Friday Fun Project…book folding!

there’s a cute family story about the backwards Noel on top

I saw this idea in a magazine over a year ago and then went on Etsy to check them out and possibly buy an already finished one. At the time they were over $100 and I just never followed through on the purchase. A few weeks ago I was at my friend/neighbor Kym’s home….so unbelievably talented…and saw this (above) in her hallway. Not only is the book that’s folded cute, but she took other books and worked them into the frame around the book. So clever!!.

Of course, she made it herself, and I told her I wanted to do one. We decided to make it a group neighborhood project. We had a preliminary meeting of eight or so of us, with Kym giving us the logistics of the project and what we’d need before proceeding. Here’s the list…

pattern …she recommended the Etsy site for easy templates, but there are so many options on Etsy. They’re easy to download and give you the info of what you’ll need in regards to book size, how many pages, etc…. I did like this site because there was no measuring, like some of the templates require.

book…I had quite a few and then went to the library bookstore to get some old inexpensive ones that had interesting inside covers. As Kym instructed, if the inside book cover is boring you can just use contact paper, wallpaper or some other pattern to make it more interesting/fun….or you can just leave the excess pages unfolded.

large hair bands…these came in very handy to hold the folded pages while you were working on the book.

ruler & reading glasses (optional)…you only need these if you download your pattern from a site that requires measuring , as opposed to an easy template…and the glasses are only necessary for those of a certain age!

One of the most important things is making sure you’re starting in the right spot at the beginning of your book, because there are blank pages or un-numbered pages before, after and sometimes throughout the book that you need to account for. I won’t give the whole tutorial here because it’s a bit confusing to explain, but, trust me, follow the instructions so you’re book looks even.

We got together the Friday before Christmas and sat for a few hours folding and helping one another to get the hang of it. Everyone took theirs home to finish.

Here are a few of the finished masterpieces….

Maggie’s masterpiece…an example of leaving the extra pages unfolded…so cute!


Breanna’s masterpiece…there are templates for animals, letters, favorite team logos…the possibilities are endless!
Carre’s masterpiece…cleverly placed in her bookshelf!
My finished product…because FAMILY is everything!

I can’t wait to do another one, just because it’s fun, but also, as I said, it’s like a puzzle or knitting…so exciting to see the progress as your going and the finished product is so satisfying.

Have a great weekend!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday….JOY

“If you’re not having a good time, find something else that gives you some joy in life.” — Penny Marshall (RIP)

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!


Foodie Friday…Broccoli Cheese Casserole

never any leftovers here…

Okay…so it’s not really a “foodie” item, but Broccoli Cheese Casserole evokes Thanksgiving memories, as well as the memory of my, recently deceased, Aunt Lorrie. She wasn’t much of a cook, according to her children (our mom wasn’t so great either!), but this is always a favorite, with rarely any leftovers, at the family holiday meals. So, in honor of Aunt Lorrie, (thanks to cousin Beth for the recipe) here you go…

10 oz. broccoli (you can just buy the frozen)
1/2 can cream of mushroom soup (Campbell’s usually..I just had this TJ version)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of mayo
1 tsp. of dried onion flakes
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of ritz crackers, crumbled
few dabs of butter

Throw everything, except the crackers, together and mix well.  Put it into a casserole dish and top with crumbled Ritz crackers.  So easy!! Dot the top with butter and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 1/2 hour…or until bubbly golden brown (note from Beth…FYI – I usually quadruple this recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner)

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture. It’s such a 1950’s type recipe with the onion soup, Ritz, etc… but it’s a winner at every dinner table!

Bon Appetit!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…Happy 2019!

gin cocktail last night …fancy!


Love this sentiment for 2019…fun & thoughtful…Happy New Year!

You cannot direct the wind,
but you can adjust the sails

Irish birthday blessing for Jude

For sweet baby Jude on her first birthday…

May you live a long life
Full of gladness and health
With a pocket full of gold
As the least of your wealth
May the dreams you hold dearest
Be those which come true
May the kindness your spread,
Keep returning to you!

what a difference a year makes!

Happy Birthday to my birthday twin!


lá breithe sona dhuit!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…Merry Christmas…Believe

Believe in love.
Believe in magic.
Hell, Believe in Santa Claus.
Believe in others.
Believe in YOURSELF.
Believe in your dreams.
If you don’t who will??…Jon Bon Jovi

Nollaig shona dhuit…that’s Irish for Happy Christmas!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Happy Grateful Holidays!

Aaaaahhhh….The Holidays! …from Thanksgiving through Christmas, there’s so much to be thankful for…and thank God for our camera phones to capture the special moments.

an old friend comes to town…we had our children at the same time back in Illinois & now we’re welcoming grand=babies together
niece Alyse, husband Matt and 2 kids in town from Colorado

lucky to call these fabulous neighbors my friends too

…and some beautiful holiday decorating that I thought I’d share….

my sister’s festive holiday table
and a few fun vignettes from my friend, Julie’s home

yes, even her garden is decorated to the nines!

….in the spirit of giving, here’s a link to the Mandel Bread recipe I shared last year on the blog.

…and lastly…I’m off of work for two glorious weeks, so you’ll find me watching one of these warm & cozy holiday movies…

Can you name the movies?…and there’s one missing
that I’ve already watched. Can you guess what it is?

….or reading our book club book, The Heart’s Invisible Furies, that I’m loving so far…and a few more that are on my reading list…before heading out on a trip to Portland, OR.

Have a FABULOUS weekend!!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…Vorfreude

Vorfreude…what’s that, you say?? It’s a German word that means “the joyful, intense anticipation that comes from imagining future pleasures”. I was looking for inspiration for my Motivational Monday and thought, “anticipation” is always motivational/inspiring. In looking back at previous posts over the years, it’s a theme I’ve revisited more than a couple of times. I guess that means that I love having something to look forward to….oh, and this study shows that it’s always a good idea! 

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…Serenity

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

(I know I’ve posted this before, but sometimes I just need a little reminder)

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…Why We Pizza Monday!!

“Breaking bread is not only food inside your stomach,
it’s love you feel.”

— Yassin Terou, Syrian refugee and restaurant owner

2nd generation Pizza Monday-ers!

3rd generation Pizza Monday-ers!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!