13 January 2017

Feline Friday: Yoga with Rory

 In honor of my daughter's birthday today, it seems fitting that this Feline Friday post should feature Rory the Yoga Cat.

Bailey was recording a recent yoga practice when Rory discovered her phone perched on the couch. Hilarity ensues. :)

 
 
 
 

Love these girls! :)
jp


09 January 2017

Yoga in the New Year

I started doing yoga one year ago using the yoga mat my daughter bought me for Christmas. I knew it was something I needed to try, but I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do it. As it turned out, I really enjoy doing yoga and believe that it has helped me in many facets of my life.

My daughter has been my yoga inspiration. She started yoga while finishing up her college experience and began doing it in earnest during her student teaching semester. Now she has graduated to more difficult online classes -- two to three each day before and after school. She would tell you that yoga has greatly increased her strength and flexibility and I'm sure it has improved her overall well-being, too.

One thing I've learned is that yoga works better for me when I do it every day, even for a short practice. I started out last year doing yoga once a day but by the time summer came, I found myself slipping into an "every other day" routine, opposite the days I went to the gym. In retrospect, I lost continuity and momentum by skipping those days. And skipping one day of yoga made it all that much easier to skip more than one, I'm sorry to say.

When the new year came around, I was definitely ready for a re-set, and this time my mindset is to do things RIGHT. I'm enrolled in another free online yoga class with 31 days of practice, each one building on the day before. And as of Day 10, I've kept up with it every single day. YAY!

I've tried videos with a few different online instructors and Adriene is my favorite. I like her sense of humor, the pace of her classes, the way she explains positions, and her holistic approach. Find her website, enroll in her free class, and you'll get an e-mail each day with a link. Or you can go straight to YouTube and start now. It's that easy! 

There's a calendar which helps you keep track of where you are and lists the "theme" for each day. Each class lasts around 30 minutes. I love that I can do yoga in the privacy of my house, with no one but the cats to see me!
 

 Bailey bought me a set of yoga blocks for Christmas. While I managed to practice yoga last year without them, the blocks make it much easier when a particular pose is just out of your reach by "raising the earth" up to you. 
 Even though I can't do everything Adriene teaches in her classes, I'm trying my best and slowly seeing improvement. Thanks to my daughter for the yoga inspiration! If it weren't for her encouragement, I probably never would have tried yoga at all. 

 Here's to finishing this 31-day class and continuing on with my yoga journey! If you're curious about yoga, give it a try! You have absolutely nothing to lose...and potentially so very much to gain!
jp


08 January 2017

Curbside Christmas Tree


Last spring, I found this brand new pink tabletop tree on the curb during our neighborhood clean-up day. I'm not a fan of pink, so I spray painted it with cream paint.

These photos from Pinterest were my inspiration.

It was my first time spray painting "tinsel" and I must say it was slow going. Every time I thought I was done, I'd rotate the tree and see a bit more pink! 

Still, I am happy with how it turned out. After it dried, I put the tree in the basement until it was time to decorate for Christmas. I wondered how the spray paint would hold up over time, so when I got it out to use I was relieved that the tinsel was not brittle! 

Tree Painting Experiment = Success!

I really had no idea where I'd end up putting the tree but as it turned out, I had room for it in our bedroom. I set it on a stool that my dad used in his garage. This stool was YUCKY but cleaned up pretty well. I may paint it at some point but for now it is John Deere green. :)

I decorated the little tree with a few ornaments to pull out the colors in the quilt I placed at the foot of our bed.

I was surprised at how many ornaments it took to decorate this tree...and I could have added more! I picked up a package of inexpensive blue ornaments on sale at Target to help fill in the gaps.

I think this little tree turned out pretty well, considering how it started! I may try it in a different room with a different color scheme next Christmas. 


YAY for curbside treasures!


06 January 2017

Feline Friday: Rory's New Sweater

Our daughter was home over Christmas (loved every minute!) but Rory had to stay in Texas. Rory's cat sitter takes excellent care of her and even brought her treats on Christmas! But of course, Santa still left a few goodies for her because she has been SUCH A GOOD GIRL!

When Bailey got home, Rory enjoyed her own private Christmas!

 Spouse and I stopped by PetSmart before Christmas to give Santa a hand with his shopping and, to my surprise, he took an interest in picking out a new outfit for Rory! She has grown quite a bit since last Christmas and many of her outfits are getting a bit small. I suggested a sweater because those Texas winters can get cold (haha!), so he set out looking for something acceptable. 

I had to laugh because as Spouse combed the store, he was specifically looking for an outfit that would be long enough on Rory, properly covering her growing body. (It was a bit like a protective dad shopping for a not-too-short dress for his daughter!) We can't have any inappropriately dressed cats running around, you know! :)

After evaluating several options, Spouse selected this adorable cream cable-knit sweater which is plenty long to cover her bum and tummy.

It even has some sparkly gold threads which made it a PURR-fect choice for New Year's Eve! (I'm not sure she stayed awake for that but at least she looked cute!)

Here she is posing in the closet where Bailey stashed a soon-to-be opened birthday gift. Rory is just waiting for the empty box. :)

 Rory's fur is very short and she seems to be lacking a real undercoat, so no doubt she does get cold at this time of year. The new sweater covers her tummy and keeps her warm!
 

 The sweater is such a pretty color with her fur and eyes!

What a long neck we have, especially when there's a bird to watch outside! 

With her new longer sweater, our little Rory is surely the best dressed kitty in East Texas! :)

jp


05 January 2017

Christmas Decorating with Meaning: Part 3

Well, I had the best of intentions with this series of Christmas decorating posts...but other tasks got in the way.  Better late than never! In this third post, I'll share a few more of this year's Christmas decorations, all of which are meaningful to me for one reason or another!

This little deer is meaningful because I rescued him from a local Goodwill! I initially planned to sell him in my case at the antique mall, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Look how cute he is with that bow. Seriously!

This year I put a few things up in our bedroom, something I haven't done for quite some time. This was pretty easy because we have done absolutely no decorating since finishing our bedroom painting and carpet in November! I hung a couple of things on the wall, including this thrifted metal basket which is intended for cards. I just filled it with greenery to match a quilt I put at the foot of our bed.

I also framed and hung a piece of vintage-looking scrapbooking paper which I particularly liked.

I spray painted this small tree last summer (more about that in another post) and set it on a stool from my dad's garage, which I had initially intended to paint but didn't get around to doing. The wicker chair belonged to my grandma. Corner style wicker chairs are very unusual and while I'm not a huge fan of wicker, my mom and grandma wanted me to have it so of course it's special to me.

This embroidered baby quilt was made for me by my aunt. I have a few of my baby quilts handmade by family members which my mom saved over the years.

In the entry way, I have a small bookcase which I saved from my parents' house. I do not know where they got it but it works perfectly in our entry for seasonal decor. The book on the top shelf is one of many from my childhood, and the little jadeite and milk glass set belonged to my mom. Jadeite and milk glass are two of my favorite things!

I found the bottle brush trees at World Market this fall. I wanted to use them in conjunction with this wreath which belonged to my grandma. The mirror hangs right above the bookcase.

On the second shelf, I have a small set of books from my childhood and an awesome thrifted depression glass domed butter dish, one of my favorite finds ever. The jadeite "coaster" is actually a lid from a canister that I picked up for 49 cents (!!!) at a thrift store. Jadeite is notoriously expensive these days. I bought the lid with the intention of selling it on eBay at some point but this year, it was perfect in my bookcase!

On the bottom shelf I have a bowl of old Christmas light bulbs which came from my parents' house. I just love old bulbs, and these particular bulbs were used on one of our Christmas trees over the years. The cream-ware bowl is part of a set of three that belonged to my mom.

This little boot was originally filled with candy for my mom and her sister at Christmas. I found the candle in a box from my grandma's house and cleaned him up. He's pretty cute.

All of the items in this doll crib are special to me. The crib itself belonged to my mom. The bear is over 100 years old and belonged to my grandma (read more about him HERE). I found the little moose a few years ago when Spouse and I got stranded on my birthday as we were driving back from Indiana. There was a very nice Goodwill right next to our hotel, and this little guy was there waiting for me! The books and apples belonged to me as a child. The apples open up and contain tiny wooden dishes (more on that in a future post).
 
I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of these pictures. Perhaps they've evoked a memory or two. Do you decorate for the holidays with family heirlooms? I'd like to see your pictures!

jp

30 December 2016

Feline Friday: Meet Wobbert!

Santa was very good to the girls! (Was there any doubt about that? LOL) Lily received a Friskies Pull 'n Play which Santa thought would promote "active" play for her. So far, it has been a hit!

It comes with a plastic "wobbler" (named Wobbert), a bag of crunchy treats, and a pack of pull-apart string treats. The wobbler lid unscrews, allowing you to insert the string treats into the "ears" and the crunchy treats into the body.


Kitty can eat the string treats to tip Wobbert until the treats come out of the hole in the side or use Wobbert without them.



Santa thinks that Lily's regular crunchy food (not treats) should be placed in Wobbert, encouraging her to actively work for her food and prevent the gobbling which often leads to throwie-uppies.

Bailey spent just a few minutes showing Lily how to tip Wobbert so that her food would come out the hole. It only took a little while for her to get the hang of it.

Wobbert is weighted on the bottom so that it wobbles but doesn't tip over. Lily can tip it either direction to make the food come out.

It looks like Wobbert is going to be a fun way to add a little activity to Lily's normally sedentary days!
Here's to that New Year's weight loss plan! :)
jp



23 December 2016

Feline Friday: Christmas Best


 We're all decked out in our holiday best to wish you a very Merry Christmas...

...and the happiest of MEW Years! Thanks for reading our blog!
Jan, Tinsel, and Lily

21 December 2016

Christmas Decorating with Meaning: Part 2

 Welcome back to the second installment of my little holiday decor tour! In today's post, I'm focusing on the dining room. If you've followed my blog, the dining room decor will look similar to how I decorated this space last year. 
 

I feel like I'm a little bit limited in the dining room simply by the colors of the walls (olive) and the green and gold chair rail border. For that reason, I think the "woodland/metallic" theme works pretty well in the space. As long as I continue to like it, I'll keep the theme!

It's really hard to get a good picture of the dining room with the tree lit. This picture makes it look very gold, which it is not. But the gold ornaments and decorations do give a bit of a gold glow.

The top of the china cabinet is very much the same as last year, with a combination of things I've made myself (the nut tree and pinecone tree) and family heirlooms. I made those trees (and some hanging nut balls!) when I was 8 months pregnant with Bailey and working at Spouse's office. I remember hot gluing nuts and pine cones in between my "official" duties! This must have been my woodland "nesting" phase!

This footed compote is a real treasure. I keep it up on the china cabinet year-round, out of kitty jumping range! It belonged to my great great grandmother on my dad's side.

Here's a new addition to the dining room holiday decor -- this beautiful old footed bowl/compote which I found at a thrift store for less than $2. I quickly identified it on eBay as pressed glass known as sandwich glass and made by the Indiana Glass company in the early 1900s. I have some dark green sandwich glass dishes which belonged to my grandma (I'll be getting them out for Christmas!), which is why the bowl caught my eye. It looks so pretty filled with these old ornaments! Someone let go of a treasure when they donated this beautiful piece. I'm very glad I found it!

Under the dome are some wooden woodland critters I bought in Germany during college. The wooden box is filled with gold and silver pine cones my mom used at Christmas.

 I made this little guy last year by antiquing the car and strapping the tree to the roof. I haven't decided which size of wood base to use, so right now it's perched on two!

 These wooden trees came from a thrift store a couple of years ago. I love their simple shape and how easily they work into lots of different holiday themes.

The dining room tree holds all of my gold, silver, and bronze mercury glass ornaments, plus other ornaments in that same color scheme. Last year I sorted my mercury glass ornaments by color which made it much easier to find the colors I needed when I decorated the tree this year! One year I'm going to have to do a pink tree because I have a TON of pink mercury glass. Too bad I'm not a fan of pink! Hopefully it will grow on me because I'm not parting with those beautiful ornaments, regardless of the color!

 Thanks for following me around the house this year! I'll be back in the coming days with more holiday decorating photos. 
Happy holidays to everyone!
jp