be over already!!

 The Good:

I bought this pillow for my house from Helkat Design and a green and blue one for my mum. I don't care if they are a fad; the Union Jack is special to me.

 I love this blog. Her life seems so sweetly simple and back to basics, and I mean that in the nicest way, truly. Just look at this wonderful handmade Christmas she created for her "little one." And her kitchen is so pretty, too. 

The Bad:

On the opposite end of the spectrum is this nursery. I have seen it floating around several blogs lately and while it is stylish, it just grates on me that a parent could so overtly choose style over safety. Yes, the yellow  crib is beautiful and the room's vibe very Anthropologie, but that crib scares the heck out of me. Some may defend it, but if they do they have never had children and are glued to design sites where cutting-edge style is more important than comfort or warmth... or were the kind of parents who had a horseshoe kicking around inside of them. 
I know you know what I'm talking about.

 The Beautiful:

When I saw this photo of Jenny Holiday on her blog recently I was dumbstruck at how beautiful she looked with her pink hair. Have you ever seen a hair colour so perfectly suit someone? I will never have the nerve to colour my hair anything other than my assisted blonde, but for some people, it just works!!

And this blouse:

I want it so badly but the price stops me in my tracks. Plays upon all of my childhood hang-ups.
And add the high shipping charges and the taxes and duty that big U.S. retailers so thoughtfully pay/charge on my behalf and it just makes the cost prohibitive. And don't get me started on companies that won't ship to Canada!!
Yep. Beauty and the Beast, that blouse is.

 And one of the most beautiful of all poems, perfect for those of us with children who are edging closer to flying the nest. My favourite line is: 
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Spray Paint Thaw

Hooray! The temperatures here have finally reached near the 40's! And even though the spray paint can directions say ideal painting temps are 50-70 degrees, I ran outside with a thrift project in one hand and shaking a paint can in the other.The project I chose was a large metal tray that had an original finish of a mix of greens, browns, and rust.It's a subtle change but I think it looks much nicer painted metallic charcoal with the details highlighted using silver Rub n' Buff.It looks great sitting on my kitchen table corralling all of the pretties I like to keep there. I try to have a candlelight dinner whenever we eat at the table---even though my boys question why. Isn't it a momma's job to insert a few feminine details into the lives of her men? Besides, it makes me happy to be surrounded by beautiful things and if momma's happy then everybody's happy, right?And another thing that makes me happy is to be able to use my favorite makeover tool again!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Candles and Pantries

When decorating with candles and their holders
do you get frustrated?Does your candle sit a little skiwampus in your hurricane?
Does it look too lonely and bland in it's container?Well the solution is as close as your pantry!
Simply pull out sacks of rice, beans or peas.Dump the dry food goods into the candle holders
and watch your frustration melt away.
I like to use rice,green or yellow split peas,
black, white or kidney beans.I've used epsom salt too.
If you're a coffee drinker you can use coffee beans.
There are several frugal food choices for fillers
right in your own kitchen.
Which ones have you used?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Junn Series #4 - Bantuan!

You Guys!
Haaaaa... resek. saya semakin eneg dengan pernikahan kami petantang-petenteng soal kelas 3 SMA. Sibuk minta ampun. Bahkan hari minggu yang jadwalnya buat istirahat aja, mesti dipake buat les.
Maaf ya, kalian-para-tetangga-yang-baik...
Sampai harus menunggu sekian lama untuk posting terbaru blog ini.
(Pala lo Aul...!Siapa juga yang mau baca blog sampah Lo ini...!)

Tapi saya senang nih, sama comment yang satu ini,

A S Oktriwinamengatakan...
ayo lah bg aul
junn series nya please :((

Makasih udah nunggu :))

This is it...!!!

 Ringkasan cerita minggu lalu: Pembelaan Junn atas murid baru yang dikerjai berlebihan oleh Alev mengundang musibah besar: Ia harus buka baju, menggantikan murid baru yang dikerjai Alev.

 -----Junn Series #4 – Bantuan! ----- 

      Gerombolan penonton di lapangan masih diam, mengunci rapat bibir mereka agar tak mengeluarkan kata sepatahpun. Tak ada yang berani berkedip, apalagi bergerak. Beberapa tubuh mulai basah, bersimbah keringat dipanggang matahari dan suasana tegang yang begitu kentara.

      Junn masih berdiri termangu: menundukkan kepala tak jauh dari Alev dan kawanannya. Peristiwa beberapa menit lalu membuatnya sedikit shock, tak bisa bicara dan tak kuasa bergerak.

“Bagaimana?” Alev memecah kesunyian.

      Junn masih tak bersuara. Ia berusaha menengadahkan kepalanya, menatap Alev dengan tatapan pantang menyerah. Hal yang semakin menggetarkan hati Alev: Junn begitu berani, mengingat dia hanya junior, apalagi wanita.

      Dan peristiwa berikutnya sangat mengejutkan, membuat tak ada yang bisa menahan diri untuk tidak menjerit atau menarik nafas ketakutan. Junn menggenggam ujung bajunya, bergerak seolah-olah hendak membukanya.

“Tidak... Jangan...!”
“Minta maaf saja cepaat!”

     Suasana begitu gaduh, seperti suasana unjuk rasa atau kampanye. Alev berusaha tersenyum, menikmati kemenangannya. Sebentar lagi kubalas, sebentar lagi, sebentar lagi. Pikirnya.

      Junn mulai membuka satu kancing terbawah seragamnya. Kegaduhan melenyap lagi, kembali berganti ketegangan. Beberapa murid laki-laki menutup wajahnya dengan tangan, tak kuasa menyaksikan. Dan dari tengah penonton, Riri roboh: pingsan, untung saja dipapah murid-murid wanita lainnya.

     Sebuah suara dari pinggir lapangan melengking panjang. Junn melirik asal suara, dan tersenyum kecut – Zhafif mengacungkan telunjuk ke arah Alev, melepaskan sweater yang menutupi mukanya – Mungkin ini yang tadi dimaksud ketua OSIS itu sebagai bantuan?

     Alev membelalakkan matanya. Jauh di lubuk hatinya ia gentar, mengingat jabatan dan kekuasaan Zhafif lebih darinya. Sayangnya, ia terlanjur emosi dan tak bisa berpikir dengan kepala dingin. Ia memanas.
“Nggak usah sok pahlawan lagi, Zhaf!”

     Zhafif mendekat, “Gue nggak sok pahlawan Lev. Tapi ini emang udah keterlaluan. Sebaiknya hentikan!”
Alev semakin panas. Ingatannya tentang berada di bawah bayang-bayang Zhafif selama ini membuatnya muak. Dan kemuakannya memuncak, “Ini urusan gue, Zhaf! Lo nggak usah ikut campur!”

     Zhafif tak menghiraukan perkataan Alev. Ia meraih lengan baju Junn, lalu menariknya. Membuat Junn terseret, berubah posisi ke belakang Zhafif.

“Gue ketua OSIS. Dan semua ini termasuk tanggung jawab gue!”
“Berhenti membanggakan diri sebagai ketua OSIS! Ini nggak ada hubungannya!”
“Lo nggak bisa Zhaf!”
“Harus bisa!” Zhafif menentang.
Alev tak bisa menahan diri lagi. Sebuah pukulannya melayang, menghantam pipi kiri Zhafif. Zhafif terjatuh, lalu berdiri lagi. Ia masih bisa berpikir, untuk tidak membalas.

       Alev terlihat puas. Kenyataan bahwa Zhafif tak berani membalas pukulannya membuatnya merasa berada di atas angin. “Gue udah bilang Zhaf, ini bukan urusan Lo!”
“Ini juga urusan Gue!” Zhafif belum menyerah.
Alev diam, memikirkan strategi apa yang harus dilakukannya agar ia menang. Mendadak ia menyeringai, “Jadi Lo masih mau membela anak baru ini?”

“Kalau begitu Lo yang gantikan. Telanjang sekarang juga!”

      Alev semakin puas. Biarlah rencananya membalas Junn batal. Yang penting sekarang adalah ketua OSIS yang selama ini meresahkannya itu. Bila Zhafif melakukan hal yang memalukan, bukan tak mungkin semua murid akan marah dan kecewa. Dengan demikian, jabatannya akan dilepas, dan posisinya sebagai ketua OSIS bisa digantikan orang lain, termasuk dirinya!

      Zhafif mulai membuka seragamnya. Penonton kembali gaduh berkomentar tak karuan, walaupun tak segaduh sebelumnya. Paling tidak, Zhafif laki-laki, dan buka baju bukanlah masalah. Daripada Junn yang harus melakukannya.

      Saat Zhafif hendak melepas kaosnya dalamnya, sebuah suara yang berat terdengar dari mikrofon. “Alev, Zhafif dan anggota OSIS lainnya diharap segera menuju ruang OSIS sekarang juga. Ini perintah langsung dari kepala sekolah dan wakil kesiswaan!”

     Tak tergambarkan kelegaan yang terjadi saat Zhafif, Alev dan kawanannya meninggalkan lapangan menuju ruang OSIS. Penonton segera berhamburan ke depan lapangan, menyambut Junn. Mereka berpelukan, bertangis-tangisan dan mengucapkan selamat. Sorakan dukungan dan ucapan selamat melimpah ruah, menyirami Junn yang akhirnya bisa ikut tersenyum lega. “Alhamdulillah,” bisiknya.

     Siang semakin panas. Tapi Junn merasakan kesejukan, hingga ke relung hatinya. Ia yakin, Zhafif lah yang mengadukan peristiwa barusan kepada kepala sekolah dan wakil kesiswaan. Bantuan yang dijanjikan untuknya, untuk keselamatannya.

     Ia tersenyum lagi, saat menuju UKS melihat keadaan Riri. Dadanya berdebar-debar, mengingat apa yang telah dilakukan ketua OSIS untuknya. Ketua OSIS yang telah dua kali menyelamatkannya. Dan perasaanya meluap-luap. Ada denganku? Batinnya bingung.

*Alhamdulillah. telah dimuat di koran SINGGALANG edisi Desember 2010, terbit dan beredar di Sumatra Barat  :))

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Time

Simple Joys...those glimpses of life that we should take time embrace, the reminders that it's the small and simple things that make life beautiful.
My husband laughs because it makes me giddy when I look at the clock and see this line up of numbers.
I actually do a little happy dance almost every time. There is something so serendipitous about glancing at the clock at that perfect time of day or night when all the numbers align. It's just not the same when you wait for it to happen. It can't be planned. It has to be happenstance. . .
a happy happenstance!
What simple thing makes you do a little happy dance?

Monday, January 24, 2011


When I was a child, many, many years ago in a galaxy far, far away !!!! this would have been the scene on a Sunday at lunch time, with Mum and Dad on the other side of the table. Don't get me's not a criticism.....Sunday lunch was always delicious and probably the best meal of the week. This then became a Sunday ritual when I got married and had children, but now they are grown up and have their own Sunday lunches so, together with friend's, Mr. Home and I can often be found having our Sunday lunch cooked for us in some pub of another.

Yesterday was one such Sunday and it was the turn of The Albion to be graced with our presence.

The Albion is a Georgian pub where regulars would take an afternoon stroll,out of the city and call in for a drink and a bite to eat.

Situated just behind bustling Upper Street in the centre of Islington, London, in the beautiful Barnsbury conservation area, it won the 'Observer Food  Monthly award' for 'Best Sunday Lunch 2009' and is one of the Independent's  ' Top 50 Sunday Lunch Venues'  and The Guardian's ' Best Pub's in the UK'.

We all had the 30 Day Prime Rib Steak .......... it was divine !!

After eating a plateful that even Henry V111 would be proud of, all washed down with a couple of glasses of red wine, it is appropriate to have a stroll around the area and have a good old nose at the gorgeous Georgian houses..........

There are one after the other of beautiful Georgian homes, all preserved beautifully, and , although quite modest in size, are WAY out of our price range !! Because of where they are they are all well into the millions of ££££'s.......... lots of millions of ££££'s !! 

I don't think that he was very happy that I was taking a photograph of his house !!!!

The Drapers Arm's is another pub in the same area which, I feel sure, will be getting a visit from us in the not too distant future !!

After all of that food, drink and strolling, a little lie down was called for .......... I feel a week of salads coming on !!

image 1 - flickr, image 6 - via plumb interior design, image 7- Michael Franke, image 9 - via thirtyoneseventyfive, image 23 - Agata Stoinska.
All other photographs by me.


Little Boy Bouquet

Occasionally I have the privilege of decorating tables for family dinners that follow a loved ones funeral. I volunteer to do this so it requires getting creative on a tight budget; making several centerpieces for under $20.These centerpieces were made to honor the life of a sweet little preemie boy whose earth life was too short.I wanted the bouquets to reflect the life of a little boy and what says "boy" more than sticks and stones, bear grass, snap dragons and baby blue birds.