My Week of Photos - Some of my favorite things

This week, for my week of photos, I decided to share with you some things that I enjoy doing. I know that some of you reading this blog may not know me in real life. So I thought this might give you a glimpse into some of the things that make me happy. 

Now in the course of one week, there is no way that I can photograph all of my favorite things. But these things I am sharing with you are some of the things I enjoy doing around my home.

ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/160 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/160 sec with 50mm lens

I love to cook and bake! Each week, I try to plan dinners that I know my family will love to eat. As a stay at home mom, it is one way we can save money by not eating out so much. Plus, many times, there are leftovers which are great for lunches the rest of the week.

ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/640 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/640 sec with 50mm lens

Most weeks, usually about three times a week, I love to get out in the morning for a brisk walk around my neighborhood. When I started tracking my walks using the MapMyWalk app, I was walking just over 2 miles a week. Now I am up to almost 6 miles a week! I don't have any particular goal in mind, I just know that getting a bit of physical exercise each week is good for me, especially with as much as I love to bake!

ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/100 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/100 sec with 50mm lens

Did I mention I like to bake? 

ISO 800, f/2.2, 1/40 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 800, f/2.2, 1/40 sec with 50mm lens

Even though I recently cleared out a full bookcase of books in my home, I still love books and I love to read. When my kids were little, I loved reading aloud to them. We read so many picture books and classics that make up a special part of my home library. Today, I am usually reading at least three books at any given time, nonfiction is book form and fiction on my Kindle. Want to follow along with what I am reading? You can find me on my Goodreads account.

ISO 800, f/2.2, 1/100 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 800, f/2.2, 1/100 sec with 50mm lens

If you have been following along with my Kickstart to Clutter Free posts, you know that I love to do craft projects! And recently, my love for doing craft projects has come in handy while fundraising for Compassion sponsor trips! My daughter and I are just starting to plan for a trip in January 2017 so stay tuned to hear more!

ISO 3200, f/4.5, 1/60 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 3200, f/4.5, 1/60 sec with 50mm lens

One more thing to share with you is my love for music. This particular piano is the one I learned to play on many years ago. I don't spend as much time practicing as I ever used to as a child, but it is one thing I am glad I learned to play.

So, that is my week of some of my favorite things! I hope you enjoyed this little peek this week.

What are some of your favorite things?

My Week of Photos

What did I capture this week with my DSLR camera?

ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/80 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/80 sec with 50mm lens

I love an excuse to bake! One day last week was National Chocolate Cake Day, so I baked a batch of chocolate cupcakes and sold most of them for my Bake for Brazil fundraiser. Pretty excited that I was able to raise $50 last week for Compassion kids in Brazil!

ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/500 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 400, f/2.0, 1/500 sec with 50mm lens

Took advantage of a break in the rain, set up one of my favorite childhood books in the backyard to capture this one. What children's book is your favorite?

ISO 100, f/10, 1/640 sec

ISO 100, f/10, 1/640 sec

After we got home from church on Sunday, my daughter and I drove around a bit, looking for the perfect spot to take photos of the clouds moving in. 

ISO 100, f/5.3, 1/400 sec

ISO 100, f/5.3, 1/400 sec

This is not a very exciting photo. And I really should have brought all these quart size canning jars in for the winter. But this just shows that we have been receiving a lot of much needed rain out here in California!

ISO 400, f/2.5, 1/80 sec with 50 mm lens

ISO 400, f/2.5, 1/80 sec with 50 mm lens

Hard to believe we are in the second month of this new year already! Time to put away the winter decorations and bring out the Valentine decorations. Pages from an old, used copy of Persuasion were used to make this craft which hangs in our windows in February.

ISO 800, f/2.5, 1/80 sec with 50mm lens

ISO 800, f/2.5, 1/80 sec with 50mm lens

A few more handmade Valentine decorations are out. Add a bit of paint to some glue and paint the outside of a couple of canning jars. Attach a paper heart doily and tie it with a bit of ribbon or twine, and you have a cute new candle holder for your tealight candles on these dark winter nights.

What did you capture this week?

Tackle It on Tuesday: Car Seat Blanket

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I like to work on projects, of all types. I love that we have access to so many resources that can be made into beautiful items to display, use, and/or share with others.

progress on car seat blanket

Last week, I started on this car seat blanket with the yarn I purchased at my favorite yarn shop up in the foothills. The pattern was free with a purchase, and I thought this yarn would be perfect for this project. The blanket will measure 14 inches wide and 20 inches long when complete. I have about 8 inches still to knit before the blanket is complete. 

craft room progress

We had our yard sale over the weekend, which means I was able to clear out more boxes from the craft room. I know this room still needs a lot of decluttering, but I am really happy with the progress being made in here!

curtain project

One reason I am happy that progress is being in the craft room...there is actually room in there to work on projects! God continues to bless me with opportunities to earn money for my next trip with Compassion!

This time, I will be making some curtains for a friend. Her family just purchased a cute little trailer. She is working on adding a glamping factor, and she asked me to make the curtains for her! 

So this week, I really didn't finish any projects, but I have made good progress on a couple of projects. I would love to know what projects you are tackling this week. Share them with me in the comments below.

Tackle It on Tuesday: Photo Wall

This past week, I have still been working on my craft room, collecting up items for our upcoming yard sale, and moving things around in the craft room to make more room to actually get craft projects finished. Phew! Maybe after the yard sale is over, I can share another photo of what the room looks like, but right now, there are still many boxes filled with items for the yard sale.

One project I did finish last week was updating my photo wall. Here is the before picture:

before photo of photo wall

I have been wanting to rearrange the photos on this wall for some time now, but finding those prints last week was just the thing I needed to drive me to work on this project.

templates for photos

First thing I did was to mat and frame the new prints. Then I took down the photos I wanted to rearrange. After that, I cut out paper the size of each photo that would be going back up on the wall and jotted a quick note on the paper so I knew which photo would be going where.

photo templates up on the wall

Then with my daughter's help, we arranged the papers up on the wall to get an idea of what the wall would look like with the photos in those spots. Once we had an arrangement we both liked, it was time to put the photos back up on the wall.

finished photo wall

Ta da! Now I can enjoy all these memories as I walk by this wall every day!

So what project will I be tackling this week?

new knitting project

My husband and I were up in the foothills this week, and they just happen to have a wonderful yarn shop there. I couldn't resist purchasing some yarn for a new project.

little bit of knitting progress

The yarn is nice and chunky, so I have made a bit of progress, even with knitting only a few rows. We will see how far I get by next week!

What project will you be working on this week?

Tackle It on Tuesday: The Craft Room

I have a love/hate relationship with my craft room. What a blessing it is to have the space in our home to have a room dedicated to be filled with many craft supplies, tools, and books to complete the many craft projects that I love to work on.

craft room reorganization

But unfortunately, I am a Queen of Unfinished Projects! Which leads to piles of projects all over this room, well, because there is room in there to pile them up! Since our trip to Mexico in JanuaryI have really been thinking about how much unused stuff we have in our home.

piles of unused cookbooks

I love to cook and bake, but when I have two shelves of cookbooks in my home that I haven't used in years, should I keep them?

tub of unused sewing patterns

And as much as I love to sew, do I really need to buy all those patterns just because they were a dollar each? I mean really, how many jumper patterns for little girls does one mom need?

photos of my children

In all of my decluttering tasks, I found these treasures that were printed at least two years ago. Rather than enjoying these photos of my children up on my wall, these have been hiding in one of many piles in my craft room. Really sad, isn't it...

Now don't get me wrong, I do really love my craft room. Knowing that I can go in there and find craft paint, felt, scrap fabric, and many other craft supplies keeps me out of the store spending money that I shouldn't be spending. But when I look at the piles of projects that have not been finished, or some even started, it makes me uncomfortable. As my daughter would say, that money could have been spent on a Compassion child

Thankfully, most of the items I have been clearing out of my craft room are still in really good condition, and I am hoping to sell a lot of stuff at an upcoming yard sale with the money to be used toward my upcoming trip with Compassion to Colombia

So what am I going to tackle this upcoming week? Getting those precious photos matted, framed, and hung up on the wall, so I can enjoy the blessings that God has given me here.

What will you be tackling this week?