Thursday, September 30, 2010

Playfulness





If you know me and you know me well you know I am a very task oriented person. Chop it up to being the oldest of six, or that I was homeschooled for the latter part of my education, or just to my personality, regardless I am a bonified list maker. My list making abilities have changed over time and usually the list only exists in my head, but there are times where I must write it all down, get it on paper as to not forget and lose focus.

Well, sadly, playfulness is not usually entered on my "list of things to do" and with two toddlers under the age of three there is A LOT of playfulness that goes on in our house. Don't get me wrong, I play with my kids but it is normally during "scheduled times."

On this particular day Doug wasn't going to be home until really late. I decided to keep the kids home that afternoon - not fill it with one of my tasks - like running an errand - and I decided to get creative. Charlotte and Douglass Charles were thrilled when I took the tent outside in our "woods" and prepared dinner and brought it out for them to eat at our little campground. Originally I had thought we would eat in the tent, but I soon discovered there was no way we were going to accomplish that with those two kiddos - who turned the tent over within five minutes of it being outside.

The kids LOVED it. We played, ate, played and went back to eat some more. Then we pretended to be airplanes - including me - and flew down our hill buzzing away in the wind. Then we were off hopping down the hill like rabbits - hop, hop, hop - and then it was back to airplanes again.

We had such fun that evening - just playing, enjoying each other's compnay. It was fun to join in the world of a one and two year old for an hour or so - putting my list aside - relishing those sweet squeals and giggles as mommy made a complete fool of herself.

Here's hoping you add a little playfulness to your day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's A Big Deal!



So, does this look familiar, yet different. Yep, I have had a little name change over here at The English Pea. Last week I filed my paperwork to become an official Limited Liability Company. Feels like kind of a big deal and I guess it really is - a big step for me and one that I wasn't sure I would ever make.

Now, I will be brief so as not to bore you with business details, but the name change basically came about because there is actually another business with the same name - sort of - in the state of Georgia. So... in order to differentiate myself from this business I had to make some alterations.

Just fyi... if you are ever in a place where you are starting your own business with a name you created there are several things you need to do and one of the first is to file a name reservation with the State. If I had done this back when I selected the name over two years ago this would have never been a problem (as the other business was just formed in August). Lesson learned, but I am kind of excited about the new name and an even newer look - a little more sophisticated if you ask me. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, September 27, 2010

32




This weekend I celebrated my 32nd birthday. I swear I don't know where a year goes, but it doesn't seem like it was that long since I celebrated my 31st.

Friday was a pretty normal day - as most birthdays are - but my in-laws came in and treated me to dinner. The whole fam went out and then we headed back here for cake and gifts. Doug also gave me the beautiful yellow flowers you see here and they have been a bright addition to the kithcen table - especially over a somewhat rainy weekend.

I truly felt like the 25th was my celebration day. Suzie insisted that I not let my birthday pass quietly (which was my initial desire) and talked me into having a couple of friends meet up for brunch on Saturday. Anna, Amy, Suzie and I headed over to Marietta Square for some girl time at Sugar Cakes. I thoroughly enjoyed my morning off and time catching up with friends - Thanks, Suz, for "talking me into it."

The true highlight of the weekend for me was Saturday evening. Doug's parents graciously offered to keep the kids so Doug and I could have a date night. We headed back to the square and ate at Simpatico - where I had a delictable lobster mac and cheese and a couple glasses of my favorite reisling. Doug and I also wandered around some shops, casually looked around at Barnes and Noble (which I haven't done in a LONG time), and enjoyed some ice cream before heading home.

It truly was a relaxed and fun weekend and I appreciate all those that wanted to make it special. Despite my wanting to pass this birthday quietly, I think we celebrated it up quite well. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Day



Today I am kicking off my birthday with my giveaway winner - plus a few hugs from the kiddos, my free cup of Starbucks, and some awesome grocery shopping. :) Congratulations to Emily Branch on winning your choice of halloween bag tags/cupcake toppers. :) I will contact you to get specifics on what you want.

Happy Day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last Chance...


to enter my Trick or Treat Giveaway! Click here to enter. I will announce the winner tomorrow.

And isn't this little spider headband cute? I am not a big fan of large things in babies' hair (I know, some of you like it the bigger the better. Just not my style), I do think this is quite fun for the holiday. You can find it here.

Have a great day and good luck on winning the giveaway!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Personalization



There is no art to personalization, but it is amazing how something so simple can make one feel so special. I am sitting, right now, in a coffee shop in the town where I live - trying to accomplish some important paperwork and gear up for the holidays. I looked up and saw a sign in this local place - "Happy Birthday, Lisa!" This little shop knows their customers, calls them by name, welcomes them and seems to already know their order. I don't know about you, but these kind of gesutres always make me feel special - and it is just the simple mention of their name, their order, what makes them unique and special.

This is one of the things I love about my business - being able to personalize a card, the color, a symbol that best recognizes a personality, a preference, and favorite. So thanks, little coffee shop, for reminding me what makes my little corner of commerce so special to me - personalization!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A New Arrival




The kids getting aquainted with their new cousin


Charlotte "holding" Kiersten's hand


Proud Uncle Doug holding his niece

Last Monday we welcomed a new member to the English family. Doug's younger sister, Meg, and her husband, Grant, welcomed their first child, Kiersten Marie into this world. Grant is an officer in the military and thankfully they are posted close enough to us for to make a trip this weekend to meet the newest member of our family.

This is Doug's first niece on his side of the family - and as many of you know - it is just different when your siblings have the children (instead of inlaws). Oh, you care for all the kiddos equally, but sharing the joy of children with someone as close as your sibling is just special. Doug was so excited about that little girl he went down the day after she was born after work to meet her. He couldn't wait until the weekend.

She is a precious little thing and we are thrilled to have a cousin to eventually play with on the English side of the family (Charlotte couldn't understand why baby Kiersten was always sleeping and didn't want to play with her on Saturday). :) Congrats Meg and Grant on a beautiful baby girl!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

They're Here!


Spiders, pumpkins, candy corn- you knew there wouldn't be anything too scary about my Halloween collection. From tags, to cards, to cupcake toppers, I don't know about you but I am ready to throw a party. Hope you enjoy the newbies as much as I do.

And since I am in a party throwing mood, I might was well give something away, right? So how about a set of cupcake toppers or scalloped tags (they are basically the same thing - one just comes with the sticks attached and the other comes with a ribbon strung through). You get to choose design and color if you win. I will announce the winner at end of the week (Friday, the 24th - my birthday!)

To enter:
Follow my blog
Comment on your favorite new item
Become a fan on facebook
Share this giveaway on your social network
(do all four and increase your chance of winning)

Good luck!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Do you know yet?


What your kids are going to be for halloween this year? I have a few ideas in the works, but how cute is this little head piece - yes please. You can find it here from Sweet Pea Toad Tots on Etsy. I must say, I heart everything.

Don't forget to stop by on Monday for the unveiling of my Halloween designs. I am so excited I can barely stand it.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Plums



My boy is a fruit lovin' fool. I actually have to reserve fruit until the end of the meal because he won't eat anything else if a piece of canteloup, grape, or plum is offered with dinner. On this particular day he requested a plum. He thinks he is big stuff if he can eat the whole thing by himself - not cut up - so I let him have at it. He ran off - as usual - with the plum in hand and headed outdoors (his favorite place to be). I was inside finishing up dinner, Charlotte was coloring, and after a few moments I realized he hadn't come back inside. So I glanced out the kitchen window and this is what I saw - My little guy as content as he could be sitting in a chair on the back patio all by his lonesome enjoying his precious plum.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

{silliness}





One of the funnest things to me about being a mother is the fun stuff you get to give your kids - see how they respond, watch them laugh, giggle, and thoroughly enjoy something just plain silly.

Charlotte gets lollipops for going #2 and on this particular day I had run out of our stash. Thankfully I had saved a slew of candy that Doug's mother sent the kids for Valentines Day. In it were these lip shapes with lollipops on the back. Both the kids had so much fun and while sticky got EVERYWHERE it was fun to see them enjoy this silly treat.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Girly Birds






My dear friend Suzie contacted me recently for an order. She wanted my "For the Birds Pack" and made a special request - she wanted bows in their feathers. So I set out to priss up my collection of birds and I believe Miss Penguine, Miss Owl, and Miss Chick look quite pretty all dolled up with their new accessories.

All kidding aside, I did fall in love with this idea and appreciate Suzie's creative mind. Like so many of my customers, she gave me a great idea and one that I will use going forward. So thanks to Suzie, and all of you out there, who have made special requests. It adds life, fun, and something special to my little designs. Hope you enjoy the Girly Birds.

Monday, September 13, 2010

BLT




Today is an absolutely gorgeous day. I can really begin to feel Autumn creeping in and it warms my heart. I love this season - the colorful leaves, the cooler temps, football and chilli, pumpkin carving, baking, and so much more.

One thing I will miss - the wonderful and beautiful produce we enjoyed over the summer months. The BLT is really one of our summer staples here at the English house. We don't fry much around here - I know we live in South and don't eat fried food everyday? - but Doug and I love some onion rings - especially those sweet, vidallia onions that are so delicious in the summertime.

This ensemble - the BLT and onion rings (along with some homemade chocolate chip cookes) was our "last summer meal" on Labor Day last Monday. The food was delicious, fresh, and just plain yummy!

So while I yearn the wonderful days of this upcoming season, I will miss my summer sunshine and the delicious fresh food that comes with it.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Greater Things Ahead...

Friday morning I was frantically trying to get to my church to volunteer for a consignment sale. Earlier in the week I had found myself pondering over my lay off again. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions. I had no idea... Earlier in the week I had had a concerned colleague call because he had heard the news. It touched me because he didn't have to care - and showed more concern for me in that one phone call than most people have. The tears came falling again after that phone conversation - partly because of his compassion and partly because of the humble pie I am still not enjoying.

I haven't prayed much over it, just worried over it well - kind of like I do most things (unfortunately), but Friday morning I had a revelation. We had a few quiet minutes in the car. I turned up the radio - which was on the Christian station (not usually where I have it) and Chris Tomlin's song "Our God is Greater" was on.

I heard these words...
"And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us!
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
Our God is greater..."

I realized in that little moment, that God has greater things for me than Chick-fil-A. I thought over this a moment and realized that is pretty awesome. He has something better for me, a greater plan, and my lay off was His gift. Now He wants me to accept it - with open and grateful hands - and trust that HE ultimately does know what HE is doing!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lagniappe - Potatoes


Photo courtesy of www.bbcfood.com

I am so a potato loving girl. I love them baked, mashed, fried, roasted. You name a potato dish I bet you I will love it. But have you ever found yourself with a ton of potatoes and your not sure what to do with all of them. I rarely find a way not to use a potato because I love them so, but sometimes I do want something a little different.

Well, you can make a meal out of all those leftover potatoes - believe it - no meat involved. Warm potato soup with some sharp cheddar shredded on top on a chilly day with a green salad will hit the spot - I guarantee it and this recipe is SO easy!

Gigi's Potato Soup
This recipe comes from Doug's grandmother - who is an excellent cook and has shared so many great recipes and entertaining tips with me.

8-10 large red potatoes peeled and chopped (you can really use any potato) or your whole bag - depends on how many you are trying to feed. I usually figure 2-3 large potatoes per person with a couple extra thrown in.

Cover potatoes with water (I add a little salt) and boil until potatoes are fork tender.

(Important step here) Drain potatoes, but reserve the liquid they were boiled in. Set liquid aside and place potatoes in a bowl.

Mix/Mash with a mixer and add a 1/2 stick of butter (more if you like lots of butter) and a splash of milk (you have made mashed potatoes here). Mix until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now take your liquid and gradually add to potatoes while mixing (I normally put a fourth in at a time, mix until the liquid is incorporated, and repeat). You may not need all the liquid so you will add it until you get the "soup" to the consistency you like - just check it (or in my case taste it) with a spoon.

Garnish with scallions and/or shredded cheddar cheese. Serve immediately!

This is really so easy, cheap, and takes very little preparation. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Introducing...







Priss the Poodle. Isn't she cute? I have been wanting to add a dog to the collection for quite a while and with a poodle of my own, I thought why not this prissy breed.

Priss will find her way onto notecards, bagtags, and calling cards soon. These invitations will also be available in the shop later today.

So since I am adding to my collection of graphics, what are some things you would like to see. Inquiring minds want to know. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Check it!

Hope you are having a fabulous Labor Day weekend. Ours has been full of absolutely gorgeous weather - and some kiddos who are under the weather. So while we didn't get to spend our weekend quite as we planned we are thankful for time together and cooler temps.

Take a little gander on over to Grosgrain today. She has a giveaway from yours truly over there. You won't want to miss out on entering to win something from The English Pea!

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 3, 2010

{red}








We received these gorgeous grape tomatoes (not sure if they are grape, but they were obviously small) in our Farmers Market Basket last week. The color on them was so bright and vivid. I just had to photograph them.

It was fun to enjoy little details that afternoon while I was prepping dinner and these little tomatoes have found their way into salads, on tacos, and snacked on over the last few days. I am not a huge raw tomato fan, but I have learned to appreciate them over the summer - in BLT's, on a salad, and I love them in salsas and sauces.

I love the last photo of my little man. He was whining for one, begging at the edge of the table for a taste. I offered him one and he did not appreciate them as much as I. He immediately spit it out.

So, here's hoping you are able to enjoy some small details over this long weekend. Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Atmore Trip


Yeah for Nannah's


The most decent picture of all the cousins - left to right: Adeline, Douglass Charles, Flannery, and Charlotte


Charlotte swimming in Nannah's pool


My sister, Lauren, and her daughter, Flannery


Charlotte and Douglass Charles playing in Nannah's living room after breakfast


Me talking to the kids trying to get them to smile and look at the camera


The best picture we got


Charlotte and Adeline with my brother Owen. Charlotte LOVES her Uncle Owey!

Our trip was relatively uneventful, just a lot of time with some of the ladies in the family and all the grandkids. I think my mother forgot how high the noise level can get when you have four children under the age of three all together. She thoroughly enjoyed everyone though - I think. :) Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stock UP and SAVE!


Enjoy some savings from The English Pea over the next two weeks with my Stock Up and SAVE annual event. Purchase a set of notecards at the regular price and receive 6 cards for FREE with your order. This will only last for a limited time so stock up now and enjoy some extra savings!!!