Friday, September 30, 2011


Yes, it is with a heavy heart, but this little blog is a movin'. It has been my goal since the beginning of the year to house my business and my blog in one spot - and have more of a "website." The kids are also getting older and Doug and I have had MANY a discussion in the last year and a half about the purpose of the blog, my growing business, and how much to expose the children. Sigh... why does the world have to be so icky at times.
From a personal perspective, we aren't really sure what we are going to do with this little corner of the world. So for those wonderful family and friends who keep up with me because you love me, my kids, and are happy about my business - but that is not how you know me - I will most likely be using facebook to update photos and more personal stories (and if a private blog comes into play I will let you know).

There will still be lots of stuff I share over on the new site - including the kids - it is just time to be a bit more careful. So... I hope you will join me over at and "keep in touch" so to speak.

It has been a great four years, "Cheaper by the Half Dozen." You will be missed!

Monday, September 19, 2011

{peace} printable

To say that I am not a peaceful person is an understatement. No, I don't mean that I am always conjuring up drama with people, picking fights, or yelling up a storm. There just isn't a lot of peace in my mind and spirit most of the time. You see I am an obsessive worrier and these worries, well, I kind of let them overtake me in a very unfortunate way. If you are like me, you know what I am talking about. These worrisome obsessions can litterally take over one's mind and be very debilitating - whether in just day to day accomplishments or even with one's health.

As I have gotten older I have realized how much of a problem this has been in my life and I am not going to lie, I have seen a counselor to help me learn to deal with this problem more effectively. She helped me with things like triggers, relaxation exercises, and changing some patterns in my life that were actually contributing to the problem.

All these things have helped tremendously, but my pastor several weeks ago mentioned something that I had failed to do - and that was use God's Word to help me with these things as well. I hate to admit it, but when I went to find my Bible the next morning I didn't remember where it was. Granted, I read something spiritual everyday, but it was a good reminder that I really do need to be in the Word.

So... I started flipping through and I decided on Phillipians. Even if you are not familiar with Scripture, most all of us - whether we have religious affliation or not - are familiar with the passage that speaks of being anxious for nothing (found in Philippians). I started reading that passage and had never realized that all these verses were connected.

I love the references to heart and mind - where my battle lies - and the encouragement to think on things that are noble, just, lovely, excellent. It is difficult to stay in a deep, dark, anxious place when one thinks on these things.

So my goal is to print this out, post it in my bathroom, memorize it, and when I feel that overwhelming feeling come over me - use the tools I have been given as well as these verses - and hopefully focus on the things that God promises can and will give me His peace!

Oh, and the printable, please enjoy and I hope you will use it to help you, if you find yourself in an anxious spot (just right click with your mouse, "save picture as," place it in a file on your computer and print it out).

Friday, September 16, 2011

abercrombie and fitch

Yes, I know I am a bit biased and yes, I am dating myself here (although you must admit abercrombie always did have gorgeous models) but my little guy has been suffering from a buzz cut. He stands by every day as I comb Charlotte's hair (while she screams) and then is told that she looks beautiful. He, with barely any hair, had none to comb.

We have been growing it out for Aunt Sarah's wedding and he has come to me repeatedly asking me to fix it. So, this is what we did the other day, and well, lets just say, he was pretty thrilled with it. I must admit, he did look a bit like a little model and he thoroughly enjoyed the attention his new-found hairstyle brought him. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's time to Stock UP

Yep, it is that time of year again - and the last time I will run this promotion in 2011. So if you haven't heard, my Stock Up and Save sale is going on RIGHT NOW! And I have added a few goodies this time around - you don't want to miss it.
Here is how it works:
Get 6 FREE Notecards with EVERY Personalized Notecard purchase (flat or folded).
Get 10 FREE Calling Cards with every Calling Card Purchase.
Get 6 FREE Recipe Cards with every Recipe Card purchase.
(Sorry cannot be used on custom or existing orders, printables, or any of our party packs or invitations.)

To receive your FREE notecards/calling cards/ recipe cards
BE SURE to enter
"Stock Up!"
in the message to seller upon purchase.

Don't wait too long, this great promotion ends September 17th !
p.s. for those of you who would rather not fool with etsy, you can contact me via email at and let me know what you want OR stop by the facebook page on Friday, September 16th, and choose what you want to purchase there (there will be instructions on how to do it). Just visit me at

And if you need to get to the shop click this link
(Shhhh, I have a surprise to announce soon. If you go over to you will get a glimpse of what is going on. :))

Monday, September 12, 2011


A week ago Saturday we had a somewhat leisurely morning at home and before the whirlwind of our day started the kids happened upon these caterpillars. With the lack of rain and the end of the season I have let my plants go, but it seems that the caterbugs (as DC likes the call them) have not. They are taking full advantage of these plants and are obviously getting their fill - see how fat they are.

These little critters have provided a wealth of entertainment and while I like nothing with a worm like figure, these little guys are quite interesting in their own right. It is amazing how easily they blend in with their enviornment. I do love, though, that my kids are in love with them (and nature for that matter). I just try to put my girly self to the side so as not to damage their intrigue. That camera lense is about as close as I am getting. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It has been hard for me to even know what to say about today. I guess remembering the terrible events of this day is a good thing - the reminders that our lives can change in an instant, to love and cherish those that mean most to us, the men and women who have sacrificed and still sacrifice to give us our freedom, all those that lost. But it is hard for me to want to remember this day. The fear, the anger, the anguish, the images...

I will never forget where I was, trying to understand it. I was working on the teller line in the main branch of First National Bank in Atmore, Alabama - that moment, the space etched in my mind.

I remember my father telling the same story - never forgetting the time, place, the moment, when JFK died. I must admit, as a child, I never thought that I would have a similiar story, obviously one that would change our American world forever.
Sadly, the events of 9/11 are part of my memories, a part of my childrens' history. A time we have learned from, still learn from, and I still mourn over.

And when I tell myself that I don't want to remember, I remind myself that those thoughts are just selfish. I just want to believe that my life is this little safe bubble - free of all the wrong, ugly, and terrifying. But again, remembering is good, because while I don't want to dwell on the horrible events of that day, that day represents the reason we fight, have faught, and continue to press on for freedom. And that, is worth remembering!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Random Post...homemaking kind of day...

Last Monday was one of those days - a homemaking kind of day. The weather was sunny, the projects many, and the children - as always - under foot. Obviously I have many of these days, but I must admit, I was thankful for this one. It reminded me of the small little moments I will miss when the kids are tucked away at school, off with their friends, or away from home for that matter.

Both of the kids were eager that I eat with them at breakfast. I normally turn on the t.v. and watch a bit of the Today Show while they eat. I sit and sip my coffee for about five minutes before I set about my chores, but on this day I left the t.v. off and I enjoyed breakfast with my kiddos.

Not long after we began doing a little "school" work. Neither of my kids are in a Mom's Day Out program or preschool so we are pretty much together 24/7. This, too, is one of those things I will miss - in just a year when Charlotte is off at school.

Today we learned the letters "a," "b," and "c." And by the end of the "lesson" they could both write them and Charlotte could identify two out of the three - ironically "c" being the harder one for her to remember.

It was fun seeing them get excited about what they had learned and I enjoyed teaching them. More training ensued as there were a few fights to break up, but all in all they went about their morning, helping me with chores, cleaning up their rooms, and even helping me prep for dinner.

I do love watching their make-believe play. The older they get the more fun it is to watch. I wonder how often my mother watched us as we were engrossed in our little worlds.

While a twinge of loneliness captured my spirit for a bit, I still reveled in the quiet, the simplicity of just "being" with my children.

I don't know about you, but I tend to feel guilty over allowing chores to take time away from my kids and I realize how ridiculous this is. I truly try to involve them in as much as possible and no one in real life gets to be entertained all day. I know that the lessons of homemaking are teaching my children valuable skills - like teamwork, organization, patience, and ultimately love.

There are so many days when the mundane seems so draining and I hear my thoughts saying, "not this again." But, I truly am trying to soak up these little moments because they will be so quickly gone and I will once again wish for the sticky fingerprints on the windows instead of the sun shining so clearly through them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


 Not the dance, but this fresh wonderful goodness that we have enjoyed so many times over the summer. I have had several people ask me for my salsa recipe and since I made it over the weekend I decided it was time to get it posted on the blog.

 I adapted this recipe from another salsa recipe that I received from my Farmers Market Basket. It really is so simple and there are a few things that really MAKE it.
 Alison's Fresh Homemade Salsa
1/2 large onion chopped
1 large (or two small) peppers chopped (I prefer red, but green work fine too)
2-3 tomatoes chopped decent size
approximately 1/2 a bunch of cilantro - chopped (I used a little less)
a few cloves garlic finely chopped (optional)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice (can add more if you feel it needs it)
Salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic salt (only use garlic salt if you don't use garlic cloves) to taste
Mix together and serve (better if it sits over night in fridge). The ingredients that make this salsa are the cilantro, tomato sauce, and the lime juice. Serve over chicken, fish, or just snack. I don't feel quite as guilty eating it because it is just veggies.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Many of you may not remember my post from here or that a year ago I lost my job (see post here), but from that layoff last year there have been plenty of low professional moments for me. Any of you who have lost a job know, that regardless of the circumstances surrounding it, one's ego takes a big hit.

I also was really discouraged the first of the year wondering why I couldn't seem to get this little business "off the ground." The fact was, things were going relatively well considering I didn't lose money in 2010, but I was wanting more.

In June Doug and I had a real heart to heart about finances. We both had been looking for other means of income to try to conquer some of the school debt we have incurred from Doug's Masters. As many of you know, especially in education, going back to school is a necessary evil - especially when one wants to move into leadership.

So with a heavy heart I began to do some praying. With the economy I knew finding part-time work for either of us was going to hard. We did some looking, Doug did some applying, but nothing panned out. Not even a class I put together to teach during the summer while I had free childcare.

My parents were praying too (they are great this way and usually pray for things before I even ask them). And during this time I had an aha moment. I know, you are going to think, seriously, but it came to me that I already have a "part time job" with The English Pea Studio. The problem was, I hadn't started paying myself. I was just dumping any money I made back into the business.

Now, I know that this is necessary especially in the beginning, but I realized after making a profit last year maybe I needed to reevaluate things. So I did, paying our little family my first "paycheck" that month.

And you know what happened, since then, every single month, God has provided more business for me than I even dreamed possible. Seriously! No lie, May was my best month ever since being in business and in August - that number doubled. I have been quite overcome with His provision and quite honestly, surprised. I know this seems silly, but it was like when Doug and I finally decided to make this step the business started coming.

Now, we aren't back to what I was making last year working my "day" job, but I can see that God is opening doors for me and I am quite overcome with emotion, humility, and ultimately gratitude. So for those of you that have just found me and those of you that have been sticking along side me and cheering me on - Thanks! I am humbled that God is beginning to give me this dream that I have had as long as I can remember - a dream of owning a creative business!

Friday, September 2, 2011

They're Back!

I must confess, I had to keep myself from putting these up sooner. It is no secret that I LOVE fall, but I felt like I had to wait to put these up until at least September. Forgive me, but we have had a touch of fall in the air, and well, it is getting me excited.

So... enjoy. These will be around a while and all will be available as printables AND printed materials in the shop. And don't be surprised if come October there isn't a freebie that makes it your way.