decorating with dodi

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011


O.K., I must be living right because, for once, I have actually FOUND MORE time in my life than I thought I had! So, how does that happen you ask. I was under the impression that my family would all be at my house this coming weekend for the Gator game and then Liv's birthday party and Grandparents' Day celebration. And, me being me, I had lists drawn up and my week pretty well planned out when my youngest daughter called. In conversation, it became apparent that I was off by a week. What?!!! I have the whole week ahead of me with none of those plans I had already made? What's a girl to do!

Let me tell you right up front that that didn't mean I could sit and eat bon-bons for the week as I have a number of things on my plate that have to go on no matter what, but it did mean I could breathe a little more easily and perhaps fit in some of the things on the never ending to-do list.

I headed straight to Pinterest and found the two organizational ideas that I had been waiting to try. The first was so simple-a real no-brainer as I had a tension rod not being used just sitting in my closet. I grabbed it and put it up in my bathroom vanity and I must say, it really does free up space under the sink. I know the picture looks like the space is still pretty crowded, but this is actually only 1/4 of the under vanity space, so across the whole area, it does make a difference. I must admit that I had really wanted to use it under my kitchen sink, but my cabinets are configured in such a way that that wasn't possible. I really could have used the space under there, but I will keep watching Pinterest and maybe someone will have another idea for me that will work-heck, maybe it might even spur me to come up with my own idea!

Then, I put together the cabinet door cutting board holder I was coveting. I bought the 1X2 the last time I was in Lowes, so it was a simple matter of a few cuts, a few nails and voila! Now, I will admit once again that my pesky cabinets did not co-operate the way the one in the instructions did. Seems as if the doors where I wanted to use this either had a shelf inside that came out right to the door (hence, no clearance for said holder) or, I had already installed pull out shelving and that kept it from working as well. The picture above was taken before it was mounted. I ended up having to put it on one of my narrower doors so I can only fit a few of my boards. That will be fine as my really good board is huge and I only use that these days when I am cooking for a crowd. The other "boards" we use are those real thin foldable boards and they slip in a tiny space anywhere. So, the space I just created works perfectly for the boards we use most every day and the main reason I even started this project was to free up a drawer where the boards had been previously stored. Now, I can separate "that drawer" in the kitchen that holds all of the extra utensils and is like entering a dark cave every time you have to search out a potato peeler, egg slicer, etc. I have since put all of the baking utensils in one drawer and cooking in the other and it is a true joy to open them now and actually find what you are looking for instead of just giving up and trying to pry something open with your teeth-just kidding but I have come close!

And then to top it off, I really thought that my dark green shutters on the front of the house had faded and I have been putting off re-painting them. Well, since I just got the gift of an unplanned week, I thought I would do a few of those things that just keep getting pushed back on the list. And, I already had the paint out as I was touching up some nicks in the front door paint-another list slider! Imagine my surprise when, after first rinsing the shutters with bleach, I discovered that they really didn't need re-painting-just cleaning. Apparently our pollen count was really high this year and there were layers of yellow pollen just glued onto those shutters. Who knew? Guess if I did a better job of washing windows I would have found this out sooner but now I have a bit more unplanned time to spare. I am going to light some candles and sit down and make out my "must do this year for Halloween" list and then I am going to try to stick to it. I can already find myself running in different directions and wanting to do it all and I am going to monitor myself so that I take time to "stop and smell the pumpkins". We'll see how that works!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ask & Ye Shall Receive!

I had pretty much finished my autumn decorating - with tweaking still to come - when I looked around and realized that this was the first season/holiday that I didn't have a "subway art" picture anywhere in my house. I actually headed to a blog search but couldn't come up with any that weren't mostly Halloween and, of course, that just wouldn't do for my fall theme.

Then, as I was perusing Pinterest, someone had pinned the above art. I couldn't grab it quick enough! I love something so simple and free to boot. If you want to get your own copy, go to my Pinterest button and you will find this image in my autumn board. A simple download, print out and frame - with a frame just sitting around waiting to be filled - and I had another autumn decoration to fill an empty spot just crying out for this! I have seen many blogs with tutorials on how to produce your own subway art but I am just not that confident enough with my computer and why bother any way when someone has already taken all of the hard work out of it for you?!

Love any chance I can get to show some glitter. These are the paper mache pumpkins that the kids and I painted and glittered last year. So simple and pretty and since I got the pumpkins the year before at the end of the season, a very inexpensive project as well.

These are my Southern Living jars that usually sit on my family room mantle. Since they were banned from there this year, I wasn't sure where they would go but since this is a tall area, they seem to work well - and once again my simple footed bowl makes its appearance. I guess I love that thing as I think I have used it every day since I made it - another one of those freebies as it was made from an old candle holder glued to an old monkey pod bowl that I think I bought when I was very first married and those things were all the rage!

I changed the side board up a bit this year too. This is usually where the apothecaries go, but I wasn't about them this time. Don't know how I can go from loving something so much to not caring at all - I think it has to do with what I have to go in them. Certain holidays just seem to lend themselves more to that decoration than others. They will probably be back for Halloween filled with skulls, bones, etc.

In any case, I was feeling the need for BIG here so I took 2 of my floor candle sticks and put them with the candleabra I got at Z Gallerie several years ago. I think it works because of the height of the lamp also on the side board.

The hutch and the baker's rack leave a bit to be desired, but I use a lot of the pieces on there so I like to have them out and accessible.

Do you see that pumpkin harvest sign hanging above the tureen? That used to hang outdoors on a wrought iron piece near my front door which has now moved to the new patio. That meant it had no home until I stole the black "autumn" sign that used to hang here for the family room. As they say, "necessity is the mother of invention" or "decoration" in this case. Do I love it as much as the other? No. But, it will fill a need until I run into something I like better. And let's face facts, it really won't be here very long because the first weekend in October will be my chance to have all of the grandkids here together for all of our fun festivities and the HOUSE MUST BE HALLOWEENY by then ! Trust me, my mind is already thinking. I have a bunch of new things I want to make but time goes so fast this time of the year, we'll just have to see how it goes. Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Moving Right Along

This mantle is a real departure for me. Usually this area is chock full of pumpkins, gourds and leaves. And, that is right where I was headed again this year when I happened to look at the PB white jar in my hands and realized that I wanted to try and use it somewhere in my autumn decorating. The rest of the vignette can be owed to procrastination. Now, procrastination isn't usually a word in my vocabulary because I generally want everything done YESTERDAY!

But, if you can remember back to when I was changing up the walls in my dining room, you might remember that this "window" came down. I was going to put it out in the garden but truthfully, I paid so much for this when I bought it that I wasn't quite sure that I was ready for the elements to work their magic on it. It was meant for indoor use so it wouldn't have lasted too long in our summer daily rain routine. So, it has been sitting by the side door to the pool waiting for me to make up my mind.

When I walked in to the family room with the white jar, I knew I needed something else white to balance the mantle and my eyes fell right on the window. I tried it out and I loved it but it was missing some "weight". They say every good design needs some black so I grabbed my favorite autumn sign from the end of the kitchen (of course this created another big void in that area but I'll show you what I did there in my next post).

Everything on this mantle I already owned yet it is all completely new to this vignette and contrary to my "traditional" self as far as themes and colors are concerned, I LOVE IT! It feels so serene at night when the little orange lights are aglow.

The rest of the room hasn't changed much. I just try to make sure there are always lots of yummy candles and I light them EVERY day! I truly try to use everything I have to set a mood. Nothing is ever saved just "for company" in my house. Many years ago, I happened upon a book by Alexandra Stoddard and found that her theory of making even the mundane beautiful was exactly how I lived. I have since read every book she has written and her idea of "grace notes" prevails in my home. If there is a way to make a dull, irritating routine into a life-enhancing ritual, I will do it. I truly believe it does reduce stress, replenish your inner self and celebrates the senses (as she so eloquently states on the cover of her book "Living A Beautiful Life".

Any way, I know it does in my world. I like order - although if you saw my house while I am in the middle of a project, you would doubt that. But I am always striving to get to "that place" . I love the niceties in life. Maybe I was born in the wrong century but I want mt coffee out of bone china, my wine out of crystal, etc. I love the "rituals" of life. Guess my age is showing but in this stress filled world, I figure anything I can do to make things better, I am going to do. That being said, it is time to pour the wine in the crystal, light the candles and turn on the autumn lights. Today is slipping away but I will be back tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Although Mother Nature refuses to cooperate and the calendar says we still have a few more weeks to go, it is officially AUTUMN at my house! Oh how I love the warm colors and sumptuous smells of the season. Thank goodness for Yankee Candles as there isn't anything cinnamon or pumpkin cooking up in my house just yet. Don't push it, I'm barely done decorating! In fact, yes, you guessed it, there is still "tweaking" to be done.

I apologize to those of you who have stayed with me since this blog began. I am trying to change my decorating every year, but sometimes time constraints are just too much and I go back to my "old faithfuls". You will see some new vignettes and some of the tried and true.

The chest above has some new metallic pumpkins I just got at Michaels. The candleholder is a coppery mercury glass but I see it isn't showing up very well in the picture. Those 3 metallic colors play well off of the colors on the metal frame.

Still love the coffee table. The only thing I added is the old book. It raises the bowl a bit and I like the addition of the extra texture. Plus,it kind of ties in with the book pages tied around the squirrel download in the cloche.

I have removed the family photos from the living room (just for a break), so I needed something here. Last year "The Lettered Cottage" very generously offered a download of this beautiful picture. I printed it on photo paper and framed it and I love the way it looks just propped up here.

I will admit that I am still having trouble with this area. Now that I demolished my hall tree and stuck this console in front of the remaining mirror, I get the feeling that it looks just like it is-a console shoved in front of a mirror. My first inclination was to paint it black but the way the room is laid out, the balance with other black or wood pieces would just be off for me. I am so not happy with this area and it is what you walk into when you enter my house, so sooner or later I will have to come up with a new idea but it hasn't happened yet! Oh yes, if you look carefully in the mirror, you can see some of the PILE of books still waiting to find their new home! Let's just move along!

This is the top of the armoire. If you are observant, you will see that all I did was add some leaves and a few pumpkins to what was already there, but it works for me. I don't know if I just have too much stuff or I'm getting old - or perhaps a lot of both - but I wore myself out yesterday doing this and am finding that I am settling for things a lot more than I used to. I'm sure I will find myself bothered by some of these things before too long and that's when the tweaking will begin. Several more rooms to go. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


That's how I am feeling about now. I truly thought that this week's posts would be all about my wonderful autumn decorations and that my house would be filled with the glow of candles and the smells of pumpkin and cinnamon!

But alas, all three of my daughters have beaten me to the punch! This has been a crazy year for me-many things out of my control and being the control freak that I have now come to recognize I am-and I have had to learn to be a bit-O.K., a lot- more flexible. I am chomping at the bit to pull out the fake pumpkins, leaves and acorns but life is continuing to get in the way.

Now, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm doing fun things and enjoying every minute of them but when I look at my imaginary time frame, I realize how far behind I am and begin to hyperventilate!

I have literally started 6 different projects and am trying to contain myself from starting more until these are done. But, that does not make for a happy me. I am finding myself going in circles more and more and really not accomplishing much of anything. Am I the only one who does this???

Yesterday, with plans to get much done, I once again deviated off of my path. My husband and I headed out of town for no reason. Went down to the Villages where I spent the better part of the day picking up more supplies for just more to do! He really is a great guy when it comes to patience with my shopping habits. I think he kind of got a chuckle when he saw me breathing in a paper bag in Michaels-just kidding. But I kind of could have. This is a new, huge Michaels and the Halloween stuff was literally 5 feet inside the front door. Swoon!!! How could I feel this way about anything orange and black - and glittery to boot!?

And, this was just the first stop. Suffice it to say that if my calendar will permit, I have many more days like this ahead! Can't wait! My nemesis right now is a scrapbook for the 50th anniversary of our church. It needed to be done YESTERDAY and I should be spending every waking minute on it. It comes down to a tug of war between Halloween and God. If I don't make the correct choice, I see a very WARM climate in my eternal future! I must say, I haven't really scrapbooked for awhile and this is kind of getting the juices flowing-just what I more thing that there is no time for.

Oh yes, after we frittered away most of the day yesterday shopping, we went on to the movies for the rest of it. We saw "The Help" and I would highly recommend it-especially to those of you who lived through the civil rights movement in the south as I did. Gives you a lot to think about.

I am off to spend the day with my mom in Gainesville and then back to scrapbooking for the next few days but then rest assured, my autumn decorations will get up. Next weekend the whole family will be here for the first Gator game weekend, Olivia's birthday (as she told me the other night, "I am now a decade old Nana") and Grandparents' Day. All 3 of my girls have beaten me to the decorating this season so I guess I am a bit of a slacker but I will go down fighting! Stay tuned.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kissing Hands

After we had finished dinner, Harrison read the book "The Kissing Hand" to all of us. It is the story about Chester Raccoon not wanting to go back to school. His very wise mom shares a family secret with him to reassure him of her love for him even when they are not together and he is a bit frightened.

It is a very sweet book and since Harrison, Hudson and Presley are all going to new schools in a new town, I thought it might be a nice way to open up some dialogue without dwelling on anything too negative. Of course, nearly everyone fell off of their seats when Harrison read this book without any hesitation! I was not surprised as I have witnessed this very special little boy grasping the concept of reading for several years and have maintained all along that once the basic concepts really sank in, there would be NO STOPPING HIM!

This book can be a bit of a tear jerker as you begin to see where the story is leading. I found the cutest "Kissing Hands" keys on Pinterest and thought Harrison would enjoy making them for his mom. That way, it kind of turns the story around and reassures Mom that she can always have a "kiss", "hug" etc. to know that she is always loved as well.

The kids always love a project that involves smearing paint all over their hands! We made a print for each and then printed up what we wanted to "leave with mom" when we were away from her.

Then, Harrison took great joy in putting the pieces through my different Xyron machines-one to make stickers and one to laminate. Then it was a simple process to put them together and present to mom so that she can be carrying her family's love with her when they head back to school.

So here is Harrison so proud of himself giving Mom her "kissing hands" and then showing her how to use them when she is missing everyone on the first day of school. After a year of living out of town with the 3 kids and their very full schedules all on her shoulders and then a long summer in a new town, I'm not sure the "missing" will actually start today-but who knows, it could happen!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Busy Hands Are Happy Hands

As the LONG, HOT summer draws to a close everyone's thoughts turn to back-to-school. I have always been involved with the back-to-school arrangements for the grandchildren living nearby and this year I had 3 new ones to celebrate with. As previously posted, Harrison spent the night with us and he and I got busy!

And this is when the idea of Pinterest really made sense to me. Up until now, I have been addictingly pinning every idea I saw that I may EVER want to try knowing full well that I would probably not live long enough to ever get to all of them!

But now, I wanted to quickly get my hands on all of my back-to-school ideas. Our first project is a prime example. I first saw the Rolo pencil idea maybe 2 years ago in Creating Keepsakes magazine and thought it was cute. I didn't need it right then, so I still have it somewhere but it would take awhile to find. Then, I saw it floating around blogland last year and since Harrison was now in school, I wanted to keep the idea. I began by starring it and eventually went back and printed it and then filed it somewhere. I am pretty good about keeping my files current but I will admit that they are all so large that unless I REALLY want to find something, I usually don't want to sit down and look through all of that stuff!

And along comes Pinterest!!! All I had to do was pull up my boards and we were off. I used all of these crafts as an added opportunity to review numbers, letter formations, math skills and reading-hard to keep the old teacher down so close to back-to-school...still love the smell of new Crayolas and freshly sharpened pencils!

Ours might not have come out quite as polished as the ones floating in blogland, but we sure had fun making them!

Next we made some back-to-school apples with Apple Jack caterpillars eating through them. It was so easy-download apples, punch hole, push through a green pipe cleaner and string on cereal. I think even Presley could have done this if she didn't eat all of her cereal first. This was the first thing she went for when she opened her goodie bag that night.

Another no brainer-Smarties bagged up with a downloaded topper. All of these goodies were put in bags we decorated with stamps along with some fancy pencils and erasers. We used these as favors at the table which was decorated using our color scheme of red(for apples), green(the color of the boards when I was teaching) and yellow(for pencils) . You'll have to take my word for the fact that the table looked good as I got so busy, I completely forgot to take any pictures! The picture at the top of this post is our centerpiece.

The last thing for this post is a clipboard that we made for each one. We thought that they could hang in the bottom level hall and Daddy would pass them as he came in each evening and could see what had happened that day. That would spur on lots of happy dinner talk. Harrison loved this project as he got to spray paint, sand and drill-right up his alley! We wanted then to look shabby chic so there wasn't really much that could go wrong. We would just say "we meant it to look distressed". It's amazing how long I've been getting away with that. Guess the cat is out of the bag now!

We had one more great project that I will post about tomorrow. Suffice it to say that I managed to get a full dinner on the table-meat loaf (an old family favorite), mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, garlic sauteed asparagus (thanks to daughter #3), salad, Red Lobster cheddar biscuits and fresh apple cake with caramel topping and ice-cream-even though my cooking activities have been mostly confined to the microwave and Lean Cuisines of late. I do love to cook but sometimes wonder how I ever used to do that every day of my life!!!?! Guess I was a lot younger then!

If there are any downloads I have talked about that you would like, just hit my Pinterest button and it will take you to my boards. I think all of these ideas were on my "grandchildren" board. Then, just follow the leads. There's more tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Breathing Room!

Do you remember this picture? Oh, I'm sure you do! You probably had nightmares all night long after looking at this picture. And on a decorating blog no less!

I have to admit that even I didn't realize it looked so bad until I stepped back and saw that room through some else's eyes. But, even then, I wasn't quite motivated.

At my age I no longer really know what it takes to motivate me. I used to put something on a list and I wouldn't go to bed at night until I had tackled the project and it was crossed off the list. Boy, have times changed. These days I just move it on to tomorrow's list or, more often, forget where I put the list and what was on it, so I am"home free"

In any case, for whatever reason, I began to tackle this mess even though it was completely overwhelming. I began by removing all of the books and my husband and I did some "selective" editing. I usually pass most of my books along to my daughter and only the ones by my very favorite authors are requested to be returned so my pile wasn't anywhere near as large as his. He also has favorite authors, so after a few tears were shed, he agreed to pass along some of his books as well.

I dusted all of the shelves but if truth be told and I was really doing this correctly, I should have put another coat or two of paint on everything. I guess all the years of pulling books in and out took their toll. Maybe some day, but not this summer!

Then, I grouped them by author and decided to take off all of the dust jackets so it wasn't so "busy". I think all of the colors definitely led to visual over stimulation.

I'm not really sure I like the books with the jackets removed because most of our books come from the book club and they are pretty generic but that does lead to some sense of uniformity, so I'm okay with it for now.

Even though there will be much tweaking before these shelves are done, I think they look soooo much better. I need time to gather up some goodies for the open spots and do a little merchandising on these areas. I will get there.

As I was reworking the shelves, I realized that part of the visual blight came from the large photo albums and various specialty books that I wanted to keep but couldn't really make eye pleasing. Then, I realized that the closet organizer I put in this room years ago-way before the pretty ones came on the market-had holes up and down the length of them. A quick trip to Lowes and a few cuts with my chop saw and I had shelves filling this area. I know it isn't pretty, but no one uses this closet and all it holds in the way of clothing is our old Halloween costumes, Halloween jackets, sweaters, etc. and my 3 outfits from my girls weddings-why I am keeping them, I don't know! There are also a number of larger decorations that currently have no where else to go. As long as no one opens this closet, we'll be O.K.-out of sight, out of mind.

What is not quite so out-of-sight are the books we aren't keeping. I am waiting for each of my kids to come by to see if they want any of them and then they are on to the Friends of the Library. I know as soon as I get rid of them, one of my blog friends will come up with the BEST idea ever for a craft using old books. Oh well, I like to live on the edge! Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's Happening!

It is really finally happening. Autumn and Halloween decorations are popping up in stores little by little. I have had a super busy week helping daughter #2 get her classroom ready for the start of a new year and planning for a back-to school party for the 3 youngest grandchildren. We are going to have grandson #1 spend the night one day next week and then all of the following day he and I are going to make back-to-school goodies. I will be sure and take lots of pictures and show you our creations.

Then, that evening, Mom, Dad and the other 2 munchkins will come over for dinner and our little party. Should be fun and a nice way to help 3 little people head off to new schools in a new city where the only people they really know are their grandparents!!

But, in amongst all of the real business I have managed to get into a few of my favorite spots for Halloween. One of those is Yankee Candle. They usually have at least one line that I love and this year is no exception. As a matter of fact, they simply added more to the line they had last year. I loved it then and couldn't get enough of it. So, when I saw they were having their launch last week, I made it a point to get there.

They still have some of the things I already have so that helped the budget a bit, but I had to have the new bottle candleabra and that skeleton hand. Can't wait to figure out where they will go. Of course I had to add the black candle jar and that small skeleton hand that can hang off the edge of just about anything. I think I may actually go back and buy more of them. Wouldn't they look cute hanging off glasses at a Halloween table?

Also stopped by the Dollar Tree and picked up some "creepy cloth", a couple more crows and even some MS knockoff mice silhouettes. I bought her crows last year and wanted to get the mice this year. These are probably not as sturdy as hers, but they are all only paper right? And at $1, I think they're a good deal! I also always buy 1 or 2 of their small headstones so I can tuck them in any little open spot-which, believe me, are few and far between in my house this time of year. As we speak (write) I am fighting the urge to decorate for autumn right now! If I didn't have so many promised things on my plate (back-to-school- and 50th anniversary scrapbooking for our church due next month!!!!!!), I would be all over it!

In any case, it calms my soul to know it is all at least within a few weeks' grasp. I had lunch with some old friends yesterday and they said our next get-together has to be at my house because they can't wait to see what this year looks like. Oh no! Now I've got to really put my brain to work and see what different things I can come up with. Stay tuned! It won't be long-I promise!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Or at least telltale signs of the beginnings are back. I see black, white and orange. I see witches and ghosts and pumpkins - oh my!

Yes, I have just begun to start my Halloween crafts for 2011. It always puts a smile on my face and a bit of a spring in my step. I love all things autumnal and Halloween! I start way too early but it makes me happy and it IS my house after all.

Of course, there is still much to do before the summer is officially over but I see an end in sight. From here on out, be looking for many things spooky. I am scouring Pinterest and already have way too many ideas for one year. We'll see what happens. And, what these things on my desk are destined to turn into. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Princess is in the Building

Presley officially turned 2 this week and as if by magic, she has fallen for all things princess, Barbie, baby other words, all things girly girl.

Whoever said raising girls was the same as raising boys didn't really have a clue. I don't think we have done anything to foster the love for all things pink. After all, she has two older brothers so many of the things she has played with the last two years have had wheels, arrows, noise makers, etc. But, suddenly she has become all girl.

I know the above picture doesn't really show her diva side, but it had been a long, hot day and even princesses are prone to kick off their shoes, rip out their barrettes and grab their pacies now and then.

Here is a picture of Presley's cozy quilt. It was a gift from Uncle Joel and Aunt Cyndi and truly a labor of love!

Most of the presents involved girl fun - dress-up clothes, a new baby and cradle, a grocery cart and food, a stroller, puppy dog and carrying case, Clifford and his book, etc.

The party also served as kind of a house warming at the Hollands new home. It was very low key and family oriented as the host and hostess were pretty tired from almost 2 solid weeks of moving, unpacking, and decorating with a whole garage still full of boxes to tackle! Jen went with the theme of watermelons and used it in her food and decorating. She and the kids made watermelon cupcakes which were just the right size for the little princess.

And, they had just the right amount of frosting to still have fun with the messy face!

A peek at the wonderful new yard and a picture of the oldest and youngest. In the end, a super fun day was had by the princess and all of her loyal subjects. When I look at these two together, I can really see how fast time goes and why I work so hard at finding so many of these moments and holding on to so many of these memories.

Today I actually started on my Halloween crafting. Several of the things I am making involved some computer printing and with my meager computer skills, I need to get an early start. I don't know the easy way to do much on the computer so I have to take many more steps than necessary but I now know enough that I can usually accomplish what I want. For the times I can't, I call a kid. I am a true believer of "where there is a will, there is a way". Hope to have more to report soon. Stay tuned.

A quick P.S. If you are reading my blog out of a reader format, I have now added a "Pinterest" button. It gives you a direct link to my boards so you can see where so much of my time is going these days!