Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vacation: Relax, Recharge, Renew

So I went off the radar  as much as possible last week.  It. Was. Amazing.  I found myself with a new work calendar, and a random week off in September.  I know. {Jealous}

I made a secret pact with myself to DO absolutely nothing.  I did not make the usual optimistic To-Do.  I did not UNDO the mess created from starting school.  Basically, I DID as little as possible....with a one-year-old son.
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back2Blogging Day 3

Today's part of the SITS Challenge was to repost a blog entry whose title you were proud of.  I didn't have to think too hard about this one...
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back2Blogging Day 2

This week is all about revisiting my blog and taking a peek at it's evolution.  Today's topic (as part of the SITS challenge) is to share a post that you wish more people had read, and explain why.

When I first began blogging, I was on summer vacation (one of the BEST parts of the schoolhouse), and had tons of time to leave comments and meet new bloggy friends.  I haven't been posting as much, and I want to make sure that readers saw this post:

Those who follow me know that I have found one of the best aspects of blogging to be the sense of community amongst those involved.  Since I am a working mom, I miss out on having a group of moms that I can confide in.  Blogging has filled that void, and offered me every resource imaginable.  So many resources, in fact, I need another day in the week to put them all into action.

I think it is important to spotlight those who share a unique message in their blog, whether it be heartfelt, humorous, spiritual, or otherwise beneficial to all who read it.  One particularly HOT Sunday in Atlanta, I found a very enticing picture of Ice Cream, and got the idea for the Sunday Scoop.  Ending the week featuring great blogs seemed like a great idea to me.

The more I get into blogging (and honestly, the more I have returned to work), I am not sure that I am the best person to seek out blogs, as there are SO many.  So, I am putting a spin on the Sunday Scoop, and inviting those of you who would like to be featured to let me know, and we will put YOU on center stage. Comment Love will be flowing, and you may even find yourself with some new followers. 

Don't be shy!  The best way to gain readership is to put yourself out there, and the talent in the blogopshere is amazing.  Check out the "Featured On The Sunday Scoop" page to learn more about being featured.  I can't wait to feature some new blogs this week!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Finding That Purpose

Monday, Monday!  Wish it were Sunday....Not Another Monday!  Weekends seem to go by at warp speed these days.  Here we go with another week of music making and toddler tornados...

The wonderful girls over at SITS have made it easy to jump start that blogging energy this week, which I am very excited about!  I have lots of motivation Sunday evening, and by the time my foot steps into the schoolhouse, the blog plummets to the bottom of the To-Do List.  

To add even MORE motivation, you can win a beautiful new washer and dryer.  In my world, a pretty washer and dryer might make doing the laundry a little more fun!  The fun contest is sponsored by Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances.

Today's Post Topic: Taking a Look Back at The First Post on your Blog
So, even though my blog isn't very old, it is still so fun to re-read old posts.  Here it is....

How we define ourselves and how others define us is the source of much thought and conversation, whether it be face to face or virtual.  Blogging allows us all to be an expert on...us!  What strengths, passions, talents, ideas, or expertise do you have to share with the world?  Blogging allows us all a little piece of the world's attention, connection with other random folks out there who "march to the same drummer" we do.

Creativity in its numerous forms will be the inspiration for Articles from Addington.  Our lives, although oddly familiar from day to day, often take unexpected turns that require...creativity.  Creativity also allows an escape from that same day to day familiarity, and has been my inspiration to enter the blogging community.

We all wear many hats in life - some at different times, but more often several at the same time.  Articles from Addington will share some of the ways I wear the hats of a working mom, a wife, a musician, and someone who has an awesome craft room but struggles to generate many crafty products :-)  Hopefully my virtual musings will inspire not only those who read the "articles" but also ME, as I want to have lots to blog about.

So, cheers, to a turning over a new leaf, and adding another "hat" to my collection.  Happy Reading....

As I reread my earlier thoughts, I think my purpose and theme for Articles From Addington remains the same.  In fact, my blog has motivated me to get back in the craft room and also to take MANY more photographs.  I have also been inspired daily by the numerous blogs I read.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Scoop

One of my favorite times of the week!  Time to spotlight a few of you wonderful bloggers who make life easier and inspire me!  For this week's post, I am taking some time to seek out some new blogs as well as share a fabulous new blogging network.

For great organizational ideas, check out Maria's blog, MeckMom.com.  She has wonderful ideas for school-age children, as well as some very cute craft ideas.  If you are short on time, check out the post on the readers Top-20 favorite ideas.  Quick, concise, and very cool!

U Create

Feeling Crafty, but need some direction?  Don't miss UCreate!  Kari is full of amazing ideas, and has guest crafters that bring fresh ideas frequently, too.  If you are anything like me and need a deadline to get you motivated, she has a Create With Me section, where you can use the monthly tutorial to craft along with fellow followers.  September's pumpkin tutorial is adorable, and just in time to welcome Fall.

Make and Takes

Make and Takes is a fantastic idea blog for recipes, crafting, home projects, and fun kid stuff.  I could spend hours sifting through the many great ideas, but then I would never actually try one!  I received a hooded towel similar to the one here as a gift for Mr. Cheeks, and he loves it!  These are quick and make wonderful gifts.

Networking with other bloggers makes blogging SO much more fun.  I have found several blogging networks very helpful, but want to make sure everyone knows about my newest favorite - Mama's Little Nestwork!  Mama Hen has a wonderfully positive blog, and is one of the best I know at leaving thoughtful comments.  She took the comment love one step further by creating her own "Nestwork" to encourage others to do the same.  She features several bloggers each week, and also shares what I would call "kindness inspiration".  Mama Hen reminds you about the importance of being and kind and positive person - what a great member of the blogging community!  Join the Nestwork as a great way to meet new bloggers.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weeknight Craftiness

I have FINALLY found some time (or made some time) to escape to my craft room!  I decided to expand on another idea I had this summer, and create a more personal thank you note.

When I receive a gift, or someone goes out of their way for me, I never cease to think of the time and effort it took to make that act of kindness happen.  Giving a gift requires prior thought and planning, and most times even expense.  I needed to write a thank you for recent hospitality and one for a belated birthday gift for Mr. Cheeks.

To thank our hosts from last weekend's amazing retreat, I took one of my favorite pictures and made it the cover for the note.  I was sure to mention how much the beautiful surroundings helped us feel so relaxed, and hopefully it will make these wonderful friends even more proud of all the work they've put into their house.

Some of our extended family lives in California, so they never get to see Mr. Cheeks.  I decided to capture the moment of him opening his gift (side-note:  very cool that he actually cares about a package now!!).  I'm sure my Uncle will appreciate getting to see his fascination with the ribbon and the exciting present inside.

So many of my followers are inspirational photographers, so next time, instead of reaching for a boring old thank you note, share some of your work with those around you!

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Southern Hospitality

Well come right in, y'all!  These were the words that echoed through the rafters of the two beautiful mountain homes that I've visited the past two weekends.  Somehow I've been blessed with the gift of wonderful relaxing time with friends and family, returning to the real world rejuvinated and .... a little bigger.

Along with the amazing Southern Hospitality that I've enjoyed has come platters of the most delicious food you can imagine.  Although my parents aren't natives of the South, we've lived here most of my life, and have adopted some of the cuisine as our own!

 Time spent lingering around a gorgeous dinner table sharing stories old and new, laughing, and sneaking glances at the beautiful lake beyond sure make for some great memories!

Lazy weekend afternoons that are usually filled with the energizer washing machine were spent instead enjoying the quiet beauty of nature.  I'm not a birdwatcher, but quiet time on the porch makes you see the world through a little different lens.

One of the most special parts of this Labor Day was watching Mr. Cheeks enjoy new surroundings and get such joy in the smallest things.  In the middle of running down a path, he'd stop in his tracks to check out a bright colored flower or a tiny bug.  How do kids see these things??

Watching Hubby and Mr. Cheeks brought me so much joy.  The blessing of family and friends who enjoy your child so much is incredible.  I thought that this picture was a great example of how husbands can still get the relaxation in, while being on "baby duty".  Resourceful aren't they?  "Where do we get one of these hammock swings?" was asked more than once!