Monday, April 27, 2015

Bread and Salad (you're gonna wanna try this)

Two little things have snuck into our mouths and tummies and routine and have turned out to be two BIG things that are rockin' our world. 
This salad dressing.
Eaten on top of garden lettuce, radishes, and green onion. 

I make it at least once a week. 
It even freezes well! 

Both of these wholesome recipes are just so ridiculously good. 
Seriously, so, mouth-watering good.

Happy Eats!

Blogger Tricks

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Springfield Discovery Center Field Trip!

We like to adventure out as a family, beyond our farm fences. 
We are learning what works well for us, as far as time and distance to travel and what is most fun for everyone.  
We are huge, huge fans of children's museums. 
They are hands-on (obviously), full of fun, and allow Brett and I to jump right in with the girls. 

Last year we stumbled across the Discovery Center in Springfield (MO) and had such a good time we decided to take them again this year.  Last week actually.  What a difference experience it was having Betsy so much older and active!  This was such a fun day for our family. 


The girls were interested in absolutely everything we came across.  We ate at Anderson's on the way there for breakfast, which is a gas station/restaurant.  Their food is seriously good.  Then we fed the girls a snack before entering the museum and had Chick-fil-a on the way home in the car.  We debated staying in a hotel, but didn't feel like spending the $100-$150 on one.  
Betsy Grace surprised me by wanting to lay on the bed of nails. 
GO BETS! :) 

This moment was just precious.  This older boy was pretending to be the store clerk and I prompted Anna to talk to him just how we would a regular grocery store clerk, pretending to pay him and everything.  Both kiddos acted kinda nervous but played their parts well. :) 









I have no idea what we'll do when our kiddos are too big to do this kind of stuff.  I'm still pretty much a five year old inside half the time so I don't think I will ever outgrow this kind of fun!  I think it is so good for our kids to see us having fun right alongside them.  

What have you done fun with your kids lately? 


Friday, April 24, 2015

All about Engineer Prints (Large Scale Photos)

 I am all about telling our stories.  Some days at the kitchen table I look around at the happy mess, listen to the girls play and giggle (ok, or argue sometimes) and think to myself….this is it.  This is as good as it gets.  At first read that statement sounds particularly depressing or negative.  And yet I don't mean it that way at all.  What I mean is the life all around us is the best we have!  How sad to live a life always wishing for the next season.  There are good glimmers right where we are.  

So it's with this passion tucked into my very being that I also decorate our house.  Around here, photographs matter a lot to us.  I catch the girls gazing at them on the walls and talking about the stories they tell.  A long time ago (too long to admit) I saved the idea on Pinterest to have an Engineer print made of some black and white photos.  An engineer print is just what you see here.  It's huge, printed on thin paper, and done in black and white.  You can get these done at Office Depot for cheap.  This particular size cost $3.50 and was the most expensive size.  
 Here's how I did it. 
I first tried to navigate Office Depot's website to upload the photos from home and got very frustrated.  I figured out it was just wasting my time and I couldn't figure out how to upload my photos so I stopped trying.  Maybe you'll have better luck?  Instead, once I went into the store and told the clerk this he agreed that the website is very confusing.  He said the easiest and fastest way to get these done is just to go into the store.  
 (colored pictures from my business/personal printer the Epson R2000)
 When I went into Office Depot I had already emailed the pictures to myself.  RJ (the store clerk) then had me forward the email to the Office Depot address and quickly pulled them up on their work screen.  I took a quick glance, told him not to make any edits and just print the photos as is. That was it!  He said they would be done in 30 minutes, tops (but more like 15).  I went next door to Hobby Lobby and came back to get the prints.  For all of these (5 big prints) the cost was $14!
I am seriously in love with how these look. 
They capture our story in a way an 8 x10 colored photo just can't.  

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to make your own: 
The better quality photo you have, the better your engineer print will look.  This may seem like common sense, but printing a photo at this size will make it a bit "fuzzy" anyway.  So if you start with a poor quality photo and then blow it up to this size you might not get the results you were going after. 

These prints only come in black and white.  I edited my photos in black and white BEFORE getting them printed.  Alternatively, you could have a colored picture printed but it will also turn out black and white.  So you'll want to think about the shadows and lighting of your photo….where are the dark and light spots?  Is there enough contrast for your engineer print to turn out well? 

You could easily buy a large poster frame for this at Hobby Lobby to get a more professional look.  Around here, we simply tape the photos to the wall. 

I hope you'll give these a try! I'm already imagining what else I could do with them. 
Brett and I have stared at the picture of Anna Ruth's dimpled hands long enough to make us sappy. 
:)

If you have more questions, ask away! I'd love to help! 
(and I'd also love your feedback on The Rosy Life in the previous post)



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gardening and Growth for the Rosy Life

 A few years back we started a garden.  And by "we" I mean Brett.  Anna Ruth was a baby and most of my time was spent keeping her from eating the soil.  But you know what?  Just like the garden, my girl grew and even once another girl came along (our sweet, fiery Betsy) the garden was still there, always waiting on us.  IS always there waiting on us.  And so each year with our girls a little bigger, the garden grows a bit itself and we are able to tend it better than the past.

The garden is our gathering place. It's where we teach the girls, laugh together, and gather to admire the beauty of food you can pick right from your own backyard.  

Of course we teach the girls that boundaries exist in the garden.  Smashing and stomping on the veggies is a no-no!  But still, the garden is a learning place where ALL (err, humans that is) are welcome.  

Little lessons that are really quite giant, like love and giving sneak up between the rows of veggies too.  Row after row of lettuce growing?  Grab the scissors and share with a friend.  Weeds starting to crowd the good stuff?  Bend down and pull them out, surprising Brett before he gets home.
I'm quite proud to say I've even learned how to turn on the grill and make chicken to top our garden salads.  Not only is it easy and tasty, the girls gladly gobble up their own bowl of salad too!  
And I suppose this is where my thoughts shift toward The Rosy Life.  I entered this spring with a few very important events on my heart-Vintage Market Days and my Rosy Retreats.  I'm also nearing the one-year anniversary of having my art shop opened.  The lessons I have learned feel like mountains crossed.  A year ago I almost quit before I even started because things like taxes and business accounts and marketing made me want to fall in a puddle on the floor.  They still do somedays, but for the most part I've figured things out and I'm still standing strong. 

It's with all these thoughts swirling in my mind here and there that I find myself really reflecting on The Rosy Life.  Mostly wondering which direction to continue or which new paths to cross while still being entirely true and genuine to myself and family.  

So I have a few questions I'd love to hear your thoughts on, if you have a free minute or two. 
What products or offerings would you enjoy (like custom art, scripture art, or art for boys' rooms)?
Do you like giveaways and contests or more authentic posts?
Would you ever come out of town for a retreat?
Which voice gets your attention the most in marketing-Instagram, blogs, newsletters, or good 'ol fashioned word of mouth? 
Anything else helpful you want to share?

Thank-you, thank-you! 
Here's to growing. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

A dandy afternoon (watercolors on the go with kids)

Good morning everyone! Are you refreshed and ready for the new week?  Or maybe more like me, sloshing coffee around and barely dipping a toe into the new week?  Either way, welcome.  Thank-you so much for your continued encouragement and comments on my blog posts.  I admittedly, am not very good at following up with comments on the blog and I apologize! My computer time has been a bit off….my computer has been broken for quite some time (months) where it runs very, very slow.  Even when I type the letters and words are delayed showing up on the screen.  This is eating up huge chunks of time I simply don't have (and am not willing to give) so here in the next couple of weeks I'll schedule some blog posts out and take a little break to get the computer fixed.  There is nothing that will kill my motivation faster than technology that is frustrating and slow. 

But enough of the technical stuff, let's jump to the rosy.  One afternoon I grabbed some watercolors, paper, snacks, brushes, and a Tupperware container of water and the girls and I headed out to the pasture to paint. 
 Something I long to have eyes to see myself and to share with my girls is the beauty and intricacy that surrounds us.  Once we sat down I showed the girls how you can pick so many different varieties of leaves and flowers next to you and then try to paint what you see.  
 We use a big variety of watercolors.  We have the Crayola kind, a cheap set from Hobby Lobby, and my Sakura travel set pictured here.  You can look this up on Amazon.  It cost around $26 for the set, which also includes a water brush.  A water brush is a brush that holds water inside the handle, which is big enough to hold water for a painting session or two, but small enough to easily transport.  I bought the girls their own water brushes and they will come in this week.  We are so excited to be able to easily take our painting on the go!
 The clouds were very dark and moody this day so Anna Ruth decided to paint them. 

 Watercolors are my current favorite type of paint to do with the girls, not because it's less mess but because it keeps both girls occupied so that I get to be creative with them for at least 10 minutes.  That is huge!  Usually when we create I am facilitating great conversation, grabbing supplies for them, and acting as a buffer between the girls and teaching them how to share.  Of course, I still do all that with watercolors, but I also notice there are moments of still that don't occur otherwise.  
 I let Anna Ruth use my nice Nikon and she captured this photo! Great job! I am hoping to get her a camera for her birthday….(not a Nikon obviously)




 Of course we had to end the afternoon with America's least favorite "weed" and my most favorite flower.  Yes, that's right…..I call these flowers.  Dandelions are our fave.  They make our hearts skip a beat.  They are resilient.  I mow over them and POP! They come right back.  

 We make wishes on them, twirl them in our fingers, and gather bouquets of them. 



May your week be full of wishes!

(local gals-this is the last week to sign up for my photography retreat in May! Details are under the Rosy Retreat tab above! Comment or email me at sunshinebysara@hotmail.com to sign up!)